Speak Out [religion] September 1 to October 1, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

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  • Summer religion forum is now in the archives. Welcome to September.

    -- Posted by Eric Crump on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 6:59 AM
  • My thoughts concerning the prior blog posts on the various religions:

    The trouble with "following" any lifestyle or faith (let's call it the WAY) is that they all have a set of rules or guidelines, which in essence categorize that WAY. We certainly do fit in general and sometimes complex categories, but we are all way more complex than any one WAY can describe. I can identify with much of the Buddhist WAY, the WAY of Jesus, and parts of the WAY of many others. The WAY of the Hippie was one that sounded very close to the WAY of jesus without all the other garbage in the bible. The xtian bible has some very good allegories and guidelines for living the good WAY, but absolute garbage as well. They are ALL guidelines to the WAY. Each WAY has its own moral code or at least implied moral code. We all have our own built in moral code from both nature and nurture, and cannot fit into any one specific set of moral code. In that regard, we are like snowflakes, and unique individuals. Yes, I state the obvious. Fortunately, the vast majority of us overlap our moral code a guestament of 95 percent, with some big exceptions for the Charles Mansons' of the world. Most of the moral codes of religion and lifestyles prescribe living by some aspect of The Golden Rule along with some small and sometimes large variations. I am attempting to explain why I do not prescribe to any WAY, no matter how close I might identify with their manifesto. It is so easy for me to read about native American cultures and WAYs, and come away with a sense of "wow, that is awesome" and maybe they had it right. But it was just their WAY of trying to understand the world they lived in and many of those tribes (not nearly all) figured out that if they killed too many deer from one area there would be none in time of real need and to "respect nature". They too were tribal people with total misunderstandings about why some things happen, and explained the unexplainable as supernatural. If you listed all the misunderstandings that were attributed to the supernatural over several thousand years, you should agree that science has been able to explain 99 percent of it. I'm just talking about those things that were thought to be supernatural. I'm not saying that science is the WAY either. It is a great tool to help us stray away from the wrong WAY. Study Taoism, Confusionism, Indian spirituality, etc., but none of them will ever be THE WAY.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Sep 2, 2011, at 5:17 AM
  • Well said RT. While all ways are instructive to one degree, or another, we are each unique in subtle ways, inclusive of our perceptions, thus ultimately billions of unique ways of life.

    Most gather with others of similar persuasion, not the same persuasion, at least partially for validation of our beliefs. Hermits whether physically so, or merely psychologically so, are an interesting sub set that I have long pondered.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Sep 2, 2011, at 12:20 PM
  • rational thinker......... not the handle, the Concept intrigues me. what a brilliant Idea!

    we are all capable of rational thought unless our percieved history is skewed by faulty information or flat lies.

    wouldn`t it be great if all who spoke were required to think and ponder the outcomes before their mouth would work?

    -- Posted by BigFatGuy on Fri, Sep 2, 2011, at 1:41 PM
  • OKR, I think you got across what I meant in one tenth the words. Plus, the thought about the hermit mentality. I would suppose most of us have some degree of that, and that is the unique feeling of being alone in some special thought. On the other hand, I think many times we believe our thoughts are so rational that everyone must feel the same way, which often turns out to be not true. When it comes to being labeled Atheist, I thought most of my life I must have something wrong with me, that or maybe everyone else did as I was always surrounded by people who NEVER claimed to have to have doubt. It has been a relief to find in my later years that I really was not alone. Many people just claim they are not religious and leave it at that, mainly I believe because of the stigma of the word Atheist. I now feel proud of the fact that the large group of non-believers (Atheists) has many among them that are some of the top scientists and other professionals in the world. No, I don't feel superior (well, maybe a little) to the religious, just vendicated from somehow thinking something might be wrong in the way I thought. It must not be too much different than the history of gays and other minorites?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 8:54 AM
  • We are all muddlers among the mundane much of the time. It is grand that we have these forums to express ourselves.

    I spent my younger years a hermit, isolated from live interchange regarding the thoughts that exploded in my head. There were times then that I thought I may be insane. Lacking even an iota of temerity I could not speak those thoughts.

    So I sought conversation with authors. Living, or dead, they were no threat to me. When they spoke I could retort why, or not so, though not a word passed my lips. I remained safe.

    I am thankful for maturity, and the great conversation that helped bring me to it.

    Thank you RT, and as always, you too ND.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 3:15 PM
  • Since there is nobody who knows "for sure" (how could they... they can't), it is just easier to say we are agnostic when we don't know. I hid behind that category most of my life, when in reality I had no reason to believe in a god (no, rr3, fear of eternal hell is not enough for me), nor did I have a "feeling" there was a god. Oh, I've had feelings of things I can't understand, maybe even call it a "presence" some time, but that is not a god, it is not a fairy, it is not a soul, it is just something I can't explain. So, finally without the slightest feeling there is a god, nor the slightest need for one, just fess up to the fact that is called an atheist. That word as a category has caused so much debate, even among atheists. It is because it has such a bad stigma, derived from something that was morphed into "nasty". It is "the 'A' word". But, alas, that is the word that describes how I feel and how I do not believe.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 5:01 PM
  • I am curious to know a little more about my fellow posters. We don't have to devulge our identity but I'll start by saying that I am male,I'm married and soon to be 49 years old.

    I live in Marshall proper.

    Anyone else want to play?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 7:36 PM
  • WTF it's likely most already know, yourself included, but for the record, I am a male, a young seventy (in most ways), and still in love with my life mate of thirty years.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 11:33 PM
  • Oh yes, and I am the eldest of four children. I grew up in a materially poor family that regularly moved from rent house to rent house for a large part of my formative years. I did spend six years on a farm from age six.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 11:52 PM
  • Nana, I'm not singling anyone out for using agnotic instead of atheist. I have close friends that are in your camp: believe in some force, but not a single god in human form (I'm sure I mischaracterized you). But, as was my experience, there are many who call themselves agnostic just because of the horrible label Atheist has become. That's why my Id is "Rational Thinker" instead of "The Atheist" :-) Wikeipedia defnes "theist" as "Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.[1] In a more specific sense, theism refers to a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God's relationship to the universe". Technically, if you do not believe in a monotheistic God, the opposite would be Atheist wouldn't it?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 6:58 AM
  • BTW, as I discussed earlier, fitting perfectly into a particular label is not likely. However, if we must pick one that "best" characterizes ones belief (or lack of it), then most people fit closer into one than another with few dead center. So, when it come to monotheistic religions, I am an atheist. But, I am also an atheist when it comes to anything considered a supernatual force, because I believe there is always either a scientific explanation or pshycological one, whether we can ever find it or not.

    My profile: male, 60's, grew up in Marshall but lived most of my life far away. I am married with a handful of beautiful grandchildren.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 7:13 AM
  • Anyone else here ever go to RichardDawkins.net ? If you haven't tried it, they post many news items concerning science and religion with many posters being from science backgrounds and definately anti-religion. I enjoy the criticism that religion invokes (and bashing), but they also go into great scientific detail on everything from evolution to physics and other scientific disciplines. Some of the posters appear to be at the top of their field. My favorite oasis.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 7:30 AM
  • Would you all agree that love exist? We can't measure the direct effects of it with science but we can measure the indirect effects of it. We can't measure God directly but we can see his imprint on our physical world. Just a thought, carry on.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 7:38 AM
  • "Four ways 9/11 changed America's attitude towards religion"

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/03...

    Fascinating article. I hadn't thought about it this way before, but the rise of vocal atheism was a response to the radicalization of conservative Christianity that was fueled by 9/11. Of course, radical atheists are in some ways no different or better than radical Christians (different beliefs, but still radical) but perhaps a stronger atheism was needed to provide some balance.

    -- Posted by taxedpayer on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 8:00 AM
  • Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.

    --Heywood Broun

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 10:04 AM
  • " A fanatic is someone who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

    -Winston Churchill

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 11:18 AM
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.--Galileo

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 4:36 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    Boy, you slobbered a bib full there!

    Of course, it proves nothing in terms of the bible and religion in general, but it is a nice quote.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 4:50 PM
  • Nuff said!!!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 11:31 PM
  • "I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.--Galileo"

    He was just covering his arse from being burned at the stake for all his crazy scientific experiments obviously contrary to the truth derived from the extensive research on display in the bible.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Sep 5, 2011, at 8:20 AM
  • BTW, there are "strident" atheists who are fed up with religious interference and just won't take it anymore laying down. They stand up for the principal of separation of church and state and call out the insanity of religious interference of any kind. But, radical, I think not. Please tell me one radical atheist? And don't give me the old garbage that someone's atrocity was because they were an atheist. Show me one person who stood on a atheist platform and radically went after all religions. Radical is flying planes into buildings because you are sure there is an afterlife. Atheists, in general, are people who believe the evidence points to cherishing this one life we have by winning the lucky lotto of a particular sperm penetrating that egg.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Sep 5, 2011, at 8:28 AM
  • Here is what Pastor Stahl would like to do with atheists:

    http://youtu.be/ZTHyVWCoJdg

    But, check out the list rr3 and let me know what you think about the list of atheists presented by this YouTube link?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Sep 5, 2011, at 8:37 AM
  • ND the statement at your religion dispatches link should be read from every pulpit in America.

    It may be read from most of those pulpits where it is least needed. It may be read from some pulpits where there is some need for it. It will not be read from any of the pulpits where it is most needed.

    And so it goes.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 5, 2011, at 11:14 PM
  • -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 7:29 PM
  • What do you want me to think about the list RT?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 9:08 PM
  • rr3, Your link for the "In God We Trust" controversy (or issue, maybe it is not controversial in Marshall?) represents a gray area for me that is hard for me to invoke strong compassion from either side. I am only mildly offended by that large display, and if that was the only issue and could be resolved by claiming it is "only a motto", then I could be OK with it. However, I also think there are many more relevant mottos that could be displayed at city council chambers that would not invoke controversy. Consider using "In Our Constitution We Trust". Also consider the controversy if the city decided to use some message from the Koran instead of "In God We Trust"? How about "In Allah We Trust"? Would you be "OK" with that? For me it is like saying "In Luck We Trust". It is fairly benign, but doesn't provide a lot of confidence in me that solutions to problems will be worked on. We'll just trust in luck or God to take care of the problems we need to address. And what is the next step? Maybe they will require a prayer and those that do not want to participate can just sit there feeling stupid (or in my case, thinking how stupid the action is). Yet, for those of us who believe prayer is quite a silly thing, we also know that we run the risk of ridicule should we not participate. And these are the reasons I believe in the full separation of church and state, and that "In God We Trust" means more than a motto and should be replaced or removed. Anyone else have any feelings toward the "In God We Trust" written in large letters over the city chamber?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 1:50 AM
  • rr3: "What do you want me to think about the list RT?"

    Do you think the list of Atheists in that video is somewhat impressive? Are you surprised by some of the names that are atheist? Do you have any feeling at all that perhaps such an impressive list of individuals just might signify that atheists could possibly have it right or at least maybe you should try to undestand why such successful, powerful, and most cases very strong intellectual individuals do not believe in the god of your bible? Or do you agree with that video clip of pastor Stahl that all atheists should be on a national registry list (an electronic star of david attached to their identity)?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 2:02 AM
  • RT,

    In all fairness, I am the one who posted the link about the "In God we Trust" motto, not rr3yvo.

    The only thing that really sticks in my craw is that we seemed to get by just fine without it until we got a mayor who is also a preacher. It all sounds very suspect to me. Anyone know who introcuded the resolution?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 5:37 AM
  • RT I don't agree with Pastor Stahl and I am not impressed or surprised by the list. When you don't believe in God you can be swayed or impressed to believe anything. You can be impressed if you want, I'm not. God didn't pick people that were famous or highly educated to do his work. The bible tells us that maybe you should read about the people he chose.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 6:36 AM
  • RT would you be ok with "In Allah We Trust"? or "In Atheism We Trust"? Or is just the name of God you hate?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 7:10 AM
  • rr3yvo said:

    "you can be swayed or impressed to believe anything"

    Really? You just said that about someone else?

    You have reached a level of hypocracy that I never thought possible.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 7:12 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    Keeping religion out of government does not equate to hating god. You have a hate fetish. Any dissenting opinion must mean absolute hatred.

    You must be exhausted packing around that chip on your shoulder.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 7:15 AM
  • You didn't answer the question wtf. Too tuff I guess. Sorry.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 11:33 AM
  • Wtf you forgot part of the quote to put it in proper context.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 11:37 AM
  • rr3yvo.

    The question wasn't addressed to me but to RT.

    I just commented on the hypocritical way that you phrased it. I owe you no answers.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 12:25 PM
  • why not hate the name. I can count millions of murders in the name of god. not to mention the degradation of women and racism that was and is permitted in the name of his plan. oh and lets not forget the mill stone around the neck of technological inovation for frar of upsetting him.

    couldnt help use that particular metaphor. sorry if it was over the line

    -- Posted by BigFatGuy on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 1:48 PM
  • I am not saying that I hate any body or thing but if there was a thing to hate it would probably have some of the same characteristics

    -- Posted by BigFatGuy on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 1:49 PM
  • What was hypocritical about it wtf please specify of course if you wish? If not oh well I can't put much stock in your responses anyway when they seem to always be personal attacks on me or what I believe. But it is still a free country the last time I checked and you are free to post anything they allow so please carry on. Would you be nicer if I believed Islam? Just remember I can still pray for you and God is still in control.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 2:34 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    Fine,I'll spell it out for you since you don't understand. I'm gonna speak slowly so pay attention.

    We are in the religion blog and you said of someone else:

    "you can be swayed or impressed to believe anything"

    In terms of religion, the bible or God don't you see the hypocracy in that statement? Would it make more sense if I had said irony perhaps?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 3:00 PM
  • "When you don't believe in God you can be swayed or impressed to believe anything." That's what I said wtf but it doesn't matter what I say you will refute it because you don't want to believe in God. Maybe I should have said,"When you don't believe in God then you will believe in something."

    Romans 9:22-24

    Contemporary English Version (CEV)

    22God wanted to show his anger and reveal his power against everyone who deserved to be destroyed. But instead, he patiently put up with them.23He did this by showing how glorious he is when he has pity on the people he has chosen to share in his glory. 24Whether Jews or Gentiles, we are those chosen ones.

    We have to be chosen are you chosen? Something to think about the next time you blaspheme God.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 8:34 PM
  • It is what it is.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 9:35 PM
  • Once again rr3yvo, you are wrong. I'm beginning to sense a pattern here.

    When did I blaspheme god?

    If you equate anything I have ever said to you as a blaspheme of god then you have as high an opinion of yourself as I have imagined.

    Speaking of ego, I have never, ever , ever said that there is no god and if there is one I don't certainly don't hate them. Those are all your words and your assumptions. Go figure.

    What I do say however,is that I disagree with your assumption that you or "the bible" have all the answers. Religion is driven by emotion, superstition and speculation. It should never be used as basis for decisions made regarding the general populace. Period.

    So, how many times now have you accused me of not believing in or hating god when I have told you repeatedly that is not that case.

    "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor"...ok? So stop it.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 10:08 PM
  • rr3 I noticed that when the subject was changed on this blog to something different, Taoism, etc. you announced that you wouldn't participate in the conversation, though you thought it interesting.

    Am I wrong to have come to the conclusion that you consider this blog your own little corner to evangelize? Is it not true that you sit out until you have another opportunity to proselytize?

    At any rate here we are again going around, and around in the circle game. (yawn)

    What does someone, anyone, have to say about any other aspect of religion except Christian evangelism. That pale horse has left the stable, and nearly a quarter of us are near death from the experience. Please no more, shut the barn door, even if we are just shutting ourselves in. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 11:31 PM
  • ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 12:17 AM
  • Well okr you have truth then you have everything else.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 11:26 AM
  • It's funny that if I am not threatening or relevant what does it matter what I say? I don't recall having any authority, but God has all authority.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 11:30 AM
  • Here we go again.....

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 12:10 PM
  • so I was thinking about a compilation of dr seuss books all bound together into one as the basis for my religious beliefs.

    think about it... what a concept.

    the cat in the hat cleaned up his own mess. sam I am liked to share etc.

    atleast nobody gets killed or stoned or turned to salt or flayed alive or tossed in a pit of fire or lions.

    -- Posted by BigFatGuy on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 1:51 PM
  • Welcome back (belatedly) BFG, and thanks for changing the subject. ;)

    I will try to follow up on your comment a bit later.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 2:35 PM
  • There are actually churches like that bfg.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 2:58 PM
  • "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor"

    Now wtf you either believe that bible passage or it is b-l-a-s-p-h-e-m-y.

    blaspheme-to speak impiously or irreverently of (God or sacred things).

    The thing is that I don't even need to know but God knows your heart.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 8:47 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    I was simply asking you to practice what you preach. Since you were not doing that I guess it is actually you who blasphemed and that's a blast for me too.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 8, 2011, at 10:02 PM
  • Could this be the missing link?

    http://news.yahoo.com/closest-human-ance...

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 9:37 AM
  • rr. have you considered Shel Silverstien`s poem "Point of View"? I think it would help you to come off as a little less uppity if taken to heart.

    no offense intended nor do I mean to incite one of your biblical jaunts. I just want to share something that helped me out.

    -- Posted by BigFatGuy on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 11:15 AM
  • BFG I am a long time admirer of SS, and Point OF View http://www.blaikiewell.com/holidaypoem.h... is good stuff. My point of view is that it won't work in the current circumstance because...

    One Point Shel did not feature.

    Some ignore a lesser creature.

    If it is that in their eyes,

    they ignore the critter's cries. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 4:41 PM
  • Sorry about the inadvertent upper case P. Sometimes when I flail away at the key board, throwing words into the comment box I screw up, especially if I don't proof read.

    Always use the proper case,

    else your comment may be off base. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Sep 9, 2011, at 4:59 PM
  • Church uses Dr. Seuss stories to deliver Christian message

    http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/l...

    You might be on to something there news I believe God can use anything for good. Something like vacation bible school could be your calling. Bible School Director News now that has a nice ring to it.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Sep 10, 2011, at 5:30 PM
  • Smok'n: "If it *is* the missing link, it would be yet another ignored blow to all that scientific peer-reviewed rhetorical "proof", wouldn't it?"

    But as all rational people know, there will NEVER be enough missing links to the religiously insane, as there will always be another gap they will claim disproves evolution. Never mind irrefutable progression, since math is also a missing link in the DNA of those who bow to the spirit in the sky.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 11, 2011, at 7:18 AM
  • How old is the Earth?

    http://www.earthhistory.org.uk/questions...

    "Absolute dates in geology are based on radioactive decay, where the key assumption is that the rate of decay has been constant over time. These dates command acceptance because they accord with a world-view in which long ages are required. The idea of subjecting them to critical testing is so heretical that it is not even privately entertained, let alone discussed in the literature."

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 12:00 PM
  • Didn't they find a dinosaur with a saddle on it?

    No wait, that was a completrly made up crock of hooey at the ceationism theme park. It would be funnier if they were't actually teaching that to children.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 6:41 PM
  • News you say you believe science on the age of the earth but how did it come into existence? I believe it had a cause and it either had to be personal or impersonal would you agree?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 8:10 PM
  • Isn't there a lot of things at theme parks that are made up?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 8:12 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    You're right although I don't think Disnetland tries to pass their stuff off as fact. Swing and a miss.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 9:07 PM
  • I wasn't swinging at anything.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 9:19 PM
  • Yet, you still missed. Hey, here's one for ya:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/philadelphia...

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 9:20 PM
  • So do you believe that wtf? Interesting find but I don't think it proves anything except for what they want you to believe.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 9:31 PM
  • Rr3yvo,

    Then I guess it kinda sounds like the bible don't it?

    I think it goes alot further in proving how old the earth actually is than the bible does. But then again that is really no surprise.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 10:30 PM
  • What do you believe the bible says wtf?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 11:46 PM
  • To change the subject,but just a bit, I offer the following.

    For many hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years, the ancients believed in dragons, and fairies. Some how, in more recent times, both beliefs have been given short shrift.

    It can not be because no one has found dragon detritus, nor fairy fossils, because people believe in other things with out an iota of physical evidence. It can not be because there is no written record of their existence, for there are volumes of written records of their being, inclusive of eye witness accounts. It can not be because there are no oral tradition accountings of dragons, and fairies as there are numerous oral traditions.

    It can not be because such belief is geographically marginalized, because old stories about them appear in differing languages all about the world. They are as universal as any other beliefs.

    They are as attested to by clear eyed innocents, and babes as often as such things as certain miracles. Yet they are not acknowleged with credibility as are miracles announced by the same class of people.

    Some people are characterized in life, in photos, and in paintings as having saintly qualities, and such are met by reverence. Some pictures, photos, and people have a fey quality to them, and are percieved as unbalanced, or lacking depth, or lacking a sense of reality.

    Until two to three generations ago a goodly portion of the older folk persisted in their belief in fairies, acknowleging it, and placating them by certain rituals. Why did that end, whereas other beliefs that also lack an absolute physical embodiment endure, and are traditionalized, and placated?

    Finally, though children delight in stories, and movies about fairies, and dragons, buying into them with their entire being, we adults must smile knowingly as we watch, and listen, all the while remaining secretive about the same emotions that flood us just as they do the children, lest we be taken for fools.

    Was it practioners of other beliefs, distressed, and threatened by the similarities that made a conscious effort to destroy the belief in fairy and dragon?

    Rest assured that there are those who still believe, perhaps driven into catacombs, perhaps walking among us exhibiting Mona Lisa smiles that we do not understand.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 12:19 AM
  • My apologies for the typos, transposed letters, and misspellings. I really should write on "Word" using spell check, but I can't seem to avoid immediately hacking away in the little comment box. Maybe I am afraid I would lose my thoughts during the transfer. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 12:31 AM
  • Romans 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction ?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 6:01 AM
  • Hooray! More scripture. :(

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 6:19 AM
  • Hooray! More persecution.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 6:31 AM
  • Sometimes I read the bible and wonder if it really is true that God would do that. It is hard for the finite mind to understand an infinite God. From the responses I get from posting on here proves that God is really true to his word. The world doesn't want truth because they might have to give up something that they hold above God such as science, Atheism, agnostism, etc. I would like to encourage more posters to stand up for the truth of God's word regardless of the persecutors that will rise up against them. It actually encourages you to study and strengthens your faith but also saddens you that without God people have no hope and they will always search for something and never find it. God bless.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 6:43 AM
  • ...then forgive me.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 7:58 AM
  • rr3yvo.

    Simple question. Is the earth round or flat?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 7:59 AM
  • Perhaps folks would like to see the mayor's motivation behind his unilateral decision to inject religion into our city government.

    http://ingodwetrust-america.org/

    These folks believe that we can't be a partiot without god in our goverment.

    This is excactly why religion and government do not mix.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 8:23 AM
  • Cheetah,

    Don't worry about it. It's cool. I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but it's cool. Don't worry about it. ;)

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 2:44 PM
  • Ok

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 3:25 PM
  • No problem SC!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 3:26 PM
  • Cheetah! How dare you! ;)

    Seriously though, isn't that late nite back biting the reason why we all come here in the first place?

    Do you remember the scene from the movie network where the guys sticks his head out of the window and screams: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"?

    Well, this is our window.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 5:09 PM
  • LOL ND. I didn't realize it had become an area of study. I thought it was just a pursuit.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 11:28 AM
  • Hey rr3, do you believe in fairies, and dragons? Do you believe that there is at least a remote possibility that they did exist back in the day when many folks believed in them? If your answer is no to both questions, what evidence do you possess that absolutely rules it out?

    No tricks intended, just offering to engage in discussion of something other than your forte'.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 6:18 PM
  • No I don't believe in them okr and I don't possess or see any evidence for or against them. I can't say for a fact they didn't exist I just don't believe they did.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 7:58 PM
  • Smok'n: "And every single one of them are as narrow minded as the neighbor they complain about."

    Hey, what r u smok'n? Were those that prescribed to the scientific evidence that deduced that the earth revolves around the sun "narrow minded" because they failed to give credence to those fellows in the funny wardrobes waving their little book of "all knowledge" who interpreted ancient writings to believe that the sun and all celestial bodies revolved around our earth? Narrow minded are those who think for one moment that a holy book could somehow compare to the mounds of evidence and proofs that science has provided.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 9:16 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    Where do you stand on talking snakes?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 9:18 PM
  • Rr3: "..but also saddens you that without God people have no hope and they will always search for something and never find it. God bless." ."

    With god people have a crutch and they do not have to face up to reality. Your god is a very vindictive person, yes, a person, albeit made up in our image. Your god allows you to do thing like kill yourself a la doing something suicidal in god's name, or worse, taking out others along with you. People who know we have one life to live will not waste it or do anything to shorten it because of some irrational belief. You don't have to fear that atheists may blow themselves and you up along with them, because they really cherish and appreciate the one life they know there is. Of course, depression can override all beliefs or lack of belief, but in general, atheists appreciate all life much more than those who subscribe to a supernatural daddy in the sky pulling the strings on everything we do. You are right that we are always searching for something, but it isn't a god, it is knowledge. The world to atheists is even more majestic since we can't accept the misconception that "god did it". It saddens me that so many people rely on a false hope that "god did it". Reality can be tough, but it is also beautiful once you shed the illusion of looking thru god glasses. May the truth bring you peace!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 9:18 PM
  • Speaking of "reality", perhaps this short YouTube clip from Richard Dawkins will explain "the magic of reality".

    http://youtu.be/N-TFIxW1d10

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 9:34 PM
  • News, does it do any of that for you?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 9:58 PM
  • I agree with you rr3 regarding fairies, as does NA. I did have an ulterior motive, still no "trick" involved.

    My simple point (supported by our answers) is that when folks enter discussion about beliefs other than their own beliefs they often share common ground.

    Peace

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 11:05 PM
  • News Across about RR: "He honestly and forthrightly makes his arguments -- often very well.."

    I respectfully disagree. ALL his responses are tied to direct quotes from the bible or his interpretation there of. That is not my definition of "very well".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 5:27 AM
  • NA's points on relision a) helping people every day, b) reducing sociopath attrocities (that's a good one :-), c) providing a social network, d) providing comfort...

    Those values are achieved just as effectively outside of religion. And besides, none of that makes it (religion) true. Believing in fairies may have at least some of the same benefits. I have nothing against people irrationally believing in fairies, unless that is, they try to influence our government, force it into schools, or publicly decry all those who don't believe in fairies will forever be banished to the hull of Captain Hook's pirate ship.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 5:34 AM
  • Okr I really want to thank you for the comments even though I have not felt that way sometimes. I do have to give you the same back, you never back down and most times are more rational in your response then I am but hey we all react differently. Thanks again.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 6:17 AM
  • RT one of the beautiful things about this forum is we each have our own opinion. So am I irrational if I don't believe the same as you? I don't think so, I happen to think it is irrational to think that way. I don't think you are irrational RT I just think you are wrong but hey that's my opinion.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 6:21 AM
  • I think it's very deliberate. "Truth" sounds more authoritative and simply states that someone has been lying about the facts as opposed to simply stating the facts.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 1:57 PM
  • Would you agree that the truth is factual? Facts can be proven but can we always prove truth?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 7:57 PM
  • The truth is very subjective, and is usually based on interpretation of the perceived facts. Or, in some peoples case, how you interpret non-fact :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 9:17 PM
  • How do you know truth is really true? You have evidence for facts but not always for truth. I can say I love my wife which is true but you can't prove it.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 9:23 PM
  • Um....we're not the one's who need to prove it.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 9:45 PM
  • "A man may stand to gain a great deal of peace and quiet from telling his wife that he loves her. But he really may love her nevertheless."--Jamie Whyte

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Sep 15, 2011, at 9:54 PM
  • Nana, kind of gets us back to the blog topic of "religion". Religion's truth is so obscurred by many literally interpreting a book of falsehoods and allegory that they refuse to accept fact. Religion is one reason Americans are so far behind the rest of the world on this. Now you know the truth :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Sep 16, 2011, at 5:58 AM
  • Nana I think that is called opinion.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Sep 16, 2011, at 6:20 AM
  • RT how do you know what you believe is true? I can't tell that it is true just because you say so.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Sep 16, 2011, at 6:23 AM
  • So I've notice a growing trend -- growing faster in recent weeks, in fact -- of a return to personal attacks, scorn, snarkiness and just plain meanness, especially on the politics and religion forums. I understand how easy it is to succumb to the temptation, but I'd like to remind everyone:

    Put away your verbal scatterguns

    www.marshallnews.com/blogs/crump/entry/3...

    Thou shalt not spit, snark or snarl

    www.marshallnews.com/blogs/crump/entry/3...

    Can we tone it down a bit?

    -- Posted by Eric Crump on Fri, Sep 16, 2011, at 10:54 AM
  • Nana I believe you have a foundation to know what truth is. If you don't then what is actually true? Evolution has so called evidence but there are tremendous gaps that are presented as fact but is mere speculation and people accept that on faith. I believe there is a God and we are made in his image. He made the universe to work like it does. Science can't explain gravity but we can feel it and if it was more or less then what it is even slightly then life would not be possible. The earth revolves around the sun at the perfect distance to sustain life should we all believe that was an accident. Can life come from non-life? Can morality come from non-morality? My answers are not perfect but I can't accept that these things that are designed to work so perfectly just happened. I don't think it is circular because I base my belief on an eternal God where is your base? I would like to know why you think you are right instead of why you think I am wrong. Like I said I am not perfect and I could be wrong.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Sep 16, 2011, at 12:04 PM
  • SC thanks and I am glad I am a target and Christians that stand up for their faith will be one from time to time. People don't like 'truth' 'right' or 'wrong' because it might not fit their lifestyle. I guess if we banned those words we wouldn't have to feel guilty for our sins.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 7:12 AM
  • If you don't know...can you tell someone they are wrong?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 7:14 AM
  • Finis? I think not.

    Watcha think this, the movie quote blog?

    ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 11:34 AM
  • rr3yvo,

    Careful you don't fall off your cross.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Sep 17, 2011, at 5:44 PM
  • rr3: "People don't like 'truth' 'right' or 'wrong' because it might not fit their lifestyle."

    Here u go again... :-) I don't like "your" truth to be mandated (here I go again). The only common ground for truth that is measureable is science. Love as a feeling exists; god as a feeling for some exists. But when one refuses to accept truth of science (such as evolution, vaccines, etc.), and those individuals want to deny that science education to the public, or desire to cram their god "truth" into our government, that is where you cross the line.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 2:53 AM
  • Why do you think science is true RT? The only truth in science is what is present that they can see feel and touch. You say evolution is true but all science has is evidence that they feel supports their THEORY. In other words they make the evidence support their theory. Does that mean that theories are truth?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 9:00 AM
  • Assuming the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.--Charles Darwin

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 9:10 AM
  • Rr3, you fail to pass along the remainder of the section, where Darwin goes on to say that, absurd though it might seem, he had no problem believing it.

    "..If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case."

    And in a later edition he went on to have a go at so called common sense:

    "When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of vox populi, vox dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory."

    So, you totally misrepresented Darwin by that quote, don't you agree?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 9:24 AM
  • By brushing off the theory of evolution as merely a THEORY (your caps, not mine), you demonstrate a common misunderstanding about the difference between you and I having a theory about something, and what a scientific theory is, especially one that has withstood all kinds of scrutiny for around 200 years, and gets even stronger with more sophisticated science including the knowledge of DNA. I am confident Nana or others have already tried to explain the power behind a scientific theory. Do you recall the difference or would you like a good explanation of what a scientific theory really means, which is the opposite of an opinion)?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 9:30 AM
  • Seems since Darwin couldn't find evidence to the contrary he believes an absurdity as fact with no evidence. He had great faith and so do his followers.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 9:39 AM
  • Evolution is just a scientific theory. I don't think anyone disputes that. That's the cool thing about actual science, they won't make claims for which there is no evidence while constantly seeking further evidence.

    Unlike creationists, scientists don't claim to have all the answers.

    Creationist makes fantastic claims without any shred of evidence and refuse to seek anything past the archiac tribal writings of our ancestors.

    Creationists further demand the rest of society swallow this nonsense and base thier lives on ignorance,stubborness and superstition.

    Sorry,but I choose you evolve as much as I can in my lifetime.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 9:46 AM
  • Nandot,

    Those are good points but at this time in history I almost suspect that it's not so much about religious "dominance" as it is about religious "relevance".

    I think orgainized religion is very worried, as they should be about thier hold on the masses. I think organized religion is terrified of the coming rebellion. Not a rebellion that plays out in the street, but one that is played out in the mind. I think organized religion is petrified because people are "catching on" and when people start to think for themselves the grip of religion is continually loosened.

    I think this is why we see desparate measures by religious folks trying to inject god into places like local government, for example.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 12:04 PM
  • This is the epitomy of ad nauseam. I will limit my commments on this situation to the following, and then not comment further on this blog excepting different subjects.

    I will turn the other cheek. I will also close my eyes, and ears.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 12:08 PM
  • OK Reader. You don't like it then start a new topic in the "religion" blog.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 12:18 PM
  • That is exactly what I said in my comment WTF. However, not at this moment.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 1:46 PM
  • rr3, you never conceded that you quoted Darwin totally out of context. Will you admit to that?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 4:08 PM
  • Anyone else use RichardDawkins.net?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 18, 2011, at 4:12 PM
  • The Relevance of Archaeology to the Study of Scripture

    http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net...

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 6:05 AM
  • Sayeth The Pooh:

    "Impossible with out me! THAT sort of Bear."

    P.117 pp.8

    The Tao Of Pooh

    Keeping it fair, and balanced in a Foxy way.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 7:34 PM
  • News Here is a book you must get (later) for that new Grandchild. Don't get the Australian version though as it substitutes the word Timbuktu for the word Australia. ;) "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p09_ULvFB...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 19, 2011, at 7:55 PM
  • ND I have a Granddaughter who spends every Tuesday with me. She is a "little one" forever, and delights in the book, as do I in reading it to her, even on the days that are so terrible that we think we'll move to Australia. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 12:01 AM
  • Rr3, this is important debating point (not an attack on you) for the legitimacy of your ability to have a chance at being taken seriously. That is why I am making a special effort to get you to answer my point concerning your quote of Darwin being unfair to Darwin because it was totally out of context. Go back and review your quote (on 9/18) of him trying to make it sound like he had doubts about creation versus evolution because of the complexity of the eye. Just answer this one very important question: WILL YOU ADMIT THAT YOUR QUOTE OF DARWIN WAS GIVEN TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 5:07 AM
  • RT I didn't realize that you were of the Darwinian faith. You already proved it was out of context and I never disputed it. I only did it to tweak all of you to expose your religion. What is there to debate about it? It is either in context or out of context isn't it?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 6:27 AM
  • Oh and RT for you to do this as a chance for me to have legitimacy or to be taken seriously. That's funny. I didn't know you cared.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 6:29 AM
  • Nana would those with a vested interest in disproving the bible excoriate the evidence for the bible? Would that be science? Seems it would only be science if you agree with it.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 6:33 AM
  • Followers of the "Flying Speghetti Monster" unite!

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 7:02 AM
  • If you always draw your faith from man you will never have faith in God.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 11:02 AM
  • How do you know it is a lie if you have no truth to base it on?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 2:48 PM
  • You know you are right Nana that's what I have been trying to tell you.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 2:49 PM
  • Rr3: "You already proved it was out of context and I never disputed it. I only did it to tweak all of you to expose your religion."

    You didn't dispute it, nor did you acknowledge it. I am confident you really didn't know it was out of context as it is used often by creationists to try and mislead people to believe Darwin himself had doubts about evolution, which is the opposite of the truth. Now, did you really know you were quoting him out of context or did you believe your statement to be true at the time you quoted it? I'm now trying to establish just how honest you are willing to be, or admit to, or would you rather not answer that question?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 8:06 PM
  • Nana, that was awesome. Steve Martin has always been one of my favorites. I suppose without knowing Martin's beliefs (or lack thereof), you could take that song either way, but either way it would still be hilarious. They claime it was the only atheist song, but here is one fairly powerful on YouTube you might find interesting (but not funny): http://youtu.be/NNi2tJ7H7FM

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 8:29 PM
  • Dot!

    That was hilarious and very well done! Thanks for the link.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 8:31 PM
  • Yes RT I had a pretty good idea it was out of context but where I don't worship Darwin I am sure I am not as well read on it as you are.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 20, 2011, at 8:53 PM
  • Ok,

    I sent this letter to the mayor 4 times before I got a response.

    "Dear Mr. Mayor,

    As I sit firmly in the buckle of the bible belt I am acutely aware that this letter will find itself in the minority opinion.

    Your unilateral decision to place "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the entrance to the council chambers is, in my opinion, an abuse of your office. I am particularly bothered by the way it came about. Letters from law firms that encouraged this, or perhaps even dared you to do it.

    I would like to see a copy of that letter.

    I believe that you are also a Pastor, is that correct? Why can we not keep religion in the churches? It seems to me as if you may be having a hard time separating your duties as mayor, who is a representative of everyone and a Pastor who apparently feels he speaks for everyone. I can assure you sir, that is not the case.

    I am also particularly bothered that you put the city council in the no win situation of having to go along with you or look very bad had they shown any opposition. But then again they really didn't have that opportunity, did they?

    I have spoken via e-mail with my council representatives and I feel I am not mis-stating my facts. If I am wrong please correct me.

    As a citizen, you have the right to worship however you see fit but as mayor you do not posses the right to inject your religious beliefs into our city government.

    I sincerely hope you will take that into condsideration should a similar situation arise.

    I would not be surprised that our local religious folks now feel as if they can expand on this and inject thier religious beliefs at will into other aspects of our local government.

    I would also like to know if you will make public the letter you received from the law firm and I would further like to know just exactly what your motivation was behind this. It seems to me as if the city govt. seemed to function very well before the motto. Why now? What exactly are you trying to say.? The website "In God We Trust-America" with whom you are apprently in league, tell me that I am not a patriot unless this motto adorns the walls of my local government council chambers.It saddens me that you cannot see the absurdity in that . Perhaps you just don't want to.

    I would like to know sir if that is how you feel, do you endorse that statement?

    In closing I would suggest that if you really feel the need to have a motto, you may want to condsider "E Pluribis Unum" or "Of Many, one"

    He did send a copy of the letter. I can't post it because it was a PDF. It was fairly plain, asking the mayor if he would consider placing "In God We Trust" in the council chambers or courthouse. It went on to say that hundreds of cities accross Missouri like Branson, Springfield, Jeff City etc. had already done so with unanimous resolutions.

    Appratenly the letter also came with an information packet that that was most likely provided by the website In God we Trust America". This is the site that basically says we have to do this to be considered patriots.

    This is verbatim from the website:

    In God We Trust ~ America, Inc.

    Our Mission:

    "To Promote Patriotism

    By Encouraging Elected Officials

    To Legally Display Our National Motto,

    "In God We Trust"

    In Every City, County and State Chamber in America"

    --Jacquie Sullivan

    Founder/President

    Here's a link to the site:

    http://www.ingodwetrust-america.org/

    Here is the mayor's response to my letter.

    Please keep in mind the council never voted on a resolution or approved funds until the motto had already been put in place.

    "Sorry I have been out of the office, attached is a copy of the letter from the law firm. A copy was given to the news media last week. The mention of the web site IGWT.... is only to show the cities, counties, and states that have placed "In God We Trust" on/in their buildings, we are not in "league" with their statements.

    The motto was placed in our city offices building after much thought and discussion with all the council members, city attorneys, and the researching of it. We discussed it with the council members individually, who agreed to it before it was placed in the foyer.

    Thank you for your interest and your thoughts, sorry again for the slow response."

    Sincerely, Mayor

    I was unimpressed by the mayor's response and still have no idea if any media printed the letter from the law firm. Folks can visit the website and draw their own conclusions. As for me I feel it is nothing short of a crusade.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 7:43 PM
  • News your deliberations as to how to spend your day are truly foreign to we'uns here in the blessed theocorporatist state of Oklahoma.

    A typical day for us might be: "This mornin do I need to run over a possum for dinner? Naw I oughn't do that, last time I blew a tar, an had to cut the tar offin them kids' tree swing. Maybe so...cuz that worked out good. They's havin a ton o fun playin that hang, an choke game ever since." ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 12:11 AM
  • WTF, very nice letter! It should serve as a notice that there are people who do strongly believe in the separation of church and state, and just perhaps might keep in check the desire to add more religion in Marshall local government. That is a real possibility, but just as likely is the possibility that it will go on deaf ears, as their belief is the majority and you and your anti-religious minority are just crackpots to them. Either way, your letter served notice that not everyone out there will drink the Cool Aid. Although I am an atheist, I find it difficult to get too upset about this, mainly because it is only a mild infringement of the separation of church and state. Well, maybe not mild, but not an overtly outrageous thing. On the other hand, once you go down that path, as your letter suggests, it opens the door to add more. The facts are that it didn't need to happen, and at best they are on a very slippery slope that opens the door for possible legal action. So, you must ask the question "why do it" unless you have a religious agenda or mandate from your religion, or perhaps he even wants to irritate the minority of people who are offended by it. It isn't necessary, and although most may consider it trivial, it borders on being illegal.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 2:31 AM
  • Washington Post article on atheism:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/gues...

    "Atheism -- The absence of theism. So if you doubt the existence of any gods more than you believe in one or more of them, you're an atheist."

    Nice read... hope the link works!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 2:46 AM
  • What exactly is the meaning of separation of church and state. I always thought it meant that the government could not run the church and the church could not run the government. I didn't think it meant that the church had no place in government or the government no place in church. I grew up with the American flag and the Christian flag being at the front of my church. I truly am not trying to push Christianity off on anyone. I would like for people to respect me as a Christian as I respect those who are not. I believe I am following the right path but I also believe that God gave us freewill. No one should be allowed to force anyone into a belief. However, I do not see that In God We Trust in a city office is that big of a deal. For years I have been told that if I found something on tv, in the theaters, etc. offensive, I should just not watch it. Why is it different for non-Christians?

    -- Posted by Bambi on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 2:23 PM
  • Bambi,

    My offense isn't with what the words say as much as the motivation behind how and why they got there in the first place.

    Go to the website that is promoting this crusade

    http://www.ingodwetrust-america.org/

    and you'll find that apparently, we cannot consider ourselves true patriots unless those words adorn our govt. buildings. They are on a nationwide crusade to do just that.The question is will it stop there? It is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard in my life and it's just those kind of people and statements that reinforce the fact that religion has no place in government.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 2:38 PM
  • I see where you are coming from. It is the religious fanatics that are making a bad name for Christians. I hear a different drummer most of the time, but I think the zealots believe they are crusading for Christ but they are the Pharisees of today. They want to make a list of rules and everyone is supposed to follow them to be good people. In my mind that is why Jesus came the first time. That is not what the world needs - granted we need something to bring unity to our country but it is not being told that we have to follow certain rules to be a patriot.It happens in the church too. You can't be a good person if you don't do a, b, and c. Until we care about everyone - saint (I don't know any), sinner, rich, poor, old, young, Christian, atheist, homosexual, bisexual, etc. will we have a united country again. We don't have to agree with them but we must care. These fanatics are not spreading God's word, they want to be saviors of the country and attain personal glory. I see the same thing with our political parties, they aren't worried about the people - they are concerned with winning. No one wins if people aren't put first.

    -- Posted by Bambi on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 3:00 PM
  • Bambi,

    You are my kind of Christian.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 3:11 PM
  • Bambi I agreed with nearly everything you said. There is one exception however that their may be cause for disagreement. That is, "For years I have been told that if I found something on tv, in the theaters, etc. offensive, I should just not watch it. Why is it different for non-Christians?" Here is why.

    That difference is that I can choose to turn off the tv, or change channels, I can choose to not enter a theater. However there are times that I must enter a government building. People like me should not have to avert a gaze to avoid something disagreeable when entering a facility that is absolutely for ALL citizens. What if it was the Star of David, or a Crescent engraved in granite? Many more people would be upset, perhaps you among them. Of course a large majority would not stand for such effrontery, and it would be immediately removed.

    Not so for a significant minority who find "In God We Trust" not to be true in our own minds. As we can not change it, as would be done if the majority disagreed, we remain second class citizens. That is not constitutional. In my opinion there is no moral, nor legal ground for citizens in a purportedly non-theocratic republic to be welcomed to a public building by a presentation from any religion, be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or other. Should we not leave that to the theocracies like Iran that we currently despise?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Sep 22, 2011, at 7:27 PM
  • Bambi, please feel free to worship or not worship, pray or not pray, but totally on your on time and do not ask others to join in at school or a government office. Imagine how you would feel if in your government job you were asked by your manager to join in on a sťance to try and communicate with a great leader from the past for guidance in certain matters at hand. Would that feel awkward to you? If the person leading the sťance believed in their heart that the ability to communicate with the dead was real, it would not feel odd to them. Put yourself in other people's shoes. Our government was founded on personal rights, including the freedom to worship any religion or no religion. Our founding fathers made it clear that government should not sanction any religion, thus the concept of separation of church and state. Please take just a minute to read the brief discussion on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 5:46 AM
  • The more they try to eliminate God; he shows that he is still around and in charge.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 6:52 AM
  • Who's trying to eliminate god? And you wonder why rational people balk at the zealots? We'll check and see if there's a specific schedule for both projects.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 7:01 AM
  • This is why we have to separate church and state.

    Note that there is no third option of normal community service offered. It's either jail or church.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/U...

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 1:51 PM
  • news.

    I'm all for alternatives but when church is the only one offered then I have a problem with that and you should to. If there were a third alternative such as regular community service I would have no problem at all. This is as transparent as can be and I'm surprised you don't see that.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 4:08 PM
  • News,

    That's all I'm sayin. It all seems rather forced to me.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 4:31 PM
  • I did basic training there back in 82'

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 4:49 PM
  • Nan,

    It's still B.S.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 6:26 PM
  • NA: "Let me begin by saying this. I am not an atheist. I am agnostic. I never claim that the existence of God is impossible or even improbable." ."

    Nobody can be sure, but based on most of your posts, I'd guess you are not in the middle between a theist and an atheist. How far is you skepticism? Do you believe there is a supernatural force that made us humans in His image?

    NA: "While I do admire Dr. Dawkins as one of the Worlds' leading Evolutionary Biologists, he and I part when it comes to condemning religion." ."

    I've read a lot of RD's comments and listened to a lot of his lectures and debates, and I am confident that he has nothing against any religion that does not try to promote their religion in government or refute science with ignorance. Are there any aspects of religion that you would condemn?

    NA: "the benefits of religion -- and there are a number of very positive benefits to religion including the charity work they do for the poor and the sick, calming the fears of folks in difficult times, helping to keep psychopaths in check, and providing hope for folks who feel they have no hope. Finally, if nothing else, religion tends to reassure those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one." ."

    Of course, no matter what positive aspects there are "it doesn't make any of it true". There are many people who attend church because it serves as an enjoyable social function, with many not really buying into the religious aspect, they just like the socials and friends they have met. Nothing at all wrong with that. Of course, there are many organizations where the social aspect might be just as rewarding. And people do good things by way of the church. It has been around so long it certainly has more members than the Kiwanis, Elks, Shriners, and other organizations that do just as good for their size. I'd venture to say that if you compared the Shriners with any church, the Shriners would come out way on top when it comes to low management overhead :-) "keeping psychopaths in check"... that is hilarious, or should I say sad and extremely doubtful. How could you possibly believe that the church is going to keep a psychopath in check? I'd say there is every bit as good of a chance for churches to tip someone over the edge and make them a psychopath. Every person in that church who most of us would call "good and moral" would be "good and moral" without being part of the church. To insinuate that the only reason those people do good things is from fear of eternal damnation is not fair to them or those of us who do not believe. Look over your shoulder the next time you are in church and be glad that the fear of the lord might be keeping that person from killing everyone there. It seems the church hasn't helped many priests out with their psychological problems :-) Sorry, there is nothing a church can offer positive that can't be found somewhere else.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 8:13 PM
  • Church or jail? Give me jail :-)

    A real criminal would probably love to be around church people. There are going to be some easy pickn's an gullable people in that group. Not all, but a bunch. Why not have him wash police cars outside the jailhouse every Saturday?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 8:18 PM
  • The thing that gets me is that if you can get out of jail just by going to church, then was the crime really worthy of any jail time in the first place?

    Sounds like some pretty backwoods way to grow the congregation and the collection plate.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 9:26 PM
  • News... "keep psychopaths in check". Now that's crazy! :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 1:04 PM
  • News,

    SC offers no good points at all. It is still the same. Want to get out of jail then go to church. The fact that there are 56 churches to choose from makes no difference at all. What matters is that church is the only option offered. I'll say it again, if an offender can get out of jail simply by going to church then was it really a crime worthy of jailtime in the first place?

    I am would have no problem if it were "one" of the options, not the "only" option. I surprised at both you and SC for even consdiering for one moment that is an acceptable practice. SC it was a judge, not a preacher who handed down the sentence. Yeah, well we got a mayor who is a preacher and we have already seen first hand what he is capable of.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Sep 24, 2011, at 6:03 PM
  • NA: "It was one of the greatest transformations of an individual's personality that I have ever seen and he said all the credit goes to his God"

    Well, if he said that, I'm sure it is true... not. You seem very bent on justifying "the church" by somehow claiming that it keeps psychopaths in check, and how it saved your friend's life by turning him around from a wife beating thug. I can't buy into treating psychopathic illnesses or violent behavior by exposing them to imaginary sky daddies. Because anything had a positive effect does not make any of it true. I am of the opinion that whatever works for an individual is fine by me as long as it doesn't force thought or actions on others. But your justification is not enough. The church also has a history of a lot of very bad things, such as promoting NOT using condoms (especially in Africa). The toll of such ignorant advice is estimated in the millions across the globe. I'm not denying that there is some good done by religion, but I am confident that as religions fade ever so gradually away that there will still be as many good people doing good deeds for the right reasons, and without the fear of some sky daddy watching over their every move. I'm sure there are people who claim that voo doo sacrifices have done positive things for some individuals. But again, nothing makes any of it true or makes it privy to higher morality or ethical behavior.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 6:21 AM
  • NA: "Simply put, There is no scientific evidence to support or deny an intelligent force behind the physical Universe as yet. I remain skeptical of either until I see concrete evidence of one or the other." "

    The only skepticism possible is to be skeptical that there IS A GOD. How can you be skeptical that there is NO god? That would mean there is some compelling reason to believe there might be a god, and other than "just believing", there is no rational to support that notion. Skepticism belongs to science. I could be skeptical that there have ever been any real UFO sightings (in the sense of extraterrestrial beings) because there has never been any confirmed evidence of such. But I can't be skeptical that there are NO UFO's, although one can believe in them in the face of no conclusive evidence whatsoever. Oh, I hope none of you believe in UFO's too?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 6:45 AM
  • Do you believe that we went to the moon or even into outer space for that matter? If you do then I think it makes UFO's very plausible.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 12:13 PM
  • To deny the existence of UFOs (unidentified flying objects) is to deny the existence of what we do not understand, and in my opinion is both vain, and obtuse. To question the nature of UFOs, as opposed to questioning their existence, is a more rational choice.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 2:37 PM
  • SC,

    I have no idea what you are talking about. I guess I missed something.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 3:14 PM
  • Chicken Atheists Tear Pages from Bible

    http://godfatherpolitics.com/1076/chicke...

    Yet to some the Christian faith is worse then any other.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 9:16 PM
  • I don't condone what they did but as soon as you get done being hysterical you might want to ask yourself why they would do it in the first place.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sun, Sep 25, 2011, at 9:51 PM
  • Sketchy info on that one rr3, and no links to anything supporting the statement about the chicken atheists.

    Please give us more info. I am wondering if the atheist chickens plucked the pages out with their beaks, or scratched them out with their feet. Also I would be interested in hearing the chicken's motive. Perhaps the answer is just a dumb cluck away?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 12:06 PM
  • Again, where was this reported? This smacks of Fox in the hen house.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 12:28 PM
  • Aah you guys. I think I am just going to chicken out.

    One more thing though, is a chicken still an atheist after you chop off its head for dinner? It's still movin, and it's still kickin. Does its atheism come from its head, or its heart?

    What if the chicken wasn't an atheist, and instead believed in the Sky Farmer? For that matter could it be assured Sky Farmer would take care of it unless it turned itself into an egg, and started over?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 6:20 PM
  • News it is people like you, and Peter Griffin that make me proud to be an American. You are the kind of people that will never give in to the Chickenistas, and will always show pluck against cluck!

    Folks like you walk in the hallowed foot steps of Colonel Sanders.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 7:59 PM
  • And some say that the "chicken gang" were really brought here by UFO's and not really the spirit of Colonel Sanders. But hey, who says that one crazy chicken in the sky story has more merit than another chicken in the sky theory? Science says the chicken evolved, but those voo doo priests, you know, the ones who choke their chickens (and goats) ascribe to the spirit in the sky theory, but neither UFO or Colonel Sanders.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 3:43 AM
  • -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 7:03 AM
  • Up early to crow about it huh RT?

    I am given to understand that the Chickenistas are driven by a hidden agenda. They are apalled that we humans (especially Atheists), their mortal enemies, destroy so many of their babies.

    It is their opinion that once the shell has formed they are living beings. They will never give up their vendetta as long as we slaughter, and toss them in the skillet for consumption. They consider this morning ritual by humans barbaric. Some believe the Sky Farmer will wreak vengeance on humans in good time. Most though intend to take matters in their own beaks, and claws.

    Some learned folk say that the rooster's crow at dawn is the sound of sorrow caused by the pending death of unborn chicken babies.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 10:21 AM
  • News there are many subversive elements in the world of chickens. It is a pattern in that family seen, and reported, for hundreds of years. Who could ever forget the Gallus Domesticus that went by the surname Little.

    That nefarious creature went through the world spreading panic in his path by asserting that gravity, and several other forces of nature were failing, with the horrendous net result that the sky was falling. Irrationals exposed to this were consternated, and ran about in blind confusion disrupting the social environment. Thankfully, the shrewdness of a contemporary rational being gave the quietus to that.

    We must take heed of that example, and fight them all, whether Chickenista, Chickofascist, or more subterranean branches of the foul fowl community. We can never stop combating irrationality with rationality.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 11:25 PM
  • rr3: "Atheism: A religion"

    Hey,RR3, if you don't believe in Zeus, would you be considered an atheist when it comes to that religion?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 2:48 AM
  • Back to basics, maybe rehash... according to Wiki... "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3] Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.".

    I have tried to understand most of my life why there are some (if not many, don't know) extremely religious people who as soon as you inform them that you have never been able to feel any certainty that there is a god, and that as much as it used to make me feel there must be something wrong with me, I cannot "will" myself into believing what I just cannot believe. Actually, that feeling was only in my younger days when I felt I might be one of the very few who couldn't find it in myself to be a believer, but have come to realize that I wasn't the "flawed" person I feared, but in reality one of many very rational people who felt the same way. I was told you simply have to be willing to accept Christ as your savior. Now, that is just not in my nature, and that is to accept something that I have no "feeling" for, and with no convincing evidence. Yet, the atheist is considered the bad guy. I think this is probably why many atheists become strident toward religion. There is just something wrong with the religious ("right") having indignation with those of us who are rational, when we perceive their beliefs as irrational. It's like they can go off and do whatever they want, but don't try to come knocking on my door (or school or government) pushing your unfounded craziness and then having the gall to feel indignation to those of us that are just being rational. It makes you want to scream "hold on a minute, I'm not the crazy one here". I think it is this feeling that has started making many atheists seem strident and enjoy the champions of rationality like Christopher Hitchens.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 3:26 AM
  • RT there are some rational atheist not many but a few. Your last post tells me you are one of the few. One thing you are right about is you don't simply accept Jesus there has to be a change. What I mean by that is that God through the Holy Spirit changes your heart. It is a feeling like no other and if it happens you will know it. You can't make it happen nor can I, God has to do it. Then when you accept Christ you are truly a changed person, its not just saying the words, it is an experience. There are a lot of "Christians" that are not because they have said the words but they have not had the experience.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 7:01 AM
  • As we leave the subject of chickens, which has been fun, if not informative, I have gotta say one last thing. rr3 I hope that you do not think that the topic was a barb aimed at you. It was entirely the post that provoked it. It was so hokey that I could not resist getting pokey, so I put my left foot in heedless of what I might be stepping into. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E5F2iDg0...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11Owx4t0p...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 3:50 PM
  • I guess it's possible to "feel" delusion.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Sep 29, 2011, at 7:42 PM
  • Smokin: "Sorry, Honey. I used to love you, but my dosage changed."

    Reminds me of that country song "You Ain't Much Fun Since I Quit Drink'n" :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 29, 2011, at 9:50 PM
  • Love can sure be exhilarating, but although it can feel like magic (oh my, the good ol' days), it most certainly has to be chemical. But, who really cares if you can get to that feeling how it happens. I guess rr3 can possibly claim the same thing about jesus/god? But, since I have never experienced any exhilarating feeling about religion, I can't see how it could possibly compare to that deep feeling of love between young lovers (maybe even some old lovers). Certainly LSD can give a fantastic euphoric feeling about **** near anything, so perhaps News is right about it being totally chemical.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Sep 29, 2011, at 9:59 PM
  • None of the above news. That's a pretty good explanation from your religion of science but you cannot know what the experience is like as an unbeliever.

    1 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB95)

    14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

    It's funny you asked if I went to the doctor, I would ask have you talked about any of this with your pastor? You say you go to church do you ask any questions of your pastor? Or get your ears tickled? I hope his name is not E R Tickler.

    I just hope and pray news that God will choose you for salvation but it may not happen. I trust you are a good person but that alone won't get you to heaven.

    The Assurance of Salvation

    http://carm.org/christianity/devotions/a...

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Sep 30, 2011, at 6:08 AM
  • But what is heaven? Is it just another exclusive club or gated community? Is it just the proverbial carrot on the stick.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Sep 30, 2011, at 8:26 AM
  • One, or another of recent comments reminded me of the old Dupont advertising catch phrase; "Better living through chemistry".

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Sep 30, 2011, at 5:04 PM
  • Wow, Lennon sounded like pre-Beatles, but it says early 80's? I don't believe I ever heard anything of that era without the fab 4 together, so that was interesting. Thanks for the link!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 1, 2011, at 4:46 PM
  • Religion, evolution, sex, anybody want to take a stab at providing your opinion. We all know that nobody really holds the answer, but I'd sure like to try and understand the "sex" part before I die... ain't look'n good :-) I'll provide my thoghts when I have time to organize them in the next few days... the short take of the three in that order.. false, true, mysterious but tied to the second..

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Oct 1, 2011, at 4:51 PM
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