O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


Consider Humanism: The Atheist Ad Campaign

posted by Jason Boyett

Most of you probably didn’t have this on your calendars or anything, but today marks the launch date of the biggest atheist ad campaign in history. Why do I care? Because I’m in the advertising industry, for one thing. Also because I enjoy creating dialogue between Christians and atheists, and because I like ads that are educational and promote critical thinking.

This ad campaign seems to hit those buttons pretty hard.

First, some background. The campaign is backed by the American Humanist Association. It’ll feature a TV spot during Dateline NBC on Friday, billboards and bus ads in selected markets across the country, cable TV ads, magazine ads in Reason and The Progressive, and newspaper ads in USA Today, the Village Voice, and the Seattle Times.

The purpose of the ads, according to a press release, is to demonstrate “that secular humanist values are consistent with
mainstream America and that fundamentalist religion has no right to
claim the moral high ground.”

Take a look:

ad_Punishment.jpg

ad_Violence.jpg

ad_Women.jpg

The campaign takes some of the less savory parts of The Bible and the Quran and compares them with reasonable, compassionate quotes from prominent humanists. That’s a great advertising technique, of course, but doesn’t do much to prove anything one way or another (Christians could create a similar ad, of course, using a “love your neighbor” quote from Jesus and contrasting it with something awful from Stalin).

When you get to pick and choose, you can always pick and choose stuff to support your cause. Christians do that with the Bible all the time, and so do atheists or humanists.

But as “Friendly Atheist” Hemant Mehta points out, it’s not like anyone expects to encounter a lot of Christians who really believe that we should go around killing the children of Samaria, just because Hosea prophesied that warning in the Old Testament. But that’s also the point of the ads: that there are some ugly things in our sacred texts, and it’s impossible in many cases to take a literal or fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

The press release quotes Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association:

“It’s important that people recognize that a literal reading of
religious texts is completely out of touch with mainstream America…Although religious texts can teach good lessons, they
also advocate fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance. It’s time for all
moderate people to stand up against conservative religion’s claim on a
moral monopoly.”

The organization hopes the ads will encourage people to see that “regular people” have more in common with secular humanists than with religious fundamentalists. Their hope is that people will realize they already adhere to humanist values like love, equality, peace, and reason — values that aren’t always apparent in religious texts.

You can find out more about the ads at the Consider Humanism website, including some of the video ads.

In the meantime, what do you think?

If you are a Christian, what’s your response to the ads? Are they fair?

If you are a non-believer, what’s your take on the ads? Are they as effective as you’d like?

Do you think they will make any difference one way or another?

  



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Broc Carter

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm


Interesting. The scripture form 1 timothy is taken way out of context. It’s referring to they way the old churches were built. The men and women sat on different levels, and the women would call down to their husbands if they couldn’t hear what the speaker said. It’s not meant to be a sexist remark, but rather a remark that has needed context. I do think we as the “church” have done this to ourselves. We have made Christianity so unappealing through judgemental statements, that it has done nothing but reflect poorly on who God really is. We make God out to be this horrible slave master, when in actuality it’s quite the opposite. I applaud you for posting this. We have to know what people think so we can change the perception through love.



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Alise

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:03 pm


I wouldn’t say that I’m opposed to the ads, but I’m not sure they’re really “fair.” But as you stated, that’s pretty much the point of advertising. It doesn’t really HAVE to play fair.
I’m glad they’re doing it in so much as no group should be marginalized and atheists are definitely marginalized. Admitting that you’re an atheist (not just a “none”) is not easy to do. And while it might seem counter-intuitive to support something that makes it easier to be an atheist, it just seems to me that anything that allows people to be more honest about who they are is a positive thing. We can’t have real conversations if we can’t talk openly about what we believe/don’t believe.



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David Morton

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm


No, they’re not particularly fair. Taking bits and pieces out of any religious text out of context doesn’t properly represent anybody. Partial quotes are misquotes. Plain and simple.
That being said, I don’t think they’ll be particularly effective in swaying people one way or another. They’re targeted towards publications that are pretty much already targeted at people who feel this way. They’re preaching to the choir.
Finally, there’s the fact that God is sovereign, and chooses who he will. I don’t think a couple of anti-religion ads are really going to change things too much.
If there’s one thing I hope they _do_ do, it’s to knock the Christians of America into realizing that there are those who will do what they can to destroy the credibility of our faith. I hope that realization sends Christians back to the Bible to understand what the Bible says about _itself_, versus our current, too often cultural Christianity that we seem to be so stuck on right now.



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April

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm


Broc–I’ve heard that argument about women being quiet in church several times before, but I’ve never heard a source. Can you tell me where you got this information? Not being antagonistic–just honestly wanting to get to the bottom of it. Didn’t the early Christians meet in homes?



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Broc Carter

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Josh

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm


If you are a Christian, what’s your response to the ads? Are they fair?
- About as fair as 90% of the political campaign ads we’ve seen the last few months. And about as “truthy”.
As far as saying that religion can’t claim moral high ground, until humanism can claim anything other than materialism and relative truth it doesn’t matter. If your universe doesn’t hold morality as intrinsic, you can’t claim moral high ground because there is no absolute truth in morality.
Do you think they will make any difference one way or another?
- They’ll get a ton of press, the media is going to pick mega-church pastors and Joel Osteen’s to represent faith and they’re going to be as religiously one-sided as they’ve been for a while now.



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Danny Bixby

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm


I kinda like the ads. Strange enough to say. But I find that as the “type” of Christian that I am, I feel I have more in common with secular humanists than I do christian fundamentalists. Except for the whole “believing in Jesus” thing…which is pretty darn important.
And I’ve known a few good friends who consider themselves both humanists and followers of Christ. People who were brought up in fundamentalist households, abandoned faith, discovered a world “larger than themselves” through secular humanism, and bridged back into Christianity. An untraveled road, maybe…but still :)
@ April, yep the early Christians met in homes. But not only in homes. Many also continued to meet in Jewish synagogues or in larger group settings. That may be what Broc is talking about. I bet Jason could shed some info…he’s all into history.



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Rose

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm


Myopia disguised as equanimity. Party line. Nothing to see here.



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Josh

posted November 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm


Not only are they not fair, they’re lame. Those viewpoints have been debunked so many times by VERY smart theologians that it’s almost funny that atheists still use them. The reasoning is terrible, the logic inconsistent and oftentimes just plain bad. I mean, really? Out of context quotes from the Bible? Come on, let’s move past the Richard Dawkins/New Atheist idea of “God doesn’t line up with human ideas, and we can’t fit him into our box, so He doesn’t exist!” and acknowledge, like Thomas Nagel did, that the real idea of atheism is that they simply don’t want a God. All the rest of it is just smoke, mirrors and poor attempts at trying to discredit Christianity.
There is absolutely no way to discredit the faith with logic, philosophy or anything of the sort. Period. It cannot be done. My goodness, read Mere Christianity or anything by Ravi Zacharia. I wonder how atheism even exists after reading the absolutely destructive arguments those two guys bring against it.
In conclusion: atheists, learn your theology, study the Bible, stop pulling random quotes and trying to discredit the Faith with them and then get back to me.



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Donnie

posted November 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm


“Taking bits and pieces out of any religious text out of context doesn’t properly represent anybody.”
Very true, and not only done by atheists. I can’t even count the number of times that the Qu’ran has been quoted by people who claim to be Christians without any context at all to prove that all Muslims should be feared and not trusted.
My mother-in-law went to a Baptist church here in suburban Dallas that admonished the women not to speak in church, but I certainly wouldn’t paint all Christians (or even all Baptists) with that same sort of fundamentalist streak.
But some of us are certainly ready to paint all Muslims with such a brush.



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Thunder

posted November 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm


@Josh . . .
Really? “Those viewpoints have been debunked so many times by VERY smart theologians . . . ” maybe by Theologins . . but what about the religious sheep that follow? Consider this:
http://www.juancole.com/2010/11/energy-committee-chairman-candidate-says-god-promised-no-more-catastrophic-climate-change-after-noah.html?rainbow
Some people take EVERY word in their holy texts at face value.



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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted November 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm


If they wanted to start a legitimate conversation they shouldn’t have picked on the fundamentalists – I think everyone sees how outrageous they are.



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Josh

posted November 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm


@ Thunder: Hence why I said Smarth Theologians, guys who know their stuff. Of course there is the lunatic fringe, as there is with anything. But brilliant, respectable guys like Ravi Zacharais are who I was talking about.



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MARTIN S.

posted November 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm


I have considered humanism.
It has not improved the
condition or welfare of
humanity!!



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Andrew C

posted November 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm


Martin S., has it not? Really? Would you like to return to the theocracy of the middle ages when Europeans were subject to, among a multitude other maladies, slow and painful death by the Black Death? Or the 1800s when tuberculosis was a common death sentence? What ended those hardships? Divine revelation? Hardly. The answer is science. Would you like to give up your phone, your car, your house? Your bank account, your abundance of food, your medical treatments? None of these things would be available without scientific progress, which has time and time again been stalled by religious backlash. Not to say that religious persons have never furthered human progress, but in many such incidences they were going against some part or another of their faiths, whether they acknowledged their transgressions or not. Many of you say “but everyone knows the fundies are crazy!” but in reality, they are the ones who are following their respective texts as intended. You know they are crazy because you have progressed morally past the teachings of the Bible. As soon as you discredit any part of the Bible, you forfeit inerrancy and with it any reason whatsoever for being faithful to the book. Yet fear keeps you tied down to the superstition.
***You may completely disagree with me and discount everything I’ve said thus far as the ravings of someone angry with God. There’s nothing I can do about that. But please, please hear me out when I say that there is no reason to fear. The finality of death need not frighten you. Life is capable of meaning in its own right. There are numerous accessible sources that expound upon that idea. I entreat you to simply consider it.
The bottom line is this: there is absolutely no evidence of God’s existence, and quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. The secular life is so fulfilling- I say much more so than a life enslaved by faith.
And as a footnote, I’d like to add that the vast majority of my friends are persons of faith, and that I respect them and love them with everything I am.



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Josh

posted November 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm


@ Andrew C
First off, that didn’t sound like raving ;)I love it when someone brings up good talking/thinking points about the Faith, and even more when they’re well spoken about it like you were.
I’d like to hear what you’d say to someone like me, who doesn’t discredit a single thing the Bible says, follows it as it is intended (to the best of my frail human ability;) and is not a “fundy,” as seems to be the popular term. I’m also curious to hear how the secular life is as fulfilling or moreso than one of faith.
For the record, I’m a science and history buff. You certainly won’t find an opponent of brilliant men of science of past eras here.



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Christian friends

posted November 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm


I cut a portion of what you said above because i would to comment on it, here it goes “…Although religious texts can teach good lessons, they also advocate fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance. It’s time for all moderate people to stand up against conservative religion’s claim on a moral monopoly.””
You mean atheist/humanist find few verses in the bible fearful? justto share with you, mine is different… I find peace from my relationship with God, Jesus…and in reading, meditating and applying His word. I suggest we meditate on these verses and find out what’s missing in a person’s life…a relationship with JESUS
( John 5:39-40 says you diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures hat testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. James 2:19 you believe that there is one God. Good! even the demons believe that- and shudder. )People may read the Word of God, but without Jesus in their hearts…due to ignorance, sometime pride or by choice because people know exactly that to follow Jesus would mean not gratifying the flesh…but know what? Jesus is a very gracious God. He loves us all, He loves you and He died for you.we can enjoy life with HIM today and for eternity. Jesus loves you…



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Christian friends

posted November 9, 2010 at 10:05 pm


I cut a portion of what you said above because i want to comment on it, here it goes “…Although religious texts can teach good lessons, they also advocate fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance.”
Oh You mean atheist/humanist find few verses in the bible fearful? just to share with you, mine is different… I find peace from my relationship with God, Jesus…and in reading, meditating and applying His word. I suggest we meditate on these verses ( John 5:39-40 says you diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures hat testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. James 2:19 you believe that there is one God. Good! even the demons believe that- and shudder. )and find out what’s missing in a person’s life…a relationship with JESUS! YOu see people may read the Word of God, but without Jesus in their hearts…due to ignorance, sometimes pride or by choice because people know exactly that to follow Jesus would mean not gratifying the flesh…they still cannot understand. But know what? Jesus is a very gracious God. He loves us all, He loves you and He died for you.we can enjoy life with HIM today and for eternity. Jesus loves you…



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Andrew C

posted November 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm


@ Josh
I am very honored to receive such compliments from an opponent! I always love it when someone is able to distinguish between dissent and personal attack.
And I must say that I’m curious as to how you reconcile such stories as, say, that of Adam and Eve with the fossil record- apparently Adam interacted with “every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air” while in the garden, but we know that humans and (cliché incoming) dinosaurs never coexisted. If you do not interpret the story literally, then I see no basis for the concept of original sin, and thus Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was meaningless. And what of the passages involving slavery, as quoted in one of the ads above? If you use the explanation that slavery was simply inextricable from the culture of the original composers of the Bible, then you imply that the book does not transcend the time and place of its origins. How could a divinely-inspired text fail to do so? One should think that God would not give in to societal pressure or cater to what was convenient for his chosen people.
But just in case I missed the point or something, it’d be very helpful if you could name an instance in which you interpret the Bible in a manner contrary to the mainstream (ie. addressing Biblical ideas glossed over by most) but your belief does not lead to what would normally be considered reactionary behaviors or attitudes.
As a gay individual, I find it very liberating to simply build a code of morality using reason and intellect, rather than trying to rely on the Bible’s teachings, which would have me believe that having sex with a man is despicable in the eyes of the creator. Some endorse much more lenient interpretations, but I have never come across a satisfying interpretation that took hatred of men who have sex with men fully out of the equation (and regardless, people use said passages of the Bible to legitimize their own bigotry). I find that I value life more than I would if I believed that it was just some sort of prologue to the main event. I also believe that the religious mindset propagates a complacent attitude toward ignorance in general- “we don’t know, so it must just be supernatural, and we aren’t meant to understand,” instead of “why don’t we learn more about that and see where the understanding takes us?” The second line of thought often leads to a chain reaction that improves the human condition in astounding ways. I also feel like I have a heightened sense of wonder toward the universe- I can’t really explain this, however. Somehow the lack of a designer makes me appreciate all the beauty and all the goodness that much more.
I hope my responses were satisfactory! :)



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Josh

posted November 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm


To address the first part of your comment: I’m not a paleontologist or archaeologist, so honestly (and excuse my ignorance)I do take most of that on faith ;) There are parts of the Bible that I would say were purposefully not meant to be taken literally; various books of poetry and imagery come to mine. I’m not a literal 7 day creationist; I hold to the more popular 13.7-15 bilion year age of the universe. I know that’s not a good answer, but I generally hold that God was trying to get across the point of His grandeur, rather than provide a scientific textbook. I think he left that for the scientists. ;) Stephen Hawking and Timothy Ferris happen to be two of my favorites in that area, and neither are Christians ;)
Slavery. That’s a tricky one, for sure. The general answer is that it was in fact simply a part of the culture. It was acknowledged by God and rules were set down for it without Him saying “Yes,” or “No” one way or the other. Think of it less as God giving in to society and more of God working with what He had. Plus, slavery was generally not the whole “beating with whips” concept we usually think of today (though it certainly was known to happen in that way.) Employment is a better term, I think. Regardless, God was not limited in any way. He CHOSE to work with what was available, much like you choose to work with what you have when you build a table or paint a picture.
With regard to gay activity, here’s where many Christians have absolutely, completely and without excuse dropped the ball. The way people of that lifestyle are treated by the majority of the Church sickens me. I truly apologize of you have experienced any of that, from the bottom of my heart. Here’s the deal (forgive my honesty and remember, nothing personal here;): I do not agree with your lifestyle. That said, I do not think of you any less. It is a sin…and I indulge in sin every day. I’m on the same fallen level as you and vice versa. “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” is an oft-quoted maxim, and it is true. God does not find YOU abominable, nor do I. God loves you as much as he loves me, Billy Graham and anyone else in the world. I disagree with your choice in that area. I do not hate, think less of, or condone any mistreating of anyone of that sway for that reason. That is as unbiblical as it gets.
With regard to the supernatural/religious mindset: I agree with you. A complacent mindset is the worst thing anyone can have. However…I think there’s fewer Christians like that than you think there are. St. Augustine, for example. One of the most revered men in history, a staunch believer…and relativity theorist (of a kind;), in the 4th century. Ignorance is not as prevalent a disease in the Christian camp as one might suppose.
Here’s hopin I made sense to someone besides myself :p It’s past my bedtime, so forgive any goofy errors on my part.



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Friendship Bear

posted November 10, 2010 at 9:59 am


“(Christians could create a similar ad, of course, using a “love your neighbor” quote from Jesus and contrasting it with something awful from Stalin)”
This is true in that Christians could do this but the analogy would fall flat. First: because Stalin was not a humanist as evidenced by the atrocities that he committed against humanity.
Second: The fact that you can quote from religious texts both moral and immoral statements is exactly the point. That people are using their own “humanist” morality to discern which sections of the “sacred” texts provide a relevant moral framework shows that the texts are null when it comes to morality.
Humanist philosophy suggests that we take with open discussion all sources moral philosophy from the Quran to Kant, and examine the best possible way to apply these philosophy’s to our human existence.



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Andrew C

posted November 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm


I don’t think such vast passages of the Bible could be interpreted so loosely without compromising the credibility of the book. If you can just interpret things ever more loosely as you see fit, where’s the line that prevents one from interpreting the God of the bible as a common ideal of sorts, rather than an actual extant being? And, as I mentioned earlier, the story of Adam and Eve in its literal interpretation is really the keystone of the Christian faith- Jesus was offered as sacrifice for and savior from the original sin that entered humanity when Eve ate of the forbidden fruit (don’t even get me started on that story- the couple was not intellectually qualified enough for God to expect them to resist the serpent’s temptation- there was nothing they could have done. They were doomed from the start and could not have been held accountable. Furthermore, it is hardly just for the entirety of humanity to be punished for the actions of Adam and Eve. Deut. 24:16 – “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”)
I cannot imagine why God would settle upon working with what he had when he vehemently attacked other features of the cultures that came in contact with the ancient Jews. For example, the “homosexuality” mentioned by Jesus was most likely pederasty (similar to apprenticeship, but with a sexual component), practiced by the ancient Greeks. God, through Jesus, made it clear that this was sin (see I Corinthians 6:9, among others). Yet in the Old Testament God issues this decree: “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.” (Exodus 21:20-21) Americans who followed such a moral code would be considered lunatic today. Yet there are those that claim that not only is the Bible a valid source of moral guidance, but the ONLY valid source, the ABSOLUTE source.
And I appreciate you honesty, but I can be nothing but offended when the way I love is considered sin. Think about that. You are placing the way I know to love others in the same category as stealing and murder. I made no choice. I can’t imagine what would have compelled my eleven-year-old self to be attracted to other boys, when I knew very well that such attraction would make my life much more difficult. Attraction is not a conscious function- it happens wether I want it to or not. And if it doesn’t happen, I can’t force it. Any relationship with a woman would be unfair both to me and to her. I could not love a woman in the way that any woman deserves to be loved by her spouse. So the alternative is celibacy- can you imagine a life of forcing yourself to be alone? To outcast yourself because of something out of your control, because of the way you are? That’s like telling blondes that they can’t get married because they are too attractive, except that blondes can color their hair. Sexuality can’t be altered in any healthy way, and “ex-gay conversions” are not healthy. They often result in celibacy, and cause increased incidence of suicide and depression. And lastly, gay is my sexuality. It is NOT my lifestyle. I do not go clubbing, I do not drink, and I do not do drugs. I do not engage in promiscuous sex. I do not have an interest in fashion, nor do I enjoy shopping. My homosexuality means that I am attracted to and fall in love with men, and that is the only thing it means. I do not appreciate it when people think they know my lifestyle because they know my sexuality. Do all heterosexuals share a common lifestyle? No? Neither do all homosexuals.
I think you are correct that many religious people are not overtly ignorant, but many are. Otherwise hate mongers such as Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have so much power over public opinion. Also, religious teachings often offer a whole host of answers to questions from science to morality, and many of these answers have been discounted by science. But still they stifle natural scientific investigation- why search for answers that are given by, say, the Bible? The problem is, these answers ought to be evaluated critically and discarded if they don’t hold water. Many of religion’s deleterious effects on science and reason are kind of subtle, but serious nonetheless.
Sorry for the length! I just have so much to say, and I can’t stop once I’m on a roll.



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Josh

posted November 10, 2010 at 9:15 pm


I’ll address a couple things in brief (sorry, just got out of math class and I don’t have much wind in my debating sails;) If you want more or specific answers let me know and I’ll be happy to oblige.
Firstly, I apologize for any unfair generalizations of homosexuality as it pertains to you. I didn’t mean to say or imply any of the negative things you listed; “lifestyle,” was the only word I could think of at the time. Any offense was not meant on my part. I apologize, sincerely.
Secondly: I do believe literally in the story of Adam and Eve, it’s the whole part leading up to that that I believe isn’t meant to be taken as literal science. As I said before, there are things that were specifically meant to be viewed as imagery and certain things that were not, in my humble opinion the creation tale is one of them. I don’t see how they (Adam and Eve) weren’t intellectually qualified to resist temptation though…perhaps you could explain that better?
Nextly: Yes, the Fall is where humanity’s punishment for Adam’s Original Sin started. But you said it yourself, Jesus was the pure sacrifice needed to atone for that sin. Hence, the punishment is lifted for those who accept His grace. There is still sin, obviously, but it has not the power that it once did for those covered by the blood of His sacrifice. We got a get out of jail free card that requires only our acceptance of it. So the way I see it, we all bore the punishment, God offered us a way out, so the Original Sin is basically voided should you choose to accept His Grace.
Next: I’m having trouble seeing the problem with the ideal of Greek sexual sin and rules for people who owned slaves…one is a blatant decree against that type of behavior practiced by the Corinthians to keep it out of the early Church, and the other is more or less legislation for slave owners, as was a common (though obviously outdated) practice. Again…it’s simply the culture of that period of history. I don’t see how that voids morality from the Bible.
Lastly: Don’t even get me started on ol’ Rush ;) As for the stifling of scientific investigation: the Bible certainly doesn’t prohibit that…I’m aware of people who hold to the view of “It’s in the Bible, that’s all you need!” But I’m not seeing how bad interpretations by people nullify the Biblical teachings.
Lastly (for real;) I have a question: You’re a humanist, at least that’s what I’d guess from your postings. That being the case, I have this question for you: My view is that all morality, the very standard of good itself by which we measure everything, comes from God. Being one that doesn’t believe in the divine or supernatural but only humanity, where do you say morality comes from? How do you define it in a non-arbitrary way? Why does morality matter to you? If humanism is the correct view…why waste time being good? What intrinsic value does ANYONE have? Why do you find certain things bad (example, Hitler) and certain things good (example, Ghandi) when really, there’s no reason for you too if all the above is just random brainwaves and electrical impulses? Would it be immoral for me to kick an old lady, and why? If there’s no standard save what we come up with…why does any of that matter? To sum up, how do you define morality in a non-arbitrary way?
Thus ends my long winded reply ;)



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Nathan Bell

posted November 10, 2010 at 11:25 pm


Hi. I’m new to this blog and like to debate but will try to do so in a friendly manner.
In response to Andrew C, the main aspect of all belief systems, including creationism, is faith. Everything is based on faith- even science. When dealing with the past, Scientific experiments, findings, and “evidence” are all based on the research of others or on theories we believe to be correct. Does this mean that science is not believed on validation?- Absolutely not! Science is how we learn about the universe. But its biggest limitation is time. It works best to evaluate and explain the present. Once you try to use science to explain the past, you are stepping into faith. I for one do not believe scientists to be liars, nor do I believe science to be a lie. I believe macro-evolution to be a lie.
On the topic of homosexuality, let me say that The Bible seems to put most sexual sins in the same category, saying that sexual sins are sins against one’s own body. I myself used to live a lifestyle condemned by the Bible, and indulged in pornography for many years. Lust for another person, whether it be a woman or a man is still lust, and is still sin. Its not about desire; its about selfishness and impatience. So when you say that you (Josh) oppose Christianity because its against your lifestyle (which is what you are really saying, when it somes down to it), I would say that it opposed my lifestyle too, and upon reading the Bible more thoroughly I had to quit that lifestyle to be obedient to that book that I consider to be the Word of God. There are indeed Christians who do not treat homosexuals with love, and shame on them, but the Bible does clearly say that their lifestyle is wrong, as it did with mine.
As for slavery, you must distinguish what you mean by slavery. Do you mean slavery to pay off debt? If so that is not the same slavery used in the USA in the 1800′s. If you mean slavery resulting from a war between two nations and as an alternate to death, I would also say that that too is hardly the same slavery that occured in the USA in the 1800s.
A wise man once said: “If the Bible doesn’t make sense, its probably because you are interpreting it with a western viewpoint. Take it to the Middle East 2000+ years ago and it makes perfect sense.”
Thats my two cents worth for tonight.



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Nathan Bell

posted November 10, 2010 at 11:28 pm


One serious Typo. Andrew C is opposed to Christianity because of his lifestyle; not Josh.



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Headless Unicorn Guy

posted November 11, 2010 at 10:34 am


No, they’re not particularly fair. Taking bits and pieces out of any religious text out of context doesn’t properly represent anybody. Partial quotes are misquotes. Plain and simple.
– David Morton
No different than Evangelicals quoting single-verse proof-texts as if the Bible were a grimorie of one-verse spells.
Do you think they will make any difference one way or another?
- They’ll get a ton of press, the media is going to pick mega-church pastors and Joel Osteen’s to represent faith and they’re going to be as religiously one-sided as they’ve been for a while now.

– Josh
Don’t forget Pat Robertson, Tim LaHaye, and Fred Phelps…
I think there’s fewer Christians like that than you think there are. St. Augustine, for example. One of the most revered men in history, a staunch believer…and relativity theorist (of a kind;), in the 4th century. Ignorance is not as prevalent a disease in the Christian camp as one might suppose.
– Josh
At least when you get outside of the Born-Again Bible-Believing Independent/Evangelical Fellowships (TM) and into the older mainstream liturgical churches. When you have no historical trace, you tend to reinvent the wheel. Over and over and over.



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Emily

posted November 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm


“If you are a non-believer, what’s your take on the ads? Are they as effective as you like?”
As a humanist, I think the ads are disgusting. I know that I hate it when religious people tell me that I have it all wrong and that I am a lost and confused soul and try to bring me to their side. It really gets under my skin because I have thought long and hard about my religious beliefs, just as long and hard as many religious people out there. To dismiss my deeply held beliefs in an instant is condescending and rude. This campaign is giving Christians a bit of a taste of their own medicine, but that does not make it right.
I wish we could live in a world of tolerance, where diversity is celebrated. I guess not…



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Eric

posted November 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm


Well said, Emily. As a Christian, I see the ads and think, “Well, they haven’t taken the trouble to understand or respect what I believe, so what exactly makes them authorities on understanding and respect?” That’s not how we’ll get to tolerance.
For instance, the verse from 1 Timothy is actually advocating, very counter-culturally for its day, for equal education for women. The ad would play much differently if they bolded the actual main clause of the sentence, “A woman should learn”! (Everyone gets hung up on “submission,” but isn’t that the attitude all students are supposed to have to teachers?) Now put that on a picture of smiling Afghani girls in classrooms raising their hands…
Maybe the problem isn’t religion as much as lack of reading comprehension!



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CZSRQ

posted November 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm


The point of the ads are to simply make one stop and think rationally. Some Christians on this thread argue that they feel that their own moral character is being overlooked and prejudged. Bravo! The ad campaign is working! Pure genius.



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Nathan Bell

posted November 13, 2010 at 2:53 am


I think its also that people tend to judge Christians as one of two extremes: The holier than thou extreme or the hypocrite extreme. According to the Bible, no one is good but God. Christians aren’t automatically better people. They are saved by grace, which for any true believer should motivate them to have the best behavior they could possibly have. Grace is also misunderstood to be a freeforall. Its actually a responsibility. Since I believe I am saved by grace, that makes me want to examine every aspect of my character and see if it is up to par with the One who was kind enough to give me that grace.



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Jeremiah

posted November 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm


Stalin does not represent humanist beliefs. He may have been an atheist, but humanists today believe in the protection of life through justice and ethics based on reason and not dogmas.
The unsavory quotes from the Bible come from a text that is representative of Christians and from the Quran which is representative of Muslims.



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Kevin R

posted November 13, 2010 at 1:28 pm


@ Andrew C. You said. “As a gay individual, I find it very liberating to simply build a code of morality using reason and intellect, rather than trying to rely on the Bible’s teachings.”
Could not anybody build their own “code of morality” then? And what makes your code of morality better then, say, someone who sexually abuses children? That is of course, one assumes that morality has no absolutes and is just relative to ones own preferences. I’m not trying to claim any erudition on the subject of ethics, but if there are no absolutes when it comes to morality, and that morality can be built on ones own ability to reason, then why are humanists suggesting that what took place over 2000 + years ago, to be of a “wrong brand” of morality?
There only needs to be one action to be morally wrong for God to exist. So for humanists to suggest people living in the ancient near east committed any sort of wrong, or to even suggest that God, would be wrong in allowing any of the atrocities be committed find them selves in a sort of, predicament!
All these ads do, is self defeat the very message they’re trying to get across, being tolerant of ones own beliefs.
All though a may not agree with your life style, I certainly don’t hate you nor would I ever condemn you for living that way. I strive to look no further then myself and my own faults.. Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy.



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Kevin R

posted November 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm


@ Jeremiah “Stalin does not represent humanist beliefs. He may have been an atheist, but humanists today believe in the protection of life through justice and ethics based on reason and not dogmas.”
So essentially what you’re saying is that, “Atheists just tend to go with the flow, when it come to morality and that the atheists of tomorrow could decide to reason against their current belief system, based on what might be the popular norm.”
So what would Kim Jong-iI represent then? If after all, atheists believe in the protection of life through justice and ethics based on reason. He’s currently alive, right now, no sarcasm intended, just trying to make a point.
I understand that atheists can lead good moral lives, but what happens when it becomes socially acceptable to kill Christians, because they’re standing in the way of the “atheists” ability to evolve in reasoning?
Western culture was built on the basic fundamentals of the Christian belief system, so yes, the texts in question when referring to Christianity, reflect the christian belief system, but it also represents basic moral values and duties found in western culture today.



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Patrick

posted November 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm


These ads seem like a great exercise in taking things out of context. Granted, many Christians have taken some of those verses horribly out of context, but what does it help if these humanists, who would very much dislike the same practice being used on them, take them out of context as well? These are, in my opinion, counterproductive to this campaign’s cause. Instead of trying to show common ground with people, they’re alienating entire religious groups who may actually be very humanistic in nature. It tends to demonize religion as opposed to showing common ground.



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Nathan Bell

posted November 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm


You also have to define what you man by humanism. It can be a Godless belief system such as secular humanism, or it can be the practice of treating people with respect. Christianity advocates the latter.



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Krysten

posted November 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm


As a Christian, I’ve been thinking about how I will respond when these ads inevitably come up in conversation. I am not upset with Humanists, as all coalitions and organizations use advertising to further their causes, so that is not the issue. The thing about these ads that seem distasteful to me has already been mentioned in another comment…the fact that there is a very blatant out-of-context relationship between the scriptures referenced and the counter-messages that the humanists purport. Quoting statictics or information in part or out of context for the purpose of slanting a viewpoint is one of the very things that those who claim a “purely scientific” perspective are so very annoyed by. The tables could easily and just as unhappily be turned.
These ads did not thwart my faith in God in any way. They did highlight one thing for me: how human beings are constantly trying to find new ways to hedge themselves into a comfortable space where they make themselves part of the “in-the-know” club, where everyone else is a bunch of pathetic souls who don’t have a clue. Rather than spending a bunch of time and money on smearing the beliefs of others, it would seem to be of more value to me if folks would remember the common beliefs and goals of most any human being…that every human being is valuable, that we are to show love to another, to bring an end to injustice, and to live our lives in such a way that is consistent with those things, whatever you call the motivation. My motivation just happens to be my gratitude and love for my Creator and His Creation.



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Rip

posted November 13, 2010 at 7:21 pm


I think the ads are quite witty. The problem inherently goes back to one brick wall, One believes, one does not believe. We cannot get past this wall. The only solution is to accept each others beliefs and not try and push our own beliefs on the other..
I think the real reason for ads like these are to make the general public aware that we atheists are among you and we want rights too! I do not want to swear to God when I report to jury duty. I don’t want to have my public dollars going to churches that preach that I am not worthy of them. I do not want my government decided by men who choose to get their decisions from an invisible deity.
The bottom line is that if we can have a truly secular government and we can all learn to respect each other’s beliefs then we will make some serious ground. I promise not to espouse my Non beliefs to you if you promise not to preach your beliefs to me. We can do our thing in private. Keep it out of the public realm. Everybody wins!



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g

posted November 14, 2010 at 4:40 am


I respect the right of Humanists/atheists to preach their message. I think it is important to note the ‘SOME believe’ and realize that ‘some believe’ applies to any subject under the sun. You can find ‘someone who believes something that someone else finds offensive or intrusive. So it really is a meaningless statement.
‘Humanists think’ seems like quite an over generalization..every humanist on the planet thinks alike??
And what is the distinction between thinking and believing..they seem to beg the question that ‘anyone who ‘believes’ doesn’t think…really not so.
So preach it humanists, welcome to the realm of preaching!!



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forest

posted November 14, 2010 at 8:00 am


It is quite funny how many non-Christian groups say they just want to be left alone to do their own thing, yet many in these very groups seem to be the most vocal and outspoken. If you sincerely want to be left alone, why is there always an outcry in the media. I wait for the day Christians would take such a stand! Most post modern Christians have a loud mouth in church, but are very ‘quiet’ in their social environments. It is a Christian’s biblical duty to reach out to others and show them the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please don’t get mad at a Christian for their belief system. Isn’t that being intolerant? We do just all need to get along, and be free to pursue our own belief system. The sad truth is the fact that we will definitely know the truth one day, then it will be too late for the world if the Christians are right. God Bless. :)



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Kedric

posted November 14, 2010 at 9:04 am


@Krysten:
I would like to see similar ad by Christians. If you use quotes from Stalin, or other communist humanists, you might as well be using quotes from Mormons or Jews to argue against Evangelical Christianity. Humanism is not communism, athieism is not communism. I’m surprised that you’re shortsighted enough to think that.
Now, yes verses from the Old Testament don’t apply much to Christians today, I know very well that ripping open the bellys of pregnant women isn’t part of your religeon. I’m sure most people who read the ad know that too. However, you also have the repeated degredation of women in the New Testament, from 1st Cor, 14:34, to 1st Timothy 2:11, women are repeatedly given a secondary status. Now, it’s obvious that women are no longer entirely secondary in the Church today, with a variety of women preachers and so-forth; however, Christians claim that the entire Bible is the inspired word of God, and I will NOT serve a God who changes (ripping open bellys, then peace and love), I will NOT serve a God who relegates women to a secondary status, and I CANNOT trust a religeon based on an imperfect text.
I challange anyone to explain the status of women listed in 1st Timothy, and the contrasts between the God of the Old Testament, and the new, in light of statements in the bible by God such as “I am the Lord, I do not change”. (Mal 3:6 etc.)



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GaryMac

posted November 14, 2010 at 11:12 am


How can a Christian be a witness to these when all Christians do is judge them and condemn them to hell. How many who call themselves Christian are actually like Jesus was? Who here is without sin and can cast the first stone? The reason Christendom is on the decline is not because of these who say they are atheists or other religions, the decline is because people who say they are Christian do not believe they can be that same person of Christ that Jesus was. Unbelieving.
What would I say to an atheist? I would agree with them that most who say they follow the way of Christ are not like Him at all and do not follow His way at all. It isn’t the atheist’s fault that they do not believe it is the ones who claim to be of Christ and crucify these who are without which turns them off to that example of what Christ is supposed to be..
My advice to the Christian would be to seek the Christ and be like Him as they are supposed to be. Only then can one win by example instead of words for condemnation.
God sent an example for you to follow, to be like, to imitate, few who actually follow His way and are as He is. Many say they follow the Christ but are not like Him at all. This is what the atheists sees and this is where God says I never knew you. How can an atheist follow Christ when you don’t yourself?
Gary



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Joshua

posted November 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm


@ Kenric
Learn your context. Women are not once given secondary status by Paul. In fact, he rebuked men as sternly as women. The commands he gave were given because women of the time were disrupting the meeting services by trying to talk to their husbands during the meeting, very loudly. Men were rebuked just as harshly for being disorderly. Paul loved women in the church and commended them as excellent teachers and prophetesses. Some of the greatest people in Christendom have been women. Learn your context.
God did not ever command pregnant women to be ripped open. The king Menaham, who did that, is recorded in Scripture as doing “evil in the sight of God.” In fact, prophets are recorded as weeping when that very act happened. It’s in Psalms because the Psalmist was writing out of pure emotion; it was a metaphorical point, not a literal command. God punished kings who ripped open pregnant women. Learn your context.



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Kate

posted November 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm


I find it interesting that they use the New International Version and NOT the King James Version. There is a big difference and meaning between the words of the NIV and KJV!!!!



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BRR

posted November 14, 2010 at 11:14 pm


Oh! the torment! The writings of faith descended from the bronze age, obscure desert tribe being called into question because they reflect the “science” of their time. Nothing new here. Keep the faith!



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John

posted November 15, 2010 at 6:00 am


Kedrick, I accept your challenge! Within any aspect of life there are those that are placed in leadership positions. Unless one is self employeed, he has a supervisor. That does not make the employee an inferior human being. Even if a person is self employeed, he must submit to his customers wishes. WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO SOMEONE IN THEV REAL WORLD! But that does not make one any better than another. God did not make woman unequal to man nor does 1 Timothy indicate that. God has simply given man and woman a different role in life. God made man the spiritual leader in the family. PLEASE take a look at the way God designed his creation. Can you truly say that in general woman are stronger than men physically? Can you truly say that in general women are not more emotional than men? Can you truly say that in general women do not base their decisions in life more on emotion than on logic and facts? Can you truly say that women, who carry a child from conception, are not better equiped emotionally and physically to raise children than men? Are not men better equiped to fight wars than women, not only emotionally but physically? Do any of these make one a second class citizen? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Read the book, “Men are from Mars, Women Are From Venus”. It will help you to understand that God is not sayimg in 1 Timothy that a woman is second to a man. 1 Timothy is simply explaining “a role” of a woman WITHIN A MARRIAGE. Obviously you are unfamiliar with the command that God gave man concerning his wife. Please take time to read Ephesians chapter 5 in the Bible. It explains better than just one verse picked out by a group of people that want to totally undermine all authority on earth except government authority. THEY ARE THE ONES that want control over your life. In Ephesians 5 God gives man the commandent to “love his wife as Christ loves the church!” This IS NOT the role of a dictator is it? IT IS A RESPONSIBILITY THAT GOD GAVE MAN TO HIS WIFE! It sounds to me that IF God intended man to be superior to a woman then He gave man an aweful heavy task to keep his “inferior other” happy! I must ask, who did God give the greater responsibilty to? Man or woman? CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH WITH ALL HIS HEART! If God truly designed man to be superior to woman then why did he give man a greater responsibilty than he did the woman? In first Timothy God mearly gave woman a responsibilty that is comparable to an employer and an employee. In the grand scheme of things, one is not any better than the other. It is just that someone always has to be the head. There always has to one person that makes a final decision. Why do you think the divorce rate is so high in this country. BECAUSE OF PRIDE, each party has to be the head of the household. Each party has to HAVE IT THERE WAY. And one cannot succumb to the desires of the other. A husband who “loves his wife as Christ loves the church,” will take wise counsel from his wife. Even concerning spiritual matters, which is the concern of 1 Timothy. God has given the husband the leadership role within the family. 1 Timothy is not saying that the woman does not have her place in spiritual matters. It is simply saying that a wife should leave the spiritual matters to the husband. If he “loves his wife as Christ loves the Church” then he will guide his family wisely. God commanded man to replenish the earth with children. When mother and father are not aware of their roles in the home, please ask yourself, what kind of chaos does that cause. Maybe the 50-75% divorce rate that we have in this country? Submission to authority is a given in this lifetime. When people start thinking that having authority makes them better than someone else, problems occur. Or when people resent authority over them, problems occur. People resent authority because they have a false perception that they are inferior because they are not the authority and they think they deserve to be the authority! We ALL have to answer to someone. When we choose to answer to no one but ourselves, we have chosen to defy the very nature of things. We all need to realize that nature is bigger than all of us combined. God Himself is bigger than nature since He is the Creator of nature. As for me, I choose to trust in the wisdom of the One that created all things. 1 Timothy simply lays down the responsibility of a wife, just as Ephesians 5 lays down the responsibility of the husband. As this passage also says, a husband and wife become one, they just have different roles of responsibilty within the home.



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Ruth Stone

posted November 15, 2010 at 6:37 am


We must show by example that being Christian means being a loving ,caring person.We have alsways been exposed to this type of advertising,In fact most people just glance over it. they are wasting their time.the materialism in the comercial ads does more to persuade people to the humanistic view than the ads.May God guide you.



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Diana C

posted November 15, 2010 at 6:49 am


It is an extremely unfair ad campaign. If you look at Christians as a whole, you will see that we are generally the first to establish relief efforts and fundraisers to donate time and money to tnose stricken by disaster and hardship regardless of their religion or nationality. We do not believe that people should simply suffer and die. Most of what they have pulled from the bible is obscure and not in practice. We follow the teachings of Jesus who instructs us to care for our “neighbors” as if they are our family. I honestly chuckled at the submissive women ad. There is a larger section purposely left out solely to make a point. Women are to submit to their husbands but men are in turn to do the same. The marriage is give and take from both parties and submitting is simply honoring, in some respects obeying and caring for each other. There is no rule saying we should allow ourselves to be mistreated and controlled by our spouses. The whole ad campaign is flawed at best and like political ads, is spin and mud slinging. The Humanitarians only serve to make themselves look no better than the politicians digging up dirt and creating lies to win an election. I would hope people will be sart enough to see through that.



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Kedric

posted November 15, 2010 at 7:50 am


@Josh. What you say does have merit, but not for the reasons you list. A true theist will not use any reasoning that does not refer to his/her holy texts, while a true athiest does not believe the holy text, therefore cannot accept any reasoning based on them. Neither side can effectively convince the other, while both continue to act this way. Theists make all their arguments from the assumption that all scripture is the word of God, while Athiests make all their arguments from the assumption that it is not. No matter how good an argument Ravi Zacharias makes in his book, an atheist will never believe it, because he continually bases his arguments on scripture verses. And, of course, vice-versa.



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Maryann Adams

posted November 15, 2010 at 8:40 am


The format lacks honesty. It pulls biblical passages out of context to make them sound evil. Yes evil. The format of the ad demonstrates this effort. The biblical comments are encased in a black box and prefixed with “What some believe.” They seem to want you to hear and BELIEVE “dangerous emotional unstable Christians, surely you do not identify yourself with THEM.” Then the ad contrasts Humanist views surrounded by white and prefixed with “What Humanists think.” Here again this is subliminally powerful. The word “think” contrasts strongly with the word “believe” and makes the reader want to be identified as a thinker not a believer. After all thinking is smart and we all want to be smart. To be fair the ad uses what are considered good marketing methods. But if you are attempting to claim the high road maybe you should start with a fair and honest conversation.



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Mark G

posted November 15, 2010 at 9:20 am


To assert that because there are some questionable or problematic verses [taken out of context] in the Bible; therefore there is no God: that is a giant leap.



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Albert B

posted November 15, 2010 at 9:49 am


Atheist do a smoke and mirror act. Misquoting the bible or using false doctrine to make Christians look bad.
The Universe is expanding. But where is it expanding too? The effect that the universe is expanding proves there is somewhere. Even though that somewhere can not be proven by science or nor can it be seen does not prove it’s not there. That is when we must turn to effect and effect proves that the universe can expand because there is somewhere for it to expand too or in. Since God is unseen and can’t be proven by Science. We must turn to effect to prove he exist. Creation, experience, historic facts, Science that agrees with scripture, culture traditions that agree with the scriptures, Fulfilled prophecy…. All these are effect.



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Tom Sheahen

posted November 15, 2010 at 10:10 am


It’s noteworthy that the atheists seized upon a quote that mentions ripping open pregnant women. It is the humanists who approve of abortion for any reason or no reason, and who have resisted every attempt by state governments to restrain the most egregious excesses, such as the infanticide of partial-birth abortion. They oppose even “conscience clauses” that allow religious people to say “leave me out of this.” Because (for their own convenience) the humanists have defined the unborn as sub-human, they can approved of the same kind of treatment of inferior humans that Stalin made famous.



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Michael Allen

posted November 15, 2010 at 10:39 am


Of course, their intent is to find the most radical of passages throughout the Bible and exploit them. But, the poster shows they know so little about “what some believe.” Especially, the I Timothy 2 passage at the end…it doesn’t take a hard look at the Christian church to see that there is sexual equality. Plenty of families have both the man and the woman working.
But, that’s what’s funny about propaganda. When we look at Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda and we look at Al Jazeera today, we point out the evils of propaganda and whine that the message is one sided. It exploits faults in others while puffing up everything good about themselves. And then we see this poster here distributed by an organization you think would be better than that. But, no. Same tactics. Same rubbish.



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Joshua

posted November 15, 2010 at 10:41 am


@ Kedric
Well then, I guess the ol’ agree to disagree rears its ugly head here ;)
I’m curious, have you seen the Craig/Hitchens “Existence of God,” debate?



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lori

posted November 15, 2010 at 10:45 am


Ads influence people. These will do harm to Christian community



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Sam Moland

posted November 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm


These Humanist Ads are to be expected, due to the Shift in Christian Teachings These days! Once upon a time, The Chutch Taught TRUE GOSPEL MESSAGES WITH TEETH! Nowadays, it is Nothing but All Gums, and NO Bite! Prosperity! Name it & Claim it! Send The Rich Fat Lazy Preachers Your “Faith” – “Seed” – “Give To Get” Money to THEM, in a World where That Money Could Help a Hurting World! Switching Verses Around Like They are Trying on Shoes, and ignoring What The Bible Teaches IN CONTEXT! Turning God’s House into a Den Of Thieves, and a House of Materialism and Merchandise AGAIN, Hiding Behind Their Trusts ‘Mommy’s Skirt’ With The OVERLY OUT OF CONTEXT Verse, “Judge Not, Lest YE Be Judged” To Justify Their Love Affair with The World, and Their Sinful Flesh & Insatiable Lust for Stealing Donations, and Living Off of the Misery of The Poor, and Homeless, as They CONTINUOUSLY Lie for MORE Donations at the Expense of The Ones They Exploit, as They Watch The Poor & Homeless ROT, STILL on The Streets, and STILL Hurting, While Their GARGANTUAN THICK WELL FED AND PAMPERED BELLIES Continue To Grow MUCH MORE WIDER, as They STILL Fester in Their Walt Disney Religious Fantasy World! They are NOT Into God…They are Into SELF! Since The Gospel is NOT Being Taught The Way GOD Wants His Word Preached, Humanism is a Direct Result of That Sorry State of Today’s PATHETIC, LAZY, HO HUM Church, More into GAINING, Than DOING God’s Will! The Church USED To Raise The Dead! TODAY, They Only Raise MONEY! Jesus Spoke about The GREATER Damnation! Even the devil and The World’s Most VILE of Sinners aren’t going to get it as Bad as Those Christian GOATS! Jesus Said They ARE Going to Receive The GREATER Damnation! Because of WHAT They Are! Humanism is Today’s CHURCH’S Fault!



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j h woodyatt

posted November 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm


I’m an atheist. My response to these advertisements is that A) I don’t think they will be as effective in the short term at getting fencesitting unbelievers to take the baton as I would like, and B) I do think they will increase the friction between atheists and churchgoers. In the long run, more friction means more discomfort for fencesitters. It’s simple: this is a core strategy for any basic insurgency.
Some people will hop off the fence and join the more humanistic churches. Others may find comfort in fellowship with more affirmative atheists. I can’t help wishing that the escalating tensions between atheists and churchgoers could be tamped down, but the will for that needs to be on both sides of the divide, and I’m sensing that the churchgoers are rather enjoying the rising tide of intolerance and hostility toward people like me. A little non-violent pushback might be warranted.



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Milford Woodard

posted November 15, 2010 at 12:32 pm


You are right, people will make anything suit their situation. I put it like this, everybody has the right to their opinion: if its right or wrong, its their’s. I also have the right to listen/believe or keep my belief and walk away.



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Raven

posted November 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm


Hosea also says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” In choosing the wrong or partial information people will always stay misdirected from God’s truth and exist in the darkness of disceit.



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Sharon

posted November 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm


God said that it would be a Blessing or a Curse if we follow His laws or not. And, the second AD sentance just may come to fruition to them if they continue to try and turn people away from God. Vengence is mine says the Lord God. They will be in for a Rude Awaking.



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Briar-Rose

posted November 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm


You guys don’t get it. “Humanism” is as much a religion as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. It is the worship of the human, more specifically, the worship of oneself. It’s revolting, as we have seen throughout the history of man. Now the president of the once-free world is a humanist bastard, and his cabinet and Congress are made up of his most devoted minions. How absolutely sociopathic. Nice going to all you putzes who voted these jerks into office…Did you realize you were doing the work of the Adversary when you voted-in these jerk-holes?



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SunLighter

posted November 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm


An atheist who believes in some other type of supernatural being might try to communicate with aliens, UFOs and worldly pagans. An atheist sees nothing means his conscience is very hardened failing to communicate to the true universe. An atheist always be blind to find the truth about the aliens, UFOs and others in the Evidence Bible.
Atheism is NOT the absence of religion, the absense belief in the supernatural, the absence of superstitions, the absence of irrational beliefs, etc. Because of this, there is NO inherent barrier preventing atheism from being part of a religious belief system.
Many forms of idolatry pagan world are essentially atheistic. At most they regard the existence of gods as possible, but often they dismiss gods as simply irrelevant to the important task of overcoming suffering. As a consequence, many unbelievers not only dismiss the relevancy of gods, but also the existence of gods — they are atheists, even if they aren’t atheists in the scientific, philosophical sense that many atheists in the West are. So, yes, atheists can be religious. There are not only very old and traditional (unknown) religions like Budism, Ching, Spagetti Monster, New Age, Crystals, Bai-ia, etc. which are accessible to atheists, but there are modern organizations as well. Atheists are known to worship their vehicles, sports, high-feeling addictions, philosophics, music moods, high-show-offs and self-beliefs inside like a falsely blank god. Real atheists are unfriendly and uncompassionately to help others in countries, VERY SAD.
Atheists in the West tend not to belong to any religion, but atheism is quite compatible with religion in the world.
Researchers prove the evidence of people with near-death experiences who almost completely passed away and the electrical aura (spirit and/or soul) leaving from the body of a person to the unknown channel such as universe during the testing process. Found in the Evidence Bible for scientific educational purpose. Explain? Do not deny that, period !



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Living in Love

posted November 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm


When Jesus died He placed us under a new covenant. He left us with only two commanments: First to love the Lord our God, with all our heart and soul and mind. Second, to love our neighbor as ouselves. Whatever was in the old testament was changed because He died for all of our sins for once and for all. Humanists need to read the New Testament very carefully. Loving your neighbor as yourself, is what I try to do. I am not always successful, but only Jesus was perfect. I strive everyday to be more like Him. Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Abraham lived about four humdred years before Moses received the ten commandments and he was God’s friend.
I am not saying that there are not good people who are not Christians, but when Christ returns, and He will, I will be waiting for Him. I truly hope you will be, too.



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*Yinka

posted November 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm


I believe that ppl have the right to accelerate their propaganda BUT this is different. This really is an attack against religious ppl. Atheist do not believe in a God or gods and do not want anyone telling them otherwise and don’t like it when Christians or other religions try to convert them or convert other ppl.
SO why then have this campaign?? The campaign is clearly to show that religious ppl have so called “evil” or adverse teaching in their doctrines and humanists (whatever that is) are actually the true good and compassionate ppl. It’s odd that ppl who don;t like being converted themselves are actually trying to do the same thing: convert ppl away from religion.
It’s one thing to not believe in a God, that’s your business, but it’s another thing to conduct a huge campaign to portray that ppl who believe in a God in a bad light and hateful light. that’s an attack.



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FJ Miller

posted November 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm


The Biblical quotes used are from the Old Testament (aka Old Covenant, which is believed by many Christians to be superseded by The New Covenant of Jesus Christ) and from the Pauline Epistles, which do reflect some of the principles he learned as a Pharisee. The actual words of Jesus Christ (the red lettered text, recorded in the Gospels is the FINAL authority. If any other Bible verse seems to contradict Christ’s teachings, Christ is what to follow.
Most of the bad things of Christianity are not Christianity itself, but an abuse of things said in other parts of the Bible. Remember that Christ did not attack Samaritans, but spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well (in the Mideast then, it was against the rules for any man to speak to an unaccompanied strange woman)and told the parable of the Good Samaritan, where the righteous fundamentalist Jews passed by the beaten man, but the Samaritan rescued him and paid for a night at an inn.
Show me any objectionable action by Christians and I can show you how it was a misapplication and a hijacking. The movie The Book of Eli demonstrates how the Gary Oldman character wants a Bible so he can use it to control people, whereas Eli knows the good things in it. From the statification by Constantine to the Dominionism of Sarah Palin, including the Crusades, the Inquisition,slavery, and the Holocaust- these are not Christian acts, but were excused as such by charlatans. In fact, Palin and Beck are more followers of Ayn Rand, who was an atheist and has influenced GOP economic Darwinism since the 50s. Ann Coulter calls herself a Christian, but refers more to Adam Smith, an atheist, rather than Christ. In fact, the saying “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a paraphrase of Acts 2:44-45 and is how the early Christians lived. Also read Luke 3:16, Acts 2:44-45: 2 Samuel 12:1-5, Matthew 19:24, Matthew 5:1-11, Acts 4:32-35, Luke 7, Mark 10:17-23, Romans 13:6-7. Read about Frances Bellamy (who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance), Edward Bellamy, William Jennings Bryan, and the WWJD acronym to see what true Christian economics is.



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Amanda

posted November 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm


Perhaps the atheists offensive tactic is a good thing. Though many people say that believe in God, their lives betray them. They live as though He doesn’t exist. Perhaps these ads can be seen as an opportunity to engage people in conversations about God and faith they otherwise would not participate in. What Satan intends for evil, God could certainly turn around for good, providing followers of Christ do not behave defensively and sterotypically. We should instead invite others to seriously think about the claims of Christ as opposed to worldly wisdom.



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Marcia

posted November 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm


We have been hearing consistently from the Religious Right for years now, often threatening politicians who will not agree with their agenda. I think it’s about time for the other side to be heard if only out of fairness. Because of the zeal of the evangelicals and fundamentalists, the story has been very one-sided. There are many good people out there who are living good lives and are supporting causes, such as animal rights, climate change, evolutionary studies, that conservative religions are against.



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Mark

posted November 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm


There is an attack going on against Christians right now that most people don’t know about. They are being raped,beaten and often times killed. This is happening in majority muslim countries,and Christians in the West probably feel that they are safe from this. While we might be safe from the physical attacks,we are not safe from other attacks,like the ones in the example above. Christians are being made to look like hate-filled and biased lunatics…. if you don’t believe me just visit one of our social networking sites and let it be known you are a believer. If we do not start standing firm for God,God will stop protecting us and even our country.



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Jason Boyett

posted November 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm


@Mark:
I doubt you meant it, but let’s be careful here. There is absolutely no comparison between Christians being “raped, beaten, and killed” elsewhere in the world and Christians in North America having their scriptures challenged by a humanist group and their ad campaign. THERE IS NO COMPARISON. Being trashed on a social networking site really doesn’t even belong in the same paragraph as “being killed.”
Thanks.



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Jason Boyett

posted November 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm


OK. The last two comments — one from a Christian, one from an atheist — just got equally ugly. I deleted them, and I’m shutting down the comments. If you can’t play nice, I’m taking the ball away.



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