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Pennsylvania Church Kicks Out Gay Kid

bobbie pierce in pennsylvaniaNice going, Ambassador’s Bible Chapel in Newberry Township. You’ve saved heterosexuality by forbidding a young man from bringing his wheelchair-bound grandmother to services.

Church elders kicked out Bobbie Pierce, 20, after he came out and wouldn’t repent. It’s a pretty familiar story, although you’d think that by 2014 even the most isolated of rural churches would have gotten the message that it’s not okay to treat people this way.

Local doofus pastor David Slautterback told a reporter that he believes Bobby can flip himself over to heterosexuality, just like a thief can stop stealing. Oh brother. While you’re at it, why don’t you just drill holes in his skull to let the ghosts out?

To his credit, Bobbie says that he wants other gay youngsters to know that they’re not alone. With a pastor spouting pray-away-the-gay nonsense, it’s likely this church has irreparably harmed countless others.

We could be looking at a showdown sometime soon. Bobbie says he plans to keep going to the church, since it’s where he’s worshipped all his life and his grandmother needs help getting there. We do not understand this Stockholm-syndrome tendency to sympathize with one’s oppressors, but if that’s really what he wants, good for him.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of LGBT-affirming churches near Bobby’s home of Mount Wolf. There’s Mount Zion Lutheran, Kreutz Creek Presbyterian, St. John the Baptist, Emmanual and Hedelberg United Churches of Christ in York; Trinity in Spring Grove; First United Methodist in Hershey; St Stephens Episcopal in Harrisburg; and Lancaster Friends.

By:           matt baume
On:           Feb 5, 2014
Tagged: , , ,

  • 39 Comments
    • Apparatus
      Apparatus

      I feel bad that anyone has their freedom of religion curtailed, but why would you want to be part of a club that won’t have you as a member?

      Gay people should not worship or believe in God or be religious any way.

      Isn’t being a gay Christian as bad as being a gay Republican or a Jewish Nazi?

      Strike that, not just gay people, but all people. Religion is dying, but not quick enough.

      Feel bad for his grandma though.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mezaien
      Mezaien

      Ho man! the Christian, again.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveDenver
      SteveDenver

      Hopefully Bobby will figure out that religion is hogwash, superstition and fable. If he studies Christianity just a little, he’ll figure out this pastor is just a shyster living off the backs of the poor.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Comixbear
      Comixbear

      @Apparatus: Actually, there ARE positive churches who are actually progressive & very accepting of gay people…Unity Church, to start off with. I’ve been a member (and board member) for several years and have NEVER heard an anti-gay word, and I’m as out as they come.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      He was hoping to become a priest so he could abuse kids…that’s why…

      Feb 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LubbockGayMale
      LubbockGayMale

      He and granny need to look into other churches, FAST, before the reverend is struck by lightning.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fedupwith.hate
      fedupwith.hate

      I can see Bobbie continues to go to the church to carry his grandmother who needs help because of her wheelchair, admirable. Continue to cherish your grandmother and rebuke the evil of the church for her sake, she won’t always be here for you, enjoy her while you can, the church has meaning to her and that is what matters, if you can piss them off with your presence while ensuring that she has the opportunity to worship all the better. After she has gone from this world there are churches that will be glad to share God’s love with you Bobbie. Prayers be with you and your grandmother.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38
      Scribe38

      Poor kid, I just want to give him a hug. I know how it feels when God’s so called house is no longer a safe place.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L
      Will L

      “Ambassador’s Bible Chapel” just doesn’t have an open ring to it. Yeah, he needs to take the old lady to another church, if he feels compelled to remain Christian.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Respect4all
      Respect4all

      A former supervisor, who I liked and respected, once explained her devotion to Christianity by saying that religion is all about ‘love’. It made no sense to me then. I can’t believe anyone believes that. Certainly the elders of this church don’t.

      Feb 5, 2014 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sangsue
      sangsue

      @balehead:

      Next time you have a thought, kill it.

      Feb 6, 2014 at 12:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      The religionists are perfectly correct to kick gays out of church. Actually, they should put them to death as proscribed. I don’t know what is so hard to understand about this. I can quote you chapter and verse if you like.

      That being said, I think it’s all a bunch of BS fairy tales. I don’t know how “we’re not all like that” Christians decide what is worth following and what is not. There is no actual demarcation in these texts. Even Jeebus wasn’t against slavery.

      Cue the screaming and protestations……….

      Before you do though, scream and protest with FACTS.

      Feb 6, 2014 at 5:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anitaha milton
      anitaha milton

      My Uncle Eli got an awesome 6 month old Cadillac CTS Sedan just by some part-time working online with a laptop. look these up… http://x.co/3pzWQ

      Feb 6, 2014 at 8:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      @JJinAus : The Bible sould not be taken literally, any religious person knows that ! Only extremists used the Bible to justify their actions and personal convictions.

      Feb 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Stefano: Really? Any religious person? Think about it.

      What I see is that all religious people pick and choose which bits they follow. The nicer ones ignore all the slavery and killing stuff and concentrate on the the small amounts of “love thy neighbour”. The real assholes pick on the gays and ignore the pork, shellfish, tattoos and stoning virgins stuff and quote the bible as their reference.

      I repeat, how do you know which bits to follow? If it isn’t to be taken literally then it’s just another old book of fairy tales, which is exactly what it is.

      Feb 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      @JJinAus : i don’t defend religious people, i’m an atheist. What i’m saying is that only extremist peoples used the Bible literally.

      “I repeat, how do you know which bits to follow?” Don’t ask me, ask a religious people.

      Feb 7, 2014 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Stefano: I believe I did ask religious people. Why would I ask an atheist? Atheists – by and large – view this nonsense with incredulity.

      Feb 8, 2014 at 3:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @Stefano:

      “I repeat, how do you know which bits to follow? Don’t ask me, ask a religious people.”

      This might help answer your excellent question presented above —

      Here’s a few of the messages that should be coming from the pulpits because they are what’s “important” from the Bible —

      1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way……Romans 14:13

      2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God……Romans 15:7

      3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love……Ephesians 4:2

      4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble….1 Peter 3:8

      5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…..Philippians 2:3

      6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone……Titus 3:2

      7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven…Luke 6:37

      8. Above all, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins……1 Peter 4:8

      9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near…..Philippians 4:5

      Those verses would help the spread of “loving attitudes” and that would benefit everyone especially all LGBT’s.

      Cheer…

      Feb 10, 2014 at 8:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees: You are doing exactly what I said. Cherry picking some choice phrases. I can’t be arsed submitting the hundreds of horrible things in the bible. What I can’t understand is this. Why not edit the damn thing to a small pamphlet only containing the good stuff? It’s all fairy tales anyway.

      Feb 10, 2014 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      ” Why not edit the damn thing to a small pamphlet only containing the good stuff? ”

      That’s a good idea. Really….it is. It could serve a great purpose by reminding folks about the “better attitudes” to express and live by that are found in the scriptures. If these “better attitudes” are not taught from the pulpits, how is anybody ever gonna know about them. A distributed pamphlet, and better yet using billboards (very expensive), to remind people of these things should be considered.

      The Bible is a collection of “inspirational experiences” of certain people that happened a long time ago. They can and are of benefit to many. Some are gay friendly and some are not. Most are gay friendly. With all of the sorrowful stuff going on in this world, it’s a relief to read and learn about more pleasant things and the various kinds of hopeful experiences we can have.

      Don’t get bent-out-of-shape by “the hundreds of horrible things” that can be read about in the Book. Forget them. Zoom in and concentrate on the “good stuff” that we can easily find more valuable to us and to others, cause folks are always reconsidering how they should feel about the gay community.

      The bible narrative quotes Jesus as saying, “Learn of me”. That’s not too hard to do.

      We LGBT’s need all the ammunition we can get to encourage anyone and everyone to accept and love us unconditionally. Warm and fuzzy verses like the 9 mentioned above are just the kind of tonic that conservative gay-haters need to reconsider and upgrade their attitudes towards us.

      Cheer…

      Feb 12, 2014 at 5:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees: Or we can ignore that old book (or any other) of fairy tales and basically treat people how we would like to be treated; without regard to skin colour, sexuality, nationality or religion. How about we just get rid of the old superstitious nonsense and just behave like civilised people?

      Feb 13, 2014 at 3:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      Sorry for this long delay in responding.

      “….treat people how we would like to be treated; without regard to skin colour, sexuality, nationality or religion. ”

      ” How about we just….behave like civilised people? ”

      Well said. But I wonder how we would ever know for sure that is an ideal thing.

      You’ve basically restated that famous saying or verse called the Golden Rule — Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.

      Check this out to see how old that saying is and how religions or similar activities have implemented it into their doctrine or practices —

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

      Feb 24, 2014 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees: It’s probably older than Babylon as well. In fact all higher species seem to have a concept of fairness. Chimps and Gorillas certainly do. That said, Chimps have despots and gangs as well, just as we do. Monkeys certainly know if another member is being given more treats and scream the place down.

      I know that religionists seem to think that this golden rule is given to us by god. Also a propensity to persecute any minority who are not like them.

      Feb 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      I think you may be interested in this book even as I found the interview interesting that NPR gave to the author of the book titled “The Bonobo and the Atheist”

      See — http://www.npr.org/books/titles/174917242/the-bonobo-and-the-atheist-in-search-of-humanism-among-the-primates

      He more or less repeats what you said here.

      .

      Now here is an interesting counter point —

      You should know that Jamaica is very homophobic.

      See — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/jamaica-anti-gay-violence_n_3844356.html

      See also — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica

      Scroll down to the religion section and examine the religionist content of that country. Note that over 50% of the religions are fundamentalist Christian.

      I’m not a Catholic, but I’ve learned recently that their catechism recommends that kindness and tolerance be expressed towards all LGBT’s. That’s quite something considering this influential Christian voice in this otherwise troubled world of ours.

      The point I’m making is that if the right Christian voices are magnified then hatred and intolerance will be diminished. Hatred and liberal Christian loving attitudes and messages are inversely proportional to one another.

      Mar 3, 2014 at 7:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees: I am sorry, but I am not interested in the Catholic church being “tolerant”. For a start, I am not to be tolerated. They are in no way, shape, or form, my superior. Just because they have finally stopped burning witches, persecuting gays and non-Catholics, hiding paedophiles (although only in first world countries) , enriching themselves at the expense of the poor, discriminating against women etc etc etc etc, they are still bigots whose policies kill people to this day with their campaign against condoms and birth control.

      The sooner this world is free of the poison of religion, the sooner it will improve. Now I know there are the NALTs (Not All Like That), but the NALTs just hide the bigots and give them a veneer of respectability.

      At the end of the day, if someone believes in an invisible friend with no evidence, then they are clearly capable of believing a whole lot of other stuff that isn’t true without evidence. This is the problem.

      Mar 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      [ I am sorry, but I am not interested in the Catholic church being “tolerant”. ]

      I can’t find much of anything you said here to disagree with. But it should be mentioned again that your criticisms are based on all of the negative baggage that Christianity carries around. That baggage is apparent with all religions and its adherents and everybody actually. It includes hypocrisy, dishonesty, lying and so forth. Nothing new here.

      For your interest, check this out about the history of religion.
      See — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_religion

      The purpose is simply to show that religion has been a part of civilization for a long long time and it “ain’t gonna disappear anytime soon”.

      [ For a start, I am not to be tolerated. ]

      True, you are to be accepted and loved. That’s the ideal of course.

      [ They are in no way, shape, or form, my superior. ]

      They aren’t mine either. Because of their enormous public voice for Christian truths though, they should be held accountable for their words about love and kindness to be shown to all or similar comments. That means the LGBT’s also but they might not include them in the conversation. That’s their problem. They’re afraid to be too kind hearted perhaps. Exclusion of certain folks is easier.

      [ Just because they have finally stopped burning witches, persecuting gays.... ]

      Finally stopped persecuting gays ?????? That’s not completely true. Comments from some of their clergy are pretty pathetic.
      See —

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/03/cardinal-calls-gays-faggots-james-wally-brewster_n_3541468.html

      http://www.queerty.com/mn-archbishop-john-nienstadt-to-parishioner-reject-gay-son-or-go-to-hell-20121010/#ixzz2AMcsWhfE

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/15/minneapolis-archbishop-gay-marriage-satan-john-nienstedt_n_3927615.html

      [ ......and non-Catholics, hiding paedophiles (although only in first world countries) , enriching themselves at the expense of the poor, discriminating against women etc etc etc etc, they are still bigots whose policies kill people to this day with their campaign against condoms and birth control. ]

      You’ll get little argument from most folks about these church positions.

      [ The sooner this world is free of the poison of religion, the sooner it will improve. ]

      It must be said that Protestantism is no angel either.

      Religion is really not poison. Its got its dark side. Let’s spend more time looking at the “bright” side of things.

      [ Now I know there are the NALTs (Not All Like That), but the NALTs just hide the bigots and give them a veneer of respectability. ]

      I’m not sure I’d say that about the NALT’s. They’ve gotta be better in some manner or other.

      [ At the end of the day, if someone believes in an invisible friend with no evidence, then they are clearly capable of believing a whole lot of other stuff that isn’t true without evidence.

      This is the problem. ]

      Believing is not easy to describe. There are many reasons for it. Many swear by it, others don’t.

      I’d say this about my experiences with it, and I must admit I look at things perhaps through rose colored glasses. To me, it’s a blessed refuge that makes me feel better and happier and more contented inside and I can’t argue with that. And if I benefit from it, I know that other LGBT’s benefit from it also.

      Christianity with all of its faults is still the brightest light of good works and loving attitudes the world has ever known.

      Mar 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees:
      Thanks for your considered reply. I do have few things to say though.

      I know you meant it well, but I do not want to accepted and loved either. I don’t mind those things, but that is not what I am asking for. All I am asking – nay, demanding – is to be treated as an equal, with equal rights. As should everyone.

      The new Pope has a much softer line on gays so the persecution is not from the top. Do not think me an apologist however, I couldn’t care less if the Catholic church disappeared overnight and the Vatican slipped into a sinkhole.

      The timeline of religion merely shows that ignorant people believed ridiculous things because they didn’t understand the world in which they lived. There is no excuse today.

      You completely misunderstand me when I mentioned Catholicism. I am an ecumenical abuser. I want all religion gone. It is a blight on the world. I subjugates millions. It interferes with science. It interferes with politics. It is a nasty parasite on the world. There is not one thing that can’t be done in a secular way that religion currently boasts as its provenance.

      There are no bright sides to any religion – including Christianity. There are only some good people. Good people who happen to be Christian do not really know their religion. They only cherry pick the nice bits from the New Testament and ignore all the nastiness. Jesus himself (and I won’t even get into the historicity of the bible and the very dubious evidence that he actually existed, let alone was a god) didn’t condemn slavery. People using the bible can be as hateful as they like. There is chapter and verse to back up their positions.

      Lastly, I am pleased that you feel happy and contented, but you are extremely presumptuous in thinking that only religious people feel this way. Could it be that you have been brainwashed to believe that atheists are sad lost souls with something missing? It isn’t true.

      Mar 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:
      I haven’t forgot this conversation.
      Will return to it as soon as possible.

      Mar 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      I understand the way you said, “All I am asking – nay, demanding – is to be treated as an equal, with equal rights. As should everyone.” But being accepted and loved is basically the same thing and will have the same outcome as being treated as an equal.

      The new Pope sounds good and refreshing, but he still represents a church that emphasizes rigid, uncompromising and fundamentalist views of all kinds which are not meaningful in simple, easy to practice terms. And that positive catechism comment about gays that I forgot is —

      “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

      That statement should be on the front page of every publication, every church bulletin, and put up on billboards around the world for all to see and read. I believe that Catholicism is a power for righteousness and good. And my attitude is justified simply because of a comment like that.

      Whether we’re believers or atheists, we must not fail to see and promote “anything” that supports the LGBT cause.

      I like the scriptures that declare these kinds of easy to understand things that easily apply to LGBT’s —

      1. Man’s ways are of the Lord, how can we really understand our own ways………….Proverbs 20:24

      2. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing or how you feel about yourself, so keep it between yourself and God.
      “BLESSED” are those who don’t feel guilty of thinking of themselves in the way they know is best………..Romans 14:22

      3. All things are allowable, all things are lawful, all things are permissible…….1 Corinthians 6:12…….1 Corinthians 10:23

      4. I will walk in my honesty and truthfulness……Psalm 26:11

      [ The timeline of religion merely shows that ignorant people believed ridiculous things because they didn’t understand the world in which they lived. There is no excuse today. ]

      That timeline simply illustrates that there is some kind of “spirit” in the world and those people responded to it (or were touched by it) in their own way. It’s too demeaning to them to assume they didn’t understand the world in which they lived. Today, we have the advantage of easily knowing many things they were not aware of. Yes, there is no excuse today for anyone not having an appreciation for “spiritual” things cause we can see so many influenced by it and many of those are better off than they were before.

      Surely we must ask, “what is this “spiritual thing” that touches so many and why don’t we all have an experience with it? I don’t know enough about the workings of this “spirit” to be able to answer that question for all to appreciate. It’s like I said earlier, some believe in it and some don’t.

      You mention things like — ecumenical abuser, religion gone, blight, subjugates, interferes, nasty parasite. If you could only be aware of the good religion does or can do, I doubt if you’d say those things. Don’t forget that religion has its dark side which makes people do and say unkind things. You may be focusing too much on those things.

      So….what are the good things that religion does or can do? Well….let’s take a second look at that catechism comment —

      “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

      Verily I say unto you, no finer comment from religion can be made to help all of us LGBT’s obtain what you said in your own words — All I am asking……is to be treated as an equal, with equal rights.

      [ There is not one thing that can’t be done in a secular way that religion currently boasts as its provenance. ]

      You’re pretty much correct here. The secular and the religious are nearly the same thing in my opinion. The “spirit” administers to both and makes them meaningful and productive. The Book says that the “spirit quickens” which means that the spirit makes things happen. In fact, the “secular” does a much better job at many things than the “religious” simply can’t do. Take science for example, especially medical science. Wow……we are all so much better off because of what the medical field has done. I’d easily say that I’m alive today because of what medicine and science has done for the betterment of my health. But religion or the “spirit” can comfort our hearts and minds in many ways that the secular cannot. If a loved one dies, the secular can provide funeral services, but who or what is gonna comfort our grieving hearts?

      [ Good people who happen to be Christian do not really know their religion. They only cherry pick the nice bits from the New Testament and ignore all the nastiness. ]

      Another pretty good comment. The world needs more folks that pick and live by the “nice bits”. Faith without good works is worthless the Book says. Sadly, many have great amounts of faith and knowledge but are lacking on good works that promote love and kindness. See again the nine comments I listed earlier.

      I will apologize if I said anything that would imply that only religious people feel happy and contented. There’s plenty of evidence that the opposite is true. That’s sort of a shame too cause Jesus spoke about peace and love but many who claim him simply don’t or can’t exhibit such good qualities.

      I’ve read in the Book that He is the savior of the whole world, especially them that believe. I’m not sure that an atheist is a lost soul. Paul wrote that “God has given every man a measure of faith”. If so, then how can they be lost?

      Let me wind up here by peddling a book, if I may. When and if you get a chance, please read “The Man Nobody Knows” by Bruce Barton. You’ll realize a Jesus that is a happy and friendly person that is poorly represented by religious conservatives. Mr. Barton himself was not a conservative but a liberal Republican as I read in his biography called “The Man Everybody Knew”. Most importantly, you’ll see that Jesus was “the most popular dinner guest in Jerusalem”.

      Cheer…

      Mar 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees:
      [But being accepted and loved is basically the same thing and will have the same outcome as being treated as an equal.]

      Sorry, but no it’s not. I have said that I have no problem with the concept, but your worth as a human being should not be predicated on how loveable you are or whether or not you are “acceptable”. These are subjective things. Being treated as an equal means that you have the same rights under the same laws as every other person regardless. . I do not want to talk about love and acceptance. Those things are patronising in most contexts.

      [I believe that Catholicism is a power for righteousness and good.]

      We could not disagree more. The Catholic church has been corrupt from the start until this very day. The palaces, the subjugation of the masses, the continuing discrimination against women, the unspeakably foul policies that are killing people in Africa and elsewhere as we speak, I could go on and on. The only good thing about protestantism is that it has removed the Catholic stranglehold on people and politicians to a large extent – and bear in mind, that I am against all religion. Mild protestants are merely the lesser of evils.

      [Whether we’re believers or atheists, we must not fail to see and promote “anything” that supports the LGBT cause.]

      Not sure I agree. We are in a post equality era in civilised countries. We no longer have to beg for the scraps of decency. The pendulum has swung and most reasonable people in the civilised world don’t think that we should be persecuted any longer.

      [I like the scriptures that declare these kinds of easy to understand things that easily apply to LGBT’s]

      That’s fine, but there are plenty of others that say we can be killed (Leviticus 20:13). Before you start. I know that a lot of Christians think that the new testament is different, but Jesus himself was alleged to have said (Matthew 5:18) that the old laws remained.

      [Surely we must ask, “what is this “spiritual thing” that touches so many and why don’t we all have an experience with it?]

      No I don’t have to ask. I am a first world educated person. It’s just thousands of years of ignorance and brainwashing which have to be overcome. There are thousands of religions. How can they all be right? How can this same spirit exists and yet there are as many differences of interpretation as there are people? I don’t lose one minute of sleep over this. Feeling like you have an invisible friend is not evidence. There is absolutely none. My dog is afraid of the wind because a branch once fell on him when it was howling. He now thinks there is some nasty force out there attacking him. He is wrong.

      [If you could only be aware of the good religion does or can do, I doubt if you’d say those things.]

      No, no, no, no a thousand times no. There is no good that only religion can achieve. Absolutely none. Religion is redundant. Social groups, charity, good deeds, all of these things do not need religion. Churches are parasites on the states in which they reside. They pay no tax, they are not accountable for the money they receive, they interfere with science and politics, and they peddle a bunch of nonsense without a shred of evidence.

      [the Book says that the “spirit quickens”]
      I don’t care what this book says, it’s just a saying, it’s just a book . There are many much better quotes out there not ascribed to anything holy:

      “Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on.” Citium Zeno.

      “Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.” / “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. “ Confucius

      “It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.” Descarts

      [The world needs more folks that pick and live by the “nice bits”. ]

      Couldn’t agree more. However, why do we need a book with nice and nasty bits to help us? How do we decide which are the nice bits? By being rational beings. Therefore the book is redundant.

      Now to the bit you are probably not going to like. I am not going to even start on the old testament, as you mentioned Jesus, I will start with that.

      Christianity was invented by some bloke called Paul/Saul. He never met Jesus. He had a vision or a dream. This is an extremely tenuous basis for a religion. Some bloke said he had a dream, therefore Christianity. If somebody did this today, would you believe them? I wouldn’t. Never mind some person thousands of years ago living in the bronze age who had no witnesses.

      As for the synoptic gospels. The first was written by some person who is now called Mark at least 30+ years after the Jesus figure existed. The other gospels were written later by people who basically copied Mark and differ in parts.

      Then Jesus himself, if he even existed. There seems to be some evidence of some Rabbi that went around saying things, some of which were nice. There is absolutely no contemporary evidence for this person, never mind that he was a god. As for Tacitus, Josephus, Pliny the Younger etc, these people all lived afterwards and they were writing about stories that were around at the time. Just as all historians do. I won’t even get into the alleged sermon on the mount and the problems there. There are people today that say nice things, but I don’t view them as deities. You do not have to be a supernatural being to believe that we should treat our fellow humans nicely. You do not even have to be particularly intelligent to believe this.

      As for the bible, the Catholic church cobbled it together. Apart from it’s traditional worth, it is just a bunch of stories and finger wagging edited and translated by persons unknown.

      I am sorry, but your suggestion of the book “The Man Nobody Knows” will not be accepted. Bruce Barton is merely a 20th century person. He has no special powers and cannot know things that are unknowable. I have yet to see evidence that ANY person has any supernatural powers. This includes fakirs, mediums, astrologers, diviners, occultism, spiritualists, priests, reverends, Imams, Monks, faith healers – ad nauseum. They are all on the same level playing field. Not one shred of evidence for any of these.

      I realise that people think that faith is a virtue. I am afraid I do not. Belief with out evidence has a word – and that word is gullible. Having faith is espoused by religion as a great thing, but whenever I want to know the reason for something superficially inexplicable, I have a sure fire method. Follow the money and its constant companion, power.

      I urge you all to challenge this stuff. By all means support good causes. Give money DIRECTLY to worthy charities. If this alleged god exists and is a kind and understanding god, I am sure the it would not mind if you bypassed the chattels, buildings and (ordinary) people filled with the crumbling trappings of religion.

      Finally, thank you for your considered response. I fear that we will never agree on anything supernatural, however at least we can agree on human decency.

      Mar 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      Thanks for your quick response. You’ve expressed yourself in honest terms and I do appreciate this as many things you spoke of I agree with but with slightly different reasons.

      I’d like to continue this conversation and I’ll do that as soon as I’m able, which is another way saying that I need some time to think of what best to say. It took a few hours just to write what I did. My age and health prevent me from doing any better.

      Mar 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      I’ll be getting back to you soon, thanks for waiting.

      Apr 1, 2014 at 7:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees: Happy to engage with you. However, you should know a couple of things.

      1. Nothing you say will convince me that there is anything supernatural in this world – let alone some sort of god. Only evidence will ever convince me. By evidence, I mean humungous evidence. That their is a supernatural powerful deity is an extraordinary claim. The evidence would have to be commensurate.

      2. You will never convince me that organised religion is a good thing. I could give you thousands of examples of why it isn’t.

      3. Proselytising is a complete waste of time and extremely irritating. I give equal weight to the animists, Zoroastrians, Muslims, Janists, Buddhist et al. It all sounds like equal bollocks to me.

      Hope you are feeling better.

      Apr 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      “there” instead of “there”. I didn’t proof read….

      Apr 1, 2014 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      grrrr, I meant “their”.

      Apr 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      [ 1. Nothing you say will convince me that there is anything supernatural in this world – let alone some sort of god. Only evidence will ever convince me. By evidence, I mean humungous evidence. That their is a supernatural powerful deity is an extraordinary claim. The evidence would have to be commensurate. ]

      You never can tell what someone will say that’ll trigger a “I’m now a bit curious” response…..hehehe….it is possible you know.

      [ 2. You will never convince me that organised religion is a good thing. I could give you thousands of examples of why it isn’t. ]

      I think I can present a few good reasons why any kind of religion is or “can be” a good thing.

      [ 3. Proselytising is a complete waste of time and extremely irritating. I give equal weight to the animists, Zoroastrians, Muslims, Janists, Buddhist et al. It all sounds like equal bollocks to me. ]

      I can say a few things here that’ll be interesting.

      [ Hope you are feeling better. ]

      Thanks for your well wishes.

      I’m usually feeling fairly well but some serious ailments like COPD (15 years so far) and some other things slow me down considerably and I can’t accomplish what I want in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, I just stopped off here at the PC to check out my emails cause I’m in the midst of a little home improvement thing I’m gonna finish after I complete this response.

      I won’t be much longer.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 3:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      [@Billysees:
      [You never can tell what someone will say that’ll trigger a “I’m now a bit curious” response…..hehehe….it is possible you know.]

      Or………not. I have heard it all before you know. Church when I was young, high school, government controlled media (I come from Africa) preaching at every opportunity.

      [I think I can present a few good reasons why any kind of religion is or “can be” a good thing.]

      Can be? So can a pottery class who donate the proceeds of their endeavors to charity.

      [I can say a few things here that’ll be interesting.]

      They would have to be exceptional. I have heard it all before. The argument from ignorance, the Kalam cosmological argument, the transcendental argument for God, the watchmaker argument and (my favourite) the BISS argument (because I said so), aka personal testimony. PS, I have yet to get a straight answer from you as to why I should believe your particular dogma and not the others.

      As to why I am still engaging with you, I think it’s because you are a nice person. Nothing to do with your beliefs which I believe hold you back, but merely because you are decent. Clearly you have a serious condition and if you want to cling to the belief that there is some after life in which you are free to live forever, then I feel a bit bad about wanting to disabuse you of that. On the other hand, I am not going to live forever and I am hardly in the peak of health, so I will enjoy whatever time I have – be it 3 years or 30 – and not be in the least bit concerned about some afterlife. There is absolutely no evidence for that, so I will enjoy what life I have left. I am as sure as I can be that this life is real. I have had a fantastic life in so many ways. I am an extremely fortunate individual. Compared to most of this miserable planet (so much for a loving god) I live in absolute luxury with cars, a huge house, a fantastic partner, assured income, frequent travel and all the trappings of a first world person. The reason? Education, emigration and a brain. I don’t need prayer. If prayer worked then the suffering of the billions would be gone. Not that I believe is such a thing, but if there was a god and it was revealed to me (fat chance) then I would spit on that god for allowing so much misery. So many untold billions that have died from bacteria and other preventable diseases. Untold millions of babies and children who have died before their 5th birthday because some stupid deity made sure to make stupid rules about food and clothes and worship days and all sorts of nonsense and forgot to mention clean water and basic sanitation. Ridiculous.

      Bring on your argument for this monster who allows such things. Even if there was such a creature, I wouldn’t worship it. I am not worried. It doesn’t exist.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 4:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @JJinAus:

      PART 1

      This comments here refer to the comment by JJinAus with the first 3 words — [But being accepted...

      Well, I'm finally getting back to this post of yours. But as I look it over, I realize that much is said here and I just can't respond to all of it but I'll try with the main points.

      [[ Sorry, but no it’s not. I have said that I have no problem with the concept, but your worth as a human being should not be predicated on how loveable you are or whether or not you are “acceptable”. These are subjective things. Being treated as an equal means that you have the same rights under the same laws as every other person regardless. . I do not want to talk about love and acceptance. Those things are patronising in most contexts. ]]

      I still think that love and acceptance are similar. I’m sure that many or most of us “try” to love and accept as many as possible. We are frail creatures and our limitations are many. Laws and rights always sound good on paper, but in practice we fail to perfectly implement their meaning.

      [[ We could not disagree more. The Catholic church has been corrupt from the start until this very day. The palaces, the subjugation of the masses, the continuing discrimination against women, the unspeakably foul policies that are killing people in Africa and elsewhere as we speak, I could go on and on. The only good thing about protestantism is that it has removed the Catholic stranglehold on people and politicians to a large extent – and bear in mind, that I am against all religion. Mild protestants are merely the lesser of evils. ]]

      The Catholic church has become over the years of its existence too big and too proud for its own good. “Do not lord it over the people entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock.”……1 Peter 5:3 says. They have failed that scripture idea miserably. I agree that Protestantism has removed the stranglehold that Catholicism has had on many. I think the Reformation was an important historical event that enabled the work of the “The Spirit” to branch out with Christian purposes and engulf the world further. Don’t forget that Protestantism is “NO” angel either.

      [ Whether we’re believers or atheists, we must not fail to see and promote “anything” that supports the LGBT cause. ](single brackets my words)

      [[ Not sure I agree. We are in a post equality era in civilised countries. We no longer have to beg for the scraps of decency. The pendulum has swung and most reasonable people in the civilised world don’t think that we should be persecuted any longer. ]]

      If you don’t agree now, maybe in time you’ll see that “any” good comments about LGBT’s are important and should be promoted by all and whenever we can. Yes, the pendulum has swung or is swinging but let’s not forget this simple truth — All great works are subject to the 3 steps forward, 1 or 2 steps backward rule.

      And let’s not forget what the Catholic Church has written about us —
      “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

      It is so important that a church or Christian entity has made such a statement. Now if “only” people will implement that into their thinking and treatment of others, we (LGBT’s) will come up smelling like roses….hehehe….serious though.

      [ I like the scriptures that declare these kinds of easy to understand things that easily apply to LGBT’s ](single brackets my words)

      [[ That’s fine, but there are plenty of others that say we can be killed (Leviticus 20:13). Before you start. I know that a lot of Christians think that the new testament is different, but Jesus himself was alleged to have said (Matthew 5:18) that the old laws remained. ]]

      The Old Testament(OT) has its place in religious history, but the New Testament(NT) has got more meat on its bones. It represents Jesus has come in the flesh. He spoke about the “kingdom of God that is within us” and “it’s my Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom”. Those kinds of words had never been known before. The NT is a brand new bag of goodies that can’t be compromised by anything that happened before. About the old laws, Jesus spoke that “love is the fulfilling of the law”.

      I’m no authority on the Bible nor is it necessary to be one. The Book will tell us that good and honest people will live by a simple faith and an easy to understand application of the basics alone. Simple things that are easy practice is quite enough.

      Here’s a sample of what I mean — Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man…….Ecclesiastes 12:13.

      END of PART 1

      I’ll continue later and finish up with PART 2

      Apr 11, 2014 at 6:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJinAus
      JJinAus

      @Billysees:
      Hi Billy, sorry mate, we’re done. Your ignorance of the bible, your apology for the catholic church, your cherry picking of that book of fables. You are cheerfully ignorant and unlikely to change.

      I can’t even be bothered explaining to you the history of Catholicism and their hideous history to this day. Just this week they finally lost their grip on the Philippines who are going to remain poor for generations yet because of them.

      A couple of points.

      1. Quoting bible verses (particularly only the good ones) at me is a waste of time. I don’t believe a word of that piece of shit.

      2. However, there is no old testament and new testament. This is just semantics. Again, not that I believe this shit, but if you do, read Matthew 5:18-19, Luke 16:17, Mark 7:10. You are entitled to believe this rubbish, but if you do, then you have to learn all of it otherwise you are willfully ignorant. There is no excuse these days.

      3. Stop accusing me of defending protestantism. I said above that they are merely the lesser of evils. Evil being the pertinent word.

      Religion is the cancer of the world. As well as a cancer, it’s a parasite that gives greedy men power and money and has nearly ruined the planet. It is no coincidence everywhere in the world where there is education and secularism, there are high standards of living and freedoms.

      Now please, stop wasting my time and whatever time you have with this nonsense.

      Apr 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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