Reason Roundup

Where Have All the Protestants Gone? Poll Shows Dramatic Drop in U.S. Christians: Reason Roundup

Plus: Pregnancy center and union fee cases both hinge on "right to stay silent," and states start to redefine "independent contractor."

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Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Robin Platzer/TwinImages/SipaUSA/Newscom

Catholics hold steady and the non-religious rise in a 15-year survey of American faith. Just 15 years ago, fully half of the country identified as Protestants. But since 2003, the percentage of Protestant-identifying Americans—Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, and so on—has plummeted to just 36 percent. While Protestants still make up the biggest share of religious Americans, their numbers have dropped dramatically in the 21st century.

"Evangelical white Protestants are of particular interest in political terms, since they're a core group within the Republican coalition; 80 percent supported Donald Trump in 2016," points out ABC News, which conducted the poll in conjunction with The Washington Post (talking to nearly 175,000 Americans from 2003 to 2017).

Evangelical white Protestants' share of the total adult population has gone from 21 percent in 2003 to 13 percent last year. Non-evangelical white Protestants have gone from 17 to 11 percent.

The decline in members can be seen across most of the major Protestant denominations.

So where are the former Protestants (and offspring of Protestants) going? Other Christian faiths certainly aren't picking up the slack: The overall percentage of Christians in this country declined from 83 percent in 2003 to 72 percent in 2017.

The one group that really grew during this period? The non-religious. More than a fifth of those surveyed (21 percent) said they do not identify with any religion—a near doubling of the percentage who said so in 2003. Three percent identified as atheist, three percent as agnostic, and 15 percent as simply having no religion.

Waning religiosity can be seen among older Americans, Republicans, conservatives, whites, Hispanics, and blacks, but was most pronounced among young adults and political liberals, both of which saw 16 point spikes in the religiously unaffiliated. Thirty-five percent of 18- to 29-year-olds last year fell into this group, and a full quarter of U.S. men. For women, it was 17 percent.

Non-religious Americans now nearly match the percentage who identify as Catholic, which held steady at 22 percent over the past 15 years. While a largely Catholic Hispanic immigrant population has helped this, the share of non-Hispanic white Catholics in the U.S. held relatively steady too, falling just two percentage points since 2003.

Several faiths did see modest increases in identification:

  • The percentage identifying with the "Other" Christian category—which includes Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians, etc.—rose from 11 percent in 2003 to 14 percent in 2017.
  • The number identifying with a non-Christian religion rose from 4 to 5 percent.

FREE MINDS

Right to stay silent comes before SCOTUS. The First Amendment doesn't just protect Americans' right to speak. It protects our right "to avoid becoming a 'mobile billboard' for the State's ideological message," as the Supreme Court wrote in Wooley v. Maynard. That 1975 case involved a Jehovah's Witness believer covering up the "or die" part of New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" licence plate, a move for which he was subsequently jailed.

This is pertinent because "the Supreme Court will decide two right-to-silence cases this term," Wayne State University law professor Robert Sedler writes at The Conversation:

The first case that will return this issue to the Supreme Court's scrutiny in 2018 is National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. It involves religiously based "crisis pregnancy centers" in California that try to discourage women from seeking an abortion. New legislation requires those centers to post notices about other women's health services available in the state, including abortions….

The second right-to-silence case before the Supreme Court this term, Janus v. American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees, tests the related guarantee that people cannot be forced to be associated with an idea they do not hold.

Forty years ago, the court ruled that a union can require non-members to pay an "agency fee" for their representation by the union. The union may not use any part of the agency fee to advance ideological purposes unrelated to the union's primary function of collective bargaining. Now, with Janus v. AFSCME, non-union public employees contend that the required agency fee violates their First Amendment rights because it is not possible to separate bargaining collectively from advancing ideological purposes.

FREE MARKETS

Newspaper deliverer not an employee, says Massachusetts Supreme Court. A shift to classifying more independent contractors as employees could be spreading from California to Massachusetts. Following an April California Supreme Court ruling redefining independent contractor, Massachusetts went in the other direction, finding that a newspaper delivery woman had been rightfully classified as an independent contractor (and thus not eligible for workers' compensation following a delivery injury) under current Massachusetts law. But the court's Chief Justice and two other justices also called the current laws confusing, and said reforming the state's independent contractor statute is a "pressing" matter the legislature should soon address.

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  1. We’re living in the most depressing timeline, says science.

    Where’s flashpoint when you need it?

    1. Could be a positive sign: that people are become more comfortable seeking treatment for depression. I had a great conversation with my mom about realizing she had depression when one day she thought “it’s probably not normal to think about killing yourself fairly regularly.”

      1. could also be misdirected.

    2. Hello.

      “London will ban fast-food advertisements on subways.”

      I don’t know how it is in Londonstan, but out in these parts I constantly the McDonald’s Drive-Thru full. They also reported better than expected earning this quarter. Seems like their healthier menu is catching on.

      I like that because it’s a big fuck you to these asshole nannies.

      1. I agree with your sentiments, Rufus, but I also find it funny to think that we are consuming food that is horrible for us just to own the nanny staters.

        “My arteries are clogged to shit. In your face, Bloomberg!”

        1. Doctor: Son, I can’t see you living past the age of fifty. You are so morbidly obese that even Rosie O’Donnell would fat shame you

          Me: You hear that, Bloomberg? You can go choke on your soy. *catches breath* I eat what I want. *pauses* I feel dizzy

          1. I will occasionally go to KFC but the reason is never to stick it to the man.

            1. It would be funnier if that were the reason, though. Right? Right?

              1. Sigh. Yes. High-larious

            2. The five dollar fillups are a great value.

    3. Come now Fist, we all know flashpoint is unstable and could disrupt the continuum! Don’t put so much faith in Mr. Allen.

      1. He should still save his mom. Everyone else can adapt.

        1. Yeah, it’s still weird to me that people would be pissed off at you for creating their reality when to them that’s the way everything -should- be.

          It’s probably for the best that Mr. Allen has such an unrealistic vision of ‘good’ though, since it’s basically the only thing stopping him from ruling all of time with an iron fist.

    4. I’ve seen the various studies that conclude this. The problem is that the definition of depression has become much more broad. If you restrict the definition to what it was in the past the level of depression hasn’t changed.

      1. I blame Facebook.

        1. I blame the complete lack of crisis and the constant monotony that people lives have become. But it’s all for the better you see? As long as everyone is safe!

  2. Catholics hold steady and the non-religious rise in a 15-year survey of American faith.

    If Catholics would stay off the prophylactics like we’re supposed to, we’d rule the world.

    1. You’re Catholic? Then why aren’t your comments more catholic?

      1. This former altar boy’s comments are very Catholic, thank you very much.

        1. I bet the Fist was moulded by repeated visits in and out of the rectory.

          1. Rectory? Nearly killedory!

          2. I’ve stated the fact of my past many times before to debunk the myth that every priest is a pedo. I was never touched, and I was an extremely desirable altar boy. Never touched. Proof.

            1. I bet that kind rejection made you who you are today.

            2. That because pedo’s like the weak children not the desirable ones. That is why I was never touched by the priests at Catholic school. As least that is what Sunny in Philly taught me.

              1. Too bad. You could have split the Catholic Church settlement 50-50-50.

        2. Good stance. Thanks.

      2. Eugene’s comments are covered by the doctrine of papal infallibility.

        1. I always assumed they were covered by Popehat Infallibility.

      3. Somebody’s been hitting the blood of christ a little too hard, if you know what I mean.

        1. Is it that time of the month?

    2. The Hapsburgs will return to the throne to rule over all of Europe.

      1. …with an iron fist! A malformed, seven-fingered, iron fist.

        1. +1 deformed jaw line

    3. If these Protestants would have just stuck with us Catholics MAGA would be even greater! But noooo, they had to go with that weirdo and his 95 complaints. And don’t get me going on Anglicans.

      /licks ice-cream.

      1. My mother is Protestant and she’s very lucky she’s my mother.

      2. It is known that Protestants ruin everything.

        1. The great Quaker question: When is it appropriate to streak in church?

    4. MR. HARRY BLACKITT: Look at them, bloody Catholics, filling the bloody world up with bloody people they can’t afford to bloody feed.

      MRS. BLACKITT: What are we dear?

      MR. BLACKITT: Protestant, and fiercely proud of it.

      MRS. BLACKITT: Hmm. Well, why do they have so many children?

      MR. BLACKITT: Because… every time they have sexual intercourse, they have to have a baby.

      MRS. BLACKITT: But it’s the same with us, Harry.

      MR. BLACKITT: What do you mean?

      MRS. BLACKITT: Well, I mean, we’ve got two children, and we’ve had sexual intercourse twice.

      MR. BLACKITT: That’s not the point. We could have it any time we wanted.

      MRS. BLACKITT: Really?

      MR. BLACKITT: Oh, yes, and, what’s more, because we don’t believe in all that Papist claptrap, we can take precautions.

      MRS. BLACKITT: What, you mean… lock the door?

      MR. BLACKITT: No, no. I mean, because we are members of the Protestant Reformed Church, which successfully challenged the autocratic power of the Papacy in the mid- sixteenth century, we can wear little rubber devices to prevent issue.

      MRS. BLACKITT: What d’you mean?

      MR. BLACKITT: I could, if I wanted, have sexual intercourse with you,…

      MRS. BLACKITT: Oh, yes, Harry.

      MR. BLACKITT: …and, by wearing a rubber sheath over my old feller, I could insure… that, when I came off, you would not be impregnated.

      MRS. BLACKITT: Ooh!

      1. MR. BLACKITT: That’s what being a Protestant’s all about. That’s why it’s the church for me. That’s why it’s the church for anyone who respects the individual and the individual’s right to decide for him or herself. When Martin Luther nailed his protest up to the church door in fifteen- seventeen, he may not have realised the full significance of what he was doing, but four hundred years later, thanks to him, my dear, I can wear whatever I want on my John Thomas,… [sniff] …and, Protestantism doesn’t stop at the simple condom! Oh, no! I can wear French Ticklers if I want.

        MRS. BLACKITT: You what?

        MR. BLACKITT: French Ticklers. Black Mambos. Crocodile Ribs. Sheaths that are designed not only to protect, but also to enhance the stimulation of sexual congress.

        MRS. BLACKITT: Have you got one?

        MR. BLACKITT: Have I got one? Uh, well, no, but I can go down the road any time I want and walk into Harry’s and hold my head up high and say in a loud, steady voice, ‘Harry, I want you to sell me a condom. In fact, today, I think I’ll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant.’

        MRS. BLACKITT: Well, why don’t you?

        MR. BLACKITT: But they– Well, they cannot, ’cause their church never made the great leap out of the Middle Ages and the domination of alien episcopal supremacy.

        1. What, no song?!

          1. “Every sperm is sacred!”

        2. Was there a point to all that?

          1. Yes, that Monty Python was hilarious. You philistine.

  3. Evangelical white Protestants

    AKA Creationist Fundie Aborto-Nuts

    1. Keep on keeping on, Blue Mikey.

      1. It is a difficult call to say which has done more damage to humanity (religion or the state) – but I have to go with religion.

        1. Of course you do, Blue Mikey. Of course you do.

        2. Nah, the answer is easy: the state has done far, far more damage. The tip-off is that whenever you look at a period when shit went down in the name of religion (the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Counter-Reformation, terrorists’ modern war to establish a Caliphate) it is really about STATE power. Theocracy is still about government, just with religious trappings.

          1. Shreek’s mom made him go to Sunday school when he was a kid, and he’s still pissed about it.

          2. I read an argument that the Protestant Reformation was about food; it happened in countries where you can’t grow olives, and were hit hardest by the 1/3 of the year animal products were denied Catholics. In the olive oil consuming south, where the decisions were made, that was fine. In the butter consuming north, not so much.

            Apparently, the construction of this magnificent tower was financed by the indulgences collected by the Church from the wealthy citizens who ate dairy products during Lent – despite the formal interdiction of the Church! Normandy is famous for its dairy products – and has been for quite some time – and the citizens of Rouen, although quite religious, were unable to resist the siren song of the famous Normandy butter, and so were able to reconcile their insatiable appetites by donating to the church.

            1. The reformation was pretty much a tax revolt. Which is cool.

              (I used to be Lutheran and now I’m Catholic)

          3. Religion got a massive head start on the state. Look at the thousands of Aztec child sacrifices that were just uncovered. Of course the two began to mix together in modern times to make the call more difficult.

            The Middle East was stateless until the West began drawing borders after WW2 while the West was defining secular liberal Constitutions.

            1. “The Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan was the head of the cult of Huitzilopochtli and thus of the state religion of the Aztec empire. He had special priestly duties in different rituals on the state level. ”

              Stop embarassing yourself.

              1. The Aztec religion was explicitly formulated by Tlacaelel to support and justify the expansion of Aztec state power.

                The Middle East was home to some of the first and most powerful states of the classical era, and even in later periods from the middle ages until the 20th century was under the hegemony of the Ottomans. Saying the Ottoman Empire wasn’t a state is a pretty bold claim.

                Do you know anything about anything, shreek?

                1. What about when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor?

                2. So any group of people is a “state”? Fine.

                  A civilization is not a modern state.

                  1. You’re the one who brought up the Aztecs, homie. And if you do want to limit “states” to modern states, then there’s no comparison. Modern states murdered more people in the last century than all the wars of religion did in the previous ten.

                    I’ve never seen goalposts get moved in a way that resulted in the mover scoring an own goal before. You’re a special kind of being, Blue Mikey.

                    1. Some see a “state” as an ancient institution, going back to Rome, Greece and before, and theorized by Plato, Aristotle and other classical philosophers. Others insist on the unique features of the modern state, with its extensive rule of law, citizenship rights, and broad economic and social responsibilities. (Global Policy Forum)

                      The Aztec civilization was no state in the latter definition.

                      And in the 20th Century states were worse, no question.

                    2. He’s the Messi of retards.

            2. Why doesn’t the Ottoman Empire count as a state in your opinion?

            3. If the Middle East was stateless, what was the Ottoman Empire?

              1. Damn, I was late to the ‘PB is ignorant of all of history’ meme. *kicks a pebble*

                1. It’s okay, BYODB. It’s not like he’s going to suddenly get smarter in the foreseeable future. You’ll have other chances.

            4. It has been a relatively recent innovation to consider church and state separate functions going back to the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. In some ways the Protestant Reformation was returning control to the state ss the early church had divided those functions between the Pope and Patriarch and the Roman Emperors.

            5. Now you’ve done it! The christianofascist infiltrator warriors for the babies will want “us” to bomb and invade Mexico over Aztec sacrifices to the wrong gods.

          4. Inigo Montoya: Religion and State are inseparable. Even in an allegedly secular nation like the US, religion is routinely used to justify all sorts of expansion of government power.

        3. The State is a religion in its own right and it happily fills the void when peoples’ beliefs beyond the material wanes

          1. Lame.

            The state is often evil but it is not a religion.

            1. To lefties like you, the state is a cult.

              You follow blindly.

              1. To Nazis like you Aryans are a “state”.

                1. Butt, Nazis are socialists. Not all Aryans are Nazis just like all Nazis are not Aryans.

          2. Historically, the throne and the altar have been in cahoots, so it makes little sense to argue which was worse. The throne did the actual skull bashing, and the altar justified it. Now, of course, the two are at odds, because the traditional altar has been replaced by a new altar of intelligentsia made up of journalists, economists, and philosophers. The reason conservatives hate the throne, and the new altar, is because they are now in direct competition with the original altar.

            1. That’s not exactly true. The alter has more often than not been the most significant opponent of the throne, at least since the introduction of Christianity in the West. There is a reason why St. Augustine wrote The City if God and it wasn’t to praise the Roman state.

              The State has tried to co-op faith ever since it separated itself from state authority. Bakunin’s God and the State explains this thesis well, while still being critical of religion generally.

              1. The altar has been the most significant opponent of the State? That’s absurd. Whenever religion has opposed the State, it’s only because the particular religion in question wants to replace to current state religion. (Western) Religion does not seek to dismantle centralized power. It wants that power for itself. And it gets super jelly when other religions or religious sects acquire power that it does not have.

        4. https://www.reason.com/archives/2014/0…..-and-proud

          262 million UNARMED dead to government in 100 years.

          But, technically, state worship IS a religion, so both are correct answers.

          1. Correct, regimes like the Kims in North Korea and the cults of personality around Stalin and Mao aren’t actually non-religious. They have far more in common with ancient God-Kings than anything else.

    2. What’s funny is that before you typed out and submitted that comment your brain went through a process and decided it was the right thing to do.

      1. For particularly large values of “brain” and “process.”

    3. Dudes who care as much about abortion as you do are creepy.

      1. No, the creeps are your fellow conservatives who are trying to tell women what to do with their bodies.

        1. I certainly hope nobody tries to stop my body when I murder you.

        2. Meh, my friend spent time in jail, because he didn’t use his body to earn money to pay child support.

          1. That unconstitutional criminal action always seemed crazy to me. Seems like debtors prison to me.

            How does one earn a living to pay child support if they’re in jail?

            1. How can you be jailed for a woman’s decision not to get an abortion might also be a good question to ask. I thought it was her choice, so why is it the man’s responsibility to enable that choice?

  4. That 1975 case involved a Jehovah’s Witness believer covering up the “or die” part of New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” licence plate, a move for which he was subsequently jailed.

    Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

    1. You are only free to do as we say.

    2. Really. At least NH didn’t execute him.

    3. Sadly, today many more people would be wanting to cover up the “Live free” part.

      I’ve come to realize that a fair portion of people don’t want to live free, especially not when other people get to also live free, and their preferences don’t align with the majority.

  5. It’s ripping off gullible companies who thought he could be a MAGA rainmaker.

    I can’t imagine how many corporate dollars were gambled on Clinton and lost.

    1. Think of all the wasted votes.

      1. Fist is Catholic. He believes that wasted votes is what happens every time you masturbate.

        1. Ha ha. Masturbate. Fist of Fury was his Boy Scout nickname.

  6. The percentage identifying with the “Other” Christian category?which includes Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians, etc.?rose from 11 percent in 2003 to 14 percent in 2017.

    I KNEW IT

    1. It’s the icon of our times.

    2. Russian Orthodoxy is a global conspiracy these days.

      For example, the current Russian Orthodox bishop of Caracas is a Latvian born in Australia and consecrated in Erie, Pennsylvania.

      1. Pennsylvania scares me more than Russians.

        1. Then you are among the wise, BUCS.

    3. Maybe it has something to do with family size.

  7. London will ban fast-food advertisements on subways.

    Probably because of Jared.

    1. Has nothing to do with socialized medicine.

    2. England bans fast-food advertisements on subways and bans terminally ill child from getting hospice care out-of-country.

      What will garbage island think of next?

      1. Their sugar tax is already in effect.

  8. “The one group that really grew during this period? The non-religious”

    Sure about that?

    1. The agnostics can’t be sure of any of this.

      1. I hate when the evangelical agnostics come through the neighborhood.

        1. Really? Have they stopped handing out the little notebooks with blank pages?

          Alt question: how can you tell it’s them?

  9. “We’re living in the most depressing timeline, says science.”

    Without even reading this story, I’m going to agree with the premise

    1. SyFy just announced that they’re not doing a fourth season of The Expanse, so it is pretty self-evident.

      1. Stopped watching that channel after they changed their name from “SciFi”. I have no idea what a “SyFy” is

        1. Once I realized that the extra Y’s didn’t mean more vaginas I was out.

        2. I’ve been watching The Expanse a season behind on Amazon Prime, so i guess i’m part of the problem.

          1. The third season is awesome. Are you serious about no 4th season? You just ruined my day. The Expanse is the best show on TV right now.

            1. Yeah, apparently SyFy stupidly neglected to negotiate for streaming rights to the show or something, and that’s where most of the audience is. Fingers crossed Netflix or Hulu picks it up and keeps it going.

              1. considering netflix has streaming rights everywhere but us, lets hope! Hell, maybe amazon will pick it up

    2. And I’m going to witness to their naivete and short-sightedness.

  10. All the world is his court and all the men and women in it merely jurors…

    Ugh, what does it take to avoid jury duty these days?

    1. A rope?

    2. Tell them you know what jury nullification is

    3. Stand up and shout, “he’s guilty!”

      1. Every five seconds

    4. Stand up and shout, “he’s innocent!”

    5. Stand up and shout, “Taxation is theft. You’re all guilty!”

      1. I’ve gotten kicked out of so many restaurants for doing that.

        1. Tipping is not a tax. We keep telling you this.

          1. That’s the second reason why Citizen X’s nickname is Mr. Pink.

            1. The third is my pastel-heavy summer wardrobe.

    6. “That guy Lysander Spooner made a lot of sense…”

  11. Tehran (CNN)Iran says it is ready to restart nuclear enrichment on an “industrial scale” in the wake of the US decision to abandon the deal that curbs the country’s nuclear ambitions.

    In a statement published Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he would embark on a round of international diplomacy to try and save the deal. At the same time, the country would make preparations to restart its nuclear program, he said.

    NO ONE COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING!

    (idiot Republicans)

    1. Hopefully it all blows up in their faces.

    2. HEY EVERYONE!!

      THIS GUY BELIEVES WHAT IRAN TELLS HIM!!

      I know right?

      1. So you believe Iran will cower and accept The Dotard’s commands?

        Idiot.

        1. AWWW HE’S UPSET BECAUSE I MADE FUN OF HIM!!!

        2. Iran will stop trying to attack US interests, one way or another.

          Butt thinks Obama solved the Iran problem with pallets of cash. Idiot.

          1. “Yeah guys we totally shut down our nuclear program!” – Iran

            “Sounds legit” – Palin’s Buttplug

            1. And you’re proud of the Iraq War and like Bibi the Rat can’s wait for the same thing in Iran.

            2. “Yeah guys we totally shut down our nuclear program!” – Iran

              Even if you take Iran at their word, the JCPOA and war aren’t the only two options. Even if you take Iran at their word *and* the JCPOA or war are the only two options, would you rather fight a war with Iran now or wait until they’re more economically prosperous and a greater military threat in the region 10 yrs. down the road?

              If you take Iran at their word, they’re never going to develop a bomb under the NPT and the JCPOA is a meaningless ploy to ease the sanctions while Iran continues to be belligerent in the region. If you can’t take Iran at their word on the NPT, then there’s no reason to take their word on the JCPOA.

              I’m not particularly against Iran having nuclear power or even nuclear weapons (much like Israel, India, and Pakistan). Their protracted hostility to their neighbors in the region is far more deplorable and the JCPOA explicitly did nothing to address it (not that the US should be obligated to do something about it one way or the other).

          2. Many are hoping for the entire Middle East’s nuclear meltdown. The Dotard just took a big step toward that.

            1. If the world isn’t a radioactive hot plate one year from now, will you promise to go away and stay away?

            2. Butt, didn’t you have nuclear wetdreams in general once Trump was elected?

              It was a lefty talking point after all. Trump having access to the nuke codes really scared you socialists.

              1. It’s a re-run of the old Reagan opposition. “What’s flat, black, and glows? Iraq the day after Reagan’s inauguration.”

  12. I know this wasn’t in the links, but I heard that one of the North Korean detainees just released has been imprisoned in since 2015 or something. Which means that HE DOESN’T KNOW WHO IS THE PRESIDENT!

    I don’t know why, but this has been an endless source of amusement for me. I just keep picturing scenarios of this guy’s mind being blown in real time as everyone around him tries to convince him that this is indeed real life and he is not still in a prison cell having an absurd dream. Just wait until the guy finds out about Kanye.

    1. Maybe they think Dennis Rodman is POTUS.

      1. I’ll never forgive Trump for not having Rodman in the administration. Bring on the worm!

        1. This is a counterpoint to the “most depressing timeline” notion: Dennis Rodman is a major CIA asset.

          1. I would put money on a bet that Rodman is a CIA asset.

            1. Of course he is. Do you think there’s any chance he DOESN’T get extensively debriefed by intelligence agents every time he comes back from hanging out with Kim Jong Un?

              1. I bet Rodman had all sorts of intel tidbits with his unprecedented access to Fat Boy-Un.

    2. Just wait until the guy finds out about Kanye.

      I’d be tempted to leave out the fiasco surrounding Bruce Jenner’s demise but, at the same time, he’s going to find out eventually.

  13. So where are the former Protestants (and offspring of Protestants) going? Other Christian faiths certainly aren’t picking up the slack: The overall percentage of Christians in this country declined from 83 percent in 2003 to 72 percent in 2017.

    Good. God is a lie told to keep people submissive and obedient to whoever is in power. Left wing and right wing Christians both agree on that. Either lie, Iraqi WMD or keeping your doctor if you like him, is OK if it furthers the will of their political Christ.

    1. Yup. It’s best that people view the state as God, which is what has happened in Europe once religiosity declined.

    2. God is a lie told to keep people submissive and obedient to whoever is in power.

      Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” – John 19:11a

      A non-exhaustive list of Biblical characters who disobeyed those in power with (apparently) God’s endorsement:
      Abraham
      Moses
      Ehud
      Sampson
      Samuel
      David
      Jereboam (he and the next 7 were quite evil, BTW)
      Baasha
      Zimri
      Jehu
      Shallum
      Menahem
      Pekah
      Hoshea
      Jehoiada
      Daniel
      Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
      John the Baptist (didn’t end well for him)
      James (or him)
      Peter (or him)
      Paul (or him)
      John (lived!)
      (pretty much all the apostles)
      and, finally, Jesus himself!

      1. True enough, although Jesus did say to pay your taxes. Mostly because Jesus wasn’t the biggest proponent of individual property rights, which could be expected of someone that didn’t particularly believe in worldly possessions at all.

        1. Jesus did say to pay your taxes

          He also said to “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile”. I take them all to mean the same thing, when people do “small” evils (non-deadly attacks, infringements of rights), don’t resist them.

          Mostly because Jesus wasn’t the biggest proponent of individual property rights, which could be expected of someone that didn’t particularly believe in worldly possessions at all.

          Very false, but a common misconception.

          The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers. Leviticus 25:23

          But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? Matthew 20:13-15

          “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

          “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

          “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Matthew 21:38-41

          Also, Luke 22:36-38

          Property rights everywhere you look.

          1. “Then He said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s..”

            It’s perhaps foolish to argue the point, but Jesus seems to be a Buddhist type and it’s pretty clear he gave no shits about the physical world and he was saying neither should you. This means ‘property rights’ in terms of what Jesus said don’t matter. What matters is God.

            That some of his apostles got it so wrong is perhaps not that surprising as eventually their doctrine lead to the creation of the Catholic church which is notably not very Christ-like at all.

            I mean, quoting Leviticus in terms of Jesus? You’ve already made a bold mistake on that one. The same with quoting what’s clearly an analogy from someone who is notably not Jesus.

            It’s clear Jesus was something of an ascetic, and given that Christians are supposedly striving to be Christ-like…well. It’s not my job to point out that most Christians don’t seem to understand Christianity but it’s a fun observation. I’m agnostic for a reason, although not this reason in particular.

            1. “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s..”

              BTW, by having the coin in the temple, they were bringing a “graven image” of a “god” into God’s temple. Hence, he told them that’d better be Caesar’s coin, cause it didn’t belong to God.

              it’s pretty clear he gave no shits about the physical world and he was saying neither should you

              All of the healings he preformed? Water into wine? Fed the 5000 (and 4000) men? Calmed the storm? Raised Lazarus (and 2 others)? Cursed the fig tree?

              “Thou Shalt not steal”, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved”, and “scripture cannot be set aside…” seem to further disprove that notion.

              What matters is God.

              Now, that’s true. What is more surprising to me is how much God does care about his physical world (and what we do with it)!

              The same with quoting what’s clearly an analogy from someone who is notably not Jesus.

              “I and the Father are one.” “‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!'”

              Now, was eternity more important to him? Looks like it, but the man himself famously spoke more about money than about heaven!

              1. Again with the old testament. Question: do you eat pork? Why, or why not?

                1. “Thou Shalt not steal”, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved”, and “scripture cannot be set aside…”

                  Acts 10:15 “The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'”

                  Remember, it says not the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is ACHIEVED. The purpose of the food regs was to keep God’s people “holy” (set apart). When Jesus died and rose again, he made us holy and fulfilled that.

                  Or sins before God have been forgiven. God paid for our sins against him.

                  Now, who is harmed by stealing? God says himself (and I’m not going to argue), but that’s been paid for. But the one stolen from is also harmed (sinned against). So, that still applies.

                  But, if you MUST have New Testament:

                  Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. The commandments, Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have, and any other commandments, are all summed up in one word: You must love your neighbor as yourself. Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law. Romans 13:8-10

          2. That Leviticus quote is copied into Hitler’s 1920 platform. There are oodles of National Socialist christian photos, quotes and memento photos over at http://www.nobeliefs.com

      2. Well, except for the’might makes right’ core of the Abraham myth.
        Disobey the state for the glory of YHVH, fine, but disobey the great ‘I Am’ and burn forever.

        1. Yes, if you leave the lifegiver, you eventually die. And if you abandon the only “good” (Mark 10:18) there is, then you eventually are left with all of the “not good”.

          To the best of my understanding, what “hell” is is a state of being where there is no life and no “good”. The part of you that is “you”, sans life and goodness, exists forever.

          God offered a way to come to him. If you reject it, he’s a gentleman (even libertarian!) and leaves you to your decision. He told you it’s a bad way, but doesn’t force you to take the good one.

          It’s not his fault that you’ve chosen to leave the life and goodness he IS and go your own way. “Hell” is that state.

          1. Utter nonsense based on willful abuse of perfectly reasonable concepts.
            It’s still a ‘might makes right’ ethics and thus contemptible (and profoundly anti-libertarian) on the face of it.
            God is no gentleman and is demonstrably unworthy of worship. The Bible says it quite clearly.
            Everybody dies, you will too. Death is biological. That you clutch a security blanket provided by a bronze-age psycho bully is sad, but so it goes.
            There’s no reasoning with the willfully irrational so I’ll leave you to wallow in your unsanity.

            1. It’s still a ‘might makes right’ ethics

              No, it’s property rights. He made you. He has a right to what he made, which is your life and his goodness. You have a right to “you” which is pretty terrible.

              God is no gentleman and is demonstrably unworthy of worship.

              Wrong. You are here, in defiance to him. And you are still here.

              Everybody dies, you will too.

              Once, yes.

              There’s no reasoning with the willfully irrational

              On that, you are correct. He said it as “don’t answer a fool according to his folly”.

  14. GOP candidate boasts he would ’round up criminal illegals’ himself in new ad

    https://goo.gl/LvbjWE

    This idiot is from Georgia. We have more than our fair share of them.

    1. Stop pretending you live in Georgia, asswipe. You live at 1435 Euclid St. Apartment 2 in Northwest Washington D.C.

      1. Oh sweet, another retard fight. Get ‘im, boy!

      2. I’m going to assume that’s Weigel’s address, which prompts one question – why the fuck do you know where he lives?

        1. Mikey not only knows where the Reason staff lives but their spouses names and political inclinations.

          Many of the Conservo-Freaks here hate Suderman because he is married to the Bloomberg writer Megan McArdle. The Peanut Gallery here is downright hostile to anyone who is not a deep-fried wingnut redneck.

          1. To be fair, you’re downright hostile to anyone who is not a deep-fried lefty wingnut.

        2. I’m hoping that maybe one day someone will pay him a visit and finally put him out of his manic-depressive, “sad clown”, suicidal misery. Which would also make things around here about a million times better.

          1. You’re fucking insane.

            1. Correct

              1. I’m not the one looking up addresses of journalists I dislike and hoping someone ends them. Get a grip.

          2. Simple Mikey logic*:
            1. shreek is obviously delusional
            2. Weigel wrote an article about being hospitalized for depression
            3. all mental illnesses are the same
            4. all people with mental illnesses are the same person
            THEREFORE
            shreek is Weigel

            *not an accurate word for what’s going on in Mikey’s skull, but there isn’t a simple term for “process of a single neuron firing pointlessly into empty space”

            1. Why would anyone believe your lies. Papa Mike has show conclusively that you are also Weigel.

        3. “Hello, is this Weigel?”
          “Yes, this is David Weigel. Who is this?”
          “You can call me …..uh…Domestic Dissident. I have something that is going to blow your mind.”
          “What?”
          “Something that will put Trump away for good.”
          “Who is this?”
          “Do you want the scoop or not?”
          “How do I know you are for real?”
          “I know what Hillary whispered into your ear when you met her.”
          Ominous whispering sounds emanated from Weigel’s phone.
          “You are freaking me out, Domestic Dissident. Ok. Ok. Where do you want to meet?”
          “You can come to my place. To show my trust, I will let you know where I live. How does tomorrow at 8 pm sound?”
          “Tomorrow is Saturday night. I have plan w”
          “DO YOU WANT THIS OR NOT??!!!!”
          Weigel sighed. “Fine. Jesus Give me the address.”

          1. Weigel found the apartment door that was written down on his piece of paper. His hand was sweaty. He knocked. The rapping of his knuckle pushed the door in a little. The door was open, and dust motes danced in the little beam of light emanating from the otherwise dark interior. Weigel pushed the door open a little more and stepped inside. The hallway was unlit, and the light was coming from what looked like a living area. He scanned the room. A figure sat in a chair, next to a work desk. Some sort of doll was in the figure’s hands, and the figure was hunched over, whispering to the doll. Behind the figure was a large corkboard, with names on pieces of paper and red string criss-crossing thr corkboard. Weigel scanned the names: Crusty, Citizen X, Palin’s Buttplug, Sparky,…in the center of the board was his name in big red letters: David Weigel.

            1. “Hello?” Wegel asked, unsure of whether it was a good idea that he was there. The figure looked up. A sad and lonely expression dissipated into a smile, like an April sun peeking through the clouds after a dismal morning. “You came!”
              “Look, I don’t have a lot of time. Where is t”
              “DON’T RUSH THIS!…..There.”
              The now standing figure pointed at a computer screen.
              Weigel’s gaze followed the pointing hand. The computer screen was blank.

              1. to be continued on Monday…

                1. Spoiler/tease:

                  “It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again”

      3. Dude, that’s my mom’s address. Stop looking through her window, you pervert. Her shower curtain broke yesterday. She’s normally a modest woman.

  15. Where do these Rs get off?!

    “Republicans override Dem objections to confirm federal judge”
    […]
    “The political battle over President Trump’s judicial nominees escalated on Thursday when the Senate took the rare step of confirming the nomination of a Wisconsin attorney to serve as a federal judge despite the objections of one of his home-state senators.
    Sen. Chuck Schumer warned Republicans that “this is a very dangerous road you’re treading.””
    https://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/
    Republicans-override-Dem-
    objections-to-confirm-12905096.php

    Shame on the GOPers for voting GOP!

    1. “despite the objections of one of his home-state senators.”

      One dude objected? Truly a dangerous road being tread there.

      1. I think the term is “Senatorial courtesy.”

        Or mutual backscratching.

        Certainly nothing corrupt about it, what are you implying?

  16. Most mainline Protestant churches have gone full-retard leftist. The members, being you know – Protestant, have responded by leaving.

    1. The members, being you know – Protestant, have responded by leaving.

      Yup you’ll note that The Church of Nunya had one of the largest gains in membership.

  17. “So where are the former Protestants (and offspring of Protestants) going?”

    Heaven?

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4IletJ7-Tw

      Eh, Catholic heaven is better than Protestant heaven

  18. We’re living in the most depressing timeline, says science.

    Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Obamites like Elizabeth Nolan Brown hit hardest.

    1. What’s funny is that before you typed out and submitted that comment your brain went through a process and decided it was the right thing to do.

      1. It’s not THAT funny. Really, it’s pretty sad that his caregiver isn’t paying attention and let him get on a computer.

    2. Looks like Sparky and Citizen hardest hit.

      1. Mikey’s not going to sleep with you, bro.

        1. He’s all yours. Just take a “forget me now” to live with yourself.

    3. -“Stop calling Trump supporters Nazis, it’s ridiculous and childish!”

      -“ENB is a Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist!”

      Pick One

      1. I’ll take door #2 Monty.

        1. Ok, just know that you look just as ridiculous and childish as the people who pick #1.

  19. As a left-libertarian, a less Christian, more Muslim population is exactly what I want. Because it means an electorate more favorable to Democrats, and therefore a more libertarian country.

    #NoBanNoWall

    1. Beyond lame.

    2. You need to read “Submission” by Michel Houellebecq. It will help with your admit to parody the Left’s perspective on religion and Islam. Because, what you wrote is not a very good parody.

      1. The guy inside the Chinese Room got fed up and tried to quit and leave, only to realize there is no door. So now he just spits out gibberish.

    3. Look at it this way, 100 years ago, the bulk of Jews lived in Easter Europe between the West and the Ottoman Empire. What will American society be like with fewer Christians and more Muslims?

      1. Easter Europe, the land where everything is pastels all the time.


  20. Waning religiosity

    We’re living in the most depressing timeline, says science.

    What did they expect?

    1. It’s being discouraged because it’s the opiate of the masses.

      1. Misquoting Marx to own the religious

      2. Now they use actual opiates instead.

    2. Religion is symptom, not a cause. People turn to religion for comfort when life is difficult. People discard religion when life is going well.

      If people are more depressed, it’s because so many of their material needs have been met. People need a purpose and lots of people have a difficult time finding one if it’s not forced upon them. In the past, people were too busy trying to survive to spend time thinking about how “oppressed” they are. Today, people have lots of free time to contemplate the myriad of ways they are oppressed. And this isn’t unique to leftists. Conservatives do it too, inventing things like the War on Christmas because they want to win the Oppression Olympics every bit as much as the leftists do.

  21. “Dem lawmakers release thousands of Russian Facebook ads”
    […]
    “Democrats on the House intelligence committee have released more than 3,500 Facebook ads that were created or promoted by a Russian internet agency, providing the fullest picture yet of Russia’s attempt to sow racial and political division in the U.S. before and after the 2016 election.
    Most of the ads are issue-based, pushing arguments for and against immigration, LGBT issues and gun rights, among other issues. A large number of them attempt to stoke racial divisions by mentioning police brutality or disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement. Some promote President Trump or Bernie Sanders, who ran against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. Few, if any, support Clinton.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/nation/article/
    Dem-lawmakers-release-thousands
    -of-Russian-12905080.php

    Bubba doesn’t like her, the electorate didn’t like her, the Russkis don’t like her. Hell, I’ll bet her dog doesn’t like her.

    1. The Russians already got to your link.

    2. I can’t stand Hillary Clinton, but I still find it interesting to learn all the things the Russians did to f— with us. And I don’t mean that Russia tried to get Trump elected. I don’t think they really cared about that. They just want to f— with the US because we’ve been enemies for 100 years. They want to cause strife because Russia has and always will hate us.

      1. “They just want to f— with the US because we’ve been enemies for 100 years. They want to cause strife because Russia has and always will hate us.”

        OK, but why choose a method which it going to affect drooling idiots in the basement like the Rev and turd?

  22. “Cohen’s racket, it seems to me, isn’t selling policy to the highest bidder,” writes Tim Carney. “It’s ripping off gullible companies who thought he could be a MAGA rainmaker.”

    That’s the impression I got when I heard about Cohen’s ‘consultant’ scam.
    Seems like someone should ask that Swiss company if the $400,000 they paid Cohen has resulted in anything tangible after 1.5 years of the President’s term.

    1. Less bank vault space to rent?

  23. Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance

    Exclusive: Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality. Now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called ‘black identity extremists’

    Balogun spoke to the Guardian this week in his first interview since he was released from prison after five months locked up and denied bail while US attorneys tried and failed to prosecute him, accusing him of being a threat to law enforcement and an illegal gun owner.

    https://goo.gl/CzXjHD

    1. Shut down Facebook. It’s the only way.

    2. PB, you must be torn. He’s a black activist but also an “illegal” gun owner. However does one reconcile this dilemma of whether to march for this guy or against him?

      1. March in circles with a slogan for on one side of the sign and against on the other.

        OTOH, if you can’t tell whether you’re coming or going, see a couple of specialists.

  24. The one group that really grew during this period? The non-religious. More than a fifth of those surveyed (21 percent) said they do not identify with any religion?a near doubling of the percentage who said so in 2003.

    Blah blah replacing God with the state blah blah depression blah blah darkness and despair blah blah socialism blah blah…

  25. Which is worse, Hollywood appropriating Catholic culture in their dress, or in their treatment of minor children?

    1. Hollywood’s treatment of minors is much worse. Agreed

    2. Sorry for getting a little off point — but WTF is it with advertisements these days using spokes*children*?

  26. “White House budget plan proposes cutting CFPB budget, restricting enforcement powers”
    […]
    “”The proposed reforms would impose financial discipline, reduce wasteful spending, and ensure appropriate congressional oversight,” according to a strategic statement released Monday. “. . . To prevent actions that unduly burden the financial industry and limit consumer choice, the proposal restricts CFPB’s broad enforcement authority over Federal consumer law.””
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/
    business/wp/2018/02/12/white-house-budget
    -plan-proposes-cutting-cfpb-budget
    -restricting-enforcement-powers/
    ?utm_term=.e3a3cebd8335

    Dems and other assorted lefty idiots, outraged!

    1. As would any budget cutting.

  27. Pelosi says tax cut was ‘uh milli-, uh billi-, uh a trillion and a half dollars’

    “But it’s raining stock bobocks ? stock buybacks, stock buybacks ? for all the wealthy shareholders on Wall Street,” Pelosi stammered.

    Never mind the bobocks — Here’s the Pelosi.

    1. And she finished the speech? Don’t people know to call an ambulance when someone is having an obvious stroke in front of them?

      1. You’d think considering the age of Congress they’d be well versed on FAST.

      2. You’re assuming they weren’t rooting for the stroke to finally open up her seat. Besides, I’m pretty sure Pelosi has a few strokes every day.

    2. Lol.

      Anarchy in the DNC.

  28. Hockey in mid-May?

    Yes.

    I want hockey in June.

    Let’s go, Caps!

    1. Very glad y’all took care of those waddling birds – never met a more idiotic, annoying, and unknowledgeable hockey fans than Pittsburgh fans. And while I wouldn’t mind Ovechkin finally winning the cup eventually, not this year.

      Go Bolts!

    2. They’ll get thunderstruck.

  29. “Cohen’s racket, it seems to me, isn’t selling policy to the highest bidder,” writes Tim Carney. “It’s ripping off gullible companies who thought he could be a MAGA rainmaker.”

    Poor media and its support for crony business finding out that Trump cannot be bought like in the good ‘ol days.

  30. More than a fifth of those surveyed (21 percent) said they do not identify with any religion

    Yes but at the same time, there is also a reduction in militant atheist religion hatred, ala Richard Dawkins. People are atheists but they give religion a grudging respect. Trump tried to inflame tensions with Muslims, and it worked for a while but then fell flat. In fact this is a reason for the demise of ISIS – they thrived on hatred and the rug was pulled out from beneath them. Bolton and Pompeo will try to reignite it but someone pissed on the tinderbox.

    1. They’ve been predicting the demise of Christianity for 2,000 years. We need to separate the source of people’s ideas (Trend A) from the fashion cycle of calling oneself “Protestant” (Trend B). Trend A isn’t a precise indicator of Trend B–and never has been.

      If you think that people should interpret the Bible for themselves, and everyone should be free to choose their own religion, you may not be identifying as Protestant or religious, but you’re holding to a Protestant article of faith–even if you’re an atheist.

      People’s church attendance and willingness to identify their ideas with a particular organization has always been cyclical–especially in American history. In regards to Trend B, we’re definitely not in the middle of a Great Awakening at the moment.

      Because guys aren’t wearing green leisure suits anymore doesn’t mean they’ve given up this whole clothes wearing silliness–no matter what the social justice warriors in the bubble would have us believe.

      1. “Trend A isn’t a precise indicator of Trend B–and never has been.”

        I got that backwards, but you probably already knew that.

        Point being that fashionable labels for ideas aren’t necessarily indicative of the popularity of the ideas themselves.

        P.S. And Protestantism is probably both more idea oriented and a label for those ideas.

    2. P.S. If Catholicism is immune, that’s probably for two interrelated reasons. For one, while being Protestant is more about specific beliefs you hold, being Catholic is often more about cultural identity. For people who identify as Irish, being Catholic is part of that. It’s that way for other groups, too. The second reason is immigration from Latin America. Those immigrants tend to be more religious than the native-born, and, likewise, they tend to associate Catholicism with their identity. The Virgin of Guadalupe is to Mexicans what the shamrock is to the Irish–not just a symbol of Catholic faith but a symbol of their cultural heritage as Mexican or Irish.

      1. Virgin of Guadalupe is syncretized with an ingenous goddess Tonzanin. She is dark skinned and has Indian features. It’s a powerful symbol that even Zapata’s forces used on their banner in The Revolution of 1910, which had nothing to do with religion per se.

        1. Indigenous. Damn spellcheck

        2. Add most of the saints, Christmas, and Easter to the list of ‘co-opted from indigenous religion.’
          If it weren’t for cultural appropriation, Christianity would be a very different religion. And almost certainly far less moral/ethical.
          Everything good in that mess came in from the surrounding culture.
          Religion is a reliable trailing indicator of moral reasoning.

          1. Everything good in that mess came in from the surrounding culture.

            I’m thinking the entirety of the sermon on the mount, “do unto others”, and “love your neighbor as yourself” would pretty much disprove that.

            1. Then you are culturally and historically ignorant.

              1. Do you know what the sermon on the mount says? Do you know what “do unto others” means? Have you tried to “love your neighbor as yourself”?

                How about “greater love hath no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”?

                No, how terrible for Jesus to have said these things!

  31. If your religion’s declining, I feel bad for you, son
    You got 95 theses but a fix ain’t one.

    1. A Catholic take down. Despite it being clever, I’m sure you still feel guilty about it.

      1. Guilt is a natural and healthy emotion and shouldn’t be repressed.

        1. Guilt is the wellspring of humility and empathy

        2. Guilt is boring.

          1. So is humility

  32. Where have all the Protestants gone? … pregnancy center …

    Did you miss that day in health class.

  33. I’m curious regarding the religious questionnaire if the loss in Protestants is among White Protestants or Black Protestants, but it seems the study doesn’t care to distinguish. Notably, here in the South there’s a massive contingent of Black Protestant churches, usually of the Southern Baptist variety. For what it’s worth, I’d wager the majority of those churches consider themselves evangelical as well.

    It’s just curious that the article assumes that the losses are among the ‘White Republican Protestants” and not, say, among Black Democrats. It’s notable to me, at least, that it would be difficult to be a person of faith and support the Democrat party based upon their party platform alone.

    In short, it seems that ABC is trying to make a point with their poll that isn’t really supported by their own poll.

  34. Religion and believing in God or a higher power are two different things. Religions are just sets of rules and guidelines about worship, celebrating faith, showing respect, rituals, etc. You don’t have to be religious to believe in God.

    1. Technically, The New Testament isn’t all that much a fan of “religion”.

      It’s about recognizing Jesus Christ as God/Savior, and submitting to his Lordship.

      First, you need to know who he is though… So you need to know the Scripture.

      1. No kings, no lords.
        Knowing ‘Scripture’ is a good route to shedding belief.

        1. Yes, what are the odds of Scripture being true?

          http://www.christinprophecy.org/artic…..criptures/

          www.http://y-jesus.com/what-are-the-odds/

          Wow, that takes a lot of FAITH to believe otherwise…

          1. Hints:
            1. The scriptures were a result of a log-rolling get-togther in Bone in the 5th century (could be off on the date)
            2. There is absolutely no, none, zero, forget-it evidence for anything like a historic jesus.
            You are welcome to your faith; it has nothing to do with evidence.

            1. The scriptures were a result of a log-rolling get-togther in Bone in the 5th century

              Dead sea scrolls say otherwise. After all, the prophecies I linked to were from the Old Testament (Jewish Scriptures). So, in order to make those prophecies, they’d have to travel in time…

              There is absolutely no, none, zero, forget-it evidence for anything like a historic jesus

              Wikipedia is a bastion of Christianity then:

              http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

              You are welcome to your (lack of) faith; it has nothing to do with evidence.

              1. The scriptures were a result of a log-rolling get-togther in Bone in the 5th century

                “Dead sea scrolls say otherwise. After all, the prophecies I linked to were from the Old Testament (Jewish Scriptures). So, in order to make those prophecies, they’d have to travel in time…”
                Go ahead, shove those goal posts. If you think those who read history are going to be confused, you are fooling yourself.

                There is absolutely no, none, zero, forget-it evidence for anything like a historic jesus

                “Wikipedia is a bastion of Christianity then:”
                You SF’d the link, but I’ve been offered the same pile of speculation and hearsay many times. There is no *evidence* of a hostoric jesus.

                “You are welcome to your (lack of) faith; it has nothing to do with evidence.”
                My lack of faith is exactly based on evidence.

                1. “The scriptures were a result of a log-rolling get-togther in Bone in the 5th century”

                  I mean, if you want to ignore the Dead Sea scrolls…

                  “Go ahead, shove those goal posts.”

                  Didn’t. Not even sure how you could believe that…

                  “I’ve been offered the same pile of speculation and hearsay many times.”

                  Did Alexander the Great exist? There’s less evidence of his existence…

                  “There is no *evidence* of a hostoric jesus.”

                  And you claim I am the one moving the goalposts!

                  “My lack of faith is exactly based on evidence.”

                  If by “evidence”, you mean “what is convenient for you to believe”, then I agree.

          2. The odds of the Bible being true as a whole are zero. It is a self-contradictory mish-mash existing in roughly 33,000 variations, all hand-selected for the purposes of the assemblers of the anthology in question. And make no mistake, it is an anthology of stories, most of which conflict with at least some others stories in the collection.
            2,000 years of apologetics has not been able to reconcile the myriad issues except by recourse to faith. And then it relies on massive equivocation (flat-out dishonesty in fact) in its use of the term.
            The foundations of the Christian myth collapse on careful evaluation, or such evaluation leads to the madness of mysticism.
            Not only is there zero historical evidence of Jesus called Christ, the prophecies are special pleading or lied about. Or were written after the fact. There is no archaeological evidence to support the Exodus from Egypt. The “kingdom of David,” if it existed at all, was not as depicted. The Roman census is an incoherent story that mixes events and persons, and fictive entities, from across 100 years or more, as shown by history and the last 150 years of “Biblical scholarship.” Etc.
            Everything in the Bible is fable at best.
            You’ve been brainwashed by a cult.

            1. You can read Ehrman on “Lost Christianities” to see how the scriptures were ‘assembled’ in the 4th century by those capable (attracting the tithes of the adherents) of traveling to Bone to argue for their particular view of christianity (and there were many views). Those who could best pitch their myths (and thereby insure their tithes) were given the most ink. And this from Ehrman who states his belief that Jesus existed under claims lame enough to embarrass a high-school student.
              Which brings us back to Jesus. Yes, there were people there, then, named Jesus. In fact, a guy of that name painted my house recently.
              But here’s the deal: No miracles, no Jesus. No records (you know, like the Romans recording a crucifixion), no Jesus. No eye-witness accounts, no Jesus. Yeah, there’s no record of that guy Frank either. But the followers of Frank never claimed he walked on water.
              You wanna believe? Help yourself. But don’t bother fantasizing there is anything like evidence for your faith.

              1. the scriptures were ‘assembled’ in the 4th century by those capable (attracting the tithes of the adherents) of traveling to Bone to argue for their particular view of christianity

                Yep, Synod of Hippo, Council of Carthage, etc. Yes, there are “different views” even today, including those who believe “All roads lead to God”. That doesn’t make them correct, or another one being incorrect.

                And this from Ehrman who states his belief that Jesus existed under claims lame enough to embarrass a high-school student.

                That’s basically an Ad Hominem attack. It’s certainly a Red Herring. Why would it matter what he said?

                But here’s the deal: No miracles, no Jesus… No eye-witness accounts, no Jesus.

                Just, you know, all the OTHER recordings you ignore.

                No records (you know, like the Romans recording a crucifixion)

                Did they usually? Why would they? They didn’t care! They killed people all the time!

                Why is it otherwise rational atheists lose their minds when it comes to claims about God? Is it due to guilt? Hubris? Anger that they didn’t create themselves?

                “I was at this time living, like so many Atheists or Antitheists, in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.” – CS Lewis

            2. The odds of the Bible being true as a whole are zero.

              Funny, that seems to contradict what we already know about the time traveling Hebrews…

              It is a self-contradictory mish-mash

              No, it isn’t.

              existing in roughly 33,000 variations

              Prove that nonsense.

              2,000 years of apologetics has not been able to reconcile the myriad issues except by recourse to faith

              Direct lie.

              And then it relies on massive equivocation (flat-out dishonesty in fact) in its use of the term.

              Faith: Belief in something unseen. You believe in gravity. You can’t see it. Only its effects.

              The foundations of the Christian myth collapse on careful evaluation

              http://www.relevantmagazine.com/artic…..nd-failed/

              Not only is there zero historical evidence of Jesus called Christ

              Already showed that as untrue.

              the prophecies are special pleading or lied about

              Prove it.

              Or were written after the fact.

              Prove it.

              There is no archaeological evidence to support the Exodus from Egypt.

              And? Why would there be?

              The Roman census is an incoherent story that mixes events and persons, and fictive entities, from across 100 years or more, as shown by history

              Where?

              1. Readers need look no farther to see how pointless it is to argue with mystical fanatics about their invisible undead buddies. There must be some Mohammedan magazine somewhere that would love to hear from these followers of Robert Dear and Jimmy Swaggart.

  35. Religion equals dogma and liturgy. You need a degree of both to be a religion.

  36. Looks like Bill Maher is winning.

    1. In a week in which a feminist libertine like Schniederman is forced to resign due to his misogyny? I don’t think so.

    2. Appearances are deceiving.

  37. More than a fifth of those surveyed (21 percent) said they do not identify with any religion

    It’s just nobody has codified a name for the progressives belief that government is God

    1. I call it government worship…

      According to my non-existent Greek knowledge, that would be:

      Demo = state (village)
      latry = worship

      So, democide means “killed by government”, so demolatry would mean “worships government”. Except it already means “worship of people”… which is kinda right.

  38. #disraelitwainstatistics Got that?

  39. It is good news that mystical bigots are fast becoming extinct in These States. The prohibition party is glaring out of the dustbin of history. Even more cheerful is the fast erosion of the communist share of vote totals in Russia, where folks know up close what it is. With failed looter ideologies and vote shares following the dinosaurs, the future looks bright for the libertarian party–provided we dodge being overrun and assimilated by rats swimming away from those sinking hulks.

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