Feed on Posts or Comments 22 October 2014

Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2008



Christianity Johnson on 19 Sep 2008

Should conservatives be removed from positions of authority?

Have you ever wondered where religion comes from? This article discusses one possible explanation:

Why Do We Believe Impossible Things?

According to the article:

Wolpert argues that our wide range of beliefs, some of which are clearly false, grew out of a uniquely human trait. Alone in the animal world, humans understand cause and effect, and that, he says, led ultimately to the invention of tools, the rapid rise of sophisticated technology, and of course, beliefs. Even the earliest humans understood that many events that shaped their lives resulted from specific causes. Therefore, there must be a cause behind every event.

Searching for that cause, Wolpert says, led to the rise of religion because surely there must be some purpose behind all this, some ultimate cause at work in the universe.

The article leaves one thing unresolved. It is fairly easy to understand why children believe in impossible things. But what about adults? It is obvious, for example, that the belief in a prayer-answering, Bible-writing “God” is ridiculous (see GodIsImaginary.com for details). Yet Christians cling to their beliefs with tenacity, in the face of all kinds of evidence proving their beliefs to be nonsense. Why does this happen?

This article offers an explanation:

The Power of Political Misinformation

According to the article:

Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration’s prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation — the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration’s claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

A similar “backfire effect” also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue.

In a paper approaching publication, Nyhan, a PhD student at Duke University, and Reifler, at Georgia State University, suggest that Republicans might be especially prone to the backfire effect because conservatives may have more rigid views than liberals: Upon hearing a refutation, conservatives might “argue back” against the refutation in their minds, thereby strengthening their belief in the misinformation. Nyhan and Reifler did not see the same “backfire effect” when liberals were given misinformation and a refutation about the Bush administration’s stance on stem cell research.

What this article suggests is that many conservatives cannot think or reason clearly. They cannot filter fact from fiction. In fact, they appear to prefer fiction. And the “overlap” between conservatives and Christians is high. This would imply that many Christians cling to their beliefs, despite all the evidence that their beliefs are ridiculous, because their brains are not working correctly.

In light of these discoveries, a controversial but appropriate question would be this: should people who cannot filter fact from fiction be allowed to serve in positions of responsibility in our society? Isn’t this a form of mental illness that we are seeing in this study? This section is particularly damning:

“Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration’s claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.”

In other words, when given facts, many conservatives refuse to accept them and go with the fiction instead. It certainly sounds like a form of mental illness.

Christianity Johnson on 18 Sep 2008

The story of Jesus is nonsense too

The Catholic church has capitulated on evolution, and now admits that it is true:

Vatican: Guess what, Darwin? Evolution is OK

Instead of mankind being created from dust by God, the Catholic church now admits that the human species, like all other species on the planet, was created by evolution.

What this means is that the creation story in the Bible is completely wrong. There was no garden, there was no Adam and Eve, there was no apple, there was no talking snake, etc. All of that is mythological nonsense.

Without Adam, Eve, the snake and the apple, it means the “fall of man” never happened either, so there is no need for Jesus.

Does the Catholic church admit that it is mythological nonsense? Of course not. According to the article:

The Catholic Church teaches “theistic evolution,” a stand that accepts evolution as a scientific theory and sees no reason why God could not have used a natural evolutionary process in the forming of the human species.

It objects to using evolution as the basis for an atheist philosophy that denies God’s existence or any divine role in creation. It also objects to using Genesis as a scientific text.

In other words, the Catholic church invents completely new nonsense and calls it “Theistic Evolution”. The Catholic church pulls this concept out of thin air, like a magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat.

Any rational person would ask this obvious question: If God is all-knowing and God wrote the Bible, then why didn’t God write about “theistic evolution” in the Bible? Why, instead, does the Bible contain complete nonsense?

And the answer is obvious: because the Bible is a book of ridiculous mythology from beginning to end.

Now that the Catholic church has admitted that the Bible’s creation story is nonsense, it should do the intellectually honest thing and admit that the entire Bible is nonsense. The whole story of Jesus is just as imaginary as the story of creation.

Of course, that will never happen.

The amazing thing is that anyone believes any of it. What can we say about hundreds of millions Catholics roaming the planet, worshiping an imaginary God who can’t even get his creation story right?

If you are a Christian who is now starting to see that the Bible is a book of mythology from beginning to end, this web site can help you break free of religious nonsense:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com

Also see:

- Godisimaginary.com

Christianity Johnson on 17 Sep 2008

How do Christians turn into Atheists?

Yesterday we discussed the compartmentalization of the Christian brain and the way that these compartments allow irrational ideas to reside in what is often an otherwise rational brain. It is this compartmentalization that allows, for example, a Christian to believe in God’s Plan even though God’s Plan is obviously absurd.

How do we know that God’s Plan is absurd? Simplest example: If God’s Plan is real, then it means that God plans all abortions, and that God plans for 30,000 kids to die of starvation every day. See Proving that God’s Plan is impossible for details.

If you talk to a Christian about his or her faith for any length of time, you can easily identify the many absurdities caused by the compartmentalization. But to a Christian these absurdities are invisible. The following article does a good job at pointing out several of the biggest absurdities:

I don’t believe that believers really believe

Given that a Christian spends years building the compartments and encouraging the blindness, how can a Christian possibly become an atheist?

In order to become an atheist, the Christian needs to have one of the compartments collapse. As soon as rational thought is allowed to expose the contents of any one of the compartments, the whole house of cards can fall and the person is cured of religion. The following article offers an example of the process:

My story – from evangelical Christian to atheist

It was Twain that may have given me my first healthy dose of skepticism. I began to see the evil nature of god as described in scripture. Years of teaching literature in high school also exposed me to a lot of wisdom from artists like Shelly, Coleridge, Hemingway, Emerson, Thoreau and others.

Human wisdom and humor began to chip away at my faith and strengthen my skepticism. Then at the age of 34, I came across Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus. The ball began to roll and it only picked up velocity. Now I had the gross error, plagiarism, and lies that are scripture.

In a matter of months I had revisited old studies like evolution. It was really strange how 20 years of education seemed to suddenly become clearer in a matter of about two months. The last straw was the admittedly brief study of the myth and religion of India, Egypt, and Greece. The evidence of parallel myths and astrology brought it all together for me.

So here I am, atheist and free at last.

In this case, it is the “Bible is the perfect word of God” compartment that got punctured. Once punctured, it allowed the author to see how repulsive and absurd the Bible really is. Once you see that – and it is something that is obvious to anyone who is not blinded by “faith” and compartments – you are done with religion.

It seems like a majority of former Christians who become atheists follow a path like this. The first glimmer of rationality is always different, but the effect is the same. Once the seed of rationality takes root in one of the compartments, the person is eventually healed of their religious delusion.

So what is the key to healing a Christian? One way is to have a conversation – perhaps a long conversation – in the hope that you can penetrate just one of the hardened compartments in the Christian’s brain and plant a seed of rationality.

Have you seen other techniques or examples?

Christianity Johnson on 16 Sep 2008

The amazing compartmentalization of the Christian brain

Imagine that you are a Christian. In order to believe in an imaginary God, you need to perform remarkable feats of mental gymnastics. For example, you have to believe in a “God” for whom no evidence exists. You have to believe in “Prayer” even though every valid scientific study shows that prayer is a superstition. You have to support the “Bible” even though, in any common sense analysis, the Bible is repulsive. Et Cetera.

How do Christians manage to function with so much dissonance flowing through the brain? One way is through compartmentalization. Religious beliefs live in protected compartments in order to keep them from interacting with rational parts of the brain.

Here is a perfect example of how these compartments work. It is called the “God’s Plan” compartment. God’s Plan is well articulated by Christian mega-pastor Rick Warren in his bestselling book “The Purpose-Driven Life”. According to this page, Rick Warren says:

[God] planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!” [Psalm 139:16]

Rick also says:

God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every plant and every animal was planned by God, and every person was designed with a purpose in mind.

In other words, God plans everything. If God plans the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death, and if God designed you with a purpose in mind, this means that free will pretty much goes out the window. Just think about it. If God plans the exact time of your birth, that means that God had to arrange for you mother and father to meet, marry (or not) and conceive you on a precise time table. And if God designed you, that means he pre-determined your DNA, meaning he picked your mother and father ahead of time. So, who will you marry? God has planned it. How many kids will you have? God chooses. When will they be born? According to God’s preordained and perfect timetable. These are all necessary requirements of God’s Plan.

The reason why God’s Plan has to live in a protected compartment is because it is absurd. If Rick Warren were right, we are all God’s puppets. It would be impossible to think about God’s Plan and Free Will simultaneously without the Christians’ brain seizing up. So the “God’s Plan compartment” keeps this concept locked away most of the time.

Here’s a perfect example of something that would conflict with the “God’s Plan compartment”:

Christians learn the art of dating

The article says:

Now hundreds of Christians are attending courses designed to make them more successful in turning a first date into a long-term relationship.

Peter Spalton, known as the dating doctor, said that churchgoers tended to be more reserved and could benefit from tips on how to appear more attractive.

Lessons include how to greet someone, how to hold good eye contact and how to judge whether the other person wants to be kissed at the end of the evening.

Strangely, the article never mentions prayer for solving any of these problems. Christians need a course to learn how to date. Also strangely, the article never mentions God’s Plan.

Here’s the obvious question that any rational person would ask. If, according to Rick Warren (who really ought to know since he is a super-pastor), God has predetermined who we will marry, then why do we need to take a course to learn how to date? Why not sit back and let God’s Plan do its thing?

The answer is simple. “God’s Plan” lives in its little compartment. That compartment is isolated from the rest of the brain until it is needed. When signing up for the dating course, the “God’s Plan compartment” is de-activated. But then, once two Christians meet each other, the couple will coo on about how God MUST have planned for them to meet because they are so perfect for each other.

If you ask a Christian, “Why would you need to take a dating course if God has predetermined who you will marry?”, the Christian will say… Hmmm, who knows what a Christian would say? They probably activate another compartment. But let’s find out. If you are a Christian, what is your answer to this question?

If you are a Christian and you are tired of having all these strange, disjointed compartments in your brain, this web site can help you eliminate them:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com


Christianity &Science Johnson on 15 Sep 2008

Question for Christians: Do you believe in the Large Hadron Collider? And what does that mean?

The Large Hadron Collider represents a triumph of science. This video will explain what the collider is hoping to accomplish:

This one explains how it works:

Also see: Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider is the “largest and most complex scientific experiment” ever built. Perhaps $10 billion has been spent on its construction. It involves five different accelerators linked in a chain, each bigger than the last, culminating in the main LHC ring which lives in an immense underground tunnel that is 17 miles in circumference. The ring consists of two separate pipes held at near absolute vacuum, each containing protons that are accelerated to 99.999999% the speed of light. More than a thousand superconducting magnets held near absolute zero (1.9 degrees K, the temperature of liquid helium) keep the protons following the circular path.

Once accelerated to full speed, the protons then collide in one of four massive instruments that can detect and measure the debris that comes off the collision. At the moment of collision, a pair of protons has a combined energy of 14 trillion electron volts.

Imagine the amount of science and engineering that went into the creation of a facility like this. Imagine the amount of time spent designing, checking and constructing its millions of parts. Imagine the triumph of having all of it work exactly as expected.

Now the first question: As a Christian, do you believe that The Large Hadron Collider actually exists? You probably do. If you were to seriously doubt its existence, you could actually travel to CERN and see for yourself.

If you do believe in the LHC, here is something to consider. The same kind of scientists and the same scientific process that built the Large Hadron Collider are also working on evolution. Except that there are far more scientists working on evolution, because evolution encompasses so many different disciplines. These scientists work on learning about evolution with the same rigor and determination that went into the LHC. They have amassed a gigantic amount of evidence from many different specialties.

The second question: Why do you believe in the LHC, but you deny the whole idea of the evolution of species? What prevents you from seeing that science is science? Why would you believe that the scientists working on the LHC are so competent and inspired, while those working on evolution are blundering imbeciles bent on a satanic mission? Why are you so afraid of reality that you would take a position like denying the fact of evolution, proven out in thousands of different ways over the span of decades by a truly astonishing amount of evidence? Why won’t you look at the actual evidence so that you can see for yourself that it is real and true, just like the LHC?

Or let’s say that you are an “enlightened Christian”. You believe in evolution AND Christianity. Why can’t you accept the reality that the creation myth in the Bible is just a myth? And so is Noah’s flood. And by simple extrapolation, Jesus and his whole “eternal life” silliness are myths as well, as demonstrated in these two videos:

Everything about Christianity is nothing but mythology. Why do you hold a religion full of meaningless mythology so dear?

Simply think about it for a bit. Either way, your belief in Christianity is meaningless because Christianity is nothing but mythology. The mythology surrounding God and Jesus is no different from the mythology surrounding Zeus or Ra. (If you disagree with this statement, please take a moment to leave a comment and explain your logic, as many people would be very interested in hearing what you have to say.)

On the other hand, if you are a Christian and you are beginning to understand that worshipping a mythological tri-God is a waste of your time, this web site can help lead you down the path of enlightenment:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com


Christianity Johnson on 14 Sep 2008

“Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To” – Christianity on the cutting edge of absurdity

Here is a book with a startling title:

Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To

We know that God NEVER says yes to a prayer to heal amputees. Nor does God ever heal a child’s cleft palate. Over 30,000 children will die today of things like starvation, dehydration and preventable diseases, and God completely ignores their prayers (even though he promises to answer them in Luke 12 and many other verses).

If we study prayer with statistical tools, we know that the whole idea of prayer is nothing but a superstition. But we don’t even need statistical tools. Simply by looking at the world around us, it is obvious that God never answers prayers.

And yet here is a book that claims there to be 10 prayers that God ALWAYS says yes to. What could these 10 prayers be? They are conveniently listed in the Table of contents:

1) I Wish I Could Believe: God, Show Me That You Exist
2) Why Should I Get Involved?: God, Make Me an Instrument
3) What’s in It for Me?: God, Outdo Me in Generosity
4) I Can’t Take It Anymore!: God, Get Me Through This Suffering
5) Am I a Terrible Person?: God, Forgive Me
6) This Stress Is Killing Me!: God, Give Me Peace
7) Okay, I Admit It: I’m Afraid: God, Give Me Courage
8) Sometimes Being Smart Just Isn’t Enough: God, Give Me Wisdom
9) Will I Ever Be Happy Again?: God, Bring Good Out of This Bad Situation
10) Why Am I Here, Anyway?: God, Lead Me to My Destiny

According to the book, God ALWAYS says Yes to these prayers.

How can we immediately see the absurdity of this list? Let’s take question #10:

“Why Am I Here, Anyway?: God, Lead Me to My Destiny”

Now we simply have the 30,000 kids who will die of starvation today pray this prayer: “Dear God, Why Am I Here, Anyway?: God, Lead Me to My Destiny…” The answer from God will be, “Well, 30,000 kids, your destiny is to die of starvation today! Have fun!” Then all 30,000 kids die. And then we repeat the same process EVERY SINGLE DAY.

This, once again, is the Christian peephole at work. Only by ignoring reality can Christians continue to have “faith”. If they would look at reality, they would have to admit that they are worshiping an insane demon.

Question 10 is obviously absurd, but question #8 is hilarious when looking at the average Christian:

“Sometimes Being Smart Just Isn’t Enough: God, Give Me Wisdom”

Given that God ALWAYS says yes to this prayer, what would we expect? We would expect all Christians to be wise, wouldn’t we? But then we look at George W. Bush and shake our heads. OBVIOUSLY God does not answer this prayer.

Or look at Sarah Palin. She is a “strong Christian believer”. She is praying all the time. And then she gets into an interview with Charlie Gibson and we see a total breakdown. Not only is she not “wise”, she doesn’t even know basic stuff like the definition of “the Bush doctrine”:

Can anyone, Christian or not, watch Palin’s interview and claim that Sarah Palin is filled with wisdom derived from an all-knowing, all-powerful being? Obviously not.

And if Christians are so wise, why do they need a blizzard of lies?

The book “Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To” shows Christianity on the cutting edge of absurdity.

What’s even more interesting is that we could write the companion volume very easily:

1,000,000 prayers that God NEVER answers

For example:

1) God, please spontaneously regrow the leg of this amputee
2) God, please appear to us by taking over all the TV stations and web sites of the world and delivering your divine message to humanity
3) God, please eliminate cancer from the planet tomorrow
4) God, please give us a Bible that makes sense
5) …

All of these prayers would be trivially easy for an “all-powerful being” to answer if he were to exist. But the reality is that God is imaginary. And it is obvious that he is imaginary. This imaginary God cannot even answer the 10 questions that he ALWAYS answers.

Christianity Johnson on 13 Sep 2008

Who wrote the Bible?

“Who Wrote the Bible? Is the Bible the Word of God? Why is the Bible full of Contradictions? This documentary explores questions at the heart of the great Christian faith in a fair open-minded fashion. It is NOT meant to be inflamatory but informative. The truth one will see is the Bible is NOT what it is thought to be. So what is the Bible? Find out! ”

If you would like to learn more about God and the Bible, see:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com


Science Johnson on 12 Sep 2008

We need to rename “the theory of evolution”

How many times each day do scientists and other rational people hear this expression:

“Evolution is just a theory!”

This expression is used constantly by creationists to diminish and dismiss evolution. When they say that evolution is “just” a theory, creationists are using the word “theory” in the colloquial sense. They are stating that evolution is just a random guess, or a random opinion, about how things might work. They have no idea what the word “theory” means to a scientist.

Where do Creationists get their “just a theory” expression? They say this because scientists routinely use the name: “the theory of evolution”. Scientists of course are using the word “theory” in the scientific sense. The “theory of evolution” is scientifically supported by massive amounts of evidence, it is testable, and it can be used to make predictions.

So the problem here is a language problem. The word “theory” has two different meanings to two different groups of people. To one group (scientists), the word “theory” has great importance and heft (definition 1 in the dictionary). To the other group (the general public), the word “theory” implies a trivial flimsiness (definition 2). Unfortunately, the general public makes up 95% of the population, so their definition of the word “theory” wins.

Given this situation, scientists are making a huge blunder when they call it “the theory of evolution”.

What is the solution to this problem? It’s simple. We need to rename “the theory of evolution”. We need to stop using the word “theory” because, for 95% of the population, the word “theory” has the wrong meaning.

What is a better name? We should call it “Evolution Science”. Everywhere that we would be inclined to use the name “the theory of evolution”, we should use the name “Evolution Science” instead. Example:

Old way: “Hello class, I’m Mr. Smith and I am here to teach you the theory of evolution.”

New way: “Hello class, I’m Mr. Smith and I am here to teach you Evolution Science.”

In addition, every time a creationist tries to call it “the theory of evolution”, we shut them down and correct them by saying, “it’s called Evolution Science”. We do not allow creationists to call it “the theory of evolution”, because creationists have no idea what the word “theory” means in science.

Some people are already doing this. But right now, the name “theory of evolution” is by far the more common. If you go into Google and type both “theory of evolution” and “evolution science” (in quotes) as search terms, you can see that the former is four times more common than the latter.

We need to present a unified front. We need to use “Evolution Science” exclusively, across the board, and expunge “the theory of evolution” from the vernacular.

Don’t think a simple naming change will make a difference? The name has huge importance. Once they started calling Alaska’s bridge “the bridge to nowhere”, that name stuck and the bridge died.

Right now, our use of the name “the theory of evolution” is harmful. So we change the name. We call it “Evolution Science” from now on.

Christianity Johnson on 11 Sep 2008

The Absurdity of the Christian Peephole

Today we turn once again to Billy Graham to demonstrate the Peephole that Christians use when they examine our world:

God will welcome you just as you are

The title sounds encouraging enough, and the article contains this promising quote:

God understands your problems and welcomes you just as you are. We don’t have to be perfect before God will accept us

Wouldn’t it be nice if this were true? Unfortunately, according to the Bible, this viewpoint is completely incorrect. Most people, rather than being accepted by God “just as they are”, will be cast into Hell for an eternity of torture. As mentioned in this post, just about everyone who isn’t a Southern Baptist is on the highway to Hell.

The only way that Billy Graham could make a statement like that is to be looking through a peephole that sees “God” as “all loving”, while ignoring the huge swaths of Biblical verbiage that clearly demonstrates otherwise.

The Christian Peephole is even more obvious in this passage:

It’s important for you to understand exactly what Jesus said about worry. He knew that we all tend to worry about the future — but God knows all about the future and because He loves us we can trust our future into His hands. He said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. … Your Father knows that you need them” (Luke 12:22, 30). The opposite of worry, Jesus was saying, is trust — trust in God and His unchanging love.

Billy Graham has left several good parts out of his Luke quote, so let’s look at the entirety of Luke 12:22-34:

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Doesn’t this sound fantastic? God will feed us without our needing to sow or reap! Even better: “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it… your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” God will give us the food and drink we need!

What an amazing peephole this is. When we remove the peephole and take time to look at reality, we find that this verse of the Bible is completely untrue. According to this post:

- “every year nearly ten million children die in the world due to preventable diseases.”

- “some 4000 children die every day, because they simply don’t have access to an adequate supply of clean water.”

- And many millions more die of starvation.

Strangely, God has forgotten to give these children what they need. And what he promised them. Luke 12:22-34 is provably ridiculous. Only by looking at the world through the Christian Peephole would you ever quote this section of the Bible.

If you would like a deeper perspective on how ridiculous the Bible can be in this area, try this:

Examine your health insurance policy


Christianity Johnson on 11 Sep 2008

Conventional logic vs. Religious insanity

Christianity Johnson on 10 Sep 2008

Conventional Logic vs. Religious logic

It would be interesting to hear how both religious and non-religious people react to this cartoon:

Conventional Logic vs. Religious logic

Christianity Johnson on 09 Sep 2008

The Texas Theocracy

In Texas, they are now teaching classes in the Bible:

Texas to teachers: Bible will be taught

The Bible’s history and literature will be required to be taught in public schools in Texas under a new law that has been clarified by the state attorney general to mean exactly what it says.

The basic argument put forward to support this type of instruction can be summarized as “Cultural Literacy”. The article describes it this way:

“There are 1,300 references to the Bible in the works of Shakespeare alone. Over 60 percent of the allusions studied in [advanced placement] English come from the Bible. Students are going to be better academically and culturally when they hear about the Bible.”

Fair enough. If that is the logic, let’s extrapolate. There are millions of scientific papers, books and textbooks that reference evolution. “Students are going to be better academically and culturally when they hear about evolution.” Scientific literacy depends on an understanding of this topic. Therefore, we would expect to see a parallel law in Texas requiring that evolution be taught in Texas schools, would we not? Unfortunately, Christian logic does not work that way:

Battle Against Teaching Evolution in Texas Begins

The decision the state board makes on the science curriculum this November will determine what every public school student in Texas learns about science for the next 10 years. And that’s not all. Because Texas buys more textbooks than every other state except California and publishers would rather not create separate editions for smaller states, the books ordered here will end up in classrooms across the country.

“If Texas falls, this is the beginning of a giant move backward in science education,” says Chris Comer, the former science director who resigned in November. “What really disturbs me most of all is how the average citizen doesn’t really care. The entire education system is about to be subverted, because this isn’t just about science. This is about a group of people who are trying to dictate what should be taught in every subject, not according to research or facts, but according to their own whims and personal beliefs.”

Welcome to the Texas Theocracy.

Christians are quite fond of saying things like this: “Why do people oppose Christianity? If they aren’t believers, Christianity has no effect on their lives!” As seen above, particularly in the second article, this statement is categorically untrue. Christians, with their ridiculous beliefs and stone age thinking, act as a constant and consistent brake on scientific progress and rational thought. The irrationality of Christianity affects everyone in ways both big and small.

Christianity Johnson on 09 Sep 2008

It is time to end tax-exempt status for churches

It is time to end tax-exempt status for churches. They collect billions in revenue every year. The organizations that make the most money – the “Megachurches” – are big business. There is no reason why they should be tax-exempt.

Churches try to argue that they act like “charities”, but they are highly inefficient in the charity role. Compared to a well-run secular charity, a Megachurch has immense overhead in terms of building upkeep, debt, salaries, etc. Therefore, on a percentage basis, very little of a Megachurch’s money actually goes toward charitable activities.

In addition to being highly inefficient, churches are now openly violating one key condition of their tax exempt status. It is illegal for tax-exempt churches to make political endorsements. Yet churches plan to openly defy this law:

Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted

Stanley said three dozen church leaders from more than 20 states have agreed to deliver a political sermon, naming political names.

“The sermon will be an evaluation of conditions for office in light of scripture and doctrine. They will make a specific recommendation from the pulpit about how the congregation would vote,” he said.

“They could oppose a candidate. They could oppose both candidates. They could endorse a candidate. They could focus on a federal, state or local election.”

Let churches pay taxes like any other business. Then they are free to endorse candidates.

On a side note, this sentence is particularly humorous in light of Sarah Palin’s Candidacy: “The sermon will be an evaluation of conditions for office in light of scripture and doctrine. They will make a specific recommendation from the pulpit about how the congregation would vote.”

As mentioned in a previous post, here are scriptural dictates in the Bible that apply to Sarah Palin:

Ephesians 5:22:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord

Colossians 3:18:

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Titus 2:3-5:

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

1 Peter 3:1-7:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Timothy 2:9-15::

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

A church that follows “God’s Word” can’t endorse a female candidate without defying “God’s Will” in the Bible.

Christianity Johnson on 06 Sep 2008

How Sarah Palin ignores God’s Will every day

This New York Times article talks about Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs:

In Palin’s Life and Politics, Goal to Follow God’s Will

Palin’s goal, according to the New York Times, is to follow God’s Will. The reality is far different. Sarah Palin actually ignores God’s Will every day she is in office. It is fascinating to watch such a devoted and public Christian behave in this way.

The article contains this quote:

In the address at the Assembly of God Church here, Ms. Palin’s ease in talking about the intersection of faith and public life was clear. Among other things, she encouraged the group of young church leaders to pray that “God’s will” be done in bringing about the construction of a big pipeline in the state, and suggested her work as governor would be hampered “if the people of Alaska’s heart isn’t right with God.”

She also told the group that her eldest child, Track, would soon be deployed by the Army to Iraq, and that they should pray “that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God, that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.”

Here is the video of Palin’s address at the Assembly of God Church if you would like to verify the quotes and get a feeling for Palin’s tone and demeanor:

The article also contains this quote:

“The churches that Sarah has attended all believe in a literal translation of the Bible,” Ms. Kincaid said. “Her principal ethical and moral beliefs stem from this.”

How do Christians learn about God’s Will and God’s Plan? God does not make public speaking appearances. Thus, according to Christians, the way we hear God speak is through the Bible. The Bible is a Christians’ sole source of knowledge about God’s Will.

And this is where things get interesting. Because when we read the Bible, we find that God is quite clear. God does not want women serving in positions of authority. God wants women staying at home and living in full submission to men. Many evangelicals understand that it is a Biblical contradiction to have a female governor, and they are speaking out. In this post…

Voddie Bauchaum Ministries

…we find this quote:

My heart breaks for her husband.  Mrs. Palin is not even supposed to be the head of her own household (Eph. 5:22ff; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1-7), let alone the State of Alaska, or the United States Senate (The VP oversees the Senate).  He should be shepherding her, but instead she is ruling over him. 

These Bible verses tell us God’s Will in no uncertain terms, and they are amazing:

Ephesians 5:22:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord

Colossians 3:18:

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Titus 2:3-5:

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

1 Peter 3:1-7:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Another salient verse is found here:

1 Timothy 2:9-15::

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
 
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

This last verse not only tells women to live in full submission to men, but also tells them to avoid “pearls or expensive clothes”. Which is remarkable in light of the way Cindy McCain dresses:


Vanityfair.com – Cindy McCain’s $300,000 Outfit

Cindy McCain's $300,000 outfit
Photo via VanityFair.com

Apparently Cindy McCain’s goal in life is to laugh loudly at God’s Will

God has made his will incredibly clear to Christians in the Bible. Women are to be in full submission to men. They are to be silent in public. They are not to serve in any position of authority over men. They are to dress modestly, without pearls or expensive clothes.

What do Sarah Palin, and all of the Christians who support her, do with God’s Will and God’s Word on this issue? They completely defy God. They ignore God’s Word and God’s Will without a second thought.

How is this possible? How can Sarah Palin claim to be a strong Christian whose goal in life is to follow God’s Will, while at the same time defy God is such an obvious and public way? How can other Christians support her, knowing that she is defying God? The level of hypocrisy seen here is extremely uncomfortable to anyone who values honesty and integrity.

Are you a Christian who is beginning to understand the hypocrisy and delusion of Christianity? Are you growing ashamed of “God’s Will”, especially in light of how repulsive it is in the Bible? For example, who wants to believe in a book and a God that obviously treats women as second class citizens? To break free of religion, start by watching this video to affirm just how repulsive the Bible is:

Proving that the Bible is repulsive

Watch this video to understand the delusion of Christianity:

How do we know that Christians are delusional?

And then read through this web site, which will introduce you to a better way of life that is free from lies, hypocrisy and delusion:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com

- GodIsImaginary.com

Christianity Johnson on 05 Sep 2008

Why doesn’t prayer work?

Prayer is a huge part of the Christian lifestyle. But there is a problem: Prayer does not work. Prayer is nothing but a superstition, and provably so. Still, Christians cling to the idea that “God answers prayers” as described in the Bible.

Therefore, you will often see Christian literature that is wildly optimistic about prayer on the one hand. This article is a good example:

What does it take for God to answer our prayer?

This is the wildly optimistic part:

I had a good friend who prayed often. She would tell me every week about something she was trusting God to take care of. And every week I would see God do something unusual to answer her prayer.

And:

For those who do know him and rely on him, Jesus seems to be wildly generous in his offer: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7 ) To “remain” in him and have his words remain in them means they conduct their lives aware of him, relying on him, listening to what he says. Then they’re able to ask him whatever they want.

So we have a God in the first example who is answering prayers on a regular basis, and in the second case we have a God who will grant believers “whatever they wish”. This sounds great, doesn’t it?

There is only one problem: God never heals amputees and God allows tens of thousands of children to die of starvation and dehydration every day. We see people who are consumed by cancers and diseases, and children are born with all sorts of birth defects every day. Yet there is no response from God when we pray to solve these problems. Prayer doesn’t work in any of these cases.

So the articles have to explain this breakdown. One way to do it is to invent the concept of “God’s will”:

Here is another qualifier: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14,15) God answers our prayers according to his will (and according to his wisdom, his love for us, his holiness, etc.).

Where we trip up is assuming we know God’s will, because a certain thing makes sense to us! We assume that there is only one right “answer” to a specific prayer, assuming certainly THAT would be God’s will. And this is where it gets tough. We live within the limits of time and limits of knowledge. We have only limited information about a situation and the implications of future action on that situation. God’s understanding is unlimited. How an event plays out in the course of life or history is only something he knows. And he may have purposes far beyond what we could even imagine. So, God is not going to do something simply because we determine that it must be his will.

The other is to invent the concept of the “peace of God”:

Certainly people get sick, even die; financial problems are real, and all sorts of very difficult situations can come up. What then?

God tells us to give our concerns to him. Even as the situation remains dismal, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) The circumstances may look out of control, but they aren’t. When the whole world seems to be falling apart, God can keep us together. This is when a person can be very grateful that they know God. “The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7) God may provide solutions, resolutions to the problem WAY beyond what you imagined possible. Probably any Christian could list examples like this in their own lives. But if the circumstances do not improve, God can still give us his peace in the midst of it

So if 10,000 children die of starvation today, that must be the “Will of God”. And if God completely ignores the prayers of amputees for healing, that is OK because God fills them with “the Peace of God”.

To summarize, God says, “ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7 ) That seems straightforward, until you ask for something concrete and measurable, like healing an amputated limb. In that case prayer fails every time, and Christians fall back to the “Will of God” and the “Peace of God” excuses. It is NEVER God’s will to heal an amputee, or eliminate cancer, or feed the starving, etc.

Here is another article that covers the same ground:

Prayers That Move the Heart of God

The title itself is amazing – somehow you are going to design a prayer than moves God’s heart, presumably to get your prayers answered. The article explains it this way:

God doesn’t give me everything I repeatedly ask for when he knows it’s not best for me. But a shallow reading of Luke 11:9-10 could lead me to think otherwise. There Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Is the way to get what I want from God through wearing him down, or getting as many people as possible to ask God for it? What kinds of prayer really move the heart and hand of God?

What kind of prayers move God? Again we see a non-answer:

There’s so much to want—healed bodies, restored relationships, changed circumstances….

Yes, that it true. Unfortunately…

But asking, seeking, and knocking aren’t secret formulas for getting what we want from God…

Which is strange, because the Bible says they ARE the way to get what we want from God, and that He will give them to us. But since they don’t work, we have to settle for the “Peace of God”:

they’re ways to get more of God. As I listen to God speak to me through his Word, he gives me more of himself in fuller, newer ways. Then, if healing doesn’t come, if the relationship remains broken, or if the pressures increase, I have the opportunity to discover for myself he is enough. His presence is enough. His purpose is enough.

The author describes an extremely sad situation: an infant daughter named Hope with a metabolic disorder that will kill her in just a few months. It is truly tragic. Since prayer is superstition, it is not going to change the course of events. So how does the author rationalize the ineffectiveness of prayer?

Time seemed to be slipping away so quickly when one day, as I rocked Hope in the nursery we’d prepared for her—tears spilling down my face—I thought, I’ll ask God to give Hope more time. It seemed such a modest prayer; I’d already surrendered any insistence God heal her completely. But even as that prayer formed in my mind, I sensed God calling me to submit to his perfect timing. So my prayer instead became, Give me strength to make the most of every day you give me with Hope. Show me how to rest in your plan for her life and mine.

In this case it is not only God’s Will that the child dies, but God’s plan. God planned out this whole tragedy. And the author believes that God is reaching into her brain and editing her thoughts.

At this point any rational person screams out, “what kind of sick demon would PLAN to have an infant suffer and die? And why would anyone worship such a demon?”

Why worship a demon?

If you are a Christian and you are staring to realize the irrationality of worshiping a demon, this web site can show you a better way:

- Whywontgodhealamputees.com

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