Conveying That Faith Is A Most Ordinary Thing

My wife and I are at the very beginning of this particular journey. Our children are four and two, and … Continued

My wife and I are at the very beginning of this particular journey.

Our children are four and two, and to them church—they call it “little church”—is a lovely nursery at our New York City parish, though they love leaving through the big nave, past a mosaic of St. George slaying the dragon, while the choir rehearses between masses. (We go to an early service.) Still, I have given a lot of thought to the questions ahead.

I am, I should note, a sacramental Christian, not an evangelical one. I do not have what many people I know and respect have: what is called “a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Rather, I believe in the essential historicity of the biblical story—that the God of Abraham formed a covenant with the people of Israel and that, in the first century in Judea, a son of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth, offered his followers a salvation history. It was a unique offering, one that involved a human atoning sacrifice and a physical resurrection—a series of events, grounded in time and space, that, mysteriously effected the forgiveness of sin and, ultimately, promised eternal life.

I take comfort in the idea that, in the words of the Psalmist, God’s “truth endureth from generation to generation,” and that the Lord will one day, in an image Saint John the Divine borrowed from Isaiah, wipe all tears from our eyes. To atheists and skeptics I say: there are worse things to believe.

But I am also one of the more unemotional Christians you will come across. My mind wanders at mass, and I sometimes wonder whether the faith of which I am a part is in fact the product of some creative first-century religious fantasists who could write beautifully and compellingly. In other words, I doubt.

To me, though, doubt is an essential element of faith. Without moments of confusion and despair it is difficult for me to see how one can reasonably hold fast to the creeds of the church, since for me doubt (not cynicism, but honest doubt) has generated a kind of analytical interest in history and theology that, at least so far, has always brought me home again. “The test of our faith,” said John Henry Newman, “lies in our being able to fail without disappointment.” To the idea of failing without disappointment I would add that we may also doubt with disbelieving.

I am currently and unabashedly trying to make my children creatures of religious habit. Like most children, ours love ritual, and they have begun joining us at the altar rail during Holy Communion. My son, the four year-old, finds the whole enterprise engaging, and I can tell he is at least intrigued by the drama and the costumes of a high-church Episcopal mass. (Liturgy is itself a drama, performed to convince an audience of the reality of things they cannot see.)

If they can, as I did, absorb the rhythms and rituals of the faith—and the powerful language of the Book of Common Prayer—then they will, I think emerge from childhood seeing religion as part of the tapestry of life, something inseparable from, say, taking walks or going to the movies, all of which we also do together.

This is why the distinction between sacraments and emotions—between going to church and saying your prayers rather than waiting to be “born again”—is critical. Sacraments do not depend on how one feels; they are, rather, the product of millennia of human experience and rigorous thought.

My goal with my children is to make faith seem anything but extraordinary. I want them to think of it as the most ordinary thing in the world. In this I am following G. K. Chesterton, who once wrote: “I am ordinary in the correct sense of the term, which means the acceptance of an order; a Creator and the Creation, the common sense of gratitude for the Creation, life and love as gifts permanently good, marriage and chivalry as laws rightly controlling them. …”

Elsewhere, he added: “The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that.”

What better gift can we give our children than the ability to see clearly? They may choose to reject what their eyes behold, or avert their gaze, and make their own way through the darkness, putting aside the faith of their fathers, and, as a committed believer in religious freedom, I would ferociously defend their right to discard their old man’s superstitions if they choose to do so.

Before completely letting the matter drop, however, I would point out that tradition is not to be discarded lightly. A bit more Chesterton: “Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils.” The dead may be wrong, but they may be right, too, and the workings of a sound mind will weigh the evidence fairly and openly.

Finally, a word from the South. Flannery O’Connor, the great Roman Catholic writer from Milledgeville, Georgia, attended a dinner party around 1950. One of the guests, a lapsed intellectual Catholic, allowed that he thought the Eucharist was “pretty good” symbol. O’Connor rose up. “I then said, in a very shaky voice, ‘Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.’ That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it … except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.” I have never come across a better definition of “sacrament” than this off-hand comment of Miss O’Connor’s. A sacrament lies near one’s “center of existence”—always there, in victory and defeat, in hours of joy and hours of grief. Feelings come and go; sacraments endure. Recall Jesus’ command: Do this in remembrance of me. Do this—it is a command to take action and to keep the feast, things which we must do no matter how we might feel on any given Sunday, or any given day.

It is this constancy that I hope to give my children, this habit of heart and mind to be disposed always to give the testimony of what the epistle to the Hebrews calls the “great cloud of witnesses” the benefit of the doubt. I do not want them to live an unexamined faith. I want them to question and poke and prod, to doubt like Saint Thomas—but, in the presence of convincing evidence, to fall with Thomas to their knees, and be thankful. For what, in the end, is my religion, but love for one another, and belief that once, long ago, upon a cross, a father committed the ultimate, unthinkable act of love, giving his son’s life for all others?

Jon Meacham
Written by

  • Barbara Ross

    Dear Mr. Meechan

  • felicity smith

    Flannery O’Connor’s remark reminds me of the first time as a brand new Eucharistic minister I gave out the host at Mass. As a Catholic, I had always had a reverence, almost an awe of the rite of communion, but that first experience as a minister completely surprised me.As my eyes met those of the commicants filing up to receive the host, I saw each of them as – this is impossible to verbalize – holy, divine, god-like, sacred…As the Sundays wore on, of course, the experience lost its intensity until barely perceptible.I do remember thinking during the rest of that Sunday, however, something like how can the priests bear to do this day in and day out, bear to meet the divine day in and day out. Since my experience had literally consumed my thoughts for the rest of that Sunday, I figured it would be an ongoing phenomenon. Perhaps were we to constantly experience the sacred, it would immobilize us. Perhaps the mundane does serve at purpose.

  • james mcmahon

    I’m sympathetic to your struggle. Raised a devout catholic I now consider most of it child abuse. The idea of a father sacrificing his son for others is preposterous. That’s what we do in war, and war is the true sin of humankind.

  • mike hoyt

    xxx

  • Sally Jarvis

    If you think being “born again” depends on emotions and feelings, you really don’t understand it. It is a personal experience with God, based on faith, not on feelings or emotions. It doesn’t exclude rituals; it just doesn’t require them.

  • Bruce Dobie

    Real nice piece. Ecce quam bonum.

  • Dan Gibson

    Chesterton expresses nothing akin to your sentiment that faith is “the most ordinary thing in the world.” He says that “I am ordinary.” The distance between the two claims is vast. Faith, unlike tradition, is far beyond extraordinary; it is beautifully absurd, wonderfully ridiculous. To portray it as otherwise is to confuse tradition and sacrament with the divine insanity of the faith of Abraham. Surely the wonder of such faith is not mitigated by the inevitable fact of doubt and uncertainty – indeed, it is thereby enhanced. But your declaration of belief in the historic truth of Christ on the cross strikes me as strangely devoid of the faith that it’s awesome truth demands. At the very least, you have, to my mind, settled for a vision of faith that is no faith at all but rather religion, tradition, and the habit of the sacrament. It is certainly not the faith that compelled Abraham up Mt. Moriah, a faith the mere thought of which brought a young Kierkegaard to his knees in fear and trembling – and rightfully so. Faith as ordinary? I respectfully disagree.

  • michael h murray

    Dear Mr. Meacham: Thank you for you thoughtful piece and to the Wash. Post for printing it. I found myself split between my Christian faith and my scientific education until I providentially encountered the thought of Teilhard de Chardin which put everything togther for me I hope you and your children may have the same good fortune. If you’re not familiar with his life and work as a famed paeontologist and priest I’d be pleased to send you a short introduction. Faithfully Yours, M H Murray

  • Michael h murray

    P.S. to the above: I’m at mhmurray@goeaston.net. an ecumenically minded Anglo-catholic, historian.

  • freudewald

    faith as mental assent to biblical truth and church doctrines is not biblical faith.

  • Tomcat

    Talking about God is like talking about coconut pie. Some people like it, some people don’t. What’s the point?

  • Elizabeth McLean

    My experience with feeling a personal relationship with Jesus doesn’t usually happen for me during Mass. It is only in quiet moments alone when I experience Jesus’ love for me and am in great awe of God. Mass for me is quite similar to your experience. It is at Mass and the gift of the Sacraments that I feel I get the “fullness” of the Faith. My son is 8. We attended Baptism preparation classes a couple of months before his birth. The one thing that the instructor said that stayed with me was: “Sit in the front row and always bring your child to Mass. Don’t sit in the cry rooms or put your child in daycare.” We have done this from the beginning (our church doesn’t have a cry room) and have had some trying moments. Sometimes I dreaded the challenge. We only brought quiet toys and many Cheerios were consumed. My husband and I often thought everyone was looking at us and considered us terrible parents. Less and less we needed to bring items to Mass, eventually they do learn to sit quietly. I remember my experiences as a child, Mass was boring, I could not see, I did not understand what the Priest was saying. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to get it. I think my sons experience will be similar, isn’t it normal? However, over the years I have watched him in precious moments. Sometimes he would outstretch his hands when the Priest did. When he was 5 and 6 he would say “Mommy, when do I get to eat Jesus?” His First Communion was this year, and although we attended the preparation classes, I don’t think he would have wanted to experience this for himself unless he witnessed Mass year after year and week after week. Our responsibility is to expose our children to Mass and the Sacraments. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. I can already see Him working! God’s Blessings to you and your family!

  • Canyon Shearer

    Dear Mr. Meachum,I enjoyed reading your story of faith and I’m glad that you’re aware that you don’t have a personal relationship with God. Being aware of that fact is instrumental in entering into a personal relationship.Think about these three extremely important Bible Verses:I would emplore you to watch a video produced by Ray Comfort called, “Hells Best Kept Secret”, it is available at his ministry, Living Waters, for free. The link is livingwaters.com/listenwatch/stream_hbks_broadband.asxRead the book of John, it was written to the Jews that believed Jesus was the Messiah and to Gentiles who believed Jesus was God, it is an excellent book for persons in a situation such as yours.Once you have repented of your sins, and placed full trust in Jesus Christ, God will create a new heart in you, and you will know your sins have been washed clean, and that you have been restored to a right relationship with God.Prayfully,

  • Canyon Shearer

    Dear E-Favorite,Wow! I can’t even imagine how much straw you and Mr. Borg wasted creating those men, but I sure hope you had fun knocking them down!The truth about the Gospels is that they are divine. They contain hundreds of perfect references to the Old-Testament, were written by Apostles or Disciples of Apostles, there isn’t a single contradiction within them. The Gospels are beyong human capability to write; when man writes religion, it ends up looking like the Koran or Tao Te Ching or Bhagavad-Gita; man centered with sin underlying the text. The Bible is perfectly Holy.Harvard Law School put the Gospels of Luke, Mark, Matthew and John on trial to determine if they were valid testimony, they ruled that they are a legal testimony of Jesus Christ.The history of Jerusalem matches the history of the New Testament perfectly, and the authors had unique understandings of both King Herod the Great and his son, King Herod Antipas. The daughter of the second King, Salome’, is written about in several non-Biblical works. The Bible says that at the hour of Jesus’ death, the sky turned dark like an eclipse, but no eclipse happened that day, like-wise in Europe, more than 1200 miles away, Phlegon of Tralles, a Greek Historian, wrote that during that time, a darkness surpassing anything that had ever been seen occurred. Tertullian, a Christian Scholar, writes that in the records of Rome there was a notation of an unexplained worldwide darkness. The Bible says that a major Earthquake occurred through Jerusalem, which apparently went as far North as Nicaea in Turkey, as a major Earthquake was recorded at that time. The histor ian Josephus was the main historian in Jerusalem at the time directly following Christ and his reports authenticate the people and culture during the writing of the Epistles.The direct followers of Christ died extraordinary or martyr deaths as recorded in extra-Biblical history. It is hard to believe twelve men who did not believe that Jesus was God would die in such painful ways as crucifixion on an x-shaped cross, crucifixion upside down (as requested by the martyr), beheading, spearing, stoning, hanging, or marooned on a desert island. Their deaths do not prove that the NT we have is accurate, but it does prove that they believed very strongly in Jesus Christ.I find it incredible that you’ll believe a man who didn’t know Jesus, yet wrote about him 1900 years after His death and resurrection, and yet you won’t believe the accounts of seven men who knew him personally.

  • Native Native

    As a native and a people we have beliefs and a spirituality that is quite different than those expressed on this webpage. However, i find the panelists articles and comments interesting. I am of the belief that all peoples of this wonderful world who express tolerance for others and what they believe may find salvation in our respective religions. We may not believe or express our spirituality for our supreme being the same way, but as long as we care for our fellow man we shall find true peace. As natives, we did not have the bible. However, as natives we respect all religions. We all have our traditions and sacred ceremonies.Peace.

  • Duff

    Sheep Shearer,

  • Canyon Shearer

    Duff,Your answer is found in your question:There are NO deserving people, all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. What we deserve is DEATH and HELL, not superficial appendages.Here is a sermon I wrote, Start with this question:Have you ever told a lie?I mentioned a little ways up, “Thou Shalt Not Murder.” Most people think, that’s a commandment I know I have kept! But listen to this! Jesus said, “He that hates his brother is a murderer, he that calls someone an idiot is in danger of eternal Hellfire!” God is so Perfect and Holy that He sees the intentions and condition of your heart, and on this will you be judged.Murder is the 6th commandment, lets move onto the 7th. You’ve heard it said of old, “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” but Jesus said, “He that looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart!” Once again, God is concerned with the condition of your thought life, not just the actions that you pursue in the flesh.The 8th Commandment says, “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” Consider this, every tiny thing you have stolen has distanced you from God, be it a paperclip, a pen, a piece of gum, or a song on the internet, all of these constitute larceny and require punishment.Now just wait one minute, aren’t the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament? Aren’t we under a new Covenant now? That is exactly right! In the Old Testament, the punishment for thievery, according to Deuteronomy 24:7, was death! In the New Testament, the punishment for thievery is eternal suffering! God has taken in the reigns, made His laws MORE strict, not less.Based on these four, of ten, Commandments we have examined, it is clear to see that the whole world has sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and God cannot just let a transgressor go, because He is a good judge, and a good judge will see to it that law-breakers are punished. The Bible says that the depraved nature of our sins has made us a child of wrath, of disobedience, of the devil, separated from God, and doomed to Hell. This punishment have we earned, and only by the Love of God is it possible to be redeemed and to escape the fire to come.God became flesh, came to this world which He created, born of a virgin on a beautiful Autumn night in 6 BC, lived a perfect sinless life, and was sacrificed for our sins on a Cross overlooking Jerusalem. In a beautiful, incomprehensible showing of love, in April of 32 AD, Jesus Christ substituted Himself for you and me, took our punishment upon Himself and died a terrible, painful, humiliating death. Death could not Hold the God of the Universe, and He rose on the Third Day, and Delivered our Soul’s from Hell.In a worldly courtroom, a Judge can let a perpetrator go if his fine has been paid and if he promises not to repeat the crime. In front of the Great White Throne of God, you can be absolved of your crimes, as your fine has been paid in Jesus Christ; repent of your sins in order to receive the gift of Life so richly given.Repent, Apologize and Turn from, your Sins, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you from Hell, like you’d trust in a parachute to save you from Gravity, don’t wait until tomorrow, the world is a dangerous place and you could die tonight! It is appointed once for a man to die, and then the Judgment, it is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God.

  • Stan

    Recognizing the points you make are valid and have served man well through the ages, there is a question before us, however, of how does man separate out the the fabrications and keep the good.We are into a point in history when the nature of the ‘devil’ needs to be examined and understood as well as God and how the ‘devil’ is to be explained to discerning children as well. Is the devil simply an idea, a thing, or is it simply a worldly secret political organization (or society) that thrives on terror?To state that some of the Bible stories are obvious fabrications a person soon feels as if he is telling a small child there is no Santa Claus.A fundamental question that needs to be asked and addressed is: can Christianity stand without ‘theology’ and the Pentateuch, Matthew, and Revelation? I learned from this site that The Lord buried Moses when Moses died and The Lord wouldn’t tell anyone (to this day) where He buried him. Sounds a lot like some of the stuff in the Book of Mormon.

  • Dolores Lear

    I was a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod from birth to 49 years. Then I had some High Tech Science Knowledge given to me, and at 50 gave up my church membership.I was shown a different continent joining than science accepts, read the Noah Flood in the Bible and realized the Noah Society and the Atlantis Society were at the same time in history. This Society had High Tech Science like we do today, and their pollution and their laser weapons, caused the Planetary Flood that lasted over 1 year.Just as Atlantis split down the middle and sank, so our Continents are split down the Middle from the Arctic Ocean through the Atlantic Ocean, and they were under water in the Flood.Looking at a polar map, So. America turns back up into the Atlantic Ocean, joining America and Europe, and joining No. American with Asia make a solid land mass, of the World Before the Noah/Atlantis Flood.From there I was led to the Knowledge that the Man Gods and Angels in religion and myth were our High Tech Ancestors that Colonized Earth.Adam and Eve were not birthed by Body, and it is not until we again have the High Tech Science knowledge that Humans can reproduce by High Tech Science. Adam and Eve and their Colony were reproduced by High Tech Science. Our HTA would not leave two people on a planet.High Tech Science explains the supernatural of religion and myth. The Garden of Eden was the High Tech Lab of our HTA. Our HTA, do have Eternal Pure-bred Life After Birth, and with High Tech Correction they do not die. They did leave Earth but watch over us, and time to time visit Man.Today we can join the egg and sperm in a dish, correct genetic defects, and put it in the female. Heterosexual sex is not needed any more for reproduction, that makes Mis-bred genetic defects in all people.We have had a population explosion for the past 100 years, from 1 Billion to over 6 billion people. We cannot take Care of all these people and they are starving and homeless. It is time to control the Mis-breeding on Earth.The Adam and Eve Pure-bred Colony did ‘fall to Body Birth and started all the problems we have on Earth today, and also Death.Our HTA were involved with many since they left, and were involved with Jesus. They ‘regenerated’ him in the tomb to Pure-bred, and he is with them, Alive, out in Space, and will return with them at Judgement Day.Earth is a spaceship with all the resources aboard, and the Lifestyle of the Crew on Earth, should be Equal Sharing of the resources for All Life, not competition, greed, Haves and Havenots, and starving and homeless members.I have all this info on my web site and it includes Creation, Fall, and other sections, and covers the Bible with a High Tech Science explanation. The Bible, other scriptures and myth are all about High Tech Human Life on planets and in spaceships.Peace.

  • Elviki

    Caynon Shearer makes an excellent point. Perhaps he should fly a plane into a building to prove his point.This is what religion gives the world – mass insanity – and Mr. Meacham is an accomplice to this madness. Boycott Newsweek.

  • Elviki

    Excellent points Bruce, but a few mistakes. People have risen from the dead – thanks to medical science and the knowledge given to us by thinkers who refused to believe the claims of the Bible.Also, your first 3 reccomendations (Dawkins, Harris, Dennet) are much better than the last (Angelou). I’m fairly certain that she has been complicit in the “lukewarm Christian” pseudo-spirituality that permeates our nation today. Go with Hemingway, Einstein, Ayn Rand, Shaw, Mencken, Jefferson, Twain..Do I need to go on? They’re better writers anyway.

  • Canyon Shearer

    All Hail Bruce Stewart! Finally an omnipotent poster has chosen to grace this forum with his presence! He has finally cleared up the confusion after 6,600 years of wondering! I think it’s about time we start “Stewianity” and ask him for the answers to all of lifes questions.End-Sarcasm.Bruce, yours was the dumbest post I’ve read so far.Abraham’s preparedness for sacrifice showed how committed and trusting he was in God. God’s sacrifice showed His love for all human beings. If you don’t understand that, don’t write it off as “unimportant”, just say, “I am unlearned in this particular subject and for that I appologize, please explain it to me.”If women did not come from the rib of a man, explain to me why the rib is the ONLY bone in your body that will grow back in full.I’m glad you’ve given us your opinion on the Ark, the Resurrection, and Jonah, clearly you were there, have all knowledge, and can adequately explain to use the facts on which your idiocy is based.The Earth isn’t flat or 10,000 years old, it is round and 6,600 years old, as the Bible says.You still believe in the big-bang? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.I love it that you are worshipping Dennet Dawkins and Harris…easily the three stooges of modern philosophy! They are weak-minded individuals with dogmatic understandings of atheism and cannot support their positions with science or truth. I cannot for the life of me unstand why they are loved by persons such as you…although the Bible does say that people in the final days would be lovers of dark. Maybe you should try lighting a candle in order to read some intelligent conversation and not their religious garbage.You have proven your lack of knowledge in Christianity, until you understand it, I would appreciate it if you stop spreading your lies on the subject.

  • Stan

    One of the things that has to be caught on to is that the writers and the cheerleaders tell something that is preposterous and then loudly and adamantly maintain it to be true. Then they proceed for themselves in secret knowing it not to be the truth while the peoples of the world want it to be true and believe!Since “pendulums swing like pendulums do” when things swing too far one way a movement back the other way is started! Thus when Christianity was evidently becoming wide-spread was Islam created to combat it and sow discord? Was Mormonism created in America to counter Protestantism and sow discord? Maybe it’s religion and politics that go together “like a horse and carriage” rather than ‘love and marriage’.

  • bruce stewart

    Uh, Jon your words seem deeply felt, but extremely confused. Do you beleive or don’t you? I take it you do by referring to the ressurection near the end of your “testimony”. You in my sincere opinion are what Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, and Sam Harris refers to as the “Lukewarm Christians”. These are the type of Christians that really have no real conviction of their beliefs, but enough to muddy up the waters of religous discourse wide enough to let the evagelicals and fundamentalists dominate reasonable public discussion.Jon, Abraham sacrificing his son and Jesus dying on a cross (supposedly)do not represent any great act on their behalf. But, instead a warped belief system that has provided much more despair then it has alleviated.Women did not come from the rib of a man. Two of everything did not drift around on an Ark for 40 days. Nobody has ever been raised from the dead. Jonah did not last 3 days in a big fish. And, the earth is not flat or 10,000 years old. It just never ceases to amaze me how intelligent people can continually beleive in fairy tales simply because it makes them feel good. Well, I do know why people beleive in fairy tales. It is simply in our dna culturally and biologically. We are emotional being first and foremost which plays havoc with rational understandings.Tradition is ok, but far to my traditions have been used for the justification and continuation of ignorance, hate, and discrimination. Not to mention greed. Jon, it is ok to admit that to beleive in the stuff you described is patently foolish. If you want to believe in Creative Intelligence that arrived before the “Big Bang” then I have no qualms about that. But, please don’t quote a book to me that is so “beautifully written” that it contains and condones slavery, genocide, rape, incest, war, and mercy killings. If it is beautiful you want take a dose of Maya Angelou…regards,bruce

  • GA_Atheist

    CANYON SHEARER:The Bible is NOT PROOF!Could you build a boat that would house all the animals in the world at that time?!Here’s some more good stuff about Noah’s Ark:”Bringing all kinds of animals together in the vicinity of the ark presents significant problems.Could animals have traveled from elsewhere? If the animals traveled from other parts of the world, many of them would have faced extreme difficulties.Some, like sloths and penguins, can’t travel overland very well at all. An ark of the size specified in the Bible would not be large enough to carry a cargo of animals and food sufficient to repopulate the earth, especially if animals that are now extinct were required to be aboard.

  • GA_Atheist

    To Canyon,About your flood and Mt. Everest:”A spectacular example is Mt Everest. The summit of Mt Everest is mostly limestone, with many deep sea fossils. Everest is quite a young mountain, and still growing. It is formed from an ancient sea floor, which is being uplifted as the subcontinent of India collides with the rest of Asia.Marine fossils on mountains is also an interesting example for historical reasons, because it is one of the first lines of evidence recognized as a disproof of the global flood. Leonardo da Vinci was a keen observer of fossils, who first recognized the impossibility of marine fossils on mountains being debris from a flood. I quote here one paragraph from an article about Leonardo at the University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology.In Leonardo’s day there were several hypotheses of how it was that shells and other living creatures were found in rocks on the tops of mountans. Some believed the shells to have been carried there by the Biblical Flood; others thought that these shells had grown in the rocks. Leonardo had no patience with either hypothesis, and refuted both using his careful observations. Concerning the second hypothesis, he wrote that “such an opinion cannot exist in a brain of much reason; because here are the years of their growth, numbered on their shells, and there are large and small ones to be seen which could not have grown without food, and could not have fed without motion — and here they could not move.” There was every sign that these shells had once been living organisms. What about the Great Flood mentioned in the Bible? Leonardo doubted the existence of a single worldwide flood, noting that there would have been no place for the water to go when it receded. He also noted that “if the shells had been carried by the muddy deluge they would have been mixed up, and separated from each other amidst the mud, and not in regular steps and layers — as we see them now in our time.” He noted that rain falling on mountains rushed downhill, not uphill, and suggested that any Great Flood would have carried fossils away from the land, not towards it. He described sessile fossils such as oysters and corals, and considered it impossible that one flood could have carried them 300 miles inland, or that they could have crawled 300 miles in the forty days and nights of the Biblical flood.”I guess Leonardo is an idiot too…

  • Stan

    Isn’t it rather logical that someone just came up with an interesting way to explain the rainbow? Assuming a round earth and water coming from somewhere and rising to the top of Mt Ararat and all over the globe in 960 hours; and then going somewhere by evaporation in about 3360 hours from all over the globe it certainly didn’t happen in the universe we now know.Just looking at layers of former sea beds up the sides of mountains you know that the earth we have now wasn’t composed in a few revolutions of the earth. If the flood didn’t happen then Noah didn’t happen, and the stuff used as Noah as the benchmark is composed by humans, etc. etc.One of the characteristics of the writings seem to be that they always throw in something that all logic and evidence says couldn’t happen so that the ones in the know would know.It would certainly seem clear that the writer of the flood story didn’t know the earth was round and self contained. So God couldn’t have been the author, or even approved the story for our times.

  • marty

    The mental health of the parents is more important than religious beliefs. Too many religious people cling to their beliefs for neurotic reasons. Parents are Gods to their children, especially young ones. Whether or not the parents have a loving relationship between each other and within themselves is more of a determinant of the security,self worth, confidence and love that a child feels than any religious doctrine. Too many people hide behind scripture when they would be better off seeing a good therapist, so they don’t screw up their children. Spiritual health depends upon the mental health of the believer. This is the reason that religion has become, (and perhaps always was) so divisive and dogmatic.

  • Bruce

    Would someone please explain why there is any point in responding to the likes of Canyon Shearer?

  • Duff

    GA Atheist

  • E. favorite

    Jon – Here it is Sunday night and I’m wondering if you approached clergy today about what I suggested: their learning in divinity school about the mythological foundations of the Bible and the historicity of the Christian scriptures. I also realized that this might be a cumbersome conversation to initiate in the typical after-church crush of conviviality. It might be better to approach them privately, or even better, to approach clergy outside your church and “on background.” The fact that you’re a journalist, might dampen clergy’s eagerness to talk with you on the record. I know a priest who regrets telling a reporter that he views the resurrection as a metaphor, even though he preached it to his congregation on Easter morning. I know a seminary professor who declines to talk with the press, to avoid potential controversy, yet she teaches her students what she knows to be true – the archeological evidence does not support the claims of the Hebrew Bible. I use a pseudonym on this forum so my remarks won’t show up on Google with my business information.I hope someday soon that the rector, the professor and I don’t feel we need to worry about the repercussions of speaking openly.

  • Canyon Shearer

    Ahahahahahahahaha, GAy_Atheist, when shall you give up with your stupidity and start looking at facts?As for proof for a 6,600 year old Earth, I can only trust the Bible, because 4,400 years ago there was a major global flood which erased most of the evidence for a 6,600 year old Earth…because the Bible is inerrant in it’s science, because it recorded the history of the flood, we can trust to to say that it is correct in the first 2,200 years of the Earth.Proof for a flood, layers of strata, massive coal and oil desposits, fossils, clams on top of Mt. Everest, the Grand Canyon, Salinity records of the Oceans, recorded History of man, 250 cultural legends of a global flood.Duff, I’m not insane, I’m just paying attention. I wish you’d do the same.

  • GA_Atheist

    CANYON SHEARER:I’m beginning to think you are insane…”The Earth isn’t flat or 10,000 years old, it is round and 6,600 years old, as the Bible says.”Your proof that the earth is 6,600 yrs old is what? (You can’t use the Bible!)

  • Elviki

    Bruce, if you don’t respond to these fanatics, they start teaching this crap in our schools.When the managing editor of one of our nation’s biggest news magazines gleefully admits that he is “unabashedly trying to make my (his) children creatures of religious habit” we must stand up and fight this insanity that will lead us into a 1000 years of peace, known in the real world as nuclear winter. Canyon proves my earlier point: religious moderates (Mr. Meacham) leave the door open for morons with no grasp of reality (Canyon, Mohamed Atta) to do horrible things to those who don’t share the same delusions about a personal God.Thank you, Canyon, for proving my point so perfectly. 400 years ago this guy would have been burning women on a stake with the rest of the mob – in the name of God.

  • Tammy

    I agree with what you guys are saying and why you’re still arguing; someone who hasn’t made up their mind may be reading this discussion looking for answers. All things being equal, maybe Canyon Shearer’s remarks could make sense to someone who’s not been paying much attention to scientific findings of late.

  • GA_Atheist

    In response to the FLOOD People:Dr. David Plaisted is a computer scientist and creationist critic of orthodox geology, see A Creation Perspective.He is also the radiometric dating “expert” for the True.origin website”In response to the obvious presence of unconformities in the Paleozoic-Mesozoic geologic record, Dr. Plaisted simply suggests that the forces of “Noah’s Flood” could explain any of the unconformities. However, many unconformities show strong evidence of LONG periods of weathering, including the presence of in-situ ancient soils, or paleosols. In North America alone, paleosols (ancient soils) are fairly common. Like modern soils, paleosols show evidence of a slow and subaerial origin. That is, they show no sign of being produced or disturbed by a violent “Genesis Flood” on a “young” Earth. Paleosols have been identified in the Ordovician of the Southern Appalachians (Driese and Foreman, 1992), Silurian of central Pennsylvania (Driese et al., 1992),”Sorry this is boring but…”Again, most of these paleosols contain textures, structures, in-situ fossils and other features that utterly refute “Flood geology.” For example, the Ordovician Beans Gap Claystone paleosol contains textures and structures, which indicate that the ancient soil formed in a climate with a 4-8 month/year DRY season (Driese and Foreman, 1992). Evidence of alternating wet and dry seasons are also present in the Late Silurian paleosols of the Bloomsburg Formation of central Pennsylvania (Driese et al., 1992). How can widespread paleosols with evidence of alternating wet and dry seasons occur in the middle of a geologic record that supposedly formed during a “year-long worldwide Flood”? Root and in-growth position stump casts of Devonian trees are present in the Catskill Delta Complex of Pennsylvania and New York (Driese et al., 1997). Root and intact rootlet traces also occur in an Arizona Pennsylvanian paleosol (Nick et al., 1991). How could these undisturbed trees and their delicate roots and soils form within “Flood” deposits? The properties of a Late Mississippian paleosol from central Tennessee indicate that the climate was semiarid (Caudill et al., 1996), which is also hardly consistent with “Genesis Flood” deposits.”

  • Tammy

    GA Atheist, that was so not boring! Maybe there is hope…

  • GA_Atheist

    DOLORES in regards to Mt. Everest:”Now let’s see. Everest is rising by 6 inches per year. It’s now about 29,000 ft, which means that 58,000 years ago it was a flat plane at sea level. Add a few years so it was below sea level (otherwise how did those marine fossils get there? Walking oysters might work for Lewis Carroll, but not for the Bible) – so let’s say 60,000 as a nice round number. But hang on a bit – we don’t have 60,000 years, we only have 6,000 – no, wait a minute, that’s since creation; it’s less than 5,000 since the Flood – so if the increase in height has been slowing since then, just after the deluge it must have been shooting up like a lift in a high-rise”

  • Mike Dishnow

    I am a 63 year old raised in a liberal Catholic household. Yes, I said “liberal.” My father’s greatest gift to me as a child was to allow questioning of religious teachings and dogma and to encourage me to think for myself. He always said he found it encouraging when things were tough to think that “someone up there” was looking out for him. He was a believer — but told me I would have to reason these issues out for myself.Through my personal experiences, education, and reading over the years, I have reached the conclusion that there is neither God nor Gods up there. I believe that man has created God in his image, not the other way around.I have given my children the same gift that my father gave to me, the freedom to examine the evidence and make up their own minds about religious and philosophical questions. None has ever disparaged me for that, nor do they all share my conclusions. I belief I have given them no greater gift than this. I hope they will continue this family tradition.

  • Canyon Shearer

    GAy_Atheist,Your “expert” lost credibility quick when you said he’s in charge of radiometric dating, one of the least accurate dating techniques.Here are the dating checks, showing errors of 19.5Million years, 3.2Billion years, 2.8Millions years:Imagine you ask me how far it is from New York to Los Angeles. I say, “It is 4.6 Billion sticks.” You say? What kind of stick? What length? I say, “Whatever length of stick takes for 4.6 Billion of them to reach Los Angeles.” That is not science, but it does resemble the pseudoscientific Radio-type dating methods!The truth is, unfortunately there are no dating methods which are accurate if the specimine gets wet, dirty, or otherwise contaminated…which in 6,600 years there has been lots of time for that to happen, not to mention if somehow magically evolutionists are right and the earth is a Gazillion years old.As for Paleosols, I hate talking about geology, there is nothing more boring. Paleosols offer no proof for slow deposits, and they are difficult to explain for Creation Science, Ken Ham has done a good job, but geology makes my head hurt.If there were a flood, what would we see? Millions of dead things buried in rock layers all over the Earth? Nope, don’t see that…Your post on coal sounds like, “If I put enough big words in here, it will have to sound like it’s true.” However it has one super-religious element:You believe that Everest is growing? That is a factual error, it came from the first time it was measured(with protractor and microscope), they found one height, then fifty or so years later they measured it again and found a difference of about fifteen feet. Then they measured it again and found that it had grown another 13 feet. The truth behind those measurements? The first time the protractor had a large error, the third time? This makes me laugh every time…the third time the height was measured(I believe with a GPS unit)…hahaha…Everest was covered in snow!There is an idea that Everest is growing at 4mm a year based on a GPS unit now left on top of the mountain…but they started that in 2005, which means 8mm have supposedly happened…you, professing to know anything about science know that those numbers could be from satellite drift, equipment malfunction in the cold, or perhaps the mountain truly is rising. However, at least another 10 years are necessary to be sure, with at least two more GPS units using separate satellites. That’s science. Not saying, “Everest is growing 6 inches a year!” Have you even looked into the “Evolutionist” age of Everest? It has nothing to do with 60,000 years, so if your theory is right(it’s not) then the mountain must have actually sped up in recent years! Please pay more attention to science.So I guess you’ve completely given up on a proof for evolution?You know what I want for Christmas? I want you to say, “I still don’t believe in God, or Creation, but I realize Evolution is a religion which requires blind-faith and it probably doesn’t happen.”That would be the logical thing to do in your situation where you have been beaten so soundly.Tammy, welcome to the conversation. You said, “…who’s not been paying much attention to scientific findings of late.”Care to share?

  • Canyon Shearer

    GAy_Athinkist,So you’ve promoted yourself to an expert on arks? That’s nice, but speculation will not succeed, these things have been analyzed and would not have posed a problem to Noah.”Could you build a boat that would house all the animals in the world at that time?!Boat, yes, most barges today are large enough to carry one pair of each kind of animals, remember, you don’t have to bring a dalmation, a golden retriever, a pitbull, a chihuaha, a St. Bernard, you just have to bring a pair of dogs, variation will do the rest.To get off point real quick, Darwin originally started out with his theory because people of the day said, “If there are 1456 variations of dog, then God created 1456 variations of dog.” Darwin started out to prove that 1456 variations of dog could come from one set of dog, but then he got sidetracked and brainwashed himself.As for feeding, not a problem, the Ark was huge.Carnivores? No problem…Noah more than likely took baby and/or toddler animals, which have little propensity to eat one another.For the answers to any other questions you may have, please do a little research, here may be a good place to start:The only thing that takes faith when considering the Ark, is how the animals got there. Most people who haven’t thought on the issue think Noah went around picking them up as he found them…then how did he end up with a sloth, a penquin(waterborn birds wouldn’t need to be on the Ark), a kangaroo? Well, when you assume something and fail to look it up, that’s when you make mistakes. The Bible never assumed that Noah could find all of these animals, rather it is quite clear that God brought them to the Ark.Your knowledge on Koala’s is lacking. Koala’s prefer eucalyptus leaves, but they by no means require it, they’ll eat many different types of leaves.You cannot use science to disprove the Ark account, only assumptions. The Ark withstands scientific scrutiny extremely well, so much as to the fact that it is probably true.As for your second post.This accounts perfectly for clams on the summit of Mt. Everest.Leonardo wasn’t an idiot, he just didn’t hadn’t been introduced to plate techtonics.

  • Tammy

    Canyon Shearer, you sound like you know what you’re talking about and you’re a pretty lucid writer. If I didn’t know better, I might be drawn into your way of thinking, as opposed to people you claim haven’t proved evolution yet.

  • Canyon Shearer

    Arg, I hate having to correct myself. 8 Miles is wrong, 8,000 feet is correct. Still pretty deep!

  • Tammy

    By the way, none of this has anything to do with John Meachum’s horribly defeatist-sounding essay. I’m so glad noone pulled that stuff on me when I was a kid; this way I get to take all the credit for my own moral decisions.

  • Canyon Shearer

    Hi Tammy, thanks for the post. I have become bored and agitated with our agnostic friend from Georgia, he is blinded by faith and refuses to see that. As you said, there probably are people that have not solidified their world-view or hardened their hearts that are reading this, which is why I continue to respond to him. Plus it is interesting and informative to hear his arguments. I knew that there was a previously disproved notion that Mt. Everest was growing, but I did not know that they have since placed GPS units on its summit, that is new to me and some science I will enjoy following up on.I know that the nickname he has earned is crude, it was actually an accident the first time when I type Athinkist, subconsciously, but after I broke the ice, I figure there is no reason to turn back now.I am sorry if I have come across as thinking I know everything. I am a believer in the school of thought that, “True knowledge is admitting that you know nothing.” I know that I know very little of anything, my miniscule degrees prove I know things about electronics and management, but they have little to do with geology, paleontology, chemisty, physics, and especially biology, which makes those things a hobby for me. Knowing that I know nothing, it surprises me how easy it is to refute the evidences provided by evolutionists.I wish I had pursued a psychology degree instead of a minor, as I would be extremely interested in examining the types, effectiveness, and deprogramming of various brain-washing techniques, as I see at least three being used in the religion of evolution. I wish I was qualified to research and publish an article on my opinion and/or science of the matter.Anyways, what I originally meant to ask you was which scientific findings of late are solidifying your faith in whatever you believe? I am always interested in learning of new scientific discoveries.

  • Stan

    Why is the concept of “design evolution” with ‘block’ or ‘model’ changes over time not readily accepted by ‘scientists’ for living things on earth? It would appear to fit with the physical evidence as well as compatible with the Genesis concept except for the time span. But it does require the acceptance of some type of intelligence with the capacity to plan and make changes. The concept could even apply to the earth itself.Some of this stuff reminds of a professor adamantly stating what some drunk poet meant or had in mind when he wrote a poem many years ago.Also, why do people think they are so accurate when projecting back in time? Isn’t it still a projection? but one which is hard to disprove?It looks like we come full circle to ‘religion’ being a political system to control people.

  • Canyon Shearer

    Stan, you bring up a good point which hasn’t been discussed yet.Intelligent Design is a weird religion which popped up after Evolution. Intelligent Design falls between Evolution and Creationism. I am an ardent Creationist and I dislike ID even more than evolution.Evolution says that death caused man.Creationism says that in the beginning God…Creationism says that Dogs produce Dogs.Creationism says Love thy NeighborID is a poor attempt to compromise between the other two world views. It wasn’t a terrible attempt, considering the differences in the two, it did as well as any religion possibly could, but ID should be abandoned in full, before evolution even!

  • Elviki

    You let his lunacy through and you edit me? Yeah, this is a free press.

  • Elviki

    Maybe thus works:I thought I was clear:Is our country really this stupid? PLEASE TAKE BIOLGY! PLEASE LEARN PHYSICS!!Enough.

  • Canyon Shearer

    Dear Tammy,At the risk of offending you, the word, “convinced” could be substituted by “brainwashed” and it wouldn’t change the meaning of your post.I was once “convinced” as well, until I realized that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against evolution, and not an ounce towards it. There are an infinite number of lies and misconceptions surrounding evolution, but not a single one proves the theory, and most create more questions than they answer.Evolution breeds disobedience in the 2nd commandment; where-as Adam and Eve were tricked into believing they could become gods, people of the modern day have been tricked into thinking there is no such thing as God, so we are as close to gods as anyone can get. Whether you believe you can be like God, or that you are as close to a god as anyone can get, either is just as serious of a graven image and is punishable under God’s perfect holiness.When you stand in awe of the vast amount of evidence we have towards Creation and the lack towards evolution, it is impossible to think that there is no Creator. The vast amount of evidence we have is based on our finitely small understanding of the Universe, imagine how much more there is yet to discover!Anyways, so this doesn’t get too long, you said that Evolution is largely speculation, I’d like to correct you to say it is ALL speculation. It is not science, because science is testable, repeatable, and observable; evolution is none of those things.Perhaps in the 99.9999% of things we don’t know there is an evidence for evolution, but at current, in the 0.000001% we do know, there is ample evidence for a Creation. I’m all about logic, and it’s only logical to say that an infallible, inerrant Book, coupled with a gloriously and impecible Creation, and the complete lack of infallible opposition, that the logical thing to do is acknowledge the God of the Universe and find out what He wants from you.

  • Dolores Lear

    Our scientists are up to the knowledge of Colonizing a planet. Why not look at the possibilities that Earth was Colonized by Humans like we are? The 6 Days Space time is 1000 years Earth time. A thousand years is as a Day with the Lord/Human Beings. Life may have evolved in Space, but Life on Earth was Colonized by High Tech Science. Supernatural in the Bible is the ‘super’natural of High Tech Science.The supernatural Man Gods, in religion that rode in fiery chariots, (spaceship) and sat on thrones up in the air (flying saucers) did Colonize Life on Earth with High Tech Science, and are our High Tech Science Ancestors. We are in their image. They are the Man Gods and Angels in the Bible.If they evolved up to High Tech Science somewhere in space, or how they were created, may be know when they return at Judgement Day with Jesus, to save those that remain before we destroy our planet with our pollution on land, sea, and in the atmosphere.With all our nuclear bombs around the Earth, we are set up for the last days ‘Arm’ageddon, and the Abomination of Desolation, the nuclear bomb, is setting in Israel also. What happened to the teachings of Jesus, not to carry a weapon, and turn the other cheek? Why do Christians go to war and Kill?Why does the USA, usually called a Christian country, have the most nuclear weapons and are the Super Power of the End Times?So, most of the prophecy about the End Times of Life on earth is happening today. In the past there were also fears of the End Times, but they never had the High Tech Science Destruction of the Nulear Bomb, and the nuclear waste all over our planet Home, that will kill our Eco System.When we break the Ozone layer, the ultraviolet rays of the sun, will destroy Life as we know it. My web site for more details:

  • Dolores Lear

    The High Tech Science Colonization is the Intelligent Design Creation, of our High Tech Ancestors (HTA), and that is how Earth was Colonized ‘in the beginning’.Peace.

  • Dolores Lear

    Ga_Atheist.I missed your post about Everest on Dec. 11. When the Planetary Noah/Atlantis Flood is accepted, it will prove it was a Planetary Flood that lasted over 1 year. It can be proved that the land was flat over much of the planet, and during the Flood, the earthquake activity did make mountains and the remains of the Ocean did go up with the rising land. This type of debris is all over the planet not just on Everest. As the waters of the Flood went down the Tidal Wave Action did set down a new top strata, that we are digging in. There is megalithic remains all around the Earth from the High Tech Society before the Flood.Religion, other writings and myth, are all about physical Life on Earth. And about High Tech Humans that Colonize planets, and fly in spaceships.Translating the Bible with High Tech Science will give the record of Life on Earth from the Creation, to the Flood, to the Judgement Day.I cover it all on my web site.Peace.

  • Stan

    Could there be a God of the Universe and a subordinate God of Earth?If the flood fails then the whole Pentatuach attributed to Moses fails.Could it be that someone was given extraordinary insight into the world but felt compelled to embellish the understanding to help ordinary people grasp what was being conveyed?It would seem observeable that humans, collectively, won’t tolerate not having God; then it is fairly easy to see how once this was recognized that it was used to manipulate and control people. Then all you have to do is recognize that each of the various religions and books were originated for a political purpose of controlling people.’Evolution of species by natural selection’ should be recognized as “without redeeming social value”! But creation in six days and nights has served its purpose and it is time for the world to move along to a more workable understanding of the earth and the observable universe.The concept of good and evil certainly seems good for humanity but if and when evil gets in control is when the world has problems and is hard to root it out. It also seems observeable that evil tends to prevail without active and strong resistance from good.

  • Tammy

    Dear Canyon, as long as we both agree that we know nothing, then we are cool.

  • Tammy

    Hi again, Canyon-We must have been typing at the same time…

  • Dolores Lear

    What can be more Evil than all the nuclear bombs stationed all around our planet?The USA supposed to be a Christian country, but we have more nuclear weapons than any other country, and is the one super power today.Is this following Jesus? Jesus said do not carry a weapon and turn the other cheek. Why are we in Iraq? Did God guide Bush to do this?Has all the Evil in our past been guided by God? Is God a god of Love or War? Why if we are all Children of God on Earth, are there so many starving and homeless people?Is this how Man serves God? Or does God make all these problems, and war on Earth?Is it possible that Adam and Eve, who were Perfect or Pure-bred Humans, not reproduced by Body Birth, had all their daily needs because they shared the resources of Earth Equally? Is it possible they could have fallen to Heterosexual Mis-bred Genetic Body Birth? Is that the story in Genesis? There first child made by Body Birth was a Killer, and Man has reproduced by Body Birth ever since. This resulted in division, disease, greed, inhumanity, inequality, killing, war and death. Then did the female have to bear the child in pain and be subjected to the male? Then did the male have to take care of the female and the child and have to be in competition for their daily needs?Is this the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible? Did they eat the apple or have sex and reproduce a child by Body Birth that became a killer because of mis-bred genetics? Is the genetic makeup of a child controlled in High tech Science Birth, and flesh lust of sex, food, drink, drugs, etc. removed? Would this still make a Pure-bred Human?Today, our High Tech Science, does combine the egg and sperm in a dish, correct some genetic diseases, and put the fetus into the female. Once in awhile the even correct a defect in the woman’s womb. This does not require the physical sex act to make a child. Is this an immaculate conception?As our Science progresses, will we make a High Tech Womb to reproduce perfect people and correct all the genetic mistakes that Body Birth does. Was this how Adam and Eve were reproduced? They were real Humans.Humans can reproduce by High Tech Science and by Heterosexual Body Birth. GOD does join the seed of Humans in either type of reproduction. High Tech reproduction makes Higher Human ‘Beings’. Body Birth makes Lower Human ‘Beings’. This is why religion tells about both types of Humans. The Higher Human ‘Beings’ that religion calls Gods that looked like Man, and were seen and talked to by many, were our High Tech Ancestors, that had Pure-bred Bodies and Colonized planets.During the last 100 years we have again ‘evolved’ up to High Tech Science. Using this information, the Bible, all Scripture and Myth, should be translated, and find out that High Tech Science was on Earth at the Creation/Colonization of Human Life on Earth, and at the Time of the Noah/Atlantis Society.At the Creation/Colonization, two protective canopies were set up to protect Life as we know it from the ultraviolet rays of the Sun. The Ice-Crystal Canopy and the Ozone Canopy.The Noah/Atlantis Society also had a High Tech knowledge and Population explosion, for 100 years. With their pollution and High Tech Science weapons, like we have today, they broke the Ice-Crystal Canopy, which caused the Planetary Flood, that destroyed Life on Earth. The Ice is at our poles.Then Fallen Man had to start over in the Mid-Earth is a spaceship and Humans are the Crew. How could this Fallen Lifestyle on Earth live in a spaceship for long trips? Be celibate and Share all things? We are just about to ruin our planet, and without our Ozone Canopy, Life as we know it cannot exist. Why is Man on Earth divided instead of being United? Because of Original Sin?The Original Sin of the perfect Human Beings that began on Earth was Heterosexual Body Birth, that made all the genetic defects that caused Humans to have to be in competition for their daily needs. This led to Killing the Eco System and our Brothers/Sisters of LIFE. Jesus was Asexual and we should be like Jesus.Before we can Unite all the different religions and governments, we have to know the root cause of our differences, and Unite in Peace not War. We have nuclear bombs, the Abomination of Desolation in the Bible, all over the planet. Are we willing to Kill our Home planet, instead of Uniting and Kill no more?What happened to Thou Shalt Not Kill? What hapapened to Christians being like Jesus and turning the other cheek? It is Time to open our eyes and see what is happening all over our Planet with our Mis-bred Genetic code. The first step to Uniting is to understand what divided us. We are back up to the High Tech Science of reproduction, of Asexual reproduction. Our planet is overloaded with people, so all Body reproduction should cease, and all Killing should cease, and the Crew should Share what resources are left, Equally with all passengers, including the animals. We should control the animal reproduction also.Man was supposed to be the Caretaker of the Eco System and all the Life on the planet. It is time to stop being Unequal Killers, and return to being Equal Asexual Caretakers.Peace and Jesus’ Asexual Agape Love.

  • Stan

    God is not the problem; the problem is the way the world has allowed God to be defined and the limited capacity of humans to think and understand.Why has it never been assumed that unscruplous persons would define God and any messengers to and for their own benefit?When stuff is patently absurd why do people believe it? Doesn’t say much for the human brain.We have a fellow taking about wanting to run for president, and be in charge of our country when he apparently believes and acts on the ridiculous stuff in the Book of Mormon. What is worse, we have some organization from somewhere that seems to be trying to sell him to the people. At least the Romans had many gods and included a monument to an ‘unknown god’ in case they missed one.

  • Dolores Lear

    Religion of some sort was the moral center of all countries in the past. In the present, people are trying to make religion and government separate. What will be the result? A few countries have tried it, but so far none have the “Commonism’ that Jesus taught. True Commonism does away with a monetary basis and All thing are Shared Equally, as Life on a spaceship is Shared Equally.”The God Delusion” By Richard Dawkins: “Religious Education As A Part of Literary Culture” – “Let me not labour the point, I have probably said enough to convince at least my older readers that an atheistic world-view provides no justification for cutting the Bible, and other sacred books, out of our education – we can give up belief in God while not losing touch with a treasured heritage.”Does religion fill a much needed gap? It is often said that there is a Godo-shaped gap in the brain which needs to be filled; – and athe need has to be satisfied whether God really exists or not. -“But could it be that God clutters up a gap that we’d be better off filling with something else? Science perhaps? Art? Human firendship? Humanism? Love of this life in the real world, giving no credence to other lives beyond the grave?”Historically, religion aspired to ‘explain’ our own existence and the nature of the universe in which we find ourselves. In this role it is now completely superseded by science. -“Polls suggest that approximately 95 percent of the population of the United States believe theey will survive their own death. I can’t help wondering how many people who claim such belief really, in their hearts, hold it. -“If the demise of God will leave a gap, different people will fill it in different ways. My way includes a good dose of science, the honest and systematic endeavor to find out the truth about the real world.”the Mother Of All Burkas” One of the unhappiest spectacles to be seen on our streets today is the image of a woman swathed in shapeless black from head to toe, peering out at our world through a tiny slit. The burka is not just an oppression of women and claustral repression of their liberty and their beauty; not just a token of egregious male cruelty and tragically cowed female submission. I want to use the slit in the veil for something else.'”Our eyes see the world through a narrow slit in the electro-magnetic spectrum. – “Imagine a gigantic black burka, with a vision slit of approximately the standard width, say about one inch.”If the length of black cloth above the slit represents the short-wave end of the invisible spectrum, and if the length of black cloth below the slit represents the long wave portion of the invisible spectrum, how long would the burka have to be in order to accomodate a one inch slit to the same scale?”It is hard to represent it sensibly without invoking togarithmic scales, so huge are the lengths we are dealing with. -“There is a sense in which we animals have to survive not just in Middle World but in the micro-world of atoms and electrons too. The very nerve impulses with which we do our thinking and our imagining depend upon activites in Micro World. -“Science flings open the narrow window through which we are accustomed to viewing the spectrum of possibilities that once seemed out of bounds or inhabited by dragons. -“Could we, by training and practice, emancipate ourselves from Middle World, tear off our black burka, and achieve some sort of intutive – as well as just mathematical understanding of the very small, the very large, and the very fast?”I gaenuinely don’t know the answer. But I am thrilled to be alive at a time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.”Me: We need all the religious books and myth to translate and accept the High Tech Life on planets and in spaceships. Are we ready to be Equal Sharing Brothers/Sisters of Life? Are we ready to accept, the High Tech Pure-bred Asexual Human Physical Life After Birth, like our HTA and Jesus, on planets and in spaceships where there are no limits in Space, as we have on Earth?Life is for the Living, not the Dead.Peace and Jesus’ Asexual Agape Love.

  • Dolores Lear

    In ‘TIME’ Magazine, November 13, 2006, is an article “God vs. Science”, with opinions from Francis Collins a scientist and a Christian, and Richard Dawkins, a scientist and an Atheist.Collins: For you to argue that our noblest acts are a misfiring of Darwinian behavior does not do justice to the sense we all have about the absolutes that are involved here of good and evil. Evolution may explain some features of the moral law, but it can’t explain why it should have any real significance. If it is solely an evolutionary convenience, there is really no such things as good or evil. But for me, it is much more than that. The moral law is a reason to think of God as plausible – not just a God who sets the universe in motion but a God who cares about human beings, because we seem uniquely amongst creatures on the planet to have this far-developed sense of morality. What you’ve said implies that outside of the human mind, tuned by evolutionary processes, good and evil have no meaning. Do you agree with that?”Dawkins: Even the question you’re asking has no meaning to me. Good and evil – I don’t believe that there is hanging out there, anywhere, something called good and something called evil. I think that there are good things and bad things that happen.”Collins: I think that is a fundamental difference between us. I’m glad we identified it.”It is Time for Fallen Man to understand the fundamental difference between the Good and Evil of the Tree of ‘Life’. What did Man fall from? Higher ‘Beings’ to Lower ‘Beings’?Good, is High Tech Science Pure-bred Asexual Physical Reproduction of Higher Human ‘Beings’, that are Equal Caretakers of ‘Life’ on a planet and in spaceships.Evil, is Heterosexual Mis-bred Physical Reproduction of Lower Human ‘Beings’, that are Unequal Killers of ‘Life’ on a planet.Humans ‘fell’ from the Higher Nature to the Lower Nature of reproduciton. This was the Original Sin of the Perfect humans ‘in the beginning’. It seems to me, as we observe our Unbalanced High Tech Science, pollution and all the war and misery on Earth, that Lower Human Beings destroy their planet and all ‘Life’ on it, before they can get very far out into space. It is built into the Fallen Nature.Now can we accept/believe there is “‘Eternal’ Pure-bred’ Asexual Physical ‘Life’ on planets and in spaceships, for Human ‘Beings’ After Birth, instead of believing in ‘Life?’ After Death?Eternal Life is for the Living, not the Dead.Peace and Jesus’ Asexual Agape Love.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    STAN,On December 12th you asked:*Could there be a God of the Universe and a subordinate God of Earth?*Interestingly, there was a group who believed exactly that. The Cathers, a noble people who called themselves *good Christians,* were exterminated in southern France by the Romish Pope and the King of France in the 9th century. The Cathars believed that Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament, was not the ultimate Godhead, commonly known as *God*.*** The Cathars believed that Yahweh was a lesser divinity created by God, and that Yahweh was delusional in regarding himself as the ultimate Godhead. *** Yahweh had the power to create the earth, and he did, but he had no morals and was essentially evil. The Cathars called Yahweh *the Ignorant Demiurge.* Considering how Yahweh disported himself in the Old Testament, who could disagree with the Cathars? Yahweh was a very nasty piece of work.

  • Stan

    Norrie Hoyt:I’m not familiar with the Cathars but I can’t help but notice from your writing that they were wiped out many years ago due to not supporting Yahweh. The question then arises: is there an organization (or organizations?) that refuses to let people have an open mind and intellectual debate on matters of religion? It almost seems like the so-called “Christian right” and Islam are about in that mode now. And would these organizations be only a modern day version of those that wiped out the Cathars? Or is there yet another organization that manipulates peoples with similar minds to the ‘christian right’ and muslims? There are so many questions that it would almost seem there must be some unseen force that keeps thoughts channeled in one basic direction.

  • Dolores Lear

    Jon.Happy Christmas to All that comment on this blog and to All that read this blog.Jesus’ Peace.

  • A. Runner

    Beautiful. May our LORD bless your desire to raise your children in faith, hope and love — to point them home. Magna Est Veritas.

  • Dolores Lear

    I have posted about the Colonization of Planet Earth and that each Day of Colonization was 1,000 years on Earth and have said it was only a 6 day Earth time. I said that on Day 4, the sun, moon and stars could be seen from land, as the Soupy atmosphere was clear, and that this was not when the Universe was created, as was taught by religion. Today with High Tech Science we know a planet cannot exist before the Universe.Now I can say when the 24 hour day started on Earth. It was on Day 4, when the soupy atmosphere was clear, and the Sun reached the face of the Earth, and with the rising and setting of the Sun, the Day and Night started. 6 days of Earth time, was not the 6 Days/6000 years space time, it took to Colonize Earth. Genesis 1:4,5. KJV. “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”This was the first day on Earth that Day and Night started. “God” our High Tech Ancestors that colonized Earth separated the darkness on Earth with blue-green algae and this cleared the darkness on Earth and made Day and Night. Blue-green algae is the oldest element on Earth.Bible verses are not always in the order of happening, but the Truth can be found in the whole chapter with a High Tech Science reading.

  • Dolores Lear

    My first sentence should have said “and others say it was 6 days of Earth time.”

  • Dolores Lear

    Will there ever be a law made to punish the female or a doctors for having abortions.I cannot understand why we still have to go through all these female problems, when there is another way for Man to reproduce, that does not punish the female, the child, or the male. High Tech Science Pure-bred Human Reproduction in a High Tech Womb. Why should the female go through all the travail of carrying a defective child, and haave all the problems of raising it, or society raising it? If she does abort, there are all kinds of mental problems to solve.After 6000 years of Heterosexual Body Reproduction, and all the problems and killing that has resulted, how cab people keep arguing about aborting or not? Which results in the smallest amount of killing by Man.Why we cannot get as upset about all the other Killing of people in war, that are alive after birth, is beyond me. Life is for the Living, not the Dead.I guess being upset with the female about abortion, is built-in punishment for the female, for making the male fertilize her when they were not supposed to reproduce by Body ‘in the beginning’.With all the common sense in the world, the reaction to High Tech Science Pure-bred reproduction in a High Tech Womb, that makes Perfect Humans, instead of the defective Humans made in the female womb, is frightening to me.Maybe it is better for Fallen Man to blow up their planet, and in this way get rid of the defective Life that Kills GOD/SOLs Creation and All Life on Earth. May Jesus’ Asexual Agape Love Bring Peace to Earth.

  • Willis Elliott

    Our mutual friend Ken Woodward told me you were a faithful Episcopalian. Now I have proof! (I’m a faithful communicant in another church, but go occasionally to an Episcopal church for a refreshing drink of the Book of Common Prayer.)

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  • Monica Goddard, Cadiz OH

    If you had opened your heart to Jesus, he( as promised) and his Father and the Holy Spirit would be living there now. I noticed that you had not a word of encouragement for Imus when he mentioned looking into government spending on sickle-cell. Guess that isn’t a hot topic in your all white Connecticut Episcopalian Church. Who held YOUR coat as you joined in his very public stoning? Faith without works. He’s done many good works and his heart cares for the poor, blacks and those who are hurting.He treated you warmly and well. I will pray that you too, can come to know the real Jesus- even if it is more difficult than the camel through the eye of a needle. Don DID ask for forgiveness- his actions show he should have received it. Stop giving Christianity a bad name.

  • World View

    Your religious belief system is likely the most common found in America. The compartmentalizaiton of following Jesus as just one thing of many that make of the tapestry of life is the easiest and most comfortable form of religion.I argue that biblical Christianity requires Jesus to be at the center, and what I do I do to bring him glory (taking a walk, being an American, how I spend my money and time, etc.). Please review what Jesus told the young rich ruler that played by all the rules – give it up and follow me.Biblical Christians are not rigid or exclusive, we love those God has placed in our lives. We are called to share Christ (in word and deed) and give him glory. Being “born again” comes from Christ Jesus himself. He thought the religious Pharisee (Jn. 3) and the sinner (Jn.4) both need to drink of the living water he provides. He loved the sinner, but hated the sins (and so should we).True peace only comes when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us; this is a present day reality not historical in nature.

  • Verse Infinitum

    It’s a great achievement for Islamic leaders and scholars as well as Newsweek and the Washington post to present this imperative opportunity for inter cultural and global philosophical dialogue. What’s important is that by exchanging our ideas and comments regarding inter religious relations and world events that affect our views of each other as fellow human beings. Since the advent of humanity, We strove to make sense of the world we live in and the lives we’ve experienced. Worldwide curiosities to learn the true nature of life and our universe is an exceptionally rare virtue upon life on Earth. In other words, we’re the only known species on the planet who’ve pursued to unravel these great mysteries and developed written philosophies based upon our understanding of the world around us.

  • G Murphy Donovan

    Jon,Didn’t know where else to post this so I thought this was as good as any. Your partner was on WUSA, Ch 9 in Wash. D.C. the other day promoting this site as a forum for “moderate” Muslims. Indeed, she claimed that there were no more than 125 to 150k “radicals” (surely she means Islamists) worldwide. I believe Ms Quinn is more than ill informed, such a claim borders on pandering. I served in the Intelligence Community for 25 years and I would venture a guess that a single province in Afghanistan alone has that many. If you and she seek to present a balanced diaologue you need to vet the Islamist view also, ugly as it is. At the moment both of you, like Robin Mcneil over at PBS, are cherry picking Muslims to “prove” that the majority are moderates. The jury is still out on this question. Wishful thinking is not an argument.

  • G Murphy Donovan

    Jon,Didn’t know where else to post this so I thought this was as good as any. Your partner was on WUSA, Ch 9 in Wash. D.C. the other day promoting this site as a forum for “moderate” Muslims. Indeed, she claimed that there were no more than 125 to 150k “radicals” (surely she means Islamists) worldwide. I believe Ms Quinn is more than ill informed, such a claim borders on pandering. I served in the Intelligence Community for 25 years and I would venture a guess that a single province in Afghanistan alone has that many. If you and she seek to present a balanced diaologue you need to vet the Islamist view also, ugly as it is. At the moment both of you, like Robin Mcneil over at PBS, are cherry picking Muslims to “prove” that the majority are moderates. The jury is still out on this question. Wishful thinking is not an argument.

  • G Murphy Donovan

    Jon,Didn’t know where else to post this so I thought this was as good as any. Your partner was on WUSA, Ch 9 in Wash. D.C. the other day promoting this site as a forum for “moderate” Muslims. Indeed, she claimed that there were no more than 125 to 150k “radicals” (surely she means Islamists) worldwide. I believe Ms Quinn is more than ill informed, such a claim borders on pandering. I served in the Intelligence Community for 25 years and I would venture a guess that a single province in Afghanistan alone has that many. If you and she seek to present a balanced diaologue you need to vet the Islamist view also, ugly as it is. At the moment both of you, like Robin Mcneil over at PBS, are cherry picking Muslims to “prove” that the majority are moderates. The jury is still out on this question. Wishful thinking is not an argument.

  • G Murphy Donovan

    Jon,Didn’t know where else to post this so I thought this was as good as any. Your partner was on WUSA, Ch 9 in Wash. D.C. the other day promoting this site as a forum for “moderate” Muslims. Indeed, she claimed that there were no more than 125 to 150k “radicals” (surely she means Islamists) worldwide. I believe Ms Quinn is more than ill informed, such a claim borders on pandering. I served in the Intelligence Community for 25 years and I would venture a guess that a single province in Afghanistan alone has that many. If you and she seek to present a balanced diaologue you need to vet the Islamist view also, ugly as it is. At the moment both of you, like Robin Mcneil over at PBS, are cherry picking Muslims to “prove” that the majority are moderates. The jury is still out on this question. Wishful thinking is not an argument.

  • agmcgee@tecinfo.com

    this is excellent. Jon Meacham writes so beautifully and has such command of the English language. I consider reading his work a pure joy and gift. What grace.

  • Richard

    You wondered how anyone could give up his own son for execution. I have had that same question.In Moses’ day one could not see nor touch the Lord without instant death, I wondered why that would be so.Could it be that the Person Moses dealt with was made up of something other than matter? (Anti matter for instance?)Could the clue be that Jesus always refered to Himself as the “Son of Man” and that He and the Father were one?Perhaps the only way for our Creator to be able to present himself physically was to actually go through the same birth process as man.That would make Him his own Son, so to speak, not a second person and therefor the one crucified was the very same person that called out to Moses in the first place.

  • Richard

    You wondered how anyone could give up his own son for execution. I have had that same question.In Moses’ day one could not see nor touch the Lord without instant death, I wondered why that would be so.Could it be that the Person Moses dealt with was made up of something other than matter? (Anti matter for instance?)Could the clue be that Jesus always refered to Himself as the “Son of Man” and that He and the Father were one?Perhaps the only way for our Creator to be able to present himself physically was to actually go through the same birth process as man.That would make Him his own Son, so to speak, not a second person and therefor the one crucified was the very same person that called out to Moses in the first place.

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