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Vatican backs plan to name Rome square for Martin Luther

Martin Luther, founder of Germany's Protestant (Lutheran) Church, was considered delusional by his contemporaries for his revolt from traditional Catholic doctrine. Religion News Service file photo
Pope Francis leads the "Via Crucis" (Way of the Cross) procession, which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, at the Colosseum in Rome on April 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-VATICAN-LUTHER, originally transmitted on August 26, 2015.

Pope Francis leads the “Via Crucis” (Way of the Cross) procession, which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, at the Colosseum in Rome on April 3, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-VATICAN-LUTHER, originally transmitted on August 26, 2015.

ROME (RNS) The Vatican has given its backing to a central Rome square being named after Martin Luther, a church reformer excommunicated by the pope nearly 500 years ago.

A German Catholic priest and theologian, Luther was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation and sparked considerable controversy by challenging the authority of the Catholic Church. He denounced the corruption he saw among clergy in Rome and believed salvation came through faith alone — views that did not sit well with Pope Leo X.

Luther was excommunicated in 1521 and was never allowed to return to the Catholic Church, but now the Vatican’s views have changed.

Martin Luther, founder of Germany's Protestant (Lutheran) Church, was considered delusional by his contemporaries for his revolt from traditional Catholic doctrine. Religion News Service file photo

A German Catholic priest and theologian, Luther was a key figure in the Protestant Reformation and sparked considerable controversy by challenging the authority of the Catholic Church. Religion News Service file photo

Next month a hilltop square in Rome is due to be named Piazza Martin Lutero, in memory of Luther’s achievements. The site chosen is the Oppian Hill, a park area that overlooks the Colosseum.

The move has been six years in a making, following a request made by the Seventh-day Adventists, a Protestant denomination, Italian daily La Repubblica said. The original plan was to inaugurate the square in time for the 500th anniversary of Luther’s historic trip to Rome in 2010. City officials were not able to discuss the process behind naming the square or the reason for the holdup.

Despite Luther being thrown out of the Catholic Church during his lifetime, the Vatican reacted positively to news of the square’s upcoming inauguration. “It’s a decision taken by Rome city hall which is favorable to Catholics in that it’s in line with the path of dialogue started with the ecumenical council,” said the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, referring to a gathering of churchmen to rule on faith matters.

The move contrasts sharply from views held by Luther around the time of his visit to Rome, when it was said he repeated the saying“If there is a hell, Rome is built over it.”

Dialogue between Lutherans — a Protestant denomination that follows Luther’s teachings — and the Catholic Church was cemented in a document signed by bishops of the two churches in 2013. Pope Francis has also shown an openness to different churches, earlier this year supporting the need for a more unified Christian voice in Europe.

But within Italy there are very few Protestants; just 435,000 Italian citizens identify as Protestant, according to research published in 2012 by the Center for Studies on New Religions. Catholicism continues to be the dominant religion, with 97.9 percent of Italy’s 60 million residents having been baptized Catholic as of 2009.


About the author

Rosie Scammell

Rosie Scammell is a British journalist with extensive experience reporting for leading international news organizations. She has been based in Italy since 2012 and covers the Vatican for RNS.


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  • Rome is not Vatican City, so way should the Vatican care about a square outside its walls? The Colosseum still stands as a symbol of Christian persecution, so why not let another persecutor be honored nearby?

  • You must be kidding? If not, then contemplate the following:

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingie thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

  • If the Faith, and the fullness of salvation, given to the world by our Lord Jesus Christ was a large pie, then the Catholic Church is the complete pie. All other denominations might have a slice or two, maybe three or four, or even one slice short of the complete Plan of Salvation, but they are all deficient in one sense or another. So to put Luther’s name on the square, well, so be it. I think if Presbyterians, or SDA’s, or any other Christian church were to read Luther’s writings, they too would find huge discrepancies with their own Faith. In fact, the only thing most of them have in common is that they all believe the Catholic Church is not the True Church. But, they never challenge each other about their own disparities. Let them all become Lutherans if they like Luther so much.

  • So the Pope celebrates the vilest of bigots ?

    Author of “THE JEWS AND THEIR LIES”:

    “The JEWS… these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews.”

    Oh, what a new low for the Catholic Church !!!


    “JESUS did not call them Abraham’s children, but a “brood of vipers” [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel,….furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states:
    “If you were Abraham’s children ye would do what Abraham did…. You are of your father the devil.”
    It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham’s but the devil’s children, “nor can they [THE JEWS] bear to hear this today.”

    What utter depravity.
    The Pope celebrates one of the vilest haters of Jews.

    Shame on this Pope. Beyond disgusting!

  • “Therefore the blind Jews are truly stupid fools…” – Martin Luther

    “Now just behold these miserable, blind, and senseless people … their blindness and arrogance are as solid as an iron mountain.” – Martin Luther,

    “the JEWS are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen from us [Christians] by means of their accursed usury…. in the most impenitent security.”- MARTIN LUTHER

    To celebrate this infamous crackpot Martin Luther
    with anything other than his name burned into a toilet seat
    is an insult to humanity.

    What a new low for this decrepit institution !

  • “the JEWS are nothing but thieves and robbers…” – Martin Luther,

    The Pope has hit a new low.
    What a disgrace to humanity.

  • “However, the JEWS have not acquired a perfect mastery of the art of lying; they lie so clumsily and ineptly that anyone who is just a little observant can easily detect it. But for us Christians they stand as a terrifying example of God’s wrath.” – MARTIN LUTHER, “THE JEWS AND THEIR LIES”

    The Pope has lost his mind to celebrate such a crack pot!

    Religions should be abandoned.
    These bigoted creeds are worse than not true.
    They are a reckless broadside against humanity.

  • I agree with Max on this one. Here is more about Luther:

    “He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness,[16] afforded no legal protection,[17] and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.[18] He also seems to advocate their murder, writing “[w]e are at fault in not slaying them”.

    Greg1, are your views accepted Catholic dogma or your own views? You seem very demeaning of non-Catholic Christianity.

  • I can’t help but thinking that Luther wanted to convert Jews at first, but turned ugly when he realized that they wouldn’t convert. This makes me very suspicious of evangelicals who tell me that Jesus loves me.

  • Hi All,
    Like most people, I do not know the full story about why Luther is being honoured with this park. I suspect it has something to do with the very good work he did in the reformation of the church, including getting people to understand the free gift of the forgiveness of all people’s sins, that Jesus took on himself when he died for us – instead of paying for your sins with indulgences (money).
    Luther’s work ‘On the Jews and their lies’ is terrible, a highly offensive piece of work for today’s world. I wish he had not written it. It is not the view of any Lutheran I know, and I apologise to Jews that may come across it and read it today. There were reasons behind it, but they do not excuse it.
    Hopefully Luther can be remembered more for his many positive contributions than this obnoxious work near the end of his life.

  • Dear Max,
    On one hand, with a moniker like “Atheist Max” it is highly unlikely that you are an impartial judge of either Martin Luther or Pope Francis.
    On the other hand, it is very likely that you are yet another unbelieving crank in an era when it’s easy – even fashionable – to be same. Your outrage over Rome’s apparent embrace of Luther, therefore, seems contrived at best.
    Furthermore, watching an hour-long History Channel documentary that happened to refer to Luther as an antisemite (whatever that means) and then regurgitating these bigoted views online is not helpful.
    I advise you to read the mountains of literature Luther produced (in their historical context) and then get back to us… of course you’ll have to learn German first… but once you’re done with all of Luther’s books, sermons, hymns, pamphlets and his translation of the Bible you might have some valuable insights. In the meantime, never forget that condemnation before investigation is the height of…

  • Hey “Atheist Max” who are you to criticize the Pope? Your fellow atheists Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc killed over 100 million of their own people because they answered to no higher authority. Atheism is a “disgrace to humanity”!

  • With modern scholarship uncovering Luther’s madness, how is it possible that this man is being honored? About the Jews, Luther wrote:

    “If I had to baptize a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone round his neck and push him over with the words I baptize thee in the name of Abraham” “The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves.”
    -[From Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and Their Lies”]

    About rebelling peasants, Luther taught:

    “To kill a peasant is not murder; it is helping to extinguish the conflagration. Let there be no half measures! Crush them! Cut their throats! Transfix them. Leave no stone unturned! To kill a peasant is to destroy a mad dog!” – “If they say that I am very hard and merciless, mercy be damned. Let whoever can stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs”

  • But as we look at our catholic faith we see several deficiencies beginning with a leadership that fails to protect children from rapist priests but does protect mafia interests in its Vatican Bank. Ours is a religion whose leadership fails to listen to the Spirit as she reveal information about love, sexuality and embryology Some of our religious leaders have gone so far as to call birth control the same as abortion even though BC prevents abortion. Our religion called on slaves to obey their masters and believes that a few simple finite leaders are infallible. Yes we all have our deficits when it comes to an infinite God!

  • Well, why would they stick to their own site when they can bully, insult and vomit verbal spleen on to those they envy the most?

  • Hey, I agree with you on Luther and his nastiness. However, you had better check what atheists have said about Jews. It’s not very nice either.

  • And feel free to ignore the centuries of official antisemitism promulgated by the Lutheran Church until the late 20th Century.

    The Nazis didn’t have to create appeals for Protestants to attack Jews, they had a ready made playbook to work from. Martin Luther’s hostility to the Jews as described by Max (AND USING LUTHER’S OWN WRITINGS) is well documented. Your denial doesn’t hold up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny.

  • The best description of the current evangelical semitaphilia came from the HBO series, “The Brink”.

    [Israel’s foreign minister], “The evangelicals only like the Jews because they need someone to keep the lights on when their messiah comes”

  • Interesting thing about Luther. He was actually quite the brilliant man. Highly educated, very intelligent, well read and spoken. In the beginning, he even had a very good point; certain corrupt priests and prelates were selling indulgences and taking advantage of ignorant souls by stealing their money. News flash: You can’t sell indulgences and yes, there are immoral and corrupt people within the Church. Always have been, always will be. Have you ever wondered why Christ allowed Judas to stay within the ranks of the apostles? Perhaps it was to give us courage throughout history and to remind us that wolves exist both inside and outside of His Church.

    But back to Luther. Hate to burst your bubble but, unfortunately, despite his natural intelligence, he also had a very unnatural obsession with eternity. More specifically, he wanted to know, without any doubt, that he was going to be saved. That is actually what prompted him to rip out seven books of the Bible — they didn’t agree…

  • Luther did help reform the Church to a degree, but added his own doctrines. And when the Jews did not convert to his denomination, he became very violent toward them.
    For his virulent anti-Semitism alone, a public square should never be named for him, and in Rome of all places!

  • Here’s the rest of my post on Luther since the system cut me off.

    That is actually what prompted him to rip out seven books of the Bible — they didn’t agree with his new-found theology. I suspect this is why he ended up denouncing the papacy. Did you know he wanted to rip out many more including the Book of Revelation? Fortunately, his followers stopped him in time. Eventually though, his obsession grew into full blown psychosis. In fact, if he lived today, it’s likely he would be in therapy and on some very serious meds. Not to be disgusting but he would actually have “poop” fights with the devil, then command the devil back into his anus while assuming very vulgar poses. Lest you think this is the sick ramblings of a crazy Catholic out for verbal revenge, think again. That is Luther’s own personal testimony written in his own hand. Look it up.

  • Col, you have put very well. There is no Lutheran I know would agree with Luther’s views on Jews at that time. if Luther returned today, he would not say the say the same things against anybody. Thanks Col.

  • That’s because they spent the last 2 generations trying to weed out centuries of bad behavior on that front. Churches are not know for honest appraisal of their history.

    Various large churches have been working hard to scrub themselves and their history clean of the long standing antisemitism they so once proudly displayed. Pure revisionism. Ignore the past and pretend it never happened.

  • Welcome to humanity, Joe Joe. You must be a god if you don’t know human error. Everyone is has protected sexual deviants, including public school systems and Planned Parenthood. If the Church were as fallible, it would, as they do, not have any morals against doing so. It would change with the times till it would consist of loonies justified in doing whatever they want to whoever, because the secular or church elites allowed it. The Church still does not appease the secular left or right anymore than Jesus, even when it’s leaders have lost their way. If they could change dogma to please themselves, they would have. Only a faith created by God and protected by Him from doctrinal error can sustain its doctrines under such pressures.

  • That is a pitiful excuse. Unlike public schools, churches and other religious organizations went out of their way to protect and shield their sexual predators from prosecution. They went out of their way to hide assets from civil suits. The only thing worse than the Church’s actions on that front are the people willing to make excuses for it out of a need to protect their faith. Lying and covering up for one’s faith is a common occurrence. Its encouraged by religious leaders.

    BTW Planned Parenthood has never “protected sexual deviants”. That is merely defamation for its own sake.

  • @Will,

    “Stalin…..killed over 100 million…because they answered to no higher authority..”

    YOU are an Atheist. So don’t kid yourself.
    You don’t believe in thousands of gods – I just go one more.

    But as long as you excuse depravity of Martin Luther
    you are in no position to talk about decency.

    Here’s what the “HIGHER AUTHORITY”
    which Torquemada, Franco, Hitler and countless other dictators heard:

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    As long as you endorse such bigotry and hatred
    I cannot discuss decency with you.
    Shame on you.

  • @Trimelda,

    Whatever bigoted nonsense an Atheist says is isolated to that particular Atheist – and he should be ashamed of it.

    But when a ‘God’ demands bigotry, don’t you think that should be considered much worse?

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me for their kind and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Atheism has no such creed!
    It is disgusting to assert that Atheism is somehow bad when your suggesterd alternative is this awful, hateful nonsense.

  • @Kemi,

    ” if Luther returned today, he would not say the say the same things against anybody….”


    “JEWS ARE VIPERS…deserve to die.” – Martin Luther
    (from his most famous book, “The Jews and Their Lies”)

    Why not assume the same of Hitler? Do You think if he came back he would say:
    “Ooops, following Martin Luther was a big mistake!”

    Religion makes normal people say and do such
    extraordinarily foolish things. Religion permits AND EXCUSES the vilest inhumanity.

  • @Trimelda,

    This site studies the CONSEQUENCES OF RELIGION
    That is why I read RNS.

    It is not a praise Jesus site.

    If quoting your heroes adds up to “vomit”
    perhaps you should reconsider why you believe in it to begin with:

    “Surrender to the perverse” – (1 Peter 2:18)

    Confront the depravity in your own religion
    before you criticize those of us who simply find such a god to be an impossible hypothesis.

  • @joejoe,

    “Everyone is has protected sexual deviants…”

    And yet you missed what makes the 25,000 cases of Catholic Child Rape particularly nightmarish!

    When Boston Archbishop Bernie Law was asked
    why HUNDREDS OF RAPIST PRIESTS had been allowed to continue raping children from PARISH TO PARISH, he said,

    “Well…..we Christians are in the forgiveness business” – Cardinal Bernard Law (Kingpin of the Boston Priest Pedophile Network)

    Unlike other institutions which would have been free to prosecute,
    The evil core of Christianity kept it going…

    “Forgive not seven times but seventy time seven” – JESUS

    This is a horrible, despicable, nuisance of a dogma! It is against justice!
    It is time to wake up and abandon these uncivilized superstitions.

  • @Susan,

    “I can’t help but thinking that Luther wanted to convert Jews at first, but turned ugly…”

    You can replace the word ‘Luther’ with any of these:

    Osama Bin Laden
    Pope Gregory 1
    Pope Pious

    Religion is about ‘claims of absolute truth’; Dogma.
    Dogma is about enforced conversions of others.
    Failure to get conversions is inevitable.
    Murdering the holdouts is always the consequence.

    “Avoid Them” – (Romans 16:16)

    The people of the world will abandon all of this nonsense someday.

  • Atheism is a religion you bozo, and probably the dumbest one going around. Nothing comes from nothing.

  • What you don’t understand is that the Catholic Church is the only one trying to fix the problem while all the other Protestant cults are hiding their child abuse. The thing is that these Priests that have committed such things are not Priests in reality and have infiltrated the Church to destroy it from within. Most paedophiles are homosexual which means they cannot be Priests. But why is it that governments and the media are promoting homosexuality? BTW Planned Parenthood has protected many sexual deviants by keeping quiet on underage abortions. It has been proven, and the list of these crimes occurring is staggering.

  • No one has the right to kill their enemies more so than God, but you will have to ask a Priest of the Church to find out exactly what this scripture means. Luke 19:21. No one is to privately interpret the scriptures. 2 Peter 1:20. And the Church is the house of God, and the foundation of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15.

  • M. Luther did get one thing correct:

    Martin Luther “found it (the book of Revelation) an offensive piece of work” and John Calvin “had grave doubts about its value.”[32]

  • Eskimo, what is obvious to those who see with eyes wide open, is ambiguous to those with “eclipse of the conscience.” Yes, the problem of pedophilia and abuse is one that will come to pass in the Catholic Church, but will only linger, and worsen, in those denominations that are hiding its pedophiles in the shadows, or the public officials who congregate in the gutters hoping nobody sees them. The Catholic Church is the ONLY institution that is addressing the issue head on; all others are hoping nobody looks their way.

  • And there is another point more relevant. The Adventists are VIRULENTLY anti Catholic. Relations with Lutherans is one thing; but with Adventists I don’t think there is a relation. Needless to say Martin Luther was a tool of the Enemy. He never had a priestly or religious call from God. In fact. within the last couple of decades I believe Lutheran scholars in Europe discovered that when L. fled from his university in panic circumstantial evidence he was running from a DUEL from which the next day a student died from a sword wound puncturing his lung. Luther himself had a cut on one of his lower legs and he fled to the Augustinian priori that was under papal rule which was immune from local law courts.

  • Dear Rev. Crabtree,

    You defend and excuse the vile, revolting bigot Martin Luther
    who inspired Hitler’s Mein Kampf with his own infamous screed, “The Jews and Their Lies.”

    And yet you think you have something to say to me?

    If Martin Luther is defensible in your universe
    I am morally superior to you.

    Shame on you, sir.

  • ‘Most paedophiles are homosexual which means they cannot be Priests.”

    No they aren’t.

    Pedophiles don’t have attraction to adult sexual characteristics. They go after whichever children are available regardless of gender. For priests its usually boys. But thanks for keeping going a well worn defamatory lie.

    All closed religious communities suffer from a desire to cover up sexual abuse. Claiming other people do it too is no excuse.

    As for promoting homosexuality, I guess you mean that they are treating gays like human beings. That is just being decent. Discrimination is really ugly and unbecoming of people who claim to be moral folk.

    “Planned Parenthood has protected many sexual deviants by keeping quiet on underage abortions.”

    No they don’t. It was alleged by anti-abortion pundits. But they have this nasty habit of lying through their teeth. The list of unfounded allegations and defamatory rumors is staggering. Not your proof.

  • So Trimelda, you still can’t come up with anti-semitic atheist quotes.

    Its safe to assume that people who support churches have a nasty habit of lying. It appears to be encouraged.

  • @Eskimo Man,

    If God has the right to kill, he better do it without involving a human – otherwise it isn’t God exercising the right!

    There is no sign of a god.
    But there are plenty of signs that human beings keep inventing Gods and Demigods like Jesus as an excuse to do depraved things.

    If you are defending Martin Luther, shame on you.

  • “No one is to privately interpret the scriptures”

    So the alleged basis of your moral thinking shall be the second hand interpretations of arbitrary authority figures.

    No wonder Christians always have excuses for acting badly. they are not allowed to think for themselves. You said so.

  • Susan, Jesus promised that his Church would be “One” (John 17:11,21,23), and that the Church would see its unity in the Apostle Peter, the Rock (Matthew 16:18-19). Peter was the first pope, and his 266th successor is Pope Francis. Jesus promised that his Church would be led by the Holy Spirit in Truth (John 14:16-22), and that the Spirit would be with it “forever.” We must trust our Lord in his Promises. The Catholic Church grew out of the Apostolic Age, and was “one” for the first millennium. Then in 1054 the Church split in two, when the Orthodox separated. So the choice is whether the Orthodox or the Catholic Church is the True Church; however, the Promises of Christ to Peter should decide it. What did Bishop Ignatius write around the year 106 AD? Smyrnianas: 8:2 “Wherever the bishop appear, there let the multitude be; even as wherever Christ Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful either to baptize, or to hold a love-feast without the consent of the bishop…

  • Luther’s statements in his later life on Jews were negative and typical of the era. All of which have been refuted by modern Lutheran Church leaders (It was not an era of political correctness, acceptance or compromise) Luther’s statements sounds like the average Zionist discussing Palestinians.

    Luther made a tremendous impact on the development of the world and a great many positive changes in Christianity. As for dividing the church, the Papist have done an excellent job of that by themselves since it’s version of Christianity was established by the Emperor Constantine 1700 years ago.

    Remember Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both owned slaves yet we celebrate them. The Roman Church celebrates Thomas More yet he condemned to death by burning Lutherans in England. All sorts of heroes have short comings.

  • Hitler was an atheist. So was Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and most dictators who murdered millions of people. Marx and Engels were atheists too. None of the aforementioned were Lutherans or Roman Catholics or Christians of any stripe. Interesting.

  • That is exactly what splicing a parable can do. That is the very end of a vineyard parable. In the parable Jesus addresses working in the vineyard and workers kill the Kings’ overseers on progress, (seen as the prophets) the king then sends his son and the workers kill him. That is s narrative on the life and death of Jesus to prepare the listeners who were disciplined followers.

    As for Luther, he had 95 theses, ultimately he could have remained but he had backing of other civic persons, rotality to back his translation of the bible. Luther was a scripture scribe/ lecturer. Popes didn’t communicate via Twitter, lacked accessibility.
    Luther struggled to make a name for himself, if he had not used German princes ( pot calling the kettle black) to do his publishing work, and been humble, his position would have been his sanctification. Saints came of the counter reformation which is actually the reform and Luther is Protestant rebellion.

  • @JW,

    “Hitler was Atheist”

    Hitler was a Catholic whose first peace treaty was the Vatican Concordat.
    He believed Jews killed Jesus and needed God’s punishment.

    Nazis wore “Gott Mit Uns” on the their belt buckles (God on our side).
    Hirohito was supposedly a Japanese Sun God.
    Stalin was an Orthodox Catholic Seminarian who seized the (religious) title of Czar.

    These are all religions. Stalin’s Agrarian Cult miracles of Lysenko were Soviet Communist propaganda – supernatural Absolutist beliefs are NOT ATHEISM.

    Your argument will not favor of the existence of god – nor evidence that religions ever prevented any mass murders.

    You are making a defense in favor of Church State Separation, which is a different topic – and clearly you are not even aware of this.

  • JW,

    Atheism only means “Non Belief in Gods”.

    You can’t draw any cause and effect from Atheists. We have no creeds.
    It would be like saying most people who love dogs also eat broccoli – there is no connection.

    ONLY RELIGIOUS DOGMA commands mass murder and depravity:

    “Bring to me those enemies would not have me for their King and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Slay the infidel wherever you find them” – Allah (Surah 9:5)
    “Kill the apostates in daylight” – YAHWEH (Deuteronomy)

    Atheists have no such depravities enshrined in primitive creeds.

  • @Eskimo Man:

    “Atheism is a religion.. you bozo”

    Non-belief is NOT a religion.

    You don’t believe in God Zoroaster. Would you call your non-belief a religion of some sort?
    What kind of prayers do you say regarding your non-belief in Zoroaster.
    What kind of sacrifices do you make?

    Atheism means non-belief. That is all it is.
    Atheism is not the claim that a god doesn’t exist. Show me your God and I’ll be glad to believe.

    So SHOW ME YOUR GOD! Where is it?
    If you have no proof it is no better than Zoroaster – and I don’t believe in that god either.

  • @Clare,

    Your defense of the Parable of the Minas is very sad.

    Have you no clue that Jesus is using the Parable a warning

    JESUS is saying he is the Nobleman of the Parable.
    He is saying he will return to arrange the slaughter of millions.

    I’m sorry, but this is disgusting.
    And I’m sorry you don’t pay attention to your Bible stories or understand what they mean when they talk about the Parousia. There is no love in this horrific tale:

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Shameful, horrible and the cause of the slaughter of millions of innocent people.

    Abandon this nonsense.

  • Maybe I’m reading that incorrectly, but are suggesting that Athiests can’t be anti-semitic? Have you heard of Hitler and Stalin. Just a thought. I’m not getting in the middle of a nonsensical fight.

  • Vince,

    Hitler was Catholic – not Atheist. His entire screed against the Jews was based on Martin Luther’s writings – “The Jews and Their Lies”. Despicable.

    Stalin was an Orthodox Seminarian who appointed himself Czar (demigod religious title) over the Russian people and employed Lysenko to produce miraculous vegetables. Stalinism was a Messianic Agrarian Cult and Stalin is worshipped in Orthodox churches as a saint with Halo and everything.
    He rejected Lenin’s wishes and elevated Communism to a religious dogma and Communist Party to demigod status –
    That is NOT Atheism.
    Mao did the same thing.

    It is NOT Atheism.
    Atheism is the lack of belief in Gods. This includes demigods like Stalin or North Korean Kim il sun.
    Atheists reject unproven “divine decrees” and talk of demigods.

  • Then let it be a news site,Max.Your criticism works both ways; it’s not a “praise theFlying Sphagetti Monster crowd-pleaser”site either.Be fair,IF you can.I always enjoy your critiques (usually,Lol!),so that’s all I’m looking for Max–a little fairness.Most of us are well aware of what atheists think of our cherished beliefs,so…

  • Well,you may find this disappointing,”Greg1″,but whatever else may be said about Luther,non-catholic Christians DON’T consider him,Zwingli,Calvin,or any other Reformer The Saviour; that would be the One Peter spoke of in Acts 4 : 12,i.e.Jesus of Nazareth. (Sorry.?,Boniface VIII.)-the”fullness of salvation”(whatever that phrase even means) is in the Person and Work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,no more and no less.If anyone needed man-centered institution as their Saviour,what need would we have for The Lamb of God to shed His Blood for us? It’s not that hard to understand,Greg1.I can only speak for myself,but I have read more about the Reformers than actually read any of their works,even Calvin’s famed Institutes.I normally get my confirmation of where I stand with Almighty God from His Word; He’s usually more reliable than any given human being,or number of human beings.—PEACE IN CHRIST, ALWAYS!

  • So does atheism,Max…try as you might,you CANNOT wriggle your way out of that.When I read some of the mocking, denigrating,viciously hateful rants spewed by some of your ilk,Max,one thing becomes clear: I would’nt trust the average atheist as far as I could throw a steel elephant. (Sadly,the same goes for some of those who profess themselves to be “christians” LOL!!)

  • Perhaps you have forgotten about the thousands upon thousands of Christian victims who were Orthodox, Calvinists, Huguenots, or Lutherans along with Jews, Muslims, and indigenous peoples killed in the name of the Roman Church in central Europe, Spain, Latin America, France and eastern Europe over the last 1000 years.
    The books removed from the Bible by Luther were additions added during the dark ages.

  • “you cannot wriggle your way out…”


    Religion = “Do what you are told no matter what is right!”

    Morality = “Do what is right no matter what you are told”

    Atheism allows for moral decisions.
    Religion demands obedience to immoral leaders.

  • Atheist Max, atheism is a religion. You ‘believe’ there is no god. Right there, that’s ‘religion’ alright.

  • @ANTImax,

    “you believe there is no god”


    I do not believe in YOUR god.
    And I do not believe in other gods which I have heard about.

    A God may exist. I BELIEVE it is possible to discover a god
    if one exists – but I don’t see evidence yet.

    I have no religion of any kind.
    Where is your God? Show it, or stop talking about it.

  • Ringo,

    What “unfair” thing am I doing?
    The Pope is celebrating Martin Luther, a despicable bigot who hated ALL Jews.

    If it weren’t for RNS nobody would have talked about this.

    These are not harmless little bed time stories about The King of the sky fairies and his blood-drained son who loves everybody (except Jews, gays, lesbians and shellfish eaters) as he wafts drone-like through a Thomas Kinkade cul-de-sac.

    The disaster is not the fable.
    The disaster is in believing the fable to be real and enforceable.

  • Pedophiles are either homosexual pedophiles, or bisexual pedophiles. They are deviant, and can be easily found, as they are a sub-group of those prefix modifiers just mentioned.

  • I had forgotten that Luther also supported the monarchy against the poor and the peasants.

    Max, I disagree that religion is do what you are told. that is only one of many ideas of religion

    Observer, I am a Zionist. I have never denigrated Palestinians or believed they were the devil’s spawn. I don’t know any Zionist who thinks that way.

  • LOL! How many times are you going to repeat that same wamrned-over Hitchens nonsense about Stalin, Max?

    Stalin’s religious background makes him about as “religious” as yours makes you. “Czar” means Caesar (emperer), not God. Nothing “miraculous” was ever claimed about Lysenko — it was merely faulty science that had Stalin convinced, about as “miraculous” as the “miracle cures” once attributed to large doses of vitamin C. And Stalin never put any icons of himself into any Russian church to be worshipped – the people themselves put a picture of him (without any halo) into one particular church out of weary and pathetic gratitude to him for easing up on his persecution of the church during WWII for the sake of war time morale. It depicts an undocumented legend that Stalin took advice from a local saint about how to defeat the Germans.

    So…is rampant lying about each other a feature of “atheism” now?

  • Yes, you’re right, the atomic bomb that killed thousand and still today we can see the consequences were mandated from God too, right? Also, the billions of babies that are killed every day also was from my God, the wars we’ve seen years after years was from my God too.

    The only difference is that you have faith in human, I do not. I have faith in a God and human is not worth of anything, we kill when we have chance, we dont care about our brotherhood, all of our thoughts are evil.
    Keep trusting your life in the hands of the human and you shall perish with him.

    May God open your eyes and you can study the bible properly, put your faith (the one you have) at the right place.

    God Bless you my friend.

  • Observer on what are you basing your view of the “average Zionist”? Because I know a lot of them, and aside from the “price tag” terrorists, even the rightwing ZOA and AIPAC types don’t hold such odious views. By the way, I thought anti-Zionism had nothing to do with being antisemitic. So why are you turning around a discussion about Luther’s views of the Jews at that time into a current discussion of Israel and Palestine?

  • Pete I also thought it was pretty, what we would call chutzpadik, for the Seventh-day Adventists to ask that a square in Rome be named for him. On the other hand, there have recently been interfaith discussions between SDA and the Catholic Church. Maybe you need chutzpah to get there. My understanding is that SDA’s traditional designation of the papacy as the anti-Christ is being downplayed of late.

  • @Paulo Reis,

    “Atomic bomb that killed….”

    Dropped by Christians.

    Do you really want to argue about the second world war –
    The Demigod Aryans teaming up with the Japanese Sun God Hirohito
    versus the non-believers of the Third Reich National Socialist Dogma?

    The non-believers won! The religions lost.

    Dropping the whole concept of Messianism
    would be the best thing humanity could do for itself to make the world more peaceful.

  • Susan,

    “Max, I disagree that religion is do what you are told.”

    Right. Because you are not paying attention.

    “Believe or be condemned” – JESUS
    “To love God is to follow his commands” – JESUS
    “You must make war even though you dislike it” – ALLAH
    “Do not allow a witch to live” – YAHWEH

    You don’t get to say “I follow a Higher Authority” with one side of your mouth, then say “I’m free to do as I please” with the other side of your mouth.
    It is one or the other! You can’t have both.

  • Hitler wasn’t an atheist.

    Stalin’s antisemitism was not particularly public. Communists repudiated antisemitism in public even when they practiced it openly. Stalin even initially adopted a pro-Zionist policy as a way to undermine British and French influence in the Middle East in the 40’s.

    Still waiting for those quotes.

  • “…pedophiles have no attraction to adult gender sexual characteristics. ”

    That’s nonsense. You need to check out Sarah D. Goode’s 2009 work “Understanding and Addressing Adult Sexual Attraction to Children.” Lab studies have been done on this since 1970. The estimated percentage of adult men capable of sexually responding to children is alarmingly high, and virtually all of them respond sexually to adults as well.

  • “The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.” – Adolph Hitler

    Yeah, sounds like he was a Catholic, doesn’t it?

  • You need to check out the studies done by people outside the anti-gay political wingnutsphere. Plus I sincerely doubt you even read Dr. Goode’s book anyway and are not bothering to link to anything referencing it. Namedropping is not a refutation.

    “Most of the studies …did not even assess the sexual orientation of abusers. Two studies explicitly concluded that sexual orientation and child molestation are unrelated. Notably, the FRC failed to cite the 1978 study by Groth and Birnbaum, which also contradicted their argument. Only one study (Erickson et al., 1988) might be interpreted as supporting the FRC argument, and it failed to detail its measurement procedures and did not differentiate bisexual from homosexual offender”

    ” many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children. “

  • The teachings that Lutherans confess as a true exposition of scripture are found in the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord. We do not confess as Gospel every word that came from Luther’s pen or mouth. We confess Christ is our Savior King not Luther. Luther was a sinner like us all. He preached this and confessed His sins regularly. His last written words were, “We’re all beggars before the throne of God.” We’re all sinners dependent on God’s gracious forgiveness made available to us in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. We all fail to love God as He has loved us and our neighbors as ourselves. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are justified by His grace as a gift, through.. Christ Jesus.” Rm 3:23. God loves us so! Our sin natures are the reason for all crimes, murders and what we call man’s inhumanity to man whether using religion, non belief in God, political philosophies of whatever stripe or any other rationalization as our…

  • And yes, many believe today that Luther struggled with what we now call manic depression as a manifestation in his life of the fallen, sin weakened, physical condition of us all. Each of us have our own pet sins based on our genetics, upbringing and social influences. O God save us! And He has! The more we receive His love and forgiveness by faith the more he transforms us in this life with the motivation to love others as He loves and forgives us. This is something, by His grace, we can grow in throughout our lives but live it in perfection only in the life to come. God’s peace in Christ to all who read this!

  • I can write this not as wishful thinking, or even because it seems to be a fit description of our human condition, but, again by the grace of God, based upon the first hand eye witness accounts of the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ based upon the writings of the apostles, all within a generation of the events. And because of the evidence of the existence of God revealed in His creation that could not have happened by accident. The miraculous complexity of genetics, physics and all the sciences affirms this if we but open our eyes to the evidence. “The Heavens declare the glory of God” Ps. 19:1

  • Funny — your link wouldn’t even open. Mine is multiple lines long, but you can easily find the volume on Google books–if you know how to use it.

    I fail to see what Sarah Goode has to do with “anti-gay political wingnutsphere.” She’s with the University of Winchester in the UK and cites lab studies done before anyone every heard of SSM. The earliest was a Freund and Costell study of a sample of young Czech soldiers who all showed an arousal response to adult women, while 83% showed arousal response to adolescent girls and 48% showed some arousal response to girls aged 4-10. The rates are roughly comparable to a Quinsey study done five years later.

    But thanks for showing the context of your claim — clearly propaganda trying to distance the issue of pedophilia from the issue of homosexuality. If disturbing rates of pedophilic tendency can be found among heterosexual men I seriously doubt that homosexual men are exempt.

  • Max, I don’t believe that the Hebrew Bible is the literal word of God. Nearly all non-Orthodox Jews would agree with that. My rabbi once said that if you are reading the Bible by yourself you should be arguing with yourself.

  • There you go. Cut and paste error. My bad.

    Now are you still going to pretend you read a book on the subject and avoid giving any kind of online evidence to show that you are citing it accurately and correctly?

    Dropping a name is not the same as a citation to a source from someone. By all means show me up with quotes and citations that can be verified by online links.

    Or you can waste time with phony indignant moaning. Whatever works. I don’t really care.

  • @Donderks,


    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter…the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were….In boundless love as a Christian …the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders [The Jews].

    “How terrific was my LORD’S fight for the world against the Jewish poison!
    After two thousand years, with deepest emotion
    I recognize more profoundly than ever before…it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross.”

    “As a Christian I have…the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… the distress that daily grows.

    “For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”
    -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922

  • William Lindenmeyer,

    “We do not confess as Gospel every word that came from Luther’s pen or mouth.”

    Oh, stop it.
    You do not accept every word of Jesus either!

    For example, you willfully ignore dozens of Jesus’ preachments:

    you have clearly not cut your hand off!
    even after sinning with it repeatedly! (Matthew 5:50)
    and I doubt you hated your family today as Jesus commanded (Luke 14:26)!

    Luther and Jesus each promoted depravity.
    Avoiding their horrific preachments for the comfort of your pet beliefs is glib and shameful.

  • Rabbis, Priests and other clerics have lots of witty bon mots to
    paper over the depravities of holy texts. I’m completely unimpressed – it is irresponsible.

    Don’t you realize your endorsement of clergy – your legitimizing of priest craft – is exactly what grants PERMISSION to the depraved preachings?

    You are like the Aztec tribe member
    who watches as the Hummingbird Wizard throws another virgin girl into the volcano ( 500 C.E. Aztecs) to insure the rising of the sun.

    You are that Aztec who is smart enough to know burning of virgins is completely unnecessary since you have figured out the sun will rise anyway.
    You know the Hummingbird Wizard lies.

    But you won’t step up to free the little girl virgin
    who is doomed for the next day’s ritual.
    The depravities continue while you watch – because you are afraid to admit it?And it is a shame.

  • Shawnie,

    Religion first insists a perfect Messiah/God EXISTS who has all the answers.
    Second, Religion demands everyone MUST SEEK the God/Messiah.

    Who fits the second part?

    Vladimir Putin
    Josef Stalin
    Pol Pot
    Kim il Sun
    Kim jung il
    Donald Trump

    You repeatedly ignore the worst part of religion – it is

    I don’t want it!

    Raising children to believe a Messiah is imminent destroys the skeptical, reasoning power of the mind and instead makes them vulnerable to the appeals of Dictators selling claims of dogmatic, perfect answers.

  • Blah blah blah…same old excuse-making, none of which explains why you feel the need to spout the deliberate lies pointed out above.

  • Larry, the projection is getting a bit old. Just because you don’t read actual books or know how to cite solid studies doesn’t mean everybody else is faking it as well. The volume may be found here if you’re actually interested: And no, I didn’t “pretend” anything. Goode’s work is a bit controversial because research on subjects like this makes academia uncomfortable, but she is a favorite cite of radical feminists who want to preserve female privilege in family court, and I came across her work a few years back when I had a short-lived interest in those issues.

  • You need to take another look at what YOU cited, as well. It is claiming that same-sex orientation is not any more correlated with pedophilia than heterosexuality or bisexuality is, which may well be the case — but that is not what you claimed. You claimed that pedophilia is altogether inconsistent with homosexual orientation, which is patently false because it demonstrably coexists with heterosexual orientation and there is no reason to think homosexual orientation is any different in this respect. That concluding quote was mere fluff which makes a dubious claim about “some” pedophiles but says nothing about the vast majority of them.

  • Shawnie,

    Exactly what would it prove if Stalin were Athiest?
    How does that help your argument that belief in Jesus is any better?

    “Kill them” – JESUS (Like 19:27)

    Are you going to tell me no true Christian would kill anyone
    at the direction of God?

    “Non believers should be killed” – St. Thomas Aquinas

    Christians are commanded to kill all sorts of people.
    I don’t see how your argument against Atheism exonerates Christians, Christian leaders or Christian Mass murderers.

    If you insist Christian murderers are not true Christians
    then I’m entitled to say Stalin wasn’t a true Atheist.

    And if you don’t like that conclusion, too bad. You are being childish.
    Russia named Stalin a Messiah regardless of what Stalin believed – and that is the fault of religion.

    Religion gave Stalin all of his power.

  • Max, rabbi just means teacher. They are not like priests. There is nothing that a rabbi does that cannot be dome by a layperson. They just have a life-time of study. I’m not sure what you mean by “priest-craft.

  • Added information:

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    Continued below:

  • The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    For added “pizzazz”, Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the “pew people” to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the “filicider”.

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

  • to all U.S. legislators,
    if you want (desire) to help millions of girls and women
    now and in the future
    then make law!
    Lily’s Law: 21 to buy laxatives; keep laxatives behind counter
    so(w!) THAT
    kids don’t steal laxatives!
    laxatives are addictive and do cause serious internal injuries
    to all U.S. legislators,
    don’t tell us THAT (you are pro-woman and pro-girl power)
    if you are unwilling to show us THAT
    ‘tell and show’
    to all U.S. legislators,
    if you tell us THAT (you are pro-woman and pro-girl power)
    then you show us THAT
    by(e bye) you doing your best to(o) make Lily’s Law law

  • G-D’S Two Part Plan for man (nunc)
    part I stop sinning (behave!)(stop being a dumb-he!)
    part II start saving (act!)(start being a smart-he!)
    G-D’S Two Part Plan for man (tunc)
    part I cease to do evil
    part II learn to do well
    ho ho ho
    bro(t)her! G-D knows who’s naughty and who’s nice

  • bro(t)her! if you tell us THAT (you love G-D)
    then show us THAT
    ‘tell and show’
    bro(t)her! if you tell us THAT (you love G-D)
    then show us THAT
    1) by(e) you keeping HIS Commandments (behave!)
    2) by(e) you righting wrongs (act!)

  • bro(t)her! I do don’t you want (desire) to ‘see and hear’:
    1) a Chinese pope right wrongs for G-D!
    2) a Jewish US president right wrongs for G-D!

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    tell everyone! (especially all US presidential candidates) (t)HIS:
    don’t be a ball hog
    don’t be a cash hog
    don’t be an America hog
    don’t be a G-D hog
    chew! chew!

  • U.S. Department of Justice,
    Q1: are not we(e spirits) all recorders?
    Q2: are not we(e spirits) all recording
    every move we(e spirits) make?
    Q3: are not we(e spirits) all recording
    every dumb (dopey?) word we(e spirits) spake?
    Q4: are not we(e spirits) all recording
    every brother/sister we(e spirits) forsake?
    Q5: are not we(e spirits) all recording
    every thing we(e spirits) take and/or break?
    5 = a hand
    chew! chew!

  • U.S. Department of Justice? (Scooby Do!o),
    where are you?
    (up a tree?)
    let’s go fishing!
    on G-D’S web
    for(e!): super rich hiding $21T offshore
    (google it! vs bing it!) (yahoo it! vs yabba dabba do!o it!)
    Q: what (who) did you ‘catch and reel in’?
    tell everyone! (you know and don’t know) (t)HIS:
    don’t hide from G-D
    don’t hide from country
    don’t hide from disability discrimination complainants
    chew! chew!

  • The most ridiculous thing I’ve heard all morning.

    Next maybe they should name a square after Mussolini.

    Luther was not a courageous reformer. He was a Jew-hating misfit who often referred to the pope as the “Beast” of Revelation, and who, soon after his achievement of celebrity, renounced his vows and married a former nun.

    We should absolutely recognize the sincerity of modern adherents to Lutheranism, and encourage fruitful dialogue, but why on earth honor a man who hated the Church and did all he could to destroy it? (Of course he was unsuccessful in that quest.)

    It is interesting that the initiators of this plan are the Seventh-Day Adventists, who are the most vehemently anti-Catholic denomination out there.

  • You are trying to split hairs and deliberately misinterpreting what I cited. The study showed no correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That pedophiles do not fall under definitions of adult sexual orientation such as heterosexual or homosexual. That those studies which claimed to the contrary were methodologically awful. Worse still you are trying to mischaracterize what I was saying to make some silly strawman argument.

    The whole claim that homosexuals are also by definition pedophiles is a defamatory lie. One often repeated ad nauseum by people like Dominic, Greg1 and others, has no basis in fact. If you are willing to defend such clear untruths then feel free to point to some study that came from sources which can be objectively considered credible.

    Please also point out where Goode claims pedophiles have adult sexual orientations. She does not appear to be making that claim at all.

  • Larry, you can go to chapter 1 of the work to find this information, but your problem is that, like most uninformed shallow water-waders, you’re looking for a particular quote to attack when actually what the author’s overall work communicates is that we are dealing with a continuum of attraction which may be investigated not by mere self-reporting and labeling alone, and not by just studying actual offenders, but by measuring actual physical response to sexual stimuli in representative samples of “normal” men.

    “Orientation” is just a BS word made up in order to make classifications. What matters is actual sexual attraction and arousal, which is what lab studies measure. And according to the studies cited above and others, subjects who display sexual response to children appear to be a disturbingly large subset of the larger group which displays ordinary sexual response to adults.

  • “You are trying to split hairs and deliberately misinterpreting what I cited. The study showed no correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia.”

    Technically speaking you didn’t cite a study but a commentary on a study, as usual. You are correct that the studies show no correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia, but that is not what you claimed. This was your claim: “Pedophiles don’t have attraction to adult sexual characteristics.” That statement is not supported by the evidence, and was not even claimed by your own cite. Your cite claimed, without any reference to actual percentages, that “some” pedophiles show no attraction to adults — and the available evidence indicates that this group of “some pedophiles” is exceedingly small.

    “The whole claim that homosexuals are also by definition pedophiles is a defamatory lie….If you are willing to defend such clear untruths…” I am not, because that is not my claim. Learn to read.

  • “If you insist Christian murderers are not true Christians then I’m entitled to say Stalin wasn’t a true Atheist.”

    Congratulations. You have finally stumbled upon the crux of your difficulty in trying to disclaim your atheist compadres — one which I have attempted to communicate numerous times but you were not able to grasp it.

    We have a Christian exemplar, you see — the life and teachings of our Christ. We may easily identify a follower of the same by how closely he/she adheres to that same life and teachings, and indeed we were instructed to do so. Who is your atheist exemplar? You have none, for you are all on the same level. Therefore, you are stuck with whatever an atheist says or does as a demonstration of “true atheism.” So sorry but Hitchens was spinning his wheels on this and so are you.

  • When I became a Catholic in 1963, the church appeared to be unified and all Catholics in the Latin rite just went to Mass and there was no confusion, at least not from my perspective. However, after Vatican II, the church began to polarize and divide into special interest groups, movements that believed different things. There was an outward facade of unity but over time, liberals and conservatives in the church have hardened their divisions and they attack each other,etc. It seems that now, people just make up their own religions and yet stay in the church as a facade or a social club, etc. Credibility in the pope is waning because this present pope is seen by many as liberal. I do not like the aftermath of the last council because there has been an extreme lack of governance and no real unity in the faith. One good thing is the fssp group which I now attend.

  • Shawnie,

    “We have a Christian exemplar, you see…Jesus”

    And he preached murder.
    “Kill them” – JESUS (19:27)

    And he preached bigotry.
    “They are swine” – JESUS

    And he preached hate.
    “Hate them” – Jesus

    And he preached slavery.
    “The slave shall be severely punished” – JESUS

    And you follow it as a sheep would.

    Your ‘exemplar’ not only insists the perfect God/Messiah exists (a lie).
    It insists that depraved behavior is to be expected as part of the perfection.
    and he insists every person seek it!

    The Russians – soaked in Christian Orthodoxy and Czarist demigods – seek a Messiah so Stalin played that role!


    “Round up the resistors” – Stalin

    Religion insists on surrendering – NOT QUESTIONING…

  • Susan,

    You can’t say “I follow a Higher Authority” with one side of your mouth,
    then say “I’m free to pick his commands as I please” with the other side.

    It is one or the other.
    You can’t have both.

    Furthermore, if religions are completely optional and subjective, as they should be, no religious claims should have rights over any others.

    Chocolate Ice Cream is not superior to Rum Raisin just because your mother liked Chocolate. No flavor is superior. No flavor holds special rights.

    Religious claims are baseless pet projects and should be treated as nothing more than favorite flavors of ice cream – subjective, frivolous, rather unimportant and arbitrary.

  • Susan,

    “rabbi means teacher”

    Yes, and they invoke priest-craft – they claim supernatural powers as other clergy do.

    Priests have the power to initiate Transubstantiation, for example. With only their special incantation they wield God’s power to transform bread and wine into the body and blood for the blood sacrifice. (disgusting – and in 2015!)

    Rabbis are compelled by religious law to perform many magic spells – to rid homes of plague (for example) as described in the Torah.

    You seem to want religion to be merely a philosophy; benign, metaphorical and intellectual.
    But it can’t be. Because religion comes with ‘a priori’ claims which preach God must first be seen to be LITERALLY REAL and his laws to be good.
    That is its fatal blunder. And the reason for its danger.

  • What our exemplar taught us was told us to put away the sword, take up the cross and follow Him, do good to our enemies, not be deceived by phonies, and consider everyone we encounter as our neighbor. No one with even a passing familiarity with the gospels are fooled by your mangling of them so, it being a Saturday, I will leave them to be fed upon by the angrily ignorant who would not be interested in what the passages actually say in any case.

  • “The Russians – soaked in Christian Orthodoxy and Czarist demigods – seek a Messiah so Stalin played that role!”

    That is nonsense. Absolute rulers are as old as the human race (far older than Christianity, for sure) and keep cropping up everywhere even in an age that professes to value democracy. They serve an inborn fallen human need for a leader and someone willing to relieve people of the burden of thinking for themselves. The ancient Israelites insisted upon an absolute monarch in spite of God’s expressly-stated will that they NOT have one.

    “Religion insists on surrendering – NOT QUESTIONING…”

    Rather funny coming from one who swallowed whole and regurgitates daily a bunch of Christopher Hitchens’ lies and excuses about his fellow atheists without even bothering to examine or fact-check them.

  • Martha, we are living in perilous times. What did Jesus say about his return? : Luke 18:8: “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” What matters for Catholics in our time is to live and believe in the “official” teachings of the Church, and frequent the sacraments regularly: Confession & the Eucharist. And only concern yourself with “official” proclamations of the Church, and not what the pope says from one day to the next. Those are not protected. But pray, pray, pray for the pope. He needs our prayers. The Devil is reigning right now, and is out to destroy lives, and remove any hope for eternal heaven. Don’t fall into his trap.

  • Some facts: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode at any time ending life on Earth.

    Continued below:

  • 8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?‎
    Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan
    Rabbi Paul, book by worProfessor Bruce Chilton

  • Atheist Max,

    You are a good defender of atheism but you might want to check out the passages you cite for authenticity. For example,

    “Luke 19:27New International Version (NIV)

    27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

    It is a parable with said story being told by a nobleman, not JESUS.

    And “they are swine” ? Where in the NT does Jesus utter those words?

    The closest I can get to is:

    “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

    And even this passage (Matt 7:6) fails rigorous historic testing as something said by Jesus. e.g.

  • Hopefully that is true. I had a very good friend who was and probably still is an Adventist, and he was a vehement anti-Catholic, but we discussed in a gentlemanly manner. But he deeply despised the pope, and conversely loved E.G. White, even after he found out her name added up to 666, and that most of the SDA founders were Masons, including William Miller, EG White’s husband, and EG White herself.

  • Shawnee,

    “What our exemplar taught…put away the sword,”
    “Buy a sword” – Jesus

    “take up the cross and follow Him”
    “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.” – (Ephesians 2:5)

    “do good to our enemies…” – JESUS
    He’s an idiot. How could it be so? Did you forget?
    “Kill my enemies in front of me!” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    JESUS taught a mostly sick, incoherent idea blending hundreds of Zoroastrian, Hellenistic and Egyptian superstitions – the Jesus story is man made.

    “..and consider everyone we encounter as our neighbor.”
    That is flat out lie.

    “They are dogs” – JESUS
    “They are swine” – JESUS
    “You [Jewish holdouts] are a brood of vipers…blind fools” – JESUS

    Jesus is nonsense – a catastrophe – contrived, conflated and contradictory as anything in any other fiction ever written by humans including Harry Potter.
    And it shows!

  • @Bernardo,

    Yes, I know the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19) very well.

    One needs to understand the teaching very carefully.
    Jesus is the Nobleman in the story – it is an intentionally veiled threat to his followers.

    The true sickness of this parable is how Jesus describes the method used by the Nobleman (Jesus) when he returns at the Parousia (Second coming) and the method is simply gruesome:

    The Nobleman (Jesus) claims he will recruit his good servants and have them round up the bad servants – then he will GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF DOING THE EXECUTING.

    What you need to understand about this parable: It is Jesus speaking of his Parousia. Jesus is the Nobleman in the story.*

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me” – JESUS

    *All theologians from the Catholic church to the Evangelical wings have agreed the Nobleman is Jesus. Google it.

  • No, rabbis don’t claim supernatural power. There are some Hasidic rebbes who do, but that is a different story.

    “Rabbis are compelled by religious law to perform many magic spells – to rid homes of plague (for example) as described in the Torah.”

    Rabbis didn’t exist until after after the Torah was written. The Torah couldn’t describe rabbis doing anything, because they didn’t exist during that time period. You are confusing rabbis and Temple Priests. They are far from the same thing. The rabbis were the ones who devised a way for Judaism to continue after the destruction of the Temple.

  • Max,

    See Professor Gerd Ludemann’s studies of the NT passages in his book Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 382: ” At the same time, this makes it certain that v.27 Luke 19: is not part of the original parable. ” See also, p. 235 concerning Matt 25: 14-30.

    And what about your : “They are swine” reference?

  • Max,

    Somehow my comments are getting out of place. Once again:

    See Professor Gerd Ludemann’s studies of the NT passages in his book Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 382: ” At the same time, this makes it certain that v.27 Luke 19: is not part of the original parable. ” See also, p. 235 concerning Matt 25: 14-30.

    And what about your : “They are swine” reference?

  • Sorry,”joe joe”,but Almighty God has nothing to do with your man-centered religion…as long as it’s “pope”and NOT Christ that reigns,your church will be plagued by sin,iniquity,and uncontrolled transgressions.You catholics need to wake up and get a clue.Oh,and read Romans chapter 6 while you’re at it—I call it the Sin-Breaking”passage”.

  • Dial it back a notch, Max…Since its obvious that you are woefully ignorant of how to exercise sound Biblical exegesis,just stick with the little that you do know.Even a 1st year seminary student doesn’t interpret Scripture so crassly.Seriously,dude?

  • “A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.”

  • Bernardo, it’s all the word of God. Surely, you were not claiming that the creator of the entire universe is incapable of producing a single coherent thought? Why, you’re starting to sound like Mr. Ringo, who believes that exegesis is the only way to understand the Bible.

  • Max, I did as you suggested and I googled the parable of the Minas. Very interesting reading, because it pretty much parallels all of the discussion here. All of these different people, with perfectly good reasons, claim that such and such a passage clearly has this meaning, based upon this, that, and the other.

    As is clearly the case with the Word o’ God, everywhere and always, the passages mean exactly what someone wants them to mean. We find an exact parallel in the words of the immortal Humpty Dumpty, as detailed in the GOspel of Alice: “words mean what I say they mean. Nothing more, and nothing less.”

    It amazes me how much interpretation by humans is required by the creator of the entire universe to make his meaning clear. Why, you’d almost think it’s not his word at all, but the word of fallible humans.

    God created man in his own image. And then man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.

    Thank God I’m an atheist.

  • @Bernardo,

    I very much appreciate your careful reading. Thanks.

    I have read almost everything about the Parable of the Minas (Luke 19) that I could find over many years.
    It remains the most depraved parable in the NT – it has no redeeming virtues and panders to the most sadomasochistic impulses in humanity.

    Luke 19 has superficial similarities to the Parable of the Talents
    but offers a completely different, horrifically sadistic lesson.

    Yes – the Parable is probably inauthentic. But pointing that out to believers is a dead end. So my argument against Jesus assumes the believer has a God who would allow this horrible parable into his biography in the first place – and Jesus is worse for it.

    I hope people question this Jesus character – and notice themselves constantly rewriting the meanings to improve them – imposing their own decency on a fundamentally indecent set of instructions.

  • Lawrence, of course our Lord is the only means of salvation, but he has delegated his authority to His Church. Every sacrament of the Church, is an act of the Holy Spirit. When Peter was given the “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt 16:19), he was given exactly that: the ability to make decisions such as in Acts 15, or the right to act in the person of Christ. 2Cor 2:10 is an example of St. Paul using his priestly ordination to forgive sins in the person of Christ.

  • @Bernardo,

    “Where does Jesus say, ‘They are Swine?”

    I have taken a slight liberty:

    “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them.” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    Let us be very clear. Jesus is lecturing his followers, it can be reasonably paraphrased thus:
    “They are dogs, do not give holy things to them.”
    “They are swine, do not give your pearls to them.”

    He is not referring to real dogs or real pigs. Jesus is referring to human beings who fit the description.

    Jesus is commanding his followers to judge others very harshly and he demonstrates sociopathic narcissistic tendencies. He separates humanity into those who follow him (he flatters them as ‘Holy’) and those who don’t (Swine and Dogs).

    Jesus is insufferable once you think about it.

  • @Bernardo,

    On your other point:

    “fails rigorous historic testing as something said by Jesus.”

    I agree.
    To me the real historicity of Jesus is completely up for grabs. I don’t know whether a real Jesus existed or not – or if some such ancient figure(s) inspired these patently contradictory, bizarre gospel stories or not.

    ‘Rigorous historic testing’ – as you say – has shown no evidence for any real Jesus. The Jesus Seminar is not authoritative. We just can’t know for sure.
    It doesn’t mean Jesus is impossible – only that the entirety of his words is questionable

    But let’s assume a Jesus existed. Some of his words are beautiful:
    “Forgive them they know not what they do”
    “Go and do likewise”
    “Behold the lilies of the field”

    But the same Jesus could easily be a man made character written by hundreds of people who had various axes to grind and superstitions to support.

  • @Bernardo,


    “In this parable, Jesus teaches several things about the Millennial Kingdom and the time leading up to it. As Luke 19:11 indicates, Jesus’ most basic point is that the kingdom was not going to appear immediately. There would be a period of time, during which the king would be absent, before the kingdom would be set up…..

    The nobleman in the parable is Jesus, who left this world but who will return as King some day. The servants the king charges with a task represent followers of Jesus. The Lord has given us a valuable commission, and we must be faithful to serve Him until He returns.”


    Jesus ends the parable with “execute my enemies in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)

    The nobleman is the veiled warning from Jesus himself
    trying to scare the daylights out of his followers.

  • @Susan,

    “The Torah couldn’t describe rabbis….you are confusing rabbis and Temple Priests.”

    The Torah is either true, or it is NOT!

    The Rabbis preach it so presumably they believe it is true.
    Have they denied the need for Temple Priests commanded by God? Have they denied the truth of Leviticus?

    You keep claiming the authority of Leviticus is valid in one breath.
    But then you deny it with the next breath.
    Make up your mind!

    “And the Priest shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water: And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird….Yahweh (Leviticus 13:50-51)

    of a God named YAHWEH.

  • Ringo:

    Who are you to decide which of the Jesus commands are only exaggerations?

    “Love thy neighbor” – did he mean this literally?
    “cut off your hand” – did he mean this literally?
    “execute them” – did he mean this literally?
    “Hate them” – did he mean this literally?
    “you are the salt of the earth” – did he mean this literally?
    “I am the door” – then where is the doorknob?

    Who are you to decide what was meant literally
    and what was only metaphor?

    Every bible reader DECIDES BY HIM/HER SELF.
    That is why it is delusional to say Jesus is an authority – he obviously isn’t because the interpretation is entirely the decision of the reader!

    The responsibility to decide what is true in these stories
    is always on the reader and it is delusional to say otherwise.

  • Max,

    From Professors Crossan and Watts’ book, Who is Jesus.

    “That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

    “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus’ followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

    “While the brute fact that of Jesus’ death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. ”

    See also Professor Crossan’s reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archaeology discussion) .

    continued below:

  • Jorge Bergoglio. He is a Marxist Communist with ties to Freemasonry, who promoted Liberation Theology in Argentina and other S. American countries. Francis is THE FALSE PROPHET of Holy Scripture. He was NOT canonically elected pope. Benedict remains the Pope – the LAST pope.

    Francis is in communication with THE ANTICHRIST, who is hidden in the shadows at this time. Soon, Francis will announce him to the world.

    Pope Benedict needs our prayers for strength and protection.

  • From,

    “One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

    Then there are these scriptural references:

    Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

    Continued below:

  • The Apostles’/Atheists’’ Creed 2015: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Continued below:

  • Said Jesus’ story was embellished and “mythicized” by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (references used are available upon request)

  • “Have they denied the need for Temple Priests commanded by God? Have they denied the truth of Leviticus?”

    Max the Temple was destroyed and and Jews were dispersed by the Romans. They were not permitted to build a new Temple. How can there be a need for Temple Priests if there is no Temple? The rabbis believed in The Prophets and thought that the coming of the Messiah would bring back the Temple. In the meantime, they felt that prayer, good deeds, torah study and reading about the Temple and the sacrifices replaced the Temple until the Messiah came. That is what allowed Judaism to survive after the destruction of the Temple. That is why Jews still exist.

    Most Jews today, think that the necessary evolution of Judaism was a good thing. The end of the Temple priesthood had a democratizing effect and turned the home into a portable Temple.

    The rabbis said about Torah study, “turn it, turn it, for everything is in it.”

  • @Bernardo,

    “The Jewish historian, Josephus ….”

    I don’t think so.
    Josephus (a Jewish non-Christian) could not have written this sentence:
    “Jesus the Messiah was a wise teacher who was crucified by Pilate” – Josephus Flavianum

    It is the general scholarly view is that Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic and is polluted with some pro-Christian forgeries.
    Historian Tacitus has other problems.
    I’ve read all of Tacitus. I’m not sure what I can believe of it.

    But it is not important to me whether a Jesus-like figure existed. The Jesus of the New Testament is completely unbelievable and so fictionalized and exaggerated that the truth can only be lost.

    I doubt Dominic Crossan is correct about the ‘fact of the crucifixion’. I’m not saying he is wrong – but I’m not convinced yet.
    Crucifixions never killed people right away. It took a few days to die. So it doesn’t add up.

  • @Anne,

    “Francis is in communication with THE ANTICHRIST…”

    Dear Priests and other Clergy,
    Please look at the depravity your religion instills on gullible people. Anne is a victim of this awful, hysterical philosophy – it instills profoundly dangerous, anti-social and irrational thoughts and behaviors.
    Please consider retiring and speaking against such ‘end-times’ horrors.

  • Susan,

    “Most Jews today, think that the necessary evolution of Judaism was a good thing.”

    Yeah. And most Muslims think Mohammed literally rose up into the sky
    on a white horse. And if you die as a Muslim you get a bunch of virgins.
    You are only throwing more assertions onto other assertions – it is a Tautology and it is fallacious.

    If you believe Leviticus is a set of obsolete laws from a lost period then you are wrong and to grant it the power of truth and ‘authority’.

    If Leviticus is true, then Jews have been wrong to abandon it.
    Either way, your answers are incoherent.

    “why do we need Temple Priests since there is no Temple?”
    I suppose if the second Temple is built you’ll be back to Priest-craft and Magic? What a non-answer!

  • Shawnie,

    “Regurgitating….. Christopher Hitchens’ lies..”

    I think for myself. I don’t play ‘follow the leader’ like you religious people do:

    “Do as I say, but NEVER as I do!” – JESUS
    Jesus demanded people forgive all enemies (Matthew 5:4)
    but Jesus condemned his own enemies to Hell (Mark 16:16)

    Christopher Hitchens was full of BS on all sorts of issues.
    But he always submitted his evidence for analysis. Unlike you.

    Where is your evidence of God?
    How do you even know if it is a Good God or a Bad God?

    “Kill your children” – Yahweh.
    “Enslave them” – Yahweh
    “Kill them all” – Yahweh
    “They are pigs” – Yahweh
    “Love the perversity” – Yahweh
    “Burn your daughters alive” – Yahweh
    “Cut off your wife’s hand if she touches a penis” – Yahweh
    “Show no mercy” – Yahweh

    Shameful barbarism. How dare you defend this horror!

  • Bernardo, I’ve always wondered about those near eye-witness accounts– a delightfully failed term used by the other wise hyper intelligent Francis Collins– to describe the descent into hell, the resurrection which no one actually saw, the choirs of angels at his birth which no one remembered.

  • “I think for myself. I don’t play ‘follow the leader’ like you religious people do:”

    Not. You offered up several demonstrably false statements simply because Hitchens said them, and you have not accounted for why you continue to push them despite their falsity having been demonstrated multiple times.

    As for Jesus and forgiveness, we are all fallen creatures who possess no moral authority with which to condemn each other and are obligated to extend the same forgiveness to others that we have received. The same is not true of Jesus. He is one with the Creator and in the process of restoring creation to its original purposes He has every right to dispose of any part of His creation that will not fulfill its appropriate role in that scheme of things. He freely extends forgiveness to all who accept it wholeheartedly but does not “owe” it to anyone.

  • Max, you might want to find a book called “Bible myths and the parallels and other religions” by T.W. Doane. You can get it for free online. It’s an old book, dated, I think 1882, but it’s well researched and very scholarly and very readable. He makes the case that the Gospels cannot be considered to be Historical documents. He also details how so many of the stories about Jesus and the Bible have been found in virtually every other religious figure in just about every civilization ever known. The virgin birth, the savior dying for our sins, the resurrection: it’s all there.

  • Shawnie,

    “…demonstrably false statements simply because Hitchens said them”

    Nonsense. I never say things I can’t prove with evidence.
    You have submitted no evidence for any of your claims.

    “Jesus. Is one with the creator..”

    Prove it.
    Would a perfect creator contradict himself so spectacularly as this?

    “Do not claim witness of things you have not seen” – God (Exodus 20:16)

    “Blessed are those who have not witnessed yet claim it true” – God (John 20:29)

    It is depraved to follow such preachments as if they are not contradictory.
    It is further depraved to insist others follow it.
    It is further depraved to pretend this is anything more than primitive nonsense.

    Jesus is not an Exemplar of anything but a contradiction – and combustible set of disastrous, unworkable preachments.

  • @Ben in Oakland,

    Thank You – yes. I’m familiar with these interesting ideas (like those by TW Doane) which point to the astonishing parallels with other religions. And I’m completely open minded about what may or may not be going on with these old gospels.

    For example, I like Bart Ehrman and have enjoyed all his books, but I was sad that his weakest book was “The Historical Jesus” – I was sorry to see he had so little evidence to refer to. I’m still looking for a good book which convincingly makes the case for Jesus being a real person. haven’t seen it yet.

    Plus, I enjoy listening to the mythicists like Robert M. Price – I realize they are out of left field but who knows? Their case is looking more convincing as religious historians keep failing to provide decent evidence for their claims.

    The Jesus as written in the Gospels, however, is too contradictory and flat out fabricated to be believed.

  • @Ben in Oakland,

    Thanks. I think I have something by TW Doane on my shelf somewhere.
    I love learning about the parallels Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Hellenism – it is amazing how many threads are identical with other “mystery religions”.

    One only needs to read a little bit about these myths to discover even the ‘blood of the lamb’ is as old as the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

    It is almost scary how fast people are uncovering this stuff. The internet is making millions of pages available and most important; SEARCHABLE.

  • You might also check out Winwood Reades martyrdom of Man, recommended by no less a personage than Sherlock Holmes. It also deals with the need for something better than religion.

  • Well,Shawnie, here’s the problem. We are most emphatically NOT all fallen creatures. You may be, and other so called Christians may be, but the rest of us are just human beings, doing the best we can, and hopefully, prepared to accept the consequences.

    YOU want your God to be the ringmaster of some depraved circus of sin, some totally rigged game of chance. If you didn’t get his memo of who wins the game, well, good or bad, and too bad, off to hell you go, where he punishes you for eternity for his failures.

    If we possess no moral authority with which to condemn each other, then we abdicate any moral authority whatsoever. And of course, that has NEVER stopped a so called Christian from judgment, punishment, and over identification with God.

    God will take care of it? Sure, after we die. Except no one has been to heaven or hell, and came back to tell the story. 2/3 of the world thinks that line is nonsense. To believe in original sin is to believe in Adam and Eve.

  • “Nonsense. I never say things I can’t prove with evidence.”

    Not. You’ve just claimed that Stalin claimed to be a god and is worshiped in orthodox churches containing icons of him with halos, which is a patently false assertion that Hitchens pulled from his butt during an excited moment in a debate and you swallowed whole. Likewise the “miracles of Lysenko,” about which nothing remotely miraculous was ever claimed. You were obviously ignorant about it all at first, but by now you know better. So for the 4th or 5th time now, why are such lies necessary?

    BTW, Exodus 20:16 has to do with perjury. Christ was talking about faith. Giving a deposition and believing a deposition are two different things.

  • “We are most emphatically NOT all fallen creatures.”

    So we are not a fallen race — but when we examine our track record as a race we find that slavery was a universal within our species (up until Christianity told us it was wrong), strangling/drowning/feeding babies to wildlife was a universal (up until Christianity told us it was wrong), male fidelity in marriage was virtually an unknown (until Christianity prescribed it), and tribalism was a universal that was considered indispensable to healthy social function (until Christianity took the Imago Dei to the world)???

    Ben, you’re like a teenager who claims he can take care of himself just fine, thanks — but please don’t forget to deposit my allowance, wash my gym clothes and have my dinner ready at 6, please.

    The teen leaves his mom’s pampering behind when he moves out. So please have the courtesy (and integrity) to repudiate the legacy of Christianity along with the faith, as Nietzsche said.

  • Max,

    Again, you might want to do some background checking. For example:

    origin: NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation. ”

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,
    “Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. ”

    See also

  • No one claims that people are perfect. That’s your straw man.

    No one claims that Christianity hasn’t attempted to demand moral behavior. That’s another straw man.

    No one who has ever read a history book would ever claim that Christianity has been on the right side of so many issues, including the religious wars of several centuries, witch burning, heretic torturing, innocent population slaughtering, gay demonizing, slavery, segregation, tribalism, anti semitism obey worshipping, power mongering, and on and on and on.

    Christianity said slavery was right, right up to the point that it started saying it was wrong. And it continued to say it was right, as it did about segregation and racism. we had a war which was partially about that.

    Christianity has accomplished a great deal of good in the world. It has also accomplished a great deal of evil. To pretend that it has ever been a massive force for good only is simply ideological blindness.

    But then….

  • Not obey worshipping, money worshipping.

    And I left out centuries of child molestation, along with covering up afterwards.. Don’t ever want to leave that one out.

  • Bernardo,

    You might be right. Maybe some sort of Jesus did exist.
    But there is a chance he didn’t. The ‘total package’ way of looking at it doesn’t help.

    We have proof Christians forged countless documents in the early church, and we already know from countless Apocrypha they had no problem inventing entirely bizarre versions of many different Jesus characters.
    It was a fanatical, deeply superstitious time in human history.

  • Shawnie,

    “you’re like a teenager who claims he can take care of himself just fine, thanks — but please don’t forget to deposit my allowance, wash my gym clothes…”

    YES! And the Hindus would say the same exact thing about you – because you ignore God Ganesha.

    You have no capacity for irony or insight.

  • Shawnie:

    “Stalin …. in icons with halos in Orthodox Churches..”


    “Miracles of Lysenko”
    Lysenko denied Darwinism in favor of miraculous ‘natural cooperation’
    “LYSENKOISM claimed (among many supernatural claims)
    that rye could transform into wheat and wheat into barley. It claimed natural cooperation was observed in nature as opposed to natural selection
    and in this way weeds can be changed into food grains.”

    John Cotton; Randall Scalise; Stephen Sekula.
    “Trofim Lysenko and genetics in Soviet Russia”

    (PDF) –
    Debunking Pseudoscience. [Southern Methodist University.]

    I NEVER make a claim without valid, peer-reviewed supporting evidence.

  • Stalin’s role in WWII was celebrated but nobody ever represented him as anything divine. And no halos. That was made made up by Hitchens.

    And just because Lysenko offered some theory different from natural selection doesn’t make any of his claims “miraculous.” The scientists who posited spontaneous generation, or life changing into non-life, never claimed it was miraculous, either. They claimed the opposite. Hitchens was full of it here too–and you by extension.

    For the 7th time now, why are all the lies necessary?

  • I don’t see the world in such stark terms. I think there are a lot of grey shades in the middle that you are missing. You give extreme choices. I reject that I have to pick one of your choices. You keep telling me that religion isn’t what I think it is, but a lot of religious people agree with me. I don’t like your option of choices.

  • And no one has ever claimed all Christians are perfect either, Ben. Your camp doesn’t lack for strawmen either. Of course there have been many phonies among us — who do you think Jesus was talking about when He warned us not to be deceived? The point is that without the influence of Christianity in the west we would not be having most of these “morality” conversations because there would be no concept whatsoever of equality among men that transcends tribal boundaries, necessity for charity or compassion, sanctity of life, or many other things we take for granted now.

    You are so sanguine about the overall “decency” of our species because you are too many centuries removed from the brutal world from which Christianity arose and the philosophy of life and humanity underlying it. We are not a naturally peaceful, empathetic, or altruistic race. “Fallen” is as good a description as any you have offered.

  • Max,

    As noted previously, contemporary historians use rigorous testing to determine the authenticity of a person and/or an event. Such tests relies on the number of independent attestations, the time of the publications, the content as it relates to the subject and time period, and any related archaeological evidence i.e.the total package whether it is for Caesar, Cleopatra, Zeus, Jesus et. al.

  • Shawnie,

    “….no halos. That was made made up by Hitchens…”

    Hitchens painted all these various icons of Stalin with halos all by himself ?


    I’m laughing out loud!
    Where is your evidence that Hitchens painted the 800,000 icons of Stalin* used today across Russia?


    Shawnie’s motto:
    If it happens in church it must be true and it must be good! ha.

  • “Christianity said slavery was right, right up to the point that it started saying it was wrong. And it continued to say it was right….”

    Mostly nonsense, Ben. The first to posit the equality of master and slave before God was Paul. In the 3rd century when Christianity had only just reached the point of being able to influence the world’s institutions, Gregory of Nyssa introduced the world (steeped in universal slavery since time immemorial) to the idea of the immorality of slavery, and the idea grew (aided by the efforts of the many early medieval Christian abolitionist heroes) until slavery virtually disappeared from Christian Europe in the 11th century while it flourished as usual everywhere else. American slavery was not the whole story–indeed, in the overall scheme it was a blip. And even then it was Christians and no one else who had to step up to oppose it — while the unbelieving “enlightenment men” were remarkably lackadaisical about it.

  • Shawnie:

    “Lies….. Czar is not a godly title”

    Wrong again.
    I NEVER TELL LIES. I have evidence to support every assertion I make.

    “…the title of “tsar” (or “Czar”) is more honorable for Muscovites than “kaiser” or “king” exactly because it was God and not some earthly potentate who ordained to apply it to David, Solomon, and other kings of Israel.
    Samuel Collins, a court physician to Tsar Alexis in 1659-66, styled the latter “Great Emperour”, commenting that “as for the word Czar, it has so near relation to Cesar… that it may well be granted to signify Emperour. The Russians would have it to be a higher Title than King [a demigod]…”.
    The Present State of Russia….2nd ed. London, 1671. Pages 54–55.

    Stalin seized the title “Czar” against Lenin’s wishes as a deliberate attempt
    to push religious buttons AND FORM A SUPERNATURAL CULT!

  • Shawnie:

    Stanley Meisler, OCT 25, 1987


    “Stalin embalmed Lenin with his hands folded like those of orthodox saints. He issued photographs of members of the Politburo ranked in order of importance just the way saints were arranged in order of importance on either side of Christ in the icons in old churches. He replaced the traditional icons in the special chapel corners of factories with pictures of Lenin [as demigod].

    Stalin authored commandments of Lenin…called “The Foundations of Leninism” and fostered a new, monolithic theology that allowed no deviations…”

    “Rivals like Trotsky were banished like heretics. Now, according to the latest interpretation of the theology, Russians are beginning to learn that it was Stalin himself who deviated from Lenin’s democratic ways….”

    Shame on you, Shawnie.


    I have repeatedly pointed out that religion is a double sided problem:

    1. Religion insists a perfect Messiah/God exists (a lie) who has easy answers.
    2. And it insists humans MUST EXPECT IT any moment (be a sheep!).

    Instead of humanity being able to face its problems with its own practical approaches and laws, religion insists on dominating the arena and destroying any chance of rational solutions.

    The enemy of freedom is blind obedience to an empty sky pocket (god) – because the sky pocket never speaks for itself.

    Its properties and desires are always defined by power-mad autocrats.
    And religious ‘sheep’ follow the sick instructions!

  • Susan,

    “I don’t like your options”

    They are not ‘my’ options. God either exists or he doesn’t.
    People who claim it exists must prove it. Otherwise believe it in private.

    But if ISIS commits a terrible act because ‘god told him to do it’, you will have no argument against it. Because you grant the assertion
    You grant wiggle room for depravity. I don’t.
    Decent civilizations must insist on evidence for the god as well as evidence for it having said something.

  • @Bernardo,

    Are you asking about this contradiction
    or something else?

    “Do not claim witness of things you have not seen” – God (Exodus 20:16)
    “Blessed are those who have not witnessed yet claim it true” – Jesus (John 20:29)

  • Jesus founded a CHURCH !! – not a Book !

    The Bible comes from the Catholic Church – Deal with it !!

    Come & Debate us at the website above, if you can !!

    Nuff Said !! 😉

  • Max, it also depends on what you think God is.

    I am less interested in proving God exists or doesn’t exist than in your belief that religion is always a bad influence. I have seen many examples where the opposite is true.

    Anyone who hears voices is a schizophrenic. ISIS are vicious people who have grown up in a violent world. Some of them are former Baathists.

  • Max, yes there are people who are waiting for the Messiah, including some Jews who don’t think that the state of Israel should exist until then. Most people go on with their lives and do the best they can. They don’t sit around waiting for the Messiah. They help the poor and try to do something about global warming. At its best, the Messianic idea gives people a vision of a peaceful world without poverty. It has been said, I can’t remember by who, that the “Messiah will come when he/she is no longer needed.” [I added the he/she part.]

  • Max, are you nuts? Surely even YOU must know that God never ordained the term “czar” to apply to anyone. “Czar” is the Russian form of “Caesar,” which came to mean emperor when it was taken from the name of Rome’s first emperor, Gaius Julius Caesar, many centuries after David and Solomon and the entire Israelite monarchy was extinct. To the church, “Caesar” was a breath away from “Antichrist.”

    “You consider this rag a news source??”

    Want more? No lack of info on this non-story. So far nothing you have produced has verified YOUR story in any way. First there were icons of Stalins with halos being worshiped all over Russia…then they became not icons but photographs of Lenin which somebody at the Latimes saw as making Lenin a god instead of an instance of the more mundane atheist tendency, observable all around us, to show offense to religion wherever possible–much like when Antiochus IV sacrificed a pig in the Jewish Temple as a show of contempt.

  • ATHEIST Assertions:

    It is ignorant and superstitious to believe that God made everything out of nothing.

    It is rational and scientific to believe that nothing made everything out of nothing.

    It is ignorant and superstitious to believe that God is eternal.

    It is rational and scientific to believe that matter (or energy) is eternal.

    God is an effect and must have had a cause.

    Matter/energy is the uncaused first cause.

    If God made everything, then who made God?

    Matter made everything and nothing made matter.

    ……And the absurdity continues…… Hey Max !!!

    Epic Fail !!

  • @Obsydian,

    If “something cannot come from nothing” what started God?
    The scientific evidence shows there apparently never was any such thing as a ‘nothing’ – besides, how would you determine which god is the real one?

    I made no assertions. I simply doubt all of yours.
    Your assertions are based on pure whimsy – you provide no evidence at all.

    So where is your God?
    Surely, you can provide some evidence for the most amazing, most powerful, most incredible, most holy creator of everything?

    No? Then why do you bother people with it?

  • Something from nothing? Another view:

    Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the vagaries of its local star.

  • Shawnie:

    “God never ordained the term ‘czar’…..”

    Your God never did anything as far as I can tell.

    “the Russian form of “Caesar,” which came to mean emperor…”

    Romulus and Remus (Gods) ordained CAESAR AS A GOD AND HOLY RULER!

    “CZAR” is a religious term precisely because “Caesar” is a Religious title!
    Emperors are granted power through RELIGION.

    Not only must I teach you about your Christian Religion and religion in general!
    I must also teach you Roman History, too??

    Good grief!
    Do you read any books other than the Bible?????

  • Susan,

    “They help the poor and try to do something about global warming…”

    While supporting the arguments for ‘faith’ such as that which argues for Allah and the Hidden Imam? They would do more good if they quit the religious nonsense (which is truly anti-human) and support science and skeptical thinking.

    We will make no progress as long as apologists continue to work against science with their accommodative attitude toward crack pots.

    You have every right to your religion – just as you have every right to get ridiculously sloppy drunk on scotch and whiskey.
    But you should be smarter than that. And whatever you do, don’t think it is virtuous. There is no evidence for any of these claims of religion – they conspire against humanity and all civilized behavior.

    “Kill the peasants” – Martin Luther
    It is depraved.

  • @Shawnie.

    So now you can predict the course of alternate universes. Got it.

    It is a shame that someone so obviously intelligent and learned can continue to claim the historical inaccuracies that you do. Yes, Christianity opposed slavery. And yes, it also supported it, at least according to Christian slaveholders. As it supported segregation and it supported antisemitism. I wish I could find the statements of the Lurheran Church in German that supported hitler. The comments of the Catholic prelates that supported the Reichskonkordat at the expense of the Jews were also very revealing.

    So, I will repeat. The church has been both q source of great evil and great good in the western world. Neither cancels out the other,

  • Ben,

    The Muslims supported slavery, and they also opposed…well, no they didn’t.

    The Chinese, Japanese, and other peoples of Asia supported slavery, and they also opposed…well, no they didn’t.

    The Native Americans supported slavery, and they also…well, no…

    The tribes of ancient Europe supported slavery, and they also…well, no…

    The tribes and kingdoms of Africa supported slavery, and they…oops, no…

    The “Enlightenment” thinkers supported slavery, and they opposed…nope, not them either.

    Perhaps you could tell me exactly who were the abolitionist heroes that emerged from the philosophical riches of atheism and agnosticism?

    I asked Larry long ago and got no answer, as usual. Maybe you can fill the bill…

    Otherwise, i think the point is obvious. Certainly there are non-exemplary Christians, but nothing else but Christianity produced abolitionism — as well as many other values that you take for granted.

  • “Your God never did anything as far as I can tell.”

    Which still leaves you a liar in re David/Solomon and the term “czar.”

    “Emperors are granted power through RELIGION.”

    Emperors take power through conquest, intrigue and opportunism — just like Julius Caesar did as well as most of the Roman emperors who followed him.

    “I must also teach you Roman History, too??”

    Feel free, as soon as you learn some. So far you have learned as pitifully little about that as you have learned about the Bible.

  • It’s also a shame that you are so willing to avoid other realities.

    Your own Methodist church was disunited over the issue of slavery. the Southern Baptists were founded on the idea. European colonialists– Christianiist states every one of them– before the First World War basically enslaved black Africans long after the savagery of formal slavery was thought déclassé– so that they could have cheap gold, cheap diamonds, and cheap sugar. How many hundreds of thousands of black Africans died so that Europe could have cheap sugar? Witness the well known depredations of King Leopold of Belgium, so immortalized by Mark Twain and many others?

  • There is so much blood on the hands– but not on the consciences– of you good Christians, commanded by your God to be loving and kind and to treat others as you would like to be treated.

  • So now you are reduced to saying– LOOK WHAT THOSE OTHER PEOPLE DID. It only took 1800

    Absolutely, abolitionism came from Christianity. But so did all of the things that led up to it– slavery, for example. The divine right of kings. droit de seigneur. Feudalism, which was de facto slavery. The complete disregard for human life that characterized what they called the dark ages.

  • “So now you are reduced to saying– LOOK WHAT THOSE OTHER PEOPLE DID.” No, what I am saying is — LOOK AT WHAT THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE DID. That human race made up of “emphatically not fallen” and supposedly decent people full of inborn empathy all trying to do the best they can. Pfft.

    “It only took 1800 [years]” No it didn’t. The push for slavery’s end began as soon as Christianity gained some influence and by the end of the 11th century slavery lay dead in Europe while the rest of the world was happily buying and selling people. And no, feudalism was not de facto slavery–as every Roman slave who could be killed or sold away from spouse and children at whim would attest. The revival of slavery was a result of the Age of Exploration bringing with it increased exposure to the Muslim slave trade, and Christianity AGAIN fought down worldly arguments for it which were eerily similar to today’s pro-choice ones.

  • “Absolutely, abolitionism came from Christianity. But so did all of the things that led up to it– slavery, for example.” Slavery, as already demonstrated, did not come from Christianity. It is a natural default setting of the human race.

    “,,,droit de seigneur…” Ben, please. Droit de seigneur is a popular myth. It never existed.

    “The complete disregard for human life that characterized what they called the dark ages.” First, actual historians do not call the medieval period “the dark ages” because they were not dark. Progress continued in all sorts of ways during this interesting time. And second, the middle ages were a dramatic improvement over previous human history as far as regard for human life goes, for it saw the withering of slavery and socially-approved infanticide and the rise of hospitals and universities. Life in the prechristian world had no value in its own right apart from familial/tribal ties.

    Bad post, Ben. You’re smarter than this.

  • Sorry, simply not true. They aren’t called Protestants for nothing, protesting against the one, holy, catholic apostolic Church Christ founded. Thanks to the influence of Luther, there are 33, T Christian denominations. Luther was appalled himself at the many splits unleashed in his lifetime. Read book “MARTIN LUTHER” by Tan Publications, heavily quoting Luther’s own writings.It’s quite shocking, and I doubt most Protestants are even aware of these writings. He didn’t appear to be at peace with himself or those he disagreed with.