United Church of Canada Rejects Atheist Minister’s Attempt to Stop Review, Possible Defrocking

Vosper-compressedTORONTO — An ordained minister with the United Church of Canada has lost her appeal to stop an official review of her qualifications to be a church leader as she is a professing atheist.

“I don’t believe in … the god called God,” Gretta Vosper told the Globe and Mail last year. “Using the word gets in the way of sharing what I want to share.”

As previously reported, Vosper believes that the Bible is “mythology,” and denies that Jesus is the Son of God.

“God, as the source of goodness, and as the way that goodness comes into the world, and as the promise that everything is going to be good in the end, whether in this lifetime or in the afterlife—that God doesn’t exist anymore,” she states. “We have to recognize that we are only way that good is going to come into this world. We are the definers of what is good. [But] what’s good in one community won’t be good in another.”

Vosper, 57, and who was ordained in 1993, first came out as an atheist in 2001. However, her congregation still supported her until 2008 when she sought to do away with the use of the Lord’s Prayer and lost approximately 100 members of her 150-member congregation.

Last year, Vosper wrote an open letter asserting that a belief in God can compel people to commit evil, referencing the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France.

“That didn’t go over well,” Vosper, who also founded the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity, told reporters. “[But] if we are going to continue to use language that suggests we get our moral authority from a supernatural source, any group that says that can trump any humanistic endeavor.”

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She was soon reported to the United Church of Canada, which launched an investigation into her “effectiveness” as a minister. In May, Nora Sanders, general secretary for the UCC General Council, provided the denomination with standards on which to determine whether Vosper should stay or go.

Attorneys for Vosper filed an appeal of the review, consisting of over 1,600 pages, but on Thursday a denominational committee announced that it had rejected the request.

“After fully and thoroughly considering all submissions by the appellant and respondent, the executive of the judicial committee decided that the appeal did not meet the grounds for an appeal,” the one-page decision said in part.

She will now have to face a special committee to give account for her actions and beliefs.

“At the end of the process, [Vosper] will have had a full and fair opportunity to speak directly to the church about her position,” David Allen, executive secretary of the Toronto conference, told reporters. “[The] Toronto conference—based on the review process—will have good reasons why she should continue in ministry or good reasons why she should not.”

Vosper told reporters that she will be disappointed if she is defrocked.

“I will be really sad that my fitness for ministry is based entirely on whether or not I can affirm an archaic doctrinal statement that describes God in a way that is incomprehensible and no longer has meaning for me or many within the United Church,” she told CBC News this week.

“I will feel betrayed by the Church because it has created who I am,” she said. “It has been a major force in my life. It has taught me what I know. It has given me the tools to explore. It has demanded that I do that and so I’ve done that and here we are.”

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  • Reason2012

    // “We have to recognize that we are only way that good is going to come into this world. We are the definers of what is good. [But] what’s good in one community won’t be good in another.” //

    Precisely – mankind has no morals apart from God. For example, in the name of “I don’t REALLY believe in God” over 57 MILLION sons/daughters have been slaughtered by their own parents int he past few decades alone, with a million more each year.

    Behold the “good” of mankind apart from God.

    // Vosper, 57, and who was ordained in 1993, first came out as an atheist in 2001. However, her congregation still supported her until 2008 //

    She comes out as anti-Christ, and the “congregation” continues to support her go learn from her?! Mind-boggling! Only shows they do not really know God.

    Matthew 7:19-23 “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    Their first clue is how God makes it clear women are not to be pastors.

    1 Corinthians 14:33-36 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?”

    // She was soon reported to the United Church of Canada, which launched an investigation into her “effectiveness” as a minister. //

    They are also ignorant that God made it clear women should not be pastors. And it seems they are also ignorant that to be a preacher for God/Christ it doesn’t work if they deny Him.

    // “I will feel betrayed by the Church because it has created who I am,” she said. //

    Many say the same thing about God: that He made them sinners hence it’s His fault.

    Get into a Bible-believing church and read the Word of God daily, people – it’s part of how you keep yourself from being deceived.

    2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    • smeddy

      “They are also ignorant that God made it clear women should not be pastors.”

      I don’t really think that God is that childish and sexist.

    • James Teranov

      I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don’t believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart’s content?) — Self-respect and the desire for the respect of others— The so-called Golden Rule is innate in us, or is innate except in the sociopaths who do not care about others, and the psychopaths who take pleasure from cruelty. — While in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity— Divine permission, given to people who think they have god on their side, enables actions that a morally normal unbeliever would not contemplate.

      Here is something about us as a species that is problematic; it isn’t just explained by religion. Something about us that tempts us to do wrong. It’s pretty easily explained, I think. We are primates, high primates, but primates. We’re half a chromosome away from chimpanzees and it shows. It especially shows in the number of religions we invent to console ourselves or to give us things to quarrel with other primates about. If anything demonstrates that God is manmade, not man God made, surely it is the religions erected by this quasi-chimpanzee species and the harm that they’re willing to inflict on that basis. Our species would not have survived, if we didn’t have, as well as many selfish instincts, the need, and often for our own sake, to be of use to others, to combine with them, to take an interest in them, to care for them, and to worry when they’re in pain. No supernatural authority, as with the Civil Rights Movement, is required for this. Morality comes from us, religion claims to have invented it on our behalf.

      Without holy awe, what is to prevent you from resorting to theft, murder, rape, and perjury? It will sometimes be conceded that non-believers have led ethical lives, and it will also be conceded (as it had better be) that many believers have been responsible for terrible crimes. Nevertheless, the working assumption is that we should have no moral compass if we were not somehow in thrall to an unalterable and unchallengeable celestial dictatorship. What a repulsive idea! As well as taking the axe to the root of everything that we have learned about evolutionary biology (societies that tolerate murder and theft and perjury will not last long, and those that violate the taboos on incest and cannibalism do in fact simply die out), it constitutes a radical attack on the very concept of human self-respect. It does so by suggesting that one could not do a right action or avoid a wrong one, except for the hope of a divine reward or the fear of divine retribution. I think, to say that there’s a relationship between the human impulse to do evil, to be selfish, to be self-centered, to be greedy, and a contrast between that and faith because given only faith, mountains can be moved and millions of people who would never normally acquiesce in evil are brought to it straightaway and with ease and with self-righteousness. Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God’s approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.

      Doing good in hope of a divine reward or fear of a divine punishment is NOT morality.


      Now before i go into the ways in which religion and the church have preached morality, lets look at the animal kingdom and genetic research and the need to work together in order to survive, shall we:

      Scientists studying animal behaviour believe they have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans. But Prof Marc Bekoff, an ecologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, believes that morals are “hard-wired” into the brains of all mammals and provide the “social glue” that allow often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups. He has compiled evidence from around the world that shows how different species of animals appear to have an innate sense of fairness, display empathy and help other animals that are in distress.

      Prof Bekoff, who presents his case in a new book Wild Justice, said: “The belief that humans have morality and animals don’t is a long-standing assumption, but there is a growing amount of evidence that is showing us that this simply cannot be the case.

      “Just as in humans, the moral nuances of a particular culture or group will be different from another, but they are certainly there. Moral codes are species specific, so they can be difficult to compare with each other or with humans.”

      Prof Bekoff believes morals developed in animals to help regulate behaviour in social groups of animals such as wolves and primates.

      He claims that these rules help to control fighting within the group and encourage co-operative behaviour.

      Recent neurology work has also revealed that distantly related mammals such as whales and dolphins have the same structures in their brains that are thought to be responsible for empathy in humans.

      Other findings have also suggested that some animals may even be capable of showing empathy with the suffering of other species.

      Prof Bekoff, who co-wrote the book with moral philosopher Jessica Pierce, also from the University of Colorado, added: “There are cases of dolphins helping humans to escape from sharks and elephants that have helped antelope escape from enclosures.

      “While it is difficult to know for certain that there is cross species empathy, it is hard to argue against it.”

      His ideas have met with some controversy in the scientific community, but many admit it is difficult to argue that animals do not share many of the psychological qualities previously only attributed to humans.

      Professor Frans de Waal, a primate behaviourist at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, said: “I don’t believe animals are moral in the sense we humans are – with well developed and reasoned sense of right and wrong – rather that human morality incorporates a set of psychological tendencies and capacities such as empathy, reciprocity, a desire for co-operation and harmony that are older than our species.

      “Human morality was not formed from scratch, but grew out of our primate psychology. Primate psychology has ancient roots, and I agree that other animals show many of the same tendencies and have an intense sociality.”


      Wolves live in tight-knit social groups that are regulated by strict rules. If a pack grows too large, members are not able to bond closely enough and the pack disintegrates. Wolves also demonstrate fairness. During play, dominant wolves will “handicap” themselves by engaging in roll reversal with lower ranking wolves, showing submission and allowing them to bite, provided it is not too hard. Prof Bekoff argues that without a moral code governing their actions, this kind of behaviour would not be possible. If an animal bites too hard, it will initiate a “play bow” to ask forgiveness before play resumes.


      In other members of the dog family, play is controlled by similar rules. Among coyotes, cubs which bite too hard are ostracised by the rest of the group and often end up having to leave entirely.

      “We looked at the mortality of these young animals who disperse from the group and they have four to five times higher mortality,” said Bekoff.

      Experiments with domestic dogs, where one animal was given a treat and another denied, have shown that they posses a sense of fairness as they shared their treats.


      Elephants are intensely sociable and emotional animals. Research by Iain Douglas Hamilton, from the department of zoology at Oxford University, suggests elephants experience compassion and has found evidence of elephants helping injured or ill members of their herd.

      In one case, a Matriarch known as Eleanor fell ill and a female in the herd gently tried to help Eleanor back to her feet, staying with her before she died.

      In 2003, a herd of 11 elephants rescued antelope who were being held inside an enclosure in KwaZula-Natal, South Africa.

      The matriarch unfastened all of the metal latches holding the gates closed and swung the entrance open allowing the antelope to escape.

      This is thought to be a rare example of animals showing empathy for members of another species – a trait previously thought to be the exclusive preserve of mankind.


      A laboratory experiment trained Diana monkeys to insert a token into a slot to obtain food.

      A male who had grown to be adept at the task was found to be helping the oldest female who had not been able to learn how to insert the token.

      On three occasion the male monkey picked up tokens she dropped and inserted them into the slot and allowed her to have the food.

      As there was no benefit for the male monkey, Prof Bekoff argues that this is a clear example of an animal’s actions being driven by some internal moral compass.


      Known to be among the most cognitively advanced of the great apes and our closest cousin, it is perhaps not surprising that scientists should suggest they live by moral codes.

      A chimpanzee known as Knuckles – from the Centre for Great Apes in Florida – is the only known captive chimpanzee to suffer from cerebral palsy, which leaves him physically and mentally handicapped.

      Scientists have found that other chimpanzees in his group treat him differently and he is rarely subjected to intimidating displays of aggression from older males.

      Chimpanzees also demonstrate a sense of justice and those who deviate from the code of conduct of a group are set upon by other members as punishment.


      Experiments with rats have shown that they will not take food if they know their actions will cause pain to another rat. In lab tests, rats were given food which then caused a second group of rats to receive an electric shock.

      The rats with the food stopped eating rather than see another rat receive a shock. Similarly, mice react more strongly to pain when they have seen another mouse in pain.

      Recent research from Switzerland also showed that rats will help a rat, to which it is not related, to obtain food if they themselves have benefited from the charity of others. This reciprocity was thought to be restricted to primates.


      Vampire bats need to drink blood every night but it is common for some not to find any food. Those who are successful in foraging for blood will share their meal with bats who are not successful.

      They are more likely to share with bats who had previously shared with them. Prof Bekoff believes this reciprocity is a result of a sense of affiliation that binds groups of animals together.

      Some studies have shown that animals experience hormonal changes that lead them to “crave” social interaction.

      Biologists have also observed a female Rodrigues fruit-eating bat in Gainesville, Florida, helping another female to give birth by showing the pregnant female the correct birthing position – with head up and feed down.


      Whales have been found to have spindle cells in their brains. These very large and specialised cells were thought to be restricted to humans and other great apes and appear to play a role in empathy and understanding the feelings of others.

      Humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales and sperm whales have all been found to have spindle cells in the same areas of their brains.

      They also have three times as many spindle cells compared to humans and are thought to be older in evolutionary terms.

      This finding has suggested that complex emotional judgements such as empathy may have evolved considerably earlier in history than previously thought and could be widespread in the animal kingdom.



      Within the human sub-cultures across the earth there is a chaotic mixture of personal behavior systems. All descended from ancient tribal cultures and are based on opinion, conjecture, spirituality, philosophy, imagination, political ideology and other forms of dogma. Since the bases of these behavioral systems are variable, the resulting behaviors are also variable. These differences in behavior can be quite severe. Acceptable behavior in one sub-culture is often viewed with loathing by another. Individual movement between sub-cultures can be quite difficult, often requiring several generations to make the transition. If an individual moves into one sub-culture from another sub-culture and makes no attempt to change his behavior to match the new, he remains an outcast. Due to variations in language and behavioral systems, worldwide human interaction and communication suffers, often to the point of warfare. The productivity (intellectual advancement, invention) of the species is thereby diminished by the amount of intellectual assets lost in dealing with these variations, a loss that could be eliminated through a uniform ethical and moral behavior system.

      Why is a uniform ethical and moral behavior system needed across the species? The answer is two-fold. One lies in current social problems which are so severe that war and terrorism may well end the species, if large scale deprivation and massive infectious (social) disease epidemics do not perform that function first. The other lies in a current but not yet realized genetic problem which is even now closing in on the extinction of the species.

      During the two million years of human development as Homo erectus, tribes were small and isolated, and the entire worldwide population of the species was quite small. Each tribe developed genetic and social differences. These differences were in both outward appearance and inner neural mechanisms. Each tribe developed unique behaviors, dress, customs and speech. In some cases the difference was so marked as to become racial rather than ethnic differences. Each tribe was economically isolated and self-sufficient. Although some trade between tribes was probable, it was inconsequential to the survival of the tribe. Even then tribal conflict was common and, in fact, may have been a major factor in the intellectual and social development of the human during that period.

      These tribes still exist, though now swollen in population and geographically overlapping. Some geographic areas contain many tribes within the same boundaries. Geographic isolation, once so necessary for controlling conflict, has essentially disappeared with huge overlapping populations and modern transportation. Communication has become even more chaotic with the advent of voice, video and digital communication via the internet and satellites. Different languages and customs, as well as other tribal behaviors, become quite troublesome. Cheek to jowl, the human struggles, often violently, to retain its individual tribal identity. As the population expands, tribal conflict can only become worse.

      Another major problem is the lack of human goals. Evolution formed us with no plan in mind. As a product of evolution, the human also lives without knowing its use or purpose. It would be helpful in developing a uniform moral and ethical behavioral system based on real knowledge, to first determine, if possible, the proper goals for the human species. (For human goals see A Philosophy)

      What is the end purpose of life? Of the human? Perhaps the answers to these questions will never be known, but, through a study of life itself, and the development of the human through evolution, a real process may be established. Like an arrow with a shaft that is 4.5 billion years long, it points in the direction that each species must inevitably follow, or it, as a species, will perish. In the event that the human should become extinct, all life will likely eventually perish, for if the development of intellect by life is not sufficient for its survival, then the extinction of life itself is likely inevitable.

      Species other than the human also have their developmental directions. The cheetah and the antelope are good examples. Each has been getting faster over the past millions of years. If, for any reason, that development should slow in either species, the result would be disastrous to that species. If the antelope should gain on the cheetah in its development of speed, the cheetah starves. If the cheetah should gain on the antelope in its development of speed, the antelope may be over-hunted to extinction. Each must continue developing in its own direction, or perish. Eventually one will falter and cease to exist.

      The race facing the human is far different from that of the cheetah or antelope. The human is faced with a race in time with the very evolution which developed it. The major essence of the human developmental direction has been the ever-increasing application of the intellect to human behavior. The intellect has been quite successful in nullifying environmental effects. That feature has made the human the most successful mobile species on earth. However, in doing so, it has damaged its own evolutionary controls, resulting in a steady and rapid degradation of the human intellect. The only way this degradation can be reversed is by human intellectual intervention in and control of its own evolution. This, alone, is a mammoth undertaking for the species.

      For the determination of proper human behavior based on real knowledge it is necessary to build a chain of evidence for use as a basis. This evidence must begin with the first life and extend through the dawn of Homo sapiens sapiens. It must contain the mechanisms of life and the process by which life evolves into its various forms. Having established the formation of life and its development process, there are obvious conclusions that may be drawn concerning proper human behavior. If the conclusions thereby drawn are proper, they carry the authority of the underlying real knowledge and may be disputed only by denying that real knowledge.

      Conclusion 1: In the presence of a known evolutionary direction, even in the absence of known goals, the desired current behavior for a species may be determined.



      Life (DNA, the underlying structure of all life) began on earth about 4.5 billion years ago. It has competed with the environment and survived for that period. Life survives. It survives by competing, in many cases even with itself. Life can be shown to be universal. There is only one life and all living things share in that life (see OneLife). Although the organisms (biological mechanisms, species) developed by life in competing are mortal – they face natural death – life (DNA) is immortal, since it does not face natural death.

      In its survival, life has developed many functional forms (organisms, species). Each of these forms competes to survive. That competition commonly includes: (1) competition with the external environment, (2) competition between species and (3) competition between individuals within a species. Evolution is a natural process in life. All modern species evolved from other prior species. All species either develop into other species or, failing to survive, become extinct (see Evolution).

      Each species is a self-replicating group of organisms. Homo sapiens sapiens (the modern human) is one of these (see The Evolution of the Human for a chronicle of the evolutionary path from the ancient primate to the modern human). In its present (natural) form, the evolution process is a senseless one, without planning or goals. The opportunity for organism change (mutation accidents in the DNA replication process) is largely a matter of chance. The selection of those changes for permanency in the gene pool is also largely determined by chance, though tending to favor those changes which enhance survival. Evolution is a reactive system since the evolving life forms develop to survive in an environment which they do not control.

      Within a given species, and other factors being equal, the survival of the species depends on the behavior (culture) of that species. If it fits the current collective environment and the species does not become extinct, then the overall behavior of that species is good (normal). In a like sense, the behavior of the species is the summation of the behaviors of the individuals within that species. Since the culture of a species is the sum of the behaviors of the individuals within that culture, then the appropriateness of the individual action can be evaluated in terms of the characteristics of the culture.

      The process of evolution is senseless and merciless. Among other deficient and undesirable characteristics of natural evolution, it creates species that are deadly to other species. The resultant competition (often deadly) between species adds another dimension to the environment which shapes a particular species. Life makes no distinction. Since it does not reason and has no inherent direction, it merely creates life-forms. It is then the competition between life-forms and the competition between the life-forms and the physical environment that determines the set of life-forms which have the best survival. Although not by design, this system insures that all possible physical life-forms and all possible combinations of life-forms are tested for survivability.

      Life, in its myriad creations, has tried a multitude of survival mechanisms. In the case of the human species, the distinguishing factor is intellect. The question remains unanswered whether this is the ultimate form, the one which will shape all life-forms for ultimate survivability, thereby achieving immortality for life itself. Until that question is answered, each species must develop in its assigned notch and seek survivability for itself. If the human should not be the answer to the survival of life, care must be taken that the failure of the human does not harm life. In choosing between behavior alternatives, the survival of life is paramount. The survival of the species is next in importance. The survival of the individual is the least important. Since it can be assumed, however, under present conditions, that the survival of the human species is the best chance for life itself to survive, then it is reasonable to assume that the survival of the human species must take precedence in all decisions. Since the human cannot survive without many other forms of life, those other species necessary for the human to survive will carry the same priority.

      Conclusion 2: Since the product of life is survival, normal (expected, natural) behavior within a species is that which provides the optimum opportunity for species survival. Individual or group behavior which supplies less than optimum opportunity for species survival, is perverted (not normal).

      Conclusion 3: In the evolution process, mutations occur to individuals primarily by chance, without regard to the safety or comfort of the individual. The environment then removes those mutations which are deleterious to species survival through death and suffering to the individual. The natural process of life includes both mutations and merciless screening. The end result is the survival of the species (community) as opposed to the survival of the individual. In the natural process of life, the behavior and survival of the individual are subservient to the species welfare.


      The church’s moral stand: On the Bishop of Carlisle’s remarks that the 2007 floods in England were divine punishment for society’s acceptance of homosexuality

      If there was a connection between metrology and morality, and religion has very often argued that there is, I don’t see why the floods hit northern Yorkshire. I can think of some parts of London where they would have done a lot more good.

      Now, several leaders of the Christian church, as you know, said about the last tsunami that it was a punishment. In Britain several of them said it was a punishment for homosexuality. It used to be said that earthquakes were punishment for sodomy. Oddly enough, the San Francisco Earthquake only hit when San Francisco was famous for other things. When New Orleans got flooded, the only bits that didn’t get flooded were the red light district. Okay? So anyone who says they know God’s mind in this had better not mind looking a bit foolish or had better say take responsibility – take responsibility and say, yes, by letting it happen, God must in some way wish it to. If you think that all this, expansion of the universe, is going on in these gigantic fields of gravity and light with you in mind then you really do have a self-centeredness problem. .. and trust me there is many more examples. The injunction not to do to another what would be repulsive done to yourself is found in the Analects of Confucius, if you want to date it, but actually it’s found in the heart of every person in this room. Everybody knows that much. We don’t require divine permission to know right from wrong. We don’t need tablets administered to us ten at a time in tablet form on pain of death to be able to have a moral argument. No, we have the reasoning and the moral suasion of Socrates and our own abilities. We don’t need dictatorship to give us right from wrong.

      If you’re going to be a serious grown-up person, and appear to defend moralily in religion and or god, you simply have to start by making a great number of heartfelt apologies and requests for contrition and forgiveness. Now you might ask. You”re fully entitled to ask, who am I to say that? Well, in the jubilee millennium year of 2000 the Vatican spokesman Bishop Piero Marini said, explaining a whole sermon of apology given by His Holiness the Pope, given the number of sins we’ve committed in the course of twenty centuries, reference to them must necessarily be rather summary. Well I think Bishop Marini had that just about right, I’ll have to be summary, too. His Holiness on that occasion”it was March the 12th, 2000, begged forgiveness for, among some other things, the crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of the Jewish people, in justice towards women, that’s half the human race right there, and the forced conversion of indigenous peoples, especially in South America, the African slave trade, the admission that Galileo was right, and for silence during Hitler’s Final Solution or Shoah. It doesn’t end there, there are smaller but significant, equally significant avowals of a very bad conscience. These have included regret for the rape & torture of orphans & other children in church-run schools in almost every country on Earth. These are very serious matters, and they’re not to be laughed off by the references to the occasional work of Catholic charities. I think that there will be an apology for what happened in Rwanda, the most Catholic country in Africa, where priests, nuns & bishops are on trial, for inciting from their pulpits and on the Church’s and radio stations the massacre of their brothers and sisters. Staying in Africa, I think it will one day be admitted with shame that it might have been in error to say that AIDS is bad as a disease, but not quite as bad as condoms are bad, or not as immoral in the same way.

      If God exists, we have to do what he says, if he doesn’t, we can do what we like. Now just apply this in practice and theory. Is it not said of God’s chosen people and is it not said to them by God in the Pentateuch that they can do exactly as they like to other people? They can enslave them, they can take their land, they can take their women, they can destroy all their young men, they can help themselves to all their virgins, they can do what anyone who had no sense of anything but their own rights would be able to do, but in this case with divine permission. Doesn’t that make it somewhat more evil?

      The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include what,

      1. stoning people for adultery,

      And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20.10

      2. death for apostasy,

      If thy brother … or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods … Thou shalt not consent unto him … neither shall thine eye pity him … But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Deuteronomy 13.6-10

      3. punishment for breaking the Sabbath?

      They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day … and the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones. Numbers 15.32-36

      I will leave it there as I could be here all day citing the immorality in the bible.


      I challenge you:

      You are to name a moral action undertaken or a moral and ethical statement made by a believer (I dare say you can do it). You are then to say that you cannot imagine a non-believer making this moral statement or undertaking this moral action.

      …And think of something wicked that only a believer would be likely to do or something wicked that only a believer would be likely to say. You’ve already thought of it. The suicide bombing community is entirely religious. The genital mutilation community is entirely religious.

      I repeat:

      If it’s to be argued that our morality or ethics can be derived from the supernatural, then name me an action, a moral action, taken by a believer or a moral statement uttered by one, that could not have been made or uttered by an infidel, a non-believer. I have tried this everywhere on a large number of people, and I’ve not yet had even one reply. But if I was to ask you could you think of a wicked action that could only have been performed by someone who believed they were on an errand from God, there isn’t one of you who would take 10 seconds to think of an example. And what does that tell us? I would say it tells us a lot. Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. Thank You and goodbye, sir.

      • Reason2012

        // If anything demonstrates that God is manmade, not man God made, surely it is the religions erected by this quasi-chimpanzee species and the harm that they’re willing to inflict on that basis. //

        Except in the name of “I don’t REALLY believe in God”, hundreds of millions of sons/daughters have been slaughtered by their own parents, with millions more each year. In the name of “I don’t REALLY believe in God”, humanity is entering the darkest age of the existence of the human race, and atheism is leading the way.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Wow…you’ve got WAAY too much time on your hands,my friend.Feel better? :>)

  • bowie1

    She must be quite dense that she thinks she is qualified to be a minister in a denomination, albeit quite liberal in its theology, still believe in the existence of God, when in fact she does not.

    • Quantz

      Liberal seminaries are a joke, they are essentially academies for agnosticism. The liberal churches are paying a huge price, shrinking by the hour.

  • Bertha Warren

    Need much Prayer. She is a candidate Jesus can use, to spread the Gospel. Saul (Paul) was use to build ministry and suffered for Gospel. If she was predestined, for the Kingdom Of God ordained. She will be.

    • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

      B4 becoming Paul, Saul was a God-believing Jewish Pharisee zealot who did not believe in Jesus as the Christ/Messiah/Savior n Saul persecuted the early Jewish Christians in Damascus, Syria, as Jewish heretics.
      …….Then, Paul became a Christian n was ordained as a minister/apostle by Jesus Christ Himself(ACTS.9). Paul remained faithful to God/Jesus until he was martyred for his faith, about 20 years after he was converted by JC.
      Paul was never an atheist n did not become an atheist after he was ordained as a minister/apostle by JC.
      Hoping that Gretta Vosper the atheist minister/pastor will become a Christian may be a false hope.
      …….Might as well hope that Richard Dawkins, the well-known spokesman of atheism, will become a Christian. Fyi, Richard Dawkins just had a stroke about 2 months ago.

  • Ron Voss

    One only has to wonder why the United ‘Church’ of Canada took so long as Vosper’s unorthodox heretical beliefs have been known for some time. The decision for UCC should be relatively easy given Vosper’s self-confessed atheism, unless it wants to continue to make a mockery of calling itself a Church of Jesus Christ. However, one has to say that there is some truth in Vosper saying that she “will feel betrayed by the Church because it has created who I am” given the UCC’s low regard for Scripture as God’s Word.

  • Barking Dawg

    Most people are on the religious left are atheists or agnostics. They only identify as “Christian” so they can use the church to push their political agenda.

  • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

    Some atheists hv no shame – eg choosing to remain as a minister/pastor of a God-believing Church or be a Church member.
    Gretta Vosper might hv been lying n pretending while going thru Bible college/seminary n preaching in her Church, in order to secretly convert new or weak Christians to atheism.

    • James Teranov

      Some religious have no shame for taking pleasure in raping children and seeking help from the church to cover it up.

      • disqus_O2BUmbLecp

        Actually, those mostly Roman Catholic religious people or priests who had raped kids n were protected by their Popes/Cardinals from the police, hv no conscience n very little of God’s sanctifying/purifying/Holy Spirit.
        It is very unnatural for Catholic priests to be celibate for life n suppress their natural instinct/urge to procreate thru sexual intercourse with women. Maybe, that was why they resorted to raping kids = higher chances of their sexual immoral sins/evil-deeds not being detected bc no tell-tale pregnancy, compared to raping women.
        …….Smarter priests kept secret mistresses, which was very common a few centuries ago.
        In short, Gretta Vosper has no shame. Maybe, she has some conscience, ie did not rape kids or men.

    • Joseph Daniels

      I feel such people are plant by the satan and it starts by a weakness in the Church its for its weak faith in following the scripture. The Church should review its teaching and should following scripture in its worship.

    • Gary

      she is converting them to satanism, that is who she is following just as did Eve.

    • Gary

      This is not a church of god or they would not have allowed her to preach in the first place. They obviously no nothing about the Bible or it’s teachings. 1rst Timothy 2 9-15

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Female ordination has been deadly wrong all along. One disobedience to God leads to another.

  • Bertha Warren

    I know God can change hearts of man, if He choose to do so. I still say there is Hope through Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like I said, she claim to be what ever, she want be. If this lady has been chosen before foundation to be in Kingdom of God it will take place.

  • Crosseyedone


  • hytre64

    She said, “that God doesn’t exist anymore”. I wonder where and when she believes that God died?

  • peanut butter

    This is VERY important to understand. It just goes to show how much trouble some people will go to, to get in a high position to spew their own doctrine instead of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. This woman went to a lot of trouble and time and effort, just to be certified to pull people away from God instead of guiding them to him. Even some professing Christian ministers nowadays are only in it to have people worship their ideals, or to make money. You have to be VERY careful who you follow. Don’t follow blindly. Christ said there would be many anti-Christs in the last days, who would lead many away from the Truth..

  • Beatrice

    Vosper is like a dog that eats its own vomit. How does she expect to serve the God who she believes does not exist? She can not blame the church for having made her what she is, i believe she was doing it for survival so let her be defrocked immediately it has been long over due.

  • Gary

    1rst Timothy 9-15 says it all with regard to this article.

  • Gary

    Not much of a church since they do not believe in the Bible. If they read the bible they would be aware of 1rst Timothy 2, 9-15 and would never have allowed a women to preach to them.

  • Gary

    Not much of a church since they do not believe in the Bible. If they read the bible they would be aware of 1rst Timothy 2, 9-15 and would never have allowed a women to preach to them.

  • Gary

    This is what the Bible warns of referring to many false prophets to lead people astray. She is a tool of satan.

  • Gena B

    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us._1John 2:19.
    For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist._2 John 1:7

  • Scravi

    This lady is a quack!

  • Peter

    Is this woman crazy??? Or is her “denomination” crazy??? If you don’t like being expected to believe in God and have some kind of faith in Jesus Christ, don’t be a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Before my conversion, I would never dream of calling myself a Christian atheist or absurdities such as that. I guess our world is really gone mad…