Category Archives: Atheists

Peace Cross Case Heads to US Supreme Court – Why Much More Than One Cross Is on the Line

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about whether a the nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial in Maryland known as Peace Cross violates the Constitution because is on government property. The case of the monument, located in the Bladensburg community of Prince George’s County, could impact hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

First Liberty Institute is defending the cross. One of its lawyers, Jeremy Dys, told CBN News, “This case is very important for a variety of reasons. Because this area of the law is right now – as Justice (Clarence) Thomas has said – in hopeless disarray. And so there’s really needing some clarity for this.”

The legal team  believes this could be the most crucial religious liberty case the Supreme Court handles this term. That’s because if the high court eventually decides this cross has to go, it could affect thousands of other crosses, including crosses on all federal cemeteries such as  the national cometary at Arlington.

But if the justices make a broad ruling favoring the cross and other objects like it, it could put an end to judges and bureaucrats deciding – somewhat haphazardly – if a religious symbol or display is too religious or secular enough to be left alone by secular authorities.

That possibility has opponents of the cross worried about the court setting a precedent that could counter future efforts to eradicate religious symbols–especially Christian symbols– from public display.

The District of Columbia-based American Humanist Association has led the challenge against the monument. The organization and three area residents sued Maryland officials in 2014 in an attempt to have the monument torn down. They say that the cross “discriminates against patriotic soldiers who are not Christian, sending a callous message to non-Christians that Christians are worthy of veneration while they may as well be forgotten.” And they point out that other nearby memorials are smaller and across the street from the cross.

One of the people who brought the original case against the cross – Steven Lowe of the American Humanist Association – told CBN News, “The government on this piece of property is favoring a religion with this huge symbol. When you come across the bridge or approach it from any of the highways, you see nothing but this huge Christian cross.”

Journalist Renee Green spoke with Lowe and other cross opponents for her documentary “Save the Peace Cross.” In it, United Coalition of Reason officer Fred Edwords stated, “It gives the impression of Christianity and nothing else. And it gives the impression of government endorsement of Christianity.”

And Lowe told Green, “The existence of a memorial on public land is not a problem. It is just the use of the Christian cross as part of that memorial that we find contrary to the First Amendment and separation of church and state.”

Edwords added, “It looks for all the world like, ‘Okay, this is either the state of Maryland or the city of Bladensburg endorsing one religion.'”

In the suit against the cross, one atheist said he was traumatized driving by it. Green appears on camera in her documentary to point out that many telephone poles are in the shape of a cross.

“If the plaintiffs win this lawsuit, will all the telephone poles need to be modified?” Green asks, tongue-in-cheek. She adds, “I just hope they’re not traumatized by telephone poles while driving.”

The Peace Cross has drawn the support of Maryland’s governor and senators. Over the summer the state of Maryland filed an amicus brief in support of the petition to the Supreme Court, and Gov. Larry Hogan said the state was “determined to fight all the way to the highest court in the land to keep it standing tall and proud.”

The Peace Cross was completed in 1925, and it honors 49 men from the surrounding county who died in World War I. A plaque on the cross’ base lists the names of those soldiers, and both faces of the cross have a circle with the symbol of the American Legion, the veterans organization that helped raise money to build it.

Today, responsibility for the cross falls to a Maryland parks commission that took over ownership and maintenance of it in 1961 because of traffic safety concerns.

~ Grif

The first amendment/the first enumerated right:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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Sunday Devotional: Blessed are you when people hate you

Luke 6:17, 20, 22-23, 26-28

Jesus came down with the twelve….
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“…Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way….
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
But to you who hear I say,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.”

On June 28, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama famously proclaimed, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation”.

Eight years of his presidency only worked to further de-Christianize America, seen most vividly among the young in the graph below (source: Washington Post).

In 2014, 82% of Americans 65 and older, but only 57% of Americans 18-29 identified themselves as Christians. Younger Americans increasingly identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated: 34% of those ages 18-29  vs. 11% of those 65 and older. As recently as the 1990s, less than 1 in 10 Americans claimed no religious affiliation. By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated increased to 22% of the U.S. population. According to Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, by 2051, if current trends continue, religiously unaffiliated Americans could comprise as large a percentage of the population as all Protestants combined — a thought that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

What the graph and Jones fail to address is that, as Americans increasingly become religiously unaffiliated, witchcraft and satanism are surging:

As Christianity wanes, come the concomitant discriminaton against and persecution of Christians: bakers, teachers, Salvation Army bell-ringers. The homosexual director of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” declared wanting to rip the Bible to pieces. Sen. Bernie Sanders actually said faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office. In fact, a 2017 report confirmed that the U.S. government’s hostility toward Christianity spiked under President Obama.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that we are hated and abused, for “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.” (John 15:18)

For that hatred, we are told to “rejoice and leap for joy”. As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:

Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Be strong!

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Racial, gender, age, education and religious differences in 2018 midterm elections

Using exit poll data by the National Election Pool, as reported by CNN, Pew Research Center determined that “The stark demographic and educational divisions that have come to define
American politics were clearly evident in voting preferences in the
2018 congressional elections.”

Reporting for Pew on November 8, 2018, Alec Tyson describes those divisions:

  • Nationally, voters favored Democratic candidates for Congress over
    Republican candidates by a margin of about 7%.
  • Gender: Women generally favored Democratic candidates by 19% (59% to 40%) while men voted for Republicans 51% to
    47%. As was the case in the 2016 presidential election, white men voted
    Republican by a wide margin (60% to 39%) while white women were evenly divided
    (49% favored Democrats; 49% supported Republicans).
  • Race: Whereas Whites favored Republicans over Democrats by 54% vs. 44%, Blacks voted overwhelmingly (90%) for Democrats,
    including comparable shares of black men (88%) and black women (92%). Hispanics favored Democrats over Republicans 69% v. 29%. Asians favored Democrats over Republicans 77% v. 23%.
  • College education: When gender, race and education are considered together, women college
    graduates stand out for their strong preference for the Democratic
    candidate (59% favored the Democrat while just 39% voted Republican).
    Whites with less education – particularly men – supported the
    Republican. White men who do not have a college degree voted Republican
    by about two-to-one (66% to 32%).
  • Age: The age divide in voting, which barely existed in the early 2000s, also
    is large. Majorities of voters ages 18 to 29 (67%) and 30 to 44 (58%)
    favored the Democratic candidate. Voters ages 45 and older were divided
    (50% Republican, 49% Democrat).
  • Trump: The national exit poll found that more voters said their midterm vote
    was to oppose Trump (38%) than said it was to support him (26%); 33%
    said Trump was not a factor in their vote. The midterm vote also was
    highly correlated with views of Trump’s job performance: Among those who
    approved of the president (45% of all voters), 88% voted for the
    Republican. Among the larger share who disapproved (54%), an
    overwhelming percentage voted Democratic (90%).
  • Anti-White: Overall, 41% of voters said whites in the country today are favored over
    minorities; 19% said that minorities are favored over whites, while 33%
    said that no group is favored.  Among those who said whites are favored in the U.S., 87% voted for
    Democrats. By contrast, large majorities of those who said minorities
    are favored (85%) or that no group is favored (69%) voted for Republican
    candidates.
  • #MeToo: 72% of those who said sexual harassment it is a very serious problem supported Democratic
    candidates. Among those who said it was a somewhat serious problem,
    Republican candidates held a slim edge (50% vs. 48%). And while
    relatively few voters said sexual harassment is not too serious a
    problem (11%), this group voted overwhelmingly Republican (79% vs. 20%).

In a report on November 7, 2018, Pew Research found that “A preliminary analysis of the 2018 midterm elections finds considerable
continuity from 2014 and 2010 in the voting patterns of several key religious groups“:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of white voters who describe themselves as
    evangelical or born-again Christians (a group that includes Protestants,
    Catholics and members of other faiths) voted for Republican House
    candidates.
  • 7-in-10 no religions voted for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district.
  • 8-in-10 Jewish voters (79%) cast their ballots for Democrats.
  • This year, Catholic voters were evenly split between the parties: 50%
    favored the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district, while
    49% favored the GOP’s nominee. In the past two midterm elections (2014
    and 2010), however, Catholics had favored Republican candidates by margins
    of roughly 10%.
  • Among Protestants, 56% voted for Republican congressional candidates and
    42% backed Democrats.
  • Among those who identify with faiths other than
    Christianity and Judaism
    (including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and many
    others), 73% voted for Democratic congressional candidates while 25%
    supported Republicans.
  • Church attendance: Voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week
    backed Republican candidates over Democrats in their congressional
    districts by an 18-point margin. Those who attend services less often
    tilted in favor of the Democratic Party, including two-thirds (68%) of those who say they never attend worship services.

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Religious people live 4 years longer than atheists

Four days ago, I posted about church attendance reducing suicide risk by half.
Here is more evidence that being a Christian is good for our health, both mental and physical.

The lonely world of atheists

A study by a team of researchers found a surprising correlation between longevity and religious faith: religious people live up to four years longer than atheists.
Published on June 13, 2018 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the article “Does Religion Stave Off the Grave? Religious Affiliation in One’s Obituary and Longevity” was authored by:

  1. Laura Wallace, the lead author, is a doctoral student of psychology at Ohio State University (OSU).
  2. Rebecca Anthony, who is in her final year of medical school at OSU.
  3. Dr. Christian End, associate professor of psychology at Xavier University.
  4. Dr. Baldwin Way, associate professor of psychology at OSU.

As summarized by a press release from Ohio State University, the study employed two samples of obituaries;

  1. A first sample of 505 obituaries published in Iowa’s Des Moines Register  in January and February 2012, showed that people with religious affiliations lived 9.45 years longer than atheists. The gap in longevity shrank to 6.48 years when gender and marital status were taken into account.
  2. A second sample of 1,096 obituaries from 42 major U.S. cities published on newspaper websites between August 2010 and August 2011, found that people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not. That gap shrank to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered.

The researchers tried to account for these likely explanatory (or “contaminating”) factors:

  • Many studies have shown that people who volunteer and participate in social groups tend to live longer than others. As an example, attending church regularly increases the odds of becoming friends with other attendees. Wallace et al. combined data from both samples and determined that volunteerism and social engagement only partly accounted for the greater longevity of religious people. Wallace said: “We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organizations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided. There’s still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can’t explain.”
  • What about the importance that many religions place on conformity to community values and norms? The researchers found that in highly religious cities where conformity was important, religious people tended to live longer than non-religious people.

Other possible explanatory factors:

  • The researchers allowed that the longevity effect of religious affiliation may have to do with the rules and norms of many religions restricting unhealthy practices such as alcohol, drug use and sexual promiscuity.
  • In addition, Dr. Way said, “many religions promote stress-reducing practices that may improve health, such as gratitude, prayer or meditation.”
  • Way also admitted that the study could not control for important factors related to longevity such as race and health behaviors.

Nevertheless, lead author Wallace said that overall, the study provides additional support to the growing number of studies showing that religion does have a positive effect on health.
See also:

~Eowyn

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Church attendance reduces suicide risk by half

The recent spate of “celebrity” suicides by hanging — actor Robin Williams in 2014; fashion designer Kate Spade and “celebrity chef” Anthony Bourdain this month — are famous examples of the 25% increase in U.S. suicides since 1999.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented a steep rise in suicides in the United States between 1994 and 2014, among men and women and in all age groups between 10 and 74. Although women are still less likely than men to commit suicide, the gender suicide-gap is closing. Among women between 45 and 64 — the ages at which women are most likely to kill themselves — the rate of suicide in 2014 dramatically increased 80% from 1999.
Speculations abound about the suicides of Spade and Bourdain:

  • Were they depressed from relationship failures? –Spade and her mouse-mask wearing husband were separated; Bourdain might have been dumped by his satanic girlfriend Asia Argento.
  • Was it a case of auto erotic-asphyxiation?
  • Was Bourdain Arkancided (just because he said in a tweet that Hillary Clinton’s operatives harassed him for joining the #MeToo movement against criminally-prosecuted Hellywood mogul Harvey Weinstein?)

There is one thing that Williams, Spade and Bourdain all had in common: They did not have the Light of Christ. Williams and Bourdain were Jews; Spade, who graduated from a Catholic all-girls high school, was not observant.

St. Paul said in his Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16:

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

A study by a team of researchers led by Tyler J. VanderWeele of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, confirms the correctness of St. Paul’s injunction.
Published in the August 2016 issue of JAMA Psychiatry, “Association Between Religious Service Attendance and Lower Suicide Rates Among US Women,” the study found that mmidst the wave of despair and suicide, one group of women are bucking the national trend.
Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times that, using data from 1996 to 2010, the study found the following stunning facts:

  1. Compared with women who never participated in religious services, women who attended any religious service once a week or more were five times less likely to commit suicide. In a study population made up of 89,708 nurses aged 30 to 55, and dominated by women who identified themselves as either Catholic or Protestant, the suicide rate observed was about half that for U.S. women as a whole — only 36 of them committed suicide at some point in the course of 15 years.
  2. Which church, Protestant or Catholic, matters. Although Protestant women who worshiped weekly at church were far less likely to take their own lives than women who seldom or never went to church, Catholic women were even less likely — seven times less likely to commit suicide than Protestant women.
  3. How often one attends church also matters: Among especially devout Catholic women, suicides were non-existent. There was not a single suicide among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended Mass more than once a week.
  4. It’s not whether one is Christian; it’s about church attendance: The suicide-prevention effect of religion was clearly not a simple matter of group identity: Self-identified Catholics who never attended mass committed suicide nearly as often as did women of any religion who were not active worshipers.

The study’s authors concluded that church attendance is “a form of meaningful social participation” that buffers women against loneliness and isolation — both factors that are strongly implicated in depression and suicide — and that “Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that psychiatrists and clinicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of the medical ethics program at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, and co-author of The Catholic Guide to Depression, said the lengthy duration of the 2016 study — women were asked about their religious attendance every two years starting in 1996 and then followed until 2010 — “suggests a causal relationship between religious practice and a significantly lower risk of suicide, especially among Catholics“:

“Religious convictions and practices can help people foster a sense of hope, even in the midst of major crises or adversities. Religious faith can help people find a sense of meaning and purpose even in suffering. It’s not our role to ‘prescribe’ religion… or proselytize to our patients. It is safe to assume that religious conviction and faith must be genuine and sincere if they are to provide the mental and physical health benefits that several studies have suggested. [But if patients are inclined to explore religion or spirituality,] doctors can encourage patients to explore such activities confident that religious practices will likely not harm, and may indeed, help, their patient’s mental health.”

The 2016 study confirms and adds to recent research on the potential benefits of religiosity, contrary to Sigmund Freud’s sneering denunciation of religious belief as the “universal obsessional neurosis of humanity.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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Deepening Understanding of the Creation

Most know the Genesis account of Creation. What is not as widely known is that there are a number of other biblical references to the Creation that broaden and deepen our understanding of the world and our human condition. 

The Supremacy of the Son of God

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
– Colossians 1 verses 15-20


Origins – Darwin vs the Bible 

A wise teacher spoke years ago about the debate between Atheists and Christians in their methods of examining how things came to be.

The Atheist says,
“I must understand, in order that I might believe.”

The Christian says,
“I must believe, in order that I might understand.”

This can seem a frustrating thing, but both the Atheist and the Christian always starts with some kind of faith assumption, or pre-supposition, from which to build understanding.
If we choose the Atheist’s way, we plod along waiting for each piece of the puzzle to make sense. In Darwin’s case, each new piece of evidence served to erode his theory of origins.
If we choose the Christian’s way, we are ushered into revelations of the deepest inner workings of things, like the passage above in St. Paul’s letter to the Christians at Colossai.
My message to the atheists is, continue your research by all means, but please consider the invitation of of the gospel to fast-track your understanding of things through faith in Jesus Christ, while continuing your research into the countless scientific details. In believing, you will be amazed at what you come to understand. It will require faith, but not without reason.

 
 

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Sunday Devotional: Making fishers of men in a time of declining church attendance

Mark 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.


There are so many things left unsaid and unexplained in the Gospel accounts of Christ: Why are there no descriptions of what our Lord looked like? Why are the accounts of His childhood so sparse? The child Jesus’ life must have been fraught with danger, for surely King Herod did not stop trying to kill the remarkable infant who had inspired the three Magis to journey from afar with precious gifts for the baby born in a humble manger. And why was Jesus’ public ministry so brief, lasting but three years?
Knowing His time would be brief, Jesus began His public ministry by gathering a small group of followers — the Apostles — whom He deputized to be “fishers of men” who would continue His ministry and spread His word far and wide.
Though most of us are not priests, ministers and preachers, as believers we each had heeded His call and, as followers of Christ, are asked to spread the good word (which is what “gospel” means).
Our task is all the more urgent because the Light of Christ is dimming in America, one of the more religious countries in the world.
In a report for Breitbart, Jan. 3, 2018, Dr. Thomas D. Williams alerts us to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, which found that:

  • The United States has experienced an alarming dip in Christian religiosity over the last decade, whereas Islam, Hinduism, and “other religions” show no decline.
  • Mainline Christianity and Catholicism have fallen 3.4% and 3.1%, respectively.

While there are Christians who reject and dismiss organized Christianity, arguing that faith alone is suffice, without need of attending and belonging to a church, the plain fact is that we have decades of data that regular church attendance confers beneficial effects on both individuals and society. As John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, put it, the advantages of regular religious practice are so well documented that people would be foolish not to consider them.
Personal and societal benefits of regular church attendance include:
(1) A longer and healthier life: Religious people live longer than the non-religious by 2 to 3 years. One reason is that religion encourages a healthier lifestyle: Compared to non-churchgoers, regular churchgoers tend to drink, smoke and use recreational drugs less, and are also less likely to be sexually promiscuous.
(2) Psychological well being: Regular church attendance strengthens social ties and create communities where people take care of one another. A study of 15,738 Americans between the ages of 18 and 60 by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, found that:

  • People who attend religious services on a weekly basis are happier: They are nearly twice as likely (45%) to describe themselves as “very happy”  than people who never attend (28%).
  • Conversely, those who never worship are twice as likely to say they are “very unhappy” (4%) as those who attend services weekly (2%).
  • Higher levels of church attendance predict greater life satisfaction.
  • Not just church attendance, but self-reported “religiosity” and religious “affiliation” are also linked with happiness levels.

(3) Children who are high-achieving, social, and well adjusted. According to sociologist Robert Putnam in his book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis:

  • A child whose parents attend church regularly is 40% to 50% more likely to go on to college than a matched child of non-attenders.
  • Children involved in a religious organization take tougher courses, get higher grades and test scores, and are less likely to drop out of high school — which means they also have better employment prospects.
  • Religious youth have better relations with their parents and other adults, more friendships with high-performing peers, and are more involved in sports and other extracurricular activities.

(4) It goes without saying that America as a society reaps benefits from healthy, happy, high-achieving and social individuals. A recent study by Brian and Melissa Grim of Georgetown University and the Newseum Institute, even placed a dollar value on the benefits of regular church attendance. The study concluded that the “value of the services provided by religious organizations and the impact religion has on a number of important American businesses” totals $1.2 trillion.
One troubling aspect of regular church attendance is an increasing class gap or division:

  • Contrary to a commonly held belief that irreligiosity tends to rise with education and income, regular church attendance among college-educated families has remained more or less the same since the late 1970s, but has fallen by almost a third among families with a high school diploma or less. According to Putnam, this disparity has created “a substantial class gap” that did not exist 50 years ago.
  • Statistics from the Pew Center’s comprehensive 2015 report on religion in America confirmed that most religious “nones” tend to be:
    • Less educated: only a small portion have a college degree; 45% have a high school diploma or less.
    • Poorer: earn less than $30,000 a year,
    • White males.

And so, with Matthew 4:19’s injunction of making fishers of men in mind, how do we spread the good word in our time of declining faith and church attendance, in a culture of increasing hostility and enmity toward Christianity and Christians?
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,
~Eowyn

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Darwinism Produces Racism and Eugenics

The untold legacy of Charles Darwin

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVdKqG1xpA8]

A bad tree cannot bear good fruit

Hank Hanegraaff delivers a scorching analysis of Charles Darwin.

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Global Atheist Convention cancelled for lack of interest


A Global Atheist Convention was supposed to be held next February in Melbourne, Australia, but it’s been cancelled due to lack of interest.
In a commentary for The Sydney Morning Herald, November 8, 2017, Dr.  Michael Jensen, rector of St Mark’s Anglican Church in Darling Point, Australia, writes:

“Reason to Hope”, the third Global Atheist Convention scheduled for Melbourne in February 2018, has been cancelled because of “lack of interest” (according to my sources).

The conference was scheduled to be headlined by two famous atheists: novelist Salmon Rushdie, 70, and English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, 76.

Richard Dawkins


Aside from his epistemological arrogance in claiming to know a negative — that God doesn’t exist — Dawkins is also known for saying there’s nothing wrong with pedophilia and that it’s our moral duty to kill the mentally retarded.
See also:

~Eowyn

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Sunday Mirror: ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ atheist science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke was a pedophile

Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) was a celebrated British science fiction writer who became very famous when one of his books was made into the 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick. Clarke was one of the “Big Three” of science fiction; the other two were Robert Heinlein and Issac Asimov.
An atheist who once said “I don’t believe in God or an afterlife,” Clarke was hostile to religion. He said that “One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion” and that religion is the “Most malevolent and persistent of all mind viruses. We should get rid of it as quick as we can.”
I had thought it curious that Clarke, a Brit, emigrated to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) — a desperately poor country in S.E. Asia where the average per capita GDP in 1961 was US$582. There he lived for most of his life from 1956 until his death 52 years later in 2008 — a world-famous foreigner who was made chancellor of the Meratuwa University and to whom the government conferred tax-free status. We are told his move was “largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving,” but in his biography of Stanley Kubrick, author John Baxter cites Clarke’s homosexuality as a reason for his emigration, due to Sri Lanka’s more tolerant laws with regard to homosexuality.

I was once a scifi fan and had read Clarke’s books, including his much-lauded 1953 novel, Childhood’s End, and was repulsed by it. The book was an expansion of Clarke’s short story, Guardian Angel — about the arrival on Earth of mysterious but benign aliens who had been humanity’s guardians, which began a golden age of utopia on Earth. But the benign “Overlords” refused to reveal themselves to humanity, promising they would do so after 50 years when humans have become used to their presence. It turns out that humanity’s virtuous guardians look like the traditional Christian image of the devil: large bipeds with cloven hooves, leathery wings, horns, and tails.
In other words, Clarke’s beneficent devils are a variation on the notion that the much-maligned Lucifer, the “morning star,” is actually a benevolent and well-meaning being who brought knowledge, enlightenment and civilization to mankind.

Now, I finally know why Clarke moved to Sri Lanka and why I find Childhood’s End so repugnant.
The BBC reports that mere days before Prince Charles’ knighting of Arthur C. Clarke on February 4, 1998, the London Sunday Mirror had published a story that Clarke, then 80 years old, was a pedophile.
The Sunday Mirror story was a purported interview with Clarke in his Sri Lanka home, in which he said there’s nothing wrong with an adult having sex with children who’ve reached puberty. Clarke is quoted as saying:

Once they have reached the age of puberty, it is OK… It doesn’t do any harm. I am trying to think of the youngest boy I have ever had because, of course, you can’t tell it here. I think most of the damage comes from the fuss made by hysterical parents afterwards. If the kids don’t mind, fair enough.

The Sunday Mirror story sparked outraged protests in Sri Lanka.
Referring to a law on prevention of abuse of children below the age of 16 which had been unanimously passed by Sri Lanka’s parliament in October 1995, Maureen Seneviratne, co-ordinator of a children’s rights NGO called Peace (Protection of Environment and Children Everywhere), said, “I am amazed why the law has not been enforced as far as Clarke was concerned. Why do we have strong laws in Sri Lanka?”. Under the new law, which was put in place after a public outcry over pedophilia and child prostitution, pedophilia of a child under the age of 16 carries a minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment and a maximum of 20 years.
Seneviratne said her group had heard rumors about Clarke’s pedophile activities, but being a small NGO, her organization could not take it up as that would be like ”tilting at giants who have written books and been made chancellors of universities. It would have been like signing our own death warrant.”
According to Peter Popham of the UK Independent, Clarke claimed he had not been sexually active for 20 years. But the head of current affairs at the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Company — a friend of Clarke — said Clarke was still having sex with boys “a few months ago”.
Popham wrote:

“There are seedy aspects of foreign involvement with Sri Lanka. Elsewhere in Asia, paedophilia means sex tourism. In Sri Lanka some Europeans have come into the country posing – and even performing – as businessmen or philanthropists. They set up homes close to the idyllic west or south coast beaches, and also close to communities of impoverished former fishermen. They then win the trust of local boys and begin abusing them, paying them tiny sums of money in return.
A German man is serving a two-year sentence and two other cases are going through the courts, and up to 100 suspected paedophiles are deported every year. […]
Clarke has indeed been a wonderful fairy godfather for Sri Lanka. He set up the Arthur Clarke Centre for Modern Technologies 15 years ago with the money he received with a Marconi International Fellowship, and in a country that is still in many cases crushingly poor it is an inspiring success. Thanks to the centre, and Clarke’s generosity with his contacts, many Sri Lankan scientists punch well above their nation’s weight in research and development.”

Seneviratne said as many as 7,000 children were involved at any one time in Sri Lanka’s sex trade:

“Previous governments didn’t even look into it, because all they were concerned about was tourism. When we began working on the problem six years ago people thought the foreign paedophile was a wonderful fairy godfather giving out presents – so why were we rocking the boat? People were only outraged when the facts were brought to light.”

Here’s a thought: The Sunday Mirror is a UK newspaper, and libel laws there make it much easier to sue publications than in the U.S. But Clarke didn’t sue. The BBC also reported that the Sunday Mirror said they have the tape of the interview.
Bizarrely, around the same time as the Sunday Mirror‘s story on Arthur C. Clarke, David Asimov, son of the late Isaac Asimov — one of science fiction’s Big Three — was arrested for possession of child porn.
Luke Reiter reports for ZDnet that on March 5, 1998, California’s Santa Rosa Police Department arrested David Asimov, 46, and seized more than 4,000 computer disks and videotapes from his Bennett Ridge home. Asimov was charged with four federal counts of possession of child pornography with each count carrying a five year sentence.
Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Gary Medvigy said:

“There were thousands of disks, thousands of videos. Anything imaginable regarding sex between human beings and human beings, or human beings and animals, was there. Whatever your imagination can conjure up, he had it.”

On March 28, 2001, after David Asimov pled guilty to two counts in a plea bargain deal, U.S. District Court Judge Maxine M. Chesney sentenced him to only six months’ home detention with electronic monitoring and three years’ probation for possessing child pornography.
According to Phil Jayhan of LetsRollForums, “Asimov’s child porn stash was so big many child victims and perpetrators would have taken a fall, had Asimov been zealously prosecuted at trial.”
H/t independenceday of Voat
~Eowyn

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