The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Annie Banno is My Friend

May 25, 2004 | 83 Comments

Annie Banno is my friend.

Annie sent me a tearful e-mail last week, which I am reprinting below with her permission. I have warned her that she’s likely to be savaged again like she was in the comments section to my Mother’s Day Announcement, and that, indeed, many of you will assume that I tricked her into giving me permission just so I could hold her up to ridicule in some way. Clearly there’s plenty of raw material in it, no different from anything I’ve mocked before. It contains variants of Pascal’s wager and the argument from design, and I’m sure many of you will find the tone, despite her protestations, to be as patronizing as you found any of her previously-posted comments.

But I have not tricked her. If you are reading this, you are reading this only because she read every word of it in advance and has given me the go-ahead. She knows exactly what I am. I have told her flat out that I believe that religion is superstition. She has perused my blog enough to know that it is often viciously, cruelly and screechingly anti-religious, and that many of my diatribes have been directed at her beloved Catholic Church. She knows that I reject her views on homosexuality and gay rights and that I have condemned people who hold such views in stronger terms that any of you have. And that I will continue to do so.

Her willingness to come to my site, to converse with me, to converse with you, despite all she knows, is one of the reasons that she is my friend. And despite all her imperfections (see who is being condescending and patronizing now?) there is a solid core of good to her. Apart from her blog advocacy, she volunteers her time to persuade and help women who are debating whether to have an abortion to choose life. She convinces a few. That is enough good for me. You may say that those few women would have chosen life anyway, or that what they ultimately did do fully constituted their choice. Suffice it to say, for the time being at least, that I do not consider her efforts to be useless or irrelevant. I hope that those of you who have said that that you are pro-choice but “personally opposed” or “anti-abortion” will occasionally engage in similar efforts.

I also admire Annie because she represents a certain type of tolerance that I respect, even though her beliefs, mistaken though I think they are, have led her to seem so intolerant in the classic sense. Many people equate tolerance with the attitude that every belief is equally true, and that we should all simply accept this fact and go our separate ways. But I view tolerance as the willingness to come together, to face one another in the same room and hack at each other with claw hammers until the truth finally trickles out from the blood and the tears. So with that, here is her e-mail. Try to see the good in her and express it if you can.

Subj: RE: mothers’ day announcement thread
Date: 5/17/2004 2:16:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: smok22@charter.net
To: RavingAtheist@aol.com

Raving A.,

I’m sorry. You probably don’t want to converse with me any longer, given the thread going on at your mothers’ day announcement, and you may not want to ever speak to me again, but I am in tears. Not sure if I can explain it, but I am not strong enough to withstand, nor to keep coming back to refute (even though I could), the viciousness, twisting and hatred there. I am not a scholar, not as “eloquent” as some think they are there. Or perhaps I don’t have the time to become so. I do know I have been through experiences that words cannot do justice, and they will never understand those experiences as “justification” for my “blind faith.” It is pointless to try to explain it to them. I am not strong enough, and I am in tears because I cannot find the words or the strength. I also am in tears for them all. I don’t know if you can understand me, why this happens to me when I see such hatred and anger. I am not angry at them, or at you, I am not crying because I personally have been attacked or hurt. They can’t hurt me anymore. I cry because in my heart, I know they are lost just as I was lost, and I just don’t want to see anyone be lost. AND because so much harm has been done, too, in the name of God, of Jesus, and that is so wrong. Why else would they be so hateful toward Catholics/Christians? I am too naive perhaps to think that that can be rectified.

Please don’t see this as holier-than-thou or condescending or patronizing. It is just how we who REALLY believe in the great love and sacrifice of Christ feel about everyone: we just want them to feel the joy and love we feel by having “been found.” And I can’t say that to your readers. It would be like a feeding frenzy, and I don’t think it will be seen for what it really is. It will be labeled “stop telling me how to live my life/stop forcing your religious superstitions on us. Right now.”

I am sorry if I haven’t been able to say well what is in my heart. I ache for them all.
I also just want to say to them-but will never say-that when it is all over, when all our lives end, if “I was wrong”–there IS no God and no heaven that I’ve been striving for–then what have I lost? Nothing. I’ll have lived following, obeying and loving God and accepting His blessings and gifts, and in the process, have “helped even one life breathe more easily” (Bessie Stanley, not Ralph Waldo Emerson), and then there’s nothingness after that.

But if “I am right” and there IS a God and a Heaven to enjoy eternally, and I’ve lived following and loving God, then what will they, those attacking me, have lost?

Everything.

I just took my son to the cardiologist today, to have his heart tested to be sure he doesn’t have the heart condition I have and doesn’t drop dead of heart failure on the lacrosse field at camp this summer at the age of 14 like those football/baseball/basketball players we’ve heard of lately. I watched an echocardiogram of his heart beating. I said, “It’s amazing that it just keeps going and going and never stops like that, isn’t it?” The doctor said, “It beats 100,000 times a day. Imagine how many beats it pumps in our lifetimes.”

I figured it out. If a lifetime runs 80 years, that little fist-sized piece of muscle beats almost three BILLION heartbeats, without (hopefully) stopping. Three billion times, whether we think about it or not, before it wears out.

If a human could have made a machine that does just that, all these thousands of years, I wouldn’t believe there is a God, I guess.
This isn’t an evangelistic attempt. I am just in awe of the Creator’s handiwork that is you and me. That’s what I believe.

I just am grateful for what He has given me, and that is everything. I would stake my life on that.

I am sorry, Raving A. if I’ve angered you too. Since I believe, I must be true to my God and my belief in Him as the God of love but also justice. (Did Adam & Eve Have Belly Buttons, by Pinto, was one of the books I was going to refer you to) I will not force my beliefs on anyone, nor try to “save” anyone who doesn’t feel they are lost. It doesn’t work that way, never did, never will, never should.

I’m going to take a big risk here and give you a poem and a reference to a book. The poem is not mine, I don’t know who wrote it, but it explains me and my faith perhaps better than any one reference. The book might help understand me better . . .

A CHRISTIAN CREED

I believe in one God, I believe He is personal, that He loves me,
without condition, without pause,
whether or not I love Him back.
I believe He wants me to love Him back.
I believe that every day, in the most extraordinary, everyday ways,
He is involved in my life,
and wants me to be involved in His.
I cannot imagine that He was ever less than whole,
but I believe He grows,
through me, and with me, and in me,
as I dare to know Him.
I believe that He began on the simplest level,
the one thing we call life,
and that He helps us to make the world, day by day.
I believe in His Son, Jesus Christ;
I believe that Jesus lived to show us how a man can live,
if he loves his Father and brothers enough.
I believe that Jesus’ life was an example.
I believe God wants us to know Christ’s cross was borne for us,
and that there is a piece of true cross for each of us,
if we can bear it.
I believe in God’s Spirit:
I believe He helps to make me whole and holy.
I believe He talks to us through every whole man,
and through every man who tries his best to be.
I believe that when I open myself to Him,
He gives my tongue the right words to say,
and my heart the courage to act rightly.
I believe He loves me, and that His love, taken in,
brings out love in me for every man,
whether he likes me or not
whether he be like me or not
whether he is likeable or not
whether he likes it or not.
I believe in God’s Church, which is me, and my brothers.
I believe that if I can love me enough,
I can face what is not whole in me,
heal what is not healthy,
mend what is torn, strengthen what is weak,
make whole what is half-hearted.
Create of me a house where God can live, freely,
because I believe that no matter how cramped,
God will squeeze Himself in somehow.
I love God, and I am sorry for all the times it does not show.
I believe that my life can be a resurrection.
I believe in life!
Amen!

~ Author is unknown. Written sometime prior to 1975. This article is believed to be in the public domain. No copyright infringement intended.

The book is one I wrote and published under a pseudonym 3 years ago. Emily knows of it. She links to a poem in the book about post-abortive grief and shame (Deirdre’s Poem). It’s a book that is fact-based fiction, called “Loosely-Braided Fog: A 3-D Single Mom In The Making,” and it’s available cheap on Amazon. Its subtheme is subtly about the strayings and returnings of faith. I don’t know if it will explain me and my reason for believing better, but it might. If I had a mailing address and if you wanted me to, I’d send you a copy.

Thank you for listening. I am sorry I cannot continue…and sorry if you feel angry too.

Annie

Comments

83 Responses to “Annie Banno is My Friend”

  1. Heather
    May 25th, 2004 @ 12:48 am

    I feel for Annie and I understand how she can find the hatred spewed out on this page hard to deal with. I, like her, want others to know the love and joy I’ve found in Christ, but I refuse to push it down someone’s throat. Being so in love with an atheist causes me to weep, to ache even more for those who are lost than I did before I knew him. I do not understand how those who are often the ones screaming for acceptance can be the ones so truly full of hate. Annie, if you see this, I live in awe of all of God’s wonder as well; and I admire your efforts in trying to convince others to choose life and in allowing your e-mail to be used on this page. While I know many on here don’t believe that Christians mean it when we say, “I’ll pray for you,” I want you to know that I will do that for you. I make a list just in case I forget anyone. Besides, God knows our hearts’ wishes better than we could ever say in words. Others may bash you here, but I won’t. I just want you to know that you are not alone in the way that you feel. If you ever want another Christian to talk to, please feel free to e-mail me. God Bless You. :)

  2. Ben
    May 25th, 2004 @ 12:55 am

    Aww…

    Group hug!

  3. Free to Think
    May 25th, 2004 @ 3:24 am

    I understand how you feel. I have no doubt that your feelings are genuine, as mine were towards non-Christians when I was a true believer for 15 years. I never imagined I could be any other way (an atheist) as I *knew* without a doubt that I had the truth and that I was saved. So while some people will see the tone of your message as patronizing – and it is, but out of ignorance – I do understand that you say these things because you genuienly believe in your religion and only want the best for your fellow human beings. I think you’re terribly misguided though, and I feel sad that you have to cry and get all torn up over us non-believers not accepting a mythical* belief system.

    Ex-Christian

    * Response I would’ve said when a believer: He is so wrong! If only he could experience what I have!

  4. Bryce
    May 25th, 2004 @ 3:29 am

    The Christian’s Creed appears to be extremely misleading:

    “I believe in one God, I believe He is personal, that He loves me,
    without condition, without pause,
    whether or not I love Him back.”

    Without condition? Whether or not I love Him back? Last I checked, if I don’t love Him back, I will have my flesh eternally burned off and regenerated. Forever. You cannot explain this satisfactorily: If an eternal Hell exists, and you can get there simply by not loving God, then God is a monster with a level of evil that is incomprehensible. The existence of such a God makes existence -more- trivial than it would be with no god, not less.

  5. Free to Think
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:28 am

    Just another comment on something you said: “I cry because in my heart, I know they are lost just as I was lost, and I just don’t want to see anyone be lost.” Or do you cry because you cannot reconcile in your heart why your god, who loves “without condition, without pause”, would send good people to Hell for eternity simply for not believing? I wonder, if you are right and we are wrong, will you still cry in Heaven for the souls in torment, will you still praise your god for his “love” by allowing such attrocities to continue for eternity?

    And yet you wonder why some people get angry at Christians and their message? It is a message of cruel seperation of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and loved ones. Perhaps you should cry over why people are taught to believe such things.

    But don’t worry, I understand. You feel the love. You know all non-believers are lost. I understand…

  6. Ben
    May 25th, 2004 @ 5:29 am

    Precisely the reason why I regard Hell-belief as the most subtle, yet pervasive, form of bigotry…

  7. ZroKewl
    May 25th, 2004 @ 10:16 am

    I’m still waiting for RA to explain to us why he feels abortion is wrong? OK, I’ll answer: he believes abortion is killing an innocent person. So, I guess I’m *really* waiting to hear why RA feels a zygote is a person.

  8. Kevin
    May 25th, 2004 @ 10:53 am

    I know I’m a heartless bastard. I always have been. With luck, I always will be… but I cannot connect with her on the most basic level. But, as I can tell she’s truly distressed, I’ll refrain from hacking her email to pieces.

    I will say, however, that I would rather spend eternity in hell, than spend it in the company of christians. No other group in the history of the world has been so holier-than-thou, arrogant, and vicious.

    And for all you idiot christians, who cannot realize just why atheists and people of other faiths can get so offensive when you tell them that you and Jesus loves ‘even you’ without condition; we don’t feel the need for Jesus to love us. More, we are hardly the worst scum on the planet. I believe that honor falls to one of your own number–President George W. Bush. You may dispute that, but America could do more to help the underdeveloped world than anyone else… and we choose to squander that wealth. Everyone that starves to death… dies of AIDS, or simpler diseases… every one that dies of thirst… that is our fault. If we could look past our greed, our perceived exceptionalism, we could do more good than every dictator in the history of man could reverse.

    Instead, we have chosen to rape, to murder, to humiliate, and to terrify. So you can take your self-righteous love for me and shove it up your ass. Come back when you’ve done more than stop a few women from aborting embryos. Come back when you’ve done more than teach a few gay men to hate themselves.

    Then, and only then, will I bother to listen to your statistics, or accept the existence of your unconditional love. Otherwise, you are just another person who thinks she understands the world.

    I know well enough that I am not but a fool. I know that I understand little about how the world works… but I accept that. I merely know that a better world is possible. I know there is much that can be done… but not what or how to do it. That does not stop me from trying, though.

  9. HappyNat
    May 25th, 2004 @ 11:18 am

    Don’t cry for me Annie Banno. Don’t pray for me Heather. If you think you have found the answer for yourselves, then you have found it. I was never more lost than when I was a Christian (20years), trying to understand a god and a book that made very little sense to me even as a believer. Once I let go of the superstition I received a great feeling of peace probably similar to the peace you feel. We can agree to disagree but please don’t waste your time hoping I find god. You see to me this is our one life and we should take full advantage of it right now.

  10. Debbie
    May 25th, 2004 @ 12:42 pm

    There goes Annie patronizing us again. She says she could prove s wrong but she says is not strong enough to do so. The reality is different … the proof of god she offered has been refuted and this has driven her to tears. How strong is her faith?

    But rather than just criticize her, here’s a suggestion: Annie should try to get an modern scientific education. She is STILL trying to find proof of her god in the complexity of the natural world.

    She wants to give credit for her god for designing a human heart that can beat a billion times in an 80 year span but somehow forgets the young children who perish early because of defective hearts.

    Her type used to be in awe of the sun rising and the progression of seasons. Annie, it’s time for you and your type to leave the Bronze Age and help the human race move forward in the 21st century.

  11. AK
    May 25th, 2004 @ 12:58 pm

    HappyNat is right.

    Annie, Heather, dont pray for anyone on this site. We dont want your pity or your tears. In fact, I feel sorry for YOU, because you are blinded by a cult and its fairy tale story of some make-believe invisible contradictory superman from outer space that created flawed beings in his perfect image.

    His “greatness” is matched only by his insecurity and egocentric self-obsession. According to the concept of the Trinity, Jesus, Yahweh (God), and the holy ghost are all one entity. So tell me what you think of this short-story version of your superstition/cult:

    God had to manifest himself on Earth so that he could sacrifice himself to himself in order to circumvent a law that he made himself that would have forced him to send his own flawed creations (he also created the flaws by the way) into a hell that he, being perfectly loving and good, conceived and created all by himself.

  12. Annie Banno
    May 25th, 2004 @ 1:14 pm

    Bryce, you think that if you don’t “love God back” that your skin will be burned off for all eternity, as though that’s your reason for disbelieving in a God of any kind? Firstly, theologians don

  13. AK
    May 25th, 2004 @ 1:22 pm

    Regarding the heart comment. Is there anything that can do 80 billion operations in an 80 year life span? YES! Two obvious things come to mind:

    1. A computer chip. It can do over 100 million calculations, or beats, a second. So over a 4 year life span (typical computer life) you are looking at 100s of trillions of “beats”.

    2. An internal combustion engine. Many engines last for over 100,000 miles. If you take a v-8, look at each cylinder firing as a “beat”, then figure that 100,000 miles at say 0.5 miles a minute an RPM average of 3000, and 1 RPM equals 8 “beats” (as in 8 cylinders), you get a trillion or so “beats”… and it takes alot less than 80 years to drive 100,000 miles in a typical car.

    Whether a biological pump, a mechanical pump, or an electronic computer chip, there is no need to explain its creation with the idea of an all-powerful god. Back in ancient times, thunder and lightning were thought to be the act of Gods. Nowadays we know its natural weather so Gods like Zeus are no longer necessary. The time will come when we can explain our existence to the point that a monotheistic God will no longer be necessary to give reason to our existence.

  14. AK
    May 25th, 2004 @ 1:26 pm

    Annie, you sure did a lot of typing for ignoring my self sacrifice problem. If you get a chance, scroll up a bit and read it and tell me what you think.

  15. Annie Banno
    May 25th, 2004 @ 1:32 pm

    Debbie, since you brought it up, God doesn

  16. Viole
    May 25th, 2004 @ 1:54 pm

    A tour guide to heaven? I need to read that book. I bet the author just stole everything from Dante’s Paradiso. I mean, please! A tour guide to heaven… that’s pathetic. Dante realized he wasn’t describing Hell, purgatory and heaven in his Divine Comedy–which is precisely why there’s so much Greco-Roman mythology in them.

    I apologize for my scornful attitude, but when you point out that church teachings have changed over the years on something so basic as the key to salvation, it really doesn’t help your case. You sound like the Mormons when you say, ‘god lets you choose if you go to heaven or hell.’

    Kevin is right about you teaching gays to hate themselves, though. Hating myself is the only reason I would ever want to change who I am, except for becoming better at a few odd things. Sex, for example. It’s a rather simple process; you merely need to convince someone that what they are is evil, and many will try to change themselves. There really aren’t that many people who delight in evil, and I can tell you why; evil rarely benefits one, in the long term. People do not change, however, unless they view what they are as evil, immoral, or dangerously unhealthy. So yes, you teach gay men–and women, I’m sure–to hate themselves, without realizing what you are doing–which, I feel I must stress, does not make it untrue.

    While I’m at it, you are self-righteous. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t bring your faith into your work. That is the line between righteousness and self-righteousness. And considering the term righteousness has a religious origin, I hardly consider it a compliment. I do not work toward any moral principals, but rather toward complete equality. I believe in giving people as many choices as possible, and a society that brings them success, even if they make a mistake, or at least keeps them alive and in a certain amount of comfort.

  17. Heather
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:01 pm

    To Kevin(comment #8) I agree that more needs to be done to help those in the world. Often it is Christian groups offering help. Unfortunately, I find that our government is often in the pockets of large multinational corporations; but America is NOT solely to blame – other countries contribute to the matter. And if not for members of certain groups, many of them beings Christians, even less would be being done than the amount of help being given that is already far too little.
    Secondly, to all of you. God does NOT force you into hell. He gives you a choice. He could have forced mankind when he made us, but he didn’t. Love and obedience that is real, is that which we choose to give. If it is forced it means absolutely nothing. I believe that that is part of the reason that we have a choice in whether or not to trust and accept Him and his gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. I would go further, but I think Annie does a pretty good job of explaining this in her various responses.
    Furthermore, no one has been able to “refute” the existence of God. I, nor anyone else, can convince someone whose heart is so closed to God. Only the Holy Spirit can intercede and do that, and even then, only if that heart is willing. All I do, is tell someone what I believe, usually if they ask. Afterthat, all I have to do is pray for them and live my life the best that I can as I pray that God use me to reach others, to show them his love. The rest is up to that person and to God.
    You can chose to hate all Christians if you like, simply because a relatively small number of us (in relation to the number of Christians that exist in the world) have done bad things. There will always be loud, outspoken people in EVERY group, people who are often wrong. But that is what makes us human – we are not perfect, we make mistakes and we’re always going to do so. The difference is that as Christians, we believe and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and if we allow Him to do so, He will change our lives and give us peace, that cannot truly be explained to, or comprehended by, someone who is a non-believer.
    But if you are going to blast or hate Christians as a whole, I ask each and every one of you: “Are you going to blast EVERY group of believers and non-believers, simply because some of their members, today and throughout all of history, have done some pretty awful things?”
    Do you hate everyone of Roman decent because the Romans persecuted and slaughtered Christians the extent that they had to hide and use the drawing of a fish to know if they had met a friend or foe? Do you hate Romans because they slaughtered St. Valentine, in part because he performed marriage ceremonies which they felt were a “Christian” thing? Do you hate ALL Muslims because a few extremists decided to hijack planes and go after the trade towers, the pentagon, etc. and kill off thousands of people?

  18. REDFRED
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:06 pm

    Annie, Please please please Prey and Cry for me, I know in my heart of hearts I need your help to see the one true light. We all need your to prey and cry, Please please please never stop or my soul will be lost to the devil for eternity, don’t even think of stopping to reply to my post I would hate to think what might happen to me if you should stop Preying and crying for more than a second, in fact when you stopped to Spout all that Crap in post 12 I felt my poor heart tighten, perhaps i only have a few beats left so please please don’t ever stop again. Heather you can join her I honestly couldn’t think of a better way for you to waste your pointless life anyhow.

    My favorite glib quote of thoughtless diatribe “That

  19. AK
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:06 pm

    Annie,

    Did the death of your Mother, ever make you consider that maybe God simply does not exist?

    I watched my Grandmother die in front of my eyes. Our whole family was there with her at the hospice and it was very emotional and sad. But none of it had anything to do with a creator or supreme being.

    My Grandmother was simply an old human being with failing health and she died naturally. When she died, she went back to the state she was in before she was born. That state is NON-EXISTENCE.

    She did not go to heaven, nor did she go to hell. There are no such places. They are figments of our imagination that we dream up to help us cope with, or come to terms with, scary ideas like death.

    See, going to heaven or hell is an idea that allows the person that believes in those realms an escape route from death. How are you actually dead if you are still conscious and awake and flying around with wings on your back in heaven or pitchforks in your butt in hell?

    Death, by definition, is the state of not existing. It is not the state of existing outside ones body in a spirit form. Religious ideas about the afterlife such as yours attempt to escape death completely and instead change the idea of death into some state where you can go floating around the universe without the constraints of your physical body.

    If the body cannot live without the spirit, then the spirit cannot live without the body. When you die, you RETURN to the state you were at before you were born, and that state is NON-EXISTENCE.

  20. REDFRED
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:17 pm

    Heather I don’t hate Christians, just ones like you and Annie, who are compelled to force your opinions on others…. well and those who rape small boys…..

  21. alan ganem
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:35 pm

    Hey zrokewl,
    I don’t know why RA is against abortion but I’ll give you my reasons

    - First of all, the only way for a person to come into this world is for the genetic material of it’s parents to combine. For a specific person to be born, such as yourself , the said material must combine in just the right fashion, and at just the right moment for you to have been born. If your mother had had a headache on the night that you were concieved, causing your parents to put off their lovemaking until the following day, it is very very very probable that someone other than the person you know as yourself would be the product. Not to mention that due to a woman’s sensitive reproductive cycles it is possible that no conception at all would transpire. So you see, we are all very, very, very lucky to have been born. Now who are we to say to a fetus, “listen I understand that this is your ONLY chance in the whole history of the universe, ( billions and billions of years), to come into this world and experience conciousness. I understand that to have made it this far, ( a fetus ) you have already overcome unimaginable odds. We know all this but sorry, right now it would be a pain in the ass for us to allow you to be born so bye, bye. Better luck in the next big bang !!!”

    We were all just zygotes at one time. The relevant issue here is not how we started but rather, that we DID start.

  22. Kevin
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:41 pm

    Poor Heather, you are so misguided. I do not hate all of any group, but there are generally two groups within religions that I strongly dislike. The first is those that preach hatred and intolerance in the name of their faith. No intelligent person would even acknowledge this type of faithful, except to heap scorn upon them.

    The second group is the one that you and Annie both fall into. In small groups, you loudly condemn the first group, but on a higher level you are almost non-existent. Worse, you too claim to know the mind of god. However, you cannot; perhaps god does want the violence and hate promoted by Pat Robertson et al. You, therefor, are guilty of the exact same crime.

    There are reasons I’m an atheist, and that’s one of them. Of course, I am members of various groups. I am anti-war, for example, which does not mean that I endorse every action taken by ANSWER. I am a communist, but do not endorse the methods of the Trotskyites. I do, however, recognize that we share a common goal, which is to convince people of the value of our position, and to change the world. For that reason, I will stand beside them, and I will fight beside them.

    You and Pat Robertson, you share a common goal. You want all of the world to believe in your god. You might disagree with his methods, but you would, in the end, support him above any atheist. Your struggles will be futile, however, and we will win.

    How can I say this with such certainty? Because religion has evolved. Jesus came at the perfect time, when the old god of the old testament was no longer the right god for their culture. Christianity took over Rome because the ideas behind it were better than those of the Greco-Roman faith–namely, that all people are created in god’s image.

    There will come a time when god is no longer necessary. People fear death because life in hard; when they are content, death is nothing. When they are content, they do not need god, whether to bring them happiness in death, or answer prayers in life.

  23. Piotr
    May 25th, 2004 @ 2:52 pm

    Annie quated moi?! I feel honored in a freaky way.
    All that blabing just confirms my assumption. She is a freak. Of the worst kind. That bullshit about love makes me sick. I know that christian kind of love. That love made me leave my country, that love made me live in dispair for so many years, that love made me hate myself for so many years.
    I do not need superstiton to do good and make people happy. I do that because it makes me happy.
    Who’s lost here? There’s no hope for you Annie
    Banno.

  24. Annie Banno
    May 25th, 2004 @ 3:12 pm
  25. Viole
    May 25th, 2004 @ 3:43 pm

    Annie… that last paragraph is what I most dislike about you. You’re judging people, when you cannot know the will of your god better than they, or anyone else. So let me judge you. You’re a hypocrite. You’re not a true christian, but a woman who thinks she’s better than everyone else, merely because she interprets the bible differently from someone else.

    The difference is, we atheists admit that we think that theists of all kinds are wrong. Our reasons for other things are based on real, solid arguments, and while they may differ, we do not come to them by interpreting a single text. We might hate, or disagree, but we’re not all starting from the same point.

  26. REDFRED
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:04 pm

    Alan, By your arguement then just the fact that a woman chose to have a child and therefore suspend her ability to get pregnant for 9 months would also be denying countless others who could have otherwise have defied the odds? Does that make all mothers murderers?

    As I have said before, any rational person realises that there has to be a point between conception and birth that termination is acceptable. Some where between outlawing abstanancy and legalizing beheading infants on their first Birthday there has to be a legal line. Not everyone is going to be happy about where the line is drawn but people have to accept that comprimise is only soloution and we cant just behave like a 2 year old and stomp out foot if things don’t go the way we want. The line has been drawn, it is blurred , there are obviously needs for exceptions but we do still have the fredom to use contraceptives and don’t have people killing kids, so leave it how it is now and just leave it alone.

    One other point to Annie, No one has ever condemned you for trying to persuade potential mothers not to abort healthy pregnancies, but is is one thing to try to persuade someone and a completely different thing to force someone against their will by order of the Law, which is the original point to this arguement.

  27. Annie Banno
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:07 pm

    So you’re saying that they (or you) DO know the will of our God better and that He DOES hate you? And you know what a true Christian really is? I know that anyone who says that God hates you is not a true Christian. It only takes reading what Christ said to figure that out.

  28. Piotr
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:15 pm

    no, we just say there’s no god, period. if it does not exist it cannot have feelings. people hate, and whatever you call love, annie is really hate, no matter what you wish to call it. my opnion if course.

  29. Piotr
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:19 pm

    my experience with christians (or any other superstitious people) is not pretty. i come from a 95% catholic country, it was not pretty. i know many christians here, it is not pretty. so tell me, what other opinion am i supposed to have about you people?

  30. ocmpoma
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:24 pm

    Reading the above, I have some questions for our theists.
    The first is specific. I

  31. Viole
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:27 pm

    No… I believe that what I said is that neither of you have any clue what you’re talking about. There are people here who like to quote bible verses, and I am not one of them, but there are plenty of instances where Jesus was as judgmental as his god. Did he not condemn all who do not believe him to be the son of god to hell?

    And no, I would never claim to know the will of your god. I cannot, for no such critter exists. I merely claim that you do not know the will of your god, for reasons including, but not limited to, the above.

    You, being nonjudgmental, are judging. Which makes you a hypocrite. Those you claim are not christians are honest, at least, about the fact that they do judge. You have no idea how ironic it is, that the first people you judge are your fellow christians.

  32. AK
    May 25th, 2004 @ 4:41 pm

    Annie,

    Well thanx for the explanation. I understand you arent gonna debate me, it looks like you got your hands full debating everyone else here already. But I appreciate you taking the teim to read my posts. I really do hope you get a chance to read this one, expecially the last paragraph.

    My comparison of a heart to a computer chip and automobile engine was not to say that a heart and computer chip do the same thing. I was not trying to compare their functions, I was only trying to compare their inference of conscious design (or lack thereof). Im not sure you could have honestly missed the point I was so clearly trying to make.

    What I was trying to do was show that mechanisms, biological or mechanical, that do “amazing” things like beat 80 billion times in a life, are not necessarily created by some super power. Just because an object or life form astounds you with its capability does not mean that it had a conscious creator.

    If you believe in conscious Biblical creator, then you believe that God made predatory animals with stong legs, sharp teeth, retractable claws, and forward facing eyes (good for hunting and focusing on prey), and had them all originally eat vegetables(Genesis 1:30). Later on he turned them into carnivores(3:18)… talk about ludicrous! making animals that are physically designed for hunting and eating meat, but they are somehow vegetarians. Then one day *poof!* God decides they are carnivores. Ohhh how convenient that these animals God chose to become carnivores already were designed to hunt. It sure would have been silly if God chose cows to be carnivores and lions to be herbivores! Imagine a cow hunting a lion!

  33. me oh my
    May 25th, 2004 @ 6:14 pm

    Annie, do you see the distinction between moral Christianity and metaphysical Christianity? Most of us atheists adhere to the basic tenets of Christianity without believing in god…we realize the golden rule, etc, etc, are to the common advantage.

    Consider. There are three kinds of drivers on the highway:
    (1) Those who drive crazy, unless they’re near a known speed trap,
    (2) Those who drive safely, because they realize it’s to the common advantage
    (3) Those who drive safely, because they fearfully imagine a police officer behind every billboard.

    Christians are in category (3). Just like some people imagine police (and prisons) everywhere, Christians imagine god and damnation.

  34. Ben
    May 25th, 2004 @ 6:56 pm

    I had sympathy for Annie, and was willing to hear her claims, then she went and mentioned DeStefano’s ludicrously insipid, childish little exposition of a Disneyland afterlife. I now realise that nothing she says can be taken seriously. If that’s the reality you advocate as Truth, you’re not just misguided. You need your head examined.

  35. Stephen
    May 25th, 2004 @ 7:51 pm

    Annie >>

    Frankly, don’t expect anyone to care!
    You are being RECKLESSLY and OUTRAGEOUSLY DISHONEST, and we, and practically everyone ACTUALLY KNOWS IT.

    That TOTALLY and absolutely includes YOU!
    Which of course you already ABSOLUTELY know!

    Listen Annie – This madness that you exhibit, is the reckless disregard of your own realizations – the carefree abandon of every conscience and reason by which you happen to know that you are surrounded by madness!

    People are just going to laugh at you! You are being so beyond absurd!

    Remember the lives and deaths of all your ancestors going all the way back to the biogenesis!
    Think of all the little children that are going to be born into the world in the future!

    Keep in mind that we, and everyone of them, is beyond precious, and is going to come to an end!

    Who are you?

    Are you going to be hale and sane and honest or what?

    NOW is always the best time for SANITY!

    WHO ARE YOU?

  36. Les
    May 25th, 2004 @ 7:52 pm

    If I had a dime for every email I’ve ever gotten like the one Annie sent RA I’d be a very wealthy man. The thing that I always find interesting is their insistance that I can’t understand what they’re feeling when the truth is I understand it all too well. She means well, but just can’t manage to see things from another person’s point of view and that’s her biggest problem it seems.

  37. Free to Think
    May 25th, 2004 @ 9:58 pm

    Gosh, reading what Annie and Heather have written is like having a flash back to my old Christian days. I wrote very similar things when I was younger – though less eloquently – and used to argue with non-believers on chat channels and forums. So I’ve been there, and I know how it feels to so strongly believe that you alone know the Truth ™ and if only you could just find the right words you could convert those poor lost souls. I’m so happy to be out of that mindset now.

    Quoting Annie:
    “And yes, if I make it, I will cry in Heaven for the souls in torment, and will pray for them too. I do this now.”

    Why would you pray for the souls in Hell if there is no chance for them? They are lost forever to the “love” of your god. And what you say completely contradicts the vision of Heaven in Revelation 21:4:

    “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

    If you’re crying in Heaven, then that’s not heavenly is it?

    I also should mention that the concept of unconditional love can not be found in the Bible. Ironically, the term was coined by an atheist psychanalyst named Erich Fromm.

    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,854257,00.html

    “Coined by German psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in 1934, the concept was developed in his 1956 book, The Art Of Loving. Fromm naively believed that a father’s love was always conditional – upon success, good behaviour, etc – while a mother’s was unconditional, and couldn’t be forfeited by sins or transgression. His ideas were refined in the 1960s by the humanist psychologist Carl Rogers, who suggested that therapists should try and offer their clients “unconditional positive regard”. Through this unjudgmental acceptance, the client would integrate the unwanted parts of their personality and become more self-accepting.”

  38. hermesten
    May 26th, 2004 @ 2:06 am

    Kevin, I agree with you about George Bush and the evil he has wrought in America and throughout the world. He is the most morally depraved man who has ever been president of the United States –and yet all these Holier than Thou God-fearing Christians love the SOB. The same people who can

  39. Heather
    May 26th, 2004 @ 5:20 am

    I agree with Annie on several points. First, to call a Christian self-righteous simply for disagreeing about beliefs, while believing that an atheist who not only disagrees or says that others are “wrong,” but also calls them misguided or ignorant, (Kevin even says “poor Heather” – how condescending can you get?), or whom claims that they feel pity for them for their beliefs is not self-righteous is ridiculous. And to say that Annie is dishonest, Stephen, surely, she is no more dishonest than you claim to be. I am a Christian and I can’t lie to anyone about anything, not even when my boyfriend asks if I ate or not. If you asked him, he’d probably say that I’m too honest.

    To Kevin, Annie nor I ever said that atheists were “the worst scum on the planet.” If I thought that, I wouldn’t be planning on marrying a wonderful man who just so happens to be an atheist. When you say that the job of being that scum falls to one of our own (Bush) and hermesten says in number 38, that “all these Holier than Thou, God-fearting Christians love the SOB,” you are both sadly mistaken. While Bush may be a Christian, I don’t agree with the war in Iraq or most of what the Bush administration has done. I hate war and I have always tried to be more of a peace maker. So much so that in school, people would have ask me to be a mediator when disputes between friends or groups of people could not be settled; and I had a pretty good success rate.

    I also hate what Bush’s rise in spending, coupled with his cut in taxes have done to America. We now have to borrow approximately $1 billion/day simply to keep the war in Iraq going, even though they claim that the war is over and that this is like cleaning up. The economy is going done the tubes; gas prices are astronomical; innocent people are suffering and dying horrible, needless deaths; in the last two years, I have lost two WONDERFUL teachers because of cuts in government funding; and government funds for much needed programs, i.e. medicare, welfare, etc. are being cut back or bascially lost altogether. So trust me, not all Christians love the President or what his administration has done to this country. In fact, most of the Christians I know don’t, and most of them did not vote for him in the first place. I don’t believe him to be evil incarnate, but he is human and he has made mistakes, and unless something earth-shattering happens, I will not be voting for him in the next election.

    Furthermore, if two adults want to have consensual unliscenced sex, that is their business, not mine. I certainly don’t think that it’s ok to rape, dehumanize, or disrobe any person under any condition. I’ve been sexually abused and I know what it does to a person. I would NEVER wish that on anyone. Not even satan himself. Then again, believe it or not, I feel sorry for the guy.

    As for teaching gay men to hate themselves, I seriously doubt that Annie has done that; and I know for a fact that I certainly haven’t. While I don’t like the sight of two men going at it, I’m sure there are ppl who don’t like seeing a man and a woman with their tongues down each others throats. While it’s not something I personally want to watch, I hate no one and in fact love my homosexual or bi friends in the exact some way that I love those who are straight. It makes no difference to me. My female friends who just so happen to be lesbians or bi have slept in the same bed with me and I’ve never thought anything of it. We’ve shared clothes, makeup and everything else that girls do. People are complex, and each individual is made up of several different things, not just their sexual orientation or anything else.

    As for abortion, I am pro-life; but many of my friends are not. Many of them have had abortions. But I would never teach them to hate themselves for doing something I disagree with. I’ve held them after they’ve had one and just let them get their emotions out. I love them just the same no matter how different we are.

    To Viole, number 16, who stated that Annie brings her faith into her work place, do you not also bring your non-belief into your work and everything else that you do? It’s part of who you are and thus goes everywhere that you go, so of course it plays into your responses and the such at work and everywhere else. That is only common sense.

    Ocmapoma, I am not here to check out the enemy. I don’t see atheists are my enemy. If I did, as I mentioned above, I wouldn’t be ready to marry an atheist. I am here to support other Christians, to see other points of views, and, well . . . because I just like to debate. For that matter, why are you all here? Why do you feel the need to respond to our comments, which according to several here seems to be, as Redford put it, “wasting our pointless lives?” So why are you atheists doing that, wasting your lives, in bashing religious people; and if we are wasting our time, why bother in responding to us?

    Viole, I know the difference between right and wrong. I know when someone else has done something that I believe to be wrong. I know when I have done something wrong. It does not mean that I “judge” the person. I don’t always know the person or what’s going on in their life, nor do I know why they do the things that they do most of the time. Life is not always so black and white. Furthermore, God hates the sin, NOT the sinner. As a Christian, I am supposed to try to be the same way.

    Before I finish, I would like to say something to Piotr, and well, anyone else who has been done wrong. I am sorry that you were treated so unfairly. I do not know what specifically was done to you or how you suffered, nor where you come from, but I, apparently, was taught differently than those around you. In the Bible, there are stories of those who helped ones seen as “outsiders,” and who took in and fed those in need even when they may have been struggling themselves. Even before I could read, this is what my parents taught me by their example.

    Both of my parents were Sunday School teachers, and my father was the church choir director. They would take in the homeless and hungry and help them the best that they could, even though we lived below the poverty level until I was 10 years of age. If there was not enough to go around, my parents would find some excuse, say they were busy or something and that they would eat later, when in actuality, they were giving up their meal so that a perfect stranger could get at least one decent meal that day. That is what I was taught was God’s love – giving what you have to others who are in need.

    While I believe that this is the true spirit of God, I understand why you may not feel so loved by other Christians. Even though I am a Christian, I don’t always get along with others who claim to follow Christ. While some don’t understand, I have always based my friendships on whether or not I like someone’s company, NOT their religion. I have befriended people of EVERY religion, even satanists. For this, I and my friends have been ridiculed a few times by members of several religious, as well as non-religious, groups. I have also been beaten up by non-Christians for simply bowing my head before a meal. I did not even whisper, simply bowed my head and “thought” my prayer to my God. Yet, I was beaten up.

    Again, Piotr, I am sorry that others have treated you so badly. I would never hurt you or anyone else. Unfortunately, in every group, religious or otherwise, there will always be those who do bad things to others. Some, even without hurting others, simply make mistakes. That’s a part of being human. But to those who spew hate, that’s not just being human. That’s being evil.

    To finish, I have sat here and read several comments in which atheists have put down Christians and called us names. Annie and I have done no such thing that I have seen on here. I certainly don’t do that in my daily life either. I learned a long time ago that hate only begets more hate. Tell me though, why are the majority of you behaving in such a manner that you cannot control your anger and respond in a more mature without the put-downs and name-calling? Kevin called us “idiot Christians” in the 8th comment to this post. (I don’t know about you, Annie, but I certainly am not retarded which is the major definition for “idiot.” Afterall, I test in the top 5% of less of the nation in math, science, etc. Guess it takes a real idiot to do such a thing.) Resently, on a television show, a show written by an atheist, I heard something said to the extent that anger is really just fear. Why are the majority of atheists here so angry?

    I am not afraid. I do my best not to judge others, to just love. Redford, and everyone else on here, you can hate me all you want, I will never hate you or anyone else. I don’t even hate the man who molested me. He was, to the best of my knowledge, an atheist at the time, and it didn’t make me hate all atheists. I don’t hate the man who caused such severe injuries to my body when I was 15 that I have lived in constant agony for the last nine and a half years. And, I do not hate the teachers who shoved pencils in my hand, who pulled my hair and dragged me around by my ponytail, or hit me for looking out the window during recess, who stood me before the room everyday and told the other children and told them that I was the bad, ugly child who they should hate. I don’t hate the one who told the children they could pinch me all day long, anywhere they wanted all day long, as hard as they wanted; so that the boys did so in places where little girls should never be touched. I came home covered in bruises and my teacher simply laughed at me and told me it was my fault when I, at 6 years old, told her what the boys did to me and cried and begged her to make them stop. I don’t hate even her. Nor do I hate those who made my life miserable in high school. I wonder if you could have that kind of forgiveness. From what I gather from your earlier posts, probably not.

    If any of you have any questions or wish to discuss things, please feel free to email me. I am here more in the spirit of debate and well, peace, than anything else.

  40. Kevin
    May 26th, 2004 @ 10:55 am

    You didn’t really answer the core of my post, Heather, despite your four pages. Possibly you are good at math, but I take it literature has escaped you? For when I check Webster’s dictionary, ‘retard,’ is only one of four definitions of idiot, after ‘person not holding public office,’ and, ‘uneducated person.’

    One suggestion; before making fun of someone’s word choice, always look up the definition. And go back and actually answer my post.

  41. Viole
    May 26th, 2004 @ 10:57 am

    Sweet Heather, how can one be so wise and yet so blind? If I may propose an answer to my own question, that is the trouble with learning your life lessons from the bible. You can learn part of a valuable lesson, but not the final half; you can learn good, if you choose your lines, but equally you can learn evil…

    For example, it is true that hate breeds hate… but you fail to realize that love and pity are not perfect substitutes. You fail to realize that when you want to hate, and force yourself to pity or love, you are being self-righteous, which leads to hate, more often than not. If you truly felt nothing but love, for example, you wouldn’t feel the need for that last bit of one-upmanship.

    Yes, go ahead and deny it. You’re trying to get us to understand you. Yes, I know you are; I also know it isn’t the only reason.

    I freely admit that I cannot top that story. The closest I came to anything of the sort was a close friend, who tried to rape me when I was twenty-one. Five gods, I hated him. I hated him with such a passion, I’m amazed I did not try to rip his balls of right there. I’m even more amazed that the heat of that rage did not scorch my heart.

    I got through the incident without humiliation, because it truly made me what I called myself; a pacifist. Also, because I got away, but I’ve never been closer to losing my heterosexual virginity.

    I met him again the next day. I do not remember what we said, only that we ended closer than ever. We might still be friends, but I could see the shame and regret in his eyes whenever he looked at me. I couldn’t stand it, and could hardly claim it wasn’t his fault, so I let him go. I never even told his wife, though I think he did. He was catholic.

    What is the point of that story? What is the point of yours?

    I do know this, though; you cannot truly know universal love, unless you’ve known nuclear fire of the hottest anger, or the intergalactic ice of the coldest rage. Until then, what you feel is pity, and self-righteousness. Yes, I was once as you are now, thinking that I loved everyone, but not realizing I didn’t. And telling them I did.

    Now, I don’t feel the need to tell people like you that I care for them. And yes, I get angry; so do you. It’s part of being human. Go ahead and pass your judgment, now.

  42. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 11:56 am

    Heather >>

    Thanks for the response. I always get excited when someone responds to me!

    “And to say that Annie is dishonest, Stephen, surely, she is no more dishonest than you claim to be. I am a Christian and I can’t lie to anyone about anything …”

    Ahhh…
    But you state an outrageous untruth right there!!! Right There!!! I NEVER claimed to be dishonest here!!! My initial comments were quite brief and curt, and they evidently contain no claim that I myself am dishonest!
    It it most excellent that you demonstrate such reckless disregard for elements of your own consciousness, right together with the reckless statement that you “can’t lie”!!!!
    This will keep me amused for weeks!

  43. Phil
    May 26th, 2004 @ 12:58 pm

    Point of Parliamentary Procedure, Mr. Chairman! (IOW, nitpicking for a moment.)

    The economy is going done the tubes

    This is . . . not true. By a long shot. See here and here.

    gas prices are astronomical;

    Inflation-adjusted gas prices are no higher than they have been at any previous point you care to choose. In fact, they’re nowhere near the historical high, which — again, adjusted for inflation — was $2.94 in 1981. (See here and here, for example.)

    Why do people insist on ranting about things they clearly don’t understand?

  44. david
    May 26th, 2004 @ 1:13 pm

    Heather -

    I hate to burst your jesus love bubble, but given all the horrible things that happened to you, it sounds like all the good deeds your parent did were based in narcissism, not compassion. Otherwise, how could they, as your guardians, allow so much shit to happen to you while they were doing all these good works for others?

    Could it be that your family is very dysfunctional – where the concepts of love and compassion are used as cover for abuse and neglect? From experience I know that this is very common in christian homes.

  45. REDFRED
    May 26th, 2004 @ 1:19 pm

    In the voice of Donkey from Shrek, “Redford ? do you hear that Shrek, she called me Redford, she thinks I

  46. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 1:22 pm

    Heather I’ve just read the rest of your comment, and I want to express gratitude that you have kindly shared this graphic stuff with us – and of course the same goes to Viole as well.

    It is a cutting reminder for me of what’s most important, and a jolting reminder that we are all actively on the same team:- TEAM LIFE, and TEAM HUMANITY! And that we have to be friends in an essential kind of way. It reminds me about what I CARE ABOUT. We all care about HUMANITY! Thank YOU for this!

    In my life, I will act against people damaging people, and act to prevent this happening, as I can, and I will remember what you have written here.

    Heather – you are in agony! The worst pain I’ve been in is tooth pain, and frankly all I wanted do was take care of the things that I really most care about and then just die. Happily tooth extraction sorted me out. I wish I had fully learned the lesson of that experience, and always prioritized my life by the really most important things. Thanks for the jolt!

    Heather – you say you want peace – I see where you are coming from!

    Why do things like this happen? I’m thinking that they come down to reckless displays of power and freedom. Or the damager recklessly careing exclusively for his or her self. Or whatever. It’s always recklessness towards people, for certain reckless “reasons”, It all comes down to utter recklessness.

    Oh, but wait a moment! Haven’t Annie and Heather been utterly reckless with respect to their own consciousness of the insanities of Christianity?

    Yes and Yes and YES!!!!!

    You are not believers, you are reckless disregarders of the rampantly self-evident proofs that Christianity is FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!!!

    And you KNOW THIS, you KNOW THIS, you KNOW THIS

  47. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 2:08 pm

    And you Heather (I don’t know about Annie) have to face the fact that your parents recklessly disregarded the whole truth that they actually knew – and knowingly were reckless with your own fragility of mind, your own developing sense and reason, your own consciousness, your very sensory self, (as you are now being all the time, with yourself’s and everyone’s sensorium)

    Or you could just carry on ignoring their betrayal (and your betrayal of all humanity around you) in this absolutely important regard. :)

    Best let every insanity go, and go with yer flow.
    I am! Bye Bye!

    (PS. Accept responsibility for you own weakness, submission, and complicitness – but blame too the con-artists, and genocidalists who initiated this reckless world wide surrender of haleness to insanity – blame them for their utter disregard for humanity and earth)

    PPS. We’re all in this mess together – even the untarnished people who have always been true. Its one world. We’ll set it right together. We can have peace, and outright worldwide sanity, and we are working on it!

    Sanity will reign again! We will reign (get by) with sanity!
    Amun
    (Cough, Cough)

    Best wishes!

    PPS. Check out and buy “The Christ Conspiracy” at amazon.com. It’s a wild and wacky book, yet essential reading! Also check out luigicascioli.it, and check out his book “the fable of christ”. The thing is ENJOY the destruction of your insanity! Celebrate it!

  48. Daniel
    May 26th, 2004 @ 2:35 pm

    Ive read about “The Christ Conspiracy”, and the verdict seems to be that the book is very shrill. I suggest going to http://www.atheists.org.

  49. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 3:24 pm

    What do you think of http://www.jesusneverexisted.com? That’s a bit wild as well, but again it does an inexorable and excellent demolition of false history! A definite must see for re-education fans!

  50. ocmpoma
    May 26th, 2004 @ 3:49 pm

    I will try to keep this short, but I probably won

  51. ocmpoma
    May 26th, 2004 @ 3:51 pm

    Nope. Not short.

  52. REDFRED
    May 26th, 2004 @ 4:33 pm

    OC, Bravo, one of the best posts I have read on this site.

    Thank you

  53. Eva
    May 26th, 2004 @ 4:40 pm

    samuel=good
    homebrews=better good

    ocmpomas’ post # 50=priceless

  54. Piotr
    May 26th, 2004 @ 4:44 pm

    And where’s Annie? It’s not fun without her. Is she crying somewhere again? I am so NOT sorry.

  55. Annie Banno
    May 26th, 2004 @ 4:55 pm

    “In my life, I will act against people damaging people, and act to prevent this happening, as I can…”

    “Apart from her blog advocacy, she volunteers her time to persuade and help women who are debating whether to have an abortion to choose life. She convinces a few. That is enough good for me.”

    I am acting against people damaging people: Pre-born babies, moms, and the dads who don’t want their babies killed.

    Religion has nothing to do with why TRA wanted to post my email (it wasn’t I who started by challenging myself to explain it adequately, if you read back). HE asked me if he could post it. The above is the reason he wanted to do this.

    Your persecution and name-calling of us doesn

  56. Viole
    May 26th, 2004 @ 5:25 pm

    Annie, I don’t think you’ve a clue about any of us. I doubt there is one person here–even someone lurking–that thinks abortions should be mandatory, or the standard form of birth control. Yeah, reducing the number of abortions is a good thing, preferably by helping women avoid the conditions where they might want one, not by waving ghosts in their face.

    How do we do that? Sex education, contraceptives, and condoms. Get rid of, once and for all, this society that places less value on women than men. Raise the minimum wage. Implement single payer, universal health care. Implement full-employment laws.

    Call me a communist. Thanks. Everything I listed has been implemented successfully, in the United States or elsewhere. With the exception of the equality thing.

    So go back to your group, I don’t really mind. Preventing abortions is good–but keep your hands off my choice.

  57. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 5:38 pm

    It was about ABORTION?!!!!!! Damn!!! I was so WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes, it is about humanity! And I am glad that your are now talking mostly about the realities of life and death. Reality is the best policy!

    What I’ve learnt about today thanks to this debate, is to put my actions where my keyboard is! And gratitude that people like you are fighting for the wee ones.

    How have we helped you.? Please share! Positive feedback is always welcome!

    As is the rejection that an Almighty Good Being would kill firstborns to make their disobedient parents and king do what their told!

    Au revoir.

  58. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 6:08 pm

    Interested in the abortion issue? Want to see beautiful zygotes, embryos, and fetuses?
    Check out this beautiful book! It is packed full of some of the most wondrous images I have ever seen!

    It is The Encyclopedia of Visual Medicine Series “An Atlas of the Human Embryo and Fetus” by Jan E. Jirasek, and it is probably the most precious book that I own!

    If you wonder where you stand on abortion, this book will give you a real clear view of what pre-borns look like, and will leave you in awe of this wonderful life!

    It’s expensive, so why not ask your local library to buy it, or have it transferred from another library?

  59. loaih
    May 26th, 2004 @ 6:17 pm

    As a lurker, and a woman, I have to tell you, Annie, that you do not speak my unspoken thoughts. As Viole says, abortions aren’t pleasant, but in certain untenable situations they are sometimes the only choice. I am barren as the Gobi, wished like hell my ovaries worked, and still I will defend any woman’s right to abort the child she, and not I, can bear.

    You said it yourself, Annie, you feel persecuted. But it’s a very Christian, and particularly Catholic, fetish to rush towards martyrdom with open arms. By having abuse heaped upon you here you are able to glory in your righteousness, and know that you will sit at the right hand of YOUR god when the time comes.

  60. Piotr
    May 26th, 2004 @ 6:23 pm

    Indeed, were we talking about abortion? I could not locate that topic in your email to RA.
    As Viole said you have no clue who we are, darling. And you simply assuming with are those horrible fetus killers just because we are not godidiots, right? I am very much againts abortion and any other violent act. I do not claim any moral superiority though and do not judge any woman who choses to have abortion. You may “work” with women and try to “help” them but I am sure that all your “arguments” involve superstition. Am I wrong? You also use the same superstion to make gay people subconsciously (or not) despise themselves: “god loves you but hates who you are” kind of crap.
    Anyway, I thought we were simply talking about you and your patronizing and your religious obsessions. I was so wrong.

  61. Viole
    May 26th, 2004 @ 6:51 pm

    No, we weren’t talking about abortion, in this threat. Annie just decided to bring it up, along with a, ‘Oh look, I’m persecuted, I must be right!’ statement. Fortunately, these threads don’t have to stick to a specific topic. Now, RA’s intent for this thread is rather irrelevant. We, the readers, have decided to dedicate this thread to self-righteousness, and the fallacy of universal or unconditional love in humans.

  62. me oh my
    May 26th, 2004 @ 8:21 pm

    this society that places less value on women than men

    Women are far more valued than men. At least in this country.

  63. Kevin
    May 26th, 2004 @ 8:37 pm

    One wonders what country you are living in, me oh my. One thing’s for sure, though; you were raised in the Middle East, under, perhaps, the House of Saud, or the Taliban. If paying women less for the same work, while trying to restrict their reproductive rights–the use of contraception, even–qualifies as being ‘far more valued,’ then, ‘minor disrespect,’ must be how you describe the sex trade.

  64. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 8:50 pm

    Annie >>
    I said: “And gratitude that people like you are fighting for the wee ones”. I disavow that statement. I am “anti-abortion” in some cases, and not-so in others. I am pro allowing the mother having a choice before a certain age. And you have been so outrageously reckless of reason, that I don’t trust you!

    Abandon insanity dear.

  65. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 9:20 pm

    And I withdraw that condescending and untrue “dear” as well!
    Abandon insanity!

  66. me oh my
    May 26th, 2004 @ 9:28 pm

    If paying women less for the same work,

    That’s a cliche. Besides, asians earn more than whites in the US. Does that mean asians are “more highly valued” in the US? No. Why not? Because money and “value”, as I’m using the term, are not the same thing.

    while trying to restrict their reproductive rights

    Paranoid minutiae.

  67. Viole
    May 26th, 2004 @ 9:56 pm

    I’m familiar with this kind of denial, me oh my. First off, you made a false comparison. Mean salaries cannot be compared with equal pay for equal work. Sorry.

    So is it clich

  68. Stephen
    May 26th, 2004 @ 10:28 pm

    Annie: You said:-
    “I won

  69. me oh my
    May 26th, 2004 @ 11:44 pm

    Mean salaries cannot be compared with equal pay for equal work.

    I find the idea of “equal work” to be hard to swallow. Of all the jobs I’ve had, the only ones where work was “equal” were the 5.15/hour shit jobs. …hence my distrust of using money to judge value.

    So you must define value.

    …not easy to do, eh? But I would suggest that in China and India, men are definately more valued than women, as (various means) are used to produce male children rather than female. Once gender selection technologies are in place in the US, I would look at that statistic to properly determine value. I predict females will be more popular.

  70. Daniel
    May 27th, 2004 @ 1:51 am

    Stephen, I tried that link and I got a page about webservers.

  71. Stephen
    May 27th, 2004 @ 6:01 am

    Daniel – it’s just down! – the address is correct! I frequent there – as there is a lot of interesting material – and it’s always been up before!!! He is writing a book too – “Nailing Christianity”! .

  72. Stephen
    May 27th, 2004 @ 9:48 am

    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com is back!

    (Please will anyone tell me how to put active links in comments?)

  73. Viole
    May 27th, 2004 @ 11:46 am

    <a href=”URL”>text</a>

    For reference, I recommend these people.

  74. hermesten
    May 27th, 2004 @ 12:12 pm

    Heather, obviously there are Christians who not only don

  75. Daniel
    May 28th, 2004 @ 3:14 am

    Heather, what do you think about 2 Corinthians 6:14?

  76. Stephen
    May 28th, 2004 @ 4:09 am

    Viole >> Thank you kindly for the tip, and the very helpful compact reference! Cheers!

  77. Daniel
    May 29th, 2004 @ 11:23 pm

    I guess heather isn’t going to respond to my question.

  78. from a fellow Athiest
    June 1st, 2004 @ 3:09 pm

    Hate is hate be it coming from a Christian, an Athiest or anyone else. Throwing in name calling just makes you look childish which ever side of the argument you are on.

    Everybody take a pill and calmn down a bit. Reading this thread has been just as bad as reading the ‘everybody who doesn’t believe like we do is going to hell’ threads on Christian websites.

    If you can’t make your argument without injecting your own hate into it then maybe your argument isn’t as strong as you’d like it to be. Arguing ad baculum or ad hominem doesn’t help anyone or make any converts. If anything it just puts everyone on the defensive and generates more anger. Do we really want a whole thread devoted to namecalling to prove a point?

  79. Annie Banno
    June 3rd, 2004 @ 8:22 am

    One last clarification: the translation “God-fearing” doesn’t refer to literal fear of God and was never supposed to. It means “is in awe of” or “has respect for.” From one Bible dictionary: “The ‘fear of God’ is not to be understood as the dread that comes out of fear of punishment, but as the reverential regard and the awe that comes out of recognition and submission to the divine.”

  80. Eva
    June 3rd, 2004 @ 11:52 am

    hmmmm…..interesting…..so, if fear is not fear, then love is not love, and death is not death, and sin is not sin, and hell is not hell, and so on….

    very convenient, i would say….

    try again, annie….

  81. hermesten
    June 3rd, 2004 @ 12:52 pm

    sub

  82. Kevin
    June 3rd, 2004 @ 1:42 pm

    Godidiots are such… um… idiots. The above is the most convoluted argument I’ve seen outside of the vatican. God fearing damn well did mean god-fearing. Read your old testament, girl; that god of your is jealous and vindictive, and he admits it. He was to be feared, not loved and respected.

  83. hermesten
    June 3rd, 2004 @ 3:22 pm

    Fellow atheist? Ok. I contend that claims of

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