Atheist Castros praise Christian values, prepare for papal visit

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Cuban President Raul Castro (R) smiles as he meets Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican May 10, 2015.

Reuters

Cuban President Raul Castro, right, smiles as he meets Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican May 10, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Gregorio Borgia/pool

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Fidel and Raul Castro turned against the Church decades ago, now, in their old age, they have brought the Church in from the cold.

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  • Be Brave

    Notice the connection with murderous actions against innocent people and being an atheist.

    Historically typical.

    For a better society . . . Christian values.

  • Christopher

    You want to talk about history? Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emporer, “sword of Christ,” consigned Saxons to death for the crime of being Saxon and pagan. Thousands were forcefully baptized and beheaded, in the name of Christian values. Isolated incident? Not at all. Olaf Tryggvason, Christian King of Norway, brutally tortured and executed many of his subjects, for the crime of privately observing differing beliefs, or at times simply to satisfy his own paranoia. Let us consider the entire events of the medieval heresy trials, and the late medieval “witch-hunts,” done in the name, by the authority, and with the blessing of Christian leaders. Let us consider the wrongful imprisonments of Galileo Galilei and others, for sharing inconvenient observations of the world/universe we live in, which ran contrary to the preferred models of church leaders, scriptural or not. Many and varied are the atrocities committed within Christendom. Who is it, again, who is to cast the first stone?

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Assertions, all; evidence: zero.

  • BB,

    “Notice the connection with murderous actions against innocent people and being an atheist…..”

    Notice how WRONG you are. IN ONE EXAMPLE ALONE:

    During the Taiping Rebellion Christians killed
    45 Million INNOCENT people – at the DIRECTION of JESUS himself,

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine, execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

  • Shawnie5

    The Taiping Rebellion (1) was initiated by a divinity-claiming false Christ the likes of which Jesus explicitly warned about when He said “many would come in my name saying “I am He” and deceive others, (2) had a death toll of a little under half that, which (2) included all deaths at the hands of both the rebels and the Manchu overlords, (3) were largely due to famine and disease, and (4) would never have come about at all if not for the oppressive policies of the Manchu dynasty which precipitated other peasant revolts besides the Taiping one.

    But I’m curious about which of the rebels’ reforms you oppose. Land reform? Abolition of concubinage? Abolition of slavery? Abolition of torture? Abolition of foot-binding?

    We fought a revolution over far less. Are you retroactively opposed to American independence as well?

  • Betty Clermont

    Like the US neocons’ formation of the Religious Right and Putin’s alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church, the Castros know that an alliance with the Church can soften US opposition to lifting the trade embargo. The quid pro quo for the Church is that Raul Castro has granted them a monopoly in training and educating the first generation of Cuban business leaders. (see my blog “Pope Francis Means Business in Cuba.”)

  • Larry

    Still don’t see any signs of atheists there. You have religious fanatical insurgents combating a dictatorship which claimed divine rule and millions of victims in between them. It still is the deadliest conflict prior to WWII. All of which can be laid at the doorstep of religious fanaticism.

    The whole guilt by association of atheism and mass murder gets rather silly when the proponents have their own bloody hands to wash.

    Mao (another figure you guys like to name drop with atrocity) praised the Taipings in his “Little Red Book”. So did you. Go figure. More proof this whole line of argument (started by BB is full of crap).

  • Larry

    Still don’t see any signs of atheists there. You have religious fanatical insurgents combating a dictatorship which claimed divine rule and millions of victims in between them. It still is the deadliest conflict prior to WWII. All of which can be laid at the doorstep of religious fanaticism.

    The whole guilt by association of atheism and mass murder gets rather silly when the proponents have their own bloody hands to wash.

    Mao (another figure you guys like to name drop with atrocity) praised the Taipings in his “Little Red Book”. So did you. Go figure. More proof this whole line of argument (started by BB) is full of crap.

  • SHAWNIE:

    “Taiping rebellion….a divinity-claiming false Christ the likes of which Jesus explicitly warned about…”

    So what will the True Christ do?
    “Execute them all in front of me” – Jesus Christ (Luke 19:27)

    Religions two lies:
    1. A perfect God exists.
    2. Expect to follow his perfect message when he arrives.

    It is a recipe for Messianist insanity.
    Even if you believed in a real Christ – why would he be so stupid to set up such a nightmarish system leading to the mass murders a billion innocent people*?

    *One Billion innocent people have been slaughtered in religious mass murder since the beginning of Abraham’s claims about Yahweh.
    began 2000 years ago.

  • Shawnie:

    “The Taiping Rebellion….was initiated by a divinity-claiming false Christ…”

    Yet what would the true Christ have done?
    “Execute them all in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Every Christ I’ve ever heard about wants to destroy innocent people.

    “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! – JESUS CHRIST (Luke 12:49)

    I still don’t see why the Taiping Rebellion wasn’t exactly what Christians are always hoping for. How do you know it wasn’t the Messiah being yet again ignored by the world. Is that why he has to keep coming back?

  • Shawnie5

    Perhaps YOU’D like to specifiy which of the above-listed reforms you oppose?

    The overall point is, of course, no that atheism invariably leads to bloodshed but that it does NOT invariably lead to progress, much less utopia, as its more naive and unthinking proponents like to claim.

  • Shawnie5

    “Yet what would the true Christ have done?” What a foolish question. We know exactly what the true Christ did.

    “How do you know it wasn’t the Messiah being yet again ignored by the world?” Because He said the next time He shows up no one will miss it.

    When are you going to read those gospels, Max?

  • Shawnie5

    “why would he be so stupid to set up such a nightmarish system leading to the mass murders a billion innocent people*?

    Every world system, no matter its nature, will lead to nightmares and murders of one sort or another given enough time. Always have and always will. Because they are all operated by fallen human beings. That will end only when Jesus Himself personally rules the world. So what do you prefer, Max? Lordship of Christ or lordship of man and all the consequences of the same?

  • Larry

    Being a lifelong supporter of democratic political reform, I would not look to the platforms and more towards what was actually done. Even ISIS promises reform from corrupt government.

    It is more honest to ascribe such reforms to the brief Nationalist Government under Sun Yat Sen who actually removed the monarchy without killing 45 million people in the process.

    The only people who have a serious belief that their ideas create a paradise are those who have the notion of eternal spiritual life. Like yours.

    Democracy is about creating a “more perfect union” not a perfect one. Not the perfect system, but at least aspiring to it. One of the keys to democracy is religious freedom. Embracing ALL faiths and endorsing none.

    “no that atheism invariably leads to bloodshed but that it does NOT invariably lead to progress”

    Yet you chimed in supporting that it leads to bloodshed and made no attempt to distinguish your point from BB’s. Now you are trying to change the subject…

  • Shawnie:

    “We know exactly what the true Christ did.”

    Oh we do? LOL!
    So the Gospel stories are reliable, you say?

    So JESUS TOLD THIS LIE.

    “Jesus said, ‘I am not going to this festival’.. After saying this…his brothers had gone to the festival, then he went…in private” (John 7.8-10).‬

    And how reliable is the GOSPEL ZOMBIE STORY?

    “Many dead Saint zombies rose from the dead and left their crypts and walked through Jerusalem, visiting with the people there..” – (Matthew 27:52)

    So Jesus lied about Jonah as an excuse for his own literal actions!?:

    “Just as Jonah was in the fish for three days so the son of man shall be in the ground for three days” – JESUS (Matthew 12:40)

    Are you accepting Jesus’ lie that people can breath inside a fish without air for 3 days !? And why wouldn’t Jonah be the true ‘Son of Man’ SINCE HE DID THE 3-DAY TRICK FIRST!?

    RELIABLE? HOGWASH!

  • Shawnie5

    “What was actually done?” Nothing was done…the rebels lost.

    So you’re not going to tell us which of the aims you oppose? I didn’t think you would. So never mind.

  • Shawnie5

    So are you claiming that Jesus initiated a violent revolution? If so, what’s your evidence for it? If not, what was the point of your foolish question about what the “true Christ would do?”

    Do you even know what you’re arguing about?

  • Larry

    In the areas they controlled, they replaced one form of imposed tyrannical rule with another. So whatever platforms you thought they somehow extolled never amounted to much in practice.

    The answer would be none of the above. But the question is framed in such a dishonest fashion as to be worth ignoring. ISIS calls for a change of leadership from the genocidal Syrian government of Assad. I guess you are OK with them since their platform is so worthy of support.

    Do your arms get tired from shifting goalposts so often?

  • Shawnie5

    “The answer would be none of the above. But the question is framed in such a dishonest fashion as to be worth ignoring.”

    No, it isn’t dishonest at all–just uncomfortable for you. I’m sure you would like to ignore it as it shows up the childishly simplistic view of the event which you swallowed whole from Max’s fount of propaganda. I care little about it from a religious perspective since it was not a particularly Christian movement (it did not accept the deity of Christ and was as much Confucian-influenced as Christian-influenced) but the fact remains that its aims were not all bad and the bloodless abolition of the oppressive monarchy which you breezily mentioned would not have happened were it not for the preceding Taiping Rebellion which effectively finished off the age of emperors in China.

    Chase that ball, now….

  • Larry

    Shawnie, you stink at the “gotcha questions” bit. Its not uncomfortable, just insulting to the intelligence of anyone outside of grade school. You want to satisfy your ego. Whatever.

    You have already made it clear that your entire series of posts here was a complete waste of time. Since you have allegedly disavowed BB’s silly premise that atheism is the root of mass murder, its just useless hairsplitting.

  • Shawnie:

    YOU SAID, “We know exactly what the true Christ did.”

    WRONG.

    1. The Gospels were written by biased sources – like a Bill O’Reilly biography of George W. Bush!
    O’Reilly would say Bush was provoked into the Iraq War by Saddam Hussein’s behavior.
    The Gospel says Jesus was provoked into committing a violent insurrection against Rome by the behavior of Romans!
    “Buy a sword” – JESUS (Luke 22:36)
    As he hides from soldiers with his entourage.

    2. The Gospels are full of contradictory nonsense so you can’t rely on any particular claim in them.

    3. We KNOW EXACTLY NOTHING about the character Jesus – the stories are conflated legends, at best.

    4. The Bible is strictly a book of conquest. The commands of Jesus are intended to incite violent emotions through passive aggression. And they do.
    “die for me” – JESUS (Matthew 16:26)
    “They hated me first” – JESUS (John 15:18)
    “Execute them for me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

  • Be Brave

    Betty,

    Day late and a dollar short for the Castro’s. As can be seen here at Religion News Service . . . Christians are hated most intensely by many Americans. And interestingly enough, they hail from Obama’s camp: The majority party.

    LMAO

  • Shawnie:

    Are you trying to deny the Bible is a story of Conquest?

    The entirety of Bible is just revenge porn, no different from a Stephen King novel. Yahweh is “Carrie” on steroids.

    The winners are expressly not moral, nor compassionate – they are simply obedient servants of the most vile, primitive commander of the bronze age.

    Shocking anyone would think it true in 2015.

  • BB,

    “believed himself to be the son of God”

    As did Jesus (supposedly). And like Jesus, he led a violent insurrection against the establishment.

    “Taiping Christianity placed little emphasis on New Testament ideas of kindness, forgiveness, and redemption.”

    WRONG.
    Taiping Christianity was exactly what the New Testament ordered:
    Follow this JESUS or be killed.

    Christianity is a parlor trick – a bait and switch from the dark ages.
    The bait is love, the switch is “OR ELSE.”

  • SHAWNEE:

    “So what do you prefer, Max? Lordship of Christ or lordship of man and all the consequences..?”

    Ridiculous false dichotomy!
    I reject it entirely. The Constitution of the USA has no ‘lordship’ and it suites me fine.

    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion..”

    Brilliantly protects everyone’s freedoms. Yet, invented by men who mostly hated religion and its vile history.
    I’ll attribute your negativity and low bar to the Cult of Jesus which is so worshipful of death and the blindest obedience.

  • Shawnie5

    Max, try to focus. Are you saying Jesus initiated a violent revolution? No mention of it by Josephus whose particular interest was Jewish rebellions. Nor a reference to it by Tacitus who reported about the execution of Jesus. Nor any mention of it in the Talmud which says a great deal about Jesus. And of course, not in the gospels. And if that’s no what you’re saying, then you’ve simply gone off on a silly tangent because of your even sillier claim that Jesus would have done the same as Hong Xiuquan. By all accounts He went willingly to execution.

  • Shawnie5

    “The Constitution of the USA has no ‘lordship’ and it suites me fine.”

    Most certainly it does. It was not invented by men who “hated religion” but those who believed the blessings of liberty probably could not be handled by those who did not possess the virtues instilled by religion, and who knew that the human rights upon which the constitution was built could not be taken for granted unless they emanate from a transcendent source. Jefferson himself, arguably the least religious of the founders, stated in Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom that religious freedom itself is the gift of Almighty God and THEREFORE must not be tampered with. If it is merely the gift of man it can be legitimately revoked by another man/men.

    So your answer is that you prefer lordship of God, as long as we pretend it is lordship of man. Typical.atheist delusion.

  • @Shawnie,

    “Are you saying Jesus initiated a violent revolution?”

    The Bible story explains Jesus’ insurrection very clearly.
    It is the only part of the silly Bible which makes any sense!

    After Jesus’ whipping incident where he personally attacked untold numbers of completely innocent people at the temple with whips, he had to go into hiding with his entourage who were getting seriously confused.
    He knew he had crossed the line so he prepared for battle – there were swords in his hideout. He demanded complete allegiance but one of his supplicants found his behavior too bizarre and told the Romans of the hideout.
    There was a skirmish when the Romans showed up. Jesus’ followers injured soldiers badly enough that it was mentioned.

    If Jesus surrendered willingly to be executed:
    why was he in hiding? why the swords? why was Judas a traitor? Why didn’t his followers to stand down?
    Why didn’t Jesus simply go with Judas and give himself up?

  • “No mention of it by Josephus..Tacitus..or Talmud..”

    Oh – I’m sorry – were those texts your true standard for truth? Not the Bible !? Are you admitting you are relying on contemporary textual corroborations? You won’t get far.

    Those writers made no mention of a wave of Zombies…nor reports of resurrections, earthquakes, or miracles nor Lazarus….nothing.
    Their texts are suspiciously and obviously doctored – especially Josephus. Which is why they are so absurdly inconclusive.

    The Bible is a ridiculously biased, conflated story.
    Jesus’ violent insurrection and the attempt to cover it up is THE ONLY PART of the story which leads me to think a Jesus character might have existed.
    If so, he was regular, delusional person who thought God would show up IMMINENTLY.
    And it didn’t go well! Such self-absorbed delusional fantasies never do.

  • Shawnie:

    “So your answer is that you prefer lordship of God, as long as we pretend it is lordship of man.”

    Wow – this is like whack a mole!
    The founders of America hated religion. Get over it.
    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…” There. Done. Only one who completely distrusts religion could make such a law.

    So this is your “Lordship of God” which you claim I live under?

    Legalized abortion clinics.
    Gay marriage.
    Tax-payer funded contraception.
    Tax-funded sex education.
    The right to mock ALL religions as myths.
    Treating god, intelligent design and creationism as a fable – in Public Schools
    TV mocking religion.
    And my own mocking of the lordship itself !?

    Sounds like a ridiculous, whimpy “Lord” you’ve invented.
    Do you know what ‘lordship’ means? The delusions are clearly all yours.

  • Shawnie5

    “Why was he in hiding?” To observe the Passover undisturbed.

    “Why the swords?” Instructive irony–one of many instances in the gospels. Nobody undertakes a revolution with two swords.

    “Why was Judas a traitor?” The gospel didn’t call Him a “traitor.” It said he betrayed (informed upon) Him, or more precisely, “handed Him over” (paradidomi — Greek for to give or hand over to another).

    “Why didn’t his followers to stand down?” What did you mean to ask here?

    “Why didn’t Jesus simply go with Judas and give himself up?” That’s pretty much what He did.

    “Are you admitting you are relying on contemporary textual corroborations?” No, but I am not making the claim that needs corroboration. You are. And you’ve produced zippo so far.

    Any other questions?

  • Shawnie,

    Your answers are hilarious.
    “To observe the Passover undisturbed.”
    Oh, Jesus couldn’t bleed to death too soon? Why did the calendar matter? Charles Manson’s excuse was better.

    “Nobody undertakes a revolution with two swords.”
    Where does it say there were only two? And why did Jesus allow swords in his hideout – the AK-47s of that era?

    “The gospel didn’t call Him a “traitor.”
    NONSENSE! Jesus himself called it a “BETRAYAL” – TWICE! (Matthew 26:21-23)

    I asked, “Why didn’t Jesus simply go with Judas and give himself up?” and you said, “That’s pretty much what He did.”

    You clearly missed the part where Jesus did NOT GO WITH Judas the betrayer!

    “you’ve produced zippo so far….”
    Excuse me but your answers don’t pass the Kool-Aid test.

  • Shawnie:

    THE VIOLENT INSURRECTION OF JESUS
    According to the gospels:

    Jesus had encouraged talk that he was a new ruler
    over the local Jews. (Mark 8:29)
    And he was furious at the system of buying sacrificial animals at the Temple since it supported a Diaspora of Jews. (matt 21:12)
    So he violently attacked innocent people with whips at the Temple. (John 2:15)
    Local authorities sought to bring Jesus to justice for insubordinate, criminal behavior. But instead, Jesus ran away. (Matt 21:17)

    Jesus armed his entourage (with swords, Luke 22:36) but they were terrified by these developments (Mark 14:33)
    so Judas revealed the hideout (Jn 18:3).
    Jesus did not surrender (Mk 14:45)
    so a skirmish ensued and people were wounded (14:47)

    If there was a real Jesus, he was crucified for trying to overthrow local authorities.

    When God dropped the ball, the legends were shoe-horned into a Jewish Messiah story.
    Transparent baloney.

  • Shawnie5

    “Why did the calendar matter?”. You tell me the importance of the calendar, Mr. Phony Sunday school teacher. I’ll give you a gumball if you get it right.

    “Where does it say there were only two?”. You tell me where it says that, Mr. Phony Sunday school teacher. I’ll give you another gumball if you get it right.

    “And why did Jesus allow swords in his hideout – the AK-47s of that era?”

    That’s a silly characterization of an ordinary weapon probably 18 inches long at most. But I’m sure none of the items found in His “hideout” were up for His approval since it was someone else’s private home in which He was a guest.

    “Jesus himself called it a “BETRAYAL” – TWICE!”. True, but as already noted, betrayal and traitor are two different things. The root word and idea is different.

  • Shawnie5

    “You clearly missed the part where Jesus did NOT GO WITH Judas the betrayer!”

    He went willingly enough with the soldiers Judas brought. Why should He leave with Judas? He had not finished what He was saying to His disciples and intended afterwards to have an important time of communion with the Father. God operates on His own timetable, not man’s.

    Seriously, where do you come up with all this nonsense? Instead of dreaming up what-ifs and why-didn’ts, you need to study up on what you’re attempting (very clumsily) to talk about because you’re making this far too easy for me.

  • Shawnee,

    “You tell me the importance of the calendar, Mr. Phony Sunday school teacher.”

    NO! You are the one who made the claim that the Calendar mattered! Not me. You said Jesus (God) had to stay in the hideout instead of surrendering to be executed. Why? because he needed a quiet Passover before he could save humanity?

    If you are a GOD and you are going to save humanity
    by committing suicide – as Yahweh supposedly did when he became Jesus for the sole purpose of being the sacrificial ‘lamb of god’ – why would it matter if it happened before or after an ancient ritual YOU WERE ABOUT TO ELIMINATE ENTIRELY from the Calendar!?
    CHRISTIANS DO NOT CELEBRATE PASSOVER.

    Besides – Why would God celebrate Passover? Do you even understand Passover? it was a deception to fool the Devil.
    Is that what Jesus is celebrating? Deceptions?

    Jesus did not surrender (Mk 14:45)
    Why couldn’t Jesus have surrendered before Judas forced his hand !?

  • Shawnie5

    “The founders of America hated religion. Get over it. “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion…” There. Done. Only one who completely distrusts religion could make such a law.”

    Not. I am religious and very much favor the separation of church and state for the same reason James Madison did — religion flourishes in much greater purity under such conditions. Of course many evils flourish as well but that is the price to be paid for the freedom with which God endows those created in His image.

    So get over it. And put down the Hitchens crap and read some Federalist Papers instead. You might learn something.

  • Shawnie,

    “Why should He leave with Judas? He had not finished what He was saying to His disciples…”

    Oh. I don’t know. Maybe if he CARED ABOUT Judas he wouldn’t want him to be falsely accused of being a TRAITOR for eternity (Matthew 27:27)

    JESUS DIDN’T SURRENDER (Mark 14:45) so Judas was left between watching Jesus get killed resisting arrest, or help Jesus find a peaceful way out of his mess.

    YET THIS IS HOW JESUS TREATS JUDAS?
    “HE IS A DEVIL” – JESUS (JOHN 6:70)

    This Jesus of yours is a cruel and wicked character. I’m delighted there is no reason to believe he is a god.

  • Shawnie:

    “Put down your Hitchens crap..”

    What is it with you and Hitchens? I haven’t thought of Hitchens twice in 3 years since he died!
    I reflect FAR MORE OFTEN on how much the founders of America had to say against religion. Thomas Paine has taught me more than anyone else!

    “The Bible.. a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind…I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
    – Thomas Paine

    “Religion debilitates the mind” it is “superstition” and “tyranny” we “need it not”
    – James Madison

    “I have found Christian dogma unintelligible…”
    – Benjamin Franklin

    “Christian religion…is the most bloody religion that ever existed”
    – John Adams

    “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
    – James Madison

    Your God appears to not exist. And your religion is a man-made fiasco. May we all be as free of it as the founders were!

  • Shawnie5

    Nothin doin, Max. If you don’t know the importance of the Passover in the scheme of the Crucifixion events, you had no business ever “teaching Sunday School.” which I personally believe is a BS claim.

    Come on, Max, cough it up. If you get it wrong I’ll give you a hint and another chance — but no gumball.

    “What is it with you and Hitchens? I haven’t thought of Hitchens twice in 3 years since he died!”

    Oh nonsense. You regurgitate his nonsense claims every time you talk about Stalin.

  • Shawnie5

    “I reflect FAR MORE OFTEN on how much the founders of America had to say against religion.” You haven’t read what the founders said about religion, only mangled crap from atheist websites.

    The Adams quote which you truncated, for example:

    “The Hebrew unity of Jehovah, the prohibition of all similitudes, appears to me the greatest wonder of antiquity. How could that nation preserve its creed among the monstrous theologies of all the other nations of the earth? Revelation, you will say, and especial Providence; and I will not contradict you, for I cannot say with Dupuis that a revelation is impossible or improbable. Christianity, you will say, was a fresh revelation. I will not deny this. As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?”

  • Shawnie5

    “Oh. I don’t know. Maybe if he CARED ABOUT Judas he wouldn’t want him to be falsely accused of being a TRAITOR for eternity”

    How Judas went down in history is unimportant. What mattered was what was his heart. There was evidently no faith or love there but only a desire for self-aggrandizement. Had it been different, Jesus would have forgiven him and reinstated him just like He did Peter. For He was dying for both of them as well as for everyone else.

  • Shawnie5

    “Thomas Paine has taught me more than anyone else!”

    That figures. He was NOT a founder but by the time he died he managed to alienate all the founders by being almost as big a crackpot as you. I say “almost” because even HE was not an atheist.