A law enforcement official stands watch outside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the scene of a deadly shooting, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing and wounding many. The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Atheists confronted possibility Texas shooter was one of their own

(RNS) — Often when a terrorist strikes in America, many Muslims say, "Please don't let it be a Muslim."

After 26 people were killed and 20 more wounded at a Texas Baptist church on Sunday (Nov. 5),  it was atheists hoping the gunman wasn't one of their own.

Reports surfaced late Sunday that Devin Patrick Kelley had at some point "liked" a Facebook page belonging to the Friendly Atheist, the pen name of Hemant Mehta, a writer and secular activist whose blog of the same name is among the most popular on Patheos, a blog host site.

That prompted some social media users to blame atheism and atheists for the killings. Wrote Elizabeth Johnston, whose Twitter handle is @activist Mommy: "The TX mass shooting today is the end result of atheist's worldview."

And @jim_rockford1 tweeted: "How many more deaths at the hands of filthy God haters must happen before we arrest all atheists?"



On Monday, Texas law enforcement officials determined Kelley was motivated by a "domestic situation" and specifically ruled out religious beliefs as motive for targeting the small Baptist church.

“This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs, it was a domestic situation going on,” Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a morning news conference in Sutherland Springs, the Texas town where the shooting occurred.

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While Kelley's religious beliefs are still unknown, many of Mehta's fans — both religious and non-religious — disavowed any link between the shooting and the views of the atheist blogger.

"I've never seen you advocate violence against anyone. So, him liking your Facebook page, if true, means nothing," wrote a man who tweets as  @GarethPineCone in response to Mehta's tweet.

Sunday evening, Mehta, who is based in the Chicago area, issued a statement on his blog condemning the attack and the conclusion that the shooter was an atheist.

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"Obviously, I think years of posts on this website would make very clear that, no matter how many disagreements I have with religious people and institutions, I’ve made it abundantly clear that violence is never an answer," Mehta wrote. "Hell, we’ve held fundraisers for churches we disagree with after they were vandalized by strangers using atheist tags."

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For some, Mehta's statement was further evidence that the shooter was inspired by "anti-Christian" attacks. Among them was Johnston, whose social media profile says she is a Christian with ten children who does "it all because of Jesus."

Others agreed and continued to blame atheists for the killings. Tweeted Heather Oates: "It seems like atheists are prone to mental health problems. Christians are dead in Texas."






  1. The other right wing meme is that Kelley was a secret Muslim, that Kelly actually was Muslim from the Middle East, that kelly was an atheist, that this was plant by the Democrats to undermine Trumpee …

    That Kelley was anything other than what he was…

    Another Angry, disturbed American with easy access to a weapon of mass murder in a country that thinks it is “too soon” to discuss gun control, or that gun control simply doesn’t work…

    All despite this country being the only one in the civilized world that seems to have this problem on a regular basis,

  2. Thanks, Ben in Oakland, for yet another well-reasoned, thoughtful, and thought-provoking post. I think that you’re a great participant in RNS commenting, and that the quality of your comments is something for others here to strive for.

  3. I just wanted to make everybody aware that this atrocity was of a religious nature because this man hated Christians and sought his mother in law at a church instead of her home. So when she wasn’t found at the church he proceeded his murderous spree and murdered a 17 month old baby, a pregnant woman along with 8 people from the same family 26 people in all. But you won’t find these facts about him being a MILITANT ATHEIST in any US liberal media outlets..

    You will find all this information in a UK news paper because in the USA we are covering up who this man was or why he chose a church rather than his mother in laws home.


  4. “On Monday, Texas law enforcement officials determined Kelley was motivated by a “domestic situation” and specifically ruled out religious beliefs as motive for targeting the small Baptist church.” Yea, right…..the 18 month old reminded him of his mother-in-law

  5. Ben, Muslim are atheists – they do not worship God.

  6. Stop making an ass out of yourself. Good grief, you need a shrink.

  7. At the risk of getting you to post reams of irrelevancy and passive aggression…

    Stupid. Even for you.

    A few months ago you were claiming they were a cult. Theists believe in a god, just not the one the other theists believe in. I’m an atheist. You’re a theist.

  8. they are a cult. Just because they think they worship God, does not mean they do.

  9. When I’m not at work I ALWAYS carry my Springfield SDS 45 including church because of these kinds of things. It’s loaded with three kinds of special bullets one being bullet proof vest piercing. So yes I’m ready for the worst and hope I never have to use my gun to kill a terrorist but shame on then if the force me.

  10. You should go look in a mirror to know she did as you asked.

  11. Given that the authorities have emphatically ruled out religion (or anti-religion) as a motive in these shootings, it seems odd that RNS would bother with a red herring such as this, despite the proclivity of those in the twitterverse to run rampant.

  12. Sandi, though I embrace you as a friend and ally in this never ending war regarding spirituality, I have to confess that I fail to see the logic of your remark. It is quite evident that Muslims worship a god. He is not the God of the bible, and many gods are worshipped that patently do not exist, or they exist in demonic form, but that is not the same thing as atheism. Even atheism might be construed as a form of god worship, in that their “god” is the god of unbelief. Remember that the ancient pagans and even the Israelites were known to worship “gods” of wood and stone, etc..

  13. A thread to a news source in the U.K. is hardly proof of your argument. In any event when a disturbed individual goes on a rampage, he rarely takes the time to codify his targets by age, gender, or family relationship. The mother-in-law may have been the irrational trigger for his rage, but the rage was there notwithstanding.

  14. “The TX mass shooting today is the end result of atheist’s worldview.”
    Atheism isn’t a worldview. It’s just the lack of a belief.
    Atheism has no dogma, holy book, central authority, or anything else that makes up a worldview.

  15. “How many more deaths at the hands of filthy God haters must happen before we arrest all atheists?”

    You can’t hate something you don’t even believe in.

  16. “It seems like atheists are prone to mental health problems. Christians are dead in Texas.”

    Then explain the mental condition of every murder committed by a Christian.

  17. The possibility that Kelley could be “one of our own?”

    Could you have gotten a crappier headline going to the Crappy Headline outlet and purchasing their best?

    Being an atheist is not like being a member of a church, a card club, or the Boy Scouts. Relatively few atheists belong to any organization with Atheist in its title. Or any organization at all. Its’s not an organizing principle. It’s simply a lack of belief in god. Some people feel a need to join something. Most do not.

    Why would I care if he is an atheist! the only people who really would care are the ones out to prove that atheists are evil. I could say the word “marshmallow”, and that would be sufficient proof for people who always have to divide everyone into “us” and “them”, with the former representing goodness and light and the latter representing whatever it is they think it represents.

    But of course, there is no evidence that he is an atheist, especially not given his known history. But it’s not surprising that a certain class of so called christian needs to believe it is all about atheism. The comments from George White— gotta love the name— are priceless projection. Just today, Jim Bakker, scamvangelist extraordinaire, said that “Christians” would engage in armed insurrection if Trumpee is impeached. And he is not the first right winger and Christian to threaten it.

    As a gay man, I’m used to being lumped in with our occasional bad apple as representative of all gay people, everywhere and at all times. Now who does that? Right winger Christians, of course. That they lump all Muslims together as terrorists, all atheists as lacking morals, all Jews as venal purveyors of porn— it doesn’t matter. It’s what they do to prove they are superior to everyone, and how they hide bigotry behind religious belief

  18. Red herring doesn’t even begin to cover it. Scarlet whoring click bait is what it is,

  19. It’s obvious you’re quoting a few whack jobs looking for an argument….say it isn’t so?

  20. You should first talk to your fellow atheists on this site before making such a inaccurate statement.

    Your fellow atheist have a list of tenets you are supposed to follow if you’re an atheist because obviously you’re wrong on your assumption.

  21. Yeah that “trigger” thing is definitely a liberal aberration. Which fact in the article confuses you?

  22. Basically, as with atheists, they worship the god of this world – who is not a god at all. I could have said it much better.

  23. Atheism is the lack of belief in a diety(s). Atheists include the good, bad…geniuses and fools; and sadly sometimes lunatics.

  24. RNS, you might consider the wisdom of disabling comments as other responsible media have done. Its just hard to see what we the public bring to these discussions. Today for example.

  25. A list of tenets? LOL. Name one! The only thing you need to be an atheist is the lack of a belief in a god.

  26. It isn’t so. I’m clarifying with critical thinking and logic, Happy now?

  27. What is “the god of the world”? I don’t worship anything.

  28. The Sun is not generally regarded as a “newspaper”.

    This is the rag that made up a story about the European Union making a ruling that UK shops could only sell straight (as in physically straight) bananas and had many of its readers writing letters of protest.

    It was a main player in the illegal hacking of celebrities’ ‘phones – not to uncover threats to society but in order to sell papers in greater quantity to those who prefer gossip and innuendo over serious reportage and analysis.

    A News International company, the Sun’s use of English is aimed the expected reading attainment level of an average, UK, eight year old – so beyond your powers of comprehension?

  29. Good point. If he was bald, would the headline read ‘Bald Men Worry Shooter Was One of Their Own, Or, why not ‘Texans Worry Shooter Was One of Their Own?’.

    In fairness, I think the writer was trying to point out unfair prejudice against atheist, but for those that stop at the headline, it reinforces a misconception that makes as much sense as saying all bald Texans think alike.

  30. Just ask any of your atheist ilks on this thread about your atheist tenets as for me I blocked most of the bigots so there garbage is no longer visible to me.

  31. Sorry you can’t back up your mouth eh? You made a claim and now the burden of proof is on you. BTW the New Covenant doesn’t support mass murders so IF a person claims to Christian and murders innocent people is is not supported in any way by Jesus or the New Covenant. Please educate yourself on these facts oh and BTW just because some call themselves Christians doesn’t make it so and just because those like you think you label murders Christians doesn’t make it so John 3:3, 5, 7, 16 – 20.

    From Wiki…..Christian terrorism comprises terrorist acts by groups or individuals who profess Christian motivations or goals. Contents. Now all you need do is show how their terrorism is condoned in the New Covenant.

    I also noticed that all reference to “Christian terrorism” are all liberal rags and even wiki has a note on their site that states “The neutrality of this article is disputed. (July 2015)” So with that the burden of proof is that you prove any of the terrorist that claim to be Christian were Christian and/or weren’t defending themselves. So let’s discuss which terrorist you think were Christians shall we?

  32. I never met an “atheist ilk”. You do admit you are willfully ignorant at least.

  33. Sorry. You would be wrong.

    An atheist is someone who has concluded supernatural deities are fiction. Period. Full stop. That’s it.

    Individual people who happen to be atheists have all sorts of personalities and worldviews. Just like christians. Or stamp collectors.

    Some people like the 7 tenets and think those are a much better guide to morality than anything in your book of myths.

    Some people consider themselves humanists. Other people haven’t given any of it much thought.

    Most christians are just nice people chugging along through life. Likewise atheists.

  34. He’s probably talking about the Seven Tenets of The Satanic Temple. Which is in fact a fine guide to morality, but most atheists probably don’t know it exists. Also, the 7 Tenets do not actually preclude religious belief (even tho TST does not believe in a literal satan.)

    Atheist = concluded that gods do not exist.

    7 tenets
    – One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
    – The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
    – One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
    – The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
    – Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
    – People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
    – Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word

  35. Expertise, knowledge, facts, evidence – all utterly worthless against the unshakeable conviction that drives the need to perpetuate this particular brand of ignorance

  36. Yup, you’ve finally got it: liberal = accurate, rational, fact-based, honest and professional.

  37. Yeah – but it would help if you stuck to concepts that Bob both understands and values.

  38. 1. Atheists don’t believe in Satan.
    2. An atheist doesn’t need tenets to be moral.
    3. As an atheist, I don’t “conclude” that a god does not exist. I wait for the burden of proof caused by the claim that there is a god, to be met. Until the evidence is presented that demonstrably proves a god exists, I have no reason to believe one does exist.

  39. Of course, atheism isn’t a real factor in this tragedy. While atheism might remove fear of next-life punishment and the desire to please God as controls on individual behavior, unlike the mainstream Islamic sects there is nothing inherently violent in the teachings of atheists. Any violent tendencies are brought by the human nature shared by all of us and possibly mental issues the individual might be suffering from.

  40. Christians used to say that God wasn’t allowed in schools (no school prayers), and that’s why there were so many school shootings. Every time there was a shooting, people responded with “thoughts and prayers”. Now, the shooting was inside a church, where God and prayers are allowed. If you want any evidence that religion is dumb, here it is. So what are religious people doing? Shifting their failure to atheists. Suppose he was an atheist, so what? He was also white. He was also an American. How many non-Americans kill people like this every year? How many mentally ill non-Americans do this every year? How many atheists are carrying out mass-shootings worldwide?

  41. Notice that there’s only 1 “true Scotsman” fallacy post in these comments and it’s by a Christian. Despite the fact that the Christians here are accusing atheists collectively of being evil no atheist has said the shooter wasn’t a “true atheist”.

  42. God is just a concept. Every culture has a different idea about this concept. All ancient texts were written by men. Do you believe man was created by a lump or dirt or clay or do fossils show a pattern of change over geological time, and that we have so much molecular evidence, DNA, and other scientific evidences to link all the diverse lineages of life on earth, which is called evolution?

  43. We are on the same page.

    Based on evidence to date, there is no reason to believe a deity exists. I call that a conclusion. You can call it what you like.

    Did you read what I wrote? I agree with (and said) pretty much all of what you said.

    Of course atheists don’t need tenets to be moral. I just happen to like that list. YMMV. It is hands down better than that list that forbids being envious of your neighbors property (cows, wives, slaves, etc.)

    And the people that wrote it do not believe in imaginary friends either.

  44. Every culture has people that worship the concept of God and is a believer, while atheists question their beliefs, which is what you are doing. You probably believe that God created the universe (millions of stars and billions of planets in one day. What factual evidence do you base your belief on?

  45. WWII Europe!
    The decimation of the Native Americans
    The European slave trade to the Americas

    Cristoforo Columbo (Columbus) flew the flag of Christian Kings as those who were to follow.

    February 2006, BBC
    Church apologizes for slave trade
    The Church of England has voted to apologize to the descendants of victims of the slave trade.
    An amendment “recognizing the damage done” to those enslaved was backed overwhelmingly by the General Synod. Debating the motion, Rev Simon Bessant, from Pleckgate, Blackburn, described the Church’s involvement in the trade, saying: “We were at the heart of it.”

  46. Yep. Atheists are people. Some people are shitty. Most people aren’t.

    There’s no magic dust that prevents shitty people from being in any demographic. Welcome to planet earth.

  47. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5052163/Up-27-shot-Texas-church-gunman-opens-fire.html#ixzz4xdPK6eFq
    “A LinkedIn account reveals Kelley, who was married, was an Air Force veteran and ex-Bible studies teacher”

    “Kelley purchased the Ruger AR-556 rifle in April 2016 from an Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio… When Kelley filled out the background check paperwork at the store, he
    checked the box to indicate he didn’t have disqualifying criminal history… He listed an address in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he bought the rifle,”

    In any state with reasonable gun laws, the purchase would have never gone through. Almost nobody outside of Texas and Virginia allow out of state residents to purchase firearms.

  48. I don’t think you even need to just stop at the headline. The piece was rife with absolutely nothing of substance.

    For the record, I know for a fact that all bald headed Texans think alike. All of the ones I know do. His name is Beau.

  49. And everyone knows that you cannot get into heaven/paradise unless you accept or submit to Islam. (sarcasm intended)

  50. God exists as a concept. Everyone on the planet can tell you about the concept of Santa Claus, what he looks like, where he lives, what he wears, what he does, when he arrives, his mode of transportation, the names of his reindeers, etc. And you will find no one to argue about this concept because we agree that it is a concept.

  51. So this is your Christians get out of hell free card? The no true Christian fallacy?

  52. Good point, as Arab Jews and Christians called God “Allah” before the invention of Islam. Jews and Christians lived in Mecca before the invention of Islam.

    The problem with these concepts are that God spoke to Moses when he was alone, he spoke to Jesus when he was alone, and he spoke to Muhammad when he was alone. I sometimes hear voices. Does that make me a prophet?

  53. You left out his most Catholic majesty, King Leopold II.

  54. Baptists are a cult also. Just because they think they’re Christians doesn’t mean they are.

  55. Blessed are you when people revile you, persecute you, say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake, for great is your reward in Heaven. (Matthew 5)

  56. I could have made that comment much better. The muslim god doesn’t exist.

  57. God didn’t speak to Muhammad.
    Christ is God in the flesh

  58. Eleanor Roosevelt said the same thing. I have no idea what religion she was.

  59. No, she didn’t say all that. My mistake. She said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I revere people who are able to stand up against injustice and evil and falsehoods. They are legion.

  60. I love that Tweet. The ignorance behind that person’s question is astounding. That same logic would dictate that we arrest all Christians based on deaths at the hands of any Christian, ditto all Jews, all Muslims, etc. In other words, essentially all of the human race. Let’s put ’em ALL in jail!

  61. Yes and whilst quite a lot of them are other Christians the vast majority of the remainder are adherents of some alternative superstitious dogma.

    Atheists generally don’t hate Christians, or those with equally irrational convictions. OK, speaking for myself, maybe there’s a few who thoroughly deserve it – though not because they’re Christians/Muslims/Hindus/Sikhs/Scientologists/atheists etc. etc. – just because they are evil bu**ers – but in the main we just try to counter the baleful, pernicious influence that religion has on the world and its inhabitants.

  62. The story to me is more about how atheists have reacted to the accusation. Any time a minority does something bad, those in the minority are going to worry.

  63. He’s not confused by anything. Your tabloid source, even if everything it says is true, does not prove that the killer was motivated to commit this crime by atheism, as opposed to what the TEXAS authorities have concluded.

  64. Christ taught that we would be hated for His sake.

  65. 1 Timothy 2:5 ESV / 13 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

    For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

  66. Well – there’s a verse in the bible which claims he did. We disagree about the reasonableness of thinking that makes it an actual event.

    Just as well you’ve lots of other people who think that they’re the real Christians to be nasty to you – that’ll keep Jesus happy won’t it.

  67. OK, Then prove your claim that atheists “worship the god of this world”.
    I’m an atheist and I don’t worship anything, so you’re wrong.

  68. of course you do. You worship the culture – which is run by the god of this world – a demon.

  69. Depends on how you classify “nasty”. Telling someone what Christ taught is not nasty. There’s nothing kinder than helping someone to know they are in the wrong direction.

  70. If you don’t know that they are “in the wrong direction”, and if it’s to do with your religion you do not (repeat, you do not) know that, it is arrogant, uncaring and potentially harmful.

    Or do you think it OK for similarly conceited Muslims etc. to be as virulently unpleasant about you as you often are about others; based, like your comments, on the ignorance and untruths promulgated by one’s preferred “holy” book(s).

  71. Define what you think “worship” means. Prove demons exist with demonstrable evidence.

  72. You don’t like the word of Christ, I would say that is your problem Give. Many people need to hear it.

  73. Oh please. Atheism is the dogma that “There is no God.” Every self-professed atheist, has bought directly into that one lie, even if they try to mask it with the snow-job line of “lack of belief in god.”

    Everything else is simply an attempt to shift the rational burden of proof AWAY from the person who has clearly messed up by adopting atheism.

  74. Atheism is all about shifting the burden of proof. It’s all about making a worthless, indefensible factual claim of “There is no God”, without having to take personal responsibility for rationally defending that slimy falsehood in the public marketplace.

  75. Promoting Censorship is not how you promote rational civil discourse.

  76. Yes, those ultra-liberal snowflakes in Texas law enforcement are definitely covering up anti-Christian militancy.

  77. He was an atheist, anti-Christian Bigot. Stop denying it.

  78. Atheist logic….Likewise, anyone who’s ever studied conventional logic – who understands its formidable strengths and weaknesses – knows that logic fails utterly when attempting to describe even the commonest aspects of human existence, like love. Logically speaking, if A = B and B = C then it follows that A = C. Yet if “Father loves Maria” and “Maria loves Bo,” it does not follow that “Father loves Bo.” Life is not logical.


  79. So all the executions of the Christians was accidental? Perhaps using atheist logic they all looked like his mother in law?

  80. Yes a militant atheist that said “religious are stupid” entered a CHRISTIAN church and proceeded to execute 26 CHRISTIANS….that burden of proof…Have a good day yourself.

  81. Having a problem with honesty are you or is it you fear there are atheist tenets and you will lose face when you actually ask about them?

  82. Two things you need to do….prove that God doesn’t exist and that the bible is a book of myths. Unless you have a witness that existed when things in bible occurred the only thing that is left are the things that are recorded as they are in the bible. BTW there are other record outside the bible of the existence of Jesus.

  83. I agree what happened in the past was wrong but making a foolish claim only Christians were responsible is a blatant lie and you atheists of all people should know that fact.

    Ok now that you mouthed off please show us where any murders are supported in the New Covenant?

    BTW it wasn’t atheists that freed the slaves in the USA or England but Christians only at the risk of their very lives.

    But now that you made an accusation please define a Christian and how one becomes a Christian using a bible of your choice.

    And a factoid all atheist that seem to purposely remain ignorant of and that is in you newly created secular world the slavery and sex slave business is a growing and booming business and no Christian is involved in it. Please feel free to explain why the slavery still exist in you newly created secular world?

  84. Is t to hard for you to comprehend a militant atheist Kelly planned this for over a year knew where his mother in law lived but chose to enter a Christian church and EXECUTE 26 Christians that had absolutely nothing to do with the problem between him and his mother in law? BTW did the mother in law get the threatening notice at church or at home? Hint : She wasn’t at church that day

  85. Yes he knew his mother in law wasn’t at the church and proceeded to EXECUTE 26 Christians that had nothing do do with the problem between him and his mother in law.

  86. I comprehend it fine, because I’ve worked in law enforcement for two decades and understand what it takes to prove a hate crime, much less an act of terrorism. And U.K. tabloids don’t count as evidence. I know your side is disappointed that the attempt to paint this as the work of Antifa was quickly proven to be fraudulent, but that doesn’t mean you get to pivot to plan B.

  87. Just 1, actually. Phew! Not bad, Atheists! Not bad at all.

    Gianluca Mezzofiore, “Chapel Hill Shooting: Gunman Craig Hicks a ‘militant atheist’ who fantasised that religion would ‘go away'”, International Business Times, February 11, 2015.

    Adam Withnall, “Chapel Hill shooting: Craig Stephen Hicks condemned all religions on Facebook prior to arrest for murder of three young Muslims: Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has condemned the attack”, Independent, 11 February 2015.

    Anna Leszkiewicz, “The Chapel Hill shooting: White male atheist murders three Muslim students: 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged”, New Statesman, 11 February 2015.

    Jason Sickles, “Self-proclaimed atheist charged in slayings of Muslim students near UNC Chapel Hill”, Yahoo News, February 11, 2015.

  88. Yeah, tell me about it. It’s as “dumb” as these articles:

    Gianluca Mezzofiore, “Chapel Hill Shooting: Gunman Craig Hicks a ‘militant atheist’ who fantasised that religion would ‘go away'”, International Business Times, February 11, 2015.

    Adam Withnall, “Chapel Hill shooting: Craig Stephen Hicks condemned all religions on Facebook prior to arrest for murder of three young Muslims: Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has condemned the attack”, Independent, 11 February 2015.

    Anna Leszkiewicz, “The Chapel Hill shooting: White male atheist murders three Muslim students: 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged”, New Statesman, 11 February 2015.

    Jason Sickles, “Self-proclaimed atheist charged in slayings of Muslim students near UNC Chapel Hill”, Yahoo News, February 11, 2015.

  89. No, weely? loonatheists? c’mon only kristians are clazy, yeah?

  90. Nah, you’re right, Ben in Oakland. I don’t care either “if he is an atheist!” Or this Craig Hicks guy either. Nah, nothing to see here, folks. Pretend RNS made a forgivable mistake for publishing this “possibility that Kelley could be ‘one of our own'”.

    And forgive me too for this bibliography. I mean, it’s so irrelevant and irreverent!

    Gianluca Mezzofiore, “Chapel Hill Shooting: Gunman Craig Hicks a ‘militant atheist’ who fantasised that religion would ‘go away'”, International Business Times, February 11, 2015.

    Adam Withnall, “Chapel Hill shooting: Craig Stephen Hicks condemned all religions on Facebook prior to arrest for murder of three young Muslims: Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has condemned the attack”, Independent, 11 February 2015.

    Anna Leszkiewicz, “The Chapel Hill shooting: White male atheist murders three Muslim students: 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged”, New Statesman, 11 February 2015.

    Jason Sickles, “Self-proclaimed atheist charged in slayings of Muslim students near UNC Chapel Hill”, Yahoo News, February 11, 2015.

  91. Reporter: Tell me, Mr. Sam Stone, how are you feeling right about now?

    Sam Stone: What? Do I look bald to you?

  92. Let those who are lumped, lump others…i.e..”Now who does that? Right winger Christians, of course.”
    Seems to me that this exchange of jabs serves no purpose other than to continue to foster hate. God is love. Now if you’re an atheist, you do not believe in God, but I do think you must believe in love. I believe that evil exists. I also believe that evil does not discriminate and anyone, an atheist, a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Taoist, a Muslim, etc… all can be infected with evil. For those brothers and sisters who do believe in God, it’s in the Bible… Judge not lest ye be judged. We need to start trying to nurture love not hate. Take a couple of minutes and listen to the Beatles song.. “All You Need Is Love”. Or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

  93. “The mental condition of every murder”? What? “The mental condition of every murder”-ER, makes better sense. Or are you just caught up in the heat of the moment right about now? That’s intriguing. Why, though, would you be? In mental state terms, that is, since you brought this up.

  94. According to Stephen LeDrew, an atheist himself (cf. The Evolution of Atheism: The Politics of a Modern Movement, Oxford University Press, 2016):

    Atheism is now “a form of belief – rather than a lack of belief … [It has] moved from simple negation of religious beliefs to an affirmation of liberalism, scientific rationality, and the legitimacy of the institutions and methodology of modern science – and thus from religious criticism to a complete ideological system.” The endgame is “the universalization of the ideology of scientism and the establishment of its cultural authority”. To atheists, “techno-scientific progress is equivalent to social and moral progress”.

  95. Good research. Now add all the Christians who have shot abortion doctors. And so on. Until we conclude that these shooters are lunatics with access to guns.

  96. Are these articles “red herring” to you, too, then?

    Gianluca Mezzofiore, “Chapel Hill Shooting: Gunman Craig Hicks a ‘militant atheist’ who fantasised that religion would ‘go away'”, International Business Times, February 11, 2015.

    Adam Withnall, “Chapel Hill shooting: Craig Stephen Hicks condemned all religions on Facebook prior to arrest for murder of three young Muslims: Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has condemned the attack”, Independent, 11 February 2015.

    Anna Leszkiewicz, “The Chapel Hill shooting: White male atheist murders three Muslim students: 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been arrested and charged”, New Statesman, 11 February 2015.

    Jason Sickles, “Self-proclaimed atheist charged in slayings of Muslim students near UNC Chapel Hill”, Yahoo News, February 11, 2015.

  97. And how are you handling the situation before you?

    My 1st reaction was laughter, 2nd was congratulating the author, 3rd in awesome wonder of that Friendly Atheist guy. Now, “laughing in disbelief” at disbelief. (Another favorite blog of mine.)

    Your turn. How ya feelin’?

  98. I like your witty phrase…Scarlet whoring click bait. Ben, why do you even engage? There will always be those who hate anything that is different from what they believe. They use their faith as a weapon to justify their hate. Jesus would’ve invited you to sup with him. Jesus was a man, a very wise man. Take the religion out, take God out, and view him as a man. Read the words attributed to him. His message was love… turn your cheek. “How many times Master? “Seventy times seventy”. Myself, personally, I find that very, very hard to follow. If someone slaps me, my immediate response if to beat the crap out of them. I’m sending out intense love vibes… Take care…

  99. I was referring only to this most recent event as was obvious from my comment.

  100. In the present circumstances of the world, such a concern is perfectly understandable.

  101. Sometimes in our haste to make a point, we fail to frame the best statement, it happens to everyone.

  102. For someone that claims to have experience in law enforcement you still lack the honesty to admit the militant atheist EXECUTED only Christians. But you did show your hand by supporting a known terrorist group the antifa. Let’s face fact the only one that support your kind of mindset are those of the anti-Christian bigots. BTW you’re the only one to mention the antifa so you must know something more that wasn’t mentioned. Take note that I only accused a militant atheist Kelly who in fact EXECUTED 26 Christians in a Christian church where he discovered his mother in law wasn’t there. Perhaps you can tell us why the militant atheist EXECUTED 26 innocent Christians?

  103. Some of the words the gospels claim the man you call Christ said are wonderful.

    It’s the supernatural stuff, and the evil validated by it, that comes with the words that causes the problems. – And that includes
    the intolerance of people who are born different,
    the lying and/or dismissal regarding anything which doesn’t fit with the false facts you’ve been fed,
    the desire to get everyone to reject reason and evidence in favour of the wishful-thinking and fear-based superstition which would lead to even more pain and suffering,
    and the false hope of an afterlife which robs many of the incentive to make the best, for themselves and others, of the one life we know we have.

  104. I would start off first with, you have forgotten that you were created by Christ to have fellowship with Him.
    Secondly, He created, and He knows what is best for us – there is none of this “intolerance of people who are born different”
    Same quote – homosexuality and other immorality is a choice.
    You cannot prove that I have been fed “false facts” To that I say, wait until “science” catches up with the wisdom of Christ.
    No desire to get everyone to reject reason and evidence, whatsoever – sometimes it takes a lot of reasoning trying to understand why the Lord did it a certain way, but He is still God and can do what pleases Him.
    I know that He wants what is best for me, and has proven that several times to me. He healed my dad of cancer. I have a tremendous husband.
    “the false hope of an afterlife which robs many of the incentive to make the best for themselves and others….” lol………God wouldn’t want any less for me.
    You can choose to believe the One who created you, or you can sit back, grumble and find fault with him, not enjoying His blessings whatsoever and end up with an eternity separate from Him. He gives you that choice.
    Now chew on that.
    (edit) Also, I’ve heard there is a new STD resulting from homosexual interactions. I need to learn more about it though.

  105. How did I possibly support Antifa? I merely pointed out that the right wing’s sophomoric attempt to blame them failed miserably. And while it is true that church attendees were killed, no legitimate source has described the killer as a miltant atheist. For information on the right’s fraudulent attempt to pin this on Antifa, do a Google News search for Antifa in the past few days and you’ll find the many, many articles documenting this.

  106. Hello, Wain.
    Why do I engage? Partly for the exercise. Partly because I learn a lot; I have always enjoyed observing and understanding humans. Mostly because it’s a public forum, and there are plenty of people who read but don’t comment. I’ve been told many times that I have managed to change minds.
    I have no illusions that I am going to win over anyone irretrievably poisoned by hate, fear, stupidity, religion, pad parenting, ignorance, imaginary superiority, ideology, self hatred, repression, deflection, projection, or any of the other psychic ills that informs what can generally be called bigotry. That’s the nature of the word “irretrievably”.
    As for Jesus, he had some good and true things to say. He said lots of things, not all of which were good, true, nice, or helpful, let alone useful. One of his messages was love; but another one of his messages is that you had better believe he loves you or you will burn in hell for not loving him back.He also said he came not to bring peace, but a sword. He said he would return, but he didn’t. He said brother against brother, which has turned out to be true far too often.
    . But I agree. Take what you like of Jesus, but I cannot pretend he was greater or wiser than other teachers, let alone god incarnate.

  107. I got out everything I needed to say by taking “red herring” and turning it into scarlet whoring click bait. Kind of a religious joke for those of a particular anti-papistry bent.

  108. I disagree about trying to foster hate.
    One of the things that pisses me off about religion is the assumption of morality, as if morality and religion were the same. They are not. Another thing that p.o’s me is the deference paid to religion because of the assumption, despite reams of evidence pointing to the opposite.
    I prefer to take people as they present themselves to me, by what they do, and about not about they claim to be true. As I once said: “Don’t tell me you love me. Let me guess!” The bible says “Judge not”. It also says “Judge away.” It says lots of things. It’s no guide for human behavior, but will be interpreted according to the nature of the person quoting it. How someone reads the bible depends on the kind of person he is, and not the other way around.
    I believe that love, evil, and goodness all exist: not as actual forces, certainly not personified, but as aspects of human behavior. I can truthfully say I don’t hate anyone, despite what several hyper Christians who post here regularly think; that’s all about them and not about me.
    But that doesn’t mean I don’t get angry, don’t want the world to be a better place, and don’t think its worth standing up to the religious bullies who justify whatever bad behavior they wish as “God said…”

  109. It could be quite irrelevant. It might be relevant to his motivation. but what it isn’t relevant to is any other atheist. They are not responsible for what this man did. There is no tenet of atheism that says “murder people” because aside from “no belief in god”, there is no tenet of atheism.
    But what is also interesting the assumption being made: that one could draw a direct line from his hatred of religion (I have no idea, but its useful for an argument) to his murder of three Muslims, as if the two facts were actually connected. What is far more likely was that he hated religion AND he hated muslims. It’s not like he wouldn’t have time for both during his busy week. And you might notice that it’s kind of a “thing” right now. Religion doesn’t have to be a part of it. Did he actually say, “I killed those three Muslim students because I am an atheist and they are religious muslims?”
    Or did someone else draw that line for him?

  110. Who cares what Stephen LeDrew says? Show me the dogma, holy book, central authority, or anything else that makes up an atheist’s worldview.

  111. But it’s “this most recent event” – on the cusp of which RNS’ Kimberly Winston got wind of a newsworthy scoop – that Jenny Stanton confirmed as truly “‘Creepy, crazy and weird’: Former classmates say Texas gunman was an ‘outcast’ who ‘preached his atheism’ online before killing 26 in the state’s worst ever mass shooting”, Daily Mail, November 7, 2017. You have problem with “developing news” as it unfolds or something else not so “obvious”. Maybe it’s all just up-votes for a Christian Me of sorts? Or do you lack Christian discernment?

  112. As I pointed out it was you that bought the antifa into the conversation so as far as I’m concerned as all atheist on this subject lie…….As for you lie about him being a militant atheist there is much information that he was and your opinion doesn’t change that fact.

  113. They’ll deny those facts too. They’re not known for their honesty nor can deal with facts that challenge their bigotries. The real problem they have is accusing a God of all bad things that happen and then turn around and say God doesn’t exist. And what I really get a good laugh out of is when I ask them to prove God doesn’t exist that’s when the fun starts.

  114. You reject Thor and Odin and Zeus as deities.

    You show me your evidence that those deities don’t exist, and I will use your method.

    And there is no mention of Jesus outside the bible except for christian forgeries.

  115. Your original question was: “Please post where a Christian was [involved] in a mass murder?

    When the Church ruled Europe, it was called the “dark ages” well into the “middle ages” for a reason. They had the power over life and death as they worked along side Christian Kings. Ever heard of the “divine right of Kings”. Have you ever heard of the inquisition. Have you ever heard of the witch hunts.

    Don’t ask a question if you expect everyone to keep their mouth shut. It is like asking– Please post where a Christian has ever been involved in sexual scandal, dishonesty, misappropriation of Church funds, etc???

    And last, what is your cultural heritage and whose land are you living on, and how was that land acquired? You claim that a real Christian would never commit a bad act, yet you are profiting as a result of those bad acts. I am sure that some of your clothes and appliances were made with the use of slave labor in a number of third world Countries. Please think before you take the moral high ground on every issue. You cannot absolve yourself based on ignorance.

  116. God is just a concept. The biblical story of Jesus is mostly fantasy and fiction. If you want to believe it, that does not bother me, as long as you teach it as fiction. It is no different than Islamists teaching that every word in the Qur’an is the verbatim words of God. Remember, Muslims pray to God five times a day for guidance and favor. There are now 57 Countries at the United Nations that call themselves Muslims States, all members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the largest voting bloc at the UN General Assembly.

    The West Bank in Palestine is the biblical birthplace of David, Solomon, and Jesus. The banner of Islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass. Is that part of God’s divine plan?

    Coptic News: 
”Since Christianity came to Egypt in 57 A.D., we, the Christians of Egypt, have not had conflict with the Jewish people. Copts have been a marginal population held in captivity for sixteen centuries. We constitute the largest non-Arab, non-Moslem minority in the Middle East. The Church of Alexandria, is one of the oldest organizations in the Middle East. Despite this distinguished history, it is a church that has been under siege since the Islamic invasion.”

    Assyrian International News Agency (AINA}:
”Keep in mind that these Christian minorities, the Assyrians, Armenians, Copts, are actually the original inhabitants of these areas with roots going back thousands of years before Christianity. What we’re seeing is a systematic attempt to cleanse the Middle East of its original inhabitants, this is a continuation of the genocide that took place in Ottoman Turkey in 1915.”

    As for Jews, how much Christian love were they shown in Europe for the last 2,000 years? Please be honest.

  117. One, God exists as a concept, that is why every culture has a different idea about this concept.

    Two, the Bible is a myth starting with Genesis creation of the universe and everything in it, in six days. And the Gospels of Jesus were not written in his time, nor in his town, nor in his language. They were written in Greek, and Jesus was given all the attributes of former Greek Gods in Greek mythology. Jesus would have spoken to [his people] in a semitic language. So you really do not know what Jesus said in his time and place.

    I know it is hard for you to be intellectually honest an objective when you are emotionally attached to an idea. We are all like that!

  118. The concept of Santa Claus exists, because everyone on the planet can tell you where he lives, what he wears, what he looks like, what he does, his mode of transportation, the names of his reindeers, he knows if you’ve been good or bad, etc. People around the world do not fight over this concept. When it comes to religion everyone claims to have the true spoken words of God. It takes a big ego to believe that only you have the true spoken words of the concept of God.

  119. Atheists question religious beliefs. It is not a belief [system] itself. As for the marketplace, the business of religion takes in more money than most corporations and do not have to pay taxes, nor are they held accountable nor keep receipts for all expenditures. The Catholic Church for example, has paid a fortune defending bad priests and paying out settlements to victims of sexual abuse in multiple Countries. Money that is meant to help the poor. How many cases can you site where clerics or any religion have gone to jail for misconduct?

  120. If an atheist questions your religion, why do you feel so threatened, and take the superior high ground? Ego! You are right and everyone that does not believe as you is wrong. Ego!

  121. Sounds like you are following the true path of Jesus (sarcasm intended). I am an atheist that carries a gun as well and hope that I never have to use it, although I had to use it in Vietnam, as Christian clerics came to the field to bless us while we were tearing the behinds off of the indigenous people and dropping cancer causing agents on them. Otherwise, how does that make you different from me, except you know that I cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven because I do not have the same belief system as you.

  122. I know this is going to sound absurdly and uncaringly technical, but this was not a mass shooting under the FBI’s definition, which requires at least four victims. I find it immensely sad that we have to have such definitions at all but that is how they define them. It reminds of the bad old days in NYC, when the criminal justice system was so taxed that prosecutors would only bring a slashing case to the grand jury if the victim received a certain minimum number of stitches. Otherwise they’d keep it a misdemeanor.

  123. That was the short list. I did not want to belabor the point. Bad people come in all packages, no matter what you look like or what you call yourself.

  124. It was the right that brought Antifa into the conversation. Should I not be allowed to talk about their epic fail?

  125. Mao and pol pot were not atheists. But continue with the slander if it makes you feel moral.

  126. ROTFL at Bob calling someone else “confused”! ROTFL!

  127. Damn. I’ll be the sacrificial lamb here. What’s TAGPOE?

  128. Here’s the murder supported in the new covenant. Jesus.

  129. I don’t know about Antifa regarding this church tragedy, but Antifa has already gone three shades past Looney Tunes anyway.

    So I urge all USA police departments to invest in multiple 50-Cal Peaceful Law Enforcement Devices, to help educate the Antifa’s on the importance of not acting a foolio.

  130. That shooting was the result of a dispute over a parking space.

  131. I knew nothing about it at all. But thanks, because it pretty much proved my point.

  132. Thanks.

    Three people dead, three young people with their lives in front of them dead, because of a dispute over a parking place.

    It amazes me that some people want to blame atheism for even more senseless gun deaths. Instead of the obvious. Anyone with a grudge can legally get a gun.

  133. All you need to know is that Antifa had nothing to do with this church tragedy. Many on the right photoshopped Facebook entries, etc., to make it appear as if the shooter were not only an Antifa member but that Antifa had stated outright that it was a terrorist attack on their behalf. Because lies on the Internet are self-reinforcing, this went so far as to Google having “Antifa” auto-load when people typed in the shooter’s name, until the real media called them out on it.

  134. There are cultist aspects to Orthodox Judaism and devout Christians as well.

  135. Of course there are – gnosticism, mormonism, Jehovah’s witnesses……they come in all kinds and flavours

  136. Well knowing the DHS already declared the antifa as terrorists I guess you’re right,

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has formally classified the
    activities of anti-fascist groups (antifa) as “domestic terrorist
    violence” since early 2016, according to confidential law enforcement
    documents obtained by Politico and interviews.

  137. You know little to nothing about what Jesus said about protecting oneself (no sarcasm intended) . You made a definitive choice to not enter heaven and yes Christ allows that free will to your decision. I have no problems with atheists and your beliefs however I will always peacefully witness to atheists because as long as there is an open dialog there will always be respect for one another.

    Weapons in the house of worship

    2 Kings 11:9 The commanders of units of a hundred did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men—those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty—and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 Then he gave the commanders the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of the Lord. 11 The guards, each with weapon in hand, stationed themselves around the king—near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.

    Luke 22:36
    Then he (Christ) said to them, But now he that hath a bag, let him take it, and likewise a scrip: and he that hath none, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.

    Luke 22:38
    And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

  138. I never “feel threatened” by atheist questions but on that same not I have no time for foolish accusation and bigotry when atheists make false statements and expect me to accept them as facts when I know they’re not. Now please point to where I said EGO “You are right and everyone that does not believe as you is wrong” because that is an atheist fallacy.to start an argument rather than for them to find out where they are wrong in their rant. .

  139. Sandi- not one bit of what you write is “knowledge”. It is belief, conviction if you prefer, but it is not knowledge.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity – but the beliefs you hold are so unlikely and so unnecessary that they need some supporting evidence or reasoning. You offer neither.

    Even your belief that your Dad recovered from cancer is not evidence for the existence of the supernatural – there are many reasons which we know could be true, misdiagnosis, spontaneous recovery or remission, Just because we don’t have a good reason for why something happened doesn’t mean we can insert a bad one and claim it to be true.

    I’m glad you have a tremendous husband – that is good but isn’t any indication of a deity.

    You say God can “do what pleases him”. so not doing anything about famine, about disease, about mental degeneration, about the suffering of innocents in war etc. etc. “pleases him?” Think about the character of a god who ignores suffering – I wouldn’t worship such a monster even if there was irrefutable evidence of it’s existence. Fear it maybe – worship it – never.

  140. There is no record that Santa is an actual person so you point is moot. There is a record of Jesus in the bible and in secular documents. Now gonig on you line of thought there is no way to prove Caesar actually existed because there are no living witnesses but we do have written records of him in books. So as you can see this is a catch 22 on any argument about any historical figure and/or God and Jesus. So the reason people don’t fight over the Santa concept is because honest people know Santa is a lie.

  141. You can prove nothing you posted because you concept doesn’t of God doesn’t cancel out of affect whether God exists or not. The fact is you have only faith the God doesn’t exist and my faith is much stronger that God does exist. As per you claim about CREATION it takes a lot more faith to think life created itself and then “evolved” into every living thing known to exist when your science god states life can only come from life.

    I know it is hard for you to be intellectually honest an objective when you are emotionally attached to an idea. We are all like that!

  142. Sorry Give, it’s reality. Cancer doesn’t just disappear after tests. It takes more faith to believe that than it does to believe that Christ exists.
    How do you know what other things He has protected us of, but you want to focus on what YOU think He didnt do.

  143. Please stop making foolish unfounded accusations you can’t back up because they always make atheist look so foolish. Now it is a fact many claim to be Christians and even some atheists claimed to have been Christians but the fact is they/you can’t define exactly what a Christian is let alone how to become one. As to your claim about the catholic church and their atrocities the New Covenant never supported them let alone they also murdered Christians because they wouldn’t submit to the authority of the catholic church. So you are really funny to talk about ignorance you not knowing who are Christians and who are not and the best of all have the audacity to lump all people you think are Christians into a meaningless rant.

  144. Just go look on Mt. Olympus to see if your gods Odin and Zeus are there and your question is answered. Proof they don’t exist





    Now you prove they’re forgeries knowing you made an erroneous claim.

  145. Bad news, guys. The A-WORD to describe the mass murderer of my First Baptist Church family in Sutherland Springs, Texas is now official, according to:

    (1) Jenny Stanton, “‘Creepy, crazy and weird’: Former classmates say Texas gunman was an ‘outcast’ who ‘preached his ATHEISM’ online before killing 26 in the state’s worst ever mass shooting”, Daily Mail, November 7, 2017.

    (2) Alexandra Wilts, “Devin Kelley: Texas shooter ‘preached ATHEISM’ and was an outcast, say former classmates: The shooting left at least 26 people dead”, The Independent, November 6, 2017.

    (3) Max Jaeger, “Texas church shooter was a militant ATHEIST”, New York Post, November 6, 2017.

  146. How do you know that cancer doesn’t just disappear?
    How do you know the test results were correct?
    How do you know that the cancer (if cancer there were) actually disappeared?

    You choose to believe the story because it fits with your wishes. It’s a well known human trait called confirmation bias. We all have it – one of the strengths of the scientific method is that it makes it difficult to get results that are influenced by our preconceived preferences.

    I know a woman who says she was diagnosed with bowel cancer and is now clear. Another who says she was told she had emphysema but is still active (and smoking) many years later – one is religious, the other not.

    I don’t know what really happened. That doesn’t make God(s) a sensible answer – just another possible explanation that cannot be disproven. And that’s as good as anything offered as proof of god(s) gets – it can’t be proved wrong, but then nor can unicorns or the fairies at the bottom of my neighbours’ garden.

    I want evidence that supports the validity of the supernatural – what you offer is not good enough – it’s just a smokescreen for blind, irrational faith in something that is totally unnecessary.

  147. (1) Daniel Fincke, an atheist himself (cf. “Why I Criticize My Fellow Atheists”, Camels with Hammers, June 17, 2013), is right about you:

    “Atheists … get … p*ssed off when [some of them] either criticize atheists or say anything positive at all about religions.” And they really think that “it’s … up to [their] enemies to assume the best of [themselves, rather than] up to [them] to demonstrate it.” Translation: the onus is on you to prove you’re better. Not by putting down the religious so as to puff up your non-religiosity; that’s cheating. Prove yourself, but you can’t because you always need a scapegoat.

    (2) And here’s something you obviously haven’t figured out about your atheism. According to Sikivu Hutchinson, an atheist herself (cf. Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, 2011): “There is little analysis of the relationship between economic disenfranchisement, race, gender, and religiosity in [atheists’] critiques of organized religion. … [Such criticism, having] limited cultural relevance for people of color … preserves and reproduces the status quo of white supremacy in its arrogant insularity. In this universe, oppressed minorities are more imperiled by their own investment in organized religion than [by] white supremacy. Liberation is not a matter of fighting against white racism … and classism but of throwing off the shackles of superstition. … [And so, these atheists] provide no sociological insight into why organized religion and religiosity have an enduring hold on disenfranchised communities in the richest, most powerful nation on the planet. Religion is only one apparatus for draconian repression and inequity. Secular institutions that enforce and uphold oppressive hierarchies must also be actively challenged within a humanist framework.”

  148. So, if Craig Hicks’ “motivation … isn’t relevant to … any other atheist”, then why is it to you for all these centuries now that, say, Jerry Falwell Jr.’s or any other Christian Right winger’s “motivation … isn’t [NOT] relevant to … any other [NON]atheist”? Why do they reflect Christians badly but Chris Hicks is an exception to the rule defining atheists?

  149. You don’t get it. Christian killers are as bad as atheist killers. Christians murder, atheists murder. Take a gander at the names above. Throughout history mass murderers were atheists. And throughout same history mass murderers were Christians.

  150. I hear you. Sure what’s 3 Muslims dead at the hand of an atheist compared to 26 Christians dead butchered by an atheist, right? Oh, that’s right. It’s confirmed now: you’ve got your 1st official atheist mass murderer. Welcome to the real world, fellow atheists I mean you fellows atheist.

    (1) Jenny Stanton, “‘Creepy, crazy and weird’: Former classmates say Texas gunman was an ‘outcast’ who ‘preached his ATHEISM’ online before killing 26 in the state’s worst ever mass shooting”, Daily Mail, November 7, 2017.

    (2) Alexandra Wilts, “Devin Kelley: Texas shooter ‘preached ATHEISM’ and was an outcast, say former classmates: The shooting left at least 26 people dead”, The Independent, November 6, 2017.

    (3) Max Jaeger, “Texas church shooter was a militant ATHEIST”, New York Post, November 6, 2017.

  151. Once again: Who cares what Stephen LeDrew says? Show me the dogma, holy book, central authority, or anything else that makes up an atheist’s worldview.

  152. Kindly expand on Mao Zedong’s famous line, “Atheism must take the place of belief in a God”, taken from The Writings of Mao Zedong, 1949 – 1976: January 1956 – December 1957.

  153. you forgot the deists like Robespierre that decapitated people after the French revolution

  154. No one has seen Zeus on Mt. Olympus. No one has seen Yahweh in Jerusalem.

    Did you read those links? They are only evidence that christians existed. The Spiderman fan club is not proof of an actual Spiderman. The Jesus fan club is not proof of an actual Jesus. These sources provide zero evidence for Jesus.

    Josephus is a forgery. The paragraphs read 1. This sad thing happened 2. Jesus is wonderful 3. Then a second sad thing happened. Paragraph 2 clearly does not belong between paragraphs 1 and 3.

  155. As I said, it takes more “faith” (for lack of a better word) to believe what you believe, than I do. You want evidence? Ask God.

  156. That was my line- You know nothing about what Jesus said about anything. You are reading from a book written by somebody else, not in Jesus life time, and hold it up as the ultimate authority, even though you really do not know what said during Jesus time and place in his own language. But if you repeat BS over and over and over again, it becomes your reality.

    All those poor people that were slaughtered in the church the other day was as big a trauma as it gets for everyone in that community. Families were crying and whaling in pain, just like I would be. If they really thought that these people were all up there in heaven with God and Jesus, they should be OK with it. It was God’s will, God’s divine plan, because God works in mysterious ways. That BS only sounds reasonable if it were someone else’s children.

  157. Your OPINION is noted and the only answer that comes to mind is Bwahahahahahah. What an addlepate atheist.

  158. You couch a question as an argument, and then call any response not agreeable to you as a “rant”, which is what people do when they feel threatened.

  159. Jesus is God incarnate and 1,000’s of people seen Him for 33 years until unbelievers murdered Him. The burden of proof is on you to prove anything on those sites weren’t factual.

  160. There you go feeling threatened when confronted with the truth. You are as dishonest as they come, and then you hide behind religion. A Christian is a person who following the path of the biblical Jesus. They call themselves followers. I know plenty of Jews an Muslims that hide behind religious authority as well. Most of the people know that call themselves Christians only use the Church for traditional ceremonies- weddings, baptism, and deaths in the family. Most of them do what ever they like in between time, and it is not very Christian most of the time.

  161. Of course that is the only answer that comes to mind, because you do not have an academic response. Remember, an atheist questions the existence of God, which makes you feel threatened. It is OK, just be honest about it, instead of pretending to laugh. It is a very phony thing to do.

  162. The shooter wore shoes. “Shoe-wearers confronted with possibility the Texas shooter was one of their own”. Now do you see how idiotic this headline it? Atheism is simply a lack of belief in deities. And of course most theists are also atheists in regard to all other deities except the one(s) they believe in. Anything beyond that is up to the individual. It bears mentioning that if his sole intent was simply to murder religious people, he could have gone to any of the the churches in his own town. But instead, he drove 35 miles to the church his in-laws attended. The in-laws law enforcement informs us he was having domestic disputes with. But hey, blame atheists and atheism. Despite being incredibly stupid, it’s an ever-popular approach.

  163. Sure. He didn’t want religious institutions to have political power. He didn’t want ANY groups to have political power. If the neighborhood mahjong club wielded political power, he’d ban mahjong. And not because he gave a damn about mahjong, but because they were an organized group with some influence. Of course he would claim that it was the mahjong itself which was an evil influence, decadent, and counter-revolutionary. But it’s not about the mahjong. Just as it’s not about theism. If atheists in China had been organized against Mao, he would have banned atheism, and set up some sort of state-approved religion. As it was, he turned the Chinese Communist Party (his own party with him as “supreme leader”) into the de facto state religion.

  164. Do you believe in the Hindu god Vishnu? No? Then you are an atheist in terms of Vishnu. Does your atheism in regard to Vishnu inspire you to go to a Hindu temple and murder Hindus at prayer? No? Why not? I would suggest it’s because like most people who are atheists in regard to all other gods except the one(s) they worship, or just plain old atheists, who don’t believe in any gods at all, there is nothing about simply not believing a particular thing that logically translates directly to “therefore, I should go kill a bunch of people who DO believe that particular thing”. It makes no sense. Of course if you were angry with some particular Hindus, and knew where they worshiped and were the kind of person who thought that shooting people to death was a good idea, (I’m not saying you are), then you might go to that place and shoot a lot of blameless Hindus. But that is not because you don’t believe in Vishnu.

  165. Sure it did. They were all members of her church. They had that one thing in common, if nothing else. He could have gone to any church, but instead he drove 35 miles from his own town to THAT particular church. It could be argued that a lot of people are making the same sort mistake he did – conflating two things that have nothing to do with each other except for one factor. It could be that the Texas shooter and I are both atheists (or in his case he “was”) an atheist. Does that mean I’m equally likely to go murder a lot of people in a church? Or that atheism offers any logical reason to do so? Of course not. The key factor is that he had the desire and intent to murder people. I don’t. I’m utterly horrified and repelled by the very idea. And of course while he didn’t have the opportunity to shoot and kill his mother-in-law that day, I think it’s pretty safe to say he certainly hurt her by killing so many of her fellow congregants. I would guess the poor woman is suffering the worst kind of “survivor’s guilt” imaginable. She may not have been there, but she is certainly a victim, as are all the friends and family of those killed and injured. They all have my very deepest sympathy.

  166. Not really I’m sure your line of questioning is used over and over and you have been corrected over and over and yet learn nothing.

  167. Your assumptions are asinine as usual. Just because I take nothing you say as valuable doesn’t mean I’m NOT hiding behind my FAITH that’s just a lie you atheists repeat because you’re on the end of a loosing argument.

  168. Is that the lie you tell yourself that I feel threatened by asinine foolish questions you don’t comprehend the answers your given? Most questioned you ask only deserve hysteric laughter because they’re so ridiculous. There is my honest answer. Now the fact is just because you don’t like my answers doesn’t mean the question wasn’t answered. The fact your questions are the same idiotic question all atheists ask and have been answered 100’s of times and you still haven’t learned from them.

  169. So are you denying the fact that Kelly a militant atheist EXECUTED 26 Christians?

  170. “I know it is hard for you to be intellectually honest an objective when you are emotionally attached to an idea.” I am not emotionally attached to the scientific theories that make sense based on thousands of pieces of evidence.

    May 2010–Dr Craig Venter, an accredited biotechnologist, biochemist, and geneticist, not God, and his team of genetic experts. have managed to make a completely new life form from a mix of chemicals.

    They manufactured a new chromosome from artificial DNA in a test tube, then transferred it into an empty cell and watched it multiply – the very definition of being alive. It took mother nature billions of years to achieve this on Earth. You still believe that all creatures that crawl upon on earth, the fish in the sea, and birds in the sky were created in one day. Now that takes more than blind faith, and it takes willful ignorance to ignore, when DNA and molecular evidence is no longer guesswork for a very long time.

    The man-made single cell “creature”, which is a modified version of one of the first and simplest bacteria on earth, proves that the technology works. Dr Venter’s organism, nicknamed Synthia, will pave the way for more complex creatures that can transform environmental waste into clean fuel, vaccinate against disease and soak up pollution.

    Dr. Craig Venter won the:
    Gairdner Award (2002)
    Nierenberg Prize (2007)
    Kistler Prize (2008)
    ENI award (2008)
    Medal of Science (2008)
    Dickson Prize (2011)
    Leeuwenhoek Medal (2015)


  171. Why? Please explain in an academic manner, and not copy and paste from a book, it is “disturbed” as in persons who exhibit symptoms of neurosis or psychosis. Please do not dodge the question with more judgement about my mental stability and how sad it is.

  172. I said ” Remember, an atheist questions the existence of God. And your response is– “The fact your questions are the same idiotic question [all] atheists ask”. This is proof that you have gone off the deep end and have a nonexistent sense of objectivity.

  173. Except that of course you can’t accept it as true, any more than you can accept that Hitler again and again identified Nazism as a Christian movement, complete with “Gott MIT Un” on the belt buckles.

    In fact, Mao set himself up as the local deity, with the state as the Super God, and the Party as the Church

  174. Read my response again. atheism isn’t a club, or a church. It has no organizing principles. There are some atheists organizations, but the vast majority of atheists don’t belong to them.

    Atheists don’t claim to speak for god, the church, The people, and western civilization. Falwell— we’ll let him be the stand in for right wing Christians— does. More to the point, i’m not claiming that he does, nor that all Christians are responsible for falwell’s actions. A great many Christians— let’s call them liberal Christians, but I certainly know a number who aren’t— want nothing to do with him or his Christian Right Brandon dominionism.

    But even more to the point, like Mao’s atrocities, Hicks murders were not done in the name of atheism, but because, as spuddie pointed out its citations, they were done in the name of a dispute over a parking place.

  175. Kelley murdered 26 innocent people. I don’t know, and neither do you, what, if anything, his atheism, if indeed he was an atheist for certain, had to do with it. Because a lack of belief in deities does not translate to any action, of any kind. Do you believe in the Hindu god Vishnu? No? Then you are an atheist in regard to Vishnu. Does your lack of belief in Vishnu make you want to go murder Hindus in their temples? I would imagine not. Because one does not rationally lead to the other.

  176. Says you! There God does not claim to be all loving, all forgiving, and and merciful. God is just a concept that every culture attaches attributes to. Their concept exists only in their minds, just like yours.

  177. keep hoping, hon, but you’ll meet Him one day

  178. Actually atheists seem to have it easy, judging by how even Trump is trying to write the guy off for “mental illness” when it seems clear the shooter had a hatred of Christians and wanted to kill all Christians in that church.

    This was radical Atheist terrorism, plain and simple. If a Christian had shot 26 muslims in a Mosque, the media would be railing about “Christian terrorism” all day. Or even if it was a Muslim who killed 26 christians, it would be declared “radical Islamist terrorism”. Only the atheists get off the hook, because “militant Atheist terrorism” always gets a pass as simple “mental illness”.

    Like the Las Vegas shooter who was an atheist, or the Colorado shooter James Holmes (who BTW converted to Islam in prison) simply wrote off as “mental illness”, or Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia tech shooter who hated Christians and killed 29.

    There is a pattern of radical atheist terrorism here.

  179. Being an atheist is being a member of the false religion of atheism — and everything that goes with it – such as the God hating spirit of antichrist.

  180. Being an atheist means you have no belief in god. If you think it means having a religion, perhaps you should educate yourself

    There have been literally tens of thousands of religions in the history of humanity. But don’t worry, you have the only true one.

  181. Don’t you mean re-educated? Stalin had entire camps devoted to that endeavor.

  182. LOL. News for you Doc: your silly Christian beliefs are complete fiction. Just do the world a big favor and get over them. Stop being an embarrassment to humanity.

  183. Already proven to you Bob, that your sky fairy described in your foul holy book doesn’t exist. And you already lost the tenets argument. Caught you!

  184. No, Bob. What we have proven to you is that your god of your Christian tall tales does not exist.

  185. Speaking of failed logic (and oh the irony from Bob, as usual), Bob, your post is loaded with basic fallacy, including false equivalence.

  186. Yet more astounding, unwitting irony from Bob there.

  187. No. I meant educated. Claiming that atheism is a religion is like claiming that bald is a hair color.

  188. Just more unwitting irony from Bob. Bob, it is as usual yourself who plainly has the losing argument.

  189. Oh the irony from Bob yet again, along with his usual struggles with basic grammar and basic logic…

    Bob, you are making a fool of yourself by your ongoing posting here.

  190. No, Sandi, your god plainly doesn’t exist, and can’t respond to questions.

  191. A false religion. Rooted in the God hating spirit of antichrist. And it’s fruit is death, and lots of it. Every society that has given itself to the false religion of atheism has eventually turned against true religion and those who love God with a demonic murderous fury. Churches in atheistic Norway have been burned by militant atheists. This kind of atheism inspired crime will only escalate, and the poisonous rhetoric of the new atheists is directly responsible. Don’t talk to me about education, because atheists don’t know the meaning of the word

  192. “Many will say to me on that day ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘Depart from me you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.'”

    Just because you claim God knows you means nothing. All heretics are deceived about their standing before God. You belong to a cult that didn’t exist for over 1,600 years after Christ created His Church on earth. Baptists are no different than Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses’, or any other man-made sect.

  193. Since I don’t believe – either way – your comment makes no sense.

    In order to postulate that there is no point in thinking that there is a god I don’t have to have faith – it requires that I have an absence of faith; but an absence of faith based on the non-existence of evidence – proper, valid evidence not maybes – and the lack of need.

    The idea that atheism requires more faith than belief is commonly touted as a way of trying to make believers think that they are more rational than non-believers – it’s a silly slogan designed to keep the sheep in the flock. And it’s nonsense, as everyone who views the statement dispassionately realises.

  194. So in essence it wasn’t really life and it took scientists to put these things together and it still isn’t life…..did I miss anything?

  195. I can’t make you understand something you obviously lack the intelligence to comprehend. See my above post because your answer is there and yes it is my writings. As for the bible it does have many different authors all influenced by the hand of God. I could care less if you agree or not because you’re lack of knowledge of the bible and the Christian faith only makes your silly unfounded claims all the more ridiculous. You made a claim and I proved you wrong and you lack the honesty to admit it.

  196. I’m just being honest and pointing out your dishonesty and bigotry.

  197. Again Kelly a militant atheist EXECUTED 26 Christians….it’s a yes or no answer which is it? And please I don’t want to hear your unfounded opinion or another fabricated dissertation just YES OR NO!

  198. But in light of – me see, grabbing from my library upper shelf – “Atheism in Theory and Practice from Pre-History to Post-Modernity” by Hp… I mean whoever – how could an atheist have “done [such] in the name of a dispute over a parking place”? Why didn’t – as per RNS’ previous big-hit of an article enticing all commenters on planet earth – “The Goodness Without God” ethics, normativity in atheism – kick in for this bad guy? I didn’t say he killed because he was an atheist or out of motive as an atheist; I’m asking where’s his atheism right there and then that should’ve prevented him from taking people’s lives away just like that? Come on, you know what I mean. So please tell like it is, that atheists and Christians are no different when it comes to: (1) … , (2) … etc.

  199. Atheism is a lack of belief in god. That’s it. Atheism commands no moral action whatsoever, because it’s not a belief system. Anti-theism is a belief system, comprising of exactly one belief: that there is no god.
    Islamists are not atheists, but they kill. Germany before, during, and after the holocaust was Christian, yet they killed. Therefore, religion commands moral actions, but doesn’t guarantee them.

  200. So what good is my Christianity or your atheism, then, if I or you end up killing people? Man, this is such a basic question not being addressed by any atheist around here. All they’re doing is distancing themselves from atheists who end up killing people. That’s no good; it’s actually very bad for the cause.

  201. So Mao Zedong declared, “Atheism must take the place of belief in a God”, because: (1) “He … want[ed atheistic] institutions to have political power”, and (2) “with some influence”, but (3) not “organized against Mao”. And so (4) “he turned the Chinese Communist Party … into … state religion.”

    Got it. Thanks.

  202. Your statement is made in a way that makes the construction hard to follow in a narrative sense…at least for me…as to my Christian discernment, I tend not to apply it as a tool to make a broad statement about a narrow circumstance.

  203. If the only reason you don’t go around killing people is because of your Christianity, then I certainly hope you are very devout. And my atheism neither encourages nor discourages me from killing anyone. It’s simply a position on faith claims, and nothing more. I have other reasons why I don’t kill people, and why I think others shouldn’t kill people either. I don’t know what “cause” you mean.

  204. I don’t know for certain if Kelley was an atheist or not. He certainly murdered 26 people. He was not an agent of the state, so no, he did not “execute” them, which is the carrying out of a death sentence. I understand that you want to pin the blame on all atheists, and atheism itself for his horrific crimes, but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

  205. Again you just can’t be honest and answer yes or no that a militant atheist point blank shot the Christians until he thought they were dead and say it wasn’t an EXECUTION? See 2.1 below

    nounmass noun

    1The carrying out of a plan, order, or course of action.

    ‘he was fascinated by the entire operation and its execution’

    1.1 The technique or style with which an artistic work is produced or carried out.

    ‘the film is entirely professional in its execution’

    1.2Law The putting into effect of a legal instrument or order.

    ‘obligation to pay the deposit before the execution of the lease’

    1.3Law Seizure of the property or person of a debtor in default of payment.

    count noun ‘sixty-seven executions were ordered against goods’

    1.4Computing The performance of an instruction or program.

    2The carrying out of a sentence of death on a condemned person.

    ‘the execution of juveniles is prohibited by international law’

    count noun ‘there were mass arrests and executions’

    2.1 The killing of someone as a political act.

    ‘they were held captive for two days and threatened with execution’

  206. If you’ll re-read the definition you provided, no it was not what is called “execution”. It was hideous, cold-blooded mass murder. And your quibbling about what to call it is starting to sound distinctly ghoulish. Sorry, but I’m going with what both Texas and Federal law enforcement investigators have concluded it was. Because they’re in a position to know, and you’re not. And you clearly have a preferred narrative that doesn’t match the facts the law enforcement officials have presented in their briefings to the public.

  207. I cannot make you understand that that is a pure psychotic reaction to people who have legitimate disagreements and questions about your idea. Please think before you post, and not repeat the dogma that you have had implanted in your head. I get the same reaction from Islamists and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Of course you [believe] that you have the [only] true path, because that is what you were taught, so everyone else is “lacking intelligence to comprehend”. Now do you understand why your response is a psychotic reaction?

  208. If he is a physical entity, I would be happy to meet him today or any other day. I like the concept of Jesus, it is a great story with a great character. Why would I not want to meet him? What would he say —‘Sorry that you did not believe in me, so I am sending you, Mr. Peepsqueek, to the everlasting hell-fires’? Of course he would not say that. He would for give me for the biggest sin that I have committed, which was to question his existence. No loving God would do that! Maybe you wish that for me, but not a loving person. Until then, I will always asked questions. Sorry if that offends you.

  209. It’s a shame you atheists can’t be honest even when the definition of a word proves you wrong.

  210. Again your opinion is meaningless and has no effect on me or my faith. What part of that confuses you?

  211. It’s a shame you have a creepy agenda to promote by exploiting the murdered victims.

  212. I agree they were murder victims of a militant atheist that executed them.

  213. I am not confused at all. It is you that has a psychotic reaction to people who have legitimate disagreements and questions about your idea. You couch it as “meaningless” because you cannot deal with it. I get it!

  214. Why do atheist resort to bullying tactics and false accusations when you can’t be honest?

  215. It’s not me accusing you of being psychotic but rather you accusing me out of desperation because you can’t bully into believing in your obvious bigoted opinion. You see I can admit I made a free choice and you blame a none existent god for making a choice for you….and you call me psychotic eh?

  216. You gotta ‘brah

    Like redeem the time, always giving account of the “appl[icability]” of Jesus & gospel wherever, whenever

    Soliciting up-votes is opposite of that

  217. The Muslim god is the god of Abraham and Isaac. By declaring that he doesn’t exist you also declare Judaism and Christianity false faiths worshiping a non-existent God, and Jesus a lunatic or a con-artist for claiming to be God’s son.

  218. That’s not proof. That’s a bible quote, a bit of a document that is only valid cosmology if the thing you’re trying to prove is true. Your “proof” only works if we start by assuming you’re right. That’s called circular logic.

  219. No. It is not the God of Abraham and Isaac. Not true.

  220. Again, I do not follow. Except to say, while gratified by the upvotes of like minded believers, I do not solicit them. We are called to encourage one another, but I find your arguments somewhat limited, arcane, and self-righteous. Just sayin’.

  221. That rich coming from someone who never grew out of believing in fairy tales.

  222. Then “follow” this: 1st you’ve got it all wrong about Martin Luther. Then you’ve got it all wrong about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Next you couldn’t figure out why RNS published both Falwell’s and Martin’s versions of the incident at Liberty University. And now you’ve got it all wrong about Devin Kelley. This is becoming a pattern for your Christian discernment lately. Maybe it’s because you’ve been more interested in accummulating up-votes. “Just sayin’.”

  223. This was a domestic violence situation. It had nothing to do with religion. And if a Christian did kill 26 Muslims in a mosque, it might legitimately be called terrorism, since the killings would have been religiously motivated. These shootings weren’t religious at all.

  224. Any further reply from me to you will not advance the cause of the Kingdom that we both claim membership in.

  225. As I recall, it was a froot loop named Nietzsche who screamed “God is dead!”, as he was dragged away to an asylem, his mind completely shattered because of his godless hatred for His creator. If you think you’ll convince me of anything, you’re as insane as he was.

  226. Christians don’t worship a concept, they worship a Person.

  227. Arab Christians know that Allah is not the God of the Bible.

  228. If you want to know what Jesus would say to you, read the Bible.

  229. The Bible is the inspired eternal infallible word of the loving God.

  230. I don’t want to say that you are ignorant, just brainwashed. I have read the fantasy in the Bible both backward and forward. I even took a world’s religion class. Many religions claim to have the true spoken words of God. It takes big ego to think that you are the only one that has got it right and everyone else is wrong.

  231. If you translate the Bible into arabic, “god” becomes” Allah”.

  232. pros·e·lyt·ize
    To convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.

  233. Meet God’s requirements in John 3:16, and you’ll have all the proof you need.

  234. I hope you are being sarcastic, as God is just a concept, and every cultural has a different idea about this concept.

  235. In correct, there are thousand of pieces of evidence that lean toward evolution. There is zero evidence for creation, especially that man was made from a lump of clay or dirt and women was made from a rib. Please think before you post.

  236. You know him only as a concept, not a physical entity.

  237. I hope you are doing your best to stop proselytizing because it is offensive to throw un-asked for information in some’s face, but I am always polite when the Jehovah’s witnesses come to the door and invite them in for something to drink. I have actually gotten a few of them to change their position when I saw they were open minded enough to have an actual two way conversation.

    It is not a good habit to walk up to people and start talking about your personal beliefs, politics, or sexual habits. Like any relationship, earn their respect first.

  238. Ok here’s what I’m thinking: “All i see is God’s creation. In fact just the exact opposite of your claim.”

  239. Actually he does exist, but he is one of the principalities and powers spoken of in Ephesians 6.

  240. Your problem is with Christ. Tell him to send me a memo contradicting what He taught and no problem

  241. You have a one track mind! I repeat: ” It is not a good habit to walk up to people and start talking about your personal beliefs, politics, or sexual habits. Like any relationship, earn their respect first.”

    I do not have a problem with mythological Jesus. I think it is a great story with a great character. One of my favorite movies is “Jesus Christ Superstar”, where they take the biblical story and make viable sense out of it through rock music.

  242. I did not claim it, science claims it through fossils that show a pattern of change over geological time, and that we have molecular evidence, and DNA evidence that link all the diverse lineages of life on earth, which is called evolution.

    “All I see is God’s creation” is because you have blinders on, and reject science.

  243. A cult is an excessive admiration for a particular person or thing, usually involving rituals, and brainwashing. That sounds more like religion than the atheist who question religion.

  244. I cannot deny the plain common sense evidence of my own senses.

  245. This is why we have a Court system, because many times, eye witnesses to a crime often point out the wrong suspect in a lineup only hours after an incident and gut feelings are inaccurate most of the time, when scientific evidence, such as DNA and molecular evidence proves something very different. And you are going to tell me about what your gut feelings/common sense tells you about the stories in ancient texts? Again, please think before you post.

    What does your common sense tell you about the first two humans on this planet in Genesis?

  246. What is it specifically about the biblical story that matches science? -The Universe an every thing it was created in six days, and man was created from a lump clay or dirt? And Adam and Even ate from the tree of knowledge, and suddenly they knew shame and had to cover their private parts? The only two people on the planet had to be ashamed of their hairy undercarriage? Please attempt to at least sound truthful, instead of ignorant.

    Some very intelligent people seem to throw all logic and reasoning out the window when it comes to religion.

  247. The very character and nature of the creation says, it’s a result of some very intelligent thought and workmanship, just as a camera and an eyeball are indenticle in form and function, the only difference being that the former is a mechanical mechanism and the latter mechanism is biological and alive.

  248. There must have been a creator doesn’t prove that there is one.
    Or it could be that that is just the way life develops. We don’t know, but that appears to be the answer.
    Positing a creator just begs the question, because who and what created that creator that could not have been developing all by itself, since you have already posited that a creator must be necessary to explain the complexity of life.
    And even if such a creator could be proven, that doesn’t mean that the god of the bible, let alone the three-in-one Christian god was the one that did the creating.

  249. I’m satisfied with the nature of the evidence that God has provided for Himself. Moreover unlike some folks today, I’m not wishing there were no God, who demands our obedience to Him and punishes wrongdoing. So no, I have no motivation to rationalise Him and the nature of His creation out of existence, some even to the point of shooting His messengers, in threir church, as that militant atheist did in Texas. An antitheist named Hitchens voiced the concern of many when he said that the very thought of God’s existence was something he could not abide. So it’s no wonder that the very idea of God is resisted in the name of Science – “the Bible can’t be true, because the latest scientific theories, or discoveries proves it”, at the expense of what is plainly seen right in front of each and every one of us. From what I see, I don’t think the real issue is what science or evidence tells us or demonstrates about the existences of God, or the Truth of His word, many people today are opposed to Him and His truth, and appealing to science, and it’s lab coated priesthood, is the way out of it for them

  250. So in other words, you need evidence that god has provided, because your faith is so weak.

    And m8litant atheist in Texas. No. Just a sick, sick man.

  251. The seeds of hatred for God and those who love Him, sown by the rhetoric of new atheists after the 911 terrorist attack, is bearing fruit – in death – and it’s going to escalate.

  252. You people are never happy unless you can convince yourselves that people are persecuting you and hate your god. You always need an enemy or a bogeyman. Did it ever occur to you that you create what you put your attention on?

    The terrorists of 9/11 weren’t atheists, they were the same as you— god botherers. They just bother a different god.

  253. It’s true, that historically, America has been free of the kind of persecution that is has been on the rise in other parts of the world, but only because of God’s blessing necause of the Godly foundation that has been here from founding, but, that is mostly gone because the apostasy of Western Civilization. It gave the illusion of a sheltered life, with a “can’t happen here” mentality. But that’s changing with the paganizatin of out culture. The 911 attacks caused the new atheists to fall for the lie that all religion is evil, so they tossed out the baby with the bathwater, not understating there are counterfeits of all kinds, including religious faith. And they still don’t know the difference – and the tragedy in Texas is an example of such spiritual blindness.

  254. I’m an atheist, and I’ve never met an atheist who has a blanket belief that all religion is evil. (Furthermore, evil doesn’t exist outside of a religious framework, really.)

    There are just a lot of mean, selfish, vengeful people, and religion empowers them to act on those urges.

    I know some very kind and loving Christians: I suspect even without Christianity, they would be kind and loving.

    Furthermore, your hypocrisy is astounding: the 911 attacks caused many Christians to believe that Islam is pure evil.

  255. Okay. Good for you. I don’t find anything about your god or your big book of mythology particularly compelling.

    Nobody is “wishing” there is no god: a lack of belief in a god does not equate to a wish. The fact that I don’t believe in pink magical glitter unicorns doing synchronized gymnastics on Venus doesn’t mean that I’m actively wishing that they don’t exist.

    What makes an atheist “militant?” Seems most of the conservative Christians I’ve met online are about as militant as you can get.

    You are opposed to the “truth” of every other religion. Why are you surprised when people similarly don’t think there’s any truth to yours?

  256. The camera and the eyeball are not identical in form and function, although yes, many of the principles in designing a camera are based on vision: basing technology on eons of evolution that have given us successful patterns should not be surprising.

    We also have, for example, algorithms in computer science based on the way ant colonies and bee colonies behave, and on the way heated metals cool, and on climbing hills. So what?

  257. You clearly aren’t looking very hard, then.

  258. Common sense does not exist and is a logical fallacy as an appeal to authority.

    Almost everyone thinks they have common sense, and yet nobody can agree on what comprises it.

  259. Christians have entire schools – from kindergarten through to PhD studies – devoted to the endeavour of indoctrination.

  260. Atheism is not a religion.

    Atheists don’t disbelieve in your god specifically: they lack belief in all of the thousands of gods that humans have made in their image.

    Where did you earn your PhD in psychology in order to ascertain that atheism is a mental illness? Given that the majority of the leading minds in cosmology – one of the most difficult fields of science – are atheists, if it’s a mental illness, it certainly is doing the opposite of impeding them.

  261. It’s a mental illness called a reprobate mind, and has nothing to do with IQ. And it does not respond to treatment. They call evil good, and call that which is good, evil. For them, everything, eventually becomes turned upside down, and are so twisted themselves, that they twist everything they come in contact with. Their only hope is to turn to God in faith in order to be restored to sanity, and reality.

  262. There is no such illness as a reprobate mind.

    It seems to me that it’s people like you that call evil good and good evil, and due to your childhood indoctrination into your cult of psychological abuse, escaping this state of being is extremely difficult.

    It is obvious to anyone outside of your particular version of your faith that you turn everything upside down and are completely dishonest and hypocritical.

    You can live under the authoritarian rule of your imaginary abusive sky tyrant all you like. I’ve seen what it does to people and it is absolutely repulsive. I choose to enjoy my freedom from such delusions and live my life the way that I decide.

  263. Basically, the result of God giving one over to a reprobate mind because of rejecting His revelation of Himself, is an Alice through the looking glass, subversion of reality, morality and truth. It’s a madness fueled by the spirit of antichrist. The world as God intended it to be is akin to an antimatter universe eternally at enmity with the normal one. Coexistence is impossible. Thus, the need for a place called hell.

  264. None of that is relevant as your god doesn’t exist. We may as well be speculating on what Thor and the Easter Bunny have got planned for us all.

    Your god is truly one of the most ridiculous, self-contradicting fictional characters ever made, which is likely why the followers who view the bible as his inerrant word are usually nuttier than a walnut grove.

    I no doubt grasp the fact that none of what you say has any truth at all, any more than the nonsense a radical Muslim or Hindu spouts out. Your religion gives me no more reason to believe in it than any other, and in fact, based on the forays into absolute absurdity that people like you embark on, less.

    Your god could not possibly have created a world other than what he intended it to be by the properties of omniscience and omnipotence.

    Your sad need for black-and-white characterizations and false comforting answers to challenging questions holds no relevance to my life, inasmuch as you don’t try to insert your insanity into the political system and public schools.

  265. I don’t expect atheists to agree with me, but I still cannot deny the common sense evidence of my own senses.

  266. God does not open His truth to those who defy Him. Next time you open that Book, make sure that you are born again with the Spirit of God in you. Then He will be your teacher.

  267. Again, common sense is worthless: everyone thinks they have it, and nobody can agree on what it is.

    Your senses only suggest what is real, but are not completely accurate indicators of reality. Your senses, for example, tell you that your chair is a completely solid object, when in fact, it is made of atoms with far more empty space than matter.

    Nobody’s common sense could have predicted the results of the double-slit experiment.

    Your senses evolved to help you survive in our current conditions through a process of random mutation and natural selection over approximately 3.8 billion years. They are not infallible, nor are they even particularly good at understanding anything that falls outside of basic survival needs.

    This is why the scientific method doesn’t accept appeals to common sense, nor does it base its models purely on sensory data. Furthermore, given that your faith – comprised of strict, unwavering adherence to legends of primitive people in the Middle East – were based largely on sensory data and emotion rather than the scientific method – which provides testable, verifiable models in a self-correcting process – makes it essentially useless.

    Science has given us medicines, technology, vaccines, comfort, much longer life spans, etc, and have shown us that the universe is far weirder than we could possibly have imagined.

    Religion has given us pablum answers to questions that frighten us and a false sense of control over our environment and circumstances.

  268. Tell all the Jews, Muslims, those of the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Zoroastrianism………….to make sure they are born again.

    If you are happy with your relationship between you and the concept of God, then that is between you and your concept of God. It is yours!

  269. My statement all goes to the end results of rejecting the restraining power of the Spirit of God, upon corrupt human nature. The mass shootings in America will spread around the world as well. Atheism has a price. Now we have an emerging generation of God rejecting madmen, as driven by their own evil as Stalin was. The time is coming when except for the few remaining Christians on the earth, there will be no one running the show, but human scum, who kill you just to see what it feels like to do it.

  270. There is nothing to reject. You and your religion’s view of human nature is dismal and pessimistic: furthermore, I have met many people who seem very similar to you, and their human nature is in no way seems superior to more liberal Christians or atheists.

    Mass shootings will correlate with access to weaponry and social problems. Indeed, it is generally religious extremists like yourself who seem attracted to weapons.

    A human that rejects your god is no more mad (and I would suggest much less) than you are for rejecting Allah, Zeus, Apollo, Ra, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Yes, I was waiting for you to drag out Stalin: he may have been an atheist, but his atheism was not the motivating force for his actions, unlike religious zealots.

    I would feel far less at physical danger in an area with a high liberal atheist population than I would in an area with a high conservative Christian population.

    And I can assure you that while I have absolutely nothing but disdain for your religious views, I would fight for your right to hold them if they were threatened, and I certainly have zero desire to kill another human, neither just to see what it feels like nor for any other reason.

  271. I simply stated how we got where we are, and where we’re headed, and why.

  272. Your speculations are merely that, and have no basis in logic.

  273. And I already pointed out that what you see is not necessarily an accurate portrayal of reality.

    Furthermore, you are lying: you have never seen god and these forces of good and evil that Christians of your type love to go on about, but you report them incessantly.

    taqiyya (a term I was not familiar with, so thank you for teaching me something):
    “a precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution.”

    I’m not denying that Stalin was an atheist. I’m saying it probably had about as much to do with his actions as the fact that I’m a mathematician has to do with what I eat for breakfast. Picking one or two examples of atheists that have committed atrocities (even if they did so in the name of atheism) doesn’t constitute a valid critique of atheism on the whole.

    The reason that you may be familiar with this is because Christians trot out the same tired, uninformed, ridiculous criticisms of atheism over and over again. We have heard them literally hundreds of times and refuted them repeatedly. We just wait to see which absurd one out of a couple dozen you’re going to pull out next. It’s boring and they generally speak nothing to the truth of atheism and more simply try to paint us with a bad brush.

  274. You left out much of what taqiyya is. Plus, throw off the restraining influence of the Spirit of God, and the worst that a person is in their heart then dominates and drives them. In Stalins case it was the destruction of millions. For Hitler, it was 6 million Jews. For us, the numbers are even higher, since Roe v. Wade.

  275. I don’t need to read a treatise on taqiyya, nor am I interested in doing so.

    Islam is as diverse as Christianity: there are complete whackjobs (koff, koff), and there are those who adopt a more liberal interpretation that grants people respect and doesn’t completely contradict the centuries of knowledge gained since their inceptions.

    I have had three very good Muslim friends and they were all modern women, strong advocates of same-sex marriage, and liberal-minded. They were generous, gentle, hospitable people.

    Now, of course, that is not representative of all Muslims, just like, thankfully, you are not representative of all Christians (just the True Ones, right? =snarf=).

    If you threw off the shackles of the nonexistent dictatorship under which you labour with blind obedience, you’d probably be a much better person. I sincerely can’t see you being any less joyless or unpleasant.

    Let’s not get into an argument about the religious affiliation or lack thereof of Hitler. There is plenty of reason to believe he was a “True Christian”, and speculation on the part of Christians that he was an atheist. Neither one of us will convince the other in a debate on that subject.

    I’m also not particularly interested in the subject of abortion, as as a gay man, I do not feel like I can understand the plight of a woman who is faced with an unwanted pregnancy, which is, by definition, a parasite. If you want to blither away about that subject, find someone else. I’ll happily discuss religion, drug use, mathematics, or homosexuality with you, but I have zero desire to embark on a debate about abortion rights. It’s a settled issue, as far as I’m concerned, and I agree with the decision. You don’t, and we can just disagree on that.

  276. I can’t say “so what” to God’s general revelation of Himself thorough His creation. No argument can cause me to unsee what I plainly see for myself, such as the matter of the eyeball and the camera. Frankly, everything I see confirms the truth of God’s written word.

  277. Watching a video treatise on taqiyya is what clued me in on the fact that atheists practice the same kind of deciets that Muslims do, in order to win the trust of others until it’s too late. And the whitewashing of the brutal nature of the worlds atheist dictatorships being a prime example.

  278. You are either grossly ignorant of the tenants of Islam, or simply choosing to bear false witness.

  279. You’re using a conclusion as a premise. You’ve failed to demonstrate that the Bible is “God’s word.” At this point I don’t expect anything more from you than circular reasoning.

  280. Restating a false claim doesn’t make it any less false.

  281. I would rather stand with God, and be called a failure by the world, than to stand with world, and be called a failure by God.

  282. You’re just immune to logic, aren’t you?

    You worship a false god, and everything you believe is based on a lie.

    What? You don’t believe me when I say that? But I offered just as much proof that your god is false as you offered that your God is real, and you seem to expect other people to take your statements as gospel.

  283. Pretending your beliefs are mandated by God doesn’t make it true. You’re just using that as an excuse to not have to defend or examine them.

  284. You haven’t demonstrated that the Bible is God’s word.

  285. I don’t have to defend myself to an atheist any more than a law abiding must to so to a criminal.

  286. That isn’t possible by simple online discussions. God word is proven by trusting, and obeying Him with a life committed to Him.

  287. That’s bullshit. You either don’t know what proof means, or. more likely, you’re simply a liar.

  288. It’s all in the Bible, and is born out in the lives of the Saints. As it’s written: “By their fruits, you shall know them.”

  289. “The Bible is true because the Bible says so” is bullshit reasoning. You haven’t offered a single valid reason to accept any of it. Circular reasoning (I use the word loosely) from a religious fanatic with his head buried firmly up his ass.

  290. In other words, join the cult and get brainwashed into believing and then it will all make sense.

  291. I never said I was an atheist, fuckwit, and comparing atheists to criminals is just another demonstration of what a self-righteous bigot you are.

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