Atheist Activist Group Sues Texas Judge for Opening Court With Chaplain-Presented Prayer

WILLIS, Texas — A prominent professing atheist group has filed a lawsuit against a Texas judge over his practice of opening court with a prayer from a local chaplain.

As previously reported, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) first sent a letter to Judge Wayne Mack of Willis in 2014, stating that it had received a complaint from an attorney and a local citizen, who said they felt coerced to participate out of fear of being disrespectful. Mack ignored the correspondence.

FFRF then sent a complaint to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which—along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—then requested that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issue a formal opinion on the prayers in Mack’s courtroom.

Last August, Paxton upheld Mack’s prayer practice as being lawful and consistent with both American history and legal precedent. He pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway.

“[W]e believe a justice of the peace’s practice of opening daily court proceedings with a prayer by a volunteer chaplain … is sufficiently similar to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Galloway such that a court would likely be compelled to agree with Galloway that the long-standing tradition of opening a governmental proceeding with prayer does not violate the Establishment Clause,” Paxton wrote.

Mack made a few changes in the interim, such as after asking any objectors to step out of the room, automatically locking the doors to the courtroom until the prayer is over. However, FFRF believes it is not enough because those seeking re-entry will have to knock on the door and thus be seen by others. It filed suit on Monday on behalf of three anonymous complainants.

“Judge Mack has created a courtroom prayer practice that unambiguously and unnecessarily endorses religion in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit states.

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“Through his actions and public statements, Judge Mack has created the unambiguous impression that he, acting in his official capacity as justice of the peace for Montgomery County, endorses religion over nonreligion and Christianity over all other faiths,” it asserts.

And although those present may leave the room if desired and not participate in the prayers, the organization contends that “[d]ue to his considerable influence and power as a justice of the peace, Judge Mack exerts coercive influence over those in his courtroom, effectively compelling their participation in his religious practice.”

FFRF is seeking a declaration that Mack’s inclusion of prayers from local chaplains violates the Constitution, as well as an order that such prayers cease.

As previously reported, on Monday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that prayers presented at board meetings for a Texas school district are constitutional and do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

It concluded that the prayers offered by students during the meetings of the Birdville Independent School District are more like those presented in a legislative body rather than a classroom. The panel pointed to the nation’s history and longstanding practice of presenting prayer at public events.

“[I]n Marsh v. Chambers, a member of the Nebraska legislature sued state officials, claiming that the practice of opening each session with a chaplain’s prayer violated the Establishment Clause. The court upheld the practice without applying any of the conventional tests, observing that ‘[t]he opening of sessions of legislative and
other deliberative public bodies with prayer is deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country,’” the court noted.

It also cited the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway, which ruled in favor of non-coercive prayers presented during city hall meetings in Greece, New York.


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Prayer is good. People should not oppose against Christian prayers. American atheists are so bad. American atheists do this evil thing because they’ve never been hungry or never persecuted for anything good and noble in their lives. Rotten kids in a rich home. The USA should ban suing against Christian prayers; that’s the right thing to do.

    • Johndoe

      More proof that you know nothing about America

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        America does only bad if it’s not Christian. Christianity is the reason that Americans are good. You guys are insane to hate something so good and the very religion all your parents respected and adhered.

        • Shane Egan

          So, those very Christian people, including many founding fathers, who owned slaves – as endorsed in the Bible – were doing good? Owning people as property forever, is good, being OK to beat them as long as they don’t die in a few days, is good?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Why don’t you tell us why it is not good and what authority you use to justify that belief?

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Tell us why you feel one should need to use an authority to justify a belief.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Tell us why you feel one should not need to use an authority to justify a belief.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Because, for one thing, it’s often a fallacious argument. It’s saying “X is true because so-and-so says”…at best, it’s useful to support one’s position, but not to prove it. Also, a lot of the things I believe are based on things I have personally experienced or on my own judgement. No authority needed there.

            Are you really saying you need an “authority” to tell you slavery, for instance, is wrong?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “I have personally experienced or on my own judgement. No authority needed there.”

            In other words, you are your own Authority and therefore your own god.

            Just as I’ve been saying all along. Thanks for finally admitting it.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Uh, okay…I don’t remember you saying that, not to me at least. Anyway, I hope you weren’t expecting me to deny that or something, because I agree with that 100%. It’s basically what I was just trying to tell you; for some things, you don’t need an “authority,” because can see it for yourself. So yeah, you’re your own authority.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Nice try but no cigar. YOU are YOUR own Authority. God is mine. I surrender to Him and submit to what He has said.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Okay, fair enough, I’ll put it a different way then. My statement didn’t really sum up my whole feelings on the issue, anyway. You were basically correct in your assessment of me. While you consider God to be your ultimate authority, I don’t believe in any gods, so I don’t believe there IS any kind of “ultimate authority.”. (What is “ultimate authority” but another way of saying “God”, really?)

            There are certain people, philosophers, scientists, authors, and the like, who I consider authorities on their particular subjects….but I judge if they are an authority or not based on my own reasoning and experience. I often don’t agree with absolutely everything they say, either.

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re basically saying that because I don’t believe in any god, and I don’t have an ultimate authority to turn to for the answer to any question or moral dilemma I might have, I then have no right or not even the ability to judge anything as right or wrong? Honestly, I don’t call many things “evil”, I don’t use that word often….but that’s one of the rare times I think it’s fitting. To follow that line of thought logically, that would have to mean it doesn’t matter if your fellow men suffer or are happy, all that matters is what that “authority” tells you to do.

            Again, I apologize if I’m misrepresenting your position, but that sure seems like where you’re going here. If you want an idea of where an atheist would get a sense of morality from, try reading some Ayn Rand. I’m a little more left-wing than her typical fans, but I do think she had some good stuff to say.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            There is God and He is the Ultimate Authority. Whether you choose to believe that is entirely up to you. When one doesn’t submit to God and His authority one is left to their own will, own ways, and own wisdom.

            And I agree with you in that when one doesn’t accept God then they are their own god.

            I won’t correct you there. You stated it well.

            “To follow that line of thought logically, that would have to mean it doesn’t matter if your fellow men suffer or are happy, all that matters is what that “authority” tells you to do.”

            That is correct. Since you do not submit to God’s own authority you have NO moral basis for claiming it “doesn’t matter if your fellow men suffer or are happy”.

            The fact is if Atheists REALLY believed there was no God they would be living it up, getting every ounce of self-gratification and hedonistic pleasure they could. If there is no afterlife and no Ultimate Authority who WILL deliver PERFECT Justice for how one lived their life according to HIS Standard then there is no reason for any sense of Morality other than what one deems appropriate for their own self-preservation, self-gratification, and self-whatever.

            There would be none of this nonsense of hiding behind a facade of caring for their fellow man. Baloney! There is no logical reason to care for your fellow man if this life is all there is. Get drunk. Do drugs. Rape, pillage, & plunder for today we live and tomorrow we die!

            They would be the ultimate hedonists. For there would be no reason not to. Get all you can while you can and don’t hold back. Eat, drink, be merry, live while you can and then die and that’s the end of it.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I see you said “if atheists REALLY believed there is no god”

            First of all, that’s something of a misrepresentation, or just a misunderstanding, of what atheism actually is. What makes atheists atheists is that we lack belief in any god. And that’s not the same thing as believing no god exists. Theists in general don’t seem to get that distinction, but I think it’s pretty significant.

            As for the rest….okay, I guess I didn’t get you wrong after all. You’re, therefore, telling me it doesn’t matter to you whether the people like you suffer or not? The only thing that makes that matter is your afterlife? So, basically, to hell with empathy, caring about other people?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            You can think it’s a distinction and that it’s significant all you want. Just like God’s existence though, it’s inconsequential and irrelevant. Seems to me you’ve described an agnostic more than an atheist but, again, it’s inconsequential and irrelevant.

            And no, I didn’t say the only thing that matters is an afterlife. Suggest you go back and read that again. But yes, if one is truly an atheist there is NO logical reason for empathy or caring about other people whatsoever.

            We’ve been down that road before and you couldn’t provide one reason. Not one reason why any atheist should give a hoot about anyone but themselves.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Just like God’s existence though, it’s inconsequential and irrelevant. ”

            You’re saying God’s existence is inconsequential and irrelevant? That would contradict most of the rest of what you’ve said.

            “Seems to me you’ve described an agnostic more than an atheist”

            Those are not mutually exclusive things. I’m an agnostic atheist. I suppose people misunderstand that sometimes because “agnostic” just means “lacking knowledge”. You can lack knowledge of something either because you just haven’t made your mind up about it, or (like me in this instance) you think it can’t BE known one way or the other.

            “Not one reason why any atheist should give a hoot about anyone but themselves.”

            Selfishness.

            I care about people in general because they are people like me, and I care more about the people I like or love because they improve the quality of my own existence.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            No, that’s not what I was saying. Though I think you probably know that.

            “because they improve the quality of my own existence.”

            Thanks for proving my point. It benefits you. Selfishness. No other reason.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Okay, you must have just worded that line about “just like God’s existence” wrong, I suppose. Whatever….yeah, I knew that couldn’t be what you really meant, I just couldn’t understand what else it could have meant.

            “Thanks for proving my point. It benefits you. Selfishness. No other reason.”

            You’re quite welcome! I have to add, though, by “selfishness” I don’t mean what you seem to think that word means, (hedonism and don’t give a damn about anyone else, etc.) I mean what Ayn Rand meant by it, i.e. rational self-interest. Or, concern with one’s own interest

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Or you could ‘spose you just read it and understood it wrong. Whatever….yeah… the meaning is quite simple. Just like God’s existence, whether you think something is distinction and significant is the same as whether you think God exists or not. It’s irrelevant and inconsequential. There’s no distinction, it’s not significant, and God exists. You’re claiming otherwise is irrelevant and inconsequential.

            I think selfishness means exactly what it means. However you and Ayn Rand wanna define it is irrelevant and inconsequential.

            Selfishness – the quality or condition of being selfish

            Selfish – lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Or you could ‘spose you just read it and understood it wrong”

            No. I knew that couldn’t have been what you meant, but the way it was stated, it was saying that the existence of God is irrelevant, that it doesn’t matter. There are people who hold that position (apatheism) but I wouldn’t put myself in that category, not completely, at least.

            So, what you really meant is that whether I think God exists or not is irrelevant. Well, it’s relevant and consequential to ME, if nothing else! Isn’t that pretty much the point of a lot of what you were just saying to me? Like how, because I don’t believe in a god, I have no reason to care about others, and so forth?

            If, instead, you really meant my position on the existence of a god is irrelevant to whether a god exists or doesn’t….that’s just a strawman. I haven’t claimed otherwise. I never said “I don’t believe in God, so therefore there is no God”. (I’ve never even said as much as “there is no God”!).

            “Selfish – lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”

            I’m okay with everything after the semicolon, but why can’t consideration for others give one “profit and pleasure”? Or even, I’ll twist that around a bit…I have concern for others BECAUSE they give me profit and pleasure.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Exactly

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Exactly what?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Whatever

          • TheKingOfRhye

            You’re not even trying anymore?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Trying to what? Whattaya trying to do?

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I’m trying to have a rational discussion. It looks like you’ve given up on doing that, yourself.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            For what purpose? And btw, haven’t you heard? Looks can be deceiving.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “For what purpose?”. For what purpose am I trying to have a rational discussion, and here in particular, is that what you mean? If so, it’s to fully express my viewpoint, (because it’s often misunderstood) and to argue against opposing ones

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Good luck with that. I have NO interest in wasting my time listening to why someone actually wants to be tormented for ALL Eternity in the Lake of Fire and reject the love of God and the most loving thing one could do for another.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Comments like that are what I’m talking about. I don’t “actually want to be tormented” and so forth. I’m not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking, I’m trying to explain what it IS. That seems to be a futile effort some times….

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Well, of course you don’t “want to be tormented” but you do want to continue to be your own god. You have to admit that because of your previous admissions. You can’t have one without the other. You’re free to choose your disobedience and rebellion but you are not free from the consequences of your choices.

            As to wanting to explain your way of thinking, I don’t need to hear that. Yes, that is most certainly a futile effort. I’ve been there, done that, lived it. You don’t need to explain it to me. I fully understand. I too was once dead in my trespasses and sins. I too once had NO clue or NO sense what Eternity was. I too once cared about nothing other than myself and my own desires and my own ways. I too created my own gods according to my image, my ways, and my will.

            But thanks be to God He came to me in the way He knew I needed Him to come. I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that my time had come and I would not be given another chance. John 6:44 says that no one comes to Jesus but the Father draws them. I knew God was drawing and would not draw again. The choice I would make would be the one I would live with for all Eternity. And so I surrendered.

            And, just to be clear, I’m not trying to convert anyone either. I can’t. I have NO power to convert anyone. All I can tell you is that if you find God drawing yourself to Jesus don’t be so foolish as to think He will come and draw again. Just know that God loves you and has proven that love by sending His Son to take your penalty for your sins upon Himself so that you might have Eternal Life and Life abundantly.

            Don’t be so prideful that you think you have to explain what your way of thinking is. It’s nothing new. And don’t make things more complicated than they are. There is Truth and Lie. Life and Death. Heaven and Hell. Eternal indescribable bliss forever or Eternal indescribable torment forever.

            It’s really not all that complicated and there’s no need for a bunch of endless pablum and meaningless discussion. Surrender and be a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ and remain a slave to sin.

            It’s really not that difficult.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “but you do want to continue to be your own god”

            That’s where you’re going wrong…that word, “want”. I haven’t come about my beliefs because I wanted them to be true, so I could be a certain way or do certain things. That would be a pretty weak reason to believe something.

            Do you believe in Christianity because you want to be a Christian, or do you believe in it because you think it’s the truth?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Oh baloney! Now you’re being disingenuous. Nobody has “forced” you to believe anything. You have chosen to believe what you do because you want to. By your own admission you want to be selfish and do only that which benefits you.

            I believe in Christianity for a number of reasons. And in some ways not unlike why you believe what you do. Because it IS in my BEST self-interest. Do deny myself, to be a slave to Jesus Christ as my Master, and to follow Him is the BEST thing I can do for myself.

            And I don’t ‘think” it’s true. I KNOW it’s true.

            You believe in YOU and Self because you want to believe you know what’s best for YOU. You do not want to believe in God because that would destroy YOU as your own godhead.

            It is a WANT so stop with the dishonesty.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Nobody has “forced” you to believe anything.”

            I never said anyone has. Why did you even put the word “forced” in quotes, as if I had used it in this argument?

            “By your own admission you want to be selfish”

            Again, I haven’t said that.

            “Because it IS in my BEST self-interest. Do deny myself”

            Okay, I’m alright with that, but it sounds a little contradictory there. It’s in your self- interest to deny yourself? But anyway, I still say wanting to believe something is true is NO reason to believe in anything. I really wanted to believe it wasn’t going to rain yesterday, but I still had to walk to work and back in the rain. Lol

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I put the word “forced” in quotes because if you didn’t “want” it the what else is there?

            Ah, but you did say you were selfish. Four days ago in reply to my:

            “”Not one reason why any atheist should give a hoot about anyone but themselves.”

            You said:

            “Selfishness.

            I care about people in general because they are people like me, and I care more about the people I like or love because they improve the quality of my own existence.”

            I understand it sounds contradictory to you but it’s not. No more than when Jesus said he who seeks to save his life shall lose it and he who loses his life for Jesus’ sake shall find it.

          • Jason Todd

            Tell us, oh enlightened one, where that is, and how it’s relevant. Thanks.

          • Johndoe

            Lol!

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The whites of yesteryears were not baby-killing sexual pervs like modern secular Western whites. They were honest hard-working and raised their own children, so they were better. Unlike other civilizations, slaves were all freed by getting education from the white Christians in the Christendom alone. Men become another’s slaves if they are illiterate.

          • Johndoe

            They were in the business of owning their fellow human beings. So it’s morally ok to own someone?
            Again with your literacy nonsense, eh? Native Americans had their own spoken and written language. Your white christians brought disease and slaughter. You don’t know what you’re talking about

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Pagans were abusing each other with barbarisms. Go back to your European caves as you wish.

          • Johndoe

            They were in the business of buying, selling, and owning other humans. Nice deflection

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            They were not killing the babies or forcing normal people depravity. They are better than the moderners morally.

          • Johndoe

            Nope. They were buying and selling humans….much worse.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Today, greater number of people are doing it. Secular humans don’t care and keep corrupting children. Only the Christians care.

          • Johndoe

            Wrong again. You probably don’t even know a secular person and thus have no idea, as usual, of what you’re saying.

            Christians don’t own the market on care.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Christians created the USA for Christian happiness. It made everyone happy. Non-christians’ dominion brings only barbarism or abhorrent immorality or both as seen in today’s godless USA.

          • Johndoe

            Wrong. Your knowledge of America is lacking. No theocracy here. All faiths on equal footing.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            All faiths other than Christianity abuse humans if followed accurately. Secular Westerners especially secular Americans rant stupidity because they never suffered the brutal reign of atheism or the pagan religions. America was good only because it was Christian.

          • Johndoe

            Not at all. Just your uneducated opinion. America was civilized before your religion came in and tried to take it over. Do you ever read up on anything you post?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No, Americans were made civilized with literacy by the Church. You guys would have been illiterate savages like the rest if you had no Christian church. Americans stole everything civilized from the Christian Europe.

          • MarkSebree

            A couple points that you seem to be ignorant about. Abortion was legal when this country was founded. Nobody that you are afraid and ignorant of is forcing anyone “into depravity”, whatever that is supposed to mean. And nobody is advocating that infants be murdered.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. People conducted abortion secretly everywhere in ignorance but the Bible-literate Christians taught mankind that abortion-murder is wrong by upholding the Word of God. The children inside wombs are fully human.

          • MarkSebree

            While embryos and fetuses are human, they are not human beings or persons.

            I am correct about abortion being legal in the USA when the nation was founded. It is a basic principle of law that something that is not illegal under the law is legal. There were no laws against abortion in the early days of our nation, thus it was legal. If you want to contend that abortion was illegal in the USA in general, then you need to show the federal law from around 1795 or 1800 that said it was. If you are contending that specific states or cities had abortion being illegal, then you need to show those laws from the same period, and you also need to realize that just because it was illegal in one city or state does not mean that it was illegal everywhere.

            Women saw midwives about abortions because they did not want to continue their pregnancy. These midwives used mostly herbal concoctions to induce abortions. Men were usually not involved in it.

            The people were not ignorant of the Bible. Despite your beliefs, not only does the Bible not state that abortion is illegal, but it does not even apply to anyone who is not Christian or who has a different interpretation of the Bible than you. Your delusion that abortion is murder does not make it murder. This is even more true since abortion is legal.

            Nobody is bound by your beliefs except you. You do not dictate the facts, you do not get to impose your beliefs onto others, and nobody has to accept your delusions as being relevant to reality. You present yourself as being ignorant, narrow-minded, and seriously prejudiced against most Americans. You cannot accept the reality that your religion does not “make America great”, nor can you accept that the overwhelming majority of atheists are kind, moral, upright people, just as the overwhelming majority of Buddhists, Wiccans, Hindu, Native American Shamanists, and Christians are.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Biblical Christians alone grant everyone human rights and freedom and equality. All other religions and ideologies, being followed fully and accurately, have serious defects that cause crimes against humanity one way or another. The Westerners including Americans have no idea because they’ve been always protected and spoiled by the gentle civilized Protestant Church. Secular West’s core value is only the depraved immorality apart from the Judeo-Christian values.

          • MarkSebree

            I never said that embryos and fetuses were not human, I said that they were not human beings or persons.

            You apparently do not know your own religion very well, nor any others, Christianity does NOT “grant everyone human rights and freedom and equality.” This can be seen in its history and its use to deny people those very things. Christianity, many protestant denominations, and their teachings have been used to deny equal rights to pretty much every group except white christian males. It was used to support racism. I was used to support denial of women’s rights. YOU are using it to deny women the right to bodily autonomy and freedom, which is a denial of her human rights. It is not being used to deny homosexuals equal rights. Nowhere in the Bible does it support equality, freedom, democracy, human rights, or most other American values and ideas.

            The Bible supports slavery, misogyny, abortion (Numbers 5), murder, genocide, theocracy, oppression, and a host of other ills. It is by moving AWAY from Biblical values that we have been able to progress in our culture.

            I have no clue what you are considering “depraved immorality” since the meaning of both those words individually and together is subjective, i.e. a matter of personal opinion.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Europeans were barbaric without the Holy Bible. Now you guys are pushing infanticide and public nudity and promiscuity and sodomy and pedophilia and incest and raping animals by losing the Holy Bible. Anything and anyone is better than today’s secular Westerners regarding morality in the entire universe. Sodomic West has no rights to lecture on morality.

          • MarkSebree

            “You are wrong.”

            Not that you have been able to show.

            “Europeans were barbaric without the Holy Bible.”

            Which Europeans? There are many sub-groups and nations. The Romans, Greeks, Moors, and others were very civilized without your religion. In the Middle East, we have the Persians, Babylonians, Sumerians, and others.

            “Now you guys are pushing infanticide and public nudity and promiscuity and sodomy and pedophilia and incest and raping animals by losing the Holy Bible.”

            And which “guys” are you talking about? Nothing that you said was even remotely true. Nobody that I know of is “pushing” infanticide, pedophilia, incest, or bestiality. “Sodomy” need to be defined as to the acts that you are referring to, and in any case, for almost any act that you could refer to, more heterosexual couples engage in it than homosexual couples. As far as public nudity and promiscuity, there are valid reasons why some people support repealing such laws, such as to fight the uptight attitude that people like you display. However, such movements are not the doings of atheists.

            “Anything and anyone is better than today’s secular Westerners regarding morality in the entire universe. ”

            Evangelical, fundamentalist, dominionistic christians are far worse than secular Westerners regarding morality. Those sorts of christians fight against the American ideals of equality, religious freedom, and liberty. They favor discrimination, misogyny, oppression, hatefulness, and other ills.

        • Johndoe

          Only your opinion. We are not now nor will we ever be a theocracy. That’s one thing that makes America great…freedom of religion

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Today’s America forces people to pay for Nazi abortion and to serve homosexual rituals. Today’s America is not free but under a tyranny of atheism and Sodomy.

          • Johndoe

            There is no tyranny of atheism or sodomy in America. You obviously don’t live here and have no idea of what you’re saying. You need to back up your assertions otherwise they’re just pure prevarication.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Today’s USA jails and fines the Christians for refusing to endorse homosexual immorality. Today’s USA is bad. You guys should repent of your sin.

          • Johndoe

            Nope. That’s false. Jails and fines for breaking the laws of the land. Another falsehood, hmmmm……

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The US authorities and American people are being lawless by forcing moral people to support Sodomy. Western whites should stop applying the racial equality upon depravity.

          • Johndoe

            Nope. Nobody is being forced to support anything. Look up public accommodation laws

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Western whites were wrong to apply racial equality upon sexual immorality. It brought lawlessness, loss of the truth and freedom, and the tyranny-by-depravity upon the land.

          • Johndoe

            You’re not a western white so how could you possibly know?

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Observations. Colored people were discriminated against before. Today, the reason for discrimination is refusal to endorse homosexuality and transgenderism. Western racists were morally better than today’s Western pervs; racists leave people alone but pervs proactively systematically destroy the society and the children. Western whites are powerful and they do mega evil on Planet Earth when they oppose the Holy Bible.

          • Johndoe

            Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….. Your repetitive nonsense makes me sleepy. Thanks again for insulting Americans. Does it make you feel good? Just more evidence that you now little and understand even less about America.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            As a colored Christian, I really don’t want to be discriminated agaist by the Western white people this century for refusing to endorse their homosexual notions. It really looks stupid and evil to be subdued by sexual perverts whose ancestors were noble Christians. You guys are just seeking some warped sick amusement out of boredom. What a stupid way to be oppressed by perv rich. It diminishes all battles for the truth and freedom. Poor your fathers. Secular West is not serious for anything. Your race was Christian before. Wake up.

          • Johndoe

            Nope. My race was and is the human race. No religion needed to be a good person or a good American. It’s pathetic that you feel the need to insult the country you supposedly love.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are wrong. Non-Americans force mankind to serve Sodomy. Americans need Christianity to be sane and normal.

          • MarkSebree

            “Americans need Christianity to be sane and normal.”

            No they do not. In fact, getting away from Christianity tends to help people become more sane and more caring about others. “Normal” has no true meaning in this context.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “As a colored Christian…”

            You’re Asian, right? At least in America, “colored” means “black”…though it’s generally considered an outdated term at the very least, even offensive by some.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            In Chinese characters, we call ourselves (all non-whites) “the ones with a color.” I’m not white and I call myself “colored,” and no one should be offended. The term “colored” should include the yellows and reds and browns, not just the blacks. Why should only the whites and blacks use the color terms but not the rest? Could you explained it?

            Call the whites Europeans and the blacks Africans to be fair. There are yellows who are not Asian. Fairness. I’m sad about being bullied for opposing the white men’s homosexual push this century. You guys are totally lost. Why are you doing it unless you guys are being bored and too well-fed and do not care about the future? If you guys stop bullying the Christians, the colored will, too. Stop being so bored. Be serious and get some morality.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Well, okay, I didn’t know that term was used that way in Chinese. Fair enough, I guess. It just seemed weird to me, due to the way it’s historically been used in America.

            Just to remind you though, there are plenty of non-white people in the US that support LGBT rights. Not to mention that the President who did more for the LGBT cause than any other is black. I really don’t understand why you keep trying to make this about race.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            I think it’s a translated word. People didn’t have to think about skin colors until the Westerners came, except maybe for India. It must have been like a visitation from different planets back then. ^ ^ The supporting of the LGBT rights is a learned behavior. Civilizations are ashamed of the depravity, but the liberal whites have educated mankind to accept immorality unconditionally. Sexual revolution continues until it destroys the last person on Planet Earth, if left alone.

            I guess accepting colored people as equal must have been very hard for the white race, but the promotion of homosexuality/transgenderism this century by using the iron-fist is unacceptable. It’s West’s Nazi tendency all over again. The ruling Western white class must give everyone some room for the Word of God, Christian conscience, and sane morality. Western pervs should not conduct slavery. Enough atrocities.

          • MarkSebree

            There is no “tyranny of atheism” in the USA. Usually it is more closely related to a “tyranny of fundamentalists and evangelists”. “Tyranny of sodomy” does not even make any sense. And the federal and most state governments, as well as most insurance policies, will not pay for abortion except under very narrow and specific circumstances, like the pregnancy is physically dangerous and potentially fatal to the woman. Also, nobody is forced “to serve homosexual rituals”, whatever those are supposed to be. I know of no actual “homosexual rituals”.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            People need Christianity for morality and lawfulness. Anyone should be able to refuse to serve gay “weddings” because homosexuality is sin. Today’s Western culture forces people to submit to sexual immorality and is wrong. Repent of your sin and read John 3 to find how to get saved.

          • MarkSebree

            Actually, pretty much everything that you stated was wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin if the person does not believe it is a sin. Sin by its nature requires a religious framework in which to exist. Change the framework and you change what is and is not a sin. Remove the framework entirely and you remove all basis for calling something a sin.

            Your statement that people “need Christianity for morality and lawfulness” if factually and provably false. 2/3s of the world are not Christian, and the overwhelming number of those people are moral within their society’s framework and they obey the country’s laws.

            You are advocating for rather blatant discrimination. A church can and always has been able to refuse to perform any religious ceremony for anyone for any reason, and that is not about to change. However a business is not a church, it does not have a religion since only people can have religions, and is bound by business law. They have to have a permit to exist, and that permit states that they are required to follow all applicable laws. That includes anti-discrimination laws. If they perform a service or provide a product, they MUST treat all customers and potential customers equally. If a baker makes wedding cakes, then he or she is required to make any ordered wedding cake that they are capable of providing. A photographer that does wedding pictures must provide the same service to same-sex weddings assuming that there is no schedule conflict. Same with a florist, transportation company, and others.

            I have yet to see any examples of “Western culture forc[ing] people to submit to sexual immorality”, whatever that is supposed to mean. There is nothing in the law that forces someone to have sex with anyone else. And just because you personally believe that something is “immoral” in your opinion does not mean that anyone else is required to. As long as the sexual activities are between consensual adults (or teens close to the same age), I do not know of any sexual activities which are wrong.

            I have no sin to repent, and your mythology is meaningless to me. I have no reason to believe that a fictional character can help me in any way. I do not need to be “saved”, and I am not interested in being brainwashed or to stop thinking critically. I prefer reality to your oppressive fantasy.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Americans have no morality when they have no Christianity.

          • MarkSebree

            Wrong, as usually. Many of the most hateful actions and positions in this country are backed by the person’s Christian beliefs.

            Morality is not dependent on religion, it is dependent what society and the person feels is acceptable or unacceptable. It is dependent on many factors including, but not limited to, when you live, where you live, your friends while growing up, your personal beliefs, your socio-economic status, and many other factors. Many aspects of what is and is not considered to be moral are similar no matter what the culture is or what the primary religion of the region is. And this is because morality is little more that the basic rules that society has so that people can live together in relative peace.

          • rubellapox2

            Excellent…..

          • rubellapox2

            Hail Satan…..

  • meamsane

    Maybe the court should proscribe some therapy for these emotionally delicate and Insecure anti-God bigots!!

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Would you say the same thing about people who want to remove the book about a boy wearing a dress from Charlotte public schools First Grade curriculum?

      • meamsane

        I wouldn’t consider that the two issues are comparable since any parent should be concerned with what a school is teaching their small children, so no!

        • Ambulance Chaser

          So one is teaching tolerance for our differences, which is legal, the other is a public official promoting religion in his capacity as a public official, which is illegal.

          You choose to get annoyed about the first one, and we’re the snowflakes?

  • Jason Todd

    However, FFRF believes it is not enough because those seeking re-entry will have to knock on the door and thus be seen by others.

    Uh, they are going to be seen by others leaving as well.

    This lawsuit has no merit whatsoever, filed completely with spite.

    In light of recent events, I expect a judge to dismiss this stupid waste of time and money with prejudice.

  • Croquet_Player

    “Mack made a few changes in the interim, such as after asking any
    objectors to step out of the room, automatically locking the doors to
    the courtroom until the prayer is over” Locking the doors? Sounds like a fire code violation.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Atheists are perverts. They are arrested daily for crimes against children.

    • Jason

      That’s rude. we are perverts now? … all of us? I would say the crime rate is divided evenly through out all religious beliefs. bad people will be bad people.

      • C_Alan_Nault

        If you are a good atheist then why do you choose to be with such a group of perverts?

        • Jason

          If you are a good christian then why do you choose to be with such a group of perverts? I can say the same thing. bad people are everywhere in every religious belief. your statement is kind of concerning though. you are saying that I cannot withhold belief in a deity due to lack of evidence and be a good person at the same time?

          • C_Alan_Nault

            That is right. I denounce fake Christians. You should denounce all atheists as they are always looking to harm life.

          • Jason

            Incorrect

          • MarkSebree

            I know of no atheists who are “looking to harm life”. Whatever that is supposed to mean.

          • C_Alan_Nault

            Statistics released in 2012 showed that most violent offenders identified as atheists.

          • MarkSebree

            Source?

          • rubellapox2

            Bull….

          • C_Alan_Nault

            Does that fact not fit your agenda?

          • MarkSebree

            You have not yet given a source that that supposed “fact”. I asked you for a source nearly a week ago. Therefore, there is no reason for anyone to accept it.

          • rubellapox2

            It’s not a fact, therefore………….

          • C_Alan_Nault

            Yes, it is.

          • MarkSebree

            Then prove it. Give us the source where you got this supposed fact. You must have a specific one in mind since you gave the year of it. There is no reason to accept your claim without something objective and verifiable to support it,

          • rubellapox2

            Proof please…..

  • Guzzman

    So with this case, you have a Christian attorney suing a Christian judge for violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by promoting religion in his courtroom. This should be interesting

    • MarkSebree

      Well, they cannot really blame it on the atheists in this case, even though they will.

      • Guzzman

        Christian attorney suing a Christian judge over religious freedom. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the court will hold in favor of…wait for it…the Christian.

  • Darren H

    If you don’t like, plug your ears. I hear all kinds of things I don’t like in the course of a day. I guess I don’t possess the gene for wanting to sue and harass other people. “Mind your own business” is something atheists are incapable of.

    • MarkSebree

      Christians do not seem to be capable of minding their own business either. They keep trying to push their beliefs onto everyone else, whether everyone else wants to follow the Christians’ beliefs or not.

      You are just upset that people that you are trying to impose your beliefs on are pushing back.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      If it’s a public official doing something that is matter of public concern, it’s everyone’s business.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      Atheists hate what is good. Psalms 14.

      • MarkSebree

        Actually, atheists usually stand for what is good. They just ignore mythical reasons for judging something. For example, many atheists stand for separation of church and state, sexual equality, good education, and so on.

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          No, American atheists are immoral and push blasphemy and infanticide and immorality militantly. America did any good when it was Christian. Atheistic America only does evil.

          • MarkSebree

            You seem to have a problem with the truth. You have not shown that any of the things that you claim are even remotely true. “Blasphemy” only matters within a religion, not outside of it. YOU are blasphemous to many other religions by your declarations. What’s more, the First Amendment means that there can be no laws that protect against blasphemy since that would have to favor a specific religion by the government, which the government cannot do. You may not like hearing about reality, but that does not mean that people cannot still tell you the truth.

            You have not shown that American atheists are “immoral”. All you have done is rail against them for not accepting your personal beliefs. And nobody is bound by your beliefs.

            I have not seen ANYONE supporting or promoting infanticide. That is a flat out lie on your part.

            American has NEVER been “Christian”. It has always been a secular nation with a majority population of Christians. In fact, its supreme law, the US Constitution, forbids the government from favoring any religion or discriminating against any religion. And many people and major organizations and movements have done “evil” in the name of christianity and/or because of their interpretations of their beliefs. It is when American disregards religion that it tends to do the most good.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Americans need Christianity. Non-Christian Americans force Sodomy. Read Jude 1.

          • MarkSebree

            Americans do not need Christianity, nor does anyone else.

            And nobody is forcing anyone to engage in any act that they consider to be sodomy. That is a blatant lie.

            Your mythology does not help you since it is not relevant.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            To “force sodomy” would mean to force someone to engage in certain sexual acts against their will. In other words, a variety of rape. I’m certainly a non-Christian American, yet I’ve never committed rape, in any fashion.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Non-christian Americans force Sodomy. Endorsement of Sodomy is engaging in Sodomy. Get the right definition. Non-christian Americans try to enslave mankind by banning God’s truth and bending normal people’s sane conscience. Once the truth and conscience are bent, people are always slaves to villains. Non-christian Westerners are drugged with depravity and immorality. The West needs Christianity to be sober and moral.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Endorsement of Sodomy is engaging in Sodomy”

            No, it is not. That is just factually wrong. I can endorse things that I don’t engage in myself.

            Hmm…you know, I don’t think “endorse” is really the exactly right word here. It implies, to me, that I would be saying one option is preferable to others. I don’t think homosexuality is any better or worse than any other sexual orientation

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            This is what’s deadly wrong about today’s Western culture. There is only one normal sexual orientation – one man and one woman in marriage. All others are abuses and barbarisms and sins and perversions. Freedom is only to endorse that is engagable. Secular Western white authorities are trying to make mankind boneless by prohibiting God’s truth and bending human conscience again. Usual tyrannical tactics.

            No thanks to Nazism. You guys should stop treating colored people in the same category with sexually depraved people. That’s what’s foundationally and fundamentally wrong about the Western whites and their mental slaves this century. Get some real family and wake up. Read the Holy Bible and get educated and be free. Bible-illiteracy is a form of slavery. Ex-christian West has only immorality and suicide as its core value.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “There is only one normal sexual orientation – one man and one woman in marriage.”

            I’m not talking about what is “normal”. I’d actually agree with you on that much…yeah, heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation. The vast majority of people in this world are heterosexual. But, not being normal does not mean you’re wrong, or evil, or whatever. I mean, even if you put aside the fact that I’m an atheist (which is not normal), I’m not normal in at least a few other ways, and I’m quite happy about that.

            “Get some real family and wake up”

            Excuse me???!!!?? I have a real family, many of them Christians, in fact, and they’re mostly pretty damn awesome people.

            And why, oh why, do you insist on bringing race into this? This isn’t about that! At all.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            The Holy Bible condemns homosexuality, and homosexuality leads people to sex with anything including pedophilia and incests and polygamy and animal-abuses. Human rights and freedom include the rights to call and treat sins for what they are, because truth is the basis of human rights and freedom. Ex-christian Western culture fears the truth. Truthphobia. Don’t use d-words. If your family is genuine and not a patched one, you’d never supported homosexuality. Broken family units accelerated abnormal immorality. Westerners always compare racial discrimination and discrimination against homosexuals calling both minorities. Western whites never stopped insulting the colored. It’s been heinous.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “If your family is genuine and not a patched one, you’d never supported homosexuality. ”

            That’s just totally wrong. My family is definitely genuine, and certainly not “patched” in any way. My mother, for one example…she’s a Christian, yet she accepts me being an atheist, and she was just about the happiest person ever when she heard same-sex marriage became legal.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Your mother is not Christian but probably a universalist. Let her read Romans chapter 1-8. She could not have had you with a lesbian partner therefore should not be happy for same-sex marriage. Liberalism is insane with abysmal positivity. You Americans were respectful and average-normal when you had racism against the colored people. Whoever imagined that noble racial equality would be applied to sexual depravity by the Americans? Stop being bored. Why have you become like this? Atheism is destructive godless.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Your mother is not Christian but probably a universalist.”

            She’d disagree, but if so, how does that make my family not “genuine”, as you said before?

            “She could not have had you with a lesbian partner therefore should not be happy for same-sex marriage”

            That would imply that you think the only valid reason for marriage is procreation. Just my opinion, but I think there’s a little more to it than that. Maybe there’s another thing involved…what could that be? To quote a song by my favorite band, it’s that crazy little thing called love.

            “You Americans were rather respectful and average-normal”

            Why is being “average-normal” something to aspire to? Like I said before, I’m not normal in various ways. I like that. Those things are what makes me…me.

            I’ll even say that that is true of people in general. I don’t really know all that much about you, for example, but I’m sure there’s some ways in which you’re different from the average person. (Even putting aside the fact that you’re an Asian Christian fundamentalist. That, in itself, makes you not normal.)

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            People can claim to be anything without real substance. True Christians follow the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible prohibits both homosexuality and transgenderism. Many Western mainliners are not Christian but Sodomic apostates. (Jude 1, Revelation 2-3)

            You have a biological father and a biological mother if you’re human. They are your genuine family. Human marriage is institutioned by God to be one man and one woman’s union with a life-time covenant. The West included homosexuality to enslave mankind with falsehood. Last century, Nazis and fascists and communist atheists did such things. This century, Sodomy-supporting Western Europe and fomer British colonies are playing the bad roles, though they used to be nice before.

            Western Ex-christendom all become the weirdest by losing Christianity.
            It’s proven that even the educated white people become slaves to the globalists by holding Bible-illiteracy. Everyone needs the Holy Bible to be civilized and free. Wake up and stop shaming all your Christian ancestors and forefathers.

            Love exists only with the truth. No truth = No love. Everyone on earth is racist, but not everyone is inclined to sexual perversion like the secular West is. The West is being bored. It’s horrible when powerful rich people are being bored; they always seek the sickest anusement in grand scales even when calamity is at hand.

            I don’t support immorality but you do. Upholding the truth rescues and helps others, but upholding immorality hurts all others especially the children. The Western culture got wrecked by equating the good(Christianity) with evil( pagan religions, sexual immorality, addictions, Satanism, etc). You need Christianity for salvation and truth.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “You have a biological father and a biological mother if you’re human”

            What do you mean, if I’m human?? Do you doubt that somehow?

            “Nazis and fascists and communist atheists did such things.”

            I’m not even going to argue about the rest, because that line kinda is annoying me. I’m most definitely an atheist, yet I certainly don’t support Nazism, fascism, nor communism.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Sorry I doubted your humanity. I thought I may be talking to a liberal robot or something. Secular West must not scorn the natural family unit; it’s not only suicidal but also very sinful. You lost my point. Nazis and fascists and communist atheists have committed tyrannical atrocities by pushing falsehood upon mankind. This century, it’s the Western Sodomites doing the same. Villains have the same patterns everywhere for all time.

            Villains always contradict the Holy Bible. White people were intelligent and invented many useful things when they respected Christianity. When they oppose the Holy Bible, but it’s just mega-horrible simply because they are very rich and powerful. Secular Americans don’t learn the history and repeating the evil. Sodomy-supporting Western whites and their mental slaves have no rights to take away morality from mankind. The Holy Bible = freedom.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “. I thought I may be talking to a liberal robot or something.”

            Okay, that kinda amuses me. A liberal robot? “I am liberalbot, your right wing beliefs do not compute! Error! Error! Danger!”

            “Nazis and fascists and communist atheists have committed tyrannical atrocities by pushing falsehood upon mankind. ”

            You know, I won’t even disagree with that statement, in itself. But people of other ideologies, even ones I agree with, have committed atrocities. Christians have committed atrocities in the name of Christianity. In World War II, German (Nazi) soldiers wore belt buckles saying “Gott mit uns”. Translation: “God is with us.”

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Stop being naive. AI will conclude that annihilation of mankind is best for the planet and for mankind if the Biblical teaching is not programmed in it. Nazis massacred numerous Christians. Nazi Germans were actually faithful Darwinians. True Christians got killed by protecting the Jews. Western whites used to claim to be Christian to claim that they are civilized. The Holy Bible declares equality of all mankind, not racism. Judeo-Christian value alone saves and protects everyone when accurately followed; all other religions and ideologies abuse and massacre innocent humans by being followed accurately. White people were horrified at what Nazis did by holding racism, but they are thirsty after slavery again this century; thus Americans are forcing Sodomy in the world. The West does mega-scale evil when it opposes the Holy Bible.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. …God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. …The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. …Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ( Romans chapters 3-6, Acts chapter 16)

          • Combi

            The world needs Jesus. Christianity today is a mess.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Yes, Jesus can save anyone. Christianity is good. The USA should not persecute the Christians. No Christianity = No truth therefore no freedom.

          • Combi

            1- What is Truth?
            2- America was built on Christian principles and values, as most if not all colonists were puritans.
            3 – Christianity is only classed as a religion by government and non believers. When it is in fact a relationship.
            4 – Planned Parenthood and all its funding supporters promote abortion as a business, and must meet targets, if they don’t, how do you think they reach them. Like in any business, its promoted.
            5 – Atheists usually have closed minds when it comes to Christianity and are more open to the other faiths of the world. I wonder why?
            6 – Silence in the face of evil is itself evil, so don’t expect us to be silent. The public floor does not belong to the homosexuals, the immoral, the drunk or the idolators.
            7 – Atheism is a form of idolatry because you worship the world, humanism, universalism, moral relativism etc.

            My two bobs worth.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            You didn’t ask me, but here’s my answers, anyway.

            1. that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. And your point of asking that is….?

            2. A good number of the Founding Fathers were nominally Christians, but deists at most. I’d wager if you ran across someone today with the same beliefs that Thomas Jefferson had, for instance, you’d think he wasn’t a “True Christian”

            3. I’ve personally known Christians who have no problem with calling Christianity a religion. It fits any logical definition of the word.

            4. Abortion isn’t “infanticide”, like Grace claimed. Fetuses are not infants.

            5. That’s not true. If someone is an atheist, that means they reject all theistic religions. I don’t have any “open mind towards” any of those.

            6. “The public floor does not belong to the homosexuals, the immoral, the drunk or the idolators.”.

            The First Amendment says otherwise.

            7. Wrong, because all being an atheist means is that one doesn’t believe in any god or gods.

          • Combi

            1. I asked because the definition of truth has become abstract, and has differing meanings on how old the dictionary is.
            2. Granted, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Constitution was built on biblical principles which includes proper moral judgment.
            3. That’s a big problem for Christianity, and true Christians.
            4. Utterly disagree, ‘fetus’ is Greek for little one. And killing a little one when the heart beat has started is Infanticide whatever definition you want to give it.
            5 & 7. Atheism is a belief system, you have to believe there is no God. Most Atheists get off on attacking Christianity, more so than any other ‘faith’. There are even Atheist churches where people go to celebrate it.
            6. Yeah, i detract from that statement, it was a bit much.

            Question?

            Was Maths discovered or created/invented?

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I was just about to respond, but I see MarkSebree, below, basically said a lot of the same things I had in mind.

            I’ll just ask, though, if the Constitution was “built on Biblical principles,” why is it that, for instance, the First Amendment alone directly contradicts two of the Ten Commandments? Also, depending on how you look at it, only two or three of them have parallels in American law. Those would be the ones telling you not to kill or steal or bear false witness (if you take that to mean perjury). None of those are exclusively Biblical principles, either.

            “Was Maths discovered or created/invented?”

            I don’t see how that’s relevant to this discussion, but it’s a pretty interesting philosophical question. I can see reasons for saying either choice. What do think?

            Are you British or something? I don’t think I’ve ever heard an American say “maths”….lol

          • Combi

            Yes I’m British. Have you had time to mull over the maths question yet.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Somewhat, and I still think one can look at it both ways. Math is an invention of people in that people certainly invented the language of mathematics, but then, the truths that that language is describing would be just as true no matter what language or symbols we use to talk about them.

            I’ll ask you again…what’s your opinion, and how is it relevant to our previous discussion?

          • Combi

            Well, the laws of physics and thermodynamics are mathematical, and would have to have been there at the beginning of a big bang (if there was one). I believe that the universe and our solar system are so perfect in mathematical terms that there has to be a divine creator behind it all.

            Our DNA is a billion long alphabet of information, closely resembling binary, different for all living things. This code resembles computer software and is unique to each and every living thing. It’s mind boggling and cannot be explained by evolution or any other way, except for me, by divine creation.

            Alistair McGrath’s book creation a very good at explaining this and many other things. I just cannot go along with the atheists belief that nothing produced something. You would need more faith than i do in Christ to believe that, because it goes against my common sense.

            There is a video film called The Atheist Delusion on athiestmovie (dot) org or com. It’s on YouTube as well; that goes much much deeper.

            Once you cross that line of belief in God, you start to see the world differently, you see politics, conspiracy theories, philosophical debates that all go against the fundamental laws of what make this universe tick.

            I’m not out to force my beliefs on anyone and I’m certainly open to other explanations, i find these topics fascinating, and while i started out on the wrong foot with some people with regards to it, I’m new to it all and am just trying to find my feet. I would rather share my thoughts and talk and debate about them in love, rather than pointing the finger and saying you MUST etc.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “I just cannot go along with the atheists belief that nothing produced something”

            That’s kind of a strawman. One doesn’t have to believe that to be an atheist. I’m agnostic on that issue myself. What caused the universe to exist? Does it need a cause, even? Did the universe even “begin”? (It’s a common misconception, but the Big Bang Theory does NOT descibe the beginning of the universe.) I’m perfectly fine with answering those questions with a resounding “I don’t know.”. And maybe we just can’t know.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Yes I’m British”

            By the way,…and this is NOT relevant to anything really, except what I quoted I guess, but I’m just going off on a tangent. I’m a big fan of various iterations of rock music and/or heavy metal. So many of bands I love came from England. My name here is a reference to the lyrics of a few songs by my favorite out of them all, in fact.

          • Combi

            I like metal and rock too. Bands like queen and maiden are two of my favorites, as well as psychedelic rock such as hawkwind and ozrics. I’m an all rounder really as i play bass.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “Atheism is a belief system, you have to believe there is no God.”

            Wrong on both counts. Atheism means this and nothing else; a lack of belief in any deities. It’s not a belief SYSTEM because it only describes a stance on ONE issue. Sure, there are atheist religions (LaVeyan Satanism, for one), let alone churches. That doesn’t mean atheism, in and of itself, is a belief system, or even a religion, as some people say. Look at it this way: Is theism a belief system? No, it’s just a belief, not any kind of “system”.

            And atheism doesn’t mean “you have to believe there is no god”, it means you lack belief. There’s a difference.

          • Combi

            Thanks for your input. All responses have been noted.

          • MarkSebree

            1. Philosophy 101 question. The basic answer is that the truth is that which is accordance with the facts and with reality. It can be independently verified.

            2. Not even close. The USA was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment and Reason philosophies of the mid to late 18th century. The colonists at the time were from many different religions, including Quakers, Lutherans, Catholics, Church of England, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and many others. I doubt that very many of the colonists in the 1780’s were still Puritans, and they certainly did not hold any significant sway in the Constitutional Convention. If you are referencing the original colonists, they were nearly as varied.

            3. A relationship with what? If you check the dictionary, Christianity fits the definition of a religion to a “t”.

            4. Actually, Planned Parenthood do not promote abortion as a business. They do more than just about anyone else to REDUCE the rate of abortion through education, prescribing contraceptives, and other means. Studies have been does what show they Planned Parenthood is forced to close its doors in a location, the teen pregnancy rate and STI rate both increase significantly. You need to learn more about the organization and what they really do.

            5. Not that hard to figure out. In the USA, most atheists were raised in Christian homes with christian parents. Most of their teachers and classmates where christian. They have read the Bible (which is what causes more atheists to reject christianity.). Additionally, they see how Christians treat atheists. They see how christians lie about atheists, demonize them, and attribute to them all sorts of ills. Just read Grace’s posts and your later claims in your post to see examples of this. Atheists do not want to be a part of any group that spews such lies, venom, ignorance, and hatred. And why would they? Since they do not get the same treatment from other religions in the USA, they are more open to examining them. Atheists are also more open to listening to followers f other religions as well and learning from them and about them before judging that religion since they know what it is like to be demonized and lied about by Christians.

            6. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil, so don’t expect us to be silent.”

            And that is why I speak up in the face of lies, ignorance, hatred, and demonization by Christians. I am fighting the evil the far right christians promote.

            “The public floor does not belong to the homosexuals, the immoral, the drunk or the idolators.”

            Actually, yes it does. The First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press clauses are meant to protect the rights of the minority to be heard. And the right to Petition the Government for Redress of Wrongs means that when someone in the minority has been wronged, they have the right to seek redress of those wrongs. Additionally, the 14th Amendment included the Equal Rights and Equal Protection clauses, which means that everyone is supposed to have the same rights.

            Besides, your claim that “the immoral” should not be able to publicly voice their opinions can be used against you just by someone else considering you to be “immoral”.

            7. Wrong as usual. Atheism is NOT a form of idolatry because it does not worship anything. “Moral relativism” is a fact that can easily be see by studying history and sociology. Humanism and universalism are philosophies that have nothing to do with religion or worship. Christians can easily be humanists and/or universalists as well.

            And I am not sure what you mean by “worship the world”. Atheists certainly do not see the world as a deity by definition. And your statement does not make any sense in any other context.

            And one more thing. I never claimed to be an atheist.

          • C_Alan_Nault

            FALSE:”
            4. Actually, Planned Parenthood do not promote abortion as a business. They do more than just about anyone else to REDUCE the rate of abortion through education, prescribing contraceptives, and other means. Studies have been does what show they Planned Parenthood is forced to close its doors in a location, the teen pregnancy rate and STI rate both increase significantly. You need to learn more about the organization and what they really do.”

          • MarkSebree

            No, my statement is quite true and verifiable. All you need to do is check their annual report, which is available online from their corporate website. Only about 3% of their business is abortions. No viable business builds their business plan on just 3% of their income. Planned Parenthood’s business is to provide medical services to those that need it, primarily the poor, the young, and others. They are often one of the few medical providers that accepts Medicaid, for example.

            The work to educate young people about their sexuality, and the doctors provide their patients with accurate, unbiased information so that the patients can make informed decisions. They also provide the patients with contraceptives and instructions on how to use them properly, thereby working to reduce the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, which in turn reduces the need for abortions.

            The New Yorker ran an article on Planned Parenthood and the good that they do in August 2015. The article does contain links to the primary sources of their information.

            http://www dot newyorker dot com/news/daily-comment/planned-parenthood-means-fewer-abortions

            Research has found that when young women are not provided with accurate and complete information about sex and contraceptives, including those that take the so-called “purity pledges”, start having sex at about the same time as those who had comprehensive and accurate sex ed, but have a higher incidence of pregnancy and STIs because they were not properly educated.

            And here is some more information. Colorado had a state funded program which provided free long acting reversible contraceptives to women. This resulted in the teen pregnancy rate falling by 40 percent in 6 years.

            http://www dot huffingtonpost dot com/2015/07/06/colorado-larc-experiment_n_7738724.html

            This also resulted in a similar reduction in the number of abortions.

            Planned Parenthood works to reduce the number of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies through education and providing women with contraceptives. When they are forced to close their doors in an area, their former patients no longer have someone to go to for help in preventing unwanted pregnancies, which results in a rise in unwanted pregnancies. This in turn results in an increase in abortions for those women that can get them, and an increase in poverty for those that cannot.

          • C_Alan_Nault

            Check your data again. You are incorrect.

          • rubellapox2

            Then prove it…. let’s see some stats or a link or something.. you just saying “you are incorrect.” Is not an argument.. is not debate….

          • MarkSebree

            Care to give something besides your personal opinions on that? I provided verifiable references, which in turn reference where they got their data. You have basically stated that I am wrong because you do not like what I have to say and I am able to support.

          • Combi

            1. By the very nature of your definition of truth, evolution cannot be a fact and cannot be taught as such, when it is and has been taught as fact for years.
            2. I’ve learned something. Thanks.
            3. The dictionary is man made so it’s bound to class Christianity as a religion. Most Christians disagree with it.
            4. www (dot) google(dot) co (dot) uk/am…
            03/29/shocking-video-planned-parenthood-director-caught-admitting-babies-born-alive-after-abortion-are-killed/
            You have to admit, something dodgy going on.
            5. I’ll take that with a pinch of salt, because know that some Christians can be like that.
            6. http://www (dot)spiked-online(dot)co…
            7. Humanism and Universalism can be accepted by Christians. Sounds a bit Rick Warren to me. I don’t hold with any of his teachings. Too much mystism which is destroying the church from within. I’ll probably get flak from other ‘ Christians ‘ for that.
            And i didn’t mention i was a Christian but how did you guess i was.

          • MarkSebree

            1. Actually, evolution can be taught as a fact because it does explain the facts of the subject. It has withstood over 150 years of attacks trying to discredit it, and it continues to keep getting stronger and better supported. Evolution has been shown in the micro and macro levels, in the lab and in the field. It explains the changes of one species of animal into another over time.
            And as far as DNA goes, you are looking at the end result and thinking that it has always been that way. The first organism which contained genetic material, which can be RNA or DNA, were probably more akin to viruses, yeasts, and molds. Entities with no nucleus, but which could feed after a fashion and could replicate. RNA is not particularly stable, however, and was prone to mutation. These strands would not have been very long, either. Just a couple hundred to a couple thousand units.
            At some point, two entities with RNA that was almost perfectly complimentary RNA came into contact with each other, and the first DNA was formed. This was more stable, and could use RNA to carry out the functions that make the new entity work. This was a successful mutation, as can be seen by the prevalence of DNA based organisms in the earth’s ecosystem.

            2. your welcome.

            3. Christianity is man-made as well, even if most christians would disagree with that. A definition of a word may contain variations of the meaning of the word, but rarely contains isolated exceptions to that meaning. For example, if the definition of “religion” can properly be applied to Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Shamanism, Wicca, and so on, then it can also be applied to Christianity because Christianity shares the same essential traits as the other religions which actually make them religions. Dictionaries simply provide the common definitions of the word, and the variations of the definition which may include jargon.

            4. broken link. If something “dodgy” is going on, it is likely from the person being “interviewed” and the people who published it.

            5. More than “a few”. in the USA, according to some polls, atheists rank as one of, if not the, least trusted groups of people, below violent felons and rapists. Yet, there is no reason that I know of why atheists should be considered so untrustworthy. My mother knows my views for the most part, and she has gotten it wrong before as evidence by her questions to me. THAT is how prevalent such views are.

            6. broken link

            7. I am not familiar with Rick Warren. And the church exists because of mysticism. That is its very reason for being. Without mysticism, religion cannot exist.

            And as far as your final question as to how I guessed that you were a Christian, it wasn’t very hard. The arguments that you used and the links that you provided are of the same type which are commonly used by right wing christians in the USA. I have been on these types of boards for many years, and I have heard many of their “arguments” and evasions.

            I will compliment you on your politeness and general lack on evasion to questions, which puts you into a higher class of person than many who frequent these sites. As you may have seen, some of your American counterparts are quick with the insults, defamation, and trying to change the subject. It is refreshing to get someone who can debate with reasonable politeness and intelligence.

          • Combi

            I’ve enjoyed our little debate and i have learned somewhat, but I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree on the evolution thing. When Darwin investigated the finches they didn’t change from one kind to another they stayed as finches. Also mutating bacteria just stays as a bacteria.

            Science is based on observable fact and there is no observable evidence from 65 million years ago to suggest anywhere near evolution. Macro evolution i do agree with however it still points to a creator, take the flagellum bacteria for example and it’s out board motor which resembles a boat motor. Also, the component parts if such are manufactured inside the cells, these workers are programmed for such a task.

            What came first the chicken or the egg. If the chicken came first where did that come from? If it was the egg, was it fertilized, and if it was, by what? It’s the old school yard argument, lol.

            I’m a Christian for the very reasons behind some of what you’ve shared, the universe is too mathematicalaly correct to be anything other than created by an intelligent designer.

            If you do one thing for me (you don’t have to of course) please Google search for a short film called The Atheist Delusion and watch that.

            Thanks for your kind words. I have learned in a short time while on these forums that debating this kind of sensitive subject is best done in an amicable way, otherwise there is no point.

            Also the best.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I’d like to give you something to consider. How do you think God feels about people who profess to be one of His Children and followers of Jesus Christ who disrespect, demean, belittle, and even bad-mouth something He instituted and calls Good? What does God’s Word say about those who call Good evil and Evil good?

            You would do well to consider that when making comments about “Religion”. Jesus is God and God established and instituted religion. And He did so perfectly with infinitesimal, minute, and meticulous detail. Jesus followed that religion perfectly and then perfected it with His own sacraments and teachings. What do you think Jesus was doing all those times He went to the Temple and the night He was betrayed at the “Last Supper”?

            One can have empty religion without a relationship with Christ but you can NOT have a relationship with Christ without His religion. John 14:15 and 15:14 (just to name a couple). For more good teaching on the subject, I’d encourage you to read “Christianity iis not a Religion, it’s a Relationship” from GTY’s blog series entitled “Christian Clichés”. You may find the others edifying as well.

          • Combi

            I will take a look. Thank you for your input. My point should read ‘is in fact ”also a relationship”’, is that what your saying. And by the way you have worded your post it almost reads as if God instituted all religions, including the smaller ones like the star wars force Jedi religion.

            I am of the impression that Jesus was against any man made religion, which is why he told the Pharisees off for it. One cannot be saved by religion of any kind. It’s only faith in Jesus and what he did on the cross that saves us, that’s grace.

            I would like you to point out and quote all the demeaning, belittling and disrespectful posts and points that i have made, so i can learn from them and retract them as i am not aware of anything i have posted here that has done that.

            If you can do that i would be grateful.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            No, definitely not “all” Religions. The One True Religion. And yes, it’s a Religion AND a Relationship. When God first instituted His Religion it was a means by which one could have a Relationship with Him. Not unlike Christ. Nobody has a Relationship with God who is not Born Again and saved thru Jesus Christ.

            Of course Jesus was against Man-made Religion. That would be idolatry and a violation of the 1st & 2nd Commandments.

            As just to be clear, we are NOT saved by Faith. We are saved by Grace THRU Faith.

            In my reply I made a general characterization of the many comments I have seen over the past few years regarding Religion. It wasn’t meant to be an attack or direct accusation that you did all those things. Like I said, just consider what I wrote and look at the Scriptures. It is demeaning the Religion that God established, however, to nullify it and say things like “it’s not about Religion” because it is. For the reasons I said.

            Please know that the purpose of my comment wasn’t to rebuke you so much as it was to exhort you to look at the Scriptures and not fall victim to the often touted falsehoods found in the all too often regurgitated Christian Cliches that so many throw around.

            God Bless!

          • Combi

            I’ve read that blog post. I’m very concerned that anything that comes from John McArthur could be a little dodgy as he has been called a Calvinist.

            Www(dot)soulwinning(dot)info/wolves/macarthur-confusing

            evangelicalfocus(dot)com/world/903/MacArthur_accused_of_heresy_at_his_home_church

            And this article makes him out to be an Adventist if i am not mistaken.

            And I’m getting a little annoyed with my posts being screened all the time. The takes time to have them posted and i post more posts after the one that’s getting screened and you see this one before the first one. Sheesh.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I can’t get your first link to work at all. I think I’ve been to that website before though. I’ll just say there are tons of self-appointed and very misguided people on the web that have taken it upon themselves to make their mission one of calling just about everyone but themselves a wolf. Anyone who thinks MacArthur is a wolf is just deluded.

            Didn’t try second one. Not sure what you’re referring to that would make MacArthur out to be a Adventist but he is most unashamedly an admitted Calvinist.

            The best thing you can do is read your Bible regularly, watch/listen to MacArthur yourself, make note of things that don’t sit right in your spirit that he says, research & study that, and bounce those things off of other Biblically-grounded men like your pastor and/or elders.

            Are you in a good, solid, sound Bible-believing church where you have submitted to godly men as commanded and being properly discipled?

          • Combi

            Yes, very good sound advice that. I’ve just finished 2 Samuel and am now on Kings. Calvanism believe in pre destination or something, he belief that your pre determined to either go to hell or heaven before your born, which takes away he point of Jesus dying on the cross.

            Yes thanks, I’m in a good church, I’ve spent a few years in two which went pear shaped after a while, long story.

            Don’t worry about the links, it’s most likely my stupid phone. I will have a listen tonight of one of McAryhurs sermons.

            I listen a lot to SBN and Stand up for the Truth as well as John Piper and read Mathew Henry, and some other commentarys I have. So much to learn, and I’ve been a Christian for 13 years.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Isn’t it one of the fundamentals of Christianity that it doesn’t matter how much you have sinned, as long as you repent, and believe in Jesus? Calvinism, and the idea of predestination would seem to totally go against that.

          • Combi

            Yes that sounds correct. I don’t believe in calvanism.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I have to admit, I find it a little amusing and ironic to point out things like that.

          • Combi

            You’ve lost me, because i find it ironic you’ve use amusing and ironic in the same sentence to point out something I’ve said as being ironic and amusing, when ironic means to say something opposite to what i mean in an amusing, way. Which I haven’t.

            I believe that Jesus died for our sins, and calvanism does indeed make that seem pointless which is why i don’t believe in n what calvanism has to offer.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I mean I find it amusing and ironic when it seems like I know Christianity better than some Christians. (As in Calvinists)

          • Combi

            Oh right. Yeah, you probably do. I wouldn’t call Calvanists Christians though. There are so many people who profess to be Christians and are actually more for the worldly way than the spiritual ways of God.

            While John Calvin had a pretty good understanding of scripture, he went on the squiff a bit.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            It helps me out a little bit that I actually was a Christian at one time, so I have some experience with that. I’m not like the non-Christians portrayed so often in those ridiculous “Jack Chick tracts”, who somehow have heard of Christianity, but have no idea at all of what it’s actually about. Oh, and all it takes for them to convert is to have someone tell them about Jesus. Like they’ve never heard of that before.

            Excuse me, that was a little bit of a tangent, I’m not saying you think that, but those things are just stupid.

          • Combi

            Really, you used to be a Christian. I hope you don’t mind but what made you change your mind.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Fair question…I can’t say there was any specific event that made me an atheist, it was just that I realized, I don’t have to be of same religion as my parents. I can make up my own mind.

          • Combi

            Fair comment. You risk missing out on eternal life though. How come you still frequent Christian blog and forum sites for discussion etc. I obviously have nothing against you and love you as a fellow human bring, but there must be a reason why your still here.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I don’t frequent Christian sites in general, I frequent this one, because I find myself often taking objections to what is said here. To state it in another way, while I don’t believe in it, I have no big problem with Christianity itself. It’s just the conservative, fundamentalist types here that I so often disagree with.

          • Combi

            Yes, there are so many denominations, facets and differing views within so called Christianity itself that even i myself can disagree with other Christians. There are those who are too liberal and those who are too conservative, there are differing and wrong doctrine as well as bad interpretation etc. I’ve often wondered myself ‘why do i even bother with it all’, but i have come to the realisation that the love of Jesus transcends all and the rest is just ‘opinion’.

            I try to read and study my Bible everyday, i make sure it’s the right translation and i follow preachers and pastors who do the same and teach correct interpretation etc. I’ve been called all sorts of things by other Christians and warned etc just by following the teaching of Jimmy Swaggart.

            You’ll never find the perfect church, you just have to go to the Bible and make sure what your being taught holds up in Holy Scripture, just like the Bereans.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “I follow preachers and pastors’

            This is nothing but a cheesy pun, but old preachers don’t die….they just go out to pastor.

          • Combi

            Lol

          • TheKingOfRhye

            To explain it further, I got an email one day in reference to an article here. I don’t remember what it was about exactly, I just felt that I had to come here and at least explain my position, which is so often misunderstood.

            You said I risk missing out of eternal life. That’s basically just Pascal’s wager, rephrased. I think that’s a very poor argument for Christianity.

          • Combi

            I know about Pascal’s wager, and even though it’s a poor argument it’s still the truth. I would rather believe the gospel than the alternative. You’ve probably heard them all before but if you Google ’34 Bible verses about eternal life’ there is a plethora of verses on the subject.

            It’s like this, I’ve told friends that they ‘might get knocked down and killed by a bus tomorrow’ but worse still ‘I might be the one driving it’

            There is argument upon argument in apologetics and the debate just goes on and on, when the truth is really rather simple when you think of it in mathematical terms.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            I think the “agnostic atheism wager” makes a lot more sense. Basically, that m

          • Combi

            While it sounds more sensible it won’t work because you have to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, believing he died for our sins and rose again on the third day, so making a way for us to have a relationship with God. The above wager is based on ‘works’.

          • MarkSebree

            There is a basic problem with Pascal’s Wager that most people do not see. They assume that they are worshiping the “correct” religion. What makes you think that your deity is the one that actually exists? What makes you think that even if your deity actually exists, that you are following the correct version of that religion? What makes you think that you even have the criteria for getting into paradise correct? What if there are multiple deities, and each has his, her, or their own criteria for “salvation”? And that assumes that deities even exist in the first pace, which itself is not certain.

            TheKingofRhye’s “agnostic atheism wage” certainly makes more sense. Live the best life that you can while you are here, be kind and helpful to others, and try to leave the world a better place by your being here. If there is a fair and just deity, then you will be judged on your actions no matter what your professed beliefs were. If there is a deity who is not fair and just, then it did not deserve to be followed anyway. If there are multiple deities, then perhaps at least one will accept you. If there are no deities and no afterlife, then at least you had fun and enjoyed life.

          • Combi

            I can understand your point. The reality is this, in no other religion is there a description of God or a God or god’s as you put it came down in the flesh as a man and gave His life as a ransom for sins, at least not that I’m aware of.

            The scriptures i posted would explain that. I’m pretty sure i pressed ‘send’ earlier, don’t know why they were not posted. They might be in limbo, I’ll check and repost if I find them.

          • MarkSebree

            Actually, that is not reality, that is an opinion. Many deities have “come down to the mortal world as flesh”. And some of those deities were quite lusty. Mythologies are full of such tales. And “sin” only has meaning within a religious framework. It has no objective reality. Change the framework, and you change what is and is not considered to be a “sin”. remove the framework entirely, and the very concept falls apart.

            You have to come up with something besides quotes from your mythology. I am not bound to accept your personal, subjective beliefs as evidence of anything.

            Besides, just because your mythology claims that some extraordinary event happened does not mean that it did. You have to provide some objective evidence to support your claims that do not rely on your mythology.

            You still have not addressed the basic flaw in Pascal’s Wager either. You just sort of “hand waved” it away and tried to change the subject.

          • Combi

            The flaw in Pascal’s Wager is so the fact it leaves out faith in what Christ done on the cross. Plus, it’s a gamble. You shouldn’t gamble with your soul.

            As far as your other arguments are concerned i think we have each other at an empasse. I cannot convince you of there being a God who loves us and died for us when He came to earth as His son. And I’m afraid you cannot convince me that there is no God with your arguments.

            What proof is there that there is no God? Why do you choose to not believe or have turned away from Him?

          • MarkSebree

            “The flaw in Pascal’s Wager is so the fact it leaves out faith in what Christ done on the cross. Plus, it’s a gamble. You shouldn’t gamble with your soul.”

            Assuming that a soul exists, you are gambling it no matter what you believe. You cannot get away from the fact that you do not know if you are even following the correct beliefs. You only hope that you are. Your personal faith has nothing to do with Pascal’s Wager.

            As far “what Christi [did] on the cross”, he died, just like thousands before and after him did. It did not change a thing in and of itself.

            “What proof is there that there is no God?”

            What is the proof that any deity exists? You are the one that is claiming that your deity exists, so you have the burden of proof to show that it does. What you did was engage in a logical fallacy, trying to shift the burden of proof.

            “Why do you choose to not believe or have turned away from Him?”

            First, I read the Bible, and realized what a hateful, petty, intolerant, irrational, misogynistic, jealous, ignorant deity it was. Certainly not something that I would want to follow.
            Second, I studied mythology, and realized that much of what the Bible claimed as its own actually come from other, older cultures.
            Third, I learned about the sciences, and how to think critically. I saw the great number of errors in what was claimed to have happened, and the impossibilities inherent in them.
            Fourth, I looked at the words and actions if your religion’s followers, both in the here and now, and historically. I saw how often religion was used as an excuse for conquest, torture, intolerance, forced conversion, bigotry, genocide, dishonesty, and other ills large and small.
            Fifth, as I continued to learn about various fields of science, I realized that nothing that exists requires that any deity exists. Evidence and logic showed that a deity was not necessary.

          • Combi

            You sound like Richard Dawkins in some of your reply. Woud you be so kind as to recommend me a good book that can give me a broader overview of your response.

            The burden is mine to prove you say, so the burden to disprove isn’t yours. Why ever not? I’ve given answers as to why I believe God exists but you are skirting the question of why he might not, so a book would be an option if you cannot.

            I’ve taken your answers on board, but unfortunately i still cannot see there being no God because logic and reasoning tells me there is.

          • MarkSebree

            “You sound like Richard Dawkins in some of your reply. ”

            Reasoned arguments tend to be that way. I have never read him.

            “Woud you be so kind as to recommend me a good book that can give me a broader overview of your response.”

            I am afraid not, because I did not get my response from a book. It is a product of my own knowledge, education, both formal and self, and my ability to think critically on a subject.

            “The burden is mine to prove you say, so the burden to disprove isn’t yours. Why ever not? ”

            Basic logic and debate. You can find explanations in many places on the internet. Look for “Shifting the burden of proof”, or simply “the burden of proof”.

            In a nutshell, the reason has to do with what is necessary for the objective proof. It is nearly impossible to definitively prove a negative assertion. That would require examination of the entire solution space in detail. In this case, that means the entire universe back to before the beginning of time. However, it is comparatively easy to prove or support the positive assertion since all you have to do is produce a single or sufficient example to support your claim. Thus, the person making the positive assertion is responsible for supporting it.

            Additionally, there is the principle that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence or proof. The claim that a deity exists is such a claim.

            “I’ve given answers as to why I believe God exists ”

            BUT you have nothing objective to support your claim. All your assertions are subjective. “YOU BELIEVE” is all you have. What you believe does not apply to anyone else, especially if they do not share your beliefs. Objective evidence does not rely on belief, and it does not change depending on a person’s belief or lack thereof. It remains the same whether the person is Christian, Hindu, Wiccan, Buddhist, Shamanist of any variety, Atheist, Agnostic, Chinese Traditionalist, or any other belief or non-belief.

            “you are skirting the question of why he might not, ”

            Because I not need to present anything. You have presented the assertive claim that your deity exists. I am just saying “prove it”. You cannot change by beliefs to suit your argument, and you cannot state that only your beliefs should be taken into consideration. Your beliefs are your opinions, but they are not objective facts.

            “so a book would be an option if you cannot.”

            What makes you think that I get all my answers from a book? People are able to think for themselves if they are just willing to put forth the effort to do so, and they are able to formulate their own opinions and their own arguments as well.

            The reason that I do not accept the proposition that a deity might exist is the fact that there is no reason to think that one does. Man has been making up stories since he developed an imagination. Man has also been ignorant of the world around him until recently. He wanted explanations for what he saw happening around him, but he had none. Some of the things were extremely powerful and destructive, others were constructive and nurturing. Man started anthropomorphicizing what was around him, giving the trees, animals, rivers and streams, and everything else “spirits” which represented their essential qualities. As social groupings of man grew, so did the stories. They started growing in scale, and borrowing from the stories of other groups. This elevated the main, most primal spirits into deities. Storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and so on were taken to mean that “the gods were angry” or “the gods were fighting”.

            Joseph Campbell wrote a couple books on myths in general called “The Power of Myth” and “The Hero of a Thousand Faces”. They should be easily findable at your local public library or a used bookstore.

            “i still cannot see there being no God because logic and reasoning tells me there is.”

            No, your beliefs, your upbringing, and your ignorance tell you that your deity exists. Logic and reasoning are what show that a deity is unlikely to exist, and there is no reason to think that one does.

          • Combi

            A very logical and reasoned reply.

            Being a Christian doesn’t have anything to do with my upbringing i was an atheist 17 years ago and started searching for Him for two years. I’ve had two experiences which have pointed towards an answer from God, one was profound but also had humour, and it was confirmed for me about a year ago. You would likely call it coincidence, but to me it was God, most definitely.

            I believe, there is nothing that will shift that. The fact that you don’t doesn’t bother me and it may be that God hasn’t called you.

            Thanks. I’ve enjoyed our little debate.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            “The above wager is based on ‘works'”

            Well…okay…

            “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?…wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

            In my opinion, if a god exists, and he would judge you on faith alone, that’s not a god worthy of my worship.

          • Combi

            Your first comment about the wager says that if your good and God exists then you’re ok. It implies you don’t have to believe in God to have eternal life, just be a good person. Of course you must be reightous and do good, but you also must have faith in the finished work of the cross and what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross.

            Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
            Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”
            Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;”
            Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;”
            Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
            Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
            Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”
            Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.
            Gal. 3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
            Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”
            Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast.”
            Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”

            If by what you are saying God is not worthy of your worship based on the fact that you would want a God who judges you also on works then how would you approach this scenario.

            Take a man, who is on death row for murder. He has taken the life of someone’s family member. He has never ever done any good works in his life. However, before he gets the death sentence he is given the opportunity to repent, he has been given the gospel.and believes with all his heart and soul that Jesus died for ALL of his sins, he accepts Jesus as his lord and saviour and believes in His resurrection. He receives the Holy Spirit and as a sign starts uttering other tongues.

            This man would go to heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ, it would noy matter about works. This is because salvation is a free gift.

            Remember the two criminals on the crosses next to Jesus, one said to Jesus ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom’. Jesus told him that he would be with HIM in paradise.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            Also, I have to add, whenever I quote Bible verses, I go for the KJV like I did there. And, that’s for no other reason than I feel that that “Elizabethan English” just lends it some extra weight. It just sounds more official, with the “hath”s and “thou”s and so forth. Lol

          • Combi

            I’m actually a KJV only reader myself. The verses i quoted were copy pasted from another site.

        • Combi

          Where did separation of church and state come from?

          • MarkSebree

            Separation of Church and State comes from various parts of the US Constitution when taken as a whole, as interpreted and ruled on by the US Supreme Court over the years.

            The first part is from Article VI. It states that there can be no religious test for any office or public trust in the USA. The First Amendment contains several, interlocking provisions. The first is the Establishment Clause, which states that the government, and by extension agents of the government, cannot show any favoritism or disparagement towards any religion or religious belief. This means that while a person is representing the government, or can reasonably be perceived as representing the government, such as a military member in uniform, they cannot show any favoritism towards any religion, not against any religion. After that, and subordinate to it comes the Free Expression clause, which states that the government, except as limited by the Establishment Clause, cannot prevent individuals from following their religious beliefs provided that they do not impinge on other people’s beliefs. This means that those same agents of the government which are barred from showing any religious favoritism or disparagement while representing the government are free to follow their own beliefs when they are not representing the government. The Establishment Clause does not apply to non-governmental actors or agents.

            The Free Speech and Free Association clauses help support the individual’s religious rights.

            The 14th Amendment expands the applicability of the rights of the people and the limitations on the government to the state and local level through the Equal Rights and Equal Protection clauses. These state that the state and local government cannot abridge the rights of American citizens which are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the federal government.

            The place where most people trip up on the separation of church and state is confusing the individual with the government actor. Almost every person who works for the government has a fair amount of power over people who need their services. If they have control over the people, such as military superiors or public school teachers, they can often impose their beliefs onto their subordinates or students, and the subordinates or students cannot do anything about it. They cannot walk away. They cannot tell the superior to “shut up, I am not interested in your religion”. And the superior can punish the subordinate overtly or covertly for not accepting and following the superior’s beliefs. This can often include just being of the wrong denomination of the same religion.

            Think of it this way. If you were in the military, imagine that your superior NCO and/or officer was of very different beliefs than yours, including possibly a completely different religion. Now that superior opened every meeting with prayers to HIS religion, promoted religious services and religious study sessions for HIS religion, apparently shown favoritism towards those that believe the same way that he did, and gave the worst and most dangerous jobs to those that resisted his proselytizing. This also includes denying liberty and leave, denying schools, reduced performance evaluations, and even trumped up charges. What’s more, you knew that the command structure supported your superior’s beliefs, and will do nothing about the problem. And if you complain through regular channels, things will only escalate with no escape for you.

            Think it cannot happen? Wrong. I have been happening for decades, and has been getting or trying to get worse in recent years.

            If you have kids, you probably send them to a public school. Think about that for a moment. The kids are required to be there. They are told by their parents to obey their teachers. Their teachers start disparaging YOUR beliefs and working on teaching the children THEIR beliefs. Prayers are piped through the school every morning with the day’s announcements. Religious clubs are promoted by the teachers and administration for their religion, but there are none for yours or the ones for yours are not promoted at all. Coaches pray according to their beliefs over the students, and note who does not join in. Religious instruction in their beliefs is included in the day’s lessons, and any kid who does not participate is teased and bullied by the other kids, and disparaged by the teachers.

            It was these sorts of actions which resulted in the Supreme Court cases which banned teachers and administrators from leading prayers in public schools, prevented coaches from leading prayers with their teams, and discriminating against kids of different, minority religions and denominations. The kids can still pray in school on their own time, and this has never been limited. They can still form religious clubs as long as those clubs are treated the same as all the other clubs. Only the school’s employees and representatives are restricted.

            Yes, I know that this is more than you asked for, but I wanted to show you WHY it is important. If you notice, I never made a religion or denomination. I only asked you to place yourself in the position of either being in the minority or in the subordinate position.

          • Combi

            Thanks for the long reply. I’m glad you made it so extensive and understandable. I also understand why it’s needed, but what i don’t understand is why it used to specifically target Christians in the most silly of situations, such as removing a cross from outside a church which has been there for years. There are more cases like it. It’s open to abuse from both sides i think.

            On another note, if my previous posts were a bit over zealous because of my faith please accept my most humble apologies. I’m still learning to debate in an amicable manner and sometimes, i do get things wrong and i am open to all answers from both non believers and Christians alike.

          • MarkSebree

            Christians are far and away the largest religious group, and they have been since founding of the USA. They are the ones in positions of power. Most elected officials are Christian. Most teachers are Christians. Most military leaders (NCOs and officers) are Christians. And there is a subset of Christians who have a tendency to use and abuse their power. Most often, they are far right conservatives, evangelical, fundamentalist protestants. The christians of this subset tend to want to impose their religion on anyone and everyone, no matter what the other people’s beliefs are, and if they can, they will overtly or covertly punish those that do not kowtow to the fundamentalists’ religious beliefs. When the people are in government positions, including public school teachers (American definition, not British), military leaders, and other agents of the government, this can cause real damage to people and their rights.

            It only seems like Christians are targeted because Christians squawk the loudest, and they have more control and more outlets to get their outrage out to where people can see it. There are also more of them violating the principle of the separation of church and state.

            In almost every instance, the complaint is registered through a non-profit agency. The non-profit has lawyers on staff and on call who specialize in constitutional law. The nonprofit can also protect the anonymity of the complainant. Far right christians who have their privilege challenged can get very, very nasty. They have been known to vandalize the person’s property, make death threats, harass their children, schools, and employers, and more. Look up what Jessica Ahlquist of Rhode Island was subjected to when she complained about religious favoritism at her school.

            I am not familiar with the case you mentioned. If the cross that you are talking about was on church property, then no organization that I am familiar with would have registered a complaint, ASSUMING that the property was not originally public property, like a public park, and the city council did not try to dodge the issue and the lawsuit by selling a minuscule plot of land that the cross sat on for a paltry sum, showing clear favoritism towards the church and towards religion in order to continue effectively showing favoritism towards that religion and Christianity. Since the plot is small and still appears to be part of the park, and the terms of the sale where extremely favorable to the buyer, it basically shows that there was some “funny business” connected with the sale, which calls its motives into question. In any case like the one that you mention, it is best to dig down further into the original complaint in order to see what the actual issue was. If you can, read the complaint that was filed with the courts for details.

            The primary abuse is coming from far right fundamentalists who want the USA and the government to favor their religion and their religious beliefs. They do not want the USA to be a secular nation, but rather they want it to be beholden to their oppressive beliefs. Any breach in the wall separating church and state must be addressed when it is still small and new. The longer such things last, the more “inertia” they have, the worse the breach becomes, and the harder it is to plug and fix.

          • Combi

            I have no time for the Christians you describe and if indeed that sort of thing is going on i wouldn’t even call them Christians.

            You have to admit though that Christians do get a bad image because when we stand up for what is right we get torn to pieces. We get told we cannot wear crosses because people are offended by something they don’t believe in. Where is the sense in that. I’m sorry, you have an eloquent way of putting things across but you are truly truly misinformed and biased.

            This article shows somewhat about the crosses on churches situation.

            liberaldarkness/(dot ) com15/06/25/obama-demands-south-carolina-churches-take-their-crosses-down/

            It doesn’t seem like you are sympathetic to our plight. While i am perfectly capable of showing compassion for what you are saying, you have no thoughts whatsoever on the facts about the persecution of Christians.

          • MarkSebree

            That is a propaganda site, filled with paranoia and conspiracy theories. Under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, no government official or branch could order a church to remove its religious symbol from its roof, doors, windows, or structure. The SOLE exception to this that I know of is a military chapel, and there are reasons for this as well, like it servers military members and their families of ALL religions, not just Christians. And that is not done very often outside of war zones.

          • Combi

            You’re right. I just took another look. That will teach me, i should research my sources a bit longer before posting. Thanks for bringing that to light. I should be more discerning in the future.

          • Combi

            Have you seen this, it’s good.
            www (dot) atheistmovie (dot) com

      • rubellapox2

        Not so much good coming out of Christianity these days….

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Prayer is good. The USA should ban suing against the Christian prayers.

    • MarkSebree

      “Nothing fails like prayer”. – Dan Baker, I think

      “Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”

      “Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.” – Anonymous

      “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” – Seneca the Younger

      “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins

      “Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.” – Frater Ravus

      Prayer is functionally useless. The main reason that it is illegally used by government officials is to establish fundamentalist christian privilege, and to establish that anyone that does not believe as they do is effectively a second class citizen. That is a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause as expended by the 14th Amendment’s Equal Rights and Equal Protection Clauses.

      Nothing is stopping any individual from praying to any deity on their own time. It is only government officials, agents, and representatives who are enjoined from doing so when it can give the appearance that the government favors or disfavors any religious beliefs.

      And keep in mind that ANY law written about religious actions would need to be written so that it affects ALL religions equally. That means that after such a law as you want was passed, the government agent could also open a court session, for example, with Wiccan, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Native American, or other non-Christian prayers, AND YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!

      Lawsuits are one of the few mechanisms that the common person has to prevent government overreach, especially when the person is taking an unpopular position. Therefore, it needs to remain in order to prevent our country from devolving into a theonomy, and to make sure that it follows the laws and restrictions that our Constitution places on it.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        American atheists hate the Christian prayers because atheism is evil.

        • MarkSebree

          As usually, you have no clue what you are talking about. Atheists do not “hate christian prayers”. They generally think that they are useless wastes of time. They accomplish nothing.

          What many Americans of ALL religions, including christianity, atheism, judaism, hinduism, Buddhism, shamanism, and all other religions dislike is when the government shows favoritism towards on religion, usually some form of Christianity, in contravention of the law. This establishes a religious privilege, and conveys a message that anyone that is not of that religion is a “second class citizen”. In the military, because of the strict hierarchical command structure and the amount of power that superiors have over their subordinates, the consequences of this sort of favoritism can be far more devastating, or even deadly.

          You have done nothing to show that atheism is “evil”, immoral, depraved, or anything else. You are just expecting that others will accept your pronouncements just because you reference your personal, unsupported beliefs. Life does not work that way. You need to support your claims.

          And here is something else you will not consider. The ONLY thing that atheists have in common is the fact that they do not believe in a deity or the supernatural. Otherwise, they all have different opinions on just about every subject. Therefore, you cannot make such a blanket statement as you generally make because it is not true. Not believing in any deity does not make a person “evil”, it just makes them a non-believer. That is it.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Americans need Christianity. Non-christian Americans conduct barbarism or force Sodomy.

          • rubellapox2

            America needs more Satan…. Christianity had its chance and look what a mess it is…

          • Combi

            Can’t see how. More satan would usually mean more killing, rape murder, persecution, racism, nazism, disease, less medical advancement, chaos and anarchy. Even an atheist would have trouble agreeing with you.

          • rubellapox2

            the God of the bible has killed more people than Satan ever has… think Noah’s ark story…

          • Combi

            And your point of all this. You do know the reason why God did that. It was because people were very evil. You cannot question God, he Is God and cannot be judged.

          • rubellapox2

            My point? Lol.. isn’t it evident?.. the hypocrisy of you calling satanist murderers, racist, and chaos, when the Bible is chock full of instances where your god did all of those things him/herself…

          • Combi

            So your saying Satanists are none of those things and would never do not think like that. Is that what your getting at.

          • rubellapox2

            That is correct.. no more violent than Christians… and I have proof.. it’s called the Bible…

          • Combi

            Right, so according to you the Bible tells of Satanists being better than Christians. Do you have any scripture verses to back that up.

          • rubellapox2

            Nope, the Bible tells all the times your god flipped into a rage and destroyed whole towns and villages.. one time the whole world.. Satan hasn’t done that…

          • Combi

            God done it because his creation was perverse and corrupt. The people he destroyed were corrupt, they sacrificed children to Baal, Belial etc. Are you actually saying that what they were doing isn’t evil. And Jesus came AFTER all that happened so there were no Christians around at that time.

            If you cannot back up your claim with scriptural evidence your argument is proof that your ignorant of the Bible and all it has to offer. No where in the new testament does it say that Christians destroyed whole towns and villages.

          • rubellapox2

            I did not say Christians killed whole towns and the whole world… I said your god did… and Satan did not….

          • Combi

            Your ignoring WHY God did what he did. So you actually are condoning the sacrificing of innocent children to Baal, Belial etc. Those gods, are just another name for SATAN. The people were worshipping and killing people in the name of SATAN. Are you into SATAN because you are defending him and attacking Christians. Are you a SATANIST!!!

          • rubellapox2

            Ummm, I thought Satan, lucifer was one of god’s angels… now you have him as an ancient god?… and I’m not attacking Christians, just pointing out your hypocrisy by painting satanist as evil, when Christians and their god have committed evil acts themselves…

          • Combi

            no more violent than Christians you said. Where in the Bible does it describe Christians as violent!

          • rubellapox2

            History is chock full of incidences where Christians have done violence against each other and others… and the Bible does describe a violent god.. don’t get mad at me for pointing out the obvious…

          • Combi

            The Bible`s definition of evil : Sin is lawlessness which is the negative form of the Greek `nomos` (law) and is translated as `no law`. Evil is not a substance, it is a spirit, an attitude. Evil is neither original nor eternal, nor does it provide a basis for dualism, as God alone is supreme and the only eternal Being. It is the `deliberate rejection of Gods sovereign right to rule over His creation. (source : John Blanchards ` Does God Believe in Atheists `)

            So, I will ask again, who are you to judge God. What gives you the right to judge God. And if you are an atheist who doesn`t believe in a god of any kind. Why are you even here?

          • MarkSebree

            “Americans need Christianity. ”

            No, they do not. Christianity, especially the far right varieties, seems to be the source of many of the problems we are currently having in this nation, and one of the main impediments to improving things.

            “Non-christian Americans conduct barbarism or force Sodomy.”

            Most of the barbarism being conducted in the US these days are being conducted by Christians. And nobody is legally forcing anyone to engage in any sexual acts that they do not want to engage in.

    • Combi

      Prayer is good. I doubt they will stop banning it anytime soon though.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Those who hate the Christian prayers in the USA are hopelessly bad people. And the authorities to take their side… the USA becomes a bad nation if it listens to bad people.

        • Combi

          Google ‘Stand up for the Truth’. You’ll be blessed by their podcasts.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Yes, truth is the Word of God. Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life.

  • TheKingOfRhye

    “Typing on a phone sometimes makes words come out that i don’t want or need.”

    I’ve noticed that half the time I try to use the word “all,” my phone suggests “Allah”…which would rather change the meaning of what I’m saying, especially here!