published Saturday, September 1st, 2012

There's no balance in Obama thinking and other letters to the editors

There's no balance in Obama thinking

This election is the most important in the history of our country. If Mr. Obama is re-elected, the United States will never be the same.

President Obama's first term has been dedicated to acquiring power to enable him to fulfill his promise of transforming America. Laws have been passed which allow unlimited power to the president. His appointees will not only interpret vaguely written laws but will enforce thousands of regulations that Congress did not write. The secretary of Health and Human Services has the sole discretion regarding the health care of millions of Americans when Obamacare is in force. It will be impossible to reverse some of these laws.

President Obama is so adamant about the environment that he doesn't consider the economic ramifications to this country. There is no balance in his thinking.

We are not dealing with a person of character and integrity but a narcissist without values who seeks unlimited power.

WILMA HOLBROOK


Pre-k programs aren't playschools

Your editorial "Haslam wrong about pre-k" (Aug. 26) basically criticizes two governors for promoting education of the young child; sees no merit in educating children before the age of 5; and alleges that pre-k teachers are unionized babysitters.

Teachers organizations have played an important role in improving education for all children and mentoring teachers as they grow in their profession. Studies have shown that babies begin learning before they ever leave their mother's womb and teachers' children, especially, do better in their mental development. Maria Montesorri said, "To deny them (the children) the right to learn because we as adults think they shouldn't is illogical ..." "More is caught than ever is taught!"

It is ludicrous to hypothesize that pre-k programs were created to expand job opportunities for teachers. Today's pre-k programs are more than playschools or mother's day out conveniences. Currently Georgia is showing growth and benefits. Primary teachers will tell you the program is working. The Strategic Research Group may have failed at their job because they lack reliable instruments in drawing their conclusions. Columnist Walter Williams voices the need to educate the parents. Teachers are not the problem!

ESTHER BUTLER-TAJ, Ooltewah


Listen to God's spirit within

Dietrich Bonheoffer, before he was silenced by Hitler, coined a new phrase -- "Religiousless Christianity." I am sure he was aware that most wars and strife within countries and families had a thread of religion running through them. He understood that religion caused wars and tensions even among Christians themselves as in the Crusades, inquisitions and decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.

We know that most world religions are based on the Golden Rule -- "do unto others as you would have done unto you." I am glad that Christianity holds to this beautiful model.

When religion is added to Christianity it takes on judgments and dogma in its creeds, rites and liturgy. We are reminded to return in silence and prayer and listening to God speak. The Gnostics, who almost set the agenda for the future of the Church at Nicaea, believed that God was within and available to all. I sort of wish they had won out, as they saw no need for an ecclesiastical establishment but suggested we listen to God's spirit within.

Whatever happened to loving your neighbor, finding a closet for prayer, turning the other cheek, and going the second mile?

FRANCIS A. GREEN, Chickamauga, Ga.


Parents' behavior shows 'passion'

While attending a Hixson Middle School football game, it came to my attention just how "passionate" people are about sporting events.

The team arrived dressed out in school colors, united in school spirit, intent on winning.

As the game progressed, the other team scored again and again. That's when these "passionate" parents showed their true colors.

On this particular afternoon, it was not just the game these young men lost.

They went onto the field proud and hopeful; they came off defeated and worn.

As I said before, some parents were "passionate." They paced the sidelines, screamed at their sons, screamed insults at the coaches while other spectators sat and watched their behavior.

Soon, other children began mimicking the "passionate" parents.

At a time when the words God, Jesus and prayers are being banned from public venues I have to wonder where those opposing these God-given rights are.

Do they not oppose God and Jesus being used in vain on a ball field?

The coaches stayed focused on the team and kept their cool. I'm proud of them and our Wildcats. Go Hixson Wildcats!

TERESA GOINS, Hixson


Health accord needed to survive

"Unless physicians stand together to fight threats and injustices, our practices cannot remain viable in the future," Samuel Wilson, M.D. "United we stand; divided we fall," Aesop.

We are 50,000 physicians short already. Obamacare may cause 50,000 doctors to retire. Obama patients will require 50,000 doctors. With a shortage of 150,000 physicians, will rural, Medicare, TennCare patients be served?

Hospitals and doctors are aiding the insurance companies and the federal government to change the rules; almost 100 lobbying firms singing different songs.

Why does Memorial have a "profit line" and a retained earnings line?

How much money does Memorial have in reserves; send to corporate and the diocese; provide in charity?

How much does Erlanger have in reserves?

Charity care by Erlanger?

How much money does BlueCross have in reserves?

How much money has BC spent for the public good?

Doctors and hospitals do not trust each other; two open doors for payers.

Suggestion: Develop one plan whereby the hospitals and doctors can survive, i.e. one accord, have it delivered to Congress in hand with this verbal message, "Take it or leave it but if you leave it, on _ date we will not be providing for your patients."

ANTHONY B. BULL, Englewood, Tenn.


Where has free speech gone?

In Wednesday's coverage of the GOP convention in Tampa, there was a brief titled "Protesters Surrounded" in the convention "Notebook" section. As I read "protesters ... pelted by rain, blasted by sun ... cannot get within shouting distance ... streets are closed ... vastly outnumbered by the men and women paid to keep a watch on them," I thought for a moment that I was reading a Twitter posting from Syria and the editor had put it on the wrong page.

What happened to free speech? Is this Mitt Romney's "Plan for the Middle Class," taking place outside the bastions of power where the elite are in reality deciding their fate? Of course reasonable security measures must be taken in this crazy world, but this is surreal. Shame on the Republican National Committee, and I hope the Democrats don't make the same mistake!

As part-time residents here, we choose the Chattanooga Times Free Press over other papers because we are impressed with your fair-minded news and editorial coverage, neither overwhelmingly "liberal" nor "conservative."

KATHLEEN LOWERY, Blairsville, Ga.

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Easy123 said...

WILMA HOLBROOK,

"If Mr. Obama is re-elected, the United States will never be the same."

In what way? I highly doubt you can come up with a cogent answer to that question.

"President Obama's first term has been dedicated to acquiring power"

How? I highly doubt you can come up with a cogent answer to that question.

"Laws have been passed which allow unlimited power to the president."

False. You're 0/3.

"His appointees will not only interpret vaguely written laws but will enforce thousands of regulations that Congress did not write."

What are you even talking about? You're just making things up at this point.

"The secretary of Health and Human Services has the sole discretion regarding the health care of millions of Americans when Obamacare is in force."

Wrong again. 0/5.

"President Obama is so adamant about the environment that he doesn't consider the economic ramifications to this country."

What are the ramifications if we don't consider the environment? Do you like clean air to breathe? How about clean water? Are you a fan of global warming?

"There is no balance in his thinking."

There is no actual thinking in your "thinking". Nothing you have said to this point is factual.

"We are not dealing with a person of character and integrity but a narcissist without values who seeks unlimited power."

President Obama has tremendous character and integrity. You have presented NOTHING that would prove otherwise. You have also failed to present anything that at all to prove you claim that he is "a narcissist without values who seeks unlimited power". The last sentence you have written is entirely and utterly baseless. In fact, there is much evidence to the contrary.

Wilma Holbrook has no character or integrity. She is a narcissist without values who seeks unlimited power. If you can make baseless claims, I can as well.

September 1, 2012 at 3:46 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Easy123, thanks for posting a point-by-point rebuttal.
The rabid right just makes stuff up, or parrots the lines fed to them by those who believe "corporations are people."
They'll believe anything ugly about the President. Their talking points don't need to be true, and so much more fun for them if they aren't.
The fanatics are hooked on the sick thrill of hating and smearing a duly-elected American President. They can't let facts and honorable conduct get in the way of that.
President Obama isn't perfect, but he's nothing close to the person fantasized by the desperate GOP.

September 1, 2012 at 9:32 a.m.

FRANCIS A. GREEN said: Dietrich Bonheoffer, before he was silenced by Hitler, coined a new phrase -- "Religiousless Christianity." I am sure he was aware that most wars and strife within countries and families had a thread of religion running through them. He understood that religion caused wars and tensions even among Christians themselves as in the Crusades, inquisitions and decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland. We know that most world religions are based on the Golden Rule -- "do unto others as you would have done unto you." I am glad that Christianity holds to this beautiful model. When religion is added to Christianity it takes on judgments and dogma in its creeds, rites and liturgy.


The only way to protect Christianity from becoming politicized is by maintaining the dogma in its creeds, rites and liturgy. Religion didn’t cause the Crusades, inquisitions and decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland. Ignorance about the church's dogmas and failure to maintain its purity and peace caused these and other deviations from biblical Christianity. Bonhoeffer knew that tossing the offense of the cross out the window is what produced the vacuous, gnostic religion that paved the way for German nationalism. Please read Dorothy Sayers’ Creed or Chaos.

September 1, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Let's take the Catholic Church as an example of dogma, rites and liturgy.

After WW2 the Catholic church was found to have enabled Hitler and Mussolini in many ways. Catholics in Poland turned in Jews and helped send them to death camps. Good Lithuanian Catholics and Protestants joined the Home Guard and Nazi units to rid themselves of Jews.

Pope Pius XII collaborated with the Nazis using Jesuits to forge papers for Nazi war criminals to escape from Allied justice. The infamous "Rat Line" was part of the Catholic protection. This is just one instance of Catholic Church help to the Nazis and Italian Fascists.

Don't forget until the 1960s the official Catholic policy was that Jews were responsible of the death of Jesus and were not forgiven for that "crime."

While the Nazis had their six million, the Catholic Church has responsibility for millions more throughout its sordid existence.

The current Pope was a Hitler Youth member. As a Cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was responsible for allowing pedophile priests to remain as priests in contact with potential victims.

If there was ever a religious organization that has been more cruel, corrupt, and murderous in its actions, I am unaware of it. Killing, plunder, and exploitation has been a hallmark of the Vatican for 1700 years.

Even Muslims must take a backseat to the Catholic Church when it comes to a long, holy reign of terror.

September 1, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

CONCLUSION:

daytonsdarwin, Here is something I wrote for Fendrel, hopefully it will clear up some of the morality issues of organization's falsely labeling themselves Christian. Also, Your information on the numbers of individuals killed because of Christians is absolutely invalid, false, completely without factual basis. I earlier, on this site, provided examples of overwhelmingly, multiplied greater numbers of lives taken by non-Christians. It only took one example to demonstrate the greater non-Christian killing fields. I will look it back up, if You do not remember. kwo

"You said, "The idea of an "absolute" moral code doesn't make any sense."

Well, i hope You will visit this link:

http://pattonhq.com/links/uccministry/jeffbible.pdf

This is the link to:

The Jefferson Bible The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted From The Four Gospels

I believe, to a great extent, as Jefferson did. We need a moral code that is written (etched in stone), and, which is the greatest of which we can imagine. Situation ethics is not acceptable as a code. I tried to explain that by taking a look at the overwhelming differences of opinions on what constitutes pain, and, pleasure. Often, when parents murder their toddlers it is because they believed the toddlers would be better off away from this cruel world.

The Case for a Good Society? How much longer must "civilization" exist before we discover that 'good society' of which You speak? That's pretty much like the opponents of Christ, during His life, who said His teachings/following would fade away. Well, over twenty centuries have past.......we are w-a-i-t-i-n-g! Human vacillation will continue as long as there exists humans. But, utilizing the absolute laws of Jesus Christ as our moral code, we in the Christian Community will never have to decide 'is that pain, or, pleasure to my fellow human.

So, there are a whole lot of people much more intelligent that Thomas Jefferson, or, me. You may be one of them. I am a Christian, Mr. Jefferson, a Deist (i think?), yet he saw that time had not cured the human ethics/morals dilemma, and i, the same. I add a component of Eternal Life with the One of whom Mr. Jefferson followed. I choose to not take the Soul-risk of doing otherwise.

Ken ORR

September 1, 2012 at 5:08 p.m.

daytonsdarwin said... Let's take the Catholic Church as an example of dogma, rites and liturgy.If there was ever a religious organization that has been more cruel, corrupt, and murderous in its actions, I am unaware of it. Killing, plunder, and exploitation has been a hallmark of the Vatican for 1700 years.


All of which are deviations from the teaching (dogma) of biblical Christianity. The Roman church is far more Roman (and Germanic) than Christian. It has embraced enumerable pagan superstitions over the years, to say nothing of ancient Rome’s structural violence. Modern western secularism has proven itself at least as violent. You’ll need to look east to solve the west’s seemingly endemic lust for power and violence. Bonhoeffer saw Nazism for what it was: a revival of ancient pagan tribalism with the omnipotence and technological efficiency of the modern state at its disposal. Hitler did everything he could to dispose of orthodox Christianity (the confessing church). Mistaking politically-manipulated religious nationalism as Christian dogma is a simplistic distortion. Typical leftist cant.

September 1, 2012 at 5:20 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Orr,

"Situation ethics is not acceptable as a code."

Yes, they are.

"Often, when parents murder their toddlers it is because they believed the toddlers would be better off away from this cruel world."

I would bet any example you could give of that situation occurring would involve Christians. That doesn't help your argument.

"That's pretty much like the opponents of Christ, during His life, who said His teachings/following would fade away. Well, over twenty centuries have past.......we are w-a-i-t-i-n-g!"

Humans are more ignorant and gullible than ever.

"But, utilizing the absolute laws of Jesus Christ as our moral code, we in the Christian Community will never have to decide 'is that pain, or, pleasure to my fellow human."

We don't have to decide what is pleasure and pain now. Murder is bad, helping others is good. Rape is bad, consensual sex is good. Stealing is bad, giving/donating to others is good. I could go on but I've made my point. Your argument is fallacious.

"I choose to not take the Soul-risk of doing otherwise."

You believe in your god/religion because you are a coward. You are afraid to ask there real questions. You are afraid to search for truth. You are so afraid of this fictional "Hell" that you believe without question. You are a coward, Ken Orr.

Watch these. Maybe you'll be enlightened. I doubt it. But it's worth a shot.

September 1, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

You offer no proof or evidence; merely a recitation of babble. Nor proof of a soul either. Your claims as as valid as a witch doctor shaking rattle-gourds over a dead goat. The goat is still dead. So are your arguments.

wwwtw, I find it hilarious when one "Christian" sect claims other "Christian" sects are false. You do not disappoint. I'm sure your god has given your the wink-wink nod-nod, and the secret handshake. Aren't you special?

And the search for evidence goes on. Bueller? Bueller? Gawd? Proof?

September 1, 2012 at 5:37 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

CONCLUSION:

Easy123 & daytonsdarwin, I know both of You may believe You are much more well credentialed, and, have a higher intelligence, title, and, degree than Doctor Hugh Ross, Astrophysicist, but, now, open mind for greater view! kwo

(1) Some time before 500 B.C. the prophet Daniel proclaimed that Israel's long-awaited Messiah would begin his public ministry 483 years after the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26). He further predicted that the Messiah would be "cut off," killed, and that this event would take place prior to a second destruction of Jerusalem. Abundant documentation shows that these prophecies were perfectly fulfilled in the life (and crucifixion) of Jesus Christ. The decree regarding the restoration of Jerusalem was issued by Persia's King Artaxerxes to the Hebrew priest Ezra in 458 B.C., 483 years later the ministry of Jesus Christ began in Galilee. (Remember that due to calendar changes, the date for the start of Christ's ministry is set by most historians at about 26 A.D. Also note that from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. is just one year.) Jesus' crucifixion occurred only a few years later, and about four decades later, in 70 A.D. came the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. (Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th power.)*

(2) In approximately 700 B.C. the prophet Micah named the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel's Messiah (Micah 5:2). The fulfillment of this prophecy in the birth of Christ is one of the most widely known and widely celebrated facts in history. (Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 5th power.)*

(3) In the fifth century B.C. a prophet named Zechariah declared that the Messiah would be betrayed for the price of a slave—thirty pieces of silver, according to Jewish law-and also that this money would be used to buy a burial ground for Jerusalem's poor foreigners (Zechariah 11:12-13). Bible writers and secular historians both record thirty pieces of silver as the sum paid to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus, and they indicate that the money went to purchase a "potter's field," used—just as predicted—for the burial of poor aliens (Matthew 27:3-10). (Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 11th power.)*

(4) Some 400 years before crucifixion was invented, both Israel's King David and the prophet Zechariah described the Messiah's death in words that perfectly depict that mode of execution. Further, they said that the body would be pierced and that none of the bones would be broken, contrary to customary procedure in cases of crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zechariah 12:10). Again, historians and New Testament writers confirm the fulfillment: Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross, and his extraordinarily quick death eliminated the need for the usual breaking of bones. A spear was thrust into his side to verify that he was, indeed, dead. (Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 13th power.)*

Ken ORR

September 1, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

CONCLUSION: Easy123 & daytonsdarwin, Do You Want to Deny Some More???

(5) The prophet Isaiah foretold that a conqueror named Cyrus would destroy seemingly impregnable Babylon and subdue Egypt along with most of the rest of the known world. This same man, said Isaiah, would decide to let the Jewish exiles in his territory go free without any payment of ransom (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; and 45:13). Isaiah made this prophecy 150 years before Cyrus was born, 180 years before Cyrus performed any of these feats (and he did, eventually, perform them all), and 80 years before the Jews were taken into exile.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 15th power.)

(6) Mighty Babylon, 196 miles square, was enclosed not only by a moat, but also by a double wall 330 feet high, each part 90 feet thick. It was said by unanimous popular opinion to be indestructible, yet two Bible prophets declared its doom. These prophets further claimed that the ruins would be avoided by travelers, that the city would never again be inhabited, and that its stones would not even be moved for use as building material (Isaiah 13:17-22 and Jeremiah 51:26, 43). Their description is, in fact, the well-documented history of the famous citadel.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 9th power.)

(7) The exact location and construction sequence of Jerusalem's nine suburbs was predicted by Jeremiah about 2600 years ago. He referred to the time of this building project as "the last days," that is, the time period of Israel's second rebirth as a nation in the land of Palestine (Jeremiah 31:38-40). This rebirth became history in 1948, and the construction of the nine suburbs has gone forward precisely in the locations and in the sequence predicted.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 8th power.)

(8) The prophet Moses foretold (with some additions by Jeremiah and Jesus) that the ancient Jewish nation would be conquered twice and that the people would be carried off as slaves each time, first by the Babylonians (for a period of 70 years), and then by a fourth world kingdom (which we know as Rome). The second conqueror, Moses said, would take the Jews captive to Egypt in ships, selling them or giving them away as slaves to all parts of the world. Both of these predictions were fulfilled to the letter, the first in 607 B.C. and the second in 70 A.D. God's spokesmen said, further, that the Jews would remain scattered throughout the entire world for many generations, but without becoming assimilated by the peoples or of other nations, and that the Jews would one day return to the land of Palestine to re-establish for a second time their nation (Deuteronomy 29; Isaiah 11:11-13; Jeremiah 25:11; Hosea 3:4-5 and Luke 21:23-24). This prophetic statement sweeps across 3500 years of history to its complete fulfillment—in our lifetime.

(Probability of chance fulfillment = 1 in 10 to the 20th power.)

September 1, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Yawn. Nope. That's not working. It's obvious you're not a scientist, historian, or scholar, merely an apologist.

You'd think if Jehovah could write on the wall with his finger, he could give proof of his existence beyond the mumbo-jumbo of the man-created Bible.

For a book that Christians claim is so easy to understand, you would think it would be written so as not to need such convoluted explanations. You make Scientology look almost believable since its in the same fantasy vein as the Bible.

Next?

September 1, 2012 at 6:57 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

daytonsdarwin,

Next??? I will not give up on You, I will continue praying for Your blessing...which means Your receiving Jesus Christ as Your Lord, God, and Saviour. Which means Jesus' blood shed on Calvary's cruel Cross will be applied to Your life. Then, You will possess an eternity in Heaven...which means You will not ever experience the torment of eternal hell, fire, and, brimstone. Saint John 3:16

ken

September 1, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Easy123,

Thank You for the links. I will view them. I genuinely believe You mean well. I genuinely believe You (genuinely) care about other people.

ken

September 1, 2012 at 7:52 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Dr. Hugh Ross — creationist, Christian apologetic. Other creation "scientists" don't like him because Dr. Ross doesn't believe in all of the Genesis myth.

There is only science, not creation science, not Darwinian science, not Seventh-Day Adventist science, not Jehovah's Witness science — only science.

I applaud Bill Nye the Science Guy for telling Americans that to teach kids creationism is harmful. That type of superstitious, magical thinking helps no one, and hinders learning and education.

Niel Armstrong didn't get to the moon by riding a chariot to the heavens. He got to the moon by science and hard work from thousands of people who accepted scientific principles and worked in a scientific manner — not by magical thinking, not by creation myths, nor invisible deities whisking his space capsule to a green-cheese moon.

Revealed religion is dangerous, now more than ever before. The Mary Baker Eddys and Ellen Whites, the Oral Roberts and Jerry Falwells, the John Hagees and Joseph Smiths, Mike Huckabee and George Bush, and the rest of the unholy host of revelatory cons claim that God speaks to them, yet all have a different message from on high.

But the message is the same, grade A- top-drawer BS. If they truly believe it they're delusional; if not (and most fall into this category) they're dishonest and using it to con.

You may need such BS in your life. But kids don't need nor deserve to be handed such BS as scientific truth because it's neither scientific or truth. It's myth.

There's more wisdom and truth in Aesop's Fables to morally instruct a child than all the religious holy books combined.

Thankfully, most Christians will attend church tomorrow more concerned about Sunday dinner and football games than believing the Biblical BS. The last thing American needs are more religious fanatics who would send knowledge into another dark age. That's what you propose.

So save your empty, wasted prayers. They'll not effect one iota of my life. I choose science and reason over your dogmatic and backwards religious voodoo.

September 1, 2012 at 8:32 p.m.

daytonsdarwin said... You offer no proof or evidence; merely a recitation of babble.

This is trite, but … pot, meet kettle.

Nor proof of a soul either.

Was that subject ever introduced into the discussion? If you want a question to be answered, it is a good idea to first ask it. I was addressing Francis Green’s profound misunderstanding of the historical events about which he pontificated. Especially difficult to stomach was the ludicrous spin Mr. Green put on the profound observations of one of the 20th century’s greatest martyrs.

I find it hilarious when one "Christian" sect claims other "Christian" sects are false. You do not disappoint. I'm sure your god has given your (sic) the wink-wink nod-nod, and the secret handshake. Aren't you special?

If it surprises you that disagreements exist among the billions of diverse adherents of a 2,000 year-old religion, it is you who is living in a naïve, utopian fairy tale. No such assumption is conveyed in the Bible itself. There were false sects claiming to be Christian while the ink was still wet on the New Testament letters (as evidenced by the fact that such sects are addressed in those letters). This will be difficult for you to follow, but give it a try: The fact that everyone doesn’t agree about something does not mean that no one could possibly be substantively correct about it. The mere existence of multiple interpretations of a text or a phenomenon does not preclude the possibility that some of those interpretations are accurate, while others are inaccurate, and that there are widely varying degrees of proximity to an accurate interpretation. (I’ll give you a few minutes to stew on such a possibility.)

An important corollary often overlooked by dim-witted non-theists is that, while no mere human has all of it figured out, there is a body of theological truth about which there is general agreement across the centuries. Reformers within Roman Catholicism have called attention to the deviations I described, even as the hierarchy was either slow to acknowledge them or ultimately unwilling to do so. Our finite, imperfect ability to understand theology does not make it impossible to say that some teaching and some practices are inconsistent with what most readers have understood to be the clearest teachings of Scripture.

Your intellectual laziness prevents you from dealing with the historical nuances and distinctions I described.

September 1, 2012 at 8:50 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Your reality is to believe in a paranoid/schizophrenic god.

My reality is not to believe that your god exists as I require evidence based on science and reason, not revelations.

Here's the difference. The science of today can be proved false tomorrow. That's the scientific process. That's how science progresses.

Religious revelations, such as most forms of Christianity, can not change. They are claimed to be factual, without recourse to challenge, questions, or change. That is the reality you operate in.

I prefer enlightenment, knowledge, and an open-minded view of the universe that inspires me to love my existence as short, but worthy of living here and now.

You prefer a narrow, supernatural, superstitious, sin and fear-based cowering and non-questioning acceptance of 2000 year-old myths.

It much easier to say, "God's will", and not question than to say, "Jehovah's not real, the Bible tells tall tales, and I'll seek my answers through the hard work of science and reason."

It doesn't take brains to accept the Bible as literal, historical fact. It's easy because some authority told you to accept it.

It does, however, take courage and hard work to resist authority, to fight for intellectual freedom, and the progress of scientific inquiry.

Who's the lazy one?

September 1, 2012 at 9:16 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Wwwtw,

It's strange how you claim that there were so many other "false" sects. How could you possibly know whether they were false or not? What, who gives your particular sect authority over another? How could you possibly know whether your own sect was true or false? All of these sects base their doctrine on the same book.

"The mere existence of multiple interpretations of a text or a phenomenon does not preclude the possibility that some of those interpretations are accurate, while others are inaccurate, and that there are widely varying degrees of proximity to an accurate interpretation."

Then it is your job to prove which of these interpretations is true. But, before that, you must prove that the Bible is true. And before that, you must prove that their is a god. The ball is in your court. You have claimed that there is a possibility and now the onus is on you to prove it.

"Our finite, imperfect ability to understand theology does not make it impossible to say that some teaching and some practices are inconsistent with what most readers have understood to be the clearest teachings of Scripture."

Theology is ignorance with wings. -Sam Harris

The clearest teachings of the Scriptures are contradicted by the actions of your god. The more unclear teachings are usually evil, immoral or incoherent.

Your intellectual laziness has stopped your own argument cold. You have proven nothing. You have simply made claims that you cannot and will never prove. You neglect reason, logic, and factual evidence and replace it with superstition, dogma, a disdain for Roman Catholicism, arguments from authority, and Christian apologetics.

September 1, 2012 at 9:30 p.m.

daytonsdarwin said... My reality is not to believe that your god exists as I require evidence based on science and reason, not revelations. Here's the difference. The science of today can be proved false tomorrow. That's the scientific process. That's how science progresses.

You are good example of why I have much more respect for agnostics than for atheists. Agnostics have the intellectual honesty (and common sense) to admit that a question such as that of God’s existence can neither be proven nor disproven scientifically. Neither can important political principles such as justice or social realities such as love or friendship. It is dimwitted to pretend that empirical science can explain everything that is important to our humanity (humanity, of course, being a problematic concept for naturalists like yourself to account for).

It much easier to say, "God's will", and not question than to say, "Jehovah's not real, the Bible tells tall tales, and I'll seek my answers through the hard work of science and reason."

Apparently, it is not one iota easier, since I never said the former, and you offer no evidence for the latter (especially the last part). Zero. You wouldn’t know reason if it crawled out of swamp and called you its cousin. Your comments are bereft of reason or proof. You challenged my original comments about the letter writer’s historical inaccuracies and mis-application of the Bonhoeffer quote. You have yet to make any reference to my very specific claims, much less provide historical evidence to refute them. Nothing specific. Just a recitation of mindless mantras, straw-man arguments, and childish name-calling.

I’ve been through a lengthy discussion with His Easiness and the cartoonist about their idiotic inability to read ancient (and probably modern) literature. You show signs of being every bit as inept. Until you show some evidence of having intelligently read the document, I’m pretty confident that this discussion isn’t going to progress very far.

It does, however, take courage and hard work to resist authority, to fight for intellectual freedom, and the progress of scientific inquiry.

Which is exactly why I embrace the theism of history’s greatest scientists, philosophers, and political revolutionaries. Most atheists on this site show no evidence of having read a book that is more than five years old (if that), which partially explains your enslavement to pop-atheism and other strains of pseudo-intellectual opium.

September 1, 2012 at 11:55 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Wwwtw,

"Agnostics have the intellectual honesty (and common sense) to admit that a question such as that of God’s existence can neither be proven nor disproven scientifically."

Neither can the existence of unicorns or a Giant Spaghetti Monster. Do you believe in those despite the lack of evidence?

"Neither can important political principles such as justice or social realities such as love or friendship."

Yes, they can. Justice can be explained very thoroughly. Love and friendship can be proven and explained thoroughly as well.

"It is dimwitted to pretend that empirical science can explain everything that is important to our humanity "

Science can explain our natural world. And using the scientific method can explain even the most abstract ideas.

"I’ve been through a lengthy discussion with His Easiness and the cartoonist about their idiotic inability to read ancient (and probably modern) literature."

Discussions in which you failed miserably to prove your points. Your arguments from authority and sense of arrogance don't prove anything. You base everything you say off your own authority and personal knowledge. You seem to have an issue understanding that just because you believe you have a secret understanding of "ancient literature" doesn't mean anyone should care.

"You show signs of being every bit as inept."

I'm pretty sure "inept" is your middle name.

"Which is exactly why I embrace the theism of history’s greatest scientists, philosophers, and political revolutionaries."

Again, you give credit to "theism" when no credit is merited. Theism didn't advance science. Theism didn't advance philosophy either.

"Most atheists on this site show no evidence of having read a book that is more than five years old (if that),"

Baseless hyperbole. This is your go-to argument. You imply your own authority. And you couldn't even attempt to prove this ignorant claim.

"which partially explains your enslavement to pop-atheism and other strains of pseudo-intellectual opium."

"Pop-atheism" is a misnomer. There is no such thing. The vast majority of atheist only share one thing in common: the suspension of belief in any deity. "Pop-atheism" is equivalent to saying "Pop-non-astrology". It doesn't make sense.

Your particular strain of "intellectual opium" is nothing more than superstition and is based on, not proof, but your own perceived ability to interpret and understand ancient literature. You do not see it this way because you feel that you "understand" the real meaning of it all. You're whole point of view is based on an argument from authority. You believe you know the correct interpretations, meanings, dogma, nuances, philosophy, etc. It means nothing to anyone but yourself and basing your arguments on it is utterly fallacious.

September 2, 2012 at 12:39 a.m.

Easy123 said... It's strange how you claim that there were so many other "false" sects. How could you possibly know whether they were false or not? What, who gives your particular sect authority over another? How could you possibly know whether your own sect was true or false? All of these sects base their doctrine on the same book.

Similar to the way you prove legal arguments. Using texts, contexts, testimonies (historical in the case of religious creeds), precedents (decisions in prior disputes). Conclusions are reached. Not everyone agrees. None of this necessarily invalidates the legitimacy of the law or of the verdict, even though it may be overturned in light of new evidence. In the realm of studying ancient history, especially, one should always be ready to weigh new evidence.

In some ways, the task of biblical hermeneutics is similar to the way you explore differences of opinion in other studies of literary interpretation. There are usually a variety of opinions, but not all are equally valid. It requires more time and effort than, I am convinced (based on previous threads), you are willing to invest.

Then it is your job to prove which of these interpretations is true. But, before that, you must prove that the Bible is true. And before that, you must prove that their is a god. The ball is in your court. You have claimed that there is a possibility and now the onus is on you to prove it.

Wrong. You can demonstrate whether or not certain interpretations are valid aside from the matter of your own belief or disbelief in God. Even unbelieving Bible scholars (those without an axe to grind, anyway) know that Nazism is inconsistent with the teaching of the New Testament. Only the most blind critics of the church believe that Hitler was a God-fearing Christian who genuinely believed he was doing the will of God and had a clear grasp of biblical texts to justify his words and deeds.

Nowhere does the Bible authorize the atrocities on Mr. Green’s (or your) laundry list of indictments against Christianity. The burden of proof is on those of you who claim that it does. No proof has yet been given. Provide evidence and I’ll refute it.

September 2, 2012 at 1:46 a.m.

As for my reference to the possibility that some interpretations have more validity than others, you would need to be familiar with the history of how those disagreements arose, how they were debated, and how they were resolved. Providing an overview here is asking a bit much. Why don’t you ask about a particular controversy and a particular side which was argued. It seems to me that this would be more productive than to asking me to prove generalities. Are you interested in the doctrine of the Trinity, the true deity and true humanity of Christ, the role of the Old Testament for understanding the New Testament, salvation by grace vs. by works, predestination vs. free will? Take your pick. The Bible contains a variety of important teachings written by a variety of authors in a variety of contexts to a variety of audiences in a variety of literary genres. Which is to say, it requires work to fit the pieces together in order to understand the big picture, as does any work so large and of such complexity. But alas, American literalists (whetehr believers or unbelievers) are unwilling (often because untrained) to make the effort. For you, it's "drive-thru" truth or go back to watching TV.

Theology is ignorance with wings. -Sam Harris

Nice “evidence.”

The clearest teachings of the Scriptures are contradicted by the actions of your god. The more unclear teachings are usually evil, immoral or incoherent.

Examples? Evidence? Proof? Or just more baseless claims?

Your intellectual laziness has stopped your own argument cold. You have proven nothing. You have simply made claims that you cannot and will never prove.

You don’t understand the argument because you have an axe to grind, thus your propensity to change the subject. Why not take a stab at refuting any of my initial statements – any of them at all?

You neglect reason, logic, and factual evidence and replace it with superstition, dogma, a disdain for Roman Catholicism, arguments from authority, and Christian apologetics.

My disdain for the errors of Roman Catholicism are due to my disdain for ancient Roman hierarchies and for superstition (you atheists are as bad as they are in believing them). As for apologetics, if you ask for a Christian to defend his or her views, you’ve asked for a Christian apologetic. Why would you be so surprised to get just that? (You wouldn’t be surprised if you simply knew what the word means.)

It's late, and you have some research to do. Catch you later.

September 2, 2012 at 1:46 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Wwwtw,

"Even unbelieving Bible scholars (those without an axe to grind, anyway) know that Nazism is inconsistent with the teaching of the New Testament."

Wrong. 1 John 2:22-23, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, and 1 Thessalonians 2:16 all coincide directly with the anti-Semitic aspect of Nazism. There are plenty of verses about ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Old Testament as well.

"But alas, American literalists believers or unbelievers, are unwilling (often because untrained) to make the effort."

Again, implication of authority.

"Nice “evidence.”

It was never meant to serve as evidence.

"Examples? Evidence? Proof? Or just more baseless claims?"

"Thou shalt not kill". How many people did your god kill in the Bible? Should I go on?

"You don’t understand the argument because you have an axe to grind, thus your propensity to change the subject."

No axes to grind and the subject is still the same.

"Only the most blind critics of the church believe that Hitler was a God-fearing Christian who genuinely believed he was doing the will of God and had a clear grasp of biblical texts to justify his words and deeds."

Hitler was warped. But he was, most likely, a Christian. And many of his ideas regarding the Jews originate in the Bible. I mentioned the verses already. It would seem that all of the evidence points contrary to your claim. But I'm sure you'll say that Hitler didn't understand the Bible and that those verses mean something entirely different.

"Why not take a stab at refuting any of my initial statements – any of them at all?"

I never made reference to them in the first place.

"As for apologetics, if you ask for a Christian to defend his or her views, you’ve asked for a Christian apologetic."

And, by definition, Christianity is impossible to defend with proof. That's what faith is. Believing in something on no evidence. How can you defend something that is, by definition, based on no evidence.

"Why would you be so surprised to get just that? "

I'm the opposite of surprised. It's all too common for a Christian to fervently defend even the most minute detail of their religion.

"(You wouldn’t be surprised if you simply knew what the word means.)"

I'm fully aware of what the word means. Are you aware of what your religion entails? And how, by definition, it is indefensible? You can attempt to defend your religion until you're blue in the face but, in the end, your entire religion is based on faith, believing in things unseen, and belief in evidence- less claims.

Adios. :-)

September 2, 2012 at 2:09 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

For those who wish to think, here's a transcript of an interview with Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/41033

Couldn't say it better myself.

September 2, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

daytonsdarwin & Easy123,

I was earlier trying to think of some common ground for us. I found it! Your Faith and my Faith is very similar! Your Faith (Belief) is that 'Life does not have to proceed from other life'. While my Faith is that 'Life does, indeed, have to proceed from other life'. But, Yet, we have the nearly identical Faith, in that we all believe that something (Life, etc.) came from Nothing! Your Faith will not allow You to know what that Nothing is, and, my Faith will not allow me to know what that Nothing is. I have been wanting a greater commradery with You, now I have it. Greetings, my Friends.

+(:> Ken ORR

September 2, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Wow! I just found this update by the folks at ScienceAlert.Coml (secular scientific community:

A crack in the earth, 60 Km long by 8m wide which had developed in merely a few weeks since Sept. 2005 - A continental rifting process that NORMALLY TAKES MILLIONS OF YEARS TO FORM, a volcanic mantle is rising beneath Africa splitting the continent apart. The modern-day East African Rift – an active tectonic plate boundary and one of the geological wonders of the world – is the site of the most recent of these separations, and provides a glimpse of how continents break apart. This is the focus of the current paper in Nature Geosciences by sedimentologist Eric Roberts of James Cook University and colleagues at several Australian and American institutions.

Now, here's the word-to-the-wise...'Believe Holy Bible Scripture'!

Zechariah 14:--

King James Version (KJV)

3 "...Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south... 5...yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake ... 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be...10...All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be LIFTED UP..."

SELAH

September 2, 2012 at 3:34 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Orr,

"Your Faith (Belief) is that 'Life does not have to proceed from other life'."

False.

" in that we all believe that something (Life, etc.) came from Nothing!"

False.

"Your Faith will not allow You to know what that Nothing is, and, my Faith will not allow me to know what that Nothing is."

False.

Your holy book explains nothing. No matter how much you want it to.

Try again.

September 2, 2012 at 4:39 p.m.
rolando said...

Sometimes you must shake the dust off your feet and move on, ORRMEANSLIGHT. Infertile land abounds here. Pearls before swine, etc.

September 2, 2012 at 5:10 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Please, shake off that dust and move on. Yes, the ground will be infertile where the seeds you're spreading are pixie dust.

Quoting a flawed book of fairy-tales as historical and supernatural reality has become boring.

Science has value, not mindless worship of an imaginary tribal deity whose psychopathic conduct debases the very humanity he claims to love.

Please move on. We're not friends nor will be be friends. You are the kind of person my parents warned me about when I was a child. Years later that warning is still valid.

September 2, 2012 at 6:18 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

rolando,

You may not even be able to imagine just how much i appreciate Your excellent support! You absolutely will be rewarded.

Regarding Easy123, daytonsdarwin, and, who knows 'who else', well, Jesus said to let the weeds and good plants grow together until the harvest. This because one may, by accident, pluck up some good plants along with the wicked/bad ones.

My hope is that there are many, many more individuals reading these comments who will profit from the information printed here. I will absolutely keep praying for Easy123's, daytonsdarwin's, and, other reader's Salvation. I am reminded of a situation in the Book of Revelation where Jesus allows individuals to have fire poured on them. They are tormented, yet, cannot die. They still refuse to repent, and, they continue to blaspheme The Almighty Father.

Revelation 16:9.. "And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the Name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory.

And blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

I want Souls for The Ancient of Days, Jesus Christ. Fear is indeed a good reason to come to Our Saviour. God will, indeed, burn someone alive forever, yes He will. Just look what He allows down here! I fear God, yet, I love Him, for He first loved me. God Is Love. rolando, please pray for these individuals, because, as You know, it is only with one heart beat at a time that we are here.......Hebrews 9:27... "...And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:.."

ken

September 2, 2012 at 11:48 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Addendum:

Also, i do not want to ostracize any of the atheist, and, other folks. I mean, especially those who only believe something exists if it has already been discovered. They are a very tiny portion of the population of the earth, who some have tried to label 'weird'. An example of this would be individuals living 5 years before electrons were postulated. Most of these folks get upset if they think they don't possess equal ability to perceive other dimensions. I do not dishonor any of this tiny minority of all societies. Jesus Christ Himself said they could not discern these truths, because, they are only discerned by a 'higher intellectual/spiritual perceptive ability. Jesus would never label them 'weird'.

Ken ORR

September 3, 2012 at 12:29 a.m.
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