Time For The Government To Say Good-Bye To Religious Holidays

I'd rather celebrate Ganesh's birthday than L. Ron Hubbard's, but that's just me.

South Brunswick, New Jersey schools have announced that they will henceforth close for two days every year in honor of…Diwali. Quick—what religion celebrates Diwali? The answer is the Hindu faith.

That does it, I think. The canary has officially croaked, and there is no way to sugar-coat it, not that anyone wants a sugar-coated dead canary anyway. State, local and national governments need to cut all ties with religious holidays now, before Americans who observe  Gantan-sai, Dia de los Reyes, Maghi, Timkat, Imbolc, L. Ron Hubbard birthday,  Ostara,  Khordad Sal, Ramayana,  Visakha Puja,  Declaration of the Bab, Ascension of Baha’u’llah and somebody’s god somewhere knows what else start suing every city council in sight, Bill O’Reilly starts screaming about the war on Christianity, and Michele Bachmann gives speeches about how everyone knows America is a Christian nation, because the Founders, you know, like Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln and Jerry Falwell, wanted it that way.

We don’t need the added conflict, when we have so many other battled to fight together. We can’t afford it.And I think it’s unavoidable now.

“It says to all of the communities that we recognize you and we value you,”  Gary McCartney, South Brunswick’s school superintendent said, explaining his city’s decision. Good job, Gary! You just announced that the city doesn’t value every citizen that worships someone or something else. That, as they say, is the ballgame. The fat lady has sung, not to mention the guy with the elephant head and all those arms. It’s over.

Not that this isn’t a loss, because it is. The celebration of agreed-upon holidays, particularly Christmas, was once an important part of the process whereby immigrants from other lands and cultures became Americans. Irving Berlin, who wrote “God Bless America,” was a Jew, but he wrote “White Christmas” and Easter Parade” too. He didn’t feel like he was excluded from the United States, and he embraced its long-standing traditions. Nobody much thought about it until atheist Madeline Murray O’Hair challenged prayer in the schools, and won. She was right, but the lawsuit opened the floodgates. Gee…if making kids in school say the Lord’s Prayer violates the Establishment Clause, doesn’t that creche in front of City Hall? How about that representation of the Ten Commandments in front of the Court House? And how about…?

There were two problems. First, the complainers had a valid legal point, once we started looking at things like tree-lighting ceremonies as religious endorsement rather than cultural traditions. Second, there are a lot of people who enjoy exercising power for its own sake, and as soon as O’Hair showed how one American didn’t have to shrug off a tradition they didn’t observe and just accept or ignore it, because it made a lot of her neighbors happy, there were plenty of others like her—not a majority, but a critical mass—who wanted the rush of bending others to their will.  In this crusade they were and are aided by another group, the reflexive politically correct, who believe that the essence of a virtuous society is one in which nobody is ever offended, even if their threshold of offense is absurdly low.

Thus a Somerville, Mass. elementary school principal recently told her faculty that Columbus Day was offensive and suggested them that they needed to “be careful” about how they handled Thanksgiving. Naturally, this came up as Halloween* was approaching, a cultural holiday also considered suspect in Somerville, that was once one of childhood’s special treats.Now it is withering away. Why? It “offended” Evangelicals, Wiccans, dentists, hysterical child advocates, zombies and political correctness addicts. Once too many citizens become unwilling to let a majority enjoy something—anything— that they don’t, and once the prevailing logic is that the few should dictate to the many, rather than be willing to make small concessions to tradition in the shared pursuit of a common culture, then community holidays are doomed.

Are these the symptoms of a cohesive culture coming apart at the seams? Sure it is. Rather than allow the loose threads to keep unraveling the fabric, it’s time to avoid the conflict, stop giving people who enjoy pulling threads encouragement, and accept the fact that the government’s acknowledgment of holy days, even ones that have evolved into secular holidays as well, is now too contentious, difficult and expensive to continue.

We will have to find other ways to build a cohesive and inclusive American culture, because this fight will tear the culture apart.

________________

* For an informative, entertaining and often hilarious review of recent Halloween litigation, go here.

96 thoughts on “Time For The Government To Say Good-Bye To Religious Holidays

  1. Would this mean that schools and businesses would be open on weekends? After all, the Sunday day-off is purely because Christians call it the sabbath, and the Saturday was added because Jews call it the sabbath. For Muslims, Friday is the sabbath. So if we’re going to separate all religions from all government work (or government-supported work, like schools and some businesses), the weekends should be abolished too.

    I like the idea, as long as everyone has the right to miss work on their own holidays without getting “docked” in their pay or punished in other ways. As a Jew, I used to volunteer to pick up shifts at my jobs on Christmas and Easter because those holidays aren’t mine, and I didn’t mind at all. Your proposal would be really great, as long as everyone is free to observe their religions without reprisal.

    • Yes, it would have to be accompanied with a blanket two week or so, no-questions-asked leave policy for students and families. Those Hindus will just have to keep the city running during Christmas,

    • Multiple Choice: Pick the excuse…

      a) H. Ron Hubbard is the more famous one’s brother, and Scientologists celebrate his birthday anyway.
      b) I have a speech impediment that causes me to say “H” when I try to say “L”s…kind of like Tom Brockaw.
      c) I cut and pasted part of that list from an on-line list of holy days, and didn’t catch the error.

      The answer is….
      [Hint: Note that I had the L. right in the caption.]

  2. I think the nation’s Founders where either Christians themselves or were sympathetic to it but that was before we had an influx of immigrants from all nations,cultures and religions who chose to not integrate with our society. It would be like me going to a Muslim country and demand they give Christianity equal billing. Well,maybe not exactly the same. I have no problem with immigrants retaining the flavor of their homeland as long as it doesn’t interfere with our laws and such. Now that are where we are,I see your point but it’s going to take a lot more than removing government from holidays to bring us together. In fact,I don’t see it doing anything of the kind. It will cause more anger and more division.

    • I think the nation’s Founders where either Christians themselves or were sympathetic to it

      There’s relatively hard fact on this. They run the gammut from relatively firm christian to deist.

      Building the culture on Christianity was not something the founders were sumpathetic to.

      but that was before we had an influx of immigrants from all nations,cultures and religions who chose to not integrate with our society

      I call bull on this.

      It would be like me going to a Muslim country and demand they give Christianity equal billing. Well,maybe not exactly the same.

      How about “not at all the same?”

      Now that are where we are,I see your point but it’s going to take a lot more than removing government from holidays to bring us together. In fact,I don’t see it doing anything of the kind. It will cause more anger and more division.

      In the short term, you are most definitely correct. “Persecuted Christians” are already coming out of the woodwork whenever the idea of not continuing their special treatment is brought up. In the long term though, it seems necessary.

      • I think TGT has this right, Karla. The Founders invoked God a great deal, but it was more for ceremony and tradition than genuine belief much of the time, and to appeal to the general public. I can’t begin to separate the conviction from the PR, but the invoking of God as being on the side of America and its ideals was as pragmatic and shrewd, as well as conventional, as it was anything else. The Judeo-Christian values that underlie the nation’s ideals may have a religious origin, but it is clear that the Founders didn’t want the government favoring one religion over another, and the fact is, it still does.In the long run, it would be better to get it out of the equation. I see no more reason to say the the US is a Christian country than to say it’s for white people.

        • I didn’t mean to insinuate that the Founders favored one religion over another but merely they didn’t see Christianity as something that needed to be snuffed out of public life. A Christian could run for public office,not disguising that fact and there was no fear he would attempt to establish a theocracy. Since the general public at that time was predominately Christian and that tradition has carried forth to this day is it really surprising to see that Christians hate to see their culture being dismantled?
          I think the Constitution is a good document written by the people of that time,ratified when needed but still applicable today. A Christian culture created it.

          • I didn’t mean to insinuate that the Founders favored one religion over another but merely they didn’t see Christianity as something that needed to be snuffed out of public life.

            Define “public life.” Then talk about Jefferson.

            A Christian could run for public office,not disguising that fact and there was no fear he would attempt to establish a theocracy

            That’s because, unlike Perry and Bachmann, they recognized the separation of church and state.

            Since the general public at that time was predominately Christian and that tradition has carried forth to this day is it really surprising to see that Christians hate to see their culture being dismantled?

            First, the tradition that is being dismantled is the religious influence into government. Nobody is dismantling traditions of citizens, even group celebrations.

            That said, nobody is surprised that a class of privileged people is upset that they are losing some of the privilege.

            I think the Constitution is a good document written by the people of that time,ratified when needed but still applicable today.

            Agreed. It does have flaws, but it has a mechanism to correct them.

            A Christian culture created it.

            1) Technically…kind of, but
            2) Pointless. A Christian culture also created Hitler.

            The constitution was created by people of the time. That many of them happened to be Christian is irrelevant.

        • Jack,what’s wrong with white people? Do our crimes surpass those of other races? Maybe in scope but not severity. There are many Christians throughout the world of which whites only make up a percentage. I’m talking true Christians here. Christianity is made to cover a wide range of people who actually aren’t.

          • Jack didn’t impugn white people. He noted that though a large majority of the populace was white, the country was not built to be a whites-only nation.

            I’m talking true Christians here.

            “true Christians” is a nonexistent distinction. It allows you to declass all those whose beliefs do not align with yours or whose beliefs would counter your argument. If you want to play this game though, I suspect you’ll lose most, if not all, of the founding fathers.

            • “true Christians” is a nonexistent distinction.
              Of course there’s a distinction. Christian literally means follower of Christ. If you think Hitler was a follower of Christ you’d better check up on the life and teachings of Jesus.

              • Define for me what a “true christian” is? By your logic, the Catholic church wasn’t christian during the crusades or inquisition. Hell, the Catholic church isn’t christian NOW (covering up clergy abuse is most definitely not “true christian”).

                • And I’ll note that it doesn’t matter. They are still religious and rely on faith. Once you are willing to believe things without evidence (even contrary to the evidence), then you are at risk for doing some pretty horrible things.

                • No,I don’t believe the Catholic church is Christian. I think there are Christians within the Catholic church though. The leaders during the inquisition weren’t for sure. The worship of Mary,praying to the saints,going to a priest to confess your sins,forbidding to marry,etc.wasn’t taught nor was it practiced by the first church. In fact much of this stuff was taught against. Many things were adopted from pagan religions to try and make Christianity palatable.

                  • That’s very much the “no true scotsman” fallacy. But lets ignore that for a second. Can I get an up or down vote on the christianity of the following positions:

                    * being gay is a choice
                    * gay marriage should be banned
                    * tattoos are wrong
                    * condoms are ungodly
                    * the rhythm method of birth control is wrong
                    * giving to charity after budgeting your desires
                    * self defense if attacked
                    * the immaculate conception was the birth of jesus
                    * believing the world is billions of years old
                    * believing in unicorns
                    * prosecuting law breakers
                    * eating meat on fridays

                    How many beliefs can you be in errancy with before you are no longer a Christian?

                    • Ones that go against the teachings of the Bible. I don’t believe people are born gay otherwise the Bible wouldn’t say it’s sin. Some people are born intersexed but that’s a different matter.
                      Gays should be able to marry since this is as much a state institution as a religious one. What gays do is none of my or anybody else’s business. Non-Christians are not required nor can they live a Christian life.
                      Tattoos aren’t wrong. If it is in the old testament,that law wouldn’t apply to Christians.
                      Condoms are fine as is the rhythm method and the pill.
                      Charity can be given any which way.
                      Self defense,defense of ones family is a good thing.
                      Jesus was born to a virgin.
                      No one knows exactly how old the earth is. 6000 seems way too young. I would think millions at least.
                      Unicorns…no.
                      Law breakers should be prosecuted.
                      If you think eating meat on Fridays is wrong then it’s wrong for you.

                    • Karla. Believe it. People are born gay. The Bible’s writers had no idea about genetics, DNA, or any of that. It doesn’t matter what the Bible says about homosexuality, because it was dealing from ignorance. It is an ancient taboo in small tribal societies because of the rule of universality—if everyone is gay, the tribe dies out, and it was assumed that homosexuality was volitional, so that was a theoretical possibility, or seemed so. Now we know it isn’t.

                      It is ironic—a great book that has so much wisdom in it is diminished by those who insist that its proven fallacies still apply—making it idiotic. We still read Aristotle, but he believed a lot of garbage and superstition he didn’t have the benefit of a couple thousand years of experience and knowledge. He was still amazingly perceptive, but we put aside his mistakes—if we didn’t, it would taint the whole. Respect for the Bible will continue to weaken unless its counter-scientific assertions are properly dismissed as the product of their primitive times.

                    • Yes,I know the ancient people didn’t have benefit of modern science and if there is a physiological difference in gay people I’m open to believing they’re born that way. However the Bible does state that God’s creation male and female to be mated together. This is considered the norm. I’m not anti-gay though. In fact,as far as sex sin goes I have a gripe against adultery.
                      As for other aspects of science I have to stick with my guns. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin,God being His Father. I can’t compromise on that because it is a core belief and core beliefs aren’t open for conjecture among Christians. If it fails the science test so be it.
                      It isn’t important that the Bible be respected outside of Christian circles. It’s not my job to convince anyone that the Bible is true. My job is to state what I believe and if you choose to accept it,wonderful…if not there’s nothing more I can do. I don’t want to debate with tgt anymore because he isn’t truly interested in being persuaded.

                    • However the Bible does state that God’s creation male and female to be mated together.

                      Still looking for this in the new testament. I didn’t see you reply to my query on this matter.

                      As for other aspects of science I have to stick with my guns. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin,God being His Father. I can’t compromise on that because it is a core belief and core beliefs aren’t open for conjecture among Christians. If it fails the science test so be it.

                      You just showed the problem with faith: “core beliefs aren’t open for conjecture among Christians. If it fails the science test so be it.” You just said that if something is known to be false, it doesn’t matter, you’re still going to believe it.

                      I don’t want to debate with tgt anymore because he isn’t truly interested in being persuaded.

                      I think you missed something. I’m interested in reality. I’m interested in valid arguments. If you have any of those, I’m in. If not, then you have no basis to complain about being called irrational.

                    • “However the Bible does state that God’s creation male and female to be mated together.

                      Still looking for this in the new testament. I didn’t see you reply to my query on this matter.”
                      2 Tim.3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..”
                      “You just showed the problem with faith: “core beliefs aren’t open for conjecture among Christians. If it fails the science test so be it.” You just said that if something is known to be false, it doesn’t matter, you’re still going to believe it. ”
                      We believe since God created everything it can be His prerogative to operate outside the boundaries of natural laws He set in motion. Psa.19:1 John 11:41-43
                      “Unfortunately, you created a Jesus that breaks old testament law whenever he wants to and who’s words cannot be trusted (is he following law he doesn’t believe, or is he saying what he does believe?) ”
                      Jesus wasn’t just a man. As I said before He had the power to forgive.2 Cor.3:6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” His whole purpose in coming was to deliver us from the curse.Gal.3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
                      God loves a cheerful giver,the Bible says. You aren’t to give at all if you give begrudgingly.2 Cor.9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
                      “Charity: Your comment goes against Jesus’ teachings. See Luke 20:45-21:4. You should give first. Anything above your needs should be given.” Yes,and this was still under the old dispensation (old testament) of which Jesus Himself observed up until His death and resurrection.

                      “If you’re going to cheat, I might as well not bother. Jesus had a clear message, but you’re going to throw it out because he said it prior to the resurrection? By this logic, we can ignore everything he said, as he was just following old testament law that did not apply after he died. We don’t have anything left.”
                      That’s not cheating. Once Jesus died and resurrected a new dispensation began. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the law.You said,”I thought you said that Christians don’t follow the old testament.” No,I said we didn’t follow the Old Testament/Mosaic law. See 2 Tim.3:16 again.
                      Matthew 5:38“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’g 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. ”
                      Cheek striking isn’t talking about self defense but insults .Striking the cheek was like spitting in the face.
                      Luke 22:36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” When Peter sliced off a man’s ear it wasn’t for an action of self defense Jesus rebuked him but for trying to instigate a revolt.
                      Can we stop now,Tgt?I’m not going to change your mind about me or what I believe. I’m not a scholar nor am I a debater. I don’t begrudge people of what they believe as long as they show me the same courtesy.

                    • created to be mated
                      Okay, the old testament is all true, but not the laws. This will be fun.

                      Jesus words before resurrection
                      Your response isn’t a response. I pointed out one place where you said that Jesus had to follow old testament law and another where you have Jesus clearly violating old testament law. Both incidents occur prior to the resurrection. Saying the law applied until the resurrection doesn’t answer this problem.

                      old testament law vs. old testament
                      The 10 commandments are clearly old testament law, so they are not part of the Christian tradition, then, right? In the other direction, you have to still believe the Adam & Eve story and all of Genesis, even though we know them to be false.

                      self defense vs. insults
                      I don’t think so. Luke 6:27-31 backs me up on this.

                      Stopping
                      Any time. You’ve already backed yourself into a corner. Anyone who reads the exchange should be able to see this.

                    • No I haven’t backed myself into a corner. You either can’t understand what I’m saying or you choose not to. 1 Cor.1:18 For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved.

                    • No I haven’t backed myself into a corner.

                      Two of your statements:

                      1) “Yes,and this was still under the old dispensation (old testament) of which Jesus Himself observed up until His death and resurrection.” — Jesus followed all old testament law.
                      2) “Yes,it was OT law to stone her. But Jesus also had the power to forgive sin which he did.” Jesus failed to follow old testament law.

                      If that’s not a corner, then corners do not exist. You have said that Jesus followed all old testament law (even when it would change with his death), unless he felt like breaking it. We therefore cannot determine which actions and statements following OT law were due to the requirement to follow the law, and which were teachings we need to follow post-resurrection. Basically, we can’t trust a word that Jesus said.

                      You either can’t understand what I’m saying or you choose not to.

                      I understand perfectly what you’re saying. It’s just logically invalid.

                      1 Cor.1:18 For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved.

                      While biblical quotes can be used to show the internal consistency or inconsistency of the bible and whether or not a follower actually follows, they are useless in characterizing nonbelievers.

                    • Karla,

                      You claim to throw out the old testament completely. Considering Jesus said that the old testament is the Word of God, by your own definition (following the teachings of Christ), you are not Christian. (Cite: http://www.greatcom.org/resources/reasons_skeptics/ch_06/default.htm)

                      * Gay: Jesus doesn’t mention gay people at all. Only Paul mentions them, and only only briefly in lists of people he doesn’t particularly like. It’s the old testament that is anti-gay.
                      * Tatoos: Got it. No old testament.
                      * Birth control: Got it.
                      * Charity: Your comment goes against Jesus’ teachings. See Luke 20:45-21:4. You should give first. Anything above your needs should be given.
                      * Self Defense: Again, against Jesus’ teachings. Matthew 5:39. At best, you could say the bible is self contradictory on this point.
                      * Immaculate conception: Wrong. The immaculate conception was that Mary was conceived without sin, not that Jesus was born of a virgin.
                      * Age of earth: Science does say billions, but since you dont follow the old testament, it doesn’t matter.
                      * Unicorns: They’re in the old testament only.
                      * Prosecution: Again, you’re going against the teachings of Jesus. John 8:7.
                      * Meat on Friday: Trick question. There’s no mention of not eating meat on Fridays anywhere in the bible. The Catholic Church decreed this in the middle ages to help the Spanish fishing industry.

                      Looks like you’re not a real Christian.

                      In reply to your last response to Jack, where does it say in the new testament that man and woman were created to be mated together? That’s not one I know or have been able to find with a couple google searches.

                    • The fact that the Constitution is one of the greatest documents of all time and that many of it’s writers were Christian is relevant. Hitler would never come up with something like this.
                      You say I don’t follow the teachings of Jesus therefore I’m not a Christian. Hitler surely did not follow the teachings of Jesus yet you insist he was one.
                      Yes,Jesus didn’t mention gays and Paul did. Paul was also an ambassador for Christ who met the risen Christ. All Christians at that time gave deference to Paul as God’s mouthpiece. There are some laws in the OT that were applicable only up until the advent of Christ’s resurrection. who said He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He also said all the law and prophets are wrapped up in two commandments,Love your God and love your neighbor. You obey those and you are obeying the law. This would cover tatoos,body piercings,birth control,eating of meat sacrificed to idols,etc.
                      God loves a cheerful giver,the Bible says. You aren’t to give at all if you give begrudgingly.2 Cor.9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
                      “Charity: Your comment goes against Jesus’ teachings. See Luke 20:45-21:4. You should give first. Anything above your needs should be given.” Yes,and this was still under the old dispensation (old testament) of which Jesus Himself observed up until His death and resurrection.
                      The Bible says Mary had known no man when she conceived Jesus.””The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” Matt.1:23
                      “* Self Defense: Again, against Jesus’ teachings. Matthew 5:39. At best, you could say the bible is self contradictory on this point.” This isn’t self defense,it’s revenge. We aren’t to take the law into our own hands. It has nothing to do with shooting the knee caps off someone trying to harm me or my loved ones.
                      The age of the earth could be billions as well as the rest of the universe. Genesis seems to suggest that the earth we live on now wasn’t the original but could have been hit by comets or some other disaster at least once before,hence the extinction of the dinosaurs.
                      I don’t know what is meant by the word translated as unicorns. I’ll look it up later.
                      “* Prosecution: Again, you’re going against the teachings of Jesus. John 8:7.” Yes,it was OT law to stone her. But Jesus also had the power to forgive sin which he did.

                    • The fact that the Constitution is one of the greatest documents of all time and that many of it’s writers were Christian is relevant. Hitler would never come up with something like this.

                      The reason that the religious affiliations of the writers of the constitution are irrelevant is that the constitution is a one-off event. That many of them were Christian says nothing about Christianity…just like that Hitler was Christian says nothing about Christianity.

                      In reference to the document itself, the religious traditions and culture of the writers is important, but the document doesn’t say anything about the religious traditions.

                      You say I don’t follow the teachings of Jesus therefore I’m not a Christian. Hitler surely did not follow the teachings of Jesus yet you insist he was one.

                      You’re misplacing statements. I think that both Hitler and you are Christian. You averred your Christiantity, but you denied Hitler’s Christianity because he didn’t follow all the teachings of Jesus. I noted that, by your definition, you are also not Christian. Either both you and Hitler are Christian (my definition), or neither of you are and Christian is pretty much a worthless term (your definition).

                      Yes,Jesus didn’t mention gays and Paul did. Paul was also an ambassador for Christ who met the risen Christ. All Christians at that time gave deference to Paul as God’s mouthpiece. There are some laws in the OT that were applicable only up until the advent of Christ’s resurrection. who said He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He also said all the law and prophets are wrapped up in two commandments,Love your God and love your neighbor. You obey those and you are obeying the law. This would cover tatoos,body piercings,birth control,eating of meat sacrificed to idols,etc.

                      I can’t find anything coherent here.


                      God loves a cheerful giver,the Bible says. You aren’t to give at all if you give begrudgingly.2 Cor.9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
                      “Charity: Your comment goes against Jesus’ teachings. See Luke 20:45-21:4. You should give first. Anything above your needs should be given.” Yes,and this was still under the old dispensation (old testament) of which Jesus Himself observed up until His death and resurrection.

                      If you’re going to cheat, I might as well not bother. Jesus had a clear message, but you’re going to throw it out because he said it prior to the resurrection? By this logic, we can ignore everything he said, as he was just following old testament law that did not apply after he died. We don’t have anything left.


                      The Bible says Mary had known no man when she conceived Jesus.””The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” Matt.1:23

                      And that is completely irrelevant to the Immaculate Conception. Maybe you should wikipedia it.


                      “* Self Defense: Again, against Jesus’ teachings. Matthew 5:39. At best, you could say the bible is self contradictory on this point.” This isn’t self defense,it’s revenge. We aren’t to take the law into our own hands. It has nothing to do with shooting the knee caps off someone trying to harm me or my loved ones.

                      It is exactly about that. Do not fight back. Jesus’ crucifixtion is this lesson. It doesn’t matter that they are wrong; it doesn’t matter that they are hurting you. You must receive the damage openly.

                      The age of the earth could be billions as well as the rest of the universe. Genesis seems to suggest that the earth we live on now wasn’t the original but could have been hit by comets or some other disaster at least once before,hence the extinction of the dinosaurs.

                      I thought you said that Christians don’t follow the old testament.

                      I don’t know what is meant by the word translated as unicorns. I’ll look it up later.

                      I’m going to say unicorns. It’s only one of the fantastical creatures in the old testament.

                      “* Prosecution: Again, you’re going against the teachings of Jesus. John 8:7.” Yes,it was OT law to stone her. But Jesus also had the power to forgive sin which he did.

                      You said that Jesus followed old testament law until he was resurrected, but here, he broke them. Oops.

                      Even ignoring the faith aspects of your beliefs, you have demonstrated that your beliefs are irrational. In an attempt to rationalize one behavior (the teachings on giving) you created a rule that you directly contradicted while rationalizing a second behavior (the teachings on worldly prosecution). Much like the definition of Christianity, you can’t have it both ways.

  3. And what’s wrong with quoting the Founders? They are antiquated and best swept under the rug having nothing to teach us? They of all people would know how our Constitution applied don’t you think? You’re the one who’s lost.

    • We can quotemine back and forth at each other. Should I note that during the constitutional convention, the delegates did not pray with each other (which some of them customarily would have done) and that Franklin used prayer as a joke to spur his colleague’s to action?

      Should I point out that Adams also said “Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”

      Yet that is directly contradicted by the bill of rights?

      Individual quotes are essentially useless in this discussion.

  4. Jack,would you agree that there is some degree of hostility against Christians? I’ve felt it even when I’m trying to be fair. Not here but other blogs I’ve read or participated in. Not as much as the “War on Christianity” crowd says but it’s definitely there. I guess that’s to be expected. We are pretty dogmatic about some things although non-Christians are to.

    • I believe that, and I’ve posted on it. It is genuine hostility from much of the press and popular culture, Christians are quite literally the only religious group that the media and popular culture mock with impunity, and largely without good humor. Christians are frequently portrayed as, and believed to be, fools and bigots by nature. One sees this in the area of sports..it is not unusual to read bloggers who profess to “hate” athletes like Curt Schilling and Tim Tebow, only because of their outspoken Christian beliefs, Christians are right to feel besieged, and I do understand how it is hard for them not to feel that efforts to get their faith out of the public square isn’t motivated by the same bigotry. And some of it IS motivated by anti-Christian bigotry,,,which doesn’t make it the wrong position.

      • I disagree with this. I see more mockings of Christianity, but I don’t see it out of place relative to it’s size. Shows like South Park, the Simpsons, and Family Guy regular mock other religions with impunity.

        You also are generalizing. Can you point me to any evidence that Christianity is attacked with impunity and without good humor, but no other religions or groups are accked with impunity and are only attack with good humor?

        I’m calling even more BS on the hositility front. The media tends to bend over backwards to NOT show christianity as crazy. Have you read the “on faith” section of the washington post?

        …motivated by the same bigotry

        Um…believing someone is an idiot for believing in a magical sky fairy is not bigotry. You wouldn’t call it bigotry if I mocked people that honestly believe Zeus is walking among us.

        You’re framing of your comment is assuming your conclusion.

        • I know you’re immune to perceiving this, but I have no dog in this hunt, and the same kind of ridicule that is treated with horror when applied to Jews, Muslims and others is routine on TV for Catholics, Evangelicals and Christians generally. It just is—it doesn’t bother you because you think its fair and justified. You cited three animated shows—they can also ridicule racial stereotypes, the elderly, women and gays. The rules are very different for cartoons….that’s WHY they are cartoons.

                  • Um…how did you get that? What I said wasn’t in the least bit bigoted or pushing for bigotry. I want a female villain to be a villain who happens to be female instead of an evil, bad woman…you know…just like male villains.

                  • I was referring to “And I think it’s progress when we ridicule people equally.” Did you mean yourself as well? Personally I don’t think ridiculing people is very constructive. I don’t like when people say things like,”All Christians are…” or “All Mexicans are…or “I think Jews are…” That’s what I mean by labeling. You assume because a person belongs to a certain religion,race,etc. that they all have the negative character traits of some.

                    • I was referring to “And I think it’s progress when we ridicule people equally.”

                      So, treating everyone equally is bigotted?

                      Did you mean yourself as well?

                      If I do something worthy of ridicule, go ahead.

                      Personally I don’t think ridiculing people is very constructive.

                      No, normally it’s not. So what? In general, movies, tv shows, and other mass entertainments are not constructive.

                      I don’t like when people say things like,”All Christians are…” or “All Mexicans are…or “I think Jews are…” That’s what I mean by labeling. You assume because a person belongs to a certain religion,race,etc. that they all have the negative character traits of some.

                      I have not claimed that “All [anything]” have the negative character traits of some of the [anything]. Please give me an example.

                      Note that I can (and do) say that trait X, required to be a member of [anything], is common to all people who claim to be [anything]. For example, to be christian, you have to have faith. Faith is (by definition) irrational. Guess what? If you’re christian, you’re irrational.

        • You mean I have a problem with unfalsifiable arguments and false equivalencies? Yup.

          Your “some degree of hostility against Christians” is just as bad as the common accommodationist statement “new atheism is hurting science education.” It’s stated as fact…but no sourcing is ever given. Well, there was a source for the latter once. The “Tom Johnson” affair. I’ll let you find how that turned out for yourself (**SPOILER** It wasn’t good for the accomodationists).

          The “Both sides do it” is another accomodationist weasel position. Pro-secular society groups are rigid in not allowing religion (of all stripes) in government. Pro-christian groups are rigid in pushing unfounded beliefs over reality and actually persecuting people for their pro-secular positions.

          • Hmm,I thought I was being reasonable. You assume I fit into a mold with my comments and tag me with labels. I know there is hostility because I have personally experienced it. Is that substantiated enough for you? I am not of the privileged class. I’m poor by American standards,quit school when I was 15. Anything I’ve learned has come from living experience and independent study on my part. My views are valid. Being a Christian doesn’t invalidate them. I’m open to learning and admitting when I’m wrong. If I believe strongly that I’m right I try not to make my adversary feel inadequate because they don’t agree with me. I think it’s unfair to lump all Christians together and analyze us as if we aren’t individuals who do have opinions and views of our own. A Christian culture did not create Hitler. if you look into it further you’ll find Christianity had nothing to do with the creation of Hitler. How do you feel about Muslims? Do you lump them all together also? It’s frustrating for my Muslim friends. It’s assumed they are terrorists. They tell me the violent Islamists aren’t true Muslims.

              • While I did violate the letter of Godwin’s law, I don’t believe I violated the spirit of it. I was pointing out the absurdity of judging a cultural tradition based on one-off events.

            • Hmm,I thought I was being reasonable. You assume I fit into a mold with my comments and tag me with labels.

              Where have I been labeling you? I’ve been attacking each of your invalid, fallacious, and pointless statements individually.

              I know there is hostility because I have personally experienced it. Is that substantiated enough for you?

              Absolutely not. See the Tom Johnson affair.

              I’m poor by American standards,quit school when I was 15. Anything I’ve learned has come from living experience and independent study on my part.

              Completely irrelevant to anything… unless you’re trying to create an ignorance defense.

              My views are valid. Being a Christian doesn’t invalidate them.

              No, and I haven’t claimed it does. Being a christians does mean you are irrational, but it doesn’t invalidate any specific arguments. That’s why I’ve been attacking each on its own merits.

              I’m open to learning and admitting when I’m wrong. If I believe strongly that I’m right I try not to make my adversary feel inadequate because they don’t agree with me.

              Are you accusing me of something? I’m not trying to make you feel inadequate. Pointing out flaws in your argument and your fallacies is attacking your argument and statements, not you.

              I think it’s unfair to lump all Christians together and analyze us as if we aren’t individuals who do have opinions and views of our own.

              Of course you all have independent opinions, but you share faith, which is enough to mark you as irrational.

              A Christian culture did not create Hitler. if you look into it further you’ll find Christianity had nothing to do with the creation of Hitler.

              Hitler was a christian. Germany was a christian country. Hitler referenced the bible as basis for his beliefs. Some citations: http://nobeliefs.com/hitler.htm

              These statements by you are another reason I can’t trust your statement of your experiences.

              How do you feel about Muslims? Do you lump them all together also? It’s frustrating for my Muslim friends. It’s assumed they are terrorists. They tell me the violent Islamists aren’t true Muslims.

              Depends on what we’re discussing. Not all muslims are terrorists, but they’re all irrational, just like christians. The violent fundamentalists are true muslims and the pacifist muslims are true muslims. Both sets of beliefs are equally irrational.

                • tgt you are a bully.

                  If you think attacking your arguments is bullying, then it’s no wonder you think there’s a general hostility toward christians.

                  I’ve encountered your kind before and it’s a waste of time trying to talk to you.

                  Congratulations, you’ve realized I won’t be swayed by your anecdotal, undocumented evidence, misuse of history, invalid aspersions, and straight up lying.

                  Psychology has a term for people like you but I don’t recall what it is.

                  Rationalist?

  5. As an atheist I’ve never understood other atheists desire to insult or belittle Christians nor do I understand why Christians tend to see the country recognizing other faiths celebrating their religious holidays as an attack on Christianity. What makes people get so pissed off that others don’t share their beliefs? I was raised Catholic and was taught that a person secure in their own beliefs doesn’t attack another beliefs bit instead tries to live his life in such a way that it serves as an example of their beliefs.
    As to the holidays who cares if they want to close or not? If they can still educate their students that’s all that matters.

    • I think Jack is right. We should all be able to celebrate our respective holidays with leave from work without government involvement. I would like folks to become Christians of course but I don’t believe in shoving it down their throats or ostracizing them because they don’t believe as I do. They shouldn’t be required to pray or be involved of any other religious activity by state mandate. I think you were taught well,Bill. And I do recognize the fact that there are Christians who get on their high horse and do more harm than good,driving people away and turning them against Christians.

      • with leave from work

        So long as the government doesn’t force employers to give them paid time off, I’m actually in agreement with your entire comment.

      • The problem I see is that are a great deal of people who self identify as Christians who don’t follow his teachings but instead are soley locked in the Old Testament. I define someone as a Christian who follows Christ’s teachings. If someone is spewing hate and bile and saying they are a Christian it doesn’t make it, so and I won’t identify him as one.

        • Garrr. Christ’s teachings are different to every Christian I have ever met. You’ve just defined Christian as “someone I agree with.”

      • I will just quote you.

        “Um…believing someone is an idiot for believing in a magical sky fairy is not bigotry. ”

        “Not all muslims are terrorists, but they’re all irrational, just like christians.”

        Don’t bother responding. As has been said before you are a bully and I have no time for people like you. The bad thing about the Internet is it gives a forum to bullies like you to vent and spew without any repercussions.

        • Let me enter a defense for my friend tgt. He is a hard-nosed debater, and pulls no punches, but usually fair, and I believe he contributes a great deal here. On the one topic of religion, his zeal sometimes—often?—slides into antagonism and intransigence. Every time a post sedges into that area, I find myself thinking, “Oh, brother, here we go.” He has the ability, which I think is crucial here, to adjust his opinion. Not on that topic though. We all have a few unshakable convictions. There are some respected participants here, for example, who feel that way about my absolute rejection of 9-11 conspiracy theories.

          And I pity them.

          • Hey! hey! I am absolutely willing to adjust my opinion on religion. If there is evidence for Yahweh or Zeus or Loki or Ganesha, I’m in. I follow the evidence. It’s possible that a greater being has created our universe, but so far, the evidence is ridiculously stacked against it.

            What I will not compromise on is a need for valid arguments with supported premises.

            If you have evidence and valid arguments, want to know. If your arguments consist of equivocation, misrepresenting history, strawmen, moving the goalposts, and other formal and informal fallacies, I’ll shred them and note that nothing is left.

            For example, after I was challenged on Hitler being a product of a Christian culture (without a citation), I went and googled to make sure I was correct. Yes, Hitler was raised a Christian in a nation that was overwhelmingly Christian. He fit the bill just as well as the founders. When I pointed that out, my opponent moved the goalposts (informal fallacy) to saying Hitler was not a “true christian”. Besides being irrelevant (I was making a point about one-off events in Christian cultures), it, itself, is a fallacy (no true scotsman).

            Yes, I am brusque when dealing with invalid arguments, especially when they already have well known responses, but I try not to directly attack my opponents. (If/when I do, please call me out on it.) I just don’t see any need in sugar coating my responses. I will not lend credence to ridiculous positions by tiptoeing around reality.

        • “Um…believing someone is an idiot for believing in a magical sky fairy is not bigotry. ”

          Is there an insult or belittling here? If an adult told you the moon was made of green cheese, you wouldn’t say that’s idiotic?

          “Not all muslims are terrorists, but they’re all irrational, just like christians.”

          If someone believes things contrary to the evidence, they are irrational. If you think it’s insulting and belittling to accurately describe something, you’re lost to the PC police.

          Don’t bother responding. As has been said before you are a bully and I have no time for people like you.

          That’s an attempt to shut me down instead of engaging on the merits. Ironically, THAT is bullying.

          • Tgt,there’s nothing I can share with you that Christian apologists haven’t already written volumes on and I think you’re the type of person who,even if God Himself took you to Heaven,showed you around,answered all your questions,you still wouldn’t believe. You’d say you were hallucinating or something. Regardless of what you think of me I like you. I don’t know why. Oh,and thanks for taking back the “lying”.

            • there’s nothing I can share with you that Christian apologists haven’t already written volumes on

              I haven’t found a single volume that actually has valid arguments. Could you point me to an apologietic that actually succeeds? If so, and if I can refute said argument, are you willing to agree that there are no existing valid apologetics that keep a Christian God? (I made this same challenge to my extremely religious godfather last Spring. His first attempt failed miserably. I gave him a do-over, but now I’ve been waiting for 5 months.)

              I think you’re the type of person who,even if God Himself took you to Heaven,showed you around,answered all your questions,you still wouldn’t believe. You’d say you were hallucinating or something.

              If this did occur and God actually had logical answers for how and why the world appears to be ungodly, I’d switch to belief. Not because I didn’t think I was hallucinating, but because I would have a logical argument to base my belief on. Of course, this wouldn’t be faith.

              Regardless of what you think of me I like you. I don’t know why.

              Because I’m as cool as the other side of the pillow? Maybe it’s cause I’m French.* Most of my family holds irrational and idiotic beliefs, but that doesn’t come between us. I even married a girl who fit that description.

              Oh,and thanks for taking back the “lying”.

              Yea. I felt bad about that. I realized how wrong that was while I was away from the internet. My “may have been wrong” was a hyperbolic understatement.

              * Not actually French.

              • I don’t think I can answer your questions any better than your godfather or the apologists. You are right,faith is required but if I didn’t experience any difference in my life from being a Christian I wouldn’t be one. I could say the world is a mess because God hasn’t created robots. People are free to do as they will with the world God gave them. He didn’t promise Christians a rose garden either as the martyers could attest if they were alive to do so. There’s more to life than the physical and I can attest to that but then you would probably say I’m dillusional so I can’t win. The only way you will be convinced is if the Spirit of God makes you uncomfortable enough to want to see what God is. Nobody comes to god unless they feel drawn. I fought that drawing. I think most do.
                Sorry for the preaching,Jack. I didn’t know how else to go about answering.
                Tgt,can we give it a rest? If you really wanted to know about these things I’d be happy to do a word study or do whatever it takes (in another forum than Jack’s blog). But I don’t think you want answers as much as you want to air your grievances and I don’t like hitting my head against a wall. 🙂

                • You are right,faith is required but if I didn’t experience any difference in my life from being a Christian I wouldn’t be one.

                  Confirmation bias. Placebo effect.

                  Tgt,can we give it a rest? If you really wanted to know about these things I’d be happy to do a word study or do whatever it takes (in another forum than Jack’s blog). But I don’t think you want answers as much as you want to air your grievances and I don’t like hitting my head against a wall.

                  I’m always up for a good religious discussion, and offline might be the way to go. Jack, could you pass my email along to Karla?

          • tgt, I think the issue here is that your statements imply that religious people are stupid in general, when really, much of the historic power of religion comes from the fact that it can get otherwise rational people to believe in really stupid things (kind of like politics).

            • Oops. For the record, having religious faith does not necessarily mean that you are generally stupid, nor does it invalidate your other opinions. I did not intend to state that. I was unclear, and I apologize.

              I’d like to note again that it’s not religion, per se, that I have a problem with. It’s any form of belief without evidence: homeopathic medicine, astrology, mediums, etc… Religion just has considerably more followers and is treated with kid gloves compared to other baseless beliefs.

    • We were too deep in the thread. Fortunately, I took it to mean ALL. Unfortunately, you created a Jesus that breaks old testament law whenever he wants to and who’s words cannot be trusted (is he following law he doesn’t believe, or is he saying what he does believe?)

  6. old testament law vs. old testament
    The 10 commandments are clearly old testament law, so they are not part of the Christian tradition, then, right?
    The major point of difference between these two laws is the way they were recorded:

    Exodus 31:18, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

    No one can confuse the Ten Commandments writing with the way the Mosaic law was produced:

    Deuteronomy 31:9, “And Moses wrote this law.”
    When it’s said Christians aren’t under the law it means not under the Mosaic law. The Mosaic law was for the Jews and their converts under the old dispensation.
    Striking the cheek in those days WAS the highest form of insult and it was comparable to being spit on.Luke 6:27-31 is not addressing self defense at all. This has nothing to do with someone trying to kill you but people who are unkind. As I have shown above,Jesus told His disciples to carry a sword.
    As far as Jesus observing the law,when Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” He basically revealed to the crowd that He is the ultimate Judge, not the Pharisees (or anyone else, for that matter).

    • Jack, what happened to comment threading. It doesn’t appear as if our comments are getting attached properly.

      old testament law vs. old testament
      You claim that the 10 commandments are different from Mosaic law, and then claim that Jesus was only talking about Mosaic law. This second premise is unsupported. Can you show me where in the new testament Jesus separates out the 10 commandments as keepers but the rest of the law as dead? I can’t find it.

      self defense vs. insults
      Did you read 6:27-31? After nearly identical language to Matthew, Luke goes on to talk about not defending your property. Clearly, this isn’t about insults.

      Jesus and the law
      As far as Jesus observing the law,when Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” He basically revealed to the crowd that He is the ultimate Judge, not the Pharisees (or anyone else, for that matter).

      Okay… but that’s irrelevant. He told all the people there not to follow the law right then, but that law still needs to apply until the resurrection.

      • “You claim that the 10 commandments are different from Mosaic law, and then claim that Jesus was only talking about Mosaic law. This second premise is unsupported. Can you show me where in the new testament Jesus separates out the 10 commandments as keepers but the rest of the law as dead? I can’t find it.”
        Jesus doesn’t specify until after the resurrection through His disciples. I don’t know if He spoke directly to them prior to that.
        Acts 10:9The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour[a] to pray. 10And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”
        This was essentially telling Peter the Mosaic law wasn’t to be observed any longer.Gal.3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
        self defense vs. insults
        I wasn’t talking about defending your property but your life. In those days if a Roman soldier(your enemy) demanded you do something you did it. Matt.5:41″If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” Roman soldiers would often nab someone to carry a load for them. Of course,enemy could apply to other people as well but Jesus used that example knowing that the Jews would know who he was talking about,the enemy they had despised the most…the occupiers.
        Jesus and the law
        Maybe I’m not explaining myself well. Since we believe Jesus is fully God and fully man you’ll find that His speech and actions will vacillate between one and the other. The man observed the law but when He was acting as God He could operate outside those boundaries just as God told Christians they need not obey the Mosaic law anymore. It’s God’s prerogative and He made the law for man,not for Himself since He is already perfect or mature.

        • old testament law vs. old testament
          You’re serious? The comment that animals that were considered unclean are now clean is your evidence for the invalidation of all mosaic law, but not the 10 commandments? That’s a leap beyond reason.

          Gal.3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

          You realize that this quote is pro-law post resurrection, right? People still need to be lead to Christ.

          self defense vs. insults
          I wasn’t talking about defending your property but your life.

          The comments about property make it clear that the previous phrase is not about insult, but actual physical attack.

          Jesus and the law
          Maybe I’m not explaining myself well. Since we believe Jesus is fully God and fully man you’ll find that His speech and actions will vacillate between one and the other. The man observed the law but when He was acting as God He could operate outside those boundaries just as God told Christians they need not obey the Mosaic law anymore. It’s God’s prerogative and He made the law for man,not for Himself since He is already perfect or mature.

          When is Jesus acting as God and when is he acting as man? That’s not in the text, so we’re still left with the same problem. We don’t know which statements and actions we need to follow and which ones we don’t.

          Should I mention that this is a clear backtrack on your part, from “Jesus always follows the law” to “Jesus doesn’t always follow the law”

            • old testament law vs. old testament
              There are several references. Certain animals were unclean under the law. This wasn’t just about animals either.Acts 10:28 He(Peter) said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.
              I found a gay Christian site that does an excellent job of explaining this-
              http://www.gaychristian101.com/Leviticus.html
              Gal.3:24 “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith”. This was addressed specifically to Messianic Jews,people who observed the old law letting them know that since Christ died and resurrected the Mosaic Law was fulfilled. Those who continued in the old law did so in vain because “know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” Gal.2:16
              self defense vs. insults
              I wasn’t talking about defending your property but your life.

              The comments about property make it clear that the previous phrase is not about insult, but actual physical attack.
              You say that because you don’t understand the culture of that time.
              Jesus and the law
              We follow Jesus’ statements whether He says them as man or God.John 12:49 “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. ” This statement is made by the man,Jesus.Since He says nothing other than what God told Him to say we follow His words. He does speak more as the man because He wants to set an example for His followers as to how they,as people,should live.
              Here’s a pssage I cut and pasted explaining His also speaking as God-
              “Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” When first encountered, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, when we look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “For a good work we stone thee not; replied the Jews, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33). Now we see an actual claim. The Jews understood Jesus’ statement to be a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

              John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. ” Again, in response, the Jews take up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Why would the Jews want to stone Jesus if He hadn’t said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God? John repeatedly tells us of the Lord’s connection to “I Am”. See John: 4:26, 8:24, 8:28, 8:58,and 13:19. The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus “..is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:15-17)
              “Should I mention that this is a clear backtrack on your part, from “Jesus always follows the law” to “Jesus doesn’t always follow the law”
              Jesus the man always followed the law. The law was for human beings.

            • Sorry Jack. Do you want us to stop? Since I got the notion that tgt really wanted to understand I’ve been doing my best to accommodate him. Whether or not I’m up to the task is another question. I’m not a scholar.

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