A disheartening state of affairs: homosexual-hating Christians.

My heart is grieving when I’m reading such things about the situation in Uganda and other African countries.

 

Why the surprise at learning how much evangelicals hate gay people?

There’s been a lot of chatter around the Internet lately from Christians who, thanks to the World Vision debacle, have been surprised to learn just how deeply the evangelical right despises gay people.

How can that possibly be a surprise to anyone? Where in “You’re going to hell because God deplores you!” does anyone see even a hint of affection or respect?

The evangelical right’s attitude toward gay people has always been about pure hatred. The Bible’s just an excuse (and a shallow one at that) for that hatred.

The difference between the Westboro Baptist hate-mongers and the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant body in the United States) has never been a difference of substance; it’s only been a difference in style.

Why does anyone think that so many of us out here have been fighting so hard for so long to bring a new and freaking better Christianity into the world? LGBT people get beaten. They get killed. They get spat upon. They get run over. They get doused with gasoline and lit on fire. They get bullied so ferociously that they kill themselves rather than suffer another moment of it.

Those things don’t happen sometimes. They don’t happen every once in a while. They happen all the time, all over the world. And it’s all perpetrated in the name of Christianity. If you believe that the Bible teaches God condemns to hell all “unrepentant” gay people, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every gay person you saw? Doing so would be doing God’s work, by extending God’s will into the world. That’s what Christians are supposed to do.

We need a new Christianity. And we need it now. (I defined one, by the way. This shit’s not complicated.) And I think one of the first things we also need to do is be very clear about the fact that no one who believes that God finds gay people morally reprehensible is, in fact, a Christian.

They’re just not, okay? Saying “I’m a Christian, and gay people are going to hell” is like saying, “I’m a feminist, and women should remain pregnant and obey their husbands,” or “I’m not a racist, and white people should own black people.” One automatically cancels out the other.

No one gets to declare that they follow the Prince of Peace while at the same time declaring that gay people deserve to be burned alive forever. I don’t care who you are, or how respectable you pretend to be: that pig doesn’t fly. Ignorant bigotry is ignorant bigotry, whether it’s wearing a tie or not. I know it. You know it. And God sure as hell knows it.

To quote Jesus (quoting Isaiah):

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

To which Jesus then adds his own words:

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.

This is a war, folks. It’s always been a war. It was a war when the evangelicals said the Bible supports slavery. It was a war when they said the Bible supports denying women the vote. And it’s a war when they say the Bible condemns homosexuality.

In a war people choose sides. They have to, because they realize that not doing so will only cause more death and suffering.

If you’re a Christian who is just now realizing that you are part of the problem if you don’t refute the Christian right with anywhere near the vigor with which they so horrendously persecute gay people, then hallelujah for World Vision’s ignorant cowardice.

The middle ground is where people fall and die. Stop standing there. Come to our side. Join us in fighting the good fight. We who know that the Bible does not condemn gay people will win this fight, because God is always on the side of what is right and just.

The sooner you join the winning team, the better for all. And most certainly the better for you, should you have to, say, answer to God tomorrow for why you waited.

And make a NALT video already.

I don’t hate Conservative Evangelicals. I don’t feel (in general) that I am a better person than them. But I am so worn down after seeing what they are doing in Christ’s name.

John Shore is right that if you believe that God is going to eternally torture most homosexuals, why should we not as well tolerate and even support violence against them?
I am disgusted by the Conservative evangelical attitude towards homosexuals and how they fail to consider Jesus priorities.

I want them to repent and sincerely begin to try loving their gay neighbors.

I pray for all Gays, Christians and non-Christians, who are being persecuted for the way they were born. May the Father equip you with courage.

And I pray that God’s love will be poured down into the hearts of their oppressors.

 

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How NOT to be a progressive: using the law to shut down your opponents

My regular readers know that I am deeply engaged for fostering tolerance towards homosexuals and overcome the notion that a committed and loving gay couple is necessarily wicked.

Bild

That said, I am often put off by the reprehensible strategies the liberal lobby use for promoting this desirable goal.

 

One recent example from Canada caught my intention:

 

University bars sexual intimacy that ‘violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman’

Trinity Western University students must sign a covenant recognizing the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.

Trinity Western University students must sign a covenant recognizing the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has voted 28 to 21 against the accreditation of Trinity Western University’s proposed new law school in B.C.

The vote means graduates from the B.C. university would not be able to practise in Ontario.

“Benchers took this issue very seriously, and did not find it easy to reach a decision,” said the Law Society of Upper Canada’s treasurer, in a written statement.

“As members of the legal profession, we recognize the entrenched values of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Ontario’s Human Rights Code, including the right of equality and the right to freedom of religion, and the foundational nature of those rights to our democracy.”

Trinity Western University students must sign a strict Christian covenant governing behaviour, including abstaining from sexual intimacy “that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Critics say the covenant essentially bans anyone in a gay relationship from enrolling in the school.

Earlier this month, the West Coast Legal Education Action Fund, a non-profit organization founded to ensure women’s equality rights under the law, argued against the university law school’s accreditation in B.C.

But the B.C. Law Society voted to accredit the school. 

B.C. Law Society decision challenged

However, that fight isn’t over.

Michael Mulligan

Victoria lawyer Michael Mulligan is trying to overturn the Law Society’s earlier decision by gathering enough signatures to trigger a rare special general meeting. (CBC)

Earlier this month, Victoria criminal lawyer Michael Mulligan launched a petition to trigger a vote to overturn the decision.

This week, Mulligan announced he had collected and submitted more than 1,000 signatures from B.C. lawyers opposed to the decision, more than twice the number required to trigger a vote.

That means the society has 60 days to hold a special general meeting to allow all members vote on the recent decision.

 

Mulligan believes the vast majority of lawyers take issue with the university’s covenant, which he says is at odds with a core principle of the lawyer’s oath to uphold the rights and freedoms of all according to the law, and will vote against it.

“Some of the benchers, while they spoke about finding the policies of this school as being, as I’ve indicated, as abhorrent and objectionable, some of them cast their vote thinking there was a legal requirement to do so.

“But the majority of the benchers in Ontario disagreed with the majority here, so it may well be influential.”

In December, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada gave Trinity Western University preliminary approval for its law school program and said it was up to provincial law societies to decide whether to recognize degrees from the school.

 

It is one thing to require from Canadian judges to sign a statement according to which they pledge to impartially apply Canadian laws, even if they find some of them objectionable.

But it is quite another thing to take legal measures for hindering or even preventing the employment of people having moral objections against Gay marriage, even if this might never play out during their professional life.

Imagine now a graduate from this university having no strong feelings on this issue and UNABLE to find a livelihood because his or her degree is no longer recognized.
Is it not an unjust punishment? Is not likely to turn her into a very resentful person?

By acting like this, the slaves of political correctness (I’m unwilling to call them “progressives”) prove they are the foes of an open society. They clearly display a fascistic mindset.

And I think this is a slippery slope.

While I am against the legal prohibition of abortion, I expressed why I consider it morally wrong when the health of the mother is not endangered, expressing a feeling many progressive Christians have towards what has been called “pregnancy cessation”, especially if mentally handicapped children are killed in this fashion.

 

I would not be that astonished if in one or two decades, the European Union were to issue a directive banning people from public jobs if they express such a view on the ground that it (allegedly) violate the right of a woman to dispose of her body.

BildWelcome to our brave new world where totalitarian laws are used to enforce “fundamental liberties”.

 

 

 

 

 

Easter tale / Ostermärchen / Conte de Pâques

This is an Eastern tale taking place in my homeland, Lorraine.

Das ist ein Ostermärchen, das in meiner Heimat Lothringen stattfindet.

C’est un conte de Pâque qui se déroule dans ma terre natale, la Lorraine.

I advise you to first take a look at my Christmas tale with the same characters.

Ich empfehle Ihnen, sich erstmals meine Weihnachtsgeschichte mit den selben Helden anzuschauen.

Je vous conseil de premièrement lire mon conte de Noël avec les mêmes personnages. ????????????????????????????? Frederik was looking around in the surrounding forest.

Friedrich sah sich den umgebenden Wald um.

Frédéric regardait autour de lui dans la forêt qui l’entourait.

Awe-inspiring conifers were almost completely hiding the light of the sun and causing an unfathomable darkness, although it was a beautiful spring day.

Ehrfurchtgebietende Nadelbäume maskierten fast völlig das Licht der Sonne und verursachten eine beinahe unergründliche Dunkelheit, obwohl es ein schöner Frühlingstag war.

Des conifères grandioses masquaient presque complètement la lumière du soleil et causaient une obscurité insondable, bien que ce fût un beau jour de printemps.

He found it convenient for he was absolutely not able to enjoy the splendid weather.

Ihm kam es gelegen, denn er war gar nicht in der Lage, sich über das prächtige Wetter zu freuen.

Cela l’arrangeait car il n’était point en mesure de jouir de ce temps magnifique.

Indeed his heart was so broken and shattered that even the most joyous bird song could not change anything.

Denn sein Herz war so zerbrochen und zerschlagen, dass sogar nicht der fröhlichste Vogelgesang etwas daran ändern konnte.

En effet, son coeur était brisé et meurtri si bien que même le plus joyeux chant d’oiseaux ne pouvait rien y changer.

Two years ago, King Lewis XIII accompanied by his impressive army and Swedish troupes came into Lorraine.

Vor zwei Jahren kam König Ludwig XIII in Begleitung von seiner beeindruckenden Armee und schwedischen Truppen in Lothringen herein.

Il y avait deux ans de cela, le roi Louis XIII accompagné par son impressionnante armée et des troupes suédoises arrivèrent en Lorraine.

The so-called “righteous“ King of France wanted to subjugate the whole region in such a manner that his absolute domination would not be contested in the slightest way.

Der sogenannte „gerechte“ König von Frankreich wollte die ganze Region so unterjochen, dass seine absolute Herrschaft nicht im Geringsten bestritten würde.

Le prétendu « juste » roi de France voulait assujettir l’entière région de telle manière que sa domination absolue ne serait contestée de la moindre manière.

He plundered villages and towns, murdered not only the defending soldiers but also their mothers, fathers, children and toddlers and burnt down countless houses.

Er plünderte Dörfer und Städte, ermordete nicht nur die verteidigenden Soldaten sondern auch deren Mütter, Väter, Kinder und Säuglinge und brannte unzählige Häuser nieder.

Il pilla villages et cités, tua non seulement les soldats se défendant mais également leur mères, pères, enfants et nourrissons et brûla un nombre de maisons trop élevé pour pouvoir être compté. plundering_soldiers His dear Mathilde and their then three-year old daughter Bertrude were strangled in their home in Schorbach.

Seine liebe Mathilde und ihre damals dreijährige Tochter wurden in ihrer Wohnung in Schorbach erwürgt.

Sa chère Mathilde et Bertrude, leur fille de trois ans, furent étranglées dans leur maison à Schorbach.

At this time, he was fighting around in Epinal and was not there for protecting them to the death.

Er kämpfte zu dieser Zeit in Epinal herum und war nicht da, um sie bis zum Ende seiner Kräfte zu beschützen.

A cet instant il était en train de combattre autour d’Epinal et n’était pas là pour les protéger jusqu’à la fin de ses forces.

He buried them together with Father Frost, a surviving priest from the wasted village.

Er bestattete sie gemeinsam mit Vater Frost, einem überlebenden Priester des verwüsteten Dorfs.

Il les enterra avec l’aide du père Frost, un prêtre du village dévasté qui avait survécu.

The old clergy man had attempted to alleviate the terrible suffering of the young man’s soul but had to recognise he was utterly powerless.

Der alte Geistlicher hatte wohl versucht, das entsetzliche Leiden der Seele des jungen Manns zu lindern, aber er musste schnell anerkennen, dass er völlig machtlos war.

Le vieil ecclésiastique avait tenté de soulager la terrible souffrance de l’âme du jeune homme, mais il dut rapidement reconnaître son impuissance.

After two months, Frederik gave up completely his faith in a good God, for he could no longer reconcile it with the death of some many innocents.

Zwei Monate danach gab Friedrich seinen Glauben an einen guten Gott völlig auf, denn er konnte ihn gar nicht mehr mit dem Tod so vieler Unschuldigen in Einklang bringen.

Deux mois après, Frédéric renonça complètement à sa foi en un bon Dieu car il ne pouvait plus la concilier avec la mort de tant d’innocents.

Neither could he accept the fact that all these killings had been committed in His holy name.

Er konnte auch nicht die Tatsache akzeptieren, dass all diese Tötungen in Seinem heiligen Namen begangen worden waren.

Il ne pouvait non plus accepter le fait que toutes ces tueries furent commises en Son saint nom.

Now he considered very seriously the thought that there was perhaps no planning intelligence behind the creation he observed.

Er nahm nun sehr ernst den Gedanken, dass es vielleicht gar keine planende Intelligenz hinter der von ihm beobachteten Schöpfung gab.

Il considérait maintenant très sérieusement la pensée qu’il n’y avait peut-être pas d’intelligence ayant conçu la création qu’il observait.

However, his vital force was not completely quenched yet, for there was still something he hoped upon: Magonia, the land of the cloud wizards.

Dennoch war seine Lebenskraft noch nicht völlig erloschen, denn es gab noch etwas, worauf er hoffte: Magonia, das Land der Wolkenzauberer.

Cependant sa force vitale n’était pas encore complètement étouffée, car il avait encore un espoir: la Magonie, le pays des enchanteurs des nuages. magonia Many centuries ago, utterly confused people had allegedly reappeared several days after their disappearance, somewhere in the region of the French city of Lyon.

Vor vielen Jahrhunderten waren angeblich Menschen völlig verwirrt in der Nähe der französischen Stadt Lyon mehrere Tage nach ihrem Verschwinden wieder aufgetreten.

De nombreux siècles avant, des hommes et femmes complètements confus étaient réapparus dans la région de la ville française de Lyon, quelques jours après leurs disparition.

They told a really crazy story about a sky-ship and weird beings who had investigated them for a long time before liberating them so that they landed in a remote clearing.

Sie erzählten eine ziemlich verrückte Geschichte über ein Himmelschiff und seltsame Wesen, die sie lange untersucht hatten, bevor sie sie schließlich befreiten, sodass sie in eine entlegene Lichtung landeten.

Ils racontèrent une histoire réellement folle sur un véhicule céleste et d’étranges êtres qui les avaient longtemps examinés avant de les libérer si bien qu’ils étaient atterri dans une clairière isolée.

The superstitious people thought that they belonged to those magicians responsible for all storms occurring in the world.

Das abergläubische Volk dachte, dass sie zu jenen Zauberern gehörten, die verantwortlich für alle Stürme waren, die in der Welt geschahen.

Le peuple superstitieux pensa qu’ils appartenaient à ces magiciens responsables de toutes les tempêtes se déroulant dans le monde.

And so they almost immediately shouted “Witchcraft!” and were about to throw the first stones at them as Agobard, the Bishop of Lyon, stepped in.

Und so schrie es fast sofort “Hexerei!” und war dabei, auf sie die ersten Steine zu werfen, als Agobard, der Bischof von Lyon, eintrat.

Et ainsi les gens crièrent presque immédiatement: „Sorcellerie!“ et se préparait à leurs lancer les premières pierres lorsque Agobard, l’éveque de Lyon, intervenit. agobard He was a mighty and majestic man, whose aspect alone spawned fear almost inevitably.

Er war ein mächtiger und majestätischer Mann, dessen einfacher Anblick fast unweigerlich Furcht hervorrief.

Il était un homme puissant et majestueux dont le seul aspect provoquait presque inévitablement de la peur.

He rebuked the angry people and reminded them that natural phenomena were only caused by the Almighty God and could in no way be conjured up by beings of an inferior level.

Er wies das wütende Volk zurecht und erinnerte es daran, dass Naturerscheinungen allein vom allmächtigen Gott verursacht werden und keineswegs durch Wesen von einer unterlegenen Ebene heraufbeschworen werden können.

Il gronda le peuple et lui rappela que les phénomènes de la nature sont seulement causés par le Dieu tout-puissant et ne pouvaient d’aucune manière être provoqués par des êtres d’un niveau inférieur.

The once angry mob let its wrath as well as its stones fall on the ground and the incident was quickly forgotten as wandering robbers began to plague the region shortly thereafter.

Die früher wütenden Menschen ließen sowohl ihren Zorn als auch ihre Steine auf den Boden fallen und der Vorfall wurde schnell vergessen, da kurz danach herum wandernde Räuber begannen, die Region zu plagen.

La foule furieuse laissa tomber sa colère ainsi que ses pierres sur le sol et l’incident fur rapidement oublié car peu de temps après des brigands commencèrent à piller la région.

Frederik knew that the story was much more than an incoherent tale.

Friedrich wusste, dass die Geschichte vielmehr als ein zusammenhangloses Märchen war.

Frédéric savait que cette histoire était bien plus qu’un conte incohérent.

For in the whole history of Europe there had been so many such encounters that millions of books would not be sufficient for fathoming the phenomenon.

Denn in der ganzen Geschichte von Europa war es so oft zu solchen Begegnungen gekommen, dass Millionen Bücher nicht ausreichen würden, um das Phänomen zu erfassen.

En effet durant toute l’histoire de l’Europe, il y avait eu si souvent de telles rencontres que des millions de livres ne seraient pas suffisants pour percer à jour le phénomène.

Thus he was firmly determined to encounter himself the true wizards of the heaven in order to beg for their help.

Und so war er fest entschlossen, den wahren Zauberern des Himmels selber zu begegnen, um sie um ihre Hilfe zu flehen.

Et il était fermement déterminé à rencontrer lui-même les véritables magiciens des nuages afin de leur supplier de l’aider.

He did not know if they were benevolent creatures or deceitful demons.

Er wusste gar nicht, ob sie wohlwollende Kreaturen oder hinterlistige Dämonen waren.

Il ne savait point s’ils étaient des créatures bienveillantes ou de sournois démons.

This did not play a role anymore.

Das spielte keine Rolle mehr.

Cela ne jouait plus aucun rôle.

Without his family, his heart was ruined and his mind was constantly longing for death.

Ohne seine Familie war sein Herz zertrümmert und sein Geist sehnte sich ständig nach dem Tod.

Sans sa famille, son cœur était en ruine et son esprit soupirait incessamment après la mort.

Each of his movements was accompanied by an indescribable pain.

Jede seiner Bewegungen ging mit einer unbeschreiblichen Pein einher.

Chacun de ses mouvements était accompagné par une peine indescriptible.

Only the shadow of a man had been left of him.

Nur der Schatten eines Mannes war von ihm übrig geblieben.

Il était devenu l’ombre de ce qui avait été un homme. ShadowMan He did not have anything to lose and so he had started out searching for Magonia.

Er hatte gar nichts mehr zu verlieren und so hatte er sich auf die Suche nach Magonia gemacht.

Il n’avait plus rien à perdre et ainsi il s’était mis à chercheur la Magonie.

He was currently walking in the dark forest of Villers-Bettnach und was approaching the God-forsaken backwater village of Saint Bernard.

Er wanderte gerade durch den finsteren Wald von Weiler-Bettnach und näherte sich dem gottverlassenen Dorf von Sankt Bernhard.

En ce moment il marchait dans la sombre forêt de Villers-Bettnach et était en train d’approcher le village abandonné et perdu de Saint-Bernard.

King Lothar saw such a heavenly ship above him as he was hunting in the same area.

In der selben Gegend sah König Lothar ein solches Himmelschiff über ihm, als er jagte.

Dans le même coin secteur le roi Lothaire vit un jour un vaisseau céleste au-dessus de lui alors qu’il était entrain de chasser. Flying_Ship_Forest The apparition left a real and tangible anchor before flying on.

Die Erscheinung hinterließ einen realen und fassbaren Anker, bevor sie weiter flog.

L’apparition laissa une ancre bien réelle et tangible avant de voler plus loin.

Much more interesting for Frederik was the fact that one week ago Robert, a peasant who was a friend of him, sighted something similar in the sky.

Viel interessanter für Friedrich war die Tatsache, dass vor einer Woche Robert, ein befreundeter Bauer, etwas ähnliches gesichtet hatte.

Bien plus intéressant pour Frédéric était le fait que avant qu’une semaine auparavant, Robert, un paysan qui était son ami, avait aperçu quelque chose de similaire dans le ciel.

The old man glanced at a light point in the sky which was apparently hovering 500 meters above the ground.

Der alte Mann blickte auf einen Lichtpunkt am Himmel, der anscheinend 500 Meter über dem Boden schwebte.

Le vieil homme regarda à un point lumineux dans le ciel qui planait apparemment 500 mètres au-dessus du sol.

Then the object flew slowly towards the right before it departed almost vertically at a breathtaking speed.

Das Objekt flog dann langsam nach rechts, bevor es fast senkrecht dazu mit einer atemberaubenden Geschwindigkeit davon flog.

Et puis l’objet vola doucement vers la droite avant de partir presque verticalement avec une vitesse époustouflante.

Frederik’s friend lost nearly consciousness after the weird spectacle was over.

Friedrichs Freund verlor beinahe sein Bewusstsein, nachdem das Schauspiel der besonderen Art vorüber war.

L’ami de Frédéric perdit presque sa conscience après que le spectacle étrange fût fini.

Frederik knew that Robert was a trustworthy and down-to-earth man so that he believed his story, however outlandish it might appear to be.

Friedrich wusste, dass Robert ein vertrauenswürdiger und bodenständiger Mann war und so schenkte er seiner Geschichte Glauben, wie unglaublich sie auch immer erscheinen mochte.

Frédéric savait que Robert était un homme fiable pied-à-terre et ainsi il croyait son histoire, même si elle semblait complètement folle.

He hoped that the beings would come back and bring him to the stars where Mathilde and Bertude were waiting on him.

Er hoffte darauf, dass die Wesen zurückkommen und ihn nach den Sternen bringen würden, wo Mathilde und Bertrude auf ihn warteten.

Il espéraient que ces êtres reviendraient et l’amèneraient vers les étoiles où Mathilde et Bertrude l’attendaient.

He sighed.

Er seufzte.

Il soupira.

He had been wandering several hours throughout the woods without sensing anything out of the ordinary.

Er war schon mehrere Stunden lang durch den Wald herum gewandert, ohne irgendetwas Ungewöhnliches zu spüren.

Il avait erré plusieurs heures à travers le bois sans remarquer quelque chose sortant de l’ordinaire.

The smell of the fir trees flowing to his nose could no longer reach his heart and enlivened it, as it had previously always done.

Der auf seine Nase zuströmende Duft der Tannen konnte gar nicht mehr sein Herz erreichen und erheitern, wie es früher immer der Fall gewesen war.

Le parfum des sapins parvenant à son nez ne pouvait plus atteindre son cœur et le soulager comme cela avait toujours été le cas.

Now he felt thirsty and hungry and doubted strongly that he could make his way back to Menskirche.

Er fühlte sich nun durstig und hungrig und bezweifelte sehr, den Rückweg bis zur Menskirche zu schaffen.

Maintenant il se sentait assoiffé et affamé et doutait fortement qu’il parviendrait à rentrer à Menskirche à temps.

Thus he had to hope on the hospitality of Saint Bernard’s inhabitants.

Er war also auf die Gastfreundschaft der Bewohner von Sankt Bernhard angewiesen.

Ainsi il devait maintenant espérer que les habitants de Saint Bernard se montreraient hospitaliers.

Despite his dark mood, he could only smile as he saw the first houses.

Trotz seiner düsteren Stimmung konnte er nur lächeln, als er die ersten Häuser ansah.

Malgré son humeur sombre il ne put réprimer un sourire lorsqu’ils vit les premières maisons.

They were in a very good state and had apparently been spared by the conquerors, probably because the gruesome horde did not know of their existence.

Sie waren in sehr gutem Zustand und wurden anscheinend von den Eroberern erspart, weil die grausame Horde wahrscheinlich von deren Existenz nicht wusste.

Elles étaient en très bon état et furent apparemment épargnées par les conquéreurs, probablement parce que la cruel horde n’était pas conscient de son existence.

A little girl who was sitting on the street looked up at him.

Ein kleines Mädchen, das auf der Straße saß blickte auf ihn hinauf.

Une petite fille assise sur la rue le regarda.

„Good day, what is your name?“ he asked her in a soft voice.

“Guten Tag, was ist dein Name?” fragte er sie mit einer sanften Stimme.

„Bonjour, quel est ton nom? “ il lui demanda avec une voie doucee.

„What are you seeking here? “she replied.

“Was suchst du hier?” erwiderte sie.

„Que cherches-tu ici? “ Elle répliqua.

„Only a roof above my head for the coming evening.“ he answered.

“Nur ein Dach über meinem Kopf für den kommenden Abend.” antwortete er.

„Seulement un toit au dessus de ma tête pour la soir à venir. “ il répondit.

She shook her head.

Sie schüttelte den Kopf.

Elle secoua la tête.

„No. I can’t believe you. You wouldn’t have seriously considered coming to us whereas there are much richer folks in Aboncourt and the abbey of Villers-Bettnach. Please tell me the whole story.“

“Nein. Ich kann dir nicht glauben. Du wärst kaum auf die Idee gekommen, deswegen zu uns zu kommen, während es viel reichere Leute in Sankt Hubert und in der Abtei von Weiler-Bettnach gibt. Erzähle mir bitte die ganze Geschichte.”

„Non. Je ne peux pas te croire. Tu n’aurais pas sérieusement considéré l’idée de venir chez nous alors qu’il y a des gens bien plus riches à Aboncourt ou dans l’abbaye de Viller-Betchnach. S’il te plaît, racontes moi toute l’histoire.“

He moaned and felt very ashamed as he noticed his tears which were flowing down onto the street before the face of this small child.

Er stöhnte und schämte sich sehr, als er seine Tränen bemerkte, die vor dem Gesicht dieses kleinen Kinds auf die Straße hinunter flossen.

Il gémit et se sentit très gêné lorsqu’il remarqua ses larmes qui tombaient sur la rue devant le visage de ce petit enfant.

„I…I’ve lost everything. The two girls of my life have been killed. I no longer have anything I could hold fast to.“

“Ich…Ich habe alles verloren. Die beide Frauen meines Lebens wurden umgebracht. Ich habe gar nichts mehr, woran ich festhalten könnte.”

„J’ai…J’ai tout perdu. Les deux femmes de ma vie ont été tuées. Je n’ai plus rien sur quoi je pourrais me tenir. “

She smiled at him.

Sie lächelte ihn an.

Elle lui sourit.

„But you had always believed that this life is not everything. Don’t give up. Trust on God and rejoice.“

“Du hattest aber immer geglaubt, dass dieses Leben nicht alles ist. Gib nicht auf. Vertraue auf Gott und erfreue dich.”

„Mais tu as toujours cru que cette vie n’est pas tout. Ne renonce pas. Aie confiance en Dieu et réjouis toi.“

As he was about to reply, the little girl vanished into thin air.

Als er erwidern wollte, löste sich das kleine Mädchen in die Luft auf.

Alors qu’il était sur le point de répliquer, la petite fille se dissolu dans l’air.

„A fairy…“ he thought to himself, his inner being moved by awe.

“Eine Fee…” dachte er, vom Ehrfurcht ergriffen.

„Une fée…“ il pensa, complètement fasciné. DCF 1.0

He screamed as he realised that the whole surrounding was gradually disappearing.

Er schrie als er bemerkte, dass die ganze Umgebung allmählich verschwand.

Il cria lorsqu’il réalisa que tout le décor était en train de disparaître.

After an infinitely short period of time he found himself back in Schorbach.

Einen unendlich kurzen Augenblick danach war er zurück in Schorbach.

Après un moment infiniment court il fut de retour à Schorbach.

He looked around and noticed that he was in the graveyard.

Er sah um sich herum und stellte fest, dass er sich im Friedhof befand.

Il regardât autour de lui et réalisa qu’il se trouvait dans le cimetière.

He was dumbfounded as he noted that besides the numerous new graves those of Mathilde and Bertrude could no longer be seen.

Er wurde verblüfft als er bemerkte, dass neben den zahlreichen neuen Gräbern die von Mathilde und Bertude völlig fehlten.

Il fut ébahit lorsqu’il remarqua qu’à coté des nombreux nouveaux tombeaux ceux de Mathilde et Bertrude n’étaient plus présent.

Actually it even looked like they had never been there in the first place.

Eigentlich sah es sogar so aus, als ob es sie nie gegeben hätte.

En fait il semblait même qu’ils n’aient jamais existés.

Barely able to believe his eyes, he ran to his house.

Seinen Augen kaum glaubend rannte er zu seinem Haus.

A peine capable de croire ses yeux il courut vers sa maison.

Once there, he was delighted.

Dort wurde er entzückt.

Une fois là-bas il fut ravi.

His two angels were waiting for him in front of the door.

Vor der Tür warteten seine beiden Engel auf ihn.

Ses deux anges l’attendaient devant la porte.

They smiled at him.

Sie lächelten ihn an.

Ils lui sourièrent.

„You’re back…“ he murmured.

“Ihr seid zurück…” murmelte er.

„Vous êtes de retour…“ il murmura.

„We have never been really far from you.“ Mathilde whispered back.

“Wir sind nie wirklich weit von dir gewesen.” flüsterte Mathilde zurück.

„Nous n’avons jamais été loin de toi.“ Mathilde répliqua en chuchotant.

Suddenly, he remembered that today was Easter.

Er erinnerte sich plötzlich daran, dass es heute Ostern war.

Soudainement, il se rappela qu’aujourd’hui c’était Pâques.

„Thanks.“ he said quietly, after having directed his glare at the still heaven.

“Danke” sagte er ganz leise, nachdem er seinen Blick auf den stillen Himmel gerichtet hatte.

„Merci. “ Il dit doucement, après avoir dirigé son regard vers le ciel silencieux. Look_up_at_the_sky_forest If you want to learn more about the identity of Magonia’s mysterious denizens, you might like my upcoming science-fiction / fantasy novel entitled “Flight to Magonia” (in English).   🙂

Wenn Sie sich nun wünschen, mehr über die Identität der mysteriösen Bewohner von Magonia zu erfahren, könnte Ihnen meine anstehende Science-Fiction / Fantasie Novelle namens “Flight to Magonia”  (auf Englisch)   gefallen   🙂

Sie vous desirez apprendre plus sur l’identité des mystérieux habitants de la Magonia, vous pourriez appreciez mon future roman de science-fiction / fantaisie intitulé “Flight to Magonia” (en Anglais).  🙂

God and the cause of the universe

A large and powerful tradition within Christendom has always asserted that faith in God’s existence (and His revelation through Christ) is a rational belief based on evidence, i.e. grounded in the same way our beliefs about the natural world are.

Given that the large majority of Conservative Christians take this approach, it has always dumbstruck me to see the New Atheists always describing faith as “pretending to now what you don’t know” and completely ignoring the fact that very few Christians hold to that view.

R.D. Mika wrote an interesting post about such an attempt to prove God’s existence  by using the fact that our universe began to exist (at the Big Bang).

 

“It is without a doubt true that different people respond to arguments differently. In particular, the wayin which an argument is presented may make the difference in whether a person properly perceives and understands the argument or not. Now the Kalam Cosmological Argument—as formulated by William Lane Craig—is, at present, an incredibly popular argument for theism. Its premises have been attacked and defended multiple times over and from all sorts of different angles. Many people think that the Kalam argument, as it is popularly formulated, is sound, and many people think the opposite.

 
What I wish to offer in this post is one way that the Kalam argument can be reformulated in order to change its presentation and argumentative focus, which might, in turn, make it more appealing and understandable to certain people who might not appreciate it as much when it is presented in its popular formulation. In particular, what I propose is to change the argument structure from a straight deductive argument to a type of “trilemma” argument. Changing the argument in this way will thus force the argument’s opponent to positively select one option of the trilemma, rather than simply allowing him to search for and offer “possible” objections to the traditional premises of the argument. And this, in turn, means that the positive selection that the opponent makes can then be scrutinized and shown to be less reasonable (even irrational) in comparison to the other selections that are on offer. In addition, by forcing the opponent of the argument to actually make a choice as to which option he finds most reasonable, it also prevents the opponent from hiding behind a type intellectual agnosticism or selective skepticism, which he can do to a greater degree when the argument is formulated in the traditional way. Furthermore, by presenting the argument in a trilemma format, where the options are clearly presented and the consequences of accepting those options are absolutely clear as well, the trilemma option can, with absolute clarity, show the enormously steep price that needs to be paid in order to deny the option that supports the Kalam. Also, because it is an argument format that lays all the options out on the table before a person, and because those options can be readily and easily compared, the trilemma format further shows just how absurd it is to choose the options that go against the Kalam argument in comparison to the options that support the argument. Finally, because it shares the many strengths of an “inference to the best explanation” argument format, the trilemma method of presenting the Kalam argument is more natural and easily understandable for the common man. Consider that when a mother finds that the cookie jar on the top shelf of the kitchen has been raided, she will likely reason in the same way that this reformulation of the Kalam will use. She will, for example, consider that the only three individuals that could possibly be responsible for raiding the cookie jar are her three children: Billy, Bob, and Brent. But since Billy was sleeping at the time of the incident and Bob is just a baby and does not know where the cookie jar is (nor could he reach it), then the only candidate left, beyond a reasonable doubt, is Brent. So, the mother reasons, Brent is the only candidate of the three that could have taken the cookies. People often reason in such a manner, and it is simply a more instinctive way of reasoning than deductive reasoning is. Thus, when the Kalam argument is presented in such a manner, it may be more easily understood by the lay-person.

Now, before I offer this Kalam Trilemma Argument, let me do two things. First, I will point out that like the traditional formulation of the Kalam argument, this different formulation assumes the A-Theory of time. Second, let me just refresh your memory as to how the Kalam argument is traditionally formulated (from the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology):

 
Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

 

Premise 2: The universe began to exist.

 

Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

 

Conceptual Analysis of the Cause of the Universe: An uncaused, personal, Creator of the universe exists, who without the universe is beginingless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful.
So, with those two points stated, let us reformulate the Kalam argument in a trilemma-type format.
Fact: The universe (meaning all of space, matter, energy, and time itself) began to exist; in essence, at one point, there was no universe and then there was a universe. (We will, both for the sake of argument and because my goal is not to defend this particular premise in this blog post, just assume that it is the case that the universe began to exist.)
Now, given that the universe began to exist, then there are only three options that can account for its beginning to exist.
Option 1: The universe is uncaused and came out of absolute nothingness. In essence, something which began to exist—the universe—has no cause and came out of an absolute nothingness which has no potentials, no knowledge, no creative ability, no powers, no laws, no force, no nothing! Thus, even though “out of nothing, nothing comes” is a fact more certain than the fact that matter exists, to choose this option you would indeed need to believe that, actually, something can come from absolute nothingness. You would need to believe that out of absolutely nothingness, something does come.

 

 

 

Option 2: The universe was self-caused. In essence, the universe, which did not exist, somehow nevertheless caused itself to exist. A non-existent thing caused itself to exist. To believe this, you would need to believe something that was literally impossible: that a non-existent thing, which thus had no powers, no potential, no creative ability, no knowledge, no force, nothing at all because it did not exist, nevertheless had the power and ability to somehow cause itself to exist.
Option 3: The universe was caused by something which itself is not the universe or any part of the universe, and which is—given that the universe includes all matter—necessarily non-material. In essence, the universe has a cause that is distinct from itself. And to choose this option, all you would have to believe is precisely that: that the universe has a cause which is separate and distinct from the universe itself.
Now, when these three options are compared—and ultimately, as stated, they are indeed the only three options available—I contend that it is manifestly obvious that the third option is the more reasonable one to hold (and once that option is selected, then the Conceptual Analysis can be done). And note that it would be disingenuous for the opponent of the argument to avoid selecting this third option simply because he knows where the argument is leading. Rather, if he is genuinely seeking the truth (or seeking the most rational position to hold), then he must make his selection in this trilemma based on the three options before him as they stand, not on the basis of what they might lead to. Also note that if the opponent of the Kalam argument does select an option other than Option 3, then his choice can be mercilessly attacked and the absurdity of his selection can be readily exposed. Finally, in my view, it should be clear that the opponent of the argument cannot hide behind agnosticism, because when presented with these three options, I contend that all people will see one option as at least more likely than another, thus moving that person away from straight agnosticism and towards one of the three options available.

 

So presenting the Kalam argument in this manner has certain advantages that the traditional formulation does not have, and thus you may wish to consider this approach in the future when employing the Kalam argument.”

 

A large and powerful tradition within Christendom has always asserted that faith in God’s existence (and His revelation through Christ) is a rational belief based on evidence, i.e. grounded in the same way our beliefs about the natural world are.

Given the fact that the large majority of Conservative Christians take this approach, it has always dumbstruck me to see the New Atheists always describing faith as “pretending to now what you don’t know” and completely ignore the fact that very few Christians hold to that view.

 

R.D. Mika wrote an interesting post about such an attempt to prove God’s existence  by using the fact that our universe began to exist.

 

It is without a doubt true that different people respond to arguments differently. In particular, the wayin which an argument is presented may make the difference in whether a person properly perceives and understands the argument or not. Now the Kalam Cosmological Argument—as formulated by William Lane Craig—is, at present, an incredibly popular argument for theism. Its premises have been attacked and defended multiple times over and from all sorts of different angles. Many people think that the Kalam argument, as it is popularly formulated, is sound, and many people think the opposite.

 
What I wish to offer in this post is one way that the Kalam argument can be reformulated in order to change its presentation and argumentative focus, which might, in turn, make it more appealing and understandable to certain people who might not appreciate it as much when it is presented in its popular formulation. In particular, what I propose is to change the argument structure from a straight deductive argument to a type of “trilemma” argument. Changing the argument in this way will thus force the argument’s opponent to positively select one option of the trilemma, rather than simply allowing him to search for and offer “possible” objections to the traditional premises of the argument. And this, in turn, means that the positive selection that the opponent makes can then be scrutinized and shown to be less reasonable (even irrational) in comparison to the other selections that are on offer. In addition, by forcing the opponent of the argument to actually make a choice as to which option he finds most reasonable, it also prevents the opponent from hiding behind a type intellectual agnosticism or selective skepticism, which he can do to a greater degree when the argument is formulated in the traditional way. Furthermore, by presenting the argument in a trilemma format, where the options are clearly presented and the consequences of accepting those options are absolutely clear as well, the trilemma option can, with absolute clarity, show the enormously steep price that needs to be paid in order to deny the option that supports the Kalam. Also, because it is an argument format that lays all the options out on the table before a person, and because those options can be readily and easily compared, the trilemma format further shows just how absurd it is to choose the options that go against the Kalam argument in comparison to the options that support the argument. Finally, because it shares the many strengths of an “inference to the best explanation” argument format, the trilemma method of presenting the Kalam argument is more natural and easily understandable for the common man. Consider that when a mother finds that the cookie jar on the top shelf of the kitchen has been raided, she will likely reason in the same way that this reformulation of the Kalam will use. She will, for example, consider that the only three individuals that could possibly be responsible for raiding the cookie jar are her three children: Billy, Bob, and Brent. But since Billy was sleeping at the time of the incident and Bob is just a baby and does not know where the cookie jar is (nor could he reach it), then the only candidate left, beyond a reasonable doubt, is Brent. So, the mother reasons, Brent is the only candidate of the three that could have taken the cookies. People often reason in such a manner, and it is simply a more instinctive way of reasoning than deductive reasoning is. Thus, when the Kalam argument is presented in such a manner, it may be more easily understood by the lay-person.
Now, before I offer this Kalam Trilemma Argument, let me do two things. First, I will point out that like the traditional formulation of the Kalam argument, this different formulation assumes the A-Theory of time. Second, let me just refresh your memory as to how the Kalam argument is traditionally formulated (from the Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology):

 
Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

 

Premise 2: The universe began to exist.

 

Conclusion: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

 

Conceptual Analysis of the Cause of the Universe: An uncaused, personal, Creator of the universe exists, who without the universe is beginingless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless, and enormously powerful.
So, with those two points stated, let us reformulate the Kalam argument in a trilemma-type format.
Fact: The universe (meaning all of space, matter, energy, and time itself) began to exist; in essence, at one point, there was no universe and then there was a universe. (We will, both for the sake of argument and because my goal is not to defend this particular premise in this blog post, just assume that it is the case that the universe began to exist.)
Now, given that the universe began to exist, then there are only three options that can account for its beginning to exist.
Option 1: The universe is uncaused and came out of absolute nothingness. In essence, something which began to exist—the universe—has no cause and came out of an absolute nothingness which has no potentials, no knowledge, no creative ability, no powers, no laws, no force, no nothing! Thus, even though “out of nothing, nothing comes” is a fact more certain than the fact that matter exists, to choose this option you would indeed need to believe that, actually, something can come from absolute nothingness. You would need to believe that out of absolutely nothingness, something does come.

 

 

Option 2: The universe was self-caused. In essence, the universe, which did not exist, somehow nevertheless caused itself to exist. A non-existent thing caused itself to exist. To believe this, you would need to believe something that was literally impossible: that a non-existent thing, which thus had no powers, no potential, no creative ability, no knowledge, no force, nothing at all because it did not exist, nevertheless had the power and ability to somehow cause itself to exist.
Option 3: The universe was caused by something which itself is not the universe or any part of the universe, and which is—given that the universe includes all matter—necessarily non-material. In essence, the universe has a cause that is distinct from itself. And to choose this option, all you would have to believe is precisely that: that the universe has a cause which is separate and distinct from the universe itself.
Now, when these three options are compared—and ultimately, as stated, they are indeed the only three options available—I contend that it is manifestly obvious that the third option is the more reasonable one to hold (and once that option is selected, then the Conceptual Analysis can be done). And note that it would be disingenuous for the opponent of the argument to avoid selecting this third option simply because he knows where the argument is leading. Rather, if he is genuinely seeking the truth (or seeking the most rational position to hold), then he must make his selection in this trilemma based on the three options before him as they stand, not on the basis of what they might lead to. Also note that if the opponent of the Kalam argument does select an option other than Option 3, then his choice can be mercilessly attacked and the absurdity of his selection can be readily exposed. Finally, in my view, it should be clear that the opponent of the argument cannot hide behind agnosticism, because when presented with these three options, I contend that all people will see one option as at least more likely than another, thus moving that person away from straight agnosticism and towards one of the three options available.
So presenting the Kalam argument in this manner has certain advantages that the traditional formulation does not have, and thus you may wish to consider this approach in the future when employing the Kalam argument.”

 

First of all I appreciate the rather humble tone he employed here.

The main problem I see here is that he forgot another vital option:

“Our universe began to exist and it is one member in an infinite chain of parallel universes giving birth to each others.”, as many cosmologists such as Lee Smolin see it.

The cosmological argument can only be valid if this possibility can be discarded. But I don’t see how this could be done.

To my mind, neither this scenario nor the creation from scratch through God’s spirit can be shown to be the most likely explanation to the satisfaction of those not already committed to the hypothesis.

 

 

Tolerant progressive atheists

The Irish Atheist wrote a great post calling his fellow atheists to more tolerance and respect.

 

How to Be an Atheist Without Being a Total $%!# About It

KqM6xxX

 

Let’s be honest. Atheists in America have an image crisis.

And by image crisis, I meant that we’re trusted less than rapists.

I’ve written about Christian blogger Benjamin Corey a couple of times in the past. His most recent article, a list of ten ways to be a Christian without being a total &$!# about it, is an attempt to remedy the rather obnoxious public image Christians have cultivated for themselves in America. In a couple of his comments he mentioned that he was hoping one of his atheist blogger friends would write a similar post.

And because I have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning than basket-weave as the sun rises….

Oh wait, I have plenty of things I should be doing. You owe me another beer, Mr. Corey.

To be fair, it’s a valid point. If Christians have a terrible public image in America, atheists aren’t much better. The atheist professor in ‘God’s Not Dead’ is somewhere between a straw man and an SNL caricature, but that stereotype of the elite and bitter atheist has to come from somewhere.

It does. It comes from us. Because we’re not always good examples of what it means to treat people who are different from us with respect and dignity. In fact, we’re bleeding terrible at it sometimes.

So here are ten ways to be an atheist without being a total dick about it. Ten ways I selected because I know that I’m consistently guilty of all of them. There are more. But these are the ten greatest failings of the Irish Atheist.

 

1. Let’s stop referring to religious people as mentally handicapped or incapacitated.

Because they’re not. The vast majority of theists are not in any way mentally challenged. For every raving lunatic who believes he’s Jesus Christ reborn in Kansas City, there are a hundred  educated men and women who are kind, sane, and rational and also religious. Some are casually spiritual, others are deeply devout. Some are extremely educated, and others are eager to plaster their ignorance on Twitter. But they make up 85-90% of the world’s population at a rough guesstimate. So let’s use the minds that 4.5 billion years of evolution gave us and stop smearing all these individuals as mentally handicapped. It does us no favours and makes us look just as petty and vicious as theists are so eager to paint us.

And, more importantly, it’s just not true. Religion is not a mental handicap. It is a complex and extraordinarily varied cultural phenomenon that influences individuals from a young age through the power of social conditioning. Any type of person can be religious – handicapped, brilliant, and everything in between. And frankly, it’s insulting to people who do live with mental handicaps. So seriously, knock it off.

2. Stop inferring that LGBT people can’t be devoutly religious.

They can. I personally don’t know how they do it. I do believe that the LGBT community is currently religion’s favourite and easiest target. But let’s stop insinuating that writers like Ben Moberg, who is gay and Christian and brilliantly well-spoken about it, is somehow ‘sleeping with the enemy.’

I don’t know how Moberg or people like him balance their identity with their religion, but it’s his life, not mine. Challenge ideas, always challenge ideas, but respect that some people are going to have life experiences that you can not identify with and that it’s not always your place to condemn the choices they make based on their experiences.

3. Stop saying that all wars are a result of religion.

They aren’t. Here’s a brief list of things that can start wars: racism, language barriers, economics, greed, nationalism, poor communication skills, they-have-nice-things-and-I-want-them, oppression of rights, assassinating Archduke Ferdinand, cutting off the ear of a man named Jenkins, and a football match. Sometimes, religion is a factor. Sometimes it’s the main factor. Not always. So let’s stop with this whole ‘religion causes all wars’ speech. It’s neither accurate nor cute.

4. In fact, let’s not use historically inaccurate arguments at all.

Remember that meme that’s passed around pretty regularly about Jesus and Horus? The one that claims that Jesus of Nazareth is basically just a carbon copy of a more ancient Egyptian deity? It’s pretty much a load of bullshit, as any reputable Egyptologist could tell you. In fact, most of those memes comparing Jesus to other deities are rubbish.

We’re supposed to be the ones who care about facts and rational arguments. Silly memes that could be refuted by an ancient history undergrad at the University of Omaha don’t help us much.

5. Let’s stop wasting money on silly billboards that poke fun at religions.

We’re not proselytisers. Let’s spend that money on something worthwhile. Like those 10,000 kids that Christians abandoned a couple of weeks ago because gay people.

528964_377706295612872_100001205132417_1058631_208588970_n

6. Let’s pick our battles with discretion.

When a young Buddhist boy in a public school is forced to partake in Christianity-affirming projects and is told that he should transfer to a school with more Asians if he doesn’t like it, that’s a battle worth fighting. When a child is put down for his religion in a federally funded place of education, we need to stand up on his behalf. When a girl is forced to leave her private school because she doesn’t look ‘feminine’ enough, we need to speak out and let her know that she has a place to go and people who love her just as she is.

But when a piece of religious art like the 9-11 cross is going to be placed in a museum, is this really something we should be up in arms about? Can you imagine if federally funded museums removed every work of art with a religious message? In the art world, religious artwork is a small niche commonly known as ‘Everything before 1750.’ I don’t think one more cross in a museum is going to threaten my First Amendment rights.

Do we really need to get involved when a grieving mother keeps a cross up for her son on public land? Yes, the land was owned by the public, yes, it was technically a driving hazard. Yes, I suppose it could technically breach the Establishment Clause. But is this really a fight that American Atheists should be involved in? Is this what we want the face of our community to be? Hairsplitting?

There are some battles that need to be fought, and others that could be fought but frankly aren’t worth our time. Let’s focus less on crosses and more on people.

7. Stop saying ‘Tax the churches.’

Separation of church and state goes both ways, and I sure don’t want any church paying into the government I help elect.

8. Let’s stop implying that we’re always right.

Theists constantly stigmatise atheists as ‘privileged elitists,’ and too often we do nothing to counter-act this claim. We’re wrong. A lot. About a lot of things. And we’re really, really bad about admitting that we’re wrong when we are. The conversation between skeptics and the faithful is too often laced with insinuations of intellectual superiority from both sides. Let’s knock it off. Respect each other. Recognise that each individual has a reason for taking the position they do. Find out that reason. Talk about it. Challenge it. Learn about it. Take the role of the searcher. Don’t set yourself up on the pedestal of Dawkins and insist that you’ve found the true answer and everyone below you is too stupid to figure it out.

Also, lay off the petty insults, even when you didn’t take the first shot. This shouldn’t have to be said, but type ‘atheist’ into a twitter search and let the fireworks fly. For myself, I recognise that it’s not necessary to refer to the Christian god as a Bronze Age goat herder’s idol, or to Islam as a paedophile’s misogynistic cult. No matter how satisfying it can be, such things are based in shock value and have no worth in a rational discussion beyond my own self-satisfaction.

We’re known for our doubt and our skepticism. Let’s start being known for our civility as well.

9. Stop assuming that every theist is out to get you.

This one is mainly for me. One of my biggest flaws as a writer and as a responder is that I tend to read everything a theist says in the worst possible light. I’ve had more than one person ask me how I could possibly have inferred such animosity into their statement when to me it seemed blindingly obvious. I had a reaction a few days ago when a writer on Patheos used the word ‘gypped,’ a racial slur against the Roma people (of whom my mother happens to be one). I was so disgusted by his use of this word that I never seriously entertained the thought that he had no idea what it meant. It lead to a very terse interaction between us that left nothing positive in it’s wake. And I’m sure I helped cement in his mind that atheists are often spiteful aggressors who are more interested in fights than dialogue.

10. Start looking past the religious differences.

Theists are the majority in this world, and that’s not going to change in any of our lifetimes. Atheists are often an insular tribe, isolating ourselves from the big bad religious powers-that-be in favour of congratulatory self-affirmations. Let’s break out of our bubbles a bit. Let’s start accepting invitations to attend church. Let’s insist on and enforce a level of civility in our interactions with theists. If we can stop insisting that our theological differences are the defining trait between us, the debate between skepticism and faith will start to matter less and less.

If there is one atheist commandment that we can all agree on, it’s this. Leave the world a better place than it was when you got here, because we only have one chance to visit this planet. Let’s start treating our theist neighbours like actual neighbours and copilots on this trip through the cosmos.

And stop being a %&#! about it.”

 

I was truly delighted after having read this. If there were a Canonical book regrouping all inspired atheistic writings, this one should be present right at its beginning.

I really admire his extreme intellectual humility and modesty.

I think there is one aspect which is partially lacking, though: avoiding all kinds of excessive generalizations.

For example, TIA is still writing sentences such as “Theists constantly stigmatise atheists ” which are obviously wrong for progressive Christians (by and large) don’t do this. And actually even quite a few Conservative Christians also combat prejudices directed against atheists.

 

Now I want to exhort all my fellow Christians to stop overgeneralizing about atheists too.

 

You cannot say that “Atheists don’t believe in God because they just want to sin” since a great number of them live a much moral life than you do.

You cannot say that “Atheists are nihilists” because most of them hold fast to an objective morality. The validity of its grounding is another question altogether.

You cannot say that “Deep down, atheists know that God exists and hate him” because many atheists would be glad if there were a good God and they just passionately detest the deities worshiped by fundamentalists.

You cannot say that “Atheists are arrogant bullying assholes who keep ridiculing their opponents”. This is by and large the case of anti-theists, but they only form a small sub-group of all atheists living under the sun.

 

 

I truly hate the culture war and wished there were only nice Christians and nice atheists discussing and debating instead of barking, yelling, growling and roaring towards each other.

 

Crude’s concern: progressive Christians and firing political opponents

GayMarriage

As a progressive Christian, I have repeatedly argued that homosexuality is NOT a sinful lifestyle and that committed gay couples should be welcomed into the Church. This has clearly infuriated many of my Conservative readers who feel that they are being bullied into accepting gay marriage.

Crude wrote:

“I have seen the “progressives” defend laws that force Christians to take part in gay weddings – knowing full well that these Christians will be targeted by activists and forced to compromise their principles. They do it with glee, smiling happily and feeling all warm at the thought that somewhere out there a person who disapproves of gay marriage is going to have their feet put to the fire, and that if they don’t do as they’re fucking told, the government will step in and punish them severely. I see these “progressives” cheering when someone is fired from their job when they’re outed as having supported Proposition 8 in California, or if they disapprove of gay marriage. I do not consider these minor issues. These are situations where government – the men with guns and the power to take your property, your children, your livelihood – are being used as the tool of choice to advance a political agenda that ultimately comes down to requiring people to give their active blessing to any and all sexual acts deemed ‘good’ by the morality police. The “progressive” Christians know this. They embrace it. They say “Civil Rights!” and that’s all that needs to be said, as far as they’re concerned, no matter how goddamn inane it is to try and extend civil rights to a sexual act….”

 

Common ground between Conservative and progressive Christians

 

He further wrote

“But I will say one thing. Lothar has written critically about France’s historical attempts to purge the German language from their country, in the interests of having a nice, unified french-speaking nation. He has called this cultural genocide. But the fact is, cultural genocide is exactly what he ultimately endorses with regards to conservative Christians, more or less across the board. I say it with a heavy heart – it is hard to criticize someone who has been consistently considerate with me like this. But the idea of having common ground with “progressives” now truly appears to me as little more than the grounds for a work of fiction, one that is particularly fantastical – and it was that hope for common ground that drove a lot of my silence and hesitancy previously. The hope is gone.”

 

But Conservative and progressive Christians do have a strong common ground. We all believe that every good law should serve the well being and flourishing of mankind, an aspect which stands at the very center of Jesus ethical teaching, as I once argued.

GoldenRule

We might disagree about how this plays out (and whether some dogmas widely regarded as sacred are conductive to the blooming of our kind) but we certainly hold fast to the same principle.

Furthermore, we also believe that the main goal of our existence is to become increasingly better persons, to grow in our capacity to give and receive love and to fulfill the Golden Rule. Given this, it is extremely depressing to see people in BOTH camps resorting to a hateful rhetoric rather than trying to understand each others and having a constructive dialog.

It is never right to be  aggressive towards nice and respectful opponents.

 

With this all in mind, I’m going explain why progressive Christians ought to actively oppose firing people on the only ground of their being against Gay marriage.

 

The lovelessness of political liberalism

First of all, it is an extraordinarily unloving and disproportionate punishment for this alleged “offense”. Most people don’t do this because they are mean but because they are sincerely convinced it is wrong.

Even as I was a secular Frenchman, I was against a gay lifestyle because I had many prejudices, projected my own heterosexual disgust onto the objective reality and (more importantly) hadn’t read the story and suffering of committed and decent homosexuals. But I never had any evil intention.

 

Now let us suppose that John is a middle-class American worker who is sincerely convinced that practiced homosexuality is wrong yet also oppose violence and oppression against homosexuals. Let us now suppose it became known he refused to participating in a gay wedding in his enterprise and was consequently fired.
He did not manage to find a new job and livelihood and one year later he live in a poor apartment and his family has no longer access to any good healthcare.

Could you really look him and his children in the eyes and say: “You got what you deserve!” ?

 

Promotion of homophobia

In a previous post, I argued that by systematically refusing to recognize the reality of anti-white racism (and confusing criticism of multi-culturalism with incitement to racial hatred), the French political establishment fosters the racism of white people by making them resentful.

I think that bullying people (or even worse firing them) because they oppose homosexual marriage has pretty much the same effect: it increases homophobia instead of promoting tolerance towards gay people. This can also be observed in France where governmental pressure for defending gay marriage has led to an increased homophobia which is all too visible in many French forums, chats and social medias.

To reuse my example above, how would John now struggling with poverty react if he received a petition asking him to step in on behalf of persecuted Gay people in Uganda?

It is not implausible at all he would react by screaming “I don’t give a fuck about them!” whereas he would have been touched and supported them before getting fired.

 

Striving for a just and moral society

File:Brendan Eich Mozilla Foundation official photo.jpg

(Brendan Eich: former president of Mozilla fired for his past opposition to gay marriage)

 

Consequently, I exhort all my progressive Christian readers to speak out against the firing of opponents to Gay marriage and any other political persecution.

It is worth noting I am far from being the only progressive Christian with such an opinion.

Sheila, one of my regular commentators, wrote:

“I understand Crude’s frustration, however. I think it is wrong to go after someone’s livelihood because that person disagrees with your point of view. What’s not being reported enough about the Mozilla kerfuffle is the fact that the IRS leaked his tax return. That’s a clear violation of the law, but no one will be held accountable. (IMHO)

I am in favor of gay marriage. But I visited Chik-Fil-A on “CFA Day” because it is wrong to try to destroy a man’s business over his personal political views. If someone on the Right tried to destroy Starbucks, I’d waste my money on its overpriced coffee to show my support for its right to support gay marriage.

No one on either the Right or the Left ought to be targeted for total destruction because of a personal opinion.

This nation is about freedom. It gets messy when diametrically opposed civil liberties clash. But no one should seek the destruction of, or the power of the government against, another person based on political views. It’s abhorrent.

I am sure others will come out too.

 

Distinguishing between mere criticism and bullying

 

That said, I want all my conservative readers to know that I will keep arguing in favor of gay marriage in the months (and probably years, if not centuries) to follow. But I will try to do this in a respectful way, trying to guess how I would react if my ideas were criticized in a similar way.

Falling infinitely short of perfection, it is inevitable I will make mistakes and write things I will regret shortly thereafter (a problem which is gravely compounded by my own impulsive nature).

 

Therefore I’d be glad if one could then send me an email at: lotharson57@gmail.com_ (the final _ stands here for avoiding my email to get massively spammed as this recently occurred).

Gender equality and the liberal agenda

While I am oftentimes critical of Conservatism on my blog, I do believe that Liberal lobbies can have quite a harmful effect on society too.

One example is their willful ignorance of the reality of anti-white racism which leads them to systematically explain away crimes and misdeeds against white people committed on the grounds of their skin color, in a way strikingly akin to the strategy used by revisionist historians.

One other example is that they keep confusing fostering true equality between the genders with promoting female supremacy.

 

The following story should be considered a case study.

 

“Italian theater director Antonio Calenda sues beautiful young dancer Natasha Diamond-Walker after she dumped him, claiming she hoodwinked him into buying her a luxury condo

Diamond-Walker, an up-and-coming performer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, did not return calls. But court papers paint her as a gold-digger who used her age and beauty to outwit Calenda, the well-known director of Teatro Stabile in Trieste.

 

Myspace.com Natasha Diamond-Walker, in a photo from her Myspace page.
A young Manhattan dancer hoodwinked her 73-year-old lover into buying her a luxury $775,000 Upper West Side condo — and then swiftly gave him the boot, a new lawsuit charges.Natasha Diamond-Walker, a stunning 27-year-old Fordham University grad, is accused in court papers of feigning love for prominent Italian theater director Antonio Calenda, then tricking him into footing the bill for the pre-war apartment.“She manipulated our client and took advantage of him to finance her purchase of a luxury Manhattan apartment,” said Calenda’s lawyer, Marc Fitapelli. “She never had any intentions to repay our client and she abruptly severed their relationship as soon as she got what she wanted.”Diamond-Walker, an up-and-coming performer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, did not return calls. But court papers paint her as a gold-digger who used her age and beauty to outwit Calenda, the well-known director of Teatro Stabile in Trieste. 

Antonio Calenda, center and Natasha Diamond-Walker, right.

Calenda, who directed the 1973 film “One Russian Summer,” starring Claudia Cardinale and Oliver Reed, filed suit Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court in a bid to recoup the cost of the condo — plus $1 million.

Diamond-Walker met Calenda last year in Italy when they worked together on “Cercando Picasso (Looking for Picasso),” colleagues said. She was working as a dance apprentice with the Martha Graham company, which collaborated with Calenda on the show that features dancers interpreting Pablo Picasso’s dreams, inspirations and writings.

They began a 10-month romance, and Calenda showered her with expensive gifts, especially at the start of their May-December affair.

LaRue Allen, executive director of the Martha Graham company, described Diamond-Walker as “outgoing, vivacious, curious” — “a wonderful dancer at the beginning of her career.”

She said the relationship was not a company matter.

“They had a personal relationship … They’re both adults,” Allen said. “Things don’t always have a way of working out.”

Calenda, who lives in Rome and has been separated from his wife for a decade, does not dispute he gave her pricey gifts at the start of their affair.

But he insists the 795-square-foot, one-bedroom unit on West End Avenue wasn’t one of them.

When Diamond-Walker asked Calenda for help purchasing the condo, the director insisted on two things, Fitapelli said: that the money be a loan, and that they have a written agreement.

They signed the agreement last July, and she closed on the condo in September.

“Several months” later she “suddenly severed” the relationship, court papers show.

Diamond-Walker repeatedly told Calenda that she considered the $775,000 a gift and “would never repay” him, according to the lawsuit.

Their written agreement requires no payments until December 2018, when the entire amount is due. As a gift, Calenda charged no interest — a nicety he has since withdrawn.

Calenda is now asking the courts to declare the loan a mortgage, or order Diamond-Walker to repay the entire amount immediately with interest — roughly $800,000.

He’s also seeking $1 million in punitive damages, Fitapelli said.

As a new member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Diamond-Walker was expected to perform Monday night at the International Dance Festival in Vail, Colo. Her lawyer, Eric Cohen, did not return a call.

As recently as spring, she wrote of the experience she was gaining while working in Italy with Calenda — this time on a musical/dance production of The Bacchae by Euripides, which drew 8,000 people a night.

“I have tasted the most fragrant blood oranges, eaten the freshest fruits of the sea. Yet still, at night I’m painted with cold white mud, naked in front of the theater for work,” the 2007 Fordham grad wrote. “Knowledge and experience is earned in every way.”

Some comments were invaluable.

 

“A 27yr old chick is even too young for me, and i’m 39! I do not feel sorry for this guy…he is a confirmed fool if he thinks for a second that a 27yr. old ‘stunner’ would be physically attracted to him, and not have ulterior motives. This dingbat allowed himself to be gypped by this plain jane loser, she didn’t put a gun to his empty skull and made him sign anything. Damn, that viagra makes you do some crazya– sheet. Use the head on your shoulders the next time ol’timer. LOL!”

“When will these old farts learn no younger woman wakes up one day and says I want to get with a old wormy geiser because they are so hot. When you see a younger woman with a older man it’s all about the money, at least older women know they are being used, for some strange reason old guys think they are still sexy and these woman really want to be with them NOT. If you are 73 and she is 27 she want’s your money so don’t act surprised with you get duped. Idiot!”

 

Now don’t get me wrong. I consider it very likely that the old man acted in an immoral way. Yet you have to ask yourself whose actions were the most egregious.

As someone wrote : “What if the genders were reversed, would anyone be willing to believe the money in question was simply a gift as well?”

True equality between men and women that their well-being and suffering are equally important and concerning.

The behavior and typical assertions of Western liberals show that they constantly use a double-standard.

 

This is well illustrated by the attitude of liberal society towards females dressing sexy for getting ahead or manipulating men more easily. This is largely seen as “empowering” and if such a girl is gently complimented by a guy she dislikes, she is entirely justified in downrightly calling this sexual harassment.

This clearly spurns the Golden Rule. A nice and lovely girl wearing a mini-skirt because she likes being looked at won’t reply harshly to a man she is not interested in who respectfully and kindly asked her out.

 

And if a hardcore feminist wants to call me a “Christian Taliban” because of this, then I shall willingly and gladly accept that label.