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Skeptics/Seekers (Religion)

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  • Near-Death Experience Led to Heaven's Door

    06/04/2011 11:00:11 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 64 replies
    Winnipeg Free Press ^ | 6/4/11 | Joanne Thibault
    Heaven Is for RealA Little Boy's Astounding Storyof His Trip to Heaven and BackBy Todd Burpo with Lynn VincentThomas Nelson, 163 pages, $17WHILE on a family road trip in 2003, a small-town Nebraska boy just shy of four years old survived a brush with death made all the more maddening by how preventable it was. A simple case of appendicitis took a malevolent turn when medical miscalls, parental errors in judgment and the vagaries of winter travel conditions lead to Colton Burpo suffering a rupture and rampant infection. Heaven Is for Real, by Colton's father, Todd, a Baptist preacher, with...
  • California Prisons Don't Have to Subsidize Wicca

    06/01/2011 1:18:57 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 1 replies
    Courthouse News ^ | June 01, 2011 | TIM HULL
    (CN) - The 9th Circuit on Wednesday rejected a Wiccan chaplain's claims that the California prison system should add a celebrant of Wicca and other pagan or nature-based religions to its paid chaplaincy program. The federal appeals court in San Francisco said the merits of the Wiccan religion did not factor into its decision to dash Patrick McCollum's First Amendment, free-exercise and equal-protection claims against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Rather the court concluded that the volunteer chaplain lacked standing because he "attempts to transform his employment discrimination action into an effort to vindicate the inmates' First Amendment...
  • Bethesda woman sees Jesus in a garden shovel

    05/23/2011 10:21:41 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 17 replies
    Bangor and Anglesey Mail ^ | May 11, 2011 | Daniel Bissett
    A BETHESDA woman claims to have spotted an apparition of Jesus Christ on, of all things, her boyfriend’s garden shovel! Andrea Jones was having a cigarette in her garden when she noticed this ‘image’ in the shovel which was leaning against a rabbit hutch. “I was deep in thought at the time, miles away,” she said. “Then I saw the shovel and what looked like a face on it, but I’ve seen this shovel so many times before and hadn’t noticed a thing. “I thought it looked a bit like Jesus and pointed it out to my boyfriend Neil and...
  • (Vanity) God, Free Will, and Chess

    05/20/2011 9:06:00 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 30 replies
    grey_whiskers ^ | 5-20-2011 | grey_whiskers
    One topic which has been the center of a great deal of controversy in Christian doctrine is that of free will. It has been discussed in various forms in St. Paul’ s epistle to the Romans, Chapter 9:Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand not by works but by him who calls--she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says...
  • Betting Against the End of the World

    05/18/2011 1:29:35 PM PDT · by Ed Hudgins · 12 replies
    The Atlas Society - The Center for Objectivism ^ | May 17, 2011 | Edward Hudgins
    Throughout human history and especially in recent centuries, cults of all kinds have predicted the end of the world. You’ve probably noticed that they’ve all been seriously wrong. The latest such silliness has come from 89-year-old Harold Camping’s Family Radio network of 66 stations. Based on his study of the Bible, Camping calculates that doomsday will be on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Christianity is particularly prone to such nonsense. After all, the Book of Revelation is all about doomsday, though with details from a clearly delusional mind. The “son of man” appears out of the clouds with a two-edged sword...
  • US atheists offer pet rescue after judgment day

    05/18/2011 12:37:44 PM PDT · by markomalley · 40 replies
    AFP/Yahoo ^ | 5/18/11
    When judgment day comes -- which some US Christian fundamentalists insist will happen on Saturday -- have you thought about what you're going to do with the family dog and cat? In 26 US states, you could have them rescued and adopted by enterprising atheists who have set up a business to care for the animal companions of any Christians who are selected to go to heaven when Jesus Christ comes back. "You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes, what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind?" Eternal Earth-Bound...
  • Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God

    05/17/2011 8:37:33 AM PDT · by Bed_Zeppelin · 47 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | May 14, 2011 | Tim Ross
    Richard Dawkins has made his name as the scourge of organised religion who branded the Roman Catholic Church “evil” and once called the Pope “a leering old villain in a frock”. But he now stands accused of “cowardice” after refusing four invitations to debate the existence of God with a renowned Christian philosopher. A war of words has broken out between the best selling author of The God Delusion, and his critics, who see his refusal to take on the American academic, William Lane Craig, as a “glaring” failure and a sign that he may be losing his nerve.
  • Why do Americans still dislike atheists?

    05/01/2011 6:06:36 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 101 replies · 2+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 05/01/2011 | Gregory Pauland, Phil Zuckerman
    Long after blacks and Jews have made great strides, and even as homosexuals gain respect, acceptance and new rights, there is still a group that lots of Americans just don’t like much: atheists. Those who don’t believe in God are widely considered to be immoral, wicked and angry. They can’t join the Boy Scouts. Atheist soldiers are rated potentially deficient when they do not score as sufficiently “spiritual” in military psychological evaluations. Surveys find that most Americans refuse or are reluctant to marry or vote for nontheists; in other words, nonbelievers are one minority still commonly denied in practical terms...
  • Atheist groups push for military chaplains

    04/28/2011 1:27:29 PM PDT · by NYer · 36 replies
    Inside Catholic ^ | April 28, 2011
    As Deacon Greg Kandra says, it sounds like an Onion headline, but it's not: The New York Times reports that groups of atheists and secular humanists in the military are pushing to add some of their own to the ranks of military chaplains:Joining the chaplain corps is part of a broader campaign by atheists to win official acceptance in the military. Such recognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.But winning...
  • Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military

    04/27/2011 2:59:57 PM PDT · by arderkrag · 27 replies
    The New York Times ^ | April 26, 2011 | James Dao
    FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — In the military, there are more than 3,000 chaplains who minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of active duty troops, regardless of their faiths. The vast majority are Christians, a few are Jews or Muslims, one is a Buddhist. A Hindu, possibly even a Wiccan may join their ranks soon. But an atheist? Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large — and largely underground — population of nonbelievers in...
  • To hell with Hell?

    04/26/2011 3:41:53 PM PDT · by NYer · 44 replies
    Ignatius Insight ^ | April 26, 2011 | Carl Olson
    James Kirk Wall, author of Agnosticism: The Battle Against Shameless Ignorance, seems to think he has come up with a clever line of agnostic apologetics to pursue in getting rid of Hell: Pastor Rob Bell is arguing that there may be no Hell. Would Christianity still be able to sell without Hell, or would membership plummet? Heaven and Hell make up the greatest marketing campaign ever created by man. If you buy what we’re selling, you will live forever in happiness. If you don’t, fire and brimstone for all eternity! Uh, yeah, that's a perfect to way to put...
  • Hitchens' address to American Atheists (self eulogy)

    04/23/2011 4:34:15 AM PDT · by Salman · 31 replies
    Pharyngula ^ | April 22, 2011 | Christopher Hitchens
    Dear fellow-unbelievers, Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons...
  • Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?

    04/21/2011 3:45:20 PM PDT · by AnalogReigns · 54 replies
    The historical evidence contradicts this popular notion.Anyone encountering anti-Christian polemics will quickly come up against the accusation that a major festival practiced by Christians across the globe, namely, Easter, was actually borrowed or rather usurped from a pagan celebration. I often encounter this idea among Muslims who claim that later Christians compromised with paganism to dilute the original faith of Jesus.
  • Richard Dawkins: Atheist Stranded in a World of Purpose

    04/18/2011 7:34:35 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 04/18/2011 | Miguel A. Guanipa
    Fifty years ago, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech at an antireligious rally, where he declared that the celebrated cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had confided to him that while in space, he had peered into the infinite distance before him, but could find no traces of God.  Someone in the audience is alleged to have murmured then that if he had removed his helmet, the proud space traveler would have instantly secured a personal audience with the one whose creation he so carefully surveyed in hopes of finding. This amusing story illustrates the doleful plight of the itinerant Atheist,...
  • Jesus Christ the Man: Does the Physical Evidence Hold Up?

    04/17/2011 8:16:00 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 40 replies
    Live Science ^ | 04/14/2011 | Natalie Wolchover
    Jesus Christ may be the most famous man who ever lived. But how do we know he did? Most theological historians, Christian and non-Christian alike, believe that Jesus really did walk the Earth. They draw that conclusion from textual evidence in the Bible, however, rather than from the odd assortment of relics parading as physical evidence in churches all over Europe. That's because, from fragments of text written on bits of parchment to overly abundant chips of wood allegedly salvaged from his crucifix, none of the physical evidence of Jesus' life and death hold up to scientific scrutiny.  [Who Was...
  • Atheist Ricky Gervais – A Better Christian than Christians? An Easter Message from the Comedian

    04/16/2011 4:42:12 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 32 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 04/16/2011 | Eryn Sun
    Are atheists better Christians than Christians are today? Famous comedian and English actor Ricky Gervais likes to think so. Posting a holiday message for Easter entitled “Why I’m A Good Christian” in The Wall Street Journal, Gervais, a professing atheist, revealed that he is a “good Christian” compared to a lot of Christians. To prove his point, he outlined the Ten Commandments and analyzed how he faired against each law. Giving himself a 10 out of 10 – passing all counts of murder, idolatry, and blasphemy – Gervais considered his perfect score “not bad for an atheist.” The thrust of...
  • A great “godless” book

    04/15/2011 8:31:42 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 4 replies
    The Christian Post ^ | April 15, 2011 | Randal Rauser
    Pete Hautman. godless. Simon Pulse, 2004. 198 pp. ISBN: 10: 1416908161 It is summer in St. Andrew Valley and Jason Bock is fifteen, awkward, disenfranchised and bored. Needless to say the Catholic Church he is forced to attend by his parents doesn't add much in terms of excitement. Father Haynes is "a thousand years old at least" (33) and his sermons are extended treatments for insomniacs. Jason's dad senses his son's "agnosticism going on atheism" and deals with it in the most ineffective way possible: he sends Jason to "Teen Power Outreach" meetings which are intended to indoctrinate, oops, I...
  • Moral relativism paves way for Satanism, says expert

    04/13/2011 2:18:54 PM PDT · by NYer · 15 replies
    cna ^ | April 11, 2011
    Rome, Italy, Apr 11, 2011 / 05:55 pm (CNA).- A society dominated by moral relativism “fosters the spread of Satanism,” an expert recently explained.Carlo Climati told CNA on April 5 that Satanism “destroys those universal values that are written in the hearts of each human being.” It creates “a society that is turned on its head, in which good becomes evil and evil becomes good.”Climati is the press director of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome.He said young people become captivated “by the illusion of a life that appears to be free of all rules” and by a deceiving...
  • Gagarin's Family Celebrated Easter and Christmas, Korolev Used to Pray and Confess

    04/11/2011 7:11:47 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    Interfax ^ | 4/11
    Moscow, April 11, Interfax - Hegumen Iov (Talats), patriarchial metochion's rector of Transfiguration Church in Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star City), gave evidence that neither Yury Gagarin, nor Sergey Korolev were atheists. "Yury Gagarin baptized his elder daughter Yelena shortly before his space flight; and his family used to celebrate Christmas and Easter and keep icons in the house," Father Iov said in an interview to the April issue of Foma magazine. He also recalled that Gagarin urged the authorities to reconstruct Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. "Sergey Korolev lost faith for some time but eventually regained it through suffering and...
  • A humble act of hubris? AC Grayling's secular bible

    04/08/2011 6:46:28 PM PDT · by bronxville · 4 replies
    New Humanist ^ | 5 April 2011 | AC Grayling
    Some of you may have noticed that philosopher AC Grayling has been in the news a lot this week, on account of the publication of his latest work The Good Book: A Secular Bible. It's a bold project, and one that is, not unexpectedly, attracting criticism from religious commentators. Indeed, Grayling himself recognises the scale of ambition involved in putting together a non-religious bible, and he discusses it with Matthew Adams in an interview for the New Humanist website: "I acknowledge the fact that it does look tremendously hubristic, but it’s certainly done – and I don’t want to come...