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Biggest Christian festival in the UK decides to showcase some Islam too

Attendees gather during the 2016 Greenbelt Festival at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, England. Photo courtesy of Greenbelt Festival

Attendees gather during the 2016 Greenbelt Festival at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, England. Photo courtesy of Greenbelt Festival

LONDON (RNS) — Greenbelt, the biggest Christian festival in the United Kingdom, will feature Muslim worship for the first time this year.

The decision by organizers of the annual festival — which began more than 40 years ago as a gathering that drew about 1,500 young people — has stirred some controversy, according to organizers.

Now Greenbelt draws a much larger crowd of about 20,000 over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Aug. 25-28, and offers not only music but also theological discussion and opportunities to work on social justice issues. While it sprung from evangelical Christians, in recent years Greenbelt  has expanded to include a much wider range of participants, including an occasional Muslim speaker.

But this is the first year it is has made a concerted effort to feature Islamic culture and spirituality as a significant part of the festival, which will include instruction on Sufi chants — described on the Greenbelt website as “a unique form of mystical worship.”

The chanting will be taught under an oversized tent at Greenbelt devoted to Islamic art, culture and spirituality.

Including Muslim worship at a Christian festival surprised and upset some people, said Greenbelt’s creative director Paul Northup. “There has been some negative and quizzical reaction from die-hard supporters of the festival,” he said.

But there was also healthy curiosity about the new Muslim component of this primarily Christian gathering, which takes place on land surrounding the stately Boughton House in Northamptonshire, in the English midlands.

Cultural producer Asad Ali Jafri. Photo courtesy of AsadAliJafri.com

Programming related to Islam this year is funded by Amal — an organization that promotes Islamic culture and arts. The events at Greenbelt will be curated by Chicago-based producer Asad Ali Jafri.

Amal is in turn backed by the Said Foundation, founded by businessman and philanthropist Wafic Saïd. Saïd made his fortune as a banker, and first came to prominence in the U.K. after helping facilitate the Al-Yamamah arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia — the biggest export deal in British history.

“The Amal funding was a game-changer,” said Northup.

“Since 9/11, the Greenbelt trustees have wanted the festival to engage with Islam more deeply,” he said. “We wanted to play our part in dismantling, as far as we could, the extremist stereotyping and narrative the Muslim faith and community labored under and to introduce Greenbelters to Muslim thinkers, artists, activists and spirituality.”

Attendees will get to know Muslims who may not share their faith, he continued, but still share their values, and with whom they can make “common cause.”

“The Common Good” is the theme of this year’s festival, which will give attendees opportunities to get involved with anti-poverty, LGBT, environmental, and other progressive causes.

“It is because we are Christian that we do this. Not because we want to dilute or deny our faith. It’s because we want to be true to our faith and to continue to live and express it dynamically, creatively and generously,” Northup added.

Other events curated by Amal at Greenbelt this year will include talks on culture and Islam, a discussion on the 70th anniversary of the partition and independence of India, and Christian and Muslim reflections on Black Lives Matter.

Dusk falls during the 2016 Greenbelt Festival on the grounds of the Boughton House in Northamptonshire, England. Photo courtesy of Greenbelt Festival

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Catherine Pepinster

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  • Galatians 5:9 – English Standard Version
    A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
    These people are playing with fire.

  • Islam denies Jesus as worthy of worship, and they not only teach that He is not God but also that he did not die on the cross, plus your Bible your cherished book is corrupted!! There is no meaningful or significant common ground. You should invite them to learn the truth but not to somehow add value to the event. Doing so undermines your commitment to Jesus and elevates their misunderstanding of Him.

  • I do hope there won’t be any noxious fumes generated – if the wind is in the wrong direction both the stink and the sound will be detectable in our garden!

  • So let’s say that Oakland University and San Francisco State, decided to hold a couple of public LGBT panel discussions for Gay Pride Month. Educating the public, and encouraging the younger and older LGBT folks, you know.

    But for some reason, the two universities ALSO decided to include explicitly Christian former LGBT’s, experienced “ex-gay” leaders, teachers, and clergy from Restored Hope Network, Transforming Congregations, etc, on the very same panels.

    Allowing the ex-gays to openly explain *their* side of the story to everybody, and to address the very same issues and questions as the LGBT panelists, at the same time.

    So wouldn’t you be expressing similar concerns as Fred Garven did about putting committed leaders and teachers of ISLAM into this big famous JESUS festival?

  • Genesis 27:11 – SAB
    “my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man”
    Consider the irrelevance of your comment trumped.

  • Yes they are. Islam risks corruption by associating with Christianity. Oh wait, I forget – you Christians alone have the truth.

  • Protests over Rosaria Butterfield presentation which ended up with a closed door talk-back session. Close enough

  • I’ve participated in panels exactly like that. All the answers you get are jesususelessjesus.

    Here is the question I’ve asked:

    Since you claimed Jesus changed you, Will you swear on the blood of Jesus that you have not a single homosexual thought or desire?

    The answer is always JesusCricketsjesus.

    But hey! I’m democratic. First, we’ll have a panel with the gay people, the ex gay people, and then for icing on the cake, the EX ex gay people who have repudiated the lies of the exgay people.

    Then, Let’s put a Jesus guy on a panel with a bunch of committed Muslims who deny the divinity of Jesus, or Jews who deny Jesus is the son of god.

    And for good measure, we can have a few Mormons on a panel with a couple of die hard southern baptists. Let the games begin!!!!

    Why, I bet we’d learn that all religion is a matter of opinion and belief, but certainly not a matter of fact.

    And for real icing on the cake, not that phony stuff made with congealed palm oil, we’ll have some black people who defend the KKK by equating them with anti KKK people protesting racism, fascism, And latter day Nazis.

    I wonder what kind of result we’ll get?

  • Goshes, Doc.

    You and Fred! Your faith is so weak, isn’t it? Can’t even stand up to mooslim.

    Snowflakes!

  • Well duh, if Islam and Christianity had exactly the same views they wouldn’t be called different faiths. They are both Abrahamic faiths, for Joe Muslim or Joe Christian not in deep angst about the finer theological points, they are 90% the same.

    ( I appreciate that the precise divinity status of Jesus may not be a mere theological point for many Christians and Muslims. However I have encountered Christian teaching which glosses over the idea of Jesus as God, and Islamic teaching which accords Jesus a place which, while not divine, is quite high. And for Jane Muslim or Joe Christian trying to get the kids picked up from school on time it doesn’t rank very highly as a question)

  • 1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that
    loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
    2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
    4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
    5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
    6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water
    only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness,
    because the Spirit is truth.
    7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
    9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this
    is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
    10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that
    believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the
    record that God gave of his Son.
    11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of
    God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe
    on the name of the Son of God.

  • The Bible says not to invite those who deny Christ (like Muslims do) into your house (or church), neither should you bid them God Speed. The Bible says that those people who deny Christ are ALL ANTICHRISTS. The Bible says that in so doing, you are also partaker in their evil deeds meaning that YOU ALSO ARE AN ANTICHRIST, LIKE THEM, AND YOU ALSO DENY CHRIST!
    2 John 1: 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus
    Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
    8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
    9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.
    He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and
    the Son.
    10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

  • This is what the Bible has to say about the Quran, AND about the supposed bringer of the Quran, the (FALSE) “Prophet” Mohammed. If you are a Christian, you must believe and confirm that Mohammed was a FALSE prophet. If you say that Mohammed was a prophet, or even that he may have been some kind of prophet, you are not truly a Christian!
    Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
    7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you
    than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
    9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel
    unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    (Mohammed is an “accursed” FALSE prophet!)

    Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

  • Sounds good but its not factual. And that’s the real problem. We don’t have the time or space to dive in the details but they as I said they have no significant similarities beyond the use of names & persons. Most say (as you did) that they are all Abrahamic faiths yet two (for example and this is only one example) speak of Issac as the son and one speaks of Ishmael as the son without shame in the same contex as the sacrificial son. Someone is wrong in the matter. Dead wrong. So even Abraham and his promise is incorrect, yet in ignorance the association is still made by some. They are not even 10% the same much less 90%, sounds good but not factual.

    And any Christian that glosses over or diminish Jesus as God is not a Chtistian, Christians are Christ followers, if you don’t follow Christ Jesus you are not a Chtistian. Terms are used too loosely here. The Jehovah W are not christian by the way, some think they are but they would tell you they are not they follow Jehovah not Christ. But the average Joe has no idea.

  • Two quick points (just to warm up the keyboard a little):

    (1) Why would ANY Christian “swear on the blood of Jesus” when Jesus specifically told his followers not to swear by anything? Your Christian hearers would certainly be aware of the line you crossed there.

    (2) Your claim is that if you experience the slightest temptation in ANY direction of ANY specific sin after Jesus has forgiven, cleansed and delivered you from that specific sin, it somehow means “It Didn’t Work And It’ll Never Work.”

    I wish I’d been there when you tried to use that false argument. I’d have negated it with the powerful Bible promises of 1 Cor. 10:13 and 1 John 1:9. Those promises are for you & me.

  • Christians have become sickening to behold in their growing supplication to Islamic interests. Appalling. Christians are becoming the worst offenders of handing over our civilization one piece at a time, for their sheer lack of any backbone, conviction or dedication to defend what they believe in. I can’t blame non-believers who just don’t know what is in store due to ignorance, however Christians should know better. Christians are being continuously, vigorously and openly abused and even slaughtered throughout the Islamic world. Yet, here in the West, the weak, pathetic appeasers within the Christian community are seemingly begging for more attention from Islamists in order to present creative new opportunities to start yielding here too. it makes a person ashamed to even be a Christian. Surely it cannot be “God’s plan” that Christians forsake all that they are and seek domination from Islam. Islam does not seek a faith partnership, or a faith dialogue, or a faith reconciliation, or a sustainable community of faiths, etc. It is geared to victory through force and has proven that it is capable of attaining this UNLESS RESISTED. Have we learned nothing at the gates of Vienna in 1683?

  • So when Christians swear on a bible, they are just kidding? You really can’t trust what they say? When Trumpelthinskin out his hand on a bible, and swore to uphold the constitution, it was just an act? possibly a sin?

    Well, of course, he is no more a Christian than I am. He just plays one for the uneducated, the gullible, and the easily led.

    There is always an out for you people. All you are admitting is, once again, that no one changes. You just want to call it a temptation, rather than an orientation. They haven’t changed. They are still just trying their hardest not to be who they are.

    Orientation matters. Acts do not.

    I could never, ever have all that hot, hot sweaty man love again, and I would still be just as gay as I am right this very minute. Just as you could never, ever have all the hetero stuff you have, and you would still be just as hetero as you are right this very minute. And given your obsession with all things homosexual, I’m sure it is very heterosexual indeed.

    Even Jesus recognized it. A man who isn’t after a woman has committed adultery with her in his heart.

    But you believe whatever you need to. You will in any case.

  • I gather you are boasting of your complete ignorance of both Mr. Garven and myself and our individual knowledge of Islam. Mr Garven appears to have at least some knowledge of Islam and considers it 10% in common. I have a fair amount and consider Christianity and Islam 90% similar for Joe Average. Our opinions appear to differ.

    With Hollywood having a direct pipeline into almost every American and UK home, Muslims speaking at a Christian gathering and vice versa is something that should be encouraged not discouraged.

  • You display your ignorance of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They do not believe in the trinity. They put god first but they follow Jesus and pray in his name, etc. So much strife and contention over mythology!

  • Maybe we should just kill them all, instead of trying live with them? would that make you happy? Perhaps the murder of Christians in the Middle East wouldn’t be happening were it not for the dreams of the Empire of Oil of The Uber Christian Shrub, and the destabilization of the entire Middle East due to the stupidity of that situation.

    Maybe we should never read history books, because 1683 was about dreams of empire and vast wealth. But that would mean we shouldn’t also know about the crusades, which went in quite the opposite direction as 1683. ANd let us not forget the sack of New Rome in 1204, perpetrated on a Christian Empire by the christianists of those days, in payback for the Great Schism of 1054.

    Nah. Let’s not read history books. Too hard. Let’s slander or slaughter everyone.

    Let’s go back to the days
    When men were men.
    And start killing for Christ
    All over again.

  • Actually, once Christianity pretty much invented Satan as the Devil, you could say that Satan would have no power were it not for them.

    Muslims of the Islamist variety would say the worship of the son of god was also satanic

    But I’m a cynic.

  • So every Christian who isn’t a Paulist is actually not a Christian?

    What fun!!!

    Burn them!!!

  • Next you’Ll be telling everyone to love one another, to turn the other cheek, to treat others as you wild like to be treated!!

    You Christians!!!!

  • It’s easier and cheaper to contend over theological points than to to good and learn to live with one another.

  • You’re old enough….ummmm…errr.. experienced enough to remember Trini Lopez.

    I’ll be Frank Sinatra. “You make me feel so young!”

  • “it makes a person ashamed to even be a Christian”.

    I don’t think people should be ashamed of being a Christian, any more than they should be ashamed of being a Muslim, a Hindu, Jew, a Scientologist etc. etc.. It is the nature of humans that we are gullible and that there will be other humans who seek to harness that gullibility for their own ends.

    What I would hope people would be ashamed of is claiming to be religious once they have realised that the supernatural is imaginary, that religion is bogus and that they have been misused (sometimes without malice) by others. Only then can one start to appreciate the glorious splendour of broadband reality rather than being demeaned within the staitjacketing narrowband of superstition.

    “Surely it cannot be “God’s plan” that Christians forsake all that they are and seek domination from Islam.”

    Of course it isn’t. Without the “God” there is no “God’s plan” and even if there were a good reason for guessing there might be a “God” choosing which of the multiple “plans” promulgated by the slew of conceited claimants to knowing “God’s” will could be no more than a lottery.

  • “The Amal funding was a game-changer,”…obvious saudi oil money, for bribing and islamizing the west, is obvious.
    This is what the arabs use the oil money for, to ruin the world, through terrorism funding.

  • My ignorance? They pray to Jesus? Why would they Jesus is not God Jehovah according to them, the Charles T Russell crowd. Read understand then speak, and if its mythology why comment on it? Let the mythical fools devour each other while you watch. Go back to the sport’s game you worship.

  • Yes just as in a court of law right Jim all sides have truth, it is your opinions that really matter. You imply the Truth is elusive, unreachable. Guess what when looking for the Truth Jesus is defined as the Truth and the Life, begin your search there. Then tell us what you find.

    One must seek the Truth, a smart man like you should already know this.

  • Mock the Christians while the others seek your head, how foolish some are. Go to Afghanistan, I would pay your one-way ticket first class.

  • I am mocking her self-satisfied, self-righteous view of Christianty. I’d do the same for Islam. Fundamentalism in any region deserves to be criticized.

  • Truth? You have a historically and scientifically invalid book written by men and you claim that it is pure truth and all other religions are wrong – or worse – evil.

  • You think fundamentalism is a problem, do we fault the man in court for telling the truth or do we seek to discover the truth? Seek the Truth and nothing else from religion and men.

  • Way to twist Scripture there. I’m sure God loves when you do that. That isn’t what the Scripture says AT ALL! What it does say is, the Quran is a perverted Gospel and Mohammed is cursed, and equally, it says that the Book of Mormon is a perverted Gospel and Joseph Smith is cursed, because both of them supposedly received “divine guidance and revelation”supposedly from an “angel” that the Bible was either wrong and corrupted, or needed major additions added to it. They are both liars, false prophets, AND antichrists! That is Biblical!

  • The shame to which I refer is the complicity in the defeat of one’s own community in the face of those who freely admit that they intend to prevail, even through violence, and are unrelentingly demonstrating their willingness to deliver on this promise.

  • Cursed! Antichrist! So you agree with me! great!

    Since the Bible doesn’t mention any of those people or books at all, it appears that when YOU say “Scripture says…” you mean that “Patrick Wilson says…”

    Someone unimportant said the two greatest commandments are love gods andd love your neighbor. I went and looked. No qualifiers to that at all.

    What fun!

  • Unfortunately for Christianity, for the West and for civilized society, you are part of a substantial segment in the West that feels it is nobler to be killed passively, rather than to resist domination. “Trying to live with them”? How has this worked out for the people of the 57 formerly non-Muslim societies that have already been taken over by Islam spreading from the Arabian peninsula, now known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation? “Trying to live with them” means one thing – compliance. All of history provides this stark lesson, yet ostrich thinking still prevails in the latest countries groaning under the effect of Islamization.

  • So, as I asked you, maybe we should just kill them all? Should be a simple answer to a seven word question. A yes or a no will do.

    When you read a history book, you will find that is exactly what Christianity did to societies all over the world. They even did it to other Christians,

  • All you are trying to do is lower the niveau of the discussion to a point where an out-of-context sound bite emerges. Any person with normal intelligence understands that self-defence takes many forms that are situationally appropriate. The wisest of all is prevention. The madness of saturating Western society with an ideology that openly professes its intention to replace us is a good place to start. The introduction of Islamic prayer into a Christian festival is a local symptom of this sickness. Healing begins by strengthening our existing community, rather than deliberately undermining it.

  • Yup, I knew – but low hanging fruit and all that.

    I think you are in danger of overestimating the degree of threat.
    My partner’s cousins and their american husbands visited recently – they were concerned that Birmingham (the original) was a no-go area for white people – a nonsense that I suspect they still believe despite my offering to walk them around the city. They also warned us that all the muslims in the UK are just waiting on their leader’s call and they are going to rise up and impose sharia on us. Which is plain silly – the overwhelming majority of muslims I’ve worked and socialised with are no more desirous of sharia than we – they simply want to be left alone to get on with their jobs, their families, their house, their cars etc..

    I don’t doubt that the behaviour of our western nations has exacerbated the religion based dangers posed by a small number of extremists – be they islamist, christian, hindu, buddhist etc.. Frankly using unfairly targeted, indiscriminate, unjustified and immoral coercion to try to counter them can only increase the numbers of those who feel the need to respond with violence of their own – and they will, all the history of human nature leads to that as an inevitable conclusion.

    When people are scared of “other” it usually means they have little confidence in “self”. There are those who seek to achieve their agendas by maintaining mass ignorance and fear – they, on all sides, are the evil that needs addressing – not those who are led sheep-like by allegiance to outdated myths and unrealistic expectations.

    For the flock – The first steps towards “loving thy neighbour” are those of understanding and respecting their different traditions – through education and (preferably) social interaction.

    Your shame is a natural reaction – can you use it to the benefit all of humanity?

  • So, in short, you’re not going to answer the question. Instead, like so many wingers, you’re going to bitch and moan how horrible everything is, but not actually offer a solution. Your solution is just more Kumbaya, but the other side of the Kumbaya coin.

    By your own statements, it’s either kill or be killed, conquer or submit. The fact the the vast Majority of Muslims in western societies– not all, but most– have integrated well, simply does not enter into your us vs. them Mentality.

    Again, if Shrub, aided and abetted by our nearly unanimously incompetent, immoral, and pretty much useless congress, had not decided to invade the countries not responsible for 9/11, while supporting those dear saudi’s and Pakistanis– you know, the ones with nuclear weapons, while making bundles selling arms to just about anyone with a wallet, we might be living in a vastly different world.

  • Enlighten me with some of the historical and scientific invalid biblical statements, this truth seeker seeks to know so share what you have for all to see. You must think this is some sort of joke. Men has throughout history shown his ignorance with his arrogance. Help us gullible God lovers see the light, please I cannot wait!!

  • Sorry to disappoint you that I am not advocating blanket killing. My side does not think in those terms, especially when it is as easy as pie to stop importing the problem, and stop yielding to growing Islamization in our midst. It’s not rocket science. Simple, basic, cultural confidence and the ability to say no to Islamist demands is all we need. Not murder. We are better than that.

  • We all believe something, Ben. God’s Word tells us which beliefs are true. Your chosen beliefs — the Atheist Religion and the Gay Religion — are patently false and corrosive. Like drinking a bottle of Clorox mixed with sale-priced Ammonia. Your innards must be all on fire by now.

    But I digress. There’s another dynamic going on here. Curiously, you are just as obsessed with God, as you are with Gayness. ALWAYS commenting about God or about His people. Often bringing up Jesus, as in this thread.

    Why is that, Ben? Somebody chasing you down or something? Sending you odd e-mails that can’t be deleted? Somebody not taking “No” for an answer?
    There is no God, remember? So how come you don’t act like it?

    I will address some of your post soon. But dude, you better start running a lot harder, lest Somebody catch up with you. He seems very interested in you.

  • Some time spent by you living in Pakistan and other OIC member states as an openly practicing Christian will cure you of your painful naivete regarding what happens when Muslims become a majority in any nation state. Christians have become, weak, feckless and pathetic in the face of their own destruction. Islamic fundamentalists always prevail over their “moderate” brothers in the end, everywhere. The moderates always yield to fundamentalists in Islam when push comes to shove. The trajectory of conditions is clear in every society in which Muslims reach their tipping point. Remember that you heard this here. One day it will be relevant, even for you, and then it will be too late.

  • What Islamist demands are being made? What growing Islamization? And what is ‘my side’?

  • Okay, I’m back again. I’ve wanted to especially answer that one question of yours. “So when Christians swear on a bible, they are just kidding?”

    First of all, the standard court-of-law oath is absolutely NOT the oath you threw at the Christian ex-gays. You told them, “Since you claimed Jesus changed you, will you swear on the blood of Jesus …” A guy as religion-savvy as you, would HAVE to know there was something wrong with that request.

    The fact is that this oath you tried to put on them, is a flat-out violation of Jesus’ words in Matt 5:33-37. Their response of silence towards you was both gracious and diplomatic — and biblically correct too.

    Bible.org describes your kind of oath as a FALSE OATH — an oath that a person has no intention (and/or the ability) to keep. Just like Jesus said not “to swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black” (v. 36), so likewise the Christian has NO power nor the authority to put their own salvation-via-Jesus’-blood on the line using your oath. God is in charge of that entire thing (just like He’s in charge of all the things in v. 34), not me or you.

    So you, trying to be all slick, was merely demanding that the Christian ex-gays disobey Jesus right at the panelist table. Sorry they didn’t take the bait.

  • Muslims believe in Satan and the Antichrist, they call the antichrist the Dajjal. Also, you couldn’t be any more wrong with your “Christianity invented Satan as the Devil” statement. There are many Scriptures of the Old Testament or Judaism that name Satan, Lucifer and he is portrayed the same way as the Devil or the Evil One, so nice try; but thousands of years prior it was the Jews who ACKNOWLEDGED Satan EXISTED, and it was Yahweh Himself who “invented” or Created him as a perfect angel.

  • Wrong again, and nice try again! It isn’t “Patrick Wilson says”,IT IS “The Bible says”, but since you cannot read for yourself I will give you the excerpts from the Scriptures above that say exactly what I am saying they say. THE BIBLE (NOT Patrick Wilson) SAYS, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you
    than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” SO, there it says not to even believe an angel (possibly a fallen angel or demon) if they preach a different gospel. THEN THE BIBLE SAYS, “As we said before, so say I now again, if ANY MAN preach any other gospel
    unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.” THERE THE BIBLE SAYS, if “ANY MAN” meaning Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Ben in Oakland, etc… preaches ANY OTHER gospel THAN the Bible, then the BIBLE SAYS they are accursed. So, it IS ACTUALLY THE BIBLE THAT SAYS THAT, “Ben in Oakland” and NOT “what Patrick Wilson” says. Praise God, and watch what you say Ben in Oakland. You might make God really angry at you for your false witness and persecution and twisting Scripture and rejoicing over evil, etc…

  • Poor persecuted Christians.

    I’m so afraid of god being angry with me. Are you sure you’re not describing yourself?

    Happy the 2Rump got elected? Not me. Sounds like you.

    Projection. Projection. Projection.

  • Google “Satan in the Old Testament”. You might learn something.

    Nah. You won’t.

    Either.

  • You truly and desperately need for your ideas of god to be true. The fact that 2/3 of the word doesn’t agree with your ideas, never has and never will, simply cannot impinge on your mentality. Jesus isn’t chasing them down any more than he is me.

    My only “obsession” as you put it, is defending people from weaponized religion, and innocent gay kids and decent gay adults from people like you. that’s it. Your idea is just like saying that black people devoting their lives to fighting racism 60 years ago just really wanted to be white.

    Maybe people like me just hate the injustice, bigotry, and harm that you people do under color of religion. That you can’t see it is not my problem. I learned long ago that neither I not Jesus will ever convince an unrepentant bigot to change his spots. You might do it on your own, but it’s doubtful.

    You constantly write about homosexuality, comment about it, make up all kinds of vile slanders about it and gay people. Yet, you are allegedly heterosexual. Just like the people who describe gay sex in great detail are allegedly heterosexual. If I obsessabout anything, it’s about fighting religious bigotry.

    As you did in your interchanges with others after Charlottesville, you are willing to defend all kinds of evil. I simply am not.

  • Meanwhile, that still leaves the question, should Christians refuse to do the standard court-of-law oath, or the military-enlistment oath, or the Inauguration oath? Do these government-related involuntary oaths violate Matt. 5:33-37?
    Christians do discuss this issue, but ultimately the answer has to be a “No.”

    In context, Jesus’s prohibition in Matthew 5, covers both FRIVOLOUS OATHS and FALSE OATHS, but the three types mentioned in the first paragraph are neither.
    Also, Jesus did say, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and render unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21). And indeed, in Matt. 26:62-64, when on trial before the Jewish judicial authorities (the Sanhedrin), Jesus stays silent UNTIL the High Priest asks Jesus a question that directly involves an oath (“I adjure thee by the living God…tell us whether thou art the Christ.”) THEN Jesus answers him.

    Jesus did NOT say, “Hey, I can’t answer that question, because the court directly put forth an oath ‘by the living God.” Jesus answered the court’s question, which meant He accepted the court’s oath to tell the truth to the governing judicial authorities.

    So since Jesus accepted that, WE (his followers) can do the same in court, or on jury duty, or if we are given the government’s military-enlistment oath, or if we are elected President and get Inaugurated by the Chief USSC Justice. It’s no sin. (If you want to, ask if you can simply “raise your right hand” like they allowed me to do on jury.)

    Ben, I don’t know if you’re really interested in this explanation, but I ask all Christians to please consider it. God may want to put you on jury duty soon, a tough emotional case, and one must be ready to deal with the Oath gig.

  • Just a curiosity question for you.

    Would you be willing and able to describe for our readers, (just off the bat), the last one or two Vile Slanders that I have nefariously offered against homosexuality and “gay people”?

  • Gay religion. Gay Goliath that will crush all opposition. A list of alleged violence, which you claimed that all gay people are for, that had no basis in fact and was laughed out of court every time it was presented.

    Above: the gay religion that is always corrosive.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

    Now perhaps you can explain to me why religious and anti gay bigots are never willing to say they are bigots, when you clearly are. Oh yes. It’s not bigotry when you can say “Gawd says….”

    God is simply what you use to justify what cannot be justified by any other means. You might call it your Trump Card. GAwd was also used by white people to justify slavery and Jim Crow. But when it happens to you, you just claim they weren’t real Christians like you are, and they can’t find that in the word o’ god.

    But they did.

  • The problem is that so many of you mythological fools are intent on devouring the rest of us, whether we have a different mythology, or whether we prefer to live our lives without your mythology. Were it not for little things like 9/11, antigay laws, racial discrimination justified as god’s word, and on and on and on and on…

    You’d be surprised how little attention anyone would pay you.

    I suspect, at bottom, that that is the problem for you. Being god’s BFFF is how you make yourselves important in your own minds. “Look at me. god loves me!!! you, not so much!!! So believe what I believe to validate what I believe. Believe what I believe or I’ll hurt you.”

    It’s funny how religious liberals can believe in god, yet don’t seem to have that need.

  • I have no intentions of devouring you, sorry to disappoint you. You mock and call fools those who have something in their hearts they find worth shearing. They get attacked by lies from Muslims in particular yet when they call out the Muslims for the lies you call them mythological fool claiming they are right and others are wrong. How does one escape this sort of trap you set? You ask I answer not to convert you but so you realize this is more than some mindless following for the fools. Get a grip.

  • That you think there is a trap set for you is a large part of the problem.

    Let me be clear. I don’t care what you believe, or what Muslims believe, or Jews or buddhists or Hindus. If you think you have something your heart that’s worth sharing, good for you. If it makes your life better, and you a better person, I have no argument with you.

    The problem is when it doesn’t make you a better person, but becomes something you hide behind to use as a weapon against other people. As a gay man, I’ve been listening to you people for my entire life use your “faith” as a justification for all of the harm you wreak in the lives of gay people everywhere. Sodomy laws, lies, don’t ask don’t tell, goading innocent kids to suicide– the list is nearly endless. You simply cannot leave it at “I believe homosexuality is a sin” and extend to us the same courtesy you routinely extend to all of the other people who deny the entirety of your religious beliefs, not just the itty bitty little ditty you sing about your opinion of god’s opinion about us.

    No, it’s always “god will destroy America as he destroyed Rome” — two lies in one sentence, and a slander of god– if America treats gay people as human beings, and our lives with respect.

    And when you’re not attacking us, you attack other people, especially liberals, Christians, and liberal Christians for not being the same sort of Christian you are. When you’re not attacking Muslims, atheists, and everyone else.

    This whole commentary is a perfect sample. This christian festival attempts to foster dialog, understanding, and brotherhood, and just look at all the garbage being spewed towards Muslims and towards those Christians organizing the festival.

    If you want you beliefs to be respected, maybe you should start having some respectable beliefs.

  • You are equating eggs and blue.

    You are oversimplifying by creating a false alternative when you limit the situation to Christian versus Muslim. In the UK, for instance, polls regularly find that more than 50% of the population claim to have no religious adherence.
    You also seem unaware that there are several branches of Islam, as well as many varieties of Christianity and some of the Islamic groups hate each other even more than the worst of those who claim to be Christians hate their “brothers in Christ”.

    You extrapolate what you see in countries that have been historically poor and where human life has been mean, short and little-valued to countries with different traditions, values and expectations.

    Neither I nor, I assume, you live in Pakistan etc.. In the extremely unlikely event that muslims become the majority in the UK or USA it will only happen after many adherents have obtained the benefits of living in a western society – the same benefits that they have learnt to enjoy and which are undermining the ridiculous supernatural underpinnings of islam just as they are christianity.
    We have started to separate the single-digit% observant christians from the much larger mass of cultural, non-observant christians and the same is already visible within muslim communities. Educated people of muslim parentage, as with the educated children of christians, are much less likely to accept superstition-based restrictions and the demeaning loss of self-awareness that comes with religious control. Many muslims (including the OIC) have taken stands against fundamentalism (as happens within christianity).

    It is much easier to create active revolt amongst those who have little or nothing to lose than than those who have property, cars, foreign holidays and status within the wider community.

    It is my belief that the way to minimise the likelihood of religious domination is to encourage the conditions which weaken its attraction. Those conditions include broad-based education, for all, in the sciences, the arts and in comparative religion, the valuing of all people as of equal standing without regard to sex, gender, orientation, colour, creed etc., giving both men and women control over their own reproductive choices (provided that they don’t harm other adults or children), universal healthcare and state provided minimum levels of security and well-being.
    If you don’t do so, if you try to obliterate that which you fear, you will create martyrs, and martyrs create radicalisation, radicalisation creates terrorism and terrorism creates more fear – and so the downward spiral continues.

    If, of course, you are enslaved by religious observance the battle (with its promise of glory and boredom for eternity) is better than the commonsense solution – the eradication of irrational belief from all but personal practice.

  • You claim that you don’t care what Christians believe, but clearly you do – why else are you here, commenting, calling Christians bigots and condemning “…all the garbage being spewed towards Muslims…”? If you really don’t care why not go and do something you do care about?

  • You write “It is the nature of humans that we are gullible…”. Assuming that you too are human and are, therefore, as gullible as the rest of us, what six impossible things have you believed before breakfast?

  • I use gullible in the sense that we are all, evolutionarily, prone to accept as accurate things we are told by those we consider to be in authority. Said authority may be parental or it may not, it may be enhanced by physical size, position within society, body language, the wearing of fancy dress etc. etc..

    Just because we are prone to gullibility does not mean we have to succumb to it – we can (probably only largely) learn/grow out of it. For those times when we are still vulnerable we have the scientific method which reduces our chances of misbelief as far as is humanly possible.

    Some relish being gullible – it provides an excuse for failure because, to their mind, it’s always someone, or something, else’s fault. Some try very hard not to be gullible – i’d like to think that I’m in that group.

    Have I believed anything impossible since breakfast – not to my knowledge and I can’t see any evidence that suggests that I have – but then I’m the wrong person to ask aren’t I?

  • Apparently I left out a sentence and a word that I thought I had included. My apologies. And perhaps it will clarify what I do feel.

    “I don’t case what SOME Christians believe. What I care about it is what you do with what you believe. And when you use it to justify harming other people because of your faith, then I do indeed have an argument with it. That includes using the civil law that governs all of us the force your purely theological concerns on people who don’t share them.”

  • Why are you the wrong person to ask? You’re human aren’t you and just as “evolutionarily, prone to accept as accurate things [you] are told by those [you] consider to be in authority”? (Not that you have any evidence to support that claim.) If it were true that evolution has selected for gullibilty then it would follow that gullibility is a trait much to be desired in that it is conducive to survival so why are you decrying it? You might just as well decry one’s immune response to pathogens. So why would you want “to grow out of it”? I understand that you believe “you try hard not to be gullible”, but given that you claim that evolution has selected for gullibility, there’s no reason to suppose that your belief is warranted.

  • You may not share the views of Christians, but then, equally Christians may not share your secular views and are just as free as you are to object to having your secular views forced on them. The thing is, as Dostoevsky said, “If there is no God, everything is permitted”. And if everything is permitted you really can’t object to someone using the law, or indeed, any other means to force their views on you. You might not like it, but you have no real ground to object because everything is permitted.

  • Nonsense. If there is a god, everything is still permitted. That’s why Christians murdered Christians for centuries. That’s why Christians cover up sexual abuse of children. That’s why Christians voted for Donald Trump. That’s why Christians supported the murders f 6 million Jews. That’s why Christians of a certain sort lie about gay people.

    As for the rest: I get married, and it doesn’t affect you or any one else in the slightest. Well, it does offend you, but then, lots of things do. You pass a law preventing my marriage: I am affected, as is my family, my children my faith, my church, my freedom, my assets.

    Jehovahs witnesses harm no one but hyper conservative Christians. But in Russia, they offend the OrthodoxChurch. So they have a law passed against them..

    see how it works?

  • Nonsense? Really? If God exists and He forbids murder then murder is not permitted. Does that mean God makes it impossible for a person to commit murder? No, because we are not talking about a physical law like the law of gravity, but a moral law, the very existense of which implies free will. But if God does not exist then there is nothing to ground moral law objectively. Morality becomes a matter of taste. You may not care for someone else’s moral code, but you cannot object to it logically, you can only say you don’t like it, but that imposes no obligations or duties on the other person.

    You say that Christians cover up sexual abuse, (as do atheists for that matter) because “everything is still permitted”. If sexual abuse is permitted then there is no reason to cover it up is there? There is no need.

    You make a blanket statement about Christians supporting the murder of six million Jews. So let me ask you, did all Christians, each and every one, support their extermination or only some? And did those whom you say supported the holocaust violate the taechings of Jesus or not? As an atheist, did you support the mass muders committed by Pol Pot and Stalin and Mao?

  • Why don’t they go ahead and invite some Hindus and Buddhist as well. Perhaps work on cleansing their Chakra and have a guest speaker give them tips on arrianging their sanctuary so it aligns with proper fung shway practices. And as a finally on the last night, they could have some Satanist incantations and sacrifices…

  • “But if God does not exist then there is nothing to ground moral law objectively. Morality becomes a matter of taste.”

    Really, when has that not been the case? Morality has always been determined by the culture which practices it. Neither Christianity nor the bible have really changed that. Christianity did nothing to stop the slave trade. It did nothing to stop countless indigenous peoples from being nearly or completely exterminated by European settlers. It doesn’t get much credit for stopping racism or sexism, considering how many centuries both were around before it was addressed. And as Ben mentioned, the Holocaust occurred in Christian countries.

    These moral failings were stopped or called out because societies decided they were wrong, usually well after they had been done for years, even centuries. The Bible was there all that time. If it really had some kind of objective morality to teach, it does a poor job of it. It hasn’t changed, yet we keep getting new and better definitions of what is moral without its help.

  • “Really, when has that not been the case? Morality has always been determined by the culture which practices it.”.

    If that is your view then you are making the case that morality is ontologically subjective, that there is no right or wrong, in which case what’s your problem with slavery or genocide? How can you possibly describe them as moral failings? You say that societies decided they were wrong, but if morality does not exist objectively then they aren’t really wrong, just unfashionable. Islamic State is a society that believes that slavery is ok and genocide a perfectly moral act, so unless you believe that morality can be grounded objectively, you’ve no argument that could successfully defeat the IS position.

    Your objection to the Bible as a source of objective moral values and duties is an argument about moral epistemology not moral ontology, so don’t conflate the two..

  • Judaism holds exactly like Islam with regard to your first sentence. Do you agree that there’s no meaningful or significant common ground between Christianity and Judaism?

  • If god exists. Start with some proof, and go from there.

    Of course there is something upon which to ground moral law. Just because you don’t see it is not my problem. It if god is the only thing keeping you from murdering people, you don’t need religion. You need empathy. So you don’t believe that yourself.

    Morality is a matter of taste. It’s why we don’t burn witches, keep slaves, or murder Christians– any more.

    If the only thing keeping you from abusing children is religion, please stay away from mine.

    I didn’t say all Christians. I just said Christians. And they did. The support of the Lutheran church in Germany for the holocaust makes for very chilling reading. GErmany was a Christian nation before, during, and after the holocaust. The belt buckles of the Wehrmacht said “Gott mit uns.” Sounds pretty christian to me.

    Mao and pol pot were both Buddhists, while Stalin started off in a seminary. O much for that.

    Read a book some day.

  • Jim didn’t say JWs pray TO Jesus, he said they pray IN the name of Jesus. Your Bible specifically instructs Christians to do the latter (John 14:13-14).

  • Sorry some who said they were or identified as christian caused you harm. I lived in Key West for years and had a gay roommate when I was younger and we were friends. So I am not one of the ‘you people.’

    Muslims pitch gays off the roofs Christians say hard things but they are not throwing them off the roof, hopefully that bugs you as it does me. But let’s face your real problem.

    We are all sinners no matter the sin, which includes me and those other Christians. The bible said none seek after him, none are righteous before him, therefore none of us are better than you.

    Jesus Christ is what gives us any value to God, and that’s it.

  • I could just as easily ask what *your* problem with slavery and genocide is. The bible has many cases of both happening by your god’s hand or at his behest. How can you really say the bible condemns such acts?

  • A truly heterosexual person would not have the slightest temptation to have gay sex. If he did, he wouldn’t be completely heterosexual. That’s why, as much as I loathe to compare gay people to drug addicts, it’s an apt comparison when it comes to the ex-gay movement. For the most part, no one refers to themselves as a former alcoholic or former drug addict. They say they’re an addict, but in recovery. If ex-gays view themselves as “in recovery” from being gay, that’s fine with me, but it doesn’t make them not gay.

  • Most courts — and the Constitution for the Presidential Oath of Office — allow oaths to be on affirmation rather than swearing if preferred.

  • TO or IN? To pray in is equivalent to ‘to’. I cannot pray in the name of Fred and not to Fred. But you explain more please.

  • This is the JW explanation from their website. My understanding of their theology is that they are praying to Jehovah, in the name of his Son, Jesus (they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, not “God the Son”). Why would it necessarily mean they’re praying “to” Jesus? “Praying in Jesus’ name means praying with His authority and asking God the Father to act upon our prayers because we come in the name of His Son, Jesus.” That’s from the evangelical apologetics site, gotquestions/dot/org.

  • No, the significant disconnect is who Jesus Christ is and what of the body they were tasked to guard.

    They both agree he calmed to be God, they both agree he died, islam negates both and they were not even around at the time. Islam get the names wrong the story wrong the events wrong, they think Mary is part of the trinity for example that’s how far off they are.

  • Don’t fool yourself, they’re banned in Russia because the Russian Orthodox Church doesn’t want any competition. If you were correct that Islam is a cult and Russia is interested in banning cults, they’d ban Islam too.

  • I don’t claim that morality is ontologically subjective, you do, so your objection to slavery and genocide makes no logical sense. The Bible doesn’t have many cases of genocide, it does record the claim that God commanded the Israelites to drive out the Caananites and to kill those who remained. That certainly presents some difficulties for those who treat the Bible as inerrant, but again, you’ve moved into moral espistemology, which was not what I was talking about. To say that something is right or wrong no matter what anyone else thinks is to claim that morality exists objectively. In the absense of God, I would like you to tell me how that is possible.

  • Satan — more accurately the satan — is NEVER portrayed in the Old Testament as the Evil One. He is ALWAYS portrayed as a loyal servant of God, one that tempts, accuses and prosecutes humanity. There is no separate “evil being” in Judaism. The words Devil and Lucifer belong to Greek and Latin respectively. While the Septuagint translated Satan as “diabolos,” that word literally is similar to what Satan means in Hebrew — slanderer.

  • I don’t need to prove that God exists because my argument is the same as Dostoevsky’s i.e. If God does not exist, then everything is permitted. It’s an If and Then statement. I could of course adapt it for use in an argument for the existence of God in the following deductive argument:
    1. If God does not exist then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values and duties exist.
    3. Therefore God exists.
    You of course disagree with premise 2.

    Now you say that morality is a matter of taste and I infer from your comments that your taste differs from that of the Nazis, but that’s the only difference between their morality and yours. On the other hand I believe that there are certain moral values and duties that are simply wrong whatever you or the Nazis may think. And I believe the Holocaust to be a great moral evil. You may say that those who carried out the Holocaust were Christians, but as Jesus said “You shall know them by their fruits”. And Jesus commanded us to love our neighbour as ourself.

    Pol Pot may have been brought up a Buddhist, (during which period of his life he murdered no-one), but he ceased being a Buddhist, though he remained an atheist for the rest of his life. The same applies to Mao. Stalin also abandoned his faith and became a mass murderer in the cause of atheism.

    As for your telling me to read a book someday, if purile adolescent comments like that are all you’ve got to offer, I suggest you cease typing and find something useful to do.

  • Fine. Humans, like most highly social primates, have an inborn sense of morality. It is essentially for a highly social species to have some internal sense of how to interact with others in a way that maintains a cooperative state with other members of the group throughout the course of an individual’s life. Selfish actions that hurt other members of the group may provide short term gains, but if they become widespread they negate the benefits of living within a group or society. Therefore, there is a survival advantage in acting morally to other members of a tribe, and in punishing those who do not follow it. This inborn moral compass has been evolving in humans for millions of years. Subsequent moral and legal codes of conduct represent social contracts made by humans as our intelligence has gotten progressively more complex. We get together as societies and form these agreements about what constitutes right and wrong, all motivated by our own evolutionarily developed moral compasses. Thus morality is an inborn psychological need of all developed humans (aside from sociopaths). The way it manifests changes over time, resulting in changing societal moral codes.

  • Oh dear.

    I’m the wrong person to ask because I’m the subject. Freud, allegedly, once stated that he could psychoanalyse anyone but himself. Same thing – sometimes we are too involved to be able to be sure we are seeing the wood rather than the trees.

    We know that those who follow the advice of their parents are more likely to survive to reproduce. (Don’t go in the river, don’t go through the fire, don’t get too close to the edge, don’t go looking for lions etc. etc..).

    Many evolutionary traits are both advantageous and disadvantageous – it used to be highly advantageous (in terms of having many children) to have our brain’s reward system activated by eating animal fat (for brain development) and fruit sugars (for energy to catch the animals). Nowadays food, for many of us, is plentiful, we no longer have to hunt further than the freezer and craving fat and sugar leads more often to obesity, diabetes and premature death than reproductive success.

    Same evolutionary urge, different outcome. So with Gullibility. What is good for us a children is bad once we mature – if we haven’t been taught to think critically.

    Unlike many other living things we have the ability to counter things like gullibility – that’s what things like education and the scientific method are for – so that we can sift the beneficial from the nonsense.

    ” You might just as well decry one’s immune response to pathogens”
    I’m sorry – I really cannot think of a polite way to respond to the irrationality of this comment. I assume you are familiar with the term “red herring”.

  • “This inborn moral compass has been evolving in humans for millions of years.” That’s some claim. To the best of my knowledge, evolutionary biologists estimate that Homo sapiens have existed for less that 200,000 years. And there is little evidence demonstrating the evolution of morality durring that period. In fact the Holocaust and the actions of ISIS and the Khmer Rouge fail miserably to demonstrate an “evolutionary developed compass”. So where does that leave us? With Morality being a trait selected by evolution for survival. i.e. there is nothing that is really wrong in itself, all that matters is survival of the group. And if the survival of the group is enhanced by the destruction of another, then that is perfectly moral. Now contrast that with the command to love our enemies.

  • I’m pleased that you recognise the irrationality of decrying one’s immune response to pathogens, but in suggesting that guilibity is a trait selected by evolution for survival you are making a statement that is equally irrational. So it’s no red herring.

    “Gullibility is a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. It is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence.” I think that’s a fair definition, (it’s not mine it’s from Wikipedia , but don’t hold that against it). So suggesting that a child’s willingness to heed a parent’s guidence is an example of gullibility is plain wrong.

  • I don’t think, and I’ve reread my post, that I’ve claimed that gullibility is a survival trait.

    I’m suggesting that we have an evolved tendency to believe things, said by those we regard as being in authority, without testing the validity of the proposition. That tendency, if not countered by rational thought, can lead to gullibility as defined by Wikipedia. Therefore we have a tendency to being gullible. Where’s the problem?

  • Slanderer?!? False accuse much Arbustin?!? Just because you do not understand Scripture, Don’t call me a slanderer. Tell me the meaning of the next scripture then about Lucifer, if it isn’t the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah describing Lucifer or Satan, or the accuser of the brethren as a fallen angel! We can take it up with God later! You and God both see that I say that Lucifer and Satan and the devil are present and described in the Old Testament, and you say that the devil was invented by Christians and doesn’t show up until the New Testament.
    Isaiah 14: 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

    17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

    18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

    19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet

  • The one statement does not folllw from the other. Reversing your “logic” doesn’t make it any truer. dostoyevsky and you are begging the question by assuming the truth of your syllogism.

    the rest of your post is nonsense.

  • Nope! I let Jews in my house in accordance with scripture, but I don’t want Muslims in my house because they are antichrists in accordance with scriptures. Jews have the doctrine of Christ and prophecies that foretold Christ’s first coming, they just refuse to believe that Jesus was the Christ, but they still await the Messiah. Old Testament scripture and prophecies is still good scripture and prophecies,while all of the scriptures in the Quran are false perverted scriptures brought by a false prophet and none of them are true, and Muslims completely deny Christ and his cross work and that God even has a son which the Bible clearly states in the Old Testament in Isaiah 9:6. Muslims are antichrists biblically, but we are not to judge Jews. but you should be far less worried about what I do and don’t do and what I do and don’t believe and be very very worried about your complete inability to interpret scriptures whatsoever and pray that you get the gift of discernment and wisdom to interpret scriptures.

  • Slanderer?!? Satan is NEVER mentioned on the Old Testament according to you?!? That’s weird, because the Book of Job talks about Satan, BY NAME! You probably shouldn’t be so quick to accuse someone of slander about the Bible when you clearly have no idea what the Bible does and does not say!

  • You assume that the inborn moral compass is unique to our species. It isn’t. Studies have demonstrated that non-human primates have concepts of morality and fairness.
    You are vastly oversimplifying the evolutionary forces at work. I never said “all that matters is the survival of the group”. I didn’t say that because it’s not true. There is a constant tension between opposing evolutionary forces, namely the impetus to be selfish and the need to be accepted within a group of selfless individuals. This results in a spectrum of selfish and selfless behaviors, and different humans fall in different places in that spectrum. Humans also deal with this tension by engaging in tribalism. We are naturally selfless to those in our tribe of related individuals, and selfish when dealing with those who are different.
    But enough of that. Let’s hear your view, the one where things are right because somebody else says so.

  • Slanderer?!? Satan is NEVER mentioned in the Old Testament, according to you?!? My Bible says different, which would make you a false accuser.
    Job 1: 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

    7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

    8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

    9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

    10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

    11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

    12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

  • “An evolved tendency… etc.” “That tendency….can lead to gullibility”. “Therefore we have a tendency to guliibility”. Methinks you do protest too much. Evolution selects for survival so if the tendency you speak of is the result of evolutionary pressure then it has been selected for survival. But apart from that, there is no scientific evidence of what you claim. It’s a “Just So” story. The problem, therfore, is that you are making a claim that a tendency to gullibility has been selected for by evolutionary pressure, which, apart from being an odd thing to claim, has no supporting scientific evidence.

  • Please reread my post. I never called you a slanderer, I called Satan a slanderer. More precisely, slanderer is the meaning of the Greek word diabolos, which the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) used for Satan and from which our word Devil comes.

  • I haven’t reversed my logic, I have simply restated Dostoevsky’s remark as Premise 1. The argument I have presented is a deductive argument and is logically valid, so if the two premises are true then so is the conclusion. There isn’t any question begging – none at all – I have not used a premise to support itself. You are free to contest either premise if you like, but if you deny Premise 2 then your morality bears an equivalence to that of ISIS or the Nazis. If you deny Premise 1, you will need to show how morality can be grounded objectively.

  • I have made no such assumption. And I have not said that some things are right because somebody else says so. Let me clarify my position for you. I am arguing that if God does not exist then there are no objective moral values and duties. Morality is either ontologically objective or ontologically subjective. I say that morality is ontologically objective. If you are going to engage in a debate, even in one as informal as this, you should aim your attack at what I actually say rather than at straw men. Your position, as I understand it, is that moral values and duties are determined by evolutionary pressure and exist to further the interests and survival of the group; thus they do not exist objectively, but exist fluidly to further the interest of the group.

  • No – evolution does not select for survival – it selects for continued (multi-generational) reproductive success. Survival doesn’t matter – indeed survival without breeding success is wasteful of scarce resources which could be better used by those creating future generations.

    We have a rational explanation for why children tend to believe authority figures – those that don’t will have been less likely to live long enough to pass their genes to future generations. It is logical that those who survived to reproduce were more risk averse, possibly (partly?) an inherited characteristic, but possibly due to, or reinforced by, a tendency to accept instructions. I’m not sure you can have scientific evidence that will satisfy you – but logic there is.

    Learning from others is a valuable, and safe, way of gaining information. It’s a shortcut. It works. The problem comes when the information that is supplied is erroneous, manipulative and/or dangerous to the recipient. Those who have failed to learn to question critically are more likely than others to be misled, abused and harmed – they are considered gullible.

    The claim is that a tendency, call it trustingness, which can lead to gullibility has been selected because the original purpose has evolutionary benefit. Why do you think that to be “odd”?

  • An expectation exists amongst Muslims in the West that they will be accommodated as they implement their faith. This is not reciprocated for Christians in the 57 member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. This creates a one-way street of influence and necessarily results in growing Islamization. This will be most apparent to Westerners who now live in communities in which the proportion of Muslims has become significant. These are growing in number because there is one way immigration of Muslims to the West, not Christians to OIC nations. You personally will better understands how this affects you only when it does ultimately reach you, which it will in time.

  • Because a lying, thieving, mass murdering, serial raping, slave mongering, sadistic torturer, misogynistic polygamist and illiterate pedophile is such a godly man?

  • Please reread my comment. I never said the Old Testament doesn’t mention Satan, of course it does. I said the OT does not present Satan or the Satan as an evil being. It presents him as God’s loyal servant, one tasked with accusing and tempting mankind.

  • That’s not how it works.

    And the Nazis were Christians, as I noted. They were the end result of 1900 years of Christian sanctioned antisemitism. My ancestors left christian Russia because of the persecution.

    If you want to believe otherwise, I really can’t help you.

  • The prayer is in vain, we are not to pray to or in anyone but God. We must put no other God before Him. They in their wisdom have fooled themselves.

  • The world seems to fear the Islamic mental cases, they are a cult by the definition of a cult and should be banned. Its sounds good to fault the church but they are a cult and again are banned for being a cult.

  • “No – evolution does not select for survival – it selects for continued (multi-generational) reproductive success. ”

    I’m sorry to contradict you, but when evolutionary biologists talk about natural selection they mean the “survival of the form that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations”. The phrase “survival of the fittest” was coined by Herbert Spencer and meant precisely that – the survival of the phenotype; Alfred Russell Wallace suggested to Darwin that he might prefer the phrase to “natural selection” and Darwin did in fact employ it in his “The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication” [1868].

    Now all you are saying in the rest of your comment is that children learn from their parents whom they trust to give sound instruction and information. I have no problem with that, but that does not equate to “gulliblility”. As we grow older our ability to examine what we are told grows (or ought to) – big deal. That does not mean that if we do not adopt some form of philosophical scepticism we may reasonably classed as “gullible”. Faith is trusting in what we have reason to believe is true. That, historically, is what Christians define as faith. Recent attempts by the New Atheists to redefine the term as belief in something for which there is no evidence, will not do.

    Now is there any reason to deny the objectivity of moral values and duties? We apprehend them in the same way we apprehend the reality of the physical world. If you do deny that they exist objectively then you can have no argument against anyone or any society that kills and tortures children for fun – after all if your moral values and duties are subjective then they are merely a matter of taste, no better and no worse than any differing system of moral values and duties, the sort that would think it perfectly moral to murder for fun.

  • No the Nazis ( National Socialist German Workers’ Party) were as their name implies, National Socialists (an ideology that incorporated scientific racism). It was not Christian. Perhaps you can quote a passage from the New Testement that teaches the racial supremacy of the Nordic and Aryan races or even mentions Germany. Let me save you the trouble, you won’t find any and neither did Ernst Bergmann, which is why in his work “Die 25 Thesen der Deutschreligion” (Twenty-five Points of the German Religion), he claimed that both the OT and the NT were inaccurate.

    Your ancestors may well have left Russia because of persecution, I don’t doubt it, but FYI the Russians were not Nazis, not durring the time of the Tsars, when Russia was Christian, nor durring the time of the USSR when Russia was an atheist republic. And tell me Ben in Oakland, which countries liberated the camps? Atheist Russia and those two western Christian counties, the UK and the USA.

  • It was clear, which is why my previous characterization of your source of morality is entirely correct. You say things are right or wrong based on what someone else said. The person in this case is your god. You believe things are right or wrong because your god made up rules without anyone else’s consent and expects everyone to live by them.

  • No you are making a category error in describing God as a “someone else”. When I use the term God I mean the Creator of all that exists You are a “someone else”, God is not. And God does not require the consent of beings that exist contingently, that exist only because He (who exists necessarily) has created them. I’ll wait a while for you to now throw the Euthyphro dilemma at me.

  • If that’s the dilemma that goes “if god sets a bunch of rules with no one’s consent and subjects people to eternal torture based on them, he’s an evil tyrant” than yes.

  • You’re not describing a dilemma. But let me ask you something, if a Government for whom a person has not have voted, enacts legislation without that person’s consent, is it an evil tyrant?

  • But why would you describe God as “evil” given that the use of the term implies you subscribe to the notion that morality exists objectively?

  • There’s plenty to criticize about Islam, but it is far too big and heterogeneous to be a cult. Jehovah’s Witnesses are a lot more cultlike, but that’s not why Russia banned them.

  • Sorry, I am worried about someone who’d ban people from his house on the basis of their religion alone. Muslims are just as aware of the “doctrine of Christ” and the alleged prophecies from the Old Testament. Bu they, like the Jews, do not believe Jesus was the messiah. If you criticize Muslims on theological terms, but refuse to do the same in equal measure to Jews, even though the theology is exactly the same, then it’s not about the theology (h/t to RNS’s Mark Silk for elucidating this test).
    Isaiah 9:6 does not “clearly state” that God has a son, it states that “a child is born to us, a son is given to us.” A child was born to me and my wife, it doesn’t mean he’s the Son of God.

  • Do you people all go to the same websites and learn the same views of history?

    The National Socialists were socialists (an economic system, not a political system, which Nazism certainly was) in exactly the same way the The German Democratic Republic was a democracy, and the People’s Republic of China is “for the people.”

    As for quoting the Bible to justify things like racism, slavery, and segregation, and claiming that it doesn’t, well…

    You’re talking to the wrong person. You need to talk to the people who did it. That they had no such justification is your modern interpretation of what they did say, which were a lot of biblical quotes. Read the decision of the original judge in Loving v. Virginia. he knew ALL about what god wanted. As did the witch burners. As did the Jew haters.

  • “You people”? I lived and went to school in West Germany, Ben in Oakland, and my familiy was well aquainted with Germans who lived under the Third Reich; I lived in Bergen, Celle, in Lower Saxony. Have a look at a map and see just where that is. (It’s certainly nowhere near Oakland.) I think I probably understand what the Nazis were better than you mate. It’s clear from your remarks that you’re a Socialist and as such, you share a similar need to hate anyone who doesn’t subscribe to that failed ideology. Substitute Christians for Jews and Slavs and there really is little to differentiate National Socialism from International Socialism. They both love nothing more than to stamp their jackboots on the necks of those who view the world differently.

  • Nonsense. You,re response to your misrepresentation of history is to call me A socialist.

    And you say the Nazis were better than me?

    I also have relatives I. Germany. I visit them all the time. They would consider you morally bankrupt, as do I.

  • I never said the Nazis were better than you, I said that as a Socialist you shared the same need to hate. Your relatives in Germany (I presiume you asked them if you could speak on their behalf) don’t even know me so their opinion of me means means nothing – as does yours. I notice you don’t deny being a Socialist, why’s that?

  • It does stand up to Islam and called it what it is an untruth. Only the Christians can make such a claim and only they have made that claim, the rest of you are clueless yet have much to say. Remain clueless then.

  • You may have missed one or two items in the list but you hit all the popular ones. So refreshing!

  • Deal with it. I still remember the question to Trump ‘will you accept the outcome of the election” in their arrogance. Will you?

  • Only the Christians can make such a claim? A small correction. Only the Christians WOULD make such a claim. Nope. I’m wrong about that. Only Christians and Muslims would make such a claim, and be willing to declare it to each other, and have a nice little war about it. Oops. I’m wrong about that, too. Christians used to kill other Christians over that claim. Did God want hymn 666 sung in Latin or German? Only war could solve that intractable problem.

    As for the rest of us? We really just wish you’d leave the rest of us alone. And why? because we atheists think all of it as untruth, and are willing to make such a claim.

    I guess I was wrong Again!

  • As godly as all of the rest that claim to be godly. That’s the problem with the godly– they think they are godly.

  • Well, thank you for your apology on behalf of someone else. And I mean that. The harm I’ve suffered due to antigay bigotry has been fairly minimal, if you don’t count the death of my brother, who internalized the vicious messages he had been accepting for decades.

    Some muslims throw gay people off roofs, and as far as I can tell, there are a significant number of so called Christians who are only slightly less violent. Given all of the wails about the final abrogation of sodomy laws coming from the religious right, they are better than the Muslims– they only want to see us in prison, whether an actual one or the spiritual prison of the closet.

    As for no one being better than anyone else, none being righteous, it all depends on which side of his mouth a certain type of Christian may be speaking from. I have been reliably informed by a certain class of so called Christian on THESE VERY PAGES that they are entitled to judge all they wish, as long as they judge righteously, which, according to them, they are always doing, because THE BIBLE SAYS SO RIGHT HERE. The motes and beams part- not so much.

    So, apparently, a goodly number of you are quite a good deal more good than the rest of us– depending on how flexible in the notion of good that you are.

    As for your last sentence, I’m not even going to go there.

  • No, they re banned in Russia because they don’t serve the purposes of the state, not because of any theological disputes with the Russian Orthodox. IT’s all about power and money, always.

    As for Islam being a cult, about 1/3 of the world is Christian, and about 1/4 is Muslim. That’s a pretty large cult ya got there. And given that about half of Christianity is always something attacking the other half of Christianity for not being the right sort of Christian, AS YOU JUST DID, it would seem to me that you are all pretty Cultic.

    From my position as an atheist, with a fair amount of education in sociology and psychology– two masters– this is indeed the problem with all conservative religion, Muslim, Christian, Jew, or Hindu …

    The ever present, always assumed, completely unwarranted faith in your own always self assigned, and completely imaginary superiority as a religious person and a human being. You simply do not believe in the humility yo always assign to yourselves, because that’s is a part of your wholly imaginary superiority as well. “LOOK HOW HUMBLE I AM!”

    Sorry, but I don’t buy any of it. We all have our spiritual journeys to make, even we atheists. I don’t assume that my path is the correct one for you. I wish you would return the courtesy, especially to your fellow Christians.

  • Well, my hope is you understand men and our actions don’t speak for God, much harm has been done in this world in the name of God, for God, and to God. But one day we each will answer to Him for our deeds. You may not care but you must be told, and you were born to know Jesus Christ died for you. Reconcile to Him you will not regret such a decision (by His words)! Forget me and those, its just you and Him as it always is, was and shall become.

  • You must not know anything about moehamhead! And Jesus Christ and Siddhartha Gautama were godly men by any comparison of humanity.

  • OK,… In effect you hold an opinion OK great. You actually think all religion is the figment of mans fertile imagination and we are so gullible (all of us) except you, not to stop for a second to say God who, God what? And this all powerful all knowing God never thought we would require proof? More than enough has been provided for those who seek to know, seek and ye shall find knock and it shall be opened. His words. You can (and will have an opportunity) explain it to Him. You choose as He has allowed you to do, as from the beginning. That is the sad relization, that it was/is your choice to reject that which has been provided.

    Plus note the definition of a cult before you excluded anyone, the number of members is irrelevant. But you should know that.

    We have secrets in this world for a reason, do you realize this? Items are held from you, you do not have the full picture and who has held them from you men or the fantasy God?

  • Nothing I said at all.

    I said quite clearly, we all have our spiritual journeys to make. You are The one that has decided otherwise, not me.

    Cult: a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister. The dictionary disagrees with you.

    Islam is a religion, same as Christianity. You just believe yours is true and theirs is not. They think the same about you.

    For the record, I very nearly became a Christian 50 years ago. John 3:16, the central message, ironically convinced me that it was not for me. Funny about that.

    I’m quite happy being an atheist. I don’t care what you or any other religious person believes. What I care about is what you CHOOSE to do with it. I think it is very funny that an atheist is pleading with the religious to stop dumping on other religious people.

  • I think we are now in agreement about natural selection – just using different words to relay the same concept.

    “Faith is trusting in what we have reason to believe is true”
    11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    We probably disagree about what constitutes “reason”. I cannot find any reason to have religious faith – I’m well aware that others think they have – but their explanations don’t meet my test of reason. And I call Martin Luther in my support “You cannot be a Christian unless you first pluck out the eye of reason”.

    I’m assuming your “apprehend” was meant to read “comprehend”.
    Are you suggesting that objective morality preceded that which is called “God”? If not then, even if you believe morality is god-given. it is subjective isn’t it because the god can change its mind (as a strict reading of the Bible suggests God has).

    “If you do deny that they exist objectively then you can have no argument against anyone or any society that kills and tortures children for fun – after all if your moral values and duties are subjective then they are merely a matter of taste, no better and no worse than any differing system of moral values and duties, the sort that would think it perfectly moral to murder for fun.”
    I think you may be confusing public morality with private morality.
    Public morality has arisen spontaneously in different places at different times but always (AFAIK) in social groupings which needed to regulate the behaviour within their group. Hence the commonality of “don’t kill”, “don’t steal” etc.
    Whilst it is possible that societies could consider, perhaps have (think the amphitheatre/public executions) considered, that murder for fun is moral that does not preclude you or I arguing that that is not, or is no longer, an acceptable morality.

    Furthermore – there is an argument that personal morality, usually thought to mean doing what is considered “right” without regard for reward or punishment, is an impossible certainty for any who subscribe to a view which involves an afterlife affected by a deity’s adjudication of their behaviour in the only one we know we have. I’m not sure that that translates into “only atheists can be moral” (it doesn’t) but it’s fun isn’t it?

  • By reason I mean a rational ground. I don’t think you should have a problem with that.

    I can give you, off the top of my head, a number of rational arguments for the existence of God, such as the Kalam Cosmological Argument; the Moral Argument; the Cosmological Argument from Contingency and the Teleological Argument. There are others, but four will do for now. Martin Luther can say what he likes, – I’m not a Lutheran and I have little time for most of what he said or wrote. I think 1 Peter 3:15 carries more weight ” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”.

    No I meant “aprehend” and no I am not “suggesting that objective morality preceded that which is called God”.

    You suggest “If not then, even if you believe morality is god-given. it is subjective isn’t it because the god can change its mind (as a strict reading of the Bible suggests God has).” Well no, not from a Christian understanding of God, which unlike Islam, does not regard the nature of God as Voluntarist.

    “I think you may be confusing public morality with private morality.” No I am not. Whether public or private, if morality is ontologically objective there can be no difference between the two.

    “…that does not preclude you or I arguing that that is not, or is no longer, an acceptable morality.” That’s the problem though, if morality is ontologically subjective then no system of morality is either better or wrose than any other, so in aguing that a system of morality is “…no longer acceptable” I have to ask, acceptable to whom? You might say to me that prohibiting abortion or SSM is no longer acceptable, but I’m free to reply, “Says who, it is to me”. So to what grounding of morality do you appeal? After all, you regard morality as subjective so there can be no objective standard by which to gage any system of morality. Or to put it another way, if morality is subjective, then right or wrong exist only subjectively, not objectively. There is no better or worse, only a personal preference for one system or the other and if I say abortion is unacceptable, it doesn’t matter what you think, your system cannot logically trump mine, because it can’t be argued that your system is better or more moral than mine.

  • I would suggest you try the other four as those you mention only make sense to those who want them to do so. Unfounded assumptions are not an adequate basis for claiming knowledge and all four require that the devotee assents as rational things that are not.
    I say would suggest, I’m not online for the next 10 days or so – you can always pick this up again after that if you wish.

    Just because you don’t like what you envisage to be the consequences of subjective morality doesn’t make morality objective. I’d like morality to be objective (provided it conforms to my concepts) but the reality is that it is not.

    Morality changes – one might say that morality doesn’t change but the understanding of it does. Whichever; the reality is that things that were considered moral are now considered immoral and vice versa. If one argues that it’s only the understanding that changes one is admitting the imperfection of the communication, and someone who tries to shoehorn their personal deity preference into that unchanging morality is automatically admitting the incompetence of that deity’s communication skills.

    “There is no better or worse, only a personal preference for one system or the other and if I say abortion is unacceptable, it doesn’t matter what you think, your system cannot logically trump mine, because it can’t be argued that your system is better or more moral than mine.”

    Exactly – the argument is not that a system is inherently “better” – that idea is of no use to anyone – the argument is that a particular view of morality is better for a human/humans/humanity. It doesn’t matter one iota whether you consider an idea to be capable of being moral (it isn’t) the beingness(!) of morality lies in the consequences of how we apply ideas to other people; and there it is often, though not always, possible to determine good and bad outcomes – in reality rather than in abstract.

    Being moral is not an intellectual exercise – it’s how we interact with each other every second of every minute.

    Incidentally WLC’s argument (Divine Command Morality) that morality is doing the will of God, and that to fail to do the will of God is to be immoral may allow him to consider the OT accounts (almost certainly false) of genocide/forced breeding as moral acts but it, in my opinion, calls into question his right to be considered human and disqualifies anything he says from being taken seriously. The arrogance of assuming that one’s personal choice of god(s) – indeed the inevitable conviction that the, probably unique, subset of opinions that each believer has about THEIR god is superior to anyone else’s understanding (unless it is identical to mine) is, IMO, mental illness at its extreme.

  • “…in my opinion, calls into question his right to be considered human..”. WLC is human – it’s a scientific fact, not a matter of opinion, yours or anybody else’s. Did you think he was a kangaroo or a rubgy ball or a vast herd of wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti? The validity of the KCA is not impaired because you don’t like WLC’s views on the explusion of the Caananites. – that’s a complete non-sequitur. Not only that, if morality is subjective, you shouldn’t have any objections to what he has said about their expulsion or supposed genocide.

    “…the argument is that a particular view of morality is better for a human/humans/humanity.” No, the argument is about whether right or wrong, good or evil actually exist. If morality is subjective, as you claim, you can have no logical objection to WLC’s defence of the treatment of the Caananites.

  • One more thing. When you dismiss the four arguments for God that I mentioned with the comment “I would suggest you try the other four as those you mention only make sense to those who want them to do so. Unfounded assumptions are not an adequate basis for claiming knowledge and all four require that the devotee assents as rational things that are not.” it’s clear that either you do not understand the arguments or you do, but are unable to offer an adequate or convincing rebuttal. So which is it? Let’s take the KCA; what unfounded assumption is made?

  • False, false, false religion, sin, and golden calf worship festival, in a nutshell.
    Steer clear. Everyone should know better, the apostasy path to the one world religion has almost reached its destination under antichrist. People are past the point of listening to the Holy Spirit, but follow after the spirit of deception instead.

  • John 3:16 you had a problem with that verse, thats why you are not a child of the living God? I would dear say that that verse and its message is the sole reason why you were born on this earth! To know that bit of information and what have you done with it? You understand it and yet have made your decision.

    Batman is a superhero just like superman kids, both fiction much like the silly christians and the muslims fighting about their fictional facts like the kids they are.

    Is that the best you can come up with? You enlighten me on how you would know no God exist. I never saw my great great grandfather I just heard about him from others, by your standards he may not exist right? I cannot prove he existed, he died at sea, what should I do?

    So funny how we in our wisdom choose to be separated from God and at the same time fault God for the separation to come (the long lasting tormented one)

    Nevertheless while there is life there is hope.

    You said islam is a religion just like christianity (its safe to say we know this already) how can we the christians say the muslims have it wrong and the muslims feel the same. How do we find out, as I said to you before we must seek the truth. So let me ask you, if someone said George Washington was a black guy and I dont know why everyone still thinks he was a white guy? What would you do if you knew of some group complaining that GW is not black, and this complaining came only from a group who thinks they have all the facts (and they get mocked left and right), everyone else is wrong but they are right. Would you mock them also for telling the truth? But what is the truth? How do we learn of it, do we go about taking a survey of how popular it is, how hard they fight about it, how? How do we find truth? Particularly historical truth, how do we find out what really happened and how. I think you know the answer to this, so dont pretend that the christians cannot call out the muslims. The muslims say Christ did not die on the cross, well did he or did he not, what does the Jews and the Romans who were present have to say about it, the muslims were nowhere to be found so how could they know, its on them to prove they have better data, but without that proof I will call it an outright lie from the pits of hell. (yes I went that far). They offer no proof whatsoever of their outrageous false claim, yet people like you let them get away with it.

  • If you insist on setting up straw men, then don’t expect me to hang out in the hayfield.
    I never said I know that no god exists. That was you, and a caricature of what atheists believe.
    The muslims have exactly as much evidence for their version of the truth as do Christians. You can fight it out among yourselves. Oh, wait, you have, and the history of the world is writ large with the blood shed in that fight– when Muslims aren’t killing muslims and chrsitans aren’t killing Christians.
    As for john 3:16, you see it as a promise, I see it as a threat to punish the innocent.

  • No matter what you are told you repeat the flawed lie that Islam and Christianity both have truth, they are the same, one likes Jesus and does not, what does it matter?

    John 3:16 is a threath to punish the innocent! Innocent by who’s law, yours? Even on earth by mans standards your view of the law matters not. Go and live that innocent life then and leave the Christians and Muslims to their ends.

  • Why, you seem so very angry. Again with the straw men. They have exactly the same truth value, as does every other religion on the planet.

    As for John 3:16, if you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins because no one got the message to you, or the messenger was a total a-hole, well, it simply doesn’t matter. it’s off to hell with you.

    I’d be happy to leave you all alone, if only you would leave the rest of us alone. And each other alone. But you won’t.

  • God is a just God unlike men.

    I did not engage you as I can remember so I was leaving you alone, but you engaged me and now ask we leave you alone. That request is easily granted. Go and find whatever you seek, I will let you be and please let me be as well, so I am free to call the Muslims out without you butting in. Wonderful!!!

  • The news media never exposes verses such as Koran 9:5, known as the “Verse of the Sword.” Here, Muhammad commands Muslims to proactively fight everyone who rejects Islam, to “slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive) …” The Yusufali translation clarifies, “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”

    God revealed His will to the angels, saying: “I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers.” (Sura 8, Verse 12)

    “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads.” (Sura 47, Verse 4)

    9:29—Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth [Islam], out of those [Christians and Jews] who have been give the Book [the Bible], until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of [Muslim] superiority and they [Christians and Jews] are in a state of subjection [dhimmitude, third-class legal status].

    Muhammad describes Christians and Jews as “unjust,” the “worst of creatures” … (5:51; 9:30). Muhammad declared, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim” (Sahih Muslim 4366).

    Why is it not broadcasted that 109 verses in the Koran command violence?

    “More than 3,000 Americans on US soil have perished in more than 75 Islamist terrorist attacks over the last 40 years. And Jews are the most targeted victims of hate crimes in America.”

    Also note, no one is allowed to use terms such as “democracy” and “human rights” in Muslim countries; it is a crime. This is considered insulting Islam and such charges can enact a death sentence. These are also the words liberal/progressives want to see vanquished. Of course, Democrats want illegals in America because they will vote Democrat, not because they own a loving concern for Muslims and other radical groups.

    Muslims are taught to lie and deceive. They are taught to pretend they can live in coexistence with infidels until they obtain the power they desire through implementing moderate deception. Once they gain power in a nation, then they start implementing Sharia Law. They will riot in the streets until they obtain their desires. Do not imagine for a moment they will not lie and say they adhere to the Constitution for respect sake. They lie continually.

    You observe this with Islam clerics. Before the media they are moderates and for freedom; however, when filmed in the mosques, they shout “death to America, etc.” The Muslim motto is to lie until you gain ruling power over the infidels; be nice to their face and curse them behind their backs. Surveys amongst American Muslims reveal 50% or more want Sharia Law implemented in America.

    Muslim children are being taught to be terrorists in American Islamic schools:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkadhMDouY The news media never exposes verses such as Koran 9:5, known as the “Verse of the Sword.” Here, Muhammad commands Muslims to proactively fight everyone who rejects Islam, to “slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive) …” The Yusufali translation clarifies, “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”

    God revealed His will to the angels, saying: “I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers.” (Sura 8, Verse 12)

    “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads.” (Sura 47, Verse 4)

    9:29—Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth [Islam], out of those [Christians and Jews] who have been give the Book [the Bible], until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of [Muslim] superiority and they [Christians and Jews] are in a state of subjection [dhimmitude, third-class legal status].

    Muhammad describes Christians and Jews as “unjust,” the “worst of creatures” … (5:51; 9:30). Muhammad declared, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim” (Sahih Muslim 4366).

    Why is it not broadcasted that 109 verses in the Koran command violence?

    “More than 3,000 Americans on US soil have perished in more than 75 Islamist terrorist attacks over the last 40 years. And Jews are the most targeted victims of hate crimes in America.”

    Also note, no one is allowed to use terms such as “democracy” and “human rights” in Muslim countries; it is a crime. This is considered insulting Islam and such charges can enact a death sentence. These are also the words liberal/progressives want to see vanquished. Of course, Democrats want illegals in America because they will vote Democrat, not because they own a loving concern for Muslims and other radical groups.

    Muslims are taught to lie and deceive. They are taught to pretend they can live in coexistence with infidels until they obtain the power they desire through implementing moderate deception. Once they gain power in a nation, then they start implementing Sharia Law. They will riot in the streets until they obtain their desires. Do not imagine for a moment they will not lie and say they adhere to the Constitution for respect sake. They lie continually.

    You observe this with Islam clerics. Before the media they are moderates and for freedom; however, when filmed in the mosques, they shout “death to America, etc.” The Muslim motto is to lie until you gain ruling power over the infidels; be nice to their face and curse them behind their backs. Surveys amongst American Muslims reveal 50% or more want Sharia Law implemented in America.

    Muslim children are being taught to be terrorists in American Islamic schools:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkadhMDouY The news media never exposes verses such as Koran 9:5, known as the “Verse of the Sword.” Here, Muhammad commands Muslims to proactively fight everyone who rejects Islam, to “slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive) …” The Yusufali translation clarifies, “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”

    God revealed His will to the angels, saying: “I shall be with you. Give courage to the believers. I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers.” (Sura 8, Verse 12)

    “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads.” (Sura 47, Verse 4)

    9:29—Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth [Islam], out of those [Christians and Jews] who have been give the Book [the Bible], until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of [Muslim] superiority and they [Christians and Jews] are in a state of subjection [dhimmitude, third-class legal status].

    Muhammad describes Christians and Jews as “unjust,” the “worst of creatures” … (5:51; 9:30). Muhammad declared, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim” (Sahih Muslim 4366).

    Why is it not broadcasted that 109 verses in the Koran command violence?

    “More than 3,000 Americans on US soil have perished in more than 75 Islamist terrorist attacks over the last 40 years. And Jews are the most targeted victims of hate crimes in America.”

    Also note, no one is allowed to use terms such as “democracy” and “human rights” in Muslim countries; it is a crime. This is considered insulting Islam and such charges can enact a death sentence. These are also the words liberal/progressives want to see vanquished. Of course, Democrats want illegals in America because they will vote Democrat, not because they own a loving concern for Muslims and other radical groups.

    Muslims are taught to lie and deceive. They are taught to pretend they can live in coexistence with infidels until they obtain the power they desire through implementing moderate deception. Once they gain power in a nation, then they start implementing Sharia Law. They will riot in the streets until they obtain their desires. Do not imagine for a moment they will not lie and say they adhere to the Constitution for respect sake. They lie continually.

    You observe this with Islam clerics. Before the media they are moderates and for freedom; however, when filmed in the mosques, they shout “death to America, etc.” The Muslim motto is to lie until you gain ruling power over the infidels; be nice to their face and curse them behind their backs. Surveys amongst American Muslims reveal 50% or more want Sharia Law implemented in America.

    Muslim children are being taught to be terrorists in American Islamic schools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqkadhMDouY

    Jesus Christ is our only hope. Romans 10:9-10 from the Bible: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

    Val Lee of “val lee weblog” https://vallee7.wordpress.com

  • If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things (homosexuality) have passed away. Let God be true and all men be liars.

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