Con-man, there is only one thing that your Jesus had to say about stones and stoning and it was this: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." That doesn't seem to be a very strong case for capital punishment (and especially not stoning), not by any stretch of the imagination. Why do you insist on giving more credence to the Old Testament laws and the dictates of a vicious, violent-natured God than you do to anything that has to do with love and mercy and compassion? I think Susan B. Anthony might have been on to something when she said:
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
"Obamacare was a solution when there was really not much of a problem."
Mr. Hart has made that comment before. Try telling the 45 million Americans without health insurance (pre-Obamacare) how much of a problem it's not. Just because Mr. Hart and his family are rich enough to afford health insurance or lucky enough to be able to get group insurance through the few remaining companies that still affordably provide it, then it's "not much of a problem?" Just wondering how callous or stupid one has to be to make such an asinine statement. Oh, wait...I forget...the uninsured can always go to the Emergency Room, can't they? I stand corrected. Mr. Hart is indeed spot on. Forty-five million uninsured Americans? No problem. Repeal Obamacare!
And then, to really set things right, let's just do those simple things that Mr. Hart suggests: Number one: tort reform. Never mind that tort reform has never been a significant factor driving health care costs, and never mind that tort reform has been tried in Texas for a number of years now and health care costs there have been reduced by a whopping 0.1% (that's POINT ONE percent - and that's the most favorable of reports; and doctors have not exactly been beating down the doors to practice medicine in Texas, regardless of the tort reform laws), and that Texans with legitimate malpractice claims are finding it almost impossible to take negligent doctors or hospitals to court because most lawyers will not handle such cases now. But tort reform is one of those terms, like supply-side economics, that conservatives like to keep spewing out and believing in, even though they do not work. So, let's just keep on believing and maybe if we all believe hard enough and long enough, they'll work one day. So...no problem. Repeal Obamacare!
And then of course there's always big bad gubmint to blame. Yes, let's just have fewer regulations and those insurance companies will no doubt do the right thing, out of the goodness of their hearts. How dare Obamacare intrude itself into private insurance companies' business and force them to cover people with pre-existing conditions! We all know that those companies would gladly do so on their own if left to their own devices. After all, people' health and lives mean more to them than profits, right? I'm sure they were on the verge of accepting all those people with pre-existing conditions at an affordable rate, and if Obama had just kept his pointy little progressive nose out of their business they would have done it completely on their own. So, once again....no problem. Regulations are just more BIG GUBMINT. Repeal Obamacare!
Republicans have tried how many times now to repeal it? Upwards of 40? 50? Well, don't quit now, guys, maybe 60 is the charm. Anyway, it's not like the U.S. has anything better to worry about, like crumbling roads and bridges and an education system in the toilet and massive unemployment. Keep up the valiant effort, Republicans. Repeal Obamacare!
Ms. Stapleton, thank you for telling it like it is. Maybe one day the message will finally sink in, enough to rouse from their slumber those working/middle class people who are too deaf, dumb, and blind to realize that they are voting against their own best interests when they vote Republican. I'm not entirely convinced that voting Democrat is much better (too many corporate friendly DINOs amongst the lot) but at least the Dems are not coming up with insane, draconian legislation and policies like the Repubs seem to come up with on a daily basis.
Indeed, Ms. Bradford, it sure looks like Christianity is on the verge of being forced underground, doesn't it - what with the current herd of televangelists raking in hundreds of millions of TAX-FREE dollars and getting 24/7 gospel-preaching exposure on TV, radio, and the internet. And then, there are those hundreds of thousands of churches all across the nation where Christians are free to congregate as often as they like, without anybody so much as uttering of word of protest. You poor, pitiful, persecuted Christians! How on earth do you manage to hold up under such brutal oppression?
BTW...you mentioned the Christians who have been killed for teaching the gospel, but you somehow forgot to mention the millions upon millions of non-Christians who have been killed and tortured by Christians throughout the ages. But, I know, I know...I nitpick. That's such a minor detail. Afer all, those non-Christians only got what was coming to them, right? I mean, in the eyes of your loving God and all?
It's almost funny to hear so many Christians up in arms about how Hollywood can't get it right when it comes to movies about the Bible. How quickly they forget! Here are a few Bible-based movies out of Hollywood that most Christians embraced and endorsed wholeheartedly: The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, Samson and Delilah, Kind David, The Robe, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Passion of the Christ.
I think that what really bothers these whining Christians about the movie "Noah" is that an atheist wrote and directed it, and his representation of God as being perhaps the ogre that the Old Testament makes him out to be is more realistic than they would like. They only want someone to keep the fantasy alive that, even if God is a maniacal, sadistic, unpredictable, jealous, reprehensible tyrant, as he most certainly is throughout the Old Testament, he is still a God of "love" - at least as long as you were one of his chosen back in the Old Testament days, or you buy into the whole Jesus-as-savior/ blood-sacrifice thing today.
Excellent article by Andre Vltchek! Too bad that those who need it to read it most will no doubt dismiss it as mere vitriol from an atheist "full of hell and hate" and won't even bother to read it.
I'm wondering how many of you have seen "Twelve Years a Slave" yet? There is a powerful scene where one of the slave holders has his slaves gathered before him and he's reading from the Bible (I think it's the part that contains the very quote that Mr. Vltchek used in the intro to his article - "Slaves, obey your masters."), enforcing the notion in his slaves that they are bound by Scripture to be obedient. I have no doubt that slave holders got a lot of mileage out of those verses in those days! Hell, Christian bigots to this day refer to such preposterous and disgusting Bible verses to justify their hatred of anybody different from them. And then they will turn around and tell you that they don't hate them, rather they "hate the sin but love the sinner." Priceless.
I make no pretense about being tolerant.
I do not speak ill of those Christians who have the common sense to see that the Bible is not a literal history or inerrant word of God, who disregard the abundant savagery, obscenity, and cruelty exhibited by a sadistic, jealous, vindictive tyrant of a God in the Old Testament, and choose instead to focus only on the love and compassion spoken of in the New Testament.
But I detest and am extremely intolerant of brute and stupid minds that ought to know better, being the supposedly intelligent adults they claim to be, insisting that the Bible is the inerrant word of an invisible granddaddy in the sky and that anybody not believing exactly as they believe is doomed to an eternity of the cruelest suffering by their "loving" God. They ignore almost entirely those parts of the Bible that are truly inspirational and love-centered and instead cherry-pick those verses that justify their bigotry and hate. Hell yes, I am intolerant of those small-minded, hard-hearted, self-righteous fools.
My only peeve with the more loving and non-judgmental Christians is that they insist on calling themselves Christians. They ought to be eager to disassociate themselves entirely from the Christians who have caused and continue to cause so much hate and cruelty and violence in the world. By putting themselves under the same broad umbrella they are tacitly sanctioning the negative aspects of that religion. "Christian" is a man-made term. They could just as easily invent a new label for themselves, one with more positive connotations.
Here is some serious Bible (and Christian) bashing from some well known Bible bashers this editor might have heard of:
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind. — Thomas Paine
"The Christian god is cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust." — Thomas Jefferson
"What is it the Bible teaches us? — rapine, cruelty, and murder." - Thomas Paine
"It has been fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse [the book of Revelation], and then I considered it merely the ravings of a maniac." - Thomas Jefferson
"Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years?" — John Adams, describing the Christian religion
"What has been Christianity's fruits? Superstition, bigotry, and persecution." — James Madison
"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession." — Abraham Lincoln
"In no instance have churches been the guardians of the liberties of the people." - James Madison
"Lighthouses are more useful than churches." - Benjamin Franklin
"This could be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it." — John Adams
"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests." — Thomas Jefferson
"It is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene." — Thomas Paine
"There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites." — Thomas Jefferson
"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." — Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, written during the administration of George Washington and signed into law by John Adams
So, Mr. Editor, I hope you'll forgive us Bible bashers the next time we engage in our own form of bashing. I'd say we're in some pretty good company.
Mr. Orr, once a person steps outside the little box of blind faith that you Christians confine yourselves to, we are in no way bound to your horrid demons and fairy tales of eternal suffering or the need to bow down blindly and obediently to a judging, sadistic God (whom you erroneously call a God of "love"). The threats of eternal damnation in your musty old book of primitive myths ring hollow. Your God is no more real than Zeus or the Wizard of Oz and your Satan is no more real than the imagined boogeyman in the closet of a child's imaginings.
We are free to curse your dastardly God because such a horrid deity as you worship does not exist. What manner of heavenly father would even conceive of such a place as hell with which to punish his children eternally for the mere "sin" of disbelief? If there be a real creator of the universe she/he/it is undoubtedly far, far greater and more magnanimous than you small minded Christians imagine (him) to be. She will not be so petty and jealous as to demand obedience and blind faith. It will encourage and respect our individuality and our choice to use our reasoning, thinking minds that it has bestowed upon us, to seek out truth and to lead our lives as autonomous beings, totally free, unbound by trivial creeds.
I feel sorry for you, sir. Let loose your mind. It is a great thing to be set free from the shackles of blind faith, superstition, and constricting, stale dogma. Truth is fluid and alive, all around you and within you, not static, not contained in any one book or preachings of some Biblical superstar, real or imagined, of 2000 years ago.
Without a doubt our government is corrupt now. But that corruption is not due to some inherent flaw in government itself; rather it is due to our politicians being too influenced by big money from corporations and the fat cats who are bribing them with huge payoffs and campaign contributions. The problem with our government now is that it has become an oligarchy, not the democratic republic that our forefathers envisioned. Our government needs cleaning up, not eviscerating.
To think that this nation of over 3 hundred million people of such diverse character, or even 50 individual states, could be run efficiently without a strong centralized government is nuts. The "individual freedom" that today's neo-cons like to speak of would amount to utter chaos, or at the very least, a return to the horrors of the Gilded Age of which David Cook speaks. We are very nearly seeing the horrors of that age manifest themselves before us here and now.