Is Humanism at Odds with Christianity?

12301718_10208441683863715_5128003190622041658_n   The purpose of my blog post last week was to shed some light on the somewhat obscure concept of Humanism. Today I’d like to address a concept I’ve heard mention of lately, the idea that Christians can also be Humanists. Is it possible?

Humanism believes in a scientific approach to understanding life, placing importance on the evolution of knowledge, reason, and empirical evidence. Christianity is a faith-based system (faith here meaning the strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.) Christianity proposes that the word of God is permanent and unchangeable and that it takes precedence over scientific evidence (1 Tim 6:20). Also, by definition Humanism is inclusive of all people, regardless of their beliefs, while Christianity is exclusive. Christianity’s message is that only followers of Jesus will inherit eternal life (Acts 4:12). So we see at a high level, before diving into much detail, that Humanism and Christianity are incompatible. However, for the sake of a thorough exploration, I will dive into detail. Here’s one quick disclaimer, before I do.

I have found that Christians stand firmly behind the Old Testament when a particular verse defends an unsavory position on a heated issue. In 1820, for example, the OT was used to defend slavery. In 1637, the OT was used to defend genocide. In 2016, the OT was used to oppress and offend members of the LGBTQ community.

On the other hand, when the Old Testament is as embarrassing to Christians as it is to the rest of us, they employ the convenient excuse that Jesus came to change the Old Testament, although they word it differently. I’ve often heard it put this way: “He came to fulfill the law, so the law doesn’t need to be followed anymore.” This is like a quarterback calling the perfect football play for Team Christian. It negates the story or verse in question, without admitting that the Old Testament is wrong, or that Jesus might have disagreed with the Old Testament. Doing so, of course, would undermine the concept that Jesus and God are the same entity, two parts of the same whole, Dr. Evil and Mini Me.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this, it’s that the Old Testament can only be used by Christians to persecute others. When quoted by rational, thinking people to prove that the Bible is unjust or discriminatory, that the Judeo-Christian god is a perpetrator of unacceptable crimes against humanity, and that the inconsistencies and impossibilities in it render “God’s Word” so miserably fallible that it’s comedic, it is negated as a reliable source by Christians themselves. Either “Jesus came to change all that,” or “I am misinterpreting the verse.” For example, when I cringe at a verse like “How blessed will be the one who seizes your young children and pulverizes them against the cliff!” (Psalm 137:9) I am taking the verse too literally. it’s just a sweet metaphor of his love for us.

To avoid this double-standard as we dive into our discussion on Humanism and Christianity, I will focus only on the teachings of Jesus. Clearly the OT God would score zero on the Humanist scale (genocide, rape, misogyny, and animal abuse being things that Humanists fight against, not for). If I ignore the Christian belief that Jesus claims to be OT God, I’d probably score him at about a 5 out of 10. Using last week’s definition of what it means to be a Humanist and stories from the New Testament, let’s explore.

In Luke 4:18, Jesus defends the poor, the oppressed, and the captive. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus speaks favorably of the poor. Humanists also believe in the fair and equal treatment of others, regardless of social status.

Jesus also defended women, in a radical way for his time. Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the Bible story in which an adulteress was about to be executed by stoning and Jesus intervened. His memorable defense statement was, “He who is without sin should cast the first stone.” After some introspection, the condemners left the scene, and the woman’s life was spared. If Humanists roamed the Earth nearly 2,000 years ago, they would probably high-five Jesus for that revolutionary move.

Another time Jesus stepped up to the plate was when he criticized the religious leaders of his time, because “They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden,” and, “Everything they do is for show.” (Mat 23:4-5) In this teaching and others, Jesus exemplifies Humanism by putting love for others above religion.

Lastly, Jesus instructed his followers to love one another (John 13:34), feed and clothe the poor (Mat 25:35-40), and to refrain from judging others. (Mat 7:1) These are all honorable commandments, and reflect the values held by Humanists worldwide.

Sadly, not all of his teachings are quite so benign. Even though Jesus mentioned setting captives free, the New Testament directly commands slaves to obey their masters. (Eph. 6:5) In Matthew 17:7, Jesus says: When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, “Come in and eat with me?” No, he says, “Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.” And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, “We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.”

This is no way to treat another human being! His words show that Jesus completely approves of the heartless treatment of servants, and suggests that he intends to treat his followers in this same cruel way, as “worthless” beings designated only to serve and obey.

According to the Bible, Jesus heals blindness, muteness, and lameness by “casting out demons.” (Mat 12:22 and Luke 13:11) To suggest that people’s physical differences are the result of demon-possession is an extreme untruth that is demoralizing of others. Not only does Jesus support the belief that demons cause humans to be differently abled, at one point he proceeds to murder 2,000 helpless animals by “casting demons into them.” What’s worse, he committed this atrocity at a demon’s request. (Mat 8:28-32) At this point, Jesus is not looking like a person/god that I would be interested in worshipping.

In Matthew 10, Jesus says, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Here, too, we see an example of Jesus placing greater value on following him into a supposed afterlife, than loving others on Earth. This directly conflicts with the values of Humanism.

In Mark 16:16, Jesus says, “Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” Now let me point out that, as bad as OT God was, he never threatened his people with hell. It was Jesus that brought the concept of eternal punishment into the Bible. Perhaps the most elemental teaching in the Bible is that all of us deserve to be punished because we are born guilty of sins committed by the first humans, Adam and Eve. Jesus chose to receive our punishment through death and rebirth (which was really only a spanking compared to burning in eternal hell—perks, perhaps, of being the boss’ son). The caveat being we have to believe the story. If we are born into a different religion, or approach life with a scientific or atheistic view, or don’t get baptized, or die before we’ve repented of our sins, it’s straight to hell we go.

That’s because the core message of the Bible is that humans are born without inherent worth. Our worth is dependent entirely on God and his salvation through Jesus. Without him, we are dead branches to be thrown into the fire. (John 15:6) The core value of Humanism is that all humans are born with inherent worth and dignity. We are each beautiful in our own way and have the ability to make lasting ripples in the universe through our unique beliefs, talents, and contributions.

Therefore, at its heart of hearts, Christianity will never be compatible with Humanism. I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide which message of the two is positive, makes the most sense, best impacts our world, and is worth following.

(PS, I felt it only fair to share a photo of myself singing on a worship team. During my time as a Christian, I worked hard to uplift and encourage my human family. Christians are strongly motivated by love of others. Some, like myself, find themselves questioning the possibility of a God that would treat their human family with the unfathomable cruelty of eternal punishment. When they do, they have already begun their journey away from religion, and towards Humanism.)

 

147 thoughts on “Is Humanism at Odds with Christianity?

  1. The only way the two are close is when used in a sentence. Even that’s a little too close. Here’s what’s up. To be a good missionary first you have to find common ground. “Agree with thine adversary while thou art in the way with him lest he esteem thee as thine enemy.” In other words, two face ism is appropriate too. As long as it gives you a foothold to conversion.

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  2. I agree, Jim. Or Mat 10:14, which reads: If the home is worthy, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not welcome you or heed your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. Hmmm, not so nice 😉

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  3. From Frank Schaeffer’s book “Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God,” the beginning of chapter xiii:

    Although the Enlightenment philosophers’ followers rejected the institutional Church and the brutal hypocrites who ran it, they were among the first to challenge society to actually carry out Jesus’ vision of compassionate humanism on a large, transformative scale.

    I think you are saying the same thing. Humanism is at the very core of the teachings of Jesus. Unfortunately, too much of organized Christianity seems to have lost that message.

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  4. Christians are able to rationalize pretty much anything in the bible, as I am sure you are aware.
    It’s when they stop trying to and see it for the disgusting, immoral rag that it truly is that they usually deconvert … just as you did.

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      1. You have encountered several exponents of the Christian BS brigade already in your travels around the blogs.
        The more insidious are the ones attempting to wrap their theology in candyfloss terminology, claim their views are compatible and then in the next breath lay into non-believers.
        You remember Pastor Mel Wilde for sure?

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  5. Danica, this is an excellent summary of why the two belief-systems are not compatible in the least and you didn’t even cover the many non-Canonical texts of Yeshua/Jesus. And if I may also add that modern Christians, particularly the low-key ones or what some Believers call “Luke-warm” Christians that simply go to a church or belong to a church once a week for 2-hours then return to normal vanilla (unsalty? 😉 ) life where they’ve ‘buried their treasure in the ground doing nothing with it‘ for the remaining 166-hours of the week, have no clue or very little clue the historical context of Judaism in Jesus’ time within a people DESPERATE for their Messiah to “save/deliver” them from the mighty Roman Empire — a whole nother contextual entity few know anything about! For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls MUST be factored in and understood to have a better picture of what was going on within Judaism, the Diaspora, and inside Jerusalem with the Pharisees and Sadducees! Jesus absolutely knew what was going on between the various Jewish sects and their extremely heated debates about Scripture and the “coming Messiah.” One simply cannot get a high-rez accurate lens of 2nd century CE Judaism and Rome WITHOUT studying thoroughly the non-canonical and secular evidence and sources, like the DSS, and of Jesus’ people and surrounding cultures… and expect to see/hear the REAL LIFE man called Jesus. It can’t be done! Period.

    Again Danica, great post. 🙂

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      1. Personally, I think Luke-Warm Christians are the best. We all know when it comes to history that Senor Luke was shot hot! And when it comes to Acts … phew, he Rocks!
        I mean what herpetologist doesn’t know that you get vipers on Malta? ( one bit that famous tent maker, Saul of Tarsus,I believe.)

        Sorry, going off on a bit of a tangent there.
        It’s all this god stuff. I fear I might be infected with Branyan-Wilds disease.
        Eeek!

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    1. Very true, Professor Taboo. I have had a lot of exposure to the “underside” of Christian history throughout my life. I never dived very deeply into it, but my mom has always been an “alternative” theist, and introduced me to many of the lesser-known historical elements of the Bible and Christianity. I relearned some of this while reading Nan’s book. But the focus of my approach to debating and debunking Christianity has been on present-day issues. I definitely intend to learn more about the history of it all. https://sayitnow.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/what-if-2/

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  6. Oh! I fogot to mention at the end of my comment above that Christianity is supposed to be “At Odds” with EVERYTHING in the world not Christian! LOL John 14:6 makes it completely impossible to “believe” or follow anything that isn’t strictly Greco-Roman Christianity! Period! No grey areas whatsoever! 😮 Hahaha.

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      1. BINGO Jim! And that is exactly why the Abrahamic religions are so damn annoying and divisive AND fragmented amongst themselves!!! If I’m perfectly honest, the “God” of those three is like a spoiled, volatile, babyish bully!!! LOL 😛

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      2. Thank you. “Yeah, well apparently GOD forgot to tell everyone else” that we’re killing them and taking their land! “We’re at war with everyone like every other day!” Bwahahahahaha! Yeah, no sheets Sherlock! 😛

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      3. It’s fun looking at these scriptures from the dark side. I know the playbook and have about the whole dam KJB memorized. It’s almost too easy!

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  7. Christians are supposed to be hated by the world …

    I have noticed this theme surface from time to time on the more fundamental blogs. It seems this offers certain fundamentalists the excuse to go out of their way to condemn. Much like a form of martyrdom.

    I engaged a devout Catholic a short while back and some her most heated vitriol in this regard was for Pope Francis, believe it or not! Most odd. Damn funny, but odd nonetheless.

    If they gleefully slag each other off at the drop of a prayer book how in Gehenna do they ever expect there to be any chance of compatibility with humanism?

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    1. Adding another dimension to your fine observation Ark, this is also another method, directly or indirectly, for making THIS life right now so miserable so that the NEXT life, heaven with God, is to be obsessed about and to gladly skip over this one. They often don’t realize (ever?) that this life right now is actually pretty freaking awesome, wonderful, fun, mysterious, etc, etc, et al! But it’s often only a matter of perspective, right?

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      1. “by definition Humanism is inclusive of all people, regardless of their beliefs,”

        “So we see at a high level, before diving into much detail, that Humanism and Christianity are incompatible”

        Which of these is true?

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      2. Humanism does not discriminate against others for their beliefs. Christianity does. A Humanist believes that there is no different ending point for a Christian than there is for a Muslim. One doesn’t go to heaven while the rest go to hell. When Christianity is inclusive of all people (which it will never be) then Humanism and Christianity would be compatible.

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      3. If you are a Humanist, you will slowly let the truths of inclusion and nondiscrimination seep in, at which point you will slowly drift away from a doctrine of hate and exclusion. I hope it’s true.

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    1. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

      “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
      — Matthew 7:15-23

      And then of course there is the one verse that can NEVER be misinterpreted: John 14:6

      Hence, you’re simply wrong JB.

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      1. When you say Christians are “incompatible” with Humanists, you are excluding Christians from Humanism.

        You need to rewrite the line to read: “by definition Humanism is inclusive of all people, regardless of their beliefs, so long as those beliefs are not Christian…”

        That will fix the problem.

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      2. Nope, Humanism is simply a stance of fixing the world’s problems, and human problems with human research and resources. It doesn’t go into countries and exclude Christians from the help it offers. It’s not a religion that bans certain beliefs. They are incompatible in the way that Science is incompatible with superstition.

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      3. “Humanism is simply a stance of fixing the world’s problems, and human problems with human research and resources.”
        That is not incompatible with Christianity.

        It seems like you are wanting to exclude Christians from Humanism and then blame Christianity for the ‘incompatibility’.

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      4. Nothing needs one bit of fixing. If there are “others” who agree with you JB, then bring them here and let them speak. Otherwise, Danica’s post is PERFECTLY reasoned, written, and prestinely clear: Christianity is ONLY compatible with Christianity. Hahaha.

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      5. Yes! I could’ve gone on and on and on with ALL the Scriptural supports for elitism, division, discrimination, prejudices, etc, but you covered it all perfectly well Danica in a short, concise post.

        Applause for you. 👏

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      6. Wholeheartedly agree Danica. But as you might surmise, it’s not enough (truly!) to simply be extremely well-versed in the 4th century CE Canonical Bible either. One NEEDS a much, much bigger high-rez lens encompassing all of the contextual parameters of the time-period!!! 🙂

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      7. Your article clearly states two mutually exclusive points of view. I suggested how you can fix it.

        If you think Christianity is wrong and Humanism is right then you are discriminating against Christian doctrine. I don’t understand why you won’t just say that.

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      8. You stated, not Danica:

        Then Humanism is compatible with Christianity.

        I showed from your holy New Testament that your claim is flat wrong. Also, your reasoning of what Danica has plainly shown here is wrong as well. Either way, your statement is wrong and your interpolation of Danica’s one sentence is wrong. Simple.

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      9. So that’s a “no”.
        You don’t understand the point I’m making.

        (Hint: It has NOTHING to do with scripture. It has NOTHING to do with Christianity or Humanism either. It is simple logic.)

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    2. Christians are inclusive of Muslims. Research Nabeel Qureshi and Abdu Murray. They are also inclusive to atheists, ask David Wood. They are also inclusive of Jews- Ask Dr. Brown (see what I did there?), what group of people can’t become a Christian?

      Also, this is delayed Danica, but I am studying to become a highschool math teacher.

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      1. Cool, Matthew! I guess the biggest issue would be clarifying what I mean by inclusive. Humanists do not believe that anything different will happen to a Christian after death than will happen to a Muslim. Humanists are not interested in passing laws that discriminate against any groups of people. Humanism is not a religion. It’s not like you say a prayer, get dunked and “become” a Humanist. It is a secular approach to life with a focus on loving humans now, rather than focussing on an afterlife. Can you be a Humanist and be a Christian? Sure. I guess I was. But slowly the logic and reasoning seeped in, and I realized that I no longer wanted to be part of a group that didn’t stand for what I fundamentally believed to be true.

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      2. So, what fundamental beliefs do you have?
        I believe that Christ came for all people of all nations of the world, Men and women are both made in the image of God. God extended, extends, and will extend His love to all who are willing to recieve it.

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      3. What do you think about the verse where God says that anyone who has a blemish, is blind, lame, has a flat nose or a protrusion, or is a dwarf cannot enter the temple to make an offer to the Lord? (Lev 21:20) Doesn’t sound very loving, very appropriate, very inclusive, noninsulting, or worthy of respect to me.

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      4. Sorry for the delay, I was riding ( not driving) in my car and my phone died.
        God seems to be protecting the disabled from being required to make an offerring for the Lord as it was the descendants’ (of Aaron) job to do so.
        As a future teacher, I find making accommodations for people with disabilities very reasonable and loving. Do you not?

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      5. “So that he will not profane my sanctuaries.” It is base arrogance and vile discrimination. Nothing to do with “making accomodations.” (Lev 21:23) Good try,though.

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      6. Well, you skipped a few verses.
        As a McDonalds employee, when I would throw up at work due to an illness- a defect, if you will- (happened once, sadly), I was not allowed to work- so I would not contaminate the workplace.
        Is McDonalds being unloving to me when I am defiling the workplace by not allowing me to work?

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      7. If you’re saying McDonalds should ask a blind person or a lame person or a hunchback to leave because they are filthy like vomit, then you are in the right religion, my friend!

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      8. I’m sorry, can we back up and discuss the whole paragraph ( since you brought it up)?
        Lord said to Moses,
        17“Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.”

        As I said, the sons of Aaron were priests of Israel. Not allowing Aaron’s descendents who were disabled to work was actually relieving them of responsibility- not punishing them.
        And do you realize how dangerous it would be for a blind man to make sacrifices? Giving a blind man a knife ( or some sharp object to kill an animal) isn’t a safe idea. Let alone the impossibility of actually handling the animal when you can’t walk or see.
        So if McDonalds would require blind people to handle hot grease, or to plug in orders on the register- that would be cruel. Saying “sorry, you are not qualified” is saving embarassment and massive burnings. It is very loving to do.
        Now did you notice the verses you skipped over in your selection- the part where the disabled can participate in the benefits of the priesthood (eating of the holy food)?
        So actually, the defected have all the benefits of being a priest without any of the responsibility ( because it prevents them from further injuring themselves/ doing an impossible task).
        So yes, if McDonalds treated the blind, lame, and diseased like the Israelites did- they’d get free food and wouldn’t have to work. And that sounds find and dandy to me.

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      9. That sounds nice (sort of) But it’s not what the Bible says. It says “Because of his physical defect, he may not enter the room behind the inner curtain or approach the alter because it would defile my holy places.” You are illustrating a point I made in my blog about Christians coming up with excuses and interpretations for the Old Testament. The Bible I am holding in my hand says the restriction on blind, lame, disfigured and deformed people is because their presence within the temple would defile it. That is all it says. Whatever else you are adding, you’re adding from another source, not the Bible. And even if you were right, saying “you are not qualified” is not a loving thing to say to anybody. If God was bent on having only perfect people enter his temple, being fully capable of healing all disease, that should have been the measure he took. Heal them. Make them “qualified.” Don’t banish them for a physical defect that you created them with.

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      10. Oh, did you also see the end where he calls the defected “holy”? That is a huge compliment, coming from God.

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      11. He does not call them holy. He creates a barrier between the accepted people and those who don’t “fit the bill” then claims that he makes them holy by separating them from the rest of the people. This same god claims that anything a woman touches while on her period is “unclean.” And that to “clean up” she must wait seven days after her period, then bring two doves in as an offering, one to slash and one to burn. I suppose you wholeheartedly agree all women should be doing this once a month? I hope you’re being careful to avoid contact with every woman on earth for two weeks out of every month. 🙂 You see? The Bible really is full of silly stories. There’s no way you can justify them to me. I’ve spent too many years of my life trying to justify them to myself. If the God of the Old Testament were real, he would know that my period isn’t going to kill the guy who sits on my seat after I leave Noodles and Company. He would know that a blind person isn’t going to “defile his holy place.” And he wouldn’t be extending lame offers of free food after degrading and insulting everyone. By the way, did you know you’re allowed to own and beat slaves to near death? (Exodus 21:21) And by the way, you have to sacrifice your first born son…and some wine. (Exodus 22:29)

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      12. No, Danica, I’m just using the Bible and the reasoning that I’m equipped with. I would not want a blind or lame person handling a sword alone for their own safety. That is a loving thing to do. Them killing or injuring themselves would indeed be a defiling thing to do in any public place. If you want a blind man REQUIRED ( as Aaron’s descendents were priests by heritage) to sacrifice hundreds of animals by himself- that is on you, not God. God says that he makes them holy. He does not say that he makes them defiled. But a blind man, or a lame man, or a man with a serious deformity will harm themselves when dealing with live animals. You are the one putting the words in God’s mouth. I’m just reading all of the surrounding text- instead of picking and choosing which parts you want to read out of the historical context that they are given- and in this case- explicitly given.
        So, a few things:
        1) Do you want to go through all the things you listed? Because I can, if you want. It isn’t like I’ve never read the Bible before and all of this is new to me. It’s just late- so I’ll do it tomorrow ( or later today, technically).
        2) You do realize that you are talking about the ceremonial and civil laws of the ancient Israelites, and not the moral law of Christians right? There is a difference between laws and morality.
        3) Let’s not forget that you’ve already said that you can be a humanist and a Christian- which contradicts what you said about humanism and Christianity being incompatible. I didn’t gloss that over.
        4) I also noticed the fact that you never answered my question about “what do you believe?” Maybe it was to vague- so I’ll rephrase. What makes you believe that humans have inherent worth? I already told you mine.

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      13. “You do not want a blind person person handling a sword for their safety.” You are using the Bible AND your own reasoning. Why? Because any intellegent, evolved person knows that what the Bible says is wrong. Some, like, you, find ways to twist the meaning so that it makes sense with their own morality. Others, like me, simply realize it doesn’t make sense and leave Christianity. The Bible says the presence of an imperfect person defiles God’s temple. Anything else you added, you added it from your own morality, not “The Word of God.” But since you went there, I did dig up a historical examination of the reason why. It says, “But in case of the twelve rather minorhandicaps, the redactor felt the need to stress that even such mild cases would defile theholiness of the temple. The reason for that would be a perceived demonic influence” So you see, it was prejudice and superstition, not love, that guided this law. I will include a link to the entire study. http://www.academia.edu/480201/The_Lame_in_Lev_21_17-23_and_2_Sam_5_6-8

        The very fact that your God required innocent animals to be murdered for his glory disgusts me. So before we even dive into the idea of which people were “perfect” enough to perform this vile and demonic act of stabbing and burning live animals, I’d like you to know that you will never win this discussion with me. I am of the belief that if the “God” of the Bible is truly a supernatural entity, he is a demon. No real god would ask for such horrible atrocities to be committed in his name.

        2 When you say “they were the laws of the time” you lose all street cred for your “God” who is supposed to be creating and directing human morality, not succumbing to the “laws” that people create. (I hope you know that animal-human sacrifice, the creation of temples, etc. were all going on in ancient religions way before the OT.) If God spoke to man, it was God’s duty (if he ever had one) to put a stop to the animal and child sacrifice immediately! Not write detailed instructions on how to continue doing it! If God commanded child and animal sacrifice, then or now, he is evil. Period. End of story. I will never bow to an evil monster that asks his people to kill their first born child, or even a dove.
        3. You asked if it’s possible. I said it’s possible but not for long to be a Humanist and a Christian. I was a “practicing” Christian, but my heart did not agree with the teachings. Therefore, I chose to leave Christianity. Do I think someone could remain Christian and be Humanist? Sure. If they choose to deceive those around them. My article didn’t say it’s impossible to label yourself as a Christian while believing in Humanist values. It merely said that the two worldviews are incompatible. You could also be Muslim and Christian at the same time, if you really wanted to. You’d just have to hide your true feelings in one place or the other.
        4. Your question wasn’t vague, but it was covered in my blog posts on Humanism. I took several hours out of my life to share that information already, so I can’t really justify doing it again in the comments section. But when you ask “what makes you believe humans have inherent worth?” it saddens me. Humans have inherent worth simply by being alive and being unique. I won’t go into all of the science behind the uniqueness of DNA, or the psychology behind the ripple effect that every human has on the planet. It should be enough to search your heart and ask yourself if a little child has meaning and value. If the only thing giving that child value, in your mind, is your Christian god, that’s a sad and morally dubious place to be. Humanists and rationalists don’t need god to tell us to love and respect others. When Christians say they would have no love and no morals if not for god, it worries the rest of us. Does that mean your belief in god is the only thing keeping you from murdering and raping people? Scary.
        Lastly, in fairness to you, I don’t mind discussing these issues. In fact, I enjoy it. But I spent 10 years rigorously studying the Bible, historical references, outside resources, etc. , all with the intent purpose to convince myself that the Bible was true. After all of that wholehearted dedication, I was not able to reconcile my Christian beliefs with true love for others, for myself, or for the Earth. I was not able to reconcile it with educated thought and reason, or with scientific facts. So I am primarily answering your questions for your benefit and the benefit of my readers. There’s no chance I will be caught entertaining the idea of believing in convoluted myths, ever again. I just don’t want you to get frustrated if your underlying motive is to convince me that the Bible makes sense, or that I ought to be a Christian. That said, if you have more questions or want to discuss further, always feel welcome! 🙂

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      14. Yes, Danica, when I read- I use my reasoning that I have been given to understand what I’ve read. When you read, you use your reasoning. That is how reading comprehension takes place in those things that they call brains.
        I wasn’t quoting anybody else- I’m using the scriptures you used- and using reason to lead you to what is happening in the text ( to show that any simple Christian can read, learn, and teach).
        Now, turning to the paper you linked to, notice that it says “the perceived cause” was demon possession. Does God say that those people were demon possessed (in the scripture you used), or did the Israelites, overtime, come to that conclusion on their own?
        Also, from the paper, notice that all the purification is indeed what seperated the Israelites from other nations. God is the one leading humanity to a have a base line of what is holy, and what is punishable, and what to do to reach holiness (ethics and morality). He isn’t “succumbing to laws of others” He’s giving them new ones to distinguish Israel from the rest of the nations.
        But I’m sorry, when you are talking about Christianity- then you go back to the ancient Israelites ( who did not know about Jesus yet) you’ve already lost your “street cred”. I’m sorry that I’m trying to keep you on point of “Christ”ianity and not Israel. There is a “Old” and “New” Testament in our Bibles for a reason. So we can distinguish what covenant is the present one that Christians follow. But if you want to believe that Christ- followers are supposed to be abiding all the civil and ceremonial laws of the Israelites- I suggest that you don’t read from Matthew to Revelation.
        So- let’s see what we’ve learned. God, through Israel, set up a nation that had several ceremonial and civil laws. But the baseline moral priniciple behind it all was love: love for God, and love for others. ( Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34) (See, I can reference scripture too!)

        But yes, I believe that all humans have an inherent belief of worthiness. So do you, apparently. We are just accrediting it to different “things”. However, your things, whatever they may be, won’t make sense to a reasonable person.

        Your “sticking to your stance” does not bother me. The thing about a personal relationship is that I am responsible for seeing the truth of who God is- if you want to live in the darkness- that is on you, not me. I, too, am writing for viewers to see. Anybody can see that I am answering your questions about scriptures- and that your only objection is “I don’t find it worthy of respect”- which is literally just your opinion. There is no reason provided. Just an emotional appeal.

        However, I have used analogies of modern times to draw people into a similar context. I have actually quoted the whole text to put words into context. I haven’t added anything to the Bible. My commentary has simply been through using the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible- so you can’t accuse me of using biased sources. I haven’t ommitted the “things I don’t like”- in fact I’m discussing the “tough” issues brought up by the Bible.

        Also, I do have to note that you say both “historical” and “myths”. So do you think that these accounts actually happened, or are we- figuratively speaking- “discussing the color of Santa’s sleigh”?

        Saying that you can be a Christian Muslim is like saying you can be a married bachelor. If two things are mutually exclusive- they can’t be conjoined. If a person has beliefs from multiple points- they are not exclusively any one of its parts. “Water” is not equivalent to “oxygen”. It is something more, not equal.
        So, can you or can you not be a true humanist and a true Christian simultaneously. Are they mutually exclusive or can you be both? Either way, you’ve already contradicted yourself in your article.

        But if your definition of “inclusiveness” is “ the belief that we all have the same ending” and not “ we welcome you with open arms”- you’ve lost the battle. As I said, Christians who follow Christ welcome all people from all nations to join- as the Great Commission says- also backed from modern converts from all backgrounds.

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      15. Matthew, it’s been a good discussion. I dont think you’re really understanding my points. The Bible does claim that lameness, muteness, and blindness come from demon possession. And not just in the OT. Jesus himself said it when he healed people. It’s one of the examples I used in my article. I am going by what the Bible strictly says. Deformed people stain and defile Holy places. If you choose to engage your reasoning or your imagination and decide that’s not what God meant when he said it, that’s fine. But we can’t have a discussion based on your interpretation of the Bible verse and mine. If we can’t agree that the verse says “That they profane not my sanctuaries, because I the lord do santify them,” which it does, then there’s no point in discussing further. You are ignoring what the Bible says, and you are creating your own version of, “God said that because he loved them and didn’t want them to work.” But you can’t back up your reasoning either with a Bible verse or with historical evidence. God simply doesn’t want lame people to deflile his sanctuary. That is all the verse says. The sickness of all Christians is the blind desire to warp and shape what they read into a context that lines up with their own morality. I had that sickness too. But now I can read and see the truth for what it is, vile, dispicable, and not worthy of another hour of my life. I will say it again. Any god that mandates the death of a child or an animal in order to offer love or forgiveness is a sick-minded entity, more evil than Satan himself.

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      16. Okay, now is the point that you’re going to accuse me of not reading? Lol
        1) Does it, or does it not say “I am the Lord who makes them holy”?
        It does. So when He sees them, what does God see? Holiness ( aka- His image: see Genesis and the epistles). Of course, the “holy” part would come after the “sacrifice “ part – which they did not have to do- but was done on their behalf. (Foreshadowing Jesus’ death and Pentecost, by the way).
        2) Would a blind man (alone) be able to sacrifice an animal without difficulty? No. In fact, it’ll be dangerous for them. It will end badly (thus desecrating the temple). But if you think that blind people should be REQUIRED to make animal sacrifices by themselves- that’s your choice. God was saving them by not allowing them to injure themselves- if you find that cruel, you have a bad definition of cruelity.
        Here’s the logic for you.
        A) Aaron’s descendents were priests.
        B) Priests made the sacrifices for themselves, their families, their tribes, and their nations.
        C) Blind people would physically not be able to make sacrifices. (Common sense)
        D) The Lord recommends that blind people not make sacrifices.
        E) D relieves the burden of B, because of their linage of A, thus negating the responsibility of C.
        F) Priests were allowed to partake of holy food.
        G) God says that the disabled are able to partake in that activity.
        H) Therefore, God allows the priviledge of A to happen dispite the conditions of the people.

        3) You are saying I have no historical evidence- yet refer to Jesus. So are those accounts true or not? If you believe they are not, then why are you discussing something that you don’t believe even happened? If you do believe that they are historical- then we can discuss the significance of what was done.
        4) Do you think Jesus shouldn’t have healed people?
        5) It is not lost on me that you accused me of using reasoning and not going to what the Bible says, then you turned around and linked an article about a person reasoning what was happening in the text. The hypocracy is astounding. You had to go out of the Bible to come to the demon possession conclusion. Why? Because the text you offered does not say anything about demon possession! You are the one who is acting like God is mad at them for being demon-possessed when it doesn’t even say that. But it does say that they are made holy (without having to do anything).
        Now, if you want to say “why was animal sacrifice necessary?” That is a fair question.
        However, if you are in flux between saying that I have no historical evidence and then acting like these things actually happened so you can complain about how cruel God is to animals- then just stop talking in circles. Your affirmation of the story is negating your complaint of having no evidence.

        As for me, I’m just going to quote scripture, go down the line of what is says. Think about its implications, then relay the logic to you. I’m not going to borrow somebody’s historical implication about what the Israelites percieved ( not even talking about what God explicitly said). If you could be consistent in what you want ( an exact reading or going beyond what it says) that would be great. Otherwise you are creating the dilemma
        A) If I (Matthew) quote scripture, then Danica complains about “You have no evidence”.
        B) If I (Matthew) use other texts in the Bible to provide context- and reason- to what was happening (aka evidence for my theodicy) Danica complains about “that is not explicit”.
        You can’t have it both ways, Danica. I learned at an early age that when a person tells me:
        “Lets play a game. Flip a coin. If it’s heads, I win. If it’s tails, you lose” is always a losing game for me. There is no point in playing the game.
        So be consistent in your standards- otherwise I will either not discuss this further.

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      17. It doesn’t say he makes them Holy. Here is the King James version. You will clearly see that God is saying that deformed people profane his sanctuaries, which he makes holy. In other words, it is the sanctuaries that he makes holy. The people are blemished and unworthy of entering. Maybe you should ask your pastor about it, since you don’t believe me. Your entire argument rests on God wanting to protect lame people out of love for them, yet you can’t show me a verse that says that. 🙂 Do you see the problem? I’m showing you the verse where God says lame people make his holy place profane or defiled. Please show me the verse you’re talking about, where God is keeping lame people out of his temple because he loves them. When you do, we can continue the conversation. Until then, we’ll have to call it. Here’s the King James, the complete excerpt. Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

        18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

        19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

        20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

        21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

        22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.

        23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the Lord do sanctify them.

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      18. I was going to say “either discuss this further or just keep on pointing out your fallacies to your readers”. But you and I both know that your readers aren’t going to publicly admit that I’m right (which I am). I just forgot to take out the “either” along with the rest.

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      19. Matthew, I’m not sure how old you are. The bulk of my readership is comprised of mature adults who feel more than comfortable sharing their opinions and beliefs about Christianity. You are in the minority as a Christian reader, so it’s unlikely that many of them will support your views here, but some will. I welcome and encourage conversation and comments from all sides. No one here feels threatened or coerced into agreeing with me. In fact, I have engaged in conversation with you for two days, even though we don’t share the same views. There’s really no reason to take my opinions as a personal insult to you, or to accuse my readership of not having the maturity or conviction to state their opinions. Hopefully you can find that verse that says God was protecting the lame people, not expressing concern that they were defiling his perfect temple. Once you find that, I can humbly admit that you were right, as per the Bible. All we are discussing here is what the Bible says. It has nothing to do with what I believe or what you believe. So the best way to put the discussion to rest would be for you to find that supporting Bible verse. 🙂

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      20. Danica, if you’ve actually read and studied the Bible as much as you say you have yet haven’t come across the hundreds of verses talking about who God loves and who we, as Christians, should love (because God first loved us)- then you need a reading tutor.
        But seriously though, which one verse out of the hundreds would suffice your ignorance?
        Are you seriously going to stick to “he was talking about the sanctuaries”? Lol. Did God come to seek and save the lost sanctuaries? No, God came to seek and save lost souls.
        But even if you want to stick with the “he was talking about the temple”- we (Christians) are “living temples”. So it comes full circle to talking about people anyway.
        Oh, but the verses talking about being a living temple are found in:
        2 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Peter 2:9, and 1 Corinthians 3:16

        Speaking of “3:16” you have heard about John 3:16, right?

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      21. There are many verses in the Bible, but the one we’re discussing happens to be Leviticus 21:17-23. I said the lame were kept out of the temple because it defiled the temple. (Which is what the Bible says.) You say the lame are kept out of the temple because God was trying to protect them (Which is not what the Bible says.) I was waiting on you showing me the verse in Levitcus that defends your interpretation of the scripture. We’re not talking about a living temple. We’re talking about a temple constructed to the OT God, and lame, blind, mute, and otherwise disfigured people not being allowed to enter because they profane the temple. Please show me the verse in Leviticus that says “Lame people are not allowed into the temple because I, God, love them and want to protect them from coming into harm’s way.”

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      22. Oh, I see, you only like using theological connections ( like Jesus is God) when you can point to Jesus and say “look what he did to those animals!” But when I point out your flaws, you revert back to “the OT God”. Haha, your talking in circles is making me dizzy.
        “I am the Lord your God who makes them holy”. Happens throughout Leviticus. Talking about the people. If you don’t see how that is an implicit “I love you”, coming from God, I don’t know what to say.
        How about the law in the previous chapter that protects innocent children from being sacrificed to Molek? How about “thou shall not murder” is protecting lives ?

        Which verse about God being a protector will you need?
        Or are you incapable of inductive reasoning?

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      23. I don’t know why you think I’m talking in circles. I have stuck with the same question for two days and you have not answered it. Here is the question again. YOU, Matthew, said that God didn’t allow lame people in the temple because he loves them. The Bible says he didn’t allow lame people in the temple because they would defile the temple. Can you show me the verse IN LEV 21 that proves your point by saying “God did not allow lame people in the temple because he loves them and wants to protect them?”
        Again, let me be exceedingly clear. I do NOT believe in the Bible. I do NOT believe that most of the things recorded in the Bible happened. I am simply asking you to support your interpretation of Lev 21. You made a statement yesterday that brilliantly displays how Christians “create” their own morally correct interpretations of vile and unacceptable commandments by God. I am giving you a chance to prove your point, but you haven’t done it. According to LEV 21, lame and disfigured people were not allowed into the temple because they would defile a temple which god made holy. Show me where it says they weren’t allowed in for their own safety. NOT by your “morally conscious reasoning” but with with a Bible verse. If you can’t do that, you are proving my point. When he says “he sanctifies them,” he is talking about the holy temples, not the people. Also, why do you think “who makes them holy” means the same thing as “who loves them?” I see absolutely no deductive reasoning that would lead to that conclusion. The Bible says that God made lots of things holy, most of them inanimate objects. Making something holy has nothing to do with loving something. Priests make water “holy” by saying a prayer over it. If you’d like to find me a verse that explains why God was so discriminatory against differently abled people, I’m open to hearing it. Otherwise, I’m sorry Matthew, but I have to close this conversation at this point. I’m working tonight.

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      24. I don’t need God to say he is evil. I see it in his actions. Murdering his own son, asking for animal sacrifices, suggesting that it’s okay to kill a child for being rebellious, threatening to tear open pregnant women, committing genocide against the entire Earth in a flood, sending plagues upon innocent children to pay for their fathers’ sins, causing people to eat their own children as a punishment, using derogatory and filthy metaphors about raping women when he is angry at a nation….oh boy. I could go on all night. But I won’t. That’s enough evil for me. I’m off to work.

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      25. So you are actually sticking to that God was talking about the sanctuaries and not the Israelites. That’s fine Danica, if you want to be daft, that is your choice. If you want to ignore that the people were the subject of the sentence, and not the sanctuaries- “alrighty” is my response ( I actually do say “alrighty”). If you want to ignore the hundreds and hundreds of verses about God’s love- so that there is no “inductive reasoning” to be done, then I’ll give a fancy “Whatever floats your boat”. But you get no credit to have ever read and studied the Bible if you want to play willfully ignorant.
        For the final record, I gave you 8 reasons why I believed that the passage was God’s provision, it was listed A-H.
        But Good-bye Danica, it was a good talk. I hope you do some more reading. I hope your readers will benefit from this chat.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Everyone knows the point of the post, but divisiveness and point picking is the Christian way. They can bend any point to their likin. It’s natural.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Much like the examples I posted of using the Bible to justify genocide and discrimination, it is also used to justify what truly amounts to the badgering and the violation of others’ rights to believe and live as they choose. It can be seen clearly in social media forums, like this one, as well as in the real world. Whatever the hot topic of the moment is, there is a Bible verse that can be used to batter and beat others down. The Bible states that we are all gods. That’s one Christians rarely toss about. (Psalm 82:6). It states many, many things that are completely ignored by the Christian world.

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      3. @ JB —

        This discussion is over because I plainly showed you thru your God’s one and only holy inspired (canonical) Scriptures that YOUR interpolation of Danica’s sentence (and post) is pure and simply wrong according to your New Testament. Your bible has the final say in all things. How can I — or your bible — make it anymore clear!? It can’t be. Done. End of discussion.

        P.S. Everything you and anyone else needs to know (in detail) about me is in my blog — of which you’ve stated in the past you’ve read. LOL Go figure.

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      4. Yeah. I read your blog.
        I just can’t believe that you REALLY taught classes. I haven’t said anything controversial. Just pointed out a simple logical fallacy. I’d expect a real professor to catch that.

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      5. The fact that he didn’t might just show you that it wasn’t a logical fallacy after all. You know, there is an old saying that I just love and I think it applies here. If it’s stinky everywhere you go, check the bottom of your own shoes.

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    1. The Professor got lost. I’ll try and explain it to you and then you can help him out.
      He won’t listen to anything I say because I’m a dimwitted Christian.

      Let me walk you through it:

      1. Humanism is inclusive of ALL people regardless of beliefs.
      2. Christianity is a belief.
      3. Humanism is incompatible with Christianity.

      The logic is self-refuting. That’s all I’m trying to say.
      Doesn’t prove God exists.
      Doesn’t prove Christianity is true.

      But it is NOT “mumbo jumbo”.
      If you’re wanting to have your point of view taken seriously, you shouldn’t refute yourself in a single paragraph.

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      1. I can include you without agreeing with your beliefs. However, Christians do not include others if they are not Christians. I support laws that protect your freedom, as well as my Muslim neighbor, my gay friend, and my elderly father. I do not exclude you. However, the laws Christians want to pass trample on the freedoms of others. Does that clarify?

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      2. If by “inclusion” you mean “extend basic human courtesy” then I agree. We can include everybody. Christians and Humanists are agreed about that.

        Laws always restrict freedom. When you set the speed limit at 55 mph, you are infringing on the freedom of everyone who wants to drive 70. That’s just how these things work.

        It is impossible for ANY belief system to include everyone. It undermines your case for Humanism to suggest that EVERYONE is included in the belief. If that were true, there is no reason to blog about Humanism because everyone is already a Humanist.

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      3. I didn’t say everyone was a Humanist. Clearly not true. I said Humanists are inclusive of others in the sense that they do not believe there is any condemnation for being a Muslim, being Christian, being gay, being straight, being disabled, being elderly, being poor, etc. This is the current sociopolitical definition of “inclusion.” Passing a driving law to keep someone safe is hardly comparable to passing an abortion law that suggests mom should allow herself to die before acquiring an abortion, or a couple in love for 20 years is not “qualified” to get married, or a child is forced to go to a public school that teaches Christianity. A 55-mile an hour speed limit is “inclusive” of everyone’s safety. Christian “laws” only protect Christian beliefs.

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      4. Virtually every law is a statement of morality. Christianity contains moral imperatives like, “don’t kill people”, “don’t steal stuff”, “treat people kindly”…etc. I’m guessing you’re okay with those laws.

        As far as I know, a couple in love for 20 years is free to get married. They are also free to divorce. As far as I know, killing unborn babies is legal.

        If you can link me to the public school that forces Christianity on children I will join you in putting a stop to that practice.

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      5. The fact that Christianity contains these moral imperatives is of no interest to me, because they are completely blanketed in amoral suggestions. For example, God commands “Do not kill,” while simultaneously commanding his followers to kill, throughout the OT. Now you talk about mutually exclusive statements. That’s what the Bible is built on. The laws I mentioned, thankfully, are not in place, due to wonderful people that stand up to Christians when it comes to these issues, including the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The intent of my reply was to say that if Christians had their way, these are the types of laws that would exist in our country. Horrible laws that are awfully exclusive of basic human rights and freedoms.

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      6. “The intent of my reply was to say that if Christians had their way, these are the types of laws that would exist in our country.”

        There are no “Christian laws” against homosexuality or abortion. There is no law requiring Christianity be taught in the schools. Yet Christians are still insidious and evil.
        For a humanist, you sound pretty exclusive and discriminatory.

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      7. …if Christians had their way, these are the types of laws that would exist in our country. Horrible laws that are awfully exclusive of basic human rights and freedoms.

        I.E. Theocracy. It’s essentially the same (or would be) in the Muslim nations/regions with Sharia Law.

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  8. Yay, yes. I proudly exclude them from my worldview. That doesn’t mean that Humanists pass laws that harm or discriminate against Christians, though. My personal worldview and the actions of Humanists are two different things. I’m so glad that you agree that Christianity contains antiquated, discriminatory ideas, though. It looks like you finally got it too. And now, I must take my leave. I’ll humble myself and let you have the last word today, because I’m off to watch a movie with my daughter. Hope you enjoy the rest of the evening, and thanks for commenting. I do appreciate that you are true to yourself, JB. 🙂

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  9. What a fantastic, thought-provoking post! A friend of mine that is devoutly Buddhist (kind of an oxymoron, which I point out to him all the time) often tells me that no matter what I say, I am a Christian because of the value I place on compassion and empathy and forgiveness and charity. I counter that just because I happen to share such values with the biblical presentation of Jesus (sometimes…as you so excellently illustrated) it doesn’t follow that I am Christian. That would mean that the concepts of compassion, empathy, etc. were invented by Jesus and had never been felt prior to his little 33 year visit. So what I’m trying to say is that even non-Christians are incredibly brainwashed by the Christianity-heavy society in which we live.

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    1. How true. We have erased thousands of years of history, religion, compassion, development and regulation of societies, and reinterpreted all of history through a “Christian lens.” I took a lot of heat for my “Sun Gods” post because no Christian wants to remember that most every tradition we now consider “Christian” is rooted in thousands of years of pagans celebrating other gods just like Jesus. I watched a documentary on the brain once that talked about how if the brain refuses to recognize or is not exposed to a certain item, the eyes literally cannot see it when it is in front of them, a method often employed by magicians. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. Your analysis is wonderful and having grown up Catholic, describes my very criticisms that have led me to discover my own, personal, spirituality. It is based around balance, compassion, and our connections with all living things. The hypocrisy in organized religion is just too much for me to swallow and has way too much judgement attached to it. ☯️💕✌️~Anne

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    1. I completely agree. Though my religious path was different from yours (I was raised nonreligious, but practiced Christianity for many years as an adult) I came to the same conclusions. Thanks for commenting and hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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  11. I really do not understand why people are so timid when it comes to Branyan. It is quite obvious that he is not only a complete idiot ( in fact he has labeled himself in similar terms on several occasions) but he has absolutely no interest in genuine dialogue. It is simply not worth attempting to engage him on a level other than his.
    However, sometimes it can be quite refreshing to sink to his level and wallow for a few moments.

    Here , let me show you.

    Hey, Branyan? Do the world a really big favour: Pull your bottom lip over your head and swallow.

    How’s you dad by the way?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Humanism:Noun
    *a rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.

    * that excludes the likes of John Branyan until they can grow up and stop behaving like imbecilic, moronic Dickheads.

    ( we may have to wait a considerable length of time for such a change to occur)

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  13. @ Branyan

    As far as I know, killing unborn babies is legal.

    Actually, killing babies is illegal.

    Your god sanctioned abortion in the bible even going so far as to prescribe an abortion ritual.
    Obviously, as you are a Christian, you probably haven’t read the bible, which is generally par for the course for most believers.
    If you do not know where this ritual described in the bible is, ask an atheist, they’ll more than likely be able to help you.

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  14. More complicated than just selecting some verses and saying, “these are humanist. While these ones over here are not.” There is the problem of interpretation and selecting which verses matter the most. Many individual Christians and particular movements clearly support many secular humanist values (and see those as their values as well, not something that goes against their Christianity). This true as well of other religions and religious traditions.

    Then there is the history of Huumanism. You wrote in your last post: “Humanism dates back to the Middle Ages.” So I suspect you’re not just talking about Secular Humanism, but renaissance Humanism as well. Obviously the problem here is that most the Renaissance Humanists: Petrarch, Erasmus, Francious Rabelais, etc. were Christian. They would have seen themselves as being Christian, even if, yes, they would’ve been against certain institutional elements of the Christian world of their time.

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    1. Fair points indeed! Humanism has certainly evolved since the root beliefs that birthed the philosophy. Obviously, though, both of my posts are focused on the current definition of Humanism, as put forth by the Humanist Association. A look at Humanism and Christianity through the centuries would be an interesting study, one I’m not sure I’m well-equipped to take on, not being much of a historian myself. I do enjoy the historical perspectives sometimes revealed by my readers in the comments section, so thank you for that. I am so strongly motivated by the present and the future issues that we will face as humans, that most of my writing naturally gravitates towards current events, with only brief and intermittent historical anecdotes which my readers can choose to explore further.
      It takes a lot of revolutionary thinkers to challenge the myths of their age. Historically, there has been an associated risk of having your works banned, being scoffed, harassed, discredited, excommunicated or executed. Luckily many of these early thoughts and ideas survived the challenge, and blossomed into movements that have had a positive impact on human history.
      Also, I agree with you that Christians and Humanists have many shared values. Though I did not select that as the blog topic, (and I try to keep my themes clear and brief in the blogging world) there are indeed many places where these worldviews overlap. One of the prime reasons I and many others have left Christianity is because of the underlying message that all non-Christians (or those who don’t “qualify for heaven” based on some Bible verse or another) will inherit eternal damnation, while believers in Christ will inherit eternal life. As a rational thinker, I believe in the equality of all humans here on earth, that all faith-based systems hold equal weight (they are the imaginations of humankind, created to explain the explainable and form divisions among societies), and that we are all bound for the same destiny, which is back to nature.
      Thanks so much for your insights!

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    2. There is a center for religious humanism..The director is I believe, Gregory Wolfe. I think part of the issue lies in the definition of terms. What does it mean to be “Christian?” For instance, do all Christians think that everyone apart from faith in Christ is excluded from God’s kingdom? Do all parts of the Scripture reflect the word of God, and so on..? Should the word of God be received in such a way to contradict the findings of science?

      I think it’s more complicated and nuanced.

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      1. It’s definitely nuanced. The wonderful comments that have come up, like yours, fill me with the hope that people are inspired to have these conversations and explore their faith, or their stance on religion in depth, from whatever angle interests them most, historical, social, philosophical, etc. As complex humans, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever come to a total consensus on any topic. But I am honored that my posts can serve as a springboard for important discussions. I’m also grateful to my readers, those who agree with me, those whose opinions vastly differ from mine, and those who meet me somewhere in the middle, like you, Rebecca. I’m grateful to those who support my views 100%, and to those who respectfully challenge me to explore these topics from different angles, and dig in a little deeper. Thanks so much for being part of this conversation!

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  15. Thank you, Danica. Actually until I read your posts, and began to explore a bit, I also thought that there was this sharp dichotomy between Christianity and humanism.

    I didn’t realize that there were these three streams and schools of thought within humanism, renaissance, religious, and secular humanism. I definitely will be exploring this in greater depth, as well.

    You have definitely been a springboard. Appreciate you as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post. I agree that many Christian principles are at odds with humanist principles, especially if one is talking about secular humanism. Some Christians also recognize this; humanism is getting more attention from pastors these days.

    I think that secular humanism is valuable if only to challenge the notion that everyone is fundamentally flawed. That brokenness is necessary to many different strains of Christianity; without it, Jesus died for nothing. People do not have to adopt any beliefs which require them to be beyond some invisible redemption.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. “Born broken” and “born whole” are both such powerful thoughts with serious implications both in self and in society. The demeaning and detrimental message that we are all born deserving of punishment was a weight in my heart, and one of the Christian messages that I was most joyful to relinquish when I left religion.

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    1. Christians are often motivated by the belief that if they don’t convert others to Christianity, they will not inherit eternal life (ie, they will die.) From this angle, I agree that Christians love humans and have some of the traits of Humanism. The two groups might look at the same scenario a completely different way, however. Moving into a territory and converting tribal people to Christianity might be viewed as a great effort to save those people by Christians. By Humanists, it would probably be viewed as a trampling of their inherent rights to believe what they choose. Thank you for commenting! You made a good point. 🙂

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  17. I would agree that, yes, your first paragraph amply demonstrates that Humanism and Christianity are at odds. What interests me, though is this definition of Humanism: “Humanism believes in a scientific approach to understanding life, placing importance on the evolution of knowledge, reason, and empirical evidence. ” Not being much of joiner, I’m in no position to dispute the definition, but I wonder where it leaves people like myself who have no religion but also don’t believe that humans indulge much in the use of reason. What little, if anything, I know about Humanism is the result of hobnobbing with some Unitarian Universalists, some of whom claimed to be Secular Humanists, and others of which thought of themselves as some sort of Deist Humanists. The first seemed to be engaged with the idea that, free of religion, humans were rational beings, which is not a position I see much evidence for. The latter seemed to embrace some principle of Divine Niceness which humans ought to practice with each other. I have no idea if either of these is authentically Humanist thinking. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

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    1. To produce this somewhat condensed definition of Humanism, I referred to the Humanist Manifesto III. Their disclaimer reads “This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe.” One of the big differentiators between followers of religion, and most Humanists is that Humanists reject religion as a means of understanding life and death, adn lean towards science and education for their understanding. Maybe I could have worded it more clearly in my blog post, but in simple terms it’s the Big Bang, not creation. It’s evolution, not intellegent design, it’s back to nature after death, not up to heaven, that type of thing. However I understand there are gray areas in Humanism, like the Deist Humanism you mentioned. They would probably believe in heaven, and supernatural intervention. It seems contradictory to me, but I guess life would be boring without some nuance here and there. 😉 Hope that answered your question! If not, let me know. And have a great rest of your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I found your post very interesting. You taught m​e a lot I didn’t already know, thanks! I’d appreciate it if you took the time to read some posts on my Christian blog too – rcghub.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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