Atheist Who ‘Prayed’ to Mother Earth, Satan Denied Request to Open Palm Beach Meeting

SmithPALM BEACH, Fla. — A professing Florida atheist who recently led an invocation to Mother Earth, Satan and other entities at a public meeting in Lake Worth has been denied his request to do the same at a commission meeting in Palm Beach County.

As previously reported, as Preston Smith of Miami stepped to the podium to deliver the invocation on Dec. 2, a number of commissioners–as well as Mayor Pam Triolo—exited the room so they would not be participants in what was about to take place.

“Our collective atheism, which is to say, loving empathy, scientific evidence, and critical thinking, leads us to believe that we can create a better, more equal community without religious divisions,” he said. “May we pray together.”

“Mother Earth, we gather today in your redeeming and glorious presence, to invoke your eternal guidance in the universe, the original Creator of all things,” Smith began his invocation. “May the efforts of this council blend the righteousness of Allah with the all-knowing wisdom of Satan.”

“May Zeus, the great God of justice, grant us strength tonight. Jesus might forgive our shortcomings while Buddha enlightens us through His divine affection,” he continued. “We praise you, Krishna, for the sanguine sacrifice that freed us all. After all, if Almighty Thor is with us, who can ever be against us?”

Smith then scorned the concept of Heaven and Hell and urged adherence to humanistic attempts to define right from wrong.

“And finally, for the bounty of logic, reason, and science, we simply thank the atheists, agnostics, Humanists, who now account for one in five Americans, and [are] growing rapidly,” he stated. “In closing, let us, above all, love one another, not to obtain mythical rewards for ourselves now, hereafter, or based on superstitious threats of eternal damnation, but rather, embrace secular-based principles of morality —and do good for goodness’ sake.”

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“And so we pray,” Smith concluded. “So what?”

In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Smith stated that he has sought to do the same in Palm Beach County, but was rejected.

“[M]y next invocation was aimed at the Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting. However, they have denied my request, opting instead to strictly allow the Commissioners themselves to give [overtly Christian-themed] invocations,” he said. “I consider this a monopoly of a certain religious viewpoint, the very opposite of the Supreme Court’s intention.”

It is not known if Smith will continue attempting to deliver invocations at meetings across the state. However, he told local television station WPTV that his goal is to stop prayer before public government meetings altogether.

Atheist and blogger Chaz Stevens, known for erecting a Festivus Pole made of beer cans at the Florida Capitol Rotunda, has a similar goal. He submitted a request to deliver a Satanist prayer in Lake Worth.

“We want to make a circus out of it,” Stevens told the outlet. “We want to make a fiasco out of it. We want to make it so … utterly ridiculous that they rethink this.”

It is not yet known whether Stevens has been denied or approved.


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  • James Grimes

    “Atheist and blogger Chaz Stevens, known for erecting a Festivus Pole made of beer cans at the Florida Capitol Rotunda, has a similar goal. He submitted a request to deliver a Satanist prayer in Lake Worth.
    “We want to make a circus out of it,” Stevens told the outlet. “We want to make a fiasco out of it, we want to make it so … utterly ridiculous that they rethink this.””
    And so the truth comes out. The Useless want what they want when they want it.

    • http://www.imagineitincorporatedng.com/ Tessa

      They actually worship satan, they are saying the words, aren’t they?

      • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

        Uh, yeah, Tessa. That’s the point he’s trying to make. He worships Satan and Thor, with a bit of Zoroaster thrown in. I know it’s very confusing for you, all this thinking. Don’t worry. The Church will take care of that for you.

      • James Grimes

        Yes, they are worshiping Satan if they are dishonoring God. Also, disregard the useless who belittle your comment. What they have to say is totally meaningless. Thanks.

        • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

          James, the guy in this story is making a point. Americans don’t seem to understand the hyprocisy involved here. They don’t seem to understand there are more religions out there than christianity. Or worse still, people who have no need for religion whatsoever of any kind. Or worse still, people who oppose religion because of the damage it’s done the world.

          That’s what this story is about, not “actually worshiping Satan”. Even a christian sheep should be able to recognise this.

  • Victor Dorsey

    I thought that atheist did not believe in anything spiritual.

    • James Grimes

      They certainly don’t… but they want to counteract the Christians who offer prayers, so they will do what they can. That’s why they are “THE USELESS.”

      • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

        I don’t think prayers – spiritual farts released into the world to make the prayer feel better – are the problem.

      • Randy Wanat

        It sucks when people are allowed to exercise their rights. How dare they expect the government to follow the law? >:(

      • James Grimes

        It’s entertaining when The Useless don’t like when someone stands up to them. They cry “foul” and act like the crybabies they are. They want the government to shield them from feeling offended. Too bad! Do you feel sorry for them?

    • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

      Do you know how irony works?

      • Victor Dorsey

        Do you??

  • Becky Taylor

    Basically he was saying “hey look I can bring every false belief in here at once”. It’s a big slap in the face of God and Christianity.

    • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

      I think god, if he did exist, would be able to take it.

      • Peter Leh

        true

    • Randy Wanat

      Prove that Christianity and your deity are true and that all others are not without resorting to circular reasoning.
      Get the popcorn, kiddies.

  • Peter Leh

    of course he should be denied . He earned it with his shenanigans.

    • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

      Oh, I see. You’ve got to really BELIEVE for it to count, eh?

      • Peter Leh

        no the invocation is not a performance or satire. He can get his own show to prove a point.

        • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

          And religious fools can get their own show somewhere else. All or none.

          • Peter Leh

            Indeed, it is all or none. and i agree others should get their own show for shenanigans . however, this guy took it to a new level outside the realm of decorum and respect. I have now problem with an atheist invocation. but that is not what his intentions are by his own word.

          • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

            Religion should not be respected. I think that’s part of his argument.

          • Peter Leh

            indeed. which is why his avenue of expression will not be thorough the invocation.. he earned it. do another way, which is his right.

          • jcrosby35

            You want a show?

            The fool says in his heart there is no God.

            Pro 26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

            Just keep it up. So far you are the star of the show.

          • TBGR_FTL

            Oh yeah? Well in my book it says that all Christians are idiots. So there!

          • jcrosby35

            Are they idiots? And just why do you make such a claim?
            What have Christians done to you?
            You want to judge Christians then here is your chance.
            Speak up but also know that in God’s court a man shall give account of ever idle word he speaks. And by his word he shall be justified or by his words he shall be condemned.
            Jesus Christ is Lord and every knee shall bow to Him to the glory of God.

          • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

            Any god that would demand such things is no god I’d want to follow.

          • jcrosby35

            Demand what things and why?

          • James Grimes

            You shouldn’t follow God. He has a special place set aside for you and your ilk. Bye.

          • James Grimes

            The Useless are fools. That’s the best they’ll ever be.

          • jcrosby35

            Pro 26:5 But if you answer any fools, show how foolish they are, so they won’t feel smart.

            Pro 26:6 Sending a message by a fool is like chopping off your foot and drinking poison.

          • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

            Quoting from the bible, how profound

          • jcrosby35

            Yes, the Bible is a profound work of God given by the Holy Spirit so men can know God. Read the book of John and see the love of God for you. It is amazing.

          • Terry Roll

            Excuse my ignorance, but how exactly did the Holy Spirit write the Bible?

          • jcrosby35

            2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

            2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

            Your ignorance is excused but if you willingly chose to be ignorant of the scriptures you have no excuse for ignorance.
            Get a Bible translation you can understand and read the New Testament.
            God has given us everything we need in His Word and Spirit so there is no excuse.

          • David

            I’ve read it. It’s bullshit, just like the rest of that ponderous tome. You do realize that the majority of American atheists were once religious, right? That garbage didn’t fly when we were believers which is why we’re now nonbelievers. It’s not too late for you. Stop ignoring the obvious scam. It’s okay, nothing will happen- you may be upset that there is no heaven, but the upside is there is no hell. That, and you can live a genuine life that is actually your own.

          • jcrosby35

            Clowns like you are a dime a dozen. Take a break.

            2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

            2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

            Bye

          • David

            Well, considering you have a net negative value to society, I’d say a dime a dozen is a great fortune to our species. Seriously, what is it like to have exactly the same emotional development as illiterate goat-herders from two millennia ago? To display it so proudly, it’s like ignorance is a badge of honor for you. Enjoy your cave, man.

          • Randy Wanat

            Still can’t formulate your own thoughts? That’s unfortunate.

          • jcrosby35

            You very unfortunate but true.

            2Co 4:3 If there is anything hidden about our message, it is hidden only to someone who is lost.

            2Co 4:4 The god who rules this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They cannot see the light, which is the good news about our glorious Christ, who shows what God is like.

            2Co 4:5 We are not preaching about ourselves. Our message is that Jesus Christ is Lord. He also sent us to be your servants.

          • Randy Wanat

            You do realize that, if God has blinded the unbelievers to himself and Jesus, that makes conversion impossible. Nobody can possibly become a Christian. Quoting apocalyptic rants from a guy who, like Jesus, was convinced the world was coming to an end within the current generation isn’t going to put you onto the most solid ground for making a coherent point. But, if you cared about logic, you wouldn’t accept outlandish stories as true based on circular reasoning and authorities telling you so, with cultivated ignorance as your bedrock.

          • jcrosby35

            Joh 6:44 No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me makes them want to come. But if they do come, I will raise them to life on the last day.

            Joh 6:45 One of the prophets wrote, “God will teach all of them.” And so everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him will come to me.

          • David

            Forming their own thoughts is expressly verboten, dontcha know?

          • Josh

            It’s more like my brain that tells me there are no gods.

        • Randy Wanat

          And, blacks could have eaten lunch elsewhere. They didn’t have to sit at a Woolworths lunch counter where they were not welcome. They were just trying to make a point. They could have just written a letter to the editor if that’s all they wanted to do.

          • Peter Leh

            i see your point.

            i think a more proper analogy would be when the blacks were finally able to sit at the counter they instead had a food fight, danced on the counter and slapped Alice’s arce. 🙂

            One gets you invited back the other gets you banned.

          • Randy Wanat

            Perhaps better would be if the black men sat at the counter, ordered food from the white waiter, then kissed their white girlfriends. Rubbing someone’s nose in their bigotry isn’t the same as destroying the establishment in which the bigotry has been exhibited.

          • Peter Leh

            yes that would get the “un-invite” card as well.

          • Randy Wanat

            And it would be wrong to do so in both cases.

          • Peter Leh

            public disturbance? i am going with your example here.

          • Randy Wanat

            Nah, as you know full well that they wouldn’t treat white men kissing their white girlfriends that way. It’s not an unreasonable nuisance for them to do so. If people chose to react in an unreasonable manner, you reprimand them, not the people they’re reacting to. You’re otherwise taking the “if he doesn’t want to get bullied, he should stop being so attractive a target for bullies” position.

          • Peter Leh

            you are changing the subject.

      • jcrosby35

        You want to count for something? You either believe in something and stand up for it or you fall for anything.

        • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

          I believe religion is harmful to humanity. That’s what I’m standing up for.

          • jcrosby35

            Harmful? How? Standing up against or for what? Do you know what you believe?

          • Randy Wanat

            Long story short: Should the constitution be followed by all governmental bodies or not?

        • Randy Wanat

          Believing nonsensical claims is not preferable to demanding evidence.

  • jcrosby35

    Sounds to me like common sense has prevailed. This liberal is a typical loudmouth who appears to think he has something to say and everyone should give way and listen to him. Equal rights is equality for everyone not just him.

    • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

      Yeah, what’s this liberal loudmouth doing thinking he has equal rights? The nerve. This is America!

      • jcrosby35

        Equal rights mean you get in line and wait you turn like everyone else. If you cut the line and abuse your privilege then you get put back to the rear. Get it right.

        • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

          Ha! Atheists have waited far longer than christians. I think it’s our turn now.

          “Privilege”, what a joke. Preach in the bloody church, not at work. But since you demand it, we should be able to mock the entire pointless excercise and point out it’s gross hypocrisy.

          • jcrosby35

            Ahhhh, you poor little baby. Did some big mean, bad Christian tell you about the love of Christ? You need to check your attitude. Very hate full.
            What have atheists waited for? They have the same protections and rights Christians have?
            Bloody church? Do you understand you are a stinking sinner with all your illegitimate hate? Christ became a sacrifice to pay for your sins before God so you would not have to.
            Think about it. Your eternal life depends on it.

    • TBGR_FTL

      LOL. You made a valiant attempt a point there

    • Randy Wanat

      Now, to get Christians to realize they are equally bound to those ideas.

  • jakeman

    Deaf and dumb spirit come out of that man..God i would love to hear him explain that one come judgement day……idiot

  • TheBBP

    I give the man credit for being honest that his intentions are to interrupt and mock. They should just let him do that once a week and just walk out while he does it. Let him waste his time being silly.

    • Peter Leh

      well, i think that is the point of him not being able to get anymore “gigs”. While there are those that believe the invocation is a waste of time, he has earned his ban becasue he truly is wasting time

      • Randy Wanat

        But, sincere prayers are not a waste of the government’s time?

        • Peter Leh

          that is debatable. Manners and decorum in a quorum is not debatable. 🙂

          • Randy Wanat

            He wasn’t exhibiting bad manners or lack of decorum. Intending to demonstrate how silly something is is neither of those things. It might not be what some people want, but it’s not a majority rule democracy in which we live. The rights of the minority to participate in all aspects of public life shall be no less than those of the majority, even when the majority disregard the law.

          • Peter Leh

            “He wasn’t exhibiting bad manners or lack of decorum.”

            He admitted exactly that. there is no argument here.:

            “However, he told local television station WPTV that his goal is to stop prayer before public government meetings altogether.”

            “The rights of the minority to participate in all aspects of public life
            shall be no less than those of the majority, even when the majority
            disregard the law.”

            Agree. if he never gets another invite it won;t be because of his beliefs but his behavior.

          • Randy Wanat

            Ending prayers within the context of governmental meetings is neither bad manners nor lack of decorum. Explain how you think it is. Trying to stop an inappropriate practice that the majority likes doesn’t mean he’s wrong or going about it improperly or being inappropriate himself. It just means the majority disagrees. Again, the proportion supporting versus opposing is irrelevant.

  • http://www.imagineitincorporatedng.com/ Tessa

    I serve only one God, thank you
    I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.

    • Spicy Ray Swinehart-Patrick

      Amen.

    • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

      Unfortunately, you picked the wrong one

      • jcrosby35

        Did she? And what do you offer in the place of Jesus?
        Seems to me you claim to be and atheist.
        Since you claim you do not believe in God you have nothing to offer except death.
        As for me and my house we chose life. John 14:6

    • TBGR_FTL

      The one true God, Thor, has a big hammer and he is going to smash jesus to pieces.

      • David

        The one true god, Avalokitesvara, will tickle Thor with her 1,000 arms until he drops his hammer and pees his tights. Just kidding, she’s all about compassion, so that would never happen.

        • Randy Wanat

          Everyone knows that the only true god is Quetzalcoatl, whose feathered head is rightly admired.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            All of you are very confused. Tiamat is the one true goddess, the true source from which everything else flows and is created, including our universe and all others, and everything that is in them.

      • jcrosby35

        Oh really?
        How about backing that up. I would be interested to see how you came to that conclusion.
        Jesus is Lord.

      • CrossedtheTiber

        I’ve been debating whether or not to address this, because I know your comment was simply meant as a joke and an insult. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment but I felt compelled. I wanted to say that it’s already been shown that Jesus could be defeated, and not even by a god, but by human beings. The Christian God was not only defeated, but mocked, scorned and crucified. It’s a disturbing image, almost grotesque to look at, yet it’s an image that Christians proudly display in their churches, homes and even around their necks. It’s an image that Christians cling to when they are dying or when they are suffering, or when they’re welcoming new babies into the world. It’s an image that proves that the unique quality about the Christian God is that He is the only God who didn’t come with a heavy fist beating people into submission. He is the one who said that we are free to choose or reject Him, we are even free to beat and crucify Him. The image of Jesus on the cross, of the moment when He was defeated and sacrificed, is for the Christian an image of perfect Love and the truest form of Redemptive Sacrifice. It’s one that you are free to ridicule, as others have done. I won’t try to convince you to believe in Jesus. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least try to explain what Christians see when we see Jesus on the cross.

    • James Grimes

      Amen, Tessa, amen! Oh, BTW, disregard The Useless here. Their opinions are meaningless.

      • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

        I’m just pointing out that there are many, many gods out there. It’s a bit arrogant of you to think you’ve got the right one. Any evidence to back up your claim?

        • Randy Wanat

          Well, you see, he’s got this book…

          • jason17

            And you see, he’s got this archaeology thats been scientifically verified

            and you see, he’s got original manuscripts

            and science written down before it was “discovered”

            and historical events written down before they “occured”

            and then he has the personal testimonies, the eye witnesses

            and then he has his own personal experience, which honestly trump all of the facts anyways.

            JESUS IS GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Randy Wanat

            Archaeological evidence of what? Supernatural occurrences? The divinity of an itinerant rabbi in first century Palestine? No? Just evidence of cities mentioned in the Bible? By your own standard, Zeus is real because we found Troy.
            Original manuscripts? So what? If we had the original manuscript of the Iliad, would that make Zeus real? Your logic says yes. This is not how we establish historical facts.
            Science written down before it’s discovered? The Muslims and Hindus claim the same thing. Also, do rabbits chew cud? Did birds come before or after terrestrial animals? What are the predictable effects of the sun “stopping” in the sky for hours? Talking donkeys, talking serpents, snakes eating dust, please, tell us how that all meshes with science.
            Historical events written before they occurred? Specific “predictions” were either postdictions (made after they occurred, to create the impression they had been fulfilled prophecies, a common practice in a time when factual accuracy was not as important to “historians” as we consider it today) or obvious results of current events. Anything written well before the supposed event was of such an ambiguous nature that it could be interpreted as happening with little effort. Again, facts were not as big a deal back then.
            There is NO EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY OF JESUS ANYWHERE. The closest you get is Paul, and he was having a starving overheating dehydrating epileptic hallucination. So, sorry, you fail that, too. Study Bible scholarship. Everything you think you know about it is exactly wrong.
            So, when in doubt, claim personal experience and screw the facts. Good to know you don’t care if your beliefs are correct, because the mind is notorious for deceiving its owner. If someone does a magic trick that you can’t explain, did you just experience the supernatural?
            You really need to learn about your holy book, how the mind works, and basic epistemology. Right now, you’re just repeating things you’ve been taught to say she someone challenges the Bible’s veracity. Why not find out if what they taught you is true or not? If you care whether your beliefs are correct or not, you will. If you refuse, then you don’t care.

          • jason17

            Archaeology – here is a quick example. If you look it up, you will find much more:

            The Hittites – why is this important and shows as an example that the Bible is real? Because until these archaeology discoveries, the Bible was the only source we had knowledge of that talked about these things… without these new discoveries, skeptics claim these show the bible is just made up. With the discoveries, skeptics dismiss as unimportant.

            The Hittite people, considered a biblical legend, have also moved from fiction to historical fact after records from the Ebla Kingdom and Cuneiform tablets discovered in Bogazkoy, Turkey mentioned their name.

            Sargon, the Assyrian King, was discounted because his name did not appear outside the biblical account in Isaiah 20:1. It reads, “In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and fought against Ashdod and took it.” However, this all changed when archaeologists found Sargon’s palace in Khorsabad, Iraq. Recorded on the Palace walls was the event mentioned in Isaiah 20—Sargon’s capture of Ashdod. Also, steel fragmented tablets memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.

            According to recorded history, Nabonidus was the last Babylonian king. As a result Belshazzar of Daniel 5 was in doubt because there was no extra-biblical source to validate his existence. This position changed when Cuneiform tablets were recently found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus’s son, who served as coregent in Babylon.

            Manuscripts – why is this important? Skeptics will claim that this was written by man, and even worse, as it has been passed down through the generations, we have no faith it has been kept accurate.

            So what is accurate? Well Plato, for example, we have 7 copies of the originals. With copies of the originals, we can compare these and determine what is most likely correct. Aristotle is a little better at 49 copies. Homers the Illiad has 643 copies. This is pretty good, considered to be about 95% accurate. Now, the New Testament of the Bible? We have over 5600 copies.

            Earth is suspended in space

            At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: “He…hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7).

            “During the devastating Black Death of the fourteenth century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time. They attributed these epidemics to ‘bad air’ or ‘evil spirits.’ However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law: ‘The laws against leprosyin Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation’ (A History of Medicine).” Grant R. Jeffery, The Signature of God With all these truths revealed in Scripture, how could a thinking person deny that the Bible is supernatural in origin? There is no other book in any of the world’s religions (Vedas, Bhagavad-Gita, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc.) that contains scientific truth. In fact, they contain statements that are clearly unscientific. Hank Hanegraaff said, “Faith in Christ is not some blind leap into a dark chasm, but a faith based on established evidence.” (11:3 continued)

            Luke 17:34–36 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night at the same time.

            Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after giving birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before examinations, and the death rate immediately dropped to 2 percent. Look at the specific instructions God gave His people for when they encounter disease: “And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself even days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean” (Leviticus 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash hands under “running water.”

            All things were made by Him (see John 1:3), including dinosaurs. Why then did the dinosaur disappear? The answer may be in Job 40:15–24. In this passage, God speaks about a great creature called “behemoth.” Some commentators think this was a hippopotamus. However, the hippo’s tail isn’t like a large tree, but a small twig. Following are the characteristics of this huge animal: It was the largest of all the creatures God made; was plant-eating (herbivorous); had its strength in its hips and a tail like a large tree. It had very strong bones, lived among the trees, drank massive amounts of water, and was not disturbed by a raging river. He appears impervious to attack because his nose could pierce through snares, but Scripture says, “He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.” In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.

            And yes, according to the Bible, Birds came BEFORE terrestrial animals.

            Prophecy? Look at Jesus crucifixion. It was described in gross detail 100s of years before crucifixions ever even occurred!

            The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.

            The exact location and construction sequence of Jerusalem’s nine suburbs was predicted by Jeremiah about 2600 years ago. He referred to the time of this building project as “the last days,” that is, the time period of Israel’s second rebirth as a nation in the land of Palestine (Jeremiah 31:38-40). This rebirth became history in 1948, and the construction of the nine suburbs has gone forward precisely in the locations and in the sequence predicted.

            The Messiah will be pierced through hands and feet Psalm 22:16

            Paul identified people who saw the resurrected Christ during the 40 days before His ascension. Even Jesus’ enemies and disbelieving friends were eyewitnesses.

            The apostle Paul had to quash rumors in the Corinthian congregation that Jesus Christ had never been resurrected at all, so in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 he named eyewitnesses who had been with the resurrected Christ.

            Numerous reliable texts: There are many documents, manuscripts and fragments of the Bible, Old and New Testament, in addition to secular sources that speak of Christ’s resurrection. This contrasts with relatively few documents about some historical figures such as Julius Caesar. God has ensured that the historical record of Christ’s resurrection would be preserved accurately for us.

            Dates of the biblical records: Biblical commentators believe the synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark and Luke—were written 20 to 30 years after Jesus’ resurrection. John’s account was penned between 50 and 70 years after the events. Paul’s first letter to the congregation in Corinth can be dated to around 25 years after Jesus’ resurrection. The dates of these records are consistent with being able to speak authoritatively on Christ’s resurrection.

            Many witnesses: In the Gospels, Acts and Paul’s letters, it is evident that many people were alive who could have disputed the facts provided by the New Testament writers if the details were wrong. Instead, there is agreement and consistency in what we are told. Former persecutors and detractors like Paul (previously Saul) did not dispute the records. Christians were willing to live under the constant threat of death—which would have been unthinkable unless they were convinced that Jesus was not a charlatan. We also have the promise that the Holy Spirit would guide the authors to remember events accurately (John 14:26; 16:13).

            There were many eyewitnesses at Jesus’ death, including family, disciples, Romans and hostile accusers! They experienced three hours of darkness and a mighty earthquake that split rocks, opened graves and tore the curtain in the temple from top to bottom. Jesus’ followers showed deep sorrow, and the crowds were silenced and beat their breasts. Had these unusual events not occurred, as the biblical record states, few would have believed the account.

            There was no doubt Jesus was dead in the mind of Pilate, the Roman centurion and two members of the ruling Jewish administration. Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate to release the body of Jesus for burial. Pilate summoned the centurion for confirmation of Jesus’ death. (The same soldier earlier acknowledged Christ as the “Son of God” at the time of His death.) Joseph and Nicodemus, both members of the Sanhedrin, buried Jesus’ body before the beginning of the holy day (John 19:38-42).

            Chief priests met with Pilate to demand a guard on the tomb, apparently on the first holy day of Unleavened Bread. They sealed the tomb and set a watch. They had no doubt He was dead!

            Female relatives and followers of Jesus were convinced He was dead. They purchased spices and fragrant oils after the end of the holy day. These they prepared on the day before the weekly Sabbath and planned to add them to the myrrh and aloes used by Joseph and Nicodemus (John 19:39).

            Saints were raised from the dead to physical life at the time of Jesus’ death. When He was resurrected a few days later, these saints traveled into Jerusalem (Matthew 27:51-53). Many relatives and friends now became eyewitnesses of these previously dead righteous servants of God. This was an amazing event and a testimony to thousands!

            After an earthquake, an angel descended to move the stone door covering the tomb. Women disciples had set out from home with spices early on the first day of the week while it was dark. Before they arrived, the guards froze with fear seeing the angel. Their later report to the chief priests would become a testimony of God’s involvement.

            Angels spoke to the women. Before sunrise, the women arrived and were surprised that the stone had been moved. Angels confirmed Jesus’ resurrection and that He was going to Galilee as He had said some days before. The women were to go to the disciples and tell them He had risen.

            The disciples did not believe the women who passed on the angels’ message. Mary Magdalene told them that Jesus’ body was gone.

            Peter and John ran to the tomb to see for themselves. John was apparently convinced by what he saw, while Peter wondered about it all.

            The resurrected Christ appeared first to Mary Magdalene near the tomb, and later to more women disciples. Paul omits mentioning these appearances in 1 Corinthians 15, perhaps because he wanted to refer to the testimony of men appointed by Christ as official witnesses (Acts 1:8, 21-22; Luke 24:48).

            The disciples did not believe Mary when she told them Jesus appeared to her. In the meantime, Jesus appeared to a group of the women followers. He told them to tell His brethren to go to Galilee.

            The temple guards were bribed with large sums by the chief priests and elders (Sanhedrin) to say that the disciples came and took Jesus’ body away. They became false witnesses.

            Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. One is named as Cleophas. By expounding the prophecies about the Messiah from the Holy Scriptures and sharing a meal with them, Jesus helped them to understand that He was the resurrected Christ. They rushed back to the other disciples.

            The Emmaus disciples spoke to “the eleven,” which is a reference to the apostles. But that doesn’t mean all 11 apostles were present. As we continue reading Luke 24, we learn that Thomas was not present.

            Jesus appeared, and they touched Him. As the two disciples told of their experience, Jesus appeared among them all and ate food to show He can appear in physical form. He showed them the wounds in His hands, feet and pierced side, which they touched. He rebuked them for not believing those He had appeared to already.

            After eight days, Jesus appeared again—this time with Thomas present. John recounts that Jesus did many things in the presence of His disciples that convinced them He is the resurrected Christ.

            The disciples traveled to Galilee, where Jesus met them on a mountain. While in Galilee, He appeared to them by the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already appeared to Peter three times.

            Christ catches fishermen’s attention. While waiting for Jesus to show Himself, Peter and six others decided to go to work, but didn’t catch anything. Then Jesus miraculously filled their net with 153 large fish.

            More than 500 brethren saw Christ in Galilee, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 15:6 some 30 years later.

            Disbelieving James and Jude: Initially, Jesus’ brothers did not believe He was the Christ (John 7:3-5). Although not directly recorded in the Gospels, Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to His half brother James. By the time the conference recorded in Acts 15 took place, James was the pastor of the congregation at Jerusalem. He had become a fervent follower of the risen Christ, along with at least one other brother, Jude.

            Additional disciples saw Christ: As mentioned by Paul, these may be those who, in addition to the 12, made up the 120 disciples in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, A.D. 31. As we have seen, there were over 500 other brethren who had already witnessed the resurrected Jesus in Galilee.

            The apostles returned to Jerusalem and continued to be instructed by Christ until the 40 days were finished (Acts 1:1-8). He told them not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit, which happened on Pentecost. Great growth came as a result of the miraculous signs and preaching of the apostles.

            Vicious enemy becomes defender: Paul gave his own name as the final eyewitness. As a zealous Pharisee, he had violently persecuted Christians (Galatians 1:13-14; Acts 8:3). He witnessed Stephen’s martyrdom. On the way to Damascus to capture and throw believers into prison, he was struck blind when Christ appeared to him. Christ called him to a new life as a promoter of the faith he had tried to destroy. Paul implies he was taught by the resurrected Christ in Arabia (Galatians 1:11-17).

          • Randy Wanat

            Troy was only known from the Iliad. Does finding Troy make Zeus real?
            If those people were known only from the Bible, and their existence was confirmed like Troy’s was, does that make your deity real?
            If, 2000 years from now, the only reference to New York City was a Spiderman comic book, and they discovered the remnants of New York City, would they be justified in accepting that Spiderman existed?
            Even if the current Bible were 100% perfectly translated and missing no content nor any added, does that in any way demonstrate that their stories are true? Does finding the original manuscript of the Iliad, and it being a perfectly complete and perfectly translated document demonstrate that Zeus is real? Your logic says it does, or else you wouldn’t bring it up as it’s actually irrelevant.
            I was waiting for you to mention the 500. A MILLION people witnessed me 30 years ago being abducted by space aliens and returned to the same place the same night 30 minutes later. All those people are dead now. I can’t give you any of their names, and they never wrote of their experience or told anybody who wrote about it. Do you accept that as evidence of my alien abduction? Do you really think a MILLION people could all be wrong? Again, facts were not as important back then. Historical accuracy wasn’t a priority. Nobody contemporary wrote anything about Jesus when he was alive or for years afterwards. The earliest writings come decades later. In a place/time with no regard for historical accuracy, with memory spread being very inconsistent and unreliable (how many attended Woodstock, and how many say they did?), and decades between his death and the first writing, by someone who was not present with Jesus at any time during his life, you’re taking what was written at face value? REALLY? What else would you accept such weak evidence to accept as true?
            You could just admit that you’re just trying to convince yourself that you have good reasons to believe, but if such evidence wouldn’t convince you of anybody else’s religion, why would you think anybody should find it compelling for yours?

          • jason17

            You brushed over most of my reply. And your counterstatements miss the point.

            further your examples are not well used here. for example all of the “people” and references for spiderman are ficticious and never claim to be real. consider here, many of the historical accounts of Jesus are people who acknowledge both that He existed AND that He did amazing things they called evil magic of many great wonders. these historical figures that wrote such things are regarded well not only as accurate historians for their time but also had no personal belief at stake in the existance of Jesus at all. Why is that all important? Because it shows that these are people that DID exist, and exhibited no bias.

            lets play a game and say spiderman and the others “claimed” to be real. ok. so what. people can claim anything all day. are there any that are known as respectable as witnesses? what is the science behind spiderman? the spiderman story claims radioactive sciences led to his condition. since this is something humans have created, then this should be able to be repeated by humans. where has it occurred? have you ever examined the gravitational force of spiderman swinging? his weight at the extreme lengths of web would be enough to rip his arm out of his chest. the amount of energy it would take to move and with such strength is beyond what he is consuming. then there is his 6th sense. from what? oh now we are getting to ultra galactic forces at work… there is nothing that foretold of him. there is no claim or interaction of some supernatural forces at work. this is a non-example. why didnt you chose something closer like Thor or Hercules?

            i have many personal examples. but that would never matter to you. everything points to Jesus being real. if you wish to continue to deny it, it is then your belief Jesus is not real, it is your belief in the face of hard evidence otherwise. you have to admit He is at least a real person that existed and was killed on a cross. This is historical fact.

          • Talover

            Even if jesus was real, that doesn’t mean he is a god or came from a god. How could you prove that without an appeal to an old book that says so?

          • jason17

            Talover wrote:
            “Even if jesus was real, that doesn’t mean he is a god or came from a god. How could you prove that without an appeal to an old book that says so?”

            Talover. I have two things to tell you. The first is to try this. Honestly. Pray to Jesus Christ, the God of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and Israelites, of Mathew and Mark and Luke and John. Pray to reveal Himself to you in a way you can recognize. I did this many years ago. I prayed,

            “I believe there is a real God out there and I think it might be You, the God described in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. If You are real, if You are God, You are ALL power, ALL Knowing, Everywhere At once, Created Everything, You can do ANYTHING, EVERYTHING TO EVERYTHING… Please God, Just say Hi to me.”

            I opened my eyes and watched out the window of the car I was in. I was about 7 years old then… Within 3 seconds after opening my eyes and having prayed that, I saw this big Paul Bunyan statue. Id seen it many times before and many times since on this yearly car trip my parents made us go on. It always advertised some new diner special. This one time it didn’t advertise any special, it just said “Hello”.

            Now to me, that was really special and amazing. You might say that was just a coincidence. I write this to show that if you pray to the God who wrote the Bible, That God will communicate to you. So you should be watching and listening…

            The second thing is that beyond personal scope AND beyond the Bible, yes there are still more indicators. There are people who wrote history records that were not Christian. They did not believe in Jesus, they did not read the bible – many parts had not yet even been collected together yet, they had no bias towards Jesus. Some even actually had a bias AGAINST Jesus. Take a look:

            Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions “Christus” who is Jesus–Annals 15.44

            “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

            Thallus (Circa A.D. 52, eclipse of the sun) Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus, who wrote about A.D. 221, mentioned Thallus’ account of an eclipse of the sun.

            “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by anearthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

            Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Pliny wrote ten books. The tenth around AD 112.

            “They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.”

            Lucian (circa 120-after 180) mentions Jesus. Greek writer and rhetorician.

            “The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

            The Talmud is an orthodox Jewish teaching book – this was by people who were very biased AGAINST Jesus.

            “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!”

          • Sparky

            Good job Jason, unfortunately I believe Randy’s mind is made up and you won’t change it. That’s something he must find for himself. Maybe with some of your excellent examples you provoked a few of the “fence sitters” that they may find life. Jesus is the Way to life everlasting. May God bless you for your attempt to reach the lost, as told to do by our Messiah.

          • jcrosby35

            What can of BS is that for and answer.
            There are over 28 thousand manuscripts and pieces of the original writing which all agree. They are setting in Jerusalem and around the world.
            At least try to give some kind of legitimate answer to the Jason 17 reply. If you could do one tenth as well as he did that would be interesting and not evasive.

          • Randy Wanat

            Again: if we had the entire original manuscript of the Iliad, and we found that it perfectly matched the current versions, and they were perfect translations, would that make Zeus real?

          • jcrosby35

            Well you do not have the original manuscript of the lliad or any copies current to the era.
            But the Bible does. History secular and religious proves it. Over 28 thousand scripts and pieces available.

          • Randy Wanat

            Again: let’s say we DID have the complete original text of the Iliad, and all subsequent copies were 100% perfect and comprehensive translations. Would that make Zeus real? Stop avoiding the question, just because you know you’re painted into a corner of either admitting that your standard is foolish or that your standard is correct and you must accept all kinds of things based on the existence of manuscripts. Either admit your standard was faulty or make a bigger joke out of your argument. Honest dignity or indignant absurdity. Your pick.

          • jcrosby35

            You do not really want proof. What you want is to make someone else look poor like yourself so you can feel better. You want proof.

            Joh 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.

            1Co 15:3 I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say.

            1Co 15:4 He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.

            1Co 15:5 Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.

            1Co 15:6 After this, he appeared to more than five hundred other followers. Most of them are still alive, but some have died.

            1Co 15:7 He also appeared to James, and then to all of the apostles.

            1Co 15:8 Finally, he appeared to me, even though I am like someone who was born at the wrong time.

          • Randy Wanat

            Paul makes a bunch of claims. What corroborates them? What, outside of the Bible, confirms any of that? You won’t accept my claim about millions, but you do accept his claims about hundreds, and all his other claims, despite absolutely no corroborating evidence. Why do you make a special exception for one person but not for another?

          • jcrosby35

            Act 15:22 The apostles, the leaders, and all the church members decided to send some men to Antioch along with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Silas and Judas Barsabbas, who were two leaders of the Lord’s followers.

            Act 15:23 They wrote a letter that said: We apostles and leaders send friendly greetings to all of you Gentiles who are followers of the Lord in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.

            Act 15:24 We have heard that some people from here have terribly upset you by what they said. But we did not send them!

            Act 15:25 So we met together and decided to choose some men and to send them to you along with our good friends Barnabas and Paul.

            Act 15:26 These men have risked their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ.

            2Pe 3:14 My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace.

            2Pe 3:15 Don’t forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved. This is also what our dear friend Paul said when he wrote you with the wisdom that God had given him.

            2Pe 3:16 Paul talks about these same things in all his letters, but part of what he says is hard to understand. Some ignorant and unsteady people even destroy themselves by twisting what he said. They do the same thing with other Scriptures too.

            2Pe 3:17 My dear friends, you have been warned ahead of time! So don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance.

            2Pe 3:18 Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.

            You have proven yourself reprobate and a waste of time. You want answers then get a Bible and study it. I will no longer do your leg work. Your blood be upon your own head.

        • jcrosby35

          You do not really want proof. What you want is to make someone else look poor like yourself so you can feel better. You want proof.

          Joh 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.

          1Co 15:3 I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say.

          1Co 15:4 He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.

          1Co 15:5 Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.

          1Co 15:6 After this, he appeared to more than five hundred other followers. Most of them are still alive, but some have died.

          1Co 15:7 He also appeared to James, and then to all of the apostles.

          1Co 15:8 Finally, he appeared to me, even though I am like someone who was born at the wrong time.

          • David

            Proof = John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.”?

            Man, it must really suck to be someone on the other side of the planet, without access to the christian bible. Through no fault of their own, they’re unable to get to heaven, according to your belief. And what about all the people who died before jesus’ time? Are they screwed too, as there was no way for them to accept someone who wasn’t born yet?

            Sheesh, what a f*cked up god you believe in. It’s almost as though someone made it up, but didn’t think through the details.

            By the way, using a book as proof that the book is true doesn’t cut it in an ‘actual proof’ discussion.

          • jcrosby35

            You are as stupid as you are long winded. Read Romans Chp. 2

          • Randy Wanat

            The Bible is true because someone in the Bible said it’s true, and we know what they said must be true because it’s right there in the Bible! 360 degrees of perfect circularity.

          • jcrosby35

            You left out one little detail. The Bible is truth because it has proven itself true.

          • Randy Wanat

            Oh, right. Remind us again how it’s been proven that birds came before land animals, the sun stopped in the sky for hours, sticks were turned to snakes, millions of Jews fled Egypt and roamed the desert for 40 years, snakes eat dirt, rabbits chew cud, hundreds of zombies roamed the Earth, a woman was turned into a pillar of salt, a man survived inside a whale for three days…that’s just a starter. Then, show how I has been proven that an itinerant rabbi in first century Palestine was of divine origin and born of a virgin like every other deity of that time and region.

          • David

            Haha, three paragraphs is long-winded to you. Not much of a reader, eh? Well, it’s to be expected from a grownup who still believes in fairy tales – just keep getting it spoon fed to you. Life is easier that way. You’re a human anchor to our species’ development. It will be great when your kind goes extinct.

          • jcrosby35

            Ignorance is not bless and it is boring.

          • David

            It’s ‘bliss’, not bless, and the only thing more boring than your book of make-believe are the fools who still believe it 2000 years later.

          • martin woyzeck

            Yes, and christian reichwingers are the most ignorant of allYou are disgusting people, destroying the world

          • CrossedtheTiber

            We should never call anyone stupid. This will do nothing but drive people away from Jesus.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            What you described – people on the other side of the earth being banished to hell because they’ve never heard of Jesus, is actually a brand new concept exclusive to Protestant Christianity. This is not what Christians have believed throughout the centuries. This describes an incredibly cruel God. It was a concept that came about after the Protestant Reformation when sola scriptura came into existence. In fact, the concept of sola scriptura is not found in the Bible and is not supported by the Bible and was never a part of Christianity until 1500 years after the beginning of Christianity. Additionally the idea that we can “know that we know that we know that we’re going to heaven when we die” is also a brand new concept exclusive to Protestant’s version of Christianity. Catholics and Orthodox Christians, who are the original Christians, have never claimed to know with certainty where they will go when they die.

          • Sparky

            Catholics are not the original Christians! The original Christians were Jewish followers of the Jewish Messiah. Rome created exactly what Jesus preached against. Religious tradition replacing the word of God. It was also the Roman church that went out on the crusades killing millions for not believing “their version” of Christianity. It was also the Roman church who claimed authority to change the 4th Commandment.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            I was wondering if you could clarify what you mean by the ‘Roman church?’ Are you referring to the Latin rite, which is one of over 20 rites of the Catholic Church? Are you also saying that Orthodox Christians are not considered the original Christians? Orthodox Christians practice Christianity in very similar ways to Catholics and were once united with Catholics for the first 1000 years of Christianity. Of course, we are all still united in Christ as Christian brothers and sisters. I only know a little about Orthodox Christianity, but I believe that their doctrines and dogmas have remained pretty constant, as have the Catholic dogmas and doctrines, since the beginning of Christianity. Also, many of the original Christians from the first several centuries (and of course beyond that time) were converts from faiths/beliefs other than just the Jewish faith. If the Church Fathers (specifically those who were Christians before the Christian Bible was compiled) were to walk into a modern day Catholic Mass or an Orthodox Christian Liturgy, they would know just what to do and recognize it immediately. There might be a few changes but they will essentially understand and be able to take part in everything that goes on.

            I am not as educated about the Crusades as I should be but I do know that there is a lot of misinformation about them. I would never condone evil that is done in the name of Christianity. At the same time, we also need to be careful that we do not dismiss Christianity because of the crimes and sins of humans, just as we do not dismiss Jesus because of the crimes of Judas.

          • David

            Perhaps you should address this to @jcrosby35:disqus instead of me, as he posted the verse. For what it’s worth, in my Lutheran upbringing I was also taught that no one goes to heaven without accepting jesus christ as their personal savior – it is the reason our church sent our missionaries to Africa. To sum up your post, it seems disingenuous to attempt to convert nonbelievers (I’m not saying you are doing this personally) to christianity when the different sects can’t even reconcile their fundamentally disagreeing beliefs.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            You are right, I definitely should address it to the others here and I hope that you didn’t take it as an insult or an attempt to convert you for me to say it to you. I guess I saw myself in your post because you were saying exactly what I was thinking a few years ago, when I was sitting in my non-denominational church and feeling a lot of resentment toward God over the way that He seemed to set up Christianity and make it so incredibly confusing and seemingly cruel. My view of Christianity was only based on a few hundred years worth of teaching and I’d never thought before about the 1500 years of Christianity prior to the reformation. I suppose that was why I wanted to say it to you, specifically.

            I was actually discussing this point with my husband this morning, before I read your post, the idea that it seems disingenuous to attempt to convert nonbelievers if there is the possibility for them to go to heaven even if they never hear about Jesus. I am still trying to get my head around it, and struggle with all of my old beliefs about Christianity sort of messing with my head and my understanding. From what I’ve gathered, the original Christian concept of conversion was to introduce people to a means of taking part, in a very physical way, with the Divine here on earth through the Sacraments. Throughout ancient Christianity, the purpose wasn’t so much to focus on the afterlife (though that is definitely a part of it), but to focus more on the opportunity to experience heaven on earth during our time here. In an ideal world, the Christian’s mission should be to respect the dignity of all humans, to share the hope and peace that we have found in Jesus, and to do good for all mankind. Of course, there are millions of examples of people failing at this. I certainly count myself as one. But there are also so many examples of Christians trying to live out this mission.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            One other thing on the fundamentally disagreeing beliefs – when we look at the history of Christianity, this is actually rather new. For the first thousand years there was one Christian Church. At that point it broke off into the Orthodox Christians and the Catholics. However, each group still held fast to Sacred Tradition and therefore walked nearly parallel and unchanging lines of faith and beliefs into the present day, with only a few differences. Once the Protestant reformation happened, and Sacred Tradition was replaced by sola scriptura in the faith of the Protestants, we saw the beginning of the 30,000+ Protestant Christian denominations that we see today. I would say that though we count Protestants as our Christian brothers and sisters, God never intended for it to be just “me and my Bible alone.” He always intended for His words to be passed down both through Sacred Scripture (the Bible) and Sacred Tradition.

        • CrossedtheTiber

          Either Jesus is who He says He is, (He claims to be God) or He is the greatest con-man with the worst outcome of all time (since He ended up suffering and dying on a cross for His claims). And if He is a con-man, the entire world, including many atheists, stops to celebrate the origin of His con every year on Christmas day. Either Jesus is God or He is a really really bad man.

      • CrossedtheTiber

        No one is useless. How is it helpful to insult people for not believing in God? This is not a good Christian witness.

    • ma

      Me too. Tessa.

    • Dru James

      So you believe in Unicorns, Dragons, Talking Donkeys, Witches, Talking Snakes, Cherubs, Satyrs, among other things? Um, OK.

      • jason17

        Yes actually. I believe they did exist at some point, and some still do. These are all in the Bible.

        • Dru James

          Wow.

        • Randy Wanat

          Is slavery moral or immoral? Defend the practice or deny your God’s perfect morality. Go.

          • jason17

            Of course it is moral (if done properly) and still practiced in many countries. Your idea of slavery is likely to whip your slaves (not treat as everyday for their entire lives and kill them as desired…. perhaps you would like to read this:

            “Jewish views on slavery are varied both religiously and historically. Judaism’s religious texts contain numerous laws governing the ownership and treatment of slaves. Texts that contain such regulations include the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), the Talmud, the 12th century Mishneh Torah by noted rabbi Maimonides, and the 16th century Shulchan Aruchby rabbi Yosef Karo. The original Israelite slavery laws found in the Hebrew Bible bear some resemblance to the 18th century BCE slavery laws of Hammurabi.[1] The regulations changed over time. The Hebrew Bible contained two sets of laws, one for Canaanite slaves, and a more lenient set of laws for Hebrew slaves. From the time of the Pentateuch, the laws designated for Canaanites were applied to all non-Hebrew slaves. The Talmud’s slavery laws, which were established in the second through the fifth centuries C.E.,[2] contain a single set of rules for all slaves, although there are a few exceptions where Hebrew slaves are treated differently from non-Hebrew slaves. The laws include punishment for slave owners that mistreat their slaves. In the modern era, when the abolitionist movement sought to outlaw slavery, supporters of slavery used the laws to provide religious justification for the practice of slavery.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_views_on_slavery

            whoa wait… so you could be punished if you mistreat your slave??? punished if you kill your slave??? slave released if converted???

            Now me personally, I have no slaves. I would never want a slave. I am too compassionate towards others… I am also not advocating slavery… this was something done a long time ago in societies that had to cope with much less civilized living than we have today.

          • Randy Wanat

            So, it would be moral to beat a slave nearly to death, as long as the slave doesn’t die. It is moral to sell other human beings and own them as property and beat them savagely. This is what you’re saying. Owning people as property and beating them almost to death is moral according to you. I just want to be completely clear that you fully support this practice because your God advocated this practice. If you were 100% convinced that God had commanded you to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill an infant, would you do it?

      • jcrosby35

        So you believe you are not going to die and be judged.
        Best take a look in the mirror. It is appointed unto every man once to die, then the judgment.
        Like it or not you have and appointment with death and you will attend.

        • David

          “It is appointed unto every man once to die, then the judgment.” Provide proof for this statement.

          Like it or not, you were sold a big pile of nonsense.

          • jcrosby35

            Provide your own proof. Read Heb. 10. Do your own leg work for a change instead of leaching off others.

          • Dru James

            jcrosby35 – Sounds like you have some research to do there yourself.
            The Christian Bible was created by borrowing from the Jewish Bible, which in turn borrowed from Greek and Roman religions and myths, who worshiped gods such as Mitra/Mitrha.

            If you do honest research, you’ll find that all religions are based on myths. Now you can sit there and ignore facts and just plain common sense and continue to believe that there is a white surfer looking dude in a white robe in the sky who will take you in his arms once you’re dead and pat you in the back and tell you that everything will be alright.

            Or you can join the modern world and live a life where you don’t use old myths to justify your own bigotry towards others, while ignoring the rules in your own Bible that are too inconvenient for yourself.

          • jcrosby35

            You prove to be just another reprobate. Got your mouth going and saying nothing.
            Not enough sense to know the difference between Old Testament and New Testament, law and grace or myth and truth. Yet you got mouth going all the time saying nothing of substance.
            Bye you are on your own.

          • Dru James

            Wow, hit a nerve did I?

    • MountainDewFan4

      That’s nice for you. But like it or not, not everyone in this country believes that. In a state run meeting, any member of any religion should be allowed to say the invocation. It is illegal and against the Supreme Courts rulings to say that ONLY Christians can say the invocation.

    • jason17

      JESUS CHRIST IS GOD. All knees will bow before HIM. And yes, THAT MEANS YOURS WILL ALSO ONE DAY… you know this day… its call Judgement Day. You ALONE will be held accountable for your sins… UNLESS YOU PUT YOUR TRUST IN JESUS………………………

      • Randy Wanat

        When the best argument you offer is threats, you have lost by default.

        • jason17

          What argument? I speak only a fact.

          What threat? The Bible says so.

          Read:

          Romans 14:11-12
          11For it is written,
          “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” 12So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

          • Randy Wanat

            Why should I care any more for what the Bible says than you care for what the Koran says?

          • jason17

            I do care what the Koran says, and you should too:

            Now, let us have a closer look at what the Koran says about the infidels:-

            Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)
            http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=2%3A191&size=First+100

            Make war on the infidels living in your neighboorhood (9:123)
            http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=9%3A123&size=First+100

            When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=9%3A5&size=First+100

            Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=9%3A29&size=First+100

            Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=3%3A85&size=First+100

            The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=9%3A30&size=First+100

            Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticise Islam. (5:33) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=5%3A33&size=First+100

            The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=9%3A28&size=First+100

            Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies
            (22:19) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=22%3A19&size=First+100

            Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=47%3A4&size=First+100

            The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=8%3A65&size=First+100

            Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=3%3A28&size=First+100

            Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=8%3A12&size=First+100

            Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorise the infidels (8:60) http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/k/koran/koran-idx?type=simple&q1=8%3A60&size=First+100

          • Randy Wanat

            As though your Bible isn’t chock full of commands to slaughter people for not sharing the Hebrews’ religious beliefs. But, I’m sure you weren’t trying to make it appear that Islam is all about killing but your religion isn’t. I’m sure you were going to mention all that stuff in a separate post…yeah…

          • jcrosby35

            And I am sure you do not have a clue. Just running off at the mouth as usual trying to pervert the truth.
            Caring demands the truth. You got it so live with it.

          • Talover

            Truths requires evidence dude. You don’t have evidence that will support the claims that believers make. No evidence, no case. Period.

          • jcrosby35

            Why?
            Because it applies to you also. Like it or not.

          • James Grimes

            Yup, The Useless will suffer the consequences of their action. The Bible lays it all out. Isn’t that great!

          • Randy Wanat

            Do you consider yourself compassionate? If so, how do you reconcile that compassion with your glee at threats of eternal torment to be visited upon others with whom you disagree for only that offense?

          • jcrosby35

            Glee at threats. It is no threat to tell the people the truth and consequences there of.
            The price of your salvation has been paid along with the price of every person who will accept the truth.
            Reconcile that compassion. The cost of sharing the truth is enough. Every person makes there personal choice of heaven or hell.
            You will reap what you have sown.
            How do you reconcile your perversions.

          • TheBBP

            Threats are empty. The Bible is truth and is providing a warning and a means of escaping a horrific eternity.

          • Randy Wanat

            What is the difference between claiming something and demonstrating something? How would you go about demonstrating the truth of the Bible without resorting to circular reasoning? Demonstrate that any of the magical claims in the Bible are true. Just one. In 2000 years all have failed, but I believe in you. Convince me, with evidence, that a single magical claim of the Bible is true. Shouldn’t be too difficult for someone as confident in their correctness as you are. Let’s see what you’ve got. I’m always ready to learn.

          • Sparky

            Are you ready to learn or do you have your mind made up? Here are a few just off the top. 1)Israel exists, and returned to their land after 2000 years with a revived language as prophesied. 2)The remains of Pharaoh’s chariots found and videoed on bottom of Red Sea at the only underwater land bridge along the great rift, 3) Ashen remain of Sodom, Gomorrah found, with lumps of brimstone and piles of salt laden mineral deposits (incinerated human remains), all on video. 4) Examples all over the world of a global flood, includes all the coal & oil deposits, human made artifacts found in seams of coal, the Grand Canyon could not have been formed by the Colorado river unless the river flowed uphill, clams found on top of mountains 5) Mt Sinai in Saudi arabia, the top of that one mountain burned while all others are not, the remains of a camp of millions of Israelites around it’s base, the rock that Moses struck,, split with signs of flowing water on one side and nothing behind it. and the chiseled petroglyphs of sandaled feet found all over the desert from there to the land of Israel, all photographed. 6) The 7 day week existed since creation, it survived numerous calendars throughout history, it does not correspond to any lunar or solar cycles, it exists because God made it so. 7)Finally, A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ.
            The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

            Jesus taught us to love one another and to have forgiveness in our hearts, and that He alone is the way. I figure if I follow His teachings that I, my family and everyone I meet will be better for it. If it’s all made up I have nothing to lose, but if I don’t follow Him and it’s all true, I have an eternity to lose.

          • Randy Wanat

            As does the Koran to you, like it or not.

          • Talover

            All you bible thumpers are just as much an atheist as I am. You are ONLY a theist to the particular god that you have been indoctrinated to believe from childhood, but an atheist to all others you don’t believe. An atheist like me just takes it 1 god further.

          • Tony

            If you understood the history behind the Quran (not Koran), the history behind every middle Eastern religion, and the history behind Christianity, you would know why there are similarities in each of the religious texts.

          • Randy Wanat

            You just completely missed the point. If the Koran applies to you, then you are going to Hell if you’re not a Muslim. Why, then, are you not a Muslim?

          • Tony

            Because I believe in a God that loves me even though I am a sinner. Only one religion has that god, and I will give you one guess as to which god that is.

        • jcrosby35

          When you speak a lie or perversion of the truth you loose by default. When you ignore the truth and prefer a lie then God turns you over to your own perversion. Get real.

          • Randy Wanat

            You cannot prove a single lie!

          • jcrosby35

            Even if I proved all your lies and perversions it would be a waste of time.

            Mat 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

  • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

    The point is that your particular Sky Fairy is just as absurd as all those others. That’s the point he’s making, a rather serious one.

    How can you people be so bloody dense?

    • James Grimes

      How can you be so decrepit as to shun the God of the Universe? Good bye troll.

      • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

        Troll? I’m not attacking anyone. I’m making a point.

        There have been many, many, many gods of the universe. What makes you think you’ve got the right one?

        • Tony

          You attack someone’s religious beliefs, you attack them directly. There are those who hold religious beliefs, not just to be religious, but to live their life by those beliefs. It is a part of their every day life, not just a couple hours on Sunday.

          • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

            Who cares? What’s your point?

            I’m am attacking someone’s religious beliefs directly. And will time and again. Religion is harmful. It should be opposed.

          • Tony

            What makes religion so harmful?

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            Does “Twin Towers” ring a bell?

          • Tony

            So because there are radical Muslims, that makes all religions harmful?

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            You asked for an example, I gave you an example. Your rhetorical question was designed to try to pretend there was nothing harmful about religious belief.

            And I only gave you *one* obvious example. And then you miss the point and write another rhetorical question designed to miss the point.

            I guess you don’t remember the Salem witch trials either.

            There’s young earth creationism. Tens of millions of them in the United States alone. And that’s just the most blatant example of the anti-science mentality that runs rampant among religious believers – it’s an anti-science mentality that is driven by the cognitive dissonance of believing in things that just ain’t so and trying to justify believing in made-up things by religious faith. There’s a whole cottage industry of “scientism” rhetoric that doesn’t even amount to a mole hill (more like a divot) all designed as a red herring to diss science for the purpose of making room for the notion that it’s perfectly okay to believe in made-up things that don’t have good evidence to back them up. Long live Mormonism. It’s this anti-science attitude that is irrational and maladaptive. Due to certain historical contingencies, the U.S. has become the most scientifically advanced nation on the face of the earth, and yet we have these huge segments of the population that have an embedded antagonism and deliberate disrespect for science, and this attitude finds its way into politics and education and in comparisons with other democratic nations our level of education in science and math is considerably behind, and falling.

            There’s bigotry. In the past it was bigotry against blacks, homosexuals, atheists, Catholics (by various Protestants), Jews. Today it’s bigotry against homosexuals, atheists. (The bigotry against blacks having finally pretty much gone by the wayside, though not quite completely eradicated. I think the bigotry against Catholics and Jews has also for the most part fallen by the wayside. The bigotry against homosexuals and atheists is still quite the rage.)

            Catholics – and there are hundreds of millions of them around the world – teach that contraception is a sin. Now, I certainly do understand that many Catholics, especially, for example, Catholics in the U.S., don’t buy into that doctrine – but that kind of makes the point – they don’t accept the religious belief either, because even they understand that religious belief is not the best thing, at least in that regard.

            These are just examples. We can certainly keep going if you like.

            But there’s a point that you’re missing, I which I think your question (“What makes religion so harmful?”) is actually designed as a red herring to try to hide. Religion is not like a book club of people getting together and discussion some fiction novel. It’s not like an art appreciation club where people visit museums to admire and talk about creative pieces of work. And I do understand how membership in a church does perform certain social functions with respect to the sociology of providing an “extended family” in a sense – especially for people who don’t have one. The point is that the social functions can be and are done via other avenues, and a religious organization is only one particular manifestation of it. The deleterious nature of the religious manifestation is precisely because of its nature of making ontological claims that have nothing to do with reality, which fallacious beliefs have consequences in reality through the actions of believers, such as through the perpetuation of obsolete and outmoded traditions. In their own minds religious believers have the excuse (are motivated) to cling to such traditions because “God said so” because of how the human traditions get embedded into their religious belief milieu, the religion aspects creating a maladaptive intransigence.

            And then there is sheer waste of time of living your life – spending the time you have in your life, which is limited – doing things that are based on absolutely nothing having to do with reality. People whose entire lives are wasted in “Mormon theology” (compare, “Christian theology”, “Catholic theology”, “Muslim theology”, etc.) There are many other ways in which there is so much absolutely wasted time because of vacuous religious belief, that’s just a blatant example.

            There’s the whole area of completely irrational End Times nonsense (in the context of Protestant Christian theology), which has a definite political effect in how premillenialists look at and respond to events on the world stage.

            Etc., etc.

          • Tony

            You claim that religion holds back science, but yet there were how many scientists that had some form of religion? Here are a couple lists you can look at.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

            http://www.famousscientists.org/25-famous-scientists-who-believed-in-god/

            Bigotry happens even without religion. Not every racist person was religious. And if you really understood the concept of religion verses homosexuality, you would know that the feelings that are expressed are towards the sin, not the sinner. And if you are going to state that there is bigotry against atheists, then the very same thing can be said about atheists towards all religious people. Which does prove it doesn’t take religion to make someone a bigot.

            I could get into all the gaps of science, you know the missing data for micro-evolution as well as the starting stages of big bang, but I really don’t have the time and energy to go through all the problems with those. Instead I will just make it short by saying that with all the gaps in these, they are still expressed and taught as truth with just as little evidence as someone can give for a scientific explanation of God. These concepts are also seen by millions are fairy tales and myths. But because they happened by 100% pure chaotic chance, you think they are more believable than a creator that can’t be explained by science. Science in of itself can be seen as a religion. It may not have a “god” like other religions do, but more like an unknown force that acts to create things in which we can only observe the results of.

            And science has never expressed anything about the end times? There has never been the mention of some big earth quake that no one knows when it is going to happen, but it will make disconnect California off of the continent? Or how about the sun burning out sometime in the future? Global warming melting the ice caps and flooding the earth? None of this sounds familiar as scientific end times that then “has a definite political effect in how people look at and respond to events on the world stage”?

            You know that every claim you make about religion, the same claim can be found about non-religious people and science. You just don’t like that people can live a happy life and believe that there is something waiting for them after this short life on earth. Cause what do you have waiting for you when your time comes? Nothing? Maybe it is the fear that you could be wrong and don’t want to admit to the possibility of being wrong, so you have to criticize those who believe something you are not willing to. For a religious person to believe in God, or a god(s), that doesn’t hurt your everyday events. If you let it get to you that they believe in something you don’t, then that is your fault. But to say that racism and bigotry are only caused by religious people, well I surely hope you know that you are wrong by that statement, even if you can’t admit to it.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            Re: Bigotry. It certainly does exist without religion. The problem with religion is that people use it to justify the bigotry because it’s “God’s law” or “God’s absolute morality”, which is all bogus since we all know there’s no such thing as Odin in the first place. In the book of Joshua it was ‘We’re going to go murder all of these men, women, and children – Yahweh told us to’, because, after all, what’s wrong with some genocide when you’re implementing the Will of God? Taking the excuse of ‘It’s from God’ away and it makes it that much less justifiable. In regard to your statements about homosexuality, thank you for backing up my point. Sin? What sin? Oh, right, that’s your religion talking.

            Re: Science and the anti-science mentality. Nice try at trying to pretend the anti-science mentality that pervades religious rhetoric doesn’t exist. I have less than zero doubt that there are many, many religious believers who are professional scientists. Of course, in scientific work and scientific research religious belief will get you exactly zero results. Many people who enjoy chocolate ice cream are also professional scientists, but the liking of chocolate ice cream doesn’t get you ahead in your scientific work (well, unless on the off chance that your work happens to involve testing flavors of chocolate ice cream, then that actually might help out).

            Religion does hold people back from science as the anti-science rhetoric shows – unless you’re trying to argue that all that anti-science rhetoric is completely and totally pointless and a complete waste of time on the part of the religious writers pumping it out. The anti-science mentality takes many forms, too, for example with the young earth creationists it’s the corruption of science in pretending to value “true science” – while generating a whole cornucopia of misinformation about science designed precisely to mislead people away from genuine science; another example being the pretension of knowing things as empirical claims through religious belief thus faking people out into believing they have “the answer” when they don’t have anything at all, thus precluding them from engaging in any genuine empirical investigation to learn genuine answers. Which brings me to…

            Gaps. And – wow – I’m amazed you brought this up, but I’m glad you did because it precisely backs up another one of my points. The god-of-the-gaps argument is widely known as inherently fallacious, and yet here you are using it. And thus demonstrating my point about being faked out into think you have an explanation despite the fact that you have nothing at all. If we don’t know how something happens, then we don’t how something happens. Just throwing up your hands and saying “God did it” doesn’t tell you anything at all. It’s a fake “explanation”, because it isn’t an explanation at all. What is a god? How does a god do things? What processes does it use? What forces are involved? What are the details of the “doing it”? You don’t know anything – and the “god” this is all based on itself has no good evidence to back up the idea in the first place.

            But you also wrote, “These concepts are also seen by millions are fairy tales and myths.” Thank you for backing up my point again! The scientific theory of evolution is not a “fairy tale” and not a “myth” precisely because it is built on an extensive body of scientific facts from biology, paleontology (and geology in its relevant application in paleontology), and so on. I supposed you’ve never heard of population genetics. I suppose you’ve never heard of Tiktaalik rosae or, for another example, the huge collection of fossil specimens related to the evolutionary ancestry of modern horses. You wrote, “But because they happened by 100% pure chaotic chance, you think they are more believable than a creator that can’t be explained by science.” Excellent – thank you for demonstrating how your religious belief motivates you not only to not know what you’re talking about on the subject but also to proclaim your scientific illiteracy so proudly.

            So I point out that religious belief is anti-science, and what do you do? Immediately jump in with religion-motivated anti-science rhetoric that backs up my point so well. Thank you. I appreciate it. I criticize creationism as a specific example of the anti-science mentality of religious belief – and you respond by immediately proving my point.

            Re: End times. I’m loving how you try to compare the depletion of element by fusion in stars, and in our own star the Sun in about 4 billion years from now, with the premillenial nonsense in Christian circles. There is no doubt that many humans in general have a fascination with apocalyptic stories (movies love them), but there’s fiction and there’s science, and my whole point is that these are not the same thing, so pointing out that people enjoy fiction doesn’t change the fact that some people actually believe fiction is real because of religious belief. The book of Revelation is a work of fiction, not science, and certainly not divine revelation of future events. “disconnect California off of the continent”. Seriously? While it is certainly true that geologists predict that a massive earthquake will occur – again (like 1906) – did California slide off into the ocean in 1906? Hello? You’re mixing up fiction with science again. Indeed, I lived in California for six years (in San Jose, just south of San Francisco; I happened to be there when the big 1989 quake struck), and while Californians are very aware of the propensity for earthquakes, the phrase about “California sliding off into the ocean” was used as a joke. You wrote, “Global warming melting the ice caps and flooding the earth” – you mean like the religious myth of Noah’s Flood “covering the highest mountain” that the Bible god Yahweh uses to murder all the men, women, and children on Earth? Seriously? There is no doubt that the melting of substantial amounts of the ice caps will cause the ocean levels to rise by a few meters and thus alter the coastlines – but this takes place over decades and there’s nothing apocalyptic about it. But thank you for demonstrating how religious belief motivates you to engage in misrepresentative hyperbole to try to diss science as being somehow equivalent to belief in religious myths – thus backing up my point again.

            Also, you wrote, “Science in of itself can be seen as a religion. It may not have a ‘god’ like other religions do, but more like an unknown force that acts to create things in which we can only observe the results of.” And this says what about science itself, about the scientific process itself? Exactly nothing. Red herring.

            You wrote, “You know that every claim you make about religion, the same claim can be found about non-religious people and science.” You almost had me with that until you added “and science,” which is just wrong. I have less than zero doubt that there are non-religious people who are bigots and who have other kinds of foibles – but the point that you keep right on missing is that *they are foibles*, they are vices – yet religion creates the framework that precisely turns vices into “virtues” and deliberately, purposely leads people to believe that these vices are virtues because it’s the supposed will of some god.

            But then you wrote this, which just has me chuckling over the blatant demonstration of the fallacious thinking inherent to so much religious belief, but especially to Christian belief: “Cause what do you have waiting for you when your time comes? Nothing? Maybe it is the fear that you could be wrong and don’t want to admit to the possibility of being wrong, so you have to criticize those who believe something you are not willing to.” Because Pascal’s Wager is such a fantastic argument and no one has ever shown what a fallacy it is, and because believing in delusions about supernatural souls and eternal life in a spirit world without a shred of good real world evidence is so convincing. Yeah, I think I’ll convert to Islam right now, and go blow up some kafirs so I can have my 72 virgins in heaven. Why aren’t you Hindu? At least they teach reincarnation, and why do you think those religious fabrications are any less credible than yours? And living your life, wasting a lot of it, on activities based on believing in a religious delusion is so much better than spending your life with concerns and desires based on reality. Yeah, that’s a killer argument.

            And when you write, “For a religious person to believe in God, or a god(s), that doesn’t hurt your everyday events,” that’s based on ignoring everything I’ve been pointing out in the first place. It hurts everyone, everything, because it holds us all back. It holds society back, because if you already have the “will of God” mores then why work to improve, you can’t improve on the will of God. It holds science back, because if you already have the “answers” then why is there any need to do any work to actually figure out what the real answers are, since you’ve fooled yourself into thinking you already have the “real answers” when you actually having nothing. And so on.

            Religion beats down our moral evolution, and thus holds back our moral progress. Religion beats down our minds, and thus holds back our scientific progress. Religious beats down our imaginations, and thus holds back our innovation and social progress. Religious belief, the very nature of religious belief, is nothing more than a historically contingent holdover of primitive superstitions from thousands of years. And the point we find ourselves at in history today is at the cusp of widespread recognition of this fact. Those who are already atheists today merely happen to be the ones who are ahead of the curve. But that curve is shifting.

          • Tony

            I am not even going to bother reading all of this bullshit, because it is nothing I haven’t heard, disputed, and proven wrong a thousand times over. I don’t have the energy or the time to deal with bullshit artists like yourself because you wouldn’t even bother taking the time to look at the evidence when presented to you. Hope you are happy that you wasted your time writing this 20 page response to someone who is not even going to bother to read it. You should have realized that when I stated earlier that I was not going to get into all the gaps and missing information dealing with micro-evolution and big bang. But I shouldn’t expect anything different from someone like you anyways. You want me to waste my time reading your bullshit and then breaking it down for you just so you can only read a couple sentences here and there and think you have me all figured out. Well sorry about your luck, dumbass, you won’t get such pleasure from me.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            You wrote, “I am not even going to bother reading all of this bullshit, because it is nothing I haven’t heard, disputed, and proven wrong a thousand times over. I don’t have the energy or the time to deal with bullshit artists like yourself because you wouldn’t even bother taking the time to look at the evidence when presented to you. Hope you are happy that you wasted your time writing this 20 page response to someone who is not even going to bother to read it. You should have realized that when I stated earlier that I was not going to get into all the gaps and missing information dealing with micro-evolution and big bang. But I shouldn’t expect anything different from someone like you anyways. You want me to waste my time reading your bullshit and then breaking it down for you just so you can only read a couple sentences here and there and think you have me all figured out. Well sorry about your luck, dumbass, you won’t get such pleasure from me.”

            Ah, yes, that’s in interestingly revealing diatribe. Thank you for posting it.

            Jean-Baptiste Poquelin originally posted: “Religion is harmful. It should be opposed.”

            Anti-science (that creationism streak is a classic modern example). Bigoted. Fallacious (that god-of-the-gaps fallacy you keep using is another classic). And belligerently closed-minded, because, after all, you know you’re right because your fake god told you so because that’s what the Bible says and whatever the Bible says is true because the Bible came from that fake god so it has to be true (another one of the very popular fallacies in Christian belief, that of circular reasoning).

            So I do appreciate you exposing examples of why Poquelin’s comment is on target.

          • Tony

            At least my book doesn’t change every year when something new supposedly turns up and they need to change their information to make the new “facts” fit into the theory. The Bible has stood for 2,000 years. It has surpassed criticize from people like you for 2,000 years, and it will continue to do so until the end of the earth.

            Everything you stated as to why you find religion harmful can be found in the non-religious as well. It is called human nature. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs. So in reality it is not religion that is harmful, but unguided humans that are harmful. Goodbye.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            What I previously wrote: “People whose entire lives are wasted in ‘Mormon theology’ (compare, ‘Christian theology’, ‘Catholic theology’, ‘Muslim theology’, etc.) There are many other ways in which there is so much absolutely wasted time because of vacuous religious belief, that’s just a blatant example.”

            And then a bit after that I wrote: “[Religious belief] holds science back, because if you already have the “answers” then why is there any need to do any work to actually figure out what the real answers are, since you’ve fooled yourself into thinking you already have the “real answers” when you actually having nothing.”

            And then in my just previous post I mentioned the circular reasoning nature of religious belief, in regard to how it’s “belligerently closed-minded, because, after all, you know you’re right because your fake god told you so because that’s what the Bible says and whatever the Bible says is true because the Bible came from that fake god so it has to be true (another one of the very popular fallacies in Christian belief, that of circular reasoning).”

            You wrote, “At least my book doesn’t change every year when something new supposedly turns up and they need to change their information to make the new ‘facts’ fit into the theory.”

            And then, Tony, the words out of your mind and through your fingers are the gift that just keep right on giving, proving just how right-on-target my descriptions are, in so clearly exposing the fundamentally fallacy-ridden nature of religious belief. You criticize the very idea of changing, when in fact the revision of our ideas in order to correct errors and to take new information into account is not only one of the very strengths of science (science being just one preeminent example of the empirical investigation of reality) but is in fact one of the features of the nature of the scientific process that makes it fundamentally superior to religious belief. All you have to do is to look at the direct implication of your words to see how obviously fallacious they are – your words imply that we should never change our ideas, no matter what, as we continue to investigate reality and learn new things; we should never revise what we think if what we learn from our continuing investigations of reality shows that what we thought previously is not correct.’ I pointed out how religious beliefs motivates the attitude of close-mindedness, and with your reply you totally back up my point. Thank you again. I appreciate you doing that. (Not all religious believers are so honest and open about this fundamentally fallacious nature of religious belief.)

            You also wrote, “The Bible has stood for 2,000 years. It has surpassed criticize from people like you for 2,000 years, and it will continue to do so until the end of the earth.”

            Which, of course, is a statement based on exactly the circular reasoning I pointed out. Here you sit attacking and deliberately ignoring the scientific discoveries you don’t like because your religious belief, and then turning around after having deliberately ignored the science that contradicts, proclaiming that “The Bible has stood for 2,000 years”, even though it is precisely the fact that the Bible has *not* stood for 2,000 years that we’re talking about. If the Bible had stood for 2,000 years you wouldn’t be sitting here attacking science in the first place, because our scientific discoveries wouldn’t be contradicting the religious beliefs based on the Bible. (And I say this in recognition of how many, many Christians take a different approach from you, in how they have “mythologized” the Bible in such a way as to argue that the Bible doesn’t really teach those false idea, but you have to read the stories figuratively and just take out the religious ideas but shouldn’t be trying to interpret them literally – e.g., the Noah’s Flood story is just giving us moral and spiritual lessons and not trying to tell us about something that actually happened.)

            And you write, “Everything you stated as to why you find religion harmful can be found in the non-religious as well. It is called human nature. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs. So in reality it is not religion that is harmful, but unguided humans that are harmful.”

            Which just shows how much the point about the nefarious nature of religion keeps going over your head – as I already pointed out to you: “I have less than zero doubt that there are non-religious people who are bigots and who have other kinds of foibles – but the point that you keep right on missing is that *they are foibles*, they are vices – yet religion creates the framework that precisely turns vices into ‘virtues’ and deliberately, purposely leads people to believe that these vices are virtues because it’s the supposed will of some god.” And, in fact, your anti-science attitude is a perfect example of this, of turning a vice into a religious virtue by pretending it’s the supposed will of some god. So thank you for backing me up on this point as well.

          • Tony

            Are you really not wanting me to read your posts, since you are making the 3 times larger than what they need to be when you re-post every single comment every single time? I am not even going to bother to try and read this garbage because I don’t have the time nor the patients to deal with your retardedness. You don’t seem to have the intellectual means to understand what I was saying, and I am not even going to bother trying to fix your deluded mindset because you are going to refuse to take the time to understand what I am telling you anyways. So you can keep believing I am wrong all you want and I will know that you are wrong no matter what. So goodbye, good riddance, and don’t bother replying again.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            There is absolutely no doubt that I enjoy clarity and clear context. I certainly don’t make any apology for that (and it’s rather revealing that you hate it so much).

            In regard to your other remarks, I appreciate you again exposing your Christian spirit, including your self-projection. Thank you again.

          • Tony

            I am done dealing with your bullshit. STOP REPLYING TO ME BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY THAT WILL CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT ANYTHING. You will only refuse to listen to anything I say, state that I am wrong, and then post your bullshit and expect me to accept it. Why should I go through this bullshit with you? Because you think you are some superior being that knows all? I know that is not the case, otherwise you would have stopped when I told you that I was not going to read your crap. So, goodbye and leave me alone. Another response from you and I will consider it harassment.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            Wait a minute, you’re the guy slinging profuse profanity, while I’m the guy engaging in the discussion of philosophical points and occasionally describing points about the nature of the rhetoric you use. Bit the guy who is *not* throwing out profanity left and right is the guy engaging in “harassment”. This is an amusing joke.

            Tony, please get a grip on yourself. This is a public discussion forum, not your personal email. Furthermore, you don’t have to respond to anything at all, and you’ve never had to respond to begin with, ever. You chose to respond, and that has all been entirely your choice. But your anger doesn’t control me, and you also have no right whatsoever to tell me to shut up and not discuss the errors I observe. But I do thank you again for exposing how a lot of religious apologists think in regard to dealing (or not dealing, rather) with the criticisms of the rhetoric they use. I appreciate you doing that. Thank you again.

          • Tony

            Considering half of your comments I haven’t even read, nor will I ever read, only allows you to believe that you have been able to prove anything about me. But your constant replying when I have asked you to stop only proves that you are an antagonist and will do everything you can to piss off religious people in order to try and use that anger to make it seem like you have proven something. Typical of an evolutionist right there.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            Too hard to get a grip on yourself, I see. The profanity still flying, of course. Let me know when you get tired of your vacuous posturing game and blatant misrepresentations – which are oh-so-typical of the Christian apologist, because red herring makes for such great argumentation.

          • Tony

            What profanity was in the last comment? “Piss”? Or are you now calling “evolutionist” profanity? I am not the one that needs to get a grip on things around here. You are. Reality is calling letting you know that you still have time to turn around and learn the truth.

          • Randy Wanat

            Challenging and questioning and attacking are not synonyms. If you think your faith can’t withstand someone asking you why you think your religious beliefs are correct, you are the one with the problem.

          • Tony

            “The point is that your particular Sky Fairy is just as absurd as all those others.” That is not a challenge or a question, it is an attack.

          • Randy Wanat

            Is it the “sky” part or the “fairy” part that you are an attack? Is it not a fairy? How would you know? Is it not in the sky? How would you know? Calling something that cannot be demonstrated to exist a type of creature equally incapable of being demonstrated to exist is so obliquely an attack as to stretch the meaning of “attack” to near meaninglessness.

          • Tony

            God is a being that lives in a dimension not of our own, where the existence of time and matter as we know it does not exist. This is the reason science cannot comprehend God, because He is not part of our known time and space.

            But besides the labeling of our God with the term “sky fairy”, there is the whole part of referring to Him as nothing more than a myth. People like you hold science to the level of God, but don’t even understand what science does. Science doesn’t explain why or proves anything, it only explains the results of what happened, and then through experiments tries to recreate on a smaller scale. It can never compare to that of what was created through the Creator, because that takes a completely different level of intelligence in which we will never be able to achieve.

          • Randy Wanat

            The only reason the extradimensionality of God came up was because it made God untestable and undetectable. All prior homes for God eventually got explored by man, disproving those ideas. It’s nothing more than a way to hide God from scrutiny because scrutiny has always ended up making the believers wrong. You might as well say your deity lives with Mr. Mxytlplk, or at the end of the rainbow in a leprechaun’s pot of gold. Creating an imaginary unfindable place for your God to live doesn’t lend it any more credibility. It just helps you avoid the hard questions, like HOW DO YOU KNOW? You don’t. You assert as fact that which cannot be demonstrated. Unicorns love blueberry pie. There, just as demonstrable a claim as your extradimensional God. Are unicorns any more real if I say unicorns live in the center of the sun? No? Then, so with your God. I can tap dance to find ways to keep unicorns away from scrutiny, but that in no way has anything to do with their reality.
            The gods of the ancient Greeks…myth or real? To them, they were as real as your deity is to you. They had equal evidence for their pantheon as you have for your deity. How does one discern which, if any, is myth, and which, if any, is real?

          • CrossedtheTiber

            You make a good point. We can’t prove God’s existence with scientific certainty or the five senses. However, we believe in gravity, which we can not explain with any of our five senses. We believe in it because we can see evidence of it due to the fact that we are able to stay on the ground and not float up into the air. In the same way, it is not illogical to look at the universe as a whole and question it’s origin. Of course, if you believe that it started with a sort of “big bang” (as I do) then you could say that was the beginning. Or maybe you are like many scientists who are able to theorize the cause of the big bang (I’m not a scientist, but my husband is and he could explain this much better than I). So we examine that cause and try to find the cause of it. We keep going further and further back, finding the cause of the cause. However, there has to be one beginning point, something that exceeds the causes, that exists independent of the causes, to cause the cause. I myself find it only logical to assume that the cause is and was God. I see the evidence of that in the fact that my thumbprint will never be recreated. Not one single person since the beginning of time to the end will ever have my thumbprint. The same goes for my DNA. For myself, that is the evidence that helps me realize that there has to be an intelligent being at the center of it all, who is caused it all.

            I respect your opinion that there isn’t a God. However, I would ask you to reconsider the idea that “grown-ups” and “mature people” would never believe in God. Some of history’s greatest scientists were Christians. Some of the smartest people in the world were and are Christians. I’m married to a brilliant scientist who is also a Christian. The idea that Christianity is only for the weak-minded is pretty absurd.

          • Randy Wanat

            I wonder why you deleted your post? I won’t respond to your points if you so choose, but I will address them if you like.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            I apologize – I realized that I was hasty in my own reply and may have accidentally responded to your post when I meant to respond to another person’s post. Also, I wasn’t careful to read the other points that were made throughout the thread so I went on ahead and deleted my comments to “save face” if you will. If you want to address the points I made, I’m happy to discuss (although I fear I might be getting in over my head a bit). But please keep in mind that I didn’t mean to be so hasty in my response.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            I would like to add (to the points I deleted) that there seems to be more scientific support for a theist worldview than for an atheist world-view. What I mean is: when you look at the way the world operates, and the laws of science, none of them contradict the concept that God could have created it all. Here is an example: we see the concept of “creation” in everything. Everything has a beginning. However, the atheist worldview, that everything could come from nothing and that order could come from chaos, contradicts the universal and scientific laws that we now live by. If it was a scientific law powerful enough to bring immense and intricate order to everything from nothing, then why don’t we see evidence of this law in anything else? Why don’t we see evidence that order can come about from chaos? Indeed we see the opposite, that it is an impossibility for order to come from chaos.

            We are also able to look to miracles to at least give us pause, especially miracles that defy science. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a great example of this. This is a Christian miracle that occurred centuries ago, and continues to occur even in the present day, with modern day scientists and medical examiners (many of them atheists) making new discoveries about it. For example, people have heard an Infant’s heartbeat over her stomach, coming from the cloth. How can this be explained through science?

            I won’t ever claim to fully understand God. Sometimes I have frustrations and doubts, and wrestle with the big “Why?” question, especially when I’m going through suffering. However, my doubts and struggles do not change or diminish God. I’ve seen people argue in these forums that God “fills in the empty spaces.” This is an impossibility because God is not spatial. He is independent of us. Our belief in Him does not cause Him to be exist. Our disbelief in Him does not eliminate Him from existence. He simply “Is.”

            I’ve also seen a lot of discussion on the Bible, and a lot of dismissiveness about it. From a purely intellectual perspective, the Bible is fascinating to study, especially through typology, or the study of “types” throughout the Bible. The intricacies that exist in the Bible are ones that seem to surpass any human being’s (or group of humans) ability. Should everything in the Bible be taken literally? Of course not! We examine the writing styles of various passages to show us how we should understand them. Some passages were meant to be taken literally, some were meant to be taken as allegory, and so on. The writing style gives us clues. We can better understand the Bible by learning from the early Christians, the Church Fathers. It can actually be a very thrilling study, almost like watching one of those historical mystery movies.

            One more point that I would like to make (and I realize that I’ve made to many already). Is that there are distinct differences between Jesus and all of the other gods that have ever existed. The other gods would force their will on humans, whereas the Christian God never imposes or forces Himself on us. Many of the other gods demanded human sacrifice. The Christian God sacrificed Himself. We also see that something powerful happened in those regions during the 33 years that Jesus was on earth and the time following His death and resurrection. This is not a “nothing” event, and it is definitely worth looking into, even if for no other reason than it is a fascinating scholarly anthropological study.

          • Randy Wanat

            Ok, rather than address all the stuff in both posts, I’m going to focus on the opening of your latest post, as that betrays a fundamental logical failure.

            You said that nothing contradicts the idea that God created everything. If we ignore the Biblical inaccuracies AND the complete lack of mechanism other than magic (for want of a better term), the idea that not being contradicted is indicative of a claim being true is incorrect. Why? Let’s think about it.

            If I say that there is a goblin at the center of every object, and due to its magical nature it is undetectable by any means, and these goblins create the force of gravity emanating from every object in the universe. This idea is not contradicted by anything. Must you, then, say that there actually is a gravity goblin at the center of every object? No, of course not.

            Why are you not obliged to accept the claim as true despite it not being contradicted? Because, all that really means is that it’s not contradicted by any evidence. It’s not enough to not be contradicted by the evidence; it must be supported by all the evidence, and have some way to determine if the claim is incorrect. After all, if you can’t define how we would disqualify the claim, we are stuck assuming all evidence must necessarily support the claim. In other words, it begins with “this must be correct, and there is no way it could ever be incorrect.” If you begin with your answer, you’re merely left with the task of rationalizing the evidence to make it conform to the claim.

            So, let’s see if “God did it” is a claim that has a way to determine if it’s incorrect. What, if discovered, would rule it out as an explanation? For example, if I say “Steve took his mother to the store yesterday,” this can be shown to be wrong by identifying his locations throughout the day, and/or the location of his mother throughout the day. If he went to the store without his mother, or didn’t go to the store at all, the claim has been demonstrated false. Now, how could “God did it” be demonstrated to be false? What evidence, when found, would force you to say that “God did it” is not correct?

            If you can’t tell if you’re wrong, you also can’t tell if you’re right. If you care whether the things you say and believe are true, your claim must meet the first fundamental milestone. Without that, it’s just as useful an explanation as the gravity goblins.

            I would recommend you search Wikipedia for “argument from ignorance logical fallacy.” Then, look at what you’ve said here and see if you can identify that anywhere. If you don’t critically analyze your own ideas, how do you know if they’re worthwhile?

          • CrossedtheTiber

            .

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

            You left out Valhalla and Elysium Fields. Those were obviously “attacks” as well.

            That sound you hear is me smirking. All criticism of the fallacy-ridden rhetoric of Christian religious apologetics is an attack, it’s an attack on fallacy and on the nature of religious belief itself due to its very nature as being fundamentally fallacious in the first place. It’s also an attack on the error-ridden nature of Christian religious apologetics, such as when Christians try to pretend that their religious beliefs, which are religion, are scientific, which they are not, and employ all sorts of bogus pseudoscience claims which are either scientifically false or otherwise don’t really have the scientific evidence that would actually make them scientific (because, anyway, if they really were scientific then we’d be reading the research results in the professional science literature of physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, or the like, instead of only ever seeing them in religious publications and hearing about them from religious pseudoscience propagandists in church lectures). A perfect example of these kinds of religion-is-science pretensions is young earth creationism.

            Of course, the whole purpose of the use of the word “attack” as you are employing it is precisely to try to denigrate the criticism to deflect it and not deal with the substance of the criticism by pretending it’s just merely a “personal attack”. It’s a silly game that a lot of people like to play, but for the not-quite-completely-naive its red herring nature is completely transparent.

            Just so you know.

          • jcrosby35

            You have not asked any legitimate question and you do not accept the truth when you get it.
            You are nothing more than a troll looking to make someone else labor for nothing.
            If people did not care they would tell you to buzz of to you no where land. But then again there is no such place as a no where land as you find out in due time.

          • Randy Wanat

            Right. All the evidence points to brain death being the termination of what we consider one’s personhood. No evidence of Heaven, Hell, Hel, Valhalla, Hades, the Elysium Fields, or any other version of afterlife. Finally, you’re making some sense. Of course, I won’t just find this out when I die, as I am already aware of this.
            If I gave you a book and told you everything in it was true, and that we knew it was all true because it says so right in the book, would you accept everything in the book as true? If not, why do you expect others to do so with your book?

          • jcrosby35

            I have heard all this ignorance BS before. If you chose not to believe that is one thing. If you chose to ignore the truth that is another. Your ignorance is not going to excuse you. All the truth you need is in the Word of God.
            Prophesy 100% proves the Bible as true. There is no other book that tells the future and has been proven true 100%.
            You have no excuse.

          • Randy Wanat

            What was ignorant? There is no evidence of any of those afterlife concepts being true. All we have are stories. I don’t accept extraordinary claims as true without any evidence. When you have ANY evidence, you’ll be the first. Until then, your myths are on par with all the others, and deserving of equal consideration.

          • Randy Wanat

            What, other than agreement or ignoring, would not be construed as an attack?

          • Tony

            Saying you don’t believe in God is fine, but trying to refer to Him as a flying spaghetti monster (or anything similar) is what I start viewing as a personal attack. For us, God is not a myth or some legendary creature. We don’t need scientific proof to know He exists because we experience Him in our lives on a regular basis. So to try to compare Him to some figure we know doesn’t exist is considered an insult and an attack.

          • Randy Wanat

            The ancient Greeks felt the sane way about Zeus. Do you give Zeus, or Thor, ir Vishnu, or Kokopelli, or Quetzalcoatl, or Osiris the same reverence you expect to be given your deity? The only difference between those gods and yours is that you happen to believe in yours. Otherwise, they’re equally real by all accounts and by all evidence. Their followers would all make the same arguments you did about your deity. Why should I give any myth preferential treatment? Look up “myth” in the dictionary before responding.

          • Tony

            And how would you feel if I referred to evolution as a myth?

          • Randy Wanat

            I wouldn’t feel anything. What do you feel when someone says 2 + 2 = 5? You’d be factually wrong, and demonstrably so. Whether you choose to believe is irrelevant. Science continues to work whether you believe it or not. The same cannot be said of any gods. Those only work if you DO believe, just like placebos.

          • Tony

            So all this missing information between evolutionary species means nothing? Just because someone states something is evidence, that is only their interpretation of it. Micro-evolution cannot be observed in a lab, and therefor can be considered a myth. Just because no known barrier exists between micro- and macro- evolution, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means it hasn’t been found out. Science describes what takes place, even when it doesn’t understand what caused it or why it took place. Just because you don’t like the answer of what or why being God, that doesn’t make it false. Science can only recreate what it has observed on a smaller scale, because no one has the knowledge to recreate it at actual scale size. Until science can recreate life, then there is no demonstrable model to prove that God didn’t create life. Scientists only guess for reasons why living creatures evolved, but have failed to provide evidence showing the very reason for each creature that has lived in the past. Shall I keep going with the problems of evolution, or do you get the idea here?

          • Randy Wanat

            Please, tell me what you understand the theory of evolution to say. Without knowing what is wrong and how it’s wrong, it’s impossible to know where things have gotten off track. I am not going to dismantle what you said (though it would be quite easy). I want to help you learn. But, I can only do that if you’re willing to be honest and answer a few questions. I need to know how deep the water is before I dive in head-first.

          • Tony

            It doesn’t matter what I know or what you think I don’t know about evolution. I know that there is not enough evidence to support micro-evolution at the point of one family classification changing to another family classification. I don’t care how many undocumented mutations you think supposedly took place, without the documented mutations, you have no evidence it actually took place. The fact of the matter is you cannot prove micro-evolution to me any more than I can prove God to you. If you really think that you can prove micro-evolution to me, then list every single detailed mutation that took place to go from the first reptiles to mammals. But since I know that it is not possible, don’t even bother trying. Evolution has only been proven at the macro level, which is diversification within the family classification.

          • Randy Wanat

            If you’re operating with a faulty understanding of the theory of evolution, one which is rendered false by the evidence, then it will be false for you but only because you were starting with a faulty premise. If we can agree on what the theory says, we can see if there is any evidence that supports it. I am willing to concede, if you demonstrate it, that the theory of evolution is false. But, if we don’t share the same definition, we are talking past one another. I am open to you proving it wrong, but first, show me what, exactly, you’re proving wrong.

            As a side note…even if I conceded that the theory of evolution is 100% false, that is not evidence of your deity being responsible for it, any more than proving person A didn’t kill person B is evidence that a leprechaun did it.

            But, anyway, if you’re right, you will, quite literally, win a Nobel Prize. I will nominate you myself. But, we must start at the beginning. Tell me what the theory of evolution says.

          • Randy Wanat

            If you’re operating with a faulty understanding of the theory of evolution, one which is rendered false by the evidence, then it will be false for you but only because you were starting with a faulty premise. If we can agree on what the theory says, we can see if there is any evidence that supports it. I am willing to concede, if you demonstrate it, that the theory of evolution is false. But, if we don’t share the same definition, we are talking past one another. I am open to you proving it wrong, but first, show me what, exactly, you’re proving wrong.

            As a side note…even if I conceded that the theory of evolution is 100% false, that is not evidence of your deity being responsible for it, any more than proving person A didn’t kill person B is evidence that a leprechaun did it.

            Also, what are endogenous retroviruses?

            But, anyway, if you’re right, you will, quite literally, win a Nobel Prize. I will nominate you myself. But, we must start at the beginning. Tell me what the theory of evolution says.

          • Randy Wanat

            If you’re operating with a faulty understanding of the theory of evolution, one which is rendered false by the evidence, then it will be false for you but only because you were starting with a faulty premise. If we can agree on what the theory says, we can see if there is any evidence that supports it. I am willing to concede, if you demonstrate it, that the theory of evolution is false. But, if we don’t share the same definition, we are talking past one another. I am open to you proving it wrong, but first, show me what, exactly, you’re proving wrong.

            As a side note…even if I conceded that the theory of evolution is 100% false, that is not evidence of your deity being responsible for it, any more than proving person A didn’t kill person B is evidence that a leprechaun did it.

            Also, what are endogenous retroviruses? And, are DNA tests an accurate and reliable way of determining lineage? If we didn’t have DNA from every offspring to occur between you and your 8x great grandfather, could we still determine, via DNA, that you were descended from him?

            But, anyway, if you’re right, you will, quite literally, win a Nobel Prize. I will nominate you myself. But, we must start at the beginning. Tell me what the theory of evolution says.

          • Tony

            Fine, just to satisfy your fucked up need to hear what evolution is. Evolution is the process of mutations taking place within a living organism over an unset amount of time. Although these changes are random, they are also controlled and activated by environmental changes and natural selection. Evolution explains the diversification within the family classification, also referred to as kind. However, because of the diversification seen within just the family classification, scientists believe that common ancestors are a result of evolution, although never observed. Because of that, evolution has been divided into 2 sections, macro-evolution or changes within the family classification, and micro-evolution or changing from one family classification to another. Just because no barrier has been found to stop the changes from going past the family classification, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means it hasn’t been found yet. DNA similarities does not explain common descent. Similarities in DNA can be explained by having the same environment, similarities in food and water consumed, same air being breathed, same sun they are living under, and many other conditions.

            So what I am stating is wrong in the theory of evolution is the concept of micro-evolution. If you are unwilling to accept that there are 2 different levels of evolution, then there is no point in continuing a discussion with you. If you are not willing to admit that all the similarities of how living creatures live is not a reason for similarities in DNA, there is no point in continuing.

            And considering DNA was not actually discovered until the 1950’s, there would be no DNA from my 8X great grandfather to even test with, just like there is no DNA from the first primate to test with. This is why I explained why there are similarities in DNA and that if you can’t admit that the causes I listed has a large barring on the similarities, then there is no point in continuing on talking.

            I don’t need a Nobel Prize for my knowledge or any discovery I make. I am not that shallow in needing my life to have that type of meaning tied to it. For someone like you that thinks the 80 years we spend on this planet is all there is, maybe it is important. But since I know that there is more to this life after this life, I don’t need the gratification that you seek.

            If you can’t understand what I mean when I say that science states everything happened by 100% pure chaotic chance, then I don’t expect you to be able to understand anything else I say, nor do I care.

            I hope that you are happy that you wasted my time and I hope that you will stop wasting it. So hopefully this is goodbye.

          • Randy Wanat

            Your definition of the theory of evolution is not correct. As such, you’re addressing a straw man. I suggest that you look up the theory of evolution on a non-creationist, actual science website, as you won’t believe it from me. You are too busy repeating apologetics to listen to reason. Read a real explanation of the theory of evolution, and come back once you have and we can talk. Until then, you’re preaching to yourself, and I can’t reason with that.

          • Randy Wanat

            Your definition of the theory of evolution is not correct. As such, you’re addressing a straw man. I suggest that you look up the theory of evolution on a non-creationist, actual science website, as you won’t believe it from me. You are too busy repeating apologetics to listen to reason. Read a real explanation of the theory of evolution, and come back once you have and we can talk. Until then, you’re preaching to yourself, and I can’t reason with that.

            Also, why would the DNA from your 8x great grandfather depend on the discovery of DNA to exist? You do know that he had DNA even though nobody knew it back then, right?

          • Tony

            So evolution is not the process of multiple mutations that takes place of a period of time within living organism that are caused by natural selection and environmental changes which then allows them to adapt to the changes? What definition of evolution are you reading? Or is it just because I use micro and macro evolution and you refuse to accept that there are 2 different forms of evolution because then it means you agree with something with a religious person? I have read multiple definitions of evolution from multiple sites, not just from creationist websites. Just because you don’t agree with my view points, that doesn’t mean I am wrong.

            “Also, why would the DNA from your 8x great grandfather depend on the discovery of DNA to exist?” And you say I have no idea what I am talking about? If they didn’t know about DNA back then, then they would have ZERO DNA from him to test, PERIOD. So, MY POINT, is that with no one around when the first primate existed to collect its DNA, then what makes you think that the similarities in DNA from apes and humans really proves common ancestor? Without a common ancestor to test DNA from, then that means nothing is defiant, just a guess.

            Are you done now, because I am sick and tired of seeing your posts multiple times because you don’t know how to do a post once and it shows up multiple times in my notifications.

        • jcrosby35

          BS. you have yet to make a valid point.
          You have nothing to stand on or offer nothing and that sure the hell is nothing but BS. Get a life troll.

      • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin

        And what exactly do you think decprepit means?

    • jcrosby35

      Dense?
      You do not even have a sky fairy or what ever that is suppose to be?
      You and your kind have only death to offer and you think that is some thing to hang onto?
      Get real.

  • Peter Leh

    “”While I appreciate FFRF’s position, it is not
    applicable to Palm Beach County’s practice. The Commissioners’ chosen
    invocation isn’t a prayer in the traditional secular sense,” said
    Nieman.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/florida-county-refuses-to-change-invocation-policy-over-atheist-groups-pressure-131202/

    Hey Nieman is that YOU?

  • Frank

    The only circus is Smith and FFRF. I think one of them is their spokesman the talking monkey.

  • Tom

    Where is the aclu separation of church and state this is a violation.He is praying to God mother earth and mentions other religious God’s.He promotes religion with his pray.If I can not mention God the Father and Jesus in prayer at council’s meeting.Why can he mention God mother earth and other gods.I am surprise he mentions God at all,since atheists do not believe in any God’s,they believe in themselves as God’s.

    • David

      Is English your primary language?

  • Hank1947

    Why are these morons so afraid of a GOD that they don’t believe exists? Oh that’s right, it’s because they are morons!

    • David

      Where in the world did you get the idea that atheists are afraid of the nonexistent?

  • Dan

    There’s only one true God the father of Jesus Christ the Savior who died for our sins. there will be no other gods before him and after him. ala of Islam is not the same God as the God of the Bible all out of Islam is not a trinity. God Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is the Trinity of the Bible. many Christians believe Allah is the Fallen Angel of the Bible

    • David

      Do you even get how ridiculous that sounds? Seriously, how do you not understand that the only reason you believe that nonsense is because it was force fed to you as a child, when you were too naive to discern fact from fiction. You’re (presumably) an adult now – act like it, and give up that superstitious mumbo jumbo.

      • Dan

        David to a non believer I’m sure it sounds as ridiculous as you say because you don’t know. but I’m hoping that you will continue your rants because more and more Christians will be praying for you and your heart will change. did David it might be a life changing event for the results of one

        • Randy Wanat

          How do you know any of your religious beliefs are true without resorting to circular reasoning?

        • David

          Sorry to burst your bubble, Dan, but if my fundamentalist Pentacostal ‘god-warrior’ mom’s prayers won’t get me to join her fold, you can probably save your breath. Furthermore, I did “know” as I was raised in a religious household – did I mention my mom? I was raised Lutheran; Sunday school, bible school every Wednesday, and youth group – of which my parents were the elders – every Friday. And guess what? I had my life-changing moment when I realized it was all bullshit. I sincerely hope for you to come to that same realization; life is much better when unburdened with the chains of ignorance.

  • Jevin Caras

    Love God, Love Others, Reach the World

  • crisban

    I can’t believe this ignorant atheist. That’s so disrespectful how he prays to Thor.

    That meeting was on a Tuesday. Thor’s day is Thursday.

    • Peter Leh

      good point. 🙂

  • Dan

    David once Christians start praying for you you will see a life change that you’ve never experienced before and you will be so happy and glad and you’ll wonder why you were ever a non believer. One by one Christians are praying for atheists that their hearts be changed forever.

    • Terry Roll

      Tell that to the starving kids in Africa that your sky tyrant has totally ignored. I am sure he attends to all your menial concerns though.

    • Randy Wanat

      Son people make blanket prayers for everyone in the world. Clearly, you’re saying that your deity disregards that kind of intercessory request. Please, describe exactly how people SHOULD be praying to net the greatest efficacy per prayer.

    • David

      Except I was raised Lutheran, and my mom is a fundamentalist Pentacostal who prays for me every day. Nothing will become of your prayers because prayer is literally just talking to yourself. It’s not too late to join those of us who saw through the lies of religion, Dan. You’re a grown up, so it’s time to live like an adult. Give up the fairy tales, and live life with honesty and integrity. We will wait for you.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

    If he’s atheist, then why is he praying?
    Shouldn’t he be like “Let’s just get the meeting started, thank you.”

    • Randy Wanat

      For that matter, why does the meeting need a prayer to begin? Why can’t they call upon magical favors before the meeting instead of during the meeting? Is their deity too dumb to understand when they need extra smarts?

  • Truthhurts24

    The Beast system is coming to the forefront and The son of perdition is coming real soon to make his grand appearance. Its time to prepare body of Christ for it is about to get intensely wicked in these last days. Pray hard in 2015!

  • CrossedtheTiber

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand how you can say that this is an argument from ignorance. The desire for proof should be able to go both ways. Please do not attack my own stance without being able to scientifically support your own. Even the Church loves and supports the need for science. They have their own observatory! Science does not disprove God (nor does it prove God). Additionally – you did not address my question which I feel is a very logical, coherent question. Where is the scientific evidence that order can come from chaos? This is a fair question and it’s simple to address it and say “Here is the evidence” or, “I don’t have that evidence” rather than simply calling me ignorant.

    • Randy Wanat

      I am not asserting anything about origins. Yes, if you want answers, seek them out. But, recognize that when the answer is “we don’t know yet,” that doesn’t mean you plug “God did it” into that gap in our knowledge and declare it the winner by default.

      I am not a cosmologist. I have a basic understanding of the best current model of universal origins.

      If you don’t have that understanding, “God did it” isn’t a valid answer until you do have that understanding, just like “Zeus did it” wasn’t a valid answer in the absence of an explanation for lightning among the ancient Greeks.

      Calling it an argument from ignorance isn’t an attack: It’s a fact. It I a textbook example of the argument from ignorance logical fallacy. This is exactly why I said to look it up. The sooner you understand what it is, the sooner you can identify them, and the sooner you can understand that calling something an argument from ignorance isn’t me saying you’re dumb. It’s the name of the logical fallacy.

      • CrossedtheTiber

        I see that now, that you didn’t mean it as an insult. I will freely admit that my hasty comments are a very good example of me getting unnecessarily defensive and jumping to conclusions without fully listening to your point of view.

        • Randy Wanat

          No problem. It’s always more interesting when someone is willing to admit errors. Defensiveness has its place, but when we step in it, it’s better to admit it and wipe your feet outside than to track it all over the house. 🙂

          There was a time I would have shredded everything in sight, and not that long ago. But, the more enjoyable conversations are between, not against.

          If I can help you understand concepts like burden of proof, and skepticism, and standards of evidence, and rational inquiry, and critical thinking, you’ll have all the tools you’ll need to determine whether and why a belief is or is not justified. There are those who would say such things are bad, but how can it be bad to think rationally about reality, without giving ourselves over to just accepting whatever reinforces what we think and ignoring everything that doesn’t? People who care about whether their beliefs map to reality cannot be satisfied with that. It’s not that reality should conform to our beliefs; our beliefs must conform to reality.

          Anyway, we’ll get into all that later. I think Matt Dillahunty’s gumball example will be a big step forward.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            Thank you for a great, challenging discussion. There was a time when I would have been terrified of a discussion like this. My view of and brand of Christianity was a mile wide and an inch deep as they say. I researched my way into “ancient Christianity” and am still learning so much and will definitely continue to research not only my own beliefs but others as well. I do love that the Church welcomes skepticism, and doesn’t seek to beat people over the head with Truth, but rather allows them to come to understand it on their own and in their own time. I completely agree that it’s important to examine not only my own beliefs, but those who contradict my beliefs and I will take your challenge to heart.

            If you don’t mind, could I offer my own challenge to you? To be open to those things that defy logic, the things that don’t necessarily fit inside of scientific parameters. Science and rational thought are certainly valuable and important, but sometimes there are things that are unexplainable and seem to take us beyond our own understanding.

            I hope you have a wonderful day.

          • Randy Wanat

            Nothing defies logic. When something seems to defy logic, it is generally due to our own ignorance. Ice floating while every other solid sinks in its liquid form defied logic until we understood density. When something seems to defy logic, the correct response is “I don’t know,” followed by evidence-based inquiry. This is how every advance in our understanding of the universe has come about. I will accept that which can be demonstrated.

            Think of it this way: How do you distinguish between a god that is impossible to demonstrate exists and a god that doesn’t exist?

  • CrossedtheTiber

    I thought I was clear, but to clarify, I am taking seriously your admonishment to research my position, as well as the positions of others (at least that was what I thought you were saying?)

    • Randy Wanat

      And, I wonder if you’re taking the gravity goblin idea as seriously as you want me to take your God did it idea. Are you? If so, why? If not, why not?

    • Randy Wanat

      And, I wonder if you’re taking the gravity goblin idea as seriously as you want me to take your God did it idea. Are you? If so, why? If not, why not?

      To clarify: I’m not saying to research (that word is often abused and distorted). I am saying to look up the argument from ignorance logical fallacy and to examine your arguments to see where you are employing that fallacy. If you use fallacious logic, your conclusions cannot be taken seriously. It’s like using a calculator that doesn’t understand “4.” It will give you answers, but they will all be skewed because the logic isn’t correct.

      • CrossedtheTiber

        Okay – I reread your comment much more carefully and I believe I understand better the point that you were trying to make with the gravity goblin. I also see why you were directing me to that specific article in wikipedia. I should have read your post more carefully to understand your point more fully. If I’m still misunderstanding you then please let me know because I want to make sure I hear you correctly. If I understand you, you are saying that I have presupposed that there is a God, therefore I essentially fill in this belief with evidence, rather than looking at the evidence and then coming to a belief. Again – if I’m still misunderstanding you then I apologize. I know it must have been very frustrating for you that I wasn’t truly hearing you.

        I finally went to the site you directed me to. I would argue that we are both guilty of this and just because there is a fallacy in the argument from ignorance that “does not mean that one can never possess good reasons for thinking that something does not (or does) exist.” I can not prove scientifically that there is a God, and you can not prove scientifically that there isn’t a God. We each then have to come to a belief ourselves, based on the evidence.

        To me, the idea of gravity goblins can not be compared to the evidence for an intelligent design to the universe (God). Again, I look at the way the earth operates, the way the universe functions, the way that humans function, all of it in macro and micro detail and to me it only seems logical to believe that there was intelligent design to it all. The more I understand about science (like in the lightning bolt example) the more I believe in God. Not only in I am in awe of how the lightning functions and operates but I am also in awe at human being’s ability to study and understand it and I believe even more fully that there is intelligent design behind it all.

        Back to the gravity goblins. The other difference is purpose. What would be the intrinsic purpose of gravity goblins? How would a belief in them improve the lives of humans? In the argument for or against the existence of God, I, as a human being, can’t help but look beyond science to the purpose. Either I can believe that there is no God and that there is no purpose to any of it, that we were just randomly placed here and that we are purely biochemical beings and when we die that’s it. Or I can believe that there is a God and there is a divine purpose for personhood.

        Here is an illustration that I hope is helpful. In looking at the existence of God purely from a scientific point of view, I feel like we are examining the molecules of a tree together under a microscope (bear with me on this one because I know that we can’t look at God under a microscope). We can discuss the molecules and I can appreciate the science of it and share the desire to learn about the science. But I also stand back from that microscope and look in awe at the tree, and the forest it’s in and the mountains beyond and the sky above and the sounds and smells around and the feel of the wind. That is what my belief in God is for me. It’s the ability to appreciate the science but also to step back in awe and wonder and simply marvel at His existence and His work in my life and the lives of those around me. I know that this last part risks making me sound flakey, but I can’t separate the science from my faith. In doing that, I feel like I’m being split in two. Rather, I try to find a balance between faith and reason.

        Lastly, I 100% respect your right to not believe in the existence of God. I truly hope that you have not felt as though I was trying to push or force on you a belief in God’s existence. If you have ever felt that way then I apologize and I sincerely want you to know that that has never been my intent. It is my job to try to give a logical, reasonable explanation for my belief, but it is not my job to try to force you agree with me or to share my belief. If you have additional comments I look forward to hearing them, but I also want to thank you for a great discussion.

        • Randy Wanat

          Thanks for getting there! Now, I am not declaring there are no gods, so my inability to disprove them is irrelevant. You claim there is at least one god, so your inability to demonstrate the existence of a deity is very relevant. I am not filling any gaps with anything other than “we don’t know” and the best evidence-based understanding we currently have.

          I think, if you don’t assume what I have asserted, but read what I have said, you’ll find no argument from ignorance from me. Just because I reject your argument doesn’t mean I pose the counter argument. Search YouTube for “atheist experience philosophy the gumball way.” It is a great illustration of how rejecting a claim isn’t asserting a different claim.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            Oh dear – I really misunderstood your stance! I thought, from your other discussions, that you were declaring a disbelief in any God (or gods). Well, now I’m really blushing and feeling rather foolish. I will look up the video to try to understand your side a bit better. Thank you for your patience with me.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            I was wondering if you could clarify what you mean when you say that I am unable to demonstrate the existence of a deity? Now, I will agree that I can not prove it through science, but then we can look at other things that we can not prove through science and yet we are able to acknowledge their existence (like gravity, thoughts, etc). Depending on what you meant by demonstration, I believe I can demonstrate the existence of God, however it is then up to you to decide if it is hogwash or actual evidence for the support of the existence of God. There are so many, but I will focus on one, which is the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe that I brought up earlier. To me, this can be considered a demonstration of the existence of God, though again, not empirical scientific proof.

          • Randy Wanat

            People have similar “evidence” for every god ever. If I took your standard of evidence as my own, and if I were honest with myself, I could not distinguish between false gods and true. Are they all true? All false? Some true? One true? It’s impossible to say.

            Think of miracles for your religion as you soul for any other religion. Do you hear of their miracles and then accept their religion beliefs as true? I assume you don’t. Subject your miracles to the same skepticism you subject everyone else’s to.

            And, remember, when you want something to be true, that’s when you have to be even more skeptical. And, it’s not whether something has been proven false that matters; it’s whether it’s been proven true.