Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Faith forum

Click on cartoons to enlarge.

29 comments:

Benjamin - The Sower said...

Now THAT'S funny...

Stardust said...

benjamin, yes it is funny yet sad at the same time that people have lost respect for the constitution and for the separation of church and state that this country was founded on. It's as if the election is a search for a national pastor than a President of a secular government and a diverse nation.

Benjamin - The Sower said...

Interesting point of view... Though, it seems to me that Senator Obama and a handful of presumed Christian leaders would prefer this election be a "search for a national pastor" rather than a leader of the people...

With regard to the "separation of church and state" issue, that's a discussion for another topic... Though, I will make a short statement regarding the issue because you brought it up...

As with the Bible, we should not add extra-textual information to what has been clearly written... Namely, the concept of a "separation of church and state" words that are not actually written in the constitution itself, rather the words "freedom of speech and religion" are...

By "extra-textual" I am referring to the fact that President Jefferson's words "separation of church and state" come from a completely separate document not at all related to the articles of law set forth in Americas founding documents...

To take those words out of the context of that document and apply them to the meaning of the Bill of Rights is likened to saying that the Apostle Paul's message was that we should live a life of "purpose" because he once used the word in an exhortation to one of the churches he was writing a letter to... When he clearly stated that his purpose was to preach Christ and Him crucified, and to make Him known so that those who hear might repent and believe.

Sorry, I said more about that than I did the other, didn't I?

Anyway, on one level, I think you're right - America doesn't need a "national pastor" while at the same time, Mr. Obama is trying really hard to be that guy... I for one, am not fooled for a moment - while he may not be a Muslim, he is definitely NOT a Christian by any standard put forth in the Bible...

That's my 2 cents anyway...

Stardust said...

benjamin, the thing about Christianity is that there are so many varieties of Christians and all varieties accusing other varieties of not being "true" or "real" Christians. The Bible is NOT a clearly written book, most of it can be interpreted in so many different ways and most Christians cherry-pick what they want to take from the Bible and what they want to leave behind. Take the book of Leviticus, for example. Thank human goodness that most Christians choose not to take that book literally. Some, do however, take certain things from the Bible to use to oppress others and discriminate. They take what they want and interpret parts to support whatever cause he or she wants to justify.

Senator Obama has professed to be a true Christian, accepting Christ as his personal savior. From what I can see he is very devout in his beliefs and since the god beliefs are so important to Republicans and evangelical voters, the Dems found a candidate that will pander to these voters, hoping enough to get him elected for the good of the party.

As for the Separation of Church and State, the Constitution is quite clear. There is no misunderstanding unless you have a religious agenda and wish to interject religion into a secular government:

"The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, or religion over non-religion. Originally, the First Amendment only applied to the federal government. Subsequently, under the incorporation doctrine, certain selected provisions were applied to states. It was not, however, until the middle and later years of the twentieth century that the Supreme Court began to interpret the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in such a manner as to restrict the promotion of religion by state governments. For example, in the Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, 512 U.S. 687 (1994), Justice David Souter, writing for the majority, concluded that "government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion"."

Separation of Church and State must be upheld to protect the religious and non-religious alike. We are a secular nation full of diverse people with many different beliefs and many who hold no beliefs in supernatural entities. Religion belongs in the churches, mosques, synagogues, and private lives of believers.

Stardust said...

I just want to add that I wish the candidates and politicians would stop talking mythology and get on with discussing and debating the real issues we have to deal with not the imaginary ones.

Benjamin - The Sower said...

With all due respect, your ideas regarding Christianity are skewed. No doubt you would consider the Roman Catholic Church to be a "Christian" church simply because they refer to themselves as such. When in fact, their faith is based upon doctrine that is not even found in the Bible, but rather the imaginations of 265 men who considered themselves to be the rightful successors of the Apostle Peter himself.

The "church" holds Mary the mother of Jesus in a role she was never (according to the Bible) meant to be in. Sinless, and venerated alongside of Christ Himself. Which is idolatry, and clearly condemned by the Word of God - which disqualifies the RCC from any claim to being actual, or as you put it "true" Christians.

A real or true Christian is one who is a follower of Christ and His teachings... That seems pretty clear to me, no reason to muddy up the water by throwing my own opinions on the matter... Acts Chapter 11 defines those who were Jesus' followers (His disciples) as Christians...

Now, you ARE right, the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways, however, there is only one way to interpret it in order to understand what it is try to say... Which is to read each verse, chapter and book for what it claims to be... Considering who wrote the words, who they were writing to, what was happening at the time, what the culture was like, and what was there motivation, the reason they were writing it?

Genesis was explaining how God created everything - the first chapter tells us the chronology of the events, the second chapter steps away from chronology and explains with a little more detail. He tells of how life began, where it began, and the steps He took in the actual creation of man (and woman)... Chapter 1 says that He did it, and in what order - Chapter 2 tells us how and why...

To borrow one of your phrases with a little editing... "there is no misunderstanding unless you have a man-centered or evolutionary agenda and wish to interject billions of years into a 6-day story..."

Now, with regard to "cherry-picking" a term my mother used a couple of years ago that's just never quite sat right with me, however, after talking with dozens of atheists over the past couple of years, I've grown very familiar with it... I would not, and no Bible-believing Christian I know would suggest that you cherry-pick your way through God's Word... Because every word of Scripture is inspired by God and is therefore useful for teaching us what is true, and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. Every word, verse, chapter and book is important for understanding God's Will because every word is good for instruction in righteousness...

Some Christians believe that Jesus' words (the Red Letters) are more important than the other passages of the Bible, however, when we consider that Jesus IS God, and that God inspired every word therein, one passage is therefore not more important than any other...

When it comes to taking Leviticus literally, I would suggest that you only do that if you are a member of the nation of Israel in that time period that those laws were given... Once again, we need to consider who was writing the words, when the words were being written, what was happening in the culture and why...

I'm trying to assume that you are familiar with the Bible because most professed atheists I've spoken to are quite versed in scripture, it's just that most of them have cherry-picked the parts of the Bible they'd rather not agree with, and have decided that God could not exist if those particular verses hold any truth. Therefore, I'm not going to get into the finer points of Hermeneutical study with you because I'm sure you're familiar with the term, even if you don't understand how to use the skills of interpretation.

When it comes to the reason why Christians would ignore the ceremonial and levitical laws, and continue to embrace the Mosaic and Moral Law is found in the concept of Progressive Revelation... The Old Testament Laws were put into place to help govern the people of Israel, so that they would have a guide as to how to judge the different activities and offenses that would occur in the lives of the nation. They also gave instruction for the atonement of the sins that were being committed... The covering of the sins, not the forgiveness... There was a difference.

Then, just as the prophets said He would in more than 40 different instances throughout the Old Testament, and later confirmed by the New Testament writers, Jesus became the atonement, the very sacrifice that was necessary for the nation of Israel (God's people) to be forgiven (have their sins cleansed - not just covered). Jesus said that He did not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it... He was speaking of Moses' Laws (the Moral Law - the Ten Commandments) How do we know? Because He spelled it out for us in Matthew Chapter 19:16-22 / Mark Chapter 10:17-22 & Luke Chapter 18:18-23...

Now, I noticed that you consider God / The Bible to be mythology, yet you believe the scientific opinions regarding the earth's origins, man's origins, and presumably the origins of the universe written by people who could not have possibly observed any of the events in question, and refer to it all as facts... I'm not trying to insult your intelligence here, so please don't insult mine...

You assert the idea that some people take things from the Bible in order to oppress others and discriminate - and again, you would prefer to believe that these people are actual Christians simply because they claim to be so... While at the same time you would not believe for one second that anyone who was beating a cow with a cattle-prod was a member of PETA, even if they showed you a card... Or perhaps, an illustration that hits a little closer to home... You would not allow a person who seriously professed to believe in some sort of higher power to refer to themselves as an atheist - because that belief would disqualify the person from the truest definition of the term atheist...

And such is the case with Christianity... Jesus never taught His followers to oppress or discriminate. Therefore, anyone who comes in His name, in order to oppress or discriminate is not, once again as you put it a "real" or "true" Christian. If what they are choosing to use to justify their actions does not line up with the rest of the Bible - then it is heresy, and the person should be considered a heretic - and there are plenty of them out there... The Apostles ran into them in their day, and you know yourself that there are no shortage of them running around with their own Sunday morning, Divine Healing, send us your love offering, charlatan programs today...

You said it yourself regarding Senator Obama, he is a panderer... By his own testimony, he is not a follower of the Christ of the Bible... He is a follower of the jesus of his imagination, which makes him an idolator, which means that he might as well be catholic... I don't hate the man, I simply know a wolf when I see one, no matter what political party supplied the sheep's clothing... I do not like John McCain's "Christian" testimony either, however, he is at least standing for ideals that are more Christ-like than Obama's. To be in favor of abortion, and gay marriage goes against Biblical teaching - and that's all there is to it...

Now, I'm not suggesting that we shoot all the abortion doctors and put all of the would-be mothers in prison for murder, however, I am saying that killing ANYONE who has not yet had a chance to live for the sake of convenience or guilt, etc. is not right... Senator Obama supports a woman's right to kill her unborn baby, Senator McCain opposes it. Their religious beliefs don't really have to have anything to do with it... But at least Obama claims that his do... And his beliefs contradict those of the Bible...

Neither am I saying that "God hates fags" as other self-professed "Christians" have chosen to do... I do not think that homosexuals are any worse than heterosexuals or any other human being for that matter... I myself was guilty of a boat-load of sexual sins before God showed me mercy and saved me - and I believe that ANYONE living in the midst of sin can be redeemed without discrimination - simply by hearing the Word of God preached rightly, and responding in kind.

Senator Obama believes that whoever wants to get married should be allowed to get married, no matter who they are. Senator McCain has stated that he believes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman... Without invoking the name of any deity, that sounds pretty cut and dried to me... Outside of all of the statistics of disease and psychological problems incurred by the children of "same sex unions" or marriages - the sexual relations between two men, or two women are contrary to that of the Bible that Senator Obama says we should all be reading...

He specifically quotes that we should all remember that Jesus said "whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me (Christ)" And ignores the rest of the Bible... Your accusation of cherry-picking falls squarely upon the shoulders of one you consider to be "very devout."

The only "true" or "real" Christian votes he might get are those who have either not read their Bible, or did not understand what they were reading when they did... Because anyone who would vote for a candidate who believes in the murder of the unborn, or is in support of the literal dismantling of the traditional family is not a follower of the Jesus of the Bible...

And finally, I've gotten around to the "Separation of Church and State" issue... I am sincerely going to attempt to make this short this time...

I never suggested, nor do I believe that there should be any establishment of a national religion... I'll be honest when I say that I did appreciate the House of Representatives did to recognize Christianity (H.R. 847 I think it was) But I digress - I'm not going to dispute the idea that the original intent has been redefined over the past 200+ years. One only has to travel to Washington D.C. or Philadelphia in order to witness how history is being revised to cut God out of American culture everyday...

I thank God and our founding fathers for the foresight they had in writing journals and establishing a Library of Congress where original history could be preserved for anyone who is interested in knowing the truth, and is willing to look for it, rather than just take another person's word for it.

While I will agree that this nation is not the "Christian" nation many would like to believe it is, it was certainly not founded based upon "secular" ideals... The original Mayflower Compact will tell you that much.

I feel it necessary to correct your statement that there are "many who hold no beliefs in supernatural entities" when in fact, there are only "some" perhaps even more accurate to use the word "few" as the percentage at last glance was hovering somewhere around 5% of the American population depending on whose numbers you go by... And 15 million is not a very big number in evolutionary terms.

I'm not trying to say that numbers should be a determining factor in how our country is run, I was just having some fun with numbers - at your expense yes, but fun nonetheless.

Here's one that'll kick you in the pants - I would suggest to you that the percentage of "true" or "real" Christians in America is only slightly higher than the number of atheists... No matter what the polls show... Bring me 100 professing Christians and a Holy Bible, and I'll bet you that right around 10 of them, maybe one or two less would respond rightly to the criteria of a true Believer as laid out in the Word of God...

What's unfortunate to me is that atheists are the fastest growing (non?)faith in America... While Christianity is the fastest growing in China and Africa... And we won't even talk about the decline in America - but we're working on it... We just need to be reminded of the fact that our faith, not our religion, needs to be lived out and preached in the streets, not just hidden in our hearts...

BTW, search the Bible for the phrase "accept Jesus as your personal Savior" it's not there. If he was a "true" Christian, why would he refer to the time when he realized his sins before a Holy God, and dropped to his knees in repentance toward God, and put his faith in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation?" I mean, I realize that it's a little wordy, but at least that explanation is found in Scripture...

Stardust said...

With all due respect, your ideas regarding Christianity are skewed.

I don't think so. If anything, the Christians and their numerous sects of this mythology are skewed. If we put you all in an arena and told you to come to some reconciliation of what TRUE Christianity means, you would end up killing each other before coming to a resolution. It seems that if God is real, and Christianity is true, then your God would have made it a lot clearer than that. Examining mythology of all cultures and comparing Christianity with all of the many world mythologies, you will find that it is equally as bizarre as the rest. Even more bizarre in some cases, such as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a dead guy.

To believe that there is a supernatural entity who keeps track of every tiny speck of a human being on this speck of a planet amongst all the zillions of specks in this seemingly endless universe is ludicrous. Gods are invented because humans cannot stand the thought of having no control, being alone and we can do nothing at all about death and natural disaster. So, gods were invented as a sort of coping device.

Now, as for god and this country. You religious folks would like to believe that you and your country are specially favored by your gods. That is your right to believe whatever you want and why we have separation of church and state is to allow each person his or her own beliefs, or lack thereof. What is the governments, what is your beliefs is what you personally believe. The two should keep separate. LIke I said the founding fathers were perfectly clear about that this was a nation which respected freedom of religion which includes freedom not to believe at all. The Constitution is the law of the land. I took a tour last summer through Jefferson and Washington's home and while religious folks would take little mentions of god as meaning they were devout god believers, it is clear they were quite possibly closet atheists, as I suspect Thomas Paine was, as well. Back in those days, as it remains today, it is political suicide to tell the delusional masses that they don't share the believe in a supernatural being.

Here's one that'll kick you in the pants - I would suggest to you that the percentage of "true" or "real" Christians in America is only slightly higher than the number of atheists

Where are you getting your information from? What is your source?

I bet a lot of Christians would resent you saying that. Evangelicals believe everyone else has it wrong, especially Catholics. Catholics think they are the true Christians. You make up your True Christianity to however you want it to be, according to your own needs, desires and how you want to interpret your bible according to your own individual cult doctrine.

Because anyone who would vote for a candidate who believes in the murder of the unborn, or is in support of the literal dismantling of the traditional family is not a follower of the Jesus of the Bible

This is one of the many contradictions atheists (ex Christians)find in the Bible. God is the greatest baby killer according to your "good book" and as for traditional family, it doesn't state anywhere in there the definition of "traditional" family. Jesus was a bachelor, and didn't have a family. Other major biblical figures were not very good examples of traditional families. It is a human invention meant to propagate the species. "Traditional family" is defined by conservative Christians as mother, father, and all the children they can or cannot feed.

The traditional family, I do believe is the ideal, but the ideal may not work out for many people. Divorce (which most Christians don't have a problem with) is rampant, people lose their spouses, people get pregnant in a moment of sexual lust. Gay people may be much better parents than many heterosexual people are.

as the percentage at last glance was hovering somewhere around 5% of the American population depending on whose numbers you go by.

You are quite wrong on this one, the percentage of atheist/agnostics is now 16% and climbing as more and more come out of hiding.

What's unfortunate to me is that atheists are the fastest growing (non?)faith in America

And that is a good thing. It's better to be reasonable and rational and accept reality than controlled by some ancient superstitious mythology and following the orders of some mere old man in a pointy hat.

We just need to be reminded of the fact that our faith, not our religion, needs to be lived out and preached in the streets, not just hidden in our hearts...

The only reason you do this is to reinforce the myth for yourselves. You believers try so hard to keep believing. You need more to jump on the faith bandwagon in order to validate it for yourselves. You have to keep going to church to hear the same crap over and over in order to keep yourselves brainwashed. Those who leave and stay way eventually find that all to be ludicrous. To believe that a god created people on a special speck in the middle of the vast universe, then gave them free will and then punished them and all of their descendants for practicing that free will is absurd. To believe that god made himself into a man (by supernaturally raping a virgin and making her pregnant), being born and then dying a most gruesome and bloody death and then coming back to life as a zombie and floating up into another realm is ABSURD. If you stop to think about it, and compare it to all other mythologies, you will see what we atheists are saying. It is absurd to think that an all-powerful god created humans for such an elaborate and gruesome game.

Obama believes himself to be a true Christian, you believe yourself to be a true Christian. All Christians will say they believe themselves to be a true Christian...when in fact you are all believing in various interpretations of an ancient and gruesome mythology.

Stardust said...

While Christianity is the fastest growing in China and Africa...

Religion spreads easily amongst the uneducated and poverty stricken and desperate people. People look for a crutch, a coping device. Many leaders encourage people to flock to religion as they can be controlled better and those in charge of the flock lead very comfortable lives supported by the poor souls who put them up on pedestals and fork over their hard-earned dollars.

In China, Mao has been their "religion" and the Little Red Book their "sacred scripture". In Africa the people are exchanging one mythology for another. (And when these African religions are combined with Christianity there can be some very bizarre spin-offs such as VooDoo found in Haiti and New Orleans, etc.) When Missionaries went to the South Pacific spreading their religion there, what developed are Cargo Cults who worship the aircrafts that bring them supplies. The religion that comes out of mixing one religion with another is quite bizarre.

Benjamin - The Sower said...

You're kidding, right???

If we put you all in an arena and told you to come to some reconciliation of what TRUE Christianity means, you would end up killing each other before coming to a resolution.

You didn't really read what I wrote in my previous message, did you? You simply went through what I wrote and "cherry-picked" the key phrases that contradicted your particular perspective... Sad... You've just boiled this conversation down to the same old banter I've had with countless folks who don't want to admit what their conscience is screaming - that there is going to come a day when you'll have to account for the lies you've told, the hatred you've harbored for others (namely Christians) your disobedience and lust...

You may refer to my beliefs as myth, however, you cannot deny your conscience - and one day you'll be brought face to face with the reality of what's been on the back of your mind your whole life...

You mention that God should have made things clearer than He did, and to that I can only say that it's difficult for me to comprehend how He could have made it any more transparent - though, if you want to look at His Word through the eyes of one who could never bend the knee to such an apparent tyrant, then I can see how you might find it hard to understand... It was that way for me for many years...

To believe that the Creator of everything keeps track of the very hairs (or lack thereof) on my head, on this beautiful world of ours, among the countless numbers of stars specifically set in their place for our enjoyment so that we might number the days and years is AMAZING! That He would take the time to care about someone as filthy and wretched and insignificant as me? Not ludicrous, but unfathomable...

God is not my coping device, rather He is my comfort... No doubt you'll claim that the two terms are synonymous, however, I wouldn't... I would suggest that looking to yourself for the answers is a futile pursuit because you don't have all the answers - and if you're honest with yourself, your heart and mind are the reasons for your greatest failures in life. And while you might believe that at the same time, you are the reason for your greatest successes, I'll take the opportunity to slide God's grace and mercy toward you in there to see what you might do with it. Though, I admit that I don't expect you to do much more than you have already done and spit on it...

You religious folks would like to believe that you and your country are specially favored by your gods.

Now you said several things wrong there without even taking a second breath... First off, we don't believe that we are specially favored... God has shown those who would repent of their sins and trust in Him, favor in granting us grace and mercy instead of justice and wrath... Neither do we believe that our country is somehow specially favored... We do pray to God to bless America, and to protect her from those who would threaten our freedoms and our way of life - both "friend" or foe...

However, it is clear that God only has a place in His heart for on people - the true nation of Israel - which is not a cultural issue, it is one of faith... Which is where we get back to God's favor toward those who are His...

I took a tour last summer through Jefferson and Washington's home and while religious folks would take little mentions of god as meaning they were devout god believers, it is clear they were quite possibly closet atheists, as I suspect Thomas Paine was, as well.

While Thomas Paine may have been, it is dishonest to say the same of Presidents Washington and Jefferson. One only needs to look at their personal journals in order to see the faith that these men held, not to mention their libraries - not the least of which were the founding volumes of the Library of Congress...

Your supposed closet atheist, Thomas Jefferson wrote Virginia's Sabbath law into effect - and quite contrary to the idea that America should not be based upon Biblical (non-catholic) ideals, Jefferson's Bill for "Establishing Religious Freedom" in 1786 was specifically written to move our nation away from the traditionally Anglican base to a more Protestant one. Consider the words he wrote... "Almighty God hath created the mind free,” and “all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind...” His motivation was to promote the gospel of Christ by "its influence on reason alone" not oppression or discrimination as you have suggested in your previous comment.

The main point I'm getting at here is that you cannot make the claims you have made about the founders of our country by taking a tour of their home, and considering a document they wrote to a group of people in a church. It's simply intellectually irresponsible. It is clear by the words he wrote and the life he lived, that he absolutely believed in God, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

He wrote in his Bible, "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple (follower) of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator.” Did your tour inform you that this possible atheist was the chairman of the American Bible Society?

You didn't bring him up, but since we are on the subject of the founders, consider the words of Patrick Henry who was there in 1776 and witnessed how everything went down... “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.

Huh... That kind of shoots a hole in your idea that we are simply out to destroy everyone who doesn't see things our way... On the contrary, our aim is to fulfill the command Christ gave in His gospels - and that is to warn people of God's coming Day of Judgment on all those who have broken His Laws...

I'm sensing more spit coming, so I'll move on...

I wrote:

I would suggest to you that the percentage of "true" or "real" Christians in America is only slightly higher than the number of atheists

You responded:

Where are you getting your information from? What is your source?

Well, let me give you one of the most recent sources I've got - this one coming from ABCNews and a website called BeliefNet.com - neither a Christian entity, therefore impartiality is easily believable.

They conducted a questionnaire of 50 questions over a 4 day period with 1,022 people, and came to the conclusion that 83% of those people were "gauged" to be "Christian" (this includes your friends, the catholics).

Now, where I get my own personal findings is in the fact that I have personally spoken with more than twice the number of people as this poll claims who have referred to themselves as Christian - and when they have been engaged in a basic conversation (commonly referred to as a witness encounter) based upon Biblical teaching. The testimony given did not prove to be Christian in nature... Perhaps, you might refer to the responses as "deistic" in nature for the most part... The Bible refers to the understanding as idolatrous...

Most people in America today, claiming to be Christian, have an idolatrous understanding of who God is, what the Bible says - and therefore, their faith is not true - and they are not Christians (followers of Christ). That's all - if it's offensive, I didn't mean for it to be, however, I didn't write the rules...

You make up your True Christianity to however you want it to be, according to your own needs, desires and how you want to interpret your bible according to your own individual cult doctrine.

Once again, I'm going to help you to understand the truth here so that I don't have to re-write what I've already clearly stated in previous messages...

I'm not "making up my True Christianity" my faith is clearly established in the Word of God - not hidden or some sort of secret like the Church of Jesus Christ - Latter Day Saints...

It's not based upon what I think I might need or desire - my faith is based upon the sacrifice that was made for me, not because I deserved it, but because God, in His wisdom, for reasons only known to Him, chose to save my undeserving soul.

It's not based upon interpretation, it's based upon what has been clearly written - now cult doctrine is based upon interpretation... Faith in Christ is based upon Scripture alone - there's no need to interpret what has been written so that a child may understand it...

Moving along... your assertions of God being a "baby-killer" only illustrates your lack of understanding with regard to Divine Justice - though that's understandable, you are neither Divine, nor born of the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14

Divorce (which most Christians don't have a problem with)

Unfortunately, I have to correct you again here - EVERY true Christian has a BIG problem with Divorce - I would seriously question the faith of anyone claiming to be Christian who takes the bond of marriage lightly...

the percentage of atheist/agnostics is now 16% and climbing as more and more come out of hiding.

Where do YOU get YOUR information - what is YOUR source? That's a rhetorical question - I clearly stated that the number I gave was negligible because of all of the varying sources of statistics that are out there... I do not doubt the validity of your source - my point was that you used the word "some" referring to atheists, when I preferred to use the word "few." In the grand scheme of the conversation, it's really not worth mentioning anymore in my opinion...

It's better to be reasonable and rational and accept reality than controlled by some ancient superstitious mythology and following the orders of some mere old man in a pointy hat.

I agree in part - it IS better to be reasonable and rational, however, for a COMPLETELY different reason... The "reality" is that nothing that is made could have been made by chance or for no "reason" - God spoke everything into existence, breathed life into man, and set the planets in motion.

You are right in your statement that He is in control - while at the same time, incorrect in your suggestion that Christianity is an "ancient superstitious mythology" - and that God is "some mere old man in a pointy hat" when Scripture clearly says that He is Spirit, and that His people must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth...

To worship Him in any other way, or to worship any other being would be wrong... That is one of the differences between Christianity and every other "religion" - and the difference between Biblical Christianity (true or real as you put it) and any apostate or supposed "Christian" church - catholics included =-)

Boy am I glad we're getting close to the end of this one... My fingers are getting tired...

So here we go...

The only reason you do this is to reinforce the myth for yourselves.

Nope, we "do this" in the hopes that some might be saved, and avoid Hell... Some are, and do, some don't and aren't...

You believers try so hard to keep believing. You need more to jump on the faith bandwagon in order to validate it for yourselves.

Nope again - we don't "need" more to jump on the "faith bandwagon" we are commanded to share this message with those who would hear - I neither feel personal rejection, nor spiritual validation if you receive it or turn away from it... My heart does ache that you would refuse such a generous gift as the one Christ died to provide for you - however, my faith is not shaken because yet one more person who hates God thinks I'm some sort of religious robot. I'm not better than you are - I'm worthy of God's wrath just as much as the next person - and I'll suggest to you that I'm worthy of it more than many...

You have to keep going to church to hear the same crap over and over in order to keep yourselves brainwashed.

The same could be said for your atheistic motives... However, Christians go to church to learn more about God, and to learn how to share His Word with others...

Those who leave and stay way eventually find that all to be ludicrous.

Your information is limited and biased at best...

To believe that a god created people on a special speck in the middle of the vast universe, then gave them free will and then punished them and all of their descendants for practicing that free will is absurd.

Once again, I'm going to submit that what you wrote is AWESOME... And yet another note of correction is that He didn't punish them for "practicing free will" He punished them for disobeying a command He had given them to follow... You're not trying to convince me that a woman of your age was never spanked for disobeying your parents in the generation you grew up in, you would be the exception to the rule...

To believe that god made himself into a man (by supernaturally raping a virgin and making her pregnant), being born and then dying a most gruesome and bloody death and then coming back to life as a zombie and floating up into another realm is ABSURD.

Time for more corrections... God did not "rape" anyone - He put His life inside of her - nothing in all of Scripture even HINTS at the idea that God slept with Mary. One of those cults you like to talk about holds that belief though...

If you stop to think about it, and compare it to all other mythologies, you will see what we atheists are saying. It is absurd to think that an all-powerful god created humans for such an elaborate and gruesome game.

What you see as a "gruesome game" Christians see as God's Wonderful Plan to bring His people to Himself.

I'm sorry that, for whatever reason, you cannot believe. I pray that God will reveal Himself to you even through the hardness of your heart. I will continue to check back here from time to time in case you might post another funny cartoon - however, I don't think I can go forward with this conversation because I am finding it arduous to repeat myself and clarify points that are perfectly clear...

Your eyes have been blinded, and I pray that you might be given sight to see the truth...

Good Day...

Stardust said...

benjamin, first of all you are the one who came back and started the talk about religion. We first agreed that we are not electing a national pastor but a president and I simply stated that we need to maintain a separation of church and state in this secular nation. It was you who brought your personal religious beliefs into the conversation with your indirect proseltyzing about the Bible etc.

You're kidding, right???

No, I am not kidding. I am serious. If we put all of the various denominations, sects of those denominations and cults into one big arena and told you to come to some resolution of what the definition of a true christian is, you would be there fighting amongst yourselves for all eternity.

that there is going to come a day when you'll have to account for the lies you've told, the hatred you've harbored for others (namely Christians) your disobedience and lust...

Lust? What the fuck are you talking about? There you go with the same old crap. You say we hate when we are simply rejecting your mythology. You threaten us with imagined punishment for what? What is the reason? What's in it for you? You are only upset and go into persecution mode when you run into people who do not agree with you. I am an atheist as clearly stated on my blog. I did not mislead you, you came here and what did you expect? I didn't go to your blog and start writing crap about you, judging you, condemning you to some magical place where I can imagine something bad happening to you. But that's what you have done here. And most likely was your intention all along. I have other Christian readers and commentors who are quite respectful of MY home.

(Right Cole? ;))

Benjamin - The Sower said...

Hopefully this will be the last post necessary...

First of all, I commented that the cartoon was funny - YOU brought up the controversial topic of the separation of church and state - c'mon, are you trying to say that you were not attempting to bait me into an argument from your very first statement? If not, then I'm wrong, and I'll refrain from any further comments...

Next...

Once again, while we might disagree as to the definition of what a "true" Christian is - there would be no fighting on our part... Perhaps the catholics in the room might want to murder a few or all of us - those who have read, and believe, and follow the teachings of the gospel, would not, as you have suggested.

When it comes to lust, you'll have to pardon my assumptions - I was under the impression that you are a human being with flesh and bone, and human desires. You never claimed to be blind or without senses common in every other human... And because I have YET to meet a person who has not looked at another person with lust on their mind, I simply made the statement to support my point of view...

You can call what I did a threat, and I will reply that your outburst of anger is unnecessary - up to that point, I was hoping that what we were having was an intelligent conversation between two "rational" thinkers...

You did not have to respond to my initial comment, but you did - can you not handle the questions and thoughts, not to mention the beliefs of those who would disagree with you?

Neither my profile, nor my blog conceal what my intentions are - therefore, what did YOU expect by engaging me in conversation... Yet another supposed Christian who was going to tell you not to worry, the Bible doesn't mean what it says, and Hell doesn't really exist anyways, but I'm still a Christian? Sorry, no can do...

If so, you never mentioned it in your blog... I did not condemn you, neither did I judge you... Your sins condemn you, God will judge you - my opinions are not needed or necessary...

And as for my mode of proselytizing, it was ANYTHING BUT indirect... I'll leave that up to your friend Cole...

Stardust said...

You may refer to my beliefs as myth, however, you cannot deny your conscience - and one day you'll be brought face to face with the reality of what's been on the back of your mind your whole life...

There is nothing about gods in the back of my mind. There is only my gladness of being alive and living in the time I have here on this planet. Then I will die, as all things die, planets, suns, stars...nothing lasts forever (so much for Intelligent Design). And it is absurd to think that there is some magical place over the rainbow where everyone is hanging out with the likes of Jerry Falwell, repentant child murderers and serial killers,etc. It's just crazy to think that there will be billions of people all bowing to the feet of some great god for all eternity.

You mention that God should have made things clearer than He did, and to that I can only say that it's difficult for me to comprehend how He could have made it any more transparent -

Well, when a person wants me to meet him, he comes over and says howdy, in person. No games, no hide and seek. There is no magical sky boss. Only humans can help other humans. If you are alone on a deserted island and are without food and dying, NO GOD COMES TO HELP YOU...you simply die if no humans show up with food and water and medical supplies. If you have an incurable disease and pray...you die and call it "god's will". You make up what you want to justify what you want to believe. You cherry pick your bible to suit yourselves. You ignore the parts about creeps having sex with their daughter, Noah getting drunk and exposing his naked self to his sons is left out of children's stories.

If you really read all of your Bible and weren't brainwashed to believe it's some great writing from on high, you would not hold it in such high esteem. The Bible is compilation of literature, some of it very beautiful, much of it very violent and grotesque. All from the imaginations of ancient humans.

That He would take the time to care about someone as filthy and wretched and insignificant as me?

You really think lowly of yourself and that is quite sad. That is what religion teaches you? To hate yourself? You are right, in the vastness of the universe we are insignificant. Filty? Wretched? Are you a serial killer? A child molester? If not, if you are just an average person trying to get through life, then you are not filty, or wretched. I am a good person, I raised a good family, I help people, I have many, many talents. I am glad to have been born into a prosperous land of opportunity. Billions of people have not been so fortunate. And no god is finding favor with me, while overlooking millions and millions of poverty stricken people. Infants and children who are Christians starve to death daily crying out to their god. NO god comes. If people don't come to the rescue...the die.

God is not my coping device, rather He is my comfort..

Same thing. He is your security blanket. He is like the little stuffed teddy bear that a child needs for comfort. Therefore this imaginary friend is your crutch in life, and if that is what you need, that is your right. But if you come to an atheist site and try to tell me that I need to believe like you do, I am going to tell you that your religion is a crutch.

and if you're honest with yourself, your heart and mind are the reasons for your greatest failures in life.

If YOU are honest with YOURSELF you will take time to really examine what you believe and be honest as to why you believe it. No one believes in religion for anything other than selfish purposes. You believe there is something in it for yourself, some reward for merely existing.

I have no big failures in life. I have lived a good life. I have overcome great obstacles and losses. I am living with serious chronic illness and am glad for each day I am alive. I have raised a good family. I have been married for 33 years to the same man I dated in high school. I am a writer, hold a Masters Degree, and live in a nice house and in a nice neighborhood. I could go on and on. My life has never been a failure in any way. Not believing in your mythology does not make me a failure any more than you not believing in the Hindu or Muslim religion makes you a failure (though Muslims judge you the same way you judge me.)

God has shown those who would repent of their sins and trust in Him,

You are not even able to prove the existence of this god. The sin part is just a name that humans have created...a general term and people can name whatever they want as a "sin". It's so very vague.

However, it is clear that God only has a place in His heart for on people - the true nation of Israel - which is not a cultural issue, it is one of faith... Which is where we get back to God's favor toward those who are His.

For the sake of peace in the Middle East, this mythology has to go. Religion is the biggest reason for the conflict in the Middle East. As I said before, religion divides.

As for Jefferson and Washington, I have explained before that they had to appear to be Christian in the era in which they lived or they would never have been elected. Personal journals reflect their doubts...and at most they were deists and it is well-known that they were definitely not Christians.

You can pull quotes out all day long, but the fact is that this country may have been founded by Christians, Deists...BUT is not founded AS a Christian nation. The intention was to keep religion out of government so as to have no say in religion or vice versa.

On the contrary, our aim is to fulfill the command Christ gave in His gospels - and that is to warn people of God's coming Day of Judgment on all those who have broken His Laws...

And that is very egocentric, thinking that you are better than everyone else. Muslims do not agree with you, Hindus do not agree with you, Buddhists do not agree with you. Why can't you just live and let live? Christians are the only ones who feel they must change the world. As far as "Judgement Day", many of us find that whole idea absurd also. It is mental revenge and vindictiveness on the part of "loving" Christians who relish the idea of punishment for those who do not share the same "faith". When you are dead, you are dead. End of story.

Most people in America today, claiming to be Christian, have an idolatrous understanding of who God is,

According to you. Your beliefs. They would disagree with you. And I would disagree with all of you because there is no god. You cannot prove that there is. Most intelligent Christians will admit that.

Once again, I'm going to help you to understand the truth here so that I don't have to re-write what I've already clearly stated in previous messages...

YOUR version of truth. What you choose to believe, not actually what has been proven to be true. Just want you have been taught or have taught yourself to believe.

I'm not "making up my True Christianity" my faith is clearly established in the Word of God - not hidden or some sort of secret like the Church of Jesus Christ - Latter Day Saints...

Yes, you indeed are making up your own version of Christianity, or at least you have chosen a version you wish to believe in according to what it is you like about what you are hearing. The Latter Day Saints adamantly believe they have the truth and you do not. It's like I said before, you will never agree amongst yourselves and no god has come down to explain this "truth" or provided the clear interpretation of what this bible is supposed to mean. The Bible is a jumbled mess of contradictory texts and that is why you have to spend so much time studying it and trying to figure it out even amongst your own "True" believer friends.

It's not based upon what I think I might need or desire - my faith is based upon the sacrifice that was made for me, not because I deserved it, but because God, in His wisdom, for reasons only known to Him, chose to save my undeserving soul.

Don't you realize how absurd this sounds? Human sacrifice? For what? Exercising free will that you were born with? It makes absolutely no sense if you allow yourself to really examine it. "Save your undeserving soul"...there you go putting yourself down again thinking you are a horrible person when you are probably not. I know I am not. To think that a god who could do anything he wants would make a bunch of humans for himself to play blood and gore games with if they don't kiss his feet is ABSURD. What do you think you are going to be doing in this heaven for all eternity with Tammy Faye and all the rest of those freaky people? And do you really believe people who lead good lives and have contributed much to humanity and the world will be condemned for all eternity in a flaming pit for simply not believing in a god who never shows himself? That is absolutely absurd, ridiculous.

Nope, we "do this" in the hopes that some might be saved, and avoid Hell... Some are, and do, some don't and aren't...

But, it's such a waste of time since Hell is a mythological place. You are wasting what short life you have. It doesn't make sense that a god would create us only to be here to preach to other people to try to get them to believe so they can die and live forever kissing the feet of some god forever. That in itself sounds like hell to me.

My heart does ache that you would refuse such a generous gift as the one Christ died to provide for you -

No need, because I wasn't even born when Jesus supposedly lived. His mere existence is disputed. (I know about Josephus, and the few little things written about Jesus...but nothing very significant has been found.)

however, my faith is not shaken because yet one more person who hates God

Cannot hate what does not exist.

thinks I'm some sort of religious robot

If you only live by what an ancient text tells you, then you are indeed a religious robot. Probably a nice person like I said, just misled.

However, Christians go to church to learn more about God, and to learn how to share His Word with others...

How much more can you learn from an absent sky boss who never shows himself? You are just hearing what other humans are saying that you should believe about god, making stuff up about how god is, making up emotional little stories and songs to make you feel warm and fuzzy about an imaginary being. It's all man made, the theatrics, the songs, the religion itself...just like all religions are man made. (And the other religions would adamantly disagree with me also. )

Once again, I'm going to submit that what you wrote is AWESOME.

Yes, the universe is awesome, the world is awesome...but just because we cannot explain how it all came to be...much of it anyway, does not mean goddidit. It just means that humans still have a long way to go before finding all the answers, and may never find answers for most of what they are looking for.

He punished them for disobeying a command He had given them to follow...

Why give people free will when they are not allowed to practice it? And don't compare this with disciplining children. I would never even think to banish my children forever for not following a rule or command. I would not condemn them to death. And I would not have to sacrifice a human to redeem them.

Time for more corrections... God did not "rape" anyone

In the bible story, he impregnates Mary without her consent...supernatural rape or whatever you want to call it. There are many of these stories of immaculate conceptions in many different world mythologies. In ancient times, it was very bad for a young girl to be condemned for being pregnant outside of marriage. And a common excuse a girl gave was that she immaculately conceived...I can find the links for you if you want, but do a little internet research yourself on mythology and immaculate conceptions and you should be able to find the information.

What you see as a "gruesome game" Christians see as God's Wonderful Plan to bring His people to Himself.

Because Christians are programmed to think that, with the pretty music, etc. They are brainwashed to think that something gruesome and gory is beautiful and it is not at all that way. It is worse than the horror movies that Christians do not allow their children to watch. Christians speak against pornography but encourage their children to read the Bible, they don't let their children watch violent movies and horror flicks but the gruesome crucifixion story is told over and over again and kids are taught to drink the blood and eat the flesh of their savior based on a ritual started back in ancient times by an ignorant people.

A more wonderful plan in the Christian Bible would be a loving god, taking all his creations into his arms and loving them despite their flaws, show himself to everyone instead of playing hide and seek. That would be a far better and beautiful story. But what do we expect from mythology but a virgin giving birth to a man god, whose father kills him in a most gruesome way and still isn't happy with that and still wants to kill all of his creations in the pits of hell. Jesus changed nothing. The world is still the same, same crap happening. Same divisiveness caused by religion.

I'm sorry that, for whatever reason, you cannot believe.

I am sorry you cannot see the light of reason.

I pray that God will reveal Himself to you even through the hardness of your heart.

Why? And think so low of myself as you do yourself? I was a Christian for more than three decades and nothing is different now as it was when I was a Christian except that I have found peace in my life. I don't have to worry about being guilty of non-existent "crimes".

I will continue to check back here from time to time in case you might post another funny cartoon - however, I don't think I can go forward with this conversation because I am finding it arduous to repeat myself and clarify points that are perfectly clear...

Read all you want, but more proseltyzing is a waste of time, I have heard it all before and don't need religion in my life...any religion.

Your eyes have been blinded, and I pray that you might be given sight to see the truth...

And I could say the same thing about you. If you need religion in your life for whatever reason, that is your right...but it is my right to not have any beliefs. As for praying, magic doesn't work btw ;)

Stardust said...

First of all, I commented that the cartoon was funny - YOU brought up the controversial topic of the separation of church and state

You came here, I did not go to your blog and don't intend to. Separation of church and state is what our government is based on and even most religious people recognize that.

while we might disagree as to the definition of what a "true" Christian is - there would be no fighting on our part.

It happens all the time. You would never come to any reconciliation...ever.

When it comes to lust, you'll have to pardon my assumptions - I was under the impression that you are a human being with flesh and bone, and human desires.

Lust is not a bad thing. I have lust for my husband. Lust is a human desire that we develop as we mature. Those desires religious folks seem to have a problem controlling. Like priests and pastors molesting kids, and having affairs and cheating on their wives, etc. Christians do not have the monopoly on morals. Being a Christian does not make you a better person. It just gives you some way to rid yourself from the guilt by believing some supernatural sky daddy will forgive you for the things you do.

You can call what I did a threat, and I will reply that your outburst of anger is unnecessary

I am debating, not angry. Christians are obsessed with negative words and negativity in general about themselves and other people.

was hoping that what we were having was an intelligent conversation between two "rational" thinkers...

God belief is not rational. Therefore having a conversation with me about god is not going to be intelligent on your part as far as I am concerned. It is an irrational belief that you choose to maintain. Fine...it's your right. But it is my right to say it is absurd. And religious folks always use that "I wanted to have a conversation between two rational thinkers" as if that is some sort of influence because we consider ourselves to be rational. But like I said, cannot have a rational discussion about irrational beliefs.

can you not handle the questions and thoughts, not to mention the beliefs of those who would disagree with you?

It seems that you cannot. You are here at my blog, like I said. I did not come to your blog and tell you that you are going to be sorry if you continue to believe in your absurd mythology.

Neither my profile, nor my blog conceal what my intentions are - therefore, what did YOU expect by engaging me in conversation

My house here, I didn't go knocking at your door.

This whole thing got started because of your judgment that most Christians including Obama are not "true" Christians, according to your interpretations of this Bible that is full of contradictions and inconsistencies. You act superior as if you hold all knowledge of life and your religion. That rubs people the wrong way.

Your sins condemn you, God will judge you - my opinions are not needed or necessary...

There is no God...I make mistakes in life for I am human, we all make mistakes but they are hardly anything to spend an eternity suffering for...(unless you are a serial killer, murderer, etc.) But the fact is, we live, we die...we return from where we came...to stardust.

Stardust said...

The word "God" does not appear within the text of the Constitution of the United States. After spending three-and-a-half months debating and negotiating about what should go into the document that would govern the land, the framers drafted a constitution that is secular. he United States Constitution was written and ratified by elected officials representing a coalition of Enlightenment rationalists and evangelical Christians who were deeply concerned about entanglements between religion and government.

From Legacy Of Freedom by Rob Boston, Church and State, January, 2003. "Jefferson, Madison And The Nation's Founders Left Us Church-State Separation. Can We Keep It?"

What the Religious Right doesn't tell people, and what, tragically, many Amer­icans apparently don't know, is that when it comes to determining what the laws of the United States mean, the only document that matters is the Consti­tution. The Constitution, a completely secular document, contains no references to God, Jesus or Christianity. It says absolutely nothing about the United States being officially Christian. The Religious Right's constant appeals to documents like the Declaration of Independence, which contains a deistic reference to "the Creator," cloud the issue and make some people believe their rights spring from these other documents.

The Godless Constitution was written by two professors of government and history at Cornell University. Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore have spent their careers studying religion in American life. Some quotes from their book:

The preamble of the Constitution invokes the people of the United States. It does not invoke any sort of God

The Constitution forbids any religious test to hold office. A godless person is just as eligible as a godly one! (Article 6, Paragraph 3)

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin strongly suggested on June 28 that the convention have prayers said there. Evangelists take this as proof that the convention then went on with prayers. But, in fact, the convention did not accept the suggestion, and the convention went on without prayers.

The Treaty of Tripoli

The Tripoli Treaty of 1797 between the US and the Barbary States, unanimously approved by the US Senate on June 10, 1797, specifically states that the US is NOT a Christian nation. At that time, the US government was still dominated by those who are referred to today as the "Founding Fathers". ARTICLE 11:

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion...

Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun in the Lee v. Weisman ruling, 1992:

"When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."

John F. Kennedy September 12, 1960, address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.


From Americans United for a Separation of Church and State:

"It is true that the literal phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution, but that does not mean the concept isn't there. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

What does that mean? A little history is helpful: In an 1802 letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson, then president, declared that the American people through the First Amendment had erected a "wall of separation between church and state." (Colonial religious liberty pioneer Roger Williams used a similar phrase 150 years earlier.)

Jefferson, however, was not the only leading figure of the post-revolutionary period to use the term separation. James Madison, considered to be the Father of the Constitution, said in an 1819 letter, "[T]he number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church and state." In an earlier, undated essay (probably early 1800s), Madison wrote, "Strongly guarded...is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States."

As eminent church-state scholar Leo Pfeffer notes in his book, Church, State and Freedom, "It is true, of course, that the phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution. But it was inevitable that some convenient term should come into existence to verbalize a principle so clearly and widely held by the American people....[T]he right to a fair trial is generally accepted to be a constitutional principle; yet the term 'fair trial' is not found in the Constitution. To bring the point even closer home, who would deny that 'religious liberty' is a constitutional principle? Yet that phrase too is not in the Constitution. The universal acceptance which all these terms, including 'separation of church and state,' have received in America would seem to confirm rather than disparage their reality as basic American democratic principles."

Thus, it is entirely appropriate to speak of the "constitutional principle of church-state separation" since that phrase summarizes what the First Amendment's religion clauses do-they separate church and state.

Religious Right activists have tried for decades to make light of Jefferson's "wall of separation" response to the Danbury Baptists, attempting to dismiss it as a hastily written note designed to win the favor of a political constituency. But a glance at the history surrounding the letter shows they are simply wrong.

As church-state scholar Pfeffer points out, Jefferson clearly saw the letter as an opportunity to make a major pronouncement on church and state. Before sending the missive, Jefferson had it reviewed by Levi Lincoln, his attorney general. Jefferson told Lincoln he viewed the response as a way of "sowing useful truths and principles among the people, which might germinate and become rooted among their political tenets."

At the time he wrote the letter, Jefferson was under fire from conservative religious elements who hated his strong stand for full religious liberty. Jefferson saw his response to the Danbury Baptists as an opportunity to clear up his views on church and state. Far from being a mere courtesy, the letter represented a summary of Jefferson's thinking on the purpose and effect of the First Amendment's religion clauses.

Jefferson's Danbury letter has been cited favorably by the Supreme Court many times. In its 1879 Reynolds v. U.S. decision the high court said Jefferson's observations "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment." In the court's 1947 Everson v. Board of Education decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote, "In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'" It is only in recent times that separation has come under attack by judges in the federal court system who oppose separation of church and state."

Stardust said...

benjamin...one last thing -- I find it quite amusing that many of you fundamentalist Christians are exactly alike in the way you show the insecurity of your faith with the way you have to run back to your blogs and write big long posts featuring the big bad atheist that you could not convert (because of your lack of evidence or valid argument for the existence of your supernatural sky daddy.) Does it make you feel even more superior or do you still feel filthy and wretched? ;)

Benjamin - The Sower said...

You came here, I did not go to your blog and don't intend to.

Whether or not you intended to... you did... and you couldn't even leave your comments there? Now that's not even cordial... I've been nice enough to humor you and - as the Bible puts it in the 26th Chapter of Proverbs - answering the fool according to their folly...

I find it interesting that such a "good" person (Proverbs 20:6) would lie about their intentions... And such a learned person as yourself (a Master's Degree holder) would feel that it is a worthy pursuit to "debate" using profanity and then deny your anger. You are obviously smarter than I am, yet you cannot think of a more sophisticated, or a more "reasonable" way to carry on a conversation - talk about insecurity...

Your characterization of me running "back to [my] blogs and write big long posts featuring the big bad atheist that [I] could not convert (because of [my] lack of evidence or valid argument for the existence of [my] supernatural sky daddy.)" is nothing more than a silly appeal to ridicule...

I ran nowhere, I simply re-posted part of our conversation for the purpose of observation and further discussion in another location. Some of the things I wrote in my comment, I'd never documented before, and wanted a place I could refer back to the next time the topic came up... The big long post I wrote was on YOUR blog, remember?

With regard to "evidence" for what you refer to as my "sky daddy" - and you accuse ME of regurgitating other people's thoughts and ideas... You never asked for evidence - however, if you even showed the smallest shred of genuine interest, I would share it with you. However, I will hold my tongue because you are obviously looking for any opportunity to ridicule, and I wouldn't want to be mistake for playing the persecuted victim...

Note your use of the terms "goddidit" "sky daddy" & "supernatural rape" to quote a few... Please tell Dan Barker and Rob Barrier they need to come up with some new entries for their anti-deity dictionary that they've obviously failed to update for the past 5 or 6 years... They need to get on the ball and get you all some new insults for us dim-witted b'leevers...

And to close - I'm glad I was able to get away from my computer long enough to allow you to edit your post 3 or 4 times so that you could get your insults just right before I had the opportunity to respond...

Not that I was looking for an opportunity, mind you, it was just interesting to watch as your hateful comment "evolved."

I do not feel superior to you - I've said it before, and I would think that you would have been able to "interpret" my words clearly as intelligent and morally perfect as you profess to be... However, after reviewing this whole line of conversation, one does not have to have a Master's Degree to see that you do not respond based upon the facts of the issue, but rather your emotional whims...

Good Day...

(running back to my blog now) - feel free to comment with your venom sometime, if your remarks are in good taste, I just might accept them...

Stardust said...

Whether or not you intended to... you did... and you couldn't even leave your comments there? Now that's not even cordial... I've been nice enough to humor you and - as the Bible puts it in the 26th Chapter of Proverbs - answering the fool according to their folly...

I have no desire to leave a comment on a Xian blog. I am not looking for anything there and just went to take a peek to see if I was right about you being a fundie, and I was. As far as I am concerned, you are the fool...fooling yourself into believing that you are some special pet to some imaginary supernatural being.

I find it interesting that such a "good" person (Proverbs 20:6) would lie about their intentions... And such a learned person as yourself (a Master's Degree holder) would feel that it is a worthy pursuit to "debate" using profanity and then deny your anger.

It's just slang. Words. You interpret it to be something worse than it really is. And speaking of words, Xians really like to focus on that "anger" word. I must admit I do get a bit perturbed when fundies just can't keep their religion to themselves and wish me to go to some eternal suffering only because I do not believe what you believe.

You are obviously smarter than I am, yet you cannot think of a more sophisticated, or a more "reasonable" way to carry on a conversation - talk about insecurity...

Don't switch that around on me...you are the one so insecure in your faith that you have to keep convincing yourself that your god is real. I have carried on enough conversations with religious folks to know that you and your circular arguments for your imaginary being is a waste of time.

Your characterization of me running "back to [my] blogs and write big long posts featuring the big bad atheist that [I] could not convert (because of [my] lack of evidence or valid argument for the existence of [my] supernatural sky daddy.)" is nothing more than a silly appeal to ridicule.

No, it is fact. You have zero evidence for the existence of the god you are trying to get me and others to believe in. Blind faith. That's all you have to offer. Silly beliefs, like a child believing in Santa Claus.

I ran nowhere, I simply re-posted part of our conversation for the purpose of observation and further discussion in another location.

Why? For what purpose except to mock the big bad stupid atheist?
Typical fundamentalist Christian behavior. I have not found my moderate Christian friends and family members to be this way. Only the evangelicals.

The big long post I wrote was on YOUR blog, remember?

How could I forget. You are about the most long-winded commenter I have had in awhile.

With regard to "evidence" for what you refer to as my "sky daddy" - and you accuse ME of regurgitating other people's thoughts and ideas... You never asked for evidence

Because I know you don't have any. If you had, Harvard and scholars worldwide are wanting to know about it.

However, I will hold my tongue because you are obviously looking for any opportunity to ridicule, and I wouldn't want to be mistake for playing the persecuted victim..

You already have...especially with the way you couldn't wait to go back and write a post about me using quotes of what I wrote here.

They need to get on the ball and get you all some new insults for us dim-witted b'leevers...

You don't need that. You can have persecution parties all by yourselves.

I'm glad I was able to get away from my computer long enough to allow you to edit your post 3 or 4 times so that you could get your insults just right before I had the opportunity to respond...

Do you have your box of Kleenex next to you while with all that boo hooing?

I do not feel superior to you

Sure you do, that's why you take it upon yourselves to troll atheist blogs, tell people on the street that you have all the answers to life, and you know the fate of all human beings who don't believe as you do. You feel you are superior to Obama who you deem is not a true Christian like yourself because you have superior interpreting powers for deciphering your ancient mythology book in the "correct" manner. That is thinking you are superior, or giving the impression that you think you are.

one does not have to have a Master's Degree to see that you do not respond based upon the facts of the issue, but rather your emotional whims...

Funny you should say this when you believe in a god based on emotions and the only thing that keeps you believing is emotional songs, services, pretty little stories and scenerios told to you in sermons at your churches. There isn't one shred of evidence for the existence of your god. Not one. And your Bible that was written and rewritten and translated many times by human beings is NOT evidence any more than ancient texts about Ra prove his existence, or ancient Hindu texts prove the existence of Shiva, etc. They are all books, written by human beings...those all those religious folks would beg to differ, just as you do.

eel free to comment with your venom sometime, if your remarks are in good taste, I just might accept them...

Like I said, I have no interest in commenting on your blog and won't be back to even look. For what purpose would I comment there? IF I was so "full of venom" as you say, I might just do that and tell you that you are delusional on your own blog, but I do not bear you any ill will and you are free to believe what you want no matter what I think of it.

You came here to my blog and started bringing up stuff I do not believe in nor have any respect for, and you don't like what I have to say so you make me out to be something I am not for simply disagreeing with you. For the fundamentalist Christian, disagreement = persecution for some reason. You seem to enjoy playing the victim role.

Why did you come here and write that the comic I posted was funny? Because I bashed Obama? Why do you even care if they are pandering to the religious if you care nothing about separation of church and state?

I have posted a lengthy comment about what the founding fathers intended, and other points in history where separation of church and state have been upheld and made quite clear that religion has no place in government and you have chosen not to comment on that. You just worry about me writing a bit of profanity (because you fundies are so damn frustrating)and that I am persecuting you somehow by not believing in the things you believe in.

As for me, my stance is clear...
there is no evidence for the existence of god, gods,goddesses,Santa Claus, pink unicorns, Flying Spaghetti Monsters, Ra, Shiva, Odin, Zeus, etc. It's all mythology.

Stardust said...

When it comes to taking Leviticus literally, I would suggest that you only do that if you are a member of the nation of Israel in that time period that those laws were given... Once again, we need to consider who was writing the words, when the words were being written, what was happening in the culture and why...

This pertains to ALL of the Bible, since it was all written in the same era. The whole Bible was written in ancient times, by ignorant, superstitious people according to what was happening in the culture at that time. Like I said, you pick and choose what you want to apply to your lives now, according to how it fits your way of thinking. And as for Leviticus, we have laws in this country against killing children, incest, killing people for adultery, etc. Otherwise radical Christians might just follow it just as literally as the fundamentalist Muslims in Iran abide by what it says in the Quran.

Abrahamic religions are cruel, barbaric, backwards, and violent.

Benjamin - The Sower said...

You make me laugh - seriously...

You accuse me of not being able to wait until I can get back here to post again, yet, you edit through your comments 3 and 4 times in order to get the snide remarks just right...

So let's get to it - one last time...

Your denial of God does not negate His existence - it merely illustrates your fear of His judgment - whether you believe it or not...

Contrary to your assertions, I am not worried about your posting of profanity, I'm simply not impressed by those who choose to use vocabulary that is ignorant at it's core.

Your beliefs and opinions of the Bible are unfounded and wrong... You specialize in secular drivel that cringes at the thought that a just judge like the God of the Bible might actually exist.

You're funny when you write that "fundies should keep their religion to themselves" when you produce a blog such as this...

You insist that I wish you some sort of eternal suffering, regardless of my mention that I do NOT wish you to go to Hell - but you ignore that because of your hatred of everything Christian.

I do not consider your hatred to be persecution toward me - you couldn't do anything to me such as the torture that Christians are experiencing as they spread the gospel in countries where it is illegal...

There is no need to comment on your long-winded cut and paste job of the founding fathers because your argument can be explained away as quickly and thoughtlessly as your refutation of the Bible's validity...

Your belief that I am insecure in my faith is, once again, wrong. I have to convince myself of nothing - I am convinced of my knowledge of God, whom you claim to have once known, but by your very testimony, you never knew... My evidence for the existence of God is such that you would not accept it if I shared it with you, so again, I'm not going to bother...

You claim to be having a debate, and yet you fulfill every fallacy made in any intellectual argument...

I sincerely hope that you come to your senses before you are knocked off of your high horse. You can take my word for it that I won't be back on this topic - you have essentially rescinded my welcome, and I don't need to be asked to leave, I know when to go...

Baconeater said...

Your denial of God does not negate His existence - it merely illustrates your fear of His judgment - whether you believe it or not...
****************************
How does one fear an imaginary being's judgment. I don't care what the Cat in the Hat, Jesus, God, The Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus think of me.

They are all fictional characters.

Why do you Fundies need to pull crap out of your butts?

And your assertion that Catholics are not real Christians is laughable.

You said it, so it must be true.

Truth coming from someone who is still believing in fairy tales that were put into his head at an early age. I got over it. You haven't.

Stardust said...

You make me laugh - seriously...

Why do you mimic everything I do? I laugh at you, you laugh at me. Why don't you spend time answering my question of what happens if you are alone on a deserted island and are in need of medical help or you will die. If no human help comes...you die. No god comes. Believers then will write it off as God's Will...and we atheists say that was what happens when humans can't get there to intervene. When humans get there to help you praise your imaginary god for helping you when the credit really goes to the humans who came to the rescue...a god never comes...never.

You accuse me of not being able to wait until I can get back here to post again, yet, you edit through your comments 3 and 4 times in order to get the snide remarks just right...

Why do you keep coming back here? You can't wait, like I said. You are obsessed with me and how I can live with no beliefs in imaginary supernatural entities. Anything I say against your goofy beliefs will be considered "snide" remarks. Remember, this is MY BLOG and if I choose to edit my posts 4, 400 or 4,000 times, that is my business.

So let's get to it - one last time...

That's what you keep saying, but you'll be back since you are questioning or challenging your faith or whatever you want to call it. If you really are a "true" believer, you would not have to play games with challenging your faith and all that nonsense.

Your denial of God does not negate His existence

Your mere belief in your god does not prove his existence any more than does believe in Santa Claus prove that he is real. Or believe in Shiva makes him real, or believe in Ra makes him real, or belief in Xenu makes him real...understand? Belief and feelings alone and an ancient book written by ignorant ancient humans does not make your god real.

it merely illustrates your fear of His judgment - whether you believe it or not...

As bacon pointed out above, we cannot fear something that does not exist. You are the one who fears an imaginary being because you are one of the sheeple who follow what you are being brainwashed with and too afraid to think for yourself. If I was afraid of your sky boss, I would be a sheeple like you. Even if a god exists I would tell him to his face that he is one sick son of a bitch and not a god worth worshiping with the way he destroys, allows suffering, destruction and torture, molestation of little children, children allowed to starve to death and be eaten by vultures. I would have no use for such a god....but I know that god is just a mythological character invented by human beings.

Contrary to your assertions, I am not worried about your posting of profanity,

Then why bother to mention it?

I'm simply not impressed by those who choose to use vocabulary that is ignorant at it's core.

And I am not impressed by your vindictive fantasy beliefs that good people are going to eternal torture for simply not believing the way you do.

Your beliefs and opinions of the Bible are unfounded and wrong...

According to you. More people disagree with you on this planet than agree with you. And like I said before, your version of Christianity is just one of many, many variations. You will never agree amongst yourselves as what real Christianity is because your Bible is just a jumbled mess of contradiction and inconsistencies.

You specialize in secular drivel that cringes at the thought that a just judge like the God of the Bible might actually exist.

I don't cringe...I just know. And what makes me cringe is people who make stuff up about an imaginary being and tell me I need to believe in your absurdity. I keep saying, there is no evidence that your imaginary friend exists. Nada. None. Only your faith and what you choose to believe, just like all the other god botherers of the Earth...Hindus, Muslims, etc.

You're funny when you write that "fundies should keep their religion to themselves" when you produce a blog such as this...

This blog is for atheists. You came here. You could have just passed on by. I do not make a habit of visiting Xian blogs unless we are friends and talking about other topics...seems like evangelicals have nothing else to talk about except Jeebus and all your selfish great rewards in an afterlife. You are obsessed with death. If you look at my blog it is about many topics, much of it is astronomy. The only god believer I have here as a regular friend is Cole who is interested in so much more of what life has to offer.

You insist that I wish you some sort of eternal suffering, regardless of my mention that I do NOT wish you to go to Hell - but you ignore that because of your hatred of everything Christian.

I do not hate Christians...that is what you are brainwashed to say. You all use the same terminology and rhetoric. I think you are less worried about a stranger going to an imaginary hell than you are with validating your own beliefs. I am telling you this because since you came here I will encourage reason and reality over fantasy. If you think that is hateful, then so be it.

I do not consider your hatred to be persecution toward me

There you go with the persecution complex again that you have been trained to fall into when you hear other viewpoints that you don't like.

- you couldn't do anything to me such as the torture that Christians are experiencing as they spread the gospel in countries where it is illegal...

This is hilarious! Now you are sounding like an S&M addict, oh...hurt me! hurt me! Many evangelicals seem to relish victimhood and persecution so as to be able to say you are overcoming evil or whatever. That is why you go back to your blog and post about atheists...so you can declare some victory or whatever or show you are challenging your faith to get pats on the back from the other sheeple. I was once a sheeple. I know how important it must make you feel.

There is no need to comment on your long-winded cut and paste job of the founding fathers

Because you refuse to see reality and reason. You only want to see things your way and now how things really are. Fortunately, most of American sees that this country was founded on Separation of Church and State. God is not mentioned anywhere in our Constitution. Our government was formed as a SECULAR GOVERNMENT.

Your belief that I am insecure in my faith is, once again, wrong.

I don't think so. You protest too much.

I have to convince myself of nothing

Then why feel the need to defend yourself so strongly to a mere stranger who you have never met? I don't come to you, you come to me...so you are going to hear the way I see things.

I am convinced of my knowledge of God, whom you claim to have once known, but by your very testimony, you never knew...

The only knowledge you have of your god is what you create, however you want him to be. Every believer has their own personal idea of this god, because everyone has different needs. God is a character in a book. And like all characters in fiction, people can imagine this character to be any way they want to see him.

My evidence for the existence of God is such that you would not accept it if I shared it with you, so again, I'm not going to bother...

Because, I know from experience, it is only your faith that is the evidence you have...your beliefs. There is no verifiable, testable, evidence for the existence of god. In my top post about the spiral galaxy, things invisible can be seen via special Very Large Telescopes. Humans can now peer deep into the cosmos and guess what? No god ever shows up. Oh...I know what you are going to say...god is playing hide and seek in another realm.

You claim to be having a debate, and yet you fulfill every fallacy made in any intellectual argument...

And what intelligent contribution have you made to this discussion? All you have done is proclaim that you are a true Christian, Obama and most of the others who claim to be Christians are not true Christians but you know you are a true believer, etc. You have offered nothing intellectual. You choose not to respond to the information I pasted for your benefit. I do not have time to retype it all, but it doesn't make it any less legitimate.

I sincerely hope that you come to your senses before you are knocked off of your high horse.

I turn that around to you, buddy. You seem to be on a very, very high superior horse. You think you are a true Christian and none of the others are. You are judging yourself to be superior even to others of your own faith.

You can take my word for it that I won't be back on this topic

I doubt that. I bet you will be back to at least lurk. ;)

you have essentially rescinded my welcome,

All I rejected is your belief system. I am friends with many Christians and most of my extended family are Christians and the only ones to reject me and judge me are the evangelicals. I have found them to be self-important and real jerks about things. Intolerant, and superior acting. Self-righteous. If there is a god, ya'll might just be surprised at his or her rejection of you.

and I don't need to be asked to leave, I know when to go...

If that is what you want, goodbye. If you choose to come back, that's fine also.

Stardust said...

Why do you Fundies need to pull crap out of your butts?

LOL! Bacon, that is what they are so good at! They make it up as they go. The create an answer for everything. They have quite excellent imaginations, building this god character into whatever they want it to be, whatever they want it to think, whatever personality they want it to have...good god, just god, evil god, touchy feely god, irate and vindictive god, best friend god, emperor god, all kinds of variations of this god according to the needs, wants and desires of the believer.

Stardust said...

One more thing for benjamin...

you couldn't do anything to me such as the torture that Christians are experiencing as they spread the gospel in countries where it is illegal...

They know what they are getting into when they go into these countries and try to change things. It is not the right of outsiders to force their religion into a place where it is not allowed. If it is a human rights issue where people are being oppressed and abused, then yes...we need to help. But as for spreading your religion, that is just lack of respect for another culture. Religious folks need to keep their religion to themselves. The Christians and the Muslims are the only ones who seem to have a problem with this and are the two most violent religions on the planet.

karen said...

Hey Star! I finally signed up with a google account so I can comment here! :-D

Benjamin the wowser- What a ton of denial he's buried under, eh? Yes Ben, I checked out your blog, too. But to comment there, I have to sign up for yet another different account-I think, and one a day is enough for me.

Why are so many fundies bald?

You know, he kinda reminds me of Ed, without hair, actually.

Anyhoo, Ben, you're looking at the Christian nation thing all wrong by going back to the Mayflower Compact. That was when we were still tied to England, see? THIS country began with the Constitution as the first legal founding document. And I don't know why you think Star's list of supporting facts for separation and the deism of the FFs isn't worth trying to rebut, as they are well established facts. The Treaty of Tripoli is very straight-forward and was one I was going to mention to you on your blog before I found out I had to register with a new account to comment.

But you go on believing as you want. We know you will anyway, and it's your right. Try to mix your religion into the govt. though and we'll have to First Amendment you on that one every time.

Other than that, I just can't decide which is funnier, your denial that there would be any fracas if differing sects were put in a big arena to sort your religion out, or this little gem of yours:
Your denial of God does not negate His existence - it merely illustrates your fear of His judgment - whether you believe it or not...

That is just too rich! You don't get atheism at all, do you?

Thanks for the lulz!

laren

Stardust said...

Hey Karen! Howdy friend! Glad you can come here and visit and comment now. Yes, ben, like so many other fundies just do not understand atheism. They also cannot fathom life without belief in some grand puppermaster pulling their strings. Like the Great and Powerful Oz. But at the end of Oz the point is made that we ourselves have the power to make things happen in our lives and we don't need any wizard or god, gods, goddesses to accomplish things or to be happy. It is our decision whether to be happy or unhappy, to educate ourselves or to remain ignorant. I hope that benjamin's little visit here gave him something to think about and planted some seeds of doubt inside his brain.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"real or true Christian"

No true Scotsman sighting!

Stardust said...

Jason, exactly.

Stardust said...

Why are so many fundies bald?

And why do they all look like Paul Manata?

You know, he kinda reminds me of Ed, without hair, actually.

Scary. You said Ed closed down his blog, right? The evil "atheist influence" drove him out of blogland? LOL!

Stardust said...

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government."
– Thomas Jefferson