The Christian Message

The Thinking Atheist has put together another high-quality and humbling video (humbling because this sets the bar very high for the rest of us trying to add to the discussion).

Here’s the Christian message told in a frank but sympathetic way (4:16).

61 thoughts on “The Christian Message

  1. This video does highlight the absurdity of the very basis of the Christian religion.. Why do atheists (and non Christians attack Christianity? Because Christianity attacked first! They should try and enjoy freedom of religion in America, instead of trying to turn America into a theocracy.. These Christians do not make good neighbors (referring to the fundies that cause all the problems)..

    • “Because Christianity attacked first!”
      This is a very sweeping statement. Could you please give an example and put this in a time context?

      • You weren’t asking me but I’ll jump in. Some Christians want to get school-led prayer in public schools. Some want the Ten Commandments on the wall in the courthouse. Some want Creationism taught in Science class.

        If there weren’t Christian excesses to complain about, I wouldn’t complain.

        • Thank you, Bob, for the reply.
          Many Christians see these same things you mentioned as attacks by atheists. All of those things that you mentioned were allowed in schools until recently, beginning in 1962, with the banning of prayer in public schools. Why? Well, some might so that atheists “attacked”.
          I guess it all a matter of perspective. Prayer in schools, the ten commandments and the teaching of creationism were all commonplace traditionally.
          Personally, i don’t see why, if the majority of the taxpayers who support the public schools are christian, prayer should not be allowed in school. If people don’t want to pray, they don’t have to. our constituiton clearly states that the majority rules, but the minority has rights. If the majority is christian, why does the atheist minority insist on ruling? No one denies you the right to be a practicing atheist, but why do atheists seek to rule the majority with their minority views? That is unconstitutional. If anyone attacked, i would have to say it was the atheists who presented the lawsuits that helped cause the basic demise of the public school system. Just my opinion…
          Plus, i agree that there is nothing wrong with teaching evolution as a theory. But why are some evolutionists against teaching creationism?

        • Cindy:

          To push back an excess is not to attack; it rights a wrong.

          i don’t see why, if the majority of the taxpayers who support the public schools are christian, prayer should not be allowed in school.

          This cuts both ways. So in Detroit, say, where there may be majority-Muslim school districts (I don’t know if this is the case, I’m just speculating), you’d be cool with Muslim prayer forced on all kids?

          If people don’t want to pray, they don’t have to.

          That’s not what we’re talking about. Everyone gets prayed at. Is a daily prayer an effective evangelization tool? If so, you can see the problem.

          And you see how bad this makes Christians look, I hope. Their faith is so fragile that they need constant reassurance that they’ve made the right choice? (And of course by “made the right choice” I mean “was born into the culture with the correct religion.”) Alternatively, if we see this as an evangelization tool, isn’t this a violation of the Constitution.

          our constituiton clearly states that the majority rules

          You may need to brush up on your civics. “Majority rules” is certainly not the takeaway from the Constitution. The Constitution also has important constraints on the majority to protect the minority. The First Amendment is more relevant to this conversation, of course.

          why do atheists seek to rule the majority with their minority views? That is unconstitutional.

          Uh … no. The atheists simply ask that the Constitution be followed. The government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. And isn’t that best for the Christian too?

          If anyone attacked, i would have to say it was the atheists who presented the lawsuits that helped cause the basic demise of the public school system.

          Schools do a poor job and removing prayer is the reason why???

          Plus, i agree that there is nothing wrong with teaching evolution as a theory. But why are some evolutionists against teaching creationism?

          Because it’s not science! We are talking about the science classroom, right?

      • “Because Christianity attacked first!”
        This is a very sweeping statement. Could you please give an example and put this in a time context?

        Fundies have done so much to harm society, I dont know where to begin.. History has shown the great harm to society from holy wars, pogroms, witch burnings, Spanish Inquisition, and religion fueled Hitlers rise to power.. The Christian Bible had rules for how to treat your slaves, so thus condoned slavery.. There is also the anti knowledge problem that spans history as well (from the early Christians burning down the Library of Alexandria, to imprisoning Galileo’s family and threatening Galileo with torture for his scientific discoveries, to todays problems with evolution and climate change deniers).. Then there is the problem with bigotry, from the heathens, Pogroms, blacks are inferior.. Christian demonization of Jews made the pogroms possible (where they would burn whole villages of jews over fake child sacrifice rumors).. These pogroms fueled the hatred of Jews and fueled Hitlers rise to power (and made people look the other way when they gassed 6-MILLION Jews).. There is also the demonization of atheists today.. A recent poll revealed the average christian would rather their daughter marry a muslim, a rapist, or a child molester before they would allow their daughter to marry an atheist (could pogrom-like murder of atheists be far behind?).. ALL THIS, and FUNDIES SOMEHOW BELIEVE THEY HAVE MORAL SUPERIORITY TO TRY AND TURN AMERICA INTO A CHRISTIAN NATION (instead of a “free” nation).. Fundies are always trying to force their religion onto other peoples children (IE: the forced prayer in public schools).. Fundies force their religion into science class (evolution creation).. Fundies work to take away a womens right to choose (abortion).. In summary, it is the fundamentalist Christians that cause all these problems, but mainstream Christianity does not speak out until its too late.. And it Christians would tend to their own flock, instead of tirelessly trying to force their religion onto others, then we could co-exist..

        • These pogroms fueled the hatred of Jews and fueled Hitlers rise to power (and made people look the other way when they gassed 6-MILLION Jews).

          And 5 million non-Jews. The Holocaust was an equal-opportunity catastrophe.

        • Yes, I forgot the Crusades.. This over-whelmingly clear history of atrocities makes it clear people need to speak out.. “The price for freedom is eternal vigilance.”

  2. All well said and done but all one sided. What about all the good the born again Christians do, that 90% of charity’s are ran by God’s people. As for hell, God does not send people there, people do. They decide to do as they please, hurt, kill, hate, rape, destroy, rob, steal, beat, lie, selfishness, not to mention all the rest. Heaven is for all people that trust in Jesus.

    People say then why does God allow suffering. The answer is that God put enough food on this earth for all of us, it’s not his fault man is greedy.

    As for giving money to church, I am the first to admit there are false churches out there, wanting nothing but wealth and fame. Jesus knew this also, they were the Pharisees that killed him. They are still here today only differently named. Your looking at Christians from your own point of view, there are many true Born again believers. In my church, we don’t take the offering of peoples money if we dont have time to, and my church is not rich nor is it famous.

    Seriously, do some homework before putting your point across 🙂

    • I don’t deny there are good Christians out there.. But they appear to be few, or a silent majority perhaps? Are these the same charities that had all the scandals, where the people running them were stealing the money for themselves? The harm caused by religion far outweighs to good.. From the holy wars, inquisitions, pogroms of the past (as well as enabling hitlers rise to power). Also if the bible did not condone human slavery, would this atrocity have played out historically? Today we have believers destroying freedom of religion in America.. Destroying quality education by trying to sabotage evolution.. The bigotry against gays and atheists. Misguided religion helps fuel today’s corrupt to the core conservatives.. Sorry I can’t be more optimistic with all the problems caused by religion.. Why don’t these good Christians you speak of raise their voises against these harmful fundies?

      • Why don’t these good Christians you speak of raise their voises against these harmful fundies?

        Christians often say, “Yeah, but those bad people wouldn’t be in my church.” In that case, let’s focus on the agreement! Atheists and sane Christians could help Christianity clean up its act.

        You probably know about Sam Harris’s concentric rings thinking about religion. As you get more toward the center, you get the nuttier flavors of that religion. Problem is, people in the outer rings stick up for those inside. They say, ” I don’t agree with those people, but give them a break. They’re entitled to their beliefs.” And they are, but they’re not entitled to the social harm that they do.

        If believers were more eager to clean up their religion rather than preserve it, religion’s role within society might improve.

      • “I don’t deny there are good Christians out there..”

        Bobbler,
        what is your definition of a good Christian, please?

      • our english word religion is derived from the Latin:
        “re” prefix, means again or back
        “ligare” verb, means to bind
        so, the word religion means to bind again.
        i agree with you that religion is not necessarliy a good thing. many evil things have been done for the sake of religion. religion seeks to bind us and hold us captive.
        however, Christians who understand the gospel of Christ, are not religious, nor do they seek to bind others. the catholic church (i.e. the pope) and its adherents were responsible for the holy wars, inquisitions and pogroms. true, most religious people did not resist hitler, but some, who truly understood the gospel of Christ, namely the confessing church movement and specifically dietrich bonhoeffer, did. to my understanding of the issue, fascism in germany took hold and hitler gained power as rapidly as he did because germany feared the proliferation of communism, led by atheists in russia.
        the catholic church, for all of its religiosity, has not, hostorically speaking, been a good representation of Christ, nor what He taught. and many modern-day evangelicals have failed in that sense, too. but we are not to place our faith in humans and what they do, be they catholic or protestant.
        the misunderstanding here stems from the fact that you are confusing Christ with religion, as many others obviously have throughout the centuries.
        religion is a tool that many use to subjugate others. that is not what Christ taught.

        • Cindy:

          our english word religion is derived from the Latin:

          It doesn’t hurt to understand the etymology of a word, but that won’t necessarily explain how words are used today.

          the catholic church (i.e. the pope) and its adherents were responsible for …

          I don’t usually point to the Crusades etc. when I think of problems with Christianity. More relevant IMO to focus on current issues.

          The problem I see is that it’s easy to say that those folks in the past didn’t get it but we do today. “Those who truly understood the gospel” = “people who think like me.” We agree that Hitler, the pogroms, the Inquisitions, etc. were bad and that Christians were wrong to support such things, but how do we know we’ve figured it out now?

          Russia was a problem because it was a dictatorship, not because the leadership were atheists.

        • Okay, Bob.
          Well, i hope you have a great new year. Enjoyed talking with you. 🙂

        • Thank you, Bob, i would love to stick around. I thank you, Bob, and i appreciate your friendliness. i do have a few replies i would like to make to your last comment, but i have been on this computer all day and my children are planning a mutiny, i think. Lol!
          I’ll be back later. i do appreciate the conversational tone here as opposed to the pontificating and vitriol i have read on other blogs.

    • Lee:

      What about all the good the born again Christians do, that 90% of charity’s are ran by God’s people.

      That’s a bit like saying, “The dog bites me daily, but he’s a good watchdog.” Let’s keep the good and get rid of the bad. Obviously, I have no problem with philanthropy done by Christians. I don’t know what to make of your statistic, but I’m pretty sure that Christians don’t account for 90% of charitable giving.

      The problem (and perhaps we’re in partial agreement here) is the harm done by Christianity–churches covering for pedophiles, televangelists taking money from those who can least afford it, getting people to view reality in a distorted way, and so on.

      As for hell, God does not send people there, people do.

      But that’s a weak rationalization, isn’t it? God made hell. You would never do the equivalent thing. If you were a judge, you would never assign eternity in torment. And didn’t God make us imperfect? Why punish humanity for being the way God made us?

      People say then why does God allow suffering. The answer is that God put enough food on this earth for all of us, it’s not his fault man is greedy.

      And how does that excuse God for the earthquake in Haiti or the Banda Ache tsunami?

      (Y’know, it’s almost like there’s no God there at all …)

  3. You have agreed with my point when you said……

    Are these the same charities that had all the scandals, where the people running them were stealing the money for themselves?

    This was the point I was making when I called them the modern day pharisee’s. The bible has warned us about such people, as we can see in the below scripture….

    2 Timothy 3:2-5…….People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

    When it says ” HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS “, it means those who call themselves Christians, on the outside look like men of God and act like the bible tells us, but on the inside are o more saved than Satan himself.

    The word Religion bothers me, and I know you are going to say that even Christianity is a religion, but the difference is that we follow a living God, true, real, we are in a relationship, our faith is spontaneous. I can’t expect you to understand as you are not a believer in Christ, nor do you have a relationship with him.

    I will explain it to you this way for example. If I went to a concert, had the time of my life and came back and told you all about it, then you would say that’s great, you would understand me to an extent, but you would not have the full grasp of it because you were no there. It’s the same with God, you can hear about it, be told a Christians life is, but unless you are a Christian you will never know.

    The inquisitions that have went on, are exactly what 2 Timothy 3:2-5 from the scripture above was talking about. They were not real men of God, they were wolves in sheep’s clothing as seen in the scripture below…..

    Matthew 7:15…….Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    The evolution theory, and I call it a theory because that is all it is, a thought by mans mind. You know a few scientists disagreed with Darwin and because they did, there careers were finished. Now because of this, many have and are staying silent. If you want to see the facts about Darwin, then you should visit the link below……

    You said…….Why don’t these good Christians you speak of raise their voices against these harmful fundies

    Christians can only stand for what they believe, they can’t back up anything that is against the Lord, as to do this is to go against everything they live for.

    I hope you don’t think I am trying to pick an argument, I’m not, I just want to have a voice like any other person. 🙂

    • Oddly, you didn’t say much for me do disagree with.. But, a Nobel prize laureate said “nothing in modern biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.” Evolution is what we know, because there is a mountain of fact supporting evolution.. This is why careers you spoke of would have been ruined (a scientist will support evolution every time over creation, because creation is not science, it is religion). Many Christians accept evolution with no conflict with their beliefs.. This is one instance of many, where religious belief is harmful to society. As for treatment of gays (another example of many), when believers try to make laws that hurt these people (like blocking churches that are willing to marry gays), that is harmful to society.. If religions tended to their own flock, rather than trying to force their beliefs onto others, then we could all coexist..

    • Lee:

      The word Religion bothers me, and I know you are going to say that even Christianity is a religion

      “Christianity isn’t a religion; it’s a relationship”–is that it?

      I don’t know why some Christians are repelled by the idea of religion. Once dogmas are codified, isn’t religion inevitable?

      you can hear about it, be told a Christians life is, but unless you are a Christian you will never know.

      And that’s what the Hindu or Muslim could say as well. You don’t find that argument compelling coming from them, so why should I find it compelling coming from you?

      They were not real men of God, they were wolves in sheep’s clothing as seen in the scripture below.

      Sure, it’s easy to see the problem in hindsight, as outsiders. It’s seeing the problem when it’s happening that is difficult. And what problems is Christianity involved in right now that is difficult for you to see as an insider?

      The evolution theory, and I call it a theory because that is all it is

      That’s like saying, “All I did last week was get a Nobel Prize.” “Theory” is as good as it gets for a scientific explanation. There is nothing better. Evolution is at the pinnacle.

      But perhaps we’re in agreement.

      If you want to see the facts about Darwin

      You do know that evolution is the scientific consensus, right? I don’t know what laymen like you and me can do with that except accept it as the best explanation we have (at the moment) for why life is the way it is.

  4. I can see where you are coming from about there being evidence for Evolution, but I could say in the same, the way there is evidence for creation, the way everything we need is here, all that we need to live on this planet has been supplied for us. You say we came from nothing, a big bang, I say were were placed exactly in the right place on purpose

    What is evidence, it’s what the individual requires to believe something is right. You believe in Darwin, I believe in God. You believe we came from monkeys, I believe we were created. Evidence to you is what you believe through science, evidence to me for creation is by the very way our bodies are knitted together. So are we really so different. You are given your knowledge from man, I’m given mine from God.

    The way things are today, are the way God created them, you just believe it was by accident, I believe through intelligent design.

    One thing to remember is that science through the years keeps changing. A hundred years ago they believed in far different things from now, and in a hundred years into the future they will believe in different again.

    I don’t want to get into the whole gay thing much as I have been debating it for years but the reason why Christians want to stop same sex marriages is because in Gods eyes it’s an abomination as the below scripture tells us…..

    Leviticus 18:22…..Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    That’s only one of many scriptures. When the same sex marry it’s not marriage in Gods eyes, it means the two of them are living in sin. They are only married under mans law.

    Have you ever heard of hate the sin, not the sinner. That’s the way I am, we are all broken in some way or the other, we all have our hopes and fears. I don’t judge anyone because both the saved and the unsaved are all people, Christians are no better than the unbeliever, we just try our best to do what’s right in Gods sight. 🙂

    • Lee:

      the way everything we need is here, all that we need to live on this planet has been supplied for us.

      You’re aware of Douglas Adams’ puddle analogy? You may be on the wrong side of this idea.

      You say we came from nothing, a big bang, I say were were placed exactly in the right place on purpose

      The difference, however, is that there is evidence for only one of these.

      You believe in Darwin, I believe in God.

      “Believe” may be tripping us up. I accept evolution because I trust science. Evidence created that trust. And, evidence can erode that trust. Trust is earned, as is distrust.

      Evidence would make me reject science. Would anything make you reject Christianity?

      You believe we came from monkeys, I believe we were created.

      You’re not picking your beliefs based on how pleasing they are, are you?

      So are we really so different. You are given your knowledge from man, I’m given mine from God.

      Is there evidence for your view?

      One thing to remember is that science through the years keeps changing.

      You say that as if it’s a bad thing. Science keeps improving.

      Christianity changes too (which is bizarre, since it’s supposed to be the unchanging revelation from an unchanging god) but it pretends that it’s stable. Sure, you can pretend that you have immutable wisdom, but there’s no reason to believe that.

      the reason why Christians want to stop same sex marriages is because in Gods eyes it’s an abomination as the below scripture tells us.

      Have you considered other abominations, like eating shellfish (Lev. 11)? Or fortune telling (Deut. 18)?

      Society has turned its back on Old Testament ideas. Why not this one as well (except perhaps that it appeals to you!).

      Y’know what I’d love to hear? A Christian who says, “This rejection of gay marriage makes no sense to me. It affects my marriage not at all. In these days of couples living together and high rates of divorce, to have a community actually embrace marriage is terrific. But hey–my hands are tied. My reading of the Bible says that it’s immoral.”

      Instead, we hear only Christians for whom the prohibition against homosexuality matches their own views perfectly.

      They are only married under mans law.

      America has a secular constitution. “Man’s Law” is actually pretty relevant, I’m afraid.

      Have you ever heard of hate the sin, not the sinner.

      This sounds to me like a bandage on a broken leg. It’s kinda going in the right direction, but Christianity is a broken worldview. Let’s fix it instead of making it easier to live with.

      • Great point Bob Seidensticker.. Christianity has changed so dramatically over time the bible Jesus would never recognize it (if he were alive today).. The bible Jesus was very comparable to a 1960’s hippie for all things economic (obviously not for drugs or free sex).. Look at today’s conservative Christians supporting the exact opposite of what Jesus preached.. Christmas is another example, because early Christians rejected celebrating on the same days as the pagan gods holy days (but modern believers think the solstice is theirs, LOL)..

  5. LEE:
    I can see where you are coming from about there being evidence for Evolution, but I could say in the same, the way there is evidence for creation, the way everything we need is here, all that we need to live on this planet has been supplied for us.

    BOBBLER:
    Actually, there is no evidence at all for the literal creation many fundies believe in.. In fact literal creation is scientifically impossible unless you throw in magic to explain away several things.. However the allegorical bible interpretation that many Christians adhere to is compatible with evolution.. Perhaps god used evolution as part of his/her creation plan..

    So, in summary, fundies choose to interpret literal creation, that flies in the face of literally thousands of “real” proofs that evolution is reality.. Once we know something to be true, our beliefs should modify to encompass new things we learn..

    LEE:
    You say we came from nothing, a big bang, I say were were placed exactly in the right place on purpose What is evidence, it’s what the individual requires to believe something is right. You believe in Darwin, I believe in God. You believe we came from monkeys, I believe we were created. Evidence to you is what you believe through science, evidence to me for creation is by the very way our bodies are knitted together. So are we really so different. You are given your knowledge from man, I’m given mine from God. The way things are today, are the way God created them, you just believe it was by accident, I believe through intelligent design.

    BOBBLER:
    I dont have to “believe” in evolution, because facts support evolution.. Its as simple as that.. Religion is about belief, and science is about tangible things (these are mutually exclusive philosophies, and have nothing in common).. The big bang is not something to believe in either.. Its a theory with a certain level of confidence.. Evolution explains the real world much better than intelligent design (any objective observer looking at all the evidence would choose evolution)..

    LEE:
    One thing to remember is that science through the years keeps changing. A hundred years ago they believed in far different things from now, and in a hundred years into the future they will believe in different again.

    BOBBLER:
    Yes, science keeps changing as new things are learned.. That is a positive thing.. Religion on the other hand believe things even when there is proof to the opposite..

    LEE:
    I don’t want to get into the whole gay thing much as I have been debating it for years but the reason why Christians want to stop same sex marriages is because in Gods eyes it’s an abomination as the below scripture tells us….. Leviticus 18:22…..Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. That’s only one of many scriptures. When the same sex marry it’s not marriage in Gods eyes, it means the two of them are living in sin. They are only married under mans law. Have you ever heard of hate the sin, not the sinner. That’s the way I am, we are all broken in some way or the other, we all have our hopes and fears. I don’t judge anyone because both the saved and the unsaved are all people, Christians are no better than the unbeliever, we just try our best to do what’s right in Gods sight. 🙂

    BOBBLER:
    The point is it is OK for you to have your religion and beliefs.. But not to stop others from living their lives.. There are churches that will marry gays, and when a politically powerful religion interferes with the freedom of religion of other churches, that is against freedom of religion..

  6. I don’t read books (who has time with an iPhone).. Thanks for mentioning the concentric rings; what an elegant way to explain it..

  7. From a conversational perspective, utilizing the word “god” is an empty vestige of linguistic acrobatics to apply meaning to the incomprehensible; in other words…what the hell is it?!

    Theism perpetuates the word “god” as if it is objectively sound; when in fact, the phrase “Do you believe in god” is not even a proposition in language; an atrocity in the highest order to debase the thinking faculties of our youth.

    Great video!

  8. TO: Arius,,, yes, and I expect there was a time in history when fundies argued thunder was a god (or gods). Then as science learned what thunder really was, eventually fundies stopped saying it was their god.. The flat earth, sun centered solar system, and today evolution are all the same pattern.

  9. My New Years resolution is to stop wasting anymore time attempting to have discussions with theists.

    I have spent the last couple of years attempting to discover what it is that switches on or off in the brain that allows one to change their beliefs. I was once a Christian, but somehow, something changed that allowed me to see things differently. One thing I know for sure is that people do not become theists for logical reasons. It’s damn near impossible to have a logical discussion about something that someone holds for emotional reasons.

    Oh well, I’ve got more productive things to do.

    Best of luck with your book Bob. Best wishes to everyone in the new year…

      • Yeah, I’m done with the apologetics.com forum. It’s a perfect example of religious “apologetics”. They shut down their one contact with non-believers. Of the posters left, most are some vague form of theist.

        I’ll still be checking out your blog from time to time, but I simply don’t have the patience to continue listening to snarky theist posters complaining that non-believers are being snarky. I hope I never have to hear the phrase “principle of charity” ever again from a theist.

        • I just received Darrel Ray’s book “the God Virus”, and so far it’s been really interesting, and it explains why discussion about religion is so difficult.

      • It is tiresome (same thing over and over), and I have been asking myself why I do it for years.. Still, I only do it when I have time.. And I “try” to at least get a larger audience where some may learn something (the apologists are never going to budge on anything)..

      • Retro:

        Yeah, I’m done with the apologetics.com forum. It’s a perfect example of religious “apologetics”. They shut down their one contact with non-believers. Of the posters left, most are some vague form of theist.

        Truly weird. Have you listened to the Unbelievable podcast from the UK? They almost always have a Christian and a non-Christian (Muslim, atheist, whatever) discuss their differences. Almost every time. Why can’t apologetics.com? Afraid, I’m guessing?

        I simply don’t have the patience to continue listening to snarky theist posters complaining that non-believers are being snarky.

        Thanks for your input! Drop by anytime.

  10. Lee makes a lot of claims, but none of them are backed up with evidence. Doesn’t prove there is a God. Doesn’t prove how he knows his religion, or bible is the one God wants people to follow. Funny how there are so many books out there that claim to be the word of God, wonder why that is Lee.

  11. RE: “”””I don’t deny there are good Christians out there..” Bobbler, what is your definition of a good Christian, please? “””

    People who are not bigots towards women, gays, atheists, and muslims, women, etc.. People who are not mean and selfish (adhering to the politics of todays corporate controlled republicans).. Probably these two philosophies sum it up: (1) the wiccan creed; “do what thou wilt, harm none.” And (2) “hands that help are better than lips that pray.”

    • Robert Mckee,
      I agree with you that Christians should not hate and/or mistreat gays, atheists, women, etc.
      Everyone has choices to make in this life. Whittling away whatever time we have by hating and forcing our beliefs on others is a waste and is basically to no avail.
      I know many gays are upset by the Christian stance on marriage, but whether or not it is legal is simply due to the political process and, as such, the majority rules, according to the constitution. However, the other side of that coin is that the minority has rights. Personally, i do not care if gays marry. I was once friends with a gay married couple, but sorrowfully, they are both dead because of aids.
      When i was the director a church preschool, i admitted two boys who had been adopted by a gay female married couple. You can imagine the stink that caused when some of the church members found out. a small group of them kept pushing until the preschool, which had been open for 24 years, was voted to be closed, thereby forcing over 100 families to find childcare elsewhere and shutting down an effective ministry.
      I have been a christian my whole life. I went through a period where i was angry with God and rejected Him. I understand what you mean about mean christians. Now i realize that my relationship with God through Christ is personal and not subject to the authority of a church or a pastor or my fellow christians. I am fully capable of thinking and knowing the Truth for myself. I despise people trying to shove their garbage down my throat!

  12. RE:
    “””Robert Mckee,
    I agree with you that Christians should not hate and/or mistreat gays, atheists, women, etc.”””

    RE:
    “””When i was the director a church preschool, i admitted two boys who had been adopted by a gay female married couple. You can imagine the stink that caused when some of the church members found out. a small group of them kept pushing until the preschool, which had been open for 24 years, was voted to be closed, thereby forcing over 100 families to find childcare elsewhere and shutting down an effective ministry.”””

    This is exactly what I am talking about. Plus similar scenarios a thousand times over (with this as the common denominator).. These fundies are the enemy of other sects of their own faith, as well as every other religion.. These fundies are why many believers support freedom of religion (separation of church and state)..

    • yes, it was quite a tragedy in my mind, because there are few excellent preschools in our area and our was one of them. the bigots simply wanted the daycare closed becasue of their own personal intolerance of others who were not like them. these two gay women had adopted two boys: one from an orphange and he had fetal alchohol syndrome and one was an orphan from guatemala.
      i went before the entire church and called the pastor out on his hypocritical stance on this issue and almost saved the daycare, but it was still voted closed by a slim majority.
      anyway, needless to say, i no longer attend that church. and i do not have much use for that pastor, though i do run into him from time to time. when i do see him, in social situations, he cannot look me in the eye and avoids me as much as possible.

      • Cindy:

        yes, it was quite a tragedy in my mind, because there are few excellent preschools in our area and our was one of them.

        Sounds like the problem of a Catholic-run adoption agency (in Chicago, I believe) that shut its doors rather than accept gay couples as candidate parents after same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois.

        Your story is quite poignant. Very frustrating for you, I can imagine.

        • I want to point out the obvious, that without separation of church and state, these bigoted hateful fundies (similar to their Muslim counterparts), would be the religion in charge here in America.. It baffles me why more religious people cannot see this obvious danger.

        • The fundy sect behaves like this across the board.. Recently, another example, a national christian bookstore pulled the pink bibles (supporting breast cancer) from their shelves, because a potion of the profit also supported planned parenthood..

          Separation of church and state (freedom of religion) helps keep these fundies in their own yard (tending to their own flock), rather than gaining political control over the rest of America..

        • You know about Sam Harris’s metaphor of the concentric circles? Any religion has a small group of extremists (the inner circle). As you go outward, you get more liberal and more populated versions of the religion.

          The problem is that each ring protects the next-innermost ring. “OK, they don’t do things quite like I do, but let’s give them a break and let them practice religion as they see fit.” Those believers emphasize the similarities, but perhaps if the differences were emphasized, they wouldn’t be so protective.

  13. oh, man, i was gonna take a break and then y’all had to bring up the crusades. i think it is fair to say that pope urban 2, in 1095, in answer to the call for help from byzantine emperor alexios, called for the first crusade for several reasons, direct and indirect:
    1. directly, to help fellow christians repel the turks and avoid muslim rule;
    2. indirectly, to staunch the blood flow in Europe as marauding knights killed innocent peasants and each other, thereby decimating the population of its young men;
    3. indirectly, to redirect the bloodthirsty knights toward killing the “enemy” and “infidels”, instead of fellow europeans,
    4. again indirectly, asserting european influence, military, spiritual, economic, in the middle east;
    5. directly, to free jerusalem from the infidels.
    one of the most important results: the european economic system was strenghtened as parts of the middle east became colonized by europeans, though i am sure urban probably did not forsee that.
    look, y’all:
    as i said earlier, lots of religious people have done some really crappy things! lots of non-religious people have done some really crappy things (hitler, stalin, pol pot, lenin, mao tse tung, kim jong il, to name a few).
    i have an idea: if y’all would like, we could go through each of the historical events that y’all mentioned and research them (NOT assuming that you haven’t already done this).
    i do not disagree with you two that many awful things have been done in the name of christianity and other religions. i am also aware that there are many bigoted, pharaisical christians today who would be better off keeping their big mouths shut! but i do not think it follows to make a blanket statement that christianity is bad becasue of bad christians;much like the earlier assertion made that many people assume that all atheists are evil. that simply is not true.
    Bob, earlier you said that one of my statements implied that i think i have the right way and that others who think like me are okay because they agree with me. Well, you are partially right about that. I do think that following Christ and living a life of grace is the way and yes, i believe that because that is what Christ said. You believe you are right too, for your own reasons. but, i do think that others have the right to voice their own beliefs, opinions, dissension, etc.
    However, when we disagree about God’s very existence, we cannot both be right. so we will have to agree to disagree. i do not think i will change your mind and i do not really feel inclined to try to do so. i know you will not change my mind. i have had to many experiences which have cemented my faith and belief.
    sorry this is so long.

    • as i said earlier, lots of religious people have done some really crappy things! lots of non-religious people have done some really crappy things

      Which is exactly the way we’d expect the world to be if there was no god.

    • RE: “””oh, man, i was gonna take a break and then y’all had to bring up the crusades”””

      Yes, apparently we both agree that when religion is in charge, we have one atrocity after another (through recorded history).. And yes Im sure there are some secular governments too that have committed atrocities.. However, this still supports my “singular” reason for bringing this up (holy wars, crusades, inquisitions, witch burnings, etc), was to call into major question why we should all bow to religious control over our government?

      There is “obviously” no superior reason we all should recognize that christianity has some moral superiority, and should therefore be in control of our government.. Thats it..

      Christianity should enjoy freedom of religion like the rest of Americans, instead of constantly trying to take religious freedom away from the rest of us.. This is the issue..

      My blanket statement that Christianity is bad still stands.. Obviously, there are not enough good Christians speaking, historically (crusades, inquisitions, etc), up against the bad christians to stop these atrocities.. So, having learned from history, I am frankly fearful of the future under Christian control..

    • Cindy:

      but i do not think it follows to make a blanket statement that christianity is bad becasue of bad christians;

      There are good and bad Christians just like there are good and bad atheists. My high-level objection to Christianity is that, because it’s not true, it keeps people from seeing reality.

      i do think that others have the right to voice their own beliefs, opinions, dissension, etc.

      Ditto.

      when we disagree about God’s very existence, we cannot both be right.

      Agreed.

      so we will have to agree to disagree.

      Not a crazy view, but I wonder if you’re giving up too quickly.

  14. CINDY:
    Many Christians see these same things you mentioned as attacks by atheists. All of those things that you mentioned were allowed in schools until recently, beginning in 1962, with the banning of prayer in public schools. Why? Well, some might so that atheists “attacked”.
    I guess it all a matter of perspective. Prayer in schools, the ten commandments and the teaching of creationism were all commonplace traditionally.

    BOBBLER:
    Simply because it was commonplace doesnt make it right (selling human beings as slaves used to be commonplace)..

    CINDY:
    Personally, i don’t see why, if the majority of the taxpayers who support the public schools are christian, prayer should not be allowed in school. If people don’t want to pray, they don’t have to. our constituiton clearly states that the majority rules, but the minority has rights. If the majority is christian, why does the atheist minority insist on ruling? No one denies you the right to be a practicing atheist, but why do atheists seek to rule the majority with their minority views? That is unconstitutional.

    BOBBLER:
    This is because freedom of religion was written into our Constitution.. If the majority were allowed to control everything, we would be living in a theocracy (and there would be no freedom of religion, that America is famous for).. The First Amendment, interpreted by Thomas Jefferson, was to erect a “wall of separation between the church and state.” This is how we get to have freedom of religion.. Up until now I thought you were one of the good Christians (religious freedom is the single most important issue).. I do thing you are a good person, but I believe people have been bending your ear in the wrong direction on what freedom of religion is, and what is Constitutional..

    Also, another very important point: “if the majority of the taxpayers who support the public schools are christian, prayer should not be allowed in school.”

    The problem here is a re-definition of what rights are.. A certain brand of fundy Christian cries foul when they are not allowed to “commandeer” a public school system for proselytization (pray, and other church-like activities).. THIS IS NOT A RIGHT! In reality, these fundies are violating the Civil Rights of others, by forcing their religious activities onto other peoples children.. America is a puristic society, where all non christians combined make up a rather large part of society.. You either support religious freedom, or you dont.. There is no in-between..

    Im frankly puzzled, that up until now all your posts made sense.. How in the world can you say my rights as an atheist would be intact, if fundies were allowed to commandeer the public school system and force feed my child prayer (and other church activities)?

    No Christian child in school is prevented from praying in school (unless of course they disrupt the class).. They can pray before class, breaks, lunch, silently at their desk (pretty much all day long).. In addition many Christians do not want the government (school) presiding over religious activities (because then there would only be one religion; IE: whatever religion was the most politically popular).. It is the responsibility of the parents to lead a child’s religious (or non religious) upbringing.. The overwhelmingly obvious intent behind prayer in school, is to proselytize (religiously brainwash) children.. AND THIS IS HIGHLY OFFENSIVE to parents of minority religions, as well as many Christians that understand the deep problems that come from a marriage bt church and state (a slippery slope to the previously mentioned holy wars, crusades, Inquisitions, with burnings, pogroms)..

    CINDY:
    Plus, i agree that there is nothing wrong with teaching evolution as a theory. But why are some evolutionists against teaching creationism?

    BOBBLER:
    Creation is religion, and evolution is science (two mutually exclusive modes).. There is no reason one must interfere with the other (“good Christians” accept biblical creation as allegory, and see no conflict with science).. But religion, particularly the christian religion as shown a clear historical hatred of science (Burning the Library of Alexandria, to imprisoning Galileo and threatening his family, to todays climate change and evolution deniers)..

  15. RE: However, when we disagree about God’s very existence, we cannot both be right. so we will have to agree to disagree. i do not think i will change your mind and i do not really feel inclined to try to do so. i know you will not change my mind. i have had to many experiences which have cemented my faith and belief. sorry this is so long.”””

    I dont even want to discuss whether to believe or not (an entirely different issue, and this one is complicated enough).. I am only interested in being able to co-exist in America.. Being able to co-exist is why freedom of religion was implemented in the first place.. And fundy Christians are dismantling this freedom..

  16. Cindy: we had slavery in this country for a hundred years, and we had racist laws until the 1960s. Many people justified these wrongs on the minority using religion. It wasn’t until the 1960s did we start to right all of these racist wrongs, or follow the Constitution better. Bob is right. Just because something has been around a long time doesn’t mean it is Constitutional, or right, or fair, or just.

    • Citydude72
      I couldn’t agree with you more. And i believe that it was mlk, jr., a christian and a preacher, who was the catalyst for bringing much of that to fruition. Yes, some christians do care enough about social justice to risk their lives for it!
      I neve said any of those things were constitutional or right. I think you must have misunderstood somewhere. 😉

      • citydude72,
        many christians and jews have a history of standing up for the rights, civil and otherwise, of thise who have no “voice”. i could name them if you would like, or you could do a little investigation of your own. there are good people and bad people, religious and irreligious.

        • there are good people and bad people, religious and irreligious.

          Which is exactly the way we’d expect the world to be like if there wasn’t a god.

        • Retro,
          Which is exactly the way we would expect the world to be when people have choices and do not always choose right.

  17. well, i am sure y’all are tired of hearing me babble! 🙂
    i have very much enjoyed being a part of this discussion and i thank you for letting me “in”. you guys are the most pleasant bunch of non-theists i have talked to (and i mean that as a compliment).
    Happy 2012 and i hope you don’t mind if i check your blog out again, bob.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s