How Atheism Touches Lives – Stirring Real Life Examples


Actually, snark – I don’t have any. So I’m gonna request the help of anyone who happens to stumble across my post.

Can you tell me:

How many criminals have reformed their ways because no proof for God exists?

How many drunkards and drug addicts have kicked the habit because the Bible is a compilation of fiction?

How many embittered people have let go of all their resentment and hate because random chance explains all alleged miracles and answered prayers?

How many people have abandoned their old, self-centred ways and gone on to serve the needy by following the example of leading atheist thinkers?

How many people have had their lives and the lives of those around them become better, happier and more fulfilling after realizing that Christianity is a lie, a hoax and a conspiracy?

How many people have had their hearts touched and been given hope because there is no God who loves them?

How many people have become nicer people because Jesus was a con/deluded/never existed?

Do cite some examples for my enlightenment.

————————

Bonus question: If you were walking down a dark alley in the most crime-ridden part of the city one night, and suddenly bumped into four burly, rough looking men covered in tattoos…

Would you honestly not feel safer, knowing that these four men had recently accepted Jesus into their lives with tears of repentance flowing down their cheeks, had been regularly attenting Sunday services at the local mainstream Baptist church for a year now, and were just on their way home from Baptism classes?

————————

Bonus snark: How many renowned atheists can the average person on the street name who are not homicidal mass murderers? How many of those he eventually names actually contributed to the good of humanity in a non-subjective, non-theoretical manner?


106 Responses to “How Atheism Touches Lives – Stirring Real Life Examples”

  1. Some Musician Says:

    Wow. I must congratulate on formulating wholly suggestive questions without even leaving the possibility of giving an answer. Regardless, I will try to answer to the best of my abilities.

    1. I’m sure there isn’t even a statistic that would inform anyone of this information, so how should I know? I’m curious, do you know the statistic of criminals who were religious when they committed their crime?

    2. Again, I don’t know. I’m sure you would you would be able to tell me how many people have used religion to physically/mentally abuse others.

    3. I don’t know specific numbers, again, but actually, most people who ‘deconvert’ lose a lot of bigotry that religion dogmatizes into a person.

    4. Many people do. Humanism usually (atheism and humanism are not mutually exclusive) accompanies those who ‘deconvert’ and one become acutely aware of how much one should help others.

    5. Again, many. I can speak from personal experience. I can assure you that I am much happier knowing that the possibility of spending an eternity in hellfire is impossible.

    6. I don’t know. What good is hope, though, if the hope is predicated on a lie?

    7. When comparing most atheists to the Jerry Falwells of the world, I think I can safely say that most atheists are nicer people than many religious people.

    Bonus question: How do I know these people came from church? Do I know these people? If I knew them, I wouldn’t be afraid. Furthermore, I wouldn’t stop to have a chat with them. Also, no, them going to church still would not comfort me given the time of day and the location being a dark alley in the most crime-ridden part of town.

    Bonus snark: Can the average person name? I don’t know. Do you want me to take a poll? How many Christians can the average person name (if any) that has actually contributed to the good of humanity in a non-subjective, non-theoretical manner (just to be clear, since you can’t prove God, religion would fall under ‘theoretical’).

    Here’s a list of atheist/agnostic people that I can think of off the top of my head:

    Albert Einstein
    Thomas Edison
    Bertrand Russell
    Douglas Adams
    Christopher Hitchens
    Sam Harris
    David Hume
    Daniel Dennett
    Francis Crick
    Carl Sagan
    Marie Curie
    the vast majority of scientists
    Steve Wozniak
    Gene Wilder
    Woody Allen
    Jamie Hyneman & Adam Savage
    Hugh Laurie
    Ricky Gervais
    should I continue?

    to go into my field of music:
    Shostakovich
    Verdi
    John Lennon
    Berlioz
    Bartok
    Rimsky-Korsakov
    Janocek
    Strauss
    Earl Wild
    those were mostly Classical composers, I could easily rattle off about 50 other names. Also, I believe all of the name I have listed so far of fitting the criterion of ‘objective good to humanity’. I listed entertainers, people in music (subset of entertainment), philosophers, scientists, and one political thinker (Hitchens).

    Now, if you want to actually have a debate, I’ll be more than willing. However, when you posit questions like these, you exude an heir of pomposity that simply gives your religious character a bit of a blemish.

  2. Scott Thong Says:

    Well, thanks for the long and well thought out comment. I think the ‘heir of pomposity’ should have been evident from the first sentence of my post – it’s not a serious attempt at debate, but kudos for trying anyhow.

    Nice list of characters there… At a glance, I would only recognize Bertrand Russell, Christopher Hitchens, maybe David Hume as atheists/agnostics. I can’t name exactly what major contribution to the general welfare of humanity they have made. My bad I suppose.

  3. Passerbyer Says:

    To ‘Some Musician':

    Its interesting how you accuse Scott on creating ‘wholly suggestive questions’, yet you reply with no answer, but backward questions throwing in the word ‘religious’ and ‘religion’ along with some cliche adjective.

    Your language precedes you, I guess I should thank you for contradicting yourself and making clear who are the ‘nicer’ people.

  4. Some Musician Says:

    @Passerbyer

    I wonder, how do you propose I should answer ‘suggestive questions’? The intent of the questions was to start a dialogue (Scott Thong admitted as much), but did succeed in displaying many atheist misconceptions, which have no bearing on the validity of what you believe.

    Also, given the tone of the post, I believe my comment was duly justified. Perhaps you are just one who likes to express himself however you choose, with reckless abandon. However, in the real world, ‘bonus snarks’ are met with ‘snark comments’.

  5. Some Musician Says:

    Excuse me, the second sentence of my first paragraph should read, “The intent of the questions was not to…”

  6. Simon Thong Says:

    an heir of pomposity? Probably ‘an air of pomposity’?

  7. Some Musician Says:

    lol you’re right.

  8. Simon Thong Says:

    You must try very hard to avoid it yourself, to allow for a good fruitful discussion (NOT debate), one in which “I win, you lose” is not the goal but where “I win, you win” is primary.

  9. Scott Thong Says:

    Wouldn’t you know it, today’s Our Daily Bread is about a musician who found no satisfaction in his accomplished but self-centred life, until he heard the Gospel and gave his life to Jesus.

    Different strokes for different folks I suppose, but praise be to the God of Happy Coincidences!

    http://odb.org/2011/03/02/virtuoso/

  10. Ron Says:

    “Different strokes for different folks I suppose, but praise be to the God of Happy Coincidences!”

    Wouldn’t you know it, musician Cat Stevens turned from Christianity to embrace Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. Guess Allah has more to offer..

    http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/cat-stevens-biography/e94afb9f1279780b482569ba0007d998

  11. nasaei ahmad Says:

    wOW..RON IS BACK NOW. i LIKE IT. wELCOME BACK rON ! wE LOVE YOU.

    bY THE WAY..i WONDER ABOUT ROBERT’S WHEREABOUT . Where are you Robert?

  12. Scott Thong Says:

    Nasaei too! It’s just like old times again!

    Robert stopped by a while ago just to say hi, now we just need to wait for loop to appear!

  13. Simon Thong Says:

    cat stevens is an old story..

  14. loop Says:

    much thanks for the remembrance scott.

  15. loop Says:

    ‘cat stevens is an old story..’

    Lauren Booth is the latest, Simon Thong. She,Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, speaks in Malaysia last January

  16. Simon Thong Says:

    Lauren Who?

  17. nasaei ahmad Says:

    Of course I love old friends Mega too, and loop. Simply miss them..(besides Ron). Some of them might have been “missing in action” …or simply they are too busy with their businesses..

  18. nasaei ahmad Says:

    Let’s get ready with big mallets…once Ron and Robert appear, we knock their heads as hard as we can…hehehe.. (I’m just joking)..

  19. Scott Thong Says:

    Lauren Booth, who may very well be part of the reason current PM David Cameron is among several European leaders who now reject multiculturalism (i.e. Muslims refusing to adapt to local culture but instead trying to turn European states into mini-Saudi Arabias).

  20. Ron Says:

    Atheism and Societal Health

    When recognizing that countries containing high percentages of non-
    believers are among the healthiest and wealthiest nations on earth (Paul, 2004), we must distinguish between nations where non-belief has been forced upon the society by dictators (“coercive atheism”) and nations wherein non-belief has emerged on its own without governmental coercion (“organic atheism”). Nations marked by coercive atheism — such as North Korea and former Soviet states — are marked by all that comes with totalitarianism: poor economic development,
    censorship, corruption, depression, etc. However, nations marked by high levels of organic atheism – such as Sweden or the Netherlands — are among the healthiest, wealthiest, best educated, and freest societies on earth.

    Consider the Human Development Report (2004), commissioned by The
    United Nations Development Program. This report ranks 177 nations on a
    “Human Development Index,” which measures societal health through a
    weighing of such indicators as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy rate, per capita income, and educational attainment. According to the 2004 Report, the five highest ranked nations in terms of total human development were Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands. All five of these countries are characterized by notably high degrees of organic atheism. Of the top 25 nations ranked on the “Human Development Index,” all but one (Ireland) are top-ranking non-belief nations, containing very highest percentages of organic atheism. Conversely, of those countries ranked at the bottom of the “Human
    Development Index” — the bottom 50 — all are countries lacking statistically significant percentages of atheism.

    Concerning the infant mortality rate (number of deaths per 1,000 live
    births), irreligious countries have the lowest rates, and religious countries have the highest. According to the CIA World Factbook (2004), the top 25 nations with the lowest infant mortality rates were all nations containing significantly high percentages of organic atheism. Conversely, the 75 bottom nations with the highest infant mortality rates were all nations without any statistically significant levels of organic atheism.

    Concerning international poverty rates, the United Nations’ Report on the
    World Social Situation (2003) found that of the 40 poorest nations on earth, all but one (Vietnam) are highly religious nations with statistically minimal or insignificant levels of atheism. Concerning illiteracy rates, the same report found that of the 35 nations with the highest levels of youth illiteracy rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.

    Concerning homicide rates, Fajnzylber et al (2002) and Fox and Levin
    (2000) found that the nations with the highest homicide rates are all highly religious nations with minimal or statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism, while nations with the lowest homicide rates tend to be highly secular nations with high levels of atheism.

    Concerning suicide rates, religious nations fare better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization’s report on international male suicides rates, of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. Of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.

    Concerning gender equality, nations marked by high degrees of organic
    atheism are among the most egalitarian in the world, while highly religious nations are among the most oppressive. According to the 2004 Human Development Report’s “Gender Empowerment Measure,” the top ten nations with the highest degrees of gender equality are all strongly organic atheistic nations with significantly high percentages of non-belief. Conversely, the bottom ten are all highly religious nations without any statistically significant percentages of atheists. According to Inglehart (2003), countries with the most female members of parliament tend to be countries characterized by high degrees of organic atheism (such as Sweden and Denmark) and countries with the fewest female members in parliament tend to be highly religious countries (such as Pakistan and Nigeria).

    In sum, with the exception of suicide, countries marked by high rates of
    organic atheism are among the most societally healthy on earth, while societies characterized by non-existent rates of organic atheism are among the most unhealthy. Of course, none of the above correlations demonstrate that high levels of organic atheism cause societal health, or that low levels of organic atheism cause societal ills. Rather, societal health seems to cause widespread atheism, and societal insecurity seems to cause widespread belief in God, as has been
    demonstrated by Norris and Inglehart (2004), mentioned above.

    http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Ath-Chap-under-7000.pdf

  21. Scott Thong Says:

    Nice study, but noted:

    we must distinguish between nations where non-belief has been forced upon the society by dictators (“coercive atheism”) and nations wherein non-belief has emerged on its own without governmental coercion (“organic atheism”)

    Is a similar distinguishment made between nations where belief has been forced upon the society by dictators (e.g. totalitarian Islamic states) and those where there is total freedom of religion? And also, between the totally different precepts and methods of different religions rather than lumping them together under one category (e.g. the variance between Saudi Arabia and Thailand).

    Apply those criteria, and you might find that the nations with the most freedom of religion (which therefore allows for organic atheism) are also the historically Christian ones. Ergo, the actual cause of social health might be Christianity rather than organic atheism.

  22. Ron Says:

    That depends on how you define the term “Christian nation.”

    Do you mean countries in which a majority of people half-heartedly profess some form of belief in the biblical god and historical existence of Christ, or nations in which the majority of people actively practice the tenets of that belief?

  23. Simon Thong Says:

    Not many postings here ‘celebrating’ the positive contributions of atheism, are there? Not unexpected. Atheists are so attuned to bringing down the celebrations of Christians that they may have to re-think and re-align their minds/hearts towards what is positive before they may expect to have what Christians call the joy of the Lord. When you spend all your efforts tearing down, that is bound to do something to your capacity for joy. When you spend all your time attacking, you miss the moments of enjoyment. When you can’t see the positive aspects of the Christian faith because you focus only on what is negative….

  24. Simon Thong Says:

    Former atheist turned Christian through Dawkin’s website continues …
    25 Mar 2011 … (l-r) Atheist biologist Richard Dawkins; Rice University … atheist, and now a born-again Christian, Richard Morgan recently spoke to …. I’m not a happy atheist. I’m an atheist because I can’t believe in God.” …
    au.christiantoday.com/article/…atheist-turned…faith…/10601.htm – Cached

  25. Simon Thong Says:

    From the Christianity Today article

    http://au.christiantoday.com/article/former-atheist-turned-christian-through-dawkins-website-continues-strong-faith-in-god/10601.htm

    Some paragraphs from the article are interesting:
    Science and philosophy are wonderful manifestations of the enormous capacities of the human mind, but the Word of God is truth, and truth is what it took to set me free,” Morgan stated. “Only a personal relationship with God can bring us to any kind of meaningful, personal, transcendental truth.”

    In his renewed experience with God, he went back on the Dawkins site and posted about his newfound faith to which many replied with vile insults and commented, “You need counseling” and “This is a temporary brain infraction.”

    But now, three years later, the “temporary brain infraction” Morgan was affected with continues to persist. Morgan is still amazed and feels the love of God even more now every day, being plugged into a church, which Robertson referred him to.

    “I didn’t cease to know everything I knew before and I didn’t forget everything I learned about evolution or all of a sudden lose interest. I was [just] aware of how limited it was, how it could not answer man’s deepest needs.

  26. Simon Thong Says:

    Here are some examples from wikipeida
    Converts and reverts to Christianity

    * Mortimer J. Adler – Philosopher who co-founded Great Books of the Western World. Agnostic convert to the Catholic Church.[3][4]
    * Steve Beren – Former member of the Socialist Workers Party (United States) who became a Protestant conservative politician.[5]
    * Anders Borg – Sweden’s Minister for Finance.[6]
    * Paul Bourget – French author who became agnostic and positivist at 15, but returned to Catholicism at 35.[7]
    * Ferdinand Brunetière – Rationalist and freethinking writer who became a Catholic.[8][9]
    * Julie Burchill – British journalist and feminist.[10]
    * Kirk Cameron – An American actor best-known for his role as Mike Seaver on the television situation comedy, Growing Pains, as well as several other television and film appearances as a child actor. Today he is a Protestant Evangelical. Recently, he portrayed the lead roles in the Left Behind film series and in the 2008 drama film, Fireproof.[11]
    * Whittaker Chambers – Former Communist turned conservative writer.[12][13]
    * Francis Collins – Geneticist who was an atheist until age 27, but then converted to Christianity.[14]
    * Larry Darby – Holocaust revisionist and former member of the American Atheists.[15][16]
    * Joy Davidman – Poet and wife of C. S. Lewis.[17]
    * Avery Dulles – A Jesuit priest, theologian, and cardinal in the Catholic Church. He was raised Presbyterian, but was an agnostic before his conversion to Catholic Christianity.[18][19]
    * Dawn Eden – Rock journalist of Jewish ethnicity who went from an agnostic to a Catholic writer, who was particularly concerned with the moral values of chastity.[20][21]
    * André Frossard – French journalist who was atheist, but converted to the Catholic Church in 1935.[22]
    * Eugene D. Genovese – Historian who went from Stalinist to conservative theist.[23]
    * Bo Giertz – Atheistic in youth he became a Lutheran bishop and writer.[24]

    Look up the list yourself: List of former atheists and agnostics
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  27. Ron Says:

    Atheism is neither a religion, a belief, or a creed; it’s simply a non-belief in the existence of supernatural deities. Therefore the entire premise of this topic is a non-starter. It makes about as much sense as “How non-belief in Apollo touches lives” or “How rejection of the flat earth hypothesis touches lives” — i.e. none at all.

  28. Simon Thong Says:

    Stop playing around with words, Ron.

    non-belief in the existence of supernatural deities = belief in the non-existence of supernatural deities

    And it does touch lives; it touches yours strongly. Your non-belief makes you attack believers, makes you rubbish their beliefs, makes YOU feel bitter that they have encouragement in a living God…

    This you can’t deny..it’s all over these pages.

  29. Ron Says:

    “non-belief in the existence of supernatural deities = belief in the non-existence of supernatural deities”

    Sorry Simon, but it does not. You’re entitled to your own opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

    Atheism originates from the Greek word “atheos” meaning “without god.”

    Atheists simply lack a belief in gods.

  30. Simon Thong Says:

    Atheism originates from the Greek word “atheos” meaning “without god.” Sure, and “atheos” also means godless. An “atheist” is one that does not believe in God. You can’t have ONLY your own meaning and ignore that which isn’t to your liking.

    Indeed, wikipedia has the following: Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[4][5] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[5][6]

    You’re the one who wants your own fact.

  31. Simon Thong Says:

    Since you love to quibble with words, try the following:
    1 I am alive = I am not dead
    2 You’re right = You’re not wrong
    3 I believe that it’s not raining = I don’t believe that it’s raining

    Of course, the following are different altogether:
    1 Only she loves you
    2 She loves only you
    3 She only loves you

    Have fun :)

  32. Ron Says:

    I refuse to let theists co-opt the meaning of the word by shoehorning it into the narrowest sense of the term. Most atheists subscribe to the broad definition: an absence of belief in the existence of deities. Very few go on to make positive claims that gods definitely do not exist. Even Dawkins allows for the minute possibility that a deity may indeed exist, and I’ve made it abundantly clear on previous posts that I am willing to accept the existence of a deity if presented with sufficient evidence to support that proposition.

  33. Simon Thong Says:

    Most atheists subscribe to the broad definition: an absence of belief in the existence of deities. Very few go on to make positive claims that gods definitely do not exist.

    That’s what you say, a majority of one.

  34. Ron Says:

    A majority of one… multiplied by the millions. :)

  35. menj Says:

    LMAO, do you really believe that atheists are going to actually buy any of the points in your post above? Most likely they will just shrug it off and dismiss you as a loon :)

    Not an atheist by the way, so I don’t care either way.

  36. Ron Says:

    How Christianity touches lives:

  37. Ron Says:

    Religion and obesity: Study links church and being fat
    BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter/sesposito@suntimes.com
    Mar 25, 2011 9:24AM

    Warning: Spending too much time at church may be harmful to your health.

    A new study has found that young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age compared with those who don’t take part in any religious events.

    http://www.suntimes.com/4490719-417/religion-and-obesity-study-links-church-and-being-fat.html

  38. Simon Thong Says:

    From the same study
    Feinstein said the study’s results shouldn’t be a cause for alarm because previous studies have shown that regular churchgoers tend to smoke less, have better mental health and live longer than those who don’t go to church.

  39. Simon Thong Says:

    http://expositionmagazine.com/?p=684

    Religion, Society | 26/10/2010 by Lena Groeger in EXPOSITION MAGAZINE

    Atheism, it seems, is in intellectual vogue like never before. The celebrity status of evolutionist Richard Dawkins has propelled the question of belief to the fore, stirring vigorous discussion. While Dawkins, former Oxford Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, has become a poster boy for this militant intellectual attack on religion, he is gaining company.

    A growing number of scientists, philosophers, and writers, collectively dubbed the ‘new atheists’, are joining him in denouncing religion as irrational, immoral and even dangerous. These include philosopher Daniel Dennett, neuroscientist Sam Harris and journalist Christopher Hitchens, who agree with Dawkins on the social and moral impact of religion on the modern world and wish to scrutinise religion with a rational eye.

    However, while the new atheists have been met with bitter rebukes from the public, religious believers and theologians, criticism has also come from another, perhaps unexpected, source: the scientific community itself. New atheism’s scientific critics do not concern themselves with addressing the validity of religion’s claims about the world, or the need to speak out against dogmatically held beliefs that may foster violence. Rather, they focus on more specific assumptions about the nature of religion – its function, its consequences, its origins – that inform the new atheists’ empirical statements, moral judgments and practical prescriptions.

    These scientists want to hold the new atheists accountable for their self-proclaimed commitment to reason and evidence. But how, and why, do scientists challenge an atheist movement that so explicitly claims to stand upon firm scientific ground?

    Fundamentally, they disagree with three assumptions that inform much of the new atheist position: that religion is primarily about placing belief in doctrine; that the net consequences of religion on human welfare are negative; and that religion itself is largely immoral.

  40. Sheila Says:

    I confess that I respond to this post out of sheer bewilderment that someone could be so narrow-minded to judge the morality of individuals on the basis of religious belief. Just as atheists should not judge or mock those who have faith in an omnipotent deity; believers should not assume that having faith in a god or gods is superior. There are a lot of non-subscribers to organised religions who do in fact believe in some higher being and try to live their lives in the most open-minded way as possible, and devote their energy and love to helping anyone, regardless of religious affiliation.

    As a Christian, you should be ashamed of yourself for attempting to vilify those who do not share your beliefs. It’s because of Christians like you that non-Christians think that Christianity lends itself to self-righteous, narrow-minded individuals who assume that their way is the only way. In fact, many would probably ask you, why, if Christianity automatically meant universal love and deep commitment to humanity, there has been so much historical violence that has been committed for the proselytising of religious faith.

    You would do better to serve the people of this world to just act and do good for the sake of doing good, instead of writing such hateful posts which only a) convince believers that they are morally superior and b) convince non-believers that believers are in fact, unnecessarily judgemental.

    And no, knowing someone’s religious beliefs wouldn’t predispose me to feeling safer or less safe around them. People should be judged on the basis of what they do, not what they believe in. Feel free to disagree to defend your beliefs and stance, but know that your readers will gradually realise how UN Christian you really are.

  41. Ron Says:

    How Christians “touch” children in an inappropriate manner.

    Lakewood Church Volunteer Accused Of Molesting Autistic Boy

    HOUSTON — A volunteer at Lakewood Church has been accused of inappropriately touching an autistic boy.

    Alvaro Daniel Guzman, 25, has been charged with indecency with a child.

    According to court documents, Guzman volunteered in the Champions Club program in the Kidslife ministry.

    A witnesses told detectives that Guzman repeatedly fondled the 8-year-old boy, who is unable to speak, while inside a play tunnel in the Jeep room at the church on Feb. 13.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42919278/ns/local_news-houston_tx/t/lakewood-church-volunteer-accused-molesting-autistic-boy/

    So much for feeling safer around people who have accepted Jesus as their savior.

  42. Scott Thong Says:

    Ron, here’s an offer for you…

    What could I personally do that would positively affect your view towards Christians?

  43. Scott Thong Says:

    Apparently to Sheila, being Christian means one cannot partake of the constant back-and-forth snarking that comprises teh Internets.

    Guilty as charged…

  44. simonthongwh Says:

    all over the world, of whatever religious view or non-religious (ATHEISTS, too), there is sin. Or are you perfect, Ron? NO atheist ever guilty of any crime?

    christians have never claimed to be sinless or perfect; obviously, you think that you, an atheist, are perfect.

  45. Sheila Says:

    Scott, if that’s the best response you can come up with, then I’ve got to say that I’m pretty pleased :). Anyone who reads my post with an open mind and heart will see that I’m only trying to point out your hypocrisy and attempt to provoke further conflict and bigotry by defining ‘atheists’ in binary opposition to the morals of those who consider themselves religious. So, no, not guilty of snarking. Only guilty of standing up for those you’ve insulted in your post.

    P.S. Enjoy snarking away! I’m sure that makes you feel SO much better and Christian at the end of the day :)

  46. Ron Says:

    “christians have never claimed to be sinless or perfect; obviously, you think that you, an atheist, are perfect.” — simon

    Yes, and they proudly proclaim this fact with bumper stickers::

    “Not perfect, just forgiven.”

    So I’ll trow out Christopher Hitchen’s challenges:

    1) Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed, by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a nonbeliever.

    2) Can anyone think of a wicked statement made, or an evil action performed, precisely because of religious faith?

  47. Ron Says:

    “What could I personally do that would positively affect your view towards Christians?” — Scott

    Stop acting like one? ;)

  48. Scott Thong Says:

    Sheila, so what should I be doing then?

    I’ll be honest here. Ron can come along and cleverly mock the Bible and Christians. menj can come along and insult all nonMuslims in a blunter manner. Various commentors can come and call me an unscientific, environment-hating moron for not believing global warming.

    But I really, really have it in for commentors who come here and tell me that I’m acting all ‘holier than thou’… In a manner that is dripping with holier than thouness.

    Just my honest opinion.

  49. Scott Thong Says:

    Ron,

    It will take me a while to set up a scenario where I break every single relevant and active law and guideline in the Bible before my eventual capture, trial and execution to a greatly relieved public. So how about some specifics for starters?

  50. Ron Says:

    Do you honestly need advice from an atheist on how to become a better person?

    Perhaps you should start by devoting some time reflecting on the points Sheila raised in her initial post, because they do have merit.

  51. Scott Thong Says:

    So I should stop snarking at atheism from now on?

  52. Ron Says:

    Then you missed her main point. Reflect some more. Twenty minutes wasn’t long enough.

  53. Scott Thong Says:

    Twenty minutes in the Internet age? You ask much…

  54. Ron Says:

    “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” — Luke 12:48

  55. Ron Says:

    … or as Peter Parker’s uncle Ben said:

    With great power comes great responsibility.

  56. Scott Thong Says:

    Ron and Sheila, here it is:

    http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/putting-1st-peter-315-into-practice/

  57. Ron Says:

  58. Ron Says:

  59. Scott Thong Says:

    These are bad, bad people who disqualify themselves as true followers of Christ, just as an American private who grenades his own superior officers in their bunks disqualifies himself as a true personnel of the United States Army. As self-avowed voluntary members of their respective groups, they are held to a higher expectation, which only makes their fall more shocking and reprehensible.

    Fair enough comparison?

  60. simonthongwh Says:

    You;re using ad hominems again, Ron.

    Ron: see these terrible people, christians! How can I believe them, so how can I believe in God?

  61. Ron Says:

    Atheists have ‘better sex lives than followers of religion who are plagued with guilt’

    Atheists have far better sex lives than religious people who are plagued with guilt during intercourse and for weeks afterwards, researchers have found.

    A study discovered that non-believers are more willing to discuss sexual fantasies and are more satisfied with their experiences.

    Both groups of people admitted that they carried out the same activities such as masturbation, watching pornography, having oral sex and pursuing affairs.

    Unrestricted passion: Atheists have better sex lives than followers of religion who are troubled by feelings of guilt, researchers claim

    But followers of religion did not enjoy the experiences as much due to the stigma created by their belief systems, the study found. It left them with intense feelings of regret after they had climaxed.

    The findings emerged in the ‘Sex and Secularism’ survey of more than 14,500 people carried out by psychologist Darrel Ray and Amanda Brown from Kansas University.

    All of the people who were questioned were found to have sex around the same number of times a week. They also became sexually active at similar ages.

    But devoutly religious people rated their sex lives far lower than atheists. They also admitted to strong feelings of guilt afterwards.

    Strict religions such as Mormons ranked highest on the scale of sexual guilt. Their average score was 8.19 out of 10. They were followed closely behind by Jehovah’s Witness, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, and Baptist.

    Catholics rated their levels of sexual guilt at 6.34 while Lutherans came slightly lower at 5.88 . In contrast, atheists and agnostics ranked at 4.71 and 4.81 respectively.

    The highs and lows: Religious people had as much sex as non-believers but they felt bad afterwards and often preyed for forgiveness

    The study found that in individuals, the stronger their religious beliefs were the more powerful their feelings of sexual regret.

    Of people raised in very religious homes, 22.5 per cent said they were shamed or ridiculed for masturbating compared with only 5.5 percent of people brought up in the least religious homes.

    Some 79.9 per cent of people raised in very religious homes said they felt guilty about a specific sexual activity or desire while 26.3 per cent of those raised in secular homes did.

    Worryingly, children raised in strongly religious homes were more likely to get their sex education from pornography, as they were not confident enough to talk with their parents.

    However, there was some good news for religious groups. People who had lost their belief and became atheists reported a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction.

    People who had left their beliefs behind said their sex lives were ‘much improved’ and rated their new experiences on average as 7.81 out of ten.

    The finding dispelled conventional wisdom that feelings of guilt can continue to trouble people after the religion has faded.

    ‘We did think that religion would have residual effects in people after they left but our data did not show this. That was a very pleasant surprise. The vast majority seem to shake it off and get on with their sexual lives pretty well,’ Darrel told alternet.org.

    He added: ‘Our data shows that people feel very guilty about their sexual behaviour when they are religious, but that does not stop them: it just makes them feel bad.

    ‘Of course, they have to return to their religion to get forgiveness. It’s like the church gives you the disease, then offers you a fake cure.’

    Key findings:

    1. Sex improves dramatically after leaving religion.
    2. Sexual guilt has little staying power after leaving religion.
    3. Those raised most religious show no difference from those raised least religious in their sexual behavior.
    4. Those raised most religious experience far more guilt but have just as much sex.
    5. Religious parents are far worse at educating their children on matters of sex.
    6. Religious guilt differs in measurable amounts according to denomination.

    Link to Report

  62. Ron Says:

    Hmmm, embedded links didn’t work. Here they are again:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1388827/Atheists-better-sex-religious-followers-plagued-guilt.html (article)

    http://www.ipcpress.com/index.php?id=42 (Report)

  63. Ron Says:

    These are bad, bad people who disqualify themselves as true followers of Christ, just as an American private who grenades his own superior officers in their bunks disqualifies himself as a true personnel of the United States Army. As self-avowed voluntary members of their respective groups, they are held to a higher expectation, which only makes their fall more shocking and reprehensible.

    Fair enough comparison? ~Scott

    No True Scotsman

    “No True Scotsman is a logical fallacy by which an individual attempts to avoid being associated with an unpleasant act by asserting that no true member of the group they belong to would do such a thing. Instead of acknowledging that some members of a group have undesirable characteristics, the fallacy tries to redefine the group to exclude them. Sentences such as “all members of X have desirable trait Y” then become tautologies, because Y becomes a requirement of membership in X.”

    Real-World Examples

    An argument similar to this is often arises when people attempt to define religious groups. In some Christian groups, for example, there is an idea that faith is permanent, that once one becomes a Christian one cannot fall away. Apparent counter-examples to this idea, people who appear to have faith but subsequently lose it, are written off using the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy: they didn’t really have faith, they weren’t true Christians. The claim that faith cannot be lost is thus preserved from refutation. Given such an approach, this claim is unfalsifiable, there is no possible refutation of it.

  64. Scott Thong Says:

    I am familiar with the No True Scotsman argument, and you have raised it before. However its accuracy is often arguable when applied to a group that encompasses a wide range.

    For example, are the modern PRC Chinese communists? Technically they are so, but they have adopted many practices that are capitalist. So are they ‘true’ communists?

    As for the bad examples of Christians above, one can argue that whatever they may have been earlier, they are no longer examples of ‘true Christians’. It is also telling that people are more shocked that a pastor or preacher is caught doing wrong – such are the higher expectations that Christians are viewed with.

  65. Scott Thong Says:

    I am familiar with the No True Scotsman argument, and you have raised it before. However its accuracy is often arguable when applied to a group that encompasses a wide range.

    For example, are the modern PRC Chinese communists? Technically they are so, but they have adopted many practices that are capitalist. So are they ‘true’ communists?

    As for the bad examples of Christians above, one can argue that whatever they may have been earlier, they are no longer examples of ‘true Christians’. It is also telling that people are more shocked that a pastor or preacher is caught doing wrong – such are the higher expectations that Christians are viewed with.

  66. wits0 Says:

    “…such are the higher expectations that Christians are viewed with.”

    Yes, Scott, I too have a measure of that view . I said, a measure, only. Never should you be so foolhardy as to be like the medical(staffs) victims of the bush hospital in that flick, “Tears of the Sun (2003)” who stayed behind only to be slaughtered by the advancing bad guys! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314353/

  67. Ron Says:

    I am familiar with the No True Scotsman argument, and you have raised it before. However its accuracy is often arguable when applied to a group that encompasses a wide range.

    For example, are the modern PRC Chinese communists? Technically they are so, but they have adopted many practices that are capitalist. So are they ‘true’ communists? ~ Scott

    I tend to eschew labels like capitalist, communist, socialist, liberal, conservative, etc., because everyone has their own take on what those words mean. However, if you are asking me to peg the PRC along a political axis, then I would have to say they fall quite far to the ideological left.

    As for the bad examples of Christians above, one can argue that whatever they may have been earlier, they are no longer examples of ‘true Christians’. ~Scott

    What does it mean to be a ‘true’ Christian? There are as many answers as there are denominations, sects, and people proclaiming to be Christians. Without a singular agreed-upon definition, I’m forced to accept a person’s religious claims at face value.

    Let me ask you this: if a priest is exposed as a pedophile, would you argue that he wasn’t a ‘true’ Catholic?

    It is also telling that people are more shocked that a pastor or preacher is caught doing wrong – such are the higher expectations that Christians are viewed with. ~Scott

    True, but no higher than expectations of any other person occupying a position of trust.

  68. Ron Says:

    I’ll master these html tags yet. :(

    As for the bad examples of Christians above, one can argue that whatever they may have been earlier, they are no longer examples of ‘true Christians’. ~Scott

    What does it mean to be a ‘true’ Christian? There are as many answers as there are denominations, sects, and people proclaiming to be Christians. Without a singular agreed-upon definition, I’m forced to accept a person’s religious claims at face value.

    Let me ask you this: if a priest is exposed as a pedophile, would you argue that he wasn’t really a ‘true’ Catholic?

    It is also telling that people are more shocked that a pastor or preacher is caught doing wrong – such are the higher expectations that Christians are viewed with. ~Scott

    True, but no higher than expectations of any other person occupying a position of trust.

  69. Ron Says:

    @#%$ it!!

    “As for the bad examples of Christians above, one can argue that whatever they may have been earlier, they are no longer examples of ‘true Christians’.” ~Scott

    What does it mean to be a ‘true’ Christian? There are as many answers as there are denominations, sects, and people proclaiming to be Christians. Without a singular agreed-upon definition, I’m forced to accept a person’s religious claims at face value.

    Let me ask you this: if a priest is exposed as a pedophile, would you argue that he wasn’t really a ‘true’ Catholic?

    “It is also telling that people are more shocked that a pastor or preacher is caught doing wrong – such are the higher expectations that Christians are viewed with.” ~Scott

    True, but no higher than expectations of any other person occupying a position of trust.

  70. Ron Says:

    Mesquite pastor accused of West Virginia sex assault commits suicide

    As a Sunday school class of children sang “Jesus Loves Me” down the hall, the congregation of Mesquite’s Open Door Baptist Church huddled in the sanctuary and learned their senior pastor had hanged himself in a West Virginia jail cell.

    The swift fall of Matthew D. Jarrell — “Brother Jarrell” — left the church in shock and mourning. A beloved pastor for seven years, the 41-year-old father of four was arrested on a sexual assault charge Thursday and pronounced dead just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

    [...]

    A 36-year-old woman had phoned police and told them she’d just escaped from a man who offered her a ride home from a bar, then drove her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her.

    Jarrell first denied but then later confessed to having sex with the woman, according to a criminal complaint. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department said the pastor had another sexual assault charge pending from a 2007 incident in San Antonio.

  71. Ron Says:

    <a href="http://blessedatheist.com/2011/06/01/quick-update-and-a-little-self-glorification/"Local atheist spends vacation time helping with sandbagging while church group prays to god

    Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. ~Anon

  72. mo`s glass slippers Says:

    “True, but no higher than expectations of any other person occupying a position of trust.”

    What did the Mossiah Obama do with the gold in Fort Knox?

    In March 2008 the Times of London quoted a spokesman of the American treasury as saying that American gold holdings “are audited every year by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Inspector General. He confirmed that although independent auditors oversee the process they are not given access to the Fort Knox vault.”

    http://2012patriot.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/sell-fort-knox-gold/

    “WE, the people’s” gold is NOT in Fort Knox. Here is another link

    http://www.projectcensored.org/static/1981/1981-story22.htm

  73. mo`s glass slippers Says:

    The Mossah Obama`s solicitor general hath fatwaed that if you do not want Obamacare….earn less money

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/06/obama-solicitor-general-if-you-dont-mandate-earn-less-money#ixzz1OB80pCzI

  74. zeus Says:

    Follower of the Mossiah Obama prays for crop failure after sowing wild oats

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/06/02/weiner-says-hes-done-talking-about-twitter-photo-time-to-get-back-to-work/

  75. zeus Says:

    Not in my house, you don`t

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20110602/ap_tr_ge/as_travel_brief_thailand_tattoo_taboo

  76. dailynoose Says:

    Anti-white prejudice – considered almost non-existent in the ’50s – is now perceived among white Americans as a bigger problem than anti-black bias

    The numbers suggest “that whites also linked the decrease in anti-black sentiment over the last half century to an increase in anti-white bias over the same time period,” the authors wrote.

    Blacks also saw an increase in anti-white bias

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/05/24/2011-05-24_white_americans_believe_antiwhite_prejudice_is_a_bigger_problem_than_antiblack_b.html

  77. wits0 Says:

    What is Multiculturism in the USA? It mainly comes to mean giving more and more leeways to Blacks there.

  78. dutch disease Says:

    “What is Multiculturism in the USA? It mainly comes to mean giving more and more leeways to Blacks there.”

    Once the pressure gets too big, there is a hole in the lee, why then they only can plug it with their thums.

  79. Ron Says:

    Youth pastor sexually exploited teens to ‘help them gain purity’

    A former youth pastor arrested in Iowa on 60 counts of suspicion of sexual exploitation allegedly told teenage boys he was trying to help them gain “sexual purity in the eyes of God.”

    Thirty-one-year-old Brent Girouex, a former youth pastor at Victory Fellowship Church in Council Bluffs, turned himself in to the police in February after four young men came forward with allegations against him, The Daily Nonpareil reported.

    Girouex has been released on a $30,000 bond and is due back in court on April 21. If found guilty, he faces up to five years on each charge.

    Court documents show Girouex told investigators he had sexual contact with a teenage boy 25 to 50 times over a four-year period, starting when the boy was 14-years-old. He allegedly told investigators that it was his duty as a youth pastor “to help [the teen] with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with him.”

    “In my line of work, I get to see the worst of the worst, and this is pretty bad,” Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber told KETV. His office is working with the alleged victims.

    At least eight people have come forward with accusations against Girouex, ranging in age from 14 to 23.

  80. Scott Thong Says:

    Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. ~Anon
    – Ron

    But in reality, it is often the hands clasped in prayer that eventually get round to charity.

    Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks’ study of charitable giving in America found that conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than liberals do, despite the fact that liberals have higher incomes than conservatives.

    In his book “Who Really Cares?” Brooks compared the charitable donations of religious conservatives, secular liberals, secular conservatives and “religious” liberals.

    Religious conservatives, the largest group at about 20 percent of the population, gave the most to charity — $2,367 per year, compared with $1,347 for the country at large.

    Even when it comes to purely secular charities, religious conservatives give more than other Americans, which is surprising because liberals specialize in “charities” that give them a direct benefit, such as the ballet or their children’s elite private schools.

    Indeed, religious people, Brooks says, “are more charitable in every measurable nonreligious way.”

    Brooks found that conservatives donate more in time, services and even blood than other Americans, noting that if liberals and moderates gave as much blood as conservatives do, the blood supply would increase by about 45 percent.

    On average, a person who attends religious services and does not believe in the redistribution of income will give away 100 times more — and 50 times more to secular charities — than a person who does not attend religious services and strongly believes in the redistribution of income.

    Secular liberals, the second largest group coming in at 10 percent of the population, were the whitest and richest of the four groups. (Some of you may also know them as “insufferable blowhards.”) These “bleeding-heart tightwads,” as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calls them, were the second stingiest, just behind secular conservatives, who are mostly young, poor, cranky white guys.

    Despite their wealth and advantages, secular liberals give to charity at a rate of 9 percent less than all Americans and 19 percent less than religious conservatives. They were also “significantly less likely than the population average to return excess change mistakenly given to them by a cashier.” (Count Nancy Pelosi’s change carefully!)

    Every other study on the subject has produced similar results. Indeed, a Google study of philanthropy found an even greater disparity, with conservatives giving 50 percent more than liberals. The Google study showed that liberals gave more to secular causes overall, but conservatives still gave more as a percentage of their incomes.

    The Catalogue for Philanthropy analyzed a decade of state and federal tax returns and found that the red states were far more generous than the blue states, with the highest percentage of tightwads living in the liberal Northeast.

    In his book “Intellectuals,” Paul Johnson quotes Pablo Picasso scoffing at the idea that he would give to the needy. “I’m afraid you’ve got it wrong,” Picasso explains, “we are socialists. We don’t pretend to be Christians.

    – Ann Coulter, SCROOGE WAS A LIBERAL

  81. simonthongwh Says:

    Does anyone really believe that there aren’t atheist paedophiles or terrorists?
    I’ve had the misfortune to encounter both in my life.

    I have some very deep issues with organised religion and I am certainly both atheist and pro-secularism but this whole ‘paedophile priest/Muslim terrorist’ nonsense is just damaging, ill-considered mud-slinging.

    Does anyone really believe that there aren’t atheist paedophiles …
    22 answers – 1 Mar
    I’ve had the misfortune to encounter both in my life. … Oh, aren’t we grahnd to spell it “paedophiles”! I must go play the grahnd piahno. …
    uk.answers.yahoo.com › … › Religion & Spirituality – Cached

  82. wits0 Says:

    Simon, religion is a general guideline that attempts to bind us to our real Roots which in Christianity stresses on the Spiritual. As such the institutions of non muslim religions with its (sometimes faulty) leaders cannot be 100% synonymous with the teachings. How can that ever be? We are not mindless subjects of control freaks, furthermore, nor should we ever be. Ron is trying to portray religious people as such, among other things.

  83. Scott Thong Says:

    Mesquite pastor accused of West Virginia sex assault commits suicide

    Youth pastor sexually exploited teens to ‘help them gain purity’

    – Ron

    “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. – Mark 9:42

    Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1st Corinthians 6:8-10

  84. Ron Says:

    ^^

    Yes, I’m familiar with those verses. Leaves me wondering why so many ordained clergymen are not.. And do you really need a book to tell you that molesting children is not acceptable?

    “It’s the good advice, that you just didn’t take.” ~Alanis Morissette

    But in reality, it is often the hands clasped in prayer that eventually get round to charity. ~Scott

    According to CAF’s World Giving Index:

    Australia and New Zealand topped the Index. Malta was found to be the country with the largest percentage of the population (83%) giving money, the people of Turkmenistan are the most generous with their time with 61% having given time to charity and Liberia was top of the list for helping a stranger (76%).

    The study also found that being happy is more of an influence on giving money to charity than being wealthy.

    Here were the country rankings:

    1. Australia
    1. New Zealand
    3. Ireland
    3. Canada
    5. Switzerland
    5. United States
    7. Netherlands
    8. Britain
    8. Sri Lanka
    10 Austria
    11. Lao People’s Democratic Republic
    11. Sierra Leone
    13. Malta
    14. Iceland
    14. Turkmenistan
    16. Guyana
    16. Qatar
    18. Hong Kong
    18. Germany
    18. Denmark
    18. Guinea

    And while it’s true that the US ranks highest for ODA contributions in absolute dollars, that ranking plummets when compared to other countries on a per capita and per GNI basis.

  85. Ron Says:

    Priest endorses child molestation

    May 23rd, 2011

    Dave Gibson
    Norfolk Crime Examiner

    Over the weekend, it came to light that a priest who the Dutch Catholic Church will only identify as “Father Van B.” has been serving on the board of directors of a group dedicated to making pedophilia legal in the Netherlands.

    The Salesian order priest worked for an adult-child sex advocacy group known as Martijn from 2008 until 2010. Last year, the group’s founder was arrested on child pornography charges.

    Father Van B. recently told Dutch news network RTL Nieuws: “Society thinks these relationships are harmful. I disagree.” He also said that he remains a member of Martijn.

    Perhaps, even more shocking than this priest’s involvement in such a group, is the fact that his boss apparently knew about it.

    Salesian order’s top Dutch official, Delegate Herman Spronck, also spoke with RTL and reportedly said that he was aware of Father Van B.’s pedophilic activities, his membership in Martijn and even two occurrences in which the priest was arrested and fined for indecent exposure, but did never considered ousting him from the order.

    Spronck said: “Removing someone from the order is something you would only do in the case of grave moral transgression, such as rape. There was never any question of that.”

    RTL also reports Spronck as claiming that children as young as 12 can have sexual relationships with adults without any harm done to their emotional health.

    The Dutch Catholic Church is reportedly now investigating the case.

    In 2010, Catholic bishops in Holland announced an inquiry into more than 200 allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests at parochial schools around the country.

    Of course, Hampton Roads has not been immune from the ever-growing priest molestation scandals.

    In 2002, allegations arose about a priest who worked at the former Norfolk Catholic High School. Father John Leonard was accused of sexual misconduct which took place over 20 years earlier at a seminary just outside Richmond, Va.

    About a week after that story came out, two more students brought forth further allegations against Leonard, which took place at Norfolk Catholic. It was alleged that the priest took two teenaged boys into the bathroom and ordered them to pull down their pants, and then stared at their genitals.

    During a news conference held by the Richmond Diocese, Bishop Sullivan was asked for a comment on the accusations about Father Leonard. Bishop Sullivan replied: “it wasn’t that bad.” Many were outraged by the bishop’s lack of concern, the incident prompted many area parishioners to leave the church for good.

    In 2004, Leonard was convicted of assaulting two teenage boys in the 1970s. He received a suspended jail sentence and probation. Upon his conviction, he quit the priesthood.

    In May 2003, the Diocese of Richmond received a report that Rev. Dwight Shrader, pastor of St. John the Apostle, in Va. Beach, had engaged in sexual misconduct toward a juvenile. Shrader was then placed on leave, pending an investigation. Then more victims came forward, in all, four males and one female.

    Shrader cooperated with the investigation and according to Diocese officials, admitted to the misconduct. By August 2003, he had been forced to leave the priesthood and sent into “intensive counseling.”

    Between 2003 and 2004, the Richmond Diocese, under Bishop Sullivan, dismissed five priests for sexual misconduct involving minors.

  86. Ron Says:

    Couple pleads guilty in “No Greater Joy” beating death of child

    April 9th, 2011

    Alicia Bayer
    Mankanto Examiner

    Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz, the parents accused of beating their adopted daughters to the point of hospitalization and death last year while following the teachings of No Greater Joy Ministries, unexpectedly pled guilty to their crimes on Friday.

    In a plea bargain, Kevin Schatz pled guilty to one count each of second-degree murder, torture, and misdemeanor cruelty to a child. He must serve a minimum of 22 years of a 22-to-life prison sentence.

    In exchange for his guilty plea, his wife was offered a lesser sentence.

    Elizabeth Schatz pled guilty to single counts of voluntary manslaughter, infliction of unlawful corporal punishment on a child, and misdemeanor cruelty to a child. She will be sentenced to 13 years, four months in prison.

    Both also received a six-month county jail sentence and $20,000 fines.

    The Schatzes beat 7 year-old Lydia and her 11 year-old sister Zariah repeatedly over a two-day period in February of last year after Lydia allegedly mispronounced a word in a children’s book she was reading.

    The parents allegedly used a 15 inch length of plastic tubing used for plumbing to beat the children, a practice recommended in the book “To Train Up a Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries.

    Zariah required hospitalization but recovered. Lydia died of her injuries.

    During a police search of the house, a length of 15-inch plastic tubing was found on the parents’ bed next to a children’s book about a frog and a toad. Authorities say 7-year-old Lydia had been reading from the book when she mispronounced a word, which led to the beatings that continued over two days.

    The girls were adopted from a Liberian orphanage four years ago, along with a baby sister. The couple’s six biological children reported that they had also been beaten with the plumbing line but none to the extent of Lydia and Zariah, who were “disciplined” for hours at a time. The other children reportedly told investigators the parents blamed the 11-year-old Zariah for “being a bad influence” on her younger siblings.

    The Pearls advocate hurting children until parents get total compliance, starting in infancy, in order to “train” them. In his book, “To Train Up a Child,” Michael Pearl says that if parents wait until children misbehave to punish them then it’s discipline, but for total obedience they need to use pain to start training children before they misbehave.

    They recommend the use of objects for both training and discipline, including willowy branches for babies and paddles, rulers and thicker tree branches for older children. Their most often recommended tool is flexible plumbing supply line, which they say is cheaply available and can be worn around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to behave.

    There are more than a million copies of “To Train Up a Child” in print today, and they are widely given out in church settings and to military families. The book is also available online at a Christian website, for free.

  87. Scott Thong Says:

    You know what, I realize that atheism as a philosophy is more defined by what one DOESN’T believe than what one DOES believe. That is to say, it is an ‘anti’ belief. Just like anti-nuclear is meaningless without nuclear energy, atheism is meaningless without religion for it to oppose.

    How many atheist have been inspired by their beliefs to go out and better the world? How many atheists do we see (yourself included) who are more of the ‘missionary’ or ‘apologist’ type, as opposed to the ‘polemicist’ type? It seems to me atheism tends towards an aggressive stance.

    It’s been said before that atheists seem more enamored of the chance to bash the beliefs of others than convinced of the rationality of their own philosophy. That is, atheists behave more like antitheists than anything else.

    When was the last time you told someone the why you are an atheist because of the positive aspects of atheism, without resorting to merely listing why religions are wrong or immoral?

  88. Scott Thong Says:

    Yes, I’m familiar with those verses. Leaves me wondering why so many ordained clergymen are not. – Ron

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:21-23

  89. Scott Thong Says:

    In 2010, Catholic bishops in Holland announced an inquiry into more than 200 allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests at parochial schools around the country. – Ron

    Why so many cases are abuse of boys? Some argue that this is not a church problem nor a celibacy problem per se:

    Comments at the video are worth reading.

  90. Ron Says:

    Why so many cases are abuse of boys? ~Scott

    Because young boys placed in close quarters with priests battling repressed sexual urges make an easier target.

    Some argue that this is not a church problem nor a celibacy problem per se:_Scott

    Michael Voris and his ilk would like to portray this as a gay issue, but the evidence does not support those assertions. Normally heterosexual males will resort to raping other men when confined to prison, which indicates that there’s a different dynamic at play — one that’s independent of sexual orientation.

    Comments at the video are worth reading.

    Not really. Mr. Voris moderates his comments by allowing only those which agree with his position.

    And before you attach your wagon to this man’s opinions, I’d suggest you watch a few more of his videos. Because his views of non-Catholic Christians are not very charitable.

    For instance, in the following video I suspect you’ll be agreeing wholeheartedly with everything he says until you reach the three-minute mark. Thereafter, not so much.

  91. Scott Thong Says:

    So here are the pertinent philosophical questions then:

    1) Does the religion in question directly sanction such behaviour? (No)
    2) Do the practices of the religion in question indirectly promote such behaviour? (Yes)

    Hence the problem is not that religion teaches evil, but that humans act evilly in spite of religious sanctions against such behaviour.

  92. Ron Says:

    “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
    ~ Steven Weinberg

  93. Scott Thong Says:

    As I mentioned in response to the all those positives being seemingly related to unbelief:

    If Christianity is so Bad, Why Does Modern Freedom Only Originate From its Ancestral Territories?

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/37690

  94. Ron Says:

    Christian feudal lords aided by Christian archbishops forced the Christian monarch of a Christian nation to sign a charter granting them rights that didn’t extend to the Christian serfs toiling on their estates — a charter the Christian pontiff declared null and void almost immediately after being informed of its existence.

    So help me out here, Scott… which Christians were responsible for the modern freedom you’re talking about?

  95. Ron Says:

    Amish man in Indiana arrested, accused of sexting girl, 12

    June 22, 2011

    (CNN) — Police in Indiana say they arrested an Amish man who arrived in a horse-drawn buggy for a presumed rendezvous with a 12-year-old girl to whom he had sent sexually explicit cell phone messages.

    Officers arrested 21-year-old William R. Yoder on Wednesday, June 15, after he rode up to the Takathemoke Restaurant in Milroy, Indiana, and approached an undercover agent.

    “The suspect arrived, in a one-horse carriage as he said he would, was identified by the undercover officer confirming his identity and was taken into custody without incident,” said Connersville, Indiana, police Detective Craig Pennington.

    Yoder was taken to Fayette County Jail, about 60 miles east of Indianapolis, where in a videotaped statement he confessed that he sent video messages, naked pictures of himself and lewd text messages. He posted bail June 16.

    Amish communities typically live outside mainstream America, avoiding most influences of modernity –especially when it comes to technology.

    The Amish community Yoder lived in can use cell phones for professional purposes only and charge them away from their homes — for instance barns, according to Pennington. They have no TVs or computers and many communities do not allow the use of cell phones.

    Yoder worked at a woodshop in Rush County, Indiana, Pennington said.

    According to Pennington, Yoder said he believed he was going to have sex with the girl, that he realized it was a bad decision and that he had never done anything like it before.

    The case came to light after the girl’s parents contacted police in Connersville to report that their daughter had received three sexually explicit messages, including a request that she send back naked pictures of herself, Pennington said.

    The phone was handed over to Indiana State Police, and a forensic examination revealed that 600 text messages, along with six picture messages and two video messages, had been exchanged between the girl and Yoder.

    “I am happy that no further victimization occurred, and that he was at least truthful about his description,” Pennington said, “and I believe that the communication between child and parent, however awkward it may have been, was crucial in stopping this behavior and culminated in a successful arrest and seizure of the suspect and his cell phone.”

    Bond was set at $20,000 with a preliminary trial date of September 19.

  96. Scott Thong Says:

    Using a cell phone?????

    Sacrilege!!111!one!!

  97. kes Says:

    Lisa Jackson Pulver is not your average Australian Jew.

    Yes, she is one of this country’s 110,000 or so Members of the Tribe, but she is also a member of another tribe: an Aboriginal clan called the Wiradjuri.

    Jackson Pulver says she’s not the only Aboriginal Jew in Australia.

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/06/20/3088220/meet-australias-aborigine-who-is-president-of-her-orthodox-shul

  98. kes Says:

    “Priests and ministers are not the only ones abusing children. As a nonbeliever, I feel shame and embarrassment in having to report this but atheists, too, commit sexual crimes just as heinous as any Catholic priest. Please read this recent news article from the Associated Press about Atheists abusing children and feel the outrage:”

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/comments13.htm

  99. kes Says:

    Crazy Atheist Child Molester, “Robert T. Chatterton”

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.atheism/browse_thread/thread/e287aba22f2f8e67/1731be258375a620?lnk=raot&pli=1

  100. kes Says:

    Many consider atheist Harry Hay to be the founder of the American homosexual movement.
    Atheism, pederasty and NAMBLA

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism,_pederasty_and_NAMBLA

  101. simonthongwh Says:

    JESUS: HE HAD A FACE, PAINTINGS, CARVINGS, MURALS…OF JESUS CHRIST | simonthongwh
    simonthongwh.wordpress.com
    I once owned a coffee-table book, He Had A Face. I had bought it for NZ$5 in a used-books store. It’s lost somewhere in transit.

  102. wits0 Says:

    Atheists of the ignoramus sorts contribute plenty to this, I believe:

    The Queering of America – http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/06/queering-of-america.html

  103. famoos Says:

    Obama & jeremiah wright should wear female clothing

  104. famoos Says:

    Obama who learnt to recite in indonesia should introduce in US

    http://artsyspot.com/female-circumcision-in-indonesia/

  105. Ron Says:

    “Priests and ministers are not the only ones abusing children. As a nonbeliever, I feel shame and embarrassment in having to report this but atheists, too, commit sexual crimes just as heinous as any Catholic priest. Please read this recent news article from the Associated Press about Atheists abusing children and feel the outrage:”
    http://www.nobeliefs.com/comments13.htm

    It was an April Fool’s post. The dateline (01 April 2010) gives it away.

  106. Ron Says:

    Another study on the effects of religious beliefs on psychological health is in:

    Psychological Medicine
    Volume 43 – Issue 10, October 2013, pp 2109-2120
    Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

    Spiritual and religious beliefs as risk factors for the onset of major depression: an international cohort study

    B. Leurent, I. Nazareth, J. Bellón-Saameño, M.-I. Geerlings, H. Maaroos, S. Saldivia, I. Švab, F. Torres-González, M. Xavier and M. King

    Abstract

    Results The analyses included 8318 attendees. Of participants reporting a spiritual understanding of life at baseline, 10.5% had an episode of depression in the following year compared to 10.3% of religious participants and 7.0% of the secular group (p < 0.001). However, the findings varied significantly across countries, with the difference being significant only in the UK, where spiritual participants were nearly three times more likely to experience an episode of depression than the secular group [OR 2.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.59–4.68]. The strength of belief also had an effect, with participants with strong belief having twice the risk of participants with weak belief. There was no evidence of religion acting as a buffer to prevent depression after a serious life event.

    Conclusions These results do not support the notion that religious and spiritual life views enhance psychological well-being.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 118 other followers

%d bloggers like this: