I’m Voting Republican

OK. Who out there has read my posts before and really believed I might vote Republican?

The home page for the organization that produced this video is I’m Voting Republican Website

Thanks to Tony for forwarding this along

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37 Responses to I’m Voting Republican

  1. Amy Jo says:

    Wow, not only funny.. but informative too! Unfortunately, most of the democrats I know would take this fairly seriously… they also catch up on current events by watching The Daily Show. It’s heartwarming to see them banding together with Johnny-on-the-spot soundbytes of exactly what they heard Bill Maher say with no way of defending their position because their opinions really aren’t even theirs to begin with.

  2. Amy Jo,

    I found it hilarious personally. I also do indeed take it seriously. This really does point out what the republican party platform specifies. What part of it do you find untrue? I’m genuinely curious. Which sound bites, admittedly they are just sound bites, do not accurately represent the current republican party line. This is not the republican party of Nixon and before. This is the new republican party. Do you really think any of what is said in this video is false? I’m genuinely curious. Please be specific.

  3. Amy Jo says:

    I found it hilarious as well. I am conservative with a more libertarian point of view than anything. Both parties are fatally flawed, in my opinion. I will review the video again and do a point-by-point on the issues, perhaps we have some common ground.

    1. Big Business – I believe both parties have ties to big business that influence our government in a detrimental way. Remember the case of eminent domain from 2005: Kelo v. City of New London? The city (who actually deferred their eminent domain powers to a private corporation, NLDC!) forcibly removed homeowners against their will for the purpose of private development (presumably to accomodate the newly expanded local Pfizer facility). Redevelopment would include razing homes and small businesses for land to build private commercial properties and “increase the tax base”. The majority justices: Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer are all widely known liberals and swing vote “republican” Kennedy jumped on their bandwagon to swindle these American citizens out of their homes and local businesses. Their combined properties accounted for 2 acres of 90 to be developed, the other 88 were already available to the city. Three years and $78 MILLION in taxpayer dollars later the City of New London has developed nothing and the 90 acres are just brown fields with no taxes coming in to offset the costs involved. This is a perfect example of the terrible injustice of a Supreme Court who rewrites our Constitution at will… they also happen to be a left-leaning liberal majority which (I feel) contributes to their regular overstepping of boundaries and infringement of our rights.

    2. Cures for cancer, AIDS, diabetes and many other devastating auto-immune diseases have been widely known for many years. They are all linked to internal and acute prolonged inflammation of tissue exaggerated to the point of disease due to the American way of life that we fight so hard to protect! Unfortunately for the consumer, both sides of the party line are benefiting from the complete sham of a medical industry we call modern medicine. Big pharma rules our airwaves while endangering Americans while raking in billions for it… who’s to blame? The FCC! Who runs that? Oh yeah, the American government.

    I think Americans should stop the red vs. blue poo-slinging and those of us who do keep up on what is happening and can make our own informed opinions need to band together and realize that our representatives are hanging us all out to dry regardless of how we vote. They are all the same with few exceptions.

    More later, I want to post this before I lose it! 🙂

  4. Amy Jo says:

    3. Our educational system is a complete mess! I could likely write a dissertation on this topic, but I will spare you! Our schools have been turned into little more than a babysitting service for parents that just so happens to be a well-oiled social engineering machine as well.

    We have taken God out of the schools, but not religion. Little Suzy gets a zero in a “creative writing” class for a paper about what Christmas means to her because she is Christian (her paper discusses the birth of Jesus); her next class is world history where she gets another zero for refusing to pray in the name of Allah, her parents appeal to the school principal to no avail. I am not being alarmist, the praying to Allah as well as a “Jihad” dice game and taking a Muslim name were (are?) all required “learning” for many California (and possibly other states, but I have no references) middle school students in 2003 (and beyond?)! Absurd!

    We have watered down and actually repainted history in a way that would make many American students hate their heritage. Our students are not allowed to learn of America’s Judeo-Christian roots (that is historical fact regardless of beliefs) other than to read a loaded paragraph in a textbook stating that Christians slaughtered Jews who would not convert to Christianity during the Crusades. This same textbook (“History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond” by Bert Bower), used in a Sacramento school district (and who knows where else!), fails to mention that Arab Muslims have been the largest persecutors of Jews throughout all of history to this day… despite the fact that 7 of 35 chapters in this book are dedicated to Islam. A quote from the text allays the fears of the American child that Islam is violent or dangerous:

    The word jihad means “to strive.” Jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that would be pleasing to God. Muslims strive to respond positively to personal difficulties as well as worldly challenges. For instance, they might work to become better people, reform society, or correct injustice.

    Jihad has always been an important Islamic concept. One hadith, or account of Muhammad, tells about the prophet’s return from a battle. He declared that he and his men had carried out the “lesser jihad,” the external struggle against oppression. The “greater jihad,” he said, was the fight against evil within oneself. Examples of the greater jihad include working hard for a goal, giving up a bad habit, getting an education, or obeying your parents when you may not want to.

    Another hadith says that Muslims should fulfill jihad with the heart, tongue, and hand. Muslims use the heart in their struggle to resist evil. The tongue may convince others to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research. Hands may perform good works and correct wrongs.

    Sometimes, however, jihad becomes a physical struggle. The Quran tells Muslims to fight to protect themselves from those who would do them harm or to right a terrible wrong. Early Muslims considered their efforts to protect their territory and extend their rule over other regions to be a form of jihad. However, the Quran forbade Muslims to force others to convert to Islam. So, non-Muslims who came under Muslim rule were allowed to practice their faiths.”

    Endquote.

    Yeah, why don’t we go ask those who are living under Sharia Law if those statements are true!

    Then we have arithmetic. Asian students clean house with Americans in that area and we know why, but we don’t change it. Not only do most other countries use the much more logical metric system, but their system of counting is a base-10 system where place value is taught often and early. American students are left with colorful worksheets in the name of math being “fun” and textbook companies churning $150-per-student books of gobbldeygook that could confuse anyone.. oh and they have to be replaced with new books often because you can never be too colorful or too fun!

    Poor writing is the #1 complaint of college entrance boards because our failing education system focuses heavily on creative writing, journals, writing about feelings, phonetic spelling and “writing across the curriculum” and does not focus on things we already know work, like copywork and dictation. No teacher has given my a reasonable explanation for why we let kindergarteners write in a journal where they use made up spelling because they don’t yet know how to write words; why first graders are pressured to come up with original, imaginative stories before their immature minds have a storehouse of information and life experienceto choose from; why third graders absolutely must know what a preposition is even though research has proven that their underdeveloped brains do not absorb abstract information readily. American educators have it backwards… again! Yet your tax dollars and mine pay for more failed experiments!

    I am so glad that our educational system has set aside funds for :

    sexual education (because that is important to every good education and parents can’t be trusted with that topic!);

    tolerance (because assemblies with homosexual activists openly discussing their lifestyle are more likely to sway a teenager from being a prejudiced ass than a simple and enforceable policy that everyone is to be treated with respect without exception)

    “guidance” counselors (because parents just don’t understand)

    bigotry (through compelling every licensed teacher to be a card-carrying NEA member, a group that makes room on their calendar for Ramadan but wants to remove Christmas! The NEA also vehemently opposes the rights of parents to educate their own children. Gee, I thought we live in the Land of the Free…)

    We must remember that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders! What are we passing on?

  5. Amy Jo says:

    How many publicly educated people (or any, really) under the age of say, 40, do you know that:

    Have read more than a few classics. Have read them by choice?

    Can translate a Latin phrase?

    Know diddly about history or can explain anything beyond dates and locations?

    Have ever been taught logic or at least logical fallacies?

    Know anything about current events beyond newscaster soundbytes?

    Know how our government truly works?

    Have self-educated beyond highschool for any purpose other than a degree?

    Have gone to college for a reason other than vocation?

    Have ever written or called a legislator?

    Most people could name few, if any, friends or coworkers that could fit that bill. We have taken the joy out of education and the eradication of knowledge has left us powerless and defenseless… the void filled with endless opinions from an undereducated people.

  6. Amy Jo says:

    4. I addressed abortion on another post here but I will mention that the Preamble to out Constitution does: establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves *and* our posterity.

    Obviously people interpret that many ways.

  7. Amy Jo,

    Are you trying to have a debate or use my blog as your personal soapbox? I welcome your comments, but would like a bit of time to actually reply in between.

    I’ll respond to this another time. I do try to have a life in between blogging.

    I will start though with a single thought. Do you honestly believe that not having god in school caused all of this? I’m 45. I didn’t have god in my school. I had a better education than you describe.

    More later.

  8. Amy Jo,

    Let me try to address your points one by one.

    1. Big business. No argument from me on that one. Both parties are bought. Most of the candidates in both parties are bought. Kucinich and Paul were not. Hence, the major media corporations that were unable to buy them instantly labeled them “unelectable” and proceeded to proclaim that to everyone loudly and clearly until we the idiots believed them.

    That said, it is important to pick the candidate that is bought by more of the people with whom you agree and then hope like hell that they stay bought. Both McCain and Obama are bought by corporate interests that I do not like, Obama by coal and corn ethanol, McCain by oil, gas, coal, and the worst of the bunch, the military industrial complex.

    Both candidates also owe allegiance to a number of NGOs that give them public endorsements without which neither candidate would survive for long. I’m not sure of the full list for McCain, but it certainly includes the NRA since he voted against the assault weapons ban that even Bush supported. For Obama, the list includes a lot of environmental organizations.

    This last is very important to me. It is what caused him to back off on his support of liquid coal. I see no more important issue in the world today than the environment. By 2050, the conservative forecast is for eight billion people on the planet and a billion of them homeless as a diirect result of climate change. We will not be able to provide humanitarian aid to a billion people. If we try, the world economy will collapse and probably take civilization with it. I believe this will be the start of the Great Human Die-Off. Personally, I would rather see us reign in our numbers voluntarily than imagine the painful death, suffering, and cannibalism that will follow such a collapse.

    This can be avoided.

    However, to do so, we must take strong action on climate change immediately. McCain is not even hinting at doing so. He is thoroughly ignoring the science of climate change, which states that in order to avert catastrophe, we must reduce emissions by 80% over 1990 levels by 2050. Since McCain wants to reduce by only 60%, he is ensuring that, at best, if everything goes according to plan, we will be emitting twice the carbon that the science allows.

    This will be a disaster of monumental proportions.

    If you have kids, you need to pay attention to this. When today’s two year olds are my current age, there will be a billion climate refugees on the planet. I do not want my kids to have to deal with that and have taken action to ensure that they will not.

    On this one issue alone, if you care about your children, you must vote Obama.

    He’s not perfect. But, McBush is a disaster waiting very impatiently to happen. Kucinich was a lot better.

    2. Health care. Again, we’re in total agreement here too. We need nationalized health care like every other civilized nation in the world has. That is the answer to the problem. All else is bandaids on a bleeding artery. It is the for profit industry for this basic human right that is at the root of the problems you mention.

    A) Health insurance companies have a legal obligation to maximize shareholder profit. Therefore, they deny all care that they can.
    B) Doctors will perform unnecessary operations because, unlike in France where the doctor is paid to provide care to the sick and makes no more or less for operating, our doctors have profit incentive to give the most expensive care possible, C-sections are one of the best examples of this.
    C) Hospitals, ditto. Take as much money as possible from anyone with insurance. Is someone brain dead? Who cares, keep pumping air through the meat that was once a human being until their money runs out. Then and only then, pull the plug.
    D) 47 million people in the U.S. today have no health insurance. Another 20 or so million have sporadic insurance or insurance that leaves them vulnerable to huge costs for any serious illness.
    E) Number one cause of bankruptcy in the nation? I think even the subprime crisis doesn’t beat out health care yet.

    Yup. We’re in agreement. We need to join the civilized world in ensuring access to a high quality basic level of care for everyone. If people feel the need for even better, I’d be willing to allow for an option to buy insurance on top of the national plan. I bet it won’t sell though.

    For the conservative crowd, guess which president got us closest to having a national health care plan. That’s right, the icon of real conservativism, not this neocon right wing nutjob shit that’s in fashion today, a real conservative, Richard Nixon.

    Yup it was the big dick who almost got us nationalized health care just before he was impeached for being the crook that he genuinely was.

    On February 6, 1974, Nixon introduced the Comprehensive Health Insurance Act. Nixon’s plan would have mandated employers to purchase health insurance for their employees, and in addition provided a federal health plan like Medicaid that any American could join by paying on a sliding scale based on income.

    (I don’t like Nixon. I just have to say that many of his policies would be considered liberal by today’s extremely right shifted view of the world.)

    More later. I still have a life outside of blogging.

  9. Amy Jo,

    3. Education. I agree our education system is a mess. No religion should be allowed in school. By this, I don’t mean that some kid can’t write about their religious experiences. I mean that science is science and religion is not.

    We have not taken religion out of school because it was not in school. This is a neocon myth you are propagating. The founders were very clear about separation of church and state and religion was indeed kept out of public schools.

    So, let’s not take religion out of school. Let’s just keep it out of school.

    Make no mistake about it. Intelligent Design is not a theory. It is religion with no more foundation in science than Noah’s fucking Ark.

    Abstinence only education is proven not to work. It is merely religious values being forced on children who may or may not be in a religion that agrees with such values.

    So, yes. Let’s teach our kids English and a foreign language. Let’s teach them history. Let’s teach them math and science. And, when we teach science let’s teach them what science is. Most people today would not even be able to discuss the scientific method and know exactly why Intelligent Design is fundamentally different than any scientific theory and is thus not a theory at all by the scientific definition of theory.

    As for teaching Latin, why Latin? Why should our kids learn a dead language when they can learn a live one like Spanish or French or German or dozens of others that are actually in use as a communication mechanism between live humans.

    Anyway, I’m done with my rant on education. If you want your kids praying in school send them to parochial school. And, I pay for school even though I have no kids, so no, you don’t get your tax dollars back for sending your kids to parochial school.

  10. Amy Jo says:

    Perhaps I was not clear… When I stated that God has been taken out of schools but not religion I was referring to the fact that the American educational system has gone overboard in the area of “teaching about” (embracing) world religions, which clearly violates your interpretation of separation of church and state. How is teaching America’s historical roots unacceptable but praying in the name of Allah is required? How is praying in the name of Allah even acceptable… imagine the outrage if our students had to pray in the name of Jesus for a ancient history class?

    I mentioned nothing on the topic of science but apparently this is a topic that upsets you, so let’s clear the air. Perhaps you meant to ask what I thought about ID rather than assuming I support it? I don’t. Life science classes should be overwhelmingly clear that all theories of origin are simply that… theories, including evolution. I do think that is a fair approach since many learned and respected scientists cannot agree on this topic. Whether you are religious or not there is no denying that one’s theory of man’s origins sways their beliefs as surely as any religion. I think science at the high school level can be successfully taught without debating the topic of human origin.

    I do not consider abstinence, although Biblical, as a purely religious approach. Do you have a problem with teaching children that self-control and delaying of gratification will save them a lot of trouble and pain (especially girls, for whom sex is highly emotional)? Shudder to think that sex might be a special experience and not to be taken lightly. “Safe-sex” is a myth, you are always taking a risk when engaging in intercourse. “Sex education” is just another way for our government to undermine parental authority. At every turn today’s parent is thwarted: parents teach their child to wait for sex/school teaches them there are safe ways to “satisfy their natural urges”; parents teach their daughter that life begins at conception/government enacts laws so the parents don’t need to know that their grandchild is about to be aborted and Big Gov kicks in some cash to “take care of the problem” to boot. Regardless of where you stand this should spell out injustice. We don’t need Uncle Sam helping our underage children decide what will become of our posterity thank-you-very-much. Besides, our taxpayer-funded educational institutions have enough trouble just teaching our kids the three Rs, maybe they shouldn’t spend so much time on extracurricular items.

    As for history, I think anyone even mildly interested in the subject will agree that history without religion is impossible to understand, not to mention rather dry. People always act out their beliefs or lack of them. Perhaps America’s hysterical clarion call of separation of church and state has left two (or more) generations of students devoid of any working knowledge of history, American or otherwise. You know what they say about those who don’t know their history….

    My example of Latin is partly due to the fact that it was a required subject until the last 50-60 years or so, when our educational standards were considerably higher. The largest benefit of Latin is its mental discipline. It teaches logical, orderly thinking unmatched by any other language. It also teaches English grammar quite well and is an excellent foundation for the study of many modern languages. Not to mention the fact that it would help verbal SAT scores skyrocket.

    I never mentioned the desire to have children pray in school, I do not hold that desire. The bottom line is our government is very unbalanced in the area of religion in education. As we “speak” taxpayer dollars are going to public charter schools that teach from the Quar’an and wash their feet in traditional Muslim style yet saying The Pledge of Allegiance incites liberal rage. How is that reasonable? I also pay taxes for an educational system that I do not, nor will I ever use. If I want to send my children to private school, Ill do that on my own dime thanks. I don’t think the American people owe my children anything… what a concept!

    BTW, depending on the sources you check, several statistics put global homeless numbers near 1 billion already. That would include the refugees in the middle east that have been forcibly removed from their homes by their government… no need to protect those people though, we’ll just send humanitarian aid to their corrupt governments that ejected them in the first place and hope for the best. At least we kicked in some cash, we did our part, we can rest easy at night. Ahhh… generosity!

  11. Amy Jo,

    Let me be as clear as I can be. No prayer in school. Not to any god not in any name. As for Allah versus Jesus, can you really tell the difference? I guess so since you picked one. To me, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion is always singular. It is also xenophobic and violent. That some people have reinterpreted it and cherry picked some of the texts of some of the flavors of the religion to make them more peaceful simply shows that human morals do not come from the bible but rather come from outside it and can be used to make a more peaceful book than any realistic reading would generate.

    As for America’s historical roots. Perhaps they should be taught more about the founders views on religion. Perhaps they would find that Jefferson particularly hated Christianity. Perhaps they would learn about the wall of separation of church and state that Jefferson used as an analogy when explaining his intent in the constitution. Perhaps they should learn that the Danbury baptist minister to whom he was writing was very concerned that his particular flavor of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion would be persecuted and was looking for reassurance. Perhaps then children would realize that the danger of breaching the wall is not just to nontheists but to theists of the wrong flavors as well.

    No. God can’t be removed from school because s/he has not been there. It is religious fundamentalists that are trying to put him/her there now. This is new.

    Amy Jo, your statement “Life science classes should be overwhelmingly clear that all theories of origin are simply that… theories, including evolution.” is patently false.

    You need to look up the definition of theory and learn that it is used very differently in scientific circles. To quote the American Heritage dictionary for the scientific definition of theory:

    A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

    That aspect about being repeatedly tested is fundamentally different than the usage in normal speech which generally means conjecture. Scientific theories are not conjecture. Scientific theories are as close to fact as you can get. Quantum theory, just a theory, of course, is what allows the semiconductors in your computer to work. Perhaps you would like to turn off your computer now rather than just relying on a theory to get you through the day.

    Relativity theory is used for calculations for our space probes and for the orbit of mercury and many other things for which the “Laws of Motion” have been proven false. In fact, we call scientific theories that precisely because we have lost the hubris of early scientists like Newton who called their theories laws. Once these laws were proven not to hold in all cases, scientists realized that they should call all explanations of observed behavior theories.

    That said, evolution is actually not a theory. Evolution is fact. We are descended from other animals. It’s a simple principle really stemming from the idea that everyone has a mother. The theory of natural selection is the explanation of the mechanism behind the fact. Were natural selection proven to be false or to not hold for all cases, we would simply need another theory to explain our descent from other animals.

    However, the fact that we descended from other animals is not even considered a theory by most people these days. It’s just fact. And, we use it all the time.

    Why do pharmaceutical companies test their drugs on animals before humans? Because it works and doesn’t cost human lives. Why does it work? Because we are all related.

    Why do people need to get a new flu shot every year instead of every ten like yellow fever (for those of us who travel to tropical areas)? Because the flu mutates and evolves very quickly and we must protect against new strains.

    Why do paleontologists like Neil Shubin know where to look for particular fossils like those of the recently discovered Tiktaalik? Because, if you want to find the earliest creature with the normal tetrapod pattern of limbs where the arms have one bone joining to two bones joining to lots of blobby bones, and you know that fossils from 365 million years ago have fully formed forelimbs but fossils from 380 million years ago do not have forelimbs of this sort, you can look in geology books for areas with exposed sedimentary rocks of the age around 370-375 million years old and go there looking for fossils. With a little luck, you find something exactly like what you are looking for, a creature with a flattened head and primitive forelimbs in the right configuration at the right age of rock.

    And that’s just what he did.

    When creationists said that the feather was too perfect and too complex to have evolved gradually and evolution predicted that there should be intermediate feathers of varying complexity if only the fossil record were perfect, such fossils later turned up in wonderfully preserved fossil beds in Mongolia.

    When creationists point to the eye as being a perfect design and claim that a partial eye would be no use, all we have to do is look at extant creatures with varying levels of sight to see that eyes are useful before they become as good as human eyes. All we have to do is look to a person with glasses on and ask if s/he would mind having the eyes replaced with marbles since a partial eye is no good anyway.

    Or, better yet, simply look at our actual eyes. They have rods and cones that face a mirror and see reflected light rather than direct light. This is not a terrible thing since the brain can reverse the backward image for us and make it look right. However, since the rods and cones are backward, the nerves face into the eye rather than out from it. They are then bundled together to go through a spot in the retina and exit the eye to carry the information to the brain. The spot through which the nerve bundle goes is called the blind spot.

    Perhaps you think this is necessary in the design of the eye and that an intelligent designer had a good reason to give us a fair sized blind spot in each eye. However, squid have quite advanced eyes too. And, their rods and cones face forward with the nerves facing backward. Their eyes do not have a blind spot.

    If evolution is correct, then it’s just chance that we didn’t get the best possible design for our eyes, but merely a very good design that works well enough and can be corrected for by the brain.

    If “Intelligent Design”, a.k.a. creationism is correct, then God likes squid more than s/he likes people.

    So, no, science classes should be clear that science has data upon which it is built and mythology is not a science. Perhaps the mythology has value. But, if so, it is not in a science class and is not on par with science. Perhaps it can fill some other need than knowing how the world actually works.

    You ask, “Do you have a problem with teaching children that self-control and delaying of gratification will save them a lot of trouble and pain (especially girls, for whom sex is highly emotional)?”

    Yes. It doesn’t work and causes children to get pregnant, get STDs, and when the STD is AIDS, usually die. I have a huge problem with that. Sorry, no long explanation of that one. Just don’t kill my nieces and nephews with your silly mythology, alright? Abstinence is the real myth. If you can actually convince a kid not to have sex, they will definitely not get AIDS or get pregnant. Statistically though, you will prevent far more pregnancies, STDs, and abortions with real objective sex education.

    As for parental authority, how about encouraging some parental responsibility instead? Get parents to stop blaming the schools and TV for their kids problems.

    You state, “As for history, I think anyone even mildly interested in the subject will agree that history without religion is impossible to understand, not to mention rather dry.”

    True. I have no objection to teaching the aspects of history that involve religion. It has played a huge part in history. Just don’t forget to teach about the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the IRA, and other wonderful things of religion. Present the history as such. Do not sugar coat it.

    Latin may have some positive benefits. However, I doubt there would be much trouble getting those points across with either Spanish, French, or German, all of which would actually enable the child to communicate with living human beings. I suspect you are partial to Latin for religious reasons. I could probably even help you make the claim that it would help in evolutionary biology as well as the Latin names are used for the various taxa. However, I would still argue that there is greater benefit in a living language.

    Again, I will not argue the benefits of any prayer in school. I think it should all be done only in private schools not in public schools, regardless of which flavor of which religion we are discussing.

    As for the pledge of allegiance, the original text does not anger liberals. The text that was added 54 years ago is what bothers liberals. Prior to that time, neither the pledge nor our paper money had any mention of god. The fact that it now does is a holdover from McCarthyism.

    Are you sure you want to encourage that legacy? It was not a time most Americans remember with fondness.

    I’m glad to hear though that you do not support school vouchers. They are something I hear quite a lot about from people these days, even some highly educated religious folks seem to find them a good idea. I find them abhorrent. However, if the system ever does pass, I want my vouchers for the schooling my non-kids do not get.

    I had not heard that the homeless number was already a billion. The billion the IPCC is forecasting would be in addition to that billion. Now I am even more glad that I gave my children the gift of non-existence. A world with a quarter of the population homeless will not be a happy place to live.

  12. Amy Jo says:

    I understand that *you* do not want prayer in public school, but it is the liberal mindset and liberal representatives that are establishing public schools based on the teachings of the Five Pillars of Islam funded with your taxes. If you don’t do anything about it and continue to support those who make these decisions against the will of the people with your votes, then I consider you part of the problem. Allowing public schools to be based on Islam violates the First Amendment which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion”. We can likely agree that Islam/Muslimism is clearly a religion and federally funded schools based on religion is certainly an establishment. Perpetuating this nonsense by electing “progressives” such as Obama, Billary, Pelosi and the like only infringes our freedoms further. They have no respect for what our Constitution and laws truly say. Funny how you rarely hear them decrying the other part of that Amendment: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion);”. Seems to be pretty convenient.

  13. Amy Jo says:

    You have stated to others here that you have read the Bible. But the fact that you equate the violence in the Bible with the command for violence in the Koran only shows me that one (or more) of these must be true:

    1. You have not truly read the Bible or your reading was cursory with limited understanding.

    2. You have not read the Koran at all.

    3. You are illogical or unreasonable.

    There is nowhere in the Bible where you will see God requiring a Christian to kill another human being for the sole reason of unbelief in Christ. Nowhere.

    On the contrary, here is a verse from the Koran (Shakir translation):

    9:123: “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you.”

    47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.”

    5:17: “Unbelievers are those who declare: ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary.”

    Here is a verse that should assure you that Muslims do NOT consider the God of the Christians and Jews as their own. Allah is alltogether different than the triune God of Christianity or the God of the Old testament for the unsaved Jew.
    110:1-6: “Say: ‘Unbelievers, I do not worship what you worship, no do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine.”

  14. Amy Jo, please provide at least one link to a major news source in support of your claim that Obama, Clinton, and Pelosi support Muslim prayer in school. My understanding is that Obama believes in a strong separation of church and state. Clinton is highly religious and probably supports more Christianity in government with her secret prayer cells. I don’t know much about Pelosi.

    http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2007/09/hillarys-prayer.html

    McCain on the other hand supports school prayer and teaching of creationism, as far as I know. Feel free to prove me wrong on that. I can only find confirmation on sites that you’d consider biased. The least biased I could find was on about.com.

  15. Amy Jo,

    You have stated to others here that you have read the Bible. But the fact that you equate the violence in the Bible with the command for violence in the Koran only shows me that one (or more) of these must be true:

    1. You have not truly read the Bible or your reading was cursory with limited understanding.

    I have read large sections of the bible, but not the entire text. I have searched a lot for information about it on both religious and anti-religious sites.

    Of course my understanding is limited. So is yours. It would be impossible to fully understand a book as self-contradictory as the bible. Right in the ten commandments, it says Thou Shalt Not Kill. Then, immediately after them, the penalty for breaking any commandment is death. One can’t get more self-contradictory than that.

    2. You have not read the Koran at all.

    Correct. I have not.

    3. You are illogical or unreasonable.

    I am human, as are you.

    There is nowhere in the Bible where you will see God requiring a Christian to kill another human being for the sole reason of unbelief in Christ. Nowhere.

    Really?

    Luke 19:27: ‘Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’

    This line is clearly a jihad crusade waiting to happen.

    Deuteronomy 13:7-11: “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, that is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying: ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him; but thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to draw thee away from the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. ”

    Lest you think that the Old Testament no longer applies, I would ask you first do you accept the ten commandments of the old testament? And second, what about this little line from the new testament?

    Matthew 5:17: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’

    So, you’re stuck with all the violence of the Old Testament too. Perhaps we should move any further biblical portion of this conversation to my old Thou Shalt Kill post.

  16. Amy Jo says:

    I respect your right to construe these statements however you wish. Additionally, please keep in mind that the Bible was meant to be fully understood by the believer. I, too, misinterpreted the Bible before I gave my life to Christ. I do not say this to be disrespectful or doubt your intellectual ability to read plain English, please don’t misinterpret any of these statements as derogatory towards you, I certainly don’t intend them to be. I realize that this topic often incites anger but I only desire dialog.

  17. Amy Jo,

    Great thing about science. It just works. It’s meant to be understandable to all because it is true, or as nearly true as anything we can know. And, it is demonstrably so. The bible will never ever be demonstrably true about anything. It’s not even clear that the person known as Jesus ever even existed as a flesh and blood human.

    http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/jesus_myth_history.htm

  18. Amy Jo says:

    Scott,

    Hello. I wasn’t explicitly implying that any specific Senator or Representative supported Muslim prayer in school. I was making a more broad statement that I feel electing progressive (liberal) representatives in general (naming s few widely known and very left names) inhibits all of our freedoms.

    When I mentioned the Muslim schools I was thinking specifically of two from my hometown of the Twin Cities, which is hugely liberal for the most part at both state and federal levels despite the fact that they have a “republican” governor. I have seen one of the schools first hand and they most definitely teach Islam, Arabic and the teachings of Muhammed to elementary aged students (against the will of the people, by the way and the schools have been inciting public outrage) in a predominantly white and Christian community… but the praying portion is sneakily left for a *mandatory* after-school activity. I don’t feel that I am jumping to any conclusions in assuming the very liberal state-level government is supporting the teaching of Islam when they establish publicly funded schools to do exactly that.

    It is my opinion that the progressive/liberal mindset in general put our liberties at risk while worshiping at the feet of multiculturalism.

  19. Amy Jo says:

    I meant to say “voluntary” rather than “mandatory” above. Of course they can’t hold children against their will, but they have sneakily arranged for school buses to come only after the Islamic Studies that begin after school is released. Many non-Muslim parents chose the school for its offer of “non-sectarian” programs to be held after school. For the average American working parent, free after school care is a rare blessing.

    This school is taxpayer funded, the public was mislead about many aspects of the school, it is housed in a building that also includes as mosque, the executive director is a Muslim imam and it was established at the direction of a liberally controlled state gov and funded by a liberally controlled fed government. Do I misconstrue the evidence?

    This is not about school prayer, separation of church and state, that dems are all bad and all condone this… it is about the dangers of progressive and left-wing thinking.

    http://www.startribune.com/local/17406054.html

  20. Amy Jo says:

    Perhaps you would be surprised to know that many of the Founding Fathers of America were Bible-believing Christians? That Jefferson was anti-Christian is a widely spread myth, often perpetuated by liberal revisionist history… or perhaps just atheists with a proud taste for rhetoric…. or maybe even more so, a group of intellectuals educated by our poor public school system? 🙂 Of course you and I did not know Jefferson in the flesh, nor did anyone living today. The only accurate proof of his beliefs that we have is what is left of his own writings. Here is an excerpt from his famous letter to the Danbury Baptists:

    I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & the Danbury Baptist [your religious] association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

    Th Jefferson
    Jan. 1. 1802.

    That does not sound like a man who hates Christians. It doesn’t even sound like an unbeliever to me.

    Here is the link from the Library of Congress.

    http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpost.html

    Lest we forget, he also famously wrote in The Declaration of Independence that “all men were created equal”. I feel those words are of one who believes there actually is a Creator.

  21. Amy Jo says:

    Luke 19:27:

    Actually, this is Jesus telling a parable about the kingdom of God.

    Deuteronomy 13:7-11: Is actually condemning to death persons who try to corrupt another’s belief in God, not unbelief itself. I do not feel that this is similar to requesting beheading of an unbeliever as the Koran does.

    Lest you think that the Old Testament no longer applies, I would ask you first do you accept the ten commandments of the old testament? And second, what about this little line from the new testament?

    Matthew 5:17: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’

    So, you’re stuck with all the violence of the Old Testament too. Perhaps we should move any further biblical portion of this conversation to my old Thou Shalt Kill post.

    I have a response for this too, but alas I must make dinner and my feeble mind is struggling with a way to make it clear and concise without waxing on for a page or two! More later… 🙂

  22. Amy Jo,

    If you were referring to liberals in general, you should have said so rather than libel specific people. Also, you should state why you believe this to be caused specifically by liberals. And, possibly post an article stating the particular politicians that approved the public funding of a school located in a mosque. I would personally begin my progressive liberal outrage right at that statement. No public school should ever be located on the grounds of a house of religious worship. That should be rule number one, unless I can think of some even worse offense.

    As for Obama and Clinton, they are not liberal at all. They are probably old school republicans. There are few or zero real left wing democrats these days. The democrats are merely less republican than the uber-republican republicans. And, the fact that I have to vote for the candidates who killed the party I really liked, the former Liberal party, because they are less bad than the alternative hurts a lot.

    http://politicalcompass.org/usprimaries2008

    The only liberal in the primaries this year was Kucinich, who was, of course, my first choice, despite his strong religiosity. Unfortunately, atheists are not even allowed not even considered remotely plausible candidates for any office at any level in this country these days. So, a candidate who would truly stop prayer in schools and be against it for real personal reasons is not an option. Even Kucinich offers prayers for America … puhlease. Why can’t we have at least one candidate at some level of government who represents the interests of nontheists, a minority larger than Jews and more despised than any other minority in the country.

    Perhaps if you really want to avoid all prayer in school, even you should consider a nontheist for local office.

    Perhaps you would be surprised to know that many of the Founding Fathers of America were Bible-believing Christians?

    I’d be fucking shocked, especially Jefferson, who was a deist, not a Christian not an atheist, a deist. He believed in a god that put things in motion … and left.

    For some reason it is not easy to get a list of Jefferson’s quotes about religion in particular from a relatively unbiased site. So, while I admit this one is indeed biased, I would point out that they are not so biased as to claim that Jefferson was an atheist, which he clearly wasn’t. In fact, they seem to give a rather balanced view of him, despite the name of the site. If you find any of the quotes false, please let me know. I am assuming that the quotes are genuine, though probably a tad cherry picked.

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

    Obviously, the library of congress is less biased. However, you personally cited one of my favorite documents from Jefferson. explaining his intent to keep church and state wholly separate. I’m not quite sure of the point you were trying to make. It seems obvious to me that Jefferson was neither Christian nor atheist, as I had already known.

    So, let me know if you still think, after reading the page at my link, that Jefferson was indeed a Christian or even that he had no ill will for Christianity. It is my opinion from reading about him on this and many other pages, that he was strongly against organized religion, but not against religious people. It’s similar to the ‘hate the sin; love the sinner’ attitude of some Christians and somewhat less similar to my own opinion which is that I hate religion but not religious people. I would not go so far as to say that I love religious people since I neither love nor hate most people. In fact, it is also similar to my hate humanity but not all humans viewpoint. And, of course, both Jefferson and I would strongly support and protect your right to your religion. Unfortunately, there are few around who would protect me from religion, or at least it feels that way to me.

    Regarding Luke 19:27, I would suggest that you search your inner feelings. The meaning of the statement is plain as day and has zero ambiguity about it. That you can reinterpret it shows that you have better morals than those of the bible and that you can judge for yourself what is right and wrong and know that the statement is patently wrong and abhorrent. Thus, to resolve your cognitive dissonance, you reinterpret it despite its incredibly obvious meaning.

    No. The bible is not intended to be understood only by believers. If that were the case, your god would be one seriously cruel mother fucker. For, to deliberately confuse the non-believers rather than to explain things as clearly as possible would be to deliberately lead non-believers to hell for eternity. Such a shithead of a god could certainly never ever be considered benevolent.

    Boy I’m glad to know that I will never have to resolve such extreme cognitive dissonance in my own mind, for the universe is neither kind nor cruel. It simply is. As such, when life sucks, so be it. When life is good, I am glad. I cannot thank god for the latter unless I am willing to curse god for the former.

    Either way though, without a shred of evidence in support of the god hypothesis, I see no reason to even entertain the possibility of a spoiled brat of such monumental proportions. So, I can peacefully go about my business giving my life exactly the meaning I choose. It’s very empowering.

    Now if only I could get god’s followers to stop blessing shit all around me, like the twin towers, a classic example of some wacko’s vision of god, or perhaps I should have mentioned the IRA and abortion clinic bombings performed in god’s name, and using the same name for god that you do.

    So, while you are sane and interpret the bible and tone it down to a message of peace, it should be abundantly obvious that it can be and often is interpreted very differently by others.

  23. Amy Jo says:

    Here’s my political “compass”… 🙂 where do you fit in?

    http://politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=0.88&soc=-2.92

  24. Amy Jo says:

    I did not mean that God intended the Bible to be difficult for the unbeliever. I guess I was attempting (and failing) to explain that I struggled mightily with the Bible before I came to know Christ. Certainly I could read it and understand it on an intellectual level, but now that I have accepted Christ it takes on much more meaning and my overall understanding is greatly enhanced. I believe Satan, not God, interferes with the nonbeliever’s ability to rightly divide the scriptures… and it is certainly less interesting if you don’t personally consider it your history, your family lineage. I wish I could say something clever to convince you, as a Christian my greatest commission is to share the Gospel of Christ. I am fully aware of my humanness and I fear I may say something to turn you further from the love of Jesus.

    Although I certainly understand your disdain for humanity, it can be quite unattractive, I love people as a whole and do not desire that any be lost and eternally separated from God.

  25. Amy Jo,

    I’m likely the most extreme person on the political compass you’ll meet. Not that I am the most extreme. Just the most you’re likely to meet.

    Numerically, my score is:

    Economic Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.31

    For the visual, see my post on Cagematch.

    I’m SouthWest (so to speak) of Ghandi, Mandela, and the Dalai Lama. This means essentially that I feel humans should have the right to do anything that doesn’t hurt anyone else or infringe on their rights. Corporations on the other hand are tools created by humans. As a hammer has no inherent rights, neither does a corporation. I do not want most business owned by the government, except for basic life-sustaining services as noted previously, so am not a communist.
    But, I do think that unbridled capitalism, results in long term serious problems, even for the businesses that are given their freedom, such as Union Carbide, Enron, S&L, and the current subprime banking scandal.

    BTW, you’re the first person with whom I’ve conversed that was actually in that quadrant. Congratulations. On another thread, I asked religious Christians to take the test again thinking about how Jesus might answer or, if you find that sacrilegious, how you would answer when specifically concentrating on being more like Jesus. If you wouldn’t mind doing so, I’d be curious to hear whether your score changes.

    On to your second post today:

    So, you actually believe in Satan. Interesting. I guess you are not a monotheist. Nor is your god all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-benevolent. For, if you were a monotheist, you would not believe in an evil god who is counter to the good god. And, if your god possessed the three divine attributes, Satan could not exist. Nor could Hell.

    Trust me, you cannot turn me further from Jesus. How could one be further from him than believing that he probably never even existed? I know, by believing he definitely did not even exist. That would be hard to prove. However, the lack of any writing about him during his life is a big factor in making me think he never existed. There were historians on both the Roman and Hebrew sides who wrote the major events of the time. There is no mention from them of anyone named Y’Shua nor of any controversial crucifixion. The first accounts of him are about 90 years after his supposed life.

    I don’t worry about being separate from god. Since I see no reason to even entertain the premise that such a creature exists, my vision of immortality is to get the meat that is currently me back into the food chain as quickly as possible after this meat ceases to be me.

    My hope for reducing human population is not to have people’s lives cut short, but merely to reduce our numbers by attrition, and voluntarily. I feel that the planet cannot possibly support the number of humans that we have. I have another thread that discusses this in detail and don’t want to get too sidetracked here, even though I normally enjoy a good tangent. However, these posts get long, so, I’m going to try something very uncharacteristic for me and stay on topic.

    BTW, if you’re concerned that my life here on Earth is not fulfilled without god, do not be concerned. I feel a very deep connection to life on this planet, almost a Zen oneness might be the best way to describe it, though less spiritual and reliant on mediation and more reliant on actually traveling to see the last beautiful places on Earth. As Darwin said, ‘There is grandeur in this view of life’. There is also a real sense of empowerment in recognizing that one’s life has whatever meaning one chooses to give it. It’s liberating.

    From my standpoint, I don’t see quite the same thing you do when you say love for Jesus. I see enslavement and obedience. But, that’s just my opinion. Don’t let that sway you. I’m not trying to take you away from religion.

  26. Amy Jo says:

    Luke 19:27

    Jesus told this story while in Jericho, which was not far from Jerusalem. Passover was coming and Jerusalem was expecting a pilgrimage of nearly 2 million Jews to come for the Holy Day, there was an anticipation that something big was going to happen. As they got closer to Jerusalem, the disciples and others were expecting that Jesus had come to take control of Israel and reign as the nation’s political savior. They thought Jesus was coming to rule immediately so He gave them a parable to instruct them how to conduct themselves until He did come to reign over all the earth.

    The parable begins with a nobleman going to a distant land to retrieve his kingdom. He has ten minas that he distributes equally to his ten servants (one each). He instructs them to conduct business on his behalf until he returns.

    – this is representative of the gifts given equally to all believers, such as the Gospel, given in equal measure to all who believe on Christ.

    Next we see that his citizens (not his servants, they did not hate him) hated him and sent a delegation after him stating they will not be ruled by him. The citizens hate him for no other reason than that they have hate in their hearts.

    – representing the fact that we are all God’s citizens even though many hate Him and will not accept His rule over their lives.

    When the nobleman returns, he deals first with his servants before he deals with the rebellious citizens.

    Upon the return of the nobleman, the servants give a report of how they used their mina (gifts) while the master was away. The first two servants made impressive gains and were given rewards in accordance with their faithfulness. The third servant did not do as his master instructed (to conduct business with the mina), rather he buried it and excused his disobedience by insisting that his master was so powerful that he did not need the help of the servant(stating the master was able to reap what he did not sow and therefore was so powerful he did not need the assistance of a mere servant). The nobleman did not reward him, but rebuked his laziness and stated that he could have at the very least put his money in the bank for a minimal return. In his disobedience, he did nothing with what his master gave him.

    – We know that the nobleman (Jesus) does not need the assistance of his servants to bring forth fruits of labor, rather he used this to build their character.

    The disobedient servant has the mina taken from him, he remained a servant in the master’s house but was given nothing to manage since he proved untrustworthy.
    Now that the servants have been dealt with, the nobleman turns his attention to his enemies, the citizens who hated him and refused his rule… to which they are given the final judgment of death.

    – This would seem harsh, and those who believe in the Bible know that the ultimate punishment for sin is death. We humans are all sinners and thus we all die, but we avoid a second, spiritual, death when we accept Jesus as Lord in our lives. His death on the cross was the sacrificial atonement for a sinless life and perfect obedience to the law, which is unattainable by us and separates us eternally from God and Heaven. Jesus is relaying the Biblical truth that all unbelievers are lost forever through death in His parable.

    This parable is a good example of what I meant in my earlier post that my understanding of the Bible as an unbeliever was limited. I would read a passage like this and take it into a literal context, mixed with my limited knowledge of the character of Christ and Biblical times and context. It was easy to miss out on the true purpose of the Bible, a guide for the Christian to follow teaching us about those who made wise choices and helping us to avoid making the mistakes of those who went before us. I readily admit that my knowledge is still very limited but my faith and reliance on Jesus has kindled a passion to learn about these ancient peoples and times that are still so foreign to me. His Spirit indwelling in me is what allows me to understand these passages anew, before I asked Jesus into my heart they had altogether different meaning.

  27. Amy Jo says:

    Many who claim themselves to be Christians certainly do not act according to the Word of God. In fact, I will go as far to say that most Christians don’t share the love of Christ in all situations to all peoples as we are commanded to, myself included. The inherent nature of man is sinful therefore and fruit solely of man will return void. The Christian life is not an easy yoke, not on this corrupt earth and certainly not in these times (although every generation has likely felt this way!). We cannot complete the Great Commission, winning people for Christ, without having Christ in us. Asking Jesus to reign in your heart is the first step, but it is only the beginning and many of us do not venture much beyond that. Being able to show the love of Jesus in these fleshly bodies to those that we find disagreeable is impossible. A relationship with Jesus is essential, but like any relationship it requires time spent together often. For the Christian this means daily reading the Bible and spending time in fellowship with Jesus through prayer and thanksgiving. Simply put, most Christians don’t do this. I don’t do this even though I know it is right and necessary for being an ambassador for Christ. I am painfully aware of my disobedience and my human sin nature that pervades my thoughts and actions. The Bible is clear that the believer is to be ready to give a reason for the hope in our hearts. Today, most unbelievers go into battle unequipped. Our proud and sinful hearts forget that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood (an unbeliever such as yourself) but of the principalities of darkness and evil. What starts out with good intentions can disintegrate into a battle of human intellect quite easily. we Christians try to do too much in our own flesh out of pride, when we really should allow Christ to show through us and guide our words and actions. You can be sure that no believer on this earth is a perfect representation of the gentleness and love of Christ. Certainly people who proclaim Christianity have acted out against humanity in the name of Christ. Please do not disregard Jesus, who loves you and desires fellowship with you because fatally flawed humans throughout history have acted upon our sinful nature to great destruction and perpetuation of evil.

  28. Wow Amy Jo,

    You or some bible teacher really worked hard to twist that around and make it less bad. I, for one, can read for myself and see the horror in such a statement and further see that indeed people have taken it literally.

    Further, even by your explanation, I still find it totally abhorrent and unconscionable. Imagine a ruler today who says that those who hate me must die. Imagine if we do that in Iraq. Wait … bad example, we are doing that in Iraq.

    Seriously though, if the name were not Jesus but instead Kublai Khan, would you find such behavior acceptable?

    I would not. I don’t care that the name is Jesus or Yahweh or Allah. Such behavior is worthy of my contempt, not my allegiance and certainly not my worship.

    The same can be said for Joshua at Jericho and numerous other genocides in the bible. They are not acceptable now, or then, or in the future. Not in reality, not as a parable for instructing proper behavior not under any circumstances. You will not succeed in making this seem justified to me.

    Harsh is a severe understatement for genocide of those who will not succumb to one’s will.

  29. Jesus does not love me. Jesus has beaten me up as a child for being born into another faith, ironically the faith of his own birth. Jesus is far from all-forgiving. He is a terrible role model. No thank you Jesus. If I am stuck in heaven for eternity with a bunch of self-righteous born again Christians, that will be hell enough for me.

    Besides, I cannot be forgiven. Not according to your law. You may as well give up now.

    Mark 3:29: But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.

    So much for an all-forgiving god.

    Here it is in writing. I deny the existence of the holy Spirit. There is no such beast. If there were, the actions that major league asshole has taken and the pain and suffering that s/he has caused make him/her not only unworthy of my worship but actively worthy of my contempt. The holy Spirit can go fuck himself or herself. Now that ought to do it. I am now (and already was) damned for eternity. You can give up now if you like. (I can get a lot more graphic about this if you like, but think I’ve probably shocked you enough for one day.)

    I plan to live out my life being the best human being I can, because I am a moral animal. Morals do indeed not come from the bible, which is why you don’t personally stone homosexuals to death, or those who work on the sabbath, or those who mix linen and wool, or victims of rape inside city limits, or …

    Then I fully expect to go back to the oblivion that was me before I was even a glint in my father’s eye.

    BTW, this post serves a moral purpose. You were sounding too concerned for my immortal soul. Now that you know I no longer have one to worry about or that its fate is already sealed, you can put your mind at ease about me.

  30. Amy Jo says:

    I didn’t get a chance to respond to your link and post referring to the Gospels yesterday. I can’t find it above, it must have been from our other thread… anyway I disagree with the dating of the Gospels provided in the link and with some of the information contained withing such as Mark was the first gospel (I think I recall that claim, but don’t have time to check it now).

    I am aware that you may consider this link biased but it does give some information regarding the dating of the Gospels towards the end of the article,

    http://protestantism.suite101.com/article.cfm/jesus_and_the_temples_destruction

    As the article mentioned, a believer in Christ presupposes the fact that an omnipotent God would certainly be capable of performing miracles. I understand that this requires faith and is a favorite topic of exploitation for nonbelievers. As far as physical evidence, that ties into faith as well but I sincerely doubt (I am no historian) that we have actual physical evidence for every personality in history that we commonly accept as “real”.

    I do want to address your recent post regarding Satan and again the verse in Matthew, I hope to have time to do that soon.

    [ed. Typo corrected.]

  31. Amy Jo says:

    Just read your bit about feeling enslavement and obedience towards Jesus or perhaps a Christian lifestyle and I must take a moment to tell you that I FULLY understand where you are coming from on this. I accepted Christ about 10 years ago when I was in my 20’s and really enjoying myself and life in general… I was hedonistic to be sure. When I asked Christ into my life I certainly did *not* want to give up a lot of pleasures and I spent several years wrestling with God about how much I could keep and how much really has to go… I still do to this day. The amazing thing is that despite my disobedience to the Lord and my desire to control my own life, He has made some of my most difficult stumbling blocks simply unappealing to me over time. Things of pleasure that I either held with an iron grip unwilling to let them go as well as things that I hated about myself that I could not overcome no matter how I tried prior to becoming a follower of Christ. Pious Christianity seemed VERY dull to me as a nonbeliever, I never wanted to be one of “those” people. As a Christian though, I can only liken it to “blinders coming off” because there is much more freedom in Christ than without Him. My human flesh still desires human pleasures on occasion and I do not always make the right choice, but Jesus has made it infinitely easier for me to often turn away from that which does me bodily or spiritual harm… and He has made it seem mostly effortless on my part. Jesus does not wish to control us, that is why my flesh still has its way on occasion… but His love and grace are always there regardless of my decision. My obedience, even after years of initial resistance (I felt similar to how you seem to feel about Christianity) is out of my own free will, I actually desire to be obedient and every day it seems a little less of a burden and more of an honor.

    As an aside, I am married to an unbeliever. We were both unbelievers when we met and my changes initially really bothered him. So I know a little bit about the viewpoint of someone who believes that God is a fairy tale held in high regard by weak people. 🙂

    One of the Bible verses you cited yesterday discussed that believers should not be yoked with unbelievers and I didn’t speak to it but this is a perfect segue… in a nutshell God is commanding Christians to not be yoked as in marriage or business or other partnerships that could cause compromise on the part of the believer. Like the yoke of an ox binds two oxen and forces them to travel the same path. God was not telling Christians to avoid befriending unbelievers or communicating with them, clearly that would negate the importance of spreading the gospel. God does this out of love for His children because He knows how much pain being unequally yoked will bring. My marriage is a testament to that truth. I love my husband more than any person on this earth and desire more than anything that he come to accept the Lord. Our unequal ground has caused more than a small quarrel or two and his rejection of Jesus is the most painful thing in my life. His view of the world is terribly pessimistic and just knowing that he only knows this world hurts me very much.

  32. Amy Jo says:

    You or some bible teacher really worked hard to twist that around and make it less bad. I, for one, can read for myself and see the horror in such a statement and further see that indeed people have taken it literally.

    Further, even by your explanation, I still find it totally abhorrent and unconscionable. Imagine a ruler today who says that those who hate me must die. Imagine if we do that in Iraq. Wait … bad example, we are doing that in Iraq.

    Seriously though, if the name were not Jesus but instead Kublai Khan, would you find such behavior acceptable?

    ***Hmmmm… I guess I was as clear as mud. 🙂 I am not at all condoning what man does in the name of anything or anyone. They are acting of their own will. It IS abhorrent and unconscionable. We are under the grace of Jesus and He does not instruct human people to kill others for the reason of unbelief or any reason.

    I would not. I don’t care that the name is Jesus or Yahweh or Allah. Such behavior is worthy of my contempt, not my allegiance and certainly not my worship.

    *** I agree, the behavior of humans is contemptible and not worthy of my allegiance or worship.

    The same can be said for Joshua at Jericho and numerous other genocides in the bible. They are not acceptable now, or then, or in the future. Not in reality, not as a parable for instructing proper behavior not under any circumstances. You will not succeed in making this seem justified to me.

    *** God is the source of all being, therefore He cannot be evil in any way because evil of any kind, properly understood, is the lack of what should be but is not. A thing is good *of its kind* if it succeeds in being that kind of thing to its fullest. It is bad when it fails. Being that God is only good, He cannot allow the evil that man chooses with the free will given to him by God.

    To fully appreciate what the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” means, we would need a crash course in Aramaic /Hebrew but we know that the Hebrew word for kill in this instance is “ratsach”, nearly always translated as killing intentionally without reason. God did not allow killing for no reason, the act was punishable by death if there were two eyewitnesses of the crime. Accidental killing was not punishable.

    God delivered Jericho to Joshua and his people as part of the covenant he made with them:

    From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

    The Canaanites had ousted the Jews from their own land and were wicked beyond belief, sacrificing their own children on flaming altars in the names of false gods. Even among all the wickedness, the spies encountered a woman named Rahab who professed her belief in the God of the Jews and asked that she and her house be spared from the destruction that was to come. She was spared by the grace of God; as were the few believers found in Sodom and Gomorrah. He did not kill them because they weren’t Christian, He killed them because their lack of belief allowed them to have evil in their hearts continually.

    Harsh is a severe understatement for genocide of those who will not succumb to one’s will.

    ***The punishment then is not for failing to succumb to God’s will, but the evil that inevitably arises when we make our own gods, or the lack of belief allows us to continually indulge in our own desires, which by our nature are not continually good and therefore evil.

  33. BTW, I realized I should explain one other bit of my own take on things. I do admit the possibility that Jesus actually existed even though I do not see reason to give the same doubt to god. The reason for this is that the existence of a man who was a great leader and orator is not an extraordinary claim, so only requires ordinary evidence. I don’t believe there is sufficient evidence to back the claim, but am willing to admit the possibility. The existence of god is an extraordinary claim since we have nothing supernatural in our lives. Therefore, the god claim requires extraordinary evidence in order to prove it. However, there is not even a shred of ordinary evidence to support the god hypothesis. So, until someone finds a shred of real evidence, I remain an atheist.

    Further, the god hypothesis actually falls flat on its face in pure logic, at least for me. The best argument for the god hypothesis is the cause and effect argument. Since every effect has a cause and the universe exists, there must be a prime cause, that we call god. This sounds perfectly logical but falls apart for two reasons. First, the argument ends up being recursive. For, in order to have the effect of a god, one must have a god cause, a god creator if you will. And then there must be a god creator creator. The logical fallacy is often referred to as turtles all the way down. It fails for infinite recursion.

    Even more important is the point that not every effect has a cause. This is the bit that sounds really incredibly counterintuitive, but it’s true. It’s from quantum mechanics. This is one of our most tried and proven scientific theories, up there with relativity, evolution, and natural selection, i.e. a much stronger theory than Newton’s Laws of motion which we know to be false under certain conditions. Your computer is making use of quantum mechanics as you read this, by using semiconductors. In quantum mechanics, particles at the quantum level are constantly popping in and out of existence in the quantum soup. This has been proven for many decades now and is in use in many places. Interestingly, at the time of the big bang, the entire universe was quantum soup.

    So, do you find it more incredible that the universe simply popped into existence consistently with our laws of physics or to think that a god capable of popping universes as huge and complex as ours at the rate of one a week simply popped into existence? Or, do you prefer an infinite number of recursive gods? I know your answer, but, at least if you consider this, you’ll understand me a bit better.

  34. Amy Jo says:

    Besides, I cannot be forgiven. Not according to your law. You may as well give up now.

    ***SATAN ALERT!* SATAN ALERT!*SATAN ALERT!* SATAN ALERT!***

    Dear Brother, you have been mislead by the Father of Lies! The blaspheming of the Holy Spirit IS the only unpardonable sin, that is true, but let’s look at what that really means according to the Bible. To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to persistently reject the work the Holy Spirit wants to do in us, when we have a continued rejection of what He wants to tell us about Jesus, then we blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It is unpardonable only because it is an attitude of heart that cares nothing for God’s forgiveness. It never has forgiveness because it never wants forgiveness God’s way. The Bible is clear that if you die in this life rejecting Christ your eternity will be apart from God, but that choice is always yours to make.

    The great news is that you can still have a change of heart! Simply stop resisting His work of drawing you to Jesus, and surrender your life to Jesus today. It really does begin with simply accepting Him. He absolutely loves you infinitely more than anyone on this earth ever could. If you sincerely acknowledge to God that you desire to know Him and that you believe Jesus did died for us and that you are ready to give your life to Him, He will come to you.

    I am sorry that self-righteous Christians have left a bad taste in your mouth. There will be no arrogance or room for pride in Heaven, so don’t worry about that! 🙂

  35. Amy Jo says:

    By the way, Misanthropic Scott, you did not shock me. I see those words coming from a hurt person who has a lot of doubts about the love of God. It makes me sad, I know how it feels to doubt.

    Furthermore you have no more convinced me of your eternal place in hell.. unless of course you died since your last post without a change of heart. Regardless of any further conversation we may have, you can rest assured that I will be praying for your salvation and hoping we will meet in Heaven and give each other a big hug… I’ll save you a seat! 🙂

  36. Amy Jo,

    You misunderstand me again. I said those words in hopes that it might get you to stop worrying for my immortal soul. I do not have one. I also have no reason for doubts. There are no gods in this universe nor did one create it. Nothing explains the universe as well as science. I simply choose reality over fantasy. I have a lot of hate for religion for the huge deleterious effect it has had and continues to have on humanity. I have no hate for religious people in general, unless they are people causing such atrocities, and certainly no hate for god. One cannot hate that which does not exist.

    Here are a series of questions for you:

    Science:
    1. Why would any god create 100,000,000,000 galaxies and 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 and then wait 12,700,000,000 years to dump humans on one tiny rock in all of that space?
    2. Do you really think that a god that did so cares so much for humanity that it is his/her central purpose to the universe to create humans?
    3. Why are there so many cases where the designs of animals, including humans, could easily be made better if we were designed by an infinite intelligence? (Read The Panda’s Thumb by Steven Jay Gould for some examples. I can offer even more now. Don’t worry, Gould was not anti-religious the way that Dawkins is. You won’t burn in hell for reading his books. Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin is another really great one that is not anti-religious.)

    Illogical Religion:
    4. Why would any god create so many different religions and make it impossible to choose one over the others? There is no shred of evidence for picking Christianity over Hinduism, for example.
    5. Why would god create hell (or allow it to be created? Doesn’t this make god a mean vindictive grudge holding son of a bitch rather than someone worthy of worship?
    6. Why is Satan so powerful that even God cannot get rid of him?
    7. Why did god mandate genocide so many times in the bible? If you remove god from these stories, would you not consider them the worst among war crimes? Leave nothing alive that breatheth? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.
    8. What happens to the souls of infants who die naturally before they can possibly accept Jesus or take responsibility for their own actions?
    9. Does the religion of the parents matter?
    10. What is the minimum age of death for entry to hell? (I’ll explain later why this is important. Think about it carefully before you answer. It is a leading question.)

  37. Amy Jo says:

    Whew! You got some good ones! Don’t worry, though… I did not misunderstand you, I am simply not listening to you. 🙂 I can still pray for your (nonexistent) soul and that should be fine for you since all I am really doing is “wasting” a few moments of my day here and there.

    You are doubly tough since you are a science nerd, and unfailingly analytical. I like nerds though, I used to be a computer geek myself.

    1. Space and time do not define God so the number of years or galaxies created are inconsequential. How do scientist come up with those dates anyway? I know about carbon dating, but it doesn’t seem without fault… some science seems to require a measure of faith as well.

    2. God created us with love and desires for us to love Him as well, but wants that love to be a choice.

    3. I think we were made pretty wonderfully, what would define “better”? Could not better to me be not-so-great to you and vice versa? BTW I have been born-again (commence with the eye-rolling!) and cannot be “lost”. Reading a book by a nonbeliever will not put me in danger of hellfire. 🙂

    4. Man created “religion”. God created us and desires a relationship with us. I am Christian because I believe in Christ but I don’t identify with “religion” for the sake of religion. Organized religion can be such a mess because man created it, not God. Adam and Eve were not Jews. 🙂

    5. Hell was created for Satan.

    6. Satan was God’s highest angel, but he decided to rebel and was cast out of Heaven. Gods is absolutely more powerful than Satan and Satan’s powers are limited by God. God has allowed evil to exist for a specific purpose:

    God created mankind to be like Him, to rule-have dominion-over His creation. To learn to properly exercise such a level of responsibility, man must first learn how to discern right from wrong, good from bad and the wise from the foolish. Learning real wisdom involves learning how to make wise choices. From the beginning God pointed out the right way, but He allowed humans to be exposed to and make foolish choices.

    God allowed Satan, the epitome of evil, to enter the Garden of Eden and discuss his view of life with Adam and Eve. They then had to make a choice. They chose to follow Satan rather than God. Satan’s tragic delusion of mankind has been the result.

    The elimination of Satan, and therefore evil, would remove the lessons we learn regarding right and wrong. It would also remove our free will as there really would be no more choices to make.

    7. God did kill people when they had become so evil that it was continually in their hearts. We see God spare, on many occasions, those who followed Him and were righteous before Him.

    8. There is an age of accountability when a person is mature enough to understand what Christ did for them and accept it or reject it. I believe babies who die go to Heaven, I believe the same for people who’s mental capacity would not allow such a choice.

    9. What do you mean? Once you are accountable to answer for yourself, you can accept or reject Christ. The religion of your parents, or anyone in your life or on planet earth does not affect your standing with God, but it will likely influence your decision

    10. I don’t think there is an age… if you can understand the sacrifices Christ made for you on the cross and you choose to turn your back on Him and die without accepting Jesus, then you go to hell. I think that age would likely be different for everyone, mental capacity would factor in as well, see #8.

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