BattleCry 2006: Recruiting Christian youth for a religious war tomorrow.

Go read the three columns submitted to Truthdig by Sunsara Taylor on her experiences attending the three day Christian evangelical youth movement known as BattleCry:

If you’ve been waiting to get alarmed until the Christian fascist movement started filling stadiums with young people and hyping them up to do battle in “God’s army,” wait no longer.

In recent weeks, BattleCry, a Christian fundamentalist youth movement, has attracted more than 25,000 people to mega-rally rock concerts in San Francisco and Detroit, and this weekend it plans to fill Wachovia Stadium in Philadelphia.

The leaders of BattleCry claim that their religion and values are under attack, but amid spectacular light shows, Hummers, Navy SEALs and military imagery on stage, it is BattleCry that has declared war on everyone else. Its leader, Ron Luce, insists: “This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action, telling us that the violent—the ‘forceful’ ones—will lay hold of the kingdom.”

Here’s page 2 and page 3 and I highly suggest you read them all. It’ll probably scare the shit out of you.

There is a definite attempt taking place by the Christian Evangelicals to get ‘em while their young and get them ready to literally shed blood in the fight to turn America into a theocracy. This is where we’re going to see the next round of domestic terrorism come forth and our President is fully behind the effort all the way:

This was the letter that opened the event. Its author was George W. Bush.  Yes, the president of the United States sent a letter of support, greeting, prayer and encouragement to the BattleCry event held at Wachovia Spectrum Stadium in Philadelphia on May 12. Immediately afterward, a preacher took the microphone and led the crowd in prayer. Among other things, he asked the attendees to “Thank God for giving us George Bush.”

On his cue, about 17,000 youths from upward of 2,000 churches across America and Canada directed their thanks heavenward in unison.

Throughout the three and a half hours of BattleCry’s first session, I thought of only one analogy that fit the experience: This must have been what it felt like to watch the Hitler Youth, filled with self-righteous pride, proclaim the supremacy of their beliefs and their willingness to shed blood for them.

You’d like to think this kind of shit can’t happen in America, but there’s no reason it can’t. Who’s to say that someday this country will be the one all the other countries are banding together to defeat? If these people have their way that day may come sooner than later.

Original link found via Pharyngula.

244 thoughts on “BattleCry 2006: Recruiting Christian youth for a religious war tomorrow.

  1. Les, this is the kind of shit that makes me want to grab the nearest shotgun (which, in a very redneck Hoosier fashion, is less than ten feet away) and run out to do some of my Lord’s work. (Not that I have a lord, but maybe if I claim it in the name of my ‘god’ they’ll give me insanity plea.)

    But, in all seriousness, this is fucking disgusting. I had a girlfriend who went to Battle Cry in Detroit, and when she came back and told me about it, I broke up with her on the spot. It horrified me. I told her “If you’re going to be part of some Hitler Youth-esque self-righteous bullshit propaganda like that, you’re definitely not the chick I thought you were.”

    Ugh, disgusting. Thats the only word I have right now. Next thing ya know, they’ll be doing the Pledge of Allegiance’s original straight-arm salute.

  2. It appears that the hours-long equivalent of the Two Minute Hate has arrived, and its minions congregated less than an hour’s distance from me. Makes me feel all warm inside. Canada, anyone?

  3. Caution is all I gotta say.  We gotta be careful that we all arn’t painted black and blue by some youth propaganda machine or something.  I found the article to be horribly anti-Bush basised and politically charged.  Don’t really consider that article good journalism in the least.

    So I dug deeper (as I always do) and went on their forum boards for the events.  For the most part it was just “yah Jesus” stuff and all love and peace.  However there are alwyas bad apples and with this much “zeal”, fanatics are sure to be around.  Maybe I’m just too kind.  All I can say is that they were quick to damn, very quick.  I say let them go on about the kingdom of God and fighting for it, no worse then what we have already weathered.  This isn’t a religious war, its a culture war and one that has targeted theocracy, not Jesus man.  Aren’t we after the religious nuts, not just the religious.  I say let them rally, but one wrong move and we may come down harder then Robespierre’s Church of Reason during the French Revolution.  Course that is just purly SICK radical there but hey, nuts may bear fruit.  Just wait

  4. If a bunch of folks start killing people to force their agenda on the populace, it won’t be Christianity you’re watching. No more than the crusades were indicative of Jesus’ message. The Jews of Jesus day wanted him to rule by force, but they ignored the “savior must suffer” part. Jesus actually ducked out when they were trying to force him to take the throne.
      Many will claim to be Christians, and act in all sorts of horrible ways. Don’t mistake it for the gospel.
      This Christian (not that I’m the definition of a perfect one) will continue to resort to “violent prayer” and strive for “forceful selflessness.” Now that’s radical.
      Humans won’t bring on any serious theocracy. Jesus, in fact, steps in before humans wipe themselves out. Strive to do right, but realize we won’t get it right on our own strength. Christians who believe they have the power to bring on armegeddon/prophecy are just as silly as humanists thinking their efforts can create a utopia.

  5. Looking4truth if I had objetions to anything you said (even accepting the truth of the bible, though I do not) it remains that Christianity is a powerful, populated banner for people to rally under. What is “true” Christianity in a day when most proclaimed Christians haven’t even read the Bible well? Certainly, the statistical billions aren’t all true Christians, are they?

    Given enough people who endorse you any aspect of a belief can be emboldened, whether it’s accurate or not. And if you fall in with the Christians and they support you as Christians, then you’re effectively a Christian.

    Now all they need to do is talk about what you do to prophets of other gods. *shudders* It’s like an episode of the Outer Limits come to life.

  6. arc:

    We agree. Even though I vehemently disagree with Les’s spiritual beliefs, I read his blog because he does a great job reporting the nutty behavior of so-called Christians. Heck, I might even (in a strange moment) wonder if Les (and some of the rest of you) are secretly Christians in disguise, with some warped ministry to lead others to a truer faith. BTW, how do I get smilies here. Is that a members-only feature?

  7. Clicking the “Smileys” link just below “Post a comment” will pop up a window full of ‘em grin

    Humans won’t bring on any serious theocracy.

    Are you serious?  Afghanistan and Iran come to mind…

    This BattleCry shit literally turns my stomach. There are already too many people ready and willing to kill in the name of God, and it is beyond depressing that there are actually adults in the 21st fucking century who are not only stupid/lazy enough to believe this shit, but allow children to be indoctrinated as well.

    Truly frightening.

  8. Christians who believe they have the power to bring on armegeddon/prophecy are just as silly as humanists thinking their efforts can create a utopia.

    Bush is a Christian, and he has the power to bring on armageddon.  And humanists cannot create utopia.

    Of course, one might say that a “true” Christian would not push the button, or go on Crusades, and that WWIII is not Armageddon if it doesn’t fit scripture, but these piddling differences of definition are small comfort to those of us who just want to live and let live.

    Humanists cannot create utopia, because utopia cannot exist, any more than Heaven and Hell can exist.  We are social animals, but our genetic predispositions were evolved for life in small roving tribes, not huge well-armed nation-states.  So conflict is built in, and while I’m enough of an optimist to say that a lot of improvement is possible, and desirable, I don’t believe in any perfect society, for the same reason that the lion is not going to lie down with the lamb.

    Heck, I might even (in a strange moment) wonder if Les (and some of the rest of you) are secretly Christians in disguise, with some warped ministry to lead others to a truer faith.

    I know many believers I admire for their efforts to make the world a better place, and I don’t even need a “strange moment” in which to wonder: I know that there are living and loving human animals in them, who have chosen, for whatever reasons, to express themselves through Christianity.  Or Judaism, or Islam, or Buddhism, or Paganism.  And all ministries are “warped”, including the various flavors of secular humanism, for the same reason that no utopia is possible:  our genetic agenda, and the means we have of accomplishing our ends, have built-in conflicts, and thus are necessarily imperfect, or warped.  That’s the curse, and the glory, of life.

  9. Sorry for the doubledipping, and the linkfrenzy, but this fits in nicely with warped ministries:  Slavoj Zizek wrote a very nice article about atheism, from which I’d like to quote:

    During the Seventh Crusade, led by St. Louis, Yves le Breton reported how he once encountered an old woman who wandered down the street with a dish full of fire in her right hand and a bowl full of water in her left hand. Asked why she carried the two bowls, she answered that with the fire she would burn up Paradise until nothing remained of it, and with the water she would put out the fires of Hell until nothing remained of them: “Because I want no one to do good in order to receive the reward of Paradise, or from fear of Hell; but solely out of love for God.” Today, this properly Christian ethical stance survives mostly in atheism.

    Rabbi Avi Shafran replied indignantly, seemingly to illustrate the fact that bigotry is not confined to Christians, and was in turn nicely skewered by PZ Myers at pharyngula.  Highly recommended.  Thanks to elwed at fallacio for bringing this to my attention.

  10. Looking4truth, you’d hit it on the nose with me. I’m a young man who voluntarily (albeit with some psychological circumstance prescribing) entered the Church at the age of ten, after 2 years of attending catechism. Gradually disturbed by the conduct of people “acting in the service of God”, by 17 I was done with Christianity, by 21, as I am now, I’d discarded moral fabric in the traditional, Christian sense (in the notions of free will and upholding of principles of right and wrong).

    The tale of Jesus carries a lot of great ideas, and it deserves to be passed on – just as other tales relevant our era are passed on for their messages. There are still useful things to be learned; but just as you have to read the Bible to get the story, so do you have to listen to the world around you to learn about it. Too many “Christians” won’t take time to do the former, much less the latter. Even that said, very little of either Testament is really useful as a standalone as much as it is a single frame of reference for you to appoint a system of morals to guide your life by until you’ve grown enough to decide your own.

  11. Looking4truth, you’d hit it on the nose with me. I’m a young man who voluntarily (albeit with some psychological circumstance prescribing) entered the Church at the age of ten, after 2 years of attending catechism. Gradually disturbed by the conduct of people “acting in the service of God

  12. Zilch:

      Christians who believe they have the power to bring on armegeddon/prophecy are just as silly as humanists thinking their efforts can create a utopia.

    Bush is a Christian, and he has the power to bring on armageddon

    John 19:10

    10″Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

    11Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.

    Don’t fear man (including Bush), but God alone. The fear of God is the beginning of understanding. My point is not that armegeddon is not possible, but that Christians are mis-guided if they think they can bring it on outside God’s timing/will.

    our genetic predispositions were evolved for life in small roving tribes, not huge well-armed nation-states.

    Is this proven? Sounds more like theory to me. Even if so, what/who is responsible for the original genes?

  13. The fear of God is the beginning of understanding.

    No, L4t: dropping the Book and looking around you is the beginning of understanding.

    Is this proven? Sounds more like theory to me. Even if so, what/who is responsible for the original genes?

    Blogbite version: Evolution.  If you really want to know more about the theory of evolution, which is, like the theory of gravity, amply proven, although not completely understood, check out talkorigins.  For a more Socratic approach, with some entertaining mudslinging, do a search here at SEB on “evolution”.

    If you are prepared to do some hard thinking, there’s no story more fascinating than evolution.  If you just want quick answers, stick with religion.

  14. Don’t fear man (including Bush), but God alone. The fear of God is the beginning of understanding.

    What zilch said… AND…

    While I don’t quite FEAR human beings, I do pay attention to the nutty ones, since I’ve no reason to doubt either their existence or their capacity to hurt their fellow creatures in innumerable ways. However, I’d no more fear God than I would Zeus or the Easter Bunny, because they’re all the same to me.

  15. L4T: The fear of God is the beginning of understanding.

    I disagree.
    The fear of god is the beginning of a fearful life dogged by ignorance and guilt.
    To be brainwashed into loving and respecting an invisible being that you fear is truly, (my vocabulary is obviously inadequate) fucked.

    Eric Hoffer: You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

    Oh, and what Zilch/OB said. LOL

  16. The fear of god is the beginning of a fearful life dogged by ignorance and guilt.

    The nice thing is with Christianity, the fear vanishes once you become a believer. The fear alluded to in “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” refers to the acknowledgement of sin, which the believer can then let go of once he/she allows Jesus’ sacrifice to cover that sin. Accepting Jesus is the end of that fear, since all of your sin (past, present, future) is then covered.
      Many Christians do struggle with ongoing fear, since even as a Christian, it’s hard to remember the permanence of one’s salvation. Also, the Holy Spirit will convict a Christian if they continue to “grieve the Holy Spirit,” but that is different from losing one’s salvation.
      I can certainly understand one’s hesitance to even look into Christ if they think becoming a Christian means a life of grovelling, fear, and guilt. Who would want that?
      This also ties in with the wrong assumption that one must become perfect if they accept Christ. Had I believed I would have to drop all my sinning ways on my own will-power alone, I never would have come to Christ. The fact is: attaining any level of ongoing “holiness” is not just difficult for the natural man, but absolutely impossible. Even attempting to be righteous often results in increased sin rather than success. Ever tried to follow the 10 commandments to the letter? Good luck. I had no idea how impossible that would be until I (in my early days as a Christian) tried to stop engaging in a particular sin. My resulting dismay at my dismal failure was only alleviated when my fellow “mature” Christians explained to me the folly of trying to attain righteousness on my own.
      God does not ask us to sign up for a life of self-chastisement, but a life of continually recognizing the all-encompassing salvation that Jesus performed for us, and continually turning to Him for the power to have any victory over sin. 
      Paul chastised some of the Jewish believers of his day for attempting holiness on their own. See Galatians 3, or click here

    As for the living in ignorance part, well, that’s the natural conclusion for one who has not come to faith. Nobody has accused me of having become an idiot since I came to Christ, and I haven’t suddenly found my I.Q. drop a few points, but that is a common accusation and fear of non-believers.

  17. L4T: The nice thing is with Christianity, the fear vanishes once you become a believer.

    From where I’m standing, it appears that fundamentalists lead lives that are based on fear.

  18. The nice thing is with Christianity, the fear vanishes once you become a believer.

    The same thing happens when you drink a fifth of tequilla but at least you come to your senses when it wears off……

  19. From where I’m standing, it appears that fundamentalists lead lives that are based on fear.

    Bummer for them. Guess they don’t really understand the faith they claim to have.

    The same thing happens when you drink a fifth of tequilla but at least you come to your senses when it wears off…..

    And then back to fear? I tried that with weed for years. The problem (as I saw it) was not how the drug made me feel, but the fact that I had to have more and more of the stuff to maintain that feeling. Like in Ecclesiastes, the author does not take the puritan view of “everything that feels good should be shunned,” but instead reports that such earthly pleasures do not lead to final, ultimate satisfaction.
      Yeah, I’ll admit it. I’m selfish. I want the best. From where I stand, I believe I’ll get the best, but not in this life. There’s no denying it’s a massive gamble. What a wasted life if I’m wrong! What indescribable pleasures await if I’m right.

  20. OB:

      Humans won’t bring on any serious theocracy.

    Are you serious?  Afghanistan and Iran come to mind…

    I stand corrected. I meant that I don’t believe Christianity will ultimately succeed/prevail by force before the second coming.
      Even Afghanistan and Iran have their Christian/non Muslim populations, but as to the majority, you are certainly correct.
      Anyhow, my statement was sloppy. Thanks for the correction.

  21. And then back to fear?

    The point was that the peace or freedom from fear that religion gives you is no more real than the one brought on by booze or mind altering chemicals. It is more dangerous, though, as most people don’t recognize that their belief is nothing more than a self deception, a programmed escape from reality.

    Yes, maybe reality does involve a certain amount of fear or disquiet. I’d rather worry about things that really exist than to be soothed by fairy tales.

    You are familiar with the expression “Ignorrance is bliss”?

  22. The fear of God is the beginning of understanding.

    The nice thing is with Christianity, the fear vanishes once you become a believer.

    Isn’t it interesting how differently one can interpret the preceeding statements?

  23. KPG:

    It is more dangerous, though, as most people don’t recognize that their belief is nothing more than a self deception, a programmed escape from reality.

    Your statement assumes the belief is false. Obviously, I don’t belief it is, or I wouldn’t hold to it. You’re absolutely right that if I’m wrong, the Faith IS dangerous. 1st Corinthians 15:19 –

    If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

  24. Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.

    L4T- the only reason you are able to type is that the Flying Spagetti Monster lets you.

    Really this isn’t an answer – ‘God lets you’.  The usual Christian response- ‘free will’.  What about all the crap that happens that isn’t free will- like the man who had a heart attack while driving- the resultant crash killing his daughter (speaking to the wife was one of the worst phone calls in my professional life).

  25. L4T: I tried that with weed for years.

    Ahh. Now I get it. You’re one of those people who have the pre-disposition to being fearful and paranoid when you partake of god’s glorious weed, (Gen 1:11).
    You chose to look outside yourself for help and fulfilment; for the solution to life.
    That same sort of peace can be achieved by looking within, although it is a little harder and takes more work but, at least it’s based in reality rather than myths and legends.

    From where I stand, I believe I’ll get the best, but not in this life.

    You’ve heard of self-fulfilling prophesies?
    They have you nicely programmed and packaged, don’t they?
    Good for them and … good for you, if that’s what oils your wheels. smile

  26. Gods are intelligently designed.

    I agree, up to a point, elwed.  They are certainly the creation of intelligent beings (us), but many of their design features can more fruitfully be seen as evolved.  Once a godhead makes the leap into the ideosphere, It is not only subject to more or less deliberate design and redesign in the minds of Its human hosts, but must also do battle with competing godheads for survival in the limited space allowed.  Thousands of godheads have perished through the ages, leaving only the fittest, or the luckiest (contingency being just as much part of survival in the ideosphere as in the biosphere), to grace our lives today.

    L4t, do you want to talk about facts, or just continue spinning stories about the motivations of God, once it’s assumed that the Bible is true?  Facts are debatable, whereas the motivations of God can be discussed until the cows come home: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  Intellectual tennis without a net.

    Here’s a question of fact for you: how old is the Earth?

  27. but many of their design features can more fruitfully be seen as evolved.

    Here’s an interesting line of thought: Which feature sets are irreducibly complex?

  28. Which feature sets are irreducibly complex?

    Damit bin ich hoffnungslos überfragt…  rolleyes

  29. Your statement assumes the belief is false. Obviously, I don’t belief it is, or I wouldn’t hold to it. You’re absolutely right that if I’m wrong, the Faith IS dangerous.

    Okay, here’s my problem with this conversation, in a nutshell. You treat this is an even game, your opinion or my opinion. That’s ridiculous. My opinion has scientific evidence to back it up. Your opinion is supported only by folklore passed down from generation to generation.

    Do you see the disparity here?

  30. L4T writes…

    What a wasted life if I’m wrong! What indescribable pleasures await if I’m right.

    A lot of people have wasted their lives chasing after Wishful Thinking. It’s part of what keeps the Casino’s in business and the Politicians in office.

  31. You treat this is an even game

    An indispensible premise of modern-day Christian apologetics directed at atheists. There are quite a few apologists that appear to rue the day when argument #17 had to be abandoned.

    At the end of the day, a lot of hot air is generated around the definition of ‘faith’. Have you ever noticed how apologists portray atheism as requiring faith (clearly insinuating this is a Bad Thing), while extolling religious faith as a virtue and at the same time redefining that faith into knowable fact?

  32. My opinion has scientific evidence to back it up. Your opinion is supported only by folklore passed down from generation to generation.

    KPG, you’re forgetting that religious opinion also has the support of the voices in believer’s heads…

  33. My opinion has scientific evidence to back it up. Your opinion is supported only by folklore passed down from generation to generation.

    Are you telling me that there are no “credible” scientists that hold to Biblical truth? I’m not claiming that the Bible is true with this question, but pointing out that the issue has not been settled. Surely, if the Bible had been solidly refuted, I would have heard the news?
      Sure, people can and do hold to faulty beliefs beyond conclusive evidence against, and I suspect you’ll just classify Christianity as an extreme case of this. However, to state that the Bible’s validity is resolved is as much an assumption as a believers.
      Admittedly, both camps filter all incoming data through their underlying premises (God does/does not) exist. Members here encourage and challenge me to excamine the data, and that is fair. All I ask is that you continue to do the same.
      Once again, this is not a proof statement, but if the Bible had been solidly refuted, how has it survived this many centuries?
      Another question. If the Bible is merely a tool to control the masses, why have so many leaders tried to wipe it out rather than use it to their advantage?
      Zilch: Not being a scientist, I hesitate to get in to the whole creation argument. I would quickly embarass myself with my scientific ignorance. However, I would guess that you’ve got your own bookmarks to sites offering the Christian scientist’s perspective?
      My own field of study (counseling psych), fits well with Biblical explanations. When I became a Christian, I found that many of psychology’s conclusions were long preceded by Biblical explanations of human behavior. For example, Freud did a bang up job of describing ego defense mechanisms. The Christian belief system does not refute his descriptions, but rather, offers a better description of the underlying root cause (sin).
      O.K, I’m throwing a lot of stuff out here in the interests of time (family calls). But one last thought:
      I have difficulty understanding how matter came out of nothing. No matter how small we understand the components of matter to be, where did those smallest elements come from? As basic as this argument is, I can’t get over that question. How do athiests resolve this?

  34. All I ask is that you continue to do the same.

    What actually do you give us to examine?

    found that many of psychology’s conclusions were long preceded by Biblical explanations of human behavior.

    Religeon is a way of getting people to do what is good for them- I have said before the 3 Abrahamic religeons are desert survival guides.  Don’t eat pork is damn good advice in a desert.  Don’t do sex that won’t produce kids is good advice in societies with high death rates.  As a human being I can understand ‘Do not Kill’, but why ‘Do no be Gay’.  Why is it a sin?  It can not be unnatural or it would not be innate in people.  Note that same gender sex has been noted in other animals.

    Why can protestants use condoms?

  35. Sorry- the last post just stops. I just get so wound up by religeous people who expect everything they raise to be explained ‘Janet and John’, yet when you challenge them, they look knowing and say ‘God did it, and he can not be understood’.

    You want an answer.  How the universe got here. I persanlly ripped out your God’s spleen, ate it, and the universe is the by product.  It the immortal (HA!) words of every fundie troll who pops up here…

    Prove.

    Me.

    Wrong.

    (now- where are the rant tags)

  36. Prove.

    Me.

    Wrong

    Ah, you know I can’t. Neither side is provable. I’m just continuing to provide the Christian interpretation of the existing data.
      I never met Abe Lincoln, yet I trust that he did exist based on the reports of history. When it comes down to it, all our beliefs involve an element of trust in the reports we look to.
      I can’t disprove the flying Spaghetti Monster either, yet I don’t recall the reports that such a being has claimed to hold the key to my eternal destiny. For me, the sheer boldness of Jesus’ claims makes me interested in examining those claims. I imagine that’s a big part of the reason so much of this blog is devoted to reflections on the validity/absurdity of the Faith – because the claims are so serious.

  37. Last Hussar:

    As a human being I can understand ‘Do not Kill’, but why ‘Do no be Gay’.  Why is it a sin?  It can not be unnatural or it would not be innate in people.  Note that same gender sex has been noted in other animals.

    I’ve struggled with that question too, despite my hetero position. Is homosexualty innate? That topic is certainly debated. Is animal homosexual behavior for sexual puposes, or a display of dominance? Huge questions indeed.

  38. Surely, if the Bible had been solidly refuted, I would have heard the news?

    Okay, you’ve probably heard this before, but in all circumstances the burdon of proof falls upon those making the extraordinary claim. If I tell you that I’m an alien from the planet Krypton and your red son gives me the power of flight, the burdon of proof is on me. It is entirely unreasonable for me to say such a thing and then claim that you have to prove it false.

    There is no historical evidence for most of the stories in the bible. In fact, science does refute many biblical tales. Age of the planet? Sure as hell isn’t a few thousand years.

    As far as I can tell, there are only two non-biblical references to the existence of Jesus, both several hundred years after his death. That doesn’t prove he existed, merely that the myth had taken hold by then.

    If the Bible is merely a tool to control the masses, why have so many leaders tried to wipe it out rather than use it to their advantage?

    You think there’s only one group wanting to control people? It’s called opposing sides.

    Freud did a bang up job of describing ego defense mechanisms. The Christian belief system does not refute his descriptions, but rather, offers a better description of the underlying root cause (sin).

    No, it offers an easy to understand root cause, not a better one. Life and the human brain are not that easily labelled.

    I have difficulty understanding how matter came out of nothing. No matter how small we understand the components of matter to be, where did those smallest elements come from? As basic as this argument is, I can’t get over that question. How do athiests resolve this?

    elwed already covered this, so I’ll just add that just because we don’t currently understand something, doesn’t mean the answer is “God Did It.” That’s the kind of faulty thinking that had primative man believing that the fire gods brought fire from the heavens.

  39. L4T: Surely, if the Bible had been solidly refuted, I would have heard the news?

    Even if the entire Bible were to be refuted, True Believers wouldn’t hear a word of it. Indeed, parts of the Bible have been proven scientifically inaccurate (i.e. the age of the Earth), yet you don’t see Young Earth Creationists changing their beliefs to fit the facts.

  40. Ah, you know I can’t. Neither side is provable.

    That was my point, really. As KPG said we can make any claim we like. But it is up to those making the claim to back it up. We have lots of evidence for Lincoln. Yes, it could be lots of people making it up, a giant joke on someone perhaps.  But given the diversity of sources, unlikely.  It is not just looking the evidence, but casting a critical eye over it.  We know James Bond is fictional, but we have more evidence of his existence than we do of many people who actually existed.  There are more pictures of 007 than of my Great Great Grandfather, who incidentally has his picture in the local museum.  However using a critical evaluation of the evidence we sort fact from fiction.

    If you look at original source material, there is more evidence for Harry Potter than Jesus.  Most of what has been written on Jesus’ life is commentary etc.  Of the source material much of that is contradictory.

  41. KPG:

    As far as I can tell, there are only two non-biblical references to the existence of Jesus, both several hundred years after his death.

    I’m not even sure which two you are referring to, but a quick googling brought this up, if you’re interested.

  42. Christian Think Tank!? Well jee why don’t we also start trusting everything the UBER Salafi ISLAM-QA says about Islam? And trust everything that the offical newspapers of the People’s Republic of China say about Tibet!? Sorry some of us aren’t that dumb.

  43. Qwerty, to L4T: Christian Think Tank!? Well jee why don’t we also start trusting everything the UBER Salafi ISLAM-QA says about Islam? And trust everything that the offical newspapers of the People’s Republic of China say about Tibet!? Sorry some of us aren’t that dumb.

    To be fair to L4T, many of us SEB members, when debating creationists and/or people unfamiliar with the basics of evolutionary biology, frequently point our readers to sites such as Talk Origins (which is of course decidedly pro-evolution).

    That said, I personally would require evidence corroborating Christ’s existence other than that from a self-described “Christian think tank” before I arrived at an affirmative position on the issue.

  44. Christian Think Tank!? Well jee why don’t we also start trusting everything the UBER Salafi ISLAM-QA says about Islam?

    Drat! They’re on to me. I knew I should have cited sources from Athiest Think Tank!

    Note to self: Must…be…more…careful, lest these folk catch on to my plan of brainwashing them, bringing about the diabolical scheme of humans loving each other selflessly, and getting rich from the tithes! Hmmm, maybe I should move on to more gullible suckers at some other blog.

    Second note to self: Figure out way to get portion of local church’s tithe offerings.

    Third note to self: Prepare response to inevitable claim that, even if I’m not personally profiting from the spread of the gospel, I’m just a pawn for those who do.

    Fourth note to self: Use sarcasm sparingly, and in the spirit of fun, lest you find yourself engaged in a personal war of “who’s right,” which is counterproductive to legitimate discussion.  wink

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