Atheist Rally a Bust

Monday, June 6, AD 2016

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What if they gave an atheist rally and nobody came?  From the blog The Friendly Atheist we find out what happened at Reason Rally 2016 in Washington DC:

 

Where Was the Crowd for the Reason Rally?

No official crowd estimates have been released. But even in the early afternoon, when the crowd was likely at its peak, nothing I saw suggested “15,000 to 20,000” in attendance, as the organizers told Religion News Service. I’d put the range at about half of that, but we’ll see.

Did something go wrong?

Let me say up front that I don’t think this is *that* big of an issue. If the people who showed up had a good time and left the event energized and committed to activism back home, that’s a better gauge of success than some arbitrary attendance figure. But a low turnout still takes a lot of the air out of what was an otherwise great event.

So let’s talk about what may have contributed to that.

 

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5 Responses to Atheist Rally a Bust

  • “Oxymoron” is not really the right word, but it does seem at least incongruent to me, to consider activism along with atheism. I always want to say, “so what’s your point?”

  • .Anzlyne, I made that joke once before to an atheist. They’re giving the line of “atheism isn’t a religion any more than ‘off’ is a TV channel” to which I replied, “what are you activism-ing for?”

    Don, how DARE you suggest I read the comments. I mean their height of comedy was “reichwinger” and the complete lack of self-awareness…

  • I head that the real opposite of Love isn’t Hate, but Indifference. I suspect the same is true of Faith. It isn’t Atheism–since that requires a belief in something, even if that some thing is in fact nothing.
    .
    Indifference on the other hand? I have to get out of bed for Church on Sunday. If I’m a good Atheist, I have to get out of bed on Atheism Rally Day. But if I’m indifferent to it all? I can hit the snooze button as many times as my cat allows me to do so (granted, that ain’t much).

  • While perusing the comboxes, I was coming across many reasons why many didn’t go to the reason rally. Then it hit me. The “T” was missing. The reason rally was short a letter.
    Treason rally. “Doubt is the ultimate treason aginist faith.” Poor souls. They rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial not grasping the irony.
    Treason rally fits perfectly.

National Atheist Day 2016

Friday, April 1, AD 2016

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Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.

Heywood Broun

Ah, April begins, and once again we have National Atheist Day, when we light-heartedly celebrate that herd of brave independent thinkers who assert that all of Creation exists without a Creator, and that they will soon explain, perhaps by next Tuesday, how matter and energy can arise ex nihilo.  This National Atheist Day we will look at the extreme bitterness that many atheists appear to harbor against the God they say does not exist.

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I submit that this rage is usually grounded in fear, a fear that God does in fact exist.  One of the more interesting contemporary atheists, Doctor Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy at NYU gets I think to the heart of the matter:

In speaking of the fear of religion, I don’t mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper–namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers.

It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.

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2 Responses to National Atheist Day 2016

Ideas and Words Have Consequences

Sunday, October 4, AD 2015

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Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at the prompt denial by some atheists of hatred of Christians as possibly being a factor in the murderer at Umpqua College singling out Christians:

 

 

So after over a decade of the radical anti-religious New Atheists spouting rhetoric against religion that would make a party in the 1930s Reichstag look Kosher by comparison, atheists are dealing with the ugly notion that evidence suggests the killer of nine people at Umpqua College purposefully targeted Christians.  Of course for most atheists, like most liberals and secularists, Christianity is the prime enemy.  So most contempt, disgust, hatred, spite, demagoguery and lies are aimed at Christians and Christianity.  And of course we know that such rhetoric is always behind things like racist hate crimes, and anti-gay hate crimes, and anti-Muslim hate crimes.  

But as Western Liberalism tends to do, once again we have a case where the zealousness of its righteous crusaders turns on itself and seems to expose the movement’s hypocrisy and agendas.  So Lauren Nelson, penning for the always ironically titled Friendly Atheist, steps in to say ‘not so fast, it may not have anything to do with it after all!’  
That, of course, is a favorite tactic of the leftist propaganda machine.  If a person kills blacks or gays or another minority group adopted by the Left, then hatred is the only motive.  The only focus.  If someone breaks from that, or a member of the approved minority community commits the crime, or a victim is from a non-accepted group, then it’s all about anything but the hatred.  Once again, reminding us that we are dealing with a movement that hates us; one that likely doesn’t care for the various groups it claims to support, but one that certainly hates certain groups – like Christians.  

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41 Responses to Ideas and Words Have Consequences

  • By definition Christians cannot be victims, white people cannot be victims, police cannot be victims. According to the prevailing model, Christians and white people have the power, and the powerful cannot be victims. Only members of approved victim classes can be victims. Possession of victim status is extremely important in our culture, something to be fought for and protected at all cost. Victim status is so powerful, homosexuals seized it and through careful manipulation of whatever faculty recognizes rainbow symbols — the Bear hesitates to use the word “intellect” — pushed through gay marriage practically overnight. The “powerful” were powerless to stop them. It was a rollover, not even a speed bump. That’s the power of victim status, and why we can’t have it. (Bears possibly, but there are so few talking bears to carry the message!)

  • “(Bears possibly, but there are so few talking bears to carry the message!)”

    And so many of them cannot speak because their mouths are stuffed with honey, fish, picnic lunches, etc. Face it, you are a rarity my bruin friend.

  • What will become of these atheists when Patriots who are Christians have had enough and implement the Maccabean solution? 🙁 It will be worse than 1860 to 1865. 🙁 God have mercy.

  • What comes around, goes around. The New Atheism is childish hatred. For the most part, they talk a lot but are really cowards.
    I was once afraid of a fight. At that time I did not know that my mother is a descendant of Clan Lamont, who fought against Protestant clans rather than submit. Nor did I know of the Winged Hussars, Pulaski, Sobieski, Kosciuszko, Pilsudski, the Greater Poland Uprising, the Polish Soviet War, Gaby Grabeski or General Anders.
    Bring it on, New Atheists. I am no member of the Church of Nice.

  • Interesting that guns and bible thumpers were castigated (can we still say targeted) together by a certain top politician a few years back.

  • Brother #1: “Give it to Mikey!”
    .
    Brother #2: “Mikey won’t eat it – he hates everything!”
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    How ironic that a cereal called “Life” would have such distant and unwitting prescience. Signal graces indeed.

  • You know, it really saddens me that a certain kind of intolerant person would look to take advantage of this awful, inexplicable tragedy by cultivating a climate of fear and hatred against other Americans in order to advance a political agenda that would deny those different from themselves their basic, fundamental rights.

  • I’m a writer at The Friendly Atheist. Please remove the threat above by your reader T Shaw (“Somebody needs to make them pay”) that appears to be a call for violence against my colleague.

    And there is absolutely, unequivocally, nothing in her post that could remotely be considered “hate speech” or a “call to violence” — it’s precisely the opposite. The only call to violence here is by Shaw.

  • “Somebody needs to make them pay”

    Considering that T.Shaw is a sixty something accountant I suspect that he was referring to payment in coin and not making a threat. However, to make sure that atheist bloggers sleep well at night, free from fear from attacks from aging bookkeepers, I have taken down his comment.

  • Mr. McClarey, his comment was a call to action to all readers to “make us pay.” Do you genuinely believe most readers will take that to mean money?

    An ironic response from the author of a post entitled “Ideas and Words Have Consequences.”

  • Yes actually, considering the readership of this blog. Lawsuits alleging damages for hate speech are not uncommon in other nations, Canada comes to mind as an example. Fortunately they have found no footing in American jurisprudence, at least in civil actions, due to the fact that one man’s hate speech is another man’s freedom of speech.

  • Bo Gardiner, it is you atheists who have been making us Christians pay for almost 100 years now, starting with Vladimir Lenin. Your kind murdered 20 million Ukrainians in the 1930s in the Great Holodomor. Your kind murdered 60 or more million Chinese in atheist Mao Tse Tung’s Great leap Forward. Your kind starves the people of North Korea to death under an atheist regime. Your kind persecutes the Church in atheist, communist Vietnam. Your kind murdered Christian men, women and children in Mexico in the 1910s and 20s under atheist President Plutarco Elias Calles. Your kind have always been and always will be murderers. Will you pay? Not at my hand. Nor at the hand of any other authentic Christian. But we will all give an account of ourselves at the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ. I include myself in that. God help us if we fail to repent.

  • Mr. Primavera, that’s precisely the kind of bigoted hate speech that sends unbalanced people over the edge and into violence. Words have consequences.

  • Bo Gardiner, it is a historical fact that you atheists murdered countless tens of millions of people in the 20th century. It is equally a fact that every single one of us will stand before the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ and unless we repent – myself most of all – we go to hell for our sins, having sent ourselves there. I am not going to mince words into political correctness to staisfy some mentally deranged nut case, who more often than not is an atheist or a Muslim. Witness the recent murderous anti-Christian rampage in Oregon. Authentic Christians do NOT murder. You atheist do murder.

  • I can’t believe an atheist comes around and starts bullying people by accusing them of inciting violence because they maintain something anathema to godless atheism. These people will not stop. They force Christian bakeries out of business for not supporting sodomy. They force Catholic adoption agencies out of business for not adopting out to sodomites. They shoot Christian kids in college. They know no bounds and they demand that we be nice to them or else? Or else what? Are you going to sue people on this blog for disagreeing with you? Are you going to write letters to police, courts, politicians, employers, demanding these people be ostracized? It started that way in Plutarco Elias Calles’ Mexico. Then began the open bloody persecution – little children tortured and killed for daring to utter the phrase Viva Cristo Rey! It was offensive to say, Long Live Christ the King, because it was a call to arms – spiritual arms and the devil who authors and incites atheism hates that. No, I do NOT advocate violence against anyone, Muslim or atheist. But I will defend my family against their violence. That is my 2nd Amendment Right, and it has Biblical precedence in 1st Maccabees chapter 2. No, I do not want to do that, and yes, hurting anyone physically would make me violently ill. But it used to be American – patriotic – to uphold such values: God, Family and Country. Now it’s offensive. Well, St Paul said the Cross has always been offensive. But every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.

  • If nothing else, Mr. Gardiner has usefully proven two things: (1) rare honorable exceptions aside, atheists refuse to be responsible for their anti-religious rhetoric, and (2) calls for civility are just cynical implements in the left’s culture war toolkit.

  • Bo Gardiner wrote “And there is absolutely, unequivocally, nothing in her post that could remotely be considered “hate speech” or a “call to violence” — it’s precisely the opposite.”
    This is a dissimulation. No one claimed that Lauren Nelson wrote any such thing. The claim is that she denied and excused the hate speech of others.

  • Tom D:

    First, there was absolutely no denial of or excuse for any hate speech.
    Secondly, I have a screencap of the comment, which absolutely makes that claim.

    Paul Primavera:

    I’m sorry you feel persecuted by someone civilly asking on an Internet forum to delete a violent threat. I’d suggest you look to countries where dissent is illegal and both Christians and atheists are imprisoned, tortured or killed to learn what persecution genuinely looks like.

    I’m not a “Mr.” I and my colleague are women. If men posting and defending a violent threat toward us is not “bullying,” but you feel bullied by us for asking that it be deleted, I recommend you visit some anti-bullying websites to learn more about the problem.

  • Any thoughts about Mr. Weinstein’s rhetoric as quoted at the top of this thread, Miss Gardiner? Oh, and is your colleague still agnostic about whether Christians were targeted for execution in Oregon?

    I await your deflections.

  • Folks,
    .
    You can’t make this stuff up:
    .
    https://bogardiner.wordpress.com/about/
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    Jesuit educated! Who would have thought! “…she went into this weird cocoon-like state and emerged a metamorphised humanist, feminist, environmentalist…” Again, who would have thought! “There she geeks out on botanizing and birds…” This ain’t fiction, folks!
    .
    Meanwhile, Christians who were real scientists (Father Georges LeMaitre, Dr Louis Pasteur, the contemporary Dr Stephen Barr and Dr Hugh Ross, etc.) are to be derided and ridiculed for their religion.

  • Dale, our feminist eco-enviro-humanist atheist has an opinion about the massacre of Christians in Oregon:
    .
    https://bogardiner.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/did-the-oregon-shooter-actually-target-christians-it-doesnt-appear-so/
    .
    But it doesn’t agree with reeality.

  • You’re welcome to discuss my own analysis of the Oregon shooting at

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/10/06/on-cnns-reliable-sources-host-wrongly-calls-oregon-shooter-an-atheist-targeting-anyone-religious/

    It pulls together comprehensively what’s known factually about its religious aspects, with links to all primary sources.

  • Bo Gardiner, the only place where atheists are persecuted in exactly where Christians are persecuted: in Muslim countries. Everywhere else you atheists gain control, you end up doing exactly what President Plutarco Elias Calles of Mexico did in the early 20th century. You are the persecuters. You do it now by sending Christians to be sued in court for not baking cakes for sodomites. That is but one of many examples. You marginalize. Then you ostracize. Then you incarcerate. Then you torture and execute. You did it in Russia. You did it in China. You did it in Mexico. You did it in North Korea. You did it in Cuba. Everywhere you go, that is what you do.

  • Ah. Well, I can certainly understand why you’d take that tack, favoring the evidence that downplays the Christian hater angle.

    I mean, having to think about possible downsides to an irreligious future could be unpleasant. Better to handwave it away, like was done with the executions of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad snf Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in North Carolina.

    Whew–just a parking dispute! No way anything else could have played into it–certainly not enlightened progressive secular thinking! No ma’am–blame the gun, because marinating in anti-religious rhetoric is good for the soul. Well, it would be, if people had them.

    And anyway: soul-searching is only for those who believe in souls, amirite?

  • Oh, and nice avoid on the Weinstein quote. Your silence is most eloquent.

  • I recall seeing a video of the atheist Daniel Dennett at a conference in China where he advocated the state taking children away from religious believers so that they can be raised properly. Ah, yes, building the great future on a foundation of human rights violations.

  • Why should anyone be surprised that an atheist has problems recognizing facts, when he can’t even get the first and most fundamental one right?

  • I am also curious – how does an atheist determine something is “hate” speech? To classify something as “hate”, there must be some meaning to this word/standard of “hate” that is beyond merely the eye of the beholder (i.e., not merely subjective). Otherwise, it is just random molecules bouncing around and interacting for no particular purpose, with no particular meaning. Hence, no such thing as “hate.” It is all just a matter of personal opinion, and therefore Bo’s definition of “hate” is no more binding on anyone than mine would be.

  • C Matt, in this case, the person in question – Bo Gardiner – claims to be female, so the proper pronoun would be she. However, in today’s genderless society of atheism, humanism and secularism, one wonders.

  • Any thoughts about Mr. Weinstein’s rhetoric as quoted at the top of this thread

    I am sure the SPLC, ADL and ACLU are jumping right on it. You know how vigilant they are about stopping hate speech.

  • “….how does an atheist determine something is “hate” speech? ”

    As we all know, hate speech is merely a political form of censorship of the truth that makes the untruthful angry.

  • Actually, the proper pronoun is “he.” The sentence was a universal reference to atheists, not to a particular person, so the universal pronoun “he” was utilized. I refuse to bend over to grammatical sodomy.

  • In other words, I did not intend to limit the observation to Bo. But I can see how it could be interpreted that way in the context of this thread.

  • I think the speech Nazis want to substitute “he” and “she” with something like “zhe”. All I know is that once we get used to “zhe” someone will find offense with it and a new pronoun will need to be invented. Social engineers never rest.

  • Social engineers never rest. the thrill of the will to power is too great.

  • C Matt, we are in violent agreement on the proper use of pronouns. May I say that without being accused of inciteful hate speech: “violent agreement”?

  • I have a screencap of the comment,

    Gotta love this. No doubt Bo can later throw up a pity party post about “dem mean Christians,” because some commenter on some website said something less than nice. The world awaits in breathless anticipation this coming manifesto.

  • Yep. She’s the *real* victim here, a brave freethinking truth-teller womyn beset by vicious male theocrats. Meanwhile, she’s working obsessively to make sure no one thinks Christians can ever be targeted for murder by those who share her mindset (cough*Holodomor*cough). I’m sure the epistemic closure is comforting for her, which is nice.

  • Donald, as a sixty something accountant I take offense at you using that definition in a derogatory way to describe T.Shaw. Policing speech is so much fun!!
    On the other hand you have to give Bo points for courage, I haven’t laughed so much in a while. She walked into a den of lions and got mauled (I was going to say eaten but I controlled myself)

  • As a 58 year old attorney Gustavo, I suspect that the only bodily danger I could pose to anyone is if I suddenly fell asleep and toppled over on them!

  • Careful Dale, she probably just screenshotted you. And based on her post linked to by Paul Primavera, she’s no doubt also cyberstalking checking out all other online profiles to get a glimpse of just who the real Dale Price is. Right after she googles the meaning of “epistemic closure.”

Donall and Conall Teach Richard Dawkins About Circular Arguments

Sunday, May 10, AD 2015

 

From those twisted folks at The Lutheran Satire.  Dawkins, and others of his mindset, attempt to erect Science as a substitute religion, even as they absolutely refuse to seriously entertain the truth of Hamlet’s observation:    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  Attempting to turn the intellectual instrument of Science into a religion underlines this statement from CS Lewis that looks increasingly prophetic as the years roll by:

“Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true. We may be living nearer than we suppose to the end of the Scientific Age.”  

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5 Responses to Donall and Conall Teach Richard Dawkins About Circular Arguments

  • Dawkins is an idiot. And Dawkins is an atheist. That’s redundant.
    .
    The fool saith in his heart there is no God.

  • Lewis is certainly right. “If you start by treating the uniformity of nature as an hypothesis and no more,” says Mgr Ronald Knox, “you will find your hypothesis upset by every recorded case of witches flying, tables turning, Saints being levitated, oracles coming true, horoscopes being verified, broken limbs being cured by faith-healing, and the like. It is no good to say that there may be some higher law under which such phenomena would come, for that is a petitio principii; it assumes that things do work by law, and you haven’t found the law. It is no good to say that they are bogus statements of fact, for apart from your conviction of the uniformity of nature you have no ground whatever for supposing the evidence for them to be otherwise than fully adequate.”
    Besides, it is blindingly obvious that there can be no “scientific” proof that nature is uniform, by which I mean an empirical proof based on observed regularities. To say that all past experience confirms our belief in the uniformity of nature gets us nowhere, unless we assume that all future experience will do so, too. But that the future will resemble the past is simply a special instance of the uniformity of nature, so that argument is perfectly circular.
    We cannot even claim that experience makes uniformity even probable. Hume, in one of his better moments, points out that “probability is founded on the presumption of a resemblance betwixt those objects, of which we have had experience, and those, of which we have had none; and therefore it is impossible this presumption can arise from probability.” That presumption is simply our old friend, the uniformity of nature.
    The best that can be said for it is that it is what Kant would call an “heuristic principle,” a useful working principle in the investigation of phenomena.

  • It’s the height of irony.

    All people MUST have a sort-order. (example: if you have a dollar to spare, and both the kitten shelter and puppy shelter need a donation, which one do you donate to? sort-order) With the abolition of a common culture then the Left has been reduced to relying upon “science” and “reality” as their sort-order. Yet these things can lead down roads you don’t want to go.

    Example: Atheists tend to not have children (at the very least, not at population replacement levels). Religious people (with VERY few exceptions) tend to have lots of children. Therefore by the rules of natural selection (“the most kids win”), atheism is maladaptive and religion is to be preferred, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE RELIGION IS TRUE.

    So then, if “science” is your sort-order, you have 1 of 2 conclusions: 1) Religion is the preferred way, atheism is to be avoided like you would avoid any other lethal disease or 2) Extinction is (somehow) ok, there’s nothing wrong with it. Guess which conclusion you’ll most often see people trying to argue for on the internet.

    Yet if there’s one thing that would have to be agreed upon: Science cannot thrive if sapience goes extinct. Animals, rocks, plants, and celestial bodies don’t perform science. Therefore in just this one example, we see how people abandoning a common frame of reference leads to the end of Science.

    (and this gets even funnier when you run across those who swear by “pure rationality” and try to think statistically and etc etc – check next time how many offspring they’ve produced, or if they’ll even acknowledge they’re a dead end)

  • Nate Winchester wrote, “Religious people (with VERY few exceptions) tend to have lots of children…”
    It would be more accurate to say “with numerous exceptions.” One thinks of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has seen the collapse of its total fertility rate in a generation, from 6.8 in 1986 to 1.85 in 2014. One finds a similar, if less spectacular decline in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
    In Europe, Greece and Italy, which have amongst the highest levels of church membership, have among the lowest TFRs, 1.34 and 1.40 respectively. In secular France, it is 2.08, the highest in Europe, against an EU average of 1.59.
    Catholic Poland has a TFR of 1.32, whereas the largely secular Scandinavian countries have rates above the EU average, Denmark 1.73, Norway 1.77 and Sweden 1.67.

  • Really, MPS? Yeah, funny how these two maps:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Gallup_Religiosity_Index_2009.png
    http://www.geoba.se/population.php?pc=world&type=10
    Are almost mirror images of each other.

    One thinks of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has seen the collapse of its total fertility rate in a generation, from 6.8 in 1986 to 1.85 in 2014. One finds a similar, if less spectacular decline in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
    In Europe, Greece and Italy, which have amongst the highest levels of church membership, have among the lowest TFRs, 1.34 and 1.40 respectively. In secular France, it is 2.08, the highest in Europe, against an EU average of 1.59.
    Catholic Poland has a TFR of 1.32, whereas the largely secular Scandinavian countries have rates above the EU average, Denmark 1.73, Norway 1.77 and Sweden 1.67.

    Aaaaaaannnd what’s their historical trends in religious belief. (funny how you take a trend there and then compare it to a single point to reach a conclusion, sloppy sloppy) You have the record of religious belief trends over time for Iran, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco? Though I find it funny you bring up them compared to themselves when their rates (1.83, 1.72, 1.99 and 2.13) are still exceeding the european average (as well as many other countries on the high end of religion scale)

    Then I found that the French government doesn’t collect statistics by religion, so it is impossible to say what the precise fertility rates among different religious groups in France are. Though given that Algeria and Morocco, the two nations which send the largest numbers of Muslim immigrants to France, has fertility rates of 2.38 (according to the UN’s 2008 figures) one has to wonder how much of France’s babies are propped up by imported religious folk.

    Of course it’s funny to see you argue over the minutiae of difference in the different European countries when the point stands: THEY’RE ALL BELOW REPLACEMENT LEVEL! 1.32 vs 1.77? Doesn’t matter, you’re both extinct.

National Atheist Day 2015

Wednesday, April 1, AD 2015

 

 

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A happy National Atheist Day to all our atheist readers!  I hope you will have a fun filled day yelling about the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sky, writing to papers 5000 word letters claiming that Hitler was a believing Christian, trolling Catholic websites to use atheist proof texts that work against Baptists to establish that the Bible is absurd and all the other fun filled activities in which believers in the Great Nothing seem to derive enjoyment from.  Today I would like to direct your attention to a man that deserves honor by all atheists:  Aldous Huxley.

The grandson of “Darwin’s Bulldog”, T. H. Huxley, Huxley deserves to be remembered and not just as the author of the increasingly prophetic Brave New World, but also as being a far seeing and honest atheist.  First as to his honesty.  Huxley in Ends and Means explains why he and so many of his elite contemporaries embraced atheism:

For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claimed that in some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying ourselves in our political and erotical revolt: we could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever.”

The interesting thing about Huxley is that while he remained an atheist he became intensely interested in mysticism, along with hallucinogenic drugs, in the latter part of his life.  He even argued 1n 1945 in a best selling book that all religions incorporated what he called the Perennial Philosophy, and that a man could be an adherent of that philosophy while believing in none of the theological aspects of any of the religions.

This was a brilliant attempt to square the circle for atheism.  The great weakness of atheism is that it leads to the conclusion that existence is ultimately meaningless.  Huxley demonstrated how an atheist could derive meaning to the world by stealing borrowing from religions their trappings while ignoring the substance.

CS Lewis, who was a contemporary of Huxley and who died on the same day he did, along with John F. Kennedy, summed up this type of atheism in his The Screwtape Letters:

I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism, and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics.
At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the enemy. The “Life Force,” the wor¬ship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work—the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”—then the end of the war will be in sight.

Ah, but this is too philosophical for a day of celebration!  Time for some atheist kid songs!

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10 Responses to National Atheist Day 2015

  • Correct me if I am wrong. At the end of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the Christian committed suicide. Huxley liberated himself from loving God and his neighbor as himself. Huxley allowed that the neighbor be hanged by himself.
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    The liberation Huxley sought was from the tentacles of atheism and from the cowardice that caused him to refuse the faith. The imposed strictures of being related to the Huxleys of Darwin, strictures that John Henry Cardinal Newman threw down for the Holy Eucharist.
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    Huxley sought liberation but refused to consider his free will and God Who created his free will. Huxley refused gratitude to God Who created time; his time on earth.
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    Perhaps, Aldous Huxley was a deathbed convert, given the liberation of death, and shedding his mortal coil.
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    Atheism is worse than nothing. Atheism is indentured service to the devil, enslavement to the perjury told by the demon, that God is non-existent and that the devil does not exist.
    .
    To those who worship The Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sky: Have a good day…God created time.

  • I always get a chuckle out of the reality that the more professional and public the intellectual atheist–the more he contradicts himself by spending his entire life fighting that which he insists does not exist.
    it simply comes down to echoing his master: “I will not serve.”

  • BTW, let us never forget that even Satan and his demon ilk have never doubted the existence of God.

  • “I hope you will have a fun filled day yelling about the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sky…”
    .
    History indicates that Bobby Henderson, a 24-year-old Oregon State University physics graduate from Corvallis, OR had sent in 2005 an open letter regarding the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the Kansas State Board of Education to protest against the teaching of Intelligent Design.
    .
    I have been to Corvallis, OR. Physically it is a very beautiful area. But it is dominated by liberal progressive secular humanist materialist Democrats (I repeat myself excessively). Most buildings look like dilapidated run-down structures from the 1950’s and 60’s that were never renovated. The environmentalists permit few if any upgrades. The most of the college youth are wholly given over to atheism. People there brag that the term Flying Spaghetti Monster was first coined at their University. On weekends all the sexual perverts, drop-out dope smoking white haired hippies of the 1960’s, and Planned Parenthood representatives in bright pink show up for downtown’s natural organic market festival. One weekend I went downtown and one of the Planned Parenthood representatives was going to approach me to sign some petition; I looked at her and from the anger on my countenance she quickly thought better of her action. I am intolerant – completely, totally and wholly – of baby murdering.
    .
    There is one Catholic Church – St Mary’s. I hate its modernist architecture, but it has two wonderful priests from Argentina who are holy and devout men of God (not everyone from Argentina is a Peronist). Going to Confession with them is something I would recommend for anyone. They regularly go to OSU Campus as part of the local Newman Center program of youth outreach and dialogue with the atheists. I could not do what these priest do. I would lose my temper. The one thing I miss about Corvallis is these priests, and 24 hour Adoration. Say a prayer for them at St. Mary’s as they work to reach the lost in the Devil’s backyard.

  • Here’s an Aldous quote on which most will agree:

    It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘Try to be a little kinder.”
    ― Aldous Huxley, Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics & the Vision

  • Aldous who?
    .

    You can’t take that stuff seriously. They made us read the crap in HS. Alas, that was before the serious brainwashing and I had been taught faith/morals by my parents and teachers using the old Baltimore Catechism. Ergo that garbage didn’t make a dent in my thick skull.
    .

    Finally (Thank God!), April Fools Day is atheist day. Coincidence? I think not.

  • Tow Mater to Lightning McQueen: “Tractors is so DUUUUUMB!”
    Penguins Fan to any and all atheists: “Atheism is so DUUUUUMB!”

    They don’t believe now. They will when they face The Last Four Things.
    I doubt that there are atheists in hell.

  • There hasn’t been an honest atheist since Nietzsche, and he, they say, couldn’t stay one as he died. Would that latterday antiprophets were as honest as him.

  • Paul W. Primavera.

    Prayers offered for them and you.

    I had a very similar encounter at Madison Wisconsin’s Farmers Mkt. one Spring morning many years ago. The ambassador for Death Inc. smirked at me as I recounted the sacredness of every human life. John 15:16; “You did not choose me, I have chosen you…..”

    When it comes down to free will and choosing to Not believe vs. believe, I’m humbled that Our gracious God has picked me to bear fruit, a lowly sinner, a nobody. Thank God for God!

  • Thank you Paul!

A Disgrace to the Forces of Evil

Saturday, February 21, AD 2015

 

 

Cardinal Newman once opined that to be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.  Most atheists I have encountered lend support to this adage by their shocking ignorance of the most basic facts of History.  Unlike the atheists of yesteryear, some of whom could be quite challenging with their knowledge of History, most contemporary atheists are so ignorant of History that debating them is to engage in instruction rather than debate.  John C. Wright, a science fiction author and convert from atheism to Catholicism, encounters one of the new breed of ignorant atheists:

 

 

Hmph. I just came across another antieducated sophophobe who declared there to be a war between science and faith, especially the Roman Catholic Church.

I asked him to name the Papal Bull or Encyclical, or any other official document of the Church prohibiting or condemning the practice of scientific inquiry. He did not know what a ‘bull’ was.

I asked him if he knew anything about science and the history of science, and he said yes. I asked him for the evidence of any Catholic interference, or even lack of enthusiastic support, for any scientific inquiry of any kind, in any time or place?

He mentioned Galileo. I asked him if he knew the circumstances of Galileo’s trial, or what Galileo was accused of? He said no. I asked him if he knew who Cardinal Bellarmine was. He said no.

I asked him if he had read Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences? He did not even know what the book was, much less who the characters in it were, or what positions in the contemporary debates they represented.

(Do I need to mention that I read this book in school? I went to a good school, where the education is what mathematicians call a ‘positive sum game’ that is, I ended up more educated than when I went in. His school left him with less education than when he went in.)

I did not bother to ask him if he knew what, precisely, Galileo had discovered, or what proofs he gave to support his various theories.

I did not ask him to tell me what the Galilean satellites were, much less name them (off the top of my head: Io, Europa, Callisto, Ganymede. If I am wrong, and Amalthea is one of them, shame on me. If got them in order, more to my glory.)

Calibrating my questions to the level of someone without a Saint John’s College level of education,  I asked him if he knew who Abertus Magnus, William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, Nicholas Steno were. He said no.

I asked him who invented the mechanical escapement used in clockwork. Or when. He did not know what mechanical escapement was. (Villard de Honnecourt circa 1237, in case you are wondering.)

Recalibrating my question to the high school level, I asked him if he knew who Pascal was, Copernicus, Descartes. He said no. Mendel. No. Still no.

He then told me that all the European inventions in mathematics and medicine came from the Muslim world. I asked him if he knew where Andalusia was, or when the Reconquista happened. Did not recognize those terms. I asked him what religion the people were in the lands conquered by the Muslims in the Seven, Eighth, and Ninth Centuries, et cetera? He guessed that they were some sort of pagans.

I did not bother to ask him if he knew who Abu Hamid al-Ghazali was.

He did not even know enough to raise and throw into my face the old, tired, and oft- efuted slander about Hypatia the neoplatonic philosopher (always described as a female scientist) being flayed to death by a Christian mob wielding sharpened clamshells.

In other words, I could have argued in favor of the War between Science and the Church better than he. He had not even memorized his side’s own talking points.

He was a disgrace to the forces of evil.

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20 Responses to A Disgrace to the Forces of Evil

  • Today’s atheists are ignorant equally of history and science.

  • I’ve also noticed the same mindset in many Protestant Anti-Catholic bigots. They’re just as ignorant as Mr. Wright’s atheists are.

  • Paul W Primavera: “Today’s atheists are ignorant equally of history and science.”
    .
    What is horrifying is that this ignorance, which must be worked at to maintain, is their own act of free will, a free will for which they refuse to be grateful and for which they refuse to acknowledge their Creator. How absolutely pitiless is their void.

  • Recently I’ve noticed a lot more nominally-other– wishy-washy agnostic? Sometimes with a random religion thrown in– who are just flat-out hostile to the Church. Everything gets interpreted with an eye to “because you’re evil.”
    The Obama crusades thing brought out a lot more of this– and showed me that I’d been accepting some slams, like the idea that the sacking of Constantinople was “part of the crusades.”
    Uh, if folks were already excommunicated once for doing it, and their nobles screwed up, and then their nobles decided to throw in with someone who claimed to be a rightful ruler and go sack towns for debt relief, totally ignoring the Pope… the only connection is that they originally headed out to do the crusades.

  • I do recall (thanks to this article) a situation attributed to the brilliant –if pompous–Francis Bacon (also known in some circles as the father of science) when challenged on something, he commented wryly that “I’d debate you, but first I’d have to educate you…”

  • From the article – “It is not merely the ignorance that bothers me. It is the ingratitude.” I’ve never heard that expressed before, but I recognized it immediately.

    Meanwhile, on another site, I’ve got someone telling me that Aristotelianism is an important part of Muslim philosophy…and hey, I didn’t learn the truth in school either; I just hope I wasn’t spouting nonsense until I finally did learn something.

  • I have come to believe that everyone believes in God. Even atheists. The bible says that everyone has some amount of knowledge of God, so to say that God doesn’t exist is a lie against the atheists own mind.
    I would guess that atheists are the most bothered by the existance of God because their own mind is convicting them and they are running in the dark to get away from God. Foolish people, they can’t run from God, and the fact that they are running is proof of their guilt.

  • Great post – thanks to Donald and John Wright and the maker of that great video, great song “In the Morning when the Clouds shall roll away!”
    You all (above mentioned and TAC posters) lift my spirits – sometimes it seems that there is No one to talk to– but, there you are, just when needed!

  • Randy – I know what you mean. In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis wrote that he wasn’t afraid that he’d stop believing in God; he was afraid that he’d start to believe bad things about Him. I think that there are some people who genuinely don’t believe in God, but it’s probably pretty rare. It just seems less human. It’s like people who say they don’t believe that there’s such a thing as love are more likely to be people who are very aware that love is real, but have been burnt by it.

  • Since when is deism atheism? Or am I missing the point that the guy who put the graphic together is just as pathetically ignorant as is Wright’s antieducated sophophobe?

  • “am I missing the point that the guy who put the graphic together is just as pathetically ignorant as is Wright’s antieducated sophophobe?”

    Bingo.

  • My take is on those “professional atheists” who are so insecure in their self-adoration that they need to remove God from everyone else’s universe.
    I therefore see people like Christopher Hitchens (God forgive him) and Richard Dawkins as people who have spent their entire life fighting a God they claim doesn’t exist–a sure evidence of either insanity, ignorance, or most probably, a simple case of; “I will not serve.”

  • When a scientifically gifted friend (who has a vehemently anti-God website) tried to goad me with the “anti-science of the Church” screed, I mentioned the Belgian cleric who is referred to as the “father of DNA” …. He shut up, bless his heart!

  • Ernst- it’s even richer. Einstein believed in Intelligent Design– he didn’t think God was involved in day-to-day stuff, but he did think it blindingly obvious that He’d set the system up; God the Greatest Thinker.
    I’m sure that others in there are similar examples of “you have got to be @#$# me, dude” ignorance.
    ******
    Don Lond-
    I don’t know hard-core atheists for very long– they tend to get angry at things like checking their claims– but the most common theme seems to be the kind of lashing out you get when someone hurts, a lot.
    My husband was agnostic– he was taught just enough Catholicism to disillusion him with it, and not enough to learn more. So he got angry with the Church, because as far as he knew, he’d been lied to. Back when we were barely friends, I told him that he was a natural Catholic– the way his mind works fits in perfectly with the systematic methods that gave us Natural Law theory, and I used that for conversations with him.
    Thank God, he didn’t quit asking questions and taking the answers when they were well enough supported, and his love of history has also drawn him in– he’s now a regular church-goer, hard core enough that he doesn’t like the feeling that he’s “cheating” by going to Saturday mass, even though he’d rather sleep in until well after Sunday mass starts.

  • I guess I should point out that ID– Intelligent Design, or “Creationists,” or basically anybody who says any supernatural power has ever actually done anything— is one of the nasty-athiest boogie monsters. Slap the card down and act like it discredits the argument you couldn’t answer. (Yes, the irony of religious folks using logic and “rational” ones using emotion is strong….)

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  • The card I slam down most frequently is that what we moderns call science was invented by Catholic churchmen. The earliest description of the scientific method known to historians was written by a medieval Catholic priest. The Church ‘punished’ him by later elevating him to bishop. (Ha, I joke. The real punishment was assigning him a diocese in England.)
     
    Truth messes with the atheists’ heads big time.

  • Well, I use the term antitheists to describe people who claim there is no God. They are very virulently opposed to any notion of God – always reminds one of Satan’s scornful attitude witnessed in Exorcism. If you point out that it is an irrational leap of faith(lessness) to insist there is no God, they really get malevolent. We must tell them to open their hearts and their minds and they will come to realize the inherent truth of the Almighty that resides in their spiritual essence. We must let them know that religion is not necessary to comprehend the existence of the Almighty. But we may say that religion is supposed to exist to help us in our search for a greater understanding of God and like all works involving mankind it entails many foibles.

  • Also, anyone who has trouble with friends or family who insist upon an absolutist Darwinian evolution, take a look at Stephen Meyers “Darwin’s Doubt” about intelligent design. It is fascinating.

  • Was Mr. Wright talking to Obama?

Dawkins the Fundamentalist Atheist

Friday, October 3, AD 2014

Dawkins Fundamentalists

Back in the seventies and eighties I read quite a few of the articles that appeared in The New Republic.  Although always left of center, the magazine at that time had little use for liberal pieties and published fairly iconoclastic articles shattering many idols of the left.  Alas those days are long ago, and The New Republic has fallen into the lock step ideological conformity that makes the portside of our politics such a gray place.  However, apparently, not always.  John Gray has a piece on Richard Dawkins, that must not be missed.  How good it is may be gauged by the anguished bleats of the faithless in the comments section.  I especially enjoyed this portion of Mr. Gray’s article:

Exactly how Dawkins became the anti-religious missionary with whom we are familiar will probably never be known. From what he writes here, I doubt he knows himself. Still, there are a few clues. He began his pilgrimage to unbelief at the age of nine, when he learned from his mother “that Christianity was one of many religions and they contradicted each other. They couldn’t all be right, so why believe the one in which, by sheer accident of birth, I happened to be brought up?” But he was not yet ready to embrace atheism, and curiously his teenage passion for Elvis Presley reinforced his vestigial Christianity. Listening to Elvis sing “I Believe,” Dawkins was amazed to discover that the rock star was religious. “I worshipped Elvis,” he recalls, “and I was a strong believer in a non-denominational creator god.” Dawkins confesses to being puzzled as to why he should have been so surprised that Elvis was religious: “He came from an uneducated working-class family in the American South. How could he not have been religious?” By the time he was sixteen, Dawkins had “shed my last vestige of theistic credulity.” As one might expect, the catalyst for his final conversion from theism was Darwinism. “I became increasingly aware that Darwinian evolution was a powerfully available alternative to my creator god as an explanation of the beauty and apparent design of life. … It wasn’t long then before I became strongly and militantly atheistic.”

What is striking is the commonplace quality of Dawkins’s rebellion against religion. In turning away from the milk-and-water Anglicanism in which he had been rearedafter his conversion from theism, he “refused to kneel in chapel,” he writes proudlyhe was doing what tens of thousands of Britain’s young people did at the time. Compulsory religious instruction of the kind that exists in British schools, it has often been observed, creates a fertile environment for atheism. Dawkins’s career illustrates the soundness of this truism. If there is anything remarkable in his adolescent rebellion, it is that he has remained stuck in it. At no point has Dawkins thrown off his Christian inheritance. Instead, emptying the faith he was taught of its transcendental content, he became a neo-Christian evangelist. A more inquiring mind would have noticed at some point that religion comes in a great many varieties, with belief in a creator god figuring in only a few of the world’s faiths and most having no interest in proselytizing. It is only against the background of a certain kind of monotheism that Dawkins’s evangelical atheism makes any sense.

Even more remarkable is Dawkins’s inveterate literal-mindedness. He tells us that “the Pauline belief that everybody is born in sin, inherited from Adam (whose embarrassing non-existence was unknown to St. Paul), is one of the very nastiest aspects of Christianity.” It is true that the idea of original sin has become one with a morbid preoccupation with sexuality, which has been part of Christianity throughout much of its history. Even so, it is an idea that contains a vital truth: evil is not error, a mistake of the mind, a failure of understanding that can be corrected by smarter thinking. It is something deeper and more constitutive of human life itself. The capacity and propensity for destruction goes with being human. One does not have to be religious to acknowledge this dark fact. With his myth or metaphor of the death instinct thanatos, Freuda lifelong atheistrecognized that impulses of hatred and cruelty are integral to the human psyche. As an atheist myself, it is a view I find no difficulty in sharing.

Quite apart from the substance of the idea, there is no reason to suppose that the Genesis myth to which Dawkins refers was meant literally. Coarse and tendentious atheists of the Dawkins variety prefer to overlook the vast traditions of figurative and allegorical interpretations with which believers have read Scripture. Both Augustine and before him the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria explicitly cautioned against literalism in interpreting the biblical creation story. Later, in the twelfth century, Maimonides took a similar view. It was only around the time of the Reformation that the idea that the story was a factual account of events became widely held. When he maintains that Darwin’s account of evolution displaced the biblical story, Dawkins is assuming that both are explanatory theoriesone primitive and erroneous, the other more advanced and literally true. In treating religion as a set of factual propositions, Dawkins is mimicking Christianity at its most fundamentalist.

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13 Responses to Dawkins the Fundamentalist Atheist

  • Don I hope you don’t mind me posting this Comical take on Genesis.

  • re dawkins thoughts about Elvis: “how could he not…. he came from an uneducated working-class family in the American South” I always instinctively rebel against that kind of prejudiced comment! and it makes me think Mr Dawkins is not as thorough in his thinking as he would like to project.

  • Anzalyne: would that dig at Elvis be considered an ad hominem? As in anyone that believes in God is a stupid rube? Such louses also think that way about
    American soldiers.
    .

    I may be truly stupid. But, my brother-in-law earned a PhD in bio engineering and an MD; and he believes in God.

  • Ok weird, my link didn’t post. Sorry about that.

    Try 2: http://sfdebris.com/videos/special/inebg1.php

    The finest example of how to do religious humor IMHO.

  • Here’s a video that lampoons Richard Dawkins rather well…actually, it lampoons a lot of things rather well. My sister told me it was “obnoxious” and I’ll warn everyone it is vulgar and worse…but it IS clever and often funny.

  • “Their lack of belief flows from their lack of empathy, and the questions about the human condition that arise from such empathy.” So very true

  • Love Tom D’s video.
    .
    BS = Bull $…
    MS = Master $…
    PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper
    .
    The fool saith in his heart, there is no God.

  • “Compulsory religious instruction of the kind that exists in British schools, it has often been observed, creates a fertile environment for atheism”

    Mgr Ronald Knox has described it perfectly: “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public schools [the English name for independent endowed schools] are trying to teach the sons of gentlemen a religion in which their mothers believe, and their fathers would like to: a religion without ” enthusiasm ” in the old sense, reserved in its self-expression, calculated to reinforce morality, chivalry, and the sense of truth, providing comfort in times of distress and a glow of contentment in declining years; supernatural in its nominal doctrines, yet on the whole rationalistic in its mode of approaching God: tolerant of other people’s tenets, yet sincere about its own, regular in church-going, generous to charities, ready to put up with the defects of the local clergyman. This religion the schoolmaster is under contract to teach…”

    The substance of the Faith, that man is a fallen creature; that he can be acquitted before God only through a reliance on Christ; and that God, by his Holy Spirit, can alone give him a new heart and fit him for the kingdom of Heaven, was not so much denied, as ignored; neo-pelagian through and through, as the Holy Father would say.

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  • I wonder why it is not commonly noted that Dr. Dawkins’ philosophical arguments and even his understanding of the Darwinian algorithm are based on errors in arithmetic http://theyhavenowine.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/the-anwers-of-student-dawkins-to-a-high-school-math-quiz/

  • Paul, that video has a lot in it. One favorite line is “If I were dyslexic I’d hate dog too”.

    One of the ‘atheist chorus line’ is Daniel Dennett [the one in the pimp outfit]. Dennett tried a few years ago to push the idea that atheists should call themselves “brights”, as in “Hi! I’m gay and I’m bright!”. I recall seeing him at an atheist conference in the People’s Republic of China; in the video he argued that governments should license the procreation of children and deny such licenses to religious believers – I’d assume he would be in favor of forced abortions to enforce such a policy. The Chinese atheists must have deemed this too radical for their tastes.

  • Evolution needs God’s creation in which to evolve. Man’s physical being evolves. Man’s spiritual being, his soul, cannot evolve. Only physical, material, can evolve or change. Man’s immortal soul can only change, grow or shrink, through his act of free will. Man’s free will is the image of God.
    .
    Without man’s free will, the image of God, man is a beast of burden to the state. The state must then be constituted by other beasts of burden, then as all men are created equal in equal Justice.
    .
    Therefore, It follows that atheism imposes itself on all men to man’s (the sovereign individual) to all man’s demise.

  • Nate: good one!
    .
    Or rather, ‘God saw the video, and said it was good.’

The Dawkins Scam

Tuesday, August 19, AD 2014

3 Responses to The Dawkins Scam

  • I have learned that each and every demon is a species unto himself. While man is one species, HomoSapiens, the devils are a legion of species. This accounts for Dawkins’ “herding of cats” and non- conformity. Following demons is a sure cure for sanity.

  • Next in importance after stark deficiencies in faith, hope and love are worldly people’s complete lack of self-awareness.

  • T. Shaw said: “Next in importance after stark deficiencies in faith, hope and love are worldly people’s complete lack of self-awareness.”

    Bbbbbaaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaa!! That is an absolutely hysterical comment! 😀

Calling Flannery O’Connor

Monday, July 28, AD 2014

wise-blood-flannery-oconner-cd-cover-art

“I’m a member and preacher to that church where the blind don’t see and the lame don’t walk and what’s dead stays that way.”

Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

I have always been vastly amused by atheists who seek to ape Christian services.  These throw the substance out and keep the often banal trappings.  If I were an atheist I would sleep in on Sunday mornings, or work, or do something fun.  However, some atheists believe, if I may use that term, otherwise:

“The Sunday Assembly model is more like an Evangelical Christian church but without God. Music and clapping, active participation, short talks, humour and pop music.”

The service or the “show” (no-one is quite sure what to call it) fairly fizzes along, although there is a long moment’s silence, at which the congregation is invited to “turn down their inner volume knob” and, in a little dig at the idea that only God can bring meaning, “be grateful to this impersonal universe that you have a place, and people in it that love you”.

But mostly the emphasis is upbeat and life-affirming. At one point members of the congregation are literally dancing in the aisles as the band plays a cover of Jesus Jones’s Right Here, Right Now before speakers step up to “share” on a range of topics around the theme of “balance”.

One member talks about coping with depression; then a life-coach talks about the importance of self-knowledge that isn’t narcissism while a third – it being Mother’s Day – talks movingly about his mother’s battle with an abusive husband and his decision to respect, rather than to mock, her Christian faith.

It all ends with a quotation from Albert Einstein – “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” – before coffee and doughnuts are served, followed by lunch at a local Southern Barbecue restaurant.

Soon the hall is filled with running children, suddenly released from the discipline of having to sit through the service, a joyous cacophony which also points to one unavoidable similarity between going to Sunday Assembly and going to church.

“The kids still moan about it,” admits Craig Mueller, a lapsed Catholic who has four children under 10 and comes to the service because he enjoys the sense of community. “I tell my nine-year-old son, it’s time to go to Sunday Assembly and he’s like ‘Argh, no, boring!’”

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7 Responses to Calling Flannery O’Connor

  • In Britain, Ethical Societies were very much in vogue in the 19th century and lingered on into the 20th.
    In his Autobiography, G K Chesterton paints a delightful portrait of one of them.
    “On one occasion I had been lecturing to an Ethical Society, when I happened to see on the wall a portrait of Priestley, the great Unitarian of a hundred years ago. I remarked that it was a very fine engraving; and one of the faithful, to whom I was speaking, replied that it had probably been hung there because the place was quite recently a Unitarian chapel; I think he said only a few years before. I was considerably intrigued, knowing that the old Unitarians were as dogmatic as Moslems on the one point of the One God, and that the ethical group were as undogmatic as any agnostics upon that particular dogma.” That is very interesting,” I said. “May I ask whether the whole of your society abandoned Theism all at once and in a body?”
    “Well, no,” he replied rather hazily, “I don’t fancy it was exactly like that. I rather think the fact was that our leaders wanted very much to have Dr. Stanton Coit as a preacher, and he wouldn’t come unless the thing was simply an Ethical Society.” … By this theory, God Almighty had been dropped out of the whole business, as a concession to Dr. Stanton Coit. “

    The Priestley of the story is, of course, the Yorkshire-born Joseph Priestley FRS, latterly of Northumberland, Penn, who first isolated Oxygen.
    Coit, a leader of the Ethical Movement, born in Ohio, settled in England. Intriguingly, his Ethical Church building in Bayswater, West London, a former Methodist chapel, was acquired in 1953 by the Archdiocese of Westminster and is now a Catholic church.

  • Before I read your closing paragraph, I was just going to say they could have saved themselves the trouble and just headed on down to the nearest Unitarian Universalist assembly.

    At my mother-in-law’s funeral at her UU “church” this past December, we were treated to a bunch of flowery poetry and “good vibes” and even multicultural references to other religious traditions. The only mention of God came when my wife got up to speak, and she mentioned the entire Trinity and the Blessed Mother for good measure.

    After the memorial service, my wife received many compliments on her remarks, including from one long-time UU congregant who said “It’s about time someone mentioned God in this church.”

  • I do like O’Connor’s remark about Holy Communion to a Baptist (or some such) friend, “well if He’s not in it, then to hell with it.” (or something like that)

  • “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” To keep your balance you must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” (Caesar belongs to God)
    .
    “…and people in it that love you.” I cannot belong to any community who dares to refer to me as a thing, a “that”, a non-person, a soulless beast of burden to the state and community…the underpinnings of slavery.

  • Some people will not accept the Immaculate Conception of Mary and the Virgin Birth. Therefore, they cannot accept that Christ is true man and true God. The “God” referred to is God the Father, not the triune God and the Trinity, but God much like Allah.

  • Hilarious!
    But Higgins is a Heathen,
    And to lecture rooms is forced,
    Where his aunts, who are not married,
    Demand to be divorced.

    And in more modern parlance, these unmarried aunts demand every form of contraceptive be made available to them without co-pays.

  • I think what Chesterton is referring to is that these people demand to speak for us, all persons.
    .
    Every teacher in every school who denies our immortal, metaphysical human soul, using the intellect of his immortal, metaphysical human soul is a fake, a hypocrite and a liar.

In Memoriam: Tiananmen Square

Thursday, June 5, AD 2014

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

Thucydides

 

Yesterday, June 4, was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the brutal suppression of the pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  Over 3000 of the protestors were murdered by the Communist government of China.  Tyranny won that round, but I have absolutely no doubt that Democracy will ultimately prevail in the Middle Kingdom.  When it does, the heroes and heroines of Tiananmen Square will be remembered and their murderers forgotten.

 

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Keeping Kids Faithless

Wednesday, April 30, AD 2014

 

Hilarious.  Apparently Atheist parents have difficulty in having their kids follow their no god views as adults.

Do kids raised without religion actively seek it out and convert all that often? As it turns out, yes. The most recent data on this that I’ve come across comes from Pew’s 2008 Religious Landscape Survey, which finds that only 46 percent of people who are raised religiously unaffiliated (which includes atheists, agnostics, and those who say they’re “nothing in particular”) remain unaffiliated as adults. By contrast, 68 percent of Catholics and 52 percent of Protestant stay with their childhood religion, and only 14 percent and 13 percent (respectively) stop subscribing to any religion at all:

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3 Responses to Keeping Kids Faithless

  • Thank you, for this opportunity to speak, Donald McClarey. We, the people and our constitutional posterity, all future generations, are the visible and invisible, (rather best said, yet to be visible) individual substances of a rational nature. (St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of the person.) Roe v. Wade said no “person” (of our posterity) was in the Constitution. “We, the people”, are persons visible and our Constitutional posterity are the persons invisible, those of us with a visible presence and an invisible destiny and those of us with a visible destiny to become a visible presence.
    .
    The atheist must be tolerated. The atheist’s unbelief in the Supreme Sovereign Being, the Person of the True God and the True Man, Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, in the metaphysical beings of the human soul, angels and demons. The atheist’s non-belief annihilates every vestige of hope and trust in ourselves and in God.
    .
    Atheism is unconstitutional because atheism denies the eternal truth about the human soul, all persons still to be conceived, our future generations, the creation of mankind in equal Justice and unalienable civil rights by an infinite Creator, and the creation of the state by the sovereign personhood of the citizen.
    .
    The devil is evil personified, but the devil is no atheist.

  • Atheists offer no hope and deny all personal responsibility and accountability, saying that the unthinking forces or pure materialism – atoms in motion – determine the actions and reactions of each of us. They offer nothing substantively different than the exact opposite extreme – the Calvinists who say certain people were damned from all of creation and others predestined for heaven.

  • Paul W Primavera: “Atheists offer no hope and deny all personal responsibility and accountability, saying that the unthinking forces or pure materialism – atoms in motion – determine the actions and reactions of each of us. They offer nothing substantively different than the exact opposite extreme – the Calvinists who say certain people were damned from all of creation and others predestined for heaven.”
    .
    Thank you, Paul:
    Atheists do not speak for me or any other person. I believe in God and so ought the atheist. When atheists remove the virtue of God’s perfect Justice, they ought not appeal to the personification of God’s Justice in our Court, as victims (of their own treachery).
    .
    Jesus Christ went to hell to free the patriarchs, but while in hell, Jesus gave the devils hell, annihilation. The devils are legion, persons, who live eternal annihilation.
    .
    Predestination and the atheists’ denial of personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin, as you have pointed out, Paul.

National Atheist Day-2014

Tuesday, April 1, AD 2014

atheist-hypocrisy

I was at this time of living, like so many Atheists or Anti-theists, in a whirl of contradictions.  I maintained that God did not exist.  I was also very angry with God for not existing.  I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.

CS Lewis

I do hope that National Atheist Day today will be a happy time.  One of the more amusing aspects of the contemporary atheist scene is how many of them tend to be more dour and dogmatic than the most dour and dogmatic of the fundamentalists they conjure up in their fancies.  One might almost suspect that many atheists do not disbelieve so much in God as they hate Him.  Tis a puzzlement.  For example, I do not believe in Hinduism or Islam, but that does not make me hate either faith or their devotees.  Rather I find the study of both faiths intellectually intriguing.  The same might be said for Greek and Roman myths, the reality of which I no more believe in than an atheist does the Virgin Birth.

George Orwell, who spent most of his life veering between agnosticism and atheism was quite familiar with the type of dour atheist who is so  often found as the public face of atheism:

“He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.”

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49 Responses to National Atheist Day-2014

  • The Supreme Sovereign Being is three PERSONS in one God. Our God is a Person, a perfect Person Who is perfect Love, perfect Justice and all virtues, all goodness.

    The atheists must be jealous
    .
    Perhaps this seems out of place but Robert Richards IV, a wealthy du Pont heir was denied Justice in Delaware court this week for sexually abusing his three year old daughter. Here is the fallout which places the blame for the corrupt culture that is ours on atheism and the blasphemers who call themselves atheists.
    .
    “Whaaa? The judge couldn’t put Du Pont heir, Robert Richards IV, in solitary confinement? Or pay another state to put Du Pont heir in solitary confinement? I hope and pray DuPont’s next victim sues the State of Delaware for $400,000,000.00. and wins because the State of Delaware enabled DuPont heir to commit another atrocity, another obscenity. The spiritually disabled have a host of blasphemers to emulate, from the atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair who removed prayer and the Ten Commandments from the public school, to the American Civil Liberties Union who uses our tax money to make sure that God’s law does not permeate the souls of the innocent minor children in the public school and the public square. Why did this Du Pont heir not know that God was watching him? Du Pont’s three year old daughter knows.
    .
    Peter Singer, Chairman of the DeCamp Chair of bioethics at Princeton University is upset because the miserable miscreant ought have murdered his three year old daughter with impunity and reduced the population and erased any evidence of his crime. How did Margaret Sanger predict that a three year old DuPont child was a “human weed” and a “useless eater”? Why did the atheist tell people that the child had no immortal human soul or human destiny?
    .
    “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional) posterity,” all future generations…from the Preamble , the purpose of our Constitution.
    .
    Oh, does Joe Biden’s state, The First State, still hold with their ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the Law of the Land?
    The Law of the Land.

  • Bl John Henry Newman has a memorable passage in the Apologia
    “Starting then with the being of a God, (which, as I have said, is as certain to me as the certainty of my own existence, though when I try to put the grounds of that certainty into logical shape I find a difficulty in doing so in mood and figure to my satisfaction,) I look out of myself into the world of men, and there I see a sight which fills me with unspeakable distress. The world seems simply to give the lie to that great truth, of which my whole being is so full; and the effect upon me is, in consequence, as a matter of necessity, as confusing as if it denied that I am in existence myself. If I looked into a mirror, and did not see my face, I should have the sort of feeling which actually comes upon me, when I look into this living busy world, and see no reflexion [sic] of its Creator. This is, to me, one of those great difficulties of this absolute primary truth, to which I referred just now. Were it not for this voice, speaking so clearly in my conscience and my heart, I should be an atheist, or a pantheist, or a polytheist when I looked into the world. I am speaking for myself only; and I am far from denying the real force of the arguments in proof of a God, drawn from the general facts of human society and the course of history, but these do not warm me or enlighten me; they do not take away the winter of my desolation, or make the buds unfold and the leaves grow within me, and my moral being rejoice. The sight of the world is nothing else than the prophet’s scroll, full of “lamentations, and mourning, and woe.””

  • April Fool’s day is Atheist Day?!?!?!

    How appropriate.

  • I’m pretty sure that the idea that April 1 is National Atheist Day is an urban legend.

  • How nice that Mr. McClarey takes time out from his busy day to insult atheists. That’s very Christian of him (and I really mean that).

  • Though appropriate nonetheless. 🙂

  • It’s no longer an urban legend, but fact now. According to the Scientific Method.

  • I think the basis is Psalm 14:1.

  • At this time of year, when I am annoying atheists at various youtube videos, etc., I like to point out that more Catholic universities make the NCAA basketball tournament than there are atheist universities in the entire world.

  • Sadly, the worlds greatest universities today no longer make any pretense of religious affiliation, and most of these are probably de facto atheist. Catholic universities, including those who play in the NCAA tournament, are generally neither atheistic nor Catholic. When my son matriculated at DePaul, he was expressly told at orientation that they think of themselves as catholic, not Catholic.

  • “How nice that Mr. McClarey takes time out from his busy day to insult atheists. That’s very Christian of him (and I really mean that).”

    Thank you Brian for living up to the stereotype of the humorless atheist, and I really mean that.

  • Ummmmm, Mikey, my point is that the Catholic community came together and sacrificed to build a lasting testament to higher learning and the betterment of mankind. The contribution is tangible, it is undeniable, and it is timeless. So whether DePaul currently uses a capital C or not, the fact of the matter is that a bunch of our forebears were able to overcome nativist hostility and worse in order to leave something for their posterity.
    And frankly, your whining about DePaul reminds me that they have not actually made the NCAA tournament in several years. Possibly because their fan base is a bunch of mewling, spineless complainers who sit around bemoaning their lost glory rather than celebrating and trying to build on what they have.

  • I was not whining, I was lamenting, CR, and appropriately so. And yes, these contributions were magnificent, which is exactly why it is a tragic sin that they are being demolished and abused by pro-abort catholics.

    And several years is a rather silly understatement re DePaul basketball. The real reason for its demise is that one cannot recruit quality players to play in front of an decrepit empty stadium, and the reason it is empty is that there is no practical way for the core fan base — the students — to attend given that the home court is many miles away and not near a rail line.

    And if you don’t appreciate the difference between catholic and Catholic perhaps you are not as informed as you seem to think you are.

  • No wonder Orwell had such a pessimistic outlook on the world with his 1984 novel. His world was…well…Orwellian.

  • Very Orwellian.

  • After reading Father Barron a second time this came to my mind: If God were not a Person, then man could not have a personal relationship with our God. This is essential since religion is a personal relationship with our God in private and in public, as Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Church:
    .
    Th Jefferson
    Jan. 1. 1802.
    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”
    .
    Here we have a definition of freedom of religion, the First Amendment, after which Jefferson writes about a “wall of separation” . The “WALL” comes after all freedom of the First Amendment is fulfilled, especially the part: “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” “that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions,”
    .
    Obama’s opinion that citizens must pay for abortaficients, is Obama’s and Sebelius’ private opinion and these government offices do not authorize the authentic power to impose the private opinions of the officeholders on the citizens.
    .
    “Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”
    .
    The citizen has “rights of conscience” as “the supreme will of the nation”. Jefferson sees “with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

    .
    Man’s “natural right” is not “in opposition to his social duties”. Man’s natural rights are not in conflict with social Justice.
    .
    This belongs over at the post on atheism. so with your permission, it is posted there.

  • CatholicsRock!: “Ummmmm, Mikey,…”
    .
    CatholicsRocKed!, your disdain for and disrespect for others borders on contempt. Don’t worry, you will not get to heaven with it.

  • “How nice that Mr. McClarey takes time out from his busy day to insult atheists. That’s very Christian of him (and I really mean that).”

    Thank you Brian for living up to the stereotype of the humorless atheist, and I really mean that.

    You just missed the humor.

  • There was no humor to miss, just a lame effort at being clever.

  • Claims that someone is humorless are often leveled after an attempt to be clever falls flat.

  • Mike and Mary – my point is that you should go to the games and support your team. It is a messy, sweaty, fast paced confusing game. Don’t boo them because you don’t like the coach. The team is out there working hard doing the best they know how. Cheer for them and elevate their game.

    Get it?

    Geez – you two are nearly as humorless as the atheists.

  • CR,
    We’d understand your point better if it was either articulate or germane. First, you point out, correctly, that Catholics, unlike atheists, have built great universities. Then, when I comment that tragically many of those great Catholic universities are now only nominally Catholic, using DePaul as an example you dismissively describe that complaint as whining and then oddly bring up their lack of success in basketball. Then when I charitably humor you by actually politely addressing that lack of success — quite accurately — you raise yet more irrelevancies like booing and coaching, which had nothing to do with my explanation at all. And somehow Mary and I missed the humor in this exchange. Odd.

  • Corrected post:
    CR,
    Perhaps Mary and I would understand your point better if it was either articulate or germane. First, you point out, correctly, that unlike atheists Catholics have built great universities. Then, when I comment that tragically many of those great Catholic universities are now only nominally Catholic, using DePaul as an example, you impertinently dismiss the comment as whining and then oddly bring up DePaul’s lack of success in basketball. Then, Mary quite appropriately calls you on your impertinence while I humor your peculiar train of thought by charitably providing a polite explanation for DePaul’s lack of basketball success. In response you raise yet more irrelevancies in the form of unfounded accusations regarding booing and some failure to support the coach, neither of which had anything whatsoever to do with either the point of my DePaul example or my charitable indulgence of your basketball comment; and you close by deeming Mary and I humorless to boot. How very odd.

  • Brian Westley: “How nice that Mr. McClarey takes time out from his busy day to insult atheists. That’s very Christian of him (and I really mean that).”
    Thank you Brian for living up to the stereotype of the humorless atheist, and I really mean that.
    You just missed the humor.”

    .
    What, may I ask is funny about hatred of God?

  • Mikey – The Catholic church is the TEAM, the coach is the POPE and your booing and complaining is the conservative Catholic’s treatment of the people working hard to convert the idiot abortionist Catholics and homo Catholics and maybe even a humorless atheist or two into seeing the light. You owe it to your ancestors who faced far larger challenges than a pack of stupid, loud mouthed abrasive liberals in order to build something that is precious and timeless.
    Yes the gym is dilapidated. That happened on YOUR watch. On MY watch. On OUR watch. Complaining about it is going to do no good. Giving the stink eye to any fans who happen to walk into the gym and telling them they really don’t understand basketball is certainly not going to do any good. (Sorry, I have slipped back into my basketball metaphor.)
    OMG – I actually got told I was going to hell for being disrespectful! Are you people kidding? And if YOU are so smart, why can’t you convert a few of these stupid lost souls? Why are you not working to get a few fans in the seats where they actually may stand a chance to SEE the joy of basketball(arggghhh slipping again.)

    Catholics ARE in fact about a million times more joyful than the dour, Scrooge-like, selfish, bellyaching, shrill atheists. Why in God’s name are you doing your best to imitate them?

    Talk about odd!

  • Mikey – The Catholic church is the TEAM, the coach is the POPE and your booing and complaining is the conservative Catholic’s treatment of the people working hard to convert the idiot abortionist Catholics and homo Catholics and maybe even a humorless atheist or two into seeing the light.

    No.

    Pointing out that our Catholic universities aren’t even pretending to be Catholic is not “booing” Team Catholic, although the attacks on “conservative Catholics” and talking about “idiot abortionists” and “homo Catholics” is not going to help matters.

  • CR, how old are you?

  • What, may I ask is funny about hatred of God?

    What are you talking about? I was referring to Mr. McClarey’s insulting attitude towards atheists.

  • Brian Westley: It is the insulting attitude atheists have toward God. God is a Person. Insulting God by denying God’s existence, the atheist insults all good people of Faith. Why does anyone expect to be received as a brother, when in denying the existence of God, that one denies the existence of all persons and their Creator endowed unalienable civil rights?…including his own.

  • Brian Westley: It is the insulting attitude atheists have toward God.

    I didn’t mention any gods. Apparently, I can only please you by not existing.

    Why does anyone expect to be received as a brother

    I don’t, but I will point out when so-called Christians insult atheists for no good reason.

  • If you can’t form an argument, throw a fit.
    Fitting.

  • Seeing as how stating the obvious is apparently needful:
    “You’re mean!” is not an argument.
    “You’re not REALLY Christian!” is not an argument.
    You could try making a case that it isn’t amusing– which would fail, because it is.
    You could do dozens of things other than live down to the original post.
    But will you?

  • Can an atheist legitimately be insulted for disbelieving in the very God Who created him and upon Whom he depends entirely for every breath of life he takes?

    Can an atheist be insulted who, in disbelieving he is created in God’s very image and likeness, prefers instead to believe that he is nothing but an amoral wild animal descended from a chimpanzee or gorilla-like ancestor?

    Can an atheist be insulted when for him in his hubris his own personal knowledge and inclination are the highest authority?

    Athe-ISM: I – S – M

    I – Self – Me

    Can such people really be insulted when it is they who are an insult and an affront to the very God Who created them, Who gave them free will, a mind to comprehend and a body in which to live and with which move?

  • Internet atheists are as much fun as an earache.

  • Brian Westley: “I can only please you by not existing.”
    .
    You can only please me by not existing as an atheist. God is existence. The fool says in his heart that God does not exist.

  • You can only please me by not existing as an atheist.

    That’s what I said.

    The fool says in his heart that God does not exist.

    And that’s when I point out so-called Christians insulting atheists for no good reason.

  • It is not an insult, Brian, to tell you the truth. If you are an atheist, then you are a fool.

  • And that’s when I point out so-called Christians insulting atheists for no good reason.

    By the way, you get to say what YOU find insulting; you do NOT get to say what I find insulting.

  • “And that’s when I point out so-called Christians insulting atheists for no good reason.”
    .
    “To secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” from our Constitutional Preamble, the purpose of our Constitution. Our constitutional posterity, all minor infants who have not yet achieved the age of majority and have not informed consent to give to being indoctrinated in atheism and who have a right to be free to have a relationship with ” our Creator” from The Declaration of Independence, in thought, word, press and peaceable assembly, our endowed civil rights and constitutional freedoms. That you choose, Brian Westley, to ignore our minor children, our constitutional posterity, is every good reason to drive you from any public square.

  • You seem to not understand that one can “feel” insulted by things that are not an insult; however, you are using the common abuse of language that conflates your belief that someone is being scornful and contemptuous with them actually insulting you.
    There is someone who is being insolent– which is a requirement for offering insult. Unfortunately for your case, it’s not the regulars.
    .
    You can find statements of facts insulting all you like, but that doesn’t make it so; you can proudly display your ignorance after the pre-Christian quote is twice mentioned, but it really doesn’t improve things.
    .
    Your emotions aren’t facts.
    Although it is kinda funny how often the root of the supposedly rational is feelings….

  • After using his God-given free will to choose to live and grow into the form of his soul, the atheist uses his God-given intellect to admit no other persons into the knowledge of God. Using his freedom, the atheist imposes his private opinion on the entire nation of people. Posing as a victim denied his freedom, the atheist denies to all people the knowledge of their own immortal soul.
    .
    The atheist accepts no responsibility for denying to other persons the freedom of their own private opinion, too, and conscience as the atheist chooses to believe that death ends all life, and therefore, we, too must believe that death ends all life, that there is no God, no heaven and no hell.
    .
    The sovereignty over oneself in determining one’s own way of life is denied by the atheist to every sovereign person because the atheist does not believe in the sovereign immortal human soul. Therefore, all people must believe what the atheist believes, and live according to the atheist’s beliefs.
    .
    The atheist has succumbed to the devil’s lies, that there is no devil, and seduces other innocent souls into the same hell. Well, there is a hell. I am as mad as hell.

  • Bill Bennett once said that the opposition loves to beat Christianity over the head with its own virtue.

    Atheist run governments have slaughtered over 100 million people since Lenin took power in 1917. Why in the world anyone would want to be associated with the central tenet of Communism – atheism – is beyond me.

    Internet atheists love to badger Christians and blame Christianity for all of the world’s wars and most of its persecutions, sufferings and deaths – another Lie of the Left. They conveniently ignore Clausewitz – wars are an extension of politics. That has always been the case.

    Little Havana exists because of atheistic Communism. Poland struggled for 44 years and threw off the yoke of atheistic Communism, which led the way for the rest of the Eastern Bloc.

    I invite Brian Westley to go to Krakow and tell anyone over 30 how wonderful they had it when atheists ran Poland.

  • I invite Brian Westley to go to Krakow and tell anyone over 30 how wonderful they had it when atheists ran Poland.

    And I invite you to go to Australia and tell everyone how awful it was when Julia Gillard was Prime Minister. Or Olof Palme when he was PM of Sweden. Or any number of other atheist leaders.

    Oh hey look — the Italian Bishops’ Conference says Bishops don’t have to report suspect child abuse to the police. I guess because coverups have worked so well.

  • PS: That new bulletin is from here.

  • Oh yes, when the truth gets too hot for atheists like Brian Wesley, they always trot out those who have spectacularly failed as Christian. But they refuse to look at the tens of millions that their godless atheist leaders – Stalin, Mao and others – have murdered, tortured and imprisoned. Because an atheist has no God, he has no moral standard, no moral compass other than his own ego. And whenever in history atheists have gotten power, they murder, and their murders dwarf all the killings of religious wars put together. They justify the most heinous of crimes – vivisection of babies in the womb. They sanctify the most filthy of sexual practices as normal and say that because animals do it, it’s ok. Thus do they become the very animals from which they say that are evolved.

    I do not excuse clerical child abuse or conservative political leaders who have failed. Nor do I ignore the end result of atheism – death everywhere it touches.

  • Leave it to an atheist to drag up the worst behavior of Christians, point it out, and say that they are all the same. guilt by association…..typical Leftist drivel. See how Brian reacted when it was done to him?

    Tell me….where are the great hospitals built by atheists? The great medical research done over the centuries…performed by atheists? Grand works of art? The great discoveries of explorers?

    None. Atheists, at least internet atheists, are shallow, self centered and hate Christianity. The sight of a Nativity scene drives them to insanity.

    I submit the greatest atheist….Karl Marx. Marx never held a real job. He abandoned his wife and kids, all who died before reaching adulthood. Marx sponged off of others his adult life. His books are total and utter crap and have damaged this world like nothing else.

    Christianity has had its terrible sinners. The ephephibilia scandal where priests preyed on young pubescent boys is dreadful and disgusting, but this activity is not limited to those men. Borgia was a dreadful Pope. Henry Tudor founded his own church and put himself in charge of it so he could divorce, remarry and execute his wives.

    Given the events of the 20th century…..atheists have no damned room to talk or point a finger at anyone else. I find atheism selfish, repugnant and disgusting. Go ahead and deny God. See where it gets you.

  • “Leave it to an atheist to drag up the worst behavior of Christians, point it out, and say that they are all the same. guilt by association…..typical Leftist drivel.”
    .
    Guilt by association is unconstitutional by Article 1, Section 10. the prohibition of Bills of Attainder.
    .
    “Oh hey look — the Italian Bishops’ Conference says Bishops don’t have to report suspect child abuse to the police. I guess because coverups have worked so well.”
    .
    One witness is no witness. One witness in a court of law is hearsay. A judicial fact is established on the testimony of two witnesses. A priest in his ministry with a penitent is one witness, uncorroborated testimony is no testimony. If the penitent had got himself wrong, the minister testifying to something he has not witnessed is hearsay. The Fifth Amendment allows a person to claim the Fifth Amendment and not testify against himself, again leaving the priest alone in his seal of confession. The Seal of Confession is real because the Seal of Confession cannot, cannot, be legally violated, except as the sin of detraction, calumny or slander and worse, perjury in a court of law.
    .
    Doctors, lawyers, and all professionals including those practicing the art of reporting are covered by professional confidence, the giving and taking of confidential information.
    Sexual assault of children is a crime and must be prosecuted as a crime in a criminal court, and not in a civil court as has been done.
    .
    Why is Brian Westley resorting to religious prejudice, bigotry and hypocrisy to slander and bear false witness against the Catholic Church except that he has not reason?

God’s Not Dead; There’s Something Happening Here

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear…The opening words to the Buffalo Springfield (the band that would introduce to us the likes of Stephen Stills and Neil Young) classic song written in 1966, but released in 1967 certainly resonated to those who heard it whatever their political leanings. There was a sense even before the famous or infamous 1967 events, like the Newport Folk Festival and San Francisco’s Summer of Love that something in society was changing. The same could be said today in light of a flurry of religious themed movies that have come out in the first three months of 2014.

One could argue that the first signs of the secular sea change we have been under were first seen after the mid-term elections of 2006. By November of 2008 there was no doubt the western world was changing. However, for every action there is a reaction. It may have taken the world of faith a bit longer to react but it has. Already in 2013, the Bible mini-series caught the attention of those in Hollywood who notice TV and cultural move watching habits. The Bible mini-series, the brainchild Mark Burnett and Roma Downey literally spun off into the Son of God film which is currently one of the year’s early top grossing films.

However, it seems that what is bubbling under the current is what catches everyone by surprise, and so it is with the year’s first big surprise, God’s Not Dead.  The film’s entire production budget was between 1-2 million dollars, the mere advertising budget of most medium size films. The screenwriters are faithful Catholics Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, whom I met some four years ago while giving one of my talks at Family Theater in Hollywood (founded by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton CSC also known as The Rosary Priest.) I was impressed by Cary and Chuck, their frequent Mass attendance during the week, their fervent study and practice of the faith (as evidenced by the St. Thomas Aquinas type logic used in some of their arguments in God’s Not Dead,) and their embrace of the sacramental life, especially the Sacrament of Penance.

Both men weren’t living some fantasy of wanting to hobnob with Hollywood’s hipsters. They had been down that road successfully working and mingling with the likes of Sylvester Stallone among others. Cary and Chuck felt called to write faith based scripts. In an interview with me featured in the National Review both men spoke of the hypocrisy that the faithful have to endure in the public square.

  Hartline: I think a faithful Christian, or anyone of faith, feels a lot has changed in the last five or six years. People of faith are often mocked or belittled in popular culture, and the faithful are accused of all sorts of bigotry and ignorance. We are told to get with the times, as if our consciences could really leave the truth behind. It seems the movie is addressing that underlying feeling in the faith community.

Solomon and Konzelman: Yes, that’s definitely the nerve that’s been touched. Secular humanists insist that Christians in general — and Catholics in particular — are supposed to leave their belief system at home when it comes to matters in the public sphere. So according to the rules they propose, their belief system is allowable . . . and ours isn’t. Which is a deliberate attempt to subvert the whole democratic process. As someone else pointed out: Democracy is supposed to be about more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

 I then posed the question as to why some are willing to defend their faith as did the college student in God’s Not Dead, but sadly most do not.

Hartline: College student Josh Wheaton appears to be the nondescript everyman. While everyone else accedes to the professor’s atheistic rants, Josh decides to take up the challenge, even though he’s far from being a theologian. Is there a message there for most of us?

Solomon and Konzelman: It’s a question of being willing to try . . . and fail, if necessary. Mother Teresa got it right: God does not require us to be successful, only faithful. Secular humanism has really been racking up the score in the culture wars lately, largely because of the unwillingness of many Christians to counter their efforts. Unfortunately, doing nothing is doing something: It’s enabling the other side. Every time we roll over and don’t confront the challenge, our forfeit shows up as a win in the other team’s column and encourages them to push further.

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11 Responses to God’s Not Dead; There’s Something Happening Here

  • Very encouraging! Here’s something else: http://www.nicaeathemovie.com/ .

  • God is Not Dead. Only the love of God in some men’s hearts is dead. If man is called to love God with his whole heart and man refuses, it is man who has no heart. It is man who becomes heartless, a bully and a hypocrite and practices bigotry.
    When a self-professed atheist says: “I AM”, using God’s name in vain, the atheist contradicts himself. When an atheist breathes God’s air, the atheist confounds himself. When an atheist exercises his free will, the atheist bears witness to his immortal human soul. When an atheist enjoys his freedom, the atheist gives testimony to God. When an atheist exists in time, the atheist is the proof of God.
    Only the love of God is dead in some men’s hearts. As nature abhors a vacuum of the love of God in men’s hearts, the atheist will soon come to the realization that God is love and man is made for love.
    The freedom of religion must remain absolute so that when the atheist comes to the knowledge of God, the atheist may be free to express his love for and his belief in God. The atheist must be free to acknowledge God.
    The atheist will have found freedom from discrimination, prejudice, bullying , hypocrisy and ignorance.

  • Something else is happening here. The NY Times is out flogging the priest sex abuse garbage again.
    I wish Catholics would boycott that birdcage lining waste of ink. Can somebody please advise why that rubbish is “influential”?
    In a somewhat related note, I read a review of the new Jesus movie in Yahoo. In the review, the critic, who is a young Jewish woman, calls Catholic icons (such as her former boyfriend’s crucifix) “trinkets”, and concludes that Judas is the real hero of the passion.
    We should all feel good that the media is taking a brief respite in their war on on our beliefs and morality, but do not kid yourself for a second. Trashing Christianity (and Catholicism in particular) sells. To me, it looks like they may be simply re-setting the target for a fresh onslaught in the near future.

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  • The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite and everlasting from age to age, before all ages, infinite, and cannot die. God, our Creator, is infinite, the Endower of unalienable rights and the reason there is a First Amendment.

  • Me, my wife, my three kids, and two of my kids’ friends went to go see God’s Not Dead yesterday. We all loved it. Instead of wasting their money on something like Noah, Catholics should be going to see this movie.

  • The infinite God is infinite. God’s Not Dead
    .
    God and The Son of God, Jesus Christ, had to be vanquished from the public square before the government could ignore man’s dignity and confiscate the work of his hands.
    .
    “They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant; they shall not build houses for others to live in, or plant for others to eat. They shall not toil in vain, not beget children for sudden destruction; for a race blessed by the Lord are they and their offspring. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hearken to them.” Isaiah 65: 21- 24.
    .
    The New york Times must be flooded with the truth. Why is the statute of limitations without limit for the Catholic Church for the prosecution of child sexual abuse and only 90 days in New York Public schools? See the open thread at Starry, Starry Night for some rather unpleasant antics of the courts. The Catholic League and Dr. William Donohue will have something to say too.

  • The atheist must be tolerated. Atheism is unconstitutional. Atheism denies the freedom of religion to respond to the gift of faith from God, a relationship between God and man that cannot be interdicted by anyone claiming to be an atheist. No one has ever claimed to be atheism, not ever and especially not even the devil. The devil is not an atheist. The devil knows that God created him and the devil spends eternity frozen in the bottom of hell rejecting God.
    .
    I hope and pray that the New York Times does not join the devil frozen to the bottom of hell rejecting God.

  • Loved this movie! Went to see it with my wife and 6 children!! Also loved the Louisiana flavor as I’m a former Tiger! So thankful for the courage and wisdom infused in this movie as I believe God has called us all to fight!! As St. Francis of Assissi said “Go and spread the Gospel, and when necessary use words”.

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Richard Dawkins and “Mild Pedophilia”

Tuesday, September 10, AD 2013

48 Responses to Richard Dawkins and “Mild Pedophilia”

  • It’s called molestation. Not “mild touching” and it does have lasting affects….Dawkins should get his head checked. Apparently his ability to be logical was damaged.

  • Perhaps the fact that Dawkins was sexually abused as a child and even today seems to be repressing the fact ought to move us to pity rather than scorn.

    Sexual abuse victims deal with their trauma in a lot of different ways. Maybe he’s let slip more than he realizes.

  • I’m reminded of Whoopi Goldberg’s fascinating insight into the Roman Polanski
    case: the man drugged a 13-year-old girl, then raped and sodomized her.
    Whoopi’s take on it all? “It wasn’t rape rape”.

    I think that once the pedophilia scandals that rocked the Church a decade ago
    fade into history and lose their value as a stick with which to beat the Church,
    the Whoopis and the Dawkins and all the other “Brights” will forget about their
    faux outrage over child sexual abuse. Mark my words, they’ll come out in favor
    of reducing the age of consent, and push to brand our condemnation of sexual
    abuse of minors as some sort of bigotry.

  • I feel pity for him but i call condoning evil idiotic like i see it. That gets my scorn. He’s advocating abuse and that i will not tolerate. Dont care if its because he was abused or not. Abused people dont talk that way. They know its wrong and any bad habits or thoughts that result arent aired out to the public as being good either like drug abuse.

  • Waaaaaait a minute.

    If “abused people don’t talk that way,”

    and he’s talking that way,

    was it not abuse?

    This doesn’t make logical sense.

    One not-uncommon reaction to abuse is to pretend that what happened wasn’t really abuse.

  • Again he’s not simply in denial he is advocating abuse. Dont you think that is wrong?

  • Of course I do, but it’s illogical to say both “what he experienced was abuse” and “abused people don’t talk the way he is talking.”

    Having pity on someone doesn’t mean I have to think he’s correct. Please distinguish between scorning a person and scorning a statement.

  • I have no scorn for Dawkins. Sure he was abused. But to go on record and condone it isnt normal. Abused people know evil just like non abused persons. He may deny his own abuse was abusive to him but hes denying a form of abuse.

  • * condoning a form of abuse. Not denying abuse. Denying is different than condoning.

  • “Mark my words, they’ll come out in favor
    of reducing the age of consent, and push to brand our condemnation of sexual
    abuse of minors as some sort of bigotry”
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has written a book advocating informed sexual consent for fourteen year old girls as a form of sexual liberation.
    The insult to injury in “mild pedophilia” is that the person is taking liberties with another, albeit minor child’s, human body without the proper consent which remains with the child’s parents. The monster takes possession of the victim, body and soul and OWNs him as a piece of property, irregardless of civil rights and sacred trust.
    It appears Dawkins has chosen to deny his immortal soul and the humiliation heaped on his soul by the monster. No, it is not OK. There must be God because there must be JUSTICE, even for “mild pedophilia.”
    Adam’s sin was that Adam disobeyed God. The monster’s sin is that he disobeyed God, violated the Sixth Commandment, violated the sovereign personhood of a minor child and finally violated his own immortal soul by committing suicide.
    Dawkins will not let “God save the Queen”. Dawkins is going to save the Queen by bashing the Pope, the Catholic Church and our infinite God.

  • lets get this right,right now….it is not just the Catholic Church that has these pedophiles…it is every faith…the only reason you don’t hear much of these other faiths is because the Catholic Church has been around for so long and is the One True Faith…people have been trying to kill the Catholic Church forever and they will think of everything possible to break it up…sure there were some stupid priests who hurt the church’s people but that is all they did was hurt the church…they didn’t kill it….that is because the Catholic Church is strong and her people are strong in their Catholic Faith….I am sorry to say this but pedophilia has been around for ages and did not start with the Catholic Church…so go on Dawkins….keep making an ass of yourself…you can try just as hard as all the other morons who want to kill the Holy Catholic Church….you will never win..God will triumph and so will HIS people and HIS CHURCH….

  • The humanist Left worships at the altar of Man as Supreme Being. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • I’m interested in hearing his thoughts on “mild murder.”

  • Do you think it possible Dawkins is just an exhibitionist?

  • Only a “mild” exhibitionist.

  • Dawkin’s has zero credibility. His arguments for atheism are as empty as his belief that molesting children has no lasting effect. I think he has been sprinkling a little Alzheimer’s on his breakfast cereal.

  • “latae sententiae -self excommunication” Every person who consents to commit a mortal sin, excommunicates himself. Every priest who consented to commit abuse excommunicated himself. No much of a spiritual father is an excomunicated individual. So, too is Dawkins, a traitor in not calling down Divine Providence on the Queen in “God save the Queen.” Treason, in the United States of America, against the people prohibited from invoking Divine Providence on our blessed land. NO speech, no freedom. “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” Three quarters of the states must ratifiy any change in our Constitutional First Amendment, but they have not. May God bless and keep America.

  • Well, this is rich!

  • Off of Life Site news in March or April of last year came a story from Germany.
    According to the author; No longer will Germany call pedophiles Pedophiles. They shall be known as “minor attracted people.” The stigma associated with the term pedophiles is demeaning to this type of lifestyle choice.

    The article continued on with a drive to lower consent laws to EIGHT years of age. 8!

    God help us.

  • It seems like the trend is to nothingness. Shock value is shrinking.
    Dawkins is too cool to have been bothered by a teachers hand in his pants — “that’s all right, I’m cool, no big deal…
    Marriage? — that’s nothing- anybody can do it or not do it-doesn’t matter.
    What do I care about LIFE what’s the big deal- somebody wants to end their own life–have at it!
    Or an abortion- no harm no foul- I don’t see any “victims” do you? Nothing going on here.
    I witness a violent crime — no skin off of my nose… those two thugs are going to fight it out anyway!

    We are not too bothered pedophilia, millions of abortions, broken homes, neglected children— all nothing. — God created “ex nihilo” didn’t He?
    The trend seems to go back there.
    We are getting rid of God; we are getting rid of us.

  • Anzlyne: I have wanted to say: “God created “ex nihilo” didn’t He?
    The trend seems to go back there.
    We are getting rid of God; we are getting rid of us.” but you have said it better. God bless.

  • B4UACT, a group of psychiatrists, is trying to legalize pedophilia in Baltimore, Maryland. Without the infinite God, unalienable civil rights cannot exist. Without The Supreme Sovereign Being, who is existence, mankind, body and soul, has lost his place in this world.
    The trouble with Dawkins is that he will become a death bed convert after he has seduced the young and uninformed. This is precisely why freedom of religion must remain an unalienable civil right. So that when the atheist seeks God, the atheist will find God through the freedom of religon. It is choice, the exercise of free will, an intrinsic part of the human soul.

  • In Europe, the trend of legislation, over the past century, has been the other way. Before 1929, Scots law followed Roman law in allowing a girl to marry at twelve years of age and a boy at fourteen, without any requirement for parental consent. The Age of Marriage Act 1929 made void any marriage between persons either of whom was under the age of sixteen. Sixteen remains the lower age-limit today, contained in the current legislation, the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977. Scots law still has no requirement for parental consent.

    The change met with some opposition. One clergyman wrote to the press, “What, then, has the legislature to do here? It is to follow Nature. Whenever man becomes fit for the reproduction of a being similar to himself, he is then fit for marriage.” Such an argument would be unthinkable today.

    In France, the age of marriage has been recently raised from 15 to 18 (the age of majority) for both sexes, largely owing to concerns over « crainte révérencielle » – the dutiful child’s fear of offending parents by a refusal.

  • MPS, while I agree that European nations seem to have been slowly raising the
    age at which one may contract a legal marriage, I wonder if many pedophiles
    are looking for that sort of permanence in their ‘relationships’.

    As it is, many European nations have legal ages of sexual consent that seem
    shockingly low to this American. As you point out, MPS, in France the age one
    could contract a legal marriage has been slowly raised over the last 200 years.
    However, the age of consent for homosexual acts was lowered in 1974
    from 21 to 18, and in 1982 it was lowered again from 18 to 15. Other EU
    countries have even lower ages of consent, and if I recall, there have been
    drives to lower them even further… Cui bono?

  • It seems to me the trend is still to “nothing” concerning social strictures about marriage and family. The beautiful heart of France has a lhistory of protection for the weak underpriveged. The concern in that great and good culture is for the child, as we have seen in the marriage debate over there. But the downhill snowball is still rolling down. Historically Christian countries seem to be doing a collective shrug of the shoulders about personal behavior and responsibility in society.

  • Clinton

    The lowering of the age of consent for homosexual acts in 1974 was a consequence of the lowering of the age of majority generally from 21 to 18. The lowering of the age of consent to 15 in 1982 brought it into line with the age of consent for heterosexuals.

    Moreover, Art 227-27 of the Code Pénal punishes sexual acts committed without violence, constraint, threat or surprise on a minor aged over fifteen and not emancipated by marriage are punished by two years’ imprisonment and a fine of €30,000:
    1° where they are committed by a legitimate, natural or adoptive ascendant or by any other person having authority over the victim;
    2° where they are committed by a person abusing the authority conferred by his functions.

    2° is widely construed

  • Anzlene

    Mme Ludovine de la Rochère of « Manif pour tous » the grass-roots organization that opposed SSM, declared that they would continue to fight against the “progress” of which the supporters of SSM speak – “that of merchandising the human body, of wombs for rent” [« celui de la marchandisation du corps, celui des ventres à louer »]

    In 1991, the Court of Cassation in plenary session regarded as a perversion of the institution of adoption the plenary adoption of a child when this is only “the final phase of an overall process designed to enable a couple to take into their home a child conceived under contract and requiring that child’s abandonment at birth by his or her mother.” In doing so, it relied on Art 1128 of the Code Civil, which provides that “only things in trade can be the subject of an agreement.” The full court never reverses itself, leaving any change in the law to the legislature.

    French law erects further barriers to the commercialisation of the reproductive process. There can be no ownership of human gametes or embryos; this is excluded by Art 16-1 of the Code Civil, which provides that “The human body, its elements and its products may not form the subject of a patrimonial right.” Nor can they be bought or sold, for Art 16-5 reinforces the general prohibition of Art 1128, by providing that “Agreements that have the effect of bestowing a patrimonial value to the human body, its elements or products are void.”

    There is well-nigh universal support for the proposition that a child should not be made the subject or source of a transaction.

  • One way to handle “mild pedophilia” is for the victim, when he or she grows up to always look down or give a knowing smirk to the perpetrator when he or she meets him. This will always work, and the perpetrator to his dying shame will carry it to his grave.

  • Dawkins claims to be an atheist. Yet, Dawkins and The Great Liar, the devil himself, using Dawkins, insinuates that the Anglican priests who chose to become Catholic had no free will and right to choose and to consent to become Catholic, and that Pope Benedict XVI had no authority to accept their free will choice and receive these Anglican priests into the Catholic Church, whereas, the word Catholic means for all people, for all time. Dawkins refuses to accept Pope Benedict XVI and the Pope’s acknowledgment of the Anglican priests’ free will.
    This is the result of mild pedophilia. This is what comes from having a person’s free will and informed consent denied by another individual who tries to own somebody, anybody.

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  • Mr. Dawkins believes there can be “mild pedophilia”—apparently coming from someone with mild intelligence. I certainly wouldn’t want any of my children around him. So I guess there can be “mild wars, mild atrocities, and mild genocides?” He is an example of what GK Chesterton described as “an educated man—educated badly.”
    Among a litany of ill-informed and demagogic statements he says that the Church is an enemy of women because it won’t allow women to become priests. May I inform him that the priest stands “en persona,” in the person, of Christ. And since Christ was a man, a woman could no more be a priest than a man could be a Mother Superior, or a Poor Claire Nun, or play the Blessed Mother in the Christmas pageant.
    In a stultifying diatribe about the “vile obscenity” of the Church teachings on Original Sin, he says, “Adam who the Church herself now admits was a man who never existed”. Anyone who knows an iota about the Church knows this is not true and anyone who wants to lecture about the Church should do a little research.
    Mr. Dawkins goes on to say that “there is absolutely no correlation between Hitler and Stalin’s’ godless atheism and their monstrous atrocities and deeds.” No?—well maybe not to one with “mild” intelligence and reason.
    Mr. Dawkins then states that Pope Benedict, who was a university professor for nearly two decades, was an “enemy of education because he teaches young children that because of Original Sin they are born wicked and evil and therefore must be baptized to receive the salvation that only Christ can give, and about the horrors of Hell.” St. John Vianney comes to mind who could have been speaking to the future Richard Dawkins when he said, “Christ wept over Jerusalem…and I weep over you….Hell exists. It is not my invention. God has told us. And you pay no heed.”

  • JB.
    Thanks.
    I like your insights.

  • Jamey Brown writes, “or play the Blessed Mother in the Christmas pageant…”

    Is that really true? Great female roles, like Clytemnestra and Phaedra in the plays of Aeschylus and Euripides were played by male actors. No woman was admitted to the Dionysia. Again in In Shakespeare’s time, with the recovery of the classical learning, all the female rôles, Juliet, Lady Macbeth and Portia among them would have been played by boys.

    The ancient Greeks, like our Elizabethan ancestors, recognized the drama as the place of ἀπορία [aporia] = impasse; lack of resources, puzzlement; doubt; confusion. Even today in that most traditional and popular form of the drama, our Christmas pantomimes, the “principle boy” and the “dame” are always played by men. We would be astonished by a male Aladdin or Widow Twankey. No wonder; children love indeterminacy, ambiguity, irony, paradox. So did the Greeks, in that fresh morning of the world and it was their great gift to us in the Renaissance.

    [I agree, by the by, with your general point]

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour said “children love indeterminacy, ambiguity, irony, paradox.”

    I think while this is true, they like even more, assurance, sureness and certainty. If I were to see a bearded Mary in the Nativity Play I would not stick around knowing it was a sham, and I’m sure the children would be howling in laughter screaming that word that they love to use, “Fake.”

    You know a lot about the history of the theatre and I applaud that; but we’re talking here about something eternal, the sacred priesthood and the Sacrament of Holy Orders and our very salvation. I don’t think our good Jesus was a male chauvinist when he chose men to be his twelve Apostles out of his many disciples, some of them women. It is my opinion that it would not be wise to send women alone to be missionaries out into the wiles of foreign lands for obvious reasons: they could be raped or forced into becoming wives. Also I think most women had children to tend to—at least in those days.

    I am eternally grateful for women’s extraordinary gifts to the Church. If it wasn’t for a woman, Mother Angelica, I wouldn’t be Catholic today. It was her network EWTN that converted me six years ago. Her and the Poor Claire Nuns and a plethora of women hosts and scholars—Frances Hogan, Johnnette Benkovic, Daphne McLeod, Sr. Joan Marie, and Elizabeth Lev, art historian in Rome, are just a few of the many women, and men, that broke through my “hardness of heart” and continue to convert me every day.

  • Wouldn’t it be great to get to just have coffee or tea with all of you some fine morning!

  • Jamey Brown

    I do not believe the choice of an all-male priesthood, either under the Old Law or the Christian Dispensation rests on the sort of practical reasons you suggest.

    Priestesses were very common in the ancient world. The most revered sanctuary in Greece was the shrine of Phœbus Apollo at Delphi, where the oracle was uttered by the Pythian priestess. Readers of Plato will know that the temple of Zeus at Dordona was also served by priestesses. Both Apollo and Zeus, it should be noted, were male deities. The play “Iphigegnia in Taurus” contains no suggestion that there is anything unusual in a woman being a priestess.

    In Latin, the word “sacerdos” is common gender. Roman law forbids women to offer sacrifice by night, except when celebrating the rites of the Good Goddess. Why, if they were not permitted to offer sacrifice at all? That the Vestals were priestesses is affirmed by Gaius, a very careful jurist and the Sybil at Cumæ was a priestess, according to Vergil.

    I believe the all-male priesthood expresses something far deeper

  • In response to Michael Patterson-Seymour

    I quote Fr. William Saunders of EWTN.com who quotes Archbishop Fulton Sheen who said that our dear Lord in regards to ordaining women didn’t even ordain his Blessed Mother who was sinless to administer sacrament. Fr. Saunders goes on to say:

    “The Mass is not just a ritual meal or pious
    remembrance of the Last Supper; the Mass participates in and makes present
    now the everlasting, eternal sacrifice of our Lord on the cross and His
    resurrection.

    In the same way, through holy orders a priest is called to represent
    Christ Himself, to be an alterChristus. For instance, at Mass, the priest
    acts — “the priest enacts the image of Christ, in
    whose person and by whose power he pronounces the words of consecration.”
    (St. Thomas Aquinas, , III, 83 1, 3) In this sense, an
    intrinsic part of the sacramental sign of holy orders is the manhood of
    Christ.”
    And I would add that you wouldn’t want a man portraying Mother Theresa or Margaret Thatcher in a movie. And before you go too far in extolling the glories of ancient Greece you take note that before they made up their first fertility god Herm they were worshipping piles of rocks. And certainly their philosophers were brilliant but they never had a single university, nor did the Romans. The Catholic Church established the first universities–along with the first hospitals, orphanages, and shelters for the poor. And of course the first bingo halls.

  • “Priestesses were very common in the ancient world.” So were women goddesses. “In persona Christi”, Christ, the revelation of God. Any person called to the priesthood must have a vocation. If Jesus did not call women before, Jesus will not call women now.

  • Anzlyne: Will have coffee with you every morning, except when we have tea.

  • Jamey Brown

    I was merely suggesting that the exclusion of women from the Jewish and Christian priesthood cannot have a merely cultural explanation, given that priestesses were very common in the ancient world. Their exclusion must have rested on theological grounds, not cultural or social ones.

    Mary de Voe appears to agree, but there is still the question of why women were excluded from the Aaronic priesthood, which may have some light to shed on the topic.

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “’Priestesses were very common in the ancient world.’ So were women goddesses.”

    True enough, but Delphi was a shrine of Apollo and Dordona a temple of Zeus, both male divinities. Iphigenia became a priestess of Posidon, another male deity. It is not as if male deities had priests and goddesses had priestesses.

  • The atheist denies to God the free will to create man. Made in the image of God in free will, man has the free will and freedom to choose between God and wickedness. The tendency and temptation to wickedness is called concupiscence by the Catholic Church and not as the atheist claims that the Church proclaims man to be wicked, but that man has a tendency to wickedness. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The Catholic Church points the way toward holiness and the avoidance of evil, the same evil which Dawkins has embraced. Dawkins denies the existence of his rational, immortal soul and God and complains that God and His Holy Church are to blame for all the evil in the world. Makes sense doesn’t it?

  • Jesus is the revelation of God. If God wants women priests, God will give women a vocation to the priesthood. If I were to become a priest, I would have been born a man.

  • “Priestesses were very common in the ancient world.” So were women goddesses” ()Mary DeVoe

    Yes – beware Greeks bearing gifts! 🙂 (ref. MPS mention greek gift to renaissance)

    do you suppose that eldest daughters were not made Aaronic priestesses because they didn’t want to do it? that was some pretty heavy lifting,not to say bloody mess over and over again- yeich!

  • This is the first time I have actually witnessed RD spewing his sickness, hatred, anguished ,twisted soul in person. watching the crowd cheer him on was amazing,
    It was like seeing Dante’s Inferno in a modern adaptation.

  • Comment on Anzlyne:
    As GK Chesterton said, “In a world without God there will be no room for man.”
    Comment to Judith Crowley:
    It was the first time I had heard Dawkins too, and it was disappointing that he was so shallow. As they say he’s a mile wide and an inch deep. At least Hitchens was articulate; he had some clever turns of phrase, although completely wrong. But as you say, Dawkins just said the old false clichés about the Church structured to inflame the crowd—probably on a weekday because none of them had jobs.
    One of the myths that he perpetuates is that the birth of children in poor countries—here we go with that horrible “life stuff” that the Church loves—is the cause of poverty.

    There’s plenty of food for the world. It’s the greed of the rulers, in collusion with big business—the groups that he really represents, not the toothless goons cheering for him–that keeps the food and medicines, etc. from freely flowing. And no, I am absolutely not advocating socialism. Look at the atrocities of famine in the atheist socialist “Utopias” of the former Soviet Union, China, and North Korea.

    I think that Holy Mother Church with her cardinal virtue of charity, the Church that is the biggest charity in the world, that started the first hospitals, orphanages, and shelters for the poor is the answer, and has always been, not the cause of poverty.

    I could say more about that pathetic Dawkins but I’ve done enough penance for today. All I can say is that he better get a lot of sunscreen cause it’s sure gonna be hot where he’s going if he doesn’t see the Light. But in Dante’s Inferno Satan is frozen in the ice. Well Dawkins could end up right next to him—an atheist gelato. But there’s always hope. In truth I was as bad an atheist as Dawkins until—by God’s grace– I stopped drinking 27 years ago. If the Lord can deliver me, he can deliver anyone.

  • Richard Dawkins demonstrates his ability to spout nonsense almost as well did Adolf Hitler.

Atheism: A Form of Insanity?

Thursday, August 22, AD 2013

 

 

 

 

Novelist Tom Knox, who writes under the pen name of Sean Thomas for some of his work, certainly knows how to ignite a firestorm.  In The Telegraph he argues that atheism is a form of insanity.

 

In the last few years scientists have revealed that believers, compared to non-believers, have better outcomes from breast cancer, coronary disease, mental illness, Aids, and rheumatoid arthritis. Believers even get better results from IVF. Likewise, believers also report greater levels of happiness, are less likely to commit suicide, and cope with stressful events much better. Believers also have more kids.

What’s more, these benefits are visible even if you adjust for the fact that believers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs. And let’s not forget that religious people are nicer. They certainly give more money to charity than atheists, who are, according to the very latest survey, the meanest of all.

So which is the smart party, here? Is it the atheists, who live short, selfish, stunted little lives – often childless – before they approach hopeless death in despair, and their worthless corpses are chucked in a trench (or, if they are wrong, they go to Hell)? Or is it the believers, who live longer, happier, healthier, more generous lives, and who have more kids, and who go to their quietus with ritual dignity, expecting to be greeted by a smiling and benevolent God?

Obviously, it’s the believers who are smarter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally ill.

And I mean that literally: the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness. And this is because science is showing that the human mind is hard-wired for faith: we have, as a species, evolved to believe, which is one crucial reason why believers are happier – religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans.

Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.

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9 Responses to Atheism: A Form of Insanity?

  • Peter Kreeft on the idea that faith and reason being opposite is a wrong minded stance. The five minutes in the video above are valuable for short attention spans pondering the idea and yearning for a way to verbalize it.

    The example of the contrast between Sir Isaac Newton (Father of Physics and a fervent believer in God) and Leonard Susskind (Professor of theoretical physics at Stanford who says, “Real scientists resist the temptation to explain creation by divine intervention. We resist, to the death, all explanations of the world bases on anything but the laws of physics.”) is telling about the degeneration of worthwhile developments in recent history. Worthwhile has become tied to monetary value. Also, the latter’s attitude toward the Father of his discipline is akin to how it goes for trashing the Fourth of the Commandments. Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth. Sir Isaac Newton begins every introduction into physics. Will Susskind have a place?

    “Who are the closed minded ones in the debate?
    The conclusion that God exists doesn’t require faith.
    Atheism requires faith. It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.
    It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.” – Peter Kreeft

  • While it’s not a form of insanity, I would submit that atheism is certainly irrational. If you look at the design of the human body all the way down to the biochemical nuts and bolts, it’s an amazing machine that certainly demonstrates a design. To observe our biology and claim that there is no God is akin to finding a Boeing 747 on Pluto and claiming it just arose from chance without the involvement of intelligence. To say that we arose from random processes is the same as saying that if you shake up a box of computer components long enough that you’ll end up with a functioning supercomputer. Atheism engages in magical, superstitious thinking in its cosmology.

    Atheists claim to believe in science. Yet there is no evidence of functioning proteins, the building blocks of life, being formed in nature outside of an already living cell. The smallest forms of life, if you consider them alive, are viruses and prions, yet they also require a living cell (lacking their own cellular structures) to reproduce. No functional protein or DNA has ever been observed, even indirectly, to be replicated outside of a living cell. Yet the atheists demand a leap of faith that it happened. Likewise for other various cellular structures upon which life depends. That’s not scientific, and it’s not rational.

    I’m convinced that they engage in atheistic sophistry for psychological reasons. It allows them to escape the sort of introspection that belief in God makes necessary.

  • I wouldn’t say that atheists are insane. I’d say that a sense of the divine is a normal human function, and those who don’t have it are missing something. Me, I have a terrible spatial sense. You wouldn’t want me designing your house. I enjoy calculus and algebra but I’m terrible at geometry. Most of us have a defect (absence) or two – be it color-blindness, impatience, inability to tell a joke, whatever.

    The big thing is, you don’t need a sense of the divine to be a theist or a Catholic. When the saints talk about the dark night of the soul, I think this is what they’re talking about. A sudden loss of their most relied-upon function. As traumatic as Beethoven’s loss of hearing. But you soldier on.

    The article’s right that a person without hands shouldn’t look down on people who have them. Somewhere along the way a lack of awareness of the divine got spinned into a virtue, at least in some circles.

  • All the atheists I know happen to be very good video game players. So at least they have that.

  • Chesterton spoke to the deficiency in people’s thinking who reject matters of faith. I don’t know how one could appreciate the realm of liberal arts and remain atheist.

  • What if the atheist, the hedonist, the pagan, or whatever, in worshipping a false god (e.g., one’s self, sexual pleasure, stone idols, etc.) really is insane? What if the only truly sane response, once the truth is known, is worship of the Lord Jesus Christ? Certainly that isn’t a medical description, but who is really in his right mind? The God-denier who worships himself, the hedonist who worships the titillation of his genitals, the pagan who worships stone idols, or the Catholic at Eucharistic Adoration? While not all insanity is rooted in atheism, hedonism or paganism, maybe those conditions or behaviors or whatever lead to insanity for denying the truth simply isn’t a sane response.

    PS, I am not too sane myself, but for reasons other than these. 😉

  • All crime and sin is insanity. Should the atheist lie to himself, the atheist is still lying.

  • Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.
    –Tom Knox (quoted by Donald R. McClarey)

    So, will this angry anonymous letter writer demand “euthanize him!!!” upon encountering an atheist?
     

    The arc of Communism in the last century…
    –Donald R. McClarey

    …was a long, difficult trek from capitalism all the way to capitalism.

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Very Few Atheists in Fox Holes

Tuesday, May 28, AD 2013

The blog Science 2.0 repeats something that most combat soldiers have always known:  there are few atheists in fox holes:

But does war really transform people, or does it simply make the fleetingly religious more so for a short time? A recent analysis of archived surveys of Army Infantry soldiers after a battle –  Samuel Stouffer’s “The American Soldier” World War II  research (1) – found self-reported reliance on prayer rose from 42% to 72% as that battle got more intense.
“The question is whether that reliance on faith lasts over time,” said Craig Wansink, author and Professor of Religion at Virginia Wesleyan College, who did the analysis and co-wrote the paper with his brother Brian Wansink, food marketing expert and Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. The World War II generation is a good one for analysis because the interest was religiosity long-term and young people in the 1940s were more religious overall than more recent generations.

A second analysis of survey results from 1,123 World War II veterans showed that 50 or more years after combat, most soldiers still exhibited religious behavior, though it varied by their war experience. Those facing heavy combat (versus no combat) attended church 21% more often if they claimed their war experience was negative, but those who claimed their experience was positive attended 26% less often.
The more a veteran disliked the war, the more religious they were 50 years later. 

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National Atheist Day 2013

Monday, April 1, AD 2013

atheism, atheist, delusion

“A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.” 
―    C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Our annual salute to atheists, those members in good standing of the herd of independent thinkers who are convinced there is no God, and that the Universe materialized from nothing in some scientific fashion that will be explained to us shortly.

Here at The American Catholic we do appreciate atheists and wish them to hone their arguments when they come visiting us.  Here are a few helpful hints:

1.  Catholics are not Fundamentalists-Atheists often have Bible verses that they memorize in order to attempt to discomfit Christians.  Unfortunately for them different sects of Christians read the Bible differently.  What might discomfit a Fundamentalist has no impact on a Catholic who has 2000 years of teaching as to the many ways in which a Biblical passage can be interpreted.

2.  Hitler was not a Catholic-Hitler was born a Catholic but had stopped believing in the Faith long before he became ruler of Germany.  In conversations he evinced a hatred for Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.  When you attempt to use Hitler as a club against us, it merely displays a profound historical ignorance on your part.

3.  Religion starts all the Wars-After the bloody last century, in which most wars were caused by atheist totalitarian systems, that argument needs to be cast on the ashheap of history.

4.  Pedophile priests-Attempting to discredit Catholicism because some priests and bishops have caused great evil, is like attempting to discredit Christ because one of His chosen Apostles betrayed him.

5.  Read Saint Thomas Aquinas-You will quickly lose any Catholic audience unless you can show some familiarity with the proofs of the existence of God of the Angelic Doctor.

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40 Responses to National Atheist Day 2013

  • Welcome reddit users! Enjoy the article.

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  • From the symbol on the bottom: Atheism = half a radioactive Big Mac?

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  • That article seems to be written by a Catholic who has as little understanding of a reasoned Atheist as he claims most Atheists do of Catholics.

    “..and that the Universe materialized from nothing in some scientific fashion that will be explained to us shortly.”

    Who said anything about shortly? As the Church as 2,000 years of teaching, study and contemplation, why can’t science? The difference is, with this statement, you seem to have given up looking and are content with the bumper sticker answer of “God did it. I believe it. That settles it.” Atheists would like to continue looking for details, and it may take some time.

    I say “you” here, because there are many Catholics who separate the “who” from the “how” and have contributed mightily to the science of cosmology.

    But, then again, reasoned, rational, non-confrontational blog posts don’t generate as many hits, do they?

  • “Who said anything about shortly? As the Church as 2,000 years of teaching, study and contemplation, why can’t science?”
    Science proceeds at its own pace, set by the skill and wit of the scientists involved. The problem for atheists is their categorical statement that there is no God. Unless we take the non-existence of God simply as an article of faith, something most atheists deny, then the problem of Creation ex nihilo must be resolved. Such a problem does not present itself for Agnostics who are merely certain about their uncertainly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrdKgzwnA9Y

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?_r=0

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/not-understanding-nothing

  • I’m wary of “bigotry” arguments regarding religion. I assume many commenters here (and myself) think Islam in and of itself has issues for example, and it’s not bigotry to make that case. Likewise if people think Catholicism has certain negative teachings that make it unworthy of belief/support they can be debated.

    though yeah, once you extend criticism of a religion to religious people as individuals you’re getting in that territory

  • Atheism is a major part of the most murderous ideology ever devised by man.

    Since atheists deny god, then evidently the universe just went “poof” one day and began to exist, just by random chance. The same thing applies to all developments since.

    Such an argument is far more ridiculous than any half-baked atheist rant about a sky fairy.

  • Long time no read, Donald. Gosh, that song was a painful listen. Might I suggest substituting “Atheists Ain’t Got No Songs” by the Steep Canyon Rangers as an alternative that won’t make our ears bleed? 😉

  • I had used it on an earlier National Atheist’s Day, but just for you cminor here we go:

  • I agree that most atheists fail because they pick fights with strawmen, but let’s be careful not to do the same.

  • #3 is very important indeed. I still hear that argument and of course it’s very true that more people died under totalitarianism in the 20th century, totalitarianism which was atheistic in belief.

  • Donald — Correct, but for many “atheism” is a verbal shortcut not to “there is no God at all” to “the Christian concept of God is bunk”. But, yes, absolutists are frequently fools and we all know the admonition against arguing with fools…

    Penguins Fan — “Since atheists deny god, then evidently the universe just went “poof” one day and began to exist, just by random chance. The same thing applies to all developments since.”

    Wow, no. That last sentence is just flat out wrong. I suggest you read Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs of God’s Existence as suggested in the article. He deals with PRIME causes, not necessary everything that follows. Getting it started is the trick, not keeping it going.

    You say “I don’t know, so God did it”, I say “I don’t know, but we’re working on it”. The hard problems are the most fun.

  • “Donald — Correct, but for many “atheism” is a verbal shortcut not to “there is no God at all” to “the Christian concept of God is bunk”.”

    It is fascinating to me how people who would have deemed themselves agnostic a generation ago now claim the title atheist. I suspect it is because agnostic has developed a fairly weak connotation. Additionally, because most people, on all sides of issues, do not reason as tightly and with as great precision, as most people did say a half century ago. We live in sloppy times, both in our speech and in our thoughts.

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  • Good point. Reasoning is not valued as much in common debate. Sometimes its not even welcome. Try reasoning wiht the homosexual debate and all you will get is sentiment. They will talk over reason or write it off as bigotry. Reason doesn’t hold water a lot of times, unfortunately. As people reject the world created by God they give up a certain amout of reason too.

  • Atheist on deathbed; “the darkness..the darkness…the everlasting darkness.”

    I’m coming into my thirteenth year working in geriatric’s and their final days on Earth.
    One professed atheist on his deathbed SCREAMED and HOWLED uncontrollably just before giving up the ghost.
    It was then and there that I fully understood these words; “Only a fool doesn’t believe in God.”

  • Charles, don’t insult my intelligence and waste my time telling me I am wrong. You are wrong. Catholics have been among the world’s great scientists, especially among astronomy.

    Now, I don’t expect you to believe it, but I have had two experiences in my life that proved to me God is real and exists. My wife’s father saw the miracle of the sun at Fatima in 1917. So did 50,000 other people. They did not all make it up.

  • Penguins Fan-
    John Haffert’s book ( Meet the Witnesses ) is an excellent collection of on the scene witnesses giving their testimony of the Fatima miracle.
    Atheists, scoffers, journalist, doctors..the crowd of witnesses we’re present for different reasons, and the beauty of the Event unites them in ways unimaginable.
    Charles may find it humors, or not.

  • To raise issue with each of your points in turn with reasons as to why:

    1. Is this not a somewhat beneficial “hint” for the Theist side of the argument? My reasoning is that there are some atheists (like myself) have read the Bible and know it well and are able to quote certain teachings from it that may contradict a specific argument. To assume all atheists make such quotes purely to get a “fundamentalist” response is a somewhat narrowminded assumption of this section of society, and to suggest that such a thing be avoided is akin to an atheist saying “there is no God and you may say nothing to suggest otherwise”. A learned atheist often (not always) knows more than a theist as this is the reason they have become an atheist.

    2. True and false in one statement Hitler was born a Catholic and renounced that faith. He did not however renounce Christianity as a whole nor declare himself an atheist. His Nazi party supported a supposed forward thinking Protestant pressure group and he often spoke of promoting “positive Christianity” and to shy away from the “negative Christianity” he saw in Catholicism and the Protestant Churches of the time. Part of the aim of the Holocaust was to eradicate the Jewish influences of Christianity and instill a philosophy more akin to that of the Nazi Party. He may not have been Catholic during the worst atrocities of the 20th century, but he retained a sense of Christianity – if the full truth is to be told.

    3. Firstly it is true to say totalitarianism does not mean atheist, and given the definition of “totalitarianism” there are more similarities to religious states in history than there is non-religious. It is true though that religion does not start all wars, although in the modern era it is equally as culpable globally as capitalism for some of the major conflicts throughout the world. That is not to say that there have not been conflicts caused by atheist leaders, but it far from leaves the argument in need of casting aside, but more realistically it needs revising to reflect a more diverse world.

    4. This is a true assertion, but when the head of the Catholic church shows a greater inclination towards hiding the crime than supporting justice, there is an issue that needs resolving. Condemning Catholicism for the acts of the few is like condemning Germany for the leadership of one man. However, Germany accepted her involvement in allowing the crimes. Catholicism is yet to make the same apology for the acts of some representatives of the cloth.

    5. I have not read this, I will admit, but I hope readers feel this by no means discredits anything raised. I would promise to read it for greater understanding, but will not be disingenuous for a commitment I may not be able to keep. I feel this is justified as I I could argue a theist will lose an atheist audience if they have not read Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”, which I feel would be unfair.

    6. I hope it is clear that I do not hate Catholics or religion per se. There is alot to be learned from the history of society, and religion is a part of that. I dislike the bias against atheists though, as well as the assumptions that those without “faith” must be inherently evil. Ironically, I have probably been written off as a bigot already by some. For those who have not, I thank you.

    7. The history of Catholicism is indeed rich. In parts that history has been glorious – acts of charity, preservation of civilisation following the fall of Rome, etc – but in other parts it has been horrendous and controversial – inquisitions and stealing of babies for example. Apologies for some of the “atrocities” have been made, but not all, and some seemed genuine while others appeared to be disingenuous thanks to media pressure. The fact it is one of the earliest sects of Christianity is testament to the power is has had, used, or abused, in various measures throughout time, but Islam is equally as rich in parts, Judaism arguably richer and the multitude of Pagan faiths predating Constantine’s vision and the edict that later came from his victory in battle.

    8. The definition of a closed mind is indeed one that is intolerant of new ideas, beliefs or the opinions of others, and many atheists should be wary of this fact. The other half of the definition of close mindedness though is having an inflexibility and stubbornness to new evidence and ideas. The argument presented would not be tolerated if I was to now call Catholics closed minded for saying “God said it, so I believe it and that settles it”. A theist with a closed mind to anything other than their faith is as destructive to reasonable debate as an atheist unwilling to consider the arguments for a God, and to not even acknowledge that possibility is dismissive and perhaps shows a “closed minded” opinion of atheists as a whole.

    9. The same could be said of most Theists – learn your religions. And not just Catholicism or Islam or belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. A choice without truly knowing the options is not really a choice at all. If your entire choice in this area comes from only reading the Bible (or Quran, or a specific non-religious text of your choice as atheists have no equivalent), then have you genuinely exercised free will or made an educated choice? Or have you followed blindly? An argument of “well that is why it is called Faith” is not really an answer at all to a shortcoming that would be considered “uneducated” if applied to any other field or discipline.

    10. I am not a former Catholic. My heritage is in Church of England. However, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “A Catholic by any other name is still a Christian” and the issues raised here are as applicable to Catholicism and the Catholic Church as they are to any other branch of Christianity, Islam, Scientology or belief in an “Invisible Pink Unicorn” – and in each case are applicable considerations to any Atheists whose only argument is “there is no God because that is stupid”.

    I close by saying that (as I am sure is clear) that I am an atheist and am perfectly happy being so, and I hope at no point it is felt that I have tried to debunk the foundations of Catholicism or claim there is no God, as it was never my intention to do so.

  • 1. “To assume all atheists make such quotes purely to get a “fundamentalist” response” is based upon my experience at this blog since 2008. If you know the Bible thoroughly, well and good, but it would make you the exception to atheists who have dropped by here and brought up the Bible.

    2. “He may not have been Catholic during the worst atrocities of the 20th century, but he retained a sense of Christianity – if the full truth is to be told”. Not really. Hitler was a materialist with New Age overtones. He had nothing but contempt for Christianity. Here follows a rather lengthy quote from research I have done in this area. I will respond to your other comments either this evening or tomorrow depending upon the length of other matters that I must attend to:

    In regard to Hitler here are a few of his many diatribes against the Church contained in his “Table Talk” compiled following the war from notes taken at the time he spoke:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    Martin Bormann Nazi Party Secretary was most forthright regarding the fundamental Nazi hostility to religion:

    We who have cast off superstitions have evolved to a better place.”

    “National Socialist and Christian concepts are incompatible. The Christian Churches build upon the ignorance of men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian Churches maintain their power. On the other hand, National Socialism is based on scientific foundations. Christianity’s immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism, however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific researches.”

    Martin Bormann, Chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery, 1942

    At Nuremburg after the war the Prosecution noted the Nazi hostitility to Christianity:

    “We come now to deal with the responsibility of the defendant Bormann with respect to the persecution of the Church. The defendant Bormann authorised, directed and participated in measures involving the persecution of the Christian Church. The Tribunal, of course, has heard much in this proceeding concerning the acts of the conspiracy involving the persecution of the Church. We have no desire now to rehash that evidence. We are interested in one thing alone, and that is nailing on the defendant Bormann his responsibility, his personal, individual responsibility, for that persecution.

    I shall now present the proofs showing the responsibility of Bormann with respect to such persecution of the Christian Churches.

    Bormann was among the most relentless enemies of the Christian Church and Christian Clergy in Germany and in German-occupied Europe. I refer the Tribunal, without quoting therefrom, to Document D-75, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 348, which contains a copy of the secret Bormann decree of 6th June, 1941, entitled “The Relationship of National Socialism to Christianity.” In this decree, as the Tribunal will well recall, Bormann bluntly declared that National Socialism and Christianity were incompatible, and he indicated that the ultimate aim of the conspirators was to assure the elimination of Christianity itself.

    I next refer the Tribunal, without quotation, to Document 098-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 350. This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 22nd February, 1940, in which Bormann reaffirms the incompatibility of Christianity and National Socialism.

    Now, in furtherance of the conspirators’ aim to undermine the Christian Churches, Bormann took measures to eliminate the influence of the Christian Church from within the Nazi Party and its formations. I now offer in evidence Document 113-PS, as Exhibit USA 683. This is an order of the defendant Bormann, dated 27th July, 1938, issued as Chief of Staff to the Deputy of the

    [Page 300]

    Fuehrer, Hess, which prohibits clergymen, from holding Party offices. I shall not take the time of the Tribunal to put this quotation upon the, record. The point of it is, as indicated, that Bormann issued an order-forbidding the appointment of clergymen to Party positions.
    THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break off for ten minutes.

    (A recess was taken.)

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: May it please the Tribunal, we are dealing with the efforts of the defendant Bormann to expel and eliminate from the Party all Church and religious influence.

    I offer in evidence Document 838-PS, as Exhibit USA 684. I shall not burden the record with extensive quotation from this exhibit, but merely point out that this is a copy of a Bormann decree dated 3rd June, 1939, which laid it down that followers of Christian Science should be excluded from the Party.

    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 840-PS, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 355. The Tribunal will recall that this, was a Bormann decree of 14th July, 1939, referring with approval to an earlier Bormann decree of 9th February, 1937, in which he had ruled, that in the future all Party members who entered the clergy or who undertook the study of theology were to be expelled from the Party.

    I next offer in evidence Document 107-PS, Exhibit USA 3M. This is a circular directive of the defendant Bormann dated 17th June, 1938, addressed to all Reichsleiters and Gauleiters, top leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, transmitting a copy of directions relating. to the non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. The Reich Labour Service, the Tribunal will recall, compulsorily incorporated all Germans within its organisation.

    DR. BERGOLD (Counsel for defendant Bormann): The member of the prosecution has just submitted a number of documents, in which he proves that, on the suggestion of Bormann, members of the Christian religion were to be excluded from the Party, or from certain organisations. I beg the High Tribunal to allow the member of the prosecution to explain to me how and why Bormann’s activity, that is, the exclusion of Christians from the Party, can be a War Crime. I cannot gather this evidence from the trial brief. The Party is described as a criminal conspiracy. Is it a crime to exclude certain people from membership in a criminal conspiracy? Is that considered a crime? How and why is the exclusion of certain members from the Party a crime?

    THE PRESIDENT: Counsel will answer you.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: If the Tribunal will willingly accommodate argument at this stage, we find that the question –

    THE PRESIDENT: Only short argument.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Yes, Sir – admits of a short, and, as it seems to us, easy answer.

    The point we are now trying to prove – and evidence is abounding on it – is that Bormann had a hatred and an enmity and took oppositional measures towards the Christian Church. The Party was the repository of political power in Germany. To have power one had to be in the Party or subject to its favour. By his efforts, concerted, continuing and consistent, to exclude clergymen, theological students or any persons sympathetic to the Christian, religion, Bormann could not have chosen a clearer method of showing and demonstrating his, hatred and his distrust of the Christian religion and those who supported it.

    THE PRESIDENT: Counsel for Bormann can present his argument upon this subject at a later stage. The documents appear to the Tribunal to be relevant.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: With the Tribunal’s permission, I had just put in Document 107-PS and pointed out that it transmitted directions relating to the

    [Page 301]

    non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. I quote merely the fourth and fifth paragraphs of Page 1 of the English translation of Document 107-PS, which reads as follows:
    “Every religious discussion is forbidden in the Reich Labour Service because it disturbs the comrade-like harmony of all working men and women.
    For this reason also, every participation of the Reich Labour Service in Church, i.e., religious, arrangements and celebrations is not possible.”

    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 070-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 349. The Tribunal will recall that this was a letter from Bormann’s office to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 25th April, 1941, in which Bormann declared that he had achieved progressive success in reducing and abolishing religious services in schools, and in replacing Christian prayers with National Socialist mottoes and rituals. In this letter, Bormann also proposed a Nazified morning service in the schools, in place of the existing confession and morning service.
    In his concerted efforts to undermine and subvert the Christian churches, Bormann authorised, directed and participated in measures leading to the closing, reduction and suppression of theological schools, faculties and institutions. The attention of the Tribunal is invited to Document 116-PS, Exhibit USA 685, which I offer in evidence. This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 24th January, 1939, enclosing, for Rosenberg’s cognisance, a copy of Bormann’s letter to the Reich Minister for Science, Training and Public Education. In the enclosed letter, Bormann informs the Minister as to the Party’s position in favour of restricting and suppressing theological faculties. Bormann states that, owing to war conditions, it had become necessary to reorganise the German high schools, and in view of this situation, he requested the Minister to restrict and suppress certain theological faculties.

    I now quote from the first paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation of Document 116-PS, which reads as follows:

    “I, therefore, would like to see you put the theological faculties under appreciable limitations in so far as, according to the above statements, they cannot be entirely eliminated. This will concern not only the theological faculties at universities, but also the various State institutions which, as seminaries having no affiliation with any university, still exist in many places. I request you not to give any express explanations to churches or other institutions and to avoid public announcement of these measures. Complaints and the like, if they are to be answered at all, must be countered with this explanation, that these measures are carried out in the course of planned economy, and that the same is being done to other, faculties. I would be glad, if the professorial chairs thus made vacant could then be turned over to the fields of research newly created in recent years, such as racial research and archaeology.
    “Martin Bormann.”

    In our submission, what this document comes to is a request from Bormann to this effect: “Please close down the religious faculties and substitute in their place Nazi faculties and university chairs, with the mission of investigating racialism, cultism, Nazi archaeology.” This sort of thing was done in the Hohe Schule, as was so clearly demonstrated in the prosecution’s case against the plundering activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.
    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 122-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 362. The Tribunal will recall that 122-PS is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 17th April, 1939, transmitting to Rosenberg a photostatic copy of the plan of the Reich

    [Page 302]

    Minister of Science, Training and Public Education for the combining and dissolving of certain specified theological faculties. In his letter of transmittal, Bormann requested Rosenberg “to take cognizance and prompt action” with respect to the proposed suppression of religious institutions.
    I next offer in evidence Document 123-PS, Exhibit USA 686. This is a confidential letter from the defendant Bormann to the Minister of Education, dated 23rd June, 1939, in which Bormann sets forth the Party’s decision to order the suppression of numerous theological faculties and religious institutions. The Tribunal will note that the letter lists 19 separate religious institutions with respect to which Bormann ordered dissolution or restriction.

    After directing the action to be taken by the Minister in connection with the various theological faculties, Bormann stated as follows, and I quote from the next to last paragraph of Page 3 of the English translation of Document 123-PS:

    “In the above I have informed you of the Party’s wishes, after thorough, investigation of the matter with all Party offices. I would be grateful if you would initiate the necessary measures as quickly as possible. With regard to the great political significance which every single case of such a combination will have for the Gau concerned, I ask you to take these measures, and particularly to fix dates for them always in agreement with me.”
    I next offer in evidence, without quotation, Document 131- PS, as Exhibit USA 687. In summary, without quotation therefrom, this is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 12th December, 1939, relating to the suppression of seven professorships in the near-by University of Munich.
    Now, I deal briefly with the responsibility of Bormann for the confiscation of religious property and cultural property. Bormann used his paramount power and position to cause the confiscation of religious property and to subject the Christian churches and clergy to a discriminatory legal regime.

    I offer in evidence Document 099-PS, Exhibit USA 688. This is a copy of a letter from Bormann to the Reich Minister for Finance, dated 19th January, 1940, in which Bormann demanded a great increase in the special war tax imposed on the churches. I quote from the first two paragraphs of Page 2 of the English translation of this document, which reads as follows:

    “As it has been reported to me, the war contribution of the churches has been specified from 1st November, 1939 on, at first, for a period of three months, at R.M. 1,800,000 per month, of which R.M. 1,000,000 are to be paid by the Protestant church, and R.M. 800,000 by the Catholic church per month. The establishment of such a low amount has surprised me. I see from numerous reports that the political communities have to raise such a large war contribution, that the execution of their tasks, partially very important – for example, in the field of public welfare – is, endangered. In consideration of that, a larger quota from the churches appears to be absolutely appropriate.”
    The question may arise: Of what criminal effect is it to demand larger taxes from church institutions? As to this demand of Bormann’s taken by itself, the prosecution would not suggest that it had a criminal effect, but when viewed within the larger frame of Bormann’s demonstrated hostility to the Christian Church, and his efforts, not merely to circumscribe but to eliminate it, we suggest that this document has probative value in showing Bormann’s hostility and his concrete measures to effectuate that hostility against the Christian churches and clergy.”

    Bottom line, the only “god” Hitler worshipped was a mortal by the name of Adolph Hitler who he mistook for a god.

  • This post seems to imply that Atheism is a belief or a religion of its own, just because they have a symbol, fundraises and people willing to support the cause. In that case, you may as well consider the democratic party as a religion also.

    For those of you who are caught up in this misconception, please click this link and learn how atheism CANNOT fit the criteria of being classified as a system of faith, or a belief or a religion!

  • I will admit most of what you have quoted I had not read before, and makes enlightening reading. My reference though to “Nazi Christianity” is because much of what you have quoted – and I will not deny its validity – was put down by Hitler for fear of bad press as there was still a Christian majority (approximately 80%, mainly Protestant) in Germany at the time. Hitler’s vision for “christianity (and I shall not capitalise out of respect and the bastardisation being attempted here) was one where there was an acknowledgement of Jesus Christ’s existence and the concept of “positive christianity” they put forward was one where Jesus was more of a soldier who actively fought Judaisms influence upon his world. As you have quoted Borman, who had declared “national Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable”, I wish to also do so:

    “When we National Socialists speak of belief in God, we do not mean, like the naive Christians and their spiritual exploiters, a man-like being sitting around somewhere in the universe. The force governed by natural law by which all these countless planets move in the universe, we call omnipotence or God. The assertion that this universal force can trouble itself about the destiny of each individual being, every smallest earthly bacillus, can be influenced by so-called prayers or other surprising things, depends upon a requisite dose of naivety or else upon shameless professional self-interest.”

    Within this context, there is not a denial of God as a concept, only in the portrayal of said God by the establishment. It is perhaps more justifiable to say that this Nazi concept of “christianity” is closer to “naturalism” with more of a “mother nature” style guidance than an omnipotent being.

    As I said, there was a bastardisation of the Christian faith and perhaps much of this was posturing to appease the masses who at the time still maintained a more traditional stance on the matter – as well as providing a self-serving justification for the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

    I would argue, that perhaps in that respect Hitler and his closest followers are little different to the most extreme of fundamentalists, acting as a group to use “good words” as a weapon which people will follow blindly.

    I thank you for your response thus far though, and I will provide the courtesy of an equally respectful post to your response.

  • Very good research, Donald, on Hitler’s intellectual beliefs. He was in the tradition of nineteenth century occultism and steeped in silly linguistic and cultural ideas. Like other occultists before him, he was racist and aristocratic. And I would say very superstituous. I don’t know whether the materialist adjective applies to him, though perhaps it does.

  • And yes, he was rather Nietchean and had nothing but contempt for the Christianity of Germany. He saw the Roman and Lutheran churches as impediments to his agenda and soon began silencing them.

  • Of course it is a belief. There is no proof that there is no God. Atheism rests on belief just as purely as Theism. (Incidentally, I do believe that the Democrat Party operates as a substitute religion for some of its members.)

  • 3. “It is true though that religion does not start all wars, although in the modern era it is equally as culpable globally as capitalism for some of the major conflicts throughout the world.”

    I think precious few wars have been started by capitalism outside of some of the mercantilist struggles, for example the wars between the Dutch and the English in the Seventeenth Century. Religion, since the Seventeenth Century, has been the cause of very few wars, certainly large wars, unless one views Communism and Fascism as substitute religions, which, for many of their adherents, they clearly are. Communism has traditionally been hostile to religions as inimicable to their variant of State worship. Fascism, in both its Italian and German variants, had rocky relationships with Christian religions, and clearly viewed loyalty to the State to be more important than religion, although this was much more clearly demonstrated in Germany than in Italy.

    4. “Catholicism is yet to make the same apology for the acts of some representatives of the cloth.” Actually there have been endless apologies, up to and including the Pope. The problem of the sexual abuse of minors is a serious one, and afflicts all institutions and beliefs. We at The American Catholic have been quite severe in our condemnation of predator priests and the bishops who protected them. However, we also understand that many people who hate the Church merely use this as a club against the Church. I pray for the time when all institutions and groups receive the same scrutiny that the Church has received on this issue.

    5. “I have not read this, I will admit, but I hope readers feel this by no means discredits anything raised.” No, but when the subject of the existence of God comes up most educated Catholics will immediately think of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his proofs. It is our starting point, with the exception of Scripture.

    More tomorrow morning when I have more time available.

  • “6. I hope it is clear that I do not hate Catholics or religion per se.”

    I will take you at your word. As for atheists I have worked in the past with pro-life atheists and conservative atheists. One of my friends is a judge who is either an atheist or an agnostic depending upon his mood. As an intellectual proposition I think atheism fails to hold water, but I never allow intellectual disagreement to color how I view individuals. That is what character, conduct, humor and a myriad of other factors are for.

    “7. The history of Catholicism is indeed rich.”

    That is why it is important to understand it, both the good and the bad. Too many people today are bone ignorant of history and not a bit ashamed of their ignorance. It is impossible to understand a thing without having a deep knowledge of its history. Ignorance of history, and the advantage that unscrupulous politicians take of that lack of basic knowledge of history, is the cause of much evil around the globe.

    8. “A theist with a closed mind to anything other than their faith is as destructive to reasonable debate as an atheist unwilling to consider the arguments for a God, and to not even acknowledge that possibility is dismissive and perhaps shows a “closed minded” opinion of atheists as a whole.”

    My challenge was to atheists who wish to come to this site and debate us. “Debates” between people who will not change their minds no matter what are truly dialogues of the deaf and fruitless. A true debate has to be conducted in the same manner in which Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his Summa Theologica which was to give the strongest possible arguments for views which he opposed. A true debate is a search for truth, first and foremost. There are very few true debates.

    “9. The same could be said of most Theists – learn your religions.”

    If one is going to be an evangelist for a religion, and I view atheism in most of its variants as a religion, it is certainly a good idea to become familiar with the faiths of those you are seeking to proselytize. However most people do not choose their religions through an intellectual inquiry. Most people get their religion through inheritance as children. Some convert to other religions as they grown, but I think emotion enters into such conversions fully as much as intellectual inquiry. Religion will always involve an admixture of heart and head, since it goes to our core, and such mixtures are we.

    “10. My heritage is in Church of England.”

    Ah, King Henry’s bastard contraption! That explains a lot! 🙂 Seriously, I find that atheists often vary in their atheism based upon their religious background, especially if the prior religion was held seriously and not of the type of, “Well, my family called themselves X, but Dad had 5 wives and we never went to Church unless it was Christmas or someone died.” If someone comes here and says that they are an atheist but were a Catholic it is usually easy to spot whether they were ever a serious Catholic or not, and that makes a difference in debating them.

  • The concept of a god is very childish. It doesn’t stand on the same level with a non agency origin of the universe. The religious people think that it should be a default conclusion that there is a god or at least a possibility as valid as its opposite. It is complete non sense in particular in the light of what we know about the physical cosmos. The logical arguments about the existence of god are childish and little mental games that somebody in kindergarten can play. And not, your inner feelings do not count as a proof.

  • https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477184595681230&set=a.466072020125821.1073741828.464863890246634&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_comment

    You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can be an atheist. Just the opposite. We are all born an atheist. Everyone. At some point you started believing in a religion. Most don’t know why they believe because they were brought up to believe in it. It’s just something they do. They believe. And most believe whatever religion their parents believe. Most are ridiculed or chastised if they do not believe.
    If I tell you there is a Purple Unicorn in my closet …you would want proof. Same goes for religion. I refuse to leave my natural atheistic state of mind for any religion that requires nothing more than faith. My brain requires more. I believe in science, evolution, rational thought, fact finding, and common sense.
    Prove the bible was inspired by god? And I will shut-up.
    Otherwise …it’s just wishful thinking … like the other 2800 deities and 40,000 religions in human history.

  • Want to try again GS, this time making an argument based upon facts rather than ex cathedra conclusions by you? You might start by explaining how energy and matter can arise ex nihilo without a Creator.

  • “You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can be an atheist. Just the opposite. We are all born an atheist.”

    No, we are all born children of a loving God and some spend their sad lives running away from that simple fact.

  • “I believe in science, evolution, rational thought, fact finding, and common sense.”

    You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can disbelieve science. Just the opposite. We are all born without science. Everyone. At some point you started believing in a science. Most don’t know why they believe because they were brought up to believe in it.

    There’s more:

    You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can disbelieve evolution. Just the opposite. We are all born without belief in evolution. Everyone. At some point you started believing in a evolution. Most don’t know why they believe because they were brought up to believe in it.

    etc…

  • “I refuse to leave my natural atheistic state of mind for any religion that requires nothing more than faith.”

    Then why do you leave, pray tell, your natural state of mind for other things, like language, culture, science, politics, sports…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child

  • “If I tell you there is a Purple Unicorn in my closet …you would want proof.”

    No.

    I would…

    simply…

    not …

    care.

  • To finish: Just because people were brought up into believing in religion, doesn’t prove it false. That is called a genetic fallacy.

    And just because there are 2800 deities and 40,000 religions in human history, that doesn’t prove that there isn’t one that is true.

    So, your argument is purely based on this idolizing of the “natural state of mind”. Well, then you should tell me what’s so spectacular about that “natural state of mind”, for it to be a reliable arbitre of what is true or false.

  • PS: Just to avoid the usual ad hominem, I declare that I’m a scientist and an evolutionist. But I do know that a lot of people don’t know anything about science or evolution, other than it must be true, because those people in white robes told me so.

    And a lot of people use science and evolution as a pretext to not believe in the discomforting concept of God.

  • Giovanni…”the concept of god is childish”….given that many great men and women did great things with a belief in God proves that you don’t know what you are talking about. Giovanni, you are the one who comes off as childish. the New Atheism comes off as angry, condescending and obnoxious in its own false belief that the universe was created by random chance.

    Giovanni is proof that atheism tolerates no other belief but itself. it isn’t enough for Giovanni to be an atheist. No, Giovanni, in his own childish way, mocks religions faith…while having complete faith in his own belief system with no proof to back it up.

    david Whatley….Hey david Whatley, did you get your punctuation from e.e. cummings? The notion that everyone is born an atheist is one of the most ridiculous things I have read on the Internet. david Whatley, you confuse opinion with intelligence. your opinion is not better simply because you have it, david Whatley. your opinion is not better because your opinion is that of Hutchins, or Dawkins, or O’Hair, or that of modern popular (slopular) culture.

    One thing the Internet has done is give untold millions to prove to others how ridiculously silly they are.

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