Tom Gilson

Reason Rally & True Reason: Not the Same Old Answers

We get emails and we see comments from people wondering why some of us are going to the Reason Rally. “You’re not going to tell us anything we haven’t heard before,” they say.

I’ve been a part of this conversation for a long time; I know what’s been said, and I think there’s something new to say. We’re saying it through the ebook, True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism. It begins with a question: Do you really think what you’ve been doing in print, in your debates, and on the Internet represents leadership in reasoning?

There’s a better place to discover true reason. It begins not with genius but with humility and a commitment to follow the truth where it leads. Check it out and see.

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48 thoughts on “Reason Rally & True Reason: Not the Same Old Answers

  1. I’m going to be downloading the ebook, thanks! On a side note, I read from the Reasons For God website that a formal invitation was sent to the Westboro Baptist Church to come to the rally. Yet anti-theists seem to be offended when reasonable Christians wish to attend. Go figure.

  2. Wait…whats so unreasonable about the westboro baptists…after all they are Christians. They believe homosexuality is a sin, they believe in the devil, God, the resurrection, the virgin birth and …umm….pretty much everything that every other Christian believes in. That is why we use the reason. Most atheist see the westboro people as no different from any other group of Christians. How is one “reasonable” and the other not? while atheism is clearly unreasonable…thus the need for the counter “true reason” rally? Its like a double dog dare of reasonability.

    I just wanted to also say kudos to you guys and your profiting off off atheism and this rally. Profiting from something you are morally opposed to. Every single site about this counter rally is selling this ebook! Perhaps it is a gimmick? Internet marketing…I dont know. Why do you need one? Where is this money going? You dont feel bad for this opportunism? Perhaps atheists who already see Christianity as a massive tax free enterprise will see this and just shake their heads? Why not make it free and let everyone (atheists included) download it! Then ask for a donation at their will that would be set aside for something both groups could be agree on…like a clean well in India? I dont think non-theists like myself would even considering buying this book…downloading it free…I’d probably read it. Besides its there already a bible to explain your beliefs?

  3. Well, that’s not surprising, given their predilection for straw man argumentation – pick (what you think represents) the examples that portray Christians, and by implication Christianity, in the most negative ways (selective sampling of the data, choose only the subset that fits one’s presuppositions and the conclusions that you are after) and go after those. Do you really think that the NA’s will use reason in this case? I suspect that this rally will showcase the NA’s for what they really are (Romans 1:18-3:1)

  4. “… pick (what you think represents) the examples that portray Christians…”

    I just want to ask whose fault is that that a lot of people simply view Christianity in this manner. I dont mean offense by this as I am sure some of you dont feel to kindly towards atheism. A lot of people see the abortion protester, the westboro baptists and what not as whats wrong with the religion. But really whats so so different from a person holding up a sign that says “God hates F###” and the person who simply tells you its a sin, an abomination and tries to put this in the US Constitution for religious reasons. A person who tell you are going to burn in hell forever with a sign and a person who smiles, hands you a pamphlet and tells you without Jesus your lost.

    I understand its your religion and its what you believe, I just think one group says is loudly without tact while the other sorta whispers it if you will. Its sorta like the racist who openly hates minorities and the bank lender who just cant work the math out give x minority a loan for a house in a white neighborhood.

    I really don’t get why they were invited. I ma sure its just for almost the reason you said…to show how they feel that they see it. I also think its probably satire to show the spectrums of where belief in a relgion can take you. Religious extremism is defiantly a probably and is actually bleeding the church dry of people.

    Thats my ramblings.

  5. Noah,

    “I just wanted to also say kudos to you guys and your profiting off off atheism and this rally. Profiting from something you are morally opposed to. Every single site about this counter rally is selling this ebook! Perhaps it is a gimmick? Internet marketing…I dont know. Why do you need one? Where is this money going? “.

    Profit? How much profit can be made for selling a book for $2.99? I think all the sales will go towards production of the book. You are presupposing that Christians don’t do any charity work; am I to believe that for some reason Christians are the only group that isn’t allowed to make a profit? I guess you haven’t read the Bible, but there is Scripture to support making a profit and not letting your money go to waste.

    Where did you read that Christians are “morally opposed” to the Reason Rally? All the web sites I have read say that it is their God-given right to gather together. I don’t see how “morally opposed” fits in. Since we do not agree with some of their beliefs, we oppose the rally? How silly is that? I rather welcome their get-together because I believe that they will talk about their positive beliefs (remember, atheism is supposed to be only a negative belief). If you haven’t read my comment a few posts down, all this propagating their worldview, setting up camp for little kids, their proselytizing, combined now with positive beliefs will show that atheism/secularism/naturalism/materialism/humanism is indeed a religion. Why do I welcome that? Since atheists want to claim evolution as the origin of life as part of their worldview, either Intelligent Design should be taught alongside the new religion, atheism (s/n/m/h)in the public schools, or evolution as the origin of life shouldn’t be taught at all since both are now in the same category. We welcome the gathering of atheists so that we could hear them espouse their views.

  6. Noah,

    That is why we use the reason. Most atheist see the westboro people as no different from any other group of Christians. How is one “reasonable” and the other not?

    One feature of reasoned thinking is that it takes evidence into account. You are not using “the reason” if you see Westboro as no different from other Christians. Do you see the discrepancy there? Not just the discrepancy between two things you are saying about Christians, but the discrepancy between your own self-image as one who uses reason, on the one hand, and your failure to do so on the other. The “reasoning” person is at least partly defined by his or her competence in using reason; and displays of incompetence in the use of reasoning undermine your claim to be a reasoning person. Why do you not see yourself more clearly than that?

    Going on…

    just wanted to also say kudos to you guys and your profiting off off atheism and this rally. Profiting from something you are morally opposed to. Every single site about this counter rally is selling this ebook!

    We do want to sell a lot of copies. And we want to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, too–that’s why we’ve priced it so high ($2.99)! Unlike those perfectly charitable Reason Rally hosts and speakers (not sure if the rumor is accurate there, of course).

    Anyway, you want to show that you display reason, but then you say,

    Besides its there already a bible to explain your beliefs?

    The purpose of the book is well stated on many of the websites you have already found, and it is not to explain our beliefs. Irrelevancies offered as arguments are signs of incompetence in reasoning.

    But really whats so so different from a person holding up a sign that says “God hates F###” and the person who simply tells you its a sin, an abomination and tries to put this in the US Constitution for religious reasons.

    Reasoning, Noah, reasoning! There is a difference. I don’t think God hates homosexuals, I don’t hate homosexuals. And as for putting something in the Constitution, please don’t represent Christians as the legal aggressors. We’re defending, not taking aggressive, hostile action. To say we’re trying to put one over on the homosexuals would be like saying the RAF were the aggressors when they were trying to shoot down Luftwaffe bombers over London.

    . Its sorta like the racist who openly hates minorities and the bank lender who just cant work the math out give x minority a loan for a house in a white neighborhood.

    No. Failed analogy again. The bank lender is dishonest. I’m not being dishonest. If you want to know what I think about homosexuality, I’ll explain it to you, openly, honestly, and without hiding.

    Your failed analogy tells more about you and your non-reason than it does about me or other Christians.

  7. “But really whats so so different from a person holding up a sign that says “God hates F###” and the person who simply tells you its a sin, an abomination and tries to put this in the US Constitution for religious reasons. A person who tell you are going to burn in hell forever with a sign and a person who smiles, hands you a pamphlet and tells you without Jesus your lost.”

    The difference is that one group is purposely trying to inflame and offend and spread hate while the other wishes to spread the truth in love. Now the message of the Gospel may be offensive to some, but truth sometimes hurts, doesn’t it? The difference between the two is motivation. Westboro seems motivated by hate while the other group of Christians are motivated by love. Last year there was a huge Muslim celebration in Dearborne, M.I. Guess what? The Westboro group was there, too. But so were many churches that volunteered to help the set up and take down of equipment. My parents were a part of that group, and they used that as an outreach to build a bridge to the Muslim Americans. They were able to have meaningful conversations with the Muslim group, whereas the Muslims didn’t even take the time to listen to the Westboro group. Christians don’t oppose the Reason Rally. This is a great opportunity for both sides to share their positive beliefs and discern what is truth.

  8. just wanted to also say kudos to you guys and your profiting off off atheism and this rally. Profiting from something you are morally opposed to

    Ironic that this comes in defence of a parasitic worldview which claims not to be a worldview but merely a non-belief that borrows any foundation for reason and morality from that which it doesn’t believe.

  9. “Profit? How much profit can be made for selling a book for $2.99? I think all the sales will go towards production of the book. You are presupposing that Christians don’t do any charity work; am I to believe that for some reason Christians are the only group that isn’t allowed to make a profit? I guess you haven’t read the Bible, but there is Scripture to support making a profit and not letting your money go to waste.”

    Christians can make a profit. For example the apologetic conference coming up in California. I see zero problem with it…even if they are a non for profit 501 whatever.

    “Where did you read that Christians are “morally opposed” to the Reason Rally?”

    I didnt say you were to the reason rally and if i did that was a mistake. I believe I said you were morally opposed to Atheism. ..and thats where I see the problem. Turning cash …to profit from this atheist event. If I found …lets say…pedophilia, child labor, human traffic completely immoral and directly against everything I hold dear, If I wrote an ebook telling people how to engage these people during one of their events, id probably not want to profit from it but instead would donate the money to help stop human slavery, child hunger or what have you. Thats just me.

  10. Thats why I suggested that any profit from this ebook should go to something both groups could agree on. Something like malaria tents in africa or heffer international.

  11. “Ironic that this comes in defence of a parasitic worldview which claims not to be a worldview but merely a non-belief that borrows any foundation for reason and morality from that which it doesn’t believe.”

    Atheism is just one part of who I am. I dont believe in God. big deal. It doesnt define me nor do I make ever decision in life based on the fact I have no belief in a higher power. This idea that atheists cant have morals and that we are all parasites in our thinking is a non starter for dialogue.

    I dont believe people shouldnt profit from something they are morally opposed to because I am an atheist, I oppose it because thats who I am as an individual. Being an atheist does not define me as a person, as a human. It is only a how I feel about a superhuman deity..thats all. I dont lump myself in with everyone as Christians so often due of atheists and vice versa.

  12. See Charlie’s comment #9.

    That is of course a tu quoque; it doesn’t prove that our position is correct, it only shows that any atheist who supports your position and the Reason Rally is being inconsistent and rationally incompetent.

    Define “profit,” please. Do worker’s wages count as costs of production or as profit that should be given away? Usually as costs of production. The people who wrote this book were workers; our proceeds from the sale are costs of production. Now, you might wonder how greedy and grabby that is. How many dollars per hour are too many dollars per hour? My best estimate is that the writers and editors will earn something like $10- $12.50 per hour invested in this project, provided we have very high sales. If I worked all year at that rate I would earn $20,000 to $24,000 a year. I am a money-grubbing greed-pot, aren’t I? (How much does Richard Dawkins get for one speaking engagement, making his money off of objections to something he is morally opposed to?)

    Further, I’m not morally opposed to reason. That’s what we’re going there to practice and to represent.

  13. P.S. If the organizers of this rally and the True Reason leadership can agree to it, I would heartily support your proposal anyway. Let’s have all dollars that are made in the service of speaking against things we disagree with go to some mutually agreeable charity. I think that’s a fine idea.

  14. @Noah
    Well, why didn’t they explicitly invite representatives from Reasons To Believe @ http://www.reasons.org/, BioLogos @ http://biologos.org/ or the American Scientific Affiliation @ http://www.asa3.org, for instance? (to say nothing of other Christian scholars and apologists).

    No, they picked a particular group, who in their (the NA’s) mind, represents the type of Christianity they want to attack. I don’t doubt that the members of that particular church affirm core Christian beliefs, so why invite just that particular group, if not to ridicule them and their very public voicing of their views, which admittedly seem to be out of sync with Peter’s admonition in 1 Peter 3:15-16. Sounds more like a deliberate attempt to poison the well, to paint all Christians with the same brush.

  15. This idea that atheists cant have morals and that we are all parasites in our thinking is a non starter for dialogue.

    Then why did you bring it up? I mean the part about “atheists cant [sic] have morals.” No one said that. Read carefully, my friend, and use your reasoning brain!

    Your thinking is parasitic upon Christianity, yes. I could demonstrate that if you’re not going to cut me off before we get going. So could Charlie, or most of the other theists commenting here.

    I dont believe people shouldnt profit from something they are morally opposed to because I am an atheist, I oppose it because thats who I am as an individual.

    You are very, very, different in that than all the people who are running the Reason Rally and profiting off something they are morally opposed to.

  16. Define “profit,” please

    Well, I generally agree with your idea about profit. I, only speaking for myself, would have probably volunteered (found a team of them, of course)and then used all monies made to go to whatever fund or whatever it would be. I think the monies left over after production should be used on something…but again thats just me.

    “How much does Richard Dawkins get for one speaking engagement, making his money off of objections to something he is morally opposed to”

    Probably about as much as any popular christian speaker no doubt. I have zero problem with this. I would have a problem if did it outside of the promise keepers event, with an ebook and shirts to boot. I feel thats just weird. I see no problem with him making money of the God delusion or any number of christian writers making money of their subjects. However, this is in direct response to this reason rally. It even says so on the cover I believe. If Dawkins wrote something like ” True promise keepers: Genetics don’t lie ..A response to the promise keepers”. I’d laugh at him and call him opportunistic and wrong.

    I am not trying to be offensive…I just want to try to put into words how I feel about the matter…perhaps a pet peeve of mine.

  17. Maybe I can explain it like this… I lived through the tsunami that struck Japan last year. I turned on the internet tv I had at my house and saw a minister here talking how they were the first ones on the ground… he wrote small pamphlet about it and was raising money. I know they weren’t on the ground. The US Military wasnt even allowed and only few Japanese forces could reach that area. Of course I hated this and felt so bad he was using imagery of the dead in Fukushima and Ibaraki to raise funding. Of course thats more extreme but in the same spirit of my disgust

  18. “Sounds more like a deliberate attempt to poison the well, to paint all Christians with the same brush.”

    Perhaps. But you would have to ask the leaders of the rally as to why exactly. Even if they did, arent we all guilty of painting others in the wrong light? Don’t atheists get painted as irrational, immoral creatures by your side as well? No one is perfect and passion doesnt really reflect a balanced approach.

  19. @Grace, re your #8
    A similar situation occurred recently at my church (I live in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) – a secular organization wanted to hold an event for girls in our community, but there was a constraint in that no males could be around (due to the fact that most of the girls were Muslims, and they would not be veiled). So, they came to us because of our reputation in the community as a safe and welcoming place

  20. @Noah
    Sadly you are right – every one of us is guilty of that at one time or another. The ebook actually has some discussion of that.

    Rather than speculate, let’s just wait and see how the rally goes – then we’ll have something real to talk about 🙂

    I have many friends in Japan – I worked there for a few months in collaboration with Hitachi Medical Systems, in Kashiwa (our company was developing software for one of their MRI systems).

  21. “Then why did you bring it up? I mean the part about “atheists cant [sic] have morals.”

    I brought it up because it seems the poster thinks the be being a non-theist makes me see things as through the lens of a parasite. Using this terminology tends to dehumanize and thus really removes morals and what have you from the picture. Perhaps I read it wrong as a non native speaker.

    “Your thinking is parasitic upon Christianity, yes. I could demonstrate that if you’re not going to cut me off before we get going. So could Charlie, or most of the other theists commenting here”

    I dont see how my thinking is parasitic upon Christianity and why would I cut you off or any other theist? I dont think I have demonstrated that I would do that on this forum.

    “You are very, very, different in that than all the people who are running the Reason Rally and profiting off something they are morally opposed to.”

    Perhaps they are profiting but I see it a bit different because its their rally nothing counter or what have you. Just as the promise keepers have every right to make cash of that. Rising money as an anti promise keeper on the lawn of the event…i personally would think would be out of bounds…at least for me.I do believe most people are speaking for free and the event is free of charge, so thats a big plus. Now, if they showed up at a promise keepers event or this event soon in california while you guys are inside do your thing, while they are selling books and what not to counter your specific even…its completely unreasonble and opportunistic. I think thats probably what really gets me is the opportunism of this.

  22. Noah, I respect your opinion. I personally don’t feel that I am being morally compromised in purchasing this ebook. To me, there is no difference if they were to publish this before or after the event. Indeed, many apologetics books have been produced in response to other atheist books. I just don’t see it the way you do.

    @Victoria-what an awesome testimony and reputation your church group must have for others to feel welcome and “safe” there 🙂

  23. Sorry so many posts to keep up. ill try…
    #7

    One feature of reasoned thinking is that it takes evidence into account. You are not using “the reason”

    That was typo… i meant to say the reason rally.

    I, myself, dont claim to talk of “reason” and what have you. I am saying both groups are christian, both have similar beliefs when you get down to it..its just one is more vocal than the other, no? I am saying as a non-theists this is how we see the church often times. I am constantly told I am going to hell by my family..why..because i dont agree with their belief system. Wouldnt a westboro person and an average christian tell me the same? Yes, one uses tact, one use shouting…its really all in the method of presentation and not the beliefs themselves, no? Atheists are generally seen as plagues to this earth…people you wouldnt allow around children, so this sparks strong response from your average christian as well as the WBC.

    Anyway, you want to show that you display reason, but then you say,

    I ma not really trying to use reason. I am just talking as the person I am.

    Reasoning, Noah, reasoning! There is a difference. I don’t think God hates homosexuals, I don’t hate homosexuals.

    Perhaps not. Maybe you dont like their actions? Their biology? But isnt saying that God hates homosexuals and God finds homosexuality to be punishable the death and an abomination nearly the same? Perhaps its our view on homosexuality that we will just have to leave at that….

    “We’re defending, not taking aggressive, hostile action.”

    Right, to you you are defending the status quo but others it is aggressive. I know this thread isnt about homosexuality, but to those who cant wed…defending and being hostile are really up the eyes of those whom it affects the most.

    “No. Failed analogy again. The bank lender is dishonest.”

    No. I would say the bank lender is racist but quiet, closet racist who probably doesnt understand his own prejudice…The openly racist person and the bank lender are doing the same thing but in a different delivery.

  24. Well, I generally agree with your idea about profit. I, only speaking for myself, would have probably volunteered (found a team of them, of course)and then used all monies made to go to whatever fund or whatever it would be. I think the monies left over after production should be used on something…but again thats just me.

    Volunteer? Three months full time? That’s what editing this book was like for me, thanks, and I did have a team, a very high quality one at that.

    You have no clue.

  25. I, myself, dont claim to talk of “reason” and what have you. I am saying both groups are christian, both have similar beliefs when you get down to it..its just one is more vocal than the other, no?

    It’s a good thing you don’t claim to talk of reason, because your claim would be false.

    No, Westboro’s beliefs are palpably and significantly different than the great majority of other Christians’ beliefs. On this you are quite simply wrong.

    You think that this equals hate:

    Perhaps not. Maybe you dont like their actions? Their biology? But isnt saying that God hates homosexuals and God finds homosexuality to be punishable the death and an abomination nearly the same? Perhaps its our view on homosexuality that we will just have to leave at that….

    God knows how to love the sinner and hate the sin.

    Please read the series I linked to, in which I present what I really believe about homosexuality and homosexual persons, before you draw any further stereotyped and bigoted false conclusions about me, okay?

  26. Grace # 8

    I get your post and yes I see the difference in motivation and delivery, perhaps I ma speaking more in terms of theology? I not trying to equate all theists with them just as all non theists are not the same. What I am saying is that the wbc are also christians with similar theological beliefs but with a different method of delivery. Having been put down theists, I think its all how we have experienced christians, at least to me. I person waving a sign at you and a family, friends and what not who rejects you for who are…are similar, really..at least in feeling for me. Yes, not all christians are like that but often when asked of my faith I get various responses of that akin the wbb to all the way that of your family in michigan with the muslims. I hope you get where i am coming from.

  27. @ victoria 22

    Thanks. I am not japanese but I worked as a translator there for a few years.

  28. Grace 23

    Noah, I respect your opinion. I personally don’t feel that I am being morally compromised in purchasing this ebook. To me, there is no difference if they were to publish this before or after the event. Indeed, many apologetics books have been produced in response to other atheist books. I just don’t see it the way you do.

    I agree. You might not feel that you are and thats fine. I think its a pet peeve of mine, personally. I am just saying what I would have done.

  29. @ Tom 27

    “Volunteer? Three months full time? That’s what editing this book was like for me, thanks, and I did have a team, a very high quality one at that.

    You have no clue.”

    I am not trying to be offensive, I am just saying what I would have done or at least tired to do. I mean zero offense to you as i am sure you worked hard on this book.

    I understand volunteering is hard. I did so after the quake until I left the country.

  30. “God knows how to love the sinner and hate the sin.

    Please read the series I linked to, in which I present what I really believe about homosexuality and homosexual persons, before you draw any further stereotyped and bigoted false conclusions about me, okay?”

    Hey, again, not trying to be offensive. I feel the same way when a christian tells me they are simply speaking the truth in love. It provokes emotions. I am not saying your a bigot or what have you. I am just saying the WBC finds homosexuality, atheism, lying, stealing, adultery, etc a sin…the same as most christian groups, no? One might be a little louder and one might be little softer. THere might be difference in theology such as God hates gays on one and God hates gay actions on the other but arent both groups christians? Of course there are differences in delivery and intentions between the two but even aside from homosexuality arent they theologically christian with just a different method of delivery?

  31. Noah, I have a friend that deconverted which led my husband to become a skeptic. He’s reaffirmed his belief in God after going through the first 3 arguments bu William Lane Craig, and is now going through the evidence for the Resurrection/basically the whole Bible. Nagging skeptics to death does no good; I happen to believe that if he sincerely wants to know what is truth, he will search on his own, which is why I don’t nag him to death. I do understand where skeptics come from, and like you, it’s the extremists who don’t use love, reason, and logic that turn me off.

  32. Noah, you misunderstood me. It’s not that volunteering is hard. That wasn’t my message. It was that it’s not unreasonable for a person doing that much work to receive pay for it.

    In the end your ideal of donating all proceeds to charity, because there’s supposedly something wrong with making money off something someone disagrees with, is an idiosyncratic view. Millions of people make money off things they disagree with. Doctors disagree with illness. Teachers disagree with misinformation and ignorance. They get paid for combatting them. I disagree with misinformation and ignorance too. Your view is your own, and if I cannot talk you out of it I can at least take comfort in knowing that hardly anybody in the world agrees with you–especially all the people who are making thousands out of hosting the Reason Rally.

  33. Let’s have all dollars that are made in the service of speaking against things we disagree with go to some mutually agreeable charity. I think that’s a fine idea.

    Can you imagine if that was actually put into place? It would bankrupt the nation. Political leaders could no longer open their mouths, mega-churches would be left penniless, and Fox News would go out of business!

    And as for putting something in the Constitution, please don’t represent Christians as the legal aggressors. We’re defending, not taking aggressive, hostile action.

    http://www.atheistrev.com/2008/01/homophobia-making-christianity-less.html

  34. Noah,

    I’m sure your relatives and others who tried discussing Christ with you were not trying to be offensive. Does truth always have to be pleasant? I would think skeptics would pursue truth and reality instead of whatever is less offensive to them. I personally care enough about my husband to discuss this topic with him because I want him to be with me and God for eternity, and I believe God wants to have a personal relationship us on earth as well as in Heaven. The only thing I ask skeptics to consider is this question: Is it possible there is an afterlife?

    If you don’t believe in the afterlife, then there is no problem. If you think there is a possibility, then you have to consider whether there is indeed a God, Heaven and Hell, and how one obtains eternal life in Heaven. You may not take this as evidence for the afterlife, but what this link shows is that the conscious can exist outside the body. http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence01.html. Pam Reynolds discusses how her senses were still working while she was clinically put to death. Since she was brain-dead, there should be no possible way for her to observe the things she observed.

    This other link is a whole series documenting cases of NDE’s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1vWoUoiaP4. While not all experiences were exactly the same (I think they just had a glimpse of glory), I believe it is proof for what I just said about the conscious existing outside of the body. If there is the possibility that the conscious can exist after the physical body is gone, what are the chances there is an actual Heaven, Hell, and God? Many atheists I have conversed with online have said that the difference between them and Christians is that Christians believe in the supernatural and miracles, and atheists do not. I don’t know if you knew that non-Christians Paul Davies (physicist, cosmologist and astrobiologist) and Francis Crick (molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist), have said that the origin of the universe and the origin of life are considered “miracles”, so to me miracles are possible, including the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is an important decision-to believe in God and Jesus Christ, and I am glad you are interacting with us. You may not appreciate this, but I am praying for you.

  35. Sault,

    This is a masterpiece of blind, one-sided, bigoted prejudice:

    Can you imagine if that was actually put into place? It would bankrupt the nation. Political leaders could no longer open their mouths, mega-churches would be left penniless, and Fox News would go out of business!

    I’ve had a bad evening. I won’t say what I’m thinking right now.

  36. As for “homophobia making Christianity less attractive to youth,” I’m a couple years ahead of you on that. I am well aware of the effectiveness of the homosexual propaganda machine. I know that it has accomplished what it set out to do. That doesn’t change the fact that the RAF were not the aggressors over London, and people defending marriage are not the aggressors in the marriage battle. If you think changing the subject is an acceptable way to win an argument, you’re wrong.

  37. I guess the difference still comes back to how you feel that homosexuals are like the Nazis over London and I don’t, I guess.

    At some point all I can do is let the facts speak for themselves – whether the younger generation has been influenced by the “homosexual agenda” more than the attitudes and reactions of their parents is a matter of debate.

    Could that indeed be possible? Kids don’t like to be like their parents. Could they see their parents’ attitudes (often militaristic in their intolerance) and finally just decide that they just want something different?

    It’s hard for me to believe that even a large group of people can influence society that much. Look at the Dominionists… they’re trying like hell (so to speak) but they haven’t made it happen. The Discovery Institute has done a lot, but not effected a cultural change.

    On the other hand, you do have the Tea Party, and that was financed by two or three billionaires, and that really took off. Not quite cultural in the way that homosexual acceptance is, but still…

    …ah, well. It’ll be interesting to see if SSM survives the ballot initiatives and court challenges this fall here in Washington.

  38. @Sault:

    I guess the difference still comes back to how you feel that homosexuals are like the Nazis over London and I don’t, I guess.

    For the love of God, Sault, can you actually read without imposing your prejudices and distorting what people say? Because Tom is *NOT* saying that “homosexuals are like the Nazis over London”. Sheesh.

  39. Sault,

    This kind of prejudice is the essence of bigotry.

    Are you a bigot? Not my place to say. Are you acting like a bigot here? Yes.

    My point was that defense of traditional marriage is to insurgency in favor of gay “marriage” as the defense of London was to aggression over London. That is, let’s bear in mind who had the existing position, and who came in to overturn it; and let’s not call the defenders of the existing position the aggressors. Clear enough yet?

    As for billionaires, follow the money for liberal causes back to Soros…

  40. Not sure it’s fair to call me a bigot for repeating your analogy back to you, but maybe you can correct me if I’ve misunderstood you…

    That doesn’t change the fact that the RAF were not the aggressors over London, and people defending marriage are not the aggressors in the marriage battle.

    The British were not attacking London.
    The British were defending London.
    The British were at war with the Nazis.
    The Nazis were attacking London.

    SSM = same-sex marriage
    HSM = heterosexual marriage

    (HSM would be the logical opposing term, right?)

    The HSM-ers are not attacking marriage.
    The HSM-ers are defending marriage.
    The HSM-ers are at war with the SSM-ers.
    The SSM-ers are attacking marriage.

    My point was that defense of traditional marriage is to insurgency in favor of gay “marriage” as the defense of London was to aggression over London.

    HSM : SSM :: defense of London : attackers of London

    … in other words,

    HSM : SSM :: British : Nazis

    Look, this is your analogy, not mine… I wasn’t even trying to make a big deal out of it. You feel strongly, sure. The HSM-only crowd feels that they are being attacked, I get that. Maybe wasn’t the best analogy, though.

    I wasn’t trying to make a political statement about the Tea Party or liberal causes or whatever – just trying to make the point that it’s not easy for an organization to make a sweeping cultural change, the type of change that we’ve seen in the last generation, the last 20 years.

    You didn’t see electric guitars or drum kits in churches 20 or 30 years go… now it’s hard to find a church that doesn’t have ’em. Why? Was there a shadowy organization, some lobby urging churches to give up their pure and holy piano/choirs for the sinful beats of rock-n-roll? Of course there wasn’t. Rather, times changed, people changed, and their religions and churches changed right along with it.

  41. grace 41

    “I’m sure your relatives and others who tried discussing Christ with you were not trying to be offensive. Does truth always have to be pleasant? I would think skeptics would pursue truth and reality instead of whatever is less offensive to them.”

    No, truth does not always have to be pleasant but I dont think anyone who is open about their unbelieve expects not to be offended. I generally dont go around saying crazy things about others, including my family, the belief system, religion or whatever they hold dear. I shouldnt have to be apologetic and I shouldnt have to converted everytime I am around someone. Religious families can go ape when someone up and walks off from the church, mostly because of the stigma of unbelief.

    “Is it possible there is an afterlife?”

    Of course its possible as none of us have experienced death yet, though I feel that the afterlife is not probable.

    If there is an afterlife, I am also unsure it would have to be in the context God, or the promise of pure bliss vs pure punishment like in the Christian context of Heaven and Hell. There are a whole host of theories as to what happens after one dies that are pretty much just as valid as the idea of Heaven and Hell.

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