What do Congressional Republicans and Conservative Christian Apologists Have in Common?

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Answer:  An inability to admit that the evidence completely undercuts and contradicts their position.

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Hillary Clinton for President 2020!

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I am a political moderate.  For years I have been a registered independent.

I view most conservatives as selfish, self-serving, and too stingy to help the less fortunate.  I view most liberals as irrational. unrealistic, and too eager to dramatically raise taxes on working people.  I usually vote for whichever candidate is closest to the “middle”.  To me the middle represents addressing social problems with common sense, practical solutions.  It means being willing to compromise.  It means not being an ideologue but a pragmatist.  That is why I registered as an independent many years ago.  Republicans were too conservative.  Democrats were too liberal.

But three years of Donald Trump has changed my calculus.  Donald Trump is destroying America.  Donald Trump is destroying our democratic institutions, our democratic values, our democratic reputation in the world.  He must be stopped.  Donald Trump must be stopped in the presidential election of 2020.

This year I registered as a Democrat and I encourage all independents and moderate Republicans to do the same.  The Republican party is a lost cause.  It is now the Donald Trump party.  The only major party left in this country which still represents old fashioned American values is the Democratic party.  However, the Democratic party is in danger of being taken over by the Radical Left.  Those of us in the middle must prevent this party from also being taken by extremists.  We, the Middle, must move to the Democratic party to keep it moderate!

So now that we are Democrats, who can we support to stop Donald Trump’s re-election and destruction of our beloved country?

Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders?  No way.  These two Democratic candidates are liberal extremists.  They are irrational and unrealistic.  “Medicare for All” sounds great but who is going to pay for it?  I’m all for the wealthy paying a larger share of taxes, but I’m not in favor of a socialist redistribution of the wealth, as these two politicians would like to see.   Hard work and intelligence deserve to be rewarded.  Social safety net, yes.  Equal redistribution of the wealth, no way!

So who in the current presidential race is in the “middle” and has a chance of beating Donald Trump?  I used to believe it was Joe Biden.  I have changed my mind.  Good ol’ Joe is a nice guy, but he just can’t keep his foot out of his mouth!  And the latest revelations about his son, Hunter, working for a sleazy, corrupt, Ukrainian energy company while his dad was vice president shows a lack of good judgment.  It was just plain stupid.  Even if it was perfectly legal, why else would a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch ask Hunter Biden to be on his company’s board of directors except to curry favor with the Obama-Biden administration?  What was Joe thinking??

Pete Buttgieg?  The mayor gives a great speech but he lacks experience.  We need to elect someone this time who actually knows what he or she is doing in the White House.

Sorry, but I don’t like the senator from Minnesota, Senator Klobuchar.  Her former staff claims that she has a very difficult personality.  We need someone who works well with others.  We don’t need another president who berates her staff and throws temper tantrums in the oval office.

So who is left?  Mayor Bloomberg?  I don’t think he is going to catch on.  He seems to have a lot of great ideas, but he is as exciting as lukewarm milk.

Who is left?

Hillary Clinton!

She has plenty of experience as a senator and as secretary of state.  She has the temperament.  She has the drive.

I want Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic candidate for president in the 2020 election!  I want Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States!  Yes, she has some baggage (her husband and her server) but Trump is going to find (or manufacture) dirt on whoever the Democrats nominate.

Run, Hillary, run!

 

 

 

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Apologetics is the New Rage in Evangelical Christianity. Why? They Know They are Losing!

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Atheist counter-apologist, John Loftus, on his blog, Debunking Christianity:

As the author of a book that offered good advice to Christian apologists, How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist, I should keep up with how they’re doing. Given that Evangelicals concede they are losing in the marketplace of ideas, and that they partially blame this on the rise of the internet, no wonder apologetics is in demand. Everyone is doing it, or so it appears. This is a sign, all by itself, that Christianity of the evangelical kind is dying. For apologetics is necessitated by the need, and the need is dire.

Click here to read the rest of Loftus’ post.

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Did the Resurrection Belief Result from a Corrupted Greek Translation of the Hebrew Bible?

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Hades, Greek god of the dead

Read the first five books of the Old Testament and try to find a clear, unambiguous reference to an afterlife.  I don’t think you can do it.  The stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, etc., never involve believers in Yahweh talking about an afterlife in the presence of God or a belief that they will see their deceased loved ones again after death.  And there is definitely no mention of a “resurrection”.  Yet, if one reads the OT books written at the end of the Old Testament period, one CAN find unambiguous references to an afterlife and even a resurrection.  Why is that??  I wrote a post on this topic several years ago.  I will repost it below:

 

Gary:  Oh…my….god!

I cannot believe what I am reading…and from the premier orthodox/evangelical Bible scholar and apologist of our time!  Listen to NT Wright’s statements below from the fourth chapter of his monumental work, The Resurrection of the Son of God, regarding the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, written in Egypt in the third century B.C.:

NT Wright:  As the Bible (Old Testament) was translated into Greek the notion of resurrection became, it seems, much clearer, so that many passages which might have been at most ambiguous became clear, and some which seemed to have nothing to do with resurrection might suddenly give a hint, or more than a hint, in that direction.

The passages (found only in OT books written at the end of the Old Testament era) which already speak unambiguously of bodily resurrection come through loud and clear; there is no attempt to soften them.  Daniel 12.2-3, 13, and the relevant passages in 2 Maccabees (e.g. 7.9, 14; 12.44) all use what became the standard ‘resurrection’ language, namely the Greek verbs anistemi and egeiro and their cognates.

We find the same with Isaiah 26, both in the verse that denies resurrection (14) and the verse that affirms it (19).  They both emerge clearly in the Greek:  26.14 declares that the dead will not see life, and that ‘the doctors’ will not rise.  In its turn, 26:19 insists that the dead will be raised, and that those in the tombs will be aroused.  Similarly, the passage in Hosea (6.2) that some think (whatever its original meaning) provided a key influence for both Isaiah and Daniel, is also explicit in the Greek:  on the third day we shall be raised and live in this presence.  No second-Temple reader would have doubted that this referred to bodily resurrection.

Cavallin lists other passages where, despite the lack of actual reference in the original, the translators may have intended to refer to resurrection: .  These include Deuteronomy 32.39, Psalms 1.5 and 21.30 (22.29).  In addition, he notes the striking way in which the LXX (Septuagint) has reversed the sense of Job 14.14; instead of blank denial of a future life (‘if a man die, shall he live again?’), the LXX declares boldly, ‘If a man dies, he shall live’ .  In the same way, the deeply obscure passage Job 19.26a (‘after my skin has been thus destroyed’) has been turned around:  God ‘will resurrect my skin’.  Finally, the LXX adds a postscript to the book.  After 42.17, where Job dies, an old man and full of days, it adds (42.17a LXX):  ‘It is written of him that he will rise again with those whom the Lord will raise’.  Clearly, whoever drafted the translation of LXX Job had no doubt both of the bodily resurrection and of the propriety of making sure the biblical text affirmed it.

Gary“God”, the original author in the Hebrew, obviously did not explain himself well enough.  The translator had to help God out.

NT Wright:  A similar point emerges from the LXX of Hosea 13.14.  The Hebrew text asks, ‘Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?  Shall I redeem them from Death?’  and expects the answer ‘No’.  The LXX, however, has turned this into a positive statement:  I shall rescue them from the hand of Hades, and I shall redeem them from Death.  Someone who read the text in this way might well then hear overtones of resurrection in the next chapter as well:  ‘I will be like the dew to Israel…they shall blossom as the vine…’

In light of this, we may cautiously suggest some other passages in which similar influence might be present….

Gary:  What is NT Wright clearly inferring here?  Answer:  Jewish translators in third century B.C Egypt, translating the Hebrew Bible into Greek to form the Septuagint, purposely altered the original text (of God’s holy, inerrant Word) to support the emerging/evolving Hellenistic concept, which was at that moment in time permeating Jewish culture and even its religious beliefs during the Greek Empire’s occupation, of a life after death, a belief not found anywhere in the Pentateuch nor in the subsequent other pre-exilic books of the Hebrew Bible!

How on earth can Rev. Wright and other knowledgeable conservative Christian scholars and apologists see this blatant “doctoring” of the Holy Bible, and still believe in its inerrancy???  (Or any concept of divine inspiration??)

And most damning of all is this:  Jesus did not use the Hebrew Bible in his teachings.  He used the Septuagint, a text which modern research clearly shows was ‘doctored’ to conform to a Hellenistic (pagan) world view of an after-life.  This means that Jesus, whom Christians believe to be God the Creator, and author of the Hebrew Bible, preached his sermons from a foreign translation that he knew, being God, taught a pagan concept of life after death.

Oh…my…god!

 

 

 

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Atheist Rebuttal to: “There is No Morality Without God” Argument

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Conservative Christian:  If Morality is subjective then there is no real basis for Right and Wrong.

Herald Newman, author of Truth Seeking Atheist blog :  Sure there is. Pleasure and pain are a fine basis for morality. We are a social species that depends on other humans for our survival. If I go around and start inflicting unnecessary pain on others, those others are very likely to stop working with me, which means that I’m very likely to not survive. The basis for right and wrong comes from our biology.

 

Conservative Christian:  [If atheists are correct] Morality instead is just based on people’s opinion, and since people’s opinion can often times be arbitrary, that ends up being a problem.

Herald:  Is it just your opinion that having your skin burned hurts? Is it just your opinion that getting punched in the face hurts? Is it just your opinion that having a loved one die sucks? These are all subjective experiences that are not at all arbitrary. Morality does not become arbitrary simply because it is subjective.

 

Conservative Christian:  If Morality is subjective, then who decides what is right and wrong?

Herald:  We do. We decide what is right and wrong, because our shared evolutionary heritage means that we all share the same kinds of experiences of pleasure and pain. Punching someone in the face is going to inflict pain on that person, and this is not arbitrary, and never will be for the reason that we can make an objective analysis of how harmful our actions are. Once we agree that we want to minimize pain, and maximize pleasure, we can make objective analysis of any action in a given context.

 

 

 

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Christianity is Not the Only Casualty of the Internet

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Deconverted MuslimYou know, most Muslims and Christians hardly read any religious materials. If they did, they’ll figure out there are so many problems with their religion. Luckily, the internet is educating people and a lot of people are finding out the truth. I guess the internet not only killed Blockbuster and other brick and mortar stores, it’s also killing religion.

Deconverted Ultra-Orthodox Jew:   In May 2012, tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered for a mass rally at New York’s Citi Field stadium to protest the “evils of the Internet and the damages caused by advanced electronic devices.” The Internet has torn apart families, said a letter published in the Haredi press ahead of the event. “It all happens because of [the Internet], and something must be done so they won’t be hurt.”  The story of Shulem Deen, author of the new memoir “All Who Go Do Not Return,” is exactly the kind of thing the rally’s organizers feared. A former Hasidic Jew, Deen lost his faith through a years-long process of increasingly questioning his belief system, with radio, television and the Internet playing a starring role in the process.

 

 

 

 

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