Beliefs Culture

Kissing corpses is helping spread Ebola, expert says

Peter Piot (second from left) on October 20, 1976, the day of his arrival in Yambuku to investigate the first Ebola outbreak, together with fellow scientists and local health workers. Photo courtesy of Joel Breman
Peter Piot (second from left) on October 20, 1976, the day of his arrival in Yambuku to investigate the first Ebola outbreak, together with fellow scientists and local health workers. Photo courtesy of Joel Breman

Peter Piot (second from left) on October 20, 1976, the day of his arrival in Yambuku to investigate the first Ebola outbreak, together with fellow scientists and local health workers. Photo courtesy of Joel Breman

LONDON (RNS) Touching or kissing the corpses of Ebola victims at funerals is helping to spread the deadly virus, according to one of the world’s top scientists who was among the first to identify Ebola in 1976.

Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said worsening conditions in West Africa contribute to a “perfect storm,” including a growing population, decades of civil war, widespread government corruption, dysfunctional health systems and a growing distrust in Western medicine.

Piot, who in 1976 co-discovered the Democratic Republic of Congo’s first case of Ebola, said traditional cultural and religious beliefs in parts of Africa help spread the virus.

“There are very strong traditional beliefs and traditional funeral rites which require that the whole family touch the dead body,” he said in an interview, “and they have a meal in the presence of the dead body.”

As well as being a renowned scientist and doctor, the Belgian-born Piot is also a former diplomat, having served as undersecretary-general at the United Nations from 1994-2008.

Part of what’s fueling the deadly outbreak is funeral rites that involve touching or kissing the bodies of the deceased; dead bodies can still host the Ebola virus and spread the disease to the living.

Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said worsening conditions in West Africa contribute to a "perfect storm," including a growing population, decades of civil war, widespread government corruption, dysfunctional health systems and a growing distrust in Western medicine. Photo courtesy of  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said worsening conditions in West Africa contribute to a “perfect storm,” including a growing population, decades of civil war, widespread government corruption, dysfunctional health systems and a growing distrust in Western medicine. Photo courtesy of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Churches across the region have been closed or have altered some worship rites, including shared Communion, in a bid to stop the spread of the disease. Some Western aid workers have been killed by suspicious locals who fear foreigners are spreading the disease, not stopping it.

Piot is now reaching out to African religious and cultural traditionalists who believe that the goal of life is to become an ancestor, and that particular funeral rites are required to ensure the deceased’s passage into “the other world.”

KRE/AMB END GRUNDY

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Trevor Grundy

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  • Well, heck, religion is going to destroy all human life one of these days anyway, it might as well be in a hospital bed.
    Goes to show you how religion and IGNORANCE go hand in hand. The delusions and fantasies become a distorted reality for these poor suckers, and when the time comes to act like reasonable, intelligent human folk, they fail.
    How about we take up a collection to send Pat Robertson and James Dobson down there?

  • Methinks that’s quite some shallow and subtlely bigoted thinking there, Mr. Mathys. I suppose your view of causality would also reject the slogan “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” If you insist upon pairing religion and “IGNORANCE” you’re prejudicially ignoring millenia of scholastic, theological discourse from many dogmatic corners.
    Try thinking of pairing religion with regard, or better, caring. Religion cannot act, or even enact. It may be a prompt, but each believer/non-believer must choose in what manner they will to act in relation to other people and the rest of creation.
    What is your (presumed) atheist antidote to this particular situation “made worse” by religion? Let the biology naturally play itself out in Africa? Okay, isolationism is a rational response. However, when the outbreak jumps the shark in that scenario (and it will) and you inadvertantly contract the virus, are you going to hole up in your bedroom and turn away any physician who comes to your door (in Christian/other charity) to aid and comfort you?

  • Pestilence is just one of the signs that we are living living in the “last days” of a wicked era, as indicated at Matthew, chapter 24; Mark, chapter 13; and Luke, chapter 21.

    Luke 21:11 brings out: “There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.”

    We can see this happening today with the Ebola virus as well as the HIV virus and others. Gratefully, God’s kingdom will soon intervene in man’s affairs and put an end to all the terrible conditions on earth, including pestilences, sickness and disease (Revelation 21:1-4).

  • I know the actual title of the article is different, but the “teaser title” on the front page is a buzzfeed-esque “You won’t believe the bizarre ritual that is spreading Ebola”. This teaser title is borderline racist, with more than a hint of cultural imperialism, and completely out of keeping with the objective journalism that characterizes RNS.

    I agree that this burial custom is definitely NOT helpful when people are dying of a communicable disease like Ebola. But bodily contact with the dead is part of a great many burial rituals, even in some English speaking cultures, among those who are religious and non-religious. From the standpoint of the majority of cultures, the costly and cosmetic embalming process, plus the physical and emotional distance of American funerals, may be what is truly bizarre.

  • @Charles Culbreth,

    “Try thinking of pairing religion with regard, or better, caring…”

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
    Are you nuts?

    Religion – A set of immoral, divisive beliefs
    which cannot be treated as 100% true
    or the result would be mass murder:

    “Slay Them wherever you find them.” (Surah) Q’uran
    “Execute them in front of me” – Jesus (Luke 19:27, from the Parable of the Minas)
    “Kill unbelievers” – Yahweh (Torah)

    Religion must be abandoned.
    Humanity needs to try peace for its own sake.

    PEACE FOR ITS OWN SAKE! I SAID!!!!

  • @Fran,

    On the question of why religion causes mental illness…you are exhibit A.

    I say this not because you necessarily have mental illness, but anyone who listened to what you have to say would have to acquire a mental illness to follow your argument.

    Religion is delusional garbage.

  • Max,

    I can appreciate how you feel about “religion”!! False religion has been and continues to be an instigator of much bloodshed on our planet; so the truth needs to be told about God, his marvelous qualities and his stupendous purposes for mankind on earth.

    As to whether or not anyone will accept the information I post here from the Bible, that depends on them, since we all have free will to make decisions.

    I will continue to share the good news about God and his Kingdom; good news is hard to find these days. There are still sincere and good-hearted people out there who are looking for truth or something better than what “this life” has to offer.

    As to your comment about mental illness, millions suffer from that catastrophic disease today, even some to the point of suicide (many are those veterans returning home from wars).

    Gratefully, in that “new world” (2 Peter 3:13) ahead of us, there will no longer be any sickness, disease or illness of any type! As foretold by the prophet Isaiah, “And no resident will say, “I am sick.” (Isaiah 33:24) 😀

  • Max,

    I have never heard Fox News quote good news from the Bible before, and I don’t belong to any human political party as well, as they are represented by the various media outlets.

  • This article was “linked” in a different article I was reading. I didn’t look at the title of the news source. After reading Atheist Nate’s nasty comments about religion, I assumed I’d stumbled onto a secular source. Imagine my surprise when I saw it’s a religious one! If you’re an atheist, Nate, & you obviously hate any people who believe in God (your poisonous words prove your own illness), why are you spending your precious time with us idiots? Don’t atheists have their own news sources that encourage their worldview?

  • Dear “Mad” Max,
    Sorry for the “Mad” I couldn’t resist, you do come across as angry though but I can understand you feeling angry. I’m sure if I was an atheists then I would be angry. I mean what is there to give you hope and strength during the trials of life, what is their to look forward to after this life.. If you don’t believe in a loving caring God? I suppose if I was an atheist I would get annoyed with Christians and probably would call them all sorts of names like delusional and stupid but that would make me even more annoyed as they don’t tend to feel the need feel to be abusive to other people. I suppose that’s because as a Christian I feel sorrow and pity for you poor little hopeless atheists’s even the ones who come onto Religion News sites but again this is because your soul is hungry for God. It also reminds that I’m truly privileged to have my faith as it is a gift from God. Keep searching Max The Lord will welcome you back great is his mercy and Love. Scotstom

  • AM posts:

    “Execute them in front of me” – Jesus (Luke 19:27, from the Parable of the Minas)

    I was looking at something and this caught my eye.

    Bring here those “enemies OF MINE” who did not want ME to reign over them, and slay them BEFORE ME.

    The ME in this is the key (if you know anything about the keys in Holy Scripture). The enemies are symbolic for things like lying, hating … which are to be transformed before the scepter (staff), which is understood as the Diviner (Gift), one of the renewing.

    This passage from the Gospel of Thomas speaks more emphatically in this:

    His disciples asked him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?”
    Jesus said, “Do not lie, and do not do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered that will remain disclosed.

    Peace

  • @Scotstom,

    “I feel sorrow and pity for you poor little hopeless atheist’s..”

    1. I’m glad you have found comfort in Allah and his laws. But keep them away from me. I feel sorry for you and your support of beheadings.
    “Slay the infidels wherever you find them” – Surah (Q’uran)

    2. You seem to also defend the existence of the Christian God?
    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27)
    This parable of the Nobleman returning is Jesus and his threat to make his bad servants suffer execution at the hands of the good servants.

    As an Athiest I do not believe
    in either of these horrible, barbaric, inhuman ‘gods’ – but I feel terribly sorry for you that your life is spent committed to these fantasies of bronze age illiterates.

    Good luck with it.

  • @Sue,

    “Don’t atheists have their own news sources that encourage their worldview?”

    Ridiculous.
    Atheism is the lack of belief in a God – that is all it is.

    RNS is a religious news service – not a site for your personal salvation! Go to PatRoberston dot com to get your soul saved (if that is what you call it). Not RNS.

    I study religion by reading about religion.
    I study religion the way a cancer doctor studies cancer; to find new ways to treat it without hurting the patient!

    Religion is a dangerous toy and currently it is an international nightmare
    and the only way to end it safely
    is for people to examine these god claims one at a time and abandon the claims one person at a time.

    Kissing corpses is an African tradition and it is spreading ebola.
    Religious traditions are similarly dangerous and infectious.

  • @Opheliart,

    “BRING TO ME those enemies of mine who would not have me as their king and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    THIS is the price of religion!
    People simply do not appreciate the dangerous toy that is religion. There are no checks and balances to stop some people from interpreting the Parable of the Minas and decide that it means exactly what Jesus (AS THE NOBLEMAN) intended it to mean.

    Jesus will come and arrange execution – as the NOBLEMAN did in the parable.

    This is the price you pay for imagining that god is >>>> fill in the blank.

    You can imagine all the sweet little Jesus verses you want
    and you can imagine that Jesus is all sweetness and sugar
    like a loving god right up there in your sweet imagination.

    After you have soaked in all the sweet, sugary emptiness of ‘god’s love’ you are ready to get impassioned for the Lord.

    The real price of religion:
    It is an ancient philosophy which encourages mass murder at the direction of invisible gods.

  • Hmm. Atheists don’t kill people or commit attrocities? Try Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. I think just those three account for more murders than those motivated by religion since the beginning of recorded history. Just do the math.

  • @Verity,

    “Hitler, Stalin, and Mao…”

    Oh NO you don’t. Those faith-based Dictators were not examples of Atheistic rule.
    America is Atheist:
    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion”

    I don’t see you complaining about the US Constitution. Formed as it was from the Enlightenment and the principles of human rights for their own sake.

    If you are writing from America, you live in an Atheist country – like it or not.

  • satan’s home is hell he hates God and all who follow him repent and turn to God or live with satan for all eternity you choose its ergent read the holy bible don’t be fooled by satan

  • Max,

    you say:
    @Opheliart,

    “BRING TO ME those enemies of mine who would not have me as their king and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    THIS is the price of religion!
    People simply do not appreciate the dangerous toy that is religion. There are no checks and balances to stop some people from interpreting the Parable of the Minas and decide that it means exactly what Jesus (AS THE NOBLEMAN) intended it to mean.

    Jesus will come and arrange execution – as the NOBLEMAN did in the parable.

    This is the price you pay for imagining that god is >>>> fill in the blank.

    You can imagine all the sweet little Jesus verses you want
    and you can imagine that Jesus is all sweetness and sugar
    like a loving god right up there in your sweet imagination.

    After you have soaked in all the sweet, sugary emptiness of ‘god’s love’ you are ready to get impassioned for the Lord.

    The real price of religion:
    It is an ancient philosophy which encourages mass murder at the direction of invisible gods.

    *******
    Max, what would life be if not for IMAGINATION? The ARTs are full of what you despise, and call nonsense, and tribal, and diseased, and dangerous. That aside, clearly your experience of ONE oppressive and unforgiving religious denomination has soured you. What I shared is not sugary bull—far from it. These are complex and highly sophisticated parts of a greater whole. Religion is what people make it, and I will say again, Spirit is not religion. Your hate-filled posts are misdirected, and what I see in you is fear. Yes, fear. That kind of fear is not healthy, Max. It is militancy. You are desperately trying to control something: the minds of others. This, dear Max, is what you fear about religion … and yet you are behaving exactly as you were taught in religion. One doesn’t shake it off as easily as you say … I see it written all over your words.

    Max, go take a long walk by a river or a lake, and then grab a large canvas and some paint and fling colors until you are absolutely exhausted … then take a nap. When you wake, start over on that canvas and paint what you have seen.

    Peace

  • Max,

    You may have a point about delusional garbage, if you were able to present a bulletproof explanation as to how you became you, with all your intricately orchestrated component cells; which can cause you to think in a rational manner about others being delusional. I accept your point of view as being real to you, but I feel name calling falls short of any solutions.

    In my opinion the ultimate question is not does God/a highest Power exist, but rather does God/a highest Power require our attention to divine rules and is there an afterlife that is determined by adherence to such a requirement.

    You have good questions and points, but unfortunately you are only able to submit demeaning names to that which you do not have tenable answers. Life is a mystery, contemplate the mystery of your very complex being, ask questions of the that highest Power that knit you together. Some day you may be surprised what you find.

    Feel free to criticize me, but I will tell you in advance that I am immune to name calling and ridicule.

    Peace,

    Bill

    Take care,

    Bill

  • @Opheliarts,

    “The ARTs are full of what you despise…”

    It is not your fault.
    You have absolutely no idea who you are talking to
    because I have remained anonymous for a several reasons
    As I have blogged as an Anti-Theist. My Atheism is not why I remain anonymous.

    I am a relatively well-known artist, illustrator, writer and teacher on the East Coast. Art and culture is what my life is all about. It is what I live for.

    Culture to me is: Literature, film, music, songwriting, poetry, painting, illustration, photography, essays, sculpture, architecture, geographic influences, travel, exploring, nature, flora, fauna….

    God has nothing to do with any of it
    except as a useful mythological paradigm. God is a metaphor, an idea – not a real entity which listens to prayer or cares what kind of sex you have.

    God The Metaphor is fine and harmless. God Yahweh is nonsense and stands in the way of Culture.

    The myth of God is the most dangerous attack on humanity and culture ever invented because it is fundamentally fascist and divisive.
    Just look at ISIS, The Catholic Church, Christian Evangelicals, Zionism…it is endless murder and lies.

  • @William Neu,

    “I feel name calling falls short of any solutions.”

    1. I called religion ‘delusional garbage’. Are you religion? is Religion your name? I didn’t think so.

    2. Did you know Jesus was the first ‘Christian’ name-caller?
    “You fool!” – JESUS (Matthew 5:22)
    “They are dogs!” – JESUS (Matthew 15:26)
    “they are swine!” – Jesus (Matthew 7:6)

    William, you said, “try this link for a search into mystery and why we hunger”

    Yeah. I looked at that link. It is hogwash.
    The reason we ‘hunger’ is the same reason we actually hunger! Did you know that? We are born with the instinct to find our parents thanks to evolution. It is simple science (like most things) It is extremely well-known that children are born with this desire to find mom and dad – and it is very strong. We would not have survived all these millennia without it!
    Religion is truly ‘infantile’. We grow out of our baby hair, and our baby teeth – but because of priests and preachers we never grow out of our search for mommy and daddy. It is an industry called religion which takes money for this. And that is why ‘god’ means so many VAGUE AND MEANINGLESS things to most people. It very likely is NOT REAL.

    Why do I call religion delusional?
    If you are a Christian (for example) you absolutely must
    believe this story or you are not a Christian:

    “To save humanity from Hell, I turned myself into my own son and had myself killed (that was the plan all along) to make sure my innocent blood would be spilled on the ground because that was the only way to save humanity from my Hell which I created in the first place.”
    “And if you don’t believe me, I will do the same thing to you which I did to my son (torture and kill) except I will do it to you after you are dead and it will never end”
    – Yahweh (your loving god)

    I don’t mind if that is what you want to believe. You are welcome to it.

    But America is on the verge of Theocracy because too many Christians don’t understand that separation of church and state is our only protection.

    As long as separation of church and state continues to be threatened the only way to fight back is to argue against Christianity and other insidious religions. If you can’t keep your disgusting Jesus stories out of my laws we anti-theists will have to work harder at getting Christians to see the garbage of their ‘faith’.
    Jesus, Allah, yahweh – it is all disgusting, abjection and garbage.

  • @Ophelia,

    “Religion is what people make it”

    No.
    Religion is what people create to give themselves a god
    who gives permission
    to do what they already wanted to do!

    That is why it must be abandoned.
    It takes responsibility OFF the person for their immoral (beheadings) or moral (charity) decisions and disregards the responsibility of the self.

    Religion is abjection. It is contempt for oneself and lack of confidence in oneself – while hurting others and throwing around a lot of BS for which there is no evidence.

  • You who do not believe in God is why or world is becoming hell on Earth.
    You can say no to God if you want.
    It is a sad day for God when you do. It is a sad day for you when you go to hell.
    I hope you would at last like to know what hell is like, if you want it. May God Bless you with visions of it and dreams so you can have a better choice of who you want to live with. Look up u tube hell experiences. Good Luck you who want Hell it is a shame of how beautiful God had originally created you for.
    I pray you dream of it.

  • Annette,
    Don’t worry. There are plenty of people in the Middle East
    who believe in God.

    Although they like to chop off people’s heads for Allah, at least they aren’t Atheists like me who sit around and drink coffee and pick up our kids after band practice. That would be really bad.

  • Really? I sound dumb?

    GOD SAID: ‘THE BAT IS A KIND OF BIRD’
    “These are the BIRDS you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, any kind of heron…THE BAT..” – (Leviticus 11:13-19)

    At least I’m not that dumb.

  • AM,

    You post:
    @Opheliarts,

    “The ARTs are full of what you despise…”

    It is not your fault.
    You have absolutely no idea who you are talking to
    because I have remained anonymous for a several reasons
    As I have blogged as an Anti-Theist. My Atheism is not why I remain anonymous.

    I am a relatively well-known artist, illustrator, writer and teacher on the East Coast. Art and culture is what my life is all about. It is what I live for.

    Culture to me is: Literature, film, music, songwriting, poetry, painting, illustration, photography, essays, sculpture, architecture, geographic influences, travel, exploring, nature, flora, fauna….

    God has nothing to do with any of it
    except as a useful mythological paradigm. God is a metaphor, an idea – not a real entity which listens to prayer or cares what kind of sex you have.

    God The Metaphor is fine and harmless. God Yahweh is nonsense and stands in the way of Culture.

    The myth of God is the most dangerous attack on humanity and culture ever invented because it is fundamentally fascist and divisive.
    Just look at ISIS, The Catholic Church, Christian Evangelicals, Zionism…it is endless murder and lies.

    ******
    Max, if I recall, when asked WHY you were on these threads, you responded that YOU WERE BORED AT WORK. Sounds to me like you are in need of NEW work.

    ARE YOU YOUR OWN GOD, one that feeds on attacking others who believe in the nature of loving through a connectedness in affecting change and movement?

    I am a published author/artist … with more work coming (Spirrealism/coauthor Alfred Eaker). I don’t hide for what would this say about my work? To go on threads for the sole purpose of calling the belief and art of others dangerous and nonsense is cowardly, in poor taste, and in denial and destruction of basic human rights—freedom to express without being attacked, lied about, and disparaged by someone like you. Are you trying to demean my art, Max? Is this where you get your high? Is this your art, Max—telling the world that people who believe in Spirit are idiotic, insane, dangerous? Surely, you can find better things to do. If you think Atheism solves all the ills of society … go for it, but to attack others in the manner you do is like watching the Roman Catholic Church in the Inquisition trying to take control and snuff out all other voice. Seriously, Max … look at your intent.

    Religion can be a dangerous tool in the hands of people whose desire is to control, deceive, manipulate and abuse. One has only to look at the RCC and others in its contract and usage from history on through. And, history repeats, as evil follows these same patterns. REligion provides structure but should never exceed Love. But why are you trying to incite violence through your cacophony of posts railing against Christ and Spirit? What YOU NEVER EXPERIENCED is a LIVING GOD … which does not force or push what you insist is dangerous. God /the angelic messengers are LIVING BEINGS. There is good and there is evil, Max. Look at the amazing work LOTR (the author was a Roman Catholic). You might want to rethink your condemnation on what you think I represent, for I certainly do not belong to a religion, and my desire is not to orchestrate hate as you seem to think, and I am definitely NOT in delusion, despite what rubbish you spew about me. Because you do not UNDERSTAND how Spirit operates, or even how one might HEAR in this, you condemn it and want to silence THIS ART … You are no different than the religion that raised you, and it seems, abused you through methodology.

    If your art is to call all others WRONG, who do not THINK LIKE YOU, then you are the one that is dangerous, and are very much like that Patriarchal religion that taught you what to think … possibly even “how” to think … hmm, now that’s an interesting turn. Max, maybe YOU are the specimen of having been a slave in institution of religious acquisition. Glad I am not of religion.

    Peace to you, Max.

  • Max,

    You seem to equate all religions as equal and show your ignorance. Regardless of what the media says, Allah is not the same as the Christian God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. So you need to split your argument up. Yes Islam calls for the beheading of infidels and thus is a religion of Satan. No true Christian religion calls for the killing of non believers. We Christians are called to preach the word of God not kill in the name of God. Maybe if you actually studied the different religions you just might realize your hatred of religions might just be a hatred of those that are not truly Christian.

  • Max,

    I have a question for you. If there truly is no God, then why shouldn’t everyone not lie, cheat, steal, do drugs, drink, engage in as much sex with men and women and any other sins that make us feel good as we possible can. I mean if there is no afterlife and no eternal penalty, why would anyone not want to do these things. If there is only one life, then the sky should be the limit as far as what evil a person is capable of. So what if it hurts someone else, as long as it makes you happy. What purpose do morals even have then, to better society? The hell with society, you only have this life and the knowledge that no one will remember you when you’re dead and dust and no part of you will ever exist again.

    It is the fear of eternal punishment that has kept this world from utter chaos based on the evil that man is capable of. We would all be governed by the stronger. North Korea comes to mind. Why not go live there and see the utopia of a godless society.

  • @Ophelia,

    “if I recall, when asked WHY you were on these threads, you responded that YOU WERE BORED AT WORK.”

    Absolutely not.
    You are making that up or confusing me with someone else.
    I am not a bored person.

  • @Ophelia,

    “If your art is to call all others WRONG, who do not THINK LIKE YOU, then you are the one that is dangerous”

    Good grief!
    I’m a painter, an illustrator, an educator and an author – a full time artist.

    If people make claims they cannot support I challenge them.
    That is all I do on when reading about religion in the news and when I address those who support religion – like yourself.

    You repeatedly say you are ‘of the Spirit’ and you claim that is different from the people you challenge.

    But I say you are the same as those you argue against because your claims are just as unfounded.

    The dangerous people are the ones who spread lies.
    Lies are unsupported claims. Gullible people listen to the lies and act on them and that is why religion is dangerous.

    I don’t always know the truth. But I read the claims.
    And when I don’t know what the truth is, I challenge (ask about) a claim.
    I have challenged your claims about ‘spirit’ and god not only because they sound ridiculous but because I’m trying to point out that your ‘spirit’ theories are no different than the groundless religions you claim to be above!

  • @Shane,

    “why shouldn’t everyone not lie, cheat, steal, do drugs, drink, engage in as much sex with men and women and any other sins that make us feel good as we possible can.”

    If you need to believe in God to make you act like a civilized person, stay with your religion. We don’t need anymore criminals.

  • @Shane,

    “North Korea comes to mind…why not go there.”

    North Korea is the most religious country in the world. I’m sorry you don’t know that. Do you think the word ‘religion’ only means Jesus ?

    When the Dear Leader, Kim Ill Sung was born the birds (supposedly) sang in Korean. Do you know the DEAR LEADER is the only god who ever existed? And he is an all-knowing god? There was no history before him!
    That is not Atheism!

    Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. That is all it is.
    The founders of our country were wise enough to know that God was a matter of debate – and deadly debate at that.

    “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion” is written into our Constitution.

    That is the most ATHEISTIC sentence in any country on earth. And it has served us well.

  • @Shane,

    “You seem to equate all religions as equal and show your ignorance.”

    Oh, really. Show me how they are different.

    “Allah is not the same as the Christian God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.”
    How do you know? What is your evidence?

    “Islam calls for the beheading of infidels and thus is a religion of Satan.”

    Jesus does not prefer beheading. But he doesn’t specify in some places. As for Satan, you’ll have to tell me what his religion is. I am not familiar with it. If it calls for killing people it would be a lot like Christianity.

    “No true Christian religion calls for the killing of non believers.”
    Jesus wasn’t Christian?

    “We Christians are called to preach the word of God
    not kill in the name of God.”
    You don’t seem to understand. The call to execute others is within the Word you preach. This is exhausting.

    “Maybe if you actually studied the different religions you just might realize your hatred of religions might just be a hatred of those that are not truly Christian.”
    Yeah, I get a lot of this having been a Catholic for 44 years and living in a city full of many religions – I somehow have to get out more.
    I’ve traveled the world. I guess you have too?

    As ISIS beheads people at the direction of Allah, I wonder why you don’t find a little hate in your own heart for religion? Are you just cold-hearted?

  • AM,
    *bored at work

    Maybe someone else will recall that you posted this in one of your rants, but I clearly recall this because I look to understand the back story on those who comment, especially when they are as constant as you. Possibly you were making a joke?

    It is an interesting and questionable voice you have chosen as one not bored. To denigrate practically every poster commenting on something of belief in God/Spirit you clearly despise is poor conduct, and this is no joke.

    Peace

  • Max,

    You are clearly off in your understanding of my work. You WANT to believe what YOU want to believe, and will spin anything to fabricate your ideal.

    ********
    “You repeatedly say you are ‘of the Spirit’ and you claim that is different from the people you challenge.

    But I say you are the same as those you argue against because your claims are just as unfounded.

    The dangerous people are the ones who spread lies.
    Lies are unsupported claims. Gullible people listen to the lies and act on them and that is why religion is dangerous.”

    ********

    Are you saying I spread lies? Wow, you, Mr know all, knows everybody’s experiences and knows absolutely that they lie, and are dangerous, and are OF RELIGION, because they share Spirit. Gee, Max, why don’t you just hire a team to come in and have me investigated? If I look dangerous according to you and your team, arrange for government to have me banished from your kingdom 🙂
    *********

    “I don’t always know the truth. But I read the claims.
    And when I don’t know what the truth is, I challenge (ask about) a claim.
    I have challenged your claims about ‘spirit’ and god not only because they sound ridiculous but because I’m trying to point out that your ‘spirit’ theories are no different than the groundless religions you claim to be above!”

    **********

    Ridiculous? That’s your opinion and you are most definitely entitled to it, but you are limited in your view of humanity, Atheist Max, unless, of course, in your view, only Atheists are human …

    I see the value of posters claiming Atheism, as well as other posters, who happen to claim a religion; you, on the other hand, see through very dark colored glasses. You want in the worst way to label me. I dealt with this on the Amazon Discussion Forums … the Patriarchal Cheerleaders were always trying to pin labels on ones they could not define, and categorize according to their religious mandates. They hated that others did not think like them. They FEARED that others did not think like them, and so they rallied, taking shifts, even harassing, playing parts, to ensure their voice was heard about all others, and that those who shared anything that might call attention to hypocrisy … got squashed. No, Max, you have all the makings of a Patriarchal Cheerleader, stemming from your very Roman Catholic upbringing.

    If I said I saw a groundhog in my backyard and because you do not live here and did not see it, that makes me a liar? If I had a dream that money was being stolen from a cathedral and tried to tell the priest but he could not hear for his own fears, and it came out in the news that a large sum of money was stolen from that cathedral … I am a liar? You do not know of what you speak, Atheist Max … you do not know of what you speak.

    Peace

  • @Ophelia,

    I am not a bored person.
    I love my work – I am my own boss. I am a full time artist.

    I do not denigrate believers.
    Believers are victims.

    I denigrate and ridicule bad religious arguments and I always supply reason and rationality to my counter apologetics.

    I am Anti-religion in the same way I am anti-Cancer.
    I am not against Cancer patients, I am against the Cancer.

    I am looking for safe and healthy ways of helping people
    to climb down from these bad religious arguments which defend spirituality and religion. I have no interest in doing harm – only the opposite.

    Arguing against religion is an international emergency. I am not panicked about religion – but I am deeply concerned that Theocracies are winning the upper hand and that is ultimately a threat to the whole earth.

  • @Ophelia,

    “To denigrate practically every poster commenting on something of belief in God/Spirit you clearly despise is poor conduct.”

    I agree with that.
    I do sometimes go too far.

    But I do not regret the substance of my criticism of religions.
    God is nonsense, ‘spirit’ is nonsense – anyone who defends religion of any kind is (perhaps unwittingly) defending ALL religion.

    There are no checks and balances in this nonsense. Your ‘spirit’ god stuff is no different. You are making claims about god which are indefensible and you are clearly not interested in questioning your claims.

    As I said before, ‘PEACE’ looks very nice all by itself
    without ‘GOD’ or ‘Blessings’ next to it to turn in into something evil.

  • @Opheliart,

    “If I said I saw a groundhog in my backyard and because you do not live here and did not see it, that makes me a liar?”

    No. And it wouldn’t matter because it would be unimportant anyway.

    But you have repeatedly said “THERE IS” a spirit god.
    Fine – it is your right and I defend your right to believe if you wish.

    But when you make counter claims to Catholics or others
    (which you have done quite a lot) I challenge your argument for ‘spirit’ because it is no different from those other religious claims.

    And I am not calling you a liar. I am challenging your claim – which you apparently believe – yet is no different from other claims in that there is no support for it.

    I am challenging your claim that you said “THERE IS” a spirit god.
    You have not explained why that is not a lie. The burden is on you and your claim. If you don’t like to be challenged, don’t make the claim.

  • Max,
    You say:

    “I am challenging your claim that you said “THERE IS” a spirit god.
    You have not explained why that is not a lie. The burden is on you and your claim. If you don’t like to be challenged, don’t make the claim.”

    *******

    I think you have me confused with the many posters you engage with here. I have said I EXPERIENCE Spirit, and I have said, God is Spirit (John 4), and I have shared that I believe, but I do not recall ever imposing this on YOU. I have shared that I value the Atheist’s views because it balances the religious who believe and behave in a partial manner.

    I feel in no way compelled to share that I am not lying. If you wish to try to burden me by calling me a liar, that eventually becomes your burden, not mine.
    And remember, there are article topics.

    I challenge the Roman Catholic agenda due to its size, desire to be so prominently in the spotlight, and its political agendas … through use of the people … but I also understand much about the Catholic Imagination. It is important to challenge the large organizations such as this who are so heavily involved in political posturing. Your challenging me on Scripture is one thing, and I do not hesitate to share the SYMBOLISM of what I experience in this, but to try to dismiss that I exist in terms of Spiritual Relevance leaves me NO choice (no voice), and in MY EXPERIENCE, Max, God always gives choice.

    You are a passionate person, and a decent guy. I wish you would share in your own personal experiences rather than lumping people all together.

    Peace,
    L Thiel

  • Annette,

    There is no place of fiery torment forever, only the common grave of mankind, where both the good and bad are sleeping in death (Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20; 9:5,10).

    As to whom will exact death (and not eternal torment), that is a decision which God or his son, Jesus, will make since they can read hearts and we cannot.

    The lake of fire in Revelation is a symbol of eternal death with no hope or resurrection since both the common grave and death (a human condition) will be thrown in the lake of fire or put to death (Revelation 20:14; 21:3,4).

  • @Ophelia,

    “God is Spirit” is exactly what I mean by a claim.
    You have claimed it to be true.
    You have not forced it on me, but I have seen you claim it in arguments against others – so if it is part of your argument, why are you trying to say you don’t really mean it?

    If someone says: “God is a thumbtack” as part of their argument against Catholic organization – I want to find out WHY that is a better argument than “God is Love” or “God is Mercy” etc.

    You include many claims in your comments. You just added another one:
    “God always gives choice.”

    But Ophelia, where are you pulling this information and why is it denied to me? Where are you getting these claims from?

  • Max, you say:

    ” “God is Spirit” is exactly what I mean by a claim.
    You have claimed it to be true.
    You have not forced it on me, but I have seen you claim it in arguments against others – so if it is part of your argument, why are you trying to say you don’t really mean it?

    If someone says: “God is a thumbtack” as part of their argument against Catholic organization – I want to find out WHY that is a better argument than “God is Love” or “God is Mercy” etc.

    You include many claims in your comments. You just added another one:
    “God always gives choice.”

    But Ophelia, where are you pulling this information and why is it denied to me? Where are you getting these claims from?”

    *****************
    Experience, Max. Would you not agree that you are free to make choices, and should be free to make choices? I know I enter into a more gnostic perspective on this by saying this to a nonbeliever, but this is really a very important element of Spirit. You may respond by saying, “I have choice without God. I do not need God to make a choice.” I would say, yes, of course, but what I experience in God through His Word, which is layered and of a nonconformist existence, but not in a negative way, challenges me to better understand unity. This is where “God shows no partiality” comes into focus (James speaks of unity).

    ” … why is it denied to me?”

    This is a powerful question. I would not insult you, or degrade you by saying something like, “you have chosen to not believe” … as if you are in some way at fault. I am one believing that your time in the RCC will be instrumental in work ahead that will be of much importance for many, both believers and nonbelievers. I do not see you as being “denied” as I see you being given choices to use your experiences to assist others who are enslaved or oppressed in some way. You have heart, Max, or you would not be posting on these threads so passionately. I am one to appreciate this, and I do challenge in this to gain a clearer view.

    Peace,
    L Thiel

  • @ AMAX you preparing your self for destruction .And that’s not smart.
    and you also like to ignore the fact that some words from
    biblical Hebrew suffer in the” human” translation process.
    your complaint SHOULD BE with the human translator ..
    OF THAT PARTICULAR TRANSLATION YOUR COMPLANING ABOUT. Yet tell us oh wise one how many languages have you translated into English?. That millions upon millions of people would read your translation..

    you like to claim in spite of all the historical witness that Jesus IS not God .. yet you want to believe that Darwin lived and was a scientist.. claiming witnesses that you decided to believe .. You say he lived because some others that you never knew say he did .

    you see your using the witness of others of who he was ..
    yet your not smart enough to see that about Jesus ..

    ..

  • now that I read the passages

    yes you sound “Like” a dumb jerk .. The bible is a old book the people of those days
    that God was talking to .. considered the bat that had wings to be a bird.. why would that be so hard for you to understand ?

    God was talking to the people of that day taking into account there understanding of things…. only some one acting “like” a dumb jerk would not want to see that..
    and that would be “You”

  • @Opheliart,

    “Would you not agree that you are free to make choices, and should be free to make choices?”

    Yes. But where is the evidence that God ‘gave them’ to you?

    ” this is really a very important element of Spirit….what I experience in God through His Word”
    Which word? The Bible?

    “….which is layered and of a nonconformist existence…”

    You lost me. Why are you calling it ‘layered’ and ‘nonconformist’? How did you determine this?

    “…but not in a negative way…”

    What isn’t negative?

    “….challenges me to better understand unity. This is where “God shows no partiality” comes into focus (James speaks of unity).”

    I thought you said you had choices? Now you say you have to go without partiality?

    I see no evidence that any of your claims are correct or true.
    You seem to be a person who is making up a new sect of Christianity from James and..I don’t know what else.

    No wonder I can’t figure out your religion.
    You have a personal interpretation and no skepticism about any information which comes to you – you have even fewer clear dots to connect than other believers.

    You have every right to believe these things. But I cannot see a reason to believe them myself. I don’t agree that you can claim these things to be true. You should not therefore tell others that these statements of yours are facts about God or spirit. Only that you have decided to accept them as the truth for your own reasons. My objection to your claims only begins when you tell others that your statements about spirit are ‘true’.

  • Max,

    You can question why a dog hit by a car is dead until you turn green from the moss growing over you …

    your nit-picking on “you claim” and “you say this is true” has no validity in your arguments against GOD/SPIRIT. God is a RELATIONSHIP. You CLAIM/BELIEVE that government/the world should allow all people choice of relationship, and that no one should be harassing anyone in their choices, and yet you behave no differently from those denying the rights of others to choose in relationships. Take care that you are not being the hypocrit.

    One can have a type of relationship with nature—wildlife … animals, water, sky, even ART … and since people have differing experiences in these, it is not challenged the way a non believer like you challenges one like me sharing Spirit. I see Spirit in all things LIVING, Max. I do not feel it my work to explain to a nit-picker whose intent is to disparage my work in LIFE on this earth in the matter of this RELATIONSHIP.

    Addressing a new sect (as you call it) …

    Again, you want to somehow label (so very Patriarchal of you) by saying I start a new sect, a new form of Christianity … MY religion (how you love that word, Max, and desire to oppress others with it by defining them according to how YOU THINK). If a power-mongering religion had not started their oppressive and vicious process of snuffing out the voice of those not like them, you might not have spent 44 years in religious “affliction.” Even Catholics I know are aware of the “gnostics of old” (the words they used). Gnosis is. Awareness in this comes at this time because the old loses its face. In other words, they can’t murder ME for OPENLY engaging Spirit, and sharing … at least not where I am.

    Peace

  • The Atheist Max of the world …

    Person: Wow, that sunrise is glorious!
    AM: Do you believe in God?
    Person: Yes
    AM: You lie! You cannot prove that sunrise is glorious!

    AM on the jury panel …
    That man is wearing a cross. He is guilty. BAM … case closed.

    Atheist Max … your power-mongering is stale. If you have made up your mind that one is wrong, imbecile, guilty, ridiculous, delusional, nonsensical, illicit, wicked … before tasting the fruit, how are you any different from those you say are dangerous? You are your own Augustine of Hippo in his original sin. Gee, how original of you 😉

    Max, one does not feed on the ‘man dates’ of the RCC for 44 years and not be influenced by it.

    Peace

  • @Ophelia,

    I’m not being combative. Nor argumentative. And I am not nit-picking.
    You don’t ‘owe me’ an explanation. I’m fine if you’d rather not.

    But you claim a bunch of wild things. I tried to ask you why you claim them.

    You are perfectly free to believe them. But you should not tell people
    they are TRUE for everyone else ALSO if you cannot back up those claims.

    “God is a RELATIONSHIP.” – how you know this?
    “God shows no partiality” – How do you know this? Based on what?
    “This is an important element of spirit” – How do you know this?
    “God gives us choices” – How do you know choices are given by a God?
    “God /the angelic messengers are LIVING BEINGS.” – How do you know this? Why the slash? Are you unsure of something so you split the words?

    Awareness in this comes at this time because the old loses its face.” – How do you know this?

    Where did you get your authority?
    You don’t seem to grasp
    that you have been projecting claim after claim
    as if you have some ‘knowledge’ about God, like an all-knowing Spiritual guru who somehow figured out all this from the book of James? But how?

    You appear to be a Self-annointed know-it all on religious matters. Because your experience appears to have been enough to impart all this knowledge.
    But the claims I have listed above do not hold water. I cannot see any reason for anyone to believe any of them.

    I don’t object to your repeating your claims. I’m not anybody’s boss.
    But you should expect people to challenge them if you do.

  • @Opheliart,

    Allow me to put my own words in my own mouth. Okay?

    Person: Wow, that sunrise is glorious!
    AM: It certainly is beautiful! I love it.
    Person: Yes – AND GOD DID IT!
    AM: How do you know?
    Person: Don’t doubt my authority on this, nit-picker!

    AM on the jury panel …
    “That man is wearing a cross. He’s exactly like I once was. I remember being a believer and I remember it was comforting in some ways. But I’m glad I don’t believe it anymore though. Reality is so much more wonderful. I wish him well. I hope he finds his way out of it someday.”

    You said,
    “If you have made up your mind that one is wrong, imbecile, guilty, ridiculous, delusional, nonsensical, illicit, wicked … before tasting the fruit, how are you any different from those you say are dangerous?”

    First, I’ve been there.
    Religious passion is something most Atheists have felt when they were believers. It is rapturous but it is false. It is like working on the Obama campaign – it felt great at the time but someday down the road you look back and realize it was just the moment. It is called a letdown because Obama is not that great. Life is ups and downs and religious passion is easy to recreate – even for an atheist. Because it is just emotion.

    Second,
    I am reacting to claims, not making new claims of my own.
    Would you rather I be a mindless Jihadi? Tasting the fruit of passion as I behead innocent people?
    Would you rather I be a mindless Christian in Rwanda? Wiping out the devil Tutsis with my blessed machete?

    Or would you rather I be a thoughtful Atheist, who is challenging claims that God wants me to do important things for him which involve pushing other people around – because it is what GOD insists on?

    “Max, one does not feed on the ‘man dates’ of the RCC for 44 years and not be influenced by it.”

    I’m past all that. I’ll deal with the cancerous indoctrination problems with Hell all by myself. Thanks.

  • Atheist Max – I agree. You’ve been asking questions. It shouldn’t be so hard for someone to back up why they believe something. Ophelia is playing the victim but she is the one making the announcements about spirituality. Religion naturally puts people on the defensive because they feel they are losing everything if they are wrong. Its a hall of mirrors.

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