Atheism Poisons Everything

By John Gravino Published on August 2, 2018

If you’re a conservative American just minding your own business, you’ve seen better days. Here is The Stream‘s John Zmirak on what your compatriots have endured on their summer vacation:

The president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, and her family were evicted from The Red Hen restaurant by an owner who disapproves of her politics. Then that owner led a mob to follow some of the Sanders family and harass them at the next place they went to eat. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried to eat at a Mexican restaurant, only to face a mob of protestors inside the eatery screaming “Shame” amidst profanities and insults. Florida Attorney General (and frequent defender of President Trump on Fox News) Pam Bondi was identified, harassed, and spat on when she tried to watch the new Mr. Rogers movie…. A menacing mob gathered outside presidential speechwriter Stephen Miller’s apartment.

More recently:

Mad Maxine Calls Out the Mob

Most people, regardless of political orientation, can see the danger of this kind of mob behavior. But not everyone. Congresswoman Maxine Waters would like to see more of it.
 


 
She’s a lot less enthusiastic about this kind of behavior, however, when she finds herself on the receiving end it, as the video below shows.

Violence Is Almost All on the Left

You will notice that the aggressors in these cases come from the left. The reason is because the left is responsible for almost all of it. This is not just a conservative’s prejudiced viewpoint. Honest voices on the left agree. One of them is famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Hear what he has to say on this brief video:
 

 
Dershowitz is not alone. Bill Maher will no longer speak on college campuses because of the left’s intolerance of free speech. Liberal journalist Kirsten Powers wrote an entire book documenting how the left is actively fighting against our free speech rights. And then there’s Dave Rubin of social media fame. He’s a big part of a growing #walkaway movement on Twitter. And what are they walking away from? You guessed it — the left. Because of its anti-democratic ways. (Rubin is in a gay marriage, by the way, but he supports the conscience rights of Christian bakers.)

Immoral Landscape

That there is such widespread bipartisan recognition that the left has lost its mind should convince you that there is merit to the claim. So a natural question arises: What can explain this phenomenon? Why is all this irrational and uncivilized behavior coming from Democrats?

No More Golden Rule

A common denominator can be discerned. All of these leftist miscreants engage in behavior toward others that they most certainly would not want done to themselves. (The Golden Rule.) The two videos of Maxine Waters above exemplify the point perfectly. So allow me for a moment to posit a controversial theory. Let me suggest that what we are witnessing from the Democratic Party is a most lamentable collapse in Christian thinking and behavior.

I can already hear the scoffers as I type these words. But demographics would seem to support this theory. The graph below illustrates: Christians are disappearing from the Democratic Party.
 
Pew Chart
 

It’s only logical that, as this trend continues, we can expect to see a growing estrangement between the left and Christianity. This is an ominous sign for Christians, to be sure, as many writers have observed.

Christianity is the glue that holds our civilization together.

No Country for Atheists

But it may bode ill for society more generally. Sages have long warned us that Christianity is the glue that holds our civilization together. Eric Metaxas highlights the views of many of the founding fathers. They believed that Christianity was essential to the republic. In his excellent book If You Can Keep It, find his memorable quote from John Adams:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. — John Adams.

Here’s more about the dangers we face in the wake of Faith:
 

 
Sigmund Freud — no fan of the Church — grudgingly admitted in Civilization and Its Discontents that Christianity was probably necessary. It keeps our selfish instincts in check so that the world does not descend into anarchy.

But the New Atheists and their allies have mocked such ideas. They claim that “we don’t need God to be good.” That “religion poisons everything.” But despite all their immense publicity, it is just possible that the New Atheists are wrong. The evidence coming in suggests they are terribly wrong.

Apocalyptic Escalation?

Many conservatives are rightly sounding an alarm that the social divisions we’re seeing will turn violent. Let me go on record and say the same. I warned you in my book. I am warning you now.

With the country as polarized as ever, both by the most consequential Supreme Court nomination in generations and the interminable investigations of our president, the political climate cannot afford to get any hotter before we see an ugly eruption. In fact, the eruptions have already begun:

Pagans Don’t Keep Acting Like Christians for Long

Ideas have consequences. And it makes perfect sense that, as America continues down the path of apostasy, fewer and fewer Americans will be able to think and behave like Christians. This will happen on the right as well, if it becomes more secularized. (See the violent “right-wing” pagans who marched at Charlottesville.) But for now, the neo-pagan movement skews mostly left.

And we are about to reap the consequences of that apostasy. Be warned. And be prepared.

 

John Gravino is author of the new book, The Immoral Landscape of the New Atheism.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Shlomo Vinishsky

    In theory the population will get Atheist, in practice it will become Muslim. Get prepared to the worst.

  • When doing some research for the website I manage for my small group at church, I came across the following quote, which I find even more relevant than the Adams quote.

    Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.
    – Robert Winthrop (Speaker of the House 1847-1849)

    Have we not been shifting towards the “bayonet” in recent years?

  • swordfish

    Where to start? The things you’re complaining about have nothing to do with atheism. Atheism and leftism aren’t one and the same. I’m an atheist but I’m definitely not a leftist, and I certainly don’t approve of the public harassment of Republicans you describe. You’re quite right to say that it breaks the Golden Rule, but it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a Christian principle per se – it exists in most religions and many ethical systems, and you could say that it’s a codifying of empathy and altruism, which is likely to have evolved because we are a social species.

    I don’t agree that leaving Christianity behind will result in some sort of moral collapse. That is pure fantasy and not based on any actual facts. Generally speaking, the world is improving even as religion declines. For example, abortion rates have halved in the last 25 years in western countries.

    • Tim Pan

      Really ? Why don’t you visit San Francisco and tell us about moral collapses

      • Starlord616

        You are right to a degree. It has to do with wealth inequality.there is a problem If most people can’t live there without being super wealthy. We fail as a nation when hardworking people can’t afford housing.

        • Tim Pan

          Wealth has nothing to due with morality. The ten commandments are the moral standard . Abandon them and you have a moral collapse .

          • Starlord616

            Selfishness and greed are tied to a lack of morality . I believe that it is Immoral to do stuff with out thinking about the welfare of others .

          • Tim Pan

            Did you read my post? The ten commandments addresses the greed and selfishness issues

          • Starlord616

            Yes. I was just agreeing with you.

          • Tim Pan

            Are you an atheist?

          • Starlord616

            No I’m a Christian. I told the atheist dude that he was wrong to assume that world would do well without religion

          • Tim Pan

            Sorry I am getting snappish . I have had it up to high heaven with the children of the left.

          • Jim

            As swordfish stated not all atheists are leftists. This atheist isn’t leftist or Democrat.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Jim; I ask this question in utmost sincerity, how do atheists decide what is right or wrong, moral or immoral?

          • jimwest63

            Kevin, do you really believe it is necessary to believe in some invisible sky ghost for a person to come to the conclusion that rape and torture are things you shouldn’t do?

            If so, there’s no answer that anyone could give you that will penetrate. If not, there’s most of the answer right there.

          • Ken Abbott

            Use of phrases such as “invisible sky ghost” indicate you’re not here as a serious discussant, jimwest63.

          • jimwest63

            That was an answer? Good deflection there Ken Abbott, you’ve got a promising career as a PR Flack ahead of you.

            BTW, “invisible sky ghost” is largely meant to make clear how unfounded / unevidence based / unbelievable the whole God idea appears to many people, not a gratuitous insult. It is shorter than saying something like “the supreme, all knowing, all powerful, infinitely merciful being who was somehow always there (and always everywhere), which many religious people invoke as an explanation(?!) for how a much simpler matter/energy initially came into existence”.

          • GLT

            “do you really believe it is necessary to believe in some invisible sky ghost for a person to come to the conclusion that rape and torture are things you shouldn’t do?”

            You’re missing the point, Jim, the question is upon what do you base those conclusions? What if some others in society conclude such activities are okay with them and pursue their practice? Upon what basis are you able to say they are wrong especially if they happen to be a majority?

          • jimwest63

            A society that develops and adopts rule/belief systems which increasingly improve internal cohesion, cooperation, and coordination (buy-in more generally) within that in-group will, ceteris paribus, be able to build larger, more complex, and more powerful civilizations than those that don’t develop such beliefs. As a result, they will generally be able to out-compete the more fractious societies which can only hold together small bands/tribes based on kinship. Ultimately, they will be able to crush them with ease and supplant them. If you doubt this, look at the fate of hunter gatherer societies wherever they came up against even relatively primitive agricultural societies, let alone industrialized ones.

            The important thing here is that it doesn’t matter why the society adopts the cohesion promoting belief/customs, just that they do, and enforce them.

            No God is necessary, although it would certainly be good to have everyone believe in an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent enforcer of these rules in societies before they had the resources for standing police forces, ongoing surveillance, courts etc. I believe this is probably why humans evolved such a widespread religious impulse. It makes development of such large, cooperative societies much easier, and is thus was a strongly positive survival trait. Before you know it, societies made up of people so disposed dominate and supplant the others. But there there is no logical reason why it can’t just be agreed that “our society chooses to adopt a certain set of laws and live under them, because we believe they promote the right type of society, and if you break them you will be punished / cast out”. Again, no God is necessary. Indeed, it is my understanding that the US constitution is such a document (I’m not from the US, so please correct me if I’m wrong).

          • Kevin Quillen

            the inalienable rights mentioned(in the Declaration of Independence) are the result of the belief that man was created by God. If man can give these rights then man can take them away. So, according to your belief about the building of societies, if the majority decides to kill all unproductive individuals, that would be fine with you?

          • swordfish

            What if God decided that unproductive individuals should die – would that be fine with you?

          • Kevin Quillen

            you answer first. if majority says it is ok to kill the unproductive, would you agree?

          • swordfish

            No, I wouldn’t agree. Maybe you can answer my question now?

          • Kevin Quillen

            why not? as an atheist you believe that man is the supreme being. You believe that there are no absolutes. How could you possibly believe that the majority rule could be wrong? This is not consistent with atheism. I would and do agree with everything God says. But, note that I have a relationship with Him through Christ and know that he is a loving Father to us all. Therefore, I have no issues with whatever He does. I understand the purpose of the old covenant and the reason for the new. Even as an atheist, He loves you and you will stand before Him someday. You will come to repentance and be reconciled to Him. Jesus loves you and will save you from God’s wrath, due to you for your unbelief and sin. My view of God is somewhat different and heretical in the eyes of most Christians. I am a Christian Universalist/Preterist. Many people, maybe even you, do not believe in God because of the modern teaching of eternal punishment which makes God out to be a monster. This view of Hell is a man made control device for controlling people and profiting form the Gospel. Eternal punishment is NOT in the Bible. Would it make a difference to you if I showed this to you?

          • swordfish

            “How could you possibly believe that the majority rule could be wrong? This is not consistent with atheism.”

            Why? Atheism doesn’t even have anything to say about morality as such. There are secular moral systems such as Humanism, but I’ve never heard of a ‘go along with the majority’ moral system.

            “This view of Hell is a man made control device for controlling people and profiting form the Gospel. Eternal punishment is NOT in the Bible.”

            Matthew 25:46 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

            In recognising that hell is a lie and a way of controlling people, you’re taking a step in the right direction. I’ve never heard of the Universalist/Preterist view, so thank you for brining that to my attention.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Go to tentmaker(dot)org and hopebeyondhell(dot)net for Christian Universalist info and try Don K Preston videos on youtube for Preterism. In Matt 25:46 the error made by most is the definition of the adjective for “eternal” and “forever”, or “everlasting”. Look up this verse in Young’s Literal Translation or The Concordant New Testament. The Greek word actually means an indefinite period of time. An age, or an era. Also, if you are inclined, look up the verse John 12:32 and you will find the word “draw” in this verse in Greek actually means “to DRAG”. I fully understand why Christianity is mocked and not believable. Most teachings today are man made traditions and for profit or entertainment. Sad but true. I contend that if one had never heard of the Bible or any teachings from it and picked it up and read it, they would believe as I do. Read it as if you were reading it as a first century believer(context) and it is very understandable and historically accurate. I think God actually wrote a book that was meant to be understood without needing a learned man to explain it. I have a real problem with organized religion. Sorry for the ramble, but thought you would be interested.

          • jimwest63

            Kevin, how on Earth do you get to the conclusion that atheism = unquestioning belief in majority rule, and then declare that an individual going against a societal belief is they believe to be wrong is somehow inconsistent with atheism. Atheism = non-belief in God. Nothing more, nothing less.

            On the other hand, your apparently by the book, “the bible is God’s word and must be obeyed” brand of religion does mean that YOU would be inconsistent with you beliefs not to kill the unproductive, if God said you should. The only way you might get around that conclusion is employing some sophistry, perhaps gibbering about the difference between “living under the law and living under grace”, whatever that means (hopefully GLT will get back to us on that one).

          • jimwest63

            I was talking about the Constitution (i.e. the founding rule/law set which the society agreed to operate under), not the Declaration of Independence.

            But never mind, I’ll play your silly game. Firstly, if a majority of a society decides to do something the minority found totally unconscionable, that would clearly not be fine with the minority, and if serious enough has in the past caused societal splits and even civil wars. Your attempt at logic is pathetic, if it was even an attempt at logic rather than a cheap slur.

            On the other hand, I can quote the word of God to you, whose word you basically imply should be taken as law: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them”. So, you clearly believe we should kill gays. There are many other choice prescriptions from God. Are you prepared to own them all?

          • Kevin Quillen

            there is a thing called the new testament. it explains the new covenant. you should check it out. are you really this ignorant, or are you just trying to be a jerk?

          • jimwest63

            So God made it compulsory to kill all gays until 2000 years ago, then had a change of heart and decided that it was no longer cool? Is that how it works?

            Also, can you point to the bit in the new testament which explicitly and unambiguously rescinds the earlier, very clear law, or are you just trying to be a jerk?

          • GLT

            “So God made it compulsory to kill all gays until 2000 years ago, then had a change of heart and decided that it was no longer cool? Is that how it works?”

            It is the difference between living under the law and living under grace. Perhaps you should educate yourself on Christian theology before presuming to criticise it.

          • jimwest63

            Gosh, that’ll teach me. Who said it’s only post-modernist Marxists that spout opaque gibberish and rely on vague appeals to authority. Some of you “learned” Christians could give Derrida a run for obscurantist BS. The old game of “Oh, you don’t know what you are talking about unless you waste your valuable time reading all these additional, mind numbingly pointless texts about how to interpret the fairy tale”. I would have thought the word of God should largely be readily understood and unambiguous, if He intended us to obey it, but apparently not.

            I think I’ll continue to judge things from my scientist’s point of view. As Rutherford said “An alleged scientific discovery has no merit unless it can be explained to a barmaid”, and I tend to extend it to most concepts more generally. It should certainly apply to a concept which needed to be understood widely by a “flock” which historically has included many semi-literate people of very limited intelligence.

            So you big, anonymous defender of the One True Faith, are you prepared to try a concise explanation in a paragraph or so, or are you just another bloviator?

          • GLT

            “A society that develops and adopts rule/belief systems which increasingly improve internal cohesion, cooperation, and coordination (buy-in more generally) within that in-group will, ceteris paribus, be able to build larger, more complex, and more powerful civilizations than those that don’t develop such beliefs. As a result, they will generally be able to out-compete the more fractious societies which can only hold together small bands/tribes based on kinship. Ultimately, they will be able to crush them with ease and supplant them. If you doubt this, look at the fate of hunter gatherer societies wherever they came up against even relatively primitive agricultural societies, let alone industrialized ones.”

            A well composed and thought out response, too bad it does not even remotely answer the question. A society like the one you describe could be built on beliefs and practices we would find abhorrent, as such, it does not, as I said, remotely address the question. Feel free to try again, however.

            “But there there is no logical reason why it can’t just be agreed that “our society chooses to adopt a certain set of laws and live under them,…”

            Correct. But on what would those laws be based? Would it be whoever happened to be the biggest and strongest? What would be the transcendent authority to which all would be required to bow? If there is not a transcendent authority anyone who has the power to do so can set the rules in any way he sees fit and no one can appeal to anything beyond his might.

          • jimwest63

            I’m not sure you are really even trying to understand, but I’ll give it another brief go. Basically, the answer to your questions in the last paragraph are already in the first paragraph you quote from my earlier post. In a nutshell, if it works (survives) it continues and rules, until it gets beaten by something else.

            In gross caricature, if the biggest, baddest jocks make the rules/ impose beliefs, and those rules give their society the edge over competitors, then it will be they who set the rules. This will continue right up until they are out-competed and replaced by a society/faction that instead take their rules from a priestly cast of trans-sexual basket weavers, who for whatever reason hit upon a set of rules that create a formidably strong society. At which point the basket-weavers set the rules (clearly, it might work the other way around). At each stage, the beliefs of the winners will end up largely being accepted as “right” and “good” by those who succeed and get to make it through to the next generation.

            Of course, there will also be always be new ideas which generate instability and internal challenges, so over time the beliefs of the founding priestly caste will change even with no external threat, perhaps ultimately to the degree of rift and civil war. One thing that will remain stable however, is that the belief in what is right will change towards those which are “fittest” at the time. The driver, or “basis” for the laws you seek is ultimately be what works. The belief that they are “good” is the cart following behind.

            The Golden Rule is so wide spread, and feels so innately “right” (to third generation atheists like me as well), because it works, and has done so for many generations. Ironically, the most important thing it works for is building in-group trust and cooperation, ultimately to the detriment of rival groups.

          • jimwest63

            I’m not missing the point, you just fail to appreciate the answer staring you in the face. I’ll try and break it down for you.

            Things are “wrong” because a society believes them to be. Things that are widely believed to be “wrong” are so because they lead to less successful, and often self destructive societies. Things widely believed to be “right” are so because they increase societal success, thus increasing the dominance of those believers.

            If a majority of some society comes to believe that doing things that I,and the vast majority of people (both atheists and Christians) believe are evil, then in a sense they will be “right” for their society. If I woke up one day and found myself in such a society, I would try to leave/undermine/destroy it. I’m confident that they would ultimately be destroyed and supplanted by a society with beliefs that accord with what is “right” for me (mainly the golden rule).

            Make no mistake, if doing the things we believe are evil actually do lead to societies which out-compete us, then when they supplant us their evil beliefs will be seen as “good” with the same conviction that abounds in believers of all stripes. Thus, for example, were ISIS to win (which will never happen), then throwing gays off buildings and beheading non-believers will be seen, and believed, to be good by the society that supplants us. They will be every bit as convinced of the moral goodness of their actions as when we do kind and helpful things.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Romans 1 says that God made Himself known through His creation, and no man is excused because everyone knows He exists. Some just refuse to acknowledge Him. The evidence is actually overwhelming. Scientists are now trying to allow for some form of intelligence in the evolution fairytale. Epigenetics has thrown them a curve. The same DNA can produce different results because of a “switch” that turns some of it off or on. It is a bit like punctuation being used to make the same string of words say different things. This is quite a problem for evolutionists. It has put a kink in their time frame for random mutation to work it’s magic. Also, on a much simpler example……a caterpillar crawls around and eats leaves until for some reason it climbs a tree and wraps itself in a cocoon. After a time the cocoon opens and a butterfly emerges. Does it go to a leaf to eat? No, it finds a flower. Why? Where did this information come from? How could this evolve? Did a butterfly sometime in the distant past decide to try a flower and save it’s life and species? Far too many examples of very specific design for evolution to be possible. Want another? The Egyptian Plover is a bird that cleans the crocodiles teeth. The croc opens his mouth and the bird walks in and cleans the teeth. Food for the bird and teeth maintenance for the croc. How did this symbiotic relationship “evolve”? Easy lunch for the croc, obvious extinction for the bird. But yet they co-exist. The more man learns, the more he will come to realize evolution is silly.

          • jimwest63

            Let me guess, you also believe that the eye couldn’t possibly evolve because its too complex? If so, do a bit of research on how scientists actually understand evolution to work, rather than relying on straw man arguments.

            To give you a bit of a head start, I’ll throw you this hint. The bird/crocodile example you use? Guess what. Cumulatively over the millennia quite lot of ancestor birdies would have been snapped at and frightened off (or if slow, even eaten) by the crocodile. There would still be the occasional crocodile that snaps at the birds. And over the millennia, a lot of the crocodiles most disposed to snap would have died due to having relatively poor dental health, compared to their more bird-friendly colleagues. Not many as a percentage in any one generation, but enough to start making the bird-friendly crocodile more and more common with each generation, thus making it less and less risky for the birds to behave as they do, and increasing the cost/benefit ratio for them to clean crocodiles mouths. A gross over-simplification, but that is sort of how evolution works. Your model seems to be one requiring the instigation of some bird/crocodile treaty on a specific date in the past. Fun idea, just don’t pretend that any scientists use that as their model for evolution.

          • Jim

            It’s been shown that morality is a combination of societal norms and pressures. Not everyone will agree. Societies in the Amazon have developed their own sense of morality without any exposure to the bible. I’m sure it’s far more complex than this….

          • jimwest63

            A non-religious Amen to that from this atheist. Indeed, I’d argue that Marxism is really a religion (how else to explain the ongoing faith in a model which inevitably fails), and most deeply affects the same sort of person who could otherwise become fanatically religious. The associated “atheism” of Marxism is really just an outgrowth of their not being room for two Gods in that faith. I, and I suspect you, are in contrast atheists because we try to avoid having faith in anything which has little to no evidence to support it, and a good deal against it. That, or it’s something to do with the name Jim.

          • Tim Pan

            I understand that secular humanists share many of my values

      • swordfish

        I’d love to. I’ve seen YouTube videos from there and it looks great. If you’re referring to the strong gay community there, then I’m afraid I can’t help as I don’t view gay people as immoral at all.

        • Kelly B

          Great? Which part is the greatest – the needles all over the streets or the feces all over the streets?

          That’s got nothing to do with sexuality, and everything to do with the long-term impact of a city decimated by decades of Democrat leadership.

          Just look at the scariest, most deadly cities in the country and, without exception, they have ALL suffered from Democrat leadership. Unfortunately, the citizens suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and will likely never vote any other way, condemning themselves to a lifetime of squalor, poverty, and misery.

          • swordfish

            I’m glad that you agree this has nothing to do with atheism.

        • Tim Pan

          I for one am glad they all screw there . It saves countless young boys and girls from sexual assault.

          • swordfish

            How? You’re assuming that gay people are more likely to be paedohphiles, but the facts are against this also:

            Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation.

            Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children’s hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992).The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% of cases in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994).

          • Tim Pan

            do you swallow?

          • swordfish

            Instead of being childish, you could just admit you were mistaken.

          • GLT

            As usual, statistics can be skewed to make them say what you want them to say. This is a prime example. Yes, there are more heterosexual paedophiles then homosexual. The important number, however, is the percentage of homosexuals who are paedophiles when related to the percentage of the general population who are homosexual. It has been a while since I looked at numbers but the last time I looked the percentage of homosexuals who engaged in paedophilia was higher than the percentage of the heterosexual population who engage in paedophilia.

          • swordfish

            “The important number, however, is the percentage of homosexuals who are paedophiles when related to the percentage of the general population who are homosexual.”

            I *think* you mean the percentage of homosexuals who are paedophiles versus the percentage of straight people who are paedophiles?

            Of the two studies I quoted, the first found zero (0%) homosexual and 175 straight paedophiles, the second found 2 (less than 1%) homosexual paedophiles and 267 straight paedophiles.

          • GLT

            “I *think* you mean the percentage of homosexuals who are paedophiles versus the percentage of straight people who are paedophiles?”

            I think that is exactly what I said. The actual number of paedophiles who are homosexual is smaller than the actual number of paedophiles who are heterosexual. However, the number of homosexual paedophiles is a higher percentage of the homosexual population than is the number in the heterosexual community. I hope that makes it clearer.

          • swordfish

            “I think that is exactly what I said.”

            No, it wasn’t, but never mind.

            “The actual number of paedophiles who are homosexual is smaller than the actual number of paedophiles who are heterosexual. However, the number of homosexual paedophiles is a higher percentage of the homosexual population than is the number in the heterosexual community. I hope that makes it clearer.”

            That’s what I thought you meant, but where is your evidence, GLT? At the moment, you’re just making a hollow claim. Cite some evidence.

          • GLT

            “Cite some evidence.”

            Do I need to cite anything more than the existence of NAMBLA? I can direct you to more evidence but to any objective observer this should suffice. However, you can do an investigation into the research concerning this subject if you really want to learn the facts.

            Also, my comment that you can make statistics say whatever you want is accurate. I have several years of education and an earned degree in sociological research of which the compilation and interpretation of statistics is a major component. You learn very quickly to distrust statistics until you can delve into the methodology used to compile them.

            “I quoted two scientific papers. You objected to them because they presented their results statistically.”

            If you read my comment objectively you will see I did not object to the papers per se but only to the unreliability of statistics without the inclusion of the methods of acquiring the information upon which the statistics are based.

          • swordfish

            “Do I need to cite anything more than the existence of NAMBLA?”

            Yes, you do. Please cite actual research.

            “I did not object to the papers per se but only to the unreliability of statistics without the inclusion of the methods of acquiring the information upon which the statistics are based.”

            So did you look at the papers to see what methods they used to gather information?

          • GLT

            “Please cite actual research.”

            “Pointing out the very existence of NAMBLA is in itself actual research, swordfish. NAMBLA works to repeal laws protecting minor age children from sexual abuse. I really don’t know how much more evidence one would need if one was actually objective and simply not playing a game of reactionary gainsaying as you obviously are doing.

            But if I must you can follow up on the following abstract. There are more such research articles you can access if you are seriously willing to face the facts.

            “Previous investigations have indicated that the ratio of sex offenders against female children vs. offenders against male children is approximately 2:1, while the ratio of gynephiles to androphiles among the general population is approximately 20:1. The present study investigated whether the etiology of preferred partner sex among pedophiles is related to the etiology of preferred partner sex among males preferring adult partners. Using phallometric test sensitivities to calculate the proportion of true pedophiles among various groups of sex offenders against children, and taking into consideration previously reported mean numbers of victims per offender group, the ratio of heterosexual to homosexual pedophiles was calculated to be approximately 11:1. This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually. This, of course, would not indicate that androphilic males have a greater propensity to offend against children.” K Freund; RJ Watson: 1992, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.

          • swordfish

            The research you cite doesn’t establish what you’re trying to establish. To quote from the paper’s own abstract:

            “Findings indicate that homosexual males who preferred mature partners responded no more to male children than heterosexual males who preferred mature partners responded to female children.”

            To quote from another paper:

            “Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual.” (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147)

            And another:

            “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women.” (McConaghy, 1998, p. 259)

            This is the mainstream opinion as expressed in the scientific literature on this subject.

          • GLT

            “The research you cite doesn’t establish what you’re trying to establish.”

            It doesn’t? Did you somehow miss this statement from the abstract?

            “This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.”

            Give me more information regards Groth & Gary and I will look it up.

            “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women.” (McConaghy, 1998, p. 259)”

            And this helps your argument how? It clearly refers to an adult male offending against young boys; which is the very definition of paedophilia; not being interested in adult men or women. It specifically refers to a homosexual male’s obsession with young boys. You’re making my argument for me, thanks.

          • swordfish

            “It doesn’t? Did you somehow miss this statement from the abstract?”

            You’re just quote-mining. In the terms used by the paper, a “true paedophile” isn’t a homosexual (or heterosexual) as they don’t have adult relationships.

            “And this helps your argument how? It clearly refers to an adult male offending against young boys; which is the very definition of paedophilia; not being interested in adult men or women.”

            For the same reason as above – a paedophile who is *not* interested in adult men or women is, by definition, neither homosexual nor heterosexual.

            But in any case, the consensus of opinion on this subject
            doesn’t agree with your claim. As usual, it’s difficult to provide
            links, but the following page from the University of California site
            gives a good overview:

            http://psychology(dot)ucdavis(dot)edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

          • GLT

            “You’re just quote-mining.”

            Oh please, not the tired ‘quote mining’ whine. Any time atheist’s are provided with a quote the don’t like they childishly cry about quote mining. The quote is giving in context, live with it.

            “In the terms used by the paper, a “true paedophile” isn’t a homosexual (or heterosexual) as they don’t have adult relationships.”

            Now that has to rank as one of the most incredibly pathetic attempts at an argument I have ever heard.

            “This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a HOMOSEXUAL erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.”

            What part of that sentence do you not understand?

            “a paedophile who is *not* interested in adult men or women is, by definition, neither homosexual nor heterosexual.”

            And that is why NAMBLA includes girls in its name? Oh, wait, it doesn’t, only little boys. Give your head a shake, swordfish, and face the facts.

            “But in any case, the consensus of opinion on this subject
            doesn’t agree with your claim.”

            Again with consensus opinion? You have provided no evidence of what constitutes the consensus opinion, only your personal opinion.

          • swordfish

            “You have provided no evidence of what constitutes the consensus opinion, only your personal opinion.”

            STOP LYING!

            I provided a link to a page from a university psychology department which fully explains the current psychological position on this issue. If you don’t agree with its conclusion, then fine – add it to the dizzying array of scientific findings with which you disagree – but don’t whine that it isn’t the default position.

            “Oh please, not the tired ‘quote mining’ whine.”

            Any time theists are accused of quote mining – something they do a lot because they don’t have any actual evidence to back up their claims – they whine. I explained WHY your quote is out of context, but you dismissed that as follows:

            “Now that has to rank as one of the most incredibly pathetic attempts at an argument I have ever heard.”

            Which, apart from not itself being an argument, is pointless as you’re just disagreeing with current psychological findings on this.

            “What part of that sentence do you not understand?”

            Why do you *ALWAYS* have to be so ‘king rude? I explained exactly why your quote was out of context, but you just didn’t like the explanation. Now, have you got anything other than that one out-of-context quote mine to back up your claim?

          • GLT

            “STOP LYING!”

            I’m not lying, swordfish, presenting what you believe 2 or 3 research papers are saying is not demonstrating it is the consensus opinion. You haven’t got the time to read all the pertinent papers to determine what is the consensus opinion, so quit pretending you know what it is.

            “but don’t whine that it isn’t the default position.”

            There is no such thing as a ‘default position’.

            “I explained exactly why your quote was out of context, but you just didn’t like the explanation.”

            No, you did not and I explained why you did not. Do you read what I post? I will provide it again for your convenience.

            “This suggests that the resulting proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a HOMOSEXUAL erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.”

            The abstract clearly contradicts your assertion. The individual does not need to express interest in adults in order to be classified as homosexual or heterosexual. Where did you come you with that gem?

          • swordfish

            So far, all you’ve come up with in support of your claim is 1 out of context quote from 1 paper. The page I directed you to clearly explains why your interpretation of it is wrong, but you’ve just repeating the same quote! Did you read the page I linked to? It seems not, so I’ll quote it here:

            “REFLECTING THE RESULTS OF THESE AND OTHER STUDIES, AS WELL AS CLINICAL EXPERIENCE, THE MAINSTREAM VIEW AMONG RESEARCHERS AND PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK IN THE AREA OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IS THAT HOMOSEXUAL AND BISEXUAL MEN DO NOT POSE ANY SPECIAL THREAT TO CHILDREN. FOR EXAMPLE, IN ONE REVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE, NOTED AUTHORITY DR. A. NICHOLAS GROTH WROTE:”

            “ARE HOMOSEXUAL ADULTS IN GENERAL SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO CHILDREN AND ARE PREADOLESCENT CHILDREN AT GREATER RISK OF MOLESTATION FROM HOMOSEXUAL ADULTS THAN FROM HETEROSEXUAL ADULTS? THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE SO. THE RESEARCH TO DATE ALL POINTS TO THERE BEING NO SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE AND CHILD MOLESTATION. THERE APPEARS TO BE PRACTICALLY NO REPORTAGE OF SEXUAL MOLESTATION OF GIRLS BY LESBIAN ADULTS, AND THE ADULT MALE WHO SEXUALLY MOLESTS YOUNG BOYS IS NOT LIKELY TO BE HOMOSEXUAL (GROTH & GARY, 1982, P. 147).”

            “IN A LATER LITERATURE REVIEW, DR. NATHANIEL MCCONAGHY (1998) SIMILARLY CAUTIONED AGAINST CONFUSING HOMOSEXUALITY WITH PEDOPHILIA. HE NOTED, “THE MAN WHO OFFENDS AGAINST PREPUBERTAL OR IMMEDIATELY POSTPUBERTAL BOYS IS TYPICALLY NOT SEXUALLY INTERESTED IN OLDER MEN OR IN WOMEN” (P. 259).

            THIS WELL KNOWN LACK OF A LINKAGE BETWEEN HOMOSEXUALITY AND CHILD MOLESTATION ACCOUNTS FOR WHY RELATIVELY LITTLE RESEARCH HAS DIRECTLY ADDRESSED THE ISSUE. FOR EXAMPLE, A 1998 COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF PUBLISHED EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON THE SEXUAL ABUSE OF BOYS REPORTED ONLY ONE STUDY (THE 1994 STUDY BY JENNY AND COLLEAGUES, CITED ABOVE) THAT INCLUDED DATA ABOUT THE SELF-REPORTED SEXUAL ORIENTATION OF PERPETRATORS (HOLMES & SLAP, 1998).

            PROVING SOMETHING THAT IS ALREADY WIDELY KNOWN SIMPLY ISN’T A PRIORITY FOR SCIENTISTS. INDEED, A COMMENTARY THAT ACCOMPANIED PUBLICATION OF THE STUDY BY JENNY ET AL. IN PEDIATRICS NOTED THAT DEBATES ABOUT GAY PEOPLE AS MOLESTERS “HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH EVERYDAY CHILD ABUSE” AND LAMENTED THAT THEY DISTRACT LAWMAKERS AND THE PUBLIC FROM DEALING WITH THE REAL PROBLEM OF CHILDREN’S SEXUAL MISTREATMENT (KRUGMAN, 1994).”

          • GLT

            “So far, all you’ve come up with in support of your claim is 1 out of context quote…”

            So you keep whining. How about proving it is out of context?

            I suppose you believe putting quotes in upper case makes them more impactful?

            I have already asked you for more information so I can reference the Groth and Gary study but you have failed to provide it. Why is that the case? I suspect it is due to the fact you do not have that information. If you do, give me the necessary information to view these papers and I will do so. I do not want your quotes, I want information that will take me to the study itself. I want to be able to determine their methodology. If one cannot determine the methodology of these studies they are not worth the time it takes you to type the quotes. Without knowing the methodology used in research of this type it is less than useless.

          • swordfish

            “How about proving it is out of context?”

            That was what my quotes were for. Did you read them? It seems not, that’s why I tried to emphasize them by posting them in upper case. Let me post one of them again, from the conclusion of the Groth and Gary study from which you lifted your out of context quote:

            “ARE HOMOSEXUAL ADULTS IN GENERAL SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO CHILDREN AND ARE PREADOLESCENT CHILDREN AT GREATER RISK OF MOLESTATION FROM HOMOSEXUAL ADULTS THAN FROM HETEROSEXUAL ADULTS? THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE SO. THE RESEARCH TO DATE ALL POINTS TO THERE BEING NO SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE AND CHILD MOLESTATION. THERE APPEARS TO BE PRACTICALLY NO REPORTAGE OF SEXUAL MOLESTATION OF GIRLS BY LESBIAN ADULTS, AND THE ADULT MALE WHO SEXUALLY MOLESTS YOUNG BOYS IS NOT LIKELY TO BE HOMOSEXUAL (GROTH & GARY, 1982, P. 147).”

            Do you now accept that the opinion of mainstream psychology on this is against you, or do you wish to continue your pointless denial of reality?

          • GLT

            “that’s why I tried to emphasize them by posting them in upper case.”

            For the third time, give me the information I need to look into the research paper by Groth & Gary so I can see if I can discern their methodology. Why are you refusing to do that?

          • swordfish

            “For the third time, give me the information I need to look into the research paper by Groth & Gary so I can see if I can discern their methodology. Why are you refusing to do that?”

            1. Another rude DEMAND – have you not heard of the word “please”?

            2. You’ve already quoted from the paper’s abstract, so I assume you must be able to find the paper itself?

            3. I’m not “refusing” to give the information, I just don’t have it.

            But in any case, what difference does the methodology of this one paper make when the overall conclusion of research into this topic is:

            “REFLECTING THE RESULTS OF THESE AND OTHER STUDIES, AS WELL AS CLINICAL EXPERIENCE, THE MAINSTREAM VIEW AMONG RESEARCHERS AND PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK IN THE AREA OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IS THAT HOMOSEXUAL AND BISEXUAL MEN DO NOT POSE ANY SPECIAL THREAT TO CHILDREN.”

            Finding something which you hold to be flawed in the methodology of one paper won’t change this at all.

          • GLT

            “You’ve already quoted from the paper’s abstract, so I assume you must be able to find the paper itself?”

            I quoted Freund and Watson.

            “I’m not “refusing” to give the information, I just don’t have it.”

            So you have no idea as to their methodology, the content of the paper or the context of the quote and yet I am supposed to just accept your assertion and admit you’re right? Not likely. Until you can provide the information, please, as to allow me to reference Groth & Gray paper you have no argument.

            “what difference does the methodology of this one paper make when the overall conclusion of research into this topic is:”

            All the difference. The mainstream view means no more here than it means anywhere else in science, which is nothing. Science does not function on consensus, it functions on truth and evidence.

          • swordfish

            It’s true to say that science is based on evidence rather than consensus, but the concensus position here is based on the evidence! It’s just a summation of the overall findings of the research into this topic. Did you read the page I linked, or look at the conclusions of the various meta-studies which it cites?

            I’m still not clear what you hope to achieve here, or why you’re persuing this at all. It appears that you’re only interested in disputing scientific findings if they challenge your prejudices, which doesn’t seem like a good reason.

          • GLT

            “but the concensus position here is based on the evidence!”

            No, it’s based on a particular interpretation of evidence. Evidence is neutral, it is always coloured by the presuppositions of those viewing and interpreting it.

            “or look at the conclusions of the various meta-studies which it cites?”

            I have read a few studies on the subject, most of which do not agree with you.

            Let’s just decide to agree to disagree on this one, okay?

          • swordfish

            “Evidence is neutral, it is always coloured by the presuppositions of those viewing and interpreting it.”

            Some evidence may be open to interpretation to some extent, but that doesn’t mean “evidence is neutral” in general. Usually, if people have evidence, they present it rather than trying to claim evidence isn’t any use 🙂

            “Let’s just decide to agree to disagree on this one, okay?”

            I don’t enjoy arguing with you anyway, as apart from anything else, you’re rude, so: I agree. But the research that’s been done on this is still against you, and you’ve still produced nothing other than one out-of-context quote.

          • GLT

            “Some evidence may be open to interpretation,…”

            ALL evidence is subject to interpretation, that is simply the nature of the beast.

            “if people have evidence, they present it rather than trying to claim evidence isn’t any use :-)”

            I have, I did and I have never said evidence was not of any use, ever! You have often accused me of lying so tread carefully, swordfish. 🙂

            “you’re rude,…”

            That’s simply a result of you injecting intonation where there is none. Actually, you have no idea of my attitude, you’re simply projecting your frustration resulting from the fact you can’t assert your opinions without me asking you to provide cogent arguments in their defense. This is a situation not at all uncommon with atheists who believe rhetoric passes for fact. Not so in the real world.

            “and you’ve still produced nothing other than one out-of-context quote.”

            So you keep saying but, as usual, never demonstrating. I’ll ask you again, demonstrate the quote is out of context. Also, you have never demonstrated your claim the research is against me, in fact you cannot even give me a reference to the research you’re depending on for your opinions. Remember this comment made by you after I had repeatedly asked you for that information? “I’m not “refusing” to give the information, I just don’t have it.” That being the case, why should I believe your claims when you cannot even produce the material you say supports you?

          • swordfish

            It looks like your suggestion that we “agree to disagree” wasn’t a serious comment, just an attempt at deflection.

            “ALL evidence is subject to interpretation, that is simply the nature of the beast.”

            No, it isn’t. If I want to provide evidence that the Earth is a ball, a satellite image should be enough, and wouldn’t require any interpretation. On a more mundane level, if I was trying to demonstrate that an accused person in a criminal case had been in a particular shop, CCTV footage of them in the shop would also be sufficient and wouldn’t require any interpretation.

            “I have [presented evidence], I did and I have never said evidence was not of any use, ever!”

            You said: “Evidence is neutral”, which is saying that it doesn’t demonstrate anything one way or another.

            “That’s [rudeness] simply a result of you injecting intonation where there is none.”

            I’m perfectly capable of telling when someone is being rude or not. Demanding answers, as you do repeatedly, is rude. Perhaps you need to stop and think how you’re coming across rather than blaming me for wrongly interpreting you.

            “Actually, you have no idea of my attitude, you’re simply projecting your frustration resulting from the fact you can’t assert your opinions without me asking you to provide cogent arguments in their defense.”

            You are the one who has consistently failed to provide any evidence other than one quote, your interpretation of which is contradicted by the expert opinion I quoted. I started out with NO OPINION on this issue. I haven’t any axe to gring one way or another, I simply responded to a comment by looking up the facts online. You objected to my quoted research with a vague handwave about statistics, and since then have produced nothing other than a lot of hot air and expressions of incredulity.

            And another thing: You’re obsessed with the idea of “arguments” (probably because that’s all theists have) but this isn’t about arguments, it’s about facts and evidence. The first two studies I quoted in my first comment demolish the idea that gay people are a threat to children – if only 2 out of 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994) of molestation were carried out by gay people, that has already killed your “argument”.

            “This is a situation not at all uncommon with atheists who believe rhetoric passes for fact. Not so in the real world.”

            What on earth are you talking about here? I’ve presented facts, you have presented NONE. You are the one who has rhetoric but no facts.

            “I’ll ask you again, demonstrate the quote is out of context.”

            I did, HERE:

            “THE RESEARCHERS (Freund et al) FOUND THAT HOMOSEXUAL MALES RESPONDED NO MORE TO MALE CHILDREN THAN HETEROSEXUAL MALES RESPONDED TO FEMALE CHILDREN” (Gregory Herek, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California.)

            “Also, you have never demonstrated your claim the research is against me, in fact you cannot even give me a reference to the research you’re depending on for your opinions”

            I referred you to the University of California page more than once. It cites many papers, including meta-studies, which demonstrate the mainstream research is against you:

            http://psychology(dot)ucdavis(dot)edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

          • GLT

            “If I want to provide evidence that the Earth is a ball, a satellite image should be enough, and wouldn’t require any interpretation.”

            Determining the picture shows the Earth to be a sphere IS the interpretation, swordfish.

            “Evidence is neutral”, which is saying that it doesn’t demonstrate anything one way or another.”

            No, that is not what neutrality of evidence means. Neutrality means the evidence itself, alone does nothing, it is when an observer interprets the evidence that it takes takes on meaning depending on the observer’s interpretation based on his presuppositions. A dead man on the floor of a room with a bullet through his heart and another man holding a gun is not in itself proof of foul play. It is evidence that some event has occurred which resulted in a man dying, what that evidence actually means is drawn by interpretation.

            “Demanding answers, as you do repeatedly, is rude.”

            You’re simply imposing an assumed intonation to my requests. You see my request for information or answers as demands. There is nothing in my writing which suggests they are anything more than requests, the idea that rudeness is attached is purely in your mind.

            “I did, HERE:”

            Your quote does nothing whatsoever to demonstrate my quote is out of context. You can argue it shows my interpretation of the quote is wrong but that is a different matter altogether.

            “I referred you to the University of California page more than once.”

            Yes, you did but that did not meet my request for information which would allow me to directly access the actual papers. You have admitted you do not have that information and I accept that.

            Like I said, we will have to agree to disagree as gentlemen.

          • swordfish

            I don’t agree to disagree. This was the original objection made by you to the two papers I quoted:

            “As usual, statistics can be skewed to make them say what you want them to say. This is a prime example. Yes, there are more heterosexual paedophiles than homosexual. The important number, however, is the percentage of homosexuals who are paedophiles when related to the percentage of the general population who are homosexual.”

            At no point have you backed up your claim that this is “a prime example” [of statistics being skewed], and if you now say you need access to original papers, then you shouldn’t have made this claim in the first place. But in any case, you’re wrong for the following reason:

            “GIVEN THE PRECISION USED BY PROFESSIONAL SEX RESEARCHERS, THE QUESTION ‘HOW MANY GAY MEN ARE PEDOPHILES?’ ALSO EVAPORATES. TO ASK ‘HOW MANY GAY MEN ARE PEDOPHILES’ IS TO ASK ‘HOW MANY OF THE MEN WITH A PRIMARY INTEREST IN ADULTS HAVE A PRIMARY INTEREST IN NON-ADULTS?’ THE ANSWER IS NONE. THIS ANSWER, HOWEVER, IS NOT MERE WORD-PLAY. IT IS LONG ESTABLISHED THAT BOTH HOMOSEXUAL TELEIOPHILES AND HETEROSEXUAL TELEIOPHILES SHOW THE SAME (VERY LOW) LEVEL OF EROTIC RESPONSE TO STIMULI INVOLVING CHILDREN (FREUND ET AL., 1973). IF ONE’S PRIMARY INTEREST IS IN ADULTS, IT IS NOT IN CHILDREN, REGARDLESS OF THE CHILD’S SEX.” (Male Homosexuality, Science, and Pedophilia. James M. Cantor, PhD)

            http://individual(dot)utoronto(dot)ca/james_cantor/blog1.html

            So, in a way, you’re right that the issue is one of interpretation, it’s just that your simplistic interpretation of it as being about one percentage versus another is wrong.

          • GLT

            “I don’t agree to disagree.”

            Fine, that’s your prerogative.

            “it’s just that your simplistic interpretation of it as being about one percentage versus another is wrong.”

            In your opinion, which again is your prerogative. Take care, I’m sure we will butt heads again. 🙂

          • sodomites do not occur in nature, so they “groom” children and especially young men. Look at their rhetoric, goals, and parades if you want to see what they desire.

    • Starlord616

      It will leave a vacuum that will be filled by something that might not be good. We are already seeing that with the fascist groups rising in the West .

      • swordfish

        The facts are against you. Christianity has already declined in most western countries but said countries haven’t collapsed into anarchy, or fascism for that matter. You forget that fascism first rose in the last century and did rather well in Catholic Italy and Christian Germany.

        • Starlord616

          Actually it is coming back into vogue.

          • swordfish

            What are you complaining about, then?

        • GLT

          “Christianity has already declined in most western countries but said countries haven’t collapsed into anarchy, or fascism for that matter.”

          Demonstrate, with facts, a country which has improved its status economically, sociologically, etc., through the abandonment of Christianity. You say the facts are against us, then prove it by providing facts to support your claim.

          • swordfish

            I know from previous encounters with you that your idea of facts, and your understanding of the word ‘demonstrate’ are completely detached from reality. (For instance, your claim that the fossil record doesn’t demonstrate that species have changed) so I won’t be dancing to your tune.

            If you’re really interested, there’s a gigantic amount of demographic facts and figures available at nationmaster dot com.

          • GLT

            “I know from previous encounters with you that your idea of facts, and your understanding of the word ‘demonstrate’ are completely detached from reality.”

            From your concept of reality, most certainly, as your concept does not include anything but rhetoric and has no relationship with rational thought or logic.

            “For instance, your claim that the fossil record doesn’t demonstrate that species have changed,…”

            I never said anything of the sort and don’t believe that to be true. Most certainly the fossil record shows change but what it does not show is evidence for common descent. Quite a different scenario. At least try to be honest in your criticism.

            “so I won’t be dancing to your tune.”

            Your problem is you cannot dance at all, it has nothing to do with me.

          • swordfish

            [the fossil record doesn’t demonstrate that species have changed] “I never said anything of the sort”

            Really? You’ve consistently argued with me that transitional fossils aren’t evidence that creatures have changed, and have insisted that they are separate species, so your claim here appears to be false.

          • GLT

            “Really? You’ve consistently argued with me that transitional fossils aren’t evidence that creatures have changed,…”

            Yes, really. You, nor anyone else has ever demonstrated factually that there are any transitional fossils. Because a fossil is labeled transitional is not proof or evidence it is actually transitional. You cannot demonstrate the fossil in question is anything more than a once living, now dead animal. That there are no transitional fossils does not mean creatures do not change as you falsely accuse me of saying. I am saying the changes one sees in the fossil record are not evidence supporting the idea of descent from a single common ancestor which would require billions upon billions of so-called transitional fossils and they simply do not exist. The fossil record shows mammals have remained mammals, reptiles have remained reptiles, etc., etc.

          • swordfish

            If you want to remain ignorant, be my guest.

          • GLT

            If you believe I am wrong establish that belief by presenting cogent arguments based on empirically demonstrable facts. All you ever do is make assertions, you never support them with logical, cogent arguments.

          • swordfish

            “A good place to start would be to empirically demonstrate the fossil record shows creature A becoming non-A”

            This has already been demonstrated by paleontologists. If you have an objection to their analysis of the evidence, take it up with them, not me.

          • GLT

            GLT: “A good place to start would be to empirically demonstrate the fossil record shows creature A becoming non-A”

            “This has already been demonstrated by paleontologists.”

            Really? Provide one example of an empirically demonstrable occurrence of creature A becoming creature not-A, just one. If qualified paleontologists have clearly and empirically demonstrated this can and has happened you should have no trouble providing an example.

            “If you have an objection to their analysis of the evidence, take it up with them, not me.”

            I’m taking it you because you are the one on here making the claim this has occurred, as such your responsible to support your claim. If you have an objection with that, either answer the question and prove your case or admit you have no evidence. It’s really that simple, swordfish, which will it be?

          • swordfish

            I know from previous experience that you demand evidence, then reject any that is given on completely illogical and spurious grounds.

            If I produced a picture of a neat row of 1,000 fossils gradually transforming from one creature to another, in sequence, you’d think of a reason to reject it – why are there only 1,000 fossils? Why is one a slightly different colour? How do you know these aren’t all separate species? It’s all CGI, etc.

            So, go away.

          • GLT

            “I know from previous experience that you demand evidence,…”

            I don’t demand anything, I ask for it politely but you never supply anything even remotely resembling evidence, just the usual rhetoric.

            “then reject any that is given on completely illogical and spurious grounds.”

            I don’t reject it on illogical and spurious grounds, I provide a reasoned response as to why your interpretation of the evidence is not logical and not plausible. I understand you find this frustrating but perhaps you should ask yourself why it is frustrating?

            “If I produced a picture of a neat row of 1,000 fossils gradually transforming from one creature to another, in sequence,…”

            That whole sentence hinges on one word, IF. The truth is you cannot produce 1,000 of fossils gradually transforming from one creature to another because they simply do not exist, other than in the creative minds of evolutionists. You would be lucky if you could put together a dozen fossils showing a supposed transition, when in fact you would need tens-of-millions to even begin to present a case.

          • swordfish

            “I don’t reject it on illogical and spurious grounds”

            “when in fact you would need tens-of-millions to even begin to present a case”

            I predicted in my comment that you’d reject 1,000 fossils (“Why only 1,000?”) and that’s exactly what you’ve just done! I already know that you’re not an intellectually honest person, that’s why I’m not wasting my time “presenting” evidence just so you can reject it out of hand. Go away quickly.

          • GLT

            “I predicted in my comment that you’d reject 1,000 fossils (“Why only 1,000?”) and that’s exactly what you’ve just done!”

            Not really much of a prediction when you consider the fact you know yourself you cannot line up a 1,000 fossils showing creature A turning into non-A. Also, the fact your argument is nothing more than a complete fairy tale leaves one no other option than to reject it.

            “that’s why I’m not wasting my time “presenting” evidence just so you can reject it out of hand.”

            First, you do not provide evidence, you repeat rhetoric you pick up on web sites. Second, if your ‘evidence’ had any validity it would not be able to be dismissed as easily as it is. Maybe you should give those facts some careful consideration.

            You presented a claim about lining up a 1,000 fossils demonstrating a transition of one animal into another completely different animal. If you think you can actually do that go ahead and do it. Simply saying I would reject it if you did is not presenting anything even remotely approaching an evidence based argument. Do you really not comprehend that?

          • swordfish

            “when in fact you would need tens-of-millions to even begin to present a case”

            Go away.

          • GLT

            “Go away.”

            I must say that is a mature way of handling the situation, swordfish. You put yourself out here as an educated individual capable of defending your atheistic assumptions and the best you can do when you’re asked very simple questions is to become frustrated and tell people to go away? Not very impressive.

          • swordfish

            GLT, only one or two days ago on another comment thread, I quoted two scientific papers. You objected to them because they presented their results statistically. (Not a valid objection, btw) Only two days later, you’re saying:

            “you do not provide evidence, you repeat rhetoric you pick up on web sites”

            STOP LYING ABOUT ME.

          • GLT

            Which thread would that be?

          • swordfish

            Actually, it was this same thread, where the discussion is about the (false) claim about their being more homosexual paedophiles.

        • Andrew Mason

          That claim is predicated on the notion that Catholic Italy and Christian Germany were in fact CatholicChristian as opposed to merely culturally so.

          • swordfish

            No True Christian fallacy.

          • Ken Abbott

            Sorry, swordfish, that won’t wash because you’re misapplying the fallacy. We’ve had this conversation before.

          • swordfish

            I don’t agree, but in any case, I seem to remember that conversation was stopped by a Christian who pointed out that only God knows who’s a True Christian.

          • Ken Abbott

            Let’s lay this out. What is the No True Scotsman fallacy (which is what you’re attempting to adapt here)?

          • swordfish

            If you insist. From Wikipedia:

            “No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample. Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group)”

            I pointed out that fascism arose in a Christian country, you tried to avoid that criticism of Christianity by claiming that those Christians weren’t True Christians. This is a textbook example of an NTS fallacy in my opinion.

          • Ken Abbott

            You’re confusing your interlocutors, swordfish. I’m not Andrew Mason. I just jumped in regarding the (still) false application of the NTS fallacy. Note the important part of the cited definition: “changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counter example.” You first have to establish the right definition by mutual consent; if you’re using different definitions, there will be confusion.

            So–how was Andrew using the terms “Catholic” and “Christian” in the above post?

          • Andrew Mason

            I made a distinction between CatholicChristian in Name Only types, and those who were genuine. Such a distinction is valid, and not inherently an NTS argument.

            Stalinist Russia and Maoist China are the 2 largest Atheist regimes to ever exist and yet nobody in their right mind will attempt to deny they weren’t totalitarian regimes with death tolls that exceeded anything Hitler or Mussolini were responsible for. Cue excuse they were Not True Atheists. 🙂

          • swordfish

            “I made a distinction between CatholicChristian in Name Only types, and those who were genuine. Such a distinction is valid, and not inherently an NTS argument.”

            I don’t accept that your distinction is valid.

            “Stalinist Russia and Maoist China are the 2 largest Atheist regimes to ever exist and yet nobody in their right mind will attempt to deny they weren’t totalitarian regimes with death tolls that exceeded anything Hitler or Mussolini were responsible for.”

            According to the first source I found online, the death toll for Stalinist Russia is 20 million, for Maoist China 40 million, and for WW2 it’s 66 million, so your specific claim is false, at least according to those figures.

            “Cue excuse they were Not True Atheists. :-)”

            Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods. It doesn’t advocate any other beliefs, whether political or anything else.

          • Andrew Mason

            The fact you refuse to accept a distinction doesn’t make it false.

            Curious – just looking up totals. Mao is credited with 17 to 70 million deaths, Stalin 9 to 22 million. WW2 is listed as costing 16 to 85 million lives. Historians debate Hitler’s culpability for WW2 even these days, and no I’m not talking Irving and the like. Even if we accept that Hitler is solely responsible for triggering the conflict, is he responsible for Soviet tactics?

            Atheism is based on active disbelief. Additional beliefs are built upon this e.g. Marxism.

          • swordfish

            “The fact you refuse to accept a distinction doesn’t make it false.”

            It doesn’t make it true either.

            “Even if we accept that Hitler is solely responsible for triggering the conflict, is he responsible for Soviet tactics?”

            It looks like you’re trying to minimise Hitler’s reponsibility for WW2 deaths solely because you can’t claim he’s an atheist. Surely not!

            “Atheism is based on active disbelief.”

            1. I love the way you keep trying to tell me what my beliefs are.
            2. What is “active disbelief”?

            “Additional beliefs are built upon this e.g. Marxism.”

            Marxism isn’t built upon atheism in any way. To quote TheFreeDictionary: [Marxism is based on] “dialectical materialism, a labor-based theory of wealth, an economic class struggle leading to revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the eventual development of a classless society.”

            Nope, no atheism there.

          • Andrew Mason

            So then according to your logic Quislings were maybe loyal Norwegians?

            Actually I’m noting that there’s no consensus over Hitler’s responsibility regarding WW2. Even if he is guilty, I still don’t see him as culpable for an enemy choosing to fritter away troops deemed expendable – penal battalions and the like.

            You have your beliefs, I have mine. You seem to object to me defining Atheism, but you see nothing wrong with objecting to me defining Christianity. Seems like an inconsistency.

            I note you chose the most obscure definition, not one of those used in the dictionaries listed. Marx happens to have written “It [religion] is the opiate of the masses. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. Seems to me that Marx leaned towards Atheism as state religion, though obviously he denies that it is a religion. Best case scenario you could argue Marxism is akin to Protestantism – a major branch of Atheism.

          • swordfish

            “Actually I’m noting that there’s no consensus over Hitler’s responsibility regarding WW2”

            I think there’s a consensus that he started it.

            “I note you chose the most obscure definition, not one of those used in the dictionaries listed.”

            I’m not sure what you mean by “one of the dictionaries listed”, but I looked up several online explanations of Marxism and they all listed similar points, none of which included atheism.

            I know that Marx made that well-known comment about atheism, but that doesn’t mean it was an important factor in Marxism.

            “Marx leaned towards Atheism as state religion, though obviously he denies that it is a religion.”

            Marxism doesn’t have a state religion, and ATHEISM ISN’T A RELIGION!

          • Andrew Mason

            The majority would hold that Yes Hitler started it, however this isn’t a universal, which you’d likely know if you’d done history at a tertiary level.

            As I recall you referenced The Free Dictionary. Their site offers cites by:
            American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language
            Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged
            Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary
            -Ologies & -Isms.
            Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words

            We’ll have to agree to disagree. You’re welcome to point out a Marxist regime that isn’t explicitly or implicitly Atheistic but I think you’ll struggle.

          • swordfish

            “We’ll have to agree to disagree. You’re welcome to point out a Marxist regime that isn’t explicitly or implicitly Atheistic but I think you’ll struggle.”

            I just searched the pretty comprehensive Wikipedia page on Marxism for “atheism” and “atheist” and nothing came up. As far as I can tell from all the online sources I looked at, Marxism has nothing to do with atheism.

            A regime can’t believe in God, nor can it disbelieve in God, only individual people can. Atheism isn’t a religion, it is a lack of belief in a god or gods. Atheism is a religion in the same sense that an empty piece of land is a type of building.

            I agree to disagree.

          • swordfish

            “You’re confusing your interlocutors, swordfish. I’m not Andrew Mason. I just jumped in…”

            I’m not confusing anything. You accused me of misapplying the NTS and you asked for a definition of it, so I’m replying to YOU.

            “You first have to establish the right definition by mutual consent;”

            The entry on the NTS given by Wikipedia doesn’t say that it is necessary to agree on a definition. I assume you don’t criticise every article on The Steam when it uses the term ‘Christian’ without defining it first.

          • Ken Abbott

            “I pointed out that fascism arose in a Christian country, you tried to avoid that criticism of Christianity by claiming that those Christians weren’t True Christians.” In fact, that statement refers to your exchange with Andrew Mason, because at that point you threw the fallacy red card. I interrupted only then to object that you misused the fallacy. Please try to keep us straight.

            I find it most interesting that you claim there is no need to establish agreement on definitions of key words in arguments. How can we be certain that we’re not talking past one another unless we know we mean the same thing by the terms used? Is it legitimate just to assume this?

            It is also revealing that you continue to dismiss the distinction between claimed belief and actual belief. Are you familiar with the parable of the wheat and the weeds? Or of St. Augustine’s teaching that the visible church will always be a mixture of true and “fake” (to borrow a current term) Christians?

          • swordfish

            “In fact, that statement refers to your exchange with Andrew Mason, because at that point you threw the fallacy red card. I interrupted only then to object that you misused the fallacy. Please try to keep us straight.”

            You were referring to the exchange with “Andrew Mason”, so that’s what I was referring to also. I’m not mixing the two of you up.

            “I find it most interesting that you claim there is no need to establish agreement on definitions of key words in arguments.”

            I find it interesting that you think it’s necessary to define a term like ‘Christian’ in the comments section of a Christian website. I don’t see you objecting to anyone else just using the term ‘Christian’ without defining it first. In any case, the whole point of the NTS fallacy is that it applies to the common definition of a term.

            Surely you don’t disagree that this form of argument is frequently used and can be applied to literally anything which potentially casts Christianity (or anything else) in a bad light? Priests who abuse children aren’t True Christians, Christians who commit crimes aren’t TC, gay Christians aren’t TC, Christians who leave Christianity aren’t TC, etc. It’s basically a get out of jail free card.

            “It is also revealing that you continue to dismiss the distinction between claimed belief and actual belief.”

            I do so because it’s got nothing to do with me as an atheist, but more importantly because I don’t see how you can tell? AFAIK, the only thing you have to do to become a Christian is to accept Jesus. It’s got nothing to do with behaviour, and you can’t tell what other people think.

            It comes back to what was said in a previous comment thread: If Christianity is true then only God can tell who is a TC.

          • Ken Abbott

            Let me try a different approach: Do you know of the passage in the letter from James in which the writer speaks of the theological knowledge of demons? He asks his readers if they believe in the oneness of God, then observes that even the demons believe that–and shudder. This gets to the matter of what it is to believe, and underscores that a simple or facile intellectual apprehension of the content of Christianity, even an acknowledgement that what Christianity claims to be true IS true (e.g., Jesus really did rise from the dead), does nothing to impart salvation. James says that the demons know and accept many truths of spiritual reality, but they abhor these truths. Real belief, what Christians call saving faith, is placing trust in Christ for salvation. This can only occur in someone who has been radically changed inwardly, and that change will manifest itself over time in a person’s attitudes, choices, and behaviors. Imperfectly, to be sure, and rarely without setbacks.

            What Andrew and I have been laboring to demonstrate is that there is a marked difference between what many people conventionally think of as a Christian and what the Bible teaches a Christian is. To claim to have faith in Christ is one matter; if authentic, it will bear itself out in a manner that others can see. Christ said by their fruits you will know them. Contrary to your claim, it does have to do with behavior, else why all the biblical exhortations to pursue holiness and practice godliness? That’s not just boilerplate. But, as the parable of the wheat and the weeds teaches, human efforts to discern the difference are faulty; it is better to let God sort it all out in the end (and he will). There are many passages in Scripture that exhort us to examine ourselves to see if we really do believe, for it is easy to be deceived.

          • swordfish

            The problem I have with your comment is that for one thing, we as a society have to deal with *all* Christians (and all other religions), not just ‘True Christians’, and for another, you have no way of telling whether in fact True Christians in Italy didn’t vote for fascism anyway.

            Also, you seem somewhat confused in your explanation as to whether the way Christians behave matters or not. AFAIK, ‘works’ don’t matter for salvation (and you basically say so yourself) but then you suggest True Christians would behave better anyway. My understanding is that lack of belief is the one thing which isn’t forgiveable, while even a mass murderer can be forgiven. Not a very good moral system IMHO.

          • Ken Abbott

            It’s not a matter of confusion so much as an important distinction that eludes many people. Martin Luther once remarked that we are saved by faith in Christ alone–the basis of our salvation is faith apart from works–but not by a faith that is alone–because true saving faith resides in a changed person, the fruits of that faith work themselves out in that person’s life. The works are the evidence of that faith. The NT writers expect that Christians will live differently than the unbelievers in their cultures. Over time, they will become more and more godly, more and more Christlike.

            Great men and women of faith have made terrible mistakes and fallen back into sin–the Bible provides many examples of such. But there is always repentance and restoration. As you say, there may well have been genuine Christians who voted for fascism in Germany and Italy (although the explanations for the rise of fascism in those countries are complicated and given the limited knowledge of people at the start of those movements it is easy to understand how some may have believed they were doing the right thing).

          • jimwest63

            Well one thing we know for sure is that fascist Italy and Spain were neither in fact nor culturally atheist.

        • GLT

          “Christianity has already declined in most western countries but said countries haven’t collapsed into anarchy, or fascism for that matter.”

          From where do you suppose the laws and moral codes which these countries adhere to came? What would be the result if these countries not only rejected the outward appearance of Christianity but turned their back as well on the system of laws and moral codes derived from Christianity?

    • Kevin Quillen

      swordfish; I ask this most sincerely…..how do atheists decide what is right and wrong, moral or immoral?

      • swordfish

        I can’t speak for atheists in general, but I would say by following the Golden Rule – treat others how you would like to be treated. I don’t like being hurt (mentally or physically) so I assume others feel the same way.

    • Andrew Mason

      Not every Atheist is a Leftist true, but the vast majority are. And again while it’s not guaranteed that Atheism becoming the dominant religion will result in a moral and social collapse, it’s almost guaranteed. The history of Atheist regimes – Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, North Korea, perhaps revolutionary France, are all blood soaked abominations.

      • swordfish

        “Not every Atheist is a Leftist true, but the vast majority are”

        Do you have any figures to back this up? Also, the vast majority of leftists aren’t extreme SJW types.

        “Atheism becoming the dominant religion”

        Atheism isn’t a religion or any kind of belief system.

        “The history of Atheist regimes […]”

        There have never been any regimes which have carried out their agenda in the name of atheism. Also, your list of “atheist regimes” should include the USA, which has specifically excluded religion from government in it’s constitution, not to mention modern western democracies like Denmark which are atheist in all but name, yet are very pleasent places to live.

        • Andrew Mason

          How about a study on journalistic bias? From memory – and this is rough mind you, the study found 20% Far Left, 40% Left, and 40% Centre-Right. It also found that 70% considered religion of little to no importance, whereas only 10% considered religion very important. You could also look at the support base of the Democrat party. According to something I saw not so long ago Atheists, or at least non-religious, now comprise the largest faith group in the party!

          Actually there’s been a number of regimes which have stated that Atheism is their state religion. True they may say Marxism or some other ideology is driving impetus, but that may be founded on Atheism. As for the USA being Atheist, absolutely not, at least not yet. The Constitution specifically precludes the country adopting a state religion. It may unofficially adopt Atheism as the national religion, and certainly that’s increasingly the case, but it cannot legally do so officially. As for Denmark being a very pleasant place to live, really it depends what you consider pleasant. The Barnevernet for instance function like the Gestapo and have an internationally bad reputation.

          • swordfish

            “How about a study on journalistic bias?”

            I agree that journalists are mainly leftist, but this has nothing to do with atheism.

            “Actually there’s been a number of regimes which have stated that Atheism is their state religion.”

            Atheism isn’t a religion and in any case, stating that atheism is the “state religion” doesn’t mean that a (for instance) communist country is then carrying out an atheist agenda, it’s carrying out a communist agenda. As I keep pointing out, there is no atheist agenda to carry out!

            “True they may say Marxism or some other ideology is driving impetus, but that may be founded on Atheism.”

            But Marxism isn’t founded on atheism. Atheism is just a lack of belief in God, it doesn’t entail any other beliefs or political agendas.

            “As for the USA being Atheist, absolutely not, at least not yet. The Constitution specifically precludes the country adopting a state religion.”

            Again, atheism isn’t a religion, it’s a lack of belief in religion. I’m simply pointing out that the USA has an “a-religious” constitution which was written that way for good reasons.

            “As for Denmark being a very pleasant place to live, really it depends what you consider pleasant.”

            The same things most people take as pleasant: a democratic government, low levels of crime, a strong economy, high social mobility, a good welfare state, etc. (Also the world’s best sounding language!) The ‘Barnevernet’ you mention is Norwegian(!), and like all child protection services, it’s criticised both for intervening too much and not enough. There’s no pleasing some people.

          • Andrew Mason

            Did you note my points? Most are Left, most also state that they consider religion to be of little to no importance i.e. falling into the Atheist sphere. As to how many were explicitly Atheist wasn’t stated in the survey. I also referenced the Democrat Party but you seem to have ignored that.

            And again Atheism is a religion. It is the belief that there is no God. It can include churches, ceremonies, clergy and frequently organisations that promote the faith or engage in legal action to advance Atheism. And no the US doesn’t have an a-religious Constitution, it has a Freedom of Religion Constitution. It also has a Declaration of Independence and a history founded on Christianity. No I am not suggesting the founder were exclusively Christian – there were deists for instance involved, and denominational divisions held far more weight at the time.

            Oh sorry I conflated countries. Most of the negative news out of that part of the world pertains to Sweden and I had to keep reminding myself it was the other place you were referencing. Guess I should have reminded myself it was the other other. :- Can’t say Denmark really gets on the radar. Mostly seems to be a near uninhabited peninsula to the north of Germany (actually contains about half the population), and an island illegals seem to pass through on their way to the Promised Land of Social Welfare aka Sweden.

          • swordfish

            “Did you note my points?”

            Yes. You don’t seem to be able to come up with any clear stats on the issue. I said “not all atheists are leftists”, not that none are. Myself and another atheist commentor on here have pointed out that we’re not leftists, and it’s not like there’s hundreds of us commenting on here. I suspect that US politics are more polarised on these lines than is the case in other countries.

            “And again Atheism is a religion. It is the belief that there is no God.”

            Wrong. Most atheists define their position as a “lack of belief in a god or gods”, NOT the belief that there is no God, as you state. In any case, even your definition doesn’t look like the definition of a religion anyway.

            “It can include churches, ceremonies, clergy and frequently organisations that promote the faith or engage in legal action to advance Atheism.”

            Again, atheism isn’t a faith, and the existence of atheist organisations doesn’t provide any evidence that it is a faith – most organisations are secular. And, what atheist clergy?

            “Most of the negative news out of that part of the world pertains to Sweden and I had to keep reminding myself it was the other place you were referencing.”

            Dear me, Ken. I mentioned DENMARK, you referred to a NORWEGIAN organisation, now you’re talking about SWEDEN – I’ve heard that Americans are geographically challenged, but this is ridiculous 🙂 Denmark is a fantastic place, you should watch “The Killing” (Series 1, original version) to hear their fantastic language.

          • Andrew Mason

            Since you demanded exact stats:
            https://thehumanist(dot)com/commentary/poll-results-post-title
            http://www(dot)pewresearch(dot)org/fact-tank/2016/02/23/u-s-religious-groups-and-their-political-leanings/

            The first link is a survey of how the members of an Atheist organisation identify, and how they voted in 2016. According to the results 88% of Atheists voted for Hillary, a further 4% voted for Stein the Greens candidate. Only 2% of Atheists voted for Trump. This is an even more extreme result than the figures by Pew Research which say 69% of Atheists identify as Democrat, and only 15% as Republican. The only religious groups to be more heavily Democrat are the Unitarian Universalists, and 3 historically Black churches. Happy now? I was never claiming all Atheists are Leftists, merely that they heavily lean so.

            The dictionary definition tends to be: Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. Refusing to accept the existence of God is an active choice, not a mere lack of belief. Not sure what you mean by “in any case, even your definition doesn’t look like the definition of a religion.” Sounds like a weak attempt to change the subject.

            What do you mean by secular? Remember secularism is increasingly seen as Atheism in sheep’s clothing i.e. a club wielded against those deemed religious, with Atheism defined by those doing the wielding as non-religious. Yes I was quite surprised to hear that Atheists have clergy but apparently there are Atheist groups around that offer ordination.

            Who’s Ken? Yes Americans are exceedingly challenged when it comes to geography, but I never actually claimed to be American – you’re making an assumption. 🙂 I’m aware it goes Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia (West to East), with the Baltic nations whose order I don’t recall to the south of Finland. Denmark as I noted comprises the north part of a peninsula to the north of Germany (Germany controls the southern part), and some islands to the east of said Peninsula, and if I recall correctly, south of Sweden. Presumably that gets my geographic credentials out of the way – no I didn’t go look at a world map. The fact is most of the news out of Scandinavia pertains to Sweden – Norway rarely gets a mention, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Danish story other than references to the royal family. A lack of coverage means it’s hard to judge the quality of the place. Not sure if I’ve ever seen any episodes of The Killing but a look at the plot suggests it’d definitely not be my taste!!!

          • swordfish

            “The first link is a survey of how the members of an Atheist organisation identify, and how they voted in 2016. According to the results 88% of Atheists voted for Hillary, […]”

            Your stats need some context. Just because someone votes Democrat doesn’t mean that they support the extreme Social Justice Warrior positions that this article is complaining about. As I said in my original comment, I don’t support public harrasement of Republican officials (or anyone else), I don’t support violent mobs, nor do I support ‘deplatforming’. The thing is, I doubt if atheists in general support these sorts of actions either. For example, if you read Jerry Coyne’s blog, he spends more time condemning this sort of thing than he does attacking religion.

            In other words, just claiming that 69% (or whatever) of atheists vote democrat doesn’t support the claims made in the article above, which I’m commenting on.

            “The dictionary definition tends to be: Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.”

            This is pretty much what I said, except that very few atheists adopt the “denial of the existence of god” definition. Trying to claim that this is the atheist position is like me claiming that Christians believe in the Book of Mormon.

            “Refusing to accept the existence of God is an active choice, not a mere lack of belief.”

            Disbelief isn’t “Refusing to accept the existence of God”, but even if it was, something being a choice doesn’t make it a claim – I can choose not to accept the evidence for pixies without claiming that pixies doesn’t exist.

            “Not sure what you mean by “in any case, even your definition doesn’t look like the definition of a religion.” Sounds like a weak attempt to change the subject.”

            I thought the subject of this paragraph was your doomed attempt to redefine atheism as a religion?

            “What do you mean by secular?”

            I mean not connected with religious or spiritual matters.

            “Who’s Ken?”

            My apologies, I got you confused with someone else.

  • Ken Abbott

    Love the signs in the accompanying photo. Indeed, good theology is a stake through the heart of human myths and other idolatries of the mind.

  • Jed

    Violence is not just going to pop up sporadically … it is going to burst upon the scene.
    And soon.

    Some leftist mob is going to hit the WRONG guy in the head with a bike lock.
    It’ll be on video.
    It’ll be clear who did what to whom.
    It’ll be clear that police stood by for the first act
    … but imposed martial law after that obviously lawful self-defense response.
    It’ll be clear that most media outlests are lying.
    It’ll be clear that some politicians are inciting the leftist mobs.

    As leftist demonstrations and marches increase,

    Conservative “counter-protestors” will NO LONGER be intimidated to disperse, but will bring along their own “media” and “security” to document their legal need for self-defense.

    90% of the media will celebrate the increase in “mostly peaceful” progressive protests.
    But denigrate the “far-right extremists”
    But 10% of the media will be showing evidence — hand over fist — that the violence is being initiated on the left.

    Some politicians will be calling for “emergency” civil controls.
    Some governors will activate their National Guard.

    City and campus police will be on standby … as usual.
    County-level sheriff depts will disagree with “stand-by” and be at odds with the police in smaller jurisdictions — as well as National Guard forces that attempt to enter the county.
    Sherriffs will also begin arresting politicians who actively incite leftist mobs.

    And after the first urban brawl in downtown …. where-ever .. is broadcast live on some 24-hour news station …
    It will explode across the nation.

    • Paul

      “Some leftist mob is going to hit the WRONG guy in the head with a bike lock.”

      And to think there’s morons who say we don’t need ten rounds for self defense.

  • john appleseed

    Atheist regimes in just the last 100 years have slaughtered over 120,000,000 of their own people, not to mention casualties from the wars they started.
    If you add ALL deaths from ALL religion-caused wars in ALL history, it is a tiny fraction of the 120M from that one century.

    • Andrew Mason

      Again you’re talking truth and facts to a group that frequently just don’t care.

    • swordfish

      This is completely misleading. NO wars have been started in the name of atheism. Two thirds of the deaths you mention are from WW2 but Hitler wasn’t an atheist. Also, you can’t equate previous wars when the global population was much smaller and military technology was much more primitive, with the present.

      • Ken Abbott

        It’s hard to know exactly what Adolf Hitler’s religious beliefs were. If not an atheist, he was certainly no Christian theist. The scholarly consensus seems to be that he privately held to some form of “providence” or supervening hand of fate, which isn’t exactly deism but is close. Mostly Hitler believed in himself and the ability of the “scientific” basis of National Socialism to prevail. Which just goes to show how important it is to make the right choice about what or who to put your faith in.

  • BowelSharpton

    I don’t profess to blindly condone EVERYTHING my church (Catholicism) has done past, present and future (and that collectively is a pretty agonizing check-list: predatory priests, that wacky Inquisition thing, et al; Francis is WAY too communist for my tastes but I state that very carefully to only select people) but I AM sick of christianity as a WHOLE (catholicism VICIOUSLY in particular) being beaten to a pulp and RELENTLESSLY ridiculed by the ‘hipster’ crowd while conversely one infinitesimal WHIFF of dissent regarding THEIR shibboleths and rigidly-enforced dogma and/or dangerous FANTASIES like, I don’t know, global cooling/warming/climate (how about WEATHER?) and you’re for lack of a better word CRUCIFIED. Seems equitable to me.

Inspiration
How to Love Others Better Than You Do
David Mills
More from The Stream
Connect with Us