How religious sects can be a farce for embarrassment

Read this ridiculous article:

https://blog.oup.com/2020/04/how-religious-sects-can-be-a-force-for-good/

How religious sects can be a force for good

On Sunday, 29 March, Russell M. Nelson, president of the 16-million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, released a video from Salt Lake City calling on church members everywhere to join in a fast “to pray for relief from the physical, emotional, and economic effects of this global pandemic.”

Some 71 years before, on 6 April 1949, members of the True Jesus Church around the world responded to the call of their leader, Wei Yisa, to fast and “pray for peace.” Communist forces were advancing on the city of Nanjing, where the church headquarters was located. Shortages were severe and prices were skyrocketing.

“It is hard to buy even one grain of rice,” reported an article in the Holy Spirit Times, the church’s international periodical.

One month’s worth of contributions is not enough to cover basic needs such as a day’s vegetables. It is not enough to cover even one day’s postage. We have begun to take good wood beams intended for building and sell them for firewood.

A worldwide fast as a response to a life-threatening crisis, just as spring was beginning to warm the days and coax bright colors from the earth, is a lot for these two churches to have in common. But the parallels go far beyond this.

Both the True Jesus Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are restorationist churches, claiming to have restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ after centuries of apostasy. The Latter-day Saint tradition starts in the spring of 1820 when a New York farmboy named Joseph Smith said he had a vision in which God the Father and Jesus Christ told him none of the existing churches were true. The True Jesus Church tradition starts nearly a century later in the spring of 1917, when a rural northeastern Chinese man named Wei Enbo said he had a vision in which Jesus Christ commanded him to “correct the Church.”

Both Smith and Wei were charismatic leaders who claimed to receive divine revelation, were reported to have performed miraculous feats of healing, frequently got on the wrong side of the law, and died young. Both were succeeded by pragmatic leaders (Brigham Young and Wei Yisa) who solidified church institutions and ensured the movement’s long-term survival.

Both churches have continued to thrive and expand globally, though they remain tiny as far as world religious movements are concerned. In 2017 the True Jesus Church, now with 1.5 million members, commemorated the 100th anniversary of Wei Enbo’s founding vision. This year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, claiming 16 million members, celebrates the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s first vision (coincidentally, the day Smith formally organized the church in 1830 was 6 April—the same day as the True Jesus Church fast in 1949).

Restorationist churches are by nature exclusivist. For instance, Wei Enbo taught that no one could be saved unless they were baptized face-down and unless they had spoken in tongues. This exclusivist certainty leads to a universalistic orientation. In other words, the more a religious tradition insists that specific particulars of theology and practice are absolutely essential, the more likely it is to have mission outposts everywhere. If you believe your church is the only complete form of Christianity, when you move to another city or country, the local cathedral or neighborhood megachurch will not meet your needs. Wherever you go, you will seek out fellow believers like yourself, and if there are none, you will begin to seek converts.

Small, exclusivist religious groups tend to irritate people around them. Throughout their history, fellow Christians have labeled these two churches as disreputable and cultish. The Latter-day Saint movement began in upstate New York, but was driven west by flare-ups of mob violence and state suppression. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Communist party-state banned the True Jesus Church, imprisoning leaders and forcing rank-and-file members to meet secretly in their houses.

It’s sometimes difficult for upstart religious movements to strike the right balance between what sociologist Armand Mauss has called the twin dilemmas of respectability and disrepute. This is evident with the case of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea. Also led by a charismatic individual, also accused of being a cult, and also with a membership that likes to do things together, the church is now under fire.

Yet the resonance between the worldwide fasts of the True Jesus Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the spring of 1949 and 2020 suggests that such small but distinctive religious traditions also have something uniquely positive to offer. In the aftermath of World War II and today at the beginning of the twenty-first century, concepts such as “global arena” or “global community” are certainly viable. Yet in actuality, with real people, global scale tends to be overwhelming. It is nearly impossible to cast a global net without being sunk by the size of the catch. Small religious movements, however, are better positioned to pull it off.

Like Wei Yisa’s appeal to the True Jesus Church members in 1949, Russell M. Nelson’s call for a fast at the beginning of the first week of April 2020 went out to believers in such places as China, Japan, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands, possibly even millions of stomachs around the world went empty in concert. A fast offering was also collected to aid humanitarian efforts to ease the blow COVID-19 is dealing to the most vulnerable.

In times of global pandemic, inhabitants of the planet realize how inextricably we are connected, and also how little we usually have to do with each other, given vast divides in language, culture, space, and experience. In times like these, believers in tiny global communities who have long been eager to call each other sister and brother offer a sense of what is possible.

First, how can it be “good” to set up and promote sects within ANY religion that divide followers of the same religion against each other? That only appeals to egomaniacs and idiots.

I addressed this nonsense here:

In most cases, you must be a CHRISTIAN and nothing else. Do NOT claim as your primary religious identity any subdivision within Christianity, such as Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, or anything else. You would be a Christian who might go to a Baptist or Catholic church, but that’s it. Reject as necessary or justified any division within the Christian community that claims to be the one true religion. It is only CHRISTIANITY itself that ever should have made that claim. Not Mormonism, not the Jehovah’s Witnesses, nor any other such radical “reformist” or “restorationist” group within Christianity. These are simply additional divisions that do more damage to the credibility of Christianity itself.

I always thought it was the height of hubris that efforts to reform the Christian churches in the past, like that of Martin Luther and John Calvin during the Protestant Reformation were considered inadequate, but only with someone like Joseph Smith could restoration of true Christianity be accomplished and that only that specific path within Christianity could bring salvation to followers. That actually contradicts what Jesus said.

Matthew 16:18
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Emphasis mine)

Also:

Mark 9:38-40
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”
“Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me.
Anyone who is not against us is for us.

So a Christian is a Christian, period. All those conflicts and even outright persecutions of various Christian factions by other Christians were a violation of Jesus’ true teachings.

Even more stupid is the commandments of religious leaders to merely pray and fast rather than actually get up and do some practical work to deal with a crisis, like the current coronavirus pandemic. Even the many people that have been thrown out of work recently can still go volunteer at hospitals to help treat patients, but that option was not even mentioned.

Oh, wait….

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’

Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

So…..it IS possible to do miracles in Jesus’s name but still be rejected by him in the end. You know, that could refer to charlatans like Joseph Smith and other cult founders that have turned believers in Jesus against each other.

Of course, such inconsistency even in the explicit teachings of Jesus himself would explain the fragmented nature of Christians around the world too.

 

Who was Joseph Smith?

Joseph Smith…..
……was born on December 23, 1805, in the town of Sharon, Vermont.

…..lived as a teenager in the “burned-over district” of upstate New York.

……was originally known as a treasure seeker and a teller of tall tales among his friends.

……married Emma Hale on January 18, 1827, despite the objections of her father.

……had a total of nine children with his wife, only four of whom lived to adulthood.

……claimed to have been visited by an angel named Moroni who instructed him to found a new Christian church and locate golden plates.

……..allegedly used the golden plates to write the Book of Mormon.

……named his new religious movement the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and its members “Mormons”.

…….founded the Mormon Church on April 6, 1830 with five other men.

……moved to Kirtland, Ohio, then to Jackson County, Missouri and finally to Nauvoo, Illinois to build up his religous community.

……..claimed that God now permitted polygamy in the Mormon church.

………faced bitter opposition from non-Mormons almost everywhere he and the Mormons settled.

……….was arrested for ordering the destruction of a printing press called the Nauvoo Expositor that had published criticism of Mormonism.

……….was killed on June 27, 1844 with his brother Hyrum in a gun battle against a lynch mob at the local jail of Carthage, Illinois.

A useless effort about Mormonism

Read this story:

http://kutv.com/news/local/exclusive-imagine-dragons-lds-singer-urges-change

LDS rock star wants to be voice of change from inside Mormon church

It is commendable that Reynolds wants to defend the dignity of teenagers in the LGBTQ community, but the most effective way to do that is to abandon Mormonism altogether and attempt to destroy totally the political influence of that religious movement. Then work to dismantle bit by bit the cult itself. It simply shouldn’t exist. Its false and irrational dogmas must be totally debunked from top to bottom, replaced by objective truth.

The homophobia of Mormonism is bad enough. What about the blatant racism in the Book of Mormon itself? Will Reynolds address that too? Discrimination is discrimination and bigotry is bigotry. We should stand up against ALL of it and tolerate NONE of it, even if it comes from religion.

There is an obvious alternative for LGBTQ members who were raised Mormon. They can leave it and join Unitarian Universalism. They can add their stories to the many others here: Ex-Mormons. They can go here and learn about others who have done the same:
https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/

I really do not understand people who insist on staying within a religion like that. Even mainstream Christianity is preferable to Mormonism, no?

 

The Baha’i Faith, Mormonism, and Reddit

Two weeks ago, I made an account on reddit, yet another social media site. I immediately dove into battles with the Baha’i bigot and backstabber Scott Hakala (who was using the false name DavidbinOwen but was exposed anyway), until I got so sick of his arguments and self-serving bullcrap that I finally blocked him. He was infesting the Ex-Baha’i forum, which as a Baha’i propaganda minister he certainly had no business being in.

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Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses

 

I’ve never been a Jehovah’s Witness (JW), but I think I can still relate to people that have left that religious group, having been both a Christian (Southern Baptist, specifically) and a Baha’i and rejected both faiths due to personal investigation of their claims and histories.

On YouTube, there are several testimonies by people that have left the JWs.

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What is really “dangerous” within Christianity?

First, consider this Bible reference:

Luke 9:49-50
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

That seems like an absolute proclamation. Jesus certainly did not say, “Whoever preaches my doctrines exactly according to some standard made long ago is for you.”

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Tim LaHaye is no more

Read this news story:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/left-behind-co-author-tim-lahaye-leading-voice-evangelicalism-dies-n616481

‘Left Behind’ Co-Author Tim LaHaye, Leading Voice of Evangelicalism, Dies

Tim LaHaye, an intellectual and popular leader of the evangelical movement whose 16 “Left Behind” novels sold tens of millions of copies, died Monday at age 90 in San Diego following a stroke last week, his ministry and his family said.

The “Left Behind” novels, co-written with Jerry B. Jenkins, were enormously popular, crashing mainstream best-seller lists in the 1990s and the 2000s, which until then had been all but unheard of for Christian-themed fiction.

The books, which were based heavily on the Book of Revelation, chronicled the struggles of the unfortunate people “left behind” on Earth after the Second Coming of Jesus and the “Rapture” of believers into Heaven, introducing the frankly apocalyptic theology to a much wider audience.

“Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul that I don’t expect to be filled until I see him again,” Jenkins said in a statement Monday.

But the books were only part of the reason the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College named LaHaye the most influential leader in evangelical Christianity in 2001 — ahead of Billy Graham, James Dobson and Jerry Falwell.

Falwell, who died in 2007, credited LaHaye with having inspired him to found the Moral Majority in 1979. And in a 2005 interview with Time magazine, Falwell called LaHaye and Jenkins’ “Left Behind” books the most influential Christian body of literature of the 20th century — behind only the Bible itself.

LaHaye also founded San Diego Christian College, 12 Christian secondary schools and the Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy at Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia.

Among the first departments at San Diego Christian College was the Institute for Creation Research, which branched out as an influential young-Earth creationist research organization in 1972.

In 2005, Time enshrined LaHaye and his wife of almost 70 years, Beverly LaHaye — an evangelical leader in her own right as founder and chairwoman of the powerful conservative political group Concerned Women of America — as “The Christian Power Couple.”

Combined, their books and their radio and TV shows reached hundreds of millions of conservative Christians around the world for more than a quarter-century — and drew sharp criticism from liberal organizations and fellow pastors on the more progressive side of the Christian spectrum.

In 2009, LaHaye famously called President Barack Obama a socialist whose rise to power was possibly a signal of the approach of the End Times.

In an essay Monday in Christianity Today, Jenkins acknowledged that LaHaye was often called “opinionated, polemic, a right-wing conservative fundamentalist — and some will even accuse him of homophobia.”

But “the Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor’s heart and lived to share his faith,” Jenkins wrote. “He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing.

“If Tim was missing from the table at a book signing or the green room of a network television show, he could usually be found in a corner praying with someone he’d just met — from a reader to a bookstore clerk to a TV network anchorman.”

LaHaye’s ministry said that in addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

I first heard about Tim LaHaye when I was still a thoroughly brainwashed Southern Baptist and I had the misfortune to pick up and read his book “The Battle for the Mind”, a right-wing extremist diatribe that demonized secular Humanism as a corrupter of  American society. I wasn’t until I attended college and deconverted from Christianity that I realized the truth. I came to see that Humanists were to LaHaye what Jews were to Adolph Hitler and his Nazis; they were scapegoats that Christian bigots could focus their hatred on instead of the spiritual love that Jesus actually taught about.

As for that series of “Left Behind” novels LaHaye co-wrote with Mr. Jenkins, the entire premise behind those books was an outright lie, as I already showed in this blog entry:

Why the Rapture is a bogus concept

And that is why I prefer to call that fraud Tim LaHELL. He was just like Hal Lindsey, another self-styled expert on Bible prophecy no one should take seriously!

 

Jehovah, the Homophobe.

Recently, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of the many Christian based cults founded in the 19th Century, produced an attractive and professional looking video with a clear message: Jehovah will not allow gays and lesbians into Paradise.

Watch that video here:

Afterwards, consider the following questions.

How do we know that Jehovah invented marriage for us? Why him and not some other god?

What if Jehovah told us to reject interracial marriage too? The Mormons have a book that condemns people with black skin!

What if Jehovah ordered us to kill anyone above the age of 65?

How do we know there is a Paradise for us to go to?

How do we know that gays and lesbians will be excluded from Paradise?

Indeed, how do we even know Jehovah exists at all?

We KNOW that gays and lesbians exist and that some of them are PARENTS.

Using one or more things that may not be real to attack things or people that are certainly real is irrational.

And making something cute to teach BIGOTRY is the worst kind of brainwashing!

It does not matter if you say, “God hates fags!” or if you say, “Jehovah does not approve of your gay lifestyle and he will love you more if you change.” Sugarcoated bigotry is still bigotry, period!

Women shouldn’t teach at Christian schools, round 2

First, look at this:

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/women-shouldnt-teach-at-christian-schools/

Are all Christian schools this bigoted? Appearantly!

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/former-coach-fired-christian-school-wedlock-pregnancy-145601399.html#

Former coach of the year fired from Christian school for out-of-wedlock pregnancy

In an incredibly bizarre situation that appears headed for a legal challenge, a Dallas-area volleyball coach and science teacher was fired by the Christian school at which she worked for becoming pregnant before being married.

As first reported by Dallas Fort Worth network WFAA, Rockwall (Texas) Heritage Christian Academy volleyball coach and science teacher Cathy Samford was fired during the fall semester after she became pregnant out of wedlock. Samford had led the volleyball program for three years and had been named the school’s coach of the year once during that span.

Still, that couldn’t help save her job when she first admitted her pregnancy during the fall semester, with the school terminating her based on a  violation of her contract’s morals clause because it was determined her pregnancy meant she could not serve as “a Christian role model.”

“I looked it up and thought, ‘They can’t do this,'” the 29-year-old Samford told WFAA. “We all have different views and interpretations. It’s not necessarily the Christian thing to do to throw somebody aside because of those.”

While Samford and her lawyer, Colin Walsh, are working toward filing a discrimination suit against the school, their case may be complicated by the fact that Heritage Christian Academy is a private school, and recent Supreme Court decisions have defended the right of Christian schools to exert more influence on their hirings and firings because they consider teachers to be “ministers in the classroom.”

“The Supreme Court, as a matter of fact in the last month, has ruled 9-to-0 that a Christian school does have that right, because this is a ministry, so we have the right to have standards of conduct,” Heritage Christian Academy headmaster Dr. Ron Taylor, who acknowledged that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had contacted the school, told WFAA. “How’s it going to look to a little fourth-grade girl that sees she’s pregnant and she’s not married?”

 

While the two parties attempted mediation, those efforts failed quickly because the school refused to consider a settlement for the case.

That has left Samford uninsured and in financial distress as she heads towards giving birth, a situation she never considered possible when she was a proud member of Heritage Christian Academy’s faculty.

Would it have been better if this teacher and coach had chosen abortion to hide that she was ever pregnant? According to traditional Christian morals, isn’t having an abortion even worse than having the baby out of wedlock? And have any men been fired for getting a woman pregnant out of wedlock? I’ve never heard of that happening!

This is why I will never teach at or send any children I have to such a school….most of them seem to be run by sexist hypocrites! This is not about enforcing morals, this is about a school trying to save money by denying an insurance claim, something you would expect only from corrupt private businesses! And even if having a baby out of wedlock is considered immoral, the BABY should not be punished for her parents’ mistakes!

A Mormon for President?

Mitt Romney is shaping up to be the Republican front-runner for President. By all accounts and

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

appearances, he should be the ideal President candidate for conservatives: he is a successful businessman, he managed the state of  Massachusetts as governor according to consistent conservative principles, and he even managed the Salt Lake City winter Olympics, making it a huge success.

There’s just one problem: he is a Mormon. And for members of the Religious Right, which is dominated by orthodox Christians, that can be a stumbling block. Of course, it would have been better for the credibility of the conservatives if they had never included the Religious Right; using religious matters to judge people and policies in our government violates the spirit if not the letter of church-state separation.

When I was a Baptist, there was a film shown at my church titled “The God Makers” which depicted Mormonism as a cult infested with pagan elements. This is ironic; Jews could say similar things about Christianity itself. Today, having rejected Christianity, I find those arguments about Mormonism pointless, but I do have my own reasons to oppose any political influence the Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may have:

https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/the-book-of-mormon-is-a-p-o-s/

http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-10-27/bay-area/17137948_1_mormons-salt-lake-city-based-church-ballot-measure

Racism, homophobia, and whatever other forms of bigotry the Mormon Church may endorse should be eradicated from secular politics in America.  Nobody who would take the Book of Mormon seriously as scripture should be trusted to run the world’s most powerful democracy. We should have some standards for truth, logic, and ethics from our leaders. Thus, I will never vote for a Mormon for President, even if he was not a Republican.

The Credibility Effect

There is a website, stuffmadesimple.com, that claims to take complex subjects and make  them easy for the average person to understand. But in doing so, it seems to have some underhanded agendas.

First, note that it puts out some videos that are actually very useful and full of valid information, like these two about diabetes and swine flu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGL6km1NBWE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGWOAL1PTl4

It soon becomes obvious that the people running that website are Mormons and are using it, and a sister site, to teach the Mormon religion:

http://mormonsmadesimple.com/index.html

Certainly, the other videos made by this group are consistent with Mormon attitudes. It is common knowledge that Mormons are overwhelmingly conservative in politics, are heavily involved in genealogical research, and are hostile to the idea of same-sex marriage.

I have dealt with Mormonism earlier. For that reason, I don’t respect the makers of the Made Simple video series. It seems they are trying to take advantage of what I call the Credibility Effect.

The Credibility Effect is when someone or some institution that puts out valid or useful information at an earlier time tries to use the reputation built up from that to entice people to accept information that is actually dubious, even downright false or nonsensical, for ideological or religious purposes.

Here is another example of that effect in action:  https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/shane-killian-sells-out/

No matter how noble or right you appear to be at certain times, that doesn’t mean your claims should EVER be taken at face value. ALL claims from ALL people should be tested and when those claims fail the test, the claims should be discarded.

Another reason to despise the Catholic Church!

(Note: part of this was originally posted as a comment here.)

I am even more disgusted with the Roman Catholic Church than ever! Why? Because of this:

http://www.countmeout.ie/suspension/

This is a website based in Ireland telling people how to leave the Church. However……

Suspension of the Defection Process

In April of this year, the Catholic Church modified the Code of Canon Law to remove all references to the act of formal defection, the process used by those who wish to formally renounce their membership of the Church.

Since then, the Catholic Church in Ireland has been reflecting on the implications of this change for those who wish to leave the Catholic Church. Despite our requests for clarification, the Church have yet to reach a firm position on how or whether they will continue to accept requests for the annotation of the baptismal register.

In recent weeks we have been contacted by an increasing number of people whose defections have not been processed, due to the limbo created by this canon law amendment.

Because of this uncertainty, we have taken the decision to suspend the creation of declarations of defection via CountMeOut.ie from today (12th October 2010).

In response to this, the Church in Ireland released the following statement to RTE News:

The Holy See confirmed at the end of August that it was introducing changes to Canon Law and as a result it will no longer be possible to formally defect from the Catholic Church. This will not alter the fact that many people can defect from the Church, and continue to do so, albeit not through a formal process. This is a change that will affect the Church throughout the world. The Archdiocese of Dublin plans to maintain a register to note the expressed desire of those who wish to defect. Details will be communicated to those involved in the process when they are finalised. Last year 229 people formally defected from the Church through the Archdiocese of Dublin. 312 have done so, so far this year.

Look, you do not need permission of the Catholic Church to leave it. To even bother to go through any “”Declaration of Defection” process is to acknowledge the authority of the Church over you.

http://www.countmeout.ie/why/

If you were baptised as a Catholic you are still counted among the congregation of the church, regardless of what beliefs you currently hold.

Which is of course a grievous lie! And you can publicly and loudly condemn the Church for this.

Go here to send messages of condemnation:

http://www.catholicireland.net/contact-us

Now, for those who do wish to abandon Catholicism but don’t wish to submit to the Church’s hoop jumping, there are alternatives. By joining another religious body, you make your rejection of Catholicism beyond dispute.

Ex-Catholics who are still Christian: Join a Protestant church. Protestants are growing as a strong minority in Latin American countries and have always been common in Europe, where the Protestant movement began. Start here:  http://www.lutheranworld.org/lwf/ The Lutherans seem to be the closest in nature to Catholicism, which makes sense when you consider that they were the first to break away and were conservative compared to the Protestant movements that arose later.

Ex-Catholics who are no longer Christian but still believe in the God of the Jewish Bible : Join a Jewish Synagogue. Most Jewish groups make it difficult to join, so you may have to spend a long time convincing the rabbi that you are sincere and willing to follow the Jewish rituals and standards. The Reform Jews seem to be the ones most likely to fit you, since they are not as dogmatic and stuck in the past as others.   http://urj.org/    http://www.wupj.org/index.asp

Ex-Catholics who are theists and believe that prophets came after Jesus:  Join an Islamic community or a Bahai comunity. Not just any Islamic or Bahai community, but ones that allow you to think for yourself. Look here: http://www.liberalislam.net/ or here: http://www.unitarianbahai.org/

Ex-Catholics that are deist or non-theist: The best option for you is to join a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church, since deists and non-theists are welcome there.  http://www.uua.org/   There is even a ministry for those who do not live near a UU church:  http://clf.uua.org/  Once you are established as a UU, you can freely explore other options without having to ever leave that congregation. There are even UU Christians, UU Jews, UU Pagans and UU Buddhists that have their own groups within the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The important thing is that you identify as anything other than Catholic and that if you have children they not be raised Catholic. If enough people around the world do this, the power and influence of the Roman Catholic Church will be broken.

Jesus said even the Torah is not the Word of God

I am neither a Jew nor a Christian, but I find it ironic that many Christians insist that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, considering that Jesus did not teach that and indeed seemed to indicate that fallible MEN made some parts of it.

Matthew 19:3-9

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

   4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

This passage strikes at the very heart of fundamentalist dogma, that the entire Bible from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse of Revelation, was revealed by God and has absolute authority over men. Of course, if you are an Orthodox Jew, you would naturally take offense at anyone overturning a law of the Torah. But often Christian sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses also fall prey to excessive legalism, which Jesus denied! If certain laws in the Torah were made by Moses, not God, why not allow for the possibility that other passages, even in the New Testament, were also made by men for a specific time and people, not by God for all peoples and all times? How can we tell?

We can’t, which is why Biblical authority is a concept we need to discard.

Priestly Celibacy is unbiblical and stupid!

Cover of "Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy...

Cover via Amazon

For many centuries, all clergy in the Roman Catholic Church have been required to be celibate, despite the total absence of any scriptural basis for this policy. Indeed, there is a clear statement in the New Testament against it!

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%203&version=NIV

1 Timothy 3

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

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The Irish people must abandon Catholicism!

It is painful for me to proclaim that, despite being a non-theist who was never a Catholic. I know all too well how deeply embedded Catholicism is in the spirit of Ireland; a major theme of past Irish rebellion against English domination was the British being Protestant and the Irish being Catholic. Without the support of the Catholic Church, Ireland might never have won its political freedom. But now the time has come for the Irish people to seek their spiritual freedom as well, and so they must throw off the Catholic dogmas and institutions too!

Why? Because of this report:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_eu/eu_ireland_catholic_abuse

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The Book of Mormon is a P.O.S.

P.O.S. = Pile Of Shit

As a rule, I try to respect different religious beliefs and their followers even while disagreeing with them, usually because most religious believers I know have good qualities I admire and want to encourage, and you don’t do that by rejecting them because of one or two issues that one may overlook on a casual basis. Most Christians, Muslims, Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, and Atheists I can respect, as long as they respect me. But there are exceptions to my tolerance. I completely reject, deny and refuse to accept in any way the Book of Mormon and its teachings, period and feel only pity for Mormons themselves that may not yet know the truth about that book. And here is why:

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Why the Rapture is a bogus concept

Have you ever seen a bumper sticker like this?

Where does that idea come from? It is found here in 1 Thessalonians:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/1th/4.html

4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Note the exact wording, however. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Clearly, Paul was claiming that the return of Christ and the Rapture would occur while the generation he was writing to was still alive. But that generation has been dead for about 1900 years. So the people who have such bumper stickers really don’t read their own scriptures properly. The prophecy is false.

From the book of Deuteronomy:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/dt/18.html

18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Why is Paul STILL considered a genuine apostle of Christ? If I had my way, all of Paul’s writings, along with the book of Acts (which features Paul), and even the epistle of 2 Peter (which makes excuses for the failure of Jesus to return as he supposedly promised and mentions Paul as a “beloved brother”), would be thrown out of the canon of the New Testament. It is suggested by many Bible scholars that the real Apostle Peter didn’t write “2 Peter” and it wasn’t written until decades after his death. If so, then the epistle is a case of fraud and shouldn’t even be part of Christian scriptures at all.

Ten Reasons the Quiverfull Movement is Idiotic

In case you’ve never heard of the Quiverfull movement in Christianity, here is its website:

http://www.quiverfull.com/index.php

We exalt Jesus Christ as Lord, and acknowledge His headship in all areas of our lives, including fertility. We exist to serve those believers who trust the Lord for family size, and to answer the questions of those seeking truth in this critical area of marriage.

Whether your quiver is large or small, you are welcome. Come browse our articles and resources. Also, be sure to check out the QuiverFull Digest, our email discussion group that was started in 1995.

Dedicated to providing encouragement and practical help to those who are striving to raise a large and growing, godly family in today’s world!

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NSYNC got it right, for once

This is a sequel to https://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/how-christian-bigots-make-the-peace-process-of-israel-and-palestine-impossible/

I have little regard for most pop vocal stars and note that most of them profess to be Christians (at least they mention their faith in God and/or Jesus Christ in the liner notes of their albums). That includes NSYNC, five young boys who were ultra-hot a decade ago. But on one of their albums, “No Strings Attached”, they made a bold statement in one of their songs. Here is the lyrics for it:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/nsync/spacecowboyyippieyiya.html

“Space Cowboy (Yippie-Yi-Ya)”

Here it comes, millennium
And everybody’s talkin’ bout Jerusalem
Is this the beginning or beginning of the end?
Well, I’ve got other thoughts my friend

See I’ve got my eyes on the skies
The heavenly bodies up high
And if you’re in the mood to take a ride
Then strap on a suit and get inside

If you wanna fly, come and take a ride
Take a space ride with the cowboy, baby
If you wanna fly, come and take a ride
Take a space ride with the cowboy, baby
Why-yi-yi-yippie-yi-yay-yippie-yi-yo-yippie-yi-yay
Why-yi-yi-yippie-yi-yay-yippie-yi-yo-yippie-yi-yo
Why-yi-yi-yippie-yi-yay-yippie-yi-yo-yippie-yi-yay
Why-yi-yi-yippie-yi-yay-yippie-yi-yo-yippie-yi-yo

We don’t need all these prophecies
Telling us what’s a sign, what’s a sign
Cause paranoia ain’t the way to live your life from day to day
So leave your doubts and your fears behind

Don’t be afraid at all
Cause up in outer space there’s no gravity to fall
Put your mind and your body to the test
Cuz up in outer space is like the wild wild west

Boom and never let you try to stop me
Born to fly sky high up to the top see
Nothing to fear, no doubts and no tears
Millennium sound to motivate the future years
And you can either be scared or get prepared
Against all odds I bet you never would’ve dared
To make these moves and take flight like me
To come through for the world prophecy
Space connect to overthrow your interception
Ready or not make it hot
That ain’t no question
Get *N Sync and put your head to the sky
Keep the faith
One love from Left Eye

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