Letters to the Editor

Godly nation

July 25, 2011

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To the editor:

America was founded as a democracy under God! In 1782, the United States voted to approve the Holy Bible for use in all schools. Harvard University was the first university established and was strictly Christian. The student handbook’s rule No. 1 was they had to know Latin and Greek to study the scriptures.

To say our nation has not moved from its original foundation is to ignore reality. American people are demanding that we remove God from our government and businesses.

Melinda Henderson, in her July 15 letter, called God in government a “theocratic oligarchy” and business “Biblical capitalism.” This type of thinking caused us to lose our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have ridiculed God’s word and called it pluralism. We worship other gods and call it multiculturalism. We endorse perversion and call it alternative lifestyles. We reward laziness and call it welfare. We kill unborn children and call it choice. We kill abortionists and call it justifiable. We don’t discipline our children and call it building self-esteem. We abuse power and call it political savvy. We create profanity and pornography and call it freedom of expression.

As a whole, our nation is turning its back on God, but God has said in II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, they I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

Comments

Bradley Kemp 3 years, 10 months ago

It's hard to know where to start, but here goes.

Harvard is a private institution. It can be as christian as it likes. Whether it is provides no support at all for the claim that the nation was founded "under god," whatever that is supposed to mean.

notaubermime 3 years, 10 months ago

"In 1782, the United States voted to approve the Holy Bible for use in all schools."

That was before the Constitution was even written and that vote never happened.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

I wonder why it was necessary for the students at Harvard University to know Latin in order to study the scriptures, because the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and not Latin. Only the New Testament was written in Greek.

Actually, I do know the answer. The reason is that they were trying to understand the "Old Latin Vulgate" translation of the Bible, which was written in Latin, and didn't make a lot of sense in a few places.

They obviously didn't want to study the Old Testament in the languages that it was originally written in. That rather poor translation led to some rather interesting passages such as:

1Samuel 25 [34]: For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

and,

2 Kings 9 [8]: For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel.

So, right out of the Bible, It sounds as though you should not pisseth against the wall.

(actually, "he that pisseth against the wall" meant a male person, and nothing more)

It's rather interesting to me that it was not until the mid-1960s that the Catholic Mass was celebrated in the vernacular languages without the use of Latin, as though G-d Himself could only understand Latin. But, none of the scriptures were written in that language.

grammaddy 3 years, 10 months ago

"God's Word"? I didn't realize the Bible was written by God. Y'all kill me with your book of fairy tales.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 10 months ago

That's right, gandalf, he couldn't although he received a perfect message from God, had it written down and it is the master text it is. And He couldn't read or write. A miracle isn't it? read that Book sometimes and see what is in it,. It isn't about Muhammad, he was the messenger, it was About God and what he expects from all mankind.

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

The many Muslim posters on here will come out to defend Muhammad and his message from God, don't you think?

flicker 3 years, 10 months ago

You sure do kill me with your hypocritical love and respect we should have for the Muslim religion but the hate for Christianity. You're trying too hard to be a looney leftie.

TopJayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

It was written by God through the Profits. Your ignorance is truly astounding.

TopJayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

ooops. That would be Prophets..... Funny how your brain can cease up in the wee small hours. Sorry.

In this case the "prophets were the Apostles. They were mandated to go and teach the word.... Then yrs later were told by God to write the letters and epistles that make up the New Testament. It was really not "hundreds of yrs later." It was scores of yrs. And it was not done on memory, it was done by God telling them what to write.

You either believe it, or you don't. That is the crux of faith based religion.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

I was always under the impression that the New Testament signified a new covenant with God and the Old Testament was the old covenant, making it kind of moot. Yet it's amazing how many evangelicals continue to use the Old Testament as justification for their hatred, bigotry and prejudices.Even Jesus, himself, called Pharisees, followers of the Old Covenant, hypocrites and liars. But then this is a book that was written hundreds of years after the fact. It's kind of like taking Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Kings of Britain", full of fantastical tales about King Arthur (and the source for the bulk of the Arthurian legends) at face value and calling it "history". Except this book is far more dangerous. People don't just take it face value, they base their entire religion on it.

Catalano 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh, boy, another cherry-picking bible quote argument, though this one is pretty lame. Ms. Henderson quotes Jesus (not God, as Mr. Collins would have you believe) from (obviously) the New Testament. And he fires back with an Old Testament quote about how god will save you if you play by his rules. yawn.

Interesting how the last line of his letter from the hard-copy was omitted from the online version: "Are you seeking his face?" Shoot, maybe that's all the SRS clients need to do and problem solved.

As far as the founding fathers/christian nation argument goes, I'll take Jefferson's bible if I'm forced to choose (as that day may be on the horizon, oh lordy!), but I'm pretty sure Sam wouldn't like that version too much.

And, to you Mr. Collins: do you even understand her reference to a theocratic oligarchy? Here's a really easy example: Sam Brownback + Koch Brothers $$$$$ = theocratic oligarchy. I bet my good friend, Bozo, could come up with a few more. I'm off to work.

Peter Macfarlane 3 years, 10 months ago

Many of our so-called Christian politicians are anything but Christian in the way they conduct business. If they followed the path of Jesus in the New Testament, chances are they would be practicing the socialism, they so vehemently oppose.

cowboy 3 years, 10 months ago

All this God talk , is simply hearsay !

rtwngr 3 years, 10 months ago

This may come as an odd concept to you but the founding fathers were big on State's rights. They wanted the individual states to determine their own fate in regards to religion. That was why those specific words were chosen. The reasoning was that the Federal government should not determine what religion should be worshiped but left it up to the individual States to decide if they wanted to establish a religion.

It is very difficult to take one line from a document and determine the will and intent of a group of over fifty five men that established that document without considering other things.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

That may have been true before it was decided that the protections in the federal bill of rights applied to state, as well as federal governments.

But, not after that point.

TopJayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

one must also understand that Mormanism is really not Christianity. Brigham Young is a false prophet. But the argument is valid as far as "religion" goes.

There is scripture that states: No one shall enter the KIngdom of Heaven except through me. This is written in the Ancient Greek tense that means it is true for all time. Meaning Islam, Mormanism, Jehovahs Witness and similar "add ons" are false religions, and they will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Scribeoflight 3 years, 10 months ago

TopJayhawk, you do realize that there are billions of people out there in the world that disagree with that second paragraph, right?

Many of us live here in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.

The same laws that protect your right to have your church, to think and believe and worship as you choose, also protect their rights to do the same.

And, here's the rub, they protect my right NOT TO. And how do they do that? They prevent the government from making and enforcing laws that would force me to adhere to christian morals or ethics. I do not agree with the stance of the church on many, many issues. But thankfully, many of those disagreements are no longer laws, sort of. I can buy beer on Sunday. I can display the tasteful pictures of nude women and men that are my art. And I can exercise control of my body according to my will and conscience.

Oh wait, not that last bit, sorry.

rtwngr 3 years, 10 months ago

First, it was the "Treaty of Tripoli".

Second, like a good lib, your interpretation is to your intent and not the intent of the author. President Adams statement is true in the sense that the federal government was not founded on any religion. But we are talking about the government not the nation as a whole. His statement was a juxtaposition of the governments of Europe where the government was the church.

Space prohibits the argument here but suffice to say, there are volumes of writings by the founding fathers of this country that more than affirm that they were guided by Christian principles in their every day lives and espoused the same. Furthermore the "wall between church and state" was an outright defamation to the Constitution in the Everson v. Board of Education ruling in 1947.

Liberty275 3 years, 10 months ago

We used to call the air force guys "zoomies".

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

"Know of many libs with their CCW? Know of many libs serving 18 years in the military? Know of many libs pro death penalty?" Yes, I do. Nice gun.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Why don't you go belittle something that deserves it? The man served the country. I doubt you've ever had the nads to serve anyone other than yourself. Get a life, Richard Cranium.

gudpoynt 3 years, 10 months ago

"there are volumes of writings by the founding fathers of this country that more than affirm that they were guided by Christian principles"

So what? Our nation and her citizens are not, were not, nor will ever be bound by the personal faith of the revolutionaries who helped lay the foundation for our nation's governmental body.

Rather, we are, have been, and as long as we are US citizens, forever will be bound by the laws of the U.S. and the Constitution to which ALL of those laws must be subservient.

In other words, the belief of citizens, however prevalent, does not, has never, nor will ever, undermine the deliberate secularism expressed in the written laws that define these United States as we know them.

Even if 100% of U.S. citizens were to adamantly profess their devotion to Christ for the 10th generation in row, according to the law and Constitution as we know them today, the United States would remain a secular nation.

purplesage 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the rest of those Ivy League universities are private. However, a forgotton (overlooked) piece of history is that compulsory chapel and church attendance were part of life at public universities. Students were expected and encouraged by their institutions to read the Bible devotionally. Well over half of the universities on American soil, private and public, during the early 1800's, had ordained ministers as their presidents. Early America differed quite radically from what this nation is today.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

"Watch as non-believers ridicule, call names and demonize the Christians." Almost 1pm and I'm still waiting with baited breath for this to happen.

purplesage 3 years, 10 months ago

cait48 - The Bible was written over hundreds of years. The OT is a history of a nation for hundreds of years. However, the NT canon was written by the end of the first century, the Gospels being the later writings, as eye-witnesses of Jesus' life became fewer. Due to the illegality of the Christian religion, the official canon of 27 books was likely pretty fixed by around 200 AD and Origen's writings confirm the list.

By the way, in the 1800's the largest church in Washington D.C. met in the U.S. Capitol by by vote of Congress - and the Treasury was also a church meeting place.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

"However, the NT canon was written by the end of the first century..." The oldest piece of the New Testament in existence is a mere fragment of the Gospel of John, dating to over 200 years after the crucifixion. There was no "canon". Given that historical revisionists are, even now, hard at work trying to change the history of how this very country was founded (which is a much larger event, in historical terms, than the life and death of one man, even if he was a religious leader), forgive me if I have my doubts about the way the Bible was formed and the political influences and in fighting of the early churches that shaped it.

purplesage 3 years, 10 months ago

A good argument for updating translations, I'd say. However, it is merely an observation and euphemism for maleness as the KJV uses the phrase.

kernal 3 years, 10 months ago

Whooeee!

No beating of God going on here. If you think God can be beaten, then your faith isn't all that strong,

The only intolerance I'm seeing here is religious intolerance, plus some ignorance of history.

gudpoynt 3 years, 10 months ago

ksrush, it's not lack of tolerance at all.

We libs have tolerated, and continue to tolerate, this crap all the time.

"God! U.S.! God! U.S.! The two are inextricably intertwined! The latter cannot exist without the former!"

The backlash in response to ridiculous Op-Ed's like this one is not a lack of tolerance, but rather venting an old frustration on an easy target.

Notice that the libs commenting aren't expressing any type of willingness to see people like Collins barred from continuing to espouse their views. That would be intolerance.

No, the libs commenting are simply saying something along the lines of, "Hey Jesus freak, the U.S. was made for more than you. It was made for me too, and a butt load of other people with vastly different opinions on God. Some may even (gasp) not believe that Jesus was the savior of all humanity. So stop trying to stamp your cross where it doesn't belong, and don't even think about labeling me un-American because I don't take communion with you."

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm tolerant of others. I'm not tolerant of the misspelling of words, or name calling. At least learn something from your bible before coming on here spewing hate.

gatekeeper 3 years, 10 months ago

Judge much??? If YOU knew the Bible, you would follow it's teachings and wouldn't be judgmental and mean.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 9 months ago

Are you truly one of the less than 10% of self-professed Christians who have actually read the entire Bible? If you are, I also assume you now realize that that's the only way to know the Bible and know what its teaching really are.

Unfortunately, more than 90% of self-described Christians have not read the whole Bible. Heck, most haven't even read the entire New Testament. They've only heard/read/studied bits and pieces of it along with other folks who have also only heard/read/studied bits and pieces. That's why they take so many things out of context...or believe that things are in the Bible ("the lord helps those who help themselves" being one of my 'favorites") when they actually aren't.

Read this article at home.snu.edu/~HCULBERT/literacy.htm for several pastors' views about this growing problem.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 10 months ago

America is on its way back to worshiping God, just this time it is Mohammad.

windex 3 years, 10 months ago

Dear God, Please tell Gandalf to learn how to spell.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

windex, here's a couple Bible passages quoted out of context, just for you:

Deuteronomy 32 [29] If they were wise, they would understand this,,,

Matthew 7 [1] "Judge not, that you be not judged.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't it legal to have slaves then too? And to beat your wife, who was also considered chattel? Better tone it down, conservative Christians. Be happy we allow you the freedom to be as idiotic as you wish. Just myob. Profanity, pornography, pluralism, multiculturalism are all the products of a free society, just like creepy fundamentalism..

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 10 months ago

Yep, back when marching everyone to church by flintlock was the norm. And stocks and pillories for the heathens. A word to the bible-thumpers: Don't Tread On Me

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 10 months ago

What a letter, Donald!!! You've totally convinced me to accept your superstitious claptrap as my own.

It won't improve my life any, but I can sure pretend!!

funkdog1 3 years, 10 months ago

Wow, Donald. Are you like, 250 years old?

Cai 3 years, 10 months ago

Incidentally, The nation was also founded on the notion of a small federal government, very little regulation at a federal level, with states having far, far more say in things than they do now. It also went out of its way to address the financial solvency thing and stay OUT of debt.

....

We see how long that lasted.

Haiku_Cuckoo 3 years, 10 months ago

I disagree with the letter writer's stance, but I won't use this as an opportunity to bash his beliefs. Try some tolerance, people. Some of the comments here make me realize that the bumper sticker is right, Kansas really is as bigoted as you think.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 10 months ago

So it's ok for the letter writer to force his beliefs on others ~ but when questioning these beliefs, it's "bashing".... Don't ask me to tolerate what's being forced down my throat. Not a bigot here ~ just a citizen who beliefs differ greatly.

thebigspoon 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't believe the simple posting of an idea is "forcing" the writer's beleifs on anyone. It's one way of making his beliefs known. You don't have to believe his ideas.

Questioning beliefs is not bashing, but you know quite well when you're bashing and when you're refuting. The problem with forums such as these is that they allow anyone to be as acerbic as they want without thought or reflection.

I don't believe his very basic concept, but he has the right to respect in his beliefs. The difference between discourse and "bashing" is vast, and you seem to have perfected sit.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh I respect his right to his beliefs... just as long as he realizes he gets one vote, and I get one vote.... and in this case we'll cancel each other out just fine. But asserting dominion over me with scripture just doesn't pertain. Don't Tread On Me

boltzmann 3 years, 10 months ago

The letter is basically stating that his beliefs should be afforded special significance by the government over those of other people - including me - but somehow to you he is "simply posting an idea" whereas anyone who takes offense at this is "bashing". Why should he be afforded respect for his beliefs when he does not have the same respect for those of others?

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm waiting for the letter-writer to guide me to the new Federal Department of Jesus Reeducation Center for Nonbelievers. Sorry but if your vision of America is one controlled by the Christian Taliban, be ready for plenty of opposition.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Boltzmann's constant(ly) right.

1.3806503 × 10-23 m2 kg s-2 K-1

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

Scientific notation fail; needs carets. :(

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank God! Given I would have to spend eternity with the likes of you and your fellow "believers", I'd rather be a "secularist".

JustNoticed 3 years, 10 months ago

Too bad Jim Jones is gone. The writer could have gone to Guyana for the kind society he could really gush about.

Romans832 3 years, 10 months ago

"We have ridiculed God’s word and called it pluralism. We worship other gods and call it multiculturalism. We endorse perversion and call it alternative lifestyles. We reward laziness and call it welfare. We kill unborn children and call it choice. We kill abortionists and call it justifiable. We don’t discipline our children and call it building self-esteem. We abuse power and call it political savvy. We create profanity and pornography and call it freedom of expression."

Sounds familiar... Allow me to offer attribution... (I was a high school debater, and quoting sources was drummed into me.) This was prayed by Joe Wright, retired pastor of Central Christian Church, Wichita, at the opening of a session of the Kansas House in 1996.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070407061139/http://www.centralcc.org/NewsNow/JoeArticles/JoeRepentancePrayer.html

More info on Snopes... http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/prayernation.asp

America, bless God!

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

He did credit his quote. Another poster comes to mind who does not do that.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

Gotcha! I get POed real fast and post without thinking sometimes when I'm reminded of one particular clip and paster who rarely credits his posts. I think you know who I mean.

And now, after that word from our sponsor, I can now continue the LTE:

"We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment."

Mr. Donald W. Collins left that part out!

JustNoticed 3 years, 10 months ago

Commandment #13: "THOU SHALT NOT PLAGIARIZE."

This was in the first edition smashed by Moses when he came down off the mountain and found the people being a little too liberal. And then it just didn't make it into the second edition since it was really covered in the EIGHTH and a more economical re-write was in order anyway.

Donald Collins, you sneaky hypocrite, you!

boltzmann 3 years, 10 months ago

"I give you these 15 (crash!) Oy!...Ten...Ten...Commandments"

purplesage 3 years, 10 months ago

I recognized it as well. The prayer was prayed before the KS House, though I believe erroneously dirculated as "The Prayer the Senate Heard."

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 10 months ago

I thought the words sounded familiar!

I wonder how embarrassed Donald Collins feels right now, knowing that he was caught out as a plagiarist. Well...that assumes he reads the posts about his letter.

purplesage 3 years, 10 months ago

Even taking the date of 200 A.D. as the "oldest manuscript - a mere fragment of the Gospel of John" - does not negate the completion of the canon by the end of the first century. (That date is, by the way, gernerous by about 75 years). The manuscript evidence for the Bible is far stronger than other ancient writings, e.g. Homer's epics, and even more so than for Shakespeare's plays which are only about a fourth of the age.

Consider the veracity of the Scriputre supported by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a leap back of about 1000 years, which showed no substantive changes in the texts represented.

gudpoynt 3 years, 10 months ago

The canon whose veracity is supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls is for the Old Testament only. It doesn't include the New Testament.

The New Testament has a different canonical history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developm...

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

You keep repeating that the "canon was completed by the end of the first century". You do realize that is 100CE, correct? Not 1000CE (that's a millenium). If the oldest known fragment of the NT is past 200CE, how can you say the canon was "set" by 100CE? Where's the proof? Do you have some magical piece of papyrus somewhere I'm not aware of? Also, understand I am not talking about the OT. The Talmud and the Torah (on which the OT is based) has been around for millennia and, although I believe it has it's own problems, I'm not willing to take it up with thousands of years of Jewish rabbis. They make studies of that stuff a national sport. :) As for Origen, (who lived in the third century CE) none of his works exist, in extant form, today. He was also a figure of controversy in and of himself. By the sixth century he was actually declared a heretic and anathematized. This plays into "the political influences and in fighting of the early churches" that I spoke of in my earlier post. I'm sorry, you're going to have to come up with some better proof to convince me.

pace 3 years, 10 months ago

Church and church property should be taxed. Close that gapping free ride and we wouldn't have such local and federal debt .

4getabouit 3 years, 10 months ago

Collins.......another religious nut. His letter provides the perfect example of why separation of church and state is critical to a modern democracy.

heygary 3 years, 10 months ago

"We have ridiculed God’s word and called it pluralism. We worship other gods and call it multiculturalism. We endorse perversion and call it alternative lifestyles. We reward laziness and call it welfare. We kill unborn children and call it choice. We kill abortionists and call it justifiable. We don’t discipline our children and call it building self-esteem. We abuse power and call it political savvy. We create profanity and pornography and call it freedom of expression."

Mr. Collins ... very thought provoking, thanks for sharing regardless of the source of the material. Disappointing (and telling) that the vast majority of comments are are personal attacks on you or your belief system. Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned!

gudpoynt 3 years, 10 months ago

how about....

a vast majority of comments are attacks on Mr. Collins's allusion to the idea that a secular United States cannot exhibit a sense of morality without succumbing to a Christian belief structure.

or...

a vast majority of thinking agnostics are sick of being blamed by Christians for not being Christian enough, and subsequently for the ails that plague the U.S. today.

or...

a vast majority of liberals are rolling their eyes at Christians like Collins who's beliefs include the necessary axiom that there is only one way to know God, and that is through Christ. Without accepting Christ, you'll never truly know God. And without truly knowing God, you will wander this mortal coil without a true sense of morality.

or...

a vast majority of commentators are miffed by Collins' implications that only by getting to God through Christ, will the U.S. be saved, and by refusing to jump on the Jesus train, you're working to help drive the nation to hopeless ruin.

Ugh.

DeMontfort 3 years, 10 months ago

I dunno. Quoting old testament doesn't equate with anything Christ-like as far as I know. Knowing god, getting saved, or anything else.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

hey gary! I've done a survey of the comments thread and the vast majority are not personal attacks on Mr. Collins or his belief system. Sorry, but your wishful thinkning didn't materialize...maybe you should pray about it.

Shane Garrett 3 years, 10 months ago

Who cares, as long as we live in a country that has as a basic principle, the freedom of religion not freedom from religion. Don't tread on me.

Stuart Evans 3 years, 10 months ago

can't tell if serious...

please say you're not..

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 10 months ago

The guy plagiarizes in a letter he writes about God and values...a letter in which he did cite his other sources and quote them...and you see nothing wrong in that? Nothing "thought-provoking"?? Wow.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 10 months ago

It's actually good to read in print such a viewpoint as it confirms the ultimate objective of these theocrats. Nowhere in their USA is there room for the nonbeliever. It really is a culture war with religious extremism.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm ready to make a deal with the Christians. Prove god exists and we will all change our ways.

Until then, quit telling others they need to live according to ideas that were written by men and assigned to a powerful and mysterious being who magically lives in the sky. Blaming the country's problems on non-Christians is both offensive and nonsense.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

"quit telling others they need to live according to ideas that were written by men"

So, it's OK to mug you and take your things?

Or worse,,, Maybe it will be just you and,,, in a dark, lonely alley.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

You left off the second half of the sentence in your quote, thus altering its meaning.

It isn't just that the ideas were written by men, but that they were then "assigned to a powerful and mysterious being who magically lives in the sky." It is the assigning to a god part that rubs the wrong way. It is not just that they are ideas (or laws) were written by men. Those I can accept. An idea from men can be argued against, changed or corrected, but a god is infallible. If you assign something to an infallible being, then that is the end of the discussion.

Your taking half of a sentence to quote from would be the equivalent of my saying you are in favor of crime because you wrote, "So, it's OK to mug you."

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh yes. I always take things out of context, it's a habit. This is what I actually believe:

Some fundamentalist religions do ascribe their religious texts directly to a Divine authority and claim it's all true. But at some point in the past, it had to be a person who put a quill to parchment, that is a for sure.

It's hard for me to believe that was written by a Divine Being, the very most I could ever actually believe is that an idea came to a human being, and then he wrote it down. And, he had to be limited by the language in which he was writing. Or speaking out loud to another because he could not write, in one very well known case.

But you shouldn't lump all religions together, because many denominations do pay at least lip service to the concept that we should use our intellect to interpret the writings written many centuries ago to reflect the changing times in which we live.

One thing that really bothers me is that quite a few believe that a translation is Divinely inspired, and pay no heed to the original text in which it was written. Any text loses something when it is translated.

Take the writings of Karl May, who was a very popular German writer, for example. He wrote American West adventure novels among many others. Although, he lived his whole life in Germany, and the farthest west he ever travelled was to Chicago. At that time, I believe that most of his novels were already written and published.

(clipped: It is stated that Karl May is the “most read writer of German tongue”. The total number of copies published is about 200 million.)

He wrote many novels, and was hailed as one of the best adventure novelists ever, in German.

Never heard of him? That's because when his books were translated into English, they lost so much that they were incredibly boring.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, some religions do indicate the importance of interpretation and translation in their readings. The original letter here, however, uses the phrase "God has said" before going on with a quote. There is no mention of interpretations or translations, just that we are not living according to god's word. My whole point is that if someone wants others to live according to their idea of what god is and what god says (or even what his interpreters have said), then prove that god exists first. Until then, god doesn't exist. In that regard, yes, I do lump religions together. I am an equal opportunity non-believer.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

"If there were no God it would be necessary to invent Him." - Voltaire

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh, that Voltaire -- just cutting right to the heart of the matter.

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

Bea, I happen to think of my self as a man of science and a man of faith. Yes, they seem like they may be mutually exclusive, but they are not. I cannot prove the existence of God at this point in time, probably won't ever be able to. I do have a question that maybe you have an answer to. In the sciences, there is a law of conservation of energy and matter, correct? Where did all of that energy/matter come from? If you can answer this, then maybe I can join you in not believing in God, until then, He exists, if only in my mind.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

beatrice cannot even prove she exists.

She is perhaps an apparition that is capable of telekinesis. It cannot be proved that is not the case. Therefore, I do not believe in beatrice.

Do you really think that an apparition like beatrice is going to be able to accurately answer your questions?

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

I knew that she would not be able to answer that question, at least not to my satisfaction.

notaubermime 3 years, 10 months ago

I'll be your Huckleberry.

Not having a definitive answer for the origin of matter is not the same thing as proving the existence of the supernatural.

If you do not need proof of the existence of a god, that's fine. However, pointing to something that science cannot explain yet and declaring that it is the work of God is not an approach that has worked in the past. The 'god between the cracks' approach only results in a smaller god as more and more cracks get filled.

I personally see more validity in the view that science how a god carries out it's will.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

There is energy and matter ... so there must be a god? Sorry, but I don't follow that line of logic. That is this suggesting that before there was energy and matter there was a god to begin with? So where did he come from, and was he around forever without matter and energy before deciding, "You know, I'm getting a little bored here. Time for some energy and matter." That simply doesn't make sense to me. Fun argument in a really big chicken or the egg kind of way, but as you admit it isn't proof.

Oh, and if that answer didn't make it obvious, I'm not a scientist.

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

Never said there must be. I just gave a bit of a line of reasoning to why people think there might be such a God. There are some things that we are not able to answer right now, and certainly possibly will not ever be able to answer. I never said you were wrong to believe that there is no God, but it seems to me that you believe it is very wrong to believe that there is.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

xcl-85, not "wrong" exactly, but rather I think them incorrect. Your energy / matter line of reasoning, for example, doesn't address the "died for our sins" aspects that come with the religion addressed in the original letter. It is a remarkable leap from a higher power that directs the movement of energy and matter to that same being listening to prayers and telling Noah to build a boat. At best, it might apply to agnostics and their feelings of something being out there that we can't describe, but it is too far removed from Christianity to be useful in supporting why God might exist.

xclusive85 3 years, 10 months ago

I am not smart enought to answer that question for you Gandalf. I really wish I was. Please do see the above post though for the reasoning behind the original post.

notaubermime 3 years, 10 months ago

"My whole point is that if someone wants others to live according to their idea of what god is and what god says (or even what his interpreters have said), then prove that god exists first."

Nice solid ground for this statement.

"Until then, god doesn't exist."

Aaaaaand over the cliff we go.

notaubermime 3 years, 10 months ago

Its more that the second quote is more likely to take all of the focus from the first, which is a shame because the point of the first quote is quite on-topic and valid. It is something that moderates of all religions should be able to agree upon.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

Fair enough. While I am the writer of my statements and assume them to be read as representing what I believe, I could have closed with "Until then, god doesn't exist ... as far as I'm concerned." It carries the same meaning.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

This isn't instant messaging. Do you really expect an immediate response? Also, why would someone asking me a real question stemming from their beliefs bother me? Far from bothering me, I appreciate the questions. I know others do not agree with my failure to believe in a spiritual super power. That doesn't bother me one bit. When it bothers me is when people, like the letter writer, starts saying our nation needs to embrace the Bible and that we are falling apart without it. I disagree absolutely. I think complete rejection of the Bible, Christianity and other religions would be the better course.

As the late, great John Lennon said: "Imagine no religion / It's easy if you try / No hell below us / Above us only sky."

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

I believe his politics are far more telling. Why would I want to join a self-proclaimed right wing fanatic? He did speak against multiculturalism. As I recall, you too have mentioned your problems with multiculturalism. You too like guns. Perhaps there is more in common on your side of the political spectrum than mine.

Party of Atheists -- I wish!

notaubermime 3 years, 10 months ago

BornAgainAmerican on July 16th said: "As for Muslims, if you are not at least leery of any and all Muslims after 30 years of attacks on America and Americans by Muslims, you have to be naive or have a death wish."

I replied: "Any and all Muslims? No. No, I've met many Muslims and didn't fear, nor was I leery of any of them. I judge people by what they do and what they say, not what they believe. I think that you are a horrible person for thinking otherwise. Your path only leads to blood and violence."

Tell me again how different you are from that mass murderer.

Stuart Evans 3 years, 10 months ago

I thought long and hard about a response to this letter. What I decided was that there is nothing that can be said or done to convince some people that everything they know is crap. You sir, have been fed a lot of crap.

concernedeudoravoter 3 years, 10 months ago

Our nation was founded on the principles of the need for religious freedom, not for the need to be a Christian nation. While those Europeans that came to our shores may have themselves been mainly Christian, they were fleeing from having specific religious views or practices forced on them by a government. To say we, as the United States, are a Christian nation is just not the truth. We are a nation, where you have the freedom to believe in what you believe and not believe in what you don't. Our religious melting pot is no different from our cultural melting pot.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

You've certainly helped up the 'stupid' count--thanks!

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Collins' letter to the editor hit over 100 posts by 3:30 PM.

That's pretty good, most LTEs don't get nearly this much attention!

SnakeFist 3 years, 10 months ago

I suspect that substantively identical letters appear in the newspapers of most Middle Eastern countries. Irrational religious zealots are the same everywhere, and reason is the only thing standing between them and fundamentalist theocracy. Reject the Christian version of the Taliban.

pinballqueen 3 years, 10 months ago

I am deeply concerned about the erosion of freedoms on all levels that are being done in the name of one religion, Christianity. I am not Christian, and I came to this very personal decision after attending two different Christian churches. I quit attending the first because the preacher denounced homosexuality during the sermon. The second one was more liberal, which helped me to understand I am agnostic, because I simply cannot use blind faith to take the Bible verbatim. But, this is MY choice. I do not want a religion's belief system shoved onto my family. In order to have a state run with (christian)God based politics, then where do folks of other beliefs fit in? It reminds me of the Jews during the crusades, which sound a lot like the Salem witch trials, which makes me think of Hitler's ability to use religion as a reason for genocide. The problem isn't Brownback entirely, who is behind him? What entities are being funded to promote such a narrow agenda based in emotion and not logic? Look to Wichita. Our legislature and government is being reformed by the richest folks in the state. What do the Koch brothers gain? We have to ask ourselves that question. Meanwhile, they manipulate the people by creating a rift between each other by using the one thing that can be so powerful, religion. I respect anyone's right to take great pride in believing in something, to have blind faith, but when government is involved it is no longer about faith, it becomes about obedience. It scares me that our politicians and the richest corporations in this state are manipulating good people and their belief systems.

Catalano 3 years, 10 months ago

"It scares me that our politicians and the richest corporations in this state are manipulating good people and their belief systems."

Theocratic oligarchy, anyone?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

No, God didn't put it there. The HAR-1 gene is a mutation. It in no way discounts evolution and, in fact, may go a long way toward proving it. If it makes you uncomfortable to think that your brain power is based on a mere "mutation", I'm sorry, but Chaos theory says that human beings were just lucky.

notaubermime 3 years, 10 months ago

You mean, other than all of the other animals which have HAR-1 genes? Yeah, no way that ours evolved from them.

Jimo 3 years, 10 months ago

"America was founded as a democracy under God!"

You would have thought someone would have remembered to have mentioned Him in the Constitution.

Apparently, a founding based on anything less than unrelenting hostility to religion must be seen as a theological dictatorship.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: please meet Donald W. Colllins.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

This LTE is an expression of wishful thinking.

Many christians cannot live with the notion that this country was not founded based on their religion. They cannot fathom that something that they hold so dear, christianity, was not the basis of their beloved country.

Saying that America was founded on christianity is nothing more than wishful thinking. Most evidence, including the Constitution and writings by the founding fathers, points to the contrary.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the personal attack.

I spelled "christianity" correctly, and chose to not capitalize it.

By the way, you are supposed to spell "supposed" s-u-p-p-o-s-e-d.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

You have invented a new rule of grammar. "Christianity" is a proper name, and thus should be capitalized.

But, ya kin alwyz doo thingz buy yer owen rulles, iff ya wannt ta, eye gues.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, and your name is Ron Holzwarth. Why does your user name not have a space between "Ron" and "Holzwarth"? Inventing new rules of grammar, I take it?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

He wasn't too keen on that "turn the other cheek" stuff, though.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

btw, ywn, "Shows", not "It shows". "Thanks for the rebuttal have a nice life". These are two independent phrases that should each be a sentence separated by a period.

All very lazy writing.

It is best to believe in the afterlife while you are alive, is suppose. It's too late when you are dead and gone.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

Sure, if you've "Been To Washington" as a politician and contributed to the current mess.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

Could be a typo. Their really meaning in use of the word "of" was as to be free of something.

To be free of sickness. To be free of restraint. To be free of want. To be free of religion.

roadwarrior 3 years, 10 months ago

freedom of religion, it wasn't meant to make us comfortable, it was meant to make us free.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

AT THE CLOSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The United States of America is not a democracy, it's a constitutional republic. Glad I could help, Mr. Collins. The word 'democracy' was a dirty word to our founding fathers.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=afe_1309721977

jayhawxrok 3 years, 10 months ago

Facts just wreck the day for right wing extremists.

weeslicket 3 years, 10 months ago

in waaay late again. skipped all the previous. my apologies to all participants.

just wanted to remind everyone that the pilgrims (as we call them, what with their mayflower compact and their vision of a city upon a hill......) ......

((choose as many of the following as are appropriate to your understanding of the social and intelectual (calling all spelling police!) history of america:)) 1. left england to come to the new world seeking religious freedom 2. left england to come to the new world seeking religious tolerance 3. left england because nobody there could stand to put up with their religious intolerances, and so were encouraged to go elsewhere 4. had a hard time in the new world putting up with themselves, what with their new world (in)tolerances. (hence, providence ri) 5. wore funny looking clothes 6. invented thanksgiving as a national holiday 7. spoke peculiar (immigrant) english 8. geeze. make up a few of your own.

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

Per # 5: Good thing we don't wear funny looking clothes any more. http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/photos

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

  1. were superior to the Native American population in every way. Or at least, they thought they were.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

It is amazing that no one has any idea how the universe works. No one has a clue.

Also, it is also amazing that no one has any idea why matter has mass. No one has a clue.

And, no one understands at all how gravity works and why it exists. No one has a clue.

But, some people are absolutely sure that they "know" there's no G-d!

A bit presumptuous, wouldn't you say?

No, no, no, they say. I know all about it! The only things I don't know are how the universe works, why matter has mass, how gravity works, and why it exists. But everything else about the universe, I understand completely!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/large-hadron-collider/8660551/Existence-of-God-particle-to-be-decided-by-next-year.html

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes Ron, and five centuries ago we thought demons caused disease and sperm held homonculi and the mentally and physically handicapped were monsters, etc.

Don't bet against science, Ron. While we might not know all of the answers now, we may very well in the future.

You have taken the last stand of the God-head faithful, of focusing on the "failures" of science and human knowledge and equating them with faith.

Ultimately this leads to the nihilistic conclusion that knowledge is an illusion, that we can't really know anything, and so we must have faith.

True faith necessitates nihilism, the denial of objective reality.

boltzmann 3 years, 10 months ago

Yours is then a "God of the gaps" that will get smaller over time as scientific knowledge increases. Not a good position to be in.

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

Another brilliant comment (rolls eyes)......

Gene Wallace 3 years, 10 months ago

CCG@Ron. Seems you haven't been keeping up with science. We have More than clues. try reading and following http://www.Physorg.com You would be amazed. It's updated, Daily. When was the last Update on your Holy Book from it's "author"?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 10 months ago

I've repeated this before. It's something that struck me and impressed me deeply. Many years ago, in a conversation about God and Jesus and the existence and divinity of same, a friend stated, "You know, if Jesus ever did come back it would take him three days just to stop puking at everything ever done 'in His name'." (He now states he doesn't remember saying that but if I recall that he did he must have and he's more than happy to "own" it. I even tried Googling to see if it was said by someone famous and he just picked it up. Nope, it's all yours, Rathe.) I think you're on to something, Gandalf.

JohnBrown 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't have a problem with God, but I do have a problem with all those who, in the name of God say: "do as I say or I'll kill you".

The best part of the Bible is the Sermon on the Mount, but I don't think the people at Westboro have read that part yet. The American Taliban are alive and well in Kansas.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 10 months ago

I am reminded of the Star Trek episode where the Enterprise was hijacked and the crew taken to the end of the universe to meet "God" who was residing there. When they met "God" he wanted to use their ship and Captain Kirk was able to expose him when he asked, "Why does God need a Star Ship?"

Jesus was very clear about giving to Caesar what is Caesar's but giving to God what is God's.

In my experience, religious leaders that get caught up in politics will use almost anything Biblical or Historical in order to justify a political agenda and this letter is a good example.

There was a time when religion was used to justify slavery as it has been used to justify wars. Today it is used to justify tax cuts for the rich and the slicing and dicing of social programs for political advantage.

But for those who are believers, God is not a theoretical or logical argument. God is a reality and life is a spiritual journey. I don't recall Jesus promoting any particular political party and I think much of the political/religious rhetoric you hear is designed to frighten rather than enlighten people who are drawn to religious faith.

Unfortunately, I know of no religion that will guarantee us moral, ethical and wise leaders. The Bible says they are a gift from God and we seem to be in short supply.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 9 months ago

The US has never been and will never be a theocracy.

Deal with it.

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