Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Jesus Kidney Cult

A Mr. Falkingham donated one of his kidneys to a stranger after joining a group calling themselves The Jesus Christians. His mother objected to the whole thing saying her son had not agreed to the giving up of a kidney on his own free will but had instead been influenced to do so by the small sect (25 members world wide). Cult leader David McKay said kidney donation is not mandatory but does put the golden rule into action:

"Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. If you were sick wouldn't you like someone to donate a kidney?"

Nineteen of the members of the group have donated kidneys. I wonder what the objection of average Christians might be to this. I say objection, because I doubt they will put the golden rule "into action" in this way. But why not? Isn't it as much a need as donations for things like food and clothing? Most of us will not donate a kidney to a stranger and we have no moral obligation to do so. I would, as I think most people would, give one up for a loved one, but not a stranger. Then again, I do not allow my life to be governed by the Christian myth. But for any Christians out there who do not choose to seek out the stranger in need of a transplant, I have to wonder why. There are plenty of people waiting for a kidney, and it's your Christian duty to help them, is it not? This tiny cult (Christianity as a whole started out as a tiny cult) is only taking the ideas and words of Jesus and the New Testament to their logical conclusion.

Here are the words of a Christian much admired for taking on the atheists, Dinesh D'Souza, in his debate with Daniel Dennett:

You're living in a western civilization shaped primarily by Christian assumptions. How do you know this? Look at an example. If there's a famine in Rwanda you can be fairly sure that all the European countries will rush to help...Now, there are other rich countries in the world, they will observe, but do nothing. And why? Because they were raised with the belief I was kind of raised with as a kid, which is an Indian proverb "the tears of strangers are mostly water" which is to say, to some degree you look out for your own, but you don't necessarily have any common ground with strangers.

So please Christians, prove the truth of Mr. D'Souza's words and give a kidney today to a stranger. It's the Christian thing to do (I'm sure Dinesh has already donated one of his to a stranger desperately in need).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Red-State Bozos and Stop-Loss

Commenting on the new film Stop-Loss and its box office performance, Deadline Hollywood Daily quotes a studio source:

"No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It's a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that's unresolved yet. It's a shame because it's a good movie that's just ahead of its time."

Then in the comments the Red-State fascist Kool-Aid drinkers crawled out from under their rocks with the usual I Love Big Brother As Long As A Republican Is President crap:

Stop Loss is a loser because the rest of America is not as anti-America as Hollywood or B. Hussein Obama.


Next we have this loser:

Comment by skip

My comment: So the war in Iraq is the same as the "War on Terror", eh? You fail, Bozo! And read the news once in a while, "skip", the latest poll results (March 08) show the American people opposed to this evil mess. When asked "Do you think the result of the war with Iraq was worth the loss of American life and other costs of attacking Iraq, or not?" 64% said it was not worth it and only 29% said it was worth it. When asked "Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?" only 32% said they were in favor and 66% said they were opposed.

Don't worry, it gets worse. These two Daves both excel at making asinine remarks:

The difference between today’s “war” movies, and those of generations past is that the “classics” give the audience something to cheer for…THE AMERICANS.
There was a sense of PRIDE in one’s county, and it’s mission…Halting oppression, tyranny, the spread of communism.
Comment by Dave

Hollywood is so out of touch that they are teetering on self destruction. Not only is America against the culture corruption that Hollywood tries to mainstream but the anti-American attitude of their Iraq propaganda war films is sure to choke them. With the exception of the Hollywood creatures, Americans by and large love America. Want to make a blockbuster film on the Iraq war? Try focusing on the liberation of 25 million people form the oppression they’ve suffered for 30 years. This liberation made possible only because of the incredible US armed forces. Try portraying the remarkable progress and success of this endeavor. And yes, the Iraq war has been and continues to be an awesome and selfless accomplishment for our great country. Wake up Hollywood while you still have the chance.
Comment by david

My response: Dave and David, why don't you both go shove it where the Sun don't shine. Neither of you have the slightest clue. Is America always right, no matter what our criminal government does? Are you proud that your military drops bombs on the heads of children? Are you proud of the fact that we invaded a country that did not attack us, in violation of Nuremberg? That the war may cost us up to 3 trillion dollars or more? David says: "the Iraq war has been and continues to be an awesome and selfless accomplishment". Huh??? Yeah, keep telling yourself that, David. Whatever the two of you are smoking, I don't want any.

There were a few sensible comments, such as this:

The problem with Iraq themed movies is not that they are “anti-american” or “anti-military” but that they are not escapist...If I want to be depressed about the state of the world, I’ll just stay home and watch the news.

The Kool-Aid drinkers have destroyed the Republican party and any conservative values and principles it once had. They are as delusional as their Great Leader, accusing "Hollywood" of being against the war while implying that the average American supports our interventionist foreign policy completely. How else could they make such comments as those above with all the polls showing the public has turned away from the invasion and wants our troops to come home?

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This story (Via Check Your Premises) gives one some hope for the next generation. A group of 29 7th and 8th graders, fed up with only a 30 minute lunch period, protested by using pennies to pay for their $2.00 lunches.

School officials were not impressed and began doling out detention like sloppy Joe's. In all, 29 students received punishment. Administrators told them that what they had done was "disrespectful" not only to cafeteria staff but also to fellow students. (Yet on Friday, many of them brought bag lunches to protest on behalf of the so-called "Readington 29.")

But as news of "Pennygate" began spreading, it soon became clear that this cause was bigger than even a silver dollar. Parents and civil rights advocates, outraged at the school's position, began raising a stink. The story received nationwide coverage.

A couple of pro-government goose steppers gave their two-cents worth in the comments:

I am all for the first amendment, but those rights DO NOT extend past the school house gates. As teachers we have a solemn obligation to protect our students first and educate second. To achieve that we must maintain discipline. What kind of school would it be if kids were running wild and crazy through the halls and calling it a "protest." Teenagers can call this unfair, but it is the price they pay for a free education.

Where does this "teacher" see anything in this story about kids "running wild and crazy through the halls"? Of course any dissent, even of a peaceful nature, cannot be allowed in the public schools, because the whole purpose of the government (fascist) school system is to teach obedience and discourage independent thought. That is the real "price" we as a society are paying for this "free" (I like the way this tax supported leech that calls itself a "teacher" is under the impression that publik skool edukashun is somehow free) service. Of course it is more like an indoctrination, not an education, anyway.

Another jerk left the following comment:

The school caved and it is a disgrace. Stand up for what is right.

That's what those protesting kids were doing, you jackass Big Brother-loving loser!

Here is an explicit statement of the real purpose of state schools, as outlined by some black-robed tyrants in California: "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state".

Loyalty to the state. Sounds very Nazi-like, don't ya think?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Video: Awareness Test

I'm posting this because I thought it was pretty interesting.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Here, There, and Everywhere

It's been a tough week for us here at Skeptical Eye, but we're hanging in there. We can only say that we are doing the best we can under the circumstances. The blog may be taking a bit of a different direction, though we will still cover religion and skeptical issues. We are interested in philosophical questions and always have been. We just want to be able to write without calling people names or being too harsh on those we think are or at least probably are, wrong. We will however not shirk from telling the truth as we see it, whomever it may offend.

We have been in the passing of time Christian, agnostic, philosophical theist and atheist. We now no longer want to "be" anything, and prefer to go without a label. We can assure regular readers, however, of one certainty, we are in no danger of converting to any religion and will be as critical (with a perhaps gentler tone) as in the past of the miracles and revelations of all organized belief systems.

You may be wondering what brought this on, but we can say nothing of that for now. The mood here could change again, you never know, although we strongly suspect it will not. We welcome all and look forward to continued posting here at, as we said in the beginning, our humble blog.

Thanks to all of you who have been return visitors. We have appreciated your interest and support more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Son of the Atheist and the Bear

In spite of the title, this post in no way is meant to imply that the atheist and the bear had intimate relations resulting in male offspring. No, this is simply a continuation of my series (previous entries here and here) on the idiotic Atheist and the Bear stories that are still being emailed and posted all over the internet.

A recent variation begins: An atheist was taking a walk through the woods, admiring all that the "accident of evolution" had created. Boy is that atheist gonna find out soon how wrong he is, yuk, yuk, yuk! Stupid atheists! Behold the righteous vengenge (in bear form) of our pyscho God. Never mind the facts or that evolution doesn't happen by "accident". No, let's just bash atheism, science and evolution by passing around asinine "jokes" like this one. Now, if you want to see the other side, i.e., reason, truth, and science, fight back militant style, check this out.

Anyway, folks, I've finally written my own takeoff on this stupid story. Behold, The Atheist and the Christian in the Woods:

The Rev. P.T. Peppercorn was working on his sermon, to be called, he'd decided, "The Amazing Power of Prayer", yes, that's what his lukewarm congregation needed, a reminder that God was indeed omnipotent (hmmm, he wondered how many of his flock would understand a big word like that), he crossed out omnipotent and replaced it with all-powerful. There, that was better. He smiled.

He got out his well-worn Bible and opened to the gospel of Mark. Mark 11:24 would be his text :"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." How absolutely astonishing that so many Christians would rather watch television then spend time in prayer when they had a heavenly Father that made promises such as this one. He shook as head. It was so sad how little faith there was nowadays.

Two miles away Charlie, an unbeliever who the locals had started calling the village atheist (one ardent believer had said "More like the village idiot") was packing himself some sandwiches and his gun, getting ready for a walk in the woods. There were bears in them there hills, so he always had a firearm at his side when he went. He'd had to shoot a wild animal once before, a mountain lion in that case, though before the big cat was dead, Charlie had received a few wounds that would leave permanent reminders of the encounter.

Back at his house, a lovely place paid for by his congregation, Rev. P.T. Peppercorn was stuck in the middle of writing his sermon, writer's block having overcome his ability to put down words. He put down his pen (he always wrote his sermons in longhand, feeling that God's thoughts were better able to flow through him that way, it being a more take-your-time approach to composing) and got up from his chair. He looked out the window and thought a nice walk in the woods would restore his inspiration and give him a chance to meditate on the sermon in progress. He packed himself some sandwiches and his Bible. He never took a walk without a Bible by his side, for he knew God's word was powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. He patted his Bible, opened the front door, and headed for the hills to enjoy some quiet time with his thoughts and his Lord and his Lord's wondrous creation.

Charlie the atheist checked his gun, "Yep, fully loaded," he said. Okay, now he was ready. He opened his front door and headed for the hills, looking forward to a beautiful day in the woods and all the wonders of the natural world, the amazing products of millions of years of evolution.

Rev. P.T. Peppercorn started his walk at a brisk pace, but soon slowed down. He looked all around as he walked.

"What majestic trees!" he shouted, as if the trees themselves had ears to hear him. He thought of this himself and laughed, thinking that some in his congregation were less likely to hear him on a Sunday morning then trees.

He noticed all the things around him and said, "What beauty."

He was getting hungry and found a clearing and a rock to sit upon. It was time for lunch. He retrieved his sandwiches and sat down to eat.

Charlie the atheist was enjoying his trek through nature, but soon he got hungry as well. He happened upon the same clearing as Rev. Peppercorn. Startled by the presence of another, Charlie approached with caution, then saw that the figure was Peppercorn, a man who had once denounced him from the pulpit for handing out atheist literature on a street corner (thus the village atheist label, a label that Charlie figured old Peppercorn had first applied).

"Well, Preacher, what brings you out to these parts? Are you lost?"

Oh no! thought Peppercorn, It's HIM! But then the good reverend had a second thought. Maybe this was the perfect opportunity to do some seed planting. After all, everything happened for a reason on God's green earth and maybe this was a chance to save a truly LOST person, that wicked blasphemer, Charlie the atheist.

"Good to see you, Charles," said the Rev. P.T. Peppercorn with a false smile. "I once was lost, but now I'm found. Do you know what that means?"

Charlie couldn't believe what he was hearing. Was the preacher actually going to try to convert him? "It means you're wasting your life on a lot of hogwash," replied Charlie.

"Charles," began Peppercorn.

"It's Charlie," said Charlie.

"Charlie, have you ever noticed how everything in nature is amazingly complex and seems designed for its environment?"

Charlie took a bite of his ham and cheese sandwich. "Yeah," said Charlie, talking with his mouth full. "The pig that gave up its life to become lunch meat was perfectly designed to be a sandwich ingredient and go good with Swiss cheese."

Peppercorn was about to respond when suddenly a huge bear emerged from the woods and entered the clearing.

"Oh my God!", shouted Rev. Peppercorn.

Charlie took another swallow of sandwich and then calmly took out his gun. The bear looked angry and ran straight for the two men.

"Oh Lord Jesus, please protect us and send this animal back into the woods!" prayed Peppercorn. The bear kept coming. "Father I ask you in Jesus name, send this wild creature away!" The bear moved closer. Rev. Peppercorn noticed Charlie holding the gun. "Well, what are you waiting for!" Peppercorn yelled. "Shoot it! Shoot it!"

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much", said Charlie. "I'm waiting for your praying to avail us."

"Don't be ridiculous. You've got a gun, use it!"

"You've got a Bible, Reverend," said Charlie. "Which item do you think will be more effective against this bear, your holy book, or my firearm?"

Before Rev Peppercorn could reply the bear was upon him. Charlie had fired the gun, but he missed. Peppercorn was thrown to the ground by the great beast. "Jesus help me!" he screamed. As he watched Charlie aim for another shot, Peppercorn suddenly realized he had indeed wasted his life, and that no God or Jesus would save him, only an atheist with a gun would. Charlie fired again and the bear fell dead, hit by a bullet to the head. The Rev Peppercorn was bleeding profusely, but he was alive. He looked up to the patch of sky above the clearing and forgetting his most recent thoughts, said "Thank you, Lord for saving my life and killing this bear."

"I killed the bear!" said Charlie indignantly.

Later the Rev. Peppercorn died in the hospital from his wounds. Charlie skinned the bear and turned it into a rug. He kept it on the floor in front of his favorite chair, to remind him that bullets did more damage than prayers to bears and that guns were more powerful than gods.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dream of Change

I had a dream last night. Most dreams are so incoherent and nonsensical that you tend to forget them right away. I remembered this one, though its starting to fade even as I write this. In it I was walking through a landscape of my life, the places I or my family have lived before, and the other landmarks of my brief existence so far. I passed by the house my mother lived in for over 20 years, as it was before it burned to nothing in October 2003. I received a phone call from my sister at the time and she said "Mom's house burned down" and I thought she was joking. We never believe such things on first hearing. I have heard those who were alive at the time President Kennedy was assassinated say the same thing (those who were told about it from someone else and did not first hear it on the news) , that they thought the person telling them the horrendous truth was just making a joke. So many memories of Mom's house up in smoke. I did not see the aftermath in person, but my sister made a video of it, and I watched in sadness the remains of what once was.

Life is change, there is no permanence about anything. Death will one day take us all, and before then, many we know or love. In the past year two of my close friends lost their fathers and in both cases they were still relatively young men. But that is the nature of the world, for life to be possible, death must exist as well.

I have always been a sentimental type, so change has never been easy for me, but I acknowledge its necessity. Without change there is no life, there is no being, there is no time, there is no me or you. I wish there was something original I was saying here, but there isn't. But for those who fear change and the sadness it sometimes brings with it, just remember that life is change, just as life is temporary, and that you would not exist without that reality. So appreciate what you have and enjoy the time spent with those you love, and the next time you are tempted to take someone or something for granted, know that they will soon pass away, as will you, and act accordingly.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blinded by the Light

A hotelier in India claimed statues of the Virgin Mary in his home had been crying tears of honey and bleeding oil and perfume. Apparently some people took it all too seriously and began looking for the Virgin in the sky, staring directly into the sun leading to blindness. Even after being warned of the danger, the crowds are still flocking to the man's house, hoping to see a miraculous image in the sky. Source

The incident above is a tragedy. The very sad thing is, it is only one example of lives ruined or harmed by religion and superstition. From faith "healers" and televangelists who give sick people false hope and take their money, to children indoctrinated to believe that well established scientific facts such as evolution are just lies of the devil; from fanatics brainwashed into believing that paradise and another, eternal, life await those that fly airplanes into skyscrapers, to the millions, past and present, with a life clouded by the idea of the eternal damnation and suffering of unbelievers, including those of one's own family (not to mention the extra, extreme burden for "lost" souls that so many have, wasting their lives passing worthless tracks and Chick comics, or street preaching, or wondering if that loved one that died was really "saved" after all) ; from those with lives spent in following an imaginary invisible friend named Jesus while letting so many of the joys of reality pass them by, to the women in Muslim countries denied their full humanity and equality as citizens.

In the face of all this, how dare anyone attack militant, so-called "New Atheism" with the false cry of "fundamentalist," as if atheism compared in any sense with religious superstition. Enough of all your phony impartiality and insincere agnosticism. The truth rings loud and clear for all who have ears to hear it: WE DO NOT LIVE IN A CARTOON UNIVERSE! If only those poor fools who lost their sight looking into the sun for a nonexistent Mother of God had realized this basic truth, they would have their eyesight right now. But instead they were deceived, forgetting that Satan comes as an angel of light, calling truth (like the fact of evolution, or the imaginary nature of apparitions) Satanic, when religion, "the light" to so many, is so often the real evil.

Someday supernatural religion will die out and billions will say "Free at last, free at last, no thanks to God, we are free at last."

May reason, not faith, guide you throughout life. Amen.

Hold the Lemon, Please

Haven't you always wondered how well (if at all) restaurant workers wash their hands after using the rest room? They don't put cameras in the rest rooms to monitor the employees, but I've always thought that they could do something more than just have a sign reading: Wash Your Hands After Using The Rest Room And Before Returning To Work. How about a special food handler sink with a camera above it, and any time you leave the food prep area you have to wash your hands there when you come back before you can touch food again. And have you seen some of the disgusting rest rooms at certain restaurants, especially some fast food places? Sometimes there isn't even much soap in the dispenser. And how many people really wash their hands instead of just briefly running them under water for a second or two?

I'm glad I'm eating a lot more of my meals at home.

The Three Trillion Dollar Bush War

From Vanity Fair

On March 19, 2008, the U.S. will have been in Iraq for five years. The Bush administration was wrong about the need for the Iraq war and about the benefits the war would bring to Iraq, to the region, and to America. It has also been wrong about the full cost of the war, and it continues to take steps to conceal that cost.

In the run-up to the war there were few public discussions of the likely price tag. When Lawrence Lindsey, President Bush’s economic adviser, suggested that it might reach $200 billion all told, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the estimate as “baloney.” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz went as far as to suggest that Iraq’s postwar reconstruction would pay for itself through increased oil revenues. Rumsfeld and Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels estimated the total cost of the war in the range of $50 to $60 billion, some of which they believed would be financed by other countries.
Read the rest.

At a time when the dollar is rapidly becoming worthless, job prospects are looking grim and retail sales decline while oil prices skyrocket, this evil, unjust, criminal and costly war continues to drain away our resources. And people are seriously talking about George W. Bush II, i.e., John McHagee, having a real chance at the White House?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Robert Ingersoll On Hell

We have heard talk enough. We have listened to all the drowsy, idealess, vapid sermons that we wish to hear. We have read your Bible and the works of your best minds. We have heard your prayers, your solemn groans and your reverential amens. All these amount to less than nothing. We want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for just one little fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits and implore you for just one fact. We know all about your mouldy wonders and your stale miracles. We want a this year's fact. We ask only one. Give us one fact for charity. Your miracles are too ancient. The witnesses have been dead for nearly two thousand years.
-- Robert Green Ingersoll, "The Gods" (1872)

Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899) was a famous 19th century freethinker (not so well known today, unfortunately). If you've never heard of him, there are many resources available online, and I've created a new link section on the sidebar titled simply Robert Ingersoll, with some sites to get you started. I discovered Ingersoll after I left Christianity, and I remember reading the lecture below and feeling solidarity with someone across the decades who expressed such reasoned thoughts and had so much more compassion then all the Christians I knew who believed that "the wicked," that is, anyone who didn't believe in Jesus with saving faith, was going to burn forever in literal flames. The very idea of hell is the great evil of this absurd religion. It is the darkness at the heart of Christianity. Reading Ingersoll back then was a great comfort, as I had been much influenced as a Christian by the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, an English Baptist preacher who lived during the same period as Ingersoll. Sprugeon's Calvinist God was a horror, more Satan than merciful Father, and this particular Ingersoll speech mentions Spurgeon and his description of hell.

Back then, I found Ingersoll at the public library in a book called 44 Complete Lectures. I wanted that book so bad, but could not find a copy anywhere. Not long after I found one at a used bookstore and bought it, along with other books, some written by opponents of Ingersoll, including a book length rebuttal by a Catholic priest. You see, Ingersoll was very popular in his day, and that worried the insane religious freaks, who, like their present day counterparts, couldn't stand the idea of anyone dissenting from their evil nonsense. Below is an Ingersoll lecture, a transcription including the audience reactions (laughter, applause). The subject is hell, but the Great Infidel touches on many others.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The idea of a hell was born of revenge and brutality on the one side, and cowardice on the other. In my judgment the American people are too brave, too charitable, too generous, too magnanimous to believe in the infamous dogma of an eternal hell fire. (Applause). I have no respect for any human being who believes in it. (Applause.) I have no respect for any man who preaches it. (Applause.) I have no respect for the man who will pollute the imagination of childhood with that infamous lie. I have no respect for the man who will add to the sorrows of this world with the frightful dogma. I have no respect for any man who endeavors to put that infinite cloud, that infinite shadow, over the heart of humanity. I want to be frank with you. I dislike this doctrine, I hate it, I despise it, I defy this doctrine. (Applause.) For a good many years the learned intellects of Christendom have been examining into the religions of other countries in the world, the religions of the thousands that have passed away. They examined into the religion of Egypt, the religion of Greece, the religion of Rome and of the Scandinavian countries. In the presence of the ruins of those religions the learned men of Christendom insisted that those religions were baseless, that they are fraudulent. But they have all passed away. While this was being done the Christianity of our day applauded, and when the learned men got through with the religions of other countries they turned their attention to our religion. By the same mode of reasoning, by the same methods, by the same arguments that they used with the old religions, they were overturning the religion of our day. Why? Every religion in this world is the work of man. Every one! Every book has been written by man. Men existed before the books. If books had existed before man, I might admit there was such a thing as a sacred volume. (Applause.)

In my judgment man has made every religion and made every book. There is another thing to which I wish to call to your attention. Man never had an idea; man will never have an idea, except those supplied to him by his surroundings. Every idea in the world that man has, came to him by nature. Man cannot conceive of anything, the hint of which you have not received from your surroundings. You can imagine an animal with the hoof of a bison, with the pouch of a kangaroo, with the wings of an eagle, with the beak of a bird, and with the tail of the lion; and yet every point of this monster you borrowed from nature. Everything you can think of -- everything you can dream of, is borrowed from your surroundings --everything. And there is nothing on this earth coming from any other sphere whatever. Man has produced every religion in the world. And why? Because each generation bodes forth the knowledge and the belief of the people at the time it was made, and in no book is there any knowledge found except that of the people who wrote it. In no book is there found any knowledge except that of the time in which it was written. Barbarians have produced and always will produce barbarian religions. Barbarians have produced and always will produce ideas in harmony, with their surroundings, and all the religions of the past were produced by barbarians -- every one of them. We are making religions to-day. We are making religions to-night. That is to say, we are changing them, and the religion of to-day is not the religion of one year ago. What changed it? Science has done it; education and the growing heart of man has done it. We are making these religions every day, and just to the extent that we become civilized ourselves will we improve the religion of our fathers. If the religion of one hundred years ago, compared with the religion of to-day is so low, what will it be in one-thousand years?

If we continue making the inroads upon orthodoxy which we have been making during the last twenty-five years, what will it be fifty years from to-night? It will have to be remonetized by that time, or else it will not be legal tender. (Laughter.) That proves to me that they all tell the truth -- about others. (Laughter.) Why? suppose Mr. Smith should tell Mr. Brown that he -- Smith -- saw a corpse get out of the grave, and that when he first saw it, it was covered with worms of death, and that in his presence it was re-clothed in healthy, beautiful flesh. And then, suppose Mr. Brown should tell Mr. Smith, "I saw the same thing myself. I was in a graveyard once, and I saw a dead man rise." Suppose then that Smith should say to Brown, "You're a liar," and Brown should reply to Smith, "And you're a liar," what would you think? It would simply be because Smith, never having seen it himself, didn't believe Brown had. Now, if Smith had really seen it, and Brown told him he had seen it too, then Smith would regard it as a corroboration of his story, and he would regard Brown as one of his principal witnesses. But, on the contrary, he says, "You never saw it." So, when a man says, "I was upon Mount Sinai, and there I met God, and he told me, 'Stand aside and let me drown these people;" and another man says to him, "I was up upon a mountain and there I met the Supreme Brahma," and Moses says, "That's not true," and contends that the other man never did see Brahma, and he contends that Moses never did see God, that is in my judgment proof that they both speak truly.

Every religion, then, has charged every other religion with having been an unmitigated fraud; and yet, if any man had ever seen the miracle himself, his mind would be prepared to believe that another man had seen the same thing. Whenever a man appeals to a miracle he tells what is not true. Truth relies upon reason, and the undeviating course of all the laws of nature. (Applause.)

Now, we have religion -- that is, some people have. I do not pretend to have religion myself. I believe in living for this world -- that's my doctrine -- in living here now, to-day, to-night -- that's my doctrine, to make everybody happy that you can. Now, let the future take care of itself, and if I ever touch the shores of another world, I will be just as ready and anxious to get into some remunerative employment as anybody else. (Laughter and applause). Now, we have got in this country a religion which men have preached for about eighteen hundred years, and just in proportion as their belief in that religion has grown great, men have grown mean and wicked; just in proportion as they have ceased to believe it, men have become just and charitable. And if they believed it to-night as they once believed it, I wouldn't be allowed to speak in the city of New York. (Applause). It is from the coldness and infidelity of the churches that I get my right to preach; and I say it to their credit. (Laughter.) Now we have a religion. What is it? They say in the first place that all this vast universe was created by a deity. I don't know whether it was or not. They say, too, that had it not been for the first sin of Adam there would never have been any devil in this world, and if there had been no devil there would have been no sin, and if there been no sin there never would have been any death. For my part I am glad there was death in this world, because that gave me a chance. (Laughter.) Somebody had to die to give me room, and when my turn comes I'll be willing to let somebody else take my place. But whether there is another life or not, if there is any Being who gave me this, I shall thank Him from the bottom of my heart, because, upon the whole, my life has been a joy. Now they say, because of this first sin all man was consigned to eternal hell. And this because Adam was our representative. Well I always had an idea that my representative ought to live somewhere about the same time I do. I always had an idea that I should have some voice in choosing my representative. And if I had a voice I never should have voted for the old gentleman called Adam. (Laughter.) Now in order to regain man from the frightful hell of eternity, Christ Himself came to this world and took upon Himself flesh, and in order that we might know the road to eternal salvation He gave us a book, and that book is called the Bible, and wherever that Bible has been read men have immediately commenced cutting each other's throats. Wherever that Bible has been circulated, they have invented inquisitions and instruments of torture, and they commenced hating each other with all their hearts. But I am told now, we are all told that this Bible is the foundation of civilization, but I say that this Bible is the foundation of hell, and we never shall get rid of the idea that it is an inspired book. Now, what does the Bible teach? I am not going to talk about what this minister or that minister says it teaches; the question is "ought a man to be sent to eternal hell for not believing this Bible to be the work of a Merciful Father?" and the only way to find out is to read it; and as very few people do read it now, I will read a few passages. (Laughter.) This is the book to be read in the schools, in order to make our children charitable and good; this is the book that we must read in order that our children may have ideas of mercy, charity and justice. Does the Bible teach mercy? Now be honest. I read: "I will make mine arrows drunk with blood; and my sword shall devour flesh." (Deut. XXXII, 42) Pretty good start for a merciful God! (Laughter.) "That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies and the tongue of thy dogs in the same." (Ps.LVXIII, 23) Again: "And the Lord thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little; thou mayst not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee." (Deut. VII, 23)

"But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven; there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them." (Deut. VII. 23, 24.)

"So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them. And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them into great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeth eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining. And Joshua did unto them as the Lord bade him; he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire. And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king there of with the sword; for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burnt none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn. And all the spoil of these cities and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, (Brave!) until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe. (As the moral God had commanded them.) As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same; Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hernon; and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gideon; all the others they took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses. And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakim from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war." (Josh. XI., 7 to 23).

"When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shall besiege it; And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shall smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword. But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them. Neither the old men nor the women, nor the maidens, nor the sweet dimpled babe, smiling upon the lap of his mother. And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel (a merciful God indeed). 'Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from the gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor." (Exodus XXXII 29.)

Now recollect, these instructions were given to an army of invasion, and the people who were slain were guilty of the crime of fighting for their homes. Oh, merciful God! The Old Testament is full of curses, vengeance, jealousy and hatred, and of barbarity and brutality. Now, do you not for one moment believe that these words were written by the most merciful God. Don't pluck from the heart the sweet flower of piety and crush them by superstition. Do not believe that God ever ordered the murder of innocent women and helpless babes. Do not let this supposition turn your hearts into stone. When anything is said to have been written by the most merciful God, and the thing is not merciful, then I deny it, and say he never wrote it. I will live by the standard of reason, and if thinking in accordance with reason takes me to perdition, then I will go to hell with my reason rather than to heaven without it. (Applause.)

Now does this Bible teach political freedom, or does it teach political tyranny? Does it teach a man to resist oppression? Does it teach a man to tear from the throne of tyranny the crowned thing and robber called a king? Let us see. (Reading).

"Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; For there is no power but of God, the powers that be are ordained of God." (Rom. XIII.1)

All the kings, and princes, and governors, and thieves, and robbers that happened to be in authority were placed there by the infinite father of all!

"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God."

And when George Washington resisted the power of George the Third he resisted the power of God. And when our fathers said "resistance to tyrants is obedience to God," they falsified the Bible itself. (Applause.)

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, revenger to execute wrath up on him that doeth evil.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject not only for wrath, but also for conscience's sake. (Rom. XIII. 4, 5.)

I deny this wretched doctrine. Wherever the sword of rebellion is drawn to protect the rights of man, I am a rebel. Wherever the sword of rebellion is drawn to give man liberty, to clothe him in all his just rights, I am on the side of that rebellion. I deny that rules are crowned by the Most High; the rulers are the people, and the presidents and others are but the servants of the people. (Applause.) All authority comes from the people, and not from the aristocracy of the air. Upon these texts of Scripture which I have just read rest the thrones of Europe, and these are the voices that are repeated from age to age by brainless kings and heartless queens.

Does the Bible give woman her rights? Is this Bible humane? Does it treat woman as she ought to be treated, or is it barbarian? Let us see.

"Let women learn in silence with all subjection." (I Tim. II, 11)

"If a woman would know anything let her ask her husband. Imagine the ignorance of a lady who had only that source of information. (Laughter.)

"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. (Why, magnificent reason.)

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, was in the transgression. (Splendid.)

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." That is to say, there is as much difference between the woman and man as there is between Christ and man. There is liberty of woman.

"For the man is not of the woman, but the woman is of the man." It was the man's cutlet till that was taken, not the woman's. "Neither was the man created for the woman." Well, what was the man created for? "But the woman was created for the man. Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord." (There's liberty!)

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."

Good again! Even the Savior didn't put man and woman upon any equality. The man could divorce the wife, but the wife could not divorce the husband, and according to the Old Testament, the mother had to ask forgiveness for being the mother of babes. Splendid!

Here is something from the Old Testament:
"When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and they Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou has taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldst have her to wife, Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails." (Deut. XXI., 10,11,12.)

That is in self-defense, I suppose! (Cheers and laughter.)

This sacred book, this foundation of human liberty, or morality, does it teach concubinage and polygamy? Read the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, read the twenty-first chapter of Deuteronomy, read the blessed lives of Abraham, of David or of Solomon, and then tell me that the sacred Scripture does not teach polygamy and concubinage? All the language of the world is not sufficient to express the infamy of polygamy; it makes man a beast and woman a stone. It destroys the fireside and makes virtue an outcast. And yet it is the doctrine of the Bible. The doctrine defended by Luther and Melanthon! It takes from our language those sweetest words father, husband, wife, and mother, and takes us back to barbarism and fills our hearts with the crawling, slimy serpents of loathsome lust.

Does the Bible teach the existence of devils? Of course it does. Yes, it teaches not only the existence of a good Being but a bad being. This good Being had to have a home; that home was heaven. This bad being had to have a home; and that home was hell. This hell is supposed to be nearer to earth than I would care to have it, and to be peopled with spirits, spooks, hobgoblins, and all the fiery shapes with which the imagination of ignorance and fear could people that horrible place; and the Bible teaches the existence of hell and this big devil and all these little devils. The Bible teaches the doctrine of witchcraft and makes us believe that there are sorcerers and witches, and that the dead could be raised by the power of sorcery. Does anybody believe it now?

"Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him and they came to the woman by night; and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. (That was a pretty good spiritual séance.)

And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he had cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land; wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life to cause me to die? And Saul swore to her by the Lord saying, as the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

Then said the woman, whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, bring me up Samuel.

And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice; and the woman spake to Saul, saying, why hast thou deceived me, for thou art Saul.

And the king said unto her, be not afraid; for what sawest thou. And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

And he said unto her, what form is he of? And she said, an old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. (Saml. XXVIII. 8.)

In another place he declared that witchcraft is an abomination unto the Lord. He wanted no rivals in this business. (Laughter.) Now what does the New Testament teach?

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards a-hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord, thy God." (Mat. IV 1-7)

Is it possible that anyone can believe that the devil absolutely took God Almighty, and put Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and endeavored to persuade Him to jump down? (Great laughter.) Is it possible?

"Again the devil taketh him onto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Mat. IV. 8-11.)

Now, the devil must have known at that time that he was God, and God at that time must have known that the other was the devil. How could the latter be conceived to have the impudence to promise God a world in which he did not have a tax-title to an inch of land.

Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Mat. IV. 8-11.)

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gardarenes.

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tomb a man with an unclean spirit.

Who had his dwelling among the tombs, and no man could bind him, no, not with chains.

Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces; neither could any man tame him.

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones.

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him.

And cried with a loud voice and said: What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. (For he said unto him, Come out of the man thou unclean spirit.)

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying My name is Legion: for we are many.

And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying Send us into the swine that we may enter into them.

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine; and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (there were about two thousand), and were choked in the sea. (Mark V. 1-13.)

Now I will ask a question: Should reasonable men, in the nineteenth century in the United States of America, believe that that is an actual occurence? If my salvations depends upon believing that, I am lost. I have never experienced the signs by which it is said a believer may be known. I deny all the witch stories in this world.

These fables of devils have covered the world with blood; they have filled the world with fear, and I am going to do what I can to free the world of the insatiate monsters. Small and great, they have filled the world with monsters; they have made the world a synonym of fear and ferocity. And it is this book that ought to be read in all the schools -- this book that teaches man to enslave his brother. If it is larceny to steal the result of labor, how much more is it larceny to steal the laborer himself?

"Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do so sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession.

And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen forever; but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor." (Lev. XV. 45, 36.)

Why? Because they are not as good as you will buy of the heathen roundabout.

Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.

If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

If he came in buy himself, he shall go out by himself; if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons and daughters: the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free.

Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever." (Exod. XXI. 1).

This is the doctrine which has ever lent itself to the chains of slavery, and makes a man imprison himself rather than desert his wife and children. I hate it. (Applause.)

Now, listen to the New Testament, the tidings of great joy for all people!

"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.

Not with eye-service, as men pleasers; but as the servant of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." (Eph. VI. 5)

Splendid doctrine.

"Servants, be subject to your master with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward.

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully." (I. Peter II 18, 19.)

"Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh."

He was afraid they might not work all the time, so he adds:

"Not with the eye-service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart fearing God."

Read the twenty-first chapter of Exodus (7 to 11).

"And if a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do.

If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.

If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment and her duty of marriage shall not be diminished.

And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money."

"Servants, be obedient to your masters," is the salutation of the most merciful God to one who works for nothing and who receives upon his bare back the lash, as legal tender for service performed.

"Servants, be obedient to your masters," is the salutation to a man endeavoring to escape pursuit, followed by savage bloodhounds and with his eye fixed upon the northern star. (Applause.) This book ought to be read in the schools, so that our children will love liberty. (Laughter.)

What does this same book say of the rights of little children? Let us see how they are treated by the "most merciful God."

"If a man hath a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them, Then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place. And they shall say unto the elders of his city: This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear and fear. (Deut. XXI 18).

Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, and he intended to obey. The boy was not consulted. (Laughter and applause.)

Did you ever hear the story of Jephthah's daughter? Returning home Jephthah said:
"And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, if thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whosoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou cometh to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyard with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. And Jephthah came to Mispah unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and dances; and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me; for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back. And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me; let me alone two months that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows. And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months, that she returned to her father who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed."

Is there in the history of the world a sadder story than this? Can a God who would accept such a sacrifice be worthy of the worship of civilized men? I believe in the rights of children, I plead for the republic of home, for the democracy of the fireside, and for this I am called a heathen and a devil by those who believe in the cheerful and comforting doctrine of eternal damnation.

Read the book of Job; read that! God met the devil and asked him where he had been, and he said: "Walking up and down the country," and the Lord said to him: "Have you noticed my man Job over here, how good he is?" And the devil: "Of course he's good, you give him everything he wants. Just take away his property and he'll curse you. You just try it." And he did try it, and took away his goods, but Job still remained good. The devil laughed and said that he had not been tried enough. Then the Lord touched his flesh, but he was still true. Then he took away his children, but he remained faithful, and in the end, to show how much Job made by this fidelity, his property was all doubled and he had more children than ever. If you have a child, and you love it, would you be satisfied with a God who would destroy it, and endeavor to make it up by giving you another that was better looking? No, you want that one; you want no other, and yet this is the idea of the love of children taught in the Bible (Applause.)

Does the Bible teach you freedom of religion? To-day we say that every man has a right to worship God or not, to worship Him as he pleases. Is it the doctrine of the Bible? Let us see:
"If thy brother, the son of they mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or thy wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shalt thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he has sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (Deut. XII. 6)

And do you know, according to that, if your wife--your wife that you love as your own soul--if you had lived in Palestine, and your wife had said to you, "Let us worship a sun whose golden beams clothe the world in glory! let us worship the sun, let us bow to that great luminary; I love the sun because it gave me your face; because it gave me the features of my babe; let us worship the sun, it was then your duty to lay hands upon her, your eyes must not pity her, but it was your duty to cast the first stone against that tender and loving breast! I hate such a doctrine! I hate such books! I hate gods that will write such books! (Applause.) I tell you that it is infamous. (Applause.)

"If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that that wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshiped them, either the sun, moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die." (Deut. XVII 2-5).

That is the religious liberty of the Bible -- that's it. And this God taught that doctrine to the Jews, and said to them, "Any one that teaches a different religion, kill him!" Now, let me ask, and I want to do it reverently (laughter):

If, as is contended, God gave these frightful laws to the Jews, and afterwards this same God took upon Himself flesh, and came among the Jews, and taught a different religion, and these Jews, in accordance with the laws which the same God gave them, crucified Him, did he not reap what he had sown? (Applause.) The mercy of all this comes in what is called "the plan of salvation." What is that plan? According to this great plan, the innocent suffer for the guilty to satisfy a law.

What sort of a law must it be that would be satisfied with the suffering of innocence? According to this plan, the salvation of the whole world depends upon the bigotry of the Jews and the treachery of Judas. According to the same plan, we all would have gone to eternal hell. According to the same plan, there would have been no death in the world if there had been no sin, and if there had been no death you and I would not have been called into existence, and if we did not exist we could no have been saved, so we owe our salvation to the bigotry of the Jews and the treachery of Judas, and we are indebted to the devil for our existence. (Laughter.) I speak this reverently. (Renewed laughter.) It strikes me that what they call the atonement is a kind of moral bankruptcy. Under its merciful provisions man is allowed the privilege of sinning credit, and whenever he is guilty of a mean action he says, "Charge it." (Laughter.) In my judgment, this kind of bookkeeping breeds extravagance in sin. (Applause.) Suppose we had a law in New York that every merchant should give credit to every man who asked it, under pain and penitentiary, and that every man should take the benefit of the bankruptcy statute any Saturday night? Doesn't the credit system in morals breed extravagance in sin? That's the question. Who's afraid of punishment which is so far away? Whom does the doctrine of hell stop? The great, the rich, the powerful? No; the poor, the weak, the despised, the mean. Did you ever hear of a man going to hell who died in New York worth a million of dollars, or with an income of twenty-five thousand a year? Did you? Did you ever hear of a man going to hell who rode in a carriage? Never. They are the gentlemen who talk about their assets, and who say, "Hell is not for me; it is for the poor. I have all the luxuries I want, give that to the poor." (Laughter and cheers.) Who goes to hell? Tramps! (Laughter.)

Let me tell you a story. There was once a frightful rain, and all the animals held a convention, to see whose fault it was, and the fox nominated the lion for chairman. The wolf seconded the motion, and the hyena said that suits. When the convention was called to order the fox was called upon to confess his sins. He stated, however, that it would be much more appropriate for the lion to commence first. Thereupon the lion said: "I am not conscious of having committed evil. It is true I have devoured a few men, but for what other purpose were men made?" And they all cheered, and were satisfied. The fox gave his views upon the goose question, and the wolf admitted that he had devoured sheep, and occasionally had killed a shepherd, but all acquainted with this history of my family will bear me out when I say that shepherds have been the enemies of my family from the beginning of the world. Then way in the rear there arose a simply donkey, with a kind of Abrahamic countenance. He said, "I expect it's me; I had eaten nothing for three days except three thistles. I was passing a monastery; the monks were at mass. The gates were open leading to a yard full of sweet clover. I knew it was wrong but I did slip in and I took a mouthful, but my conscience smote me and I went out," and all the animals shouted, "He's the fellow!" and in two minutes they had his hide on the fence. That's the kind of people that go to hell. (Loud laughter).

Now, this doctrine of hell that has been such a comfort to my race, which so many ministers are pleading for, has been defended for ages, by the fathers of the church. Your preacher says that the sovereignty of God implies that He has an absolute, unlimited and independent right to dispose of His creatures as He will, because He made them. Has He? Suppose I take this book and change it immediately into a servient human being. Would I have a right to torture it because I made it? No; on the contrary, I would say, having brought you into existence, it is my duty to do the best for you I can. (Applause.) They say God has a right to damn me because He made me. I deny it. Another one says God is not obliged to save even those who believe in Christ, and that he can either bestow salvation upon his children or retain it without any diminution of his glory. Another one says, God may save any sinner whatsoever, consistently with his justice. Let a natural person -- and I claim to be one -- moral or immoral, wise or unwise, let him be as just as he can, no matter what his prayers may be, whale pains he may have taken to be saved, or whatever circumstances he may be in, God, according to this writer, can deny him salvation, without the least disparagement of His glory. His glories will not be in the least obscured -- there is no natural man, be his character what it may, but God may cast down to hell without being charged with unfair dealing in any respect with regard to that man. Theologians tell us that God's design in the creation was simply to glorify Himself. Magnificent object!

"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." (Rev. 1-10.)

Do you know nobody would have had an idea of hell in this world if it hadn't been for volcanoes? They were looked upon as the chimneys of hell. The idea of eternal fire never would have polluted the imaginations of man but for them. An eminent theologian, describing hell, says "There is no recounting up the millions of ages the damned shall suffer. All arithmetic ends here" -- and all sense, too! (Laughter.) "They shall have nothing to do in passing away this eternity but to conflict with torments. God shall have no other use or employment for them." These words were said by gentlemen who died Christians, and who are now in the harp business in the world to come. Another declares there is nothing to keep any man or Christian out of hell except the mere pleasure of God, and their pains never grow any easier by their becoming accustomed to them. It is also declared that the devil goes about like a lion, ready to doom the wicked. Did it never occur to you what a contradiction it is to say that the devil will persecute his own friends? He wants all the recruits he can get; why then should he persecute his friends? In my judgment he should give them the best hell affords. (Laughter.)

It is in the very nature of things that torments inflicted, have no tendency to bring a wicked man to repentance. Then why torment him if it will not do him good? It is simply unadulterated revenge. All the punishment in the world will not reform a man, unless he knows that he who inflicts it upon him does it for the sake of reformation, and really and truly loves him, and has his good at heart. Punishment inflicted for gratifying the appetite makes man afraid, but debases him.

Various reasons are given for punishing the wicked; first, that God will vindicate His injured majesty. Well, I am glad of that! Second, He will glorify his justice -- think of that! Third, He will show and glorify His grace. Every time the saved shall look upon the damned in hell it will cause in them a lively and admiring sense of the grace of God. Every look upon the damned will double the ardor and the joy of the saints in heaven. Can the believing husband in heaven look down upon the torments of the unbelieving wife in hell and then feel a thrill of joy? That's the old doctrine -- not of our days; we are too civilized for that. O! but it is the old doctrine that if you saw your wife in hell -- the wife you love, who, in your last sickness, nursed you, that, perhaps supported you by her needle when you were ill; the wife who watched by your couch night and day, and held your corpse in her loving arms when you were dead -- the sight would give you great joy. That doctrine is not preached to-day. They do not preach that the sight would give you joy; but they do preach that it will not diminish your happiness. That is the doctrine of every orthodox minister in New York, and I repeat that I have no respect for men who preach such doctrines. The sight of the torments of the damned in hell will increase the ecstasy of the saints forever! On this principle a man never enjoys a good dinner so much as when a fellow creature is dying of famine before his eyes or he never enjoys the cheerful warmth of his own fireside so greatly as when a poor and abandoned wretch is dying on his doorstep. The saints enjoy the ecstasy, and the groans of the tormented are music to them. I say here to-night that you cannot commit a sin against an Infinite Being, I can sin against my brother or my neighbor, because I can injure them. There can be no sin where there is no injury. Neither can a finite being commit infinite sin.

An old saint believed that hell was in the interior of the earth, and that the rotation of the earth was caused by the souls trying to get away from the fire. The old church at Stratford-on-Avon, Shakespeare's home, is adorned with pictures of hell and the like. One of the pictures represents resurrection morning. People are getting out of their graves, and devils are catching hold of their heels. In one place there is a huge brass monster, and devils are driving scores of lost souls into his mouth. Over hot fires hang cauldrons with fifty and sixty people in each, and devils are poking the fires. People are hung up on hooks by their tongues, and devils are lashing them. Up in the right-hand corner are some of the saved, with grins on their faces stretching from ear to ear. They seem to say: "Aha, what did I tell you?"

Some of the old saints -- gentlemen who died in the odor of sanctity, and are now in the hard business -- insisted that heaven and hell would plainly be in view of each other. Only a few years ago, Rev. J. Furness (an appropriate name), published a little pamphlet called "A Sight in Hell." I remember when I first read that. My little child, seven years old, was ill and in bed. I thought she would not hear me, and I read some of it aloud. She arose and asked, "Who says that?" I answered, "That's what they preach in some of the churches." "I never will enter a church as long as I live!" she said, and she never has.

The doctrine of orthodox Christianity is that the damned shall suffer torment forever and forever. And if you were a wanderer, footsore, weary, with parched tongue, dying for a drop of water, and you met one who divided his poor portion with you, and died as he saw you reviving -- if he was an unbeliever and you a believer, and you died and went to heaven, and he called to you from hell for a draught of water, it would be your duty to laugh at him.

Rev. Mr. Spurgeon says that everywhere in hell will be written the words "for ever."

They will be branded on every wave of flame, they will be forged in every link of every chain, they will be seen in every lurid flash of brimstone -- everywhere will be those words "for ever." Everybody will be yelling and screaming them. Just think of that picture of the mercy and justice of the eternal Father of us all. If these words are necessary why are they not written now everywhere in the world, on every tree, and every field, and on every blade of grass? I say I am entitled to have it so. I say that it is God's duty to furnish me with the evidence. Here is another good book read in every Sunday school -- a splendid book -- Pollock's "Course of Time." Every copy in the world of such books as that ought to be burned. Well, the author pretends to have gone to hell, and I think that he ought to have stopped there.

The lecturer read the passages from the work descriptive of the torments of the damned, and proceeded: And that book is put into the hands of children in order that they may love and worship the most merciful God. In olden times they had to find a place for hell and they found a hundred places for it. One says that it was under Lake Avernus, but the Christians thought differently. One divine tells us that it must be below the earth because Christ descended into hell. Another gives it as his opinion that hell is in the sun, and he tells us that nobody, without an express revelation from God, can prove that it is not there. Most likely. Well, he had the idea at all events of utilizing the damned as fuel to warm the earth. But I will quote from another poet -- if it is lawful to call him a poet. I mean Tupper.

Col. Ingersoll quoted from that orthodox author, and continued: Another divine preached a sermon no further back than 1876, in which he said that the damned will grow worse, and the same divine says that the devil was the first Universalist. Then I am on the side of the devil.

The fact is, that you have got not merely to believe in the Bible; but you must also believe in a certain interpretation of it, and mind you, you must also believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. I want to explain what that is, so that you may never have an excuse for not knowing it.

I quote, he said, from the best theologian that ever wrote, and then he went on to give in substance the Athanasian definition of the Trinity, winding up with a long string of adjectives, culminating the description "entirely incomprehensible." If, he continued, you don't understand it after that, it is your own fault. Now, you must believe in that doctrine. If you do not, all the orthodox churches agree in condemning you to ever-lasting flames. We have got to burn through all our lives simply with the view of making them happy. We are taught to love our enemies, to pray for those that persecute us, to forgive. Should not the merciful God practice what he preaches. I say that reverently. Why should he say "Forgive your enemies" if he will not himself forgive? Why should He say "Pray for those that despise and persecute you, but if they refuse to believe my doctrine I will burn them forever?" I cannot believe it. Here is a little child, residing in the purlieus of the city --- some little boy who is taught that it is his duty to steal by his mother, who applauds his success and pats him on the head and calls him a good boy -- would it be just to condemn him to an eternity of torture? Suppose there is a God; let us bring to this question some common sense.

I care nothing about the doctrines or religion or creeds of the past. Let us come to the bar of the nineteenth century and judge matter by what we know, by what we think, by what we love. But they say to us, "If you throw away the Bible what are we to depend on then?" But no two persons in the world agreed as to what the Bible is, what they are to believe, or what they are not to believe. It is like a guidepost that has been thrown down in some time of disaster and has been put up the wrong way. Nobody can accept its guidance, for nobody knows where it would direct him. I say "Tear down the useless guidepost," but they answer "Oh, do not do that, or we will have nothing to go by." I would say, "Old Church, you take that road and I will take this." Another minister has said that the Bible is the great town clock, at which we all may set our watches. But I have said to a friend of that minister: "Suppose we all should set our watches by that town clock, there would be many persons to tell you that in old times the long hand was the hour hand, and besides, the clock hasn't been wound up for a long time." I say let us wait till the sun rises and set our watches by nature. For my part, I am willing to give up heaven to get rid of hell. I had rather there should be no heaven than that any solitary soul should be condemned to suffer forever and ever. But they tell me that the Bible is the good book. Now, in the Old Testament there is not in my judgment a single reference to another life. Is there a burial service mentioned in it in which a word of hope is spoken at the grave of the dead? The idea of eternal life was not born of any book. That wave of hope and joy ebbs and flows, and will continue to ebb and flow as long as love kisses the lips of death.

Let me tell you a tale of the Persian religion -- of a man who, having done good for long years of his life, presented himself at the gates of Paradise, but the gates remained closed against him. He went back and followed up his good works for seven years longer, and the gates of Paradise still remaining shut against him, he toiled in works of charity until at last they were opened unto him. Think of that, pursued the lecturer, and send out your missionaries among those people. These is no religion but goodness, but justice, but charity. Religion is not theory; is life. It is not intellectual conviction; it is divine humanity, and nothing else. Col. Ingersoll here told another tale from the Hindu, of a man who refused to enter Paradise without a faithful dog, urging that ingratitude was the blackest of all sins. "And the god," she said, "admitted him, dog and all." Compare that religion with the orthodox tenets of the City of New York.

There is a prayer which every Brahman prays, in which he declares that he will never enter into a final state of bliss alone, but that everywhere he will strive for universal salvation. Compare that with the orthodox idea, and send out your missionaries to the benighted Hindus.

The doctrine of hell is infamous beyond all power to express. I wish there were words that mean enough to express my feelings of loathing on this subject. What harm has it not done? What waste places has it not made? It has planted misery and wretchedness in this world; peoples the future with selfish joys and lurid abysses of eternal flame. But we are getting more sense every day. We begin to despise those monstrous doctrines. If your want to better men and women, change their conditions here Don't promise them something somewhere else. One biscuit will do more good than all the tracts that were ever peddled in the world. Give them more whitewash, more light, more air. You have to change men physically before you change them intellectually. I believe the time will come when every criminal will be treated as we now treat the diseased and sick, when every penitentiary will become a reformatory; and that if criminals go to them with hatred in their bosoms, they will leave them without feelings of revenge. Let me tell you the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice had been carried away by the god of hell, and Orpheus, her lover, went in quest of her. He took with him his lyre, and played such exquisite music that all hell was amazed. Ixon forgot his labors at the wheel, the daughters of Danaus ceased from their hopeless task, Tantalus forgot his thirst, even Pluto smiled, and, for the first time in the history of hell, the eyes of the Furies were wet with tears. As it was with the lyre of Orpheus, so it is to-day with the great harmonies of Science, which are rescuing from the prisons of superstition the torn and bleeding heart of man.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mock God and Die!

I received the following asinine email recently:

Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death!

Make a personal reflection about this.....

Very interesting, read until the end.....
It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7):

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
For whatsoever a man soweth,
That shall he also reap.

Here are some men and women
Who mocked God :

John Lennon (Singer):

Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:

"Christianity will end, it will disappear.
I do not have to argue about
That. I am certain.

Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, Today we are more famous than Him" (1966).

Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil ):
During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency.

Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet):

During A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro ),

While smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: "God, that's for you."

He died at the age of 32 of AIDS in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic

After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be.

With an ironic tone he said:
"Not even God can sink it"

The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic .

Marilyn Monroe (Actress)

She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show.
He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her.
After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:
"I don't need your Jesus".

A week later, she was found dead in her apartment .

Bon Scott (Singer)
The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang:
"Don't stop me, I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell".

On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas (IN 2005)
In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend.....
The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car:

"My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.."
She responded: "Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here.....It's Already Full "

Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died,
The car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.

The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken .

Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer) said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written.

In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle .

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given somuch authority as the name of Jesus.

Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive .


P.S: If it was a joke, you would have sent it to everyone. So are you going to have courage to send this?.

I have done my part, Jesus said

"If you are embarrassed about me,

I will also be embarrassed about you before my father."

You are my 8 in 8 seconds. I am not breaking this. No way!

I'M TOLD THIS WORKS!!!!! Bishop T.D. Jakes "8 Second Prayer." Just repeat this prayer and see how God moves!!

"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen."

Pass this message to 8 people {EXCEPT YOU AND ME}. You will receive a miracle tomorrow. I Hope that you don't ignore and let God bless

Are Christians completely stupid, or what? This is the kind of ignorant, fallacious nonsense that the average believer passes around. You can have all the "sophisticated" apologists you want out there, but in the mind of the ordinary Jesus Freak it all comes down to crapola like the above. No reasoned arguments, just inane, meaningless "facts" such as those in this chain email. And for the record, stupid, ignorant, back to the dark ages, Jesus-lover, didn't your "Lord" warn about tempting God? Send this message out and you'll automatically receive a miracle Tomorrow? Well, since almost any coincidental nonevent is interpreted as a "miracle" by the Biblegod believer, I guess there is no way to falsify the promise. But of course, that doesn't depart from the fact that religion generally is not subject to falsification.

Now, on the subject of "mocking" God, it is curious how the selective cherry-picking of events can lead to any conclusion you desire. Even the ones chosen are not very strong for making the case. John Lennon mocks Christianity and dies, 14 years later! Get on the ball Elohim and strike these mockers dead on the spot. Wouldn't that be a far more effective means of warning blasphemers of your terrible wrath? If saving people from hell is the goal, you would think the message would be unambiguous. Of course the Bible says that the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer, so all those listed must be playing their harps in the presence of jebus as we speak. Why can't you and your god get it straight? Oh, well, I guess we can't expect consistency from biblegod or his deluded followers.

If ever there was a "mocker" of religion it had to be Bertrand Russell, yet he lived to be 97 and in 1948 he even survived a plane crash that killed many others on board (many of them believers, no doubt). One could make the case, based on Russell, that non-belief leads to longevity and even lets you escape death by plane crash. Then we have these examples as well. Plus the case of that all-American infidel Mark Twain, who did not die young.

And anyway, aren't Christians always saying that God doesn't want to force himself on us, that he wants us to freely follow him? But how can such a choice be free when you're threatened with death and damnation if you refuse the offer?

Maybe Christians should reconsider who it is exactly that they're worshiping. Could it be...SATAN?

War Is a Racket

General Smedley Butler's classic.

WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.
How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few - the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.
And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.
For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it.

Read the rest.
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