House Lords Freedom Religion
Christian Persecution

House of Lords pleads for the freedom of religion and belief

 

With a Conservative majority government in place for the next five years we won’t need to worry about any potential reforms to House of Lords for the time being. And perhaps that is a good thing. When considering the role of the UK government in promoting freedom of religion, it is doubtful that an elected Upper House would have brought us the same level of passion and knowledge as peers did when the subject was debated last week. It came as a response to Lord Alton’s motion: ‘That this House takes note of worldwide violations of Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the case for greater priority to be given by the United Kingdom and the international community to upholding freedom of religion and belief.’

It goes without saying that human rights abuses relating to religious persecution are widespread throughout the world and on the increase. Even today, Asia Bibi, who has been beaten and raped during her six years on death row in Pakistan, will have one last opportunity to plead for her life to be spared. Her crime, as a Christian, was drinking water from the same bowl as her Muslim co-workers. During the ensuing argument she was accused of blasphemy against the prophet Mohammad, which led to her arrest and conviction. There is an overwhelming need for governments across the free and democratic world to take a stand and defend the basic human right that Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee, described as one of the four essential freedoms of mankind.

The Lords’ debate has been helpfully summarised by Frank Cranmer at the ever informative ‘Law and Religion’ blog, but several utterances deserve further attention. Lord Alton argued that in order for governments to reclaim their patrimony of Article 18, it would need greater political and diplomatic priority, and the importance of religious literacy as a competence could not be neglected. He went on to quote the BBC’s chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, who said: “If you don’t understand religion — including the abuse of religion — it’s becoming ever harder to understand our world.” He then drew attention to the paucity of interest in the matter at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with only one full-time desk officer dedicated to freedom of religion or belief.

Rabbi Lord Sacks described religious freedom as “perhaps the single greatest humanitarian issue of our time”. He was keen, though, to avoid rhetoric, preferring instead to look for pragmatic answers to avoid Article 18 being seen as as little more than “a utopian ideal”. He proposed that the world needs:

Under the auspices of the United Nations, a global gathering of religious leaders and thinkers to formulate an agreed set of principles that are sustainable theologically within their respective faiths and on which member nations can be called to account… We have not yet done the theological work for a global society in the information age, and not all religions in the world are yet fully part of that conversation. But if we neglect the theology, all else will fail…  We must stand together – the people of all faiths and of none – for we are all at risk… Religious freedom is about our common humanity, and we must fight for it if we are not to lose it.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was also keen to look for solutions:

Religious freedom is threatened on a global scale, as we have heard, but also in a very complex way. Attacks on religious freedom are often linked to economic circumstances, to sociology, to history and to many other factors. Practically, if we are to defend religious liberty, we have to draw in these other factors. For example, if we want to defend religious freedom around the world – and again I say, the freedom to have no religion – do not sell guns to people who oppress religious freedom; do not launder their money; restrict trade with them; confine the way in which we deal with them; and, above, all, speak frankly and openly, naming them for what they are.

After two and a half hours of speeches the motion was passed. Such a debate was significant in proving that Parliament has this issue on its mind and is making some positive noises. But without more substantive action from government, it will all count for very little. In their 2015 General Election manifestos, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats proposed the creation of a Global Ambassador for Religious Freedom to work within the FCO. It seemed a sensible proposal, but would that be the best way of ensuring that HM Government does not duck its responsibilities on the issue?

The newly created Centre on Religion and Global Affairs – a research and policy centre based in London, Beirut and Accra – has responded to the Lords’ debate. It believes that a special envoy that exclusively focuses on freedom of religious belief is not the way forward. Their view is that in other countries such appointments have yielded limited results. Instead, they propose the appointment a full-time Special Advisor to the government on Religion and Global Affairs. The advisor would be given a mandate to provide proactive policy proposals across Whitehall departments, in particular the FCO, Department for International Development, Home Office and the Prime Minister’s Office. Only a coordinated response across government departments will enable the UK to achieve the necessary understanding and enable a coherent and effective response to the issues. The role should not be seen as an interfaith outreach initiative, or a symbolic office for public diplomacy.

Alongside this Special Advisor, a group of external experts would be needed to provide additional support. A global portfolio in one of the most complicated topics in today’s world is not possible without adequate professional support. Given budgetary constraints, the role of the Special Advisor could be facilitated by the appointment of voluntary external experts with the requisite professional, academic and geo-political experience.

It is also important that any such position would be sufficiently funded if it is to be more than a symbolic gesture. Strategic research, diplomacy and local projects with stakeholders would need to be pursued with conviction and credible resources if any significant impact is to be made.

There is every reason to believe that the UK can contribute significantly to international moves to uphold freedom of religion – if it so chooses. During the Lords’ debate, Baroness Anelay, Minister of State in the FCO, admitted that although the Government is working with human rights and faith-based organisations across the world to promote dialogue, foster links and strengthen understanding, it is not doing enough.

As His Grace discussed yesterday, the Government needs to get a much better grip on its understanding of religion and religious freedoms. Religious persecution is a destructive cancer working its evil across the globe. How many more travesties of justice – such as that of Asia Bibi – do we have to endure before the British Government hears the appeal of those in the House of Lords (and elsewhere) that we must act as Justin Welby has prescribed: “..do not sell guns to people who oppress religious freedom; do not launder their money; restrict trade with them; confine the way in which we deal with them; and, above, all, speak frankly and openly, naming them for what they are.” Amen.

  • sarky

    The problem is that with so many conflicting religions, one man’s religious persecution is another’s religious freedom.
    Time and time again atheists are shouted down for stating the problems caused by religion. If we are now at at a point that this is admitted and recognised, then it can only be a good thing. However, I cannot envisage a time when people are not being brutalised and murdered for a fairy tale. Sadly.

    • The Explorer

      Agreed. Look at the 100 million who died because of Marx’s fairy tale.

      • sarky

        Yawn…been done to death already.

        • The Explorer

          They certainly were.
          2+2 = 4. Boring. Doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

          The thing is, there are still those around who don’t think Marxism is a fairy tale. Dressed up in the new guise of PC, it’s alive and well.

          • Martin

            TE

            Sarky hasn’t an answer – therein lies his ‘boredom’.

          • sarky

            I and many who post here have plenty of answers, just don’t see the point in going over it again and again and again.
            Anyway, it’s not really relevent to what’s happening now is it?

          • It absolutely is relevant.
            Persecution of Christians and other religions is by no means limited to Moslem countries.
            In North Korea, China, Laos, Vietnam and Eritrea, your co-religionists are busily persecuting Christians.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You haven’t any answers, you just claim you know the answers but when tested they fail. And you would happily persecute those who don’t follow your religion.

          • sarky

            Never persecuted anyone in my life. But if that’s your little fantasy (to go along with all the others) then enjoy! !

          • Martin

            Sarky

            But you see that your silly liberal way of persecuting Christians is to come on here and try to mock. So at heart you are as much a persecutor for your religion as anyone.

          • sarky

            When do I mock?

          • Martin
          • sarky

            Again… when do I mock?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I just pointed you to a place, that you pretend it is not mockery is not a defence.

          • sarky

            Your link just leads to the whole thread. What specific comment do feel is mockery?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            It works for me, you’re probably too impatient.

          • sarky

            That is not mockery, It’s an honest propostion. What are you afraid of?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            And you are a liar.

          • sarky

            I am not. I was being sincere. If your god is all powerful, then revealing himself to me shouldn’t be a problem.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Since you pretend God does not exist, how can you be sincere. Indeed the evidence from your posts here says otherwise.

          • sarky

            What evidence?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            The evidence of your own knowledge that God exists.

          • sarky

            Arh right, so there isn’t any then.

          • Martin

            Since you know God exists there clearly is.

          • The Explorer

            But what’s happening now may determine what happens in the future.

          • big

            NATO……. clash with Liby result war…….Bush/Blair…….. clash we Iraq result war…….Obama/Cameron ….. clash with Assad result civil war …….. USA/EU clash with Victor Yanukovych result civil war. dead/ injured……millions…… financial cost billions ……. does anyone care ? …..No blame it all on Muslims……the future………NATO/EU/USA clash with Putin result kiss you ase goodbye and expect civilizational collapse…….blame Muslim and Putin…..welcome to the west and all its fluffy values.

          • The Explorer

            Hi big
            DId I say here wouldn’t be/hadn’t been other wars? I think war etween China and Japan likely, perhaps China and the USA.
            I do think the spirit of Marxism is more alive in the West than it is in the East, and that at some point it will clash with Islam. My point was not that Islam causes all wars; my point was that Marxism is not dead.

          • big

            how would you class the above wars?

          • The Explorer

            No common denominator. Will think about it.

          • big

            you’re having a larf …. funny…. very, very funny.

          • The Explorer

            Libya: vestiges of Western Enlightenment arrogance. Telling others what to do. Iraq. British involvement: to get help from USA for Northern Ireland peace process. US: who knows? Bush father worship? Ukraine: German territorial ambiton predating WW1 and still manifest.

          • big

            Eh, no thats not exactly what i had in mind…… suggest you try again…..

          • The Explorer

            Oil?

          • big

            Better, but , still not what i had in mind.

          • The Explorer

            If it’s not Kim Cattrall, I give up. Tell me.

          • big

            Nope , keep trying. to be fair i am off to a BBQ so will leave you to marinate……cheery-bye …..for now.

          • The Explorer

            Oil? Kim Cattrall?

      • HedgehogFive

        Bertrand Russell opposed the philosophy of Karl Marx because “one, that he was muddle-headed; and the other, that his thinking was almost entirely inspired by hatred.”

        That hatred seems to be self-propagating, even in those who have embraced then abandoned Marxism as a philosophy.

    • Martin

      Sarky

      Atheists are as much to blame as any. They seek to gain supremacy for their religion just like any other religion of men and they seek to silence those whose religion challenges them.

      • sarky

        Religion?

        • Martin

          Sarky

          Yes, religion. You are as religious as any. Indeed, you are your own little god, regarding yourself as the the ruler of your universe. Rather pathetic really.

        • William Lewis

          Wikipedia is your friend! Here’s the first line:

          “A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.”

          • Cthulhu21

            Atheism isn’t a religion in the sense that it has no tenets and is a position of non-belief in a deity or deities. It really doesn’t go beyond that.

          • William Lewis

            “Atheism isn’t a religion in the sense that it has no tenets and is a position of non-belief in a deity or deities.”

            Agreed and, in that sense, neither is theism a religion.

            “It really doesn’t go beyond that.”

            Yet there are often collections of beliefs and world views that derive from both assumptions. Some much older and more formalised than others. For atheists there are often common beliefs around naturalism, secularism, evolution, reductionism and scientific hegemony, for instance, and in particular how these relate to humanity. It makes sense that the existence, or not, of a creator God should be one of the most profound assumptions, affecting our other beliefs about ourselves, others and the world and universe around us.

          • Cthulhu21

            I would say that it’s usually the oposite in it that a better inderstanding of science begets atheism.
            I won’t say happens that way for everyone, but that’s how it usually goes.

          • William Lewis

            I think that atheists can sometimes have a poor, overblown understanding of what science has actually shown and can actually do for us. I have two scientific degrees and worked as a research scientist for a while and I am also a Christian. I do not see any contradiction in the two, indeed I believe that the one complements/illuminates the other.

          • Cthulhu21

            Could you elaborate on what you mean?

        • Inspector General

          Atheism is a belief, silly.

          • Powerdaddy

            Who told you that?

          • Inspector General

            Agnosticism is the real lack of belief. Atheism is a determined no to a divinity.

          • Powerdaddy

            Close……
            Atheism is a lack of belief, not a belief itself.

          • Inspector General

            You believe there is no God. That’s good enough for the Inspector to consider atheism a belief…

          • Powerdaddy

            Close again.
            I have never said I believe there is no God. I have rejected your claim (and from others) of God/s. Not enough evidence or logic given.

            You don’t need a ‘belief’ to reject claims of bigfoot or fire breathing dragons……….

          • The Explorer

            Atheists believe the Universe came into being as a result of chance. That’s a belief, isn’t it: a belief in the reliability of chance? Atheists beleive that when they die they are extinct. What’s that, if not a belief about individual human destiny?

          • Powerdaddy

            Atheism is a rejection of God claims.
            It has nothing to do with any other claims.
            And you are over generalizing.

          • The Explorer

            If God didn’t bring the Universe into existence, what did? Non- Godders must believe that something did Unless they’re going to deny the realiy of matter: which is itself a belief.

            I agree about the over generalising, although I haven’t met an atheist yet who believed that God brought the universe into existence (and if you rule out chance, we’re a bit thin on alternatives, and the Big Bang doesn’t really support the eternity of matter), or that we survive death. But maybe we ough to have different denominations of atheists, the way we have with Christians. It’ll probably become necessary, as the number of atheists increases (until Islam does for them).

          • Powerdaddy

            Well, not my view but, I have been told that God died when he created the universe.So we have the universe that was created by God but we have no Gods. Mad, I know, but that’s religion for you. There are other ideas on a Godless created universe……

            The big bang says nothing on how the universe came into existence. It just explains that the universe was once concentrated into a very small area at one point in time and then suddenly began to expand.How long the universe was in this concentrated state or what the universe was like (and again how long) before this state is a not known.
            This in no way at all rules out that matter could be eternal.

            We don’t need any more denominations of anything, im sure you will agree.
            We just need more people be honest and admit no one knows how we got here instead of listening to the local religious witch doctor.

          • William Lewis

            The big bang says nothing on how the universe came into existence. It just explains that the universe was once concentrated into a very small area at one point in time and then suddenly began to expand

            I thought that the big band was the beginning of space and time.

          • Powerdaddy

            Sort of. The big bang was the beginning of the universe as we know it now, after a few 100 million years ‘settling down’ time. Google it, interesting stuff.

          • Linus

            Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Our earliest direct evidence of the state of the primitive universe is to be found in the CMB, which is estimated to date from at least 380,000 years after the theoretical event we refer to as the Big Bang.

            Saying that the CMB proves there was a Big Bang is like saying that ripples in a pond prove that someone threw a stone into it. Sure, it’s the most likely explanation. But ripples in a pond can also be caused by fish jumping, or a bird dropping a snail into the water, or a methane bubble rising from the mud below, or a small black hole spontaneously forming and collapsing just below the surface, or any manner of disparate, unrelated and unlikely events. Only direct evidence of the causal event can tell us why there are ripples in the water. Claiming there must have been a stone when you haven’t seen it is intellectually shoddy.

            The Big Bang is a theory and will probably always remain so. As the CMB was formed at the moment when radiation decoupled from matter, causing photons to begin to travel freely, and as photons are light, there can have been no light as we know it any earlier in the universe’s existence. As our ability to gather information about the early universe is limited to what we can learn from ancient light, the CMB forms an absolute barrier beyond which our science cannot penetrate.

            So we won’t be learning about conditions prior to the formation of the CMB any time soon. We’ll just have to keep guessing. Guesswork unsupported by evidence is all very well, but it isn’t knowledge. It’s theory, and must be taken with a grain of salt until evidence is found to support it.

            Atheists have to admit that we DO NOT KNOW how the universe started, although we think the Big Bang is the most plausible explanation. But it isn’t the gospel truth, because it cannot be proven.

            Religionists will probably say that God was responsible for the CMB. The whole “and then there was light” thang. But again, there is absolutely no evidence of this. And in terms of implausibility, it’s up there with the Loch Ness Monster and the Lizard People Global Elite. If natural processes can explain the evolution of the universe from the CMB onwards, it’s reasonable to suppose that natural processes can explain the appearance of the CMB itself. If we’ve never witnessed any kind of supernatural activity in our own corner of spacetime, there’s no reason to suppose it exists anywhere else. Inventing it to provide a glib explanation for our pre-CMB ignorance is intellectually shoddy, not to mention embarrassingly childish. Only infants invent fairies and spirits and imaginary friends to fill the gaps in their stories. Adults use reason to imagine a plausible sequence of events based on the known parameters of the universe that surrounds us.

            And that’s the real difference between religionists and atheists. Emotional maturity.

          • William Lewis

            The “god of the gaps” argument is a very tired straw man argument. I don’t know of any theist who requires a god as a placeholder for an absence of knowledge. I know many who deduce (by reason) that God is the most likely explanation though. Perhaps it takes intellectual maturity to appreciate the difference.

          • Linus

            No Christian deduces the existence of god by reason. It is not reasonable to suppose that all-powerful invisible beings exist when there isn’t a single shred of verifiable evidence to support such a position.

            Your belief in god is not reasonable. It’s emotional. You want a big powerful daddy to love you and keep you safe and happy for ever and ever and ever. Pauvre petit chou is scared of the dark, is he? There, there! Why not just keep a nightlight on beside your bed? That’s the easiest way to be sure those dark and threatening shadows won’t rise up and gobble you down!

          • William Lewis

            “Daddy love” is really not my bag, Linus, and it’s not I that am scared of the dark but you that are scared of the light. Your determination to render God inadmissible in your kangaroo court is most telling.

          • Linus

            OK then, rock up to my courtroom any time you like with God in tow and we’ll swear him in as a witness and he can state his own case.

            I’m free tomorrow afternoon, or next Tuesday at 16h00. But I assume God’s schedule is probably busier than mine, so if you can get a firm commitment from him, he can come any time and I’ll make sure I’m free.

            Can’t say fairer than that, now can I?

          • Inspector General

            Sit down by the fire
            And I’ll tell you a story
            To send you away to your bed
            Of the things
            You hear creeping
            When everyone’s sleeping
            And you wish you
            Were out here instead

            It isn’t the mice in the wall
            It isn’t the wind in the well
            But each night they march
            Out of that hole in the wall
            Passing through on their way
            Out of hell

            They’re the things that
            You see when you wake up and scream
            The cold things that follow you
            Down the Boreen

            They live in the small wing of
            Trees on the hill
            Up at the top of the field

            And they dance on the rain
            And they dance on the wind
            They tap on the window
            When no-one is in
            And if ever you see them
            Pretend that you’re dead
            Or they’ll bite off your head
            They’ll rip out your liver
            And dance on your neck
            They dance on your head
            They dance on your chest
            And they give you the cramp
            And the cholic for jest

            They’re in the things that
            You see when you wake up and scream
            The cold things that follow you
            Down the Boreen

            They live in the small wing of
            Trees on the hill
            Up at the top of the field

            They play on the wind
            They sing in the rain
            They dance on your eyes
            They dance in your brain

            Remember this place
            It’s damp and it is cold
            The best place on earth
            But it’s dark and it’s old
            So lie near the wall
            And cover your head
            Good night and God bless
            Now fck off to bed

          • The Explorer

            Emotional maurity. Freud’s argument. Children need a parent, but they grow up. The human race invents a divine parent, but it needs to grow up too.

            We get thirsty, but we need to do without water because water is an illusion. Unless it’s real, and we are designed to renew ourselves by drinking it.

            In the same way, if God exists we will feel spiritual thirst. It need not be illusion: it could be response to reality.

          • Linus

            Water is real. I can look outside my window and see it lying in pools on the ground and flowing in rivers. It falls from the sky when it rains. It comes out of the tap on demand.

            When I look out of my window, I cannot see any god. There is no god lying about on my front lawn. Or my back lawn either. He doesn’t fall from the sky. He certainly doesn’t come out of the tap on demand.

            When I drink water, I drink something tangible and real that my body needs. When you invoke god, you invoke an idea that you’ve conjured out of nothing in order to give arbitrary meaning to whatever you don’t happen to understand.

            That’s the difference between reality and imagination. Water is real and therefore tangible and measurable. God is imaginary and therefore intangible, invisible and basically just not there.

          • avi barzel

            Deep.

          • What about love? Can you see that outside your front window? Or honesty? Or joy? Or patience? etc., etc.
            .
            Deep?? Linus wouldn’t know deep if it bit him on the leg.

          • avi barzel

            Come on, admit it, it’s brilliant, look at it again:

            Water is real and therefore tangible and measurable. God is imaginary and therefore intangible, invisible and basically just not there.

            Humanity has waited eons for such an elegant formula, a General Theory of Everything.

          • Linus

            Love isn’t a substance or an object or a sentient being. It’s an emotion.

            Emotions are the physiological responses of beings with central nervous systems to external stimuli. They’re measurable by a variety of methods, including physical and behavioural response, hormone levels and brain activity.

            Tried measuring god lately?

          • William Lewis

            Behold the sum total of atheist love. No wonder their regimes are responsible for so much death and destruction.

          • The Explorer

            Wow, what a chat up line! ‘I love you’, LInus style: ‘As a sentient being with a central nervous system, I feel a physiological response to the external stimulus that is you, measurable by my behavioural response and hormone levels.’ (Translation of that last bit, ‘Ive got a hard on!’

          • The Explorer

            You’re evading the implications of the comparison.
            We can talk about a thirst for knowledge. You won’t assuage it by drinking out of a glass. But only an extreme literalist , or a deliberate obscurantist, would have aproblem with understanding what was meant.

          • Linus

            And you’re being deliberately obtuse. “Spiritual thirst” is a meaningless phrase designed to set up a false premise that god is necessary to our existence in the same way as water. This is patently false. Millions live without any thoughts of god, or any notion of missing anything vital to their existence, because their every waking thought is not eaten up by religious obsession.

            Don’t project your own obsessions onto the rest of us. Your make-believe deity is no more necessary to my existence than hobgoblins and leprechauns. Your “spiritual thirst” is nothing more than a petulant child’s desire for an expensive birthday gift from his rich and powerful daddy.

          • The Explorer

            Three points.
            1. Is ‘thirst for knowledge’ a meaningless phrase? (Which is the point you are addressing).
            2. As so often, you have misrepresented what was said. I didn’t say God exists, I said If God exists; I didn’t say ‘is’, I said ‘could be’: not at all the same thing.
            3. “Millions live without any thoughts of god.” How do you know; have you interviewed them all? I agree they seem to, but appearance need not be reality. I agree that I don’t know either, but then I’m not presuming to know other people’s inner thoughts. Calvinists, you see, would probably agree with you that millions don’t think about God: they won’t (probably can’t) if they aren’t among the Elect. You have assigned a universality beyond what the original statement posited.

          • Linus

            Knowledge comes from books, or computers, or directly from other people, and books and computers and other people are tangible. So although I would prefer the phrase “hunger for knowledge” on the basis that books and computers and other people are solids rather than liquids (ever tried to drink a book, or a computer, or a person?), whichever way you look at it, knowledge is real.

            What about God? Is he real? Is God a solid? Is he a liquid? Or even a gas? He has no physical form at all, and yet hunger and thirst are physical appetites, so how can you be thirsty for him? It’s just not physically possible.

            What you refer to as “spiritual thirst” is a physical appetite alright. Or rather a material one. It’s a child’s hunger for protection, being made a fuss of, and lots and lots of free gifts. God is Santa Claus and you’re hungry for all the stuff you think he’s going to give you because you were such a good little boy. That’s all your “spiritual thirst” amounts to. Gimme, gimme, gimme…

            And if it looks like a horse, neighs like a horse and eats grass like a horse, it’s probably a horse. Those who live their lives without ever setting foot in a church and do not follow the precepts of Christianity are probably not Christians. They don’t think about god because god is a foreign concept to them. And yet they manage to live perfectly happy and fulfilled lives.

            I don’t think about god at all, except in the sense of a delusion or mental illness that afflicts others and turns them into gibbering Christians. And yet I’m one of the happiest people I know. I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful life, and my friends constantly remark on how happy and upbeat I am (not, I grant you, a typically French characteristic – my atheist genes obviously come from my mother’s side of the family!)

            So tell me, what more is there to “thirst” after? Vague notions of a despotic sky fairy offering life eternal in a cotton candy, My Little Pony theme park in exchange for misery and deprivation in the here and now?

            Who can be thirsty for inverted sugar syrup when an inexhaustible supply of clear, fresh and thirst-quenching water is already at hand? Who can hunger for god when you find all the sustenance you need in the world around you and the people you share it with?

            Your “spiritual thirst” is just a desire for a bigger bite of the cherry. God is just a means to an end for you. What you want is not god. It’s bliss. Have the honesty to admit to that and perhaps I’d take you more seriously.

          • The Explorer

            Ever tried to eat a book? Or a computer? Or a person?

          • Linus

            Depending on what the book is made of, it can be done.

            My point is that books are solid and you don’t thirst for solids, you hunger for them. Sometimes quite literally. Have you never heard of the condition called pica?

            You can’t eat god though. Unless you delude yourself into thinking that a dry wafer magically becomes his flesh when a priest mumbles an incantation over it.. In which case you’ve taken leave of your senses and there’s no point in further discussion.

          • The Explorer

            Nice one, but you’re talking to a Protestant, remember: we don’t do the transubstantiation stuff. But a symbolic reminder that God is our spiritual nourishment: absolutely.

          • The Explorer

            Nicely argued re the Big Bang. I’ll take your word for it.

            As for the rest of it, God died making the Universe? What was the problem: heart attack? Sounds like a blending of Deism and ‘The Amber Spyglass’; although the mainstream version of Deism is more.like a mother bird losing interest once the eggs have hatched. Which religion did you have in mind, as a matter of interest? (Dawkins, I know was marvellous at dredging stuff up: an African tribe that worships ants’ eggs, or something. Or maybe even the faeces of ants. Who cares?)

            WIthout wanting to evade the issue, Christianity does not stand or fall on the age, or whatever, of the Universe. (A hundred years from now, Muslims allowing, the Big Bang will probably seem like a very primitive explanation). Christianity stands or falls on the Resurrection.

            PS If matter is possibly eternal, what’s your take on the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

          • Martin

            PD

            Seems you have a belief after all, you believe in the BigBang. And before you say it is science, the scientific method requires observation.

            Doubtless you will now be claiming to have observed the BigBang.

            Remember, it is not honest to pretend you do not know God exists.

          • sarky

            I have never personaly observed Australia, but I know it exists. I have seen satellite images, photos and I have spoken to people who have been there. In other words there is ‘EVIDENCE’.

          • avi barzel

            You think it exists. Solipsism has never been falsified empirically…in fact, it can’t be falsified. You could be entirely alone in the vastness of time and space, conjuring up all sorts of entertaining “realities” or games and limiting yourself by temporarily losing awareness of your condition until the next show, just to keep from going mad from sheer boredom. Given that you’re happy with just a few photos and conversations, Australia has been a pretty cheap and easy trick to conjure up so far. Just saying.

          • sarky

            Ok Morpheus, shall I take the red pill? 😉

          • avi barzel

            Think out of the box, Sarky; wash both the ted and the blue down with a double shot of neat scotch and enjoy the fireworks!

            Btw, The Matrix is not about solipsism, but along the lines of its recently emerged cousin, the simulated universe (look it up, satisfaction guaranteed), which began as a thought experiment among mathematis and physics wonks to formulate another unfalsifiable theory.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Apart from the fact that New Zealanders would have approved . . .

            Keep up the good work. And remember the lovely irony that the greatest commander on the Western Allied front had a name that meant “Iron Hewer”!

          • avi barzel

            Ha! You delved into the sublime mysteries of my moniker! Some of its anthroponomastic relatives include less savoury characters such as Genghis Khan’s birth name, Temujin (iron worker) and Yosif Dzhugashvili’s heroic Stalin (steel-like).

            Much enjoyed the alternate lyrics you found to the Ninth Symphony in a past post of yours. The German ditty somehow sounds far mote ludicrous than the English trandlation. I think it’s the mix of vernacular expressions with the formal structure. Now, if I could only get rid of this mind-worm of a tune….

          • DanJ0

            I’ve been there and you can trust me.

          • sarky

            Goes without saying 🙂

          • Martin

            Sarky

            And, of course, the difference between Australia and Evolution is that there are eyewitnesses for Australia, just as there are for Creation. You’re really not very good at this are you.

          • sarky

            Eyewitnesses for creation??? What are you on about??
            (P.s. I think you have totally missed my point)

          • Martin

            Sarky

            So who witnessed that Creation but the Creator? And He has given us a description of that time. Only a fool would disbelieve Him.

            Clearly you missed my point and your own.

          • sarky

            That is absolutely crazy logic. You’re taking your evidence for something that can’t be proven from something that can’t be proven.
            Think I’ll keep my feet in reality Thank you.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            So where do you take your evidence? Certainly not from science.

            But God has proven His word to be true, so why would we not believe Him?

          • sarky

            I trust science over the bible every time.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            If you trusted science you’d reject Evolution.

          • sarky

            Don’t be so stupid.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I’m not the one being stupid. You simply do not trust science, only your own opinion, your little god.

          • Isn’t this theory now under some doubt?

          • Martin

            HJ

            It doesn’t make it a scientific theory if it hasn’t been observed, even if some observations are considered to point to it being a possibility. It’s a belief, a philosophical position.

          • But that’s all a ‘theory’ really is, a set of propositions holding some observable ‘facts’ together until others contradict or challenge it. However, Jack agrees the ‘Big Bang’ is an unverifiable belief, just like theories of evolution. And both, even if they can be verified, will leave the most important questions unanswered – how did it all start?

          • Martin

            HJ

            There are no observations of the BigBang, hence it is not a scientific theory.

          • Powerdaddy

            You can observe the big bang. Right now. Believe it!

            I do not know God exists is the **only** honest answer to give.
            For **everyone**.

          • avi barzel

            Not that I have issues with the Big Bang…so far it is the most viable theory for a great number of reasons,,,but to be precise, what we are observing is not the theorized singularity in the model, but the effects of a cosmic expansion.

          • Powerdaddy

            Agreed. Cosmic expansion as predicted with the big bang theory.

          • Martin

            PD

            And therein you must believe for in reality you cannot observe the BigBang

            Of course you know God exists, you are merely pretending that you don’t. And hence, you aren’t an Atheist, indeed there is no such thing. We merely call you such as the biblical term, ‘fool’ would merely upset you.

          • SpiderWatch

            Who would say they’ve seen the Big Bang? All the Big Bang is, is a model that best explains various observed aspects of the cosmos.

            Also it isn’t honest to say god exists when you know he doesn’t.

          • Martin

            SW

            The BigBang is a model that explains nothing for every time it fails a concept, like dark matter or energy, is added to enable it to continue. Fundamentally it is a fraud.

            Since you do know God exists, as does every other human being, you don’t know that God doesn’t exist.

            Talking to Atheists is like talking to five year olds.

          • SpiderWatch

            Please stop lying about the existence of god. (I am using this as a demonstration of how useless this tactic is. Don’t get mad, just learn to build better arguments)

            Also, what? The big bang is a model that links various observed aspects of the cosmos (things like Hubble’s law, Abundance of primordial elements, and Cosmic microwave background radiation). What does that have to do with dark energy/matter? Dark energy/matter is a hypothesis proposed to solve a different problem: “[the] discrepancies between the mass of large astronomical objects determined from their gravitational effects and the mass calculated from the observable matter (stars, gas, and dust) that they can be seen to contain.” Also note there are other possible solutions from mass in extra dimensions, to topological defects from the birth of the universe, to modified gravity, to quantised inertia. The reason dark matter is popular, is because it has the most observed evidence in its favor. But until more data comes in it is just the leading horse. In the end the fact is, none of this is scripture. If a better model is proposed that more coherently links the things we see in the universe, neat. We have a new, better explanation.

          • Martin

            SW

            Sounds like a few fairy stories being made up there, all to escape from the notion that God created as He said He did.

            We all know God exists, it isn’t a tactic, just a statement of fact.

          • DanJ0

            You need to get a philosophical understanding of the meaning of belief, I think. But anyway, I’m an a-theist and I have no idea how our reality came into being. Just like you. The difference is, of course, that I simply accept that rather than assert an explanation.

          • The Explorer

            As in “A mental state, representational in character, taking a proposition (either true or false) as its content and involved, together with motivational factors, in the direction and control of voluntary behaviour.” Quite so.
            Where did I assert as fact? In the follow up post I said if it isn’t God or chance it must be the eternity of matter or illusion (as in Hinduism). I didn’t say which it was. I don’t call that assertion. I call that a laying out of alternatives as I understand them (And fully aware that my understanding has its limitations).

          • Powerdaddy

            Belief meaning. an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

            That’s the definition atheists try to stay away from. The definition the religious like.

            Belief meaning. ….reasonable expectations using experience evidence critical thinking scepticism etc.

            That’s the definition atheists tend to prefer when talking about scientific theories etc.

            But this also depends on the context and subject matter. Language can be messy. Agreement on the words meaning from both parties is sometimes needed for the discussion to move on. …..

          • The Explorer

            DanJo mentioned a philosophical understanding of belief. That’s the opening sentence from the definition given in ‘The Oxford Companion to Philosophy’. Screeds more, but that’s the clearest and most concise bit.
            I’d say Christianity is a world view that looks to God for explanations. I’d say Atheism is a world-view that looks to non-God explanations. Both groups contain sincere seekers and charlatans. Both groups have beliefs arising from their respective world views that determine how they conduct their lives.

          • Powerdaddy

            I’d say Christianity doesn’t look anywhere, blinded by faith. It’s the atheist that continues look, and in ALL directions. …..

          • The Explorer

            And you said on another post I was the one guilty of over generalisation.

          • Powerdaddy

            Yes, you are right.
            Although the statement about Christianity is true, does adding the word ‘honest’ before atheist get me out of trouble. …?

          • The Explorer

            It does, but since I’m blind, am I a reliable person to ask?

          • Powerdaddy

            Would you think a Muslim, Sikh or Hindi would be a reliable person to ask about where we all/everything came from? How about asking a follower of Bahá’í Faith, a Dualist or a Pagan? Maybe a Yezidist, a believer of Zoroastrianism or scientology? How about a Mormon or…..etc etc etc.

            Would you trust any of these people when they tell you what they’ve seen when they have been “looking to God”?
            We both agree they are not reliable people to ask, and for mostly the same reasons I think you are not reliable.

          • The Explorer

            It’s an interesting point. I certainly do not see myself as defending religion against scepticism, but as defending Christianity against scepticism, and against other religions where they differ from Christianity.

            Some Christians think adherents of all other religions are destined for Hell. My own view is that we don’t know their fate as we have not been told. I personally believe that some of them, at least, have genuine spiritual insights, and some of them may know the same God that I do. I am always willing to listen to their views. I believe that the Kalaam cosmological argument used by the Christian apologist William Lane Craig was invented by a Muslim. Aquinas learned from the Muslim Averroes. Christians have read the Jewish Maimonides with respect.

          • Powerdaddy

            I don’t know what “genuine spiritual insights” means.
            Or how, even, you would differentiate from false spiritual insights.
            Religion is unreliable.

          • The Explorer

            How would you measure the reliability of an interview candidate, or an historical event?

          • Powerdaddy

            What is spirit, what is spiritual insights?

            I don’t know what it means.

          • The Explorer

            Assume for the sake of argument that Christ is incarnate God. What is God like? What Christ is like. Muhammad beheading six hundred Jews is unlike Christ, and insofar as he advocated that sort of behaviour he lacked spiritual insight.
            Plato in ‘The Republic’ says we would expect the just man to be honoured by his society. Muhammad would certainly have said so. But Plato (thinking back to Socrates) says the just man may be rejected by his society: scourged, blinded and impaled. Plato had spiritual insight.
            This works only if you accept the initial premise that Christ is the benchmark, and for that you have to consider the evidence of why Christ might be incarnate God.
            That’s the sort of thing I mean. Other religions could be rank ordered insofar as they resembled Christianity. Some. like Stoicism, would have a lot in common. Others, like Epicureanism, would have almost none. Some might even

          • DanJ0

            That’s basically it, in a nutshell.

          • Inspector General

            Been an interesting day for you. You’ve found out you’re an agnostic.

          • Powerdaddy

            lol

            I prefer the term sceptic, feels less wishy washy and religious (at least to me anyway….)

          • Inspector General

            Well done Powerdaddy! We got you there in the end…

          • Powerdaddy

            You didn’t get here. This is the logic corner.

            You are still over there, in batshit crazy central.

            🙂

          • Inspector General

            Well, you the daddy…

          • Powerdaddy

            Anyway….

            You forgot to answer my question from a day or so ago…..

            On what criteria are you judging the true from the false in the bible?

          • Inspector General

            Be assured dear chap, one didn’t ‘forget’…

            : – >

          • Martin

            PD

            When the Bible presents something as true it is true. Not hard is it.

          • Powerdaddy

            Noah ‘s Ark.

            What’s your take on it?

          • Martin

            PD

            As described in the Bible it is feasible and the entire narrative explains the surface of the Earth.

          • Powerdaddy

            lol

            And to think you said talking to atheists is like talking to a five year olds.

            What’s your view on talking donkeys?

          • Martin

            PD

            I know of only one recorded instance of a donkey talking and it was more logical than you.

            If you know of others, please tell.

          • Powerdaddy

            lol if you say so. ….

            What’s your views on talking snakes?

          • Martin

            PD

            There you go again, using plurals. Are you really that thick that you can only get your arguments from equally thick Atheist websites?

            And can you demonstrate that I am wrong?

          • Powerdaddy

            Well, you’re the chap who believes in talking animals. (Did I get the plurals right this time?)

            …..and in went the animals two by two…….

            Bless your silly little cotton socks.

          • Martin

            PD

            We have two events, unique in their nature. Can you demonstrate they didn’t happen?

          • Powerdaddy

            Burden of proof is on the believer.
            Can you please give me a run down of the feasibility of noahs ark?
            The logistics are incredible.
            8 people looking after all those animals, at sea, for a year, sounds farfetched. ….

            I need it explained by a clever man such as yourself.
            Looking forward to you understandably not answering the question!

          • Martin

            PD

            You mean like burden of proof is on the believer in Evolution to demonstrate the descent of all life from an original form?

            If you want to see what Creationists have done in the respect of answering your questions why don’t you read what they have written, for example in “Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study” by John Woodmorappe. he covers you question better than I ever could.

            But, of course, you aren’t interested in answers, just mocking and denying the truth of the Bible.

          • Agnostic is a fine word. It comes from the Greek.
            the Latin equivalent is Ignoramus.

          • Powerdaddy

            How very dare you! 🙂

          • DanJ0

            Religionists are often very keen for a-theists to be labelled agnostics. I think it is because it’s seen as less challenging to religion; a sort of wishy-washy position which is a few Amens short of a cultural Christian. Not so.

          • Inspector General

            So you’re not pleased with one descriptive so you choose another. Fair enough, everybody can have whatever designer label they want. But the two words are useful for the subtly different positions of “There is no God” and “There is no proof of God”

          • Powerdaddy

            It’s not subtle to me.
            I prefer “I know wether God/s exists or not” and “I do not know wether God/s exists or not”, you can lump all the ‘know it alls’ in together that way.

            You were very wise not to answer my question earlier, or all those ‘actual Christians’ would have rounded on you…….

          • alternative_perspective

            But you make the error of believing that a lack of evidence is evidence of absence… It is not. Even if you deny or disprove all the evidence for theism (which if ur like the other ‘atheists’ on this site, you’ve simply dismissed) then that only leaves u at agnosticism. For the type of atheism you’re talking about is intellectual tapdancing, a meaningless philosophical position shared with newborns and cats… Hardly a perspective worth talking about if you ask me.
            Real agnosticism, one motivated by an honest and humble search for truth is a noble starting point, one often paid lipservice but rarely attempted. In my experience though it’s a state of being populated by the slightly more honest atheist. Someone who has realised that either the evidence for theism is better than they had hoped for or who recognises the incoherence in trying to absolutely deny the existrnce of God or gods whilst simultaneously affirming the relativity of truth.

          • Powerdaddy

            You are mistaken.

            “But you make the error of believing that a lack of evidence is evidence of absence”….
            I haven’t said that anywhere……

            Atheism origin. Late 16th century: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god’.

            Anyhow, I prefer the term sceptic, already posted here…

            I do not know if God/s exist or not.But no one has met the burden of proof for their God/s claims.Not enough evidence logic etc. etc…

            I am without God/s, nothing more.

          • avi barzel

            You don’t need a ‘belief’ to reject claims of bigfoot or fire breathing dragons…

            Of course you do. You evaluate the plausibility of a claim according to your functional paradigm. A paradigm is not a reflex or a genetically passed on, hard-wired mental state; it’s a belief system.

          • dannybhoy

            Preach it Brother!

          • avi barzel

            Yey-yey!

          • Powerdaddy

            All my paradigms are built on evidence, experience, critical thinking and scepticism.Belief comes in at a distant last.

          • avi barzel

            Hey, cool! So are mine.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The prefix ‘A’ means ‘against’, the second part of the word ‘theism’ means ‘belief in God’. Therefore ‘atheism’ means ‘against beleif in God’. Doesn’t matter how you wriggle, this is what the word means.

          • Powerdaddy

            Atheism origin. Late 16th century: from French athéisme, from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god’.

          • dannybhoy

            To have a lack of belief would indicate brain failure.
            Everybody believes something.
            We couldn’t function otherwise.

          • Powerdaddy

            Atheism is position on a particular question.
            I have reasonable expectations on a all number of things, belief isn’t really the word I would use

            Atheism is not a belief…….

          • DanJ0

            The clue’s in the name: without theism. A lack of belief in theism.

          • Martin

            PD

            Atheism is just a pretence, a pretence that God doesn’t exist.

          • Powerdaddy

            Religion is just a pretence, a pretence that God does exist.

          • Martin

            PD

            I’ll grant you that your religion is a pretence, the pretence that you are sufficient to be a god, that you have some control over your life, even that you have a certain amount of wisdom. That does not deny the existence of God, as you know, for you know God exists.

          • Powerdaddy

            I don’t believe in “religion”.
            I wouldn’t want my life tainted by the by the retrograde psychology and superstitions dreamt up by bronze age goat herders. Why would anyone?

            Those people were backwards, and so are their descendants by and large. Stupid ideas for stupid people. Enjoy.

          • Martin

            PD

            Your religion is nearly as old as mine, as demonstrated by the Bible:

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 14:1 [ESV])

            And I see you display a remarkable level of chronological snobbery, you are their descendants and consider yourself better than they.

          • Powerdaddy

            Religion: definition~ the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

            I’m not religious, you are.

            All men’s good deeds are but filthy rags in the eyes of the Lord.
            This includes you.

            The Amish are backwards but not as backwards as peoples that thought the earth was flat. And what of it?

          • Martin

            PD

            This blog does seem to have attracted the more half witted of late.

            Can you tell me how Buddhism is a religion then?

            Of course you do have a god, the little god of self that you worship devoutly. You are the most important person in your life, you spend more time and money on yourself than anything else, indeed, to you yours is the most important and correct opinion.

            But then you aren’t really an Atheist, since you know God exists.

          • Powerdaddy

            Seeing how you don’t like thick atheist websites, I copied this from a clever? Christian website.

            The term “filthy rags” is quite strong. The word filthy is a translation of the Hebrew word iddah, which literally means “the bodily fluids from a woman’s menstrual cycle.” The word rags is a translation of begged, meaning “a rag or garment.” Therefore, these “righteous acts” are considered by God as repugnant as a soiled feminine hygiene product.

            Go worship, used tampon boy……. 😀

          • Martin

            PD

            One has to wonder at the effort you put into being stupid.

          • Powerdaddy

            May I remind you it’s your stupid belief not mine!

            Don’t you think it’s embarrassing to worship a ‘thing’ that, even in your finest hour sees you nothing more than a period stain?

            Now that is being stupid!

          • Martin

            PD

            My belief isn’t stupid because it is in someone who has proven Himself trustworthy.

            I think what is embarrassing is to worship one’s own self, to place your own will in the place that belongs to God.

            And clearly you didn’t understand that passage, it refers to the actions of those rebels like you as being worthless in God’s sight. Why should God find anything pleasing in what you do?

          • Martin

            IG

            I’m afraid that even agnosticism is a pretence for all know God exists.

          • Inspector General

            Nay. Met too many sincere people who don’t believe. The best of them have no antipathy for those who do. Important point that…

          • Martin

            IG

            They all know, that is what condemns them, that they knew of God’s existence but did not bow to Him. Indeed, it condemns us all.

          • Inspector General

            No it doesn’t condemn us all. Jesus made it clear that salvation is a personal thing…

          • Martin

            IG

            We are all condemned because we pretend God doesn’t exist, but God saves some.

      • Kara Connor

        Is not believing in Zeus a religion too?

        • avi barzel

          You know, even some us mouth-breathing, religio- addled troglodytes have read Dawkins, some us even fairly recently. Try not to embarrass yourself and us with ripped-off zingers.

          • Kara Connor

            It seemed apposite to the ridiculous claim of atheism being a religion.

          • sarky

            Absolutely, atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position.

          • avi barzel

            Well, it is a position on sex, for sure…

          • Kara Connor

            How’s your “not playing baseball” sport going? 🙂

          • sarky

            😉

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You are pathetic. You go around worshipping your own intellect and then object when called out on it. Your religion is self worship. You are not an Atheist because we all know God exists. You’re just a pathetic rebel whose only cause is the selfish cry of “me”.

          • sarky

            If your so sure that I know god exists, why don’t you pray to god to reveal himself to me? To give me my road to damascus moment?
            Let’s see what happens shall we?

          • DanJ0

            There’s no point in his praying because the Holy Spirit, if it exists, clearly doesn’t know him any more than it knows you or me. The bloke is a blatant fraud.

          • sarky

            A blatant something…….

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You really have no arguments do you. You’re just desperate to deny I am right because otherwise you are in deep trouble.

          • DanJ0

            Two things:

            1. You’re clearly not ‘justified’ yourself as you show no sign of ‘sanctification’ and you revel in your sin with your vicious, homophobic attacks.

            2. I am as desperate to deny you are right as we both are to deny a Muslim is right, which is to say not all all. I don’t give a hoot about either god hypothesis.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            1. More of the same.

            2. Because our reasoning starts from differing bases, while we reach the same conclusion on one aspect you are still wrong.

          • DanJ0

            There will be more of the same every time you pretend to be a Christian with me. I know what you are now after you revealed yourself on that thread. As you can imagine, you’re not the first vicious homophobe I have ever met nor the first self-identifying Christian without a ‘soul’. I suppose it’s inevitable that Christianity has attracted people like you who hitch along for the ride because it gives you the opportunity to indulge your essential evil.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So, in other words, lacking an argument against me you resort to ad homs & the bullying of your fellow homofascists.

          • DanJ0

            In our shared reality, there is nothing much really to argue against as almost everything you say is mere assertion, and you simply repeat those assertions like a broken record as though they have any bearing on the real world. However, what I can do is judge you personally by the scripture and standards of your chosen religion to test whether your behaviour tallies with your assertion that you’re chosen by the god of that religion. I’ve done that above and to death on that past thread, and I have found you severely wanting in a number of key aspects. That is, you appear to be nothing but a fraud. You’re just a parasite attached to Christianity to indulge yourself with evil in its name. Go wave your metaphorical God Hates Fags placard at someone else, you ‘spiritually dead’ fool.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So you again demonstrate your lack of argument and resort to ad homs.

            Funny how you don’t like to be judged against Scripture yet want to use it to judge me. Remember, Romans 1 describes how God judges a society that has failed to respond to His offer of mercy:

            For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

            Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

            For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

            And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

            (Romans 1:18-32 [ESV])

            So there we see our society described, given over by God to its own desires because while they knew of God they did not acknowledge Him. From hence comes belief in Evolution, abortion, sexual immorality, hatred of their fellow and support for wickedness. There we see your heart described, your acts described, your doom foretold. You don’t escape your doom by attacking me.

          • DanJ0

            “Funny how you don’t like to be judged against Scripture yet want to use it to judge me.”

            But it’s your chosen scripture, you moron! You ought to be demonstrating its truth through your own behaviour yet you clearly revel in your sins. It has no relevance to me because I’m an a-theist. Your judging means no more to me than that of a Muslim. I’m just shaming you for using it to indulge your own evil and for being a Westboro Baptist Church wannabe.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So you’re testifying that the Bible is right & you are wrong.

            What you are doing is trying to claim that I’m not doing what is right by warning you that you are a sinner, under the condemnation of God when that is precisely what the Bible tells me to do. You do not shame me in the slightest.

            And remember, since you know God exists you are not an a-theist, Atheist or any other name that you might like to make up.

          • DanJ0

            “So you’re testifying that the Bible is right & you are wrong.”

            Huh? Honestly, you’re perfect fodder for your cult with comprehension skills like that.

            You do not shame me in the slightest.”

            I’m shaming you in public. That you feel no shame yourself just demonstrates how much you revel in your sin and how unlike a Christian you are. You’re not evangelising, you’re doing the opposite. You clearly are not ‘sanctified’ by observation and therefore you’re dead in your sins according to the religion to which you attach yourself. You’re merely a parasite, and an evil one at that.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The funny thing is that you don’t see your double standards.

            I know all about my sin, indeed it is something I confess to God, but what of your sin? Your sin is what you really need to concentrate on. That is what is destroying you, what you need to address. Stop trying to hide your sin by attacking me and address your need of a Saviour. God offers you mercy even now.

          • DanJ0

            “I know all about my sin, indeed it is something I confess to God, but what of your sin?”

            There are no double standards there. You’ve attached yourself to Christianity and I’m simply judging you by those standards and expected behaviours. You’re no Christian by that measure. Feel free to judge me by my own a-theistic standards, if you like.

            “I know all about my sin, indeed it is something I confess to God, but what of your sin?”

            What’s the point in confessing it when you revel in your sins here daily? You’re supposed to be sorry about them, you know. Moreover, if you were truly ‘justified’ then according to Christianity you should be showing signs of ‘sanctification’. Clearly you do not. You’re nothing but an evil, homophobic, little twonk. The Holy Spirit, if it exists, knows you no more than it knows me by the look of it. You’re a parasite latching onto Christianity to indulge yourself by doing evil in its name.

            “God offers you mercy even now.”

            Not according to the type of Christianity you claim you follow.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You claim I’m failing, so you therefore assert the belief I seek to follow are good, it is that simple.

            I fail to see where I have mentioned my sin, I’ve certainly not revelled in it.

            Remember this:

            For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

            (Romans 10:13 [ESV]

            If you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved, that’s the promise of God which cannot be broken. So will you call on God to save you? That’s how simple it is.

          • DanJ0

            “You claim I’m failing, so you therefore assert the belief I seek to follow are good, it is that simple.”

            How do you even manage to tie your own shoelaces? I can point out to a Muslim where he is failing if, for example, he fails to observe Ramadan. That in no way means that I accept the standards and expected behaviours of his religion myself. I’m merely judging him by the criteria of his own religion.

            “You claim I’m failing, so you therefore assert the belief I seek to follow are good, it is that simple.”

            You revel in your sins here daily. You’re nothing but a fraud, using Christianity for your hate.

            “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

            That’s not what the sect you claim to follow actually expects in practice, as you’d know if you were actually what you say you are. I wonder if your co-religionist Fred Phelps thought he was ‘justified’ too, and whether most other Christians think it likely he was one of the Elect.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The difference is that you know I am right. But clearly you haven’t a clue about Calvinism. As I said:

            If you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved, that’s the promise of God which cannot be broken. So will you call on God to save you? That’s how simple it is.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You already know God exists, so it would take more than just a revelation, it would take a change of your heart.

          • sarky

            Exactly the answer I was expecting becsuse in your heart you know god doesnt exist. If you did you would take up the challenge. Your total swerve of this tells me all I need to know.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            It was the answer you were expecting because it is the answer I always give. The problem isn’t your ignorance of God but your rebellion against Him.

          • sarky

            To be a rebel there needs to be something to rebel against.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Which demonstrates that you know God exists.

          • sarky

            No I don’t.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Your rebellion demonstrates the hollowness of that lie.

          • avi barzel

            One can forgive your arrogance, Ms Connor, up to a point, for never having lived in a country where atheism was the enforced state religion, with official doctrine, saints, symbols, festival days, founding myths, hymns, etc., and where heretics and dissenters faced persecution for merely being suspected of thinking wrong thoughts.

          • Kara Connor

            The US is not a theocracy, fortunately.

          • avi barzel

            No, not yet, although the Obamamessiah’s vigorous attempts to “fundamentally transform” it may make it happen. He’s got about a year and a half to finish the task.

          • Kara Connor

            Just like he’s taken your guns? Please!

          • avi barzel

            No, not my guns, God-forbid; I’m in Canada. But you have a point there. The biggest threat an armed citizenry presents is not with the danger posed by the occasional crazy shooters or even the dismal butcher’s bill presented by criminals, but with the threat of an overly ambitious, tyrannical government. Still, the Obama admin has managed well enough by usurping the powers of Congress and riding over constitutionally protected individual and state rights with a stacked, activist and empowered Supreme Court and the regulatory powers of government departments. If they manage to hook even more people on federal benefits, suppress voter I.D. laws and and “create” about 20 million future Democrats with a general illegal migrant amnesty, it’s…as Archie Bunker, my fave economic and political theorist…liked to say, “Good night, nurse!”

          • Kara Connor

            The point actually being that for a supposed dictator, Obama has waited an awful long time and done nothing about guns. All the handwringing after every mass shooting means nothing. Nothing has been done, and nothing will be done, other than nut jobs claiming that Obama staged the shootings. As for an “activist” supreme court, I never heard that said when they awarded Bush the presidency.

          • avi barzel

            Obama would dearly love to confiscate every pistol, gun, revolver or blunderbuss, were it not for the Constitution, a competent lobby and the obtuseness on this matter among the majority of the citizenry. The practical bit of such an operation would be entirely undo-able as well; not only would there be a predictably lethal resistance, but technology has arrived to a stage where any group of competent fellows with a few tools, access to the Internet and easily obtained materials could in a fortnight put out a veritable armoury of firearms.

            The decision was made by the Florida Supreme Court and while accusations may fly back and forth, it’s worthwhile to point out that none of the judges were Republican appointees, not to mention that the world was spared an imbecile for a president in the form of The Goracle.

          • Kara Connor

            You know that the truth is that Obama is not going to, and never was going to confiscate guns. Look who benefits every time that rumor is put out. Follow the money.

          • avi barzel

            I’ve been trying to follow the money all my life, yet it always escapes me. Humour me and do tell.

          • Kara Connor

            I’m with you there – the money has usually left by the time I arrive 🙂
            Ammo and gun sales shoot up after every one of the “coming for your guns” rumors.

          • avi barzel

            O no, you don’t want to be there with me on this one! I wager that with youth and wits in your sails you will trap the elusive beast soon enough, though. I wish you …dare I say it… godspeed (etym., “good speed”) in this.

            It does make sense that they would, but I can’t find anything on this in stats, although if daily or weekly sales figures for guns and ammo are not counted, we wouldn’t have a good enough “resolution” for this. What is clear is that there is an increase in sales whenever talk of restrictions and challenges to the second smendment pop come up, but this trend pre-dates Obama. The incrrase in popularity of firearms surged in the mid-eighties and here’s a factoid that might surprise you as it did me; it isn’t guns-and-Bible-clutching primitives such as yours truly at the forefront of the surge, but middle class women, who nearly doubled their percentage of small arms ownership and permits to conceal-carry to around 30% of the total and ….Democrats, with a 10% increase since the turn of this century!

            This throws any assumptions you and I may hold in a new light. Ownership and permits represent the tip of the popularity increase, of course. In a tense and uncertain pre-election period, even the Dem politicos in their Beltway ghetto can read stats as well as anyone and are unlikely to try and upset a significant slice in their own base.

          • ELSEVAR

            Kara, the Supreme Court is most definitely “stacked”. Every one of them was appointed by a President!!! [2 by Obama, sure, and 2 by Clinton – gasp! – and 1 by Bush the Elder, 2 by Bush the Lesser, and 2 by Lord Ronald] Those President guys surely are stackable!

            As for firearms, I am more concerned with violent crime. It has been declining precipitously since the early 1990s while firearm ownership has increased. A negative correlation. And the biggest crime related killer in this country is the almost 100 year old “war on drugs”. If we want to save lives, really want to save lives, that is the place to start … by ending it entirely.

            That was another IHMO. Sorry for intruding. 🙂

          • ELSEVAR

            Kara, IMHO Mr. Obama is mostly unconcerned about much other than his “legacy” nowadays. Like Clinton, he looks forward to golf and making big money on the paid speaking circuit.

            The A.C.A. was a marginal improvement as a lucky side effect, but it was not his driving purpose. Mr. Obama was doing what he could to forestall a real single payer system, AND forestalling even something as simple as a public option. Firearms are similarly of little concern to him, pro or con.

            The bad news for him is that legacies in this country are mostly predicated on foreign affairs, and at that he has been a disaster … mostly. The Iranian negotiations have been a rare bright spot.

            The good news for him is that memories are short (for humans in all countries). That has been good news for his predecessor as well.

          • john

            Do you deny that he has stated that he wants to?

          • Kara Connor

            If you are making the claim that he said that, then the onus is o. You to support your claim. My confident prediction is that after this latest shooting in Lafayette, absolutely nothing will happen.

          • john

            He said it, look it up. Yes, the onus is indeed on me, I just know when I am correct.

          • Hi

            But the umpteenth amendment gives the American people the right to bare their arms ?(hey literally that would mean arms as in a person’s appendage and not machine guns or in the 18th century muskets, but that might be taking the constitution too literally? ) …. anyways Guns don’t matter. Bullets do, so I’ve never got why the matter hasn’t been solved by , say, allowing guns but restricting bullet sales ….(although I think it is more civilised to sword fight).

          • James60498 .

            Avi.

            Surely you are not trying to suggest that the “Great Dorkins” came up with this, and that some of his followers are stupid enough to repeat it?

            I was going to reply but my response cleared from my phone just as I was about to post. Clearly there is no need.

          • avi barzel

            He publicized it and that one appears to be….

        • Martin

          Kara

          There are two religions in this world, the religion of men or the religion of God. The religion of men comes in many guises but it breaks down to one thing, you are your own god, you rule your own life and you reject God’s rule of your life.

          • Kara Connor

            Let me guess – yours is the true religion and the others are wrong.

          • avi barzel

            Actually, mine is. Martin and his friends have been trying for two millennia, though.

          • Martin

            Avi

            Didn’t you realise you had abandoned the religion of Abraham?

          • avi barzel

            Abandonment by means of keeping its Covenant, scriptures, laws, traditions and language through thick and thin? Makes even less sense to me than your newly introduced hypothesis that atheists are actually theists who are lying, Martin.

            But my bad; I did fire the first shot, but only because a quip presented itself, rather than from a desire to get into just the kind of debate I strive to avoid.

          • Martin

            Avi

            Except that the Covenant has not been kept, when a Man came, demonstrating that He was God you failed to accept Him, despite the signs God gave and He was falsely accused, unjustly accused and murdered. How much of the law was broken in that?

            As for Atheists, do not the Psalms describe them:

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 14:1 [ESV])

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 53:1 [ESV]

            They are fools because they know God exists because they were made in the image of God.

          • avi barzel

            Ok, now you asked for it with your charge.

            Jews don”t accept the logic or veracity, religious or plain, of any of the claims you make; that God turned into a man/god, partially or wholly, was born through a virgin and sacrificed himself/his “son” as part of a plan to “redeem” humanity several millenia later for a “sin” it wasn’t guilty of, by means of a prohibited horrid pagan sacrificial execution by which tens of thousands of other forgotten and unlamented Jews were tortured and murdred. An execution implausibly blamed on Jewish authorities, yet determined and conducted by occupying Romans, but for which Jews would be injustly accused of generation after generation. This is the nature of the Jewish rejection; not of God, but of the claims and charges of a first century heretical sub-sect, one of hundreds, which reverted to a Graeco-Roman mythological Paganism, falsifiwd scrioture and tradition, and painstakingly built up an elaborate doctrine of a diabolic hatred for Jews and Judaism, persecuting them for nearly two millenia while claiming that they inherited the Torah and the Covenant…to blatantly reject both in deed and doctrine. Jews and Christians can coexist in peace and genuine friendship on equal terms, it turns out, but their core theological positions can never be reconciled.

            Splicing a bit from Genesis which addresses humankind’s formation and relationship with God to a bit from Psalms pertaining to a Prophet’s charge against specific, historical people and events to draw conclusions about or judgments of people hete and now does not strike me as a theologically or rationally sound position.

          • Hi avi

            Well said. Although Martian knows the bible inside out : indeed, I was told last week by another “bible believing Christian ” my mum and dad were screaming out in pain in hell for all of eternity for rejecting Jesus (with worms coming out of them like the film like aliens). And people wonders why I’m not into Christianity, but a Jew for Judaism.

          • DanJ0

            That’s what Reformed Baptists, Calvinists. and Lutherans actually believe. Well, perhaps without the aliens bit anyway. At least some of those also believe that we have no part in whether we get chosen by their god for heaven. Westboro Baptist Church types like Martin take a lot of pleasure in pointing out our damned state to us, claiming to believe that he is one of the chosen and that he’s doing his god’s work by making sure we know we’re currently damned.

          • DanJ0

            Ouch

          • Martin

            Avi

            Seems to me that about 3000 of your fellows took very seriously the fact that the Roman ruler, at the behest of the Jewish leaders, had put to death their Messiah.

            Clearly too, that temple where your sacrifices for sin were once performed had no longer any purpose, since the real sacrifice those daily had pointed to was now complete.

            As to joining the Psalms to Genesis, unless you see God’s revelation as one have you not abandoned the Scriptures in favour of the traditions of men?

          • avi barzel

            Martin, that is your version of history upon which your claim rests. Yet neither Jewish records, nor Roman, nor secular historiographical accounts support it and neither Jews nor anyone outside of your faith need accept it as factual. The Sanhedrin did not meet at night and did not rule speedily or casually adjudge on capital penalties, especially when a capital crime was not committed. In fact the death penalty required extraordinary evidence and there were so many impediments to it, that it was extremely rare. The Romans unjustly tortured and executed another Jewish rebel against Rome and its collaborators, possibly another messianic claimant, one of thousands such, according to their own, well-known and documented laws and execution methods.

            The Second Temple was destroyed three decades after Jesus was executed by the Romans in order to finally destroy Judean independence and in an attempt to finish Judaism as a religion. They succeeded in the first and failed in the latter, as all before and after them have. The religious Jewish position is that God allowed the Romans to destroy the Temple and to exile them because Jews were split into factions, many were assimilating into Paganism and cults…of which Christianity was but one minor one… with “baseless hatred” towards one another. In the Exile, the synagogue took on the function of Temple governance, the sages and rabbis of the priesthood and the Sanhedrin and the home took on the duties of ceremonial sacrifices with the observances of dietary laws and Sabbath and festival ritual.

            As illogical as it may seem, as frustrating as it may be to so many, a stiff-necked remnant of us is still here. Somewhat bruised and battered and still knocked about from many corners, but also energised and cheerful in its duties to God and humanity, still loyally clinging to the true Covenant …even today on the fast day of Tish b’Av, the 9th of the month of Av, the mournful anniversary of the destruction of our Temple.

          • Martin

            Avi

            Actually you will find it far more supported than you claim. And surely you know that God is longsuffering with His chosen people, it took a long time before Israel were taken into captivity and longer still for Judah. That the Temple wasn’t destroyed immediately is hardly surprising. But the fact remains, there is no place for the devout Jew to sacrifice, there is no offering for sin.

            But there is a new Temple, not made with hands, and the offer of mercy from an offended God.

          • avi barzel

            Apparently you have your own criteria for what constitutes a true and legitimate sacrifice and worship, which is your prerogative, but these have no bearing on us. You forget that Jews were in a similar situation during their Babylonian exile and may not be aware that even in Temple times, the majority of Jews lived far from Jerusalem, all over the ancient world as far as Africa and China even, and conducted prayer and sacrifices in synagogues and homes, offering sin sacrifices through charity, learning and observance of commandments. Or that we continue to study the details of the secrifices, repeating many in our daily prayers, memorizing their technical particulars, discussing them in our studies and holding them close to our hearts. These were and are not poor, second-best substitutions; the were and are legitimate and expressions of devotion and bona fide fulfillments of commandments.

            The destruction of the Temple did not nullify the Covenant anymore than living far from Jerusalem did.We have no express or implied permission from any scripture or authority to despair and to run to other religions. Those who abandon the Covenant through betrayal or indifference are idol worshipers who forfeit their relationship with the people of Israel and the Almighty and face eternal extinction.

          • Martin

            Avi

            Now there I was, thinking that the Bible laid down the requirements for sacrifices. I wonder why it was that Israel created places of worship at Dan and Bethel if the people did not travel to Jerusalem?

            The fact is, the temple sacrifices have ceased, there are no longer any sacrifices for sin.

            What nullified the Covenant was the disobedience of the people, their failure to live as the Bible commanded, preferring instead the traditions of men.

          • avi barzel

            First of all, your “facts” are opinions. Christian opinions. God exiled Jewry twice, and in neither of them did we receive a legitimate, credible memo through aknowkedged channels that the Covenant is abrogated and that we are suddenly required to dump everything and adopt a synchretistic pastiche which is a blend of Jewish, Greek, Roman and other European Pagan beliefs and customs.

            We have our own pastiche, if you will. The Torah in the Judaism for the last two millenia includes the Oral Laws passed down through Moses, interpretations by our sages and decisions by qualified rabbis in Jewish courts. We believe that God gave us the mandate to do this, and so our prayers and observances replace those of the Temple until we are lifted from exile and the Temple is rebuild.

            So, again, we’re hitting the same wall; we have very different beliefs with the added complication that they intersect in their claims, compeye and suffer from a history of animosy…mostly and in the more, um, physical ways on your part.

            Your side wants us to accept and believe in what to you is maddeningly obvious; my side just wonders why yours cannot accept differences as we do and at what point your side will once again get sick of this egalitarian debate stuff, drop the nice guy act and revert to type.

            This is why the Sages warn us not to debate…most of the world doesn’t mind, but you and the Muslims get real angry most of the time.

          • Martin

            Avi

            So who has required you to accept a “synchretistic pastiche which is a blend of Jewish, Greek, Roman and other European Pagan beliefs and customs”?

            Remember, your sages, your oral laws, your traditions aren’t part of the Bible, you cannot trace them with any certainty to anything. Just like those traditions of Rome, they are worthless, the works of men.

            I’m not angry, salvation is of God, not me.

          • avi barzel

            Required? No one. I’ve been lucky to be alive in comparatively easy secular times and the only missionizing “pressures” I’ve been subjected to amount to inviting a few door-to-door clean-cut Mormon boys and Jehovah Witnesses ladies for a tea and a chat because I feel awkward sending nice people away.

            Of course the Oral Laws were not part of the written Torah. Kind of obvious, given the term. They were intended to be processed and managed by Israel and its leaders in real time and in the real world. Came in pretty handy, because here we still are.

            And how odd that you have such a low opinion of humankind and “worthless
            works of men,” and for the Almighty come to think of it, who made this incredible world in a mind-blowing universe and placed us here as the crown of His Creation, imbuing us with intelligence, wisdom and the freedom to enjoy His gifts, to care for them and to fulfill the tasks He gave us as best as we can.

          • Martin

            Avi

            What is required is the shedding of blood, without death there is no forgiveness of sins:

            For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. (Leviticus 17:11 [ESV]

            So without the Temple sacrifices there is no forgiveness of sin.

            And it seems God has a low opinion of the works of men, so I am in good company:

            We have all become like one who is unclean,
            and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
            We all fade like a leaf,
            and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
            (Isaiah 64:6 [ESV]

            Yes, God made this incredible Universe, the Earth and all life in six days around six thousand years ago. It gives Him the right to say what we should do.

          • avi barzel

            Turtle doves once sufficed for sin offerings, today the Sabbath meal in the home is one of the sacrificed. God doesn’t nail thoudands of Jews to crosses and watch them die slowly and in agony to redeem anyone…angry, savage people do. He is God, not Moloch. Gosh, Martin, as utter heresies and astounding errors go, yours suffer from the additional burden of being rather gloomy and deptessing.

          • Martin

            Avi

            Bit of a stretch from the Temple sacrifices to lunch at home. And certainly the doves were only a sacrifice for the poor, those who could afford it had to give more. Not sure where I suggested nailing anyone to a cross,

          • avi barzel

            No, not a stretch at all; three mandated meals for the Sabbath involving specific blessings and a day of communal and family worship, study and joyful companionship. It’s a genuine, in a number of ways improved, fulfilment of commandments and obligations suited to the conditions of the Exile. You do what you can and then you uplift it as high as possible…just as the widow’s pair of doves is ewual to the rich man’s bullock The glowing candles, the pair of sweet, white loafs, the wine, the fine dishes of fish, meat, fruit and sweets these are weekly sacrifices to the Almighty…and His gifts us. The legitimacy is clear through the results; the observance of the laws and teachings, the Sabbaths and the festivals, have kept us together, in the Covenant and on the path. The sacrifices were put in place for our benefit. We are not a historical reenactment society, nor Pagan magicians unable to function without magical paraphernalia.

            The reference to the crucifixions is to the notion that Jesus, or thousands of other Jews who were crucified by the Romans in that era of revolts, were in any way desired by God as sacrifice of atonement.

          • Martin

            Avi

            But of course, sacrifices were offered by the Levites and sacrifices for sin were not eaten by the one bringing the offering but by the Levites. The place of sacrifice had to be given by God and the last of those places is no longer available. Have you ever wondered why God allowed a mosque to be built there?

            Only Jesus could be a sacrifice because He alone had no sins of His own. Only He could bear the sins of His people.

          • DanJ0

            You’re underestimating the overwhelming power of assertion there.

          • Martin

            Kara

            You mean like you think you are right?

          • Gehennah

            I’m fairly curious on how you can differentiate between the two?

          • Martin

            Gehennah

            I indicated what the religion of men does, godly religion does the opposite and also seeks God’s glory.

          • Gehennah

            And how do you know it is god? How do you differentiate between a delusion and your god?

          • Martin

            I know it is God in the same way that you know it is God.

          • Gehennah

            In other words you have no actual answer.

            Thanks for letting us know.

          • Martin

            G

            Did you not understand that you know God exists? Your pretence is laid bare, to pretend further would be folly.

          • Gehennah

            I know what the Bible says, I also know what I know, and your Bible is wrong.

            I do not know the god of the Bible is real. Which god are you speaking of specifically?

          • Martin

            G

            You pretend that God is not real and convince yourself it is so.

          • Gehennah

            You pretend to think you can read someone’s mind to convince yourself that your Bible is based off of reality.

            I know for a fact that your Bible has numerous things which are wrong.

          • Martin

            G

            I don’t pretend I can read the minds of others, in fact I deny it. And there is nothing more real than the Bible and nowhere is it wrong.

          • Gehennah

            We know donkeys don’t talk. We know snakes don’t talk. We know the earth was not flooded in human history. We know the way the NT describes the census didn’t happen that way (it isn’t how Rome did them). We know not all versions of the resurrection can have happened since they directly contradict each other on some details.

            You really need to read your Bible and study it, and then look at the evidence.

          • Martin

            G

            Of course we know that donkeys & snakes don’t talk. Where have I said otherwise? The snake in the garden and the donkey on the road were both unique events, brought about by the power of supernatural beings.

            However, the rocks and fossils declare the truth of the Flood to us and the evidence is that the census was like that. Nor do the versions of the resurrection contradict each other, rather they compliment each other.

            You are the one that needs to read the Bible

          • Gehennah

            Of course we know that donkeys & snakes don’t talk. Where have I said otherwise? The snake in the garden and the donkey on the road were both unique events, brought about by the power of supernatural beings.

            Oh really? So your answer to the question is magic. What evidence do you have that they happened, because “the Bible said so,” isn’t nearly enough evidence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And this isn’t a cop out saying no evidence is good enough, because special relativity was an extraordinary claim that was backed up successfully by the evidence.

            However, the rocks and fossils declare the truth of the Flood to us

            Not really. You see in a massive flood you generally would have the layers of rock sorted by density, higher density rocks under lower density rocks, but we do not see this in the geologic layers.

            Additionally fossil evidence far from supports your claim, since we do not see things like modern humans mixed in with dinosaurs, which would be expected. We definitely would not be finding impressions of footprints from such a flood. On top of this, genetics absolutely destroys any chance of a global flood in human history due to the lack of extreme genetic bottlenecking in all species on the earth. If you need a more detailed explanation there, let me know.

            the evidence is that the census was like that.

            Actually, no. There is no good evidence that any census in that time required people to go back to their places of birth. The logistics of such a requirement would make zero sense and would absolutely wreck havok in the empire.

            Nor do the versions of the resurrection contradict each other, rather they compliment each other.

            Except we have different people arriving at the tomb, we have different people in the tomb, we have different events happening, such as the earthquake and zombie uprising that nobody else seemed to notice.

          • Martin

            G

            Magic is a power external to the practitioner brought about by spells or potions. God does not require magic and clearly the angelic beings have greater powers than Man. The events are documented, which is more than can be said for Evolution or the BigBang.

            Can you demonstrate your claims of what a global flood would produce? In fact what we see is much as we’d expect to see, the result of gigantic mud flows and the inundation of different environments at different times.

            There are plenty of places where you can find discussions of the Quirinius census that find agreement with the Bible, and of course, Luke was actually nearer to the time than we are and proabably knew more than us.

            None of the events at the tomb require any of the other events to be false. And they weren’t zombies, they were clearly risen in the same way that Jesus rose.

          • SpiderWatch

            See that would sound profound…if you know: every other religion didn’t say that too.

          • Martin

            SW

            Every other religion doesn’t say that.

          • SpiderWatch

            Have you met a devout Muslim or Hindu? There are so many paths to truth, it would be funny if it weren’t for all the horror and bigotry done in its name.

          • Martin

            SW

            There is only one path to truth.

        • The Explorer

          Yes, if you think the alternative is Odin.

    • Mungling

      Is this true though?

      I mean, I would like to think that I would recognize this as being a problem inherent to organized religion if it were true. I’ve certainly had to come to terms with any number of other issues. The problem is that I’m not so sure that its true…

      How many “religious conflicts” are really about religion? Given the number of religious conflicts, I would be willing to wager a few. Still, how many of the rest are motivated by far more mundane reasons like wealth, land, or power? Would we *really* have had less conflict in the world if religion didn’t exist, or would we just be classifying the same conflicts in different ways? As an addendum to that, can we really lump all “religions” together in the same category. Is it descriptive enough? Is the religion of Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King the same as ISIS? Does ALL religion cause conflict or does some forms of religion cause conflict? And if so where does the source of that conflict lie?

      Secondly, I’m not sure that Atheism has been any more tolerant than any other point of view. Atheist regimes have managed to rack up a pretty impressive body count considering what a small sliver of time they have been active. Even if we disregard the communist regimes (although I find it frankly ridiculous that people try to deny they were Atheists because it doesn’t suit them – couldn’t I do the same for my co-religionists when their actions stand in contrast with their beliefs) we still have issues in the French Revolution, the previously atheistic Mexican government, Probably a few others that I don’t know about. Historically, regimes that have self identified as Atheist don’t seem to be any more tolerant than anyone else.

      But maybe the Atheists of today are the “true” Atheists. Maybe their predecessors were still working within the confines of their theistic countrymen. Perhaps they were a theist in sheep’s clothing? You know, talking to a lot of Atheists today, I don’t know that they are any more tolerant than anyone else. A lot of times they seem less tolerant. I’ve heard Atheist announce that they want to use Churches as nuclear testing grounds. I’ve heard Atheists launch all kinds of vile insults and slander against theists. I’ve heard Atheists declare that theists are somehow the source of all evil So let me ask you this: do you really think that if this group of people were large enough and powerful enough in an area (or time) of the world were inter-religious persecution is common that they wouldn’t be just as bad as people who belong to a religious tradition? Do you really think they wouldn’t be trying to stomp out the evil theists? Or do you think they would have been just as bad as anyone else?

      Here’s what it comes down to: Atheists in West are no more tolerant than Theists in the West. All of them are tolerant because we live in a cultural situation were tolerance is necessary. Take that away, give Atheism enough of a history, and I suspect there would be conflict rather quickly.

      • James60498 .

        Sinn Fein are supposed to be “Catholic”. They are the most pro-abortion party in NI. (In fact the only pro-abortion party in NI).
        They are behind a push to get “gay marriage” into NI even though it has been rejected by the Assembly on a number of occasions.

        For every Vatican flag I have seen flying, I have seen a hundred Irish Republic Flags. The remembered hatred is against British Leaders, (William of Orange and Cromwell in particular) not CofE Archbishops.

        Anyone who thinks it is a Catholic Party is to be honest “off their rocker”. It is an Irish Nationalist Party regardless of religion.

        The same applies to many of the so called “Protestant” Paramilitaries. If they go to Church it’s not always to pray. And the Loyalists parade the Union Jack because that’s their flag. The flag of the UK.

        Of course there was Ian Paisley. But despite all his honestly meant anti-Pope speeches, he dealt with a Constituency Problem as a Constituency Problem, even before the Good Friday Agreement. I heard of at least one group of Catholic Nuns grateful for his help. His was never a war (even verbal) against ordinary Irish Catholics. (I say never. It may have been at one time, but certainly not always).

        It wasn’t a Religious War, even though the battle lines were often drawn that way. The Catholics on one side because they are Irish by heritage. The Protestants on the other side because most of them are British/Scottish by heritage. (The kilt is worn by many Protestants as a remembrance of their Scottish heritage)

        But to anyone who wants to make out that the “Troubles” in NI are religious, it is a great line/ a great lie.

        I am sure that there are similar issues clouding many other so called Religious Wars too.

        • Inspector General

          James. Sinn Fein have been a Marxist party since the 1980s. Far from ‘liberating’ Ireland, they want to take the place over and give Stalinism one more chance.

          • James60498 .

            I am fine with that. You are clearly correct. Just goes further to prove how ridiculous the claim that it’s a religious divide, if now not so much a war.

            But Sinn Fein is still seen as the Irish Republic Party and still gets the Irish Republican vote.
            It’s party symbol is still mainly green with a bit of white and orange, and a map of the whole of Ireland.

            And those who want to continue to portray it as a religious war will still do so.

          • dannybhoy

            A lot of people vote for things simply because they and their families always have. You see it all across the world. The problem is that this blind loyalty is often reinforced by the unspoken threat of violence from those who ‘own’ their loyalty.
            The situation is made worse because those trapped in obedience to this blind loyalty can never blame ‘the cause’ for anything, so they instead lash out at others around them as a kind of cathartic release.
            You all know who you are……

    • Royinsouthwest

      Give us examples of recent public meetings or debates in Britain where atheists have been shouted down.


  • The Archbishop of Canterbury was also keen to look for solutions:

    Religious freedom is threatened on a global scale, as we have heard, but also in a very complex way. Attacks on religious freedom are often linked to economic circumstances, to sociology, to history and to many other factors. Practically, if we are to defend religious liberty, we have to draw in these other factors. For example, if we want to defend religious freedom around the world – and again I say, the freedom to have no religion – do not sell guns to people who oppress religious freedom; do not launder their money; restrict trade with them; confine the way in which we deal with them; and, above, all, speak frankly and openly, naming them for what they are.


    Quite right! But somehow I don’t see Britain treating Saudi Arabia like that. Too much money involved. However, on the day that Asia Bibi is possibly having her death sentence confirmed, we should make a start with Pakistan. Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to do that either.

    • big

      You can’t mention Saudi Arabia its absolutely forbidden to mention them!

  • IanCad
  • Martin

    It seems strange to me that people should be under the impression that a lack of freedom of religion should be a new thing. Has it not always been so? Indeed it is less than 200 years since the Test Acts were repealed in the UK. And Islam has always persecuted those who do not adhere to its particular interpretation of the Qur’an. Change your religion in India, become a Christian when your family are Hindu and you will suffer.

    Now we have the secular society denying other religions their right to express themselves, what’s new? The demand that only the belief in Evolution be taught, despite a lack of evidence for it, has long been imposed on Christian. And now we have the perverts demanding they be allowed to marry and be treated as normal while persecuting Christians who wish to live according to their beliefs.

    Things are as they have always been and the liberal is as much to blame as any.

  • Arden Forester

    Religious freedom and tolerance of religious practice don’t seem to sit comfortably in this new age of “British values” and a “tolerant society”. The prime minister is promoting tolerance yet at the same time aiding and abetting those who would wish to deny faith groups a meaningful role in society.

    Catholics and evangelicals within the C of E have had to hold fast against complete obliteration. Roman Catholic adoption agencies closed down because the Faith was attacked by zealots. Christian workers mocked, abused, demoted, sacked, or whatever in the name of political correctness.

    Tolerance appears to be only something to be had if offered by those who get intolerant of beliefs they disagree with. So tolerance doesn’t really mean being tolerant of others but for others being submissive and subservient to the new ways of “British values”.

    • We should have zero tolerance of Islamic religions in our country.

      • big

        Hey thats a great idea……. i know, we could call it the The Muslim Solution…. do you suggest we start with mass deportation first?

        • Start with all those who are disruptive, IE those who take part in muslim demonstrations supporting sharia law and those other demos that are anti British, you know where they have banners with “police are pigs” and other lovely slogans, and I’d deport all those muslims who don’t like the EDL!

          Then I’d get rid of all the muslim None Governmental Organisations that pump money into Islamic projects in this country and twist the governments arm.

    • Royinsouthwest

      I am not a Roman Catholic but I think that the way in which the Catholic hierarchy caved in to the government and closed down their adoption agencies was cowardly and utterly disgraceful. They should simply have responded by issuing a statement along the lines of the one below.

      We believe that children deserve a mother and a father and therefore we will continue to do our best to place them with suitable mixed sex couples. If you disagree with this then you will have to forcibly close our adoption agencies down.

      The politicians would probably not have done anything until after the General Election in 2010 to avoid seeming like totalitarian bullies who wanted to deny innocent children the chance of having both a mother and a father. Once the election was out of the way the Coalition government would probably eventually have got around to forcing the agencies to close, thereby exposing the intolerance of PC politicians and gay rights activists who are quite happy to prevent children from having both a mother and a father because it suits their agenda.

      • Arden Forester

        The problem was the government was hellbent on taking the Church to court and basically the Church would have lost and had to pay a fortune. Agendas before children. Seems to be the current craze.

        • Royinsouthwest

          What an utterly pathetic answer! Can you imagine Paul or any of the Apostles being frightened by such a “problem”? If the Catholic bishops in Britain are such a craven bunch then the Catholic church would be better off without any bishops at all.

          • Jack agrees. The Catholic agencies should have contested this and not walked away.

      • avi barzel

        Such an option was bandied about in some quarters in my province of Ontario. The Catholic and Jewish family services agencies could have stood firmly on this…but they didn’t. The frustrating bit was knowing that had they done so, the government would have folded on the issue, as the loss of these two would have resulted in a fiscal, political and tactical mayhem. I think the excuse for knuckling under was to protect jobs and…of course…the children from disruptions.

  • CHBrighton

    All this is perfectly fine. But what about protecting the rights of gay people against attacks from religions?

    • big

      I think you may have come to wrong place !

      • The Explorer

        If he really felt under threat, would he come here?

        • Inspector General

          He’s a commentator on PN. Still, he makes a change from that nasty piece of work DTNorth….

          • big

            I honestly dont know what you are talking about, still it seems you do.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you.

        • big

          Now come on explorer did i mention anything about threats , no!, i think its Inspector General you need talk to, he’s an obvious homophobe. for my part i have no problems with homosexuals.

          • big

            Anyway we dont know if this person is gay, do we?

          • The Explorer

            I think we do from posts on other threads. And ‘Brighton’ is a bit of a clue.

            It could just be his surname, but I don’t think so.

    • Inspector General

      We failed to protect Catholic Adoption agencies from your crowd as Roy correctly reminds us all below. And you speak of rights. Give up your apparent right to persecute people who want nothing to do with your bizarre lifestyle, and then we can talk…

    • Mungling

      I think that’s fair, but what rights and against what kind of attack? Contrary to what you might think, even those opposed to same-sex marriage and who hold that homosexual relationships are sinful believe that the rights of those in the LGBT community should be protected. But if by “rights” you mean the ability to marry (which any Christians oppose since they believe it is impossible) or the right to have everyone celebrate one’s relationship and one’s identity (which almost everyone opposes when it isn’t related to LGBT issues; consider how many people gleefully condemn Christians and Christianity) then you may have a tougher crowd.

      • dannybhoy

        Amen brother. To equate holding a different opinion with bigotry is totally illogical.

    • dannybhoy

      What about protecting Christian family bakers from people who would damage their business and put their employees’ jobs at risk?

    • The Explorer

      Christ gave his commandments to Christians. I personally do not believe in trying to impose them on non-Christians. If non-Christian gays want to marry each other, let them get on with it. (As a believer in Natural Law I believe that Christian ethics are the best model for a functioning society, but that’s a slightly different issue.)

      What worries me far more than a few gays not having kids is a lot of heteros not having kids and creating a demographic imbalance. What worries me far more than gays marrying is heteros not marrying, and women, when they do have kids, being single mums to absent male partners, with resulting welfare drain and social instability.

      • dannybhoy

        “Christ gave his commandments to Christians. I personally do not believe in trying to impose them on non-Christians.”
        Agreed, but we still have to acknowledge that allowing some things will noit be good for society as a whole, e.g. same sex marriage with donated children..
        You only have to read the more active Gay websites to see where this is taking society and using /abusing children in the cause of equality.
        There are some things we Christians have to stand up against.

        • The Explorer

          There was apparently a survey given to Americans recently. What percent of people are gay: 3%, 15%, 23%? The majority response was 23%: simply because that is the way the statisitcs are represented in the media. When told the truth, they were staggered.

          Gay marriage is a symptom, not a cause. The problem is with hetero atitudes towards marriage, because there are so many more heteros than there are gays. That’s the main point I was trying to make. The donated children, I agree, are a problem.

          • dannybhoy

            The breakdown in marriages and subsequent family traumas is the result of a social philosophy that says our freedom to seek personal happiness is more important than any obligation to make other people happy. So regardless of the sexual orientations, it is man himself who causes most (not all) of his and other people’s unhappiness.
            A Christian is one who through repentance and acceptance of our Lord’s example and sacrifice of Himself is empowered by the Holy Spirit to begin putting others before him or herself.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I am sad to say that in a local school the teaching there had the young people believing that 50% of people are homosexually lifestyled.

          • The Explorer

            The REALLY interesting question: did the teachers believe that statistic too?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Well, they were the ones who presented facts in such a way as to bring the children to believe it, but I can’t believe that they did so themselves. When we put one child straight she was disbelieving of our 1-2% figure of such lifestyle choosers – it took some time to explain otherwise.

          • The Explorer

            It must be a case of presenting desirable statistics as facts in the hope that they will become facts in reality.

          • That’s probably the aspiration.

      • …. and these are all connected, Explorer. Have a readHumanae Vitae.

    • avi barzel

      Attacks like…like from the horrid cake bakers? Don’t worry, their hateful Christian bakeries have been bankrupted, their homophobic, cis-gendered families impoverished. That’ll learn’em!

    • Dominic Stockford

      What about protecting my right to believe that homosexual activity is sinful?

    • Martin

      CH

      Why should wickedness have rights? Do we have rights for murderers?

    • As you say, it’s all perfectly fine.

      Would you like to clarify your question? What “attacks”?

      http://JohnAllman.UK

  • preacher

    Personally I believe in tolerance. I tolerate what you believe & hope that you tolerate what I believe.
    That doesn’t mean that we agree about different issues, but we respect the rights of individuals to disagree with each other in a civilised manner.
    I also believe in peoples rights to change their minds about what they believe, a basic human right IMO. No one should be persecuted for deciding to alter their beliefs.
    Granted, there often comes a time when further debate seems to be pointless, but surely we should be able to disagree without resorting to childish rhetoric.
    Freewill & freedom of choice should be the foundation stone of any civilised society. I know that’s idealistic, & it’s probably never going to happen, but imagine a world where it did ! utopia ?- no, but a vast improvement on what currently exists.

    Blessings. P.

    • It would surely result in a world where Christianity was accepted as the true faith by the majority – and then Catholicism.

  • dannybhoy

    While we still have our freedom, I hope people on this blog will take the opportunity to read this website and stand in Christian solidarity with Asia Bibi, Saeed Avedini and others who have already lost theirs and on the brink of losing their lives because they are Christians..

    http://beheardproject.com/bibi

  • avi barzel

    Great post, Gillan! But here is where I disagree with you, ++Welby and Lord R’Sacks: Any attempt to handle this problem in an “international” or “global” way is guaranteed, with all the bullion at Ft Knox, to devolve into yet another deeply politicised, biased and fundamentally injust catastrophe. There is no substitute for the global police work by a now-meek United Kingdom and an absentee United States.

    • Anton

      Well said Avi!

      • avi barzel

        Not too well, I fear. I noted upon re-reading my words to see what brought about your kind flattery and, oh! In my haste I declared my disagreement with the eminent men in a rather common tone. I have now corrected myself, saying “respectfully disagree.”

  • Britain has an Established Church. Why not use this for advice on religious freedom instead of creating yet another government body? Surely the Church is an expert n such matters?

    • avi barzel

      What a silly proposal, Jack! You mustn’t say such things. Just how do you imagine that using an existing body will create opportunities for new positions, titles, jobs, infrastructure investments?

      • Gotta spread the wealth, one supposes Avi. The “trickle down” economy doesn’t work otherwise.

        • avi barzel

          Um, that would be planned, state economy. Whatever your feelings about “trickle down” economies, getting rid of those who make it trickle is always a big mistake.

          • Do economies suffer the male equivalent of enlarged prostates?

          • carl jacobs

            You should be beaten with an iron rod for using that metaphor.

          • Good evening, Carl. Yes, it pained Jack to do so but it seemed apt.

          • carl jacobs

            When something hurts, that means “Don’t do this.” Look, I realize that you are a Brit so misdemeanor assault on the English language is second-nature to you, but that crossed the line to GBH.

          • It seems we’re more open over here than Americans when it comes to male health. Hope you have regular check-ups, Carl. You know it makes sense.

          • Powerdaddy

            Sex mad, that one. 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            Nah. He just has a weakness for wretched double entendres and other disturbing biological representations. He needs it beaten out of him.

          • Powerdaddy

            The RCC’S very own version of Benny Hill………..

          • Hmm … now you are revealing your own predilections.

          • avi barzel

            Must one be awake for the procedure? Surely any male physician of a merciful disposition would understand a request for summons of the anaesthetist and his team?

          • Who said it was a male physician? One remains fully awake, Avi. Not sure what is worse; the sheer embarrassment of the procedure (female nurses in attendance) or the pain.

          • avi barzel

            Surely you comported yourself with courage and honour, Jack. A mildly bored expression, stiff upper lip, languidly leafing through a copy of the Times while waiting for your tea to steep properly. You have a noble stereotype to uphold. Not being British, I would have cowered, whimpered and hollered. Don’t tell me they gave you a local anaesthetic…no, no, never mind, spare me the nightmares.

          • Lol … Jack understands in certain circles good money is exchanged for such experiences. Yes, one behaved with dignity and honour throughout the ordeal. For the record, they coat the instrument of torture with an analgesic – for all the good it does.
            On a serious not, prostate health is an important matter. Two of Jack’s near relatives have died of prostate cancer in recent times. Happily, Jack got the all clear and, after a suitable period of rehabilitation AND with his wife’s kind assistance and encouragement, fully recovered.

          • avi barzel

            Good Heavens, Jack, I had no idea; refuah sh’lema/a full and complete recovery to you. You are right on this; it’s been a standing joke about me avoiding the scary test, but now, on the very day of the fifth month anniversary of my quitting smoking, your note reminds me that I have no reason to avoid calling the office and making an appointment….well, waiting for my wife to come home and calling for me, because, because, well, because I’m a chicken I guess.

            On the subject of smoking, where do you stand?…and I don’t mean ideoogically or rhetorically.

          • Jack had his examination because of his family history following a blood test which was indicative of potential problems. Happily, he was given the all clear but has regular monitoring. It is something all men should be mindful of. Just take a deep breath and think of Israel.
            As for smoking, Jack stopped smoking in February and is still using an e-vaporiser.

          • avi barzel

            HAHAHAHA! What a coincidence! I picked up a cheap starter e-pen on Feb 23, stopped the cigs on 24th (took about a month to finish off my remaining half-pack of Marlboros ). Chronic bronchitis and hacking disappeared on day three. Added about 10 lbs, though. Started with a cheap tank started kit, moved onto single coil Kanger Techs (still great for stealth-vaping almost anywhere with almost invisble all-propylene glycol mix) and now I’m using 2 Kanger Evod Mega mech-mods at 1900 mah with a bigger battery, cleaner vape and a bigger tank, but same replaceable coils. Blew a few bucks trying every weird ejuice flavour, for now settled on Virginia and Turkish at 18 ml of nicotine by BB Vapes to get that nice throat hit and at least some nicotine.

            Wasn’t easy, since with the low nic absorbtion with vaping, it’s essentially a placebo…but wow! I’m running again, haven’t coughed in months, teeth are staying white afyer a good clean and I don’t stink. Camping a few weeks was hard and I’ll be alone at the house for ten days, so I’m a bit oensive about backsliding. So, check on me, wil ya!

          • Goodness, Avi. You have become something of an expert on e-cjgs. Jack isn’t sure what his contraption is but he uses 24 mg Golden Virginia which he mixes increasing amounts of 16 mg Vanilla in with to slowly wean himself of cigarettes.
            Jack actually prefers vaporing so smoking and believes he gets a nicotine hit. In the past one has tied nicotine chewing gum without success and also the drug Chapex. All to no avail.
            Stick with it …. Jack was diagnosed with early signs of COPD and really had little choice if he wanted to avoid the oxygen bottles and be around to witness his granddaughter getting married one day. His mother, God rest her soul, suffered with this for 20 years and Jack wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

          • avi barzel

            Good show, Jack! I kinda didn’t have much of a choice, my family was dancing on my hea and my leech warned me about my long stretch of chronic bronchitis and what it might lead to and I’m fortunate to be over it. He’s not concerned about even lifetime vaping, because neither the small amounts of nicotine, nor the glycol mixes present a problem. There is a very good study by a PhD candidate at one of your unis… can’t remember which one… East Anglia, East London U? It’s on YouTube.

            I started with 16mg, then to 12, went foolishly to 6 and now up to 20. When your gizmo dies, I recomend the Evod Mega, economic, clean, charge last the day and rugged. You could lower your nic if you got better heat with a good coil and a bigger battery, which is why I don”t need to go to 24.

            Time for shabbat prep, have a good weeked and keep on vapin’ !

          • Shabbat Shalom.

          • Powerdaddy

            A bit unfair condemning me because I bear witness to your comments?

          • Lol …. where did Jack condemn you? Your predilections may be perfectly healthy and moral.

            Hmmm …. Jack wonders if you have a guilty conscience, Powerdaddy.

          • Powerdaddy

            How dare you!

            I bet your the type of man who farts in a packed lift ( harder to keep them in at your age, so i’m told ) and then stares accusingly at some poor fellow in the corner unlucky enough to be trapped in there with you.

            I’ll get you next time. There will be a next time. You can’t help yourself……..

          • Tsk, tsk …. analogy, Carl. Wouldn’t want you to incur the Wrath of Linus, now would we.

          • carl jacobs

            Analogy … metaphor … it’s all just nomenclature. Anyways. I’m an Engineer. We get special dispensation.

          • Doubly so as you’re an American engineer (lower case).

          • carl jacobs

            ‘Engineer’ is properly capitalized in recognition of the fact that Engineers should rule the world.

          • No …. that’s Popes, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            Popes aren’t Engineers. They are more like JDs. We are mortal enemies of JDs. That’s why Engineers should rule the world. The first thing we do is kill all the lawyers.

          • JD’s?

          • carl jacobs

            JD. Juris Doctorate. Basic law degree.

            ‘JD’ is a colloquial means of saying leech weasel vulture jackal lawyer.

          • Jack has great respect for the rule of law and those who work within the judicial system. For all its faults, and there are many, not least the moral integrity some lawyers, it has to be one on man’s greatest achievements. Isn’t the real problem with judges usurping the legislature and becoming a modern day ‘priesthood’?

          • carl jacobs

            Engineers are the true secular priesthood, Jack. Calculus is our sacrament. We bring order to the galaxy. You should get on with your daily sacramental obligation to perform some integration by trigonometric substitution.

          • dannybhoy

            I thought it was a bit below the belt personally, but I could see how it followed on from Avi’s ‘trickle..’

    • GKStudent

      Because, politicians want job security. With the slumping economy and jobless rates increasing, these guys are worried about their pay check.

  • len

    The tenets of Christianity and Secular Humanism do not agree….So Christians(well Biblical based Christians) are an anathema to the concept of Secular Humanism.
    So here is the hypocrisy of secular humanism which advocates’ liberty’ and ‘freedom ‘BUT…… only if your values are theirs also……….