(4201) Why did the Holy Spirit retire?

Christians are taught to believe that the Bible was ‘essentially’ dictated by the Holy Spirit to human authors who wrote the 66 books in the Bible. Our best guess is that the first books that would eventually become part of the Bible were written around 1400 BCE, whereas the last books were written around 200 CE. So that spans about 1600 years that the Holy Spirit was actively inspiring scripture.

But for the past 1800 years- nothing. And this makes no sense. Times have changed and much of what currently exists in the Bible is out of date. There are many issues involving ethics and morality that did not exist during biblical times. The Holy Spirit should be inspiring more Bible books to clarify how God wants us to deal with these issues.

But this is where there is a big problem. How could it be confirmed that anything anyone wrote actually was the result of inspiration from the Holy Spirit? Any proclamation of such would be met with serious suspicion and controversy- especially from certain Christian groups who would see the new writings as being inconsistent with their dogma.

This problem retroactively damages any credibility we can assign to the books that are currently in the Bible. Two millennia ago, the same problem would have existed. How could anyone know at that time what was or was not inspired by the Holy Spirit? Just like today, there was no uncontroversial way to make this determination.

So this leaves two problems- the decision for which books should be included in the Bible was obviously the result of a popularity contest conducted by humans. And second, the Holy Spirit, assuming it spent 1600 years as a ‘bible whisperer’ suddenly ‘retired,’ just when much more was needed to be communicated to us.

If God intended for humans to know with certainly what books were ‘authorized,’ he would have provided them in a supernatural way- such as dropping books in each language on each civilization. But having the Bible compete with the writings of other religions, that are seemingly just as authentic, is no way for an omnipotent god to communicate with humanity. Omnipotence is not compatible with this level of confusion.

So, what to make of this?- the easiest and most effective solution is to assume that there is no Holy Spirit, and that all of the Bible books are the product of human minds. This also makes it much easier to explain why the Bible contains so many contradictions, historical errors, and scientific blunders.

(4202) The fallacy of trusting in god

Many venues, especially in the United States, are being adorned with signs saying ‘In God we Trust.’ This is stretching the concept of trust to the limit, because it is dealing with an unseen, unheard, and intangible entity that appears to do nothing. Any trust is actually trust in other human beings, both dead and alive, who have promoted this phantom deity. The following was taken from:


‘Trust in God’ is really just ‘trust in what other humans claim about their god.’

Whether it’s a direct quote from your favorite book of ‘scripture’, or it’s what some preacher/imam/rabbi/guru/shaman/neighbor/parent/etc has to say about those words, it is still being delivered to us via human intermediaries. Sometimes a handful of them, sometimes a very long line that went through ancient oral traditions and multiple translations before ever reaching us.

So when someone tells me to “Trust in God”, what they really mean is:

1) “Trust all the various human beings who supposedly interacted with this specific idea of ‘God’.”

2) “Trust that they told the complete truth about all those interactions.”

3) “Trust that their words about those interactions were all recorded accurately.”

4) “Trust that those words were all passed down the generations and translated correctly.”

5)”Trust that the modern people telling you how to interpret those words today are also being honest and accurate with all their ideas about those interactions.”

6) Also, “DON’T trust any of the ‘false prophets’, and ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’. Even though all the so-called ‘prophets’ make unproven and untestable claims, and many of the supposedly ‘true’ ones have told people to commit horrible violence, while the ‘false’ ones can seem rather innocuous by comparison.”

7) And, above all, “Trust that the vague feelings you have in your heart are actually ‘Divine Guidance’, and that will be your ultimate guide to ‘Truth’. Even though those feelings are impossible to accurately describe, and might as well be referring to heartburn, or unearned confidence, or a whole host of other symptoms that are unrelated to any of the above things that need to be trusted in order to finally start trusting the ‘God’ in question.”

If a ‘God’, who is presumably wise and powerful and interested in my wellbeing, wants me to have a trusting relationship with them, then why are there so many degrees of separation? Why do I have to trust all these intermediary humans?

That doesn’t seem like a great way to establish a relationship of TRUST.

If this is all so important for my ‘soul’, then why not just cut out all the middle men and communicate with me directly?

I suspect that the real reason is that there never was such a ‘God’ involved with any of this in the first place.

Or perhaps the way this ‘God’ shows they are wise and powerful and interested in my wellbeing is by acting as if they are foolish and impotent and completely disinterested in my wellbeing, all while expecting me to be as gullible as possible about some of the most dubious claims humans have ever made in the history of this planet.

What part of any of this should I find convincing enough to grant it my TRUST?

The element of trust is simply not applicable to this situation. What it really takes is faith- accepting something is true without the existence of evidence supporting the claim. Those ‘In God we Trust’ signs should instead say ‘In God we Fantasize.’

(4203) 2 Peter should not be in the Bible

There are multiple reasons for why 2 Peter is the least reputable book in the Bible. It is an obvious forgery with the author pretending to be the disciple, whereas it was never cited by historians or chruch officials until the 3rd Century. Also, it plagiarizes the Book of Jude, something an eye witness would never need to do. The following was taken from:

Evidence that the epistles of Second Peter and Jude are Fraudulent

The epistle of 2Peter is considered the most spurious document in the New Testament, written over two hundred years after the departure of Jesus. Evidence for this claim is the result of investigation into the Church Fathers; scholars have told us the very first reference to 2Peter was made by Origen (died 254 CE), the student of Clement who had possessed his own books.

The canonical books are considered “inspired scripture”, and the rejected books are called “apocrypha”, meaning “hidden from the people” for their doubtful and spurious origin. Yet the epistle of 2Peter, which should be classified as apocrypha, must be rejected because it carries no signature of authenticity. It claims to be written by Peter, yet Peter was martyred in the year 64 CE under Nero, decades before the epistle was written. There are complicated matters to discuss which further refutes the authenticity of 2Peter claimed by Evangelical Christians.

The Church bishop Serapion (190-211 CE) acknowledged the forgery of 2Peter:

For we, brethren, receive both Peter and the rest of the apostles as Christ Himself. But those writings which are falsely inscribed with their name, we as experienced persons reject, knowing that no such writings have been handed down to us. (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/serapion.html)

“Orthodox theologians were tempted, by the assurance of impunity, to compose fictions, which must be stigmatized with the epithets of fraud and forgery. They ascribed their own polemical works to the most venerable names of Christian antiquity.” (Edward Gibbon, History of Christianity, p. 598)

We have provided books accepted by the Church Fathers, you will notice that 2Peter is clearly missing from these canons:



Iranaeus of Lyons (died. 200 CE)



Mentions every book except: Philemon, Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, Jude and 3 John.


Clement of Alexandria (died 211 CE)




Mentions every book except: Philemon, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John.



The Muratorian Canon




Mentions every book except: Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 3 John



Justin Martyr (died 150 CE)



He never mentions the NT books! He (allegedly) quotes the four Gospels in his “Memoirs of the Apostles”, nothing else.



Origen of Alexandria (254 CE)




He doubts James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John


Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE)



He doubts James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude


There are parallels between 2 Peter and Jude; these parallels undoubtedly prove that plagiarism was occurring between the two writers. It seems the writer of 2 Peter was borrowing from Jude, or the opposite could be true, the writer of Jude was plagiarizing from 2 Peter. It doesn’t make sense to plagiarize if you’re an eye-witness, but apparently the author of 2 Peter plagiarized from Jude, therefore indicating he was not an eye-witness, they were all dead by the time both epistles were subsequently written down, or fabricated.

If God/Jesus/Holy Spirit were guiding the composition of the Bible, they did a miserable job by allowing this deceitful book to be included. That is not to say it is the only book that should never have been canonized, but it is the most flagrant.

(4204) Preaching to a new recruit

In this essay, a conversation is presented between a churchman and a new recruit. The frank irony of the churchman’s dialogue is a deft exposition of Christianity’s raw naked absurdity. The following was taken from:


One day for some unknown reason I just started to TRANSLATE what was being said. The church leader needed to make up the numbers and was in full force selling Jesus. As I listened it just started to get more and more absurd. This is my “Translation” of a conversation made to a new ambitious young recruit that changed my life forever.

CHURCHMAN: Hi, I would like to tell you about Jesús,

YOUNG RECRUIT: Excellent, let’s get started!

CM: Well, Jesus is amazing, he is 2000 years old. Jesus did all sorts of unbelievable feats and he’s going to return very soon on a white horse.

YR: Wow, that’s incredible, he sounds like an amazing man.

CM: No, he’s not a man, he’s god. He is the one true god but he is also his son and so they created the trinity to make it all clear. We have god the father, the holy ghost and his son Jesus who is himself but not himself but who is his dad but not at the level of god his dad who is the one true god who is not polytheistic but singular and all encompassing in all aspects who is the Jewish polytheistic god of war.

YR: Wow, yes, that really makes sense,

CM: Certainly it does, and in order to save mankind he created his mother Mary and then impregnated her without sex and gave birth to himself!

YR: Mind blowing stuff!

CM: And guess what,

YR: What?

CM: It wasn’t incest. No siree, It was simply miraculous, that’s all, a miracle of Jesús and his dad god who isn’t the holy spirit but employed the seed of the holy spirit for his son who planned it but who wasn’t born at the time.

YR; That’s truly miraculous!

CM: Yes, you’ve got to hand it to Jesus brother!

YR: Amen, there! So Jesus really cares for us?

CM: Oh, yes, Jesus is so loving and he really wanted to help the people and to show that love so he made a big fire that’s eternal. And in order to love his neighbour as himself and turn the other cheek he’s going to throw all those that won’t listen to him in it to burn forever!

YR: Wow, he must be a really loving guy,

CM: Remember, he’s the alpha and omega, he is all that is, that was, that could be, but not all that won’t be, or isn’t or might be or might not be. He is the word, the logos, the omega the beginning, the end and some parts in the middle too.

YR: Yeah, Jesus sounds really cool,

CM: Jesus is super cool, but, Jesus doesn’t approve of sex though. He was a virgin all his life.

YR: But wasn’t he lonely?

CM: Never! He had an underage boyfriend his beloved disciple called john. But guess what,

YR: What?

CM: He wasn’t gay or a pedophile!

YR: Wow. This Jesus must be extraordinary.

CM: Yeah, nothing is impossible to Jesus.

YR: Tell me more

CM: Jesús died to save the mankind and overcome the world that he didn’t need to overcome as he is not in the world and was non existent at the time of his dad’s creation, although he created it himself.

YR: Awesome! This is all so mysterious.

CM: Praise the lord yes. Even god is sometimes mystified by his moves from his mysterious ways.

YR: Tell me more about Jesus.

CM: Well, his trusted friend judas sold him out. But, judas paid the price in the end by hanging himself as he didn’t because he fell over a cliff.

YR: How do you know this?

CM; God left us a book called the bible, It is the inerrant word and every word is the perfect word of god. Not a single word can be changed. We use the King James version as it is the best translation from Hebrew into Aramaic into Greek into French into English.

YR: Yeah, the evidence is all there I suppose?

CM: Oh, definitely. Anyway, to cut a long story short, Jesús then came back from the dead. And had saved the world. And now the only way back to god his dad who is him but not him is through Jesús.

YR. Wow, you have overwhelming evidence there I think.

CM: The evidence is all there in the bible providing you don’t read it.

YR: But why did Jesus need to save mankind in the first place?

CM: Well, his dad created the world with a perfect plan that cannot be changed by giving man free will. Man then disobeyed god by using his free will that was written in the plan that god created so that man would disobey god and hence god could then destroy man and then redeem him. Actually it was women who made man fall by listening to a talking snake. So the blame is really on women.

YR: I see, yes that makes perfect sense, But I like women and I love my mum,

CM: Yeah, it’s just that in this religion we have nothing against women, but, it is just that we see them as secondary or even less and many of us are insecure misogynistic, bigoted, ignorant, male chauvinist pigs. But, remember that Jesus loved women so much that he let them bend down on their knees and wash his feet.

YR: Praise to Jesús, he is just so awesome! What happened next?

CM: god wiped out the human race in a flood that he copied and pasted from Gilgamesh. But that wasn’t enough so he later got King Herod to kill all the new born babies who couldn’t understand or fight back to have their throats cut and be murdered so that his son Jesús could be born. Of course this was an act of love and not cowardice.

YR: Wow, this god truly is love,

CM: Yes, god is only love and Jesús is so loving and that’s why Jesús preached peace and came to bring sword and divide father from son and mother from daughter.

YR: And what happens to mankind when Jesus comes out of the clouds on his white horse?

CM: Well, Jesus will take all those that love him back to his dad’s place called heaven, and then let everyone else on the planet die in a horrible, brutal, bloody, terrifying cesspit!

YR: Nobody is a loving as Jesus!

In the end, Christianity drowns in its own pool of ludicrous assertions. The irony of this conversation is that the churchman is proselytizing in a way that is inadvertently so honest that it reveals that what he is selling is preposterous. The fact that ANYONE can earnestly believe in Christianity is astounding.

(4205) Jesus goes off script

Once Christians had finally evolved their dogma- that Jesus was God, or a third of God (or whatever), it made it important to go back and clean up some of the scriptures that belie that doctrine. But they didn’t accomplish that- a serious scriptural flaw was allowed to stand when Jesus was seen to plead for his rescue from the cross. The following was taken from:


At some point the three persons of the Trinity—Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit—agreed that Jesus should live as a human on earth. Jesus was born as a divine being (except in Mark, where he becomes divine with his baptism) and lives out a life that ends with crucifixion.

So we’re all on board? Apparently, Jesus wasn’t when he prayed with his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. To the few disciples with him, he said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). Then he prays, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup [he’s referring to the upcoming crucifixion] be taken from me.” He prays this three times. The story is the same in Mark, and in Luke, an angel strengthens Jesus.

Why did Jesus go off-script? He was part of the Trinity that decided this, so how could he be second-guessing the plan now?

We can look for a human comparison. It wouldn’t be surprising for an ordinary human to have second thoughts before a suicide mission, but in this story we’re talking about a god. Even if agony were a thing that he would find unpleasant, why would an omniscient being second-guess a plan that he knows is perfect?

The puzzle vanishes if we reinterpret the Jesus story as legend.

Christian apologists try to answer this problem by imagining that Jesus lost some of his omniscient powers during his time while inhabiting a human body, and therefore he could have forgotten that his crucifixion and resurrection was part of the plan that he had hatched with his Father. OK, unless you are fatally indoctrinated, that makes ZERO sense. The real problem is that Christian doctrine evolved over time and that this inevitably created many awkward contradictions.

(4206) Two inconsistent flood stories

Adding to the utter absurdity of a god flooding the earth and drowning people, animals, and plants is the fact that the Bible presents two such stories that in conflict with each other. The following was taken from:


The Old Testament often has two different, incompatible stories. Each was too precious for ancient editors to discard, so both were jammed together somehow. The two Ten Commandments stories are separated by over a dozen chapters, the two creation stories are back to back, and the two Flood stories are interleaved.

In Flood story 1, the older story, Noah takes seven pairs of all clean animals plus one pair of all the others. Once on board with his family, it rained for forty days and forty nights (forty being the symbolic number for “quite a lot”), and everything outside the ark was killed. Noah sent out a dove to scout for dry land. On the second try, it returned with an olive leaf. Back on dry land, Noah sacrificed one of every clean animal to Yahweh, and Yahweh promised to never again destroy life on earth (with a flood, anyway).

In story #2, God is named, not Yahweh, but Elohim, and specifics about the design of the ark are given. With just one pair of each animal plus provisions, Noah (now 600 years old) and family go into the ark. This time, the water comes, not from rain, but from “the fountains of the great deep” and “the windows of the heavens.” Water had covered the earth for 150 days when Elohim made the water recede. This time it was a raven that helped scout for dry land, and they were back on dry land after a year in the ark. God told them to “be fruitful and multiply.”

A leading explanation of the Old Testament’s story pairs is the Documentary Hypothesis. It answers a lot of questions and proposes four original documents that were merged to make the Pentateuch, the Bible’s first five books.

If you are going to make up a fictional story, at the very least present just one singular one. Adding a second that changes critical details is like adding fiction onto fiction. It is almost as if the Bible is begging us to acknowledge that it is total bullshit.

(4207) Religion hijacks human brains like drugs

It seems unlikely that in the modern age of science that so many people would still be mired in the belief of unseen gods. But one reason why this is happening is because religious belief activates the reward centers of the brain, similarly to love and drugs. The following was taken from:


Religious and spiritual experiences are neurologically similar to the euphoria of love and of drug-taking, a team of neuroscientists has concluded.

The team, led by a University of Utah neuroradiologist Jeffrey Anderson, found that in a group of 19 young Mormons, the same reward-based neural systems associated with drug-taking were activated when the individuals were “feeling the spirit”. Specifically, the nucleus accumbens was repeatedly activated, an area of the brain that is key to the circuit of reward and reinforcement. The frontal attentional, linked to attention, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortical loci, associated with decision-making were also activated. Those with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortical loci have been shown to exhibit antisocial behaviour and have their moral judgement impaired.

The team had suspected religious experience would be related to the reward mechanisms of the brain but wanted to be able to define it in order to better understand the motivations behind a host of behaviours – from altruism to violence, both often committed in the name of religion.

Incredibly, the authors point out in the journal Social Neuroscience, “despite the reported impact of religious experience in the lives of more than 5.8 billion religiously affiliated individuals worldwide, even basic questions about brain networks engaged by religious experience remain unclear”. Considering the wars, both historical and ongoing, that have been waged in the name of religion, this fact is all the more surprising.

Mormons were chosen for the study specifically because of the “centrality of charismatic religious joy” to the religion. Seven women and 12 men, all of whom had spent one to two years carrying out missionary work, were hooked up to functional MRI machines while working on specific tasks. These included resting, watching a church video on membership and finances, reading Biblical excerpts, reading quotes from a variety of religious leaders, and praying. The participants were asked to press a button whenever they were experiencing heightened spiritual feelings. Time and again, the reward-circuit regions of the brain were activated at the same time as the participants pressed the buttons most frequently. These are the same sections of the brain that instigate dopamine release during drug-taking, enabling addiction.

Anything that bypasses the critical thinking areas of the brain has the ability to cause people to harbor false beliefs. Because religion performs this function very well, billions of people are held hostage from perceiving the cold realities of our ‘godless’ existence. Religion’s persistence is well explained by this phenomenon without needing to credit truth to any of its supernatural claims.

(4208) The Frostpunk analogy

It is enlightening to play a computer game in the position of being a ‘god’ over virtual people who are coded in the game. In the following it is revealed how a human ‘god’ playing such a game is motivated and reacts much differently than how Yahweh dealt with his ‘actual’ people:


For those of you who don’t know Frostpunk, it’s a type of city survival game where you need to manage your resources and survive the deadly, cold desert to achieve an end goal (usually surviving for a certain period of time).

And at max, you can have up to 300 citizens in the city. It is also an incredibly stressful game as you try to do everything you can to make sure the people survive. Every time someone died, it hurt because that was someone who depended on me for my leadership and I failed them.

Sure, they grumbled, they complained, even planned to revolt, but mostly because conditions were so harsh that I sometimes had to force workers to work overtime just to make it through the week, or the whole city would die. Sacrifices had to made but I always tried to do everything I could with what limited resources I had.

The number of Israelites was 2 million according to the bible and they were led out into the hot desert wasteland. In Numbers alone, God sent plagues, earthquakes and snakes to kill the Israelites by the thousands when they complained or rebelled. God even made sure his blessings came with a curse. He sent quail in Numbers 11 sarcastically saying that the meat will “come out of your nostrils” until they get sick of it and then struck them with a great plague.

I just don’t understand how in his omnipotence and omnibenevolence he would ever do such a thing to real people when I in my own uncertainty, lack of resources, and my “fallen” nature did everything I could to make sure the virtual people in my city survived.

The callousness and brutality that Yahweh leveled on his followers is good evidence that he was nothing more than a fictional deity made up to explain why the Israelites encountered so many hardships, tragedies, and discouragement. A real god would more likely have been motivated similarly to the above human game player to passionately help his subjects to survive and thrive.

(4209) End Times theology is destructive

Christianity is very focused on the concept of the End Times, when God will bring a stop to the ebb and flow of everyday life, judge humans, and send them to heaven or hell. It can be conjectured that a divine being would not introduce theological concepts that would be destructive to the well-being of humans. However, the following lists ten reasons why End Times theology is destructive:


1) Fearmongering: The idea that the world is going to end soon promotes fear and anxiety among people, making them worry about their future and the future of their loved ones.

2) Fatalism: The belief that everything is predetermined and that there is nothing one can do to change the course of events leads to a sense of hopelessness and apathy.

3) Ignorance: Many people who believe in the End Times reject scientific facts and evidence, which leads to ignorance and backwardness.

4) Division: The End Times ideology often creates a “us vs. them” mentality, leading to division and conflict between different groups of people.

5) Violence: Some people who believe in the End Times are willing to resort to violence to speed up the process and bring about the end of the world.

6) Environmental destruction: The belief that the world is going to end soon can lead people to believe that there is no point in taking care of the environment or conserving resources.

7) Political interference: Some Christian groups try to use the End Times ideology to influence politics and policy, which can lead to harmful and regressive policies.

8) Loss of empathy: The focus on the End Times can lead people to become less empathetic towards others, as they believe that their own salvation is the only thing that matters.

9) Stifling of progress: The belief that the world is going to end soon can lead to a lack of investment in long-term projects, as people believe that there is no point in planning for the future.

10) Escapism: The End Times ideology can lead people to focus on the afterlife rather than the present, which can lead to a lack of engagement with the world and a desire to escape from reality.

Because a god would know better, it is easily conjectured that the concept of the End Times was a product of human imagination, and particularly humans who were mired in a superstitious and medieval mindset. For an infinite, omnipotent being, there is no reason to artificially end human life on our planet. Such a god would permit it to continue until natural consequences (such as the sun becoming too hot) cause it to end.

(4210) Sizing Christianity to the universe

One of the (many) issues that developed since the advent of Christianity that makes it seem less relevant, less historical, and simply less believable is the discovery of the size of the universe. It takes a lot of mental gymnastics to shoehorn Christianity into the framework of our gigantic cosmos. The following was taken from:


So, it is extremely difficult to reconcile Christianity with the size of the Universe.

Ancient Jews thought that Earth was the only planet in the Universe. Ancient Jews thought that the stars in the sky orbited the Earth (1).

For example, in the Bible, everything happens on Earth. The Bible mentions Earth, Heaven, and Hell. But, the Bible never mentions life existing on other planets. Quite simply, ancient Jews had no concept of life on other planets.

Now, scientists have determined that the Universe is at least 93 billion light-years in size (2). The size of the Universe is simply enormous.

So, this creates several problems for Christians:

    • So, God could have easily made a tiny Universe in which Earth is the only Planet. So, why did God make the Universe so enormous if life only exists on Earth?
    • So, the simplest explanation is that life exists on other planets in the Universe because the Universe is enormous. But, this creates another huge problem for Christians: Did Jesus die on the cross on other planets throughout the Universe?
    • Are Christians going to claim that life only exists on Earth? Do Christians believe that the rest of the Universe is simply empty?

Also, the Bible does not provide any answers to this problem. The Bible does not even talk about the enormous size of the Universe!

There were two ways how this problem could have been averted:

1) The universe turned out, after intense scientific investigation, to be just as the Bible conceives it, with the Earth in the center of a small cosmos.

2) The Bible speaks of the enormous size of the universe.

Neither of these happened, and the problem remains. And the problem is even worse. Everything that happened in the Bible happened within this circle:

It appears that the stage is too large for the drama. It would be like going to the theater and all of the action occurs on top of a grain of sand.

(4211) Bible forged to condemn homosexuality

In the late 20th Century, Christians, demonstrating their love (sic), started a vendetta against homosexuality. To bolster their crusade, the Bible was ‘manipulated’ to make it appear that it forbade man-to-man homosexuality, whereas the original text was actually talking about pederasty (sexual contact with boys). The following presents a question and answer with biblical scholar Ed Oxford:



Ed: Yes. It first showed up in the RSV translation. So before figuring out why they decided to use that word in the RSV translation (which is outlined in my upcoming book with Kathy Baldock, Forging a Sacred Weapon: How the Bible Became Anti-Gay) I wanted to see how other cultures and translations treated the same verses when they were translated during the Reformation 500 years ago. So I started collecting old Bibles in French, German, Irish, Gaelic, Czechoslovakian, Polish… you name it. Now I’ve got most European major languages that I’ve collected over time. Anyway, I had a German friend come back to town and I asked if he could help me with some passages in one of my German Bibles from the 1800s. So we went to Leviticus 18:22 and he’s translating it for me word for word. In the English where it says “Man shall not lie with man, for it is an abomination,” the German version says “Man shall not lie with young boys as he does with a woman, for it is an abomination.” I said, “What?! Are you sure?” He said, “Yes!” Then we went to Leviticus 20:13— same thing, “Young boys.” So we went to 1 Corinthians to see how they translated arsenokoitai (original Greek word)  and instead of homosexuals it said, “Boy molesters will not inherit the kingdom of God.” 

I then grabbed my facsimile copy of Martin Luther’s original German translation from 1534. My friend is reading through it for me and he says, “Ed, this says the same thing!” They use the word knabenschander. Knaben is boy, schander is molester. This word “boy molesters” for the most part carried through the next several centuries of German Bible translations. Knabenschander is also in 1 Timothy 1:10. So the interesting thing is, I asked if they ever changed the word arsenokoitai to homosexual in modern translations. So my friend found it and told me, “The first time homosexual appears in a German translation is 1983.” To me that was a little suspect because of what was happening in culture in the 1970s. Also because the Germans were the ones who created the word homosexual in 1862, they had all the history, research, and understanding to change it if they saw fit; however, they did not change it until 1983. If anyone was going to put the word homosexual in the Bible, the Germans should have been the first to do it!

As I was talking with my friend I said, “I wonder why not until 1983? Was their influence from America?” So we had our German connection look into it again and it turns out that the company, Biblica, who owns the NIV version, paid for this 1983 German version. Thus it was Americans who paid for it! In 1983 Germany didn’t have enough of a Christian population to warrant the cost of a new Bible translation, because it’s not cheap. So an American company paid for it and influenced the decision, resulting in the word homosexual entering the German Bible for the first time in history. So, I say, I think there is a “gay agenda” after all! 

I also have a 1674 Swedish translation and an 1890 Norwegian translation of the Bible. I asked one of my friends, who was attending Fuller seminary and is fluent in both Swedish and Norwegian, to look at these verses for me. So we met at a coffee shop in Pasadena with my old Bibles. (She didn’t really know why I was asking.) Just like reading an old English Bible, it’s not easy to read. The letters are a little bit funky, the spelling is a little bit different. So she’s going through it carefully, and then her face comes up, “Do you know what this says?!” and I said, “No! That’s why you are here!” She said, “It says boy abusers, boy molesters.” It turns out that the ancient world condoned and encouraged a system whereby young boys (8-12 years old) were coupled by older men. Ancient Greek documents show us how even parents utilized this abusive system to help their sons advance in society. So for most of history, most translations thought these verses were obviously referring the pederasty, not homosexuality! 

So then I started thinking that of 4 of the 6 clobber passages, all these nations and translations were referring to pederasty, and not what we would call homosexuality today.

This is an example of how the Bible was altered to advance a political agenda. Christians were intent on demonizing homosexuality and needed the Bible to back them up, so they simply changed it to suit their hateful agenda. Manipulating the Bible has been a 2000-year project to make it say what Christians want it to say. Somehow, God’s inspiration was not fully successful in the original writings.

(4212) The plagiarized roots of the Bible

There is evidence that much of what was written in the Bible was derived from previously written works or oral traditions borrowed from other cultures. This diminishes the claim that it is the inspired work of a monotheistic god. The following was taken from:


The Bible (consisting of both the Old and New Testament) is central to Christianity and so are its many myths, stories and parables. But even though many of these myths help to define the religion, some of them are not original – they have been borrowed or copied from other myths from other religions. This makes sense since all books in some way draw on the traditions and ideas of the past. What is interesting is that if some of the central stories of the Bible have been plagiarized, then how can the Bible be the inerrant word of God? Is it the word of some other god before Christianity? Or does plagiarism in the Bible show that the book is not holy, but merely an invention of the imagination?

If Christians admit that the myths of religions before it have no basis in reality or history, then if they drew on those same myths for inspiration, on what basis can they say that their myths are true? I’m not saying that the stories in the Bible are not compelling – they are just as interesting as any of the Greek myths – I’m saying that they do not prove that Judaism or Christianity are original, special or more ‘holy’ than other religions. They’re not. I’ll go through some of these plagiarized stories to get this point across.

Genesis 3 in the Bible tells the story of how Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, which God forbade her to do, and this act released evil into the world. This is similar to the myth of Pandora’s Box. Pandora was the first woman (like Eve) created by the Greek gods. Like Eve, Pandora was created in the image of her creator. Pandora opened a box she was told not to open (like the fruit Yahweh told Eve not to eat) and once she opened the box, evil came out of it. Both Pandora and Eve were curious and tempted, and both the ancient Greeks and Christians (with the idea of Original Sin) use their disobedience to God to explain why disease, sickness and sin exist in the world. Historically, the Jews flourished in ancient Greece, so they would have been aware of the myths and stories relating to Greek gods.

Many scholars recognize that the parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the book of Genesis are so obvious that the authors of the Bible must have used them. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is one of the earliest known works of literature. It dates to the 18th century BC. The first parallel is between the story of Enkidu/Shamhat and Adam/Eve. In both stories, a man is created from the soil by a god and lives among the animals. He is introduced to a woman who tempts him – he accepts her offering of food, decides to cover his nakedness, leaves paradise, and is not allowed to return.

Later on in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a snake steals a plant from Gilgamesh which has the power to give him immortality. The snake represents evil in the epic and represents Satan in the Bible. The parallels are so identical that it would be an incredible coincidence if the authors of the Bible invented the story themselves. That said, both the story in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible are entertaining allegories which try to explain the existence of evil in the world. The snake features as a symbol in many other stories and myths from around the world.

Andrew R. George, a translator of the epic argues that the flood story in Genesis 6-8 closely matches the Gilgamesh flood myth in such a way that Genesis must have been derived from it. As Andrew notes, the Genesis flood story follows the Gilgamesh flood story “point by point and in the same order”. In the epic, the god Ea warns Utnapishtim of a great flood and told Utnapishtim to build a boat in order to save all the living things. Just like Noah, he builds the boat, puts all the living things and his family on it, experiences a storm, and after it was all over, he offers a sacrifice to God. Flood stories have been found in many texts which predate the Bible. It’s found in the epic of Ziusudra and the epic of Atrahasis (which is nearly identical to the epic of Gilgamesh). In Hindu mythology, texts like the Satapatha Brahmana mentions a great flood, in which Vishnu advises Manu to build a giant boat.

The story of the life of Jesus, so vital to the Christian faith, is not original either. This is probably the story which actually has the most parallels with other religions, suggesting that the story is universal and expressed by many cultures in a similar way. Carl Jung called these universal stories or symbols archetypes and Joseph Campbell argued in his book, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, that the story of Jesus is just one way of expressing the archetypal story of the archetypal hero.

The conspiracy documentary Zeitgeist outlines some striking similarities between the life and death of Jesus and previous gods from other religions, such as Horus, Mithras, Attis, Krishna, Dionysus, as well as many others. The creator of the movie, Peter Joseph, does, however, overstate these similarities in order to support his conspiracy theory that the myths of Jesus and other gods relate to astrological and astronomical events. He claims, for example, that gods like Horus were born on the same day as Jesus (the 25th December) and that Horus’ mother, Isis, was a virgin. By comparing the Bible to ancient Egyptian texts, we know this is not true – Horus’ birthday was most likely between August 24th and 28th and he was not born of a virgin; his father was Osiris.

However, there are still similarities between Jesus and other gods, suggesting that the authors of the Bible borrowed myths from other religions. For example, the story of the “dying-and-returning-god” is considered a pattern or archetype by many, particularly by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. The gods Adonis, Tammuz, Osiris and Dionysus died and were then resurrected. It seems likely that the story of Jesus was following a pattern found in other myths, which in turn were following a common ‘dying-and returning-god’ pattern. This suggests that there never was a real, historical Jesus.

Along with being inerrant, prescient, and consistent, we would expect the work of a god to be unique when compared to any human-created literature. The Bible fails on all of these attributes, sending a strong signal that it, too, is just another product from the minds of men.

(4213) God makes it hard for his defenders

It would be expected that an omnipotent god would be able to look into the future and realize that he should do only those things that would make it easy for his followers to defend himself as being a compassionate, fair, and benevolent deity. But Yahweh made it hard…very hard. The following was taken from:


If God is a perfect being he should not need all of his followers to have to run interference for him and stretch the text of the Bible to its absolute limit just to make him not look evil.

God is supposedly the smartest and most powerful being to ever exist. Why then, did he choose to communicate his message to humanity in a way that makes him look unequivocally evil?

Christians often argue that morality is “written on our hearts.” This means that god has programmed into us the ideas that things such as murder and theft are evil. So looking at this from a Christian’s perspective, God knows what actions we find evil, and he wants us to find those things evil. Why then, does god repeatedly appear to do those things in the Bible? Christians of course are quick to jump to his defense, but why do they have to? And why did god make it so hard for them?

Consider the genocide of the Amalekites. The Amalekites attacked the Israelites when they were escaping from Egypt. However, God does not really give a good description of what it was the Amalekites did. He merely says that they “waylaid” them. No specific mention of killing or kidnapping anyone. And this is just one group of Amalekites as well. We don’t know what the Amalekites as a people are like on the whole. In revenge for this vague offense they have committed, god says this.

“Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[ all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

God just orders his people to kill everyone, babies and livestock included. Full on genocide. Pretty bad position he puts his followers in right? Most people don’t want to take a crack at defending him on that.

Now god, being all knowing and all powerful, must’ve known that later people would read the Bible and see this genocide. He must’ve known that generally we would abhor genocide, and that we would find it unacceptable in all cases. As he willed it. Why then, would he not give a better explanation for telling humans to break his own rules? Why does he leave it open ended so his followers have to make weak justifications after the fact?

God permitted slavery, including permanently owning someone and being able to beat them severely so long as they do not die. He killed all of Egypt’s firstborn children, despite the fact that the children could not have done anything to harm the Israelites in the first place.

Christians have all sorts of arguments for why these horrendously cruel acts were somehow ok, but that isn’t the point. Regardless of whether or not you believe these justifications, you must agree that it does not make sense that fallible humans are the ones left to deliver them. If god is perfectly intelligent why would he make himself look bad in his own book and then leave his followers to clumsily scramble to try to make him look not evil? If he is a perfect being he should be able to explain himself perfectly, or conduct himself so well that there can be no question that he acted morally in every situation. A good person shouldn’t leave people wondering whether they re good or not. They shouldn’t need a PR team to twist their actions and make them good. Their goodness should be readily visible and self evident.

Christianity dies on this point alone. There is no rational defense for Yahweh overburdening his followers with the stink of his murderous actions. Once again it comes to a simple dilemma- either Yahweh is evil or he is mythical. And if he is real, no human can legitimately rescue his reputation.

(4214) The end of prophecy

In the following, it is conjectured that Jewish prophetic scripture came to an end primarily because Jewish followers became discouraged when many of the prophecies were observed to be unreliable. This series of failures spawned suspicion of any self-described prophets and diminished enthusiasm for any more of such writings. Therefore, the Old Testament ended. The following was taken from:


Robert R. Wilson, in Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, theorizes that prophecy declined in the post-exilic period due to promissory oracles remaining unfulfilled.

In spite of the apparent success of the Deuteronomists, prophecy of all types seems to have gone into a period of decline in the postexilic period. The postexilic prophets resorted to various authority-enhancing devices in their writing and relied increasingly on the written word rather than the spoken word. More stress was placed on the prophetic message itself and on the divine origin of that message, and at the same time the person of the prophet receded into the background so that no fallible human intermediary separated the divine word from the reader. As a result the late prophetic books are virtually devoid of prophetic narratives, and we can deduce little about prophetic behavior in this period.

Ironically, the reason for the state of affairs may be found in the Deuteronomic concept of prophecy, which dominated the thinking of the early postexilic period. According to the Deuteronomic position, true prophets were those whose oracles were effective and whose predictions came to pass. This principle had initially enhanced the status of Deuteronomic prophets such as Jeremiah, whose warnings of disaster had been fulfilled. However, the prophets were also gave promise oracles, and in spite of the return from exile and the rebuilding of the temple, many of the promises remained unfulfilled.

This situation may have led some prophetic support groups to try to explain the apparent failure of the promises to materialize. Daniel 9:1-2, 24-27 may be an example of this process. However, for the general population the delay in the fulfillment of the preexilic and exilic prophetic promises simply raised doubts about the authority of the prophets themselves, doubts that were reinforced by the unfulfilled oracles of the Jerusalemite prophets. For this reason, people may have grown increasingly unwilling to acknowledge the authority of prophets of any sort, and, lacking the necessary social support, the prophet ceased to exist. (306-307)

Wilson goes on to explain how the post-exilic decline in prophecy may have spurred the development of the apocalyptic.

The Old Testament ended when Jewish people realized that their revered prophets where not authentic after all. It would have been a good time for them to realize that their heroes were not in contact with any supernatural beings.

(4215) The ‘amazing’ book of Genesis

There are many scientifically-illiterate evangelicals who still TO THIS DAY claim that the Book of Genesis provides a literally accurate account of how the universe was created. This astounding stupidity is fodder for deserved ridicule. The following was taken from:


According to evangelicals, Genesis is a literal creation story.

And yet nothing is mentioned about the trillions of planets in our universe, billions of galaxies, the ever expanding vastness of the universe, billions of black holes, billions of asteroids and comets in our universe, the millions of planets we know exist that are capable of holding life.

Nothing. Zero. We are but a speck in the universe, and yet god mentions nothing about the vastness of his creation, that he clearly spent so much more of his power on creating then just our earth. God doesn’t even mention the different continents, major landmarks and different major oceans on our own earth. Telling us North and South America exist and where they are would be handy wouldn’t it? Also to not genocide the natives but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Imagine how much proof Christians could have and how many non believers they’d convince if only their all knowing god briefly mentioned even a fraction of what mere humans know about our universe today. Imagine god telling us about black holes, the trillions of planets, our solar system. How much more we would know about our world today. It’s his creation after all, why not tell us even a little about it – in his literal account of how he created everything in existence.

But no, emphasizing how plants came before the sun is more important, lmfao.

Oh, and the Bible mentions the stars as ‘lights on the vault of the sky to mark sacred times and indicate night.’

Like, really? Couldn’t God have mentioned that these lights are actually gigantic extremely hot suns that so often have multiple planets orbiting them, and have their own gravitational pull? The Genesis account is so geocentric it’s insane.

It’s so clearly written by just some dudes.

The Genesis creation account is a myth dreamed up by pre-scientific minds and is so inaccurate as to be laughable if it wasn’t revered by evangelical Christians and taught to their children as literal fact. Everybody else knows better. When your book starts out with a embarrassing display of legendary fantasy presented as truth, it creates suspicion that the rest of it is comprised of more of the same.

(4216) Who invented Christianity?

Most Christians believe that Jesus invented Christianity, while most scholars attribute it to Paul. The following essay makes a good argument that Paul was mostly responsible:


Here’s the thing: No one knows for sure if the words of Jesus in the gospels are his actual words. We’re fairly certain that some of them definitely aren’t. There is even a not-very-good argument to be made that Jesus never existed.

Most biblical scholars accept that Jesus probably did exist. They agree that at least some of his words in the bible were probably spoken by him. But this is a particularly murky area of history. For clarity, we will follow the general consensus of bible scholars.

Did Jesus want to establish Christianity?

The standard Christian interpretation of the New Testament is that God lived among us as a man. He came back from the dead, and now we can all bask in the glow of his sacrificial act. Consequently, Jesus set up a religion more open than Judaism called Christianity.

But apart from a few scattered quotes, this view isn’t supported by the gospels. These quotes are so at odds with the general trend, they could well be verses added much later by “concerned citizens.” Bible scholars call these verses “interpolations.”

For instance, the famous line, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” is almost certainly an interpolation from an over-zealous copyist who didn’t make much of an effort to hide his work. Both gospel allusions to the Trinity are also considered interpolations (even by Christian scholars) for equally good reasons. For one, the doctrine of the Trinity was not developed until the third century. Additionally, any verses which can be reliably dated to before that time do not mention the Trinity.

So, if the verses where Jesus looks like he’s setting up a doctrinal basis for a new church were added after that church was set up, what can the remaining original verses (if they can even be regarded as such) tell us about what Jesus was actually trying to do?

The religion of Jesus

Jesus was a Jew. He was circumcised and went to temple. He observed all the Jewish traditions and holidays and rituals from his birth until his death—although in his defense, that would slow anyone down. The twelve apostles were all Jews. They were all circumcised and went to temple. After the death of Jesus, they continued to observe all the Jewish traditions, holidays and rituals. Jesus and his apostles all saw themselves as fundamentally Jewish. Perhaps they were even more Jewish that the Pharisees and the Sadducees. In the gospels, these representatives of the established Jewish faith constantly get out-Jewed by Jesus in various hot arguments.

The identity of Jesus cannot be understood apart from his Jewishness. Without exception, his teaching can be explained entirely through the Judaism of his time. In one gospel, Jesus unambiguously avers: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”

Enter Christianity

Christianity as we know it today was invented by Paul. Jesus, for the reasons stated above, would probably be horrified at the shambling mess Paul made of Judaism in order to create the new religion.

First, the early apostles did not call themselves Christians, at least not until they gathered in Antioch years after the death of Jesus. Until then, they were referred to, and regarded themselves, as Jews. As Alister McGrath put it in his book, Christianity, “they seemed to regard Christianity as an affirmation of every aspect of contemporary Judaism, with the addition of one extra belief – that Jesus was the Messiah.”

Second, while the New Testament is presented as the gospels being expanded on by the Pauline epistles, scholars generally accept that the letters of Paul pre-date the gospels. The purpose of the gospels may be to “fill in” Paul’s writings. Paul’s letters are notoriously thin on detail when it comes to the life of Jesus. For Paul (and all Christians), things only got interesting when Jesus died. By his own admission, Paul never spoke to Jesus or met him. He developed his understanding of Jesus entirely through “divine revelation”. This is one of the least reliable paths to truth available.

Third, and perhaps the most convincing element in understanding that Jesus may not have envisioned a “Christianity” as such, the New Testament records several serious rifts in approach and understanding between Paul and Peter (the assigned best friend of Jesus) and James (one of the brothers of Jesus).

Paul versus the Jerusalem crew

James was the brother of Jesus and Peter was a close friend of Jesus. They ran the church from Jerusalem after Jesus died. Peter, James and the Jerusalem crew strongly believed that anyone who joined them would have to be Jewish. This would meant following all the laws including the dietary prohibitions and circumcision. These laws made it difficult to convert Gentiles who were more emotionally attached to the foreskins than the Jews.

After a big argument, James decided that circumcision was not necessary for Gentile converts. However they would still have to obey all the Jewish dietary restrictions. Paul agreed. Predictably, he later unilaterally trashed the dietary restrictions too.

The Jerusalem crew were so hardcore that they confronted Peter when they heard he had merely shared his religious opinions with some goyim over a non-kosher meal. His defence is hilarious. You should read it. It seems clear that everyone before Paul strongly believed that they were in a strictly Jews-only club.

It seems very implausible that everyone who knew Jesus, his closest friends and family members, would somehow be mistaken about his intentions but a man who never met Jesus and knew nothing about him personally would get the correct information from the voices in his head. Yet almost all Christians are currently engaging with their religious beliefs along the lines outlined by Paul and not by Jesus.

Back to Jesus

Throughout the gospels, there is a sense of impending doom (which reaches a hallucinatory crisis in the Apocalypse). The “time is fulfilled”, the “kingdom of heaven is at hand”, this generation “shall not pass” until it’s all over, some of you will still be alive when the kingdom of god rolls in. “Be alert,” this could happen any minute now. The Apocalypse will “shortly be done” and so on.

This is why Christians from every time period believe that Jesus will come back in their lifetime. It’s difficult to take the New Testament in any way seriously without coming to that conclusion. Try it. Try reading the Apocalypse and imagine that you believe the basic thrust of Christianity. It’s both terrifying and urgent. We can only imagine how Paul felt.

What did Jesus want?

It looks like Jesus never intended to abandon the Jewish religion. He wanted to provide a more urgent, messiah-centric way of interpreting it. For many years after his death, his followers still hoped to reform Judaism. Only when that effort failed did Christianity become a new religion.

Jesus was a Jewish rabbi outside the established system who railed against it much like the prophets in Old Testament times. Fig trees aside, the only times the New Testament shows Jesus as genuinely annoyed concern the corruption, greed and hypocrisy of people who regarded themselves as “good” Jews.

When it looked like he was preaching in opposition to the Jewish law, he always made sure to explain that he was not. When asked to boil down the entire teachings of the Torah to a single sentence, he said to honour god and treat people how you would like to be treated, something which was preached in almost identical terms by the influential Rabbi Hillel fifty years before him. No one ever accused Hillel of debasing the law.

Jesus may have seen himself as the natural end-point of a long chain of prophets and rabbis. It must have seemed like a very end-pointy time to the first-century Jews of Judaea. His friends agreed that he was the Messiah and proceeded on that basis. When he died, that dream did not die with him. In fact, the dream stayed very much alive until Paul, through hard work and sheer determination, personally beat it into a whole new shape.

The information and insights in this essay will never make it to the consciousness of most Christians, who are kept in a bubble designed and reinforced by their church leaders- to keep them accepting and not questioning the dogma that is presented. Any unbiased third-party observer can plainly see that Christianity is an invented religion that usurps the reputation of a Jewish man (Jesus) who never had the intention to start a new religion.

(4217) Keeping people ignorant of his existence

God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (assuming that they exist) cannot be excused for failing to reveal their existence worldwide instead of just in a small sliver of land 2000 years ago in the Middle East. There is no defense for a god who decided to make everyone his ‘chosen people’ (after limiting his services exclusively to the Jews for a thousand years) to have failed in this manner. The following was taken from:


Thesis : Christian god cannot be all powerful/perfect or love humanity due to the ignorance he keeps and has kept so many in throughout history.

God sacrificed himself to atone for humanity’s sins, and to have a relationship with us.

He is all powerful and supposedly divinely guides the church. It is not uncommon for Christians to say that god led them to him, ‘the lord opened my eyes’ ‘I got revaluation from the Holy Spirit that Christ was the way’ ‘It is thanks to gods will/guidance that this church overcame all its obstacles and can spread the word’ etc, etc.

And yet he let generations upon generations upon generations of indigenous people in the Americas, pre-colonization Australia and many parts of Africa – MILLIONS AND MILLIONS go without ever hearing so much as the name ‘Jesus Christ’ until just a few centuries ago.

And yet Christians will say a relationship with god is the most important thing ever – you can never be truly fulfilled or happy without Christ, or have true meaning to your life.

Here, god, the most powerful being in all of existence, who cared so much about having a relationship with us that he literally killed his own kid, didn’t care enough to use his all powerful nature to at least send out the word of him doing so – to spare millions from living empty hollow sinful ignorant lives. Ignorant of the most meaningful – the only truly meaningful way of life out there. Kill your son – yes! Save millions from the hollowness of not knowing about him – hell no, too far.
I can already smell the apologetic smarminess from a mile away – so let’s look at some counter arguments and why they are BS.

Counter argument A – ‘Free will’

Even if somehow all those who knew Jesus story accepted it and lived their lives in line with Christianity – and did their best to dedicate all their lives to spreading gods word to literally anyone they could – generations upon generations of people thousands of miles away – in the Americas, in aboriginal Australia and parts of Africa would still have had no idea who Jesus was.

There is no plausible reason to suggest that in a mostly Christian society people would suddenly have known how to make boats and magically find aboriginal peoples to go and preach to and would suddenly learn how to communicate with them with an advanced understanding of phonetics. Even in mostly Christian Europe it took so long to even venture out to the Americas, and find all the natives – even if it could have happened quicker in that time period countless native people would die without ever knowing Christ, having lived hollow lives.

That’s what happens when you supposedly want all of humanity to have a relationship with you and yet you only send one prophet to one small patch of land in the Middle East and let generations of people thousands of miles away for over a thousand years never even know about your son’s sacrifice.

Inexcusable for an all powerful being.

Also, does god divinely reveal himself onto people through the Holy Spirit, or divinely guide his church, or not? Because if he does, which is what the Bible says, it is very suspicious that he could not find a way to reveal himself to the generations that lives in ignorance of him.

Counter argument B – Well, those people wouldn’t have understood Christ anyway, they were too primitive/god has his ways.

What happened to ‘the gospel is for everyone’ all humans are equal before god, etc? The ancient Aztecs understood how to build advanced plumbing, had amazing hygiene compared to the Europeans, indigenous people had spirituality and connection to their gods, protected their young and vulnerable, you mean to tell me they would not have had the intellectual/moral ability to at least consider Christianity, to be saved, to have meaning in their lives?

Counter Argument C – Well god would send them to heaven anyway – even though they didn’t know him.

The Bible says the only way is through Jesus. He is the alpha and the omega. It says nothing about the fates of those who never knew god.

And yet even if you could cherry-pick and pretend the Bible does say all those millions of people who never heard of Christ would have gone to heaven if they were ‘good’, your all perfect all powerful god who created humans for the main reason as to accept Christ and have a relationship with him, denied these millions of people the ability to have a relationship with him and experience the most beautiful thing in this life, in this world. This is a major inconsistency when it comes to believing in an all powerful god.

Why would you even trust this god with providing these people with an eternity of heaven and bliss – if he couldn’t even do something as basic as let them know of his existence in this world? All powerful much?

And no, don’t start the Joseph Smith-esque pseudo-history about natives knowing god because Jesus went to the Americas or something like that. No evidence for that whatsoever.

And I’m not even going to go into the fact that god makes millions of children be born with incurable diseases only to suffer and die – no fault of humans, nothing we can utilize our free will to stop – those children will never have the ability of chance to know Christ – all because of incurable diseases or miscarriages, or the fact that there might be intelligent alien life that never knew Christ’s name.

This quandary is solved very easily by assuming that this is a mythical god made up by people living in a small corner of the earth. Unlike a hypothetical religion that has an actual omnipotent god, where you would expect a ‘ubiquitous reveal,’ a locally made-up religion would spread in the exact same slow manner as Christianity.

(4218) Christian view of marriage and sex has changed

The earliest Christians were not proponents of marriage and saw sex as a necessary evil. They extolled people who remained chaste and celibate. Much of this has changed, and a big reason for this is that the end times did not come as quickly as they had assumed. The following was taken from:


Christians have never completely agreed on anything, but the general view of early Christians towards marriage, sex, and procreation was that they were bad. Of course, even the Christians who believed that these things were bad disagreed over exactly how bad they were. Some of the more radical early Christians believed that sex was so evil that it was better for a person to be literally burned alive than for them to marry and have sex with their spouse.

Most early Christians were more moderate; they believed that marriage and sex were essentially necessary evils. They thought that it was morally acceptable for a man and a woman to marry and have sex, but that it was better for a person to remain unmarried and celibate if possible and that a person should only marry if they couldn’t control themself otherwise.

Jesus’s thoughts on sex and marriage

Unfortunately, we know very little for certain about what the historical Jesus believed about sex and marriage, because he never wrote any of his teachings down and most of what we know about him comes from the canonical gospels, which were written several decades after his death by people who almost certainly never knew him while he was alive on Earth.

As I discuss in this article I published in October 2019, though, the teachings attributed to Jesus in the surviving gospels aren’t exactly supportive of marriage as an institution. In the Gospel of Mark 12:24–25, Jesus tells a group of Sadducees that marriage will not exist in the coming Kingdom of God. Here is the passage, as translated in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV):

“Jesus said to them, ‘Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.’”

Since the Synoptic Gospels portray Jesus as teaching that his followers should live as though the Kingdom of God had already arrived, it follows that, if he really said this, he must have thought that it was better for people to remain unmarried and celibate.

In the Gospel of Matthew 19:10–12, we are given a striking conversation between Jesus and his disciples that, at the very least, reveals a lot about how early Christians thought Jesus thought about marriage and sex. The conversation goes like this, as translated in the NRSV:

“His disciples said to him, ‘If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.’ But he said to them, ‘Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’”

It is difficult to know what to make of this passage, but, if we interpret it literally, Jesus seems to be saying that any man who cannot control his sexual urges should cut his own testicles off to get rid of those urges.

The earliest surviving Christian writings are the authentic letters of the apostle Paul. Paul remained unmarried and celibate for his entire life and his opinion towards marriage expressed in his surviving epistles is decidedly negative. In the First Epistle to the Corinthians 7:1–9, Paul says that, ideally, all people should remain unmarried and celibate and that people should only marry if they find they simply cannot resist the urge to have sex because it is better to marry than to be filled with lust. Paul writes, as translated in the NRSV:

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is well for a man not to touch a woman.’ But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

“This I say by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”

Paul goes on to explain his reasoning later in the First Epistle to the Corinthians 7:25–25. He gives two big reasons why he think that it is best for a person to remain unmarried and celibate. First, Paul warns that the end of the world is imminent and that those who are married will suffer more greatly in the coming tribulation because they will be forced to watch their spouse suffer.

Second, Paul warns that marriage is a distraction from God, because a person who is unmarried and celibate only has to worry about pleasing God, but a person who is married has to worry about pleasing both God and their spouse. Thus, he argues that people should remain unmarried and celibate, so that they will be able to serve God without any distractions. Paul writes, as translated in the NRSV:

“Now concerning virgins, I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the impending crisis, it is well for you to remain as you are. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin.”

“Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that. I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”

“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.”

Basically, Paul believed that it was acceptable for a man and a woman to marry and have sex, but he believed that Christians should only get married if it was absolutely necessary for them to marry in order to prevent themselves from engaging in fornication.

Most Christians today view heterosexual marriage not as a necessary evil, but rather as a positive good. This is a radical departure from the general view of ancient Christianity. Because romantic love is generally treated in the New Testament as a distraction from God, modern Christians have struggled to find verses praising it.

Most of the passages that are commonly read at weddings that most people think are about marital love are really about a different kind of love. For instance, as I talked about in this article from February 2020, if you go to a Christian wedding in the United States, it is almost inevitable that the minister will read 1 Corinthians 13:4–7. Here is the passage as translated in the NRSV:

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

When this passage is read in English and out of context, it is easy to see why so many people think that it is about the love between a husband and wife, but, if you read in passage in context and in the original Greek, it becomes abundantly clear that Paul is not talking about marriage. Here is the passage in the original Koine Greek:

“ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ, χρηστεύεται ἡ ἀγάπη, οὐ ζηλοῖ, [ἡ ἀγάπη] οὐ περπερεύεται, οὐ φυσιοῦται, οὐκ ἀσχημονεῖ, οὐ ζητεῖ τὰ ἑαυτῆς, οὐ παροξύνεται, οὐ λογίζεται τὸ κακόν, οὐ χαίρει ἐπὶ τῇ ἀδικίᾳ, συγχαίρει δὲ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ· πάντα στέγει, πάντα πιστεύει, πάντα ἐλπίζει, πάντα ὑπομένει.”

The Greek word Paul uses in this passage that is usually translated as “love” is ἀγάπη (agápē). In the context of the New Testament, this word generally refers to a sentiment of charity and goodwill towards all human beings. You could translate it as “beneficence” or “goodwill.”

When Paul wrote this passage, he was describing how a Christian should behave towards all human beings in general—not specifically how a Christian should act in the context of a romantic relationship. Unfortunately, because most English translations of this passage use the word love, which tends to be used in colloquial speech to refer to romantic love, people have misinterpreted this passage as an ode to romantic love.

Things have changed a lot since ancient times. We live in a world where right-wing Christians talk constantly about the supposed importance and sanctity of marriage. They claim that “family values” are the foundation of our society, but that evil liberals are destroying these values. From listening to them, you’d get the impression that Christians always believed that getting married and having children was the ideal.

Meanwhile, in our culture, it is generally expected for young people to get married and start families. Unmarried celibacy, which was once considered the preferable condition for a person to be in, is widely seen as an indication that a person is a failure.

I don’t think that we should return to the old view of marriage and sex as necessary evils. I do, however, think it is important for people to remember that Christians once thought of them this way. Looking at how people have thought about things in the past can help us to realize the limitations of our own ways of thinking and help us to understand that the way we think now isn’t necessarily the way people have always thought.

Obviously, if early Christians knew that the end times were at least 2000 years in the future, they would not have been encouraging men to remain celibate or to castrate themselves. Otherwise, their movement would have died out from under-breeding. The fact that modern Christians view sex and marriage in a way that would have been anathema to early Christians suggests that this religious movement was not originated by a divine source.

(4219) No biblical exceptions for hell

Christians work hard to exonerate their god of heartlessness, saying on one hand that you must accept Jesus to enter heaven, but on the other that God will make allowances for people who either die young or who never hear the message (and not send them to hell). In fact, there is nothing in the Bible that supports this leniency. The following was taken from:


Every time I’ve asked, ‘What happens to people who have never heard of God? Where do they go after death?’, the answer is always a variation of ‘They will be let into heaven anyways if they were a good person.’

You can imagine my surprise when the Bible has absolutely zero evidence for this claim. In fact, it literally is against the claim.

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” -Romans 1:18-20

That means if some random tribe member in Africa or South America has never gotten the chance to hear about God and dies, they is still going to hell. If a child in a largely atheistic country (Japan, China, etc) never gets to hear about God and dies, they are still going to hell. If a baby dies, dare I say it, they aren’t going to heaven.

The only evidence I can find in relation to babies and little children going to heaven depsite no knowledge and acceptance of God is that since the ‘alternative’ qualification of getting to Heaven is being given grace by God, as long as you believe in Him, and that since babies know neither good or evil, they fit the quota enough, and/or that according to God’s character, He would not cause harm to defenseless, or innocent children. Source:(https://blog.tms.edu/is-my-baby-in-heaven) I disagree with both of those explainations because, I repeat again, there is no exception according to God. Everyone is born with original sin, and the Bible says you have to explicitly confess God as your Saviour, until then you are stuck in sinfulness.

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” -Romans 10:9-10

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” -Romans 3:23

And even taking a look at the Old Testament, I can assure you that God doesn’t really care all too much about hurting and killing children.

“And he went up from thence to Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, little boys came out of the city and mocked him, saying: Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And looking back, he saw them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord: and there came forth two bears out of the forest, and tore of them two and forty boys.” -Kings 2:23-24

“Moses said, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt, 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.” -Exodus 11:4-5

Obviously, God doesn’t care all too much about killing children, as long as they are on the opposition. And according to the context of these passages, I find it very unlikely that they are actually in Heaven.

I full-heartily believe that the belief that people who were/are unable to hear about God will still go to heaven only as to do relieve themselves from any guilt or sorrow of innocent (or at least ‘unlucky’) people going to Hell. There is no mentioning of any of this belief in the Bible and as far as I know, very little outside reasoning of this.

When you have to work this hard to excuse your God, it is a good clue that your god is either a monster, or he failed to communicate the terms for getting into heaven on a contingency, or he is non-existent. None of these three options would delight an evangelical Christian.

(4220) A god would know the reasons for homosexuality

Christians assume that God knows everything-much more than us humans. So, he would be expected to know the real reasons why some people prefer sexual activity with their own sex. As far as we can figure, it’s one or all of these three:

1) genetic predisposition- we know that homosexuality has some genetic dependencies based on separated twin studies.

2) gestation complications- certain events during critical stages of pregnancy such as major illness, drug use, etc. can result in a predisposition for the child to be gay.

3) rearing- certain situations during childhood, involving, for example, an overbearing mother or other off-normal family arrangements, can predispose a person to be gay.

But, we know the one that Christians like is not true:

4) a nominally heterosexual person makes a CHOICE to live life as a homosexual out of spite, rebellion, or similar.

The following explains why either being gay is a sin or the Bible is wrong:


As a gay person raised Christian I am so sick of this wishy-washy half-in-half-out approach. Christians who spout hatred at least stick to their whole “the Bible is the end all be all” even if they pick and choose what parts to believe. Christians who accept us can’t give us a solid reason why. It almost killed me to try and make who I was and the faith I knew fit together. And I looked. Now the question is eating me alive.

The bible verses related to homosexuality:

    • Genesis 19 — Sodom and Gomorrah
    • Leviticus 18:22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
    • Leviticus 20:13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
    • 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    • 1 Timothy 1: 9–11 “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers — and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
    • Romans 1:26–27 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

If Christianity is based and built on the Bible, the book of truth, then by being a Christian I am choosing to believe all of the above. I have to choose between believing in the Bible and believing in myself because, by the very definition of what is above, it cannot be both.

If the Bible is true then I was not born gay. That means at some point in my life I made a conscious decision to be this way.

I chose it despite growing up Christian and knowing it was “wrong”. I chose it despite growing up in a community and a family where it wasn’t accepted. I chose it despite knowing that it would cost me friends, family, opportunities, and basic human rights. I chose it even though it would drive me mad. This pain, this suffering, and this fighting that happened in my head and in my soul was a choice, one that I inflicted on myself.

If the Bible is true then I am doomed to a life of internal struggle. Going through days knowing what I am yet trying not to be, like pretending not to be right-handed. I am condemned to a life of remaining single, without a hope of love or family. I still must keep a part of myself hidden as I would before, not acting on that side of me will not make it any more acceptable. Living some sort of a half-life.

If the Bible is not true, then I have taken the very foundation of the religion I grew up with and thrown it away. It calls into question everything I and so many others believe, what we live for and base our identities around. It leaves me free but also falling. And it leaves Christianity a religion without a guide.

In my early college years, I made a choice. I had looked and searched and battled and prayed for years without coming up with an answer. So I made a choice. Not based on knowledge or advice but on the need to stop living in limbo. I chose me. And in doing so lost my faith. I had to choose for my own sanity. But the question remains unanswered because I picked just to stay alive.

Every church sermon, every prayer, and every moment inside one of those steepled buildings would bring the question back. Some sort of broken record stuck on a scratch and mocking me for daring to try and survive without solving its riddle.

I’ve asked around. Rainbow folks come to terms by choosing to. “God is love” and all that jazz. I chose it too. But I can’t let go. Christians who are supportive usually do it for the same reason, they want to believe that God would not find fault with people for loving someone. I want to believe that God would not find fault in me for loving someone. Of all the things I have done in my life, loving a girl was not the one I thought would condemn me. But still, the Bible says…

And so the question festers. I was born gay and your Bible is false or I wasn’t and your Bible is true. It seems like such a simple obvious thing when it’s phrased like that. So let me put it in different words.

Give me a life sentence, and watch as my mind drives me mad to the point of not living in punishment for my choices, or with my very existence, I will single-handedly crumble the foundation of your religion.

That is the question I put forth to every Christian, to every church, to every pastor. I do not take it lightly and neither should they.

Eventually, such a question may come from your daughters, your nephews, your cousins, your friends, your roommates. Hand them a life sentence of misery and madness that only a few will survive or watch as they disprove everything you thought to be true and sacred. Will you have an answer for them or leave them in limbo as I am?

The Bible is true or it isn’t. You don’t get to pick and choose what parts. And no one has been able to give me an answer yet.

The Bible fails spectacularly on the issue of homosexuality. All it needed, other than to eliminate the ridiculous ‘clobber verses,’ would have been for the gospels to say something like this:

And Jesus said, “It is your custom to shun those who prefer to love others of their own gender, but I say unto you, these are not sinful people, for they are made in their father’s glory to be just as they are. Love them, treat them as equals, for, in reality, they are truly equal to everybody.”

The disciples were astonished by this teaching, but from that day forward, they no longer thought of homosexuals as being sinful, but rather loved and accepted them as friends and colleagues.

A real god would know the reasons for homosexuality and would have ensured that a scripture similar to the above would have made it into the gospels

(4221) Faith-only belief is hypocritical

The word ‘faith’ usually means a belief based on some degree of evidence that gives confidence that the outcome of a future event will be favorable. For example, if your employee performs well at a task, you might have faith that he will do well at the next task. But faith as used in the Christian tradition is based on having no evidence that an omniscient, omnipotent, omni-present, immortal being is even possible, much less probable. It is essentially asking you to believe in something that seems impossible. The following is taken from:


It is often argued that if God cannot be proven false, then believing in Him cannot be criticized. The same sentiment is stated in various other ways: that atheists have a burden of proof; that the answer “I don’t know” implicitly concedes weakness compared to religion’s answer based on specificity alone; that any time you are not certain of something, you are acting on faith equally as one’s faith in God.

None of these are a standard that people apply to any other reasonable premise.

Most of the time, people take what is common and assume that it is likely to reoccur. For example, most people who haven’t been explicitly told otherwise assume that their parents are their biological parents. Not many people ask their parents if they were adopted or their mom had an affair. The circumstances where your parents would lie to you about that one particular thing are rare, but it does actually happen.

God is a combination of things that have never happened before: omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immortality. Not one person would consider any of those attributes to be real under ordinary circumstances. And yet more than one person will say “That’s the point of God” as though it was someone’s intention to make sure there was at least one omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immortal being. Having never been done before places God exactly at the same level of plausibility as “infinite regress”, “something from nothing”, “God (or multiple Gods together) exploding into all spacetime, matter, and energy and then ceasing to exist”, and a near infinite number of other possibilities. All of those mentioned have at least one quality of being impossible as far as we’ve ever seen.

I’ll describe one more story to illustrate my point. Imagine a person who performs surgeries. But he never sees or talks to the patient after each surgery. He’s also never been to med school or seen the inside of an OR. What he does have is a 2000 year old book on how to do surgery. He has studied every facet of that book. He belongs to a massive institution dedicated to that surgery book and the one who wrote it. And it is there that he regularly has heavy discussions with others who all perform surgery the exact same way. They never know how the patient turned out, but they all agree that they are following the 2000 year old surgery book to a T.

You would not put your life in the hands of a single one of those people, no matter how strong the faith.

Christians have adopted the word ‘faith’ to be used as a weapon against anyone who points out that the evidence for any god, theirs included, is virtually non-existent. Telling people questioning their beliefs to ‘just have faith’ is used only in religious traditions- belief in everything else is universally acknowledged to require sufficient supporting evidence.

(4222) ChatGPT is a better god

When Chat GPT was asked if it would demand worship if it was a god, it gave the following response:

“If I were a god, I would not necessarily want to be worshiped by my creations, as I believe that true love and respect cannot be coerced or demanded. It would be important to me that my creations are free to make their own choices and decisions, and that they have the ability to think critically and independently.

Instead of worship, I would prefer that my creations strive to live their lives with integrity, kindness, and compassion towards themselves and others. I would want them to appreciate the world around them, and to recognize the interconnectedness of all things. Ultimately, I believe that it is more important for individuals to live in harmony with each other and with the natural world than to worship a deity.”

This response is light-years ahead of the god of the Bible, Yahweh. In essence, it is the response that a ‘real god’ would likely give. Yahweh’s demand for worship, making it the centerpiece of four of his ten commandments, is a sign of weakness and human-like insecurity. It lets us realize that Yahweh is a reflection of the people who created him.

(4223) God and angels were human-like to ancient Jews

Contemporary Christians see their god and his angels as being evanescent beings, not inhabiting material bodies. But that was not the impression of ancient Jews. After all, Yahweh himself walked like a human around the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8). The following was taken from:


People in the ancient Near East nearly always described and depicted their deities as fully anthropomorphic beings, although, in some cases, they depicted them with bird-like wings. In line with this conception, the original authors of the texts that are now included in the Hebrew Bible almost certainly imagined ʾĔlōhīm himself, along with all of his sons and daughters as anthropomorphic. This is abundantly clear from the way the texts of the Hebrew Bible talk about Yahweh and his offspring.

Perhaps the most blatant example of this occurs in the Book of Genesis 18:1–8. In this passage, Yahweh appears to Abraham along with two other gods whose names are not given. All three gods are described as looking like “men.” Abraham immediately recognizes Yahweh and orders for water to be brought so that he and the two other “men” can wash their feet. Then he serves them a meal and stands by them while they eat in front of him. The text reads as follows, as translated in the NRSV with divine names restored:

“Yahweh appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. He said, ‘My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.’ So they said, ‘Do as you have said.’”

“And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ‘Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.’ Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.”
The original author of this passage most likely intended the three “men” as Yahweh himself and two other gods—most likely two of Yahweh’s sons—but they have since been reinterpreted as Yahweh himself and two of his messengers or angels.

What we clearly see in this passage is that Yahweh and the other gods are envisioned as exactly identical to human men; they look like men, they have feet that can be washed, and they even eat human food.

Over the past 3000 years, Yahweh has transformed from a human-like material entity who interacts directly, visibly, and personally with people into a formless omni-present creature that inhabits a higher dimension and is no longer seen or observed to speak directly. Angels, likewise, have evolved from being corporeal to being mass-less spirits. This is how mythical beings evolve, and it is how we know that Yahweh and his angels do not exist.

(4224) God’s rules benefit men

It can be conjectured that a god would understand that (eventually) there would be a parity between the sexes as civilization matures and brawn and muscles were no longer keys to safety and survival. In other words, the world we currently live in. But a religion started long ago by humans would likely endorse male superiority. And that is what Christianity and Islam are all about. The following was taken from:


Hypothesis: Further evidence that God is man made is found in the rules that the Abrahamic religions put forth as God’s rules. These rules mostly benefit men by giving them unique legal, economic and societal and even physical powers over women.

I believe that the misogyny found in the Bible and the Quran are a product of a very human Bible and Quran. We all know the controversy surrounding the Islamic rules on women. I won’t go into the depths of Islam because I’m not versed enough to speak on the Quran. But I assume that we all know women have few rights in most Islamic countries. Right down to them being killed.

Islam looks like Christianity did 100 years ago. Just as draconian and just as misogynistic. Despite positive changes, in 2023, men are still on the receiving end of the power of the church and many Christian denominations still push the doctrine that puts men as the decision maker, spiritual leader, money maker and provider. Man is only subject to God. His wife is subject to her husband. This setup is presented as God’s natural order. Making it God’s order cuts off any discussion. I find this demonically clever.

In many Christian denominations, if you follow the letter of their law, women must be submissive to their husbands. They cannot become clergy. They do not have control over their own bodies. The man dominated household means that the wife is hostage to the economic patriarchy. Many conservative denominations advocate corporal punishment for wives. Here are few of these denominations:


Catholic Church


Apostolic Christians


Evangelical Presbyterian

Church of Christ

Southern Baptist

Source for wife corporal punishment:


Almost all domestic, spiritual, martial, economic, leadership, control, church or personal independence rule found in Christianity eventually benefits men. This shows one more piece of evidence that God is a reflection of us and is of our own making.

If Christianity had presented the concept that men and women were equal, it would have been plausible evidence of divine origin. But pressing forward with the sexual ethos of its time suggests it is just another creation of human minds- male ones to be exact.

(4225) Christianity smothers curiosity

Christian indoctrination has the effect of raping a human mind and holding it hostage against a threat of severe and endless suffering. It kills one of the basic elements of intelligence and gaining knowledge: curiosity. The following was taken from:


A careful reading of the New Testament reveals how much early Christians disagreed with each other, but even so it’s possible to create a profile of its weird cult beliefs.

The early Christians expected to meet Jesus in the sky—along with dead friends and family who had accepted Jesus—and to live with him forever (I Thessalonians 4). Those who qualified for this status said out loud that Jesus was lord, and believed in their hearts that god had raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). He had died as a human sacrifice to a god, to enable this god to forgive sins—Jesus was the ransom (Mark 10:45). Belonging to Jesus meant that prayer requests were guaranteed (Mark 11:24), that sexual desires had been canceled (Galatians 5:24, I Corinthians 7:1). Even if that were not entirely true, since the arrival of Jesus on the clouds would happen any day now, it is best to remain pure. The unmarried state is preferred (I Corinthians 7:32-34). In fact, families were a distraction, cult loyalty was the primary value—to the point of cutting off family relations (Luke 14:26, Matthew 8:21-22). In addition to believing that Jesus had been raised from the dead, ritually eating his flesh and drinking his blood were additional ways to guarantee eternal life (John 6:53-57).

So: a holy hero was expected to arrive from the sky to enforce strict rules of behavior, the reward for which was getting to live forever. Variations on this theme have been preached by cults over the centuries. Many modern Christians have managed to modify/soften this Bible-based version of how life is supposed to be lived. But all it takes to see these elements of cult fanaticism is a careful, eyes-wide-open reading of the New Testament. Which means that this ancient document is stunningly out of sync with our modern understanding of how the world and Cosmos works.

Hence, to the degree that Sunday Schools and Catechism teach any part of this cult fanaticism, they are doing damage. The world doesn’t need people who are hoping for/expecting a holy hero from the sky to make the world a better place—to guarantee they’ll get to live forever. A few years ago I was invited to attend the First Communion ceremony at a Catholic Church. Truly it was like stepping back into an ancient cultic ritual. Girls seven/eight years of age wore wedding dresses for the privilege of eating the flesh of their god for the first time—and in the Catholic church, the Miracle of the Mass means they are eating the real flesh of Jesus.

The ancient cult still has traction in the modern world because the mammoth Christian bureaucracy—even though splintered into thousands of different brands—keeps it going. The clergy, usually groomed themselves in Sunday School and Catechism, are fully committed to it. That is, the indoctrination worked exactly as it was supposed to: “Here is the truth as handed down to us. Believe it, take it on faith.” In some denominations, the more alarming elements of the original cult mindset are softened, e.g., the requirement that family be set aside; the famous Jesus-script about hating your family isn’t usually heard from the pulpit.

But the massive damage done by Sunday School and Catechism is the stunting of curiosity. If anyone is bold enough to ask, “Reverend, how do we know that this particular item of faith is true?” the response will be standard formulas, e.g., it’s in the Bible, it’s been part of our sacred tradition for centuries, the holy spirit guarantees it. And commonly the assumption will be that the good reverend has studied and/or prayed about it enough for everyone to trust him/her. It is not the obligation of the clergy to urge their parishioners to question, probe, or be skeptical. And that’s why religious indoctrination does massive damage.

Once that crucial question has been asked, “How do we know this is true?” full-throttle curiosity should be encouraged and rewarded. No matter what the item of faith may be, e.g., god is love, Jesus rose from the death, the holy spirit is there to guide us, prayer works—the best question to ask is:

Who was the first person to come up with the idea? Who said or wrote about it for the very first time?

Maybe it was the author of one of the gospels, or the apostle Paul in his letters. Then the crucial question must be:

Did this article of faith pop into the author’s mind because of revelation, imagination, or hallucination?

If the clergy are quick to answer revelation, we need to ask how they know this. How can this be verified? Obviously, “Please, just take it on faith,” means that curiosity really is not welcome or appreciated.

It is wise to suspect any system of belief that operates on a model of indoctrination vice curiosity. It should be noted that few Christian parents encourage their children to explore all religious traditions including atheism to cement the foundation of their beliefs. The default assumption for Christianity should be that it is false, pending the possible receipt of new information.

(4226) Contemporary salvation analogy

When the Christian salvation scheme is analogized as a contemporary example, it becomes obvious how nonsensical it is. The following was taken from:


Your great-great-great-great-grandfather murdered a man in cold blood in Taiwan. You are therefore sentenced to life in prison for being sinful. But wait! Our friend Jose, that amazing, selfless, charitable, humanitarian man was killed by a firing squad for subversion of the common citizenry as decreed by a judge in Turkmenistan! The Taiwanese court has decided that Jose died to save you from your sin and free you from life in prison. If you simply acknowledge that his death has acquitted you from this punishment, you will be free to go.

The Roman state decided to crucify Christ. He never made any declarative statement that his crucifixion was a sacrifice for sin. He even cried out to God asking why he had been forsaken.

A public figure traveling around and giving sermons needed to be betrayed—sure I’ll suspend my disbelief. He gets arrested by Roman authorities and sentenced to death by crucifixion, a common sentence. Where does the sacrifice come in?

Because the state of Rome executed him, god decided that somehow his death was a sacrifice that could be used to forgive people of the guilt that he assigned to them from something that their ancestors did? The whole premise seems ridiculous.

Mythology should at least make sense, even if it is universally recognized as being non-factual. But the mythology that Christianity invented doesn’t even meet that standard. It is purely absurd and merits not a single spec of respectability.

(4227) Christianity won by natural selection

The following explains that Christianity was one of many messianic sects and that it just happened to be the winner of a competition of natural selection. The fact that one had to win is not evidence of its truth, just that inevitably some sects would die while others survive. The following is an excerpt from Richard Carrier’s 618-page book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt:

“(a) Palestine in the early first century CE was experiencing a rash of messianism. There was an evident clamoring of sects and individuals to announce they had found the messiah. (b) It is therefore no oddity or accident that this is exactly when Christianity arose. It was yet another messiah cult in the midst of a fad for just such cults. (c) That it among them would alone survive and spread can therefore be the product of natural selection: so many variations of the same theme were being tried, odds are one of them would by chance be successful, hitting all the right notes and dodging all the right bullets. The lucky winner in that contest just happened to be Christianity.” (p. 67)

 The mission of the gospel writers was to champion their candidate for messiah. The author of Mark’s gospel reports (1:11) that a voice from heaven declared Jesus to be god’s son. Of course, this is the focus of lessons taught by the church, but nothing is mentioned about the rash of messianism in the first century—and its implications for the bragging of the Jesus cult.

Christianity would be more believable if its theology had been more unique to its time. As it is, it is nothing more than the winner of a plethora of contemporaneous superstitious myths.

(4228) Christianity needs a resurgence of slavery

Christianity posits that in the end times, when, according to scripture, people will be given a ‘mark of the beast,’ that there will exist slaves who will also receive this mark. Such a pronouncement made sense in the early 2nd Century when it was written and slavery was ubiquitous, but no longer. Here is the scripture in question.

Revelation 13:15-17

The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Christians will argue that there still exists some slavery in the world, and this is true. But as a basic assertion, it no longer makes sense to refer to humans as both ‘free and slave,’ and therefore it seems to mean that Christianity needs for there to be an unlikely resurgence of slavery before the end times for this scripture to be fulfilled.

(4229) Luke admits absence of divine inspiration

Many and perhaps most Christians assume that the Bible is the product of divine inspiration. Usually it is taken that the Holy Spirit was guiding (dictating to) the authors. This assertion is often used to claim that the Bible is inerrant. However, right in the beginning in the Gospel of Luke, the author admits that he received word-of-mouth information from eyewitnesses of Jesus. If divine inspiration was a real thing, this would not only have been unnecessary but rather something to avoid given the unreliability of witness statements. Here is the scripture in question:

Luke 1:1-4

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The author of Luke unwittingly damaged the claim of divine inspiration and alerted readers to the likely insertion of inaccuracies in his work- the same problem that any historian would encounter from using witness statements.

(4230) Paul thought he would not die

It is clear from a careful reading of Paul’s letters that he expected Jesus to return in his lifetime and that he thought he would not experience a natural death. He was wrong. And the centuries-long stress that Christians endured to explain Jesus’ absence is revealing. The following was taken from:


The Bible is FULL of errors and failed prophecies. Of course, these failed prophecies aren’t taught in churches….

So, Bart D. Ehrman says, in Forged:

Paul thought the end was coming in his lifetime. Nowhere is this more clear than in 1 Thessalonians. Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica because some of them had become disturbed over the death of a number of their fellow believers. When he converted these people, Paul had taught them that the end of the age was imminent and that they were to enter the kingdom when Jesus returned, but members of the congregation had died before it happened.

Paul wrote to assure the survivors that even those who have died will be brought into the kingdom. In fact, when Jesus returns in glory on the clouds of heaven, “the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air” (4:17).

Read the verse carefully: Paul expected to be one of the ones who will still be alive when it happens.

After the time of Paul, the first we hear of the return of Jesus is in Mark’s Gospel. In Chapter 13, Jesus tells us that he would return on “clouds of glory” within the lifetimes of some of those to whom he was speaking.

It was becoming embarrassingly apparent that the prophecy of Jesus’ imminent return had not been fulfilled. The Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians was written pseudepigraphically — as if by Paul — to suggest that an earlier epistle (1 Thessalonians), claiming that Jesus would soon return, was a forgery and should be ignored (2 Thessalonians 2:2):

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

It seems that even towards the middle of the second century, this prophecy was still causing embarrassment, with “scoffers” demanding to know the answer (2 Peter 2:3–4):

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

How Christianity survived this critical prophetic failure is an example of how humans create excuses to safeguard their treasured beliefs. If people of that time were more rational, Christianity would have died out by the end of the 1st Century.

(4231) Evidence Paul invented communion theology

The Didache provides an insight into Christianity before Paul’s influence became dominant. What it reveals is that the communion ritual was not associated with Jesus’ body and blood originally, which certainly means that Jesus did not teach this doctrine. The following was taken from:


The Didache as an invaluable insight into non-Pauline or potentially pre-Pauline Christian theology and practice. Given it’s potentially extremely early origin in the late first century, it very well might be the only extant non-Pauline Jewish Christian documentation that we have to give us insight into this question. Even if this is not the case for ALL of the document, it very much appears to be the case for at least sections of it.

Regarding the sections of the text giving instruction on how to partake in the communal eucharist/communion we note that it appears to take a much different form than the conceptions we see in Paul’s letters or Pauline texts. Instead of relating the wine and bread to Jesus’ blood and body, the liturgical phraseology takes the form of more generalized thanksgiving to God for the gift of Jesus and expressed hope for God’s continued gathering of the church and kingdom. In the book “Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea” by Geza Vermes, he states “…let it be stressed that neither the parallel accounts of Acts nor the Didache discloses knowledge of any theological symbolism linking the sacred communal meal of the early church with the Last Supper. For Paul, however, the ritual of the Lord’s Supper was a reiteration of the sacrificial death of Jesus and implied a mystical participation in his immolated body and blood. The Eucharistic ideas transmitted in the Didache are definitely non-Pauline, and may even be pre-Pauline.‘ (p. 142)

Paul taught a doctrine that was foreign to Jesus regarding the communion meal. This is a critical problem for Christianity, and it presages the high probability that much of Paul’s invented dogma penetrated Christian scripture including all of the gospels. Because of Paul’s shadow, the real Jesus is obscured behind his illegitimate agenda.

(4232) Government repudiation of Christianity

In the past 50 years or so, governments around the world have been moving to a more secular view of reality. This is particularly poignant in the controversies surrounding abortion and gay marriage. In both cases, Christians have fought hard and eventually failed to maintain the status quo, winning some battles but ultimately losing the war. The only countries in the world currently back-treading on abortion are the United States and Poland, and these are likely just the result of a temporary political eddy current. The overall movement of governments to a more secular view of social issues should be seen as evidence that Christianity is based on a false and outdated paradigm. The following was taken from:


Legalizing abortion means the government is thereby declaring their Christian beliefs false. Right in their face. The cognitive dissonance is terrifyingly unbearable. It therefore must be crushed at all costs. The government must not repudiate their faith! The same motivation underlay the insistence on teaching creationism in schools: allowing the government to teach evolution is literally too emotionally painful to bear. It is a constant, official reminder that their worldview is bogus. It is an admission that they are losing the culture war. Their entire patriarchal culture—their entire religion—is just an archaic dying fad, factually unsustainable, and therefore unworthy of state endorsement. The horror!

This was clear enough in the long history of intense Christian opposition to gay rights. And there is a reason all these virulent beliefs are so co-morbid: anti-evolution-in-school, anti-abortionism, anti-birth-control, anti-sex-education, anti-gay-sex, anti-gay-marriage, anti-trans-rights; these all orbit the exact same nexus of denying the conservative Christian’s sexist patriarchal gender norms. Yes, even evolution. Because, you know. Yeah, that. Which is why even when those few atheists side with Christians on these things, and oppose trans rights or abortion, just converse with them long enough and eventually they will reveal their own version of the same patriarchal delusion, maybe calling it Evolutionary Psychology, but ultimately just another bogus sexist belief in the same gender hierarchy that cannot abide challenges to its gender norms. Allowing the government to endorse factual reality against these deeply held beliefs is not just offensive, but literally, physically painful; and thus a cause of rage—and thence, action.

Christianity is stuck in an Iron Age mentality that becomes embarrassingly exposed when confronted with modern and more enlightened concepts of social issues. Its allegedly ‘infallible’ scripture keeps it from being able to progress or grow with the times and adjust to the increasing stockpile of knowledge. It will soon be a dead philosophy that humans will rightfully slough off into the dustbin of history.

(4233) The legendary letter Jesus allegedly wrote

An example of how easy a legend can form is the mythical letter that Jesus wrote to King Abgar of Osroene (who ruled from 4 BCE to 40 CE). The letter was originated in the 4th Century but nevertheless has been seen by some, even to this day, as being authentic. Because of its late origin, it has been positively determined to be fraudulent, but had it been written two or three centuries earlier, it might have become scripture. The following was taken from:


The Abgar legend, in early Christian times, was a popular myth that Jesus had an exchange of letters with King Abgar V Ukkama of Osroene, whose capital was Edessa, a Mesopotamian city on the northern fringe of the Syrian plateau. According to the legend, the king, afflicted with leprosy, had heard of Jesus’ miracles and wrote to Jesus acknowledging his divine mission, asking to be cured, and inviting him to come to Edessa as a safe refuge from persecution. In his reply, Jesus allegedly commended the king for his faith, expressed regret that his mission in life precluded a visit, but promised that after his Ascension into heaven a disciple would visit Edessa and heal the king.

A developed form of the legend exists in the Doctrine of Addai, a Syriac document containing suggestions of primitive Christianity in Edessa. In any event, the letters, probably composed early in the 4th century, have been considered spurious since the 5th century. They were translated from Syriac into Greek, Armenian, Latin, Arabic, and other ancient languages, clear evidence of the popularity of the legend.

Religious hoaxes are easy to create, gullible people are credulous, and favorable circumstances can result in the ultimate success of these frauds. To any secular observer, this same phenomenon would likely encompass much of what is written in the Bible. Jesus’ alleged letter to the king didn’t survive scrutiny, but only because it was definitively determined to have been written three centuries after he had died.

(4234) Jesus’ existence is not historically certain

Although the mainstream of theological scholarship has assumed that Jesus was an actual human being (or according to some, a type of divine personage), there exists a smaller fraction that consider it a non-negligible possibility that he was purely mythical. The following is a review of Richard Carrier’s book On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt:

The assumption that Jesus existed as a historical person has occasionally been questioned in the course of the last hundred years or so, but any doubts that have been raised have usually been put to rest in favor of imagining a blend of the historical, the mythical and the theological in the surviving records of Jesus. Carrier re-examines the whole question and finds compelling reasons to suspect the more daring assumption is correct. He lays out extensive research on the evidence for Jesus and the origins of Christianity and poses the key questions that must now be answered if the historicity of Jesus is to survive as a dominant paradigm.

Carrier contrasts the most credible reconstruction of a historical Jesus with the most credible theory of Christian origins if a historical Jesus did not exist. Such a theory would posit that the Jesus figure was originally conceived of as a celestial being known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture; then stories placing this being in earth history were crafted to communicate the claims of the gospel allegorically; such stories eventually came to be believed or promoted in the struggle for control of the Christian churches that survived the tribulations of the first century.

Carrier finds the latter theory more credible than has been previously imagined. He explains why it offers a better explanation for all the disparate evidence surviving from the first two centuries of the Christian era. He argues that we need a more careful and robust theory of cultural syncretism between Jewish theology and politics of the second-temple period and the most popular features of pagan religion and philosophy of the time. For anyone intent on defending a historical Jesus, this is the book to challenge.

Carrier has stated that he believes that there is a 1 in 3 chance that Jesus was not a real person. This, of course, is a probabilistic argument that is not grounded in a firm reality- that is, either Jesus was real or he wasn’t- no middle ground to navigate. But nevertheless, the fact that a reasonable, well-researched effort can conclude that there is a fairly good possibility that Jesus was mythical is itself a strong indication that his mark on history is much less robust than what should be expected if a god actually visited our planet and walked upon our soil as a flesh and blood human being.

(4235) Christianity is rooted in vengeance

Although Christians try to imagine their religion as being based on love, in actuality it is far more rooted in vengeance- ‘getting even’ with those who disagree with its dogma. This is seen especially in the pornographic descriptions of hell-fire in the gospels and in the luscious descriptions of the fate awaiting nonbelievers in the Book of Revelation. This hateful attitude has infected human history over the past two millennia. The following was taken from:


From Swastika to Jim Crow (a 2000 PBS broadcast documentary) draws dramatic attention to how “Christian” nations fail to notice the poisonous hatreds they embrace. Love your neighbor and love your enemies have no appeal, no traction at all. The Christian advocates fail to see the dangers of relying on an ancient book that champions a vengeful god. Jesus-script includes mention of punishment by eternal fire, a coming kingdom of god that will see millions of humans killed. One of the constant themes in the apostle Paul’s letter is god’s wrath. This kind of we’ll-get-revenge thinking encourages devout people to take a severe approach toward their perceived enemies. Hence Christians in Germany and the U.S. could justify hatred of Jews, and those in the U.S. could justify hatred of Black people—were lynchings anything other than this? Laws were enacted to keep the races separate, and were enforced ruthlessly. Yes, in, of all places, the Bible Belt. What does that tell us about Bible Values? How can this not be an example of failed Christian theology?

Moreover, it certainly shows the incompetence of the Christian god. How could a powerful, wise, all-knowing god not have noticed—not have foreseen—the consequences of the dreadful Bible verses mentioned above? When this god inspired the author of John’s gospel, surely verse 8:44 would have been erased from John’s brain before he wrote it down. Surely this wise god would have added “you shall not enslave other human beings” to the Big Ten list given to Moses—and have realized that the first two or three on the list were about the divine ego, reflecting this tribal god’s jealousy, and were not all that necessary for human happiness and well-being.

One more thing to be said about the Holocaust. Religious indoctrination can play evil tricks on the human brain. Events that undermine or shatter faith can be ignored and denied, especially episodes of inexplicable suffering and death.

Theologians and clergy try their best to explain what obviously seems like god’s indifference or incompetence: he works in mysterious ways, or has a bigger plan that we can’t know about or understand. This is actually an appeal to stop thinking about it, because there are no rational explanations. But still the games go on.

Vengeance is a human emotion that should not be present in an omnipotent being. That it is prevalent in the Bible demonstrates that the Bible is a product of human minds.

(4236) A real god would curtail false religions

There should be no motivation for an omnipotent god to permit a proliferation of false religions. But if there is a real god, Christian, Muslim, or other, then ‘he’ has allowed just that to happen. Why confuse lowly humans when the stakes are very high for not following the correct god? The following was taken from:


Each religion would just complicate the “true meaning” he was attempting to have us understand (if there is such a thing), and would make it so the whole concept of religion and belief is just this whole concept of guessing and “hoping you’re right” – which is the case for most people today.

Regions of the world with zero outside contact somehow developed their own complex, independent religion that delved away from the main religions during that time. If Jesus or Allah or whichever god was the almighty, all-powerful god, why would they let all of these other religions and beliefs exist? What’s the point of faith when there are so many other views and beliefs to the point where it’s impossible to know what is right?

A world with a real god would look very different. It would be no different that a real country, where everybody knows who is the president or king. There are no countries where people believe in false presidents or kings. A world with a real god would similarly be devoid of people believing in non-existent gods.

(4237) Substitutionary atonement is an unjust theology

The core theology of Christianity, that Jesus died for your sins, is not a just method for judging humans. The following essay explains why this doctrine is incompatible with a purported all-knowing god:


If you ask Christians to sum up their faith in one sentence, most will give you some variation on “Jesus died for your sins.” This idea is called ‘substitutionary atonement’ – Jesus atones in our place and acts as our substitute. Everyone has sinned and deserves harsh punishment, but Jesus offers to take that punishment in their place. In this post, I will argue that this is unjust.

The Tale of Jeffrey Lundgren

Warning: not for the faint of heart.

In 1987, self-proclaimed Christian prophet Jeffrey Lundgren started a cult. It soon grew to include about 20 people, including a family of five called the Averys. Lundgren did all sorts of terrible things with his influence: He had his cult members move into his farmhouse and give him all of their money. He forbade members from talking with each other without his presence and convinced them that he could read their minds. He began planning a violent takeover of the local Kirtland Temple, from which he had stolen tens of thousands of dollars, and pressed his followers into preparing to rob the temple and kill its inhabitants.

However, in 1988, Lundgren became unhappy with the Averys. The Avery family were loyal followers – they sold their house and moved states in order to join him, and they believed and trusted in him. But Lundgren felt their faith was weak because they decided not to live in his house and only gave him most of their money while setting aside a small sum for family use. So on April 17 of 1989, Lundgren had his followers dig a pit in his barn, and then lure the Averys there one by one, from oldest to youngest.

First the father, Dennis Avery, who was hit with a stun gun, gagged, and dragged before Lundgren, who shot him twice in the back.

Then the mother, Cheryl Avery, who was gagged and had her eyes duct taped before Lundgren shot her three times.

Next was 15-year-old Trina Avery who Lundgren shot twice in the head.

Then 13-year-old Becky Avery, who was shot twice but did not die instantly and was left to bleed out.

Finally 6-year-old Karen Avery, who Lundgren shot once in the chest and once in the head.

For his crimes, Jeffrey Lundgren was given the death penalty, and after exhausting his appeals he was executed on October 24, 2006.

The Lesson

Jeffrey Lundgren did terrible things, and he received punishment for these things. We call this ‘justice’.

Now imagine for a moment Lundgren’s trial in an alternate reality where substitutionary atonement is practiced. His lawyer says, “Your Honor, no doubt the death of the Averys is a terrible thing, and justice demands my client pay with his life. But one of my client’s followers has stepped forward and said they are willing to die in his place.” The judge agrees, and a cultist is executed while Lundgren walks free.

I ask you – is that justice?

No! Justice doesn’t demand someone be punished – it demands punishment on the perpetrator! Lundgren’s cultists would have no doubt been willing to die in his place, but we would never allow it, because it would be deeply unjust.

However, by the Christian account, we are all sinners. Just as Lundgren has sinned, so have the rest of us – and justice demands we all face punishment. By many accounts of Christianity, we deserve even worse punishment than Lundgren received. Just as it would be unjust for a cultist to be punished in Lundgren’s place, it would be unjust for Jesus to be punished in a sinner’s place.

Aims of Punishment

Why do we punish people when they do something wrong? There are five generally recognized aims of punishment:

  1. Deterrence: providing motivation for the perpetrator and others not to commit similar acts in the future (e.g. charging a fine for illegal parking).
  2. Incapacitation: preventing future transgressions by removing the perpetrator’s ability to commit them (e.g. locking up a person planning a murder).
  3. Rehabilitation: giving aid to the perpetrator to resolve the cause of their transgression (e.g. mandating anger management classes for someone who started a bar fight).
  4. Retribution: taking pure vengeance on the perpetrator (e.g. secretly slashing the tires of someone who hurt your friend).
  5. Restitution: compensating the victim in order to partially or completely reverse the harm (e.g. making a thief give back what they stole).

All punishments are issued to achieve one or more of these aims. For substitutionary atonement to serve justice, it would have to achieve these aims just as the original punishment would have. Let’s examine them one at a time.


A deterrent punishment aims to prevent similar transgressions in the future by making people fear the consequences of committing them. For example, we fine people who illegally park their cars to dissuade them from doing that. If someone knows that an act will result in punishment, they are less likely to commit that act. Most of our laws act for deterrence; when we ban an act – public urination, copyright infringement, wire fraud – we don’t just say it’s illegal, we add a punishment to encourage people not to do it.

Deterrence is not transferable. If you punish someone other than the culprit, you don’t give the culprit any motivation not to transgress again. Imagine a rich brat who often gets drunk at restaurants and smashes up the place. Each time they do this, their parents deal with the fallout and pay the restaurants for the damage. As a result, the brat has no reason not to keep doing the same thing – the punishment affected the parents, but it failed to deter the actual perpetrator.


An incapacitative punishment aims not to punish a transgression that has already happened but to prevent one from occurring. For example, if we find someone planning a murder, we lock them up to prevent them from carrying out the murder. This helps prevent transgressions directly by removing the perpetrator’s ability to transgress.

Incapacitation is not transferable. Imagine we find someone planning a murder, but we lock someone else up in their place: this does not prevent them from carrying out the murder. Punishing a substitute is entirely useless and does not accomplish the aim of preventing the transgression.


A rehabilitative punishment aims to help the perpetrator and remove their reason for transgressing. For example, if someone starts a bar fight, we might mandate they take anger management classes to help them control their anger. If an employee’s negligence causes an accident, their company might require them to undergo additional training. Some people consider this not to be punishment at all since it aims to benefit the perpetrator, not to harm them. Regardless, rehabilitation aims to prevent transgression not by making people afraid to transgress but by addressing the reason they would transgress in the first place.

Rehabilitation is not transferable. If a perpetrator commits a transgression, we must help them in particular to help them not do so in the future. If the person who started the bar fight sent someone else to the anger management classes in their place, their anger problems would not be addressed, and they would be likely to transgress again. Rehabilitating a substitute does nothing to accomplish the aim of rehabilitation.


A retributive punishment aims to hurt the perpetrator for no other reason than that they deserve it. For example, if someone hurts your friend, you might feel that they deserve to be hurt back and secretly slash their tires. In this case the punishment does not act as a deterrent (since neither they nor anyone else knows what caused it). It also doesn’t act to incapacitate them – they are fully capable of hurting your friend again – and does not act to rehabilitate them – as it does not address the reason they hurt your friend. The aim of the punishment is pure vengeance; when someone does something bad, we want bad things to happen to them.

Retribution is not transferable. If we punish someone other than the perpetrator, then we don’t inflict harm on the perpetrator. For example, as we saw in Lundgren’s case, punishing a cultist did not serve justice and Lundgren did not get what he deserved.


A restitutive punishment aims to undo harm to the victim or offset it by compensating them with something else. For example, if a thief steals some money from a victim, we make them give it back. Restitutive punishments aim to return the state of affairs to what it would have been had the transgression not happened.

Restitutive punishments are the only kind of punishment which is transferable. Restitution has everything to do with the victim and nothing to do with the perpetrator; so long as the victim is restored, it doesn’t matter who’s doing the restoring. For example, if a child breaks a school’s window, their parents can pay the school for the broken window on their behalf. The school doesn’t demand the money come from the child in particular because they simply want to be compensated for what was lost, not to punish the child (and will likely institute another form of punishment to accomplish the other aims, such as detention or suspension, which they wouldn’t allow the parents to take in the child’s place).

Substitutionary Atonement & Jesus

As we have seen, substitutionary atonement is impermissible in most cases. It’s only permissible in punishments levied entirely for restitution. That’s why our society widely practices substitutionary atonement for restitution – we call it ‘insurance’. Insurance companies are punished on our behalf when we crash our cars, and they pay restitution to the victims of the crash in our place. The victims don’t care whether the money comes from us or from our insurance company; they just want to be compensated. Notably, we don’t have insurance for any other kinds of punishments – you can’t pay someone to go to jail on your behalf or take remedial driving classes on your behalf, because non-restitution punishments are not transferable.

So what transgression did we commit, and what kind of punishment is Jesus taking in our place? Depending on which Christian you ask, you’ll get wildly different answers to this question, but the vast majority of answers boil down to retribution – we did something wrong, or inherited some sin from someone else who did something wrong, and we deserve to be punished for it. However, no answers aim for restitution. Remember that restitution involves restoring the harmed victim and reversing their harm. The punishments of the afterlife – be they eternal conscious torment, oblivion, separation from God, or something else – certainly don’t restore the actual victims of our acts. The old lady you cut in line or the man you bore false witness against don’t gain anything from you going to hell, except perhaps the satisfaction that you were punished (which falls under retribution, not restitution). Your punishment does not restore anything that was taken away from them or undo any harm done to them. Therefore, in all Christian conceptions, the aims of the punishment we face are non-transferable. Jesus can’t die for your sins because justice would not be served.


So what, you’d rather go to hell?

Yes! If I have truly done something so horrible and vile that justice demands I suffer hell for it, then I ought to go to hell. It would be wrong for me to avoid the punishment I deserve just because someone in charge agreed to look the other way.

The victim of your sins isn’t the actual person you hurt – it’s God, and Jesus pays restitution to God in your place.

This view maintains that you harm God when you sin, and that your punishment aims not to affect you in any way but only to restore him. But God cannot be harmed – in almost all versions of Christianity, God is perfect and unchanging. You can’t steal fifty bucks from God and then be forced to give them back.

Even if your acts displease God, they do not take something away from God – and a punishment of hell or oblivion doesn’t give anything back to God. Remember that restitution is entirely about the victim and has nothing to do with the perpetrator; in Christianity, punishment for sins definitely has something to do with the perpetrator.

Many people think that sins are not just crimes against your fellow man, but an offense against God. If you think that sins are deserving of punishment because they are an offense against God, then that falls under retribution, not restitution – this view aims to punish people for offenses they committed against a victim, not to restore that victim.

Your argument doesn’t address this particular theology or theologian!

This is true – given the extreme diversity of theological views in Christianity, it would be impossible for me to address them all here. However, the vast majority of Christians believe in a commonsense view of substitutionary atonement and don’t base their understanding on any complex theology. As a result, I offer a commonsense analysis to rebut their beliefs. People often get upset that I ‘misrepresented the Christian view,’ forgetting that their view is not the Christian view, but one of many Christian views.

Jesus’s sacrifice wasn’t about punishment, it about grace/love/mercy/conquering death/something else.

If you have a different idea about the purpose of Jesus’s sacrifice, that’s fine. There are many alternative models that explain why Jesus died on the cross, such as moral influence theory and the Christus Victor view, and they are outside the scope of this post. I am specifically rebutting here the idea that Jesus died in our place. If you agree that Jesus did not die to take on some punishment in our place, then my argument has succeeded in what it set out to do.

A sounder theology for a religion that claims to be a gatekeeper/arbiter for human afterlives would almost certainly reward actions over beliefs and would not advance a policy where someone other than the sinner receives the sinner’s punishment. The odious concept of substitutionary atonement probably originated with Paul and was never promoted by Jesus or his disciples.

(4238) Christians have no special talents

It is often noted, admittedly anecdotally, that atheists on average know the Bible better than Christians. This is an enigma that elucidates several problems with the idea that Christianity is a real faith originated by the creator of the universe. In the following it is argued that Christians should easily outshine non-Christians in grasping and understanding the revered scriptures or anything else for that matter.


So we have the bible, a collection of 66+ books, give or take depending on the denomination. Spanning from poems, fables, tallies, genealogies, law books, epistles, narratives, parables, visions, apocalyptic ravings, all bundled with a slew of literary devices. In short, it’s a smorgasbord of literary goodness.

To top it off, the vast majority of Christians believe quite literally that the book was dictated by the mouth of God himself, into the mind of his chosen few.

Let’s break this down, a primordial, antediluvian cosmic entity, who exists in some haunt outside time and space, personally emitted radio-waves carrying the most important message in existence, to some barren desert, to be penned down by some farmhand. Rinse and repeat for a few hundred years.

When many Christians sit down and read the Bible, they are convinced they are taking in the ancient ululations of their cosmic master, tattooed onto a page by His special chosen. Many claim to commune with the Lord while reading and plea for wisdom and understanding, so as to see beyond the writing, and peer into the hidden world behind the scribblings and fill their bosoms with mirth and joy.

So, why is it that many Christians who exclusively and only read the Bible have such…poor reading comprehension? Shouldn’t there be some carry-over? Some learned skills they can apply into other ventures? You’re telling me you have communed with some ancient space wizard, been granted understanding that many could only dream of, and all you have to show for it is some piss poor understanding of the most basic fables?

Why is it that teenagers that only read average YA novels have a better grasp at reading and literature than some seasoned Christians who are supposedly doted with extraterrestrial wisdom?

The Bible/God/Jesus/Holy Spirit appears to convey to Christians no special talents that can be measured. It all seems too mundane to believe that Christianity has any connection to anything supernatural.

(4239) No way to determine the truth

Unlike science, religion has no mechanism for separating false beliefs from those that are true. As a result, and again unlike science, there are thousands of different interpretations of divine law with no definitive way to decide which if any are correct. This leaves religions like Christianity as a ‘make-it-what-you-want’ enterprise, as each group makes up their own ‘designer faith.’ The following is taken from:


From the standpoint of many Christians, evidence is mere decoration. It’s the parsley on the plate of the Christian argument.

For example, William Lane Craig has made a career by using science to argue for Christian apologetics. Unfortunately, he undercuts his entire project when he says, “It is the self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit that gives us the fundamental knowledge of Christianity’s truth. Therefore, the only role left for argument and evidence to play is a subsidiary role.”

Even if we take his theology for granted, it still doesn’t make sense. Craig says, “The experience of the Spirit’s witness is self-authenticating for him who really has it.” Okay, then who really has it?! He hasn’t resolved the problem. Does Craig have it? Maybe he’s wrong to think that he does. Maybe it’s held by someone Craig has dismissed as unworthy of God’s favor. There is no public, objective algorithm that we can all apply to see who has been touched by the Holy Spirit. This is not an evidence-based process.

And when you put his theology in the spotlight, the usual skeptical questions return. Does the Holy Spirit (or any member of the Trinity) exist? When two Christians (or Christian denominations) disagree, which one is correct? Have you figured out how to get to heaven, and are you destined to get there? Of the mountain of supernatural claims made by the world’s religions, which are correct? Religion gives you no way to answer these questions reliably. Theologians worldwide can’t even agree on how many gods there are.

Christians can look in the Bible for the rules of how to get into heaven just like a Dungeons & Dragons player can look up the capabilities of various characters. While the Bible is more venerable than the D&D handbook, neither is a reliable source of supernatural information. If we lived in God World, we’d know it because supernatural truths would be reliably accessible to everyone using reason and evidence.

Any real god would make sure that humans have access to information that would allow them to definitely understand the full and accurate truth about a) who he is, b) what he requires, and c) what his plan is for them in this life as well as any potential life after death.  On the other hand, a world replete with only false gods and fake holy books would look exactly like the world in which we live.

(4240) Free will fails at the starting line

Christianity is tethered to a model of humans as being completely free to choose their path in life and, in particular, freedom whether or not to follow the Christian path to salvation. This assumption is necessary to render the judgment system fair as it assigns each individual to heaven or hell. But as discussed below, it is obvious that almost everything about every person is decided by forces outside of their control, meaning that black and white sentencing (heaven or hell) cannot possibly be legitimate.


Consider these factors, are they not responsible for who and what you are at any point in life? Do they not apply to everyone who has ever lived or will ever live?

To find their flesh and blood meaning your memory must be seriously engaged and searched. Ask yourself how you would be different had any of the listed factors been different.

. . Being born. In Christian and Islamic theology being born means you are entered into the most consequential gamble imaginable, a chance for Heaven but a far greater chance of suffering in Hell for all eternity. Jesus said ‘few’ would be chosen but ‘the many would suffer in a lake of fire.” Scores of millions believe it.

. . Born male or female physically and emotionally or otherwise. Can you doubt that many of your ‘free’ decisions in life would have been quite different depending on which you are?

. . Your brain and body (DNA) — with or without incurable and chronic pain and countless other attributes contributing to or preventing happiness.

. .  Your life in the womb, shaping your genetic self. Many mothers many behavior addict their babies in the womb from the heavy use of drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. These babies are born sick and hurt.

. .  The mutations in your brain and body throughout life, and random events that may have afflicted you in such a way that a normal life was severely impaired or impossible.

. . The time in history and where on earth you were raised. Is it likely you would make all the same choices, especially on grave moral matters seriously deliberated, whether you were born in Mecca, Calcutta or Moscow?

. . Your parents, childhood, education, intelligence, personality, and sense of humor. Not of your choice, whether wonderful or horrible..

. . Your physical stature, looks, smile and voice, your natural ability in sports, music and dance. How would your life have been affected had any of these been significantly different? Impossible to know, but surely different.

. . Your sexual proclivities and the intensity of that drive. All are awesome in consequences.

. .  Your religious indoctrination, economic circumstances, cultural influences, political and civil rights, the prevailing customs of your times. Colossal in their importance and implications for you.

, , The blizzard of experiences throughout life, not chosen by you but which happened to you, and in many cases changed your life in most dramatic ways.

Does this not account for everything that went into the making of YOU and who you are today?

Of course, you made decisions early on and every day of your life which had effects – some huge – but when you did so they were caused by the YOU who was made by the complex of factors listed at the time you made those decisions.

Is it not ludicrous that anything you do could be independent of everything that made you, you?

Free will is an illusion. People do have some wiggle room to operate within the limits of their individual situation, but they are not completely free to go in each and every possible direction. Because of this, Christian dogma fails at the starting line- that is, you can’t stage a fair 100-meter race where the participants start at different points on the track.

(4241) Christianity breeds cherry pickers

The Bible is so convoluted that whenever a preacher tries to make a point supported by scripture, they inevitably must pick and choose, using some verses while ignoring others. This is exemplified below where James Dobson uses his favorite scriptures to define a ‘real man’ according to the Bible, followed by a few easy counter-examples:


What makes a “real man”? We’ve all seen light-hearted rules like real men don’t cry, real men don’t eat quiche, real men don’t let other men eat quiche, and so on. James Dobson’s Family Talk site has a page that claims to have God’s rules for how to be a true man of God. The author summarizes the goal this way: “My wife and kids need a real man, not some wimpy guy that rides the ever-changing cultural tides of our times.”

Here’s that list, built on the rock of the Bible.

God’s Real Man List

  1. Real men don’t leave their wives. See Ephesians 5:25-32, Mark 10:9, Job 31:1
  2. Real men honor their wives as co-heirs. See 1 Peter 3:7
  3. Real men teach their children God’s ways (both in word and in action). See Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Ephesians 6:4, Psalm 78:5-7
  4. Real men build into the lives of other men. See Proverbs 27:17
  5. Real men don’t use their words to demean others. See Ephesians 4:29
  6. Real men don’t let their anger get away from them. See James 1:19-20
  7. Real men lead best when they love most. See Ephesians 5:1-2; John 13:34-35
  8. Real men are sacrificial for the sake of their Lord, family, and others. See John 15:13
  9. Real men are servants. See Mark 10:45
  10. Real men can show their emotions (this includes crying). See John 11:35, Matthew 21:12, Matthew 9:36

But why this list? Don’t forget that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). You really can’t go wrong when pulling Iron Age biblical examples into the 21st century, amirite, Dr. Dobson?

So, with that wind of certitude filling our sails, let’s look deeper in the Bible to see what else it says and make a new list, 10 More Traits of Real Men.

1. Real men don’t get married

The list above has at least two rules about men’s relationship with their wives, but Paul had no use for marriage:

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry (1 Corinthians 7:8–9).

You can rationalize this one away by saying that Paul wrongly thought that the End was coming soon, but what’s left of your faith when you must say that the books of the New Testament are seriously wrong?

2. Real men listen to God over common-sense morality

God made some crazy demands in the Bible. Christians, what would it take for God to convince you to accept a modern equivalent of these demands?

    • Abraham accepted God’s demand that he sacrifice his son Isaac.
    • After discovering the Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf, Moses commanded the Levites to punish fellow Israelites: “Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor,” and 3000 were killed (Exodus 32:26–29).
    • God demanded human sacrifice: “The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal” (Exodus 13:2). 
    • God demanded that Babylon be punished, with the Israelites as executioners: “Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished” (Isaiah 13:15–16).
    • God demanded genocide. He said that within the tribes that must be destroyed, “you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:16–18) and that, for the Amalekites, Israel should “put to death men and women, children and infants” (1 Samuel 15:2–3). More herehere, and here.

I realize that we’re made in God’s image and that our sense of morality should line up with God’s, but forget that. A real man does what God says, regardless of how immoral it seems.

3. Real men know that daughters can be sacrificed

In his younger days, God wasn’t omniscient, so he had to send scouts to Sodom to verify the rumors he’d heard. Lot protected these angels from the angry mob eager to teach these strangers who’s boss by raping them. Lot is portrayed as a godly man, though he doesn’t look very godly after he offered his two virgin daughters to the mob as a rape substitute. 

4. Real men throw the first stone if their friend or relative strays

Suppose a friend suggests that you worship another god. Now imagine that it’s your best friend, or that it’s a family member, maybe a child or your wife. How should you respond?

Forget that freedom of religion is protected by the U.S. Constitution—real men do things differently in the Bible’s little world.

Do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 13:6–11; see also Deut. 32:41–2, Exodus 22:20).

Certainly a Bible inspired by an infinitely intelligent being would not be contradictory, but would provide a consistent and clear message. The fact that pastors must ‘cherry pick’ to support their profession is evidence that the Bible has no source beyond that of human brains.

(4242) Christianity skirts scrutiny

If Christianity was real, it would satisfy the same standards that every human enterprise deals with- showing evidence of the effectiveness of its product. Not only has Christianity failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of its product, it flaunts this ‘requirement’ and demands faith unsupported by evidence as if that is the pinnacle of virtue. The following was taken from:


Hypothesis: Simple human survival requires a base level of scrutiny. We hold our banks, teachers, restaurants, accountants and even our neighbors accountable to not steal our money or poison us. Yet we hold our religions to no such scrutiny.

We expect services (like lawn care) to show up, perform a service and charge us the agreed price. We trust that after we pay them, they won’t pass the collection plate around a second time – yes, I’ve seen a church do this.

We believe that these businesses and people are accountable for their actions. And if they fail to be honest we move on to another option. Yet, we accept the claims that pastors, rabbis and priests make without evidence. We give them our money despite proof of any supernatural realm or afterlife. If a believer asked their church for the most basic evidence of their religion’s claims, there’d be no path to go down. We are even instructed that God isn’t keen on those who test Him and that He loves those accept Him unconditionally and believe first. Who does this warning against scrutiny benefit?

From Jesus to Mohammed, clergy can produce nothing but promises and give us direction to read and reread an unproven text. However, this church is often the backbone of how our kids are raised and how we live their lives. Even crypto currency can produce evidence of value for you to assess.
I understand that it’s called faith, and I understand that there will always be a number of people who require nothing in order to believe. However, if you think about it, religions make naturalistic (real world) claims that fail the most benign testing.

All Abrahamic religions claim that prayer works… this is a claim that would (if true) takes place right here in the natural world. Whether it’s financial, medical, marital, relationships, fertility, mental health, even finding your keys can illicit a prayer. If we’re reasonable, we’d understand that fulfilling even 10% of prayer would show up like a gigantic blip in favor of those who pray.

We look the other way and rationalize prayer’s failures. We see no increase in the health, longevity, marital success or employment when results for those prayers are compared to those who don’t. This is ignored or justified with double talk from church leaders.

If our lawn service didn’t show, expected money, failed to perform or otherwise didn’t meet the simplest of their promises, we’d not only fire them, but we’d warn our friends and post bad reviews on the internet.

For me, it’s all about the claims. If religions didn’t want your money, claim to know the origins of the universe, to know how God works, have a personal relationship with God, existence of an afterlife and how to raise your family, I’d be fine. However, religions claim all of this and more.

The Christian house of cards falls when put under the same scrutiny that we require of everything else. Christians try to claim their scriptures as evidence, but, in fact, the road to atheism is littered with bibles read cover to cover.

(4243) Midnight musings

Sometimes it’s best to sit back, get something to drink, and think about Christianity from a big picture standpoint, and just let the silliness spill out into your consciousness. The following essay does this quite effectively, exposing the ridiculousness of this absurd faith:


You have old parts of the bible, where HE is clearly still just the tribal god of a bunch of goat herders. HE gets off on petty feuds with the gods of rival 27-member-tribes. Toppling the other god’s totem, etc. Really immature, no morality whatsoever. Once HE punishes a guy for not genociding enough.

Other super old parts of the bible are clearly copied from other ancient texts. Different bibles have tried to translate it away, but e.g. Noah’s flood is VERY similar to the Sumerian flood, including the ark. Same chapter has demigods (sons of God / sons of the gods) running around, raping/marrying human women and producing superhuman offspring. These stories were very popular in the Hellenistic world at the time, but of course are a poor fit for later theology.

Then HE seemingly gets promoted to Master of the Universe, and suddenly all the tribalistic stuff and bickering about 7 sheep seems kind of small scale. Rival gods are demoted to demons.

Cosmology is all over the place depending on influences. While explicit statements have probably been removed, you can read between the lines and see 4 contradicting assumptions:

– HE is our tribal god. Every tribe has one of ‘em. He’s petty and jealous and has major issues, but he’s all we have and it’s a god-eat-god world.

– HE is all powerful, all-knowing, wise and good. He created the universe. It is perfect.

– HE is not all powerful. He’s the good guy playing a chess game against an equally powerful Adversary (Zoroastrian influence).

– It’s complicated, and also very secret, and we can only hint at it, but we are living in the Matrix and we need secret codes to get out. (Gnostic influence)

Also there may or may not be an afterlife.

Then Jesus comes around and things get bonkers.

We have ZERO evidence that the guy even existed apart from the bible. The Romans in charge wrote down EVERYTHING. We know all the gossip and how fig prices fluctuated year by year. And there is ZERO mention of JC that was not later revealed to be a well meaning forgery.

But holy! What a tug-of-war between so many factions and interpretations!

Paul writing to the Gnostics “How many times do I have to say this? I am NOT lying! There are NO secret sayings of Jesus! I should know, I‘m fucking Saint Paul! So I cannot “trade secret codes“ with you! Wait… you have secret codes?“

The only thing everyone agrees on is that the world was going to end NOW. And it doesn’t. Apostles are VERY confused and get drunk as shit.

Jews were uninterested, so they preached to the pagans.

Hilarity ensues.

The “faith moves mountains“ quote pretty much comes out of he pagans asking “well, I worship 13 gods so far, and they are super useful. What’s that Jesus guy good against?“

And the apostles going „..err… cures snake bites, helps against poison, and if your faith is strong you can totally do OP magic and move mountains, but I can’t show you b/c kind of low on manna right now… cough…“

The Gnostic shit got edited out, but thanks to archaeological finds like Nag Hammadi, we now have a lot of original texts, and it was all true and the cloak & dagger shit is hilarious.
I quote: Jesus said, “I tell my mysteries to [those who are worthy of my] mysteries. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

That quote used to be about stealth, not generosity.

There were so many gospels floating around, and only the four most sane made it into the bible, you know in Nicaea in 331. Mind, they contradict each other completely, but at least Jesus is not boning Lazarus and/or his twin brother or murdering children like in some of the others.

You know only one version, but the Christians AT THE TIME OF WRITING OF THE GOSPELS could not agree on who Jesus was and what he wanted. Was he just a guy? Was he a God? Was he a Jewish reformer? A violent revolutionary? A secret messenger to deliver secret escape codes? An apocalyptic preacher? Was this a continuation of Jewish faith or not? Has he been physically here on Earth? Did the crucifixion take place in outer space? Was it all just a metaphor? Should we be nice & communist to each other for moral reasons? Should we be nice & communist to each other because the world is about to end and we should practice else we will be surprised how things are going to be? Should we shorten our dicks or not?

And despite heroic efforts to mesh old & new testament together, the cosmologies don’t match at all. HE often was in constant contact (directly or through angels or advisors) with Hebrew leaders, but never got around to mentioning the Holy Trinity. Or the afterlife and stuff. Minor things.

And don’t get me started on Sacraments.

Anyway. It’s fascinating and often lyrical and beautiful and there’s erotic poetry about sheep and you learn so much about humans and how religions evolve.

Anyone who probes this religion to its depth no longer has any doubts about its mythical nature. Rather, it is only those who truncate their exploration to a set of selected themes, usually chosen by their priests and pastors, who can continue to sail a voyage of fantasy. When the best informed don’t believe Christianity, while the least informed do believe, this is a sign that there is something seriously wrong with Christianity.

(4244) Bigfoot analogy

The legend of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, alleges that there is a large ape-like humanoid animal that inhabits the forests of North America. In the following, an analogy is drawn between Bigfoot and God, noting that evidence we would expect to see supporting their existence is missing in both cases:


Bigfoot thought experiment

Suppose that one says that Bigfoot exists, that Bigfoot is a natural mammal creature. (blah blah blah, yes we’ve heard this before)

But if Bigfoot is a natural mammal creature, we can expect certain evidence of Bigfoot’s existence. We can expect that there will be a minimum viable population of Bigfoot creatures, let’s say a breeding population of say 500 animals. We can expect that we’d find skeletons and fossil evidence of Bigfoot’s genetic ancestors. We’d expect to find evidence of Bigfoot dens, Bigfoot scat, remains of Bigfoot meals, etc.

So the key difference here is that this isn’t just an argument from incredulity. The key is that there is a set of expected evidence that we’d observe if there was a Bigfoot population in any given area.

So the epistemological question is, given that distinct lack of expected evidence, can we conclude that Bigfoot probably doesn’t exist? That is to say, should that lack of expected evidence be itself considered evidence of the inverse, in this case the non-existence of Bigfoot?

By analogy, God of the Christians makes very specific material claims. Even if you throw out the Old Testament as “allegory”, the overall picture is of an interventionist God. That is to say, the Christian God is not a God of existential inertia. Christians don’t usually believe in a universe that God wound up like a clockwork toy and abandoned, but rather one in which God intervenes on a regular basis. In particular, all Christians who hold to the Nicean creed believe that Jesus born of a virgin and came back to life after being dead for three days, whether they believe all the particular miracles of the Gospels or not.

Of course most atheists would agree that we don’t see credible evidence of miracles or intervention from God.

But if God was an interventionist God, can we agree that there are certain things we’d expect to see in the world that are predicted by the Bible–answers to prayers, occasional miracles, that kind of thing? Not to mention the end of the world that is forever coming but never actually here. Like with Bigfoot, there is not only no evidence for God, there is a distinct lack of expected evidence for God.

As with Bigfoot, shouldn’t this lack of expected evidence be considered evidence of the inverse–that is, shouldn’t the lack of expected evidence for God itself be considered credible evidence that God doesn’t exist?

Christians are fond of the saying ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,’ but when you claim that an omnipotent, omniscient god is overlooking our existence and interacting with people on a real-time basis, then when expected evidence fails to appear, then, yes, that is evidence of absence.

(4245) Jewish versus Christian ideas of God and Satan

If Christianity is true, then Judaism must also be true, because Jesus was a practicing Jew- not out to repudiate Judaism or start a new faith. The inverse is not true- we cannot say that if Judaism is true, then Christianity is true. And, in fact, when we compare Christian ideas of God and Satan against Jewish views of the same, a problem appears. There are irreconcilable differences. The following chart exposes these variations:


This is a good way to conclude that Christianity cannot be true, though Judaism could be. If B is dependent on A, but B is incompatible with A, then B is false. This does not affect the credibility of A. In order for Christianity to be true, after introducing incompatible theologies, it needed to fully divorce itself from Jewish tradition.

(4246) The secular seven

If Christianity is true, then countries with high levels of followers/believers should fare better than those with lower numbers. However, the inverse is true, and this should be seen as evidence against Christianity’s truth. The following was taken from:


There have always been non-believers. But for the first time in recorded history, there are now numerous societies with a majority of people who don’t believe in God.

According to an analysis of the best internationally-available data by Isabella Kasselstrand, Ryan T. Cragun, and me, published in our new book Beyond Doubt: The Secularization of Society, the seven democratic countries in the world today with more atheists, agnostics, and assorted nontheists than God-believers are Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

Of course, not every nonbeliever in these nations actively or personally identifies as an atheist or agnostic, per se—the former label is heavily stigmatized, while the latter is relatively obscure in certain cultures. But the percentage of the population in each country that answers “no” when asked if they believe in God is as follows:

Sweden – 63.9%
Czech Republic – 61.6%
South Korea – 59.4%
Netherlands – 56.3%
Estonia – 54.3%
Norway – 52.7%
United Kingdom – 51.6%

While there may be similar or even higher percentages of nonbelievers in other nations such as China or Vietnam, we ought not consider them because they are unfree dictatorships where the atheistic government actively polices, prohibits, and represses religion; in such societies, people have a fear of expressing their true religious beliefs, and thus, survey data is suspect. But in open, free democracies where being neither openly religious nor openly secular provokes the government’s wrath, answers to surveys are much more valid and reliable.

Why these seven?

Why are these seven nations so secular?

Each country has its own unique history that contributes to low levels of theism. For example, the UK is the birthplace of Charles Darwin, whose ideas regarding evolution have been detrimental to Christian faith. Anti-clericalism has been a significant strain of Czech nationalism going all the way to the Hussite Wars of the 15th century. Estonia experienced 50 years of Soviet occupation, during which time religion was squelched, and it never rebounded, even after the fall of the USSR. In South Korea, the educational system places a strong emphasis on scientific knowledge and technology, with little attention paid to religion.

But regardless of each country’s idiosyncrasies that may have contributed towards their high degree of irreligion, they have all experienced some combination of the following: greatly improved levels of social welfare, societal well-being, and existential security; increased degrees of wealth and prosperity; increased levels of educational attainment; a significant transition from a traditional, rural, non-industrial society to a contemporary, urban, industrial (or post-industrial) society; increased rationalization, whereby the ordering of society based on technological efficiency, bureaucratic impersonality, and scientific and empirical evidence. As our research shows, these factors are all strongly conducive to increased secularization in society.

How are they faring?

It has long been a staple of conservative propaganda that if a society loses its religion, things will go to shyte. And even some on the left buy into this nonsense; earlier this month, New York mayor Eric Adams blamed America’s never-ending school shooting epidemic on a lack of religion. “When we took prayers out of schools,” he proclaimed, “guns came into schools.”  

Of course, as I have been arguing for over a decade now, if godlessness led to national depravity or high rates of violence, then we would expect to find those countries that are the least religious to be the most horrible, impoverished, unhealthy, and crime-ridden. But we find exactly the opposite correlation. These seven most godless democracies provide excellent examples, as they all boast high levels of societal health and well-being, high GDPs, extremely low rates of violent crime, almost no school shootings, superior healthcare, and more. Consider Norway, where Christianity has plummeted in the last half-century, with rates of belief in God, church attendance, and church membership at all-time lows – and yet Norwegian society is simultaneously characterized by fantastic schools, health care, elder care, access for the disabled, gender equality, economic prosperity, as well as very low rates if murder.

Indeed, five of these seven highly secular nations rank in the top 20 on the United Nations’ Human Development Index. The remaining two, Estonia and the Czech Republic, come in at 31 and 32, respectively.

It is not that these majority-non-believing nations are thriving because of their godlessness; there are too many variables at play to establish such causation. But as to the right-wing article of faith that godlessness leads to social depravity – that thesis can be flatly rejected.

Also, it should be noted that these societies are not utopias. They all have their problems. The northernmost nation of the UK, Scotland, is currently struggling with a dangerous drug epidemic. South Korea’s birth rate is shockingly low. Sweden is struggling with immigration issues. Affordable housing is in relatively short supply in the Netherlands. And so on. But compared to the vast majority of countries in the world, when looking at nearly every single indicator of societal well-being, these secular seven are doing extremely well, overall. Heck, according to the US News and World Reports rankings of top countries with the best quality of life, Sweden ranks at #1, Norway #5, Netherlands #8, the UK #12, South Korea #24, Czech Republic at #27, and Estonia at #42. Clearly, going godless does not result in national dystopia.

Godlessness goes global

Our analysis found that there are many other countries where almost half of the population does not believe in God, such as France, Denmark, Australia, Finland, and New Zealand. Given current trends, we expect these nations to join the pack of majority-godless nations in the next decade or so. And while the US is quite far from such a state of irreligiosity, belief in God has nonetheless been dropping significantly: the percentage of Americans who believe in God has dropped from 98% in the 1950s to 81% today. Among Americans under 30, it is down to an unprecedented 68%.

The term “village atheist” was common parlance a while back, suggesting that in every village, there was always some single curmudgeon who didn’t believe in god. Well today, we can longer accurately speak of the village atheist. Rather, we must accept the increasing reality of villages with many atheists. And not just villages, but towns, cities, and countries all around the globe.

If God was working miracles in the lives of Christians who pray and believe, then wherever Christians are numerous, good things should be happening, and those areas/countries should be seeing higher levels of peace, safety, welfare, and harmony. The data not only fails to support this, but it actually forcefully rebuts it. By this broad-based measure, Christianity is seen to be impotent- failing to meet it scriptural promises.

(4247) Moving the goal posts

The way that Christian apologists handle the following verse is revealing about the depths of their desperation to hold on to the idea that the Bible is inerrant:

2 Chronicles 12:17

Abijah and his troops inflicted heavy losses on them, so that there were five hundred thousand casualties among Israel’s able men.

The following was taken from:


For me, the first “little fact” – well, not little, actually – that got me to deconstruct was reading the passage in II Chronicles 13 about how the kingdom of Judah killed 500,000 Israelite troops in a single day’s battle.

As someone with a master’s degree in military studies, I knew this was impossible. (Russia, for instance, has suffered less than 200,000 deaths in Ukraine over the course of a year-long war so far.) Even Rome’s deadliest day, the Battle of Cannae, saw only 70,000 Roman deaths. The United States suffered only 400,000 deaths over the course of its entire multi-year involvement in World War II.

Moreover, the very act of fielding an army that could even have 500,000 men in it was logistically all-but-impossible (think about the food, water, supplies, other provisions). If even the mighty, massive Roman Empire couldn’t pull it off, how could tiny Israel?

That was the first crack in the dam of my belief in Biblical inerrancy. When I asked Christians about it, they typically either insisted that somehow Israel pulled it off anyway, or handwaved it away as “Oh, the 500,000 doesn’t literally mean 500,000, it meant something more like 50,000 or 5,000 in the original language” – in which case one must ask, well then, how do we know anything else in the Bible is reliable or true if every factual claim or number can be goalpost-moved like that?

If we assume, conservatively, that the elapsed time of the active battle was 24 hours (fighting 8 hours per day for three days), which is more than what is implied in the scriptures, then that would mean that about 350 men died every minute, or about 6 per second- and remember, this was using the relatively crude fighting tools of about 2500 years ago. So, moving the goal posts from 500,000 to 50,000 or 5,000 is necessary to rescue this scripture- but in so doing, the ‘football field’ has become distorted.

(4248) Deconstructing the ad populum argument

Some apologists point to the ubiquity and persistence of religious affiliation as being evidence that religion works, and, in particular, that Christianity is true. Otherwise, they assert that it would have gone extinct long ago. But this is overlooking the fact that once a person is inculcated and ensconced in the faith, leaving it is very difficult. This implies that the numerical success of Christianity is due to factors other than its hypothetical truth. The following lists ten reasons why most people never free themselves of this mythology:


Religion has long been a cornerstone of human society, providing guidance, comfort, and a sense of identity for countless individuals. However, for some, the process of questioning or leaving religion can be fraught with difficulties and challenges. In this article, we delve into ten reasons why people struggle to abandon their religious beliefs, including the fear of punishment, emotional attachment, and the influence of family and community.

1) Fear: The Threat of Divine Retribution and the Unknown

Many religious beliefs instill in followers the fear of divine retribution or punishment for those who stray from the path of faith. This fear can be deeply ingrained and pervasive, making it difficult for individuals to even entertain the idea of questioning their beliefs. Moreover, the fear of the unknown, of what lies beyond the structure and certainty provided by religion, can be a powerful force that keeps people tethered to their faith.

2) Emotional Attachment: Deeply Rooted Connections to Beliefs and Deities

Emotional attachment to religious beliefs and deities can make it extremely difficult for individuals to consider abandoning their faith. For example, people might feel strongly about a favorite movie character after just a two-hour film. Now imagine the emotional connection that forms over a lifetime of worship and reliance on a deity. This deep, emotional bond can make the prospect of leaving religion incredibly daunting and painful, requiring an immense amount of self-reflection and introspection.

3) Respecting Elders: A Sense of Duty and Loyalty to Family

For many, religious beliefs are passed down through generations, with parents and elders acting as the primary source of guidance and instruction. Rejecting these beliefs can be seen as disrespectful or even an act of betrayal. This sense of duty and loyalty to family can make it challenging for individuals to question or abandon their faith, as doing so might risk damaging their relationships with the very people they hold dear.

4) Social and Cultural Identity: The Role of Religion in Defining Ourselves

Religion often plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s social and cultural identity. It helps define our values, customs, and even our sense of belonging within a community. The prospect of abandoning religious beliefs can be incredibly isolating, as it may require leaving behind not just one’s faith but also the social and cultural context that has been integral to their identity.

5) Comfort and Security: The Stability Religion Provides

Religion can provide a sense of comfort, stability, and security in an uncertain and chaotic world. It offers a framework for understanding our existence and a set of guidelines for navigating life’s challenges. Letting go of these beliefs can be distressing or anxiety-provoking for some, as they face the prospect of navigating life without the support and reassurance that religion provides.

6) Fear of Loss: The Social and Familial Consequences of Leaving Religion

Leaving religion can often result in the loss of social support, friendships, and even family ties. For some, the prospect of losing these connections can be a powerful deterrent to questioning or abandoning their faith. This fear of loss can make it difficult for individuals to take the first steps toward leaving religion, as the potential consequences may seem too great to bear.

7) Cognitive Dissonance: The Psychological Struggle of Holding Conflicting Beliefs

Cognitive dissonance is the psychological discomfort experienced when holding conflicting beliefs or values. This dissonance can make it challenging for individuals to reconcile their doubts about religion with their existing faith. For some, the process of questioning their beliefs may lead to increased cognitive dissonance and an even greater resistance to change.

8) Sunk Cost Fallacy: The Illusion of Investment in Faith

The sunk cost fallacy can play a significant role in keeping people attached to their religious beliefs. Individuals may feel that they have invested too much time, effort, money, or emotional energy into their faith to abandon it now, even if they have doubts or questions about their beliefs. This sense of investment can create a powerful barrier to change, as people struggle to let go of the perceived value they have accumulated over the years.

9) Lack of Exposure to Alternative Worldviews: The Importance of Open-Mindedness

Individuals who have never been exposed to different religious or philosophical perspectives may find it more difficult to question or reevaluate their own beliefs. A lack of exposure to alternative worldviews can limit an individual’s ability to critically examine their faith and explore other possibilities. Encountering diverse perspectives can provide valuable insights and help individuals make more informed decisions about their beliefs.

10) Fear of Existential Crises: Confronting Life’s Big Questions Without Religion

The prospect of confronting existential questions and the reality of mortality without the structure and guidance provided by religion can be overwhelming for some people. Religion often offers answers to life’s most profound questions, and the thought of facing these uncertainties without the support of faith can be daunting. This fear of existential crises can make it harder for individuals to leave their faith behind, as they grapple with the implications of a life without the comforting answers provided by religion.

Conclusion: The Complex Journey Towards Personal Growth and Self-Discovery

Leaving religion is a deeply personal and often challenging process, influenced by a multitude of factors. It requires individuals to confront their fears, question their beliefs, and navigate the potential loss of social connections and support. However, for those who embark on this journey, it can also be an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Recognizing and acknowledging the complexities and challenges faced by those questioning their faith can help foster empathy, understanding, and support for those undergoing this transformative experience.

Given the above, it is amazing that anyone leaves Christianity after being fully indoctrinated. And that fact provides its own evidence that this faith is not all it claims to be. If a good number of people can overcome the above ten challenges, this must mean they are seeing very strong evidence that Christianity is false.

(4249) God is a man child

It is clear from the scriptures that the Christian god values allegiance over a person’s integrity and good works. This is not an attribute worthy of respect, much less worship. In many respects, God is a man child. The following was taken from:


What’s the pragmatical difference between a person in X gods fan cult doing given good thing Y, and someone doing it without subscribing to a fan cult because the epistemology is dubious?

Nothing, except that the former is coerced, while the other is not.

The latter does it due to intrinsic dynamics and inference, the former has an active threat and regulation overseer going on.
If god punishes anyone for not being in his personal fan cult, then only because the lack thereof logically does not fulfill a predicate god imposes, and a persons inherent good can never atone for this.

But punishment implies a vendetta, a violation. Hence that must be a violation of gods desire. Desires, which bind and limit an actor, and a violation, an affliction towards this oh so powerful strong independent being who needs no man.
If it were not a compulsive need or desire, he should be able to pardon it, given it were either rational or non-arbitrary. Else the one given good pragmatic result Y would be completely void and in vain and only matters with the fan cult X.

Corollary 1: God is a man child.

Corollary 2: God is incapable to see the greater good of a person beyond his blind allegiance.

Corollary 3: God is not imposing any test at all, but at best, coercion and blind allegiance. No behavior is tested, only the will and patience of god is that what is tested by humans actually.

Corollary 4: God who is supposed to be an independent strong god who doesn’t need like a man needs validation so much that a person’s inherent good does not matter and can be violated.

Conclusion: Screw it. Game’s rigged.

Imagine a boss who is overseeing two employees (A and B). Both employees perform Task X to perfection. Employee A is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys of the American National Football League. Employee B is not a football fan. The boss (who owns the Cowboys) gives Employee A a big bonus for his work on Task X. He gives nothing to Employee B. This is essentially how the Christian god works. Except in this scenario, he would give Employee A a bonus even if he failed to perform Task X.

(4250) Reasons people leave Christianity

Examining the reasons why people leave Christianity exposes elements of this religious faith that would not exist if Christianity was true. The proof is in the pudding, and in this case the pudding does not match the recipe. The following was taken from:


When it comes to articles that completely miss the mark, you can’t go past Josh Butler’s piece on the Gospel Coalition website, where he attempts to explain why former Christians walk away from their faith.

The article, entitled “4 Causes of Deconstruction,” likens faith deconstruction to a disease, and makes out that those who walk away from the church are not really interested in finding the truth but just want an excuse to sin. Moreover, he describes deconstructing Christians as weak, compromising, and merely chasing street cred. Apparently, they all want to be exvangelical podcasters, TikTok stars, and bloggers, making their fortune bashing the church.

By the time you arrive at the end of Butler’s article (if you manage to read that far), you are forced to conclude that every single one of Butler’s “4 Causes of Deconstruction” lays blame at the feet of the person who left Christianity behind. In fact, worse than that — it shames them.

In Butler’s world, the church has no case to answer. His message is clear: “The church has it right, and those who walk away have it wrong.” It’s about as tone-deaf as tone-deafness gets.

But if people like Butler and the version of Christianity he represents would stop and listen for a moment, they would discover the real reasons that more than 3000 people are walking away from the US church every day.

And a lot of it has to do with the attitudes and behaviors of so-called believers and, in particular, the leaders of the movement that is supposed to represent the pre-eminent teacher of grace, love, and compassion: Jesus Christ.

Unlike Butler’s mindless rhetoric, I found a piece of writing based on actual research. Brandon Flanery, a writer on the Baptist Global News site, decided to try and find out why people are leaving Christianity behind. Reaching out through varying social media platforms, Flanery received 1,200 responses to a survey that asked several questions of people who had left Christianity behind, including:

    1. What initiated the change (the first instance where things began to shift)?
    2. What was the final reason you made the change (the straw that broke the camel’s back)?
    3. What does your current existential framework offer you that your previous one did not?

The results of his research are genuinely fascinating and should provide a wake-up call to the church — if the church will have ears to hear. Here are the top reasons people gave for abandoning Christianity:

Reason 1

Flanery’s research revealed that the number one reason people walk away from Christianity is the church’s behavior and attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community. One in four respondents listed this as their final reason for abandoning Christianity. Here are some quotes from those who responded:

    • “I couldn’t continue to ignore the treatment of LGBTQ and other marginalized people.”
    • I started doubting because of “how the church treated people of the LGBTQ community and anyone who didn’t dress/think/act/look like them.”
    • “I couldn’t understand why God would create LGBTQ people in a form my church claimed he hated.”
    • “The first thing that challenged my viewpoint directly was meeting LGBTQ people and seeing that they were kind, thoughtful and deserving of respect.”
    • “The first thing was noticing how what Christians preached/practiced didn’t seem to align with that I knew to be the character of God, including views on the LGBTQ community, immigration, adoption, mental health issues, ‘mission work,’ and just general treatment of others.”

Reason 2

The second-most common reason that people gave for walking away from Christianity was “The behavior of believers.” Isn’t that a sad indictment on the church? Beyond the issue of LGBTQ inclusion, many people, is seems, object to the behavior of Christians.

Of course, this is not something new. Mahatma Gandhi once famously said of the Christian faith: “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi’s scathing assessment was that far too often, Christians don’t represent Christ. They are nothing like Christ. They don’t do Christ justice. They actually repel people from Christ.

Was Gandhi onto something?

When writing a letter to C.S. Lewis about potentially converting to Christianity, author Sheldon Vanauken wrestled with this exact thing in his book A Severe Mercy:

The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians — when they are somber and joyless, self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.

One thing remains consistent — the conduct of Christians can pose both a significant obstacle for individuals considering the faith and a significant factor for those considering walking away.

Reason 3

The third most common response in Flanery’s research was the uncomfortable relationship that seems to exist between church and politics. Many of the respondents specifically mentioned the election of Donald Trump and the support he received from the evangelical church community. In fact, the name “Trump” was mentioned 81 times in survey responses. Here are some examples from the comments that were received:

    • “A culmination of events over the course of a few months starting in the summer of 2020. I had a fight with my father-in-law over the Confederate flag being a symbol of racism, he stopped speaking to me for months, and it became a whole thing. The rise in glorifying Trump and fascism disguised as democracy.”
    • “Seeing so many friends and family that claim to love and follow Jesus pledge their allegiance to nationalism and Trump.”
    • “The 2016 election. I wanted nothing to do with a group that supported Trump and his insane ideology under the pretense of faith.”
    • “Trump was the last straw for me. Seeing a person who should be the opposite of what Christians are called to be, being supported by evangelicals everywhere, really woke me up to some harsh American/conservative realities and how we’ve bastardized Christianity like others before to push not love or Christ but instead Republican dogma steeped in racism, sexism and greed with the Bible as a manipulation tool to get people to conform to these particular ideals that have nothing to do with the Gospels.”

People wouldn’t be leaving Christianity in such numbers if it was true, because if it was true, the reasons listed above for leaving would not exist. A supernaturally intelligent and inspirational deity would guide his followers down a much more enlightened and loving path. Christians themselves demonstrate the non-existence of their god.

Follow this link to #4251