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January 6, 2012

16

Praying For War

by juju2112

Skip to 1:10 in the video. As you can see, these guys are praying for God to start a war. Isn’t that nice?

How is it that people can claim that faith is a sure path to morality when things like this happen?

At the start of the video, you can see the answer to my question. A Christian protestor is echoing the standard line that Hagee & co. “aren’t true Christians”.

If you see someone makes you look bad, just say they aren’t really Christian after all! That way, you can argue later on that all that bad stuff is just a misuse of religion.

Anyone who believes in being saved through Jesus and follows his teachings should be considered a Christian. It doesn’t matter if they interpret the bible differently than you.

As an atheist, I am often reminded of the diversity of beliefs among Christians. It seems they need reminding themselves from time to time as well.

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16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 6 2012

    True Christian’s (TM) are all about love right? God is love? Yeah, give me a break. Religion is the underpinning of a great many violent efforts between nations throughout history.

    Reply
  2. Jan 12 2012

    Hey Donald,

    You don’t know me, but I happened across your blog b/c of the “Jesus” tag from some of your posts. I perused some stuff and was interested to see that although you used to believe, you no longer do. Yes, I am one of those “Jesus freaks”! And no, I’m not out to convert you, or to criticize or judge you for your views. I found this video on YouTube and I think that it could speak well to the above comment, as well as my own view on “religion” vs “Christianity”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY&sns=fb (sorry… don’t know how to insert actual web link here….)

    Thanks.

    Kristen

    Reply
    • Jan 15 2012

      Thanks for your comment! I know many Christians would be offended by the idea of “Praying for War”. I see faith as causing these types of behaviors, though. Just by valuing faith over reason, there’s always going to be that risk of slipping into fundamentalist type beliefs. Without reason to guide your beliefs, you don’t know where you’re going.

      Anyway, as far as the video, I’ve seen that. It’s quite well done. There’s a pretty good rebuttal of it by The Amazing Atheist on Youtube. It has some profanity, but you might find it interesting:

  3. Jan 16 2012

    Thanks for your response. I did watch his rant…er…video (and yes, it was a little profane.. : ) . And ok, so maybe I was a bit delusional to think that you hadn’t ever seen that, and that the AA had never made a response to it (lol).

    In short, the AA has a few misconceptions about Christianity or about who Jesus is, however, I don’t think that this is the place to put my opinions about that. I’ll leave that to YouTube subscribers to debate.

    I originally posted that video in response to the whole Republican = Christianity idea which tends to exasperate me.

    In retrospect, I guess it was slightly silly of me to post a spoken word type of video on an atheist blog when what you value is reason and logic.

    There are several authors who have made lengthy and logical arguments concerning the existence of God and the reasoning that led them to conclude not only in the existence of God, but the reality of who Jesus was, and the validity of Christianity (i.e. Richard Swinburne, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Alvin Plantinga and C.S. Lewis) They do a much better job of apologetics than I could ever do!

    Anyway, thanks for entertaining my comments here.

    Kristen

    Reply
    • Jan 16 2012

      Yes, the apologetics stuff has kind of been done to death. But I still find the topic of religion in general interesting.

  4. Jan 17 2012

    Interesting… I actually find the opposite: religion is boring, Jesus is interesting. : )

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Jan 17 2012

      What are you calling “religion”?

  5. Jan 17 2012

    The set of rituals and practices associated with an institutionalized system of belief.

    What is your definition? And why do you find it so interesting (as an atheist)?

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Jan 17 2012

      I found this one on dictionary.com:

      – noun
      1. belief in and worship of a God or other superhuman agency
      2. particular system of these beliefs

      By this definition, just believing in and worshipping God is religion.

      As for why I am obsessed with the topic, I don’t think I’m ready to say yet. I have has some religious experiences in the past that affected me.

  6. Jan 17 2012

    You must have had some experiences in the past that have deeply affected you… I’m assuming in a fairly negative way. Just wish that you could have met Jesus face to face, instead of whomever turned you off. Jesus wouldn’t treat you the way you were treated… I’m sure of it.

    All righty… take care…

    Kristen

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Jan 17 2012

      If Jesus ever existed, he’s dead now. I don’t really trust the stories in the bible to be accurate, so I don’t know how he’d treat me.

      I know what you mean is that your beliefs are nice and would not endanger me. But just being false makes beliefs inherently dangerous. I have spoken to many former Christians who thought they were happy but now feel anger at having been manipulated.

  7. Jan 18 2012

    Other texts from the same time period as the biblical texts talk about Jesus of Nazareth, so we can establish from sources other than the Bible that Jesus walked this earth physically.

    No, I actually did not mean that “my beliefs are nice and would not endanger” you. That’s not what I was getting at, at all. I meant that Jesus is a real person….

    Definition of belief:

    1. An acceptance that a statement is true.
    2. Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.

    The fact is, atheists have a belief: that there is no God. So your statement about beliefs applies to you as well. I know that you would argue that you have a *fact*, but I do not agree. You cannot prove empirically that God does not exist.

    It was never my intention to offend you but I fear that I am likely heading into that territory…

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Jan 18 2012

      I don’t get offended by these types of discussions. I like them. Its always tough for me not to offend religious people, though.

      What other texts are you talking about?

      The thing you said about atheists is acually a misconception. Atheists don’t necessarily actively believe no God exists. They just don’t accept the belief that God exists.

  8. Jan 19 2012

    I’m so glad that you aren’t offended!

    Jesus is mentioned by a few writers during those times:

    1) Cornelius Tacitus (A.D. 55-120) who was considered the greatest historian of ancient Rome.
    2) Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, (A.D. 38-100+) wrote about him in his ‘Jewish Antiquities’
    There are a number of other ancient writers such as Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger, and Lucian, who also mention Jesus.

    I actually can’t follow the logic of the argument that you don’t actively believe one thing (lol) but don’t consider the alternative to be a belief. ; ) So you don’t accept the belief that God exists, but doesn’t that mean that you would accept the belief that God does not exist?

    Just wondering, do you actively explore other religions as well, or just Christianity?

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Jan 22 2012

      That first source you mention was written in 116 A.D. That’s not a contemporary source. You think a myth can’t spring up over a 100 year period? Why would someone in 116 A.D. be in a position to know things that happened in 30 A.D.? Go perusing through snopes.com for just a little while, and you’ll see urban myths that started just a year ago. It seems likely to me that the Christ myth would have been pretty mature by that point.

      What I’ve read about the Josephus thing is that it is pretty strongly suspected to be a forgery. It even says that on the wikipedia page. I don’t understand why Christians keep using it if it’s not reliable.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

      Both God existing or not existing are propositions. You either accept a proposed idea or you don’t. Not accepting one argument isn’t the same as accepting it’s opposite.

      As far as other religions, I do look at them sometimes, but I mostly focus on Christianity since it’s so directly affecting my country.

  9. Jan 23 2012

    I was initially responding to the idea that you weren’t even sure if Jesus existed at all. However, I think the fact that there are a *number* of historical texts that mention his existence means that he *did* exist.

    As for your criticisms of the sources mentioned, Tacitus was considered a great historian. Why would anybody consider the rest of his writings, if he mentioned things that are “myths”? Why would a “great historian” mention the existence of a man if it were not true? That wouldn’t make him a very good historian. As far as Josephus, wikipedia says: “The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to interpolation”. So it’s not authentic in its entirety BUT there is “an AUTHENTIC NUCLEUS with a reference to the execution of a man named Jesus by Pilate”.

    I don’t think that you can compare snopes.com to history texts! If someone told you that WWII was a myth, you would have to disagree. The events are written down and recorded. As well, there are still witnesses alive today who would have experienced it. If one historian wrote about a guy named Jesus who apparently healed the sick (ie. “did magic” in some texts) do you think another historian would write the same thing if it were not true? Does it say that those historians based their writings on each other?

    Thanks for letting me know about propositions. I am not a philospher, so that was a new concept for me.

    My understanding is that we are no longer living in a Judeo-Christian culture, but a post-modern one. It seems that the Christianity that is affecting your country is one based on politics (the whole Republican = Christian idea, which is not a true Christianity, but one based on personal and political agendas with manipulation and hypocrisy thrown in)

    You have inspired me to read Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ. He is a journalist that originally set out to disprove the Christian “jesus myth” as you refer to it. He ends up uncovering evidence that proves otherwise.

    Reply

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