Sketches on Atheism

A Better Bible, and a Better Jesus: a Republican Jesus®

m4jesus1Being a True Christian™ is not easy. The captains of Judaism have abandoned them by publically conceding the fountainhead of Christianity – the Pentateuch – is simple mythology, nothing in the geographic, biological or cosmological domains support their wild supernatural claims, and the New Testament is such a mess of anonymous nonsense that just defending its outrageous absurdities and fabulous contradictions has become a career unto itself. Now imagine the scale of the problem staring the True Christian™ in the face when you also love loathe Jesus and positively adore hate the Bible? This, self-evidently, is no ordinary dilemma, yet the headache is as simple to explain as it is ghastly: Jesus was a smoking Liberal. We’re told he raged against the monied elite and their distorted market practices, was an advocate for universal healthcare, albeit of the supernatural kind, espoused kindness and charity to the poor, and, although not necessarily a progressive quality, promoted pacifism through forgiveness. Nice stuff, unless you’re a True Christian™ like Conservapedia founder Andy-most of Jesus’ parables were free market parables-Schlafly. Schlafly, a homeschooled lawyer, anti-vaccine campaigner and Tea Party recruiter, and his merry Young Earth Creationist cohorts at The Trustworthy Encyclopaedia detest this Jesus because he’s not, apparently, the real Jesus. The real Jesus, the Republican Jesus®, was a dyed in the wool, Ayn-greed is a virtue-Rand Conservative; the begotten son of God who sojourned to earth to champion Dick Cheney-style opportunism with a pouch filled with Libertarian Magic Dust.

Imagem5Now, the contradiction between the True Christian™ Republican Jesus® and the Jesus of the gospels is, evidently, rather pronounced, but in Schlafly’s well-oiled mind this is wholly due to the fact that Liberals and feminists have corrupted the bible, layering their socially conscious, rainbow encrusted deceit like the convoluted strata of a puff pastry apple Danish; reshaping the real Republican Jesus® into some limp-wristed,  sandal wearing androgynous hippy, while distorting his true Conservative message of the pursuit of rational self-interest in an unregulated free market. To demonstrate this Schlafly points to Luke 16:8 where the “master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.” Shrewd, according to Schlafly, evokes abhorrent notions of corruption and double-dealing which are not, he says, “admirable traits.” Rightly so, and that’s the problem. The master wasn’t commending the manager for his underhandedness, rather his market creativity; his resourcefulness.  “Resourceful” is a good Conservative word, and with it in place the parable takes on an entirely new meaning. None, however, of the current editions of the Liberally-skewedfeminist bibles” contain such a powerful Conservative word, and so to counter this deplorable farce Conservapedia started the Conservative Bible Project; an on-going process to simply rewrite the 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 788,280 words both the OT and NT with a Conservative-only lexicon and phrases like “God-fearing” instead of “meek,” and a better Jesus, a Republican Jesus® who doesn’t greet his disciples with the far too feminist, “Peace be with you,” but rather the more Bald Eagle, NRA-Republicanism of, “Peace of mind be with you.” The word “peace,” in fact, is an abomination and Republican Jesus® would never have used it, ever, so Schlafly has removed every entry and replaced it with “tranquility.” And as for the one of the most famous gospel memes, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone” (John 7:53-8:11)? That’s just far too liberal for Conservapedia’s edition. It hasn’t been re-written. It’s been removed.

The stated guidelines for the translation include cementing a framework against Liberal, evolutionary and pro-abortion bias, avoiding “gender inclusive” language and other “feminist distortions,” accepting the logic of Hell and Beelzebub, expressing Free Market parables, and, importantly, using robust new conservative terms like “register” rather than “enrol,” and “volunteer” instead of “comrade” which apparently features in what Schlafly describes as “defective translations,” such as the KJV. “Conservative terms, expressing conservative insights,” says Schlafly, “originate at a faster rate, and with much higher quality, than liberal terms.” To back this up, Schlafly insists “Powerful new conservative terms [grow] at a geometric rate, roughly doubling every century. For each new conservative term originating in the 1600s, there are two new terms originating in the 1700s, four new terms in the 1800s, and eight new terms in the 1900s, for a pattern of 1-2-4-8. This demonstrates that the future is increasingly conservative… Conservative triumph over liberalism is thus inevitable.”

Story+Image_sized_consrvtvebibleNow Republican Jesus® was also certainly no environmentalist, so, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but to save it” (John 3, 17), Conservapedia has traded “world” for “mankind,” so it’s abundantly clear the True Christian™ savior was not in any way advocating for the good stewardship of the planet. “Fully fed and entertained” reads so much better than “rich” – the fabled job creators – so Matthew 19:24 has been reshaped to read, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich fully fed and entertained man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” According to Conservapedia, the word, ‘hypocrite,’ is also far too closely associated with Christians and Conservatives, so Jesus no-longer berates the hypocrites in Matthew 7:5, rather the ‘deceivers;’ a word Schlafly insists is a synonym for Liberals. Following suit, the phrase, “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Proverbs 11:25) is about as ugly a translation ever. “Liberal” is changed to “generous,” as only homeschooled True Christian™ Republicans know the meaning of altruism. On that note, the word “homeschooled” is inserted to describe the method of how Jesus taught his younger disciples. “Media” (excluding Fox News, of course), replaces “false idols,” “Lord of Hosts” is flipped for “Lord of Armies,” “Children of Israel” becomes “Sons of Israel” (because women don’t have rights in the True Christians™ mind), and “Thou shall not kill” is transfigured to read, “Thou shall not murder,” as the death penalty and hunting should never be considered “murder.”

Now, in case you missed it, here it is again: Evangelicals like Schlafly have admitted Christianity is so vaporous, so non-descript, so vague and patently false that anyone can simply write a new version of it. The Inerrant Word of God is unquestionably flawless… until the moment you see a sentence you don’t like, in which case, someone surely got it wrong, or worse, deliberately altered the original just to mess with your head! Now it takes some truly Athenian mental gymnastics to pull something like this off, and even Schlafly says the “The Bible is a collection of the most logical books and letters ever written”… Just not the kind of logic he, and other True Christians™, are fond of.

Advertisements

332 thoughts on “A Better Bible, and a Better Jesus: a Republican Jesus®

    • I went and checked out the article.

      When people talk about “Conservatives” vs. “Liberals”, I know I am going to listen to propaganda just as when Atheists speak about “Christians” as if they are homogenous or when Christians speak of “Atheists” as if they are homogenous.

      There are such variety of conservatives and liberals that general labels just show that the speaker is aligned with politics as usual — either the controlling elite (in both parties) or the naive sheep who eat the fodder of rhetoric.

      Like

      • That’s not entirely true. Conservatism is an ideology that aims, as its name implies, to preserve traditions/customs as a matter of fact- and despite evidence whatever practices may be wrong. That makes it an inherently flawed method of thinking.

        The left/right terminology was born in the French national assembly with those sitting to the right defending the ‘conservation’ of the monarchy and those to the left pushing for the creation of a republic.

        As for speaking of Christians in broad terms, it’s not wholly inaccurate. Invariably, a Christian has suspended disbelief and put logic aside to embrace a system for which there is no reasonable evidence. So in the end the minutia of Catholic vs. Protestant vs. Christian Scientist doesn’t make that significant of a difference- except to those who claim to be the subscribers to the One True Religion®

        Like

      • The current trend in the US of defining “Conservative” further and further to the right is not healthy. It seeks to purposely fire emotions and divide, which is never a good thing in public office where compromise is the key to success. Just look at how many republicans are biblical creationist. These people are dangerously stupid, and that is ruinous to the political process, welcoming Grade A Idiots like these, the Republican members of the Congressional “Science” Committee.

        Todd Akin (R-MZ): “Pregnancy from rape is really rare. If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

        Ralph Hall (R-TX): “We have some real challenges; we have the global warming or global freezing and then we have the space, the NASA program, that’s enough for any one committee.”

        Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI): “I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climate cycles than anything that human beings do.”

        Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): “Is there some thought being given to the clearing of rainforests so some countries can eliminate that source of greenhouse gases?”

        Paul Broun (R-GA): “Scientists all over the world say that the idea of human induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated by the scientific community. It is a hoax. There is no scientific consensus.”

        Sandy Adams (R-FL): “I am encouraging us to reduce funding for climate change research, which undercuts one of NASA’s primary and most important objectives of human spaceflight.”

        Mo Brooks (R-AL): “We have higher levels of carbon dioxide. That means that plant life grows better. Does that mean I want more of it? I don’t know about the adverse effects of carbon dioxide on human beings.”

        Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), again: “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell… And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

        Like

      • Well, if not ENTIRELY true, then I will walk away still convince that the essence or main import of my comment is indeed true and though I could address your desire to somehow homogenize Christians or Conservatives, I won’t because I don’t think the conversation will be productive. Perhaps you understood what I wrote that was partially true — so I will leave it at that.

        Like

      • @John Zande,
        I agree. And liberals who typify conservatives do a disservice to improving real communications. See the last paragraph or so in my last post which links to Haidt’s article that mentions a political group trying to bridge this label stupidity.

        Like

      • I read that… But there is only so much stupidity which can be tolerated before all hope of rational dialogue flies out the window. (I just updated my comment to give a few more examples)

        Like

      • John, I don’t understand your point in relationship to mine.
        What is your conclusion?
        What do you think I am saying that you disagree with?
        I get that a bunch of idiots upset you, but what does that have to do with the foibles of generalizations?

        Like

      • I’m saying the “generalisation” has become a tangible, demonstrably accurate definition of the modern Republican. It is, therefore, no-longer a snide political comment, a passing jab at the extremes designed to paint the group as a whole (which is wrong and unhelpful in most cases, i agree), rather a working case-study in what is real.

        Like

      • Wow, that seemed tangled.

        So if I try to untangle it, I hear you saying:

        Sure, generalizing is wrong and unhelpful in most cases. But, damn it, I am pissed off, so labeling all Republicans with my favorite gross generalization is justified and will be helpful in stirring the “working man” — to heck with accuracy and constructive dialogue.

        PS – are you British and thus the spelling?

        Like

      • I was being polite: As you didn’t get it, I’ll re-phrase: You’re incorrect. What is not homogeneous about ideologies that want to conserve traditions for no reason other than conserving traditions and use mythology as a reasonable parameter of ethics?
        This is what Christians and Conservatives have in common. I often see people trying to make this faux-distinction, “Oh, but that was the Catholics”- sorry to inform you all that Catholicism and Christianity overlap. For most of history they were one and the same. It was much over a thousand years in, that break away groups started becoming prominent. Coca-Cola is the original Cola. Others have been created since then, but they’re all based on ever so slightly different variations of the SAME basic formula of caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, coca extract, lime extract, vanilla etc…

        Like

      • 42% of Americans identify as independents, compared with 31% as Democrats and 25% as Republicans. Whereas in 2005 it was 29% were independents.

        34% approved of congressional Democrats while 25% approved of congressional Republicans. Support for both US parties is at a 22 year low.

        22% of Republicans say the GOPs view have gone beyond mainstream and thus much exodus — as you hint.

        Basically, people don’t approve of politicians or party politics. Moving away from both ideologies is important. Flag waving right or left is faulty thinking. So when I hear people being categorical about one party without describing the idiocies of their own favorite political bend, make me discount their rhetoric.

        (OK, guys, thread too long and too layered — I think we understand each other’s opinions and not much more to gain. I’ll be unsubscribing.)

        Like

      • Well said. The fact is that reason takes a back seat when anyone launches into a dogmatic monologue. In the U.S. for example, politicians of both parties have been corrupted by lobbyists and money-driven campaigns, along with the concept of politics as a career choice. My take on it is that extremism can never be allowed to rule, since it is never an ideology shared by the majority of people.

        Like

      • I think the reason we have the noisy, stupid reactionaries in the U.S. House of Representatives is that the Republican Party has gotten very good at redistricting, drawing boundaries so that congressional elections turn their way. This has exaggerated the perception of political polarity in the country at the same time it has allowed ultra-conservatives (including Tea Party) a bigger voice than they deserve. They must appeal to their local electorate to an unhealthy degree, because the biggest threat to their staying in office comes from other Republicans, not Democrats. The electorate has just not significantly changed in terms of political disposition; it is perception and district boundaries that have changed. The doofuses you quoted John hold little real power, at least not now. But they have contributed to a sort of stasis, where nothing much gets done in Washington. And it’s an extremely dangerous road we’re traveling down I agree. Redistricting combined with the need to appeal to extremists among the electorate for the money to run successful primary campaigns is making life difficult for the moderate and reasonable majority in the U.S. Similar things seem to have happened recently in Canada and Australia, by the way, though I don’t know enough about their legislatures to be sure how similar.

        Like

      • I agree with you about how the extremists are rising to assume the bullhorn. That list, though: they’re all member of the House Science Committee! It’s astonishing anyone let them get near the door, let alone a seat at the bench.

        Like

  1. I loved that you gave “True Christian” a trademark [TM] in the beginning of this post and then noticed that by the third paragraph it became registered [circle R]. What happened? Did they apply to the USPTO for higher status. I was waiting for the copyright [circle C] to appear. 🙂

    I had to look up the meaning of those terms — my law knowledge is minimal.

    Someday I shall have to research how the different political parties in India quote & translate the Mahabharata and the Ramayana to their advantage. In the USA, we can see parties quoting the constitution [our national holy document] to their advantages too.

    Like

  2. Even from a secular viewpoint the Bible is one of the Great Books like the Iliad or War and Peace.

    The atheist rejection of mankind’s great stories found in the Bible is really a rejection of civilization.

    That’s why atheists are responsible for the greatest mass murders and societal collapses in human history.

    Atheism, unlike Christianity, does nothing to attenuate the baser nature of man and thereby dooms man to the subjugation of pure evil.

    If the evil part of man’s nature is tamed by the telling of wisdom-laden stories, then a reasonable person can only conclude that great books like the Bible are a blessing…

    …and that atheism is a curse.

    Like

    • “Even from a secular viewpoint the Bible is one of the Great Books like the Iliad or War and Peace.”

      You could say that, sure, if there were nearly twenty different versions of Achilles and Hector exhibiting completely different personality traits, doing completely different thing, at entirely different times depending on which version you read 🙂

      Like

    • How the fudge does your poetry have any relevance to this post?
      PS: I accept the stories of civilization’s classics like the Bible and the Illiad, which is why I am a big fan of genocides and sacrificing to fish-people.

      Like

    • SOM said “atheists are responsible for the greatest mass murders and societal collapses in human history.”
      That’s a pretty substantial claim. I’d be interested in where you got that information, Getting accurate information on the record would settle much controversy and you’d be doing christianity a great service in educating us. I don’t recall atheists ever being a global majority at any point in recorded history. It would be a pretty neat trick to dominate the world in such a way. Of course there’s a problem with biblical accounts, god destroyed the *earth’s population* during the great flood. If you’re into maths that figure would dwarf any “atheist pogroms”. I’m sure you have a logical explanation.

      Like

    • Hey, Siliness of Mind, long time no see! Do you REALLY believe the “wisdom-laden stories” of the Bible tames the “evil part of man’s nature”? So I guess you could say the same about Grimms Fairy Tales or Aeosop’s Fables.

      The atheist rejection of the fictional Bible stories is responsible for history’s greatest mass murders? That’s quite a leap, isn’t it, Sil?

      Personally, I’ve always felt that unconfirmed belief was a curse.

      Like

    • Rather, sir, the monotheistic religions like Christianity are responsible for gross terrorism both in the manner they spread and the manner they use to continue their monopoly and control of any poor humans subject to them. Atheism is a relatively new philosophy and most of it that I have seen so far is a reaction to monotheism and it’s “our way or the torture chambers” mentality. Needless to say, the world has witnessed some very brutal and evangelical atheisms in the last century; we do tend to mimic the world we grow up in.

      As for this wisdom laden source, it does rank with many dictionaries and a few telephone books, but because of it’s heavy hate message, probably should only be read with caveats in place. Definitely not suitable for children.

      That’s OK, as my bumpersticker used to say (poor quality glue perhaps?) “If your god is dead, try one of mine.”

      Like

      • Among the ancients, as you’ve intimated Mariah, atheism was virtually unknown, except among a few of the more avant guarde philosophers – the man in the street believed in all kinds of gods and spirits and hobgoblins, even the average Jew paid homage to a number of Canaanite deities, just to cover his bases (women of the day simply believed what they were told to believe, sad to say), It wasn’t until the Age of Reason began, when explanations for natural events were given a scientific basis, that atheism began to find a foothold.

        Like

    • Really?? Because your book doesn’t say anything about rape being bad…that’s an enormously serious and horrendous crime. In fact, I do believe your book totally condones it and blames the woman for it, not the horrible disgusting actions of the predators–which makes it all the more disappointing that there isn’t a hell that they can go burn in.

      Like

      • It also has mothers cooking and eating their children, women having their hands cut off for touching a man’s penis, and a god with the emotional stability of a 4 year old on crack. Beautiful shit, man, for a perfect and divinely inspired book, I mean.

        Like

      • I’ve responded to a lot of posts by theists who, once I’ve provided evidence that much of the Bible simply isn’t true, have responded with, “So what? Even if it isn’t true, but it provides a lot of comfort and does no harm, what’s so wrong?”

        TELL me that having nine children, to whom a parent can’t POSSIBLY give the individual attention each one needs, simply because their religion tells them that birth control is wrong, is not doing harm!

        Like

      • It does great harm to my frontal lobes. Particularly to my hippocampus. Religion and the ignorant, yet argumentative numb skulls it attracts to defend it, have often made my hippocampus crawl out of my left ear and attempt suicide through flushing in my toilet. Next time that happens, I think I’ll let it go. Poor thing. Bobbie really hurt him.

        Like

      • Let’s take a look at how the Bible’s god views his own handiwork – this is the same god who so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life, which they could have had anyway, if Adam had just thought to nick a bite of fruit from the Tree of Life, when he had the chance.

        These are the people that the Bible’s god refuses to allow to approach the altar of the Temple, to make sacrifice to him (Leviticus 21:17-21), in the Big Boy’s own words:

        17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
        18 For whatsoever man he be who hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man,or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or anything superfulous.
        19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
        20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
        21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

        No dwarfs need apply, but he loves you —

        Like

      • Yeah, well, he could have changed the hearts of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, too, but he loved them so much, he decided he’d rather blow them up.

        Like

      • That’s the trouble nowadays, you just don’t see that kinda love and devotion from an all perfect, all loving, all knowing, supreme being for his creations anymore. “I’m only blowing you up to kingdom come because I love you!”

        Like

      • Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that he didn’t magically change their inclinations because he wanted them to have free will, then why blow them up, why not allow them to continue being “wicked,” knowing full well he’d be shortly sending them to hell anyway?

        OK, I know this one: “the Lord works in mysterious ways!

        Like

      • Well, there’s always that brilliant response. But then there’s mine that I fire back. It goes a little like this. The fact I’m having a conversation like this with you, another adult, one I’m assuming would not buy the Golden Gate Bridge from me should I tell him I’m selling it, over what amounts to be no more than a poorly written, often very boring, fantasy story about a hate-filled, nasty ass, blatantly dumb, childish, non-existent god, is evidence that A.) you’re fucking with me and lying about the fact you think this “god” is actually real, or 2.) you are about to die because, clearly, only about 1% of your brain is functioning.

        Like

      • Yeah, there’s that feeling you get when hard knuckles sink into soft flesh, that you just can’t get anywhere else —

        Like

      • And they so much deserve it. There comes a time when flaunting your ignorance around like a fucking medal warrants that you be stopped in such a way that you fear to do it again. Bam! Right in the mouth!

        Like

  3. “The Inerrant Word of God is unquestionably flawless… until the moment you see a sentence you don’t like, in which case, someone surely got it wrong, or worse, deliberately altered the original just to mess with your head!”

    Kind of takes the punch out of the belief that the bible is the “divinely inspired word of God”, no? Unless of course Schlafly can walk on water and raise people from the dead.

    Is this the son of Phyllis Schlafly who led the conservative crusade during 1980s?

    Like

    • That’s him!

      I found it amusing to read that he was on the editorial board of the Harvard Law Review when Obama was the Editor-in-Chief. Can you just imagine how this right wing nut must have been taking his order from a black man! 🙂

      Like

  4. At best, he is showing a shocking amount of willful self-delusion. At worst, he is knowingly full of shit and has decided it doesn’t matter because *money*. The Wolf of Wall Street meets the power of theology.

    It makes me think of Scientology and the future of religion. Looking at its history, it seems impossible that so many could be taken in by Scientology. Yet, they continue to grow and I’m sure in a generation or two it won’t be considered strange. The Seventh Day Adventists had wacky beginnings, but are now largely accepted as one of the pack.

    I’ve thought it reasonable to assume that, given our interconnectedness and global awareness, the religions of our day would last longer but be among the last. I’m beginning to wonder just how many rewrites and revisions we will get before they don’t resemble themselves at all.

    And in the mean time how many entrepreneurs will take it upon themselves to start up new ones? The “True Believer” varieties never seem to have as much clout as the capitalist ones.

    Like

    • The higher the education levels in a country, the lesser the effects of religious mythology. So in a country like Spain where the majority of the population is Catholic by tradition, the use of birth control is widespread, gay marriage is legal and the general effects of religion are only felt by the pressure exerted by fundamentalist movements- which is tolerable since every time they get into government and push hard, Newton’s laws guarantee a push back. The best we can do is aim for Scandinavian levels of education and everything else takes care of itself.

      Like

      • Too true. If only we could agree on what education means. So much of the world seems to be in a limbo state that could go either way, indoctrination or fact-based education. Still, I think that time will bend the world toward secularism.

        Like

    • “just how many rewrites and revisions we will get before they don’t resemble themselves at all.”

      I’m pretty sure every 1st, 2nd and 3rd Century Christian wouldn’t even recognise the church and the character Jesus from the 4th Century onward.

      I actually don’t mind all the crazy subdivision, and i think True Christians do Secular Humanism a great service. They’re actions dilute the overall product, and the more wacky they perform the harder it’ll be to sell the product to coming generations. If accurate church attendance numbers were ever released (which they won’t ever be) then we’d truly see how fast Christianity is collapsing.

      Like

      • Yes, I’d thought about those historical Christians. How foreign it would all seem.

        The divisiveness certainly works in our favor. Now if only more people would carry on through doubt to critical thinking, we might just get somewhere.

        Like

      • Dear John, by the end of the Second Century CE, much of what we see in Christian churches today was already in place, particularly the hard party line mentality. It is probably because of this, linked to the spread of Christianity among the poor in Rome’s Empire, that Constantine decided to latch onto it to put himself on the throne. He never made Christianity the official Roman religion, that took almost a century more, but he did heavily influence those parts he wanted in their dogma and scriptures.

        So, to answer your comment that early Christians wouldn’t even recognize the church and the character of Jesus, actually they probably would, and even applaud many of them. We do have to keep in mind that most Roman era Christianity pushed the idea of “One God, One Empire, One Bishop”; our pluralistic versions of Christianity would be horrifying to them. Certainly the idea of the Church being founded on the “Bible” (which didn’t exist during most of that time) would have been laughable, most of the Christianity was Apostolic.

        Like

      • Good points. Do you really think it was that well established by the end of the 2nd, though? Many of the apocryphal books still hadn’t been written, and there was no Cannon until another 150 years. I’m by no means an expert on the early church, not even a mildly well-educated novice on the subject, but my understanding is that until the late 4th century the “church” (used loosely) was a fragmented mess of competing cults.

        Like

      • Actually, this has caught me cold, without names to back up my claim (which I DO have, but not at my fingertips), but as late as 325, when Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicea, there was a strong counter-group that opposed the concept of a three, three, three-gods-in-one, but they lost the vote by a narrow margin.

        Like

  5. Hey John,

    I agree that the Conservative Bible is wrong and corrupts the original text. I didn’t know this effort was out there. (Shaking my head . . . )

    As usual, as I was reading through your comments, I saw your references to either conservatives, or Christians, as being stupid or racist. Thanks for that. 🙂

    I also would like to say that I’ve been trying to come to grips with the history of conservatism, so this is an interesting post for me. As I see it, conservatism is the attempt to conserve, rather than to change, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Federalist Papers. It’s an attempt to keep the thoughts and intentions of the Founders pure.

    Because Christians are concerned about abortion (which has been a unifying concern since the 70’s) they’ve found a place in the Republican party, which allowed the issue to be added to their platform.

    As a result, a hybrid was formed between evangelicalism/Catholicism and Republicanism.

    I know the Republican party was formed as an antislavery party in the 1800’s. What I’m wondering is whether the party picked up some values and beliefs of the social Darwinists around the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.

    Some of those values might be represented by the big business, survival of the fittest ideology. I haven’t made the connections yet, but it’s been something I’ve turned around in my mind for a few years now.

    I don’t agree that conservatives are brainwashed into submitting to an aristocracy. The conservatives I know want to start businesses so they won’t have to submit to an aristocracy. They just hate having to pay so many taxes to the government. I have been a small business owner for the last couple of decades, and I will tell you, the most difficult aspect of business ownership is meeting all the tax obligations. File this, pay this, meet this deadline, pay these penalties/fees/interest–this is like being under the control of a cruel aristocracy. It makes a person want to give up.

    Christians have made some concessions in order to be involved in the political process. I just wish they would remain “Christians” rather than become “Republicans.” And the Bible you revealed to me in this post just shows me how far they’ve gone astray.

    Like

    • Hi Diana, hope you have a great time with your kin.

      I’m tremendously relieved to hear you’re opposed to the Conservative Bible Project, but I’ll stand by my statement regarding the modern Conservative movement for one simple reason: I don’t see a single Republican standing up for rationality and denouncing the anti-science, creationist lunatics. Do you know of any? If so, please link to their statements, and I’ll certainly read.

      When you have someone like Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) saying what he does below, you would naturally expect someone to call him out on it, but all we have awkward silence:

      “You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.” (5th Oct, 2012).

      Now, don’t get me wrong: I like the US, I’ve been there many times and have only encountered great people, so I don’t like seeing the political poison that has ruined your Congress. For a democracy to work both parties need to be sane, they need to be rational, and I have to say, presently only one side meets that criteria.

      Like

      • I’m a creationist. So were most of the greatest scientists in history. I believe the Bible. I don’t think that makes me insane or irrational.

        If your reasoning is correct, that would make Isaac Newton crazy, or Louis Pasteur irrational. It would make Thomas Jefferson a lunatic for penning these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED equal.”

        It would make Frederick Douglass stupid for holding the country accountable for Jefferson’s words. It would make Martin Luther King, Jr. irrational for quoting Jefferson in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

        What makes atheists believe they are the hold the corner on intelligence?

        Like

      • So, you not presenting me a single Republican calling the science-deniers and biblical literalists among them out seems to confirm my position that there are no leading Conservatives today championing rationality. If there were, surely you’d be able to name at least one. Correct?

        Like

      • Back to your inquistorial attempts to get me to name something on the spot, eh?

        My point is that intelligent people have believed in creationism–in fact some of the most intelligent people in history were creationists.

        Why the derogatory, mocking, attitude towards people who believe? Believing in God isn’t a result of a lack of intelligence. In fact, it may even be a SIGN of intelligence, if history is any guide. (i.e. Newton, Bacon, Pasteur, Lister, Boyle, et. al. . .)

        Like

      • Yes, Diana, I’ve seen your antiquated list many times before. Newton was a theist, as was pretty much everyone in academia of the day, as most institutions were philosophy and rhetoric learning centers run by the church. From Wiki

        “He [Newton] was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669 on Barrow’s recommendation. In that day, any fellow of Cambridge or Oxford was required to become an ordained Anglican priest.”

        Now, if you could actually identify how Christian doctrine physically guided Newton’s discoveries (that without them he would have been incapable of discovering anything) then you might have a point to make.

        While we’re at it, perhaps you could explain why 93% of the members of the National Academy of Science today are atheist? Further still, explain why 98% of the academy’s biologists are atheist? I don’t know the exact number of cosmologists who’re atheist, but I’d hazard to guess close to 100%… any explanation for this?

        Now, I thought we were talking about evangelical Conservatives today in the States. As it stands, as far as i’m aware (and i might be wrong) there does not exist a single Republican leader who is willing to stand up to the anti-science rhetoric coming out from republican members of Congress. This tells me the entire party is rotten. If this were not the case then surely you would be able to identify someone who is on the record for defending rationality.

        Like

      • But Diana, notice how your list almost exclusively relies on people who lived before Darwin. There were certainly atheists before evolution was an accepted theory, but not as many as there are today, because it was hard to explain our existence scientifically. But this does not mean that all those great thinkers were even Christians. Many, including Thomas Jefferson, were deists.

        Are you a young earth, or old earth creationist?

        Like

      • I meant to add, it’s likely that several in your list would not be Christians if they were living today, given the discoveries we’ve made since their time.

        Like

      • Nate,

        In response to your thought that these scientists lived before Darwinism, therefore they had no other way to consider origins, I would like to mention the stronghold that Aristotelian philosophy (science) had on the intelligentsia before Darwin came on the scene.

        It was the Aristotelian geocentric view of the solar system that Galileo was battling against in his showdown with the Catholic Church. The Catholics had blended Greek philosophy in with Christianity and they considered people who opposed their hybrid blend of Christianity to be heretics. Galileo had a different view from Aristotle and they called him before the Inquisition.

        Francis Bacon was battling against the Aristotelian stronghold when he developed the scientific method.

        Louis Pasteur was trying to prove that Aristotelian “spontaneous generation” wasn’t true when he came across the process of pasteurization.

        Joseph Lister would also disprove Aristotle’s “spontaneous generation” by stopping infection through the use of antiseptic surgery and bandages.

        Robert Boyle, the father of modern chemistry, was an opponent of Aristotle also. Here is a quote from him about his dispute with the Greek philosophers:

        “I ignore not that not only Leucippus, Epicurus, and other atomists of old, but of late some persons, for the most part admirers of Aristotle’s writings, have pretended to be able to explicate the first beginnings of things, and the world’s phenomena, without taking in or acknowledging any divine Author of it.”

        Aristotelianism claimed to have an explanation for origins outside of what God has revealed in his Word, and all of these scientists, who were the forerunners in their fields, made many of their greatest discoveries in an attempt to disprove Aristotle. In particular, they were most intent on disproving “spontaneous generation.” This term, by the way, is pretty much a description of Darwin’s explanation for origins.

        I’m sorry this is so long, but I just wanted you to understand that most of the greatest scientific blessings to humanity have come through those who believed in a Creator.

        Like

      • Diana, not one of those scientists accomplished anything of scientific merit using any specific creationist doctrine or data. I challenge any creationist to name anything Newton, Galileo or the others did that depends on uniquely scriptural doctrine.

        What industry or productive enterprise (excluding religious theme parks) employ any specifically creationist doctrine in any technical aspect of their work?

        What have the creationists accomplished with their “theory”? It hasn’t produced any results, and it never will.

        Like

      • My only real point was that knowledge is cumulative. Many great minds have lived throughout human history, and many of them were wrong about a great many things simply because of the times they lived in. I’m sure there were genius level intellects living long before recorded history, but they still may have thought that thunder and lightning were caused by the gods because they hadn’t yet learned what truly causes them. Germ theory is now understood by many people of average intelligence, but it wasn’t understood by great minds who lived long ago, simply due to their place in history.

        So yes, there are many brilliant people who have believed in God. But it’s also true that the majority of brilliant (and well educated) minds living today do not believe in God, and that trend is likely to continue. And it’s a reasonable bet that just as Newton would not believe alchemy was possible were he living today, he would also probably not be a theist. He might be — it’s always possible. But it’s much less likely now.

        However, what I’m more interested in is your brand of creationism. Are you a young earth creationist, or an old earth creationist?

        Like

      • Actually, I DID read your post, Diana, which didn’t differ greatly from what we’ve seen here. Interestingly, of all of the scientists you listed: Redi, Leeuwenhoek, Pasteur, Lister – the youngest of those is a hundred years old. Scientists opinions have – dare I say it – evolved a bit since then.

        Like

    • “Some of those values might be represented by the big business, survival of the fittest ideology. I haven’t made the connections yet, “

      Actually Diana it was big business during the Gilded Age that took Herbert Spencer’s phrase, “survival of the fittest” and used it to justify the massive wealth of Robber Barons, like JP Morgan, Carnegie and Rockefeller while many lived in utter poverty. Spencer was a latent contemporary of Charles Darwin.

      Spencer tried to make a connection between Darwin’s natural selection model and the income disparity that existed during the late 19th century. It was flawed in the sense that adaptation in unnatural conditions is unlikely because man, not natural conditions, would exploit the environment for personal gain. He would be a regular however on many FOX cable news programs today to justify this century’s enormous income disparity.

      Like

      • “Were the “robber barrons” Republicans, I wonder?”

        There in lies a conundrum. The wealthy are both Republican and Democrat. They are not for any Party. They are for themselves and will back the Party that appears to have an upper hand. As I stated recently in one of my post, the people atop the income pyramid “are neither conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican. They are plutocrats and they want you to ignore the fact that their actions do not reflect their words that attempt to assure you that they “only want what’s best for America”.

        In case you haven’t noticed, there is now a majority of people in congress who are millionaires. And though the GOP is almost exclusively in bed with wealthy special interests, many Democrats are also a part of the crony capitalism going on, not only in the Beltway, but in state legislatures as well.

        Like

      • Newton was an alchemist and probably a high functioning autistic as well. The times when the scientists you mention lived were ones of state religions and required acceptance of the government’s religion. Of course they were Christians, it would be synonymous with being still breathing, right? You have to wonder how many of them would continue to profess Christianity if the actually had any real choice?

        Like

      • “You have to wonder how many of them would continue to profess Christianity if the actually had any real choice?”

        Actually, Newton probably would have. He observed that all of the planets have an irregular motion, and tried postulating reasons for this – he ultimately determined that if left uncorrected, the planets would eventually collide in their orbits. This process, we have learned, is self-correcting, but Newton decided that comets were in fact angels, sent by god to correct those orbits, leaving little doubt that his belief in the god legend was sincere.

        Like

      • I believe the plumb line that we measure something against is the Word of God.

        I find it interesting that the way he blessed the world was by trying to understand the mind of God, especially Psalm 19:1-“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

        As far as his alchemist pursuit, it produced nothing lasting, brilliant, or good.

        Only those things we do which are standing on God’s Word and for his glory end up leaving behind a beautiful legacy in history.

        I would say the same thing for Luther also. Many people point to Luther’s negative attitude against the Jews as the foundation for Hitler’s genocide. I don’t know how much of a part Luther’s teachings played, but I don’t believe Luther was standing on a strong doctrinal position when he spoke against the Jews. Luther’s lasting and beautiful legacy was the restoration of the doctrine of grace. If he went astray from the scriptures concerning the Jews, he was wrong, but the part that remains faithful to the Word is still a blessing.

        Like

    • Hi Nate,

      I understand your point. There may be a body of thought that is progressing through history and building upon itself, discrediting the views of the past.

      The one thing I learn from history is that trusting in the scriptures won’t steer a person in the wrong direction–even in the scientific realm–whereas science, left to its own devices, can lead us into unimaginable horrors.

      I also learned that what seems to be the cutting edge of scientific knowledge in one generation can easily be looked back upon as foolishness by the next generation.

      The Aristotelian view that all things are made up of the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water (a view that held sway for hundreds, if not thousands of years) is an example of this. So is polygenism (scientific racism) and its sister view, phrenology.
      I could list countless examples in history of scientific views that have been overturned.

      My prediction for the next generation is that they will look down on us for our views on abortion, since they conflict with the biblical view that the child in the womb is a person. They will also be perplexed about origins since Darwinism will be completely discredited by new understandings of things like the complexity of cells.

      Because I believe in the Bible, I take a young earth creationist view. It seems to me to be the only view I can take if I stand on the biblical revelation as the truth.

      Like

      • “one thing I learn from history is that trusting in the scriptures won’t steer a person in the wrong direction–whereas science, left to its own devices, can lead us into unimaginable horrors.”

        You’ve slipped over the edge here Diana. There are lots of scientific findings that even people of christian faith have used for both good and bad. Despite how some creationists would like to define science it is NOT a belief system as Christianity is.

        I don’t believe they were men or women of science that led Europe into the bloody wars of the Crusades based upon their views of scripture. The KKK’s views of scripture that black and whites should be kept separate led to many a lynchings in the South after the Civil War. There were years of bloody conflicts as a result of the Protestant Reformation started by a Christian who simply posted some changes on a church door that he thought the orthodoxy should consider about scripture. And of course we can’t forget how the church leaders during the middle ages were “steered” by scriptures to initiate the Inquisitions where they killed thousands of pagans or even fellow Xians who they considered heretics.

        No, I would say you are guilty of seeing things through rose-colored glasses here as it relates to who is guilty of “unimaginable horrors” in your defense of scriptures. Science doesn’t lead people to commit such atrocities. It’s findings however can aid sociopaths to commit crimes against humanity, all in the name of their god.

        Like

      • Did Jesus give men authority to burn men at the stake? Did Jesus tell men to lynch anybody? Did Jesus tell men to take others as slaves? Did Jesus tell men to take up the sword?

        The “Christians” who did these things were apostate, disobedient, and hypocritical Christians. By their actions they brought disgrace to God’s name.

        Jesus warned us about them. He said the wheat would grow up with the tares.

        “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matt. 7:22-23)

        Like

      • “Did Jesus give men authority to burn men at the stake? Did Jesus tell men to lynch anybody? Did Jesus tell men to take others as slaves? Did Jesus tell men to take up the sword?”

        Apparently they thought so. I mean we’re talking about the Pope’s here, the highest authority of the church, when we refer to the crusades and the Inquisition.

        “The “Christians” who did these things were apostate, disobedient, and hypocritical Christians. By their actions they brought disgrace to God’s name.”

        They say hindsight is always 20/20

        But if you are going to reference Jesus specifically on this, where did Jesus condemn homosexuality?

        Like

      • The popes were out of control. Their history is one of hypocrisy and intrigue. They didn’t trust or stand on the scriptures. They made up their own decrees (papal bulls).

        (Don’t forget the medieval witch hunts. They used a handbook called the “Malleus Maleficurum” as their authority and guide for that horror.)

        Some people aren’t even willing to have hindsight. They’re still blind.

        I would like to be like Jesus and not condemn anyone except hypocritical religious leaders that make it hard for people to come to God.

        That said, the ideal marriage, for Jesus, was that of one man and one woman. (Mark 19:4-5)

        Like

      • Let me just say, I am not a scientist. I love history and that is where I feel most comfortable.

        I don’t know if there’s a classification for my belief.

        I believe the earth may be old because Genesis 1 says God made the heavens and the earth “in the beginning.” He doesn’t say he made the earth on the first day, He says he made light and dark on the 1st day.

        Who knows how long the “earth was without form, and void” or how long the universe was in existence before God began the process of filling and molding the earth.

        This would explain why the earth could be very old, yet we don’t see many civilizations that go beyond a few thousand years back.

        I’m not an evolutionary theist. I don’t believe God worked through evolution. I believe he created everything after its kind. Just as the Word says.

        (I also believe evolution is impossible because the Lord made us “male and female.”)

        Like

      • Thanks for the candid answer. Have you ever researched the evidence for evolution? And I don’t mean that as a criticism — when I was a Christian, I never bothered looking into it.

        Like

      • Yes, but honestly, I don’t know what to believe and not believe. Their position is always changing (evolving?) 🙂

        For example, some books have the picture of a monkey walking progressively into a man. Yet many of the transitionals in that picture were hoaxes. Piltdown Man. Nebraska Man. Java Man.

        Some books mention Ernst Haeckel’s “recapitulation” as shown in his drawings of embryos. But it turns out that was faked. (According to Stephen Jay Gould.)

        Some books mention the fossil layers showing the evolution of horses, but now that’s in question. (See comments by Dr. Niles Eldridge).

        What about the evolutionary “tree of life?” It’s breaking down as an accepted model.

        http://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/jan/21/charles-darwin-evolution-species-tree-life

        And for me, as I said earlier, I have trouble believing in evolution because of the male/female dilemma. How did males and females evolve without humans dying off? They had to both have their organs intact at the same time. This, it seems to me, was designed.

        Like

      • “The popes were out of control. Their history is one of hypocrisy and intrigue. They didn’t trust or stand on the scriptures.”

        Well again you have the benefit of hindsight but at the time these were men who were interpreting scripture for the people, and your original assessment was that “trusting in the scriptures won’t steer a person in the wrong direction” There were likely good men who carried out their bad deeds but because they had to rely on the church leaders for the authority of scriptures it can be said that scriptures did steer some people in a wrong direction.

        ” the ideal marriage, for Jesus, was that of one man and one woman. (Mark 19:4-5)”

        I think you meant Matt 19 4:5. There is no chapter 19 in Mark. Taken out of context you might extrapolate this as a reference for strictly heterosexual marriage Diana but this verse was in response to a Pharisee testing Jesus about the law concerning divorce between a man and a woman, asking Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

        It could be reasonably argued that Jesus supported the institution of marriage itself rather than who the married partners were. Sorry Diana, there simply is no comment you can cite from the first 4 gospels where Jesus refers to homosexuality as abomination nor any specific wording that would suggest gay marriages are wrong.

        Like

      • Well, there are a few things to consider. First of all, it’s natural that the ideas about evolution will change over time as we learn more. But these changes have not overturned the theory — each discovery has only further supported the theory of evolution, but not necessarily in the way that most scientists would have expected at the time. But science always works that way.

        The evidence for an old earth/universe and for evolution (which are related, but are still separate things) comes from every branch of science. Astronomy, geology, and chemistry all agree that the universe is very old. Chemistry, archaeology, anthropology, biology (including genetics), and even things like the geographic variation of species all point toward evolution. That’s why most people don’t view it as being “up for grabs.” All scientific evidence supports it. Now are there disagreements still about exactly how certain species evolved? Of course, but those are disagreements within evolution not instead of it.

        As far as the male/female thing, that’s not as mysterious as those of us who were raised in many branches of Christianity were led to believe. When homo sapiens evolved, it’s not like a member of another species suddenly popped out the “first” h sapiens. We’re able to differentiate among various homo species because the fossils are taken from such different points in time. However, if we could line up all the fossil ancestors of h sapiens, we wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the exact place where it changed to our species from whatever ancestor came before us. The changes are gradual and happen over such long periods of time that there’s never a case where one species suddenly gives birth to another. It’s always the same species. But when we compare one sample to another that lived hundreds of generations earlier, we can see that the group changed over time. When enough changes have occurred, we refer to that as a change in species, even though we’re dealing with a continuous line of descent.

        If it’s a subject you have any interest in, I recommend checking out more of the “pro-evolution” sources just so you can see some of the evidence they would point to. Many times, I’ve found that the disagreements between creationists and evolutionists come from a loss in translation. For instance, creationists often claim that there are no transitional fossils, but evolutionists would say that virtually all fossils are transitional.

        Like

      • I understand the whole change occurring through “random mutations across populations” concept. I see how change can occur through “survival of the fittest” (not a popular term anymore, but nevertheless) types of natural selection.

        But males had to have a reproductive mechanism intact in order to produce offspring; and females had to have mechanisms intact in order to produce offspring.

        These mechanisms had to be there at the same time. And if they didn’t have to have them there, how did they reproduce?

        If they were asexual at one time, how long did it take for a penis to evolve? And isn’t it handy that the vagina/uterus evolved at the exact same time?

        How did the human race (or any other species that requires males and females) survive without the ability to reproduce while the process of evolution was going on?

        Aren’t all changes/mutations dependent on long periods of time?

        Either males and females appeared intact from the beginning or they evolved into males and females with different body parts. How did anything get reproduced during the long period of time it took to become male and female?

        This is what some scientists have had to say about the subject:

        “This book is written from a conviction that the prevalence of sexual reproduction in higher plants and animals is inconsistent with current evolutionary theory.” George C. Williams, Sex and Evolution (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1975), p. v.

        “So why is there sex? We do not have a compelling answer to the question. Despite some ingenious suggestions by orthodox Darwinians (notably G. C. Williams 1975; John Maynard Smith 1978), there is no convincing Darwinian history for the emergence of sexual reproduction. However, evolutionary theorists believe that the problem will be solved without abandoning the main Darwinian insights—just as early nineteenth-century astronomers believed that the problem of the motion of Uranus could be overcome without major modification of Newton’s celestial mechanics.” Philip Kitcher, Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1982), p. 54.

        “The evolution of sex is one of the major unsolved problems of biology. Even those with enough hubris to publish on the topic often freely admit that they have little idea of how sex originated or is maintained. It is enough to give heart to creationists.” Michael Rose, “Slap and Tickle in the Primeval Soup,” New Scientist, Vol. 112, 30 October 1986, p. 55.

        “Indeed, the persistence of sex is one of the fundamental mysteries in evolutionary biology today.” Gina Maranto and Shannon Brownlee, “Why Sex?” Discover, February 1984, p. 24.

        “Sex is something of an embarrassment to evolutionary biologists. Textbooks understandably skirt the issue, keeping it a closely guarded secret.” Kathleen McAuliffe, “Why We Have Sex,” Omni, December 1983, p. 18.

        “From an evolutionary viewpoint the sex differentiation is impossible to understand, as well as the structural sexual differences between the systematic categories which are sometimes immense. We know that intersexes [organisms that are partly male and partly female] within a species must be sterile. How is it, then, possible to imagine bridges between two amazingly different structural types?” Nilsson, p. 1225.

        “One idea those attending the sex symposium seemed to agree on is that no one knows why sex persists.” [According to evolution, it should not. W.B.] Gardiner Morse, “Why Is Sex?” Science News, Vol. 126, 8 September 1984, p. 155.

        Like

      • By the way, I just finished a book on evolution that I’d highly recommend. It was written as a companion to the PBS series on evolution that aired about 10 or 12 years ago, so its aim is not to be controversial, simply informative. It’s called Evolution: the Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer. You might even be able to find a copy at your local library — that’s what I did.

        Like

      • Diana, there are certainly some things that are not understood about the way sex developed, but again, these are conversations within the realm of evolution. I’m not aware of any biologists who view it as a reason to reject evolution — that would simply run counter to the preponderance of evidence.

        First of all, I’m not aware of anyone who suggests sex evolved in multi-celled organisms. So your questions about how an animal with a penis must have evolved at the same time as an animal with a vagina and uterus, etc, are inaccurate. You’re right, such a thing would be ridiculous. But that’s not what anyone is suggesting.

        Sexual reproduction exists in many single-celled organisms. They don’t have sexual organs, because they don’t have organs at all, but they do exchange genetic material to reproduce, which is all that sexual reproduction is. If you’re looking for sources, a decent place to start is here:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction#Origin_of_sexual_reproduction

        Having been on both sides of this issue, I can tell you from experience that the majority of talking points that can be found in creationist sources tend to be distortions of the evidence, or flat out wrong. Much of it is due to misconceptions, such as the one you mentioned about sexual reproduction evolving in animals. Or the misconception that one species would give birth to another.

        Here’s the thing about evolution. It’s a science. And the job of science is to figure out natural laws. So by definition, a branch of science can’t come to a stopping point and say “God did it” — science must continue to look for explanations for the things we see around us. And it’s good that they do, since it accounts for our current levels of technology, medicine, etc. When you examine the scientific evidence without assuming *God* at every step, all the evidence points toward both evolution and the Big Bang. This evidence comes from many different lines, which makes for some compelling corroboration. That’s why the overwhelming majority of scientists in every field accept both of those theories as true. Now that doesn’t mean someone can’t still believe in God. He may have set all these processes in motion, or perhaps he just made everything look old and evolved. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that the physical evidence points toward evolution and the Big Bang.

        Personally, I think Christians would do themselves a huge favor by simply accepting that — even if they continue to believe that God is behind all of it. To do otherwise is to make the same mistake that the Catholic Church did when they maintained the earth was flat. Eventually, the evidence was so great that the Catholic Church came off looking a bit silly. We’re on the cusp of the same thing with evolution and the age of the earth. Many would say we’re already there…

        Like

      • Nate,

        I think evolutionary scientists are like all the townspeople who acted amazed and impressed when the emperor walked through town with no clothes on. And as George Orwell argued in his essay on language, the more obscure and unintelligible the terms, the more intelligent they sound, so more people are willing to believe in it. The Wikipedia article you pointed me to is a perfect example of this. The more difficult the language (as in Hegel’s philosophy), the less people are willing to admit they don’t understand it and go along with it. Who’s willing to scream out that the emperor has no clothes?

        I just pulled out my old college biology book and it was filled with evidence based on hoaxes and overturned views . . such as Haeckl’s embyrology, or the evolution of the horse. I don’t know how publishers get away with this.

        It also explained how evolution is dependent on mutations and that “cosmic radiation or naturally occurring mutagenic chemicals might be the cause of many of these mutations.” It continued, “It is known that subjecting organisms to high levels of radiation or to certain chemicals increases the rate at which mutations occur.”

        But how does natural selection explain the use of mutagens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutagen) as a catalyst for evolutionary changes when mutagens are destructive forces that would weaken the survival of the species?

        Doesn’t evolution argue that natural selection will weed out the weaker and more sickly populations in the gene pool? Yet evolutionists admit their theory is dependent on weak and/or sick mutations for the new genetic information it needs for evolution to occur.

        If mutagens lead to evolutionary changes, then Chernobyl-like events should cause evolutionary leaps and bounds.

        You say that things aren’t understood in how sex developed, and this is true; evolutionists haven’t even been able to explain why sexual, rather than asexual evolution occurs, let alone how the physical structure of male/female could have evolved over time without the species dying out. Sex structures were either created intact or they evolved over time–which is an impossibility since species need both male and female structures intact in order to continue to reproduce and hence, survive.

        Also, the flat earth theory (that Christians believed the earth was flat) is a myth:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth

        The discussion I think the human race should be having is “What is truth?” and then be willing to go wherever the evidence leads us.

        Evolutionists don’t have anything more than speculation on their side. They have no evidence that leads them to concrete truth. In fact, their dogged adherence to their theory has made them susceptible to many hoaxes. (Look up Paul Kammerer and the midwife toad, for example.) And as I listed before, much of the foundational material for the evolution of man was based on bits of bones formed into skulls that were hoaxes.

        When I look at the evidence, I choose to believe in the revelation given to the Jewish people. I do this for several reasons:

        1. What we see in the world around us fits in with the explanation the Bible gives. (Even the leg buds on the snake.) The existence of male and female. Evidence for a world-wide flood. Flood mythology. Different languages. A common ancestor. Etc . . .

        2. The Bible is a supernatural book. It has the ability to predict the future–as seen in the prophecy concerning Tyre, the prophecies of the messiah as found in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, the prophecy of Daniel and the “70 weeks,” and the return of Israel to her homeland as prophesied in Ezekiel 36. Just to name a few. It has a supernatural source that functions outside of time constraints.

        3. The magnificent picture of Jesus as revealed in the gospels as a loving, serving, and compassionate God makes me want to trust and love him.

        4. The beauty of the history of the true church (that is, the church that remains faithful to the Word of God). They have truly been the light of the world. I write about this extensively on my blog. I would love it if you would take a look at it. Here’s a small sample:

        http://narrowwayapologetics.com/2011/11/29/the-gospel-of-jesus-transformed-the-world/

        5. There is no hope for the future without this revelation. No other religion offers grace and rest. All the other religions of the world say that you have to perform religious activities and works to please their God, or even to attain a sense of peace. Christianity says that God did it all; you just have to receive and rest, trusting in the finished work of the Cross. This opens the way to God and his heaven.

        Frederick Douglass once had to deal with the latest science of his day (scientific racism that taught that darker races were a subhuman species) and he concluded that in the competing views of origins he would side with the view that produced a more beautiful humanity. For him that was the Christian view, rather than the Enlightenment view, which classified him as subhuman.

        Darwinian evolution has contributed to so much pain and suffering in the world. It led to social Darwinism, which was a justification for empire and colonialism (the “white man’s burden.”). It led to Karl Marx losing his faith and implementing atheistic communism. It led to Hitler’s views in Mein Kempf, along with the eugenics campaigns. It was part of Margaret Sanger’s views. (She was the founder of Planned Parenthood.) How many millions have been persecuted and murdered because certain people embraced Darwinian evolution as their world view?

        How has creationism hurt the world?

        Like

      • I find this post offensive. It equates geocentrists to creationists.

        “Some will think that the bid for Geocentrism is radically different from the Creationist movement. It is not.”

        But Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo were the ones who overthrew the geocentric view of the universe–and they were all creationists.

        Like

      • Perhaps, but Christians believed him and built on his views.

        (I say “perhaps” because the only writing of his that exists [“On the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon”] takes a geocentric view. He mentioned the heliocentric view as a possible model, but it was rejected by most of the Greeks who held to the Ptolemaic view.

        Like

      • “I could list countless examples in history of scientific views that have been overturned.”

        Quite coincidentally, Diana, I could list countless examples of religions that have been abandoned. Bet you wish you could moderate these remarks, don’t you? Pity.

        Like

      • But the Judeo-Christian faith hasn’t been abandoned. 😉

        Some of the greatest minds in history have come from the Judeo-Christian faith.

        Why would you think I would like to moderate these remarks?

        Like

      • “Why would you think I would like to moderate these remarks?”

        Because you choose on your own site which comments most closely agree with you, and delete the rest. This ain’t your site, Babycakes!

        “But the Judeo-Christian faith hasn’t been abandoned. ;)”

        Yet. But it IS being abandoned, in droves. Why do you think your kind is so anxious to get religion into the public school system? To start ’em early, and to stem the tide of those leaving the church, and taking their offerings with them.

        “Some of the greatest minds in history have come from the Judeo-Christian faith.”

        Interestingly, Judeo-Christians CLAIM a lot more great minds than actually subscribed to those faiths. I suspect that the stats BEFORE the Age of Reason, indicated the great minds to be religious at a ratio of nearly 100%, but afterward, that ratio has been changing radically, to the point that now, I would guestimate the great minds of today to be aroujnd 85% atheist/agnostic, but even among those who are not, a significant number of the 15% do not belong to Judaism/Christianity, but to Hinduism and other faiths.

        Give it another hundred years, and you can put all the world’s Christians in the SuperDome, with room to spare.

        Like

      • I’ve never withheld any comment from my blog. I went back and double-checked just to make sure. I’m not sure what you’re talking about there.

        Voltaire thought the end of Christianity was coming too.

        “Curse the wretch. In 20 years, Christianity will be no more. My single hand will destroy the edifice it took 12 apostles to rear.”

        The Bible predicts a great “falling away” before the return of Jesus, so I’m not surprised that so many have abandoned Christianity. (I can’t wait to hear the mocking statements lobbed my way after this statement.) 🙂

        Like

      • “I’ve never withheld any comment from my blog. I went back and double-checked just to make sure. I’m not sure what you’re talking about there.”

        I have no reason to disbelieve you, but after checking for several days, and finding my comments still, “Awaiting Moderation,” I lost all interest in knowing.

        I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have no intention of lobbing mocking statements at you, you expressed a belief, to which, as far as I’m concerned, you’re entitled. When you state that evolution is false, however, that is no longer expressing opinion, it’s refuting established fact. Big difference.

        Like

      • I haven’t found any of your comments awaiting moderation on my blog.

        Maybe there’s a glitch somewhere. I’ve had that happen to me on other blogs, and I thought perhaps my comments were too controversial for them to publish, so I can relate to your concerns.

        I don’t see that evolution is an established fact. In fact, more and more scientists are struggling with how natural selection and random mutations are able to explain the complexity of life. How did the eye develop out of a random mutation?

        Like

      • “How did the eye develop out of a random mutation?”

        Diana, that’s one of the oldest questions in the Creationist’s arsenal, and I haven’t the time to educate you, as your mind is simply too closed to learn – here, you won’t believe it anyway, but if you REALLY want to know, here’s far more evidence than you will find in any Bible.

        Like

      • “Probably,” “may have,” “appears to be,” “suggests .” These are not terms associated with the word “fact,” yet your Wikipedia link about the evolution of the eye is filled with these terms.

        And it also includes this paragraph, which explains why there’s no evidence in the fossil record for what evolutionists believe about the formation of the eye:

        The development of the lens in camera-type eyes probably followed a different trajectory. The transparent cells over a pinhole eye’s aperture split into two layers, with liquid in between.[citation needed] The liquid originally served as a circulatory fluid for oxygen, nutrients, wastes, and immune functions, allowing greater total thickness and higher mechanical protection. In addition, multiple interfaces between solids and liquids increase optical power, allowing wider viewing angles and greater imaging resolution. Again, the division of layers may have originated with the shedding of skin; intracellular fluid may infill naturally depending on layer depth.[citation needed]
        Note that this optical layout has not been found, nor is it expected to be found. Fossilization rarely preserves soft tissues, and even if it did, the new humour would almost certainly close as the remains desiccated, or as sediment overburden forced the layers together, making the fossilized eye resemble the previous layout.

        Yeah, the evolutionist has lots of evidence. Riiiggghhhtttt . . .

        Like

      • “And it also includes this paragraph, which explains why there’s no evidence in the fossil record for what evolutionists believe about the formation of the eye”

        Do you REALLY not know what happens to dead bodies when they lie in the earth for a few million years? Do you really not know that eyes are the first to decay? And do you really expect to find multi-million year-old fossilized eyeballs?

        “Yeah, the evolutionist has lots of evidence. Riiiggghhhtttt . . . “

        Compared to zero evidence in the Bible, yeah!

        Like

      • I see evidence for the truth of the Bible all around me. I could write volumes about these evidences. The mind of God is so beautiful and amazing.

        How did fruit evolve–just when we needed it? (Especially since natural selection would cause it to be less likely to be eaten, so it could survive.)

        How did the male and female reproductive organs evolve without the species dying off in the meantime?

        These are obvious dilemmas for the evolutionist.

        Yet the Bible answers these questions for me. I see the truthfulness of the scriptures all around me.

        Even the leg buds on the snake speak of the truthfulness of the Bible.

        Do any other animals have leg buds? 🙂

        Like

      • Oh, Diana, Diana, Diana – what you don’t understand could fill volumes, and has, but you won’t ever read them, as that would cause cognitive dissonance, and enough of that can make one’s head explode.

        Snakes with leg buds?” – So you’re admitting it evolved to its present form, good for you! I’m SO proud! You’ve come a long way, Baby —

        “How did fruit evolve–just when we needed it? (Especially since natural selection would cause it to be less likely to be eaten, so it could survive.)”

        Simple, as you would know if you ever read anything but the Bible and whatever crap d’jour is posted on AIG – it didn’t, fruit evolved millions of years earlier, despite what Ray “Banana Man” Comfort might tell you, and it evolved for the express purpose of being eaten, not because any supernatural force planned it that way, but because more fruit that was good to eat, survived, while that which was not, didn’t. How can that be, she asks – again, simple, when an animal eats a delicious piece of fruit, it swallows the seeds, which are covered with a hard, protective shell, impervious to stomach acid, it then gets deposited on the ground in it’s own nice little puddle of fertilizer, just add water!

        “How did the male and female reproductive organs evolve without the species dying off in the meantime?”

        Seriously, Diana, have you never picked up a biology or zoology book? And you home-schooled your children? I can just imagine what THEY learned!

        The earliest forms of life multiplied by cell division, over billions of years, which are still in use today, as seen in sea stars and sea anemones. Some evolved other forms of asexual reproduction, such as the modern-day Hydra, in which an offspring grows out of the body of the parent and breaks off, an independent, living creature. Then there are those who reproduce by means of gemmules, internal buds, in which a parent releases a specialized mass of cells that can develop into offspring – modern sponges reproduce this way.

        Asexual reproduction, however, involves an individual making a nearly exact copy of itself, but other than the possibility of a few, rare mutations, doesn’t allow for speciation. Sexual reproduction likely began as one of these mutations, but was immensely successful because it allowed for a dramatic differentiation from the parents, through genetic diversity, in that each contributed half of the new being’s genetic material, via gametes, which allowed for more rapid adaptation to changing environment, as well as to greater resistance to disease, if not for the individual, at least for the species.

        And yes, Diana, I’m well aware that i said, “likely,” but how much more logical is that hypothesis, than, “goddidit!“?

        I do not dislike you, Diana. I have been known, on other sites, to shred cocksure theists into tiny little pieces, but I can’t do that with you, because I feel that I am dealing with the child in you, who was indoctrinated at a very early age, by those whom you loved and trusted, just as you’ve done your own children – and I can’t even find it within me to get angry at those who indoctrinated you, as they likely truly believed that what they were telling you was the truth. As Kurt Vonnegut was fond of saying, “And so it goes.”

        Like

      • And as far as your evolutionary knowledge v. my knowledge, I’ve already read about all the explanations you listed above and I wasn’t convinced.

        You seem to think it’s impossible that something “out there” in the universe could/would involve themselves in our little planet. It’s a pretty big universe, though, and I don’t discount the possibility that there could be something more to understand than just what the boundaries of our little corner of the universe have revealed to us.

        Like

      • Oh goodness no, I completely agree that there could possibly be something else “out there,” if by that, you mean life on other planets. We’d be rather vainglorious, and face it, a bit pessimistic, if we truly believed that we’re all there is. But I reserve my ultimate judgment for evidence, and so far, I’ve not seen any.

        If there were, in whose image would you suppose their god made them?

        Like

      • It certainly sounds like overall, you haven’t had a very pleasant life so far, and I’m truly sorry about all of the things that happen to you. And you’re right, to the extent that I don’t know anything about your personal history, except that which you’ve made public here, and in another earlier comment, but I DO know, from what would appear to be your lack of information, that you know very little about evolution, and “debunking” that, has been the subject of your blog.

        I also know that you’re reluctant to learn anything that contradicts that which you find in the Bible, possibly for fear that “Satan” is trying to entrap you. You likely also know very little about who wrote the Bible, or how it came to be, and yet you take the words of men you don’t know, and decide they’re infallible truth, not only that, but you teach this to your children as well, or you would have had no need to home-school them, if not to protect them from learning anything you didn’t plant in their heads, so yes, I do know a few things about you, and while I don’t know you well enough to love you, I can certainly say I don’t dislike you.

        Like

      • Oh hush up! I realized the second after I posted it, how impersonal that sounded, but it’s HONEST!

        I don’t know you well enough, certainly, to love you, and although you mouth the words, because that’s what you’re “s’pozed” to do, you don’t either. On the other hand, you also have some qualities that I dislike, which I will not enumerate, yet on the third hand (just call me Zaphod!), there ARE some things I like about you, so when it’s all added up, it comes out, “I don’t dislike you.”

        Hey there are some theists out there I can’t even tolerate, can I help it if, when I say, “I love you,” I need to really mean it? I may be inexpensive, but I’m not easy.

        Like

      • “I may be inexpensive, but I’m not easy.”

        Iol.

        Arch,

        I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner. Sometimes my life overwhelms me.

        John was very gracious to me about the comments I made about my past and removed them. I was very thankful for his gesture–mostly because I was embarrassed about my self-righteous attitude. I would like to apologize for getting on my high horse and trying to make you feel bad.

        I guess things got a little heated.

        But I still enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to share my views. I hope we can continue our conversation.

        Diana

        Like

      • Believe it or not, Diana, I became worried about you when no one heard from you for so long.

        As far as making me feel badly is concerned, we archaeopteryxeses have a very thick and leathery skin. And as for your high horse – seriously, how much respect would you have commanded, riding in here on a Shetland pony?

        Like

      • I hear that archeopteryxeses have tough skin, yet they have discovered soft tissue in their fossils.

        Thank you for the “soft” response to my wrong attitude.

        Now, how did that soft tissue last millions of years? 🙂

        Like

      • Soft, yes – but durable (not to mention wash and wear)!

        I did mention to a friend, what you had been through, as well as your beliefs, and she STONGLY advised me to back off and let you keep them, that you needed them, so this is what a proto-bird looks like, backing away —

        Like

      • I’m saying that whatEVER you’ve chosen to invite into your life – whether it’s a religion or two monkeys and a yo-yo – it’s because you need it – whether it satisfies your need,s to maintain mental stability, or merely your fascination with monkeys and yo-yo’s, I’m insufficiently qualified to determine.

        We’re not gonna start up again, are we? Please say it isn’t so!

        Like

      • As you wish . . .

        This will be my final plea.

        If Jesus lived, and he actually fulfilled the prophecies that foretold of his appearing, and he fulfilled the Passover Feast, becoming the Lamb of God whose shed blood would cause Death to pass over us.

        And if God, a being who exists in outer space (the heavens), is trying to communicate with humanity through Jesus.

        And if you see the world heading toward a time of trouble . . . you see the city of Damascus being leveled, you see Israel defeat a large army that came to take a spoil from them, you see the rise of a unified worldwide church, and a system where you need a mark in order to buy anything, I hope you will remember that an offer is held out to you.

        That offer is this (and it has been shouted from steeples, billboards, radios, TV’s, and chat rooms): receive what Jesus did for you on the cross and let him pay the penalty for your sins before you stand guilty before the universal justice system. There is no other way. None of us are good enough. We are all guilty. Yet He loved us enough to make a way for us to be justified.

        The supernatural nature of the Bible reveals that it has authority that is above our finite human mind.

        God bless you, Archaeopteryx.

        Diana

        Like

      • Thank you, Diana – see how nice I can be, once I set my mind to it?
        Have you any idea how hard I’m biting my tongue, in an effort to fulfill my promise to my friend?

        Like

      • “This will be my final plea.”

        Can I count on that? I mean, far be it from me to disparage what you choose to believe for yourself, but when you start trying to convert others, well —

        Like

      • This is what I meant on your blog, Diana, when I said that you don’t know enough about the science of evolution, nor of archaeology to even be able to discuss the subject intelligently. Spend a little less time on Answers In Genesis and a little more time reading science textbooks, and maybe you’ll be in a position to discuss the subject intelligently.

        Like

      • I read that from your link to me on Wikipedia.

        And as far as science texts are concerned, my college biology text mentioned all of the things that are now outmoded – – the evolutionary “Tree of Life,” the evolution of horses, the mention of the March of Progress of apes to humans (as found in the fossil record), etc . . .

        Like

      • Proof of the pudding – humans ARE apes.

        Outmoded? In whose opinion? My guess is, your Christian sources have provided you with a handful of theist “scientists” who have fed into your confirmational bias, as opposed to legions of legitimate scientists who do not feel they’re outmoded at all.

        As I said on your blog, read Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale – it’s totally scientific, having nothing to do with religion, then come back and talk to me.

        Like

      • I’m sorry you find the post offensive, but it’s very accurate in its analogy.

        Galileo’s ideas of heliocentrism were considered heretical simply for theological reasons, not scientific ones. The same thing happens today with creationism. They reject evolution and an old universe strictly for religious reasons. Not scientific ones. That should raise some alarms…

        And while Galileo and many others were creationists, it wasn’t their religious beliefs that led to great discoveries, it was their pursuit of science. This really isn’t a complicated issue. Don’t you think your desire for evolution to be false is keeping you from examining it objectively? Just as the Catholic Church did with Galileo? Why not try to find a way to fit them together, as many other Christians do?

        Like

      • Actually Galileo found no conflict with the heliocentric view of the universe and the scriptures. He thought the church interpreted the scriptures in a wrong way. (The view on Joshua and the day the sun stood still, for example.)

        Galileo’s views were rejected by the church for conflicting with Ptolemy. The Catholic Church, as a result of the early church fathers (Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine, and Clement, just to name a few) had blended much of Greek thought with Christianity. They believed this would make them more acceptable to the world, much like many Christians do with Darwinism today.

        If you look at Galileo’s arguments in “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” you will see that Galileo doesn’t take on theology, he takes on PHILOSOPHY. Look it up.

        If the church rejected Galileo’s views, they did so because Aristotelian philosophy had become syncretized with the medieval Christian faith.

        Like

      • “If the church rejected Galileo’s views, they did so because Aristotelian philosophy had become syncretized with the medieval Christian faith.”

        But the Pope is supposed to have god’s ear – Yeshua said so – couldn’t he just ASK him?

        Like

      • You’re proving my point, Diana. Galileo came to his conclusions using science. His religious beliefs had nothing to do with why he came to believe in heliocentrism. He then read the Bible to see if it was in agreement with what he saw in the solar system.

        Today, creationists are pulling their ideas from the Bible and trying to make science fit them, instead of the other way around. They’re simply on the wrong side of history on this one. Nothing’s quite so tragic as willful ignorance — I especially hate it for the kids being raised this way.

        Like

      • Ah, thank you for the clarification. You are a Bibleist, you believe in the book rather than any of the gods mentioned in it. If you or any of those close to you are diabetic, warn them against using any of the human insulins on the market, they were all produced by scientists operating with the fact of evolution. I’m sure that the Bible would be horrified by such evil products.

        Like

    • Just a little historical note you might find interesting: It’s important not to confuse the label with the ideology. Southern Democrats (mostly land-owners) were pro-slavery conservatives. Early Republicans were anti-slavery (in a pragmatic sort of way) and progressive. When the depression hit, Northern Democrats started moving to a more progressive ideology. Southern democrats hunkered down and moved further to the right in an effort to maintain the privileges they had because of segregation (cheap labour etc.)
      By the time of the civil rights movement the parties had redefined themselves. Republicans were now the conservatives and Democrats the progressives. So conservative Democrats switched parties. If you’re interested in that part of history, look up The Southern Strategy. There’s a reasonably coherent article without too many mistakes on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Strategy

      Like

      • I don’t have a set of private definitions for words 🙂 That’s more a practice of the religious set. Whenever I use a word you can rest assured its meaning will match the ones listed in the average dictionary/encyclopaedia.
        Political progressivism (aka the enlightenment), as I explained earlier was born in 18th century Europe. It was/is the notion that society can be improved by using reason/science/arts/culture instead of just repeating traditions. Don’t you think that makes sense?

        Like

      • I think that human reason, without being fastened to the scriptures, has led to countless horrors. Even the Enlightenment thinkers, when they abandoned the idea of monogenism and embraced polygenism, became scientific racists and phrenologists.

        The German people, when they began to doubt the scriptures (due to historical criticism) and embraced Darwinian evolution, became eugenicists and Nazis.

        No, pinkagendist, I don’t believe society can be improved without the gospel which encourages men and women to be heroic and stand for the truth–which will always bless reason, science, arts, and culture.

        By the way, “progressivism,” as a term, is very slippery to define. The dictionary defines “progressive” as: 1) moving forward: 2) happening or developing gradually over a period of time.

        Wikipedia starts out explaining that the idea became important during the Age of Enlightenment, but have we forgotten that the epoch of that age–the complete abandonment of God–resulted in the French Revolution and ended with the guillotine? And as I’ve mentioned in other comments the Enlightenment philosophers based their racist views on scientific evidence.

        Also, Hegel’s philosophy, with its spiral view of history, claiming that humanity is always progressing upward towards freedom (except for the French Revolution, which is where he had to formulate his “dialectic”) is still the foundation for much of the progressive movement–which flabbergasts me since Hegelian philosophy was embraced by both the Marxists (left Hegelians) and the Nazis (right Hegelians). Both, movements that rejected the scriptures and persecuted and murdered millions of people!

        Darwinism also contributes to the idea of progressive thought–the idea that living species are evolving to a higher level. It was this idea which gave birth to Social Darwinism. Do a study of the White City at the Chicago World’s Fair for more information on this.

        Progressives now would like to hijack the work of Bible believers and claim it as their own.

        I don’t know where this idea came from that Christians are idiots and hicks who can be laughed out of town and scorned, but those who promote this view are actually the ones who are uninformed.

        Like

      • Darling,
        I couldn’t possibly, in a blog comment, compensate for the many ways in which your educational system failed you, so I shan’t try.
        I’ll just say that you seem to be obsessed with a primitive cowboys vs. indians scenario and that results in almost obscene perspective bias.
        When proposing an idea, if you depart from the traditional logical formulas- what you end up with is jibber-jabber. You’re jumping around from one non-sequitur to the next. That means your premises are unrelated to your conclusions.
        If ‘godlessness’ leads to thing like the terror of French revolution (an extraordinarily simplistic and uninformed reading of history)- How do you then explain the godly St. Bartholomew’s day massacre?
        You can’t say disbelief in religion leads to terror when we know that belief in religion can lead to exactly the same sort of terror. That invalidates your point. Citing random facts also doesn’t prove your point.
        There are a number of free online logic courses which I’m sure could help you get your ideas across more coherently, and check them to ensure your conclusions are actually supported by your argumentation:
        https://www.coursera.org/course/intrologic

        Like

      • I didn’t mean to offend you or to be condescending, however inevitable the latter was- but getting your A unfortunately didn’t translate into being able to formulate a logical argument.
        Your analysis of French history is a rather unknowing one. What the revolutionaries sought to do was to separate church and state (de-christianise government and the republic). That didn’t erase the fact that a majority of the population was de-facto Catholic with various pockets of Protestants around the country. There was (unfortunately) no en-masse ‘rejection of god’ as your comment very wrongly implies.

        Like

      • “the complete abandonment of God–resulted in the French Revolution and ended with the guillotine?”

        You’re kidding! You really believe that? Having gotten a clearer picture of your thinking processes, by reading your site and your comments, yes, sadly, I can see that you do. The French Revolution was started by the French peasantry, the great ignorant, unwashed counterparts of American Rednecks, who, being ignorant and uneducated, were among the most superstitious, and consequently religious, in France. The “French Revolution…(that)…ended with the guillotine,” came about because of a hundred or more years of repression by the aristocracy, and had little or nothing to do with religion. BTW – Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotin was a member of the Jesuits.

        “Darwinism also contributes to the idea of progressive thought–the idea that living species are evolving to a higher level.”

        Of course they are! Why would they suddenly stop? Evolution occurs as a result of a species adaptation to changed conditions, as conditions change, species will continue to evolve to adapt, because it is a need-driven process. Now if a consciousness were behind it, which it is not, that consciousness could well say, “OK, everything’s just like i want it, it all stops here.” but in that case, if conditions changed and organisms didn’t change to adapt, ultimately, everything would die. I’m sensing you don’t really know how evolution works, someone just told you, “Evolution bad! Jesus good!” and you’ve been parroting it ever since.

        “Progressives now would like to hijack the work of Bible believers and claim it as their own.”

        Why would ANYone want to claim that pack of fables?

        “I don’t know where this idea came from that Christians are idiots and hicks who can be laughed out of town and scorned, but those who promote this view are actually the ones who are uninformed.”

        I don’t know – could it be because they believe there’s a magical, invisible spirit who made everything in this infinitely huge universe, but lives outside of space and time, and gives a rat’s ass what we do with our sex lives? That would be my guess.

        Like

      • Concerning the French Revolution, perhaps I should have fine-tuned my statement. The French were rebelling against the “ancien regime” of an abusive church and monarchy. And rightly so.

        But the Age of Reason, led by the “philosophes,” who rejected the superstitious/miraculous aspect of Christianity (they were deists and anti-clericalists, not atheists), led a revolution that ended in the loss of freedom and life because French Christianity was mostly false–corrupt Catholicism which opposed the Reformation’s emphasis on scripture, grace, faith, and Christ. They associated Catholicism with God and threw Him out the window, also. As a result, they got Robespierre, who ordered society with a guillotine.

        Why did the same revolution, led by the same deist believers, produced freedom, prosperity, and blessings in America? I believe it was because America was the most evangelical nation in the world, and yet their beliefs aligned perfectly with Enlightenment thought.

        Progressives don’t claim the Bible as their own, only those heroes of history who believed in the Bible–such as Martin Luther King, Jr., or the American Founders. Progressives are trying to say the early Republican party was a group of progressives, or that the women’s movement was led by progressives–when these movements were formed by Christians who believed in the Bible.

        Like

      • “(they were deists and anti-clericalists, not atheists)”

        So – proto-atheists, then —

        “Progressives don’t claim the Bible as their own, only those heroes of history who believed in the Bible–such as…the American Founders.”

        “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb in a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
        – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams

        “The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.”
        – Abraham Lincoln –

        “The United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.”
        — John Adams —
        From the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797
        (founding Father and second President of the United States)

        “[The books of the Pentateuch] are spurious, and that Moses is not the author of them; and still further, that they were not written in the time of Moses nor till several hundred years afterwards; that they are no other than an attempted history of the life of Moses, and of the times in which he is said to have lived, and also of the times prior thereto, written by some very ignorant and stupid pretenders to authorship, several hundred years after the death of Moses; as men now write histories of things that happened, or are supposed to have happened, several hundred or several thousand years ago.”
        ~ Thomas Paine – The Age of Reason (p. 93)

        Like

      • First of all, Jefferson believed in Jesus, just not in the miraculous aspects of the Bible. This was because he was a deist. He believed in the Newtonian “First Cause.” God set the universe in motion like a clock, causing it to function as a set of laws, which Jefferson thought, meant that God didn’t interject himself into the affairs of men. Jefferson didn’t reject all scripture.

        Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a Founder. And that quote seems to be bogus.

        http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/09/17/more-fake-founding-fathers-quotes-from-secularists/

        Instead, this is what Lincoln is documented to have said:

        “That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrepect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular.”
        Handbill Replying to Charges of Infidelity on July 31, 1846 (CWAL I:382)

        The United States isn’t founded on the Christian religion. It’s founded on Deism . . . Chrisitianity without the miracles. Hence you find words such as Creator, Providence, and Nature’s God in many of his political documents.

        Paine went to France to help with the Revolution. He wrote the Age of Reason and died in obscurity. The writing that gave him an heroic place in history was “Common Sense.” In this he quoted the Bible extensively. He used the example of the Israelites wanting a king as a thing that was displeasing to God, and used the story as an encouragement for Americans to rebel against King George.

        Progressives would love for Lincoln to be a secularist, but he wasn’t. Yet they keep trying to claim him as their own.

        Progressives would love for the Founders to be atheists, but they weren’t. They even used the Bible extensively. (Although they picked and chose the scriptures they thought were true . . . ) But they were creationists and moralists.

        And Thomas Paine’s greatest success was found in a document in which he quoted the Bible.

        Like

      • ” For so far as we can know by natural Philosophy what is the first Cause, what Power he has over us, and what Benefits we receive from him, so far our Duty towards him, as well as that towards one another, will appear to us by the Light of Nature.”

        From Query 31 of “Opticks” by Isaac Newton

        Like

      • Are you going on the belief that the concept belongs to the last person to voice it? I think it’s more common to credit the first person who came up with the concept, not the last, otherwise I could rephrase and say the same thing, and the last couple of Christians on earth, a few hundred years from now, would be quoting me, instead of Newton. Wouldn’t THAT be a hoot?

        Like

      • Jefferson believed in the Newtonian concept of First Cause. You said it was an Aristotelian concept, but Jefferson’s hero was Newton, not Aristotle. In fact, Jefferson’s other hero was Bacon, who developed the scientific method in order to overthrow Aristotelian “science.”

        Like

      • “You said it was an Aristotelian concept, but Jefferson’s hero was Newton, not Aristotle.”

        Yes, I did, and who Jefferson’s hero was, has nothing to do with who originated the concept. Word to the wise, but before you come onto a website, where you know people are going to disagree with your outlandish statements, you might want to learn a little more about the techniques of debate.

        Like

      • I appreciate the mocking tone, pinkagenda. 🙂

        The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre was committed by the Catholics against the Protestants (the Hugenots).

        I believe the reason many of the French people began to reject God and rebel was because of the abuses of the Catholic Church. They should have rejected the Church and kept God. This was the path of the Americans. They rejected the power of the “Church” yet embraced Jesus (mostly as a result of the Great Awakening).

        Like

    • “I saw your references to either conservatives, or Christians, as being stupid”

      Diana, as I’ve tried repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) to explain on your own blog, if you would learn a little about evolution, you wouldn’t come across as quite so unknowledgeable.

      Recently, you stated on your blog that an ape couldn’t evolve into a human, with clearly no understanding that humans ARE apes!

      Like

      • Hi Archaeopteryx1,

        Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you. I’ve been overwhelmed taking care of my 8 children and 5 grandchildren. (I read some of the comments above, so I thought I would just let people know a little about my life.) I’ve been a home schooling mom since the 80’s.

        Currently, I’m not homeschooling, but I have a son in high school who has been failing his advanced algebra and I’ve had to spend many hours helping to get him back on track. My husband is blind so I also have to spend a lot of time tending to his needs. And I help to run our family carpet cleaning business and do the books. It’s tax time and I’ve had extra work.

        Anyhooooo . . . where did I say that an ape couldn’t evolve into a human?

        Like

      • It’s on your blogsite, I would have to go back and find it – having written it, you should know where it is, better than I.

        Like

      • “Never said we evolved from apes.” – no, you didn’t, and I never said you did – in fact, you said that we DIDN’T evolve from apes, to which I agreed, we didn’t evolve from apes because we ARE apes.

        Like

      • You don’t seem to have my original comment so it seems neither of us know what I said. All I know is that evolutionists once believed in the March of Progress from ape to man. And they changed their views. Now we are all simply evolved apes, I guess.

        Like

  6. I miss the real Conservatives, at least they had a valid viewpoint. How the New Conservatives can suck up to both evangelicals and Catholics is truely amazing. If one consults “The Fundamentals” (a series of pamphlets later made into two books, ca. 1900) which codified the fundamentalism of evangelicals in this country, you will find a chapter on why Catholics are not true Christians (no TM). (My fundamentalist sister expressed this opinion just a few years ago to my astonishment.) Association with Catholics typically resulted in excommunication by evangelicals, so there is something really demonic going on here.

    And only demons could rewrite God’s True Word(TM). hey, I figured it out!

    Demons, John, Demons! (I guess it is okay to … wait for it … demonize them, no?)

    Like

      • This is what I’m wondering . . . what were the “real” conservatives? Were they merely trying to maintain the ideas in Founders’ documents, or did another ideology latch onto the movement? (Much like the Christians did in the 70’s and 80’s).

        Like

      • My understanding is that they were primarily fiscal conservatives. Not that they were against all government programs — just that they wanted them to be funded. Low (or no) national debt, etc.

        Like

      • Well, Acts 10:34 informs us that “God is no respecter of persons” — i.e. God shows no favoritism. I guess they’ll have to edit that to say: God is no respecter of non-conservative, homosexual, equal rights…yada yada… persons. 🙂

        Like

  7. Great stuff! I’m a big fan of conservapedia. I particularly enjoyed their entry on dinosaurs (spoiler alert: that article mentions Noah too!)
    Seriously though, it never ceases to amaze me how far people will go in finding an outlet for their personality disorders (I’m sorry, but I personally feel people the likes of Andy Schafly are a subject for psychiatrists rather than philosophers or even theists…in my opinion christianity has become an instrument to these people, rather than a goal)…but that’s just me.
    Great read though…if you’re interested, our site had a post on conservapedia a while ago, though it’s hardly as analytical and in depth as yours: http://randomnessessities.com/2013/11/12/conservapedia-where-wisdom-goes-to-die/

    Like

  8. Brilliant post, John. This kind of thing drove me crazy even when I was a Christian. There are still, even in the southeastern US, some Christians who are politically moderate, even liberal. I have several family members that are. But the vast majority seem to have decided Christianity = Republican, and it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it.

    Like

  9. I know that there are some liberal/progressive Christians in this area. One of the Episcopal priests here has ruffled feathers with his radical idea that the socialist ideals of Jesus should actually be followed and embracing science. Liberal/Progressives are either in the minority here or they choose to keep their views very quiet. I only know one of them personally. All of the Christians I actually know are Young Earth Creationist, Pro-gun, Capitalist, Anti-Climate Change, Conservative, Bible Literalists. Good lawd that was a mouthful.

    Most of the YECs I know would be quick to tell you that Jesus would approve. Furthermore if you question the literalism of the Bible or the the earth is young they would question whether or not you actually are a Christian, even if you claim the title, stopping just short of saying you definitely are not.

    Having discovered the diversity of Christian views online I wouldn’t necessarily lump all Christian/Republicans into the category of stupid, racist, morons. Just as in everything else the loudest, most obnoxious seem to get all the attention. Some people are Republican because they believe, even falsely, that it benefits them in some tangible way.

    Like

    • Points well made. The True Christian is a wholly unique beast. I grew up Catholic and not once was the bible even mentioned in a classroom in 12 years.

      Interesting point about shaming fellow Christians. There really is a “club” mentality going on there. Andy Schlafly seems to be in this camp; you either accept his version of events or you’re not “True.”

      Like

      • The Republican Party is made up of some very diverse opinions about things. Those same Conservative Christians I know are not at all opposed to, say, birth control and think that the Party’s stance on it is too conservative. Much like church, however, the Party represents their overall values so they just “live” with the ones on which they disagree.

        Additionally, the people that I see in my local community being the loudest and proudest gun-totin’, capitalist, I-didn’t-come-from-no-monkey, fundamentalists don’t actually attend any church on a regular basis. Very strange. Weird bunch indeed.

        Like

      • As an outsider looking in (with fascination, I might add) it seems the modern GOP (aka Teapublicans) made some serious miscalculations by bedding down with the religious right. Easily manipulable, sure, but there’s a high price to pay for that sort of base.

        You anywhere near Savannah? I LOVED that town!

        Like

      • Oh, I love Savannah! More fishing? I’m just about right in the middle of the State on the southernmost border. Savannah is about a 2.5 hour drive from me.

        The Republicans certainly have miscalculated because the religious right, while easily manipulated, are hard pressed to sway from their Biblical literalism and religious zeal. Greed and religious zeal don’t make good bedfellows.

        On a brighter note, this article was of some interest:

        The Republican governor of Tennessee is bucking social agenda of his party. He will probably be skewered and soon after defect to another party.

        Like

      • Well, can only wish him luck. Someone has to restore some sanity to the circus.

        No fishing, but a lot of drinking. Fun place. I vomited (accidentally) on a policeman’s shoes there; a huge man, a giant as i recall, and you know what he did? He carried me, and my friend (who was 6’4), back to our van (we’d made a decision earlier in the day to spend all our money on grog rather than a hotel, a perfectly logical decision in your twenties) and put us to bed (sort of, more tossed us inside like hopeless rag dolls), and said he’d be back later to check in on us and make sure we were ok. Nice guy! Southern hospitality at its best 🙂

        Like

      • Ha! Oh, my. A policeman’s shoes, no less. Yes, Savannah is definitely a drinking town, though I’ve never forgone accommodations for the privilege. It can get a little scary the later in the night it gets.

        For St. Patrick’s day they die the river green and serve up green beer. You buy a wristband and drink all day.

        There are some lovely little pubs there, that’s for certain. And some pretty diverse nightlife, like Lady Chablis.

        Like

      • How did you miss the Biblical Theology classes? I thought all good Catholic schools covered that. On the plus side, you could get an “F” for the day in Biology 101 in college for trying to pull the “God made it that way” argument when you couldn’t explain the biochemistry of some physiological reaction. And that from a sweet little old nun (who just happened to have two PhD’s, biology and geology). Almost everything I know about evolution came from her, and I seriously doubt any of the professing atheist scientists out there could find a flaw in her teaching. That’s probably because the Catholics are not Bible Worshippers.

        Like

      • “Catholics are not Bible Worshippers”

        So I learned! I was amazed, Mariah, when I found that for an organization that plays musical assignments with their molesting priests, that the Church, in its The New American Bible, is very forthcoming in explaining that Moses did not write the Torah, that domesticated camels didn’t exist during Abraham’s time, and many, many other facts you won’t find in the KJV or ever hear from a protestant pulpit.

        Like

  10. Quite simply, whatever the religion the Powers-That-Be rewrite it to entrench/justify their own position. I say again, whatever the religion … if it hasn’t happened yet in any exceptional religion, it will.
    (And for ‘Christians’ who might read this I use the word ‘religion’ to cover any formalised system(s) of belief(s) — not just particular franchises of Christianity you belong to.)

    I never barfed over a cop’s shoes—but in the back of a waggon taking me to the cop-shop once (a bloody covered ute, would you believe?) I filled some of the milk bottles in their crate (Frankston, in Victoria). The conversation went like this:

    “You—” (To my mate) “what’s your name?”
    He told them, his real name.
    “You—” (to moi) “what’s your name?”
    I told them, my real name.
    “Hey! Nobody’s called that! C’mere you, mind ya fingers—”
    SLAM
    … and that, as they say, was that.
    So on the way in and feeling a bit insulted I piddled in as many milk bottles as I could. Low canopy made it awkward but I certainly felt better for it …

    Like

    • This is true, first exampled by the Babylonians who wrote the Enuma Elish which simply catapulted their patron god, Marduk, way up the order in the existing creation story. If it was good enough for the Babylonians then I’m sure it’s good enough for True Christians.

      Well, in my defense, it was an accident… More the case that he moved into the danger zone. Good job though of you transfiguring the cops milk; quite the act of a learned sage 🙂 Being Victorians they probably deserved it, much unlike the lovely gentleman i soiled 😦

      Like

    • Good question, Club. I really tied trolling through all the re-vised bits but it was a painful exercise. I did see that he’s sidestepped Jesus’ failed prediction for the end of the world, Mark 9:1, by saying what he really “meant” was the beginning of the Church, NOT actually god-inhabited heaven arriving on earth.

      You should pop over… they still require authors to work on Leviticus, which would be terrific FUN!

      Like

  11. Well of course Jesus was a Republican, that’s obvious. But when it comes to fantasies, everybody is entitled to their own. Mine involve Jesus and Mary Magdalene. 🙂

    Like

    • Long afternoon walks along the Sea of Galilee, flowing garments, Jesus’ smiting olive trees to impress, Mary giggling, a little walking on water, some card tricks, pulling a shekel out from behind her ear…. Yeah, I can see that.

      Like

  12. Great post. Man, I fucking hate Conservatives. I hate them in a one-sided, emotional way that screams out, “Hey! Conservative Mother Fuckers! I hate you!” That being said, I think I’ve come to hate Christianity as much as I do because Conservatives swim in it like maggots swirling in the rotting entrails of a dead pig. They surround themselves with the infallible, unchangeable words found in the Bible in order to justify their loathsome, sickening life-sucking existence. They change what they believe to be perfect, like others have done repeatedly throughout its history, the words of their god, Jesus, so he becomes one of them. Though I hate them with no concern what so ever about how one-sided such hate blurs my opinion of them, I still feel my hate for them is not yet as strong as it should be. For they are a sliver of gangrene, filled with puss, decay, and the stench of the grave that wasn’t amputated in time to save the rest of the from body death. Fucking blood draining leeches. I hate ’em, in case you missed that part.

    Like

  13. Is this for real??? At first I thought you had made up an extreme example, but I guess it is true. I should not be surpriced, and I bet I am not nearly as surpriced as for example an average Lutheran Finn would be when hearing of this conservapedia crap. The average Lutheran Finn already thinks, that creationism is batshit crazy, but what can you do to education. You can’t really beat it. Then again, they are not True Christians, they are just people who have never really even thought about the entire issue, and cultural heritage takes them to weddings, christenings and funerals. So, no we can not bag all Christians into one bag, exept, that they do it all the time, when they try to prove they are right by the popularity fallacy. Religious revisionism is as eager to change history as neo-conservatism is ultra-liberal. Nothing conservative there.

    Even here in Finland we have our own brand of really ignorant religuous people. It is very hard not to judge them as stupid, but such is the power of religious indoctrination, that otherwise normal people seem to totally loose the red thread of reality and logic, when they start excusing their own personal gods. In effect, their own subconscious confirming their biases and prejudices.

    Curious example of how this works appeared in the comments when the Christians who showed up totally ignored the actual point of the post, that the alledgedly infallible word of a particular god, can be twisted, and further more – it can all be done in good faith. That it really depends on what version of the word of this god you have been hearing, how you percieve it. Especially, if taking at face value is taught to be a virtue.

    Education should be about how to measure and evaluate information, so that as many people as possible could learn the basics of critical thinking. If more people could handle these elementary skills, then less people would be dependant on what this or that demagogue claims by the ultimate authority of a god. A god who never appears anywhere to comment wether this, or that holy book (or version of) is actually the true one, or to take responsibility of leading people astray and in terrible atrocities by asking them to have faith in these, or those versions of some specific scriptures. In fact to be fair none of these gods ever appear anywhere to do anything, exept perhaps in anecdotes how this or that god healed someones athletes foot, or something very extraordinary, that could possibly not have happened naturally…

    Like

    • You should hit some of the links, Raut; some of it is hilarious, especially the Conservative Words list. What i found most telling was that this “True Christian” (and his friends) thought it perfectly fine to re-write the book he insists is inerrant! That is some Grade A insanity right there! Not sure if there are enough psychiatrists in all of Vienna to treat him.

      Like

      • It is like something straight out of the “1984”. In that sense, both hilarious, but also rather scary too. These dudes really think they can get away with this, and propably they have enough adherents not only to let them, but to make them filthy rich and powerfull for it too.

        Repairing the innerrant. Talk about contradiction in terms (a bit like military intelligence – when what is, invariably, described is just some low form of animal cunning). How can they fail to see that, or is it just, that they simply trust enough people to fail to see the obvious? I guess it does not matter, because no god will ever appear to render their version of the “innerrant truth” to be correct, or false any more than a god has appeared to tell us wich of the thousands of nominations of thousands of religions is actually the true one. Sending a son to do the job, nor authoring a book does not count, because so many gods have done those.

        Like

  14. John,
    Fantastic post!

    I am a proud citizen of the U.S., but wonder if our current “two party system” of government has forced the “conservatives” into the bed with the “evangelists?” For years I have viewed US elections in a 2X2 matrix with the variables being liberal vs conservative social views and liberal vs conservative economic views. To win elections you need 50.00001% of the vote, so the savvy politician needs to merge the advocates of at least two of the four blocks of the matrix. As a practical result, the battle lines seem now drawn between “conservative” social+economic views vs “liberal” social+economic.

    Sadly the resulting “Extremist” platforms either the Democrats and Republicans do not wholly satisfy the majority of the electorate (check out current opinion polls of politicians).

    I empathize with many of the policies advocated by the current fiscal “conservatives” and think that there is merit in a healthy debate regarding tax increases vs. benefit reductions. I also like the idea of a government as small as possible. For growth, I think the free market, in many (but not all sectors) is the right approach to support. I respect and crave decent, intelligent, vigorous policy negotiations balancing competing views on these topics! These issues have a clear and present effect on my economic well being!

    Unfortunately, I am now often confronted with the political reality of voting for a right wing fiscal conservative (with some valid economic thoughts) who is utterly tainted with evangelistic, creationistic, fundamentalist slime who is competing in an election against an opponent who is socially tolerant, probably atheistic (but politically savvy enough to defer the topic), but with economic views that conflict with my present or future economic stature.

    Where are the pro-choice, pro-(reasonable) gun control, rainbow coalition, gender equality, pro-science, atheistic BUT international realist, limited government advocates???

    Things would definitely be more interesting if we set the political stage forcing a wider variety of political parties, some that would actually more completely represent the views of their constituents!

    Like

    • Hi Drak. I fear the US is closer today to being a plutocracy than an actual democracy. As Larry writes over on Woodgates View, corporate interests not only drive both parties in Congress, but literally determine each party. Citizens United was the worst thing to happen, and it’s terribly hard to see how the good folk of the US are ever going to get a representative government while it is in-place. A third viable party is never a bad thing, but any number higher than that and it starts to become antithetical. Here in Brazil there are far too many, and that demands minority coalitions (as in number of seats) which ultimately produce ineffective and unstable governments. I think you’re seeing that inside the GOP today as they bed-down with the Teabillies and evangelicals; radical groups who simply don’t understand the concept of arbitration and compromise. Personally, as an Australian, I’m a huge fan of the Parliamentary system, but I think the US admitting its system is broken and starting again is just too much of an awkward pill to swallow.

      Like

      • John, I agree with you. A two party system is both a blessing and a curse. Works well when reasonable persons on both sides of the aisle are willing to compromise on important issues.

        Like

      • Here in Finland we have a multiparty system. The political parties are funded to a certain extent from the taxes. I know, sounds terrible, but it kinda works. This stops any corporations from buying off politicians by controlling the advertisment money. We also have a national broadcasting company, expected to be neutral, and providing media assets to all parities. That makes a lot of choises and a lot of moving voters and coalition governments. Any democracy only works as well as how well the citizens are informed. Sometimes voters act as if their political parties represented their religion. I guess the connection is, that the ideology – be it political or religious – becomes so big part of the identity of the person, that reality no longer matters and as excuses for atrocities become harder to come by, then the atrocities are accepted as the ideals. At least as long as the atrocities happen to someone else. To me that seems like the ultimate form of denial.

        The US right wing has this mantra about small government, but what in the US government is small? Not the intelligence agencies and certainly not the military. If the average US citizen is best served by the most expensive military in the world (several times over any others) then that citizen is in serious need of some surprizingly big amount of military strength all over the planet. And same applies to intelligence, right?

        Yeah, I know, the Finnish army is totally out of proportions in comparrison to the size of our nation too, but we live next to a very interresting “democracy”.

        How much of the annual taxes should actually be spent on what the people really need, like infrastructure, medical care, education, equality and legality of the system they live in, in any country?

        At least as long as religion plays any part in politics, we are bound to spend money on the weirdest efforts. Even the mildest forms of religion seem to muddy the waters in ethics and subsequently in politics.

        Like

  15. Pingback: If God doesn’t exist, why… « Enquiries on Atheism

  16. You left out one of the most egregious mistranslations needing to be corrected — Matthew 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but an AR-15.” This mistake can be attributed to the KJV translators’ use of obsolete language.

    Like

  17. Constantine knew that he had a lot of murdering to do in order to consolidate his power in Rome, and believing that his sins could only be forgiven once, waited until he had completed his “Murders To Commit” wish list before finally submitting to baptism.

    Like

  18. Anybody besides me ever wonder why Romans (Italians) always spoke with a British accent, instead of sounding like Father Guido Sarducci? “Friendsa, Romansa, Countrymena – lenda me your earsa –!” Kinda loses something, doesn’t it?

    Like

      • Fascinating how spoken language works. It’s a living thing, adapting, changing and evolving all the time. Even small geographical separations between two groups once speaking a common dialect of a language can cause amazing variations in that dialect in a very short time. Linguistics is fascinating.

        Like

      • Interestingly, and along those same lines, I used the word, “uncanny” in a comment I recently posted. Then I began thinking that there might be a joke in there somewhere, you always hear about something being, “uncanny,” but never about anything being, “canny,” so I looked into it – seems it comes from the Gaelic, “ken,” to know (“Do ye ken John Peel –“?), so “uncanny,” or “unkenny,” means unknowable.

        Also, “h” once had a “k” sound, so that our “shirt” and “skirt” were once the same word, a loosely worn tunic – “ch” also often made a “k” sound, and so, “church” and “kirk” are in fact the same word, something to think about, next time you’re watching “Captain Church.”

        And Inspired, if you really want to grasp how much language has evolved, go back and read a few paragraphs of Chaucer, with the realization that that was the perfectly good English of his time.

        Like

      • I’ve an M.A. in English Lit. I was able to do a pretty good job of reading Chaucer, in Middle English, aloud some time ago. I also had to learn the “Our Father” in Old and Middle English for a Linguistics class I took called “History Of The English Language.” Middle English has SOME bits that sound familiar, but Old English sounds like drunken Germans arguing in broken Russian to me. Tough. Always makes me think though, about “English Purists” who want to maintain English as it’s meant to be, unchanged and sounding how THEY’RE used to it sounding, just how bloody silly such thinking is. Old English WAS English. It evolved. Language always does. Written language we can keep standardized more easily, but even then, changes occur.

        Like

      • As did I. I wonder how many Linguistics Departments are left in Universities in America. Liberal Arts and critical thinking are not things given much value these days, not as much value as they should be given anyway.

        Like

  19. Inspired – my daughter teaches fifth grade – she tells me her school no longer teaches cursive writing, as the system feels that no one uses it anymore. Yet there are two bills before the American Congress at the moment, sponsored by Republicans, that have openly criticized what they perceive as Obama’s disinclination to curb government spending, that are designed to funnel billions of dollars into funding for religious private schools.

    There are those in this country who won’t be satisfied until we have all been reduced to the Christian equivalent of the Taliban.

    Like

    • That’s an excellent way to put it. 100% accurate. It’s Fascism with a theistic dogma. I’m not a violent person and hate war, but if it came down to living under the rule of “Talibanesque” Christians or dying in a battle to keep my freedom from being taken away by them, I’d rather die in the battle. Under no circumstance should public tax money fund a religious school. Have the school, by all means, but fund it yourselves. I’m truly disgusted by this shit. I also see no end to it coming any time soon. Stupidity in America is on an up rise.

      Like

      • “Stupidity in America is on an up rise.”

        It would certainly seem so, but the disenfranchisement of the “Tea Party,” with it’s Right-Wing Young Earthers is a step in the right direction. One suggestion I would have for every concerned atheist in America, would be to join SCA, the Secular Coalition of America – they analyze the political candidates in every state and indicate which ones have progressive viewpoints. They also actively lobby Congress to get bills sponsored that attempt to take religion out of the public venue. It’s free, just google it.

        Like

      • Besides the National organization, each state has a chapter, and there’s a primary coming up, it would help to get as much info as possible , to decide who to vote for. Here’s a link for the national organization, and on the same page, there’s a link to state chapters:
        You might also have an interest in the Humanist Magazine.

        Like

      • That may be a healthier alternative to an actual battle, with the armor, and the swords, and the chopping, and the body parts – just sayin’ —

        Like

      • I was pontificating about the battle. I tend to do that a lot. Pontificate, I mean. And 99% of the time it’s on stuff I know nothing about. I can never be wrong though. I have “Faith” in that fact. You’re not seeing how my “Faith” makes me right and you and everyone else wrong is a weakness you have due to your lack of “Faith.” It is not because I’m wrong. If you had “Faith”, you’d see this. So get some. And get mine because all the others are evil. My “Faith” tells me this. I LOVE “Faith”! I absolutely LOVE it! So, if my “Faith” dictates that I dress up like King Arthur and battle a religious group or a group of 3 year olds, then I’m doing it. Peaceful protests be damned! I’m a man of “Faith!” And in America, “Faith” is the most valuable thing there is. Also, I’m a pacifist and hate wars, fist fights, and aggressive, derogatory verbal exchanges where the word “fuck” is used a lot. So thanks for the fuckin’ great links. And I fuckin’ hope to see you in church. My church that is. The others are all fuckin’ fakes.

        Like

  20. Obviously, the links don’t show up as such until you run your cursor over it – look to the word, “link” and “Humanist magazine.” I’m not sure why that is.

    Like

      • RE: “Amen” – what even you, your Wholiness, may not know, is that everytime a Judeo/Chirstian mutters, “Amen,” they’re actually invoking the blessing of the Egyptian god, Amen, aka, Amun, aka, Amon (as in Tutankhamun — alternatively spelled with Tutenkh-, -amen, -amon). So, Amen to you too, BooBoo!

        Like

      • “from which deity is it that I, an a-theist, invoke when I utter the phrase?”

        As I mentioned, Amen/un/on, the Egyptian god of life and reproduction, represented as a man with a ram’s head.

        Like

      • No. The Egyptian gods weren’t real. No real god would have a ram’s head. That’s just plain silly. I mean, COME ON! Therefor, Amen is just a myth. He was created by an ancient people who had to have space aliens build pyramids for them because they were too stupid to figure out how to do it themselves. As any good theist can tell you, real gods do exist, but I, as an evil a-theist, simply choose to pretend I don’t believe this. Therefor, when I say Amen, I wonder which REAL god, who I choose not to believe in, I’m praying to? ( Man! I gotta get me a gig as an Apologist! That rambling nonsense was so dumb it almost made sense.)

        Like

      • Hey, you’ve got a built-in audience – try your act out on Diana and see if it’ll fly. Beware, she’s a tough crowd!

        Like

      • I am going to have to do that. I simply do what she and other Apologist types do when they argue their points about the validity of the Bible and Jesus: I deny reality and insist those who don’t see the validity of my ludicrous claims are themselves the fools. I remain unbending in my sense of omnipotent righteousness about everything I say even though everything I say is nonsense. The difference is, I’m doing it as a satirical joke. They actually believe the crap they espouse. That’s scary. But yes, I’m going to have to chat with Diana. I did an over the top post on Ken Ham saying I was going to eat him because I heard him claim a-theists were evil cannibals on Fox News. He actually responded to it personally and of course, he didn’t get what I was doing. He thought I really wanted to eat him. I kid you not. Maybe I’ll cook me up some Diana Apologist stew next weekend.

        Like

  21. Diana Lesperance – if you’re still here – I accused you of quashing my comments on your blog, but I discovered I was referring to an entirely different lady, on a totally different blog, so please accept my sincere apology, as well as my make-up gift:

    Like

  22. This seems pretty simple to me: By rewriting (or even correcting) the Word of God™, Andy Schlafly is equating himself with his god. Wasn’t that Lucifer’s big boo-boo?

    Some people never learn, no matter how many fairy tales they read/rewrite.

    Like

  23. “Schlafly’s well-oiled mind this is wholly due to the fact that Liberals and feminists have corrupted the bible, layering their socially conscious, rainbow encrusted deceit like the convoluted strata of a puff pastry apple Danish.” Hehe, bravo! what a great line. I had no clue this was going on…oh will the horrors never end.

    Like

  24. John, hope you don’t mind but I stole your “trickle down” Jesus picture to agitate some on my social media page.
    Another good post, i am always impressed with your words of wisdom.

    Like

  25. Yes, Larry is right, John Zande is truth. and like him, means higher power. Don’t like him means DeVIL. KilL John Z. and his bad friends in Fire. Kill. Kill. Kill.

    Oh, sorry, I am not crazy, to me John is an inspiration. we can learn from others, but I am positive, this John ate from the forbidden fruit of knowledge. I know that because he knows stuff.

    I align myself with rational thinkers, not biblical explainers. Big difference.

    Like

  26. Hi! I wasn’t going to comment, but I’ve been reading your blog voraciously for two days, and find the comments section if anything, even more fascinating than the articles (which are quite eye opening). Let me go ahead and admit I am not an atheist; nor am I a Christian fundamentalist. I do believe in God. However, I have a huge problem with the bible and have serious doubts about the divinity of Christ, although I do believe he existed. I may be considered agnostic by some or more likely spiritual but in no way am I religious. I abhor organized religion as a whole because of the damage it has done in civilized society. I dislike being told I must believe a certain way or I will go to hell. Grace is fine and good, but what if you simply *can’t* believe what they tell you you must believe? Believe me I have tried, and given up. As a person who thinks perhaps too much about everything, I just cannot swallow some of the bible stories that are purported to be scientific and historical fact. They simply don’t make sense, except perhaps as a lovely allegory or a fairy tale. And yes, I do believe in evolution, although I suspect the speed which it led to a form as complex as humanity means it may have been divinely INSPIRED. Guided evolution. I’m of the understanding the Catholic Church has recently embraced this view.
    Sorry about the very late response to this post.
    I’ll still be reading. Awesome blog, even if I don’t agree with *everything.* It still makes you think and question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lucky!

      It’s a thrill to hear that someone has enjoyed my little rambles. Thank you!

      I agree with you 100%: organised religion is not a particular fine human invention, but I guess our innate social inclination (urge) is to always huddle together, to group-up and coalesce. To self-organise, to use another term. I like your stance on belief. I suspect you might be inclined towards Spinoza’s God, the god of all nature, and there’s positively nothing wrong about that. I find the eastern mysticism notion of reincarnation also completely compatible with modern societies. God only knows, we need more people taking personal responsibility, rather than deferring problems onto unseen entities.

      If you haven’t already read them, I did a series of posts based on interviews I conducted with Jewish rabbis and Israeli biblical archaeologists which I think you’ll find interesting. I was thoroughly impressed with how mature the rabbis are in adapting their faiths to modern information regarding the Jewish origin narrative.

      Again, thanks for reading, and commenting. That really does mean a lot.

      J

      Like

    • Guided evolution. I’m of the understanding the Catholic Church has recently embraced this view.

      Well, if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s the Catholic church being right on the cutting edge of such scientific matters. Why it was only 1999, when they formally apologized for condemning Galileo’s heliocentric theory of the 1600’s —

      1960’s: Humankind puts men on the moon
      1990’s: Catholic Church concludes that the Sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth

      Liked by 2 people

  27. One more thing. I’m of the unpopular view that God exists and God is good, but there are many ways to salvation–most religions are different paths to god, or even no religion at all. If there’s a hell, I don’t believe any just and loving God would only send those who “have accepted Christ as their personal savior” will be saved. What about those of us who have tried and simply cannot believe that way? For someone like me, it would be easier to be saved through “works” rather than “grace.”
    The Bible, particularly the old testament, shows us a God I would want nothing to do with–a petty, authoritarian, angry, vengeful, JEALOUS God with the emotional stability of a 2 year old. (4 year olds are more mature and enlightened, sorry to say) 🙂 And some of those stories are definitely NOT fit for children. Give ’em Harry Potter instead–he shows a better example of how to treat others than some of the “righteous and holy” characters in the bible.

    Like

  28. Oh, and some Christians give satan WAY too much power. If he exists at all he’s a rather weak character, I would think. And if God and Satan are locked in an eternal war of good vs. evil, why would God even ALLOW satan to have so much power and take most of his “creation” to hell with him?

    Many companies won’t admit it but they have one employee whose primary job is firing other employees. This is a very valued employee but their power is glossed over or hidden. They are called hatchet-men or hatchetwomen. So God has employed Satan as his hatchetman? That’s the way some Christians seem to regard Satan anyway. I know they believe that was actually his original purpose–Lucifer=”the light bearer”–God’s beloved angel who acted as the adversary and whose job was to “test” the faith of the faithful. When he became too narcissistic for God’s liking he was tossed out of heaven. If he was shunned by God, why does he still seem to fill the same role? These are just some of the many questions I have….there are a lot more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know they believe that was actually his original purpose–Lucifer=”the light bearer”–God’s beloved angel

      I always found it interesting that in the Bible, both Jesus and Lucifer are referred to as “the morning star.” Apropos of what? Not sure, I just thought it a bit strange that they both, at different times, bore the same title.

      Like

      • Luckyotter, I have no desire to turn you into an atheist – you can be a voodoo practitioner for all I care – but you seem to have a willingness to learn, and I’m sure John will agree, I have a lot I could teach you, but I’m a little pressed for time right now. What I CAN do, over the next 24 – 36 hours, is post segments of information to you. This will not be made-up crap, but things that you can check out for yourself and verify. So, if interested, keep watching.

        My first topic will be Noah’s ark and the flood.

        If I may I ask – are you part or all Native American? The name would seem to suggest so.

        Like

  29. John, thank you for your very quick response 🙂 I’ve heard of Spinoza but don’t know too much about his philosophies, so I’ll definitely read up more on him.

    As for eastern mysticism, I agree with you 100%. The theories of reincarnation, the chakras, etc. make far more rational sense to me than the fairy tales in the bible the majority of Americans believe. For instance, the idea of reincarnation which tells us we all have lived many times and will live many more times until we work out our “karma” or become as perfect as we can as humans until we are ready to move on to the next plane. That just makes perfect sense to me. It also explains the unfairness and injustice in the world much better than the idea that Christ died for our sins and we only get this one chance to accept him–or not. Some people have horrible lives and others are blessed with an easy, great life–reincarnation explains the logic behind this: those with very difficult lives are either those with more karma to work out in this life, and may be rewarded with an “easier” life the next time around, or they are “older” souls who can handle more adversity and have more advanced lessons to learn. It’s like school–a young soul is in a sort of spiritual “kindergarten” and we all remember that kindergarten’s a lot of fun, but a graduate student has to work very hard and it’s not really fun–it’s hard and grueling work–but the graduate student is far closer to their goal than someone in kindergarten is. That’s a far more comforting theory to me than this only-live-once, black or white view certain Christians have.

    And what about those who were never introduced to Christianity? They will go to hell too? Again, there is no logic (or justice) in that.

    As for the chakra system (popular in the west now, but derived from Hinduism), their is some scientific evidence these energy centers actually exist–the main ones are located at 7 points throughout the body that correspond with the endocrine glands, and proper meditation on them can actually improve health and psychological wellbeing. But fundie Christians think of this type of meditation as demonic, even though in no way does meditating on these energy centers go against any of their beliefs. Some more progressive Christians though, have integrated this and other yogic and eastern practices into their curriculum.

    As far as grace vs. works–if a person is saved by grace alone, then Jeffrey Dahmer is in heaven because he found Jesus shortly before he was executed. Yet Ghandi (sp?) is going to hell. That makes no sense at all–not all Christians are good, but they’ll go to heaven anyway? I wouldn’t want to be in any “heaven” with the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Pat Robertson. That would be hell to me.

    I totally agree with you also about conservatism. It makes no logical sense and is based on lies rather than reason-and words have definitely been re-defined by their PR experts to mean something at odds with their original meaning. . I think conservatism is a horrific and ugly ideology and is hell-bent (no pun intended there) to bring us back to the dark ages instead of progress and enlightenment. And I detest the way conservatives have co-opted Christianity and made it part of their repugnant political platform–and then twist Jesus’ words into something that fits their agenda. Maybe they’re the Pharisees the bible warned of? The’re no different from the Muslim fundamentalists and the Taliban. They’re just not as far down the slippery slope to tyranny yet, and only because people with compassion and a soul (liberals) are holding them at bay to some extent and their progressive views haven’t been completely outlawed–yet. Do conservatives realize the politicization of Christianity is turning people away from Christianity? That would seem like the work of Satan to me! Jesus must be turning over in his grave….

    I’m just so tired of arrogant, narcissistic, small minded humans playing god and acting all self righteous because they “know” they will be saved.

    It would seem to me that if you take the fundamentalist Christian view, God must really hate the “crowning achievement” of his creation. If he had to send someone to save us, then why did he make us so bad in the first place? Oh, yeah. Free will. :/

    Oh, there is SO much more I want to say.

    Like

    • What an awesome comment! I like your style 🙂

      Yeah, I do feel for my American friends. I’m Australian, but living in Brazil, and looking at what’s going on there in the States leaves me speechless more often than is probably healthy. I’ve travelled all over the States a few times and loved it, so I know perfectly well that this crazy, but frightfully loud right-wing evangelical voice is the minority, but they really do embarrass your country. Why politics has to be extreme is beyond me, and shouldn’t all religions which push a loving “god” idea be inclusive and helpful, rather than bitter and hate-filled? Seems there’s been some serious short-circuits along the way.

      Like

      • I feel sorry for us too. It’s pretty embarrassing actually. I love this country and it’s changed so much even since I was a child–for the worse unfortunately. We’re well on our way to becoming an autocracy with no freedom at all except for those elites withholding all the goodies from the plebian masses.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. One more thing (sorry for rambling so much) but it’s short. I find the idea of evolution (whether divinely inspired or not) and the scientific view of a vast universe that may contain other intelligent beings SO much more awe-inspiring and even mystical than the biblical idea of creation with us as the center of the universe.
    Ironically, I can more easily feel humbled by a God who would have devised such an incredible and beautiful system (even with all the suffering and ugliness that comes along with evolution) than a God who magically made Adam out of clay, ripped a rib from him to become Eve, and then punished all their descendants because of Even’s infraction. Another thing that bothers me–Cain and Abel would have had to have sex with their own mother to reproduce, or with their sisters. Either is incest.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Being a True Christian™ is not easy.” – I quite agree, it’s like searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there.

    Like

    • Thanks! 🙂 I wasn’t sure how my comments would be received, given that I’m kind of on the “God exists” side of the fence. But I do try to be openminded, and what atheists have to say about religion, the bible and science makes a lot more sense to me than what the True Believers have to say.

      Like

      • I don’t think you’ll ever find an atheist who’d object to you believing whatever you wanted to believe. That’s nobodies business. Where I guess we speak up, and by the sounds of things you do too, is when belief becomes an unnecessary/unjustified noise interfering with the “better conversations” (as Harris puts it) we should be having to address very real, very immediate human problems. That’s more Humanism than atheism, and there’s no rule against theists being secular humanists.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wasn’t sure how my comments would be received, given that I’m kind of on the ‘God exists’ side of the fence.

        Little lady, at the risk of generalizing, I think you’ll find overall that theists who obey simple rules of social etiquette – no name-calling or demeaning remarks – are treated far more cordially on an atheist’s site, than atheists on a theist’s site. I know of one who moderates comments, and has never allowed one of mine to post.

        The only ones I ever go after, are the ones who say the Bible is true because the Bible says it is, and if we don’t believe it, we’re all going to hell. Those, I eat for breakfast – yum!

        Like

  32. I’ve never posted on an atheist site before, and was always told (mostly by true believers) that atheists were even more intolerant and dogmatic than they were. I wasn’t sure what to believe, but I think they are wrong.

    “The only ones I ever go after, are the ones who say the Bible is true because the Bible says it is, and if we don’t believe it, we’re all going to hell. Those, I eat for breakfast – yum”

    ah yes, I’m very familiar with that argument. And whenever you question them about anything related to why they believe the things they do, they always point to the Bible. “It’s the word of God,” they say. If you tell them it’s been translated over and over and was written by MEN, the only argument they can give you is “faith.” That’s pretty telling–they can’t give you a rational reason (because there isn’t any) but just tell you you have to have faith that it’s true. Sorry, but that’s not good enough for me. I countered one of these Faith trolls by saying “But then why did God give us a brain to THINK and QUESTION” and all I got was a blank stare, and finally was told the devil was planting lies in my brain. Riiiight.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Noah’s flood is dated by most Jewish encyclopediae as being about 2600 BCE. I have a number of these bookmarked, but no time to dig them out for you – however, they are easily Googled.

    There was an actual, HISTORICAL flood in a city-state called Shuruppak, in Mesopotamia, located northwest of what today, is Baghdad, in Iraq. The actual, historical king of Shuruppak, named Ziusudra, escaped the flood in a trading barge loaded with cotton, cattle and beer, and sailed on down to the Persian Gulf.

    A hundred years later, an anonymous author wrote the first known piece of fiction, known as “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” a story of an epic hero, Gilgamesh, and his lifelong friend who have exciting adventures in their quest for eternal life. The friend is killed, and Gilgamesh, watching his friend’s body decay, witnesses first-hand the fruits of death, which renews his resolve to find the secret of eternal life. He recalls the 7-day Mesopotamian flood, sent by the gods, and the one king, Utinapishtim, and his wife, who survived in a boat they had built because they were warned by one of the friendlier gods. As they water receded, Utinapistim sent out a raven and a dove – the dove returned, the raven never did. once the pair disembarked, Utinapistim built an altar and sacrificed, and the gods “smelled the sweet savor and gathered around the sacrifice like flies.

    Having survived, the gods felt remorse at what they had done, and sent old Ut and his wife to the end of the earth and granted them eternal life. Gilgamesh decided that in order to learn the secret, he needed to find Ut and learn it from him. Once he had found him, Utinapistim told him the above story of the flood. the rest of the story is interesting, but irrelevant to the Bible.

    The writers of the Bible plagiarized the Mesopotamian story – stealing heavily from both the actual Mesopotamian flood story, and from the Epic of Gilgamesh. From the historical story, they borrowed the fact that the Euphrates rose 15 cubits above the land, about 22.5 feet, whereas in the Bible, the floodwaters are 15 cubits above the highest mountains – like the average fish story, the first liar doesn’t stand a chance.

    Check out Gen 8:21, where “…the Lord smelled a sweet savor…” – a very sloppy job of plagiarism, to copy word for word, but considering there was less than a 3% literacy rate at the time, and that the “Epic of Gilgamesh” was written in a language other than ancient Hebrew, it’s easy to assume that they knew it would likely never be read.

    Why ould they put such a story in the Bible? The answer is obvious, as an object lesson, a control mechanism, saying “See what happens if you don’t do as you’re told?”

    I suggest you begin here:Noah’s Ark and the Ziusudra Epic: Sumerian Origins of the Myth.

    Creationists often look to the fact that every culture seemingly has a flood story, and that may be true, but there is no evidence that they all happened at the same time – at one time or another, every Inhabitable area gets flooded, but never all at once.

    I could offer you other links, but one of the (many) drawbacks of a WordPress site, is that it will allow only 2 or 3 links before it sends a comment to moderation, or worse yet, the Spam file. You’ll have to take what I’ve given you and search further on your own, should you care to know more. Good luck.

    I’ll be back with more information on other biblical matters.

    Like

  34. As you will see below, Luckyotter, Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – these were written, over hundreds of years – first the Yahwist Source, priests writing in Jerusalem, in the Southern Jewish Kingdom of Judea around 950 BCE, then the Elohist Source, in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, located in Schechem, around 850 BCE and brought south to Judea when the Northern Kingdom was threatened by the Assyrians, and later combined about 750 BCE into a single work known as JE (Yahwist/Elohist); Deuteronomy was written about 800 BCE, possibly by King Josiah, and the Priestly Source by a group of priests in captivity in Babylon, in the 500’s BCE – this was all joined together in 400 BCE like a patchwork quilt, by a redactor. (For example, Gen 2 was written first, by the Yahwist Source, then the Priestly Source, writing in captivity, decided that the Jews were taken captive because they had not revered god as they should, wrote Gen 1, creating a god who sits high on a stately throne, and doesn’t pop down to earth and chat with humans.)

    By the seventeenth century a number of scholars had wrestled with the problems of the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Carlstadt, a leader of the Reformation movement in Germany, wrote a pamphlet in 1520 arguing that Moses did not write the Pentateuch, for the style of writing in the verses reporting Moses’ death (Deut. 32:5-12) was that of the preceding verses. In 1574, A. Du Maes, a Roman Catholic scholar, suggested that the Pentateuch was composed by Ezra, who used old manuscripts as a basis. Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher, concluded in 1651 that Moses wrote only parts of Deuteronomy (Leviathan III:33). In Tractatus theologico-politicus (1677), Baruch Spinoza, the Jewish philosopher, recognized as one of the founders of modern biblical criticism, reached a conclusion much like that of Du Maes, that Ezra compiled Genesis to II Kings from documents of varying dates. Shortly afterward, Richard Simon, a Roman Catholic priest, often called “the father of biblical criticism,” gathered together the substance of critical analyses up to his time and raised the problem of literary history, thus opening the door to the application of techniques used in the study of non-sacred literature to the Bible.

    In the eighteenth century Jean Astruc, a celebrated physician, published a treatise on Genesis in which he postulated that Moses used two major sources in writing the book of Genesis. The source in which the name “Elohim” is used for God, Astruc called “A,” and that which used “Yahweh” was labeled “B.” Ten fragmentary sources were also recognized and given alphabetical designations. Additional criteria for defining sources were worked out by J. G. Eichorn, sometimes called “the father of Old Testament criticism” or, on the basis of his five volume “Introduction” to the Old Testament, “the father of the modern science of introductory studies.”

    Others built upon these foundations. In 1806-7 W. M. L. DeWette, a German scholar, published a two volume introductory study of the Old Testament in which he suggested that the book found in the temple in 621 B.C., during the reign of King Josiah of Judah (II Kings 22-23), was the book of Deuteronomy. In the work of Julius Wellhausen, who built upon the research of K. H. Graf and Wilhelm Vatke, the most significant analysis of the Pentateuch was made. The thesis known as the Graf-Wellhausen theory, or as the Documentary Hypothesis, still provides the basis upon which more recent hypotheses are founded.

    The Graf-Wellhausen analysis identified four major literary sources in the Pentateuch, each with its own characteristic style and vocabulary. These were labeled: J, E, D and P. The J source used the name “Yahweh” (“Jahveh” in German) for God, called the mountain of God “Sinai,” and the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Palestine “Canaanites,” and was written in a vivid, concrete, colorful style. God is portrayed anthropomorphically, creating after the fashion of a potter, walking in the garden, wrestling with Jacob. J related how promises made to the patriarchs were fulfilled, how God miraculously intervened to save the righteous, or to deliver Israel, and acted in history to bring into being the nation. E used “Elohim” to designate God until the name “Yahweh” was revealed in Exod. 3:15, used “Horeb” as the name of the holy mountain, “Amorite” for the pre-Hebrew inhabitants of the land, and was written in language generally considered to be less colorful and vivid than J’s. E’s material begins in Gen. 15 with Abraham, and displays a marked tendency to avoid the strong anthropomorphic descriptions of deity found in J. Wellhausen considered J to be earlier than E because it appeared to contain the more primitive elements.

    The Deuteronomic source, D, is confined largely to the book of Deuteronomy in the Pentateuch, contains very little narrative, and is made up, for the most part, of Moses’ farewell speeches to his people. A hortatory and emphatic effect is produced by the repetition of certain phrases: “be careful to do” (5:1, 6:3, 6:25, 8:1), “a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (5:15, 7:19, 11:2), “that your days may be prolonged” (5:16, 6:2, 25:15). Graf had demonstrated that knowledge of both J and E were presupposed in D, and having accepted DeWette’s date of 621 B.C. for D, argued that J and E must be earlier. J was dated about 850 B.C. and E about 750 B.C.

    The Priestly tradition, P, reveals interest and concern in whatever pertains to worship. Not only does P employ a distinctive Hebrew vocabulary but, influenced by a desire to categorize and systematize material, develops a precise, and at times a somewhat labored or pedantic, style. Love of detail, use of repetition, listing of tribes and genealogical tables, does not prevent the P material from presenting a vivid and dramatic account of Aaron’s action when an Israelite attempted to marry a Midianite woman (Num. 25:6-9) or from developing a rather euphonious and rhythmical statement of creation (Gen. 1). The Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis noted that P contained laws and attitudes not discernible in J, E, or D and reflected late development. P was dated around the time of Ezra, or about 450 B.C.

    The combining of the various sources was believed to be the work of redactors. Rje, the editor who united J and E around 650 B.C. provided connecting links to harmonize the materials where essential. Rd added the Deuteronomic writings to the combined JE materials about 550 B.C., forming what might be termed a J-E-D document. P was added about 450-400 B.C. by Rp, completing the Torah.

    The documentary hypothesis is the most widely accepted of all theories of Pentateuchal analysis.

    Like

  35. You’ve already indicated an awareness that the four Gospels – Mark, Matthew, Luke and John – were written anonymously by men acting on hearsay information, and much, much later, names assigned to the authors. “Mark” was written about 72 CE, “Matthew” about ten years later. “Luke” about ten years after that, and “John” at the end of the first or beginning of the second century. The first, then, would have been written a full 40+ years after the death of the main character – if he ever existed – and the last, 60 or 70 years after. We have NO ONE, from the actual time period – 30’s CE – reporting any baby born of a virgin, no wandering preacher performing miracles, walking on water, rising from the dead, or floating up into the clouds. No dead people rising from graves and walking the street – nothing.

    Several other books of the NT were forged. Two books I would suggest you read, are Richard Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible?, and Forged, by Bart D. Ehrman.

    If I can, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s