Organized Religion: A Tool for Ignorance, Power and Control

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organized-religionI think anyone who follows me even somewhat regularly knows that I’m a Christian.  I know that’s not always a popular thing to be as a liberal, but it’s a fact nonetheless.  That being said, I detest organized religion.

What “religion” is to me is a human-made concoction meant to promote the personal views of some while degrading the views of others.

Honestly the only reason I call myself a “Christian” is because it’s easier than saying, “I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the values for which he stood.  That being said, I oppose most things that have been written in the Bible as it is clear that much of the text has been influenced by the personal views of those in charge of translating the text through time.”

I’ve talked “religion” with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Atheists (yes I consider Atheism a form of religion) and it’s amazing how personally we’re all pretty much the same.  Our core values as human beings are basically identical.  Things like being a good person, helping the helpless and defending the defenseless.  Generally just being good people.

And isn’t that what life is about?  Isn’t that what we should all strive to be as humans?

Why is it so many care so much about the personal religious views of others?  If everyone kept their beliefs private (as they should be), practiced them in the appropriate places and didn’t judge others who believed differently – can you imagine how much more peaceful the world would be?

How many murders, wars, acts of terror or any number of other heinous acts have been committed in human history in the name of religion?

Not faith, spiritual guidance or belief in humanity – but human-made religion.

It’s one group of humans telling another that they’re wrong.  It’s one group of people using religion to manipulate the masses to oppose another grouping of people based on their own interpretation of a faith.

Because that’s what organized religion is – control.

It’s an easy way to take a group of people with like-minded beliefs, group them together and manipulate them for some kind of ulterior goals.

Heck, just look through history.  Religious leaders often perpetuated that specific kings or emperors were “ordained by (fill in whatever God they believe in)” and for the people to rise up against them would be blasphemy.  To question their rule was to go against “God,” thus risking damnation.

It’s genius, isn’t it?

You can force people to support leaders who don’t have their best interests in mind by simply evoking the “wrath of … whatever God they worship.”

And this isn’t just a Christian thing.  You see this with almost every religion around the world.

It’s why our Founding Fathers had it right by wanting to keep church and state separate.  They didn’t put God into the United States – Christians did much later.  Phrases like “One Nation Under God” and “In God We Trust” didn’t show up in the United States until long after this nation was founded.  How can anyone honestly argue that this country was “founded on Christianity” when the words “Christian” or “Christianity” don’t appear even once within our Constitution?

Not. One. Single. Time.

I believe faith to be a wonderful thing.  But by faith I mean spiritual faith.  If you want to believe in Jesus Christ or Muhammad I don’t care – as long as you’re not taking that faith, forming it into a belief and then forcing it on others.

Hell, you don’t have to believe in anything at all.  Just don’t try to force others to believe in nothing either.  I’ve met plenty of atheists who act just as obnoxious as religious radicals about their lack of a belief in a God.  If you don’t believe how they do, you’re an idiot.

Because at the end of the day, who really cares?

When we die, something happens to us, and that’s a certainty.  Whether we ascend up into some kind of heaven, get reincarnated into something else or simply just cease to exist – something will happen to us when we die.

Our goal as humans should simply be to exist as good people, and that’s essentially what the core of all of these faiths tells us – just be a good person.

But it’s organized religion that has taken that simple goal and twisted it for human-made selfish ambitions, greed and power.  Because religion is quite the tool to achieve all three of those things.  Like I said earlier, many horrific acts have been committed in human history all in the name of “religion.”  Individuals who’ve been convinced that the best way to show the veracity of their faith is by slaughtering those who chose not to convert to it.

Religion is nothing more than a tool that’s been used over centuries to manipulate people, usually for the benefit of a select few.

Heck, just look at this country now.  Tens of millions of Americans vote against their own interests on based on essentially two “religious” beliefs:

  • Abortion
  • Same-sex marriage

And that’s about it.  I’ve actually met conservatives that say they couldn’t care less about what economic policies either party supports, because those two issues mattered to them most.   Basically, they would rather live impoverished by economic policies which hurt them than see a gay couple get married or a woman have control over her own body.

It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Because at the end of the day no matter what we believe, how we’re judged as people (by whomever might judge us, be it a deity or loved ones) will be determined by our actions – not the opinions of strangers who disagreed with our beliefs.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.
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  • GayAtheist64

    I’m Atheist and couldn’t agree more. VERY well said. Kudos to the Author, there should be more like him.

    • Joseph Minardi

      I do not agree that atheism is a religion. Sheesh, I really wish people would stop with that crap. Atheism is a religion like non-stamp collecting is a hobby.

      • GayAtheist64

        Joseph, I agree Atheism is not a religion, but didn’t see where that was mentioned in the article? I certainly never said it was.

      • brunssd

        “I’ve talked “religion” with Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Atheists (yes I consider Atheism a form of religion) and it’s amazing how personally we’re all pretty much the same.”

        first sentence, fourth paragraph

      • GayAtheist64

        Oh. Ok, I missed that & probably would’ve commented the same as Joseph did if I’d seen it. (Yes, I read the article – lol, but…. 🙂

      • Joseph Minardi

        Overall I agreed with the article but that part irked me. Sorry.

        Shalom!

      • Celeste Dyer

        I’m pretty sure the focus of the article was not whether atheism is s religion or not, but that we should keep our religious beliefs private and just treat everyone as a human being regardless of their beliefs. If Mr. Clifton feels that atheism is a religion it really doesn’t effect me or my own personal beliefs. You missed the point or rather you provided more evidence of the problem.

      • Atheist

        Atheism is not a religion but that’s besides the point. The point the author is trying to make is that. Believe whatever the hell you want don’t impose it on others. Simple as that.

      • Clint

        How did you come to the conclusion that Christians should not impose there beliefs on others? Is that your opinion, or do have some evidence that supports that rule? By you telling others to “believe whatever the hell you want don’t impose it on others” you are doing the very thing that you are asking Christians not to do. How come it is ok for you to do this but it’s not ok for me to tell someone about Christ?

      • GayAtheist64

        You’re fine to tell someone what your personal experience has been, but your very own holy book says you can’t judge. It also says if you find someone unreceptive, to walk away. It’s supposed to be a personal experience, when you abuse your freedom to infringe on that of others, you’re getting it all wrong.

      • Clint

        Judging is a different subject. I am talking about sharing beliefs with other people. Thats funny you should say that I’m abusing my freedom to infringe on that of others and I am getting it all wrong. You are doing the exact same thing that you don’t think I should do. Why is it ok for you to stand up for your beliefs but it is not ok for me to stand up for mine? Is it because mine are wrong and if they are please give me evidence of this, and also what authority do you have that makes me wrong for my beliefs?

      • GayAtheist64

        You’re talking in circles, Clint. The whole article was about judging/governing. Sharing your beliefs (to word what I said differently) isn’t bad as long as you’re willing to not go the route of saying “mine are right and anyone else’s are wrong”, then feel you (meaning anyone, not you personally – get a grip) are in a position to judge/govern others according to your beliefs. That’s imposing. For clarification, Atheism isn’t a belief system, if that’s what you’re referencing. Nevertheless, I never said YOU were imposing your beliefs, I was responding to your question (above) when you asked where the line is drawn. However… When someone says you (again, anyone) can’t impose your beliefs on me, it isn’t infringing upon your rights. Your right to extend your fist only goes to the point where it meets someone else’s nose. One group cannot say another must live by their tenets.

      • Clint

        I am not talking in circles I replied to Athiest who said “Believe whatever the hell you want don’t impose it on others.” What I am saying is when someone makes a statement like the one I have referenced that is imposing their beliefs on someone else whether they like it or not. It’s the same thing. Regarding your statement that “atheism isn’t a belief system” then what is it?

      • GayAtheist64

        To say “I believe xyz and you must listen to me &/or believe as I do” is (as I said earlier) getting it all wrong. Spiritual experiences are to be personal. Even your Jesus spoke out against Pharisees. For me to say I do not subscribe to your belief system is in no way an infringement upon your freedom/rights. To tell someone “cut it out, I’m not interested, if I were I’d ask” is not saying s/he doesn’t have the right to believe as personally desired. It’s not at all the same thing. Thus we come to the second part of your question. Atheism is absence of belief in any deity, and the NOT following of any doctrine, creed, or ritual. These are the main things that make up a religion, therefore it doesn’t fit the definition. Atheism does not assert there is no god, (which would be a positive statement of belief), it says there is no evidence of any to believe in. As regards the article, non-Christians, according to the Constitution, are not to be made to follow Christian tenets. This is what’s meant by those saying here (and in the article) that said tenets aren’t to be imposed upon others. That’s why we have separation of church and state. This country was formed to get AWAY from being under the tyrannous rule of religion.

      • Clint

        Thank you for responding. I agree that no one should be forced to follow or listen to Christian tenets. You are absolutely right. I do not agree though that Atheism is not a belief. Not believing in something is still belief. I’m sure you came to your conclusions through research you weighed the evidence and you chose your route and I chose mine. You may not practice a religion but you still have your beliefs.

      • GayAtheist64

        Thanks in return for your politeness, Clint. You’d be correct to say my disbelief is from research and personal experience. Disbelief, however, cannot be belief, moreover not a belief system. Atheism, by its very definition, is the absence of belief. “A” = without/non.

      • Scaramongus

        “Not believing in something is still belief.”

        This is just how religious people like to frame that argument to their benefit so they can claim that their “beliefs” are somehow being oppressed. Just a wee bit clever I guess, but rather transparent in the end.

      • Adam Barlow

        Our government is just a corrupt as any religious organization? Jesus is righteous. Follow him, he will direct your paths.

      • GayAtheist64

        Adam, you’re writing politely, which is appreciated. What I find disturbing is that you’re replying to my message in which I’d written, “To tell someone ‘cut it out, I’m not interested, if I were I’d ask’ is not saying s/he doesn’t have the right to believe as personally desired”. I respect your right to believe as you desire, but not your opportunism. I understand evangelism, I used to do the same, but I hadn’t invited it.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        I do not follow— I read and expostulate; I make decisions. I am not a follower. I lead.
        so far so good—
        NOTE: jesus Christ certainly is a historical figure worthy of reading up on; and many of his principles are acutely needed for good living

      • Susan M Mozgai

        You can’t compare the two and if you do then you should go live somewhere else.

      • Michael David Barber Moghul

        No one wants to hear it

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey clint—————— “share” your VOODOO with those who ASK– by asking; NOT YOUR evaluation of what construes being asked– and then U indeed have all the freedom to “share” whatever you believe. We don’t want to hear fairy tales/VOODOO of some 2000 yr old dried out fisherman who YOU “think” IS THE ONLY ‘god”!!!!!
        save it for those who approach you inquisitively: and do NOT lay this crap on us that YOUR BOOK/FAITH mandates you to ” carry the mess(age) “,,,,,,,,,,,,,, then MY book mandates that I beat up those who annoy me with silly UN-ASKED for superstitious “messages”…OK????

      • Clint

        You are cracking me up thanks for the laugh. I don’t know if this helps you or not but I have not given you any information on what I believe thanks for your suggestions though they are very helpful. Also don’t make threats you can’t back up because you are hiding behind your computer screen.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey scumbag,,,,,,,,,,,,, (A) I didn’t ‘threaten” you: (b) Im at the LA fitness nightly ( m-fri) after 9pm til about 1130 pm playing hoops and lifting. c’mon by and say that to me in person
        38th st & US1 in FT.L…… my girlfriend works the front desk,,,, she will let U in free: I guarantee it

      • Bill Roberts

        White trash; you clearly are!!!

      • white trash religious teaparty

        thine is cowardly comeback.
        trash? yes!! athletic/ self employed / no drugs or alcohol/ hot girlfriend ( easy actually)/ financially independent/ live one block from beach in PAID FOR condo ( gated community; face east of COURSE) in pompano beach FL
        white trash?? yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh baybeeeee

      • Clint

        I just wanted to educate my favorite little clown that Jesus was a carpenter not a fisherman. He made “fishers of men” educate yourself before you open your pathetic uneducated mouth. I’m sure you have it all figured out. How old are you 12 does your parents know you’re on the computer?

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        hey schmuck; he was the SON OF a carpenter: actually he ( jesus) made yokes and ploughs. he was called a TEKTON– perhaps U should look it up instead of spouting such bavardage. also– as we have nearly NO historical reference to JEEEESUS except his ‘birth’ and him at age 12 and then appearing around age 30/31(??) how do U know what he did? he was pretty masterful with fish; and two of his first 4 apostles were fishermen. carpenter???? read up chumly before YOU open thy orifice and show your limited “learnings”
        ……………..and if hes NOT a fisherman,,,, please explain the catch of 153(?) fish by jesus.
        uneducated? 12?
        clint needs to go poopie

      • Susan M Mozgai

        were you there???

      • Team America

        Clint – The question to you is, how many times does your listener have to tell you “I’m not interested” before you turn away from them? Your need to tell others of your religion is often time an intrusion that is unwanted. An intrusion I might add that is repeated over and over and over by others of your’s and different faiths that all but command them to “spread the word”. This very obvious recruitment technique is what I think of as the Christian nuisance. Having personally answered that question year ago, I find it intrusive and offensively disrespectful as I’ve made my personal choice and have dismissed your’s as an untruth and not something that is worthy of any more of my time or consideration. That is why you are receiving the opinions that you are squirming to discredit within this comment section.

      • Adam Barlow

        Additionally, the bible teaches that believers can judge other believers. Also, it is true that no one should be force fed the gospel. The main objective is to make sure everyone is introduced to Jesus. If they reject him than walk away. He died to make atonement for all us sinners, and offers a free gift of eternal life if we believe him and trust him with our lives. He knows your heart Gayathiest, and he loves you more than you can imagine. He rescued me from a life filled with addiction, lust, and many many problems. I wasn’t looking for him, he found me,. I suggest you keep your heart and mind open to him. His name is Jesus.

      • GayAtheist64

        Adam, again, I understand many are taught that evangelism is the thing to do. I must assert that in 2000 years, there’s been plenty of time for everyone to have already heard the Bible’s words. Thanks for sharing your personal experience, but please consider that it’s only within religion that ‘sin’ & atonement are taught. I’m one within 70% of the world’s population who do not subscribe to Abrahamic Monotheism. All the loving and well-meant words you can speak will not change that. I’ve studied and been involved with many religions in my life, and have come to the conclusion that it’s mentally and emotionally healthier for me to renounce any of them. Thanks again for your politeness, though, that’s refreshing.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        mentally; physically AND spiritually healthier!!!
        they forget that the path to hell is golden-paved with good intent

      • Susan M Mozgai

        Although I don’t find Adam being very polite.

      • S. Kovac

        You do realize that this statement means less than nothing to us, right? In the same way that you would likely not care if I claimed that the Maori God of the Sea, Takaroa, would keep his heart open to you and offers you the gift of eternal life if you agree to believe in him, we Atheists feel almost nothing about your claims that “Jesus offers a free gift of eternal life if you believe in him”. In addition, have you considered that maybe what helped you out of addiction wasn’t the divine hand of Jesus, but a sense of community and obligation to that community brought on by joining a social group?

      • Adam Barlow

        This is in response to the multiple arguments you responded with regarding my comments of other discussions. I can gather you don’t believe in a God or just guessing a creator of the universe? The comment I made about people taking Gods name in vain was in reference to illiterate idiots who go around committing various forms of trouble in the name of God…hope that makes sense now! Next, you said Jesus was ethical. Jesus was not ethical or philosophical he IS spiritual. Also, I was not seeking Jesus in my life, I was I thought quite happy before I was introduced to Jesus. I had all the luxuries of life and anything I desired. One day a co-worker asked me a question: Do you believe in God? I answered Yes. Immediately I felt something pass through my body and I just “knew” ….it was Jesus. What I experienced for a few seconds was supernatural. I knew this world and this life on earth could never compare to the peace I tasted. I knew without being told or ever reading the bible or attending church that it was Jesus introducing himself to me. I knew immediately where in my heart I needed to change. It was as if It was downloaded from heaven straight into me. I made choices that very day to follow after Jesus in his ways, in his path. I don’t expect you to believe my testimony, and I am sorry you don’t know Jesus. You will meet him someday when your body dies. My suggestion for you: pray to him and ASK for him to speak to you or show you he is there. Yeah yeah crazy religious blah blah.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        the god I believe in is not limited by name/philosophy/flesh/ time and space,,,,, GOD simply IS!
        to define GOD with finite bovaristic dogma is indeed oligophrenial– despite your “good” intent

      • Adam Barlow

        How would you describe or define God as you know and understand the source of life? I hear this from people all the time, usually this type of philosophy comes from people holding onto something and refuse to Acknowledge Jesus because the thing or possibly an idol is more important than serving a righteous, omniscient saviour. Our own will in this case takes on a life of its own and at the same time the individual will justify their sin in order to remain living in denial, especially in denial of Gods will and purpose for his creation. The deception is so clever or at least clever enough, the reality of it cannot be seen nor detected; when someone courageous enough reminds the deceived individual they receive wrath in return by the monster within that is holding onto the idol. The end result is God could not possibly be explained in human terms because he could not possibly be familiar with the meager and sad existence of mere humans and concerned with how they live their lives. More directly the scriptures are considered foolishness because they shine so bright the sin within goes running and the deceived remain ensnared and held in bondage to a life of impurity. In the place of God in ones heart becomes the pursuit of Knowledge so-as to glorify oneself and be Gods themselves.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        a quick and powerful answer to that above bavardage is:
        jesus aint god–
        period

      • Susan M Mozgai

        you seem to have to defend yourself a lot! wonder why?

      • Andrani

        I had the same experience when I was seventeen. Words can’t describe it. Never felt like it since. And, like you, I thought I was fine. I even got a little offended when I was asked if I wanted to accept him. But I swallowed my pride.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        perhaps the so-called free eternal “life” offered is simply the dark tranquility of death!
        I enjoy irking Christians who claim miracles:
        ” ok,,,,thats great: please document a miracle cure of an amputee”
        ==========================================
        they shake there head and tell me they will pray (see: beg) for me

      • Susan M Mozgai

        Adam, hmmm I wonder why your parents named you as such… you are far from where the supposed original name came from….

      • Susan M Mozgai

        Agree

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Telling someone about Christ is not imposing your belief on others. Creating legislation–laws that people not of your faith have to obey– based specifically on your particular religious beliefs is.

      • Clint

        So where do you draw the line on “not imposing” my beliefs on others. Should I just stop telling people about Christ because you don’t agree with it? If I share with you what Christ has done for me in my life, it is imposing my beliefs on you in some way. Just like when you tell me about your beliefs when they are different than mine. My point is that when people say that Christians should not impose their beliefs on others I am pointing out that the other side is doing the very thing they say Christians shouldn’t do. It’s a self defeating statement.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        how about telling OTHERS about CHRIST if and WHEN they ask; NOT UNTIL THEN!!!!

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Did you not read my comment? Tell me what you want…I’ll decide whether I want to listen or not. But LEGISLATION based solely on your religious beliefs, creating laws that would apply to me and others who do not believe as you do….that’s a different thing entirely. How much clearer must I make this?

      • Clint

        I’m not talking about legislation I’m simply referring to the comment about “imposing beliefs on others” If I am told that Christians should not impose their beliefs on others I am point outing out that the other side is doing the same thing. They are imposing their beliefs on Christians. So lets take your comment that “LEGISLATION based solely on your religious beliefs, creating laws that would apply to me and others who do not believe as you do” that is imposing your belief on me. Why is it ok for you to do that and not me? Why do you get to make the rules? Is it because you know better than me or you have the authority to do so? Do you have evidence that your legislation is more appropriate than mine?This is not meant to be an argument so please don’t take it that way.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        our government founders were QUITE clear—– NO RELIGION in government. U wanna practice your white trash brand of voodoo? we as americans have that right! U wanna tell us about your superstitions???? NO THANK U,,,,, wait til we ask: we don’t wanna hear about some fisherman who U clowns claim is GOD. U don’t want to hear about moslem / Buddhist/taoist faiths? agreed,,,,,,, we don’t either— that include the stupidity of Christianity. go pray in a tax free building ALONE with other non thinkers

      • Adam Barlow

        Most law originates from scripture, put in place by the founding fathers. So which laws are you referring to As having biblical interference?

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Are you really going to claim that the Bible is the sole source of law for the United States? In which case, where’s the next stoning for blasphemy going to be held? The source of our laws is the sense of justice and equality contained In the Constitution, which was NOT based on the Bible. Our laws are created specifically to NOT be based on religion. Please go study the Constitution and note, among other things, the PROHIBITION for a religious test to hold a position of authority in this country. The Constitution was based on ideas that were around long before Abram walked out of Ur. Moses wasn’t the first one to present the idea that murder was wrong, theft was wrong, lying was wrong, bearing false witness was wrong. But we now live in a country where we DON’T stone people for blasphemy. We don’t force a virgin girl who has been raped to marry her rapist. And we don’t kill Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and, yes, even agnostic and atheists for the ultimate crime in the Bible….believing in a different God from Jehovah or believing in no god at all. That’s called religious freedom. Deal with it!

      • Clint

        We’ll you’re wrong there. I will give you a clip from a public document and you tell me if our country wasn’t based on Christian values. “Delegates to the constitution, there were 55 core delegates. Among the delegates there were 28 episcopalians 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherun, 2Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics one unknown and only 3 deists. This took place at a time when Church membership usually entailed strict doctrinal creeds. 93% of the Constitutional Convention the most influential men shaping the political underpinnings of our nation were Christians not deists. Virtually every person involved in the founding enterprise of the United States was a God fearing Protestant whose theology in today’s terms would be described as evangelical or fundamentalist.” (Koukel) you can look this up on your own if you want.

        Have you even read the Bible or are you just going to use bits and pieces and take it out of context so that you can support your unbelief with excuses and uneducated jargon. Deal with it this country was based on Christianity and the love and grace of Jesus Christ. If you don’t want to accept it, don’t its fine that’s why we all have free choice. Thanks to our Christian forefathers.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        So…..all the delegates made their decisions on how to create this Constitution based on their religious beliefs? Wow, how did they ever agree on anything, since most Christian sects have a history of fighting tooth and nail over doctrine. GO READ THE CONSTITUTION, Clint. About the only thing “religious” in there is the PROHIBITION against a religious test for public office. Like so many people nowadays, you have no idea of the history involved. When we were colonies, you HAD to be a member of the Church of England (Anglican) to hold any position of authority at all….government official, military officer, teacher. If you were Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, etc., forget it. If you lived within an Anglican parish, you had to pay a tithe for the support of the parish, even if you weren’t Anglican. That was the LAW….and it was a law the Founding Fathers, AS YOU HAVE POINTED OUT, OF MANY DIFFERENT CHRISTIANS SECTS, didn’t like at all. They had this crazy idea that faith should be a matter between the individual and God….not something imposed by government.
        BTW, please get it into your head that things like stealing, murder and lying under oath were never prohibited until Moses came down from Sinai….almost every major religion has such moral codes.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        Christian forefathers????? the founding fathers were supporters of theistic rationalism.
        try reading the “Jefferson bible” and tell me all about HIS beliefs.
        we today do not want VOODOO( superstition) in our lives,,,,,,,,,and do NOT want religion in government. If U want to go to a tax free church and “pray” ( see: BEG) to your imaginary guy-in-the-sky that IS YOUR RIGHT.
        Most of us who THINK first don’t need such a crutch

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        in your opinion what PCT % of “scripture” is considered irrevocable?

      • Adam Barlow

        What does it matter? If you you are looking for good translations you need to dig deeper.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        sounds (reads ,,, actually) as if adam has a serious problem answering a question which has no WRONG answer.
        dig deeper? into an outdated book which is fraught with hatred, violence and is ostensibly anti woman?
        — dig deeper? how about burying this book?!

      • Adam Barlow

        Yes, you will find that the bible would appear to be a violent book. Cain kills his brother, God destroys the earth by water, animal sacrifices, Jesus beaten and crucified, apostles sawed in half, Johns head cut off, people stoned to death, cities overtaken… As for discrimination or disrespect for woman you will not find it commanded by the scripture but will find it taught by people who are ignorant and unfamiliar with the bible. Usually people will cut and paste one verse and ignor the context it is written.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        well written reply; but U didn’t answer my initial inquiry.
        ,,,,,,,,,,,,and correct me if erroneous: somewhere in Deuteronomy is mandates that if a woman is married while NOT virgin she is to be killed ( stoned).
        Hmmmmmm,,,,,,,,,,,,,, might’ve dropped the ball on that one? or the scripture which allows some biblical figure ( of note) to allow many many men to SEX HIS own wife.
        hmmmmmm,,,,,,,,,,,,,, interesting book
        ohyeah– where did cains wife come from?

      • Michael David Barber Moghul

        Clint, I will just tell you to fuck off.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Did you read what I wrote? I’ll repeat it, since it seems you didn’t. ‘Creating legislation–laws that people NOT of your faith have to obey– based specifically on your particular religious beliefs….” LEGISLATION. LAWS. Preach all you want. Talk about your faith all you want. But if someone doesn’t want to listen, you have no right to force them to listen or to pass laws applying to ALL Americans that would force them to obey YOUR specific religious laws. Certain laws are common to almost ALL people, not just the Hebrews/Christians. “Thou shalt not murder.” That’s not something that the Hebrews came up with all on their own. It was a law of many civilizations long before Abram left Ur. Stealing…..injuring someone….bearing false witness….all were around long before Moses climbed Sinai. The lack of historical knowledge and arrogance of those who wish to pass laws, on their own, without the consent of those who must live by these laws in amazing. I’m surprised one of your pet politicians hasn’t tried to make blasphemy a crime.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        how about U scumbags of ALL religions letting OTHERS approach YOU if and when they wanna hear about your “GOD”???? try attraction INSTEAD of PROMOTION

      • Clint

        So what you’re saying is I shouldn’t tell anyone about Christ until they come to me and ask? How would they know to ask? Why is it OK for you to tell me how I should reach others but it’s not OK for me to do the very same thing. Just like right now you are trying to push on me your belief on what I should do. I can tell you when I talk to others about Christ I am never rude, argumentative, or belligerent. Jesus said “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fishers of people!” also said if they don’t want to hear “shake the dust off your feet and move on” so I do what I am supposed to be doing and telling others about the Love of Christ. If they don’t want to hear it fine I move on.

      • Michael David Barber Moghul

        You are obviously thick-headed and cannot comprehend that your proselytizing is an affront to people of quality.

      • Clint

        So you are saying you know what “people of quality” is. Who is that, and who is setting the standard for who is quality and who is not? It is also amazing that you know that “no one wants to hear it” how do you know that no one wants to hear how did you get that knowledge knowing about what everyone wants? Very mature posts by the way they sure are thought provoking.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        I am a person of ( far from perfect) quality. I don’t want to hear yours–or anyone elses- lackluster and easy-to-disprove REEEEELIGION. I have done more ‘homework’ upon the subject of SPIRITUALITY ( NOT: voodoo religion) than probably you and 95% of humans and am quite comfortable with my perception of what is in charge of this existence. You postulation is akin to listening to RAP ” music”,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, its annoying and has no intrinsic value except to those who WONT try anything else ( SEE: lemmings)

      • Clint

        So your the guy that decides what “quality” is.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        we are as individuals the GUY(s) who determine what OUR individual quality is–
        sometimes it is socially reprehensible; sometimes its socially demanded by others.
        and; it is spelled YOU’RE
        ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, so start cleaning your own side of the street b4 U spout off about others

      • white trash religious teaparty

        wait until they are inspired BY YOU and what you represent ; then they will approach you- then you have them. Spouting off stuff that others don’t ask for is illogical ( to sane people) and I suspect strongly that if moslems or Baha’i faith or ‘moonies’ approached you for no reason you wouldn’t be cheerful; in fact you would start laying the JEEEESUS crap upon them. I don’t care what your jewish dried out carpenter said ; you should practice ” attraction rather than promotion” ……….. I- as a strong thinker– will be drawn to good behavior and accomplishment and lifestyle; NOT some “elmer gantry” fool who demands that his way is the ONLY way.
        FOLLOW ME???? no thanks: I prefer to lead

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Talk all you want. But if someone doesn’t want to listen, respect their right to do that and shut up. And DON’T CLAIM THAT ALL LAWS SHOULD BE BASED ON YOUR FAITH!

      • white trash religious teaparty

        how about this principle: you- and all Christians ( and all other religious zealots) keep your ‘beliefs’ to YOURSELVES unless someone/anyone ASKS YOU FOR YOUR BELIEF…….. we do NOT want to hear anyone elses bavardage —- I certainly do NOT want some VOODOO( see: religion) in my politics,,,my bedroom,,,,my business,,,,my music,,,,,my media— you wanna believe the sun is a polar bear? great! you wanna believe a sheepherding carpenter was born virginally? great!! U wanna believe abortion is bad? great!! do NOT do NOT do NOT lay that flammatory garbage on anyone else—- unless they ask!!! ‘ ATTRACTION /NOT PROMOTION’ is the best way.
        Christ????? I don’t care,,,,, Buddha? Mohammed? lao tsu? I don’t care,,,,,,,,,,,,, keep it to yourself

      • Clint

        Thank you for your rant I hope u feel better. I have talked and I emphasize talked to a lot of people atheists, Mormons, Muslims etc. I have always had a nice respectful conversation. I have never had a conversation like this one with you. It just shows me that I should not have conversations and expect to learn anything from someone like you. We learn from each other none us have all the answers but it does seem to me that you have it all figured out. You on the other hand are doing the very thing that you don’t think I should do. You make no sense, you havn’t got a clue. The majority of rational human beings interact in a calm respectful manner. You are the minority, you are the problem. You are pathetic and I feel bad for you. I’ll keep you in my prayers. 😉

      • white trash religious teaparty

        wow!!! im so happy to be in your “beggings” ( see: prayer),,,,, I haven’t got a clue? that also means that all the people on this blog who do NOT agree with your insanity are clueless also
        I think U should pray for them also,,,,,, and remember: until your impotent “GOD ( jeeeeesus) can cure an amputee U have no claim on miracles

      • S. Kovac

        I understand where you’re coming from on this, and I agree with you on a lot of your points but… you’re not helping the public image for Atheism. Believe me, this is a lot more difficult to manage the fallout of than Evangelists.

        (FYI, Jesus is only a divine prophet in Christianity, he’s not a god)

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        fyi— im agnostic: atheists “believe ” there is NO god— I simply say that GOD cannot be defined by a finite critter such as MAN.
        FYI part2– “born again/pentacostal “Christians” claim that jesus IS GOD. catholics say jesus is son of god ( as you and I are)
        my argument starts with the scum who claim that if we ( the rest of us) do NOT adhere to THEIRv VOODOO we will invariably go to hell; whereas they can be scumbags and child molesters but if they “SINCERLY” ATONE upon their deathbed they will enter heaven.
        ……I appreciate what U wrote!!
        your gift? please (PLEEEEZ) lookup “Marilyn lange” photos——-the finest female ever to walk this planet
        she is 5’7 128 allllllllllll natural!

      • S. Kovac

        You mentioned the virgin birth.

        I just wanted to add that virgin, from the time period this was orginaly written, referred to an unmarried woman, not one who had not yet had intercourse.

        The virgin birth is more likely to be a metaphor for the birth of Sainthood within the sinner than a literal birth from a virgin.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Please go look up the meaning of the word “impose.” Because you have no clue.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Feel free to tell anyone who will listen about Christ. But don’t create LEGISLATION based on the dictates of your particular faith!

      • Susan M Mozgai

        because we have made up our minds and do not need to be badgered by religious zealots and idiots trying to push or sell something to us we don’t need to listen to or hear about. I let my dogs loose on all solicitors at my home including those trying to sell me there religious beliefs to get more money to do not sure what accept to hate all those who do not believe the same as they do. Ever wonder why they have to “recruit” so much and go to third world countries to spread their disease. Religion is just like any other club. if you do not believe and live exactly as they say you can’t be part of the club. keep your club to yourself and leave the rest of us who are very secure in our spiritual beliefs what ever they are and I don’t need to share or defend any of it to you or anyone else. Keep it to yourself and out of politics. your “beliefs” do not belong there.

      • Ray Fernandez

        Come on, you don’t have a relationship with your neighbors tree. I do, I take the tree with my everywhere I go, so it’s different than actually going to the tree, like everyone else. The tree is much greater than the sun, isn’t it. Isn’t it amazing how important religion is to everyone, it’s based on the fear of the unknown and how dare you take it away if I believe my parents after death are somewhere I will see them when I die. Not believing in god is ok if everyone was the same but you have a war, Catholics today are weak but strong in science, while protestants can still hear voices and the muslims are getting ready to win the battle by having plenty of children. Pockets of this earth are beautiful, we are working on ways of destroying them. One god at a time.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        atheism is a religion: here is why– the RELIGIOUS claim to have PROOF of the existence of a GOD…… the ATHEIST claims to have proof of the NON existence of GOD. that makes BOTH entities “believers ” in something. Im agnostic- which means I don’t know what /who/where/why “GOD” is,,,,,and I do not care as its waaaay too big to be truly figured out
        ( unless U are a pseudo-Christian)

      • Clint

        So you don’t know if there is a God, it’s still a belief.

      • Michael David Barber Moghul

        You’re education failed you. One cannot prove a negative. Go back to sixth grade.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        cannot prove a negative? if I steal your car,,,,,, that negative cannot be proven? ( objective VS subjective)

      • white trash religious teaparty

        I am not large enough mathematically or spiritually or intellectually to “KNOW” what/if/where/why “GOD” is–
        I am large enough to KNOW that anyone who claims there is NO GOD is as stupid as all the scum who claim that THEIR religion has the ONLY GOD.
        Its the same as claiming we can recognize All forms of life……
        sorry: we arent that advanced——-

      • GayAtheist64

        @wtrt: It is correct of you to say as an Agnostic that you don’t know of deities 1st-hand. As for “Atheist meetings” however, there are none. You claim erroneously that Atheists say there is proof of no deity. There is no such proof. Many identify as “Agnostic Atheists” as a result of ‘not knowing’ like you. To say, however, that Atheism itself involves a positive statement that there is no deity is entirely incorrect. Atheists say they would believe if there were proof but they do not believe without it. Please refrain from defining atheism if you aren’t atheist. There are plenty of us here who can more accurately do so, ok? It is also not helpful for your argument to call people stupid or scum, and use caps to ‘yell’. Granted, this forum doesn’t provide for bold or italic emphasis, but in most cases it isn’t needed.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        come to south florida ( eastern part) and attend the meetings which occur ( as I have seen ) at least twice a week,,,,,,,then and ONLY then can U tell me there are NO MEETINGS. atheism –as defined by ancient greeks — means ” without god(s)”,,and by modern parlance simply is a belief in NO GOD and/or organized religion. Im agnostic as I have proof of something FAR greater than I–or my comprehension– can 100% name and determine—ergo : I don’t know and do not care; its too big for me. If U don’t like me casting aspersions such as scumbag or cretin or stupid then complain to the forum masters; not me—- I call that when someone doesn’t show proper respect . DO NOT TELL ME NOT TO “define” ATHEISTS because im not atheist. That’s as oligophrenial as me telling you NOT to dare define what it is like to be a chef or a police officer or how to dunk a basketball since I say ( as you attempted to) you aren’t them or cannot do that. Atheism is subjective; NOT Objective- hence it is easily defined by those who have witnessed it and studied it. Just because U call yourself an atheist doesn’t give you any self-titled power to singularly define that which you claim to be along with millions of others claiming same title yet having varying descriptions.
        Look up the definitions in a dictionary BEFORE you reply

      • GayAtheist64

        I won’t bother with you anymore because your sole intent is obviously to argue and insult. Very adolescent.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        the refrain from those who just got their head handed to them with facts,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
        U should be on a FOX “news ” show with that crybaby stuff
        perhaps U do not own a dictionary; perhaps simply don’t want to see the overwhelming error u make.
        the only purported ‘insult’ I made (?) is refuting your cellophane stance with logic and facts,
        …………………. keep crying

      • GayAtheist64

        No, beeyatch, you stated no facts, & won nothing. I just said I’m through with you.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        fact: here in south fla the atheists have a plethora of meetings ( where as U must live in some socially crippled area) ,,,but U ignored that
        FACT: atheism is defined quite clearlyin dictionaries; and the ORIGINSAL definition I did provide. FACT: u seem ready made for the bavardage seen in a quotidian basis upon FOX “news’. beeeyatch?? could U be one of those flatchested skankbags “lesbians” who knew early on MEN don’t want anything 2 do with anatomically bereft “females’ ; ergo now forced to sex with “less-than” non nubile physiqueswhich mirror your poor genetics?
        ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, now THATS an insult there cupcake….. and highly likely to be an accurate one!!
        read em and weep O bluebird of happiness…..tattoos also?

      • GayAtheist64

        What part of “I’m through with you” is unclear? Fu*k off (yes) bit*h. You ass/u/me much (For example I’m male & liberal, hate Faux) and you only wish to argue & insult people with bullsh*t you make up. Why should I tolerate your harassment and not report you? Do you not understand even that? You are angry with the world, hide behind a computer screen and pick fights even with people like myself who are on your side. I’d originally responded to how you were telling a religious person to not bother you with their beliefs. My point was that you were going about it all wrong. You wanna know why people can’t stand you? Look at how you talk to them. If you can behave more maturely, someone might want to have a discussion with you. So far, I’ve seen no evidence of anything but your angst, certainly not of forethought. If you can learn to show civility, get back with me & we’ll talk, until then, like I said, I’m through with you. Is that clear enough for you? If not, you need professional help.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        ummmmmm,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, hey mugwump: your “point” was I have (had?) no evidence; ergo I cannot “shouldnot” define atheism.
        I eviscerated that with the (purported lack of) facts–
        and!!!!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I don’t appreciate you LYING TO MEEEEEEEE!!!

        ( you said U were “done” with me……) and I am willing to wager a whole “dolla” that your subsequent diatribe showed that to be a weeeee bit UNTRUE
        you don’t love me anymore!

      • regressive teaparty trash

        hey loser— U got killed in that discussion

      • Michael David Barber Moghul

        Wrong. Atheists claim there is no knowledge or evidence of a deity and the lack of evidence makes the mathematical probability exceedingly high.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        wrong————– their claim of no evidence of “god” expostulates into “PROOF” of no GOD. Go to atheists meetings and listen,,,, then get back to me– until then stop TRYING to sound enlightened

  • Jenny

    What the author describes is, ultimately, where we should
    all be. However, beliefs that are publicized, or should I say proselytized, only
    perpetuate the fanatics. And while atheists can be rude, condescending and downright mean, it is nothing compared to the harm of religious beliefs.

    I started out as an atheist with an indifference to religion
    and others’ beliefs. After seeing the absolute horrors done to my fellow man, in the name of religion, my indifference has turned to rage. Rage for the injustices, the murders, and the sheer devastation religion wields. When
    confronted with these atrocities, the religious come back with either, ‘they
    are not true Christians’ or ‘it is God’s way’… As if, either of those justify
    the harm. Please.

    At the end of the day, if one needs the words of a fictional
    being, or words from a 2,000 year old book to live their lives as a decent
    human being, then there is definitely something wrong with the fundamental
    nurturing of individuals. That is not to say that words cannot provide guidance or structure; these can be found elsewhere, in today’s language and context, without the special characters that are supposedly living above us, invisible, and watching everything we do.

    Delusions do not deserve respect. It’s perfectly fine when one doesn’t believe in Zeus or Thor (or thousands of other gods), but this one
    god, oh no – you MUST believe and follow his word. I don’t know how anyone wraps their head around that and sees it as logical, let alone, true.

    Until the world stops its mutilation of humanity via religion, we won’t see peace.

    • Adam Barlow

      So what your saying is people who have done evil in the name of God is why you do not believe he is real? The bible is full of stories of men who did evil, who proclaimed god with their lips and deeds, who thought they were in right standing with God. So the evil done by man is certainly not gods fault. Man has always done things his own way, not gods! The world is in trouble by men who are godless. We have fluoride on our drinking water, GMO’s, nuclear fallout, animals dying off, greed, selfishness, perversion…etc Man will do fine to kill himself and the whole world just fine without doing it in the name of god!

      • Cathryn Sykes

        But they DO IT IN THE NAME OF GOD. Do you not understand this? They hate gays in the name of God. They control women in the name of God. They murder and kill and destroy in the name of God. And then they claim that anyone who opposes them is godless.

      • Adam Barlow

        Yes, it’s called taking The Lords name in vain and they are using god as justification for their hatred. Sadly, men with no understanding, wisdom or discernment are a false witness of the truth. I encourage you to look towards God and not silly men. Reading the bible will reveal the true character of Jesus.

      • S. Kovac

        And? To be honest I suggest that YOU read the bible, at least once. To claim that the murders, deaths, and other abuses are just people “taking the Lord’s name in vain” is actually a diminishment of your own religion. I mean an actual bible, and the whole thing. Don’t just go to a sermon, pick out a King James or English Standard Bible and read through. The book is not some nice extollation of all the wonderful values of humanity, it is a crude, cruel, mysogynistic, abusive, oppressive book.

        Its claims vary from such ridiculous nonsense as fitting every single being on Earth into a freakishly small boat, to such cruelties as demands that women be killed after their own rapes for failing to call out loud enough. The difference between the “religious nutjobs” who you claim are refusing to follow the true word of God and you is that YOU have strayed from the true wording of the Bible. Until you acknowledge that fact you have done nothing to aid this argument.

        In respect to the author of this post, I would like to add that while I don’t support EVERYthing that he says, Jesus is perhaps one of the few people within the Bible who comes close to actually being truly ethical.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        “Just don’t go to a Sermon….” Exactly. So many of those who claim they “live” by the Bible get nothing more than a few verses quoted at them by their preacher each Sunday…..no context, no historical framework–and off they go to dictate to others what they should do “based on the Bible!” Drives me nuts! Read the whole damn book, people. Read the part about virgin girls being forced to marry their rapists. Or how “Thou shalt not commit adultery” never seemed to apply to the kings, David and Solomon, so beloved of God, who had hot and cold running concubines and multiple wives. Read the part about eating shellfish and pork being an “abomination” in God’s eyes….while you scarf up pork ribs at home and the daily special at Red Lobster. And quit getting your idea of the Bible from Hollywood movies! (Here’s a test to use on anyone who says they’ve read the Bible. Ask them what happened to the Israelites who refused to renounce the Golden Calf. I’m willing to bet that 9 out of 10 Bible thumpers will swear that the earth split and the sinners fell into hell. Which is false, despite the lurid visuals of DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments”. Nope, Moses simply told his followers to kill them…..friends, relatives, parents and children. And they did. Slaughtered them, cut their throats, shoved swords into them, about 3000 of them. Somehow I don’t think the 1950s movie audience could have handled that scene….so…cracks in the earth and down into the fiery pit instead!

      • smb24

        So, the reason to worship a man-made “god” is what? Because it is “love” and “perfection”? According to the books written ABOUT (not BY) this deity, this “love” resulted in his destroying his own creation several times. And would a “perfect” being, in creating something as imperfect as Mankind, not thus be automatically imperfect as well? Every religion has been created by men (nearly all from economic hardship and discrimination) and many of those that religions worship were humans whose “legends” have been enhanced over centuries without much certified historical proof. So, along with the questions raised about how mankind descended from a family with only one man, a woman and two surviving sons, or how to explain how kangaroos and polar bears are still around after an epic flood in the Middle East, it really all seems SO worthwhile to follow it all.

      • PackCat

        Everything God creates…. Dies!
        Can’t he create something that will live forever?
        (without having to die and celebrate Easter forever)

      • Cathryn Sykes

        I HAVE READ the Bible, all the way through. Twice! Quit making so many damn assumptions about atheists and agnostics and start talking to those who are these “false witnesses”…because they are trying to run the damn country based on their bigoted and mean-spirited assumptions as to what God wants! If you believe that they are perverting Christ’s teachings, SPEAK UP, DAMN IT!

      • Amy

        I have found more often than not that those who are non-religious know more about the Bible than those who are religious.

      • Jenny

        I do not believe in any gods simply because
        there is zero evidence of any. Studying history, it quickly becomes apparent
        that gods were made up to explain things that people did not understand. Religion
        is used to make money and have control over people.

        How do you know the world is in trouble by
        men that are godless? What proof could you possibly have of that? There is,
        however, a plethora of evidence of harm caused by religion.

      • Adam Barlow

        The fact that you do not believe in Yeshua ( he who saves, is our salvation). I cannot convince you he is real, nor do I want to argue that. However, evidence of godless men is easy. Okay, I’ll start you off with an eye opener. Research the additive of fluoride added to our water supply. You will start to see that Gods message in the bible is to set you free not control. He has always given us free choice. God is concerned with matters of the heart.

      • S. Kovac

        No one here is claiming that Jesus was not real, I don’t know how you’re getting that interpretation. What we are contending is that While he was real, he was neither divine nor the son of God. In fact, that God does not exist.

        Also, that fluoride claim is ridiculous. Fluoride is not toxic in the quantities people wished to add. In fact, you would need very high concentrations in order for it to be toxic. No one was claiming to want to add this concentrations. Please find something relevant to this argument as well, this is not at all interesting.

        “Set you free”? “Given you free choice”? Explain who on Earth anything within the Bible is about setting others free. All that is contained within it is a continuous narrative of either “This is how it happened, and no other way” or “Do this or risk the wrath of God.” Freedom of choice inherently requires that you are not punished for choosing either option. Saying “You can either submit to my demands or be destroyed” is not freedom of choice, it is a threat; a cruel way of extracting your wishes from others. In the same way, forcing people into certain arbitrary social confines at risk of “eternal damnation” is by no means freedom of choice. It is, in the same way, a threat.

      • ELSEVAR

        Oh, good grief. Adam is of the opinion that fluoridated water is “evidence of godless men”. The fact that flouride is found naturally in the water in many locales must be evidence of a godless god?

        Adam, you just told people to read your bible. Two people replied that they have done exactly that. No response from you, and that makes me think that it is you who needs to do some bible reading. You wrote, “Reading the bible will reveal the true character of Jesus.” Hmmm. Go ahead and read the bible and see what your Jesus had to say about slavery. How about the founder of your christian church, Saul/Paul of Tarsus? Did he have any concern that enslavement was a sin?

        “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.” (I Timothy 6:1, KJV)

        Apparently not a problem. There is more and worse to be found in the bible. If you want to be a good human being, you really need to look elsewhere.

      • Adam Barlow

        The fluoride additive in water today is not the naturally occurring mineral from the earth, it’s industrial waste shipped from China, it’s highly toxic, and corrosive. It’s known to stain your teeth and evidence from epidemiological studies show no benefit to your health. That’s fact! Do some deeper research and you will see for yourself. 1 Tim 1:6 is instruction for slave-believers to maintain honorable work ethics, so as to properly represent the gospel. Slaves are in the world today. I feel like one day to day working for enough to barely make ends meet because of our inflated dollar and failing economical infrastructure. The bible gives plenty of warnings to treat your slaves with respect. Also, slaves often served to pay off debt, than we’re released. They sold themselves into slavery-servitude. Financing was not an option like it is today. Read the book of Exodus. God sends Moses to Egypt to free his people from a wicked pharaoh. The final plague to pharaoh was during Passover. The slaves were freed and yet still complained that God was not going to provide for them. They wanted to go back into slavery because of their lack of faith. I recommend you dig deeper on biblical slavery and you will see that our definition of slavery today is shaped by the atrocious abominable slave trade of the 16th-19th centuries. Kidnapping-man steeling-trapping is not in alignment with the type of servitude/slavery mentioned in biblical law. For example, 1 Timothy 1:8-10 “but we know the law is good if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men, and homosexuals, and kidnappers and liars and purjurers and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.” Notice in verse 10 it mentions “kidnappers” in other translations it uses “men steelers”. The law is for lawless men-steelers, not righteous men allowing a debt to be worked off by a servant. I could write tons more about this topic, and I can understand the interpretive challenges of the bible as I study the bible in and have found plenty of translation issues. For example the Hebrew Torah takes over 10 times as many English words to translate the Hebrew into English. And this issue is not so much an issue for those who are willing to study Torah in the Hebrew language. I spent a few years studying the language and found that many words in Hebrew have much deeper meaning than the English supplement. So just curious, what do you believe in this life? Are you a student of the scriptures? Or did you read the bible and give up? Or did you like many see the actions of religious people and loose all interest in the bible? I know these are personal questions, and the reason I am asking is because you quoted a scripture from Timothy to raise the issue of slavery and I’m not sure if you have read the full context or you cut and pasted the first verse you can find supporting the idea that Jesus was a slave advocate?

      • ELSEVAR

        PART 1 of 2.
        Adam, in your overexcitement, you have made well over 30 unsupported claims in one single post. (After 30, I lost count since some of your claims were disjointed, overlapping, irrelevant, or repeated themselves.) From what I can tell, though, every one of those claims are unfounded and some are offensive.

        Fluoride is fluoride and it isn’t merely present in your drinking water (hopefully), but in your toothpaste, soft drinks, processed foods, and numerous other sources. With toxicity claims, you are just being silly. Too much might hurt you. Of course, too much table salt or too much consumed water will kill you as well. (a) that’s a debate that I am well familiar with. (b) it has nothing to do with the article. (c) you claiming that fluoridation is done by “godless men” is stupidly judgmental. You need to do something about that beam in your eye.

      • Adam Barlow

        RE Fluoride:

        Regarding fluoridation, the EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity and other effects”

        William Marcus, Ph.D., senior EPA toxicologist, Covert Action, Fall 1992, p.66

        “Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century”

        Robert Carlton, Ph.D., former U.S. EPA scientist on “Marketplace” Canadian Broadcast Company Nov 24, 1992

        –Obviously this is a debatable issue, and there is plenty of evidence to be safe and say, “NO” “Fluoride is not for me!” But go ahead and drink up government issued fluoride. If the government is so worried about my teeth why don’t they start adding vitamins to the water, we get enough vitamins and fluoride from a well balanced diet, but why not be safe and add some more.

        RE “OVER-EXCITEMENT”: Im actually not excited whatsoever.

        RE “STUPIDLY JUDGMENTAL”: ” The beam is not in my eye as I have never once even dreamed about adding poison to the water.”

        RE “SLAVERY NOT CONDEMNED IN SCRIPTURE”:

        You do remember in the book of Genesis where Adam and Eve partook of the tree of “knowledge of good and evil”. The judgement for disobeying the word of the Lord to Adam he said “Cursed is the ground because of you. IN TOIL you will eat of it all the days of your life.”
        -My point Im making here is that the judgement for labor was added when Adam ate the fruit he was commanded not to eat. God disciplines the ones he loves. I have never thought of God as a nice fluffy passive-aggressive peacekeeper. God of the bible is a righteous judge who will bring wrath and vengeance to the wicked and lawless. So in regards to slavery he has been known to seize land and kill all inhabitants even the animals and trees, and to take/ allow slavery ( with exception of proper treatment of the slaves)
        Duet 15:12-14 “if your kinsmen, a Hebrew man or woman is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free, you shall not set him free empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give him as the lord your God has blessed you,”

        God permits slavery but adds law codes to protect the slaves. Although illegal in the world today there are still many slaves and indentured servants. My position on the issue is like I said before,”I feel we are all slaves to this broken-world-system.”

        In addition the bible speaks about another form of slavery, being a slave to sin. This is when you have lost control and fall into bondage to your addictions and no longer have self-control. For example, “drugs” “fornications” “anger”…etc You literally cannot stop and are a slave to your sin. This is the freedom discussed by Jesus in his ministry.

        RE Moses: If you believe this is a fraud because you need physical evidence or scientific proof than your logic is incomplete. For example, I have personally seen a UFO fly over me and do a 90 degree maneuver no man-made craft can do. Also, many thousands of people have also seen and filmed this phenomena. But as we know this is not enough evidence to prove UFO’s are alien craft or even admit they exist in the scientific community. So you saying Moses/Noah are folk tales because there is no proof happens with all sorts of phenomena science cannot explain but we know to be possible. Furthermore, if Moses and the Exodus and Noah and his Ark are folk tales than the words of Jesus are a folk tale, and Jesus was a crazy liar who willingly accepted death by crucifixion.

        RE Timothy Quote: My point was Paul and Timothy had a problem with Slaves not representing the gospel by serving their master properly. Paul does write in his epistles “if you can escape slavery, do so.” I don’t think there were Pro-slavery movements in those days.

        Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE gift of God is eternal life in Jesus”

        Romans 6:6 “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.

        “Jesus blood was spilled to cover the sins of the world!”
        “We are justified by him, redeemed, and will not see the second death.”

      • ELSEVAR

        Oh, goody, Adam. You freely admit that nowhere does the bible condemn slavery (or slaughter) and state that, in fact, your god revels in it …

        “God of the bible is a righteous judge who will bring wrath and vengeance to the wicked and lawless. So in regards to slavery he has been known to seize land and kill all inhabitants even the animals and trees, and to take/allow slavery (with exception of proper treatment of the slaves)” – Adam Barlow

        … but in defense you give us Deuteronomy wherein we are told that, if your slave is Jewish, special rules apply. (For your non-Jewish slaves it is mostly open season.) You missed Leviticus and Exodus. They offer lots more cool slavery instructions. You have gone from trying to whitewash biblical slavery by equating it with you having to keep a job and work for a living … to the great “godless” fluoridation conspiracy (I’m waiting for you to mention Wakefield, Mercola, Tom Cruise, Oprah, David Icke, and the 6,000 year old Earth) … to admitting that there is no evidence to support the tale of Moses and Exodus, or of Noah’s remarkably well-stuffed Ark, but that’s okay because you see UFOs.

        Finally, you tell us …

        “Furthermore, if Moses and the Exodus and Noah and his Ark are folk tales than the words of Jesus are a folk tale, and Jesus was a crazy liar who willingly accepted death by crucifixion.” – Adam Barlow

        Yup, if there ever was a Jesus, I certainly can’t argue with that conclusion. If you’ve accomplished nothing else, Adam, you have definitely established (a) that the article didn’t register on your radar, and (b) that you are a True
        Believer in all sorts of curious things. Go ahead, Adam, last word to you, but I doubt you can manage to provide better entertainment than you already have.

      • ELSEVAR

        PART 2 of 2
        RE slavery, your god commands that entire nations be destroyed, slaughtered, and enslaved. Nowhere in the bible is slavery condemned. Nowhere. Your god is supposed to have eternal, unchanging values. Slavery is most certainly one of them. Your apologetic evasions do not change what is clearly true, and they are shameful.

        RE Moses … didn’t happen. Evidence = 0. It was a folk tale just like Noah and his Ark, and a frail but brutal one at that.

        RE the Timothy quotation, yes I know the context. Neither Jesus nor Saul/Paul had a problem with slavery. If you think otherwise, prove it.

      • Andrani

        I think your opinion rests on your vision of what slavery was like. For most of us, it conjures images of the horrific practices of the trans atlantic slave trade. The truth is, as Adam pointed out, slavery in ancient times was very different. For instance, slaves were treated as members of the family. They were more like servants. They could buy their freedom. It was not a hereditary condition. And race or color had absolutely nothing to do with it. So within this context it’s not so far fetched to see why Jesus and co had no issues with it. Also, as I pointed out Timothy also instructs masters to treat their slaves well—a verse that is always ignored when trying to show how the Bible supported the dehumanization and brutal treatment of the African slaves.

      • ELSEVAR

        Shame on you, Andrani. Slavery is slavery and it was just as, or more, oppressive in biblical times as it once was in our Southern states. Twice on this page you refer to Ephesians 6:9, but amazingly you leave out the FACT that those are a set of instructions for Christians in their treatment of CHRISTIAN slaves. The Hebrews made three distinctions: male Hebrew slaves, female Hebrew slaves, and all non-Hebrew slaves. The new testament xians changed nothing. NOWHERE in your bible is there any prohibition against slavery. On the contrary, it is approved and codified. Since your god is supposed to be eternal and unchanging, that is a real problem.

        Do a little actual research before jumping into your xian apologetics, Andrani.

      • Andrani

        Add the Caribbean and Latin America. The fact that there is no prohibition against slavery in the Bible doesn’t automatically mean that it condoned the brutal treatment and dehumanization of slaves. That is a matter of interpretation and, most of all, embellishment. And the interpretation is always, as is proven here, based on the interpreter. That’s what I’m arguing. And I’m not only talking about biblical slavery but slavery the world over, including native African slavery. It was not the same. That is fact. And if YOU had done your research you would know this. As Adam pointed out, slavery in ancient times was closer to indentured servitude than anything else. Many verses support this and if you cared you would know that too. That verse I pointed out is very relevant to the discussion and is ALWAYS ignored. Can’t imagine why. Some of you really are no better than the “xians” you accuse of cherry picking.

      • ELSEVAR

        Adam Barlow lied about the “indentured servitude” trope and you are doing the same in a desperate effort to salvage your bible. If you had read my answers to Barlow you would know of the distinctions among slaves based on the laws of whatever tribe you were looking (i.e. the Hebrews, or the Caananites, or the Egyptians, or whomever). For you, all biblical slaves were Mammy, Pork, Prissy, and Uncle Peter (look them up) – all happily singing the day away while harvesting pomegranats and olives. According to you, lifetime slavery of fellow Hebrews was a fine thing, and rape and the occasional accidental murder of non-Hebrews was okay as well.

        After all, what did Saul/Paul of Tarsus (the real founder of xianity) have to say on the topic? If a slave becomes a xian, treat him better than your pagan slaves. Lovely sentiments.

      • Brian

        Read Leviticus. It treats slaves like cattle.

      • Brian

        More than that, Exodus is outright disproved by Egyptian writing from the time. It’s explicitly stated, from the ancient Egyptians themselves, paid, skilled contractors built the pyramids. No one could read heiroglyphs until very recently to prove the bible wrong.

      • Andrani

        Very well said. Context is key. And those who don’t believe cherry pick as much as those they accuse of doing it. For example, a verse they always skip is: “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” Logically, if you treat slaves well, they will be obedient. And you are right that biblical slavery is nothing compared to slavery during the trans atlantic slave trade. A few differences were that slaves in ancient times were treated as members of the family and could buy their freedom. The controllers of the slave trade also obviously ignored that verse in order to push their agenda. There is no justification in the Bible for the dehumanization and racist practices of the African slaves.

      • ELSEVAR

        Since you choose to repeat yourself, Andrani, I will do the same …

        Shame on you, Andrani. Slavery is slavery and it was just as, or more, oppressive in biblical times as it once was in our Southern states. Twice on this page you refer to Ephesians 6:9, but amazingly you leave out the FACT that those are a set of instructions for Christians in their treatment of CHRISTIAN slaves. The Hebrews made three distinctions: male Hebrew slaves, female Hebrew slaves, and all non-Hebrew slaves. The new testament xians changed nothing. NOWHERE in your bible is there any prohibition against slavery. On the contrary, it is approved and codified. Since your god is supposed to be eternal and unchanging, that is a real problem.

        Do a little actual research before jumping into your xian apologetics, Andrani.

      • Andrani

        No need to get uptight. I haven’t responded to YOU twice.

      • ELSEVAR

        Andrani, you are the one who seems under stress, and it is no wonder why. You have put yourself in the position of approving of the practice of house slavery and of denying that any other kind of slavery existed in biblical times. You and Margaret Mitchell have a lot in common.

        I am waiting for you to come up with anything in the bible that prohibits the practice of slavery and I will remind you that your god is alleged to be eternal and unchanging. Its rules remain the same, then and now, yes?

        Given your enthusiasm for biblical servitude, I wonder what you will have to say about jehovah ordering its tribe to commit serial acts of slaughter, rapine, and genocide (ordering, mind you, not requesting), and engaging in the same practices itself. That should be an interesting discussion.

      • Brian

        The Jews never even lived in Israel. Egypt, historically, did not take slaves for mass labour, because slaves are terrible at building such meticulous and carefully planned monuments, and certainly did not use them for the pyramids.

      • Amy

        I save, too…I use coupons at the grocery store.

      • Adam Barlow

        That’s sarcasm at its finest. You won’t be needing coupons when your life comes to an end, you will need salvation that is free from The Lord and creator of the universe.

      • ELSEVAR

        Adam, your posts don’t merit anything better than sarcasm, and that’s even before you got into your own personal anti-fluoridation woo.

        At least you regard Amy’s sarcasm as “finest”, although I initially viewed it as only moderately interesting.

      • Adam Barlow

        Thanks for your input

      • Katrina Engel

        Don’t forget your mansion on streets of gold behind those pearl encrusted gates, which is totally more realistic than 78 virgins……..Just out of curiosity, what is “salvation” specifically? What happens during the salvating process, what does it do? And though I really do want to hear your answer, I’d like to point out that THAT was sarcasm at its finest.

      • Adam Barlow

        The bible uses parables to describe what happens to our souls when our bodies die. When you believe in Jesus, his work on the cross covers your debt. What debt you might ask? The sins you have committed in your life have brought death and destruction to the world. Jesus says follow me, I will show you the path of life by my spirit and truth, and I will cover you with my blood and wash you white as snow. Jesus is the gate and our faith in him and his grace for us allows for him to intercede on our behalf from the wrath that will come upon those that choose to hate and choose to love sin and darkness.

      • Barry

        believe or not… real or not… love or not… fact is people who are running churches and religions are behaving in harmful ways and at best telling us/you it is the way god loves. Personally I think the Bible is a devious and harmful garden of poisonous weeds with the odd flower sticking up. Anyone who speaks to me with the Bible of faith as his proof speaks in ridiculous tongues. If I were able to go back in time and change one thing for the betterment of humanity and the earth, I would eliminate religions… all of them.

      • Adam Barlow

        Agreed, people are making a mess of the good news and using it to glorify themselves. The bible warns about these people in vivid detail, and what awaits them in judgment. But, the bible itself is not to blame. Jesus told the disciples that he must go so that the spirit could come. The Holy Spirit lives in you when you truly believe. The Holy Spirit reminds you of the truth. Men who do not truly believe do not have the Holy Spirit and do not know the truth. Even though they read the bible they have no understanding. It’s a heart issue.

      • Barry

        Adam… if those thoughts serve you, I am happy for you. Truth is you probably would never come close to understanding the irony of what you say. The Bible is a collection of words written by men to serve men. Even the Bible does not credit god with creating the universe… only with saying ‘let there be light’. Any discussion based on the validity of the Bible as the ‘word of god’ is already lost.

      • Adam Barlow

        In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ ISR98)

        Sounds to me the heavens mentioned here include the expansive universe. Indeed Jesus did us a service dying on the cross as payment for our sins. To sin means to miss the target or mark.

      • Barry

        seems to you huh… who died and made you interpreter in charge of antiquity? Have you read the original words in Sumerian? Do you think Elohim spoke Sumerian?

      • Adam Barlow

        Barry, Sumarian is a non Semitic language. I have however examined the Hebrew Torah.

      • Brian

        He didn’t give free choice to those guys in Jerico. Or those guys worshipping Baal. Or Lillith (conveniently removed from the bible). Or Jesus. In fact, the bible pretty clearly says, at least once a page almost “…for I am the lord your god” as justification for just about every rule he lays down.
        Defiance of him results in a terrible death most of the time. That’s not free will.

      • Adam Barlow

        Idol worship is a sin. We all have free choice to sin. Choose the light or the dark. It’s up to you. You can choose to run a red light or jump off a cliff, but there is consequences.

      • havasoo

        Really?! Fluoride is the best example of “anything” you can find? The discussion is about the damage that man-made religion has done to man. Religion is and always will be conforming, not affirming.

    • Katrina Engel

      Jenny – EXACTLY! The burning rage that so many could not only believe something so ridiculous but use it as a justification to do such abominable things. Watch footage of any disaster….tornado, fire, whatever, and some survivor invariably says “god was watching over me today” as if the 37 people who died deserved it or are just not special enough for good ole god to bother with, not special like they are. It makes me want to throw up, buy tv time and billboards like these annointed pricks do and shove reality in their faces and make them SEE, but they never will. The only thing we can do is protect our children. If they can’t indoctrinate the young, eventually the delusion starves to death. Hopefully it will fall apart before it destroys our planet and our species.

      • Kenneth C. Fingeret

        Hello Katrina Engel, From your mouth to God’s ears. Sorry it was so irresistible that I couldn’t pass it up. LOL!

  • Cynthia Gurin

    Bravo.

  • Professor55

    If this guy thinks he’s a Christian….he needs to study again what a Christian is…”“I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the values for which he stood. …” does NOT define a Christian.
    The author is free to believe whatever he wants…fine with me. But I am a Christian, and I reject his defintion.

    • name

      awwwwwwwhhhhhh. My definition doesn’t match yours……someone missing the point of this completely?

    • GayAtheist64

      @Professor55: What would you propose being a real Christian is defined by? Living by archaic b-s from the OT? Feeling you’re in a position to judge/govern others by your interpretations? Sorry if this doesn’t fit you but I get really tired of one Christian saying another who identifies so isn’t. One of my biggest beefs with folks in organized religions. How do you know what’s in the Author’s heart besides what he wrote? It sounds very Christian to me.

  • Cathryn Sykes

    There’s one “religious” clause in the Constitution that few people know about. And it’s this: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
    Why did they include that? Because before the Revolution, a “religious test” WAS required. The “official” church of the thirteen colonies was the Church of England, or Anglican Church. If you lived in an Anglican parish, even if you were a Jew or a Methodist or a Presbyterian or a Quaker, you had to pay a tithe–a portion of your income–to support that church. You also could not hold any position of responsibility–government official, teacher, legislator, army officer–unless you were Anglican.
    The Founding Fathers, many of whom were students and admirers of rationalism, thought that one’s religion should have no bearing on one’s qualifications for public office. So they did not mandate the traditional, religious-based oath of office. Washington, when he was sworn in for the first time, ADDED the words “So help me God.” to the oath as listed in the Constitution and saying that has become a tradition. as has the use of a Bible. But it is NOT in the official oath….and a president who refused to say it would still be the duly and officially president, under law, once he has taken the oath as stated.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      funny how that’s NEVER ever NEVER ever mentioned upon the regressive FOX “news” shows,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
      ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,mustve slipped them by as they were complaining about Benghazi and Obama being a martian muslim from zanzibar

      • That was the funniest thing I have seen on these comments. I literally laughed out loud. Gold star for you…

      • white trash religious teaparty

        thank U……..
        now to further annoy regressive tea party ” bats -in-the-belfry” imbeciles!!

    • S. Kovac

      Hey Cathryn, can I ask, do you post in the R&S section of Yahoo Answers? Your face looks familiar, but I’m not sure whether it’s actually you.

      • Cathryn Sykes

        Nope. Not me. I’m not sure what the R & S section is. I have that kind of face though. Don’t know how many times someone’s come up to me and said, “Hi! Great to see you! You don’t live in Phoenix anymore?” “I’ve never lived in Phoenix.” “Well, I’ve met you there. Don’t you remember?” “Sorry, never BEEN to Phoenix!” I just have a generic face…..or maybe it’s all that retouching I did to my Profile Pix in Photoshop.

  • Marty

    I was raised in the Methodist Church and always considered myself a Christian and never questioned or doubted anything I was taught at church. It was not until my son revealed to me that he did not believe in God and hadn’t for a couple of years even though I had also taken him to church during his childhood. I was shocked at his revelation and felt I had failed him in some way. But he reassured me that I had not failed him at all. I had taught him right from wrong and how to be a caring human being. He is a huge history buff and after studying history and learning of all the atrocities that were committed in the name of religion, he began questioning the existence of a “loving” God that would allow those atrocities to happen. His take was that if our God loved all of humankind as is taught in church, why did He allow so many wars to happen in His name. After many conversations with my son on the subject of religion, I too, have had questions and doubts. Now some diehard Christians may claim I must not have had a very strong faith to be swayed so easily. And perhaps that is true. But I feel as this author feels, that I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ (henceforth the term “Christ”ian) and if we all could live our lives as Jesus taught and lived himself, this world might be a peaceful world. If we could just teach our children to be kind, caring ,loving, nonjudgmental and to do good in the world, not bad, maybe, just maybe, things would change for the better.
    And with all that being said, I wasn’t born yesterday. As much as I wish that would be the answer,I know it is not. Religion has been around for probably as long as mankind. Most humans have a need to believe in something greater than themselves that we can go to for help and guidance. We are a flawed species. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. So we have religion, groups of like-minded people who gather to worship their “God’ and support each other in this crazy thing called life. There is nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. The problem arises when these flawed human beings believe their beliefs are the only correct ones and try to convert those who do not believe as they do. Then that is when judgment and condemnation (which, if you believe in the Bible, no human has the right to do) start instead of understanding and caring. That is one of the problems with religion. It is organized and run by flawed humans who allow their own imperfections and selfishness guide what they believe to be true.
    There will always be religion, I believe, as long as humans live. Most people need a greater power to look to when bad things happen and to support their beliefs be they right or wrong.
    I also applaud this author and totally agree with him!

  • shay3780

    well stated/right on. I will continue to read Mr Clifton.

  • Gabriel Gentile

    “Atheists (yes I consider Atheism a form of religion)”

    May I ask your reasoning?

  • Adam Barlow

    Jesus was falsely charged and crucified by the “organized-religious-leaders.”

    • white trash religious teaparty

      yep– he was a threat to them and the jewish leaders didn’t like a jew ( jesus) no agreeing with them at that time
      politics!!

  • Joe Murray

    What is Christian anyway? I think Christians are the most confused and conflicted people I’ve ever witnessed. They say they believe in part of the Bible, figuratively or a literal meaning or even something completely different, really anyone can believe in it how ever they see fit for good or bad. They say they believe that everything was created 6000 years ago or some other short period of time. Some say they believe in evolution. Some say the Rapture is coming or whatever. There is no rhyme and certainly no reason to what makes a Christian. You can feed the needy or go out and shoot someone and call yourself a Christian… Who can say otherwise? It don’t seem to matter. Yes it is certain that Christianity and all religions, cults or whatever you want to call This Grand Delusion of humanity that is religion… they are all destructive, irrational, ridiculous and ultimately useless.

  • Linda Rae

    Amen.

  • Ray Switzer

    Incredible Allen. You suggest that everyone keep their beliefs private “as they should be” and then you go on to publicize and promote every belief you have in the most public forum you can in an attempt to influence others. You don’t stop with your beliefs though, you hate on other’s beliefs that apparently differ from your own. It strikes me as very funny. Do as I say or do as I do?

    By the way I’m a … Well I guess I should keep that to myself.

  • Bill Roberts

    If you call yourself a Christian, than I see you as I see All Christians!!! You are grouped in with their history and all their representatives. Atheism is Not a religion!!! Some atheist may see it as their responsibility to point out how ridicules and dangerous faith is. We atheist believe you Christians will eventually destroy us all. Because that’s what fear does!!!!

  • Matthew Reece

    This piece also reads fairly well if you replace the word “religion” with the word “government,” the word “Christianity” with the word “democracy,” and the other religions with other types of governments.

    That being said, atheism is not a religion in the same sense that black is not a color and anarchism is not a system of government. They are the absence thereof.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      matt baby:
      black is NOT the absence of color: white is,,,,,,,,,,black is all colors combined
      atheism is a “religion” in a loose association of that term as it has beliefs: is not a religion as it has no scrolls/books/dogma to control the followers

      • Matthew Reece

        You have it backwards. When all wavelengths of light are combined, the result appears white. When no wavelengths of light are present, the result appears black. Therefore white is the presence of all colors and black is the absence of all colors.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        perhaps in that way,,,,,,,,,,,,
        so lets try adding all COLORS ( see: paints) and see if its white or black

      • Spaceman Spiff

        The colors that we perceive are the result of reflected light. When you apply paint to a surface, it causes some colors to be absorbed and others to be reflected. The wavelengths of reflected light are what we actually perceive as color.

        A surface that is painted with a blend of all hues of paint causes all wavelengths of light to be absorbed and none reflected thus causing our eyes to perceive the surface as the color black which is the absence of all color.

        Try passing white light through a prism and you’ll see the familiar banding of red, orange, yellow green, blue, indigo and violet – all colors combined.

  • G Wagner

    Could never understand why anyone would NOT have problem with the simple premise of the “King James” Bible. Seriously, how could you not question that?

    • Team America

      Adding further to the irony – King James was a homosexual.

  • Scaramongus

    Are not the satisfactions of being a good man among our common men great enough to sustain us anymore? (the big chill)

  • Aaron Stoner

    Well…thats your belief anyway. 😉

    “Why is it so many care so much about the personal religious views of others? If everyone kept their beliefs private (as they should be), practiced them in the appropriate places and didn’t judge others who believed differently – can you imagine how much more peaceful the world would be?”

    The majority of people care, because they want to help others find a peace in their lives. I can, I can imagine the other things people fight over: land, money, power. Surprisingly, secular things.

    “Our goal as humans should simply be to exist as good people, and that’s essentially what the core of all of these faiths tells us – just be a good person”

    Most faiths also tell us to spread their believes to others. Jesus in particular sought to teach others in His travels. I disagree with you 100% there, there are two kinds of good people. One is good based on his standards or the standards of his peers, another is good based on a different set of standards, then perhaps we can comprehend. Standards from Jesus’ teachings and from the God who sent Him here.

    “And that’s about it. I’ve actually met conservatives that say they couldn’t care less about what economic policies either party supports, because those two issues mattered to them most. Basically, they would rather live impoverished by economic policies which hurt them than see a gay couple get married or a woman have control over her own body.”

    The opposite is also true, again. And abortion isn’t just a religious issue, its concerning the Human rights of the developing fetus, that you seem to believe is a non-entity.

    I haven’t read any of your other articles, but if this is of any indication of their content, I’d have to say you live on tangible morals but not faith. You “believe” in Christ’s teachings, ok, but you don’t believe in God’s influence enough to follow the rest of the story? Thats not faith, you’re picking and choosing what you believe based on what is the most compatible with the world. Thats not what Jesus was about at all.

  • Laredo Lenny

    Since Religion is a red hot topic, I almost didn’t want to speak to all of what I read here.There are many of you saying the same thing in many different ways. While I do not consider myself a ” Bible Thumper ” , I have taken the time over many years [ maybe 30 ] to slowly and methodically read the Bible over 8x. I have also listened to 1,000’s of hours of sermons. I have also attended Many buildings that are considered Churches or Synagogues or Temples of Worship. At one point, I studied Satanism as well. I have only spoken with three ” True Atheists ” , in my lifetime. I am now 56. I studied Psychology and Theology, Atlantis and Egyptian history as well as ” Star People “. There are other ares I have looked into as well.
    I had the great opportunity to have had my own business in NYC, and spoke to many people of many different sects of Religion over about a 15 year period. And before I get some wise crack statement forming in your mind, I must say; On some level, I agree with you all [ all 152 replies ] , and on another level I do not.
    I just wanted to give you my background because I read a few comments about “Reading your Bible ” , or “Don’t impart your beliefs upon me “. Although I think the most comical one was the roid rage guy who called someone out to his gym. Sorry Buddy, flesh doesn’t stop a bullet. ” Know your enemy and all his ways “, that’s also in the Bible. Simply put, be prepared.
    The Bible is a Book of Books written over a long period of time. True, it has Religious meaning. However, it is also a book of common sense, of preparation, of Historical value, and also a reference book. It is at one point a Book of Poems and Love letters and how to approach and treat your Man or Woman. As well as your fellow ” Man “, and neighbors.
    I must say, in all that I read, from even the more educated answers, no one mentioned that we are living in a time of Evil. That Satan has the ability ” to prance to and fro, devouring who he can. And they shall be thrown into the firey pit and it shall be shut up” , [ my paraphrase]. I perhaps may stand corrected, because one of you talked about the earth opening up and swallowing up a bunch of people.
    Atheism. Well, you believe in nothingness. That is where it gets muddy. Truly it is a religion of nothingness. Like it or not, you are still categorized as a Religion. Take Unitarians for example. The believe in only The Father. Some of the so called Preachers do not believe in Hell. Although Christ put a strong reference to and on it. ” Beware the one who comes in sheep’s clothing, but is a snare to the fowler”, [ My paraphrase ]. You see, I really did read what you all said. All of your statements are valuable. Everyone’s time is valuable.
    And, yes, if you speak with someone, and they are not receptive, then perhaps you are not the one meant to speak to their beliefs and what God my have in store for them. To all you gays, the Bible says ” Hate the sin and not the sinner”. Whether it is a lifestyle choice or you feel you were born that way, that is your business. ” My ” part is only to bring a message of hope and understanding. And to do it in a lovingly way. And if you shut me down, Luego. I just move on. There will be others that you may understand better. And, I don’t mean that they should change your mind, but just give you info to make you think and see if there is anything in your life you’d like to change.
    CHURCH or TEMPLE. Ha! Yeah, I so totally agree with the statement about going there for 45 minutes on a Sunday or Saturday or even a Wednesday Eve. , and then be prepared to Evangelize. The only people I know who follow that concept are The dreaded Jehovah’s witnesses and also the Mormons as well. The Unitarians may approach you in a park setting and offer you a balloon.
    You see, this is a simple concept gone haywire. And it is only like that because we have free will, free choice. I didn’t see anyone mention Satan. He has a lot to do with this. He and 1/3 of the Angels were cast out of heaven. Satan thinks he is God and is pissed since His days grow short. The only thing Satan needs to do, the small minute detail, is drive a wedge between you and your belief in God [ if you believe ] , and he has done His job. Because that wedge will fester and grow and cause doubt. Remember ” Divide and conquer ” . There is so much more I could address here. Ugh.
    So,There is a book called , ” The Case For Christ “. I know some of you may read it. But most won’t. It was written by a high powered Attorney who went out to dis-spell Christ and all He stood for. Yet, the proof he found was to the contrary. And yes, the scripture have been tampered with in some instances. However, in Revelation Christ says, ” He who adds to or takes away from this book, so it shall be done to him”. So, at least for believers that is a strong statement. These Books we have are what we have to go by. So, trust in God and move forward. To dwell on King James or Constantine is wasting time.
    Also, there are the Dead Sea scrolls and all the towns being unearthed. There is some credence to what is written in the Bible. As well as the scribes of the day who just wrote the daily nes who just so happen some of what happened with Christ. The reference to the 1950;s and Moses, Well, some of that was fiction. Be-Hur was Totally fictitious.
    One can only hope that whomever reads this, they will get a better understanding of the Bible. And while more bloodshed was shed in History because of Religion, it was not ” Just ” , the Christians doing the slaying. The majority of the Knights Templar worked as farmers. Only about 10% were trained Army.
    I have called Pastors out with written proof, and they’ve turned a blind eye to what I was trying to explain to them. You cannot just teach the new Testament. Christ was the old Testament in motion. However, like any thing else, it takes a lot of preparation before the end product is ready.
    I know I didn’t cover everyone here, but I tried. For the Record I read the New King James Bible . It’s easier that the these and thous. The NIV is pretty good too,There is a big controversy about original text and it’s meaning. However, if it’s easier to read at some level, the over time you can progress to different companies.
    I try to exemplify Christ in my daily living. Love one another as you love yourself. If you choose to Evangelize always remember, You plant the seed, God does the watering. I wish the best for you all. And know, we are living in a time of Satan. Don’t be so quick to judge God for what goes wrong. We have free will and free choice. Together we stand, divided we fall. Get it? O.K.

  • Dan Daniel

    Allen, this is a very articulate commentary. Well done! I find it painful to admit that the older I get the more I see organized religion as a problem rather than a solution. I see my religious beliefs as deeply personal and something that should be addressed in private, not publicly and so organized religion has always rubbed me the wrong way. I just hope that people can learn tolerance and practice kindness!

  • fishes

    I agree w/ a lot of what you say, politically. However, your stepping on your own dick in regards to religion and in my opinion (and likely the opinion of others) it’s harming your credibility. You keep calling yourself a Christian, and in this post you say you hate religion in the next breath. No matter how you slice it, or church it up – Christianity IS religion and if you’re a Christian you’re religious. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what you think or your opinion on the topic, atheism is not a religion – period. Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    Back to my point, Christianity is vile, Bronze Age bullshit. If you adhere to it, you are implicit in the harm it does and has done. You need to take a step back and consider your blind spots are exactly like those of the Teapublicans and their ilk. It’s time to soldier up and get rid of the imaginary friend, it’s holding you back.

  • SueBerryhill

    Believing in Jesus’ teachings and the values he preached does not make one a Christian. A Christian is a follower of Christ, one who believes and confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,who died for our sins in our place, so that believing in Him we can be reconciled to God and have eternal life.

    That said, not all who belong to churches and call themselves Christians, ARE Christians in the true sense. Jesus himself said that not all those who call him, “Lord, Lord,” will be with Him in heaven. He also told the story of Judgement Day and the goats and the sheep: those who believed in Him and did His (and God the Father’s) will, are saved — the sheep–, and those who called themselves Christian but did not do His and the Father’s will, are not saved — the goats (VERY paraphrased).

  • Judy Jackson

    Religion is a cancer on the world & like cancer, should be eradicated. I have NO issue with a person’s beliefs UNTIL those beliefs are forced on everyone else & that is happening more & more every day. If a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew behaved the way far too many Christians behave, those Christians would be screaming. Every religion says that there religion is the true religion. Basic common sense says they can’t all be right. Keep your religion in your home or your place of worship. Keep it OFF my front porch.

  • Wanz75

    Atheism is a religion to the extent that OFF is a TV station.

  • natorT

    Er, calling Atheism a religion is like saying “off” is TV channel.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    I typically agree with most of your positions but I have to take exception to a couple in this article. First, as others have pointed out, atheism is NOT a religion for the many and varied reasons that have already been expressed.

    Secondly, as an atheist, I have the right to believe that theists are idiots because their beliefs affect and cause harm to society as a whole, myself included. They indoctrinate their children before they’re even able to form a coherent thought. This borders on child abuse insofar as it plants a seed that will result in conflict as the child is exposed to factual information. This conflict frequently renders the young adult incapable of integrating this new information in any consistent way with the mythology that has been implanted.

    Their religious institutions also claim a tax exemption freeing them from the same burden as other similar, non-religious organizations. Yet, they then claim the right to be allowed to participate in societal decisions in the same manner as these other organizations – advocating for representation that will further their own beliefs.

    Until they take their beliefs behind closed doors and allow their children the opportunity to choose their own path, I will assert my right to call these individuals “idiots”.

    • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

      good stuff but I will add this( as Im an agnostic),,,,,,,atheism is a “religion” or at least a system which has a ‘mantra’ (Q.V.) of a belief which claims to have proof of the NON existence of “god”
      im with ya 100% on all other stuff U wrote– sadly its not going 2 change any time soon
      ==================================================
      my fave is asking a religious ( Christian) to document the full healing ( by their “god”) of an amputee. They don’t like that question

  • Linda Graham

    If only I had the author’s talent, these could have been my words exactly.

  • Brenda J Adams

    I understand why people do not agree with organized religion organized under the power of imperfect men, not to be mistaken by God Almighty for all his works are perfect.
    People seem to think that God Almighty does not have limits ,and his values are higher ,and standards, that does not mean he can not show mercy, but he knows who he wants to extend it to.
    As an example you have many landlords and property managers. What is a most important thing done when they want to fill there property. An Application of background . Why because they do want their property vandalized ,they need their tenants to work along with them so bills can be paid to keep the establishment up. Why do people think that God would allow any human to decide who could live next to him in heaven ,when they do not have it right down here on earth, people are not educated in the light of truth in action. They do the opposite of most good principals and laws from the bible ,and many here on this planet now have the practice of worshiping satan. But if one dies they would give them a Christian funeral . The truth is many people think they pick God Almighty. In the end you have no say ,because he picks you. A library I find very useful is wonderful of many truths in over 100 languages of choice.wwwjworg

  • Andrew the Science guy

    Athesim is a religion, like “Off” is a TV channel.

  • Follower

    Do you really think the God that created all things in the universe allowed men to change the meaning and context of his commands and thoughts?

  • kat

    My question to people who say they are Christian but don’t believe or follow the bible: So where does your belief stem from?

  • Cinque Cashell

    Been saying this for years!

  • Pictorignotus

    Atheism is not, repeat not, a form of religion.

  • DavidD

    Is totally confused and clueless a religion?If so sign me up.

  • allinfun

    You don’t need either Religion or Organized Religion to live your life the right way…living ethically, morally, and treating people as you want to be treated is all that should be required. Period. One of my favorite quotations regarding religion is from American Physicist Steven Weinberg: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

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  • Jodyav

    Jesus
    never existed. There is NO mention of Jesus in ANY history outside of the
    bible. NONE. Roman historians never mention him. Wouldn’t you think they would
    if they supposedly put him on trial and crucified him? There is also no
    evidence that Romans ever crucified anyone! The Jews don’t mention him either.
    Since he theoretically was one and they supposedly had him killed it would seem
    like someone would say something about him. NO mention, NO archaeological finds.
    Take time to learn the truth.

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  • Rae Rossouw

    Fluoride is rat poison, I don’t care if you don’t believe it at all… But it doesn’t go in my body. And I’m a Dental Assistant who just pretends to put it on children’s teeth. Also, religion is pure b.s.

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  • Gregory771

    Yes…..exactly.