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Showing posts from April, 2008

McCain's Glass House: Hagee

By Valerie Tarico

At a news conference in Florida this week, John McCain couldn't resist the opportunity to bring up remarks by Jeremiah Wright, calling them "beyond belief." This, despite the fact that Bill Moyers, in an hour long interview last Friday showed the world the broader context in which the remarks were made. McCain, who seeks to position himself above dirty politics, has instead positioned himself as a hypocrite.

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National Day of Prayer

By DocMike

Tomorrow, May 1st, is being promoted by as the . So they all get together and pray for... what? It's hard to believe that nobody has ever prayed to end the war or feed all of the starving children or end poverty or rid the world of all suffering, etc. And if they have (and they surely have) and we still have all of these things (and we certainly do), then how the hell can they still believe prayer works?

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Saving lives is better than saying prayers

By Chuck Lunney

I’m sure that many readers have heard that Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. It’s supposed to be a day when believers of all faiths gather to kneel down and pray for healing, hope and peace (at least, I certainly hope that’s what most people would pray for).

I do appreciate the sentiment, and I know prayer makes those doing the praying feel better, but unfortunately prayer is one of the most objectively ineffective and useless forms of assistance.

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Morality as Truth: A Rogerian argument on Creationism

A video presentation by Aspirin99

As part of my graduate program, I'm taking a Rhetorical Theory class. For the last assignment, I was asked to take something I had previously written and improve it using principles we had studied.

I chose Rogerian Argument. This principle is suggested for debating topics of hot emotional content, such as religion and politics. It seeks to place the opponent at ease by telling him or her what you like about their views and then finding common ground from which to start the discussion.

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Schism -- the movie

A video portraying aggressive behavior by Christians matched with verses from the Bible is gaining traction on the Internet.

Raed al-Saeed, a young businessman from Saudi Arabia, is the creator of Schism, a six-minute video response to Fitna — a short film released last month that portrays Islam as a violent, fascist-like ideology. "Fitna" provoked anger in many parts of the Muslim world.

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The Darwin Online Project

About 90,000 pages of manuscripts, field notes, photographs and sketches connected with Charles Darwin are being placed online, where they can be viewed free. Among the gems are his first formulation of the theory of natural selection, his first written doubts that species were fixed and touching correspondence from his wife on religious faith.

The huge set of documents and images is part of the Darwin Online project, based in Cambridge, which claims to be the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue created. Many of items were previously available only to scholars with access to the Cambridge University Library.

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Soldier sues army, saying his atheism led to threats

FORT RILEY, Kan. — When Specialist Jeremy Hall held a meeting last July for atheists and freethinkers at Camp Speicher in Iraq, he was excited, he said, to see an officer attending.

But minutes into the talk, the officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” Major Welborn said, according to the statement.

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My seed of doubt

Sent in by Johnny

I was sitting with my pastor at the seminary I was attending for development in Christianity program, and we were talking about one of the finer points in Calvinistic dogma, that being predestination. This was the moment, after 20 years of Christian living, that would instill the mustard seed of doubt into my mind, which would eventually lead to my leaving of Church, of the faith, and eventually any notion of God.

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Questions and a time to heal

Sent in by Melinda

It has been a hard six months for me since the beginning of my questioning. I started college as a devout Christian, knowing the warnings of other Christians about the secularism of college and the dangers of the information I might receive in classes. After ending a ten month relationship in which my self confidence stooped to an all time low, and my life had been centered around the ex-significant other, I let go and moved towards some of my new friends in college who happened to have more open minds than I did.

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The noble position of atheism

A short rant by Bob Patterson

For reasons not easily understood, humans seem to have a basic need to want to believe that an invisible, omnipotent and omniscient deity -- one that is entirely responsible for everything and that demands our unquestioning devotion, obedience and respect for everything good that happens -- is watching over us.

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The Pope wears funny hats

Whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God's infallible wingman, here on Earth, lock away the kids. Which is why I'd like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult. Its leader also has a compound, and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he used to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats. That's right, the Pope is coming to America this week and ladies, he's single!

Comedian Bill Mahr took the Pope to task, reaped criticism from the Catholic League, and apologized -- sort of.

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Pastor found guilty of abuse

Twelve criminal convictions for abusing members of his former flock hit ex-Baptist pastor Royden Wood of London Ontario like a shot to the gut.

"Needless to say, we're stunned," Wood, 57, former senior pastor of the now-defunct Ambassador Baptist Church, said on the steps of the London courthouse yesterday, his wife Linda at his side.

"For those who wanted revenge, may they be blessed in their revenge," he added.

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Does it really make any difference what so-and-so believes?

By Dave, the WM

Nearly every day I read another opinion piece in the press on how the "raging, militant proponents of the New Atheism” are destroying the framework of our society. Most harshly denigrated in these articles are typically one or more of the Four Horsemen: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

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Hypostasis of the Archons

From godsfavoritecolor

I recently learned of this. For those of you who may not have heard of this before, check out the Gnostic text “Hypostasis of the Archons” or “The Reality of the Rulers,” an exegesis on the Book of Genesis 1-4 from The Nag Hammadi Library. The text is on the Internet at The Hypostasis of the Archons.

It features an inversion of the roles of God and the serpent and of others in the traditional creation story. This should drive traditional Christians to apoplexy.

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This site is such a disappointment

A letter from SUPERNOVA & AUBREYDAWN

I'm not sure why I joined this discussion. It's the first discussion or comment exchange I've been a part of on-line other than some with myspace friends; rarely. I wasn't looking for inspiration or validation when I logged in to this site. I just ran across it by accident; read a few comments, became irritated, and was provoked by stupidity (not ignorance, STUPIDITY) to comment.

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An inferior person who needs to be crushed by God

Sent in by John D

For the past two years or so, I've experienced intense bouts of anger, hatred, and depression all wrapped together into one big nasty mix. Yes, I am an ex-christian. I know and am glad the most feared, sadistic, tyrant talked about so much in public circles is not a real being. I no longer have to worry about the things he might do to me if I dare to disobey him, and this was indeed a great relief for me just as much the time of my deconversion as it is for me today.

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Ben Stein: Front Man for Creationism's Manufactroversy

By Valerie Tarico

Biblical creationism, repositioned as creation science and most recently intelligent design has lost the contest of ideas on all counts: the rules, the criteria and the judging. It doesn't follow the scientific method; it doesn't allow us to explain, predict, and control better; and the jury of relevant experts (aka biologists) keeps returning the same verdict.

Now the creationists have taken a new approach that they hope will help them achieve their goal of teaching religious beliefs in our schools as science. That approach can be summed up in one simple word: whining.

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Skeptical monkey

Sent in by Ted Goas

I hope my testimonial is short and sweet. I was raised by two educated, traditional parents in the New York metro area of the U.S. I was introduced to, schooled in, and eventually confirmed Lutheran. At no point was I ever enthusiastic about my religion or going to church. But like many others I took religious teachings at face value, went through the motions and believed what I read in the Bible.

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I gave God up

Sent in by Sean H

I was raised in a Christian home on "Biblical Principles" (in this case as defined by an American evangelist named William Branham who my parents believed - and continue to believe - was God's prophet sent to this 'final generation' to tell them God is coming, I happen to be his mouthpiece, turn from your wicked ways, etc). Unfortunately for my pastor and parents, however, I have always had an inquisitive mind, and while I went along with all this nonsense, it never sat well with me. In my early 20s I left this fundamentalist group for a more mainstream version of Christianity...

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Why I am not a Christian

By Richard Carrier

The Evidence is Inadequate

(One) reason I am not a Christian is the sheer lack of evidence. Right from the start, Christians can offer no evidence for their most important claim, that faith in Jesus Christ procures eternal life. Christians can't point to a single proven case of this prediction coming true. They cannot show a single believer in Jesus actually enjoying eternal life, nor can they demonstrate the probability of such a fortunate outcome arising from any choice we make today.

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Representative tries to put the fear of God in atheist

Did you hear about the state legislator who last week blasted a Lutheran minister during a committee hearing for spewing dangerous religious superstitions, and then attempted to order the minister out of the witness chair on the grounds that his Christian beliefs are "destroying what this state was built upon?"

Of course you didn't, because it didn't happen and would never happen. Not to a Christian, not to a Jew, not to a Muslim or to anyone who subscribes to any faith.

Such an attack would rightly be considered scandalously out of bounds in contemporary society.

But you probably also didn't hear about what actually did happen:

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I want to belong

From Meranda F

How do you deal with people who don’t agree with you or threaten your position on life with good solid evidence? Do you just walk away defeated with a plain face? What about when you feel hurt or offended that your ideas or way of life just don't seem to stand up to theirs?

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True Christians don't ...

From Gloria

I'd like to comment on your following statement:

"My point is that many Christians who arrive here do not obey the dictates of their own religion. They post on this site with beams in their eyes howling at Dave to remove the speck in his. They claim a loving god and can neither give a convincing argument for the claim based upon the contents of their faith nor the example of their own behavior. They call Dave hateful and promise him nothing but Hell." -- ref

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Abuse was common in religious orders

A tainted legacy

While the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland reached a $56.4 million global settlement in 2005 with the victims of childhood sexual abuse by its priests, one religious order opted for a different tactic.

The Salesians of St. John Bosco, whose Western Province is based in San Francisco, has been the most aggressive church group fighting lawsuits against its priests, said Rick Simons, a lawyer who handled many cases against the diocese and religious orders.

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April Fools!

By DocMike

Many of the stories in the are so preposterous, even a child should see through the bullshit. But thousands of years later, fools continue to believe. When will the insanity end?

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