The Raving Theist

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The Hand of God?

March 26, 2009 | 119 Comments

Irving “Bud” Feldkamp, the owner of the nation’s largest for-profit abortion chain, lost nine family members when their plane crashed into a Montana cemetery — not far from the Tomb for the Unborn, dedicated to all babies killed by abortion. The victims, pictured below, were Feldkamp’s five young grandchildren, his two daughters and their husbands. One daughter was a pediatrician and the other a dental hygienist; one husband was a dentist and the other an ophthalmologist.

family

Pro-life activist Gingi Edmonds, writing in the Christian Newswire, had this commentary on the tragedy:

In my time working for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, I helped organize and conduct a weekly campaign where youth activists stood outside of Feldkamp’s mini-mansion in Redlands holding fetal development signs and raising community awareness regarding Feldkamp’s dealings in child murder for profit. Every Thursday afternoon we called upon Bud and his wife Pam to repent, seek God’s blessing and separate themselves from the practice of child killing.

We warned him, for his children’s sake, to wash his hands of the innocent blood he assisted in spilling because, as Scripture warns, if “you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.” (Ezekiel 35:6)

A news source states that Bud Feldkamp visited the site of the crash with his wife and their 2 surviving children on Monday. As they stood near the twisted and charred debris talking with investigators, light snow fell on the tarps that covered the remains of their children.

I don’t want to turn this tragic event into some creepy spiritual “I told you so” moment, but I think of the time spent outside of Feldkamp’s – Pam Feldkamp laughing at the fetal development signs, Bud Feldkamp trying not to make eye contact as he got into his car with a small child in tow – and I think of the haunting words, “Think of your children.” I wonder if those words were haunting Feldkamp as well as he stood in the snow among the remains of loved ones, just feet from the Tomb of the Unborn?

I only hope and pray that in the face of this tragedy, Feldkamp recognizes his need for repentance and reformation. I pray that God will use this unfortunate catastrophe to soften the hearts of Bud and Pam and that they will draw close to the Lord and wash their hands of the blood of thousands of innocent children, each as precious and irreplaceable as their own.

Professor PZ Myers of Pharyngula finds Gingi’s “hideous” and “evil” and declares her to be a “moral cretin.” He writes:

All I can feel is horror at the kinds of monsters who would find grim satisfaction in the death of 6 to 10 year old children, as if it were payback for abortion. At amoral pious hypocrites who would regard this as an opportunity to assault human beings broken-hearted by pain and loss, to proselytize for the bloody-handed god of their death cult, to compound agony with accusations of guilt. There is no humanity left in these sanctimonious creatures, it’s been bled out and replaced with fanaticism and dogma.

* * *

It’s a piece that reveals so much about the author: her own unconcern for human life, and her smug obliviousness of the fact that she is taking advantage of a tragedy to say her petty “I told you so”.

Once again, I am confirmed in my opinion that Christianity is a breeder of evil, a cesspit in which the most hateful and inhuman commitment to lies and delusions can ferment. Don’t ever preach at me about Christian morality: I’ve seen it, and it is empty of love for humanity, replaced with sanctimonious idolatry and commitment to dead, dumb superstition.

Myers later points out that one of the women on the plane was five months pregnant. It might also be noted that Feldkamp was a major donor and big supporter of pro-life obstetrician/gynecologist/Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

I will save the question regarding God’s will for last. I’ll start by identifying some reasons that I believe Professor Myer’s outrage is misplaced, whether analyzed from a religious or atheistic perpective.

(1) Gingi Edmonds is not a hideous evil cretin because she dedicates her life to saving lives. Without activists like her, countless people would lose the joy of parenthood and grandparentood to predatory, profiteering abortion mills. Affording counsel, comfort and assistance to women who are under pressure to abort can change their hearts and lives and I have countless pictures to prove it. I don’t know what charitable activities Professor Myers pursues but from a utilitarian perspective I would wager than Gingi has brought at least as much joy into this world as he.

(2) Myers has not identified what harm flows from Gingi’s words other than his own apparent irritation. Presumably he fears that the family of the deceased will be offended by her words (a possibility greatly increased by his own circulation of the story). But the family is a Christian one and the question of God’s agency in the tragedy has undoubtedly already occurred to them. At the funeral, the question of why so many beautiful people were permitted to perish, or were actively called to God, will be discussed. Were Professor Myers sitting in the pews, he could level his “bloody-handed god of their death cult” regardless of what precise conclusion were reached. Myers attack on Gingi’s theology is equally an attack on their own. He is calling everyone who believes in God’s sovereignty “hideous” and “evil.”

(3) The atheism promoted on Myer’s blog will cause far more pain to the family that Gingi’s words. Myers declares that there is no God, that there is no hope for life after death, that families died for no reason, for nothing, and that they are gone forever. The incessant blasphemy against our Lord and Savior will only compound the insult and injury.

(4) Gingi’s words offer to salvage some good from the tragedy. Contrary to Myers’ speculation, Feldkamp may very well remember her words and change his ways. Former abortionist explains the tragedy that transformed his life:

As a physician in Troy, NY, I performed abortions in
my office for eight years. I believed it was “pro-woman” to provide this option. While abortion was never a major part of my practice, as time went on it caused me more and more conflict.

My wife and I were seeking to adopt a child, and all the while I was throwing other people’s children in the garbage at the rate of 9 or 10 a week. I began to think, “If only one of these women could give us her child.”

Eventually, my wife and I were successful in adopting a healthy girl, Heather. On June 23, 1984, Heather was hit by a car and died. When you lose your child, life is very different. Everything changes. That’s when things really changed for me regarding abortion. I realized as never before that the child I was killing in each abortion was somebody’s precious child. My own loss enabled me to value life even more.

I began to feel like a paid assassin . . . and that’s exactly what I was. My self-esteem plummeted, and so did my interest in doing abortions. In 1985 I stopped.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a founder of NARAL who was responsible for over 75,000 abortions and personally aborted one of his own children, had a similar change of heart. Feldkamp may seriously reconsider whether he wishes to continue to profit off clinics which kill grandchildren without notifying the grandparent and which encourage frightened young women to abort their children at the most vulnerable times of their lives.

(5) In other contexts, the non-religious willingly accept such “conversions” brought about by tragedy. Consider, for example, this story from last week about an opium dealer whose wife and three children were killed in drug-related violence. He may have believed that drug dealing was a victimless crime, that his family was innocent, that their killing was unjustified, but he nevertheless regretted his participation in the industry. It may be that we find this sort of “justice” offensive, and we may sympathize with both the drug dealer and his family, but we recognize that some good may come out of the situation. Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.

(6) Note that Myers’ outrage is directed solely at Gingi and her words, which did nothing to cause the tragedy. No similar venom is directed at the persons who might be presumed to bear greater moral responsibility than she, i.e., the ground crew, the flight crew, the pilot, etc. In this connection, one might observe that there is no outrage in the atheist blogosphere over the liberal Associated Press accounts of the crash to label the victims as “ultrarich.”

Ultimately, what most bothers Myers is how an infinitely rational being could contenance the shedding of innocent blood for some ulterior reason. It is only fair that I address that question. And I will do so, below the fold, with the words of the secular God whose answer to that precise question so many have found satisfactory.

It is above my pay grade.

Comments

119 Responses to “The Hand of God?”

  1. IA_
    March 26th, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    Eternal Rest grant unto them O Lord
    Let perpetual light shine upon them
    May they rest in peace

  2. Neil
    March 26th, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

    Excellent points. Myers is rarely logical on these sorts of things. His worldview has no foundation for his morality. He is running off the fumes of Christianity and can’t see it. He has no rational support to claim that we should care what he thinks about the abortionist, the deaths or Gingi’s views.

  3. Jack
    March 26th, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

    Luke 13:4
    What about those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were worse offenders than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

    Darkness and error are innate characteristics of PZ Myers. Many have tried to reason with him, but he inevitably exemplifies scripture with each engagement.

    Proverbs 27:22
    “Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.”

    The Lord’s advice about the wisdom of engaging a PZ Myers or any of his ilk.

    Matthew 7:6
    “NEVER give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them with their feet and then turn around and attack you.”

    Proverbs 23:9
    Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

  4. Catholic Cat
    March 26th, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    My prayers go out to the surviving families and all of the people who have lost their lives in this terrible event.
    May God help some good to come from it.

  5. Christina
    March 26th, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    You have to wonder — or at least, I have to wonder — how a man makes the decision to purchase as an investment the largest chain of for-profit abortion mills in the world. “I need to diversify… Let’s see… DEATH! That’s one that’s recession-proof!”

  6. JoAnna
    March 26th, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

    My heart goes out to the members of the Feldkamp family who are struggling with their grief right now. I can’t even imagine the pain and despair they must be feeling.

    I suffered a miscarriage on March 13. I was only 6 weeks along, but the first words out of my mouth when an ultrasound confirmed that the baby had died were, “Why do women throw away their perfectly healthy babies via abortion every day, and yet I can’t keep mine — one that I loved and wanted so much?”

    It’s hard to comprehend, but I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have the joy of heaven and the reunion with my miscarried children to look foward to someday.

    I hope the Feldkamps find similar comfort, and I hope that they will get out of the abortion business. That tragedy is enough death for any family to deal with.

  7. Catholic Cat
    March 26th, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Joanna,
    I’m terribly sorry to hear what happened.
    My prayers will be with your child and you as well.

    A family member of mine had two consecutive miscarriages. These were her first attempts at having a child. She was all but done even trying, the events were too much for her (for anyone) to deal with. But, they tried one more time and had a beautiful girl. They named her Grace. Her eyes are the bluest eyes I have ever seen.

  8. lily
    March 26th, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

    Oh Joanna!I am so sorry to hear that you have had to go through this sorrow again. Words fail me; they really do. I will continue to pray for you.

  9. frustrated (mk)
    March 26th, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

    To add to the coincidences(?), Feldkamp also lost a grandchild in 2006 when he got wedged in between the mattress and the wall while taking a nap.

    Little Irving died on March 26th, 2006. The plane crash happened on March 24th. The feast of the Annunciation is on March 25th. The feast of the Annunciation is the day that the Angel Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish woman and asked if she would be willing to carry “LIFE”. Her answer, her yes, has had more impact on this world than any other three letter word in history.

    Yes. I will accept this new life.

    So simple. So different from the thousands and thousands of “no’s” that Irving Feldman supplied.

    I pray for this family. What an incredible loss. But no more tragic than other the other precious lives that have been thrown away as so much garbage, with NO ONE to grieve for them. Perhaps Irving grandchildren are with them as we speak…

  10. Lily
    March 26th, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    God is always, ultimately, in control of life and death. Nevertheless, I think we need to approach this subject with awe,fear and trembling. I don’t know why but I was put in mind of a video Mark Shea linked to recently called What if God is a DJ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3GFayShs58&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Emarkshea%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F&feature=player_embedded

    It is a quirky and rather moving meditation on free will grace and the constant hand of God guiding human affairs. The very last scene is both moving and very funny.

    In any case, every time I look at the faces of those two families, particularly those children, I am hard-pressed not to weep. Still, I feel sure that God has welcomed them into his kingdom where there is no pain and there are no tears.

  11. Rilke's Granddaughter
    March 26th, 2009 @ 10:11 pm

    Actually, the post is both incorrect and pathetic. Let’s take the points in order, shall we?

    “(1) Gingi Edmonds is not a hideous evil cretin because she dedicates her life to saving lives. Without activists like her, countless people would lose the joy of parenthood and grandparentood to predatory, profiteering abortion mills. Affording counsel, comfort and assistance to women who are under pressure to abort can change their hearts and lives and I have countless pictures to prove it. I don’t know what charitable activities Professor Myers pursues but from a utilitarian perspective I would wager than Gingi has brought at least as much joy into this world as he.”

    Gingi is a hideous evil, cretinous twat because she is gloating that her god punished someone by slaughtering innocents. Whatever the moral position of Feldkamp, Gingi enjoys the fact that people died to create a ‘moral dilemma’ for Feldkamp. Whatever other work she may do doesn’t change that fact. Myers made no comment on her other actions, and they fail to change the ghoulish and horrifying nastiness of her comments.

    Next time you wish to criticize Myers, you might want to try to actually read what he wrote, rather than replying to a straw man. Doesn’t make you look either intelligent or rational, you know.

    “2) Myers has not identified what harm flows from Gingi’s words other than his own apparent irritation. Presumably he fears that the family of the deceased will be offended by her words (a possibility greatly increased by his own circulation of the story). But the family is a Christian one and the question of God’s agency in the tragedy has undoubtedly already occurred to them. At the funeral, the question of why so many beautiful people were permitted to perish, or were actively called to God, will be discussed. Were Professor Myers sitting in the pews, he could level his “bloody-handed god of their death cult” regardless of what precise conclusion were reached. Myers attack on Gingi’s theology is equally an attack on their own. He is calling everyone who believes in God’s sovereignty “hideous” and “evil.””

    Myers never claimed that other evil would flow from her words. He simply pointed out that she is a perfect example of the kind of sanctimonious evil that lurks in the hearts of certain Christians (and by extension and silence, the entirety of the faithful). Gingi is gloating. That’s what Myers found hateful. Not because others would necessarily be hurt, but because Gingi is an evil person.

    “(3) The atheism promoted on Myer’s blog will cause far more pain to the family that Gingi’s words. Myers declares that there is no God, that there is no hope for life after death, that families died for no reason, for nothing, and that they are gone forever. The incessant blasphemy against our Lord and Savior will only compound the insult and injury.”

    There’s no evidence that Feldkamp and family even know that Myers blog exists. And you are ADMITTING at this point that Gingi’s words ARE hateful and likely to cause pain.

    Typical theist – highly inconsistent.

    “(4) Gingi’s words offer to salvage some good from the tragedy. Contrary to Myers’ speculation, Feldkamp may very well remember her words and change his ways. Former abortionist explains the tragedy that transformed his life:”

    So God caused 14 innocent people to die just in the HOPE that Feldkamp might abandon his business?

    Your god is one cruel, nasty, b–tard.

    “(5) In other contexts, the non-religious willingly accept such “conversions” brought about by tragedy. Consider, for example, this story from last week about an opium dealer whose wife and three children were killed in drug-related violence. He may have believed that drug dealing was a victimless crime, that his family was innocent, that their killing was unjustified, but he nevertheless regretted his participation in the industry. It may be that we find this sort of “justice” offensive, and we may sympathize with both the drug dealer and his family, but we recognize that some good may come out of the situation. Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.”

    Utterly irrelevant to the point. Either god is responsible for their death’s or he’s not. If he is, he’s evil. If he’s not, then those deaths are meaningless – whether or not god exists.

    “(6) Note that Myers’ outrage is directed solely at Gingi and her words, which did nothing to cause the tragedy. No similar venom is directed at the persons who might be presumed to bear greater moral responsibility than she, i.e., the ground crew, the flight crew, the pilot, etc. In this connection, one might observe that there is no outrage in the atheist blogosphere over the liberal Associated Press accounts of the crash to label the victims as “ultrarich.”” Precisely. Which directly contradicts your claim above that he was concerned about evil flowing from her words, eh?

    And accidents happen. Gingi’s evil, vicious, hateful screed was deliberate, intentional nastiness.

  12. Christina
    March 26th, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

    RG, pointing out an apparent connection between two events (Grandpa buys an abortion empire; Grandpa’s family died in a hellish crash right next to a memorial to aborted babies) isn’t gloating, any more than it’s gloating to point out a connection between two events (Susie always picked on little kids on the playground as a child; Susie ended up working for a bully of a boss.)

    The fact that people are getting so defensive and angry about anybody pointing out the apparent connection (and it sure does look like Grandpa’s chickens coming home to roost) shows that at some level, you’re scared to death that there really IS a connection.

  13. Evangelatheist
    March 26th, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    @Rilke’s Granddaughter

    Well put. And the atheist introduces the theist to the truth…again.

  14. Coyote
    March 26th, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

    Christina, I think your lack of insight and deliberate obfuscation of the intention of the original piece is linked to the event of you being Christian. In short, your belief is making you act in a stupid way.

    I’m just pointing out a link. If you get defensive and angry, doesn’t that mean that somewhere deep inside you know it’s true?

  15. Richard Norris
    March 26th, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

    Wow. Nothing like using tragedy to get a political point across, huh? Sick.

  16. Evangelatheist
    March 26th, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

    Christina-

    Obiously, you have succumbed to a typical christian fault in that you are unable to follow a link and think for yourself. Here is the remainder of gingi’s article, which The (lying) Raving Theist conveniently omitted:

    Cue gloating in 3, 2, 1….

    “In my time working for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, I helped organize and conduct a weekly campaign where youth activists stood outside of Feldkamp’s mini-mansion in Redlands holding fetal development signs and raising community awareness regarding Feldkamp’s dealings in child murder for profit. Every Thursday afternoon we called upon Bud and his wife Pam to repent, seek God’s blessing and separate themselves from the practice of child killing.

    We warned him, for his children’s sake, to wash his hands of the innocent blood he assisted in spilling because, as Scripture warns, if “you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you”. (Ezekiel 35:6)

    A news source states that Bud Feldkamp visited the site of the crash with his wife and their two surviving children on Monday. As they stood near the twisted and charred debris talking with investigators, light snow fell on the tarps that covered the remains of their children.

    I don’t want to turn this tragic event into some creepy spiritual “I told you so” moment, but I think of the time spent outside of Feldkamp’s – Pam Feldkamp laughing at the fetal development signs, Bud Feldkamp trying not to make eye contact as he got into his car with a small child in tow – and I think of the haunting words, “Think of your children.” I wonder if those words were haunting Feldkamp as well as he stood in the snow among the remains of loved ones, just feet from the ‘Tomb of the Unborn’?

    I only hope and pray that in the face of this tragedy, Feldkamp recognizes his need for repentance and reformation. I pray that God will use this unfortunate catastrophe to soften the hearts of Bud and Pam and that they will draw close to the Lord and wash their hands of the blood of thousands of innocent children, each as precious and irreplaceable as their own.

    “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then.” (Deut. 30:19)”

    End gloating and return to reality.

    Had your fellow theist written about the facts of the connection instead of passing judgment by invoking divine retribution, this would have been just another article about a tragedy. Instead, this wretch boasted of “her work” which included “warning him, for his children’s sake.” Pride and judgment. it’s her (and apparently your) god; if you and she are going to profess to be christians, you should walk the walk.

  17. Columbo
    March 26th, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

    Evangelatheist applauds Rilke’s Granddaughter post, for what? Calling people twats?
    Yeah, thanks for the introduction to truth.
    More like thanks for the introduction to a fellow atheist backpatter.

    Also,
    How do you know? How do you know that no consequences would befall someone for behaviors they engaged in?
    You both seemed stunned that a theist could possibly believe that to be the case. Well, not just stunned but it magically turned you both into some hyper-insultive atheist warriors.

    I find it amusing that you direct this much passion towards someone’s point of view (even granting your distortion)… but nothing about the fact that this guy has one of the nation’s largest for-profit abortion clinics?
    You both have some muddled standards. “Boo hoo for saying that a God (that I don’t believe in) might have caused or allowed this to happen.” “Unborn babies chopped up in utero…. I’m cool with that though.”

    You talk about walking the walk. But by the consequences of your own beliefs, there’s no “walk” to walk…. anything goes. Even those opinions that seem to get you so frazzled. Those opinions that invoke your to spew insults like “twat”. Nice.

  18. Columbo
    March 26th, 2009 @ 11:55 pm

    “Wow. Nothing like using tragedy to get a political point across, huh? Sick.”

    LOL!
    I’ve read your posts before you disingenuous thing, you.
    Feign the disgust all you want.
    Add Richard to the list of those that seem to be shook to the core over another person’s opinion…. while he cavalierly glides over topics of unborn babies being torn apart.
    Richard, you can’t even take yourself serious.
    Cowardly, weak thing like you left befuddled by someone’s opinion. Gotta get thicker skin, Rich. But before that, gotta get a consistent standard. I can’t take you seriously (you can’t take yourself seriously) with such disproportionate standards).

  19. Columbo
    March 27th, 2009 @ 12:05 am

    Coyote:

    “Christina, I think your lack of insight and deliberate obfuscation of the intention of the original piece is linked to the event of you being Christian. In short, your belief is making you act in a stupid way.”

    What accounts for you acting in a stupid way?
    I think being a Christian allows one to put the matter into its proper context; because it allows for a standard. Not on your position though. The lack of insight would be with respects to your inability to see that from your position you have no standard to hold others to. Again, I think your belief is making you act in a stupid way.

    “I’m just pointing out a link. If you get defensive and angry, doesn’t that mean that somewhere deep inside you know it’s true?”

    Are you seriously advancing that when someone gets defensive and angry that means that they actually believe the contrary to what they are expressing? Here’s that stupid way of yours again. You’re wrongly accused of killing someone…. Coyote’s approach: don’t defend your position and don’t get angry over the wrong accusation because it means that deep inside you know that you truly killed someone that you truly didn’t kill.
    Great insight.

    Or how about this, Coyote….
    you interpreted her reaction as defensive and angry. Guess what? Your ungracious interpretation of her reaction leads me to think that you are the one getting defensive and angry. Because defensive and angry people CAN misrepresent someone’s actual position. Does this mean that somewhere deep inside you know it’s true?

  20. Daniel M
    March 27th, 2009 @ 1:31 am

    This Gingi person is a ghoul. I’m really not surprised the story ended up here (and I’m really not sure about how much of the “facts” bandied around by the “christian news wire” are believable) but seriously, you can just feel the smug coming off of her page.

    To paraphrase, “I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so! praise the lord!”

    It’s sickening how much that sentiment comes oozing through each sentence, how much she thinks the family deserved to be smited good and hard for growing fat off of their misdeeds, and how gleefully she proclaims that maybe (nudge nudge wink wink) they’ll get the message.

    You’d have to be wearing rosary coloured glasses not to get that. I’m not surprised many here don’t.

  21. Carla
    March 27th, 2009 @ 1:46 am

    Thank you for posting their pictures, RT. What beautiful children and grandchildren!! I can’t even imagine the pain that Feldkamp and his wife are going through right now. They are in my prayers.

    JoAnna,
    I am so, so sorry about your child. I am praying for you too.

  22. Pikemann Urge
    March 27th, 2009 @ 1:49 am

    I do think we’re missing the forest for the trees by focusing on these personalities.

    But, I do have a nit to pick with TRT:

    “that there is no hope for life after death”

    Pikemann saith unto him, What is hope? ‘Tis but an illusion, desire clothed in peity. Life after death? Yeah, probably.

    “that families died for no reason, for nothing, and that they are gone forever.”

    All is impermanent, said the Buddha. And while nothing is truly random, not every action is by order of the heavens either. Some philosophers thought that some things happen for a reason. I’d say they’re partly right, based on experience.

    “The incessant blasphemy against our Lord and Savior will only compound the insult and injury.”

    I’m sure that Yahweh can look after himself. Yes?

  23. Nile the Jolly
    March 27th, 2009 @ 3:07 am

    “The atheism promoted on Myer’s blog will cause far more pain to the family that Gingi’s words. Myers declares that there is no God, that there is no hope for life after death, that families died for no reason, for nothing, and that they are gone forever. The incessant blasphemy against our Lord and Savior will only compound the insult and injury.”

    Myer’s words are not ‘atheism promoted’ but the scientific implications of the 21st century whether you like it or not. Dependence on the lullaby of religion to avoid pain may be a preference but it is definitely not an adult way of perceiving what’s going on around us.

    Don’t you see the paradox – or rather the bribe – at all? All the ‘good’ God will ever bring upon us is projected to an afterlife! To an Unknown! Living in this world, having to bear all its evil, has no implication of the presence of any all-good God. Don’t you ever question why an all-powerful being just does not bring the Golden Age, the paradise we hope and long for? Or can’t He? Or is there No He?

  24. frustrated (mk)
    March 27th, 2009 @ 6:03 am

    Niles,

    Don’t you ever question why an all-powerful being just does not bring the Golden Age, the paradise we hope and long for? Or can’t He? Or is there No He?

    If His goal is to get each and every one of us home, then jumping the gun would mean forfeiting a whole lot of souls, whom He loves, and wants to see “saved”.

    Every minute that He puts off the inevitable end, is a chance that one more soul will see the light.

    This postponement is due to Mercy, and Love.

    There is another way to look at what has been said about Mr. Feldkamp.

    It is telling that Mr. Feldkamp was “Left Behind”. Those taken? Well, the adults were all Christians and as such are most likely home as we speak. As Christians, they do not believe that they were punished, they believe that they have reached the very place that they were born to go. For them, this was not a tragedy, but a joyful homecoming.

    The innocent grandchildren, are in Our Lord and Lady’s arms as we speak. They will be totally happy from this point on, never feeling an ounce of pain or sorrow.

    Mr. Feldkamp, however, had he died in that crash, would not be in quite the same circumstances. He might NEVER have seen his family again, as I tend to think he would not have ended up in the same place.

    But now, thanks to God’s infinite Mercy and Wisdom, Mr. Feldkamp has a chance to reevaluate his life, make some changes, and possible spend eternity celebrating with his family.

    This is an act of Love on Our Lords part. This is a parent, who with his child’s welfare in mind, chose to take the members of his family that were already in the right place, leaving behind the one that needed some “help”…If Mr. Feldkamp reads the writing on the wall, it is possible that this will be the greatest blessing of his lifetime.

    A painful lesson to be sure, and totally cruel if you look with temporal glasses, but if you look with eternal glasses? Wow, God is awesome. He did what any good parent would do. He took away the things that one of his children loved the most, in order to teach him that his behavior was leading him down a very dark road. He might have taken Mr. Feldkamps family, to save Mr. Feldkamp.

    And tell me, who is crying for all the children that Mr. Feldkamp is responsible for killing? Who is mourning the loss of all of those little souls? Oddly enough, those unborn children are also in the arms of Our Lord and Our Lady, and may be instrumental in bringing Mr. Feldkamp back into the fold. Their prayers, joined with the prayers of Mr. Feldkamps family, might just be that salvation of Mr. Feldkamps soul.

    How ironic, that one day he could be thanking the very children that he helped to kill, for saving his own life.

  25. lily
    March 27th, 2009 @ 7:33 am

    Nile, while I am delighted to see you back and commenting, I continue to shake my head at your belief that we are not adults. Only you atheists are.

    I continue to shake my head at your uncritical worship of science. You really need to rethink that. Science alone is a very limited way of knowing the world.

    All the ‘good’ God will ever bring upon us is projected to an afterlife! To an Unknown! Living in this world, having to bear all its evil, has no implication of the presence of any all-good God.

    This is clearly not true. The world is full of good things that God created for our use and enjoyment and they point us to him. But they are transitory and, ultimately, not completely satisfactory. They are only hints about the way unspoiled creation will be.

    Evil would, obviously, not exist if we did not have free will. But we do and we do not always choose well. I can only recommend to you the YouTube clip I referenced in an earlier message that does an excellent, though quirky, job at conveying some sense of the action of God in our lives.

    What if God is a DJ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3GFayShs58&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Emarkshea%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F&feature=player_embedded

  26. frustrated (mk)
    March 27th, 2009 @ 7:55 am

    Lily,

    That video was so awesome that I posted it on my blog. Thanks!

  27. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 8:04 am

    Richard Norris said;

    “Wow. Nothing like using tragedy to get a political point across, huh? Sick.”

    Even if that was entirely the case, Richard. What better political point to get across. Right?
    A tragedy happened, nothing can reverse that fact. There are some odd coincidences with the tragedy and for some they might be nothing more than that: coincidences.
    Some might read more into it, maybe there is more to be read into it but maybe you’re right and there’s not.

    But still, what better political point to get across than this, “please disallow the legal practice of killing unborn babies.”

  28. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 8:17 am

    “This Gingi person is a ghoul. I’m really not surprised the story ended up here (and I’m really not sure about how much of the “facts” bandied around by the “christian news wire” are believable) but seriously, you can just feel the smug coming off of her page.”

    Maybe you can “feel the smug” because you expect a Christian would act smug in this circumstance. I don’t “feel the smug” because I don’t think a Christian would act smug in this circumstance. I truly don’t. We are call to humility and charity. We are called to this over and over and over. If she truly were being smug she would be acting very un-Christian because that would run contrary to Christian virtues.

    St. Clement of Rome stated this regarding the Church in Corinth back in the 1st century. There was a sedition occuring at that Church. He stated that the 1st sign of the Church drifting away from Christin virtues would be the weakening of charity. He implored the people two inline themselves with the two virtues most closely tied to the message of Christ: love for one another and humility.

    I don’t see smugness in her writing Daniel. I think you’re expecting smugness to be there. And if there happens to be Biblical verses that touch on the same topic then so be it. She (and I) would be held to the exact same standards if we were in fault with those teachings.

    “It’s sickening how much that sentiment comes oozing through each sentence, how much she thinks the family deserved to be smited good and hard for growing fat off of their misdeeds, and how gleefully she proclaims that maybe (nudge nudge wink wink) they’ll get the message.”

    This is still more a product of your own interpretation. I’d hope you’d be able to draw the distinction at the very least for yourself to acknowledge that it is simply your view and not in any means the true nature of the writing.

    “You’d have to be wearing rosary coloured glasses not to get that. I’m not surprised many here don’t.”

    Daniel, if you haven’t noticed many of us who are Catholics and pray the rosary have offered this family up in our prayers. I’ve prayed that the Lord wipes their sins away (as I pray that he does the same for me) and brings them into his Kingdom.
    Why would you ignore our sentiment to focus solely on your interpretation of what you think to be someone else’s sentiment and then take that view and paint back over the rest of us. Not very charitable, Daniel.

    God bless.

  29. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 8:23 am

    RA/T said: “Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.”

    This kind of thinking is why religion has such monstrous outcomes. You would rather have your gods be petty and spiteful than admit that accidents happen without there being some sort of divine message behind them.

    RA/T, since you’re a prophet speaking for gods, please explain to us Jehovah’s purpose in Joanna’s miscarriage. Because unless you’re going to say that Jehovah smote Joanna because of something she did, then you’re a hypocrite as well as a self-centered jerk. And I don’t want to hear any of this crap about how Satan did it. You’re the one saying that there are no accidents or mishaps apart from god’s will.

  30. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    “This kind of thinking is why religion has such monstrous outcomes.”

    skeptimal, how familiar are you with Holodomor (3million deaths), the Great Leap Forward (40million deaths), the Spanish Red Terror (70thousand deaths).

    Pretty monstrous outcomes, right? Who were the perpetrators in these events?

    “You would rather have your gods be petty and spiteful than admit that accidents happen without there being some sort of divine message behind them.”

    Petty and spiteful? Could you explain that one? Can God set a standard and then hold others to that standard and also allow consequences to befall those that don’t maintain that standard? Or does doing this make Him petty and spiteful?
    What about parents. Are parents petty and spiteful for enacting standards and then allowing consequences to befall their children for not maintaining those standards?

    And, if you do subscribe to the idea that accidents do happen and there is not purpose to them… why don’t you remain consistent with that standard when reading points of views that differ from yours? Because brains with the ability to think are very much accidents too then. The brain would simply be reducible to the material constituents that make up the brain and the thoughts that are produced by the brain are as much accidents as the brain itself. Unless you are going to make a grand leap in logic and declare; “no, we have to hold brains to a different standard because agency does truly exist and the brain is therefore responsible for those thoughts”.
    I think you can appreciate how inconsistent this standard of yours is.

    “RA/T, since you’re a prophet speaking for gods, please explain to us Jehovah’s purpose in Joanna’s miscarriage.”

    My mom was raped, became an alcoholic, had an aneurism and died at a very young age. All of the terrible things she went through helped her develop a faith that was unbreakable. That unbreakable faith helped her to overcome the tragic things that happened in her life. So much so that she was able to move on with her life and overcome the alcoholism that ravaged her well being, cutting her life short and ending it on 12/23/2003. She died a very happy and fulfilled person.
    Her passing away tossed me into a struggle…. a struggle with ultimately resulted in me tossing aside my agnostic assumptions and leading me into the Catholic Church. One consequence of this was my being able to overcome clincal depression which plagued me all throughout highschool and college.

  31. frustrated (mk)
    March 27th, 2009 @ 9:42 am

    Skep,

    Why do you assume that God “smote” Joanna’s babies?

    If we believe (and we do) that the entire purpose of temporal life is to choose the path that leads to eternal LIFE, then while Joannas loss might cause an emotional reaction, spiritually, Joanna knows that here children are exactly where she wants them to be. Home.

    Is it bittersweet? Sure. Selfishly she wishes she could have spent some time with them, laughed with them, watched them grow…but unselfishly, she knows that they will never have to choose between good and evil, never have to suffer a day in their lives, never have to spend time in purgatory and never offend Our Lord by sinning.

    If she WASN’T a christian, then the reason could be that God is using those little ones to “lead” her home. Wanting to be with her babies might just be enough incentive for Joanna (if she weren’t already there) to trust in God and want to spend eternity with him.

    We will ALL die. Not just Christians. You will die too. That’s just a fact. If Joanna offers her temporal suffering due to the loss of her babies, imagine the evil that sacrifice could offset. What a beautiful tribute to her little ones.

    I could see your point, if we weren’t ALL going to die, but since we are, what difference does it make when your time is up? No matter when you go, somebody will mourn you. No matter when you go, it will seem too soon.

    If there is a God, do you think 1 year or 90 years is all that different when you’re looking through the eyes of eternity?

    I wouldn’t dream of saying satan did it (do you realize that you capitalized satan but didn’t capitalize God?) because satan does not have power of life and death. No, every person that dies, does so because God called him.

    Maybe you’re mad that death exists at all?

  32. frustrated (mk)
    March 27th, 2009 @ 9:50 am

    Catholic Cat,

    What a BEAUTIFUL testimony. God was being Merciful, yes. By allowing, not causing, your mother to fall, and then being there when she tried to get up, He in essence saved her “life”….her eternal life. By giving you the grace to be able to see how He was working in your mother’s life, He also saved yours…

    Beeeeyooootiful!

  33. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 9:52 am

    “RA/T, since you’re a prophet speaking for gods, please explain to us Jehovah’s purpose in Joanna’s miscarriage.”

    I just wonder if Richard Norris and the other atheists are going to act in shock to this comment by skeptimal. Because at first it seemed like they were up in arms over their view that someone was “using tragedy to get a political point across”. One even thought such actions were “sick”.

    Maybe they’ll protest and say, “but that was political points. It’s fine to exploit a tragedy if you’re trying to get theological points across”.

  34. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    Thanks alot, frustrated (mk).
    The person that did this to her was a cousin of hers who moved to the area where our family lived.
    Prior to this ‘event’ my mom and dad had invited him over for dinner and had bought him groceries because he was having a hard time getting on his feet. My mom was the type that loved relatives. It was just neat for her.
    Finding out who she was related to and how they were related.
    My sister and I were in grade school when it happened and my dad was at work.
    He threatened her to never tell anyone and if she did she would never see my sister and I again (we were oblivious to all of this). But, we weren’t oblivious to her heavy drinking. My dad was lost because he couldn’t figure out this huge change that happened in my mom. A while later she had a nervous breakdown and everything came spilling out. But my sister and I were kept in the dark.
    I wasn’t told about this until after my mom had passed. I was recently engaged and was mad that I wouldn’t ever see my mom again, that she wouldn’t be able to come to my wedding, that my family seemed to be falling apart, that life seemed cold and indifferent.
    All brought on by her drinking. So I kind of lost my temper one day at my parents house; complaining to my dad about how weak of a person mom was because she was a slave for so long to alcohol. Sure, maybe she overcame it but it was too late… and it was all her fault. She was dead and my life was crumbling. This upset my dad greatly to hear me talking this way about his wife so he very sternly put me right back in my place and finally told me what had happened.

  35. Skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    “Why do you assume that God “smote” Joanna’s babies?”

    I don’t, MK. I think it was an accident, and I’m sincerely very sorry that she is suffering. But if RA/T is going to say that Jehovah murdered Feldkamp because he supports women’s rights, then to be consistent, you’re going to have to accept that god intentionally caused Joanna to miscarry because of something she did.

    My point is this: not everything that happens has a purpose, and that’s completely okay. It doesn’t mean that the universe is out to get Joanna, and it doesn’t mean she or her husband have committed and sins that god needs to punish them for. It just happens.

    “I wouldn’t dream of saying satan did it …because satan does not have power of life and death.”

    That, however, is the traditional copout when someone religious is confronted with the hypocrisy of saying or implying that a tragedy was a message from god.

    “(do you realize that you capitalized satan but didn’t capitalize God?)”

    I do, however, capitalize Jehovah or Jesus, which are proper nouns. Capitalized “God” could refer to any supreme being.

    “Maybe you’re mad that death exists at all?”

    To the contrary; in my view, it’s religious people who can’t accept death.

    You’re correct though when you say that I’m angry. I’m angry that self-important jerks like RA/T and this other cretin will treat someone’s personal tragedy as evidence for their misguided views; yet those same assholes would be outraged if someone said their own tragedies were a divine message that they suck as human beings. I demand that such people accept the full force of their superstitions. If one tragedy is a message from the gods, they all are, and you have to own that if you’re going to play that kind of “let’s pretend.”

    RA/T has the gall to say that accepting some things as accidents is going to be more hurtful to the family than this bitch claiming to speak for gods and telling them it’s their own fault. Really? “This plane crash was an accident” is kinder than “this is your own fault and you should have listened to me?”

    MK, I don’t get angry about disease, natural disasters, death and other tragedies that are beyond our control. We can seldom avoid those things, and our only choice is how we respond to them. But it royally pisses me off when people make the suffering of those things worse than it needs to be.

    Likewise, if gods do exist, they can’t be blamed for the assinine actions and statements of their followers, so this is not a discussion about gods at all. It’s about low-life scum like Edmonds and R/AT, and the things they do and say.

  36. frustrated (mk)
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:49 am

    Skep,

    But you see, you’re saying Joanna herself would have had to commit some sin that she was being punished for. Our view, the Catholic View, is that it might have been someone elses sins. Or that it was not due to sin at all, but the way God had always intended those little souls lives to end. Or that by Joanna offering up her own personal suffering due to their deaths, she could help offset some evil…

    The difference is that Joanna accepted that it was always God’s will, never hers.

    Mr. Feldkamps daughters were Christians. What if they had been praying for years, for God to intervene and save their father? What if they had been asked by God, to offer up their lives…to die early…in order that their father could spend eternity with them? In a way, it was very merciful that God took their babies too, so that they aren’t separated from them or their husbands, even for a little while.

    If God appeared to you and said “Skep, you’re loved ones are in jeopardy. The choices they are making are leaving me no recourse but to let them have their way. They are going to spend eternity in one place, but you are going to spend it in another. The only hope they have, is if you come with me now. Then, if nothing else, they might change their hearts so that they can be with you forever…” Would you do it? Would you give up your life, (which is going to end one day anyway, but this way it would be given up for the love of others) or would you say “no thanks”?

    You look at this as a vengeful act. I look at it as an act of Love.

    Again, if we weren’t going to die anyway, you might have a point. But if we are ALL going to die, and we are, then why is it cruel to use our deaths to help those we love?

    But it royally pisses me off when people make the suffering of those things worse than it needs to be.

    I just don’t understand how giving meaning to their deaths is making their suffering worse? It seems to me that the one that is suffering the most is Mr. Feldkamp. And if his suffering brings him home, than is that worse?
    I think it makes it better.

    You say the Mr Feldkamps only crime was wanting women’s rights…but where do you get this? Seems to me, this was a business venture and nothing else. Not some statement about women’s rights to choose. You’re projecting this “noble” idea onto him, without any proof that he felt this way. More likely, he did it for money.

    But either way, babies died, due to his choices. You don’t see it that way, as you don’t see them as babies, but God does. As far as God is concerned, this man chose of his own free will to buy businesses whose sole purpose is to end the lives of thousands upon thousands of lives. Grandchildren, children, great grandchildren, that will never have the chance to blow bubbles, or drink root beer floats or ride the tilt a whirl…

    If what we believe is true, that these babies are real and whole, and that God is real and whole, then doesn’t it make sense that we would see this “tragedy” as a vehicle to save a mans soul? A way to speak to the world, and let them see the irony, possibly saving their souls as well?

    NO ONE is reveling in the fact that this happened, but we do see that good can come out of it. We do acknowledge that God might have had a hand in it. We do pray that it will wake Mr. Feldkamp up. We do hope that it will be used for good. We are not happy that it happened. We are not monsters. We wish that it didn’t have to happen this way. That Mr. Feldkamp had never bought those clinics. That his family did not have to die. Yet, we also recognize that this is the very thing that might insure Mr. Feldkamps eternity will be spent with his family.

  37. frustrated (mk)
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:52 am

    Catholic Cat,
    Wow…what a powerful testimony. The pain your mother must have endured, keeping that secret. And how wonderful that she finally turned her suffering to good. That she turned to God. And look where it led. To you blogging here, giving others hope…

    Really amazing.

  38. Lily
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:54 am

    Skeptimal: You are so far out of line that you are practically a circle.

    You said:
    You’re correct though when you say that I’m angry. I’m angry that self-important jerks like RA/T and this other cretin will treat someone’s personal tragedy as evidence for their misguided views; yet those same assholes would be outraged if someone said their own tragedies were a divine message that they suck as human beings. I demand that such people accept the full force of their superstitions. If one tragedy is a message from the gods, they all are, and you have to own that if you’re going to play that kind of “let’s pretend.”

    We do understand that God is speaking to us through our tragedies. Why ever would you suppose otherwise? Conversion is a life-long experience, not a one time event. When we go astray, God will call us back. If we listen when he whispers, fine and good. But if he needs to use a sledgehammer, he will. It is called mercy. A severe mercy, to be sure. But mercy none-the-less.

  39. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    “I don’t, MK. I think it was an accident, and I’m sincerely very sorry that she is suffering. But if RA/T is going to say that Jehovah murdered Feldkamp because he supports women’s rights, then to be consistent, you’re going to have to accept that god intentionally caused Joanna to miscarry because of something she did.”

    How is that being consistent?
    You’re the one saying that RT is maintaining that God murdered Feldkamp despite the fact he never said that. If God exists He can allow or disallow or cause or not cause what He would like to.
    It’s possible that in one situation it’s a matter of causing in another situation it’s a matter of allowing. Not everything I allow to happen are also events that I caused.
    If God is an agent in a manner similar to how many people believe they are agents then this would allow numerous other actions on God’s part. Causing, not causing, allowing, not allowing, assisting… as well as the assortment of attitudes towards the aforementioned possibilities of actions: pleased, unpleased, happy, upset.
    You’re assuming: caused and happy.
    God caused this and God is happy with the outcome. Why is your conception of the God you don’t believe in so narrow?
    Granted you’re criticizing a god. And if your conception of God is true then you’re right…. what a weird entity that would be. A very narrow, weird entity. He comes across more like a one dimensional character in a bad movie than a real entity. That’s why I feel you’re conception to be narrow. Fatally narrow for the purpose you’re setting out on.

    “My point is this: not everything that happens has a purpose, and that’s completely okay.”

    Or a better way would be: nothing happens for any purpose. You can’t limit your material bias to supposed divine actions and grant human actions immunity. If there is no actual purpose to life (aside from death and decay) and we are simply the result of physics acting on chemistry acting on biology then even our actions have no “purpose”. There would be no reason for you to be disgusted by the opinions of those you disagree with it; because their actions aren’t purposeful…. they just happened. Humankind would be no more inclined to act as agents than the Divine that you discount. Chemicals and their reactions aren’t nice, mean, inconsiderate, spiteful, hateful… they just are.

  40. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    Columbo,
    Charity, humility and love goes for Christians too.
    Oddly enough.

  41. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:33 am

    Cat said: “You’re the one saying that RT is maintaining that God murdered Feldkamp despite the fact he never said that.”

    Yes he did: “Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.” He equated justice with this accident.

    “It’s possible that in one situation it’s a matter of causing in another situation it’s a matter of allowing.”

    That isn’t what we’re talking about though. RA/T has said that he knows that this accident was “justice.” He is therefore either saying he is a prophet, authorized to speak for Jehovah, or he is saying that all accidents are god’s judgment. There is no middle ground on this one.

    “If God exists He can allow or disallow or cause or not cause what He would like to.”

    We’re not so much talking about god here as we are about religious people who say they know what god’s will is. It’s pretty damned convenient for religious people to pick and choose which disasters are “justice.” Strangely, it’s always “justice” when it happens to someone you don’t like. Well religious hucksters have been playing that game since men first started creating gods.

    ” He comes across more like a one dimensional character in a bad movie than a real entity.”

    I agree, but that’s the picture you have to take from the Bible and from godly people like RA/T and Edmonds.

    “You can’t limit your material bias to supposed divine actions and grant human actions immunity.”

    I don’t.

    “If there is no actual purpose to life (aside from death and decay) and we are simply the result of physics acting on chemistry acting on biology then even our actions have no “purpose”.”

    That doesn’t follow. The “meaning” is something that we give to our lives. Whether a god started the evolutionary process or whether it happened naturally, that doesn’t change our ability to appreciate the world in which we live.

  42. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:38 am

    Lily said: “We do understand that God is speaking to us through our tragedies.”

    I appreciate that, Lily. I like to think we all have the opportunity to grow as people as a result of the things that happen in our lives. There’s a difference, however, between learning to respond well to tragedy and saying that a tragedy is proof that you’re right, which is what RA/T is saying. He’s also saying that he speaks for god. Atheists get accused of arrogance a lot, but I ask you: have you ever heard an atheist claim something as arrogant as this?

  43. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    MK said: “You look at this as a vengeful act. I look at it as an act of Love.”

    Then you’re in disagreement with RA/T, who sees it as an active work of Jehovah, a “gotcha” that also conveniently supports RA/T’s position on abortion. There’s no difference between that thinking and the thinking of some in the Muslim (and Christian Republican) world that 9/11 was god’s judgment on the U.S.

    Look, I’ve heard god’s judgment being blamed for everything from Hurricane Katrina to the big tsunami a few years ago. It’s as predictable as the sunrise that some bottom-feeder is going to claim every disaster as the judgment of one god or other (and evidence that the bottom-feeder was right all along). It’s time for us all to grow up and accept that accidents happen.

    “NO ONE is reveling in the fact that this happened, but we do see that good can come out of it.”

    I believe that you and many others here are sincere in your sympathy for the survivors of this family. But frankly, it’s bull to say that RA/T and Edmonds are not taking pleasure in this. I don’t want to hear any of you on this board accusing atheists of arrogance any more if you can’t acknowledge the arrogance of RA/T saying he knows the mind of god about this tragedy.

  44. EclecticGuru
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    “Gingi Edmonds is not a hideous evil cretin because she dedicates her life to saving lives.”

    Hideous evil cretinism is a historically fair way to describe god-belief. But I don’t think its properly polite to apply directly to a person as part of a political/philosophical debate. Just their beliefs. Gingi Edmonds subscribes to hideously evil cretinistic god-beliefs.

    “Myers declares that there is no God, that there is no hope for life after death, that families died for no reason, for nothing, and that they are gone forever. The incessant blasphemy against our Lord and Savior will only compound the insult and injury.”

    The Raving Theist promotes hideously evil cretinistic god-beliefs too.

    “one might observe that there is no outrage in the atheist blogosphere over the liberal Associated Press accounts of the crash to label the victims as “ultrarich.””

    Seriously? What a genius observation. You’ve busted us atheists now.

    Atheist blogs focus on criticizing kooky god-belief driven bullshit.

    You better contact Fox News, this is a breaking story!

  45. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    “Yes he did: “Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.” He equated justice with this accident.”

    You’re equating “a hand in any such tragedies” as God murdering someone. I don’t think that’s valid. Because even if God passively allowed such actions to occur you would still maintain that he ‘murdered’ them; and I think most wouldn’t maintain that. So, it’s still your interpretation superimposed over what was actually said. And I believe that a more gracious reading would never have brought in the word “murdered”.

    “That isn’t what we’re talking about though. RA/T has said that he knows that this accident was “justice.” He is therefore either saying he is a prophet, authorized to speak for Jehovah, or he is saying that all accidents are god’s judgment. There is no middle ground on this one.”

    I can act passively and allow something to happen and feel that my non-action is the just thing to do. Say my friend slapped his girlfriend. Then his girlfriend’s brother came over to hand my friend a beating. I’m an accomplished boxer who knows that he could easily prevent this from happening…. but I don’t, I allow my friend to get the treatment he deserves in this situation.
    So, allowing a consequence to occur because one feels the consequence is just/necessary/acceptable isn’t the same as causing that consequence to occur.
    And, an all-knowing God that can foresee some good coming from a terrible situation would be in the right position to permit such a thing from happening. You focus on the terrible event and stop: your god (the god conjured in your mind) is narrow. But the God that Christians/Jews/Moslems subcribe to is infinitely more vast. Good comes from bad, hope comes from despair.

    God allowed his only Son to be crucified upon a cross. Tragedy strikes all… God allows hope to come from that.

    “We’re not so much talking about god here as we are about religious people who say they know what god’s will is. It’s pretty damned convenient for religious people to pick and choose which disasters are “justice.” Strangely, it’s always “justice” when it happens to someone you don’t like. Well religious hucksters have been playing that game since men first started creating gods.”

    If we’re saying that God’s will is the same as allowing something to happen…. well then it’s God’s will my mom was raped. I have no problem with that. It was God’s will that she struggled with alcoholism. It was God’s will that a 5th grader coming home from school had to push the front door so hard to open because his mom was passed out on the other side lying on the floor in her own vomit. It was God’s will that His Son was mocked, lashed and hung from a cross. And it’s God’s will when either I’m taken away from my wife… or she from me.
    I’m fine with all of this, because I don’t believe it to be the end and I do believe God’s love to be infinitely greater than all of the terrible things that can and will happen.

    “I agree, but that’s the picture you have to take from the Bible and from godly people like RA/T and Edmonds.”

    Not at all.

    “I don’t.”

    Then why care about their actions? They aren’t causing them.

    “That doesn’t follow. The “meaning” is something that we give to our lives.”

    Ahhhh, but then there is no meaning. If meaning isn’t something inherent to the object in question (life) then it’s nothing. It’s no more than a mental veneer that you superimpose on something that doesn’t actually have that quality. Why should I respect that? Your mental veneer believes that life is precious in the absense of life actually having that quality… well, to be difficult, say mine doesn’t. My mental veneer superimposed over life shows me a bunch of people that I can sucker out of things they have for my benefit.

    “Whether a god started the evolutionary process or whether it happened naturally, that doesn’t change our ability to appreciate the world in which we live.”

    Sure it does.
    Because prior to becoming a Catholic I didn’t appreciate the world I lived in. I was an angry kid. I was nice to my girlfriend because I thought maybe I’d get “something” in return. I was jealous when my friends wouldn’t include me in things they were doing. I took advantage of those that could be taken advantage of…. and was nice to those who could take advantage of me, because I thought if I was they wouldn’t take advantage of me.
    I did charitable and nice things when people were looking, because it made me feel good to think of what others might think about me. If I thought my actions weren’t appreciated I stopped.
    I appreciated what I could get to make me feel better about myself and to give me the least about of hardships as possible.

  46. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Electric Guru said:

    “Hideous evil cretinism is a historically fair way to describe god-belief.”

    That doesn’t sound very fair, but maybe you can flesh it out a bit so I can better understand.

    “The Raving Theist promotes hideously evil cretinistic god-beliefs too.”

    Hideously evil? Really? I don’t see it. It gives me comfort. I look at those families and I think that maybe they’re in a better place now and maybe my prayers might even be able to assist in that. That maybe all tragedies don’t end with the tragedy. Doesn’t seem hideously evil at all.

    “Seriously? What a genius observation. You’ve busted us atheists now.
    Atheist blogs focus on criticizing kooky god-belief driven bullshit.
    You better contact Fox News, this is a breaking story!”

    Electric… that almost read kind of like you were being evil. Maybe even a touch of hideous. If god-belief drives hideously evil sentiments and behaviors…. then what is accounting for your sentiments and behaviors.
    I think you have your retical over the wrong target. Because you, I would guess, have no god-beliefs but you’re acting in a way congruent in a hideously evil manner.

  47. Lily
    March 27th, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    There’s a difference, however, between learning to respond well to tragedy and saying that a tragedy is proof that you’re right, which is what RA/T is saying. He’s also saying that he speaks for god. Atheists get accused of arrogance a lot, but I ask you: have you ever heard an atheist claim something as arrogant as this?

    I didn’t see Gingi or RT make any such claim. We do know that God is just. He is long-suffering and patient. But he will not be mocked forever.

    At the same time, as I said early on, we do need to be very careful in claiming that any given event happened because (xyz) and that God directly brought it about to accomplish (ABC). We cannot know that and it is a subject best approached with awe, fear and trembling. It is instructive to note what God said to Job’s 3 friends in this context.

  48. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

    “If we’re saying that God’s will is the same as allowing something to happen…. well then it’s God’s will my mom was raped. I have no problem with that. It was God’s will that she struggled with alcoholism. It was God’s will that a 5th grader coming home from school had to push the front door so hard to open because his mom was passed out on the other side lying on the floor in her own vomit.”

    Cat, what happened to your mother was horrible, and it sounds like you’ve had to be tough to keep your head together. I don’t want to minimize that at all.

    Still, you’re not making an honest comparison to what RA/T has said. I do not believe RA/T or the cretin are talking about god “allowing” something to happen, or of bad things happening in the world because of the “fallen state” of things on earth. It goes without saying that I disagree with you and MK and Lily on those issues, but that’s not what RA/T is implying or flat-out saying.

    RA/T said: “Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.”

    The meaning is clear: either there is no justice, or one of the gods meant this specific accident to be punishment for specific actions of the deceased.

    In order for the comparison to your mother to be accurate, RA/T would have to say that your mother was raped as punishment for past actions, that the rape was just, and that had their been no rape, there could be no justice in the world.

  49. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

    Cat said: “If meaning isn’t something inherent to the object in question (life) then it’s nothing.”

    We disagree on that, of course. People add value to things all the time, and we’re willing to fight battles to protect them because of that value. A flag is a piece of cloth, but put the stars and stripes on it and we’ll salute it, pledge allegiance to it, and try to make it unconstitutional for someone to burn it. Jerusalem is a glorified pile of rocks, but people have been dying daily for a couple of thousand years over control of those rocks. Even the ideas behind those man-made things are also man-made. (America, religion).

    I understand that to a religious person, life without religion is not worth living. But that’s only because you’ve defined “a life worth living” as being a religious life. There’s no reason that life without religion is a dark thing. You might even agree with me if I said “life without Islam” or “life without Buddhism” is better than life with those things.

  50. JJ
    March 27th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

    You appear to have acquired an atheist infestation.

    Please follow routine procedures as outlined in manual sections: Proverbs 23:9, Proverbs 27:22, Matthew 7:6, Revelation 22:11

    Thank you

  51. Skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

    JJ:

    Ezekiel 4: 12-15, Judges 19: 24-29

  52. Catholic Cat
    March 27th, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

    “We disagree on that, of course. People add value to things all the time”

    So you’ll agree that the value you place on life has no actual meaning and that there’s no reason for me to maintain the same value that you hold.

    Of course people can add value to things; but I’m talking about things that have inherent value/meaning. If something doesn’t have inherent value then whatever meaning it is given is soley a product of the mind.

    “A flag is a piece of cloth, but put the stars and stripes on it and we’ll salute it, pledge allegiance to it, and try to make it unconstitutional for someone to burn it.”

    But not just any flag with random stars and stripes. But there’s no denying that at least one pattern with stars and stripes represents something that actually happened. That people actually fought and died for their freedom. Remove the historical significance that the flag is founded on and you’re back to a piece of clothe with stars and stripes on it.
    It wasn’t by virtue of that select pattern that lend the value to the flag…. it was by virtue of the reality surrounding the flag and the actual events it represents.

    Even so, pointing to an example of something with value that was ascribed from without, doesn’t negate the existence of examples of value that is ascribed from within.

    “I understand that to a religious person, life without religion is not worth living.”

    Not worth living? What is “worth living”? Prior to be religious I was alive and had no intention of killing myself.

    “But that’s only because you’ve defined “a life worth living” as being a religious life.”

    That’s wrong. I simply said inherent meaning, I never said that people will think life isn’t worth living. There are many things with out certain bits of inherent worth and I don’t wish them out of existence. That sounds silly to have to even say.

    “There’s no reason that life without religion is a dark thing.”

    Tell that to me when I suffered from depression.
    But, more specifically, what is “a dark thing”?
    Tell this to someone who suffers from depression, “hey, cheer up!! Life has whatever meaning you want it to have”.

    “You might even agree with me if I said “life without Islam” or “life without Buddhism” is better than life with those things.”

    Well, if life with Islam or life with Buddhism could maintain and defend that there is purpose and meaning to life then why not? Better than the atheist who says, “there is no purpose or meaning to life…. so just give it your own”.

  53. skeptimal
    March 27th, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

    Cat said: “So you’ll agree that the value you place on life has no actual meaning and that there’s no reason for me to maintain the same value that you hold.”

    Meaning is *always* related to the person interpreting that meaning. There is no sense of “meaning” that is all encompassing. Even in religion the only meaning comes from whatever each religion’s god or gods say(s) the meaning is.

    “Even so, pointing to an example of something with value that was ascribed from without, doesn’t negate the existence of examples of value that is ascribed from within.”

    True enough, although I don’t see how you can point to something that has value apart from the perspective of the person assigning it value.

    Your original quote, by the way, was “If meaning isn’t something inherent to the object in question (life) then it’s nothing.” I would say I’ve proven you wrong in that, unless you don’t value your country.

    Well, if life with Islam or life with Buddhism could maintain and defend that there is purpose and meaning to life then why not? Better than the atheist who says, “there is no purpose or meaning to life…. so just give it your own”.

    So the fact that Islam and Buddhism are not true is less important than the fact that they claim to have ethereal perspectiveless “meaning?”

    I said: “There’s no reason that life without religion is a dark thing.”

    You answered: “Tell that to me when I suffered from depression. But, more specifically, what is “a dark thing”? Tell this to someone who suffers from depression, “hey, cheer up!! Life has whatever meaning you want it to have”.”

    Is there any philosophical statement you could hand a depressed person and expect it to cure their depression? How many people have overcome depression simply by hearing that two thousand years ago, a god died and came back to life so that he and his father wouldn’t have to burn you alive for all eternity?

    If the truth is that there are no gods, would you rather know that, or would you rather believe so that you’ll be less depressed? What if the key to licking depression was facing the truth?

    “There are many things with out certain bits of inherent worth and I don’t wish them out of existence. That sounds silly to have to even say.”

    I’m sorry. What you said is that life has no meaning without religion. And what is it that gives life meaning? Religion. It’s to your credit that you can admit that life would still be worth living if you admitted that Christianity doesn’t hold water.

  54. Columbo
    March 27th, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    To Catholic Cat,
    Don’t tell me how to act.
    I did nothing more than flip their phrases and direct them right back.
    If you prefer the *let’s play nice* approach fine.
    That’s not how I play this.

    And yes, I’m still very much a Christian.

  55. Renee
    March 27th, 2009 @ 6:57 pm

    I see learning about how the Feldkamps made their fortune is to understand the point of “chutzpah”. Here we are learning on the national news that a man lost a two children and five grandchildren, we all understand the tragedy when people lose family members.

    It is expected, as it should, there should be an outpouring of grief. I’ve been in a place where I lost a sibling through an auto accident, ultimately probably his fault recklessly driving. People came showering with their condolences and support for my parents.

    From what I’m reading atheists think Christians may think that God made my brother die, his accident had its own share of coincidences in things, including myself becoming religious. From what I gather there are what Christians believe and what atheists think Christians believe. I still have trouble wrapping my head around these atheist beliefs, especially inserting science everywhere. Science neither proves or disproves God. Why? Because the Christian belief in God is supra-natural, the natural laws of science don’t apply to Him. God above them, hence when God does intervene in this natural world His presence may break the rules of science.

    Anyways back to chutzpah.

    Humans die. We all die from either natural, accidental, or intentional causes. As a society we are faced to grieve for a man and his wife, who lost their family accidentally, yet who they themselves felt not only no grief in abortion, but made a living off it as a business.

    We send our condolences and prayers, even understand and may personally relate to their grief, but we aren’t going to ignorant of the obvious that Mr. Feldkamp and his wife felt no shame and took advantage for profit of scared pregnant women, who were lead to believe “getting rid of it” was their only option.

    When it comes to the lies of abortion, children that we are suppose love and protect in our wombs, as the grow and ready themselves to birth, conveniently become “blobs of tissue” to be discarded at a reasonable price.

    Are we sure it’s the pro-lifers who are fooling themselves?

  56. JoAnna
    March 27th, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

    testing…

  57. JoAnna
    March 27th, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

    Oh good, now comments are working.

    Late to the game here…

    Skeptimal, thank you for your kind expression of sympathy. Even though my baby was just barely 6 weeks gestation, s/he was a human being with an immortal soul, and I grieve for his/her loss.

    I don’t believe that God “smote” my babies, nor do I believe that my babies have died because of any sins that I, personally, have committed. Boothe Farley, while talking about the death of her daughter, Copeland, explains it better than I can:

    If God didn’t ordain Copeland’s sickness, if it wasn’t His design, why in the world did she have it? Because I live here. It’s like asking why I have a Southern accent. It comes free, courtesy of my locale. She wasn’t sick because I needed to learn a lesson. She wasn’t sick because I didn’t do enough things right – or too many things wrong. She was sick because we live in a broken, fallen world and until Jesus comes back, things are just going to keep going wrong. Not all the time – that’s when the glimpses of Heaven come in. But quite frequently. Life is truly one long dysfunction. Only by God’s grace – getting what we don’t deserve – do we ever see any good at all.

  58. Nile the Jolly
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:38 am

    “Science neither proves or disproves God. Why? Because the Christian belief in God is supra-natural, the natural laws of science don’t apply to Him.”

    What science cannot disprove is the God of philosophy, not God of religion. If you place an unknown entity and name him God at the edge of the limits of science, then yes, this imaginary Being cannot be disproved – it can’t be proved either. This is obvious because I cannot prove or disprove whatever you may be imagining in your mind. I is purely subjective.

    However the God/Gods of religions have been disproved through archeology and history of religions. All the info of the sacred texts have been falsified. The contents of these books are just what some influential leaders have imagined and been able to convince the people around them. That’s why we still have groups like Mormons,etc. and that’s why one religion has so many sects. I am really amazed that inflation of religions and sects does not stimulate you to question this phenomenon. It’s all fake! Can’t you see this? It’s all fake! It’s how some ingenious people make the naive obey rules!

  59. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 4:42 am

    I think the typo in the last paragraph of this post says it all. Imagine if all the “sin” committed by anyone within your circle of acquaintance becomes cause for divine vengeance. Scares the piss out of me.

    Apparently, this is what many of you believe.


    He is calling everyone who believes in God’s sovereignty “hideous” and “evil.”

    No, this is not true, and that’s critical to understand the atheist philosophy (I’m surprise you don’t know this). Atheists believe religions are meme belief systems that self-propagate and are ultimately deleterious to social evolution. We DO NOT believe religious people are evil — at least not the non-idiots among us. The best atheists (of which I make no claim) are like socio-political dietitians. Eating a high-fat Big Mac diet is going to ultimately harm you, and I’ll tell you so, but I’m not going to wrestle the fries from your mouth.

  60. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 4:51 am


    Myers may reject the notion that a God could have a hand in any such tragedies; but if that is that case there is no sort of justice at all. Just a random, meaningless accident.

    Yes, it was a random, meaningless accident. The plane fell short of the runway. Unfortunately it happens all the time, but not always with such loss of life. A family tragedy should not be used to score political points. Ever. If you contest that, you’re only lending credence to Myers’ viewpoint.

  61. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 4:53 am

    Actually, I like your and Obama’s answer. There’s nothing wrong with saying nothing. If only someone had told Gingi.

  62. lily
    March 28th, 2009 @ 5:31 am

    Sorry, Bbub–abortion is only secondarily a political issue; it is a moral issue first and a gravely evil one at that. We will not be silenced just because those with bloody hands might get their feelings hurt when we continue to remind them of that.

    Gingi has every right in the world; both as a citizen and as a human being to reflect on this incident and to come to conclusions about it that you don’t like. I think there is not one of us who is not pained by a tragedy of any kind but one of this dimension leaves me, at any rate, shaking my head. I still feel sick every time I look at those children. But reality is what it is.

    God is in control and we will all die– 100% of us. Our part is to order our lives rightly and be ready.

  63. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 5:45 am

    mk wrote:

    “But either way, babies died, due to his choices. You don’t see it that way, as you don’t see them as babies, but God does. As far as God is concerned, this man chose of his own free will to buy businesses whose sole purpose is to end the lives of thousands upon thousands of lives.”

    But I’m not even sure this is true. As far as I know, and please point me in the right direction if wrong, there is no “anti-abortion” message in scripture. It originated in the musings and ruminatings of the Church Fathers, like Turtullian. So basically, what we have here is masses of people fulminating over something that isn’t even on very solid theological grounds.

  64. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 5:55 am

    CC says:

    “Or a better way would be: nothing happens for any purpose. You can’t limit your material bias to supposed divine actions and grant human actions immunity. If there is no actual purpose to life (aside from death and decay) and we are simply the result of physics acting on chemistry acting on biology then even our actions have no “purpose”. There would be no reason for you to be disgusted by the opinions of those you disagree with it; because their actions aren’t purposeful…. they just happened. Humankind would be no more inclined to act as agents than the Divine that you discount. Chemicals and their reactions aren’t nice, mean, inconsiderate, spiteful, hateful… they just are.”

    As Yoda said “ah, but this is where you fail…” Pure chemical reactions and evolutionarily conditioned neurons CAN account for those things; it’s just that your ego won’t allow you to admit it. There’s no reason at all that I can’t say that tragedy, death, murder, suicide, etc. are of ABSOLUTELY NO cosmic consequence, yet still very consequential to us petty human beings.

  65. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 5:58 am

    Skep,

    I’ve read and reread RA’s post, and I just don’t see where you think he is gloating over this. I don’t see where he is taking pleasure in this man’s sorrow.

    I DO see where the same things that I have said, have been said over and over…that sometimes God will allow a tragedy to occur in order to bring about a greater good.

    I think our disconnect is coming from two places. One, you don’t think that what Mr. Feldkamp does is all that evil. Therefore, the idea of him being “taught a lesson” seems overly harsh.

    What if Mr. Feldkamp was a Stalin, or a Dahmer or a Hitler. What if the lives that he took were “born” people. What if instead of thousands of unborn, he was responsible for the deaths of thousand of children and adults. And what if his family was then struck by lightening, leaving him to face the same horror that he had perpetrated on thousands of others…the loss of their loved ones?

    Would that be easier to understand? Would a God that would “wipe out” a Mao or a Hussein, to bring about justice be more palatable?

    And second, you mistake justice for punishment. I think of justice more like discipline. Punishment for now reason, without hope of something good coming out of it, is just cruel. But “punishment” that is meant to “teach a lesson” is discipline, and not cruel.

    If God simply wanted to hurt Mr. Feldkamp, then I too would question the type of God that I believe in. But if God was trying to reach Mr. Feldkamp, using rather extreme means because nothing else had worked, then I think He is being a loving parent.

    What if my son was a drug addictthat is neglecting his kids. So I step in and take his children away from him? My son could be looking at this as a punishment. A way to hurt him. Just a cruel action.

    But the reality would be that I removed the children to protect the children, and best case scenario, to wake the my son up. To give him some serious incentive to get his act together.

    My son still has free will, and can choose to let his kids go, and continue to use, or he can enter a program and clean his up his act.

    Am I being a cruel parent? Or am I being a strong parent? Am I causing my son serious pain for the sake of “sticking it to him”? Or am I causing my son serious pain because I love him?

    Neither my son, nor Mr. Feldkamp will see their kids again until they have chosen to walk the right path. My son might see them in this lifetime, Mr. Feldkamp will have to wait til the next, but they BOTH have the option of changing their lives, in order to be with their families again.

    And what if people were telling me that I had done the right thing. That they understood how hard this was, but that tough love is sometimes the only way to go…would they be reveling in my son’s pain? Or would they too, be hoping that my son would do the right thing?

    Love isn’t always about doing the pleasant thing. It isn’t about giving the other person what they want. It’s about giving the other person what they need. And sometimes “loving” is the hardest thing in the world to do.

    As you’ve said, this isn’t really about God. It’s about us, believers in God, and our reaction to this tragedy.

    We believe there IS a God and so to us, this is not a chance to gloat, but a chance to be grateful to God for stepping in to save untold numbers of unborn children and possibly the soul of the man responsible for these deaths.

    We are cheering his pain, we are cheering the possibility that he will stop killing children, and come home.

    Just as we cheer when kids that are being abused are removed from their families. You aren’t happy that the children were abused, or that their parents are in terrible anguish. You are happy that the kids are safe IN SPITE of their parents anguish. Just as you probably cheered when pedophile priests were caught and exposed. You weren’t happy that the priests got theirs, you were happy that they were stopped! You were happy that no more boys were being hurt. You were happy, not because the perpetrators were being “punished”, but because justice was being done.

  66. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:01 am

    We are cheering his pain, we are cheering the possibility that he will stop killing children, and come home.

    Obviously that should read we AREN’T cheering his pain…

  67. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:04 am

    “The Raving Theist promotes hideously evil cretinistic god-beliefs too.”

    Yes, I’ve wondered how exactly a person went from atheism to being such an utterly devout tool of religion so quickly. It’s the 8th wonder. Perhaps he will grace us with a “testimony” vis-a-vis that someday.

  68. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:11 am

    B,

    I doubt it was all the “quick”. Faith is a journey. It doesn’t usually happen overnight. Something happens here, something happens there, and little by little, reality begins to surface. His announcement might have been “overnight”, but I doubt his conversion was.

    It probably started a year or two ago.

    As for telling us his story, I’d love to hear it too, but I won’t hold my breath. I get the feeling it wouldn’t make one iota of difference to anyone here, and would simply be ridiculed and picked apart.

    Tell me honestly. Is there anything that he could say that would make you understand why he came over to the other side? Anything that he could say that would cause you to say “Oh, now I get it”…?

  69. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:57 am


    God is in control and we will all die– 100% of us. Our part is to order our lives rightly and be ready.

    Can you recommend any software for that? Turbo Tax has been working out pretty well for the IRS…

  70. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:08 am
  71. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:20 am


    I DO see where the same things that I have said, have been said over and over…that sometimes God will allow a tragedy to occur in order to bring about a greater good.

    Funny that we’ve got this far and nobody has said “theodicy” or “the problem of evil,” yet that’s what this whole thing revolves about. — The subject that deals with how to explain apparent evil in a world with a supposedly righteous God. More exactly it’s about the attempt to rationalized God’s apparent evil, because you can’t very well ascribe evil to a pure accident without agency of any kind. But for it to happen at the stewardship of an all-powerful God means the act is deliberate, through either commission or omission. (It goes without saying that Christians prefer their evil well done on the “omission” side.) On the face of it, it would appear that God is evil. But wait! There’s an “ulterior motive”!!! This is where things get interesting because religious notions of justice and morality sharply diverge from human civil and criminal proceedings. Though it’s true that some courts might excuse certain breaches of moral conduct for something like end-motive (“end justifies the means”), not many would and not very far. For instance, mass killings as propaganda would, I think, be frowned upon, no matter what end that propaganda may serve.

  72. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:22 am


    BBub,
    http://www.harmonymedia.com/HarmonyMediaSoftware.htm

    Sorry, I only use Open Source.

  73. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:30 am


    Tell me honestly. Is there anything that he could say that would make you understand why he came over to the other side? Anything that he could say that would cause you to say “Oh, now I get it”…?

    Probably not unless he said something that I’ve never heard before. And I’ve “probably” heard it all.

  74. skeptimal
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:37 am

    Lily said: “At the same time, as I said early on, we do need to be very careful in claiming that any given event happened because (xyz) and that God directly brought it about to accomplish (ABC). We cannot know that and it is a subject best approached with awe, fear and trembling. It is instructive to note what God said to Job’s 3 friends in this context.”

    Thanks for saying this. It’s the closest we’re probably going to come to agreeing on this subject.

  75. Renee
    March 28th, 2009 @ 8:08 am

    I have to admit I do have a child like faith in God, since I’m not a religious scholar. Probably later in life, when my children are older I can attempt to focus on such studies. I tried reading the book “No One See God” by Michael Novak. I say tried, baby still wakes up and I need my sleep over reading, but the topic intrigued me. Most of the time I find myself learning along my children in their own exposure to the Christian faith.

    When an atheist says “I don’t see it”, I understand. I don’t see it anything either. I’ve never seen a supra-natural miracle, my entire faith is based on nothing but faith and the Christian witness of others. I read up on the lives of Saints who ‘obeyed’.

    Interestingly my husband and I were talking about obedience last night, the virtue of obedience doesn’t make much sense, until you have the freedom and choice to actually disobey as an adult.

    Children really can’t disobey, because their result is parental discipline, not the natural consequences of one’s actions. As parents we don’t have rules to be mean self-absorb controlling jerks who want to manipulate our children emotions, and neither does God. As parents its our obligation, not just to keep them safe, but guide them into adulthood with the understanding that they ability to keep themselves safe.

    We create bedtime routines for healthy sleep patterns, so they have the ability to do it themselves later on in life. We moderate what they eat and how much along with proper hygiene to learn the same healthy habits. Whether it be beer or chocolate milk, one can not drink excessively, and no one likes stinky breath whether you be four or forty.

    I think of the now thousands of years Christianity has survived whether it be persecution (personal and political) or scandal within its own Church. God doesn’t just work through His supra-natural beliefs, He can work through the actions of others.

    We have choices, we have free will. We are all born unknowing of God, but the vast majority will only learn of Him through the actions of others. I see God as a parent, to guide and navigate.

    Now I was born pretty much as a nominal secular Catholic. My parents never took me to Mass and I only went to some watered down CCD classes to receive the Sacraments, but I had seen overtime various little actions that built up to my assertive belief as an adult.

    I have too many questions, that can’t be answered, those answers are in that darkness that no one can see.

  76. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 10:20 am

    BBub,

    Sorry, I only use Open Source.

    Brat.

  77. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 10:21 am

    I have too many questions, that can’t be answered, those answers are in that darkness that no one can see.

    Or maybe they are in the “LIGHT” and it’s too bright to see…

  78. skeptimal
    March 28th, 2009 @ 10:21 am

    MK said: “I’ve read and reread RA’s post, and I just don’t see where you think he is gloating over this. I don’t see where he is taking pleasure in this man’s sorrow.”

    I don’t know what to tell you, MK. Of course they’re not going to come out and say “told you so,” because that would be “unChristian” (except it isn’t). They just smile benignly and say that there could be no justice if these innocent families hadn’t died. I despise this kind of shamanistic bloodlust from ANY faith, but only a Christian would have the shameless cynicism to claim they say it in love.

    “What if Mr. Feldkamp was a Stalin, or a Dahmer or a Hitler. What if the lives that he took were “born” people. What if instead of thousands of unborn, he was responsible for the deaths of thousand of children and adults. And what if his family was then struck by lightening, leaving him to face the same horror that he had perpetrated on thousands of others…the loss of their loved ones?”

    This is just wrong in three or four different ways. 1) I’m not angry about the deaths. 2) The deaths are not divine judgment. 3) What you’ve described here is irrelevant dark fantasy. 4) And the next darkest thing to a Hitler, Stalin, or a Dahmer is someone who feels comfortable saying someone else’s tragedy is divine judgment.

    “… you mistake justice for punishment. I think of justice more like discipline. Punishment for now reason, without hope of something good coming out of it, is just cruel. But “punishment” that is meant to “teach a lesson” is discipline, and not cruel.”

    This is so beside the point. The problem is not the gods, but their followers on earth. If you want to believe that there is a sin curse hovering over the earth causing all the bad things, that’s your business. What I’m saying is that when someone starts pronouncing a god’s judgment on other people, they are either saying they are a prophet or they are saying that all tragedies like this are the direct result of particular sins. Which one is RA/T saying?

    This kind of bull is just as ignoble when spoken by a Christian as it was when the ancients used disasters to manipulate their followers. It happens in every religion, as near as I can tell, and it is what makes religion a destructive force. If Christianity leaves room for people to make that kind of presumption when speaking to people about specific tragedies, then Christianity is morally bankrupt.

    MK, I know that you’re a relatively gentle and kind person. RA/T is a co-believer, and I’m sure you feel the need to defend him. But don’t waste your breath telling me RA/T or the cretin are motivated by love.

  79. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 10:24 am

    BBub,

    For instance, mass killings as propaganda would, I think, be frowned upon, no matter what end that propaganda may serve.

    Do you think that all wars are unjust? Or are some situations so evil, that the mass killing of the perpetrators of said evil, would be understandable?

  80. skeptimal
    March 28th, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    Demon boy said: “Yes, I’ve wondered how exactly a person went from atheism to being such an utterly devout tool of religion so quickly. It’s the 8th wonder. Perhaps he will grace us with a “testimony” vis-a-vis that someday.”

    For a long time, I wondered too, but I guess I don’t care any more. It’s kind of like when President Miserable Failure spoke in public; even when he thought he was telling the truth, he often assigned different meanings to words than the rest of us did (torture, justice, peace, etc). When somebody is as far gone as RA/T is, real communication becomes almost impossible. I’d just like to know how he would try to justify saying he’s a skeptic.

  81. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 11:00 am

    Skep,

    What I’m saying is that when someone starts pronouncing a god’s judgment on other people, they are either saying they are a prophet or they are saying that all tragedies like this are the direct result of particular sins. Which one is RA/T saying?

    I think he, and I, are saying the latter. I think ALL tragedy, ALL death is the direct result of sin. Sometimes it’s inflicted on the sinner, sometimes the innocent. But I think that every single bad thing that happens in the world is directly related to the sin in the world.

    If there were no sin, there would be no death. No sickness. No evil at all.

    I agree that we cannot say with certainty that this was in fact a direct action taken by God to teach Mr. Feldkamp a lesson, because we cannot claim to know the mind of God. But we can look to the Old Testament and see that this is exactly how God acted over and over in the past. Sodom and Gommorah, Nineveh, the Exodus…

    When we choose to ignore God, then we are forced into “exile”…we have no relationship with Him. But He doesn’t abandon us. We abandon Him. He continues to try to bring us back into relationship with Him.

    So we can look at the irony of this particular situation and say that while ALL tragedy happens because of sin, it appears that this one might be a little more in your face.

    Of course we can’t know with any certainty that if Mr. Feldkamp was a righteous Christian who did not promote abortion, his family still wouldn’t have died in that crash. Nor can we say with any certainty that they were because Mr. Feldkamp did promotes abortions. But we can say, wow, that is some kind of coincidence. I wonder if there is some kind of message there…

    Perhaps God was making a statement, perhaps not. But it can’t be wrong to wonder.

  82. Disgustipated
    March 28th, 2009 @ 11:57 am

    Does anyone consider cause anymore?

    In aviation, tragic accidents are usually not caused by a single, egregious error. The majority of aviation accidents are the result of many, seemingly inconsequential errors accumulating until a final event or malfunction occurs that renders the plane incapable of maintaining flight.

    In the case of the Pilatus PC-12 that crashed on approach to Butte, Montana, it is likely that there were several contributions to the unfortunate final outcome. First, the plane was loaded with people. The PC-12 is rated to carry nine passengers in standard configuration, and this plane was carrying seven adults and seven children, well over the plane’s certified limit. This does not mean that the plane was overweight, since half the passengers were well under the FAA’s “standard person” weight of 170 pounds. But, if it was carrying seven adults with an average weight of 170 pounds, then that left only 340 pounds, or 48 pounds average per child. Without knowing the exact weights of the passengers, it would be inaccurate to claime the plane was overweight. However, two factors play into this. First, the plane was definitely at or near its maximum weight limit, considering not only the fact that seven adults were on board, but also the fact that luggage for a multi-family vacation was in its cargo hold.

    The Pilatus has a maximum payload of 1,189 pounds with full fuel tanks. Seven adults at FAA standard 170 pounds is 1,190 pounds. And, that’s not including any baggage. So, the pilot would be required to reduce the amount of fuel in order to stay within the plane’s weight limit. This is normal in aviation, and we know he had significant fuel remaining, based on the fiery nature of the crash. The total payload of the plane is 3,502 pounds. Subtract seven adults at 170 pounds each, and seven children (a good guess based on the age is 40 pounds average each), and you’re left with 2,032 pounds to carry luggage and fuel. A ski trip does not entail a light load, as anyone who has gone skiing can attest to. There are jackets, cold-weather clothes, boots, skis, and a bunch of essentials for adults and children. It is quite possible that the plane carried more than fifty pounds of luggage per adult passenger, and twenty pounds per child. Another educated guess is at hand, but it shouldn’t be too far off the mark: 700 pounds of luggage for adults and children. That leaves us with enough spare capacity to carry just over 200 gallons of aviation fuel. Is this enough to get from Oroville, California to Bozeman, Montana? Without knowing the fuel consumption rates of that specific plane, it’s difficult to determine, but we know the fuel capacity of the PC-12 is about 400 gallons, so the pilot would be at half-tanks. The range with full fuel and reserves (the FAA requires 45 minutes of fuel reserve upon reaching the destination under IFR flight rules) for this plane is 2,300 miles. Therefore, at half-fuel, they would have a range, less reserves, of about 900 miles. That’s within the roughly 700 mile distance between the departure and destination points, but keep in mind, this does not account for additional fuel necessary for taxi, takeoff, climb-to-cruise, and any non-direct routing or required distances and turns involved in flying an approach. Again, these numbers are so close, one can only assume that this plane was flying at its absolute maximum weight limit.

    The second factor relates to the loading and balance of the plane. Where did all the children sit? How could they be securely fastened in seven or nine passenger seats with all those adults on board? Add to that the fact that with so many children, the potential for distraction to the pilot and adults is enormous. Maybe they were all well-behaved. Maybe not; we don’t know. But It is certainly an additional factor to consider. With regard to the plane’s balance, if the adults were clustered toward the rear and the children toward the front, that would have contributed to the plane’s tail-heaviness, and most definitely should be considered a contributing factor in the crash. There are so many detrimental contributions to the overall success of this flight, that the probability of the tragic outcome was maximized.

    Other things to consider: reports of low-level icing were in the area. This means that as the plane travels through clouds conducive to icing, the wings, tail, and most importantly, control surfaces would pick up layers of ice. This does two things: first, it reduces the effectiveness of the control surfaces and the efficiency of the wings, and second, it addes dramatically to the weight of the plane. If it was already at or near its flying limit, the addition of several hundred pounds of ice, along with the subsequent reduction in flyability, will most likely be the official cause of the crash.

    Without appealing to higher authority, or simply blaming the crash on random events or statistics, I present that the cause of the crash rests solely on the pilot. The FAA states that the Pilot In Command is the final sole authority for safe flight. He allowed fourteen people on a plane without enough seats. He flew at or near the plane’s maximum weight limit. And, why did he divert from Bozeman to Butte? Weather conditions? The need to burn off more fuel to land? (many planes landing weight limit is much lower than takeoff due to stresses on landing gear). We will never know his reason, but a diversion just adds one more distraction to the already maxed-out plane and situation.

    So, before we ask that big question, “Why?”, let’s ask those little “why’s” first.

  83. lily
    March 28th, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    That was very interesting, Disgustipated,and agrees with an assessment I heard or read earlier that the plane was overloaded. It is incomprehensible to me that that a trained pilot would have allowed such overloading in the first place.

    Nevertheless, we believe that God is always in control. He quite obviously does allow natural laws to function as they must, or we could not make testable predictions, discover so much about the workings of the universe or much of anything else. Still, nothing happens apart from his will.

    He has told us how we should live. The only thing that is reliably in our control is how we respond to him. I think it is inevitable that we try to derive meaning from big events– we do it all the time when bad things happen. Broadcasters do it; talking heads do it on cable endlessly, and us little nobodies do it too. I think it is a big part of being human. We need to understand the world around us; to make sense of it.

    Thus, the indignation over Gingi’s and RT’s comments is misplaced. I don’t believe that it is what they said that offends so much. It is that they have plainly stated that we really mean what we say. There is a God and he will not be mocked. While he loves us, he will not allow injustice to go unpunished forever. We are creatures; we are not the creator and we have to make a choice. Will we obey God and seek to do what he wills or will we be our own god? The choice is ours. The outcome resides with God.

  84. Columbo
    March 28th, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

    “As Yoda said “ah, but this is where you fail…” Pure chemical reactions and evolutionarily conditioned neurons CAN account for those things; it’s just that your ego won’t allow you to admit it. There’s no reason at all that I can’t say that tragedy, death, murder, suicide, etc. are of ABSOLUTELY NO cosmic consequence, yet still very consequential to us petty human beings.”

    WRONG!
    You’re not proving anything you’re just stating something. And you reference the ‘ego’ in the process? That’s weird.

    Simple (for everyone except BB) chemicals do not feel happy, they don’t cry, they don’t assume purpose. I can’t believe I’m arguing this. BB is only arguing the contrary because he has no other way to account for it.
    Simple…. as…. that.
    He has to account for the fact that we really do have feelings and we acting with intention AND for the fact that he believes that there is no God (therefore no agency – Divine or humankind).
    So he produces this muddled crap that really makes no sense. He didn’t even address what Catholic Cat was trying to say.

  85. Columbo
    March 28th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    BB said:

    “Atheists believe religions are meme belief systems that self-propagate and are ultimately deleterious to social evolution.”

    MEME belief systems? OH MY GOD! You freak, if you subscribe to meme tripe then EVERYTHING is subject to it. Even your corny, contradictory, hodge-podge atheistic beliefs.
    “Atheists believe religious are meme belief systems”….
    Idiot, if you believe ANYTHING is a meme belief system then so are your atheistic beliefs!

    Wow.
    Just wow.

    And these are the freethinkers among us? They talk from the perspective of yoda and incorporate memes to account for everything belief system except their atheistic beliefs. LOL

  86. lily
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

    Columbo, while Dawkins’ meme theory is absurd, as he himself appears to realize at times, I think we might handle believers in this theory a little more gently. Calling Bbub a “freak” is over the top. Lots of people believe lots of things that are incorrect. That makes them mistaken, not freaks.

  87. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

    Now, now, Columbo no need for the name calling. Skip the “idiots” and “freaks” and you actually made some excellent points tho.

    The very reason that BBub doesn’t believe in God is because he can’t be empirically proved….we always get told that WE are the ones that need to prove it, since we are the ones making the “Positive” statement and you can’t prove a negative…YET, here BBub is accepting meme(s)?, which cannot be empirically proved…it does seem rather contradictory…

  88. Columbo
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

    lily,
    I appreciate your concern.

    With BB I’ve just seen him on so many other forums acting the same pathetic way. He’s a point scorer.
    He has his beliefs, more engrained than most theists he insults, and he’ll twist what he can to support them.
    Maybe it’s because he claims he values intellectual honesty, but he lacks it thoroughly.

  89. skeptimal
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    “I agree that we cannot say with certainty that this was in fact a direct action taken by God to teach Mr. Feldkamp a lesson, because we cannot claim to know the mind of God. But…”

    You were doing so well up until the but.

    I’ve already lost my temper more than I should have, and it’s clear that anything else I would say is going to make no difference. I can’t even respectfully disagree this time, for reasons that I’ve made abundantly clear and that no one is apparently listening to.

    So be it.

  90. Disgustipated
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

    Lily, even seasoned pilots can succumb to the pressures of their passengers and management, especially charter flights. The pilot made a bad decision, and everyone paid with their lives.

    Your other comments are respectful and sensible from a religious point-of-view, which I don’t share. To each his own, I guess.

    I still don’t agree with Gingi’s comments, or Raving’s support of them. I hope you’re not defending her simply because she’s one of the flock; I find it reprehensible that she even considered the coincidental circumstances as fodder for her article.

  91. Nile the Jolly
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

    “I think ALL tragedy, ALL death is the direct result of sin. Sometimes it’s inflicted on the sinner, sometimes the innocent.”

    mk How unethical of God to inflict death on an innocent for someone else’s sin!

  92. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

    Skep,

    Don’t be mad. If I’m not understanding you, it’s not for lack of wanting to.

    If you don’t believe in God then everything we’re saying must sound nuts indeed. But if you do believe, as we do, then we must believe that God can do anything. If we accept the God of the bible, then we obviously must accept what it tells us about Him. And I don’t mean literally, but we can clearly see that God has in the past intervened in men’s lives in order to teach them lessons. Whether he did so or not here, is not for me to say. But that goes both ways…it’s not for me to say he did, but it’s also not for me to say he didn’t.

    Could He have? Of course He could have. If He’s God, He can do anything He wants. As Lily said, He can suspend Natural Law, as He is the AUTHOR of the Natural Law.

    Did He? Who knows? Certainly, not me!

    But don’t be mad. I’m trying. I really am.

  93. Richard Norris
    March 28th, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

    Dr. Tiller has been found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Thought you would all be interested to know.

  94. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

    Dr. Tiller has been found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Thought you would all be interested to know..

    Unchristian or not, there’s a guy I wouldn’t mind getting struck by lightening! ;)

  95. skeptimal
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

    MK:

    Don’t sweat it. When you reach the point that you’re just ranting and you’ve got nothing constructive to say, it’s time to take a break.

    Also, as I’ve been contemplating RA/T’s increasing arrogance, it occurs to me that it’s probably pretty damned arrogant to keep taking up space on the blog of a man for whom you feel little but disgust.

    Maybe I’ll see you around another blog sometime.

  96. Karma Chameleons : The Raving Theist
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

    [...] reality-based community is working overtime to heap scorn upon pro-life activist Gingi Edmonds for pointing out that the victims of the Montana plane perished near the Tomb of the Unborn, and that they were the [...]

  97. frustrated (mk)
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

    Skep,

    I’m sorry to see you go. I mean that with all my heart.

    You can always check out my blog, but I don’t think you’ll like it….

    2secondsfaster.com

    The topics will drive you crazy, but we’re very, very civil.

    I hope you change your mind, but if not, I really, really enjoyed our conversations.

  98. lily
    March 28th, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

    Nile:

    How unethical of God to inflict death on an innocent for someone else’s sin!

    :wall: Nile, what sense can it possibly make to call God unethical? By what measure are you judging him? If he is subject to that measure, he is not God.

  99. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:05 pm


    Nevertheless, we believe that God is always in control.

    No, God is only the co-pilot.

  100. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

    Columbo:


    With BB I’ve just seen him on so many other forums acting the same pathetic way. He’s a point scorer.

    First of all, I’m touch by commenter’s insistence on a civil discussion. While this place gets testy at times, it rarely degenerates to outright insult. Although “freak” is rather bland compared to others. No doubt you’re referring to Vox Day’s blog, which is the only other one where I’ve talked religion. For those that aren’t familiar with it, on that loathsome blog, one slings insult as a matter of personal survival. And I don’t use “loathsome” lightly. Vox Day believes immigrants should be forcibly extradited. Vox Day believes women should not vote or compete with men in the job market. In other words, if you don’t want to have a brain aneurysm, don’t visit his blog.

  101. Beelzebub
    March 28th, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

    Don’t dismiss meme theory until you’ve investigated Susan Blackmore’s work, which took Dawkins nascent idea and expanded it greatly. Atheism could be described memetically also, since memes are a general theory of thought propagation. It’s kind of like psychotherapy; in order to be effective at it, one must first be analyzed in detail. There’s no reason that meme theory itself can’t be a meme and yet be used to analyze itself recursively.

  102. JoAnna
    March 28th, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

    Here you go, Beelzebub:

    http://www.virtualrosary.org/

    :)

  103. Richard Norris
    March 28th, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

    Tiller was actually targeted by the Army of God for assasination. I guess he really ticked off the right-to-life terrorist organization ( a concept that makes the head spin) and Shelly Shannon decided to try to help the end of the man’s life along.

  104. frustrated (mk)
    March 29th, 2009 @ 5:46 am

    BBub,

    There’s no reason that meme theory itself can’t be a meme and yet be used to analyze itself recursively.

    I got no problem with your belief in meme(s)?. I just don’t understand how you can ridicule belief in God because it can’t be proven, yet believe in something, yourself, that is just as dubious.

    It’s like saying that there is no Santa Claus, but then insisting that there is an Easter Bunny.

  105. Beelzebub
    March 29th, 2009 @ 5:52 am

    “I got no problem with your belief in meme(s)?. I just don’t understand how you can ridicule belief in God because it can’t be proven, yet believe in something, yourself, that is just as dubious.”

    I don’t devote myself to it night. It’s an interesting theory that explains why human society seems to stick to certain belief patterns even when they appear to be sub-optimal or outmoded, like pure capitalism or religious systems that are self-contradictory. I’ll use it as a theory until something better comes along.

  106. Beelzebub
    March 29th, 2009 @ 6:00 am

    The real question is this: if meme systems are selected analogously to gene systems and since most of the world is still religious, doesn’t this mean they are the superior meme systems? Possibly, so far.

    There are numerous studies confirming the social and health benefits of religion. At the same time, secularism is undeniably advancing in influence. But is this only a temporary phenomenon and will be fall back into a more theistic world? Hollywood would seem to vote no on this one, but only time will tell.

  107. frustrated (mk)
    March 29th, 2009 @ 6:44 am

    BBub,

    Hollywood would seem to vote no on this one, but only time will tell.

    Lol…Hollywood? I trust you mean they can be an indicator to public opinion and not that I should look to Hollywood for “TRUTH”…

  108. Beelzebub
    March 29th, 2009 @ 7:23 am

    I’m not talking about truth I’m saying what will set the social norms that we live by. Which do you think is winning out? Not just Hollywood (movies, DVD’s etc.) But also computer gaming, etc. People magazine and its various incarnation. Will your children be more or less secular (whatever that really means) than your generation?

    In other words, who’s winning the social/secular/religious war. Even the Catholic strongholds of Latin America (I was amazed to find, in our peregrinations of Brazil…and I’m sure that’s not a happy memory) appears to be slipping in demographic percentages. Crypto-secularism seems to be the new red-scare.

  109. frustrated (mk)
    March 29th, 2009 @ 7:38 am

    Well, I see two options. One you are right, and the world will lose religion. OR, Two, when people feel pushed, they push back. It could be that the more the secular world pushes, the harder the religious world will push back. We’re already seeing some of that. The Church has not budged an inch in 2,000 years…I imagine that as before, when pushed against the wall, she will fight back. It’s not like this would be the first time she has faced an enemy. She has prevailed every time. Yes, secularism is more insidious, but it’s really the same old, same old. Satan is clever, but He’s not God.

    Michael the Archangel was just a lowly angel. But Lucifer was a Seraphim. Powerful…the strongest, most intelligent creature that God ever created. Yet, he lost to Michael. Why? Because Michael had God covering his back.

    Many in the Church have been lulled into passivity, but push hard enough and I think you’ll be surprised at how strong She is. Your threat of secularism, just might awaken the “Beast”…

  110. frustrated (mk)
    March 29th, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    BBub,

    Also, I’ve read the book. I know the ending. We win. We might lose untold multitudes of souls, and be defeated in many minor battles, but we will win the war.

  111. Dylan
    April 5th, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

    This entire post is stupid. You focus solely on what Myers didn’t say to try to prove that his outrage is unjustified. It shouldn’t have to be spelled out that Myers is enraged because Gingi trivializes the death of children; that much should be seen by anyone with a brain.

    Gingi put in her “I told you so” when Myers family died a tragic death. This is deplorable, plain and simple.

    And secondly, your idea that atheism is somehow more depressing than theism is ludicrous. I’m a Christian, but atheism would not in any way be pouring salt on the Myers’ emotional wounds. It’s a different worldview, that’s it. Consider the idea of Santa Claus. The idea that Santa Claus doesn’t exist is also depressing, and this too provides a deterrent to disbelief, but not a significant one.

    Thirdly, just because one person dedicates their life to “saving lives” (an issue that is at the very least debatable), does not mean they are immune from immorality. I hate to fall back on the age-old Hitler stories, but Hitler was a vegan and was appalled by the meat industry. That didn’t make killing jews okay. The idea that doing good in one area, than having those acts somehow justify revelling in the death of one’s family, is ridiculous.

    And finally, your assumption that Myers is somehow attacking the victims because they share a religion is just stupid. Of course, Myers did claim that Christian “morality” was deplorable, but to be outraged when someone expresses satisfaction at the fact that someones family has died is normal. You don’t seem to think that way, however.

  112. David Kwon
    May 31st, 2009 @ 5:19 am

    Perhaps our views on abortion ultimately do not matter at all? Maybe, just maybe, if we Christians can all just start loving and caring for other people, and those other people start caring for the rest of the world, then ultimately, perhaps decades later though, rapes will occur less often with less people willing to indulge in the crime, more women will grow up in loving and supportive families who will think twice about abortion, and there will be less unwanted pregnancies as more women prefer to wait for marriage to have sex?

    How about this for an idea? We start a revolution by loving people! And ultimately, this will be the cure for abortion. None of this divisive talk about abortion will get us anywhere, as we have discovered in the past several decades. Why continue in the futile chatter? Did Jesus tell us Christians to put forth our views on abortion to show that we believe life to be precious? No, all he said was to love our neighbor. And perhaps by doing so we can put a stop to abortion.

    I have a feeling this is similar to what is going through Obama’s mind.

  113. Rob Gordon
    July 31st, 2009 @ 11:56 pm

    Why do people in the forced pregnancy movement have such barely suppressed glee and bloodlust when someone who helps women with this medical procedure dies a violent death? Just below the surface, you can tell their opinion is “they deserved it”. I have seen this too many times now for it to be a coincidence. I can’t imagine why anyone would ever what to be a Christian seeing what it has become.

  114. Brian Macker
    August 23rd, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

    RA,

    I always thought you were a jerk and not particularly reasonable when you claimed to be an atheist. Positing that these people were killed by God for the sins of a relative is showing your old traits.

    How about you make a pledge not to malign people who aren’t “pro-life” like you once did with Christians.

  115. David
    August 27th, 2009 @ 12:09 am

    The ‘glee’ and ‘joy’ that seems to appear on the faces of religious fanatics everywhere when a pro-choicer bites the bullet is only a reciprocation of the ‘glee’ and ‘joy’ that appear on the faces of those who have no stake in the abortion debate yet celebrate the victories in the court that allow this procedure to continue unabated.

  116. Brian Macker
    September 16th, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    David,

    Everyone that can reproduce has a stake in the abortion debate. What stake does a pro-choicer have in my reproductive rights? I’ll tell you. None. Zero stake.

  117. Joel
    December 23rd, 2009 @ 12:56 am

    Hey, very good article! I’m doing a series of articles on abortion right now and I would love some feedback from you guys. I’ve finished and posted two of them and there are about 10-12 more coming. Check them out if you get a chance at http://www.rationallychristian.blogspot.com

    I would very much appreciate some constructive criticism!

    In Him,

    Joel

  118. Denghis
    January 25th, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    This is a tragedy because nine people were killed in a terrible accident.
    This has nothing to do with abortion. Anyone who would suggest otherwise is an asshole.
    Abortion is murder. But murder is part of what we do, as humans, and we do it well.

  119. Spambot
    January 27th, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    Denghis,

    I agree there is no connection between the tragic plane crash and abortion. It was plainly in bad taste for Gingi Edmonds to openly speculate that a connection might exist.
    Particularly galling is when she goes, “I don’t want to turn this tragic event into some creepy spiritual ‘I told you so’ moment…” and then proceeds to do exactly that.

    A number of commenters here and at Jill Stanek’s site pointed to one biblical passage or another attempting to shore up Gingi’s speculation, but no convincing evidence in my evaluation. The Raving Theist chose his words carefully and directed his criticism mostly at Professor PZ Myers, and did not attempt to claim there was divine retribution going on with the accident, and that was better approach in my view.

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