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The Peter’s wackadoodle dictionary

Timothy Kincaid

April 23rd, 2010

When dealing with wackadoodles, it helps to know that they have a whole vocabulary of their own. For example, you might think that when Susy is interviewed in the local paper about her lovely tulip garden and mentions that her wife Jane helps with the weeding, she’s being gracious. But to a wackadoodle, she’s engaging in radical militant activism to advance the homosexual agenda.

So to assist you in understanding just how a wackadoodle thinks (or rants), here’s a handy helpful example from Peter LaBarbera. The context is that LaBarbera, after demanding that Lt. Choi be dishonorably discharged, shows his “concern for his soul”:

P.S. Please pray for this young man, Dan Choi, that he will accept the Bible’s truth about homosexuality as a sin habit that can be overcome, and that he will one day join the growing ranks of former homosexuals.

Now that, my friends, is a gem. A total delight. Homosexuality is not an orientation, not a naturally experienced romantic, affectionate, sexual and spiritual attraction, not even a Levitical prohibition, but a “sin habit that can be overcome.”

And that’s the Bible truth.

Comments

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Pliny
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Sin Habit sounds like an awesome band name.

Evan Hurst
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Porno Pete’s Sin Habit is an even better band name.

Richard Rush
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Well . . . Petey has a SIN habit. That would be a
Spouting Ignorant Nonsense habit.

If he were honest he would change the name of his outfit to
Americans for SIN About Homosexuality.

John
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Sounds like the new of a new cologne by Calvin Klein.

Sin Habit… the scent of pure decadence. The new cologne from Calvin Klein.

Quo
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Peter LaBarbera is expressing the convictions about homosexuality that he as a conservative Christian sincerely holds. Why criticize him for that? Saint Paul’s comments about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 certainly imply that it can be overcome:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prositutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (NIV quoted)

That passage is one of the glorious, unique, and absolutely marvellous things about Christianity. There is nothing equivalent to it in the Hebrew Bible, the Koran, or the scriptures of any other major world religion. Christianity is not the only religion that condemns homosexual sex, but in no religious tradition other than Christianity is there any implication that homosexuality is a state of being that can be overcome.

The condemnation of homosexual behavior in most other religions is likely to have only one consequence: the death of those who practice it. Only Christianity offers a way out of homosexuality as a condition, a fundamental difference between it and other religions, and one infinitely to its credit.

Homosexuality certainly should be overcome. Whether one sees it as a sin or not, there is certainly nothing good about it. So LaBarbera is right.

PS, do you think Paul was a “wackadoodle” too?

Edwin
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

QUO.
Your part of the evil to because all of you people that supposedly kinow the Bible preach hate.
So if we don’t get in you can bet your sweet A$$ you won’t be getting in either.
Its not your place to judge other people. That is GOD’S job.

paul j stein
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Separation of Church and State is a great thing. Full separation including full taxable status should be the rule. A church/religion should not be political. As a start the political churches should be fully taxed. Then move on to total taxation of assets as a business. One should be allowed to believe whatever they believe. When the religion/church becomes a political tool for oppression and discrimination then it is a political entity and should be taxed.

Candace
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

PS, do you think Paul was a “wackadoodle” too?

Yup.

Quo
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Edwin,

Where did you get the idea that Bible contradicts preaching hate? Numerous parts of the Bible preach hate. Other parts preach love. It’s a complex book.

----
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Are you aware that Christianity started during an era when everyone was ignorant about science and nature? I’ll believe homosexuality can be “overcome” when cripples start walking WITHOUT medical or technological intervention.

David C.
April 23rd, 2010 | LINK

PS, do you think Paul was a “wackadoodle” too?—Quo

Umm, yes, I do. And I think you might be one too.

AdrianT
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo is right of course, that homosexuality is punished with death in many abrahamic strands of religion, including some strands of christianity. The reason being is that none of these has had any reformation of any kind. Christianity in its purest form is as evil as anything the Taliban could dream up, as the Inquisition and the Crusades, and the slave trade are testament to.

Quo is also right, that the bible is brimming with hatred. The mandate for the holocause in 1 Thess. 2 14-16 for instance. Infanticide, genocide, slavery, oppression of women, racism – it’s all there.

Nothing is more evil than the words of gentle Jesus, believe me or go into the eternal fire and eternal torture. You do good – give money to Haiti, give your seat up for an old lady on the metro etc – only to evade punishment. That is not morality: it is servility to an unalterable, u assailable dictator.

I didn’t ask anyone to die for me, and I reject that extremely arrogant offer.

The good news is, that none of this is true. There is no evidence for anything in the first five books attributed to the mythical character of ‘Moses’, there was no evidence for any exodus. No evidence for any miraculous event in palestine.

It was written when we knew nothing about science, or meteorology, or medicine, or astronomy, or how the mind works. And long before we knew that our lowly origins are explained by evolution over billions of years.

People then had an excuse. But in the 21st century, after Darwin, Einstein, Watson, Crick, Mendel, Hubble – evolution-deniers like Peter LaBarbera do not (ask him, next time you see him filming young children, did dinosaurs and man exist at the same time?).
We have better morality, because every step towards a fairer and just world has been made in the teeth of religious opposition over the last 5 centuries.

If you say, ‘ahh well, that’s not my god or my Christianity': not surprising, there have been as many Christian gods as there ever have been or ever will be Christians, because everybody talks about a ‘personal god’. If you start by granting all these miracles (exclusively to your faith, without granting that for example, mohammed went to heaven on a white horse over the al-aqsa mosque etc) – and the premise that you know who created the cosmos, and worse still, that you are intimate with the mind of the supposed creator of the universe, an equally arrogant claim – it’s your word against theirs.

OK most Christians are well meaning, a little faith can be a source of good deeds and joy, like most people gain much merriment and good nature from moderate amounts of alcohol. But in the same way as there are those who overdose on alcohol and as a result cause a path of destruction, there are those intake of faith is so much they cause misery everywhere too. Suicide bombers in Iraq, Family Policy organizations across America…

These people are not safe as believers. And it’s not enough for people (16% of americans but probably secretly about 30% if people were honest) to sit back and say ‘I don’t believe’ and leave it at that. We really need to do all we can to wean LaBarbera off this nonsense. Bombard him with books by Darwin, Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Sagan, Russell, Paine.

The Road To Damascus is a two-way street, and I invite Quo above, LaBarbera, Barber, Staver, Palin, Dobson, Perkins, and all the others who deny science, to make the most of the one and only life they will ever have, and come into the Age of Reason today.

I expect you ‘pray’ at night time; do you seriously believe anyone is there Mr LaBarbera? Who are you actually talking to, who is talking to you, and how do you know this?

Patrick Fitzgerald
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo: Peter LaBarbera is expressing the convictions about homosexuality that he as a conservative Christian sincerely holds. Why criticize him for that?

…is expressing the convictions about white supremacy that he as a conservative Christian sincerely holds. Why criticize him for that?

Saint Paul’s comments about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 certainly imply that it can be overcome:

…in no religious tradition other than Christianity is there any implication that homosexuality is a state of being that can be overcome.

And then magically, and with no segue, irrelevant implications become jurisprudent fact:

-Only Christianity offers a way out of homosexuality
-Homosexuality certainly should be overcome. …So LaBarbera [“can be overcome”] is right.

“Only Christianity offers a way out of homosexuality…”

Only Christianity offers a way out of human sexuality.

“Homosexuality certainly should be overcome. Whether one sees it as a sin or not, there is certainly nothing good about it.”

Human sexuality certainly should be overcome. Whether one sees it as a sin or not, there is certainly nothing good about it.
____________
You and Peter can appease your consciences all you like by pretending we don’t know the difference between human-behavior and our own human-being.

In the end, no matter what authority you may claim, it’s a belief you’re responsible for having personally selected.

But, hey, it’s your eternal afterlife.

Ed
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Sin Habit sounds like Latin for undressed.

Fg68at
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Welcome back in pre-1850. :-)

Ed
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo: “Peter LaBarbera is expressing the convictions about homosexuality that he as a conservative Christian sincerely holds. Why criticize him for that?”

Why not? Misinformation is misinformation whether sincerely believed or not. “Sincerely believed” simply prevents it being a lie in a subjective context, not in an objective one. Then there arises the question of whether a reasonable person could sincerely believe what he does about gay people, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, and the personal experience of tens of millions across the world, to the contrary. Essentially you’re suggesting he has a right to lie about and defame a minority group without fear of contradiction or criticism.

Taking an extreme example, according to your logic, it would be wrong to criticise Hitler and Goebbels for advocating that Jewish people were a subhuman race, because it was a sincerely held conservative German belief.

Richard Rush
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo,

After your failed attempts elsewhere to argue the anti-gay position using a slipshod veneer of scientific research and reason, you now seem to be revealing a religious underpinning by trotting out one of the familiar and tiresome Bible quotes. How soon will you be pulling out Christianity’s big weapon intended to make us fall to our knees quivering in fear: the threat of e-ter-nal dam-na-tion. You know your arguments have failed when you’re forced to rely on writings by superstitious ancient people.

So, assuming you are who you would appear to be, and not someone with a hidden agenda, wouldn’t your time be better spent making the change to heterosexuality instead of wasting your time here at BTB trying to convince others that being gay is a defect that should and can be changed? Why don’t you just do it now before you’re too old to enjoy all the happiness that heterosexuality would bring you?

Maybe the reason you aren’t pressing forward with the big change is that deep-down you know that it won’t really change your life much because you realize that the only living things attracted to you are flies.

Ben in Oakland
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo said “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prositutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ”

thanks for proving two things.

1) Paul never found a single thing that Jesus had to say that Paul didn’t feel free to contradict. Jesus says Pray in privat, paul says go to church. Jesus says no divorce except for adultery (or fornication or immorality, depending on who is doing the translating) Paul adds marriage to a gentile. Jesus says Judge not, Paul says go ahead and judge.

2) Translation depends upon who is doing the translating. there is no word in ancient greek that translates to homosexual, which was not coined until the 19th century. That would be like writing “horse-propelled automobile” instead of chariot.

Priya Lynn
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo said “Homosexuality certainly should be overcome. Whether one sees it as a sin or not, there is certainly nothing good about it.”

If you believe that then why do you go to the bath houses and have so much gay sex you lose track of how many partners you’ve had?

Ben in Oakland
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

“If you believe that then why do you go to the bath houses and have so much gay sex you lose track of how many partners you’ve had?”

er, um, er, em er, um.

Ben in Oakland
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Why does the word of god require explanation, translation, explication, interpetaton?

you’d think the fountain of truth would have had enough epxerience to make his intentions perfectly clear.

Edwin
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

If hetrosexuals think we should change why don’t they see if they can change to homosexuals. Then they will relise it is not a chosen orentation. We are just as loving and equal as they are.
We are allGod’s people whether they like it or not.
They are born liking opposite sex we like same sex. God never said that all people would be the same. If so we would all speake one language, believe all the same things and there would be no wars.

Candace
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

The only real “choice” I see here is the choice that Quo made to adopt a religon that spouts outdated nonsense written by stone-age savages.

Even so, his religious CHOICE is protected by the US Constitution.

I’m always astounded by people who use their protected, chosen religion to hide behind while they bash other people for a supposed “choice” of sexual orientation.

Thier opinions of Paul and homosexuality are laughably easy to prove false and deconstructing their arguments an exercise not even worthy of a freshman philosophy or logic course.

John
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Candace,

Quo’s religious choice is not protected by the US Constitution. He does not live in the US.

jc
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

i’ve nothing to add to the discussion but wanted to thank ‘richard rush’ for a fantastic laugh this afternoon! after reading “…Maybe the reason you aren’t pressing forward with the big change is that deep-down you know that it won’t really change your life much because you realize that the only living things attracted to you are flies.” i literally laughed out loud!

Candace
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Would you share where Quo resides? Thanks.

John
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

I used to think South Africa based on something he said, but he has since said that he doesn’t live in SA. Also, if he did live there, he would be often posting at 3 to 4 AM. He does live in the Southern Hemisphere, so that would lead towards Australia/New Zealand, Indonesian area or southern Asia. At one point, he was desperately concerned that his country of origin my be exposed. If I had to go out on a limb, my current guess would be Singapore.

I wonder if we could get him to put on the “Where’s Waldo” outfit, and we could all make a game of it. It would be far more productive that responding to his posts that are just designed to anger people.

Candace
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Singapore’s Constitution grants freedom of religion to people living there. So does Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. In fact, I have yet to discover an Asian nation that restricts freedom of religion, nor a South African one.

Unless Quo lives in Iran, he is most likely protected by a national Constitution that grants him freedom of religion.

I find his posts more useful in educating people about the results willfull ignorance than anger-provoking.

Richard Rush
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

At the risk of seeming to be a wackadoodle conspiracy theorist, I have been speculating that Quo may have a hidden agenda and may reside somewhere near Encino, California.

As I understand it, an IP address is not necessarily a reliable indicator of a computer’s geographic location. There are methods of faking it, just as there are methods of faking an originating address of an email.

Burr
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Maybe the reason you aren’t pressing forward with the big change is that deep-down you know that it won’t really change your life much because you realize that the only living things attracted to you are flies.

That right there is the very core of what’s wrong with him. Not his sexual orientation.

There’s a reason he sticks to anonymous sex. Nobody could possibly stand to get to know him. He could turn straight right now and I can’t think of a woman who would put up with him, making it utterly pointless.

Emily K
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Quo probably can’t answer anyone’s comments right now b/c he’s busy at the bathhouse canoodling with “evil” homos while they do “evil” things to him.

Episcopal Bear
April 24th, 2010 | LINK

Every single time I read anything by LaBarbera, Act III Scene II of Will Shakespeare’s Hamlet comes to mind:

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

John
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Peter LaBarbera is expressing the convictions about homosexuality that he as a conservative Christian sincerely holds. Why criticize him for that?

That depends upon the basis of the criticism. From a secular standpoint LaBarbera faces quite legitimate criticism because he seeks to impose his particular viewpoint on others through force of law. His alleged “sincerity” in holding these beliefs is no more a justification for them than the beliefs espoused by white supremacist groups. All find protection under the First Amendment, as they should, but are not considered to be mainstream. Whether this involves sodomy laws, equal treatment of gays under the law in employment or housing, DADT, etc. You can spout the usual defense he gives if you like but I have enough familiarity with his own postings to know that his vision is one that is quite harmful to American liberty in general and gays in particular.

From a religious standpoint LaBarbera also faces legitimate criticism because not only do many people not share his particular faith and/or his interpretations of the Bible, but his claims on homosexuality are grounded in a lie which is something antithetical to the very Gospel he claims to uphold. I’ll say this for the Catholics, there espoused teachings on homosexuality is far more honest and in keeping with St. Paul’s writings than anything dreamed up by the so-called “exgay” movement.

Saint Paul’s comments about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 certainly imply that it can be overcome

Of course such depends upon your meaning of “overcome”. Putting aside the debate over the exact meaning of the Greek word “arsenokoitai”, let’s accept the NIV translation as “homosexual offenders” at face value for the moment. One may indeed cease homosexual sexual acts, just like adultery, thievery, drunkeness, etc. For Catholics this is for the most part enough, yet does this mean one is therefore no longer gay or homosexual? Nope. One can be an ex-thief, and ex-drunk, an ex-adulterer yet given the complexity and innate nature of sexuality it is impossible to be an ex-homosexual. Celibacy no more makes a gay person an “exgay” than makes straight people “exstraight”. A gay person caring for and even having sexual intercourse with someone of the opposite sex, even enjoying this to some extent, doesn’t make them straight any more than a straight person doing likewise with someone of the same sex would make them gay. The gay person engaging in “heterosexual behavior” just like the straight person engaging in “homosexual behavior” remains the sexuality that is natural to them.

Christianity is not the only religion that condemns homosexual sex, but in no religious tradition other than Christianity is there any implication that homosexuality is a state of being that can be overcome.

Well since homosexuality doesn’t exist in Iran, I suppose the Shi’ite mullahs there would dispute such a claim. Nevertheless, you are incorrect because it isn’t Christianity that makes such a claim but instead a particular branch of it that does, with no basis other than their peculiar theological beliefs.

Homosexuality certainly should be overcome. Whether one sees it as a sin or not, there is certainly nothing good about it. So LaBarbera is right.

An empty and worthless assertion. Unless one views homosexuality itself as being sinful, a decidedly minority view in Christianity, why?

John
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Christianity in its purest form is as evil as anything the Taliban could dream up, as the Inquisition and the Crusades, and the slave trade are testament to.

Oh horse-hockey. “Christianity in its purest form” is nothing like the Taliban, and has not a thing to do with the Inquisition, Crusades or the slave trade.

Quo is also right, that the bible is brimming with hatred. The mandate for the holocause in 1 Thess. 2 14-16 for instance.

Who do you think you’re kidding with this nonsense? This has as much to do with the Holocaust as the Declaration of the Rights of Man had to do with French Reign of Terror. The irony is that both the Holocaust and the Reign of Terror violated the documents which inspired both the founding of Christianity and sparked the French Revolution.

AdrianT
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Well John, the Reconstructionists and Dominionists, some of whom go around blowing up abortion clinics, would probably agree with me. You tell me, what makes you a source of information on God’s mind than them?

The well of Bible-inspired, Antisemitic hatred, passed down the generations, was there for the Nazis to tap into. A few screeds from St Paul about the Jews being collectively and eternally guilty of deicide, and that this guilt can be transferred to future generations, was all it took.

If you venerate this, and treat it as off-limits to objective investigation, then of course it will inspire the Crusades, genital mutilation, and all the evils one can imagine. The idea that God decided who should live in what is now Israel and the West Bank was indeed the cause of the Crusades, and the cause of much misery today.

(most appallingly, the genocidal rampage in the book of Numbers, especially evil rubbish like at 31:18 and thereafter, which reads every bit like a Taliban ritual. yes: you might well take the law into your own hands if you believe this sets an example. There is no apology in the new testament for the murders and the raping of girls as described in that text. Thankfully of course, none of these events ever happened, and more thankfully still, we’ve had the Enlightenment.)

Priya Lynn
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

I agree Adrian.

Christianity as laid out in the bible is indeed much like the Taliban. The Islmaic/Christian religion is really a horrific philosophy at its heart.

John
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Well John, the Reconstructionists and Dominionists, some of whom go around blowing up abortion clinics, would probably agree with me.

Quite possibly. I noticed that you qualify your statement above with the use of the word “some”. Does this mean that there are Reconstructionists and Dominionists who do NOT approve of such actions? Hmm… Of course these groups no more constitute Christianity as a whole, let alone even close to the majority of its adherents, or even the religion in its “purest form” as you’ve stated. I can easily point to atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc. who hold, or those who have held in the past past, ideas that are not considered mainstream today, as well as actions that are considered to be quite inappropriate by most folks. Do you really want to play the game where we point to individuals or small groups most folks disagree with and tar everyone else? Rather unproductive and makes those who engage in such just as judgmental and narrow-minded as the worst of those they criticize.

The well of Bible-inspired, Antisemitic hatred, passed down the generations, was there for the Nazis to tap into.

Oh please. Once again, the New Testament is about as responsible for the Holocaust as the Declaration of the Rights of Man was for the Reign of Terror. If there’s one thing mankind has a very long history of, which continues to this day, is using just about anything no matter how benign it may be as justification for evil. Whether this evil manifest itself as prejudice, theft, murder, etc., we prey on each other far better than the most efficient predator in the animal kingdom.

A few screeds from St Paul about the Jews being collectively and eternally guilty of deicide, and that this guilt can be transferred to future generations, was all it took.

A rather simplistic view of St. Paul’s writings, but nevertheless this didn’t lead to the Holocaust. Jews were just as nasty to the early Christians who dared assign a mere mortal to Elohim.

If you venerate this, and treat it as off-limits to objective investigation, then of course it will inspire the Crusades, genital mutilation, and all the evils one can imagine.

Of course nowhere in the New Testament can one find anything in support of or commanding those Christians to do any of these. I have no problems with biblical criticism, especially since I’m not a fundamentalist, but I do object to harrangues like this which are a mockery of historical research. Any religion and even non-religion can be used and have been used for darker purposes that have little to do with what they were founded on.

The idea that God decided who should live in what is now Israel and the West Bank was indeed the cause of the Crusades, and the cause of much misery today.

I’ll let Jews and Muslims speak for themselves. Yet who controls or populates Israel/Palestine is not a part of Christianity. Were these seen as being important by some Christians at a certain period in time, perhaps even by some today? Yep.

(most appallingly, the genocidal rampage in the book of Numbers, especially evil rubbish like at 31:18 and thereafter, which reads every bit like a Taliban ritual.

Indeed. Quite different from the near-pacifism espoused by Jesus of Nazareth.

yes: you might well take the law into your own hands if you believe this sets an example.

Only if one wishes to ignore what Jesus actually taught. But hey, Christians for centuries have done exactly that and only later generations recognize that such was a mistake and yes, sinful.

There is no apology in the new testament for the murders and the raping of girls as described in that text.

I wasn’t aware that Moses was supposed to be interviewed in the NT…

Thankfully of course, none of these events ever happened,

And you know this with such certainty, how exactly?

and more thankfully still, we’ve had the Enlightenment.)

Indeed. Along with the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, American Revolution, Vatican II, etc.

John
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Christianity as laid out in the bible is indeed much like the Taliban.

Then I’m sure you’ll have no problems whatsoever in giving examples from the NT rather than making such an empty assertion.

Paul in Canada
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

I’d prefer to think that fundamentalism of any flavour is evil – painting any or all religious faiths as such is either naive or just down-right bitterness – and I’m not a pro-organized religion kind of guy………

John
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

There are many muslims who argue rather strongly that the actions of the Taliban do not reflect the teachings of Mohamed.

Candace
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Just because “some” fundamentalists don’t agree with the teachings of their religion, doesn’t make the victims of religious wars and acts of terrorism and gay bashing and lynching any less dead.

Priya Lynn
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

John said “Then I’m sure you’ll have no problems whatsoever in giving examples from the NT rather than making such an empty assertion.”.

Christians, like the Taliban believe in eternal torture for finite, even trivial “crimes”. In that way the Islamic/Chistian religion is world’s apart for the Jewish religion they’ve attempted to co-opt and pervert.

Priya Lynn
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

John said “Indeed. Quite different from the near-pacifism espoused by Jesus of Nazareth.”.

LOL, yes, right like when he said he came to bring a sword instead of peace or he’s come to tear families apart, or when he advocates eternal torture for people. You’re willfully blind to the heinousness of the christian religion.

John
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

I remember hearing a talk on the radio given by a retired Protestant Bishop (?Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran?) who talked about “the dark side of religion.” I loved the talk and firmly believe that it applies to all religions.

This planet has seen one atrocity after another committed in the name of religion, and it continues today. Religions can get people to do good for others, but it can also result in a very large pile of bodies.

Quo
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

Patrick Fitzgerald,

Opposing homosexual behaviour is not equivalent to being a racist. Equating two completely different things in that way is simply another tactic intended to bully conservative Christians (and anyone else) who opposes homosexuality into silence.

Ed,

LaBarbera is not “lying”. As I observed, he is saying what he honestly believes. It’s abusive to impute bad faith to him.

Richard Rush,

You really don’t get my point. I think that Paul’s words would be inspiring, beautiful, and profound even if, for the sake of argument, Christianity wasn’t true. The personal abuse you’re hurling at me is witless (and factually wrong, not that it makes a difference).

Ben in Oakland,

I’m aware that the original languages of the Bible don’t use the term “homosexual” or “homosexuality.” What Paul is discussing is clearly what we would now think of as homosexuality, however.

As for why “the word of god require[s] explanation, translation, explication, interpetaton”, why not? There’s no reason why God wouldn’t make some parts of the Bible easy to understand, and other parts difficult ot hidden.

Quo
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

John,

The law always forces “viewpoints” on people, in one way or another.

You claim that “the complexity and innate nature of sexuality” makes it “impossible to be an ex-homosexual” -you present no evidence of that, of course.

Your comment about Islam (“since homosexuality doesn’t exist in Iran, I suppose the Shi’ite mullahs there would dispute such a claim) misses the point.

In both Christianity and Islam, homosexuality is a sin deserving death, in principle. The difference is that the New Testament can be read to suggest that there is a different solution for homosexuals – they can cease to be homosexual by becoming either celibate or heterosexual (Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians don’t specify which; he could have meant either).

Paul could hardly have welcomed people who were former homosexuals into the Christian fold if he considered execution the only proper way of dealing with them. In contrast, in Islam (and equally in Judaism), men who have sex with other men would simply be put to death, and that would be that.

Candace
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

So, Quo…. do you live in a country whose Constitution guarantees you freedom to choose your religion?

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

Just because “some” fundamentalists don’t agree with the teachings of their religion, doesn’t make the victims of religious wars and acts of terrorism and gay bashing and lynching any less dead.

Indeed. Of course it can also be that “some” fundamentalists are claiming that something is a part of their religion when it actually is not, ironically enough.

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

Christians, like the Taliban believe in eternal torture for finite, even trivial “crimes”. In that way the Islamic/Chistian religion is world’s apart for the Jewish religion they’ve attempted to co-opt and pervert.

1. If a belief in eternal damnation is the best you’ve got than your case is even weaker than I assumed. As long as such belief isn’t enshrined into civil law I could care less what people of any religious faith believe about my final destination.

2. While you may think linking Islam with Christianity it clever, in an obvious attempt to smear the latter with the excesses or failings of the former, this falls flat upon examination of all 3 reigions. Islam is far closer to Judaism in both orthodoxy and orthopraxy than it is with Christianity.

3. You’ll note that most of the objections to Christianity, save for the historical examples of its adherents’ excesses and extremism, come from the Old Testament or TANAKH.

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

LOL, yes, right like when he said he came to bring a sword instead of peace or he’s come to tear families apart, or when he advocates eternal torture for people. You’re willfully blind to the heinousness of the christian religion.

You’re seriously taking a metaphorical reference to bringing a sword out of context in making your point? Really? Jesus said nothing much different in this regard or about consequences for sin and refusing to follow God than did the Jewish prophets before him. What was noticeably different was the lack of any call by him for temporal punishment for either.

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

The law always forces “viewpoints” on people, in one way or another.

Indeed, within the bounds set by the Constitution. You and LaBarbera are free to believe as you wish, a right guaranteed you both as much as it is the rest of us. Yet what you both are not free to do is impose your religious beliefs on all of us through force of law.

You claim that “the complexity and innate nature of sexuality” makes it “impossible to be an ex-homosexual” -you present no evidence of that, of course.

Nice attempt at shifting the burden, Quo. Feel free to prove that sexuality is changeable and that one can pray the gay away.

Your comment about Islam (“since homosexuality doesn’t exist in Iran, I suppose the Shi’ite mullahs there would dispute such a claim) misses the point.

Not really. It was a humorous poke at contemporary news combnied with one at the absurdity of your claim.

In both Christianity and Islam, homosexuality is a sin deserving death, in principle. The difference is that the New Testament can be read to suggest that there is a different solution for homosexuals – they can cease to be homosexual by becoming either celibate or heterosexual (Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians don’t specify which; he could have meant either).

Celibacy doesn’t make one an exgay anymore than it would make them exstraight. Having sexual relations with someone of the opposite or same sex doesn’t make one gay or straight either. That would be heterosexual or homosexual behavior to be sure, but that’s it.

Paul could hardly have welcomed people who were former homosexuals into the Christian fold if he considered execution the only proper way of dealing with them. In contrast, in Islam (and equally in Judaism), men who have sex with other men would simply be put to death, and that would be that.

There’s no evidence that Paul did any such thing. You’re reading that into the text in order to fit your preconceived views on the matter.

Patrick Fitzgerald
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

Quo: Opposing homosexual behaviour is not equivalent to being a racist.

Sher it is.

From David Neiwert’s “The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right:

The newspaper helped make the book [The Bell Curve] broadly acceptable to mainstream conservatives, many of whom avidly embraced its thesis that backs were demonstrably less intelligent than whites due to genetic wiring. As Lucy Williams of Public Research Associates explained in her analysis of how conservatives treated [Author, Charles] Murray,

“By articulating a definition of poverty that associated it explicitly with illegitimacy, then associating illegitimacy with race, the Right made it acceptable to express blatantly racist concepts without shame.” [p79-80]

And now, the todayified version:

“By articulating a definition of promiscuity that associated it explicitly with immorality, then associating immorality with same-gender attraction, the Right made it acceptable to express blatantly anti-gay lies without shame.”

Little has changed. Instead of hiding behind hoods you hide behind bibles.

Priya Lynn
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

John said “If a belief in eternal damnation is the best you’ve got than your case is even weaker than I assumed. As long as such belief isn’t enshrined into civil law I could care less what people of any religious faith believe about my final destination.”

If you believe the new testament is true then any murderous act by the Taliban is trivial compared to the infinite evil purpetrated by your god. Christians would agree that Hitler was evil, but his killing of six million Jews was inconsequential next to your god’s eternal torture of those same Jews.

John said “You’ll note that most of the objections to Christianity, save for the historical examples of its adherents’ excesses and extremism, come from the Old Testament.”.

You conveniently ignore the fact that my objection to Christianity comes from the New Testament. The Jewish god may have been a monster, but when he killed people he was done with them, yet this is once again trivial compared to your new testament god/Jesus who eternally tortures them.

John said “You’re seriously taking a metaphorical reference to bringing a sword out of context in making your point? Really? Jesus said nothing much different in this regard or about consequences for sin and refusing to follow God than did the Jewish prophets before him. What was noticeably different was the lack of any call by him for temporal punishment for either.”.

That was bizarre. Jesus wasn’t making a metaphorical reference when he said he was going to tear families apart and bring a sword and he most certainly did say something vastly different about the consequences for sin and refusing to follow your god than the Jewish prophets before him did – Jesus explicitly and repeatedly says there will be eternal punishment for not following god which is something no Jewish prophet in the old testament ever said. That you’d lie about such an obvious fact shows just how unwilling you are to face the true nature of your religion.

The Christian/Islamic gods are heinous monsters beyond belief compared to the Jewish god. You can try to deny the similarities between Islam and Christianity all you want, but the major features of these two religions make them close brothers and only distanly related to the Jewish religion.

Priya Lynn
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

And John, seeing as you’ve proven yourself an outrageous liar about the new testament and no doubt will spew more lies I shan’t be back to this thread to read more of your dishonesty – rational people can see right through you.

Jason D
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

of course bigotry and discrimination against race is not the same as against homosexuality. But neither is bigotry based on weight, gender, religion or disability.

Of course racism isn’t the same as sexism, but that doesn’t make it any less bigoted, prejudiced, or discriminatory. And sexism isn’t the same as anti-semitism, but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly acceptable.

One thing does unite them: these are all demonstrably neutral characteristics.
Being in a wheelchair doesn’t make someone a bad person, neither does red hair, black skin, wearing plus-size garments, praying to mecca, or being same-sex attracted. These are all characteristics that have little bearing on someone’s ability to be a productive, contributive member of society. Yet people choose to hold beliefs about them that are both ignorant and irrelevant.

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

If you believe the new testament is true then any murderous act by the Taliban is trivial compared to the infinite evil purpetrated by your god. Christians would agree that Hitler was evil, but his killing of six million Jews was inconsequential next to your god’s eternal torture of those same Jews.

“Infinite evil” by whose standards? A mere fallible mortal such as yourself who presumes to set themselves up as judge and jury not only of humanity but God himself? How exactly God decides who goes to hell and for how long is up to him and who, if anyone, is actually in hell is known only to him (well, and any who might be in hell).

You conveniently ignore the fact that my objection to Christianity comes from the New Testament.

Something you failed to make clear until just now. Your objection seems to rest solely upon the doctrine of hell, which Christianity isn’t even unified about. So again, this is what you rest your case on? Give me a break. If this is all it takes for you to slander millions of Christians – which includes gay Christians I might add – by comparing them to the Taliban, that doesn’t say much for you.

That was bizarre. Jesus wasn’t making a metaphorical reference when he said he was going to tear families apart and bring a sword

So he said he was literally bringing a sword, eh? Right. Your exegetical skills underwhelm me.

and he most certainly did say something vastly different about the consequences for sin and refusing to follow your god than the Jewish prophets before him did – Jesus explicitly and repeatedly says there will be eternal punishment for not following god which is something no Jewish prophet in the old testament ever said. That you’d lie about such an obvious fact shows just how unwilling you are to face the true nature of your religion.

Are you kidding me? You’re seriously accusing me of not just being wrong, but lying now? Wow. The hatred and bitterness you harbor are quite apparent. First of all, pal, my comment was in response to yours about Jesus’ remark concerning bringing a sword. If you’re going to falsely accuse me of lying at least get your damn facts straight. Secondly, spend a little researching Judaism of the tail-end of the BCE and 1st century CE eras.

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

And John, seeing as you’ve proven yourself an outrageous liar about the new testament and no doubt will spew more lies I shan’t be back to this thread to read more of your dishonesty – rational people can see right through you.

Works for me, good riddance. You wouldn’t know “rational” if reached up and bit you on the tuckus. I have better things to do with my time than waste it on bitter drama queens who enjoy lying about others to cover up their own ignorance.

Timothy Kincaid
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

For more on the “sword, not peace” section, Wikipedia has a decent synopsis of various takes on this verse.

And those unfamiliar with Christian theology may wish to know that there is wide a diverse doctrine regarding “eternal punishment”, what brings it about, what it consists of, who is subjected to it, and what one must/can do to avoid it.

This ranges from “everyone on the planet is guilty of Original Sin and those who do not convert to Christianity and repent of their sins will burn forever in a lake of fire” to the far more common (but non-doctrinal) belief that ‘good’ people go to heaven and ‘bad people like Hitler and my ex’ go to hell.

The billion people who practice Christianity in some form are very diverse. To argue that they all agree with one idea about the eternal – and to insist that this idea be the most literal and least modern idea – is simplistic.

Timothy Kincaid
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

And can we please all tone down the rhetoric. Less accusations of lying, no more “only flies are attracted to you” (seriously!), and a lot more civility.

OK?

AdrianT
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

John said earlier a number of interesting points,

“Does this mean that there are Reconstructionists and Dominionists who do NOT approve of such actions?”

It only took 19 fanatics to bring down the Twin Towers, flight 93 and a chunk of the Pentagon. If one or two people are so poisoned, that’s dangerous enough.

“I can easily point to atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc. who hold, or those who have held in the past past, ideas that are not considered mainstream today, as well as actions that are considered to be quite inappropriate by most folks. Do you really want to play the game where we point to individuals or small groups most folks disagree with and tar everyone else?”

I’ll play that game any time, any place. The difference is that Stalin, Robespierre, Pol Pot, Mao and so on happened to be atheist. There is no atheist canonical text to inspire them to commit unspeakable evil. The ultimate enemy is worship. Mammals, human beings included, should not be worshipped.

Stalin’s Russia was in every respect built on religious foundations: cult hero worship; excommunication and worse, for anyone who thought differently; miracles – economic / agricultural miracles of Lysenko and 5 year plans; if you include Marx and Lenin on parade banners bearing your face, you have a Trinity. North Korea: all you can do there is grovel and praise, till you die, give your thanks to the father (i.e. head of the party – Kim Jong Il, and the head of state, his dead father Kim Il Sung).

If you want to claim that absence of superstitious belief causes genocide, then you would have to name a society that failed because it was built on the foundations of Reason, of Thomas Paine, or John Stuart Mill. Getting rid of religion is the first stage in freeing mankind of tyranny – replacing it with reason, and human rights, fair representation, is the basis for a fair, moral society.
AS mentioned, I can throw at you texts directly from the New Testament which mandate and incite hatred against the Jews. I can give you statements from countless religious leaders too. Can you find any similar statement in the Declaration of Human Rights (or more importantly, the improvement on this, the UN Declaration of 1948)?

“Of course nowhere in the New Testament can one find anything in support of or commanding those Christians to do any of these. I have no problems with biblical criticism, especially since I’m not a fundamentalist, but I do object to harrangues like this which are a mockery of historical research. Any religion and even non-religion can be used and have been used for darker purposes that have little to do with what they were founded on.”

Don’t blame me; I didn’t write Matt 5:18-19, Matt 15:4-7, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-4, John 15:6, 2 Thess 1:6-9, or the book of Revelation, the inspiration for fanatics like Tim LaHaye to make films celebrating death and destruction on a massive scale.
The idea that God decided who should live in what is now Israel and the West Bank was indeed the cause of the Crusades, and the cause of much misery today.

“Indeed. Quite different from the near-pacifism espoused by Jesus of Nazareth.”

I’m glad we weren’t pacifist on 9/11. Or in September 1939. Pacifism and loving enemies is stupid if not itself wicked, especially when it compromises justice.

“Only if one wishes to ignore what Jesus actually taught. But hey, Christians for centuries have done exactly that and only later generations recognize that such was a mistake and yes, sinful.”

But if it takes centuries to decide what the true Christianity is (whereas one can read the UN Declaration in minutes and get a good idea of how one should treat others, and form a good, harmonious society), what is it good for?

“I wasn’t aware that Moses was supposed to be interviewed in the NT…”

Is there any reason why the supposed Moses should not be held accountable for his actions or writings, like everyone else?

“And you know this with such certainty [none of these Old Testament events never happened], how exactly?”

Fair enough, I overstepped the mark here. But, then, if I said fairies or leprechauns did not exist, or that a teapot is currently orbiting Mars, I cannot prove that either. Let us then say, these events almost certainly never happened. Find me any peer reviewed archaeological study which corroborates any of the events described.

Jason D
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

Adrian, To be fair it’s not actually clear if Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, and Robspierre
http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Was_Stalin_an_atheist%3F
http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Was_Pol_Pot_an_atheist%3F
http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Was_Mao_Zedong_an_atheist%3F
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:Religious_persecution

There are things to suggest they might be, but in the case of Mao – he had very Buddhist beliefs and in the case of Pol Pot a definite lean to Buddhism(a non-theist, but not Atheist religion).

Absent is any declaration of atheism on the part of these men — be careful not to shove an agnostic into an atheist mold. They have definite strains of areligious thought, but that’s not the same as atheism.

John
April 26th, 2010 | LINK

It only took 19 fanatics to bring down the Twin Towers, flight 93 and a chunk of the Pentagon. If one or two people are so poisoned, that’s dangerous enough.

Indeed. Yet what possible relevance does this have, other than a poor attempt on your part to tar everyone of a particular faith or group because of the actions of a few? How does this make you any different from The Peter with his smears against gays?

I’ll play that game any time, any place.

Of course you will, which is hardly surprising because then you get to set the rules as you see fit to arrive at a conclusion you’ve already drawn.

The difference is that Stalin, Robespierre, Pol Pot, Mao and so on happened to be atheist. There is no atheist canonical text to inspire them to commit unspeakable evil.

Actually for 3 of these persons you name there are: the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin.

Mammals, human beings included, should not be worshipped.

If there’s one thing Christians, Jews and Muslims can all agree upon with you it is this statement here.

Getting rid of religion is the first stage in freeing mankind of tyranny – replacing it with reason, and human rights, fair representation, is the basis for a fair, moral society.

I agree with you that reason, human rights and fair representation are the basis for a better society – one in which religion has a place but not control. Yet contrary to what you assert there has never been a society in all of recorded human history that has successfully gotten rid of religion without degenerating into a monstrosity, ironically this includes even the nominally atheist ones you yourself name.

AS mentioned, I can throw at you texts directly from the New Testament which mandate and incite hatred against the Jews.

Let’s stick to the “mandate” portion of your claim here. By all means, please do cite the portions of the NT that “mandate” Christians to hate Jews.

I can give you statements from countless religious leaders too.

I’m familiar with quite a number of them. Do you care to start with John Chrysostom or would you prefer something earlier?

Can you find any similar statement in the Declaration of Human Rights (or more importantly, the improvement on this, the UN Declaration of 1948)?

That’s precisely the point. Even in the absence of a direct command in an influential document, humans have a long history of inciting themselves towards evil. So it matters not that the NT nowhere allows or “mandates” such things as say the Inquisition, because humans who cherish the text quite easily perverted the teachings of their own faith in what they saw as defense of the truth. Ditto for the Declaration and the Reign of Terror. Whether you dehumanize your opponents as being nothing more than enemies of God or enemies of the People it makes little difference as the end results are usually the same: discrimination, oppression and murder.

I’m glad we weren’t pacifist on 9/11. Or in September 1939.

Indeed. For many Christians, nations defending themselves from attack is not what Jesus was addressing. Hence why I said “near-pacifism”.

But if it takes centuries to decide what the true Christianity is (whereas one can read the UN Declaration in minutes and get a good idea of how one should treat others, and form a good, harmonious society), what is it good for?

If the UN Declaration survives for as long as Christianity, Judaism or Islam have, you’ll find the exact same problem: factions which interpret the document in various ways, individuals who pervert what appears to be the plain meaning of the text to justify evil, etc. Heck, we can see that now to a degree because I can assure that what may seem obvious in the Declaration to you does not have the exact same meaning to everyone else. Sure you’ll have more agreement among Western societies, but even there you’ll find some disagreement and watch how fast the disputes pile up once you involve folks from other cultures. The US Constitution is only 223 years old and how many different interpretations of this short document do you think have cropped up over time just in 1 nation that share a common language and overall culture?

Is there any reason why the supposed Moses should not be held accountable for his actions or writings, like everyone else?

Nope. Of course Moses didn’t author the NT and Jesus never claimed to be speaking for him.

Find me any peer reviewed archaeological study which corroborates any of the events described.

Oh please. The absence of archaeological evidence isn’t evidence in and of itself. How many events from ancient history lack archaeological corroboration yet are accepted as being probably true because of the witness of ancient documents – including religious texts? Quite a number. The portion of Numbers you cited may have been describing real historical events or it may have been relating a mythical tale in order to relay a point. The Bible is filled with both. Scholars cannot say for certian one way or the other. I’m not a fundamentalist so it makes no difference to me whichever it may actually be. The bloodshed described was certainly common in warfare at the time so it at least has that element of believability. Personally, it seems like justification the Hebrews inserted into their religious text for the conquest of Canaan.

Quo
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

John,

The evidence that Paul accepted former homosexuals into the Christian fold is his testimony that he did so in 1 Corinthians. Paul’s comments show great insight into homosexuality, as well as an impressive capacity for moral judgment.

Timothy,

Thanks for suggesting that people not hurl abuse like “the only living things attracted to you are flies” at me.

I’m not much worried about the abuse, however – on the contrary, I’m grimly satisfied by it, because it confirms my impression of the commenters who practice it.

John
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

The evidence that Paul accepted former homosexuals into the Christian fold is his testimony that he did so in 1 Corinthians.

If that’s your evidence than it’s pretty thin. It’s certainly within the realm of possibility that Paul accepted gays who refrained from same-sex relations, but we do not know one way or the other.

Paul’s comments show great insight into homosexuality, as well as an impressive capacity for moral judgment.

Even assuming that Paul intended a complete moral condemnation of homosexuality, there’s no insight given in his remarks at all other than that which you wish to read into them.

John in the Bay Area
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

I wonder what Quo means by former homosexual. Sure, some gay folks become celibate, but there is no convincing evidence that any can or have ever changed their sexual orientation. Quo himself is strong evidence that people can’t change their sexual orientation no matter how hard they want to.

Further, since the word and the concept of homosexuality as we understand it did not exist in Paul’s time, it would seem illogical to think that Paul understood former homosexuals aka ex-gays, which isn’t a sexual orientation as much as a political or religious orientation that was recently invented.

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

Quo,

Yes, I’m quite familiar with your pattern of inciting anger in the hopes of eliciting insult. I know that the emotional rush of feeling a martyr validates your personal choices and confirms your biases.

Nevertheless, it is not wise of our readers to fall for this tactic and feed your neurosis. Nor is it good for them to behave without class and consideration – even towards those who are seeking to encourage exactly that behavior.

William
April 27th, 2010 | LINK

“The evidence that Paul accepted former homosexuals into the Christian fold is his testimony that he did so in 1 Corinthians.”

If Quo’s interpretation of the sentence “And that is what some of you were” is correct, then Paul was extremely remiss in not providing details of the Corinthian ex-gay program so that it could be used by subsequent generations. Clearly the secret is lost for ever.

“Only Christianity offers a way out of homosexuality as a condition, a fundamental difference between it and other religions, and one infinitely to its credit.”

Certain individuals and groups who describe themselves as Christian offer “a way out of homosexuality as a condition [sic]”; Christianity as such does not.

What is creditable about offering people something that they are highly unlikely ever to get? Even the adverts in “Old Moore’s Almanack” can do as much.

AdrianT
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

John remarked: “Actually for 3 of these persons [Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot] you name there are [canonical texts]: the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin.”

– Canonical texts are nothing to do with atheism, but to do with communism, economics. You could arguably be a Christian and be communist. It was a failed experiment and a quasi-religion, not evidence based.

I refer willingly to the 19 suicide bombers to make my point – they were inspired by the Qur’an, they lifted the verses directly from the book. It set them on a path to believe mass murder was the most holy, the most dutiful, the most honorable, the right thing to do. They were set on that path because they were brought up not to question, not to doubt, to submit to the teachings of their holy teacher, to the will of god. The plain fact is, that book indeed mandates that non-believers, women be treated as slaves, or worse. That is my opinion about the teaching of a book. That in itself does not tar those enlightened muslims who do not accept that kind of barbaric nonsense.

Don’t take my word for it – why not ask Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan? He is, after all, of perfectly sound mind.

But by the way, a radical form of Islam is already engulfing the USA. Statistics show only 28% of US muslims consider themselves american first; 26% of muslims aged under 30 think suicide bombing is justifiable; 66% of US mosques partition women off so they can’t even see the imam when he preaches (source: Council on American Islamic Relations). You let Saudi funded wahhabi extremist groups take them over, and open schools, brainwashing kids with hate. As we have discovered here in England, radicalism creeps, like japanese knotweed. You need to deal with it before it’s too late. Funny how the only poeple in America to speak out about this are either so-called new atheists, or other fanatics like The Peter.

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