No, The Gospel Isn’t “Good News” For Everyone

No, The Gospel Isn’t “Good News” For Everyone June 19, 2018

Over the years I’ve been fond of saying, “if the Gospel isn’t good news for everyone, it isn’t good news for anyone.”

When I’ve said it, I believed it and said it with sincerity. I can also recognize that I said it in part to push-back against the faith of my youth which essentially proclaimed a gospel that is bad, bad, news for the majority of human beings who have ever lived. Pushing back on things that are wrong is good– but sometimes we can push too far in the opposite direction, not because it’s true or accurate, but for the sake of distancing ourselves from the alternative.

But today, I admit: I was wrong. The Gospel isn’t good news for everyone.

I have never been more aware of this as I have been this past week when reading stories of the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at our southern border, and housing them in cages like animals at best– or handing them off to human traffickers at worst.

This feeling inside me has been building as I have read stories of children crying for their mothers. It’s festered as I’ve seen pictures of where the children are kept–pictures that look like my local dog kennel instead of a place for children. And it surely boiled over as I read an article by former First Lady Laura Bush, who reported that government officials who warehouse these children are instructed not to touch, pick up, or comfort children who are crying.

Hogar de Paul Harris, 2011. Benjamin L. Corey photo.

While I live in Maine and am about as far away from the southern border as one can get, these stories strike eerily close to home for me. You see, on the day I became a father it wasn’t in the delivery room of our local hospital. My first glimpse of my two wonderful daughters wasn’t as the nurse wrapped them in blankets, proclaiming “both girls!”

No, my first glimpse of my children was seeing them wave to me through the bars of the cage they were locked in.

I had no idea the first time I’d lay eyes on my children there would be a steel door with bars and a prominent lock in the middle separating us. I had always imagined our first moment would be filled with overflowing emotions of joy, but instead, as I saw my girls reach out between the bars to get our attention, the first emotion that filled my heart was absolute fury at the realization they had been waiting and locked in a cage all this time.

And so when I read stories of children being ripped from their mother’s arms, when I see images of cages that have little humans in them instead of dogs, and when I hear reports of children crying and needing comfort– but those tasked with caring for them being prohibited from picking them up, touching them, or soothing them, I realize I have been beyond erroneous in saying the Gospel is good news for everyone.

No, no, no– it is not.

The Gospel is not good news for those who rip children out of the arms of their mothers as they flee from places of poverty and violence.

The Gospel is not good news for those who toss these children in cages, subjecting them to additional trauma.

The Gospel is not good news for those who prohibit touching or comforting crying children, nor is it good news for those who obey such immoral directives.

For those who make these unjust policies, for those who carry them out even in the name of keeping their jobs, and for those who support the oppressors who enact these policies that destroy families and traumatize children, the Gospel is actually no-good-very-bad-news.

Regardless of theological position or nuance of what does or does not happen in the afterlife, what cannot be denied for anyone who claims to follow Jesus is that he clearly and articulately warned of a coming judgement. In fact, he laid it out in Matthew 25 so there were no questions: at the final judgement there will be two groups of people, and one will face divine punishment.

As much as I hate to spoil the surprise for those who haven’t gotten to this part of the Bible yet, it’s not “the gays, fake news media, and ‘godless progressives'” who get separated from the pack in order to receive their punishment.

Those who face the wrath of God, Jesus said, are those who did not welcome the immigrant, who did not clothe the naked, or feed the hungry. And specifically regarding harming children, let me remind you, is an act where Jesus said it would be better to have a rock tied around your neck and be thrown into the deepest ocean.

No matter which way you spin it, the Gospel is not good news for everyone if you believe Jesus.

No… it’s actually no-good-horrible-news for those who enact, support, or participate in the Trump administration’s unconscionable actions of ripping children out of the arms of their mothers, and then locking these children in cages.

 


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

Be sure to check out his new blog, right here, and follow on Facebook:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Predicting a comment starting with “Well, ACTUALLY…” coming in 3… 2…

    Anyway, good to see you back, Ben, and couldn’t agree more. The arrival of a new world is bad news for people who have put themselves at the top of the current one and will do whatever it takes to stay there.

  • Matthew

    Great to see you writing again Benjamin. Thanks so much for this.

    I wasn´t aware of the human trafficking aspect of all this.
    Who in the U.S. system is handing the children over to traffickers?

    Lord have mercy.

  • $144948586

    “Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at our southern border”
    Why mention Trump without mentioning any other president?

  • 92JazzQueen .

    You do know most of these illegal immigrants are Christian themselves, so the Gospel when used correctly is good news.

  • Ron McPherson

    Not only good to see Ben back, but good to see you back here as well Phil. BTW, do you plan to pick back up in Matthew on “Letters” blog?

  • Ron McPherson

    What boggles my mind is not that Trump still has defenders, but rather who those defenders are. How anyone can read the words of Jesus, claim to take them seriously, and yet still defend this administration is mind numbing to me.

  • Kyle

    With all due respect, brother, does it change the situation? Your response appears to be an attempt to deflect the truth of the situation as opposed to dealing with the here and now. I see your point but the biggest issue is that if we are hearing about it now we need to deal with it now, and the administration would rather throw God under the bus with out of context verses than address the issue at hand… not a very biblical response, though unfortunately, historically an American Christian one.

  • Hey Ron, good to see you!

    Yes, I do plan to pick the devotionals back up. I’ve just had a long season of not having time, and that has made me fall out of the habit. I was about to jokingly as you to remind me to do this every day, but I just realized I can do that in Google so… off to set up a reminder for myself!

  • I realize you mean well but you are just parroting Democrat faux outrage. This entire story is manufactured to give Democrats something to shout about.

  • $144948586

    “Your response appears to be an attempt to deflect the truth of the situation”
    What is the truth of the situation, Kyle?

  • OutsideLookingIn

    This is why: “There is no federal law that stipulates that children and parents be separated at the border, no matter how families entered the United States. An increase in child detainees separated from parents stemmed directly from a change in enforcement policy repeatedly announced by Sessions in April and May 2018, under which adults (with or without children) are criminally prosecuted for attempting to enter the United States”

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-law-separate-families-passed-1997/

    I also find it interesting that the morality of the practice is defended by some by saying or implying that “Obama/Clinton/anyone did it” (which is a lie, but how in the world is that a defense?)

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Manufactured, huh. The pictures, the stories, the eyewitnesses, the cages, etc. All manufactured? The change in policy by Trump and Sessions to require the children to be separated that started in April 2018. Made up?

    I’d say you’re living in an alternate reality, but you’re not. You’re just lying.

  • $144948586

    “I also find it interesting that the morality of the practice is defended by some by saying or implying that “Obama/Clinton/anyone did it” (which is a lie, but how in the world is that a defense?)”
    Well, I don’t know how it is; I’m not defending it.

    As for the “(which is a lie, but how in the world is that a defense?)”
    This isn’t a lie. Obama’s admin did separate children from parents; where do you think the pictures came from? Why do your sentence above says an “increase in child detainees”?
    “An increase in child detainees separated from parents” (My emphasis).

    I just want to know why it’s only Trump he mentions.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Because Trump and the Republicans are in charge right now. With one word, it can all be stopped, but instead, there is Sessions saying that it’s Biblical and ramping up enforcement.

    The lie is the set up that Obama essentially did the same thing. It’s used to set up a false equivalence. THAT is not true. To believe that, you’d have to believe that we’ve had cages of thousands of children in the U.S. for years. That is not true.

    As noted in the same article, “The rumors correctly suggested that “family detention” as a whole came before the Trump administration, but as of August 2015 intact families at the border were rarely separated.”

    Rare doesn’t make it right. It shouldn’t be done except perhaps under very careful circumstances and actual screening. Putting children in cages is not acceptable no matter who does it. The rabid enforcement is Trump policy, period.

    So, in June 2018, the current administration that ramped up enforcement to mandated separation is what matters for right now.

    The U.S. needs an actual debate on immigration and changes to policy, but I don’t see how it can happen in the toxic political environment.

    Josh, is the current enforcement policy moral or not? Most that I’ve seen that want to say, “But what about….” don’t ever seem to address the morality of the situation. What’s happening right now is happening. Is it moral?

  • Ron McPherson

    Seriously, your devotionals on Matthew have been incredibly enjoyable and helpful to me. The best explanation of Matthew’s narrative that I’ve read are yours. I sincerely mean that even as I’m typing this while looking at an entire wall full of commentaries in my den. I truly think you’re on to something with these little Matthew gems.

  • Ron McPherson

    LOL!! Let me guess. The moon landing was staged too!

  • Herm

    https://www.weeklystandard.com/holmes-lybrand/fact-check-did-democrats-pass-a-law-separating-children-and-adults-at-the-southern-border

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-law-separate-families-passed-1997/

    A White House spokesman referred [Factcheck.org] to a DHS statement regarding a 1997 legal settlement and 2008 antitrafficking law affecting minors who are apprehended without a parent present:

    Under the 1997 settlement, DHS could detain unaccompanied children captured at the border for only 20 days before releasing them to foster families, shelters or sponsors, pending resolution of their immigration cases. The settlement was later expanded through other court rulings to include both unaccompanied and accompanied children.

    The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires unaccompanied minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada to be placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or relatives in the U.S., while they go through removal proceedings. The bipartisan bill was approved by unanimous consent and signed by Bush.

    But neither the court settlement nor the 2008 law require the Trump administration to “break up families.”

    The “zero-tolerance” policy he announced [in May 2018] sees adults who try to cross the border, many planning to seek asylum, being placed in custody and facing criminal prosecution for illegal entry.

    As a result, hundreds of minors are now being housed in detention centres, and kept away from their parents.

    Over a recent six-week period, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents after illegally crossing the border, figures released on [15 June 2018].

    [Attorney General] Sessions said those entering the US irregularly would be criminally prosecuted, a change to a long-standing policy of charging most of those crossing for the first time with a misdemeanour offence.

    This administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy is purely meant to deter any immigration, especially from those brown people seeking refuge from gangs and sure death for their children. Josh and Bob are no less puppets for white rule only proponents, such as President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, General Kelly and Stephen Miller, than were those no Jews, period, under Nazi rule.

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

    Matthew 22:37-40

    Everyone of mankind, the only animal species on this earth made in the image of God who is spirit, is an other to each other, regardless of any carnal or spirit differences.

    Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

    Mark 9:35-37

    Shame on those, who rule today, whose heritage in the United States of America began with blood relatives who were all others in “huddled masses”. They offer no Good News to any seeking hope to just survive, inside or outside our borders.

    The Good News is the Spirit of truth in me, and I in him, who teaches me empathy in joy and grief for all others of mankind. Woe be to the enforcing rulers of the United States of America today who cannot see others as themselves.

    Thanks Ben! Nice to have you back!

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey for speaking prophetic truth, no matter how outrageoulsy offensive it is to White Evangelicals still defending Trump’s hate-filled gospel with predicable deflection, obfuscation, and derailment as is evidenced right here in the comment section.

    U.S. Evangelicals who have cemented themslves to Trump will not be raptured, but will live the remainder of their years attempting to justify their unjustifiable alliance:

  • Christian Truth

    Bush signed Trafficking Victims Prevention Reauthorization Act & this is the law that prevents unaccompanied minors from entering. Many are brought in by ‘coyotes'(smugglers). My question is why should America be lenient in this matter for ANYONE trying to enter illegally? What kind of example is it to children if their parents do not obey the laws of the country they’re entering? All countries have penalties(some harsh) for breaking their laws & America is no different. My next question is what is their motives to enter illegally? If they want to come & make an honest living AND pay taxes then do so according to the LAWS OF THE LAND. We have these laws to protect law abiding citizens. I have personally known several families that have risked their children’s lives to get them in illegally while they themselves worked here in US illegally. What makes this so wrong is that law abiding, tax paying citizens end up paying for it.And even Jesus said ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s’…

  • otrotierra

    Yep. Evangelicas defending Trump think their deflection and derailment are suitable alternatives to an actual counter-argument they clearly do not have. They haven’t realized that their very responses in this comment section only serve to strengthen Dr. Corey’s insightful thesis.

  • All that you mention has been in place for a long time. All President Trump did was enforce existing law. Presidents don’t make law and that is why he cannot and must not change it by executive order. As far as the hysteria it is most certainly manufactured by the democrat machine because they are out of ideas to promote and have resorted to insanity. This fall the worst Progressives will be put in a box and put away for another 30 years. Blue Wave indeed.

  • Herm

    Where in hell is the “Christian Truth” that you tout? Can you not read “Trafficking Victims Prevention“? What makes unaccompanied minors “Trafficking Victims” in your spiritless mind, who you feel need to be prevented? What does this have to do with my Lord’s laying down the Christian law in:

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12

    My Lord is not your lord.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Virtually every line you wrote is false. For example, there is no law that requires children to be separated. Trump and sessions could stop it immediately. They choose not.

    You lie and you are a liar. Stop lying.

  • Christian Truth

    Paul writes in Romans 13:1 that Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. In doing so God is glorified b/c He gives them their authority. I didn’t call them trafficking victims but that’s why many are being detained b/c they fall under this “Act”. Again I personally know families that have endangered their children to get them into America illegally & the REAL question is ‘WHY WOULD ANY PARENT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND RISK THEIR LIVES & THE LIFE OF CHILD(CHILDREN) to enter into a country illegally? Is that love? Does love say break the law in order to gain more money? I see it as the ‘love of wanting more’ at ANY expense. The main reason they come here is to make $ to send back home not to contribute to for the better of society. As a large percentage end up living off (free medical, schooling etc)and the law abiding citizens pay for it at the expense of their own lives. That’s what God wants? Not in a million years! Sir u can quote Scripture but make sure u quote Scripture that is relevant to THIS particular situation…
    Romans 13:1-7 states, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

  • Christian Truth

    Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country – they’re not arrested. They’re processed through ICE, and their children stay with them. If, however, illegal immigrants cross the border illegally, the Trump administration now treats them as criminals. If they choose deportation, they aren’t separated from their kids; if they choose to apply for asylum, they stay in the country longer than 20 days, and their kids have to be removed by operation of law.
    Indeed, potential refugees are more than welcome to come to the U.S., the government just asks they do it legally.

    As of the end of May, the U.S. had admitted more than 14,000 refugees in fiscal year 2018,
    according to data from the Refugee Processing Center. The Trump administration has capped the allowable number of refugees in a single fiscal year at 45,000.

  • Ron McPherson

    “All President Trump did was enforce existing law.”

    Uh huh. So why did he wait 16 months into his presidency to start “enforcing” this existing law?

  • Who in the U.S. system is handing the children off to traffickers?

    Adults claim children fraudulently, but separation is one of the primary tools used to prevent human trafficking at the border. Reducing border enforcement, the preferred “solution” of many, increases the risk of human trafficking. If parents and children got preferential treatment at the border, human trafficking would be incentivized. See [this article] from the Obama-era for some real life examples.

  • Thanks, Matthew. It’s been a really dark year and a half for me, and I’m desperately trying to find life again.

  • “Because Trump and the Republicans are in charge right now.”

    It’s simple. These same abuses occurred in the Obama-era and they were reported on but ignored by those in power who are now complaining. Many of those who were complicit during that administration (including some in congress) are still in power and many of those that do not actively hold office are still politically influential. By failing to hold them accountable for their actions, both past and present, and only focusing on the Trump administration and Republicans, it sends the message that human rights abuses are okay, as long as they are done by Democrats. It’s partisan hypocrisy made worse by framing it in religious language.

  • Herm

    CT, Romans 13:1 has been used twice in the last 100 years we are aware of in the United States of America. The first time was to justify slavery as the will of God. The second time was to justify the Nazi regime as the will of God.

    Romans 13 is quoted as from the Apostle Paul.

    The following is quoted as from Christ Jesus:

    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    Matthew 25:31-46

    But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

    John 8:23-24

    This is quoted on our Statue of Liberty;

    Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

    You yell in question, “WHY WOULD ANY PARENT IN THEIR RIGHT MIND RISK THEIR LIVES & THE LIFE OF CHILD(CHILDREN) to enter into a country illegally?”

    The answer is simple, their child will surely die in the country they left!

    You have been given everything you have and, except for the effort you chose to put out to take advantage of the opportunities made available to you, you earned nothing and nothing will you take with you.

    Your numbers are skewed because most “illegal immigrants” stay below the radar and most do pay taxes on wages you wouldn’t even consider, since you have a computer and time to claim God as yours as deserving and not theirs as of the undeserving. You aren’t even a logical and honest humanitarian. You don’t know God and I am here to tell you that God is real.

  • Scott Harrison

    “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” – John Stuart Mill

  • Scott Harrison

    My reply to the writer “Christian Truth” unfortunately seems to have hit a spam filter, so I am posting it in the general response section. My response was to his quote from Saint Paul’s Letter to the church in Rome:

    You need to be careful not to fall for the old exegetical error of “proof-texting” – not to extract a scripture from it’s context and broader theological meaning (and God’s command to love our neighbour, the widow, the orphan, the stranger is the broader meaning here!). This passage has been callously misused to justify submission to unjust authorities and laws throughout the ages, to the eternal shame of Christendom. Here I include the US Jim Crow laws and Segregation, the Nazi regime (where so many christians used this passage of scripture to justify their silence in the face of the deportation and persecution of Jews, gypsies, intellectuals, the disabled and homosexuals), and in the case of Apartheid South Africa to name but three. Thank God there were Christians who understood that Christ’s command to love requires that we be courageous in standing up against evil. The Apartheid regime forcibly removed over 3 million men, women and children, declaring such removals “legal”, rubber-stamped by the government and a state church which largely looked the other way (see Cosmas Desmond: “The Discarded People”). When we argue for the submission to laws which offend against Christ we are on profoundly dangerous ground which incurs Judgement. Be aware too that to hide behind false exegesis like this runs counter to the noble Christian tradition of speaking truth to power and sacrificing for it: read “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

  • Matthew

    I will pray for you and yours today Benjamin.

  • Matthew

    You mean someone actually landed on the moon, Ron???

  • Matthew

    Why do they (the children) need to be removed by operation of law?

  • And you are another confused progressive looking to support anything that makes you feel good by denigrating your country and its laws. Your ability to write clearly is limited as is your thought process. in essence you should stop commenting about that which you know little. It makes you look foolish.

  • Hello Ron. Are you taking the place of boomerang man?

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Herm! Been missing you!

  • $144948586

    “To believe that, you’d have to believe that we’ve had cages of thousands of children in the U.S. for years. That is not true.”
    What? This is the article that set the world in a frenzy.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/06/06/does-the-u-s-keep-immigrant-children-in-cages/?utm_term=.b6e8db726f16
    The pictures of kids in cages is from 2014.
    Someone here is in denial.

    I mean, Corey’s statement was this:
    “I have never been more aware of this as I have been this past week when reading stories of the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at our southern border, and housing them in cages like animals at best– or handing them off to human traffickers at worst.”

    Yet, only one presidency’s admin has actually been reported on as handing kids off to human traffickers: Obama’s, but Corey’s mention of Trump admin with anything else reads as follows:
    “I have never been more aware of this as I have been this past week when reading stories of the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at our southern border, and…handing them off to human traffickers at worst.”

    Thou shall not bear false witness.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/us/politics/us-placed-immigrant-children-with-traffickers-report-says.html

  • OutsideLookingIn

    To clear the air a bit, the zero tolerance enforcement policy we’re seeing enacted is new. Here’s the Justice Department’s memo dated April 26, 2018: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1049751/download?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

    “Accordingly, I direct each United States Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Borderto the extent practicable, and in consultation with DHS- to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a). This zero-tolerance policy shall supersede any existing policies. If adopting such a policy requires additional resources, each office shall identify and request such additional resources.”

    Or you could ask Republican senator Ben Sasse from his FB post: “The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice. Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong. There are other options available to them. The other options are all messy (given that some overly prescriptive judges have limited their administrative options), but there are ways to address this that are less bad than the policy of family separation they’ve chosen.”

    Derek, which people should we rail against? Who are the architects still in power that are responsible? Name them. Human rights abuses by any U.S. official are wrong no matter the political party. Period.

    What I keep seeing is others using “well, someone else did it” as an excuse to defend the practice. Most of these don’t even try to argue that what is being done now is moral. They just skip over that part. If you’re not one of those people, then great, but that’s what is coming across. I’m an atheist (after being a Christian for 30+ years) so I don’t care about the religious language.

    EDIT: Upon seeing your other posts, I see you’re in the camp of defending the current policy. I notice you don’t discuss the morality of the policy either. It also explains why you wish to falsely claim “it’s the same thing.” If that’s your defense of the morality of the policy, then that’s a terrible defense.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    If I were called a liar, I would try to demonstrate that I told the truth by supporting my claims. I see you’ve unsurprisingly decided not to do that.

    Here’s demonstration you’re a liar. The zero tolerance enforcement policy we’re seeing enacted is NEW. Here’s Jeff Session’s Justice Department’s memo dated April 26, 2018: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1049751/download?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

    “Accordingly, I direct each United States Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Borderto the extent practicable, and in consultation with DHS- to adopt immediately a zero-tolerance policy for all offenses referred for prosecution under section 1325(a). This zero-tolerance policy shall supersede any existing policies. If adopting such a policy requires additional resources, each office shall identify and request such additional resources.”

    Or you could ask Republican senator Ben Sasse from his FB post: “The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice. Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong. There are other options available to them. The other options are all messy (given that some overly prescriptive judges have limited their administrative options), but there are ways to address this that are less bad than the policy of family separation they’ve chosen.”

    Do you believe the policy is wrong/immoral or not?

  • Matthew

    Hello Bob. I´m wondering … without getting into the Republican/Democrat debate, or the “Well it started with the Democrats” debate, do you think the policy of separating children from their parents at the border is wrong, immoral, etc.?

  • OutsideLookingIn

    I’m aware of the Nogales and Browsnville detention centers. There was protest of those at the time despite claims I’ve seen to the contrary. Those children should not have been detained in that way. I have no qualms saying that. An important difference, though, is that those centers held unaccompanied children; not those separated from families seeking asylum. That is an even more grievous offense on our part.

    To be clear, the policy on how to handle families coming to the border changed on April 26, 2018. That’s why the uproar. People are suddenly upset because, well, something suddenly, unnecessarily, and arbitrarily changed to make the actions by the U.S. much worse. The Trump administration is responsible for that.

    Here’s the Justice Department’s memo announcing the new policy on April 26, 2018: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1049751/download?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

    Republican senator Ben Sasse from his FB post: “The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice. Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong. There are other options available to them. The other options are all messy (given that some overly prescriptive judges have limited their administrative options), but there are ways to address this that are less bad than the policy of family separation they’ve chosen.”

    Josh, I noticed you completely sidestepped the morality question. Is the new policy moral or not? Explain.

  • You are pitiful and I would not try to emulate you.
    The law has been on the books. Obama, the Lawless, chose not to enforce the Law – not so anymore.
    I believe that the policy is correct and not immoral in the least. Your premise is false. Many of the children have no parents but are escorted by cartel types and worse. The children are just being used by dupes like you to inflame passions about immigration. But it will not work with this President. He will solve the problem and You and your kind will not like it.

  • See my reply to Outside please.

  • Matthew

    Evidence please …

  • Matthew

    Thanks.

  • Letter from Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King jr. wrote:
    “A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.“

    As human beings it is our moral ought to oppose unjust laws!

  • I hope they hot dogs to roast…

  • Daniel, let me know your arrival time on the border so I can watch you on CNN as you try to help the children defy the law and the process.

  • Under educated people like you always switch to childish invective because you lack the ability to make your point beyond the emotional. Again, I do pity you…

  • That article is about how the Gospel is bad news for those who would separate children from their parents, for those who harm children are condemned, and those who are unwelcoming to refugees are condemned, and those who are cruel to others are condemned.

    The only way you didn’t understand the point is if you didn’t read any of the article. Par for the course?

  • As a retired teacher who worked for years with at-risk kids, and in a mental hospital with emotionally disturbed children and teens, etc.,
    I am BEYOND appalled that so many Americans have an negative attitude toward these refugee children that they would NEVER have toward their own children:-(

    We as a country have truly forgotten our ideals:-( as John McCain, 4 First Ladies, and many, many have pointed out, that this is a cruel, immoral, unjust policy.

    This is far worse than the cruel unjust laws of segregation times in the U.S. Oh wait a moment, as I recall Americans also arrested kids back then, too.:_(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

  • That you are busy making excuses for evil, and trying to defray the stench of that evil by arguing, falsely, that others have committed the same bad acts.

    So, you know, your usual.

  • Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country – they’re not arrested.

    The Trump Administration certainly claimed this, but the facts on the ground speak otherwise. CPB and consular officials have been playing games with the asylum process, illegally failing to open an asylum claim when it is made, telling people making asylum claims that they will not be admitted for processing because they are “at capacity” (even if true, the law gives them no discretion in this matter, so being “at capacity” is irrelevant), and yes, removing their children from them anyway.

    So the real question is, are you gonna believe blindly the story you’ve been told to pacify your conscience, or are you gonna wake up?

  • otrotierra

    Indeed. And Jesus was unmistakably clear about the consequences of harming children. Today is a great day for Mr. “Christian Truth” to learn what Jesus actually had to say about that.

  • otrotierra

    Yes indeed. U.S. Evangelicals still supporting Trump will shocked to learn what Jesus had to say about those who harm children.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, Jesus was overwhelmingly clear about his stance on what should happen to those who bring harm to children. Yet, U.S. Evangelicals still following Trump illustrate to the world their lust for the mirror opposite of what Jesus taught. This is how history will remember these Evangelicals.

  • “the zero tolerance enforcement policy we’re seeing enacted is new”

    The policy of the executive branch to maximally enforce immigration laws is a change from the previous administrations. This isn’t really under debate.

    “which people should we rail against?”

    Every last one of them. Everyone in the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations (and their legislative and judicial counterparts) that is complicit. Anyone who criticizes just one party or one branch of government is promoting hypocrisy.

    “I see you’re in the camp of defending the current policy.”

    False. I pointed out the potential consequences of one proposed alternative solution to the problem through a rough cost/benefit analysis in the context of this post on human trafficking.

    The current policy should result in reduced human trafficking over the previous policy. Dr. Corey has selectively criticized the current executive branch in the name of reducing human trafficking. But if the existing policy were reversed, human trafficking would, presumably, be increased. The criticism, driven by partisan politics, is thus irrational because it is counter to the stated goal.

    “I notice you don’t discuss the morality of the policy either.”

    No, I didn’t. But you assumed my moral judgment on it anyway.

  • This is simply a Democrat driven, politically motivated, faux outrage that has captured nationwide attention. This is not far worse than Segregation by any stretch of the imagination – you as a former teacher should know that! Why do you pont to John McCain? Is he your Senator?
    You will see our President deal with this and you will also see that nothing he does will be accepted. That is because it is political in nature.

  • Christian Truth

    So Jesus would have tried to enter a country illegally or would he have wanted his followers to join him in disobedience to the laws of the land? So God did not establish the authority in the US?

  • Those photos of children are all crisis actors! You’ll notice those same toddlers protesting school shootings and also shaking hands with the Reptoid Council that runs the UN!

  • It’s only bad news for them in the short term. Long term, it really is good for them too. Their purifying process may just sting a bit more.

  • “This President” just announced he’s caving in an hour ago.

  • Christian Truth
  • Because I adopted internationally, I went through the process of bringing in a child, legally, from another country (South Korea). I am white, male, a veteran, upper middle class, born an American citizen. The international adoption practices between the US and South Korea have been in operation for over 50 years.

    The process was incredibly long, convoluted, and expensive. Granting citizenship to my adopted son cost thousands of dollars. The amount of documentation I had to produce was not only enormous, at one point we hit a completely impossible situation where three different agencies required the documents the other two provided before they would produce theirs. It was literally a documentation deadlock until one day I just happened to talk to the agent who wasn’t as up on their requirements as the other agents I talked to, which allowed me to get an initial document that allowed me to clear the other two.

    Once we had done all of this, it was still nine months before a judge allowed me to be the parent of my son. My son was in the country the entire time, however, and allowed to stay with me, although ICE could have taken him from me at any time for any reason.

    I had the savings to cover all this, the time to spend, a nice place to come home to when I was tired of hanging out at Random Government Agency X, I speak fluent English and had birth certificates, passports, proofs of residency, etc.

    And I -still- was greatly, greatly tempted to circumvent these procedures, especially when I only cleared one of them due to the “failing” of a government worker that day. If you think people come to America without following proper channels just because they’re willfully defiant of laws, you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about and need to shut up. You may still not think it’s right, but it is amazingly expensive, intensive, and occasionally impossible to come into this country legally. Once again, I was born an American citizen, and I still had all this trouble.

  • Matthew

    There are progressive pro-life people out there Christian Truth.

    There are different interpretations regarding LGBTQ issues and
    the scriptural arguments surrounding them. Why is the conservative
    interpretation the only valid one?

    While I don´t think Jesus was an advocate of any particular economic
    “ism” that exists, it does seem to me that the Kingdom of God which Jesus
    both proclaimed and manifested does indeed include the fair and just
    allocation and distribution of resources — most notably between brothers
    and sisters in Christ. Galatians 6:10 comes immediately to mind.

    [Edited]

  • Matthew

    Do you believe in some sort of afterlife purgatory, Chuck McKnight? Are you the same
    guy who read something about the invisible man at a Keith Giles seminar?? I don´t remember
    the analogy exactly, but I think it was a good one :-)

  • Inartfully phrased but accurate. Everyone involved knew this would happen except for many on this site because they only watch/listen to fake news.

  • Evangelical has come to mean the exact opposite of everything Jesus stood for.:-(

  • On the contrary, I listen and read news from all across the spectrum. I am a retired literature teacher who spent many years teaching students the difference between news and propaganda.

    Everyone ought to read a wide variety of news sources.

    None except one branch are justifying taking children away from their parents and imprisoning them.

    Also, for the record, I spent many years teaching minority teens, including some refugees.

    NONE of those kids were anything like the branch of news (that supports Trump) claims.

  • For some reason my response didn’t load. I will try again.
    This isn’t Democrat-driven. In over 50 years of voting, I only voted for a Democratic candidate twice! And the first time I did so, I regretted doing so. But I did because the Republican candidates supported unjust immoral policies.

    I’m pro-life–that means opposing abortion, and opposing cruel separations of children from their parents, etc. One of my early walking protests was against abortion many years ago; now my efforts are against the U.S. government’s immoral policies.

    No, John McCain isn’t my senator. In fact, I am opposed to many of his views, BUT he is a respected leader who realizes that separating and imprisoning children is completely wrong!

  • Hey, Matthew. Yes, that’s me. This is the original post for that allegory: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hippieheretic/2017/06/invisible-man-and-his-shadow-allegory.html

    I don’t use the term purgatory myself, because it has pretty strong connotations from the Catholic version that I don’t agree with. But I do believe that God’s love extends beyond the grave, and that God will never stop seeking the ultimate good of every individual.

  • Christian Truth

    So punish the law abiding citizens who’ve gone through the process legally? This isn’t a wealth redistribution issue; this is a safety issue as so many of our state facilities are shut down trying to accommodate illegals (many of which continue in illegal activity).We are stretched beyond capacity. The biggest opponent of this are those who HAVE obeyed the law only to have to turn around & pay for those who do not.All those who want open borders please go try to enter another country illegally & see where it gets you. If you REALLY believe it’s the heart of God to go against laws designed to protect us then one has to question this roller coaster morality. And please tell this to families that have had loved ones killed, raped & harmed by the actions of those here illegally.

  • What do your comments have to do with the U.S. Government taking away children from their parents?

    The U.S. Government could instead hold families including children on the border until their refugee status has been determined.

  • Yes, Jesus would have disobeyed the laws of the land if they were being used to harm children, were being used to cruelly take children away from their parents and imprison the children.

    No, God didn’t establish any government, certainly not the U.S. Government to do wrong, to harm children, to do unjust actions.

  • Ron McPherson

    150 years from now people may look back on our times much like how we look back at the atrocities of Christians justifying slavery 150 years ago. They’ll go, “so professing Christians actually tried to justify hate using the Bible for LGBT bigotry and separating children from immigrant parents? Like seriously?”

  • Ron McPherson

    I particularly like how you carefully articulated such a well reasoned response to the question.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    “That really isn’t under debate.” I agree, but there are a few around here who disagree. That’s why it has to be said. Just read around here and the internet for many who debate that point.

    “Every last one of them.” I’d prefer to hear actual names. Who should I address a phone call or letter to? Name a dozen, current and past, some from each political party, and let me know how they’ve contributed.

    “The current policy should result in reduced human trafficking over the previous policy.” Shooting everyone who speeds would likely reduce speeding and the number of accidents, but we shouldn’t do it. The whole discussion here is about whether it is “right” to do what we’re doing. That’s the discussion.

    “The criticism, driven by partisan politics, is thus irrational because it is counter to the stated goal.” First, can you conceive that some percentage might be due to actual concern for the children, rather than just partisan politics? When you say the criticism is driven by partisan politics that takes you out of neutrality on the matter and actually does present a moral judgment. It really does. Saying it’s all about “partisan politics” dismisses the concerns as illegitimate.
    That’s why it’s helpful to actually state your view rather than wrongly assume that you’re presenting some neutral view.

    What you presented is a false dichotomy, anyway. Those aren’t the only two choices. Plus, I don’t see it as right to do wrong to achieve even a positive goal. So, if getting rid of this policy increases human trafficking, then that’s just what will have to happen and we’ll need to address that. The U.S. is flouting international law and perhaps violating it’s own Constitution to do this. It’s not okay for any reason.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    If he does end the policy, I look forward to Bob Shiloh (aka Mr. Consistency) rail against LAWLESS Trump.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  • Matthew

    How does God seek the ultimate good of every individual beyond the grave? By a burning purgation? Greg Boyd gave a recent sermon on this subject. I don´t think I agree with him, though I may not be understanding his points clearly … or yours for that matter :-(

  • I won’t pretend to know the details of how God intends to bring it about, but I believe both from scripture and from my own experience with God that he seeks the reconciliation of all. At the resurrection, I believe he will allow those who reject him to go their own way. But just as he pursues us with non-coersive love in this life, I believe he will continue the same in the next. And I have hope that God’s love will win everyone over in the end.

  • $144948586

    “Those children should not have been detained in that way.”
    Thank you for conceding you were lying about the “[it’s not true that] we’ve had cages in the US for years.”

    “People are suddenly upset because, well, something suddenly, unnecessarily, and arbitrarily changed to make the actions by the U.S. much worse.”
    Oh I get, so it’s the numbers of kids that matter, not that they are being kept in cages unlike what Corey claims. I guess it’s fine if it’s only a [insert arbitrary number here].

    “An important difference, though, is that those centers held unaccompanied children; not those separated from families seeking asylum.”
    I’m gonna call bs on this statement. Do you have proof that those are the only kids Brownsville and Nogales held?

    “Josh, I noticed you completely sidestepped the morality question. Is the new policy moral or not?”
    All things government are immoral.

  • $144948586

    “That you are busy making excuses for evil”
    I thought you were an atheist; how do you know what evil is?

    “arguing, falsely, that others have committed the same bad acts.”
    Because it’s not false; it says so in the pictures of children in cages in 2014.

    But why talk about Trump in reference to a 2016 issue when kids were accidentally placed into the hands of traffickers?

  • otrotierra

    Yes. And Dr. Corey’s comment section will be Exhibit A for documented proof.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much. Where do we go after death and before the resurrection?

  • That’s a great question. Part of me leans toward soul sleep. And the other part of me leans toward some sort of conscious place of rest with God. But I don’t have a strong opinion in either direction. Scripture would seem to lean more toward the former. Church tradition would seem to lean more toward the latter.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Yes, it was unaccompanied minors. Here’s an article from 2014: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/conditions-slowly-improve-nogales

    Or this report from Nogales: https://www.nogalesinternational.com/reports-feds-to-stop-sending-child-migrants-to-nogales/article_4a9586e2-0ee0-11e4-a32d-001a4bcf887a.html

    If you disagree, then the onus is on you to provide some sort of proof that they weren’t unaccompanied minors.

    When an unaccompanied minor comes to the border (or in this case more than 47,000), then at that point, if you wish to detain them, then you have some obligation to take care of them. This means that you have to house them somewhere. So, that is what the U.S. did. We should have done a better job but that explains how we ended up having to shelter so many minors.

    That is distinctly different than (a) removing the possibility of asylum for anyone and (b) separating children from families. Those policies are the new mandatory policies that are completely objectionable.

    “All things government are immoral.” This is one of those comments that I think you think makes you sound erudite, but everyone else sees it as the dodge of the questions that it is.

    So, are you personally in agreement with the current policy?

  • $144948586

    “If you disagree, then the onus is on you to provide some sort of proof that they weren’t unaccompanied minors.”
    All these prove is that unaccompanied minors were in those locations; nothing of those separated from parents.
    That being said, I point you to the article, posted again, below.
    The photos, btw, are neither Nogales or Brownsville but McAllen in 2014.

    “Those policies are the new mandatory policies”
    No, they’re not:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/06/06/does-the-u-s-keep-immigrant-children-in-cages/?utm_term=.d8fee0f44e36
    “Although the Trump administration is not the first to separate immigrant children from their parents, the practice is on the rise because of this “zero-tolerance” policy.”

    “This is one of those comments that I think you think makes you sound erudite, but everyone else sees it as the dodge of the questions that it is.”
    No, it simply means it’s immoral because its source is in immorality.

    “So, are you personally in agreement with the current policy?”
    No, but I’m not in agreement with involuntary borders either.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Again, in McAllen, these are unaccompanied minors: https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/24/us/texas-warehouse-unaccompanied-minors/index.html

    “Many are seeking more opportunity or want to reunite with family. But violence in their home countries — particularly Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — is is helping create an acute tide of child migrants.

    U.S. authorities estimate 60,000 to 80,000 children from Central America will arrive this year in the United States **without a parent or guardian**. Some of them are infants.” (emphasis mine)

    *Mandatory* separation of children from families and no longer allowing declaration of asylum are *new* policies. I can’t believe there is any argument on that point. So, my statement is correct..those policies are the new MANDATORY enforcement policies.

    ” ‘So, are you personally in agreement with the current policy?’
    No, but I’m not in agreement with involuntary borders either.”

    Then it sounds like we have some common ground. Maybe we can find a better way to move toward those goals than what we’re seeing now.

  • I thought you were an atheist; how do you know what evil is?

    It’s pretty easy, really. You take a personal desire not to be harmed, you take empathy, and you rub them together and ta-da! Try to avoid harm whenever possible to others, and defend people who can’t defend themselves.

    It is quite revealing that you have to resort to debunked cliches to attempt to deflect from your defense of wantonly evil acts.

    Because it’s not false; it says so in the pictures of children in cages in 2014.

    The problem then was what to do with unaccompanied minors. It was a bad solution, but at the least they didn’t create the problem. Intentional wholesale separation of parents from children is not the same thing as not knowing what to do with children who show up alone.

    And you know that. Willfully misunderstanding the accusation is quite the dodge, but locking kids up in cages as a first option rather than an absolute last resort is what people are upset about. And you know that too. Your dishonesty is quite tiresome.

  • $144948586

    “I can’t believe there is any argument on that point.”
    So I see, you’re okay with the separation so long as it isn’t “mandatory”.

    I mean if you want to go to the fine points of an argument that is wholly immoral, fine but that’s on you. Separation, however, is not a new policy.

    “Then it sounds like we have some common ground”
    Outside, we’ve been on common ground, you just refused to accept it earlier.

    “Maybe we can find a better way to move toward those goals than what we’re seeing now.”
    We are getting there; that’s why I want to know “why mention Trump without mentioning the other admin leaders who separated families” and why throw trump into the same run-on sentence that concludes with placing kids in the arms of traffickers (and actual story under the Obama admin), when there’s been no such report for him?

  • All things government are immoral.

    And this is why it’s a mistake to take you seriously.

  • $144948586

    “You take a personal desire not to be harmed, you take empathy, and you rub them together and ta-da! ”
    So where is the culpability of the individual who comes to a country with their children without being given permission (and consequently detained, and subject to the policies of that government)?

    “It was a bad solution, but at the least they didn’t create the problem.”
    Trump didn’t create the problem either; he didn’t go get undocumented immigrants.
    He ordered them detained when they, of their own choosing, step foot on the soil.
    Agreed it’s a bad solution.

    “The problem then was what to do with unaccompanied minors.”
    Yet then they still had to separate some families.

    “It is quite revealing that you have to resort to debunked cliches to attempt to deflect from your defense of wantonly evil acts.”
    I was just poking, but now that you think you can define evil, I’d like to see where your response to my inquiry above goes.

  • It is nothing but a political point for the Democrats who have nothing to talk about except hate Trump and open the Borders.
    This country has big problems and immoral policies is just an opinionated generality.
    Pro-life is anti-abortion and has nothing to do with separation of children at the border.
    John McCain is what he is but he is not respected by the Democrats in the slightest unless he says something anti Trump.

  • $144948586

    “Try to avoid harm whenever possible to others, and defend people who can’t defend themselves.”
    Here’s a question, how do we do that?

  • Not interested in your JAQoff routine.

  • “I’d prefer to hear actual names.”

    That’s nice for you. I’m sure you really value my judgment, need me to do this work for you, and are not using it to satisfy whatever arbitrary requirement you have to judge my sincerity.

    “Shooting everyone who speeds would likely reduce speeding and the number of accidents, but we shouldn’t do it. The whole discussion here is about whether it is “right” to do what we’re doing. That’s the discussion.”

    Your example is absurd and poor analogical reasoning. The argument presented in this post is logically invalid. Ignoring this and having a discussion around that irrational argument is the true absurdity here.

    ” First, can you conceive that some percentage might be due to actual concern for the children, rather than just partisan politics?”

    “Do it for the children” is the ultimate crutch for those who don’t have a real argument. But let’s grant your premise for the sake of argument. If this were primarily motivated by a concern for the children, why would only the Trump administration and its current policy be blamed? Since this problem goes back to previous policies and administrations and includes the current Congress’ failings, is it only because the number of children affected has reached a threshold? The only thing that has changed is the number of children affected. Anyone who says that suffering of children can be ignored as long as the cases stay below [arbitrary threshold] is probably not primarily concerned with the children. Rather, the evidence is logically consistent with the conclusion that this is politically motivated virtue signaling.

    “What you presented is a false dichotomy, anyway. Those aren’t the only two choices.”

    What do you think I meant when I said that singling Trump out is hypocrisy? You and I both know that there are other possible solutions to these problems. But when Trump is specifically singled out, you limit your criticism and available solutions to things that Trump can do, which isn’t all that much. It’s a real dichotomy, not a false one. If instead we criticize everyone involved, we can demand change from Congress, the body that is tasked to solve problems with the law, and there would be no dichotomy of choice.

    “So, if getting rid of this policy increases human trafficking, then that’s just what will have to happen and we’ll need to address that.”

    I’m not okay with increasing human trafficking.

  • $144948586

    Given that atheism is generally arrived at logically, it astounds me that you’re an atheist.

  • I’m just not interested in investing your bad-faith questions with a response. Calling out your garbage is a free service, and not for you.

  • $144948586

    “Calling out your garbage ”
    You’re just calling it garbage; you’ve not proved anything.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    There actually can be a reason to separate children from families so a law having that capacity is not inherently immoral. For example, if El Chapo arrived at the border with kids in tow, then since he is a known criminal, it makes sense to separate the children from him while he is detained. Having a law that allows that makes sense.

    Currently, if any family arrives at the border even there to legitimately request asylum, they are not given that opportunity and their children are taken away. So, the mandatory aspect is in fact important change.

    One would hope that we would attempt to separate children from families only when deemed necessary with a high burden of proof to do so. But that is not what we’re doing. That’s one of the sources of the outrage.

  • Blah blah blah. Try again when you’re done running interference for evil.

  • $144948586

    “Try again when you’re done running interference for evil.”
    How would you know?

  • To you? No, that would be impossible. You are as reasonable as a stone. Prevailing upon you to reason would be like prevailing upon the mountains to fall. I’m not trying to prove anything to you. The audience will judge.

  • $144948586

    ” For example, if El Chapo arrived at the border with kids in tow, then since he is a known criminal”
    Ah ah ah, we’re not dealing with hypotheticals crafted for your particular instance; nice try.
    We’re talking about people who, according to the above reported we’re families (not criminal families, criminals and kids, etc…families period.)

    “That’s one of the sources of the outrage.”
    I don’t discount the outrage, but it still doesn’t excuse Corey lumping together two things that don’t belong together and not lumping in 2+ things that do; does it?

  • $144948586

    “You are as reasonable as a stone.”
    I know; my logic is solid as a rock.

    “Prevailing upon you to reason would be like prevailing upon the mountains to fall.”
    I know; truth may as well be the Matterhorn.

    “The audience will judge.”
    Great standard; mob violence has never existed.

  • So you think that ethics are subjective!? On the contrary, when kids are taken away from parents by any government for political reasons, it’s very wrong. When the U.S. government supports Saudi Arabia it’s very wrong. When the U.S. government funds Islamic rebels, it’s very wrong, etc.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    The mandatory aspect is in fact very important. As I mentioned in another comment, there actually can be good reason to separate children from families so a law having that capacity is not inherently immoral. One would hope that we would attempt to separate children from families only when deemed necessary with a high burden of proof to do so. But that is not what we’re doing.

    Currently, if any family arrives at the border even there to legitimately request asylum, they are not given that opportunity and their children are taken away. So, the mandatory aspect is in fact important. If you’ve separated five children from families, but their fathers were known drug lords, then it makes sense. It’s not the number; it’s the reasons and the process.

    I wanted you to actually name some names because honestly, I don’t believe that you have thought it through or really believe what you posted earlier about “blame them all.” I may be mistaken.

    My speeding analogy was not related to Benjamin Corey’s post, but to our discussion. It is relevant because the overall point of my post was a discussion of the ends vs. the means.

    In the end, I don’t believe removing the ability to declare asylum, treating all families as criminals and mandatory separation of children is an acceptable practice even if the result is a decrease in human trafficking. The separation of children does exceptional harm to the children and that’s not an acceptable trade-off for me. I don’t think the ends justify the means and so I think we’re in very different places on this.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Honestly, you’re all over the place (perhaps intentionally) so even when I specifically answer your questions, you ignore the content and then move to some sort of (in your mind) “gotcha” to move us in another direction.

    I can’t say it any better than this edit of my previous post:
    “There actually can be a reason to separate children from families so a law having that capacity is not inherently immoral. Having a law that allows that makes sense. One would hope that we would attempt to separate children from families only when deemed necessary with a high burden of proof to do so. But that is not what we’re doing.

    Currently, if any family arrives at the border even there to legitimately request asylum, they are not given that opportunity and their children are taken away. So, the mandatory aspect is in fact important change.”

    Trump is responsible for that change. Despite what some are trying to argue, that is actually a big change. To be upset with Trump about it is not unreasonable as he brought it about. For this to have gone from a lesser reported small deal to a widely reported big deal makes sense because the difference is pretty big. In the meantime, it might help the U.S. think more deeply about how to address the border issues in a better way.

    Additionally, I know that if Hillary Clinton had won and we were doing this, I’d be angry as hell too.

  • Ethics are not subjective.
    Kids were taken away from parents because of the immigration laws not political laws. Because Trump decide to enforce existing law doesn’t make him Satan. But, that fake argument is over. Now the Democrats are onto the next fake issue, which is, it is illegal to do what he just did under existing law and judicial decision. The judge who ruled on this has to change her ruling and she might not.
    The US Government Saudi Arabia against Iran – are you serious? We should desert Saudi Arabia because of women’s rights and other issues so Iran can slaughter them over who is the real founder of Islam. You think what the US does to stop ISIS and prevent the middle east from imploding is very wrong because you look at the situation from a skewed perch.

  • $144948586

    “specifically answer your questions”
    You made up a hypothetical for goodness sake.
    I can make up a hypothetical to prove a point too: “mandatory separation is good because if all those immigrants are criminals…”
    You see the problem?

    “Trump is responsible for that change. ”
    Ok, but does that excuse Corey from lumping Trump in with a trafficking story during the Obama presidency?

    “To be upset with Trump about it is not unreasonable as he brought it about.”
    My OP was about the false witness Corey is bearing.

    “I know that if Hillary Clinton had won and we were doing this, I’d be angry as hell too.”
    I don’t deny this; but that’s not the topic of my OP.

  • On the contrary, I’ve lived in the Middle East. Islamic rebels attacked only about a mile from where we worked:-(. Also, I’ve written for innocent people, one tortured by Saudi Arabia. Are you aware that the Saudi government executed a person for praying in his own house?

    Iran is also horrific, as are all Islamic governments in the Middle East, Pakistan, etc.

    Also, in years past my wife and I supported mission workers for many years in Central and South American countries, etc. I’ve been to Mexico a number of times, our relatives have done mission projects there. etc. Those innocent people are as important as us.

    Americans NEED to get over this idea that somehow Americans are of more value than impoverished and abused children and adults from Central America and Mexico.

    All humans have inherent value. Every kid locked up down in Texas is as important as my own grandkids and my own children (who are now adults).

    Take a look at World Vision and other organizations who work with the needy, especially children.

    Adios.

  • Great standard; mob violence has never existed.

    The rest of your noise is prideful arrogance, but this part is just funny. Yes, those terrifying mobs on DISQUS will getcha!

  • OutsideLookingIn

    You said asked if there was some magic number of separated children that makes it a bad policy. I said that it wasn’t the number of separated children but the reason. Thus, I stated that there are reasons why separating a child from its family would be potentially a good thing to do. Then I gave an example of a possible reason to do so. The hypothetical was actually just an illustration of a good reason to separate a child from its family. The use of El Chapo was just meant to be humorous.

    The use of a hypothetical can be bad (depending on the content of it), but it is not intrinsically bad.

    “You made up a hypothetical for goodness sake.
    I can make up a hypothetical to prove a point too: “mandatory separation is good because if all those immigrants are criminals…”
    You see the problem?”

    No, I don’t because I would agree with your statement. If we knew ALL were criminals (as you wrote), then separation would make sense although in better conditions. The problem, as has been my point for several posts in a row, is the lack of any screening or any attempt to determine if there is a criminal element before doing the separations. I was arguing why having a law on the books which ALLOWS for separating children from families is not intrinsically an immoral law. If you can’t handle having it in “if-then” form, then that’s fine. I don’t need the hypothetical, but I did need to at least give one *example* of a condition where I think a law would be reasonable in allowing for separation since I stated there were conditions on which it would make sense.

    EDITED for clarity (last sentence).

  • Good_Samaritan

    “So punish the law abiding citizens who’ve gone through the process legally? This isn’t a wealth redistribution issue; this is a safety issue”

    Some German guy, circa 1939

    Seriously, though, congrats on further tarnishing your religion’s reputation. No wonder it is dying so fast.

  • $144948586

    Doesn’t mean that groups don’t have terribly wrong beliefs.
    Do ypu deny that mobs were wrong in lynching black people?

  • Good_Samaritan

    Yawn. Pot meet kettle.

  • Good_Samaritan

    I remember something about baby Jesus, Joseph, and Mary fleeing to Egypt….

  • Is this community the same as those who lynch black people? You think much less of your fellow Christians here on this blog than I do.

  • $144948586

    You mean are they collectively wrong ? Yes, often.

  • You are a member of that collective. Or do you hold yourself apart?

  • $144948586

    What?

  • You are a member of the commentariat, here. So, you are part of the group you were blithely arguing is constantly in collective error.

    Oops.

    Or as an exemplar of your side of this argument might say, “wah, waaah.”

  • Christian Truth

    DHS secretary essentially revealed today that almost all of the children who were “separated” from the adult they were with were being trafficked. They weren’t even with their parents. Human trafficking IS the issue here! Get your heads out of the sand! Like I said before one has to question the motives of the heart for wanting to cross ILLEGALLY in the first place. Try to cross from South American into Mexico & u are shot down. . http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/dhs-secretary-essentially-revealed-today-that-almost-all-of-the-children-who-were-separated-from-the-adult-they-were-with-were-being-trafficked-they-werent-even-with-their-parents/

  • So God did not establish the authority in the US?

    Put down the Dave Barton garbage and read some actual history by professional historians. It’ll do you a world of good.

  • Christian Truth

    They are not taking them away from their families as most enter with strangers.

  • From your comments I assume I’m meant to understand “Christian Truth” as a euphemism for lies. If that’s not your intent, you probably should stop lying.

  • Christian Truth

    How is holding children in a facility harming them when the majority are not with their parents. Again this is a human trafficking issue.

  • So sayeth Bizarro-Jesus.

  • There is no comparison between Saudi and Iran; if Saudi is bad Iran is evil.
    Americans live and work in their own country. They have voice in the theory that America should have open borders.
    Please tell us why anyone who walks across the southern border should be welcomed with open arms?

  • Wow. You’ll swallow anything, won’t you.

  • Please give me the source of your statement. I’ve been reading about the policy of the U.S. taking away children from their parents for many days in various places in the U.S. news, and have read of this in Israeli news and the BBC, etc.

    No where have I read that most of the children are coming to the U.S. with strangers.

    I would like to read the documentation on such a claim.

    See this news story which disagrees with your claim:
    “In March, John Kelly, then the homeland security secretary, expressed his belief that separating migrant families – forcibly taking children away from their parents in this country and at the US-Mexican border – would serve as an effective deterrent to undocumented immigration….more than 700 children seized from their parents during the previous six months, more than 100 were under the age of four.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/03/immigrant-children-parents-families-protest

    And even if the kids are entering with strangers, that is NOT a reason to imprison the kids. They need to be treated as Jesus or Martin Luther King or any caring parent would treat them.

    ALL of these kids are as inherently valuable as my own kids and my own grandkids.

    If the kids are being used human traffikers, then the latter ought to be turned over to the Mexican police,
    AND THE KIDS OUGHT TO BE FOUND HOMES FOR IN THE U.S. until we can find their actual parents.

    There is no need to imprison kidnapped children!

  • buttnozzle

    mostly trump’s flaccid junk though.

  • See my previous comment. I’ve not read your claim in any news in the U.S., or the Israeli news, or the BBC.

    Where did you read that the kids aren’t entering with their parents?

    Then are you stating that the 4 First Ladies are incorrect, that John McCain is incorrect, that World Vision, that Amnesty International, that 2 Republican governors and other leaders who have opposed the imprisoning of these kids are all incorrect in their views?

  • Ficino

    You are a troll typing in Russia?

  • $144948586

    I suppose if you cast a wide enough net you’ll catch all the fish in the ocean.

  • “I think we’re in very different places on this”

    Are we?

    I’ve been first and foremost arguing against hypocrisy and political partisanship. This applies to those of us in the peanut gallery who are commenting on the issue. It behooves us, especially Christians, to make rational arguments and to not turn the suffering of children into political gain. This is more important than arguing about which politician is most evil or which political solution is best because it reflects directly on the person making the statements. For example, you would be okay with a policy that reduces family separation and increases human trafficking. I’m not, but that’s okay as long as we’re not flaming hypocrites who only criticize a subset of the guilty parties.

    I also oppose unnecessary separation of parents and their children and human trafficking. These are political issues that I have no personal say in. I can’t decide which laws are passed or who should be punished. I’m completely powerless, just some random nobody on the internet who has no skin in the game. I wouldn’t name names because I just don’t value my political opinions that highly, nor should you.

    With that out of the way, these are the only solutions that I’ve seen proposed:

    1) Don’t charge any adults accompanied by minors.
    2) Release charged adults pending their case being heard.
    3) Change the law to allow families to be detained together.
    4) Restore Obama-style policies of separations and selective prosecutions.
    5) Immediate deportations

    Only one of these satisfies both keeping families together and optimally limiting human trafficking.

  • otrotierra

    Jesus—the dark-complected Middle Eastern refugee crossing borders with no English, no birth certificate, no citizenship, and without the slightest shred of nationalism—is outrageously offensive to U.S. White Evangelicals still defending Trump, as this comment section clearly illustrates.

  • otrotierra

    Please ignore Rick. He was called out for his hate-filled trolling on Fred Clark’s Slacktivist blog not long ago. In place of a legitimate counter-argument he obviously doesn’t have, he instead hides behind his well-documented pattern of frothing-at-the-mouth condemnation.

  • otrotierra

    Strange that you have to explain such simple concepts, but thank you for doing so. Reading comprehension is important.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And the Gospel still isn’t bad news despite what a lot of progressives will say.

  • It is pointless trying to talk with you. And I’ve tried for years.

  • Matthew

    What do you think about Jesus´ statement … “Today you will be with me in paradise.”?

  • It’s grammatically ambiguous. While it can be rendered as you’ve here quoted, it could also be rendered, “I say to you this day, you will be with me in paradise.” The placement of the comma (which isn’t present in the Greek) makes all the difference.

    And even if the traditional rendering is more correct (and it could well be), then Jesus could still have easily been speaking in terms of the thief’s perception. If soul sleep is accurate, then he would know nothing between death and resurrection, and from his perspective, it would still be the same day.

    Honestly, the strongest (to me) argument against soul sleep is the historically orthodox belief in the communion of saints—that we are somehow mystically linked with and in communion with all believers, including the dead ones. Although most Protestants are still skeeved out by the idea of praying to the dead, even though the church pretty-well universally believed it up until the Reformation.

  • Josh: “My OP was about the false witness Corey is bearing.”

    Josh and myself have been pointing out the lying, hypocrisy, and political bias that has gone along with the moral grandstanding in Dr. Corey’s post. So far these observations have been largely ignored as if they are irrelevant. For one who claims the mantle of Christianity, this is a vital concern. And it’s not the only time recently that Dr. Corey has been [telling lies for political gain (link)].

    Dr. Corey: It’s been a really dark year and a half for me, and I’m desperately trying to find life again.

    Like children and families suffering at the border, my heart breaks for the suffering of every one of God’s creation, including Dr. Corey. Yet these personal issues are interfering with the message. No amount of suffering justifies telling lies.

    OutsideLookingIn: “I said that it wasn’t the number of separated children but the reason.”

    What we have here is a worldview of moral utilitarianism. It’s perfectly fine to lie, so long as it furthers whatever noble goal you are pursuing. It’s okay for kids to be separated from their parents or human trafficking to increase, as long as the reason satisfies some arbitrary utilitarian requirement. I don’t accept this.

    The majority of children who cross the border are unaccompanied minors abandoned by their parents. Where is the moral outrage over this? Should we be deporting them back to their parents as soon as possible or is this another arbitrary reason where separation is fine?

    The adults crossing the border illegally may not be ‘hardened criminals’, but they did break the law by entering illegally and not going through an official border crossing like everyone else. Are we supposed to just look the other way?

    Some of us want to end all unnecessary separation of children from their parents, improve the living conditions of all detained immigrants, limit human trafficking, catch criminals, and respect the rule of law. I won’t accept unnecessary collateral damage in the name of politics and utilitarianism.

  • $144948586

    “Then I gave an example of a possible reason to do so.”
    You’re not getting it: you crafted a hypothetical that fits your statement. It’s a form of misdirection; at issue is not El Chapo crossing the border nor is it that ALL are criminals (my hypothetical).

    “The use of a hypothetical can be bad (depending on the content of it), but it is not intrinsically bad.”
    If your hypotheticals are generalized; in this case they’re not because they begin with a different (specified) premise (i.e. El Chapo crossing the border, all are criminals that cross the border). Neither of these cases applies.

    “No, I don’t because I would agree with your statement.”
    Of course you agree with it; there’s only one answer for those hypotheticals. BUT they’re not the topic at issue.

    “The problem, as has been my point for several posts in a row, is the lack of any screening or any attempt to determine if there is a criminal element before doing the separations.”
    Again, that isn’t the topic of my conversation, my OP. My OP is about the false witness Corey is bearing.

    We can come back to the law being neither moral or immoral later, once the op is established. My answer: a violent state which claims rule over my property without my consent is immoral; therefore, the borders it erects is immoral. Therefore, separating families who cross that border is immoral.

  • $144948586

    Great response, Derek.

  • $144948586

    Well, this is horrible. I disagree profoundly with most people on this forum (not necessarily Bob Shiloh), but I don’t wish nor believe this is the fate of anyone, including yourself.

  • Matthew

    Are we conscious in this state of soul sleep, or is it like being asleep without dreaming?

    What do you think of this argument (I assume you´ve heard it before …)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2014/12/30/is-soul-sleep-biblical-what-does-the-bible-say/

  • $144948586

    Actually let me add to the “Great Response, Derek.”
    It’s conversation like this, and statements like this:
    “What we have here is a worldview of moral utilitarianism. It’s perfectly fine to lie, so long as it furthers whatever noble goal you are pursuing. It’s okay for kids to be separated from their parents or human trafficking to increase, as long as the reason satisfies some arbitrary utilitarian requirement. I don’t accept this.”

    And questions like this:
    “is this another arbitrary reason where separation is fine?”

    That force me, as someone still working to be more eloquent in the art of the argument, to revisit my points and see what I could’ve said better.

    They force me into a new, more complete way of thinking.

    This is one of the most impressive responses I’ve read.

    And no, it’s not about being right. It’s about visiting the issue honestly and, hopefully, getting that point across. I can recognize the logical inconsistency of the policy stance, but it’s the trapping them in it that I’m working on. The purpose, of course, is not to trap but to make them realize it’s not a tenable position and hopefully they’ll seek for Truth, the Way out. That’s what happened to me 2-3+ years ago.

  • Contrary to what DHS secretary and Christian Truth said, here is what the U.S. Immigration said:
    “At least 2,300 children have been taken from more than 2,200 parents since 5 May, according to US immigration officials.”
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44559008

  • $144948586

    “Some German guy, circa 1939”
    What? You do realize that Hitler WAS punishing law-abiding citizens, right? CT’s, question was, obviously, in bewilderment that this would be Corey’s (and perhaps yours) stance.

    For the record, Hitler was ethnically German and natively Austro-Hungarian.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And the FA regulars still keep the let’s do the smarter than thou routine.

  • Matthew

    And the current change in law, apparently, doesn´t address the issue of children already separated from their parents :-(

  • You. Don’t. READ!

    It’s not a smarter-than-thou routine, it’s that you seem utterly incapable of doing the reading and then still want to participate. Resulting in comments that reveal you either didn’t read or don’t understand what the article was about at all. Since I know you can reason, the logical conclusion is that you just absolutely refuse to do the homework.

    That’s frustrating for anyone you’re talking with, because not only are you thus definitely on a different page than the entire universe during the conversation, but also the other person has good reason to believe you just aren’t going to read anything they have to say to you either.

    And that’s rude.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    FA is anything but discussion but just an echo chamber that turns on anyone who disagrees with them. They easily don’t really want to discuss but to talk smack about religious people and engage in the behavior they hate fundies for. The thing is a lot of long time religious people who frequent there also have become frustrated due to the toxicity there.

  • There is plenty of disagreement and debate at FA, and one of the most prominent blog writers and a solid handful of regulars there are theists. Many of them, unlike you, are well-respected by everyone else. “The thing is a lot of long time religious people who frequent there also have become frustrated due to the toxicity there.” Or maybe don’t project your experience through everyone else’s to try to manufacture agreement for your own shortcomings.

    You just don’t like it there because people have minimal expectations of their interlocutors (like, uh, READING THE ARTICLE) that you fail to meet for whatever reason. You like to lean into a persecution complex about how everyone thinks you’re unintelligent, and I’m sure a few frustrated commenters over there that have had the displeasure of talking to your brick wall have said so, but to me it’s obvious you’re just effing lazy. Again, when you’re not willing to take a conversation the least bit seriously but expect nonetheless to be taken seriously, you’re the one acting unreasonably.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Oh brother, this what I call selective obliviousness. You only tolerate those who are really on the left wing on the spectrum but I have seen the uglier side of those commentators and telling me it’s because I am ignorant is not it. And frankly that place revels in more ignorance than they claim to otherwise.

  • So tragic.

  • You only tolerate those who are really on the left wing on the spectrum but I have seen the uglier side of those commentators and telling me it’s because I am ignorant is not it.

    I’m not even on the Left side of the spectrum. This is farcical. What they don’t do is tolerate obnoxiously bigoted points of view (especially homophobia and transphobia; your specialties) and will challenge people who try to argue for them, as you often did.

    You were famous for arguing that discrimination in public accommodations was fine and dandy. You can’t figure out why that drew a negative reaction?

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Oh gosh, you are just as bad as well. And people call you out on how arrogant you can be.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    My problems is that for all your posturing about the evils of fundie hypocrisy and self-righteousness, you display every quality that you criticize them for.

  • It’s hard not to be self-righteous about mounting the moral foothills of managing not to be a raging bigot, especially when repeatedly confronted with clueless arguments, from you, about how bigotry is fine so long as it is restricted to commerce and employment. Again, you come back to “fundie persecution”, but it wasn’t you being a fundie that was ever the problem. It was you, arguing to people’s faces, that they should be discriminated against. It pissed people off.

  • otrotierra

    92JazzQueen doesn’t have to read or think or engage or seek. On display here is the unearned White Evangelical privilege that they enjoy without consequence in their homes and churches and within the current presidential administration and over at the Cranach blog at Patheos Evangelical.

    Jesus taught his followers to “Seek,” yet these U.S. Evangelicals practice the mirror opposite in their self-serving, self-satisfying worship of the self.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Raging bigot my butt. Says the guy who never did anything with racial comments came my way.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And of course, they don’t tolerate anything that they see as being “evil” in their eyes. Which is why they wished death once on a cancer patient for wanting to have abortion banned. I guess that makes moral gatekeepers.

  • Again, people were horrified that you, a black woman, would argue for the same segregation-level Heart o’ the City Motel-type legally-supported discrimination that dehumanized your grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts. It was flabbergasting and disturbing, and all people ever said to you was “how can you possibly say these things?!”.

    And if you ever had a point to it, you never shared. You just repeated the same comment, shuffled around, over and over and over and over again, leading to most people concluding that not only are you a bigot, but you just don’t listen when other people speak.

  • They don’t hold themselves out as moral gatekeepers, and it doesn’t take one to call out obnoxious, oblivious evil. You seem to want refuge in the idea that people have to be morally pure in order to call out moral error, but that’s not how any of this works. Bad people can, and do, properly point out the bad acts of others.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    No, these guys seem to be on the train that anyone who thinks that declining something is the same as enforcing Jim Crow. And the progressive movement has sensationlized it to the point that anyone who disagrees with their assertion is the next KKK. That’s the problem for all your talk about me not wanting a conversation, it just shows right you never wanted one because you made a final decision based on a view you disagreed with. I wasn’t supporting laws that would ban gays from stuff, but just allow business owners to decline events they disagree with. You hysterically blew it up to wanting a ban on all gays on places. FA and your ilk are some of the selectively oblivious people I have ever met and by now I am just frustrated with you guys that I rage.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    The thing is you guys cry about religious conservatives having moral absolutes when you do the freaking same thing.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Also the thing is you really don’t have any nuance in your stances when it comes to issues like having the freedom of association. Declining a gay wedding isn’t the same as endorsing Jim Crow no matter how many on your side says it is.

  • SamHamilton

    Thank you for this powerful reminder. God’s grace is available for anyone and God loves even those who separate children from their parents, but Jesus certainly has harsh words of judgment for those who would do such a thing. There are humane ways of implementing an immigration policy that keep children with their parents. Congress needs to act to ensure that parents and children are not separated at the border. If they need to be detained, fine…detain them together. And if they need to be sent back to their country of origin, fine, but send them back together.

  • SamHamilton

    Christian Truth – Here’s the transcript of what the DHS Secretary said: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/us/politics/dhs-kirstjen-nielsen-families-separated-border-transcript.html

    What she says about trafficking is that “we have a 314 percent increase in adults and children arriving at the border fraudulently, claiming to be a family unit.” She does not say that “almost all” of the children who were separated from the adult they were with were being trafficked. As Andrew Egger at the Weekly Standard pointed out regarding this statistic…

    …without knowing the scale of the problem, it doesn’t tell you much. According to DHS’s own data the increase represents an uptick from 46 cases of fraud in fiscal year 2017 to 191 so far in fiscal year 2018. Even now, at the height of that “staggering increase,” only one half of one percent of immigrant groups claiming family status have been accused of fraud.

    https://www.weeklystandard.com/andrew-egger/trumps-dhs-puts-out-fake-news-propaganda-about-family-separations-on-the-border

    Perhaps you’re referring to a different statement from the DHS secretary though. If so, can you pass it along?

  • SamHamilton

    I think you’re creating a false dichotomy that pits “open borders” against separating children from their parents. You can enforce the law while still keeping family units intact, even if the eventual result is sending them back to their home country…together.

  • SamHamilton

    Someone’s always got to drag Hitler or Nazis into any debate at some point. Well done. You win the peanut.

  • I have never complained about the concept of moral absolutes. It would be odd if I did, since I’m a moral realist. And I’ve mentioned this before in our conversations many times. So I guess this is example number whatever of you simply never listening to what other people have to say, and then blustering on like they aren’t there.

    I saw elsewhere you complaining about a lack of nuance. Your “you guys”, in light of that, is comedic in its level of irony. You’re not talking to “you guys”, you’re talking to me. I don’t do you the disrespect of lumping you in with others; my complaints with what you say are complaints about your actions, not “fundies” or “Christians” or any other category you wish to deflect into. The complaint is not what you are but how you behave and specifically, how you treat others and how you advocate others to be treated.

  • Good_Samaritan

    Hey its not my fault that American conservatives have gone straight fascist.

  • SamHamilton

    I believe that justly established governments are a gift of God to us. Laws and order are good things, assuming they are just. I don’t think there’s anything inherently unjust about immigration laws. I don’t think Jesus would have encouraged people to blithely disregard them. But in certain cases I think it is better to let the law slide in order to treat people humanely.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And you guys don’t treat people right, despite what you want to color yourselves as.

  • SamHamilton

    So first it was just “Christian Truth” and now it’s all “American conservatives.” You get four peanuts now. Well done. When everyone to the right of you is a fascist, no one is and the word loses its meaning.

    Definition of fascist: n, someone on the right whose views I disagree with.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, it is deeply offensive to them that U.S. Evangelicals still defending Trump have earned their own reputations all on their own. They must accept “personal responsibility” for their own behavior.

  • SamHamilton

    Stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. The purpose of discussion, which is what comment sections are for, is to discern truth together. Calling people Nazis isn’t going to help anyone discern the truth.

  • The obvious is often bypassed in people’s thinking. For a while, I enjoyed a reputation for profundity gained exclusively from stating the obvious at every opportunity.

  • Tim

    Although your point is well made, I don’t think Matthew 25 represents a “final” judgment.

  • Good_Samaritan

    Never heard of the Nuremberg laws? The Jews were by definition not citizens. So a German Jewish lawyer was a criminal for existing, not “law abiding.” Kind of like how a family crossing the border seeking asylum is “illegal.” Everything the Nazis did was “legal.” (In fact they consciously based their racial laws on those of the American South. Fun fact.)

    I wasn’t actually referring to Hitler, but the random right wing a-hole who made up a large percentage of the German public in 1939. And Hitler was a German Citizen, so you weren’t really making a point anyways.

    The only issue here is that we have a policy that is unreasonably and unnecessarily cruel. And CT, Mr. “Christian Truth” is such a heartless, un-compassionate son of a bitch that he feels the need to defend this policy. Proof positive that you can be both a professing christian and a moral monster.

    So yeah, I think Ben and my positions are the same here. Why is it that the loudest conservative Christians are so damn cruel?

  • “You guys”

    Again, you’re talking to a person. Not a group, and not an abstraction. A person. Nobody’s perfect but at this point it seems like you’re deliberately being a jerk.

  • $144948586

    “The Jews were by definition not citizens.”
    Except that they were, until they were declared not. Immigration, however, is not the same thing.

    “Kind of like how a family crossing the border seeking asylum is “illegal.””
    No, it’s not the same thing, because they’re not citizens declared non-citizens; they are, at the beginning, non-citizens and only made citizens as the government decrees.
    They weren’t citizens who were declared non-citizens.

    “Everything the Nazis did was “legal.””
    That’s not the point; stay focused.
    It wasn’t the Jews who went to foreign government; the government made the Jews foreigners in their own land.

    “And Hitler was a German Citizen, so you weren’t really making a point anyways.”
    I’m merely pointing out your ambiguity.

    “but the random right wing a-hole who made up a large percentage of the German public in 1939.”
    Might not wanna use right-wing all willy-nilly; they were, as their party declared, socialists.

    “So yeah, I think Ben and my positions are the same here.”
    Of this I have no doubt.

    “Why is it that the loudest conservative Christians are so damn cruel?”
    Because so are the loudest progressive Christians. After all, Benjamin Corey did bear false witness in this article; now that’s pretty cruel.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    I remember that people say the same thing about evangelicals using the nobody’s perfect. If you don’t accept that, then one shouldn’t accept that for their own group. The problem is you don’t see any flaws at at all in the FA, since you are extremely cozy with them.

  • SamHamilton

    Ron,
    I think it’s probable that most people look at Presidents and their administrations and judge each policy and action on its own. Yes, there are some people who will defend any President regardless of what he does, and President Trump does seem to have a higher than usual number of these people (or perhaps they’re just louder?), but most people aren’t like that.

    For example, I can say that I oppose the President’s tariffs and policy of separating children from their parents while at the same time supporting some judges he’s appointed or his elimination of some Obama-era executive branch policies. I claim to take Jesus’ words seriously, but will also defend some of the policies of the present Administration. I’d like to think this is how most Christians operate.

    But yes, still far too many people look at themselves as “defenders” of the President or part of the “resistance.” That’s only healthy at election time when you have to make a choice.

  • SamHamilton

    Josh – There are some people who are probably criticizing President Trump who looked the other way during the previous administration, but I would guess most people just didn’t know what was going on. A lot of that has to do with the press – their biases lead them toward (or away from) particular stories. But Trump is the President now, and that’s why the attention is on him.

  • I remember that people say the same thing about evangelicals using the nobody’s perfect. If you don’t accept that, then one shouldn’t accept that for their own group.

    I really can’t figure out what you’re saying here.

    The problem is you don’t see any flaws at at all in the FA, since you are extremely cozy with them.

    FA, like any community, has plenty of warts and flaws, and as a member of that community I am well familiar with them. It’s just, your particular complaints don’t really track with those actual flaws; their treatment of you (such as it was, and not nearly as dramatic as you have made it out to be) was entirely predicated on you being the single most frustrating human being to have a conversation with, ever.

    You would make vague, cryptic, or downright unparsable statements and then never elaborate or clarify when asked. You would treat people as though their behavior was entirely predicated on their category (atheist, black person, online commenter, etc.) and then would entirely ignore the actual person in front of you trying to tell you that they have personal thoughts on the matter that are not what you assume. You never, ever showed any sign of having read the actual topic or article of discussion beyond the headline, or really having bothered to read anyone’s substantive responses to you before you repeat your original statement again.

    Many people assumed it was some kind of performance art, and said as much. Your online behavior at FA at least was on the disturbing side of baffling, most of the time.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    It’s rich they find my behavior disturbing, when one article comment section they wish a cancer patient would die because he was anti-abortion.

  • SamHamilton

    Bob and OutsideLookingIn,

    I found this explanation of the issue by Rich Lowry of National Review helpful: http://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/#slide-1

    Mr. Lowry writes:

    The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

    It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

    So President Trump is not changing the policy on when to separate children from parents, but he is changing the practice of what to do with adults, which does change what happens to children. This was a choice President Trump made, and a different choice than President Obama made.

  • SamHamilton

    Regardless of Bob’s inaccurate statements, I think it’s lame that you upvoted that comment by John Elton Smith. Don’t encourage that type of behavior.

  • $144948586

    “But Trump is the President now, and that’s why the attention is on him.”
    This may be; yet it still doesn’t excuse Corey of bearing false witness when, in the same sentence, accuses his administration of “handing them off to human traffickers at worst.”–which was actually an Obama administration report.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/us/politics/us-placed-immigrant-children-with-traffickers-report-says.html

    Having known this issue, Corey cited it which means he could also read who the president was at the time. Therfore, to center this on Trump is categorically dishonest.

    That being said, it also serves the purpose of directing blame at one man and one administration, when, in recognizing that this behavior was also taking place in 4 other administrations, we should be aghast at this at all eras of government–that is at government.

  • $144948586

    “their treatment of you … was entirely predicated on you being the single most frustrating human being to have a conversation with, ever.”
    I disagree; I think you’re a contender.

  • $144948586

    “It would be odd if I did, since I’m a moral realist.”
    Hmm, so what say you on the morality of separating non-citizen families at the border, assuming they’re of no danger? Moral or immoral?

  • And then when backed into a corner, you turn to misrepresentations and lies [link].

    The prevailing sentiment on the thread I assume you’re referring to was incredulity at the idea that his opinion on abortion should be taken more seriously simply because he was terminally ill. Because you don’t ever read anything past the first sentence, it seems, your report of what was said is distorted far beyond any reasonable approximation of honest fidelity.

    As usual.

  • Christian Truth

    https://godfatherpolitics.com/immigration-lawyer-reminds-everyone-that-obama-purposely-separated-illegal-immigrant-families/
    IMMIGRATION LAWYER REMINDS EVERYONE THAT OBAMA PURPOSELY SEPARATED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FAMILIES

  • And yet you still keep talking at me. Masochist?

  • Hmm. Pass on your fishing expedition.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Your friends seem to be cheering for him to die, which tells me a lot about what company you keep.

  • $144948586

    Sheepdog.

  • $144948586

    That’s what I thought.

  • Ron McPherson

    Sorry if it appeared I broad-brushed. I probably didn’t do a very good job of articulating my point. Where I grow weary are professing Christians who can’t bring themselves to criticize ANY of Trump’s decisions, actions, words, or policies because they equate their Christian faith to being loyal to a fiercely conservative agenda, viewing Trump as a type of American Messiah. I also don’t want to come across as painting a majority into this box, so I appreciate your clarification.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks. I grow weary of fierce partisans as well.

  • Ron McPherson

    So which is it? The previous administration “purposely separated illegal immigrant families,” like this lawyer claims, or they failed to “enforce the law” as Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed?

  • Good_Samaritan

    Hahaha okay, I get it, you are a right wing a-hole too.

    The point is, why be needlessly cruel to children? Any answer other than “we shouldn’t be” is unacceptable. Only a person of low moral character like yourself and CT can take that position. “Its fine to be needlessly cruel to children because X” is probably something Jesus would never say. But you and CT just have.

    You weren’t trying to point out my ambiguity, you were trying to make make yourself look smart. (You failed at that by the way. Everyone knows Hitler was born in Austria, and it was completely irrelevant.)

    Fascism in all places has been a conservative movement, and almost always a Christian one too. (The Nazi’s being a quazi exemption here, but see fascist Spain, Itally, Croatia, Portugal etc. Even so 98% of the German population were Christians. ) To make the “the Nazi’s were leftists!” argument just shows you are either stupid, historically illiterate, or intentionally dishonest.

    Feel free to respond, but know I won’t. I don’t have time to argue about why we should have compassion towards one another.

  • $144948586

    “Only a person of low moral character like yourself and CT can take that position.”
    I didn’t, but I can see where you’re not interested in honest conversation with this statement.

    “You weren’t trying to point out my ambiguity, you were trying to make make yourself look smart.”
    No, I was just poking fun at your ambiguity while showing your argument as ridiculous.

    “Everyone knows Hitler was born in Austria, and it was completely irrelevant.”
    How dare you; some people have never heard of Hitler or Austria!

    “Fascism in all places has been a conservative movement”
    Define conservative, please.

  • Realist1234

    Putting aside a particular understanding of Matthew, I fully agree. And I dont think all judgement will be left to the afterlife.

  • OutsideLookingIn

    Noted, and you are correct. Changed.

  • If you thought your question would not be answered, why did you ask it?

  • No, they do not. It’s is pretty disgusting that you would slander people so blatantly.

  • $144948586

    Because it’s within the human capacity to surprise, but, while I continue to believe this, let’s just say I got what I expected.

  • otrotierra

    Again, more evidence of U.S. Evangelical unearned privilege. They want to hide behind slander without facing any consequences, just like they do in their homes and churches and Patheos Evangelical blogs.

  • Realist1234

    Sorry for butting in Matthew, but I suspect noone can be sure. Personally, I tend to come down on the side of some sort of consciousness. In the Transfiguration for example, both Elijah and Moses are shown to be alive and well, and presumably fully conscious, talking to Jesus, despite being dead for centuries. Of course this could have been a temporary state (even a temporary resurrection), but Im not convinced. But that doesnt mean that those who have died are given knowledge of the goings-on on earth – one would assume heaven and being with the Lord is sufficient! Although ‘sleep’ was sometimes applied to those believers who had died, it seems more to be a way of describing the fact that their state is only temporary in nature, not final, just as sleep is temporary.

    Peter

  • 92JazzQueen .

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/05/25/refugees-who-lost-their-fingers-thank-god-for-the-prosthetics-science-created/

    You said crud about this article. So, no don’t act ignorant about how the FA and you will wax about evangelical cruelty but will indulge in being jerks.

  • Ron McPherson

    For years my family actively attended a small rural SBC church. Some friends told me of their visit to a sweet older couple who attended the church. We did the church visitation thing. At any rate, the lady happened to mention that someone told her the oddest thing – that Jesus wasn’t white. So my friends kind of awkwardly stammered. So the lady then says, “Well he was white, wasn’t he?” So at this point my friends had to tell her that, no, Jesus wasn’t white. They told me later that all the blood pretty much drained out of her face LOL. I remember once telling my poor mom (God rest her soul) that Jesus didn’t speak the King’s English like her KJV bible quoted him. She was visibly shaken.

  • SamHamilton

    David Frum has a thought provoking article in The Atlantic. See here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/need-for-immigration-control/563261/

    He writes:

    It is disgusting and wrong to equate human beings with insects and animals, as Trump so disgracefully does. Illegal immigrants are committing no moral wrong. They are doing what we might do in their place—as we, by defending borders, are doing what they would do if they were in ours. Like so many human institutions, borders are both arbitrary and indispensable. Without them, there are no nations. Without nations, there can be no democracy and no liberalism. John Lennon may imagine that without nations there will be only humanity. More likely, without nations there will only be tribes.

    I recommend the entire thing and I’d be interested in people’s thoughts.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Declining a gay wedding isn’t the same as endorsing Jim Crow no matter how many on your side says it is.“

    Well it may not necessarily equate to an ‘endorsement’ of Jim Crow, but the practice and ultimate outcome is the same. Gay couple walks into bakery to buy a wedding cake. Baker denies them service on the grounds of religious convictions. Mixed race couple walk into diner to buy a burger. Fry cook denies them service on the grounds of religious convictions. In both instances, each couple was denied service in a public for-profit business on the grounds of religion.

  • What about that article?

    A bunch of people called you a liar, a slave apologist, and a rape apologist.

    Thing of it is, I’ve seen you do all three things. You defended the morality of slavery as it is presented in the Bible, and you defended the rape of the Midianite maidens. So what you’re really complaining about is that people accurately called you out on some of your more unambiguously garbage beliefs about how the world works and how people should be treated. You got pasted, they wrecked you, as you deserved.

    Act like garbage for years and even people of great patience eventually start wanting nothing to do with you. And, unlike pretty much everywhere else on the Internet I’ve ever been to, FA put up with your relentless garbage patiently for years and years. No censorship, no blocking, despite many of the things you said were very rude and hurtful to people, and they told you so. You cared not one bit. So, you putting up that thread and asking me to sympathize? Way too late. Sorry.

  • Henry

    When you work for the government you follow rules and regulations.
    Why these rule and these regulations were what they were is the question.

    Mr. Corey, you seem rather judgemental in your sending those who did these things into the eternal fires of perdition.

    It was wrong what happened, it borders on evil, but the wheels of government don’t care about mercy – just rules and regulations.

  • $144948586

    “More likely, without nations there will only be tribes.”
    What’s the problem with this?

  • Christian Truth

    This is not new to any administration…but the purpose is beyond our understanding. After 9/11 it was crucial to protect our borders…however the drug running, weapons running & human trafficking issue has commanded that we separate in order to verify legitimacy versus criminal activity. Again God gave us this government to protect us. I believe they’re doing the best they can do to determine motives of those entering illegally. It’s not a ‘let’s be cruel & separate kids from parents’ issue as the MSM has made it. I find it ironic though when they can’t report on huge accomplishments like North Korea so they start throwing dirt. It’s constant negativity to divide the masses & the Enemy loves making it an “us vs. them” when the Bible clearly states the battle is NOT against flesh & blood. If there are wrong motives in our government then PRAY for them…pray for God’s goodness upon them that leads to repentance. But let God be the judge instead of being so quick to rush to judgement & may mercy rule our hearts.

  • Roberta Joan

    Sometimes a comment embodies the concern and lack of justice described in the article. I believe your comment is one of those.

    If you and I don’t tell these people that not soothing and hugging a child in distress is child abuse, who will?

    The Bible has never been good news for all. It is fraught with maiming, murder, jealousy, rape, adultery, hubris and immorality. Each of these attributes has been used to justify our treatment of our fellow human beings.

    Jesus, however, was very, very clear regarding the treatment of children. Judgment day is going to be ugly for everyone complicit in the abuse of these children. From the President to his minions to the to the 30% of American who make with their bizarre justifications to the overseers walking by crying children and offering no comfort. Ugly, indeed.

    Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.

  • Christian Truth

    Christian Truth didn’t say it…I simply gave link to DHS response.

  • Christian Truth

    That’s what they’re trying to do. Even going so far as administering DNA tests to make sure many of the kids are not being forced against their will.

  • Thank you

  • 92JazzQueen .

    The thing is despite what a lot of progressives say there are biblical stances against condoning homosexuality. However, there is a difference between banning gays and declining a gay wedding.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And of course, the rape and slave apologist comes from your ilk getting sensitive about how someone points out stances concerning the Bible. Like pointing out that the Bible doesn’t condone rape as you incorrectly state, and treating ancient slavery as American slavery. You and the FA are full of it, especially when you get hissy on calling you out on your ignorant stances on the Bible.

  • Ron McPherson

    And people misuse the unequally yoked passage to refuse serving mixed race couples. No difference

  • Cake

    Sigh. A link she’s not going to read. I appreciate it though, thank you!

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And I see a lot of people hide behind that, when it blatantly is against homosexuality.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Oh gosh, you are full of it.

  • Yeah, I’ve seen all the arguments on both sides, and neither is yet convincing enough to make me land squarely in one or the other. And to be honest, I don’t see this particular question being important enough to merit a whole lot of time, though it is an interesting speculation. I’m happy for now to remain agnostic on this one.

  • Thanks for your service.

  • Ron McPherson

    People abuse the scriptures when it comes to discrimination against gay people, and people abuse the scriptures when it comes to discrimination against minorities. No difference

  • Not in the military. I was a volunteer for months on a farm, a kibbutz, in Israel, and also met and stayed briefly with a Palestinian Muslim family, and met a Christian Baptist Palestinian minister, etc.

  • I know that. I thought you agreed and stated along with the DHS secretary that U.S. Immigration hadn’t taken hundreds of children away from their parents. Read your comment again where you refer to her views.

  • oops duplicate

  • otrotierra

    Ron, you always share the best anecdotes. What you describe is certainly a shared experience within contemporary U.S. White Evangelical communities, SBC and others.

    Jesus certainly is not white; and he is currently imprisoned in a cage at the border with dark-complected children separated from their refugee families.

  • ITBWTW

    This author is an emoticon with no common sense or authentic sense of compassion. Not one thing written here has any truth to it. First this immigration policy was completely a leftist policy instituted by Clinton in 1998 and enforce by Obama for 8 years. This makes the statement “Trumps administration’s practice of separating family…”, a lie. So the Author is also a liar. Second, the ONLY people responsible are the Parents and the dishonest media (like this author) who push for this child abuse for revenue. Victim mongering is so passé these days. To the point, the Gospel is good news for everyone. It shows the way these negligent parents may be absolved of their sins of child abuse, and given the chance to be made whole again. It also gives the false witness media the opportunity to repent and absolve themselves too. And this is particularly true for this False Witness author. That is good news for them all. But only if they take advantage of the gift.

  • And he was conceived out of wedlock too. And that whole lamebegotten thing.

  • otrotierra

    Once again, elementary facts are outrageously offensive to Evangelicals and their lustful desire to heap more suffering upon God’s Children. They are the mirror opposite of Jesus, as their own words and behavior testify.

  • otrotierra

    And no birth certificate. And no English. And no Christianity. “Lock Him Up” the Evangelicals cry! Plenty of room in the detention centers at the U.S./Mexico border, just where Evangelicals want him.

  • I’m not into condemning Evangelicals as an entire group. Yeah, there are some terrible trends among people who identify as such (and those trends, with Trump and the alt-Righties, have been greatly intensified lately), but I personally have known decent people who were Evangelicals, including my own Born-Again grandfather. Though I do also think if he were alive to see this, he would have been disgusted by the trends among his co-religionists.

    I really don’t know and can’t honestly judge who among modern Christians are closest to what Jesus (if there even was a coherent historical person) intended, if he intended anything enduring as a religion at all. The synoptics, to me, paint him as a consistently frustrated radical preacher. His frustration seemed to stem half from the actual radicalism of his message, and half from the inflexible dunderheadedness of his audience (including, often, his followers). He had some good ideas, and some decidedly less good ones, but seemed overall to be ahead of the curve, especially for his time and place. To the extent that people use him as a model for behavior (much less an anchor for their metaphysical beliefs), they should, at the very least, give a college try to living out some of his articulated principles in reality. To the extent that they don’t, they can be criticized for the hypocrisy at least.

  • Linnea912

    You’re right, Phil- the amount of red tape that immigrants to the U.S. have to negotiate is mind-boggling. For example, to come to this country as a refugee can take close to 10 years, and involves all kinds of background checks, U.N. involvement, etc. etc. And that’s to say nothing of how incredibly expensive it is.

    With a system like this, why is anyone surprised by the number of people who try to come illegally? And no matter what, it’s just plain immoral to separate children from their parents.

  • otrotierra

    Yes. U.S. White Evangelicals following Trump are entirely responsible for their own exclusionary actions, thus they must accept full “personal responsibility” for their own reputations. I believe what you say about your grandfather, and I am thankful for Dr. Corey, Reverend William Barber III, Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, Dr. Tony Campolo, Reverend Jim Wallis, Pastor Morgan Guyton, Dr. Throckmorton, author Frank Schaeffer, and others who have beared the brunt of White Evangelical condemnation and hatred for daring to affirm Jesus based directly on the red letters.

  • Unlabeled_Unlimited

    Apparently the 40 plus times we are told not to judge are jyst a few of the verses you ignore while cherry picking.
    Right is right, wrong is wrong.
    And there is little difference in our politics, it’s mostly wrong enabled by the team pickers.
    Bless you.

  • Unlabeled_Unlimited

    Delusions die hard. The attacks were from within and our borders are only overzealously secure if you are a citizen.
    Bless you, pray you find the truth before the chance has passes.

  • Elephile

    It’s only wrong to equate humans with animals if you use that as an excuse to ill-treat them, as you also shouldn’t ill-treat an animal.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Yeah, you lack nuance.

  • Henry

    Roberta Joan,

    What did you want the employees to do ?

    Not everyone can afford to lose their jobs and they were told not to interact with the kids.

    I will leave it to God to judge.

  • Ron McPherson

    Uh huh. So you’re the guardian of which passages can, or cannot, be read in context. Good to know.

  • Christian Truth

    I KNOW the attacks were from within but how does that lessen the fact that we have a humane way of determining children being trafficked or seeking asylum. I can’t imagine a better way to throw a wrench in human trafficking than to have these facilities that separate the child from the adult companion they entered with to find if the child is being manipulated against his/her will or abused so that they CAN be protected. Upping our border security & making it harder to come in unnoticed will lower the criminal elements trying to encroach this nation & protect citizens & those innocent persons truly wanting a better life. That’s my point.

  • Christian Truth

    That’s their FACTS. They are trying to determine if adult with minors was a relative & according to their ‘FACTS’ the majority are NOT a parent. It wasn’t her views if u would listen to the WH briefing http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/dhs-secretary-essentially-revealed-today-that-almost-all-of-the-children-who-were-separated-from-the-adult-they-were-with-were-being-trafficked-they-werent-even-with-their-parents/

  • Christian Truth
  • Elephile

    The children wouldn’t cry pitifully if they were being taken away from strangers or traffickers.

    Yet they do.

  • Christian Truth

    Now that it’s very clear that this was happening during Obama administration as admitted by an illegal immigration attorney your comment holds no validity.

  • Elephile

    I agree with your first sentence. And, for a short time (weeks, maybe a couple of months) I would have agreed with the rest of what you say. But whether you call it purgatory or find some other name for it, how can “purgation” do for you what Jesus’s death and resurrection can’t?

  • Christian Truth

    I totally agree…one must have the facts BEFORE ranting and one should PRAYERFULLY consider where the real war is fought & won. It ain’t via spouting off but it IS fought on our faces seeking Him.

  • this was happening

    As has been pointed out countless times, you can only get here by playing deeply dishonest games with what “this” is; starting with ignoring the difference between last resort and blanket policy, then by lying about whether the children in these recent cases are actually accompanied by parents, then by pretending that nothing has changed when several administration officials have admitted by this point that this was a deliberate policy change.

    Since you are willing to peddle knowingly dishonest garbage, it is unclear why you think anyone should take anything you say on the matter with any credibility or validity.

  • otrotierra

    The blatant dishonesty and deception from Mr. “Christian Truth” is quite revealing. One must wonder, why is bearing false witness so important to him?

  • One must wonder, why is bearing false witness so important to him?

    I don’t know, but it is creepy. It’s like people like this believe if only they repeat the lies often enough and believe in them hard enough they will become real. Like Pinnochio, only with ideological garbage.

  • otrotierra

    This is a well-documented pattern. When they are confronted with their lies and deception, they respond with more lies and deception. Which gospel are they following? Not that of Jesus.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    Justly established governments are a figment of your imagination. No state has ever been ruled on moral principles, but are all based on the initiation of force against the innocent. Our immigration laws don’t differ much from the Fugitive Slave Acts ethically.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    The coyotes are no better or worse than the conductors of the Underground Railroad, who often did bad things in order to rescue their charges from worse conditions imposed upon them by unjust laws. Modern immigration regulations are no more morally justified than the Fugitive Slave acts were.

  • ITBWTW

    Unlabeled, you are also Unlearned. Christ was all about judgement and atonement. Why do you think he came to “save” us. Why do you think he was merciless crucified? If there was no ‘judgement’ there would be no need for salvation. Judgement is a very, very good thing. It is necessary. It discerns between ‘safe’ and ‘dangerous’, ‘good’ and ‘bad, ‘evil’ and ‘virtue’, ‘liars’ and ‘Truth’ seekers. Not to judge is simply gross negligence. A way for the wicked to get away with their follies. Unlearned, learn your Faith. He (Christ) was The Truth. One who doesn’t discern and make judgements is careless of the Truth. And it logically follows, careless for Christ. But you’re in luck. The Good News is for everyone! Repent and believe and you can be be saved from judgement.

  • BBORN2X Sunderland

    The author seems to have no real grasp of scripture, or of the judgments. Matthew 25? That is the judgment of the nations after believers have been with Christ and returned with Him at Armageddon That is not the “final Judgment”, that occurs in Revelation 20, after the Millennium. Those judged by works in Matthew 25 are the remaining nations who are on earth after Armageddon. Degree’s in Theology? What?

  • Jack Hager

    This is what I wrote on my facebook page as I held my breath (because I didn’t want to smell the original writing) and “shared” this monstrosity: Excuse me; I’m still throwing up. This is close to the most asinine, ridiculous, gospel-ignorant piece of writing I’ve EVER read. Do NOT comment unless you read the whole thing. It matters not what I think (or you, frankly) about the mess he is keying off on…but if you read this with the intelligence and commitment to Biblical truth – in its entirety – and concur with the author; do us a favor and unfriend me. Seriously. This is pathetic patheos at its worst (why do you read patheos then, Jack? For the same reason we analyzed the marijuana the VietCong were smoking in ’68-’69; the same reason we interrogated (not with hugs) captured vc and nva, the same reason we monitored their radio traffic (and ours)…”know your enemy.” Now I’m going to build a bunker so I can avoid the incoming tirades of some of my mostly millenial “I love Jesus but I hate the church” “red letter ‘christian”, God wins, universalist Rob Bell loving crowd. Do I sound irate? Very perceptive.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much.

  • steve

    The gospel is a massive fraud. It makes sense that the fraudulent U.S. Administration should use it to justify its evil, heartless policies.

  • Matthew

    I´m glad you are “butting in” Peter :-). I trust all is well.

    The author of the article I linked to suggests that being “asleep” after death means being in the presence of Christ. While I don´t agree with the author regarding his end times theology, I do think he makes a pretty solid case against an unconscious soul sleep.

    I tend to think believers will in some sense be consciously with Christ after death, but I will admit the scriptures don´t lay out a crystal clear, step-by-step plan about the afterlife experience. The scriptures do indeed seem to talk more about the promise of resurrection and a messianic kingdom than a pre-resurrection, “heaven in the sky and on the clouds”, kind of state of being.

  • Realist1234

    Indeed, existence in heaven is only temporary. A renewed earth is the long-term plan!

  • Realist1234

    Why do you think the gospel is a fraud?

  • Realist1234

    I think youre being unfair to Ben. Many, many respected scholars disagree with each other on the correct understanding of Matthew 25, and Revelation. I think Matthew refers to how people have treated believers rather than people in general, thus showing their allegiance. In the same way Jesus here closely identifies with His ‘brothers’, so He closely identified with believers whom Saul/Paul was persecuting – even though Saul was persecuting the followers of Jesus, by extension he was persecuting Jesus. Your view also seems to be premillenial, with a literal rapture of believers occurring before the Tribulation and a literal 1000 years reign. Many Christians would disagree with you on that. Too many Christians insist on understanding Revelation literalistically, in the same way they treat the first chapters of the Bible.

  • Realist1234

    You should have a lie down.

  • Ron McPherson

    Jack must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Either that, or someone peed in his Cheerios.

  • otrotierra

    No thanks, I’ll stick with what Jesus said.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks. Honestly, I don’t have time to watch a 36 minute video. Can you pull a quote or cite a time on the video where she says what you say she said? I couldn’t find it in the transcript I posted earlier, but it’s certainly possible I missed it.

  • Realist1234

    ‘someone peed in his Cheerios.’

    – too much information!

  • Ron McPherson

    Um, you realize that not every “theology degree” has it’s background in the doctrine you espouse here, right? Far from it.

  • SamHamilton

    Okay… Do you have any other thoughts on the substance of Frum’s article?

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok. Someone must have peed instead in his Corn Flakes then.

  • Realist1234

    I prefer semi-skimmed milk and a little sugar. But each to their own. Good to see you’re advertising different suppliers lol.

  • SamHamilton

    I guess it all depends on what one’s definition of “tribe” or “tribalism” is. My view of a world of tribes is people forming into groups based on ethnicity, religion, culture, etc. and their identity is strongly formed by who’s in and who’s out. They have a higher barrier to entry and high cost of leaving and revolve around a strong leader who demands fealty. The worst thing you could do is betray your tribe. The only thing governing the behavior of tribes is the threat of violent force from another tribe. This is obviously a negative view of tribes.

    I think tribalism in small doses is a positive thing…it gives people a sense of community and purpose. But I’m also glad we have civil governments outside of our tribes that mediate things.

    I don’t know what Mr. Frum’s view of tribes is, but it’s obviously a negative one as well.

    Is there a positive spin on tribes that you envision?

  • Matthew

    Are there two judgements, Peter?

  • Ron McPherson

    “If there was no ‘judgement’ there would be no need for salvation. Judgement is a very, very good thing. It is necessary. It discerns between ‘safe’ and ‘dangerous’, ‘good’ and ‘bad, ‘evil’ and ‘virtue’, ‘liars’ and ‘Truth’ seekers. Not to judge is simply gross negligence. A way for the wicked to get away with their follies.”

    I suppose it depends on who is doing the judging. You stated that the author has no “authentic sense of compassion.” Obviously you are not aware of the author’s own life story. So right off the bat you judged wrongly. But aside from that, you posted this from another site:

    “It’s time everyone over 14 learn to use a gun and carry. They got rid of the Rifle Team every high school had in 1979. A Progressive idea, not a conservative one. Time to stop making pussies (and targets) out of our kids.”

    The way of Jesus is not about falling in line with some American conservative agenda – political, religious, or otherwise. It was not an eye for an eye, nor was it to pick up a sword and fight. Instead, the invitation is to pick up one’s cross and follow him showing love, mercy, and compassion, even for one’s enemies. It was especially about loving the excluded, the least of these.

    I don’t discount the atonement and it’s implications. But the gospel (at least the gospel Jesus preached recorded in the Synoptics) emphasized love for God and neighbor in the here and now.

    Peace

  • apoxbeonyou

    It’s a sad state of American Christendom when the Jesus of the bible looks like a ‘pussy’. I imagine their view of Jesus is like this:

    http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/files/2014/02/jesusRambo_540-boykin.jpg

  • Matthew

    Hello SamHamilton. Can you share what Obama-era policies you are glad Trump eliminated?

  • apoxbeonyou

    The road is narrow because it is *hard*. Our instinct is to be selfish and self-preserving. Stepping outside of that, like Jesus commanded us, is difficult. Still….we have to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. This is the Good Samaritan. This is Christ.

  • SamHamilton

    Hi Matthew – A couple examples are the Obama Administration policy on Title IX and sexual assault that was rescinded last September and the Obama rules on school bathrooms that was rescinded in February of last year.

  • No problem! I love these discussions. By the way, feel free to connect with me on Facebook if you’re interested. That’s where I’m most active online.

  • Ron McPherson

    LOLOL!!!

  • Matthew

    Do you blog? I´m not a Facebook user, but would be interested in discussing things more as interest comes up and as time allows.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much SamHamilton.

  • james warren

    Jesus offered the Good News for everyone: the Kingdom of God “ON EARTH.”
    Grace is available to all.
    Knock on the door and it shall be opened. Then you are on your own to make your own best choice.

    The word “gospel” means “Good News.”
    The word “Good” is always an interpretation. What one person or group believes is good might not be the belief of other people or groups. It depends on the historical context and the religious and political matrix that is the environment of different people and communities.

    The word “news” must be constantly updated for it to remain news. It’s not “old news!”
    The news throughout the gospels was updated to meet the particular community of believers’ concerns.

    ***Mark was written during the devastating Roman/Jewish war. That’s why Jesus’ last words were “Why hast Thou forsaken me?”

    ***Later, the Luke whose concern for the outcasts had Jesus say “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    ***And the Gospel of John, which caricatures Jesus as some mystic philosopher, declares that the tragedy and shame of the cross was a necessary event, for Jesus [in total control] declares simply “It is finished.”

  • Henry

    wullaj,

    As you know in America, the Law is our sacred scripture, it should not be, but it is.

    Those people who work there as guards just followed the law, as most of us do.

    Think about – why do we speed down the highway at 65 mph, which is far too fast, far too dangerous and if we get into an accident

    most likely to kill and maim people for life.

    Because the speed limit is 65 mph.

    If I drove at a sensible speed of 35 mph, I would either get rear ended or given a citation.

    And if I kept driving at 35 mph on the freeways, I would eventually lose my license.

    How many American die every year on our roads and are maimed for life – hundreds of thousands

    it is a war out there yet no one seems to mind and finds it immoral to drive so fast.

  • james warren

    When religions start taking the holy and sacred passages of their foundational texts in a literal way, they forfeit the epic claims and hope of their faith.

    Divinity can be expressed in myth and metaphor. Ordinary literal and linear language cannot do the job.

    After the Enlightenment, the modern world began to think that ancient peoples (those “other” peoples) told dumb, literal stories that we were now smart enough to recognize as such.

    Not quite.

    Those ancient people told smart, profoundly metaphorical stories that we were now dumb enough to take literally.

  • David Cromie

    You took your time coming to the conclusion that ‘the gospel is not good news for everyone’, when it is obvious from the history of Christianity that it has been very bad news for just about everyone that has had the misfortune to come into contact with it! Better late than never, I suppose.

  • $144948586

    Like who?

  • David Cromie

    It would help to dispel the idea that the business of Christianity is a fraud if believing christers were able to adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that shows their favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists.

  • David Cromie

    ???

  • $144948586

    Of whom are you talking that it has been bad news?

  • SamHamilton

    Did anyone else see this Economist/YouGov poll?

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/rbrysksiud/econTabReport.pdf

    It found that given a choice about to how deal with families without proper documentation showing up at the U.S. border, a plurality of Americans (44%) said the parents and children should be detained together until an immigration hearing can be scheduled. 49% of Democrats support this proposal, as do 47% of Republicans. 48% of Hispanics support this proposal.

    20% of all respondents support the (former) Trump policy of arresting the parents and holding the children separately, and 19% support the pre-Trump Administration policy of releasing immigrants into the country and hoping they’ll appear at an immigration proceeding in the future.

    Ironically, the proposal that gains the most support (holding families together to await a hearing) is the one policy the President cannot implement on his own, from what I’ve read. So in order for the American people’s favored proposal to be put in place, we need Congress to legislate. Unfortunately, the chance of Congress legislating successfully on this is slim. Legislating a solution would remove the ability for Democrats to demagogue the issue, and Republican legislators would have to fear a primary challenger backed by the 38% of Republicans who actually want families separated.

  • SamHamilton

    Ron – When people say Jesus wasn’t “white” what do they mean? Do they mean he just wasn’t of European ancestry? That shouldn’t shock anybody, unless they know nothing of geography. If not white, what race was Jesus?

  • SamHamilton

    What you describe is certainly a shared experience within contemporary U.S. White Evangelical communities, SBC and others.

    How do you know this? Don’t you live in Canada? How many American evangelicals or members of the SBC do you encounter regularly in order to come to this opinion?

  • Christian Truth

    This blog has fallen into the idolatry of human intellect over seeking first His kingdom. No eternal impact is made when man’s wisdom has taken precedence over RELATIONSHIP with the Living God. I am reminded that in Matthew 6:6 seeking the Father when no one is looking is what brings reward. I have lived this in my own life & seen the power of God in ways human words cannot explain. So I bless each & every person on this blog & I pray that you may KNOW the love of Christ. We don’t have all the answers but the last thing a person should do is turn his/her back on the God who created them & loves them more than anyone ever could.

  • Ron McPherson

    Particularly in some (certainly not all) of the rural, segregated, uber fundamentalists churches in the Bible Belt, their view of Jesus comes from the portrait of American Jesus on the wall of their Sunday school class. That’s what they know and faith is filtered through that limited context. That’s often why people in those settings believe the KJV somehow fell out of the sky being the very word of God. There’s no thought whatever of the reality of original manuscripts written in Hebrew and Greek assembled over time, and that Jesus was middle eastern. I’m not making this up lol.

  • Yep! I’m right here on Patheos too: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hippieheretic/

  • ITBWTW

    I appreciate your thoughts. But disagree that it depends on Who’s doing the judging. Every being has a right and a duty to judge, to discerning good from evil, truth from fiction, etc. This emasculated idea that we can’t judge is foolish and anti-Christ. Christ, Good trees, he says, produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. The call to differentiate good from evil is to judge, to discern correctly. And all of us have a duty to do so. Jesus most misquoted directive “Judge not lest ye be judged” was a call not to condemn, it was not a call to be non-judgemental. Only we can condemn ourselves, God just obliges us our sentence.

    Thanks for reposting that old post about Rifle Teams, is was a good phrase.
    Peace!

  • As you know in America, the Law is our sacred scripture, it should not be, but it is.

    This is simply not true. To have fealty to Rule of Law is not and has never been to silence the individual conscience. It only formalizes the cost of obeying it. You seem, here, to be awfully comfortable with the position that one’s moral sense should be sacrificed on the altar of the daily bread.

    Let’s put it this way: If your job was to caretake children and your boss told you could not comfort or hug them under any circumstances, would you obey?

  • Henry

    3lemenope,

    It is true, one’s conscience is not inherently expected in America.

    Go and read up to what happened to Pacifists in World War I.

    The Colorado baker was forces by a silly law in Colorado to lose 40 % of his business, and it is not clear that the Supreme Court

    would support his conscience should another Same Gender couple file a law suit against him.

    The guards are doing what they were told to do. I don’t praise them, no do I condemn them, as they have to make up their own mind.

    If you wish to condemn someone, condemn those who wrote the rules and regulations.

    It is my understanding that many elementary school teachers no longer hug the kids as they fear lawsuits.

  • Matthew

    Be transformed by the renewing of your mind …

  • The guards are doing what they were told to do. I don’t praise them, no do I condemn them, as they have to make up their own mind.

    That just makes you out to be confused. A person, knowing what is wrong, choosing what is wrong nonetheless, is blameworthy.

    If you wish to condemn someone, condemn those who wrote the rules and regulations.

    How about both?

    It is my understanding that many elementary school teachers no longer hug the kids as they fear lawsuits.

    I didn’t ask what other people have done, I asked what would you do?

  • David Cromie

    “…the idolatry of human intellect over seeking first His kingdom”. What a pity it is, then, that religiots have never been able to supply the incontrovertible, falsifiable, evidence that their favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists. One might as well worship an imaginary ‘queen of the fairies’, or the monarch of the glen (at least stags do exist)!

  • David Cromie

    If JC ever existed (there is no written, or archaeological evidence for this supposed person), then he would have been a Middle Eastern Jew, not a WASP.

  • David Cromie

    What price resurrection if one has been consumed by a flock of vultures? In any case, the atoms that we are made of have been in use by other beings, or plants, etc., from time immemorial.

  • David Cromie

    Tribal conflicts and killings are rife in African states as we speak, and to be utterly deplored. Of course, corrupt leaders, and imported religions do not help to keep the peace, quite the opposite in many cases.

  • $144948586

    Hey Sam,

    Thanks for asking honest questions.

    “Is there a positive spin on tribes that you envision?”
    Well, I think it’s pretty clear that Christianity itself is tribal. Their identity if based on their religion, but, perhaps more appropriately, by their actions of forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Outside the New Jerusalem “are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”

    Our natural tendency is to say “tribes are bad”, because we are pessimistic about anything good coming from them (probably because we are pessimistic about the individual human). So, as you say, “we have civil governments outside of our tribes that mediate things.” Yet, in the midst of our civil governments we have growth in tribalism (and this is largely probably due to the civil government). So I don’t think they are doing too great a job of mediating things, because our government is prone to favoring tribes–this is pandering, and a plague of democracy (whose politicians only care about short term wins, so they seek after votes–and identity politics).

    “Is there a positive spin on tribes that you envision?”
    I think tribalism is both good and bad, and I think it’s ultimately good. Why do we have tribalism now under our civil government? Well, the government itself in its efforts to placate tribes in the U.S. and Europe has become uncivil (the bakeshop case as an example, the welfare state as an example, the anti-wealth creators as an example). They force their will through aggression like taxation or even anti-discrimination clauses.

    The way tribalism is good, however, is due to the voluntary nature of it outside of government. Think about it like this: if two tribes don’t like the way each is living, they don’t have to do business together. YET, if they may not like it but they produce different things that each wants, they have reason to trade AND, because these products are products of their culture, they slowly assimilate eachother’s culture. The problem, however, is when forced assimilation occurs (like war and enslavement and rule by people that the populace doesn’t want to rule them.

    Suffice it to say, I think tribalism is inevitable; there will be those who love “this” group and those that hate “this” group. What’s optional, however, is nations which force assimilation.

  • Matthew

    Hello David.

  • Matthew

    Can you, David Cromie, prove that God doesn´t exist?

  • Henry

    3le,

    Why such arrogance.

    You do not know what you would do in the actual situation,

    you have a belief, from outside the situation what you would do.

    If you were truly that concerned you would go and get yourself hired as a guard and then see if you would do as you say.

    If you want to condemn people, condemn yourself.

  • David Cromie

    This is just a meaningless word salad.

  • David Cromie

    No, and nor can anyone else, since it is not possible, logically, to prove a negative (can you prove unicorns do not exist?). On the other hand, the onus is on the believer to provide the evidence that their claims are not deluded (and particularly so when the punishment for disbelief is eternal punishment in a lake of fire, apparently).

  • $144948586

    Oh well; can’t please people who don’t want to be pleased.

  • David Cromie

    Why would anyone be ‘pleased’ to read incomprehensible, semiliterate, nonsense?

  • $144948586

    I don’t presume that you would speak for everyone, but maybe all the “frumpies”.

  • you do not know what you would do in the actual situation, you have a belief, from outside the situation what you would do.

    If someone ordered me not to hug a crying child and attempted to enforce it, I very much do know that I would ignore the order. If you don’t know of yourself–if you harbor significant doubt–that you would sacrifice your comfort in order to comfort a child, you–chances are pretty effing good–are a bad person.

    You don’t need to go undercover as a child concentration camp guard to know this, for certain.

    If you want to condemn people, condemn yourself.

    No, I’m going to condemn those who give that order and those who follow it. If your callow and fragile moral sense can’t muster the courage to do so, it doesn’t speak highly of you.

    Yeah, you can in fact judge concentration camp guards without being one. Duh.

  • Henry

    3le,

    You do not know.

    You only assume, you have never been in that situation.

    Suppose you are taking care of your grandmother, you child has a disease that requires expensive medicines
    and you are up to your neck in bills. If you lose your job – what then ?

    How old are you ? You seem to be lacking in significant life experience.

    Those are not concentration camps, you never saw a concentration camp in your life – I did.

    By condemning others, you condemn yourself.

    You are coming across as modern Pharisee.

    I can only suggest you apply fo the position at one of those facilities and go ahead and hug and see what happens.

  • Those are not concentration camps, you never saw a concentration camp in your life – I did.

    Any person who has actually seen concentration camps would not beg indulgence of evil as you repeatedly have done in this thread. Therefore, much like your cheap skepticism of my life experience, I’m gonna go ahead and doubt you’ve seen any concentration camp closer than your television screen.

    You are coming across as modern Pharisee.

    You are coming across as an ethical imbecile, incapable of even condemning disgusting bad acts and desperately seeking instead to excuse and exonerate them.

  • Henry

    3le,

    How old are you ? I am probably three times you age.

    I saw the camps after they were liberated, some of us were alive before World War II.

    Being held in detention is not a concentration camp.

    Being held in detention is not evil, it is highly unpleasant but not evil.

    Why you insult those who disagree wtih your ethical judgements based on your lack of experience is a question you should probably ask yourself.

  • Matthew

    Have you read any kind of apologetic work(s) that have helped you as you possibly explore the question of the existence of God?

  • Cake

    You do not know what you would do in the actual situation,

    Look at you so desperate to leave open the door to your own moral cowardice.

    If you were truly that concerned you would go and get yourself hired as a guard and then see if you would do as you say.

    Wait, what? We should walk a mile in the oppressors shoes. What about the victim?

    You loathsome shitbag.

  • Henry

    Hi Cake,

    Nice to meet you.

    No one knows what they would do in any situation.

    You can tell yourself you would this or that, but who can say until it happens.

    I was suggesting to 3le, if they really that hugs should be given, go be employed there and give hugs.

    The Victim – well what would you do with people who cross the borders – illegally

    What is your solution ?

    Please keep your insults to yourself.

    Thank You.

  • If you actually had the life experiences you claim, you seem to have learned nothing from them.

    Age without wisdom is just spent entropy.

  • Henry

    3le,

    More insults.

    How old are you ?

    What wisdom do you have ?

    It was Neuengamme near Bremen.

  • JD

    An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: ‘If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?’

    ‘No,’ said the priest, ‘not if you did not know.’

    ‘Then why,’ asked the Inuit earnestly, ‘did you tell me?’

    ~ Annie Dillard

  • You rely on your age as a substitute for having basic moral sense. So, whatever amount of time I have lived, I feel confident in saying that I’ve managed to figure out more basic moral wisdom that you have, even with the benefit you claim to have had of seeing the apogee of man’s inhumanity to man.

    I really don’t understand why you keep bringing up your age and experience, when it doesn’t seem like you’ve actually grown as a person from either of them. Am I supposed to be impressed that you managed to go through such an experience and still seek to excuse evil? That you seek to excuse brutality and cruelty to children? Please tell me, what part of seeing the liberated camps tells you that that is something worth doing. Because that’s all you’ve offered: that you’re old, and you’ve seen stuff, and therefore you are right and I should shut up.

    A lazy, empty argument if ever there was one.

  • Henry

    3le,

    So how old are you ?

    You have not figured out basic moral wisdom, as there is no such thing and no has ever figured it out.

    You have no knowledge of what you would do in an extreme moral situation – no one does.

    I do not excuse evil, but evil is not putting people in dentention centers, is is unfortunate for them, but it is not evil.

    What brutality and cruelty has been done to these children ? Who has hit them, denied them food/shelter ?

    Their parents illegally entered the country, so just as any criminal is separated from their children while in dentention,
    they were separated from their chidlren, now if you are opposed to that type of separation,
    then get the laws changed for everyone who is arrested and has children under the age of 18.
    But don’t go around acting as if you are shocked that this goes on when it has been going on since you were alive.

    Again insults, which is odd from a perso who holds themself to be a moral paragon.

  • So how old are you ?

    Thirty-seven. So, when you insultingly estimated that you were three times my age, you were claiming that you were one-hundred-and-eleven.

    You have not figured out basic moral wisdom, as there is no such thing and no has ever figured it out.

    Everyone has figured out “don’t abuse children”. Except you, apparently.

    You have no knowledge of what you would do in an extreme moral situation – no one does.

    Look at you, again, thinking you know anything of my life.
    You don’t.

    I do not excuse evil

    Yes. yes, you do. The fact that you do not recognize it as evil makes the whole thing sad, on top of terrible.

    but evil is not putting people in dentention centers

    No, it is wantonly and unnecessarily separating parent from child, denying said children comfort or succor or solace, orphaning them in a strange land with the only adults around often not even speaking their language. That’s evil.

    What brutality and cruelty has been done to these children ? Who has hit them, denied them food/shelter ?

    Is that your definition of inhumane treatment? You reveal yourself with each passing comment as a less and less pleasant person. Hopefully no children depend upon your care.

    Their parents illegally entered the country, so…

    ….nothing. So, nothing. The prior system worked fine without separation as necessary policy. If you’re worried about people showing up for hearings, give them ankle bracelets. The policy change was motivated by cruelty, and yielded horror. And for running interference for it, you are suborning cruelty, and excusing horror.

    Again insults, which is odd from a perso who holds themself to be a moral paragon.

    Hypocrite. Between calling me too young to have an opinion and calling me a “modern Pharisee”, you are full of insults, both literal and passive-aggressive. Projection is an illness of the guilty mind. All I have said is that your age buys you nothing, and your experiences clearly haven’t taught you right from wrong, and you’re busy making excuses for oppressors rather than standing with the oppressed. I call that moral cowardice, but you can call it what you like.

  • Henry

    3le,

    37 is old enough to know that you do know what is morally wise, if you are unaware of that, then it would explain your responses.

    You call it abuse, is it not abuse for parents to bring their children on such dangerous journeys ?

    It is not knowing your life, it is knowing the human condition, humans are capable of anything – as such we should not suppose that
    we would not do what you call evil things – in any given situation.

    No, I do not excuse evil, but what you call evil is not evil, if you cannot see that, then you need to open your eyes to how evil this world can be.

    What happened and is happening to the children is un-necessary and does not help the children, but they are alive and they will be re-united wiht
    their parents, it is painful, it may harm some of them, but it is not evil.

    Why do my having diffrences with you automatically make me a less and less pleasant person ?
    If I were a lawyer I would have filed suit on behalf of the children.

    The prior system did separate the children, either at the border or later on if the parents were picked up by ICE.
    If the parents were released and told to show up at an Immigration Hearing then they were free to re-unite with their children.
    The new rules/regulations/policies made entering the country in an illegal manner a criminal charge and so, just as any charged with
    a crime who does not make bail, they are likely to be separated from their underage children – that has been going on before you were
    born, why were you not shocked by such evil back then ?

    Now you call me a hypocrite, why because I point out that you are fond of going around and condemning people ?
    That I dare to question your Moral Profundity ?

    You call the guards – oppressors – you don’t even know them.
    As I said, if you truly feel you are right then go apply to be a guard and show everyone how to be a moral guard.

  • Now you call me a hypocrite, why because I point out that you are fond of going around and condemning people ?
    That I dare to question your Moral Profundity ?

    No, because you are a hypocrite. You complain about being insulted while being insulting.

    The new rules/regulations/policies

    ….were made without necessity, which is what makes them evil. Necessity is a thing that can excuse quite a bit, but the administration in this case made an unforced move to be more cruel than the status quo ante. That’s evil, and if you can’t figure that out, there isn’t much hope for you ever figuring out anything regarding morality.

    As someone else pointed out to you, you are so obsessed with empathizing with the oppressor that you are willing to eliminate the victim from your mind. There have always been victims, you argue, so spare a thought for the tough spot that the guard is in.

    That is so morally ugly it defies even the semblance of a polite description.

  • Henry

    3le,

    You blatantly insult me and yet you call it insulting because I question your moral condemnations of people you have never met
    and call them and anyone who disagrees with you – evil.

    You don’t really know what the word hypocrite means.

    In their eyes this was the way to control the border.
    In their eyes anyone who is an illegal immigrant is a criminal and the rules of holding them for trial
    are to be carried out, if these people brought children, it is the parents fault for doing so.
    That is how they see the situation, I do not agree with them and as I have said I would not separate the families.

    What you might ask is why this took two months to make it into the media and the reason is because the Obama/Bush Adminstrations
    did similar things to apprehended un-documented immigrants and their children, the present administration just made all un-documented
    immigration a criminal offence.

    [ You don’t have to say ‘ante” along with status quo as it is understood that a change has taken place. ]

    That is not evil, that may be immoral, unkind, uncharitable, un-warranted but it is not evil.

    You may have lived a charmed life and so you think you know what evil is, but you don’t if you think the detentions are evil.

    As for the guards, you never responded on what a guard is to do if he needs the job, if someone in his family will die if he loses his job.
    Nor do you allow that the typical human response is to follow orders.

    As I said – why don’t you apply to be a guard so you can alleviate this “evil”, in fact are you not morally obliged to drop all that
    you are doing and go and be a guard to help end this evil ?

    And when did you become annointed as the Moral Aesthetician of the 21st century ?

    March 15th, 1939, is a day of evil, I was alive then, were you ?
    Why don’t you examine what happened then if you want to see what governments can do,
    so that you can gain some perspective on what is evil and what is not.

  • call them and anyone who disagrees with you – evil.

    People who wantonly abuse children are evil.
    People who order the wanton abuse of children are evil.
    People who make excuses for either of those two groups are evil.

    You’re in that third category.

    You can spin out all the excuses for your behavior or theirs that you want, it changes nothing. Go appeal the judgment to someone who isn’t tired of your excuses. Maybe on some prior day, you were a decent person, but today, you stand with ghastly perversions of justice. Yesterday, you might have been a hero, but today, you are most definitely a coward.

  • Henry

    3le,

    What do mean wanton ?

    None of the children have been abused by their captors have they ?
    You will have to talk to those in the government about their rules and regulations.

    I do not make excuses, not do I justify the separating of parents from children.
    I told you, were I a lawyer, that I would have filed a lawsuit.

    What are you going to do about the fact that Judges have not ruled on this case and may have even ruled against your viewpoint.

    The ICE has a quasi-constituional status/exemption – they can ask you do provide information at the Border Crossing that
    Policemen cannnot ask and their standare of reasonable suspicion is much lower than that of the Law Enforcement.

    Coward, what is your defintion of a coward ?

    Again, you really don’t know what evil is.

  • None of the children have been abused by their captors have they ?

    Leaving aside your stilted sense of what constitutes abuse, yes, there have been numerous reports of abuse, including sexual assault (and blackmail in an attempt to cover it up), drugging children without medical necessity and against their will, inadequate medical care generally, and insufficient supervision leading to children predating upon one another.

    Not that you give a damn. You’re too concerned about how hard it must be for the guards.

    You will have to talk to those in the government about their rules and regulations.

    You normally in the business of kissing the government’s arse? Or is this only for when you want to defend cruelty against children? And what rock have you been living under, that you think folks all over aren’t “talking to those in the government” about this hideous policy?

    Coward, what is your defintion of a coward ?

    A person who hides from the demands of conscience. A person who sides reflexively with the powerful against the powerless. A person who accepts stories and anecdata that supports their blindness, and ignores that which might challenge their comfort. A person who leans on privilege, such as age or status, to dismiss challenge and criticism.

    You know.
    You.
    Today.
    A coward.

    Again, you really don’t know what evil is.

    Again, you don’t know me, so you have no foundation for this statement. At worst you might say that I include lesser forms of evil in the operative definition; so it is restricted not just to malefactors but also the bootlickers like yourself that cover for them. I certainly don’t think that making excuses for viciousness on an Internet blog is the same in severity as being a guard patrolling young children in cages/cells or being a policymaker ordering it to be so.

    On the other hand, we can be reasonably sure that you don’t recognize evil when it’s staring you in the face, since you’ve spent the last several hours cowering in its sight. And like I said, maybe on any other day and on any other subject, you are the paragon of virtue, but that still wouldn’t bear upon what an utter moral moron you are on this matter. When it comes to this, here, you are a coward, properly called.

  • Cake

    TL;DR

  • David Cromie

    The Nazis tried to use the excuse ‘I was only following orders’ when being tried for their crimes at Nuremburg, so I think that excuse has had its day! Can you really see anyone in one of Trump’s child prison camps being prosecuted for comforting a distressed child, in spite of orders not to?

  • David Cromie

    You are being too hard on poor Henry (not), since he seems to be a true follower of the Great Orange maggot, who is only attempting to make America great again, and using much the same tactics as did Hitler for Germany in the 1930s. What’s not to like?

  • David Cromie

    What does TL;DR mean?

  • Henry

    3le,

    Again you condemn any and all you dare to disagree with you.

    And again, more insults.

    When you apply to work with those children, then I will find some personal validity in what you say.

    Otherwise you are just preening in a moralistic manner.

  • Again you condemn any and all you dare to disagree with you.

    No. Plenty of people disagree with me and I do not condemn them.

    I just condemn those who argue in favor of brutalizing children. Like you.

  • Henry

    David,

    Soldiers follow orders all day long.
    They kill people in wars.
    People they never met.
    Civilians and children.
    Are they prosectued for those crimes that arise from following orders ?
    What makes one person a civilian and another a soldier.
    If I work in a factory producing bombs am I not just as guilty of the death of a child that is killed by that bomb as the bombadier who dropped the bomb as the navigator who steered the bomber to that town and the pilot who flew it there and the Wing Commander who ordered them to fly and guide and drop bombs from that plane as the Air Force commander who ordered that Wing to carry out the mission as the President who
    carries out the war on behalf of the people who elected him ?

    Were not LeMay and McNamara and Harris guilty of massive bombings
    of Japan and Germany. LeMay said as the war came to and end had
    the Japanese won, he and McNamamar would have been tried as war criminals.

    Those who broke rules and regulations would probably be written up
    and either fired or transferred. Interactions between guards and prisoners in the Federal System is very regulated, that does not those
    rules are not violated, but one is punished for such violations.

    The guards did not order the children to be put in camps.
    They cannot release the children from the camps.
    They are not directly torturing the children, they are guarding them.

    If you wish to hold someone responsible then speak to the Judges,
    Prosectutors, Bureaucrats and Politicians who implemented this policy.

    If the guard cannot afford to lose his job – what would you have him do, it is not as if they cannot get another guard the next day.

    Perhaps if the guards all went on strike and called in the media two months ago – their jobs would, as a whole, be safe.

  • Henry

    Cake,

    Why not spell out what you wish to say ?

  • Henry

    David,

    I did not vote for Trump, I would have wanted Bernie over
    either Trump or Hillary, why I might have even voted for you…

    Why you insult me, I don’t know.

    I do not approve of how the children were separated from their
    parent(s), relatives but it is not the guard’s fault.

    If you think you can do a better job, go apply to be a guard.

  • Henry

    3le,

    I took the time to read you comments to others who disagreed with you and you condemn them.

    As I said, prove your moral worth and go and apply to be a guard,
    perhaps your witnessing will help change the situation.

    I am against what happened but I am not going to call the guards
    evil.

  • I took the time to read you comments to others who disagreed with you and you condemn them.

    The only people I can remember “condemning” lately (and my, but you are the drama queen, aren’t you) are just the three people on this thread who decided that justifying child mistreatment was the hill they want to die on.

    Hey, if you’re so confident in your own righteousness, you wouldn’t waste your time with me here. The real problem is that you know, deep down, that you are busy defending the indefensible. Leading to such pristine idiocy as arguing that in order to be a righteous critic of concentration camp bullshit, a person must first be a concentration camp guard. And then when called on that, you’d split how many hairs to find some moral distance between concentration camps and infant jails? This is the behavior of a person deeply uncomfortable with finding themselves on the very wrong side of things but holds too much pride or ignorance or cynicism to come around.

    I “condemn” you, because insofar as your opinions and words here, you are a contemptible person, on the side of evil, making excuses for evil acts and covering for evil people. Cry a river about how you are being judged; I suspect you aren’t called to account by many people in your life, since you can always run to your age or the experiences you’ve had as a refuge from facing what you’re doing now. It takes some jerk on the Internet to call you out for indulging your worst instincts.

    I am against what happened

    Considering the effort you’ve gone through to try to find excuses for why guards can’t comfort children and how understanding we should be of the guards in that situation, and how you’ve ignored all evidence of actual abuse, I don’t believe you. You are a liar. If you were against what is happening, you’d be singing a different tune.

  • otrotierra

    Evangelicals offended by those who speak out against chlid abuse sure are earning a reputation for themselves.

  • Henry

    3le,

    Well you own words convict you:

    “It takes some jerk on the Internet…”

    So as it stand you did not apply to be one of the guards, but you condemn them anyway as evil.

    And so you do condemn those who disagree with you.

    I never said I was righteous, you make that claim about yourself is you so wish, but you are not, just a friendly reminder.

    Again, you were not there, you cannot judge, you cannot put yourself in the ethical situation of the guards – you do not know what you would do.

    I made no excuses for evil acts, because the acts were not evil.

    You remain your own judge and excutioner.

  • Henry

    David,

    Time for an update, Popper and “Falsifiable” evidence has been refuted.

    Time to look for new criteria.

  • So as it stand you did not apply to be one of the guards, but you condemn them anyway as evil.

    Yes, as it stands, one does not have to participate in evil to condemn it, your tiresome whinging on behalf of evil notwithstanding.

    And so you do condemn those who disagree with you.

    Mostly just you.

    Again, you were not there, you cannot judge, you cannot put yourself in the ethical situation of the guards – you do not know what you would do.

    One does not have to participate in evil to condemn it.
    ————————————————

    But of course none of that matters, because your two-faced hypocrisy is revealed thus:

    I made no excuses for evil acts, because the acts were not evil.

    So *I* can’t judge whether or not they were evil acts because I didn’t participate, but *you* can judge whether or not they were evil acts because…?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. You claim that judgment is impossible and then make judgments. You complain about being insulted and then insult. Your position is garbage and the smell from that position clings to you closely.

  • Henry

    3le,

    You labeling so many things as evil, only demonstrates you don’t know what evil is.

    No, not just me, just about anyone who dares to disagree with you.

    You were not there, you don’t what the guards did or not did, you cannot judge them and

    after all, if you truly thought it was evil, you would be applying to be a guard so you can do anything to allieviate the ongoing evils…

    Two Faced Hypocrisy is not possible, check your metaphors at the door, please.

    I did not say jugements are not possible, only that you are not in the position to make such judgements,

    you clearly don’t know what evil is and you were not one of the guards, so you speak of what you do not know.

    You have been hoisted on the petard of your own egotistical morality – time to send that application in and do what is right.

  • You do know that your continued insistence that I should go be a guard makes you out to be a complete lunatic, right?

    No, I suppose you don’t.
    ——————————

    In this entire “conversation” with you, I’ve called exactly three things ‘evil’:

    1. Wantonly harming children
    2. Giving an order or directive to wantonly harm a child
    3. Making excuses for either of the above

    And you are willing to argue and cavil and quibble about any of those things being evil, which makes you a proud and inveterate member of group 3.

    I did not say jugements are not possible, only that you are not in the position to make such judgements,

    But that somehow, you are. That’s the laughable hypocrisy. Please, explain how you are in such a good position to adjudge that what is happening in US child internment camps is not evil.
    …Are you a guard?
    Is that what all this is about?
    Because that’s the only way, if we are to use the stupid and self-defeating criteria you’ve given for prerequisite to moral judgment, your opinion on the matter could possibly be sound.
    ————————————–

    And here you continue. For a person who claims to be able to dismiss my judgment so easily–such as it is over a blog on the Internet–you seem pretty obsessed with it.

  • Henry

    3l3,

    a) No one was watonly harming children.
    b) No one gave an order to do so.
    c) Since the events did not occur, no excuses were given.

    You don’t just get to go through life labeling things the way you like them and then expect everyone to have to agree with or
    they are “Evil”.

    Again and again you keep using the word – Hypocrisy and again and again you mis-use it, I don’t think you really know what it means.

    You said the guards must be evil to do what they do.
    I said they need not be evil, just in need of a job, after they are not assigned to wantonly harm the children, are they ?

    Trying to be of help 3Ie.

    You cast dispersion so easily, when you really don’t know what you are talking about.

    As I said, go and sign up to be guard and do good where you think evil is prevailing,

    you may turn out to be a national hero.

    Who knows, perhaps they will give you

    your own talk show where you can denounce evil on TV – daily.

  • a) No one was watonly harming children.
    b) No one gave an order to do so.
    c) Since the events did not occur, no excuses were given.

    If you’re content to live in a delusion, nothing more can be said.

  • TL;DR is Internet shorthand for “Too Long; Didn’t Read”

  • otrotierra

    Jesus taught his followers to “Seek..” U.S. Evangelicals still following Trump illustrate the mirror opposite of Jesus’ own teachings, as is illustrated in this comment section.

  • Hermit

    While, outside of trivial logical systems of limited applicability, “proof” is a miasma, evidential support that in a universe comprising all things imaginary and non-imaginary that can be experienced, all god thingies are purely imaginary is overwhelming and provided by religiots. Not a single religiot can articulate the agreed intersubjectively verifiable attributes necessary and sufficient to identify any thing as a god thingie. This relegates all asserted god thingies to the realms of the purely imaginary, where they can safely be ignored.

  • Hermit

    Like everyone espousing any other belief including marginally different christer beliefs. This should not come as a shock. Religion is a social phenomenon almost certainly evolved to make wars larger, nastier and more decisive. Religion does not address questions or provide answers outside of answering the question, is that person part of US or part of THEM, by evaluating whether the person vests belief in the same ridiculous things as you, and if not, to depersonalize the THEM, depressing empathy in order to make THEM easier to abuse or kill.

    History proves that religion is ridiculously better at this job than any of the other tools we have evolved for this purpose and that the Abrahamic religions are ridiculously better at this job than any other religions. So far the christers have killed more people for socio-religious reasons, both in actual and percentage of population terms than any other group. This includes the 21st Century during which we have been responsible for far more deaths than any other group, though Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians is set to compete with that.

  • Matthew

    Are you watching the World Cup, Hermit?

  • $144948586

    “So far the christers have killed more people for socio-religious reasons, both in actual and percentage of population terms than any other group.”
    Islam is hands down the deadliest religion.
    Then there are far eastern religions that have done much murdering
    Whatever religions the totalitarians may have had in the 20th century, it likely wasn’t Christianity.
    Stalin was “Christian” by family, not by creed–he was an avowed atheist.
    Mao abandoned Buddhism–likely an atheist.
    Hitler didn’t believe in a divine Jesus.

    Christianity is probably not in the top 3 deadliest, by a long shot.
    Much of the deathtoll attributed to Christianity came via the Crusades period, which REALLY began in the 600’s as soon as Islam moved West. However, if you look at a map of Christendom, it RARELY spread the Roman Empire, and generally only in areas after provocation of a conquering Islam.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Qpy0mXg8Y
    Just look at the map of the numbers of wars every 20 years.

  • SamHamilton

    David – No one was alleging Jesus was a WASP. And yes, Jesus was Jewish and he lived in the Middle East. Establishing these things doesn’t get us any closer to the crux of the issue – what does it mean to be “white,” and if not “white” what race was Jesus?

  • Hermit

    Nope. No time for that said Gandalf.

  • SamHamilton

    You don’t think people in these churches know that Jesus was born, lived, and died in the Middle East? Surely they know where Israel is, right?

    What do you think your friends meant when they said Jesus wasn’t white? What race are people from the eastern Mediterranean? Obviously, none of us know what Jesus’ exact skin tone was. Racial classification is not exactly science-based.

    I’m not trying to be pedantic here, but your anecdote reeks of smugness, as in “tee hee, those rural, fundamentalist rubes…they don’t even know that Jesus wasn’t white. My friends sure taught them a thing or two!” When it reality, racial classification is incredibly imprecise and beyond trying to do very basic things like label someone native to subSaharan Africa as “black” and someone native to Eurasia as “white” and someone from China/Japan/Korea as “Asian,” is pretty pointless. Poking fun at people for thinking that Jesus was white, when in reality the skin tone of people from his region of the world is much closer to white than black or Asian doesn’t make any sense to me. And when it’s coupled with bolstering one’s own sense of righteousness, it’s unbecoming.

  • Hermit

    Not precisely accurate. Nothing can be proved in finite time, but somethings can be disproved. For example, a 6kg ball of weapon’s grade plutonium 239 or a 18kg ball of uranium 235 cannot exist, they would fission. In a world where at least one black swan exists, the statement, “All swans are pink” is necessarily false. But truth, proof and disproof are not particularly useful concepts in a universe like ours. See “On Truth and Models”. Direct link “https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FkJCpjgH35PpZELoIl0fDcg2HcKutQDqwtnfUsnjrvw”.

    Fortunately the statistical evidence that god thingies are purely imaginary is compelling, so they may be safely ignored as artifacts of psychotic ideation.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks. I’ve seen people write that before and have never known what’s meant. It seems weird to write that in response to Henry, as his post wasn’t any longer than anything Cake had written. In this case, it sounds like just a giant middle finger.

  • Matthew

    Ah … come on … said Frodo :-)

  • Matthew

    What statistical evidence do you have Hermit?

  • Henry

    3le,

    Prove your claims, otherwise admit that you exaggerate for purposes of pride.

  • apoxbeonyou

    I don’t pledge allegiance to America and its laws, I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ. Everything else is secondary, at least. If something I do is something Christ commanded us to do and it breaks a law, so be it.

  • David Cromie

    Yes, but to no avail!

  • apoxbeonyou

    Were you, by any chance, in northern Israel? Near Haifa?

  • Yes! Sde Nahum, about 1 mile from the border town of Bet Shean.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Nice. My wife’s family is from Kfar Yasif (Arab Christians). A lot of the Arab Christian churches are called ‘Baptist’ though they aren’t really. I’m pretty sure her family’s church is more like Assemblies of God but they call themselves ‘Baptist’.

    Who was the Palestinian pastor?

  • Oh, no I met and talked with the Palestinian Baptist minister in Bethlehem or Jerusalem when I was down there. The Palestinians who worked on the Jewish kibbutz were very quiet. I don’t know if this is because they didn’t speak English or we’re told not to discuss religion and politics. Because other Palesinians spoke fluent English and we had extensive discussions. At a young men’s club in Nablus, while we played pool, we had a great dialogue. However those Palestinians we’re Muslims. I seldom encountered Palestinian Christians except in Bethlehem.

  • David Cromie

    Unfortunately, your link to ‘On Truth and Models’ does not work.

  • Hermit

    Islam is hands down the deadliest religion.”

    Your evidence?

    “Then there are far eastern religions that have done much murdering”

    Tu quoque is not a defense but a fallacy, and “:much” is not “more”.

    “Stalin was “Christian” by family, not by creed–he was an avowed atheist.”

    Stalin was raised by orthodox monks to become a priest. It was only when they ejected him from their seminary for failing to come-up with the examination fees that he went off to become a revolutionary instead. He seems to have exemplified the life-lessons taught him by his care-givers, including the fact that religion is useful to the ruler. However, given that you agree that Stalin was an “avowed atheist” (whatever you imagine you mean by that) makes any inflated mortality data you are referencing irrelevant, as atheism, is a personal stance, not a source of socio-religious motivation.

    Mao spoke frequently of the gods and heavens, e.g.

    There is an ancient Chinese fable called “The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains”. It tells of an old man who lived in northern China long, long ago and was known as the Foolish Old Man of North Mountain. His house faced south and beyond his doorway stood the two great peaks, Taihang and Wangwu, obstructing the way. With great determination, he led his sons in digging up these mountains hoe in hand. Another graybeard, known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, “How silly of you to do this! It is quite impossible for you few to dig up these two huge mountains.” The Foolish Old Man replied, “When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. High as they are, the mountains cannot grow any higher and with every bit we dig, they will be that much lower. Why can’t we clear them away?” Having refuted the Wise Old Man’s wrong view, he went on digging every day, unshaken in his conviction. This moved GOD, and he sent down two angels, who carried the mountains away on their backs. Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Chinese people. One is imperialism and the other is feudalism. The Chinese Communist Party has long made up its mind to dig them up. We must persevere and work unceasingly, and we, too, will touch GOD’s heart. Our GOD is none other than the masses of the Chinese people. If they stand up and dig together with us, why can’t these two mountains be cleared away? [Mao Zedong (1945). “The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains” (《愚公移山》). Reproduced in trans. in “Self-Reliance and Arduous Struggle” chapter 21]

    . Which suggests that he was not as much of an atheist as you appear to assume. However your contention that he was an atheist would obviate any claims that his motivation was socio-religious.

    The primary source for Hitler rejecting christianity is the deliberately corrupted “Table Talk” produced by the Catholic, antiquarian and prolific forger, Francois Genoud, promoted by the self-servingly dishonest Trevor-Roper (See e.g. Carter, V. (2017-08-30). “Genoud, Heim & Picker’s “Table Talk”: A Study in Academic Fraud & Scandal”, Inconvenient History, Vol 9. No. 3. Accessed 2018-06-25 at https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/9/3/4880) and repeatedly contradicted by Hitler himself. For example, “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.” [Hitler, Speech made during the negotiations for the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933 quoted in Helmreich, Ernst (1979). The German Churches Under Hitler. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 241.], “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.” [Hitler, Speech delivered at Munich 12 April 1922; from Norman H. Baynes, ed. (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 19.] and even, “Only He can relieve me of this duty Who called me to it. It was in the hand of Providence to snuff me out by the bomb that exploded only one and a half meters from me on July 20, and thus to terminate my life’s work. That the Almighty protected me on that day I consider a renewed affirmation of the task entrusted to me. In the years to come I shall continue on this road, uncompromisingly safeguarding my people’s interests, oblivious to all misery and danger, and filled with the holy conviction that God the Almighty will not abandon him who, during all his life, had no desire but to save his people from a fate it had never deserved, neither by virtue of its number nor by way of its importance.” [Hitler. Radio address, 30 January 1945; from Franklin Watts, ed. (1945). Voices of History. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., p. 49.]

    “Christianity is probably not in the top 3 deadliest, by a long shot.”

    Funny you claim that. Do you have any evidence you imagine supports your position?

    Most of the deaths attributable to christers came long after the so-called crusades. For example, the invasion of the Americas by Europeans involved significantly over 100 million deaths even before the process of colonization

    Please don’t use videos as a source of data. I do not have the time or inclination to dredge through them to attempt to find what you imagine comprises evidence, even when they are not the work of ignorant and bigotted religious fanatics.

  • Hermit

    Some new Disqus nonsense fighting with Google’s short links. I’ve corrected it with a cannonical URL. Please try it.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Ah, fair enough. I just read that over half the population of Kfar Yasif is Christian. There are many more Christian Arabs in the Galilee area.

  • I wish I had met them when I lived there. May I ask how you met your wife. Did you also live in the Middle East, or did she have to come all the way to your country to find you:-)?

  • Hermit

    The evidence that no religiot I have met in over 20 years and challenged (and that is now well over over 13,000), has been able to articulate the intersubjectively verifiable attributes necessary and sufficient to qualify a thing as a god thingie, meaning that, even if some thing that they considered a god thingie were to exist, that they could not discriminate between that thing or any other supposed god thingie, or provide intersubjectively verifiable evidence qualifying that thingie as existing as a non-imaginary thing, let alone as deserving to be regarded as as a god thingie.

    If you disagree, please provide whatever evidence you imagine you possess. If you claim to be a christer, you may find my short cuts to persuade me helpful. See Hermit, The easy way to prove the bible valid and god thingies exist.

  • David Cromie

    Many thanks. I must try to remember that!

  • Hermit

    The “Ah” is spurious. And you should always provide sufficiently complete quotations for them to be comprehended in context. For example, “Come on, Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

    I don’t plan to be swept off to anywhere – let alone somewhere dangerous :-)

  • apoxbeonyou

    I met my wife through her sister who was dating my roommate at the time (we four ended up having a double wedding). She (sister) was in the US at Lee University in Cleveland, TN and we lived in VA Beach, VA. The sister at Lee came here via the OLDEST sister in Huntsville, AL. Long story short we now live in Huntsville, AL near the oldest sister. There’s like five sisters, lol. It’s fun at family gatherings.

  • David Cromie

    Bingo!

    Thank you Hermit for a very interesting essay.

    Just one comment; I am not entirely taken with Descartes: Cogito ergo sum is only a part of existence for a normal human being. The other part, and more important with it, is the fact that I act on the world in a myriad ways every day, and experience the world reacting to me (I am not a cogitating corpselike package of atoms and neurons sitting quietly in the corner). Faceo ergo sum!

  • Hermit

    Your actions and the world’s reactions might not exist except as an injected memory created at the moment of remembering, or could be some artifact of a simulation which may not even be intentional. However the fact that you think that you remember things shows that there is some you in some form that is able to consider such things.

  • David Cromie

    “…an injected memory created at the moment of remembering…”. The mechanism, be it physiological or otherwise, which allows me to claim that I act on the world, and the world reacts to me, is neither here nor there with respect to my being and doing in the only world I know.

  • Quite a story:-) I met my wife several weeks after hitching part way back across the U.S. after arriving back in the u.s. with only 50 cents from living in Palestine-Israel. My buddy asked me to go up to a mountain retreat near Palm Springs, California. One of the first girls I met was her…and the rest is history. Right now I’m playing with one our grandkids. He’s almost 2 and loves to pretend to drive my van and turn on the window wipers:-)

  • Hermit

    Exactly so. All we can know is that we must exist in some form because we know that we exist in some form. “Or I think, therefore I am.” Which is why I credit Descartes for this (though little else).

  • Christian Truth

    1 Timothy 2:1-3 1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people- 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

  • Henry

    Wullaj,

    I don’t say the pledge, I would rather not pay taxes as abortion on demand is an abomindation.

  • No, no, I’m quite done with your delusions and equivocations. It is your duty to proactively seek out the truth, and you clearly have no interest in doing that. I don’t normally go all morally righteous on people, because most situations and most violations are extremely complicated. Torturing children is not a complicated moral situation. Your attempt to make it so is sick and wrong.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…your anecdote reeks of smugness, as in “tee hee, those rural, fundamentalist rubes…they don’t even know that Jesus wasn’t white. My friends sure taught them a thing or two.”

    I was a member of that same church for almost 4 decades and served in active leadership roles there as well. The point you’re missing here is that a large part of this church would have been mortified if black people started infiltrating their house of worship. That’s the issue! The discussion with them had nothing to do with imprecise racial classifications or the scientific method best used for determining race.

    “Poking fun at people for thinking that Jesus was white, when in reality the skin tone of people from his region of the world is much closer to white than black or Asian doesn’t make any sense to me. And when it’s coupled with bolstering one’s own sense of righteousness, it’s unbecoming.”

    Thanks for the reprimand there, but I literally have no idea why you believe my sharing that anecdote somehow bolsters my own sense of righteousness. It has nothing to do with righteousness. I love these people but I won’t excuse unapologetic racism borne from ignorance no matter who it is. If that somehow causes you to believe I get some sort of perverted sense of self-righteousness from it, then ok whatever.

  • Cake

    Thanks. Henry’s oblivious odiousness had me in such a sorts I could have only respond to David with a undeserving Let Me Google That For You animated link. So I just let it be.

  • Cake

    All the while Christians will be moving on to commit new atrocities in the new age, thinking nothing of the atrocities of the past.

  • otrotierra

    In an era when U.S. White Evangelicals are openly applauding and defending the illegal kidnapping and imprisonment of refugee children, SamHamilton decides to invest his energy attacking you for merely speaking the truth about your family’s valid experience with U.S. White Evangelical culture. Yet another sad example of Evangelical bullying.

    Evangelical Bullies will not silence us. We will continue to speak truth without apology, no matter how clearly upsetting it is to SamHamilton.

  • Ron McPherson

    Over half a century ago MLK said, “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.” It’s so true even today.

  • Henry

    3le,

    You claim the children are being tortured – where is your proof ?
    You claim the guards are wanton in their cruelty and thus are evil – where is your proof that all the guards, if any, are so.

    I told you i was against the separating of families but doing so was not evil.

    Again you insult, but why don’t you apply to be a guard to undo/lessen what you claim is evil ?

    It seems that you either don’t believe it was evil or you don’t care enough to go and make changes – through your own efforts.

  • His approval rating has actually gone up among white evangelicals. I am not sure, though, if it is defensiveness because of the backlash or if they really like what this administration is doing.

  • “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.” Prob 16:12

    “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov 29:2

    “If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.” Prov 29:12

    “Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord, the God of Israel. All the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations. And they polluted the house of the Lord that he had made holy in Jerusalem.” 2 Chron 36:11-14

    “Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.” Isaiah 1:23

    “A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.” Prov 28:16

    “By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.” Prov 29:4

    “And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable.” Isaiah 3:4-5

  • doing so was not evil.

    Doing so unnecessarily is completely evil.

    Keep digging.

    If you’re interested (I know you’re not), there are people in similar situations that I do have some sympathy for. Soldiers, unlike employees have less choice regarding acting upon their conscience, and many soldiers who are about to be put in the position of choosing duty or conscience are acutely aware of the horror and their likely complicity in its perpetuation [link].

    They didn’t sign up for this. If things continue as they have, they will soon have to choose between being called dishonorable and being dishonorable, which is an extremely unenviable choice. Of course, history teaches that those who choose wrong are not generally exonerated even of making the wrong choice in tough circumstances, but at least their dilemma is acute enough to be an actual dilemma. You know, one that actually sort of matches what you’ve been bleating about all thread. They risk imprisonment and forced separation from the military, not merely a lost job that they can replace; real complexity married to real consequence.

  • David Cromie

    The crux of the matter is whether JC actually existed in the first place. Do you have any evidence that such a person ever did exist?

  • David Cromie

    “[Zedekiah] did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God”. Since we are asked to believe that kings, presidents. governors, etc. are appointed by a supposed omniscient ‘god’, why was Zedekiah appointed when this supposed ‘god’ must have known that he would behave badly (since before he was born!)?

  • Ron McPherson

    Yeah it’s bizarre. In a strange way, I think a huge factor comes from one’s view of the scriptures. It shapes a Christian’s entire worldview. Hardcore biblicists stress inerrancy where the entirety of the Bible inevitably overrides the specific teachings of Jesus. In other words, Jesus’ hard sayings like turning the other cheek and loving one’s enemies are contextualized such that they ultimately are superseded by the actions of a wrathful God, especially as depicted in the OT. So when one views God thru a lens of “the Bible” rather than through a lens of “Jesus”, then the actions of Trump are not counter to their faith. Just my 2 cents.

  • Exactly. Inerrancy of scripture ends up creating “followers” who don’t seem to follow very well. The other issue is how conservatives treat “sin.” Rather than seeing it as “missing the mark” in a broad ethical sense, it always devolves into particular sins, resulting in legalism. Broad, more nuanced application of scripture such as our responsibilities to refugees, racism, the poor and jobless, etc., are easily overlooked because of the narrow interpretation of sin. And, of course, if they are not fornicating or aborting babies, one has met their obligations to God. Not to say all evangelicals miss the mark on social responsibilities, but most seem to view it with a great deal of mistrust. It’s viewed as “political.” Strange!

  • Matthew

    I´m wondering … these days … about the other hard sayings of Jesus like God can throw you into hell, a servant not doing the will of God deserves a severe beating, etc. (there are others).

    I´ve been learning over the last few years or so to make Jesus the center of my understanding of scripture. Many say, “Look to Jesus and you see the true revelation of what the Father is like”. Even more say, “The Bible should only be understood via a Christo-centric hermeneutic”.

    But I ask … is Jesus really all “hugs and kisses”? I know there are probably hermeneutical and metaphorical issues I am missing, but on the surface, Jesus seems to have said some hard things other than love your enemy and turn the other cheek.

    I think a progressive Christian with more knowledge than me should write a book entitled:

    The Tough Sayings of Jesus: What they really mean and why they still point to a God of perfect love.

  • Trumpvangelicals voted him in. But, seriously the OT presents a primitive view of a “controlling” God. Everything, both good and evil, is controlled by this God. It was a religious construct that made sense in ancient times. But it made for a pretty scary, unpredictable God. The ancient Hebrew religion was not much different than the prevailing culture around them. They just had a different tribal deity. They evolved away from some more odious practices of the neighboring religions such as child sacrifice (2 spots in scripture hint at a darker past), but kept the ritual of scapegoating through stoning offenders to death.

    Of course, what you are intimating at is known philosophically as ‘the problem of evil.” And it is a major black hole in orthodox Christian theology. One’s theological presuppositions determine what kind of God one ends up with when all the theological speculation is done. An entirely different God pops up when you assume, for example, his primary character is holiness rather than love. As an atheist or agnostic I presume none of this seems particularly compelling to you. It seems like religionists make these things up. I get that, but as a progressives we are more interested in orthopraxy than orthodoxy (which seems to be the polar opposite of conservatism).

    We tend to be more interested in end results and allow a wide range of beliefs, other religious perspectives and unbelievers. I am an “open theist.” Basically this is a view that God does not control or coerce, as that would not be loving, which is seen as God’s primary attribute, defining him as it would be. Instead he cosuffers and works through human agency to accomplish the betterment of humanity. I guess you could call it a humanist Christianity. Man’s inhumanity to man is not ordained by God, nor does he directly stop it, as we would merely be pawns in the game of life. Instead, it is we who are responsible for our actions. We can look to Jesus for inspiration and try to implement the “Kingdom of God” on earth, or we can work against that goal.

  • Ron McPherson

    Nailed it!

  • Ron McPherson

    Sounds like a great title!

  • apoxbeonyou

    Federal funds haven’t paid for abortions since 1976.

  • BBORN2X Sunderland

    I understand that, but someone with a theology background would hopefully understand the nature of the Kingdom of God, the new birth, salvation, and judgment. These are basic Christian doctrines. Nationalism and public policy has nothing to do with the gospel. There is no biblical instruction or command in the new testament to start a Christian nation, our Kingdom is not of this world.

  • David Cromie

    Is it not about time your supposed ‘god’ rid the world of people such as Trump, in answer to fervent prayers from the oppressed? Ah, silly me, I forgot, your supposed ‘god’ does not have a good track record when it comes to answering prayers, or protecting the weak from bullies and paedophiles, for example.

  • David Cromie

    All very fine and fanciful, but constructing a more benevolent version of a ‘god’ will never solve the problem of evil, since it would still be just another man-made version, with no ability to adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that it actually exists outside the believer’s head. Ockham’s Razor is applicable here, it seems.

  • Christian Truth

    God loves Trump & God loves you. God loves man whom He created in His image. I pray Mr David Cromie that the Living God wreck you with His love & that He become so tangible to you that you can KNOW His love truly is a weapon of mass destruction of evil. God gave man dominion over this earth & no we have not done a good job. The Lord Jesus Christ bless you.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Ron!

  • David, this always bugs me about atheist true believers. Why the obsessive compulsive need to convince everyone there is no God? It seems such a waste of energy and must be terribly emotionally draining. And also very disappointing. I find it far more rewarding to try to convince people to be, well, better people. Evil is a man made problem and better people need to come together to solve it and contain it. Now, some religious traditions are better at that than others. Unfortunately, Christianity has a rather checkered past and needs to improve fast or it will be irrelevant, and I understand if you think it is, I lean that way myself. Religion I take with a grain of salt, Jesus is a different story for me altogether though. Peace.

  • Henry

    3le,

    The guards may be in an economic situation where they cannot afford to lose their jobs.
    [ Welcome to Capitalism ]
    They may seek to help the immigrants as much as they can without losing their jobs.
    If they were to leave there is no guarantee that the “Dentions for Hire” companies will not hire a worse guard.

    Soldiers are asked to do things that should only be done in the most extreme situations but they get miseld in their
    youth to join up and then sent in “Harm’s Way” by – and this is the correct use of the word “Evil” by Evil Politicians
    who would never send their children into such killing zones, well let us be honest, murder zones.

    I wonder what will happen now that the Supreme Court ruled 5/4 that President Trump has almost the final say
    on Border Security.

    I don’t mind bleeting, as I pray that I am a little lamb in the fold of sheep that Jesus shepherds.

  • Ron McPherson

    “someone with a theology background would hopefully understand the nature of the Kingdom of God, the new birth, salvation, and judgment.”

    I believe he does.

    “Nationalism and public policy has nothing to do with the gospel.”

    Well, the author has written numerous pieces against Christian nationalism so sounds like you are agreeing with him.

  • Human. (And also divine, yes, but in his human aspect, he was a member of the human race. It’s the only race humans can belong to. The subdivisions we hear all the time are not actually races, though some have called them so.)

  • Hmm, I earlier replied to David Cromie that I thought atheists trying to “convert” people to their way of thinking was a “waste of energy and must be terribly emotionally draining. And also very disappointing.” Then it hit me, am I not doing the same thing when I engage evangelicals on their turf? It is so frustrating. We are most of the time not talking about the same God it would seem. I think I will have to back off the evangelical channel and just let them figure things out for themselves. It’s far more rewarding to share the “Good News” with those who don’t know all the answers.

  • Hermit
  • Hermit

    The question of the existence of god thingies is meaningless, because nobody knows what intersubjectively verifiable attributes are necessary and sufficient to qualify a thing as a god thingie, meaning that the term “god” has no unambiguous definition.

  • I didn’t know God had a thingie! Well I’ll be damned!

  • Hermit

    God Thingies, noun plural. God thingies are anything claimed as possessing attributes qualifying them to be regarded as deities by anyone at any time, including by referring to any god thingies as deities without proving that such god thingies possesses such attributes, or indeed identifying what non-imaginary attributes would be sufficient and necessary to regard god thingies as deserving of being regarded as deities. In this Universe things may occur as objects (comprised of energy or matter) about which intersubjectively verifiable predictions may be made or as imaginary objects for which this is not the case. Until somebody explains what intersubjectively verifiable evidence there is for an attribute or attributes qualifying something possessing such an attribute or attributes as a deity, and then shows intersubjectively verifiable evidence that a particular god thingie or thingies exist and possesses those attributes, all god thingies will remain imaginary. God thingies are plural not only because mankind has introduced hundreds of thousands of such god thingies (billions if we include the various forms of object and ancestor worship) all of which are equally as valid only as imaginary objects, at least until the above conditions are met for one or more of them, but also because until the attributes of such a god thingies are fully qualified, it cannot be known whether or not such a god thingie is congruent with other god thingies.

  • Henry

    Incorrect.

    Planned Parenthood gets money from the Government
    and that funding helps their Abortion Clinics stay open
    and provide Abortions on demand.

  • Matthew

    No time to watch the World Cup … but enough time to write that :-) :-):-)!

  • Matthew

    Do you believe God only sees the future in the realm of possibilities, Kurt Leavens? If so … does that mean God (in your view) doesn´t sovereignly act in the lives of people?

    I guess what I´m getting at, is, do you think God is completely sovereign — omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent? I struggle with what open theists believe about these things.

    [Edited]

  • Matthew

    I rarely check the evangelical channel anymore.

  • Matthew

    What do you think about the uncertainty principle and quantum mechanics?

  • Hermit

    That it makes perfect sense.

  • Hermit

    There are no such things as “atheist true believers”. Atheism is simply not vesting belief in god thingies. Not vesting belief takes no belief at all.

  • Matthew

    What do you think the principle teaches us about our ability to know something with 100% certainty?

  • Questioning

    “This is what they are trying to do.”
    Really?

    Just saw a piece on CBS news about a detention center in New York. Over 200 kids separated from their parents since May 10. They focused on one child whose mother has already been deported back to Guatemala. I suspect there are others. They are attempting to place these kids in foster homes. A person who used to work at the center took the video. It seems the government is attempting to squelch any reporting that shows this environment and this type of result. This is despicable.

  • David Cromie

    A supposed unknowable, invisible, supernatural entity (for which there is no evidence) that would send anyone that does not reciprocate its ‘love’ to a lake of fire for eternity is hardly the paradigm case of a ‘loving’ ‘god’. When we add to that all the claimed supermax attributes, it is clearly seen that this supposed ‘god’ is powerless when it comes to curing the ills and evils of this world – if not, then it’s as if it didn’t give one flying fcuk about the welfare of humans, its supposed ‘creation’.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    There is no god, no judgement (final or otherwise), and church is boring.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Good idea-stay in your own bubble.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    You and the “Progressives” deserve each other.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    How about just stop wasting your time on fairy tales?

  • Hermit
  • Matthew

    I was in the conservative evangelical bubble for years … glad it popped :-)!

  • Yes. And no. Yes to the first, and no to classical theism.

  • Sorry, I meant “fundamentalist atheists.” My bad.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Kirk Leavens. I think I´m beginning to understand the position of the open theist more.

    That said, while I have jettisoned much of traditional Reformed theology, I think I still am in agreement with their classical view of theism in terms of how they understand sovereignty.

  • Hermit

    What on earth do you imagine you mean by that. Do you really suppose that atheists have some form of “scriptures”?

  • David Cromie

    There is no such thing as a ‘fundamentalist’ atheist either. An atheist is someone that has come to realise that there is no evidence for any supposed supernatural entities, whatsoever (unless you think you can adduce such evidence, and if so, then let’s have it).

  • Hermit

    Or has never vested belief in any “supernatural” entities (whatever is imagined to be meant by that).

  • Henry

    Ivan,

    Are you speakng about evidence and falifiability ?

  • “Fundamentalist” has been used pejoratively to refer to philosophies perceived as literal-minded or carrying a pretense of being the sole source of objective truth, regardless of whether it is usually called a religion. For instance, the Archbishop of Wales has criticized “atheistic fundamentalism” broadly and said “Any kind of fundamentalism, be it Biblical, atheistic or Islamic, is dangerous”. He also said, “the new fundamentalism of our age … leads to the language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarization.”
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism

    Atheistic fundamentalism is generally rigid and militantly defended. It is combative and polemical, seeking to convert or discredit any belief that doesn’t fit into the test tube. Here’s a good example”
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/w-hunter-roberts/atheism-the-new-fundament_b_4767900.html

    In other words, just as obnoxious as the most rabid, Bible thumping street preacher telling people they need to repent or go to hell!

    Just like fundamentalism in religion, when married with politics and the power of government, atheism can be quite dangerous. The temptation to force conversions or face penalties is equally appealing to fundamentalist atheists as to religionists.

    Bottom line, if it works for you, fine. Following Jesus is working just fine for me, thanks.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    No. Just fairy tales.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    And got into another one immediately, it looks like!

  • Henry

    ITE,

    Well that clears things up.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Thank you, Jesus!

  • Henry

    Don’t mock your Saviour, Ivan.

  • Ed Senter

    Why is so difficult for the pseudointellectual mind to understand the concept of the All-Mighty Supreme Being? The alternative is NOTHING!

  • Hermit

    So what are the qualifications possessed by you supporting your alleged ability to discern between intellectuals and “pseudointellectual mind[s]” (sic), and what are the criteria you apply in differentiating between them?

    Apparently your education was not sufficient to cure your kefálalia*. What are the intersubjectively verifiable attributes sufficient and necessary to qualify some things as your “All-Mighty Supreme Being” (sic) as worthy of the title, and how do you differentiate it from any oither imaginary thing?

    *from Gk “κεφάλαιο” [kefálaio] (i.e. the majuscule letters) and Gk “λαλια” [lalia] (i.e. speech) to describe the random use of capitalization, rather as echolalia describes the random repetition of others’ words. In other words, the syndrome of inserting random capitals into sentences, a usually reliable indicator of religiosity, conservatism, AGW denial and other symptoms of mental deficiency, with differential diagnosis facilitated by the fact that the condition is exacerbated by opposition.

  • Matthew

    I´m forever blowing bubbles!!! :-)

  • David Cromie

    Atheism is not a branch of metaphysics, no matter what now retired Archbishop Williams thinks.

  • David Cromie

    In what way is the ‘god’ of the NT any different from that of the OT?

    The NT claims that JC said he was come to fulfil all the law (i.e. the OT law) and the prophets, so there is not much room for get-out clauses there when it comes to ‘controlling’.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Thank you, Hay-Zeus!

  • David Cromie

    In your case, abject deluded gullibility, and the curse of an indoctrinated/induced lack of critical thinking, of course.

    Your diversionary tactics are to no avail, and you still have not provided the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence required to substantiate that your supposed ‘god’ (or any other supernatural entity) actually exists.

  • SamHamilton

    Well put. If more people left it at that, it would be fine with me!

  • SamHamilton

    Hey Ron – If the issue is that the people at this church hold racial prejudices then, by all means, point that out. But you didn’t share an anecdote about their racial prejudices, but about their disbelief about Jesus’ supposedly not being white as if this was some sort of “gotcha.” “The blood drained from her face, LOL.”

    I’ve tried to point out that it’s actually not that illogical to group people from Jesus’ part of the world in with white people, if one wants to engage in racial classification. Thinking of Jesus as “white” isn’t racial prejudice, but actually quite logical (again, if one wants to even bother trying to classify people by race) . It certainly seemed like you were using this story as a way to show how backwards and uneducated the people in this church were. If that wasn’t the point, my apologies. Based on otrotierra’s response to your comments, it’s pretty clear she took it the same way I did.

  • SamHamilton

    I wasn’t “attacking” anyone. I was asking Ron questions and pointing out that thinking of Jesus as white isn’t that nutty. I’m not sure why you consider this “evangelical bullying.” Your smugness does not reflect well on you.

    I wish you would address your comments about me to me rather than other people. I’ve asked you to do this many times, yet you continue with this passive-aggressive behavior. What’s wrong with you? Is this how you behave offline too?

    Perhaps you’ll be willing to address my questions about Jesus’ racial classification since you seem pretty adamant that to think of Jesus as white is some sort of grave offensive. When you say Jesus wasn’t “white” what do you mean? Do you mean he just wasn’t of European ancestry? If you mean something more than that, if not white, what race was Jesus?

    Let me know when you’re ready to stop your passive-aggressive behavior and engage in discussion…

  • SamHamilton

    Kirk – I think it’s worth engaging with all types of people, even those who come across as if they know all the answers. But this suggestion only goes for face-to-face engagement. Online engagement is much less fruitful, and what evangelicals or atheists or any other group says online is often not representative of the people you’ll meet in that group in your day-to-day life.

    Also, from the perspective of someone who is an outsider to “progressive Christian” circles, there’s certainly plenty of progressive Christians who act as if they’ve got it all figured out and if only the others would come around to their view of Jesus then all would be right with the world. Evangelicals and atheists don’t have a monopoly on certainty.

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks for your thoughts Josh. I think we’re both agreed that tribalism has good aspects and bad. You seem to think that having government institutions as a forum or cushion between tribes is worse than no cushion, while I tend to think the cushion is, in general, a good thing. Do you think this is a good summation of where we agree and part ways?

  • Ron McPherson

    Here’s the thing Sam. If one were to say to these folks, “no, Jesus was black” (I’m not saying he was), the response would not have been, “oh my mistake, I misclassified his race” as in “I was technically incorrect.” No, the horror would have been that a black man was the savior of the world.

    The look of shock on her face was a fear that these folks were going to tell her that he was black (which they didn’t). Instead they responded that his skin tone may have been a darker color (as in he didn’t look like the white people in our church). Yeah, this was about race. And yes, it is borne from ignorance as well. It doesn’t matter a hill of beans to me what race Jesus could have been. Unfortunately, it matters a hell of a lot to many others.

  • Thanks. So true!

  • Matthew

    I personally don´t think there is any way of knowing precisely Jesus´ skin tone, nor do I think it matters.

    I will say, however, that I spent a fair amount of time in America´s Bible Belt as a fundamentalist Christian. All Roman Catholics are going to hell, Tim LaHaye is the king of end times eschatology, The KJV is the only inspired translation and yes … I think many would have been offended if someone came into the church on Sunday morning saying Jesus did not have white skin color (I am aware, SamHamilton, that you were making a different point (I think)).

    I will qualify this by saying not everyone who lives in the world of American Bible Belt Christianity thinks like this … but many do and I think we have to, humbly, come against this kind of ignorant thinking.

    So much, really, is at stake.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Ron for continuing to testify truth. SamHamilton will not bully us into silence.

  • Henry

    IVT,

    Don’t make matters worse.

  • David Cromie

    It is not difficult at all to understand the concept of an ‘All-Mighty Supreme Being’, however you describe it (semiliterate people are especially prone to having such phantasies), and the same goes for fairies and unicorns, for example. The real difficulty with these mental constructs, when presented as existing in the real world, is reification in the first instance, and then being able to present irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that they do actually exist!

  • David Cromie

    What an intelligent reply!

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Ron for hating your own race.

    Your wife’s children must really look up to you!

  • otrotierra

    You are reaching levels of color-blindness and progressiveness never seen before in a White male!

  • otrotierra

    Methinks you doth protest too much…

  • otrotierra

    I too shake my head when I go by some Black Baptist churches and don’t see a single White person. It’s as if culturally many people just want to be with their own.

  • David Cromie

    Arguing over the skin colour of someone for whom there is no evidence, whether written or archaeological, is a complete waste of time, don’t you think.

  • David Cromie

    How would you feel if your supposed ‘god’ turns out to be a black lesbian?

  • David Cromie

    The last paragraph, in particular, is a very good description of the creeping theocratic impetus that the current POTUS and his gang of thieves are trying to, not so secretly, foist on the American people, but they have not, mostly, realised it yet.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ha!

  • Ron McPherson

    Totally agree

  • SamHamilton

    I was not arguing over Jesus’ skin tone. His skin tone is not as important to me. Ron, to his credit, doesn’t seem to care that much about what Jesus’ skin tone was either. Our discussion was about the propriety of judging other people on their opinion on the matter.

  • SamHamilton

    Josh – I certainly wasn’t meaning to end the discussion with my comment. I wanted to concisely establish in my mind what your position was relative to mine and where we agree and disagree before proceeding.

    When I speak of government, I mean the various forms of civil government we have in the U.S. (the jurisdiction in which we live and that Mr. Frum is talking about)…that could be town, county, state, federal, etc. And while government varies in how it operates and what it does from locality to locality, you’re right that these governments possess one common feature – the ability to coerce people to do and pay for things. Obviously, we all have the option of moving to a different jurisdiction if one particular government gets too heavy-handed, but it’s pretty hard to escape all governments (which is why I consider myself a political conservative, because I want the most central and distant government, the one that’s hardest to escape, to be the weakest).

    Yes, governments can pander to tribes, and when they do that too much people pick up and move, which is what you’re seeing in the U.S. with the “Great Sort.” But I’d still rather have some sort of government where people of various tribes can work out their disagreement civilly than have a society where tribal might makes right. It’s hard for me to envision a society where tribes live side by side without physical violence* being a frequent occurrence, but perhaps it’s possible.

    *When I say violence, I mean people going around killing each other, not just the threat of violence which exists with civil government.

  • Ruth1940

    The storybook claims that JC also predicted that the kingdom of heaven would come before everyone who heard him had died. Didn’t happen, so does that make him a false prophet?

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/end.html

  • Ruth1940

    I’ve never heard of atheists trying to deconvert believers, only making it comfortable for those who already don’t believe in anything supernatural, but have been under pressure to keep it closeted. That contrasts with believers who think it’s their duty to convert others. https://imageproxy-cdn.youversionapi.com/1280×1280/https://s3.amazonaws.com/static-youversionapi-com/images/base/7214/1280×1280.jpg (Of course, he also said that he came only for the Jews.)

  • Well, you may not like this follow up as much . Since there is a wide range of human skin tones, it is at least not totally absurd to speculate on what Jesus’s skin tone might have been. Not totally absurd … but probably not very smart either.

    I am a fan of Alfred Burt’s take on this (“Some Children See Him”), PROVIDED that no one gets the idea that what they see is right and everyone else is wrong. Unfortunately, that’s a huge “provided.” Some people don’t even grasp the concept or possibility that they may be in error.

  • Good_Samaritan

    I miss Warren Throckmorton. HE was the most reasonable person there.

  • Good_Samaritan

    Irony meter just exploded.

    Don’t call people pseudo-intellectual and then say something as stupid as “The alternative is NOTHING.”

  • True for the most part. Historically atheists have gotten the short end of the stick. The atheists I run into here on Patheos are usually trolling the various faith based channels.

  • Ruth1940

    It’s important for atheists to have a public presence to reverse the steady march toward a theocracy that I’ve observed in my lifetime. Far too many Americans actually think we live in a Xn nation (because they have heard the lie so much). UNDER GOD was put in the pledge when I was in high school, and there was no pledge until 1894 for a proposed commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus landing in the Americans. It was a scheme to sell boys’ magazines and flags.

    http://www.amazon.com/One-Nation-Under-God-Corporate/dp/1501238213

  • Ruth1940

    Matthew 6 clearly instructs to pray in private and ask for nothing. If Christians paid attention to that, atheists wouldn’t bother them a bit. Instead, they cherry pick the parts they like and pretend the rest isn’t there. We must help others learn to think critically.

  • Ed Senter

    It is so typical of the pseudo-intellectual- they seek to impress by misdirection. My use of the all-caps was for emphasis only.
    I gave an attribute that if God exists, it is that which makes that being God- omnipotence.

  • Ed Senter

    What is the “real world”, Curmudgeon?
    Is it possible for things to exist outside of your immediate perception?
    Assuming you to be a sentient being, what else could be out there?

  • Ed Senter

    It is clear that you have NOTHING as an alternative. Ha!

  • otrotierra

    Ron, just an FYI in case you are targeted: A fraudulent Disqus account impersonating me has again resurfaced. This is the 6th occurance of such harrassing behavior.

    While the Evangelical troll can steal my username and avatar, he can’t steal my profile history. My Disqus account was opened in 2011, remains public, with 4,779 comments and 14,158 upvotes. The abuser’s fraudulent account is set to private, of course, and was opened in June 2018:

    https://disqus.com/by/disqus_n7HXeYjpge/

    Evangelical trolls sure have earned their abusive reputations.

  • Roberta Joan

    Well, God is lost to us. Good excited the scene long ago.

    You hug and hold those kids and make sure the Press knows about ICE’s utter lack of humanity and inability to know how to take care of children. Stop making excuses for evil. Just stop!

  • Henry

    As long as She is the Creator of the World and Loves and Forgives us all

    would not bother me in the least.

    Perhaps you should know that I am part African-American and have a Lesbian Aunt who is 3/4ths African American

    who helped to raise me.

  • DebbyJane65

    We heard the plight of the refugees fleeing from war. We saw them coming, and what did we do? Nothing! We were not ready for them. The immigrants crossing the border to have a “life” were ignored and treated like animals. The America I know is not this America! Caging children and separating children from their parents is not compassionate care. These people are teaching us a lesson! Blame, blame, blame! Who do we blame? Where do we start? Where does this end? Local, State, federal government? We have much to learn. As the Church, our example should not be using scripture to jab at our brothers and sisters! The Good News of the gospel is for everyone. This is the gospel of God. This is the news of Jesus and the coming Kingdom of God! If you have a problem with the plight of refugees and immigrants and how our government is treating them; then pray continually. Contact government officials. Writing an article of frustration using the holy scripture the way you have for your cause is arrogant pride and a poor witness as a Christian. How stupid to say that the Good News of the gospel is not for everyone just because you are upset with the government!

  • Nerdsamwich

    If you take the time to really talk to others whose beliefs are more in line with yours, you’ll find that they, too, worship a different god from yours. There are as many gods as there are believers, each with a congregation of one.

  • Nerdsamwich

    I have a simple criterion: if it wants worship, it doesn’t deserve it.

  • Which just goes to show, there is no purely “objective truth” religiously speaking. But this is true of life in general. There may be constants that we can verify scientifically, but we tend to still interpret through our own lenses. It is why we have theories in science. Of course, the further one gets from practical sciences and into sociology, psychology, the arts and metaphysics, and abstract concepts such as God, the more room for theory. Historically there has always been, however, an attempt to reach consensus, what families, tribes, societies and religions were founded on. However, what we are seeing in the western culture wars is a clash between enlightenment rationalism and its authority structures, and emerging postmodern distrust of those structures as socially conditioned.

    Society is constantly reinventing itself, and is a constant struggle between the past and an emerging future. Religion is no different. Past forms of religion are dying, to be replaced by broader, more individualized spiritual forms. Fundamentalist forms of religion are bodies that have not yet realized the heart has stopped beating.

  • David Cromie

    “Yeah, those thieves gave people back more of their earnings…”, and robbed the poor to enable making the rich richer! Fcuk the Great Orange Maggot, and his band of fundamentalist christer thieves, and law breakers! Is that civil enough for you?

  • David Cromie

    JC is a mythological figure, and thus does not, and never did, exist.

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • otrotierra

    Kirk, just fyi in case you are targeted: the fraudulent Disqus account impersonating me has again resurfaced. This is the 6th occurance of such harrassing behavior.

    While the Evangelical troll can steal my username and avatar, he can’t steal my profile history. My Disqus account was opened in 2011, remains public, with 4,791 comments and 14,185 upvotes. The abuser’s fraudulent account is set to private and was opened in June 2018.

    Evangelical trolls sure are earning their abusive, dishonest reputations:

  • David Cromie

    “Is it possible for things to exist outside of your immediate perception?”.

    What ‘things’ do you have in mind, if any?

    I am sure there is a hut in the middle of some forest that I have never yet seen!

  • Hermit
  • David Cromie

    If anyone can be non-existent and make prophesies at the same time, that would be magic, or something!

  • Hermit

    Not being suitably qualified to discriminate between the “intellectual” and “pseudointellectual” your trolling is rather transparent.

    Your use of “Camel case” was not “all-caps”.

    Unfortunately “omnipotence” is not intersubjectively verifiable in this universe. So neither you, nor anybody else can have established whether any god thingie possess such attributes and therefore do not know whether such god thingies exist or not. whether referred to as Jupiter, Zeus, Wotan, El, Baal or any of the myriad other names given to such imaginary entities.

  • Matthew

    :-) Wir sind AUS! Lots to reflect on …

  • David Cromie

    I had exactly the same problem for a while, and had great problems getting the spurious, lying, account deleted.

  • David Cromie

    The religiot’s supposed ‘god’ demands worship with menaces.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yep, as it turns out, I’ve been targeted lol. Thanks again for the warning.

  • Matthew

    How serious is this targeting? Should I be on the lookout?

  • Ron McPherson

    I received a couple of replies (on this thread) that I could tell wasn’t the real Otro. I clicked on the profile and sure enough, it wasn’t. Same avatar even

  • otrotierra

    4,791 comments that boil down to:

    – White Evangelicals are bad
    – Jesus was brown-complected
    – Jesus never directly said bum-sex between men is bad

    – I am being harassed by a White Evangelical

  • SamHamilton

    I agree that it’s not totally absurd to speculate. But to wield a sense of certainly about what his skin-tone was or wasn’t (supposedly) to score political/cultural points is absurd.

    Thanks for the recommendation on Alfred Burt. I’ll have to do some googling on him.

    On a side note, I wish you would not encourage otrotierra in her accusations towards me of “bullying” and that I’m trying to silence people. I’m certainly not. I’d like to think that people can disagree, ask questions of others, and criticize the positions others have taken without being accused of “bullying.” Your endorsement of her behavior is not helpful.

  • SamHamilton

    Why are you being such a drama queen? You’re like Sarah Bernhardt. I’m not bullying anyone, and my objective is certainly not to silence anyone. In fact, I’d like it if you’d respond to my questions. You’re choosing silence (and passive-aggressive responses and accusation about me to other people). Your behavior should be embarrassing.

  • SamHamilton

    Ron,
    I’ll take you at your word that your sharing of this story wasn’t to mock these people for thinking that Jesus was white. Peace.

  • Henry

    Roberta,

    It is not evil, but it is terribly unfortunate.

    ICE does not have an “utter lack of humanity”
    but the rules and regulations limit what the employees can do.

  • Ed Senter

    Do you wonder how that hut got there, or did it just construct itself?
    Learned men debated for centuries what caused disease. Then, someone invented a microscope and a whole new world called microbes was discovered.
    Maybe your problem is that your awareness is just too small.

  • Ed Senter

    The pseudo-intellectual not only misdirects, they often use esoteric terminology, lack wisdom, and most of all, are dishonest.

    You stated that the question of the existence of some “god thingie” was meaningless without an agreed upon attribute. I stated that omnipotence was that attribute. Now you move on to question the existence of “omnipotence” and accuse me of being a troll. Whether I use all-caps or camel case, for God to be God, God must be omnipotent -the All-Mighty. If you can find something in your mind that you consider impossible in this universe, the All-Mighty most certainly could have created a universe that if he wanted to do it, he could.

  • Ron McPherson

    You do know that imitation is the highest form of flattery right?

  • Hermit

    Intersubjectively verifiable attributes are required to define things which are more than imaginary.

    Imaginary attributes can only confirm that something has been imagined but do not define them, because nobody can determine whether their imaginary attribute is the same as anyone else’s imaginary attribute.

    So when you propose puirely imaginary attributes for your god thingies, you merely confirm that your god thingies are purely imaginary.

    And the “pseudo-intellectual” does not recognize that he is spouting BS.

  • David Cromie

    Wondering how the hut got there is contingent upon there being an actual hut (and it certainly would not have built itself), and is irrelevant in this instance.

  • David Cromie

    ” Whether I use all-caps or camel case, for God to be God, God must be omnipotent -the All-Mighty”. You may ascribe any superlatives to your supposed ‘god’ that take your fancy, but it still only exists in your head (the use of upper case adds nothing to your argument, since the word ‘god’ is not a proper noun).

    This illogical drivel and fanciful BS proves that you have failed to attain even pseudo-intellectual status.

  • I have to take issue with you on just about every point. You begin by looking for who is to blame but while Jesus often looked beyond the obvious he didn’t dodge the point at hand. In the case of the woman caught in adultery the take away was a lesson in judgement but he still admonished her. Rather than jabbing at brothers and sisters (presumably why you felt the article was written out of frustration) Ben is simply pointing out what he believes is the truth. I certainly felt he was talking to me rather than those for whom the Gospel might be a warning. Even if Ben is frustrated there are plenty of examples of Jesus and the Apostles preaching out of frustration and warning others through scripture.

    Whenever did Jesus ever preach good news to those who presided over injustice and oppression? I don’t know what bible you are reading but mine says that Jesus preached woe to the scribes and teachers of the law. When the Pharisees and Sadduces went to John for baptism he didn’t mince his words. James, Jesus’ brother, told the rich to weep and wail whom he said had murdered the innocent when they posed no threat. He wasn’t preaching to the local council.

    Your call for moderation belies an arrogance you accuse Ben of. Your prayers will not work if all you are doing is contacting government officials. History teaches us that change comes through righteous confrontation, calling out evil for what it is. I am no fan of hell fire preaching but if some of those facilitating these unspeakable evils claim to be Christians they need to be confronted with the truth. They should be pointed to Hebrews 6 where we are told that those who fall away (and I believe that refers to those who deliberately break Jesus’ one law: to love your neighbour), cannot be brought back to repentance because they are crucifying the Son of God all over again.

    Ben was careful and right to not mention names but I think Jeff Sessions, Sarah Sanders and others should fear for their souls.

  • David Cromie

    Do you not follow the neo-liberal politics of the Great Orange Maggot, and his band of thieves?

  • David Cromie

    You obviously have not read the book of legends, myths and folklore, also known as the ‘bible’, from cover to cover. Time you did, but with a critical intelligence, and ignore the BS of the leaders of the business of religion, whose aim is to sell you a pig in a poke and keep you ignorant and in submission to their will.

  • FYI I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover more than once and have been studying it critically for years. I’m struggling to see how you could critically conclude that my views have been informed by BS leaders of religion. I’m also wondering how you can justify the body of your reply since all you have done is write the Bible off and judge my intellectual integrity on nothing more than your disdain for a religious book and your assumption that I am gullible (from your first assumption).

    Assuming that the Bible is a work of fiction would you take issue with my conclusions on principle? Do you think the Trump administration deserve to be absolved of responsibility for their horrendous actions and policies or tolerated? Martin Luther King Jnr could easily be substituted for the Jesus in my answer in his struggle for racial justice. So is it more important for you to dismiss my faith than challenge the inhumanity? Jeff Session’s faith is killing people but there are at least thousands of Christians who are standing up his bigotry because of their faith and a book that tells them to love and care for the poor, the homeless, the sick and immigrants.

    I question your motives and critical intelligence. I can see no reason to suggest that I am ignorant or submissive.

  • “Those who face the wrath of God, Jesus said, are those who did not welcome the immigrant, who did not clothe the naked, or feed the hungry. And specifically regarding harming children, let me remind you, is an act where Jesus said it would be better to have a rock tied around your neck and be thrown into the deepest ocean.”

    You want to know WHY Jesus aka Yeshua said this stuff. He said it from living experience. Lets look at the time line, it is widely accepted that Jesus lived from 6BC-37AD now we was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth. If you look at the historical facts those two cities were not even proper cities in until much later. Sure they were both settled in 2200BC but for the most part were undeveloped Bedouin camps. Now this does not disprove teh Jesus story but it puts in in better focus.

    Now even the NT alluded that Nazareth was not well though of as a town, it was in Trump terms a “shithole”.

    Jesus was a individual who grew up in a life of abject poverty and on the margins of society. It why in much of the Gospels he identifies with these same people, GOP and Trump to not practice Christianity, they practice a special form of Christ less Christianity. No wonder young people are abandoning religion in droves. Because now when they hear Christian, they immediately think of these people.

  • Matthew

    What happened to the kitty cat avatar :-)??

  • David Cromie

    I agree entirely with you about the destructive/callous policies of the Great Orange Maggot and his band of fundamentalist brigands.

    However, it seems that you still think that Christianity has all the answers to the ills of this world, i.e. your brand. I find it interesting that each brand of Christianity is able, using the so-called ‘bible’, to cherry-pick the parts that legitimise their own prejudices and bigotries, while condemning those of the others. Does that not give you pause for thought (forget the No True Scotsman fallacy here)?

    A supposed ‘god’ has never been, nor will ever be, the answer to mankind’s origins, or problems, especially since no one has yet adduced the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that any supernatural entity, of any kind, exists outside of their own head.

  • Thank you for filling out your initial response but you are still arguing the existence of God which, while a valid position, has little or no relevance to the discussion. I asked you to presume that the Bible is a work of fiction (some of it is) and then judge if my position in relation to the antagonists is, of itself, flawed. But your line of attack has not moved at all.

    I didn’t say that Christianity has all the answers, nor was it implied. You have identified one of the key differences between my faith and that of Christian fundamentalists. It is that they cherry pick the verses that suit their world view when, ironically, its their reading of the Bible that informs their world view in the first place. You assumed that I buy the BS of Bible preachers – submitting to their teaching, but I test what I read, hear and have been taught against empirical evidence and my own experience – against received wisdom and independant sources. I will never claim to be the real deal but I think my approach to my faith avoids the pits that most religious fundamentalists fall into.

    Your last paragraph is self validating and while you might think it covers all bases its so narrow in its scope that it will only satisfy those who are already convinced and have no wish to argue critically. You are treading a very worn path that is, frankly, tedious.

  • David Cromie

    There is no evidence, whether written or archaeological, for any man-god named JC.

  • David Cromie

    You still seem to be claiming that your brand of Christianity is the best approach to ‘faith’, but it is still rooted in the assumption of some ‘god’ or other (whatever attributes you ascribe to it) that you have faith in, and therefore a belief in some supernatural influence in the affairs of mankind (if someone sincerely believes in faeries, and some still do, then that belief will have some influence on that person’s actions, and world view, but not because faeries actually do exist).

    What is really tedious, is the deliberate denial of the evil influence of religion over the centuries, across the world, together with the complete lack of any testable evidence for a supposed ‘god’, of any description, which is at the root of the validity of any discussion that relies on/assumes that there is such a ‘god’.

    By the way, morality is totally independent of deluded religious beliefs, which is the problem of the current Shite House.

  • Sorry, what is tedious is that your only agenda is to tear down religion. You have no interest in looking at it philosophically, you only want to argue on the basis of your entrenched ideas that you don’t appear to have ever questioned critically. You keep coming up with claims and denials that I have not made and keep introducing tired arguments that I have no interest in arguing against because I’ve been there, done it and got the T shirt. I think we’re done.

  • David Cromie

    One could look at the existence of unicorns philosophically, but I doubt that one would go on from there to worshipping them as real, existing, supernatural entities!

    If I had never studied metaphysics and the question of the existence of a supposed ‘god’, how would I have been able to claim to be an atheist?

    You cannot argue with the atheist position because you have nothing to pit against it, much less the irrefutable, falsifiable evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists!

  • I read enough to get a impression at least it is based around a real person. Some of it also comes off as things that were added later as a real obscure radical rabbi eventually evolved into a folk character a cult was based around.

  • Matthew

    Ha Ha! I thought the kitty cat was sweet :-)!

    Fine thanks. Really enjoying the World Cup. I´m reminded of County Wicklow right about now. Really need to get there someday.

    Funny you should have a Celtic princess as an avatar these days. Currently, in a book club, we´re reading about Celtic Christianity.

    How are you?

    [Edited]

  • Matthew

    POP goes the weasel! :-)

  • Henry

    David,

    You hold yourself up too highly and think too much of yourself, just bein honest here.

    Falsifiable is not something you can prove or demand to be proved. Popper is out of date.

    Irrefutable – and how can you show anything is irrefutable – who is to be appointed the impartial judge of whether that condition has been met or not ?

    Evidence – what counts as evidence – again who is to be the impartial judge ?

    Whether God exists or not, is not up for you to decide.

    Whether you believe that God exists or not is a choice you do get to make, but not impose on anyone else.

  • Ed Senter

    Conception often precedes perception. Seek so that ye may find.
    One can imagine the meaning of omnipotence and even come to an agreed upon meaning with most others (Otherwise, who needs dictionaries?). Only the scoffer who lives in their own world like a hermit would be disagreeable.

  • Ed Senter

    Perhaps a remedial lesson in logic would do you good, curmudgeon.

  • Ed Senter

    Well, you were “sure” about it being there.
    Have you ever wonder about an after life, or are you just content with the here and now then no more?

  • Ruth1940

    Where did you get that impression?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Lmmy2jfeo

  • Hermit

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed31648a78149a3d54a6d69ca3c3e170130836a621b2d79b24d942321009b280.jpg

    We know everything significant that there is to know about the universe at human scales. Any future discoveries will necessarily be compatible with what we already know. One of the things that we know is that it always takes energy to transfer information, that any interaction involves a transfer of information, and this means that anything that can affect anything, can be detected through the necessary energy interactions. Here, in a single elegant equation, are the energies involved in anything ever experienced by any human. You will not find omnipotence here. That is because any reasonable definition of “omnipotence” conflicts with what we already know about the universe, and could not be exercised without being detectable. This is why your claim that your god thingies deserve to be regarded as god thingies because they are “omnipotent”, when “omnipotence” is imaginary, and even if not imaginary, could not be identified through observation, is in and of itself proximal and compelling evidence that your god thingies are purely imaginary.

  • Ruth1940

    It’s not boring when it tries to take over my country!

    http://www.atheists.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/TheocracyProtestSign.jpg

  • Ruth1940

    By showing the implausibility that any of the religions are correct (even any of the Xn ones) in part because they all disagree with each other, in no way implies that we think we know everything! That is just a way to try to stop sensible debate.

  • Ruth1940

    Religious scholar Bart Ehrman understands how reading the bible can result in misleading conclusions, as he used to read it that way. Watch his presentations on You Tube and his fascinating books too.

    https://ehrmanblog.org/how-a-non-historical-account-can-be-meaningful-the-death-of-jesus-in-mark

    https://thebestschools.org/special/ehrman-licona-dialogue-reliability-new-testament/ehrman-major-statement

  • You really have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Ed Senter

    Your dogmatic empiricism is duly noted.
    Nevertheless, I stated that omnipotence was an attribute, among many others, by which a being would be god. Therefore, there could be only one god. That is probably too simple for you.
    You are apparently adding conditions to the meaning of “omnipotence” that simply aren’t there.

  • I could work from Ehrman’s position in this argument and was quite prepared to do so but I don’t share Ehrman’s point of view. My position is that the Bible is neither an historical nor scientific book (or collection of books). It is religious and its purpose is to point its readers to God rather than persuade them that certain events happened. Having said that, the Gospels do make an appeal that Jesus died and rose again in bodily form and if he didn’t they are quite pointless. Also, if the epistles are works of fiction they are less than useless.

    I find the Bible a challenge. My views have changed dramatically over the years and are still evolving but from my glimpse of Ehram, if I followed his line of thinking I would probably give up entirely on Christianity. I would really not see the point and see it as one huge confidence trick.

  • Hermit

    I am far from a “dogmatic empiricist”. I am of the opinion that we are most likely residents of some form of holographic universe. However it does have some well understood rules. One rule is that we can achieve everything required to function effectively and avoid error by relying on the physical, which is always supported by proximal intersubjectively verifiable evidence and ignoring the imaginary (things that are not supported by such evidence). At this point, despite repeated challenges, you have yet to provide any proximal intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence that anything except these two categories exist.

    Instead you continue to try to present arguments. As previously noted, in the absence of evidence, arguments can created to support any position, but this is not useful.as it leaves such things in the realm of the imaginary.

    Speaking of the imaginary, While I don’t know why you imagine that omnipotence would be necessary and sufficient to earn any omnipotent thing the right to be regarded as a deity, and cannot see how you would imagine that you could detect that an entity possessed omnipotence (even if it passed some test, there would be no reason to imagine that there is not some other test which it might fail, meaning that it is not “omnipotent”, but even if you could address these issues (and i am waiting for you to do so), I am simply taking “omnipotence” to mean what the Latin would mean. “Possessing the power to do anything” (without constraint). For example, to accelerate some mass to above the speed of light. That would require infinite energy. The universe does not possess infinite energy. Therefore omnipotence is not possible in the Universe.. So the attribute is imaginary. Change my mind.

  • Even John Frum of the Tanna Island Cargo Cult could be based around a real US soldier. But yeah the lack of hard contemporary historical records of Jesus is damning. He was supposed to be super famous yet not one person who lived during that time who wrote records of everything going on mentions him. Like no one caring about Elvis during the 1950s.

  • David Cromie

    There were self-proclaimed men-gods, both before the 1st cent. CE and afterwards, some of them even claiming to be the ‘messiah’. It is quite possible that the early christer myth-makers (usually referred to as the early ‘church fathers’) of the 4th cent. CE rolled them all into one, and gave this fictional man-god the name Jesus.

  • Matthew

    Eva … does the church teach that abortion is morally wrong in all cases — such as incest, rape, or the life of the mother being in danger?

  • Unlabeled_Unlimited

    Oh my. Enjoy your coming Apocalypse.
    You read the church’s words and ignore Jesus’s actual deeds and words
    I have a deeply personal relationship with Jesus, your perverted interpretation just makes me so sad.
    Love to you. May you someday find the place Jesus is leading me

  • David Cromie

    The ‘logic’ of the christer is the ‘logic’ of the terminally deluded moron.

  • David Cromie

    Get some remedial lessons in English comprehension.
    What proof do you have that an ‘after life’ actually exists?

  • David Cromie

    You are so blinded by indoctrination, and your credulous nature, that you fail to see that your supposed ‘Jesus’ is leading you up the garden path!

  • Matthew

    Thanks for the clarification, Eva.

  • DebbyJane65

    Dear Chris, I believe in the power of prayer and the Word of God. No blame, no argument, no enemies. I strongly feel that the reference to the scripture of the good news of the gospel is a beautiful message and that it is a poor witness to use it in the way this article has been proposed. No reference to any other scripture or words that Jesus said; or personal slander to the writer. The writer could make his point without misuse of the scripture pertaining to the good news of the gospel only. Contacting government officials is a civic duty. Prayer is a spiritual duty.

  • Unfortunately you can’t have good news for the oppressed without bad news for the oppressor. Jesus said he came to preach good news to the poor. He warned the rich that they would perish with their wealth. He said he was sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners. That is bad news for those who profit from mass incarceration. He came to release the oppressed from their oppressors and proclaim the year of Jubilee when slaves would be freed from their owners. The rich young man walked away from Jesus, sad, because Jesus had no word of comfort for him as long as he clung to his wealth.

    John didn’t just petition Herod and pray that God would persuade him, he publicly criticized the king knowing there would be consequences. Jesus told his disciples to not listen to the teachers of the law who went to the ends of the earth to make converts only to make them more sons of hell than they were. The good news was that it was the grief stricken sinner who was justified rather than the self righteous official. The good news was that those who always stood at the front of the queue would now be pushed to the back. The good news was that God didn’t listen to those who practised their prayers and made a show of their holiness. Rather he came to comfort those who mourned and were called sinners.

  • Ed Senter

    It sounds like a robot would be happy (in spite of possessing no emotion) in your world. Are you a Sheldon Cooper clone by chance?
    “Possessing the power to do anything” would axiomatically mean:
    1. To create something from nothing,
    2. To eliminate or constrain any supposed supplanter (which of course would be a creation),
    3. To have no needs,
    4. To not be limited to a finite number of joules,
    etc.
    Therefore, if an omnipotent being wanted to accelerate some mass to above the speed of light (are you suggesting warp drive is impossible?), that being could do so by either creating the energy, or by creating a universe by which it could be done if it were not possible in the present universe.

  • Ed Senter

    The mind- it is a terrible thing to waste.
    The fact is, we all are going to die. As a sentient being, with some intelligence, I will search all possible clues for an after life. So far, the best I have found are found in the books of the Bible.

  • Ed Senter

    So the rejection of my statement “for God to be God, God must be omnipotent -the All-Mighty” which you characterized as “drivel and fanciful BS” had nothing to do with it being “illogical”?

  • Bones

    Maybe you could be honest

    No wonder you admire liars.

  • Bones

    Meh when the dems get in, they can do what roosevelt threatened to do.

    Expand the supreme court to more justices.

    Thats what they should do after the behaviour of the republicans in the past two terms.

    Anyway no judicial appointment is going to stop abortions. All trumps appointment will do is make it a state issue.

    You’re just sad that women can now get easy access to abortions.

  • Bones

    That’s why women in el salvador get locked up for having miscarriages.

  • otrotierra

    How soon before Eva deletes her comments in shame again? Her observable pattern of behavior goes back a few years now.

  • James the Apostate

    If my memory serves me correctly, there are references in at least three of the gospels (in little red-lettered words/pretty significant) that it would be ‘better to have a millstone around their necks and cast into the sea’.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Great-so you’ll have no problems when a government agent comes to take away people in the US illegally from claiming ‘sanctuary’ (a medieval term, by the way) in your church?
    I’ll inform ICE straightaway.

  • Ron McPherson

    I still maintain that most everyone (even pro-lifers) are in reality pro-choice. It’s just a matter of where one draws the line. It makes no sense when people say, “abortion is murder” to only then say, “it should be outlawed except in cases of rape, or when the mother’s life is at stake.” It’s like pro-lifers think that the fetus is a human life when resulting from consensual sex, but not a human life in cases of rape lol.

  • You are right. I don’t recall seeing any footage of Jesus walking into Jerusalem or any snippets from the Jerusalem Times. If he was that famous you’d think there’d at least be a fan club.

  • Ron McPherson

    So if I’m understanding your position, you believe the mother does not possess the right to end her own pregnancy even when her own life is at risk?

  • Lance Goy

    Just some more Arminian drivel from Benjamin L. Corey; due to his mistaken understanding of soteriology.

  • But the 1st century equivalent did not mention Jesus at all, no contemporary writer who wrote abotu all sorts of events going on at that time mentions Jesus, who the NT has was famous throughout the land. Like no one not mentioning Elvis in the 1950s and we only hear about him from Japanese Impersonators in the 1990s

  • David Cromie

    It is not that long ago when the survival of the unborn was to be considered more important than the life of the mother, according to the Roman church.

  • Ron McPherson

    Gotta say here, it really seems like you’re hiding behind semantics. How is the determination to end a pregnancy, by definition alone, not a “choice” regardless of the circumstances? The real issue here is under what circumstances should one be given such a “choice?” Again, I still maintain that most everyone is, in fact, pro-choice, at least to some degree (to which I’m not faulting).

    If one believes that a woman in danger of losing her own life should have the “choice” (which I do) to end her pregnancy (while knowing full well the baby has no chance for survival when the pregnancy is terminated), then that person has effectively chosen to end the life of the baby. One’s motivation to end the pregnancy has absolutely nothing to do with the ultimate outcome – that the pregnancy was purposely terminated.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Nope! This is incorrect conservative rhetoric. Read something besides Breitbart.

  • David Cromie

    Anything can be said to happen in fairy tales, and the more bizarre the better! Intelligent people, on the other hand, tend to stop believing in fairy tales when they reach adulthood and have to face up to reality.

  • Ron McPherson

    “You are wrong.”

    Um, ok, but I’m not sure how. The fate of the unborn is the same regardless of what one’s motivation is to end the pregnancy.

    Two women decide to end their pregnancies. Linda had unprotected sex and doesn’t want a child so chooses to terminate the pregnancy – the unborn dies. Carol had unprotected sex, wants the child, but health risks are such that she chooses to terminate the pregnancy – the unborn dies.

    You believe Carol should be given a choice because her life is at stake. You believe Linda should not be given a choice because her life is not at stake. In other words, at some point you become pro-choice, which was my point. Unless you believe Carol should not be given a choice either.

    I’m not trying to get you to abandon your convictions, but rather to demonstrate my original point.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yeah ok whatever. I understand the political terminology. I was talking more about the reality that most pro-lifers believe in choice as well. It’s just they draw the line in a different place. That was my point to someone else I was talking with but you inserted yourself into the convo by saying I was wrong. So when I provided a detailed example of why I wasn’t wrong, you kinda proved my point that you believe a woman should have a choice too – but only when her life is at risk. Now you don’t want to talk about it lol. Anyway, that’s fine. Peace

  • Ron McPherson

    “Your view / opinion Ron doesn’t equate to fact – it’s just your point of view.”

    Ok this is getting silly Eva. At the risk of belaboring the point. I’ll clarify this even further. It’s a FACT that the unborn has no hope of survival when terminating a pregnancy under certain situations and the mother understands that beforehand. It’s also a FACT that many pro-lifers believe that this same woman should be allowed to make the CHOICE to terminate said pregnancy when her life is at risk. Regardless of whether one labels themselves as pro-life, the fact of the matter is that they believe the mother, in this particular instance, has the choice to govern her own womb. I’m not saying that alone makes them pro-choice using the political or societal definition. Nevertheless, the ultimate outcome is the same whether the woman terminates the pregnancy in a hospital room or an abortion clinic instead.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok peace

  • Ed Senter

    It takes more intelligence to understand the Bible than to just drift through life with nothing but death to look forward to. You might as well have never been born. Your “fairy tale” is just too dull and hopeless.

  • Bones

    Pot…kettle…black…

  • Bones

    Lol…owned again….

  • DebbyJane65

    Christ Jesus came into the world to save all people…that is the good news of the gospel!

  • Yet the Bible says that many are called but few are chosen. Many will say “Lord Lord…” and they will be turned away. Just look at the crowds that followed Jesus and the more he preached the more the number dwindled till he ended up with 12 and by the cross most of them had deserted him. Its good news to those who will receive it but bad news to for those who won’t. And if you are killing people by denying them health care while lining your pockets and abusing children to satisfy your supporters you are effectively turning the invitation down.

  • David Cromie

    A foetus is not a ‘child’, it would have to have come to term first.

  • David Cromie

    “,,,I will never fit in this category”.

    In other words, you are pro-choice!

  • Bones

    “You might as well have never been born.”

    Why because he’s an atheist?

    Apart from being a d##k thing to say, you could say that about most people regardless of beliefs.

    Yet he’s probably made more of his life.

    In 100 years time most of us won’t be remembered.

  • Bones

    So a miscarriage is the death of a child then?

    Even if after 2 weeks?

  • And, of course, “revealed truth” in the form of scriptures is once again, subjective, influenced by the thoughts and presuppositions of the reader, further filtered through the vagaries of translation to other languages, which have their own cultural filters…the human language is itself subjective. Just look at the difference in English translations of the Bible alone…and the arguing over what this or that Hebrew of Greek word meant 1000s of years ago.

  • David Cromie

    ‘Common use’ terms are inappropriate in this discussion, because misleading, and thus used deliberately by pro-birthers to muddy the water.

  • Bones

    Whats with the gay evangelical conservatives stalking posters?

    You’d think Ted Haggard would’ve learned his lesson.

  • Bones

    Yeah like you bury babies in the sewer….and then lie about it.

    We can see how much the probirthers care about children with their support for Trumps separation of families.

  • otrotierra

    The fraudulent Disqus account impersonating my username and avatar began with simple posts mocking me, but his comments have recently erupted into vulgar, explicit, homoerotic taunting. And he just happens to reserve his harassment for comment sections at RedLetterChristians, Sojourners, and Patheos Progressive Christian blogs—primary targets of rage-filled Evangelicals spreading their Evangelical brand of battery acid.

  • Bones

    Better tell him to keep his homo-erotic fantasies to himself.

    I like the way these ‘humans’ think they’re being clever when it just shows how big a d##k they are.

  • Ed Senter

    Everyone lives a “fairy tale”. The atheist’s “fairy tale” is just too dull and hopeless.

  • James the Apostate

    ICE has become Trump’s Gestapo, and perhaps we all need to remember the events of that story.

  • Henry

    I don’t read Breitbart.

    Is it or is it not a fact that Planned Parenthood gets money from the Government.

    Yes or No ?

    Yes.

    Yes, it allows PP to open its “Clinics”.

    Does PP peform Abortions there ?

    Yes or No ?

    Yes`.

    And so PP runs Clinics funded by the Government that gives it

    places to perform Abortions.

  • Bones

    And yours is more dull compared to others including some atheists I’ve known.

    You people who have to have a promise of an afterlife to give your life purpose obviously live a very shallow narcissistic existence.

    There’s plenty to give your life meaning – starting with family, helping others…..

  • Ron McPherson

    “We can see how much the probirthers care about children with their support for Trumps separation of families.”

    Guy in our church small group the other night made this exact same point. He says, “‘pro-lifers’ seem all about children when they’re in a mother’s womb, but once they’re born apparently don’t give much of a damn about them after that.”

    Then we hear crickets lol

  • StevenHaupt

    I’m thankful that you are only in a “church small group.” ALL of the pro-lifers I know care and love their children very much. They feed and clothe them and nurture them to love and know God and be good citizens in society.

  • StevenHaupt

    A pro-lifer would never call themselves pro-choice, knowing the difference and knowing that others would think that they would murder their unborn. If someone where to ask you if you were pro-choice would you say, “yes?”

  • StevenHaupt

    If you were to say that you were pro-life to me after I had read you comments, I would say that were were being dishonest.

  • StevenHaupt

    “Where I grow weary are professing Christians who can’t bring themselves to criticize ANY of Trump’s decisions, actions, words, or policies because they equate their Christian faith to being loyal to a fiercely conservative agenda, viewing Trump as a type of American Messiah.”

    Nice straw man! That one could fool a lot of ignorant people.

  • StevenHaupt

    Hi Eva, I was quoting Ron. I assume he meant small in number. I hope people with their views will always be small in number.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m more than in a church small group. “All the pro-lifers I know care and love their children” as well. The point I’m making is that many pro-lifers seem aghast of women they don’t know, neither knowing their circumstances, having abortions. And yet the children of foreign immigrants separated from their families is just about the POTUS enforcing law.

  • Ron McPherson

    “If someone where to ask you if you were pro-choice would you say, ‘yes?’”

    I hate the thought of abortion, and I think it’s a complex issue resulting from a myriad of circumstances. If you’re asking if I am in favor of having a law that prohibits a woman from having control of her own womb, then the answer is no. In other words. I believe the woman should have the choice to govern her own womb, so that I suppose makes me pro-choice.

    Now I’ll ask you a question. Suppose a doctor tells a woman that unless she terminates the pregnancy, she runs the risk of death. Further, he tells her that the baby has no chance for survival. Do you believe this woman should have the choice to abort in order to save her own life?

  • Ron McPherson

    I haven’t made such a claim to you lol, so what’s your point?

  • Ron McPherson

    Ah ok. So are you one of them lol?

  • StevenHaupt

    That was not clear to you? If you were to say that you were pro-life to me after I had read you comments, I would say that were were being dishonest.

  • StevenHaupt

    You admit that you are pro- choice. You are in favor of a woman killing her unborn child. This is certainly not accepted within Christianity. That unborn child is life.

    Then you supposed that a “baby” has no chance for survival and has to be aborted to save the life of the mother and so you ask me if she should have the choice to abort to save her own life. Yes, that is certainly long been accepted by the pro-life.

    Now, are you going to say that I am pro-choice when everybody but a simpleton knows this scenario is rare and and the term pro-choice is widely accepted to mean that a woman can take the life of her unborn for reasons of convenience?

  • StevenHaupt

    Well a “church small group” were your words, that’s why I put your words in quotes.

    You are not implying that the vast majority of abortions are performed to save the life of the mother are you? The vast majority of abortions are performed for reasons of convenience. This from a pro-abortion site:

    “The reasons patients gave for having an abortion underscored their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. The three most common reasons—each cited by three-fourths of patients—were concern for or responsibility to other individuals; the inability to afford raising a child; and the belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents. Half said they did not want to be a single parent or were having problems with their husband or partner.”

    https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

  • StevenHaupt

    Exactly right! Children are separated from their parents by the tens of thousands when their parents are jailed right here in the USA. Obama sent kids from South America to foster homes all over this country when the parents were arrested for breaking our immigration laws. And what kind of parent would send their child alone to America to be raped, abused or trafficked by smugglers for sex or work?

  • StevenHaupt

    I’m sure you know the story of TIm Tebow and what doctors told his mother. They are often wrong. Although Tim is much younger than myself, we attended the same church at one time and I have supported his father’s ministry in the Philippines. His father occasionally taught the Sunday school class I was in when they were in the states.

  • StevenHaupt

    Meaning what?

  • Ron McPherson

    “You are not implying that the vast majority of abortions are performed to save the life of the mother are you?”

    I’m not implying that at all. So are you going to answer my question?

  • Ron McPherson

    “Then you supposed that a “baby” has no chance for survival and has to be aborted to save the life of the mother and so you ask me if she should have the choice to abort to save her own life. Yes, that is certainly long been accepted by the pro-life“

    Well, you just proved my original point, which was that most pro-lifers become pro-choice at some point (I’m not speaking to political terminology here, which shouldn’t matter anyway). You believe that a woman, under these circumstances, has a “choice” to abort. It doesn’t matter how “rare” it is. That’s not the point.

  • StevenHaupt

    What question? Ask your question.

  • Ron McPherson

    If you were to say that you were pro-choice to me after I had read your comments, I would say that you were being dishonest.

  • Ron McPherson

    I did, you answered. Thanks

  • Ron McPherson

    “You are in favor of a woman killing her unborn child.”

    You are too, just under limited circumstances

  • StevenHaupt

    Well, you are pro-abortion/pro-choice and I’m not. You admitted that you are pro-abortion/ pro-choice in that you say a woman should have the right to kill her unborn baby. I am pro-life meaning that a woman should not have the right to kill her unborn baby for reasons of convenience but only in case to save her own life.

    Now, you go and proclaim that you are a Christian who is pro-abortion/pro-choice and I will proclaim that I am a Christian who is pro-life. I’m not ashamed or reluctant to make my claim, are you?

    You don’t get to tell me that I have to use, or any other Christian has to use, a term that has one meaning for you and the opposite for me.

  • Ron McPherson

    “You don’t get to tell me that I have to use, or any other Christian has to use, a term that has one meaning for you and the opposite for me.“

    Likewise

  • StevenHaupt

    Only to protect the life of the mother. You have no limits, a remarkable difference. A distinct moral difference as well.

  • Ron McPherson

    Let me provide a scenario. If you knew the outcome beforehand that less deaths would occur (considering the lives of both mother and unborn child) if abortion continued to be legal, would you change your position to then be in favor of pro-choice laws?

  • StevenHaupt

    That’s not going to happen. You scenario is foolish.

    Your pro-abortion/ pro-choice position is killing the unborn for reasons of convenience, not to save the life of the mother, murder in the eyes of God. You are not allowed to kill another in the eyes of God except in self defense.

  • Ron McPherson

    “That’s not going to happen. You scenario is foolish.”

    Um, no it’s absolutely not foolish. There is plenty of compelling evidence around the world that more lives are actually lost (the mother’s) where abortion is illegal due to the many unsafe conditions and where barbaric clandestine procedures are performed. So my question in no way is foolish. But whether or not you believe it is beside the point.

    My question was this: hypothetically speaking, suppose you could know the outcome beforehand that more lives would be saved by legalizing abortion, would you then be in support those laws?

  • Ron McPherson

    The church I attend averages about 7500 in weekly attendance. They encourage “small groups” (less than 20 in attendance) to meet weekly because the facility doesn’t have the capacity to house traditional Sunday School classes (would take hundreds of rooms).

    Small groups allow folks to form relationships and do community together. Showing up for an hour a week for a worship service alone wouldn’t really cut it to be able to deeply engage.

    Our small group has folks with various backgrounds, which has proven to be spiritually and emotionally beneficial. We eat and pray together every week. It’s where people can be free to discuss their problems, blessings, and doubts without being judged. We discuss the Bible in open and honest dialogue; where people are not programmed to robotically think alike; to invest in the lives of one another in ways that transcend doctrine, religion and ideology in the spirit of loving God and neighbor. We all have varying religious backgrounds and experiences: southern baptists, United Methodists, Lutheran, Catholic, Pentecostal. And that’s the way we like it.

  • Bones

    Lol…hi john inman

    https://youtu.be/q8jizCq3Su4

  • Bones

    Certainly more convincing than your lies about margaret sanger.

    Why do you do that?

  • StevenHaupt

    I live in the real world, I don’t entertain hypotheticals.

    You are pro-abortion/pro-choice, I am pro-life.

    You favor the killing of the unborn for reasons of convenience and I don’t.

    I can say that I am a Christian and pro-life. Can you say in good conscience that you are a Christian and pro-abortion?

  • StevenHaupt

    I have not tried to get you to proclaim that you are pro-life. You seem intent on getting me to say that I am pro-abortion/pro-choice, when I am not.

    Are you Mormon? They use Christian terms to deceive others when in fact they have in mind a different meaning. For example they will refer to a trinity but deny that Jesus, God the father, and the Holy Spirit comprise one God.

  • otrotierra

    Eva is displaying unearned Evangelical privilege: she assumes she has the privilege of bearing false witness without the consequences.

  • David Cromie

    You have no idea how to use a dictionary properly. Buy a good scientific dictionary if you wish to understand scientific terms.

    Pro-birthers do not give a fig about children after they are born, they see that as someone else’s problem (usually the impoverished mother).

  • Ron McPherson

    Mormon lol

    Edit: By the way, I’m not Mormon. I just think it’s funny how you like to try and tag a label on people

  • Ron McPherson

    “I live in the real world, I don’t entertain hypotheticals.”

    Educate yourself. The fact you refuse to answer the question, which is a very valid one, speaks volumes. It would be an easy question to answer for anyone who actually values life, ALL life, more than an ideology.

  • Ron McPherson

    “A womans life is in danger and the doctor performs a procedure that will save her life, but the unborn child dies (and in some cases the unborn lives) – according to Ron this is pro-choice“

    Nope, you just refuse to confront the scenario I gave. My scenario involved purposely ending the pregnancy while KNOWING the unborn has no chance of survival. The bit about, well the child might survive so it’s not abortion is merely rationalizing. In some cases yes, the child might survive. In other cases, absolutely not and one knows that beforehand. But you just kept redefining the scenario.

  • Ron McPherson

    Have it your way

  • StevenHaupt

    Well, you say your hypothetical is valid.

    I say you are dodging the issue. The issue being that you are pro-abortion/pro-choice and support the killing of the unborn for reasons of convenience. For instance, you support a woman killing her unborn child because she wants to further her education and not have the responsibility of raising a child.

    Words have meaning. You are pro-abortion/ pro-choice because you favor taking an innocent life and i’m am opposed to that. I am pro-life. It is a distinct difference Aamoral difference, a commonsense difference.

  • StevenHaupt

    Asking you a question is not tagging a label on you. You won’t to pervert the meaning of po-choice just as the Mormons pervert the meaning of the trinity, the Godhead, the Son of God and other terms.

    It was an analogy, not a label on you.

  • Ed Senter

    Focusing on eternal life is just the opposite of narcissism. All the atheist has is self, so you are a hypocrite.

  • StevenHaupt

    Ha,ha. Except for Christianity, we are like in two different worlds. I know little about soccer and don’t care to watch it although I think it is great exercise, especially for kids.

    Doctors advised Tim’s mom to abort him and she refused. The guy played college and pro football and now baseball, and is strong as an ox. He is well known as a Christian throughout America and has done sport commentary on TV. He is a great witness for Christ.

    No doubt he is pro-life and would never fall for some non believer trying to tell him that he is pro-abortion/pro-choice.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok. Just find it curious why that even matters but whatever.

  • Ron McPherson

    Your inflammatory mischaracterizations are not helpful. Pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion. You don’t hear me calling you anti-choice. Plus, you minimize the very difficult decisions women face when choosing to terminate a pregnancy by flippantly saying “reasons of convenience.” It shows a profound lack of concern for the woman. I’m not sure if your sentiment stems from gross ignorance, rabid ideology devoid of reality, or both. I can’t judge.

    Speaking of “dodging the issue” though, you still haven’t answered the question. I’ll ask it still again. If you knew for a fact that making abortions illegal would cause more deaths (ie just as many unborn would be aborted, except it would be under primitive and unsafe conditions, resulting in deaths to the women), would you still be in favor of making abortions illegal?

  • StevenHaupt

    Those who say they are pro-choice are pro-abortion. I have no control over what people think is inflammatory. The truth has always inflamed some..

    Your scenario is foolish because that will never happen just as it never happened in the past before Roe Wade. Another point, I can’t stop people from killing their unborn whether government allows it or not. I have no control over what people consider, inflammatory. The truth has always inflamed some.

  • StevenHaupt

    I’m sorry, I explained as simply as I know how.

  • Ron McPherson

    Sure Steven

  • StevenHaupt

    The truth has always inflamed people. I won’t stop telling the truth.

    I provided you just one paragraph from the pro-abortion/pro-choice site the Guttmacher institute, where they have published studies of why women have abortion. The overwhelmingly majority of women who have abortions, have them for convenience sake.

    You scenario is silly because it will never happen and it has never happen. It’s is just speculation on your part. I belive you want to divert from the facts, such as, you have admitted that you are pro-choice/pro-abortion and that you want to make pro-life, pro-choice/pro-abortion.

    Have you ever gotten anybody to say they were no longer pro-life just because they favor abortion only to save the life of the mother? Why don’t you see that as ridiculous and foolish?

  • Ron McPherson

    There, I provided some links below showing why there is compelling evidence that criminalizing abortion could result in more deaths. A simple Google search would have shown you that the scenario I provided is far from foolish. If you need more evidence, I can provide plenty more. Now you may not be convinced by it, but the one thing anyone educated on the subject would not assert is that my scenario is foolish. Now, in light of that, if the evidence was true that more lives would be lost by criminalizing abortion (whether you believe it or not) would you still be in favor of making it illegal? Why is this so difficult for you to answer?

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/think/amp/ncna853031

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/04/05/amid-new-talk-of-criminalizing-abortion-research-shows-dangers-for-women/?utm_term=.6b5feed914f9

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/22/abortion-lets-call-the-pro-lifers-what-they-are-pro-death

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020729215001575

  • StevenHaupt

    You think I’m going to waste my time reading propaganda pushed by Godless liberals, who are pro-abortionists?

    The vast majority of abortions are performed for reasons of convenience such as the mother says they can’t afford a child, they don’t want any more children, it will interfere with their job, careers, education etc, their boyfriend or husband wants them to have an abortion.

    You are pro-abortion/pro-choice, you admitted such. I can’t help but believe that you are very troubled over you position. Can you in good conscience say that you are a Christian who is pro-abortion/pro-choice?

  • Ron McPherson

    Most individuals who are pro-choice are definitely not “pro-abortion” regardless of how some may have referred to it decades ago. That’s like saying they DESIRE for women to have abortions. Many pro-choicers are actually opposed to abortions for moral reasons, but believe that abortions under medically controlled conditions is far preferable to illegal abortions covertly performed under grossly unsafe conditions. Why is it preferable? Because there is evidence that the death rate of women is much higher in areas where abortions are already illegal, plus the illegality of the practice does not in reality stop abortions.

  • Ron McPherson

    “You think I’m going to waste my time reading propaganda pushed by Godless liberals, who are pro-abortionists?”

    I rest my case.

  • Bones

    Rubbish!

    All you’re interested in is yourself and some heavenly reward.

  • Ed Senter

    You are just wrong.
    You would have to be a believer to understand.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Believing the end justifies the means is not the Christian way.”

    The “Christian way” cannot be reduced down to such a generically simplistic formula. The Pharisees would have advocated the very point you’re trying to make. For instance, Jesus healed on the Sabbath. To him it was more important to break the sabbath in order to help someone in need. So to Jesus, the end did in fact justify the means.

  • StevenHaupt

    Your case has no chance before God.

  • Ron McPherson

    Here’s pretty much our convo in a nutshell.

    Me: would you alter your position if you knew beforehand that criminalizing abortion leads to more deaths?

    Steven: I won’t answer that because it’s not realistic so therefore foolish.

    Me: There is compelling evidence that criminalizing abortion actually leads to more deaths. You may be unconvinced, but it’s not certainly not foolish for one to believe so based on the evidence at least.

    Steven: It’s foolish to even think it so therefore I still refuse to answer.

    Me: But there is plenty of evidence. Here are several links for you to read. I can provide plenty more if you’d like.

    Steven: I don’t read anything from godless liberals. (Translation – I refuse to even read any objective evidence that might bring tension to my firmly held beliefs because I’m the manifested definition of confirmation bias and any evidence to the contrary is godless and my ideology is more important to me than any factual evidence anyone can provide so therefore I won’t answer your question and I’m right and you’re wrong which means God says you’re wrong too).

  • otrotierra

    Indeed. Jesus taught his followers to “Seek..” yet StevenHaupt is here practicing the mirror opposite.

  • StevenHaupt

    Here is your problem in a nutshell Ron:

    You are trying to justify abortion for convenience sake.

    Abortion is the taking of the life of an unborn baby. It should happen only to save the life of the mother, not because the mother doesn’t want any more children or none at all, not because she says she can’t afford a child, not because her boyfriend doesn’t want to support a child, not because………

    Can you in good conscience say that you are a Christian who is pro-abortion/pro-choice?

  • Ron McPherson

    I’ll answer your question if you first answer mine. So far you’ve refused

  • StevenHaupt

    You have answered my question.

  • Ron McPherson

    And you’ve answered mine by your refusal to answer. Which makes one wonder whether the real issue with you is actually preserving lives, or rather clinging to an ideology. I’m moving on. Peace.

  • StevenHaupt

    Your comment makes me wonder how in the world you could possibly miss where I stand. I mean, how could you not see that I am pro-life, that I am against the murder of the unborn for reasons of convenience, after all of the comments I have made saying just that?

    And I know you are the opposite.

  • Ron McPherson

    I realize you’re pro-life. That really wasn’t my question though, at least not based on a political or societal definition. My question was borne from orthopraxy vs orthodoxy.

    Criminalizing abortion could potentially lead to more deaths, not in the sense that more women would inexplicably start having more abortions, but that more women would die in undergoing the procedure in unsafe, unregulated conditions. This continues to bear itself out in countries where it is illegal. You would know that had you cared enough to read the evidence presented from just any one of the myriad websites you can read for free online. But apparently any source that might bring tension to your orthodoxy is a “godless liberal” one.

    Now after giving due diligence to researching the issue, you may still come through that unconvinced. And that’s ok. But what you cannot rightly claim is that the evidence itself is nothing but foolishness. But I realize that doing so somehow allows you to unconvincingly avoid answering the question.

    Lest I be accused of not answering your question, Christ is my Lord and Savior and I desire to follow him. I care about the lives of both the mother and the unborn as well. I consider myself pro-choice in that I believe the government should not dictate the terms of a woman’s decision-making with respect to her own body. I have grave concerns that criminalizing abortion would lead to more deaths among women because making it illegal won’t stop the practice.

    It would be nice if you would answer mine now (again, I realize you’re pro-life but the question was whether you would still be in favor of criminalizing abortion if you knew that it would result in more deaths, namely that of women who would choose to abort whether it was legal or not).

  • Ron McPherson

    You mean like indiscriminately killing adults? Who would be killed to make this happen?

  • Ron McPherson

    Wow, that sure would make for an orderly society…um, no I would not be in favor

  • Ron McPherson

    Well I haven’t said the ends always justify the means. So your question revolves around making it legal to kill people so that LESS people would be killed? I’m not sure how that would logically or realistically work but if we all knew for a fact that zero people would magically not be killed by enacting the law then, yes. But saying less would be killed then, no. For instance, if killing a mom and dad (two people) orphans their kids but saves the life (I’m not sure how it would) of Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler and Jack the Ripper (three people), then no. Killing is indiscriminate. In principle though, I think your question was a good one. It makes me think.

  • StevenHaupt

    How many more “I’m moving ons do you have?”

    I quit reading after “Criminalizing abortion could potentially lead to more deaths,…”

    I’m not interested in speculations from pro-abortionists, liberals, socialists, or fake news sites concerning abortion. My interest lies in America where I have a voice and a vote. Some deaths from illegal abortions occured in the past in America, but they were miniscule in comparison to the number of deaths of unborn children from abortions.

    People who want to justify the killing of the unborn for reasons of convenience will always invent excuses, or cite pro-abortion sources that seek to justify the killing of their unborn.

  • StevenHaupt

    You are totally correct. Over here in America the “news” is mostly controlled by liberals. They will not report the ghoulish atrocities by abortionists such as Gosnell.

    It’s astonishing just how hard hearted liberals are about the murder of the unborn. They will go to any length to excuse or justify taking the life of a unborn baby.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…lets say a law came into place twenty years ago that stated that ‘single people on welfare’ (no children) could be legally killed at certain times every year…”

    Yikes, so it’s like hunting season? Like deer season in the fall, dove season in the winter, Turkey season in the spring, and poor people season in the summer?

    “…this group of people were being killed across America anyway illegally…”

    Who is this group? Which individuals can inevitably be identified? The only way I can make your analogy work is if one could somehow delve into the minds of each individual’s future killer, contact the killer, and tell them they can go ahead and kill their victims now. Or rather in the summer since poor people season opens then.

    “However, we don’t have the certainty that this does reduce the number of killings taking place in America in relation to this target group…”

    No sh*t lol?

    “…but we’ve been told by the advocates of this law (those that campaigned etc. for this law to be put into place) that this does 100% reduce the numbers of killings of ‘single people on welfare’ in America.”

    So they want society to believe that killing poor people on welfare somehow reduces poor people on welfare being killed? Huh?
    By the way, the criminalizing of abortion argument is not that criminalizing abortion somehow means that more women will inexplicably start having more abortions (or conversely that keeping it legal leads to less abortions). Instead, the issue is that criminalizing abortions potentially results in more deaths in the sense that women (who will seek abortions anyway) will die due to unsafe conditions (ie that both the unborn and the mother dies).

    “They’ve presented us with statistics etc.”

    If someone were to present statistics suggesting that killing poor people results in less killing of poor people then it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to know that something is badly amiss here.

    “Would you then be in favour of this law being passed?”

    No, of course not.

    By the way, I’m sure we’ve hijacked this thread long enough. We’ve both made our points and know where the other stands. I’m moving on from this topic.

    Peace

  • Bones

    Lol, been there done that.

    It’s why people like you don’t really do anything.

  • David Cromie

    A believer in faerie tales will believe in anything, no matter how bizarre, fanciful, or illogical (contradictory, even) because thy have been suitably indoctrinated.

  • David Cromie

    You are not interested in facts, period!

  • David Cromie

    You are mentally disturbed, Get help!

  • Ron McPherson

    Peace

  • Ron McPherson

    Steven’s “interest lies in America.” I guess the billions of other people around the world don’t count for much. Yikes

  • Ed Senter

    A Believer (should be a proper noun) believes that Jesus the Nazarene was the Messiah as prophesied in many books of the Old Testament. The Resurrection is proof of who He said He was. That understanding can not be indoctrinated and is the result of careful study. So there…

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Nice evasion of the point.

  • Ed Senter

    That is too bad. So mockery and caricature from the dark side is what you call productive? Ha!
    The collection of books called the Bible is not an instruction manual, nor is it meant to be scientific. The books of the Bible are revelatory. They reveal God through the Son Jesus Christ. The book of Genesis (and the rest of the Pentateuch) was most likely written by Moses while wandering the wilderness. There is no reason not to believe that it is historical.

  • David Cromie

    After ‘careful study’ no evidence, whether written or archaeological, has ever been forthcoming to show that any man-god named JC ever existed. So there…

    Can you, in the first place, even adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists in the here and now?

  • I don’t believe the Bible talks in riddles (you don’t need a Phd in Hebrew or Greek) but anyone who quotes chapter and verse and expects you accept it, they are either deluded or its a confidence trick.

  • You make a good point. Jesus spoke in stories so the people would engage with what he was saying. He then posed questions rather than making closed statements so that they could understand why they were coming to their conclusions rather than simply reiterating what they had been told. No wonder the Apostles could stand before the Sanhedrin and make their case with confidence.

  • Dean

    Lol, reminds me of Matt Slick, when you can’t think of what to say next, call them a Mormon. I wonder if these guys voted for Romney?

  • Ron McPherson

    “And the fault lies in trying to teach ‘certainty’ and learn the verses which ‘prove’ those certainties, without ever seeing the ones which call it into question.“

    That was me for decades, except that I didn’t ignore the ones which called the others into question, I instead just consulted a commentary lol and convinced myself that there was really no contradiction. And then taught it while crossing my fingers behind my back.

  • Ron McPherson

    LOL!!!

  • Christian Truth

    Judicial Watch: New HHS Documents Reveal that ‘Unaccompanied Alien Children’ Processed During Obama Years Included Violent Criminals, Drug Smugglers, and Human Traffickers
    https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-new-hhs-documents-reveal-that-unaccompanied-alien-children-processed-during-obama-years-included-violent-criminals-drug-smugglers-and-human-traffickers/

  • Christian Truth

    Imagine that! DNA tests conducted at the border are coming up negative.
    Government’s DNA testing turns up surprises in family reunification process
    http://12160.info/page/2649739:Page:1795814

  • Ron McPherson

    All conservatives

  • Ed Senter

    Seems to me there is a choice: 1. Accept that the books of the Bible are evidence and believe that Jesus was who he said he was with the hope of eternal life, or, 2. Accept that you will die and return to nothing.
    What is amazing is the proof in this final generation before Jesus returns of the return of the Jewish people to that middle eastern country established in 1948 called Israel.

  • Dr.Abdul Mhagaybodhi

    Yup.exactly. The need for certainty is in direct proportion to your lack of religious experience.

    The less you know(gnosis as in ‘and he knew her!!!)the more knowledge and certainty you need.
    The more need for certainty the further away from God you are.
    We must embrace the divine confusion.Live with opposing truths. Let paradox and irrationality be with you at all times.Let not knowing be the space in which you recieve God.
    God NEVER talks to the certain and those who know and believe.
    The more certain and more you know and more you believe the more God and the divine holy truth is kept out.
    The need to ‘know’.To be ‘clear’ to be ‘certain’ for things to make ‘sense’ is a human ego desire and has no more to do with the father and ultimate reality as getting an upgraded t.v. set.
    You cant ‘certain’ yourself to God. You cant logic yourself to God.You cant ‘clarify’ yourself to God,You cant rationally understand your way to God.
    These certainty morons are boosting up their sense of false self,inflating themselves like the fat puffed up Donald Trump,puffed up and full of old stale air,no true substance fills them let alone the divine truth,the holy father,the son,the holy spirit or knowing and being thier eternal soul.No angels will come to Trump and these other puffed up bullies,whether christian,biblical,islamic,spiritual or car mechanics.To puff yourself up demeans and weakens others.
    You have to put down to puff up.
    To not know is the greatest knowledge of all.
    To be in chaos gives the eternal order.
    To accept oppossing facts as true.
    To hold the opposites which cannot in any way exist together and yet in you ,they do, is the door to heaven,you wont even need to knock or open it for in opposites and opposing impossible truths comes certain divine transcendance to merge with the only one.Not two,but one and one alone.
    And those who use scripture or faith or religion to be certain,to puff up thier self view,to bully and make others less or wrong are not with the spirit in the slightest degree.They are more closed against God than a sinner and non believer,than a person who puts their car before God for these people put their own certainty and pride before Gid do they not?
    But they,like all of us are lucky and blessed indeed for the Father is at work in EVERY person,in EVERY experience,in EVERY thing,in EVERY atom.
    ‘Crack open a rock and there i am.Seperate a twig and there you can see me,look inside a leaf and there i am.’
    ‘So worry not,for God is in charge and is responsible fir the functioning of the world’ Egyptian temple 2,600 b.c.

  • Ron McPherson

    Peter Enns wrote a book called The Sin of Certainty. It’s on my reading list : )

  • Matthew

    Ahh … another kitty cat, but this time he or she is waving at me :-) :-) :-) Sad though … your Celtic princess must feel a wee bit unwanted :-(

  • Matthew

    LOL, Eva, LOL!

  • David Cromie

    “The books of the Bible are revelatory”.

    Indeed! They reveal the minds of control freak Iron Age goat herders, that thought to revamp already existing Pagan myths was the way forward in their quest to manufacture a new, monotheistic, religion, thereby forging dominance over the illiterate, superstitious, masses living around them. The myths of Moses, and later on, JC, were cooked up to bolster their chances of success, and it worked, for the most part.

  • David Cromie

    ???

  • Matthew

    Warren Wiersbe?

  • Ron McPherson

    Yes, Wiersbe, McGee, Wycliffe, Liberty, Chafer, MacDonald, Rice, Ironside, Scofield, Jones, MacArthur, Henry, Walvoord. They’re all on my shelves lol. I’m sure there are more but these are the ones that most readily come to mind. I imbedded myself in these teachings for decades which is why I become amused (or sometimes irritated) when I’m lectured by a conservative evangelical on these threads on what I’m supposed to believe, like what they’re telling me is somehow new information to me lol.

  • David Cromie

    The so-called ‘bible’ is “… a whole series of riddles and puzzles…”, not forgetting the rehashed myths, legends and folklore syncretically concocted from past Pagan sources!

  • jock1234

    Funny David… you sound like a very cynical person… glass is half full kind of guy.

  • David Cromie

    Not an answer to my question!

  • Dr.Abdul Mhagaybodhi

    Excellent.As always your communication is completely appropriate.
    Everyone should listen to you very seriously.
    Mr.Joy is a great spiritual teacher.His humanity cannot express anything else.

  • Dr.Abdul Mhagaybodhi

    I prefer premiere as they have the most irritating,distressed and lost from Jesus persons on the planet.
    I have found more loving kindness in the spirit of Jesus in the British Nazi Party.
    Unfortunately i get banned all the time.
    But the joy of ridicule calls too strongly.
    I found out a new fact.Jesus was crucified low tio the ground on an x shape.
    They have discovered the Romans never crucified in the famous shape.
    I love true facts.
    Yes,i must dig up your number and give you a ring my brother.
    I am caught up in urgent actions against hoarding disorder and debt!!
    My love to you as always.

  • David Cromie

    The only people causing a stir (and they have been doing it for centuries) are religiots vainly attempting to impose their deluded opinions (or a theocracy in their own image) on all around them, while failing to adduce any irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that their favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists. It is all about power grabbing, and then fleecing the ‘believers’ who fall for their various versions of the religiot scam.

  • David Cromie

    Just look at the bloody history of these ‘god-centered’ folk, and then tell me that there is anything to be thankful for!

  • Ruth1940

    Abortions are not a holocaust. Born in 1940, I know that women used to say they were “expecting” a baby, not that they had one even before they knew they were pregnant! About half of pregnancies are spontaneously aborted, often even before the woman even knows she is pregnant. I was taught in high school that it was nature’s way of weeding out defective potential children. I was raised in a Presbyterian family. General practitioners (who also delivered babies) also did D & Cs and D & Xs for the affluent, finding another reason for the procedure. Nobody thought back then that the bible addressed abortion. Catholics thought the soul entered the fetus at quickening, around the end of the first trimester. Evangelicals didn’t decide it was any of their business until the 1970s!

  • Ed Senter

    The Jewish people are one of the most oppressed in the history of the world. Yet, here they are, still persevering 3,300 years later around a singular event called the Passover. Your words are childish, curmudgeon.

  • Ruth1940

    Most historians don’t think Moses existed. When a local retired Jewish history professor give a presentation on whether of not the Tanakh was a history of the Jewish people, he said he didn’t think so for three reasons: 1) the Egyptians kept detailed records, even how much grain was in each bin, but no record of the Israelites coming, being a problem, or leaving; 2) millions of people spending 40 years in the short distance of the desert/wilderness between Egypt and Canaan should have left some sign of it, but none can be found; and 3) the archaeological records show that some of the cities in the story weren’t in existence at that time!

  • Ed Senter

    For you to continue to demand criteria (irrefutable, falsifiable) upon evidence in a subject than demands neither, makes you a pseudo-intellect and an idiot, curmudgeon.

  • Ed Senter

    Yet, here there is a people still celebrating a pivotal event that allegedly took place over 3300 years ago- the Passover. It is the one definitive event that unifies the Jewish people. Furthermore, 1) It is the victors that write history. The Egyptians could have just as well stricken embarrassing events from the record; 2) Was the wilderness just as desolate 33 centuries ago as it is today? And, the desert tends to hide things that may be in plain sight. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; 3) I can do a google search and find records that you claim don’t exist…

  • Ivan T. Errible

    No; I don’t want to waste my time, trouble, and money on anything other than my agenda(s), thank you.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I’m not bitter; I’d be bitter if I’d wasted as much of my life as religious people do with nonsense, though.
    Hope for what?

    Higher vision of what?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Celebrate your diversity!

  • Christian Truth

    Read the definition of ‘children’ or ‘minors’…

  • Henry

    I do not make excuses for ICE.
    I only pointed out that people do what they are told in their jobs.
    Some people cannot afford to quite their jobs.
    If you are adamant about what you say then apply for
    an ICE job and treat those being held in the way you want them
    to be held and if fired, file a Federal Lawsuit so the reality is
    made known to the world.

  • Henry

    Given I have a relative who is, fine by me.

  • Henry

    David,
    You exist, and your existence demonstrates that a Creator exists.

  • Henry

    IVT,

    Try to be good.

  • Henry

    No one said believing would be easy.

  • Henry

    Since they are not fairy tales, it is not a waste of time
    but the most important use of your time.

  • Henry

    Funding goes to Planned Parenthood which allow them to
    operate clinics where Abortions take place, non-medical abortions.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    You can’t prove that they are-until you can prove it, it’s a fairy tale.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I could say the same thing about scrubbing Route 95 from Maine to Miami with a toothbrush-not easy. But still a waste of time, trouble, and energy.

  • Henry

    A rather weak form of an argument.

  • Henry

    If that is what it takes for you to get to Heaven, it is worth it.

  • Henry

    You can’t prove it is a fairy tale, so why make the assumption.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I can’t prove that the Moon isn’t made of green cheese, either, but I’m not going to plan all my meals based on the assumption that it is.
    What a pathetic counter-‘argument’; no wonder churches are shrinking faster than the polar ice caps!

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I thought we couldn’t ‘earn’ our way to heaven?

  • Henry

    IVE,

    You should just admit that you can’t prove your claims.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Can you?

  • Mr Kish

    Yes it is we just need to believe the truth

  • Mr Kish

    Honest post of yours

  • Mr Kish

    Ah I see I thought they were the same. LOL

  • Mr Kish

    LOL I imagine the troll is the complete opposite in reality

  • Verisimilitude

    …even though we may not be what we think we are.

  • Hermit

    First you need to say what you mean by a “god” and identify the intersubjectively verifiable attributes that are sufficient and necessary to identify a thing as a god thingie, which would allow you to tell if something were a god thingie, and to differentiate such thingies from other things.

  • Thomtids

    Not so much “a reply”, rather a round of applause. The problem that the “Prove God doesn’t exist” brigade now encounter is that, increasingly, the unarguable empirical findings disprove the presumptions advanced as “proof” of God-thingy’s pre-existence….not to mention his omniscience, etc.
    Indeed, my question to the Religiots is “Is your God thingy god of just this Universe or all of them?”.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    As he has not answered you, the answer is probably no. Personally, I see no need to even try.

    “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

    Remember “Yes, Virginia. there is a Santa Claus”? For you god does exist as you invented him in your own image and rather endearingly believe that he is somehow aware of your existence. If that belief gives you comfort, I say go for it. But keep your beliefs and your “blessings” to yourself.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Truth does not need to be “believed”. Truth just is.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    How do you know that Jesus says that?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Just jumping in here…. You are quite right. If no children were unwanted, there would be no need for abortion. And if all types of contraception were readily available to every woman, there would be no need to use abortion as contraception. (which, by definition it is not – you cannot prevent conception after the fact)

    What needs to be criminalized is the assumption that you, Bernard Joy, can make decisions that affect the physical health of a woman, and the emotional health of her and her family during pregnancy, not to mention the rest of their lives. You have no problem condemning a family to a life of hardship because they have more mouths to feed than they can afford. Or the baby whose “soul” you took it upon yourself to save, is severely deformed (but mother was fine, Praise Be) and will need constant care for the rest of its life. How dare you?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Not crime and punishment, but you have no problem with criminalizing the termination of an unwanted pregnancy. I would have thought that the fetuses were a shoo in with your merciful god. The mothers and medical staff not so much.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Does your “sanctity of life” extend to the orang utans which are being driven to extinction so that someone can grow more palm oil? Does your sanctity of life extend to the vaquitas, whose numbers are down to a few hundred because the changing climate has affected their food supplies? Rhinos, elephants and gorillas lost to poaching? The monarch butterfly whose main food source – milkweed has been eradicated from much of its range? The honey bee? Frogs? Salamanders? Marine invertebrates?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You may have noticed from my comments above that I become incensed when the “church” begins to interfere in the lives of those who do not even belong to that church. Then I am expected to “respect” your beliefs. I’m sorry, but I have a lot of trouble respecting anyone who believes in virgin birth and angels and talking snakes and a really vindictive god.

    I have a passion to make things better, but we differ quite considerably about what constitutes better.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh, please.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Thankfully? The sooner we gt rid of these god-centred folk the better. I have just watched two season of the Handmaid’s Tale and had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction. “Under his Eye”.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Really? What did he say? Did he call you on the telephone, or maybe send you a text? How did he identify himself? (Hi Bernard, God here, just wanted to tell you I thought that was a great question. So much so that I just had to push aside the four billion other questions on my desk and answer you personally. LOL!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Prayer is a spiritual duty?????? You have to be joking.

    Are you aware that there are an increasing number of people on this planet who have absolutely no religious affiliation, and furthermore have no spiritual inclination. I am one of them. For the past 60 years I have not believed in anything supernatural. I have a bumper sticker on my car which reads “Good Without a God”. I don’t meditate. I don’t commune with nature. But I do what I can to protect nature. I care for animals. I tolerate squirrels and Septoria leaf spot on my tomatoes. Dogs and children like me.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    “He warned the rich that they would perish with their wealth.” Well, he got that one wrong!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    i have never heard of anyone sending their kids of to summer Bard of Avon Study Camp. Yet arguably, there is as much or more wisdom and psychological insight in the complete works of William Shakespeare as in all the gospels, including the unpublished ones.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I find the bible a challenge. I just cannot understand the mechanism by which god conveyed all this important religious information to what have been called Bronze Age shepherds.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No, but it might be interesting to compare various translations. Aramaic to Greek to Hebrew to Latin to old English, to modern English to American. Has anyone asked god if we’ve go it right?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    These seem to be spiritually enhanced eyes and ears.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I wouldn’t cll him cynical. I would say realistic.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Well how do you square this with your philosophy? I am as certain as it is possible to be that there is no spiritual, supernatural being who takes a sometimes morbid interest in our lives. I am as certain as it is possible to be that there is nothing even remotely resembling the god of the bible.

    And I am no moron.

  • A Bard of Avon summer camp sounds like a very good idea and I’m sure something like it has been done. What might also be a good idea is a summer camp to study the Bible as literature. Interestingly Christopher Hitchens, a confirmed atheist (now deceased as you probably know) wrote an article on the King James Bible, claiming it as arguably the most influential work of literature in the English language (https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2011/05/hitchens-201105?currentPage=all). Shakespeare borrowed from the King James Bible which was his contemporary but was based on the Tyndale Bible, written before he was born.

    You could argue that Sakespeare wrote with more wisdom and insight but you would be hard pressed to justify it.

  • The vast majority of English translations of the Bible are materially very similar throughout with some minor exceptions and unless you are an expert on the languges from which it has been translated you are very likely to be more confused than enlightened. The translators of the Bible throughout history have been very meticulous. You might be sceptical about the source but the copyists have generally been pretty methodical.

  • Ed Senter

    All-Mighty Supreme Being, hermit. Now go back and hide in your cave, as usual, like the coward that you are.

  • That depends how you look at it. If your purpose in life was to become wealthy and you died rich then you would perish with your wealth. Many have sought wealth and ruined their lives in the process. As many people who win large sums in a lottery are ruined by it as gain from it. Studies have shown that beyond a certain [relatively modest] level of wealth there is nothing to be gained in terms of happiness. You can find exceptions but that doesn’t negate the principle.

  • Ed Senter

    What is so difficult to understand? “Believe in me (Jesus Christ) and you get eternal life”. Most quibble about the specifics, but that is the gist of it.

  • Ed Senter

    I wonder what Benjamin Corey believes the Gospel is? Using Matthew 25 as a club makes him every bit a fundamentalist.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I did spend twelve very long years at an Anglican school, soI have some idea of what the bible is supposed to say. Perhaps you don’t realize that the New Testament was written many years after the Crucifixion. None of it was written by the man called Jesus. Maybe Jesus has spoken to you directly.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So you fight against euthanasia at animal shelters, and you donate to anti-poaching groups, and you plant milkweed and other pollinator species. Or do you just protest outside Planned Parenthood?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I didn’t say it, you did: Abortion as contraception, ought to be criminalised.

    I take that to mean that you do not approve of abortion after rape, incest, forced marital intercourse, failed contraception, lack of access to contraception. in fact anything other than total abstinence. Many women (particularly those who have given birth more than once) would be quite happy to abstain. Men – not so much so.

    When you are pregnant, young, unmarried, unemployed, or already bringing up four children and your spouse walks out on you, or loses his job or is disabled in a work accident, then you can talk abut inconvenience and the sanctity of life.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I may know nothing about your ministry. But I have read what you have written hear. You are a sanctimonious &%($(&! (My favorite word of the moment rhymes with that insect that imparts Lyme disease). Speaking as someone who has been through the procedure, it is only necessary to “heal” when the likes of you have imposed burdens of guilt on these women. How the hell do you even know?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Up until the time I was about 20, I religiously finished every book I ever started. Then I began reading the Hobbit. The language is beautiful, eloquent and lyrical. But I have to say that i could in no way get excited about the characters or the subject matter. I abandoned it on about page 64. I feel the same way about the bible. Great language, but the plot falls a long way short of great literature.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    And how is that working out? Apart from Muslim theocracies, the United States is the most religious country in the world. Where are the gifts and blessings for the 43 million who live in extreme poverty (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/12/21/extreme-poverty-returns-to-america/?utm_term=.0830130c76cb). Where is the justice?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh come on! The wealthy are not perishing. Instead they now have carte blanche to pass on their obscene wealth to their undeserving kids. As well as have their names emblazoned over hospital wings or bridges or museums. Immortality, don’t you know.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    There is a lot that is difficult to understand starting with why anyone would want eternal life. What are you going to do for the rest of time? You don’t have a body – just your immortal soul. How does a soul interact with your loved ones who passed on earlier? You do not have the mechanism to hug them or kiss them or even talk to them. And you want this for the rest of time?????

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’m sure that the copyists have been meticulous. But that just means the second Greek version was identical to the first Greek version.

    It is possible that you are not familiar with other languages, but I have translated from French Italian and Spanish. I can assure you, that without being able to consult with the author of the original it is impossible to say that you have got the meaning or the intention right.

  • Ed Senter

    I will worry about what I will be doing for eternity when I get there. I will probably spend a good portion of that eternity just happy to discover that it was all true. The Bible that is.
    As for the body, all you have to do is look at Jesus for the 40 days he wandered around after his resurrection and prior to his ascension. He had a body that could go through walls, travel distances in split seconds, interact with people, and he even ate fish.
    I suppose, if there is an afterlife, and you don’t like it, God would be kind enough to put you out of your misery.

  • Hermit

    You could try to answer the question rather than tossing out what you apparently imagine are insults but only serve to prove your advanced stupidity.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fcfa6c9d7af89b2d45fd765819051ea1b007e324e48495355b6e7da44ca60835.jpg

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So Jesus was a superhero. Good to know.

  • Hermit
  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    How, pray, would god put me out of my misery?

  • Ed Senter

    I answered your question here and on other forums. You choose to disappear because you can’t refute it, cartoon girl.
    Omnipotence is what makes God, God. As you defined omnipotence: the ability to do anything at all.

  • Ed Senter

    Does it matter?
    How would I know?

  • Hermit

    A link or you are lying again.

    I have, to the best of my knowledge, never missed an opportunity to respond to your rubbish, and will always take delight in doing so.

    Fortunately, “the ability to do anything at all” does not exist except as an imaginary idea. If it did exist, even if not exercised it would violate uncertainty, causing the collapse of the waveform of everything in the Universe, resulting in it no longer existing. So the fact that the universe still exists precludes this from being anything but imaginary.

    An additional problem with your idea is that there is no way to establish “omnipotence”, and even if it is claimed, no way to evaluate whether such claims are sustainable. As such, you cannot use it to evaluate whether something is a god thingie, or differentiate between competing god thingies. The fact that you have chosen to attempt to use an imaginary attribute which neither you nor anyone else to try to persuade others that your god thingies exist suggests strongly that you are fully aware that your god thingies are purely imaginary and that you have no more concrete attributes you might offer which might be more convincing.

  • Most of the Bible doesn’t actually require a revelation from God. Much of it is either historical, poetic, philosophical or observational. The revelation part challenges me too. There are great many people claiming to hear from God and there are very few I would seriously consider.

  • My original point was that the good news of Jesus was pointed to the poor and disenfranchised and the rich could not buy into it. Part of the obcenity of wealth is that it buys fame and legacy but what Jesus is offering is community and care, love and peace. The Bible itself asks why the good die young when the rich grow old.

  • I agree. But modern translators of the Bible have taken archeology and other sources into consideration. The King James Bible is a wonderful work but some of its translation is now known to be inaccurate because of other evidence unearthed over the last 100 years or so. The Dead See Scrolls have been invaluable in checking our translations against ancient texts. Some translations such as the NIV have passages that were part of the KJV in its footnotes while other passages are marked as less reliable than the main body of the text. We are able to compare the Greek of the New Testament with contemporary texts in order to test the translation. Few ancient texts have such a wealth of sources and nearly contemporary accounts to check against.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So if the bible is not god’s word (as so many believe) why is it used as a blueprint for life?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    My heart is quite healthy thank you. Steady pulse of around 64.

    Also in pretty good shape is what you call the spiritual side of my heart, what I would call empathy and/or a moral compass. You say (somewhat ungrammatically) : “It is out our hearts that every thought, word and deed spring.” If you think that you have very little understanding of human psychology.

    Your understanding of Spanish isn’t so great either. “Otro” does not mean new; it means other.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    “Jumping blind”?? Blind to what? The sanctimonious hypocrisy of a statement like “The taking of any life, is a big thing for humans”. What you really mean is taking a HUMAN life might get you into trouble with your creator. Or the hypocrisy of suggesting that women who have abortions without guilt or shame are very damaged human beings or utterly selfish. I suggest that it is utterly selfish of you to expect women to arrange their lives so that your sensibilities are not offended.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    All god asks is that “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”; that ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”; that “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”; that thou should “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”. To be fair, the other commandments have a few good suggestions about how to get on with your neighbours, but god seems very keen to make sure that, first and foremost, you worship him, especially on Sundays.

    Your condescension is showing again. It is not necessary to follow the mumbo jumbo of the Catholic church to strive for justice in this world, to show mercy to all “god’s creatures”, and to get along with one’s fellow man. As one of my bumper stickers reads “Good without a god”. And if that doesn’t fit your requirement for humility so be it.

  • otrotierra

    Did you get targeted by Eva the Troll again? Or is this a different Troll Account? Eva’s documented pattern is to quickly spray her brand of battery acid before deleting half of her own comments. Just FYI.

  • otrotierra

    Sorry about this particular Troll Account, Bernard. As far as I can tell, this is one of possibly a half-dozen Evangelical Troll accounts created for the sole purpose of cyberstalking me to spread false accusations, derailments, obfuscations, condemnations, and to bear false witness. Many of these Troll Accounts emerged over at Sojourners, and have since spread to blogs like this one.

    Rage-filled Evangelicals have certainly earned their reputation all on their own, as this comment thread easily demonstrates.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    If you have some slight inkling about “my story”, you would not use the phrase “diffidence about religion”. I have led an extremely comfortable life with no major traumas. I was extremely lucky to have parents who went through the motions of bringing us up as Christians, but who stopped a long way short of indoctrination. I was not turned away from god. At the age of 11 it was suggested to me that god did not create man. Rather man created god. Like Santa Claus who I ceased believing in when I woke up one Christmas Eve to find my mother leaving a pillowcase full of gifts at the bottom of my bed.

    Non-belief is the default setting. All belief is taught. All belief is irrational. There is no cause to believe other than the teachings of your parents coupled with a deep-seated insecurity about your place in the world, causing you to defer all major decisions to a mythical supernatural being who will solve all your problems in those famous mysterious ways.

    Thank you for your good wishes, but – honestly – I am fine without them.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    As it happens, I am quite familiar with the British approach to abortion. The sanctions you mention were stated something like “abortion is only permissible when the health of the mother is at stake”. BUT, and this is the key, that included mental health. And I promise you that the prospect of something unwanted growing inside you for nine months, forcing its way out in an incredibly painful way, and then hanging around expecting you to support it for the next 18-40 years has a very negative impact on one’s mental health.

    The “slippery slope” argument that we will soon have FORCED euthanasia is rubbish. On the other hand, being able to decide how your life ends seems to me a fundamental right. It is another example of selfishness that the religious feel they can make those decisions. As my husband put it, if he was no longer able to take his own life, he would want someone else to do it for him. Everyone should be able to die with dignity. Dr Kervorkian was a saviour for many.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That’s great. Good for you (and that is not meant to be condescending). I do the same. And I argue very strongly that you do not need god to make you a concerned citizen of the world.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Why is faith necessary? Most of the history of the human species involved uncertainty. The writers of the bible, for example, had no idea about the causes of disease, or about eclipses, or earthquakes. How did we get here? Must be a creator. An angry god explained calamities, a beneficent god explained the good times.

    BUT. we now know about the formation of the universe, evolution of species, pathogens, the earth’s magma and plate techtonics. There is very little left that cannot be explained by science. And a god cannot explain the rest.

    I put my “faith in what is known rather than what is not.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No. As Senator Moynihan famously said “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts”.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Build your congregations! Yes. Work to make the lives of the poor and disadvantaged better. But you do not need a non-existent god to do that.

    By the way I LOVED the Poldark books, read them end to end three times and visited Cornwall to find locations.

  • There is no simple answer to that and it would be disingenuous of me to pretend there was. I am conflicted because I spent many years in the thick of hearing people claim to being spoken to directly by God and my instinct is to not believe them. My own position is not very robust but its what I feel comfortable with and I feel is at least honest.

    I no longer consider the Bible to be an entity, but to be 2 works: the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and Christian Bible (New Testament). I see neither as the ‘word of god’ but rather a revelation of God in human activity, i.e. God’s revelation outworking through people. Having said that I believe in God the Creator (though I’m not a creationist per se). My position is that if God wanted to be represented through these texts, He would ensure that they were fairly representative of his nature.

    I don’t see either as a blueprint for life but I find the Gospels incredibly inspiring as one who is politically progressive.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    God heard your cry, or you found strength within yourself?

    Obviously as I don’t believe in god, I find it hard to understand how he could hear your cry. Can you explain to me how that happened? There is no sarc, or criticism here. I really want to know why you think that god responded to your cry and how he showed that.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I do not know who Eva is (although otrotierra has given some clues).

    There is very little nasty in my heart, but, yes, my understanding of spirituality is zero. That is possibly because I believe in spirituality as little as I believe in god.

    FYI, I seldom leave the house without a button that reads “BE NICE It’s a Better Way” and I have written two books to support the idea.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    “I understand your pain”. Is that the first thing counsellors are taught to say?

    You are not responsible for my pain, because basically I have very little pain, and what I do have responds very well to a couple of aspirins. But you are responsible for my anger. Or to put it better, what you represent is responsible for my anger. What you represent is indoctrination and a rejection of scientific knowledge. I could be called a Luddite, but that means rejecting applied science (technology) rather than dismissing the discoveries that have occurred because of science. I do not need “help and support”

    Yes. I did have an abortion. It was entirely my own decision because I was simply not in a position to be a mother. No anger. No shame. No consequences. Nothing but relief that I was in the UK and not my native South Africa where legally terminating a pregnancy was not an option.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    What makes you think that I am incapable of showing love and mercy? Are you saying that someone like Gandhi was incapable of love and mercy because he did not embrace Jesus? Or the Dalai Lama?

  • otrotierra

    The frothing rage we see from U.S. White Evangelicals is comparable to the rage we see from thier leader, TrumpPutin. Yet, no matter how often they lie and decieve, they fail to keep Truth from being revealed. They are witnessing the unearned privileges of White Hegemony crumble in real-time, and the only response they know is to spray more battery acid.

    I am thankful for Dr. Benjamin Corey for bravely speaking prophetic Truth, no matter how politically incorrect it is to do so. You might also like the Sojourners blog over at sojo dot net. Reverend Jim Wallis is another Jesus-follower who isn’t ashamed of Jesus and The Greatest Commandment. Hope you might visit Sojo if time allows. Hope to cross paths again soon.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Finally I have got to you. I am not trolling. Nor are you. We are both presenting our positions which happen to be very far apart.

    I am not afraid for myself. I am very afraid for the world when so many -the vast majority – are caught up with one religion or another and do not think for themselves.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It is not I who has no meaningful discourse. Nor do I have problems with abortion or euthanasia.

    You have been doing quite well, but as soon as someone tries to terminate the discussion, i know that they have nothing further to contribute. Just as when they do not answer serious questions, I know that they have no answer.

  • Mensch59

    As long as you’re referring to the mythical Christ of faith (who isn’t really any different from the central figure in other mystery religions) and not pushing pseudo-knowledge of a historical person who existed physically; you’re probably not doing any damage.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I have three good friends who continue to follow their religion, but no longer believe in god. One is a Jew, one is a Baptist and one is whatever the predominant religion is in Australia. They were all ordained and worked as pastoralists.

    I, too, am politically progressive, but I find Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex more inspiring than the bible! To each his own!

    Thank you for polite, constructive conversation.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    As a raged-filled non-Evangelical, non-troll, I would like to ask you how your promotion of the gospels and devotion to god differs from that of the Evangelicals?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I sure am full of anger – anger at the incredible damage that religions have done to the world. Look at the Middle east where Muslims, Christians and Jews regularly slaughter each other because of different interpretations of the same bloody bible. Ditto Northern Ireland. Look at India and Pakistan, Rwanda, Myanmar. Nazi Germany. religions are based on and exacerbate “otherness”. Genesis 1:26 grants man dominion over all known animals (and by extension over plants and the rest of the natural world) which has led to the rape and pillage of the earth and climate change which is well on its way to causing the sixth extinction. The Catholic church has contributed to the problem by frowning on contraception of all sorts, and the ridiculous idea – picked up by evangelicals and Monty Python – that every sperm is sacred and life begins at conception. That is why we have 7 billion people on earth, with half of them living in poverty.

    But mostly I am angry at the sanctimonious justifications you come up with for your behaviour.

  • Mensch59

    Mr. B. Joy either cannot or consciously will not answer “Why is faith necessary?”
    I’m currently reading this: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/55822908-jesus-mything-in-action-vol-i-the-complete-heretic-s-guide-to-wester

  • Mensch59

    Sure. You’re talking myth.
    There’s no more empirical historical evidence for a Jesus of Nazareth than for Homer.
    https://classicalwisdom.com/homer-man-myth/

  • Mensch59

    Myths are real enough. As are wisdom figures.
    There’s plenty of hubris among religionists, i.e. claiming mystical knowledge & certainty when it’s mere faith-w/o-evidence.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I understand completely that it would never work because you seem to have little to offer beyond “thoughts and prayers”.

    Although I have only an incomplete understanding of what you do (counsel women who are feeling remorse or shame for having had an abortion?), I think that I could absolutely do it, even with my level of anger. That is because my anger is not directed at victims, but rather at the institutions – political and religious – that caused them to be victims. And because I would offer practical help, not just spiritual guidance.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    For a few months after my husband died I heard him calling me. This is a not uncommon reaction to grief. But hearing voices, especially god talking to you, can be attributed to a number of very serious medical and psychological disorders including psychosis, schizophrenia, various types of dementia, DTs, epilepsy, marijuana abuse, Cryptococcal meningitis and mad-cow disease. It’s probably not the last two as you would be dead by now. If I were you, I would get checked for some of the others. On the other hand, you don’t seem to be doing much harm, so just carry on.

  • Ed Senter

    http://disq.us/p/1togt4p

    This is how you defined omnipotence: “”Possessing the power to do anything” (without constraint).”
    I agree with that definition.
    Omnipotence is what I said is the identifying attribute that makes God, God. Now you say such a thing does not exist or that uncertainty would ensue or whatever reason that has nothing to do with this identifying attribute.
    Logically, there can be only one omnipotent being- imaginary or not. Being omnipotent, uncertainty would certainly be under his control.
    Now the question was: “Prove that God does not exist”. I didn’t ask it because I don’t think it matters who has the burden. I can’t prove God exists and you can’t prove he doesn’t exist. However, I have the Bible and God will prove himself in due time. Atheists, on the other hand, are the equivalent of nihilists.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No, Bernard, I’m afraid it doesn’t help. I imagine you would be a very good hospital chaplain, offering comfort to those who are in need of it. That may of course require the telling of little white lies – of course you’re not going to hell because god loves those who embrace him, even on their deathbeds. I would be inclined to say, it’s OK, it will all be over soon – no more pain, no more sorrow, nothing to be afraid of.

    Can you not see that your insistence that “God is real and apprehensible” is doing it your way?

    How do you square being “very much anti-church and religion” with learning “to trust the Christian message”? That message is universal and predates Christ. “Do unto others” is the only way that human society can function. Failure to follow the golden rule will be the demise of the human race, and the Evangelical so-called Christians of the United States are leading the charge. I’ll take one of you over a thousand of them, but I just wish you would acknowledge that the goodness is inherent in you. You do not need “God” to make you good.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Faith is necessary for those who have been indoctrinated. He is not a bad person, just seriously misguided.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    God deserves a bad name. He has done very little to make the world a better place.

    As for anger…. The alternative is acceptance. And I do not accept that.

    I, unfortunately, live in the United States where our utterly crazy system allowed a mere 30% of the population (many of them evangelicals) to elect a psychopath. What do you expect me to do? Say that he is one of god’s children, therefore we must love him unconditionally? Hell. no. I plan to challenge the corrupt, fascist, appalling Trump administration in every way i can. I’m not sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of gun violence. I am working to enact meaningful gum control (or preferably overturn the 2nd Amendment).

    I do accept that the “spiritual way” is acceptance of evil.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes, a discourse is developing. And I hope it continues.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No, Monty Python were not being ironic, although they may have exaggerated slightly. But only slightly. (I don’t know what you mean by hubristic prejudices. I’m also not that sure what you mean by my prejudices. I am vehemently against god and religion, but I do not condemn out of hand those that believe in god, or follow a religion.)

    “It is far more than half living in poverty.”
    Let’s not forget that 14%of Americans live in poverty, and I am sure the figure is similar for the UK.

  • Mensch59

    My preference in these abstract areas is myth… not doctrine.
    Myth opens up mystery.
    Doctrine is about how much we analytically think we believe we know.
    :-)
    Sorry not sorry.
    See Chris B’s comment https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/pbs-newshour-on-horrific-heat-and-fire/

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’m afraid that I do not understand your response, nor the comment you linked to.

  • Mensch59

    Mea culpa.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I am considerably more in tune with “reality” than you realize. I tend to use the word nature, or the natural world, but I think we are talking about the same thing. The difference between us is that I do not accept that there is a purpose to life. I do not accept that humans have a destiny to fulfill. I do not accept that humans have a calling. And, of course, I do not accept any form of divinity. That includes Jesus.

    You talk about reality being about unlimited, unconditional giving. Man has become about unlimited, unconditional taking. (See Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree).

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The idea of a parish is wonderful. You are to be commended for the work that your parish is doing. We have several churches here that have a vanishing congregation but serve the community well. And that all reinforces the sentiment of my bumper sticker: you do not need god to be or do good.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    A couple of comments on my comment. Although my first paragraph makes sense as a debating device, it makes no sense coming from a non-believer. I really mean that the idea of god deserves a bad name; and that religion has done little to make the world a better place.

    There is a Cherokee saying: “But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.” I agree absolutely. But anger, righteous anger if you like, can be the spur needed to make change happen.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes, but the facts remain facts. Choosing to disbelieve them is a sign of ignorance.

  • Mensch59

    Maybe when you condemn(?) or judge 90%+ of your fellows and yourself in this way “you trust your own ‘ego self’… which is why the ‘true self’ and the deep connection with reality in us all, remains unrecognised” you are demonstrating that wisdom and true sainthood and faith/trust and humility-honesty and discernment and peace are only words and ideas which are impossible to be put into practice.
    That comes across as a tad arrogant and elitist and exclusionary, which is merely taking tribalism into the invisible realm.
    OTOH, maybe I’m judging and condemning you too harshly. Maybe you don’t think that you’re special and better than an animal.

  • Mensch59

    The idea of god is only the idea of the transcendent.
    Why cannot transcendence be manifested as making changes happen?
    Secularists and humanists can be and are as tribal as religionists. It’s only human to see one’s ideas as superior to another’s.
    Extend that outward and you get the most economically and militarily powerful empire in the history of the world touting itself as indispensable, exceptional, a beacon of liberty and democracy as it murders indiscriminately.

    “The core of the belief in progress is that human values and goals converge in parallel with our increasing knowledge. The twentieth century shows the contrary. Human beings use the power of scientific knowledge to assert and defend the values and goals they already have. New technologies can be used to alleviate suffering and enhance freedom. They can, and will, also be used to wage war and strengthen tyranny. Science made possible the technologies that powered the industrial revolution. In the twentieth century, these technologies were used to implement state terror and genocide on an unprecedented scale. Ethics and politics do not advance in line with the growth of knowledge — not even in the long run. ~ John N. Gray, “Joseph Conrad, Our Contemporary,” from Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions (2004)

    “I doubt we have anything near the 70 years you predict before full collapse. I suspect many of us will live (not very long) to witness the terminal horror of it all.” ~ @disqus_SwUdz4DLo9:disqus to Bill Conklin, https://disq.us/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.truthdig.com%2Farticles%2Fthe-planet-could-be-1-degree-celsius-from-catastrophe-major-study-finds%2F&key=hLjShTXz-fJakdbF5cce0Q

  • Hermit

    Logic in the absence of evidence can show anything which is why it is worthless. So please don’t offer me arguments, show me evidence. I have provided the evidence that “omnipotence” is incompatible with this universe, as the possibility to determine the state of a particle is sufficient to cause waveform collapse, so we know that nothing with the possibility of “omnipotence” has ever existed in this universe

    I further showed that because you could not evaluate whether or not a thing was “omnipotent’, which means that whether or not a thing might allegedly be “omnipotent”, this is inadequate to determine whether a thing is a god thingie, or if multiple things are alleged to be god thingies, to differentiate between them.

    This means that if you want to continue to assert that a god thingie exists as something more than an imaginary thing with imaginary attributes, you need to come up with some other qialifyng attribute which is intersubjectovely verifiable, or evidence that my proof is flawed.

    Trying to argue about the supposed uniqueness of an already debunked attribute will not resurrect your confused imaginary ideation of an apparently imaginary singular entity (another highly unlikely and unevidenced phenomenon) to the level of something that anyone need consider as anything but the deranged ravings of those too psychotic to differentiate between the imaginary and the more than imaginary.

    And good luck with that.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The United States you describe makes my heart sink every time I return. (Which I do frequently as I travel a lot)

    “Those who think they KNOW EVERYTHING really piss off those of us who DO.” Anon.

    Your ideas about transcendence seem sound, but it is not a concept I am really familiar with so I will need to read and cogitate further. My immediate reaction is “why do we need transcendence anyway?”

    Ii look forward to reading “Heresies”. Thanks for the tip.

  • Mensch59

    I certainly cannot answer for anyone as to why s/he needs a sense of mystery and imagination about the transcendent.
    From someone who might have had a handle on knowing everything: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/01/01/einstein-imagination/

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I was not talking about my life. I was talking about life in general. There is no overall design to the universe. Nothing was created. It has all just sort of happened. Earth happens to be suitable for life as we know it (otherwise there would be no life). But it is inconceivable that among the billions of stars in each of the billions of galaxies, there are not other planets capable of hosting life, some of which could be as “advanced” as ours. “Life” only has one purpose, and that is to reproduce.

    My life has not been without purpose, but that has changed over the years. For many years my goal was to raise my children and support my husband. These days it is to mitigate the damage that man has done to the natural world. I can’t simply love it better. I need to fight the perpetrators – Trump and his cronies among them – and for that I need to maintain a sense of outrage. When I no longer have hope that I can make a difference, I will see to it that I stop breathing.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It so happens that I wrote a book titled “A Better Way”. You can read it here: elizabethwhitehouse.com/a-better-way

  • Mensch59

    Christ/Buddha consciousness doesn’t have a tribe. Your works demonstrate that your faithful & true path is Nirvana/heaven. Kudos.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    We were on the same page for a while, but…..

    We have children for a couple of reasons: first an overwhelming biological urge; second as an unwanted by-product of the mostly enjoyable act of intercourse. (Many women seek to correct such mistakes, but men of god tend to frown on such actions.) And because you are exhorted to do so by the Abrahamic religions – be fruitful and multiply. Christians, even Catholics, resist that idea, but many Jews and Muslims (and Mormons and the Amish) take it very seriously and still have huge families. If the game has no purpose, why play? We have little choice. You create purpose and meaning for your life or you end it. I have two purposes: do no harm, and try to leave the world (or my little part of it) better than I found it.

    I was starting to think that you were quite a nice person (and you probably are) but I cannot forgive you for comparing me to the megalomaniacal psychopath who is supposedly running this country.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You don’t have to convince me that the income inequality rampant in the world i iniquitous. Jeff Bezos is worth $150 billion? (Of course he is not worth that, but that is the figure attributed to his assets). Apple is worth one trillion dollars. Yes, that is a T.

    At the risk of sounding elitist, or something like that, poverty is relative. It is true that in terms of US dollars two thirds of the world lives on less than $2 a day. And in many cases that does reflect abject poverty when you define poverty as not being able to meet basic needs like food, shelter and clothing.

    I have visited 76 countries so far (and hope to get to 100). I have not been to Bhutan, but Google tells me that the people of this tiny kingdom, live on $8.75 a day. Not abject poverty, but not a lot. Yet they are consistently considered the happiest country in the world. In 1985 I visited the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis. Few people had much money, but they were not poor – they had fish (the first time I tasted red snapper, utterly delicious) and mangoes in abundance. Their needs were few and easily met. Then Four Seasons moved in and told them that they were poor and needed an infusion of American money.

    I, too, have a vision of a better world. But it can only be better for the masses if the 1% give up a little. No, a lot.

  • Susan M.

    I recently met a man who claimed to be a “Christian” but who said that he believed in the Old Testament and not the New.
    When I remarked that he was actually a Jew, then, he didn’t get it.

  • Susan M.

    If you compare a verse in one place with a conflicting verse in another place, it starts to seem like it’s talking in riddles.

  • From my experience people have been taught to read the Bible with a particular mindset which would be like maintaining a house with only one skillset. The assumption is the Bible has one purpose. A roofer might use lead to direct water to the drain pipes but a plumber would never use lead to direct water to the bathroom. So if you don’t grasp the context you can be confused when verses appear to contradict each other. That’s not to say there aren’t some parts of the Bible that are very hard to reconcile like the destruction of the Canaanites (though that never happened in practice.

  • That is rather peculiar. Of course a Jew wouldn’t say he believed in the ‘Old Testament’ because such a thing only exists for Christians.

  • Mensch59

    Fruits is getting into the subjective and the esoteric.
    What are the first three fruits? Love, Joy, Peace.
    What about the non-religious and the non-spiritual and the non-dogmatic who experience love, joy, and peace?

  • S Graves

    —Extend that outward and you get the most economically and militarily powerful empire in the history of the world touting itself as indispensable, exceptional, a beacon of liberty and democracy as it murders indiscriminately.—

    Which countries actually do that, Gary?

  • Mensch59

    You have to ask about “the most economically and militarily powerful empire in the history of the world touting itself as indispensable, exceptional, a beacon of liberty and democracy as it murders indiscriminately”?
    Hmmmm.

  • S Graves

    I didn’t want to misinterpret you as inanely making some gratuitous nonsense statement referring to the US when you actually meant something else.

  • Ed Senter

    Logic is not worthless because it is the study of sound and erroneous reasoning. You want evidence, yet you have provided no evidence yourself. You offer nothing but argument and speculation. And your argument is not logical. You seem to believe that if omnipotence could be used to destroy the universe, it would be used to destroy the universe, therefore, it can’t possibly exist. Furthermore, omnipotence would cause such uncertainty in what you understand about quantum mechanics that they are incompatible. Sorry, but your reasoning is simply not sound. I can only surmise that such fears arise because of your nihilistic view of the world.

    Again, I offer the concept that the one attribute that makes God, God is omnipotence. The evidence is in the Bible.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I know that I have already replied to this, but for some reason my post is not showing up.

    You should have realized by now that I consider what the bible says no more important than the writings of Shakespeare, Salmon Rushdie or Karl Marx.

    I don’t disagree with the idea that without a vision, a people dies. It doesn’t bode well for the United States, or even the UK. But I have a vision and it is far from nihilistic. I picture a world where capitalism is eradicated and the economic model is one of co-operatives, government support for those that need it, and real equality. I also picture a world where other species are given equal consideration. Humans are not that great.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    From time to time you contribute some words of wisdom, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.

    Have you not yet grasped the fact that I have no expressions of faith and that I strongly resist the idea of tribal power? And that I am not overwhelmed by the teachings of Christ and Buddha, especially Jesus.

    The United States is in a critical situation precisely because not enough people feel a sense of outrage. If more Germans had felt and expressed a sense of outrage, the Holocaust would not have happened.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Poverty is relative. Most measures of poverty use the American dollar as the standard. $2 a day in the US is extreme poverty, but $2 a day in Somalia, Samoa or Saigon is enough to live on. Not everyone aspires to wealth.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Let’s be clear. I have never said that belonging to a religion makes you a bad person. Misguided, maybe, but not intrinsically bad. What I object to is the influence that religions have on the gullible and under-informed.

    And may I remind you of the words of the remarkable anthropologist, Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Good. You should.

  • Otro Tiara

    Do you get paid for every anti-White racist generalization you make?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    A fact is something that can be demonstrated as reality. As the dictionary puts it: something that has actual existence; an actual occurrence. You can proclaim as often as you like that Christ is God, but that does not make it a fact.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    What a strange question. But perhaps the question mark was a mistake. I did not say,, or even imply, that the teachings of Jesus offend me. I thought that his main message was “Do unto others”. I suppose that your interpretation of “do justice (and) love mercifully” fit with that message. The be humble part not necessarily. And humility is not a trait I would ascribe to Jesus. After all, he claimed to be the son of god, and certainly thought he knew better than anyone else.

    So do religions. Every religion and every sect think that they know better than everyone else. Their interpretation of their religious texts is the right one. Did you know that the great schism in Islam is over whether Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali should have been his successor instead of Abu Bakr who assumed that role? Nothing to do with Mohammed’s teachings or interpretation of the Koran. It’s as if early Christians had split with some following St Peter and others following St Paul. And for that they have fought with and killed each other ever since. Ditto Catholics and Protestants.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Of course it is the wealthy who make the rules. I know that. It is my great desire to see capitalism (money making money) dismantled.

    You seem to think that I am some idealistic kid who has very little knowledge of the world, it’s religions and its various philosophies. From what you have said, my guess is that I am only a few years younger than you. I have lived in five countries on three continents and I have visited 76 countries. My wisdom (greater than you give me credit for) is based on a very wide experience of the human condition and extensive reading on every subject imaginable. It is my own, but it is based on the wisdom of many others, including Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Voltaire, Dickins, Darwin, John Muir, Joel Salatin, Naomi Klein and Richard Dawkins. And many others.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Your condescension is showing again. You think that you have all the answers, but, because my answers are not the same, suddenly I do not understand myself and my ego is causing all the problems of the world.

    As it happens I understand myself quite well, and if i had a bit more ego, I might have achieved more.

    The vast majority of human beings are gullible and under-informed, or maleficent and exploitative. The former group is poor and the latter group is obscenely wealthy. There are a few in the middle who show none of those traits. I belong to that group.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    For a short while I thought that we were having a meaningful conversation, but you have reverted to being a supercilious, sanctimonious berk.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Why, I do declare, you are a saint! Albeit a rather short-sighted and self-opinionated one.

  • Hermit

    I did not say, “if omnipotence could be used to destroy the universe, it would be used to destroy the universe”, that is your misunderstanding or strawman. I said that, “the possibility to determine the state of a particle is sufficient to cause waveform collapse”, which is well understood and accepted physics. This means that if there were any possibility for anything to fully determine the state of the particles making up the universe, then the universe would undergo waveform collapse and would no longer exist as we experience it. So the fact that the universe exists as we experience it means that this possibility has never existed. That you do not understand physics enough to comprehend that Heisenberg’s uncertainty precludes the exercised possibility of omnipotence in this universe, as the possibility of omnipotence would cause waveform collapse, as evidenced by the Quantum Eraser experiment is quite obvious So I have presented evidence, in the fact that the universe exists as it does,which means that omnipotence does not, but you cannot, or more likely will not, comprehend why this is evidence for what I claim. That is your problem, not mine.

    Your straw-man about logic being worthless is, like all fallacies, also worthless. I said that logic in the absence of evidence is worthless. Logic is a tool which can be used to reason anything. Logic may be used in simplistic closed systems of limited applicability to prove things within that system. More complex things cannot be proved, but sometimes may be disproved by evidence. This is not a logical argument. nut a well established fact. See e.g. Gödel’s incompleteness theorems and Church’s and Turing’s contributions to Hilbert’s Entscheidungsproblem..

    I don’t fear this. That is you speaking. I simply acknowledge the reality you do not begin to comprehend. You don’t seem to comprehend the fact that I showed that even if the above were incorrect (and it isn’t, as it speaks to the intersubjectively verified nature of the universe we occupy), that you have no way to measure, qualify, characterize or determine “omnipotence”, and because of that, you cannot validly claim that something is omnipotent or decide that something else is not. As such, “omnipotence” is not an intersubjectively verifiable attribute which could be used to claim that something was, or was not, a god thingie, even if that thing were, unlike the god thingies of the so-called “bible”, not particularly nasty and stupid imaginary thingies which in no way demonstrate “omnipotence”.

  • Hermit

    Tell me what “happiness” or “emotion” are, and how to measure them, and I will tell you if a “robot” can “possess” them. Until then you are simply making nonsensical assertions.

    I am not a clone of anyone.

    The trouble is that your alleged examples are incompatible with our universe. So they do not exist in the universe, and if they exist outside the universe, from the definition of the universe and known physics, not only can you not tell anything about it, but it cannot affect the universe in any way, including learning anything about the universe, without either becoming part of the universe or destroying the universe, or perhaps both.

    So omnipotence remains an imaginary idea in this universe, that you cannot demonstrate or evaluate, and therefore cannot use in a valid claim about the nature of something that is non-imaginary. Like your god thingies.

  • Hermit

    I did not see that reply. I have now addressed it.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Blah, blah, blah. My memory of the bible is sounding symbol, but clanging will do just as well.

    Let me share with you some other interpretations of what Jesus was all about:
    https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-teaching.html
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/brandan-robertson/4-teachings-of-jesus-that_b_6343320.html
    http://thirdway.com/love-jesus/key-teachings/
    http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/5-teachings-from-jesus-everyone-gets-wrong.aspx

    And there are more. None of the ones I have looked at share your interpretation.

    And, yes, you are a large part of the problem.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh, I understand the problems that beset human beings. We need food, water and shelter. But because there are far too many of us, and only finite resources, meeting those needs is becoming more and more difficult. Love and humility is not going to solve those problems.

  • Mensch59

    Mistakenly blaming overpopulation instead of correctly analyzing the system of overproduction leading to overconsumption, waste, industrial pollution isn’t going to solve those problems either.
    Overpopulationism is ideological scientism. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1191d69e99d9dce987d1335fe3bd7b08ffd250bba0049160b5376c0dadf9b57.png https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-15449959

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Possibly you don’t spend all your time telling your church folks that they will never be able to do any good in the world unless they embrace Jesus.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    you have now gone from being merely sanctimonious to being downright insulting. In what way do I “milk the system”? How do you know that I don’t feel guilt about my situation? Have you not read anything I have written? My ‘aspiration’ as you put it, is to save the planet and non-human species from the serious damage that humans are doing. My books are about changing current systems because I am not satisfied with them.

    You have also gone from making some good points to attacking me personally. I do not think that I want to carry on the one-sided conversation.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh sure! Where is the evidence?

  • Collectivist

    Joe is deleting comments. again. Just had two, to you, deleted.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I know that the left brain is not the only one I have. I just didn’t know that it was responsible for self-belief and prejudice. And who knows what egoic means. It so happens that I have a pretty strong right brain as well. I don’t call myself an artist (although others do), but I am very creative and have had three solo exhibitions.

    Furthermore I am not a linear thinker, but rather a big picture sort of person. I see connections where others might not. I see webs, where others see straight lines. I am well-aware that there are no simple solutions to the problems of the world. To solve problems we have to make many changes at the same time, because everything is interconnected.

    Interesting that you would call a pre-eminent biologist a donkey.

  • Mensch59

    Yeah, I know. He’s housecleaning according to his subjective interpretation of what’s “off topic.”
    He’s doing a great job becoming a Brownshirt.

  • Mensch59

    I don’t blindly follow cheerleaders for (i) financial imperialism and (ii) debt as the main instrument for extraction of value into interest payments and (iii) money laundering, Graves.
    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/08/michael-hudson-life-thought-autobiography.html

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Which history books would that be? As far as I know there is considerable doubt about Jesus. See for example https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/18/did-historical-jesus-exist-the-traditional-evidence-doesnt-hold-up/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c18d90413eaa

    And I promise you that I am not searching for god.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Has it ever occurred to you that you not only the only person in the world who does the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Or that not everyone seeks a reward. Some of us do it without bragging.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I can’t possible address all your senile ramblings, so I will just choose one issue. What am I going to replace capitalism with?

    There is not yet an appropriate name for the world which I envisage. Socialism is the closest, but that has negative connotations connected to communism, although they are not they same thing. Modern day Cuba comes close. The government provides for the basic needs of every citizen, but entrepreneurship is not disallowed. There are many co-operatives, mostly farms, where there is no boss who determines wages and benefits. The co-operative model is fair to all. There is no exploitation and everyone gets out of the co-operative what they put into it. As MArx said: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The bible has had more than 2000 years to convince present its visions of a new world. Hasn’t happened yet, has it?

    I have to defend Richard Dawkins who I was unaware of until I cleared out my husband’s office and found an audio book of The God Delusion. I listened to it on the way to and from a tour of the areas in Pennsylvania damaged by fracking. For the most part, he simply reinforced what I already thought. (Does that make me a donkey a well?). But he made a couple of really good points. First, children are not born with a built-in religion: they are indoctrinated by their parents. He calls it a form of child abuse. Second, he talks about the ridiculous “respect” afforded to religious beliefs. All you need to do is say that you sincerely believe in something (the more ridiculous the better) and people fall over themselves to say “I respect your beliefs”. I have no respect for those who lead their lives according to myths.

    And third, he gives atheists license to speak out. I do not call myself an atheist because that implies that there is a theos which I choose not to believe in. I know as surely as I know that I am sitting at my kitchen table typing on my laptop that there is no supernatural being watching over us. So Jesus may have existed and he may have left a legacy of greay wisdom, but the son of god he was not.

  • S Graves

    Gary, you are just such a self-obsessed bore. But, after all, you ARE a self-confessed anarchist. Really? That’s just lame, Gary.

  • Mensch59

    More projection from Graves. I was having such a pleasant time not having to deal with your fallacious ad hominems.

  • Dr.Abdul Mhagaybodhi

    Oh Dawkins was amazing.I heard his book about no God was not that great,pretty hard and perhaps boring reading?But his talks and answers to questions was outstanding.His rationality and knowledge of my love of evolutionary biology was unbeatable.
    But being such an outstanding rationalist,and scientist and ‘real’ man of outstanding nature and intelligence unfortunately is not nessesarily of any benefit in connecting with the divine ,the magical,the ultimate reality and truth.
    It seems this is another part of the brain or consciousness completely.
    Great guy though although my favourite was Hitch.
    Hitchins. He destroyed the religious. He was great.
    But again doesn’t mean he got it right.
    God does exist,miracles happen and this world is just a shadow of the true eternal reality of the heavenly kingdom.
    I still think hitch was the best.
    I am deeply religious but shocked at the utter stupidity,let alone bigotry,of many of my co-religionists.Apalling.

  • Dr.Abdul Mhagaybodhi

    Yes,the ego is our defensive self rather than our deeper more real vunerable self.
    It is the walls of the house we live in,but not fully us.
    The ego builds from pain,trauma which develops defences against future pain and before you know it you have a miserable adult person.ha ha

  • S Graves

    But Gary. I’ve missed you and each of my ad hominem WRT you are always truthful and accurate. But you know that.

  • Mensch59

    You miss my participation in your twisted mind-game playing.
    I won’t be doing that any more.

  • S Graves

    Oh Gary. That really hurts. After all these years.

  • S Graves

    Cuba? You have GOT to be kidding, Liz. “fair to all”?

    —President Raúl Castro himself acknowledged that wages “do not satisfy all the needs of the worker and his family” and, in one of his most critical speeches about the national reality in 2013, he said that “a part of society” had become accustomed to stealing from the state.

    Sanchez, on the other hand, justifies the thefts and believes that the “those who live better” are those who have access to dollars or those who receive remittances. “Anyone who doesn’t have a family member abroad or is a leader, is out of luck,” she says.—

    Cuba survived in large measure because of support from Russia and more recently Argentina. Both economies fail and support from both socialist countries was withdrawn.

    Yeah…right. The economic system you envision hasn’t yet happened…and can’t happen. It simply resides in your alternative reality.

    REALLY Liz!!!! Wake f.ing up.

    https://www.havanatimes.org/?p=97506

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes. Gandhi said it first “The Earth provides enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”

    You think one of it is for sale to the highest bidder? Wake up. Jeff Bezos is “worth” 160 BILLION dollars. Apple is “worth” a trillion. If that doesn’t make you angry you are living in la la land, you are a sham. Your love and humility won’t feed the hungry, or provide education or meaningful work. All meaningful work has been given to answering machines and robots.

  • Susan M.

    I was being somewhat sarcastic. How could he claim to believe in the Old Testament, not the New, and, at the same time, call himself a “Christian”?
    Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law, and my understanding is that the New Testament is the new contract that God made with Man, superseding the old contract, which the Jews never could keep. My acquaintance was still hearkening back to the old contract and its judgemental, vengeful God.

  • You are right. Many, many so called Christians are actually misguided disciples of Moses though James says that is a hopeless cause because if you break one commandment you’ve broken the lot. Sadly many people need to justify themselves against a set of rules and are effectively followers of a list.

  • S Graves

    YES Popcorn. You are correct. That’s why it hurt me. Excellent point and thank you Stoner.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Which downright lies?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Re-reading this I feel compelled to comment that, no, we do not have a lot in common. And you are not very skilled in navigating a website.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That anger cannot be my weapon of choice is NOT all you are saying. You are saying that because I do not prostrate myself before a possibly mythical man I m not a good person. Certainly not as good as you are.

    You make assumptions based on what you would like to be the case. And for crying out loud, lose the questions marks.

    Yes, maybe I will start a revolution. It does not need to be violent.

    You think that you are the only person in the world with love and humility? Think you are the only person in the world who contributes to food banks? (and those ARE questions). Let me share a pertinent quote: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”— Dom Hélder Câmara

    and another: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

    I sincerely hope that Mr Bezos’s wealth will disappear. Mine? I am not really wealthy but if what I own disappeared overnight, yes, I could cope quite easily. For a start, I would no longer be embarrassed to live by myself in a 3000 square foot house, which I have been unable to sell. I would hate to lose my Macbook, my physical books and my wifi, but there are always libraries.

    You will not believe me, but the best six weeks of my entire life was when I took my three children on a road trip across America. We camped out in national and state forests and parks for six weeks. Out budget was $15 a day for accommodation and $15 for food. Next best was a month in Limpopo province of South Africa, living in a log cabin without electricity or running water. Drop toilets and showers were at least 200 metres away, and the token civilization was a little further. But the monkeys were wonderful. So were the lemurs in Madagascar where I spent a month living in very modest quarters while working at the zoo. Ditto the variety of animals at a rescue centre in Costa Rica. And the fourth of my volunteer months abroad was teaching at a school for children in Nicaragua whose parents were too poor to provide an education for their kids.

    But, hey, I have no love, no empathy, no humility. I am a wicked person because I am angry that the Capitalist world has caused most of the poverty we see today. Because I am angry that there is such iniquitous inequality. FU.

  • Ed Senter

    First of all, science is the study of knowledge, whereas, philosophy is the study of meanings. You can have all of the knowledge in the world yet know not what it means. I have perused the web on the subjects you have mentioned and I have found that there is no consensus on the meaning of what the science shows.
    Much like preachers, everyone has an opinion. What you have done is merely expressed your opinion. I find little support for it on the web.
    I believe you have confused the uncertainty principle with the observer effect, and conflated the waveform collapse with destruction of the universe. Observing the location of a particle “collapses” nothing other than the probability function of the experiment. One commenter called it “information” which, of course, has no physical properties.

    Second, we are discussing the possibility of an All-Mighty Supreme BEING, not some non-descript unconstrained force. That Being would have a meaning and purpose and total control of what it creates.

    And, I disagree with your opinion on logic because, more correctly, logic is the study of good and bad reasoning. Evidence is not needed to merely state a premise. Any premise will support a proper conclusion.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    In the delightful movie, The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya repeatedly said to whatsisname “I don’t think that word means what you think it does”. I could say the same about you and prejudice. Merriam Webster (the best we have here in the US) defines prejudice as :

    a (1): preconceived judgment or opinion
    (2): an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge
    b: an instance of such judgment or opinion

    c: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

    The most important part is WITHOUT JUST GROUNDS. My criticism of religions is based on a pretty extensive knowledge of the history and practice of the world’s leading religions (as well as a few minor ones). I certainly refuse to acknowledge the authority of a mythical being. Should I be bowing to Zeus or Baal or Odin or Huitzilopochtli or Mithras? If not, why not?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Video games and simulations are virtual reality. Being able to navigate between the pages of a website is reality in 2018. Ultimate reality is trees and elephants and billions of bacteria. “God” is wishful thinking.

  • David Cromie

    Unfortunately for you, it is logically impossible to prove a negative. On the other hand, the onus is on the believer to substantiate their claim that a ‘god’ actually exists.

  • David Cromie

    What ‘fact(s)’ can you bring to the table in support of your proclamation? Believing something to be the case is not the same as it being really the case.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I say god does not exist. You say he does. These are both opinions as neither of us can provide proof to support our position. I’m sorry to break this to you, but the bible is not proof. I can’t provide empirical proof that god does not exist, but I can make a very good case that god is a man-made construct. At the heart of that argument is the fact that it is impossible to know which god we are talking about.

    As Christopher Hitchens rather convincingly put it: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”

    “Your absolute refusal to consider, let alone accept that possibility, lets you down.” What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You do not consider the possibility that you are wrong.

    I have considered many possibilities. But my 11-year-old mind rejected the idea of a supernatural being who sent an angel to impregnate a woman to give birth to His Son, whom he later allowed to be crucified in order to SAVE his people. Even at that tender ageI considered the idea (as I think I have said) on a par with Santa Claus and his elves – something made up to explain to children the otherwise inexplicable. That may have made sense 2000 years ago, but in 2018 there is very little that cannot be explained by science and absolutely no need for the divine.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You lose no opportunity to talk about how pious and godly you are and all the love and compassion you show. And, interestingly, how humble you are. I don’t brag about the many ways I have helped the underprivileged, nor my efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change so that future generations will have a fighting chance to live a half-way decent life.

    Poverty is relative. I have been to many poor parts of the world, and I have worked (as a tutor and mentor) with some of the dirt poor kids scattered through New York state. You feel it is enough to feed them and “minister” to them. I feel that it is better to work for a society where they can care for themselves.

    You do what you do (as it obviously makes you feel good about yourself, not to mention morally superior). I’ll do what I do, You confine your help to poor people; I strive to repair the earth so that all creatures can survive. We’ll see who, in the end, helps more.

  • Mensch59

    Supernaturalism is a vision which is (still) too small.

  • Mensch59

    As Christopher Hitchens rather convincingly put it: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”

    Hitchens was no anthropologist studying the core myth and myths common to all religions which had no cultural contact points. I’d suggest reading “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell if you are interested in “glimpses into a deeper insight towards the self and humanity.” http://stephpostauthor.blogspot.com/2013/04/book-review-power-of-myth-by-joseph.html Campbell is a much more interesting thinker (by orders of magnitude) than apologists for a specific faith tradition.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’m not sure what you mean. But interestingly I am re-reading a book from the early seventies called Supernature. The author got some things very wrong, but in other cases the seemingly incredible explanations he suggested for strange phenomena no longer seem bizarre. Next on my reading list is The Hidden Life of Trees.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I have not read Joseph Campbell although I am aware of the book. and the impact of his thinking. Does he ever explain why the one-god myth has endured so long?

  • Mensch59

    His explanation is that the idea of “God” is transcendent… which might only kick the can further down the path if you need transcendence explained, interpreted, described, etc.
    Campbell states that the core myth of all religious thinking is that there’s more to existence than physical life.

  • Mensch59

    My partner is reading “The Hidden Life of Trees”, a gift from her mother.
    I think that Bernard Joy has too small a vision. You have a larger one. If that’s because you’re a naturalist and he’s a supernaturalist, then that might explain some of his antipathy towards your cognitive and social practices.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I am trying hard not too make this a personal attack, but you are becoming more deluded by the minute.

    Hitchens’ statement is an observation, supported by the known facts that there are somewhat over 2 billion Christians in the world (2010) divided among more than 20,000 denominations. In theory they all had the same source for their beliefs (the bible), and differences between them are due to interpretation. Are you able to say which ones are right, and which ones are not?

    You seem to have had some sort of epiphany. You did not seek medical a physiological or psychological explanation. No, you assumed it was a message from god and now consider yourself imbued with all the wisdom in the world.

    Saying that Hitchens is not as intelligent, or as well red (sic) as Coleridge is an opinion, not necessarily borne out by the facts. My “good advice” is not cobbled together from “wisdom sources” (aka religious scriptures of one sort or another), because I don’t read those very often. My world view, or personal philosophy, is the synthesis of 70 years of observation of life in all its forms throughout the world; communication (in six languages) with people in the 76 countries I have visited; getting my hands dirty in the soil while getting to know the amazingly rich life under our feet, dabbling in local politics, activating for social and environmental change, and learning learning, learning. I ask why and how as often as my 5 year-old granddaughter does. Unlike her, i don’t stop until I have the answers. i have learnt that the variety and resilience of life is truly amazing. And I am developping an understanding of how it all fits together.

    I have also learnt that humans are surely and not so slowly destroying life on earth. Not “my” civilization, but what humans have become. Your “pockets of community” are no better equipped to deal with heatwaves, storms, flooding, food of deteriorating quality (not to mention quantity), pollution-induced illness, chemical-induced cancers or the evils of a rapacious capitalist society. But good luck. Perhaps you could use your hotline to god to ask him to reduce the temperature just a little. Or, send London a little rain.

  • Hermit

    As Wittgenstein explained, and Hawking and many other leading physicists have confirmed, philosophy is dead. It failed to keep up with mathematics and science. Questions of “meaning” are meaningless. Science simply builds models that make good predictions or projections about things which can be intersubjectively verified. Either models work, or they do not work. Physicists are qualified to establish whether models work, and this is an area of post-graduate study in which a number of models exist which predict what we observe, and which I have attempted to describe in words. What are your qualifications to reach conclusions in this area?

    My household trained physicist suggests that you are scrambling models with gay abandon and demonstrating your utter lack of competence. He recommends that you ask a suitably qualified physicist to explain the implications of the Hensen B. (1997). “Loophole-free Bell inequality violation using electron spins separated by 1.3 kilometres”. Nature. 526: 682–686. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature15759, the successor to the “Bell Inequality Tests”, which experimentally verified the fact that when Heisenberg uncertainty may potentially be violated, that the waveform of the particle under investigation will collapse, totally eliminating local realism. You might also ask your physicist to verify that the Walborn, S. P.; et al. (2002). “Double-Slit Quantum Eraser”. Phys. Rev. A. 65 (3): 033818. https://journals.aps.org/pra/pdf/10.1103/PhysRevA.65.033818 shows that no actual observation is required to cause waveform collapse, but that the mere potential for an observation is sufficient to trigger collapse, and that removing the potential is sufficient to undo the effect. The fact that these experiments work the way they do, proves that no supervening potential can exist.

    So if anything had the possibility to violate Heisenberg in respect to some thing, it would force that thing to experience waveform collapse and the results of these experiments would be very different, because waveform collapse would always occur, and removing the potential would not undo the effect. So, given that your imaginary “all-powerful thing” supposedly has the potential to do this for everything in the Universe is precisely how we know that your “all powerful thing” is imaginary – that there is no possibility that it exists in this universe.

    Can you point to any example of evidence for the super-duper-awesome powers you hypothesize are possessed by your imaginary “All-Mighty Supreme BEING” (sic)? Can you explain how you have verified that such an entity exists outside of your imagination, and detail the tests you have performed, the evidence you have accumulated and the analysis you have engaged in to reach the conclusion that your “All-Mighty Supreme BEING” (sic) actually exists and possesses such powers to ensure that you are not merely imagining it, or that it is just faking it, or that you have been lied to, as well as explaining the tests you have performed and showing the resulting evidence you have acquired, and the analysis you have performed on it, to preclude the possibility that no other entity possesses such powers, entitling it to also be regarded as an “All-Mighty Supreme BEING” (sic)?

    You appear to misunderstand both logic, and the point. Systems of logic are merely collections of rules which establish ways to establish valid inferences within a closed system. Logic cannot speak to anything outside that system, and there are limits to how complex the systems can be that are able to be proved by any such system. No closed logical system is able to fully prove itself, allowing us to state that in finite time logic only applies to closed systems of limited applicability. Anything, whether imaginary or more than imaginary can be expressed within a suitable logical system, but that does not speak to the validity of the articulation or inferences outside of that system. For example, using careful observation and impeccable logic, the age of the earth has been variously estimated as:
    Eternal – Aristotle (because it is perfect)
    Recent – Lucretius (because no stories dated earlier than the Trojan War)
    A few thousand years – Talmudic rabbis, Martin Luther, Bishop Ussher (e.g. 4004 BCE) based on the bible
    A 100 million years – most 19th century geologists (based on geological features)
    3.55 million years – all modern scientists (based on radioactive decay).
    Only the modern scientists are correct.
    As you say, “Any premise will support a proper conclusion”, but it is not possible to determine whether the conclusion applies to anything that is not imaginary, unless the premises are based on observations, and the conclusion makes predictions which can be tested through intersubjectively verifiable evidence. This is why logic, in the absence of evidence, is worthless.

  • Mensch59

    And the only proof of God, can be changed lives.

    “My experience with psilocybin, that changed my life completely, in a positive way!” https://disobedientrebelleon.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/my-experience-with-psilocybin-that-changed-my-life-completely-in-a-positive-way/

  • Ed Senter

    Your continue to give meanings to concepts that I have not said and to terms that are simply not there.
    What meaning in the term “omnipotence” would violate the uncertainty principle whether potential or actual?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The boastful part is proclaiming that you know the truth better than anyone else. And that you are the only person in the world capable of making a difference in the lives of damaged children. The poor don’t need me? Of course they don’t, they’ve got you. Saint Bernard of Bermondsey.

    Mentoring is talking down is it? “My kids” didn’t see it that way. and they were dirt poor – literally. One family was living in a shack with a dirt floor, and the previous tenants had kept chickens in the house. They had no sheets, they had no books. They had nothing. But the mother later contacted me to say that her kids were doing well, thanks to me.

    Poverty is the direct consequence of greed and wealth. On that we agree. But how dare you lump me in with the greedy when you have very little knowledge of my circumstances (other than I probably have more than you do)? How dare you say that the poor don’t need me? The poor need all the help they can get, and I have given generously of time, money and, yes, love (although I would term it affection).

    There is very little that I don’t understand, including the verb to rubbish. But you should know that most Americans haven’t a clue what you mean.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’ll take that as a compliment. Thanks.

    Commenting on these sorts of sites can be very frustrating. Why do I do it, you ask? Because from time to time I meet great people. Let me know how your partner likes the book. I am pushing to have it incuded in the Library’s book review program.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Aaah….. Wouldn’t it b nice if there were! well, not actually. I can think of nothing worse than spending eternity anywhere. Maybe reincarnation, but I’m not so keen on being a tadpole or a tapir either.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    If you want to see truth and beauty, check this out

    https://www.susanmiddleton.com/Susan_Middleton/Galleries/Pages/Spineless.html

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It is possible that “justice” would help them more than my mentoring. Are you suggesting that, therefore, I should have done nothing? How would that lead to justice?

    You are not very clear about what you mean by justice. I take it to mean fairness, equal treatment and equal opportunity. It means standing up to corporate greed and exploitation. It means resisting industrialization of rural communities. It means protesting against injustices. It means removing corrupt politicians. It means attacking prejudice and bigotry whenever you see it. It means promoting co-operation and, yes, socialist practices. It means supporting small businesses. It means fighting against cruelty. It means overcoming ignorance.

    None of that happens through love and humility.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You have spent countless hours telling me that I have failed to recognize the ultimate truth. Not like you who managed to grasp it some time in 1982, I think you said.

    Yes, most of my rants here are about religion because that is the topic under discussion “No, the gospel isn’t good news for everyone” Remember?

    But you like to bring up other things so I will tackle those one by one.

    Yes ‘we’ are the problem. As the saying goes “All the world is beautiful but only man is vile” Women CAN be pretty awful, but men are worse.

    I label things as opinions because mostly they are. Facts can be observed, demonstrated, tested. Conclusions not based on facts are opinions. Coleridge may well be wiser, but that is not what you said. You said he was more intelligent and better read. It is not possible to provea negative, but it is possible to arrive at the judicial standard of “beyond reasonable doubt”.

    While I certainly want to make the world a better place, I am not into “enlightenment” as you should have realized by now. Inform, educate, inspire, certainly. But I leave the enlightenment part to you and other zealots.

    I do “honour the variety and resilience of life”. ALL life. I do not share the biblical notion that man is superior to other creatures; that man is the only sentient being; tat man was created in god’s image. What was it Oscar Wilde said?: “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.”

    Ah, proselytizing. “convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another” as the dictionary says. Non-belief is not a religion. In south Africa and Europe it was perfectly possible to lead a happy life as a non-believer as, for the most part, everyone kept their beliefs, or lack thereof, to themselves. The Unites States is not like that. Never has been, but since the rise of the Tea Party, it has become intolerable and I have begun to speak out. Religion has no part in public life. But it intrudes more and more. And I do not accept that someone else’s beliefs (opinions) should outweigh facts. This is not a phobia (unreasonable fear). It is a perfectly rational reaction to other people shoving their opinions in my face.

    From what you have said, i am sure you do a lot of good. So keep on doing it. But don’t tell me that my “do gooding” is somehow less than yours because it is not spiritual.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The work you do sounds wonderful., and by all measures you should be a wonderful person. I am SO behind offering kids fun and a carefree childhood. Good for you! i could not possibly criticize that. What I do criticize is the inane idea that you can only be a wonderful person when you are inspired by Jesus. ‘Good without a God’ works for me.

    Of course it is impossible to leave it there. I freely admit to being ignorant (as in I don’t care) on the matter of spirituality. I am also pretty ignorant about hip hop and The Game of Thrones. I am totally ignorant about Japanese history before 1240, or how the combustion engine works. These are not subjects that interest me. But it was quite hard to come up with examples because most subjects interest me, and I have some knowledge about most of them. In other words, I know a helluva lot.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    There is little wrong with such a position. I find your exclusive focus on humans to be limiting. We have, it is true, taken over the planet, but we are not the alpha species. In fact, the world would get along very well without humans. The world would be in much more trouble without, for example, lumbricus terrestris.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I am not familiar enough with the bible to know where it talks about “creation and life as a ‘gift’, to be enjoyed and to be shared in love”. But I am familiar with Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply,
    and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish
    of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing
    that moveth upon the earth.

  • David Cromie

    If your supposed ‘god’ is love, I expect that you are in favour of SSM, for example, and that you can provide the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that it actually exists outside of your head.

  • David Cromie

    “I am still, very much anti-church and religion”, you claim, but that does not deter you from spouting pseudo-psychological and religiot BS!

  • David Cromie

    What a pity you cannot, and nor can any other religiot, it seems, provide the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that would lead any sane person to accept that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists.

  • David Cromie

    In a faerie tale, anything is possible!

  • Mensch59

    I suspect that every single time without fail, this “I” or “me” or “you” described as the part of you-me-I-self that defines itself as a personality, separates itself from the outside world, and considers itself (read: you-me-I) a separate entity from the rest of nature and the cosmos is annihilated by brain-body death. If there is any “thing” mental which is transcendent, I doubt that it’s the sense of self. If transcendence has anything to do with solipsism, that would be a hellish eternity.

  • Mensch59

    Here’s a real compliment. You’re a decently “great” person yourself. It’s enjoyable to follow your commentary.

  • Mensch59

    Look at the “side effects” of faith in monotheistic religions too. It’s not all “truth and beauty”, eh?

    Also, those who experience a life changing expansion of consciousness are not “addicts.” Some go on to practice the same kinds of service to their fellow beings which both you and @elizabethwhitehouse:disqus describe yourselves doing. See https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/503/from-here-to-eternity

    The biggest problem I see in this ongoing (and eternal?) agnostic-atheist-theist debate is theists considering themselves superior to atheists & agnostics and the atheists & agnostics reacting (1) to generations of persecution by religious secular authorities (2) to the lie that a person needs religion in order to have & practice high moral virtues/ethical standards (3) to the implied requirement to feel inferior to religionists. If religionists think themselves superior in any way (including how “enlightened” they are compared to the darkened/benighted condition of those of us who have no religion and no desire for spirituality), I think that those thoughts of (illusory) superiority are only manifestations of the historical antecedents to the Dunning-Kruger effect and that effect itself.

  • Hermit

    I have no idea to what your first sentence is supposed to apply.

    While a gross simplification, experimentation has established that if something is potentially able to violate Heisenberg for some object, then it will result in waveform collapse of that object. We have also established through experiment that objects exist that do not have collapsed waveforms. Therefore we know that nothing in the universe exists with even the potential to violate Heisenberg for the objects that we have observed. Which precludes “omnipotence” from this universe as omnipotence has the .potential to violate Heisenberg. Q.E.D.

  • Mensch59

    Most of the little christs I’ve experienced (who profess “enlightenment from the spiritual process”) come across as the polar opposite of “humble.”
    That’s simply my experience.
    Maybe other agnostic or atheistic non-spiritual types have had more uplifting experiences with humble Christians/monotheists.

  • David Cromie

    To say that”…if omnipotence could be used to destroy the universe, it would be used to destroy the universe…” is a complete misunderstanding of what Hermit actually wrote. Is this the way you read the so-called ‘bible’ also, imputing your preferred meanings to its texts?

  • David Cromie

    “Any premise will support a proper conclusion” – WTF?

  • Mensch59

    Why try to change a cultural institution or an establishment of religion from within the establishment/institution? How?
    In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m attracted to radical anti-establishment types.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Benificent rule, huh? How’s that working out?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The extent of my transcendence is to talk to trees, and birds and squirrels, and even the worms in my garden! I can understand the early search for meaning, but post Darwin, there really is no need: we were not created for a purpose; we evolved by chance.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I had not heard of the Myers-Briggs test, so I immediately tried it out (I love tests). My score was

    Introvert(9%) iNtuitive(53%) Thinking(9%) Perceiving(30%). I think the T is low, as thinking is what I do most (and best).

  • Mensch59

    I wouldn’t argue with Darwin.
    “Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hopes for a still higher destiny in the distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason allows us to discover it. I have given the evidence to the best of my ability; and we must acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system — with all these exalted powers — Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” ~ Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871), volume II, chapter XXI: “General Summary and Conclusion”, page 405

  • Mensch59

    Wisdom movements are not limited to the words of Jesus though, correct?
    Jesus purported said (there is no evidence, only faith, that the words Jesus spoke have been preserved in the scriptures) that he was sent to the lost sheep of Israel and Paul took the Jewish Christ of faith to the gentiles.
    There are more peoples to whom wisdom has been conferred than Jews and Gentiles.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I wouldn’t either. But these days it seems that more and more people need to reminded of the lowly origin bit.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Agreed, a beneficent ruler does not force its rule. But we were talking (at least I was) about dominion over every living thing, and you explained that Orthodox Christians and Jews interpret it as benign rule. My sarcastic question were another way of saying I wonder how benign the animals find this rule. Or the trees, which of course the bible doesn’t consider living as they don’t “move(th) upon the earth”.

    There certainly are people who share my aspirations who belong to churches (not normally known as movements, but I’m not sure what else you could be referring to) and I collaborate with many.

  • Mensch59

    Even the transcendental spiritualists need to be reminded of their end. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins is the one who will die. A son will not bear the iniquity of the father, and a father will not bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will fall upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked man will fall upon him.”
    The religionists can’t deny forever that they sin and die. Therefore, they have invented savior gods who die and who are raised from death.
    The acceptance of death in the face of our awareness of our mortality is challenging. It’s much easier to give in to magical & wishful thinking.

  • Mensch59

    And in its fear and paranoia, the world wants to be fundamentalist, rational and literal.

    I’m not so sure about that. Many people are fine with allegory, conscious symbol-making, myth. It’s the authoritarians which push the fundamentalist, rational, literal interpretation. Why? Such an approach empowers authoritarianism. Maybe that’s why fundamentalism is losing its appeal in societies which practice liberal democracy in their public sphere.

  • Robert

    Well put!

  • Hermit

    Your ongoing inability or unwillingness to provide responsive answers highlights your cognitive dissonance, dishonest discussion behavior and lack of answers which makes my case that you possess no knowledge of the intersubjectively verifiable attributes necessary and sufficient to qualify an entity possessing them as a god thingie, which disqualifies you from making any valid claims about god thingies and confirms that you are confusing an imaginary concept with something more than imaginary.

  • Robert
  • Ed Senter

    “All men have 3 legs. This is a man, therefore, it has 3 legs.”
    The reasoning is correct. Whether or not the premise is correct is another issue. Got it?

  • Ed Senter

    They made no connection between “omnipotence” and “to determine the state of a particle”, therefore, their statement could mean anything. You apparently don’t know logic either, codger.

  • Ed Senter

    All you have done is restate your claim. My question was HOW would omnipotence do this- have the potential to violate Heisenberg?

  • Ed Senter

    You disappoint me, hermit. You stated, ” the possibility to determine the state of a particle is sufficient to cause waveform collapse, so we know that nothing with the possibility of “omnipotence” has ever existed in this universe”, and ” This means that if there were any possibility for anything to fully determine the state of the particles making up the universe, then the universe would undergo waveform collapse and would no longer exist as we experience it”, and “So if anything had the possibility to violate Heisenberg in respect to some thing, it would force that thing to experience waveform collapse and the results of these experiments would be very different, because waveform collapse would always occur, and removing the potential would not undo the effect.”

    Apparently, you believe something about “waveform collapse” that makes omnipotence impossible.
    What is it about “waveform collapse” or “omnipotence” that makes you believe that they can not co-exist in this universe?
    Please do not run away like a coward and hide.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Those two books show some evidence that there was a man who fits Jesus’s profile living in the right place at the right time. Tacitus calls him Christ, not Jesus. And he was writing almost a hundred years after Jesus is thought to have died.

    Josephus was more contemporary and was a Jew so he may have had some direct contact with those who knew the man called Jesus of Nazareth. The reference to the brother of James is quite compelling evidence. But proof? We have no idea where he got his information from, nor how his writing may have been mistranslated or mis-transcribed in the several hundred between his life and the earliest extant version. Would it stand up in a court of law? Does it meet the beyond a shadow of doubt standard? I think the jury is still out.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    All reputable biblical historians maybe. Secular archaelologists and historians not so much so.

  • SteveWB

    I wonder just how many ‘historical figures’ in the ancient world would stand up to your ‘beyond a shadow of doubt standard’. For any unprejudiced person the evidence cited in that article is compelling, and to that documentary evidence you should also add the four gospels included in the New Testament – books which do not conform to any known literary classification or fictitious genre known to us, but which record a startlingly vivid impression of an extraordinary person.
    It is also important not to underestimate the strength and accuracy of oral tradition. Human recollection was the ‘cloud’ of the ancient world. We would know nothing of Homer if we sought for his work in ‘contemporary documents’, and dismissive comments such as yours about Tacitus – ‘he was writing almost a hundred years after Jesus is thought to have died’ – suggest that you fail to understand this. ‘The jury is still out?’ I think not.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    By secular I meant those not specifically working on biblical history, not necessarily those who do not believe in the bible.

  • David Cromie

    Yes, simply because people who believe in a ‘god(s) can never bring the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence to the table which would convince an intelligent, sane, person to consider that they are correct.

  • David Cromie

    Are you really totally ignorant of the bloody religious conflicts that have happened throughout British history?

  • David Cromie

    Christianity made all this poverty possible/necessary in the Western world! The Islamic world is no better.

  • Hermit

    I think you are confused as well as ignorant. I’m certain that even with a detailed explanation of the delayed quantum eraser experiment you won’t begin to be able to understand it. Nevertheless, Wikipedia does provide such explanations. Please consider yourself invited to study them to your heart’s content. Now consider that these experiments concisely verify Heisenberg. The position and momentum of a partical cannot be known simultaneously, and as these experiments confirm, the potential for this to occur is sufficient to cause waveform collapse. The fact that we can perform these experiments, and that their outcomes match our predictions, confirms that there is nothing in the universe which has the potential to determine momentum or position of the particals involved in these experiments before we do, because that would prevent us from erasing that potential. This precludes anything in this universe from being omnipotent, because omnipotence must include such a potential.

  • Hermit

    Not at all. Atheists are entitled to do anything they like, including being stupid enough to vest belief* in things, as long as they do not vest belief in god thingies.

    “Jesus” was not a Hebrew or Aramaic name at the time, but rather the acronym of a rabbinical curse. So there is no reason to imagine that any “Jesus” existed, and given that we know that the inherently implausible stories about this character were written much later, know that many of the more bizarre fables were fabricated much later, and even know that some of the prototypes were not called “Jesus”, so we not only can rreject the idea that the Bible’s so-called “Jesus” ever existed as described, we should reject it. See e.g. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1suoqwsyVciuu8_1kP6gOrN_NJkFqQTd9JlehczYNffA.

    *Belief: Usually the assignment of a truth value in the face of compelling confounding intersubjectively verifiable evidence, or occasionally the assignment of a truth value in the absence of sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence. When sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence is present, belief is not required, merely observation, evaluation and acceptance of the preponderance of the evidence.

  • David Cromie

    “…wisdom teaching, that might save the planet…”, by which you mean founding a theocracy based solely on your particular, religiot’s, world view?

  • steve

    Because none of it is true.

  • Ed Senter

    Using your argument, I wonder how ordinary men were able to launch a rocket into outerspace and actually hit the moon? I think you have a propensity to interpret experiments to fit your argument. The eraser experiment merely showed that once a probability is known, all other probabilities “disappear”. I have read all kinds of problems with the experiment as well as interpreting the results. What you are is a believer in your “interpretation”.
    An omnipotent being would not “predict” an outcome, but most certainly could direct the path of anything. Besides, in spite of the fact that quantum states are indeterministic, the sum of all its parts can still be determined.

  • Hermit

    Indeed. If “he” existed, “he” was undoubtedly a Jew. A nasty seditious Jew, a zealot for the law (of Moses) which he thought would last until heaven and earth ended and that unless you adhered to it more strictly than did the pharisees, including stoning children that didn’t honor their parents, that you would not ever get to heaven. He didn’t have much time for women, goyim, or people who liked “soft things”, like the traitor to the Jews, the Herodian Saulus aka Paul or the lying spouter.

    One of the prototypes was probably Simon, son of Joseph, one of Herod’s slaves, who was killed leading a messianic rebellion. At least, as I show in the previously linked document, one of the members of the messianic sect from which the christer religion eventually rose, the Society of the Poor (of spirit), later headed in Jerusalem by James the Just (aka “brother of the Lord”), created a petroglyph, upon which he recorded Gabriel telling somebody that matches Simon, “After three days, rise again”. The problem for christers is that the glyph is reliably dated to before 15 CE, which also matches what we know about Simon – who was not crucified but decapitated.

  • Hermit

    Confusing the imaginary for the more than imaginary is psychotic.

  • Realist1234

    In reality you ‘know’ very little.

  • Realist1234

    You couldnt possibly know that. You have simply decided it is not true.

  • Ed Senter

    They certainly appear intelligent, but are they?
    They say, “The Universe is finite and its energy density is not infinite, therefore the universe contains a finite amount of energy. As some limits would require an infinite amount of energy to exceed, we know that “omnipotence” is incompatible with our universe except as an imaginary idea.”
    No honest person could come to such a conclusion. Hermit is not honest and their interpretations of quantum physics regarding Heisenberg and waveform collapse are down right silly. Read their paper- pseudo-intellectualism at its best.

  • Hermit

    “No honest person could come to such a conclusion”

    Defamatory assertion in the absence of even a pretense to grounds supports the perspective that you are a delusional, shifty-eyed christer with poor ethics and probably bad breath.

    You still have not provided your qualifications for judging physics,for example the page you were referred to on the delayed quantum eraser, about which you have repeatedly shown yourself abysmally ignorant (as you do again here). Please note that all non-mathematical “explanations” of quantum effects are, in a sense “silly”, as these are mathematical models, which is why I referenced the underlying mathematics, which any post-grad competent in QED should be able to follow and not find “silly” at all, but rather a remarkably competent model of the universe we observe.

    PS “The proper distance—the distance as would be measured at a specific time, including the present—between Earth and the edge of the observable universe is 46 billion light-years (14 billion parsecs), making the diameter of the observable universe about 91 billion light-years (28×109 pc).” “WMAP determined that the universe is flat, from which it follows that the mean energy density in the universe is equal to the critical density (within a 0.5% margin of error). This is equivalent to a mass density of 9.9 x 10^-30 g/cm^3, which is equivalent to only 5.9 protons per cubic meter.” (implying an average density of 10^80 particles). It also means that, as predicted by Lawrence Krauss, the net energy of the Universe is zero. Many possible omnipotent actions would require more energy than is present in the universe, or require a different distribution of energy in the universe, and either would result in the universe appearing very different from the universe we observe. Which again proves that, assuming the ordinary meaning of omnipotent, as “can do anything” and you have failed to provide an alternative definition which might comport with the observed universe, any sane person would conclude that there is not only no “omnipotent” thing in this universe except as a delusional imaginary concept, but also that there never has been and never will be an “omnipotent” thing in this universe. As you asserted that a god thingie would have to possess the attribute of “omnipotence” that also precludes your definition of god thingies from existing in this universe except as delusional imaginings. [All quotes Wikipedia.]

    You have also failed to explain how you would test for “omnipotence” if it were not imaginary, and failed to explain why, if it were not imaginary, “omnipotence” would be necessary and sufficient to qualify a thing as a god thingie, and also failed to answer why you imagine that, unlike all other cognitive entities, you imagine that an omnipotent “god thingie” would be singular, or why it would have nipples, navel, penis, testis and foreskin to dislike if it were singular?

  • Hermit

    It doesn’t matter what people agree. There are many delusional people in the world, and some of them are indubitably historians. What matters is whether what they have to say is sustained by compelling, proximal, intersubjectively verifiable evidence (which the idea of a “literal Jesus” is not), and whether the claims comport with the available compelling, proximal, intersubjectively verifiable evidence (which a “literal Jesus” does not).

    As you don’t seem to have read my synopsis of the current archaeological perspective, you can’t actually speak to what I said, and so are confined to hand waving. It is rather obvious.

  • Hermit

    Believing anything, is idiotic. Belief is usually the assignment of a truth value in the face of compelling confounding intersubjectively verifiable evidence, or occasionally the assignment of a truth value in the absence of sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence. When sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence is present, belief is not required, merely observation, evaluation and acceptance of the preponderance of the evidence.

    Having beliefs is a bit like having a penis. I could care less whether or not you do, or believe that you do, but if you whip whatever you have out in public and brandish it at me, I am going to laugh at you. And you will undoubtedly deserve it.

  • Hermit

    Have a few of many modern history books that disagree with you.

    By an archaeologist and textual expert
    Robert Eisenman (Mar 1, 1998). James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls Penguin Books
    Robert Eisenman (May 15, 2012). James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls I: The Historical James, Paul the Enemy, and Jesus’ Brothers as Apostles. Grave Distractions
    Robert Eisenman (Sep 4, 2012). James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls II: The Damascus Code, the Tent of David, the New Covenant, and the Blood of Christ. Grave Distractions
    Robert Eisenman (Mar 7, 2016). The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ. Grave Distractions

    By historians
    Reza Aslan (Sep 9, 2014). Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Random House
    Richard Carrier (April 24, 2012). Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus.Prometheus Books
    Richard Carrier (June 3, 2014). On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd

    By a linguist, philologist and textual critic.
    Jonah David Conner (September 15, 2017). All That’s Wrong with the Bible: Contradictions, Absurdities, and More Amazon Digital Services.

  • David Cromie

    I would be a different matter if ‘believers’ could come up with the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence which underpins their belief in any supposed ‘god’.

  • David Cromie

    History books also confirm Romulus and Remus as the founders of Rome (this, of course, ignores the fact that there is an older fairy tale about the founding of Rome by a Greek!)). In other words just another fairy tale with a political purpose, and concocted in the same way as the so-called ‘bible was’, with its own variety of various political ends over time.

  • David Cromie

    No. There is no reason to (by the way, others are reputed to have called this particular supposed man-god ‘the Christ’ but he himself never did, as far as I remember).

  • David Cromie

    Since you prefer to spout deluded, religiot, BS, I do not give a fcuk whether you comment on, or ignore, anything I might post (unless you wish to provide the missing, irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence showing that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists in the here and now).

  • Hermit

    I’m sure it does, but you are incorrect. Atheism is not a motivation for anything. Atheism merely denotes a lack of religious bias.

    What has actually happened is that as the “biblical maximalists” (to coin a phrase) have died out, they have gradually been replaced by “biblical minimalists”, realists who do not suffer from religious bias, as well as multicultural scholars who are not uniformly steeped in the stench of unwashed christer beliefs necessary for academic tenure in Middle Eastern studies until the mid-nineteenth century and persisting in clouding perceptions until the mid-twentieth century. This has lead to a massive transition, recognizing that the religious writings of the past are not history, but fables, written to emphasize perspectives and convey meaning, and must be taken figuratively and with truck loads of salt to have any relevance at all to the modern scholar.

    This shift in interpretation has meant that as scientific archeology has managed to recover texts from the middens, caches and trash left by document destroying religiots, and the shadows of the past; as we have digitized, organized and made materials accessible to scholars across the world; and, especially as we have stopped trying to make everything we see fit mythical narratives, we have learned more about the history of the Middle East (and religions) in the past 50 years, than all the scholars of all previous history had ever managed to discover.

    The above books, and many others, are the fruits of this transition from preserving ancient gloom to dispelling it through employing the Klieg lights of the scientific method in fields that had previously been closed to it.

  • Hermit

    No. Of course not. Why should I. None of these things are more than imaginary concepts with complicated interpretations impossible to communicate accurately. I am fully aware that the only thing I know, outside of simplistic closed systems of limited application, is that I exist in some form, and that the evidence is compelling that it is nothing like that which I imagine I experience. I certainly don’t need to vest “belief” in these ideas or anything else to be functional or to enjoy myself.

    See https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FkJCpjgH35PpZELoIl0fDcg2HcKutQDqwtnfUsnjrvw for a fuller explanation.

  • Hermit

    Why do you imagine that you know what “reality” is, when nobody has any idea even if any “reality” exists. Even if we charitably interpret your claim to knowing “reality” to mean that you understand the so called “bible” not to be entirely fictional, your assertion is not only unsupported by any subjectively verifiable evidence, but is in blatant conflict with the available evidence. For example, we know that the so called “bible” was composed long after the events it purports to describe, by unknown people who pretended to have been involved in the events and who combed through existing materials written in Greek, borrowing from them, presumably to lay claim to greater authenticity. And we know that they made stuff up, some of it after the mid fourth century. Which precludes it from possessing any probative value.

    This is not occult knowledge. Anyone studying textual criticism learns this in the first semester of study. Which is how I know that you have no applicable qualifications to make the determinations you are asserting to “know”.

  • David Cromie

    Pull the other one!

  • David Cromie

    This codger has forgotten more than you ever learned, it seems.

  • David Cromie

    Silly syllogisms seem to be your forte!

  • Hermit

    And it continues to be so. Where have I ever contradicted that?

  • Hermit

    Atheists are merely those who do not vest belief in god thingies.

    They are allowed to do anything else they like and continue to be atheists.

    Given that religion is a social phenomenon almost certainly evolved to make wars larger, nastier and more decisive, in a world where war is quite likely to result in our extinction, being biased against phenomena that exacerbate them may well be sensible.

    Religion does not address questions or provide answers outside of answering the question, is that person part of US or part of THEM, by evaluating whether the person vests belief in the same ridiculous things as you, and if not, to depersonalize the THEM, depressing empathy in order to make THEM easier to abuse or kill.

    History proves that religion is ridiculously better at this job than any of the other tools we have evolved for this purpose and that the Abrahamic religions are ridiculously better at this job than any other religions. So far the christers have killed more people for socio-religious reasons, both in actual and percentage of population terms than any other group. This includes the 21st Century during which we have been responsible for far more deaths than any other group, though Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians is set to compete with that.

  • Hermit

    Then it should be very easy for you to identify the oldest complete radionuclide dated book of the bible as it is accepted today?

    Who were the “eye witnesses” for Luke 4:1–13, Mark 1:12–13 and Matthew 4:1–11? How did they mix up what happened? When was it written down?

    How about the Pericope Adulterae in John 7:53–8:11? When was that written down?

  • Hermit

    Why?

  • Hermit

    If you happen to come across one, please let me know. I’d love an opportunity to dissect one and see what makes it tick.
    .

  • Hermit

    LOL.

    Outside of simplistic closed logical systems of limited applicability, what is “truth” and how do you know?

    And no, outside of simplistic closed logical systems of limited applicability, I reject all “belief”. So your statement, “We all believe in things” is demonstrated to be false.

  • Hermit

    Spectacular. So, let me get this clear, before Matthew is alleged to have became a disciple he witnessed the so called “Temptation” and somehow got to the top of a mountain so high that from it could be seen “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor”?

    Where is this mountain, and what shape is the world?

    You seem to have forgotten to answer my questions about dating. They become even more important now that you have claimed that “Matthew” and “Luke” were “eyewitnesses”. When did they live, when did they die, how do you know they were witnesses, and most importantly, when did they supposedly write things down?

    And by the way, are you saying that you disagree with the broad consensus that “Matthew” and “Luke” are based largely on “Mark”? Do you have a reason for claiming that?

  • Hermit

    The law and obedience to it have nothing to do with holding an atheist stance. Although religiots are much more likely to be caught breaking the law than atheists. See e.g. http://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2015/08/21/atheists-now-make-up-0-1-of-the-federal-prison-population/

    The myth about Mao being responsible for the deaths of millions is a vicious calumny. See e.g. https://refusetocooperate4.blogspot.com/2018/07/mao-zedong-and-myth-of-mass-murder_31.html. And Mao himself was not an atheist, as he said to Edgar Snow, “Mao Tse-tung smiled wryly and replied that there was perhaps some doubt about that. He said again that he was getting ready to see God very soon. Did I believe it?” see e.g. https://stalinsmoustache.org/2017/12/21/mao-going-to-see-god/

    And Israel not only has been committing genocide against the Palestinians since long before Hamas was founded, Israel was instrumental in creating and promoting Hamas as an alternative to the PLO See e.g. http://wariscrime.com/new/hamas-was-founded-by-mossad/.

    My “bias” against Israel, like my “bias” against religion, is thoroughly grounded in knowledge of the history and familiarity with the behavior of Israelis and religiots respectively.

  • Hermit

    Tosh!

  • David Cromie

    Perhaps I should say ‘ totalitarian religion’, rather than christianity. To what do you attribute the abject poverty to be found in Latin America, for instance?

  • David Cromie

    ???

  • David Cromie

    No wonder you are such a semiliterate idiot; you do not understand plan English!

  • David Cromie

    Do you have any irrefutable. falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists? There certainly is no evidence, whether written or archaeological, that any man-god named JC ever existed.
    Research the history of the so-called ‘bible’ and find out for yourself that it is a syncretic concoction of pre-existing myths, legends, and folklore, mainly of Pagan origins. When you have completed that with all due diligence, and an open mind, get back to me.

  • Realist1234

    If thats what you really think, theres little point in conversing with you. So Jesus of Nazareth never existed? Right lol.

  • David Cromie

    Believing in unsubstantiated imaginary entities, with supposed magical powers, is no doubt a receipt for an ‘utterly changed life’. It may also lead to incarceration in a mental hospital!

  • Ed Senter

    Though not post-grad, I am, however, a trained scientist. Therefore, I know pseudo-science when I see it.
    You speak in terms of absolutes. No honest scientist, unlike you, would say, “the universe is finite.” An honest scientist would say that we don’t know if the universe is finite or infinite. Also, your interpretation of various experiments is wrong. I still don’t think you understand the significance of waveform collapse. In its simplest explanation, these experiments show that the location of a subatomic particle can not be PREDICTED. That negates nothing about the possibility of omnipotence. An omnipotent being most certainly would be able to DIRECT the location of any object to satisfy its will.

    Not everything in life need be quantified and observed for it to exist. It just is.

  • Ed Senter

    It seems all you know is ridicule and mockery. That matches someone much younger than your avatar.

  • Hermit

    “Though not post-grad, I am, however, a trained scientist.”

    I felicitate you.

    “Therefore, I know pseudo-science when I see it.”

    Apparently not.

    “You speak in terms of absolutes. No honest scientist, unlike you, would say, “the universe is finite.” An honest scientist would say that we don’t know if the universe is finite or infinite. ”

    Is a “dishonest scientist” a thing in your life, or do you mean “honest scientist” more as a “true Scotsman” type qualifier?

    While everything is provisional, our models are sufficiently good at human scales to treat them as accurate, recognizing that when we detect flaws, that we will correct them. At human scales any corrections are likely to be compatible with our current models. Within the current models, what I said about the universe is accurate. As I stated before, we know that the critical mass is 9.30×10^−27 kg/m^3 making the mass of the observable universe some 3.2*10^54 kg. As the universe is now defined in terms of that which can be experienced, we need not concern ourselves with anything beyond that, as it cannot be experienced. I don’t anticipate this changing. As the universe expands we expect that the universe that can be experienced will reduce commensurately with the reduction in critical mass.

    “Also, your interpretation of various experiments is wrong.”

    As “a trained scientist” I’m sure that your training prepared you to identify which model you are asserting and the grounds for asserting it. Please consider yourself challenged so to do.

    “In its simplest explanation, these experiments show that the location of a subatomic particle can not be PREDICTED.”

    No matter how many capital letters you throw at the problem, I think you are the one mistaking a fundamental attribute of the Universe for a measurement artifact or issue of definitions. You are challenged to attempt to sustain your notion that hidden local variables exist when every variant of the Bell’s inequality experiment I am aware of has sustained Heisenberg and the theory of Quantum Electrodynamics (which is the same as predicted by m-theory) and rejected any variant of local variables. If you get it right, there may even be a Nobel prize waiting in the wings for you.

    “That negates nothing about the possibility of omnipotence.”

    You are still missing the point that even if, by some miracle, you are correct about the EPR paradox, that the prior possibility of a particle’s attributes being “PREDICTED” (whatever you imagine you mean by that, prediction would have to be a component of omnipotence) would still prevent the quantum eraser from functioning. So we know that potential “PREDICT[ION]” does not occur, and therefore that omnipotence does not exist in this universe.

    “An omnipotent being most certainly would be able to DIRECT the location of any object to satisfy its will.”

    LOL. Now you have hidden local variables with a dice playing entity with an attribute that has never been observed and you still have not explained how it could be recognized or tested.

    William of Ockham would cut your throat.

    “Not everything in life need be quantified and observed for it to exist.”

    We agree on that. All imaginary things meet that description precisely. Imaginary things are those things which cannot be experienced or do not possess intersubjectively verifiable attributes necessary and sufficient to qualify them as being more than imaginary. Like god thingies, for example.

    “It just is.”

    We agree on this too. Everything just is. Some stuff is imaginary. Some stuff is more than imaginary. And for some people, it is difficult to tell the difference.

  • Hermit

    Where did I allegedly “call people with a religion idiots”? I’m not likely to make such a silly mistake, after all, while many religiots are idiots, psychosis is not correlated with intelligence. Also, it is a bit hard to understand why “personal slurs” would be “cowardly”? If you are too mentally challenged to find appropriate adjectives, why not leave them out. That way you won’t look like an idiot.

    What are you grounds for dismissing the evidence I provided, and if you are not dismissing the evidence, what are your grounds for dismissing the conclusions?

  • Hermit

    Religiot: Anyone who vests belief in any god thingies or forces or “the supernatural” or regards themselves as being affiliated to any deistic or theistic religious organization. Religiot orginated because religiots cannot agree between themselves on the meaning of religion, and because there was no all inclusive word for people who are not atheistic.

    Which I guess makes you an idiot.

  • Hermit

    Amongst all the other things which you have not attempted to answer, I asked you who the “eye witnesses” were for two specific events. the “Temptation” and the “Pericope Adulterae“. You replied “Matthew was an eye witness”. When I asked you to explain your claim you say that Matthew wasn’t an eye witness to these events. So, you are telling me that these are hearsay – which has no probitive value and where undenoted use of hearsay impeaches the witness, as you cannot tell when the witness is reporting hearsay and when the witness is not.

    So now we have eliminated Matthew, Luke and Mark.

    So why do you imagine that anything in this confused mess of hearsay should be taken seriously?

  • Ed Senter

    Gawd, I hope you are not in education because you would be voted worst teacher ever. Just what are your qualifications to discuss quantum physics?
    “To predict” and “to direct” have different meanings as I used them. Launch a rocket to the moon and one can “predict” its course and hope to enter an orbit. However, one can also “direct” its course by making adjustments in its trajectory after it is launched. An omnipotent being most certainly can make adjustments in the objects it wants to do its will. It is definitely not a “dice playing entity”.
    Given the number of unknowns in the universe, it just seems odd that a semi-scientific wannabe like yourself would rule out an omnipotent being. You have offered nothing, correctly interpreted, to rule it out. (I still can not figure out your nihilistic claims about “waveform collapse”. That must be all your imagination.)

    You want a model for an omnipotent being? It is in the Bible. And you have provided nothing from science that would rule it out. (You could even win a Nobel prize for simply settling that issue. Ha!)

  • Ed Senter

    ” and must be taken figuratively and with truck loads of salt to have any relevance at all to the modern scholar.”
    Yet, there is no reason not to take it literally for the basic tenets of the faith.
    God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The Christian Bible is not an instruction manual, but a literal revelation of God through his oracle people- the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. Viewed in that way by an objective observer, the Bible makes total sense.

  • Hermit

    The idea that imaginary god thingies were involved in the process of producing the so-called “bible”, but presumably not other contradictory religious texts, including later texts, requires ignoring the 200,000 or so named god thingies (and if we take ancestor and object worship into account, billions of god thingies) which are discounted as imaginative fiction, and presuming that one group of cults alone has the one-set of god thingies that are not fictional, despite most of what was supposedly written by its allegedly inspired writers being unambiguous fiction (including the borrowed narrative of Abraham), and nothing in any of its scribblings ever rising above the boundaries of knowledge of the authors, or the abysmal ethically challenged idea of special people vs those untermenschen destined for hell, and the vile concept of a blood-sacrifice being required to purchase forgiveness from ethically challenged deities. All this while not being able to identify the intersubjectively verifiable attributes sufficient and necessary to qualify a thing as a god thingie (relegating them to the realms of the imaginary), let alone demonstrating .that some non-imaginary thingie possesses such attributes.

    How very unfounded, and rather sickening, it all appears.

  • Hermit

    Sez who?

    Sez you. A person who leaps to incorrect assumptions, and insults people based on them, rather than simply asking for clarification. One who asserts without evidence, things which are incoherent, and wonders why he is ignored, or, at best draws mild snickers of amusement, as he thrashes desperately across the gamut of possible arguments from A to B, carefully avoiding the overwhelming evidence that he is mistaken and confused.

  • Bones

    Widuran the Wanker doesn’t even think Jesus knew what he was talking about.

  • Bones

    You’re a f***wit.

  • Bones

    FFS do some study.

    The World in John’s Gospel is Judaism.

    Neither is the gospel of John a historical account.

    It’s sad that its been used by the likes of you to ferment hatred.

  • Bones

    Lol….you don’t even know what a fundamentalist is.

  • Bones

    Is that why Matthew changed Mark?

  • Bones

    It’s no surprise that Christian Truth is tied up in government propaganda.

  • David Cromie

    Where is the irrefutable. falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed ‘god’ actually exists, was the question. So what is your answer?

    You are oblivious to the history of the so-called ‘bible’, but then, you are not interested, I suppose, since it would probably blow your tiny mind if you discovered the truth for yourself!

  • Hermit

    I am irrelevant to this discussion, as I did not base my arguments on expertise, knowing that it is impossible to support that without forgoing pseudonymity except by demonstrating competence, as I have done here for years. I have simply cited appropriate evidence from available sources and challenged you to respond to them. So far you have signally failed to do so, despite repeated challenges. I begin to think that you cannot support your opinions at all, whether scientific or religious.

    We know enough science to be able to say that “the laws underlying the physics of everyday life are completely understood” (Sean Carroll, The Big Picture). Here in one beautiful equation is summarized everything ever experienced by any human. “This is the amplitude to undergo a transition from one configuration to another in the path-integral formalism of quantum mechanics, within the framework of quantum field theory, with field content and dynamics described by general relativity (for gravity) and the Standard Model of particle physics (for everything else).” [ibid.] (The red notes are an casual description of what is encompassed by the formal terms). “No experiment ever done here on Earth has contradicted this model.” [ibid.] Where in this equation is the term for a god thingie?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed31648a78149a3d54a6d69ca3c3e170130836a621b2d79b24d942321009b280.jpg

    Your shifty-eyed ad hoc attempt to “define” your way out of trouble is apparent to all. If your god thingies cannot do “prediction” then they are not “omnipotent” (by the definition we previously agreed). And if they can do “prediction” then, as your increasingly desperate wriggling confirms, they are imaginary.

    And the “dice playing entity” is a direct reference to Einstein’s comment on the EPR Paradoc, that “God does not play dice with the universe.” Modern physics, particularly the multiply referenced “Quantum Eraser” and “Bell inequality” derived experiments have confirmed that Einstein was wrong – even if you have no idea why. As Hawking put it, cosmology and physics suggest”not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen!” Both were speaking metaphorically. Einstein saw ideas of anthromorphic god thingies as silly, and Hawking rejected their necessity.

    Which matches my opinion perfectly. I consider the question of the existence of god thingies to be meaningless, because there is not even an unambiguous definition for what a god thingie is, never mind agreement on what the intersubjectively verifiable qualities would be necessary and sufficient to qualify an entity as a god thingie (which would be required to establish that they are non-imaginary things), let alone evidence that some non-imaginary entities possess such attributes. It isn’t so much as I rule out such thingies as that their advocates haven’t even ruled them in.

    The bible is a syncretic collection of nasty myths and perverse behavior by multiple god thingies described in it by their fervid enthusiasts in a blatant exhibition of the rejection of rhyme and reason. I have addressed this point in some detail in “On ‘Jesus’ and the so-called ‘bible’” accessible at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1suoqwsyVciuu8_1kP6gOrN_NJkFqQTd9JlehczYNffA/edit#. None of the bible’s god thingies appear to be any more “invincible” than their prototypes.

    PS The god thingies of the bible are stymied by people with chariots with wheels (or tires) of iron, which also suggests that they are far from omnipotent.

  • Hermit

    See Matthew 15:22-28 and Mark 7:24-30. “But he answered and said, I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

    Looks like the so-called “Jesus” (Not actually a Hebrew or Aramaic name, but the acronym of a rabbinical curse) agrees with Bones.

  • Hermit

    And therefore?

  • Hermit

    I cited a number of highly reputable historians who reject your unfounded claim that the so-called “Jesus” of the “bible” existed as portrayed in the “bible” (which we know is not even slightly possible as no Jew could claim to be god (Not just because we know that he said the law had to be adhered to more closely than was done by the pharisees, which would preclude such blasphemy, but because anybody saying anything like what he is alleged to have said would undoubtedly have spurred ongoing riots until he was killed and we have no record of such riots at that time.).

    Which leaves your claim that “all reputable historians agree Jesus existed” exposed as being delusional, a lie, or both.

  • Hermit

    If you thought that your unsupported, evidence denying “nope” was persuasive, look in a mirror.

  • Ed Senter

    I know more than you…lol

  • Ed Senter

    Hermit says, “Oh, its all so confusing…wah, wah…”
    I have already exposed your spurious understanding of quantum physics, shall I also expose your refusal to understand the basics of the world’s religions beyond your parroting of the juvenile antics of atheists?
    You have fallen victim to the great deceiver and trapped in confusion along with the other denizens of Babel.
    Start with the All-Mighty Supreme Being and “thou shalt have no other gods before me”. There can be only one God, therefore, all religions that are not mono-theistic are disqualified from the start.

  • David Cromie

    Doctors are not infallible, so one should never reach for the ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ fallacy in such supposed ‘magical cure’ cases.
    What was your part in this?

  • Hermit
  • Hermit

    Far from claiming “its all so confusing”, I pointed out that you are claiming a special exception for your god thingies, without explaining why they should receive one, and challenged you to justify this, As is usual. you failed to even address it. I also observed that despite repeated challenges, you have utterly failed to “identify the intersubjectively verifiable attributes sufficient and necessary to qualify a thing as a god thingie (relegating them to the realms of the imaginary), let alone demonstrating .that some non-imaginary thingie possesses such attributes”. That should be simple enough for even a cretin to comprehend.

    Can you you provide a link to where you supposedly “exposed” my alleged “spurious understanding of quantum physics”? So far I haven’t seen any indication that you have even an undergraduate comprehension of QED, or the ability to cite a single item in support of your waffling, or even an ability to identify which interpretation you are working with despite repeated challenges. Which would seem to make your unsupported assertion a classic case of extreme Dunning-Kruger effect, typical of under-educated religiots. Please feel free to prove me wrong. But pounding on your chest and waving your anatomy in the air does not constitute proof of anything but idiocy.

    Did you imagine that there is any more support for a “great deceiver” than there is for your god thingies (who are shown in the so-called “bible” to be synonymous).

    Your circular recourse to the so-called “bible” to attempt to support the so-called “bible” in the face of the evidence that there are hundreds of thousands to billions of god thingies, and knowing the syncretic history of your god thingies from the Sumerian fables through the Ugaritic and Canaanite pantheon as interpreted by the Akkadian priesthood fails even more dismally. The “Yahweh” worshiped by the Canaanites who became the Hebrews were simply the 70 sons of El who made up the council of the gods, or Elohim, and were still worshiped by the Hebrews at least as late as 500 CE. Monotheism and the end of child sacrifice only occurred after Alexander conquered and pacified these primitive savages. And the introduction of the ridiculous triune, “Mary” and apostles, as christianity emerged in the fourth century CE in Rome, broke even that.

    PS I’ve bought a big drum of popcorn, so please do explain “the basics of the world’s religions”. This should be even funnier than watching you trying to ape being “a trained scientist”. While you are at it, don’t forget to provide appropriate citations, or you will again earn a resounding “F”.

  • Hermit

    And yet you cannot rebut the facts. So your cognitive dissonance forces you to ignore them, and prevents you from realizing that it is only the similarly delusional that agree with the voices in your head telling you that you are correct.

  • David Cromie

    As far as poverty in Latin America is concerned, Pope JP II condemned the Liberation Theology movement, and when visiting Latin America refused to meet those priests who advocated for it.

  • Bones

    Once again is that why Matthew changed Mark?

  • Bones

    lol….you clearly don’t.

  • Bones

    lol this from a guy who doesn’t think Jesus knew what he was talking about unless its to justify his hatred of others.

  • Bones

    You’re the troll here dude.

    All you have are insults and denial.

    It just shows how f***ed in the head you and your cult are.

  • Bones

    Nope that’s you.

    You’ve just come on here to fill the place up with crap.

    If there was a devil, you’ve done his work for him. Turning anyone who may have a skerrick of interest in your cult away.

    The best witness to the hatred and ignorance of Christianity are people like yourself.

    Well done!

  • David Cromie

    Blaming others for what? You claim to be into ‘wisdom’ teaching. What do you mean by that, and how do you go about it?

  • Bones

    Lol now he’s having a sook after coming on here and insulting Corey and everyone who posts here.

    The hypocrisy of it is……astounding…..

  • David Cromie

    Abraham never existed – he was a political construct in aid of imposing monotheism on the Israelites.

  • Bones

    That’s a cop out.

    One of those is supposedly omnipotent…..and the other apparently has no choice but to do what his supposedly ‘sinful’ nature tells him.

    It’s like the principal of a school telling the students its up to them to stop bullying. He can’t do anything about it.n’t

  • David Cromie

    Even as a work of fiction, the so-called ‘bible’ does not make any coherent sense.

    Consult, if you dare, the ‘Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible’, by van der Toorn, Becking, and van der Horst, eds., 2nd Edn,, 1999, Brill, for the lowdown on supernatural biblical entities.

  • Bones

    Which one is which then? Remember who it was who planted the tree and created the snake……..

    Your picture only makes sense to people who aren’t prepared to think.

  • Bones

    Better tell that to the hundreds of thousands who were wiped out north of me in the Christmas Day tsunami.

    Was it their fault?

    Your point is to create a god who is responsible for nothing. In fact a god who is pretty useless but is supposedly omnipotent.

  • David Cromie

    There is no evidence, whether written or archaeological, that any man-god named JC ever existed. The fact that a religion was founded around this supposed person just goes to show what a scam christianity really is!

  • Bones

    The question too hard for you?

    Why did Matthew change Mark?

  • Bones

    You’re the one whose refusing to follow Jesus’s words.

    As usual hypocrites like you try to make it about others.

    The log in your eye is quite apparent now.

  • Bones

    Yep it’s what f***wits like you deserve.

    Hateful merkins who come on here just to spread their poison.

  • Bones

    lol….the Devil is using you.

    You are a great advertisement for atheism.

    No one would want a bar of the hateful bs that comes out of your mouth.

  • Bones

    Lol….a hypocrite and a sook.

    There’s no surprise.

    The Bible talks about being judged by the measure you use.

    And that’s whats exactly happening to you, you little prick.

  • Bones

    Plenty died for Allah, and Vishnu……

  • Hermit

    Wrong again.

    We know that “Jesus”, the name, was not a Hebrew or Aramaic name, although “Yeshua”, with a terminal ayin, transliterated to “Joshua” was. However, “Yeshua“ as “Jesus” has no early attestation. Instead we have “Yeshu” or “ישו” (Yeshu), which, as the Toldoth Yeshu explains, is the acronym for, “(ימח שמו וזכרו(נו (Y’mach Sh’mo V’Zichro(no)),” meaning, “May his name and memory be obliterated.” A number of classical writers, including e.g. Clement of Alexandria and St. Cyril of Jerusalem appear to have been aware of this as they claimed, without providing support, that the Greek form of “Jesus” was an original name rather than a transliteration of a Hebrew or Aramaic name. Early Jewish sources, for example, the Babylonian Talmud, says, “It is taught that Rabbi Eliezer said to the Wise, “Did not Ben Stada [Hermit aka the so-called “Yeshu”] bring spells from Egypt in a cut in his flesh?” They said to him, “He was a fool, and they do not bring evidence from a fool.” Ben Stada is Ben Pantera. Rabbi Hisda said, “The husband was Stada, the lover was Pantera.” The husband was “actually” Pappos ben Judah, the mother was Stada [Hermit because she was convicted of adultery or sotah]. The mother was Miriam “Mary” the dresser of women’s hair. As we say in Pumbeditha 74, “She has been false to “satath da” her husband.” (b. Shabbat 104b) and the Jerusalem Talmud, Tosefta and Qohelet Rabbah explicitly assert that “Yeshu” was the “son of Pantera”. Both the Aramaic and Hebrew versions of the Toledot Yeshu refer to the so-called “Yeshu” as “Pantera” and “Pandera”. If this is the case, we almost certainly have found the headstone from his father “Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera”, in Germany. In any case, had his parents whoever they were, known he would be turned into a messiah, he would doubtless have been called “Immanuel” (“עִמָּנוּאֵל‬” meaning, “god with us”), as required by the supposed Hebrew prophecy in Isaiah 7, recycled by the christers to refer to their “Jesus”, with this critical omission, because he would not have been recognised as the same person had they changed his name.

    Instead, today we are all but certain they named him Simon. That is because a petrograph dating from the 1st century BCE or early 1st century CE (unlike the hand-waving “textual analysis” of the so-called bible, the carbon in the ink used has been radionuclide dated to not later than 15 CE) was located in 2000 and bought by Dr. David Jeselsohn, a Swiss antiquities collector (See e.g. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/world/middleeast/06stone.html). This petrograph, now in the Jerusalem Museum, is known as Hazon Gabriel (Gabriel’s Vision or Gabriel’s Prophecy), reflects a Messianic rebellion lead by an earthly leader, the “Prince of Princes” , who conforms with the biblical warrior Ephraim, whose blood was a sign, and who is taken as a mythological prototype for this first century earthly leader, and slaughtered rebel, being addressed by Gabriel who prophesies “ In three days, live, I Gabriel com[mand] yo[u], prince of the princes,of the messiah” ( Gabriel’s Prophecy, Line 80. See https://hartman.org.il/SHINews_View.asp?Article_Id=162&). Hazon Gabriel was produced, by a member of the Society of the Poor (of Spirit) headed by James the Just (also known as “James the brother of the lord”) in Jerusalem, as he used the same ink formulation as is used on many of the scrolls and the style of writing is also remarkably similar. Looking for a suitable rebel, in the appropriate period and region, we find Simon son of Joseph, also known as Simon of Peraea, documented by Josephus, a Herodian slave about whom we know rather a lot, he including that was regarded as the prophesied Messiah and lead a rebellion (sound familiar yet?):

    “There was also Simon, who had been a slave of king Herod, but in other respects a comely person, of a tall and robust body; he was one that was much superior to others of his order, and had had great things committed to his care. This man was elevated at the disorderly state of things, and was so bold as to put a diadem on his head, while a certain number of the people stood by him, and by them he was declared to be a king, and he thought himself more worthy of that dignity than anyone else.” [Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 2.57-59]

    “He burnt down the royal palace at Jericho, and plundered what was left in it. He also set fire to many other of the king’s houses in several places of the country, utterly destroyed them, and permitted those that were with him to take what was left in them for a prey. He would have done greater things, but care was taken to repress him immediately. [The commander of Herod’s infantry] Gratus joined himself to some Roman soldiers, took the forces he had with him, and met Simon. And after a great and a long fight, no small part of those that had come from Peraea (a disordered body of men, fighting rather in a bold than in a skillful manner) were destroyed. Although Simon had saved himself by flying away through a certain valley, Gratus overtook him, and cut off his head.” [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 17.273-277]

    Not a very dignified ending for a wannabe messiah.

    The Herodian traitor Saulus’ (aka Paul) “cosmic-man” is a Romanized reworking of other such characters, including Horus (with some parallels in at least the Buddhist and Hindu traditions); probably “Chrest the Magician” supplemented with gnosticism, the traditions of which continued in Manicheism, and Mandaeism, both predating modern christianity, which appears to have developed largely in the Graeco Roman third and fourth century environment, depending on Josephus and the Septuagint as a source of material to rework a collection of sayings into a back story replete with post hoc prophecies to maintain the respectability of antiquity unattainable by new religions in Rome.

    At least we know that “Chrestus”, or useful, was used as a name, usually for slaves, around this time. We even have a cup from Alexandria harbor dated to the first century CE bearing the inscription, “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAI” (Magician through the good Chr[e]st), which also relates to other records, for example, the Babylonian Talmud quoted above and Chrestus, the name of a Jewish slave executed, probably by Porcius Festus in 59 CE, under Nero. As for the christers, who only emerge calling themselves that in the third and fourth century, long after the chrestians, it is highly unlikely that their “christ” was an actual name or person. As the historian Richard Carrier notes, “Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to God, with whom some people hallucinated conversations”. John Bartram, a field archaeologist has written extensively of the development of the “Son of God” narrative in Chrestianity from “The Shepherd of Hermas” (Rome, late second Century) which predates the slow derivation of christianity after the Gospel of Thomas (nag Hummadi, 30-110 CE) and the writing of John as a reply to the Gospel of Judas (Beni Masar, 220-340 CE).

    Christers would kill for the amount of contemporaneous physical material that the minimalists are building their case upon.

  • Hermit

    Oh, but he is. “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands
    and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”. And this is the law of Moses. Woe be unto those who wear mixed fabric or eat shellfish.

    And then there is, “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” There is no credible “alternative” meaning for this parable.

    Or even, “they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever.”

    The so-called “Jesus” was not a nice person, but “a zealot for the law (of Moses)”, which is not a nice law either.

  • David Cromie

    ???

  • Hermit

    Rejecting evidence is how you show your interest in “truth”? Precious.

  • Ed Senter

    In spite of your education, it seems you never were taught much.
    First of all, you could learn something about “faith”. Throwing in that juvenile quip about the chariots of iron reveals how little you know about it. Although Judah lacked the faith to take on those chariots, Debra had no problem (and faith) and obliterated them (Judges 4).

    And, if you really were educated you would know about the nuances of words. God does not gamble. He controls the outcomes to serve his will. I still can not figure out why you fear “waveform collapse” so much. You either do not understand its significance, or your husband is simply a terrible teacher.
    Your opinion about “omnipotence” seems to hinge on a “finite” universe. Like I said before, no honest scientist would say such a thing. It just as likely to be an “infinite” universe. And “omniscient” does not mean the ability to predict future events, it simply means to know everything there is to know. Quantum physics teaches that the smallest things in the universe are unpredictable. However, an omnipotent being would be able to direct anything to serve its will.
    Philosophically, the more we learn reveals just how little we really know. You want to remain within the confines of an “observed” existence, that’s your prerogative. But as the Bible says, “only a fool says there is no God”. Why? Because the alternative is nothing. I know of no scientist, other than a nihilist, who would settle for such a thing.
    The door remains open for all who seek. “Jehovah” is the name for God which means “I am- continually becoming revealed”. “Jesus” is the Greek form of “Joshua”. Your terrible epistemology, notwithstanding.

  • Ed Senter

    You clearly don’t believe the Bible. I don’t see any reason why it would not be true. It makes perfect sense, particularly since the mid-19th century. In my opinion, the Bible was written for this time and age because it is all coming to fruition.
    All of the false religions started at Babel and Nimrod was the first despot. That’s where God confused the language. Finally, in Revelations, Babylon, aka “the great harlot” is destroyed. Abraham came out of that time of Babel and God chose him because of his faith. This is also the time of the great bifurcation between Ishmael and Isaac.
    God=omnipotence=monotheism (apriori)
    Three of the world’s great religions today are monotheistic. Judeao/Christian (Isaac)= 1.5 billion people
    Islam (Ishmael) = 1.5 billion people

    All of God’s promises went through Isaac and Jacob. It is also why Moslems hate Jews.

  • Ed Senter

    Jesus came first to his own people in order to fulfill what the prophets said. “He came to his own and his own received him not” John 1:11
    Peter’s first sermon in Acts was “repent”. The Jews did not so they were sent into dispersion. If they had repented, the Kingdom would have been restored to Israel at that time. It is during the Kingdom age when all of Israel will go out into the world to preach the gospel.

  • Ed Senter

    What you miss is Jesus fulfilled the Law- every jot and tittle- thus becoming the perfect sacrifice which the Law demanded. With his death, the Law also died. Then he conquered death with his resurrection.

  • Hermit

    I miss nothing. I know that this total nonsense is something that some christers, knowing nothing of Judaism, or the messianic Community of the Poor (in Spirit) out of which christianity eventually evolved, try to assert. Totally ignoring the fact that earth has not ended, even if the vault of heaven has been perforated, and the Akkadian cosmic model implicit in the bible’s heaven as debunked as the flat earth visible from the top of some really high mountain.

  • Bones

    We previously had a discussion on Luke 14

    “12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.””

    Widuran said he didn’t want those people at his house or any party of his.

    I’m pointing out his blatant hypocrisy.

  • Bones

    You ain’t Jesus, fool!

  • Bones

    Lol, scared of what?

    Idiots like you?

  • Bones

    Nope. THe poison is your religion which you’ve made manifest for ALL to see.

    Congratulations.

  • Bones

    Nope there’s no need for a satan to drive people away from christianity when there’s people like you.

  • Bones

    Still sooking….It’s only ok when Widuran the Wanker gets to call people names.

    When it happens to him he has to have a big sook.

  • Bones

    And that half of an argument showed how stupid your comment was….

  • Bones

    Well you’re the one blaming people.

    You tell me whose fault it is that people get washed away by a tsunami?

    Btw if you could stop someone being washed away, would you?

    And if you wouldn’t (eg god) what does that say about you?

    It’s good to know that real questions of suffering by real people is reduced to just ‘whining in the wind’.

    I think it says more about your simplistic theology.

    Actually think about the stuff you write. Maybe you might learn something – like you’ve got it wrong.

  • Bones

    The intent of the story is there – whether mythological or not. Apparently these ‘wise’ people (who weren’t Jews because they didn’t interpret it this way) came up with the whole idea of fallenness and sinful nature.

    I am a ‘thinking ‘person and you don’t like having your ideas being challenged.

    Does life stink?

    For me?

    No.

    For others? – yes.

    And often through no fault of their own.

    Your idea of a god who stands idly by while disasters and injustice happens bears serious scrutiny and not glib cliched answers. It really does.

    I would not do that – neither would you.

    I have in fact seen many people helping and helped people in disasters myself.

    God – not so much….

    That actually tells me a lot about that god.

    As for the principal – he doesn’t let the students run the school.

    Because the strong will always overpower the weak.

    And that is the history of humanity.

  • David Cromie

    What you state is superstitious woo-woo, dating mostly from the 14th cent. CE, and propagated by the so-called ‘church fathers’.

  • Bones

    Actually you’re the one who’s triggered because you have no coherent argument just irrational ramblings.

    Here’s another one: in ww2 Japanese soldiers and civilians sacrificed themselves for their god – the Emperor.

    He must be a real god then according to your logic.

  • Bones

    Actually I didn’t quote anyone. I made a statement about how you drive people away from Christianity.

    Which everyone can see.

  • Bones

    Yep. You’re nothing.

    We need to keep people like you away from children.

  • Bones

    Actually I do hate you.

    Because people like you want to hurt my friends and my kids.

    And if you ever did I would kill you.

  • Bones

    You really are just a f***wit.

  • Bones

    Obviously not.

    Thankfully I’m inoculating my kids against your sort of hate and bile.

  • Bones

    Look, a keyboard warrior.

    You’d piss yourself because all you do is live on the computer.

    But yes, your ideology is to be hated for the pain and suffering it causes to others.

  • Bones

    You need help, dickhead.

  • Bones

    Actually I have degrees in the Bible, fool – New and Old Testament.

    So yes, I know your hypocrisy so very very well.

  • Bones

    Oh dear, you really are dragging yourself totally through the shit now aren’t you by accusing posters of paedophilia with their own kids.

    I have 6 children, one of whom is gay.

    My goal is to protect her from the likes of you.

  • Bones

    So now the Evangelical Widuran has accused me of having sex with my own children.

    There’s no low that they won’t stoop to go to and no lie they won’t spread.

    And they wonder why they’re hated.

  • Bones

    You’ve got nothing dickhead.

    Thanks for showing everyone why we hate your pathetic religion.

  • Bones

    Yep, you need help.

  • Ron McPherson

    You need to stop telling people that you are a man of God

  • Bones

    That’s why Australia is a better country than your shit hole.

    And thankfully you don’t have kids.

  • Hermit

    Outside of simplistic closed systems of limited applicability, please explain how you determine what is “truth” in gross violation of Gödel, Turing, von Neumann and others?

    But I did not speak of “truth”.

    I spoke of evidence.

    For example, the evidence that the bible is made up by ignorant people, who sometimes could not have learned what they wrote.

    The compelling evidence that chrestianity arose from messianical Judaism, via a Herodian traitor, Saulus, which later became christianity.

    The evidence that long before the supposed time of the so-called “Jesus”, whose name and memory apparently has been obliterated, the angel Gabriel was believed, by the same society as was overseen by James the Just (“brother of our Lord”) in Jerusalem, to have told Simon son of Joseph, “After three days rise again.” Showing that, at the least, there was another whose “resurrection” story predated the so-called “Jesus”.

    The evidence that the so called “Jesus” repeatedly emphasized the importance of the law, and the necessity to be “more righteous than the Pharisees”, as did his brother James, “the righteous priest” and the Society of the Poor (of Spirit) out of which these fables arose, which described itself as “zealous for the Law” (and the law was of Moses (another syncretic mythical character, based on Akkadian, Egyptian and Canaanite legends)).

    The evidence of the discovery, in Germany, of the headstone of “Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera” the alleged natural father of Miriam’s bastard, the rabbinically cursed YESHU, providing solid support for the authenticity of the Toldoth Yeshu.

    The evidence that the so-called “New Testament” was assembled centuries later, in Rome, based on Josephus and the Septuagint by people who knew no Hebrew or Aramaic.

    And the evidence of religiots like yourself, who have no ability to change their minds when presented with facts contradicting their beliefs, so proving themselves to be delusional.

  • Hermit

    Not to mention the hundreds of thousands, including children, who die each year due to the religious beliefs of others – or their own, from Seventh Day Adventists and Pentecostal Baptists all the way to the perpetually murderous Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists of Thailand, and even the members of Heaven’s Gate, who died to meet their spiritual guides supposedly riding on the Hale-Bopp comet.

    Are all of these beliefs validated by these deaths?

  • Hermit

    So, by the way are the Kim dynasty of North Korea, recognized as deities for their magnificent opposition to the Japanese and US occupations.

  • Hermit

    How many children that do not honor their parents did you meet today? Did you stone them to death as Jesus commanded be done? Why do you still have a computer if you sold all your possessions and gave the money to the poor, if you seek to enter heaven?

  • Hermit

    Are you 13 or 14?

  • Hermit

    You might be correct about this. Simon, son of Joseph, also known as Simon of Peraea, was killed between 4BCE and 15CE, and the Hazon Gabriel (the Vision of Gabriel) has been radiocarbon dated to before 15CE, showing that before, or soon after the so called “Jesus” was supposedly born, a Messiah in Israel was believed to have been commanded by the (imaginary) angel Gabriel to rise from the dead after three days.

    But chrestianity only arose much later, perhaps in the mid first century, and christianity in Rome sometime in the fourth century and later. Cromie is correct that the beliefs you have are only slightly related to these earlier religious delusions, and are largely a product of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance Europe, despite sharing (largely unread) scriptures (and when they are read, largely misunderstood through reading them through interpretations that sharply contradict the texts).

  • Hermit

    I take opinions from whence they come.

    I don’t need to “learn about faith”. Faith is always and invariably pretending to know something that you cannot not do not know.

    I was not speaking to “Judah”, or to “Debra” but to whichever of the 70 Yahweh was supposedly involved, because “The Lord was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron.” This does not speak about “Judah”, or to “Debra” but the “Lord” who was supposedly there.

    The reality is that the Hebrews were culturally and genetically Canaanites, that nobody invaded the Levant in that period and that neither Jericho not Ai were occupied in the Late Bronze Age. The stories of the Sefer Shoftim (aka Judges) were assembled between the sixth century BCE and the fourth century BCE, from fragments of earlier heroic legends based on the theology of Devarim (aka Deuteronomy). This is a work of fiction, not history.

    I don’t “fear” anything about physics. That is your projection speaking. And my partner is a terrific teacher.

    Your ideas about the Universe being “infinite” (whatever that means) are strongly contradicted by current theories (Big Bang, m-theory, QED) and multiple luminaries of modern cosmology, including the previously cited Hawking, Carroll and Krauss. This can be seen in the answer to a trivial question. If the Universe arose from the dimensionally finite “Big Bang” and has been expanding at finite speeds since then, at what time did it transition to the infinite? If the answer is that it will transition to the infinite at some time in the future, when will that time occur? Consider as part of your answer that the presence of the Higgs field validates the fact that protons age, meaning that by 200 google years from now, all existing matter will have evaporated.

    Actually, I provided many reasons to be certain that “omnipotence” is an imaginary idea that cannot exist in our universe, including the fact that a universe with an omnipotent entity in it would look different as the potential to violate Heisenberg would prevent the quantum eraser from functioning. Your resort to equivocation in no way rebutted that. I repeatedly challenged you to explain how you would recognize and test something claiming omnipotence to ensure that it was in fact omnipotent and not merely a delusion. Your silence speaks volumes.

    Again you talk nonsense, firstly by taking recourse to philosophy, long dead. Then by citing meaningless nonsense from the bible to attempt to support the bible. Then in trying to assert that “nothing” is the only alternative to your imaginary god thingies, an invalid bifurcation, even though your “god”, a term which has no settled meaning, an entity for which you cannot show the intersubjectively verifiable attributes necessary and sufficient to qualify the possessor as a god thingie, let alone show that some non-imaginary thing possesses such attributes appears to be purely imaginary, based on nasty and confused bronze age fables. Finally, you claim that no scientists other that “nihilists” would claim such a thing, when many scientists of many persuasions have indeed said just that, and in the face of the fact that nihilism is a perfectly rational perspective.

    You are wrong about “Jehovah” too. “Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/ ji-HOH-və) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה‬, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה‬ (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and one of the seven names of God in Judaism.” … “The Hebrew vowel points of Adonai were added to the Tetragrammaton by the Masoretes, and the resulting form was transliterated around the 12th century as Yehowah. The derived forms Iehouah and Jehovah first appeared in the 16th century.
    “Jehovah” was popularized in the English-speaking world by William Tyndale and other pioneer English Protestant translations such as the Geneva Bible and the King James Version. It is still used in some translations, such as the New World Translation, the American Standard Version, and Young’s Literal Translation, but it does not appear in most mainstream English translations, as the terms “Lord” or “LORD” are used instead, generally indicating that the corresponding Hebrew is Yahweh or YHWH.”

    In addition, see Psalm 29, A Psalm of David.

    Ascribe to Yahweh, sons of Gods (bênê ’Ēlîm),
    Ascribe to Yahweh, glory and strength

    And Psalm 89:6 (verse 7 in Hebrew)

    For who in the skies compares to Yahweh,
    who can be likened to Yahweh among the sons of Gods (bênê ’Ēlîm).

    Are you claiming, like Titus Flavius Clemens (aka Clement of Alexandria) (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02093.htm) and Cyril of Jerusalem (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310110.htm) that the name of “Jesus” was Greek, rather than the “ישו” or “Yeshu” (without the terminal ayin) of the earliest attestations, where “יהושע” or “Yehoshua” or “ישוע” or “Yeshua” would be Joshua.

    Despite your braggadocio, it seems as if your epistemology is as defective as your science. May I suggest that you go back to your day job, whatever it is and I won’t tell you how to hold a broom.

    .

  • Hermit

    Reputations do not override evidence.

  • Hermit

    Ah yes.

    Rubbish. Like that spoken by Jesus.

    Matthew 15: Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’

    And

    Matthew 19: Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

    “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    “Which ones?” he inquired.

    Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again
    I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    LOL

  • Ed Senter

    1 Corinthians 1:20-25 20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

  • Hermit

    Your entire religion is based on a lie. If a person murdered his child to show how much he loved other people, he would be considered a madman, locked away and would deservedly earn society’s contempt. Yet christers imagine that this was some sort of noble act. Now consider that this murderous “father” supposedly murdered his child, then blamed it on the Jews, in order to forgive mythical people in a story he narrated and controlled. This is supposed to make sense to somebody?

  • Ed Senter

    Over 3 billion living humans and at least that many in their graves would disagree with you, codger.
    Just who did this “imposing”?

  • Bones

    That guy is f###ed in the head. He just accused me of having sex with my own children.

    He’s not worth communicating with.

    Just scrape him off your boot and move on.

  • Bones

    And I love it when dirtbags like your mates accuse me of having sex with my own kids.

    It shows what sort of despicable evil slanderers you types are.

  • Bones

    You do yourself no service by dismissing questions as ‘whining’.

    Hopefully you arent anywhere near people who are suffering.

    And now you try to blame people for natural disasters killing them.

    Theres some good justice right there.

    Ok lets all live somewhere safe from natural disasters….like nowhere.

    Do you think god will save us from an asteroid strike like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs?

  • Bones

    Well you just have blamed people. Apparently its people’s own fault they live on the coast to be swept away by tsunamis.

    You have done nothing but excuse god’s lack of action in all this.

  • Hermit

    Silly.

    Why not try answering a few outstanding questions above, rather than wriggling from one ignorant assertion to another as your previous nonsense has been debunked?

    Before you can credibly assert “truth”, you need to explain, “Outside of simplistic closed systems of limited applicability, please explain how you determine what is “truth” in gross violation of Gödel, Turing, von Neumann and others?”

    And I pointed out previously that your repeatedly asserted, apparently imaginary “truth”, is in blatant contradiction of evidence, repeatedly supplied. Why not attempt to address the evidence, instead of making ever more obviously ludicrous assertions in the face of the evidence.

    Your beliefs, like all beliefs, fail in the face of the evidence. After all, belief is usually the assignment of a truth value in the face of compelling confounding intersubjectively verifiable evidence, or occasionally the assignment of a truth value in the absence of sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence. When sufficient intersubjectively verifiable supporting evidence is present, belief is not required, merely observation, evaluation and acceptance of the preponderance of the evidence.

    Like all religions, christianity has a pernicious effect on its adherents and on their society. As shown in Europe and increasingly in the US, it is dying out, not being needed in the modern world. Whether we overthrow the oligarchy, and reverse the incredible damage to the biosphere caused by the twin evils of religion and plutocracy, or we don’t and become extinct in the near future, religion will be irrelevant except in so far as it is used to reinforce the oligarchy and harm human prospects for survival.

  • Ron McPherson

    The mods need to ban him from this site. Period! I love Ben’s blog, but people like Widuran should not be allowed on this site. He’s misrepresented my beliefs, says that Herm has a gay son in a same sex marriage. To my knowledge Herm has no gay sons (I have no doubt Herm would be affirming regardless) so it’s utterly bizarre, and then way crossed over the line by suggesting you have kids just so you can molest them. And to top it all off, the guy claims to be a man of God. The guy sounds totally unhinged.

  • Hermit

    As they are direct quotes, it seems as if the problem is your total ignorance, rather than “misquotes”. It also appears that your cognitive dissonance has overpowered whatever capacity you had and that you have abandoned trying to discuss and are simply engaging in stupid shifty-eyed denial. Are you about to tell me that you are not going to continue talking to me next?

    Before you go, let me help you persuade me I am wrong.

    Based on https://disqus.com/home/discussion/channel-disproofofunattributedgodthingies/the_easy_way_to_prove_the_bible_valid_and_god_thingies_exist/:

    On 2017-04-24 I thought of a number. The number has been encoded with a phrase using the SHA-1 algorithm. The checksum is SHA-1 6c6f05156d47cb70c4433a1727145abd74afcdc0.

    Based on Matthew 18:19; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13; John 15:7; John 15:16; John 16:23-24; James 1:5-6; James 1:17; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14-15 any christer is invited to ask their god thingies to tell them the number I thought of and share the number they receive. From time-to-time I will reply with the number I thought of, the phrase used to generate the checksum and a new checksum for the next round. The number and phrase I used may then be tested (e.g. at http://www.sha1-online.com/) to determine that it is the number with which I have replied, and to see if the god thingies obtained the correct number through my mind.If any number provided matches mine, I will acknowledge that the poster has proved the accuracy of the bible, the existence of god thingies and the fact that they actually are a christer.

    Alternatively or additionally, name a North American mountain. You pray for the mountain to move laterally by more than the circular error probability of civilian GPS and reply here that you have done so. If GPS and subsequent satellite imaging confirm that that the mountain in question has moved within 6 weeks of the announcement (in case your god thingies are busy with something else, or sleeping, or feeling a bit weak, or whatever), I will “acknowledge that the poster has proved the accuracy of the bible, the existence of god thingies and the fact that they actually are a christer.”

    After all, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” [Matthew 17:20]

    If christers fail to respond, or get the number wrong, or the mountain does not move after their announcement that they are praying to have it move, they prove that their god thingies don’t exist, or that the god thingies lied when they said that they would answer prayer (“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”), and arguably prove that the christer is not actually a christer at all (“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” [John 15:7]).

    The way the number challenge works, is that if I put “123 Any old number” (without the quote marks) into the entry field at http://www.sha1-online.com/ or any other SHA1 generator, and click on the “hash” button. It returns “Result for sha1:
    2cbde0660c1b3df2ea988b04d83ef277d1da41b0”. If you put anything else into the entry field, the hash will be different. You can do the same test there or using any other SHA-1 generator.

    So when I share the number and phrase that I originally thought of, which includes the date when I thought of it, it should return the hash that I shared, “2017-04-24 SHA-1 6c6f05156d47cb70c4433a1727145abd74afcdc0”, proving that I have not cheated by changing the number. If I were to change the number, the hash would be different. So there is absolute proof available, that anyone can verify, I am not cheating.

  • Hermit

    If “Herm” is me, then Widuran is barking up the wrong tree entirely. I have one child, a glorious daughter, who is very interested in intelligent boys and would not give a christer the time of day.

  • Ron McPherson

    No, it’s another Herm lol. Both Herm and I would both be considered “christers” but Widuran doesn’t think we are because we reject the condemnation of others. In other words, Wid is an equal opportunity discriminator I guess

  • Ed Senter

    Faith operates pretty much like a sub-atomic particle. You don’t know where it is going to be until it gets there.
    Your whole life operates on faith. You are just too obtuse to admit it. You get in your car and hope to reach your destination. That is faith.
    Faith requires an action. God said it- some act on it, while others don’t. He gave us all free will.

    How can Heisenberg possibly be “violated”? Because once the location of a particle is known, all other probable locations disappear? Huh? You had better consult your “expert” on that one.

    What gave you such a callous and pessimistic world view? You hide behind a pseudo-intellect and simply don’t understand the significance of your knowledge while parroting the musings of others.

  • Ed Senter

    That is the whole point. The one true God has, and will continue to reveal himself to the world through his chosen people- Israel. Christians (at least some) already worship him.

  • Hermit

    I don’t do faith at all. It is not required to be happy or effective. Getting in my car and setting out somewhere may or may not lead to anything. It doesn’t make any difference. We also know, to far beyond usual scientific certainty, that we do not have free will. See e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYbgdo8e-8 and even https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/theres-no-such-thing-as-free-will/480750/.

    Actually, you do not go far enough. As the single photon and particle twin slit experiments proved, you can’t even potentially violate Heisenberg. That is the entire point. So, if there were god thingies that could potentially violate Heisenberg, the universe would be very different. So we know that there are no things with such potential. Which eliminates omnipotence.

    I do not have “a callous and pessimistic world view.” That is projection on your part. If I tend to any perspective it is the Epicurean. Funny how often random idiots on the Internet resort to attempted personal comments after all their bloviation has been shown to be worthless.

  • Bones

    None of this is surprising.

    Making up lies and slandering others is their life.

    It makes them feel better.

  • Bones

    Huh! You just blamed people for living on fault lines. There is no cure for natural disasters. That’s the nature of the planet we live on. There isnt a single thing we can do to stop them.

    All we can do is be prepared and develop warning signals while god sits on his hands.

    What actions of God are you talking about? We find inspiration from other humans eg fred hollows curing blind people.

    Is God capable of stopping natural disasters? Or is God not wanting to?

    I think not because natural disasters are part of our world.

    As for making the world a