Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I was thumbing a book titled The Ideas That Made the Modern World. As I looked over the introduction, a summation of the Enlightenment caught my eye:

Thus science shatters the systems of theology and metaphysics. But it is not just the victory of scientific knowledge as such, but the scientific method and mindset, which routes the old and obfuscatory orthodoxies. Indeed it is also a question of attitude that is the key here, as indicated by Immanuel Kant in his celebrated essay, What Is Enlightenment? "Enlightenment," he wrote, "is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! 'Have courage to use your own understanding!' that is the motto of enlightenment."

When freethinking is absent, one must be dependent upon others for an understanding of reality concerning social, religious, or political issues. This sense of autonomy and responsibility created the fruits of the Enlightenment -- political revolutions, explosions in science and technology, and miraculous advances in medicine.

This concept made me think of when a well meaning minister told of how a church member was depended upon her too much. She would call her at the worst times in need of emotional comfort. The church member seemed to struggle with a nervous condition -- on the edge of paranoia or anxiety disorder. One evening, the church member called at an inopportune time; the minister was extremely drowsy from taking medication in addition to simply being sleepy from a long day. The minister even tried to warn the church member that she wasn't really in the condition to talk, but she didn't want to disappoint. After all, this person was depending on her.

The minister stated that though she tried her best to stay awake on the phone, she woke up to:

Minister! Minister! What do you mean they're going to get me in the morning?!

The minister never received another call from that member again.

Holding the minister to such a high standard was unfair, in my opinion. But, the member couldn't resolve her own problems herself. While we all find ourselves needing help and guidance from others, she seemed to be in a situation where medication could be in order. But, she will not pursue such an avenue because she has been trained to think that God and the clergy can fix all these problems in her life. She is depended on the establishment that runs her religious faith because free thought is highly discouraged by overt and subtle methods in many churches.

She can't think for herself. She's on a leash so tight that she can't even pursue adequate help.

But that's what the Enlightenment did -- it cut the leash of dependency with the razor of free thought.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Little Perspective

I've had the pleasure of receiving several great recommendations for short videos, books, and documentaries over the past week or two. I have a lot to soak in; there is much to see. I still haven't had the chance to follow up on all the suggestions yet, but I am eager to do so.

One short video so far has truly impressed me and has opened my perspective concerning this planet we all share.

Carl Sagan provides an amazing perspective concerning our existence in a short video called The Pale Blue Dot. Watch it. If my link doesn't work, simply visit YouTube and search for:

The Pale Blue Dot -- full speech

I found the film humbling and touching. Somewhat saddening and quite sobering; yet, somehow the film was still very inspiring and hopeful all at the same time.

And I must say . . . people who argue that morality cannot exist without god would be challenged after gaining this new and awesome perspective. After seeing where and what we really are in this universe, I can't help but to have the desire to cherish life. And not only my life, but the life of every other human being around me.

Isn't that sentiment morality enough?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why Doesn't God Heal Amputees?

Scientists have almost completed the genome sequencing for the extinct woolly mammoth. Upon finishing this feat, scientists will have a realistic chance at causing an elephant to give birth to a modern day woolly mammoth!

Mr. Snuffleupagus lives!

I wonder if we'll see a neanderthal resurrected one day? The genome sequence for our cousins is almost complete, too.

Also . . . a woman who suffered from tuberculosis received a new windpipe transplant. But the organ was grown using her own stem cells! She's gone from nearly disabled to 95 % healed!

All this brought back to my mind a website that a dear friend shared with me:

Why doesn't god heal amputees?

Science is toiling away at trying to heal human sickness. For crying out loud, doctors have figured out how to grow internal organs! A bladder was grown for a sick person a short while ago. Extinct animals (and humans) are poised to come forth from extinction again while lab rats are regenerating vital organs and limbs in test labs! A man appears to be free of HIV after a bone marrow transplant! So . . . if man is learning how to do these things, why isn't god doing these things to help mankind?

Why didn't god just heal the poor woman's windpipe?
Why did god let the woolly mammoth flash freeze in ice?
Why did god let the neanderthal become extinct?
Why is god letting sick people die of things we're learning how to cure?

Why won't god heal amputees?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What If?

Contrariwise, continued Tweedledee, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't.

That's logic.

-- Lewis Carroll

Someone asked me once, "What if you were not born in America? Do you really think you'd still be a Christian"?

I stuck my chest out, "Why, of course I would! I know God would lead me to this way".

My challenger pressed me a little harder, "So, you mean to tell me that if you were born in Saudi Arabia or in Africa, or anywhere that Christianity was not main stream -- you'd still magically be a Christian"?

The incredulous tone in his voice caused me to reconsider my previous reasoning.

"Well . . . I supposed not. But, I'd like to think God would reach out to me and show me the way". My response even sounded weak to my own ears.

"So then" he replied, "what of all those who never see the way? Why would God reach out to you if you were born into another religion and not do this regularly for everyone else?"

Hmmmm . . .

So, what would I be today if I were born in a non-Christian environment?

Why did I get this "privilege" while others who were born in non-Christian environments have an increased chance at being doomed to hell?

I was forced to realize that I grew up Christian only because my dear mother made me one; I didn't choose Jesus. Jesus didn't choose me.

Momma chose Jesus for me.

That day, I decided to become a Christian for myself by my own choosing.

That was also the day I (unwittingly) proceeded to unravel my ties to religious faith.

So then . . .

If I was born Jewish, I might still be; and if I were born Muslim, I would still be; but as it isn't, I grew up a Christian. And, now . . . I ain't.

Thanks to logic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good Riddance!

Relative to this blog post, I recently admitted that I sometimes miss God.

But far more often I say to myself, "Good riddance"!

I'll never miss getting up in the morning to get dressed and go to church. What a demoralizing process that was! If you can't fit your monkey suit, people call you fat at church. If you're late, people say you don't try hard enough. If you haven't been to church in a while and you're trying to get back into the habit, people ridicule you for staying away so long.

And in my world, church wasn't just on Sundays. Even sinners go to church "on Sundays". But saints of God went to church every night of the week! Prayer service, Missionary Service, Bible Study, Youth Service, Evangelistic Service, Choir Rehearsal, Sunday School, Sunday Morning Service, Sunday evening prayer, and then Sunday Evening Service.


And that's just your reasonable service!

Then you've got tithes and offerings -- 10% of your gross income plus a free will offering.

Building fund pledges . . .
Bake sales, hotplate sales . . .
Sowing seeds to the Man of God . . .

I was so broke!

I was behind in my bills and I was in deep debt. I was borrowing money from my relatives to pay my tithes!

I didn't get out of debt until I stopped paying my tithes!!!

That window of Heaven never opened up for me to pour out great blessings.

So, I had to open my own window . . . to climb out and escape!

Then, there was confessionals to the pastor and the risk of being excommunicated or "dis-fellowshiped" if you crossed the line too many times with breaking church rules and morality.

And the constant emotional beat downs . . . wow!

You'll never be good enough to serve God.
You can never truly please God.
God isn't pleased with us.
We can never do enough for God.
We're not ready for heaven yet.

Geez . . . if I'm not ready for heaven with all this stuff I'm doing . . . how will I ever be?!

Why am I doing all this if I can't get to heaven like this? What is all that "grace" stuff for, anyhow?

This fear is agonizing. Tears steam down your face and you beg God to have mercy on you.

Only God and the preacher know for sure what your status is concerning heaven. And neither of them seem to ever let you know if you're doing things right.

But they can be crystal clear when you're doing things wrong. That's seems to be 99.9% of the time.

I don't miss any of that one little bit.

Good riddance!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hate -- the "Nondiscriminate" Killer

An unfortunate and sad event has been reported in the news recently. I alluded to this problem slightly in an earlier blog post when I said:

If my freedoms are taken away because some group doesn't like me, your freedom can just as easily be taken away, too, regardless of your skin color. Don't believe me? Learn the truth about why this country was born in the first place.

A woman contacted a Ku Klux Klan group in Louisianan and expressed interest in recruitment. Though she began initiation, she developed a change of heart for whatever reason and desired to return home.

Upon her request to leave, she was shot dead.

This was a white woman -- by the way.

Her color did not matter. They murdered her anyhow.

As I said earlier . . . the hate found by people like Klan members is generated by a desire to control and remove the rights of others. Their issue with skin color only justifies their illogical way of thinking.

Hate like that doesn't take much to generalize when it is superficial in cause.

Those Klan members killed her because they wanted to control her. At that point, she was no different from any other minority.

I bet they thought God wanted them to murder her, too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Broken Friendship

I do admit -- sometimes I miss god.


He was my friend.

He gave me comfort and I felt secure when I trusted him and stopped worrying about imagined and actual problems I faced in life.

I could cry out to him and feel better. I could praise him and fall into a world of euphoria. I could fall out before him and have a cathartic outburst and feel relieved.

He was a true friend to me.

Among my favorite hymns was What A Friend We Have In Jesus. I would sing that song and wonder why anyone would ever feel troubled. Just pray. Like the song said:

Oh what peace we often forfeit! Oh what needless pains we bare.
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.
My troubles would melt away.

When I first realized real evidence existed against the Bible, my heart sank.

Whoa! All that time and energy I spent!

But worst of all . . . I lost a really good friend.

God changed from a Person into an imaginary friend.

I didn't want to stop believing in god at first. But, once you have that moment -- that stroke of insight and reason -- your mind just stops believing; your faith just shuts off. This is really no different from realizing your parents were playing the role of Santa Clause all along. You catch them wrapping your gifts and placing them under the tree as you sneak into the living room to catch Santa visiting your home.

After that, you just can't go back to believing Santa Clause exists.

I lost a friend when I lost my faith in God.

But, that's okay. With a little time, I could happily move on.

And so I have.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Preach the Word!

What if you visited a church and the preacher started saying things like . . . .

Now, you men . . . you listen up! God's got a word for you -- He's got a word. Next time you have your buddies over for a few drinks and you guys are watching the game . . . keep the word of the Lord in mind! If you ever have a gang of gay men start banging on your door 'cause they want your buddies' booty, you remember God's will is for you to give over your daughter or your wife. Homosexuality is so nasty that you should let them rape your daughters and wives before letting those gays get in your buddies' booty holes!
Or, what if you heard something like . . .

God wants us to be fruitful and multiply! Multiply! This is important. If you don't obey God's commands He will be angry with you! If you can't have children, you need to get your sister-in-law, or somebody, and make sure you have yourself a man-child . . . or at least try. God wants us to fill the earth! If your daughters can't get nobody and start havin' babies . . . then daddy . . . you need to do the deed yourself!

Or, how about something like this:

You people goin' round depressed all the time . . . you just ain't praying enough. You don't fast and pray. Done just let the devil get into your homes and your lives. Can't even get a prayer up. You need to fast and pray and break the power of the devil in your home. You don't need no anti-depressants! You don't need none of that stuff. You just ain't trying enough . . . praying enough . . .

No . . . I've never heard these exact words in a sermon before. I've never heard a preacher utter words quite like the ones above. (well, I have with the depression bit)

But, I have read in the Bible on two occasions where men visited someone's home and a mob came to the house demanding to have intercourse with guests inside. And on both occasions, either daughters were offered up or a concubine. In the first story, the daughters were spared. But in the second case, the concubine was ravaged all night long and died from the punishment. This was more acceptable than the male guest being ravaged. Granted, neither the guests nor the concubine should have been threatened. But somehow, pushing the concubine into the mob was the lesser evil.

On several occasions, women felt so pressured to have children that they tricked people into having sex with them. Before you get excited at the idea, Judah was tricked into having sex with his daughter-in-law and Lot with his two daughters! And Onan was ordered to sleep with his deceased bother's wife and impregnate her so that his brother's name could live on. Onan didn't follow through and was killed by God.

If sex is so taboo, why was Onan killed for not impregnating his sister-in-law?

If continuing one's name is so important, why doesn't God strike down everyone that uses birth control?

If the rape of a woman is less heinous that homosexuality, why do we punish rapists over homosexuals?

What would your wife do if you pushed her out of the front door and into a mob that was trying to break into your home for sex?

What if God told you that you were not fit to serve him if you took time to tend to your own father's funeral before leaving home for good?

What if you have a real, legitimate biological condition that needs medical treatment, but the church made you feel guiltily for accepting it? They guilt you into believing that you simply are not praying enough and you avoid the treatment that you really need.

Before you get defensive . . . before you give into that urge and say that I'm taking these scripture passages out of their context, put yourself into the shoes of all the people in these passages.

Do you think like any of them, today?

Do you think you are worshiping the same God that they were? Are you really holding to the same ideals as the characters in the example stories above?

Do you still think that the events I've just mentioned happened for real?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Truth Seekers

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

Many Christians say they believe in truth. People who fervently adhere to doctrine are often said to "love truth".

However, real truth often gets overlooked in the Christian world.

The abuse by ministers often gets swept under the rug. The victim is simply told that the abuser should be forgiven and the matter dropped . . . Many times, the issue is never addressed at all.

Why? Because, God's "truth" must prevail.

What is to be said about God's truth when it contradicts the reality you know?

What happens when you realize the earth has to be billions of years old? Much older than what they Bible claims.

What happens when you realize the stars and planets in the sky are millions of miles away and no heavenly throne is found in the sky?

What happens when you realize the stars cannot fall to the ground like figs?

What happens when you realize ministers from all faiths everywhere ignore and even hide abuse, though they claim the church is a place of safety and refuge?

What happens when you realize life is most probably forged through the process of evolution and that life is most probably scattered throughout this vast universe? Even if we never find other life, chances are good that within the billions of stars and planetary systems life similar to ours might exist.

What happens when your realize God's "word" is nothing more than the collective writings of mere men?

What happens?

You break free.

Jesus was right about one thing. The truth shall make you free.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hope For Tomorrow

Many people seem to look to religion for hope. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for the afterlife.

People cling to religion to cushion the blow of our mortality.

If that helps, that's fine with me.

But religion often perpetuates the very fear we want to escape as we practice religion.

I don't like the idea of dying. But, I hate the idea of dying and going to hell even worse. I'm not too excited about the idea of heaven either.

Regardless of how euphoric god's presence would be, what autonomy will you have in heaven?

Maybe that's why the sinner can't go to heaven; The sinner isn't ready to surrender self.

That's sort of like dying, too, though. But, the priests get to stay in control though.

Death worries me some, still. But not like when I was Christian.

I've come to accept that in the end all people are terminally ill. We all have a disease called mortality.

But I have hope for tomorrow. I enjoy life and I look forward to tomorrow. This life now is precious. This is all I know until I pass on.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Soon and Very Soon . . .

What if another century goes by and Jesus never returns?

What about another millennium?


What if during that time, a cure for cancer is found? What if cloning technology allows us to make genetic material from scratch and clone humans? What if we eventually map out DNA in all life and then discover how to turn off the aging and "death" signal to our cells? What if mankind eventually achieves immortality?

What if our conscience could be uploaded from our minds and one day downloaded into a new clone of ourselves -- allowing us to not only live forever but also move forward into time?

Okay, that last one might sound far out.

But think about it. What if Jesus never comes?

I know what some nearby Christian is thinking, "What if he does come? Then you'll burn in hell!"

When I read comments like these from Christians on message boards across the Internet, I get the feeling that they relish the idea of non-Christians burning in hell for eternity.

This eagerness and enjoyment sounds sick, vengeful, and evil to me. If you can't wait to see me burn in hell, then you should wonder whether or not you're saved.

Ah, I digress.

Growing up in church, we often sang a song:

Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.
Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We are going to see the king.

And after converting to Pentecostalism, we were bombarded with the idea of Jesus coming at any moment.

Could that moment happen right now while I'm writing this?

Could that moment happen right now while you're reading this?

Has Jesus come and gone already and I didn't even get to finis . . .

People have been waiting for Jesus for a long time. Some argue that the disciples expected Jesus to come in their lifetimes. And since Jesus obviously hasn't . . . well . . . I guess that would be the end.

In the Pentecostal church I once attended, people felt certain that Jesus would come in our lifetime. That was back when I was a teenager. Well, sure it's still my lifetime. But, people didn't think the pastor of that generation would fall ill and die after reaching just over eighty years of age. People thought he was too close to God and too important of a spiritual leader for him to die before Jesus would come.

I've read a saying that circulates on the Internet among other skeptics:
Today's Religion is Tomorrow's Mythology

How long until Christianity becomes commonly known as mythology in the United States?
Not very soon, I'm afraid -- especially since Jesus' 2000 year delay is still considered soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Land of the Free

At the time of this blog post, Sen. Barack Obama has been announced as President Elect.

This whole day has been very interesting. From voting at the polls to watching the political analysts, I must say today has been fascinating.

I feel great pride today because I am a citizen of the United States. I can participate in my government and my voice can mesh with my fellow citizens and can be heard.

We are not ruled by some monarch or priest who imposes his will upon us based on some obscure divine law made up at his own whim.

And despite my personal rejection of religious faith, I must say that I am impressed by the spiritual aspect of so many Americans rallying for a singular cause. At times, religion and god can inspire people in a positive ways. And sometimes as skeptics, we discount that fact.

People cried today out of joy at Mr. Obama's election. And people cried at Sen. John McCain's defeat.

I must also say that Mr. McCain's concession speech was a noble attempt to remind all Americans to stand behind our new President Elect, no matter the political or racial differences. He urged his supporters not look down upon African-Americans who celebrate this great evening with pride and happiness.

This openness is wonderful and precious. To have religion or not. To agree or disagree. To be in the racial majority or minority -- we are all free. We all can pursue happiness. We are all American.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Is God a Democrat or a Republican?

Skipping the details, I can say that I run across a lot of e-mail.

Over this election period, I've seen quite a lot of e-mail where people are urging each other to pray, pray, pray for the outcome of this election.

Christians desperately call on faithful prayer warriors to cry out to God so that Sen. John McCain gets elected and takes back our country for the Christian cause. Sen. McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are anointed by God to lead this country back into the center of God's will. Take up your arms in spiritual warfare and beat back the demons of Kenya that are supporting Sen. Obama and causing a dull stupor to fall over the American people.

On the other hand, other Christians desperately call on faithful prayer warriors to cry out to God so that Sen. Barack Obama is kept safe and secure from all the racial hate and bigotry that is percolating. As the election comes to a close, people are praying that God will let justice prevail. People quietly pray and silently yearn for Sen. Obama to have the opportunity to set this nation back on track in a way that will gain the world's trust and respect once again.

And people are quietly, prayerfully, offering up their condolences at the passing of Sen. Obama's grandmother. She passed away the day of this blog posting -- yes, just one day before the most anticipated presidential election to date.

With such sharp distinctions between these two camps, can they possibly be worshiping the same God even though they both say they are Christians?

So, you tell me. Is God a Democrat or a Republican?

We'll find out Tuesday, won't we?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Terror is ordered by God

I try to avoid two things in this blog:

1) Giving away my identity

2) Openly endorsing any political party or candidate.

I will still attempt to do this. But, this will be difficult as I share my feelings and experiences concerning the topic at hand.

In my local town, authorities have uncovered a plot where a hate group was planning to identify and terrorize minorities in the area.

The backdrop to this news is that on Tuesday, November 4th, the United States will have a historic and unprecedented presidential election where Sen. Barack Obama has an extremely good chance of being elected over his opponent Sen. John McCain. Mr. Obama is African-American. So, the endangered minority group in my town is naturally African-Americans.

This news unnerved me. I felt like my family and I now have a big red and white bulls eye target on our home, our cars, and on our backs.

I have two young children who are innocent and oblivious to this whole plot. How could someone bring themselves to even consider doing such a thing?

Now one can see why Jeremiah Wright was so angry and why Michelle Obama is quoted as saying that for the first time she is proud of her country. They have lived through this before during the Civil Rights era in the 1960s (well, maybe not Ms. Obama, but Rev. Wright has).

African-Americans still feel threatened today despite race relations being better. Otherwise, Mr. Obama wouldn't be ahead in the polls. But, the positive reality is still hard to accept and believe after I heard this threatening news today.

I didn't even want to leave my home after this news. But I needed to go to the grocery store. I mustard the courage to go because if I didn't, my life would be just as dead as if I were shot dead in my own home.

I went because I didn't want my wife to go alone.

I went because last time I checked, this was the United States of America and I'm a free citizen.

I have freedom of thought and opinion. Freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness. If my freedoms are taken away because some group doesn't like me, your freedom can just as easily be taken away, too, regardless of your skin color. Don't believe me? Learn the truth about why this country was born in the first place.

I felt like I was taking the biggest risk of my life by simply going to the store. Thankfully, I arrived home safely with my family. But before leaving the parking lot of the store, I saw an old truck with a bumper sticker as I pushed my grocery cart to my parking space. I felt directly threatened all over again as I read it:

Terror is ordered by God

The sticker sited a verse from Leviticus. I couldn't keep the verse reference in memory. But, the Chicago Nazarene Theological Seminary was mentioned on the sticker.

Can this be taken out of context?

My life is in some measure of danger simply because of my skin color.

And this assassination order upon my life was ordered by God himself!

One more good reason to continue being an atheist.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Tight Rope Act

How many people truly believe in god?

Polls say that among the US Population, 10% of the country is non-religious. Of that 10%, only 3% will label themselves as atheist.

But of the other 90% . . . do they really believe in god? Really?
I know they make the mental ascent. But, do they believe to the point of action?

When I was much younger and a fervent believer, I heard a neat little anecdote:

Crowds gathered at the Grand Canyon to see the great spectacle of a man who had wired a tight rope across the great expanse. He fearlessly and skillfully cross the rope, drawing awe and thunderous applauds from the fixated audience. He could traverse from one side to the other, effortlessly and skillfully. The people that continually gathered were utterly amazed.

When everyone thought they had seen the height of his performance, he wowed them even further.

He produced a wheelbarrow and nimbly drove the one-wheeled vehicle across to the other side of the canyon along the treacherous tight rope. He turned around and came back with the same ease.

He then faced the amazed crowd and cried, "how many think I can do it again?!" The crowd roared with excitement and cheered him on to another performance. He took his wheelbarrow and pushed it along the tight rope again -- turned around and came back without once seeming to loosing his balance.

Upon his return, he looked out at the crowd and exclaimed, "And now, I will load my wheelbarrow with bricks and carry them across! Can I do it? Will I make it?! Who believes?"

The crowed hushed with amazement as he loaded bricks into his wheelbarrow. After he stacked the bricks high, he started his journey. As effortless as before, he transported the cargo across the abysmal canyon without losing a single brick to the abyss below.

The crowed greeted him with ecstatic praise as he returned from the other side, every brick still in place inside the wheelbarrow.

He motioned with his hands to calm the crowd. After a few moments, he regained their attention. They now eagerly waited to hear his about his next performance stunt.

"You've seen me cross the canyon effortlessly", he cried. "You've seen me take a wheelbarrow across just the same. I've even taken bricks and filled my wheelbarrow and did not lose a single one! Now, for my next act! Who will volunteer and let me carry you across the Grand Canyon as a passenger in my wheelbarrow?"

At this, the crowed gasped and murmured. The man attempted to convince anyone he could from the audience to step out into his wheelbarrow. But before too long, the man was accompanied only by his wheelbarrow.
That anecdote was about contrasting true Christan faith with lip-service. If you truly had faith, you'd get inside the wheelbarrow. For faith was not just the mental ascent to an idea -- but the following through of it's implications.

Why do so many Christians refuse to follow through with the implications of their own beliefs?

With an angry God starring down at you and with the blood of a gentle Jesus upon your hands, why don't you follow his commands?

I'm not talking about omitting the "sin nature" and "nobody's perfect" clause; I'm including that into the equation.

Even considering that issue, why do so many Christians refuse to follow through with the implications of their own beliefs?

For example:

If Jesus fulfilled the law and has freed us from following the letter of the Law of the Jewish people, why do so many Christians churches demand tithes? (You know, that 'Paul' guy in the New Testament . . . he talked about being free from the Law a whole bunch).

If Islam is about peace, why do so many ex-Muslims fear for their lives when they leave the faith?

Why do so many Jews follow the writing of Rabbis when the Old Testament is clear that God's law is all they need? Why all the extra commentary and tradition heaped on top?

Why do hate groups in the US tend to default to a pseudo Christian faith? Maybe they recognize the inequities in the scriptures and truly want to follow through on them. Maybe they are the true believers in Christianity? (Ouch!)

But should these type of things be said . . . the believers of their various faiths get offended.

I don't think they really want to get into the wheelbarrow because deep down inside, they don't really want to take that trip across the Grand Canyon.

But they are happy just standing there, cheering on the mythical man who can effortlessly keep going across.

I think more than 3% of us are atheist.

I think more are atheist than any of us are willing to admit, I'm afraid.