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Could the position of the largest newspaper in Indiana be any clearer? Here is the text of the front page editorial.

We are at a critical moment in Indiana’s history.

And much is at stake.

Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers.

All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future.

The consequences will only get worse if our state leaders delay in fixing the deep mess created.

Half steps will not be enough. Half steps will not undo the damage.

Only bold action — action that sends an unmistakable message to the world that our state will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens — will be enough to reverse the damage.

Gov. Mike Pence and the General Assembly need to enact a state law to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Those protections and RFRA can co-exist. They do elsewhere.

Laws protecting sexual orientation and gender identity are not foreign to Indiana.

Indianapolis, for example, has had those legal protections in place for nearly a decade. Indy’s law applies to businesses with more than six employees, and exempts religious organizations and non-profit groups.

The city’s human rights ordinance provides strong legal protection — and peace of mind —for LGBT citizens; yet, it has not placed an undue burden on businesses.

Importantly, passage of a state human rights law would send a clear message that Indiana will not tolerate discrimination. It’s crucial for that message to be communicated widely.

On a practical level, by basing the state law on a 10-year-old ordinance, the General Assembly could move quickly to adopt the measure without fear of unintended consequences. If lawmakers can’t act in the next month, the governor should call a special session immediately after the regular session ends in April to take up human rights legislation.

Why not simply repeal RFRA? First, it appears to be politically unacceptable for the governor and many Republican lawmakers.

Second, there are Hoosiers who support RFRA out of a genuine desire to protect religious freedom. To safeguard that essential freedom, 19 states and the federal government have adopted RFRA laws, largely without controversy. But states like Illinois not only protect religious freedom through RFRA but also provide gay and lesbian residents with protected legal status.

Third, repeal might get rid of the heat but it would not do what is most important – to move the state forward.

We urge Gov. Pence and lawmakers to stop clinging to arguments about whether RFRA really does what critics fear; to stop clinging to ideology or personal preferences; to focus instead on fixing this.

Governor, Indiana is in a state of crisis. It is worse than you seem to understand.

You must act with courage and wisdom. You must lead us forward now. You must ensure that all Hoosiers have strong protections against discrimination.

The laws can co-exist. And so can we.

#WeAreIndiana: Join the hashtag, the social movement. We encourage Hoosiers of all types — business leaders and owners, thought leaders, organizations, everyday people — to spread the message of who we are and what we want the world to know: Indiana embraces everyone and we do not discriminate.

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Comments
  1. 02casper says:

    Great editorial.

  2. meursault1942 says:

    Great editorial indeed–very much a “put up or shut up” to those who want to claim that discrimination is “freedom” and somehow isn’t discrimination. (At least GA wingnuts were honest enough to outright admit that being forced to comply with anti-discrimination laws completely defeats the purpose of these “religious” “freedom” laws, as they are purely about discrimination.)

    What’s been very heartening, though, is how widespread and outspoken the opposition to this stupid, pointless law has been–and from all quarters. Not just from individuals and grassroots groups, but from businesses like Salesforce.com, Angie’s List, and Yelp (very encouraging to see–I figured they’d all just issue bland, pointless “we think everybody deserves respect, but we’ll follow all laws” press releases if they even broached the subject at all), and from Christians who actually take their faith seriously (good on ya, Disciples of Christ for following the example of your namesake). Actions have consequences, and the American people in general are just not into bigotry like our wingnutty pals are, so Indiana is suffering the consequences of its actions.

    And really, our wingnutty pals are just plain stuck in the 1950s. They’re angry, frightened, and paranoid 24/7. They see the ghost of Communism lurking in every shadow. They don’t like all these black people agitating for equality, and they don’t think gay people should for one second think about coming out of the closet, for the closet is where they belong. (Pretty much the only thing they don’t want from the 1950s is the economics: Strong unions creating a vibrant middle class and high top marginal tax rates make them piss their pants in sheer terror.)

    The world hasn’t just passed these people by, it’s lapped them.

    Which brings us to our favorite mindstate-atrophied-in-the-1950s wingnut Retired Spook, who had this to say in an earlier thread

    Mark, given that Christians have become the most persecuted religious group in the world in the last few years, and given that that persecution will eventually make it to our shores, have you thought about what you’ll do when it comes to your door?

    That is fucking hilarious. It’s so perfectly Retired Spook, which makes it so laugh-out-loud funny.

    • rustybrown2012 says:

      Yeah, not “if” it comes to your door, “when” it comes to your door. This lunatic is certain that Christian persecution will happen in America, although there’s not a shred of evidence to support that contention, our society telling religion that it’s not ok to discriminate in the public arena notwithstanding.

      These assholes view their religion in relation to America through two mutually exclusive lenses: 1) They are the bedrock foundation of our nation on the verge of restoring this land to it’s intended religious principles based upon the the sheer number and power of kindred believers, or 2) They are a persecuted minority in fear of Stalin era repression. They wear each hat depending on whatever bullshit they happen to be shoveling at the moment.

  3. rustybrown2012 says:

    Ain’t the free market grand? A pizza company yaps about its intention to discriminate against a substantial portion of its customers (wise business move, that) and the public at large rejects the bigotry and sends the homophobic dough twirlers on the path to insolvency. Looks like Memories Pizza may soon be just a memory. Sometimes things work out just as they should. And now we get to see the voters reject Republican presidential candidates for their support of the bigotry, which they have to do in order to pander to their mouth breathing, superstitious base. I love freedom!

    http://www.businessinsider.com/report-the-indiana-pizza-joint-that-vowed-to-never-deliver-a-pizza-to-a-gay-wedding-forced-to-close-2015-4

    • Then we have our favorite intelligence analyst from Frozen Pond, Indiana–who’s just about had enough, by God!–who equates a bakery which makes wedding cakes refusing to make one because a customer is gay, with customers demanding that a deli serve items that aren’t even ob its menu.

      Spook, it’s very simple. Discrimination: Restaurant refuses to sell products to gay people, the same products it sells to everyone else. Not discrimination: Customer demands a restaurant serve him products that the restaurant doesn’t serve to anyone, and never has.

      In Spook’s world, if Frozen Pond Hardware doesn’t sell Honda lawnmowers, a customer can walk in and demand that the store sell him one anyway. And if they don’t, discrimination!

      • mitchethekid says:

        And by the very definition of the word god damn it!! I’m being discriminated against because I can’t force my religion onto the public at large!
        What happened to Amazona? Anurism maybe??

      • meursault1942 says:

        Poor Spook. Analogies are so difficult!

        He also, unsurprisingly, can’t quite get a grip on the reality of the situation, as he offers up this bit:

        Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if this ended up being the issue that brings thinking people from both sides together to fight a common enemy. And I think it almost goes without saying that the common enemy is becoming more and more apparent to more and more people.

        Thinking people from both sides already have been brought together on this issue: They’re opposing you and your ilk, Spook. Hell, just look at Arkansas, where similar legislation was being pushed through, and Wal-Mart–freaking Wal-Mart!–told the wingnuts not to do it. And Republican governor Asa Hutchinson didn’t sign it. Ouch! Republicans and Democrats banded together to fight the common enemy, and that enemy was the Retired Spooks of Arkansas. No wonder the poor old guy’s mental capacity is getting smaller every day. (I also note with amusement that now Noonan is going full Retired Spook, what with the ever-increasing paranoia, anger, and delusions. Never go full Retired Spook, Noonan!)

        What we’re seeing is the late-stage meltdown of a thinking that has been left in the dust by the American people. Spook, Mark, etc. cling desperately to their bigotry–and voluntarily define their religion as one that has bigotry as a fundamental tenet (then get mad when called bigots–funny how that works, isn’t it?)–but few other people do, Republican and Democrat alike. People just aren’t into your bigotry, guys. I know that makes you sad, but life goes on, and hey, you can be hateful little bigots all you want, you just have to accept the consequences, mkay?

  4. rustybrown2012 says:

    Cluster has trouble understanding:

    “Here’s what is not being said about the pizza caterer. Why in the world would a gay couple insist on having a business who objects to their lifestyle cater their wedding???? There are plenty of other pizzerias that would welcome the business, and the gay couple is extremely intolerant by insisting that the one business who is objectionable caters to them.”

    First, contrary to his belief, that’s been said many, many, many times before.

    Next, I’ll make this easy: substitute the word “black” for “gay” in the statement above and normal people will clearly see the moral shortcomings of Cluster’s argument.

  5. ndnd9 says:

    Hello Left Is Right: If someone aids a bank robber they can be put in jail as an accomplice. The government should not be in the business of trying to force people to aid those they believe are doing something immoral. LGBTs like to compare themselves with black Americans. But there is nothing immoral about skin color. And who should ever care what someone’s skin color is anyway. (Remember God protected Moses’ second wife, an Ethiopian, from his sister Miriam’s criticism by making Miriam a leper when she criticized the woman’s skin color. But God gives laws against homosexuality.) Genome studies have shown that “science is inadequate at determining sexual orientation.” This means that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality. There is a greater incidence of sexual identity confusion in developed countries today because of the practice of some parents reassigning their baby’s sex at birth. Because of the excess hormone estrogen that lodges in a woman’s body when she uses birth control chemicals, she may give birth to a male child with deformed genitalia. Rather than leave him male, the parents may opt for surgery to make him appear female. However, they cannot change the baby’s chromosomes. Gender is determined by chromosomes, and males think and feel differently than females. So, when the child grows up it has gender confusion — thinking and feeling male but being in a female body. In coming years it will be possible for these children to reverse back to their chromosomal gender. Studies have been done and the government knows birth control chemicals cause this effect, but they consider it a form of population control and let it go on without warning women of the side effects. In any event, if men took more responsibility for birth control instead of putting the whole burden on women, it would be easier for couples to avoid this event. From a reincarnation point of view, those being born in this condition at this time may be those who in centuries past had their sons castrated so the sons would be hired by the rich and send money back to their parents. This is the eternal validity of the Golden Rule — as you treat others you WILL BE treated in this life or another. In any event, that does not change the moral issue at stake here. Another reason for people choosing homosexuality is that older siblings (or others) consistently frightened them as infants. Those children grow up not understanding why they are attracted to same gender others, or to no others, because they don’t consciously remember what was done to them when they were infants that caused them to not trust and to fear rather than love. God’s law is clear and firm against homosexuality. Everyone on earth has a cross of some sort to bear. Those who have been pressured into sexual confusion should seek God’s guidance to not succumb, but should work to endure their particular challenge as others work to endure their own unique challenges. No one should scorn the homosexual, but it is appropriate for society by its laws to remind them that their choice is against the will of the Creator of the universe and, by those who respect God’s presence and will, against what society will endorse. More information about this issue is in my e-book (on Kindle) If You Ask Me…. Peace, ND (Nancy Dobson at blog nomagicwandchristianity).

    • Hi Nancy. Sorry for the delay in posting your comment. In order to combat spam, the first comment made by a new commenter is held in moderation until approved. Your subsequent comments will not be held in moderation.

      Regarding your comment, “But there is nothing immoral about skin color. And who should ever care what someone’s skin color is anyway,” you probably are aware that the arguments Christian conservatives are making today regarding homosexuals are pretty much the same arguments they made decades ago regarding skin color. In fact, this is something I started to write about when I saw your comment.

      Just wondering: How many parents in developed countries do you think are “reassigning their baby’s sex at birth”? 5% of parents? 10%? I would say it is so negligible as to be a non-factor in the discussion, but perhaps you can point to facts to back up your claim.

    • rustybrown2012 says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I’ll just stick to the subject at hand and not spend too much time unpacking your scientific and sociological arguments other than to say you are flat out wrong about them. It’s obvious to me you’re getting your information from some very dubious sources and your contentions don’t pass the standards of common sense, much less scientific scrutiny.

      As for your theological musings, quoting scripture isn’t a substitute for a well reasoned argument and is a non starter. Same goes for your invocation of “God’s law”; that is simply preaching and I reject your premise as breezily as I reject one who tries to lecture me on “Zeus’s law”.

      Concerning the topic, you state:

      “The government should not be in the business of trying to force people to aid those they believe are doing something immoral.”

      The government is not “forcing” people to “aid” anyone. The government is upholding the enlightened principles of 21st century America that forbid discrimination by a business owner in the public sphere. It’s called equal protection. Consider this constitutional scholars take on it:

      “The law against discrimination is a neutral, generally applicable law. It doesn’t target any discriminator in particular; and it doesn’t care about the underlying motivation for racism or sexism. If the government can’t bring anti-discrimination cases against people who discriminate unlawfully for religious reasons, then religious discriminators would get a de facto exception from the law.

      Such an exception for religious discriminators may sound like a good idea — but it isn’t. Suppose I claim the religious liberty right not to serve Latino customers in my business because my religion dictates that I stay among my own kind and avoid contact with seductive outsiders. The Constitution recognizes no such right, nor should it. If I run a business open to the public — in technical legal jargon, a “public accommodation” — then I can’t choose customers on the basis of a prohibited category such as race, religion or sex. The constitutional interest in affording everyone equal protection of the laws and combating discrimination trumps my religious values, no matter how sincerely they may be held.

      Under the Constitution, I have a perfect right to be as racist, sexist and exclusionary as I like in my private life and affairs. But business is fundamentally different. Even if I own my store and work there myself, the fact that I am open to the public puts me in the category of commerce, which Congress may regulate if it affects interstate business and the local government may regulate regardless of its reach.”

      http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-01-21/no-shirt-no-shoes-no-civil-rights-

      You also state:

      ”…it is appropriate for society by its laws to remind (gays) that their choice is against the will of the Creator of the universe and, by those who respect God’s presence and will, against what society will endorse.”

      No Nancy, not only is that entirely inappropriate, it’s unconstitutional. America wasn’t founded on god’s law and has no business telling anyone what god’s will is and how we should obey it. Frankly, that’s just crazy talk. Perhaps you would feel more at home in a country that does institute policy based on religious dictates, like Saudi Arabia.

      Finally, since you indicate that homosexuality is a choice, do you remember when it was you chose your sexuality?

  6. rustybrown2012 says:

    I found this article in Slate pretty interesting and it mirrors some of my own thoughts about the lack of reflection on the part of people who discriminate on religious grounds. I agree with the author that a substantial number of these people are bigots not out of hate but because of a type of uncritical delusion.

    “Prejudice is universal, but particular prejudices are learned in particular contexts. This is what too many anti-gay Christians seem not to realize—there is no religious reason why the Bible’s anti-gay passages should have come to dominate the hearts and minds of Christian conservatives more than its passages condemning divorce or environmental degradation. Christianity doesn’t require actually withholding services for same-sex weddings any more than it requires stoning adulterers. This fixation on blocking gay equality is nothing but a rationalization for feelings and beliefs that many people hold quite apart from religious tradition”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/04/02/instead_of_condemning_anti_gay_christians_we_should_ask_them_to_examine.html

  7. ndnd9 says:

    Yes, the USA’s constitution was framed using the Bible’s laws as a basis. This is an historical fact. Concerning choosing sexuality, homosexuality is not a sexuality, it is an abnormal choice and has been scientifically proved as such. Skin color is not immoral. Having sexual relations with someone of your same gender is immoral by every religious standard in the world. The percent of people affected by being sexualy reassigned is much larger than you apparently are aware — and any precent caused by mann made chemicals — which should contain appropriate warning labels but don’e — cultural sabbotage. If you haven’t investigated your own spirituality that’s unfortunate. There is ample information available to anyone with a computer or access to a library. You may feel that your are invested in your current lifestyle, but it might be of eternal benefit to you to consider what it is that the religious around the world seek in recognizing and paying respect to the Creator of the world. Just a thought.

    • Nancy, of course I’m aware that some people undergo sex change operations. However, these are adults, and they undergo a lengthy process before the operation that makes it irreversible.

      You previously said, “There is a greater incidence of sexual identity confusion in developed countries today because of the practice of some parents reassigning their baby’s sex at birth.” You now say, “The percent of people affected by being sexualy reassigned is much larger than you apparently are aware.” How about if you be direct. Tell us how many. Cite a source or statistics as to back it up. And then cite a source or statistics showing how many of those babies grow up homosexuals.

      You said, “Genome studies have shown that ‘science is inadequate at determining sexual orientation.’ This means that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality.” No, you are reaching a faulty conclusion. The conclusion is genome science is currently unable to identify traits that determine sexual orientation. It doesn’t mean those traits do or do not exist. It means that science, so far, as been unable to show it. There is a difference. I’m not sure you really understand how science works.

      As far as skin color, it is not an issue of immorality, but that hasn’t stop Christians from using the Bible to support the inferior treatment of people whose skin color is not white. That seems pretty immoral to me. See my subsequent post.

    • rustybrown2012 says:

      Nancy, strange that you claim the US constitution is based on the Bible when neither god nor the Bible is mentioned even once in that lengthy document. Why the discrepancy? It’s obvious that our constitution was drafted to be specifically irreligious and even makes pains to say so in the very First Amendment.

      Regarding homosexuality, genetics, and choice, I’ll repeat that you’re embarrassingly misinformed on these issues. This isn’t surprising to me. I often find religious folk to be fond of making evidence-free, bald-faced assertions (kinda goes with the territory of being devout) and you certainly prove the point.

      Speaking of extemporaneous assertions, I have no idea where you get the idea that I haven’t “investigated my own spirituality”. I’ve done so and continue to do so quite thoroughly. In my experience, it’s the hyper religious that are lead to the life unexamined – by the nose. You think I should ponder why the religious of the world worship their deities? Really? Think it might have something to do with cultural indoctrination? Ever wonder why an American child born to devout Catholic parents doesn’t have an overwhelming desire to worship Vishnu from an early age?

      Since you’ve not responded to any of the specific points or questions in my last post I’ll not anticipate you answering these. Seems to go with the territory of the faithful following dogma in a life left unexamined.

  8. rustybrown2012 says:

    Nancy, as long as I’m posing inconvenient questions, here’s a few more: Since you declare homosexuality to be unacceptably immoral by biblical standards, what are your thoughts about divorce? Children out of wedlock? Disobedient children (should they be stoned to death as the Bible recommends)? Working on the sabbath? Eating shellfish? Since you’re obviously a spiritual workhorse, I’m sure you’ve carefully navigated these inconsistencies.

  9. ndnd9 says:

    Reblogged this on Jesusfortheseriousspiritualseeker and commented:
    Hello again. I’m glad we are in dialogue re all this. To answer some questions, just look up the books that have been written explaining the connection between the Bible and the Constitution. There are several. Regarding other Biblical laws that are broken, I do recognize those laws and I do not encourage anyone to break them. The Bible gives the death sentence for several breaches of law, but only for one does it say “cannot be ransomed”. This leads one to conjecture that perhaps for the other breaches of law one could repent and make restitution (in an agricultural society, when the Bible was written, the restitution was usually the sacrifice of a food item, like a lamb. Obviously that isn’t the same today, but some manner of repentance is expected. ) The one exception is premeditated murder. It cannot be ransomed. Concerning statistics, it is no surprise that statistics on sexually reassigned babies are hard to come by. What parent wants that information about their child floating around. However, this also is an area that you could research if you have an interest in it. Since birth control chemicals are widely used, the incidence of parents having their boys reassigned is likely to be high — but hush hush. My information comes from the research end. I don’t care about the numbers. Warnings should be on the chemicals no matter the number affected. I’m trying to cast some light on why the issue of gender ID is so prevalent in developed countries these days — but almost unknown in countries where birth control chemicals are not used. If you acknowledge the spiritual realm, do you not respect the Power that creates the universe and life? If you respect that Power, does it not occur to you to also respect the rules that God has communicated through those who dedicated their lives to seeking God? If you acknowledge the spiritual realm, do you not expect to be evaluated by God after your physical death? I do not recommend that any lawbreaker be scorned or treated disrespectfully. I do recommend that they be made aware that they are doing something that they are likely to regret when they are evaluated by God at the end of their lives. It seems a small thing to me that a business owner merely refuse to serve someone who is immoral. They refuse service to folks who don’t wear shirts and shoes, to folks who use profanity, to folks who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, etc. Refusing service lets people know that the business owner had a sense of values. This can be a good silent witness to law breakers to cause them to reflect and get back on track. It is cruelty to encourage someone to break God’s laws. Some people do that just for their own entertainment — they like to see others get into trouble. It is tougher to stand up for what is right in the face of those who are belligerent about forcing immorality on society. Concerning scientific evidence for homosexuality — there just isn’t any that hasn’t been disproved by unbiased researchers. It is a choice — even if the causative factors are not consciously remembered. Therefore, there is the possibility of changing the choice. About 25% of homosexuals do change to heterosexuality. This also has been studied.

    • Nancy wrote: “Concerning statistics, it is no surprise that statistics on sexually reassigned babies are hard to come by. What parent wants that information about their child floating around. However, this also is an area that you could research if you have an interest in it. Since birth control chemicals are widely used, the incidence of parents having their boys reassigned is likely to be high — but hush hush. My information comes from the research end.”

      If your information comes from the research end, then point us to the research. This isn’t hard. The problem I have is that you put forth unsubstantiated statements as though they are gospel. It severely weakens the credibility of your entire argument.

      We get it that you believe business owners are merely showing that they have “a sense of values” by discriminating against homosexuals. As I have pointed out to you, Christians did the same with respect to black people a couple of generations ago. Yet, you refuse to acknowledge it. So just answer the question: Do you think business owners should be able to refuse to serve people of other races or religions to let people know the business owner has a sense of values?

    • rustybrown2012 says:

      Ever hear of paragraph breaks? They’re cool.

      You continue to make ignorant assertions without a scintilla of evidence. I’ll paraphrase Hitchens and say that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. It’s not enough for you to say there are books out there explaining the links between the Bible and the constitution; I know there are, and they are retarded–as are your assertions about genetics and birth control.

      If there is a god, I’m quite certain it has not relayed any rules or wisdom to us through iron age Middle Eastern nomads. If it had, why don’t any of the scriptures contain information more enlightened than what would be known by your average sheepherder of the time? The scriptures are exceedingly ignorant to the way the world, universe, physical and biological laws actually work, not to mention their retrograde and abhorrent morality. You know what would have been nice for an all powerful benevolent deity to include in the Bible? A heads up on germ theory and washing your hands and cooking utensils. Would have saved countless millions of innocent children from agonizing, needless deaths throughout the centuries. Just sayin’.

      I must say, for someone supposedly taking the moral high ground I find your assertions about the immorality of homosexuality disgusting. It’s glaringly obvious that sexuality is not primarily a choice but involves a plethora of environmental, and probably genetic components. In any event, even if it were purely a choice, it’s beyond me why people like you should concern themselves with what consenting adults decide to do with their own genitalia, but that’s your can of worms to sort through, not mine.

  10. ndnd9 says:

    OK, here is another response. Every human being on earth is here for the same reason — we chose our will over God’s will. We rebelled against our Creator and wanted to do things our way instead of following God’s guidance. It is the very same error we still make today. We set ourselves up and say we know more than our Creator, so why should we follow God’s rules. Think about that for a minute. It took millions of years for souls to get to the point Abraham got to where someone asked God for guidance and then responded by following that guidance. Yes, anyone could do that — but Abraham was the one who did The Bible calls him a “prince”. He may have been uneducated by your standards, but apparently he was very intelligent. He set a standard whereby those who came after him also sought communication with the Creator of the material and spiritual realms. Isaac consulted God and didn’t go to Egypt. Joseph consulted God and interpreted the dreams of a Pharoah. Moses consulted God and wrote the laws God guided him to write. He wasn’t a sheepherder either. He grew up in a royal court. Jesus said constantly that he said what God told him to say and did what God told him to do. This is his message to us — the only way to repair the trust we broke with God is to learn how to choose God’s will over our own. Everyone on earth has to learn the same lesson. The Bible is our instruction book. Jesus is our teacher and role model. In Numbers 15:30-31 it says that those who break God’s laws show contempt for God and should be separated from the community. Separating them does not scorn or abuse them, it merely informs them that they have gotten off track and need to make a correction. This applies to all the laws. Those who insist on their will over God’s are going in the wrong direction. It is cruel not to object and try to inform them of that. We are all judged by God at the end of our lives. It is a act of love to warn those who show contempt for the Creator that there is a way for them to correct their error and return to a lifestyle that will give them more peace when they are in the spiritual realm. I agree that we all need to work at knowing and living by God’s rules and daily guidance. That is a lifestyle. But condoning law breaking is not the way to build society or spiritual strengths. God’s directions for cleanlilness, by the way, are eternally available to us — we have only to learn how to discern them. God is ever ready to communicate with each person — it is we who shut off our spiritual perception and continually choose our will over God’s. So the question is, as it forever has been, whether we choose capitulating to our grudges, fears and temptations or do we finally wise up, face our responsibility for who and where we are, apologize to our Creator and begin the long road back to obedience and submission. It is the same trip for every soul on earth. But that God wants us back, loves us all, is available to communicate with each one of us has been revealed to us. We have only to choose to accept the responsibility and challenge and follow Jesus’ teachings and example to have forgiveness and return to the place we all originally came from — God’s kingdom. All it takes to get started is honesty.

    • Nancy, sorry that was yet another non-response. You’ve been politely asked to substantiate your claims, and you still can’t. Obviously we won’t get any farther here.

  11. rustybrown2012 says:

    Well Nancy, now you’re just preaching your personal take on unsubstantiated superstitions and are therefore effectively excluding yourself from rational debate. Remember Hitchens’s Razor: “that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. Your claims are entirely devoid of evidence, and I find you precisely as convincing as a schizophrenic lecturing about aliens from a street corner. To make matters worse, you almost completely dodge the points and questions in my arguments that challenge your position. When you do attempt to address a theological dilemma I’ve presented, you make no sense:

    “God’s directions for cleanlilness, by the way, are eternally available to us — we have only to learn how to discern them. God is ever ready to communicate with each person — it is we who shut off our spiritual perception and continually choose our will over God’s.”

    So your answer is that germ theory was always available to us, we just had to figure it out? And the fact that that process took hundreds of years and millions of innocent lives was our fault? As opposed to god simply sharing that information with his children whom he supposedly loves, or better yet, not creating the harmful bacteria that preys on us in the first place? Can you comprehend how utterly ridiculous this reasoning is to anyone who doesn’t subscribe to your personal interpretation of ancient superstition?

    Last bit of advice to you Nancy (aside from paragraph breaks), read more science, learn about how the world actually works, and stop judging others for person behavior that doesn’t affect you in the slightest and is none of your business. If there is a god, I think it would agree. Happy preachin’! Ciao!

  12. ndnd9 says:

    First, what is harmful to humans has other uses in the natural balance that ultimately protects life. God’s creation is intricately interconnected and delicately balanced. We have not begun to understand all of it. Second, Jesus once said, “those of God understand the words of God. The reason you do not understand is that you are not of God.” What he was trying to tell them (for their own good) is what I was trying to tell you. Until you experiment with choosing God’s will over your own willfulness you will not understand what could be of great benefit to you for eternity. The possibility is always available to you. It is you who chooses when to use it.

  13. rustybrown2012 says:

    “Those of God understand the words of God. The reason you do not understand is that you are not of God.”

    That’s a classic tautology, not a rational argument. Since I reject your premise of god, any argument you present which starts with god as a given is nonsensical to me. It’s as if we were debating the existence of space aliens and I offered up as proof: “Well, the space aliens said….”

    Regarding the nasty microbes god has inflicted us with, you say:

    “what is harmful to humans has other uses in the natural balance that ultimately protects life. God’s creation is intricately interconnected and delicately balanced.”

    Ultimately protects life? Which life are you talking about? Certainly not human, because it’s the death and suffering of humans that we’re talking about. I agree that nature is an intricate balance and there’s much more to discover about this, but what we’re talking about here is pretty straightforward: The suffering of human beings. And after all, isn’t it you Christians who are always trumpeting the exalted status of the human soul above all other creation? Does the Bible not say the same? So your rationalizing centuries of human suffering for the sake of bacteria is puzzling to say the least.

    Basically, what this amounts to is the question of theodicy, the problem of evil. If god is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent, why is there evil in the world? This is a conundrum that the faithful have never satisfactorily answered. I fully expect your response to involve free will and the fall of man, but coming full circle, I’ll remind you that you can’t rely on a few passages from the Bible to excuse the monumental suffering humans have endured in our short time on earth.

  14. rustybrown2012 says:

    Insightful article about the myths of atheism. The religious regularly trot out these lies:

    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/21/10_egregious_myths_the_religious_perpetuate_about_atheists_debunked_partner/

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