published Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Pallbearers

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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Good riddance.

March 22, 2014 at 12:20 a.m.
GaussianInteger said...

There are some people around here that would be proud to call themselves members of his parish.

March 22, 2014 at 6:33 a.m.
alprova said...

Let's see if they post today their usual messages.

March 22, 2014 at 6:52 a.m.
MickeyRat said...

I hope he's not buried, there'd be a good chance of ground water contamination.

March 22, 2014 at 7:27 a.m.
conservative said...

Mr. Bennett and several others who will comment here today are totally blind to the fact that they too are headed to the same place as Mr. Phelps.

By their fruits you shall know them.

March 22, 2014 at 7:29 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I guess Mr. Phelps didn't meet your standards as a TROO Christian (TM). I suspect that's a pretty small club indeed.

Curious, though. I thought your "works" had nothing to do with your place in heaven.

March 22, 2014 at 8:24 a.m.
alprova said...

conservative, I am appalled!!

Not only have you decided that you know the status of "others," you seem to know where Fred Phelps is this very day. How can you possibly know such things?

After all, he was as good a cherry-picking Bible thumper as you are.

What fruit do you bear, given that you are all about surmising and worrying about everyone else, rather than to groom and maintaining your own soul, in preparation for your grand opening in Heaven.

Come to think of it, Fred Phelps and company do that same thing every day.

They truly and incredibly believe that their soul is intact and set for life, and thus are duty bound to worry about "others."

Please...please...don't forget to respond with a posting of my irrefutable truisms.

Don't forget to include a couple of your favorite anti-homosexual quotations.

Be sure to lift them completely out of the context they were presented.

That will assure you, your place in Heaven...right?

March 22, 2014 at 8:35 a.m.
conservative said...

Mr. Anthony Provancher, a.k.a. alprova:

"conservative, I am appalled!!"

No, you are not appalled. You couldn't possibly be appalled. However, over the years you have boldly declared your appalling condition. A small sample of your blasphemies and self condemnation:

" Jesus sinned"

" Jesus cannot be God"

"Your problems are not my problems. I rejected your brand of Christianity years ago. Nothing is going to change that."

"If you believe the Bible to be 100% accurate in all regards, then you by default believe God to be a mass-murderer."

"The Bible never has been the word of God and you will never make it so"

"Face the truth for once in your life. God is a murderer and a mass-murderer at that...IF THE BIBLE IS ACCURATE."

"My belief that the Bible is not the word of God in no manner is equal to holding any contempt for it."

"If the Bible is God's word, you have on record, his admission that he took the lives of what must have been millions of innocent lives in a fit of rage"

"The idea that we are to accept a mass-murderer as an object of worship doesn't reflect well upon Christians at all. If he murdered nearly every human on the planet, God is far more heinous than Hitler. Yet Christians are to willfully worship him without question. Why?"

March 22, 2014 at 9:07 a.m.
conservative said...

lkeithlu:

Christianity is not a club, but since you are an avowed Atheist and proud heathen I can understand your use of the term.

Jesus who was God incarnate said in Matthew 7:13-23 that few would inherit eternal life and many would be deceived thinking they know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Salvation is obtained by faith and faith alone. No one will be justified by doing good works. No one will earn their way to heaven. Good works are the result of Salvation, they come after Salvation but they are NOT how one obtains Salvation/eternal life. Also, A kind deed or good work can be done by anyone even an Atheist, apart from God.

Scores of people falsely believe they can do good works to obtain Salvation. They reject the way of Salvation prescribed by God and chose to come to God on their terms.

There are many verses that are very clear that Salvation/eternal life can NOT be obtained by good works:

Romans 3:27, 4:2, 4:6, 9:11, 9:32, 11:6, Galatians 2:16, 3:2, 3:5, 3:10, Ephesians 2:9, 2:10, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5,

March 22, 2014 at 9:54 a.m.
fairmon said...

conservative posted... Matthew 7:13-23 that few would inherit eternal life and many would be deceived thinking they know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

You may want to do more than just quote the verse but contemplate the possible applicability.

No human can be absolutely certain of their own destiny and in no way can they know another persons. Is there a verse in the bible that ordains one human to judge another? To accurately determine if another has been saved and whether they are a Christian or not?

conservative emphasized....There are many verses that are very clear that Salvation/eternal life can NOT be obtained by good works:

Also it cannot result from quoting scriptures while judging and condemning others.

March 22, 2014 at 11:41 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

So Ol' Fred must be in Heaven.

Another good reason not to go myself.

March 22, 2014 at 12:50 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

Al, you gotta be careful, conservative has a hair trigger and a closed mind that judges itself.

What takes the cake is the TFP gave that fellow's obit top billing and a photo.

March 22, 2014 at 12:54 p.m.
fairmon said...

Not to worry Ikeithlu..All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

March 22, 2014 at 1:13 p.m.
fairmon said...

We should say nothing if we can't say something good about someone. He is dead....good.

He was a layer and ran as a democrat for several offices. He never won...good.

March 22, 2014 at 1:14 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Mr. Bennett and several others who will comment here today are totally blind to the fact that they too are headed to the same place as Mr. Phelps...By their fruits you shall know them." - conservative

And we certainly know you by your fruits, con-man. They're rotten to the core. If Fred Phelps was a 10 on the scale of vile, judgmental, imbalanced, bigoted, self-righteous human beings, you are a 9 1/2. The only difference between you and him is that he was more vocal and public in putting his views on display for all the world to see. Otherwise you and he are practically soul brothers. If you think he's going to burn in hell, well, you have a place reserved there right beside him, bubba. However steadfast and secure you are in your smug assumption that your brand of Christianity is the only right one, just remember that Fred Phelps was every bit as confident as you are that God was on his side. And your judgmental views are not in any way dissimilar.

March 22, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Alprova, I have a suggestion for you: why not call yourself something other than a Christian? Why do you insist on sharing the same label with hateful people like conservative and those narrow-minded, judgmental fundamentalists? Obviously you are among those "New Age" Christians who reject the Old Testament as history and the Bible altogether as the inerrant word of God, and you reject Christ as the "messiah" (while still believing in him, apparently, as some sort of great spiritual teacher). So why don't you New Agers ditch the Bible altogether and put together your own book of wisdom and moral precepts? Thomas Jefferson did it. He dispensed with the OT completely and revised and condensed the New Testament so that it contained nothing of Christ's divinity but only those uplifting quotes that emphasized brotherly/sisterly love and compassion.

Christianity is such a broad umbrella today, covering all manner of "Christians." I really don't understand how it is that so many of you have obviously evolved enough to see and accept the Bible for the book of myths that it is, yet you still feel the need to call yourselves Christians? I wonder...do you still feel that it's necessary to call yourself a Christian for the sake of salvation? If that is the case, then you are still living under the fear of the myth of original sin and of a petty, judging, vindictive God who demands obedience to a creed or a belief. If that is the case, then your evolution of mind and spirit still has some evolving to do.

But in the meantime you New Agers really need to set yourselves apart. By calling yourselves the same name as people like Fred Phelps, conservative, and the many other hate-mongering fundamentalists, you are actually sanctioning them, even if unintentionally, no matter how much you might protest against them. Every Christian, from the most hard-core fundamentalist to the most progressive thinking and compassionate New Ager, thinks that their particular brand of Christianity is the right one. So why don't you just stop playing the game of spiritual one-upmanship and dispense with the meaningless label of "Christian" altogether? I'm just sayin'.

March 22, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.
alprova said...

Rickaroo wrote: "Alprova, I have a suggestion for you: why not call yourself something other than a Christian?"

Probably because most of my religious beliefs still embrace Christianity, and I'm of the opinion that I will not be "run off" for not embracing fundamentalism and the expressions by people who refuse to think.

"Why do you insist on sharing the same label with hateful people like conservative and those narrow-minded, judgmental fundamentalists?"

Because it pisses them off?

"Obviously you are among those "New Age" Christians who reject the Old Testament as history and the Bible altogether as the inerrant word of God, and you reject Christ as the "messiah" (while still believing in him, apparently, as some sort of great spiritual teacher)."

Pretty close. I believe him to be the Son of God, but not God himself.

"So why don't you New Agers ditch the Bible altogether and put together your own book of wisdom and moral precepts?"

Interesting idea, for sure, but I still love the Bible, and I do so knowing for a fact that it is not the word of God.

"Thomas Jefferson did it. He dispensed with the OT completely and revised and condensed the New Testament so that it contained nothing of Christ's divinity but only those uplifting quotes that emphasized brotherly/sisterly love and compassion."

Wow!! Didn't know that. Where can I find a copy of it?

"Christianity is such a broad umbrella today, covering all manner of "Christians."..."

Yep. Every time two Christians disagree, another church is born.

"I really don't understand how it is that so many of you have obviously evolved enough to see and accept the Bible for the book of myths that it is, yet you still feel the need to call yourselves Christians?"

I don't necessarily feel the need to "call" myself a Christian, but I do embrace Christ as a role model for living my life. I try to emulate him every day.

"I wonder...do you still feel that it's necessary to call yourself a Christian for the sake of salvation?"

No.

March 22, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.
conservative said...

lkeithlu said...

So Ol' Fred must be in Heaven.

Another good reason not to go myself.

March 22, 2014 at 12:50 p.m.

==============================

I made it so simple yet you still can't get it. Why? There are none so blind as those who will not see, those who refuse to see such as yourself.

March 22, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Al, Jefferson never referred to it as his own revised Bible but it has come to be called the "Jefferson Bible." He actually named it, at first, "The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth" and then later on called it "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth." I don't know if any copies of it have ever been published but the original is on display today at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. He literally cut out from the New Testament the words of Christ that he found to be inspirational and uplifting and pasted them into his new "Bible." He did not believe in Christ's divinity, resurrection, or miracle working, and he did not include anything in his new compendium that pertained to his supposed divine or supernatural aspects.

March 22, 2014 at 3:25 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

conservative, you posted:

Salvation is obtained by faith and faith alone. No one will be justified by doing good works. No one will earn their way to heaven. Good works are the result of Salvation, they come after Salvation but they are NOT how one obtains Salvation/eternal life.

I see in that passage that faith is the way to salvation. Fred obviously had faith. Not much else, but at least faith. Now, I am sure Fred did a good thing or two, so clearly by his faith he is saved. Are you telling me that you can have faith and be denied heaven by "bad works"?

Or are you saying that Ol' deaf Fred is not a TROO Christian (TM)?

March 22, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Al, it must be difficult for you to be the realist and science affirming guy you seem to be and yet still cling to the myth of a human being who claimed to be somehow set apart from the rest of us human beings, as a "son of God." For him to be so, and for him to have performed all those physics-defying miracles he supposedly performed, it means that the laws of nature and the universe really can be upended and made to obey one's personal whims, if only one has "faith" or is the "son of God."

The only plausible explanation for someone like him to have existed, as a divine being, is to accept the probability that he was just another mythological figure, living in an age that was already rife with myths. Haven't you ever wondered why, if Christ did all those things like he supposedly did, nobody seems capable of doing them today? And yet, he stated clearly that followers of him should be able to do the very same if only they had faith. The only reason miracles were so abundant back then is because they were INVENTED to begin with. God mingled and personally interacted with humanity in the OT, not because he really came to earth and mingled or spoke directly, but because that was what happened in the TALES that people told at the time. God doesn't come to earth or make (his) presence known to us today because science has explained the things that primitive people had no explanation for at the time. And there ain't no Jesus gonna come floating down from the clouds to usher in Judgment Day because he was as mythological as all the other crazy myths that came from that era.

Still, I know you and so many other Christians want desperately to believe in Jesus as some kind of savior and "son of God" and you're going to believe in him come hell or high water. But for you to believe in a virgin-born, death-defying, water-walking, miracle-working, heaven-ascending "Son of God" you are not really that different from fundamentalists who believe in a 6000 yr.-old earth or a literal Garden of Eden with a literal Adam and Eve. You both believe in the supernatural and fairy tales - it's just a matter of which fairy tales you choose to believe in.

March 22, 2014 at 3:56 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Christianity will have evolved and become a viable religion when it at long last ceases to need the label of Christianity to categorize itself or to need a hero to worship. It's good that Christianity seems to be slowly evolving to a place where love is at its core. Once it realizes that love is enough, without need of a label or an idol, then it will truly be a force for good. Then it will realize that religion is not necessary, that goodness for its own sake is religion enough, and that one's reasoning mind is a church in itself.

March 22, 2014 at 4:23 p.m.
LibDem said...

conservative, you still have been unable to think of anything nice to say about your god. You're going to hurt his feelings.

March 22, 2014 at 4:48 p.m.
conservative said...

lkeithlu:

Not just any faith.

Not a faith whereby one believes that by doing good works he will inherit eternal life.

Not a faith whereby one believes that if he is a good person he will inherit eternal life.

Not a faith that if one leads an immoral, sinful life and says he is a Christian he will still inherit eternal life.

Not a faith whereby one can believe things contrary to the teachings of Scripture about Salvation and still believe he will inherit eternal life.

Not a faith that believes God did not become a sinless man and die for his sins and that He was buried and resurrected and ascended once again to heaven and will one day return to establish His earthly kingdom, where He will rein.

Not a faith whereby one does not believe God's word.

Not a faith whereby one believes that the Bible is just the opinion of men.

Not a faith whereby one believes that Jesus was a sinner.

Not a faith whereby one does not make Jesus the Lord of his life.

Not a faith whereby one denies either verbally or by their lifestyle that Jesus is the Lord of their life.

Not a faith whereby one denies he is a sinner and deserves hell.

Not a faith whereby one believes he can practice other religions and inherit eternal life.

Not a faith whereby one can beleive doctrines in opposition to Christianity.

Not a faith that believes in multiple gods.

But only a faith whereby one is trusting in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. One whereby they know they have no righteousness of their own. One whereby they know they are a sinner worthy of hell. One whereby they have a personal relationship to God as evidenced by studying His word to determine God's will for him in his life and obeying His will and confessing his sins in prayer on a consistent basis when he fails and sins.

One's words, beliefs and behavior will often reveal if one is a Christian but it will not always be evident.

The subject of Homosexuality often comes up here. Do you now see why it is impossible for a practicing Homosexual to be a Christian and why a local assembly of Christians would never allow a practicing Homosexual to be a member?

March 22, 2014 at 4:55 p.m.
MickeyRat said...

I believe by your very words Conservative that the good reverend has met your definition of 'faith' will (again by your words) inherit, or at the very least reside in the kingdom of heaven.

March 22, 2014 at 5:28 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's am awful lot of stuff, conservative. Is Ol' dead Fred in heaven or not?

March 22, 2014 at 5:28 p.m.
MickeyRat said...

There are more caveats in Christianity than a credit card application. It's easy to become a Christian, just make sure you go over the fine print with an attorney.

March 22, 2014 at 5:33 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"The subject of Homosexuality often comes up here. Do you now see why it is impossible for a practicing Homosexual to be a Christian and why a local assembly of Christians would never allow a practicing Homosexual to be a member?"

Not anymore then you believe it is possible that a divorcee can "be a Christian" or that "local assemblies of Christians" allow divorcees "to be members". Either you're a hypocrite (and you and Phelps are from the same ilk) or you're just selecting a portion of the bible that gives you a chubby and you are only going to follow that portion. It's one or the other.

Good day sir, and for the love of god, please don't post my name or anything else I posted (today or in the past) unless you choose to answer the portion that is directed towards you.

March 22, 2014 at 5:34 p.m.
jjmez said...

Um just surprise the coffin didn't burst into flames...I mean literally burst into flames.

March 22, 2014 at 5:40 p.m.
conservative said...

Your problem GaussianInteger is that you don't understand and even worse you don't seem to want to understand.

A "divorcee" can be a Christian or not be a Christian. Divorce is a sin just as Homosexuality is a sin and both sins are forgivable.

This is important for you to understand - Christians were not only sinners before they were saved from the penalty of their sins but are still sinners after they become Christians. Christians are still sinners AFTER they become Christians.

The difference is that they have accepted Jesus as dying on the cross for their sins, in their place. and have made Jesus the Lord of their life. God the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian in order to obey Him. His new life in Christ is so different that he is said to be "born again." Jesus said that we MUST be born again in order to inherit eternal life. The Christian still sins but the frequency of his sins are less and less as he becomes more Christ like. God is in control of the life of a believer as He conforms the believer to Christ likeness. He gets the credit, He gets the glory.

This process is called Sanctification. A Christian is set apart to serve and obey God. The Christian is a member of the family of God. He studies the word of God to determine God's will for him in his life. He confesses his sins to God, he admits his sins, he does not deny that he has sinned.

If he was a Homosexual or had been an adulterer, or a drunkard, a thief, fornicator etc. his life and behavior will show a change.

NO CHANGE, NO SALVATION!

God does NOT save anyone to continue a sinful lifestyle. Christ would have died in vain. A practicing Homosexual, adulterer, fornicator, thief etc. gives evidence he is not a Christian and that is why a true assembly of Christians would not allow such a one to be a member.

March 22, 2014 at 6:39 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Christians used to think that accepting the validity of the heliocentric theory was grounds for torture and excommunication. They also believed that "witches" were human beings possessed by the devil and it was God's wish to have them burned alive. They also believed (and some still believe this, including the clown Pope) that women are inferior and not fit to serve in the church, or at least not the higher echelons of it. They also believed that black people were born black as a sign from God that they were inferior and were intended to be slaves. Most Christians have evolved enough to see the folly of such former beliefs but their obsessive and irrational view of homosexuality is one of the few things that some of them still cling to as an excuse to judge others and to feel holier about themselves. These Christians are retarded and lack the ability to see beyond their blind faith in a savage and vindictive God who would be so petty as to even bother himself with what two people do willingly in their own privacy. They are projecting their own hatefulness onto a God that they choose to believe in and thus they create this God in THEIR image. They are stuck in a perpetual pre-pubescent state of mind. They are fools...babbling idiots.

March 22, 2014 at 7:10 p.m.

No true Christian would torture the families of fallen soldiers at the soldiers funeral by mocking them, and connecting their death to homosexuality.

I don't know what size of a church that is, but I don't know one Christian who isn't appalled by what they've done. No matter what my opinion is of the "gay movement", and it's eagerness to slap the "homophobe" label on many, to blame the death of a soldier on homosexuality at the funeral of that soldier only makes Christians look like utter morons and hypocrites.

March 22, 2014 at 7:58 p.m.
RandoMChattGuy said...

Whenever I look at these comments, I am reminded of the horrible bigotry against the LGBT community that this state has. It's sickening.

March 22, 2014 at 8:16 p.m.
alprova said...

Rickaroo wrote: "Al, it must be difficult for you to be the realist and science affirming guy you seem to be and yet still cling to the myth of a human being who claimed to be somehow set apart from the rest of us human beings, as a "son of God."..."

It may well be a myth, but I look around at all we see on a daily basis and there is no way that it just happened out of thin air.

Think about your own life. Is it appointed that we live, we form bonds with other people throughout our lives, if we are fortunate enough to find someone, we love, we marry, have children, we die, and that's it? There has to be more or life is extremely cruel if there is only one shot and nothing more.

"For him to be so, and for him to have performed all those physics-defying miracles he supposedly performed, it means that the laws of nature and the universe really can be upended and made to obey one's personal whims, if only one has "faith" or is the "son of God."..."

I understand what you are stating, and while I consider most of the Bible filled with clever metaphors, I also allow for the possibility that we were created by something or someone and that we are all part of an elaborate plan of some kind.

Jesus was definitely not God or a God, but he was a teacher of life as we should live it.

"The only plausible explanation for someone like him to have existed, as a divine being, is to accept the probability that he was just another mythological figure, living in an age that was already rife with myths."

There is no proof either way.

"Haven't you ever wondered why, if Christ did all those things like he supposedly did, nobody seems capable of doing them today?"

Of course, just as God himself does not physically reveal himself to anyone.

"Still, I know you and so many other Christians want desperately to believe in Jesus as some kind of savior and "son of God" and you're going to believe in him come hell or high water. But for you to believe in a virgin-born, death-defying, water-walking, miracle-working, heaven-ascending "Son of God" you are not really that different from fundamentalists who believe in a 6000 yr.-old earth or a literal Garden of Eden with a literal Adam and Eve. You both believe in the supernatural and fairy tales - it's just a matter of which fairy tales you choose to believe in."

Sir, people have been trying to disprove all the above, with little success. There is no PROOF either way.

Thus, faith is what some people cling to, while others totally discount it all. Others, like myself, choose to kinda sit on the fence, not content to totally discount or count either scenario as fact.

I know I am hardly alone in that.

March 22, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.

The "Gay movement" with it's in your face approach, and overreaching, deserves what it gets. Nobody condones the way this Church has conducted itself, but the "gay movement" can be just as in your face.

March 22, 2014 at 8:35 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

C'mon, al...nobody can prove that pigs have never flown either. But to believe that maybe they have flown, sometime, somewhere, or that maybe they can fly but we just haven't witnessed them doing so, requires that you believe in the supernatural, laws that defy nature and physics and common sense. You are clinging to tales of events that most rational, thinking adults have come to accept, in all likelihood, as fantastical myths, and to believe in them literally requires that you choose blind faith over sound reason and logic. Just because nobody can prove beyond a doubt that Christ was not the son of God or that he didn't exist or that he didn't walk on water and arise from the dead doesn't mean that you can just as easily believe that he was all that or did all those things with equal credulity. I mean, sure, you are free to believe that bunk if you want to, but not if you are going to engage in true critical thinking. You are pretty much admitting that you simply want to believe in those things as some sort of security blanket to support a faith based on irrationality and nonsense...in order to be safe and consider yourself to be "saved" or whatever. If one can get past the notion of needing to be saved it is much easier to see the Bible and the dogma of Christianity for the sham and the pretense that they really are. If one is primarily concerned with living a moral and principled life it is entirely possible to do so without needing a hero named Jesus to emulate. There is nothing he ever said that had not already been written or said in the pagan religions, particularly Taoism, that preceded him, or the time that he supposedly lived.

You say that you "kinda choose to sit on the fence" but there are some things that one should not sit on the fence about. I am an atheist but in calling myself that I'm not declaring with absolute certainty that there IS NO GOD, because I admit that I do not have a clue what lies beyond the limits of my consciousness and intelligence. But I most definitely do NOT believe in the vindictive, petty, judging Christian God who his worshipers and idolaters think has created an eternal hell for non-believers. I will say with complete certainty that if indeed there is a God of the universe, that being is far more magnanimous than to be petty enough to not want us to use our intelligence and reasoning faculties and to demand blind obedience and worship from us human beings. That is absurd. It is utter bullsh#t, and to believe in that sort of God is the epitome of lunacy or a dwarfed mind. And to believe that there was a "son of God" who was born of a virgin and walked on water and rose from the dead and ascended bodily into heaven, and who himself declared hell to be real and God the father to be casting non-believers into it on Judgment Day, requires just as much of a leap into absurdity.

March 22, 2014 at 10:02 p.m.
facyspacy said...

The bible is not gods word. It was written by men who thought they were inspired by god. These same men believed the world was flat, that the earth was the center of the universe, had slaves, and found a creative way to control the masses. These "books" were edited by even more men and formed different versions of these fables.

Here are the facts There is no one watching over you There has not been a miracle in 2000 years God has a son, both are personified, but there is no female (Holy Ghost?) God sends son to die for sins.... Blah blah blah. Couldn't he skip over the whole game and wipe them out anyway? I guess before the Americas were discovered all those people went to hell? Dinosaurs Earth is billions yr old Hell is not at the core of the earth and heaven is not in the clouds. No devil either. God vs devil would be like scissors vs paper. God would have squashed the devil by now

March 22, 2014 at 11:33 p.m.
alprova said...

Rickaroo wrote: "C'mon, al...nobody can prove that pigs have never flown either. But to believe that maybe they have flown, sometime, somewhere, or that maybe they can fly but we just haven't witnessed them doing so, requires that you believe in the supernatural, laws that defy nature and physics and common sense."

Point taken, but I simply believe in the existence of God because it gives me comfort that life has some meaning. Without that, what are we here for? Science can explain a great many things, but it does not explain our souls.

"You are clinging to tales of events that most rational, thinking adults have come to accept, in all likelihood, as fantastical myths, and to believe in them literally requires that you choose blind faith over sound reason and logic."

That limited amount of faith gives me comfort, right or wrong as it may be. So what if I am wrong? I lose nothing, nor gain nothing.

"Just because nobody can prove beyond a doubt that Christ was not the son of God or that he didn't exist or that he didn't walk on water and arise from the dead doesn't mean that you can just as easily believe that he was all that or did all those things with equal credulity."

But Sir...what if the Bible is correct, to any degree? What if there was a human known as Jesus, but the timeline has been skewed?

I lose not a thing by believing in the good that is written in regard to the man in the Bible, do I?

"I mean, sure, you are free to believe that bunk if you want to, but not if you are going to engage in true critical thinking."

I think I've posted more than enough "critical thinking" over time to illustrate that I do not let my brain go to waste, following what others tell me I should believe.

"You are pretty much admitting that you simply want to believe in those things as some sort of security blanket to support a faith based on irrationality and nonsense...in order to be safe and consider yourself to be "saved" or whatever."

You've never seen me type one word in regard to what it takes to be "saved." I know Atheists who believe that Jesus did walk the Earth. I also believe that very thing.

March 22, 2014 at 11:55 p.m.
alprova said...

"If one can get past the notion of needing to be saved it is much easier to see the Bible and the dogma of Christianity for the sham and the pretense that they really are."

Oh...I agree totally.

"If one is primarily concerned with living a moral and principled life it is entirely possible to do so without needing a hero named Jesus to emulate."

But, what is wrong with wanting to emulate Jesus? He is the least controversial character in the Bible. He was very consistent, kind, and non-confrontational. If everyone followed his examples, this world would be a batter place to live, in all respects.

"There is nothing he ever said that had not already been written or said in the pagan religions, particularly Taoism, that preceded him, or the time that he supposedly lived."

I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with Taoism, and therefore have no response to that. One day when I get time, I'll look into it.

"You say that you "kinda choose to sit on the fence" but there are some things that one should not sit on the fence about. I am an atheist but in calling myself that I'm not declaring with absolute certainty that there IS NO GOD, because I admit that I do not have a clue what lies beyond the limits of my consciousness and intelligence. But I most definitely do NOT believe in the vindictive, petty, judging Christian God who his worshipers and idolaters think has created an eternal hell for non-believers."

Guess what? I agree with you. I don't believe in Hell either. I have always considered reincarnation to be a progression of many lives that we each live, the next life dictated according to how we advance in our previous life.

"I will say with complete certainty that if indeed there is a God of the universe, that being is far more magnanimous than to be petty enough to not want us to use our intelligence and reasoning faculties and to demand blind obedience and worship from us human beings. That is absurd. It is utter bullsh#t, and to believe in that so"

Blind obedience? Absolutely not.

"And to believe that there was a "son of God" who was born of a virgin and walked on water and rose from the dead and ascended bodily into heaven, and who himself declared hell to be real and God the father to be casting non-believers into it on Judgment Day, requires just as much of a leap into absurdity."

Agreed, more than you know. Remember, I believe the Bible is filled with metaphors, and very clever ones at that.

I am a Christian because I admire Jesus Christ, and strive to be everything he was. I do not believe him to have been any less human than you and I. Was he the Son of God? Who knows? If God is all seeing, all doing, and we were created in his image, who's to say he didn't take a few from his perch on high to swoop down and enjoy a romp in the hay with the Virgin Mary?

Anything and everything is possible, without any proof or disproof, however it may be explained, reasoned, or believed.

March 22, 2014 at 11:56 p.m.
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