This week, I skipped out on publishing a Discourses post.  I haven’t retired the idea, mind you, I just don’t think the most recent ones have served a purpose.

You see, back when we first started doing Discourses posts on another blog and a long time ago, we were less understanding, full of piss and vinegar.  Many of us first met on Right-Thinking from the Left Coast and we used to have a thing called “Thunderdome” in which commenters would battle with righteous fury, sometimes leaving 100 comments in a single thread.

Debate was passionate, it was engaging, and it was fun for those of us who liked to fight.  However, there was a downside.  People did sometimes take things too far.  On some occasions, people got banned.  Commenters often got annoyed that in that Wild West environment, finding there wasn’t room for productive debate.  There were weeks in which every single thread became Thunderdome, much to the annoyance of the sane.  I may have had something to do with that.  Who remembers?

The Discourses threads were intended to give everyone a place in which they could discuss normally-contentious topics with respect, fairness, and open-mindedness.  You see, it worked back when there was a likelihood of getting pounced on for voicing an unpopular opinion on most threads.  I don’t see that happen much here.  Over time, it seems that the spirit of those old Discourses discussions carried over into all of our conversations and continues to this day.  Generally, I think that’s been a good thing but I have recently felt like something was missing.

Yesterday, I had a discussion with a friend about the state of RVS.  Overall, he was complimentary of what we’re doing and where we’re going but he pointed out a deficiency.

You know what it was?  We are way too chummy around here.  It’s too civil and too nice all of the time.  I think he’s right.  Many of you might feel constrained, like you can’t cut loose and really speak your mind.  I know a couple of you quite well and I can sense it.

I’m 100% to blame for our current state of timid pussyhood.  I think I may have done too good a job of moderating this blog and instilling it with a culture of enforced and sometimes stifling civility.  Only now do I see that the pendulum has gone too far in one direction and must swing back the other way.

What’s sad is that I’m a victim of my own design.  I too have held back from posting on certain topics and saying certain things because I don’t want to ruin the tone of this blog.  Honestly, I think RVS suffers for the sense that we’re all walking on eggshells.  What’s the point of being on the Internet if you can’t spit some vitriol at fools from behind the protection of anonymity, right?  More importantly, how can we say that we allow for open debate here if people are afraid that they’ll get scolded for not knowing where the Acceptable Behavior Line is?

But how do we allow for passionate, uninhibited, and sometimes brutal sex debate without turning this blog into a hate filled nightmare?  Well, I say we should acknowledge that there is a time and a place for everything.  That time is now and this place is here.

I bring you a new feature of RVS and the first of an original category: Deadly Ground.

Think of it as the opposite of a Discourses post.  It’s not a safe space.  Joining in discussion on any post in this category requires no fear of hurt feelings.  We want you to speak your mind and defend your positions to the last measure.  If you think I’m being a dickwitted hooker-puncher on a Deadly Ground post, then say so, knowing that you are in no danger of banning (for the record, I’ve been an author on four blogs and never banned anyone).  But know that I reserve the right to come back at you and explain why you’re wrong and a Trump-sucking rent-boy.

Let’s face it.  You have to keep your thoughts to yourself every minute of every day.  It’s not good to internalize.  Wouldn’t it be nice to relax and then just rant and rave with other consenting adults?  Let us be your sparring partner as you work out your frustrations about our truly awful political and cultural situation.

Can’t we let our Id run wild on a Wednesday and then get back to normal in time for Friday’s DJ thread?  I think so.  Either way, I’m determined to find out.  Really, what is this blog if not experimental?  If we’re containing the combat to just one thread every now and then, I say we can handle it without destroying the civility and sense of community that RVS stands for.

Don’t think of these simply as flamewar threads.  Just know that your passion will be celebrated, not condemned.  The only rules are: 1) No threats and 2) No calling out people who aren’t participating in a thread and 3) No jokes about how wealthy I am.

So….let’s get to today’s topic.  Here’s what I’ve been holding back for a few months.

Here at RVS, our community represents a diversity of religious viewpoints and that is a wonderful thing.  You know, I like religion.  I enjoy the company of religious people.  In fact, I am a Christian.  I don’t attend church much anymore as I don’t live near one I like, unfortunately.  I believe in God and I follow the moral precepts of the Bible (mainly the New Testament) as much as I’m able as an imperfect person.  But that doesn’t mean I approve of everything religion has to offer or that I like or even respect everything that religious people do.

Religion, at its best, has been a net benefit to humanity.  The world would be a worse place without faith and the good people who use it in service to others, I think.  But it’s time to face facts.  Too often and to this very day; religion has come into conflict with modernity, freedom, human rights, science, and other social forces and it’s gotten ugly.  I think it’s getting harder and harder to defend religious freedom when religious people insist on using their faith to hold society back.

Here’s a gripe I have.  Can we please stop pretending that the Bible is a science textbook?  It isn’t and you know it.  The Bible is about overcoming our worst nature as human animals and submitting ourselves to God’s will.  It’s about finding peace, harmony, and other ideals that the Beatles sang about.

But everything falls apart the moment that science is seen as refuting the Word of the Lord.  Ask Galileo and scores of others.  Darwin started to find evidence that we were developed by other forces, our Earth is older, and other creatures existed and died out long before us.  Instead of embracing this and the possibilities for broadening our understanding of our origins and life itself, some churches bitterly fought against it.  Denied it was real.  They still do.  Why?

The Creation story in Genesis is not the linchpin of the entire Judeo-Christian tradition, you guys.  There’s no reason to think that the rational study of the origins of humanity in any way invalidates the teachings of Christ or any other faith.

Genesis is no more credible to me than the origin stories of other ancient people.  What makes you think it deserves any more credence than that of the Sioux, who thought that we’re the second world the Creator built while smoking his sacred pipe, after he destroyed the first world for being filled with dooshbags?

I have to ask.  Is your faith so tenuous that learning that any part of the Bible isn’t literally true would completely destroy it?  Surely we can hold that triceratops was a real thing, Earth is billions of years old, AND everything Jesus said is completely true.  I certainly think so.

Keep in mind that I don’t care what you believe.  What bothers me is that some of you want myth taught to my kids as fact.  I don’t want them to learn faith in school.  I want to teach them about faith and I even want them to be able to question it.  I want school to teach them what science is and how it works.  I want them to experiment, to reason (up to you whether you think schools are any good at that).  Your religious dogma collides with that.  Stop it.  It’s unnecessary.  None of this is a threat to you or to God.

Scripture works when it provides us with guidance for living, saving our souls, finding redemption, building our communities, practicing mercy, and practicing charity.  It completely fails when trying to blindly prop it up as the inerrant word of God works to erase the knowledge we’ve gained from study, experimentation, research, and independent review.

Whenever we see that religion is holding humanity’s achievements and knowledge back, we should challenge it to change.  Follow God’s law, whatever you call God.  Trust in His judgement and learn from the examples of Moses, Jesus, Buddha, L Ron, Mohammed, and Joe Smith.  But remember that God gave you Reason too.

If God wanted us to stay ignorant and butt-naked out in the woods, He wouldn’t have put the fucking tree with the fruit that would make us question things right there where we could get to it.  Come on, He had the entire planet to hide it.  Could have put it on an island in the Pacific.  Didn’t.  He knew what He was doing.  I have faith.

It is time that religious people stopped denying scientific knowledge for the sake of maintaining the illusions created by dead people millenia ago.  You can have admit that there might be something to this whole evolution thing and believe in the Resurrection of Christ.  Both are valid.  Hey, they’re both miracles. All you have to do is admit that your holy book isn’t literally true.

Oh, and I see you agnostics and atheists back there with your smug faces.  Too many of you simply view Science as a competing faith.  It isn’t.  When you use scientific findings simply to bash and undermine Christianity, you’re part of the problem.  You’re as much a dogmatic ass as the worst fundamentalist.

Now then.  Would anyone like to step up and have a dose of the old stuff?  I will take you on.  No comment will go unanswered.  No disagreement unchallenged.

85 comments

  1. I’ll pop the cherry on this one.

    It is time that religious people stopped denying scientific knowledge for the sake of maintaining the illusions created by dead people millenia ago. You can have admit that there might be something to this whole evolution thing and believe in the Resurrection of Christ. Both are valid. Hey, they’re both miracles. All you have to do is admit that your holy book isn’t literally true.

    There are certainly a lot of unreasonable Christians who (IMO ironically due to lack of faith) wall themselves off from modern understandings of creation rooted in scientific discovery. I’m thinking young-earth creationists and the like. These are the folks anti-Christians like to pick on and cite as representative of Christianity in general. It’s a terribly faulty view, as most Christians have no problem reconciling faith and scientific discovery.
    Where things break down are where “science” enters the realm of philosophy, retaining only a tenuous grasp on principles of evidence, hypothesis, repeatable experimentation, and controlled variables. The origin of life, human consciousness, afterlife, heck even anthropogenic climate change are topics that science currently, and in some cases may never have an answer for. Science has yet to explain how life can emerge from no life, the irreducible complexity argument, mechanisms driving evolution within observed change over time, the nature of consciousness, how the universe was created, the list goes on. The only difference between “scientific” explanations for things like these and religious explanations is that the scientific ones have an a priori assumption of naturalist processes for everything.
    I also note a consistent thread in discussing the topic of religion and science regarding the meaning of “literal”. I believe the Bible is the literal word of God. That doesn’t mean I think every chapter and verse is to be read or taken literally. There are a wide range of literary forms in the Bible, and you have to understand them in context (i.e. conveyed and understood by what began as a nomadic bronze-age culture, later influenced strongly by Greek and Roman culture) if you want to be taken seriously. An easy for instance, the psalms or Song of Solomon are very artistic in nature. Revelation is a description of a prophetic vision and should not be taken textually literally (but should be taken “literally” in terms of meaning). Genesis and the origin story are likely highly-allegorical ways of describing creation that could be sufficiently understood by the ancient oral tradition culture that it was written from, but which convey a deeper truth (e.g. that creation occurred in stages, there was a beginning to it, that man is unique in creation and possesses God’s nature to a certain degree–i.e. consciousness, reason, etc.). Miracles are a whole other subject, but my opinion is that they are pretty much as described in scripture, though perhaps many or most have some sort of naturalist component to them beyond what the literal text says (e.g. the wind being just right to blow the waters of the reed sea to become dry land).

  2. Revelations is a great example to me of where a work taken literally falls apart under the weight of its own logic. If revelations is a glimpse into the future, a future that is the end of humanity, how in the fuck would whoever was transported to this future to witness it make literally accurate descriptions of what they saw? How would any prophet accurately describe a gun, a tank, a car, a nuclear missile or even the detonation of a nuclear bomb?

    Slightly off topic but related is how, to me, conservative christians become contortionists to fit defense of wealth and greed as much as they reject science. I haven’t read much of the Bible in a while but I distinctly remember in Sunday school that Jesus was pretty fucking triggered by the rich almost all of the time. I’m paraphrasing here but the guy who said “truly I say to you that the path of a rich man into heaven is one of the most diffucult, and the chronicles of a man that I dare say spent more of his life seemingly homeless, borrowing and hanging with lepers doesn’t sound like the type of person that wanted his followers to cry foul over the “war on the rich.”

    I could have this all wrong (doubtful) but Jesus remarked that the obligation of those given wealth was the responsibility of the well being of the poor. Meaning, if you became wealthy, giving back was one of the obligations of this privilege. How this has translated to American conservatives worshipping and defending america’s wealth class (including the noteworthy flaws the Bible warns rich people will fall victim to) is a heist greater than any bank robbery in history.

    In falls a little into our “morality of work” thread where we were explained that, despite the Bible making clear examples of the morality of NOT working to worship and be with family, our only existence is to suffer away at a menial desk job until we fall over and die from health neglect. I see many of layman “wwjd” biblical examples of why injustice chimes with the Bible and I think there would be far less of the left’s “war” on the Bible if it weren’t used so prominently for justification of right wing politics.

  3. It’s on like Donkey Kong.

    I think it’s getting harder and harder to defend religious freedom when religious people insist on using their faith to hold society back.

    So are you saying that you think Hobby Lobby should be forced to provide health plans that cover contraceptives? You think the Little Sisters of the Poor should be forced by .gov to provide contraceptives directly against their religious beliefs?

    Where does “holding society back” begin at the expense of someone’s religious beliefs? Should the baker be forced to participate in a ceremony they fundamentally disagree with by using their skills and artistry to bake a cake for a gay couple despite there being 10 gay bakers (that, let’s be honest, probably make more artistic cakes) down the street the couple could choose to use?

    You smelly pirate hooker.

  4. I could have this all wrong (doubtful) but Jesus remarked that the obligation of those given wealth was the responsibility of the well being of the poor. Meaning, if you became wealthy, giving back was one of the obligations of this privilege. How this has translated to American conservatives worshipping and defending america’s wealth class (including the noteworthy flaws the Bible warns rich people will fall victim to) is a heist greater than any bank robbery in history.

    You fail to grasp a simple concept. I donate a large portion of my income to charities because I choose to do that. Forced donation to the poor through Government coercion at the end of a gun is not what Christ wanted or proposed, and completely defeats the purpose. That is what the left espouses when they talk about income inequality, and the “rich” paying their “fare share”, and what the majority of the right is against.

    BTW – Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.

  5. Nobody should be paying for anyone else’s birth control or forced to render services they don’t wish to. I’m all about voluntary exchange of services, you crosseyed buffoon.

  6. What really grinds my gears is progressives’ conflation of the moral obligation to care for the poor with a duty of Government. They love to beat Christians over it every time any new or existing welfare program is discussed.
    Individual acts of charity are important in shaping the heart to be Christ-like. “Charity” through taxation and Government programs is not charity at all, because it completely removes the individual, moral component of charity. In other words, one’s charity gets outsourced and there is no moral gain. It is a poisonous path, and frankly one I think the evil one exploits regularly in our society.

  7. I don’t see how you reconcile that the Bible is the literal word of God with not taking every chapter and verse literally. How are believers to know which parts are real and which ones are just allegory?

    Did Moses really get the Ten Commandments from God? Did Christ “literally” come back from the dead or was this an allegory for his memory living on?

    To many believers, allowing this amount of doubt to creep in undermines the faith. Instead of hedging over it, can’t we just say that it’s NOT literal and focus on the message rather than the supernatural events?

  8. The death and resurrection of Christ is central to the entire Christian faith. If that event didn’t happen, then there’s no point to the rest of it.

  9. Revelations is the first thing I would strike out if I were given the chance to revise the Bible. It’s babble and has caused no end of problems with the number of believers who are less focused on charity and goodwill for their fellow humans and more so on hoping and agitating for the destruction of civilization.

    That whole book is retarded and should never have been included within the New Testament for so many reasons.

  10. This is closer to where I stand. Jesus wanted us to do good for its own sake, not use the violence of government to achieve those ends. Hey, Jesus was a victim of big government at the end.

    Aside from that, I think the rich should be shamed mercilessly into using their wealth for charity and paying a fair wage. We don’t need government extortion. The super-rich who contribute nothing should be vilified on social media every day, challenged every time they show their faces in public, and boycotted. Public sentiment is far more effective at bringing about change than the government.

  11. I believe the Resurrection happened, but I don’t think the rest is pointless without it. Christ’s teachings were revolutionary for ANY time and place, including our own. His willingness to die for them by itself would be inspiring enough to launch a great faith.

    Still, I don’t think that the Resurrection is anything that’s at odds with science. A true believer can acknowledge this miracle without having to defend Creationism or really believing that a guy built a boat and put a pair of every animal on Earth into it.

  12. I don’t see how you reconcile that the Bible is the literal word of God with not taking every chapter and verse literally. How are believers to know which parts are real and which ones are just allegory?

    Through reading and interpreting in context. There are these people called “biblical scholars” who devote their life’s work to understanding scripture, for one. It even has a word “exegesis”. There is a common idea among people who study the Bible that you should interpret scripture with scripture–i.e. in seeking understanding of a particular passage, consider it in light of what other scripture says.
    Second, it’s important to consider that the Bible is not one book, but a compendium of many, written by different people for different purposes at different times (many centuries apart). As mentioned, one book may be prophetic, another artistic, and another an account. There is a middle way between interpreting all of scripture literally and all of it as allegory. For a more dense summary of exegesis as taught by my own church body, see http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=e&word=EXEGESIS

    can’t we just say that it’s NOT literal and focus on the message rather than the supernatural events?

    No, because the supernatural events, most notably the resurrection and ascension of Christ, are pretty damn important.

  13. I am 100% in agreement with the latter.
    Generally, we need more room for societal-cultural pressure here, rather than the brute coercion of Government.

  14. Yes let’s rehash Hobby Lobby and Bayer aspirin as a viable form of birth control. I have a niece that had ovarian cancer at 13 and it pisses me off that people want to deny coverage to a teenager because someone gets some scot-free fucking.

    The butcher, baker, candlestick maker people I am less concerned about. Most of them are just attention seeking. If you are in the business of baking cakes or making flower arrangements then you should do so, but … If a business person declines to serve you perhaps you should let your wallet do the talking and double your order to the closest competitor. Send them a copy of the invoice and call it an “asshole tax”.

  15. That whole book is retarded

    Daaaaaaaaaamn, son! Don’t let your pastor see that!
    Revelation is probably the most difficult book to interpret in all of scripture. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included, just that people should probably approach it with some more humility.

  16. It’s hard to interpret because it doesn’t fit. Here the New Testament goes on about hope and redemption and a new future for us all with the promise of finding our way to God’s Kingdom.

    Then you get this screed about how a multi-headed dragon is going to eat us all. No, it needs to be out of there. It’s given people some terrible ideas.

  17. Well, it bears repeating that we wouldn’t be in this absurd position if government weren’t forcing employers to provide any form of medical coverage. Protecting the free exercise of religion is among the government’s Constitutional duties. Forcing private business to provide good time pills isn’t.

  18. I believe that Revelations was political commentary by John against the government.

    The Bible in its current form was a creation of a series of voting for various books and versions to be included into one bound volume. It amazes me that Christian do not weigh that when they go all holier than he’ll about what rules one must folow as a Christian…

  19. I have a niece that had ovarian cancer at 13 and it pisses me off that people want to deny coverage to a teenager because someone gets some scot-free fucking.

    It pisses me off that .0001% of legal gun owners use a gun to commit a crime, and idiots try to use it for justification for gun registrations, or banning gun ownership. Your example is still no excuse for forcing someone who is fundamentally against birth control to be forced to give it to someone. Your niece should get different coverage.

  20. Oh I agree, some of the most charitable organizations are Christian based… And they get hammered all the time.. With government irsnot about charity it’s about control…. Pretty much what much of the church did generations ago… The gov doesn’t want the competition…

  21. Oh? So the church isn’t about control? Down a ways there is a discussion about how allowing ovarian cancer patients access to hormone therapy is against church rules to the extent that they don’t want to allow coverage for it in their insurance plans.

  22. I never understood the desire for fundis to force people to live to their moral code. When it’s clearly stated in the bible and in religious teachings that we all are sinners…and that people must be free to presue their life sinful or not… This kind of shit. Is what gets the biggest back lash and I for one agree. Get yourr head out of your ass. Not every one wants to live that way….

  23. She’s on Obama Care until it’s repealed and replaced with basically nothing for a cancer survivor. Maybe she could stockpile them?

  24. The Little Sisters of the Poor were not being forced to provide contraception. They sued because they didn’t want to fill out a form which would exempt them from providing contraception.
    But yes, I would argue that Hobby Lobby should provide the same insurance coverage that every other employer does. Your religious beliefs should not affect other people’s health care. Hebrew National (let’s assume it’s owned by Jews) does not mandate that it’s employees circumcise their male children, why does a Christian owner get to impose his beliefs?
    I agree that the baker thing seems like bs, but how would you feel if the baker refused to make a cake for an interracial wedding? Still ok?

  25. I personally don’t think it is OK to deny services for most any reason other than someone creating a disturbance at the shop or walking in with no shirt/shoes, drunk etc. type thing. It is ethically wrong and fiscally irresponsible to deny anyone your product or service. I just have a bit of a problem with baked goods or flowers as a civil rights issue.

  26. Your religious beliefs should not affect other people’s health care.

    Your sexual promiscuity should not impact a private businesses right to exercise their religion. You can go work elsewhere.

    Hebrew National (let’s assume it’s owned by Jews) does not mandate that it’s employees circumcise their male children, why does a Christian owner get to impose his beliefs?

    Does it prevent the owner of Hebrew National from exercising his religion as he sees fit if his employees are not circumcised? If it was written in the Torah that Jews should not employ the unclean, I’d probably support it. But it doesn’t.

    how would you feel if the baker refused to make a cake for an interracial wedding? Still ok?

    Did he refuse it on religious grounds?

  27. It is ethically wrong and fiscally irresponsible to deny anyone your product or service.

    That would depend on your ethics. Some believe it is morally wrong for Adam to have sex with Steve. As far as the fiscal responsibility of it – they’re the business owner. It’s their right to be fiscally irresponsible if they so choose, or should we make that illegal too?

  28. Time to get new readers. I just said that I have a problem with cake and flowers as a civil rights issue. That would probably extend to many other industries but start denying them necessities and get back to me. Seriously, I love libertarian philosophy until it starts impeding people’s lives in real ways. Then yes, time for the government to step in.

    So, some tit has a “religious freedom” issue and mans the counter at Taco Bell. Should management be allowed to fire said tit for exercising said freedom? Hint: tit doesn’t think so.

  29. My sexual promiscuity? Married women use birth control. As do abstinent women with health issues. The insurance plan covers boner pills. Why are we paying for your sexual promiscuity but not mine?

    The Torah does actually say that (Exodus 12:44, etc.), but do tell me more about it. I love watching you pull ‘facts’ out of your ass.

    Lets say the baker has a religious belief that the races should not mix. Is it ok for him to discriminate?

  30. I honestly don’t see how paying some percentage of the cost of a plan that might or might not cover birth control really violates someone’s religious freedom. Unless you look at the employee records, it’s like Schrodinger’s cat – neither covered nor not covered.

  31. The insurance plan covers boner pills. Why are we paying for your sexual promiscuity but not mine?

    That’s amazingly flawed logic not really worthy of an answer.

    The Torah does actually say that (Exodus 12:44, etc.), but do tell me more about it. I love watching you pull ‘facts’ out of your ass.

    Really? Working for someone is slavery now?

    [This] tells [us] that the [failure to perform the] circumcision of one’s slaves prevents one from partaking of the Passover sacrifice.

    How’s that for a fact? Context is not your stupid ass analogy’s friend.

    Lets say the baker has a religious belief that the races should not mix. Is it ok for him to discriminate?

    Which religion believes that?

  32. The Left has been going off the deep end over Trump. Ann Coulter has been forced to cancel her speech at Berkeley, and now we have Bill Nye trying to conflate “science” with gender choices.

    Whatever. The social right has had its own issues, particularly with gay rights. Trans rights are different as most aren’t gay. But if the social conservatives can’t move past their version of what they think the sky god thinks of cats and dogs living together, the mass hysteria will doom them, as well.

    Oh, and Thrill killed the bunny on the United Airlines flight 🙂

  33. In all seriousness, if this case was really about protecting religious beliefs, rather than restricting access to contraception, Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters (and Gorsuch) should have been happy with the solution where the fun time pills are only covered from third party funds or from the employee portion of the premium, so no employer money goes to sin. All they had to do is fill our a form, like conscientious objectors to the draft, for example. But, somehow, that solution was not acceptable.

  34. Birth control coverage, at least the kind we’re talking about, is most definitely not a necessity.

    And to head off at the pass your entirely-predictable trash argument that some women need birth control to manage other conditions, that is an entirely different situation that is indeed already covered by health plans of the type run by catholic nuns.

    The liberty to have sex without consequences should come with the responsibility to pay for it oneself.

  35. The insurance plan covers boner pills. Why are we paying for your sexual promiscuity but not mine?

    Another trash argument. Keep it up, these flies are easy to swat.

    “Boner pills” correct a dysfunction, a medical condition that stops things that should be working from working.

    Birth control creates a dysfunction, stopping something from working when it is functional. Unless you consider pregnancy a medical dysfunction in need of correction?

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t health care supposed to fix medical problems, not create them?

  36. This has always cracked me up. No, you “give sizable amounts to charity” for a tax break, oh zurvan the pious. Let’s not confuse that with fulfilling your debt to society with your meager income. Simply stated, you’re not being charitable you’re rewarding yourself further with charitable donations which means you don’t really give a fuck. Fine, but don’t blow smoke up my ass about it.

    2 more things that crossed my mind: 1.) why is the government imposing god’s will via taxing you for the care of the poor something you’re against if that’s god’s will? Gods will is being done and that should be that. Why are you opposed to the manner in which this ideal is accounted for? 2.) below again you display the logic that I’ve come to love from the idiocracy: taxes = government tyranny (Jesus wanted me to WANT to do it), government meddling in women’s reproductive decisions based on biblical mythos = well, that’s just good god damn christianing right there.

    If Jesus wanted you to WANT to support the less fortunate he most certainly wanted women to WANT to make their reproductive decisions with free will. Of course, none of this matters to you because like most on the right you draw arbitrary and fictional lines at your own discretion based on nothing but a popular fad of what you THINK Jesus would be upset about.

    It’s so co venue to for you to just be a repugnant asshole walking over the poor with their hand out on your way to tell a woman what she can’t do with herself based on a book you yourself don’t have the balks to actually follow.

  37. Didn’t read as far as 12;45, huh? Talk about context. The Passover ‘sacrifice’ is a meal. Basically, this is saying that you may no break bread with the unclean. You don’t want to go down this rabbit hole. The Talmud interprets the Bible in some pretty messed up ways, for example, “A heathen who keeps a day of rest, deserves death.” Most Jews just don’t think that their fairy tales should affect other people’s lives.

    Which religion believe that the races should not mix? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/07/28/the-bju-interracial-datingban-in-print/

  38. I am just going to continue to assume that you don’t know how that comes out. Probably not as you intended.

    I heard (and had myself) numerous discussions where ostensibly serious people opined that if they covered the many other conditions that indicated BCPs that women would just “abuse” this and doctors would just fake a condition to get them “free pills”.

    Meanwhile, according to pancake bunny above, it stretches logic to the breaking point to bring in boner pills. I don’t give a fuck if you can get it up or not and I don’t want to pay for your boner. You can fake a condition to get them for partying with an erection lasting hopefully not longer than four hours.

  39. A dysfunction? I didn’t know “wine cock,” “too much cocaine and ecstasy tonight” or “I’m too fucking old to get a hard on by my own means” were conditions you could be covered for under insurance.

    It stands to reason that god willed it that a wrinkly old limp dick man can’t get it up for good reason so god probably doesn’t agree with you getting a boner freebie from medical science.

    You should be paying Street price for that. Why is the tax payer or private insurance paying because you’re a limp dick?

  40. This has always cracked me up. No, you “give sizable amounts to charity” for a tax break, oh zurvan the pious. Let’s not confuse that with fulfilling your debt to society with your meager income. Simply stated, you’re not being charitable you’re rewarding yourself further with charitable donations which means you don’t really give a fuck. Fine, but don’t blow smoke up my ass about it.

    Man, you’re an idiot.

    1.) why is the government imposing god’s will via taxing you for the care of the poor something you’re against if that’s god’s will?

    First and foremost, the Government is not run by God. The other plethora of reasons would be over your head.

    If Jesus wanted you to WANT to support the less fortunate he most certainly wanted women to WANT to make their reproductive decisions with free will.

    See my first point.

  41. The Left is going off the deep end of over Trump because he wants to slash science funding and is muzzling researchers, among other issues.
    The hypocrisy of the religious right embracing a man with 5 kids from 3 wives and then daring to bring up the phrase ‘sexual promiscuity’ is just the cherry on top.

  42. If Jesus wanted you to WANT to support the less fortunate he most certainly wanted women to WANT to make their reproductive decisions with free will.

    What the fuck does this even mean? Jesus wants women to kill their unborn baby? What Bible have you read?

  43. Simply stated, you’re not being charitable you’re rewarding yourself further with charitable donations which means you don’t really give a fuck.

    And this is why there should be no deductions for anything. Flat, fair tax, period. Because assholes like you are forcing people into a no-win situation. Either someone is an uncharitable dick for not giving, or they are a self-centered prick for doing so because they get a tax write-off.

    Do you expect me to give and not take the deduction that is my right? Is that the moral high ground here? Cockamamie bullshit.

  44. Didn’t read as far as 12;45, huh? Talk about context. The Passover ‘sacrifice’ is a meal. Basically, this is saying that you may no break bread with the unclean.

    Which has nothing to do with the invalid point you tried to make with verse 44. Unless you were in fact saying employment is akin to slavery. Care to try again?

    Which religion believe that the races should not mix? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/07/28/the-bju-interracial-datingban-in-print/

    A private university is a religion? That’s fascinating.

    Beyond that, in order to try to validate your premise, I asked what religion believes races should not mix currently – present tense. Not what religion used to believe that – there are many examples of the latter, duh. What religion currently practiced in the US professes what your premise is asking for to try to make some kind of lame attempt at a point?

  45. Yes, that is ok by me.

    Go down the street to the other baker who isn’t a racist asshole. Why would you want to give someone like that your money anyway?

  46. I don’t give a fuck if you can get it up or not and I don’t want to pay for your boner. You can fake a condition to get them for partying with an erection lasting hopefully not longer than four hours.

    Do you have a religious objection to my government provided boner?

  47. women would just “abuse” this and doctors would just fake a condition to get them “free pills”.

    Which is fraud, and illegal anyways.

  48. http://www.webmd.com/women/endometriosis/default.htm
    http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview#1
    The pill can also help with menorrhagia, significantly (50%) decrease the risk or ovarian (see pfluffy’s post above) and endometrial cancer.

    Pregnancy itself would be a life threatening medical dysfunction in a woman with a weakened heart or, say, a brain aneurysm.

    While not life threatening to the woman, getting pregnant while on certain medications can severely harm the fetus. Everything from Accutane (for acne), Coumadin (an anticoagulant used to prevent blood clotting), tetracycline (for acne or infections), valproic acid (for epilepsy), ACE inhibitors (for hypertension), injectable or preventative drugs like Imitrex and propranolol (for migraines), anti-malarial drugs like Plaquenil, or high doses of steroids like cortisone and prednisone (for lupus). Women are frequently required to go on the pill while taking these.

  49. Pregnancy itself would be a life threatening medical dysfunction in a woman with a weakened heart or, say, a brain aneurysm.

    Well hell. Sex can be a life threatening medical dysfunction in a woman with a weakened heart or, say, a brain aneurysm.

    Beyond that, if she’s that worried about it and has no access to birth control (and birth control isn’t 100% in any instance), then she sure as shit shouldn’t be having sex.

  50. Genesis 12,44 and other (that’s what “etc.” means) including the line directly following it, have been interpreted together to mean certain things. I do not agree with these statements, and have no desire to attempt to explain how Talmudic scholarship works to someone who is no able to process more than one thought at a time.

    These were all examples of current “religions” which believe in the purity of the white race. Again, I cannot argue with someone on your level of reading comprehension, beyond just reposting the list.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wickstrom
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_Identity_Ministries
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Jesus_Christ%E2%80%93Christian
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Israel

  51. So you had no point then in regards to Hebrew National’s employees not being circumcised. Fantastic.

  52. Sex can be a life threatening medical dysfunction in a woman with a weakened heart or, say, a brain aneurysm.

    You saw that episode of “Shameless” too?

  53. I hate to break it to you, but having sex with a man does not put the same stress on a woman’s body as pregnancy and labor, not matter what your sexual partners told you in order to flatter your fragile male ego.
    In fact, based on your hostility towards ‘promiscuous’ women and eagerness to decide who gets to have sex, I am willing to postulate that sex with you personally puts evrn less stress on a female body than the average.

  54. Smug Atheist/Agnostic reporting for duty.

    The only difference between “scientific” explanations for things like these and religious explanations is that the scientific ones have an a priori assumption of naturalist processes for everything.

    But ‘supernatural’ isn’t an explanation. It is, by definition, not an explanation. If we prove magic exists, and how it works, it (by definition) becomes a natural process (as it exists within the natural world). In the immortal words of Tim Minchin

    “Every mystery, throughout history, ever solved, has turned out to be Not Magic”
    Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed
    Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.
    If you show me
    That, say, homeopathy works,
    Then I will change my mind
    I will spin on a fucking dime
    I’ll be embarrassed as hell,
    But I will run through the streets yelling
    It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
    Water has memory!
    And whilst its memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is infinite
    It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!
    You show me that it works and how it works
    And when I’ve recovered from the shock
    I will take a compass and carve “Fancy That” on the side of my cock.”

    Is your faith so tenuous that learning that any part of the Bible isn’t literally true would completely destroy it?

    The Cracked podcast recently had Reza Aslan on – he was talking about the fact that the idea of ‘truth’ is quite a new concept. In ancient times, people generally knew that they wouldn’t fully understand things, so they looked for explanations, rather than answers. No one would have thought that the Garden of Eden was what actually happened, but it was a good explanation in their frame of reference. Literal Truth wasn’t important to them as much as an explanation that helped the tribe understand enough to prosper. You get this a lot with the Pacific Island faiths we have in New Zealand. People don’t literally believe that New Zealand was actually a huge fish that Maui pulled out of the ocean – but it is a way to explain the cultural history that still lives on today.

    Which religion believe that the races should not mix?

    Why is it that ‘religious’ beliefs are any different from any such beliefs? What’s so special about your book, as opposed to someone elses book? Does it need a book? Or a certain number of people to agree?

  55. this whole debate stems from the fact that we let the government decide on what insurance companiess and employers have to cover and provide. IF we didn’t, then insurance could be more optional choices on what to cover with much more reasonable prices.

    but not we ahve to force controls on everyone god forbid we were allowed to make our own choices outside of which shit tacular candidate we vote for.

  56. Nah, the Left has lost its mind because government is ITS religion and they’re not running it. Trump taking over was like Satan seizing the Throne.

  57. because some jackwagon saw it as a opportunity to get votes and establish control over someone.

  58. Some people just assume that works for them would work for everyone. Others think that it’s because people don’t believe in and do the same things as they do that the world is such a mess.

    “Ruh! You know why the kids are so outta control these days? ‘Cause they don’t pray in school anymore like they did in muh day!”

  59. No one would have thought that the Garden of Eden was what actually happened, but it was a good explanation in their frame of reference. Literal Truth wasn’t important to them as much as an explanation that helped the tribe understand enough to prosper.

    Ah, yes. #FakeNews has always been with us.

  60. Your ability to post memes totally validates your arguments and makes you look smarter and more secure!

  61. It would probably be more accurate to say that Government is God and Atheism is the Faith then.

  62. The supernatural events are what work for building the sense of faith, but don’t they create a situation in which people can claim to be good Christians simply because they believe all of those events to be true without thinking about any of the other text or what it’s really about?

    This seems to be why it is that we have people who insist that public schools teach Genesis as scientific fact. Ordinary people don’t apply the same critical thinking or have the same context that these “bible scholars” of yours do.

    Is it really good for Christians to simply be morons who believe things no matter what contrary evidence is presented to them?

    I think living your life as a good person is more important that believing in the miracles. The over-emphasis on Jesus’s death and resurrection is less important than what he said and did.

  63. There was a not equal sign in there that wordpress ate. But do keep going with the pretty pictures.

  64. The over-emphasis on Jesus’s death and resurrection is less important than what he said and did.

    What he said and did – including His death and Resurrection is what it is all about, and inseparable.

  65. I think living your life as a good person is more important that believing in the miracles. The over-emphasis on Jesus’s death and resurrection is less important than what he said and did.

    Frankly, that’s the road to hell. Living your life as a good person is NOT what Christianity is about–it’s the biggest fallacy out there!!

    Belief is what is important, specifically, believing that ALL have fallen short and are in need of forgiveness, and accepting Christ as the atonement for that sin through his death and resurrection. This is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity. Living a good and wholesome life is a salutary benefit of believing and following Christ, not the prerequisite or means of salvation. Christ’s death and resurrection are absolutely essential!!

  66. The resurrection is central. Without that is isn’t a faith but a social movement. Kind of defeats the point of eternal salvation and replaces it with charity work.

  67. I believe the Resurrection happened, but I don’t think the rest is pointless without it.

    Justice for our sins was satisfied through His Atonement. Without it, there is no point. If you think Christ was just a nice guy who taught cool stuff, you might as well call yourself an agnostic.

  68. Well then let me ask all of you: Do you have to believe in ALL of the miracles described in the Bible to qualify as a believer?

  69. You can believe anything you want, and call yourself anything you want. But if all you think is that Christ was a nice guy with revolutionary ideas, you’re missing the point.

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