Seems a little top heavy in the mail and Gold department this round. Maybe there was only an escape from the Premium Screwball Department.

From the Mailbag

Ignorance is bliis, they say, and someone here is the happiest person in the world:

It is interesting to note that you are defending Christianity with so much passion. But I have to ask, why is it necessary to do so?

I've read the works of Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll and I am glad that my mind finally has peace.

I am now a much happier and clear thinking individual.

Good luck, I hope that someday, you start to see people the way they really are. ( The leaders of Judaism were opportunists that tried to rule the Jewish nation, Christianity made easy money and Jesus Christ wanted to be worshipped as a god )

Meanwhile, assorted nuts don't always come in starts out sounding good, make it easier, we'll bold the highlights...

To the Body of Christ,

For many years I have sat in quiet meditation looking at the utter mess and delusion that Christianity is currently mired in and quite frankly I am amazed at how backwards and deluded the majority have become. I doubt very much that the majority who would read these words would heed the message and take to heart what is uttered, but that ultimately is our choice; our God given free will. I just look all around me in bookshops, the media, even on the Internet and all I see is so called leaders teaching all manner of delusions, sound doctrine has gone completely out the window [2TIM 4:3] and indeed Christianity has heaped up teachers satisfying the itching ears.

This current crop of pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets and evangelists have gone through all manner of training and the delusions continue from one generation to the next, radical change calls for radical action. Christianity is completely spiritually impotent against the dark powers that infect all manner of institutions within our collective society. Democracy is a joke and we are all under the illusion of freedom while we are robbed blind by a banking system that favours the elitist few. I am amazed at how many are ignorant of our current banking system and the evil of inflation created by the central banks as they secretly plunder our bank accounts. Many ministries continually go on about the insidious evil of the Illuminati and the connected New World Order (NWO) and I would agree they are a bunch of arrogant individuals that must and will be destroyed but not in the way that we think.

Many ministries point the finger of blame and the current woes of humanity at the NWO and these puppets are deluded into thinking they are in control and continue with their evil on a daily basis. The things that I will speak of in this letter are some of the most closely guarded secrets of the occult elite, I have dared in the name of Jesus to stick my head above the parapet and speak on these subjects. While the nexus of centralised power continues to grow on an almost daily basis with takeovers and mergers something is very very wrong within NWO. Something with tremendous power is attacking the NWO and they cannot figure out what it is; this is unlike anything they have experienced before, something unholy is attacking them and is about to destroy them.

Here I must stick my foot down and absolutely blast Christianity in its absolute insistence that Jesus is God, he is not [EPH 4:6] and my assertion is that he was the archangel Michael in human form, just study [LUKE 10:18] and [REV 12:7] and it is this single fact that makes Jesus so special. This current cult of Jesus worship [REV 22:8-9] that infects the born again movement and many other movements within collective Christianity has to stop if we are ever going to make sense of Revelation which in my opinion is probably the most important book for our modern times. The dogma that has been handed down from one generation to the next is Jesus is God and this single lie will deceive billions for I tell you for the Antichrist to be as God he must appear to be God. How else would the Antichrist gain power if the masses had not already been conditioned to accept him? This reminds me of a quote from Hitlers propaganda minister that if you tell a lie often enough then the masses w ill believe it to be the truth, hells propaganda machine has been working overtime on this little beauty about Jesus being God.

Where in all of Christendom is good sound scriptural logic? For the sake of all that is holy and true have we not witnessed being lied to through the whole mess in Iraq and the WMD fiasco in which thousands of our brave service personnel continue to perish based on a lie while our politicians are controlled by the bankers and the military/industrial complex, this is not freedom. Can't we see that Satan has setup the NWO as the patsy to take the fall for all the worlds woes because the one that will destroy them will be the Antichrist; here I would remind you of an important teaching [IS 5:20] and yet we continue with our delusions. Not even the NWO have figured this out yet and when they do find out they will be terrified! The simplicity of this stratagem of Satan is its brilliance when you see it in the light of truth. This reminds me of a saying I learned many years ago that taught me that truth lies in simplicity and delusion in complexity. This issue of the NWO will have profound effects across religious boundaries because the power of the Antichrist will break down all religious boundaries when the NWO are exposed to the world. Many in the born again movement will rejoice at its destruction and will be sucked into the lie that the one who destroyed the NWO is the returned Jesus. This will be like dominoes toppling and when we consider that the NWO (with Templar ties) have been implicated in poisoning at least two popes the problem with Catholicism becomes obvious. The Antichrist who has destroyed the perceived enemy in the eyes of the masses (the NWO) will proclaim him the returned Jesus and if the pope endorses this view Catholicism is finished. This whole scenario reminds me of the Greek myth of Chimera that in order to create the ultimate hero (Antichrist) you have to create the ulti mate monster (NWO).

Ministries preaching rapture teaching we are all going to get sucked up by some huge divine hoover and squirted into heaven really need to think about this; [1THES 4:16-18] is actually teaching about a fundamental change in human consciousness from a materialistic to a spiritual Christ centred civilization. Personally I also despair at those ministries that decry the occult as completely Satanic when Jesus openly demonstrates occult power. I have maintained and shout from the roof tops that occult power is exactly like nuclear power which can be used to generate power for a city or blow it up, the outcome is our choice! It was this narrow-minded dogmatic attitude of Christianity that lead God to become furious and hand over a great treasure into the hands of the dark powers and that treasure was the Bible itself. We must stop literally interpreting scripture because in places it is deeply allegorical.

Many accept the KJV Bible as the only true version and it is well known to occupy pride of place on masonic altars. The simple reason is the KJV Bible is the allegorical Ark of the Covenant in the temple of Solomon (lodge) because the OT and the NT are the equivalent of the two tablets on which God wrote the Ten Commandments, in Gods fury God sent the Ark into captivity [PS 78:61] because of Christian narrow-mindedness. But what Christianity failed to realise is that the text of the KJV Bible has been carefully constructed and contains a code within its pages, never underestimate Satan [JUDE 1:9]. I must jump up and down and tell you bunch of muppets that Satan personally gave the decryption key to the KJV Bible to Aleister Crowley. They contain the secret psychic teachings of Jesus and these have been perverted into something unholy.

These encrypted teachings are more explosive than an atomic bomb, I know I've seen and read some of them. The decryption of the KJV Bible is spoken of allegorically within Revelation as the opening of the Ark of the Covenant [REV 11:19]. Let me begin with one teaching in which Jesus demonstrates the manifestation of matter (the loaves and the fishes) by turning energy into matter. This principle is the driving force of the atomic bomb as shown by Einstein and if the fundamentalists kick off I think the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would beg to differ with you. If every human being mastered the ability to manifest matter in any shape or form desired by turning energy into matter what would be the need for money? I would like you to watch the sci-fi film "Forbidden Planet" so that you would understand what I am talking about. These teachings are used virtually daily in occult lodges like OTO and others further up the pecking order and they are awaiting their master because he sure as hell ain't my master. These perverted occultists are the true puppet masters, not the NWO; the NWO puppets are easily manipulated through principles such as greed.

I implore the Christian leaders not to continually teach about the NWO; let the dead go bury the dead, they where given power for a time until they had created global chaos in preparation for the Antichrist to come and destroy them. The NWO is smoke and mirrors and a massive deception so avoid it, by all means be aware of it but channel your energies into something that will bear spiritual fruit. The USA has become Babylon and holds the entire planet in bondage through the dollar which is rapidly failing, just look at the economic press; its happening right before our eyes! The lunatic in the Whitehouse running around the world starting wars and imposing puppet democracy through force of arms is in total contradiction to the words of Jesus [MATT 26:52] and claims that God talks to him! When will Christianity wake up to the utter madness being unleashed. Bush is being controlled through psychic techniques taught in the secret psychic teachings of Jesus, our own teachings are being used against us!

These psychic techniques are lethal and in the hands of a few fanatical occultists drunk on power and I cannot stand by and let this madness consume humanity. The dollar itself is being undermined by the dumping of huge quantities of American treasury bonds by the likes of Russia and China; there is an economic war raging, a rebellion against the dollar, this is destabilising the entire world economy, let alone the new Iranian oil exchange trading in euros. The great millstone in [REV 18:21] is the millstone of debt that will cripple the USA (Mystery Babylon) and its military, what army will fight if it can't get paid, remember [1TIM 6:10]? Start buying physical silver/gold to protect yourself from the coming economic storm. The storm that is just around the corner is of truly epic proportions (the economic aspect is only a part) and will have a profound effect on us all. There will be no hiding place because God is about to shake the very foundations of our civilization, inc luding money itself, it is the lifeblood. God has told me that a massive earthquake will strike California and it will be catastrophic. Watch the true hand of God move, God is furious. We MUST stop calling evil good and good evil [IS 5:20], the prophets speak and now in the name of Jesus let the exorcism of mammon and the testing of your work begin, so is the seed sown.

But in case you atheists are snickering at the religious nuts, remember "assorted" means we have plenty of atheist ones too...

Little man, how sad that you continue to think you know the mind of a god, let alone its name. You make your own opinion and sell it to the ignorant--how noble does that make you?

You dismiss all challenges, yet are caught in the trap of dogmatic folly.

You spend your life dedicated to a fairy tale while dressing your pitiful ego in ornaments of false knowledge.

Wake up! It's a big universe and it's waiting for you to grow up.

Remember the lesson: Dogma is never Faith and reality is always available[.]

And from the "Gee, It's Hard to Figure This One Out" Department, this query:

You obviously believe in witches (that is, evil humans with supernatural powers, not Wiccans), but can you tell me how to identify these witches? It seems "God" neglected to mention that part. Thus, many misguided Christians have taken it upon themselves to persecute innocent people (innocent of witchcraft at least) and condemn them to painful deaths. Thre's no question that Exodus 22:18 has had a direct influence on the perpetuation of this evil. Christians are supposed to be living in the New Covenant of Jesus, but they still refer to the 10 Commandments and various other laws from the old covenants . . . it seems they willingly "pick and choose" which laws from "God" they will acknowledge and obey.

Here's one that gets the Excellence in Temporal Provincialism Award:

From the view of an entomologist, your argument doesn't work. You should skip trying to use the honey bee as an example and try useing a praying mantis. The first pair of legs really don't look like legs and the function is for grasping not walking. Bees still use thier metathoracic legs (last pair) for walking.

Unfortunately, your article is not very convincing. However, I asked my husband how many legs a dragon fly had and he didn't know. ( he is a college grad with aspirations on getting a masters in theology) I just think the Hebrews weren't very observant.

You could also theorize that maybe back then insects had four legs and they evolved a third pair.

You should read the article "The Evolution of Insect Flight" by Matthew Vanhorn at He seems to actually have a background in science. Although he is wrong, he does a better job supporting his creationist view against science.

I don't care if you convince people to believe in myths, but try to do it right. (hint: Matthew Vanhorn)

And the Don't Bother School of Diatribe sent me this one:

A God who creates the whole universe and everything in it from the smallest to the largest, so complex, so perfect, so beautiful, is a jealous God -and-thinks its a good idea to cut up some critters. I don't know that just doesn't make a real lot of sense. What does a God do all day? He's made the universe, holy moly and then he sits around watching mankind 24-7, and he already knows whats going to happen. Being all knowing and all. I am thinking this whole concept needs some work. Is God unable to prevent suffering and thus not omnipotent or is he able but not willing and thus not merciful. I already know the answer to that one. No need to reply. Peace

Now here's a lesson as well for the educated readers of my sites...get dumb:

I read a page on your website that makes many claims about how the Bible can not be inerrant, however, I do not see any evidence to prove your point other than a lot of words.

Have you done a thorough investigation of the comparisons of the pre-Christ manusrcipts (ie Dead Sea Scrolls) compared with the manuscripts found in the manuscripts from the years of approximatly a.d.1200? The ancient copyist were extremely accurate and the Jews and other copyists employed methods of ensuring exact copies that border on paranoid obsession.

You should check some books by Josh Mcdowell, such as "Evidence for Christianity" before you make claims that can damage the faith of Christians who do know the truth about the historicity of the Bible.

Your assertion that a person does not need to believe that the Bible is the accurate and timeless inspired word of God is a really good way to create a wishy-washy Christian who will not have the strength needed to make the hard decisions in life based on the solid truth of the Bible.

If you can not trust every single word of the Bible to be the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) then you really can not trust any of the Bible at all. If you can not trust God to be accurate in something as small as a book of His teachings, how can you trust Him to be reliable when it comes to eternal salvation?

Would it be easier for Him to give us the accurate inspired word and to ensure that it is accuratley translated through the ages and essential to life, or to create the universe, life, man, death, Heaven, Hell, salvation, and eternal life?

The Bible is accurate and can be trusted... period! I applaud your attempt to use the internet to spread the Good News, however, do not shackle the incredible power of God's inspired words in the Bible by minimizing the accuracy of these documents that have come to us over a period of about 3,500 years (Moses' times to 2006) and are the most archaelogically support documents from all ancient history.

So, to all you guys who've been reading Tekton these years:

"You're a bunch of wishy-washy weaklings who need to go read some of MY books!"

From the Don't Bother Me When I'm Crying School came this missive:

I was searching for information on the Bible and came across your "book review' of McKinsey's "Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy". I was so intrigued by the vituperative energy you displayed that I decided that anything that would elicit such vitriol probably had to have some merit to it. So I bought a copy, and am writing to personally thank you for inadvertently putting me on the path to enlightenment. It is a fascinating book, and although I am not a theologian (by any stretch of the imagination) I am a curious seeker of information, pro and con, about the book that many consider the greatest book ever written. Now I have both the Bible and another reference work to compare it with.

I am a psychologist and am intrigued by your ad hominem comments about Mr. Mckinsey. I would think that it would require scholarship in human behavior or a Ph.D. in psychology in order to be fair about challenging someone's mental and/or emotional condition. In addition, a personal meeting or interview would be in order, especially when using phrases like, "obsessive personality", a "massive ego" and other derogatory and evaluative descriptions of someone you apparently do not know.

Nevertheless, as someone who does see value in various Biblical concepts, especially ideas like some of those expressed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, e.g., what is commonly called the "Golden Rule", I wonder how your attitude and treatment of others squares with the teachings that you apparently revere. I get the impression of great hatred, contempt, arrogance and desire to degrade and insult from your writing, and wonder if I were to continue seeking information about this subject (The Bible) that I am most interested in, that I could expect to repeatedly encounter such loathing, venom and toxic malevolence from other defenders of Christian ethics and morality. If so, I would be, as to a great extent you have already made me, most disappointed, and would be tempted to conclude that the only way to continue my search for information would be seek it from those who are not so strongly committed to the defense of that which needs no defense, that they would inflict such calumny on another innocent human being.

I've never seen a longer way of saying, "Never mind the facts, did you make me feel good?"

And here's another from the Institute for Patholoigcal Literalism in reply to my article on Luke 14:26:

Your answer here would appear to confirm that “hatred” was actually meant. I can accept that and it means, to me, that the Bible is a man-made construct. Even the worst lawyer in the world would have no problem defending the divinely inspired word of god. The fact that after nearly 2,000 years of thought and debate the best you can come up with is “hyperbole” and “dramatic orientation” underlines the weak material you have to work with. I feel sure that Justin, Augustine, Thomas Acquinas and even Thomas More would have made a better stab at it but if they did I have not seen their work on Luke 14:26.

And last but not least, remember...

I read the article on Marcus Borg, and I was profoundly disturbed the way his work was treated. Panentheism, a perfectly orthodox postiton since it neither robs God of transcendence or immanance, was treated as a heresey. Acts 17 tells us plainly that St. Paul said "we live and move and have our being in God." Psalm 139 is another example of the inexscapable presence of God. This points to a panentheistic theology.

Borg's New Testament work is cutting edge. Fundamentalism is slowly being defeated by modernity. Get with the program. And please look to Jesus--a liberal who challenged the Hebrew scriptures time and again. Think it over, PLEASE.

"Resistance is futile. You WILL become a theological liberal!"

Start Shining the Platinum
Even this early it's easy to spot likely candidates to win our year-end Platinum Screwball Award. Here's "Goosing the Antithesis" blog contributor Francois Tremblay with the Loser's Whine that may assure a Winning Shine:
Most of us agree that an individual should be free to think, or believe, whatever he wants in the privacy of his own mind. For example, one is absolutely free to fantasize about mass murder (although this may be very unhealthy). But to take that fantasy into public life, and commit mass murder, is criminal. What is acceptable in one's private arena, is not necessarily desirable or even acceptable in the social arena. I've also discussed in "Christians are our cultural enemies", the Christian moral, teleological and anti-scientific ideas are totally opposed to secular science and Western values. Christianity is therefore polluting public discourse with premises which have no place in the 21st century, regardless of whether they are obvious propaganda or subtle semantics. These premises have been wholly discredited by both the success of science and the choices of the vast majority of people living in Western countries.

To even allow Christian voices or premises in a non-religious conversation is inherent treason to everything we stand for as modern upright human beings. Christian beliefs are Middle Eastern canards declaimed furiously by pompous *sses.

It is also equally obvious that Christians have no incentive to change their ways. To have faith that one's beliefs are the right ones, despite all evidence, is praised as the highest virtue. Christians, by the nature of religion itself, can have no goal but to strenghten and propagate their belief system. There is no virtue of truth-seeking, honesty or progress in Christianity.

So what's the difference between me and a Christian evangelist ? He wants to enslave minds and institutions so they perpetuate his belief system. I'm fighting for people to be free to express their personal values and choose freedom or, if they must, a belief system, as long as they don't hurt anyone. I am morally responsible for my actions and the principles I espouse, and I promote moral responsibility for all. He preaches total irresponsibility. That's what makes me morally superior.

Part of our Western values considers us to be on equal grounds, but on that point I have to disagree. As long as there are people who actively seek to destroy our Western way of life, it remains self-destructive to place them on a pedestal of "equal time". True equality can only exist when all collectivist power is destroyed. This is one lesson that has not reached modernity yet. I have done my best to fight against this attitude, but I am alone, and there's not much I can do about it. If you want to help, then the next time you see a Christian spout his rhetoric on an atheist message board or in an atheist discussion, speak up against the religion and the premises of the rhetoric. Make it clear that Christianity is not wanted. Maybe they'll get the message.

We'll see you there, too, Frank. Don't start crying when you end up on the wrong end of a toon, like this:

The Apostate Who Still Isn't There

Bri Bri Flemming isn't getting the attention he wants therse days; even making jokes with Richard Carrier about performing a sexual act on Satan doesn't seem to do the trick. Little wonder the pacifier gets spit out so often, as it did on his blog of late:

Dear Christian apologist, As you know, the standard Christian attacks on The God Who Wasn't There are designed to keep the Christian flock from even viewing the documentary. Brian Flemming is just a bitter ex-Christian who nobody should pay any attention to, you say, helpfully guiding your sheep away from thought crimes.

Well, good job, soldier. Jesus is no doubt thrilled that you have kept so many vulnerable minds from being confused by facts and other dangerous things.

But you should know that there's an improved version of this critical technique being invented in Texas. It turns out that you can actually "screen" the movie and still get away with an almost exclusively ad hominem attack. By "screening" the movie, you can make it look like you were actually open to the ideas contained in it. This pose goes over gangbusters with people in the reality-based community.

Here's how you can give the illusion of open-mindedness and intellectual honesty while not actually incurring the risks for which those values are notorious:

1. Announce a "screening" of The God Who Wasn't There. Claim that you're going to show the "meat" of the film and just censor some minor "mocking" material out of concern for delicate sensibilities. (Breathe easy -- this isn't actually true.)

2. At the event, show one brief clip from the beginning of the film. Then stop the film and use Apologetic Arguments 4a, 7c, 102f and 235d. At this point, you are done dealing with substance. Whew.

3. Now skip ahead in the film past all of those parts that are heavy with evidence and argument (scary!). Go to the part where Brian Flemming talks about his own childhood experiences with Christianity. Show all of this stuff in full. Just let it run. When this part is over, attack Brian Flemming as a bitter ex-Christian who nobody should pay any attention to.

See how easy this is? Now you've "screened" the film and "courageously" taken it on! Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

So, let me get this straight....Brian Fleming, when making TGWWT, skips over parts of Richard Carrier's work that can refute his video-essay. He also goes and does "man-on-the-street" interviews with lay Christians instead of interviewing historians and Bible scholars who contend for a historical Christ "to show the other side". He also refuses to debate me and hides behind a "Statement of Belief" he knows that no Christian can sign. Yet if we show part of his video in a church, we are the ones being the "thought police".

On forums-

Last Sunday, A.D.-

Brian Flemming was upset at a Christian Apologist,

For refuting his DVD.

He thought to himself "Well Gosh-Dangit,

I thought he was an actual talking rabbit!"

They really wanted JP out of that place,

So the moderators banned him

And they shot him into space.

We'll send him cheesy arguments,

The worst we can find (la la la).

He'll have to sit and listen to them all

And we'll monitor his mind (la la la).

Brian wants a "Statement of Belief" signed

Because he is an insecure dip,

JP will have to keep his sanity

With the help of some sound scholarship.

Bible-Scholar roll-call-





You're probably wonder how Brian can ignore the work of Bible scholars

Not to mention historical facts,

He's Atheist yet still a Fundy,

And should really just relax

For Mystery Christ-Myth Theater 3000.

The Top of His Head is Flat, Too

From words from Paul Seely, who thinks the Bible teaches a flat earth and who I took apart in an article for one of the creationist publications, wins Gold, in particular for semantic gyrations in this:

In the third paragraph, Holding says I gave a list of "several" scientifically naive societies that thought the earth was flat. If you read the list in my actual paper, you find not "several" but numerous examples from all over the world with no clear exceptions until the time of Plato.
Sevivon's Stupid Parade

"Sevivon1913" had all kinds of funky chickens on TWeb this past month. First, on his reason for not believing in Paul's existence:

However, everything I just typed is irrelevant, because I’m not even aware of any proof that this man existed, except for his own claim that he existed. But since his claim to have existed, didn’t exist until the 4th century AD, we may assume that he didn’t exist. After all, most people who claim to have existed do so whilst they exist.

And then these samples:

Israel... is an advanced superpower... The USA is not a "world super power". It is a declining minor world power... I assure you, the USA is about as much of a super power as New Zealand is.
Talkin' 'Bout His "Generation"

"honestseeker" gets Gold for this wacky eisegesis:

I just came across some scripture that adds more support to reincarnation:

Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

Deuteronomy 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

How Being Stupid Keeps You Safe

Bagger_Vance breaks the Irony Meter again....

I can say with all honesty that not one I've read on TWEBB has ever shook my foundations in the least but being a former christian I can say that a couple at least made good arguments at the time.

I think CS Lewis who gets hammered here and rightly so. In some ways he deserves to be discredited but he is also insanely clever, humorous, and fun to read. I think his great skill was making you want to believe that he was right. He could paint a landscape that made you want to be a part of it if for nothing else just to hang out with him. At least that is what I think.

Another for me was/is Ravi Zacharias. When I was a christian he was the guy I listened too. I never put much stock in Hagee's charts, Hinn's spectacles, or Billy Graham's oratory skills. But Ravi was different. He is a smart guy. There is no denying that but sometimes I listen to him and I wonder how he is unable to direct his highly perceptive mind onto his on faith. You see him skewer Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the like with high degrees of accuracy but it seems his blinders come on as soon as he discusses christianity. In a lot of ways I think Ravi helped me deconvert by showing me how baseless religion was. He just didn't mean for me to take his tools and turn them on Christianity.

I Want Your Money, But Not Too Much of It

Brooks Trubee wins Gold for this update on the Holding Hate Site on the subject of "business". Before it said little more than this:

Today [Holding]'s apologetics-for-money business is going well-and getting better. In a post on the Theology Web discussion boards, Mr. [Holding] revealed the amount of income he had received from donors from 2000 to 2002. As you can see, his home-business grew by leaps and bounds.

Originally the deal was that I was a money grubbing televangelist sort; but now it's a little different, as this has been added:

Based on his comments on Theology Web, [Holding] wants to keep the donations to Tektonics Apologetic Ministries, Inc. below $25,000. If the donations get to $25,000, of course, [Holding] would be obligated to make Tektonics Inc.'s income statements public...
One can surmise that [Holding] wants to keep the donations below $25,000 so that he does not have to publically reveal exactly what the money is used for, which probably includes groceries and mortgage payments.

the way, DOES include groceries and mortgage payments...that's what a "salary" is usually for, when a non-profit pays its workers...

Finally, "Bible Wheel" wins Gold for his performance last month on TWeb, which you have to see to believe.

Doubting John wins the Showing Freudian Slip Award for this oops:

Doesn't your Bible say to answer a fool according to his fool?

Not to say these wacky commnents:

Rather than comment on the "From Nothing Comes Nothing" thread, let me state why I think this universe came from nothing, minus the arguments that led me to this conclusion.

Our existence cannot be figured out because this universe came about as the result of chance. It came “from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing.” This best explains why we cannot figure it all out. When we seek for a cause of it all we run into absurdities, precisely because blind chancistic events cannot be figured out! Chance events can produce order. We know this. Even if the odds are extremely unlikely for this universe to exist, once there is some order in the universe and someone to look upon the order that’s there, it cries out for an explanation. So we try to explain it, but fail time and again. Pascal is right when he says, “I look on all sides and see nothing but obscurity; nature offers me nothing but matter for doubt.”

When we reflect on why we can’t figure it all out, the best reason I can offer is that random chance events can’t be figured out hindsight. Nature is ultimate. According to the late Carl Sagan, “the cosmos is all there is, was, or ever will be.” According to Bertrand Russell the universe is simply “a brute fact.” I am an atheist. There is no God. And there is at least one reason for me not to believe in God, and that is because this universe is absurd when we try to figure it out. Any attempt I know of to figure it out fails, except the conclusion that it arose because of chance. According to Jacques Monad, “our number came up in a Monte Carlo game.”

Even Christians are atheists, in that they don't believe in the other gods and goddesses of other religions. I just deny one more god than they do. I agree with Christian criticisms of other religions and I agree with the other religions criticisms of Christianity.

My wife is an atheist. While she’s not an intellectual, her argument is quite simple. She asks a very simple question: “If God exists, then why doesn’t he show me?” It can be developed into a sophisticated argument, however, and it does have some force to it. Surely if God exists, he would give us reasons to believe that he does, but I find no incontrovertible argument to show this, even though apologists would love to find such an argument to defend their God.

Michael Scriven claims, “if we take arguments for the existence of something to include all the evidence which supports the existence claim to any significant degree, i.e. makes it at all probable, then the absence of such evidence means there is no likelihood of the existence of the entity. And this, of course, is a complete justification for the claim that the entity does not exist, provided that the entity is not one which might leave no traces (a God who is impotent or who does not care for us) and provided we have comprehensively examined the area where evidence would appear if there was any.” [Primary Philosophy (McGraw-Hill, 1966), p. 102].

t I have examined extensively leads me to the conclusion that a Divine Being does not exist, as the following progression of thought demonstrates:

1) No rational conclusion can be deduced from the existence of this universe, based on the assumption that it was ordered by a Supreme Being for a purpose.

2) Based on this assumption all attempts that I have studied fail.

3) I have studied it extensively, and maybe even comprehensively.

4) It's plausible for me to conclude that since I have studied it extensively, all attempts to arrive at a rational conclusion based on this assumption fail.

5) Therefore a better rational explanation for the existence of this universe is based upon a non-purposeful assumption, which lacks a Supreme Being.

6) Chance is a non-purposeful assumption, which lacks a Supreme Being.

7) By process of elimination chance alone is left as the rational explanation for the existence of this universe.

8) Therefore I'm rational to believe that chance is the best deduction when I’m looking for an answer to the riddle of the existence of this universe. This conclusion is only as good as my research, but I'm comfortable with my research.

"jordanriver" wins The Spotted Owl Award for these comments:

the religious Christian conservatives dont worry about glabal warming because they believe what the Bible says about the end of the earth, its going to end anyway so you might as well enjoy your big suburban

i would put myself in the religious conservative bunch, i believe theres a God who already has the end figured out so i dont have to sweat it about burning fuels, i just enjoy life and go about my merry way

...if theres a God which i belive there is, then i have faith He will make sure the planet will be in good condition till he decides times up. it says in the bible i believe in that when the end comes things will be as they are now and when the flood came, that people were giving in marriage and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary in other words. That means it will be life as usual when the end comes which means theres no discomfort because of any global warming.

so thats why i am not concerned and neither are other religious right conservatives who believe the bible is right .

do you believe global warming by humans is what is going to destroy the planet or do you believe the bible you just used for your steward reminder. will it be as it was in noahs day at the time of the end, people giving in marriage and eating and drinking etcetera like Jesus says in matthew 24

37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

if you believe global warming ends the planet then nobodys going to be eating and giving in marriage, but theyll be drinking a lot of oceans though.

and that means the bible is wrong so why use the steward referance to rebuke me if you dont believe the bible in the first place

"Lost" gets another Safety in Stupidity Award for the usual crop:

Many tried to debunk the origens of christianity - gnostics very early on. They were exterminated by the holy roman church of "God". That extermination and what followed totally removes all reason to believe the things that that church wrote and "kept" for us. I simply don't trust those early "fathers" one bit. I don't believe that "God" expects us to trust those early accounts either - not if he was real and as kind as he is supposed to be.

It is ludicrous for God to hang everyone's fate on their belief or otherwise in other people's testimony :) It is ludicrous and very cruel - very in the extreme. I find such a concept contemtable and unjust. It is quite obviuos that "God" is an invention of men in power, used by them to control the masses - it always has been and continues to be the case. Constantine made a very wise choice :) Case closed for christianity.

Don't worry about Paul - the early cathoilc church invented all that tripe to confuse the peasants who they wanted to keep in ignorance so they could wield their power over them. Paul's tripe is just useful for preachers who can pretend to interpret it for the peasants

Not so amazing really - God's can do anything and christians are becoming like God so like the catholics of old they can, if allowed by the peasants, wield deadly power - after all they hold life and death in the palm of their hand. Can you imagine what the world would be like if the church was in total power as were the catholics years ago. I shudder at the thought - it was and would be hell on earth. Case closed for christianity.

You see, Lost believes that Christianity teaches that when we invites Jesus into our hearts, over time, the Holy Spirit works in us to change us, to cause growth, and give us power, so that we may eventually become like...

Rick Warren earns the Spread the Dissoance Award for this event:

PASTOR RICK WARREN TO MAKE FIRST-EVER APPEARANCE IN A SYNAGOGUE Saddleback Church founder and best-selling author of The Purpose-Driven Life invited to Sinai Temple following ground-breaking meeting with Synagogue 3000

LOS ANGELES - Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church will be the special guest at Friday Night Live Shabbat services on Friday evening, June 16, 2006 at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. This exciting event will be the first time that Rick Warren has been a featured speaker in a synagogue. The visit comes exactly one year after Pastor Warren's historic 2005 meeting with the Synagogue 3000 (S3K) Leadership Network, a transdenominational group of visionary clergy and artists working to revitalize synagogue life across the country. Video from that meeting are available at . A roster of S3K Leadership Network members is available via .

I'll mention an honorary notice as well, for contradiction between Saddleback's pumping for different types of worship services catered to tastes ("Hear gospel music that always moves your heart and usually your feet!") and Warren's book, which says, "Worship is not for your benefit."

"calpurnpiso" wins the Lunacy Cup for his promotion of the Roman Piso theory:

No scholarly support?....are you in elementary school? There is NO ARCHAEOLOGICAL evidence, NO EPIGRAPHY, ZILCH, ZERO,..and specially in the time capsule cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae that Christ ever EXISTED. NONE!!... This cities were BURIED on Aug 24th 79ce by Vesuvius. They lay buried for over 1600 years! EVIDENCE preserved. These were not mere INSIGNIFICANT towns. These were RESORT CITIES where the Roman INTELLIGENTSIA and the upper class of Rome had villas with LIBRARIES!!!! Obviously you are ignorant of these facts.

The father in law of Iulius Caesar ( the true Archiereus Megistos = Iesous Christos who was a GOD and saviour of Rome), Lucius Calpurnius Piso Cesoninus ( also a HEAD PRIEST=Iesous Christos) had a VILLA in Herculaneum with a huge LIBRARY of Epicurean philosopher Philodemus works...and guess what? NO EVIDENCE of the MIRACLE worker 'jewish" messiah, !! Why not? t hese people RULED the EMPIRE!!,, if there was ANY god it was the DIVINE IULIUS CAESAR!!..after all, there were TEMPLES to him all over the empire.

The ONLY evidence of the "jewish Messiah Christ" existence is in the texts that made up the BABBLE. Romans DO NOT MENTION him in their documents! The convenient mentioning of jesus on the writings of Josephus is an INTERPOLATION by Christian aloplogists decades later. Christian FORGED everything to prove the existence of Jesus!!..Alas they are still at it today!! and they fall victims of CON ARTISTS!!, like the james ossuary of few years ago!!. Nazareth and Bethlehem did NOT exist when Christ is supposed to have roamed the earth!..

Obviously you do not know history at all. ..and Nero persecuting Christians? LAUGHABLE..Christian did NOT exist in those days ( except those followers of the Cult of Divus Iulius who were called Christians 450 years later). During the Rome conflagration of 64 e. Suetonius writing about 60 years LATER of what had occurred, said Nero blamed the CHRISTIANI ( followers of a Christos an annointed holy man). What he meant to say was the CHRESTAI, which means SPECULATORS ( this was the name given to jewish/ arab traders that were opportunist at the misery of others). The most IGNORANT of all thing that the Christ-psychotics retards say is that Nero threw Christians to lions in the Coloseum!!! The ignorant Christian retards do not realize Romans tolerated ALL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS in the empire. But the CULT of the emperor who originated with the god iulius Caesar after his TEMPLE was built in 29bce, gain MOMENTUM and was the most IMPORTANT religion of the empire. The Coloseum ( the Flavian amphitheater) was not begun till Vespacianus succeded Nero building it on top of Nero's lake after it was drained. A Colossal statue of Nero as SOL INVICTOS was nearby, hence its name. There is NO ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE Christians were thrown to lions there ZERO,ZILCH!!!.

Christians in heir ignorance and delusional stupor, attempting at re-writing history think everyone is as uneducated and delusional as they are!!...

Minnesota picks up a Silver Multiplex for a couple of things...after noting several places like Ex.12:30 ("God murders the Egyptian firstborn children.") and 2 Sam.12:15, 18 ("To punish David for having Uriah killed, God kills David's newborn son."), he concludes:

Taking a clue from god's little regard for children, I think a fairly good argument could be made for abortion by using the Bible.

Then Minny gave us a list of "English Bible Translations" (which included the German Gutenberg Bible and the NWT!) under the subject heading asking if God's Word will ever be translated right.

He's right. With nearly 200 translations or editions of Tacitus' Annals out there, it's time to fire those people who do translations.

jonfan at wins the Excellence in Legalism Award for his thread, "A Cracker and Grape Juice is not what your Lord Commanded."

Biblischism ("E. T.") earns the Naive Perfectionism Award:

Many pastors and Christian authors use characters from the Bible to illustrate how similar humanness is today compared to humanness back then. Biblical figures, they claim, experienced the same feelings of embarrassment, lust, rage, and fear that we experience today and that is one of the reasons why they insist we can take comfort in our Bible.

Lot is good example of this, as many apologists and theologians have argued that the extreme stress of seeing his wife "die by salt" exacted a heavy toll on him and seriously impaired his judgment, resulting in two consecutive nights of debauchery with his daughters.

Biased as I am about the Lot matter, I can move myself to believe this line of defense (at least for the sake of argument).

Even the words Jesus spoke while paying his death sentence exemplify the time-transcending truth of human frailty, specifically when he cried out to his Father "…why have you forsaken me?" The argument from many orthodox Christian theologues is that the intensity and duration of the punishment caused Jesus to fear that he'd been abandoned by his Father. It would not be blasphemous, then, to say that Jesus' human understanding of his unjust execution, and the horrors that preceded it, would temporarily eclipse the overall mission of the atonement from his thoughts. His full humanness would allow for this brief vulnerability....

Remember that biblical figures were as human then as we are now. They experienced the same feelings of grief, happiness, pity, and love that we experience today. (When Moses saw an Egyptian mercilessly beating a Jewish slave, he killed the abuser. Such would be the reaction of many of us here if the law did not restrain us from doing so).

Imagine seeing an entire sea separated before your very eyes for the express purpose of giving you a means to outrun your captors. Would not the enormous thunsh of the sea crashing upon itself--and your enemies--crystalize your belief that God was the "real deal"? Witnessing such an event would surely send the Jewish mind into a very focused state of consciousness in which every thought would be concentrated on the One who had just delivered them. Think of real-life situations of peril in the present: are not the rescued enamored of their rescuers? Is it not a common psychological phenomenon that when one's life is saved, a tangible bond forms between the saved and the savior?...

"wiseman" picks up the Supermodel Award for this comment:

sometimes a woman doesnt have time to be prepared when a man is all over her. ugly people will not understand because they will never be loved. it is not a coincidence that only ugly people practice 'abstinence'.

I wonder if wiseman's parents practiced abstinence. They probably did...after they saw what happened when they didn't.

Finally Richard Carrier wins one more, for this comment:

If God exists, then it necessarily follows that a fully functional mind can exist without a body--and if that is true, God would have no reason to give us brains.

Personally I'm starting to suspect that Richard Carrier got what he asked for on this one. is from a site full of yuks, such as this page where Paine, Robertson, and Massey are regarded as "Bible scholars" along with the likes of Pagels. is offered as one with all the usual. Note the cite of Freke and Gandy as a source (yuk). gets one, you can see why.

Institutional award for the Motion Picture Association of America, for the reason they boosted the rating of the upcoming indie-film "Facing the Giants":

"What the MPAA said is that the movie contained strong 'thematic elements' that might disturb some parents," said Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like "The Squid and the Whale."

Which "thematic elements" earned this squeaky-clean movie its PG?

"Facing the Giants" is too evangelistic.

The MPAA, noted Fuhr, tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG. ...

"It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about."

Michelle Goldberg wins one for her book "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism", where she confuses premilleniasm with Rapture-theology, confusing the Weimar-era "conservative revolution" in Germany with Nazism, and believing that Leviticus was a person.

A reader in Denmark reports some screwiness on the European front, like this from a Danish paper:

The ultimate tale of Christianity - someone would probably call it a lie - is the story of the ascencion of Jesus, a story which was first included in the Markus-evangelium about 170 years after the birth of jesus.

Also, this in from Russia's neck of the woods:

KIEV — A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in the Kiev Zoo after he crept into an enclosure, a zoo official said Monday.

“The man shouted ‘God will save me, if he exists,’ lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions,” the official said.

The Telegraph in the UK also had this report:
In a bizarre example of Iraq's creeping "Talibanisation", militants visited falafel vendors a fortnight ago, telling them to pack up their stalls by today or be killed.

"They came telling us, 'You have 14 days to end this job' and I asked them what was the problem," said Abu Zeinab, 32, who was packing up his stall for good yesterday in the suburb of al Dora, a hardline Sunni neighbourhood.

"I said I was just feeding the people, but they said there were no falafels in Mohammed the prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either.

"I felt like telling them there were no Kalashnikovs in Mohammed's time either, but I wanted to keep my life."

Why Baghdad's falafel vendors should be blacklisted while their colleagues are allowed to continue selling kebabs or Western-style pizzas and burgers remains a mystery.

Ohio isn't in Europe, but why not put this here too, since the Episcopals now act like they not only from another country, but another planet:

COLUMBUS, OHIO (6/15/06)-The 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church today passed a resolution essentially condemning the Bible as an "anti-Jewish" document. Not only does the resolution aim to address perceptions of anti-Jewish prejudice in the Bible and Episcopal liturgy, but it suggests that such prejudice is actually "expressed in...Christian Scriptures and liturgical texts."

Originated in the Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music, Resolution C001 directs the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to "collect and develop materials to assist members of the Church to address anti-Jewish prejudice expressed in and stirred by portions of Christian scriptures and liturgical texts, with suggestions for preaching, congregational education, and lectionary use, and to report to the 76th General Convention."

The Rev. Ruth A Meyers of the Diocese of Chicago, Secretary of the Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music, explained to the House of Deputies why her committee had expanded the wording in the language to include not only prejudice in "liturgical texts," but also in "Christian scriptures."

"We did have a question about whether Scripture itself uses anti-Jewish prejudice," Meyers said. Referring specifically to the Gospel account of the crucifixion, she added, "That scriptural text...has in fact stirred anti-Jewish prejudice and resulted in significant violence toward Jewish people."

The New Testament is inherently ant-semitic. Sure, it was written by Jews. But they were self-hating Jews. But that's not the only nuttiness from there...

While addressing a morning Eucharist at the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop-elect Katherine Jefferts Schori declared, "Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation. And you and I are His children."

With Jefferts Schori as the leader-to-be of the Episcopal Chuch, it seems that the church will move beyond gender-inclusive language to transgender-inclusive language.

Tim LaHaye's Crowd wins a Spyro the Dragon Award for a video game based on the Left Behind series:

The game's heroes belong to a group of fighters called the Tribulation Force, people whose husbands, wives or children disappeared in the Rapture. This is the moment referred to in the title when, some Christians believe, God calls the faithful to Heaven, leaving the rest behind to face seven years of tribulation.

The game is set in New York City, where the Tribulation Force clashes with the Antichrist's Global Community Peacekeepers in a tale that makes the United Nations a tool for Satan. Each side attempts to recruit lost souls in the battle for the city. "Eternal Forces" is a so-called real-time strategy game — players act as battlefield generals for their virtual armies, deciding where to place units and when to order attacks or retreats.

In the game, Tribulation squads unleash the usual arsenal against the Antichrist: guns, tanks, helicopters. But soldiers lose some of their spirituality every time they kill an opponent and must be bolstered through prayer. The failure to nurture good guys causes their spirit points to drop, leaving them vulnerable to recruitment by the other side.

The player's choices prompt intervention by angelic forces or unleash demons who feast on the faithful. As players progress through the increasingly difficult levels, they see Scripture passages presented as secret scrolls and hear inspirational music. wins for this:

The slave-mind, contained in theistic faith, abetted inequality. By meek submission, slaves permitted capitalists, autocrats and aristocrats to ride roughshod and made tyrants of their brothers. Tyranny does not end until slavery is abolished, and slavery does not go until theism is abolished. So freedom-loving, honest persons naturally spread atheism in order to rouse the masses against tyranny of any kind. Among such stalwarts were Moses, the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jesus, Mohammad, Voltaire, Marx and Gandhi. -- I can only read this and say, "Gee whiz." Except I;d end up I'm going to hell for that...

aspiretohope: being human can bear comparison to being a railroad track. according to my spources, railroad tracks have short memories and soon forget that a train has passed over them. they pass their time by discussing the purpose of being a railroad track with the tracks opposite. railroad tracks

to say which track is being more logical, I am really unable to say

he other thing about fundamentals is that not assuming any given fundamental is not a nuteral position. you don't seem to have fallen for the "lack of beleif in God" thing very much, so i'll leave it there

to clarify what i mean by "fundamental", let us remove ourselves to the nearest trainline. according to my spources, railroad tracks pass their time by discussing their origin with the tracks opposite. railroad tracks can be divded into two classes of belief on origin. some say that they are just laid down, rust out, and die peacefull deaths in retaining walls. others say that they are there for a purpose: to serve the railway company. there comes a response that "railway company" is unsupported speculation- apparently the maintenence dudes just com along cos thats what they do. which recieves the response that "it is all for a purpose, can't you see _TA_E RAIL CO somwhat scetchily ground into your own side?" to which the respone

to say which track is being more logical, I am really unable to say belief in God is so qualitively different from most other kinds of belief that analogy is difficult

iJacker: does anyone else think that enthogens or psychoactive plants such as "psychadelics" influenced todays religions, or maybe was the catalyst for theier rituals?

were psychadelic plants more prominent in the east several thousand years ago, enough to be readily availabe to say Moses, Jesus, or the authors of the vedas in india?

is the story of Jesus symbolic of a mushroom, and are the rituals ascociated with him a throwback to a secret "mushroom cult"? did enthogenic plants become taboo because of a "cover-up" by the early Xians? are these types of plants responsible for the evolution of the human mind to what it is now? where would we be now had primative man never discovered mind altering substances? why are psycadelic drugs so taboo now, while alchohol kills millions, and millions more are addicted to meth, cocaine and heroin? have halucinogens become victims of "collateral damage" in the war on drugs?

Im sorry if i have offended you, but IMO, if someone told you about religion today, and you had never heard of such a thing, wouldnt you think that they were high? I would, and still do. as soon as this thread dies out, imma start one about how having a certain faith is irrelavant, because the deciding factor was what faith your parents belong to. (posed as questions, like this thread)

THUMPER: You cannot escape you own attitudes, for they will form the very nature of your reality; we see what we wish to see. We must change our attitudes first as they will remain, however changes bring consciousness.

Does religion provide attitudes about life, yes it does. Your thoughts creat reality, en mass we form what we wish to see, feel and hear; our closed system of beliefs form what little reality we see.

As best we can, we make things "beleavable" as in our world things must have some "credibility"; a God is made into the form of a man and religions sprout like weeds. Most, if not the majority of religions creat a battle of "good v. evil" and the good guy in the white hat always wins; sound familiar?

We creat what we want, always have, always will. Our telepathy operates constantly, we creat by thought and the physical follows. Consciousness, the thoughts, come first beofre anything else. Before we had a body, we were "us", the individule. If one thinks about another in a suggestive -negative way the results, to some extent, will act upon them in a negative way. What projections you send have validity in our reality. The more the numbers of "beleavers" the more solid this reality becomes. We are now focused in this time, this space, this earth as we created it and believe in it.

What you see in others is the materialization-the projection of what you see in yourself. If a person seems decietful to you, then you decieve yourself. A projection and interpretation of oneself. It all goes around to each. We are all multi dimensional-personalities, and within you lies all the knoweldege of yourself that you will ever need to know.


stephen goswami: Fiction reading Christians are already spiritually dead like the pagans and atheists. All falsehood leads to the father of falsehood. We may use imagination, parable way to understand some real phenomenon. But their objective is elevating truths not exciting our perverted emotions which often pass in the name of entertainment. I, after becoming a believer have acquired repugnance to arts, novels, fictions and cinemas. Preaching by love of men and God is my sole enjoyment. Saving souls in this extermination camp of the devils(worse than nazi camps) takes all the strength I have. I find the same in other sincere Christians. Let the dead bury the dead which also means, let the dead kill the dead. So let Dan kill entertainment motivated people, his rightful victims.

cbro: In that a square circle is as impossible for us to conceive of, let lone explain, as is the true understanding of the Trinity. So that there will always be a problem in how we try to explain it. However that does not change the fact, of that aspect, of God's existence. It would be like knowing we have an object, and knowing that we could not describe its shape. So we put it in a square hole and see it fits, but then we put it in a round hole are surprized to see it fits just as well as in the square hole. Then what we do depends on what kind of person we are. We can be like most people, who at first, refused to accept that light had a speed and was not instantaneous. Or today, they refuse to accept the idea that the speed is changing. Or we can be people who drop the old ideas and start to explain what it means for us to have such an object. Who's shape we have no chance of explaining.

griggsy: Invincible ignorance suggests that natural selection is not the directing force.Obviously , some do not want to understand my posts as they are threatening . Anwer them anyone who has understanding. Nicky ,I gor and I understand about natural selection . We use reason, not the cesspool of faith.Fr.Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism . We the heirs of Voltaire ,Darwin and Sydney Hook have won!

stormrunner: I'm sorry you remain an egotistic, homophobic, close-minded, ignorant bigot. If you were the representation of Christianity, I'd turn away. But I'm thankful that I have the message of Christ in my heart - and a brain that can accept science and common sense and reasonable intercourse.

God will judge us both. I hope that love, caring, and tolerance will beat out arrogance, smugness, and meanness of spirit. You don't want to discuss theology or even have a fair Socratic debate - all you want to do is to out shout any other voice. So I leave this site to you and your kind and look to find fellowship and intelligent discussion elsewhere.

The Unassumed:And, as I have already commented, suffering and shame was seen as a mark of honor in many strands of Judaism - as in the suffering servant motif, and that of Israel's persecution followed by eventual favorable judgment. In such a mindset, where suffering and persecution are so tied up with eventual glory and judgment, the "stigma of crucifixion" carries with it the boast of future glorification. That is, the crucifixion of Jesus was already a part of a bundle of ideas that also provided honor to those who believed in it. It already carried within it the promise of glorification, which is more than enough to overcome any "stigma".

(In other words, "1st century Christianity didn't need a physical Ressurection to cancel the shame of Christ's crucifixion, because being hung on a wooden t-frame by Gentile-Dogs to die impotent and soiling himself was good enough to convince first century Jews that he was the Lord's annointed.")

n0rstar: The ressurection was a common theme in Greek Mythology. The journey of Persephone to the underworld each year bringing on winter, or the doomed adventure of Orpheus seeking his dead love Eurydice from the gods of Hades. Most concerning though is the cult of Dionysus, God of Wine whos worshiped has been traced as far back as the Bronze Age among the oldest in Greece. Like Osiris, Dyonysus was a vegetarian god who cultavated crops (Mat 13:1-15;13:31,32) and enjoyed wine (Luke 5:37-39) and like the egyptian Osiris, Dionysus is said to die and rise with the cycle of seasons and crops.

TO add more fuel to the fire, what about Greek Mythology concerning a Virgin Birth? Perseus was born of the virgin Danae. Danae was conceived by the God Zeus who took the form of a shower of gold. In another Greek myth Dionysius was born of the virgin Semele. Semele was impregnated by Zeus with a bolt of lightning.

And in almost all the popular mystery religions around the Meditteranean, the beliefs of the uneducated masses, the divine personalities are born of virgins. For example, Horus, a major god of the Egyptian mystery religion, was born of the virgin Isis (like Jesus in Luke, Horus was also born in a stable). And Mithra, an derivative of the Persian sun-worship, whose cult rivalled Christianity during the first few centuries of its existence, was conceived when God himself, in the form of light, entered a virgin. Phoenecian mythology had Adonis being born of the virgin Myrrh.