Show post
Matthew Archbold #fundie ncregister.com

Atheism is the Uncoolest Choice Ever, and I Can Prove It

[…]

7) Michelangelo and Bach (look 'em up kids!) were indisputably awesome Christian artists. But hey, atheists have the kid who plays Harry Potter. Do you really don't want to be a part of any group that includes the actor formerly known as Harry Potter. Or maybe you do because that's how uncool you actually are.

[…]

3) As a Christian, my wife looks at me like I'm a gift from God. Seriously, to her that's what I am. Your atheist girlfriend (should you ever get one after you move out of your stepdad's basement) will see you as a gel-haired accident in skinny jeans on a lonely rock orbiting a meaningless sun in a mistake of a universe. See the difference? It's kind of a big one.

2) Many of your college professors agree with your atheist beliefs. How's that for the uncoolest choice ever? Hey, look at you siding with all the gray-haired tweedy authoritarian types at your school. Note: If your best friend at college is the "Diversity Awareness Coordinator" you're colleging wrong. And if you think your professors are cool, I think they call that being a brown-noser. And brown-nosers are even less cool than gender studies majors.

Y'know when the whole 60's thing happened, young people would say not to trust anyone over 40. But now, you guys go off to college wanting nothing more than to adopt the beliefs of your old boring professors. What could be less cool than wanting to be like your teacher? (Except if your teacher is Tony Esolen. Then it's ok.)

1) Atheists have less children and that probably means...well you probably know what that means since you're all about SCIENCE! Once again, to sum up, you'll be miserable, have a shorter life, and quite likely less sex than your religious counterparts. And you thought atheism was cool? Reconsider and repent ye' fools. Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the life. Left unsaid, is that He's totally cooler than Richard Dawkins!

Show post
Melissa Ohden. #fundie ncregister.com

Beginning Aug. 24, 1977, for five consecutive days, medics in a hospital in Iowa tried to kill Melissa Ohden.

But she was not born yet. She was 31 weeks into gestation when a doctor drained the amniotic fluid from her mother’s uterus and replaced it with saline solution. Within 48 hours he calculated the caustic fluid would burn her skin, incinerate her lungs and eventually cause her heart to stop. Dead, her corpse would miscarry onto the delivery table and be trashed as an abortion statistic.

But the procedure failed. Still within her mother’s womb after two days, a Pitocin drip was introduced to induce labor, and Melissa was delivered five days later. Suffering acute respiratory distress and weighing a mere 2 pounds 14.5 ounces, she still managed “a spontaneous weak cry.” Hearing the plaintiff plea, rather than abandoning her to die, a compassionate nurse nearby rushed her to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she was treated for severe medical complications. Two months later, she was welcomed into the loving arms of her adoptive parents and carried back to their home in Iowa.

The full details of Ohden’s abortion survival story are now chronicled in her new book You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir. The author is a wife and the mother of two children. She is also the founder of Abortion Survivors Network.

At age 14, after learning the devastating truth of her abortion survival, she embarked on a complex 30-year journey to recover her sense of self-worth and to find the answers to her agonizing questions, including: “Where did I come from? Whose blood runs through my veins?” and “Why did you try to kill me?” En route, she established and re-established relationships, became a speaker for the pro-life movement, and discovered a new mission. As she defines it, “To be a voice not for myself, but for others.”

Ohden speaks with authority, merited by many courageous battles described in the book. She is a voice for those wounded by abortion. She is a voice for abortion survivors attacked or silenced by abortion advocates unable to reconcile their support for the murderous procedure with the existence of living survivors. She is a voice of forgiveness for the sorrowful who regret their abortions or their complicity in abortions. And she is a voice for the unborn who have no voice. As one mother told her, recalling how, as a pregnant teenager, Ohden’s voice had pierced her conscience while she sat, tearful, listening to her testimony, “I want you to know that you saved a life. You were a voice for my little girl when she didn’t have one.”

In the book, Ohden verifies her word with photocopies of original medical records she obtained from the day of her birth. Just one among many seemingly miraculous finds along her journey, not only did they finally reveal for Ohden the names of her birth parents (per author’s note, names “blacked out” to protect their identities), but they also provided corroborative evidence against those who called her a liar. As documented: “On August 24, saline infusion for an abortion was done but unsuccessful.”

In the end, Ohden’s story reveals joy, offers hope and inspires prayer. As she says, “God protected me to be a voice for the voiceless — and their mothers.” From her first “spontaneous weak cry” until now, Ohden continues her mission.

Show post
Dave Armstrong #fundie ncregister.com

Atheists Seem to Have Almost a Childlike Faith in the Omnipotence of Atoms.

The natural “laws” that we observe somehow attained their remarkable organizing abilities. One either explains them by natural laws or by humbly bowing to divine teleology at some point, as an explanation every bit as plausible as materialism (everything being supposedly “explained” by purely material processes).

Matter essentially “becomes god” in the atheist/materialist view; it has the inherent ability to do everything by itself: a power that Christians believe God caused, by putting these potentialities and actual characteristics into matter and natural laws, as their ultimate Creator and ongoing Preserver and Sustainer.

The atheist places extraordinary faith in matter – arguably far more faith than we place in God, because it is much more difficult to explain everything that god-matter does by science alone.

Indeed, this is a faith of a non-rational, almost childlike kind. It is quite humorous, then, to observe the constant charge that we Christians are the ones who have a blind, “fairy tale,” gullible, faith, as opposed to self-described “rational, intellectual, sophisticated” atheists.

Atheistic belief is [see my explanatory “disclaimer” at the end] a kind of polytheistic idolatry of the crudest, most primitive sort, putting to shame the colorful worship of the ancient Babylonians, Philistines, Aztecs, and other groups. They believed that their silver amulets and wooden idols could make the sun shine or defeat an enemy or cause crops to flourish.

The polytheistic materialist, on the other hand, is far more religious than that. He thinks that trillions of his atom-gods and their distant relatives, the cell-gods, can make absolutely everything in the universe occur, by their own power, possessed eternally either in full or (who knows how?) in inevitably unfolding potentiality.

One might call this (to coin a phrase) Atomism (“belief that the atom is God”). Trillions of omnipotent, omniscient atoms can do absolutely everything that the Christian God can do, and for little or no reason that anyone can understand (i.e., why and how the atom-god came to possess such powers in the first place). The Atomist openly and unreservedly worships his trillions of gods, with the most perfect, trusting, non-rational faith imaginable. He or she is what sociologists call a “true believer.”

Oh, and we mustn’t forget the time-goddess. She is often invoked in reverential, awe-inspiring terms as the be-all, end-all explanation for things inexplicable, as if by magic her very incantation rises to an explanatory level sufficient to silence any silly Christian, who is foolish enough to believe in one God rather than trillions. The time-goddess is the highest in the ranks of the Atomist’s varied hierarchy of gods (sort of the “Zeus” of Atomism). We may entitle this belief Temporalism.

Atomism is a strong, fortress-like faith. It is often said that it “must be” what it is. The Atomist reverses the error of the Gnostic heretics. They thought spirit was great and that matter was evil. Atomists think matter is great (and god) and spirit is not only “evil” (metaphorically speaking), but beyond that: non-existent.

Atomists may and do differ on secondary issues, just as the various ancient polytheistic cultures differed on quibbling details (which god could do what, which material made for a better idol, etc.), but despite all, they inevitably came out on the side of polytheistic idolatry, with crude material gods, and against spiritual monotheism.

Yet in Atomism, each person is a god, too, because he is made up of trillions of atom-gods and cell-gods. When you get trillions of gods all together in one place, it stands to reason that they can corporately perceive the order of which any one of them individually is capable of producing.

Within the Atomist faith-paradigm, this make perfect sense. But for one outside their circle of religious faith, it may not (devout, faithful Atomist need to realize that others of different faiths may not think such things as “obvious” as they do). The Atomist – ever imaginative – manages to believe any number of things, in faith, without the “unnecessary” addition of mere explanation.

“Why” questions in the context of Atomism are senseless, because they can’t overcome the Impenetrable Fortress of blind faith that the Atomist possesses. The question, “Why do the atom-gods and cell-gods and the time-goddess exist and possess the extraordinary powers that they do?” is meaningless and ought not be put forth. It’s bad form, and impolite. We know how sensitive overly religious folk are.

Instead, we are asked to bow to the countless mysteries of Atomism in dumbstruck, awed silence, like the Magi at the baby Jesus’ manger, offering our unquestioning “scientific” and “philosophical” allegiance like they offered gold and frankincense and myrrh. The very inquiry is regarded as senseless and “intrusive.”

We can’t help — almost despite ourselves — recalling with fondness the wonders and fairy-tales of childhood. Atomists are (we might say) the “adult children” among us: like Peter Pan!

Who can resist Peter Pan, after all? This (arguably) gives them their charm and appeal: evident in so many Christian discussion threads online, where they suddenly enter and — seemingly oblivious to the existing discussion — start incongruously preaching their rather fantastic fideistic faith.

In a certain remote and limited sense, we Christians (since we value faith) stand in awe of such Pure Faith, with its sublime fideism and Absolute Trust in Design via trillions of atom-gods. It is, indeed, an ingenious, even elegant system, admirable in its bold, brilliant intellectual audacity, if nothing else.

Like much of modern philosophy, however, at bottom it is hopelessly irrational, self-defeating, and ultimately incoherent. For that reason, the Christian must reject it, since we believe that self-contradictory beliefs are untrue and unworthy of anyone’s allegiance.

Note: the above article is an exercise of what is known in logic and philosophical discourse as reductio ad absurdum: illustrating the absurd by being absurd, and taking things to their logical conclusions. It is humorous, satirical, and also an example of the argumentative technique of “turning the tables.” But the underlying point I am trying to make is assuredly dead serious.

Show post
Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Msgr John Esseff, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Father Gary Thomas, Father Mike Driscoll, & Father Patrick #fundie ncregister.com

Does the US Need a Nationwide Exorcism?

In light of the spiritual housecleaning in Mexico in May, clergy weigh the efficacy of exorcising an entire geographic area.

Can — or should — an exorcism be done for the United States, as was done in Mexico this past May?

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, performed the rite, together with priests from across Mexico, at the Cathedral of San Luis Potosí in a closed-door ceremony. The purpose: to drive away the evil responsible for skyrocketing violence, abortion and drugs in that predominantly-Catholic nation.

Such “exorcisms … have helped bring awareness that there is such a thing as sin influenced by Satan,” said Msgr. John Esseff, a priest for 62 years in the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., and an exorcist for more than 35 years.

“The devil has much to do with [influencing people in] breaking the law of God,” he said.

But an exorcism over the United States is unlikely, according to Msgr. Esseff.

Instead, he said such action can be done diocese by diocese, and he encourages each bishop to do so. “Every bishop is the chief exorcist of his own diocese,” Msgr. Esseff said. “Anytime anyone with the authority uses his power against Satan, that is powerful. Every priest and bishop has that power.”

During the exorcism of a diocese, Msgr. Esseff explained that the bishop calls on the power of Jesus over every court, every single institution, every individual and every family. “The whole country would have such
power if bishops would exorcise their dioceses.”

In 2013, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., performed a minor exorcism at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield in response to the governor’s signing same-sex “marriage” into law on that day.

The bishop explained that the minor exorcism, which takes place at every baptism and confirmation, is a ceremony to renounce Satan. (A major exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation of a possessed person.) He said the prayer service was “not meant to demonize anyone,” but was “intended to call attention to the diabolical influences of the devil that have penetrated our culture.”

‘As Faith Diminishes, Superstition Increases’

Father Gary Thomas, pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Saratoga, Calif., and the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, said he has seen notable improvements after exorcising homes and when he re-dedicated a church.

However, he is cautious about the idea of exorcising an entire country.

“I’m not really sure about the efficaciousness of that,” he said. “I think there are too many implications we cannot back up if we start saying we are going to exorcise a country.” He also cautioned against making a public announcement when exorcising a geographic area because there is usually backlash in the form of skepticism and ridicule.

“I’m not saying it’s a bad idea — just that, if it’s done, it should be done quietly.”

According to Father Thomas, demonic activity has been increasing in the United States because people are choosing to be dissuaded away from God and opening portals such as New Age and witchcraft that are gateways to the demonic. “When faith becomes thin and Satan and agents of Satan move in, there are going to be effects,” he said.

“It was Pope Benedict XVI who said that as faith diminishes, superstition increases.”

Father Mike Driscoll, chaplain of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Ottawa, Ill., and author of the new book Demons, Deliverance, and Discernment, explained that, in addition to possession, demons can infest a place or thing.

“The average Joe reading this might think, ‘Oh, there must be a bunch of people possessed who need to be exorcised,’” said Father Driscoll, who is a licensed counselor.

“But part of the exorcism ritual is casting out evil spirits, and it includes a blessing for protection of a place.” He said that when demons are driven out, it may not have obvious results to everyone, but it gives God more authority, and priests and laypeople are fortified.

Territorial Battlefield

Father Patrick (not his real name) is a parish priest and also an exorcist for his U.S. diocese. He said that there are differences when exorcising a place rather than a person.

“With a person, an exorcist investigates to identify the true nature of the problems,” he said. “With a place, the exorcist looks at a territorial battlefield where good angels have lost their authority because power has been given over to demons through rejection of God’s authority.”

According to him, exorcising a place is done to re-establish God’s authority. “We want to shift superiority over an area to the angels, but there is still the ground level [response] that needs all the priests to engage in battle too.”

Father Patrick said that he has seen holy priests turn their parishes around when the angels were called upon and God was given authority.

Ultimately, Father Thomas said the battle is fought in each person, since God doesn’t interfere in free will. “If people are not invoking the angelic, they fall away from the faith and live secular lives,” Father Thomas said. “Then what is the optic they [use to] judge how they act?”

Msgr. Esseff also stressed the power of prayer to discern and lead holy lives among laypeople.

“In families, there’s nothing like a parent in prayer. The mother and father should claim their children for Jesus, and they will not lose them.”

He also said people should remember that Jesus said that if two on three agree in prayer, it will be done in heaven (Matthew 8:16): “People do not need to fear, but to trust and respond to God’s love.”

Show post
Jennifer Fulwiler #fundie ncregister.com

[discussing the Global Atheist Convention]

I like the part about basing laws on rational thought and evidence. It echoes a sentiment that is a driving force in the atheist community right now, namely the idea that society must develop a set of moral values that is not rooted in any kind of supernatural belief system. I think it could end up being a really good thing that the leaders of modern atheism are coming together to discuss this, because this is an idea that needs a lot more exploration.

The New Atheists and their brethren in the secular humanist movement like to advocate for a godless value system where acceptance and goodwill toward others are prized, where people are free to be kind and loving out of the goodness of their hearts, and not because some man in the sky tells them to do so. While I appreciate the sentiment behind wanting to add more peace and love to the world, I just don’t think this works. And I can’t help but wonder if that might become clear to others as well at one of these atheist conventions.

The group of GAC attendees will undoubtedly contain a lot of intelligent, free thinking types, and so I’d imagine that it will only be a matter of time before folks start questioning the assumptions behind these ideas. For example: Yes, you can defend a peace- and love-based moral code from a purely atheistic point of view. You can point to the fact that more humans survive when we live in harmony together, that we may have an “altruistic gene” that makes us want to do nice things for others, etc. But who’s to say that harmony and survival for the greatest number of people should be our highest goals? You could just as easily advocate for a values system in which the survival of the fittest is the highest aim, and the weak are considered worthless and expendable. It sounds revolting, and it is. But it’s also perfectly defensible from an atheistic point of view.

I imagine that one day someone will get on the stage at one of these conferences, and propose a new moral code in which the the strong exterminate the weak and take all their possessions for themselves, thus ushering in a glorious age where only the most superior genes remain in the gene pool. Everyone in the crowd will gasp and fidget uncomfortably…and then realize that they cannot argue against it without stepping outside of their own atheist-materialist worldview. They’ll find themselves tempted to appeal to the transcendent to make their case, wanting to have blind faith in the fact that love should be prized above all else, believing that self-sacrifice is always better than selfishness, regardless of what the latest scientific studies say.

I hope that these events really will provide a forum for questioning assumptions and asking tough questions as much as they claim they will. Because when they do, the nearby churches will be flooded with post-convention crowds.

Show post
Mark Shea #fundie ncregister.com

People who read the Bible looking for more than Selected Ammunition Verses, would realize that contained within the New Testament is, ultimately, the only thing that succeeded in finally extirpating slavery: namely, the insistence that man is made in the image and likeness of God and that Christ loves the slave as much as the master. The mystical dogma of human equality in the eye’s of God (and that is what it is, not an empirical observation based on reason) is the only thing that has ever succeeded in killing the dragon of slavery. Of course, the New Atheists are stone blind to this in their deep ignorance and arrogance and so fail to realize that the first result of extirpating Christianity is the return of slavery: a practice which goes on unabated outside of all the spheres of the world untouched by the Christian tradition and soon to return to the West if the New Atheists succeed in suppressing the Christian tradition.

Show post
William J. Quinn #fundie ncregister.com

I submit that contraception is the worst scourge to ever afflict mankind, the costliest by far in both blood and treasure, absolutely ruinness to women in particular and mankind in general. Since it’s acceptance, divorce rates have soared along with pornography, STD’s, homosexuality, exploitation of women, abortion, breast cancer and now government attacks on freedom of expression. Paul VI was particularly prescient in predicting government pressure in HUMANAE VITAE in explicating the Church’s beautiful teaching in this matter.
Using contraception in the marital act is akin to flipping a hand grenade with the pin pulled into the heart of a marriage.

Show post
Pope Benedict XVI #fundie ncregister.com

[Hitler Knew the Devil]
There are reliable reports by eyewitnesses that suggest he had some kind of demonic encounters,” the future Pope said of Hitler. “He would say, trembling: ‘He was there again,’ and other such things. We cannot get to the bottom of it. I believe one can see that he was taken into the demonic realm in some profound way, by the way in which he was able to wield power and by the terror, the harm, that his power inflicted.