Speak Out [religion] January 1 through April 1, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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  • Welcome to a new year and a new forum. Past Speak Out [religion] forums can be found at www.marshallnews.com/topic/speakout.

    -- Posted by Eric Crump on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 9:24 AM
  • Regarding my last comment, I buffer my argument about the relationship of privacy, and its origins with the English language itself.

    One need only consider the relationship of the noun, and adjective forms of the word privy. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 11:46 AM
  • I was just pulling your leg News. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 12:00 AM
  • Olde English is Lower German? Shat, I didn't know that. LOL.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shat

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 12:06 AM
  • News I watched the video. It is a few years old, not quite the cutting edge stuff you inferred. Actually it is sorta old hat to those of us who follow such things. I neither saw, nor heard any references to privacy, directly, or indirectly. If anything, it supports the hypothesis I was facetiously propounding that the digestive system in action leads people to moments of privacy. That grain diet likely made for more frequent private moments. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 12:35 AM
  • News I propose that privacy was, and is a necessity to human kind.

    Things got so harried, then, and now, that what the mind would not allow, the body compelled.

    It is all a part of the mind/body connect, wherein they always have each others back, or hippocampus as the case may be.

    Thus they would hurry off behind a tree (somewhat sheltered you see) for a few moments of delicious privacy, and contemplation, accompanied by a physical relief, of which the body sent a message to the brain. Pleasure chemicals were there released, and the brain said aaaah.

    Even today we, also overwhelmed by busyness, are forced by our benevolent digestive track, to take a few private moments for ourselves. Aaah privacy. Due to our material abundance we today have even built tranquil little rooms, painted in calming colors, surrounded by pleasant smells from candles, or plug in scents. We have made those little privacy chambers so seductive that even when not directly digestively directed we habitually run to them in moments of stress; for instance to escape a nagging spouse, or a house full of screaming kids.

    We, with the help of colon, and company, learn to never ignore a gut feeling, which valuable lesson we extend to our every activity. Do not reply to me that you do not give a crap, because it would not be true. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 12:28 PM
  • The series you cited News is currently running on the History Channel, where it has been presented previously. Good stuff.:)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 2, 2013, at 11:43 PM
  • I guess I have stunk up this blog enough. Time to let it go. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 6:08 PM
  • Wow, god's ability to hide just keeps getting infinately impossible. Maybe we'll scare him out (I mean her).. "NASA's Kepler Space Telescope discovers evidence of 100 billion planets...in the galaxy, just our galaxy."

    http://thespacereporter.com/2013/01/kepl...

    His ability to spy on me is mind boggling, since he must be able to see using something other than light, since he must be out there several milliong light years. Oh to be free of the shakles of his voyeurism :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 8:19 PM
  • RT God is not hiding for the bible tell us that those that seek him shall find him. Are you seeking?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 9:47 PM
  • Funny RT (re: voyeurism).

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 10:24 PM
  • Do decent people commit horrific acts because they become passive and mindless or under the influence of authority do they come to believe what they are doing is right?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 10:34 PM
  • Decent people, unless insane, do not commit horrific acts r. If they commit a horrific act they were not decent, or they would not have considered it, and then done it. Again, the insane withstanding.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 10:59 PM
  • That is if by horrific you mean the standard definition of that word, "1.very disturbing or frightening: frightening or disturbing enough to cause horror"

    "Synonyms: terrible, dreadful, awful, horrendous, horrifying, appalling, shocking, ghastly, sickening, gruesome, horrible"

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 3, 2013, at 11:03 PM
  • News, the really sad thing is that some people believe ALL of the bible, including that garbage. And then just as sad is that there are some who see how ridiculous those passages are and dismiss them, only believing in those that make sense to them. Can anyone see a flaw in the entire book? RR, do you believe those quotes News excerpted?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 4:25 AM
  • How do you define a person as 'decent'? and why?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 5:34 AM
  • RT that's how news operates. He uses the shotgun approach instead of addressing single verses or issues. He always wants to use certain verses to make a point but avoids others (cherry picking). We no longer live under a theocratic governmental system because of Jesus. So RT don't give any credit to someone's personal opinion of the bible when they don't believe it. Liberalism cannot believe the bible because it just wouldn't be fair to hold someone accountable for their sin.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 5:51 AM
  • Did you fail to read my post? I can't put any simpler for you to understand.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 7:48 AM
  • I define decent based on this, and any number of similiar dictionary definitions:

    "1. Characterized by conformity to recognized standards of propriety or morality.

    2. Free from indelicacy; modest.

    3. Meeting accepted standards; adequate: a decent salary.

    4.

    a. Morally upright; respectable.

    b. Kind or obliging: very decent of them to lend you money.

    5. Informal Properly or modestly dressed.

    Then ya gotta define morality:

    "mo·ral·i·ty

    1.accepted moral standards: standards of conduct that are generally accepted as right or proper

    2.how right or wrong something is: the rightness or wrongness of something as judged by accepted moral standards

    3.virtuous behavior: conduct that is in accord with accepted moral standards

    Synonyms: ethics, morals, principles, standards, scruples, mores"

    As you can see it is highly likely you, and I would never see eye to eye as to exactly what is decent, or not decent. No sense in going any further with this one is there pard?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 6:21 PM
  • Why is a person decent?

    Read it slowly and more than once if you have to.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 9:02 PM
  • Does a decent person agree to allow it to be legal to kill babies in the name of 'pro-choice'?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 9:26 PM
  • Do decent people believe that violence and rape were ok for the ows bunch and that it is ok to make up stories about the tea party protest since it doesn't fit their agenda?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 9:31 PM
  • Would decent people treat the Benghazi fiasco the same if Bush were president? Or. Would decent people call impeachment and treason charges?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 9:33 PM
  • Would decent people still blame the other guy after 4 years of failure by psc?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 9:35 PM
  • If a decent person thinks its ok to kill babies then what would be wrong with euthanasia, when you get too old, or too sick, or the cost outweigh the return? In other words would decent people let people die that could not longer benefit society? Shhh don't tell anyone if you support Obamacare!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 9:44 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    427 people have been killed by guns in this country since the Newtown shootings only three weeks ago yet all you want to talk about is Benghazi. Sec. State Clinton has taken full responsibility and accepted all recommendations to help rectify security issues. The world is a dangerous place, more so right here in the good 'ol US of A. While you a busy manufacturing your outrage, perhaps you could stir up a batch for what's going on right here at home.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Jan 4, 2013, at 11:08 PM
  • I think the real problem is that rr3, and the rest of the far right in their usual muddled manner confuse decent with descent. Thus, as usual, they descend.

    going down: an act of going from the top to the bottom or from a higher position to a lower position

    a decline or change from something better to something worse

    Synonyms: fall, drop, dive, tumble, plunge, crash

    ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 1:11 AM
  • How many of those 400+ people were killed by a legally possessed firearm? Assault weapon is a political football to create a crisis when there is no such thing. There are pistols, shotguns, semi-auto weapons, rifles, etc. You want to call something an assault weapon when legally owned will never be used to assault anyone. Please read very slowly especially the second time.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:43 AM
  • Nana! I would say none of those things are decent but libs always twist the question. My questions were generic referring to decent people as to whether a decent person would do or not do XXXX. As usual none were answered directly but the responses speak loud and clear. Thank you for always revealing your true self. How do you determine what is decent without God? Without God why does it matter?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:58 AM
  • Without God why is it wrong to take up a firearm and randomly shoot people? We could do it in the name of euthanasia and go into nursing homes and randomly shoot people and then the shooter could be given an award or something for putting old people out of their misery. Is that any different then abortion? Come on libs answer the question.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 5:02 AM
  • Rr3: "Does a decent person agree to allow it to be legal to kill babies in the name of 'pro-choice'?"

    Although worded inappropriately, the answer is "yes".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:17 PM
  • Rr3: "Would decent people treat the Benghazi fiasco the same if Bush were president? Or. Would decent people call impeachment and treason charges?"

    Yes and No

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:18 PM
  • Rr3: "Would decent people still blame the other guy after 4 years of failure by psc?"

    YES. The turnaround is a simple employment chart that shows how far Bush took us under and then as soon as Obama took office the line turned back up and has been continuing on an upward trend his entire presidency. Four years is a blip in history and it is amazing Obama could have achieved so much after 8 years of Bush. Your short sighted view of history will be shown to be just that.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:19 PM
  • RR3: "How do you determine what is decent without God? Without God why does it matter?"

    a) there is no god except in the minds of irrational human beings, and b) our morals started before man became delusional over an imaginary creator and have been improving as the numbers of the religious right start to fade. Religion breeds immorality such as promoting slavery and degradation of women and gays.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:19 PM
  • It is refreshing to have religious bigotry back on this blog so that those who might be dropping by for the first time can appreciate just how irrational and ignorant it is to follow such a flawed book as the bible and Koran, and that there really are an ever-increasing number of rational people who exist who have escaped the brain washing of their upbringing. Life is a wonderful experience that should not be wasted one minute of religious ignorance. There is no god, and the sooner you get over that childish fear, the sooner you can get on to living a moral and happy life.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 5, 2013, at 4:27 PM
  • It amazing how seemingly intelligent people lose all common sense. Am I irrational because I believe in God? No one can prove that there isn't one. Am I a bigot to express my religious beliefs?

    Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

    I don't think that I hate anyone here and I for sure am not the one that is intolerant. I don't think I was the one that was schooled here. Maybe you were ringing the bell for RT, match over. Nothing that I post on here will change anyone's mind that is between them and God.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Jan 6, 2013, at 7:16 PM
  • I'm always told that what I say is controversial. Why is it controversial? Because I speak from a tradition that has now fallen out of favor with the dominant media in this country. And so when I say things like marriage should be between one man and one woman, I'm called a bigot.

    Rick Santorum

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Jan 6, 2013, at 7:25 PM
  • The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Jan 6, 2013, at 7:30 PM
  • It is my opinion that when rr3 returns to these blogs it generates discussion. The down side is that the discussion degenerates. ;

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 6, 2013, at 10:41 PM
  • Actually, RR3, your posting of the definition of BIGOT is interesting, because your views regarding gays are at least very close to fitting that definition, if not spot on. I would guess you to be a kind and giving person, yet when it comes to opposing gay's equal rights, you become associated with a group that has fringe elements that have taken that view to an extreme. Consider Scott Lively and people like him that have helped promote the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda. That is extreme bigotry fueled by religious belief that gays should not have equal rights in all areas of life. Further, it is the religious right that fuels the right wing of the GOP that has turned what was once a powerful fiscal conservative movement into a mockery of a party because that growing fringe group wants to legislate morality in the bedroom as well as other personal areas. Once you acknowledge that gays should have every equal right that all Americans have, only then will you be able to claim separation from bigotry in that area.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 4:49 AM
  • OKR: "It is my opinion that when rr3 returns to these blogs it generates discussion. The down side is that the discussion degenerates."

    I agree, but might add that it is healthy in that it exposes the root problem with the inevitable problem of religion. As Nana stated, none of us care "what" one believes; what is important is what actions may be taken (based on that belief). We can have fun and lively discussions over whether there is a creator or not, and certainly as R stated, we cannot disprove there is one. The real issue is that we have these large groups of peoples that have taken that non-provable belief to build the most ridiculous house of cards, and on top of that, use it to try and force those views down the throats of rational and intelligent people. This is the century that house of cards comes tumbling down by the sheer weight of exposed ignorance. That is what is almost beautiful about the blogs where the crazy side of religion exposes itself to those who start to question their upbringing and the doubt they've had all along. It's almost like during testimony in a court when the defendant finally goes off the deep end and the jurors get to see that the emperor really doesn't have any clothes :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 5:09 AM
  • RT that's where you don't understand. Gays already have equal rights I am against them to be given special rights because of a lifestyle choice. If I was a pedophile should I be given special rights? If I believed incest was ok should I be given special rights? Those will come if we give in to the gaystapo.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 6:12 AM
  • You know; not everyone believes that being gay is a choice. Even if it is a choice, so is being a Christian, or Jewish or Muslim.

    The difference between giving rights to murderers, pedophiles and the like vs. to a gay person is: the gay person has broken no laws by being gay.

    People are people and all deserve the same rights.

    I have no problem with people making life style choices; but I do have a problem when someone objects to equal rights for others because it contradicts their OWN life style choice.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 10:21 AM
  • Oh yes; rr, marriage is not an extra right, it is an equal right.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 10:22 AM
  • 1,500 animal species practice homosexuality, including humans. We are just one of those species.

    Homosexuality is not a sickness. Homophobia is a sickness. Those who practice homophobia are to be pitied, and in dire need of medical care. Love the homophobe, hate the sickness, and forbid its practice. ;)

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 3:02 PM
  • It seems to me that if those who are concerned about the practice of homosexuality, and consider it an evil proscribed by God would be working tirelessly to empty our prisons of non-violent prisoners. Prisons are a hot bed of homosexual activity, voluntary, and involuntary.

    Homophobes forget compassion, and mercy when they are confused by conundrums such as this.

    Narrow minds become narrower in such circumstance; to the point that they appear insane to rational folk. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 3:27 PM
  • You are not without hope r. You can actually be cured of your homophobia. Even though it is deeply imbedded in you, with long term psychiatric treatment you may be free of its horrors.

    As you know claims of curing people of homosexuality have been thoroughly debunked, it can not be done. On the other hand it has been proven that the medical community can cure homophobia.

    It appears that the only way that you can be at peace concerning the issue is to take the leap, and seek treatment. You can not make homosexuals go away. There is no other answer. Peace be with you my brother.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 6:06 PM
  • It occurs to me that the problem with too many of the "God fearing" is that they are actually God smearing. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 7:28 PM
  • rr3yvo,

    'Me thinks thou doth protest too much."

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Jan 7, 2013, at 10:38 PM
  • Now watch;

    rr3 will completely ignore all of these posts, come back hollering about something else and state that no one has answered his concerns.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Jan 8, 2013, at 8:28 AM
  • Maybe its because he takes such a beating from so many of us every time he returns that he becomes punch drunk which renders him insensible to anything anyone said.

    For instance (for him) it might be akin to being the only Tea Party guy in a big room who with booming voice makes an outrageous "Birther" statement. His declaration is answered by fifty Progressives all avoice at once, resulting in only a roar heard by the isolated one.

    Actually I don't see how, nor why he keeps coming back. If it is simply to stir us up he accomplishes his mission. He may be LHAO every time he exits.

    What a huge joke it would be if r is a died in the wool liberal who also happens to be a merry prankster. Whatever it is you gotta hand it to the old guy for indomitability.

    Here's to you r. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 8, 2013, at 10:34 PM
  • Nana was right to say r is bigoted in regard to gays. My curiosity is whether he is that way only because of his religious upbringing, or whether he feels he has had some experience that gives him that attitude. If the former, all the more reason that the religious need to stop following their holy books.

    News: "He's a good fella to have around and he makes some pretty good points sometimes."

    I haven't been convinced by his entries that either of these points is true, unless you are just subscribing to the generality that there is "some good" in everyone. Please point out something (even one thing) he has posted to give credence to your latter point?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 6:16 AM
  • RT maybe r is a real life reiteration of Nilsson's cartoon story "The Point" (1971 leading to the conclusion that it is not necessary to have a point. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGFlACG6q...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 10:58 AM
  • News, quoting the bible accurately does not mean that he has "made some pretty good points". The vast majority of the points made in regard to the bible are usually used as explanations of why one does not support some form of personal right. All holy books are riddled with very archaic viewpoints that are often used to give cover for those opposing what most of us here believe are basic human rights. Of course there are quotes and parables throughout those holy books that can be construed as "good advice", but no more than any other set of guidelines or quotes such as the "Confucius says" quotes. Any book that can be used to selectively choose to constrain human rights (such as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness") should be questioned by anyone tempted to follow it. Yet, parents continue to allow their children to be brainwashed to study that book as their parents before them did. The good news is that it is extremely rare that anyone not raised in such ignorance takes up a belief in that religion, and as more and more adults get exposed to the conflicting science with those books, the more of those brainwashed since childhood leave those beliefs. The pace just isn't fast enough, but aside from a catastrophe that limits information to the masses, it won't be very long before religious ignorance will become a small minority. I am basing that overly positive assumption on what I believe is the real power of the Internet (worldwide shared information).

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 7:05 PM
  • I agree with you RT!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 7:14 PM
  • OKR, now that was a strange but interesting video. 1971 and narrated by Ringo Starr. I'm not sure I got the point :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 7:18 PM
  • Let me reiterate my belief that the vast majority of religious people that we all know, live with, and or work with are very "good" people. However, that being said, there are varying degrees of bad things done in the name of their religion that most are misguided about or blatantly wrong about. As an example, I know some wonderful people that can only use the bible as their excuse to not allow equal treatment under the law for gays. Another example is the use of condoms, which minimizes the chance of Aids, is pushed by the Catholic church in Africa. Good people buy into that BS because they feel the need to heed the interpretation of their holy book, costing the lives of millions of people over the last few decades. These good people all vote and affect our society based on this proliferation of ignorance rooted in these so called holy books. Very good people do effectively bad things in the name of their religion by their misguided vote if not action; bad people commit atrocities in the name of religion. People to admit to believing every word of their holy book was inspired by their god are borderline psychotic or very ignorant.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 7:34 PM
  • IT, thanks for agreeing. I am done with my rant as I am on my second beer and the sun and moom have come back into alignment.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 7:36 PM
  • RT got it News, he was cracking wise. Slow down on that peaty amber nectar Dude. Just joshing, actually my daily sip, or two is quite similar to yours; at the moment it is Jura Superstition, a smoky single malt whisky distilled by the Jura Distillery, Craighouse, Isle of Jura, off the coast of Scotland. They make several, in my opinion very good varities of Scotch whisky, all of which we like, excepting the very high dollar ones which are too expensive for me to try.

    It is so good that I named my dog Jura; that and the fact that she has a beautiful brown, black, and amber brindle coat much like the color of a good whisky.

    The Isle of Jura's other claim to fame is that Orwell wrote "1984" there.

    Check it out: http://www.jurawhisky.com/home.aspx

    (quick check): http://www.scotchwhisky.net/distilleries...

    Have a good day my friend, for I know you are off to a good start. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 10, 2013, at 12:04 AM
  • By the way RT, I too thought your last two posts were very good stuff. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 10, 2013, at 12:15 AM
  • I agree News that r is a part of our "breakfast club", and strange as it may seem (especially to him) I consider r an old blog friend. He differs from Raytown Bill, in that he does not lose his cool. I respect that.

    His opinions I consider to be mostly wrong headed, and mean spirited. Perhaps our mission should be to save r from himself? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 10, 2013, at 12:23 PM
  • This is not family. It is a blog where anyone can express their ideas on religion and quasi-related topics. If R was in my family I could not discuss religion because we would probably never be able to get along. That is how extremely religious people are as they would never have anything to do with an atheist in personal life. I've had people I've associated with for almost a year who have walked away from our friendship after they have found out I am a non-believer in general conversation. I was never strident nor did I bring up the subject of religion, nor would I use the term atheist. But when asked if my wife and I would attend church with them one evening, I confessed that I was a non-believer and that is all it took to end that relationship. However, I do have several very religious close friends who know I am an outright atheist and we just agree to disagree and seldom broach the subject. Even though they are very strong believers in Christianity, they are not the evangelicals trying to push their beliefs on anyone, and are very fun-loving, comical individuals. They are also rational to the point that they don't' assume that quoting scripture constitutes a legitimate answer for every situation. There is a very big difference between the average believer and the evangelicals of Christianity or radical Muslims. This blog is specifically about religion, and most of us have minor (mostly) disagreements on some issues regarding religion. R is one of those whose only answers are quotes from the bible without stating personal opinion. At least on this blog about religion, I don't think he could ever respect most of our opinions, nor do I respect the majority of his responses. I'm not trying to be mean, just stating what I believe to be fact.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 12, 2013, at 2:13 AM
  • I think the extremely religious person suffers from an acute confirmation bias, something we all possess to at least a small degree. This is a good article about "The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational", something I doubt R would ever confess to:

    http://io9.com/5974468/the-most-common-c...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 12, 2013, at 2:23 AM
  • Ya reckon RT that the closest to hell an atheist will ever get is when friends, and family he cares about are zealous Christians?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Jan 12, 2013, at 2:32 AM
  • OKR, Amen to that :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 12, 2013, at 3:29 AM
  • News: "I get along great with him."

    Methinks that is a one-sided opinion :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 12, 2013, at 7:33 AM
  • A week has gone by on this blog, and nary a defender of fundamentalist religion has appeared.

    Do they believe that this blog is the Devil's work shop? If so it may be because they get scorched, or burned every time they appear. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 13, 2013, at 9:33 PM
  • Good to see you back SC.

    Your comment provoked the thought that as I believe many of the fundamentalist churches are a fool's paradise, I stay away from them.

    However, I do occasionally on this blog at my peril, engage the disciples of such houses in discussion. Digging deep to get to the reason for that I must admit that it is likely in a large part just activity by a temporarily bored old man. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 12:04 PM
  • "I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and

    self-contain'd,

    I stand and look at them long and long.

    They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

    Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of

    owning things,

    Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of

    years ago,

    Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth."

    from "Leaves of Grass"-Walt Whitman

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 10:59 PM
  • "A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart" Confucius

    "The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development." Confucius

    "Acquire new knowledge whilst thinking over the old, and you may become a teacher of others." Confucius

    We could have just as easily founded a religion on Confucius?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 7:03 PM
  • OKR, enjoyed the Walt Witman writing on animals. I started out in my youth being cruel to many animals and will forever regret my actions. I have grown to respect their plight of survival of the fittest, and brought my children and grandchildren up with great care to teach them to be kind and respectful to all living things. Our own evolution is responsible for giving us the traits that enable us to have leisure time, otherwise we would also be spending our entire time on survival as well.

    I also grew up around bible thumpers who used quotes to justify man's exploitation (and slaughter) of animals for our food (beasts of burden). Of course we all know that bible quotes can be found to justify just about anything someone feels the need to rationalize.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 7:21 PM
  • Thanks RT. Walt Whitman, and Samuel Clemens are my favorite Atheists, and both are eminently quotable.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 11:31 PM
  • Poets and Atheism are not strangers. In addition to Whitman there are Byron, Shelley, and Robert Frost among others including of lesser note OKR. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 15, 2013, at 11:42 PM
  • RT don't be too hard on yourself regarding what you consider to be childhood cruelty to animals.

    I spent my years six through twelve on a marginal farm. Out of necessity a callousness manifested itself concerning animals. When you are wringing the necks of chickens, lopping the heads from ducks with a hatchet, killing, and gutting rabbits, cleaning fish, and observing the castration of pigs it happens. It is easy to slip over the line after that. I have kicked chickens and laughed, even done worse which turns my stomach, and horrifies me to this day. After I left the farm I do not recall a single event wherein I was cruel to animals. I think I would have stopped it even had I stayed on the farm.

    I am not saying every farm kid back then strayed beyond necessary to un-necessary, but a hell of a lot of the boys did.

    You don't do it now, it's called growing up my friend.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 16, 2013, at 4:47 PM
  • I've often held the internet up as the guiding force that will finally bring religion down, at least to a minority role. I've said I think this will happen very rapidly because it exposes the ignorance surrounding all the major religions to the masses, and more importantly that all the natural doubt that should exist regarding the so-called holy books of all religions are shared by a majority (you are not alone in your doubt). This article backs up what I have been saying (and hoping):

    "Religion May Not Survive The Internet"

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/16/religion...

    Some notable quotes:

    "A traditional religion, one built on "right belief," requires a closed information system. That is why the Catholic Church put an official seal of approval on some ancient texts and banned or burned others. It is why some Bible-believing Christians are forbidden to marry nonbelievers. It is why Quiverfull moms home school their kids from carefully screened text books."

    "Religions have spent eons honing defenses that keep outside information away from insiders. The innermost ring wall is a set of certainties and associated emotions like anxiety and disgust and righteous indignation that block curiosity. The outer wall is a set of behaviors aimed at insulating believers from contradictory evidence and from heretics who are potential transmitters of dangerous ideas. These behaviors range from memorizing sacred texts to wearing distinctive undergarments to killing infidels. Such defenses worked beautifully during humanity's infancy. But they weren't really designed for the current information age."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 3:30 AM
  • To elaborate a little more regarding my prior post, I think it is quite obvious to any rational observer that science does a great job of both falsifying misguided perceptions of our universe as well as promoting truth as to what is physically possible and what is not. Religion on the other hand is purposely ambiguous on many subjective levels, and is totally ignorant on many of its claims about what has happened and can happen in the physical universe. No, Jesus cannot, nor did he, walk on water; no, your prayers have no cause and effect value on any outcome; no, Muhammad did not "split the moon". This is why it is so difficult for religion to embrace science, as well as why it is next to impossible for science to co-exist with religion. The only overlap lies with the unknown, or with ignorance.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 3:52 AM
  • "What if the Christians are right?"

    Then evil wins :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 7:19 PM
  • I see the Missouri religious fringe wing nuts are still trying to insert their religious belief of intelligent design into public education by trying to introduce more legislation that contests evolution as the fact that it is. They just keep trying which not only displays their ignorance, but helps make Missouri and the US a laughing stock of other educated nations:

    http://ncse.com/news/2013/01/antievoluti...

    If you really believe the world is under 10,000 years old, please go away and leave the rest of the intelligent world alone!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 19, 2013, at 8:24 AM
  • I'd like to think that reason and rationality are triumphing over the irrationality of religion, and perhaps that is the reason the good people of Marshall and those viewing this blog rarely attempt to justify their belief. In reality, if they are just keeping their religious beliefs to themselves, that is a wonderful thing because I've always felt that the evangelicals and any religion that feels compelled to spread the (perceived) word to others, including trying to push it in government and public schools, is the real problem with religion today. Hey, am I being too na*ve to believe that maybe reason and intelligence is prevailing?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 20, 2013, at 12:40 PM
  • SC: "Well, I dunno 'bout that. Ya see, the internet has done wonders for porn, gambling, sex trafficking, and the exploitation of women and children. If these exceptionable endeavors can grow and prosper, then why not religion?"

    Great point. Maybe the Internet has some of the characteristics of evolution in that regard. There is a mixed bag of everything present. If you can discern noise from truth (there are web sites to help that as well), you can usually get to the relevant facts and make your own decision. At least you will be exposed to all angles of any argument, unlike the brainwashing one-sided upbringing that most religious parents do to their children.

    Marshall and smaller towns have always been such enclosed and sheltered communities that it is difficult for children to be exposed to the many varying ideas that abound around the world. It used to be that you had to go to the library and struggle to search for anything that you might be curious about. You can now instantly search for anything and take off into as much depth (or frivolity as well) that you want, all from you own home or riding in a car for that matter. Instant answers. Although I understand there is a good and bad side to everything, I feel the power of the information (and yes, misinformation) available on the internet will be the guiding force that advances our species in the next few years more than anything else has done in the last 100 years. And one of the biggest losers of this will be that religion's Oz is being exposed behind the giant mirror for all to see. I believe the worldwide push for democratization will also be greatly enhanced as well as more and more people can band together and organize globally. All despots (including the great hoax of religion) will be exposed.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Jan 21, 2013, at 4:42 AM
  • Relevant to the point I was trying to convey is this new article regarding Google and the future of Search:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/201...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Jan 21, 2013, at 4:44 AM
  • Nana: "I choose NOT to view Life, or this planet, as 'merely' a collection of minerals, or quantified zero-sum 'game'... That is the road of death."

    The cosmos and life itself is much more beautiful to me than your statement trying to boil it down to the basic elements. It is so magnificent that it pales the simplistic view of the super religious who can't imagine anything more than some supernatural being pulling all the strings and watching over us. Please explain how my view as you inaccurately characterized it is "the road to death"? Even though the complicated chemicals involved can be thoroughly identified and understood by science, it still has magnificent beauty for me as well. I am not the animal you have portrayed me.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 5:56 AM
  • Welcome back SC, I think it is good that a well spoken God affirmative voice speaks here.

    Having said that I think whatever the point of view it ultimately gets to a base of I can't prove it to the point of no doubt. At that point faith, likely assumption, and even what makes one feel comfortable reinforces the view.

    My personal stance is why worry about it? Why must we believe, or not believe. I am satisfied just seeking a righteous path guided primarily by what I hope is my rational mind, harms none, and feels right. The way is enough. The splendor of the short road we travel fills me with joy, and unfocused gratitude.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 9:22 PM
  • Nana: "RT - I didn't insult any animals at all. That you would equate 'animal' with 'mechanistic, reductionistic materialism' says more about you. It says that THEY are the lowest collection of random particles over which you feel superior."

    What the heck are you talking about? I don't believe I have ever made a statement that degrading animals like you characterize me. I have tremendous respect for animals and especially their plight of survival of the fittest. I actually go out of my way to make sure I don't step on even an ant. At the same time I feel like humans do have superior intellect than virtually all animals, possibly with the exception of whales, dolphins, and maybe elephants -- no way to know.

    Nana: "You have rejected not only external religion but internal spirituality as 'foolish', and patronizingly patted me on the head for 'benign if misguided belief' in 'tribal voo-doo'."

    If your spirituality was totally internal, I wouldn't even know about it. I do believe you read spirituality into places and things where none exists, but that is just a matter of opinion. If you try to push that spirituality onto others, which you don't, then I would have an issue with that. When I say your belief is benign, I am referring to its effect on others; that is, you don't push that belief on others like evangelicals do. Your beliefs are far from benign to yourself, as they obviously guide the way you look at the world, a perception I admire even if I don't look at them the same way.

    Nana: "I reject the notion that all Life is 'merely' a random collection of atoms that have no intrinsic meaning or worth.."

    The word "Merely" trivializes that collection of atoms, molecules, and everything that comes together to create the physical things around us. All living and non-living things around us are magnifcant and amazing because of how those atoms, etc., have come together to form what they form. They do have intrinsic meaning and worth!

    Nana: "I submit that this notion of 'objective materialism' has effectively caused the destruction of the planet and separated people from the natural world of which they are a part."

    Perhaps you don't realize that I am a very liberal tree hugger?

    Nana: "But please - feel superior and go back to the echo chamber of 'objective science/true religion is the answer to everything'"

    That hurts and I really thought you were a kinder person that that statement exemplifies. And by the way, I don't feel superior.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 9:45 PM
  • Quoting the bible really has no merit because there is crazy quotes mixed with some good, but mostly vague, and almost always open to interpretation.

    How do you interpret Deuteronomy 22:24? Is it fair to characterize it as meaning this:

    "If a man rapes an engaged virgin who doesn't cry loud enough to draw attention, the community should consider the attack consensual if it took place within the city. Thus, the ***** must be stoned to death per God's instructions. It obviously doesn't matter if the woman is too scared to scream because the law makes no such exception. The man will be stoned to death as well, not because he committed a brutal atrocity against the woman, but only because he violated another man's wife"

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 9:58 PM
  • wow, the auto-editor didn't like the word asterisked below. I didn't think it that bad a word. I was another name for a prostitute that starts with "wh" and ends in "ore" :-) Great software Eric!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 9:59 PM
  • Are we all agreeing that Deuteronomy is an absolutely ignorant? That was my point.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 6:22 AM
  • Nana: "And yet you spoke with absolute contempt of the living native peoples and their knowledge as if they were 'village idiots'"

    I don't believe I have a single thread of contempt of any native peoples at all. Most of their spiritual customs I believe is because of lack of knowledge. I do not have contempt for them nor do I pity them, and in a strange way, I do feel they have a kinship with the earth unlike many modern peoples today. But, that doesn't mean that they have it right when they worship some spirit in the lake. Contempt, no way. Do you worship spirits like some native Americans have and do? Do you think all native Americans still believe in all the spirits their forefathers believed in? What about the voo doo practiced in the Carribean and other places and other native peoples. Do you believe in all the spirits believed by all the native peoples or does it really just represent a deep appreciation for the land and nature that provided life?

    Also, tell me the way you think North America would exist today if the white man had not come and overpopulated it? Do you think that possibly the native Americans might have overpopulated many areas as well? The difference is when they overpopulated and overhunted, they either died out or moved on to other lands and often ended up in wars with other tribes. They didn't have the answer either. What say you?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 6:34 AM
  • News, you are postulating that the populations of the native peoples would be approximately the same as they have always been, and I agree that is very likely. But, the reasons for that is not necessarily because they live a better and more spiritual life than western man, but because of all the laws of evolution regarding survival of the fittest, infant mortality, lack of protection from natural disasters, etc. I am not attaching good or evil, and certainly with no contempt. Western man has learned how to decrease infant mortality and we have figured out how to prevent many illnesses that used to cause early death. We have harnessed the technology to allow us to have many more people live well with many more people per square mile than possible by native people. That is neither all good nor all bad, but most of us recognize we cannot continue this increase indefinitely or we will deplete the earths resources and eventually the evolution will work against us. Do you think it possible that if the Americas were never discovered by the Europeans that the Native Americans might have increased their populations dramatically over the last 600 years, or do you think they would still have high infant mortality and die early with ailments such as infection or an abscessed tooth? Would they have also advanced to solve some of the problems that caused them an early demise? I think that is at least interesting to contemplate?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 8:16 PM
  • Nana: "RT - Did Cultural Anthropology or Pre-columbian history of the western hemisphere ever cross your path? Or comparative religions or World history not written by Europeans?"

    Hey, I'm open to learning, no need to be so openly condescending. Yes, some of this was covered briefly in some history classes through HS & college, but besides being a very long time ago, the memory thing isn't working as well as it used to. I did Google info on Native American infant mortality and death rates and ran across the diabetes and diseases the Europeans brought as well as most of the info you quote Nana. I did this prior to my post, but wasn't able to find some of the stuff News has quoted about pre-European statistics. Perhaps there is only postulation regarding pre-European infiltration?

    I do think you and News are at least "somewhat" association biased when it comes to native people discussion. I also believe that bias doesn't allow either of you to be as openly critical with the subject of superstitions of native cultures as you are to the world's major religions. Do either of you believe portions of your associated native peoples had spiritual beliefs that were founded on events that perhaps they did not understand?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 3:22 AM
  • When a lot of us are dealing with a load of crap we look heavenward for guidance. It is not an exclusive trait of humans. Tumble bugs (dung beetles) apparently do the same thing. ;)

    http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 5:37 PM
  • Edited version: Gotta do my best for my friends. :)

    The Heavens, Humans, and Dung Beetles

    She peered far into the darkened sky.

    It became her guide she knew not why.

    The more she looked, the more it told,

    and religion was born in days of old.

    The Dung beetle sees the Milky Way,

    and sets her course by it 'til day.

    Toiling always at her singular task,

    there is nothing more she needs to ask.

    Only one of the two may be misled

    by what goes on within her head.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 9:26 PM
  • I am compelled to say what a great group of good minds, and good folk are posting on this blog these days. I am enjoying every word from each of you.

    I was just thinking of a thing that will never be. I do that often, trying always to further refine the category to pleasuring things.

    It came to my mind what a pleasure it would be to gather around a fire with all of you, a fire built far from city lights where we could see the night sky as clearly as is possible in the twenty first century. Each drinking a favorite beverage we could talk the night away. Then the rising sun would re-establish that we were nothing more than haggard mortals, yet it would not have been just a dream that we experienced. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 10:03 PM
  • neo-nazis ????

    pray tell who you may be speaking about ...

    meanwhile - i'll just sit here cleaning my gun ...

    i dare say that a large caliber handgun might come in handy around a camp fire - depending of course where that fire is located - to protect against wild critters, ravenous carnivores, and the such.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 7:52 AM
  • ND -

    That works for me ...

    Wouldn't dream of taking a firearm - legal or not - into a "pub" ... Although in my younger days I visited a few "pubs" where I thought I might need one! You know - back in the "peace, love and rock-n-roll" days.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 10:47 AM
  • Ben, Ben, Ben, tsk, tsk, tsk.

    ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo9AH4vG2...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 10:51 AM
  • If Jesus came back would he strap on a gun,

    take back bread and fishes before he was done?

    Would he go to Wall Street, praise what they do,

    and gripe about poor folks, as do some of you?

    Would he sneer at kids for what they are today,

    close public schools that don't insist that kids pray?

    I think the sort of Jesus some say is coming soon,

    is nothing like Jesus and his name they impugn.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 11:45 AM
  • OKR

    I couldn't agree with you more!

    Look up the lyrics to a relatively new song called "My Jesus" and see if it sounds good to you. I think by Todd Agnew - not sure.

    You being a poet and all, and at least a person who undertstands what the Nazarene brought to this world, I think you'd find it refreshing to see there are many Christians, young and old alike, who think the Jesus portrayed and anticipated by most of the mainstream denominations is not the Jesus of the Bible.

    Let me know what you think ...

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 12:35 PM
  • OKR

    Also - I think there are MANY preachers, etc., who would agree that what passes for Christianity these days is a far cry from what Jesus actually taught. Unfortunately, for them to say so would interfere with their livelihood ... so they regurgitate the "party line", so to speak ... privately hoping they may someday get the chance to speak the truth.

    I just hope some folks will listen.

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 12:40 PM
  • OKR

    Here is a sample:

    Cause my Jesus bled and died ... He spent His time with thieves and the least of these ...

    He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable ...

    So which one do you want to be?

    Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church ...

    The blood and dirt on his feet might stain the carpet ...

    But He reaches for the hurting and despises the proud ...

    I think He'd prefer Beale ST. to the stained glass crowd ...

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 1:34 PM
  • Good stuff GB. I am in a bit of a time crunch at the moment, gotta go to my grandson's basketball game, but will come back to your suggestion. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jan 25, 2013, at 1:48 PM
  • Nana, until recently I've thought you a kind and gentle soul, but I guess my opinions regarding native spirituality was taken as a personal affront, where none was intended. I thought News handled the difference of opinion logically with backup to refute some of my non-researched opinions regarding "what if". I don't believe there are any supernatural forces at work anywhere, and I will continue to take that stance no matter how condescending you wish to be:

    "I have attempted to discuss both epistomology and etymology with you and you haven't even touched it. Therefore I can only conclude that your 'brief acquaintance' with any study of human systems was SO brief that you missed it entirely - just one of those required classes to ignore."

    I wonder what others think about whether they believe most tribal people lacked the intelligence to take giant steps forward in advancing their comfort level of life, or did they remain unchanged because they refused to budge away from their way of life because of their culture. Certainly many ancient cultures figured out the complex movement of the stars and planets, and when was the most opportune time to plant, but beyond that, their ways of life remained unchanged over centuries. And perhaps all that would not change their view of the supernatural even if they did evolve to embrace science? Modern man certainly has held onto supernatural beliefs even with our advance in science, although it is quite obvious that the greatest minds of science for the large part do not believe in the supernatural.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jan 26, 2013, at 7:19 AM
  • Yeh Ben I know there are a lot of Christians who live good lives by Jesus' words. I find that some of the young folks in even fundamentalist money churches are believers in good stewardship of the Earth despite their fathers scoffing at the concept. I also know there are a lot of non-Christian jerks around who are takers, not makers and jump at any chance to feed their greed. All kinds every where.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 12:37 AM
  • Nana: "Your bone-deep hatred blinds you - and that is too bad."

    I have not one ounce of hatred, and I doubt anyone here would agree that I have shown any "hatred" at all. Your vocabulary is obviously much better than mine, but you missed the boat on that one.

    "They had developed deeply profound and complex literatures, dialogues, governmental structures, educational institutions and social and economic systems that rival any modern one."

    Native Americans developed complex literatures and dialogues? See if you can elaborate on that without Googling?

    "To poo-poo, denigrate, demean, diminish, or relegate to the heap of 'ignorant savages',.."

    To exaggerate, over appreciate, put up on a pedestal, or claim brilliance way beyond credit due is extreme bias on your part. I know I have never called or felt them to be ignorant savages.

    Nana: "I have never said that ALL science or ALL Christianity is either ALL good or ALL bad."

    This is where your thought process is wrong. You imply they are somewhat equal, both having "good" and both having "bad". The only possible "good" in religion and irrational spirituality is that it "might" dilute the pain of loss of a loved one or mask the day to day doldrums of a hard life. Science does tremendous good, sometimes taking a backward step in image when someone uses it in a bad way. You sound as if you would prefer to live in some tribal village in south America that has never been exposed to the outside world?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 6:58 AM
  • BTW, to see the beauty of a rose from the standpoint of being in awe of the universe from all that science has given us to appreciate its vast and complex makeup is just as beautiful as those who see it through the eyes of spirituality. I'm trying to emphasize that science is not "cold", nor does the concept of beauty require any feeling of spirituality.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:10 AM
  • Nana: "RT - I am going to try, one more time, to try to get you to widen your scope a bit..."

    I know I've overdone it with responses, but I went back over the posts again (I'm a slow thinker and have to re-read often) and felt a quick response to this was necessary. I am perfectly willing to widen my scope of knowledge when evidence of that area to widen into is provided. If you can't provide evidence, don't expect me to just follow because you feel strongly about something. I'm far from a blind faith follower.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:18 AM
  • Here's a new twist on legislation intended to stop all abortions: "Rape pregnancies must not be terminated as it would be 'tampering with evidence'"

    This is a bill introduced by a woman in New Mexico that continues to prove how religion can poison everything:

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2013/01/25/rape...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:26 AM
  • Blog response on this whacko in NM I linked below this comment:

    "Tod Akin in Missouri, Mourdock in Indiana and now this imbecile in New Mexico, the Republicans sure seem to like political suicide."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:30 AM
  • Nana: "And you will never convince me that science is the be-all, end-all of anything."

    I never said that, nor do I believe that. What I am trying to convey is that it is nowhere near 50-50 either. What ratio would you put on science versus religion as to benefit to mankind. Because I believe that ration is virtually 100 -- 0 (I could stretch to 99 -- 1 maybe), does not mean science is the be-all, especially when you add sex into the mix :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 6:56 PM
  • News: "We would regard those folks as apes nowdays. But they weren't. They were us. And we are only here because they were smart enough to figure out how to fashion tools from stone, wood, and bone."

    Agreed, but those were necessary baby steps toward the vast knowledge we have accumulated up to now. And as Moore's Law continues to be in effect, our knowledge will accelerate at an exponential pace. Meanwhile, religion will continue to drag down the masses by intruding into government and our education system which is essential for our species to improve ourselves and our planet. Religion will just continue to thwart our progress and try its best to slow down our education and thus science.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 6:57 PM
  • "Several US states are once again attempting to introduce legislation that would allow for teachers to promote religious beliefs contrary to scientific information that they find to be "controversial," all in the guise of academic freedom."

    "Meanwhile in Missouri, the House of Representatives proposed the Missouri Standards Act, which states public schools must teach intelligent design with evolution and that textbooks must "give equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design."

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_artic...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 7:03 PM
  • As the world spirals down the path to destruction it is all kind of funny from a human aspect. Just think what Noah and his boys were thinking when they were finally in the ark, it was raining and the ark was finally afloat, all their friends and neighbors are trying to tread water and crying out that they were wrong they should have listened. But they also know that it is too late! They endured months and years of ridicule from their liberal friends and neighbors while they worked on building a boat and for what? Why were they building it there and God was going to destroy the world by a flood? What is a flood? These guys are crazy. Then came the animals, then the ark was shut, then came the rains, they didn't know what it was. Then the water started rising and rising and then they figured out that maybe that crazy dude Noah knew what was happening. They had finally come to realize that they had been believing a lie, told by scholars and scientist of the time that there wasn't a God. We are just here by chance and when we die it's over so live life as you see fit. Sounding familiar yet. What is wrong with men sleeping with men, women sleeping with women, why should you even get married? You see without God it really doesn't matter. We heard Hillary say it "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!" Without God it doesn't, it's ok to kill babies when they are an inconvenience, it's ok to be gay, and before long it will be ok to be a pedophile and age will not be a limit, I mean why should it there is no God to punish us for it. It's ok to sleep with a woman you aren't married to there is no God to punish us. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE! Is it wrong to question why 4 Americans were killed and get answers to those questions or do we say, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE! We kick God out of the schools, don't allow guns so we are like ducks sitting on a pond but really, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE! Do we outlaw guns so law abiding citizens can't protect themselves and then another gunman goes on a rampage or do we say, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE! What will you say when the law says that it is ok for a grown man to lust for a 12 year old girl will you say, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE! That is what is wrong with our country today, that is why our morals are declining, that is why our children are at risk because of a bunch of liberals saying, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 10:05 PM
  • How about reposting that with paragraphs rr3? Looking for knowlege in that stack of words is like standing on a hay stack, and looking all the way down for a needle. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 27, 2013, at 11:44 PM
  • Hey okr did you miss this part, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 6:41 AM
  • AMAZING!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 6:42 AM
  • I missed the whole thing r because it is unreadable. As to your specific query all in caps; it is just a larger strand of hay in an unsortable stack. No context, no discernible meaning. Try again, or just chalk it up as an unread wasted effort. That of course my friend is your choice.

    Oh, and welcome back. Are you looking like John Boehner since your cruise? :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 9:37 AM
  • "What difference does it make?" is a question...not a statement.

    She also said, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

    That does not make her viewpoint any more or less palateable, but please...use the quote correctly, or claim the new quote as your own.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 11:09 AM
  • Hey r:

    What difference, at this point, does it make that there were no WMD in Iraq?

    I want you to ask that of all of the family members of the fallen who gave their lives so that George could sleep better at night, knowing that his daddy was avenged.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 11:19 AM
  • I am happy that RT, News, OK and others post responses to ideologues when a response is needed and necessary.

    It is disheartening to see those who rely on others for opinions continue to spew out nonsense about Noah and a regionalized flood, and utter swill about the earth being thousands of years old.

    I generally read the responses before I read the postings that the responses were based on.

    Oh yes, I need to know if there is a yellow brick road beneath the Red Sea? There is no real reason I can't combine 2 works of fiction, is there?

    I mean, "What possible difference, at this point, does it make?"

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 11:24 AM
  • ROTF IT, and not ROTF in a fundementalist fit, ROTFLMAO!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 12:44 PM
  • OKR, news, et al -

    I see your neo-con right wing fundamentalist muse/antagonist has returned.

    Guess us right-leaning jesus freak hippy moderates can go back to the sidelines and watch the fireworks.

    But we'll be here if you ever need us.

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 1:08 PM
  • Gentle Ben,

    I was wondering what you are. Thanks for explaining that!

    :)

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 2:01 PM
  • IT

    I am many things ... And have been many things ...

    Different stages - different points of view ...

    More later - maybe.

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 3:18 PM
  • IT

    BTW - I sure miss the long hair ...

    Or hair at all for that matter ...

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 3:19 PM
  • Before it is relegated to the untrustworthy archives of our minds I want to say again how much I have enjoyed the conversation between RT, and ND.

    It was illuminating. However I must say that I went into it with a specific believe that I still hold coming out of it. The human definition of the natural world is always going to be incomplete, not large enough, nor long enough. The world is more complex, more diverse than we can know. We will not comprehend it, it may comprehend us. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 6:11 PM
  • GB I think that we always need you, and the others of whom you spoke. Part of the human condition is neediness.

    It is one of our tragedies that we put barriers between ourselves and many of those who can succor that particular part of us. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 6:19 PM
  • OKR: "It was illuminating. However I must say that I went into it with a specific believe that I still hold coming out of it."

    We all know that is the reality. Rarely does any point-counter point change one's mind. I'm an old **** pretty set in my ways, but extremely liberal on most social issues, and I'm proud to say I haven't gone the other way as I've aged. Many old geezers get very kermugeony and less patient as they grow older and wiser, my guess is because the wiser one gets the more stupid others seem. My take is to mentally try and remember compassion for those who have not had the benefit of lots of trips around the sun. But, what we learn often just reinforces what we have come to believe already. As I'll continue to state, my hope is that we can expose "some" people who may read these blogs to ideas they may have had, but ones they may have suppressed because of the guilt trip laid on them from childhood, and, the fact that there is good reason to doubt the existence of any supernatural overseer and that they are not alone in that doubt. I really don't care to push atheism on anyone as much as I prefer to promote critical thinking. You, GB, IT, News, Nana, and some in the past have strong opinions and are willing to back them up with your own reasoning's and often unique points worth contemplating. You are all obviously extremely intelligent and I look forward to your posts, even when I don't always agree. My other hope is that those who simply quote the bible will eventually start to understand how ridiculously brainwashed they have been by reading all the intelligent posts by those who are free thinkers. What the heck have I been smok'n? :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 8:10 PM
  • Definitely go for the private balcony and a king size bed news . I don't know how much extra they cost because ours was all paid for by the company and they truly sent us first class.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 9:13 PM
  • Dunno RT, but I'll have a toke or two of whatever it is that inspired that post. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jan 28, 2013, at 10:39 PM
  • News stay off of those sheeple boats. Top deck, or bottom deck they are repositories of the seeds of illness. Bah Germ Bug!

    There is a reason that livestock doesn't do well jammed together in feeder lots. We humans are also livestock, and cruise boats are for us the equivalent of feed lots. Have you ever heard anyone say I lost five pounds on that cruise? Of course not. What I have heard from most (post cruise) is stories about the mountains of food that are available 24/7.

    The difference is that livestock feedlot occupants are pumped full of medicine to keep them well for the duration of their close confinement. Unfotunately they don't do the same for we two legged beasts. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 12:00 AM
  • I don't mind "some" bible quotes either. Many are in the general "good advice" category, like Confucius, etc. Some are atrocious. But, using all quotes to justify your stance on an issue lacks intelligent discourse.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 5:24 AM
  • "he's a poet ... and he's a picker ... he's a prophet ... and he's a pusher ...he's a pilgrim and a preacher and problem when he's stoned ... he's a walking contradiction ... partly truth and partly fiction ... taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home."

    from KK - "The Pilgrim" - from back in the day ..

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 9:54 AM
  • what

    -- Posted by shep on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 9:56 AM
  • Hey GB -

    That's one of my favorite Kris Kristofferson songs! Always wondered who it was about - guess it must have been you!

    Thanks for nudging the memory!

    Shep

    -- Posted by shep on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 9:58 AM
  • Glad to oblige, Shep.

    Not really who I am right now, but I still feel that way sometimes.

    Again, I see life as a series of stages we all go through - some good, some bad, some somewhere in between.

    Anyway - glad you enjoyed the momentary stroll down memory lane!

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 10:05 AM
  • news -

    OK - you stumped me ... it's been a long time since I studied any of those guys. But then again, Nana didn't commend me for my intelligience, did she?

    Probably Erikson ... Maybe stages 4 through 8 on a somehwat eratic, back and forth basis.

    But who knows?

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 3:18 PM
  • or maybe -

    "All the world's a stage,and each must play his part."

    It's just that the parts keep changing.

    "Never knowing if believing is a blessing or a curse, or if the goin up was worth the coming down."

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 3:20 PM
  • Scary thought News; there are folks out there who believe that every word that comes out of your mouth is controlled by God, or the Devil.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 6:22 PM
  • Afterthought; and I would bet that most of those imagine that you have a sulfurous belch. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 29, 2013, at 6:26 PM
  • Aw stuff your Christmas stocking in it News! ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 2:18 AM
  • Watched it News, didn't phase me. It was no more scary than the Easter Bunny sporting piranha teeth. Come to think of it THAT is pretty scary. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 12:53 PM
  • ROTFLMAO! Uncylopedia! I hope Jason doesn't find it. He will be barraging us with more "facts" copying and pasting as fast as he can some other's words, presenting them as his own. On second thought his content quality may go up a notch if he does find it. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 5:22 PM
  • Spend all the time you want on that yellow stained lap whiffing the smell of ammonia News. As for me it is no go. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 30, 2013, at 11:58 PM
  • And I dreamed I saw bomber jet planes ...

    Riding shotgun in the sky ...

    Turning into butterflies above our nation.

    We are stardust ...

    We are golden ...

    We are caught in the devil's bargain ...

    And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.

    by joni mitchell

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 1:36 PM
  • Funny News, but they both lose.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 1:04 AM
  • Back on religious topic, although perhaps this will help you with your Santa theory as well :-) This 19 minute TED talk by Michael Shermer on "What is Skepticism" I think anyone will find illuminating. The last bit is hilarious; the first part very educational. It explains why there are more "believers" than "skeptics" too:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 7:22 AM
  • I also enjoyed the information at the link RT...thanks.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 11:10 PM
  • News, I too have always participated in the great "Santa is coming", tooth fairy, et all. I think some atheists are hard-core about not promoting anything that supports false superstitions. I still believe it is wonderful to allow young children to imagine there being a Santa and Easter Bunny. I say that because as they mentally mature they start to question their existence, and shortly thereafter realize they are not real. The same cannot be said about God. The Easter bunny brings money and Santa toys. The worst thing about Santa is that if you have been bad, you just won't get any toys. But the adult version of Santa (God) has the most severe threat of all if you choose not to believe. He'll even persecute you after death forever (or at least his alter ego the Devil will). We all know that Santa and the Easter Bunny will fade away as part of (hopefully) a fun and enjoyable childhood eases toward adulthood. I really feel sorry for children of parents who perpetuate the burden of religion on their children. The guilt alone accounts for poor mental health that lasts a lifetime. The only good news is that our species is slowly "growing up" just like our children do, but unfortunately, it may take a few more decades

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 8:02 AM
  • News, that link to Mr Deity was funny as hell (pun intended). And having Shermer in it was awesome!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 8:06 AM
  • RT sadly that is the mindset in the world we live in. Why does it seem that bad things happen in this world more and more? You can't explain from a secular position. You only want the reality of God to fade away so you can believe what you want. We humans like sin we are born into it. Denial will not save you but the blood of Jesus can. The hard truth about that is it won't matter whether you believe or not. We commit sin against and infinite God so shouldn't that deserve infinite punishment?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 9:40 AM
  • That ought to trigger the traditional disappearing act ND. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 12:39 PM
  • Sadly Nana your explanation makes no sense because it is all because of our sin nature. We all have it but the liberals like to think they are exempt while trying to make others feel guilty. You want to justify your actions based on your opinion of what is wrong with the rest of the world. It may make you feel good now but you will still die and go to an eternal hell if you deny God. All our resources were put here for us to use, not to feel quilty about, it is all a lie. We are both guilty sinners, sinning against an infinite God. We will also both know the truth either while we are living(the best option) or after we are dead(not a good option). There are no dead atheist. Think about it I think you will get it.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 1:09 PM
  • RR, the stats indicate for the most part the human race is improving where societies embrace more democratic and secular principles. At the same time, our overpopulation continues to take us down the road to destruction, and religious beliefs make it difficult for us to make the best decisions for our planet. Most of that is raw greed, but much of it is supported by ignorant religious beliefs. Science helps solve many of the problems with overcrowding, but there is a point where logical and rational decisions are needed over human greed and archaic religious beliefs. RR, your beliefs are very much a part of the problem, but the good news is that there is a very good chance that the tide is turning against religious ignorance. That is only because of the spread of knowledge which is our only hope for a world that here-to-fore has been held back by deep ignorance rooted in religion.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 1:14 PM
  • The religion of liberalism, climate change, pro-choice, gay and lesbianism, etc. are the path to destruction. Read about Sodom and Gomorah, of course you can deny the truth of that but it is part of history. Godly wisdom is what we should seek.

    (Psalm 14:1) - "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good"

    (Matthew 23:17) - "You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?"

    We don't want to be the fool and not see the truth.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 2:20 PM
  • As this thread unravels, and before it reaches the breaking point (as it inevitably will due to the introduction of inferior product) I thought I might reflect a moment on goodness.

    Goodness doesn't come from study, nor fear, nor voices in one's head. It is an innate quality, and one that to a larger, or lesser degree at least, standard equipment for most beginning humans. It is strong within some, more fragile in others from the very start.

    It may shrivel, even wither away, within most of us in the absence of surrounding goodness which reinforces the natural essence. If we do find by observing our family that it is a quality not part of our pack, we will discard it, and at the same time prejudice us against natural goodness later as we begin to engage our clan, and then our tribe, rejecting the quality when presented by them.

    This absence of an essential leaves a troubling void within each such individual, and they begin to seek something to fill the emptiness. Barred from the natural they must be satisfied with the artificial. Artificial sweeteners whether God, Mammon, or murder can never replace what was once real.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 3:07 PM
  • Afterthought: When I spoke of goodness, I meant; the quality of being good, virtuousness: personal virtue or kindness.

    If it could be replaced intact, by God, there would be no need of repeated prayer. Prayer in one sense is only a manifestation of striving for something still lacking within one's self.

    God is more akin to Mammon than it is to innate goodness, because they are kindred forms of striving for what is missing. There are those who are satisfied by the "One", there are those satisfied by the other. Both because of residual emptiness, and the associated sorrowing sense of loss must constantly check in by traditional ways, saying are you still there, please don't leave me.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 3:34 PM
  • We will have to disagree on that particular opinion of yours News.

    rr3 doesn't debate, he declares. His declaration is always the same, compelled by his version of God.

    It has become tiresome, and to me has lost all relevance to advancing the conversation on this religion blog. What gain is there when in a discussion some one interjects with comment that drags the forward motion back to where we have been a hundred times before? At its base it is obstructionist, nothing more. I am through with it, and will ignore it as an irritating interruption.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 3:49 PM
  • By the way News, counter to what you said rr3 does not assert the Christian position on this blog. He asserts a narrow dogmatic off shoot of Christianity. Almost all the others who write here from a Christian perspective in my opinion do a better job of it, and I enjoy their infrequent comments.

    I am not sure but it may be that most of those are as turned off by rr3's version of Christianity, if not more so, than by the comments of some of we "non-believers".

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 4:02 PM
  • Naw News I think the fight is long over, and parading a punch drunk never was around the ring between fights serves no good purpose.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 4:45 PM
  • The truth even some Christians don't like. What is a Christian okr? You seem to know.

    If you mean boxing in a corner as in proclaiming what is true news you are correct.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 11:38 PM
  • Come on okr I thought you had way more stamina then that. When you think you have the upper hand in a discussion you never act like this. I am just getting warmed up.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 11:42 PM
  • I tell you what news we may not agree on everything but I like your attitude. That is rare for someone that is liberal thinking. I like a man who can take a punch and come back for more.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Feb 3, 2013, at 11:51 PM
  • Nana you know for once you are right I don't represent all Christians. Maybe you can answer the question, 'What is a Christian'? What does a person have to do to become a Christian?

    There are many different kinds of Christians. Some are just pew warmers. Some never read the bible. Some are Catholic. Some are very active and proclaim the word. I can't tell you whether you are a Christian or not but I can tell you what it takes to be one. You want to paint God as some selfish evil person but he still loves you. He's not a greedy corporation or an evil rich person but when you have that kind of hate how can you love God?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 6:39 AM
  • So rr,

    Are any Mormons Christian?

    How about Unitarians?

    You saw fit to single out Catholics, just wondering if these other religions can have Christian members?

    I honestly want to know your thoughts on this.

    By the way; the definintion of Christian has always been clear:

    You accept Jesus Christ as your saviour.

    You don't really need to do anything more than that.

    Not everyone needs to spread the Word to prove their Christianity, right?

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 10:09 AM
  • Thanks Smokin'

    Makes sense to me. I always thought that the Pope was a bit on the overindulgent side. A lot of money goes into supporting a guy who tells you all about what you just got done reading (if it's the Bible).

    Any input on the Mormon issue? After all 'Jesus Christ' is in their official name, and yet; many people don't seem to accept them as Christians.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 11:00 AM
  • The "priesthood of the believer" is one of the main traits of mainline Christianity as well as most - if not all - evangelicals.

    I never did understand all of that praying to Mary and praying to various saints, etc. I say "Why mess with a middle-man if you can go straight to the 'source'?"

    As far as Mormons, Unitarians, etc., I guess you can only judge them by their fruit and by scripture. It is my understanding, for example, that Mormons have several books they live by, including the Pearl of Great Price and the Book of Mormon, and that the Old and New Testaments used by most Christians are only used if and when they line up with the Book of Mormon - not the other way around. (As always, I am open to someone explaining this to me if I am incorrect).

    That seems backwards to me - but hey - I didn't find a bunch of gold tablets out in the woods and speak to an angel - so what would I know ...

    And when we start splitting hairs about who is a Christian and who is not, however, I believe we must also investigate such groups as the Masonic Lodge, et al. Sadly, not too many preachers want to tackle that bear ... especially in the rural midwest and the south, where Masons make up the majority of congregations and fill too many deacons rolls.

    Again - if I turn up missing ....

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 11:11 AM
  • Good dialogue guys! I was delighted to see new stuff to read, and think about this morning. Thank you all.

    By the way my rumination on innate goodness was incomplete. Particularly for my Christian bretheren here I want to assure you that I have given consideration to that situation wherein the innate goodness in the new child is fostered by familial goodness that happens to be channeled by Christian tradition.

    I think that the innate goodness pervading a family shapes the famiial perception of Christianity. In other words, they are naturally drawn to those Christian concepts (essentially the words purportedly uttered by Jesus) that reinforce the source.

    On the other hand those little ones imbued with innate goodness who are unfortunately born into a Christian home wherein there is an absence of innate goodness wither within that feature of their core.

    It is tragic that all those close to them went through the same deprivation in their own early time. In their desperation they found a God that parallels their own existence, one featuring fear, and its camp follower retribution. Old Testament folk all, who can not personally "feel" the giving goodness of Jesus, thus instead come to what is comfortable, a god of wrath, angry at them, who knows their insecurities that they have desperately hidden. They roll over, they are found out. They are born again. It is sad that their relief is limited to that. It is enough however to leave them with the charge of every zealot, proclaim the good news! Thus, God sees you, he will punish you, you deserve that, and...it makes you feel good.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 1:07 PM
  • A short way of saying a lot of this is that there is belief in a God who insists, and makes you do what pleases God, and then there is belief in a God who emphasizes benevolent approval of the good things you do. There is also belief in a God who is both which makes for yo yo Christians, who somehow saved a part of their goodness. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 1:19 PM
  • Or, whether you get more satisfaction from pulling weeds, or planting flowers and vegetables is determined by your nature. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 1:31 PM
  • I think gb that most Catholics make a distinction between their attitude, and action toward the Saints, Mary (the first Saint), and the triune God. Perhaps it is a fuzzy distinction for some, but my understanding is that they venerate, and honor Mary, and the other Saints. They worship only the triune God.

    I hope that a person who is a Catholic will choose to appear here, and elaborate.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 1:47 PM
  • With all due respect OKR- I didn't say they worshipped the saints - only that they pray to them ... Christians who believe in the priesthood of the believer believe they have a direct "line" to the throne room of God and that there is no need to pray to Mary or any other saint, or to ask a priest for forgiveness, or to confess to a priest, etc.

    That's all I'm saying.

    Peace be with you ...

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 3:13 PM
  • Good history lesson, Nana ...

    Looks like you hit that nail right on the head, as they say. No wonder Christianity is so fractured - look at all the "new beginnings" they had.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 3:40 PM
  • I say "they" because, though I am a believer, I do not consider myself part of the "organized" church or any "organized" religion.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 3:48 PM
  • Not having to listen to "Here comes Santa Claus" ever again? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 4:41 PM
  • Santa does instruct little children to be good, albeit with a threat if they don't. Therein lies the problem. Santa apes the good cop/bad cop routine, which apes the old testament/new testament. His method is only half right, or half baked (for nuance sake). ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 4:49 PM
  • News it is all a snow job. Santa is a notorious philanderer who shows no respect for the institution of marriage to say nothing of the put upon Mrs. Claus. That dear lady somehow endures it all. She says nothing of his licentious trips every year when he reaches the point that he can no longer cope with cabin fever.

    Off he goes kissing, and groping mothers all over the world under the Christmas tree. The worst of it is that he exposes countless children to his debauchery. The poor little dears regularly report that they saw mommy kissing Santa Claus. Then he drags his sorry *** back home so worn out from his self-indulgence that it require a year's rest to recover.

    You better re-think this thing that you are wrapped up in. It ain't no Christmas present.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 6:47 PM
  • Watcha mean no threat from Santa? That passive-aggressive jerk tells sweet little kids (despite the fact that their parents have instructed them to never speak to strangers) that if they do not do just as he says he will leave them a lump of stinkin' coal; also promising he will give cool things to those who obey his command.

    If I had it to do all over again I would have been real nice one year, and asked for a Red Ryder BB gun, just so I could bust his butt with it the next year!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 6:57 PM
  • Judiasm, Christianity and Islam, the true holy trinity. These religions can be traced to the root of most any man made problems in the world today or through out history. Go figure.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Mon, Feb 4, 2013, at 9:28 PM
  • Christianity, 2.1 Billion; Islam, 1.5 billion; Secular/Non-religious/Agnostic/Atheist, 1.1 billion; Jewish, 200 million.

    http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Ad...

    I think WTF that it is the Christians, and Muslims that have done the most damage over time. The Jews most of that time have just tried to get the hell out of the way. They were, and are so relatively few that they traditionally have had to flee, or go to ground, not always with great success.

    Israel is relatively new business for them.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 12:04 AM
  • It is quite obvious why many/most Christians do not accept the Mormon religion as Christianity. How could anyone be so gullible as to believe the story of the founder John Smith? Smith found these golden tablets (in Missouri of all places) and he is the only one who has ever seen them supposedly. And look at the thousands of people that have bought into this totally ridiculous following. It shows just how gullible people are. Extrapolate this relatively new religion back 2,000 years ago and then maybe it isn't so hard to believe how there is such a large following of people who actually believe Jesus walked on water and rose from the dead. Throw scientology into the mix and you can start to realize how unbelievable supernatural stories from Christianity and the Muslim religions don't sound near as crazy by comparison; but still ridiculously unbelievable in their own right.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 2:53 AM
  • I think this debate is new: Does Science Refute God?

    http://youtu.be/1VTMs7PSIM4

    This debate has reputeable debaters on both sides, and I'm sure Christians will find it interesting to their view as well.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 3:27 AM
  • OK Reader,

    As far as the Jews, I am referring to thier insistance of squatting on a particular piece of sand that everyone thinks is "Holy" with people fight and dying for it eve since. Just one more example or religious idiocy that is ruining things for everyone. As far as the ruin of religion goes, people are so willing to accept such loads of crap and science is considered witchcraft.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 5:39 AM
  • Thought maybe that was your reference WTF when you included the Jews. I agree about Israel.

    I also think the psychodynamic resulting from centuries of being subjected to persecution has a huge influence on how they act, and respond toward other countries. They are darn sure dangerously quick on the trigger.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 10:49 AM
  • First thing to get straight is that there are Catholics that are Chrstians. Second thing is that being a Christian is not dependent on a certain denomination.

    The lies and deception about religion have been going on for centuries. I don't understand people that choose not to accept any religion but are always happy to repeat the lies and deception to justify their unbelief.

    The God of Islam is not the 'Christian' God. The Quran has been changed over the years, Mohammed was not a prophet and Allah is not God.

    Is religion the #1 cause of wars? Many would like for you to believe that lie and those that don't do their homework will believe it and harden their heart against any religion. Governments have inflicted far more death on unarmed citizens and foreigners then religion ever has. A study of 1,763 wars only 123 have been religious in nature. That is only 6.98%. Then about half of those were in the name of Islam then you only have 3.23%. So if religion is not the cause then what is?

    "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man" (Mark 7:21--23).

    God is not the orchestator of evil, God is a perfect judge. We don't like judgement because we want to justify our actions. We want to murder our mistakes and call it abortion, we want to be gay and call it an alternative lifestyle, we support poverty and call it government assistance, we rob from the poor and call it the lottery and we are getting ready to force the American people to buy healthcare and we call it a tax. Is it any wonder Washington is in the shape it is in. Character and integrity is a not a required quality anymore. We are still all created egual in God's eyes but the world is saying to hell with you, what about me. We are all guilty but a Christian has repented and seeks forgiveness daily. We are changed when we become a Christion but not perfected. Christians need to stand on the truth. The lies and deception will still be spread, satan is alive and well but through Jesus we can do all things.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 12:03 PM
  • rr3yvo said:

    "The Quran has been changed over the years"

    Whew! Thank god we can't say that about the bible!

    The core of most all our worldly dysfunction comes from....wait for

    it....RELIGION!

    A Government usually only reacts to that dysfuntion after the fact.

    I must congratulate you rr3yvo, you're batting 1000.

    They're all strikes, but at least you're swingin!

    Don't you ever get tired of being wrong? 'cause you're wearin' me out!

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 12:58 PM
  • Wtf:

    ""The Quran has been changed over the years"

    Whew! Thank god we can't say that about the bible!"

    Not THAT was funny!

    I think I hurt myself laughing.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 3:11 PM
  • Fool School

    A tea pot, a pot is not.

    A cup of tea is never hot.

    Up is down, and down is up.

    Eve is brunch, at morn they sup.

    Strong is weak, weak is strong

    Wrong is right, right is wrong.

    What a curious world the life they live,

    eyes closed open, and mind a sieve.

    At your peril ask them why,

    it's far better to walk on by.

    When they drive us to wit's end,

    we realize they were passing wind.

    It is the lesson from the fool,

    when each we pass from his school.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Feb 5, 2013, at 9:18 PM
  • Thanks News. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 12:21 AM
  • As should be expected, I have long been against the death penalty, even for murder, for all the standard reasons.

    However as heinous as I find it, even in the most grisly manners of determining guilt, and executing that sentence, it does not approach the horrifying aspects of this new power assumed by the federal government.

    Never before has our legal system legally put to death a citizen without trial. Never before has our legal system in effect, carried out a death sentence, executing not only an unconvicted citizen, but his innocent child with him.

    It is not simply the denigration of justice, it is the destruction of justice. It truly is an unspeakably maniacal horror. We must somehow right this wrong. We must show not just the world, but ourselves that we are not that evil. We must express our unanimous disgust at this nation's President, a man who has taught constitutional law, yet has lost all respect for it as he tramples it. We will not accept such disgusting immorality from one who has been taught better, and knows better. At this moment I despise Barack Obama. He seems to have lost his mind, and his morality.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 5:24 PM
  • I had intended to post my last comment on the political blog, but mistakenly placed it here. As I think further on it I believe it is in the right place.

    Barack Obama who claims to be a Christian, has broached the Christian Commandment, thou shall not kill. He has by his own hand directed murder. He is afforded no cover by our existing legal system, because he did not utilize it. So here we are, again discussing hypocrisy, and immorality.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 5:45 PM
  • WTF: "their insistence of squatting on a particular piece of sand that everyone thinks is "Holy" with people fight and dying for it eve since. Just one more example or religious idiocy.."

    Couldn't agree more.... "holy land" and willing to die and kill others, both sides are ridiculous. However, I do believe Isreal has the right to stay there now and to defend herself against anybody wanting to destroy them.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:11 PM
  • RR: "..we are getting ready to force the American people to buy healthcare and we call it a tax.."

    So, RR, do you think that people who cannot afford to see a doctor should only be allowed to go to an emergency room when they are so sick that is the only thing they can do? The tax, which is a term I am fine with, is only to help offset the cost which the GOP originally wanted way back when. What we really need is a government health care option that would be paid by everyone via federal income tax raised to whatever level is necessary to insure everyone access to health care. That is the moral thing to do; dare I say the Christian thing to do?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:11 PM
  • WTF: "The core of most all our worldly dysfunction comes from....wait for it....RELIGION! "

    Some of you might find this hard to believe, but I whole heartedly believe this to be true :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:12 PM
  • News: "..Are you beginning to see a pattern here mate?"

    Good one News, but remember, patterns usually require at least a small amount of logical thinking to recognize. People who only quote religious text normally don't exhibit much logical thinking. Thus, those who display the associative power of ignorance has little chance of recognizing most patterns :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:12 PM
  • I think I am understanding R to admitting to being an atheist when it comes to recognizing the existence of Allah?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:13 PM
  • OKR: : Barack Obama who claims to be a Christian, has broached the Christian Commandment, thou shall not kill."

    First, many of us atheists do not believe Barack Obama to be Christian; actually, he has made speeches that lead many of us he is atheist, but pragmatic enough to know he could never hold any high office at this point in our history if that be proclaimed.

    Also, I feel that once you are in the office of the President, there are great pressures to continue long-held practices considered under the table security that normally would not be acceptable to that person. Yes, I am making an excuse for the drone attacks as I believe all of that was set in motion long before he took office. There are probably many more things the CIA is doing most of us would feel is immoral. I believe that as his second term unfolds you will see BO reduce and or eliminate these drone attacks and even criticize the policy he has let continue. When he finally did come out on the side of allowing gays in the military, which was his moral opinion I believe from the start, it was when he understood public opinion was not overwhelmingly against it. Alas, he is a politician and not a Ghandi.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:13 PM
  • And finally, I want to thank R for reappearing and representing the Christian evangelical "right" in such a way that can only allow those who read this blog to start to understand why they are not alone when it comes to realizing there really is no God and they can start to get on with a good and moral life without such nonsense.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 9:19 PM
  • Maybe the scouts should just offer a "Tolerance" badge.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 10:10 PM
  • I really think the Judiciary is going to quash "kill at will"; not because of morality, instead because it is a power struggle.

    This action is an intrusion by the executive branch on the turf of the judicial branch. It is the judicial branch that determines if an individual has committed a crime, and if so what the punishment is to be. I don't think there are many judges through the system from federal district court, to appeals courts, on through the Supreme Court who will not deem this to be an unconscionable intrusion by the executive branch.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 10:13 PM
  • RT I'll give you that Obama gives signals that he may be atheistic. Even if that is the case it remains immoral, and still hypocrisy because he certainly portays himself to be a moral person, and there is no way that those murders were a moral act.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 10:21 PM
  • Politics makes strange bedfellows, and strange politics makes even stranger bed fellows. You hear that r? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 11:03 PM
  • Good idea WTF, and the Boy Scouts should also offer a merit badge regarding how to ward off gropey Assistant Scout Masters who have for decades been giving hands on training in just that. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 6, 2013, at 11:10 PM
  • News I spent sometime in Scouts myself, long enough to become a Senior Patrol Leader. There was a groping Assistant Scout Master in our troop. He did some sick stuff.

    Back then kids didn't talk about such stuff, even among themselves. I am certain that he abused several boys.

    Yea Scouts has a lot to offer, most of it good, but pedophiles can, and have ruined the entire experience for far too many kids. For those unfortunates when Scouts is mentioned, or thought of, guess what is the first thing that comes to mind.

    I find it bitterly ironic that they won't allow gay kids in a troop. Could it be that they are just not enough of a challenge to that sick minority of manly men of scouting? Is it because gay kids remind them too much of the pedophile predators within their ranks, and "the problem" that they belatedly addressed?

    Further, I am not opposed to openly gay adult leaders in scouting. Gay does not mean pedophile, anymore than straight means pedophile. There are many opposite sex coaches of children that would never lay a finger on their charges. Occasionally one does. Obviously there are gay coaches (most of whom are not "out") who coach same sex kids,and there is seldom a problem.

    The Boy Scouts of America will not be all it can be until the distinction between gay, and pedophile is clear in their minds, their hearts, and throughout their organization.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 12:40 PM
  • Well said Nana!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 2:04 PM
  • I think it is because their brains are consumed by fear; fear of God, fear of gays, and fondness for guns to protect them from fears known, unknown, and unknowable, It is always God, gays, and guns for them any way you turn it. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 7, 2013, at 8:57 PM
  • new

    Is there any "verifiable evidence" that republicans hate america and its freedoms?

    Or is that just an opinion?

    Just asking ...

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 7:32 AM
  • Sorry - Republican Christians ...

    Same question ...

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Feb 8, 2013, at 7:33 AM
  • OKR: "The Boy Scouts of America will not be all it can be until the distinction between gay, and pedophile is clear in their minds, their hearts, and throughout their organization."

    Well said and right on. I had a similar experience in Marshall when I was in scouts many years ago. On our first overnight one of the leaders was running thru the woods naked. Luckily that is all I heard about that night and the next day I quit and never came back. I was too young to know much, and like you said, most everyone then kept things to themselves, so I feel lucky at such a young age I made a very good decision, although I always wondered if anything ever happened with the others in the group. But again, OKR, your statement is on the mark!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 5:31 AM
  • Further on scouting. I felt so much better with one of my grandsons that his scouting group included many married men and women. That doesn't always mean everything is perfect, but I believe women in the mix usually makes all situations better. That's why I like the idea of a woman President (certainly not a Palin), but most of the women that have risen to the top post of countries in my opinion have been the best ever. There's something about testosterone that makes (some) men do really crazy stuff! Perhaps I should amend my scouting comment to say it would be better off always having loving couples, not just men and women, as I know some gay couples (men) that I would feel just as comfortable with my grandkids as with anyone.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 5:34 AM
  • News, I think GB is raising the question about lumping all Republicans into a "hate America" group. There really are close to 50 percent GOP voters. Of them, most are fiscal conservatives, but have a wide range of view when it comes to social issues. There appears to be a large number combined into the Tea Party that has temporarily taken them over who are social issue people, and for the most part are the ones I think you are referring to. In general though, my first impression of anyone who claims to be Republican is to be very cautious since such a large number are driven by fear and contempt for those who struggle. But, I can't lump them all into the same category.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 5:35 AM
  • "Fascist fools", this grumpy old man snarls ND, in response to your post. Well said! Top o' the mornin' to ye. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 11:52 AM
  • One other thing RT that has troubled me about the B. S. A. is the paramilitary overtone; such as military style uniforms (that have become archaic). Obviously they need some discerning gay guys in executive positions to bring those up to date, and get some other things straight. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 12:14 PM
  • Got to get some gay guys in to make things straight.... Love it!

    Yes, Nana, the GOP is pretty well riddle with a selfish lot of folks. The real issue I believe is how much you believe we should push capitalism versus socialism. Socialism is a very scary word, but for me that is only a problem if you are talking pure socialism. Capitalism works and is motivating, but uncontrolled it will wreck our world. Who amongst us wouldn't agree that if you just let a tree company go unleashed it would cut every **** tree down on the planet to turn a profit. Same for every industry. For capitalism to keep working for us we have to put in major controls. We also have to tax the wealthy a lot more than we are now. You can't tell me that Bill gates wouldn't still be doing what he is doing if you taxed him 80 percent. He loves what he does and allowing someone to only keep millions of dollars is not socialism. It's not spreading the wealth; it's lessening the misery of the less fortunate. Medicare and Social Security are major safety nets for the aging that must not be cut. To compensate all they have to do is to not put a cap on when you are not taxed on them and have a means test as well. But once we start trying austerity to cover cost, you slow down the economy again and we know where that leads. The only solution is higher taxes for those who can pay. I think a true fiscal conservative would realize that is the only fair way to balance the books, and balancing the books is being fiscally conservative. Abortion, guns, and Jesus Christ have been thrown into the Republican party along with the money hoarders in order to have a chance, and now they have to sleep with them.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 12:58 PM
  • Ok, I'm posting this one just to see if the word darn gets by their sensor software. That is D A R N. The other four letter word starting with D, ending in N, was asterisked out :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 1:01 PM
  • Outstanding News. Clarity, and cogency are there for all excepting the obstinate, and the obtuse!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 4:04 PM
  • Smack yourself up side the head News, obviously I meant the obtuse folks who read it. Your interpretation makes no sense. You clarity, and cogency. Readers obtuse, and obstinate. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 4:25 PM
  • Those obstinate, and those obtuse; there, is that better? :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 9, 2013, at 4:29 PM
  • News, I do have a great deal of contempt and anger built up for the GOP as well. However, it is similar to the contempt I have for religion. But, there are many individual Christians I know well that are personally wonderful people that do not push their religion on others and live good and moral lives. I can say the same thing about Republicans, even though as a voting block they have many wackos'. As with Christians, I have several Republican friends that are very wonderful individuals. When you have a two party system, there are going to be issues you disagree with no matter which party you align with. They feel really strong about one single issue (like balancing the budget as a priority), and feel compelled to vote Republican because of that. I'm not at all trying to protect the Tea Party, racist, or evangelical factions of the GOP. However, it is not all black or white as you suggest. Perhaps I'm not sure what this comment by you refers to:

    "Either they are 100% guilty or they are 100% innocent. There is no such thing as being "a little bit" guilty."

    If it is in reference to all individuals who vote Republican, and 'there is no such thing as being a little bit guilty" (or wrong) the,n by your own logic, you are 100 percent wrong. However, I don't' subscribe to your all or nothing approach, and since I sort-of know where you are coming from, I'd say you are just wrong to throw everyone under the same bus.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 6:56 AM
  • News, you obviously know a lot more about economics than I do, so perhaps you can help educate me on the Sweden and Norway economic model? Do they allow individuals and stockholders to gain a lot of individual wealth or not? Do they have "free markets"?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 7:00 AM
  • Nana, I didn't hear anything as to whether your examples are still capitalists versus socialist. I just heard they tax more for the general benefit/services. If we decided to tax more and provide universal healthcare, etc., we would still be capitalists. Isn't it a matter of what tax code and what restrictions we want to impose for the general wellbeing of everyone? I know there is also an underlying benevolent mentality that we don't have, but isn't it the degree of taxation and restriction that is the difference?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 4:02 PM
  • News choosing my word carefully, so that it's meaning is not understood, that was an outstanding comment. You do a wonderful job with economics. Thanks.

    By the way ND you are pretty salty on the subject yourself, but then on what subject are you not?

    I am at the front of the fan club for each of you.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Feb 10, 2013, at 7:10 PM
  • Apparently, the Pope is pooped.

    The last papal resignation was in the 1400s, so I understand. Most die in office; so this must mean serious health problems, and a potential power struggle such that the current Pope may have some influence in naming a successor.

    Interesting.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 5:25 AM
  • So now a group of old men ridden with legitimate guilt, often horrendous, that is recognized by all except the senile among them, will again form a cabal to select another to guide a huge portion of humanity down a path that is only loosely connected to reality.

    We will know when their deed is done by smoke arising from the chimney of their place of congress, and perhaps a secret flash of a mirror out of a window from which no one outside may see what is within. Smoke, and mirrors, fitting symbols of their message to the gathered masses; "we offer another to present you with the seeds of confusion, guilt, and hypocrisy". ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 10:57 AM
  • relatively speaking -

    I too wonder what has turned up to turn the pope out to pasture (or is that out to pastor????) ...

    It may very well be that he's just too loose in the head and joints to continue to pontificate - But i'm guessing he's not leaving of his own accord ... Only time will tell.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 2:05 PM
  • news -

    I am not a physicist or a scientist - but I think I know the answer to this one ...

    According to relativity theorists, the passage of time in a faster moving reference frame appears to be slower than the passage of time in a slower moving reference frame.

    And gravity most likely has a similar effect as velocity. So - in theory - the passage of time in a reference frame that is closer to a gravitational body will be slower than the passage of time in a reference frame that is further from a gravitational body.

    Probably the only constant that everybody can agree on is the speed of light.

    But that, Little Atom, is another story.

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 3:09 PM
  • news -

    I almost forgot to give you a favorite quote concerning time ...

    "Time is an illusion - and lunchtime is doubly so."

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 3:11 PM
  • "Little Atom", "lunch time"=funny LMAO

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 3:37 PM
  • I have learned in the course of a long life that the more I know, the more I become aware of how much I do not know.

    Does that mean that those who know it all actually know nothing? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 11:51 PM
  • hey news

    What if Jesus did rise from the earth - not to mention being "taken up" to speak with the prophets at the mount of transfiguration? What if the "rising" in these instances was due to a tractor beam from an extra-terrestrial vehicle of some sort? Very possible - if you consider the "aliens visited the earth in ancient times" theory. More biblical accounts could be more explainable if you buy into the idea of ancient aliens.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 8:01 AM
  • news -

    You know - "Beam Me Up Scotty" kind of stuff.

    Here's a note from the NASA.gov site.

    "Tractor beams -- the ability to trap and move objects using laser light -- are the stuff of science fiction, but a team of NASA scientists has won funding to study the concept for remotely capturing planetary or atmospheric particles and delivering them to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft for analysis.

    The NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has awarded Principal Investigator Paul Stysley and team members Demetrios Poulios and Barry Coyle at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., $100,000 to study three experimental methods for corralling particles and transporting them via laser light to an instrument -- akin to a vacuum using suction to collect and transport dirt to a canister or bag. Once delivered, an instrument would then characterize their composition."

    For more visit NASA.gov and search for Tractor Beams.

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 2:32 PM
  • I think the tractor beam deatomizes you and puts you back together once you reach the endpoint.

    Ewww, any little mistake would be messy.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Feb 12, 2013, at 7:49 PM
  • Everybody needs a super hero growing up, and Jesus provided that by having special powers granted by the heavenly father. I'm not sure he could have stood up to Superman though. Now, come on Christians, its time to grow up and admit that if Jesus existed at all, he was a mere mortal. He sounded "hippy like" to me.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 5:42 AM
  • news et al -

    I now understand - tongue in cheek is not allowed.

    Sorry for the inconvenience - but at least you had a chance to laugh out loud - and once again at another's expense.

    Good on ya mate!

    GB

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 7:57 AM
  • GB tongue in cheek is one of my habits. Occasionally it causes me to bite my tongue, but not often enough to break me of the habit. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 10:42 AM
  • GB, most of my comments socially are tongue in cheek, often here too, at least I hope it sometimes comes off that way. You just have to be careful that it's your own cheek, although on second thought... yes, take this a "tongue in cheek" or maybe even "code" :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 13, 2013, at 6:20 PM
  • RT

    Oooooooh - intrigue - mystery - "code" ...

    The mind travels to so many places when such terms are part of the conversation.

    Looking forward to more "code" ...

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Feb 15, 2013, at 3:10 PM
  • Anyone watch Craig Ferguson late night. Its too late for me too, but I DVR it and watch during old folk's time :-) If you have never seen it, do yourself a favor and record and watch a few shows. Besides some celebrity guests, he has a gay robot that is voiced by someone who is really quick witted that he often converses with throughout the show, and a really dumb-arse horse. Craig is an exceptional impromptu talent and I love his sick humor. Try it and tell'm RT sent you :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Feb 16, 2013, at 6:00 AM
  • RT I have been watching Craig's show for a long time. He has a gift for non-stop clever gab. Sometimes his show is a monologue relegating the guests to no more than punctuation. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 16, 2013, at 11:04 AM
  • That was good News.. couldn't quick watching this morning with my cup of coffee. Some pretty funny stuff.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 17, 2013, at 8:06 PM
  • On a semi serious note, does anyone else believe that devoting oneself to a life of celebacy is somehow missing out on a very important aspect of life? It is a self inflicted wound base totally on ignorance of reality the way I see it. I would feel really bad if any of my offspring chose a life without sex. Of course, messing up one's mind is just one more reason religion can be evil.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Feb 19, 2013, at 6:10 PM
  • Hilarious News. May I be the first to suggest that should you be chosen you select the name Pope Benito Mussolini.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Feb 19, 2013, at 10:43 PM
  • "I PUT YOU THERE AND I CAN TAKE YOU OUT! "Chicken Little was right." Just a couple of likely reactions to the information at the following link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Feb 19, 2013, at 11:06 PM
  • In an effort to keep this blog from being permanently hijacked I offer this related article and personal opinion:

    "Higgs data indicates our universe is unstable"

    Recent article concerning the god particle's weight based at least partly on some LHC findings:

    http://www.tgdaily.com/space-brief/69597...

    After reading this and at other times other intriguing scientific articles regarding our universe, Big Bang, et al, I have to admit it does make me wonder if there might be some underlying supernatural power at work. Could our universe be but an atomic particle that is part of some even larger physical object that is part of some supersized universe? However, this is just the mind wondering about such possibilities, and it in no way comes close to a belief in even the supernatural, only that yes, there is always that extremely remote chance that something is in play that we cannot comprehend and we (I) may never be able to. This does not constitute the slightest reason to believe there is such a thing as a god as a singularity. And even if one was to take that extreme leap of faith (that there may be an underlying supernatural singular force), that would never constitute recognition of any human contrived religion on my part. As science continually unravels mysteries of the universe, it often exposes more mystery beneath the covers of what it just discovered. That pursuit will be unending. However, the frivolity of man claiming to know a god in any religion will hopefully come to an end in the not too distant future.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 2:55 AM
  • I have read several articles on the Papal race and news is included in some!

    However, the present Pope has issued a recent encyclical which has enraged the followers of Guru Narak (the turbaned one). It is now being known as a Sikh-heating missal.

    News was quoted recently in an open mike gaffe about working on world dieting. He was heard referring to the upcoming meeting as a Fat-Again Council.

    The present pope will be 85 soon. Join the celibation.

    The Vatican wants their next Pope to have a full set of natural teeth. They are tired of serving Pope-puree.

    Our current Pope has decided to electrocute all of the rodents in the Vatican with a 'Tazer on steroids' device now known as the Rat-Zinger.

    Stay tuned for the latest in this hotly contested race.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 8:51 AM
  • Come on y'all ...

    Do you REALLY think those guys are celibate?

    Wake up!

    News - when you are elected Pope, would you please put an end to the popular mis-CONCEPTON that all priests are celibate?

    By the way, news - it looks like you have learned a thing or two about campaigning - telling lies and making promises you know you can't keep.

    Good on ya!

    You've got my vote.

    Oh yeah - I don't get to join the conclave.

    Shucky Darn!

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 9:04 AM
  • It turns out that the Vatican military has more holes in it than does Swiss cheese.

    In processionals; the Pope will no longer have a train, thus speeding things up for those who engineer his appearances while trying to keep things on track.

    There are spending limits on the campaign; word is that Karl Rove will offer his services to the highest 'legitimately' celibate candidate.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 9:48 AM
  • I read these overnight posts with my morning coffee. I laughed, I thought, my last thought being what a great group of people with whom to share your morning coffee!

    And before one of you wags say it I am not just now having my morning coffee. I did not have time to respond earlier. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 12:33 PM
  • Why do liberals hate God?

    Not all do but in general they reject his authority, the reality that there is a God and truth. They have turned from God and can't tell right from wrong. They don't recognize the wickedness and evil that abounds and some of it that they actually support. They don't like to be reminded of their sin and if they reject God then there is no sin. Every nation that turns their back on God will fall every time. Just like psc is promising everything, playing God in a way but he won't be able to deliver. Then America will fall and liberalism will too.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 9:26 PM
  • There are those that put all of their faith in science. They want us to believe that billions of years ago, matter exploded outward and created the universe, time and space. Where did the matter come from if nothing existed before? They like to use billions of years because man can't comprehend such a vast amount of time. They will deny God but believe that there was nothing and then 'bang' we have matter, space and time. Now that is faith.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Feb 20, 2013, at 9:49 PM
  • Rr3: "Why do liberals hate God?"

    I don't hate what I don't believe in. It's like me accusing you of hating the Easter Bunny if you claimed you didn't believe in him. I don't even hate those who claim to know what they could not possibly know. I do have disrespect and close to hate for those who try and push their interpretation of a holy book on all of those around them, especially those who try to incorporate their mass delusion in our government and public school system.

    Rr3: "...the reality that there is a God and truth.

    Your delusion does not constitute reality others. Why can't you understand that?

    Rr3: "They have turned from God and can't tell right from wrong."

    You keep insulting my morality because I do not support your delusion. Your right-wing evangelical view based on the interpretation of what you think is a holy book leads you to justify actions the majority of the world would consider immoral. That is very much like Orwellian "double think".

    Rr3: "Then America will fall and liberalism will too."

    If liberalism falls it will be cause of God-spouting fascists will have finally taken over. They are getting very close to taking over the once semi-respectable Republican Party.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 2:16 AM
  • IT, that is really good stand-up material. Don't tell me you made it up? Is that from Emo Phillips who once said "Once I posed nude for a magazine. I've never been back to that Newsstand"

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 2:17 AM
  • GB: "Do you REALLY think those guys are celibate? Wake up!"

    If perhaps masturbation doesn't preclude someone from being considered celibate, I might buy it... maybe. And even if they try hard (pun not originally intended) to refrain from self-gratification, that's when they can't keep their holy hands off the children, or worse, they turn into rapists. Celibacy is a cruel form of masochism and self-inflicted, unnecessary mental abuse. Try not to get too excited now RR3 :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 2:25 AM
  • OK News, you finally have my vote too. Now that you have everyone's vote, could you please stop running for office. When you finally get to take office, you are going to find that the job really sucks (pun insinuated).

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 2:28 AM
  • "Vatican loses fight to keep sex files secret"

    http://www.vatileaks.com/_blog/Vati_Leak...

    News, be careful what you might be stepping into....

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 2:31 AM
  • ROTFLMAO X ten! "final solution to the Southern Baptist problem"...OMG ROTFLMAOA again...can't wait to see what r has to say about that direct, and personal threat to his corporeal existence.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 10:33 AM
  • I just finished the rest of the overnight material good stuff!

    You guys are probably adding years to my life from the hearty laughter you provoke. I hope that most of you don't react with dismay at that declaration.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 10:48 AM
  • I am nearly in a state of panic because of the building threat that News Across may become Pope.

    I am especially concerned about his plan to eradicate Southern Baptists.

    Therefore I am compelled to announce that I am a candidate for president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    My platform is one of peace, emphasizing the common ground shared with Catholics. However, to address the eminent threat I plan to form a new group, enlisting all young Southern Baptist men in a quasi-military group named Sons Of Baptists. Those SOBs will protect us from the dire Papist threat to our existence.

    My central message is the promotion of comity between our remarkably similar sects.

    Though we do not pretend to have advanced the practice by the priesthood of physically loving children nearly as well as Catholics, our youth ministers, though often hampered by wives, excel at times in that practice. That is certainly common ground upon which we may work together. Perhaps in time the Catholics will even understand our joy in the practice of near drowning of infants and children. It is a powerful ancillary to our already shared practice that strikes necessary fear into the hearts of children.

    I plan to request that the chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America mediate an agreement between us on this issue.

    We also share common ground concerning our 'woman problem". Secular society is exerting ever increasing pressure on our women. They are getting uppity. We must put our heads, and our superior physical strength together to keep them in their place. Perhaps we can even come together to instruct them through new mandatory (I respect that word, and it rhymes with predatory) programs emphasizing a womans true place. So many of them just don't have the intellectual capacity to know what is best for them. We can work together in many ways to force their true happiness.

    What should seal the deal on this tentative confederacy is the joyful might of the Lord that we would share. Imagine all the schools as either Catholic, or Southern Baptist, all the Judges, all the Congress the same. We could put God's word in every book, every law, and God's word in every ear. Hallelujah!

    I am anxious to see if this proposal is welcomed by candidates for the Papal throne.

    (SATIRE)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 12:10 PM
  • The thought occurs to me that those who stoutly protest that they did not ascend from monkeys do make a strong case that monkeys ascended from them, or from the opposite perspective they have in fact literally descended from monkeys.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 12:39 PM
  • Only a monkey could think of that.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 1:06 PM
  • The very serious thought occurs to me that we should truly enjoy these blogs while we can. To all things there is a season, and so it goes.

    I have e mail addresses for a very few of you. There are a few others that I wish I had, but likely never will. It will be a sad day when I don't ever again see the words of some of you.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 1:12 PM
  • "Only a monkey could think of that."-- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 1:06 PM

    Don't give up your aspirations toward monkeyhood r, if you work hard at it there is even a remote possiblity that you may exceed their status. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 1:18 PM
  • so i am taking it the mail is not going to run more today

    -- Posted by tweety on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 2:12 PM
  • Pope aspirant News you say "Discalceatus, Gravida in Culina!!"-Us'n Redneck S.B.s say Keep 'em pregnant, barefoot, in the kitchen-think further on a grand alliance.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 4:00 PM
  • China's Christians see mounting persecution in country's effort to disband churches, report finds

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/02/21/...

    When will we see this in America and how many would be ok with it happening. But then liberalism thinks religion is the problem, when they are the problem.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 4:46 PM
  • News the Republicans approval rating (as described in your link) has fallen to 25%. It seems to me that the hole that they continue to dig for themselves will eventually become a latrine in which they become the deposit. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 5:10 PM
  • News I am really surprised and saddened that a man of your caliber would believe the lies about Christians. May God bless and enlighten you.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 5:23 PM
  • I guess this explains why liberals really don't like freedom unless it fits their agenda. No competition that way.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 5:31 PM
  • There is no separation of church and state in the constitution it is another liberal deception. You can believe it if you want and I do hope we never lose the freedom to worship as we choose. The thing that worries me is the deception that religion is the cause of all these problems in the effort to stifle our freedom. We are supposed to be tolerant. Really we have been too tolerant, we let prayer be taken out of the schools, we have let liberalism take over our education system but yet we are supposed to be tolerant. I would say we have been too tolerant and liberalism is the most intolerant bunch there is.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 6:32 PM
  • Freedom does not come through mandatory compliance or it is not free. Mandatory compliance takes away freedom. Liberalism takes away freedom. We can't be offended, we can't hate, we can't freely worship unless we tolerate gays, we can't stand against the murder of babies because it is wrong, we can't have an organization with certain beliefs unless we are tolerant, that is pretty intolerant. In a free society you will be offended, bullied, hated, outcast but if you refuse to let little things control you then you are all the better for it. What kind of people do we get that are protected from the cradle to the grave. We get people that are depressed, freeloaders, whiners, snivelers, 70 something year olds that act as children, etc. We have sissyfied manhood in general by making it ok to be gay, feel you inner self. How about man up take a stand and responsibility for your actions and quite whining about what others have gotten away with. Offer solutions instead of griping about the problem.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 7:48 PM
  • Feeling a little insecure about personal things are you rr3? LOL

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Feb 21, 2013, at 8:08 PM
  • LMAO News. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 12:18 AM
  • " What kind of people do we get that are protected from the cradle to the grave."

    Wrong again-----you get liberals!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 2:55 AM
  • " What kind of people do we get that are protected from the cradle to the grave."

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/02/21/...

    Then we have people that want to blame all the problems on religion. What idiots.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 2:59 AM
  • Saudi religious police arrest Ethiopian workers for practicing Christianity http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/02/21/...

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 3:00 AM
  • "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . . ."

    The Establishment Clause is immediately followed by the Free Exercise Clause, which states, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". These two clauses make up what are called the "Religion Clauses" of the First Amendment.[1]

    The Establishment Clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the "separation" or "no aid" interpretation, while the second approach is called the "non-preferential" or "accommodation" interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government's entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

    RR3, this may have some wiggle room, but it is very clear that you cannot show any preference to ANY religion. Thus, the public schools and government agencies cannot grant special consideration to Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or any religion. As Nana was stating, it does not stop anyone from praying either. If you want your children or grandchildren to be led in prayer or preached to in a school, then send them to a private school where they are funded by you and your religious brethren. Even though public schools will try to teach them math and science, they are not allowed to say that believing in outrageous supernatural beings is ridiculous either, primarily because the parents of those brainwashed children would nail the administration the a cross. There is a good chance, however, that even those schooled in a brainwashing environment will by early adulthood shed the chains of ignorance their parents shackled them with. Being exposed to lots of ideas outside that tiny sphere of ignorance has a way of doing that.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Feb 22, 2013, at 10:11 PM
  • WE NEED NEWS SPEAKING TO THE PEWS! THE VATICAN IS AT THE END OF IT'S ROPE! ONLY NEWS CAN BRING US HOPE!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 23, 2013, at 7:09 PM
  • News I don't know what your campaign manager plans, but you must do something to capture the attention of the Cardinals, and gain their anticipatory loyalty.

    As you have often stated that you possess material wealth you should open the coffers, hire the Vienna Boys Choir, and have them give an exclusive show to all the Cardinals at some secluded vinyard hidden in the hills of Rome.

    ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Feb 23, 2013, at 7:19 PM
  • I have decided to worship a Box. Not just any box, instead a Box that is missing four sides, a top, and a bottom.

    No matter what I put into it I can never determine that it is filled, in fact I can not be certain that it is not empty, nor can I prove that it even exists. One must have faith to worship such a Box, for that is the only way to assure that it exists. Such faith proves faith, and little more to those who do not worship such a magnificent Box. Some people find a worshipper of such a Box peculiar. I believe my faith will overcome derision from non-believers. I pity those that can not see The Box not bound by top, sides, or bottom, and those that can not understand that it has no limitations.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Feb 25, 2013, at 11:52 PM
  • Good stuff ND. Have you considered that a few may take your act of providing that link an act of persecution? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Feb 27, 2013, at 11:38 PM
  • ND, thanks for that article. It certainly presents a plausible case for a false claim of persecution by Christians, or for that matter any other religion with zealots. One case of a Christian showing up for martyrdom:

    "It didn't help that early Christians developed a passion for martyrdom. Suffering demonstrated both the piety of the martyr and the authenticity of the religion itself, and besides, it earned you an immediate, first-class seat in heaven. (Ordinary Christians had to wait for Judgment Day.) There were reports of fanatics deliberately seeking out the opportunity to die for their faith, including a mob that turned up at the door of a Roman official in Asia Minor, demanding to be martyred, only to be turned away when he couldn't be bothered to oblige them."

    Basically, you have people acting quite insanely in front of strong authority figures, being vigorously "prosecuted" claiming "persecution". We certainly see that now in varying degrees as well. If they can't have their way by forcing prayer in the public classroom, and interjecting their whacked out supernatural beliefs and scripture in our government, then they cry "persecution".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 28, 2013, at 2:10 AM
  • "The Pope is Not Alone: Other Clergy Want Out Too"

    I was wondering if perhaps part of the Pope's resignation based on a fading belief. As this article states, if so, he wouldn't be close to being alone:

    http://www.clergyproject.org/news/2013/0...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 28, 2013, at 2:18 AM
  • Check out the first drilling on Mars by the Curiosity rover:

    http://www.space.com/video

    BTW, I don't believe they are looking for supernatural forces. If so, drilling 1.5 inches might not be enough :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Feb 28, 2013, at 2:30 AM
  • News, very interesting article on DNA in the primodial soup. On the other hand, haven't you beat this Pope thing to death enough? If you can be serious awhile, I'd like to know if you or anyone else thinks that perhaps the Pope only quit because of his health, or perhaps maybe he has at least an inkling it is all a charade and he just couldn't play along any more? Maybe he's tired of all the c r a p (trying to beat Eric's censor software :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 2, 2013, at 6:42 AM
  • News, I think u r correct, other than I don't think they are too big to fail. Like all religions, as access to information and intelligence rises, and as more people discover they are not alone in their doubts or non-belief, they will dwindle in numbers. As long as democoracies (even pseudo democracies) last and even increase, our world population will have access to information and they can eventually rationalize the truth about religion. All religions are on their way to a very diminished role. They'll eventually have to sell some of their stolen treasure to continue their lavish life style.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 2, 2013, at 6:07 PM
  • Shaking the pillars of the Church, and a message from the heavens to the Church? I wonder what the superstitious among the Bretheren make of this. Is this somehow the handiwork of nascent Pope-aspirant News Across?

    Time will tell, but then maybe it won't. ;)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/03...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 3, 2013, at 8:12 PM
  • News I believe that though religion will continue to decline, to a certain point, that it will not disappear. I hope that reason will some day be the majority influence.

    I think that there are many people who are incapable of reasoning, or emotionally blocked from allowing reasoning to guide their actions. Reasoning is something that they do not do. Thus they fall back on faith the only other available course. It is the easy path for all they must do is believe, and follow rules. Though they may in many faiths, they do not have to examine anything, nor understand anything. Faith gives them the freedom of a little child, the downside is that they have the limitations of a little child.

    For most specific faiths a limited understanding of it is all that is required beyond an expression of faith. Teachers of the particular faith fill in the blanks for them. It is ideal for limited people such as those I described.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 6, 2013, at 12:17 AM
  • Smok'n, interesting and thought provoking question regarding religion and genetics, and whether the religious are being chastised like gays have been for essentially something out of their control.

    I'm confident there is a difference; I'm just having difficulty rationalizing what it is. The difference for me is that being gay has nothing to do with being rational or irrational. It is a pure physiological state, and has nothing to do with thought process. It is the same as being straight. Being straight has not anything to do with a choice I have made along the way, although I do believe many people have the propensity to go either way. If there are people who have a choice between same sex partners or opposite sex partners choose to be gay, that has nothing to do with being rational or irrational in my mind. And, that is true whether it is a choice or whether one is genetically setup to be gay. It has nothing to do with rationality. On the other hand, believing in a supernatural being is irrational, and I believe shows one's ignorance in regard to understanding the physical laws regarding the nature of our universe. Gay has nothing to do with being rational, while believing there is a holy ghost has a great deal to do with irrationality.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 3:46 AM
  • SC, Your "what if" does not more than my "I am confident" I suppose. On the other hand, I think current evolution theory does speculate that religiosity might very well be DNA related. It goes something like this: Those who exhibited irrational fear had a slight edge in survival of the fittest because an irrational fear of spirits probably kept them away from situations that usually didn't warrant such fear, such as the wind blowing thru the tall grass or rumbles of volcano's, etc. Those who were skeptic had a higher risk of being killed by a lion or might expose themselves to lightening or other potential natural disasters, and over thousands of years, human populations tended to have higher percentages of those who feared spirits were involved with almost everything. I'm sure I'm not doing it justice, but I think that is the general idea. So, there is a good chance that religiosity is DNA related, as you are proposing. Does that mean that you have no control over irrational behavior? I think not. Does this mean you get a pass if you choose to act on or against others because religiosity is in your DNA? Well, maybe murder 1 could be considered manslaughter if you are deemed bat-stuff "crazy", which also is probably a product of one's DNA. It is related to how you act (what you do), because it could be said that everything is related to you DNA. This may even require considering whether there is such a thing as "free will". If you can explain everything based on DNA you are insinuating there is no free will?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Mar 7, 2013, at 5:30 PM
  • IF propensity toward religion is DNA based, then it must be a recessive gene, as it appears on the decline. I guess people aren't inbreeding like they once did.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 3:54 PM
  • News Flash:

    SC doesn't like News. Taylor Swift doesn't date Michael J Fox's son..and in other news, the US beat Japan in WWII.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 3:56 PM
  • IT: "IF propensity toward religion is DNA based, then it must be a recessive gene, as it appears on the decline. I guess people aren't inbreeding like they once did."

    Now thaaaat's funny!

    If the defendent is claiming innocence based on insanity due to DNA, I'm not sure that dog will hunt either. I once was religious until I was aroun 10 years old, and then it just hit me how ridiculous it all was. The hard part was trying to get over the fact that virtually all adults sounded like they bought into it, so how could I as a kid doubt all those adults? Turns out, hind site, I know now I had uncles and aunts that I'm sure didn't buy into it, as well as my own parents; everyone just kept quiet about it. And therein lies the problem that the Internet will help solve.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 5:19 PM
  • SC: "But first, let's get this clear: I don't like you."

    Woe.... SC, you might want a chance to retract that after you think about it awhile, or the liquor wears off :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 5:34 PM
  • I don't make it a practice to defend other posters on these blogs, we are allegedly big boys, and girls. However an observation, not a defense; SC posted an interesting question which is proven by the length of the thread it inspired. Thank you SC. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 8, 2013, at 8:01 PM
  • You really enjoy nonsensical taunting News. I have had enough of your mean spirited braying so I'm also done with you here.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 9, 2013, at 12:38 AM
  • Did I miss something, or did this carry over from the Political blog? Politics and Religion do often overlap some. That's another reason our government needs to keep church and state separate.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 9, 2013, at 5:02 AM
  • Just noticed an add over on the right about earning a religious diploma. Does anyone else consider that a worthless degree? That's like earning a degree from the "Ghost Busters" institute or majoring in "Crop Circle Theories". Perhaps it will teach you all you need to know about swindling people out of their hard earned money?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 9, 2013, at 5:07 AM
  • There is an interesting TED talk this week. "The Psychology of Evil". It fits into either the religion, or the politics blog as so many thoughts do. I am arbitrarily placing it here. My own sub-title is monkey see, monkey do, unless you are dealing with wise, or well trained monkeys. ;) Watcha think? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-philip-...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 10, 2013, at 12:13 AM
  • OKR, very interesting TED talk about good & evil. I think it shows how culture plays a significant role in how we act, and actions by those around you represent the culture of good and evil. It is difficult to buck the current culture of those around you. As usual, TED talks are interesting... thanks.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 10, 2013, at 8:08 AM
  • Well said Nana! It is really easy for anyone to say they would stand up for what is right, but until you have been in that situation, you do not know the pressure that exists to say nothing or do nothing. That is why it is important to instill in our children and grandchildren that they will be faced with situations where there will be peer pressure to NOT do the right thing, whether it be bullying or showing off around friends. You may not be able to stand up to the person responsible for bad or violent behavior at a given time, but you must mentally recognize that that behavior is wrong and try not to go along with it, and ultimately be prepared to report bad behavior. Of course, standing up to it at the time is certainly the good thing to do, but it may not be practical action at any given moment depending on the situation. Understanding right from wrong is the first and most important step.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 10, 2013, at 12:35 PM
  • I knew you cogent folks would have interesting thoughts on this subject. As always I enjoy your perspective. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 10, 2013, at 12:54 PM
  • Amen Nana. I agree that our schools are tools of the powerful. That is why there is little, or no emphasis on teaching the ability to think critically in our public schools. It should be started at an early age, and interwoven as applicable in every subject every year until our youth are out the door.

    I was not in a position to home school my son, in lieu of that I counter schooled. He definitely can think critically, no thanks to the school system.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 12:12 AM
  • And Amen DO.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 12:13 AM
  • I've said it before, and it's worth repeating (I think). Just let the generals and heads of state fight the wars. They'd be over quickly; if they ever even got started.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 10:33 AM
  • "497th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group"? Why in the world would they need a Chaplain to deal with psychological trauma from seeking information, spying on folks, and searching? Newspeak is every where. LOL

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 12:42 PM
  • Bill Clinton and HW Bush brought us NAFTA. Most of the politicians of that time were on board with it as well.

    I will give Perot his chops on that one; he was totally correct. That giant sucking sound still hamstrings all of us, even if it was inevitible.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 1:21 PM
  • I recall a photo op at the time "IT" featuring every living President, all on board, all with big smiles. My thought at the time was "what the hell?" in retrospect I think those big smiles, depending on which President, were a mix of wolfish grins, and the vacuous smiles of last meal lambs unaware of impending slaughter. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 2:58 PM
  • Yeah, I think I remember the photo as well.

    You really want to think that those in charge actually know what they are doing, and maybe they do; however, knowing what is right and then following up on that are 2 different matters.

    I don't have a lot of faith in humankind's ability to right this listing ship of politics, war, human rights violations and what really amounts to slavery for much of the world. I also don't think that people will ever truly revolt. Egypt got close, but the military still runs things there, and things are as bad, if not worse, than before for those people.

    In the U.S., we really do have it better than most, but we are letting our minds be poisoned by useless drivel; such as the Kardashians, and watching professional sports (and thinking that they actually mean something) and the talking heads of news programs that encourage division and hatred.

    Yup, even though I am comfortable, I am basically a pessimist, and I see no real way out of this negative inertia we have allowed ourselves to enter.

    Oh well, maybe News will be the pontiff and we can all say we knew him when.

    :)

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 11, 2013, at 4:05 PM
  • Nana, great YouTube on The Collapse of the Middle Class. I keep pointing to Elizabeth Warren saying she would be my choice for President. On another note, I think most everyone here is getting way out on the fringe knocking our public school system, even implying there is a government conspiracy somehow raising little robots for government programming. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are pros and cons to home schooling, but there are few families capable of even attempting home schooling even if they wanted to. My kids and grandkids are coming out of the public school system with a very good education. The vast majority of teachers do a really good job and are not indoctrinated to satisfy some conspiracy theory. In an effort to try to stay somewhat on the topic of religion, I believe on the other hand that religious schools are about indoctrination. One interesting bit of information you will get from the Elizabeth Warren lecture around the 44 minute timeframe is that "almost twice as many people believe that the moon landing was staged (faked) as believe you can make it into the middle class without a college diploma". The difference in 30 years is that what was believed to get you a ticket into the middle class has changed from 12 years (public funded) now requires a college degree, mostly self-funded. Basically, to make it to (or in) the middle class, we've added two years of preschool and 4 years of college which is not public funded. We don't need less public funded schooling to keep a large middle class, we need more.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 4:21 AM
  • DO,

    Would you rather have a bunch of people earning a living wage or have a bunch of people on unemployment?

    I think we need to give the underclass (financially speaking) a big chance, instead of always relegating them to the poorhouse and making any chance at being upwardly mobile an impossibility.

    Of course, there are always those who are unable or unwilling to work, but I think, and truly believe that those people are a tiny minority.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 10:03 AM
  • Yes DO,

    It was just a question to see where you are on one issue, as we haven't really gotten to know you very well yet.

    :)

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 10:46 AM
  • DO: "If you think there's nothing much wrong with America's educational system..."

    I think there is a lot wrong with our public school system. Most of the problem is related to social issues regarding family and the continuing loss of a true middle class. There are waaaay too many factors to go into, but the bottom line is that it has nothing to do with an education conspiracy. DO, do you believe Obama is an American citizen?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 7:39 PM
  • DO: "Correlation is not causation. We've never had a "free market".

    Are you implying we should have a totally "free market" system? Do you believe capitalism should have controls of any kind? If we had real free markets and unbridled capitalism, we would have a very few at the top of the food chain with the vast majority nothing more than serfs to the ruling elite. Capitalism has worked well for us because we have been able to grow a large middle class (a form of sharing the wealth). The key has been allowing those motivated to reap the rewards of their hard work while at the same time allowing everyone access to do the same, not the least of which involves offering everyone a chance to have a good education.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 7:50 PM
  • I realize my comments really belong in the political section, so let me try and force a connection to religion. Without the support of the extremely religious, the elite politicians would not have the extreme social issues that curretnly give them just enough support to maintain political power. Extreme religiosity is part of the problem with dumbing down our schools because they continue to hold back legitimate science and are continually trying to puch creationism in our public education.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Mar 12, 2013, at 8:02 PM
  • DO: "People are not being educated they're being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short term and repeating it. The bulk of how you are graded is by completely daily busy work."

    When was it not that way? It sure as hell was when I was in school sixty years ago. I think you need to keep looking for reasons Do.

    You might consider the breakdown of the family unit, and increasing numbers of children subjected to urban squalor for a start. You also may wish to consider that before the mid nineteen sixties about the only professional occupations fully open to women in America were teaching, and nursing. Thus we had some very bright folks teaching that have now exited the field of education.

    My point is not that we as a nation should return to Stepford. Rather that it is folly to wave a singular flag saying this is the reason. There are a myriad of reasons why we are now low rates. What you mentioned, what others mentioned, and what I mentioned are only some of the possible reasons. I am always leery when someone says this is the solution to a complex problem, and can then tell me about it in five minutes. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 1:16 AM
  • An afterthought: A huge influx of people to whom engish is a second language has to fit somewhere in the equation. Both teachers and students struggle to overcome that difficulty.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 1:31 AM
  • Just the other day someone said on one of these blogs "It's a shame that labels divide so many into tribalistic factions that always have to do or think opposite of those they are encouraged to see as the opposing tribe. I don't like dividing labels."

    I'm thinking that also rings true concerning solutions to our education problems. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 1:38 AM
  • White smoke ascends from the chimney. The suspense continues. Was News Across successful in his underdog's pursuit of the papacy? We will soon know.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 2:08 PM
  • DO: "OKR, you went to school a long time ago. Myself, not quite as long, but many years ago. And since I've come to this forum, I've been bombarded with pro-socialistic/communist/communitarian commentary. Talk like that would have been blasphemy when I went to school. I'm wondering, where does it come from? You, News and Nana all promote communism. How did 3 of the most vocal writers on these blogs become budding communist? Are there others? (shudder the thought)"

    Surely you jest sir? I think that there may not have been a pure communist since the concept, or conception of Jesus Christ.

    Yes DO, and talk such as that was also blasphemous in my time due to folks like Joe McCarthy lying, and fanning the flames of phobia, sucking in the ignorant, and otherwise impaired. So I ask you the question on the other side of the coin that you recited from, how did you become indoctrinated in all that McCarthyism? Never mind I know, you were brainwashed at school. I learn a bit more about you each time you write. I now know that your tirades about what the schools do comes from your personal experience. "Better dead than Red", remember that one? How about the slur Russian Crum Bum" that was once fightin' words for playground boys the equal of the MF word?

    As to our little Communist cell, horrors at last we are exposed, at least partially. Why don't you start an inquisition to see if you can find the others? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 10:36 PM
  • One other thing DO, is DO an acronym for "Down Under". H-mmmm.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 10:42 PM
  • While I'm at it DO I do hope these blogs interest you enough that you stick around for a bit. Seems to me that though we have each traveled our own circuitous path we have arrived at some of the same conclusions. That is interesting to me.

    At the same I think that the out-gunned members of the Hard Right who post here are laying back for the moment hoping, and perhaps even praying, that you will be their true champion.

    So you see, sometimes folks are welcome in the oddest of places for the oddest of disparate reasons. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 13, 2013, at 11:01 PM
  • I didn't say that. What are you talking about?

    I wonder if Eric would allow me to flag my own comment based on embarassment. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 12:13 AM
  • On the other hand DO, what say you about the other 99% of my comments. Don't just cherry pick. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 12:15 AM
  • You know DO even you might be wrong about something occasionally, for instance your assertion of ad hominem attack by me is refuted by the obvious. I directly addressed your comment, even quoted it above my comment before replying.

    Perhaps my comment seemed an ad hominem attack because it was a straight forward reply to an ad hominem attack by you. You apparently consider communism a dangerous horror, and have no respect for it. Then you lable three folks who post frequently Communist. That is an ad hominem attack.

    You need to do more homework before displaying your personal insights as to who anyone is. Read all the past comments. Then you would be aware as to each of our connections to Marshall, and Saline County. In my own case several of the bloggers know who I am, as does our fine Editor Mr. Crump.

    All your concerns about who we are begs the question who the hell are you? For all we know you may be some plant by the spend any amount on anything Koch brothers, or Karl Rove trying to further warp the minds of the masses, and undermine those who purvey dangerous truth.

    In the end all this is just my blather butting heads with the latest Alpha male to swagger on to these blogs, answering his blather. We can continue this foolishness, or we can get to more decorous, and defining discussion. That is up to you, whichever, bring it on. I have time on my hands, at least for the moment. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 11:29 AM
  • DO I do appreciate your shared ruminations, but they lack depth, and definition. They are too often vague, and too often short on suggested solutions to the quandaries that you highlight.

    For instance who does like government control of our school systems? I know of no one that likes the Bush Administration's bungle, labeled satirically "no child's behind left".

    Government oversight protecting constitutional declarations is a whole nuther thang. Your inference seems to be removing federal oversight, and likely even state oversight from all schools is the only proper course.

    If that is the case we would likely return to such injustices as locally decreed seperate but equal shams. Many ingrown enclaves would be teaching that dinosaurs, and humans coexisted on this six thousand year old earth, a concept best supported by "The Flintstones" cartoon series. So, what in the hell are you talking about?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 12:16 PM
  • By the way DO lets move these political discussions to the political blog where they belong. That is unless you are getting some thrill at successfully even changing around the venues at these little virtual burgs that you enjoy toying with. That was a sarcastic ad hominem attack. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 12:37 PM
  • Just my two cents worth -

    But as a card-carrying-bible-thumping-gun carrying-born-again-Christian ... I think Jesus - at least during his ministry years - practiced communism (small "c") ... The new testament church of "christians" probably did as well ...

    That said - I'd probably have a lot of folks - on the right anyway - disagree with me and label me a heretic for saying so.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 2:11 PM
  • DO - We've been seeing pretty much eye-to-eye, but I disagree with your last statement.

    True - it would make sense that in order to be a Communist - big "C" - you'd probably be an atheist.

    But that's not what I said - never did I call Jesus a Communist (big "C") ... I said - from my reading of scripture - I feel he practiced some sort of "communism."

    Jesus was not a "christian" ... He was the Christ. The new believers weren't called "Christian" either. Paul says they were first called "Christians" at Antioch.

    Hey - who knew?

    If we as Christians were to believe everything we hear at church or on "Christian T.V." - we'd be in a world of hurt already.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 2:47 PM
  • Maybe it would be better to write it "commune-ists" ... Like the hippy christian groups who established "commnities" in the 60s and early 70s.

    Or the Amish and Mennonites who very much practice a form of community - or commune-ism.

    We seem to have tunnel-vision in that when we think communist - we automaticlly think Stalin, Kruschev, and Castro.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 3:44 PM
  • You disappoint me DO. I had hoped for more from you. In my opinion you will run your little game then fumble, followed by flame out, or flee. You won't be the first. In my further opinion your display of fuzzy thinking, assertions that trail off without conclusion, and spiteful arrogance are the earmarks of predecessors such as Third World, Raytown Bill, and JJ.

    We shall see.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 5:25 PM
  • God particle confirmed. Is it truly the "God particle", or just another building block in an infinite string of building blocks? Did something precede the God Particle that led to its creation, or not?

    Ah science, answers always lead to questions; as opposed to religion wherein answers do not necessarily provoke questions, and are not subject to challenge, for many practitioners. Is faith often a hurdle to inquiry?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 8:14 PM
  • DO, here is an example of what I meant by "fuzzy thinking that trails off without conclusion".

    You said that local control of schools should be established. Uh-huh, so far so good. Do you mind me asking, in what ways, and to what degree. Just what does "local" mean to you?

    You also said that federal control of our schools has ruined them, and is the cause of American decline in the ratings of countries in regard to education.

    That is a bold statement. From you we have heard hardly a whimper as to why. So, why? Do you believe DO, that there is any proper role for the federal government in education?

    I think that the reason so many of us are having a problem with understanding you, and what you believe is because you really don't tell us anything. Please be more forthcoming.

    I also placed this post on the Politics blog. Please enter your response there, if you have one.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 8:19 PM
  • OKR, as I read back "up" the posts, when I got to yours about taking his comments to the political blog I was relieved to see someone else pointed it out. I saw from the very start that DO was nothing more than a "conspiracy theorist", and probably feels that way about everything. It is so easy to just throw that stuff out, but as Nana questioned "which experts are you referring to?" I'll leave our school system to the Federal and State government regulatory boards, over whatever DO thinks or whoever he follows. I'm confident that whatever DO's solution to our education should be would eventually result in moving our country into a fascist state. DO, please go over to the political blog and let us know what you think our education system should be doing.

    I for one (and many I might add) am an atheist that believes in heavily regulated and taxed capitalism. You don't have to believe in Jesus or Mohammed to believe that the prosperous should take care of the sick and the poor. You do have to be a cold hearted son of a preacher to believe that a just god would not want that.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 5:00 AM
  • Here's what may sound like a really crude question, but I think it gets to the heart of what religion can do to people mentally. Do any of you really believe that there are any priests, including the Pope, or other so called religious leaders, that never masturbate? And on a more humorous/related note, News, are you sure you knew everything about what you were signing up for when you announced you were in contention for the Pope's job?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 5:16 AM
  • Careful there RT, or you (SD too) will be added to DO's list of members of the Communist cabal that he asserts control these blogs. Thus far he has only named ND, NA, and myself, but he is still investigating.

    Kinda scary that we don't know who it is that he reports to in his crusade to eradicate the voice of Communism. Probably just Alex Jones, but you never know. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 10:56 AM
  • DO, I assume you are a believer in Jesus, so would you mind stating if you belong to or believe in firmly one particular church over another, and if you regularly attend? Also, do you believe religion should be taught in public schools?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 1:30 PM
  • RT one thing about Atheists, Free Thinkers, Secular Humanists, and the rest of that similar crowd is that they don't kill each other over nuance. The Christians have been doing that to each other for about two millenium, and there is no end of it in sight. If that isn't enough for that blood thirsty crew, they have even tried to wipe out the Jews who also believe in the same God even if they don't split him into three pieces. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 4:38 PM
  • News estis ut plena cacas quasi Nativitatis anser, sed fit una unum cognoscat. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 11:25 PM
  • It is apallingly ironic ND. :I

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 16, 2013, at 11:35 PM
  • Explanation: :I (grimace)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 12:20 AM
  • They say they picked him because he's old enough that he at least won't be the Pope that long. Maybe they pick one that old so they feel a little closer to God :-) Perhaps he has one foot in Heaven's gate and they are hoping he can pass back some information from the trifecta? It is all so sad to see grown men dedicate their lives to a fabricated story that got way out of hand a long long time ago. Now religion is one area that perhaps there really is a conspiracy theory DO? Do you think the top brass know there really wasn't a man that could walk on water or do any of those other things that only super heroes can do in comic books? Every time I reference "DO", I can't help but chant "a deer, a female deer"... anyone else have that problem... or perhaps you do now :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 4:06 AM
  • Hey News, this article makes it sound like the Johova's Witnesses are fairly strong in Australia these days. Good to see ignorance and indoctrination persists outside the US. Perhaps you should start knocking on doors and then you can possibly make it to the top of the JO-Ho's?

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/slammi...

    The US is still way out on top of the stupidity list when it comes to believing in somebody watching our every move. Someone should probably come up with a special material that god can't see thru, sort of like how superman can't see thru lead. Just think of how many really deranged people might buy enough to cover the walls of a small room where they could go into it when they got the urge to do something they don't want their sky daddy to see. You could make a fortune!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 4:26 AM
  • The real "conspiracy" is that which is self-inflicted by all those adults who occasionally go to church and continue to donate money to keep the whole charade going. They have a feeling there is some universal underlying power behind the universe we live in (a very natural feeling, but just a feeling none-the-less), and because of that, keep propping up these tribally inspired institutions of religions (not just Christians).

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 4:37 AM
  • ridentem alta voce News

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 4:45 AM
  • RT how in the hell can your funny bone be so active this early? LOL

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 4:48 AM
  • RT I read your comment "a female deer", etc. to my wife. She says she thinks of a Homer Simpson doh! when she reads it. Two laughs in two minutes before the sun comes up, I'm livin' good.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 4:57 AM
  • I like the Simpson's "Doh" the best. I guess we are early risers :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 8:52 AM
  • "Muslim Brotherhood's Statement on Women Stirs Liberals' Fears"

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/world/...

    This is a prime example of why we should all fear religion creeping into our schools and government. Christians will claim it couldn't happen if they had control, but just look at what the religious right is currently doing with pushing their social agenda in regard to contraception and abortion today. Thankfully our forefathers helped prevent most of this by recognizing the potential problem when they architected our constitution and bill of rights.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 9:07 AM
  • News, I really think that is a great way to handle the Mormons or other religious folk that stop by. I usually don't have time, and I can honestly say I have never been rude to them either. Of course they probably wouldn't come in with my large German shepherd standing intently at the door staring at them. They don't know that he only wants to lick them :-) Your actions speak much louder than words and undoubtedly will have an accumulative effect on their lives the more they get exposed to reason... kudos to you!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 12:11 PM
  • Methinks SC must have posted something naughty and all his posts have been removed? I was thinking that SC had been quite reasonable in most of his posts, and as I can best recall, his posts were usually thoughtful. But, my memory has mislead me often so I was going to go back and get some older posts from him to re-evaluate my opinion when I noticed no posts remain. Eric, was he removed? Perhaps he went off the deep end and posted something really really outrageous?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 10:02 PM
    Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
    Smokin' Cheetah asked to have his account deleted.
  • RT I don't think Smokin Cheetah was expelled from the blogs. I think he has left a silent parting message to us all by not choosing to just cease posting, instead requesting that every comment he has ever made be stricken from these blogs.

    He has expressed an increasing frustration with the blogs, which in his opinion the quality has been deteriorating for quite some time.

    I think his message is that not only does he choose to no longer participate, but that he prefers that any evidence that he ever participated in something of such low quality be expunged.

    That is pure conjecture on my part. I am also certain that he enjoyed some of the comments, which runs counter to my opinion as expressed here.

    Perhaps Eric will give us some clue.

    As in the case of several others who have chosen to leave the blogs, I hope he chooses to return. He wrote some really good stuff when he had the time to write a story. In fact I am right now going back to the first Speak Out to see if a clever story that he wrote presenting the various areas of the town of Marshall as body parts is extant.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 10:52 PM
  • Nope, he's purged.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 11:14 PM
  • News if your reference was to SC I don't believe he thought that the earth is six thousand years old, in fact I am sure that he did not. To dismiss him as a garden variety fundamentalist, is in my opinion an error.

    You may recall that he did not have a high opinion of many Christian congregations, and personally had struggled with their dogma, stating he did not fit in.

    Unfortunately I can not reference those comments, but I am sure that ND would attest, among other long time regulars.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 17, 2013, at 11:58 PM
  • "Burning bridges is rarely constructive", Ya got that right mate! :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 12:00 AM
  • And News let's not start splitting hairs again. that is also unproductive. ;)

    Have the last word if you want to, but I am not going back down that slippery path we just returned from. Talk about unproductive. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 12:05 AM
  • Have a Good un Mate. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 1:52 AM
  • FYI:

    Smokin' Cheetah requested his account be deleted and all his comments with it.

    -- Posted by Eric Crump on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 7:46 AM
  • Well,

    I for one am going to miss SC and his posts.

    I somehow felt we shared a certain kinship and I count him as dear friend.

    Keep the Faith, Bro.

    Shep

    -- Posted by shep on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 8:11 AM
  • news,

    "The laws of physics are absolute despite what some folks may claim...and we can prove that and have proved that."

    The main problems with the laws of physics being absolute is that we don't know all of the laws of physics.

    Even those of us who believe the big bang theory or any of its corollaries don't all agree on how big the universe is, whether it's the first of its kind, whether there are parallel universes, etc. So, there may be some wiggle room for the laws of physics, don't you think?

    The other day, there was a report that life may have been on Mars before Earth. There are some reports that a Martian rock may be the source of the original life form on Earth when it somehow travelled here. We are not even sure of our own origins on Earth.

    I know this is not entirely what you were posting, but your post stated that we know that all laws of physics are absolute, when, in fact, they have been changing since the beginning of the Universe. Assuming the big bang is correct, there was no gravity initially, and there was no mass. There was energy that slowed its kenetics and then became mass. Then, the simpler laws of physics became interwoven into the cosmos.

    Now, there is this pesky dark matter, which may yet rewrite all of the previous laws as the Universe begins to wind down.

    Anyway, I doubt that you disagree with most of this; it's just that your post reminded me of how little we actually know about physics, or anything else.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 9:36 AM
  • I will not post further on this blog today in honor of, and remembrance of my departed posting friend SC.

    There are all sorts of death not associated with the corporeal. Many are more easily accepted as subject to resurrection than corporeal death. It is unarguably rational in many such cases to hope for that outcome.

    Cheetah, I think I have at last uttered a declaration that no one will argue with. At least I hope so. ;)

    Peace. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 1:22 PM
  • That's cool News.

    I'll try to find the articles on the Mars rock and the bacteria on it. It was years ago that I read that.

    We didn't know about string theory and Einstein's work until relatively (see how I worked that in?) recently. There's a lot more to learn and discover, and I'm not totally convinced that mankind even knows what 'time' is.

    I don't believe I ever stated that Earth was where life originated. In fact, if you reread what I wrote, you'll find it to be totally the opposite.

    Later!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 10:29 PM
  • Here's one of many articles released in the past few weeks about life on Mars possibly predating that on Earth.

    http://www.space.com/20192-mars-life-bef...

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 18, 2013, at 10:36 PM
  • IT: "The main problems with the laws of physics being absolute is that we don't know all of the laws of physics."

    The massive amount of physical laws we have derived are as close to any absolute as you can get. Is there an infinite amount of things to learn and prove... as far as we are concerned the search for more in depth knowledge is never ending. Like evolution, there will always be gaps, but those gaps growing so small that the inference is without doubt. As we continue to build on our knowledge base, those religious and mystic thoughts that have never been backed up by anything keep diminishing. Science is pushing religion out to where it belongs, out to the irrelevant.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 6:22 AM
  • RT,

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree at this point in time.

    I was trying to point out that words such as absolute are misleading.

    I wasn't even trying to get into the religion aspect of things.

    So, you are free to believe that we have enough data to form nearly absolute conclusions, and I am free to think we have enough to learn that we need to have a healthy sense of self doubt.

    No problems with that, I hope.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 8:39 AM
  • (Laughing at Nana's post to me.)

    So true...thanks.

    Also, all of a sudden there is a fun energy on this board. I am digging it.

    Keep it up folks!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 10:02 AM
  • News,

    Do you recall a program (on the science channel) that suggested that all of the gold on earth actually came from one of the nebulae near us (relatively speaking)? It seems that gold is not an element found everywhere in the universe and that it ended up here on earth by happenstance.

    On another note, obviously, the earth was too hot early on to have much water and it is commonly thought that comets made of ice have contributed over the millenia to give earth its present water source.

    Anyway, I haven't been able to find out more about the gold thing. You are great at web surfing. If you have the time and inclination, that would be cool.

    It would lend some sort of credence to gold's value over time, would it not?

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 10:13 AM
  • That is true DO, though some of your statement is tongue in cheek.

    I surfed the net last night and found old posts by SC and JJ, as well as secret agent starn.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 10:15 AM
  • "DO - good, then I don't have to repeat myself. ;)"

    Now, THAT is funny!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 10:46 AM
  • Hmmm? Fog Horn Leghorn, Tasmanian Devil, Goofy, Pop Eye, Olive Oyl, Bucky Bugg, Mickey Mouse, Road Runner, Wily Coyote, Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Scooby, Casper, Yogi Bear, Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, and of course Heckle and Jeckle seem to have all been personified within these at times cartoonish comments; each by one, or more posters. I don't recall many appearances of Casper the friendly ghost.

    Yibadidibadadoo, that's all folks!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Mar 19, 2013, at 12:39 PM
  • German researchers publish full Neanderthal genome:

    http://phys.org/news/2013-03-german-publ...

    Again, science has never claimed to know ALL, but science does continue to LEARN ALL it can in all areas of our physical universe. All efforts to claiming to know and understand a supernatural power are nothing more than a joke in comparison to the achievements of science.

    For modern humans to come from where we began approximately 100,000 years ago to where we are now have had to have believed almost everything they witnessed to be some supernatural source. It is only the last few hundred years that science has been able to explain that virtually all events once believed cast upon us from a god or gods are simple or complex physical reactions. Witch doctors, Voo Doo priests, have all been proven charlatans. Priests, pastors, and people of the church claiming there is an overseeing god watching and altering events around us must surely not have long before the world as a whole and thru understanding our physical universe will also become irrelevant? It is sometimes hard not to feel sorry for "men of the clothe" when you realize that the vast majority of them were brainwashed from birth to adulthood, and are living basically a life based on ignorance. I can imagine how psychotic it must affect someone who believes something is continually watching their every move. If understanding is the way out, science is the key tool that will provide it.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Mar 20, 2013, at 4:45 AM
  • As usual, I expect someone to come along and point out that science is NOT EVERYTHING, so before that happens (again and again), let me remind everyone that I agree that science is not everything, and indeed is not the most important thing. Love, happiness and a sense of satisfaction are way above science. Science to happiness is like money to happiness; they do not equate, they only have the ability to enhance one's happiness, and in money's case, sometimes it can result in unhappiness if used wrong. Perhaps the same could be said of science. But in terms of a tool, science is real and religion is not based on any reality. I contend further that religion not only has caused great misery and death through the years, it is a major contributor to our warped psyche and feeds our inhibitions. And even those of us who finally break away from the bonds of religion to be able to rationalize there is no god, are still affected for life. All those parents who understand the value of positive reinforcement versus negative for our children should understand the disservice they do to their children and themselves by exposing their children to fear mongering religion. Wow, I feel so much better now that this rant is finished :-) I think I'll have a cold beer and contemplate the number 42 for a while!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Mar 20, 2013, at 6:12 PM
  • News: "In fact, as the facts of human evolution become known, I think people will be less and less vulnerable to the myth stories and silly superstition."

    Good point. Only by understanding what evolution has done to us do we have a chance to override the superstition that permeates our DNA.

    "Religion will soon be extinct." It will be like taking off the shackles of mankind.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Mar 20, 2013, at 6:16 PM
  • Speaking of DNA, check out this science news article that just came out:

    "Three-person IVF moves closer in UK"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-2180691...

    "The UK has moved closer to becoming the first country to allow the creation of babies from three people."

    I think I tried this many years ago once, it just wasn't using test tubes, but it was more fun :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Mar 20, 2013, at 6:23 PM
  • News said:

    "I have had some of the Mormon folks stop by and I always like to serve them coffee and cake while we discuss their religious beliefs (vs facts, lol)."

    Since when do Mormons drink coffee?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Mar 21, 2013, at 1:27 PM
  • Where ya been WTF?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 21, 2013, at 2:00 PM
  • -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Mar 21, 2013, at 9:50 PM
  • Thanks Nana,

    Just trying to figure if I missed the joke or if Mormons down under are the only one's on the planet who actually drink coffee.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Thu, Mar 21, 2013, at 10:55 PM
  • The reappearance of WTF called to mind the other poster who inferred "bad words" with chosen screen name, notgvnasht. It has been a long time since that person has posted. I reckon that person's sobriquet is one that portended future attitude toward these blogs. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 12:21 AM
  • Gotta say that when someone asks that I come by for coffee I understand that to mean tea, juice, and perhaps even wine, or whiskey, may be offered. On the other hand if someone says to me stop by for a cup of coffee, I take it more literally to mean just that, a cup of coffee.

    Others do not percieve those differences the same way as do I. It is semantics problems which seems to be the cause of many of the disputes on these blogs.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 12:33 AM
  • See where messin' around with those ersatz Christians, and tellin' about it has gotten you?

    You better get yourself back on the one true path, and talk about nothin' else. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 1:47 AM
  • OKR: "Gotta say that when someone asks that I come by for coffee I understand that to mean tea, juice, and perhaps even wine, or whiskey, may be offered."

    Sometimes I use it as code for sex :-) Of course I'm kidding. Perhaps News should preface his invite with something like "Come on in so we can have a nice little discussion about your imaginary friend and my failed attempt at running for Pope". I don't really think anything will scare them off however.

    Although it could possibly be an interesting conversation, somehow I never had any interest in talking with those young guys with the white shirts and the little black ties. Maybe those are the Seventh Day Adventists... they are a lovely group to come knocking as well. Even though I'm polite, I assume they get almost 100 percent rejection (except at News's house). The must be natural born salesmen.

    To tie this to religion, I think you'll enjoy this YouTube video of Mormon's being "Schooled" on religion by this black guy: "Mormons vs Epic Black Guy"

    http://youtu.be/lTfNPJ8KNmU

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 3:39 AM
  • Once you start on YouTube it can be difficult to stop watching related videos. This is one such video I found absolutely hilarious:

    http://youtu.be/v-bWz74h518

    This Aussie took a little different approach than you did News. After railing about them knocking on his door at 8 am Saturday morning, he flies to Salt Lake City and starts knocking on their doors promoting Atheism... this is funny stuff!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 4:04 AM
  • Still on point on "Religion", and in this case an interview with Susan Jacoby on Atheism:

    http://fivebooks.com/interviews/susan-ja...

    This lady is really good and this written interview is very interesting.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 4:16 AM
  • News,

    I just thought it was interesting, that's all. Saying someone sits down for coffee and cake is very specific in my book. To me it says you had coffee and cake. It's hard for me to envision any real Mormons drinking coffee.

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 6:29 AM
  • RT: "OKR: "Gotta say that when someone asks that I come by for coffee I understand that to mean tea, juice, and perhaps even wine, or whiskey, may be offered."

    Sometimes I use it as code for sex :-) Of course I'm kidding.

    Not me RT, in my rambling days between wives I more than once invited a young lady to "come by for coffee". It was a well understood euphemism by both parties, though I did put a jar of Folgers instant on the counter just in case I had been misunderstood. I don't remember ever even getting around to opening the jar on those occasions. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 12:53 PM
  • Is it only American culture that means "coffee" when they say "coffee"? Interesting. BTW, I find it hard to believe that you are that far removed from American culture.

    Madonna is from Michigan yet lives in England and now speaks with a contrived British accent although I'll bet she still knows that coffee means coffee, "mate".

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 9:02 PM
  • OMG that is exactly how they say it. I hear that unctious crud around here all the time. "Cheesus"

    On a similar note take a peek at the comment section under the MDN story "Local school officials fear Mo. Senate bill could hurt education funding." Here's the link for convenience: http://www.marshallnews.com/story/195240...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 1:11 AM
  • News in my last post I called that article to your attention because I know you are missing rr3 during his extended absence. There is a feller who posted there that may fit your need for similar conversation until rr3 returns. ;)

    Whereabouts you at rr3?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 1:58 AM
  • I saw that News, and agree that it is a huge discovery. Science marches on. :)

    By the way I saw your response to the rr replica. That probably isn't fair to rr3 to call this guy a replica. This jerk oozes hatred, and its companion ignorance.

    Anyway, I think we at times make a darn good tag team in response to the haters. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 11:05 AM
  • News: "getting back to real science.."

    Yes, science continues to force god into hiding places billions of light years away as we learn more about our universe. We've just about proven that the only place left for him to hide is in the imaginary section of the human mind, right next to Santa and the Easter bunny.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 7:49 AM
  • And I really don't care who wants to believe in god; just don't try and force your imagination on the rest of us. We can then live in peace!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 7:53 AM
  • I have no problem with a God, or god co-existing with the world of science.

    It's just too bad that the followers of both of the systems can't get along when their side of the situation is being argued, attacked or doubted.

    I am firmly on the science side of the argument, and I don't hold much for organized religion, but I do leave the door open for a greater being, even though he/she, He/She is probably not involved in our daily lives as some would have us believe.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 9:47 AM
  • Nana, let them trounce. I just don't claim to have all of the answers, and I don't listen to those that claim they do, on either side.

    :)

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 12:27 PM
  • Gotta say guys (gender neutral intent) that there are times that these blogs are splattered with exploding testosterone, to the point that it is blinding, and ear blocking.

    Mea culpa, but I was worse when I was younger.;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 2:04 PM
  • Not to gild the lily, nor geld the guilty, but there are times that some of us should clamp ourselves down for a bit. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 2:19 PM
  • Hi News,

    Of course I concur with facts.

    It may be some sort of genetic holdover that allows me to think there still may be something out there.

    It's not something I dwell over.

    I love astronomy, I am hopeful that humankind will develop to our highest potential, instead of our dizzying descent into oblivion that we may soon spiral into with wars, hunger, oppression and the lack of environmental concern.

    By the way, here is a good link that you may have already seen.

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 25, 2013, at 7:42 PM
  • Really no difference between an agnostic & an atheist.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 3:43 PM
  • An "agnostic" is "one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God" or "one who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism." This dictionary also notes that 19th-century British scientist Thomas H. Huxley invented the word "agnostic."

    He invented the term, so I am going with that one.

    Atheism is disbelief without a doubt.

    And if RT still doesn't see the difference, it is OK, because I do, and it is how I believe.

    No problem either way!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 4:40 PM
  • I'm thinking that there is little difference in practice between an atheist, and an agnostic, which may be where RT is coming from. There are philosophical differences, which I think is where IT is coming from. I am not trying to put words in the mouths of either of you. It's all good.

    I just don't want to see you two bright good people get into a hair splitting harangue such as my friend News, and I have done. Only apparent fools do such things, at no profit to anyone, excepting those that relish seeing otherwise intelligent people act the fool.

    I thought to delete this post because it would seem an intrusion. I can't though because it is a way that I can work myself around to an apology to all for my recent abysmal deportment. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 5:25 PM
  • Thanks OKR,

    It really, truly is not a problem, as that definition does sum it up for me.

    RT is absolutely free to think as he wishes, I was just pointing out my viewpoint.

    I think there are agnostics at the Unitarian Church in Columbia, at least there were when I was there.

    Didn't see any self proclaimed atheists, although there may be some there now.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 7:12 PM
  • Your welcome IT.

    Well said News. That alters my thinking just a bit, because dogmatism may have an effect on practice, thus a slight difference even in practice.

    I guess it is all incremental from atheist, to agnostic, to deistic, to God and Bible as guide, to God and Bible as literal, to God inhabiting folks and speaking through them, and so on to reductio ad absurdum. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 8:36 PM
  • Well said again News.

    Switching the subject just a bit, I am wondering if for some folks, those especially who grew up in devout fundamentalist Christian, Jewish, or Muslim households for instance, suffer from guilt when they break away from religion as either declared, or undeclared non-believers. As fear, and guilt (in my opinion) are driving forces in such communities, I would think it would be hard for such renouncers to not suffer guilt.

    On the other hand I think if one grew up in more mainstream, and particularly more liberal branches of those religions, they could more easily throw off the bonds without guilt, or remorse.

    I feel no guilt whatsoever.Is that at least partially because my parents were in essence nominal Christians? I know that you grew up in a Roman Catholic household, and also that your Dad was a silent atheist, or agnostic during that time. So what was your experience with guilt upon deciding that at least as likely as not, God does not exist?

    One other point, do you miss any part of the tradition? I don't miss any particular thing about it, but I do have very fond memories of the doin's at the little country church that I attended from age six to twelve. After that age I was pretty much turned loose in the secular world to find my own way. I am grateful for that opportunity. Though I have rarely attended a worsip service since age twelve, I did continue to read about religion, as I sought my path. I like to think that the things about religion, and about philosophy, etc. all got fair measure as I learned. I was never able to get over the hump to take anything on faith alone.

    I would like your opinion, and that of the other regulars who post here.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 12:35 AM
  • I am not at all surprised by the shoe results News. I reckon if ya for sure want your soles, ya sure better believe ya have a soul.

    The thing is ya gotta be quick witted, and turn conditions at the post office to your advantage. I'm thinkin' that the next time I wanna get a package to somebody fast, instead of payin' extra to send it priority mail I'll jus' stamp "Praise The Lord" on all four sides, and pay the cheap rate. Considerin' conditions at the post office it will likely get there faster than sending it priority mail. Ya see it is jus' givin' more credence to the priority of the postal workers, than what the infrastructure calls priority. ;)

    Thanks for the link. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 1:14 AM
  • I've noticed the word atheism sounds negative. I believe it is. By definition: a disbelief in the existence of deity. That is no different than any religion. You are making a decision, a belief, without knowing all the evidence. Spirituality is the quality or state of being spiritual. It is not as defined as any religious doctrine. You can believe whatever you want and still follow fact. Someone says the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and our solar system is very young in comparison to the universe. Someone claims to know the basic building blocks of life and there are excellent ideas to how they come into existence and wonderful theories of how these ingredients of life come together naturally in space. The short amount of time it has taken our species to evolve into a sentient beings only assures the logic that the ingredients needed to create life could have happened billions of years before our solar system was even created. Think of how much knowledge and technology humanity possesses today. Now, assuming we don't destroy ourselves, imagine that knowledge and technology in a million years. No reasonable person would think humanity will still be using combustion engines and fossil fuels. We couldn't. Knowing all this, however, you will be ostracized for throwing out theories about alien's interfering with our evolution. You can read all the peer reviewed papers you want, but mainstream science is not above corruption, and in the end you only know what someone else told you was true. You don't truly know something until you have observed it for yourself, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider every possibility that has any evidence to support it. You can't tell me you KNOW anything but theory about the existence of God, or the history of religion, until you have learned Greek, Hebrew, Hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, ect. Found original religious documentation, read and reflected upon that knowledge and created your own determination. We as a society have become lazy which has led to a downfall in our ability to THINK. I have no formal education. I tested 90% and above for any test ever given to me by the Marshall Public School system and the State of Missouri, and failed every homework assignment; but I have seen some of the worst situations in our culture and I have a personal understanding about life that I feel most people lack. You do not know what is good or evil until you experience examples society has set based on a common collection of moral beliefs, I have come to believe that neither exist, only the perception of your surroundings and events that you experience in this illusion of reality.

    @RT Have you figured out the meaning of 42 yet?

    The English language is an example of evolution. A sapient being does not require the need of written and verbal communication. Unless they needed to communicate with a less evolved life form who did not possess that ability. If you look up English words in the dictionary, it shows what language they originated from. Those languages originated from earlier languages that were based on complex picture languages. Those picture languages are evolved versions of symbolic languages, cave men wall paintings that look like random shapes to everyday people. Those are their interpretations of 3 dimensional shapes in 2 dimensional images.That sacred geometry is based on mathematical equations.

    English is still changing; as common slang is being added and the increase in Hispanic population in the United States is mixing Spanish with English. Evolution is not a linear progression but branches out in the easiest form of survival, it's a little more complicated to explain than the tower of babel, but I think we have reached the point in evolution we can understand. Enlightenment is an individual path that can be achieved through knowledge and proven with math. Math is a part of science so it is possible technology can be used to achieve the same goal without bothering to be "spiritual" in nature. But it's just as likely humans are an advanced quantum-computer androids making us just a form of technology and as we are made from leftover elements from exploding stars we are really no different than material objects we create from mined minerals that have electricity added to them, except our ability to think and be self-aware. Some animals already demonstrate they possess that ability. Original point: A=1, B=2 , C=3, ect. M+A+T+H = 42 in the English language. Math is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

    I'm sorry for the incredibly long rant but I have much information to share with everyone. If any are interested I believe I have a GUT. I have read peer review articles similar to the ideas I have. I need to further develop my math skills so that I may prove it and would appreciate any help in any way from any one. Thank you. :)

    -- Posted by schism369 on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 1:35 AM
  • Schism, very interesting post. My formal educational experience is similar to yours. One thing though, how about more paragraphs, as you did in the latter part of your post?

    Oh that "42" thing you addressed to RT? A point you touched on, it can mean many things, it is just a symbol, Jackie Robinson's uniform number comes to mind, or it could be central to "Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy". ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 1:54 AM
  • I will work on my sentence structure. I have a hard time expressing my thoughts in print. It takes me a long time to write and edit just a small paragraph, let alone a rant that encompasses a thought process that took weeks of research to understand.

    Mainstream history and science tell us the Sphinx in Egypt is less than 6k years old. Science says it is at least 15k years old and logic would suggest as old as 2.5 million years old. We know what we are taught based on the information given by the archaeologists who study Egypt.

    As Muslim culture dictates the laws in that area of the world, if these members of the academic community were to admit that they belief what is really true, they commit an act of heresy, punishable by death!

    That's only one example of religious manipulation of fact about our history. Any person who has done the research could recite many more examples. That being the case, what do you really know about anything? How much have you learned because you physically observed for yourself. We know a lot of theory. :)

    About the number 42, I was referring to and quoted Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. Most would view that Douglas Adams' work as fiction. Charles Dodgson as well. I've found that their explanation of life and the universe, not taken at face value but truly analyzed, is just as factual and logical, if not more, than anything society attempted to indoctrinate into my education. That education is built on belief structures that resist change.

    The same can be said about movies like Avatar, Star Wars, The Matrix and shows like Grey's Anatomy. Does that make them true? No, but what reason do you have to belief anything is false? How do you know what is true if you don't understand the universe yet?

    Just as religious text could have been the attempt to explain these questions to primitive humans, why couldn't these be examples of the same in our current society. It's apparent the mentality of a majority of modern people still believe what they see at face value without contemplating any type of message or verifying any fact.

    Post whatever you want on Facebook or Twitter, the more obscene the greater the influence. Make it dishonest and lacking any amount of evidence or merit, then wait. People will believe and spread the lie without ever thinking twice. Faster if it has a picture you made is MSPaint or Photoshop.

    Math is the answer to everything in the universe. Math can be used to explain and prove anything. It is the universal language. It has patterns in numbers, and as a result those patterns will appear just as random and amazing in nature, a closed minded individual would call that a coincidence.

    -- Posted by schism369 on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 3:02 AM
  • @NA Precisely the reason complicated discussions like this are difficult through text. I don't know how I present myself, but I don't believe in any form of organized religion. I do believe a divine life force is possible based on my understanding of the universe from my limited education. I find it just as likely the human race was created by an ancient alien race using elements from this solar system and the same process is entirely possible to have occurred naturally through accepted understanding of evolutionary theory. I would need to see evidence to prove and disprove each theory as they could all be correct as well.

    I used Merriam-Webster, I was unaware it was less accurate that Oxford. My misunderstanding caused me to believe in my listed definition of the word atheist which led to my wrong opinion.

    So the dictionary provided through your link says

    Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

    Ted Haggard, who I think to be completely ignorant, told Richard Dawkins it took a leap of faith to be an atheist. I didn't comprehend how that was logical in any sense until I read my incorrect definition, that i think still applies to yours. If atheism is opposite to religion, the disbelief in God, then you are saying you know, which of course you don't, that there is no God. That does require faith until you have evidence to prove it.

    "In religion, everything is based on unsupported, unproven, assumptions about the supernatural" -

    Have you read Immanuel Velikovsky? He used his interpretation of religious texts from ancient civilizations as the foundation for his hypotheses. He was ostracized for his ideas, but the more evidence we collect, the more he's proven correct.

    Have you seen studies on meditation and it's correlation to physical and psychological health?

    Hindu's believe in the ability to control the energy in our bodies, that generates a field around us that can be measured by scientific study. I'm skeptical about their believes, but science shows that something is going on so I'm open-minded to the tremendous possibilities.

    If a humans can indeed learn to control and manipulate the electromagnetic field that encompasses their body, Jesus could have studied Buddhism and Hinduism during his unaccounted years and used that knowledge to walk on water.

    Do I believe this to be fact? No, being skeptical does not mean you rule out a hypothesis, without first proving it wrong. Parallel what we know about ancient religions, and not interpret it at face value. You can find scientific explanations hidden in primitive writing. You can't focus on an isolated area and expect to understand the whole picture.

    Were you asking for what the accepted age of the Sphinx is? Or how I came to my conclusions? I can find the articles, but that took time. I didn't read one article that said "we wanted to study the true age of the Sphinx". The Great Sphinx has evidence of water erosion. I've seen BBC documentaries about climate and read articles about dates of the core samples. That's the conclusion I came to after seeing all the information I was presented. For the Sphinx to be made of the materials it was and have the water erosion in the location in which it's built does not align with what I was taught in school, or what wikipedia says. I don't need anyone's approval to know that is right, because I don't know, I just read it and saw it on TV. I will only know when I travel to Egypt and have the opportunity to conduct those tests myself based on what I think I know.

    My goal is not to push my own beliefs in any way. I think I'm as right as any other persons about the topics I have an opinion on but that's because I know what I've learned in theory. I want everyone to reevaluate what they believe is true and fact and why they believe it so more people can learn to think. http://youtu.be/QciLVJZNq4c (there is a lot of cursing in this video)

    I have complicated ideas that I find difficult to explain, most likely due to my own ignorance; I don't know how to write the equations to check my theory. But it's based on the idea that a lot of what we think we know or are taught is wrong.

    We can observe that there are patterns in the universe at all levels. Parallels from quantum to cosmos.

    http://youtu.be/0jHsq36_NTU

    Because of my limited education is physics my understanding has come from public broadcasting and observations. I had envisioned gravity as an invisible string of energy that radiates from a central point of mass and pulls less dense matter toward it; but dark energy wasn't an accepted hypothesis at the time Einstein was struggling with his theory of unification. I believe that this unseen force is what encompasses the 99.9% of emptiness that is you, me, the solar system, the universe. Rather than gravity being a force that pulls together, I believe this dark energy is a force that pushes mass together or apart, that creates the accelerated expansion in the universe, while another field created from the clusters of mass is also pushing outward. So dark energy is pushing you against the Earth, but the Earth has a force pushing back against you. The gravitational mass determines the force at which it pushes outward, compared to the dark energy pushing it inward.

    If you imagine electrons orbiting a nucleus in the same pattern as the planets in that previous link, I believe that also explains the double slit experiment in quantum mechanics.... and now I don't know where to go with this other than I think it's a foundation to a Theory of Everything.

    I think this article is close to what I'm trying to explain but I have no idea how I start writing my observations mathematically to present this as a hypothesis for peer review; but if I'm right then there is a lot of lies being presented as fact and it wouldn't matter anyway. I'm asking for help, advice, on how I can prove whether this is correct so I can share, or wrong so I can get it out of my head and think about something else.

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/201...

    -- Posted by schism369 on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 7:10 AM
  • schism369,

    I am appreciating the time and thought put into your articles.

    Whether I agree or not, you have a way of presenting yourself that is genuine.

    Keep it up!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 8:45 AM
  • @NA Forget the Sphinx, until I can find the video and create a link. My point was for you to think about what you truly know and don't know. That is not the only example where government or religion hindered education. Astronomy and geometry told us the Earth was round as early as 500 B.C. That wasn't accepted until almost 1000 years later?

    http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/Star...

    Can you help me comprehend how I presented Einstein's formula as a Theory of Everything? It is my understanding, a theory of everything is a linking what we know is true about the fundamental forces and finding the rules that apply to all levels so to combine general relativity with quantum mechanics, which you've already pointed out is currently accepted as String Theory. I was looking at a model of space distortion based on Einstein's theories when the idea occurred to me. I think it's close to the same, but looking at it from a slightly different perspective...and something about the graviton doesn't add up. I still think gravity is a force resisting dark energy but I have no idea how to explain it better or prove through equations. I need a better computer to run software that would allow me to make a graphic representation of what I'm thinking.

    My point of patterns and revolutions was to demonstrate why the Heisenberg principle could be a misinterpretation of test observations. If tiny bands of energy orbit a nucleus in a helical orbit as it travels through space at a speed faster than we have the ability to observe because of its size, it could appear in multiple places at once. It could appear as a cluster of photons in different locations; when it was one photon smeared into a distortion like the dog in this panoramic photo. http://2damnfunny.com/wp-content/uploads...

    How have you viewed an atom to tell me how an electron orbits a nucleus?

    I don't believe you have presented an argument that discredits anything I've suggested. I accept it is not close to being a hypothesis, but I still see no logical evidence to abandon the idea.

    I'm not trying to convince anyone that anything I think I know or have heard is correct. I want you to realize that you can't say you KNOW anything, even if it's been peer reviewed, until you have checked all the equations, and made observations yourself. Being convinced through argument is not learning. It's being brain washed. Memorizing facts about a situation does not teach you what a situation feels like. You can learn how to be a manager from a book or lecture, you acquire the skills that teach you conflict resolution by practice and experience.

    -- Posted by schism369 on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 10:52 AM
  • @NA I'll use the link you provided in the future. When I previously searched for a reliable dictionary the Oxford site wanted a subscription of $2** / year. I settled for the free M-W. :)

    -- Posted by schism369 on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 10:54 AM
  • What a pleasant experience to read this blog today! I think I may just sit back, follow the conversation, and contemplate what has been said.

    Heck I may just turn into a Zen Zombie for a bit. By that I mean read this good stuff, not think about it on a conscious level, and let it stew in my subconscious. One thing about Zen Zombies, they are innocuous creatures. They don't crave the flesh of heads, just the thoughts inside of them. Those they gently borrow without in any way disturbing the prey.

    By the way the only way to make a Zen Zombie disappear is to present it with absurd opinion, passionately presented falsehoods, and smug thinly veiled hatred of humanity, or some unfortunate portion of humanity. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Mar 28, 2013, at 12:39 PM
  • NA,

    Thank you for the link, and directing me to a better dictionary. I asked for guidance, this is what I needed. I've watched many random videos and read numerous articles that cause me to spend too much time doing background checks on the validity of the information through poor or no citations; I couldn't find something that was thorough and in depth.

    You appear to be a regular so I will study these as long as it takes, be back in few weeks to see where we stand.

    Namaste. :)

    -- Posted by schism369 on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 6:06 AM
  • It appears ND that our common interests aren't so common. I recall dropping eastern religions into the water. There was scarcely a nibble. :(

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 12:25 PM
  • What ever troll.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 3:13 PM
  • I pity you DO, in my opinion you are so full of hatred, spite, and bile that you can not resist continued nasty statements. I predict that it will be your eventual fate to explode from your escaping gases that shall blow you back to where ever you came from. That is unless you have been cast out of such places, and are forever doomed to being a traveling troll.

    Your continued needling is not even self serving, though I doubt you can appreciate that.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 5:32 PM
  • DO; "Reader, you went trolling in the religious blog as a self confessed, religion hating, atheist/communist."

    Really? Hate is your bailiwick, not mine. It oozes from your every post, hatred, and its companion fear. That infestation of what may have once been a normal child, is pitiable, at the same time if any one has earned the burden it is you.

    I am not a Communist, unless you consider it so in the sense that Jesus was a communist. I do not hate religion, those who pervert it do offend me, as they offend all humanity. I do speak out against them. You hurl the word atheist as if atheism is an abomination. It is not to those who have open minds.

    Range and depth, are surpisingly lacking in one possessing a vocabulary such as yours. What a waste.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 6:30 PM
  • Take a chill pill DO. Expand your mind, expand your reality. Listen instead of reacting. Consider before each statement whether, or not you are using good judgement. Contemplate your navel. Face your fear, ask why. Understand your anger. Accept that you hate, ask yourself why. Oooooom. Peace. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldSFuEOA9...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 29, 2013, at 7:49 PM
  • Religious argument for my statement in the politicians thread.

    HAARP "CAN" be used to cause earthquakes by heating the magma and tectonic plates under the surface of the Earth. This causes things to move around and all kinds of crazy stuff will happen. They can do it intentionally, anywhere in the world at any time and blame it on nature or North Korea's nuclear bombs.

    How would you know the difference?

    You don't have to believe in the bible if a Jewish banking family controls all the major governments of the world.

    Law of energy conversion says energy can not be created or destroyed but only changed. The only difference between me and the chair I'm on is the energy running through me. We are both made of elements created in the life cycle of a star. The difference between my computer and I, my ability to think and reason. We are quantum computer. If I die that energy has to go somewhere. Death is not the end but just another change.

    Last year I put myself to sleep, but then I was woke up in the hospital, it's not a terrifying thing if you reflect on it rationally.

    Pain can be overcome with the power of your mind. Suffering will only come to those that allow it.

    The dates may look interchanged but different cultures write the date in different order so I hardly find that relevant.

    Indian ocean 12 26 2004

    John 12:24-26

    New International Version (NIV)

    24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

    South of

    Java Island 7 17 2006

    Deuteronomy 7:17-26

    New King James Version (NKJV)

    17 "If you should say in your heart, 'These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?'-- 18 you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs and the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left, who hide themselves from you, are destroyed. 21 You shall not be terrified of them; for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. 22 And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. 24 And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25 You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.

    Kuril Islands 11 15 2006

    Luke 11:15-26

    King James Version (KJV)

    15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

    24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

    Solomon Islands 4 24 2007

    Exodus 4:24-27 (New International Version)

    24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met [Moses] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched [Moses'] feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. 26 So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.) 27 The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him.

    Niigata Japan 7 16 2007

    (John 7:16-27, ESV)

    16 So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?" 20 The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?" 21 Jesus answered them, "I did some work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, vare you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

    25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, "Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But awe know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, cno one will know where he comes from."

    do I have to keep going? In a few hours it will be 3 31 13 in North Korea.

    Genesis 31:3-13

    English Standard Version (ESV)

    3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you." 4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was 5 and said to them, "I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. 8 If he said, 'The spotted shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, 'The striped shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore striped. 9 Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am!' 12 And he said, 'Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.'"

    -- Posted by schism369 on Sat, Mar 30, 2013, at 2:31 AM
  • Scism369, your insistence on proving everything for one's self would be detrimental to humanity's continued improvement. By your logic, all calculations made electronically should also be verified manually. The importance of the scientific method is that it allows us to accept certain facts that we can then use to build on and go further and deeper in our research. To not trust the scientific method, once you fully understand it, would certainly tie you up into an eternity of trying to re-prove everything for yourself. If you are interested in one specific area of research, your approach might have some merit in some special studies. Certainly during our schooling there is merit it deriving some formulas in mathematics and seeing for yourself the internal organs of frogs, etc., but to not accept scientifically proven laws overall suggests that perhaps you might be stricken with the "conspiracy theory" bug.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Mar 30, 2013, at 3:38 AM
  • I overdosed. Woke up in ICU. I suffered with depression and anxiety for the last two years while trying to understand many things. Rather than offer help, many people tried to convince me I needed Jesus. So I tried to learn as much as I could about the bible to have a valid argument when people pressed me with their religion. Because I know of humanities interference in religion and history I couldn't take anyone else's account. I've soaked in everything I can and these are the conclusions I come to. After posted these comments Facebook recommended a quote from Illuminati Exposed Media's page. It read:

    "A teacher is never a giver of truth; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself." - Bruce Lee

    I'm going to spend time with my family. I hope the best of love to all.

    Namaste

    -- Posted by schism369 on Sat, Mar 30, 2013, at 3:52 AM
  • DO, I'm not very good at advice, so take anything I say with the proverbial "grain of salt". You do sound like an intelligent person, but everyone needs quite a bit of down time to "smell the roses" so to speak. Smelling the roses can mean many things to different people. Whether that means getting together more often with family or friends, walks around the neighborhood, camping or hiking, or reading, or all of the above, that is what I find rewarding in life. Certainly posting on this blog is very minor fun, sometimes frustrating even. Worrying about whether the world is going to end soon or whether someone from above is watching your every move takes away from the positives that life has to offer. Conspiracy theories can be real, but for the most part, they are given way too much credit for being intelligently masterminded plots than they deserve. The people running the government and large corporations are not that smart to get by with some of the wild theories floating around. They are just making short term decisions to make their own life better, which can affect us all, but they are not overtly out to "get any of us".... They are just not that smart. And as far as there being a supernatural being watching your every move, do you really think she would have made you with all the flaws so she could then condemn you because of what you do? Now that is crazy. The best advice is to live your life to be a loving human being, compassionate and considerable to everyone and everything around you, and realize you have just one life to live, so get on with doing the things that make that life enjoyable. By the way, nobody can actually do that, but I believe the challenge is to make the effort to do so. I look forward to hearing if you can make any recommendations for the rest of us on what you think important to be happy in life?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Mar 31, 2013, at 10:04 AM
  • "Here comes Peter Cotton Tail,

    hoppin' down the bunny trail,

    hippity hoppity

    Easter's on its way." -Gene Autry

    Mr. Autry was an under appreciated writer of secular psalms. His simple poetry gave contemporary reason to atheists wishing to celebrate the arrival of spring. He did the same regarding winter solstice with such songs as "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". He was truly a man for all seasons. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 31, 2013, at 12:41 PM
  • You don't hold the same disregard for Gene Autry do you News? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Mar 31, 2013, at 10:39 PM
  • Lmao.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 12:08 AM
  • Laughed out loud ND. Yes, I swear I did, should anyone question my declaration.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 12:53 AM
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