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rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
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I had a great time going to church and then going with my family out to the beach. It was a really refreshing day. Rotor~ I hope you had a good day, too. I am glad you have your opinions and in this free country we're still allowed to have them (so long as they are politically correct for the most part) We started out as a quasi christian nation and a lot of holidays got written into the law. I don't see why it is so very necessary to try to ruin that. My point was that every time you strip our nation of some of its historical culture, we seem to turn out the worse for it. Let's add holidays, not subtract them!

The Federal government does not have any holidays at Easter. You are doing exactly what many Christians try to do. You are erroneously claiming a right to Christian holidays based on American tradition. This is simply a case of rewriting history to suit your views.

Christmas was not even a government holiday until the late 1800's. The federal government has no holiday around Easter and the states which recognize Good Friday only did so in the late 1940's and early 1950's. In God we Trust on our money and Under God in the pledge were only put in in 1954. So where is this great tradition of Christianity in our country. The truth is that Christians are trying to rewrite the history of our country to validate their beliefs.

From the first Treaty which our country ever signed with a foreign country.
"As the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility of Musselmen; and as the states never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever produce an interruption of harmony existing between the two countries. "

This was passed unanimously by the senate and signed by the president in 1797. It was published in the press at the time. There is no record of any dissent by the public and no political fallout as a result of passing this treaty. So where was all of this christian heritage in 1797?

In fact all of our christian heritage was created after World War 2 as a result of our national fight against the godless communists in the Soviet Union. This is nothing more than revisionist history.

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 12:41 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
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Today was a great day. It was all about family, Christian and non Christian alike. Everyone had the day off. They camped, went out on their boats, cleaned,swimmed, worked in the yard and my neighborhood is still having a party. I hear them all laughing and playing music. Smiles were the order of the day. What is there to complain about. Everyone was smiling and happy. I loved seeing all the people dressed in their Sunday best. Who cares why we had a holiday. Today was wonderful. Roto, I hope you enjoyed your day as well and loved all the happy people.

Exactly what does all of this have to do with the discussion? Yes I had a great time. Got together with friends, had great food and good company. That has nothing whatsoever do do with whether of not Christians should be given preferential treatment when it comes to our holidays. I am sure Muslims have a great party at the end of Ramadan but does that mean that we should make it a holiday?

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 12:45 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Oh dear, I guess Rotor saw another chance to try to get the Christians all riled up since it's Easter. Yaawwn.

Have a very happy Easter to all the Christians on the island! Such a beautiful place to celebrate.:)

Christians are so easy to get riled up. They think that they are entitled to special treatment and get very upset when someone suggests that maybe they should be treated like everyone else. Times are changing. Intelligent people are becoming less superstitious.

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 12:49 am
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

I think you are so easy to rile up. Live and let live roto. I wouldn't care if the government named a holiday for people who flew little green helicopters. Relax. In the grand scheme of life does it really matter. That is what makes this country so great. Tolerance. Why do we need a law for everything. Especially here. Quit hating John. Let people believe whatever they want to believe. You can still be superior with your great intellect. You can smile till you die thinking you are smarter than everyone. Who knows. Maybe you are. I for one don't care.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 12:59 am
stephyjh
(@stephyjh)
Advanced Member

Times are changing. Intelligent people are becoming less superstitious.

Nope. Just less blatantly prejudiced against those who believe something different. I happen to worship the same goddess that my ancestors in Ireland worshiped before the time of Christ, and I resent deeply the implication that my spirituality somehow makes me less intelligent. You yourself cite very non-specific "double blind studies" claiming that prayer doesn't do anything. Either it does nothing, or it reduces our intelligence--pick a message and stick with it, please, unless you're running for some kind of office.

I'm quite happy to see that two others have mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli and would recommend for further reading any of Jefferson's letters for those who are interested.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 1:48 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
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I think you are so easy to rile up. Live and let live roto. I wouldn't care if the government named a holiday for people who flew little green helicopters. Relax. In the grand scheme of life does it really matter. That is what makes this country so great. Tolerance. Why do we need a law for everything. Especially here. Quit hating John. Let people believe whatever they want to believe. You can still be superior with your great intellect. You can smile till you die thinking you are smarter than everyone. Who knows. Maybe you are. I for one don't care.

I'm not sure how to respond to this. Previously in this thread I have discussed ideas and asked questions. Questions which I consider thought provoking. I do this to foster discussion. I have not attacked anyone personally.

You on the other hand, in your last two posts seem to be interested in simply shutting down the discussion. You do not mention any of the ideas being discussed or give your views on the topics being discussed. You make personal attacks against me without even knowing me. You have decided that I rile easily, that I hate people, that I am intolerant and that I think that I am smarter than everyone else. We have never even met. You obviously have a problem with my helicopter since you bring it up every chance you get. Did you ever consider commenting on the topic of whether or not the US Constitution prohibits religious holidays or whether or not prayer works or just makes the people doing the praying feel better? Instead you attack me.

I simply enjoy discussing religion and spirituality. Instead of discussing this topic and presenting counter arguments to statements that I make you instead attack me and try to turn the discussion to the things that you don't like about me. You seem to think that ideas are harmful and should not be discussed and if I do it is because I hate everyone. I don't hate anyone and I like to discuss this topic. We might not all agree but we should be able to discuss the topic without resorting to personal attacks. If you don't want to discuss this topic then why are you here?

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 2:57 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Times are changing. Intelligent people are becoming less superstitious.

Nope. Just less blatantly prejudiced against those who believe something different. I happen to worship the same goddess that my ancestors in Ireland worshiped before the time of Christ, and I resent deeply the implication that my spirituality somehow makes me less intelligent. You yourself cite very non-specific "double blind studies" claiming that prayer doesn't do anything. Either it does nothing, or it reduces our intelligence--pick a message and stick with it, please, unless you're running for some kind of office.

I'm quite happy to see that two others have mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli and would recommend for further reading any of Jefferson's letters for those who are interested.

I was simply trying to point out that in the modern world more and more people are relying on scientific explanations to explain natural phenomena rather than supernatural explanations. We now understand that the Sun is just a star, like many others, and not a god driving his chariot across the sky. I myself feel more comfortable with explanations which are arrived at through observation and verified through experimentation rather than explanations which are pure speculation and cannot be verified.

The fastest growing religious group in the US is NONE.

As far as correlations between intelligence and religiousness please see. http://kspark.kaist.ac.kr/Jesus/Intelligence%20&%20religion.htm . This website contains references to articles in Scientific American, Nature and Skeptic magazine. It also references many studies which have taken place over the past 100 years. Their conclusions -

"The consensus here is clear: more intelligent people tend not to believe in religion. And this observation is given added force when you consider that the above studies span a broad range of time, subjects and methodologies, and yet arrive at the same conclusion.
This is the result even when the researchers are Christian conservatives themselves."

The full conclusion is at the bottom of the web page. References are included on the page.

As for the effect of prayer. If you had read the reference which I provided earlier. http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/important.htm you would have found explanations of studies conducted to determine the effectiveness of prayer.

If you disagree with these sources why attack me? Why not argue the data, present evidence which refutes the result of these studies. I would love to see evidence that prayer works, show me that I am wrong! I would love to see a true miracle, One that is verifiable. I never have.

Please argue the ideas without resorting to personal attacks.

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 3:38 am
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member

Roto...Come on ...you know why you started this thread..?..so you could slink your your way back into a "discussion " on that dead horse you like to ride...Religion......Your expansive and wealth of knowledge on the subject...t( I only said that cause I think you like to hear it) is tiresome and if being an atheist works for you ...great...but I for one think you need to expand that powerful brain of yours beyond Religion and smoking and tackle something else since you 've mastered those two subjects. Why don't you wow me with coastal erosion or reef decay....and now you'll say I'm attacking you...Nope ...just an obvious observation;)

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Posted : April 5, 2010 3:39 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
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Roto...Come on ...you know why you started this thread..?..so you could slink your your way back into a "discussion " on that dead horse you like to ride...Religion......Your expansive and wealth of knowledge on the subject...t( I only said that cause I think you like to hear it) is tiresome and if being an atheist works for you ...great...but I for one think you need to expand that powerful brain of yours beyond Religion and smoking and tackle something else since you 've mastered those two subjects. Why don't you wow me with coastal erosion or reef decay....and now you'll say I'm attacking you...Nope ...just an obvious observation;)

And again not a single comment on the topic, only personal attack. If the topic bothers you so much then why are you torturing yourself by reading it?

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 3:43 am
Paula
(@paula)
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Somebody needs attention......;)

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Posted : April 5, 2010 4:30 am
Edward
(@Edward)
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[I'm quite happy to see that two others have mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli and would recommend for further reading any of Jefferson's letters for those who are interested..

Good advice! Jefferson went through the King James Bible and redacted those parts that claim divinity for Jesus of Nazareth. TJ considered Jesus to be a wise, ethical, and compassionate person, but not a god.

The American Founders were, for the most part, decidedly not "Christians," as we commonly understand that term today.

I see no problem celebrating the contributions of Jesus, just as we celebrate the contributions of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Both embraced and advocated for the least among us.

Just a perspective.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 4:44 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

One of my favorites.

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 5:22 am
Jim72
(@Jim72)
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All men are created equal

Thomas Jefferson ( one of the largest slave owners in Virgina)

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Posted : April 5, 2010 12:03 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

As I see it. Even if the Christian Holidays were challenged legally The challenger would win a hollow victory. The Govt. would just rename them and it would continue.

What about Christmas? I can't imagine the amount of energy that has been expended in that matter. Atheism (for me) is a condition of live and let lie. This nation was born of Christian ideals, there is no gong back. The reality is that all our money says "in god we trust", the flag is saluted "one nation under god and on and on. Why get hung up on it. It doesn't matter. I have no control. I do have some control and exert it whenever I feel strongly enough about local matters like sewage dumping on Long Reef, recycling, medical marijuana and whatever other political action motivates me. C'est la vie.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 12:15 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

I think you are so easy to rile up. Live and let live roto. I wouldn't care if the government named a holiday for people who flew little green helicopters. Relax. In the grand scheme of life does it really matter. That is what makes this country so great. Tolerance. Why do we need a law for everything. Especially here. Quit hating John. Let people believe whatever they want to believe. You can still be superior with your great intellect. You can smile till you die thinking you are smarter than everyone. Who knows. Maybe you are. I for one don't care.

I'm not sure how to respond to this. Previously in this thread I have discussed ideas and asked questions. Questions which I consider thought provoking. I do this to foster discussion. I have not attacked anyone personally.

You on the other hand, in your last two posts seem to be interested in simply shutting down the discussion. You do not mention any of the ideas being discussed or give your views on the topics being discussed. You make personal attacks against me without even knowing me. You have decided that I rile easily, that I hate people, that I am intolerant and that I think that I am smarter than everyone else. We have never even met. You obviously have a problem with my helicopter since you bring it up every chance you get. Did you ever consider commenting on the topic of whether or not the US Constitution prohibits religious holidays or whether or not prayer works or just makes the people doing the praying feel better? Instead you attack me.

I simply enjoy discussing religion and spirituality. Instead of discussing this topic and presenting counter arguments to statements that I make you instead attack me and try to turn the discussion to the things that you don't like about me. You seem to think that ideas are harmful and should not be discussed and if I do it is because I hate everyone. I don't hate anyone and I like to discuss this topic. We might not all agree but we should be able to discuss the topic without resorting to personal attacks. If you don't want to discuss this topic then why are you here?

Sorry John, I am just being an a hole about the helicopter because it gets such a rise out of you.;) I do have some very strong opinions on religion, politics, health care and many other things but I completely respect other peoples rights to believe what they will. I consider it pointless and rude to bully others into believing the way I do by siting studies that questioning their intelligence by having such beliefs. I completely respect your rights to express your opinion.

As for me, I have had so many experiences with the strange and unexplainable that I just go with the flow.

As to the original question. I don't know what the answer is. I guess the most powerful lobbyist will decide the outcome. In my business I try to give every consideration to a persons cultural and religious beliefs. If they are Jewish and want a holy day off I try and accommodate them. Same with days such as MLK. It doesn't harm me and makes a much happier working environment.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 1:03 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Rotor,

The problem is you are trying to have a logical discussion about something that is inherently illogical. Most people are very logical but they carve out this one little niche for the supernatural and call it religion. Most generally don't want to defend it on a logical basis, they just want to "have faith" and "believe" in it. So to try to discuss it logically is not a discussion they even want to really have.

Fortunately in the US their superstition doesn't really affect me in any material way, just as my lack of superstition doesn't really affect them. I don't spend much time reading money so "In God We Trust" doesn't bother me. I never said the words "Under God" in the pledge in school...had they forced me to there would've been an issue but this never happened to me growing up. There are so many bigger violations of our rights in this country that are much more blatant and actually do affect me daily so I guess I pick and choose my battles.

So other than some lost tax dollars, as an atheist I don't get riled up about the government getting Good Friday off any more than I get riled up about the other 28 holiday's they get.

Sean

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Posted : April 5, 2010 2:33 pm
antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
Advanced Member

lessee, Rotorhead: The reason Columbus sailed west was not, as we are taught in the propaganda factories to find a trade route. According to his diary, it was to spread the gospel of Christ. The capitol building in Washington was used as a Christian church up until the Civil war. Thomas Jefferson (your favorite atheist Mason) attended services there on January 3, 1802 just 2 days after he penned his famous "church and state" letter. The bible and Dr. Watts' hymns were used in many early schools to teach reading. The graves of hundreds of thousands of soldiers who died to keep our country free are in the shape of the Christian cross, not a muslim crescent or an atheist slab. The first laws of this country were based on Christian principles and precepts. Obviously, many of our founding fathers were Masons and deists, not specifically Christian. ON the other hand, many others WERE Christian. Christianity is inextricably entwined with our history and our roots, whether you like it or not. When you and your ilk rip out the 10 commandments from a courthouse lawn or try to get "In God We Trust" off the coinage, you may be legally correct, but you are also taking away from the history of this nation. Looking at the lack of ethics in government, particularly here in the VI, looking at the lack or moral character in Wall street businesses, and in the banking system that has trashed our economy, looking at so many schools that have given up the Bible and replaced it with metal detectors....and the list goes on.....I don't think you have done us any good service.

As to your studies that appear to show that more intelligent people are less religious is a flawed study. It seems to fail to make a pertinent observation: the atheistic socialists have taken over education for years and have propagandized our children from kindergarten on up. They have done everything in their power to promote atheistic thought and to laugh at anything that smacks of spiritual belief. Those scholars who do try to talk about God often find themselves without tenure and without a job for refusing to follow the politically correct group-think. In the USSR and in communist China, you could be shot for admitting you believed in Christ. Here you just get laughed at. What "intelligent" scholar would respond to a study survey, I ask you, that showed to the world that he believed in anything spiritual if it meant he might lose his job? And don't you dare cast asparagus at my intelligence!;)

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Posted : April 5, 2010 2:59 pm
stephyjh
(@stephyjh)
Advanced Member

Nearly all of the founding fathers were slaveholders, too. Should that be celebrated and encouraged to continue? There are a lot bigger issues here than getting a day off. As I said, I don't have a problem with taking a day off for someone else's religious holiday, and if they want to take a day off for mine, more power to them! It's the assumption that everyone should be Christians and that Christians are somehow Very Special Snowflakes with rights that the rest of us don't have, simply because certain figures through history have been Christian, that is deeply and horribly wrong. Until something sets me off, I don't generally go into public discussion of my religion, particularly here on campus, because in many instances it's just not safe. I've actually been assaulted for it on one occasion by a person who decided a "witch" didn't belong on campus, and when I reported it I was met with a shrug of the shoulders and "She says it didn't happen that way" rather than investigating. The person assigned as my roommate at the beginning of the semester refused to share a room with me and tried to get me thrown out of the dorms for it. A member of UVI's "Christianity Club" tried to physically force me to attend a religious service that was held in the cafeteria at mealtime. So excuse me if I think that a day off in the name of a religion I don't practice is the least of my worries.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 3:56 pm
rks
 rks
(@rks)
Advanced Member

What a pleasant rehash of the usual circular arguments. It's heady stuff, the tyranny of the minority. How they will crow when the post office closes on Eid al-Fitr.

And, it's cite, people. See, Eye, Tee, Eee. Cite.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 3:58 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

This nation was born of Christian ideals, there is no gong back.

Oh, my, class! Someone hasn't been paying attention.

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Posted : April 5, 2010 4:27 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Edward, I have never been good at understanding sarcasm. meaning?

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Posted : April 5, 2010 5:26 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

Bombi and all,

Not sarcasm, but an observation. There have been many posts in this thread demonstrating that the founders did not intend that the United States be a Christian nation, nor were Christian ideals included in the key founding documents (Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, Constitution, etc.). This has been essentially the thrust of a number of prior posts.

The evidence is overwhelming, but some folks cling to the delusion that the United States was founded on Christian ideals.

I'm not even sure what a nation "born of Christian ideals" means in the context of the United States Constitution and, most especially, the "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment. As a baptized, confirmed, and life-long Lutheran, I think I have some understanding of Christian ideals, and I see precious little of such ideals in American governing documents or practice, now or over the past two centuries.

One could argue with greater historical accuracy that the "ideals" on which the United States was founded, and continues, has more to do with Athenian principles, Iroquois nation rules of governance, and Adam Smith's "invisible hand" than "Christian ideals."

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Posted : April 5, 2010 5:57 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

oh

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Posted : April 5, 2010 6:17 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

The first laws of this country were based on Christian principles and precepts. Obviously, many of our founding fathers were Masons and deists, not specifically Christian. ON the other hand, many others WERE Christian. Christianity is inextricably entwined with our history and our roots, whether you like it or not. When you and your ilk rip out the 10 commandments from a courthouse lawn or try to get "In God We Trust" off the coinage, you may be legally correct, but you are also taking away from the history of this nation. Looking at the lack of ethics in government, particularly here in the VI, looking at the lack or moral character in Wall street businesses, and in the banking system that has trashed our economy, looking at so many schools that have given up the Bible and replaced it with metal detectors....and the list goes on.....I don't think you have done us any good service.

I wonder where this idea came from? Our founding documents only refer to religion in the negative sense. The establishment clause of the first amendment which prohibits the government from endorsing any one religion over others and the prohibition against religious tests for public office. These have been thrown out the window by Christians. What other religions holidays have been made public holidays? You mention the 10 commandments. They should be thrown out of our government. 4 out of the 10 have nothing to do with ethical behavior and more to do with respecting the christian god. Why should a government which specifically prohibits endorsing a particular religion want to have things like "Thou shalt have no other gods before me", "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images or bow down unto them", "Thou shalt not take the lords name in vain" and "Remember the sabbath and keep it holy". What do these have to do with a non-religious government?

As to the "In God we Trust" on our money and "Under God" in our pledge, these were only added in 1954 so how does removing them have anything to do with our history and heritage. As far as ethics in our government, what about ethics in the church? Ignoring the whole catholic pedophile priest thing, look at the major scandals in the large protestant churches, if you want details I can give many pages of examples. How can you hold the bible as a beacon of moral behavior? You mention the 10 commandments, that is Exodus 20, have you read the very next chapter? Exodus 21 is where god condones slavery and specifies the rules on how to treat your slaves. Do you condone slavery or do you ignore that part of the bible? I don't think that the bible ever rescinded its support for slavery.

As to your studies that appear to show that more intelligent people are less religious is a flawed study. It seems to fail to make a pertinent observation: the atheistic socialists have taken over education for years and have propagandized our children from kindergarten on up. They have done everything in their power to promote atheistic thought and to laugh at anything that smacks of spiritual belief. Those scholars who do try to talk about God often find themselves without tenure and without a job for refusing to follow the politically correct group-think. In the USSR and in communist China, you could be shot for admitting you believed in Christ. Here you just get laughed at. What "intelligent" scholar would respond to a study survey, I ask you, that showed to the world that he believed in anything spiritual if it meant he might lose his job? And don't you dare cast asparagus at my intelligence!;)

Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you think that the earth was created 6500 years ago? Do you believe that it was created in 6 days? Do you believe that dinosaurs co-inhabited the earth with humans? Are these the kinds of things that you believe should be taught in our schools?

The studies which show an inverse correlation between IQ and religiousness have less to do with learned knowledge and more to do with native IQ. They point out that the more inquisitive and skeptical a person is the less they tend to be religious. People who expect reasoned answers based on observed data instead of religious dogma tend to be less religious. Do you really believe the Noah flood story or do you find yourself having to make excuses for many of the lame stories in the bible? Noah actually had 2 of every species on the planet on his ark? How big was this boat? Did he have a shrinking machine? I know it was magic. Some of us can't accept that explanation and can't imagine that kind of fantasy being taught in our schools.

How will kids who grow up believing in fantasy compete with kids who grow up learning math and science?

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Topic starter Posted : April 5, 2010 9:16 pm
antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
Advanced Member

Oh, rotorhead, how to respond, how to respond? I assume you realize that at the beginning of our nation we had lots of varieties of Christian groups. We also had a repugnance toward state religion as in England which was used to coerce the populace among other things. Nevertheless, there was a general recognition that there was a supreme being to whom we are all accountable. My take is that we should not incoporate religious laws into our country, but we should allow the free expression of religious thought in the common discourse. Someone felt it was important to put the 10 commandments in stone in a courthouse. Why is it necessary to remove it. I say again, your non-religious world has really gone to the dogs--look at all the violence, family problems, babes out of wedlock, and moral malaise just here in the VI.

As to your "'Christian questions", we've discussed all that before, but I will tell you what I really think. No, I don't think the earth was made 6500 years ago, but I am likewise not convinced that it is billions of years old either. I suspect the basic premises for judging the age of the earth and the universe will be found faulty. I reserve judgment. I am not impressed with science's accuracy in this matter. The flood: There is ample evidence of a world wide cataclysm which would correspond to the biblical account of the flood. The same account appears in almost all if not all ancient cultures. Do you really believe a flood did NOT happen? Was Noah real? Possibly. Did he have 2 of every animal? No, he had 2 of every "kind" of animal. We call that family these days....as in kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. Maybe he just took 2 from every class or order. Who knows. Can't be proven either way so it's a foolish argument.
Dinosaurs and man? There is credible evidence that at least some dinosaurs existed during man's walk on earth. (fossil foot prints of humans and dinosaurs together.) Should they be taught in our schools? In places with open minds, it would be good to stretch those minds and look at a number of options. Is evolution the answer? Look at how much that theory has changed since Darwin first proposed it. Perhaps evolution is less credible than you thought? Are you certain it is correct? This is enough of rabbit trailing for me. Have a good night and .....may God bless!

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Posted : April 5, 2010 11:55 pm
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