My Story as a Liberal Christian Dealing With the Intolerance of Liberals Who Attack My Faith

1782058_10152227370292489_1355403748_nUnfortunately, mostly due to the efforts by conservatives, religion and politics have been mixed in this country.  Though our Constitution, by way of our First Amendment, clearly prohibits that.  But what should be is often different than what is.  The reality is that there are those who often try to mix their personal religious views in with public policy, forcing millions of Americans who disagree with them to follow laws based on religious belief.

It’s a battle that, as a political activist of sorts against conservative ideology, I deal with all the time.

Not only that, I’m determined as a Christian liberal to stop these fake “Christians” (usually the far right-wing evangelicals) from ruining my faith with their ignorance.  My basic views being that most conservatives aren’t Christians.  They follow something I call “Republicanity.”  Which is a mix of a handful of excerpts from the Bible in with conservative political ideology.

I kind of view it like a political cult.  Literally tens of millions of Americans vote against their own interests because they don’t like abortion and hate the idea of homosexuals having the right to marry.

But as a liberal Christian, right-wing religious fanatics aren’t the only people I contend with.

Before going any further let me go ahead and announce that yes I believe in science, no I don’t believe the earth is 6,000 years old and no I don’t believe the Bible is a word-for-word factual depiction of events.


Too often I have to deal with Christian hatred from fellow liberals. In fact, I dealt with it just the other night.  I posted this on my Facebook page, Right Off A Cliff:

“I’m a straight, white Christian male who was born, raised and still lives in Texas. By all accounts, I should be a Republican. Except I lack the one trait that is the bedrock of conservatism…

Ignorance.”

The point of the post was to show that while I fit every stereotype that a typical Republican should be (in fact I’m someone who would actually benefit from many of their policies which favor my particular set of demographics), I’m not a Republican because I lack one of the key principles that is required to be a Republican – ignorance.

It was basically a direct shot at the Republican party and the fact that no matter who you are, or what you are, the underlying fact is that someone needs to be ignorant before anything else.

Harmless liberal fun, right?  Well, not exactly.

This is the first post I get from someone on the post:

“Believing in a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman is the definition of ignorance I am sorry to say.”

Now, in almost every article I write concerning religion I make it a point to say that I don’t care at all about what religion, faith, spiritual belief or no belief someone has.  It doesn’t matter to me.  I think in the end most of us believe in the same thing – being good people.  Helping the helpless, defending the defenseless.  Caring for the sick, the elderly and the needy.  Generally just being decent human beings.

At the core of every religion, spiritual belief or just overall decency, are those values.

I also never force anyone to believe the way that I do, nor do I judge anyone who believes in something different or nothing at all.  Again, it’s a personal choice we all have to make.

It’s why I believe when it comes to religion, or the lack thereof, it should be kept out of public policy.  It’s a personal matter, for each individual to decide on their own, so it has no place in public policy.

Yet even though I never judge liberals who aren’t Christians, nor do I ever tell liberals that they should be Christians, I constantly get attacked by liberals because I’m a Christian.

And pretty much anything I post relating to Christianity gets posts similar to the one above.

So on one side I have right-wing “Christians” telling me that liberals can’t be Christians, then I have liberals telling me that I’m an idiot for believing in a “magic” story.

Then there I am, not telling anyone what they have to believe.  The only thing I ask is that no matter what any of us believes, can we just keep it personal?  I don’t get this need by so many to force their views on others.

Who cares?

If I’m a Christian, you’re an atheist and the person sitting next to you is Muslim – what does it matter?

The only time it does is when people feel the need to force their views on other people.

And that’s the ironic thing about liberals who bash me for being a Christian.  They’re behaving in the exact same way these right-wing “Christians” behave when they try to make everyone believe how they do.  If you disagree with them you’re wrong and they’re completely intolerant of accepting someone who has different views than they do.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who deals with this either.  The topic of Christianity, when brought up in political circles, almost instantly turns into left vs. right.  Which is why I’ve made the effort to try to reclaim Christianity from those who’ve distorted the faith for far too long.


That doesn’t mean everyone has to be a Christian.  Not at all.  What that means is that when people think of “Christian” I don’t want the first group of people they think of to be right-wing bigots who judge their “Christianity” by their church attendance.  I want them to think of people who actually live their lives based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Because that’s what being a Christian means.

And that’s my mission.

Not to convert anyone.  Just to do my part to make sure that when people think of my faith, they think of those who really represent it – not those who use it as a tool to achieve their own selfish ambitions.

Yet still, it doesn’t stop the frequent attacks by some liberals who go out of their way to try to tell me how foolish I am for believing in God.  As if they’re going to change my mind by belittling my faith.

All they really do is prove what hypocrites they are by claiming to be liberals, those who stand on the platform of acceptance and religious freedom, while judging and attacking me because they disagree with what I believe.

Even though I’ve never once told anyone they should believe what I believe – because I don’t care.  We’re not Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or Atheists – we’re humans.  Our faith is our choice, being a human being isn’t.

If you’re a good person, that’s all that should really matter to anyone.  Not who we love, what we do with our own bodies or what we each individually believe happens to us after we die.

Do you agree?  If so, let me know on Twitter.

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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  • Nancy McClernan

    You hit on the real problem, although you don’t seem to realize it. This is the problem:

    And pretty much anything I post relating to Christianity gets posts similar to the one above.

    If you are having a political discussion WHY would you post something relating to Christianity? The reason that liberal atheists get annoyed with liberal Christians is because they insist on using their religion to explain why they favor progressive politics. If you don’t want us criticizing your religion how about you stop bragging on how your religion makes you such a good person?

    And whether you believe in it or not, you have to admit that this is a completely accurate description of the basis of Christianity:

    “a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman”

    Even if you don’t literally believe in the Adam and Eve story or the Creationist claim that the earth is 6000 years old, if you are a Christian you must believe the part about the magic man using the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity. If you don’t believe that part you really aren’t a Christian.

    And it makes no logical sense at all. There is no logical reason why an all-merciful, all-knowing god would go through this whole vicious human sacrifice before doing something he wanted to do – and omnisciently knew he was going to do – in the first place.

    Believe whatever you want – but if you don’t want your religion criticized, stop throwing it out as evidence it makes you a special good person. You don’t see people who believe in astrology claiming it makes them moral and superior – learn from them.

    • Jbh Jbh

      I’m an atheist and you disgust me.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Well I’m an atheist and I find you repulsive for attacking me instead of addressing my argument. So I guess we are even.

      • Jeremy

        There is no argument you dumb ass. That’s the problem. You are making an argument when there i snot one. Someone is only our side defends you, defends not having a Bible in school, but people like you have this need to bring up religion, and put it down or what reason, for your own ego thus alienating those that support you in the first place. That makes you a Fing geniuses right? NOT! I thought being an Atheist made you smarter? Well that is not very logical, or smart to alienate those people you need to protect your rights? LMBO!

        Tell me this what protects your rights to your beliefs? The US Constitution Laws, rules? Wrong! Us. We do. Without us to defend those laws, and the Constitution it’s just a piece of paper. That piece of paper doesn’t protect you if it doesn’t have the people backing it up.

        SP there is no argument. There is no proving you right, because it doesn’t matter, and YOU are not smart enough to get that.

      • HermeticallySealed

        How about a why, rather than some vague invective.

      • Jeremy

        You are as bad as Nancy. You are making an argument when there isn’t one. I think he saying that Nancy disgusts him due to what he said was pretty darn clear in my book, but maybe not so for your own ego since you really don’t care about the truth as much as you do about just being righty, and starting an argument about something you think is the only thing you can win a debate on. You are wrong, and I can run circles around you, but i won’t because that is NOT the point of this blog. This is not about having a religious debate. This is about the intolerance of many of you.

      • Jeremy

        Thank you.

    • Pipercat

      What you are missing is, that in some context, a theological counter is necessary to address a burgeoning theist ideology. If someone throws a argument based on, “god told me to” it is logical to respond, “god does not speak to you” from a similar starting position. As a Born Again Agnostic-Jack Buddhist, all I can say is this: Any absolutist thinking is bound to be fallacious and unsupportable.

      • Nancy McClernan

        hat in some context, a theological counter is necessary to address a burgeoning theist ideology.

        And you support this claim how?

        In our American democracy “because my god says so” is completely irrelevant.

      • Pipercat

        Exactly. Yet, we see this codified and legislated throughout the Republic. You’re still missing the point; moreover, you are quote mining out of context. Try reading things in context in a less absolutist way.

      • Nancy McClernan

        How am I quote mining “out of context“??? The context is right there for anybody reading this thread to see. Please explain why you are claiming that I am “quote mining.”

      • Pipercat

        Contextomy, is when you take a snippet of an argument and create a counter that dismisses the overall thesis of the original assertion. The part you’re missing, is when you have an ideology being supported by theist principles, it is completely logical and proper to challenge, then argue against them by using their arguments in rebuttal.

      • Nancy McClernan

        I created nothing – I asked you a question. The fact that you made an issue out of a mere question indicates to me that you are not arguing in good faith (or maybe are incapable of a rational discussion) in which case I don’t see the point in continuing.

      • Pipercat

        I answered your question, twice. You seem to be unwilling or unable to take things to the next level. This is because your argument is fallacious. It’s an appeal to authority with a supporting argument to the stone; ergo, unsupportable.

      • Nancy McClernan

        You never addressed my question AT ALL. You simply claimed it was “out of context” and you still keep doing this bizarre meta-debating. I have nothing else to say to you.

      • Pipercat

        Because you have nothing to say.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Yes, I have nothing to say to you because I find your discourse absurd and non-sensical. Good day.

      • Pipercat

        That meta-debating is actually called logical thinking, discourse and progression. You cornered yourself by starting from an absolutist position. When somebody counters with logical alternative, you summarily dismiss their assertion without a supporting counter. Forgive me, but if you are going to bring a knife to an artillery duel, you’d be better served sitting on the sidelines.

      • Nancy McClernan

        I said good day!

      • Pipercat

        Free country!

      • Nancy McClernan

        Unless the theocrats win.

      • Pipercat

        Precisely, that’s why you do not dismiss your allies by scolding them for the arguments they make; especially, if the goals are exactly the same. You see, right now, the theocrats are winning regionally by codifying laws regarding school curriculum, interfering with free assembly and distorting existing laws and precedent by subverting the spirit of laws to attain an end. The stakes are too high to summarily discard those who also wish the end of this nightmare.

      • Nancy McClernan

        If I’m not allowed to object when Christians inject their religion into a political issue then the theocrats have already won.

      • Pipercat

        Not if the goal is to remove all theocracy from common law. Really, the means are irrelevant if the end is just. Consider Christian Liberals as a group of shock troops against the tyranny of the theocrats.

      • Nancy McClernan

        “theocracy” means “a form of government in which a country is ruled by religious leaders”

        Now that you have that piece of information you might want to reconsider your first sentence.

      • Pipercat

        Okay, how about theism then?

      • Nancy McClernan

        If right-wing Christians have already injected “because god said so” into a political discussion I have no problem with liberal Christians arguing against them. But at that point it becomes a theological debate and politics are minor consideration.

        But if a liberal Christian decides to inject their religion into a political discussion then they have nobody else to blame but themselves if they get push-back from those of us who don’t buy the “god says so” argument for human realities.

      • Pipercat

        Indeed, but speaking for Allen Clifton only as a point of context, his pieces consistently counter the assertions of the religious right. This piece is critical and shows the hypocrisy of the the religious right by using their own arguments against them. Furthermore, he goes on by saying don’t use the same tactics as those to whom you oppose; which is fits in his overall thesis.

      • Nancy McClernan

        He hasn’t made a convincing argument that atheists complaining when he injects his religion into a political discussion are using “the same tactics as those to whom (one) oppose(s).”

      • Pipercat

        I’m sorry, that’s also fallacious because it’s a false dilemma. It’s subjective and assumes automatic interjection and not a possible counter.

      • Nancy McClernan

        I said “he hasn’t made a convincing argument” – either provide evidence that it is – or should be – a convincing argument or we’re done here.

      • Pipercat

        Sorry, Hitchen’s razor. It’s not up to me to prove you wrong, it’s to you to prove you’re right.

      • Nancy McClernan

        It’s up to Allen Clifton to make a convincing argument to me. You don’t actually enter into the equation, but since you inserted yourself I offered you a suggestion. But feel free not to bother – you don’t appear interested in supporting your own arguments much less worrying about Allen Clifton’s.

      • Pipercat

        Argumentum ad lapidem. Clifton posited an opinion in his blog. You proposed a challenge. I challenged your assertion. You summarily dismissed my challenge by arguing out of context. I pointed this out, you dismissed that as well for reasons that escape me. Then you started down the road of ad hominem attacks. Your logic is totally fallacious and you also commit the fallacy of sole arbitration. Trying to dismiss me, instead of my argument. If Clifton doesn’t make a convincing argument, fine. Make a logical counter. Fallacies, summary dismissals, ad hominems and false dilemmas do not support your position; moreover, they undermine the logic underlying your assertion in the first place.

      • Nancy McClernan

        If Clifton doesn’t make a convincing argument, fine. Make a logical counter.

        My point in joining the discussion is that the real issue is Christians inserting religion where it doesn’t belong. I found his initial argument not only unconvincing but beside the point. That should be pretty clear by what I’ve already written and so it should also be obvious that I have no motivation to “make a logical counter” to his original statement, described by you as “don’t use the same tactics as those to whom you oppose.”

        Why you are so insistent on my doing so is the great mystery.

      • Pipercat

        The real issue is free speech. An absolute concept that you might have forgotten. Clifton is exercising his right to speak freely and you get to freely counter. You seem to realize this is an open forum. You commented, so did I, you challenged and I challenged back.. and forth. You were under no obligation to counter my original comment, but you did. Now you just say, I’m right and you are wrong because you can’t support your argument. Sorry, you don’t get to stack the deck that way. His opinion is valid and so is yours. That’s why arguments were invented. The difference here, you don’t get to decide who is right or wrong and sorry if there are some rules to follow.

      • Nancy McClernan

        The question isn’t whether his opinion is valid. The question is whether I find his argument about the matter at hand convincing. As I said, not only do I find it unconvincing, I find his description of the fundamental problem to be off the mark. I’ve already explained why. You don’t seem to be interested in discussing that, so I think we’re done here.

      • Pipercat

        Since you like to quote mine I’ll go back to one of mine you keep mining about tactics. To be honest, you are the one guilty of using the very same tactics of the Conservatives. Your first reply back to me was a summarily dismissal with absolutely no counter. I run across this all the time. So, when I press, the fallacies fall from the sky like hail stones. Your underlying thesis is flawed because it denies, in this case, the author his right to his opinion, creates a summary dismissal and is based solely on fallacious logic. I’m sorry you cannot see that.

      • PaxtusVeritas

        You need to throw in the towel. Pipercat has made you look like an amateur, at best. Your argument is completely baseless and flawed; you ARE quoting out of context; and you seem unwilling or unable to comprehend anything that he has said. You said “good day” earlier, but have continue to prattle on restating the same nonsensical points over and over again. It’s time to face facts and admit that you lost this one.

      • buricco

        Sometimes you need to fight fire with fire. I’m not sure that with a true-blue religiot Christian, anything other than “But the Bible says” *can* get into their head as a counter for “But the Bible says”.

      • Pipercat

        Okay, how about theism then?

      • Nancy McClernan

        “theocracy” means “a form of government in which a country is ruled by religious leaders”

        Now that you have that piece of information you might want to reconsider your first sentence.

      • Pipercat

        Not if the goal is to remove all theocracy from common law. Really, the means are irrelevant if the end is just. Consider Christian Liberals as a group of shock troops against the tyranny of the theocrats.

      • Pipercat

        Precisely, that’s why you do not dismiss your allies by scolding them for the arguments they make; especially, if the goals are exactly the same. You see, right now, the theocrats are winning regionally by codifying laws regarding school curriculum, interfering with free assembly and distorting existing laws and precedent by subverting the spirit of laws to attain an end. The stakes are too high to summarily discard those who also wish the end of this nightmare.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Unless the theocrats win.

      • Pipercat

        Free country!

      • Bill Johnson

        Willy Wonka!

      • nyxalinth

        Yes, and don’t you just love how Nancy said “Good day” yet continued to keep the discussion going? I love it when people do that. 😛

      • Nancy McClernan

        I said good day!

      • Pipercat

        That meta-debating is actually called logical thinking, discourse and progression. You cornered yourself by starting from an absolutist position. When somebody counters with logical alternative, you summarily dismiss their assertion without a supporting counter. Forgive me, but if you are going to bring a knife to an artillery duel, you’d be better served sitting on the sidelines.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Yes, I have nothing to say to you because I find your discourse absurd and non-sensical. Good day.

      • Pipercat

        Because you have nothing to say.

      • Nancy McClernan

        You never addressed my question AT ALL. You simply claimed it was “out of context” and you still keep doing this bizarre meta-debating. I have nothing else to say to you.

      • Pipercat

        I answered your question, twice. You seem to be unwilling or unable to take things to the next level. This is because your argument is fallacious. It’s an appeal to authority with a supporting argument to the stone; ergo, unsupportable.

      • Jeremy

        Actually that doesn’t happen. What happens is others are put down. From my personal exe prince I have seen many Atheist bigots start up putting down religion, and believers at a whim out of the blue. You like to think there is context to it, and reasoning behind it, but there isn’t. It’s pure hatred, and bigotry.

        The thing is if many of you had any form of intelligence you would understand that all religion comes from imagination, and form that magic thus the name of the magi. Imagination is what perp ells humanity forward, not fact. Fact comes after. You forget that the human being is much more complicated than just fact,and reason, and perception is as real as anything you purport as being real. What you are doing however is alienating people. You are not really trying to change minds, or hearts. You just want to argue, and fight. If you really wanted to change minds, and hearts you would be more respectful of others faith. There are a lot of Christians I disagree with, but many times i am still respectful in their faith with, especially if it helps them to be better people.

        You make this an argument about being right instead of being loving, and changing the world. You CAN’T, and WON’T change the world by constantly putting down others,and telling them their God are imaginary wizards. All you are going to do is piss them off. You can’t complain when you purposely troll others to be angry at you, and discriminate against you when you started it.

        As well most of the Atheist Bigots i have encountered really aren’t that bright to begin with. Just being an Atheist doesn’t make you smarter. As well many of them use the same tired stereotype of Christian religion, and basically repeat the same tired Atheist Bigot TPs, instead of thinking on their own. isn’;t that what the religious Right does? They are sheep right?

        Being right, or wrong it is still bigotry. Being right doesn’t mean someone is any less bigoted, it just means an intolerance of someone else, and acting as though one is superior than them.

        As well many of these jerks also don’t understand is they give real intelligent Atheist a bad name, and they wish they would just shut up.

        I would like to also mention my ex was an Atheist, and we never had any problem with that part of our relationship.

      • Pipercat

        I think you replied to the wrong person. I was making the same basic argument to this Nancy McClernan person. As you can see, it fell on blind eyes.

      • Jeremy

        Maybe it is your wording, and I am sorry I misunderstood you. I think I understand what you are trying to say now. You have to fight dysfunctional theology with theology?

      • Pipercat

        A little more harsh than I would put it, but basically yes. Not so much dysfunctional, but more like overreaching or ideology disguised as faith. As an agnostic, it is far better for me to let someone better versed in ecumenical intricacies to argue against an overreach than me. I am without knowledge, after all! 😉

      • Jeremy

        I know it was harsh, but simpler wording. LOL

    • E in I

      Ooh it’s the “Let’s Dictate What Other People Believe, Caricaturize it, and Mock Them” Game! Let’s play!!!
      All atheists believe they are nothing more than a cosmic accident. Their existence is pointless, therefore everything they say, think, or do is both instantly and ultimately pointless. Therefore, atheists believe they are pointless. That’s what all theists should always treat atheists as pointless, regardless of their own opinions on the subject, because it’s rude to invalidate other people’s beliefs.

      Dear Nancy McClerman, you do not have the right to dictate what I or anyone else believes, nor do you get to set the rules by which we believe. Take your bigotry somewhere it can be properly appreciated.

      • Nancy McClernan

        How does my describing what you believe “dictacte” what you believe? You do understand there’s a difference between a description and a command, right?

        But if you think your beliefs were unfairly represented then why don’t you explain how so? Which part of this sentence is inaccurate, and why?

        “a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman”

      • E in I

        “Describe” is not a synonym for “caricaturize”. How you do actually know what I believe? Are you omniscient? Are you god?

      • Nancy McClernan

        Again, how is that description a caricature? Do you deny that Jesus was born as a human in order to be sacrificed? If you don’t deny it, then how is that “use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity” incorrect? As a non-believer I am not obliged to adopt ecclesiastical-mystification terminology to describe your beliefs. The fact that you think I am obliged is part of the entire problem.

      • E in I

        The fact that you have to ignore the entire Jewish faith in order to paint a single event like that is what makes it a caricature. You don’t actually know what “caricature” means, do you?
        If one accepts that God has the entirety of human existence in his hands, and that death is not the end, and that in this instance, God is doing the giving, the taking, and the restoring, then sacrifice of a human life after 33 years of existence in the face of that person going on to exist for an entire eternity is really not that big of a deal.
        You first require that one accepts your belief that existence ends at death in order to make your argument. But, by your rules, it’s only OK for you to do that, because you’re omniscient and you know we’re all wrong.

      • Nancy McClernan

        The topic we are posting opinions about here is “My Story as a Liberal Christian…” Why would I mention “the entire Jewish faith”?

        And again, how is that description a “caricature”? It’s a straight-up description of actual Christian beliefs.

        And do you really want to get into a debate with me over Christianity itself? The issue under discussion is why atheists won’t shut up when Christians decide to inject their religion into politics. If you want to debate Christianity itself I’ll give you a debate – but I guarantee that you won’t enjoy it.

      • E in I

        I never enjoy debating people who celebrate their ignorance and rely on it as a condition for victory. You have no idea what I believe or why. You just make up whatever is necessary to fit your bigoted hypothesis and roll with it. But, I promise you, there’s about a 90% chance that I’m more educated in my faith, including its systemics, than you are. So, you should probably couch your certainty of victory in “as long as you pick the judges or get to just use your omniscience”.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Well you don’t need to know for sure whether or not I’m more educated in your faith than you – you don’t rely on empirical evidence – you rely on faith in all things. So there isn’t much point in attempting a rational debate. Also your main tactic, which is to constantly scream “bigot!” is incredibly tiresome.

      • E in I

        See, there you go again, dictating what I believe about things like “empirical evidence”. You have no idea what I believe. You’re sticking words in my mouth.
        So, if you’re tired of hearing yourself being called a bigot, that makes you not a bigot. I see. A friendly tip: you should probably not criticize people for being illogical anymore, and certainly away from using the label “hypocrite”.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Based on the brief discussion here, I have a pretty good idea what you believe. And when you’re ready to explain to me exactly how the statement below is a “caricature” instead of an accurate description of Christian beliefs, we can talk.

        Otherwise we are done – I really don’t see the point of exchanging insults with some random anonymous Internet commenter.

        “a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman”

      • E in I

        Ah yes, this little interaction is a complete summary of my entire faith. You really nailed it. And by the way, I’m not insulting you. I’m “expressing my opinion”. I didn’t know atheists were so fragile.
        I didn’t realize the strength of my argument rested on my anonymity. Probably because it doesn’t, but hey, I’ll let you believe whatever you need to believe, because I’m cool like that.
        You can’t understand why it’s a caricature because you remain deliberately ignorant of the larger picture. Willful ignorance is completely incurable.

      • Nancy McClernan

        So you really claim that this is not an insult? Wow, you’re pretty shameless.

        A friendly tip: you should probably not criticize people for being illogical anymore,

        And I’m amused that you believe that because I don’t describe your religious beliefs in a religion-friendly way it indicates my ignorance of some “larger picture.”

        Asserting a thing does not demonstrate its veracity.

      • E in I

        You’re illogical because your actions indicate a belief that you can use the strawman is a valid form of argumentation.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Frankly, I’m not interested in your assessment of me. As I said, if you don’t want to discuss the issue and instead want to keep proclaiming me an illogical bigot, well I can’t imagine what you would get out of debating such a person. And I’m not interested in the pointless trading of insults.

      • E in I

        The whole reason I got into this discussion at all is because you were acting like an illogical bigot. If you didn’t act illogical or like a bigot, I wouldn’t call you an illogical bigot. QED
        I’d be happy to actually discuss the issue, but you keep wanting to cry “victim” and avoid the issue.
        My faith cannot be accurately described by your little copypasta hack job any more than evolution can be accurately summarized by “Justin Bieber evolved from harmless microbes and scientists say that’s an improvement!” You are employing the strawman every single time you use that, and you use it expressly to demean people. Therefore, you are illogical and a bigot. Conclusion reached solely on the merits of the facts at hand. If you don’t want to discuss it, stop saying it.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Clearly you don’t know what an argument is. I did not employ a strawman – I employed a description that you claimed was a “strawman” without supporting your argument. Your idea of an argument is to call me an ignorant bigot.

        I recommend you go to Youtube and search for “argument clinic” to learn what an argument is.

        I’d post the link myself but links appear to put a comment into the moderation queue here.

      • E in I

        Outside of any forum where “disagreeing with Nancy McClernan is illogical”, I am quite skilled at argumentation and debate. But, your shifting rules are difficult to follow.

        Let me help you:
        strawman: “…you believe that because I don’t describe your religious beliefs in a religion-friendly way…”
        strawman: “you don’t rely on empirical evidence”
        strawman: “you rely on faith in all things”
        strawman: “simply refusing to believe in your religion that makes me a bigot”

        And of course, you still use your copypasta as a foundation for your argument. Because no Christian actually believes in anything that simplistic, but as it is the cornerstone of your “gotcha” attack, then yes, it is a strawman. Maybe you should take your own advice.

      • Pipercat

        Copypasta.. I love it!

      • Nancy McClernan

        So you don’t know what a strawman is either. Here’s the definition:

        a fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument

        But you don’t have to believe me – look it up.

        My making statements about you that you disagree with is not a strawman. A strawman would be more like my saying: “the typical religionist is a slow-witted zombie who relies on faith in all things and believes in UFOs and calls everybody a bigot.”

        The problem with a strawman argument is that you would be expected to defend something that I created out of thin air and provide zero evidence for.

        You may not agree with my statements about you, but they are not “strawmen.” They are my responses to what you said right here in this discussion.

        Let’s take the first one: “..you believe that because I don’t describe your religious beliefs in a religion-friendly way…”

        That is exactly what happened in this thread. Because I agreed with the description of Christian beliefs in this statement:

        “a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman”

        You can call this a caricature all you want (and this is what I thought you meant when you claimed “strawman”) but until you demonstrate that any of the particulars in this description are false or even exaggerated, you have not made your case that this is a caricature.

        And your invective against me is most likely due to the fact – not that I misrepresented religious beliefs of Christians – but that I didn’t couch those beliefs in special mystifying terminologies that I am so familiar with from my Catholic upbringing.

        I suspect that like many Christians you never actually took a hard look at the mythologies underpinning your religion, but simply accepted the claims from various ministers or other authority figures that your religion is just about love and peace and all those good hippy things.

        To have someone actually state in plain terms the underpinning of your belief-system is a shock to you, and upsetting, and one you must counter with attacks against me as a “bigot” and an ignoramus.

      • E in I

        From the definition of strawman that YOU found: “… fabricated…” You *fabricated* 100% of those things you said that I think or say. I did not say, nor do I think, *any* of those things. You *think* I do, based solely on your “they all look the same” bigotry.
        So, let’s tear down this stupid quote you paste and paste and paste as if OMG no one EVER thought about those things before the person you copied it from came along.

        “magic man in the sky”: Show me one adult Christian who actually believes in a “magic man in the sky”. And I’m not talking in a rhetorical sense or for the purpose of explaining it to little children, but actually, truly believes it. Quote, link, prove it. You claim it, buck up or shut up. Some artists draw him that way. Sometimes we explain it to little children that way. We don’t believe God lives in the sky. “Magic” is used pejoratively in this sense because you, as usual, have a special rule for yourself where you can insult other people but no one can insult you. A more apt term for what we believe about God is “beyond our understanding”. But since you think you’re omniscient, there can be nothing beyond your understanding, amirite. In truth, those of us who actually believe in Christianity don’t believe it that way, and you are out of line for claiming we do.

        “raped a 12 yo old”: Really? You actually know for a fact that Mary was 12 when this happened? Buck up or shut up. Since you throw in 12 year old, you obviously intend to judge an event in first century Palestine by 2014 American standards. OK, I’ll play. First, rape requires some form of exploitation of the victim. Well, Mary was an adult in her culture, so incapacity and under-age can’t be argued. We have nothing to indicate that it went against her wishes. The angel delivered the message and waited for her response, which was (paraphrase), “OK”. I suppose you might argue that she couldn’t really understand the implications, but you have absolutely no way of knowing that. Since you clearly consider this a fictional event, then within the confines of what makes it fictional, God may well have chosen her specifically because he knew that given 100% disclosure and 100% understanding, she would have not changed her answer. But, because you’re omniscient, you know better. Of course, you can’t prove it, but “burden of proof” is something that only you can place and are never forced to accept, amirite?
        Second, you have failed to make any case for mens rea on God’s part. Within the confines of the story, God at least believed he was doing the right thing by Mary and all humanity, therefore, a charge of “rape” as you attempt to use it would be unlikely to stick by any modern standards. Without, of course, invoking your usual fallback of your personal infallibility in judging all things. And of course, you have applied those standards arbitrarily without once providing a convincing argument for why I should judge an act in first century Palestine with my modern understanding of the world. I’m sure it never occurred to you that *we* might be wrong, because *you* are apparently infallible.

        “human sacrifice” in this case is based on the ancient Jewish belief of blood sacrifice as atonement for sin as well as the ancient Jewish believe in substitutional sacrifice. I don’t pretend to completely understand it, but unlike you, I do not rely on my ignorance as proof of anything. This is the central problem with the caricature that you make — that anything you don’t understand can be discarded out of hand at your personal whim.

        “forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman” — No, we believe he was sacrificed for the sins that we individually commit, in accordance with the previously mentioned Jewish concept of blood atonement. The concept of “original sin” being used to mean that “all humanity is on the hook for that a singular event” is recent, illogical, and not universally shared within the Christian community. To the best of my knowledge, the majority of the Jewish community rejects it outright, and without Judaism, Christianity is nothing. The event itself being a literal event is also not universally shared. This pre-occupation with hyper-literalistic interpretation is also a recent development in the course of Christianity and its less intelligent critics.

        But since you think that we all look the same and therefore we are all the same, you attempt to use this as a broad brush to paint a caricature that absolutely no one, anywhere, believes in. Yet you insist that we all do, because we’re all exactly thea same and you’re omniscient. Bigoted and illogical, all in one package.

        And again, I did not call you illogical because you “don’t describe [my] religious beliefs in a religion-friendly way…” I called you illogical because you constantly fabricate things that I said or thought that I did not actually say or think, and then attack me based on those invented words or thoughts. That is what a strawman is, regardless of your inability to comprehend that.

        If you weren’t a bigot, I wouldn’t call you one. I’m not sure how much more plain I can make that.

      • E in I

        I posted in haste. There is, of course, more that makes this a caricature and arguably more important than anything else I said.

        First, I’m not entirely convinced of immaculate conception, and I’m not alone. Only two of four gospels mention the birth of Christ and only one details it. It’s possible that this was a later manipulation. I don’t worry much about it because *it does not matter to the Christian faith*. Christianity hinges on Christ’s divinity and, most importantly, his resurrection. The virgin birth plays no part in its requirements. Why is it that you intentionally exclude the only important components of Christianity while you’re dictating what we “must” believe in order to be Christian? In all denominations I’ve ever heard about, we *must* believe that Jesus was the unique son of God and that he was resurrected.

        The second comes right out of the first. Your copypasta uses “human sacrifice” in the generic. This was a specific event involving a very specific person who we very specifically believe was the son of God. We believe that this person had the power to *overcome death* and be resurrected on his own authority. Your generic use of “human sacrifice” ignores that, and implies that we believe God was just tramping around, striking people down at random for some other thing that was unrelated to, and never mentioned in, the story as told. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I speak for most Christians when I say that we reject “human sacrifice” categorically on the basis that no one else can resurrect him/herself on his/her own authority and therefore overcome death. *Overcome death* is the critical part your copypasta pointedly ignores.

        To your other point, if you’re not a bigot and I’m just flinging empty excuses, what term should I apply to a person that makes up lies about what billions of people believe and treats them as inferior on the basis of those lies? I can accept the possibility that I’m using the term “bigot” inappropriately, but I need a replacement term.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Immaculate Conception is not the same as virgin birth. Please Google them -I’d post links here but then my comment would be stuck in moderation.

        your generic use of “human sacrifice” ignores that, and implies that we believe God was just tramping around, striking people down at random for some other thing that was unrelated to, and never mentioned in, the story as told.

        Not at all. Jesus was supposed to be a god-man and so his death in order to appease a god (who is also him) absolutely qualifies as a human sacrifice. The fact that he is also a god at the same time does make it a little different, but the principle of killing in order to satisfy the wishes of a god is still there.

        The agrarian Jews sacrificed animals to their god all the time – and then the meat was communally distributed, which would have been a very important group-bonding experience especially when protein and animal fats were hard to come by. Which is why the authors of the New Testament use the sacrifice terminology.

      • Nancy McClernan

        The real Jesus was a political revolutionary, one of many “Messiahs” who failed in their quest to drive Rome out of Jerusalem. The difference between the other failed Messiahs and the Jesus cult is that Jesus’s failure to achieve his earthly goals were turned into a victory of achieving heavenly goals. And as anthropologist Marvin Harris explains in “Cannibals and Kings”

        During the interval between Jesus’ death and the writing of the first gospel, the groundwork for a cult of peace messianism was laid by Paul. But those for whom Jesus was primarily a Jewish military-messianic redeemer dominated the movement throughout the period of expanding guerilla activity leading up to the confrontation of 68 AD. The practical setting in which the gospels were written – gospels which depict a purely peaceful messiah – was the aftermath of the unsuccessful Jewish war against Rome. A purely peaceful messiah became a practical necessity when the generals who had just defeated the Jewish messianic revolutionaries – Vespasian and Titus – became the rules of the Roman Empire… it quickly became a practical necessity for Christians to deny that their cult had arisen out of the Jewish belief in a messiah who was going to topple the Roman Empire…

      • Nancy McClernan

        Also from Harris:

        Although the gospels clearly intend to deny Jesus the capacity to carry out violent political acts, they preserve what seems to be an undercurrent of contradictory events and sayings which link John the Baptist and Jesus to the military-messianic tradition and implicate them in the guerilla warfare. The reason for this is that by the time the first gospel was written, nonpeaceful events and sayings which had been attributed to Jesus by eyewitnesses and unimpeachable apostolic sources were widely known among the faithful. The writers of the gospels shifted the balance of the Jesus cult’s lifestyle consciousness in the direction of a peaceful messiah, but they could not entirely expunge the traces of continuity with the military-messianic tradition. The ambiguity of the gospels in this regard is best demonstrated by arranging some of Jesus’ most peaceful statements in one column and the unexpected negations in another:

        Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9)
        Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I come not to send peace but a sword. (Matthie 10:34)

        Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39)

        Suppose ye that I come to give peace on earth? I will tell you nay, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

        All that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)

        He that hath no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one. (Luke 22:36)

        Love thine enemies; do good to them that hate you. (Luke 6:27)

        And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them out of the temple …and poured out the changer’s money and overthrew the tables. (John 2:15)

      • E in I

        Wow, are you serious? What does this even have to do with what we’re talking about?

        OK, “blessed are peacemakers” v. “I come not to send peace” = behavior of individuals v. what we’re up against. “Choice of the individual” comes to mind, or “peace is the best but you don’t have to not defend yourself” or lots of other things. You have to dig way deep in the nether regions to even pretend these are mutually exclusive viewpoints. I can want peace and strive for peace but react with violence when left without an option.

        “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39)” – This is not about violence. Ever hear the phrase “total slap in the face”? Know how the “gauntlet was thrown” in ancient Europe? This passage is not about violence. It is about insults. It means “suck it up.”

        “Suppose ye that I come to give peace on earth? I will tell you nay, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)” Again, not about violence, unless you intend to argue that only violence counts as a form of peace vs. division. I am disagreeing with you right now but I’m not going to physically do anything to you. Does not even relate to the subject of the previous passage.

        “All that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52)” A generic proverb. So? There’s a reason this is sometimes translated as “live by” and not just “take”. There’s a difference between a combative outlook and the act of picking up a weapon.

        “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garments and buy one. (Luke 22:36)” There are two ways to look at this, both have their own validities. One is that when Jesus first came to them, he had them disarm. He was about to leave them, knew that people would be after them, and didn’t want them to be defenseless — right along with the first set of quotes here. The second, and the one that makes the most sense to me in context, is that they needed to present some reason to be arrested in order to get arrested. By taking up arms, they fit an immediate need. There is no “get your sword and let’s go kill somebody” order, so again, violence is not included in this passage. That is corroborated by Jesus later chastising an apostle for violent use of his sword, which any intelligent person can see might mean, “I told you to get a sword, I didn’t tell you to go carve people up”. Again, doesn’t relate to the subject of the previous passage.

        “Love thine enemies; do good to them that hate you. (Luke 6:27)” Again, not about violence. Aligns with with Old Testament Proverbs 25:22, which most uneducated people misinterpret as being about comeuppance as well. Neither ever means, “Let anyone do anything they want and sit there quietly and let it happen.”

        “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them out of the
        temple …and poured out the changer’s money and overthrew the tables.
        (John 2:15)” A singular act by a singular person, in a singular place in particular circumstances. It does not contradict the previous passage in any way because that passage, as indicated, does not prescribe inaction. Unless, of course, you’re prepared to say that loving someone prevents you from ever acting out against them when you think that they are doing wrong. In that case [Citation Needed].

        “the gospels clearly intend to deny Jesus the capacity to carry out violent political acts” — this claim is self-defeating by its own “evidence”. How can a work be “clearly” about something when it is equally clearly “not” about that? What’s “clear” is that this Harris person has put his personal prejudice before any academic integrity. I take it he exclusively or nearly exclusively writes in popular media and not academics? Because I couldn’t have turned in reasoning like that to a junior college professor and gotten away with it. Even my high school teachers would have flunked me. I imagine an elementary teacher would say, “Good effort”, though, so, “good effort!”

      • E in I

        Right, the guy who said “render unto Caesar’s that which is Caesar’s” was clearly seeking to overthrow Rome. This is evidenced by the fact that Pilate forced the Jewish leadership to take responsibility for his death in a time when even fairly idle threats to Roman rule were punished quickly and ruthlessly. Because that makes total sense. Apparently, the fact that all other known Messianic claimants at least attempted to raise an army for the express purpose of liberation from Rome and all were executed or dealt with completely within the powers of the local Roman governor without deference to the Sanhedrin is just sort of unimportant. But anyway, what does that have to do with anything else going on here? This isn’t about history, this is about you trying to say that you know what other people believe.

      • E in I

        You use “human sacrifice” in a generic and incorrect sense to imply that Christians are OK with it in the same generic sense. Christians almost universally find the overall practice of human sacrifice abhorrent and have made a singular exception based on extraordinary circumstances. Anything to the contrary, regardless of tangential jabber about agrarian societies, is a misstatement regarding Christianity.

      • Nancy McClernan

        The “raped at 12” part is the thing that’s the most questionable. As far as I am aware there’s no information about Mary’s age. But basically the angel Gabriel told her she was going to get pregnant thanks to the Holy Spirit.

        (see Biblegateway dot come for details)

        Now she isn’t really given a choice in the matter, and are you really going to argue with an all-powerful being who could send you to hell for all eternity? I think not. But it’s arguably not rape, more like compulsory pregnancy. But the reason for all this “not rape-rape” is what’s most interesting. You do seem to agree with this part:

        so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity…

        You agree this part is accurate, but you justify it through another religious belief “blood atonement.” Which of course holds no water with an atheist. But my disbelief isn’t the issue here, nor whether it makes sense that an all-merciful, omniscient being would make a blood sacrifice of himself/Jesus to himself/Jesus in order to take away the sins of beings that he created knowing they were going to commit those sins, since he is omniscient.

        The issue is that you agree that this is not a caricature of a Christian belief but a valid description of an actual belief.

        Now this part is up for interpretation –

        in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman”

        I think the original author of this statement said “fictitious” because many liberal Christians don’t believe in the literal story of Adam and Eve. You seem to think the story is a metaphor to explain why we are all guilty of sin until God/Jesus sacrifices God/Jesus to God/Jesus.

        So ultimately you don’t disagree with the characterization of the A&E story, you just don’t like the myth being described as a dirt man and rib woman, although that is literally how they are created in the Bible.

        So ultimately it looks like your only real valid complaint is the liberties the author of this description of Christianity made about Mary’s age and whether she was raped or whether she was just compelled to have the Holy Spirit’s baby.

        That of course begs the question of why god was so obsessed with having his sacrifice appear as a god/man through a human birth canal rather than poofing him into existence. And then there’s the whole obsession with Mary’s virginity – but mainline Prostestants do seem slightly less obsessed than Catholics about that.

        As far as Judaism – it should be noted that many Jews consider themselves atheists, but consider themselves Jews because it’s also considered an ethnicity.

      • E in I

        You personally think she didn’t have a choice in the matter, therefore she didn’t. But you also think that the whole thing is made up. So you simultaneously believe that a young woman had no choice about something that didn’t happen to her. You can’t have it both ways. If it happened, then it is also possible that she was fine with it. Period. We have only a little bit of what she thought on the matter, and no way to verify its authenticity, but nothing that we do have indicates she was opposed to it, either before or after. Based on that, we cannot cry “rape” on her behalf and retain any intellectual integrity. Also, “rape” generally implies some form of sexual intercourse. Even if immaculate conception occurred, we obviously have no idea how such a thing would be done. So “rape” is as improper in this usage as “12”. And, no, as I explained in my second post, I don’t actually know if I believe in immaculate conception at all and it is not a cornerstone of my belief system. So, even if 100% of practicing Catholics believe it, it still cannot be part of a broad brush applied to all Christians.

        “are you really going to argue with an all-powerful being who could send you to hell for all eternity?” – The idea of sending anyone to hell for an eternity is a relatively new concept and not one that Mary likely believed in. But, to answer your question directly, Abraham argued directly with God and even got him to modify the terms of an agreement. Jonah outright refused God and wasn’t sent to hell for it. There are other examples I’m not thinking of. So, there is precedent. And yes, if these terms were presented to me, I might try to get out of it. But then, I’m not Mary, so I don’t think my response is an adequate stand-in for hers.

        Whether or not an atheist agrees with “blood atonement” is irrelevant. The story is completely consistent within the Jewish faith. I’ve never met an atheist who didn’t accept the general idea of atonement for transgression in some form, so the basic concept, while alien in this specific application, is easily understood by all. I mean, if I walk up and punch you in the face, you’re going to expect that I not get away with that, right? Atonement does not appear to be an inherently religious idea.

        I believe the story of Adam and Eve is an allegory to be used when people say, “I never [killed anybody|raped anybody|stole anything|other] therefore I don’t deserve any punishment”. The bar is not set at “never did anything really bad”. It’s set at “never broke the rules”. And, the careful observer will note, ALL functioning societies operate with this as a premise; laws are imposed without your will, and you either obey fully or you are guilty. You can disagree on severity of punishment in opposition to severity of the infraction or righteousness of the law, and that’s fine, but a tangent. The story means to me, “We all screw up.” It’s OK if you disagree with me, but that’s what *I* believe that it means and implying anything to the contrary is sticking words in my mouth. I shouldn’t even have to explain that. I should just be able to say, “I don’t believe what you’re saying that I believe” and you should just be able to accept that and stop sticking words in my mouth. I never get involved in debates over whether or not atheism is a religion. I don’t self-identify as an atheist, so I don’t get to define what atheism means to anyone who does. Because “atheist” is something a person can choose to be, I accept that any person who says, “I’m an atheist” is an atheist. I don’t quibble over specifics and I certainly don’t dictate the entrance requirements. All I’m asking from you is a bit of tit-for-tat common courtesy.

        “although that is literally how they are created in the Bible” – Incorrect. That is a hyper-literalist view of the words that are in the Bible. We can’t ask the people who initially formed this story, we can’t ask the people who eventually wrote those words down, and we can’t ask the people they were addressed to how they interpreted them. Therefore, you have no idea whether it is appropriate to label these as a “literal” meaning.

        “So ultimately it looks like your only real valid complaint is the liberties the author of this description of Christianity made about Mary’s age and whether she was raped or whether she was just compelled to have the Holy Spirit’s baby.” – So, to be certain I take your meaning, you can say the entire Bible is false based on your literalist view but I can’t say your entire copypasta tripe is false based on a literal view. Is that accurate? Because, you see, since I see you imposing a literalist view on something you have no place to impose that view, it appears that you are a literalist person. Therefore, absolutely every single aspect of every single component of your copypasta must be accurate or absolutely none of it is. By your rules.

        I am well aware of the ethnic vs. religious aspects of the Jewish people. However, I doubt that atheist Jews accept the concept of original sin either, therefore my statement remains true even if I were ignorant of that fact.

        But to restate my central point, my problem with that person’s description of Christianity is that it is inaccurate and no one has the right to dictate what thoughts are going through my head or anyone else’s.

      • Nancy McClernan

        You personally think she didn’t have a choice in the matter, therefore she didn’t. But you also think that the whole thing is made up. So you simultaneously believe that a young woman had no choice about something that didn’t happen to her.

        Of course it’s fiction. The issue isn’t whether I believe a woman who talked to angels about her upcoming pregnancy existed, the issue is whether her upcoming pregnancy could be described as “rape” I guess you aren’t familiar with literary criticism, but there are plenty of arguments about what novelists really mean in their work. For instance in the play OLEANNA – its famous for causing people to disagree about what really happened.

        And let’s get our religious terminology straight, OK? Immaculate Conception has nothing to do with Mary’s sex life, or lack thereof. This is from the Wiki article:

        The Immaculate Conception is a dogma of the Catholic Church maintaining that from the moment when she was conceived in the womb, the Blessed Virgin Mary was kept free of original sin.

        SO the I.C. is about Mary’s conception, not Jesus’s conception. Got it?

      • E in I

        I’m well aware of literary criticism. I’ve had actual instruction in it from actual credentialed professors. I only attended secular schools so Biblical criticism wasn’t on the agenda, but I learned enough about the process to know that if I claimed Mary was 12 or raped based on the evidence presented in the text, I would have received a failing grade. Doing so is an extra-textual imposition that puts words in Mary’s mouth and forces the events to an understanding outside their context — your particular specialty, but not academically viable. I would have also received a failing grade from any of my anthropology professors if I claimed that all Christians believe in a magic man in the sky or that Jesus’ sacrifice was about Adam and Eve. Etc.

        Fine, I’m getting “immaculate conception” wrong.

      • Nancy McClernan

        The Bible literally does say that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. Considering your constant claims that I am a raging ignoramus I am astounded you don’t realize this:

        But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

        And Adam was created from “the dust of the ground:

        English Standard Version:
        then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

      • E in I

        False equivalence hinging on the word “literally”. Yes, it “literally” says those things. It does not say, “these words must be understood in a literal sense”. That is a choice you made, apparently because it makes it easy for you to spit on people for the crime of being different from you.

      • E in I

        Ah yes, this little interaction is a complete summary of my entire faith. You really nailed it. And by the way, I’m not insulting you. I’m “expressing my opinion”. I didn’t know atheists were so fragile.
        I didn’t realize the strength of my argument rested on my anonymity. Probably because it doesn’t, but hey, I’ll let you believe whatever you need to believe, because I’m cool like that.
        You can’t understand why it’s a caricature because you remain deliberately ignorant of the larger picture. Willful ignorance is completely incurable.

      • Nancy McClernan

        Based on the brief discussion here, I have a pretty good idea what you believe. And when you’re ready to explain to me exactly how the statement below is a “caricature” instead of an accurate description of Christian beliefs, we can talk.

        Otherwise we are done – I really don’t see the point of exchanging insults with some random anonymous Internet commenter.

        “a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman”

      • Nancy McClernan

        Well you don’t need to know for sure whether or not I’m more educated in your faith than you – you don’t rely on empirical evidence – you rely on faith in all things. So there isn’t much point in attempting a rational debate. Also your main tactic, which is to constantly scream “bigot!” is incredibly tiresome.

      • E in I

        I never enjoy debating people who celebrate their ignorance and rely on it as a condition for victory. You have no idea what I believe or why. You just make up whatever is necessary to fit your bigoted hypothesis and roll with it. But, I promise you, there’s about a 90% chance that I’m more educated in my faith, including its systemics, than you are. So, you should probably couch your certainty of victory in “as long as you pick the judges or get to just use your omniscience”.

      • Nancy McClernan

        The topic we are posting opinions about here is “My Story as a Liberal Christian…” Why would I mention “the entire Jewish faith”?

        And again, how is that description a “caricature”? It’s a straight-up description of actual Christian beliefs.

        And do you really want to get into a debate with me over Christianity itself? The issue under discussion is why atheists won’t shut up when Christians decide to inject their religion into politics. If you want to debate Christianity itself I’ll give you a debate – but I guarantee that you won’t enjoy it.

      • E in I

        The fact that you have to ignore the entire Jewish faith in order to paint a single event like that is what makes it a caricature. You don’t actually know what “caricature” means, do you?
        If one accepts that God has the entirety of human existence in his hands, and that death is not the end, and that in this instance, God is doing the giving, the taking, and the restoring, then sacrifice of a human life after 33 years of existence in the face of that person going on to exist for an entire eternity is really not that big of a deal.
        You first require that one accepts your belief that existence ends at death in order to make your argument. But, by your rules, it’s only OK for you to do that, because you’re omniscient and you know we’re all wrong.

      • Nancy McClernan

        And BTW – my atheism never comes up in political discussions, because I don’t talk about atheism. If Christians would learn to stick to political subjects instead of injecting their religion into the discussion things would be much pleasanter.

      • E in I

        Oh, I see. You only abuse Christians because we make you do it. I understand.

      • Nancy McClernan

        I “abuse” Christians by expressing an opinion with which they don’t agree. I had no idea Christians were that fragile.

      • E in I

        Oh, as long as the target of your bigotry doesn’t fall into pieces, it’s not really abusive. I see.

      • Nancy McClernan

        What is my “bigotry”? By simply refusing to believe in your religion that makes me a bigot? So are you calling Jews and Hindus and Buddhists bigots too?

      • E in I

        I’ve never had a Jew or a Hindu or a Buddhist caricaturize what I believe in order to mock me. If one did, then yes, that individual would be a bigot. What makes me not a bigot is that I can agree to disagree without trampling other people’s beliefs and that I can comprehend that the one does not represent the whole. It’s pretty cool. You should try it some time.

      • HermeticallySealed

        I don’t think you even understand what the word “caricaturize” means at this point, as you keep using it inappropriately. It may be a crass way of breaking Christianity down, but it is not characterizing the religion.

      • E in I

        A “caricature” is when you take an element of something, blow it out of proportion or otherwise modify it. To “caricaturize” in the fallacious sense that McClernan does is when you pretend that this caricature is not a caricature at all. Therefore, the proper version of Christianity has here been “caricaturized”. I cannot find where this term has ever been placed in an authentic dictionary, but that’s how I’m going to use it here.
        I think anyone should be able to understand what I’m saying and argue the merits, not the semantics.

        “it is not characterizing the religion” — in what way do you interpret her usage as not characterizing the religion? Clearly she’s stuck to it as a complete, whole, perfect, and unquestionable definition of what we believe.

      • Rebecca Kleitz

        She did NOT caricaturize you or your “beliefs”.
        She described, quite accurately, the whole basis for your religion.
        What part of her description was inaccurate?

      • nyxalinth

        There’s accuracy, then there’s describing that accuracy by purposely choosing the words the writer feels will be most offensive to the reader. Just saying.

      • E in I

        I’ve never had a Jew or a Hindu or a Buddhist caricaturize what I believe in order to mock me. If one did, then yes, that individual would be a bigot. What makes me not a bigot is that I can agree to disagree without trampling other people’s beliefs and that I can comprehend that the one does not represent the whole. It’s pretty cool. You should try it some time.

      • Nancy McClernan

        What is my “bigotry”? By simply refusing to believe in your religion that makes me a bigot? So are you calling Jews and Hindus and Buddhists bigots too?

      • E in I

        Oh, as long as the target of your bigotry doesn’t fall into pieces, it’s not really abusive. I see.

      • Nancy McClernan

        I “abuse” Christians by expressing an opinion with which they don’t agree. I had no idea Christians were that fragile.

      • Betterlucknexttimekid

        Because He believes, as do I, that God is real. May was not 12, she was not raped by the Holy Spirit, as the Bible states Mary said. Lord, let this be so (being the mother of Christ). The sacrifice for humanity is what He was born for… The sins/crimes are not fictitious if one believes the Bible. So the quote is inaccurate even if you don’t believe the Bible or what it says. Because again, Mary was not 12, she was 16. And, she was well aware of what was to take place, and she say lord let it be so… She was not 12 she was around 16, which was the traditional age of marriage at the time… The sacrifice for humanity was needed to forgive mans of sin. If one doesn’t believe the Bible to be true then to them it would be nonsense.

        If one questions the Bible, they are most likely confused about it’s design. For example people ask well did this or that actually happen? But the Bible is as accurate as they Believed at the time, and it was a record for us to understand who Christ was. Not necessarily accuracy. They were designed to show us the characteristics of Jesus. His power His love, and yes even His vengeance and damnation of those who refuse Him.
        Which goes to today.. An example, Global Warming. Man is trying to fix the earth through clean energy et… blah…
        It’s like us trying to fix our life with behavior modification it’s awesome, but don’t get to the root of the problem; which is the need for spiritual restoration. if one do not believe then it’s nonsensical. I understand that…

        The Bible is simply a picture of who God is… People get stuck on a few passages that they can’t reconcile with and avoid the ones they do understand….

      • Angus

        These comments ( both sides of this) prove that the Right does not have a monopoly on ignorance and superiority. How about treating each other with the same dignity you claim for yourselves.
        Mr Clifton made a good point and you all respond with in a way that would make Bill O’ proud.

      • Drew

        Well, ya know… I’m not a Christian, but I guess I can point out the inaccuracies if you’d like…

        “A magic man” God is not a man, and instead transcends humanity. The implication would be as offensive as describing someone as a “big amoeba”

        “who raped” Rape implies violence. Bearing the Son of God was never a violent act and was in all ways considered a blessing. Artificial insemination would be Rape by this definition as well.

        “12 year old so he could use the child” He was a man by that point.

        “as a human sacrifice” The Romans executed him, as a martyr, while he was protesting the unfair treatment of his people. Hardly a human sacrifice, which has a clearly different connotation.

        “in order to forgive humanity of the fictitious crimes” Well, in context, they certainly were not fictitious. God, who is in charge, defined the law of the land. Adam and Eve blatantly disregarded this law despite knowing they would be punished for it.

        “of a man made of dirt and a rib woman.” I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!

        The original story clearly has a different connotation and meaning to a large group of people. You’re intentionally distorting the intention of the story to get a rise out of people who find the story inspiring.

        Now, I know this was posted months ago, but I felt like giving this a shot. I’m no bible scholar but that wasn’t very hard.

      • Kaleb

        The issue is not which part is inaccurate so much as the words you decided to use. Rape, for instance, carries all kinds of obvious negative connotation. There’s nothing in the bible that would imply she was raped or that there was any kind of sex involved whatsoever. A spirit would not have physical sperm so on that basis alone, why would sex be necessary? It is clear you chose the word rape for cheap shock and to belittle faith.

        The other word you chose to use was “fictitious.” Again, you used it for belittling faith. Beyond that, I’d like to argue that those crimes of man were hardly fictitious. Is someone killing another human not a crime? Is stealing not a crime? Should causing physical or emotional harm to someone else not be considered by all means wrong? Yes. So the crimes committed by people still today are hardly fictitious.

    • LG

      While it may be completely accurate, it is also deeply offensive and pejorative. I think this is part of the point. I don’t understand the need to verbalize it in such a way so as to belittle people who do believe it.
      As for the believing in the sacrifice or not being a Christian, I disagree entirely. If we take these religious texts and consider that they are stories told through imperfect beings (and altered over time), I personally find they have more impact and applicability to daily life.

      • Nancy McClernan

        How can it be both accurate and “offensive and prejorative”? Are you actually stating that the mere act of accurately describing Christian beliefs is a horrible thing? If so then what does that say about Christian beliefs?

      • Jeremy

        Yes it is. Why do that,and why try to prove someone’;s beliefs are wrong, especially when they are on your side? Your reasoning is not about there ruth, or right, or wrong. it is about one thing your own selfish ego. Do you event realize what a diss4vice you are doing for the Atheist agenda? Do you realize it is because of people like you, that people like myself that have adamantly defended your cause don’t anymore? We have lost our heart especially so considering that the people we are defending on constantly in need of putting us down, vow,r and over again for not reason at all?

        Do you realize that no piece of paper is going to protect your rights to believe as you do without us? It’s the people’s support that make stye US Constitution work, and without their support it is just a piece of paper. many will just get tired of your shit,and start to ignore you, or worse yet get a distaste for even defending you, not until other Atheists cleans you trolls out.

      • Nancy McClernan

        And as far as this: “As for the believing in the sacrifice or not being a Christian, I disagree entirely.”

        You can disagree all you want but if you want to be considered an actual Christian by an actual Christian sect, then you have to agree with Christian dogma. Otherwise, as another poster pointed out here, the term “Christian” becomes meaningless.

      • Anthony Freeman

        I don’t know a single Christian in my entire life that ever cared about being “accepted by an actual Christian sect”. You can go to any Christian church in America on any day and twice on Sundays (literally), regardless of who you are, what you believe. And you don’t get to decide who is and is not a Christian or when the term “Christian” becomes meaningless. Keep rationalizing your hatred for one certain religious affiliation, though.

      • Rebecca Kleitz

        Dude–the whole BASIS for “christianity” is that your god or rather his “holy ghost” had sex with a virgin, and that his progeny was crucified on a cross so that you won’t go to hell for your sins.
        If you don’t believe in that story, you are NOT a christian.
        Even MORMONS believe that tripe, and most of you christians don’t even consider them christians.
        WTF?
        Are you just arguing to argue?

      • Jeremy

        Isn’t that why you are arguing just to argue,put others down,and satisfy your ego? Isn’t what you are even dabbing pretty much satisfies the original blog of Atheist Bigotry? The point is why are you even truing about religion period? Why are you trying to prove if it is wrong, or right?

        By the way much smarter,and wiser men than you have faith. Being an Atheist doesn’t automatically quality you as being smarter. From what I have seen it is the loud mouths that need to start an argument when there isn’t any due to their own insecurity.

    • Betterlucknexttimekid

      It’s not that Christianity/Religion makes you a good person, it’s World views, how one views the world around them. Conservatives don’t believe in helping the less fortunate etc. However, Christianity tells us to help others, and to love one another; which is something most Conservatives, not so much knowingly, have a problem with…

      So, the premise isn’t about being a good person or claiming following Christianity makes you a good person, is wrong. As a matter of fact, Christianity shows us we’re not good people. That isn’t mental condemnation or a guilt trip; however, Conservatives don’t understand helping the poor is a good thing. That people should be loved, and forgiven…etc..
      Does one need religion to tell them what’s needed to have a positive Worldview? That wouldn’t necessarily be the case, because God gave us a conscious. But, there is a Spiritual Worldview through Christ. This gives a person a new way of looking at life.

      I used to be a Conservative. However, I don’t believe their policies are good for anyone except the very wealthy. They want to force religion onto others. And, I don’t believe in that… I believe the Bible is the Word of God, and that it can be misinterpretation for political bias, rather than for what it actually says/means. To love people, and be there for them, even if they don’t deserve it…

      Not to mention, Jesus wouldn’t have been considered a modern Conservative. He would most likely attach himself to no political party. However, there’s no doubt he would be against a majority of modern day Conservatism.

      So far, I’ve rarely been ridiculed for being a Christian by Democrats. However growing a Christian Conservative there was constant criticism for not being white, and because I believe in sticking up for the poor and less fortunate.

      • Debbie Hill

        You’ve been hanging around the wrong conservatives if you think conservatives don’t believe in helping people. Conservatives who are true Christians, and not just in name only, most certainly believe in helping others. We just believe that is the mandate given to the church, not the US Government.

    • MissyLou

      Here’s the deal…..the people in this world who ‘get it’ are out there living it and feeling it. They are not in this, or any other, forum blabbering on about it. If you’re sitting here reading this, or any other comment or article or post about what’s right and what’s wrong in regards to belief, faith and even science, then you don’t get it. Including myself. The real smarties are out there enjoying life and each other regardless of their scientific knowledge or spiritual beliefs and see debating about it as a pointless waste of precious time.

    • DavidC

      Wait, politics are a form of ideology aren’t they? A way of thinking. Am I really only allowed to discuss my ideology if I carefully censor out whatever personal faith beliefs my ideology comes from?

      Our founding fathers worked to keep any one faith system from being imposed on the country; that is wise and compassionate and proper. But a lack of imposition doesn’t mean censorship of all reference to religion. It doesn’t mean that atheists or anti-theists get to impose their belief that religion doesn’t matter and shouldn’t be addressed. That is not wise or compassionate or proper… or legal. I do not believe for one instant that our founding fathers were afraid of discussing religion the way so-called “liberals” today are.

      Our political ideology is almost ALWAYS based on personal beliefs that began before any of us were aware that politics existed. Even though there usually isn’t a particular need to address underlying beliefs, I can’t pretend my political views have nothing to do with my personal beliefs. And no one who has responded to this article gives any good reason why anyone should be forced to. Nancy seems to think that mentioning religion equals bragging about being a good person. Strange and unnecessary insult. There is no bragging of any kind in this article, no claim to be good or better than anyone else. It is Nancy’s own bias, born of her own underlying personal beliefs, that sees religion as inherently corrupting. It is part of her own faith system that claims that anyone with a religious belief is inherently prideful and out to impose their beliefs on others. She has a right to have and speak to those beliefs. But I would argue that she has a right to hear fellow Americans who disagree, and a reason to hear how her underlying beliefs can affect her political ideology.

      Good article, Allen. I don’t agree with all you said, but I know that isn’t what you were trying for. I am glad you expressed yourself, as Americans ought to feel free to do.

    • Bill Johnson

      Ask yourself the same question about your atheism… And try not to shout, or tell me that I’m stupid.

    • Guest

      Atheists are not the first to point out absurd dogmas for mockery. The best
      elements in the church have always exposed superficial readings of the
      scriptures and the creeds, and indicated the way towards less literal
      and more penetrating interpretations. The great irony here is that so
      many “free-thinking” atheists share the same view of Christianity that
      is held by bible-thumping fundamentalists; both believe in an utterly
      facile, uncritical reading of the text; the difference being only that
      the atheist disputes what the other defends. The very field on which
      they do battle is transcended by anyone with the least bit of insight
      into these matters.

      Let’s see a proud-as-punch atheist like
      Richard Dawkins try to take a true mystic to task (that is, an actual
      expert on religion), rather than always pointing to the masses and the
      most worldly of clerics, as exemplars of religion. It’s like Jay Leno
      doing his “man on the street routine”, then deciding that Heisenberg’s
      Uncertainty Principle means whatever Jane Doe and Joe The Plumber says
      it means, — and, finally, concluding on this testimony that all science
      is rubbish. Specious, at best.

    • Samuel Gale

      The height of ignorance is assuming that all Christians must take scripture literally. Atheists are not the first to point out absurd dogmas for mockery. The best elements in the church have always exposed superficial readings of the scriptures and the creeds, and indicated the way towards less literal and more penetrating interpretations. The great irony here is that so many “free-thinking” atheists share the same view of Christianity that is held by bible-thumping fundamentalists; both believe in an utterly facile, uncritical reading of the text; the difference being only that the atheist disputes what the other defends. The very field on which they do battle is transcended by anyone with the least bit of insight into these matters. Let’s see a proud-as-punch atheist like Richard Dawkins try to take a true mystic to task (that is, an actual expert on religion), rather than always pointing to the masses and the most worldly of clerics, as exemplars of religion. It’s like Jay Leno doing his “man on the street routine”, then deciding that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle means whatever Jane Doe and Joe The Plumber says it means, — and, finally, concluding on this testimony that all science is rubbish. Specious, at best.

    • Aaron Wren

      “If you are having a political discussion WHY would you post something relating to Christianity? The reason that liberal atheists get annoyed with liberal Christians is because they insist on using their religion to explain why they favor progressive politics.”

      Because sometimes our Christianity is what is guiding our political views. Our belief in the social gospel and helping the voiceless, oppressed, sick, and needy is BOTH political and religious. If your that insecure in your own beliefs or non-beliefs you can’t even handle hearing a generic Christian platitude about helping the needy than how are you any better than some fundamentalist Christian Conservative who doesn’t even want her kid exposed to Methodists, yet alone Muslims, Evolution and what have you? It’s the same insecurity.

    • Jeremy

      That is the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever read. You are wrong. I could of written exactly what this person did, for I have been attacked. I have spoken out against Liberal Atheists bringing religion into political discussion. More than not they are the ons that bring it up, and attack when no one even brought up religion. Your reactions is the same type of bitty all over, and the same as the Right side. YOU are a minority, and YOU need us. Laws, rules, the Constitution means nothing if you don’t have people following it, or supporting it. Without us you have no rights. So having said that why would you go out of your way to laminate us. That is not logical, and the most stupid thing to do.

      I am the first one to defend Atheists, and defend against having the bible in school, but i am also getting pissed off at many Liberal. Atheist Bigots, or thing that being Liberal means being an Atheist.

    • Jason Dandy

      actually, the magic man “who raped a 12 year old” story totally misrepresents what reasonable interpretations of the bible might be. first, it wasn’t ‘rape,’ if you follow the story, because rape requires a physical violation and a lack of consent. she both consented and there was never any physical violation. second, it wasn’t ‘god’s son’ who was sacrificed, but god itself who took on human form and endured punishment and ultimately death without reprisal.

      but to you, being angry that someone believes something you don’t believe is the important part, and the rest is just a collection of duct-taped rationalizations you throw in after the fact to justify your anger.

  • Shelton Browder

    And Nancy McClernan has just proven the point of Mr. Clifton’s post. The difference in the extremes of the two sides is whom they bash.

    • Nancy McClernan

      The point of Mr. Clifton’s post being, it appears to me: “I can inject my religion into any conversation and those who value rationality can just STFU and be ‘respectful’ of my claim that my irrational beliefs make me a better person.”

      I find it interesting that Clifton says:

      ” I want them to think of people who actually live their lives based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Because that’s what being a Christian means.”

      Christians themselves can’t agree on what exactly are the teachings of Jesus Christ – are you familiar with “the Protestant Reformation”? If you want to see real anger, check out a discussion board where Protestants and Catholics debate whether or not Mary remained a virgin after giving birth to baby Jesus. Atheist critiques are mild compared to that.

      • Jbh Jbh

        Actually, “Immmaculate Conception” refers to Mary being born without sin (the “Original Sin” of the Apple). The meaning was distorted through the years just like everything else.

      • Nancy McClernan

        As an ex-Catholic, I think I know the difference between Immaculate Conception and the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

      • HermeticallySealed

        Immaculate Conception has NOTHING to do with the perpetual virginity of Mary. It is a completely separate issue.

  • Sheldon Pangburn

    I see a flaw in an argument. Not all liberals are atheists. That is profiling. Blah blah. Face it if you really sit back and think about what the word comservative actually means you would realize that all of this anti evolution anti gay anti 2nd admendment saber rattling is very Non comservative and very liberal. Face it, the ones who are making the loudest noise are the conservatives who have hijacked the term and stretched it all out of porportion much like using silly putty to stretch the sunday comics. It sort still looks like the comics but is very strange and hard to understand. Think about history for a sec. Hitler was a conservative, he decided what was best for his people and made sure that they were indoctinated to believe it. Anything that was outside of his tastes was deemed corruptive and done away with or made illegal. Sound familiar? Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Dunno who said that but it makes good sense.

    • Pipercat

      It’s very radical, not liberal.

  • Dan Kimbrough

    First, our constitution contains language stating that church and state should be separated. We should start listening to that language. It was put there BECAUSE our forefathers wanted to avoid being forced to follow a specific religion, in this case you had to follow the Church of England and no other in England. Many of our founders came here to escape that and to follow ANY religion that they chose without government interference. When I hear that our country was “founded on the Christian faith” I just cringe because the opposite is true. It was founded on FREEDOM OF RELIGION. PERIOD. If we could simply remove ALL religious activity from government, as dictated by our own constitution, none of us would be talking about this issue or posting about it. As far as being attacked by both the left and right, once again that is BECAUSE we have allowed religion into our government and it has totally polarized both sides. They have dug in their heels, both stating “I am right, you are wrong” creating a virtual state of siege and total government gridlock as a result. Once again, I state that if we get religion OUT of government the whole things will become a moot issue!!!!

  • Dan Kimbrough

    First, our constitution contains language stating that church and state should be separated. We should start listening to that language. It was put there BECAUSE our forefathers wanted to avoid being forced to follow a specific religion, in this case you had to follow the Church of England and no other in England. Many of our founders came here to escape that and to follow ANY religion that they chose without government interference. When I hear that our country was “founded on the Christian faith” I just cringe because the opposite is true. It was founded on FREEDOM OF RELIGION. PERIOD. If we could simply remove ALL religious activity from government, as dictated by our own constitution, none of us would be talking about this issue or posting about it. As far as being attacked by both the left and right, once again that is BECAUSE we have allowed religion into our government and it has totally polarized both sides. They have dug in their heels, both stating “I am right, you are wrong” creating a virtual state of siege and total government gridlock as a result. Once again, I state that if we get religion OUT of government the whole things will become a moot issue!!!!

  • John Bidwell

    The label, “Christian” is like the label, “Liquid.” Some people will think, “Beer,” and some will think, “Orange juice.” Some will think, “Gasoline.” It can mean too many things, so it is no longer a useful label.

    • Nancy McClernan

      Exactly.

    • Nancy McClernan

      Exactly.

  • John Bidwell

    The label, “Christian” is like the label, “Liquid.” Some people will think, “Beer,” and some will think, “Orange juice.” Some will think, “Gasoline.” It can mean too many things, so it is no longer a useful label.

  • Jay Henderson

    This article has high lighted in some sense why I’ve become disillusioned with liberals. You used to be so cool and open-minded you guys, now you’re all … ‘We don’t like you because you’re different and the News articles I read said you’re a bad person’. Sounds like some other people i know of …

    So yeah this something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately since I’ve done some real (actual not TV documentaries or News Articles or even someone else’s paper on it but my own research) studying into religion. I used to be in the ‘All belief in religion is ignorance and we wont progress as the Human Race if we don’t kill it all.’ camp but then I took a chance at trying to understand it and started by picking up a Bible and reading it objectively beginning to finish and with other research into other texts and sources, finding out the context the scriptures were written in and cross-referencing, cross-referencing, cross-referencing so I wasn’t drawing conclusions from western translations of a translation of a translation of a … It’s still an on going process of course. It’s kind of a big subject …

    But my point is that I’ve learnt something my former self didn’t want to learn but it was impossible to deny if I had any dignity academically – You can’t get away from religion. People have always believed in something and they always will and they will always have different ideas on it. The thing I found was that for all of human history no matter where you look, from the most remote Island speck off the coast of stone age Scotland or to the middle east or to Ancient America people had religion and it pretty much always took similar forms. It’s just Human nature and it will always been the same. And no, people in olden times were not stupider of more ignorant than us they were actually pretty smart. In fact they were just as smart as you or any one else that lives or did live or will live. In fact they were so smart they built the world you live in and everything you benefit from (just think about that for a second). But it’s not a bad thing I learnt because I realized ‘Hey you know what!? it doesn’t really matter after all. You believe what you believe, I’ll believe what I believe and that guy over there will believe what he believe and it’s totally fine because that’s our own individual way for understanding the universe from out side a scientific point of view because sometime (and I’m sorry but) for our complex, chaotic, unstable minds to be at peace with existence, being a consciousness in a sea of atoms science is not enough and we need a little something more to hold onto.’ (Just take a moment before disagreeing to think about what your little something more is, being good? being clever? money? power? making people happy, making people laugh? God?)

    Religion or any belief, including non-belief only becomes a problem when we try to force it on overs. Think about what you’re doing when you oppose religion, are you so audacious to think you’re right? Do you realize how futile it all is when it is just Human Nature to have belief. This is why America was found on the ideal of Religious freedom, those guys weren’t dumb, this battle was going on in the 81thCent. trust me. So just let it be and don’t let it effect your Governments policies.

    Thank you.

  • Jay Henderson

    This article has high lighted in some sense why I’ve become disillusioned with liberals. You used to be so cool and open-minded you guys, now you’re all … ‘We don’t like you because you’re different and the News articles I read said you’re a bad person’. Sounds like some other people i know of …

    So yeah this something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately since I’ve done some real (actual not TV documentaries or News Articles or even someone else’s paper on it but my own research) studying into religion. I used to be in the ‘All belief in religion is ignorance and we wont progress as the Human Race if we don’t kill it all.’ camp but then I took a chance at trying to understand it and started by picking up a Bible and reading it objectively beginning to finish and with other research into other texts and sources, finding out the context the scriptures were written in and cross-referencing, cross-referencing, cross-referencing so I wasn’t drawing conclusions from western translations of a translation of a translation of a … It’s still an on going process of course. It’s kind of a big subject …

    But my point is that I’ve learnt something my former self didn’t want to learn but it was impossible to deny if I had any dignity academically – You can’t get away from religion. People have always believed in something and they always will and they will always have different ideas on it. The thing I found was that for all of human history no matter where you look, from the most remote Island speck off the coast of stone age Scotland or to the middle east or to Ancient America people had religion and it pretty much always took similar forms. It’s just Human nature and it will always been the same. And no, people in olden times were not stupider of more ignorant than us they were actually pretty smart. In fact they were just as smart as you or any one else that lives or did live or will live. In fact they were so smart they built the world you live in and everything you benefit from (just think about that for a second). But it’s not a bad thing I learnt because I realized ‘Hey you know what!? it doesn’t really matter after all. You believe what you believe, I’ll believe what I believe and that guy over there will believe what he believe and it’s totally fine because that’s our own individual way for understanding the universe from out side a scientific point of view because sometime (and I’m sorry but) for our complex, chaotic, unstable minds to be at peace with existence, being a consciousness in a sea of atoms science is not enough and we need a little something more to hold onto.’ (Just take a moment before disagreeing to think about what your little something more is, being good? being clever? money? power? making people happy, making people laugh? God?)

    Religion or any belief, including non-belief only becomes a problem when we try to force it on overs. Think about what you’re doing when you oppose religion, are you so audacious to think you’re right? Do you realize how futile it all is when it is just Human Nature to have belief. This is why America was found on the ideal of Religious freedom, those guys weren’t dumb, this battle was going on in the 81thCent. trust me. So just let it be and don’t let it effect your Governments policies.

    Thank you.

  • LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

    Ken Hamm summed up the Xtian view when asked what, if anything, could change his mind? He said “NOTHING”. Bill Nye said “evidence” would change his mind. You can’t have a rational discussion with anyone who WON’T change their mind no matter what. With that staunch belief system, Xtians then think they have right to tell me how I should live and make laws to codify it.

  • Sandy Greer

    I think the best thing is to live your Faith as best you can. And don’t worry what others say/do.

    If you’re a Christian, that may mean loving your neighbor, and turning the other cheek; presenting Christianity in the ‘best’ light.

    It ain’t a perfect world. It just is what it is.

  • George Streeter

    As an atheist I really don’t care what you believe as long as you are not pushing to have your religion taught in schools under the guise of science. I get slammed once in a while for giving bible references to right wingnuts I run into on these boards. I give the bible references not because I believe them but because the other person believes them. If I can use their beliefs to influence them to change their point of view I will.

  • Anthony Freeman

    Typical radical left wing atheist: “Don’t push your religion on me, DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO BELIEVE!” and “Your belief system is wrong because….” but it’s Christians that are the hypocrites. Because we’re all creationist, anti-abortion, racist, pro-life bigots? Just like all Muslims are terrorists? All Germans are Nazis? How about this one: all atheists that attack other people’s religions are exactly the same as those radical right-wing fundamentalists they hate so much, trying to push their belief system on others. And just like them, you do so with an air of pompous superiority because YOUR belief system is the correct one.

  • V

    I’d like to comment on what you said in this article, “I want them to think of people who actually live their lives based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Because that’s what being a Christian means.”

    Please read Matthew 5:17-19. Jesus didn’t come to change anything, not even a jot or tittle. The commandments about sodomy and murder never changed. God doesn’t change. (Malachi 3:6)

  • Mark

    If you don’t like the bad media, maybe you ALL should have better public voices the the ones that are speaking for ALL of YOU… The hypocrisy of the modern Christian is DISGUSTING and DESPICABLE…

  • Mark

    And second,, KEEP YOUR HYPOCRITICAL BELIEFS OUT OF MY LAWS…!!!!!!

  • MLR

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned is never discuss politics with family or friends, especially mine because I have all types in my circle. My brother is an Atheist and he gives me a hard time about my faith (I’m Catholic). He calls it “Fire Insurance”. I’ve learned to tune it out and I basically don’t give a shit who likes my faith and who doesn’t. The fact that I am Catholic doesn’t make me less of a liberal and the fact that I am liberal doesn’t make me less of a Catholic. I do think that you don’t need religion to have moral values and basic human decency. In fact, some of the most kindest, giving, tolerant, decent and moral people I personally know are either Atheist or non-practicing Catholics and/or Christians. The religious fanatics I know are very judgmental and I don’t like that. If I have to choose between an Atheist and a religious fanatic, I will choose the Atheist.

    • MLR

      I meant to say “never discuss religion” but I put the word “politics” instead. Actually its never a good idea to discuss politics or religion with family and/or friends.

  • Sean Asbury

    I know many people that are not only good Christians, but good Republicans as well. I know some of my friends have taken umbrage with me in the past for painting Christians conservatives with a broad brush as a monolithic group that acts out homophobic fear and general loathing for their fellow human beings.

    I think pointing out hypocrisies associated with doctrinal faith is fair game for criticism, but to “attack” people for what they believe is crossing the line. Maybe it’s because I’m apostate and spent a good portion of my life locked in to the same belief system – it’s hard to hold a belief system that a person was born in to and raised on against them – especially if they are not using that belief to subject/circumvent other peoples liberties.

    Not all atheists are antitheists. In fact, if belief in Christianity is the basis for someone leading a positive life – I recommend continuing in that faith 🙂

  • LindsayCA

    I really don’t care what your religious belief is and I don’t care to disprove you. But I think you are 100% correct in showing what a Christian should be. To me, I just don’t practice anything, if there is or isn’t a god, ok, whatever. But I do dislike when my family pushes their religion on me and when others do it too. I have a large family in a little town in which everyone knows everything and it’s along the bible belt so yeah, deeply conservatives as well. But here’s the thing, I don’t let it bother me. Even some of my atheist friends blabbering on and joking about religions. I don’t care. Why cuz that’s them, and I’m me. I believe what I believe and they believe what they believe, oh well. Nothing is going to change me, nothing will remove the humanity in me, even as they throw bible verses in my face as we have a simple convo of a certain topic, I hear them, but do I let it affect me, no, unless the point is to teach a type of moral, I just understand it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically change my mind and follow that religion because the moral was “correct”. I’m pretty sure there are thousands more “correct” morals in every religion. And I’m the type that is good at debates and so forth, but when it comes to religion, I tolerate it for the sake of what others believe is good, but as they see, it won’t change me. 🙂 Either way I try my best to be as good of a human as I can be.

  • Bob B

    I am a progressive liberal, and I believe in Jesus Christ and His message of love, mercy and charity. Like you, I don’t believe in forcing anyone to adopt my spiritual perspective, that just seems foolish – they are no me and I am not them. I am willing to share my beliefs about the role of government (should be an active counterweight to the unelected corpora-tocracy), and that human constructs like economics and politics should serve the greatest number of humans possible.

    You didn’t delve into your conservative political beliefs, but I suspect you and I are a lot closer than the ‘nattering nabobs’ would have us believe. I’ve always held that any country has four main areas of responsibility: secure communities, stable economics, sustainable environment and a productive society. Between the two of us, I think we have this covered.

  • Another Christian

    Allen, in response to the post you received above, and the comment below, there was no rape–more like artificial (but spiritual) insemination, and completely consensual. Also, highly unlikely that she was 12 yrs.old, since she was engaged to be married in the coming year (and, unlike Muslms, I never heard that Jews customarily married child brides), and old enough to bear a child. That “child” was an adult when He died in an act of willing self-sacrifice (generally considered a laudable act to die in order to save someone else: greater love has no man….), not for the sins of Adam and Eve, but for the world (everyone’s own sins since “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”–like who hasn’t ever lied, stolen, coveted, lusted or hated someone at some point in life?). So, no, not quite an accurate description!

  • Dennis Ledford

    that’s your mission…..well then you have missed the mark,,,,,,you are not following in Christs footsteps, He plainly said to go into all the nations and spread the Gospel

  • Serge Boucher

    Have you asked yourself, exactly WHY you are Christian? Are you educated in your belief system? Do you know who wrote the Bible and how and when the Bible was written? You still don’t seem to understand Christianity is a man created mythology. It’s 2014 and there is no excuse not to know that. Maybe that is why people ” attack ” your faith as you put it. I’m not exactly an atheist but I do know Organized religion (christianity, islam, etc.) are primitve, childish, myths created my ancient, ignorant men.

  • OldCowboy

    “If I’m a Christian, you’re an atheist and the person sitting next to you is Muslim – what does it matter? The only time it does is when people feel the need to force their views on other people.”

    I am an atheist and I couldn’t agree more. Atheists who denigrate Christians for their beliefs are just as despicable as Christians who try to force their beliefs on others. What you believe doesn’t matter. How you act does. The teachings of Christ in the four Gospels is a perfect example of liberalism in action.

  • Amen. So tired of people using their religion, or no religion as an excuse, reason, scapegoat for mistreating others. That’s the way I was raised. I believe in God. I have no idea how old the Earth is, if there are beings on another planet, and a lot of other things and I am fine with that. Everyone used to know the world was flat. Now we know it’s not. I just wish someone would redefine how many hours are in a day. That’s a joke. Sort of. I am a feminist. I am a Christian. I am a woman. I am a mom. I am a liberal, progressive, democrat. I believe in woman=man=gay=straight=transgender=black=white=Muslim=atheist=Jew=Wiccan=Hindu=Christian=vegetarian=carnivore=dreams=dreams=human=human

    God goes on as God goes on. God is not contentious upon my belief. I sin a lot. You let me worry about that. Yes, I believe in a supernatural babysitter. You let me worry about that. I’m good. Real good. You?

  • freethinker666

    Liberal christian should be a redundancy, unfortunately it is an oxymoron. I am an atheist, I comfort the sick, feed the hungry fight for the rights of the disenfranchised, while I don’t want you to think I’m trashing your faith, I don’t feel I have to believe in a higher power practice true christian values.

  • DebofAmber

    On it is too little too late.e of the most brilliant/devious/manipulative things the Right Wing evangelicals have done is to call themselves ‘Christians’. Redefining ‘Christian’ to mean a member of their cult has been responsible for a lot of problems.

    Many of us try to undo this damage by asking ‘What branch of Christianity’? or by putting Christian in quotes when we mean the Right wingers – but it is too little too late.

    Responding to ‘Christian’ hate and attacks with hate and attacks of our own is a bad tactic, but so very difficult to refrain from!

  • James Hardy

    Why are most of the comments on this story over two months old? Don’t get me wrong, they are timeless!

  • Constipervatism

    What you are doing is adopting the conservative behavior of treating a criticism of your faith as an attempt to silence you and forcing beliefs upon you.

    Because, at the end of the day, even though criticism such as “you are supporting a religion which glorifies genocide, rape and slavery” might hurt your feelings, even though you might choose to ignore those elements of your faith, they are still there. If you pretend that the people who focus on the more barbaric elements of your faith are ‘distorting’ it, you’re really just apologizing for the barbarism and enabling those who do focus on it. If you have to ignore those elements in order to keep your faith, maybe the faith isn’t worth keeping.

    After all, as you say, most of us believe in common decency and concern for human beings. Do we really need to keep around the barbarisms of these old superstitions in order to promote concepts which don’t even require any kind of religious faith?

  • christina

    What I don’t get about atheists is that they’re all about the freedom from having to have a religion but don’t seem to respect the fact that in the constitution we are all given the right to believe in a religion too if we so choose. This man didn’t try to shove religion down anyone’s throats which is what atheists claim to dislike but the attacks on him and the other liberal Christians sure sound like you have a problem with anyone believing which is in turn you pushing your beliefs on others

  • Jenn

    Thank you for writing this. I deal with that EVERY day.

  • Genesis

    Can either of u two make me a sandwich? I’m highly entertained by u guys using big ass words to come at each other…u guys must have like a thesaurus right next to y’all…u mothafuckaz is hilarious as fuck…

  • Wednesday Lee Friday

    After 9/11, far too many people decided that all Muslims (or hell, all brown people who weren’t born here) hated America for their freedom. Didn’t hurt that there’s a whole “news” network telling them to think that. One of the overlying attitudes was that “if there are Muslims who don’t feel that way, they should be speaking out against the ones who do–” not realizing that saying all Muslims are terrorists is the same as saying all Christians are Fred Phelps. Now that’s happening to Christians, because so many non-Christians are forced to live by religious laws in a secular country. Of course, people love to put others into groups. They’re easier to dismiss that way and it’s a short cut through all that cumbersome thinking. That’s what’s happening here–the loudest are being mistaken for the majority, maybe because the majority aren’t denoucing them loudly enough.

    That said, Jesus said that prayer, and indeed, all religious talk should be done in private. I’m also not sure it’s cricket to write a whole article on how upset you are that people believe negative things about Christians, and then close by saying that you don’t care what others believe.

  • Paul Johnson

    The laws of the land are decided by the citizens of that place and religion should NEVER be allowed to taint that thus allowing all to follow their own path in peace. How insecure is the one who must recruit by any means and only feels safe in numbers, or why do’s your god feel he must destroy mine to prove himself right or worthy of our attention?

  • Jody Allen

    When I started to read your article, I was interested. But the further I read, the more I realized you are just another hate-filled person just as you accuse conservatives of being. I am conservative. I am pro-life. I am pro-LGBT. I am pro-Christ like behavior which does not include calling someone ignorant because they may disagree with you.

  • dealivinglotusflower

    I used to believe until I movedto Texas (big mistake) I met with so many crazy fundamentalist who were so hateful and dumb and ignorant that I refuse to be mistaken for them. Chrisitan has come to mean racist anti woman anti gay anti immigrants to me. I would die rather than be mistaken for someone like that so no more Christianity.

  • Robert C Deming

    I am in prison ministry with Kairos. We mix Christians, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, and other faiths around a table for 4 days and talk about ‘living the Christian life inside a prison’. The result is that many of the men like what they see and want to be a part of it. They see how others have changed. Our tremendous success in the program doesn’t come from telling the men in white that they are wrong and we are right; it comes from listening to what they have to say, to what they think about the topic. We just start the conversation, the Spirit does the conversion. Our by-words are listen-listen-love-love. Works every time in every relationship. “I understand” is far more effective than “Do it my way.”

    • raytheist

      Why on earth would you talk about “living the Christian life inside a prison” when you also have Muslims, atheists, Buddhists and others at the table? Why not discuss the common points of each belief (i.e., how to treat your fellow human beings) and discuss ways to implement and manifest a basic humane treatment of everyone? There is nothing to commend Christianity above the others, and it’s really pretty insulting telling people how to live the Christian life if they aren’t already Christian.

      • Robert C Deming

        Prisons are lonely, dangerous, hellish places. Inmates living the Christian life inside are happy, laughing, loving, supporting each other. Those who come to Christ find something they long for: community. The positive changes in their lives are extraordinary. Many of the inmates I get to know will die in a prison, and they come to Kairos looking for a better way of life. We do a lot of follow up, so we see the results of changed lives. One brother in white told me recently, with a big smile on his face, “Robert, my life has completely changed since my Kairos!” He wasn’t insulted that we came in to explain the Christian life inside a prison. Other religious beliefs are welcome to do ministry inside, but the people who go in over and over to say, “We care about you” are Christians. If you haven’t spent time inside you probably can’t fathom what its like.

      • Paul Stevenson

        This is a voluntary program. People who have an interest attend. Atheists are free to create, staff, pay for, and run similar programs. Well done these would be welcome. Stop telling people of religious faith what they ought to believe and do. You don’t like a “Christian” rescue mission? Then set up a humanistic rescue mission down the street. The need is great and you will be appreciated.

  • JordanaWhite

    okay, I just want to add that the Bible clearly gets across the fact that when Mary conceived Jesus it was an “IMMACULATE” conception, that’s the main point.. nowhere in the Bible does it state that some supreme ghostly entity came down and actually had sex with Mary, not so…It was a VIRGIN BIRTH…okay…she was still a virgin when she married Joseph and they eventually had children of their own…God is not a MAN…I guess the only way some can conceive of God is to think in human terms as that is what we are limited to…it doesn’t work like that at all…

    • Jeremy

      The point is we should NOT have to defend ourselves. That is not the point. You are falling for their religion argument trap. That’s what they want. The topic can be about anything, and somehow they will make it into wether the magic man in the sky exists, or not. They are ignorant about religion as much as they are ignorant of our beliefs. They don’t care either to educate themselves on either,and only troll for an argument thinking it is so easy to make themselves right for their own ego. if they knew anything they would know it’s not a simple argument. If they hd any intelligence they would know it has been an argument for thousands, and thousands of years. they so how think they will solve it in one irrelevant thread post? That is quite pretentious of them.

    • AJ Bird

      Jordana, the “Immaculate Conception” is a Roman Catholic doctrine pertaining to Mary, the so called “Mother of God”. It does not refer to the conception of Jesus.

  • Paul Stevenson

    It is appauling the emotionalized, hate filled, self righteously ignorant post that frequent progressive posts. They are the exact TWINS of the redneck right wingers EXCEPT they come from the far LEFT. They are just as would be as toletarian as the right given the chance. Historically Hitler was a right wing dictator and Stalin was a left wing. They both attacked religion and committed genocide to support their ideologies.

    • dealivinglotusflower

      appalling amigo, not sure what “appauling” means. Lol.

      • Jeremy

        I think you proved his Nazi point. Grammar Nazi? Seriously what is your point for even doing that?

  • SeanMcTiernan

    While I agree with most of your points, I do have to take issue with one thing:

    “I’m a straight, white Christian male who was born, raised and still lives
    in Texas. By all accounts, I should be a Republican. Except I lack the
    one trait that is the bedrock of conservatism… Ignorance.”

    You say you don’t judge, but that right there is passing judgment on every conservative in the country.

  • Kullervo

    Liberal atheists have hijacked the American left wing in exactly the same way that Randian conservatives have hijacked the right.

    • Jeremy

      This is true, and this will be the downfall of Liberal movement, because Liberal Christians are the majority of that movement, and if you alienate us your movement will fall, and you will only have themselves to blame.

  • Jim Gentile

    Bravo!

  • “Believing in a magic man in the sky who raped a 12 year old so he could use the child as a human sacrifice in order to forgive humanity for the fictitious crimes of a man made from dirt and a rib woman is the definition of ignorance I am sorry to say.”

    Making a comment on a post in which the comment misunderstands the OP’s perspective, offers no nuance or allowance for differences of opinion within people who carry the label “Christian, and has no respect for standard American English and punctuation is the definition of ignorance, I am sorry to say.

    Many Christians don’t believe that God is a magic man in the sky. Rape means no consent and the Bible is progressive enough that Mary gives consent, and many Christians (myself included) reject out of hand the notion that God needs human sacrifices, including Jesus, to forgive sins. Mocking someone else’s beliefs because you misunderstand them is the definition of ignorance (and idiocy), I am sorry to say.

    Though to be fair, that ignorance should probably be forgiven because many Christians insist that you can’t be a Christian unless you believe the un-caricatured versions of that narrative. Many liberal Christians, myself included, would beg to differ.

  • Taylor

    Floccinaucinihilipilification:The act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant, of having no value or being worthless.
    …debating is healthy, using large words to build one’s self up to tear the next down is a waste of energy.

  • Sherry

    Sorry, your post is not harmless Liberal fun, our presumptions about others as a result of whatever it is that is other, is what prevents legitimate discussion in politics or religion.

    The left writes off the right. The right writes off the left, both go away feeling very satisfied about how correct and educated and erudite they are, and how slothful, ignorant, sinful, hypocritical and wrong the other side is. Our public life, if we want it to involve feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, caring for those who have less, must be more integrated, not less, with our personal convictions.

    The divorce on the right of Christianity from how economic policy/and government policy is grafted, has resulted in a cloistering of the wallet and charity on a societal level on the right. The divorce of charity outside of the government on the left, has resulted in a lack of charity for anyone who disagrees. The left and right suffer gravely from being unable to see those on the other side of the political aisle as having any good faith in their beliefs, and it bears out in the dismissive humor both sides engage in about the other, all of which you have at some point endured.

    As long as we constantly presume anyone who disagrees with us is either ignorant, selfish, stupid or evil, and are willing to paint someone as such because their political ideology differs from our own, we are part of the problem. You understand the dismissive attitude of those who reject you because of your religion, do you not understand the same dismissive attitude is being applied to those you declare to be practicing Republicans?

  • Jeremy

    I have left many Liberal pages for this reason. It is a BIG problem. They are alienating their most loyal supporters. Many of them feel being Liberal means being an Atheist. They feel every debate, argument has to be about religion.

    I saw some of the comments on this story, and saw that many said well because religion was brought up, or someone said it was because of God they did this, and that. Even if that was true, which it is isn’t, why put down someone’s God? How is that going to make them come to your side, or see your side? Second it doesn’t happen like that, not from my personal experience. From my experience it is these Atheist Trolls that purposely bring it up first to get people going.

    i have seen admins consistently post demeaning anti religion posts that have nothing to do with the political topic of discussion at the time. The thing is if someone wants to have a debate on religion so be it, but I have said over, and over again I won’t on these Liberal forums, and this is NOT the place to have it. This is about being Liberal, and what that means, and it does NOT just mean being an Atheist! As well it is because of my faith that I defend them, maybe they should think of that?

    It has gotten so bad that yes I finally was alienated from their cause, and left, and do not go out of my way to defend them anymore. My heart is not in it, not have had countless times of being bashed, and put down personally for what being on their side, and it has taken it’s toll on me? All I know is their cause is doomed to fail if these trolls, and/or Atheist Bigots are not cleaned out by fellow Atheists that are sick of their shit.

  • Daniel

    So to use metaphor. “I am an adult brush my teeth because otherwise the tooth fairy will steal them. I’m tired of people insulting my belief in the tooth fairy because that belief promotes good behavior (from me). And I’m better than the idiots who think the tooth fairy so they refuse to brush”

  • AJ Bird

    You seem like a good person Allen, and I think it’s too bad that there aren’t more Christians like you. Some of the criticisms leveled against you or your faith often come from those who are just as unreasonable as any FundaMENTAList. That all being said, the phrase, “No True Scottsman” comes to mind here.

  • pennyjane

    the post is pretty straight forward and rational. the comments have become…well…idiotic. if people could figure out what someone is saying before they judge what they have said it would help. yup, writer, you hit the nail on the head….ignorance reigns.

  • Michael

    Liberal Christian, is that another phrase for a person willing to use the force and power of the government to assuage their own guilt by performing the charitable functions they should be doing themselves? Charity is a Christian duty, gladly performed, not a function of taxation and government largesse.

  • Violet

    So what would make a “good person”?

  • christian_928

    Are you a follower of The Christian Left on Facebook or. Christians tired of being misrepresented or some of the other groups who believe as you do? They are fantastic places to fellowship and meet like minded folks not all Christians but most all very tolerant and decent people.

  • Yo.

    It’s sad just how full of hate you are. I’m sorry that people disagree with each other, but they do. But demonizing others doesn’t help you promote your cause.

  • Jay Eagle

    I think you are spot on. As the Dalai Lama put it, my religion is love. That is essentially what Jesus taught as well. It is easy to target religions when you have people who twist it so that they profit from it (as is the case with the conservative Christians you mention). I personally feel that everyone should believe what they wish, and in exchange do not attempt to influence public policy so that it lines up with their beliefs.

  • Smarie62

    Yay Allen! Continue in your quest, maybe one day they’ll get it.

  • u_go_guys

    ~
    The Tea Party has caused this problem. No one used to bash religions to the extent, and as loudly, as is now happening. It is a ploy to divide and conquer, for profit. Religion is being used to justify the destruction that is occurring in this world, the overthrow of our government, and to invade other countries for their resources. “Jesus is coming soon so pollution does not matter”; “rape and any pregnancy as a result, is a blessing”; “God spoke to me to run for office”; Ted Cruz is a powerful indoctrinated megalomaniac because his Father Preaches That His Son Is An “Anointed King” Who Will Bring The “End Time Transfer Of Wealth”; “Obamacare is the antichrist and will lead to death panels”; “Obama is the antichrist”; “all birth control is abortion which is murder and an abomination”; “God hates homosexuality therefore we must discriminate”…. (to name just a few). I am sincerely sorry, Mr. Clifton, but you are, unfairly, guilty by association.

  • Kim Serrahn

    You would have no problem with me. I believe in letting people believe as they will. From a liberal, used to be Catholic, Baptist, New Age, Pagan, Agnostic.

  • MWRuger

    It seems obvious, to me anyway, that this complaint is the
    same one that Muslims face when trying to assert the non-violence of Islam in
    light of Islamic extremism. I have met so many horrible Christians that it can
    be difficult to not think of the faith, as a whole, as being unpleasant.

    Intellectually, I know this is wrong and I don’t attack them for being
    Christian, but they have a much higher hurdle to overcome when it comes to convincing me that they actually care about much of anything other than the form of faith and not the spirit.

    I was dating a devout and outspoken Christian who refused to believe I was an Agnostic Deist. I work in under served communities and try and get them help, offer (illegal) legal help to people who can’t afford a lawyer to fill out bankruptcy papers and generally try to help anyone I can who I can. She was convinced that I was a secret Christian because I had “a kind heart and being Christian is what gives you a kind heart.” But then she also said that Satan was putting words in my mouth when I discussed contradictions in her professed beliefs. The hell of it is that she really was a good woman. She had a kind heart but only for people she knew and other Christians. The final straw fro me was when she called me stupid for not seeing her faith as correct.

    So basically, I would say what that as long as your faith has bigoted, mean-spirited, hard-hearted practitioners as your public face, this will continue to be a problem for Christians, just as it is for Muslims.

  • I sympathize with your plight of being attacked for your faith, but as a
    liberal you must know liberalism has been hostile to faith, especially
    Christianity, from its inception. Have you ever asked why?

    As far as conservatism, in the British and American vein, I am sure you
    lack any understanding of it. Not an insult, but studies have shown
    liberals do not. Conservative the word comes from the French and means
    protector. To be a conservative is to be a protector of society and the
    people. A very Christian outlook. Conservatives were against slavery
    while Liberals were complacent on the subject. Lincoln was a
    conservative in thought and how he described himself. Conservatives
    instituted the first civil rights legislation (overturned by liberals)
    fought against liberals to outlaw lynching and passed the voting rights
    act. With equal enthusiasm they opposed affirmative action, seeing it
    woven from the same cloth as Jim Crow. Does all of this fit with your
    concept of conservatism?

    Today conservatives fight for women’s dignity against liberals who support their degradation into sex toys, as oppose to being human beings (see liberals defend pornography, ‘sex workers,’ and prance almost naked on the red carpet). Conservatives believe each generation should value the next generation more than its own. Conservatives seek to improve minority education through choice, knowing failed schools run by crooked unions won’t ever improve, show open disdain for dividing Americans by color as liberal think they must. In fact, conservatism is all about improving the human condition by helping individuals improve themselves. Consequently, the oppose the oxymoron of Social Justice. A idea that rewards and punishes based on color or economic circumstance and not on individual merit. Consequently, Social Justice divides people and creates animosity. In
    short liberalism sees people as forest, blurry groups of nameless people
    who are judged in mass. Conservatism sees trees in an uncaring forest,
    people who have individual needs and problems. Not black problems, old
    problems, or women’s problems but human needs and short comings. We also know, unless you see people the same way, you can never help anyone.

    To answer the first question. Liberalism is against Christianity because,
    at its core, it seeks to overturn and remake society into something
    new. This means anything that is of the old order must be destroyed to
    make way for the new. Nothing symbolizes that old order more than
    Christianity.

  • Clare Gwinn Holzer

    I see a small chink in your armor and it is this: “And that’s my mission. Not to convert anyone. Just to do my part to make sure that when people think of my faith, they think of those who really represent it – not those who use it as a tool to achieve their own selfish ambitions.” Worrying about what others think.

  • jeremy

    What a condescending and wrong headed article. A complete joke. You are clearly not a Christian and know nothing of Christian conservatives that you get to call them “right wing Christian bigots”. If you are a “Christian” this article has shown once a again that a liberals real religion is liberalism! It trumps everything else including the big picture, real faith and common sense. Being for traditional marriage is not hate. And being pro life is not being narrow minded. Look at what is happening now. Already liberals are jumping on the band wagon of maybe monogamous relationships aren’t natural. What does that mean, it means that marriage is going to be continued to be redefined, it was never about bigotry. polygamy anyone? In just a few short years you watch! 30 years ago you would’ve said gay marriage would never happen, now look. Polygamists cultures have been around since the beginning of human existence as a reminder before you start laughing. What about atheists who vote Democrat by the 10s of millions even though it’s completely against their best interest because they are pro abortion or against traditional marriage, you didn’t call them bigots? I can’t believe anyone who isn’t a liberal extremist would take this article seriously! It’s completely laughable!

  • breed7

    The author doesn’t begin to understand the reasons why most non-Christians distrust all Christians. The depth of the hurt suffered by so many of us VASTLY outweighs the hurt feelings of someone who has had to read comments on their Facebook page.

    Have you ever been told you can’t visit your spouse in a Catholic hospital because you’re “not a relative”? Have you ever had a pharmacist refuse to fill a prescription because you are on your same-sex partner’s insurance? Have you ever been beaten in the street — outside a church — by people screaming about how you’re going to burn in hell?

    As long as the majority of “Christians” keep up the hateful rhetoric, I will continue to show my disdain for their superstitions. Remaining silent is as problematic for me as it is for you, and I will not be silent in a world in which people like me are physically harmed by the people who share your belief in mythology.