5/30/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Exposing Christian Propaganda for What It Is

sent in by Timotheus
email: elpoeta at dmailman dot com


During my time as a fundamentalist inerrantist christian, I subscribed to various apologetic newsletters, most of which I still continue to receive. Prior to the beginning of my journey to deconversion, I greatly enjoyed reading this material, and eagerly anticipated receiving and devouring each issue for the purpose of defending the faith. These collections of propaganda I have amassed include news journals from Koinonia House Ministries (Chuck Missler), Answers in Genesis (Ken Ham), Times Square Church Pulpit Series newsletters (David Wilkerson), and Harvest Ministries (Greg Laurie), to name a few.

At the time, I was unaware of any criticism of the ideas expressed in these mailings, and had no reason to doubt the truthfulness and accuracy of them. I truly believed that the holy spirit was working through these men to help equip christians to "be prepared to give an answer for the hope you have...." (1 peter 3:15) and "contend for the faith" (Jude 3).

As my research of christianity went deeper and deeper, I began to encounter huge problems (discrepancies, contradictions, absurdities, contrivances, widespread ambiguity, scientific impossibilities, and serious intellectual dishonesty). This, coupled with the wide range of differing beliefs I was seeing among supposed "spirit-filled" christians, marked the early stage of my downward spiral into disbelief.

Over time, after my repeated attempts to justify, rationalize, and harmonize the problems using all available resources (apologetic author's "solutions", commentaries, meetings with church elders, etc.) failed, I reluctantly began to seek answers from critical sources. At this point, I just wanted to get to the truth, so getting both sides of the issue seemed logical, even though I was warned to stick to christian writings. During this time, I was continually stressed mentally from the guilt that resulted from my disbelief, because we charismatic christians were warned continually from the pulpit that satan was always waiting to pounce on us, eager to take away our salvation, and that this type of doubting was one sure way to give him a firm foothold in our spiritual lives. Needless to say, it was hard to get any good sleep during this time. I often stayed up very late almost every night for months doing research.

This was an important crossroad in my life, for on one hand, my tireless quest for truth was clearly leading me away from christian beliefs, while at the same time I was still desperately looking for something...ANYTHING.... to replenish my crumbling faith, in which I had invested virtually everything.

Finally, after many months of serious analysis and with much reluctance, I allowed the tremendous weight of rational, logical thought and true biblical scholarship to come crashing down on my faith, and I deconverted. I could not, and would not allow myself to base my entire life on such a flimsy, uncertain and dishonest foundation.

Now I see christian apologetic writings as pure propoganda. I now can pick apart all of them and expose the deceit, useless circular reasoning and lack of honesty.

I have decided to do this on a regular basis. The following is a brief examination of one of the biggest manufacturers of christian propaganda today: Chuck Missler and Koinonia House Ministries.

Background

The following biography of Chuck Missler was taken from khouse.org , his ministry's own website.

Chuck and Nancy Missler (wife) were both raised in Southern California.

Chuck demonstrated an aptitude for technical interests as a youth. He became a ham radio operator at age nine and started piloting airplanes as a teenager. While still in high school, Chuck built a digital computer in the family garage.

His plans to pursue a doctorate in electrical engineering at Stanford University were interrupted when he received a Congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Graduating with honors, Chuck took his commission in the Air Force. After completing flight training, he met and married Nancy. Chuck joined the Missile Program and eventually became Branch Chief of the Department of Guided Missiles.

Chuck made the transition from the military to the private sector when he became a systems engineer with TRW, a large aerospace firm. He then went on to serve as a senior analyst with a non-profit think tank where he conducted projects for the intelligence community and the Department of Defense. During that time, Chuck earned a master's degree in engineering at UCLA, supplementing previous graduate work in applied mathematics, advanced statistics and information sciences.

Recruited into senior management at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, Chuck established the first international computer network in 1966. He left Ford to start his own company, a computer network firm that was subsequently acquired by Automatic Data Processing (listed on the New York Stock Exchange) to become its Network Services Division.

Returning to California, Chuck found himself consulting, organizing corporate development deals, serving on the board of directors at several firms, and specializing in the rescuing of financially troubled technology companies. He brought several companies out of Chapter 11 and into profitable operation. Chuck thrived on this type of work.

As Chuck notes, his day of reckoning came several years ago when -- as the result of a merger -- he found himself the chairman and a major shareholder of a small, publicly owned development company known as Phoenix Group International. The firm established an $8 billion joint venture with the Soviet Union to supply personal computers to their 143,000 schools. Due to several unforeseen circumstances, the venture failed. The Misslers lost everything, including their home, automobiles and insurance.

It was during this difficult time that Chuck turned to God and the Bible. As a child he developed an intense interest in the Bible; studying it became a favorite pastime. In the 1970s, while still in the corporate world, Chuck began leading weekly Bible studies at the 30,000-member Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in California. He and Nancy established Koinonia House in 1973.

Chuck had enjoyed a longtime, personal relationship with Hal Lindsey, who upon hearing of Chuck's professional misfortune, convinced him that he could easily succeed as an independent author and speaker. Over the years, Chuck had developed a loyal following. (Through Doug Wetmore, head of the tape ministry of Firefighters for Christ, Chuck learned that over 7 million copies of his taped Bible studies were scattered throughout the world.) Koinonia House then became Chuck's full-time profession.

Nancy Missler attended UCLA where she studied art. She met Chuck on a blind date in 1956 and they married the following year. Through Christian author and speaker Henrietta Mears, Nancy became a Christian, and she devoted herself to her family, raising the Misslers' four children, Chip, Mark, Lisa and Michelle.. Nancy also established a company, Missler Aerial Photography Service, that specialized in aerial and architectural photography.

After almost 20 years of marriage they appeared on the outside to have it all: challenging careers, beautiful home and many of the trappings of an extremely successful lifestyle. Despite their strong commitment to Christ, their marriage was falling apart. Nothing seemed to work and they appeared destined for divorce.

But, before such a drastic action, Nancy began to search the Scriptures for the answers to her broken heart. As she started practicing what the Lord revealed, a sequence of events began that revolutionized their marriage! Her studies have continued over 20 years as the Lord has revealed hundreds of Scriptures to guide and direct her steps.

Her first book, Why Should I be The First To Change? describes the miracle of her healed marriage. She followed this with The King's High Way Trilogy: The Way of Agape, Be Ye Transformed and Faith in the Night Seasons. These are study courses that teach the practical application of how to love as God desires; how to renew our minds so we can be transformed into His image; and, how to experience unshakeable faith so we can enjoy intimacy with Him.

More than 400,000 copies of Nancy's books have been sold to date. She has spoken to women's groups throughout the United States as well as Europe, Australia, Israel, Thailand and New Zealand. She has appeared many times on national television and given hundreds of radio interviews.

Nancy and Chuck now travel and teach through their ministry, Koinonia House, and they remain dedicated to create, develop and distribute materials which stimulate, encourage and facilitate serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.

Missler has a seemingly impressive background.

Missler's Beliefs

The following is a small sampling of ridiculous biblical theories put forth or endorsed by Missler and his ministry over the years. Many of these have been debunked and some are no longer promoted by Missler.

1. He thought the face on Mars indicated that there are Martians who are planning an attack on earth via the moon which would signal the start of the Tribulation. It has been a number of years since he has said this.

2. He thinks that once Mars was so close to earth that you could see its two moons. The proof offered was that Jonathan Swift in his famous book, Gulliver's Travels (1726), describes Mars as having two small moons, way before these two moons were discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall. He explains this by saying that Mars in ancient times was very close to the earth so man could see these two moons. Then Jupiter ejected a comet (now the planet Venus) which passed close to earth, causing the plagues of Egypt, and parting the Red Sea for Moses. Centuries later Venus jolted Mars into its present orbit. This theory is a delusional fantasy that is devoid of facts.

3.He believes the Bible is one single, harmonious, unified, inspired book, and every detail, every word, every letter, was put there by the authorship of the holy spirit for a reason. He believes this regardless of the well- supported fact that the bible is mostly pseudographical, and has been edited, revised, and embellished many times over.

4. He considers the war in Iraq a prelude to the establishment of the Antichrist’s kingdom on earth, as foretold in the Book of Revelations. He believed and promoted the same type of scenario in regard to the potential nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the Soviet Union In the 1980's.

5. He was among the group of doomsday quacks that believed and preached that the Y2K glitch would usher in the "end times".

Missler has many, many other wild theories and claims he has concocted and supported over the years. His website is www.khouse.org.


Now, on to the Koinonia House news journal...........


This is a monthly "journal" newsletter that is nothing more than a propaganda/profiteering venture. The first part of this booklet-style piece is the propaganda. There is an abundance of rationalization of skeptical questioning, circular reasoning, question-begging, and wild unsupported theories that attempt to discredit biblical criticism on all points.

In the most recent issue, vol. 15, #5, under "physics update" right in the middle of the cover it reads " WAS EINSTEIN WRONG?" We will see that even though he claims this to be an "update", there is nothing new or updated in the entire article. It is simply an attack on Einstein's theory of relativity by creation "scientists" seeking to corroborate science and the bible by any means necessary. In the article, Dr. Michael Murphy, who studied light from distant quasars, claims that "the findings suggest that there is a more fundamental theory of the way that light and matter interact; and that special relativity, at it's foundation, is actually wrong." The originator of this theory is Barry Setterfield, who in 1981 first examined this as a possibility, and was rejected by the vast majority of the scientific community. Even the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has long ago rejected this hypothesis as ridiculous. So Murphy's remanufacturing of the issue here is beating a dead horse.

This article is an obvious attempt at resurrecting this debunked and widely rejected theory as fact to it's under-educated readers who will blindly accept whatever apologists like Missler say. At the end of the article, Missler's true intentions can be uncovered by this transparent attempt at a disclaimer. He says "Needless to say, this view is highly controversial and THE MAJORITY OF PHYSICISTS HAVE REJECTED SETTERFIELD'S HYPOTHESIS. However, IF such a theory were EVENTUALLY proven correct, it would dramatically alter our concepts of the physical universe. And the REMARKS of Dr. Michael Murphy last month MAY be another small step in that direction."(emphasis mine)

So you see, Missler is using a high degree of smoke and mirrors here. What a shame. So, the lay christian reader is left with the unmistakable impression that this long rejected theory is valid and will soon be proven true by creation scientists. This type of outright deception is deplorable.

The second half of the Missler "news journal" is an obsessive devotional ranting on "private prayer and worship" by Nancy Missler. It is simply a big jug of strange "christian cool-aid".

In one excerpt she says "Just as the perfume of incense and the cloud of glory intermingled and became one above the Golden Altar of incense in the Temple of Solomon, when we worship the lord we become united in love and one in spirit with him. At that moment we can ask whatever we will and the lord promises to hear us. We haven't just verbally attached "in his name" to our prayers, we are literally joined and united "in his name" while we are praying! " Ughhhh......I used to buy into this kind of jesus-obsession mindset. Missler's wife has been discredited as an heretic by many conservative christian groups for her un-scriptural promotion of biblical psychology. For more information on this, go to http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/nmissler.html

The last pages consist of a catalog of apologetic tapes, videos, DVD's and instructional materials for sale at unbelievably high prices, ranging from $15 to over $100 each.

They must be making a fortune fleecing the flock.

They also started Koinonia Institute, which claims to offer both undergraduate and graduate correspondence course credit in christian studies for degrees up to and including Ph.D. This is the same type of "college" that Kent Hovind supposedly received his Ph.D. from (for the real low-down on Kent Hovind's "credentials", see http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/bartelt_dissertation_on_hovind_thesis.htm )

In conclusion, this is another example that proves fundamentalists will use any means necessary to keep the dead and bloated whale of creationism and biblical inerrancy afloat. Even in the face of resounding discredit and defeat , those like Missler continue to lie and mislead many good, honest and well-meaning people, enriching their bank accounts and keeping the shackles of false religion firmly in place.

5/27/2005                                                                                       View Comments

From Minister to Honest Doubter: Why I Changed My Mind

Recently former Christian minister and author John W. Loftus contacted me and sent me a copy of his new book, “From Minister to Honest Doubter: Why I Changed My Mind.”

Let me start off by stating categorically that this book is an absolute “must have” for anyone who has left the Christian faith or is having serious intellectual doubts about the Christian religion.

While the book starts out explaining some of his experiential reasons for leaving Christianity, the 216-page volume goes far beyond a mere personal testimony and dives deeply into the elemental contradictions and concerns that weaken the underpinning of “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Most readers will not find Loftus’ book one that can be adequately absorbed in an evening. Written in the style of a collegiate thesis, the plethora of scholarly works referenced in this publication places it amongst the better resources for the honest student. To do the volume justice one must be willing to follow the research that has been carefully documented by Loftus. For those without the time or interest to explore the mountain of references, this book will, none-the-less, provide a significant store for future study when time or necessity dictates.

Loftus does not come away from Christianity with the deep bitterness that affects many in de-conversion, but rather retains admiration for the good influence Christianity had on his own youth. Loftus deals evenly with the issues, carefully explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each argument.

Loftus’ coverage of the problems inherent in the claims of Christianity is comprehensive. It is obvious he did not quickly abandon traditional Christianity as the result of personal trials but spent long months questioning each of his own thoughts. Much of what he wrote sounds like an echo of many of my own introspections except expressed through the well oiled mind of an academia.

Hundreds of topics are broadly explored, any one of which could realistically occupy months of study, but two in particular struck chords in my own psyche.

On page 72 he discusses the problem of unanswered prayer. One Christian answer to this nagging concern is that we humans often have wrong motives in prayer. Loftus writes the following:
“God is under no obligation to answer selfish prayers. (James 4:3) Conversely, our prayers must seek to glorify God not us. God is under no obligation to answer prayers that fail to give glory to God. (John 14:13; II Corinthians 12:9-10). We may not even know what would bring God the most glory. (John 9:3)

But there are some very strong arguments that indicate there is nothing a human can do or say that are completely free of selfish motives. Psychological Egoism, for instance, is the theory that everything we do, even if in some small degree, benefits us the most. Even if we don’t take the extreme stance, most all of what we do is done from motives that benefit ourselves first. Most all of our prayers contain some selfish motives..”

It has been my own opinion for several years now that even the simple sinner’s prayer for salvation is ultimately a selfish act to avoid hell and gain heaven. While Christians maintain they believe because they love the Lord, without the promise of a happy eternal life in heaven I seriously doubt there would be many Christians in the world. Even Paul admitted in I Corinthians 15:19: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” But I digress.

Another section that gave me marked pause for reflection is discussed on page 49, “Faith and Reason.” Quoting the English Mathematician W.K Clifford who lived from 1845-1879, Loftus says this:
“In order for a religious belief-system to be properly and rationally accepted, it must be possible to prove that the belief-system is true.” “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”


From there Loftus recounts a tragic story of a ship captain who stifled doubts about the sea-worthiness of his ship choosing to rely completely on the providence of God. The ship sank killing all aboard.
”According to him (Clifford) it is wrong to believe on insufficient grounds, to suppress doubts, or to avoid investigation. It is always right to question all that we believe.”


How often are Christians encouraged to question what they believe?

Loftus admits there are some questions in life that no one can adequately answer. He does take a stance or two with which some ex-Christian readers, including myself, will disagree. Loftus, aware of this, adds this quote at the end of his book: “A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.” – Martin Fischer.

Whether or not any of Loftus’ conclusions are the result of mental exhaustion is moot. The point where he stops thinking in his book is significantly further down the road than many would even attempt.

If you are an honest seeker, or an honest doubter; if you truly believe, or truly doubt; I highly recommend you add this book to your collection. Regardless of your agreement or disagreement with the content, you will certainly be given some meaty food for thought.

5/25/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Jesus Christ Super Cop #3

see all three episodes at Channel102.net

This is a large file. If you have a broadband connection, no problem If you are on dial-up, I'd recommend passing it by.

Right-click (PC) or Ctrl-click (Mac) to save file: download

5/19/2005                                                                                       View Comments

CHRISTIAN EVOLUTION RESOURCE LIST (UPDATED 5/2005)

provided by Edward T. Babinski

1) PROMINENT CHRISTIAN EVOLUTIONISTS
2) CHRISTIAN WEBSITES THAT DEFEND EVOLUTION
3) E-MAILS FROM PROFESSORS WHO ARE CHRISTIAN EVOLUTIONISTS
4) HUMAN EVOLUTION (CREATIONISTS MAKE ADMISSIONS)
~~~~~~~~~
1) PROMINENT CHRISTIAN EVOLUTIONISTS
DR. RICHARD G. COLLING
Dr. Colling is a fundamentalist Christian and chair of Biology at a fundamentalist Christian college, and also author of Random Designer: Created From Chaos To Connect With Creator. According to Dr. Colling, "It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods" when they say evolutionary theory is "in crisis" and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. "Such statements are blatantly untrue," he argues. "Evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny... What the designer designed is the random-design process," or Darwinian evolution, Colling says. "God devised these natural laws, and uses evolution to accomplish his goals." ["Teaching Evolution at Christian College" by Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal (December 31, 2004)]
---------------
DR. DENIS O. LAMOUREUX
Dr. Lamoureux is a biologist/evolutionist and Evangelical Christian. His website is http://www.ualberta.ca/~dlamoure/index.htm He was involved in a written debate with Phillip E. Johnson, the lawyer and advocate of the "Intelligent Design hypothesis," which was published in book form as Darwinism Defeated? A debate between Phillip E. Johnson and Denis O. Lamoureux.
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DR. KEITH B. MILLER
Dr. Miller is professor of geology at Kansas State Univ (not to be confused with Dr. Kenneth Miller, below) Dr. Keith Miller's website is http://www-personal.ksu.edu/~kbmill/Book_Ann.html He edited, Perspectives on an Evolving Creation, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003) that included essays by the following Christians:
Terry Gray (Colorado State)
James Hurd (Bethel College)
Ted Davis (Messiah College)
Robin Collins (Messiah College)
David Wilcox (Eastern College)
Mark Noll (Wheaton College)
Jeff Greenberg (Wheaton College)
Laurie Braaten (Judson College)
John Munday, Jr. (Regent Univ.)
Loren Haarsma (Calvin College)
Howard Van Till (Calvin College)
Deborah Haarsma (Calvin College)
Warren Brown (Fuller Theological)
David Campbell (University of Alabama)
Jennifer Wiseman (Johns Hopkins Univ.)
Conrad Hyers (Gustavus Adolphus College) George Murphy (Trinity Lutheran Seminary) Bob Russell (Center for Theology and Natural Sciences)
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DR. DAVID N. LIVINGSTONE
Dr. Livingstone is the author of, Darwin’s Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987)
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DR. HOWARD J. VAN TILL
Dr. Van Till is a Professor of Astronomy at Calvin College, and is the author of
1) The Fourth Day: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us about the Creation (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1986)
2) Science Held Hostage
3) "The Creation: Intelligently Designed or Optimally Equipped?" Theology Today 55 (1998): 344-364
------------------
DR. DAVID L. WILCOX
Dr. Wilcox has a Ph.D. in Population Genetics, and is Professor of Biology at Eastern College, St. David's, PA. He is the author of God and Evolution (Nov. 2004)
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LARRY ARNHARDT
Larry Arnhart is a Christian and also Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Darwinian Natural Right: The Biological Ethics of Human Nature; and, Darwinian Conservatism (2005), whose blurb reads, "The Left has traditionally assumed that human nature is so malleable, so perfectible, that it can be shaped in almost any direction. Conservatives object, arguing that social order arises not from rational planning but from the spontaneous order of instincts and habits. Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought by showing how the human capacity for spontaneous order arises from social instincts and a moral sense shaped by natural selection in human evolutionary history." Arnhardt has also debated I.D.ists at their conferences and in print: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/ArnhartDarwinDesign.shtml
----------------
DR. KENNETH MILLER
In a court case in Cob country, Georgia in which the school board lost their battle to insert "Evolution is only a theory" stickers inside a biology text, the "offending" book in question was written by a Christian, Dr. Kenneth Miller. How ironic. Besides having authored a widely used biology textbook, Miller is also the author of Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution. See his website: http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/index.html
More on Dr. Miller at Christianity Today's website:
"A Somewhat Higher Opinion of God: A conversation with biologist Ken Miller." Interview by Karl W. Giberson http://www.ctlibrary.com/11081
"Finding Darwin's God: A conversation with biologist Ken Miller." Interview by Karl W. Giberson
http://www.ctlibrary.com/11059
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DR. FRANCIS COLLINS
Dr. Francis Collins is Director of the Human Genome Project. Collins has stated: "I am unaware of any irreconcilable conflict between scientific knowledge about evolution and the idea of a creator God; why couldn't God have used the mechanism of evolution to create?...In my field, biology, because of the creationists the standard assumption is that anyone who has faith has gone soft in the head. When scientists like me admit they are believers, the reaction from colleagues is 'How did this guy get tenure?'" (Gregg Easterbrook, "Science and God: A Warming Trend?" Science, Vol. 277, No. 5328, Aug. 15 1997, p. 890-893)
More on Dr. Collins at Christianity Today's website:
"The Genome Doctor: The director of the National Human Genome Research Institute answers questions about the morality of his work" by Francis Collins
http://ctlibrary.com/6670
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DR. JOHN POLKINGHORNE
Dr. Polkinghorne is an ordained Anglican priest, former Cambridge professor of theoretical physics. His official website is http://www.polkinghorne.org/ He is also the author of
1) Quarks, Chaos, and Christianity: Questions to Science and Christianity (New York: Crossroad, 1994)
2) Science and Theology: An Introduction (London: SPCK, 1998)
3) The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001) A book of essays by assorted theistic evolutionists that explores the Biblical concept of kenosis (self-emptying) and the doctrine of creation in light of evolutionary thought.
-----------
DR. DONALD NIELD
Dr. Nield is Professor of Engineering Science at Auckland University, and author of God Created the Heavens and The Earth.
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DR. GRAEME FINLAY
DR. Finlay is a Cell Biologist who lectures in General Pathology in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology at Auckland University, and is the author of
1) A Seamless Web: Science and Faith; Evolving Creation
2) God’s Books: Genetics and Genesis.
---------------
DR. DENIS EDWARDS
Dr. Edwards is the author of
1) The God of Evolution: A Trinitarian Theology (New York: Paulist, 1999)
2) Jesus and the Cosmos (New York: Paulist, 1991)
----------------
DR. JOHN F. HAUGHT
Dr. Haught is the author of
1) Deeper Than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2003)
2) God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2000).
-----------------
DR. STANLEY L. JAKI
Dr. Jaki is a Benedictine priest with doctorates in both theology and physics, and the author of
1) Cosmos and Creator (Scottish Academic Press, l979; Regnery Gateway, 1980), An analysis of the bearing of modern cosmological theories on the Christian dogma of the creation of the universe, followed by the history of that dogma, its philosophical presuppositions, and its relation to evolutionary theories of man
2) Genesis 1 Through the Ages (London: Thomas More Press, 1992) with illustrations. A history of the interpretations of Genesis 1 from biblical times to the present day, with an emphasis on the ever-present lures of concordism. Eight lectures delivered April 25- May 9, 1992, in New York on behalf of Wethersfield Institute
3) Bible and Science (Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 1996) An analysis of the biblical world view and basic Biblical propositions insofar as they relate to science and to its history.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2) CHRISTIAN WEBSITES THAT DEFEND EVOLUTION
John Polkinghorne's web site with helpful links http://www.polkinghorne.org
Darwin's Forgotten Christian Defenders
http://www.creation-science.us/creationism/darwin.html
Three Cheers For Christian Evolutionists http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/evolution/christian_evolution.html
From Abandoning Geocentrism To Accepting Evolution: A "Liberal Trend" Among Evangelical Christians? http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/2/part12.html
Evolving Interpretations of the Bible's "Cosmological Teachings"--Or--Does the Bible "Teach Science?"
http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/geocentrism/cosmology.html
DWISE1'S Creation/Evolution Page
(On the Danger of Losing One's Faith Due to Fallacious Creationist Arguments, and why Christians must remain open to theistic evolution) http://members.aol.com/dwise1/cre_ev/
Christian Evolutionists (and lots of old-earth arguments, including testimonies of former Young-Earthers) http://www.answersincreation.org/evolution.htm
http://answersincreation.org/testimony.htm
Dr. Robert J. Schneider's Science and Faith essays http://www.berea.edu/specialproject/scienceandfaith/default.asp
Dr. Allan H. Harvey's essays
http://members.aol.com/steamdoc/writings.htm
Dr. Anthony Garrett (former atheist and member of Australia's skeptic society who became a Christian evolutionist) http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/anthony_garrett/esct.html
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s17040.htm
John D. Callahan (aithor of Science and Christianity, and his debate with YEC Kent Hovind is on the web) http://www.faithreason.org/
ChristiansForEvolution newsgroup
http://groups.msn.com/ChristiansForEvolution
The Pope's Message On Evolution
http://www.cin.org/jp2evolu.html
Fine-Tuners Who Reject I.D. Arguments
http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/babinski/inerrancy.html
Howard J. Van Till (Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College) http://www.meta-library.net/bio/hvt-body.html
"Chance From a Theistic Perspective" (The Perspectives of Two Evangelical Christian Evolutionists: Donald MacKay and John Polkinghorne) http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance-theistic.html
Carl Drews
http://www.theistic-evolution.com/index.html
Christian Evolutionism at the ASA website (American Scientific Association, an organization of Evangelical Christains who are scientists,includes both old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists) http://www.asa.org http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/evolution/index.shtml
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Evolution/murphy__van_dyke_dialogue.html#Theistic%20Evolution
Glenn Morton
http://home.entouch.net/dmd/dmd.htm
Stephen Meyers's website
http://www.bibleandscience.com
Webpage that features the article, "I.D. For I.Dummies"
http://www.intelligent-design.us/
Zygon (journal)
http://zygoncenter.org/about_who.html
Voices For Evolution: Statements From Religious Organizations http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/1028_statements_from_religious_org_12_19_2002.asp
Another Christian evolutionist
http://plaza.ufl.edu/dmorgan/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3) E-MAILS FROM PROFESSORS WHO ARE CHRISTIAN EVOLUTIONISTS

Ed,
You might add to your List of Prominent Christian Evolutionists the following names: Peter Dodson (dinosaurs) and Simon Conway Morris (Cambrian). Apparently Sean Carroll, the 'evo-devo' guru is a Catholic who thinks God is real - thus, I presumes fits the bill. My guess is we have about 5000+ "theistic evolutionists" of various stripes teaching science at the 100-odd schools of the "Council on Christian Colleges and Universities"--but most of us keep our heads down--hoping to 'pass' as "real" Christians (in lieu of our fellow brethrens' suspicions to the contrary).
David L Wilcox
---------------
Ed -
Thanks for the list. I am honored and pleased to be included on your list among such august company as Dr. Kenneth Miller, Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, Glenn Morton, and Dr. Francis Collins! You have the majority of my favorites already listed. I have a section on "Theistic Evolution" on my References page that has a few of yours:
http://www.theistic-evolution.com/references.html
Go there and search for "Theistic Evolution" and you'll find my shorter list.
Consider adding Michael Dowd and his Great Story: http://www.thegreatstory.org/
Dowd comes across as kind of "New Age"-y, but in his presentation I could not find anything that contradicts the Bible. There is also the Nebraska Religious Coalition for Science Education: http://nrcse.creighton.edu/
One promiment name I did not find on your list is that of Rev. Dr. Francisco Ayala, an ordained priest and scientist: http://ecoevo.bio.uci.edu/Faculty/Ayala/Ayala.html
You might contact him to verify that it's the right guy, and that he is an ordained priest.
When I started my web site in 2000 there were very few sites on the Internet that had anything positive to say about theistic evolution. Now there are plenty that advocate the view that God can (and did) create through the process of evolution. Francis Collins in particular can be paraphrased as saying, "What's the problem?"
I think Chistians like me have woken up to the fact that young-earth creationism won't go away just by ignoring it. We have also realized that the bogus claims of creationism have turned many people away from accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! Arguing about scientific theories is one thing, but distorting the Gospel (or adding to it) is quite another thing entirely! See Galatians 1:8-9 for details.
Lest anyone write off us TE people as a bunch of liberal compromisers, I am a member of the Anglican Mission in America. Although I dislike political labels, the AMiA is generally considered to be a conservative offshoot of the Episcopal Church. So although there may be a correlation, it's not true that only liberal Christians accept evolution.
If you're interested in my credentials, I'm currently sweating through the second semester of Atmospheric Dynamics on my way to earning a Master's Degree in Atmospheric Science. Theistic meteorology can be a useful analogy! When I graduate I'll feel free to call myself a scientist, but for now I'm a software engineer working with meteorological data. And trying to clear the path to Jesus, despite the obstacles that others would put in the way.
In Christ's service,
Carl Drews
------------
Ed
You might want to sayJohn Polkinghorne is "author of many books including:" and add that he is a winner of the Templeton Prize and the founding President of ISSAT
You could also add Arthur Peacocke, Prof Simon Conway Morris FRS and Dennis Alexander (author of Rebuilding the Matrix)
YIC
Nicholas
-------------
I recommend the following:
All the works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
All the works of Karl Schmitz-Moormann, Especially his Theology of Creation in an Evolutionary World.
Good luck,
Philip Hefner
-------------
Please feel free to add me to the list of Christian evolutionists. I direct the course on the "Epic of Creation" at the Zygon Center for Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. I am an Orthodox Christian, and I wrote the book "Beauty and Unity in Creation: The Evolution of Life", Light and Life Publishers, 1996. I have also attached my CV which lists my scientific accomplishments.

Nevertheless, if this does not fit with the format of information you are posting, please feel free to disregard this email. Zygon thought I should supply you with the needed information.

Best wishes in your endeavors,
Gayle

Gayle E. Woloschak, Ph. D.
Professor, Department of Radiology
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, IL
--------------
Dear Ed
Thank you for your very informative email listing many Christians who are committed to the God who is sovereign over natural process. And I wish you well in your efforts against the spread of 'Creationism'.
In New Zealand, where I live, American 'Creationism' has got an almost total hold on the evangelical public. However, here and in Australia too, evangelical theologians and Christians who are scientists (in universities and government research institutes) are solidly behind mainstream science.
Very useful contacts in the UK would be geneticists Dr Caroline Berry and her husband Prof. Sam Berry. They represent Christians in Science, the UK-based organisation of evangelicals with an interest in science.
In New Zealand, one notable contact would be Prof Gareth Jones, who is a structural biologist who has written extensively on Christianity and science themes.
The evangelical organisation in Australia which has sought to withstand the 'Creationist' onslaught is ISCAST, for whom a contact man is their Administrator Mr Richard Gijsbers. He could put you in touch with many highly ranked scientists who are Christians.
I submit some websites (listed in my booklets which you have presented in your email) which should give useful contacts in various countries. Christians in Science (CiS): http://www.cis.org.uk/
The Victoria Institute: http://www.faithandthought.org.uk/
The above two organizations publish the journal Science and Christian Belief. Scibel:
http://scibel.gospelcom.net/
Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology (ISCAST): http://www.iscast.org.au/
American Scientific Affiliation (ASA): http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/
The ASA publishes the journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith.
Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation (CSCA): http://www.csca.ca/
Affiliation of Christian Geologists (ACG): http://www.wheaton.edu/ACG/
I can provide you with other contacts if you would like them! I attached an article that I and some fellow Christians published last year. You may find it interesting.
If you can suggest how my booklets can be distributed in the USA, I would be very glad to hear any suggestions. Keep up your good work.
Yours sincerely in Christ
Graeme Finlay
PhD
P.S., Humans and chimps share an extensive collection of particular genetic markers. [For example, our DNA shares with that of other primates a vast catalogue of genetic parasites--several million in number, comprising 50% of the human genome--that provide a consistent outline of primate evolutionary relationships. Remarkable studies using the ‘Alu’ genetic parasite as an evolutionary marker have been done by Salem A-H, Ray DA, Xing J et al (2003). Alu elements and hominid phylogenetics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100, 12787; Xing JC, Salem AH, Hedges DJ et al (2003). Comprehensive analysis of two Alu Yd subfamilies. J Mol Evol 57 Suppl 1, S76.] The shared history to which such common markers testify establishes conclusively that human and chimp genomes have been copied from the same line of ancestors. It is a conclusion that we must live with. And when the details of the chimp genome are published with great fanfare in the scientific literature and the popular media, it is a c!
onclusion for which we must give a Christian interpretation.
For a discussion of evolutionary genetics from a Christian perspective see Rolston H (1999). Genes, Genesis and God. (Cambridge: CUP).
For a discussion of the compatibility between evolutionary and religious perspectives, see and Conway Morris S (2003). Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (Cambridge: CUP).
The dangers inherent in Christians making the wrong choices are well expressed by the evangelical historian Noll MA (1994). The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, and Leicester: IVP).
Graeme Finlay PhD is a cell biologist who lectures in scientific pathology at the University of Auckland, and should be addressed in any correspondence.
Warren Judd PhD lectured in molecular biology for several years in the University of Auckland, and is currently editor of the NZ Geographic Graham O'Brien PhD is a molecular geneticist who is training for the ministry. He is a member of the Inter-Cchurch Bioethics Council Ross Prestidge PhD, a biochemist, is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd., Auckland.
Andrew Shelling PhD a molecular biologist, lectures in Reproductive Science at the University of Auckland, and is currently President of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (NZ Branch).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4) HUMAN EVOLUTION (CREATIONISTS MAKE ADMISSIONS)
Two quotations from creationists:
`I was surprised to find that instead of enough fossils barely to fit into a coffin, as one evolutionist once stated [in 1982], there were over 4,000 hominid fossils as of 1976. Over 200 specimens have been classified as Neandertal and about one hundred as Homo erectus. More of these fossils have been found since 1976.
--Michael J. Oard [creationist], in his review of the book, Bones of Contention -- A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils, in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 30, March 1994, p. 222
`The current figures [circa 1994] are even more impressive: over 220 Homo erectus fossil individuals discovered to date, possibly as many as 80 archaic Homo sapiens fossil individuals discovered to date, and well over 300 Neandertal fossil individuals discovered to date.
Marvin L. Lubenow [creationist], author of Bones of Contention
-- A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils, in a letter to the editor of the Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 31, Sept. 1994, p. 70
"Transitional Fossils of Hominid Skulls" by Carl Drews, a Christian evolutionist, "By 2000 enough pre-human fossils had been recently discovered to form a clearer picture of human ancestry, something that was difficult 20 years earlier. This web page contains an illustration of those skulls, displayed in a lineup so that you can compare them and see if they look like transitional fossils or not. I have provided my own commentary, but feel free to analyze them yourself and draw your own conclusions."
http://www.theistic-evolution.com/transitional.html
Index to Creationist Claims Concerning Human Evolution http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CC0
Creationists themselves cannot agree which species are humans and which are apes http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/compare.html
Humans and Apes
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#morphological_intermediates_ex3
Creationism and Human Evolution
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/cre_args.html
Arguments We Think Creationists Should Not Use (A must read article at the Young-Earth Creationist site, Answers in Genesis) http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp
Debunking Creation Science With Creation Science http://darwin.ws/contradictions/
"Creationists Admit Difficulties With Their Hypothesis"
http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/babinski/hypothesis.html

5/07/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Free Will versus Determinism

sent in by The Happy Humanist

An excerpt from "Introduction to Psychology" 4th ed. by James W. Kalat:

"Beginning with the Renaissance period in Europe, people began looking for scientific explanations for the phenomena they observed. One of the key points of this Scientific Revolution was a shift toward seeking the immediate causes of an event (what led to what) instead of the final causes (the ultimate purpose of the event in an overall plan). Scientists analyzed the motion of objects in terms of pushes and pulls, and other laws of nature. That is, they made an assumption that everything that happens has a cause, or determinant, in the observable world.

Is the same true for human behavior? We are, after all, part of the physical world. Your brain and mine are made of chemical compounds subject to the same laws of nature as anything else. According to the determinist assumption for human behavior, everything we do has a cause.

Clearly, at least some of those causes lie within us. A person walking down a mountainside is not the same as a rock that is rolling or bouncing down the same mountainside. The point of psychological determinism is that even when you make comoplex decisions about how to get down a mountainside safely, your decision is a product of the combined influence of your genetics, your past experiences, and the current environment. That is, just as an engineer can design a robot to consider information and make appropriate decisions, your genetics and experience have programmed you to make appropriate decisions.

Logically, the opposite of determinism would be indeterminism - the idea that events happen randomly with no cause at all. When we are discussing psychology, however, few people argue that important events are truly random or indeterminate. Rather, opponents of determinism defend a position called free will, a difficult view to describe. To some extent, it is merely a rejection of determinism, claiming that people sometimes make decisions not controlled by their genetics, their past experiences, or their environment. But what is left besides genetics and environment? The answers here are generally vague, but accompanied by an insistence that our decision-making processes are in some way beyond the reach of the natural sciences.

The test of determinism is ultimately empirical: If everything we do has a cause, our behavior should be predictable. To a large extent, it is. For example, suppose a number of students are studying in various rooms of a campus building when they hear an announcement: "A fire has broken out in this building. By the time we bring the fire under control, the smoke and fumes may become hazardous. We therefore request that everyone leave the building." I can predict that almost everyone will promptly leave the building. I can make an even more accurate prediction if I know something about the individual students: I can predict that everyone will leave the building except those who are hearing-impaired, those who do not understand English, and those who have been advised by a friend that "every year at about this time someone says to leave the building because of a fire, but it's just a silly exercise to show that psychologists can predict your behavior, so be sure to ignore the warning."

In other situations, however, you might object that no one could possibly predict your behavior, no matter how much he or she knew about you. For example, no one could predict what you will choose to eat for lunch tomorrow or which color of sweater you will buy or how many pages of this book you will read before you quit to do something else.

You are right; certain details of your behavior will probably remain forever unpredictable. However, that unpredictability does not imply a lack of causes. Physicists and mathematicians today talk about chaos - the complex effects that result from the influence of many small causes. For example, imagine that I drop a golf ball at the top of a hilly road and measure the exact point at which it eventually comes to rest. Then I take the ball back to the same location at the top of the hill and drop it in the same way as I did the first time. Will it eventually land in the same place as it did the first time? Very unlikely. The first bounce or two will be in nearly the same places as before, but with each succeeding bounce, the ball will veer farther and farther from its original route. The discrepancy does not indicate that the ball has violated the principles of physics; it simply shows the cumulative influence of an enormous number of tiny influences. Similarly, when you are deciding what to eat for lunch or which sweater to buy, your behavior is subject to so many tiny influences that your choice may be no more predictable than the final bounce of that golf ball. The unpredictability stems from the great number of small causes, not from a lack of causes.

Like most scientifically oriented psychologists, I, your author, believe in the concept of determinism. However, let me concede an important point. You will recall that in the introduction to this chapter I said that we all sometimes state something with confidence when it really is only an assumption. Here is such a case. Researchers assume that every behavior has a natural cause, because that assumption seems to work, and because the only way to test the assumption is to see how far we can go with it before we find some limit. Still, to be honest, it is an assumption and not a certainty."

Okay, I'll admit I took the easy way out and quoted verbatum from a textbook. So sue me. Anyway, if there are any religious fundamentalists out there who would like to argue that free will exists, let's do it. Let the debate begin.

5/06/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Does God Exist?

Recently an article was posted with a link to an audio "Does God Exist" debate...which really sucked (the Atheist was very ill-prepared, etc). So, I went searching for some better ones, and found a web site with tons of good stuff.

The website URL is: http://www.rctr.org/ap5.htm

In particular, there is a good "Does God Exist" debate located here (in four parts):

1) http://server.firefighters.org/fernandes/36004.mp3

2) http://server.firefighters.org/fernandes/36005.mp3

3) http://server.firefighters.org/fernandes/36006.mp3

4) http://server.firefighters.org/fernandes/36007.mp3

Just a little pre-info about the debate: The Atheist debater is Dan Barker, author of Losing Faith In Faith.

This debate should be fun for all of us at Ex-Christian.net to listen to, that is, if you post either this message, or the information pertaining to the links contained in this message.

Thanks,

Bimmu

5/03/2005                                                                                       View Comments

“Does The Christian God Exist?” Debate

NCPC's Paul Manata debated Derek Sansone on the topic “Does The Christian God Exist?” on Friday April 22, 2005. The debate was hosted by North City and moderated by Gene Cook, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in San Diego.

Recordings of this event are available for purchase ($2 for Audio CDs and $5 for DVD). See Shawn Dollar to request a copy.

Derek Sansone was raised a Roman Catholic in Syracuse, New York. At age 29, in 2001, he “became a born again Christian” and was an ardent student of theology, church history, philosophy and apologetics. In the spring of 2004, Derek declared himself an atheist. He represents the philosophical position of strong atheism and has participated in many debates with Christians.

Paul Manata is an ex-atheist who became a Christian in 1999. He has lived in California for 27 of his 29 years. He is a member of North City Presbyterian Church. Paul is a student of reformed theology, philosophy and apologetics. Paul takes classes at Bahnsen Theological Seminary and hopes to obtain his Masters in Apologetics. He represents the philosophical position of presuppositional (in the tradition of Cornelius Van Til) and will present the transcendental argument for God's existence. Paul has participated in many debates with atheists.

The Debate Files Located Here.

5/02/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Family invites people to see Virgin Mary, Jesus on rock

from WKYC-TV Cleveland, OH

JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- A Stark County man thinks he may have a miracle sitting in his garden.

He says images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary mysteriously appeared on two of his garden rocks this week.

It’s hard to miss the Hartman’s house in Jackson Township. It’s surrounded by a white picket fence. And it has a beautiful garden complete with a miniature train track.

It was in the garden that Robert Hartman said he made a miraculous discovery.

Hartman says he was “tinkering around” when he saw the image of Virgin Mary on a rock. Then another stone caught Hartman’s eye. He says it bears an image of Jesus. He says it’s a sign from god.

The other thing that’s so interesting about these rocks is that one of them has a dark patch. It’s actually a film or oil-like substance. And it has a very distinctive smell. In fact, it smells like flowers.

Hartman’s mother, Ethel, told Channel 3 News the night before the images appeared, a mysterious flash of light awakened her.

“It woke me up because the lights came on up in back,” said Ethel. “And it shined right on my bed.”

The next day when her son showed her the images on the rocks, she was convinced it was a sign from god.

Ethel Hartman is a devout Catholic and prays the rosary up to 15 times a day. She says she doesn’t know why the lord chose to create the images in her yard, but she’s thankful nonetheless.

The Hartman’s welcome anyone who’s interested in seeing the rocks. They live just outside Massillon, in Jackson Township. There house sits at the corner of Amhearst and Traphagen Street.

A video clip is temporarily available HERE.

5/01/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Locusts – 1, Christians - 0

© 2005 Tim Simmons

Contrary to what Christians claim, one can never reclaim the years the locusts have eaten. Time lost is time lost. There is no time machine. I often recall the times in my youth that I now consider to be wasted and wish I could somehow get back that time. Not all idle time was wasted but how many times did I hit the replay button on my Super Nintendo system?

Most people don’t dwell on the past and I suppose that isn’t a bad thing but often it is a good thing to look back with the advantage of hindsight and see if you can piece together some truths that may help guide your future. The saying that those who forget the errors in history are bound to repeat them is true.

Am I wasting time typing this? If I didn’t have an overall goal then it’s possible. Perhaps it falls under the category of therapy. If you can postpone the urge to yell “hypocrite” for a moment, I’d like to make my point.

How much total time has been wasted in prayer since Christianity began?

No one can really say but I will attempt to quantify it if only in a very crude estimation.

Let’s ignore the billion Muslims and other praying folk and just consider Christians. First, we need to ask how much time is spent in prayer by the average Christian in a week’s time. Let’s say they go to church twice a week (that’s 30 minutes) and somehow manage to pray a couple more times that week for 5 minutes each. That’s another 15 minutes. But we need to average in the really righteous ones who pray each day at many different times. We can assume a five-minute prayer several times a day or one long one. Either way, let’s give them a total of one hour per day. Let’s assume also that the really righteous ones are outnumbered 10 to 1. So, we average that up and we have 450 minutes/day plus 60 minutes/day giving 510 minutes a day for every 11 Christians. That’s 3,570 minutes per week in prayer.

Now, to get the yearly total we multiply by 52 and get 185,640 minutes that are wasted by a mere eleven Christians. According to www.religioustolerance.org, Christians comprise approximately 33% of the world’s population. The current population as of 2005/05/01 is approximately 6,517,000,000 people so that gives us a total of well over two billion Christians.

So, in the year 2004, how much time was wasted by Christians in prayer?

We need to divide 2,000,000,000 by 11 to get our base chunk (that gives us 181,818,181). Multiply that times the amount of minutes wasted by 11 Christians in a year and we get 33,752,727,120,840 minutes wasted in prayer for the year 2004. Yes, that is 33 trillion minutes which equals 64,217,517 years.

Sixty-four million years were wasted on prayer in 2004. How many human lives does that equal? Simply divide it by 75.

I won’t do the math. I don’t think I could bear to see that number in writing.

Remember, that’s just one year. If you really want to scare yourself, multiply that by 2,000 years and don’t forget to factor in the correct world population.

This time is gone and can never be redeemed. How much good could have been accomplished using the 64 million years that was wasted on prayer in 2004? What will you do with your time today?

TERRORISM: HOW VULNERABLE IS THE UNITED STATES?

Dave8 wrote:

Well, thought I would look at some history and see what the predictions were for the Fundies about ten years ago... The U.S. Army War College published an article "How Vulnerable is the U.S." within the Strategic Studies Institute... So, ten years ago...

http://nsi.org/Library/Terrorism/usterror.htm

"The threat posed by fundamentalist religious groups of all faiths cannot be discounted. Not only Islamic extremists, but other "true believers" of a variety of faiths are likely to engage in terrorist acts against American targets. These groups might be supported or joined in their operations by domestic religious extremists. In addition, they might also seek alliances with a variety of cultists, survivalists, or neo-fascists who, for their own reasons, reject the existing social, economic, and political order and await their own versions of Armageddon."

One could say hindsight is 20/20, but there are many sharp people who knew the threat, but like many things, no politician wants to spend money unless they have public backing... and obviously not too many politicians thought the threat was great enough to poll the public for support... and then... 9/11...

Faith based Theocracy sucks, because the Leaders of this Nation are to Not Only LEAD the Nation, But They were Elected By The People, and For The People, and Should Follow The Majority... A Leader Must Lead by Following the Collective Conscience of the Nation... There is nothing worse than to live in a Country where the Minority have Total Control... that would be like living in... lets say... Iraq a few years ago... I am sure we aren't thinking of moving in that direction, or are we... We are at war with Iraq's Fundamentalists because the Citizens weren't strong enough to fight them off... however, I think that's why we have the Right to Bear Arms... We may not have that problem, if there were the attempt at a U.S. coupe by Domestic Fundamentalists... Maybe that's what happened to JFK... makes one wonder... Things to think about...

Why do we need the 10 Commandments?

by George Carlin -

Here’s my problem. Why are there 10 Commandments? You don’t need 10. The list of Commandments was deliberately and artificial inflated to get it up to 10. It’s a padded list.

Here’s what they did: About 5000 years ago, a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try and figure out how to control people and how to keep them in line. They knew people were basically unintelligent and would believe whatever they were told. So they announced that God had given them some Commandments up on a mountain.........when nooooooo one was around. But why did they pick the number 10? Why not 9 or 11? I’ll tell you why - because 10 sounds official, 10 sounds important. They knew if it was 11, the people wouldn’t take them seriously. What, are you kidding me? The 11 Commandments? Get the F*&#K outta here! 10 is the basis for the decimal, it’s a decade, it’s a psychologically satisfying number. The 10 most wanted, the 10 best dressed. So having 10 Commandments was really a Marketing Decision.

To me, it’s clearly a bulls@%t list. It’s a political document, artificially inflated to sell better. I’m going to show you how you could reduce the number of Commandments and come up with a list that’s more workable and logical.

We are going to start with the first 3 and I’ll use the Roman Catholic Version. It’s the version most of us know.

1 - I am the Lord thy God. Thou shall have not have strange Gods before me.

2 - Thou shall not take the Lord thy God’s name in vain

3 - Thou shall keep the Sabbath

Right off the bat, the first 3, pure bulls@%t. Sabbath day, Lord’s name, strange Gods. Spooky language designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way, this superstitious nonsense applies to the lives of intelligent humans in the 21st Century. So, we’ll throw out the first 3 Commandments. Now you’re down to 7.

4 - Honor thy mother and father

Obedience and respect for authority - just another name for controlling people. The truth is, obedience and respect should not be automatic - they should be earned and should be based on the parent’s performance. Some parents deserve respect; most of them don’t. PERIOD! Now we are down to 6.

In the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we’ll jump around the list a bit.

5 - Thou shall not steal

6 - Thou shall not bear false witness

Stealing and lying, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior - Dishonesty. So you don’t need two of them. Instead, you combine them and call it: Thou shall not be dishonest. Suddenly, we are down to 5.

And as long as we are combining, I have two more that belongs together

7 - Thou shall not commit adultery

8 - Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife

Once again, these two prohibit the same kind of behavior - Martial Infidelity. The difference, is coveting takes place in the mind and I don’t think you should outlaw someone fantasying about someone’s wife, otherwise what’s a guy to do when waxing his carrots? But, martial infidelity is a good idea, so we are going to keep it and call it: Thou shall not be unfaithful. Now we are down to 4.

But when you think about it, honesty and fidelity are really part of the same overall value. So in truth, you could combine the two honesty Commandments with the two infidelity Commandments and give them a simpler language, positive language instead of a negative and call them: Thou shall always be honest and faithful. So now we are down to 3.

9 - Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods

This one is just plain FU*%King stupid. Coveting your neighbor’s goods is what keeps the economy going. Coveting create jobs. Throw out coveting and now we are down to 2.

10 - Thou shall not kill

WELL, when you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people had been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. All you have to do is to look at Northern Ireland, The Middle East, Kashmir, Inquisition and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious take “Thou shall not kill.” The more devout they are, the more they see murder as negotiable. It depends on who is doing the killing and who is being killed.

So here is the revised list of the 2 Commandments

1 - Thou shall always be honest and faithful to the person who gives you nuky

2 - Thou shall try real hard not to kill anyone

Two is all we needed and Moses could have carried those down the mountain in his pockets.