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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
unzinkable
Emptiness is my micro-bio
01:11 PM on 11/02/2011
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purposes.
-- Thomas Jefferson, to Horatio G Spafford, March 17, 1814

Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.
-- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814, responding to the claim that Chritianity was part of the Common Law of England, as the United States Constitution defaults to the Common Law regarding matters that it does not address. This argument is still used today by "Christian Nation" revisionists who do not admit to having read Thomas Jefferson's thorough research of this matter.
12:27 PM on 11/02/2011
The idea expressed in the article that "[Some] Scholars ... have posited that 'without acknowledging Jesus' divinity and resurrection, Christianity [is] baseless'" is, in itself, terribly misleading. Many people certainly believe that accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the key - and sometimes the only - criterion for characterizing yourself as a "Christian." Jefferson was certainly not a Christian in that sense. But many people believe that trying to follow the teachings of Jesus - things like feeding the poor, providing health care for the sick, showing tolerance, redistributing wealth, striving for peace and avoiding strife, and so on - are what counts. That your article offers just one view of what it means to be a Christian is an unfortunate misrepresentation.
11:04 AM on 11/02/2011
Stop confusing religion with faith and belief.Religion just means you belong to a club that doesn't have to pay taxes.Faith and belief are a deeper connection.You can have faith that humanity will one day be able to live in peace and actually believe that a politician has your best interests at heart but that isn't a religion.In general terms Atheists reject the belief that deities exist.So in a sense one could say it isn't the deities they don't believe in but the belief in them .
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10:58 AM on 11/02/2011
it's not like the bible that gets everything sooooo right.......
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10:51 AM on 11/02/2011
Does this story really has legs?
This item headline has been on the HP front page for too many days.
What's the beef against the Atheists?
Aren't there other news in the HP religion section?
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
charlietuna11
10:27 AM on 11/02/2011
it was gandhi who stated that ( I LIKE YOUR JESUS CHRIST, I DON'T LIKE YOUR CHRISTIAN, THEY HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON WITH CHRIST. he also stated that (THERE IS ENOUGH ON EARTH FOR EVERYONES NEED BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYONES GREED...must of been thinking about wall street.
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charlietuna11
10:14 AM on 11/02/2011
wheather he said it or not, its true...
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Cye
07:20 AM on 11/03/2011
Yes, some people don't quite grasp that while the attribution to Jefferson is wrong, the sentiment is not.
09:18 AM on 11/02/2011
The Devils greatest trick was, makeing people believe he and God did not exsist.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
DakkonA
www.DisentangledReality.com
01:45 AM on 11/03/2011
Yep, the devil... gee, I guess god was powerless to stop him.
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Truth Only
08:02 PM on 11/06/2011
The Creator can stop anything anytime, including the devil; but there is a plan in place that you refuse to view. The Creator's plan cannot be adjusted by you!
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Cye
07:21 AM on 11/03/2011
Actually, God pretty much did that himself by providing not one iota of credible evidence for his existence.
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Truth Only
08:03 PM on 11/06/2011
Those He did not choose do not believe He exists. How do you think that appears to those whom He has chosen...those that know Jesus Christ personally?
09:00 AM on 11/02/2011
Sounds to me like the quote may or may not have been said by Thomas Jefferson, some believe it was and some believe it wasn't. You really can't say it's a false quote without knowing for sure one way or another. In any case, I agree with the comment. Religion is a fabricated load of Bullhonky.
07:00 AM on 11/03/2011
So you're agnostic about attributing random words to dead deists but you're skeptical about the words of dead religious people. Why not spread the agnosticism to all matters equally? Oh, right, emotion.
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dumasjohnj
08:53 AM on 11/02/2011
All religions have leaders who have accused their predecessors of unspeakable blasphemies. Anyone who follows a religion has been duped into horrendous atrocities against all that is good. Religion has been at odds with God by the admissions of Popes, Prophets, Shamans and yellow hats. If you follow any religion you certainly risk being opposing God.
07:58 AM on 11/02/2011
I am probably going to get a lot of flack from people that believe and people that do not believe in God for this one, but I am going to say it anyway. First, I do believe in God and Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Second, I do not know all that much about quotes frtom famous people, but I think that a lot of the people here are correct in saying that many of these quotes are either attributed to the wrong people, or are completely erroneous. Tim McNally says that he has a spirit in his gut, and if he believes that, more power to him, but I agree that it is not the job of the believer to force others to believe what they believe nor to prove that what they believe is true. The whole point of faith is believing in something or someone that cannot be proven. As for whether or not my personal beliefs are correct, to the exclusion of all other beliefs, I am not an expert on theology, so I can honestly say that I may be wrong. Now there is something you will not hear too many people say. I do not believe that I am wrong, but that is kind of the point in having personal beliefs. It is not my jothat I am right, nor is it the job of someone that believes something else to prove they are right.
08:17 AM on 11/02/2011
In my beliefs, hell is NOT a place of eternal fire and torment, described as such by many believers. Hell is an eternity without or outside the presence of God, in my personal beliefs. I am obviously not speaking for all believers here, but I most certainly take a lot of the Bible literally, granted not the entire thing, and I may be wrong, but I can work that out with my God after I die. As for what we believe being in our sacred books, I have only one sacred book, and everything I believe is taken from there, to the best of my understanding. As far as the Big Bang theory, I have no problem believing that something out in the vastness of space could explode, but I would appreciate it if someone could help me to understand why it is ok to believe that a bunch of space dust, mixed with chemicals and other things, came together and exploded, but not to even begin to question who created the things that went bang. Barring the idea of who or what may have created the stuff, how can some people deride my choice of faith in something I cannot see, then call the Big Bang theory a scientific theory ?
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Truth Only
08:06 PM on 11/06/2011
Hell does not exist. It was added to the Bible long ago.

Creation demands a Creator. To those of us who know Him personally, it is more than obvious.
08:38 AM on 11/02/2011
I may be mistaken, but did not someone in this message thread say that a scientific thoery can be reproduced and tested ? Can someone give me some links to information about the reproduction and testing of the Big Bang theory ? Now I am sure, most of the people who do not believe what I believe will probably say something along the lines of do your own research, but I am asking if you have knowledge that might help me to see things in the same light as you, to share them with me. I think that anyone who questions any belief is doing the work of God, because God does not want people believing what someone else believes just because they say it is true.
06:06 AM on 11/08/2011
A theory is based on empirical evidence. Only when it has the kind of consistency in occurrence you refer to does it become a scientific law. Elements of the Big Bang ( the reaction of hydrogen and other elements in space for instance) has been verified. The formation of accretion discs, the motion of objects through space, the elements that combined to form planets and the physical principals that support the theory are in fact things that have been verified. By its very definition no human was in existence to observe the Big Bang just as no human was in existence to observe Creation. Scientific theory is based on evidence and reason. Religion is based on experience and faith. I find no conflict whatsoever between the creation story and the Big Bang theory. I believe that science is man's effort to understand God's wonders. We stumble through our reasoning processes gathering evidence and piecing together the truth about the world around us. God set us on the path of reason and choice. The choices man has made have been like any other species in infancy. We have made huge mistakes and had brilliant epiphanies. The knowledge yet to be gained is infinite. I thank God for the science that gives us tiny glimpses into the miraculous universe he set in motion with a great, big bang.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
DrMatt
Pro-American/Anti-Conservative
07:17 AM on 11/02/2011
If America is a "Christian nation" the Founding Fathers would have mentioned Jesus, Christ, or Christianity somewhere in our Bill of Rights, Constitution, Articles of Confederation, etc.
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Truth Only
08:09 PM on 11/06/2011
The Creator is God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
05:49 AM on 11/08/2011
" And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Divine providence is a direct reference to God. This is the closing line in the Declaration of independence. There are other references to the "Creator". America came into existence for two reasons 1) because it was a poorly managed colonial asset and 2) Religious persecution of CHRISTIANS. America has evolved into a beautifully diverse nation that encompasses many belief systems but it was founded under the influence of one primary belief system. We are not a Christian nation in terms of a state appointed religion. We are a Christian nation in that it was the very theology of our founding fathers that pushed many of them and their ancestors to come here to seek the rights they deemed granted to them by their Christian God. I suggest you read some of John Locke's work. His political philosophy, heavily influenced by his religious convictions, is the foundation on which most of our constitutional ideology is based. Just because you do not like what modern Christianity represents, you cannot revise history to remove its influence from the creation of this nation. It was an integral part of the very fiber of existence for the founding fathers. Even Franklin, a skeptic of the highest order, maintained his Christianity. Like John Adams he had a great disdain for organized religion.
06:20 AM on 11/02/2011
Several of the founding fathers were skeptics of organized religion. Religious persecution was rampant in Europe at the time so their skepticism was well founded. John Adams was a Christian but openly denounced many forms of organized religion as power brokering idiocy. The nation was founded on Christian principles in as much as the ten commandments are Christian. Then again the ten commandments are part of Judaism and Islam. They are interpreted differently by each and that is where the argument against organized religion becomes relevant. It is more accurate to say that the nation was founded by men who were predominantly Christian. There is a reference to God in the declaration but it was carefully worded. Regardless of the religious beliefs of the founding fathers they believed that no one religious doctrine, denomination or religious body should hold sway over the government. This is not to say that the country should be without religion or religious practices. Quite the opposite. It prevents the government from dictating those practices so that citizens may be free to worship or not worship as they deem appropriate. I am a Christian. I respect other faiths without agreeing with them. The founding fathers respected the diversity of the new country because of the persecution in the old. They may not have liked it all. In the end they were, for the most part, men of character who realized that in order to form this new country a new way of thinking was necessary.
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intellifran
I think therefore I woman:)
08:50 AM on 11/02/2011
Christianity predates Islam. Islam did not have a reach in Europe and esp in England, so to equate the ten commandments to Islam and the founding fathers, is incorrect.
03:02 AM on 11/05/2011
There is no equating the ten commandments to Islam. The ten commandments are old testament and part of Islam just as they are part of Judaism which does predate Christianity. I also did not equate the ten commandments with the founding fathers. The ten commandments are part of the foundation of a belief system ingrained in their moral precepts. Even those who are not Christian (back to Judaism and Islam) find foundation in the ten commandments and even atheists can, and many do, ascribe to the commandments except for keeping the Sabbath and holding God above all others. Please read more carefully. Like it or not the ten commandments in some form or laws closely resembling the old testament commandments are found in the majority of cultures.
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UnderTheHedgeWeGo
Show me some evidence.
09:54 AM on 11/02/2011
I agree with most of you post save for your reference to the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments have very little to do with American law. Christians seem to assume that they do. Only two and a half of the Commandments have anything to do with our laws. Sometimes it is illegal to lie (but not in general) and very society has restrictions on killing and stealing whether or not the 10 Commandments where a historical part of their belief system.The remainder of the Commandments have nothing to do with our laws.

To say our laws are based on the 10 Commandments just doesn't stand up to the most cursory examination.
03:27 AM on 11/05/2011
Our laws are based on moral precepts which are reflected by and enforced (within Judeao-Christian heritage) by the ten commandments. To say they have nothing to do with our laws is completely incorrect. Hammurabi's code is one of the earliest examples of recorded contract law which was adopted by many cultures as well. As for "every culture has restrictions on killing and stealing" that is not entirely true but the majority of what most consider to be civilized cultures do and those concepts are reflected in their religious and moral upbringing.
Whether or not the founding fathers were devout Christians that was the nature of the society in which they were raised and the moral codes taught to them, largely through the bible as most instruction in that period was conducted. Their decisions in how they embraced or chose not to embrace religion as adults does not negate the foundations with which they were raised. Nothing happens in a vacuum.
We will have to agree to disagree on your position regarding the ten commandments. From a secular, anthropological point of view you cannot extract such an influential part of the core of the founding father's cultural and educational experience and claim it had no influence because you do not like the idea.
Much of credit for the political philosophy that generated our constitution has been given to John Locke. He had very clear ideas on both religion and the constitution.The "Two Treatises of Government" explain a lot.
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05:43 AM on 11/02/2011
The headline is inaccurate. The article doesn't say that the billboard "falsely" attributes the quote to Jefferson, merely that a dispute had arisen about whether the quote could accurately be attributed to Jefferson. Also, the article appears to be biased against the atheist position. But then such bias is par for the course in the corporate media.
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taiwanjohn
12:27 PM on 11/02/2011
Biased, yes. (What's up with the Wolpe video at the end?) And also a bit shallow -- they had to post an "UPDATE" because they only just now heard about the Jefferson Bible? Clearly this was not written by someone who pays much attention to the atheism/theism debate.
02:21 AM on 11/02/2011
I'm a history buff and a great lover of ouotes from famous people and the stories behind them.

Frankly,...the last few years I've grown heartily sick of quotes from the founders.......particularly Jefferson.

As the bible has been for so MANY years....these quotes have begun to be used to bolster the arguments for and against all manner of (often contradictory) topics that the persons who spoke them likely had no opinion on.... or interest in.

Jefferson is second only to Jesus (and that, not by much) in providing "ammunition" for every side of every argument.

Either both gentlemen talked WAY too much......or someone is lying about who said what.
tm
02:15 PM on 11/02/2011
But listening to either of them is better than listening to you ramble...
12:08 AM on 11/03/2011
Gee...that sort of hurt,.. Mike.....especially the "rambling" part

It's only five sentences....probably about 100 words......
And comes more or less straight to the point about what I think.

Of course ALL of us Christians (like me) ... are well used to "others" (people like you?) who have nothing to add to a discussion......but prefer to just drive by...say something ugly....and run away.

I call it "drive by snark"........and liken it to the PRE-blog days when the "BAD" boys (who we secretely envied....for their COURAGE...heh)..... scrawled a dirty word on a brick wall ...and then hid in the weeds to titter about the shock on the faces of passers-by.

Well,...different strokes for different folks .....it's still a free country (America) even in Lawton .... lets chat real soon

All the best
Your neighbor
tm
12:18 AM on 11/03/2011
PS....... You have another "fan".....Jeeeest ta' keep an eye on yeh
Regards
tm