America's Increasingly Religious Nature

Many liberals are hoping that recent polls mean that the attitude of America is moving away from the right. However, a recent study conducted by Harvard social scientists shows that America’s youth is becoming more religious and their political views are changing accordingly.

The study suggests that the 2008 election will turn, increasingly so, on the religious and moral character of the candidate. The Republican Party will have a chance to maintain its mandate by continuing to advance morally correct messages and to factor in the role of god into our lives.

What this may mean is that although people have demonstrated some frustration with current affairs, they are still calling out for a party that cares about God and the role that religious doctrine plays in guiding our country's moral character. Good news for the party that is guided by a mission of morality. Bad news for the party that has yet to find its own sense of morality and is often reduced to the "we're not Republicans" campaign strategy. No matter what party is holding office, I think it is becoming clear that America is demanding that their statesmen be of a moral character and be more in line with the religious nature of this country.

Posted by Xander Jones at April 14, 2006 12:55 AM
Comments
Comment #140585
Overall, the youthful voting bloc is 32 percent Democrat, 24 percent Republican and 41 percent independent or unaffiliated. In addition, 44 percent are “traditional” liberals and 16 percent “traditional” conservatives
A breakdown of collegiate party preferences reveals further complexities. Republicans are composed of 34 percent traditional conservatives, 30 percent religious centrists, 20 percent secular centrists and 16 percent who consider themselves traditional liberals. Among Democrats, 59 percent are traditional liberals, 24 percent are religious centrists, 9 percent secular centrists and 7 percent are traditional conservatives.

I wouldn’t count too much on this helping Republicans from what I read.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 14, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #140586

Xander,
Your link is to an article from the Washington Times, which is Reverend Moon’s newspaper. When you advocate ‘moral character’ and ‘religious nature,’ are you covertly advocating that we all become Moonies? Just wondering.

You know, some Republicans are evangelical Christians. They don’t know about the Washington Times, and Reverend Moon’s Unification Church. Many Republicans, especially Republican Christians, dislike cults. They would resent it if they knew you were slipping them Reverend Moon’s opinions through the paper he founded, the Washington Times.

Here is a really choice quote from Wikipedia’s article on Reverend Moon, and his newspaper, the Washington Times:

“Moon announced that he would save everyone on Earth as he had saved the souls of even such murderous dictators as Hitler and Stalin, who he claimed had received ‘the Blessing’ through him. Moon said the reformed Hitler and Stalin vouched for him from the spirit world, calling him ‘none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent’. [10]

The media ignored the event at the time except for Moon’s Washington Times…”

Look, if you’re a Moonie, that’s fine. If you want to cite the Moonie newspaper, that’s fine too. But as a matter of honesty, you owe it to the people who read this site, to clearly state it, and let them know you’re citing Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s newspaper, especially when you start talking about how Americans are becoming more religious.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #140587

womanmarine,

It’s funny how you left out the part about “Secular Centrists” being the LEAST LIKELY TO VOTE. It was right in between the first part you quoted and the second. Good spin!!

Posted by: Duano at April 14, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #140589

Ha, no covert “Moonie” message intended. Simply providing the hyperlink which provided the most detailed description of the Harvard conducted study.

Posted by: Xander Jones at April 14, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #140591

Xander,
Didn’t think so, since I looked at what your wrote on another site, and you strike me as a reasonable person. I’m sure you already took the point- since respectable journalists don’t work for the Washinton Times, anyone using the Times as a resource should be… well, very cautious, especially when the topic is religion.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2006 2:02 AM
Comment #140592

Duano:

Sorry, it wasn’t meant as spin, I was trying not to quote too much, just enough for folks to go read it.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 14, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #140593

Duano:

You’ll notice they are included in the numbers I DID quote. I was hoping to pique curiosity so folks would go read the thing.

I stand by my assessment of the information.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 14, 2006 2:07 AM
Comment #140594

Womanmarine,

You’re right that the new religious character of America’s youth wont have a large immediate impact (although I think it will have some immediate impact), but todays college grads are tomorrow’s voting public. I think its significant that the traditionally secular group is becoming increasingly religious minded.

Posted by: Xander Jones at April 14, 2006 2:35 AM
Comment #140606

Xander,

Even if young people are becoming more “religious”, there is not necessarily a correlation between that and their voting stance. There are quite a few religious organizations out there which are leftist in nature. I know it’s hard for the religious right to believe, but many on the left are religious, too. Really.

Also, the way that younger voters percieve and react to political stimuli is in many ways different than the voting patterns of older voters. They have widely differing issues which affect them, hence their party affiliation may not be based simply on moral issues. Furthermore, older and younger people commonly disagree about the substance and import of “moral issues”. Younger people, in general, are more tolerant and open-minded than their older counterparts.

Actually, it sounds like you are way out of touch with the feeling of young Americans these days. They’re not as simple as you might believe.

My suggestion: If you want to know what is really going on with the youth of America, try hanging out with them a little rather than depending on scientific studies for your information.

Had you done that your post might be a little more realistic.

Posted by: Beijing Rob at April 14, 2006 5:14 AM
Comment #140608

I recently disected a Youth Of America, in order to discover what gives it that peculiar smell… I hope that Beijing Rob’s obvious bias against Scientific Inquiry won’t preclude him from considering my findings!

Based upon my analysis of the Youth (my protocols included infrared electrospectrometry and a Taste Test), my conclusions are that the Youth Of America was comprised of the following:

Oxygen - 42.0%
Carbon - 12.8%
Ignorance - 11.4%
Hydrogen - 7.5%
Angst - 7.2%
Nitrogen - 4.5%
Hip-Hop - 3.2%
Calcium - 2.1%
Tetrahydrocannabinol - 2.4%
Phosphorus - 2.1%
Gasoline Fumes - 1.5%
Dirty Laundry - 1.4%
Grunge - 1.2%
Potassium - 0.4%
Teen Spirit - 0.3%

Surprisingly, no Religion (as such) was found in my initial results; however, after careful analysis I have determined that the combination of Ignorance, Angst, and Dirty Laundry within the peculiar bioelectric field generated by the Youth Of America yields an isomer of Religion, known as Callowfervour(14-18), which mimics adult Religion to the untrained eye.

The peculiar smell referenced above comes from Teen Spirit, as determined by the Taste Test.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 14, 2006 6:26 AM
Comment #140612

From my personal experience, I think political identification with the right is not a necessary consequence of spiritual awakening.

The Right has done a poor job of expressing religious values. Their primary public expression of it deals with regulating reproduction and sexuality. Dealing with your sexuality in a moral manner is part of Christianity and other religions, but it is merely part. We’ve badly neglected much of the teachings of Christianity and other religions, forgetting lessons about things so simple as basic human kindness, charity, humility, and the fallible nature of mankind.

It is not inconsistent to be both religious and a liberal, if you define liberalism as giving people the freedom to choose their own way in life. One can take a firm but merciful stance on matters of crime. One can fight dishonesty and thievery in the halls of power and elsewhere. One can fight corruption and excessive influence by the powerful that harms the average citizen. All those are consistent with a different kind of conservatism: one of basic values.

That’s what the Republican Party has lost in its blind quest to gain the power to win the culture wars. It’s lost sight of the truth that in focusing on these few divisive religious values, they’ve forgotten a number of values that Americans could easily hold in common, and whose conservation, as it is, would do the country good.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2006 7:26 AM
Comment #140620

So when one becomes a Republican do they also inherite the kingdom of heaven? Or is it when one obtains salvation they inherit the republican party?

Excuse me, but the premise of this article is complete bull. I am a Christian and I am more left than right on issues and I’m certainly no Republican. Yes, there are some fundamentalist of certian demoninations of Christianity that feel that they must be republicans based on a single issue….abortion. Anyone that votes based on a single issue only, in my opinion, is shallow at best.

As far as the Republican party goes; one only need to read the news to find out just how “moral” this party is.

Posted by: Tom L at April 14, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #140625

It seems as if you dance around the real reasons for conservative Christians voting Republican. ABORTION and the traditional moral values that you cannot seperate from us in any election.
Liberal Christians evidently do not see the slaying of our most innocent and defenseless citizens as abhorent.
All we see out of the Democratic party is ACLU, move on. org, liberal judges that consistently bend laws trying to make us more ‘European’, leniency with violent crminals, pandering to the ‘reverse racists’ and the ultimate relinquishing of our military power because they view our desire to defend ourselves as somehow evil.
Next, we see the Democrats taking both sides on the illegal alien issue that threatens our very sovereignty.
To add to this, they have so derided the liberation of Iraq that no one dare speak honestly about what needs done in Iran.
Perhaps the Eurowenies can handle this one?

Posted by: Rex Baker at April 14, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #140626

Most people in this country are Christian but their practice and religiousity vary. They do not hold extreme social views. Social conservatives and the religious right do not represent the majority of Christians in this country, but they are the most organized voting bloc and very influential in the Republican party. We see John McCain courting them. Politicizing moral values makes people feel good, but does not get them security and/or improve the economy. This election the Republicans have no credibility on morality. Just look at DeLay, Abramoff, Bush Administration deceptions. The Emperor’s clothes are off.

Posted by: Steve at April 14, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #140627
the people … are still calling out for a party that cares about God and the role that religious doctrine plays in guiding our country’s moral character.

You want to know what it will be like if we have ‘religious doctrine’ as the law of the land, read A Pro-Life Nation in this week’s New York Times magazine. The article chronicles how El Salvador enforces its ban on abortion. Scary reading. And then tell me that this is the kind of ‘moral character’ we are talking about here.

Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #140628
Liberal Christians evidently do not see the slaying of our most innocent and defenseless citizens as abhorent

So tell me, Rex, which candidate you support advocates comprehensive, universal health care for children under five years of age? I assume those are the citizens you are referring to.

Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #140629

Womanmarine,
“44 percent are “traditional” liberals and 16 percent “traditional” conservatives”


The thing is, “traditional” liberals are (certainly) not “today’s” liberals. Today’s liberals are the socialist party or one that is more affiliated with Western Europe (Worthless!).

Look at the south; they’ve “traditionally” voted democrat; yet, now the south (predominately) votes republican.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #140631
Today’s liberals are the socialist party …

Define socialist. Tell me specific legislation they produce that ‘non-socialists’ do not.

Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #140632

socialism like the drug prescription coverage just passed by this administration and this congress? This is undboubtably the most expensive socialist program that has ever been passed….by Republicans!

There’s really little difference between the parties….

Posted by: Tom l at April 14, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #140635

In lieu of intelligent comments lets all call each other socialist, that will help the otherwise intelligent discussion going on.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 14, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #140636

Rex-
It’s unfortunate, really. You would expect one of the leading bloggers on the Blue Column to be an Atheist. You would expect him to be pro-choice. You would expect him to be a europhile aiming to hamstring America’s military power and lose us wars.

I write here as an example of how the Democratic Party of today transcends the cliched stereotypes that the Republicans have been using as their Straw Man for ages.

On the topic of Abortion, I am pro-life. I take the systemic view on that, though.

I believe it that people have become too unforgiving and shrill about it, making it very difficult for those who aren’t predisposed to the notion of humanity from conception to sympathize with our view.

To those who believe humanity develops in a child, the zealous anger and hatred seems a contradiction of a religion that is supposed to be forgiving and peaceful. Since they don’t see embryos and fetuses as human yet, they feel doubly offended at the moral high dudgeon many abortion opponents get into. This is why pro-choice folks enjoy the majority on this subject.

Additionally, there is a question of the law. Abortion is supported under the concept of medical privacy- that medical decisions belong to the patient under a condition of informed consent. If the law considers the child part of the mother, which the scientific argument could be made is the case, then abortion is covered as a mother’s medical decision. Abortion is not the only thing that medical privacy covers, though. It prevents forced sterilizations and abortions as well. If we damage medical privacy, the unscrupulous could do harm to the innocent under the cover of law once more.

Abortion must be ended in such a way that the unwanted children are taken care of, Medical privacy is protected, and that people understand the sense of our moral objections, rather than thinking we’re a bunch of power-hungry hypocrites looking to control their lives.

As for Europe? Let them mind their own business, and we ours. We have many interests in common, share a largely capitalist economy, and a tradition of law and human rights that goes back centuries. They’ve got their share of important thinkers, we’ve got ours. America does not need to throw childish insults across the Atlantic at historic allies to maintain its integrity and independence of thought.

As for violent crime, I think you’re off the mark. Both criminals and those who pursue them need to be kept in check, because the power to take away freedom in a society like ours is not one to be arbitrarily given. If our “liberal” justice system and our “liberal” judges are causing a problem, overbearing control of the judiciary is not the answer. It will only make things worse, in fact. Legislation needs to be clarifying and optimizing rules of evidence and procedures for police work.

To overlook the need for checks and balances with law enforcement is to ignore some of the fundamental amendments to the constitution and their purpose. A black person shouldn’t be suspected instantly of stealing a car just because the one they’re riding in is nice. Opposing racial profiling is not being politically correct, it’s being just under our laws. I think we generate a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering through our fear, and I think its time we let go of it and relax.

You want the honest truth? I was for liberating Iraq. The way Bush went about it, though, was wrong, and it has cost us unnecessarily. He failed to give our nation the solid factual foundation for going to war that would justify the pre-emptive action we took. He failed to plan for an aftermath to this war that didn’t fit his own fantasies (and that of his advisors) as to what would happen post-war. As a result, our invasion was only the prelude to a fiercer bloodier war, not the majority of the conflict itself. He’s failed consistently as well to make sure our soldiers had what they need to complete this mission.

And now he wants to fight in Iran? Maybe that will be necessary. But if we really are Christians, we will try and be peacemakers first, warriors second. I have no doubt we could win such a war if we had to. Bush’s wasteful approach to this last war, though, has eaten up a great deal of resources, and left our volunteer army in a state of unreadiness for the next war.

Ultimately, as a Liberal Christian, I see an administration lacking in responsible principles. It is so intent on taking back government from the liberals, so intent on realizing it’s wishlist of policies, that it is not counting the cost nor revisiting the wisdom of its plans.

Truly moral behavior is best expressed when a person understands that they do not act in a vacuum, but that their behavior has consequences for others. True morality recognizes that even with the best intentions and ideals we can stray, and that in fact they can blind us to what really is the moral course of action if we pursue those intentions and ideals blindly and selfishly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #140637

Steve,
“Define socialist. Tell me specific legislation they produce that ‘non-socialists’ do not…which candidate you support advocates comprehensive, universal health care for children under five years of age? I assume those are the citizens you are referring to.”


Now, “Universal Healthcare” is a good example of socialism; especially, when it is financed through the gov’t. So, not only did you help define what socialism is; you changed the subject instead of dealing with the issue head on. First, focus, then you can go on with your Universal health care for kids. Rex made a good point; the liberals are dancing around the moral issues.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #140638

rahdigly,

I guess this means you have zero moral problems if children go without health care?

I’m getting right back to the initial topic of this post: religious values. The self-described ‘values voters’ appear to draw the line when something is proposed that actually helps the poor, innocent, and defenseless if it might fall under the label of ‘socialism.’

Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #140640

Stephen,
“And now he wants to fight in Iran? Maybe that will be necessary. But if we really are Christians, we will try and be peacemakers first, warriors second.”


Uhh, Stephen, we’ve been diplomatic with Iran close to a year now. It won’t take much longer to figure out that those nutcases will not comply with anybody and we’ll end up bombing the crap out of them.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #140643

Xander, good post. When you say statesmen please tell me you are not referring to the politicians of today.
” A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation” James Freeman Clarke

In recent years some of the churches have been actively pursuing the teens and young adults by changing the way they operate- rock type bands, sermons updated for today etc. I think they deserve credit for some of this new interest in religion and spirituality.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 14, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #140654

Gee, rahdigly, a whole year of diplomacy. Well, I bet our mature, statesman-like president is just plum worn out by now.

Posted by: Mental Wimp at April 14, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #140656

rahdigly,

“It won’t take much longer to figure out that those nutcases will not comply with anybody and we’ll end up bombing the crap out of them.”

And with diplomacy like that we’re really going places.

“The thing is, “traditional” liberals are (certainly) not “today’s” liberals. Today’s liberals are the socialist party or one that is more affiliated with Western Europe (Worthless!).”

The right in this country want it six ways from sunday.

You want to talk about “socialism” look at any of today’s religions.

The Republicans decry “socialism” until it fits their adgenda, and then they put forth socialist programs just like the Democrats.

It’s about the votes, and nothing else.

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #140658

Yo mental wimp, you’ll (eventually) see that you can’t (CAN’T) negotiate with psychos. Corrupt leaders yes, but tyrants that are “hell-bent” on destroying the world, uhh don’t think so. “Not, even close, bud”.


Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #140659

Yo, rahdigly,

“Yo mental wimp, you’ll (eventually) see that you can’t (CAN’T) negotiate with psychos. Corrupt leaders yes, but tyrants that are ‘hell-bent’ on destroying the world, uhh don’t think so. ‘Not, even close, bud”.”

Everybody has a price, we just haven’t found it yet.

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #140665

Republicans are the party of morality? What have you been smokin’? The Republican President lies and people die. The Republican Congress has put American on the auction block to the highest bidder and lines their pockets with bribes. They cut programs to help the poor and line the pockets of the wealthy. Are these the morals you’re talking about? Just because the President hasn’t gotten a blow job in the oval office (that we know of) doesn’t make him a moral man.

Neither side sees morality in the same way. The right seems to view morality in the context of sex, while the left seems to view morality in the context of helping others. You call it socialism, but read the Bible and see what it says about it.

Take the story of Sodom for example. The right insists that the city was destroyed because of homosexuality. The left, on the other hand, sees Sodom as being destoyed because it’s citizens didn’t take care of the needy and poor. Funny thing is, the Bible clearly states that Sodom was destroyed because it neglected the needy and poor and makes no mention of homosexuality at all.

So why is it that the right is so fixated on sex, while leaving all other forms of morality behind?

You may celebrate the day when the Government decides morals and enforces those morals on the masses, but I will continue to vote for the party that protects my God given right- Free Will.

“Universal Healthcare” is a good example of socialism

rahdigly,

You mean like the Universal Healthcare plan supported by Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney? What about that huge medicare prescription drug plan passed by Republicans? Do you not consider that socialism because it was put into effect by Republicans? Funny how you only call programs “Socialism” when they are put into effect by Democrats.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 14, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #140667

JayJay,

You notice that rahdigly has a habit of cherry picking the snippets he wants to respond to. I asked him a while ago to define socialism and he still hasn’t.

But I guarantee he’ll continue to use the term because it’s such a good sound byte that makes anyone who disagrees with him sounds unamerican.

I discovered long ago it’s pointless to discuss with him because he’s incapable of responding to direct questions.


Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #140668

Xander,

You are a genuis! You got the Dems!!!

It’s amazing Dems think they can hide this stuff. They control all the news, except for FOX. I pray O’Reilly shines the light upon this story, which has been hidden by the mainstream media. We need more truthtellers like the Reverend Moon. A Dem told me a story about him planning to release poisonous gas into his people’s subway system. Can you believe the lengths they will go to to discredit Christians?

This will finally teach the Dems that religion and government are the same. They wouldn’t vote for Bush even though he made clear he gets his marching orders from Jesus! Also, Bush said he was going to give government money directly to churches - who could be against that??? I can’t believe how unAmerican they are. It’s like they don’t know the constitution says everyone should be a Christian.

Posted by: Max at April 14, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #140670

Interesting, so, the Republicans are the party of morality, whew…Thanks for straightening us all out. Lemme see here… which morality are we talkin about? Are we talkin about morality of lying, money laundering, unmitigated greed, taking care of our fellow Christians (you know the ones I mean - those darkies in New Orleans - well, I guess there may be some speculation on the far right as to wether they are capable of being Christians) - Or, do you really mean that the republicans are the party of moral reprehensibility? Ah…yes…that jives a little more closley with the truth….ooohhh….there’s that ugly little word..”truth”….Time for the Republican mantra…”Clinton….Clinton…Clinton”….If that doesn’t serve the immediate purpose we can use the other popular Republican mantra…”9/11…9/11…9/11”…Gotta go now..I see some swift boats coming my way.

Posted by: Scott at April 14, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #140671

Jayjay,
“You mean like the Universal Healthcare plan supported by Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney? What about that huge medicare prescription drug plan passed by Republicans? Do you not consider that socialism because it was put into effect by Republicans? Funny how you only call programs “Socialism” when they are put into effect by Democrats.”


I was waiting for someone to slip up on that and, Jayjay, you’re the one. I said if they do it through “gov’t funding” it’s socialism. The private sector is how Romney’s plan will pay for it; that’s certainly not how the socialists would want it. Right?! Exactly!

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/socialism


Actually, Tom 1 hit the nail right on the head with this “socialism” topic:

“socialism like the drug prescription coverage just passed by this administration and this congress? This is undboubtably the most expensive socialist program that has ever been passed….by Republicans! Theres really little difference between the parties…”

Bush is in the middle of a conservative and liberal. For the conservative side he’s staunch militarily, for tax cuts and pro-life; the liberal side, he’s for big-gov’t spending and soft on immigration. Yet, the libs won’t give him any credit on any issue; none whatsoever!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #140673

The right can lie, steal, cheat, kill, and maim. They can run this country into bankruptcy and sell our souls to big business. They can run up huge debts and pass them onto our children and their children’s children. But, at least the gays can’t marry! Those are some wonderful morals those Cons have.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 14, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #140675
The private sector is how Romney’s plan will pay for it; that’s certainly not how the socialists would want it. Right?

Wrong! Romney’s plan is paid for with public funds. Currently Mass. spends 1 billion a year to insure the poor. Romney’s plan will require 2 billion, the other billion comming from the federal government, in other words you and me. The plan will shift dollars from citizens that will not benifits from the plan in other states to finance Universal Heathcare in Mass. I thought you Cons were against shifting money from one person to another. It will also madate by law that everyone in Mass. buy health insurance. That sounds like the government sticking their nose in people’s private business, telling them how to spend their money. I though you Cons were against that, too.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 14, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #140678

Xander:

Your logic is simple: The youth are becoming more religious, the religious party is Republican, therefore these kids will vote Republican.

But it’s all wrong. I’m not sure the youth is becoming more religious and I don’t see how you can call the Republican Party religious. Today’s Republican Party is one of the most corrupt I’ve ever seen. Other commenters have already pointed out Republican sins. Is corruption part of their religion?

Do you really believe that truly religious people will want to become part of the Culture of Corruption? No way. The youth will be disgusted with the gross immorality of the Republican Party. They will join the Democratic Party, the party that fights for freedom of ALL religious people to worship according to their own consciences.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 14, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #140687
Wrong! Romney’s plan is paid for with public funds. … I thought you Cons were against shifting money from one person to another. It will also madate by law that everyone in Mass. buy health insurance. That sounds like the government sticking their nose in people’s private business, telling them how to spend their money. I though you Cons were against that, too.

It’s amazing how much socialism is out there when you start to actually define Socialism:

Public Roads
Postal Service
Utility Regulation
Public Schools
Medicare
Social Security
Regulation of food, medicine, etc.

Conservatives should just come up with their own dictionary and put in it “socialism (n.): a bad, bad, naughty word.”

I hope everyone has a very pleasant Spring-rebirth of nature holiday weekend!

Steve

Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #140688
The youth will be disgusted with the gross immorality of the Republican Party.

Indeed, it seems quite possible that the truly religious and spiritual will increasingly turn away from what appears to be a morally bankrupt Republican Party. That party needs a revival in more ways than one. They’re rotting at the core and taking the nation with them.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at April 14, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #140689

To Xander
Yes.
And that very precisely defines Most of the LEFT Wing Democrats.

Bob M.

Posted by: Bob M at April 14, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #140690

The article discussed youth viewing politics through a moral lens. That does not necessarily mean a religious lens. But, having said that, I welcome it. If the youth are viewing politics through a moral lens, then their confidence in the Republican Party is fading in future generations. Iraq is living proof.

Bush’s telling Congress the Rx drug bill would be under 400 Billion so don’t worry about the cost. Then within 23 months, Bush’s administration announces ‘OOPS! Make that 1.2 Trillion. Sorry about that, but thanks for being gullible enough to pass it. The sooner we can bankrupt the country the sooner we will be forced to cut entitlement spending and drastically. Who the hell do these poor people think they are banking on government promises should poverty befall them?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 14, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #140691

Steve K,

“It’s amazing how much socialism is out there when you start to actually define Socialism.”

Why don’t we show socialism at it’s most basic form that most of us participate in as well?

The tithe is also a socialist “program”. In fact some religions belive that it is a requirement to get into heaven.
It is in reality, a “take from the rich, and give to the poor” program that happens every time the basket is passed around at your place of worship.

Where the money actually goes is another thing entirely.

If that doesn’t sound like the government, I don’t know what does.

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #140701

Jayjay,
“That sounds like the government sticking their nose in people’s private business, telling them how to spend their money. I though you Cons were against that, too.”

First of all, I’m not a conservative; I’m an independent. I’m not a fan of “Universal healthcare” b/c I think you should work for a living and support your own damn kids. I donate to my church and various charities without the gov’t telling me how much I should donate. And, plenty of other Americans contribute without the gov’t telling them to, by the way.

I just don’t like modern liberalism; it doesn’t help our country (at all), it just rips it apart. Liberalism didn’t work in Somalia, Darfur, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and in New Orleans. It just doesn’t work my friends. In fact, the only ones “liberalizing” these days are the conservatives; some irony, huh!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #140703

What does the increasing religiosity of America mean? Studies show the more intelligent a person is, the less likely that person is to be religious. Religious belief is negatively correlated with SAT scores, and so on and so on. Even the Bible says:

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1 v 26-27)”

Does this mean we’re witnessing a new Dumbing Down of America?

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #140707

If we become more religiously fundamentalist as a nation, the catalyst is a backlash to what some view as a “toxic” popular culture.

Posted by: Mike Tate at April 14, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #140709

Mike Tate,

“If we become more religiously fundamentalist as a nation, the catalyst is a backlash to what some view as a “toxic” popular culture.”

And, of course beliving in a higher power is going to fix all that, right?

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #140710

A “toxic” popular culture and the technology which spawned the culture.

But with the new Dumbing Down of America, the so-called increase of religiosity among youth, will globalization continue? Iranian youths want their Ipods and cel phones. They’re not demonstrating for more Bibles.

Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #140712

I am so happy to read American youth is turning more religious. Maybe they will care about our God-given earth and won’t sell it short for few oil bucks. Perhaps they will stand by the truth and not lie about life threatening matters such as war. Hmm, maybe they’ll even practice what they preach and turn the other cheek. I can’t wait to see our youth make personal and political decisions that turn down such vices as cigarettes and alcohol. It is a shame to see how many hypocrital alcoholics we have now. What a joy it would be to have moral character in our government. No more cheating lobbists who make a career out of stealing money while claiming to be the party of principal. Now I am really full of hope for the future!

Posted by: Johnny at April 14, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #140713

Rahdigly-
First of all, I’m sure we can agree that Diplomacy is not something we just do so we can get it out of the way of the war we want to fight. That is my view. War is what we go to if it is clear that there is no other way. If Iran is so monumentally stupid as to provoke us, then we’ll both be on the same side on this issue.

The non-military bag of tricks should not be underestimated, though. We should look into the internal politics of Iran, and stir up things there. Iran has a generation of young men just itching to take hold of power, and many of these people are far more moderate than the current leaders.

We also have no idea of what kind of deals might attract internal rivals of the current president to engineer his downfall. If we make it tempting enough, we could avoid a War, and still have a safer world.

Point is, it’s better to exhaust those options rather than being the first to breach the peace.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #140715

I just get a kick at how the religious right and the conservatives are lambasted on this blog; like they’re the real enemy here. And yet, you have the next hitler of our time, the President of Iran (speaking of religious fanatics), reiterating the “Annihilation of Jews” and that “the holacust never existed” just days after his country was dancing a jig at the fact that they enriched uranium; against the world bodies’ wishes, I might add. Excellent. Keep it up!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #140721

xander:

The Republican Party will have a chance to maintain its mandate by continuing to advance morally correct messages and to factor in the role of god into our lives.

Yeah, like Tom DeLay? Like Bob Ney? Like the leaker-in-chief?

Here’s something you apparently either don’t know or don’t understand about Republicans and conservatives: everything’s for sale - their votes, their ethics, the air, water and food, your health, even their wars. So where do you get the idea it’s “morally correct” or that “god” (was that a typo? shouldn’t that be God?) has any role in the life of a Rep or a con, when the only concern of a Rep or a con is the almighty dollar?

I don’t know about your “god” but my God condemned the hypocrites and the Pharisees and he kicked the moneychangers out of the temple.

Posted by: wanna_be_jack at April 14, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #140722

rahdigly,

“I just get a kick at how the religious right and the conservatives are lambasted on this blog; like they’re the real enemy here. And yet, you have the next hitler of our time, the President of Iran (speaking of religious fanatics), reiterating the “Annihilation of Jews” and that “the holacust never existed” just days after his country was dancing a jig at the fact that they enriched uranium; against the world bodies’ wishes, I might add. Excellent. Keep it up!”

You know, for the life of me I have searched your post, and can’t seem to find your point.

Gee, what does your post have to do with the growing religious electorate?

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #140724

Rocky:

can’t seem to find your [rahdigly] point

That’s because in order to have a point, he would need to have a complete sentence, which would imply having a complete thought. Betcha didn’t find those either, did you?

Posted by: wanna_be_jack at April 14, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #140725

Rahdigly-
Do you think I would write of engineering the downfall of somebody I didn’t consider a real enemy? Oh yeah, really, lets overthrow our friends.

Step back from giving your beatdown to that particular straw man for a moment. We want Diplomacy not because we’re unwilling to fight, but because a good peace is the target of any good policy. It behooves us then to use non-military options first, and if we cannot gain our security that way, then attack.

Another advantage to this approach is that diplomacy can make wars more winnable when employed properly, and in advance of action. We can hobble their support from other countries, making war more difficult for them. We can gain support (real, not the token contributions of the Coalition of the willing) for our endeavours, making the war easier for us. We can soften up the support internally for their side of the war, by making it clear to those in the know that we did our best to avoid the fight, and that those shitheads in power are the ones who called down the lightning.

Beside, the President’s passive aggressive approach has done spectacularly little to diminish Iran as a threat, or frustrate its nuclear ambitions. You may blame that on the ineffectiveness of diplomacy, but I think it’s got more to do with the fact that this admininstration would rather set foreign policy in the Defense Department than State.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #140728

“Betcha didn’t find those either, did you?”

I wasn’t going there.

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #140729

Wheather wrapped in a flag or a Bible verse pandering is pandering. I am a Christian and as such I expect any other “Christians” words and deeds to agree. The republican party has used lip service to those of us who believe to return “the money changers to the temple.”

Posted by: Ted at April 14, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #140732

Rahdigly:

The real enemy to us all is religious extremism in any form, this includes both muslims and christians as well as any other religion you could imagine. Extremists are close-minded to any set of beliefs not handed down to them by their corrupt leaders, and they feel it is their duty to force everyone else to live by these same beliefs.

I was lucky enough to have never been forced into any religion by my parents, but encouraged to search for my own answers. Now to imply that they are atheists would be completely wrong, my mother is Catholic and my father Protestant, but they felt it was wrong to force a set of beliefs on another.

But this is how the fundamentalists get their strength, by brainwashing the impressionable minds of the youth, and the uneducated to go along with them out of FEAR. Fear of people different than you, Fear of uncertainty, Fear of change.

And it became all to clear to me at a young age that the basis of all religions was CONTROL. As humans began grouping together into large agricultural enclaves in a world that had previously been dominated by small nomadic packs, a social heirarchy to establish order became inevitable. In the nomadic days leaders came to power through brute strength (the alpha male of the pack), but as the numbers of people living in villages grew the physical strength of a leader was no match for the large numbers of villagers. So a set of laws was introduced, and the leader would claim to be a divinity in order to scare the villagers into following. As civilizations advanced, so did the nature of religions. But looking at any powerful nation one could see at its heart a belief system to keep the populace in line. The ruling class has always used relgion to stay in power, just look at the way our leaders scared off the threat of communism coming to our country throughout the last century. Communism represented the worst fears of the ruling class, so they denounced them as all being atheists, and an evil empire.
Today they divide us over such PRIVATE issues such as gay marriage and abortion, so that they can take more money away from the middle and lower classes. It is all about control using fear.

Now let me clarify my beliefs:

I am not an atheist, however I do not subscribe to any relgion written by people claiming to be the word of God.

I am not a communist, however I do believe a strong nation that is beneficial to all its citizens finds the correct balance of socialism and capitalism.

If we are going to survive as a species we need to put an end to all religious extremism.

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 14, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #140735

Stephen,
“You may blame that on the ineffectiveness of diplomacy, but I think it’s got more to do with the fact that this admininstration would rather set foreign policy in the Defense Department than State.”

You’re right, I do believe that diplomacy will fail with Iran and it’s not b/c of the Bush Admin, the state dept, the defense dept, or any other American. It’s b/c the Iranian president is an extreme, religious fanatic that wants death to the Jews and Christians (aka the infidels). And, people on this blog want to worry about the “religious” electorate and the “right-wingers”, “neo cons”, “Iraq”, “Religion itself”. Don’t you see the absurdity here?! If you don’t then let’s look at what the Iranian President said today:

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/04/14/D8GVSUC0H.html
“The president of Iran again lashed out at Israel on Friday and said it was “heading toward annihilation,” just days after Tehran raised fears about its nuclear activities by saying it successfully enriched uranium for the first time. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel a “permanent threat” to the Middle East that will “soon” be liberated.”


So, do you still believe that you can be “diplomatic” with this guy?! Hmmm.

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #140738

“Today they divide us over such PRIVATE issues such as gay marriage and abortion, so that they can take more money away from the middle and lower classes.”


Uhh, the “they”, in your comment, is actually “We the People”; Americans are divided over those issues; which are legitimate issues to debate.


And, again, the ones using religious fanaticism and fear are the Iranians. How does one not worry or show (some) fear after what a psycho like said today: “Israel is a “permanent threat” to the Middle East that will “soon” be liberated.”

Now, this is just days after they enriched uranium, against the world communities’ wishes, and after month (and months) of assurances that their nuke program was for “peaceful” purposes. Please!!!

Wake up, people!!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at April 14, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #140742

rahdigly,

“And, again, the ones using religious fanaticism and fear are the Iranians. How does one not worry or show (some) fear after what a psycho like said today: “Israel is a “permanent threat” to the Middle East that will “soon” be liberated.”“

Well if you insist on continueing down this road.

Israel can take care of itself.

Whatever we hope to gain in a confrontation with Iran is going to end up much like Iraq, except we are going to get our asses kicked (though we will win in the end), and it will be a war of attrition that will drain all resources away from the rest of the “war on terror” and the “war on immigrants” and rebuilding New Orleans and whatever other new disaster is looming on the horizon.

War with Iran ain’t gonna be a cakewalk. If youy think that we will just waltz in and bomb the crap out of them, and they will just roll over like Iraq you have rude suprise coming.

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #140743

No rahdigly, THEY are the Ruling class (business leaders) who have joined forces with your religious leaders and co-opted your religion for the purposes of their own agenda.

Iranians aren’t the only ones preaching fear and fantacism, wasn’t it Falwell who said the events of 9/11 were because of homosexuals and other actions the church doesn’t condone.

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 14, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #140745

bushflipflops,

Interesting theory about extremism.

Posted by: Amani at April 14, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #140747
Liberalism didn’t work in Somalia, Darfur, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and in New Orleans.

Rahdigly,

I know you don’t like Liberalism. I know you think that Liberalism is a road to ruin. It does not follow that societies that are ruined were Liberal or were ruined by Liberalism.

Just my futile attempt of the day to point out to Rahdigly that wanting something to be true does not constitute proof.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 14, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #140748

Being a Christian or Jew or Muslim or any of the other 10,000 religious sects and cults doesn’t make you smarter. It simply means that you are gullible and easily fooled.

All “holy books” are nothing more than a collection of myths and fables passed down orally for thousands of years.

Being “religious” also makes you dangerous. How many millions of human beings have died for the “faith”, or because of it? So-called holy wars have plagued mankind since the beginning of history.

The Old Testament in the Christian bible reads like a Stephen King novel.

God is spiritual; humans are religious. That is a huge difference.

You want to make the world a safer, kinder and gentler place?

Outlaw religion.


Posted by: ulysses at April 14, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #140749

I think that religion will play a role in the election, as it always does. What will be interesting to see is what role it will play. In this last election there were evangelicals that were very concerned with the Bush administration and voted Democratic, more so than in the past.

Posted by: Charlie at April 14, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #140753

Xander,
Amazing. Support for the Republicans is eroding like a beach during a hurricane, and the best thing you can come up with is that future generations will be more Republican because of morality? And you claim that

The Republican Party will have a chance to maintain its mandate by continuing to advance morally correct messages
Maybe support for Republicans is dropping so fast because more and more folks are realizing that what the Republicans SAY has NOTHING in common with what they DO. Which, by the way, is one of the definitions of hypocricy. I didn’t think that hypocricy was a moral value.

Rahdigly,

Liberalism didn’t work in Somalia, Darfur, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and in New Orleans
First of all, I’ll remind you that Ray Nagin was REPUBLICAN most of his life, and only changed parties in the last few years. Second, you present no evidence that the other societies you mentioned were liberal in any way. So your statement ranks right up there with some of your equally believable assertations, such as that Henry Ford was a Communist.

Posted by: ElliottBay at April 14, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #140756

I am surprised no one mentioned Ann Coulter’s latest book:

“Godless. The Church of Liberalism”

Progressives want to sound religious, but I believe Coulter has hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Baptist Peacher at April 14, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #140760

Baptist Peacher (hey that’t the way he spelled it),

As far as Ann Coulter is concerned, I guess you get the spokesfolks you deserve.

Elliot,

Be carefull we don’t want to sound like we’re ganging up an him again, ad nauseum.

Posted by: Rocky at April 14, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #140761

Baptist Peacher,

That would be the same “hate Americans first” Ann Coulter who thought that it was a reasonable question whether it was better to impeach President Clinton or to assassinate him?

Posted by: ElliottBay at April 14, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #140764
No matter what party is holding office, I think it is becoming clear that America is demanding that their statesmen be of a moral character and be more in line with the religious nature of this country.

Posted by Xander Jones at April 14, 2006 12:55 AM

And we know how well that’s working out for places like Iran and how well it worked during the Hundreds Year War and the Crusades. All I can say is keep your stupid religion out of my life and if another pretend messiah type asshole like Bush wins in 2008 we’re seriously screwed. Posted by: Dave at April 14, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #140765

What publication fired her again? Oh yeah, it was that liberal rag National Review.

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 14, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #140772

Dave,

How about keeping your ignorant, mentally retarded religion of atheism out of our(90%of Americans) lives and go have a liberal socialist European circle jerk with George Sauros and Michael Moore.

“THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART ‘THERE IS NO GOD’”

Posted by: Duano at April 14, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #140773

Everybody has a religion. To see all those above words you would think that church, God, religion, faith, belief and religious right were all the same thing. It isn’t. Some people’s religion is their boat. For some it is drugs or alcohol. For others it is their ego. And for some it is a relationship with God.

Ulysses
I really feel sorry for your lack of belief in the true and living God who created you and gave you life and a way to choose what you wanted. It is sad that you have cast aside the history and literature book called the Bible. You should try studying the Bible sometime and you will not find anything to do with Stephen King and his way of writing. The Bible is the most factual book ever written.

Outlawing religion solves nothing, because people will always have their own religion. Outlawing religion would be unconstitional in this country.

Posted by: tomh at April 14, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #140776
How about keeping your ignorant, mentally retarded religion of atheism out of our(90%of Americans) lives and go have a liberal socialist European circle jerk with George Sauros and Michael Moore.

“THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART ‘THERE IS NO GOD’”

… And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love…

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 14, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #140791

I’ve oft found the proselytism of the Christian right, nee moral majority to be an interesting study. The rally cry - mantra seems to solely focus on abortion and gays. Yet they say nothing of how adorning a pine tree w/decorations as a way of celebrating the birth of the Christ child: Pagan ritual is it not? Divorce being an invention of man; the Christian bible does not allow for divorce. (But how can one have a movement, if you tell a minority of your followers that they are adulterers and their children are illegitimate?) And since when did Easter eggs become a part of Easter…Aren’t Easter eggs a symbol of fertility. An Easter egg hunt at the White House, why do they not decry this…Yet they pontificate on and on about how Christians are being persecuted….Might it be, that, at the end of the day, it’s all about aggrandisement of power and filling coffers: One group of elites doing battle w/another group of elites?

Posted by: Eisai at April 14, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #140795

Eisai
The Bible does allow for divorce. Study the scriptures and you will see.

Posted by: tomh at April 15, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #140796

Google “church attendance statistics” and then try your theory again. Then pinch your tongue and say “My Mommy has a big fat purse.” I dare you.

Posted by: Sarah Cynthis Sylvia Stout at April 15, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #140798

Were you refering to this article about church attendance?

http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/csrpl/RIN%20Vol.1No.2/Church_lies_polling.htm

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 15, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #140801

tomh,
If I’m mistaken about the Bible vis a vis divorce; I stand corrected. (Maybe I should have said God did not grant divorce?) I was of the understanding that it was “Moses” that introduced divorce to the children of Israel?

Posted by: Eisai at April 15, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #140805

Point of fact, I am an extremely religious person, age 19, but I can’t stand the Republican Party as a whole (ironically I’m currently working on a campaign for a republican, whats the expression, “politics makes strange bedfellows”).

Granted, I’m not a Christian, but my friends who are extremely Christian are mostly against the War in Iraq, want to help the poor, and for the most extreme Christians I know (the ones who read the bible and try and follow Jesus as closely as possible)are for an OPEN border policy, something even I don’t agree with.

Religion means a lot of things, but just because a candidate is from the Christian Right does not mean they’re getting all the religious voters. Point of fact, there are no atheists in congress.

Posted by: iandanger at April 15, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #140812

Do any of you Christian Republicans ever actually read the bible? In case you haven’t had the chance, here’s a quick refresher. There’s this whole section called the “New Testement” and its mainly about this guy named Jesus and his ideas and deeds. While I myself must have missed the part where it lists his party affiliation, even a casual read makes it pretty clear that he would be against the death penalty, in favor of publiclly financed universal health care, would not have favored the invasion of Iraq, and would be very much against for-profit corporations that enrich themselves without FIRST taking into account the impact their actions have upon all people.

But hey, since Jesus was against abortion I guess republicans own him.

Oh, wait a minute… where exactly in the bible does it say that life begins at conception?????

Posted by: TomPay at April 15, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #140819

Personally I know that all three of my children (adults in their 20’s) go to church, and destest the Bush Adminstration. They lean towards the Liberals side.

More importantly THEY actually vote.

Which is why it doesn’t really matter what this age is professes to believe.

Most of them DO NOT vote.

Therfore I am not concened about what they may believe.

rahdigly said:

Bush is in the middle of a conservative and liberal. For the conservative side he’s staunch militarily, for tax cuts and pro-life; the liberal side, he’s for big-gov’t spending and soft on immigration. Yet, the libs won’t give him any credit on any issue; none whatsoever!

I’ll be happy to give Bush credit fo increasing the size of government spending, and being soft on immigration.

Problem is, I disagree with not only both of ‘those positves’ but all the other stuff you mentioed.

If the Republican’s can find a why to stay out of my personal LIFE, I most likely would not be considering voting for Democrats.

I am also afraid people such as Bush and extreme conservatives will push their veiw points
on Christianity on the entire USA.
Oh in case people wonder, I consider myself to be a Christian, but I believe that God gave us the power of choice from a reason.

Posted by: Linda H. at April 15, 2006 3:05 AM
Comment #140823

TomPay:

even a casual read makes it pretty clear that he would be against the death penalty, in favor of publiclly financed universal health care, would not have favored the invasion of Iraq, and would be very much against for-profit corporations that enrich themselves without FIRST taking into account the impact their actions have upon all people.

Its rather apparent that you’ve most likely given the New Testament only a casual read. There are references to God knowing us in the womb—-that’s one of the ways that people reach the belief that life begins at conception. I won’t quote chapter and verse because its better for you to read things in full context to get the true meanings.

To try and assume that Jesus would be against the things you say is really a stretch. The main thing Jesus said was that we should love one another—-therefore our actions should be out of love. The Bible in general talks a lot about just punishment for actions and also about taking responsibility. I think thats part of what Jesus would want for us today.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 15, 2006 4:26 AM
Comment #140830
I guess this means you have zero moral problems if children go without health care?

I’m getting right back to the initial topic of this post: religious values. The self-described ‘values voters’ appear to draw the line when something is proposed that actually helps the poor, innocent, and defenseless if it might fall under the label of ‘socialism.’

Posted by: Steve K at April 14, 2006 10:53 AM

Bless you, Steve K!!! And, since you have just made my “evening” (morning), I will favour you with TWO definitions of Socialism.

The first is one that Jesus might have said, himself: “From each, according to their Ability, to each, according to their Need.” That’s what he practised, but you’d never know it listening to the Social Darwinism of the “Pro-Life,” Pro-War, Pro-Gun, Pro-Death-‘Penalty’ “Christians.”

The second is my own: “Socialism is the putting into practise of the concept that no Government which does not serve the Needs of its People should exist.”

Put those two together and you have Socialism. Heaven on Earth.


Rocky and LawnBoy: Hysterical! :oD And spot on.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 15, 2006 6:43 AM
Comment #140835

>>Progressives want to sound religious, but I believe Coulter has hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Baptist Peacher at April 14, 2006 09:29 PM

Peachy,

More likely she got hit on the head by the nail (hammer too), that’d give her some excuse for her idiocy.

Let’s make a bargain…I won’t throw Anne Coulter at you if you won’t throw MM at me…okay?

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #140836

Back to the thread.

Religion may be growing among our youth (I have my doubts), but it’s a surity that the religion that grows is a lie. No religion grows without recruitment (mission, conversion, et al), and it is impossible to recruit without lying. Hence all great religions are based on lies…wow!

I’m just one of those damned truth telling athiests…

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2006 9:02 AM
Comment #140837

Duano

How about keeping your ignorant, mentally retarded religion of atheism out of our(90%of Americans) lives and go have a liberal socialist European circle jerk with George Sauros and Michael Moore.
And how about if you go up to the top of this column, re-read where it says to criticize the message and not the messenger, AND LAY OFF THE PERSONAL ATTACKS. Otherwise, you’re gonna get kicked out of here … again.

Posted by: ElliottBay at April 15, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #140838

Maysdude?

Truth telling atheists? You are entitled to your opinion of course but that does not make it a fact - just an opinion. I also have my doubts that there is an increase in religious belief among the youth or that religion necessarily translates to votes for a specific party.

Posted by: Mike P at April 15, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #140841

Sorry for the previous typo.

There appears to be such animosity against evangelical Christians. I believe it is because we whole-heartedly believe in something. There are many doctrinal differences between Baptists and other evangelical denominations and for that matter, even among Baptists. But, there is a common thread between all evangelicals and that is our belief that man is basically evil and Christ is the only one who can pardon that evil nature.

As a result of these beliefs, we hold to certain biblical truths: that humans come into existence at conception, that homosexuality is an “abomination” before God, that there are no gray areas when it comes to sin, and that some things are worth fighting for.

Now, because of these beliefs, we are ridiculed, by the left, as being ignorant bible thumpers. We can no more change our basic beliefs, as Christians, than the left can pretend to have the same beliefs. The very nature of progressive thought is to deny God, deny His Word, and place in every man the idea that within each of us is a spark of divinity. This is the same lie Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. To view mankind as sinless is to place mankind on the level with God and that very thought caused Lucifer to be cast out of Heaven.

As to the original thread of this article, I would hope that people would embrace morality. It would most certainly cause them to lean to a conservative ideology. Morality is the enemy of liberalism.

Now, I am sure to stir up a controversy, but in your zeal to debate me, I would hope you use logic and not attacks. I have read enough on Watchblog to come to the conclusion that liberals rule the site and that conservative Christianity is hated.

Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #140842

I gotta say I wasn’t too impressed with that article. I was a conservative libertarian for years before I became a christian. The choice of both those paths were purely independant of one another. As long as I’ve been able to vote, any mention of religion results in a prompt rolling of my eyes no sooner than it flies from the mouth of any politician. My governor is a mormon. If I gave a rat’s ass about religion in my voting habits, I wouldn’t have voted for him.
The only dem that I’d have considered voting for in ‘04 was Leiberman. Do you see a pattern here kids? For more of us than most care to think, faith and civics are different entities.
I vote small gov’t whenever it’s feasable to do so. I don’t care if the candidate shares my faith or bows to a bottle of Mr Clean while singing Bryan Adams songs.
As long as you’re someone who will grow a set and get this nation off of a socialist path you have my vote.(which means i’ll be voting 3rd party in ‘06 and ‘08. Join the fun!)

Posted by: Bob at April 15, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #140843

Tom H

I respect your faith and anyone who chooses to believe in revealed religion. What I don’t respect is your belief that there is something wrong with me because I don’t believe in your “holy” book.

Yes, the Bible is filled with beautiful stories and is based in historical fact, but simply because that is the period in which these anonymous authors were writing these stories.

And, yes, I believe a carpenter from Gallilee named Jesus actually lived. And I believe that he may have been closer to the Creator than any man before or since.

He was a great teacher, but he was just a man. He was not God or the son of God. The founders of the religion had to make him a God if their religion was to survive. Jesus would probably be horrified to see what they have done to him.

Your statement that the Bible is the most factual book ever written is nothing more than a statement of faith. (Do you really believe the sun stood still or the Earth stopped revolving so Johsua had more daylight to slaughter the Canaanites?”

The Old Testament is filled with such slaughter and horror inflicted by the Israelites, who claimed they were only doing God’s will. As told to them by whom? Their prophets. Who were the prophets? Human beings who claim to talk to God!

All “holy” books were written by human beings claiming to be inspired by God. That is why the “revealed” God has all the attributes and weaknesses of humans.

In all revealed religions, the book is not about the religion, the book is the religion.

Tom, I do believe in the one true God, I just don’t believe He’s to be found in the Bible, or Koran or Torah.

I am of like mind with Thomas Paine, author fo the Age of Reason, who believed the only irrefutable evidence for the existance of God is to be found in His creation. Paine said the following about that:

“Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible Whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is? Search not the book called the scripture, which any human hand might make, but the scripture called the Creation.”

I will leave you with an interpretation of the 19th Psalm by 18th century English poet Joseph Addison, which captures my feelings about my Creator.

“The spacious firmament on bigh,
With all the blue etherial sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great original proclaim.
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator’s power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the list’ning earth
Repeats the story of her birth;
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball
What though no real voice, nor sound,
Amidst their radiant orbs be found,
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
Forever singing as they shine,
THE HAND THAT MADE US IS DIVINE.

So, don’t feel sorry for me, Tom. I’m in good hands.


Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #140844

Baptist Preacher,

“There appears to be such animosity against evangelical Christians. I believe it is because we whole-heartedly believe in something. There are many doctrinal differences between Baptists and other evangelical denominations and for that matter, even among Baptists. But, there is a common thread between all evangelicals and that is our belief that man is basically evil and Christ is the only one who can pardon that evil nature.”

That, sir is where most of us part ways.
I belive that man is basicly good, and it doesn’t take a Christian to belive in charity towards your fellow man.
But, this is not a glass half full issue, and frankly I could give a rat’s ass what you belive.
You are, after all entitled to it.

You are also entitlted to speak out about your beliefs. What you belive is entirely up to you. That doesn’t, however, entitle you to judge me, or anyone else. It also doesn’t entitle you to push your beliefs on me or anyone else.

Christian, means Christ-like, and Christ teachings included treating everyone as you would want to be treated. That would include any “sinners” that you might come accross.

The “leaders” of Christianity, self-proclaimed or not for the most part seem to be the archtype of what Christianity is suposed to be. They are greedy, power-mad, opinionated clods that wouldn’t know Christ if he walked up and introduced himself.

Posted by: Rocky at April 15, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #140846

Some percentages and/or statements have been used in this thread (ie youthful voting bloc, collegiate party preferences, etc.) that I believe need to be expanded if references to them are used further in this thread.

Sadly only 40% of the age eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 vote. Yet, this group has the most at stake regarding their future. The situation worsens in mid-term elections where people have even less interest by whom and how they are governed because only about 25% of them go to the polls.

In terms of the overall age eligible population, somewhere between 80 and 100 million do not vote at all.

Posted by: steve smith at April 15, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #140851

Rocky:

“For I perceive thou at in the gall of bitterness, and in…”

“That doesn’t, however, entitle you to judge me, or anyone else. It also doesn’t entitle you to push your beliefs on me or anyone else.”

I have not judged you, your words judge yourself. I would never presume to push my beliefs upon you.

I do not care what the leadership of Christianity believes; I have enough to answer for myself. I also do not run across sinners: as I stated earlier, we are all under the bondage of sin.

Progressives are angry: angry that they cannot understand our beliefs change our beliefs, or convince us they believe the same as we. You have been fed a diet of humanism. Thus proves my point, you believe man to be inherently good and on the same level as God.

Should I deny God’s word simply because Tom H, says it is a historical book with no spiritual meaning? I don’t think so. Liberals are the first to cry “inclusive” and yet, in the same breath, deny our rights to religious liberty. Our morality is not something we say; it is a motivating part of our life. In other words, it is part of a Christian’s lifestyle. As part of our lifestyle, our religious beliefs many times determine the way we vote.

Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #140855

Tom H

Sorry, I didn’t address your last comment about outlawing religion.

When I speak of religion, I am not speaking about a belief in God. That is the problem with followers of the “revealed” religions. They say that if you do not believe in THEIR version of religion as found in THEIR “holy” book, then you are somehow tainted, different, a person to be pitied, sometimes scorned, sometimes even hated, so much so that you must be killed.

The God in my life requires no sacrifice beyond recognizing he exists and seeking to live my life in a manner that does not shame him or his Creation.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe in the MAN Jesus. I also believe that some of the authors of the Christian Bible actually knew and wrote about his teachings.

But I find that there is no need to make up stories about him raising the dead or performing cheap parlor tricks by changing water to wine to make his life more meaningful to me.

Read the Jefferson Bible sometime. Even though in editing the Bible, Thomas Jefferson removed all references to miracles performed by Jesus and to his divinity, his teachings lost none of their meaning. If anything, they are even more relevant and inspiring.

His teachings of love, charity, hope, tolerance and, yes, faith, instinctively speak to something deep within the human spirit, something that I believe was put there by the Creator at the moment of our conception to help guide us on our journey through this life.

That is why I oppose abortion.

If all human beings would turn away from the myths and fables of their “holy” books and look within themselves to that place where the Creator resides, we would find that he is the same yesterday, today and forever, for all of mankind, not just a select few.

Maybe then we could put aside our alleged differences and finally get on with making the Earth the paradise the Creator always intended it to be.

Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #140858

I do think some religious types are in the Republicans pocket. Mostly religious zealots, who are deeply vested in stopping gays from marrying, torturing prisoners of war, barring women from abortion, etc. Frankly, these people scare me. I don’t see them as real Christians. I don’t like what they do for religion or what they do to the Republican party.

If this is the direction our country continues to move in at some point I’ll become really disgusted, like our forefathers were, and leave for a place where freedom of expression is tolerated and people are free to do what they want.

Posted by: Max at April 15, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #140859

There are not many topics (if any at all) that have been argued as extensively yet not produced a “winner” as has religion. I do not include the creation of man by GOD and the evolution of man through other circumstances in my initial statement.

I cannot even remember all of the christian references that have developed, we have christian, and evangelical christian, often it is simply “the evangelicals” and of course we have the dreaded fundamental right evangelical christians.

There are even more than these few but, in almost every case each catagory annoys someone who is opposed to their views because those views are perceived as being “pushed on them” in an unsolicited way. Sometimes this is true and should be realized and tempered by the “christian” group in question. Often it is nothing more than someone who believes strongly in something and sees the good in something, trying to pass the information to someone who he or she feels could benefit. The person delivering the information does not know if the recipient is aware of what is being imparted or has an opposing position to it. Typically, christians demonstrate their faith by giving testimony to others about it’s value.

Now we have atheists and, other groups who will not accept religion as championed by christians because there is not clearly defined scientific evidence to support the christians beliefs and claims.

Arguments/discussions between these two groups held between highly educated individuals from both camps ranging from the reasonably informed and concluding with the less knowledgable but yet faithful to a fault always have the same outcome.

Realizing that noone has or will win the argument/discussion on the issue, they drag it into an arena where each is more comfortable, there is more reference material, more facts available and, to be sure, more experts to involve. The seperation of church and state, which most everyone beiieves in and is constitutional law becomes the new battlefield. Here the religious issues can be absorbed into the political ones and we have a new result…each side wins a few and loses a few.

Posted by: steve smith at April 15, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #140860

Baptist Preacher,

“Progressives are angry: angry that they cannot understand our beliefs change our beliefs, or convince us they believe the same as we.”

By implying that I am angry, you make the assumption that I even care what you belive, I don’t. I don’t feel the need to change your beliefs.
Why would I waste my time and energy on such a futile exercise as that?
I was raised a Catholic and moved away from it when the answers to my questions about faith, required “faith” to belive.

“You have been fed a diet of humanism. Thus proves my point, you believe man to be inherently good and on the same level as God.”

This is the biggest crock….
What exactly is your point?

Do you presume that man has to be on the same level as your “God” to be inherently good?

Some the greatest attrocities in the history of mankind have been committed on mankind by mankind in the name of some God.
The ignorant savage must be saved or killed, sacrificed, and therefore cleansed in the name of “God”.

“I have not judged you, your words judge yourself. I would never presume to push my beliefs upon you.”

You just did.

Posted by: Rocky at April 15, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #140864
man is basically evil

Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 10:12 AM

Nah. Man is basically ignorant, and usually prefers it that way.

Posted by: Z at April 15, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #140870

Z, we are all born ignorant. But I have yet to meet a 4 year old that was not infinitely curious and reaching to know. It is what we do to, and with, our children that results in their ignorance, and yes, in great part, it is by political design. An informed electorate, student body, investor shareholders, are all threats to those in power.

And if you can’t keep them ignorant, at least keep them divided. Those are the American maxims.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #140874

Baptist Preacher said:

“We are all under the bondage of sin.”

The concept of Original Sin may be the most insidious and hateful myth perpretrated on believers by the authors of the Christian bible.

To tell little boys and girls in Sunday school class that they were born sinful and the only way to save themselves from eternal damnation is through a Gallilean carpenter is a most hateful and hurtful form of child abuse.

But, if you are not sinful, what need have you of redemption? And if you have no need of redemption, what need do you have of a saviour?

And if you have no need of a saviour, where does that leave Jesus and the Christian church?

Saul of Tarsus may have been greatest salesman in the history of mankind!

BTW, Tom H didn’t say the Bible has no spiritual value, but only that it is the most accurate book ever written. If you re-read his post, I think you’ll determine, as I did, that he a God-fearing man who believes the Bible to be the literal word of God. (If he believes it is the most factuasl book ever written.)

I repect his and your beliefs. I just don’t agree with you.

Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #140878

Tom H

Sorry. You did say factual, not accurate. There is a difference.

Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #140879

Great point, David.

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 15, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #140882
Z, we are all born ignorant. But I have yet to meet a 4 year old that was not infinitely curious and reaching to know. It is what we do to, and with, our children that results in their ignorance, and yes, in great part, it is by political design. An informed electorate, student body, investor shareholders, are all threats to those in power.

And if you can’t keep them ignorant, at least keep them divided. Those are the American maxims.
Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2006 02:29 PM

Too true. We could do better for kids.

Posted by: Z at April 15, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #140895

President Bush was recently asked if he thought that the war on terror, increased natural disasters, and other atrocities were signs that the apocalypse was coming soon. Bush dodged the question without giving a definite answer, and this was troubling to me. It means either:

1) Bush doesn’t believe this to be true, but he doesn’t want to upset the large number of evangelicals who do.

or:

2) (the really scary posibility) he actually believes that the Apocalyspe is coming soon, but doesn’t want to come across as a nutcase to the rest of America.

Either scenario is troubling, for if option 1 is the truth it means our government is catering to extremists, and if option 2 is true then our government is controlled by extremists.

Now I know that revelations talks about the end times, and most faiths have prophecies about the end of mankind. The difference with the evangelicals compared to everyone else is they believe it’s happening now and they are supporting policies to help it happen. Their strong support for Israel has nothing to do with caring about jewish people, but to fulfill the prophecy that the Jews will occupy the holy land when Jesus returns, so they can be sent to hell with the rest of the sinners.

Taking a step back you could see how this set of beliefs is beneficial to big business. Since the world is going to end soon why bother worrying about the environment, this helps businesses as they can reduce environmental protections to cut costs (since most of them are concerned only with immediate gains and not long term sustainability).

We all have to treat this world like it will be around forever, so this means taking care of the environment and finding ways to make all industries sustainable for future generations to have. If I’m wrong and the Apocalypse happens let’s make sure it’s a God-fulfilled prophecy and not a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 15, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #140896

I think that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black summed it up nicely:

“The union of government and religion tends to destroy governmnet and degrade religion.”

Posted by: Chuck H at April 15, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #140899
Dave,

How about keeping your ignorant, mentally retarded religion of atheism out of our(90%of Americans) lives and go have a liberal socialist European circle jerk with George Sauros and Michael Moore.

“THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART ‘THERE IS NO GOD’”

Posted by: Duano at April 14, 2006 10:33 PM

Sounds like a violation of the Watchblog rules to me. With no response from the editors, I suppose I would be safe in telling Guano to go f**k his ignorant superstitious hateful fascistic regressive self?

Posted by: Dave at April 15, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #140900

>>Morality is the enemy of liberalism.
Now, I am sure to stir up a controversy, but in your zeal to debate me, I would hope you use logic and not attacks. I have read enough on Watchblog to come to the conclusion that liberals rule the site and that conservative Christianity is hated.


Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 10:12 AM

BP,

Don’t tell Jack, sic-eagle, or many others that these sites are ruled by liberals.

Once again you fundies equate morality with religion (and no doubt, only YOUR religion), but please give it a little more thought, because they are NOT related. As a true believer, you may not know very many non-believers, but you likely know at least a few. You very likely do know several believers, so…after really thinking about it and giving only honest appraisal…are the believers YOU know more moral than the non-believers YOU know? As a moral person, you cannot lie.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #140906

Xander Jones,
Could it be that the Youth of Today has lost faith in their Parents, Elders, and Civil Leaders? Certainly this kind of movement in Written History has taken place before. However, what both he Deocrats and Republicans are missing in the relationship between mass religous movements and the over throwing of Political Parties in America.

Just look at the Mid-1800’s and the raise of the Republican Party. Could 2008 or 2012 see the change of a major political party in America. After all, neither the Democrats or Republicans will take on a debate of Right vs. Wrong, yet Today’s Youth is searching for exactly that in their Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders. Is it no wonder they resort back to Human Teachings to discover that World left behind by the Youth of the 60’s?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 15, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #140911

ulysses:

You say that Jesus was a real man who was a great teacher. That is true, and is of historical record. But there is a problem with leaving him just as a teacher.

Roman history shows that a man named Jesus Christ was crucified for claiming that he was the Son of God. We can subject this story to the same kind of historical proofs that we use to determine the existence of Socrates or Alexander the Great. That means we are not buying into the story simply on faith, but rather on the same solid proofs that render other stories accurate.

So…its verified that Christ was crucified for claiming that he was the Son of God. If he truly said that, wouldn’t that make him a liar if it wasn’t true? Or perhaps a lunatic if he really believed something like that, if it wasn’t true?

If he were a liar or lunatic, how then would he be a great teacher? I dont see people like David Koresh, Charlie Manson, Jim Jones etc as great teachers, and neither would I see Christ as a great teacher if he were a liar or lunatic.

Of course, if its true thats a wholly different thing. But I’d like to understand how you can see someone who is one of three things—liar, lunatic or Lord—as a great teacher, if he is one of the first two things.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 15, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #140912

Joe,

“Roman history shows that a man named Jesus Christ was crucified for claiming that he was the Son of God.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but it was my understanding that when asked if he was the “son of God, Christ’s reply was “so you say”, which is far from claiming he was the son of God.

Posted by: Rocky at April 15, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #140913

God help us all!

Posted by: oh my at April 15, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #140916

“Iranians aren’t the only ones preaching fear and fantacism, wasn’t it Falwell who said the events of 9/11 were because of homosexuals and other actions the church doesn’t condone.”

Exactly. Instead of answering to the real threat “Iranians and their religious fanaticism”, you retort with Jerry falwell. Thanks, you just proved my point. Instead of talking about how serious of a threat the Iranians are; especially after the Iranian president called for “the annihilation of Jews” and they will be wiped of this planet with a “great wind”, you go back to the right-wing religious nuts. Nice.

And the rest of you, keep teaming up; all you’re proving is that you’re no (NO) match for the rahdigster. Not even close. :O)

Posted by: rahdigly at April 15, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #140923

Rahdigly:

They are both threats, no one denies that Iran and other islamic fanatics hate us, they make it well known. But the christian fanatics of the republican party are much more sneaky, using spin and half-truths and preying on their under-educated followers through their carefully selected interpretation of the bible in order to undermine and usurp our country.

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 15, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #140924

Ulysses, Eisai, Baptist Preacher

I believe that the Bible is the inspired, literal Word of God. If there are any non-truths in the Bible, then the whole Bible is a lie. I don’t believe the Bible to be a lie. Man was born in sin according to the Bible. If man is not of sinful nature, there would be no need for the Ten Comnadments, laws, rules and regulations. The Bible is a historical book as well as a spiritual guide book to follow in the life I now live. Jesus is the Son of God. He laid down his life for all of mankind as a redemption for our sinful nature. We must accept this gift of life for it to be of any value to us. Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue that Jesus Christ is Lord. I really hate to show you wrong. I really would enjoy knowing that you believe the above. In the name of Jesus have a gloriious Easter and Resurection weekend.

Posted by: tomh at April 15, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #140925

tomh:

I’m curious to know if you also believe the earth is 6000 years old, and dinosaur fossils were buried by the jews in order to trick everyone else. I know neither of those statements are in the bible, but many literal interpreters believe them to be true.

Logic dictates that God by definition is infallible, therefore if the bible contains any slight factual error or contradiction then it therefore cannot be the literal word of God.

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 15, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #140926

For factual errors in the bible check out:

http://home.inu.net/skeptic/sunstil.html

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 15, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #140928

Jesus was not crucified by the Romans for claiming to be the son of God; they could have cared less. They killed him because the Sanhedrin accused him of claiming to be king of the Jews.

According to the Bible (not historical fact) when Pontius Pilate asked Jesus if he was king of the Jews, he answered “So you have said.” And, according to the Bible, Jesus added that “My kingdom is not this world.”

Anyone who believes in God could make that same statement.

According to the Bible (not historical fact). the Sanhedrin’s high priest, Caiaphas, asked Jesus if he was the son of God and Jesus is supposed to have answered “You have said so,”
not “I am.”

And even the four Gospels can’t agree on this event. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and you get four different versions.

And when, according to the Bible, Jesus spoke of his father in heaven, any believer could make that claim.

There is no historical document or archaelogical evidence that Jesus ever claimed to be the son of God or the king of the Jews. The only evidence we have to support these claims is the Bible.

Just as there is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the claim that Jesus performed miracles and raised Lazarus from the dead. Again, the only evidence to support this claim comes from the Bible.

The great Jewish historian, Josephus, who was born just a few years after the death of Jesus, only mentions Jesus twice in all his writings about First Century Israel. And in both instances, he refers to him only as a wise man and a teacher.

Yes, I know that in one of the references, Josephus refers to Jesus as a “doer of wonderful works.” But Biblical historians and scholars agree that this phrase was most likely added later by a Christian scribe.

If Jesus was performing miracles publicly, as the Bible says, and if he was claiming to be the son of God and king of the Jews publicly, as the Bible says, I think Josephus would have given him more than two short paragraphs.

The only evidence for Jesus being more than a man is the Bible. If you wish to accept that as irrefutable evidence of his divinity, so be it. I respect that decision.

But let’s agree that you do so on faith and faith alone, not historical fact.

Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #140931

If any of you thumpers don’t know who Josephus was, or doubt his veracity, please note that he was the first historian who claimed that Moses was responsible for the first five books of the old bible. I have second editions of Josephus works in my library, (The Works of FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS containing Twenty Books of the Jewish Antiquities, Seven Books of the Jewish War, and The Life of Josephus, written by himself. Translated From the Original Greek, According to Havercamp’s Accurate Edition, By the late William Wiston, A.M., Professor in the University of Cambridge. First edition 1827, second (my) edition 1829.),and will gladly scan a page or two if you want to know his writing style.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #140933

pilate entered the praetorium, again and called jesus and said to him are you the king of the jews? jesus said :do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it about me? pilate said : am i a jew? your own nation and chief priests have handed you over to me what have you done? jesus said: my kingship is not of this world, if my kingship were of this world my servants would fight that i might not be handed over to the jews, but my kingship is not from the world. then pilate said : so you are a king? jesus said: you say i am a king. for this i was born, and for this i have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. eveyrone who is of the truth hears my voice” john 18; 33-37

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 15, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #140934

Rodney Brown,

That’s one version.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 15, 2006 9:14 PM
Comment #140936

yea marysdude,, i think mine was the closest so far. and i am not a christian ! now where the heck is my backup at! anyone care to pitch in feel free.

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 15, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #140937

Marysdude said: Once again you fundies equate morality with religion (and no doubt, only YOUR religion),

I do equate morality with Judeo-Christian beliefs and the reason I do is because both religions hinge upon the Law of Moses (ten commandments). The Law was a series of lessons that God demanded men should live by. I know many non-believers and many believers and neither has the market cornered on morality. I have known many non-believers who were more moral than many believers. The Republican Party is not entirely made up of religious people. Many people who support the conservative movement do so for strictly moral reasons.


Very good point joebagodonuts, the problem is, you are using logic on hysterical people.

Tomh: I agree with you wholeheartedly.

bushflipflops said: I’m curious to know if you also believe the earth is 6000 years old, and dinosaur fossils were buried by the jews in order to trick everyone else. I know neither of those statements are in the bible, but many literal interpreters believe them to be true.
Logic dictates that God by definition is infallible, therefore if the bible contains any slight factual error or contradiction then it therefore cannot be the literal word of God.

The bible does not say the earth is 6000 years old. But it does say God is from everlasting to everlasting, Psalm 90:2. You base your logical conclusion on ignorance of the Word of God. Suppose I tell you many bible scholars believe the earth to be millions of years old. What does that do to you logic?

I’m curious as to whether liberals are as quick to condemn muslins for their belief in the Koran, as they are Christians for their belief in the bible?

Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #140942
I�m curious as to whether liberals are as quick to condemn muslins for their belief in the Koran, as they are Christians for their belief in the bible?

If Muslims were actively trying to shape American law around the Koran, then you would hear the exact same concerns that you hear about the Christian right wing today.

Our concerns are not expressions of an anti-Christian bias or bigotry, despite what the right wing wants America to believe. They are expressions of a desire to treat believers and non-believers of all faiths fairly and equally.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 15, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #140945

Note: I’m speaking as a liberal secularist. There are also plenty of liberal Christians for whom the premise of your question is so far detached from reality as to be the subject of an Ann Coulter book.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 15, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #140946

Wow I know where to go for doctrinal debate..
The parallel between conservatism and Christianity is in value. Not to be confused with values.
Some men may tend toward evil and laziness but all are very valuable and therefore must be free.
Wars against tyrants, protecting unborn, and preserving marriage aren’t based on hating the perpetrators but keeping the innocent from bondage. It seems to me that a liberal habit is to step over the noble cause of helping innocents to protect tyrants if it is of political gain.
If the outcome of wars were predictable then there would be no wars because everyone would know who would lose and they would surrender before it started.
This is why Iraq has had setbacks and then adjustments. This will have to continue for the noble cause of freeing the valuable people of the region to succeed.They need freed from the bondage of suicidal hatred. The attitude of divorce; committing, then nitpicking and abandoning has no place in a Christian view. The value is so great we will accomplish it dispite adversity.
This is what we hope is instilled in our youth.

Posted by: Kruser at April 15, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #140950

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary.
For those who don’t, none would suffice.”

Rodney

You quoted the Gospel of John. If you haven’t already done so, read the same story in Matthew, Luke and Mark. They are all different.

Mark is considered the oldest of the four Gospels and the source for the other three. Biblical scholars believe the differences reflect changing attitudes toward the Jews by Christians and the political climate in the Roman Empire.

The Gospel of Matthew is considered by many to be the most radical of the four and justification for the persecution of Jews for more than 2,000 years.

Baptist Preacher

I have aired my opinion of all “revealed” religions in an earlier post. Just to sum it up, all the world’s major religions are based on a “holy” book written by mostly men who claim to be speaking for God.

I speak mostly about the Bible because I know more about it and the United States is predominately Christian.

I’ll bet that if I wrote a religious tome and claimed God told me what to say, you’d call me a nutcase. But the men who wrote the Bible and claimed they did so under the inspiration of God, you call prophets and saints.

To believe that the Bible is the literal word of God is to deny your God-given reason.

Your God is in the pages of a book.

My God is in every leaf, flower, blade of grass; in the awesome glory of the night sky, the beauty of a sunset and the beautiful innocent face of my little granddaughter.

Your God performs miracles; my God is a miracle.

You pray to your God and ask for money to pay the bills, for a loved one to be healed, for blessings and abundance. You sing mighty songs of praise within the walls of mighty cathedrals and churches.

I stand in my yard in the still of the night and pray to my God “Thank you for this day. Thank you for the wonder of life. And in all things, Thy will be done.”

As Thomas Paine so wonderfully and simply put it:

“I believe in God and there it rests.”

Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #140956

Preacher:

I clearly state in that post that the age of the earth and dinosaurs was NOT IN THE BIBLE, perhaps you didn’t read it very clearly. However, biblical scholars have believed for centuries that the earth was about 6000 years old, the part about the jewish/dinosaur conspiracy is just some crazy myth I heard that I threw in for fun.

The biblical scholars who now believe the earth to be millions of years old are still off by about a factor of a thousand. Carbon dating, along with our understanding of the rate at which the sun fuses hydrogen put the age of the earth and solar system to be around 4.5 billion years old. Extrapolating backwards the redshift in light spectra from stars moving away from us, and the new evidence from studying supernovae show that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, given the accelerating universe model.
It amuses me when religion tries to play catch up with science, instead of just admitting that it was written by people who didn’t know alot about the world around them.

If you missed it I’ll post the link again showing legitimate factual errors in the bible:

http://home.inu.net/skeptic/sunstil.html

Now this isn’t an attack on using the bible, torah, koran, or whatever as a moral cheat sheet from time to time, I know how difficult it can be memorizing all those rules. But to say that a person doesn’t follow a moral code simply because they differ over your practices is wrong. Most of these morals existed in society before the bible.

I⭠curious as to whether liberals are as quick to condemn muslins for their belief in the Koran, as they are Christians for their belief in the bible?

I condemn anyone who refuses to listen to reason, especially when new facts are discovered. Anyone who blindly follows what they are told without question is a fool and an extremist. That is the beauty of science, new facts are presented all the time, old theories that get proven wrong are discarded for new ones. Nothing is set in stone becuase new evidence could prove it wrong. Perhaps that is why so many religious extremists find science so troubling, the fact that there will always be uncertainty in everything, and they are afraid of that. So they cling tightly to their holy texts and allow their leaders to think for them, so the saying goes ignorance is bliss.

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 15, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #140959

Lawnboy said: If Muslims were actively trying to shape American law around the Koran, then you would hear the exact same concerns that you hear about the Christian right wing today.
Our concerns are not expressions of an anti-Christian bias or bigotry, despite what the right wing wants America to believe. They are expressions of a desire to treat believers and non-believers of all faiths fairly and equally.

Muslims are actively trying to shape the laws of every country they inhabit. Laws based upon the Koran. You name me one country that is not affected by radical Muslims. We are dealing with a group of radicals who want to rule the world and want to bring into non-existence a member country of the UN.

Your concerns are expressions of anti-Christian bigotry. Make no mistake; it is pure hatred of Christians and their beliefs. Is it because we know in whom we believe and because our belief is based upon faith and not upon science? You say your expressions are a desire to treat believers and non-believers of all faiths fairly and equally. Yet your party is a party of death. It is not about woman’s rights, it is about the slaughter of the unborn. What happened to their rights?

Ulysses:

I assume you deny God’s Word as truth:

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
This [is] my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. Psalm 119:50

This is 2 of many of David’s psalms, I know they do not compare to Thomas Paine.

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:14-17

The words of Jesus

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4

All the things of nature that you worship were created by Christ. We might also add:

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #140962

bushflipflops
What you say about the earth’s time frame is way off the mark and cannot be debated here without being complete in the text of time. If the earth is older that about 6000 years, then why is there not some written document or documents covering the time span before 4000 b.c.? The Bible says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And he did this in a time frame of seven days just as we know seven days. Carbon dating is so passe. Those that believe in an earth older than 6000 years cannot even agree on what happened before 4000 b.c. They try to use fossils as an argument but cannot agree on the types of fossils they are, the time table, or even the genetics of them. Since imagination takes over for those who believe in pre-Adamic world, then all kinds of results come from the overactive imagination. I do agree that there some “spokespersons of God” that do not represent the fruits of the spirit that is spoken of in the NT. There are many TV preachers who are more interested on control and wealth than being shephers of the flock. They too will have to answer to the Creator God in that time. And God will say to them “depart from me I never knew you”. I personally do not know which personna will be in that situation. Only they and God know. My scripture that is driving force in my faith is, Eccl 12:12-13.

Posted by: tomh at April 15, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #140963

Bushflipflops:

The age of the earth is a mute point. Millions, billions, trillions, who cares?

I don’t need to look at your web site. Mankind has been trying since the beginning of creation to deny God’s Word or prove it wrong and yet to no avail. If it were possible to prove a contradiction, then it would be fallible and not God’s Word. I believe the bible is still on the best seller list. I have heard all your arguments and with time could refute each charge against God’s Word, but what is the use.

I Corinthians 14:38, But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

You said: But to say that a person doesn’t follow a moral code simply because they differ over your practices is wrong. Most of these morals existed in society before the bible.

Did I say that? Show me where I said you had to believe like me to have morals. Now who lies?

You say: I condemn anyone who refuses to listen to reason, especially when new facts are discovered.

Listen to who’s reason: yours? So you say, if I don’t accept your words as truth, you condemn me. You go on to say science is constantly changing as new truths are learned, am I correct? What you are saying is the truths of science you stand upon today, may be changed tomorrow. Who qualifies as ignorant, the scientist or the one who blindly follows him?

Posted by: Baptist Preacher at April 15, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #140967

Once again, you quote scripture from the Christian Bible, nit historical fact, to support your opinions and/or beliefs. And, once again, you do so on faith and faith alone.

To be honest, we both are basing our beliefs on faith. Your faith is in the Bible; mine is in the Creation.

No, I am not a nature worshipper, but I do worship, as I deem appropriate, the Creator of all we see around us, below us, above us and within us.

All I am saying, and have been saying all along, is that men wrote the “holy” books of the major religions and, as you have acknowledged, men are fallible.

God made the Creation and it is infallible. The Creation in all its glory gives testimony to an omnipotent and omnisicent Creator.

As to Thomas Paine, I consider his Age of Reason one of the greatest texts ever written on the subject of religion (not faith) and how it has tainted mankind and driven him to do great harm to his fellows and his world.

But it is not a “holy” book nor was Thomas Paine a prophet. Only an unreasoning fool would accept that premise and I am neither.


Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #140982

ULYSSES. st luke was not a apostle of christ he was a gentile doctor a friend of pauls.luke did not even know jesus. mark did not know jesus he was not a apostle also he was a gentile drawing much of his material from peter. mark the evangelist was believed to be the first pope of alexandria the orthodox church. now matthew was a apostle but could have made the most unpopular candidate for authorship aside from judas because he held the hated office of tax collector. the relation of the gospels to one another of matthew is still a subject of some debate. the apostle john at the last supper was next to jesus on whose chest he leaned on. also john was the only apostle that remained with and near jesus at the foot of the cross on calvary by himself and the mother of jesus, mary. and john took mary under his care. john also wrote the book of revelations the last book in the new testiment. thats why i went with john.

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 16, 2006 1:38 AM
Comment #140985

Preacher:

You said:

Did I say that? Show me where I said you had to believe like me to have morals. Now who lies?

Well earlier you said:

I do equate morality with Judeo-Christian beliefs and the reason I do is because both religions hinge upon the Law of Moses (ten commandments).

I believe someone owes me an apology for calling me a liar.

All science is based on a level of uncertainty, the truths of today may be changed tomorrow, just as the possibility that I may win the lottery this week. Science will always be the best picture of the inner workings of the universe that we have at the present. As we move forward that picture becomes clearer and clearer. Then you say I am a blind follower of science, well I am a mathematician which would make me a scientist, which might not be as sexy as a physicist or a chemist but math is a science nonetheless. Then you call me ignorant. So I am an ignorant scientist, that seems like a contradiction.

My spiritual beliefs would be something similar to ulysses, I see God in the beauty and simplicity of the governing equations of our universe, which results in every leaf, flower, blade of grass, and everything that exists. I don’t see God in holy texts that were written by men in order to control the weak.

Tomh:

There is no written documentation prior to 4000 bc because written langauges hadn’t been invented yet, unless you count cave drawings as written language. You must make a distinction between written languages and spoken languages. It wasn’t until humans gave up their nomadic cave dwelling lifestyles and settled in agrarian communities that written languages started to emerge out of necessity.

So if you believe that the earth is 6000 years old then you must believe that man coexisted with dinosaurs right? And Noah had two of every dinosaur on the boat as well? Or do you believe in the jewish/fake dinsouar fossil conspiracy?

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 16, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #140997

Baptist preacher
You can’t reason faith into a person’s heart. That is why Jesus spoke in parables. So seeking they can find. Arguing your faith conclusions with someone who has faith somewhere else only causes them to shore up their own beliefs. The info is good though.
Mathematician.. What is the propability that atoms that by chance formed into molecules could by chance form into amino acids and by chance form into structures such as cell walls and nucleuses. If static caused this to come alive by chance how did this impossible thing develope the mutations that caused it to reproduce and therefore start evolution? Wouldn’t this take trillions of years or be an impossibility? Wouldn’t the chance of mutations that changed species be in the same boat using propabilities? One minor change by mutation would take trillions of years.
I haven’t been able to see evolution yet as a science to logically debate it. It takes alot of faith to think even small changes can evolve.
Back on subject. This is why youth may be turning toward christianity. The alternatives don’t really make alot of sense unless you apply faith and God is better than nothingness.

Posted by: Kruser at April 16, 2006 4:33 AM
Comment #140998

Ulysses:

You are an intelligent man. I can tell this by your comments.

You claim the bible is not historical, yet scholars disagree. There is an incredible amount of history in the Bible.

Yet one thing stands out in your comments: You believe in God.

I’d submit that one cannot prove(nor disprove) the existence of God. Yet you believe. This would suggest a measure of faith that is required to reach that conclusion.

If you believe in God and I believe in God AND the Bible, are we not both relying on faith to some extent? What are you basing your belief on?

Since some are casting aspersions on those who believe in God, they would seem to be casting them equally at you and me. Our beliefs are very different, yet spring from the same fountain of truth: God exists.


Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 16, 2006 6:20 AM
Comment #141008
Muslims are actively trying to shape the laws of every country they inhabit. Laws based upon the Koran. You name me one country that is not affected by radical Muslims. We are dealing with a group of radicals who want to rule the world and want to bring into non-existence a member country of the UN.

Yes, and Liberals oppose those actions around the world.

However, when discussing religion and law in America, radical Islam is not a significant factor. If it were, you’d hear from us.

Your concerns are expressions of anti-Christian bigotry. Make no mistake; it is pure hatred of Christians and their beliefs.

Bullshit. Just because you want to play a victim here doesn’t mean that I and others act out of hatred for you.

The problem is that many Christians in America believe that they have an inherent right to decide what is best for all Americans based on their chosen faith. It’s that imposition of an individual belief on others that we oppose; not the belief itself.

When and if fundamentalist Jews impose their beliefs on others, we oppose it. When and if fundamentalist Muslims impose their beliefs on others, we oppose it.

Your problem is that your so convinced that Christianity is special that you can’t see that we try to treat Christianity fairly and equally to other religions. You insist that Christianity should get special treatment and you deny the idea that other religions should get special treatment. So, the only religion on which you disagree with us is Christianity. Therefore you think we hate Christianity.

It’s just silly.

In two hours, I will be playing handbells at an Easter service, and yet I’m a Liberal secularist. How does that demonstrate any hatred for Christianity?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 16, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #141010

tomh,

What you say about the earth’s time frame is way off the mark and cannot be debated here without being complete in the text of time. If the earth is older that about 6000 years, then why is there not some written document or documents covering the time span before 4000 b.c.?

Well, there are cave paintings that are known to be around 32,000 years old. Does that count?

Additionally, there are written documents and records from Egypt from 3000BC, which is before the time that the Mosaic global flood would have occured according to a literal reading of the Bible, and the Egyptians never noticed that they were flooded out for a full year.

The Bible says in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And he did this in a time frame of seven days just as we know seven days.

That’s one of many common interpretations. There is also the long-day interpretation and gap interpretation and the allegorical interpretation. The Young Eart interpretation which you support is by far the most problematic, because it requires us to do one of two things. Either we must deny pretty much all of science, or we are forced into a form of Omphalism, saying that God gave us all these clues to a longer existence to test us (of course, this is as logcially valid as saying the earth was created Last Thursday by a housecat).

Carbon dating is so passe.

Within the realm of young-earth creationism, you’re right, because young earth creationists want to deny evidence that doesn’t support their pre-determined conclusions. Equally passe for YECs are other forms of radiometric dating, cosmology, plate tectonics, ice cores, DNA, and pretty much all of paleontology, geology, and biology.

Fortunately, the people who actually know what they are talking about are not following the YEC lead on this, so human knowledge will continue to improve.

Those that believe in an earth older than 6000 years cannot even agree on what happened before 4000 b.c.

And yet they have proof that something did happen on earth millions and billions of years ago (if you accept science). Unfortunately for you, the fact that there are disagreements on the fringes doesn’t mean that young earth creationism has any grounds as a valid alternate scientific explanation.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 16, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #141023

Rodney Brown and Baptist Preacher

I’ve enjoyed our discussion of faith and religion, though I don’t believe they are synonymous.

Posted by: ulysses at April 16, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #141040

Baptist Preacher,

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? And if a Preacher gets paid to preach, and preaches on the Sabbath, isn’t he in fact working on the Sabbath?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends, including myself, get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear (non-pigskin) gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

Posted by: ElliottBay at April 16, 2006 12:16 PM
Comment #141058

ElliiotBay
Those citations were under a period of Biblical law. We now live in a period of Biblical grace. Jesus came to fulfill the law and that he did.

Posted by: tomh at April 16, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #141059

ulysses thank you for your posts, hope to see more of you on watch blog. same goes for bushflipflops, well, here it is; that time they told us about in high school when math would save our lives!. ms ada byron-lady lovelace, leibniz,gauss,newton, cantor,riemann, euler, archimedes, on and on, the great mathematicians, as a kid i did not care for it. but as a abo optician math is fantastic!

Posted by: RODNEY BROWN at April 16, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #141079

kruser:

you stated:

One minor change by mutation would take trillions of years.

Mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down to us from our mothers, and our mothers mothers, and so on show that all races have a common ancestor at around 120,000 to 150,000 years ago depending on the average rate of mutation that is used in the calculation. After this person, genetic mutation gave rise to all the races on earth, some races breaking away earlier than others in the chain of mtDNA. If change by mutation takes trillions of years as you presume then where did all the different races come from? Also, humans and neanderthals share common mtDNA up until about 500,000 years ago, or do you deny the existance of the neanderthal?

Posted by: bushflipflops at April 16, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #141082

kruser,

It takes alot of faith to think even small changes can evolve.

This is a standard line from the effort to get Creation (or ID) in schools. Since the courts have ruled that Religion cannot be taught as science, there’s a big Orwellian PR campaign to paint Creation as scientific (which it very much is not) and Evolution as requiring non-scientific faith (which it very much does not).

Back to your point, speciation has been observed. It takes no faith to believe it; it only takes a willingness to base conclusions on evidence (which is the foundation of science and evolution) instead of assuming a conclusion and forcing the evidence to fit that conclusion.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 16, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #141089

The human male is the best example of evolution there is.

We are no longer needed for the hunt (meat is plentiful)

We are no longer necessary for exploration (the world is known)

We are not needed for heavy lifting (modern machinery can do it all)

We are not necessary for procreation (there is enough frozen sperm to last a millenium)

Evolution IS, it does not need fossel proofs.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 16, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #141106

There are no races. Just one, the human one. We have variations of height, weight, skin color and hair color. I was talking about a change in species such as a fish to a bird. The vast amount of mutations that would have to occure and always toward inprovement instead of the other way seem mind boggling. Let alone just to jump start life. You have to speculate alot to get this theory to work. I have never met a 500,000 year old neandrethal but have seen a few living guys that fit the description.
Don’t misunderstand me. I prefer math and was just curious if probabilities for these reactions and the chance of them evolving to the point reproducion were available.
The arguements both ways concerning origin after the impossible first cell starting are boring and have inconclusive speculations that require faith. The strand data can be used however a particular scientist wants it percieved. So I would just like to see the math. Since there are mathematitions on this site maybe there was data on this somewhere.

Posted by: kruser at April 16, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #141108

I don’t think creation is a scientific theory. You can attribute similarities in dna etc to a common creator but it can’t be proven any more than evolutionary theories can. The similarities can only be observed. You have to form your own conclusions. It is a no brainer that chains can be followed back. An old deformed skeleton is going to have a related strand or two.

Posted by: Kruser at April 16, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #141112
prefer math and was just curious if probabilities for these reactions and the chance of them evolving to the point reproducion were available.

Many proponents of Intelligent Design have proposed such probabilities (Behe is a leading example). However, those published numbers are based on so many assumptions that they are completely worthless. Additionally, they make further invalid assumptions that something being unlikely means it’s impossible (there’s nothing in science of math that supports such an assumption).

Here’s a place to start looking at the type of math you’ve asked for and how it doesn’t really make sense.

I was talking about a change in species such as a fish to a bird.

Well, a change like that isn’t a change in species; it’s a change in Class (a much coarser subdivision). It does occur, but hasn’t for a very long time. However, as I linked to above, speciation (becoming different species) does occur today and has been observed.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 16, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #141113

Damn, Marysdude,

I feel so supercilious now.

Posted by: Jack Mohammedoff at April 16, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #141116
I don’t think creation is a scientific theory. You can attribute similarities in dna etc to a common creator but it can’t be proven any more than evolutionary theories can.

It’s not just that Creation can’t be proven more that evolution; it’s that Creation is inherently neither provable or disprovable. In contrast, Evolution is theoretically disprovable, but no one’s been able to do it because it keeps showing us that it’s right.

Evolution is as close to a fact as any large complex process in science can be.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 16, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #141119

Evolution and mutation and big bang etc are dis-provable. Unfortunately this is not the forum to do that. It would take hours and days to dispel all the myths of evolution and all that is associated with it. Stephen Gould does a fair job discrediting himself. Why should I stop him?

Posted by: tomh at April 16, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #141131

The Christian Bible calls for redistribution of wealth every 50 years. Let’s here it Republican Christians. Is the Bible right or wrong on this point? If right, then Christians should be socialists. If wrong, then how much of the rest of the Bible is also wrong?

A political question truly of our own time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #141143
Stephen Gould does a fair job discrediting himself. Why should I stop him?

Posted by: tomh at April 16, 2006 10:34 PM

I’m surprised that a Thumper such as yourself would recognize that. Posted by: Dave at April 17, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #141154

15,000 years of debating the unalienable Right for Humans to consume within the paramentive of Societal Law. Or somewhere around that time line.

As far as believing in something or someone, a person only has to look at their own Self-Nature. Each Human is cabable of great kindness and meaniness without Thought without Question if provoked even in the 21st Century especially when a person addresses the Right of that Human’s Self-Nature.

And yes all Human Teachings of Cardinal Knowledge are held on Tiers so that a person has their unalienable Right to remain Ignorant of that which can and can not be explained by Science. However, in American Politicals and Governmental Affiars “The Law” is based on what you Know to be Right by The Spoken Word of Man and is provable in the Courts of Our Land. For the Intent of America’s Laws of the Land is to be Unalienable Right Regardless according to the Law of Nature and God’s Nature. And that my friends begins with an understanding og How and Why the Spirit of American Law rest on the word “Consume” or more precisely how one goes about doing it.

My question to the Left & Right is simple. As a Man, would you willing give up your unalienable Right to be Right by Nature Regardless? Or do you believe that a Lady would ever give up Her unalienable Right to hold All Males over the Age of 10 to be Right by Nature Regardless? Still better yet, can you give me an example in Written History were any Civil, Political, or Religious Leader has stood up before his people and said “I want to build an Unalienable Wrong World?

No, politics is or should be about the way of creating Societal Law using the “Common Sense” of “We the People.” True, we all may have our own personal opinions and view on what we would like to be unalienable Right Regardless; however, are you willing to risk yourself being found Wrong by Nature in order to politically debate a social issue outside the Realm of Logic and Reason? And if Man is not perfect than how can he every discover what is Unalienable Right Regardless?

Has either a Conservative or Liberal ever wonder why The Founding Fathers wrote the words “a More Perfect Union” instead of written a Righteous Nation of Law? Maybe what is needed most in America right now is a political party that will represent the Real Vaulves of Being an American who believes in doing the Right Thing regardless instead of a Nation that stands around and talks about How the Human Physic breaks at the word “Consumes.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 17, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #141169

Elliot:

You need to understand the distinction in the Bible between Mosaic law and post-Mosaic law. It will help you understand why the questions you posed (primarily from Leviticus) are not really all that salient any more.

Your questions indicate that you are trying to hold people to an outdated law. It would be akin to asking Americans today why they are not paying a “tea tax”. The answer is that the laws have changed.

Rather than attempt to discuss it in detail here, I’d advise you to google the subject and read up on it. I think it will give you a more complete understanding of the topic. As you seem to have an intellectually curious mind, I’d expect you’ll enjoy the process of learning about the subject.
Good luck with it.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 17, 2006 8:05 AM
Comment #141173
Evolution and mutation and big bang etc are dis-provable.

Mutation is definitely not disprovable - it happens every day and even the most ardent YEC accepts it. Evolution and the Big Bang are theoretically disprovable as scientific theories, but they haven’t been. Many disproofs have been proposed, but none have stuck yet.

Unfortunately this is not the forum to do that.

Why not? Would you rather we leave this debate to scientists? If so, your perspective has been tried, analysed, and found wanting. Or do you think the proper forum for discussin science is the church?

It would take hours and days to dispel all the myths of evolution and all that is associated with it.

Actually, it would probably take much longer than that since Evolution has survived 150 years of intense study and criticism by millions of trained and knowledgable scientists.

I would suggest you read more about Evolution before trying to disprove “myths” that don’t exist:

  • In 1998, a group of scientists visited the museum of the Institute for Creation Research, a leading proponent of YEC. Here’s a description of what they saw, with a scientific analysis of the “myths” that the museum proports to bring to light. Probably a lot of the misunderstandings you have about how science and history work are discussed here.
  • Here’s an Introduction to Evolution
  • talkorigins.org has many sections that deal with the so-called “myths” of Evolution. Do a search on your supposed myth here and find out what the science involved actually says.
  • Understanding Evolution is a resource for teachers.
Stephen Gould does a fair job discrediting himself. Why should I stop him?

Huh? Just because you don’t want to agree with him doesn’t mean he discredits himself.

I suspect that we will never agree on this issue. There are many people who are so convinced that the words of the Bible are literally true that they will deny any facts or evidence that contradicts that belief.

I don’t care if you believe that the Bible contains the inerrant literal words of God. I do care if you use that personal belief as a basis for making America weaker economically, politically, militarily, and educationally by destroying our scientific advancement in the hope of keeping out information that you don’t want to have to think about when you’re at church.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #141176
Evolution and mutation and big bang etc are dis-provable.

Mutation is definitely not disprovable - it happens every day and even the most ardent YEC accepts it. Evolution and the Big Bang are theoretically disprovable as scientific theories, but they haven’t been. Many disproofs have been proposed, but none have stuck yet.

Unfortunately this is not the forum to do that.

Why not? Would you rather we leave this debate to scientists? If so, your perspective has been tried, analysed, and found wanting. Or do you think the proper forum for discussin science is the church?

It would take hours and days to dispel all the myths of evolution and all that is associated with it.

Actually, it would probably take much longer than that since Evolution has survived 150 years of intense study and criticism by millions of trained and knowledgable scientists.

I would suggest you read more about Evolution before trying to disprove “myths” that don’t exist:

  • In 1998, a group of scientists visited the museum of the Institute for Creation Research, a leading proponent of YEC. Here’s a description of what they saw, with a scientific analysis of the “myths” that the museum proports to bring to light. Probably a lot of the misunderstandings you have about how science and history work are discussed here.
  • talkorigins.org has many sections that deal with the so-called “myths” of Evolution. Do a search on your supposed myth here and find out what the science involved actually says.
  • Understanding Evolution is a resource for teachers.
Stephen Gould does a fair job discrediting himself. Why should I stop him?

Huh? Just because you don’t want to agree with him doesn’t mean he discredits himself.

I suspect that we will never agree on this issue. There are many people who are so convinced that the words of the Bible are literally true that they will deny any facts or evidence that contradicts that belief.

I don’t care if you believe that the Bible contains the inerrant literal words of God. I do care if you use that personal belief as a basis for making America weaker economically, politically, militarily, and educationally by destroying our scientific advancement in the hope of keeping out information that you don’t want to have to think about when you’re at church.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #141180

Lawnboy:

What do you think of Fred Phelps and his gang who have a website called “Godhatesfags.com”? Articles on the web are discussing their freedom of speech rights. They typically picket servicemen funerals claiming that their deaths in action are caused by America’s openness to homosexuality. You can read about the article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12071434/

Should they have freedom of speech or should they be silenced? How does their religious belief have anything to do with what they speak about?

You say you don’t want someones belief structure to make “America weaker economically, politically, militarily, and educationally “—do they do so by their comments? Just curious.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 17, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #141184

joe,

I actually posted an article about Phelps on Watchblog about a year ago. In the discussion, I said

If you read the whole article (it’s very long), it’s about more than just free speech with this guy. Of course he has every right to say what he wants, but Phelps seems to be guilty of much more, too: spouse abuse, child abuse, possibly tax fraud, driving someone to suicide, getting disbarred, frivolous lawsuits, etc.

Of course, you’re right that one of the most important ways this guy’s behaviour affects us all is in the nature of free speech. He has the right to interpret the Bible as he wishes and to preach as he wishes. However, he often crosses the line into harassment, and then the legal matters change.

I also noted

Today, Fred Phelps is known mostly for his homophobic rantings, which leads to interesting issues about free speech. However, I don’t think many people take his homophobic picketing seriously. His rhetoric is awful, but it’s so over-the-top I think it’s ineffective, possibly to the point of harmlessness. However, he has destroyed the lives of those unfortunate enough to be close to him.

I don’t think his rhetoric will lead to a degredation of our scientific and economic vitality; he’s just too extreme to have much of an effect.

Does that answer your question?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #141186

Joe:

You [Elliot] need to understand the distinction in the Bible between Mosaic law and post-Mosaic law. It will help you understand why the questions you posed (primarily from Leviticus) are not really all that salient any more.

Why do we “need” to understand that? I don’t really see this distinction being used by conservative christians unless it suits them. What section of the bible do you think the prohibition on homosexuality comes from?(Leviticus 20:13) Conveniently, they ignore the fact that eating shellfish is also “abomination” according to Leviticus.

Leviticus 11:10-11
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

The funny thing about fundamentalist christians is that they claim to believe in a literal and inerrant bible, but then turn around and pick and choose the parts they actually believe in. (Though I guess that’s hard not to do when you believe in the inerrancy of a book that blatantly contradicts itself.) They say we’re living in an age of biblical grace, so Mosaic law no longer applies, yet they want the 10 commandments enshrined in courthouses and they claim that gay marriage is still an abomination before God even though that was in the same codes of Mosaic law as the thing about the shellfish. If Mosaic law has passed away and been replaced by the grace of Christ, then ALL of it has passed away not just the parts you guys don’t like anymore. Only orders which were specifically reinstated by Christ would still stand now, and guess what? Christ never said anything about homosexuals. Funny that.

Posted by: Jarandhel at April 17, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #141206

Jarandhel:

In any discussion of any topic, it is important to understand the context of statements made. One needs not totally agree with the meaning of statements, but if they are unaware of the statement’s context, then they have a level of ignorance about it. This is why I urged Elliot to gain a better understanding of pre and post Mosaic covenants.

You are a lawyer. You know that context is essential. Assume for a moment that I said, “I’m gonna kill him” about someone. If the context is during a knife fight, then the statement becomes evidentiary. If the context is in dinner conversation where I might be kidding around, the statement takes on a wholly different meaning.

Elliot needs to understand the concept of pre and post Mosaic law in order to understand the context of Leviticus. Then he can judge for himself what the real meaning is.

I’d agree that many use the Bible capriciously to support their point of view. It’s why I generally don’t use quotations that are too specific—-because they are often out of context or not supported by the overriding context of the Bible. For instance, the Bible says that the sun rises, but we all know what is meant by that. Just as we wouldnt hold each other accountable for that kind of misstatement, neither should we condemn the Bible for that.

I tend to look to 1 Corinthians and to Romans in order to get a New Testament viewpoint on homosexuality that to me is far more salient than what the Old Testament has to offer. One needs to understand Mosaic and post Mosaic covenants to understand this.

Lastly, Christ said some of the things in the NT, but not all. There are many important things that others said, such as in Paul’s writings. Christ did not center any attention on homosexuality, but the NT pays some attention to it. In part due to that, thinking about homosexuality plays a pretty small factor in my life. Christ said that love is essential—and I’d agree with that. When we focus on that aspect, then we are better off. If we are in a situation that calls for some form of rebuke, we need to do so out of a loving attitude, not a hateful one, such as the Fred Phelps of the world have. I like what Lawn boy had to say on that subject.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 17, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #141228
You are a lawyer. You know that context is essential.

Thank you for the compliment in thinking so, but I am not a lawyer. I do data entry for a living at the moment, and am going to school for computer networking and security. Closest I’ve ever been to being a lawyer is mock trail way back in high school.

In any discussion of any topic, it is important to understand the context of statements made. One needs not totally agree with the meaning of statements, but if they are unaware of the statement’s context, then they have a level of ignorance about it. This is why I urged Elliot to gain a better understanding of pre and post Mosaic covenants.

Yes, but the context of our current discussion and modern politics links Elliot’s quotation to the issue of modern legislation based on biblical precepts, specifically the pre-mosaic prohibition on homosexuality being used to justify laws against gay marriage. Commenting that Elliot needs to gain a better understanding of pre and post Mosaic covenants ignores that he is merely responding to modern calls by your fellow Republicans to establish pre-mosaic biblical law regarding sexual conduct as the secular law here in America. Not to mention completely missing the further context that he’s simply quoting a humor piece by another author (anonymous, I think?) that’s been circulated in email and blogs about a billion times by now.

You know that context is essential. Assume for a moment that I said, “I’m gonna kill him” about someone. If the context is during a knife fight, then the statement becomes evidentiary. If the context is in dinner conversation where I might be kidding around, the statement takes on a wholly different meaning.

It may. Depends on whether the person turns up dead within a reasonable time after you made that statement at the dinner table. But broadly, yes… context is important. Our context for this discussion is that people are actively trying to base modern law on one section of pre-mosaic biblical law regarding sexual conduct, while ignoring the rest of the tenets of those laws. You say that Elliot needs to gain a greater understanding of pre and post mosaic covenants when he suggests other biblical laws that we no longer follow should be taken up again, but do not address the conservative position he is parodying which shows the same supposed misunderstanding. That is ignoring a full half of the present context.

Elliot needs to understand the concept of pre and post Mosaic law in order to understand the context of Leviticus. Then he can judge for himself what the real meaning is.

*shrugs* It’s pretty self-explanatory, I’d think, if he’s reading the bible. Predictably, Jesus was the one who put it best:

Matthew 15:
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2”Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’[b]
5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’
6he is not to ‘honor his father[c]’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8” ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’[d]”
10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.
11What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ ”

I’d agree that many use the Bible capriciously to support their point of view. It’s why I generally don’t use quotations that are too specific—-because they are often out of context or not supported by the overriding context of the Bible. For instance, the Bible says that the sun rises, but we all know what is meant by that. Just as we wouldnt hold each other accountable for that kind of misstatement, neither should we condemn the Bible for that.

Of course not. Still, there are more blatant contradictions. The authors of the bible were not in agreement on the father of Joseph, for instance:

MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

Or which came first, man or animals (and why):

GEN 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
GEN 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

GEN 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Or how many of each animal was on the ark:

GEN 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

GEN 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, GEN 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

Or concerning the sins of the father being passed to the children:

ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.

DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

Well, you get the idea. (And without even bringing up that the bat is not a bird, or that the rabbit does not chew the cud, or that the moon is a reflector and not actually a “great light”.) There’s a more exhaustive listing here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

I tend to look to 1 Corinthians and to Romans in order to get a New Testament viewpoint on homosexuality that to me is far more salient than what the Old Testament has to offer. One needs to understand Mosaic and post Mosaic covenants to understand this.

It seems strange to me to look to Paul, whom never knew Jesus when he was alive, for a New Testament viewpoint on homosexuality. Still, let me address Corinthians first…

The original Greek text describes the two behaviors as “malakoi” (some sources quote “malakee,”) and “arsenokoitai.” Although these is often translated by modern Bibles as “homosexual,” we can be fairly certain that this is not the meaning that Paul wanted to convey. If he had, he would have used the Greek word “paiderasste.” That was the standard term at the time for male homosexuals. We can conclude that he probably meant something different from persons who engaged in male-male adult sexual behavior. “Malakoi” is translated in both Matthew 11:8 and Luke 7:25 as “soft” (KJV) or as “fine” (NIV) in references to clothing. It could also mean “loose” or “pliable,” as in the phrase “loose morals,” implying “unethical behavior.” In the early Christian church, the words were interpreted by some as referring to persons who are pliable, easily influenced, without courage or stability. Non-Biblical writings of the era used the world to refer to lazy men, men who cannot handle hard work, and cowards. [John] Wesley’s Bible Notes defines “Malakoi” as those “Who live in an easy, indolent way; taking up no cross, enduring no hardship.” 6 One knowledgeable but anonymous reviewer of our web site said that the word translated here as “effeminate” really “means men not working or advancing ideas so as to concern themselves with love only. Not working for the good of the whole….Our present culture has all sorts of connotations associated with the word ‘effeminate’ that simply don’t apply” to Paul’s era. It would seem that the word “effeminate” can only be regarded as a mistranslation. “Arsenokoitai” is made up of two parts: “arsen” means “man”; “koitai” means “beds.” The Septuagint (an ancient, pre-Christian translation of the Old Testament into Greek) translated the Hebrew “quadesh” in I Kings 14:24, 15:12 and 22:46 as “arsenokoitai.” They were referring to “male temple prostitutes” - people who engaged in ritual sex in Pagan temples. 4 Some leaders in the early Christian church also thought that it meant temple prostitutes. Some authorities believe that it simply means male prostitutes with female customers - a practice which appears to have been a common practice in the Roman empire. One source refers to other writings which contained the word “arsenokoitai:” (Sibylline Oracles 2.70-77, Acts of John; Theophilus of Antioch Ad Autolycum). They suggest that the term refers “to some kind of economic exploitation by means of sex (but no necessarily homosexual sex).” 2 Probably “pimp” or “man living off of the avails of prostitution” would be the closest English translations. It is worth noting that “Much Greek homosexual erotic literature has survived, none of it contains the word aresenokoitai.” 5
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc1.htm

As for Romans, as I understand it Romans speaks of God cursing the Romans WITH homosexual desires, not FOR homosexual desires. (“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”) Which would directly imply that God causes people to be homosexual, which means it is out of their control and not a “behavior”, which would put it in the same realm as the other things determined for you by God like, say, gender and race. It is important to note, as well (keeping things in context of course) that the Law is also described as a curse. (Galations 3:13 - “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”)

Lastly, Christ said some of the things in the NT, but not all. There are many important things that others said, such as in Paul’s writings.

Granted. Of particular note from Paul is the concept of the whole Church as the “bride” of Christ (gee, wow, it hasn’t always meant one male and one female even in the bible! ;-)), and also the doctrine of nondivision between gentile or jew, servant or free, woman or man. Funny how he never seems to carry that last nondivision to its logical conclusion, though.


Christ did not center any attention on homosexuality, but the NT pays some attention to it. In part due to that, thinking about homosexuality plays a pretty small factor in my life. Christ said that love is essential—and I’d agree with that. When we focus on that aspect, then we are better off. If we are in a situation that calls for some form of rebuke, we need to do so out of a loving attitude, not a hateful one, such as the Fred Phelps of the world have. I like what Lawn boy had to say on that subject.

That’s all very great, but none of it really addresses the context we presently find ourselves in: where people are actively trying to legislate certain selective old-testament moral codes as the basis for modern laws regarding sexual behavior and marriage, while at the same time ignoring the moral codes they no longer wish to follow. Elliot’s comment, while by no means original, did address that context.

Posted by: Jarandhel at April 17, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #141243

Jarandhel:

blockquote>Thank you for the compliment in thinking so, but I am not a lawyer.

My apology for mistaking you with someone else, but…it was in no way a compliment….LOL

Point two: I am not a Republican—you must have jumped to that conclusion. And a more proper response from Elliot (assuming he understands pre-Mosaic law) to a comment from someone quoting Leviticus would be to show why Leviticus is not salient anymore, rather than to engage in an effort to show other areas where Leviticus should be held as the law. His argument, as it was, really becomes one of saying that we should follow ALL Levitical laws, which would mean we should prohibit homosexuality. That’s not what he intended to argue, I dont think.

That is ignoring a full half of the present context.

I’d agree with you on that, with the caveat that I was responding only to Elliot and not anyone else. I’d have been more correct had I suggested that BOTH sides should refrain from quoting Levitical laws.

I mentioned that Romans and Corinthians can be taken in creatively different ways. I don’t intend a full documentation of them, though I appreciated your research—-I’ve read some of those things as well. Its clear to me that homosexuality is not a “Christian” ideal, nor something that Christ would have accepted as a natural or good relationship. I think he would have treated it as he treated the woman about to be stoned. He told those around that “whoever has not sinned should cast the first stone”. The key concept though is often forgotten….that is where he tells the woman to go forth and sin no more. Its clear that he knows she has sinned, but he isnt condemning her for it, yet also not condoning her actions.

I’m no Biblical scholar, but I know what I believe, and generally why I believe it. That’s to say that I typically look for simple ways to determine my faith, rather than the detailed scientific ways. That might make me intellectually lazy or just dumb enough to not be able to go into all the detail, but I prefer to think that I have “faith like a child”.

Thanks for the discussions.

Posted by: joebagodontus at April 17, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #141248

JBOD,

I think that Elliot’s point was that there were some here that were being extremely dogmatic in their views, and his posting of the quotes from Levidicus was to make that point more salient.

He did ask the question, whether we should be folowing those precepts or not.

Posted by: Rocky at April 17, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #141259

We do not live in the black and white world that some evangelicals would have us live.

Any married man will tell you that there are lies, and there are lies.
If your wife asks you if the dress makes her look fat, you betcha isn’t the right answer.

Posted by: Rocky at April 17, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #141273
“I believe in God and there it rests.”

Posted by: ulysses at April 15, 2006 10:38 PM

I’m sorry, young man, but none of your fancy sophistry will sway my mind or alter the facts: it’s Turtles all the way down!

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 17, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #141334

Joebod,

Did you finally figure out the meaning of the word ‘is’? You ran around the tree much harder than Clinton did.

Jarandhel, thanks much, I’ve had some shots at joe and others, but…wow…what a treat!

Posted by: Marysdude at April 17, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #141338

Jarin,

Excellent post.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #141353

JBOD,

I’m no biblical scholar, but I don’t see why we should ignore the part of Leviticus that tells us that eating shellfish is an abomination, but listen to that part of Leviticus that tells us that homosexuality is also an abomination.

Posted by: ElliotBay at April 18, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #141396

Rocky:

If you’ve been married, then you know there is NO good answer to the question of “Does this make me look fat?” Any answer, no matter how verbally nimble, is a bad one, and can only be exacerbated by the length of time one hesitates before answering.

He (Elliot) did ask the question, whether we should be folowing those precepts or not.

I read back through Elliot’s posts, and did not see any such question. Perhaps I missed it.


Elliot:

I agree completely with your last post. We should treat both identically by listening to the Levitical laws or ignoring them equally. We should not take one to heart and not another.

The key point I was making to you was the “WHY” issue. Because there are two covenants—one which supercedes the first—we are not bound to the first anymore. So we would probably agree to ignore those laws.

Many people think that there are concepts in Leviticus that should be followed, but that the specific laws are obsolete. Others say there are different kinds of laws exhibited in Leviticus, such as spiritual laws versus sacrificial laws etc.

I will maintain that its important to understand the concept of Mosaic and post Mosaic law. I don’t know if you know much about that. If not, then you are discussing a topic while missing a vital aspect that is central to the topic.

Marysdude:

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to elaborate in a manner that made sense to you. I don’t think I was evasive at all—but the topic is one that requires a lot of detail, and this format isn’t the best one for that. I haven’t seen your views on the topic—maybe you’d care to take a shot at explaining your views. That would certainly require much more thought and effort than watching and providing idle comments periodically.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at April 18, 2006 8:45 AM
Comment #141417

Joe,

“If you’ve been married, then you know there is NO good answer to the question of “Does this make me look fat?” Any answer, no matter how verbally nimble, is a bad one, and can only be exacerbated by the length of time one hesitates before answering.”

Having been married 25 years, I learned that lesson a long time ago.

Posted by: Rocky at April 18, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #141745

Nothing from Marysdude….how unsurprising.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at April 19, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #141751

joe,

Don’t be too hard on Marysdude. I’m still waiting for responses from Baptist Preacher and tomh.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 19, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #141821

Xander,

We are both new writers on Watchblog. You have nice succinct little article here - of coarse I disagree with it. The line that raised my hackles most was:

they are still calling out for a party that cares about God and the role that religious doctrine plays in guiding our country’s moral character.

You see, you seem to me to not just be saying that people use their own religious views (Buddhist Christian or otherwise) to guide their political choices - of course and all things being equal - that probably does benefit the Repubs slightly - but the part about religious doctrine - doctrine - I think you mean specifically Christian doctrine - “in guiding our country” - that smacks of theocracy to me - it may still benefit the Repubs - but it is just plain wrong - as far as I am concerned. By the way we Dems got plenty of moral values and we know what they are. And by the way, the party of Delay and Abramoff should not go around thinking that they are holier than anyone. The fruit does not fall far from the tree. Republican fruit stinks.

Posted by: Ray Guest at April 19, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #141887

Lawnboy:

I guess we can both be hard on those who don’t respond. In truth, Preacher did respond quite a bit with his ideas, and I think tomh may have as well, while Marysdude simply popped in briefly to spout off. No thought required in that.

I appreciate thoughtful responses, even if I disagree with them. I learned long ago that its easy to complain against something when you don’t have to come up with a solution. Complaints without solutions are the equivalent of a spoiled young child whining—-its just noise with no productive value.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at April 20, 2006 7:51 AM
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