Religious Sanctuary Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by _Darth_Brooks_, May 14, 2002.

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  1. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Equal space, equal expression.

    I've observed that there was a perceived interest and need for some forum members to open and inhabit a forum thread called a "Non Religious Sanctuary," so it only seems logical that there must likewise be a need for those who are religious to have a sanctuary, a counterpart and counterpoint to much of the commentary directed against religious thoughts and perspectives.


    Only recently did I enter into the aforementioned thread, reading the curiosities of invective, hostility, ridicule, ignorance of the subject, and general misunderstandings written against the faiths so many of us dearly embrace. Naturally, out of respect and politeness, I have not posted any sort of comment or rebuttal in the other sanctuary.
    I can appreciate their line in the sand.

    Atheism:

    Ironically, the oldest reference to atheism I can locate is contained amongst the oldest of the Holy Bible's books, in a scripture purported to be authored by histories wisest individual, King Solomon, under the influence of the holy Spirit; " A fool in his heart says there is no God."


    "To you I'm an atheist, to God I'm the loyal opposition."
    ~ Woody Allen


    Is atheism dangerous?

    From a Biblical perspective. Certainly the Bible offers the inherent dangers faced by individuals and societies that eschew certain precise moral principles.

    From a secular humanist perspective. By this I'm meaning to address those atheists, such as Joseph Stalin, who were responsible for the genocide of multiple tens of millions of human beings. Though it must be understood, not all atheists are mass murders. Some are truly upstanding individuals. We must not villify a whole group of people for the heinous actions of a few.


    Is atheism a moral evil? Considering the first Commandment is basically to Worship God, it would seem from a Judeo-Christian standpoint the answer is yes. But why? That is something I'd like to explore.



    True Christianity: It is necessary, I believe, to present what scripture has to say of "false Christ's," and wolves in sheep's clothing, in order to address atrocities committed in the very name of God and Christ.

    Once this is addressed, it should succinctly dispel many atheist's charges against Christianity. The Bible speaks out in unison with many of the complaints of non-Christian's against alleged 'Christian' actions.



    As has been oft repeated, and once avowed by a local university professor:" Why do I believe in God? Simple logic; if the atheist is right I have lost nothing in subscribing to a benevolent philosophy. However, if the atheist is wrong I have lost everything."


    What does atheism have to offer? Truth? A truth that can nowhere be substantiated? But isn't that succinctly the atheist complaint against deity? Never once has the ghost of an atheist returned from the dead to proclaim in triumph "There is no God!"
    Conversely, history ancient and modern is replete with chronicles of N.D.E.'s, with multitudes of individuals describing encountering an afterlife and the existence of God, and untold hundreds of millions have reportedly given witness to encounters with a divine creator as well as the angelic and demonic.


    Atheism isn't "atheology," or a science, nor truly scientifically based in that there is no rational way to apply even the modest procedural requirements of The Scientific Method. Logic certainly cannot be applied to disproving God, as has been proven by quite a number of contemporary philosophers.

    And yet, logically, a theist can certainly validate God not appearing under a microscope, or jumping through any hoops. Man is simply arrogant.

    Atheism seems to derive itself in personal incorporation from either despondency, rebellion, or mere self-interest. If, self-interest, it is interesting to note the etymology of a particular word. Freud used the abbreviated word "Id" in characterizing part of his view of the psychological make-up of the human persona representing 'self,' derived from the Greek word 'Idios', from which we get our modern word "idiot.
  2. Jorus_Kando Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 4
    I don't see the need for a "religious sanctuary." It was the amount of religion-oriented threads that caused the non-religious sanctuary" to be created in the first place.

    As for "invective, hostility, ridicule, ignorance of the subject," I haven't seen much of it, if at all, in that thread. Sure, there's been a couple dismissive comments I don't care for, but overall, it's a good read. You don't have to agree with every post to enjoy the discussion.

    If someone else wants to say that in their opinion, I believe in "fairy tales," that's his right, just as believing in whom I will is mine.
  3. Ariana Lang Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 5
    Oh please. I think if atheists are allowed to have a thread, than theists are allowed to have a thread, and anything else would be prejudiced.
  4. Jorus_Kando Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 4
    Technically, sure. But there's never been a shortage of religion-oriented topics to discuss here. We're not an overwhelmed minority in need of "sanctuary."

    I don't oppose the thread so much as Brook's rather inflammatory remarks, which are pretty much in line with the hostility he takes issue with on the "other" thread.
  5. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    I'm not going to bother PM'ing the mods this time, but I was against the creation of the Non-religious sanctuary thread as well. What will inevitably happen is a "cold" flame war between members of the two little cliques. Members of one group will read threads in another and formulate responses within the safety of their own group. What it boils down to is one group complaining about another and vice-versa. The very idea of these sanctuary threads defeats the purpose of The Senate Floor, which I thought was going to be a forum for DISCUSSION and DEBATE over issues, not socializing. But whatever. The mods okayed it, so I really can't do anything. This will be like the TPM Forum part II. [face_plain]
  6. Jorus_Kando Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 4
    Well put, 1stAD. let's just hope it doesn't come to that.
  7. Wylding Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Oh come on now people. I'm a staunch theist and I actually gave the athiests a warm welcome in their thread.

    I think they'll all rise to the occasion as well. Afterall, they are a pretty mature group :)
  8. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    If you were to read the first post in the Non-Religious Sanctuary Thread, you would see that it is not a place to bash religion unopposed. Moreover, you would see that anyone who does post religion-critical matter must be prepared to defend their opinions.

    This thread, on the other hand, is clearly a place where you can ridicule atheism* safe from scrutiny. Whether the moderators will allow such an exercise is beyond my control, but I certainly will not refrain from posting in here as long as my viewpoints are being attacked.

    * Considering that "religious" includes Buddhism, an atheist religion, perhaps you should change the title to "theist".

    Ironically, the oldest reference to atheism I can locate is contained amongst the oldest of the Holy Bible's books, in a scripture purported to be authored by histories wisest individual, King Solomon, under the influence of the holy Spirit; " A fool in his heart says there is no God."


    "Whoever saith, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" --Matthew 5:22

    From a secular humanist perspective. By this I'm meaning to address those atheists, such a s Joseph Stalin, who were responsible for the genocide of multiple tens of millions of human beings.


    And perhaps I'm meaning to address those Christians, such as Adolf Hitler, who were responsible for the genocide of millions of human beings, and whose faith directly inspired such actions.

    As has been oft repeated, and once avowed by a local university professor:" Why do I believe in God? Simple logic; if the atheist is right I have lost nothing in subscribing to a benevolent philosophy. However, if the atheist is wrong I have lost everything."


    Fairly bog-standard formulation of Pascal's Wager.

    (1) What about other religions? According to some versions of Islam, Judaism, etc, Christians have "lost everything".

    (2) What do you lose by subscribing to Christianity, if it is wrong? You sacrifice intellectual honesty, and you waste your life on a vain hope.

    What does atheism have to offer? Truth? A truth that can nowhere be substantiated? But isn't that succinctly the atheist complaint against deity? Never once has the ghost of an atheist returned from the dead to proclaim in triumph "There is no God!"


    Atheism is merely the absence of theism. Theism is the positive claim--and so theism holds the burden of proof. If theism cannot be proved, atheism wins by default.

    Conversely, history ancient and modern is replete with chronicles of N.D.E.'s, with multitudes of individuals describing encountering an afterlife and the existence of God, and untold hundreds of millions have reportedly given witness to encounters with a divine creator as well as the angelic and demonic.


    But the marked feature of these "supernatural" experiences is that, as a society becomes more and more advanced, their frequency decreases. Perhaps you could provide just one example of where, as David Hume challenged, the falsehood of the person's testimony would be more miraculous than the event itself.

    Atheism isn't "atheology," or a science, nor truly scientifically based in that there is no rational way to apply even the modest procedural requirements of The Scientific Method. Logic certainly cannot be applied to disproving God, as has been proven by quite a number of contemporary philosophers.


    Again, vague appeals to authority, and a tacit concession that religion is irrational.

    Atheism seems to derive itself in personal incorporation from either despondency, rebellion, or mere self-interest. If, self-interest, it is interesting to note the etymology of a particular word. Freud used the abbreviated word "Id" in characterizing part of his view of the psychological make-up of the human persona representing 'self,' derived from the Greek word 'Idios', from which we get our modern word "idiot." Thus, self-centeredness is i
  9. toochilled Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2000
    star 5
    Aaaah,

    well - I was going to do the whole religion IS NOT JUST YOUR PERSONAL BRAND OF CATHOLOCISM bit - but it's been done.
    nice one D_S
  10. Wylding Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Welcome to the Religious Sanctuary Thread DS. I hope you have fun :)
  11. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Only a moment to respond, in general, to some of the comments(I'd like to respond in some depth a little later as time permits):

    1.) Some of you didn't entirely read the initial post above, or simply ignored my intent as expressed.

    2.)Let me make it very clear,(emphasis not yelling)THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ANGER ON MY PART, but there was a healthy amount of 'tongue in cheek'. :)

    3.)(Especially for the ever astute Dark-Side)This thread was never described as an arena for "debate", nor was an invitation to debate extended. BUT, if you felt it as such...how does carrot taste? Did you remove the string before biting? :D

    Adjunct: Mr. Dark-Side, the reference to 'Rudolph Hilter'(Monty Python ref, not a typo) is a bit of a redundency in some ways don't you think? Neither of us intellectually subscribe to your notion in truth, do we? My guess is that you suppose mentioning Hitler in conjunction with Christianity is meant to bullseye a raw nerve
    or two, when in actuality it is more akin to beating a dead horse. However, as my former words intimated, the nazi leader was certainly tacitly refered to for subsequent discussion.

    But, frankly, the whole attempt at branding Hitler a Christian is so ridiculously absurd
    it has no place in a serious discussion between lucid parties debating( your word) atheism. It is definitely a vacuously contrived Trojan Rabbit.

    Consider, one should possess a modicum of knowledge on a subject one intends to debate.
    If the source of Christianity is, for the sake of argument here, The Holy Bible, then the matrix of that religion by its own written definitions disavows the notion that Hitler was a Christian. What you are doing is precisely the same as insisting that a wolf seen prowling the perimeter of a sheep farm is a lamb.

    Let me ask you, if walking down the street today you come across a drunken indigent who says he is Christ returned, between loud expletives and talk of little green men, will you return to the forum this evening saying that you've met God Incarnate?

    Hitler, although not an indigent by the time of his ascension to prominence as Der Fuhrer, was actually a "street person" for a period of his life. He also firmly believed he was a Messiah, complete with the prerequisite hearing of voices. The Holy Bible did describe individuals like Hitler with the appellation anti-christ.

    But you inadvertantly touched upon a theme I'd like to explore involving the perilous dangers of religion, particularly from the Biblical perspective in accordance with verses depicting an approaching global religious order of diabolical origin. Yes, the atheist has good reason to fear "religion" in the future, although not entirely for the reason some atheists seem to suspect. In this sense, both the atheist and the Christian are standing abreast, with an eye to suspicion observing the movement of religion on the horizon. It doesn't bode well for either of us, according to the ominous prevalence of events now in our headlines which were foretold millenia ago.


    Finally, my words were not "ad hominem", but if that was your perspective, so be it.


    4.)"Inflammatory" is a very strong word. Yet, is a double standard being applied to my comments? As suggested by my comments, basically I just mirrored what I saw in the other sanctuary.

    This begs a valid question: Why is it accceptable for the non-religious membership to critique 'religion', especially Christianity, across the board in every way shape and form, and the reciprocal is unacceptable?


    But that isn't my intent with this thread. This is not about "payback", or with a vengeful sense of retribution...at all.

    AND,while respecting the cyber domicile of "the loyal opposition" in this forum, my purpose has been to provide a place apart from debate, where those of us who have faith could discuss issues brought up elsewhere, without engaging in a flame war, yet able to express ourselves freely.










    AGAIN, my words regarding atheism as I see it, and have experienced it, are in no way meant to assert that all
  12. toochilled Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 2000
    star 5
    ''my purpose has been to provide a place apart from debate, where those of us who have faith could discuss issues brought up elsewhere''


    Cool.


    So, as my mate would say, which Guru rules your world?

    Personally I'm a bit of a traditionalist and just can't get enough of Guru Nanak.

    :)
  13. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    The Kang Guru. ;)

    "All life is influenced by ones tail."

    His best tenet to date. I'd like to give a little exposition, but it kinda jumps all around, and I don't have any more time at the moment.




  14. Riley Man Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 5
    It's interesting that when you compare the way this thread was initiated to the "Non-Religious Sanctuary", this is the one that decided to go into a long diatribe implying why non-religious people are immoral. If you wanted a sanctuary away from these people, why the attempt to incite them?

    I have to question the moral resolve in creating this thread. ;)
  15. Darkside_Spirit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 3
    This thread was never described as an arena for "debate", nor was an invitation to debate extended.


    Convenient for you. ;)

    Consider, one should possess a modicum of knowledge on a subject one intends to debate.
    If the source of Christianity is, for the sake of argument here, The Holy Bible, then the matrix of that religion by its own written definitions disavows the notion that Hitler was a Christian. What you are doing is precisely the same as insisting that a wolf seen prowling the perimeter of a sheep farm is a lamb.


    You sought to criticise atheists--as a whole--by bringing up examples of what some of them have done in the past. Consequently, I named Hitler as one Christian whose record is hardly exemplary. My point is that, if we are to judge particular groups by what some of their members have done, then Christians are far more vulnerable to such a tactic than atheists.

    Your way of looking at things puts me in a lose-lose situation. If you define a Christian as "someone who is morally good", then of course I won't be able to find any examples of immoral "Christians"! Similarly, if I were to claim that nobody who commits evil acts is a "true atheist", you would naturally be unable to find any examples of evil atheists, since using that definition of the word, "evil atheist" would be an oxymoron.

    Unless you twist the definition of "Christian" so as to exclude by default any perpetrator of immoral behaviour, Hitler was most definitely a Christian, because he followed and believed in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so" --Hitler, to General Gerhart Engel

    "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." --Mein Kampf

    "Gott mit uns" --Nazi belt buckles

    "The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties-- and this against their own nation." --Hitler

    The only way to deny Hitler's Christianity is to define "Christian" in a bigoted manner, ie- "to be Christian is to be moral", which is the refrain of those who would believe that you can determine someone's morality (or lack thereof) by simply asking what religious beliefs he holds. Those who would deny Hitler's Christianity on the basis of his immoral actions are guilty of not only religious bigotry but also circular logic: as they see it, Hitler is consistent with their belief that all Christians are moral because he was not a Christian, and they know he was not a Christian because all Christians are moral!


    --StarDestroyer.Net

    Finally, my words were not "ad hominem", but if that was your perspective, so be it.


    You promulgated a vitriolic attack on atheists on account of their supposedly being "adulterers, drug abusers, alcoholics, philandering hedonists with little true regard for fellow human beings beyond using them for purposes of self-interest". I'd go beyond ad hominem, and say that remarks like these constitute flames.

    AND,while respecting the cyber domicile of "the loyal opposition" in this forum, my purpose h
  16. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Actually, your question has already been answered.


    It's quite simple.

    To discuss a subject from the perspective of likeminded people. Not atheists debating religious, but religious discussing amongst themselves a particular topic.

    Is it unreasonable to discuss a subject from such a stance? I don't think so. I'm not proselytizing atheists, or even engaging in apologetics. Were that the case, then I'd assert myself into a thread that claims to be a sanctuary for the non-believing. I respect their apparent desire for their own space.



    But, regardless of the way in which the other thread was initiated, there is the matter of how it turned out. And regardless of that, is the separate intent behind initiating this thread.


    The fact is that from my religious tradition, atheism is a moral wrong. Naturally, the atheist doesn't possess the same viewpoint. What sense in my trying to convince the atheist that his/her 'religion/world view'(samething actually)is wrong? That's not what I said this thread was about.

    The intention here is to point/counterpoint thoughts on atheism, from an our perspective, not 'us against them'. An exploration from the vantage of those who don't subscribe to atheism.


    AGAIN, THIS ISN'T INTENDED TO BE SOLELY ABOUT ATHEISM, that's just a discussion starter.

    I'd like to hear from other believer on other subjects, including why they believe in their brand of faith, or what lead them to their respective faiths.







  17. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Dark-Side,

    If you will please refrain from postings until I'm able to respond that would be appreciated.


    This much for now, and then I'm off to work.

    The Holy Bible describes a Christian by their conduct, certainly, and it also describes what is not a Christian.

    Utilizing the authority of the Holy Bible, it's definition, Hitler wasn't a Christian.

    That simple.

    The Holy Bible is pragmatic enought to recognize that people lie, for various motives. In fact, there is a Commandment, 1 out of 10, addressing this specific issue.

    It clearly delineates that Hitler wasn't a Christian.

    He was a politician, a master manipulator, and prone to lying throughout his career( think Beer Hall).

    I can say anything, in point if fact, I can claim to be the president of Bugtussle, a satanist, or whatever else I think would please my constituency. But that doesn't make it so.

    This is one of life's simplest understandings, have you really not grasped it?

    Were Hitler a Catholic truly, how do you explain his extorting the Church previous to the onset of WW II?

    Did Hitler adhere to the teachings of Christ?
    Did he adhere to the tenets and doctrines of Roman Catholicism?

    You know the answer to all of these is verifiably no.

    Why does something so simple seem to elude you?

    These questions are rhetorical, no need to respond.


    Truthfully, I think you are just spoiling for a fight. I think you know better. At least I hope so.
  18. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Dark-Side,

    Why insist on posting here?

    you have a thread in which you voice your opinins on religion, and particularly Christianity. I respect that. I don't post there, and were I interested in debating you I would have.

    You said something along the lines of defending your beliefs.

    I don't want your defense. Your choice, your life, regardless of how sadly erroneous I think it to be from my perspective.

    You believe in materialism. There's a natural universe, it's material, and that's it. Well, we both certainly believe there is a material universe.

    Beyond that you believe in nothing.

    Are you attempting to defend nothing? Then, your defense can only be regarded by me as immaterial. :)



    Let's try another way. I know there is a God, beyind doubt, due to confirming personal experiences. I never personally encountered Adolf Hitler, however, I did personally encounter Christ Jesus. It would therefore be irrational of me to ever accept that He isn't who He is, or that He doesn't exist. He literally saved my life that night, so I am eternally indebted to Him.
    There is nothing you could possibly say to persuade me that your view has any validity whatsoever beyond wishful thinking on your part.

    I've never even met you personally.


    My exploration here on atheism is intended to be a pragmatic review from personal encounters and history. Factual.

    It's an exploration from a faith based perspective. You have no faith, so why come here?

    Anyway, I will respond to your posts in depth later. Gotta go now.






    P.S.; Let any fairminded moderator look into the non-religous thread and then tell me again their has been no assault on Christianity.

    AGAIN, my statements regarding atheists I've personally known are not ad hominem. Perhaps, your life experiences are better than my own.

    BTW- what is the moral code adhered to by atheists? Where is it codified and codexed?

    Who specifically are you offering apologetics for?

    Yasser Arafat is an atheist; are you speaking on behalf of him?


    To be fair, and although not the intention of this thread, why don't you can the veiled attacks, and simply allow me to ask you questions I feel relevent to this subject? Perhaps, you can show me the error of my ways, my misunderstandings on this subject?

    Start with those last few questions, please.

    Where can I find a treatise on the ethical guidelines atheism embodies as a whole?

    By contrast, Christianity has a Holy Bible to which I can clearly point to. It defines Christian conduct, who is Christian, who is not, etc.







  19. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    I gave the 'non religious' folk a warning to stay away from you guys in a hostile or condescending manner. I advise you all to be good to your fellow man, woman or bot as the case may be.
  20. Jediflyer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    It seems their is a lot of tension here.

    To fix that, everbody must do two things besides following Lord Bane's advice:

    1) Go to your kitchen, grab a pop, come back, take a deep breath, and then reply.

    2) KEEP YOUR POSTS SHORTER THAN A QUARTER OF THE CURRENT AVERAGE!
  21. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Well, in our non religious sanctuary thread, we talk about how the prevalence of religion has affected us negatively in our own lives, personally i'd like to see in here how atheists and non religious types have emotionally scarred you guys, or just made your life difficult by ramming their non religion down your throat unprovoked.
  22. Ariana Lang Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 5
    You know, I find it very interesting that while all the religious people -- for the most part -- has kept out of your thread, you immediately feel the need to inundate ours.

    How has atheism affected me? Should I start with the atheist at my school that makes fun of me every day for being a Christian and constnantly tells me I'm an idiot? Or the guy that attacked me in a parking garage because of a Christian ring on my finger and screamed "Religion is the Opiate of the Masses!!" while slamming my body against the concrete wall? Or how about my atheist history teacher who constantly says to the whole class "And if you believe there is a god, then you're just wrong, and you need to get over yourself."

    Look -- we gave you your sanctuary, and despite what you say, I've read some of those posts and they are VERY demeaning and insulting. At least give us our sanctuary. That's just not fair that if we put a toe in to your thread you jump all over us, but you feel free to pepper ours with messages.
  23. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Good way to jump to conclusions! That was intended to be my one and only post.

    How has atheism affected me? Should I start with the atheist at my school that makes fun of me every day for being a Christian and constnantly tells me I'm an idiot? Or the guy that attacked me in a parking garage because of a Christian ring on my finger and screamed "Religion is the Opiate of the Masses!!" while slamming my body against the concrete wall? Or how about my atheist history teacher who constantly says to the whole class "And if you believe there is a god, then you're just wrong, and you need to get over yourself."

    That's what i meant:

    personally i'd like to see in here how atheists and non religious types have emotionally scarred you guys, or just made your life difficult by ramming their non religion down your throat unprovoked.

    If that's what you are seeking sanctuary from, i'm interested in hearing about it.

  24. sleazo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
  25. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    Ariana, good call.

    They speak of Christians trying to ram religion down their throats, while doing precisely the same to the religiously minded here.



    You brought up another aspect of this subject: what have atheists done to the religious?

    Persecution, at least as far back as the early Church in ancient Rome.

    As you mentioned your personal encounters allow me to briefly touch upon my own.

    Some may think this is too much information, inflammatory, and controversial, but it is exactly the truth.

    I grew up in a non-religious environment, so that most of my life was spent around the non-religious, including an abusive step-father who was an alcoholic and drug abuser, who routinely thrashed my mother and I. Of course, he had a very respectable public veneer and persona. Extremely articulate and polished.

    Then, another notable atheist in my early formative years was a gay family member, who molested me as an adolescent, a fact I've kept hidden from my family for decades. He tried the same thing with my younger brother unsuccessfully.

    Another atheist I know is in prison for murdering someone execution style over a drug deal. The kind of trendy fellow who liked to hang out at the hippest clubs, associating with this towns most prominent citizens.

    One of the most intellectually gifted of the non-religious I've known, degreed in English Lit and the Arts, was a wife abuser and voyeur/peeping Tom. In fact, the majority of our friends disassociated themselves from him after this came out into the light, refusing now to even refer to him by name but only as "The wife abuser." Interestingly, those same men, also non-religious, have cheated outrageously on their spouses for years.

    This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

    Let's face it, most drug dealers aren't religious.
    The vast majority of rapists aren't religious.
    The vast majority of murderers aren't religious.
    Well, for simplicity's sake, lets say in fairness, the vast majority of criminals across the board aren't "religious," at least not going into the Bighouse.
    Prisons in America aren't known for the piety of their inmates.


    Do Christians commit crimes? Yes.

    Practically speaking, if you were on the inner city street alone at night and a group of young men were walking your way, can you truthfully say that if you knew they were a part of a Christian association you wouldn't feel safer?

    Of course you would.

    What does that tell you?

    To my understanding a survey was conducted asking that question, targeted at the non-religious. Even the non-religious prefer the religious in the context of that situation.

    Perhaps the religious of the world do make it a better place?









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