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Monthly ArchiveDecember 2006



Christianity &Politics emodude on 30 Dec 2006

Park Service Can’t Give Official Age Of Grand Canyon For Fear Of Offending Creationists…

The first sentence from this article says it all:

“Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees.”

In case your unaware, Creationists (specifically Young Earth Creationists) believe the earth to be only 6000 years old, because the Bible provides a geneology from Adam to Jesus that adds up to approximately 4000 years; thus making the world only 6000 years old.  Clearly the Grand Canyon, being formed from erosion over the last 5 to 6 million years, doesn’t fit into their timetable, so they must make up a story, such as the Canyon being created by Noah’s flood, to account for it.  As you’ll read in the article, the National Park Service sells a book at the Grand Canyon bookstore making this claim.

The US government, specifically the Bush administration, would rather use the unscientific, unproven opinions of fanatical religious fundamentalists as it’s official position on topics such as geology instead of results obtained from scientific inquiry, independently verified by hundreds of scientists.  I would hope this would make the skin crawl even for moderate Christians.

Christianity Admin on 29 Dec 2006

Should we elect a president who is delusional?

This article talks about the presidential aspirations of Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon:

The article contains this quote:

When asked about “the Mormon problem,” Romney says he is “a person of faith,” and talks about “common values” among Mormons and other denominations: “The great majority of people – Christian, non-Christian, and of different faiths – look for values, character, integrity and vision and don’t disqualify people on a religious test.”

The problem is that normal, intelligent people do celebrate values, character, integrity and vision, but they do not celebrate full-blown delusion. And there is no question that Mormons are completely delusional. Watch this video or read this article and it will be obvious that Mormons are delusional. Mormons firmly believe a number of things that are nonsensical:

  • Mormons believe that there was a giant civilization of Jewish people living in North America 2,000 years ago.
  • Mormons believe that there were so many of these people living in grand cities that they could have wars where more than a million men died on a single battlefield. For comparison, 15,000 men died at Gettysburg. This, of course, is ridiculous, as there are no ruins left of these gigantic cities nor any evidence of massive battlefields.

  • Mormons believe that this race of Jewish people wrote their history on golden plates and left the plates in the side of a hill in New York.
  • Mormons believe that an angel led a man named Joseph Smith to the plates.
  • Mormons believe that, by using two magical stones, Smith was able to translate the plates into English.
  • Mormons believe that the angel then carried the plates to heaven, never to be seen again.
  • And so on…

Do you believe any of this? Of course not. Every rational person knows that the cities, the battles, the golden plates, the magical stones and the angel are completely imaginary. And yet Mormons believe in all of these things completely. If you would like to learn more about Mormon beliefs, see this article and this article.

Should we elect someone who is this delusional to be president of the most powerful nation on planet earth? If a man cannot see that the beliefs of the Mormon faith are nonsense, how can we trust him with important national and international issues? That is the real question here.

The fascinating thing is that Christian beliefs are just as delusional. It is obvious to every rational person that Christianity harbors just as many delusions as Mormonism does. The difference is that 80% or so of American adults share the delusions of Christianity. This shared “bubble of delusion” leads Christians to reinforce each others’ delusions rather than to look rationally at them and discard them.

The problem for Mitt Romney is that only about 3% of Americans live inside the Mormon bubble of delusion. The number of people who harbor the Christian delsuion outweighs the number of people who harbor the Mormon delusion by a factor of 25 to 1. With luck, Christians will recognize and reject the delusions or the Mormon faith, and refuse to elect anyone who harbors these delusions. With extreme good fortune, many Christians will then look inside themselves and recognize the parallel delusions of the Christian faith, rejecting them also in order to preserve intellectual honesty. In the best case, Romney’s presidential bid allows us to openly discuss and debate the delusion of religion, and through that debate many Christians come to understand and reject their own delusions.

What is more likely to happen, unfortunately, is that Christians will turn a blind eye to the utter delusion of the Mormon faith. We never are able to have an open discussion and debate on the delusion of Romney’s religion. The reason is simple: Christians cannot afford to call the Mormons delusional. For if Christians openly state the obvious fact that Mormons are delusional, they must then acknowledge that Christians are delusional too.

Rationals emodude on 27 Dec 2006

10 Myths – and 10 Truths – About Atheism

This article by Sam Harris appeared in the LA Times on December 24th. There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding and preconceived notions regarding Atheism in the Christian community, and articles like this will help to dispose of these myths and preconceptions.

10 myths – and 10 truths – about Atheism

At the very least, it’s a step in the right direction when Atheism can even be openly discussed in the media.

Politics L6 on 23 Dec 2006

Voting in Church

So it’s that time of year again when non-Christians get all uptight about the ubiquitous Pagan symbols that have been adopted by Christianity. We have protested Christmas trees and even banned Christmas trees. (Thanks to mailboy and BobbyBigWheel for the links.) And sure, why not? Christmas is a big event bound to raise the otherwise dormant consciousness of many anti-religious folk.

I’m just wondering where all these people were during the November elections? Or any election for that matter. Why don’t we see anyone protesting the fact that they have to vote in a church? Every polling station in my town is a church. Convenient for many, maybe, but one can imagine people who don’t vote because it makes them uncomfortable. Political symbols aren’t allowed within 100 ft. of a polling station; why are religious symbols exempt? The church itself is a religious symbol. Hardly the wall of separation that Jefferson espoused.

Perhaps things are just getting started. A couple weeks ago we saw the first church-state separation lawsuit of its kind. If apathy on this matter is simply a case of unawareness, a case like this should help bring it to the surface. Given media coverage, of course, which doesn’t seem too forthcoming.

Aren’t there enough public schools, government buildings, sports centers, and libraries to go around? Surely alternatives exist; my friend’s neighbor had a polling station in his garage. If you do contact your Representative, be sure you have some suggestions for such alternatives ready.

Christianity Admin on 23 Dec 2006

Another disaster created by religion

In this week’s installment of the GOD SQUAD, Marc Gellman and Thomas Hartman discuss yet another disaster caused by religion. This week’s question is:

Would you kindly address organ donation in your column? Most people I talk to would never dream of donating their organs. They seem to believe their religion somehow prohibits them from doing so. Also, some might consider donation when they’re on their deathbed but never when they’re alive or if their children should die. Any attention you can give this matter would be appreciated.

The GOD SQUAD’S answer leaves no doubt that religion is causing the suffering and death of thousands of people who need donated organs to survive:

Organ donation is not only permitted by the Abrahamic faiths, but it is also considered a high and holy act of healing. Bringing life out of death is the perfect spiritual response to the death of a loved one. The problem is, some people have the erroneous idea that organ donation constitutes mutilation of the body, which is not the case.

The first thing you notice in the GOD SQUAD’S response is the utter irrationality of all things religious. The Bible does not make any mention of organ donation. The primitive men who wrote the Bible had no clue that organ donation was ever going to happen. Therefore, organ donation is not considered in the Bible as a “high and holy act of healing.” It is not considered at all.

Isn’t it odd that the all-knowing “god” who supposedly “inspired” the Bible never thought to mention organ donation, or any other medical technology? The Bible has no clue about cells, DNA, cancer, visualization technologies (x-rays, MRI, CAT scans, etc.), antibiotics, vaccines, amputations, stem cells, etc. In fact, it has not a word to say about any medical technology to cure or treat any disease, because no such technology existed until science truly blossomed in the twentieth century. And therefore the Bible has nothing to say about organ transplants.

Where is the fear of “mutilation” coming from? Yet another religious fantasy: “heaven.” People who believe in Christianity harbor the delusion that they will live with their “god” in “heaven” forever. And if they are missing a kidney or a heart when they get there, they may miss out of “heaven” and end up in “hell.” Every rational person knows that “heaven” is a fairy tale fantasy.

Since the vast majority of Americans harbor these fantasies, we end up with a situation where thousands of desperate people cannot get the organs they need. According to this page, nearly 100,000 people are waiting right now, all of whom are suffering in some way as we speak, and many of whom will end up dying. But the religious beliefs of the majority prevent them from being healed.

If we did not have Christianity and all the delusion that it brings, the organ donation problem would not exist in the United States. This is yet another disaster caused by religion.

If you would like to understand that your god is imaginary and begin healing the delusion in your own life, please visit WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com.

Christianity Admin on 23 Dec 2006

Do things get any more ridiculous than this?

Here is the article:

Yes… people are praying to a tree stump. We are, in theory, a rational and scientific species living in the 21st century, yet we are still praying to tree stumps. Two videos that may be helpful:

Christianity Admin on 20 Dec 2006

Why don’t they talk about these verses in church?

With it being Christmas and all, many people who know that God is imaginary end up having to go to church. They do this in order to preserve domestic tranquility. The pressure point comes from spouses, parents or friends, and the most common tactic is, “it’s Christmas – you’d think that one day out of the year you could go to church just to make me happy!”

So you go to church, and the minister or priest pulls a verse out of the Bible and ends up expounding on that verse for 20 minutes. Normally the verse is about love or peace or forgiveness… something very family friendly.

Why don’t these ministers/priests ever pull the really juicy verses out of the Bible and focus on them? According to recent polls, more than half of American adults believe that the Bible is the word of God and is literally true. Therefore, every part of the Bible should have equal importance and equal weight. Why would an all-knowing God put something in the Bible unless he intended us to learn something from it?

In the interest of spicing up church services around the country, here are several Bible verses that could be used to create VERY interesting sermons:

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 – “18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you.”

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 – “13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” 15 then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. 16 The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver a and give them to the girl’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. 20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”

Leviticus 21:17-24 – 17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.’ ”

Colossians 3:22-24 – “22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

1 Corinthians 14:33-35 – “33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

Deuteronomy 13:12-19 – “12 If you hear it said about one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you to live in 13 that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14 then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15 you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. 16 Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt. 17 None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, 18 because you obey the LORD your God, keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.”

1 Samuel 18:25-27 – “25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’ ” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines. 26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented the full number to the king so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.”

Matthew 5:29-30 - “29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

The Bible is full of ridiculous, disgusting verses like these, and Christians believe they come straight from God’s lips. So why don’t Christians talk about these verses? Why don’t Christians apply these teachings?

It is verses like these that leave rational people dumbfounded. Why would any intelligent person have anything to do with the Bible? Why would any intelligent person “worship” a being who is so obviously absurd? To see many more verses just as ridiculous as these, please read this page: The most ridiculous, disgusting, evil Bible verses.

Christianity Admin on 19 Dec 2006

Understanding that prayer is useless

This story comes from Australia:

Australia is experiencing a huge drought — the worst drought in “more than 200 years,” according to the article. It’s a bad situation: “With crops failing, farmers are struggling to meet interest repayments. Falling rural land prices and rising grain prices have driven many farmers to bankruptcy.” Entire farming communities in eastern Australia are coming unraveled.

So what are churches doing? They could actually do something useful to help the farmers. Instead, they are praying. They organized a “National Day of Prayer”. According to the article:

“We invite all Australians to express their solidarity with those who are suffering by taking a few moments to pray or to join a local worship service,” said Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, head of the Anglican Church of Australia during one set of rain prayers…

In a joint statement, church leaders have urged Australians to remember the human cost of the drought beyond its economic consequences. “We should remember the many people on farms and in small businesses who are suffering, often in a deeply personal way,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson.

As rational people, it is time for us to recognize is that these prayer sessions are a total waste of time. Resorting to a superstitious activity like prayer is no different that organizing a rain dance or sacrificing a virgin to the rain gods — it is a completely useless activity. As described in this video, prayer is nothing but an illusion.

What these farmers need are rational solutions to their problems. They need grants or no-interest loans that help them ride out the drought without going bankrupt. Or they need citizens to organize large-scale donation programs like Farm Aid did in America. Or they need money to install new technology, such as that used in Israel to cope with limited water resources (see this article for a quick discussion). Or they need government help to develop new sources of fresh water (deep wells, desalination plants, etc.) that are immune to drought. Or they need programs that help them transition to new careers without becoming homeless. What these farmers do not need is large numbers of people sitting around in churches and “feeling good” as they talk to their imaginary gods. Prayer is completely useless.

How can intelligent, rational people help society to make the transition from superstition and irrationality to rationality? We need to Join Together and Speak Up. We need to state, clearly and without apology, that God is imaginary, that the Bible is repulsive and that prayer is complete superstition. We also need to call for and support rational rather than irrational solutions to problems like those faced by farmers in Australia.

In other words, when people face problems, we need to actually do something rational to solve the problems. Prayer accomplishes nothing.

Christianity emodude on 18 Dec 2006

7 Virginia parishes vote to quit US Episcopal Church

Another interesting article out of the Boston Globe:

And why are they quitting? Because of recent decisions by the US Episcopal Church to consecrate a gay bishop and bless same-sex unions.

As one woman is quoted from the article: “… the issue is: Are we going to follow Scripture?”

Let’s examine what she’s talking about. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Turns out it’s quite clear.

Leviticus 20:13 - If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

- No wiggle room here. This is the word of the Lord.

Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

- Again, quite clear. Let’s throw in one from the New Testament just to ensure it’s not just Leviticus here.

Romans 1:26-27 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

- Paul condemns both homosexual men and women.

Just as a point of reference, Leviticus contains several fascinating and detailed chapters on animal sacrifice, yet somehow I feel that no member of these 7 churches routinely participates in that. I wonder why not?

Anyway, it’s easy to understand why the church members felt the need to secede from their national organization. Verses like these absolutely polarize the issue of homosexuality, because Christians believe these statements are directly from God himself (in the quotes from Leviticus, they are).

What these members need to realize is that these are not quotes from an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator; these are the opinions of 2 Neanderthals. Moses and Paul do not know the opinions of any God because God is imaginary, and when they pretend to know the will of God that is exactly what it is, pretending.

As 21st century rational, intelligent people, we should be able to discuss the topic of homosexuality without being polarized by the opinions of others in a 2000 year old book. Once you discard these ridiculous statements in the Bible, it is possible to discuss homosexual issues in today’s society without the pretense of believing that an all-powerful Creator actually cares what 2 men or 2 women do behind closed doors.

Christianity Admin on 17 Dec 2006

How do we know that religion is an imaginary fairy tale?

How do we know that religion is an imaginary fairy tale? Because of videos like this one:

The video is trying to portray “the Rapture” — the Christian belief that millions of believer’s bodies will be instantly transported to heaven one day.

“The Rapture”, of course, is pure mythology. Believing in “the Rapture” is the same as believing in Jack’s magical beanstalk or Cinderella’s fairy godmother.

How do we know that the Rapture is a fairy tale? In the same way that we know that “Jack and the Beanstalk” is a fairy tale. There is no evidence that Jack’s beanstalk existed, no example of any such beanstalk existing, and no biological process that would allow such a beanstalk to exist. An uninformed person is able to say, “But it COULD happen – a beanstalk COULD grow a mile into the sky in a day, and there COULD be a giant living in a castle in the clouds.” The informed response to that is, “No, I am affraid that you are incorrect. These things are not possible. Biological properties do not allow any plant to grow a mile high. Basic chemistry prevents anything from growing more than about a foot in a day. A cloud cannot support weight.” Etc. That is the end of the story. No amount of imagining or hoping will ever allow a cloud to support a castle.

As another example, look at Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She materialized out of nowhere, she was able to change pumpkins into carriages, and she could change mice into horses. How do we know that she didn’t exist and that these things did not happen? Because they are impossible. You might “believe” with all your heart that fairy godmothers exist, but you would be incorrect.

In the same way, there is no process that would allow the atoms of a human’s body to be spontaneously dematerialized from our universe and sent to an imaginary place called “heaven,” where the body’s biological processes suddenly become “everlasting.” There is no empirical evidence of any sort indicating that any “god” exists. Not only that, but there is no reason, even in the mythology, for it to happen. Why send a decrepit 95-year-old body, or the ashes of a cremated body, to heaven? A Christian’s only response is, “well, God can do anything he wants.” That statement proves that religion is a fairy tale. The only beings that can do “anything they want” are the imaginary ones.

It is time for us to dicard all of this mythology because it hurts us as a species. The fact is that more than half of American adults believe that Jesus will return and destroy the planet. This sort of mythology radically skews our understanding of what will happen in the future. Other aspects of religious mythology are hampering scientific progress and causing many different kinds of discrimination and conflict. It is time for humanity to realize that there are no mythological beings, and to deal with the reality of our world in a positive, rational way. Please start reading at Chapter 26 for details.

Rationals Admin on 14 Dec 2006

A fascinating article about Atheists in the Boston Globe

In today’s Boston Globe we find this fascinating article:

The author’s thesis is summarized in this paragraph:

What society loses when it discards Judeo-Christian faith and belief in God is something far more difficult to replace: the value system most likely to promote ethical behavior and sustain a decent society. That is because without God, the difference between good and evil becomes purely subjective. What makes murder inherently wrong is not that it feels wrong,but that a transcendent Creator to whom we are answerable commands: “Thou shalt not murder.” What makes kindness to others inherently right is not that human reason says so, but that God does: “Love thy neighbor as thyself; I am the Lord.”

Furthermore:

The atheist alternative is a world in which right and wrong are ultimately matters of opinion, and in which we are finally accountable to no one but ourselves.

The interesting thing is that the author’s god is completely imaginary. There is no “transcendent creator”, and this is obvious to anyone who takes the time to think about it.

How do we know that God is imaginary? There are dozens of ways to know it. But for our purposes here, the easiest way is to look at the Bible from which the author drew his quotes. For example, the commandment “Thou shalt not murder” is found just a few pages away from a commandment telling us to kill everyone who works on the Sabbath (Ex 35:2). There is the commandment telling us to kill all homosexual men (Lev 20:13). As well as the commandment telling us to kill all girls who marry if they are not virgins (Deut 22:13-21). There is also the commandment telling us it is OK to own slaves, and it is OK to beat them with a rod as long as we do not kill them (Ex 21:20-21). It is easy to go on and on with verses like these, because the Bible is full of them.

Isn’t it interesting that the author freely quotes “Thou shalt not murder”, but then completely ignores all of these other commandements? These other commandments come from the same “god” in the same book as “Thou shalt not murder.” Yet they are, quite obviously, completely insane.

Why does the author of the Boston Globe article believe in “Thou shalt not murder”, while completely ignoring these other commandments which are insane? Why is the author unable to see the contradiction and absurdity of his position, and understand that his god is imaginary? It is because the author is missing something essential. His religion has forced him into a position of utter irrationality.

It is time for all human beings to join together and face reality. We must break free of the irrationality and understand that every human “god” is imaginary. This includes God, Allah, Vishnu and all the rest. We must understand that the author is incorrect when he states that, “The atheist alternative is a world in which right and wrong are ultimately matters of opinion, and in which we are finally accountable to no one but ourselves.” He is incorrect because this is not “the atheist alternative.” This is, in fact, the reality of our world. This is how our world has always been, and how it always will be. And let us be thankful for that. For if we followed all of the commandments of the “god” in the Bible, we would have to kill half of the people living in America today. See this video for details.

If you would like to learn more about the reality of our world and begin healing the delusion of your religion, please see Why won’t God heal amputees, particularly Chapter 5, Chapter 26 and Chapter 28.

Christianity Admin on 12 Dec 2006

The Mt. Hood rescue and the superstition of prayer

If you’ve been following the news today, you know that there are three men (Kelly James, 48, Brian Hall, 37, and Jerry “Nikko” Cooke, 36) lost on Mt. Hood in Oregon. The three men are experienced climbers who hoped to complete an ambitious climb up one side of the mountain and down the other in two days. They left on Thursday (November 7), but the weather conspired against them, and they have not been seen since their departure. There was a phone call from one of the climbers on Sunday, but nothing after that. Since Thursday, winds have been as high as 85 MPH, and there has been snow along with very low temperatures.

Today in a televised news conference, Frank James (brother of Kelly), made this statement:

“Today’s the day for courage and for prayers. Courage can help us see through this snowstorm, and our prayers can literally move mountains.” [ref]

This statement is interesting because the part about prayer is, obviously, incorrect. Prayer does not literally move mountains. No person, including Jesus, has ever moved a mountain through prayer. We all know that. If prayer could literally move mountains, people could pray and mountains would move. People could pray and amputated limbs would regrow. People would pray, and every disease on planet earth would be healed tonight. Prayer has never moved mountains, and it never will.

What if we take Frank’s statement figuratively instead of literally? He did use the word “literally”, but what if we ignore him? Then his statement is still untrue. Prayer will have absolutely no impact on the survival of his brother or the other two men. They will either survive, or they will not. Prayer will not affect the outcome because the belief in prayer is pure superstition. Numerous scientific studies, as well as simple observation of the world around you, shows that every “answered prayer” is nothing but a coincidence.

Back in January there was a mining accident in West Virginia [article]. Millions prayed for the 13 miners. Then we heard they had all survived. There was much rejoicing and praising of God for the miracle. But in actuality there was no miracle. It was a miscommunication, and 12 of the miners were dead. That’s because prayer is meaningless. If you study the effects of prayer scientifically, looking at the statistics for both the successes AND failure of prayers, it becomes obvious that prayer has no effect. See this page for details.

We can all sympathize with the families of these three men. We can all appreciate what they are going through. It would be heartbreaking for these men to die. However, tragedy is not a reason to abandon rational thinking. Talking on national TV about prayer — an activity based on pure superstition and a delusional belief in an imaginary god — accomplishes nothing. Let us instead thank the people who are members of the search parties for their continuing work, and wait intelligently and patiently for the outcome, good or bad.

Rationals Admin on 11 Dec 2006

Do rational people need a holiday symbol?

There is a lot of religious celebration and symbology that happens in December. Christians mark December 25 for their celebration of Christ’s birth. Their official symbol is the nativity display. Jews have Hanukkah, “celebrated on eight successive days beginning on the 25th day of Kislev, the third month of the Jewish calendar,” [ref] which almost always falls in December. The official symbol of Hanukkah is the Menorah. There’s also Kwanzaa, celebrated on 7 days starting on December 26th. Kwanzaa’s symbols include ears of corn and candles.

But there is also the “Holiday Season” in the secular sense. Its official symbols include Santa, Rudolf, decorated evergreens, Mistletoe, etc. This secular holiday now overshadows all of the religious holidays, and many retailers go so far as to avoid all religious symbology as well as the use of the word “Christmas” in their advertising, store displays, etc.

Rational people participate in this secular “season”. Many (most?) rational people put up trees and lights, exchange gifts, etc. Why do we participate? Because the Holiday Season is a great tradition. The idea of giving presents to other people is cool. The idea of gathering with family and friends is cool. The idea of approximately a week-long lull between December 25 and January 1 is cool. If you have children, all the festivities around the decorations, the songs, the food, the parties, the stories (Rudolf, Frosty, etc.), and then opening a pile of presents on the morning of December 25 is cool. And all of it is secular.

But, to my knowledge, there is no official symbol that rationals/atheists call their own during the Holiday Season. Is it time for us to change that? Do we need an official symbol for the rational cause? If so, What should our symbol be?

One approach would be to appropriate an existing symbol and call it our own. The Holiday Tree, complete with ornaments and lights, is one symbol for us to consider using. This symbol has many advantages. It is a symbol that is already widely used and deeply entrenched. It is neutral in connotation. In addition, the Holiday Tree is currently unattached to any group — no religious group lays any significant claim to this symbol.

How do we make it our symbol? We simply announce that the Holiday Tree is the official holiday symbol of rational people. Our message is straightforward: By displaying our symbol – the Holiday Tree – you indicate your knowledge that God is imaginary. Our symbol indicates that you are celebrating the “Holiday Season” rather than “The birth of Christ” (or any other religious event).

Christians cannot complain about this, because the tree has nothing to do with their religious observations. Neither can Jews nor Kwanzaans. The Holiday tree is currently unattached, so we claim it as our own. If Christians do not want to display the symbol of rational people in their homes, they simply will not put up Holiday Trees.

What are your thoughts?

Rationals MommaSquid on 09 Dec 2006

Atheists are People, Too

How many gods do you believe in?

Ask that question in America, and the answer is usually “one”…but not always.  Depending on which poll you read, anywhere from 2% to 10% of Americans are atheists. 

I am an atheist.  But what is an atheist?

There is no simple answer to that question.  Even atheists don’t agree.  I can only speak for myself.  I do not believe in any supernatural being, including the god of the bible.  I don’t believe in any god or goddess that has ever been worshipped by a human being. 

It’s safe to say that you don’t believe in Zeus or Ra either and yet you probably can’t understand why I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian god. 

For me the answer is this:  the bible doesn’t make sense.  The bible is a book written approximately two thousand years ago by uneducated, superstitious men who knew nothing about physics or science.  They didn’t understand how the world works, so they made up stories to help them feel less afraid. 

Sure, some of the Ten Commandments are good rules to follow:  don’t lie, don’t steal, and don’t kill people.  These are good rules of thumb, like the Golden Rule. But I don’t believe the commandments were dictated by a god.

The fact that the God of the bible is okay with people owning slaves is proof that the bible wasn’t written by a god:  it was written by men who owned slaves.  If god truly wrote (or at least inspired men to write) the bible, don’t you think he would have proclaimed in a deep god-like voice, “Slavery is wrong and I will not tolerate it any longer.”?  It seems logical that a loving god wouldn’t want any of his people to be enslaved by others.

I realize I am not going to change anyone’s beliefs with just one example, but I invite you to do some research of your own.  That’s how I came to believe the things I believe and don’t believe; by reading and thinking for myself.

Atheists are not evil, devil-worshipping pedophile criminals.  For the most part, atheists are hard-working, patriotic, law-abiding citizens.  We pay our taxes, love our families, and worry about the price of gas.  We respect the rights of others and we try to love our neighbors. 

I hope you will do the same.

Christianity Admin on 08 Dec 2006

The one TRUE church

There is a magazine called “THE REAL TRUTH“, and it is a real, credible news organization. For example, Google News indexes it among its 4,500 official news sources (see Google’s listing).

Here is a recent article from this magazine that is quite interesting:

The article states:

Over 2,000 different professing Christian church organizations have been “built” by men in the United States. Another is started every three days. Estimates place the number of professing Christians at more than two billion. While church attendance seems to be increasing, it is not increasing as fast as the confusion surrounding the question of which is the right church.

I bet you’ve been curious too — which church IS “the right church”? Once we find it, we can eliminate the other 2,000 false denominations and end all the confusion.

Fortunately, the Bible answers the question for us. The author states:

The more I studied the other doctrines of the Bible, the more I learned that the churches of this world were wrong—on virtually EVERYTHING! One plain scripture after another contradicted each traditional “Christian” idea I had been taught. I was amazed—actually stunned—at how easy it was to find direct, clear, undeniable proof that even the most popular traditions of the big denominations were not based on the Bible—at all!

Each time I studied a Bible doctrine—salvation, baptism, who and what God is, the gospel, death and hell, law and sin, grace, being born again, the Christian Sabbath, the true origin of supposed “Christian” holidays, where the modern-day tribes of ancient Israel are found today, the sequence of prophetic events preceding Christ’s Return and so much more—I gained undeniable proof of what the Bible really taught! I was excited and fascinated. I found that the churches of this world were almost invariably confused on all these and many other plain points of Bible teaching. I came to realize that there had to be a church that correctly believed and practiced all the doctrines of the Bible.

I learned that this Church existed, and that the proof identifying it and setting it apart from all the churches of recognized, mainstream Christianity was no different than the proof of any other biblical doctrine.

This is amazing on several different levels:

  • It is amazing for a Christian to admit that so many Christians can be completely “wrong—on virtually EVERYTHING!”

  • It is amazing that thousands of completely wrong denominations, many with millions of members, could arise, raise money, build nationwide organizations, construct thousands of edifices in God’s name, etc., when they are completely wrong.
  • It is amazing that an all-powerful God looking down upon the earth would allow so many wrong churches to arise. Why wouldn’t an all-powerful God end the confusion (which will end up sending billions of people to Hell). Or why wouldn’t an all-knowing God write the Bible more plainly so that the confusion would not exist to begin with?

Nonetheless, this is the state of our world today.

The author continues:

Only one church on the face of the earth has the correct name and teaches all the additional many true doctrines that the Bible teaches! Recall that Christ prayed, “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth.” The Church that Christ works through, directs and guides is sanctified—set apart—by its belief of the plain truth of God’s Word!

He continues:

The “Christian” world teaches that the Body of Christ—Jesus’ Church—consists of many denominations, fellowships or “communities of believers,” said to all be connected by the “Holy Spirit” working in believers wherever they are affiliated. (Many, many sources attest to this thinking.) But this is totally contrary to what the Bible teaches about the Body of Christ. This substitute—counterfeit!—idea asserts, in effect, that Christ and His Body are divided among many groups or organizations. We will see that this is not true.

I am sure that after all this build-up, you are curious – which church IS the one, true church? Personally, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. But I was in for a letdown.

It is interesting that the article never answers the question. Instead, it refers you to another pamphlet: “Where is God’s TRUE CHURCH?“. Unfortunately, this pamphlet never answers the question either. At the end there is a section in bold that states the following:

In this world, churches are named after men, or after the system men have devised, or the kind of church government men have thought out, contrary to God’s Word, or after a significant doctrine they emphasize, or what men hope to make it—all-encompassing, universal or catholic. But wherever that one true Church is, it will be named the Church of God.

But that is not all. Many have appropriated God’s name, but are not proclaiming the Kingdom of God, as the government of God, which we must OBEY—teaching obedience to God’s Law (Ten Commandments)—teaching repentance of rebellion and transgressing God’s Holy Law—teaching that we may be now begotten into the Kingdom(Family) of God, and may, by the resurrection, be born into the God Family! That true Church is preaching the imminency of the coming of Christ as King of king and Lord of lords, to rule all nations for a thousand years on earth. Not up in heaven, but on this earth(Rev. 5:10).

There is only one such Church!

It is doing the Work of God. It is, as Jesus said it would be, a ‘little flock,’ persecuted, despised by the world.

God’s Church does have…ministers [and Elders]…available to call on you, visit you in your home, answer your questions, explain the Bible to you—IF YOU REQUEST IT! But none of them will EVER call on you, unless you of your own free will request it! Regarding the general public, Jesus said, ‘Go not from house to house’ (Luke 10:7). Paul had visited the elders (ministers) at Ephesus from house to house.

Neither Jesus, nor Peter, nor Paul, nor any of the original true apostles ever approached people and personally urged conversion on them. God has made every human a free moral agent. God compels each to make his own decision, and the true God will never force you to be converted.

So, it will be named “the Church of God”. There you go!

Does this strike you as strange? It probably does. There may be two reasons for this feeling:

  • If an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, God really existed, it seems odd that there would be thousands of Christian denominations, and thousands of other non-Christian religions, all teaching completely different things about this being.

  • It seems odd that an article which sets out to answer such a simple question is unable to ever answer it.

So let’s help the author along. The reason why there are 2,000 Christian denominations, and thousands of other religions, is simple: God is imaginary. No one can agree on God because there is nothing to agree with. Everything having to do with God is imaginary fantasy.

The more interesting question, therefore, is this: Why do billions of people feel such a strong need to align themselves with imaginary fantasy? What would create such a powerful need?

If you would like to answer THIS question — and there really is an answer here — please see WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com

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