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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 17,499

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Jesus was not a zombie.

Run for your life!

Michael Gove is right – Christianity has become a laughing stock

Michael Gove’s right, of course. It is time these words appeared somewhere in the Guardian, and his defence of Christianity in the Spectator provides an excellent opportunity. Christianity, he says, is now regarded in England with condescension or dismissal when not with active hostility. To say that you are a Christian is “to declare yourself intolerant, naive, superstitious and backward”.

This is obviously true, as anyone who reads the comments here knows. Muslims are undoubtedly less popular and more reviled than Christians, but it is a safe general assumption that anyone who claims their actions are informed by Christian principles will be assumed to be arguing from false premises and self-interest veiled by self-deception. If there is any moral reasoning involved, as Gove says, Christian belief is considered an actively disabling factor.

“Where once politicians who were considering matters of life and death might have been thought to be helped in their decision-making by Christian thinking – by reflecting on the tradition of Augustine and Aquinas, by applying the subtle tests of just-war doctrine – now Christianity means the banal morality of the fairy tale and genuflection before a sky pixie’s simplicities,” writes Gove.


But the real problem is the slow drift of religion into a category separate from the rest of life and thought. Religions that work have nothing to do with faith: they are about habit and practice, and the things that everybody knows. Gove quotes the Book of Common Prayer, which I also was brought up on, and love deeply. But it’s gone now. It will never again be a book of common prayer. The more that any religion becomes distinct from the culture around it, the weaker and weirder it becomes. Of course it can flourish as an embattled and angry sect. But Christianity in England has not been like that for at least 1,000 years. Seventy years ago, TS Eliot could write that dogs and horses were part of English religion, as much as bishops were part of English culture.


"As a Christian, I believe promoting and accepting this violent imagery is a testament a to..."

Did religious beliefs play a part in fire that killed 7 kids in NYC?

A "hot plate" keeping food warm in a kitchen overnight apparently started a fire that killed seven children in two-story house in Brooklyn early Saturday, New York City's fire commissioner said.

The four boys and three girls, siblings ranging in age from 5 to 15, were in upstairs bedrooms when the fire swept up from the first floor shortly after midnight in Brooklyn's south-central Midwood section, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The children's 45-year-old mother and one of her daughters -- a 14-year-old, police say -- also were upstairs but jumped out of windows to escape; they were in critical condition at a hospital, being treated for burns and smoke inhalation, Nigro said.


Nigro was asked why food was being warmed overnight.

"I believe it's the Sabbath, and people keep food warm that way. They don't have to operate a stove," Nigro answered.


So very, very sad. And preventable.

"They (Mental Health Professionals) viewed some of his beliefs as a kind of psychosis..."

Found this in an article that deals with a much larger issue. This particular topic has been brought up here before, so I thought I would share it.

"They viewed some of his beliefs as a kind of psychosis - and yet they were also part of a worldview shared by millions of mentally healthy people."


Then there were the grey areas.

A patient named Brian had beaten his mother to death with a baseball bat, believing her to be possessed by the Devil. Brian was a Pentecostal Christian. He'd been doing well in treatment, but one of his obstacles was that he still believed his mother had been possessed - only now, he conceded that the killing was a pointless act, given that the Devil can't be killed.

Brian presented a dilemma for the hospital. They viewed some of his beliefs as a kind of psychosis - and yet they were also part of a worldview shared by millions of mentally healthy people.



A taste of that good ole' Christian love we hear so much about.

Death threat rebuked at council

An expletive-laced, anonymously written letter to a Klamath Falls city councilwoman for her outspokenness on a free speech issue, got the attention of the city council Monday night.

The address on the envelope was handwritten, with no return address, but Councilwoman Trish Seiler said, at first, the letter she received Feb. 14 didn’t stand out from the rest of her mail … until she opened it. “I didn’t recognize the handwriting,” Seiler said about the envelope. “It was just like any letter one might get.”

The 400-word, typewritten letter was littered with bigoted remarks, name-calling and racial slurs. It concluded by calling for her beheading by overseas terrorists.

Seiler read a statement, declaring she wouldn’t be intimidated by the letter, copies of which she provided to the Herald and News and to the police department.


The person claims “Christian morality” formed what is now the United States, and then wrote, “Maybe we could have the privilege of seeing your wonderful Muslims behead your (expletive) ugly (expletive)!!!”


Yes, yes, yes, I know, the title of the OP is not the headline of the article, it's my opinion. It's not an ad hominem, it's not bigotry, it's not anything other than how I feel about what some Christian just did to an elected official.

First Atheist Restaurant opens.

Here's a peek at the menu.

And a drive-thru for convenience.

They even have a Senior Citizen menu.

It’s time to fight religion: Toxic drivel, useful media idiots, and the real story about faith

It’s time to fight religion: Toxic drivel, useful media idiots, and the real story about faith and violence
Out of misguided notions of “tolerance,” we avert our critical gaze from blatant absurdities. We must now get real

Those whose profession it ostensibly is to enlighten found ample grounds on which to rebut reality and muddy the waters around the matter at hand: the faith-motivated murder of cartoonists for doing nothing more than drawing cartoons. Serial Islam-apologist Reza Aslan appeared on Charlie Rose‘s show and admitted that the Quran has “of course” served as a “source of violence” for terrorists, but then resorted to his usual tiresome Derrida-esque double-talk when it came to discussing his religion’s material role in the killings. “We bring our own values and norms to our scriptures; we don’t extract them from our scriptures.”


We are accustomed to reflexively deferring to “men of the cloth,” be they rabbis and priests or pastors and imams. In this we err, and err gravely. Those whose profession it is to spread misogynistic morals, debilitating sexual guilt, a hocus-pocus cosmogony, and tales of an enticing afterlife for which far too many are willing to die or kill, deserve the exact same “respect” we accord to shamans and sorcerers, alchemists and quacksalvers. Out of misguided notions of “tolerance,” we avert our critical gaze from the blatant absurdities — parting seas, spontaneously igniting shrubbery, foodstuffs raining from the sky, virgin parturitions, garrulous slithering reptiles, airborne ungulates — proliferating throughout their “holy books.” We suffer, in the age of space travel, quantum theory and DNA decoding, the ridiculous superstitious notion of “holy books.” And we countenance the nonsense term “Islamophobia,” banishing those who forthrightly voice their disagreements with the seventh-century faith to the land of bigots and racists; indeed, the portmanteau vogue word’s second component connotes something just short of mental illness.


Worse still is the offense that denying faith’s role in atrocities inflicts on commonsense. No one doubts people when they say their religion inspires them to attend mosque or church, make charitable donations, volunteer in hospitals or serve in orphanages. We should take them at their word when they name it, as did the Charlie Hebdo assassins, as the mainspring for their lethal acts of violence. We should not toss aside Ockham’s razor and concoct additional factors that supposedly commandeered their behavior. The Charlie Hebdo killers may have come from poor Parisian banlieues, they may have experienced racial discrimination, and they may have even been stung by disdain from “the dominant secular French culture,” yet they murdered not shouting about any of these things, but about “avenging the Prophet Muhammad.” They murdered for Islam.


This all leads us to an overarching issue of critical import. Adherence to any of the Abrahamic religions — that is, to the trumped-up doctrines of systematized, unverifiable fables mandating certain kinds of behavior and outlawing others — is, to repeat Kristof’s silly term, “otherizing,” or divisive, provocative, and ultimately inimical to social harmony. Traffickers in such fables, or those who provide cover to those who do, deserve to be disinvited from every forum convened to seek solutions to the problems they themselves have helped create. Or perhaps they should be invited, but only as court experts in the particular variety of mass psychosis they and their ancestors have engendered. “Dialogue between religions” — a perennially popular yet doomed endeavor often proclaimed as necessary by religious potentates — should be eschewed in favor of rational discourse among reality-based individuals. Please, let’s give the shamans and witchdoctors the day off.


Deepak denies that HIV causes AIDS

Well, if Chopra ever had any scientific credibility, it’s now in shreds. Listen to the part of this video (laughably labeled “Two great minds question HIV/AIDS—Scam/Hoax?”) that starts at 22:15. Chopra is interviewed by Tony Robbins, wealthy lifestyle guru and “self help” author. Here’s a bit of the interchange:

Chopra: HIV may be a precipitating agent in a susceptible host. The material agent is never the cause of the disease. It may be the final factor in inducing the full-blown syndrome in somebody who’s already susceptible.

Robbins: But what made them susceptible?

Chopra: Their own interpretations of the whole reality they’re participating in.

Robbins: Could that be translated into their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs, their lifestyle?

Chopra: Absolutely. . .

It goes on and gets worse as Chopra discusses what he calls “so-called AIDS”

Let’s look at the facts. If you don’t have the virus, regardless of your interpretation of reality, you won’t get AIDS. If you do have the virus, you’re certain to get a disease that is highly likely turn into full-blown AIDS without medical treatment. I don’t know of any studies showing that an “interpretation of reality” is 100% correlated with the presence of the disease (although the presence of the virus is). So which one of these is the more likely “cause”?

I suppose that, according to Chopra, no disease is “caused” by a microbe.

Chopra is reprehensible, suggesting that you can avoid AIDS by not using condoms, but by having the right interpretation of reality. So far his quackery has been either amusing or mildly harmful. Here it becomes dangerous, as Chopra denigrates drug treatments like AZT. (As we’ve long known, the drug slows the replication of the virus, and prolongs life, but is not a “cure”.)

When both Chopra and Robbins laugh at AZT, Chopra suggests that it was promulgated by drug companies because they were interested in money. Now if that’s not a pot/kettle moment, I don’t know what is!

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