Top 10 Signs That You’re A Christian

I found this at the Rational Responders website and first thought it would go in a comedy section here based upon the title. However, these top 10 signs are all just fairly true assessments of the Christian viewpoint.

10- You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god.

9- You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt

8- You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Trinity god

7- Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” — including women, children, and trees!

6- You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5- You are willing to spend your life looking for little loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple of generations old.

4- You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects — will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet you consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving”.

3- While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to prove Christianity.

2- You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1- You actually know a lot less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history — but still call yourself a Christian

Non-believers as good people

Quotes are taken from Voices of Faith: I’m an atheist and a good person

An atheist is as religious as a non-atheist. He knows God enough to deny him. I knew a man who at first believed in God, but bad experiences soured his soul. Bitterness set in. He became an atheist, but, in reality he personally disliked God.

This is an interesting point. A bad religious experience does probably make atheists and agnostics that are God-haters that may still believe in the God that disappointed them. If this is true then it doesn’t do very good for the image of non-believers to both believers and other non-believers. We lose sight of the silent majority of the faithless that lack a faith and are still good and decent people.

We do notice the outspoken non-believers that do appear to hate their former God. I don’t think that’s a good thing. Why hate something you don’t believe in? Why hate those that still believe? Why not just feel pity for their delusions just as they feel pity for our non-belief? 😉

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center & Monastery: We all know people who are perfectly moral people, who lead meaningful lives but are not religious. So it is obvious that religion alone is not necessary to being a good person. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said: “The essence of all religions is love, compassion and tolerance. These qualities are necessities, not luxuries; in fact the very survival of our planet is dependent upon them. When you are motivated by kindness and compassion, your particular type of religious faith is unimportant. What is important is living your life in a loving and compassionate way.”

While religion or a belief in God may not be necessary for being a good person, religion does enhance the lives of many. Through religion our life can become a deeper path of discovery that brings us in touch with the basic nature of who we are and how we relate to the world. It is through the practice of meditation that we develop an awareness that our problems have a universal quality that is part of a much larger vision. It is this vision that can make our life fuller and richer.

All religions encourage good actions, moral virtues, personal responsibility, and see the world and our lives as sacred and meaningful. Regardless of one’s belief about God and religion, developing love and compassion for ourselves and others should be our highest priority.

I agree with the sentiment of this section. Love, compassion, and tolerance are all virtues that should be shared by both sides of belief. I disagree that religion is the best path of discovery to getting in touch with the nature of who we are and how we relate to the world. I think it clouds your own vision and ability to think about the truth when it is wrapped up in other people’s views and beliefs of questionable origins. I think a religious based reflection on reality is about as reliable as the “telephone game“.

I see my own life as sacred and meaningful because I am the only me and this is the only life I have. I believe love and compassion for ourselves and others is essential for all because it enables us to live together. Good actions benefit society and ultimately comes back to benefit us individually, so they are both selfless and selfish. I don’t need a religion to mandate being able to see the benefits of good and moral citizenship.

U.S. Constitution Day – September 17

Monday is Constitution Day and it reminds me of an interesting take on the Constitution and the Christian Nation idea that is posted on James Huber’s site. I’m reposting it here because it explains what the start of the Constitution would look like in a real Christian nation.

Christian Nation?

I frequently hear Christians claim that the United States is a Christian nation, or that the Founding Fathers intended us to be a Christian nation. When they bother to offer evidence it’s usually some McCarthy-era addition to our pledge or our money, or some quote (often bogus) from a speech or a letter by one of the Founding Fathers.

Think about this for a second: If you were starting a Christian nation, how would you go about it? Would you make oblique references to “Great Powers” and “Guiding Hands” in obscure speeches and letters, or would you fill your foundational documents with references to Jesus Christ and the Bible?

The Founding Fathers were brilliant men. They spent months and months working on the Constitution. They were very, very careful about what they wrote, discussing and debating every passage at great length. It seems to me that if they had intended this to be a Christian nation they would have said so somewhere in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers had no reason to be vague. There was no ACLU, no “Activist judges.” If they had wanted a Christian Nation they could have written:

God Almighty, in Order to form a true Christian Nation, establish Divine Justice, insure adherence to His Laws, provide for the defense of His Church, promote His Word, and secure His Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, has led us to ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Instead they wrote:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The words “Jesus” “Christ” “Bible” “God” and even “Creator” appear nowhere in the Constitution (“Endowed by their Creator” is in the Declaration of Independence.) Just how stupid would someone have to be to create a Christian nation then forget to mention Christ in the Constitution?

Also notice that nobody ever asks what the Founding Mothers might have said. There were no Founding Mothers. The Founders were all men; White men, many of them slave owners. White male slave owners who may or may not have been Christians, but explicitly forbade any kind of religious test for office. In other words, you have a far stronger case if you’d like to argue that the Founding Fathers intended us to be a racist and sexist nation.

I think you can make a good case that some or even most of the Founding Fathers were Christians, but it’s absurd to think that they wanted to impose that belief on the nation, and even more absurd to imagine we should be bound by their prejudices.

God & Country Patriotic Celebration & Conference

I hate bringing up the religious right and their repeated claims that this is a Christian nation instead of a free nation with many Christians in it. But I keep coming across stories like this that scare me because I can imagine what a truly Christian nation would mean. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” could actually become a law in a Christian nation.

Can the Alabama ‘Ten Commandments’ Judge Rise Again?

Some excerpts from the article:

Moore has not retreated from his advocacy of a society ordered by his version of biblical law. Instead, he is using his forced retirement from public office — and his infamy — to fuel a crusade aimed at spreading misinformation about church-state separation.

Just before the Fourth of July, he wound up as the main attraction at a Religious Right gathering in Severn, Md., where he and a string of far-right activists peddled “Christian nation” rhetoric, bashed Islam, belittled American culture and the federal government and displayed an alarming affinity for the neo-Confederate states’ rights cause.

There is so much misunderstanding about church-state separation that I can’t get into it here. Just suffice it to say it doesn’t mean Christians can’t be Christians, they just can’t use their God and the Bible as the basis for laws and judicial judgements.

On the event’s opening day, Peroutka said it was his mission to introduce attendees “to the enormity of the problem before us. We love our country, but when my country is inebriated or acting so, it’s my job, it’s my duty, to set it right.”

Setting the nation right, in Peroutka’s view, apparently means a radical dismantling of secular democracy and the creation of a fundamentalist theocracy. Peroutka and his attorney brother, Stephen, operate a Maryland group called the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), which claims America was founded “as a Constitutional Republic of Sovereign States with a central government of purposely limited powers based on Biblical principles.” The group, which lists U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) on its board of advisors, disseminates reams of material by David Barton, a “Christian nation” activist.

Peroutka decried public schools for teaching evolution and wondered how youth could be taught self-respect if they are instructed that “we are just descended from primordial ooze.” He also blasted law schools, higher education in general and the media for perpetuating a false picture about the form of American government.

“We have a republic, and the source of authority in that republic is God,” said Peroutka. “A revolution has happened in America. It has happened over the past 150 years. Evolution is at the bottom of it, and some very un-American people have been and are behind it.

“The purpose of the revolution,” he continued, “is to stop you from being able to think and believe like an American any more …. It’s been a calculated and evil anti-God, anti-Christian revolution.”

Peroutka assailed the “tyrannical consolidation of power” within Washington, D.C., and charged that the revolution could not have been successful without convincing Americans that the Constitution requires a separation of church and state.

Peroutka called church-state separation a myth and a lie and claimed the Constitution, in reality, mandates just the opposite. He said he hoped the conference would provide attendees with the necessary tools to help set America right. Those tools, Peroutka said, include “an accurate knowledge of unrevised American history” and a “biblical worldview that acknowledges Christ’s authority over all things.”

Christ’s authority over all things? Well, he has no authority over me and many others so that is definitely at odds with what America is really about.

Transitioning, somewhat jarringly, from the Crusades to modern times, Eidsmoe, a professor emeritus at the Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, bemoaned America as losing its way and morphing from a republic into an “empire.” He added that, regardless of America’s alleged failings, it should be recognized that “God can use the empire” for worthy causes, primarily wars.

“In the 20th century, I believe God used the American empire to defeat Nazism and then to defeat Communism,” Eidsmoe claimed. “And in the 21st century, maybe He will use the American empire to defeat Islam.”

That is exactly my fear, that the War on Terrorism is viewed by some Americans as a war between religions to defend Christianity and defeat Islam.

On the Maryland conference’s final day, July 3, attendees at the Severn church were treated to a defiant rant from a Maryland state legislator. Del. Don Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel) kicked off his speech by alerting the gathering that he would not “speak in politically correct terms.”

He wasn’t kidding. The state lawmaker seemed to relish trashing secularists and progressive politicians, and he depicted an America awash in sin, while promoting his religious beliefs as superior to all others. Dwyer seemed to be really, really angry and, indeed, toward the end of his over-the-top lecture, he acknowledged that anger.

Dwyer groused about not being permitted to open House sessions with prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. He vowed that if he were ever allowed to give an invocation, he would do so his way, which means acknowledging Jesus.

Sure, we need representatives in government that promote their religious beliefs as superior to all others. That’s exactly what government should be about, right?

“The law is what God says it is, first and foremost,” continued Dwyer, “The foundation of law. No law created by man that is not in concert with God’s law can be any law at all.”

Dwyer said he had learned “what the truth is” from Peroutka, Moore and other “godly men that served in the public realm.”

That truth, however, has alternately made Dwyer both offensive and offended.

“I’ve learned what the truth is, and I’ve learned how to go and offend people,” he continued. “I am very offensive, and I make no apology for it. Because don’t you think that God is offended? Aren’t you offended as people of faith?

“You can’t post the Ten Commandments, you can’t post the Nativity scene at Christmas and they refer to the Easter holiday in public school calendars as the spring break,” Dwyer said, with his voice on the rise. “Give me a break. You want to talk about offended. I’m offended. And you ought to be offended, because He is offended.”

You can post the Ten Commandments, the Nativity scene, and have an Easter holiday… on religious lands and your private property. You can practice your religion how you want and for the most part where you want. It’s just that in that shared public space of government we all need to get along and the rules there will be a little different and a little restrictive.

No one wants to attack or restrict Christianity for the citizens of this country. We just want to preserve true religious freedom by not allowing it to be brought into the government and forced on everyone else. The more Christian our government appears, the more likely we will become a Christian nation and Christianity becomes a mandatory part of citizenship. Unfortunately, some people do like that idea and that is apparently their goal to make their version of Christianity mandatory for all.

Wiccan Wins Lottery

Elwood “Bunky” Bartlett says a New Age book store made it possible for him to become an overnight multimillionaire. He and his wife, Denise, were on their way to the shop where he occasionally teaches Wicca and Reiki healing when they stopped at a liquor store and bought two $5 Mega Millions tickets for Friday night’s estimated $330 million jackpot.

“If it wasn’t for this place I wouldn’t have won the lottery,” Bartlett said Sunday at Mystickal Voyage, the New Age shop. Bartlett, an accountant from Dundalk, said he made a bargain with the multiple gods associated with his Wiccan beliefs: “You let me win the lottery and I’ll teach.” Both tickets he purchased had numbers chosen randomly from the computer.

Wicca teacher says he has a winning ticket in Mega Millions

The Wiccan gods are the true ones. Well, if you believe that prayers are answered and that is proof of your god’s existence then you would have to conceed that here is proof. Bunky prayed to win the lottery and he won it over any number of Christians in America that were praying for the same thing. As an Agnostic, I just see this as another random act because of all of the “believers” that also prayed to win actually lost. The losers definitely outnumber the winners.