PT, Christian crazies is actually a pretty mild epithet compared to what I really think of them. Anyway, I guess I'm allowed to be "un-Christian" since I'm NOT one.
Max, all I did was respond with tangible evidence to back up a statement I had made. Rather than speak to the issue or topic at hand, all you can do is go off on your usual tirade of name calling and stereotyping. I don't need to call you a loser or speak ill of you in any way - you speak it loud and clear for yourself with every comment you make.
WWWTW, I have better things to do than to stay glued to this forum all day every day and engage in mental tug-of-war with you wing-nuts and Christian crazies, so this is the first I've seen of your response to my post yesterday, when I said that there is NO evidence whatsoever, other than the writings of the Bible, that such a human being (Jesus Christ) ever existed.
You said, "Name one credible scholar who agrees with you." Are you serious?? Obviously you don't read much, do you? Or if you do, you must limit it to only those topics that speak favorably of your particular bias. There is a whole slew of literature, and well researched literature at that, written by people who have proposed that the entire existence/story of Christ is nothing more than myth. The theory goes as far back as the 18th-19th century, when a scholar named Bruno Bauer first proposed it. Then there were writers/scholars in the 20th century who took a renewed interest in the theory, such as Arthur Drews and William Benjamin Smith. Today the list of people espousing the mythicism of Christ are too many to mention, but D.M. Murdoch and Richard Carrier are two who have written extensively about it and backed up their research with detailed footnotes as to the actual origins of the myths that gave life to the being that Christians like to think was an actual god-man. D.M Murdoch (Acharya S) has written probably more books on it than anyone.
Thomas Jefferson, while apparently believing in the existence of JC as a human being, was so convinced that he was NOT divine (the "son of God") that he rewrote and condensed the entire New Testament, removing all the supernatural elements and any reference to his divinity and miracle-working.
Ken Orr, that's a mighty long list of sins that's gonna keep people out of heaven. I can't speak for whether or not you're a drunkard or fornicator or thief or whatever but you certainly don't hold back when it comes to reviling! All you do is revile, revile, revile. Oh, I know, you're not really reviling the homosexuals, you're just being a good Christian soldier and pointing out their sins, right? And man, you sure do a heck of a job of it! Day in and day out, all day, every day. But are you really sure that, come Judgment Day, your God is not going to look back at your obsessiveness and your caustic and accusatory manner and classify it as reviling? Don't you have anything else in life that you focus on besides homosexuals and their "sins?" Got a case of tunnel vision, eh? Out of all your Bible quoting I never have seen you quote anything about loving your neighbor or how he who is without sin should cast the first stone. But verses like that have a humbling effect, don't they, and lord only knows, they are not befitting a man of your righteous stature. Better to focus on only those verses that make you feel more righteous and more spiritually elevated than others, isn't it?
Craig McClain, methinks you're a tad too sensitive about it all. I'm not involved in the tweeting thing so this is the first I have heard of this reporter's "incendiary" tweet. But I don't in any way see it as an indictment against Marion County per se. He spoke of the "situation" itself, not all of Marion County or the people.
I do know how ridiculously intense that rivalry is, though, bordering on madness. Just a couple of weeks before the game between South Pittsburg and Marion County there was an article in the TFP about a husband and wife who had each graduated from the rival school of the other and they hated their respective rival school so much that they refused to even sit together during the game, each sitting separately and rooting for the team of their alma mater. They had a son who played for one of the schools and the father even went so far as to cheer for his own alma mater and not the school that his son played for. That is beyond petty and childish, that is downright madness. Are those the good folk of Marion County that you say deserve an apology? That is the sort of insane, over-the-top rivalry that drove those coaches to dishonor themselves and their schools and communities by going to any and all means to win.
There was no Jesus of Nazareth, ya'll. No doubt there were many Jesuses from Nazareth at the time that your "son of God" supposedly lived - that was a very common name, after all - but even for one to have existed as a great and all-wise, all-human teacher or prophet is a stretch. He did not preach anything that had not already been written or said by the pagan religions that preceded Christianity. He was not the first to preach brotherly love and compassion or the "golden rule." So there is really nothing about him that is worthy of worshiping or idolizing, not as a man and especially not as a "son of God."
The pagans worshiped the sun as God and concocted elaborate tales based on the sun's path through the sky. The Winter Solstice for them was symbolic of the rebirth of all of life. As it appeared to die at that time of year and then rise up, it represented rebirth. Virtually all of Christ's supposed life can be traced to the mythical origins of the various sun-worshiping pagan religions. They all had their virgin-born, miracle-working, death-defying messiahs whose lives, deaths, and resurrections were almost identical to that of Jesus Christ. During the Dark Ages, when only the clergy and members of the Church could read or write, the masses had no recourse but to believe what the church fathers were telling them, and all the while they were re-writing and interpolating the Bible as they saw fit. Many religious sects, such as the gnostics, knew that the whole Christ story was allegorical and not literal, but the literal version eventually stuck and that is what has been handed down throughout the ages.
Jesus is no more real than Santa Claus. It is good that we have a season in which we celebrate giving and loving and sharing and caring (the obscene commercialization of it aside) but we don't need a mythical "savior" to do that.
From the earliest recordings of humankind's tales and imaginings of the gods, we have tried to humanize them as much as possible, even to the point of having them walk among us. Nobody today doubts that the Greek and Roman myths and the various other pagan myths are pure fantasy, but Christians are still clinging to the last and final feeble attempt of humankind to make God human by believing in the literal life-story of Jesus of Nazareth. Many Christians have at least come to their senses enough to know that the Old Testament stories of Noah and the flood, Moses' parting of the sea, Jonah living 3 days in the belly of a large fish, the ridiculously childish story of the Garden of Eden and creation... all those stories defy logic and common sense, and many Christians have come to regard them for what they are - a compilation of mankind's early myths and tall tales. Yet they still cling to the literal life and death and the fantastical miracles of Jesus as the real deal. But everything he supposedly did is every bit as much the stuff of fairy tales as any of the other OT myths.
There is NO evidence whatsoever, other than the writings of the Bible, that such a human being ever existed. And don't even try to bring up the Testimonium Flavianum, the first thing that many Christians like to claim as proof of his existence. Even most Christian apologists and scholars have admitted that that miniscule paragraph by Roman Jewish historian Josephus was forged and inserted long after his death, and it is completely out of context with the rest of his writing.
Soakya, my thoughts on this matter are not really liberal or conservative in nature. I know many lefties and righties both who believe pretty much the same way I do about this. I have said nothing here that you should take personally but you can't seem to lighten up for one second and drop the whole ideological left/right thing. Even when there is no reason to make something political out of it you manage to do so. Also, it's really a hoot that you condemn me for my hate speech, then in the very next sentence you call me stupid. Classy.
There's a lot of truth and wisdom in what Mrs. Sohn says in her article but the title itself and the ending practically make it all null and void. "He's got the whole world in His hands" makes the silly and thoughtless assumption that the deity overseeing the universe is, as has been handed down to us from the myths of centuries and millennia ago, a male figure, some granddaddy up in the sky. It amazes me that women who otherwise think of themselves as liberated and free-thinking today still mindlessly cling to the patriarchal notion of God as a male figure. If they want to believe that a supreme being created the universe and our earth and the living things upon it, why do they not stop to ask the simple question of why did a female deity hot have an equal hand in the creation of it all? Why do they so readily accept the tired old Christian/Muslim/Judaic notion that God must be a male and a confirmed bachelor?
And then towards the end she says, "Common sense and faith should tell us that love and unity will suffice" (amen to that, sister!), and that would have been a perfect ending. But then she goes on to add, "Let us pray. Well and fairly. Amen." How about let's NOT pray - in public, I mean. For those who believe in the power of prayer, why don't they just keep their prayers to themselves, as truly heartfelt prayers should be anyway, in the privacy of their hearts and homes and places of worship? But for those who want to insist on prayer being offered up to begin government or public meetings, then be sure that you include us atheists/agnostics into the mix. Herewith is a sample of an atheist prayer that, if I were inclined to pray I might offer up to whoever might be in attendance at whatever public gathering:
My brothers and sisters in attendance, it is not up to some invisible granddaddy in the sky that I offer up these words but rather to you yourselves and myself as well. The problems and issues that we are faced with today have not been created by some vengeful deity but rather by our very own selves. Therefore it will not take some supernatural intervention to rectify them or to make whatever positive changes we deem necessary but only our collective wisdom and intelligence, driven by the interests of what is best for all concerned. Let us proceed with focus and clarity and with hearts and minds that are open, knowing that we are all in this together and that we are all stewards of this earth, and whatever decisions we make must be not only for our immediate good but for that of our children and grandchildren who will follow after us. Amen.
The day that an atheist can run for president and stand just as much chance of winning as a Christian, or the day that an atheist is not thought of as being "immoral" just by nature of not believing in some mythical being up in the sky, that is the day that we will have truly made a dent in breaking the shackles of religion that keep us chained to the Dark Ages.
I have spent more than enough time on this forum today. I've had my say and I stand by it. I have better things to do now than to go back and forth with you guys who seem to have nothing better to do with your lives than stay glued to your computers and snipe back and forth all day long. Enjoy your petty sniping and your vapid redundancies.