Will this just about kill off the catholic church in Australia?

 
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I thought Jesus, God himself on earth, told us in the New Testament - several times actually, that the Old Testament was a true documentation of his (god's) word?

Strict believers in the Old Testament 'young earth creationists' are the most dangerous of all Christians in my view, maybe just pipping those that follow the word of Pius X.

It's one of the reasons why years ago I used to help out with like the 'no answers in Genesis' site, and why myself and many of my skeptical/atheist/evolutionist friends and debaters prepare just that little more carefully when we know we're up against 'YEC' types. It's not that they're better, or more knowledgeable that other groups of religious people, quite the opposite and we have to prepare arguments from a much more basic view point. We always know we'll be debating terms, and definitions and statements in English that seem to take a different meaning to what a standard person might take the meaning to be, existing, extant and extinct are just a couple of often miss understood words in the YEC world.

They'd never, ever state it, but I have often wondered if some of the less socially acceptable activities within the RCC have occurred because they take some lead from the OT. That said, the victims of the child rape (just calling it what it is) are generally male, and not even I am so sure that the bible mentions that anywhere - lots of virgin girl 'taking' but no so much of boys...

The whole thing for me boils down to the cherry picking I mentioned earlier. If the NT with its good news is meant to be a believable text then I don't think it's too much of a stretch to believe that the whole thing should be believed. As I have posted before I am not so sure we should be so content with the idea of only picking the bits we like. I am not so sure we should like or follow a God that came back to tell us (as documented in the true book we're now supposed to believe in) that he meant what he said and did in exodus, numbers etc.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The point of the Old Testament is that it informs us of who God is and why (not so much "how" like a science textbook) He created the universe, how humans stuffed up (one of the reasons why there's so much violence at times), and hints of God's plan to redeem us.
Carnot
Well, why in the name of Mazeppa, are there great lists of supposed offences, each concluding with, "and ye shall be put to death"? Why are there tales of obvious fiction such as the Great Flood and Noah's Ark, and the firmament carried by four pillars rising from the earth?
This nonsense informs us who God is?

(As an aside, Halvorsens, the boat builders on the Hawkesbury, were once asked how long it would take five untrained men to build a timber craft of the Ark's dimensions. One of the Halvorsen brothers looked at the questioner and enquired whether he was on day leave from Callan Park.)

The New Testament describes how that redemption is realized (by God Himself) and the new community of people (albeit of fallible human beings) out of that.
Carnot
Is that it? In all my readings (and listenings) I never once found any logical explanation of how a human sacrifice saves anyone else from anything.

If only certain people had the wisdom to confront the problem of child abuse properly instead of sweeping it under the carpet because it was "shameful", then I suspect the R.C.C would be in a healthier position than it's in right now....
Carnot
Agreed. Its raison d'etre would still be open to conjecture, but its reputation would be a little better.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I thought Jesus, God himself on earth, told us in the New Testament - several times actually, that the Old Testament was a true documentation of his (god's) word?

Strict believers in the Old Testament 'young earth creationists' are the most dangerous of all Christians in my view, maybe just pipping those that follow the word of Pius X.

It's one of the reasons why years ago I used to help out with like the 'no answers in Genesis' site, and why myself and many of my skeptical/atheist/evolutionist friends and debaters prepare just that little more carefully when we know we're up against 'YEC' types. It's not that they're better, or more knowledgeable that other groups of religious people, quite the opposite and we have to prepare arguments from a much more basic view point. We always know we'll be debating terms, and definitions and statements in English that seem to take a different meaning to what a standard person might take the meaning to be, existing, extant and extinct are just a couple of often miss understood words in the YEC world.

They'd never, ever state it, but I have often wondered if some of the less socially acceptable activities within the RCC have occurred because they take some lead from the OT. That said, the victims of the child rape (just calling it what it is) are generally male, and not even I am so sure that the bible mentions that anywhere - lots of virgin girl 'taking' but no so much of boys...

The whole thing for me boils down to the cherry picking I mentioned earlier. If the NT with its good news is meant to be a believable text then I don't think it's too much of a stretch to believe that the whole thing should be believed. As I have posted before I am not so sure we should be so content with the idea of only picking the bits we like. I am not so sure we should like or follow a God that came back to tell us (as documented in the true book we're now supposed to believe in) that he meant what he said and did in exodus, numbers etc.
Aaron
Again, YEC types are interpreting Genesis all wrong.  It was never meant to read as a scientific text - for a start look at the poetry and parallelism, and also the similarities and differences with other Ancient Near East creation texts!  It's a polemic against those myths...

The OT has plenty of verses condemning any sexual behaviour outside of heterosexual marriage - i.e Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, all of Leviticus 18.  And the NT likewise: Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Hebrews 13:4 and so on.  It's consistent.

Matthew 18:6 is the text that the dodgy priests should've taken notice of.  But obviously they didn't.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The New Testament describes how that redemption is realized (by God Himself) and the new community of people (albeit of fallible human beings) out of that.
Carnot
Is that it? In all my readings (and listenings) I never once found any logical explanation of how a human sacrifice saves anyone else from anything.

Well it's the 140 word twitter version.  It's much more than that of course.  This is how John Wesley described it (note the last few paragraphs):
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/12/14/atonement-wars-the-peace-of-john-wesley-by-wesley-walker/
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
The point of the Old Testament is that it informs us of who God is and why (not so much"how" like a science textbook) He created the universe, how humans stuffed up (one of the reasons why there's so much violence at times), and hints of God's plan to redeem us.

The New Testament describes how that redemption is realized (by God Himself) and the new community of people (albeit of fallible human beings) out of that.  That "Good News' is why we won't hide it and keep it private as something we're ashamed of.

If only certain people had the wisdom to confront the problem of child abuse properly instead of sweeping it under the carpet because it was "shameful", then I suspect the R.C.C would be in a healthier position than it's in right now....
Carnot

Un yet your own bible tells you to do things without other people knowing about it. Matthew 6 is pretty specific about the whole prayer in solitude, and how to no to flaunt one's own charity.

As for the old testament, all it does is show what a sociopathic, insecure, capricious entity Yahweh is. Frankly, if ANY of the bible is true, I'd rather burn than have to grovel to such a being as Yahweh.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I thought Jesus, God himself on earth, told us in the New Testament - several times actually, that the Old Testament was a true documentation of his (god's) word?

Strict believers in the Old Testament 'young earth creationists' are the most dangerous of all Christians in my view, maybe just pipping those that follow the word of Pius X.

It's one of the reasons why years ago I used to help out with like the 'no answers in Genesis' site, and why myself and many of my skeptical/atheist/evolutionist friends and debaters prepare just that little more carefully when we know we're up against 'YEC' types. It's not that they're better, or more knowledgeable that other groups of religious people, quite the opposite and we have to prepare arguments from a much more basic view point. We always know we'll be debating terms, and definitions and statements in English that seem to take a different meaning to what a standard person might take the meaning to be, existing, extant and extinct are just a couple of often miss understood words in the YEC world.

They'd never, ever state it, but I have often wondered if some of the less socially acceptable activities within the RCC have occurred because they take some lead from the OT. That said, the victims of the child rape (just calling it what it is) are generally male, and not even I am so sure that the bible mentions that anywhere - lots of virgin girl 'taking' but no so much of boys...

The whole thing for me boils down to the cherry picking I mentioned earlier. If the NT with its good news is meant to be a believable text then I don't think it's too much of a stretch to believe that the whole thing should be believed. As I have posted before I am not so sure we should be so content with the idea of only picking the bits we like. I am not so sure we should like or follow a God that came back to tell us (as documented in the true book we're now supposed to believe in) that he meant what he said and did in exodus, numbers etc.
Again, YEC types are interpreting Genesis all wrong.  It was never meant to read as a scientific text - for a start look at the poetry and parallelism, and also the similarities and differences with other Ancient Near East creation texts!  It's a polemic against those myths...

The OT has plenty of verses condemning any sexual behaviour outside of heterosexual marriage - i.e Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, all of Leviticus 18.  And the NT likewise: Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Hebrews 13:4 and so on.  It's consistent.

Matthew 18:6 is the text that the dodgy priests should've taken notice of.  But obviously they didn't.
Carnot
This is the cherry picking though, so do we disregard the book of Matthew? ‘Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?’ -23.21, ‘Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished’ - 5.18 and in 15.3 Jesus references the Old Testament as ‘the commandment of God’. So was God himself wrong about that? 5.18 seems particularly damaging, because it seems to imply that cherry picking ought not be done.

What about the statements of Mark when referencing the OT? 7.13 and when he talks about Moses an OT character in 12.26

What about John, ‘The Scripture cannot be broken’ 10.35 - for starters that has to be in reference to the OT, but again it seems to imply that it's meant to be taken as it was written.

I am a non believer so judgement does not concern me, because well frankly, I am pretty certain there will be no judgement, but if I was a believer I can't help but think I'd be pretty concerned about being judged on my Christian life having abandoned the 'less palatable' parts of the Bible after being told seemingly quite specifically by John - 10.35 and Mark - 5.18, to not do such things to the Lord's precious document.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

This is the cherry picking though, so do we disregard the book of Matthew? ‘Have you not read that which was spoken to you by God?’ -23.21, ‘Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished’ - 5.18 and in 15.3 Jesus references the Old Testament as ‘the commandment of God’. So was God himself wrong about that? 5.18 seems particularly damaging, because it seems to imply that cherry picking ought not be done.

What about the statements of Mark when referencing the OT? 7.13 and when he talks about Moses an OT character in 12.26

What about John, ‘The Scripture cannot be broken’ 10.35 - for starters that has to be in reference to the OT, but again it seems to imply that it's meant to be taken as it was written.

I am a non believer so judgement does not concern me, because well frankly, I am pretty certain there will be no judgement, but if I was a believer I can't help but think I'd be pretty concerned about being judged on my Christian life having abandoned the 'less palatable' parts of the Bible after being told seemingly quite specifically by John - 10.35 and Mark - 5.18, to not do such things to the Lord's precious document.
Aaron
The point is that Jesus fulfilled the old covenant (Matt 5:17!) - the ceremonial, purification, and sacrificial system.  And since the Kingdom of God is not of this world, he wasn't instituting a new theocracy over a particular nation state.  (Ummmm, I don't think Emperor Constantine got the memo on that one....)

The OT contains numerous genres of literature - it's not purely an Israelite law book.  There's history, prophecy, poetry, hymns, wisdom, apocalyptic etc etc.  Ironically all too often it's cynics and skeptics who end up proof-texting and quoting verses in isolation it to support their objection to it!  (Don't take this personally, it's just something I see happen all the time)
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The OT contains numerous genres of literature - it's not purely an Israelite law book.  There's history, prophecy, poetry, hymns, wisdom, apocalyptic etc. etc.
Carnot
I assume that the etc. etc. is the nonsense of idiotic laws and death sentences, and the fairy tales that I mentioned earlier, or are you cherry picking and ignoring those bits?

Is that it? In all my readings (and listenings) I never once found any logical explanation of how a human sacrifice saves anyone else from anything.
Well it's the 140 word twitter version.  It's much more than that of course.  This is how John Wesley described it (note the last few paragraphs
Carnot
I didn't make myself clear. In all my readings of the New Testament (and listening to others reading it) I never once found any logical explanation of how a human sacrifice saves anyone else from anything. Obviously Wesley drew his own conclusions and made up his own mind, based upon exactly what hard evidence, and how much research, we will never know. I'd be prepared to say that Wesley's opinions are all faith-based because it's hard to see any other source for them. I have never read Wesley, and I see no point in doing so.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I have read Wesley, but Methodists are quite innocuous, I don't think they're right in their beliefs, but I don't think them crazy enough to necessarily recall too much about Wesley. I will look him up again if I have a chance and see what bits and pieces he's picked out for himself and what he chooses to ignore...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Don, you're not suggesting Christians cherry pick their bible are you?
Aaron
Since that comment I've had a discussion with a scholarly friend of mine about the First Council of Nicaea and the selection of biblical canon. She told me that there's actually a vast range of texts that were considered for incorporation into both the Old and New Testaments; the stuff that got left out was considered too "traditional" or didn't present the message of the new church became known as apocrypha or not canonical.

Nicaea worked mostly on committees; stories not included in the end included (famously) the Gospel according to Thomas and gnostic traditional stories - things that were left out ended up being declared heretical so they were actively suppressed out of the Roman Catholic tradition for all time.

In addition to establishing the basis of biblical canon Nicaea also fixed the fundamental basis of Christian belief in the Nicene Creed - declaring the divinity of Christ, the fact that he was "begotten not made"; the separation of the Christian calendar from Jewish dates/holidays was also established by Nicaea.

So yeah, there certainly was a lot of picking and choosing going on over the months that they convened - but I suppose you could argue that those committees were guided by the hand of God.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The OT has plenty of verses condemning any sexual behaviour outside of heterosexual marriage - i.e Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, all of Leviticus 18.  And the NT likewise: Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Hebrews 13:4 and so on.  It's consistent.
Carnot
Because Paul was a gay man who hated his own homosexuality and he was the author behind roughly half the NT gospels. It's really obvious in Matthew 19:10 and 19:29 - Jesus tells his disciples it's a good thing not to marry and also that married men will get a big reward if they run off to become "fishers of men". Hello?

Roman Catholics to this day use that as a reason for priests to (ahem) practice celibacy.
  Carnot Minister for Railways


As for the old testament, all it does is show what a sociopathic, insecure, capricious entity Yahweh is. Frankly, if ANY of the bible is true, I'd rather burn than have to grovel to such a being as Yahweh.
Alco_Haulic
That's a accurate description of the other gods of the Ancient Near East.  Psalm 103 describes who Yahweh really is, especially verse 8: "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Don, you're not suggesting Christians cherry pick their bible are you?
Since that comment I've had a discussion with a scholarly friend of mine about the First Council of Nicaea and the selection of biblical canon. She told me that there's actually a vast range of texts that were considered for incorporation into both the Old and New Testaments; the stuff that got left out was considered too "traditional" or didn't present the message of the new church became known as apocrypha or not canonical.

Nicaea worked mostly on committees; stories not included in the end included (famously) the Gospel according to Thomas and gnostic traditional stories - things that were left out ended up being declared heretical so they were actively suppressed out of the Roman Catholic tradition for all time.

In addition to establishing the basis of biblical canon Nicaea also fixed the fundamental basis of Christian belief in the Nicene Creed - declaring the divinity of Christ, the fact that he was "begotten not made"; the separation of the Christian calendar from Jewish dates/holidays was also established by Nicaea.

So yeah, there certainly was a lot of picking and choosing going on over the months that they convened - but I suppose you could argue that those committees were guided by the hand of God.
don_dunstan
The Muratorian Canon of the mid to late-second century was very close to the current NT canon over 150 years before Nicaea and a many decades before most of the Gnostic Nag Hammadi texts were written.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The OT has plenty of verses condemning any sexual behaviour outside of heterosexual marriage - i.e Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, all of Leviticus 18.  And the NT likewise: Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Hebrews 13:4 and so on.  It's consistent.
Because Paul was a gay man who hated his own homosexuality and he was the author behind roughly half the NT gospels. It's really obvious in Matthew 19:10 and 19:29 - Jesus tells his disciples it's a good thing not to marry and also that married men will get a big reward if they run off to become "fishers of men". Hello?

Roman Catholics to this day use that as a reason for priests to (ahem) practice celibacy.
don_dunstan
Most of the apostles were married (including Peter) and you're reading into the text, not from it.  Paul was being consistent with his Jewish heritage and ethics, and recognized that for some (not all) singleness was a gift.

Clerical celibacy was introduced into the RCC nearly 1000 years ago because of the numerous scandals involving clergy of the day - and it also kept the money in the RCC instead of being inherited by descendants...
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
The OT has plenty of verses condemning any sexual behaviour outside of heterosexual marriage - i.e Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10, all of Leviticus 18.  And the NT likewise: Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Hebrews 13:4 and so on.  It's consistent.
Because Paul was a gay man who hated his own homosexuality and he was the author behind roughly half the NT gospels. It's really obvious in Matthew 19:10 and 19:29 - Jesus tells his disciples it's a good thing not to marry and also that married men will get a big reward if they run off to become "fishers of men". Hello?

Roman Catholics to this day use that as a reason for priests to (ahem) practice celibacy.
Most of the apostles were married (including Peter) and you're reading into the text, not from it.  Paul was being consistent with his Jewish heritage and ethics, and recognized that for some (not all) singleness was a gift.

Clerical celibacy was introduced into the RCC nearly 1000 years ago because of the numerous scandals involving clergy of the day - and it also kept the money in the RCC instead of being inherited by descendants...
Carnot
You beat me to it about the reason and timing for the introduction of celibacy into the RC Church. My recollection from reading is the appropriation of Church property was the main reason. As with today scandal is to be hidden/avoided but DON'T EVER let the wealth diminish.

Sad, considering the Bible's position is that God owns everything anyway. For example Psalm 50 and 1st Corinthians 10.
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
The OT contains numerous genres of literature - it's not purely an Israelite law book.  There's history, prophecy, poetry, hymns, wisdom, apocalyptic etc. etc.
I assume that the etc. etc. is the nonsense of idiotic laws and death sentences, and the fairy tales that I mentioned earlier, or are you cherry picking and ignoring those bits?

Is that it? In all my readings (and listenings) I never once found any logical explanation of how a human sacrifice saves anyone else from anything.
Well it's the 140 word twitter version.  It's much more than that of course.  This is how John Wesley described it (note the last few paragraphs
I didn't make myself clear. In all my readings of the New Testament (and listening to others reading it) I never once found any logical explanation of how a human sacrifice saves anyone else from anything. Obviously Wesley drew his own conclusions and made up his own mind, based upon exactly what hard evidence, and how much research, we will never know. I'd be prepared to say that Wesley's opinions are all faith-based because it's hard to see any other source for them. I have never read Wesley, and I see no point in doing so.
Valvegear
The doctrine of sacrifice involving blood being required for the forgiving of sin begins when God replaces Adam and Eve's leaves with animal skins, advances with Abel's sacrifices from his flock being acceptable while Cain's plant sacrifice was unacceptable. It is given plenty more detail in Leviticus. The Messianic prophets eg Isaiah point to the then coming perfect sacrifice of Jesus. Hebrews Ch9V22 states explicitly that 'without shedding blood there is no forgiveness of sin' and Ch9V28 states 'Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many'.

I have found the Bible to be true.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Tell me about Tyre, or have we just not got there yet?
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...

As for the old testament, all it does is show what a sociopathic, insecure, capricious entity Yahweh is. Frankly, if ANY of the bible is true, I'd rather burn than have to grovel to such a being as Yahweh.That's a accurate description of the other gods of the Ancient Near East.  Psalm 103 describes who Yahweh really is, especially verse 8: "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."
Carnot
Before I answer, I have some questions. Do you believe that Yahweh is Omniscient? Is he Omnipresent? Is this universe deterministic (God has a "plan"), or do we have free will?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Most of the apostles were married (including Peter) and you're reading into the text, not from it.  Paul was being consistent with his Jewish heritage and ethics, and recognized that for some (not all) singleness was a gift.

Clerical celibacy was introduced into the RCC nearly 1000 years ago because of the numerous scandals involving clergy of the day - and it also kept the money in the RCC instead of being inherited by descendants...
Carnot
I don't believe that for a moment. There are parts of the gospel that are really specific and that part of Matthew was not mincing words: Married men should ditch their wives and children and come and become "fishers of men" - that's exactly what he says... and he says what a wonderful, noble thing that is to do. The author, Paul, was a queer in denial who wanted the church to be an exclusive club of "celebate" like-minded men; no distractions from their "celebacy" with women and families.

C'mon, it's the twenty-first century. We don't hide our family-leaving "fishers of men" in monasteries or the churches any longer - we're all free to do our man-fishing in bars and on the internet.

The Muratorian Canon of the mid to late-second century was very close to the current NT canon over 150 years before Nicaea and a many decades before most of the Gnostic Nag Hammadi texts were written.
Carnot
Like a wonderfully original PhD which turns out to be plagiarised from someone's work in the 90's... which in turn was plagiarised from someone else's forgotten thesis in the 70's. All the Sky Fairy Stories are derivative aren't they? They probably all emerged from previous Roman and Greek mythology which in turn was stolen from Egyptian or Babylonian fables.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I have found the Bible to be true.
"GrahamH"
What; all of it? . . . and you're not even dead yet.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
A perfect God(s) did not create man in his image. Man created God(s) in their idea of perfection.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I was told (clearly not by an eye witness) that at Nicaea they stacked all the books on the altar, those that did not fall off were chosen to become the chosen scripture. It seems true that Christians are happy to cherry pick, but are not interested in windfalls.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I was told (clearly not by an eye witness) that at Nicaea they stacked all the books on the altar, those that did not fall off were chosen to become the chosen scripture. It seems true that Christians are happy to cherry pick, but are not interested in windfalls.
Aaron
That was a rumour started by Voltaire!

When Constantine became Emperor of the Western Roman Empire he wanted to consolidate and codify the religion he considered had helped him to get where he was. He was a great believer in convening committees or ecumenical councils to try and decide arguments about (for example) the actual divinity of Christ, the conflicting accounts of his life and works centuries after his death - but also (surprise surprise) to resolve the schisms and fights that had broken out between various Christianity followers in the remnants of the Roman empire. Various bishops were putting forth their own particular church's account of the gospels in competition with some other bishop's competing idea; convening a large meeting at Nicaea was a way of resolving these fights apparently once and for all.

Nicaea was completely revolutionary because so much of what was decided at that 'conference' ended up forming the basis of the Christian faith, not only for the many millions of Roman Catholics around the world today but also for the people who also follow the Bible. It's worth noting though that it didn't entirely resolve the problems - in fact the church suffered a large rift shortly afterwards that led to the formation of the Eastern Orthodox church.

Like Sunni vs. Shia followers of Mohammed the problems with break-away sects and differing beliefs started straight away, even though the ink was barely dry on the officially endorsed sacred texts.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

A perfect God(s) did not create man in his image. Man created God(s) in their idea of perfection.
Aaron
Nicely put.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

I was going to post into this thread but Aaron is doing a sterling job.

Also, a quote from David Silverman...

"But religion is not just incorrect, it is malevolent. It ruins lives, splits families, and justifies hatred and bigotry, all while claiming to be the source of morality. People die and suffer needlessly because of religion; such a waste.
As the late Christopher Hitchens said, “Religion poisons everything,” and that seems almost literal when we are talking about the minds it infects. It makes good people do bad things while thinking they are doing good—effectively turning good people into bad people, at least sometimes. Religion deserves to die.
Some (too many?) people call me a dick because I challenge the absurd notion that religion deserves respect by default. But religion is wrong for demanding respect simply for being, and even more wrong for demanding never to be questioned. Indeed, it is my duty as an American, as an atheist, and as a nice person to do what I can to take religion down—not by force, not by law, but by truth.
And the truth is quite simple: all religions are lies, and all believers are victims."

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