Will We Ever Agree About Religion…Part 3

Parts 1 and 2 are immediately below this entry.

Hi John Andrew, thank for your reply.

You write:
“Do colleges, the media and the internet give you unbiased information?  You might think so, but is it really true?  It’s nearly impossible to write about how things are without letting your worldview – your bias – peek through.  And the only worldview that is acceptible by most colleges and high schools, and therefore their textbooks, is the kind of God-denying secularism they seem to hold in high regard.”

Well, I think the Main Stream Media (MSM) is very biased with only very few one-off exceptions. The internet is as biased as anyone can be…depends on the site you are on. The college textbooks on science are of course biased to science, after-all that’s what they’re teaching. You don’t want to teach or promote religion in a science class.  Of course that is exactly what the religious right is trying to do.

If you go to a religious college or high school that is supported and privately run by a religious group or association you might expect religion to be taught in science class.  If I send my children to a public school that is supported by government and my taxes I fully expect that religion does not enter into the curriculum. I expect that wall of separation that the constitution provides for to protect my child from someone else’s vision of religion or from religion all together.

You write:
“You seem to have a completely different view of our founding fathers’ reasons for setting up the wall of separation between church and state than mine.  My view is that they had learned – in some cases first hand – the oppression of both church-controlled state, and state mandated religion and wanted to find a better alternative.  They believed in the reality of sin.  They believed that every human being has the capacity for both great good and unimaginable evil.  The checks and balances were put in to limit the ability of any one man or even small group of men to dictate the laws of the society.  And the wall of separation was one of them.”

The wall of separation, or checks and balances, was to prevent the churches from taking over society again; the founders wanted a secular government that was not ruled by religious dogma. They respected religion, but feared its known capability and eagerness to take over and rule all things earthly.  They knew their history.

It is not public schools place to promote and teach an evangelical fundamentalists vision to my child.  If you really want to get religion into public schools, design a course that incorporates all currently practiced theisms, and make the course separate from science, and make it an optional class. Creationism or Young Earth Creationism or Intelligent Design is not by any stretch of the imagination science or scientific despite the attacks by some “scientists.” At some point all these Creationist scientists and their explanations break down and attribute God as a causal agent. “That’s it God did it…look no further.”

“I’m sure you’ve heard it, but science is purely naturalistic and does not accept the supernatural or magic as a causal agent of anything. If we don’t know all the facts or can’t explain it now, then we research it more until the ultimately natural cause is found.  And you know what… it’s always a natural cause. This is not just man being prideful or egotistical; it is a well proven method of solving problems and gaining knowledge.  Religion seems to be anathema to gaining more knowledge.

When evil men, in the early centuries after Jesus, grabbed the power of religion and used its power to subjugate all the surrounding lands it showed its true potential to suppress and degrade humanity.  It was Christianity, but it was not loving by any means. The evil men of these early years of monotheism tried every trick they could think of to convert all people to their faith. They brutally suppressed any variations of what they declared was the true path of-or-to God. You either converted or died, you either worship the way they want or you die, you accept our theology or die.  This is a real strong clue that this religion is not the work of a real God.

One forms opinions of people and institutions by their past performances and how they interact with and treat us and all they come in contact with.  We know how God treated the people he created, by reading the Old Testament, and in the times after Jesus by reading history.  This is history folks…its written down and attested to by witnesses, the OT is said to be true by Jewish historians, and the histories written about the Dark Ages and the later slaughter of Catholics by Protestants and visa-versa is independently attested to by writings and witnesses.  This growth and spreading of the Gospels that the early church promoted was not a Godly enterprise.

If the Christian God was actually behind this early diaspora of “The Word” and the “One True God” then I doubt he is a God of love…you’re being bamboozled folks.

John, I know you are bothered by my constantly bringing up the early times in Christianity, but what I am trying to get across is the point that all of the stuff that went on in the spreading of this religion cannot by any way imaginable be the work of a God, let alone a “loving God” I reject the thought that a God that I might want to worship…has killed or caused to be killed so many of us.  Don’t try to insert free-will or God was just killing bad guys…those excuses are lame.  My sadly deficient intellect says that things could have been done tremendously better than what we know happened.

I think that the early Hebrews just made it all up for their own unknown reasons and later folks picked up on it–not realizing how destructive the force could and would be.

You write:
“What overwhelms me is the colossal arrogance of anyone (and I’ve been plenty guilty of this, so I’m not just pointing the finger at you) who presumes to know more about the situation than God does.  Suppose (and this is just a speculation) his purpose in creating everything as it is now is to teach us?  Suppose He knows that we would never learn to do good unless we saw the consequences?  And suppose life is not just what we see in the here and now, and that everything you think, say and do in this life sets the course for your life in Heaven.”

Hey, 🙂  this is not arrogance at all…at least not in my case.  1st. point-I’m talking logic and God’s not acting in a logical manner, and I’m thinking that He’s acting like an ancient goat/sheep herder would think a God might act.  2nd. point-teach us???? How is it Godlike to cause so much suffering and death and destruction?  I’ll just throw that out and try not to think about it again.  3rd. point-Yes, there is always the chance I am wrong…I fully admit that.  The afterlife has been promised many times by many religions. I think it is just a gimmick to fluff up the enrollment ledgers.

You write:
“You’ve now said for the fourth time that Adam and Eve did not exist – not that the evidence suggests they didn’t, but that they flat out didn’t.  I don’t know, but that kind of unequivocal statement, made as if it were even possible for you to know, makes you what?  Over zealous?  I don’t see why you keep coming back to that.

I won’t say a word. 🙂

You ever hear a DA trying to convict a killer with circumstantial evidence?  How sure are they of the evidence?

You write:
“…The answer is that only someone with a limitless wealth of goodness can come up with enough to buy me salvation.  That’s why we need a savior, and it’s true whether Adam and Eve were real or not.

Why do you need, or why is Jesus selling, salvation?  Do you not lead a good life? Don’t you treat your family well, treat your friends and acquaintances with respect and charity? Do you have fleeting thoughts of pure evil or perversion of some kind?

I’ve heard that most folks lead lives of quiet desperation. How many of us humans go out and do evil things like be a serial killer or child predator or seriously cheat and steal from our friends or people who believe in us? Damn few when you consider how many people there are.  Most common people get along with very minor transgressions in their lives, like cheat at cards or gossip or tell little white lies.

Sometimes your church may find out that their preacher is a homosexual or drug user or is having an affair out of their marriage or have singles making a little whoopee.  Other than the murderers and predators and seriously bad folk out there, where is the sin in being and acting like humans have for thousands of years.

You write:
“Now, on abortion, here’s the thing.  When a woman or girl ends up with an unwanted pregnancy, approximately 94% of the time, it’s because she decided to have sex for the pleasure of it, and assumed that it would not have consequences.”

I can only repeat that I would seriously not want this girl/woman to have an abortion…however I would not want the government or church to deny her humane and safe access.  Maybe tell her she only gets one chance or procedure.  I don’t know…I just think that the government and church do not own this person’s body, as much as they like to think they do. Personal decisions to have unprotected sex vs. sex by rape or incest or known physical deformity are totally different matters and require different rules. Again this is a matter between a woman and her doctor, but rape and incest and deformity should be cases where ipso-facto the offer of abortion is there immediately.


I couldn’t find an 8 week embryo, but this is a 7.5 week one.  Notice the size reference in lower left.  This is about the size of a butter-bean.  This is not a viable human at this point, it has no higher brain functions or self awareness and I don’t believe there is any Biblical injunction against aborting at this stage or any other.

What should we do with a woman/girl who has an abortion?

If abortions are outlawed, as they used to be because of religion, and women/girls still have them, as they always did…what should we do to them?

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Will We Ever Agree About Religion…Part 2

Hi again John Andrew, I hope all is well with you.

Continuing on from last post.

You write:
“Satan’s sin is the same, really, as the one portrayed by Adam and Eve – pride.  Pride says in effect ‘I exalt no one but myself, and will be subject to no one, because I do not submit to any higher authority.  In fact, my authority supersedes yours, so that when we disagree on moral issues, I’m right and you’re wrong.’  Yet even in a secular society, somebody makes up the rules.”

Well if Adam and eve did exist and the story went down as written in the bible then they did not suffer from the sin of pride. Their only “sin” was to be there.  They were newly hatched humans, they did not know sin or evil nor have any role models.  It was truly silly for a God to set up a situation like He did, especially since the guy is supposed to be omniscient.  A real god (if there is such a thing), would not set up such a trap knowing what the outcome would be. This is just another example of the childishness of this book and the religion…it is an obvious example of the thinking of humans 2700 or so years ago.

You write:
“Non-Christians all seem to make one common mistake.  They point to the bad behavior of other Christians, and say they want nothing to do with that kind of behavior.”

Non-Christians have less divorces, are fewer in prisons, and in general, are less threatening when their beliefs are challenged. Go down to Alabama or Georgia or South Carolina and start up a religious conversation with just about anybody in a crowd (do the atheist part) and see how safe you feel.

“(Jesus speaking)..“Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

You write:
“You also tend to make the mistake of lumping all religions together and being against them all.  Really, that’s just absurd.  There are significant differences, and many of them are mutually exclusive.”

All religions are pretty much the same when you look at the basics. Impossible superhuman powers, made the world, made humans (often in His image), we should bow down and worship, be kind to others-or kill-depending on the religion, etc..  All the stories are pretty silly and all show traces of being written by humans at their particular time in history…none show any real clairvoyance or understanding of what may come in human history. None of them show any evidence that they or their God knew anything about the whole world or the universe they were living in. They are mostly geographically insular in their outlook. None of them have any proofs of their reality…just myths.

You write:
“Jesus established a new order.  The things He taught did not counteract the teachings of our Old Testament, but they did give us new and fresh ways to understand the meaning of much it.  More importantly, Jesus showed us how God wants us to live.  He showed us that whenever we think we’re “good”, we’re deceiving ourselves.  We may be good compared to other people, but in the Kingdom of Heaven, all of our good works would be like filthy rags.”

Boy that sure builds up the confidence and good feelings, huh.  What is it with religion that it has to constantly nag and pick at us?  I live a perfectly good life as a human, I don’t drink, smoke, chase women, party, lie, I’m not a glutton, nor do I lust after things (well maybe computer and camera stuff) in short I pretty much follow what it would take to be a good god-fearing person…but, I do not fear a god or God and that makes me a sinner.  Bah-humbug.

I think the Gnostics had it right…the Catholic version which the Protestants copied truly sucks.


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Will We Ever Agree About Religion ??

I’m having a great discussion at the “Bloom Where You’re Planted” blog Here. It started with his blog on the resurrection that I replied to around Easter time, and quickly blossomed into a full discussion on religion.

You write:
“…it has relevance for anyone who is getting their information about Christianity from secular sources like college, Wikipedia, and the internet in general.  Our modern culture in the USA is so ruled by secular thought that it’s hard to even see where the bias comes in.  When the founding fathers of our country determined that there should be a wall of separation between the church and the state, they had it exactly right.  But their intent has been so mangled that it has come to mean something much different from what they intended…”

In regard to this opening sentence in your reply. Where else does one get information about religion but colleges, encyclopedias, other books, and the internet? One cannot just go to the Bible and theistic tomes written by the founders of a particular sect and expect unbiased and factual information. You must check many sources and compile diverse viewpoints and thoughts to arrive at a synthesis or approximation of truth. If you only follow one line of thought or viewpoint then your understanding of that subject is necessarily biased…and may not be true in a literal sense.

When our founding fathers erected that wall of separation between religion and state they were responding to the religious darkness that had for so long constrained and controlled the world that our forefathers knew. They and their ancestors had suffered religious and spiritual control by kings and religious leaders of the old country. Our main founding fathers were mostly agnostic or non-believers and they didn’t want the same kind of government leadership they were breaking away from.

As for the intent of the founders being mangled, I think what you are talking about is the normal expansion of knowledge and understanding that intelligent people experience as their civilization grows and begins to comprehend the truths and reality of the world around them.

I agree with you about the USSR and China and their treatment of the various religions they try to suppress. My only thought in bringing up the genocides that Christians (and other religions) have committed is to make the point that no matter the religion…one is not better than the other in regard to human rights.  In fact, if you think it through, all religions and all secular authorities have abused humans throughout time. Even Solomon hired out his citizens for slaves labor.  We in the US do it as well as anybody.

You write:
“It’s really interesting that you’ve mentioned your belief that Adam and Eve never existed at least three times now.”

In regard to Adam and Eve, should one take it as a literal story… were they (and the rest of the universe) really created and placed in the Garden of Eden about 6,000 years ago? If that is your position…you are up against tremendous-testable-scientific-evidence that modern mankind (and the universe) has been around for waaay longer than 6,000 years, and then of course there is the Neanderthal’s which in all ways appear to be a natural human predecessor and 98.5% human.  Then there are the other various predecessors to the  Neanderthals such as Homo-habilis, Homo antecessor, Homo erectus, etc.

You write:
“…by the way, the original sin was actually committed by Satan, and the sin was pride.  He decided that he really didn’t need God telling him how he should live.  So he led a revolt, and for this he and his minions were cast out of heaven.”

I’m talking about the “original sin that Paul wrote of in Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 for its scriptural base, and see it as perhaps implied in Old Testament passages such as Psalm 51:5 and Psalm 58:3. According to Paul, Adam and Eves consumption of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was the origination of sin in all humans thereafter.  Jesus was our redeemer of that sin, to make us OK with God again, by his death on the cross.

A short aside here, the Bible says that God does punish the son for the sins of the father and then it says in a different place that he does…which is right?

Just a thought about Satan’s revolt…God deconstructs him…end of problem.

You have to wonder about this; God (omnipotent and omniscient) made evil in the form of Satan and fully allows him to exist and foment seriously bad Mojo for us humans…key point here being–“God allows this”  The tremendously bad logic in this story just overwhelms me…does no one else see it?

I’m talking here of the theology that the evangelical fundamentalists have been championing in our times as the reason for Jesus’ being alive and being crucified. He died for our “sins” so we would/will have eternal life.  Without Jesus dying to atone for this inherited sin we would all go to hell.  Yeah, I know it’s kind of a hokey story, but remember Paul was making this stuff up 2,000 years ago. So the natural logic here is that if Adam and Eve did not exist; as they surely didn’t, we have no real need for Jesus. Now Jesus mentions God making humans, but he does not name names, even though as a Jewish rabbi he had access to the Torah or Tanakh

You write:
“…Without God’s definition of right and wrong, it’s up to man to decide, and we have a hard time agreeing on anything.  Some societies see it as OK to murder if you have a good reason, others say it’s never OK.  You say you’re against abortion, but not enough that you would actually agree with a law that made it illegal.  You say that you would never want to “impose my feelings or morals about these matters on anybody else”.  But you do.  You also say you are “totally on the side of women on this matter.”  So you’re saying you won’t take sides, but you are on the side of women.”

Our society right here in the US says it’s all right to kill…not murder. Distinction?  I agree with you that mankind has a hard time agreeing on anything, but we have had some success in the past at this and there is the UN statement on human rights which is a step in the right direction, however futile it appears now.

The thing is that people live together and decide that there are certain ways to conduct themselfs when in this societal milieu, and most people follow the rules.  When there are disruptive forces afoot then we tend to make laws to punish the wrong-doers who step out of line.  When families are involved we are much more controlling of social misfits. All societies will make laws against murder and thievery and the more common misdeeds naturally. In smaller social groups the laws tend to be unwritten but known by all, in larger groups they get written down and advertised …think of the code of Hammurabi in Babylon.

The point is that as groups of people get together they tend to set guidelines for behavior, which is simply a way of living peacefully and without fear.  The God of Moses seems to go way overboard when Gods laws include how to treat women when they’re menstruating and what to eat and how to prepare it, and many other weird commandments or laws that Deuteronomy puts forth.  I really feel that this is not God’s thinking.

Men have been able to visualize “perfect societies forever…they did not, and do not, need a god to instruct them in what’s good for them; that information has been floating around forever and is self evident.  By the way most Biblical scholars believe that Moses did not write the Pentateuch. It was written anonymously in the late 7th. Century with later additions after the fall of Judah in 586 BC

You write:
“…You say you’re against abortion, but not enough that you would actually agree with a law that made it illegal.  You say that you would never want to “impose my feelings or morals about these matters on anybody else”.  But you do.  You also say you are “totally on the side of women on this matter.”  So you’re saying you won’t take sides, but you are on the side of women.”

I admitted that although I did not like the idea of abortion, I believed that there are exceptions to this, as there is to most things in life.  To me the mother’s life takes precedence and if there’s a problem in this regard…the baby is sacrificed. Rape or incest is arguably the worst thing that can happen to a woman or girl-child, and making a woman/child carry a baby under these circumstances amounts to pure evil. These are decisions to be made by the women alone…not some church or government official. I would not vote or champion a cause to take away this right of women.

I would not impose my feelings or morals on someone, that’s not the same as talking about these things. Impose has the connotation of forcing ones viewpoint on someone…forcibly making a person do or not do whatever evil it is you are selling.  I don’t believe I said I would not take sides. I will not force (by legislation or other means) my position on others.

By the way I would welcome your input on the thought of abortion and how it has slowed population growth in the US, thereby, in some ways, helping our quality of living by alleviating some eco-concerns. Think of how bad smog and water quality (or availability) and crowding and scarceness of resources, etc. would be if we had an additional 100 to 150 million people living in our country right now.

You write:
“Have you ever watched the movie Bruce Almighty?  Funny, but it made a good point or two.  For one, when Bruce had the ability to be god, he didn’t do too well at it.  He tried to just grant every prayer request, but it went completely amuck.  For another, when he couldn’t make his girl love him without taking away her free will, God (played by Morgan Freeman) said ‘Welcome to my world, son.  If you figure that one out, you let me know….'”

I never saw the complete movie, but am familiar enough with it to understand what you are saying.  I wrote a post awhile back about the matter of free-will, I’ll have to find it and give you the Biblical references, but the gist of it is that the Bible says in many places we have free-will and many places it says we don’t  have free-will.  I still haven’t figured this out.

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; … Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.— Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

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The Myth of Religion

“The entire biological sciences field from biochemistry to ecology is predicated on the fact of evolution. In over 100 years of intensive research no facts inconsistent with evolutionary theory have ever been found. On the contrary, as we have obtained more and more detailed information, especially at the molecular and genomic levels, both the fact that evolution has occurred, creating the species currently existing on earth (including man), and the various mechanisms by which this occurs have become more and more clear. The question is not whether evolution has occurred, but which mechanisms have been most important. There is no need to invoke the supernatural or any higher power to explain life on earth. There is no controversy whatsoever among the many thousands of scientists in the field about the fact of evolution.”
Tom BlumenthalUC Boulder

What would we expect to find if the Christian God and religion were actually true? We would find ourselves living in a world with only one religion spread throughout the globe.  We would find that when we first contacted isolated native tribes, their religion and their God would be the one that already existed, the same one everyone worshipped, rather than being entirely different from anything known.

We would find religion that had no resemblance to the culture of the time and place of origin, it would be in possession of advanced scientific knowledge and advanced ethical principles totally unlike what was believed at the time it was written. These are reasonable things to expect if there really was a God truly interested in revealing Itself to us and being worshipped and recognized by us.

But, we find none of these things. What we really find is very contradictory and conflicting religions, and fighting and killing over minute details.   Some religions have specific “chosen” races or ethnic groups, and the more separated they are in time and space in their beginnings, the more their beliefs are at odds. When we encounter previously isolated tribes, their religions are always new and uniquely their own.

When we examine the scientific knowledge, value systems and writings of all world religions, they always have very strong and undeniable resemblances to the times and places where those religions were founded.  In other words the scope and breadth and value-systems of the religion are tied with inexorable certainty to its own time and own people and own place.  There is never any special knowledge written of, no sign that whatever God is behind the written words is imparting a supernatural knowledge of the times, or of times to come, that a God would be expected to have.

Is any religion real??

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Religion Continues to Kill

Our Bible is not as loving as a lot of people would like you to believe

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. 9 You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.”– Deuteronomy 13:6-11

Religion today is every bit as violent and dangerous as it was in the Dark and Middle-Ages. Within the last fifteen to twenty years the following religious conflicts have killed millions of people and totally ruined countless other lives.

Palestine–Jews vs. Muslims
Balkans-Orthodox Serbians vs. Catholic Croatians & Orthodox Serbians vs. Bosnian and Albanian Muslims
Northern Ireland-Protestants vs. Catholic
Kashmir-Muslims vs. Hindus
Sudan-Muslims vs. Christians and Animists
Nigeria-Muslims vs. Christians
Ethiopia and Eritrea-Muslims vs. Christians
Sri-Lanka-Sinhalese Buddhists vs. Tamil Hindus
Indonesia-Muslims vs. Timorese Christians
Caucuses-Russian Orthodox vs. Chechen Muslims and Muslim Azerbaijanis vs. Catholic and Orthodox Armenians
India vs. Pakistan-Muslim vs. Hindu-they have already fought 3 wars against each other and now both of these countries have nuclear weapons.

I believe that religion in all its forms and practices is the most deadly and destructive and evil force ever let loose on this planet…it is without a doubt the number one cause of human death and destruction.

Christian evangelical fundamentalist are actively working and praying for the end of the world.  Muslims believe they make it straight to heaven if they kill in what they think is defense of Allah, so the source of human bombers is pretty much inexhaustible.  Don’t forget those 72 virgins waiting for them. Talk about infantile and delusional behavior.

How long should we allow religion to hold sway over us?

How long should we allow the mentally unbalanced to run the asylum?

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Joshua Fought The Battle of Jericho and Other Lies

In 1901, John Rembsburg in his book “The Bible” writes:

“In the 12th chapter of Joshua is given a list of 31 kingdoms which were conquered by Israel. This was in the fifteenth century B.C. From this time forward they are represented as a mighty nation by Bible historians.

Rameses III overran Canaan and conquered it between 1280 and 1260 B.C. The Egyptian records give a list of all the tribes inhabiting it. The children of Israel– the Hebrews– were not there. In the 5th century B.C., when Herodotus, the father of History, was collecting materials for his immortal work, he traversed nearly every portion of Western Asia. He describes all its principal peoples and places; but the Jews and Jerusalem are of too little consequence to merit a line from his pen. Not until 332 B.C. do the Jews appear upon the stage of history, and then only as the submissive vassals of a Grecian king.”

Jerusalem, it seems, was not the glorious capital of an empire. These findings have been accepted by the majority of biblical scholars and archaeologists for many many years.

The stories of the ancient patriarchs were among the first to go when biblical scholars from the last two centuries subjected the scriptures to linguistic, textual, and literary analysis, noting all the inconsistencies, interrupted rhythms, comparing styles, and placing the text within the archaeological, historical and geographical background and found much of it filled with anachronisms.

Exodus, the second book of the Bible, a powerful epic story of human struggle slipped from history to myth when archaeologists could no longer ignore the complete lack of supporting evidence from contemporary Egyptian accounts and the total lack of archaeological evidence of large and long term encampments in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Biblical account of Joshua’s conquest of Canaan is inconsistent with the archaeological evidence.  The famous battle of Jericho, with which the Israelites purportedly launched their campaign of conquest after wandering in the desert for forty years, has been thoroughly debunked: the city of Jericho was mostly deserted at that time and had no standing walls to come tumbling down. Cities supposedly conquered by Joshua in the 14th century BC were destroyed long before he came on the scene. Some, such as Ai and Arad, had been in ruins for as much as 1,000 years before him.

The evidence is now pretty much accepted by all mainstream archaeologists.

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich–Napoleon

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Internet Censorship ??

Surfin’ the internet today and look what I found.  Do you think this is true?  Will BIG business telecoms take over our internet?  I have a feeling that if this were to happen most of the content and user base would dry up.

Canadian ISPs Plan Net Censorship

Concerns grow that Canada’s plan will wipeout alt news sites and spread to U.S.

By Mike Finch

A net-neutrality activist group has uncovered plans for the demise of the free Internet by 2010 in Canada. By 2012, the group says, the trend will be global.

Bell Canada and TELUS, Canada’s two largest Internet service providers (ISPs), will begin charging per-site fees on most Internet sites, reports anonymous sources within TELUS.

“It’s beyond censorship, it is killing the biggest ecosystem of free expression and freedom of speech that has ever existed,” I Power spokesperson Reese Leysen said. I Power was the first group to report on the possible changes.

Bell Canada has not returned calls or emails.

The plans made by the large telecom businesses would change the Internet into a cable-like system, where customers sign up for specific web sites, and must pay to see each individual site beyond a certain point. Subscription browsing would be limited, extra fees would be applied to access out-of-network sites. Many sites would be blocked altogether.

“We had inside sources from bigger companies who gave us the information on how exclusivity deals are being made at this moment between ISPs and big content providers (like TV production studios and major video game publishers) to decide which web sites will be in the ‘standard package’ offered to their customers, leaving all the rest of the Internet unreachable unless you pay extra subscription fees per every ‘non-standard’ site you visit,” Leysen said. “We knew the source to be 100% reliable, but we also knew the story would be highly controversial if we released the information. We did it because we knew that we’d get more official confirmations once we’d come forward with it. And indeed that is what happened. Dylan Pattyn, who is writing the soon-to-be published article for Time Magazine, received confirmation from sources within Bell Canada and TELUS after we released the information.”

The plans would in effect be economic censorship, with only the top 100 to 200 sites making the cut in the initial subscription package. Such plans would likely favor major news outlets and suppress smaller news outlets, as the major news outlets would be free (with subscription), and alternative news outlets, like AFP, would incur a fee for every visit.

“The Internet will become a playground for billion-dollar content providers just like television is,” said Leysen. “It won’t be possible for a few teenagers in their parents’ basement to start a small site like E-bay that then grows out to be the next big thing anymore. Right now the Internet belongs to those with the greatest ideas. In the future, it’ll belong to those with the biggest budgets.”

With plans in Canada uncovered, I Power thinks that companies in the United States and other nations are also planning similar actions.

“By 2012 ISPs all over the globe will reduce Internet access to a TV-like subscription model, only offering access to a small standard amount of commercial sites and require extra fees for every other site you visit. These ‘other’ sites would then lose all their exposure and eventually shut down, resulting in what could be seen as the end of the Internet,” Leysen said.

Such a subscription plan could possibly restrict free speech far beyond even the current restrictions set by the governments of communist China. Not only would browsing be limited, but privacy would be invaded, as every web site viewed would likely be recorded on a bill in a manner similar to a phone bill.

Why would the ISPs institute such a plan? One word: money.

“This new subscription model is commercially far more beneficial to them than how it is now,” Leysen said. “If Fox wants to launch a new television show online, they’ll have to pay big money to all major ISPs to ensure that their new show will be offered and pushed in the ‘standard package’ of sites/services/channels that people will get through their Internet access. Plus ISPs will also gain extra revenue out of people trying to access the rest of the Internet, as they’ll pay extra subscription fees for every web site they visit.”

But it’s not just the big ISPs that stand to gain.

“Marketing and big budget ‘content-pushing’ just doesn’t seem to work on the Internet, and this is something that several industries want fixed. ISPs know this and will benefit greatly by fixing this for the marketing and entertainment industry,” Leysen said.

The ISPs are said to be confident they can institute such plans through deceptive marketing and fear tactics.

“The Internet will be more and more marketed as a place full of child pornography and other horrible illegal activity in order to get people on their [the ISP’s] side once they start restricting it and make it ‘safer,'” Leysen said. “Unless we really make a stand for this and make sure that mainstream media thoroughly covers the issue, the whole thing will be eased in with proper marketing to make sure that most mainstream customers won’t make a big deal out of it. They will only realize what was lost long after it’s gone.”

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Islam Shows True Colors

The religious savages of the Afghani Taleban have shown just how evil they really are.  They publicly executed a young couple who had run away to get married.

“An unmarried young boy of 19 and an unmarried girl of 18 who loved each other and wanted to get married had eloped because their families would not approve the marriage.”

Officials said the couple were traced by militants after they tried to go to Iran. They were made to return to their village in Khash Rod district.

“Three Taleban mullahs brought them to the local mosque and they passed a fatwa (religious decree) that they must be killed. They were shot and killed in front of the mosque in public,” the governor said.

Go Here for full story

Isn’t the Islamic religion grand?

Don’t you think we should welcome them with open arms and adopt their religious views here in the US?

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Texas Schools will Teach Religion in Science Classes

Well the Texas State School Board finally got to the final vote on whether they will allow Creationism to be taught in their school system…Sanity and truth lost out. The board voted 13-2 in favor of the new curriculum

The website “Institute for Creation Research” A religious organization that promotes inserting religion into state and federal funded schools science classes, and was part of the evil cabal behind the decision, has the story here.

“After months of hearing debates over Texas science education standards, the 15-member State Board of Education voted to remove the requirement for teachers to teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, such as evolution, and instead adopted a requisite for students to critically analyze and evaluate “all sides of scientific evidence.””

Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the pro-evolution lobbyist group National Center for Science Education said: “This is a setback for science education in Texas, not a draw, not a victory.”

“Having students ‘analyze and evaluate all sides of scientific evidence’ is code that gives creationists a green light to attack biology textbooks,” said NCSE project director Josh Rosenau.  My emphasis

I guess the next thing we will see is new textbooks designed just for the state standards that feature pictures of Jesus saddled up on a T-Rex, rounding up the goats and sheep.  There will of course be “scientific” expositions and study guides on how all the earth’s history and geological data is condensed into 6,000 years, and how “The Flood” mixed up all the evidence, and explanations on how all the other US States science books are teaching Heresy…which will soon become a crime in Texas.

One underhanded example of things to be pushed in their future fights is that in a democracy, legislators vote on policy to reflect the will of the people who elected them. And according to polls on religion a significant number of Americans did not think evolution was the best explanation for the origins of human life. So it seems that teaching truth is sidetracked in order to teach what the churches want.

They’ll soon have no more controversy on matters of religion…the schools will teach about the Christian God and the Christian Bible, and independent thought will not be allowed. Religious people in Texas are scary, I’ve meet a few, you don’t want to mess with Texas religion their veneer of being a civilized people and tolerant is pretty thin.

It’s going to be fun debating the next generation of graduates from their schools. Also going to be a hell of a job re-educating them so they can go on to colleges and universities outside the state. I think if I were a responsible teacher in the K-12 Texas state school system I would be giving notice and looking for honest employment elsewhere.

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