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Please feel free to air your views, for or against the statements made on this site.

Looking forward to your views, many thanks,  NOTORI.

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No Name 31/10/13:

Hi,
   What do I do if I [catch or] find out my child has been indoctrinated [proselytised]? Should I go to the police as I feel that this is really a very serious and sly form of abuse? [ a sort of paedophilia of the mind]-- Do I have any LEGAL Rights in regard to Prosecution?
          I have been a Christian and so I know the mentality and the way that these people work and the  manipulative manner in which fear [especially in females] and cruelty is mentally employed. Forget the smiles and the limp handshakes, there as some very nasty/crafty people in there.
           I can't find much about any "legal rights" this on the web so any help would be appreciated. Keep up the good work NOTORI!
 

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John Lewis 22/05/2013:

It is sad that teaching children about Jesus is now seen by some as Religious Indoctrination or even 'child abuse' in some more extreme circles.  Even if the story of Jesus was a myth (which I don't believe) he would still be a wonderful and inspiring figure whose words were full of wisdom, love and truth.  We live in a society where children are bombarded on every side by all sorts of influences so that we find children as young as 10 accessing pornography, extreme violence and abuse of every kind on the internet. Children are exploited in every way by the music, clothing and image industries.  Many experiment with drink, drugs and sex before they are old enough to understand the dangers. So many have lives blighted by exploitation, broken relationships, neglect, abuse and selfish values. (It used to be called 'sin'). And then we are told that telling our children the stories, values and message of forgiveness associated with Jesus is Religious Indoctrination. All I can say
 is 'bring it on!' So I don't blame anyone for having concerns about the excesses and abuses of organised religion but let's not confuse that with belief in the person and work of Jesus Christ, who was himself hounded by the religious elite of his day but showed us the true meaning of love and sacrifice.  Let's teach it, let's point youngsters to Jesus Christ. 

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No Name 30/03/13:

I was raised in a very religious catholic family. My parents enrolled me to a catholic school for as along as I can remember.
I think children shouldn't be exposed to any form of religion until they're matured enough to choose one for themselves. Forcing a child to go to a church or mosque simply because they're part of the family, I think that's a form of child abuse.
As a victim of religious indoctrination, I feel relieved to know that there are people out there who put so much attention on this issue like NOTORI. I hope this practice will die out, so children of the future generations won't have to experience what I went through, or suffering from the damage from religious indoctrination like I did.
For NOTORI, I give you all my support. Thank you for campaigning against the practice of religious indoctrination. Keep on going and never give up!

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Raymond Nosek 15/03/13:

Being a victim of indoctrination I cant blame my parents because they didn’t know any better they sent me at an early age to a convent thinking they were doing the best for me, by the time at the age of eleven when I started secondary school the damage had been done, so I suffered academically, however being scientifically minded, religion had only clouded my mind with brainwashing garbage at such a vulnerable early age, needless to say I resent this kind of brainwashing tactics.

It just confuses me that if an academically challenged person like myself can see that what utter stories from cuckoo land can be believed by so called intelligent people its no wonder there are so many wars, so the sooner religious indoctrination is stopped the better.

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John Dillon 22/02/13:

It is so refreshing to discover this site, which is dedicated to busting myth, superstition, ignorance and bigotry, and indeed segregation! What is the most divisive force ever conceived? Religion.  And yet governments of all persuasions peddle the myth that social cohesion can be achieved by pandering to religious interests, which in fact has the opposite effect!

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No Name 24/11/12:

Having just found NOTORI I offer my support. On the basis of human rights as expressed by the U.N. I feel it it time for Judaism, Christianity and Islam to be wound down. On women's status, alone, the representatives of these religions should be called to the Court of Human Rights to answer charges of abuses against the women of this world. The vast wealth held by these institutions could be diverted into help and education of those in need. My concentration upon the Judaic religions is simply that this is the area I have studied for the past 45 years; having read the Bible, thoroughly, at the age of 16. I found it the most contradictory, inconsistent and incomprehensible load of rubbish!

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RossMelb 27/07/2012

Guys
 
For an entirely new perspective on Christian delusion check out   ...BEFORE THE DELUSION by Wm Gleeson, recently published in UK
 
The cover looks like a cross between von Dannikan and Dan Brown but the content is impressively documented research of pre-Christian history.
 
Gleeson uses the fictional device of a Vatican scholar to explore  factual literary and archaeological sources of pre-Christian history revealing a technological basis for many ancient mysteries - pagan alchemy and magic slipped into mystery; mystery became mysticism  ; and mysticism descended into religion.
It's an unusual format of a fictional character but documented factual content.
 
In a coherent and compelling story he  presents an entirely new perspective on many Christian delusions but in so-doing also poses new questions of our understanding of pagan history. It's challenging but backed by impressive research.
 
It's an entertaining page turner and puts an entirely new perspective on the delusion of the Christian 'god'. A must read for atheists.

 

Definitely worth a look
 
regards
ross

RossMelb

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Adam 03/05/12:

Hi Mike, as a Christian I can't say I exactly support what this site is saying overall but think your page "Feeding trough" was very good. The CC and CoE are gravy trains especially for those at the top, ... the height of hypocrisy :) totally out of wack with what Jesus and the early church taught.  btw I noticed you mentioned VAT exemption on buildings, you may want to update that bit following the recent budget. cheers

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No Name 09/12/11:

In spite of us being force fed religion the numbers attending churches, and the general disinterest, or more accurately loathing of religion is saying it all, apart from the elderly, the interest is waning at a rapid rate year on year, most noticeable is the figure for the younger age groups, so all in all we need not worry, the churches are imploding, and they do not need much help to put themselves out of business, just sit back and watch the inevitable.

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No Name 08/12/11:

I am a 14 year old ex-catholic and have experienced first hand the indoctrination this group is fighting against, and I firmly believe that "RE" should be replaced with some other method of teaching religious tolerance not religion as fact. having attended a catholic primary school and am currently attending a faith school I can say that children and teenagers are bombarded with religion including being forced to take part in masses and religious ceremonies.

To all of you who say that re classes just inform about religion another non-theist in my class actually received a bad grade (which almost led to him being put on a behavioural report) when his parents met with her she said the reason was and I quote "making atheist comments at the back of the class"

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Gary 27/11/11:

As usual I see Christians looking into the past to support their argument. May I say that hundreds of years ago when slavery was abolished, the first hospital was opened etc man had little knowledge of the world he lived in, so of course people believed all the nonsense. These days we have so much knowledge and it is clear to me that our children would be better served with a thorough clean education free from religious interference so that the day comes sooner when we go full circle and those that believe in god will be seen quite rightly as being crazy, just as atheists were seen as recently as the 19th century. I have no doubt that that day will come and I congratulate all involved with NOTORI for helping that day come sooner, I only wish we could be around to witness it!

This is a subject I am so passionate about and would be happy to help spread the word in any way I can.

Gary.
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No name, 18/11/11:

I feel there is confusion between indoctrination and education. Your Agency seems to be against just about everything anyone might choose to believe. In your open mindedness you seem so closed. How sad to be so intolerant of others. There is so much good that has come out of the Christian Church in this country. The first hospitals were run by the church, the first schools also. The abolition of slavery arose through a group of Bible believers as did prison reform. In my own town, Street Pastors, Christians in action get out on the streets whatever the weather at the week end to care for clubbers - not to preach, but to offer flip flops and water! The homeless are cared for by Christians as are those with pregnancy crisis/loss. Bible believers enrich our lives.

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Mike Lawrence, Notori 17/11/11: In reply to {No name 16/11/11}

“Most people love to see children with a basic knowledge of Christianity and adore nativity school plays.” The rights and wrongs of the inclusion of RE in the school curriculum is debatable, with many arguments for and against: enforced Christian worship is not, it is just plain wrong!

“Why is only Christianity depicted and not other religions on your home page.”Only Christianity is allowed to sit in the House of Lords to represent the Christian God, and compulsory worship at school is specific to the Christian God and Jesus.

“People have the choice and the Christian tolerant way has been instilled in our country.”  The introduction of Christianity into Europe was anything but a choice or tolerant, it was violent and ruthless; our ancestors had to accept, believe and openly worship, or perish in the most horrific of fashions at the hands of the Church. Today we do have a choice, or do we? Children cannot choice not to worship at school; they have to, by law!

“As families split and violence increases, it increases with the moving away from churches, not towards the churches.” Are you suggesting that family splits and violence are to be found only among non-religious people and never among religious people; and non-religiosity is to take the full blame for such events?

“I think Notori should check historical details thoroughly”. Tacitus’ work is extremely thought provoking with regards to the history of the Jewish people, and the Christians of the era. Being born just twenty-six years after the supposed earth shattering events of the crucifixion he would have had access to the writings of the time. He would have been able to talk to people who lived during this reported major event and had witnessed it. Tacitus should have written about the crucifixion. However, the fact is that in his complete extensive works, most of which are still available to us today, the Christians get just one tiny mention when he covers the great fire of Rome in his Annals of 62 to 65 CE. In this work he states that Nero is reported to have blamed the burning of Rome on a group called Christians. For his account of Tiberius (book four: 23 to 28 CE and book five: 29 to 31 CE), when the crucifixion is supposed to have happened and the Christian movement is supposed to have got under way, he makes no mention of the event, or Jesus or the Christians. 

So; what did Tacitus write in the Annals of 62 to 65 CE with reference to the burning of Rome?

[15.44] But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the Emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judah, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

We need to consider exactly what has been written here, and when it was written. We have to split this passage into two sections:

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace.”

This part relates what happened in 64 CE and only claims that in 64 CE a group of people called Christians existed; this does not confirm that what they believed was factual, nor does it confirm whether the group concerned considered their faith to be allegorical or literal, they could have been Gnostic Christians!

“Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judah, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

This section is purely Tacitus’ take on who the Christians were. But Tacitus writes this work circa 100 CE which is some thirty-six years later, and during the period of the post 70 CE Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts stories. So Tacitus’ take on who the Christians were, is possibly, and most likely, tainted with the resulting evolution of Christianity from an allegorical concept to a literal concept by Rome-based Jewish converts to Christianity. A process that neither Nero, nor the group called Christians in 64 CE, have yet been exposed to. Furthermore, Tacitus may have been acquainted with the literal version of the belief and completely unaware that an allegorical version/versions had ever existed. In short, this passage does not confirm Nero’s Christians believed in a physical Jesus, it only confirms that Tacitus, writing circa 100 CE, believes they did.

Tacitus’ knowledge of the Jesus story from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts is however only partial and very incomplete. It is probably merely hearsay knowledge since he only uses the term “Christus”, which simply refers to the character prophesied from the Old Testament, ‘the messiah’ or ‘chosen one’ or ‘anointed one’ and not the actual name of the chosen one as per Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. Further, when Tacitus tackles the history of the Jews by era in his work “The Histories”, for Judah during the reign of Tiberius he writes:

“ At Herod's death, without waiting for the imperial decision, a certain Simon usurped the title of King. He was dealt with by the governor of Syria, Quintilius Varus,  while the Jews were disciplined and divided up into three kingdoms ruled by Herod's sons. In Tiberius' reign all was quiet. Then, rather than put up a statue of Gaius Caesar in the temple as they had been ordered, the Jews flew to arms, though the rebellion came to nothing owing to the assassination of the Emperor.”

So, all quiet in Judah in the reign of Tiberius then, no earth shattering event worth any mention occurred! This displays no knowledge of the account of the sky turning black for three hours over the entire country, accompanied by violent storms and earthquakes; events attributed to the belief of divine retribution by a God, following the execution of his son by Pontius Pilate. So in conclusion, the first entry by Tacitus referencing Nero only confirms the existence of a group called Christians in Rome circa 64 CE, not the existence of a physical person called Jesus of Nazareth in Judah circa 1 to 30 CE.

With regard to Suetonius and his ‘Lives of the twelve Caesars’, a history circa 121 CE. In his chapter on Claudius, Suetonius makes the following entry:

“…since the Jews were continually making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.”

Suetonius dates the chapters which contain this passage as 800 AUC, meaning 800 years since the formation of Rome in 753 BCE; this equals 47 CE. Suetonius therefore dates this passage to 47 CE or just after. It appears in a passage which covers decisions made by Claudius relating to several ethnic and religious groups including the Druids of Britain, the Gauls, the people from Ilium, German ambassadors and the Eleusiian mysteries of Attica. In the passage above, it is the Jews who are expelled from Rome because they strongly disagree with a notion being communicated that the Old Testament messiah has already visited the world. This is an argument that bandy back and forth in the Jewish world since the conception of ‘a Messiah to come’ was first written down in the Hebrew texts of 600 BCE. Once again, the name of the messiah is absent and the passage only confirms the existence of the believers, not the physical existence of the character they believe in. Nor does the passage confirm the view of the believers as to whether they consider the character allegorical or literal; the passage reveals nothing of the Jesus version from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts. When Suetonius covers the life of Nero he makes the following observation:

“In his reign many abuses were severely punished and repressed, and as many new laws were instituted; a limit was set upon spending; public banquets were reduced; the sale of cooked food in taverns was forbidden, except for vegetables and greens, while formerly every kind of food was available; punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a set of men adhering to a novel and mischievous superstition; he put a stop to the wild activities of the charioteers, who for a long time had assumed the right of ranging at large and cheating and robbing for amusement; the actors and their companies were banished.”

While this passage can be seen as corroboration of the passage from Tacitus regarding Nero blaming the fire of Rome on a sect called Christians, we also have to consider the order of authorship. The events mentioned are set in 66 CE, Tacitus wrote circa 100 CE and Suetonius writes in 121 CE. Suetonius could be using Tacitus as his source material, or Tacitus and Suetonius could both be using the same earlier source material; in these instances, the Suetonius passage is not corroborative, but merely a restatement of the same assertion. Tacitus and Suetonius could be using different source material which would move the statements towards the corroborative realm. However, even if the Tacitus and Suetonius accounts are corroborative and the events of the persecution are factual, it still only confirms no more than the presence of a group called Christians in Rome circa 66 CE. Suetonius dates the Christian persecutions by Nero as 819 AUC, which is 66 CE or just after.

It has to be pointed out that: if writings which confirm the existence of Christians, also confirm by default the existence of Jesus Christ; then it follows that writings which confirm the existence of Mithraites also confirms the existence of Mithra, and now we have positively confirmed the existence of two Gods, at least! Unless of course: we are only to apply credence to the writings which mention Christians and apply no credence at all to all other works which mention followers of other Gods?

It is a fact, that there are no contemporary, corroborative writings about the Jesus Character from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; there are only non contemporary and non corroborative writings about Christians.

So; in response to: “I think Notori should check historical details thoroughly.” Historical details checked and confirmed.

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No name 16/11/11:

Seutonius, AD 120, referred to the expulsion of Jews from Rome 'by the instigation of Chrestus' and while Claudius was Emperor (AD 41-54).  Many see Chrestus as a variant spelling of Christ.  Even if mistaken in believing Jesus was still alive, it shows his belief that Jesus existed who led a band of dissident Jews.

Tacitus, AD 115 and 117, mentions Christ by name, he wrote of early Christian origins in Judea and the execution of Christ under the instructions of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.  To dispel rumour, Nero substituted as culprits and gave extreme punishment to people known as Christians, who were notorious.  The originator of that name, Christus had been executed when Tiberious was emperor by order of the procurator Pontius Pilate.  The 'deadly cult' though checked for a time was now breaking out again not only in Judea but Rome.  (Tacitus, Annals XV, 44).

I think Notori should check historical details thoroughly.

Most people love to see children with a basic knowledge of Christianity and adore nativity school plays.

Why is only Christianity depicted and not other religions on your home page.

People have the choice and the Christian tolerant way has been instilled in our country. 

As families split and violence increases, it increases with the moving away from churches, not towards the churches.

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Mark 17/10/11:

Andy 04/04/11 writes: "Surely you are just teaching children Atheism." This is a typical uninformed comment that I hear from religious apologists all the time. No responsible atheist ever suggests that children be indoctrination with atheism (please note that atheism has a lower case 'a'). There is nothing on this web site that advocates teaching atheism either.

Atheism isn't something you 'teach', it's a personal position arrived at through critical evaluation of the facts (or in the case of religion, the complete lack of any facts to support the existence of supernatural entities, other than blind faith).

Critical thinking skills are what we should be helping children to develop and then they can make their own minds up about what is fact and fiction in this world. If anyone wants to argue against teaching children the skills that enable them to question and evaluate the information that is taught to them, then you really need to consider your own motives and why you would prefer them to be unquestioningly spoon-fed with the man-made fantasy stories of various religions.

In addition, I hear many people say that we should teach comparative religion to children. For me, this is the equivalent of presenting a selection of different falsehoods to children and asking them to choose which one they prefer to believe.

Andy also writes: "I will continue to fervently follow Jesus, He has never let me down and never will."

Jesus can't let you down because that concept only exists in your head -- it's entirely up to you whether you think your invisible friend has let you down or not. Let's keep that concept there in your head and don't insist that it is taught to children as some sort of reality.

Mark
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Andy 04/04/11:

I think this is an impossibility. Surely you are just teaching children Atheism. You would like to see ALL Schools indoctrinate children in Atheism. I will continue to fervently follow Jesus, He has never let me down and never will. God Bless you ALL. Andy.

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Lorraine 11/03/11:

I am completely with you on this - I have had the experience of the apartheid system used in Northern Ireland to segregate the children from birth into Protestants and Catholics as I grew up in the 70's and 80's. Schools became (and still are) recruiting factories for terrorists, taking full advantage of the exploitation of young, gullible minds -minds that have been made weak by constantly reinforcing that it is good 'not to question', good to 'believe' and to 'accept authority'. Very dangerous stuff.   Thankfully there are now many integrated schools that my children can attend. However I would still prefer religion to be removed completely for all aspects of public life - when is it going to be recognised as the male power structure that it so clearly is. if the bible gave the power to women, how many men would believe it? - not many in Northern Ireland anyway.
when ever I get the opportunity to comment of the 'peace process' - I always make the case for the complete removal of religion from the education system -it should be kept a private activity.
I wish you good luck with you efforts,

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Ian 09/03/11:

Suggested addition to Article 9 of the Human Rights Act:

-: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion :-

"Everyone has the right to refuse to take part in religious activities, to refuse to wear or display any kind of religious symbol or item of clothing, and to refuse to submit to preaching, enforced learning of religious texts, chanting, singing, recital or other forms of indoctrination. No person of any age shall be penalized, ostracised or discriminated against in respect of their refusal to engage in religious activities of any kind." 
 

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No name 09/03/11:

Very best wishes for success with this initiative. I taught in an independent private school for 30 years and was astonished by the attitudes of many staff. There were evangelicals, even creationists. When I challenged them, especially the absurdity of creationism, in private discussions, I was reported to the Head and it was me that was admonished. Such is the entrenched acceptance of religious belief systems in education that any questioning is condemned - and this in a leading educational institution! Of especial interest was the immediately activated sense of victimisation on the part of those whose beliefs were scrutinised.
Good luck

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No name 09/03/11:

I prefer to believe that everything in the Universe exists as a result of natural processes.  That to me makes perfect sense. 

Magical cryptic beings with supernatural powers seems less likely.

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No name 09/03/11:

Just found this excellent much needed site.  Wouldn't disagree with a word of it.

I haven't read AC yet or attended one of the presentations but I have a suggestion, the list of presentations already given shows that so far you are very much preaching to the converted.  You need to go out there and deliver these talks to the general public, especially to educators and even schools.  Trouble is (I expect) you won't get your foot in the door unless your profile is a lot higher.

As other commenters have said, a Facebook page would be a start.  Other types of social networking and new media would be useful too.  There's a lot you can do before you actually have to spend money.  We'll do our bit, by word of mouth (good that you have such a memorable URL, though I worry that once you start becoming a threat to the religious they'll make play with it, renaming you "notorious" or something).

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No name 09/03/11:

Great site, it'd be nice if it had a little more exposure though, although this might be difficult for people who concur with you. I myself have been actively discouraged from even bringing up this subject (and similar) amongst friends, and even more so with the "faithful" in my family. I just get accused of preaching! Maybe a Facebook page would attract some interest (I did search unsuccessfully, so if there is one already don't shoot me). Keep up the good work!

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No name 18/02/11:

Your leaflet and website don’t seen very tolerant of Christianity, your website talks about religious tolerance yet you attack Christianity directly, using an image of a priest and Bible to influence and appeal to the reader. If you don’t want religion taught in schools that’s one thing, talk about that, but your leaflet and website talk specifically about Christianity. There are  Muslim schools which openly preach hated, and Jewish school as well as other faith schools.

It’s clear this is an anti Christianity initiative rather than an anti religious initiative. I would say you don’t practice what you preach!

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Barry Thorpe 01/06/10:

A) Steuart Campbell has been criticised more than once in the Freethinker for asserting that there is plenty of contemporary evidence for the existence of JC - but he never quotes an unequivocal source - he just refers you to his book! As you say -  there simply isn't any.

B) In your article Why 70 CE? , you refer to Pontius Pilate as a proconsul. Only senatorial provinces were governed by proconsuls at this time. Judea was attached to the imperial province of Syria and was governed by a prefect of praetorian rank, i.e. had power of life and death. The Prefect was subordinate to the imperial legate of Syria.

"Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.."

(From your article The Literalists)

The fact that Tacitus refers to Pilate as procurator, the term used after the reign of Tiberius for governors of Pilate's level (small province attached to a larger one, in this case Syria), rather than as prefect, indicates further that he was quoting what he had heard or read in his own day, rather than material taken from imperial archives, supposing, of course, that such a piffling affair, if it happened, was ever recorded.

Technically, Syria was one of the provinces ruled by the Emperor's nominee, legatus Augusti pro praetore (legatus Augusti is normally rendered as imperial legate, and the pro praetore bit means he had the power to command troops, etc), while the prefect was the legate's deputy in the lesser province.

Later, the title was changed to procurator to reflect the principal aspect of the job - collecting taxes.

If you know all this already ... my apologies

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Antony Chapman 05/05/10:

I enjoyed Mike Lawrence's article in Ethical Record on numbers in religion.

While I have considerable doubts about whether Jesus ever existed, Steuart Campbell in this month's Freethinker says that his life/death are well documented by contemporary historians.   Can you comment?

Why do you not give the names of the people who run this website?   I always have a low opinion of anonymous websites.

Antony Chapman 

Hi Antony 

Regards there being a wealth of contemporary documentation about the life and death of one Jesus of Nazareth circa 4 BCE to 30CE. I am afraid I would categorically disagree with Steuart Campbell on this issue. There is in point of fact absolutely no contemporary or corroborative writing for the historical existence of such a character, divine or mortal. There is however, boundless material to prove the existence of Christians.

 I am glad you enjoyed the article. It is in fact my own web site, the lecture that the article came from can be found in the book advertised on this site "Astonishing Credulity" which covers a lot more ground, and reveals the existence of literature which proves that the Jesus Character existed as an allegorical figure prior to Governorship of Pontius Pilate. 

Best Regards 

Mike Lawrence  NOTORI

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Lisa Garbett 23/03/10:

What a WONDERFUL website. The no-nonsense message of 'it's OK to speak out' about this kind of psychological abuse of children, is at last getting through. RI in schools is effectively bullying and I am very much in favour of empowering children and parents and giving them the confidence to say 'No'  Well done Notori !!   from Lisa Garbett, Sharnbrook Bedfordshire.

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No name 29/01/10:

How can I reduce my 5 year old son's exposure to C of E culture at the local village school without insisting, for example, that he be excused assembly every day, which I feel would be unfair on him ? Any advice welcome ! The Cof E stuff seems to infiltrate the classroom too, but one step at a time ...
Are there any other web spaces that I might find helpful  in my quest to tackle this issue ?

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No name 13/11/09:

"No" to indoctrination!

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No name 04/10/09:

This is child abuse, They forced societies most trusted, ie rectors and head teachers, to lead prayers about fake ideologies that are spread faster than a virus around to population.

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Paul Davis 23/03/09:Hi Alan,

Well, finally the EU shows it has some guts rather than what it has been doing continuously for ages and cowardly submitting to the dangerous aims of political Islam.

BTW, if you want to hear more of what Pat Condell has to say check out these sites:

http://www.patcondell.net/index.html
http://www.myspace.com/patcondell

I wish more people are as outspoken as he is and bang on correct to boot.

cheers
Paul Davis

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Alan 30/03/2009:                                                                                                                                                       Looks like I was a little hasty and events have moved on from my last post.

The US and EU threatened to boycott the HRC conference and they have adjusted some of the wording around religious defamation.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLH86855

Regards
Alan

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A 19/03/09:

Are you aware of the Human Rights Council of the UN are currently putting together a proposal to protect religions from abuse.  If passed this would require every country to implement laws that would effectively ban websites like NOTORI.

Pat Condell has a video about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bzTA_D5NpU&feature=channel_page

That could be a good option, lets start a new religion, freedom.  Freedom is my god you can't attack it, unfortunately you can prove it doesn't exist in many of the countries that are supporting this HRC proposal.

Regards
A

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On behalf of "One Law for all Campaign" No name 03/03/09:                                                                                 Hi,

I hope Notori don't mind me posting this and although it isn't directly on the topic of religion in schools it is entirely relevant to everyone whether they be non-religious or otherwise. I intend of being at this march and barring any unforeseen circumstances I will be there.

cheers

Hello

March 7 is around the corner. We are looking forward to seeing many of you at the anti-racist London rally against Sharia and religious-based laws in Britain and elsewhere and in defence of citizenship and universal rights in Trafalgar Square from 330-430pm. You can find posters that have been prepared for the rally by Dan Simon and Reza Moradi on our website. Please feel free to download them and bring them along to the rally to ensure that there are enough placards for everyone. At 4:30pm we will begin our march to Red Lion Square and then join a public meeting at Conway Hall from 6:00-8:00pm. We will be registering people for the public meeting at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square WC1R 4RL from 5:00pm. From 5:30pm onwards, there will be live music by Raised Voices, pastries and refreshments. The entry fee to the public meeting is £5, including refreshments but we won't turn anyone away. If you plan on coming, try and send in your booking form before the event (by March 6) so that we can reserve a place for you.

We now have over 9,700 signatories to our petition. Please sign up to it if you haven't already and tell others about it too. For more background on One Law for All, the nature of Sharia councils and tribunals and on whether it is Islamophobic to oppose Sharia law, see the latest interview with Maryam Namazie and Bahram Soroush on Fariborz Pooya's Secular TV: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/mediaPages/SecularTV.html. You can also see what a Sharia judge really means for people and women in particular by watching a recent BBC TV Big Questions programme in which I participated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAKRvBe_-EA.

By the way, we have set up a free Helpline (which will be launched at our public meeting) for those who need help with and legal advice on Sharia law decisions. We are specifically targeting women and children who may not be aware of their rights under British law or fear to seek advice or go to secular courts due to pressures and/or threats. Confidentiality and the safety of those who call on us will be our main priorities. We will be collaborating with other advice organisations such as AdviceUK in order to provide high standard quality services and to find the best possible solutions available. Yassi Molazadeh, our Legal Coordinator, has already established a legal team to carry out much needed research in order to find ways in which we can bring a halt to these kangaroo courts but we do need lawyers, barristers and solicitors to provide pro bono legal advice to those who come to us for help. We also need volunteers to receive training in order to staff the Helpline and provide general information and referrals. All our work is being run by volunteers so if you want to help in any way, don't hesitate to contact us. We need all the help we can get.

Moreover, we plan to go on a speaking tour across Britain and internationally after the March events in order to inform the public about and raise awareness on Sharia councils and tribunals. If you'd like us to come and speak in your area, just contact our Outreach Coordinator, Goranka Gudelj, to arrange it. 

And please don't forget to donate! All this work costs money and we can't do it without your financial support. No amount is too small (or for that matter too big).

To donate, for more information, to download flyers, posters or a booking form for the March 7 London public meeting or to sign the petition, visit our website: www.onelawforall.org.uk.

You can also contact us via:
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
onelawforall@gmail.com

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes

Maryam

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain

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John Cox 25/02/09: Re Paul to Nicola: 

Paul; this is an excellent point. One has to ask, what is collective worship (morning religious assembly of a broadly Christian nature) supposed to be achieving when it is doing exactly what the adopted Christian figurehead is reported to have told Christians specifically not to do; being public prayer. The same can be said for Sunday worship in Church. This passage seems to expressly forbid public and community prayer, in that it would stop a person gaining access to Narnia, (whoops I mean Heaven). 

I love seeing contradictory Bible passages being thrown into the mix; so how about this one. 

To Dawn: 

You responded to Mike’s question about the Universe being very much a work in progress according to observation as opposed to a job completed according to Genesis with: 

I personally don’t see the problem with Genesis 1 at all. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” None of man’s theories make any sense to my logical mind.

To answer your statement God created man as in mankind. He did not create you or me on that day just as Adam is not here now. I see no problem with new stars being born. What is the difference? Why do you try to limit God? 

So explain Psalm 104: 

“You have set the earth firmly in its foundations, and it will never be moved”. 

Well Since the time that this was written, for me by a man living in the Iron Age and clearly ignorant of planetary motion, but for you by Prophets recording the unerring word of a creator God; we have discovered that sidereal and precession, (the perceived daily/yearly movement of Sun, stars and planets and the perceived astrological age movements of circa 26,000 years) are actually due to the earth moving. Wow, fancy that! 

We have discovered the earth spins once every 24 hours, revolves around the sun every 365.24 days and wobbles on its axis, completing one wobble every 26,000 years. Hardly an earth set firmly in its foundations, never to be moved? 

This passage from Psalm 104 was used in the prosecution of Galileo; by your ignorant, uneducated, Iron Age, superstitious organisation called “The Church”.

John Cox

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Paul Davis 25/02/09:


The Logical Absurdity of Omnipotent Gods.

What is omnipotence? Well, the dictionary defines it as thus: Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful. (Dictionary.com).

Ok, so how could there possibly be anything wrong with that?

Let's pose this omnipotent being a question.

1. Can you make a rock so hot that you cannot touch it?

Let's work through the logic. Now, lets assume god makes the rock. Can he touch it? Well, clearly not, otherwise he wouldn't have done what was asked. But then, if he does make it, he is no longer omnipotent because there is something he cannot do - ie. he can't pick up the rock too hot for him to pick up. Of course, if he can't make the rock then he isn't omnipotent then either. Oh dear......

Source for this question: The Simpsons. Yes, even the writers of the Simpsons are quiet aware of the logical absurdity of omnipotence but 2000 years of praying doesn't seem to have made the religious aware of it. I guess they weren't praying to be enlightened, but if they were praying for enlightenment, would we need any further evidence that praying doesn't work?

Seems being omnipotent is fraught with all sorts of dangers. You can't make rocks you cannot touch, you can't make rocks you cannot lift, you can't do anything _absolute_, because it renders the antithesis of the absolute impossible.

Yet, what do we hear from the mouths of the religious all of the time? We hear their pronouncements of absolutes. Now if we are made in gods image as the bible maintains, then god has been making absolutes for ever, and by now is rendered absolutely useless. Maybe that's why there is no god in the world. He was absolutely too stupid to realise that making absolutes renders himself powerless and before he realised it was too late.

So please all you religious people out there. Thanks for painting your god into a corner. I'm sure he needs the company which is probably why so many of you delight in painting yourself into corners too.

cheers
Paul Davis, Hertford

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Paul Davis 24/02/09: Hi Nicola,

You said: "I do not think religion should be forced into a public school curriculum"

Good. So have you signed the petition that can be found through the link on the home page of this website I presume?

You said:  "but at the same time children who are religious should be allowed to pray or read their bible at school in peace as long as they don't force it on other students."

Why would they want to pray in school? Being Christians I thought they would be taking Jesus' advice?

Matthew 6
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."
(NIV)

Or don't you heed the words of your favourite mythological character?

You said: "As for faith schools if you don't like them don't send your kids there."

We don't. Nor do we want to pay for them either. If you want faith schools pay for them yourselves and don't keep leeching off this predominantly secular society.

Paul Davis, Hertford

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Paul Davis 23/02/09:HI Nicola,

You said: "Since you do not believe in heaven or hell, I guess it's not irresponsible of you.  What I said was I do believe in God and heaven and hell, therefore it would be extremely irresponsible of me not to ensure my children are brought up Christian as I would possibly be contributing to their damnation."

No, that's not what you said.  This is what you said "You are raising your children to the best of your ability, so that they have the best chances and become successful, contributing well rounded people and that is good.  Just so if you believe as I do, then it would highly irresponsible of me not to teach my children about God"

The intimation here is that if "I believe as you do" then it would be irresponsible for ME to not teach them about god. But let me address what you said here as well.

If I lived in a country where no one had heard of the bible or Jesus, would I be in danger of damnation because I have not asked Jesus to save me?

You said: "Lets face it there are many people out there who are not to bright to begin with, what can you do."

I don't quite see what this has to do with the matter. Maybe you can explain what people's intelligence level has to do with them being indoctrinated in schools?

You said:  "For the rest natural inquisitiveness will lead them to explore other ideas and eventually make up their own minds."

Maybe they will maybe they won't. Intelligence is no guarantee. Not being indoctrinated in the first place is the ideal situation.

You said:  "You seem to have managed to make up your own mind, that incidentally does not make the values, ideas etc you were taught incorrect, that's just your opinion."

I have managed to make my mind up, but the point wasn't about making your mind up it was about indoctrination and being exposed to it at a young age and its effect. I shouldn't have "had to make my mind up" is the point. I shouldn't have had to spend time weeding out indoctrinated ideas from my mind especially ones that caused me trouble. This is the point. If Christians hadn't implanted false ideas into my mind in the first place I wouldn't have to deal with them.

You said: "I'm sure you are not trying to compare school practical classes with an actual career in the sciences because I'm sure you would agree that is absurd. Sorry but really. "

Indeed I wouldn't say that, and I clearly didn't. This was in response to you saying how you found the research you were doing boring. I simply pointed out that when I did research I found it interesting. So where you get this idea from I can't imagine. Or rather, I can imagine.

You said: " It is also clear to me as I read further that whilst you may have a very real interest in science you are no scientist (also by your own admission)  to then want to lecture me on the use of the word theory is almost laughable."

I'll ignore your argument from authority as it is a known logical fallacy. I didn't claim to be a scientist but this does not mean I don't know anything about science. Your intimation is that because you claim to be a scientist (a chemist not a pharmacist) that I am not in the position to refute your misuse of the word theory within science.

 "I said theory because I meant it, in science as in every day the term remains unchanged."

The term is simply not used in the same way in science as in everyday colloquial use. In science when we have a system of ideas that have not been supported with evidence we call it a hypothesis. When a system of ideas has been supported by evidence it then becomes a theory. ie. it's not just some idea plucked out of thin air as you seem to be trying to indicate.

You said: "A possible explanation.  Theories of all kinds have evidence to support them, however not only can "evidence" be tampered with it can be misinterpreted or simply be the result of outdated or unsophisticated technology."

Indeed it can. And the beauty of science is that it self-corrects. No theory is immutable and all are open to modification and even rejection in the light of contrary evidence and/or better techniques and understanding.

You said: "As for the theory of universal  gravity , I'm afraid its just that, a theory.  Perhaps you should rethink your research methods as this one has about as much gaps in it as the old evolution conundrum.  Isaac Newton himself said, "I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.""

Not sure what you're trying to say here but it looks like you're saying that gravity does not exist. Is that what you're saying? We don't see objects fall towards the ground and when the astronauts were on the moon they didn't see things fall towards the moon? We don't see planets orbiting the sun and we don't see moons orbiting the planets?

Newton had a theory that explained WHAT WE OBSERVE. Newton's theory however, is limited. It does not explain the precession of Mercury's orbit for example and makes no predictions. It is, however, perfectly valid within its range. We have for example used Newton's theory of Gravity to plan the paths of satellites and interplanetary probes very successfully. Newton's theory is certainly viable within its scope as it explains what we see and gives us a tool to make things happen in specific ways.

You said: "No science does not in general deal with proofs, it is however, supposed to deal with facts, unless of course you actually mean you like science fiction a wonderful and much more appropriate outlet for all those crazy ideas they try to sell us in text books."

Nice ad hominen. Yes, those damn scientists (which you claim to be one of). How dare they come up with all these theories that actually work and create most of our modern life around us...... I mean how dare they have the temerity to have a theory that WORKS.

Science does not deal with proofs at all. Science does deal with facts and it tries to explain factual  things. For example: why is it a fact that objects fall towards the centre of objects (like planets) at a predictable rate that is in proportion to the mass of the objects?

Newton _conjectured_ a hidden force which he wrote down as the force created by the mass of  two objects divided by the square of the distance between them multiplied by a constant - Newton's gravitational constant. There was no doubt/is no doubt that gravity exists and is measurable and its effects observable.

The debate is not about whether it exists but what it actually is. Newton conjectured a force - g. Einstein, on the other hand, conjectured that gravity is due to space-time curvature. He put forward a geometrical solution to _what we see_ , and also, his theory put forward predictions that can be tested. Einstein's theory explained the precession of the orbit of Mercury for example - something that we can observe. His theory also predicted that light would be deflected from its path by gravitational bodies of sufficient force. This was not observed until years later, but Relativity certainly predicted it before we observed it and it is a triumph for theoretical physics.

When Einstein developed General Relativity religion actually caused him problems. His equations described a Universe that would be either contracting or expanding. The accepted (and religious) view of a created universe implied that it should be neither contracting nor expanding. Einstein tried to incorporate it into his equations with a "fudge factor" which was called the cosmological constant. Einstein later called this the biggest blunder of his life as it was later found that the Universe is indeed expanding and thus there was no need for his fudge.

You said "You would like me to give some examples of evolutionary theory gone awry, so be it.
Evolution assumes that man dropped out of the trees 1 to 5 million years ago and became fully human approximately 100,000 years ago. Yet archaeological records show civilization arising only about 5,000 years ago (based on evolutionary thinking)."

Archaeological records show civilisations predating biblical Genesis. Yet more evidence that it is utter creationist tripe.

You said: "In other words, by evolutionary reasoning, it took mankind 95,000 years after becoming fully human to figure out that food could be produced by dropping a seed into the ground!"

Your point being? What seems an obvious thing to you and I was not always obvious to pre-civilised peoples. It is well known that humans were hunter gatherers for a long time before they realised the practicalities of farming crops on purpose.

You said: "Another indication of both a young earth and a confirmation of the worldwide flood is the scarcity of meteors in sedimentary rock layers. Although some meteors have been found in sedimentary layers, they are relatively rare."

But they do exist, and therefore render your flood creation myth nonsense. There is no evidence whatsoever of a world wide flood as depicted in the Bible. The thing about floods is the bigger they are, the more evidence they leave. A world wide flood would leave masses of evidence and there is none.

You said: "Meteors are easily identifiable, and many thousands have been identified and recovered from recent impacts on the planet’s surface. If most of the rock layers were laid down rapidly during the one year period of a worldwide flood, you would not expect to find many meteorites buried in only one year. However, if the sediment was laid down over billions of years, there should be multiple billions of meteorites buried within this sediment. The fact that we find so few is another possible evidence for the rapid accumulation of the sedimentary layers and a young earth."

Except that it isn't evidence for creationism whatsoever. If the sediments were all laid down in a single year they would not show any stratification. There would not be distinct layers and there are very distinct layers. That we don't find "billions of meteors" in sediments is not evidence against an old earth but support for a dynamic and changing Earth and Universe. ie. not a static one created 6000 years ago.

You said: "All planetary rings still exhibit intricacies which Should Have long ago disappeared."

Really? According to who?
 
You said: "All known comets burn up their material with each pass around the sun and Should Have a maximum life expectancy of 100,000 years."

Really? According to who? Depends how close they come to the sun, and how often.
 
You said: "The outer solar system planets should have long ago cooled off."

Really? According to who? And what precisely do you mean by "cooled off"? From what I've read they are pretty damn cold planets.

You said: "The spiral galaxies Should Have long ago un-spiralled, and the uneven dispersion of matter in the universe Should Have long ago dispersed."

Really? According to who?

You said: "Evolution is based on myth: Myth: The fossil record proves evolution."

Really? Who said the fossil record proves evolution? The fossil record is in accord with the theory of evolution.

You said: "Reality: There are no transitions between vastly different types of animals in either the living world or the fossil record."

DNA evidence is stacking up about intermediates between living species, and throwing up some surprising relationships. Why would we expect there to be living "transitions" between vastly different "types" of animals? If these animals are related in the past then they have diverged sufficiently far to become distinct species.

You said: "Lining up three objects by size or shape does not prove that one turned into the other."

Again, you use the "proof" world. Science doesn't deal in proofs, it tries to explain OBSERVATIONS, and if the theories that explain the observations also make predictions then even better. Lining up three objects by size or shape (aka cladistics) is known to be subjective in many cases. Therefore science does not call it a proof. It is evidence and we try to interpret that evidence as best we can.

You said: "Myth: Structural and biochemical similarities prove common ancestry."

Again, the "prove" word. I tire of saying this but science does not do proof. It deals with evidence. Evidence of biochemical similarities is evidence of common ancestry between now distinct species.

You said: "Reality: The lack of fossil transition strongly refute this myth. Common ancestry is only one of two possible explanations for similarities. Purposeful design can explain the same features in a more direct way."

No, it doesn't. There is no rule that a designer has to use the same things or similar things to create two distinct things. A designer as powerful as your supposed god has no limitation and could have made the animals out of completely different things from each other.

Evolution, on the other hand, works with what is already there. ie. there is no separate creation.

You said: "In addition, totally different organisms often display similar features."

Indeed. This is called convergence. ie, when two different species of animal find a solution to a problem be it in the detection and hunting of prey, or in the prevention of being caught by predators. Many disparate species are subject to the same evolutionary forces. It would therefore make sense that similar "answers" are found to similar problems.

You said:  "This supports the existence of a common designer."

No, it is supporting evidence that two distinct species have been subject to the same evolutionary forces.

You said: "Myth: The rock layers of the earth form the pages of earth's history showing million of years of evolutionary progression."

Progression? Evolution does not predict "progression". It predicts change.

You said: "Reality: The fossil record does not show a clear "simple-to-complex" progression of life forms. Life is complex and well developed wherever it is found in the fossil record. Major groups of plants and animals appear suddenly in the fossil record, with nothing leading up to them."

So stromatolites are well developed and complex? These are the oldest known fossils on the planet. They are little more than pond scum. That we don't have many fossils past the Cambrian period is not evidence of creationism. It consistent with a dynamic planet. Something your creation myth does not even talk about let alone explain.

You said: "Most rock layers and the fossils they contain can be explained better by a worldwide flood and subsequent events."

Except for the problem that we find specific kinds of fossils in specific layers. If they had all been laid down in a flood they would all be jumbled up. They are not jumbled up, just like the strata of sediments are not all mixed up.

You said: "Myth: Radiometric dating methods are "absolute." They are accurate and reliable."

Who said they were absolute? Only lying creationists say things like this and then claim science said it.

We know elements decay. You being a chemist (or so you claim) should know this too. From working out how much of each element there is within a test item we can work out ball park figures for the ages of many things.

You said: "Reality: Although radiometric dating methods seem to show a trend of great age, these methods depend upon numerous other assumptions."

No one is claiming radiometric dating to be perfect in any way shape or form, but there is a vast difference between 6000 years, and 2 billion years.

You said: "When used to date events of known age, such as lava flow in Hawaii or the Grand Canyon, they have been wrong by orders of magnitude. How can we be sure they are accurate for events of unknown age? "

Would you care to prop this claim up with some peer reviewed evidence? ie. links to the articles showing Hawaii and Grand Canyon samples to have been incorrectly dated.

You said: "Furthermore, the vast majority of dating method indicate a very young earth."

No, they do not. We even have tree ring data that goes back farther than the supposed creation mythology.

You said: "Myth: The human body contains many "vestigial organs" , leftovers from our evolutionary development." Reality: Although at one time there were dozens of features of the human body listed as vestigial, most have been shown to have important functions. "

Like the coccyx for example.

You said: "After all, even if a few parts have lost their original function that does not prove evolution. To demonstrate evolution, you need to show the development of completely new structures, not the loss and degeneration of previous characteristics."

Evolution theory predicts both "loss and degeneration" and "new use and evolution" of characteristics. It predicts change, and that is precisely what we see.

You said: "Myth: The fossil record for human evolution is complete and clear."

The only myth here is that science claims this. All scientists know the fossil record is far from complete. We wouldn't get creationists saying "there are no transition fossils" otherwise. Just like you did above.

You said: "Reality: All too often the propagandists for evolution present their story with statements such as, "Every knowing person believes that man descended from apes. Today there is no such thing as the theory of evolution, it is the fact of evolution." (Ernst Mayr)  The evidence for human evolution is fragmentary and reconstruction involves artistic license. Many competent scientists totally reject evolution. They acknowledge that it is not even a good scientific theory, much less a fact."

Please name many of these competent scientists who totally reject evolution, who "acknowledge that it is not even a good scientific theory, much less a fact".

You said: "Lastly by real science I meant real scientific findings, not the assumptions based on these findings."

And who decides what is a "real scientific find and not an assumption based on these findings"?

As I suspected you probably read most of that off the back of a creationist anti-evolution leaflet. They commonly make claim after claim about what science has supposedly said and then attack their strawman arguments. They then make pronouncements about how things "should be" but never go on to back up these "should-be's" with anything resembling evidence. They also have the misconception that if science is wrong then their bible is correct. This is incorrect also.

I have been asking for years for creationists to support their creation myth with evidence, and to date, they have not been able to show anything to support it at all. They point to things and say "it can only be that way if god made it" which is a nonsense statement about a supposed omnipotent being who can do anything it wants in any way it wants.

If your god was the architect of life then he was a pretty poor designer making all kind of absurd things in the animal kingdom like the poor design of the human eye for example. The poor design of the giraffes neck. Bones that break easily. Soft body parts that can be damaged easily and animals that feed on other animals. Why do they need to feed at all? Surely a perfect god could make animals that are entirely self-sufficient with no need for food or water?

You're really gonna have to come up with more than this out dated creationist nonsense.

Paul Davis, Hertford

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Nicola 23/02/09:
To Notori

I do not think religion should be forced into a public school curriculum, but at the same time children who are religious should be allowed to pray or read their bible at school in peace as long as they don't force it on other students.

As for faith schools if you don't like them don't send your kids there.

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Nicola 23/02/09:
To Paul

You say "I don't teach my children about god, but I can still teach them about ethics and morality and about how actions can have desirable and undesirable effects, for example. Would you say that is highly irresponsible of me?"

Since you do not believe in heaven or hell, I guess it's not irresponsible of you.  What I said was I do believe in God and heaven and hell, therefore it would be extremely irresponsible of me not to ensure my children are brought up Christian as I would possibly be contributing to their damnation.

You said "many children brought up by religious parents are not taught to think only to follow."
and "Having been brought up in a Christian school which reinforced ideas about gods when I got older I found that these ideas nagged me quite a lot and caused me a great deal of concern which could so easily have been avoided if these incorrect ideas not been planted so firmly in my mind at a young age. "

Lets face it there are many people out there who are not to bright to begin with, what can you do.  For the rest natural inquisitiveness will lead them to explore other ideas and eventually make up their own minds.  You seem to have managed to make up your own mind, that incidentally does not make the values, ideas etc you were taught incorrect, that's just your opinion.

You say "I did my share of practical work with regard to physics and the other sciences when I was at school and found it intensely interesting."

I'm sure you are not trying to compare school practical classes with an actual career in the sciences because I'm sure you would agree that is absurd. Sorry but really.  It is also clear to me as I read further that whilst you may have a very real interest in science you are no scientist (also by your own admission)  to then want to lecture me on the use of the word theory is almost laughable.  I said theory because I meant it, in science as in every day the term remains unchanged.  A possible explanation.  Theories of all kinds have evidence to support them, however not only can "evidence" be tampered with it can be misinterpreted or simply be the result of outdated or unsophisticated technology.  As for the theory of universal  gravity , I'm afraid its just that, a theory.  Perhaps you should rethink your research methods as this one has about as much gaps in it as the old evolution conundrum.  Isaac Newton himself said, "I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain."

No science does not in general deal with proofs, it is however, supposed to deal with facts, unless of course you actually mean you like science fiction a wonderful and much more appropriate outlet for all those crazy ideas they try to sell us in text books.

You would like me to give some examples of evolutionary theory gone awry, so be it.
Evolution assumes that man dropped out of the trees 1 to 5 million years ago and became fully human approximately 100,000 years ago. Yet archaeological records show civilization arising only about 5,000 years ago (based on evolutionary thinking). In other words, by evolutionary reasoning, it took mankind 95,000 years after becoming fully human to figure out that food could be produced by dropping a seed into the ground!

Another indication of both a young earth and a confirmation of the worldwide flood is the scarcity of meteors in sedimentary rock layers. Although some meteors have been found in sedimentary layers, they are relatively rare. Meteors are easily identifiable, and many thousands have been identified and recovered from recent impacts on the planet’s surface. If most of the rock layers were laid down rapidly during the one year period of a worldwide flood, you would not expect to find many meteorites buried in only one year. However, if the sediment was laid down over billions of years, there should be multiple billions of meteorites buried within this sediment. The fact that we find so few is another possible evidence for the rapid accumulation of the sedimentary layers and a young earth.

All planetary rings still exhibit intricacies which Should Have long ago disappeared.
All known comets burn up their material with each pass around the sun and Should Have a maximum life expectancy of 100,000 years.
The outer solar system planets should have long ago cooled off.
The spiral galaxies Should Have long ago un-spiralled, and the uneven dispersion of matter in the universe Should Have long ago dispersed.

Evolution is based on myth:
Myth: The fossil record proves evolution.

Reality: There are no transitions between vastly different types of animals in either the living world or the fossil record. Lining up three objects by size or shape does not prove that one turned into the other.

Myth: Structural and biochemical similarities prove common ancestry.

Reality: The lack of fossil transition strongly refute this myth. Common ancestry is only one of two possible explanations for similarities. Purposeful design can explain the same features in a more direct way. In addition, totally different organisms often display similar features. This supports the existence of a common designer.

Myth: The rock layers of the earth form the pages of earth's history showing million of years of evolutionary progression.

Reality: The fossil record does not show a clear "simple-to-complex" progression of life forms. Life is complex and well developed wherever it is found in the fossil record. Major groups of plants and animals appear suddenly in the fossil record, with nothing leading up to them. Most rock layers and the fossils they contain can be explained better by a worldwide flood and subsequent events.

Myth: Radiometric dating methods are "absolute." They are accurate and reliable.

Reality: Although radiometric dating methods seem to show a trend of great age, these methods depend upon numerous other assumptions. When used to date events of known age, such as lava flow in Hawaii or the Grand Canyon, they have been wrong by orders of magnitude. How can we be sure they are accurate for events of unknown age? Furthermore, the vast majority of dating method indicate a very young earth.

Myth: The human body contains many "vestigial organs" , leftovers from our evolutionary development.

Reality: Although at one time there were dozens of features of the human body listed as vestigial, most have been shown to have important functions. After all, even if a few parts have lost their original function that does not prove evolution. To demonstrate evolution, you need to show the development of completely new structures, not the loss and degeneration of previous characteristics.

Myth: The fossil record for human evolution is complete and clear.

Reality: All too often the propagandists for evolution present their story with statements such as, "Every knowing person believes that man descended from apes. Today there is no such thing as the theory of evolution, it is the fact of evolution." (Ernst Mayr) The evidence for human evolution is fragmentary and reconstruction involves artistic license. Many competent scientists totally reject evolution. They acknowledge that it is not even a good scientific theory, much less a fact.

Lastly by real science I meant real scientific findings, not the assumptions based on these findings.

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A 13/02/09

@ Paul 

Thank you for picking that one up.

@ Nicola

Could I add to Paul's questioning by also asking what contradictions you were thinking of?

I did not say that science disproves god (you can't prove an absence) but that the evidence for phenomena previously attributed to a god had found more natural explanations.

Regards
A

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Paul Davis 13/02/09 Dear Nicola,

This was such a brief statement that I nearly missed it.

You said "Real science does not contradict or disprove God."

What do you mean by "real science"?

regards,
Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Paul Davis 13/02/09 Dear Nicola,

Pleased to meet you.

You said: "You are raising your children to the best of your ability, so that they have the best chances and become successful, contributing well rounded people and that is good.  Just so if you believe as I do, then it would highly irresponsible of me not to teach my children about God, however, I agree that my beliefs should not be forced onto any one else especially kiddies."

I'm glad to hear that you don't think religion should be forced upon children. I don't quite see how it would be highly irresponsible to not teach them about god. What god are you teaching them about and what are you teaching them about that god is far more important topic for discussion. I don't teach my children about god, but I can still teach them about ethics and morality and about how actions can have desirable and undesirable effects, for example. Would you say that is highly irresponsible of me?

You said: "I would certainly not want them brain washed with Muslamic ideals and can understand that enforcing Christian beliefs is not the way to go.  I would rather minister to people who are old enough and in a clear state of mind and able to make their minds up for themselves."

Indeed. Brainwashing of any kind is not a good thing as it robs people of their critical reasoning facility. Implanting ideas of absolutes in general is to be avoided if you want thinking people in the world. I can speak from my own experience on that point. Having been brought up in a Christian school which reinforced ideas about gods when I got older I found that these ideas nagged me quite a lot and caused me a great deal of concern which could so easily have been avoided if these incorrect ideas not been planted so firmly in my mind at a young age.

You said: "as for the children of religious parents, they to will grow up, learn about the world and other things and then can also make up their minds."

I don't find that is always case. I have spoken with many people who have been brought up in religious households and when they have got older they have really struggled to weed out the indoctrination they have been exposed to from a very early age. The mind is a wonderful thing but when you have a stance enforced upon your psyche from a very young age and it is continually reinforced it can be extremely hard to shake that indoctrination off. It can easily become a burden.

You said: "Assuming they have any, ha ha, no seriously ideally parents should also be teaching their children to think for themselves be confident."

Unfortunately, many children brought up by religious parents are not taught to think only to follow.

You said: "I'm not that fond of Physics, to much theory that can't be proven one way or the other, and application can be extremely boring, I recently helped on a physics project regarding the metal surface for rocket/missile etc application, sounds way cool, in reality it was a lot of grafting , microscopy, data collecting, yawn oh sorry, lucky you, you just get to read about the cool results.  I'm a chemist (not a pharmacist)."

I did my share of practical work with regard to physics and the other sciences when I was at school and found it intensely interesting. The only reason I didn't go on to a life as a scientist is due to other things that had been going on in my life and it took a different turn. I don't regret this however, but I still sit at home and work through theorems from time to time to gain greater insight into what I read about.

You said: "Speaking of things that can't be proven one way or the other, evolution.  Seems that every argument has a counter argument, it urkes me that this THEORY is force fed to children and conveyed as fact."

Your capitalisation of the word "theory" here leads me to believe that you don't understand that when this word is used in science it does not mean the same as it does in everyday colloquial use. When people use it in everyday language by saying things like "I have a theory that so and so did that because of this or that" this is not the same as how it is used in science. A scientific theory is a system of ideas that has been supported with evidence.

For example, you have brought up the theory of evolution. This theory is supported with a great deal of evidence. For anyone to want to claim that it is wrong they would have to show alternative ideas that can also be tested in the same way that the theory of evolution has been tested, and how/where the theory of evolution is incorrect.

Another theory is the theory of gravity. There are actually two theories of gravity. We have Newtonian Gravity and we have Relativistic Gravity. Both are valid and have their place and scope. Newtonian gravity is quite adequate for most uses, but when we get into areas where there are extremely high gravitational forces it becomes less accurate and in those places we would use Relativistic gravity because it is far more accurate and more in accord with the evidence. Yet, even though they are _theories_ do you have any doubt about the existence of gravity?

You should be aware that science does not deal in proofs. Again, the word proof is everyday colloquialism and has no place in science. No scientist worth his salt would ever exclaim that a theory is proved. He would be more likely, and more correct, to say that the evidence in support of a theory is beyond any reasonable doubt.

You said: "If we are talking about raising well rounded, critically minded adults why are they lied to on this point and not given all the facts, real facts not the countless examples found to be fraudulent yet are still sighted."

They are not lied to about evolution theory. Maybe you would like to show us some of the examples that you think are fraudulent and we can discuss them because thus far you have only made a generalised sweeping statement and have not supported it. Let's see if your theory holds up in the light of the evidence.

You said: "Lastly, MTV and the media in general do hurt people, spreading immorality and glorifying violence, children are being exposed to this crap to, don't say it doesn't have an effect, it does."

I'm not going to say anything until you put some weight behind your claim and give me some examples of why you think it spreads immorality or glorifies violence. Again, let's see if your theory holds up in the light of the evidence.

regards,
Paul Davis, Hertford.

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NOTORI Post 13/02/09: Hi Nicola

Many thanks for your post and your views. I do not want to record this incorrectly in the stats so could you confirm my understanding for me?

While being religious, you are against children being indoctrinated into particular religions in schools (faiths schools)? I get the impression that you would be against this. If so, what are you views on religion in schools in general, ie religious education in community schools?

The gist of your text is very refreshing. For tolerance to exist, there needs to be acceptance in all directions for peoples views in religious/non religious matters; which this site supports even although it aims to strongly question theology. But the main thrust of the site is: our collective views on un-resolvable belief differences should not form part of the education curriculum and no group, theist or atheist, should receive special status in political issues.

Regards NOTORI

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Nicola  13/02/09


Dear A.
Real science does not contradict or disprove God.

Dear Paul,
You are raising your children to the best of your ability, so that they have the best chances and become successful, contributing well rounded people and that is good.  Just so if you believe as I do, then it would highly irresponsible of me not to teach my children about God, however, I agree that my beliefs should not be forced onto any one else especially kiddies. I would certainly not want them brain washed with Muslamic ideals and can understand that enforcing Christian beliefs is not the way to go.  I would rather minister to people who are old enough and in a clear state of mind and able to make their minds up for themselves. as for the children of religious parents, they to will grow up, learn about the world and other things and then can also make up their minds. Assuming they have any, ha ha, no seriously ideally parents should also be teaching their children to think for themselves be confident.

I'm not that fond of Physics, to much theory that can't be proven one way or the other, and application can be extremely boring, I recently helped on a physics project regarding the metal surface for rocket/missile etc application, sounds way cool, in reality it was a lot of grafting , microscopy, data collecting, yawn oh sorry, lucky you, you just get to read about the cool results.  I'm a chemist (not a pharmacist).
Speaking of things that can't be proven one way or the other, evolution.  Seems that every argument has a counter argument, it urkes me that this THEORY is force fed to children and conveyed as fact. If we are talking about raising well rounded, critically minded adults why are they lied to on this point and not given all the facts, real facts not the countless examples found to be fraudulent yet are still sighted.

Lastly, MTV and the media in general do hurt people, spreading immorality and glorifying violence, children are being exposed to this crap to, don't say it doesn't have an effect, it does.

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A 12/02/09: Dawn,

Do you realise that science was born out of the search for god by god fearing humans.

It was as the evidence grew, that the things that were traditionally attributed to god had natural explanations that the idea of the non-existence of a god arose.  There was less and less that needed a god.

Regards
A

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Paul Davis 12/02/09:Dear so-called Dawn,

You said:  "I completely see your problem (and the problem of every other atheist.) You have no desire to accept that verse and so you are in the dilemma. Not me. "

We have no such dilemma as you claim. We know your biblical creation story is nonsense as it doesn't explain, predict, or match observed reality. It's not a question of acceptance. It's a matter of it bearing no relation whatsoever to the facts, and desires don't even enter into it.

For example, on the first day of creation according to the bible there was water. On day 4 of the creation according to the bible the stars are made. What is the relevance of me saying this?

Here's the problem: in order to make water you need oxygen, and there was no free oxygen in the Universe until stars had existed long enough to make oxygen (a process that carries on today in observable stars in the Universe). You see in the Big Bang no elements higher than an atomic number of 3 were created. Oxygen has an atomic number of 8. ie. there was no water "in the beginning" because there was no oxygen to make it. Your biblical creation is not even in the correct order and as such you claiming it to bear any relation to the facts is laughable in the extreme.

The bible makes no mention of gravity, electromagnetism, or the strong or weak nuclear forces. Why is that? It makes no mention of leptons or hadrons. It makes no mention of element abundance. It makes no mention of DNA. It makes no mention of cosmic background microwave radiation. It makes no mention of neutrinos, quarks, protons, neutrons or electrons. It's a creation mythology created by HUMANS who were entirely ignorant of the facts.

You said:  "Why will you not accept it? Because you do not want there to be a God."

We can easily counter, the only reason you want to believe it is because you want there to be a god and you think clinging to this outdated and ignorant creation mythology will make the pie in the sky exist.

It's not a question of wanting there to be a god or not. There's no evidence of any gods and your facile argument "None of man's theories make any sense to my logical mind" is the weakest argument you have put forward so far. You are literally saying "I am ignorant of science therefore what I think must be true".

You said: " So countless numbers of people live and die trying to disprove God"

Scientists don't set out to disprove god. It is a side effect of their discoveries that your god isn't needed.

You said: " and trying to disprove the fact of creation"

The biblical creation myth is not a fact. It's ignorant nonsense.

You said:  "whilst trying to prove their varying theories without succeeding."

On the contrary. Big bang theories have supporting evidence. Proof is for mathematics and alcohol. There is no supporting evidence for your creation myth.

You said:  "The Christian therefore has the answer."

The Christians believe they have the answer. No amount of belief will make their answer true in light of all the evidence that shows it to be nonsense.

You said: " The atheist will constantly continue to look for an answer and never find it."

And now you claim to be able to predict the future. How do you know "the atheist" will never find it? Hmm? Yet more of your assumptions that show you to be closed minded to anything that shows your death cult mythology to be ignorance.

You said: "I thank you for posting what I have written and I thank you for all your comments. I do realise that we have wandered away from the reason of your website but it has been an interesting discussion. I will continue to look in on your site."

Do I take this to mean that this post was your parting shot and you are no longer going to offer up any more of your pearls of wisdom? Colour me surprised that once you have painted yourself into a corner you decide to bow out and claim you won the argument.

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Dawn 12/02/09: Hi Mike,

You said..” One last piece of food for thought for you; if you are of the view that the bible is literal and the unerring word of God, you need to consider this dilemma: The bible states quite unambiguously that God created the universe in 6 days. This has been played around with in the past to help square the 6,000 year bible span with the incredible age of the earth; for example, statements like 1 god day represent a 1000X1000 earth days. But nonetheless it states “created” as in past tense, job done, mission completed, final state. Why then is the universe expanding, and expanding at an accelerating speed. Why are there nebula that are stella nurseries where new stars are being born, while at the same time old stars go supernova and die. The universe is very much a work in progress and still growing and forming. This is in complete contradiction to the book of genesis, but it is a fact!”

I personally don’t see the problem with Genesis 1 at all. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” None of man’s theories make any sense to my logical mind.

To answer your statement God created man as in mankind. He did not create you or me on that day just as Adam is not here now. I see no problem with new stars being born. What is the difference? Why do you try to limit God?

But I completely see your problem (and the problem of every other atheist.) You have no desire to accept that verse and so you are in the dilemma. Not me. Why will you not accept it? Because you do not want there to be a God.  So countless numbers of people live and die trying to disprove God and trying to disprove the fact of creation whilst trying to prove their varying theories without succeeding. The Christian therefore has the answer. The atheist will constantly continue to look for an answer and never find it.

I thank you for posting what I have written and I thank you for all your comments. I do realise that we have wandered away from the reason of your website but it has been an interesting discussion. I will continue to look in on your site.

Every blessing,
Dawn.

P.S. Sorry I didn't see all those other posts after yours. I will read them.

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John Cox 12/02/09: To Dawn.

If the first part of A is correct: 

God is Omnipotent (all powerful), Omniscient (All seeing and knowing) and Omnipresent (ever present everywhere).

Then there are no natural disasters that an Omnipresent God could not see, that an Omniscient God would not know about and an Omnipotent God could not stop.

So your God would be personally responsible for the deaths of all people who have ever died in natural disasters.

Of course the obvious answer would be B is correct and these are just natural disasters; unless you think all people who die in natural disasters are being punished in some way. In which case, please do not preach/teach to children anymore.

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Dawn 12/02/09: To so called Commonsense

You said “You state God is Omnipotent (all powerful), Omniscient (All seeing and knowing) and Omnipresent (ever present everywhere).
There can only be two possible conclusions from the above statements:
A: They are correct statements and -----------------------------------“


The first part of A. is correct. Your ‘and’ does not follow on from that statement so taken as a whole neither are correct.

Dawn.

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Paul Davis 12/02/09:Dear Dawn

You said: "At the outset I would let you know that I am talking about both club and church. I run an out of school club where we teach the bible alongside having other activities. And before you start criticising me about being deceitful it is held in my church. The time I mentioned about church was for a Sunday morning."

Then the question remains: why would non-Christians be taking their children to a Christian church?

You said: "It appears I’m not in on the discussion. What you say is totally disrespectful, and you know full well that to Christians you are openly being blasphemous. Now answer me honestly. Is this what you would like to walk into school and tell teachers and children alike?"

When did I say I want anything I personally have said taught in schools? Hmm? I didn't, and have not. Yet again you erect a strawman response and attack it rather than what I actually said.

For your information: I don't want religious schools teaching non-critical minds that their sole religion is the one and only truth in the Universe. I don't want Christian schools, or Muslim schools or any other religions schools. I want general education and if religion is to be taught I want all religions taught and their roots. Not just discussion about bible stories or Quran stories or other religious stories. If religion is taught in schools I want children to have the full story and not the idealised versions that you want put in schools without the child having any compunction or coercion to believe what is said. I want them to be given the FACTS so that they can decide for themselves when they have the facility to use critical thinking and examination effectively. ie. if you want to preach it, then do it on your own turf and not in schools paid for by me and other tax payers.

No, it is blasphemous for YOU to say it. I don't subscribe to your beliefs thus it isn't blasphemy for ME to say it. My dead god on a stick statement is not disrespect it's an absence of respect. Why would I respect a religion that implants ideas into children's minds that their every thought is being monitored by a punishing malevolent tyrant god and if they decide to reject him then he will come and hunt them down either in life by visiting them with pain and suffering or after death by sending them to hell? This is mental abuse and it should be outlawed.

I notice you didn't try and castigate your fellow believer "No Name" for all the insults he threw around in his tirade. That's quite alright with you I take it? Colour me surprised.

With regard to omniscience: You said: "No this doesn’t follow at all. I can know that my disobedient and rebellious child (just for example) plans to visit peers who are putting pressure on him to join in their anti-social activities. I can stop him by chaining him in his bedroom or I can allow him out to find out the hard way that he will only eventually get caught out by higher authority and that he would have done better to listen to me! I’m not powerless, but I’m not a dictator mother. I give him free will so he can learn to live within society."

Good grief. You really don't know what omniscience is do you.  God knew that you would let your child go out because he sees your child being arrested tomorrow for smashing a car window (using your example).

In a universe with an omniscient god you don't have any choices. The future has already been set in stone. You might think that you have a choice but god knew that you would think that. He can see the future and he designed you that way. In a universe with an omniscient god you cannot do anything other than what god has already seen you do.

You said: "Yes, I would be sinful in God’s Presence."

Yet again another strawman response. I didn't ask you about sin. Sin is a biblical definition and  I asked, "would you be evil if there was no bible?" Please answer the question.

Let me put another question to you: if I lived in a country where the bible was unheard of would I be going to hell because I have not asked Jesus to save me?

You said “Exodus 20 v 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. Verses 23-24 are about idols and altars. Yes, remember that one about not making idols.”

You said: "Do you have any gods more important than the Creator God.?"

I don't have a creator god. YOU believe in a creator god.

You said:  "Of course you do. Your job, your bank balance, your home. We can all fall into the trap of worshipping these more than God."

You think I worship my job, my bank balance and my home? Your arguments get weaker and weaker.

1. I need a job because this society requires money in order to buy food and services. Working for money is the shortest route to that end. So I work because it is a means to an end.
2. I have a bank account and I have to make sure I have enough in that account to pay bills.
3.  I have a home as in this society that's what people do. They make a home and live in it.

How you equate this with worshiping a god is beyond me.

You said: "I don’t worship crucifixes and don’t possess any." 

So there are no crosses in your church?

You said: "Exactly the opposite. Jesus is not on a cross but alive in heaven. But I would not scorn those Christians who do make much of a crucifix because they see BEYOND what it is made of and remember the Person Who died there for them."

It doesn't matter if you see beyond them or not. Unless you are claiming that these crucifixes, with or without a depiction of Jesus on them, spontaneously appear out of thin air, then they were made, and your god said "don't make idols".

I said "Now look at Exodus ch.21…. "
You said: "Read in context these are laws for the Israelites."

Then the  ten commandments are only for the Israelites. They don't come in separate packages of 10 for everyone, the rest just for the Israelites.

You said: "They also had to make animal sacrifices as you well know".

If you think the ten commandments are for you, then you also have to make sacrifices. They aren't pick and choose the laws you like. It's all or nothing.

You said: "Jesus came to give His Life as the ultimate sacrifice so animal sacrifice was done away with. Read Hebrews 7 v 27. Jesus came to do away with the old law and offer grace, whilst at the same time stressing the most important commandments."

Thanks for posting more evidence that Jesus lied. He said that he had not come to change the laws but to fulfil them in Matthew.  Here you quite clearly show us that Jesus changed the laws and thus is exposed as a liar which is incidentally one of the many reasons your Jesus is not accepted as the messiah, or moshiach, of the Jews.

You said: "We have been looking at the story of Samuel and linking it with the call of others in the bible such as the disciples and the apostle Paul."

What is the relevance to today's world?

You said:  "We talked about Isaiah and his words “here I am; send me” How he made himself available. I asked them to think of those words every morning to help them remember to be willing to help other children at school and family members. "

I assume you are talking about Isaiah ch.6. verse 8.

This is where your god tells Isaiah that his people are beyond saving and that Isaiah should stop preaching to them as his preaching will ironically actually ensure that they will not accept god and be saved.

So, what you're actually saying is that you take ONE sentence from ONE verse of the bible completely out of context and use it to apply to situations far removed from what the actual text says?

You said: "Sure I could mention plenty more but I doubt you’re really interested so there is just one example."

No I am interested to hear more of how you misrepresent the bible by use of out of context quotes with children. Please furnish me with more examples.

I said to No Name “I rather feel that you must be living a terrible existence waiting for death and wanting others to join you in that wait for death.”
You said: "To the contrary. A Christian realises that this life is fleeting and death is only the beginning. But I don’t know why you call Christianity a death cult. I am thankful for each day and live my life with joy and peace; yet with tribulations and sadness just like anyone else. But I can still look forward to life after death."
 
The reason I call it a death cult is contained in that last sentence of yours.

You said in response to “I don't want eternity.” "No I don’t suppose you do. But we don’t always get what we want".

LOL. Would you mind explaining precisely what you mean, please?

I said  “History has shown us ….that when people die they are forever and eternally dead.”
You said: "How?"

Why did you delete "(lies and god myths aside)" from what I said? I have a suspicion of why but I'll let you have the chance to explain your actions. Please explain your actions.

"How" what? How has history shown us that people when they die are dead forever?

Let me see, its pretty hard to be alive when either you have been cremated and turned into smoke and ashes or decomposed. Not one person has turned back from smoke and ashes or recomposed into a living being. Unless of course you have some evidence to the contrary - lies and god myths apart - of course.

You seem to have neglected answering much of my previous post, and yet again, no discussion on famine from a previous post to that. I invite you to reply to all of my points just as I reply to all of yours.

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Paul Davis 12/02/09: Hi Dawn,

Commonsense said “I fail to see how ...God entity be kind, loving and forgiving. Why, because he doesn’t seem to be in Australia right now?  So; is it that he does not really exist, or is he willing to let people die when all he need do is make it rain?”

You replied: "As I have said to other posters before we need to get out of our little box and realise that we are not God. Why should we try to control Him and tell Him what He should or should not be doing? What gives us the right? It’s all very well to say ‘if I was God I would……’. But we are not and so we can’t."

Commonsense didn't ask for god to do anything. He asked why god DOES NOT do anything.

What gives us the right to ask? Let me see, we don't like seeing people burned to death for no reason when a supposed omnipotent god can do something about it.

Paul Davis, Hertford

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Paul Davis 12/02/09Dear No Name,

You said: " We'll see! If you are right and I worship a fictional character, I will simply die having lived a full, moral, comforted life, filled with purpose (if u right a dum purpose) but never the less purpose."

I have no objection to that. What I have an objection to is religious ideologies being taught as fact to young non-critical minds in state schools. I stated this with my first post on this site "No name: 21/11/2008 I have no problem with personal faith." which I forgot to sign at the bottom hence it got published as "No name".

I also have a problem when people of faith come to me and try to convince me, or rather, they find they have a problem if they think they  CAN convince me. I've yet to hear one convincing argument for why  I should subscribe to any religion.

You said: "However if I am right, you are in a bit of trouble."

If god himself came down right now to me and revealed himself he would have to convince me not to check myself into a mental asylum before I have any chance of believing in any god.

You said: "Our trouble , why we will never be able to agree (no agree is the wrong word, cant think of the right one right now),  is a fundamental difference of opinion on this life and how important it is. You think that's all there is, I see it as only the beginning.  I do not wish for death nor do I fear it, it's just one of those things that are part of life. I feel I may have come on a bit strong "ranting" as it were, but I stumbled on this site and my curiosity was aroused.  I wondered how so many people can feel so strongly about er nothing, atheists believe in nothing right, big unexplainable bang, everything or whatever."

I can't speak for other non-believers I can only speak for myself. I don't call myself an atheist. I am just me. The only thing I probably have in common with a lot of other non-believers is that they don't believe in a god either. Apart from that it is quite possible we don't have much else in common.

I don't say that god does not exist. I simply do not believe in any god. Religions do nothing but convince me further as they are so clearly the wants of mankind dressed up as the desires of an unseen deity. ie. from my perspective much religion is simply man expressing his wants and desires as if through the eyes of an all powerful being in the hope that his wants and desires will be taken more seriously and people will follow them and lead to the world that the person desires.

The gods depicted have far too much of humanity in them to be something above humanity. I simply cannot believe in a punishing god who can see into our minds/hearts who would punish us for not believing in him without taking into account the lives we have actually led that made us choose non-belief. To me a god that would punish us for such is a tyrant who does not care about us but only for his own self-gratification. I also cannot believe that an all powerful being with infinite compassion for humans would allow so many of us to suffer so greatly for so long and do nothing to ease our pain. If the means (our existence) justify his end, then I want no part of that end.

You said: "It was wrong of me to say your lives are empty etc, this argument often fails and for good reason.  although I meant spiritually, you know something missing despite having it all. I took the chance it would hit home somewhere, after all my intention was not to attack but help."

I'm quite aware of what you were doing. You are not the first and I am sure you won't be the last and I can assure you, there are far far worse in the world. However, thank you for saying you were wrong to do so.

You said: "Mr Davis you said you read up on current science, what kind, I only ask as I myself am a scientist."

Call me Paul. I hate being called Mr Davis. I don't class myself as a scientist. I have an interest in science that started when I was younger than I can remember. I am mainly interested in physics and cosmology but I also read about other aspect of science such as evolution theory. As you are probably aware, physics covers practically all the other sciences and is a very broad subject in itself and as such it is the main part of the science I read about.

You said: "I have a few more comments about things stated on this site. Oh and Mr Cox if you thought I meant geographically you kinda missed the bus."

I can't speak for Mr Cox, but I found his observation quite relevant to the bible and Judaism even if it was off target from what you were saying. My personal feeling about the Gaza conflict that happened recently is that it is due in large part to the religion of Judaism and thus a good example of how religion is bringing pain, hardship and death to people in that area of the world. I have a lot of sympathy for the people of Gaza and little respect for their aggressors.

You said: "1. No where in the bible does it say celebrate the birth of Christ, you are correct Christmas is a throw back to something else, integrated by certain religious bodies to help early conversion.  Not a good thing, anyway you see how well that held up, total commercialisation bull dust."

Ask most people when Jesus is claimed to have been born and they will say 25th December. To me this actually exposes how little people know about their lives and why we have these traditions. Most people follow traditions without ever stopping to wonder where these traditions come from. Religions do indeed celebrate Christmas with special masses etc. even if you yourself do not and you would find it hard to convince me otherwise.

You said: "2. Jesus did NOT come to make anything here on earth better, wonderful, peaceful etc, He came so we may be forgiven our sin and have eternal life."

That seems to be the general thrust of what Jesus is claimed to have said he was here for. I don't believe he actually existed myself, and I believe what he said and claimed to have done (miracles)  even less. However, I would find it hard to believe that Jesus was saying these things in order to keep the status quo. In my opinion he certainly was hoping to improve things for people as evidenced through his claimed miracles.

You said: 3. "What I meant by distasteful, you need only tune into MTV to see what I mean, rising crime, swearing, violence all around us everyday, and most just carrying on thinking, it's fine we have a right to do what we want."

One mans sugar is another mans sour with regard to MTV. From my own perspective if no one is being hurt in the process then it doesn't matter. Swearing doesn't bother me personally. I swear like a trooper on occasion. The only reason I don't allow my children to swear is that it is generally not acceptable in public society. I want them to succeed in society so I teach them that not swearing is the default stance and if they do have occasion to want to swear that they pick their time and place carefully (and out of ear shot from me). Crime and violence seems to rise and fall along with how well society is doing in general. This is to be expected. If it is on the rise then it says that society as a whole needs to work harder to make things better for us all and not just select groups within society. For the record, we don't have MTV in my house simply because I see it pointless to pay for something that I never would watch.

You said: "I hope Mr Davis your children aren't daughters who have to grow up with role models like the pussy cat dolls and idols winners, wandering why don't I look like that, oh well the guys will sleep with me anyway. Yuk, I think the music industry needs to be checked whether you a Christian or a which you have to notice something very wrong going on there."

I have two sons. I want them to be individuals so I do whatever I can to urge them to be individuals and decide for themselves what they want (with guidance). I couldn't really tell you that they have any kind of idols. They don't have posters on their walls of any particular people but as they are both pre-teens I think that is probably yet to come. Currently they are at the stage of finding things they enjoy from life like all kids of their age. They are exploring their world and finding new things everyday. My wife and myself try not to see them as children as such, but as apprentice adults who will one day become adults and have to carve their own niches in life, and as such we try to give them as much advice and information as we can in order to achieve that end. Whether we will succeed or not only time will tell but if we fail it won't be from lack of trying.

As to popular culture. There is much there that I find completely disinteresting. Much the same as my parents were disinterested in a lot of the popular culture that existed when I was a young boy and I fond interesting. Some of it looks distinctly poor of intention and poor in application, but I don't believe in censorship and hiding these things away. If people enjoy it, and no one is being hurt, then I have no axe to grind. Of course there are limits to this but I think the laws as we find them today are more or less adequate to keep most things within reasonable bounds. Should I find anything that I sincerely feel is wrong and should be stopped I would rightly petition for such.

You said: "4. Jesus said drink of this wine , eat of this bread, do this in remembrance of me, not eat or die like Mithra watshisface."

Depends on your denomination. Catholics certainly take it literally and in the way Mithra said.

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Paul Davis 12/02/09: Dear Dawn,

I know Mike has already replied to you on this part of your post but it is a subject that greatly interests me.

You said: "When is there ever a creation without a creator? If I were to tell you that the house you live in wasn’t actually made by anyone but it started out as a teaspoon of cement and over a long period of time made itself into bricks which joined together perfectly along with other materials such as glass"

You are using just another form of William Paley's "Watchmaker" argument. This has been discredited ad nauseum for years. A simple search of the internet will yield many rebuttals.                                                 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=william+paley+rebuttal&btnG=Search I invite you to read some of them.

The problem I see with Paley's argument is that he points to a watch as being a clearly designed by a designer because it stands out from nature. However, if you believe god created the Universe  then nature was also designed - by the designer called god. Therefore nature is also a designed by a designer.

If both nature and the watch are designed by designers then the watch should appear to be part of nature as both were designed by designers. Yet the argument states that the watch STANDS OUT from nature because it was designed by a designer which means that nature  cannot have been designed by a designer otherwise the watch would not stand out as clearly designed.

Paley's argument, and your house argument which is exactly the same argument, are fatally flawed because you claim obvious when it should not be obvious if both nature and the house/watch are designed by a designer.

Richard Dawkins draws a distinction in his book "The Blind Watchmaker" and calls natural entities, like plants and animals, "designoid". ie. something that looks like it was designed but has actually been shaped by blind natural forces. A watch on the other hand is "designed" and has indeed been designed by a designer.

You said: "……….the notion is utterly crazy. But you are claiming imaginations which are far more ridiculous."

We are not claiming anything. You're the one making claims and not supporting them with anything except tired old arguments that have been discredited and rebutted for many many years before you decided to repeat them.

You said: "How does gravity come about?"

Gravity comes about due to mass. All massive objects yield a gravitational field. Now, if you're asking why do massive objects have gravitational fields current theory suggests it has to do wth the Higgs field and the associated quantum particle the Higgs-boson. But you're asking how did gravity come to exist. No one knows how but some current theory suggests that it has something to do with a thing called "supersymmetry". We are pretty much able to trace back the evolution of the Universe from a point some 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001secs after the Big Bang. What happened before that we don't have a clue and possibly will never have a clue due to the energies involved in order to penetrate past that point.

You said: "How come we are just the right amount of distance away from the sun for us to feel its warmth and receive its light without being frazzled or iced to death?"

We do get frazzled from time to time. What do you think sunburn is? We do get frozen from time to time. Ask people who have suffered frost bite. We have found many bodies that have been frozen to death. The earth isn't the right distance from the sun. There is no such thing as a right distance from the sun. Your question is flawed.

If the earth was 10 million miles further from the Sun than it is currently, and the greenhouse effect more pronounced you could have a liveable Earth ten million miles further from the Sun. You would no doubt then make the same flawed argument just 10 million miles further from the Sun.

You said: "Take the complexities of the human eye."

Do you realise how poorly designed that is? Good grief. If your god is perfect as you insist he doesn't display that perfection with the human eye. This is really quite a laughable argument to make.

You said:  "Do you seriously have enough faith to believe the universe evolved from nowhere?"

I don't pretend to know where it came from, but we can certainly trace its evolution a long way back to the Big Bang and not only that but we predicted a cosmic microwave background radiation before it was discovered. That cosmic microwave shouldn't be there if there was no Big Bang.

You said:  "And holds itself together by chance?"

Have you ever read anything about probability and quantum mechanics? Get down to the quantum realm and EVERYTHING is chance. The Universe at it outset was the size of a quantum therefore chance could well be an element.

You said: "Think about it again."

I think about it almost everyday. Cosmology is one of my favourite subjects. I have yet to find a god theory that holds any water and is anything but an argument from ignorance/god of the gaps. The argument goes like this "You see, you can't explain it, therefore god did it". Well, no. If I can't explain it, it doesn't mean your god made it. All you did was squeeze your god into a place of ignorance -  a gap in our knowledge.

It is quite clear that the more we find out via science the less places there are for your god to have a hand.

You said:  "Do you seriously have that amount of faith in ‘accidents’ and ‘chance’? I cannot fathom how you can possibly have such a faith."

Science is not a faith stance. Again, you make flawed claims.

You said: "And yet you want your faith passed onto every child in Britain"

Science is taught in schools already and has been for a long time. It's not faith. Science is not a faith stance.

You said: "because by wishing to remove religious education from school you are sending out the message that there is no God."

No we are not. We are sending out the message to religions that if you want people to spout your nonsense then you'll have to do it outside of our schools because these are places of learning, not indoctrination.

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Paul Davis 12/02/09: Dawn,

You said: "In other words you wish to teach the religion of atheism"

Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, but it is certainly not a religion and to suggest such is base ignorance on your part.

Atheism is not however, necessarily a lack of religion. For example, Siddartha Gotama, aka The Buddha, when asked about belief in gods is reputed to have said "I have seen no gods". One could therefore argue that despite being religious - he certainly had a system of beliefs that he followed  - because he did not believe in a god he was an atheist.

A- theism - without god(s).
A-gnostic - without knowledge

You do yourself no favour making such ill-founded statements and I urge you to stop doing this self-inflicted disservice.

Paul Davis, Hertford

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Paul Davis 12/09/09:Dawn,

I keep asking you this question, but you never seem to reply to it.

How many shirts do you own?

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Commonsense 12/02/09: To Dawn.                                                                                                                        

Since you exclude B are we to assume A

A: They are correct statements and God is a cruel, murdering, sadistic git.

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Mike 12/02/09:Hi Dawn. 

First, I must draw your attention to two earlier posts of mine.  

“This site defends everybody’s right to believe what ever they like. The issue is, those faith positions should be a private, not public matter and should not be preached to children in school, nor for that matter should atheism”; and “your belief and my belief/non belief are private matters; neither your, nor my beliefs should have any place in education or politics”.  

The points I make on this blog are to you and this forum, not to school children. I strongly believe religion is false and divisive because I have studied it, not because of a faith position; and I have no wish for my perception of that study to become part of the school curriculum. Your posts however, are not just to me; it seems they also get passed on to children. 

Re Islam, Apostasy means to deny or leave the religion.  

Your points on Christmas and Easter are astounding. The Roman Catholic Church high jacked the winter solstice celebration and allocated it to their new religion circa 300 CE. This day had been celebrated by mankind across the globe ever since man became aware of what appeared to be a predictable rhythmic movement of the sun.  

The Roman Catholic Church also high jacked the spring (Vernal) equinox celebration; also a solar celebration dating back to mans first understanding of Astronomy. The celebrations at the Vernal equinox gave thanks to the light finally defeating the dark; that is, the days becoming longer than the nights. The vernal equinox is also the marker for the astrological ages. The Sphinx at Giza faces the vernal equinox (sun rise position at the spring equinox) and is linked to the astrological age of Leo. All the resurrecting Gods that preceded the Jesus character resurrected at the vernal equinox, it symbolises the planet coming back to life; “Spring”. How quaint to find Christianities figurehead also resurrecting at the vernal equinox. This idea really had been done to death by the time of the Jesus myth. 

Dawn; Christianity did not create or invent Christmas and Easter, they stole them. Moreover they still exist today, not because of Christianity, but because of capitalism. Capitalism simply cannot do without them. Shareholder profit is what is being worship at Christmas and Easter, not Jesus. 

You ask how does something exist if it was not made; you clearly do not accept natural selection as a valid argument despite the overwhelming evidence of its existence. Domestic dogs, cats and pigeons are a direct result of human selection and prove beyond doubt that species do transmutate in response to changes in their environment. If man can evolve breeds of dogs, cats, pigeons and types of plants in a matter of centuries; so too can nature evolve animals and plants over millennia. 

Now; you pose the question: How is it that we are just the right distance from the sun? You have to turn that around to comprehend the answer. The planet is not here, just the right distance from the sun, because we need a planet to exist on. We are here because the planet happens to be the right distance from the sun. If it were not, we would not be having this conversation, we would not be here. That is why there are no people on Venus; likewise with gravity. This is known as the “Anthropic Principle”, it suggests that we live in a universe set up in a way that is fined tuned for life; if it were not we would not be able to observe it. But it is not necessarily the only universe and there could be millions of universes in a multiverse, only a few of which are fine tuned for life and therefore sustain life. In which case, we should not really be at all surprised to be here.  

With reference to “Eon”: Jesus did not speak in riddles, because he did not exist and therefore never spoke at all. The bible you read is a copy of a copy of a copy. It has be translated and mistranslated and the King James Version, your version, was written and translated under rules of translation laid down by King James. The oldest texts used the word “Eon” which actually means Age, astrological age, and therefore the quote reads “I will be with you until the end of the Age”. By the time we get to the King James Version the word is incorrectly translated to “time”; Along with countless other words and phrases. You are not reading the word of God; you are reading the word of God according to King James. 

With reference to the books, follow these links: [Origen], [Tertullian], [Diabolical Mimicry Chapter XL], [Firmicus Maternus]. Please do go to them and read the books, you will learn all about Isis, Osiris & Horus, Dionysus, Attis, Bachus, Orpheus, Mithras and many more; Along with countless versions of Christ, to many to count. 

One last piece of food for thought for you; if you are of the view that the bible is literal and the unerring word of God, you need to consider this dilemma: The bible states quite unambiguously that God created the universe in 6 days. This has been played around with in the past to help square the 6,000 year bible span with the incredible age of the earth; for example, statements like 1 god day represent a 1000X1000 earth days. But nonetheless it states “created” as in past tense, job done, mission completed, final state. Why then is the universe expanding, and expanding at an accelerating speed. Why are there nebula that are stella nurseries where new stars are being born, while at the same time old stars go supernova and die. The universe is very much a work in progress and still growing and forming. This is in complete contradiction to the book of genesis, but it is a fact!

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Dawn 11/02/09:Hi Mike,

You said “I must point out a serious contradiction in your reply. In your 1st paragraph you claim “How can God be blamed for man’s sin? If a drunk driver kills a child can you blame God? No. It is the fault of the driver”
Then in your 2nd you state: “I have lost a child; a teenage son. If God had asked my permission before taking him I would not have given it. But I can accept that He had His reason and that one day I might know why”.
You must be able to see that these two statements are mutually exclusive; they cannot both be correct. If one is right, the other is by default wrong.”

Yes, I see what you mean. I lost my son through sudden illness, and sickness is a result of sin so his death is the result of sin and I can’t blame God. I don’t blame God. I questioned why, but I don’t blame Him. Is that any better?

You said “Also, Islamic schools teach young children not to befriend any but their own and that the penalty for apostasy is death; to preach that to a child should be made a criminal offence.”

Do they really teach that? There are no words to describe how despicable that is. But you cannot compare this kind of teaching with a religious education of Christianity, Hinduism etc. State schools in Britain would teach no such thing. ‘Church of England’ or ‘Roman Catholic’ Schools (the two I have experienced) would never for one minute consider teaching that to befriend someone of another religion is worthy of death. They would teach quite the contrary so is that a point to me?!

You said “Seriously Dawn, your Jesus did not exist.”

Ah, but is this not brainwashing? Is this the message you wish to get across to the children? In other words you wish to teach the religion of atheism, even if it is by the back door? And if we have no religious education then must we delete Christmas seeing the children would not understand its meaning? Do we permanently rename it Xmas to do away with Christ, and teach children it is purely a time of commercialism and tinsel. Do we erase traditional carol singing from Britain? If there is no religious education then carols make no sense to children. They may as well stand in the street singing nursery rhymes. Or do you think that is what school children are doing anyway? Do we call Easter Sunday “chocolate egg day”? Is our British heritage really sinking so far?

You said “With reference to Religious “Indoctrination” as far as faith schools go and Religious Education for community schools. It is wrong because you have no empirical evidence to show that the world works in the way you state. The reason you have no evidence is because there is none. The world cannot possibly work in the manner you promote, because what you claim is physically impossible and disproves itself. You can have faith that it is true, but that does not make it true. Therefore we are lying to children in our schools.”

Here I don’t see what you mean. Where is your evidence to say there is no God? Sufficient evidence for me that there IS a God is creation. When is there ever a creation without a creator? If I were to tell you that the house you live in wasn’t actually made by anyone but it started out as a teaspoon of cement and over a long period of time made itself into bricks which joined together perfectly along with other materials such as glass……….the notion is utterly crazy. But you are claiming imaginations which are far more ridiculous. How does gravity come about? How come we are just the right amount of distance away from the sun for us to feel its warmth and receive its light without being frazzled or iced to death? Take the complexities of the human eye. Do you seriously have enough faith to believe the universe evolved from nowhere? And holds itself together by chance? Think about it again. Do you seriously have that amount of faith in ‘accidents’ and ‘chance’? I cannot fathom how you can possibly have such a faith. And yet you want your faith passed onto every child in Britain, because by wishing to remove religious education from school you are sending out the message that there is no God.

You said  “A prominent miss translation in the New Testament is when the character Jesus replies to a question: “How long will you be with us lord” he replies “I will be with you until the end of time” The actual world was Eon and refers to an astrological age. The age the author referred to was the age of Pisces. Therefore “I will be with you until the world moves into the Age of Aquarius”. So you see Dawn, its all astrology, and its all a story.”

That is purely your interpretation. I would suggest that Jesus didn’t speak in riddles that the majority of people wouldn’t understand. If time means the Age of Aquarius then why didn’t He qualify that? So the bible would read “I will be with you until the world moves into the Age of Aquarius”. The writers intended the bible to be read for generation after generation. It was read to be understood 2000 years later. Not to study astrology before one could understand it. Regarding the fish….the Greek word ichthys for "fish". Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter. This is an acrostic for 'Jesus Christ, God's Son, Saviour.'

I have never heard of these books you mention. How come the Bible is by far the bestselling book of all time? As such don’t you think school children should be educated about it?

It would seem that while some schools have now banned Christmas nativity plays in favour of pantomimes so as not to offend those of other faiths, you are wanting to go the whole hog and actively teach the religion of atheism, which is also a faith. Is that so?

Kind Regards,
Dawn.

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Dawn 11/02/09: Hi Paul D,

At the outset I would let you know that I am talking about both club and church. I run an out of school club where we teach the bible alongside having other activities. And before you start criticising me about being deceitful it is held in my church. The time I mentioned about church was for a Sunday morning.

You say “The rest of us are having a discussion about why your dead god on a stick is nonsense”.

It appears I’m not in on the discussion. What you say is totally disrespectful, and you know full well that to Christians you are openly being blasphemous. Now answer me honestly. Is this what you would like to walk into school and tell teachers and children alike?

You said “It also means that your god knows what will happen tomorrow, and if your god knows what will happen tomorrow it means we have no choice in what happens tomorrow; so much for your free will. Free will cannot exist if someone knows what will happen as you are powerless to do anything other than what has been seen. So, either your god is omniscient and there is no free will, or there is free will and your god is not omniscient.”

No this doesn’t follow at all. I can know that my disobedient and rebellious child (just for example) plans to visit peers who are putting pressure on him to join in their anti-social activities. I can stop him by chaining him in his bedroom or I can allow him out to find out the hard way that he will only eventually get caught out by higher authority and that he would have done better to listen to me! I’m not powerless, but I’m not a dictator mother. I give him free will so he can learn to live within society.

You said “Tell me Dawn, if there was no such thing as the bible, would you be evil?”

Yes, I would be sinful in God’s Presence. But I can read in the bible how Jesus came to cleanse me from my sin and as I have accepted His offer of mercy God sees me as clean. Not because I am necessarily a more moral or kind person than you are, but because I have humbled myself before Him and asked forgiveness. And He has freely given it. Now I still sin. That is what I mean by individual sins. I still tell untruths, am still selfish etc. etc. but my burden of sin has been rolled away once and for all. I can’t really explain more than that. You have obviously done plenty of research. Perhaps you can give a more lucid explanation!

You said “Exodus 20 v 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. Verses 23-24 are about idols and altars. Yes, remember that one about not making idols.”

Do you have any gods more important than the Creator God.? Of course you do. Your job, your bank balance, your home. We can all fall into the trap of worshipping these more than God.

You said "Best you throw away all those crucifixes. They are idols. Not that you have a clue what you actually believe in being the salad-bar variety of Christian."

I don’t worship crucifixes and don’t possess any.  Exactly the opposite. Jesus is not on a cross but alive in heaven. But I would not scorn those Christians who do make much of a crucifix because they see BEYOND what it is made of and remember the Person Who died there for them.

You said "Now look at Exodus ch.21…. "

Read in context these are laws for the Israelites. They also had to make animal sacrifices as you well know. Jesus came to give His Life as the ultimate sacrifice so animal sacrifice was done away with. Read Hebrews 7 v 27. Jesus came to do away with the old law and offer grace, whilst at the same time stressing the most important commandments.

You said: "I do teach bible stories but equally important is the life application and how these stories are relevant for today’s society and in particular the individual lives of the kids."   Here's your opportunity to give me examples of precisely what stories and their relevance to today's world."

We have been looking at the story of Samuel and linking it with the call of others in the bible such as the disciples and the apostle Paul. We talked about Isaiah and his words “here I am; send me” How he made himself available. I asked them to think of those words every morning to help them remember to be willing to help other children at school and family members. Sure I could mention plenty more but I doubt you’re really interested so there is just one example.

You said “I rather feel that you must be living a terrible existence waiting for death and wanting others to join you in that wait for death.”

To the contrary. A Christian realises that this life is fleeting and death is only the beginning. But I don’t know why you call Christianity a death cult. I am thankful for each day and live my life with joy and peace; yet with tribulations and sadness just like anyone else. But I can still look forward to life after death.
 
You said “I don't want eternity.”

No I don’t suppose you do. But we don’t always get what we want.

You said  “History has shown us ….that when people die they are forever and eternally dead.”

How?

Dawn.

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Dawn 11/02/09:Hello Mike,

I started a reply to you and then got sidetracked when I saw other posters. I promise to reply to you ASAP!

To so called Commonsense

You said “I fail to see how ...God entity be kind, loving and forgiving. Why, because he doesn’t seem to be in Australia right now?  So; is it that he does not really exist, or is he willing to let people die when all he need do is make it rain?”

As I have said to other posters before we need to get out of our little box and realise that we are not God. Why should we try to control Him and tell Him what He should or should not be doing? What gives us the right? It’s all very well to say ‘if I was God I would……’. But we are not and so we can’t.

Sincerely,
Dawn.

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Paul Davis 11/02/09:HiDawn,

You replied: "If a parent were to tell a child that if he runs across a busy road he may well be killed then would you call that parent a despicable tyrant? No, of course not. You would realise he was protecting his child from potential danger. Not only does the book of Revelation teach of coming judgement, it also teaches of the wonders of heaven which incidentally not one of us deserves. To sum it up it is a book of warning and love. It is your choice which you believe. I don’t preach to children. I talk with them."

My children can see cars, and no one is judging them. A parent who tells them to look both ways before crossing is being responsible and caring.

Telling children a horror story about a day when their young innocent lives will be judged and all will be found wanting is mental abuse as it immediately implants the idea into their young malleable imaginations that they have already done something wrong and they have no way of righting this wrong they didn't even know they had done because "not one of us deserves". It's not a book of warning or of love. It is a book designed by your death cult to make people bow down and do as they are told lest they should be struck down by your tyrant god on some imaginary "judgement" day.

A parent who tells their children this story is a nut committing mental abuse and should be kept far and away from young children's minds.

If your god is omniscient, as you claim, and St John the Divine saw the future it matters not what you say anyway. The world's coming history has already been written and nothing can change it because that is the way your tyrant god made it.

If you believe that it can be changed and judgement day can be avoided then St John the Divine was just another frothing madman with a death fixation.

My own view is that St John "the Divine" has the wrong epithet. It should be St John "the Death Fixated Frothing Hallucinating Madman".

By the way, you're a Christian and believe in Jesus and his teachings, right? How many shirts do you own?

Paul Davis, Hertford

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No name 11/02/209:

We'll see! If you are right and I worship a fictional character, I will simply die having lived a full, moral, comforted life, filled with purpose (if u right a dum purpose) but never the less purpose.
However if I am right, you are in a bit of trouble.
Our trouble , why we will never be able to agree (no agree is the wrong word, cant think of the right one right now),  is a fundamental difference of opinion on this life and how important it is. You think thats all there is, I see it as only the beginning.  I do not wish for death nor do I fear it, it's just one of those things that are part of life.
I feel I may have come on a bit strong "ranting" as it were, but I stumbled on this site and my curiosity was arroused.  I wondered how so many people can feel so strongly about er nothing, athiests believe in nothing right, big unexplainable bang, everything or whatever.
It was wrong of me to say your lives are empty etc, this argument often fails and for good reason.  although I meant spiritually, you know something missing despite having it all. I took the chance it would hit home somewhere, after all my intention was not to attack but help.
Mr Davis you said you read up on current science, what kind, I only ask as I myself am a scientist.

I have a few more comments about things stated on this site.
Oh and Mr Cox if you thought I meant geographically you kinda missed the bus.

1. No where in the bible does it say celebrate the birth of Christ, you are correct Christmas is a throw back to something else, integrated by certain religious bodies to help early conversion.  Not a good thing, anyway you see how well that held up, total commercialisation bull dust.
2. Jesus did NOT come to make anything here on earth better, wonderful, peaceful etc, He came so we may be forgivin our sin and have eternal life.
3. What I meant by distasteful, you need only tune into MTV to see what I mean, rising crime, swearing, violence all around us everday, and most just carrying on thinking, it's fine we have a right to do what we want.
I hope Mr Davis your children aren't daughters who have to grow up with role models like the pussy cat dolls and idols winners, wandering why dont I look like that, oh well the guys will sleep with me anyway.
Yuk, I think the music industry needs to be checked whether you a Christian or a which you have to notice something very wrong going on there.
4. Jesus said drink of this wine , eat of this bread, do this in remembrance of me, not eat or die like Mithra watshisface.

Commonsense says "I fail to see how they can be correct and the God entity be kind, loving and forgiving."
You are missing the big picture, trials and tribulations are part of living on earth, you have only your narrow little world view God knows all I, a master plan that unfortunately we don't always understand. You have to work hard for that stuff, have you not heard, nothing in life is free.

Thanks for taking the time to read my point of view, in the mean while, God bless, ha ha!

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Paul Davis 10/02/09: To "02/10/09 No Name"

You said: "Jesus died on the cross for our sins, not to make us perfect but to save us from our imperfections."

He was born of a virgin on December 25th, and his birth was attended by shepherds.
He was considered a great travelling teacher and master.
He had 12 companions or disciples.
His followers were promised immortality.
He performed miracles.
He sacrificed himself for world peace.
He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.
His resurrection was celebrated every year.
He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Saviour" and "Messiah."
His sacred day was Sunday, the "Lord's Day".
His principal festival is what was later to become Easter.
His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which he said, "He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."
His annual sacrifice is the Passover of the Magi, a symbolical atonement or pledge of moral and physical regeneration.

His name? MITHRA.

And his story came before your Jesus. Your Jesus is just the latest in a long line of "Saviours who died for our sins - who died and rose again". Your Jesus is just a plagiarism of a previous myth which the "holy followers" stole and changed the name from MITHRA to Jesus. Seems dying and coming back to life was quite common in those days. Quite a party trick...

You said: "Our time on earth is fleeting, there were no promises of rose gardens and happiness, there is only one purpose to all our lives and that is to glorify God." 

Why does your god need glorifying? Oh wait. Let's look at some others who like/liked to be glorified. Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Sun Jung-Il, and all the other tyrants. If there is one thing we can be certain of in this life it is that when someone wants to be glorified he is a tyrant.

You said: "Denounce Jesus our Saviour at your own peril."

Nice threat. Unfortunately, there's this thing about dead people - they don't do much. I have this general rule in life that when dead people threaten me I don't worry. Now, when living people threaten me, that's a different kettle of fish and thankfully it has happened rarely in my life, but dead people don't bother me.

You said: " Rant and rave all you want"

I think we can all see who is ranting and raving. The rest of us are having a discussion about why your dead god on a stick is nonsense and should be kicked out of schools or put in the correct class. That class being "Fiction".

You said:  "about the "indoctrination" of children but look what has happened to you, no one showed you the way and now you are lost, scared angry people who cant/wont understand what's happening around you, your lives are empty and so you try filling them by breaking down those who would believe." 

Actually people did show me "the way", and I rejected it for the nonsense it so clearly is. I am not lost. I know exactly where I am. I am not scared. I am not angry.  I am dismayed that people like you think they have a right to try and impose their death cult on non-critical minds. I have two growing lovely children who fill my life with happiness on a daily basis and I have a loving wife who I love dearly. My life is far from empty.

I can't help but feeling that it is you that is lost, scared, angry and living an empty life. It is well known by psychiatrists that their patients regularly claim it is others who are suffering from what they themselves are actually suffering and is called "transference".

You said: "What a sad existence to live only for now, only for yourself,"

On the contrary. My life is full of happiness. That must really stick in your craw that I don't subscribe to your death cult but I am still a happy person. I rather feel that you must be living a terrible existence waiting for death and wanting others to join you in that wait for death. You must be the highlight of the party.

You said: "what do you care if children should receive the Word, it does not effect you and according to your own beliefs has no lasting effect past this life."

It does affect THIS life however, and we are living NOW even if you wish to be dead. It matters to me that children's lives are not filled with vile garbage. Garbage that prompts you to comes on a public forum and try to tell people they are lost, scared, and angry, and spout death if they do not glorify your god.

You said: "Do you think religion is to blame for the woes of the world, has it escaped your notice that the more we move away from God,  the sicker and more distasteful our lives have become."

My life is neither sick nor distasteful yet I don't subscribe to your death cult. Of course we can look at history to see what life was like when your death cult had control - witch hunts, massive wealth held by the church, and crusades. Yes, that was such a better life back then when the average life expectancy was scant more than 40 years and sickness and illness were rife and unchecked.

Our modern world is so cruel allowing people to live twice as long, giving them a chance to live a decent quality of life through reward for their efforts, giving them medicines to cure their ills and schools to educate their children to the delights of life. Yes, what a terrible world we live in......

Ideological/religious wars still happen now of course, but maybe one day when people no longer subscribe to ancient god myths we might start moving away from this.

You said:  "No earthly goods will fill that gnawing feeling you have when you are alone and have nothing but your own thoughts to comfort you."

But I don't have a gnawing feeling. When I am alone I like to read up on current science. My own thoughts don't need to comfort me because I don't require comforting. I'm quite comfortable. So, I don't really understand what you're getting at. Maybe it is that transference thing again.

You said "A reasonable person would peruse both sides of the argument before deciding the truth for themselves." 

I have perused "both" sides of the argument. In fact I have gone further than that and studied other religions and ideologies too. I have tried to understand as many sides of the argument as my time will allow, not just your death cult. Through my studies it has become clear to me that your Jesus myth is absolute hog wash and so are many other religions. The only thing I came across in my studies that I felt warranted further study was Buddhism. Not the religion, but the claimed life and teachings of Siddartha Gotama. I think a lot of what he is claimed to have said is absolutely valid and will forever remain valid, but I am not a Buddhist.

You said: "Give Jesus a try, invite him into your heart, you only have eternity to lose."

I don't want eternity. I accept that I live and one day will die. History has shown us (lies and god myths apart) that when people die they are forever and eternally dead. I expect nothing more for myself. My ego is not such that it cannot bear the thought that it will one day cease to be.

But maybe this final sentence of your ranting actually shows us what motivates you. You're scared of dying and in your fear your ego clings to anything, including ludicrous god myths and promises of a life after death. I don't know how we can help you over come this fear as it is really something that each and every one of us has to come to terms with ourselves.

For my own part, knowing that I have a finite existence gives me impetus to learn as much as I can in what time I do have and actually compels me to work harder and make better use of my time. I do not see how kneeling and praying to pie in the sky is a good use of my time.

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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No name: 10/02/09: Re (Dawn 08/02/09:  Lol!! How am I meant to answer all this?! Thanks for your comments guys)

Information on Frank Morison http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/stone.htm

Information on Josh McDowell http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/gordon_stein/charade.html

As suspected, two known Christian apologists who write apologetics for the under educated.

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Commonsense  10/02/09:

First: total support for this site. Religion should have no place in school. 

Second: To all religious types: 

You state God is Omnipotent (all powerful), Omniscient (All seeing and knowing) and Omnipresent (ever present everywhere). 

There can only be two possible conclusions from the above statements:

A: They are correct statements and God is a cruel, murdering, sadistic git.

Or  

B: They are false statements and no such entity exists. 

I fail to see how they can be correct and the God entity be kind, loving and forgiving. 

Why, because he doesn’t seem to be in Australia right now?  

So; is it that he does not really exist, or is he willing to let people die when all he need do is make it rain?

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John Cox 10/02/09: RE no name 10/02/09                                                                                                              “has it escaped your notice that the more we move away from God, the sicker and more distasteful our lives have become”

Now, correct me if I am wrong but, the temple of Yahweh was in Jerusalem, Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, Muhammad ascended to Allah in Jerusalem. So God pretty much made base camp in Jerusalem.

So, the closer we get to God “geographically” the more dangerous and perilous life becomes. The people of Jerusalem have to be the most religious on earth, and Jerusalem has to be the most violent place on earth.

I would rather live in a Godless Britain, than a Holy Jerusalem!

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No name 10/02/09:

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, not to make us perfect but to save us from our imperfections. Our time on earth is fleeting, there were no promises of rose gardens and happiness, there is only one purpose to all our lives and that is to glorify God.  Denounce Jesus our Saviour at your own peril.  Rant and rave all you want about the "indoctrination" of children but look what has happened to you, no one showed you the way and now you are lost, scared angry people who cant/wont understand what's happening around you, your lives are empty and so you try filling them by breaking down those who would believe.  What a sad existence to live only for now, only for yourself, what do you care if children should receive the Word, it does not effect you and according to your own beliefs has no lasting effect past this life.  Do you think religion is to blame for the woes of the world, has it escaped your notice that the more we move away from God,  the sicker and more distasteful our lives have become.  No earthly goods will fill that gnawing feeling you have when you are alone and have nothing but your own thoughts to comfort you. A reasonable person would peruse both sides of the argument before deciding the truth for themselves.  Give Jesus a try, invite him into your heart, you only have eternity to lose.

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Paul Davis 10/02/09: Dear Dawn,

You said this: "War is generally a result of man’s greed for power or due to anger. How can God be blamed for man’s sin? If a drunk driver kills a child can you blame God? No. It is the fault of the drive. Sadly there is an innocent victim. It is the same with war. As a result of man’s sin innocent people will die. Its cause and effect; so several of us could all get together and  pray that there will be no war victims yet man is given a choice and he chooses to war." A drunk driver who inadvertently runs over someone is not analogous with someone bombing people’s homes deliberately.  In the first instance the drunk driver has no intention of killing anyone misguided as his action may be. In the second instance the person sets out with the intention to kill. There is no comparison here at all.

You are admitting here quite clearly that praying does not work when mans will is involved. Or wait, maybe the answer to their prayers is "No", and your god wants them to die. Or maybe it is "Wait"; for what exactly? Wait until they are dead and then can will tell them the answer was "No"?

You say your god is omnipotent (and omniscient - the implications of which I will address later) yet his "powers" suddenly evaporate in the face of mans will. Or simply he decided not to exercise his power and is happy to stand by and watch innocents die despite their prayer’s; which makes him not only omnipotent but malevolent. Malevolent because despite the fact he COULD do something he DOES NOT do anything.

My choice is not to wage war but, according to you, my choice is ignored in the face of someone else’s choice to point a gun at me and kill me. Seems your god allows "mans will" to win out as long as he is the aggressor. If you are peaceful your will doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Please understand I have no desire to intrude upon the grief you have felt towards the loss of your son but you have chosen to use him in your argument thus I have no choice but to address the argument as given.

You said: "I have lost a child; a teenage son. If God had asked my permission before taking him I would not have given it." Your god never asks for our permission. Your god lays down laws and if we do not observe them we are punished.                                                                                                                                                                         
You said: "But I can accept that He had His reason and that one day I might know why." The "greater purpose" argument; already addressed below. It doesn't justify the death of your son. This behaviour is indistinguishable from dictatorship.

You said: "He gave him to me in the first place and I am grateful for the years I had him. Many lives have been affected by his death so possibly ultimately it has somehow been for good." Many people who live under dictatorships make this same argument. Again, this is indistinguishable from someone thanking their "great leader" for allowing them to live in the first place despite the fact that he malevolently allowed pain to pervade your life and that of others. Presumably your son did not have any choice in whether he should die so that others might feel good.

You said: "True, there is absolutely no way I would have let him die but I can still submit to Someone “Whose Way is perfect”. I don’t see God as a dictator for taking a child who belongs to Him to heaven." And through the suffering that loss has caused me I hope I have been of some small help to others who are suffering. We need to ‘think out of the box.’ We can’t order God to bow down to us and show His Power at a whim. Yes He is omnipotent and also omniscient which cannot be said for any of us”. And here you introduce omniscience. Omniscience is the ability to know everything that has happened and everything that will happen. This means on the day your god created the world he knew that one day your son would die and you and others would suffer pain as a result. He knew Hitler would march across Europe and enslave and murder millions. He knew Pol Pot would create the killing fields. He knew the witch hunts and crusades would occur. He knew Sadam Hussein would unleash mustard gas upon the Iranians. He knew all of the pain that was to come, and he still went ahead and created the world. Again, your god is clearly malevolent, and in his malevolence he is perfectly malevolent. Anyone who would deliberately create a world knowing the pain and torment it would bring to countless billions does not rank high on my list of people I want to know.

It also means that your god knows what will happen tomorrow, and if your god knows what will happen tomorrow it means we have no choice in what happens tomorrow; so much for your free will. Free will cannot exist if someone knows what will happen as you are powerless to do anything other than what has been seen. So, either your god is omniscient and there is no free will, or there is free will and your god is not omniscient.

You said: "No it isn’t out of fear that I want religion taught in schools. It’s part of an all round education." It would be nice if it was an "all round education" but teaching one religion to the exclusion of all others is not an "all round" education. You make it quite clear below that you don't want any other religion unless it preaches your Mithras imitator - Jesus. That is hardly all round and you expose your real agenda right there.

You said: "I do teach bible stories but equally important is the life application and how these stories are relevant for today’s society and in particular the individual lives of the kids."  Yes, this argument is posited by many Christians, but none of them, to a man, can ever be precise about what stories and how they are relevant to this society and individual lives. They all end up saying "Jesus died for your sins" so praise him and do as we tell you. Here's your opportunity to give me examples of precisely what stories and their relevance to today's world.

You said: "Discussion is actively encouraged and if children wish to spend the whole time on questions and discussion then that is first class. The story can wait for another time or we can drift onto another track. Admittedly in school I guess there is a curriculum to follow and so it would not be possible. A teacher could only point to an out of school club through lack of time." Children aren't noted for their critical reasoning abilities. I would submit that the questions children ask you are far and away nothing like the questions you are being asked here. I posit that your "discussion" amounts to twisting children’s simple enquiries into convincing them they are more than just stories. ie. Indoctrination.

You said: "No I don’t teach other religions. In fact I don’t teach religion at all. I teach about Jesus and the bible. So I’m not going to teach other “belief systems” are as valid as mine unless they are pointing to Jesus." ie. You’re biased, have an agenda, and you're a preacher. This being an example of the "all round" education you want to see in schools.

You said "Hinduism, Buddhism, and all those other isms you mention don’t point people to Jesus." And they are all wrong on that basis? All these other religions are wrong because they don't mention your Jesus?

You said: "Every week I stress it is the children’s decision. I can’t make a decision for them. God looks at the heart of every individual”. This is the decision you are giving these children: "You can choose what ever you like children, but if you don't choose my god then he will know". ie. "no matter what you think children, god knows what you're thinking. You cannot hide from my god and he will know when you don't believe in him". That is quite a sick attitude and thought to put into a child’s mind.

If my children ever came home and said a teacher had taught him this I would be down to the school and seeking to get that teacher kicked out. This is mental assault. How dare you think you have the right to guilt trip non-critical minds into thinking that if they choose other than your god that he will know and through the stories you have told them they will have pain and suffering come to visit them.

You said: "In fact I actively encourage them not to believe anything I say just through a desire to please me. Yes, they are fully aware of atheism and agnosticism. I would mention that most weeks as well so they have a healthy all round view." As far as I am aware, atheisms and agnosticism don't teach Jesus. You have already told us you don't teach any "-ism" that doesn't point to Jesus.

You said: "You ask “Why would non-Christian parents be taking their children to your Christian church?” The club is talked about at school because it is fun. So kids ask their parents if they can go." No, you distinctly said church Dawn. I'll quote you from below:  Dated 01/02/09 "We had such fun in church this morning. I just wish you could have been there." “We had so much fun in CHURCH this morning”; so time to make your mind up Dawn. Is it a church, a club, or what?                                                                                                                                                               
You said: "We have parents come in and look around and ask questions, and there must be something in the atmosphere that assures them their kids are in safe hands. I encourage the children to talk at home about what they have learned at club. One child said her school friends laughed at her for going to a church club on a Saturday evening to which she replied that they had never been so they didn’t know what they were missing. Perhaps it’s the same for you? You have never entered a Christian church or never had Christian friends so you don’t know how much you are missing out?" Dawn, I'm not a wide-eyed little child in your church/club/whatever you want to claim it is, so don't insult my intelligence with this silly line of argument. You haven't been to Hindu worship, Buddhist worship, or any other "-ism" worship. There's a whole world out there that you don't know about and are missing out on and if only you went then you might find that your current beliefs are nonsense. See, your "argument" works both ways, yet you ask us to do something you do not do yourself.

Your bible is what you follow. I have access to your bible. I don't need to go to your church/club/whatever to make my own decisions on its validity. I'm quite capable of seeing the bible for the plagiarised nonsense it is, and the contradictions that it contains. It doesn't matter how nice you are, or your church/club/whatever. It doesn't make your bible or your beliefs in that bible correct or valid.

Tell me Dawn, if there was no such thing as the bible, would you be evil?

You said: "I am meaning that through Adam sin itself entered the world thus shattering the perfect world God made." You're not reading the same bible as me Dawn. Did you forget the serpent in the Garden of Eden? Who made that serpent Dawn? This serpent was the one that convinced Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Sin incarnate in the form of a serpent. Created by your god who knew (due to being omniscient) that it would convince Eve and then Adam to eat from the tree.

Seems to me sin existed alongside Adam and he was tricked by the serpent (who was punished to crawl on its belly for eternity). Adam didn't introduce sin at all. He succumbed to a wily serpent who tricked his innocent mind. Just like you seek to trick all the children into believing they can choose something other than a god that can see into their hearts.

You said: "There is a difference between ‘sin’ as an umbrella and individual ‘sins’." Please explain this distinction, as Adam sinned, according to you, and he was an individual.

You said: "I wouldn’t try to ‘convert’ anyone to ‘Christianity’. It is a religion. And of course Christians do interpret many bible passages in many different ways. But ultimately every Christian agrees that Jesus came to bring us salvation and so we desire to tell people of Jesus." If you're not trying to convert anyone why tell them about your Jesus at all? Your words tell us that you want people to become believers but you don't want to convert anyone. This is word play of the poorest quality.

You said "About the 613 commandments. We are talking about the bible here. Not traditions. The writers of the bible were inspired to write the 10 we know so well, just as Moses was given 10 by the Hand of God." You haven't actually read your own bible have you Dawn. You just regurgitate the stories relayed by your masters.

The 613 commandments are not traditions. They are laws. Try reading your bible again. Start at Exodus 20 and continue from there. In ch.20 verse 1-17 your god tells Moses and his people the first 10 commandments.  The next part is the reaction to his presence. Verses 23-24 are about idols and altars. Yes, remember that one about not making idols. Best you throw away all those crucifixes. They are idols. Not that you have a clue what you actually believe in being the salad-bar variety of Christian.

Now look at Exodus ch.21. What does the first verse say, Dawn? Hmmm? Does it say, here are your traditions? No, it says god tells Moses ""These are the laws you are to set before them:" And what comes after that verse Dawn? Hmmm? Verse after verse of LAWS.

Like I said elsewhere. You're not talking to a non-critical wide-eyed little child who doesn't do the research to see if what you're saying is correct or not. You're talking to someone who has invested a lot of their life investigating claims made by the religious and has done a lot of study.

You said: "I did write more to you but decided to delete it!" You probably realised after you wrote it that it was even thinner in substance that what you allowed to be posted.

I notice you had nothing to say about famine. Why is that?

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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Mike 08/02/09:Hi Dawn 

I must say that it is very brave of you to field answers to so many questions. I am deeply sorry to hear of your personal loss; however, I must point out a serious contradiction in your reply. 

In your 1st paragraph you claim:“How can God be blamed for man’s sin? If a drunk driver kills a child can you blame God? No. It is the fault of the driver” 

Then in your 2nd you state:“I have lost a child; a teenage son. If God had asked my permission before taking him I would not have given it. But I can accept that He had His reason and that one day I might know why”. 

You must be able to see that these two statements are mutually exclusive; they cannot both be correct. If one is right, the other is by default wrong. 

With reference to Religious “Indoctrination” as far as faith schools go and Religious Education for community schools. It is wrong because you have no empirical evidence to show that the world works in the way you state. The reason you have no evidence is because there is none. The world cannot possibly work in the manner you promote, because what you claim is physically impossible and disproves itself. You can have faith that it is true, but that does not make it true. Therefore we are lying to children in our schools. 

Now I do not suppose that the book of revelations is covered in community schools; and through research, interviews and email conversations with community school teachers I know that most community schools would drop religious education in an instance if the Government changed the law. But I suspect the book of revelations, along with eternal damnation for no belief or denying the existence of the Holy Spirit, is preached in faith schools, particularly Catholic ones. That is, without question, metal child abuse. Also, Islamic schools teach young children not to befriend any but their own and that the penalty for apostasy is death; to preach that to a child should be made a criminal offence. 

I must once again remind you, ancient literature abounds with characters that display all the characteristics of your figure head Jesus. Characters that existed in the human mind set centuries before Christianity. By order of the Catholic Church all literature about these characters was burnt, along with the people who believed in them. We know of them today because the church did not burn their own polemics against these Gnostic and Pagan God Childs. I can recommend “Origen against Celsus” volumes 1 to 8, [link] Tertullian’s “An Answer to Jews”, “The Apology” and “On the Resurrection of the Flesh [link] and Firmicus Maternus “The Error of the Pagan Religions [link]. In these early Christian works you will find all the characters that existed prior to Jesus that caused the church discomfort because these characters all did and suffered the same things as their Jesus.  

Tertullian attempts to explain this problem away by stating that the devil must have gone back in time and planted the stories there in order to discredit Jesus in the future. [link chapter XL] Seriously Dawn, your Jesus did not exist.  

One further fact which discredits the existence of a historical Jesus is that his story begins at the start of the astrological age of Pisces. He is simply a new God for the new Age. When we were in the age of Taurus the bull the Persian world worshiped Mithras, a religion that revolved around the image of Mithras sacrificing a bull. Then we entered the age of Aries the ram; Persia was a spent force and the Israelite Kingdoms reigned in the Levant, the Rams horn and sacrificing sheep symbolised Judaism. Then we entered the Age of Pisces the fish and the Jesus story was born; Christian tradition is awash with references to fish.  

A prominent miss translation in the New Testament is when the character Jesus replies to a question: “How long will you be with us lord” he replies “I will be with you until the end of time” The actual word was Eon and refers to an astrological age. The age the author referred to was the age of Pisces. Therefore “I will be with you until the world moves into the Age of Aquarius”. So you see Dawn, its all astrology, and its all a story.

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Dawn 08/02/09: Hi Paul,

War is generally a result of man’s greed for power or due to anger. How can God be blamed for man’s sin? If a drunk driver kills a child can you blame God? No. It is the fault of the driver. Sadly there is an innocent victim. It is the same with war. As a result of man’s sin innocent people will die. It’s cause and effect. So several of us could all get together and  pray that there will be no war victims yet man is given a choice and he chooses to war.

I have lost a child; a teenage son. If God had asked my permission before taking him I would not have given it. But I can accept that He had His reason and that one day I might know why. He gave him to me in the first place and I am grateful for the years I had him. Many lives have been affected by his death so possibly ultimately it has somehow been for good. True, there is absolutely no way I would have let him die but I can still submit to Someone “Whose Way is perfect”. I don’t see God as a dictator for taking a child who belongs to Him to heaven. And through the suffering that loss has caused me I hope I have been of some small help to others who are suffering. We need to ‘think out of the box.’ We can’t order God to bow down to us and show His Power at a whim. Yes He is omnipotent and also omniscient which cannot be said for any of us.

No it isn’t out of fear that I want religion taught in schools. It’s part of an all round education.

I do teach bible stories but equally important is the life application and how these stories are relevant for today’s society and in particular the individual lives of the kids. Discussion is actively encouraged and if children wish to spend the whole time on questions and discussion then that is first class. The story can wait for another time or we can drift onto another track. Admittedly in school I guess there is a curriculum to follow and so it would not be possible. A teacher could only point to an out of school club through lack of time.

No I don’t teach other religions. In fact I don’t teach religion at all. I teach about Jesus and the bible. So I’m not going to teach other “belief systems” are as valid as mine unless they are pointing to Jesus. Hinduism, Buddhism, and all those other isms you mention don’t point people to Jesus. Every week I stress it is the children’s decision. I can’t make a decision for them. God looks at the heart of every individual. In fact I actively encourage them not to believe anything I say just through a desire to please me! Yes, they are fully aware of atheism and agnosticism. I would mention that most weeks as well so they have a healthy all round view. For 2 years I had a Hindu girl in my group who rarely missed a week. She was made every bit as welcome as everyone else. I also had a child who was firmly indoctrinated with the staunch views of his atheistic father. Again he was willingly accepted and ended up being one of my most enthusiastic helpers! I fully acknowledge that
  it isn’t always the Christians who are the most thoughtful or helpful. Not at all.

You ask “Why would non-Christian parents be taking their children to your Christian church?” The club is talked about at school because it is fun. So kids ask their parents if they can go. We have parents come in and look around and ask questions, and there must be something in the atmosphere that assures them their kids are in safe hands. I encourage the children to talk at home about what they have learned at club. One child said her school friends laughed at her for going to a church club on a Saturday evening to which she replied that they had never been so they didn’t know what they were missing. Perhaps it’s the same for you? You have never entered a Christian church or never had Christian friends so you don’t know how much you are missing out?

Dawn.

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Dawn 08/02/09:  Lol!! How am I meant to answer all this?! Thanks for your comments guys.

To no name…

If a parent were to tell a child that if he runs across a busy road he may well be killed then would you call that parent a despicable tyrant? No, of course not. You would realise he was protecting his child from potential danger. Not only does the book of Revelation teach of coming judgement, it also teaches of the wonders of heaven which incidentally not one of us deserves. To sum it up it is a book of warning and love. It is your choice which you believe. I don’t preach to children. I talk with them.

To Paul D,

I am meaning that through Adam sin itself entered the world thus shattering the perfect world God made. There is a difference between ‘sin’ as an umbrella and individual ‘sins’.
I wouldn’t try to ‘convert’ anyone to ‘Christianity’. It is a religion. And of course Christians do interpret many bible passages in many different ways. But ultimately every Christian agrees that Jesus came to bring us salvation and so we desire to tell people of Jesus.

About the 613 commandments. We are talking about the bible here. Not traditions. The writers of the bible were inspired to write the 10 we know so well, just as Moses was given 10 by the Hand of God.
I did write more to you but decided to delete it!

To No name

I’ve just looked through my bookshelves and seem to have mislaid one of the three. But I have Frank Morison with “Who moved the stone?”; also Josh McDowell with “the resurrection factor”. Josh McDowell was at uni when he decided to examine the resurrection in order to disprove it. However he became a Christian after he found evidence for it, not against it. His book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” makes more heavy reading than the other two.

Hi Mike:

You say the religious indoctrination of children concerns you. It is good to be genuinely concerned for children. But how is religious education a “mental form of child abuse with an unbelievably selfish motive on behalf of the indoctrinator” as it says on the site homepage. What is selfish and abusive in telling children about God Who loves them, and the bible which is full of such wisdom?

Dawn.

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Paul Davis 04/09/09:   Dear Dawn,

You said this: "It is because of Adam’s sin the world is in such a mess."

So, what you're saying is that because Adam questioned your god that everyone who lives after Adam is punished? ie. the sins of the fathers will be suffered by their children.

Carefully forgetting that Jesus renounced this "law". For someone who claims to have read the Bible you clearly didn't read it very well. He said "The sins of the fathers shall no longer punish their children". So, really, your "It's Adam's fault" is more of your hog wash. Your Jesus said it no longer applies. ie. we have been exonerated of Adam's sin by the very person you claim you follow.

Mind you, we know Jesus was a liar anyway. It shows you this in the Bible.

When asked about his preaching Jesus claimed "I have not come to change the law" ie. the laws as laid out in the 613 commandments (that's including the other 600, or so, that you ignore). But then he went on and changed the law. An eye for an eye became turn the other cheek. Hence Jesus lied as he changed the law.


Like all Christians you come to the salad bar of the Bible and pick and choose the things you like and discard the things you don't. We can see this has been the same throughout history as there are over 1000 denominations under the broad umbrella of "Christianity". ie. there is not really a religion of Christianity as no two believers agree on what it is. For a system of beliefs it is painfully clear to anyone with a pinch of gumption that there is no such thing as Christianity. There are only people who use the Bible to put forward their own wants and desires and hide their selfishness behind the Bible.

Let's look a very good example of "Christian salad-barism".

Ask practically any Christian about homosexuality and they will say "it's a sin against god". They will then point to their Bible as support for this bigotry. But it doesn't actually say this in the Bible at all. The Bible actually says "Do not perform a sexual act against your nature". ie. if you're heterosexual, don't do as homosexuals do. If you're homosexual, don't do as heterosexuals do. Many scholars believe this law pertains to the large amount of fertility cults that existed at the time where you performed sexual acts to appease your god. This included men having sex with men and women having sex with women. The Hebrews baulked at this practice and thus the law "do not perform a sexual act against your nature" was born.

When this is pointed out to "Christians" they then drop back to their next claim "people choose to be homosexual". And again, they are wrong. Discovering your own sexuality is not a choice. You don't get up one morning and decide to be heterosexual or homosexual. You come to realise that you have a sexuality and your sexual preference is what it is - natural. But at least you now know why some Christians shout that people choose to be homosexual.

The salad-bar part of this is that it is one of the 613 commandments outlined in the Old Testament. They point to that one being broken and call it a sin on that basis. Of course, ask any Christian if they have any mixed-fibre clothing and you will invariably draw a blank look, yet that is also one of the 613 commandments and you shouldn't mix fibres.

Of course, this means that you're going to hell for disobeying that law right? Wrong. There is no concept of hell in the Old Testament. The concept of hell as a place of eternal damnation is a Christian invention. I mean only people with true love on their hearts would invent a place of eternal torture if you don't follow them, right? (I do hope you have picked up on the sarcasm in that last sentence).

All in all, "Christians" have got to be some of the most confused and deluded people on this planet, but they seek to control your lives and incessantly invite you to become a part of their madness. Unfortunately, history has conspired to leave us in a position whereby these people have been able to grab power from time to time and their power is still such that they have managed to convince governments that their vile garbage should be a compulsory offering for school-children.

There is one last recourse; although it is compulsory for children to be offered this garbage, it is not compulsory for them to attend. You are well within your rights to refuse your children being exposed to their lies and confusion. I suggest you exercise that right, and within time, this lesson will be empty. Then you can rightfully complain to your local MP that the school is paying for a teacher that is not utilised and strongly urge him to put forward the need for a change in the law in parliament.

Paul Davis, Hertford

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No name 04/02/09:

Dawn the death cult believer said this:

 "If you were to read the book of Revelation you may begin to understand what is going to happen to our world in the future"

Is this what you preach to children, Dawn? Or do you hide it away until they start asking difficult questions and pointing out the contradictions, prevarications, obfuscations and downright lies that issue from the mouths of people like you?

When all is lost you pull out the death card and use it. The last resort of the tyrant is to threaten death to anyone who disagrees. How utterly despicable.

You aren't preaching love at all. You're preaching death to the unbelievers who will not bow down to your tyrant god.

You shouldn't have this nonsense just kicked out of school, but people who believe it should be rounded up and put in the insane asylum with all the other Napoleons.

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A 03/02/09: To Dawn:
You said "He does answer prayer but in three ways. Yes, no and wait."

So whatever happens prayer is answered!!!!!

Pull the other one - you are deluding yourself.

This justification isn't a justification at all but a manipulation of simple minds.

Regards
A

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No name 03/02/09:To Dawn,

You said this:
" You are perfectly correct. Jesus was on the cross for just over 6 hours as the bible says. And if you read the gospel accounts you will soon realise that Joseph of Aramathea couldn’t override the decision of hardened roman soldiers who had witnessed countless crucifixions and knew when dead meant dead. I know of 3 writers, and there are probably more, who have set out to write a book on how the resurrection was a myth and after sifting through the facts have had to write the exact opposite."

Please name these 3 authors.


cheers

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Paul 03/02/09:Hi Dawn,                                                                                                                                               

I didn't ask for your god to answer every prayer. I named two specific items: war and famine. Your reply "if god answered every prayer it would be chaos" is therefore a strawman response.

Who caused the wars is not the issue. The issue is the innocent victims of wars they did not cause yet who still die en masse regardless of prayers to your god for their salvation. Why would he not say "Yes" to these prayers? What chaos do you envisage would ensue if he said "Yes" to all those prayers?
Please do explain.

Famine isn't caused by your god? So who was it that sent the plague of locusts to destroy all those crops? Who sent the rains at the wrong time of the year to destroy crops? Who didn't send rains at the right time of year to destroy crops? Who sent the bacterias and parasites to destroy crops? Humans?

No, I think not. These are NATURAL disasters, and your god is claimed to have created nature.

Why would your god let all those children die every day rather than answer "Yes" to a prayer for their lives? What chaos do you envisage would ensue if he said "Yes" and these children lived?
Please do explain.

Your god will one day sort this world out is pie in the sky nonsense. Your god is omnipotent according to the bible. He can change it right now. That he doesn't means that although he is omnipotent he is clearly malevolent. Your god sits by and watches innocents die daily despite prayers for their salvation.

Tell me Dawn, if you were all powerful would YOU let them die? Would YOU answer their prayers? And don't cop out by saying "Im not god". Answer the question.

I know that I wouldn't. I would answer their prayers.

How is it that I, a non-religious person, have more compassion for the humans of this planet than the god you claim exists?

Your reply that god has a "greater purpose" for us all does not justify the deaths of millions of innocents. It smacks of dictatorship indistinguishable from the dictatorships that exist now and have existed in the past. Dictatorships that  are willing to let millions suffer all in the name of "greater purpose".

I'm sure when Stalin was in power he had a "greater purpose" and all those that died under his orders where a neccesary evil on the road to his "greater purpose". The same for Pol Pot and Sung Jun-Il, and Hitler. They all claim/claimed to be doing it for a "greater purpose".

Your god is indistinguishable from a mass murdering tyrant.

And you want people to believe in this monster?

As to your laughable fear argument about atheist's children who might believe in your god. Let's put the boot on the other foot and ask you,  is it out of FEAR that you want to keep religion in schools because you know that if they are not seeded with your religion at an early age that once they reach adulthood they wont give your beliefs a second thought?

Even your bible says give me a child before 7 years of age and I will give you a man who believes. Even back in those days they knew that time is a critical factor with the indoctrination of children into believers.

Like Mike, I learned most of what I know about religion from my own studies and not from school.

When I was at school there was no mention of Islam, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taosim, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, Zen Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, or any of the multitude of other belief systems in this planet.

All we got was Bible stories. Not even discussion about those stories. They were told as if they were facts, and they clearly are not facts.

In your church, do you teach the children there about other religions? Do you tell them that these belief systems are as valid as yours? Do you tell them they do not have to believe your religion and are allowed to choose their own to follow or none? Do you tell them what atheism is? Do you tell them what agnosticism is?

You said this "We had such fun in church this morning. I just wish you could have been there. I think it would have been an eye-opener. Children of all ages mixing together, listening to the stories, singing, drama, art-work etc. I fail to see anything remotely vile and disgusting in that at all. Non Christian parents show real gratitude at the love being shown their children. Including hardened atheists who do still send their kids along."

Why would non-Christian parents be taking their children to your Christian church?

Please, do explain.

Paul

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Mike 01/02/2009: Hi Dawn,

Mythology and theological belief intrigue me; the religious indoctrination of children concerns me. To that end, I have read the Old Testament, the New Testament, The Koran, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Gnostic Gospels of the Nag Hammadi Library, The Mesopotamian myths of Gilgamesh, The Egyptians Myths of Osiris and the Roman/Persian myths of Mithras.

If I were to criticize the state sanctioned religious indoctrination of children (particularly in faith schools) without having studied the theories, I would be making unfunded claims with no knowledge of the issues I criticize.

I am not aware of any movement that wishes to gain government support to preach to children in schools that all religious belief is fiction. I cannot speak for all atheists, because I have no right to and atheists do not meet to agree upon a canonised set of values and beliefs (or should that be non beliefs). But as an individual: your belief and my belief/non belief are private matters; neither your, nor my beliefs should have any place in education or politics. 

The argument given; that we need to make children aware of religion in order for them to accept and respect its existence is a flawed and weak argument on many fronts:

  • Racist parties exist in this county; we do not feel the need to ask children to learn understand and respect their beliefs.

  • All religious theologies are so ridiculous; they deserve no respect at all.

  • You do not teach children all theologies, you cheery pick the ones you want to proselytise and ignore the rest.

  • No mention is made of the theologies the Church has brutally suppressed and eradicated (Gnostic faiths and Pagan beliefs).

  • Astrologers and mediums do not receive the special status afforded to religion by the government; but ancient astrology and sooth sayers are the back bone and evolutionary start point of all religious beliefs.

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Dawn  01/02/09:Hi Mike,

Well! I do believe exactly that! Can I ask where you learned those parts of the bible so well? At school?!

I do see your point exactly but, as you no doubt would follow through, I would worry that it IS your problem that you don’t believe because of the very reasons you stated. If there is no heaven or hell then fine. But what if the bible is true? That is why Christians are so concerned for those who aren’t. I think to say we insist that we be allowed to convince children is too harsh. I do teach bible stories at an out of school club but I would never insist that children make a commitment to Jesus. That is total indoctrination and I present the truth as I see it and it is up to every individual to make their own choice.

I’m surprised you say atheists don’t try to push their beliefs onto children. The ones I know do just that. This surely is the main reason why you don’t want religion taught in school. Surely if one is an agnostic then they wouldn’t care either way.

It seems as though you would like to tell secondary school children that the bible is purely an out of date novel. So why shouldn’t Christians be allowed to put it forward as God’s living Word and is relevant for today?

We had such fun in church this morning. I just wish you could have been there. I think it would have been an eye-opener. Children of all ages mixing together, listening to the stories, singing, drama, art-work etc. I fail to see anything remotely vile and disgusting in that at all. Non Christian parents show real gratitude at the love being shown their children. Including hardened atheists who do still send their kids along.

But I do see where you are at and I do see that atheists can take great offence at religious education. I understand completely. But there again I wonder if there is a fear element. If an atheist had children at school would he be fearful about their being taught faith in case they believed it? Whereas a Christian could cope with their children being exposed to atheism because we know that God will take care of our kids no matter what they hear.

I’m not sure if I’ve explained what I mean.
Dawn.

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Mike 01/02/09: Dawn                                                                                                                                                 

The issue, which all people of faith simply cannot fathom, including our politicians, is this. 

You believe that:

  • An entity in the ether created a world in 7 days.

  • That he kicked off the population of that world with two people who disobeyed him.

  • From these two people came lots of people who he was displeased with, so he killed them all with a massive flood; save Noah, his family and two of every animal.

  • Then the entity in the ether made a virgin pregnant so he could walk the earth as a man.

  • This person was executed, and then came back to life and then ascended into the ether.

  • He will come again in the future to reside over the destruction of the world at Megiddo (Armageddon).

  • Before the destruction, all that believed in him will be raptured up to heaven (dead and living) to live with him for eternity in heaven.

  • All who did not believe in him will stay on earth and suffer great pestilence and then join the dead who did not believe in him and suffer eternal damnation in hell.

Now; the fact that you choose to believe the above is not the problem. I do not believe it and that is not the problem either. The issue is, you are incapable of just believing it, and you INSIST that you be allowed to convince children it is true. It is that which is the issue.  

Atheists have no desire to foist their lack of belief in myths on to children; atheists just want religion to stop foisting their acceptance of theology as factually based on to children. 

Evangelise by all means, but wait until your targets are at least 18 before you proselytize to them. 

One of the biggest ironies in our country today is that; promoting the political ideals of a particular political party to children in schools is a criminal offence, while failing to provide religious education and holding a collective act of worship (broadly Christian in nature) is also an offence! 

Trying to convince secondary school children that religion is faculty based and that they should really conduct their lives according the words in a 2500 year old novel is clearly wrong; trying to convince infant and junior school children is vile and down right disgusting; trying to convince pre school children in “Kidz Church” is simply beyond the pale of all human decency.

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Dawn 31/01/09:Hi Paul and Mike,

Paul,
I would suggest that you don’t understand prayer. If God granted every prayer that has ever been uttered then what chaos we would be in. He does answer prayer but in three ways. Yes, no and wait. It is because of Adam’s sin the world is in such a mess. God doesn’t cause war or global hunger. But frequently people try to blame the God they don’t believe in for all the world’s problems. He will one day sort this world out, so people are quite free to pray for these things and expect the answer ‘wait’. That is still answered prayer but God doesn’t work to our timetable. If you were to read the book of Revelation you may begin to understand what is going to happen to our world in the future.

Mike,
You can’t exactly assure me that Jesus is a ‘myth’ unless I can assure you He isn’t! Neither can you state that the personal Abrahamic God is a complete guess and completely and utterly wrong. That is just your opinion.

You say “What is an answered prayer? And, if there are answered prayers presumably there are also unanswered prayers.”
Perhaps you could read what I said to Paul. God ‘hears’ our prayers and ‘answers’ them for our ultimate good or according to His Purpose. Yes I agree that often the good/bad outcomes would have happened anyway, even without praying. But God still wants us to talk to Him.
God can cure everyone but that does not mean for one moment He will. We do not control Him. But yes He does give skill to the surgeons and I am personally grateful for the dedication they give.
I think that until you go searching for yourself then Christianity will just be unfathomable to you. God knows those who are truly seeking Him and He will always draw near to them.
But to get back to teaching Christianity in School! I take a group of kids to church with me where they have kidz church. They don’t come from a Christian background and they always are given a choice, and nine times out of ten they come. Why? Because they obviously enjoy it and they like learning the bible stories and hearing about Jesus. So why deny them? When they are older the decision will be theirs as to what to do with what they have learned and the Person they have learned about.
Dawn.

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Paul 21/01/09: Dawn, re; answered prayers:
If prayer works then I can only ascertain that no one has prayed for an end to global hunger, or an end to war.
Of course,  if you have prayed for these things then I can only ascertain that prayer doesn't work.
Thanks for showing us all that "people of faith" are clearly not people with any kind of critical reasoning facility and should really be kept far and away from positions of power where their "faith" can have no influence on thinking people.
cheers
Paul                                                                                                                                                                             

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Mike 17/01/09: Hi Dawn                                                                                                                                         

Re having grounds to comment: I have read The complete works of Josephus translated by Willam Whiston, The works of Philo by C D Young, The Dead Sea Scrolls by Geza Vermes, the Gnostic Gosples by Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer along with a whole host of works on Pagen God Childs such as Orpheus, Attis, Mithras, Osiris, Horus, Bacchus, Dionysus etc.

I can assure you, your figure head is a mythical creation, and a plagiarised carbon copy of those listed above; God Child myths that existed for centuries before the Jesus Character. 

Re Josephus, the passage you refer to (a very small passage) is 18.3.3 from the “The Antiquities of the Jews”. It is now correctly regarded as an insertion into the original work (A fake). This is not wishful thinking on the part of atheists. The reason it is regarded as a fake is because 18.3.4 clearly follows on from 18.3.2.  

Re Caesar v Jesus: The issue is not the amount of writing, but corroborative writing. All the writing about Jesus comes after the compilation of the Gospels and is therefore mere regurgitation and not corroborative (not evidence). As for Caesar, other people wrote about Caesar, people directly affected by his actions, these writings are both contemporary to the time frame and corroborative (evidence). 

Re faith: I do not have a faith position, faith is the position you adopt when you know your argument is weak or wrong and lacking in evidence. The biggest mistake religious people make when categorising atheists is to picture them as adopting a creation position themselves. This is wrong, you see, you say you know how the world began, we say (or at least I do) that this is wrong; mankind has not yet discovered how the universe / world began. We are still trying to find out; we may even be incapable of ever finding out. What we do know, is the personal Abrahamic God version is a complete guess and completely and utterly wrong. 

When you say, I read the bible and that is why I believe Jesus existed; you have to realise this is equivalent to saying I have read the DC comics, that is why I know Superman exists. 

The character of Jesus started out, at the beginning of the 1st century as an allegorical spiritual god that was an adaptation of the old pagan god childs, this allegorical being was subsequently turned into a physical character from history around the middle of the 2nd century; by the start of the 4th century the Roman Emperor Constantine sided with the idea of a historical God figure called Jesus and made it the state religion. From then on people where forced to believe in the new world religion on pain of death and torture. Parents told their children to believe because their well being in life depended on them physically displaying total belief. Today people just believe because their parents told them to believe. 

You refer to experiencing the feel of Jesus, this is a physical bodily function that you created for yourself and then attributed to the presence of a God called Jesus. I can create the same such feeling myself and do so whenever England score a goal (a rare event I know), the deference is, I do not attribute the feeling to an out of body spiritual experience, I see it as a feeling of inner elation that I personally created myself.  

What is an answered prayer? And, if there are answered prayers presumably there are also unanswered prayers. Do you not feel sometimes that maybe the good/bad outcomes would have happened anyway, even without praying? We do know that if you do not pray that outcomes for specific situations vary from very good to mediocre through to very bad. But consider this, if a doctor administers a medical procedure that results in a patient being cured of cancer, is that patient right to thank God and ignore the skill of the doctor and his administration of medical practice. To expand this further is it not odd, that God can only cure what man is capable of curing himself? That is, for all ailments that man cannot yet cure, neither can God! 

However, all that is bye the bye; although this web site does set out to highlight the fallacy of religious belief, it does not insist people should not have faith if they wish. This site defends everybody’s right to believe what ever they like. The issue is, those faith positions should be a private, not public matter and should not be preached to children in school, nor for that matter should atheism.

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Dawn 17/01/09:Hi Mike,
Actually there is evidence outside the bible. I have read the writings of the historian, Josephus (who wasn’t a ‘Christian’ and wrote factually about Jesus), and I have been told by plenty of people that there is more evidence that Jesus was a real figure in history than there is for Julius Caesar. Jesus is talked about far, far more than ever Julius Caesar is so it would be good to ponder why.

Yes, my parents did teach me about Jesus but I have still questioned their faith and read the bible for myself. I don’t blindly listen to everything I’m told. But it goes deeper than that. I look around me at creation and I’ve held my babies in my arms and concluded without a shadow of a doubt that there must be a Creator. To be an atheist and believe that everything developed from nothing requires a faith that I don’t have. I often wonder if atheists ask themselves the honest question. Do they really have that much faith or are they pretending they do because they can’t face up to the fact that if something didn’t come from nothing then something must have come from a Creator God. And to believe in God would bring too many personal problems. They would have to follow it through and ask that if there is a God then what if His book, the bible is true. And, if it is true, what if Jesus really did rise from the dead. What if there really is a heaven and a hell.

But more importantly once a person takes that initial step of faith they come to know that Jesus is real. By the feel of His Presence and by answered prayer. Yes, I know that you, and seemingly most people who have commented on this website, can scoff at such things and say that Christians must have very vivid imaginations, but until you dig deeper yourself you aren’t on any ground to say that Christians are just naïve and brainless.

Respectfully,
Dawn.

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Mike 15/01/09:                                                                                                                                                  

Dawn: You really do need to ask yourself an honest question. Who told you that a person called Jesus was nailed to a cross, died, and then came back to life? Was it perhaps your parents, or a Priest? Then ask yourself, who told them? was it perhaps their parents or a Priest?  etc.

There is absolutely no corroborative evidence outside of the bible for the existence of a person called Jesus Christ; and there is no corroborative evidence outside of the Star Wars novels for the existence of a chosen one called Luke Sky Walker.

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Dawn 15/01/09:                                                                                                                                                      

You are perfectly correct. Jesus was on the cross for just over 6 hours as the bible says. And if you read the gospel accounts you will soon realise that Joseph of Aramathea couldn’t override the decision of hardened roman soldiers who had witnessed countless crucifixions and knew when dead meant dead. I know of 3 writers, and there are probably more, who have set out to write a book on how the resurrection was a myth and after sifting through the facts have had to write the exact opposite.

The bible came from God. And in it He says that if we put our trust in His Son we spend eternity with Him. We all have a choice whether to believe Him or not.

Dawn.

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No name 14/01/09:  [Dawn],


you point to your ten commandments, but there aren't ten commandments. The ten most people refer to are ten commandments of a total of 613. Don't believe me? Look here http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm Like so many of the salad bar religious you pick and choose the ones you like and ignore the ones you don't.

You might like to notice that violence existed well before "God left American schools" and actually predates the school system. Even your bible depicts the various acts of violence done in his name. Like so many of the short sighted people who bark their god as saviour you point to things that have no relation and claim they are cause and effect.

The deterioration of societal values has nothing to do with god being removed from the classroom but everything to do with a commercially driven society where people value self-satisfaction over taking responsibility for their actions. The reason violence is on the increase is down to a lack of correct fair discipline within the home and a society that values profit over people.

And Billy Graham is hardly a paragon of virtue is he? http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/billy_graham_exposed.htm

Your Jesus is today what he was yesterday - dead and an unsubstantiated myth propagated by people with power to keep people in line. Jesus didn't rise from the dead. He didn't die. Joseph of Aramathea took healing herbs to his tomb, not herbs you would take for a dead body. Jesus wasn't on the cross for 3 days. It would be surprising if he was on there for more than 6 hours because Jewish law, which was observed by the occupying Romans to keep the peace with them, was that all crucified Jews be taken down before the Sabbath. The Sabbath starts at sunset on a Friday and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Hence, he couldn't have been on there for 3 days.

Of course you can either carry on believing without challenge everything your preacher says to you or you can open your mind and actually read about the bible and discover how and why it exists. You will probably choose to carry on deluding yourself that all we need is your bible to stop multinational corporations and banks ruling our lives but when you die you'll be bacteria food, or fire fuel, like the rest of us and all your pontificating will have got you nowhere different.

Remember this commandment: thou shall not bear false witness? You do this every time you spout your ill educated rubbish to other people because you don't have the first clue what the bible is about or where it came from.

By the way I do hope you don't have any mixed fibre clothing, and how many shirts do you own?

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Dawn 14/01/09:     Hi TheAtheistAdvocate.com
I’m glad you’ve thought all that through but you haven’t got to the end. God didn’t kill His Son. Jesus gave His own life. And it wasn't for no reason, or in vain. Jesus rose from the dead and everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him will go to His Home one day.

Yes, sure God did create perfect people but He created them with free will as He doesn't want a bunch of robots worshipping Him. Makes sense.

Dawn.

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Dawn 14/01/09:                                                                                                                                                            Billy Graham's daughter in U.S. said, ".... for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the Gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

The bible with the ten commandments and the life of Jesus gives us a moral code for living. When these examples are pushed to one side we get what we have now. A nearly lawless society. Everyone out for number one.

Dawn.

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No name: 07/01/09:                                                                                                                                                     Not from previous "Noname"
Totally agree TheAtheistAdvocate - furthermore - A bad workman (god?) blames his tools!

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TheAtheistAdvocate.com 04/01/09:                                                                                                                           Hey "No Name", TheAtheistAdvocate.com here. You say Jesus died for your sins? Is that a good thing?
I have pondered this frequently and here are my thoughts on it.

God knows everything, he is everywhere and always is and always will be.
He created people in his image who were not perfect.
But of course, he knew they would not be perfect because he knows everything, right?
So he gets angry with our imperfections and kills everyone, even innocents, during the great flood.
God hoped to 'start over' with a new batch of humans and hope they are perfect.
So, Noah and his family repopulate the world. But, people are still imperfect, So...
God kills everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah because they are not perfect.
But of course, god knew they would not be perfect, because he knows everything!

Ah!!! A great idea, I will make Mary pregnant with my god child, grow him up,
and then kill him in the most horrific means possible! I bet that will make humans perfect!

But we are not!!! NOTHING has changed. So god killed his son for no reason at all!!!

God must have known all of these things he would do to save man would be in vain, since he knows everything!
So either he does not know everything, or he killed all of those people for nothing!

I say, what a great idea. Do you think ANYONE would approve if you had your child killed,
in the hope of saving other people from something they can't see, feel or touch?
Why don't you try it? Kill someone so you can save someone else!
The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

If god wanted perfect people without sin, he has the power to either make them from jump street, or change them with the wave of a hand. There was never a need to kill and slaughter innocent people to get the job done. Killing his own son... OMFG... give me a break!

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No name: 01/01/09:                                                                                                                                                       So sad that Notori is so blind. Jesus died out of Love for people who spit in His Face.  Why not forget religion and find out about Jesus Who offers you a place in heaven. We all need to be loved and to love in return. And there is no greater Love than His.

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No name: 30/12/2008:                                                                                                                                               Easy, tho' sad, answer to John & Jim, perhaps made before. To the victor the spoils, including the right to write & rewrite history. The Catholic church was the victor.

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Nilgun Oven: 4/12/2008:
I am pleased there is such a website, however you might add some reference for the info given. The site could also look more colourful and attractive.  I have browsed darwinday site and the same problem - looks dull and unattractive.  Creationists' sites are so lively and colourful.  It can be argued that facts need no colour and I agree, but still we are human

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No name: 26/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                      I do like this website. it contains a lot of useful  information, however you definitely need someone to proof-read it for you, and make the layout a bit more browser friendly.

That said, all the best and keep up with the good work. :)

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Gavin Orland: 25/11/2008:                                                                                                                                          We must speak out and say enough is enough with the idiocy of religion.

It hasn't even personally affected me in my life - I just believe it is dangerous and I don't like lies. Edmund Burke was right: "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."

It is a mind virus and let's hope, with the abandonment of PC, we can kill it off.

Best regards,

Gavin Orland    http://www.gavinorland.com

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No name: 25/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                 This site looks like it was made by goats

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Chris: 22/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                     From Chris in Hoddesdon: I've just read the article in the "Herald" East Herts edition for 20th November. "Campaigner defends 'no religion leaflet' and the reference to someone 'freaked out' by your pointing out the falsity and dangers of religion.

More power to Michael Lawrence! They stuff our letter boxes with "You're going to Hell for ever if you don't join us" nonsense year in, year out and one leaflet makes them 'freak out'!

We've been at the same address for nearly forty-nine years and never received one leaflet critical of religion.

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Paul Davis: 22/11/2008:A dissemination of  these comments from "Concerned citizen":
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Concerned citizen: 20/11/2008:                                                                                                                                        As a Christian, this site offends me! A society without God and no concept of right or wrong is exactly what we have now, and look at the state of Britain.
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First they start with an appeal to emotion: their offence at this site. Appeals to emotion are a well used tactic by the religious because their emotions are tightly woven with their religion. It actually gives you a clue into how they were indoctrinated into their belief system. Facts do not need emotional appeals. Lacking any facts they have no choice but to resort to emotional appeals.

You notice how this writer also implies that religion has the monopoly on right or wrong? This is classic religious pomposity.  Religion does not have a monopoly on right or wrong. I was brought up in a non-religious household but I am quite able to tell right from wrong on many occasions. However, I am still learning and what I find to be right at this time may turn out to be wrong in the future. I am open to this as the main thrust of my life is for greater understanding. I do not make any claims to having absolute knowledge of right and wrong.
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Concerned citizen: 20/11/2008:
 Christianity preaches love not hate and acceptance of everyone as all are loved equally by God. What is so wrong with teaching our children this message ? I have heard these arguments about Jesus before and they are simply incorrect.
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Where is the evidence of your "God"? And, please don't point to your bible as it is not evidence of anything except previous believers and their beliefs.

Notice how the writer does not point to any specific argument, but just makes  an unsubstantiated claim that they are incorrect. Is the kind of "teaching" they would like to see in schools? "Shut up child, anything you say against me is simply incorrect", and no actual discussion taking place?
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Concerned citizen: 20/11/2008:
There is more literal evidence for him than there is for Julius Caesar, come on., lets get our facts straight!
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Indeed. Let's get our facts straight. There is only one source about Jesus - the Bible. There is no other independent contemporary evidence to support the claims in the Bible, literal or otherwise. There are, however,  independent contemporary reports of Julius Caesar.

The tactic here is to say "Well, you accept Julius Caesar existed on little evidence therefore Jesus must be real too". The existence of Jesus is not dependant on the existence of other people who are accepted to have existed. This is literally saying, you believe A therefore you must believe B.
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Concerned citizen: 20/11/2008:
A concerned citizen of Britain
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I'm also a concerned citizen of Britain. Why should we take more note of your concern than anyone else's concern? Because you're a Christian? Why shouldn't we take note of Muslim concern? Or Hindu concerns? Or Taosist concerns? Or Buddhist concerns? Or secular concerns? Or Sikh concerns? Or.... get the picture?

Never let someone talk down to you as if they know it all. You have as much right to your own beliefs as this person has to theirs. Don't resort to their tactics. Hit them with facts and get them to explain why the facts are not correct. This is called logical discourse.

Paul Davis, Hertford.

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No name: 22/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                 This comment is not about the subject mater of your site, but about the format of it. You're going to get more and more comments and you really need to think about setting up a proper message board. Not only will it make it easier for people to use and interact with but will make your lives a lot easier too.

Suggestion: open up an MSN or Yahoo group or something similar, or use their sites as a template for how to arrange yours.

I applaud what you are attempting to do here, but like it or not, a well presented site will have a greater impact, and will only help to further your cause.

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No name: 21/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                      I have no problem with personal faith. The problems start when people start trying to indoctrinate other people into their beliefs and trying to import the idea that their version of god is better than someone else's version of god. I have been approached by "people of faith" on many occasions and several times the emphasis of their argument it to save my soul from eternal damnation in hell. To people who have limited education or are easily scared this is tantamount to mental assault and it should be outlawed. They are not being given the facts whatsoever but are being harassed by people with an agenda. In a society that claims to seek balance (please stop laughing at the back there) this sort of thing should not be allowed.

Since the so-called Christian Tory Bliar err Tony Blair got into power there has been a marked increase in the emphasis of religion and the way they try to foist it on people now is to claim that teaching it in schools will help people make an informed choice. Sounds good doesn't it? Well, take a closer look because schools of faith go to great pains to paint their own faith as the only viable alternative while pointing out what they see as flaws in the others faiths ideologies. ie. they do not highlight the inconsistencies in their own faith because they do not want children to be swayed away from their chosen (or indoctrinated) faith.

Children should not be taught religion in schools until they have reached an age where they have control over their own cognitive abilities and are able to make an educated choice on what they want to believe if at all.

My parents are not religious. They are not anti-religious either. I can remember coming home from my Christian primary school when I was a child (there weren't any non-faith schools in my area) and asking my mother about god and she gave me a very balanced reply. She told me, "No one knows if there is a god or not and I will not tell you what to believe. What I will tell you is that if you want to know more then read about the different religions and the critics of those religions and then make the decision for yourself, but do not make that decision until you feel you have found enough information to make that choice for yourself". I took that as to mean that I should wait until I was older and can understand what I am reading, so that is what I did.

I spent about five years on internet discussion groups arguing about religion with both the religious and non-religious. I found that there are good and bad people on both sides, but the thing that rang clear to me was that there is no evidence to support faith. That is why it is called faith - the belief in things not seen. We all have a certain amount of faith but the responsible amongst do not out forward as unassailable truth that which we know is not supported by any facts.

I'll use the Jesus story as an example as it is the one I am most familiar with: outside of the Bible there is no evidence of a historical Jesus. This does not mean that he did not exist. What it means is that claims of his existence and his claimed acts are not corroborated from any other independent contemporary source. People point to Pliny and Josephus and the like but these people were not contemporises. They relayed second hand information and much of their work that has survived has been shown to have interpolations within it. ie. people tampered with historical documents in order to make their beliefs seem true to people who might find them later. This is hardly an honest thing to do no matter what the motivation was to do it, and this dishonesty carried on to this day with preachers making outrageous claims about their beliefs that do not have any historical corroboration, and also repeating claims that have already been shown to be false.

The Bible in it's current form was decided upon by the Council of Nicaea way back in c.325CE. The then Roman Emperor turned to Christianity and decided that history should be re-written, literally. He ordered many known texts to be either altered or destroyed in order that history should reflect a historical Jesus rather than the allegorical Jesus found in the writings of the Apostles.

Again, this is hardly an honest thing to do, but we see this pattern in the behaviour of Christians repeated throughout history (and not just Christians either - unfortunately this kind of dishonesty is not the sole preserve of Christians and most religions have done it). Do not be fooled into thinking this cannot happen again. The internet is a wonderful source of information but it is also a massive resource of dis-information and many of the faithful have found a new way to reach a new audience through it. The internet is bursting with sites proclaiming to "know the truth" and even if some of these sites aren't too bright, unfortunately, the general population isn't too bright either.

Why am I saying all this? Well, for one I hate to see people believing in pie in the sky. We get enough of that from politicians and "leaders" already without our children's minds being infected with intentional dumbing down to believe in an unevidenced god - and you do need to dumb down to believe the pie in the sky that comes out of most believers mouths. My reason for stating all this is that the study of religion and how we come to find it in its current form is very interesting and teaches you a lot about humanity and its drives and wants. It also gives you the information to make an educated evaluation of what various religions claim. I urge you to breed the spirit of research into your children so they can make their own choices from a large pool of accurate information and critical and non-critical sources. There is one big sword that has been shown time and time again to be the nemesis of religions ideologies - it is called balanced education.

So, rather than remove religion from schools I think it should be included in the curriculum but with the emphasis on evaluation rather than how I was taught it in school as a cold hard fact. I recommend a book by Carl Sagan called "The Demon-Haunted World" for any parent to be a must read both for themselves and their children religious or otherwise. Dr. Sagan was a wonderful man and he left a wonderful book for all of us to read.

Keep this site going. For one, the religious will reply and expose themselves as disingenuous and groundless. Do not let any claim go unchallenged by them, and always always be polite to them lest they bow out of the conversation under the guise of offence and this escape evaluating their own beliefs in light of critical responses. For two, you will find a remarkable amount of well educated people will join in and teach you new and wonderful things.

Good luck.

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No name: 21/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                  Just a further comment about the woman who complained to the paper that she was shocked by the leaflet through her door. Has she ever read the Bible? If they made a movie out of it and kept close to the actual writings instead of Hollywoodising it, it would be an 18 rated movie. Yet, I would imagine, she is quite happy for her children to be exposed to it. There are many stories in the Bible that simply make you wince at what people have done in the name of their god or claim to have been done for them in the name of their god.

Maybe she is OK with the idea that her children will be tormented in hell for eternity if they do not subscribe to its "teachings" whatever they were.

A little test for you:
1. How many commandments are there?
2. How long was Jesus on the cross?
3. What herbs did Joseph of Aramathea take to Jesus' tomb?
4. How big was Noah's ark, and can you name a ship of comparable size that has ever been built from the same materials?
5. How many of each animal were on board the Ark?
6. Why do Jews not accept Jesus as the "King of the Jews"?
7. Did Jesus ever tell a lie?
8. What is the Meshe Stele?
9. Who cut Samson's hair?
10. What is the number of the beast?

No prizes for answering except some education for those who think they know the answer.

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James C: 20/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                     If we need any evidence of what a really effective religious education in a faith school can produce, here it is: 

http://www.christianvoice.org.uk 

The ministry of Christian Voice and the position we take is entirely dependant upon the biblical witness, uncomfortable as that may be to the modern humanistic mind. We believe the Holy Bible to be the inspired, infallible, written Word of God to whose precepts, given for the good of nations and individuals, all man's laws must submit.

What more reason do we need to say; CLOSE DOWN THE FAITH SCHOOLS NOW!!!!!!

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No name: 20/11/2008:     To Concerned citizen;  “…come on, let’s get our facts straight!” 

A man is born to a God and a mortal virgin.                                                                                                                     He can turn water into wine                                                                                                                                              He can walk on water                                                                                                                                                      He can calm the stormy sea by talking to it                                                                                                                        He can heal blindness by touching people                                                                                                                         He can bring the dead back to life                                                                                                                                    He was tortured and executed, then came back to life himself. 

come on, let’s get our facts straight!” ???? 

You are deeply offended; well, that is because you are seriously religious. 

So; to avoid the undesirable situation of such deep felt offence in the future to people when confronted with research, research that exposes the hypocrisy of their faith, best we stop indoctrinating children now! 

Further, it matters not how much you are offended, or how much faith you have in what you believe; no amount of hurt feeling or credulity can turn fiction into fact.

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Richard Hazell: 20/11/2008:                                                                                                                                        I'm not religious, I don't believe either way but its worrying children are taught to believe in faith from such a young age.  The bottom line is there is no proof either way.

As of now Fortune-tellers must tell customers what they offer is “for entertainment only” and not “experimentally proven”. This means that a fortune-teller who sets up a tent at a funfair will have to put up a disclaimer on a board outside.

Religion is also experimentally unproven so should also post disclaimers on all textbooks places of worship etc.  But because faith based business is rich, powerful and has such influence then it would seem they escape any form of legislation. 

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/public_law/article3987725.ece

All we can hope is that over time as more and more generations fall out of love with the church and other faiths that common sense and reasoning will finally take over.  Religion is really after all just a set of man made rules created to try to give people a moral compass.  The pity is that it has been hijacked by a small minority who seek to enforce their ideas. 

Richard Hazell

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Concerned citizen: 20/11/2008:                                                                                                                                    As a Christian, this site offends me! A society without God and no concept of right or wrong is exactly what we have now, and look at the state of Britain. Christianity preaches love not hate and acceptance of everyone as all are loved equally by God. What is so wrong with teaching our children this message ?
I have heard these arguments about Jesus before and they are simply incorrect. There is more literal evidence for him than there is for Julius Caesar, come on., lets get our facts straight!

A concerned citizen of Britain

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No name: 18/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                 Our government is outrageous:  

It passes legislation which compels us to respect the views of religions. 

A person who believes that he is not really living, he is only in a transitory world where he is being tested for his place in an eternal life to come, is quite entitled to his point of view on how the world works. 

A person who holds that point of view and foists it onto young children deserves no respect at all. 

Our government should not be passing laws to force us to appease such views; they should be passing laws to make the religious indoctrination of children illegal.

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No name: 11/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                Nice site, thanks for information!

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David: 09/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                       The view point of the religious community with regards to why children must be taught religion in schools has moved significantly over last 100 years in response to societies more liberal enlightenment; an enlightenment which has publicly challenged two thousand years of religious authoritarianism. 

The original religious community viewpoint, born out of complete authoritarianism and the desire for total control over the thoughts and deeds of all individuals was: ‘we have to make them aware of the Holy Spirit to save them from themselves and  to ensure they go to heaven and not hell when they die’. 

This was, of course, a very effective psychological control tool for the despotic religious regimes of the dark and middle ages. 

As time moved on, society matured. People began to see the above as repressive and questioned its authenticity. Once reformation had advanced to the stage where questioning religious belief did not carry the death penalty or imprisonment the questions started to flow. The above stance became an embarrassment to the religious community. In response, the religious reason for the need to teach religion to children shifted and became: ‘We need to teach religious education to children in order to be able to demonstrate good moral behaviour’

The modern day community at large were very quick to point out that the three books of scripture for the Abrahamic faiths are not exactly full of good moral guidance. It was strongly indicated that the activities of the religious elite over the last 2000 years present very little in the way of good moral role models. It became popular to point out that moral values have nothing to do with superstitious religious belief and can be taught quite adequately without reference to theological scripture. 

So, the religious rationale for the need to teach religion to children moved again to its current position: ‘We need to teach children about religion because we have to make them aware of, and teach them to respect, other people’s beliefs. 

The fact of the matter is, none of these reasons ever represented the real reason the religious community want undisturbed quality access to the minds of primary school children. The real reason is, and always was, ‘hook em young and hook em for life’.  

I reality, there is not one single rational reason why religion should exist in the public realm and be taught to children in schools. We most definitely should not instruct children that religious views should be respected simply because they exist. If this were a valid view point, then we should also teach children to respect the views of racist organisations simply because they exist, something we should never, and would never do.

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No name: 06/11/2008:                                                                                                                                                 Faith schools should be banned nationwide, we must stop this brainwashing now.

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NOTORI post: 04/11/2008:                                                                                                                                         On Monday 3rd November 2008 we learn that a 13 year old girl (who is married!) is raped by 3 men. When the father reports the rape to the authorities the 3 men are not charged and the little girl is convicted of adultery and stoned to death in a stadium in front of some 1000 spectators.  

Do we teach this stuff in our religious education lessons; in our drive to make sure that we all understand and respect each others religious cultures? 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/03/somalia-rape-amnesty

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No name: 04/11/2008:                                                                                                                                               How long does it take to explain religion? 

The religious argument for religious education in schools is that children need to be informed about the existence of religious belief and the diversity of belief in order to understand it and make an informed decision later in life.  

This, they say, represents religious education not religious indoctrination. So; what do we need to tell children? 

The curriculum states that the lessons must be broadly Christian in nature and may briefly cover two other faiths. So Christianity, Judaism and Islam are the norm. 

Two, one hour lessons, could cover the above and be classed as a ‘religious awareness module’ in history lessons. This would cover the subject quite adequately under the banner of religious education and give the children the required information.  

But religious education receives 1 hour a week, for a 39 week year, for 3 years. That’s 117 hours. 117 hours of lesson time and a weekly act of worship which is of a broadly Christian nature cannot be classed as anything else but RELIGIOUS INDOCTRINATION and as such it is vile and disgusting. 

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John F: 03/11/20008:                                                                                                                                                    An excellent exposé – well done, and keep up the campaign to keep religion out of schools and to have equal access to Thought for the Day - atheists have thoughts for the day too.  

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No name: 31/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                      I completely agree with you and your site! Religion is dangerous. I am absolutely disgusted when I see Religion and Politics intertwined so ridiculously. I have seen Dawkin's work and Zeitgeist, did a lot of internet research and all they have discussed and it has really made me see truth! There is no god ! We have been manipulated, betrayed and used for centuries. I hope in my lifetime I will be able to see a world free of religion!

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No name: 30/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                Well you are entitled to your opinion about the historicity of Jesus etc, so I don't want to go on about it. Also I appreciate how you post all comments and don't edit or veto them. Also we can all agree he did not rise from the dead and fly into the sky, nor did other dead people climb out of their graves and walk around Jerusalem after his crucifixion, like one gospels says, nor did he walk on water and change water to wine etc, nor was he the creator of a trillion suns incarnate as a man and born from a Virgin etc who came to offer himself as a sacrifice - to himself - for our sins so as to stop himself sending us to eternal torment because our first ancestors listened to a snake.

I looked at the astrological stuff yesterday and found it a bit overly complicated - some of it may be accurate, though you again seem to be over-stating a personal view somewhat - but I don't really think we need to get into all that to explain why it is a bad idea to religiously indoctrinate children. Certainly though religions contain much ancient mythological content that is not useful today as a way of running your life. If some of it was originally inspired by theories about the stars that is interesting, but not the crux of the issue. But it obviously interests you and this is your site, so that's fine. I think there is definitely something in the connection with the "death and rebirth" of the sun , even if just in the way pagan winter and spring festivals were high jacked for Christian purposes and made to link in with tales of Christ's birth and resurrection. Re the three magi  from the East (not called kings in the Bible), I personally would just see them as
 representing the way even non-Jews are supposed to worship Jesus.

Anyways, re the message of the site, as I say I totally agree with it. I agree with atheism (the not having a belief in God version, not "knowing" there is no God) for all the usual reasons and disagree with any religious indoctrination that then leaves you having to figure things out for yourself again much later and painfully reject things you were told were true. No traditional legends should be taught as total truth in a place supposedly devoted to educating young minds. It stands to reason. In my experience, I went to a private prep school with  headmaster who was a C of E priest and had daily prayers and was taught in RE Christianity was true. At my state secondary school we had regular vaguely Christian assemblies, and things like Christmas carol concerts, and I remember the Gideons were once allowed to come and tell us all to pray and read the Bible every day. In RE in the first few years we were taught about various religions, but for GCSE studies it was back to Christianity alone which it was pretty much assumed we would think it was true. I believe I think instead at all levels there should be teaching about all major religions as well as eg atheism and Humanism and major philosophies concerned with how to live your life and put it into context, such as Stoicism, Epicureanism and Existentialism. Above all none should be presented as "the" truth and kids should be encouraged to have opinions and to think for themselves.

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No name: 30/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                  My mum was a Sunday school teacher and I am an atheist.  I tech RE in school for the children's information and understanding of other religions and culture.  I teach it to hopefully reduce misunderstandings, not to convert.  Faith schools put the fear of God in me (literally).  Unfortunately, C of E schools make up a sizable part of Education in England, but have less impact on students than new ACADEMY style schools.  Yes to RE, No to new Faith schools.

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No name:30/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                  The Catholic view: We must teach children the Catholic version of religion in order that children do not grow up ignorant of totally worthless information. But we must not teach children about sex incase they find out about a vitally important subject. (Bigoted self-righteous idiots).

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No name: 29/10/2008:                                                                                                                                            Already, we've seen the ugly side of Islam in this country; just imagine what it could be like in 10-15 years time when these faith schools are pumping out all sorts of believers. Is our government concerned? No! - they just want the ability to push the god button. In other words, drive the unquestioning sheep to war for god and country.

Expect to see more religion and patriotic BS in the media.

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Ms D: 29/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                      Just come from the bus campaign.  I agree that religion should be for over 21 year old only, that would effect their numbers, those that have been baptised but don't attend but are still counted.  My catholic up bringing, has left me with a total disbelief in the male god/Jesus etc but a lingering belief in prayer and burning candles to female statues.  Please help others before they are infected.  think don't blindly believe.

Ms D

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Lucy: 29/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                           In response to: No name: 28/10/2008 - Oh dear!

Not all children are lucky enough to make it to adulthood before falling in to the clutches of some fundamentalist or cult like religion, many children in this country have the misfortune to be born in to one. 

You are correct, in the past the parents of these children did have to exclude their children from RE for the very reasons that you state but because we now have a policy of allowing faith schools it is no longer necessary.  They are now free to indoctrinate their children without fear they will receive any information that may cause them to question the faith chosen for them by their parents, and by their parents before them.

For stories of fundamentalism not hitting the headlines and information on the devastating consequences of such an upbringing to some, visit: www.peebs.net  

Lucy

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Notori: 29/10/2008: Re Ignatius for No name and Orlando:

The Catholic Church state Ignatius’ letters were written 110 CE and they explicitly refer to Jesus. But it is Eusebius who tells us when Ignatius lived, despite having no literature with which to base his date on; and we know from evidence that Eusebius was a compulsive liar and forger of facts in favour of creating false retrospective evidence for the existence of a literal Jesus. 

The dates given by the church via Eusebius for the life of Ignatius are: born 35 – 50 CE died 98 -117 CE.  

The myths also say Ignatius went by the name of Theophorus and he was one of the children who Jesus took into his arms and blessed.  

Did he now? Jesus is crucified at the age of 30 and was born in 4 BCE so he died in 26 CE. The earliest date of birth for Ignatius is 35 CE, 9 years after the character in the Jesus story dies! 

We have no idea when Ignatius actual wrote his work, and we only have Greek and Latin copies; if the original work referred to Christ in the Gnostic sense, how hard is it to place the word Jesus in front of the word Christ when making the copies?

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Orlando: 29/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                  You are now changing what you say on the site -- saying there are no "  biblical"  references to JC before 185ad. You claim on the site there were no references anywhere and he was invented then by Gnostics. Just because we may not have, as far as I know,  actual original documents dating from before that period it does not mean no references ever existed. Why do you assume that so-called apostolic fathers like Ignatius made no reference to him and imply any later copies of  letters by them mentioning him must be forgeries? You have no proof of this. Also, as I said, most scholars think most of Paul's letters are original, and they make references to Jesus Christ in many places -- like Romans 1 " this is the gospel concerning God's Son Jesus Christ who in terms of human nature was born a descendant of David and who, in terms of the Spirit and holiness was designated Son of God in power by resurrection from the dead." As I also said, Paul' s letters were - along with a version of Luke -- apparently included by Marcfion in his early stab at a New Testament canon in the middle of the 2ndC. Also Celsus, writing mid 2ndC criticising Christianity mocks Jesus for being a bastard and so on. If we say no evidence is acceptable unless we have the original first-edition documents along with full authentication of their exact date and authorship, then we might as well write off nearly all figures from ancient history as myths as well. I thoroughly agree there is very scanty information to go on about a historical Jesus and it is possible to make a case for him not being historical, however most scholars think he existed but the real figure had legends added onto him. The fact there are no reliable non-Christian writings about him from the 1st C is all one needs to say to prove he was probably not a very significant character and the gospels must be full of exaggerations and it cannot be true that the creator of the universe places paramount importance on us believing things about him. If you make assertions like " I know he w


PS re. the witches, I have never heard of people pulling off their genitals and nipples with pliers as a standard procedure. So as not to just seem like you are exaggerating a situation which was bad enough on the bare facts, it might be good to clarify exactly where this information comes from -- i.e. is this actually recommended in the malleus maleficarum? Perhaps you could quote a translated passage? And in what country and period did they actually do this? I am glad though that you do not repeat things like claims you see on the internet that about 8 million women were burned as witches for being independent minded feminists etc, whereas historians suggest in the whole period of witch hunts it was more like 30,000, some were men, most were hung nor burned and they were usually unpopular people accused by their own superstitious neighbours of harming their crops etc. 

PS Claiming JC was invented by Greek Jews in Alexandria is again to assume the writings of apostolic fathers and church fathers and of Paul and references to Marcion putting forward the gospels of Luke etc are all forgeries. The simple evidence suggests to me that Paul did exist, he did founded Christian churches around the Mediterranean in the 1st C, he did meet with people such as Peter and James "brother of the Lord" who were leaders of an early post-crucifixion church in Jerusalem etc. Probably all these people had had visions/hallucinations  of some kind and fervently wanted to believe their founder was still alive in some sense and coming back. We know from eg Pliny's letter to the Emperor Trajan in the early 2ndC that Christians existed and would meet on a certain day of the week to pray to Christ. Tacitus in 116ad says : "Christus, from whom the name (Christian) had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius."  Jesus was a very common name at that time and the fact it is the same as " Joshua" may just be a coincidence. Also if people were going to "invent" a Christ figure (or adapt a previously allegorical or legendary one), I can' t see why they would have him crucified by the Romans like a common criminal. I also can't see why Jews would invent an allegorical kind of Messiah, when the Jews were hoping for a flesh and blood messiah who would save them from the Romans and transform their world.

Orlando

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Alistair: 29/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                   Last person convicted of witchcraft was in 1944
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/campaign-to-clear-the-last-british-woman-convicted-of-witchcraft-485541.html
(We now have convenient new laws and would, presumably, prosecute her as a "terrorist")

As for RE lessons in school, I think we _have_ to teach (comparative) religion. Faith is becoming as important in the 21st Century as political ideology was in the last. We've got to give our children a grounding in what indoctrination (if you choose to use the term) others receive so that they can understand them. Otherwise we end up in the same divisive situation you want to avoid with Faith schools. By all means campaign for secular school assemblies (although I always enjoyed the singing) and non-partisan religious education lessons, but don't undermine education.

And, yes, I'm an atheist too and found RE dull at school. I also didn't particularly enjoy chemistry, but you don't want to ban that.

Alistair in London (land of bendy buses)

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Flipped: 29/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                       I, with many others spent their whole childhood in the care of the catholic church.  Anyone who had to resort to such levels of brutality and indoctrination and sexual abuse were not doing so in the name of any god but for their own political and financial ends.

What I would like to see are two things.  First teach the children all about religion, from it's beginning to its present day, how they have been used for political and financial ends to enrich those who claim to speak in "god's" name.  Secondly I'd like to see the Vatican turned into the world museum of human gullibility, to celebrate man's liberation from the vices of religious domination.

flipped

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Sarah C 29/10/2008: 

There seems some confusion here between the concepts of religious education and religious instruction?  Apologies if I've not read far enough back in the thread, but surely nobody is objecting to religious EDUCATION, in which kids learn about the evolution of our understanding of the world and the various belief systems that have occurred along the way.  It is religious INSTRUCTION, in which kids are told that system A or B is true, along with a heap of guilt-inducing crap designed for social control purposes involving rewards and punishments in afterlife, that is despicable and damaging. 

I came in here on the Atheist Bus - great site, great summary info on the astronomical origins of all theistic religions.  The coincidence that in English sun and son sound the same is just that, a coincidence, and has nothing to do with the accuracy of the information in general.

Cheers Sarah C

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No name: 28/08/2008:                                                                                                                                                  Just found a few very interesting websites:

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/  -- massive website with lots of interesting stuff.
http://www.bandoli.no/index.htm   -- has some very interesting info.
http://www.pocm.info/   -- Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth.


http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/   -- Annotated Skeptics Bible & Quran.
http://christianism.com/index.html  -- scholarship, blasphemy, heresy, history, etc.
http://www.luigicascioli.eu/en_argomenti_gesu_apostoli.htm

http://www.i4m.com/think/bible/jesus_evidence.htm  -- Examining All the Evidence for a Historical Jesus.

Enjoy!

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Mike: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                        Re Oh dear! 28/10/2008;

There are many people who believe, quite strongly, that astrologers can look at the stars each day and collating the planet and star positions with the date of your birth, proceeded to give advice on what is going to occur to you today. Do we feel the need to make children aware of these people and their views as part of the school curriculum? Do we feel the need to teach them about scientology? No. We do not because we accept that they are flawed theologies; as are all ancient religions, now hypocritically classed by the church as myths, and the 3 major current religions.

You use the term cult in a way that suggests it refers to non main stream religion. All religions with followings are cults; that includes Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Mike

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                  Oh dear!

Do you not realise that it is precisely the teaching of comparative religion in RE lessons that is leading the young to question religious teachings and move towards a secular approach to life and tolerance of others?  Shutting them away from the realities of what others believe is not the answer, far from it that's exactly what the religious do to protect their own viewpoint (you must note that the vast majority of children excluded from RE are those of deeply religious parents who view the idea that they will be taught about "other" views as likely to corrupt their child's mind).

The UK is unusual in the world, in most countries children will have the dominant religion rammed down their throat and be told all contrary views are wrong.  Here, by law, RE must teach about the wide differences between the world's religions.

All removing children from RE lessons will do is increase the chance that at a later date they will fall into the clutches of some religion, possibly fundamentalist or cult like, simply because they will have been deprived of the benefit of knowing how ridiculous religions are that comes only from comparing them.

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NOTORI:28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                      Many thanks for the comments today. They are very much appreciated.    

I need to iron out the issue with Sun and Son. The articles make no reference to there being a link to the word Son from the word Sun and does not intend to. When the article mentions Sun it refers to the solar sun, the Egyptian Sun God Ra. The latter religions attached this story to the birth of their God Childs. They shifted the emphasis from the solar entity to an allegorical human entity. the likeness of the word Sun and Son in English is purely coincidental.

Many thanks for all the input.

NOTORI

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Janet: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                     Very interesting stuff on the position of Orion, southern cross, and Sirius, but although in our language today "sun" sounds like "son", neither the Romans nor  the people (whoever they were) who wrote the gospels were likely to speak or write in English.  Does this similar sound of the words son and sun happen in Latin, Aramaic or Hebrew?  Don't get me wrong, I'd like it to work...
Janet

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                  On the Eucharist, Ignatius wrote in his letter to the Smyrnaeans:

“ Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                   As an ex-Catholic I know the danger of teaching religion as fact. I believed for years that my much loved protestant father was going to burn in hell. We had some real 'Hellfire & Damnation' Irish priests in my church. Really vile!!
I was also taught  Greek & Roman mythology at school, and of course, was told it was just stories but a little voice nagged me that there was'nt much difference between these and my R.I. lesson, just a few more gods.  So teach RI in this way,  purely as a way of understanding our culture & literature. If it is taught fully, instead of picking out the nice bits (all that blood & gore etc) it will put off more people than it converts.

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Marc: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                  Believing in a personal supernatural entity is indicative of failure to complete the psychological transition from childhood to adulthood. A personal supernatural entity serves to alleviate existential angst by playing the role of a super-parent figure who can provide comforting support in difficult times and who will provide a post death happy-ever-after retirement home. Clinging to this belief is simply a way of avoiding facing up the reality of the world that stares us all in the face every day. Believers are still psychologically marooned in a geocentric world that essentially is just a backdrop for human affairs. Belief is grounded in psychology and hence believers are prepared to abandon the world as it is revealed through the maturity of rational thinking and instead choose to embrace the comforting delusion of a childishly absurd fantasy world. It is a perverse irony that faith schools actively serve to hinder a child's passage to maturity.

Marc

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Malcolm:28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                     Hi Wonderful site.

I would love to distribute the posters around my village. Could you add what should be our next bus poster - Don't PRAY in my school and I promise I won't THINK in your church

Thanks for providing a voice of reason and sanity.

Have you been to these other links?

http://www.pledgebank.com/thoughtfortheday

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/

Go to this site for a dose of reason and sanity (note the article about the
atheist bus): http://www.randi.org/joom/ and this one to make your blood
pressure rise http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press109.html

Best regards
Malcolm

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John F: 28/10/2008:
Excellent and informative expose.

However, to avoid possible confusion arising from the current use of the term BCE, could I suggest we refer to that period before year '1' as 'ACE',  i.e. the 'Ante-Common Era'?

Ancient wonder at and worship of the seven heavenly bodies observed during the centuries of the ACE  continue to be reflected in the names of the week in modern French;   Lundi = Day of the Moon,  Mardi = Day of Mars,  Mercredi = Day of Mercury, Jeudi= Day of Jupiter, Vendredi= Day of Venus, Samedi= Day of Saturn, and then all we are left with is the Day of the Sun.

It is a shame that Christians are absolutely incapable of acknowledging that their preaching of 'beliefs' (as opposed to facts) is purely and simply indoctrination - let them keep it to themselves and keep religion out of schools for our children's sake.

John F

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                           Interesting thoughts on eye colour.

According to the Koran, you will see that it is not possible to be a Muslim if you have blue eyes:

And evil will be their burden on the day of Resurrection --  The day when the trumpet is blown; and We shall gather the guilty, blue-eyed, on that day,  20:101-102

Of course, not every translation will state this!

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Keith Templeman: 28/10/2008:    

                                                                                                                                   I am very sympathetic to your aims, but just because the English language has words for Son and Sun that are easily confused does not make your Egyptian explanation work - they certainly are nothing like the same in Greek or even Latin.

What your site does show anyone with an open mind is that all religions borrow supernatural ideas from each other and perpetuate the nonsense.

Regards

Keith Templeman
Buckingham

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                      I have been convinced for a long time that the astrological basis of the three Abramic religions is beyond doubt. Anyone with an open mind could see this. Unfortunately, most religious people are not open to reason.

One small point: whenever this astrological basis of religious belief is debated, speakers of English and several Germanic languages are struck by the resemblance of the words "son" and "sun". This apparent coincidence needs to be discussed because, clearly, it is easy to show that there is no linguistic connection between the concepts of "sun" and "son of god", however neat it might appear to English speakers. The juxtaposition of sun and son in English explanations of the astrological basis of Christianity can certainly confuse.

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Stephan: 28/10/2008: 

I have no problem with my children having religious education in school, and won't be asking for them to be withdrawn from lessons. I'll be raising them to be able to think critically, and work out the truth for themselves. Ignorance of religious beliefs will leave them unable to understand both sides of the argument, and . What I do strongly object to is any religious viewpoint being presented as fact. If children are taught that different people have different beliefs about different gods, devils, pixies or whatever, many of which directly conflict with each other, then the conclusion that there's no credible reason to believe in any of them is one that even a child can come to. I did.

I believe atheism should be included in the education with equal respect and validity to the alternatives; that lesson time should be kept to a minimum as to not take more time than necessary away from more important lessons; and that religion should play no part in school life outside of the RE classroom.

Stephan

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Heather E: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                          Delighted to learn about this site.
Hope you succeed in changing the situation.
As your last comment says, it is outrageous.
Heather E.

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                      I think RE would be OK as an academic subject if it could be taught neutrally, and covering a wide spread of beliefs, including Humanism/Atheism. After all it is an interesting subject and one that has had great impact on the world

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No name: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                           Another thing -- Ofsted inspectors are supposed to rate schools on how well they foster children's "spiritual" growth. This seems a very vague idea and seems to suggest promoting religion

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No name: 28/10/2008 :                                                                                                                                                     I disagree about the conclusions of Jesus being invented by Gnostics in 185ad, but agree with the general thrust of the site. I think you make the site's credibility less by making such assertions. Did you get the idea from The Jesus Mysteries? I found that book quite interesting, but it is a work of popular history and is not very scholarly.  For example, even though some Jesus Myth proponents claim Paul did not believe in Jesus as a historical figure I recently read through his letters and found numerous references which show he did, even though it is still surprising that he did not take more of an interest in him and his sayings and he was indeed much more interested in the risen saviour than the man who walked the Earth and taught - perhaps because he could claim to have "met" the risen version and could therefore talk about him authoritatively. Paul's letters are believed by most people to date from the mid 1st C, and at the very least they were included in Marcion's canon in the mid 2ndC. This collection also included a version of Luke. The date 185ad is notably as the time when Irenaeus rubber stamped the current New Testament canon.  Quite clearly then the Jesus figure was not just "being invented by Gnostics" around then. Also in the 2nd C Irenaeus and Justin Martyr strongly taught about the importance of believing Jesus had literally, physically risen from the dead as a precursor for what would happen to us all at the final judgment. Also Celsus, the 2nd C Pagan Critic, spoke about Jesus as historical, even if, for example, only to ridicule him by saying he was born from a relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier. It is true there is very little we can know for sure about the historical Jesus, but I think there was someone, just a rather minor figure on whom a lot of myths were grafted.

All this certainly does make it even more ridiculous that supposedly our whole "salvation" relies on believing things about him

Do they still have a requirement in UK schools to have an assembly of a "broadly Christian nature" very day? AS far as I know they do.  Also, someone said here that in RE kids are taught about different religions -- in my experience that was only in the first 2 or 3 years of secondary school, but for my GCSE course I had no option but to learn only about Christianity, and it was taught pretty much on the assumption it was true. That was in a normal state school not a faith one. So.... when you've got rid of the faith schools you can start on that kind of thing....

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Mike C: 28/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                     To "no name" 05/09/2008, specifically this statement: "RE teaches us about all the faiths." You say this as if it were a good thing. Having faith, in this context, merely means believing something without the existence of any evidence whatsoever. Faith is no different from believing in St. Nick, or Voodoo, or the tooth fairy. The really disturbing part of faith is that you're supposed to outgrow belief in things like this. Yet a frightening large number of adults actually believe in these fairy  tales. As we age, we grow physically and, supposedly, learn to think rationally. Having faith in a Jesus or a god or whatever ghost you choose is clear proof that thinking, real thinking, has been suspended. Just look at all the faiths in the world. They all believe something different. Even among Christian faiths, there are differences in the major tenets and in what the preacher decides to spew each weekend. But, they can't all be referring to the same god. If they were, and their tenets were based on what he or she wanted, they would all be the same. The fact that they are all different means, in short, that they are made up. Either that or only one is actually right. Unfortunately, those subscribing to a faith believe that theirs and only theirs is the correct one. That is, until they decide to switch to a different faith and then the new one becomes the correct one. The kindest thing I can say is that it is utter nonsense. As long as there is religion, we should suspend referring to our species as Homo sapiens.  Mike C.

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No Name: 27/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                   A study set up in 1985 by scholars and intellectuals from related fields, assumed that Jesus existed as an historical figure. The study found that a massive 82% of the words attributed to Jesus are fiction - that's a massive part of the NT for the bin. The remaining words could belong to some guy named Jesus. However, they could also belong to any cult member or leader. Now, a new study named the Jesus Project is underway. This study is attempting to find whether Jesus existed as an historical figure. Even if it does conclude he existed, the majority of nonsense surrounding the character has already been demolished. Much has been plagiarized from various pagan religions - in the same way early Judaism plagiarized the creation myth and other stories from assimilated pagan cultures.

Even without these studies, anyone with sense knows that Zombies don't crawl out of their graves and walk around greeting people. Anyone with sense also knows that men don't fly off like superman after being resurrected.  Christians - in this day and age - expect sane, educated people to believe that junk. The mind boggles!

I'm amazed that Christianity has been around for as long as it has. But then, Christians did spend more than 1500 years imprisoning, censoring and executing anyone who could see through their nonsense.

I think just for the horrendous history alone, this religion deserves no respect. In fact, it should be frowned upon in the same way people frown upon the Nazis. Its Swastika (crucifix) should be viewed as a symbol of hate and disgust.

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Barry 26/10/2008:
Interesting site and well done on going active with the leaflets. We rational thinkers need to keep speaking out if we are to keep this country at the fore-front of societies that refuse to be controlled by the unthinking minority. It's marvellous that we have politicians who increasingly realise that they can go public about their atheism and not wreck their chances of success. Compare this with America, where being a creationist vice-presidential candidate is regarded as an advantage.
You are right to campaign against faith schools and faith in schools. I have a colleague, a Head of Physics, who will teach the empirically supported version of the universe's beginning but will end the lesson with: "I believe in an alternative version, known as creation." He then produces this 'alternative.' Marvellously, the students describe him as 'nuts' because of this. Even so, it shouldn't occur in a science lab, or in a school at all.
Keep up the good work.

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Rob 26/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                               I support the aims of this site. 

I should like to add that if you are going to include comments such as "Recent polls and surveys show" then it would be useful if you could name the polls and surveys and perhaps even link to them... after all, I'm sure you'll agree that making unsubstantiated claims should be left to the Religious Indoctrinators.

Rob:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi rob, NOTORI here: Many thanks for the post,

 here is the  link:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/dec/23/religion.topstories3   

Slight slip by me. the poll says 82% say religion does more harm than good. not 85%. Whoops, we have amended the site.

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Jim Childs:26/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                 Oh my word, I've been looking this stuff up on the internet. Not only does it appear to be correct, it seems the Church authorities are well aware that it is correct. That makes religious education outrageous.

Jim Childs

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Mike:26/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                               Hi DJ           

I like the comment, welcome to the debate.I have to take issue on the Josephus point though. The passage you refer to “Testimonium Flavianum” is only proof that Jesus existed if you accept that it was actually written by Josephus at time he wrote the Jewish Antiquates around 90 CE. I have reproduced the paragraph below. 

Jewish Antiquities 18.3.3:“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day”. 

This passage is now widely accepted by scholars as a later addition by Roman monks circa 150 to 185 CE who recopied Josephus’ work. An addition intended to place the fictitious Christ character into the past and portray him as a literal historic figure.  

Consider, in one small paragraph from an epic work we seem to be able to confirm the Birth, life, ministry, miracles, trial, Pontius Pilate, crucifixion and resurrection. That’s the whole story, and very unlikely to have been condensed in this way; unless it was an insertion intended to be used as retrospective confirmation. 

Also it is paragraph 18.3.3. But 18.3.2 and 18.3.4 quite clearly follow each other and have obviously had the Jesus paragraph instead between them. Try reading 18.3.2 followed by 18.3.4 for yourself and you will see the point being made.

Lastly, the passage is a complete rework of Luke 24: 19 – 27: 

I’m afraid I’m with Notori on this one. There is no non biblical reference to a character called Jesus Christ pre 150 CE.

Mike

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DJ: 25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                             Hi Notori,

Good to see some discussion about these issues.

I think that if you want to convince people of what you are saying, you will have to take out some of the stuff that those of us who have investigated these things can instantly see is unscientific. The thing about Jesus being copied from elsewhere ignores the several sources (such as Josephus) that prove quite conclusively that Jesus did exist, that he did have followers and did cause a stir. Similarly, Mike below makes a rash statement about the complete new testament being fiction, which suggests that he hasn't looked too far into it. Kick out these own goals, and you'll be better off.

To work out whether Jesus is genuine or not, you'd have to accept that he existed, but then look at what he claimed about himself.

It's interesting to see your reactions to Christians, because I know quite a few, and they are some of the most trustworthy people I know and also deep thinkers. They would say that they have to be free thinkers to follow their God in a world that makes so many secular assumptions.

As for school worship, I wouldn't worry about it too much - it probably does the church more harm than good. It certainly didn't excite me as a kid!

I'll come back to your site.
DJ

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No Name: 25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                             Good luck and thanks for your work.

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No Name: 25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                       Interesting "Real truth" - whilst I can appreciate most of your points and to a certain degree concur, the final one (Crux having the same arc as the Sun) I cannot find any corroborative evidence for this to be true.

However, on the big point, religion should not be indoctrinated into our children.  Give them the skills to make an informed decision of their own, and if they find a need of a fairy godmother then let them have one.

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No name: 25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                 WE MUST DO ALL WE CAN TO STOP SCHOOLS IMPLANTING THE RELIGION VIRUS IN THE BRAINS OF OUR VULNERABLE CHILDREN

WITH OR WITHOUT RELIGION YOU’D HAVE GOOD PEOPLE DOING GOOD THINGS AND EVIL PEOPLE DOING EVIL THINGS. BUT FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO EVIL THINGS, IT TAKES RELIGION.

NOW LET'S GET RELIGION OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS. Donate here to support those working hard for what you believe in: http://www.justgiving.com/faithschools

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No name: 25/10/2008:

The Inquisition still exists today, but it has been rebranded as the 'Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith'. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_for_the_Doctrine_of_the_Faith

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Anna: 25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                            I love your cause
Anna

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Joe: 25/10/2008:

Interesting site - I've heard some of the historical arguments  before, and it surprises me this stuff isn't more well known.

I noticed the bit about leaflets in Hertford, where I live. Would be interested to meet up sometime for a beer (I've got a feeling we must have already met though, Hertford's not that big!).

The website could be a bit clearer in places - I'd be happy to provide some input on this.

Best regards
Joe

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Nick:25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                              I saw your site, having seen your donation on the Atheist Bus Ads donation page.  Power to your elbow!                      Have you seen www.thinkhumanism.com and www.humanism.org.uk The first is a great social site for freethinkers and others, the second is actively campaigning against religious indoctrination.                                                                       Sorry if I'm, as it were, preaching to the converted. ;-)                                                                                                   Kind regards                                                                                                                                                                 Nick

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Peter 25/10/2008:                                                                                                                                                      While travelling in Thailand, I learned a little about the life of the Buddha and was shocked by the familiarity of the story. Here are the main points:

1. He was born while his mother was travelling to her home town.
2. He was conceived without the conventional involvement of his earthly "father".
3. He was descended from a royal lineage.
4. Signs in the sky marked his birth.
5. Wise men visited his birth and brought valuable gifts
6. A king considered killing him as an infant
7. As a child, he debated with and impressed the elders
8. After fasting many weeks, he was tempted by the evil one, but resisted
9. He had a devout group of several disciples
10. He fed a large group of people with just a few pieces of food
11. One of his followers walked on water to meet him, but started to sink when he started to doubt.
12. He was transfigured while on top of a mount
13. After his time on Earth, he ascended into .... Nirvana !!

The Christian story is such a clear case of plagiarism - the Buddhists should sue.

Peter

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Richard: 25/10/2008                                                                                                                                          Interesting, if slightly weird, site. The pages on the Inquisition and Witches were good, but too brief and left me wanting to read more about this awful history.

Information for children at school about various religions is important, but the beliefs should not be taught as "fact". There should certainly be no compulsory singing of dirges and muttering of magic spells, which is what I was forced to do at school during the sixties. For years, I thought there was something wrong with me because I saw and heard nothing when I closed my eyes to pray to our teacher's god.

Children should be taught to respect other peoples' beliefs, and always show toleration (except for intolerance itself).

Good luck with this website. Richard, UK

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No Name: 24/10/2008                                                                                                                                              Plenty of food for thought. A hint of some unjustified speculation in places, although any explanation of the Xtian myth is as good as any other.

I particularly enjoyed the allegory of the eye-colour-based school. I'll send that link to a few people.

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No Name: 24/10/2008                                                                                                                                          Couldn't agree more. We need to teach our children truths not fantasies. Teach the truth about all religions and children will soon see that they all rely on faith not fact to hold them up, and faith is the refuge of the hard of thinking.

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No name: 24/10/2008                                                                                                                                           Religious education should be taught in school. Know thine enemy.

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David 24/10/2008                                                                                                                                                             I am an atheist, but I think that religious education is vitally important (given that religious divides are the greatest danger we face as a society). It needs to be taught as a component of critical thinking.
The legal requirement for a daily act of worship in state schools (not just faith ones) is shocking.
David Vale

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Paul: 23/10/2008                                                                                                                                                   Anything which invites discussion and reasonable questioning of religion will undoubtedly eventually cause its downfall - the operative word being "reasonable". Keep it up! Paul

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No name: 15/09/08                                                                                                                                                     Very Nice Site! Thanx!

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No name: 09/09/2008                                                                                                                                                       I do not believe that religion should be taught to young children. In my experience, most adults choose not to attend regular religious gatherings, if they have not been compelled to as children.

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Mike: 06/09/2008                                                                                                                                                        We know that civilisation started in Mesopotamia followed by Egypt. We also know there are rafts of Mesopotamian and Egyptian creation myths which all involve multiple gods (polytheistic) and describe similar events in the rise of human civilisation.

If we really study the Old Testament, rather than just read and believe it, we can see page by page, chapter by chapter, from the first to last paragraph, a complete retelling of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian creation myths. 

The morphing process is also easy to spot. In every story, the events and ideas are lifted directly and the scene converted from a polytheistic story to a monotheistic one by labelling the chief deity of the story as God and changing all other deities in to either humans, animals, places or things such as rivers or mountains etc.  

Why do the religious followers of today not accept this? That’s simple.  

Devout people are devout because of either: duress, imitation or choice; whereas atheists are atheist by choice. Devout people will not study any text but their own doctrines out of fear of reprisal and punishment from their own kind or, to protect themselves from self imposed embarrassment should they read something that proves the theology the hold so dear is flawed. 

For us atheists we suffer no such handicap, we can, and do, read the Torah, the New Testament, The Koran, The Dead sea scrolls, The Gnostics texts of the Nag Hammadi library, The ancient texts of Egypt and the ancient texts of Mesopotamia. 

From a fully informed point of view we can confirm the Old and New Testaments are both complete fictitious plagiarisms of the myths and fables from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. 

The devout of this world really do need to take off their gigantic blinkers, step out of their narrow corridor and read each others texts, along with the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian texts. Then, and only then, the whole world would realise that all religious belief is complete and utter bull.

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No name: 05/09/2008                                                                                                                                                       I agree with the sentiment regarding keeping RE out of politics and work, but religion IS important in schools so kids can make informed decisions.  RE teaches us about all the faiths.  Fortunately we live in a country where we can choose to ignore or adopt a religious belief, and until something better comes along... 

You may not go to Church or watch songs of praise, but who do you turn to when a relative dies?  I can say I'm very grateful for a bit of spiritualism once in a while.

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No name: 05/09/2008                                                                                                                                               thanks for posting this right wing #### through my letterbox.  This type of cynical rubbish plays no part in our civilised society.

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Jesus2020.com: 05/09/2008                                                                                                                                    Notori,

Hi, my name is Janelle. Thank you for visiting our jesus2020.com web site.

As far as "indoctrinating children" goes, this is not something that I or the other Christians that I spend time with are a part of.  It is also not something that happens at the church I attend.  You may have seen it happen somewhere or feel that it happens somewhere, but it does not happen with those that I fellowship with.  We give our children the opportunity to know about God and Jesus Christ and help them to learn how to be good respectful people.  We want our children to know they are loved by us as well as Jesus.  A child within the church that I attend is able to learn about all kinds of different things so that when they are an adult they can make their own choices.  Indoctrination is not a part of my church.  I am sorry that you feel the way you do and that you have grouped all Christians into something negative.  I am a good Christian who loves the Lord and prays for those to also know His love and kindness.  I pray for adults and children to feel a faith that will give them strength to face a negative world.  I also will pray for you.  I pray that you will find what you need to lighten your heart.

I appreciate your desire to investigate the claims of Christ. This is definitely not a decision to be taken lightly, and if there is anything I can help you with on your spiritual journey, please let me know. My hope and prayer for you is that you will experience God’s peace and plan for your life.

In your spiritual search for significance, consider asking God this prayer…”God, I don’t fully understand Your character or how to relate to You. Will You please reveal Yourself to me, so I can discover and experience who You are and the eternal security You alone offer?”

Christianity, unlike all other religions, is developing a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. In order to have a relationship with God, you need to understand four principles that govern your relationship with God. Go to www.4laws.com to see these principles, in almost any language you want.

Here are a couple of web sites that do an excellent job of describing Christianity and the claims of Christ...
- www.JesusFactOrFiction.com is a series of excellent multi-media presentations from notable sources exploring the life and claims of Jesus.
- www.WhoIsJesus-Really.com is translated in multiple languages and explains the life of Jesus, the miracles he performed, what others said about Him, how He has influenced the world and what all this means to you.
- Another great resource for you in finding answers to many puzzling spiritual questions is found at www.gotquestions.org/search.html
Please let me know how I can help you in your search for the truth.

Sincerely,
Janelle

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Andrew Milner: 03/08/2008                                                                                                                                        Can we honestly hope to get future generations of teenagers to mix, while we create more and more segregation of children in school based on their parent’s religious belief?

We need to wake up; we know that some of these Faith Schools preach supremacy of belief and separatism.

We are headed for the UK becoming another Middle East!

Andrew Milner

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Steve: 02/09/08                                                                                                                                                                I whole-heartedly agree: religion should play no part in politics or the education of our children.  The fact that religious education is optional in our schools is not something I was aware of.  One of my children has just had to sit a GSCE in the subject, not optional, or so we were led to believe by the school.

The chapter on Astro-Maths is fascinating; you’ve definitely got my attention and I’d like to hear more.

Incidentally, if anyone thinks your leaflet might scare children perhaps they should educate themselves about what some religions actually do fill the minds of vulnerable children with.  Now that is scary!!

Steve

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Name withheld at posters request: 30/08/08                                                                                                      Teaching our children about God, in whatever form is our prerogative. Content such as this leaflet and website is not helpful!

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Sid: 30/08/08                                                                                                                                                                 The truth has finally surfaced without being anti this or anti that. Children should be free of all brain washing ideas from those who think they know best. At the end of the day religion is and will be the end of all life unless we stop trying to force what some of us believe on the innocents.....

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Ed: 29/08/08                                                                                                                                                      Absolutely, about time our government put it to the people. No Religion in School, Politics or Work.

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