By The Right Scoop


Glenn Beck brings his own ‘flair’ to the “I dabbled in witchcraft” comments that the Left has recently dug up to smear O’Donnell. The funny part is in the beginning but I left the rest of the segment in the clip as they discuss it.

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  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one that thinks this kind of sounds like there’s an unofficial religious test for public office in place?

    If Satan was real, maybe it would be a big deal, but OH, she converted to the CORRECT religion, so she can be a senator, now?

    Give me a break.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PMLT5XN3DODARW4HIWZCBBS5YA Mickey

      No,I do too.But as a parasite what could I know? By the way didn’t Joesph Smith dabble in the occult,use see’er stones and engage in money digging before god started talking to him?

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know anything about Mormonism’s history, my a little shaky on their theology as well.

        All I wonder about is how Mormons square the ending of Revelation that says “don’t add anything after this, this is the end of it,” and then go and accept the Book of Mormon.

        • Megsy4u

          3 things:
          First, read Deuteronomy 4:2 “2 Ye shall not aadd unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

          Does this mean anything after Deuteronomy is not inspired?

          Second, the book of John is believed to have been written after the book of Revelation. Does this mean the John is not inspired?

          Third, each book was written as a separate book, so when it says “don’t add anything after this, this is the end of it,” it is most likely referring to just the book of Revelation instead of referring to all scripture.

          After understanding these three things and reading the Book of Mormon with an open mind and heart, it’s pretty easy to accept as true scripture.

          • Anonymous

            I accept no religion or supposedly mystically inspired texts as anything other than they can be evidently demonstrated to be. Fallible, contradictory and bigoted.

            I find Deuteronomy to be repugnant, though it’s child’s play compared to the books of Numbers and Joshua. The fact Revelation was written by a man on a island notorious for its hallucinogenic mushrooms just makes it all the more interesting that in the construction of the New Testament, they thought Revelation sounded like it was written by a mad man.

            Deuteronomy 4:2 would certainly make it justifiable for the jews to have rejected jesus, would not an omniscient deity understand the chronological order these would be presented to us in and understand that his changing his mind would confuse a lot of people?

            The bible says that he is not the author of confusion but you just gave a couple good examples of how the bible has authored more confusion than any other?

            As I said, I’m shaky on Mormonism’s history and theology as I am with the Baha’i faith, the Urantia book and the Sikhs.

            The pre-mortal existence sounds goofy to me, but so does yahweh’s suicide mission as his own son and Muhammad crossing the arabian desert in 1 night on horseback & cracking the moon with his finger.

            Why aren’t the Avestas or Kitab-i-aqdas true scripture as well?

        • Megsy4u

          3 things:
          First, read Deuteronomy 4:2 “2 Ye shall not aadd unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

          Does this mean anything after Deuteronomy is not inspired?

          Second, the book of John is believed to have been written after the book of Revelation. Does this mean the John is not inspired?

          Third, each book was written as a separate book, so when it says “don’t add anything after this, this is the end of it,” it is most likely referring to just the book of Revelation instead of referring to all scripture.

          After understanding these three things and reading the Book of Mormon with an open mind and heart, it’s pretty easy to accept as true scripture.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PMLT5XN3DODARW4HIWZCBBS5YA Mickey

      No,I do too.But as a parasite what could I know? By the way didn’t Joesph Smith dabble in the occult,use see’er stones and engage in money digging before god started talking to him?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

    Agree with the absurd use of the issue to discredit O’Donnell. Not in quite in agreement with the rationale, namely on the existence non-existence of Satan. The following is just a friendly inquiry, not intended to be confrontational.

    How do you know that Satan is not real? If you can indulge and imagine the scenario in which Satan actually existed, don’t you agree that it would follow that at least one of his/her/its tactics would be to convince people that he/her/it doesn’t? If you can imagine that scenario, then how do you know that it is not Satan that has succeeded in convincing you that he doesn’t exist?

    • Anonymous

      Well, I start from the position of the Null Hypothesis, so unless something has been positively demonstrated, then I have no reason to believe it.That said, have I been deceived? Could be, and the beauty of it is I’ll never know if he’s that good at it, Descartes realized the same thing in his attempt to disprove Skepticism. It would also seem then that God is trying to hide too, for the same reasons.I can apply that same kind of hypothetical on lots of other things too, what if Beelzebub (a deliberate political distortion of the local Canaanite religious figure Baal Zebul) is actually the GOOD deity, and Yahweh is the bad guy. Jehovah just has you tricked with his whiles written in the holy books to THINK he’s the good guy. What if we’re actually at the END of Revelation, and Satan is about to come back and ascend the faithful to heaven?Maybe you’re really just in the matrix nothing around you is real (including me) and the only way out is to reject religions?Just because you can imagine something, and there is no evidential disproof (of something unfalsifiable no less), that is not positive evidence in any way whatsoever. Not for angels, not for demons and not for gods.

      • http://doorwaybuck.com CM Sackett

        Good Afternoon Daniel (and ALL),My young friend, you have PROVEN, across a wide vista of subject matter to be:1. Very Intelligent2. Extremely Articulate3. Notably Cogent in your thought processes4. NOT Unkind in your manner of presentation AND debate…I both admire AND thank you for that.May I simply suggest something for you to consider in this matter (especially so, since you invoked Mr. Fisher’s ‘Null Hypothesis’).NOTE: Shame on you though (slight smile goes here) for not being truly ‘scientific’ in your approach to this critical facet of “belief” -vs- “NON” belief in the God who made us both, saved my worthless hide, and LOVES YOURS….remember the other side of that ‘coin’? The coupling of the ‘null’ hypothesis ~ with the ‘ALTERNATIVE’ hypothesis?* To the point (and keeping in mind your ‘null hypothesis’ approach), I ask you to consider one, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis… and a little thing called “hand washing”.* Along with that little study, review the concurrent world-devastating DISASTER potential… of spoiled beer, and another young man, name Pasteur.As you do, chew on the following (I’m an old, Southern man ~ I can say it like that):Just because you canNOT imagine (to the point of belief) something, and there is no ‘evidential (good word) disproof’ (of something unfalsifiable… at least not from “Nullius in verba”)… THAT is not positive evidence in ANY WAY… whatsoever….as you will see very clearly when you nose around just a bit into “The Rest Of The Story” about these two fine gentlemen (hint: The dis-believing ‘masters’ of the bailiwick each belief~ and subsequent PROVEN theory went against ~ were ALL the very top… in their respective “scientific” community/BROTHERHOOD).You are young. I pray that God gives you time… to learn (not said in ANY WAY ‘disparagingly’).Your Friend,CM Sackett

        • Anonymous

          The invocation of the Alternate Hypothesis is very interesting, considering Fisher’s ardent stance against its use in statistical hypothesis testing.

          I’m presently working on 2 papers to be turned in tomorrow so my time to investigate your given cases is a little pressed.

          If my general idea of your point is correct, I will concede and revise my positive statement that “Satan doesn’t exist” to the more philosophically correct expression of “I see no reason to believe in or any supporting positive evidence or argument given for the existence of devils, no more-so than gods.” (I’ll look into your 2 given examples more when I have more time)

          Judging from what you described in the part about “canNOT imagine. . .” it seems my earlier post may have come across as an argument from incredulity. This would obviously be fallacious on my part, and if that was the case, I withdraw it.

          Ultimately my point comes down to this, “Positive claims require positive evidence; extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

          Or as Carl Sagan once put it, “That which can be introduced without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

          The idea that a devil would be deceiving me, you or all of us goes back essentially to Descartes’ investigation of Skepticism, where he addressed the possibility himself, poorly. Accepting supernatural deception reverts you all the way back to “Cogito ergo sum,” and really gets you nowhere.

          I may have gone on a tangent there, my thoughts are all over the place today.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

        Why do you advocate the Null Hypothesis as your primary truth finding function (if that’s accurate)? When did you embrace it?

        I wasn’t using the “imagining exercise” to provide positive evidence, and I made no comment about, and my statements did not rely on any assumption regarding, the issue of whether there was evidential disproof. I was using the imagining exercise solely to acknowledge the possibility that you would answer that you can’t imagine Satan’s existence so you therefore can’t answer the question of whether you can assess whether Satan has successfully performed a deception.

        • Anonymous

          The Null Hypotheses is not a truth finding idea so much as it is a piece of the “bologna detection kit,” to reference Michael Shermer. It just says essentially ” is your idea, you made the claim, provide empirical evidence or compelling argument in support of it. The burden of proof is on you to prove it, not me to refute it.”

          It is the same idea as when the state brings a legal charge against a citizen, the citizen is innocent until proven guilty, the state has to make it’s case. The person arguing Satan’s existence is the “state” and has to make the case.

          I conceded in my first post that if I am being deceived so effectively, I will never be able to demonstrate it. I also conceded in my response to CM to revise my stance from the positive claim of his non-existence to the negative claim that I have no reason to accept the hypothesis.

          My point about the “imagining exercise” is that the conceivability of something and the supposition base on it have no relevance on somethings possibility or plausibility.

          This is why Descartes’ “proof” of the external world falls apart.

          If the ability to conceive of a deceptive demon is any reason to accept it, the farthest you can ever get is “I think, therefore I am,” which may be philosophically correct, but it gets you nowhere.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

            My question wasn’t to inquire as to the nature of the Null Hypothesis but as to the reason that you embrace it.

            Addressing your modified statement that you reject the existence of Satan because you have no reason to accept the claim, what evidence would you require as sufficient reason? Would the testimony of an honest person that Satan existed influence you? A thousand honest persons? If so, what would the substance of that testimony have to be? That the person(s) saw Satan? Felt Satan’s power? Something else? If you would reject the testimony of one or more honest person, what type of evidence would influence you?

            As to your response to Sackett, getting at what I inquired above when I asked you why you rely heavily upon the Null Hypothesis, why do you embrace “the epistemic philosophy of the Pragmatists (late 19th, early 20th centuries)”?

            • Anonymous

              Because the Pragmatists, being scientists themselves, draw their epistemology largely from the Philosophy of Science. The Philosophy of Science is what brought us out of the Dark ages to putting Neil Armstrong on the Moon in just a few hundred years after at LEAST 100,000 years idling in the dirt.In shorter version; The Philosophy of Science, ever since its conception has been the hands down, tried and true, undeniably evidenced most successful means by which mankind has ever developed to guide our thought processes in our gradual and ever expanding knowledge of the universe and the laws of it.In this philosophy the 1st virtue regarding all knowledge is healthy skepticism. Null Hypothesis ultimately is nothing more than the DEFAULT position of skepticism in all claims to knowledge.Anything deviating from this I feel justified in saying is really nothing more than some varying degree of epistemic gullibility. If I were to tell you I had pink money pixies living in my shoes that give me a paycheck every 2 weeks instead of a job, you would be rightly skeptical of my extraordinary claim until I provide the proper empirical evidence to back up my claim.If you were not skeptical, I could convince you to readopt the process of bleeding yourself to cure sicknesses based on Hippocrates defunct and outdated Theory of Humors. Gullibility/Credulity is not a reliable starting point to investigate what is true or knowable if the Scientific Method means anything at all.The same goes for Logical Syllogisms, you don’t simply accept an argument regardless of whether the premises are flawed or the conclusion is invalid. The only honest thing to do is to try and poke holes in to the premises and conclusions of the given syllogism, and if it is valid, sound and even harder, TRUE, then that truth will only become evident under the scrutiny of skeptical investigation. Even better, if the argument is representative of the truth or some aspect of it, the greater the scrutiny the MORE evident the truth contained becomes.I reject the Solipsists and Skeptics because even if it may be mostly irrefutable, it gets me nowhere and ultimately makes NO difference, which is the same problem of a deceptive entity/angel/demon/god. If it is so good at its deception, you are essentially in the matrix, and barring the chances that you are Neo or Morpheus, you will never know beyond the hypothetical if it is actually true.I reject pure Rationalism for much the same reasons, whether our experiential knowledge is objective truth or not, it makes no difference to me. My mind and sense have developed for operation within the constraints of this reality, meaning that my mind and senses are capable of analyzing and understanding this reality (to at least some degree) which is what interests me.Empiricism is appealing but the disavowal of obvious a priori understandings and the innate un-empirical assumption throws a wrench into the entire thing. I defy you to refute Berkeley’s Immaterialism, it’s essentially the ULTIMATE “God did it” argument, but just as in science, that is a capstone on any further investigation.Kantian Constructivism was what I held to for a long time because it’s epistemology is a great deal similar to what Stephen J Gould referred to as “Non-overlapping Majesterium.” Uses both obvious a priori knowledge and posteriori empirical & experiential knowledge as legitimate means to understanding. The problem I have with it is this quote from Kant, “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” There is also the lack of practical application which Pragmatism does address.Nietzsche’s Perspectivism is interesting, but he would call me “weak” in that I am unable to deny that there is objectively SOME truth (ex. 2 + 3 = 5), where Nietzsche would say that it’s fiction. I’m a relativist in some ways, but not many.Pragmatism views the mind as a tool set for solving problems, as opposed to the traditional idea of a container of innate knowledge, mirror for reality or an eye to observe reality (or a theatre of ideas as one Empiricist put it). It’s epistemology is much like Kant’s with the emphasis that all knowledge is tentative and subject to revision and critical reexamination. Where I go astray is when they say that the truth value of an idea is dependent more on its leading to successful action rather than it’s correspondence with reality. I can’t accept this 100%Now, as to your question about what proof would be adequate for me. There is a reason eyewitness testimony is the least reliable in trials, people can generate false memories, it is also well documented that given the proper ambiance and “psyching up” people’s minds can fool them into believing the efficacy of rituals all the time.We see this in Africa, Shaman and Witchdoctors can go into a trance, convulse and speak in tongues in communication with their tribal spirits pretty frequently. The EXACT same phenomena can be witness in Pentecostal churches in America today.Hindus claim direct physical interactions with their deities as well, one of the Bestles was a Bakti Hindu, he believed that if you chant the mantras with enough faith that Lord Krishna would physically manifest before you.The Ancient Greek prophet of Delphi used to inhale geological fumes and get sent into hallucinogenic and unintelligible seizures while communicating with the gods.ALL of these are claimed with 100% belief and devotion to be absolutely and objectively true and a demonstration that their faith is that of the one true god/pantheon. Ultimately it is ultimately nothing more than anecdotal evidence and a demonstration of Descartes’ reasoning for doubt of his senses.The same applies to if all ~1billion hindus all personally testified to me that Krishna appeared to them, numbers caught for naught, it’s an Argument Ad Populum when you cite numbers as a argument. It gets worse when you in-depth interview the supposed witnesses of these mystic experiences, they all describe something different.If Jehovah or Satan either were to appear before me and engage me in conversation I would have to be skeptical of my senses at first and then commit to further investigation into what is happening. If jesus were to directly tell me a DETAILED, unique and non-self-fulfilling prophecy that would happen within the next week in my life, down to the finest detail, I would consider that evidence that my non-belief in his religion was in error.Satan gets trickier, he supposedly gets his rocks off on tricking people that he doesn’t exist, and is so good at it that the best scientific minds in all of human history have never been able to demonstrably catch him in the act. So how would this hypothetical person testifying to his existence have had the chance to spot him, did his invisibility cloak get caught on a branch? Testimony is insufficient, direct personal experience that cannot be denied as a psychological chicanery on myself is the only way, but Satan being the purported deceiver he is would never actually reveal himself, so I will have to wait for either Morpheus to call my cellphone or Jesus to to appear before me.

              • Cheryl~

                Hmmm…be careful what you wish for!

                In all of history though who has ever made the claim of loving humanity so completely that they would come down to earth as a human to identify with all mankind and then WILLINGLY give up their life for them…and then RISE from death? And we have the apostles that testify to this and then the Church Fathers and so forth and so on…God’s love is so powerful that it can raise the dead to life…but more importantly it changes hearts…there are millions of people all over the world that have met this one and only Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God!

                • Anonymous

                  You commit the exact fallacy I illustrated in the post you are responding to. Not to mention none of the accounts of Jesus life or death are firsthand accounts, the New Testament was put together over a century after the purported events and there are numerous varying or contradictory other opinions on what supposedly happens.Miraculous claims of healing or raising from the dead are made by all religious, and curiously none of them are demonstrated in objective and controlled environments away from the ambiance and confirmational biases you find in religious rituals. (eg. the faith healing of Pentecostals vs. cancer) I’ll believe miracles when I see the Afghanistan veteran and good man who lost ALL FOUR LIMBS get his body magically restored in a lab.Lizards can regrow limbs, why can’t got do the same for amputees?The Christianity that you and I both know of is only what was consolidated as the official christian orthodoxy but what about the Luciferians, the Ebionites, the Docetics, or the multiple other differing manuscripts recounting the general events of the Gospels with with wildly varying details of the nature of Jesus divinity, the dates (eg. When or where Jesus was born) or the order in which the events happened.This is also disregarding the fact that there were people claiming to be the messiah popping up all over the place at the time (eg. Appolonius of Tyana)I also already addressed the veracity of personal testimony as being the least substantive of any form of evidence, especially when none of it is firsthand or even second hand account or within the following 100 years of the purported events.In 100 years how consistent do you think the tales of this gas leak explosion in California will be if you were to ask the children or grandchildren of the people who were there what they said about it?If Jesus did actually exist, and did do all the things he’s attributed, and was the son of god as well as god in the flesh (a claim made by the older accounts of Lord Krishna in Hindu texts, this link is what has given rise to Bakti Hindus) then I want him to show up and demonstrate the truth of it.I wish for truth, if your god wishes for his creation to know him and is as omniscient & omnipotent as claims go, then he has no excuse for not knowing and supplying the EXACT kind of proof I would need to accept the “truth” of it.

                • Anonymous

                  It’s happened to others, it could happen to you, but only in the power of the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus left with us when he went to be with the Father.

                • Anonymous

                  It’s happened to others, it could happen to you, but only in the power of the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus left with us when he went to be with the Father.

                • Anonymous

                  It’s happened to others, it could happen to you, but only in the power of the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus left with us when he went to be with the Father.

                • Anonymous

                  It’s happened to others, it could happen to you, but only in the power of the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus left with us when he went to be with the Father.

                • Anonymous

                  So be it then, he didn’t pick up when I went looking for him years ago, nor Allah, Krishna, Zoroaster or any of the pagan deities. it’s his move then.I’m waiting to be convinced.It will have to be more substantive than what you see at a Benny Hinn or Peter Popoff charade though. Given that they’re both frauds, what people experience at those demonstrations are only the machinations of their own psychology psyching their senses and their DESIRE to believe. So I’m going to need something better than being “slain with the Spirit” to be convinced.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  If you are convinced that your desire to be convinced is sincere, then I have a challenge for you, if you are willing to undertake it. It would be time consuming and would require serious effort, but I think would be worth your time and effort.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  If you are convinced that your desire to be convinced is sincere, then I have a challenge for you, if you are willing to undertake it. It would be time consuming and would require serious effort, but I think would be worth your time and effort.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  If you are convinced that your desire to be convinced is sincere, then I have a challenge for you, if you are willing to undertake it. It would be time consuming and would require serious effort, but I think would be worth your time and effort.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  If you are convinced that your desire to be convinced is sincere, then I have a challenge for you, if you are willing to undertake it. It would be time consuming and would require serious effort, but I think would be worth your time and effort.

                • Anonymous

                  It’s happened to others, it could happen to you, but only in the power of the Holy Spirit, the one Jesus left with us when he went to be with the Father.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  Can you be sure that a higher power had no role in inspiring persons on earth that developed the many inventions that have flowered so much over the past centuries?

                  If not, then you might acknowledge that there is plenty of room for debate as to just exactly what caused what in pulling us out of times on earth that were so devoid of enlightenment. No doubt it was the rational scientific principles applied were the vehicle in developing inventions, but could the vehicle have been put to good use if the idea hadn’t sprouted and developed in the first place? The question ultimately becomes what triggered the ideas that resulted in inventions. I would be not surprised at all if for every inventor who is convinced that the idea for his invention came from him and him alone, there is at least one other inventor who believes the idea that sparked his invention came from a higher power. I doubt that speculation, while not based on knowledge, is far from the truth.

                  Perhaps I mis-wrote when I suggested that one of Satan’s (I believe in his existence) tactics was to convince his victims of his non-existence. Perhaps, he gets fewer “rocks off” doing that than convincing his victims that his deceptions don’t originate from a devil, meaning, an evil entity. I imagine that given the attributes he displayed prior to becoming the father of lies (including a self-destructive desire for acclaim), he is more interested in being acknowledged and mistaken for an angel of light than for a non-entity.

                  お勉強になりました、 reading your post.    

                • Anonymous

                  The source of knowledge and what we are able to know and how we know it has been a question debated for centuries.

                  I’ll play along for a couple minutes and say for the sake of argument that a god is the source of inspiration (a bigger version of the “muses”). Given that there is such a disagreement on the origin of the inspiration leaves the question of does he care if we know? If an omnipotent being had the desire for us to know him as the origin of our ideas, there is 0 excuse for us to NOT know, he’s omnipotent afterall, so why the disagreements?

                  Also, if god is the source for the thinking behind the scientific revolution, Enlightenment and is currently helping push it along, that would mean that he is the source of the science that contradicts his own bible. Is he deceiving us with the science, or deceiving us with the bible?

                  If there is a god doing all this, he is either deceptive or a meddler with little desire to be known, it seems to me.

                  With regards to the satan thing again, who is to say then, that the god Jehovah from the bible is actually in fact the “devil” of which you speak? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate deception of evil seeming good? In the old testament, yahweh killed much more than 2million people (only counting verses with specific numbers, not the “all were put to the sword” kind), the “satan” character was only responsible for 4 deaths. The Yahweh character also seems to have a VERY destructive and unhealthy “desire for acclaim.”

                  How do you know that the bible is not the greatest trick performed by that satan of all, and that in fact the good and evil are reversed.

                  The point is, absolute denial of something metaphysical inspiration like in your first point, is philosophically incorrect because any demonstrable evidence we can provide originated inside sparetime, making it physical. The physical evidence by definition cannot address the metaphysical.

                  The same problem would go for metaphysical deception, how would you ever know for certain that my hypothetical god/satan switcheroo was not the real case, assuming either entity exists at all.

                  Go ahead and tell me your proposal, I’ve already read holy books and gone looking for the theistic claims of god in earnest, if he is there, he probably doesn’t care for me to know him. If he is as described (omnipotent and omniscient) and has a desire for me to k now him, there is no reason for to have not known him by now.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  Still in the realm of the assumptions that you’re conceding, as to the question of whether God wants us to know the source of inspiration, the answer is yes, but that doesn’t guarantee that the earth’s inhabitants will necessarily come to that knowledge.

                  One reason this “yes” is qualified is that God’s ultimate goal with regard to the human race is to bring to pass their immortality (living forever with resurrected body) and eternal life (living forever with a resurrected body in the presence of God). There are plenty of scenarios that exist where us having absolute knowledge of God as the source of inspiration does not further that goal. One example would be the scenario where someone chooses to refuse to follow God’s directive even after coming to have a certain knowledge of his existence. To have a sure knowledge of God and to openly rebel against him would do not help an individual to obtain eternal life and would play a part in his being unable to dwell with God. Thus, God has an interest in making his existence known in ways that would help the attainment of his ultimate goal, which necessarily requires the exercise and implementation of faith on the part of human kind.

                  Can you identify specifically what scientific discoveries you believe contradict the bible? The most obvious that you may be suggesting is the “created in 6 days” claim. Without suggesting that that is the only legitimate question, let me preemptively note that there is are many reasons to conclude that one “day” of creation time does not equal one “day” of our time.

                  I will agree that it is not by the typical senses that knowledge of God comes. The knowledge comes by communication from one spirit to another spirit. In order for knowledge to come in that way, there has to be at least an experiment with that method of discovery.

                  I would agree that God also has a desire for acclaim but would say that his is not self-destructive, but related to his ultimate goal, the above-mentioned. The reason for Satan’s desire for acclaim was to supplant the authority of God, and his continuing desire is to visit misery upon his victims.

                  You’re question about the reason for the God of the Old Testament being the purported cause of so many deaths in the times of the Old Testament is something I will have to ponder. The reason that Satan apparently causes few deaths is more straightforward. He is much less interested, if at all, in physical death, than he is in spiritual death (preventing people from obtaining eternal life). Additionally, I don’t believe that he actually has the power to independently kill someone. You are better read on the Old Testament than I. Perhaps you can give me references to the few instances where it says he caused the deaths.

                  As to the proposal, Joseph Smith made a claim some time in the 1800s. The claim is contained in paragraph 6 of the Introduction of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. My proposal is that you test that claim, particularly, the last 17 words of the paragraph. You can test that claim anyway that you feel constitutes a good faith experiment, but if you want me to make suggestions I can. I add my claim that the claim made by Joseph Smith is accurate, and, therefore that God exists.

                • Anonymous

                  If you accept the premises and rules of the bible as unalterable, then your assertion of the irrelevance of god’s elusiveness then may well be grounded. We have to remember though, that if god exists, then those rules themselves were set up by him and are as mutable as the behest of his desires as water is to the shape of a glass.

                  An omniscient and omnipotent being would have both the knowledge of how to bring about knowledge or belief from a person, and simultaneously he would have the ability to make it reality.

                  If is desire is simply to have man be immortal and be with him, why aren’t we? Why all the howdy-do of having to die and travel to another plane of existence (where since you say we physically exist, that means we’re provided with an extra body in this alternate universe)? Then god could do like the Greek gods and come down to earth and hang out with us here.

                  Not to mention, one could still have belief/complete faith in god’s laws and existence, and still rebel. Obedience does not necessarily follow from faith, look at Satanists (the ones that actually call themselves) for example. I don’t see why faith is intrinsically better than concrete knowledge, given that one could rebel against rules in either case.

                  Examples of science contradicting the Bible:
                  I’ll skip the total of 6 days in the creation story since you noted that already (Please don’t quote The Science of God with regards to time relativity, Gerald Schroeder’s math is off in the equation he gives for that, a Ph.D physicist wouldn’t make such an error and not catch it). How about the claim that there were plants on the earth before there was a sun in the sky? That man was made out of dirt, and woman from his rib? What about the claim of light before there were stars? The earth is also NOT in any sense at the beginning of the universe, if any part of the order of Genesis is to be taken, regardless of how long a “day” is.

                  Human beings living for 900 years? No, in the early years of human existence the life expectancy was 30 if you were lucky, we nearly went extinct a few times because of it.

                  Noah’s Ark: ignoring the fact that there are 35,000 different known species of SPIDERS, with many more still to be discovered. Ignoring the fact that somehow penguins, polar bears, koalas, kangaroos and North American animals would somehow have to traverse thousands of miles and oceans to get on the ark, as well as have to have sufficient stores of food. Ignoring the fact that every other culture in that same area from the time also had a flood myth, so Noah’s family couldn’t have been the only survivors.

                  Ignoring all of that, there is still the monumental problem that if the world was flooded as described, Mount Everest would be covered, at that altitude all of the animals and people would have either frozen to death or suffocated.

                  moving on; There are no unicorns in reality, though they are claimed in the bible. There are no dragons either. There is no evidence at all that the Hebrews were ever enslaved in Egypt.

                  The idea that there was no death before ‘the fall': There absolutely would have to have been at least SOME death in order for even the herbivore animals to live, taking in and digesting living cells for energy, part of definitive characteristics of the word “animal.”

                  Matthew 27:52: the dead do NOT get up and walk around, or else every day would be cloudy with a chance of Thriller.

                  Psalm 93:1: the Earth in fact DOES move, both around the sun, and in a solar system moving around with the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy.

                  Genesis 1: There is no firmament and there is no water above where the firmament isn’t because it’s nothing but empty spacetime.

                  Genesis 7: there are no windows in the nonexistent firmament to let the nonexistent outer-atmospheric water in.

                  2 Esdras 15:35: the stars cannot be blown out of place by any storm, and they cannot land on the earth because a single one would completely engulf the entire planet

                  2 Samuel 22:8: Where exactly would the foundations for this non-existent heavenly firmament be? There is nothing in space for there to be a foundation on.

                  Job 38/1 Samuel 2:8: The same goes for the earth, the Universe is isotropic, there is no up and there is no down, there is no foundation to hold up the earth

                  Amos 8: The sun cannot set at noon, because noon is defined by the sun itself in relation to us, it’s not possible.

                  Joshua 10:13: The sun cannot be stopped in the sky because it is not moving at all.

                  Matthew 24:29: the stars cannot fall from the sky, nor can they be shaken by anything happening here.

                  Daniel 8:9,10: The stars cannot be thrown down to the earth or stomped on for the same reasons given earlier

                  Judges 5:20: Stars are not conscious entities, they cannot game up and fight anyone or anything, much less a person.

                  I’m assuming the communication between spirits that you speak of is the kind where at least one of the speakers can only be heard by the other, or the kind where it’s communication in your mind. I’m not trying to be insulting, but schizophrenics hear voices and see amazing things all the time and believe them 100% to be real. How am I to know that if a voice begins talking to me in my head that I am not losing my mind?

                  Here are just a few examples of God doing the killing firsthand, rather than ordering it;
                  Joshua 10:11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

                  Samuel 6:19 But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them.

                  2 Samuel 6:6-7 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.

                  Numbers 16:35 And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

                  Numbers 16:46-49 God sends a plague that kills 14,700

                  Numbers 25:9 Another plague from god kills 24,000

                  2 Samual 24:15 God sends a plague that kills 70,000 people as punishment for DAVID’S sin, not their own.

                  2 Kings 19:35 God sends an angel to kill 185,000 Assyrians

                  None of that is counting the times where god is accomplice to killing, like with the city of Jericho, where he knocked down the city walls so Joshua and his armies could take the city and kill all its inhabitants in god’s honor.

                  The only actual killing I could find by Satan himself were the 10 children of Job (Job 1:18-19) which was also at the permission of god to test Job’s faith.

                  “Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: ‘I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.'”

                  Is that the part of the introduction you are talking about? I’ll have to sit down and comb through it once I have some time, I’m in the middle of a semester reading several books but I’ll make sure to get to it.

                  You should know though, that many other religious texts make the same claim, and none, including the Book of Mormon (to my knowledge) contain any explanation for apostates (specially the ones who used to be hardcore believers in the texts’ claims).

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  I look forward to looking at the many references that you made and responding where I can, when I am not at work. You obviously make good points on many counts.

                  You have the correct passage. Specifically, I’m referring to the test of “abiding by its precepts”.

                  There is an explanation for apostates, meaning those who initially come to a knowledge of something that is true (related to spiritual matters), and then fall away from (or reject) a knowledge of it, both in the Book of Mormon, and expanded upon in other scripture, which I can refer you to. In any event, you’ll come across several discussions of that issue if you engage the Book of Mormon.

                  I’ve actually developed an interest in knowing what other texts make the same specific claim as Joseph Smith regarding some text. I’m well aware that I can find plenty of Evangelicals who will say something similar about the Bible, plenty of Muslims who will say something similar about the Koran, and so on. I think the statement by Joseph Smith is unique because he was the recognized authority of the faith, and he was making a specific comparison to all other books on earth. If you can direct me to statements of similarly situated persons making analogous claims, I’d be interested to know of them and/or their statements.

                • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

                  My claim isn’t that God’s elusiveness is irrelevant, but that it has a specific purpose, which is related to the bringing about of man’s immortality and eternal life. Agreed that an omniscient and omnipotent being has the power you suggest. But would say that the power is not typically exercised how we might think. Eg. Isaiah 55:9.

                  Eternal life has more to it than I suggested. The desire of God isn’t simply to have man be immortal and with him, but for man to be immortal, with him, and like him. To be like him, it was necessary for us to gain a body and gain experience, and be tested, outside of his presence. Eg. Abr. 3:24-25.

                  Agreed that belief and disobedience can go hand in hand. Eg. James 2:19. Satan also believes in God (knows that he exists) but rebelled against him. I believe that faith, as used in the scriptures, usually refers to not only belief, but belief and obedience put together. Eg. James 2:20, 26.

                  I don’t think I’m claiming that that faith is necessarily intrinsically better than concrete knowledge in terms of character development. I would say both are essential character traits. Some times something that starts as faith becomes knowledge later on. What I am claiming is that to only believe and disobey is better than to know and disobey, because the consequences at judgment day are not the same. Eg. Alma 32:19.

                  I can’t really contest any of your points about the creation, they appear to be reasonable. However, my conviction of the existence of God isn’t based upon or undermined by the claim about plants, the claim about dirt, the rib, or the longevity of years. Believing in miracles and in God’s omnipotence, it is no stretch for me to believe that he had the power to do what is claimed. Agreed that the manifestations of that power or the performance of miracles may appear to contradict the laws we associate with science.

                  Noah’s Ark also would have required miracles from start to finish.

                  Apparently the translation for unicorn could also have been rendered as buffalo, bison, or wild ox. Eg. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/isa/34/7a .

                  There appear to be a number of different potential translations for dragon too. Eg. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/deut/32/33b (serpents); http://scriptures.lds.org/en/ps/44/19a (jackals); http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jer/51/34a (sea-monster); http://scriptures.lds.org/en/rev/12/7d (devil).

                  You say “no evidence” of the enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt. But I assume you are not counting the historical records kept by the Jews, and that the evidence that you seek would be archaeological.

                  Hmm, good point about the plant life prior to the fall. I don’t have an answer to that.

                  It is no more difficult to believe in Matthew 27:52 than it is to believe that Jesus resurrected. Both require miraculous power, not within mankind’s ability to explain with it’s understanding of the laws of science.

                  I think “moved” can have more than one meaning in Psams 93.

                  I can’t find 2 Esdras in the KJV.

                  2 Samuel 22:8 sounds kind of metaphorical. Foundation might have more than one meaning. Also, right now might be a good time to point out that I believe that scripture may well have been recorded by people with imperfections, imperfect knowledge, and imperfect perspective of what’s going on around them, and still be the recordings based on that person having received a revelation from God.

                  Amos 8 would also require a miracle, if it is literal.

                  I assume that you wouldn’t find Joshua 10:13 any more palatable if it said that the earth stopped moving. Either way, this passage too would require a miracle.

                  I don’t know what Matthew 24:29 means. Could it refer to the intrusion into our atmosphere of things that the people at the time would have described as stars?

                  Don’t know about Judges 5:20, could have been the recorders way of describing what they saw, albeit far from perfectly, as referenced above.

                  I think if you receive a message of God, you will be able to distinguish it from something schizophrenic. While I’ve never suffered from schizophrenia so I don’t know quite what they are hearing, I think the voice of the Holy Ghost is distinguishable because it is still and small. 1 Kings 19:12.

                  I’m continuing to ponder the killing issue. I know, you’re not holding your breath, EL OH EL.

                  In any event, with what little I have to offer, allow me to refer you to that being that has much to offer. Eg. James 1:5.

            • Anonymous

              Because the Pragmatists, being scientists themselves, draw their epistemology largely from the Philosophy of Science. The Philosophy of Science is what brought us out of the Dark ages to putting Neil Armstrong on the Moon in just a few hundred years after at LEAST 100,000 years idling in the dirt.In shorter version; The Philosophy of Science, ever since its conception has been the hands down, tried and true, undeniably evidenced most successful means by which mankind has ever developed to guide our thought processes in our gradual and ever expanding knowledge of the universe and the laws of it.In this philosophy the 1st virtue regarding all knowledge is healthy skepticism. Null Hypothesis ultimately is nothing more than the DEFAULT position of skepticism in all claims to knowledge.Anything deviating from this I feel justified in saying is really nothing more than some varying degree of epistemic gullibility. If I were to tell you I had pink money pixies living in my shoes that give me a paycheck every 2 weeks instead of a job, you would be rightly skeptical of my extraordinary claim until I provide the proper empirical evidence to back up my claim.If you were not skeptical, I could convince you to readopt the process of bleeding yourself to cure sicknesses based on Hippocrates defunct and outdated Theory of Humors. Gullibility/Credulity is not a reliable starting point to investigate what is true or knowable if the Scientific Method means anything at all.The same goes for Logical Syllogisms, you don’t simply accept an argument regardless of whether the premises are flawed or the conclusion is invalid. The only honest thing to do is to try and poke holes in to the premises and conclusions of the given syllogism, and if it is valid, sound and even harder, TRUE, then that truth will only become evident under the scrutiny of skeptical investigation. Even better, if the argument is representative of the truth or some aspect of it, the greater the scrutiny the MORE evident the truth contained becomes.I reject the Solipsists and Skeptics because even if it may be mostly irrefutable, it gets me nowhere and ultimately makes NO difference, which is the same problem of a deceptive entity/angel/demon/god. If it is so good at its deception, you are essentially in the matrix, and barring the chances that you are Neo or Morpheus, you will never know beyond the hypothetical if it is actually true.I reject pure Rationalism for much the same reasons, whether our experiential knowledge is objective truth or not, it makes no difference to me. My mind and sense have developed for operation within the constraints of this reality, meaning that my mind and senses are capable of analyzing and understanding this reality (to at least some degree) which is what interests me.Empiricism is appealing but the disavowal of obvious a priori understandings and the innate un-empirical assumption throws a wrench into the entire thing. I defy you to refute Berkeley’s Immaterialism, it’s essentially the ULTIMATE “God did it” argument, but just as in science, that is a capstone on any further investigation.Kantian Constructivism was what I held to for a long time because it’s epistemology is a great deal similar to what Stephen J Gould referred to as “Non-overlapping Majesterium.” Uses both obvious a priori knowledge and posteriori empirical & experiential knowledge as legitimate means to understanding. The problem I have with it is this quote from Kant, “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” There is also the lack of practical application which Pragmatism does address.Nietzsche’s Perspectivism is interesting, but he would call me “weak” in that I am unable to deny that there is objectively SOME truth (ex. 2 + 3 = 5), where Nietzsche would say that it’s fiction. I’m a relativist in some ways, but not many.Pragmatism views the mind as a tool set for solving problems, as opposed to the traditional idea of a container of innate knowledge, mirror for reality or an eye to observe reality (or a theatre of ideas as one Empiricist put it). It’s epistemology is much like Kant’s with the emphasis that all knowledge is tentative and subject to revision and critical reexamination. Where I go astray is when they say that the truth value of an idea is dependent more on its leading to successful action rather than it’s correspondence with reality. I can’t accept this 100%Now, as to your question about what proof would be adequate for me. There is a reason eyewitness testimony is the least reliable in trials, people can generate false memories, it is also well documented that given the proper ambiance and “psyching up” people’s minds can fool them into believing the efficacy of rituals all the time.We see this in Africa, Shaman and Witchdoctors can go into a trance, convulse and speak in tongues in communication with their tribal spirits pretty frequently. The EXACT same phenomena can be witness in Pentecostal churches in America today.Hindus claim direct physical interactions with their deities as well, one of the Bestles was a Bakti Hindu, he believed that if you chant the mantras with enough faith that Lord Krishna would physically manifest before you.The Ancient Greek prophet of Delphi used to inhale geological fumes and get sent into hallucinogenic and unintelligible seizures while communicating with the gods.ALL of these are claimed with 100% belief and devotion to be absolutely and objectively true and a demonstration that their faith is that of the one true god/pantheon. Ultimately it is ultimately nothing more than anecdotal evidence and a demonstration of Descartes’ reasoning for doubt of his senses.The same applies to if all ~1billion hindus all personally testified to me that Krishna appeared to them, numbers caught for naught, it’s an Argument Ad Populum when you cite numbers as a argument. It gets worse when you in-depth interview the supposed witnesses of these mystic experiences, they all describe something different.If Jehovah or Satan either were to appear before me and engage me in conversation I would have to be skeptical of my senses at first and then commit to further investigation into what is happening. If jesus were to directly tell me a DETAILED, unique and non-self-fulfilling prophecy that would happen within the next week in my life, down to the finest detail, I would consider that evidence that my non-belief in his religion was in error.Satan gets trickier, he supposedly gets his rocks off on tricking people that he doesn’t exist, and is so good at it that the best scientific minds in all of human history have never been able to demonstrably catch him in the act. So how would this hypothetical person testifying to his existence have had the chance to spot him, did his invisibility cloak get caught on a branch? Testimony is insufficient, direct personal experience that cannot be denied as a psychological chicanery on myself is the only way, but Satan being the purported deceiver he is would never actually reveal himself, so I will have to wait for either Morpheus to call my cellphone or Jesus to to appear before me.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

            My question wasn’t to inquire as to the nature of the Null Hypothesis but as to the reason that you embrace it.

            Addressing your modified statement that you reject the existence of Satan because you have no reason to accept the claim, what evidence would you require as sufficient reason? Would the testimony of an honest person that Satan existed influence you? A thousand honest persons? If so, what would the substance of that testimony have to be? That the person(s) saw Satan? Felt Satan’s power? Something else? If you would reject the testimony of one or more honest person, what type of evidence would influence you?

            As to your response to Sackett, getting at what I inquired above when I asked you why you rely heavily upon the Null Hypothesis, why do you embrace “the epistemic philosophy of the Pragmatists (late 19th, early 20th centuries)”?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75Q74KBZBS2PVRG6BTHURTH6LI Frank Ross

            My question wasn’t to inquire as to the nature of the Null Hypothesis but as to the reason that you embrace it.

            Addressing your modified statement that you reject the existence of Satan because you have no reason to accept the claim, what evidence would you require as sufficient reason? Would the testimony of an honest person that Satan existed influence you? A thousand honest persons? If so, what would the substance of that testimony have to be? That the person(s) saw Satan? Felt Satan’s power? Something else? If you would reject the testimony of one or more honest person, what type of evidence would influence you?

            As to your response to Sackett, getting at what I inquired above when I asked you why you rely heavily upon the Null Hypothesis, why do you embrace “the epistemic philosophy of the Pragmatists (late 19th, early 20th centuries)”?

  • Anonymous

    I am kinda struggling with this too, but I also believe in grace and not judging. However, since she IS running for public office your life is laid bare on the altar (pun intended). We all have our “skeletons,” and the best way to diffuse this would be for O’Donnell to address it head on. I think for myself all I would need to hear from O’Donnell would be that as a Christian she renounces what she did, and it was a “youthful” mistake. If she does this – story over. But, if she tries to do a political end-around, I think it would be difficult to overcome this.

    • Anonymous

      Shouldn’t her stance on the issues be near infinitely more important than what her religion is?

      • Tyler

        I agree completely. Then again, this is clearly more desperation by those who seek to destroy her. I think it’s going to be non-stop defending character attacks for her and it’s sad, but true.

      • Anonymous

        I want to know her by the merit of her character. Then I’ll judge her on the issues. I really don’t care what her religion is, but since she has made the claim, then….

        Look, if this same scenario would have happened to a Democrat, the Republicans would be ready to sacrifice this individual on the altar of self-righteous indignation – I’ve seen it too many times. When it happens to one their own, then the response is, “oh, she was only in high school.” I find it rather hypocritical myself, and I’m a Republican. They would be lampooning this individual.

        So yes, I do think she needs to answer to this allegation (confession) that she has made herself. And since she claims to be Christian, then since Satanism is the polar opposite I would think it prudent for her to distance herself from this element of her past as quickly as possible.

        Karl Rove may have been more correct than I initially gave him credit for. O’Donnell needs to heed his advice, deal with and answer the numerous questions about her character. Otherwise, people are fickle, and they will not see her positions on issues and only see a person of questionable character. And for that, she alone is responsible.

        As Warren Buffett once said, “it takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.” I think if I were O’Donnell I would have one of those “confession is good for the soul” moments, address candidly and frankly any and all questions relating to her character. If she will do this her popularity will soar, if she doesn’t, people will turn from her and see her as nothing more than a Washington political hack who really has no character.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, indeed the republicans would make the candidate out to be Satan himself, and they would be WRONG to make noise over it, it is a non-point and most likely it would also be a shallow and transparent move to rile up the Christian Coalition over the decadent and godless liberals, the worn out boogeyman of a strawman we see attacked on a constant basis.

          Things like that are why I dropped my GOP affiliation and remain unaffiliated.

          I don’t buy the idea that religious identification can be used as any reliable means to judge ones character in place of actions or statements.

          For example:
          The Confederacy justified their slavery with the christian bible. In the 12th Century, Sultan Saladin of Egypt and King Baldwin IV “The Leper King” of Jerusalem were members of 2 bitterly conflicting religious faiths but you will be hard-pressed to find accounts of either man to be anything but those of upright character in their dealings with each other. Saladin in fact offered his doctors to Baldwin, quite the generosity considering the Muslims of the era were the more advanced culture. Raynald of Chatillon was actually the man of low (if any) character in twilight days of the Crusader Nations.

          Robert Byrd was a Christian too, so was JFK, and we ended up in Vietnam under him, and PLEASE don’t commit the “No True Scotsman Fallacy,” I’ve never once been able to apply 1 Christians personal account of what makes a real Christian to another.

          I may well be overreacting, but after that TRAVESTY in 2008 of a speech that Romney ended up forced to give about his Mormonism, and multiple polls Ive seen of peoples unwillingness to vote for “otherwise qualified candidates” who have differing views of religion, I tend to be a little touchy/paranoid over the blatantly obvious unofficial religious tests for office the US in fact employs.

          2 days ago she was being defended by Beck and other members of the “moral majority” for her remarks about masturbation as being a good Christian or a good Roman Catholic. Now remarks come out about events taking place BEFORE the very undeniably exuberant and enthusiastic expression of her faith on video tape took place. Now apparently the previously satisfactory testament to the sincerity of her religious faith is insufficient and she has to go on a media tour to reassure the voters she’s Christian “enough.”

          History shows that religion or non-religion is no innate indication of character, it needs to stop being treated as such in the election cycles.

          Warren Buffet has a point, which is why religion needs to stop being a requisite factor in our politicians “reputations.”

          • Anonymous

            Yes, but I do believe you would advocate for the elimination of all religion alltogether, correct? Or, minimally the eradication of religion from being expressed anywhere outside of the home or religious houses of worship (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.)?

            Of course you know I would never comply with that.

            • Anonymous

              Not at all, I would be quite satisfied with public officials not using the capacity of their offices in the endorsement of specific religions or religiosity over non-religion.If I was foolish enough to think of human nature alterable (I avoid “perfectable” because “perfect” is an innately subjective assessment) I would like to see people not have a need for religion.The prospect of that is as likely to happen though as a $billion deposit in a Swiss bank account in my name (to borrow Michael Shermer’s line). Studies show that religiosity in a very vague and undefined form, maybe better called spirituality, is hardwired into most peoples brains.Some people need or want religion, and I would be a hypocrite as well as a tyrant if I were to forcibly strip them of it. Beck himself is an example of it, Alcoholics Anonymous in general, for some reason they need a religion to save them from self destructive dispositions.The comfort it offers is also very touching. My father, after the death of his father could not accept the idea that a good man like his dad could live a good life and end up in the same place as a serial killer. My father has recently had health problems and I had to come to terms with his eventual mortality in a very clear and present way, I very clearly understand the desire for the comfort of believing in an afterlife.So yes, I absolutely understand the need and desire for religion, and can appreciate the good people claim to do in its name. I lament that necessity, but leave individuals to make choices for themselves.I love philosophy, and in a way, the religious impulse gave rise to the first form of it, questions regarding the existential. These are still the most interesting questions and debates I get into with my friends. So no, I would not demand people not talk about it in their capacity as private individuals.The problem I have is when they will not extend the same courtesy to me. It is not enough for people to embrace their supernatural beliefs for whatever reason, no, I have to believe it to, and in the case of some mindsets (more encouraged in some faiths/cultures than others) I am to die if I do not acquiesce.The problem is when people receive a paycheck of tax dollars and wish to use their occupational authority to espouse their very personal ideas. I doubt you would want your tax dollars to pay a teacher who turns around and instructs your child on how to pray to Mecca. I agree with you, I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for any teacher instructing my children to pray to anything they potentially do not believe (I will allow my children to find their own faith or lack of it).The problem is when people, because they believe they are on the side of the creator of everything, seek to legislate their very personal holy book’s ideas into law that applies to everyone regardless of beliefs. I doubt you would want values from the Koran legislated onto you. I would agree, the same goes for more disagreeable parts of your bible.The problem is when people seek to have their religious faith given special consideration and exception in the public square, law and/or debate purely on the basis that it is their faith. People like O’reilly want special consideration made for religious faith on the pure basis that it is religious. I say anything in the public square is as subject to equal dissection and examination as we give political opinions, let it be as brutal scientific peer-review, the more speech and more brutal the inspection the better chance of finding truth.But the biggest problem of it all has nothing directly to do with Religion, religion behaves only as a catalyst for the underlying problem of Tribalism. It sanctifies the the arbitrary segregation between peoples and family members with purportedly divine authority. It splits individuals into groups of the holy and the impure/heretical/infidel, and history shows how time only elevates the antagonism between groups that no longer see each other as individuals, but as “we’re the good guys, and they’re the bad guys.”It leads to Jihad, Crusades, Inquisitions, ethnic cleansing, harassment, abuse, assault and ostracizing.In the enlightened western society, we’ve long since done away with many tribalistic divides between people, at least on our side of the aisle. Race, ethnicity, national heritage, occupation have all been abandoned as dividing lines between individuals in most sensible people in this country. The most effective still last though, religion, nationality, and Conservative/Right vs Liberal/Left.We see it play out even today, its ISLAM thats bad, or LIBERALS, or those spooky MORMONS (insert whatever denominations of the religion the speaker ISNT), oh boy we gotta take it to the Left this election cycle!Only 45% of Americans would vote for an otherwise qualified candidate who happens to be atheist according to the last poll I’ve seen, the hated gays got 57%.That is what I would change about human nature if I had the power or hypocrisy to do so, not the religious impulse.Lot’s of edits to come because I’m sure I forgot something or repeated myself or misstated it.Buddhists do not see Buddha as a god, by the way, as such they are technically atheist as well.

      • Anonymous

        Her principles are gorgeous. That’s why I like her.

      • Anonymous

        Her principles are gorgeous. That’s why I like her.

    • KeninMontana

      I think this renders the entire subject moot. US Constitution Article VI “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    • Anonymous

      She is appropriately laughing it off. It happened when she was in high school!

  • Anonymous

    The level of disconnect here is staggering.

    1. Our own President says he’s a Christian and believes the Bible to be the word of God.
    2. God has an enemy: Satan as described in the Bible
    3. The belief or “dabbling” in witchcraft or satanism might be bad theologically, but is no more “crazy” than our President believing Jesus died for his sins (or the collective sins;) of the world and rose after the 3rd day to live again in Heaven.

    America used to have a better grasp of orthodox Judeo/Christian beliefs…it’s a shame that has been lost over the last 40 years.

    In Christianity, you are either lost or found. Two teams. Anyone on the “lost” team is on the bad guy’s team by default.

    Christine O’Donnell became a devout Catholic after this boyfriend in HIGH SCHOOL and promoted Christianity and Christian values and ethics all over America and on television for 10+ years including on Maher’s stupid show and now “we” want to question her life before this conversion experience?

    How about we question our President’s and Congress’ lives NOW, not 15-20 years ago before their “conversion” experiences.

    Jesus help us.

    • Anonymous

      It’s always so fun to hear that I’m on the “bad guy’s team.” Even though chances are we agree on all but 2 or 3 issues.

      Thanks for that, can I take this to mean you would not vote for her or a non-believer if neither had “found Jesus”?

      • Anonymous

        Ummm, way to jump to conclusions. All I was doing was explaining Christianity 101 as it pertains to the media’s (and the GOP I guess) constant drum beating over the witchcraft story. For the media to criticize her affiliation with a boyfriend in high school who was a witch is hypocritical seeing that they’re hell bent on defending the President in being a born-again Christian. It’s fine for the President to be a Christian and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save him, but crazy to believe in Satan–the eternal enemy of God and man.

        Can you say disconnect?

        I’ve voted for countless candidates who aren’t Christians either by name or lifestyle. I would rather vote for a Christian personally because if they live their life by our common ethics and values, I at least know what kind of public servant they MIGHT be. As a Christian of some persuasion I can somewhat safely assume some policy positions of a candidate professing their religious beliefs.

        Daniel, Christianity is exclusive. Sorry I didn’t make the rules. That has nothing to do with how we might relate to each other as friends or countrymen. Catholics don’t believe my Christian beliefs are orthodox despite our shared beliefs. I don’t hold it against them because I’m secure and safe in my beliefs.

        As far as tribalism goes…I think I’ll stick with Christianity vs all others, thank you.

        • Anonymous

          Excellent, point by point. This, Daniel, would be my awaited reply that I just cannot write.

      • Anonymous

        God loves you, Daniel.

        • Anonymous

          Unless I make the mistake of the Midianites, Canaanites and follow different gods. Even if someone demonstrates the magic of these gods before my eyes (eg. the magicians of the Pharaoh)

          Or if I was born gay, then I would be really screwed.

          I reject tribalistic divides for myself, exactly how does the label “Christian” explain the complete disagreement on policy of say…yourself and Robert Byrd, Kennedy and many others on the “left”?

          I treat every person as an individual unless they choose to identify and define themselves by some great and amorphous group that chooses to see me not as one with a differing opinion, no, I’m immoral, evil, deceived by Satan or rebellious.

          It’s fallacious, but a WHOLE lot easier than actually understanding how it is people come to different conclusions/positions. Just like “God did it,” is the lazy answer for science, the attacks I listed above are the lazy way of dealing with differing opinions.

  • KeninMontana

    Personally, I see this as a great “to do” about nothing. Wicca is a modern variation on the old pagan veneration of Nature nothing more. Wiccan’s see Satan as a “construct” of Christianity, used to put a face to evil, they actually don’t believe in the existence of Satan just as they do not believe in Christ. The believe that people have the capacity for both good and evil and that people make a conscious choice to do one or the other. As for the “Satanic altar” thing,the boy was probably into the darker tinged heavy metal of the time as a lot of young people were at that time. In other words this entire thing is a non-issue.

    • Tyler

      You couldn’t be more correct, Ken.

    • Anonymous

      Wiccans in my understanding are dividing the truth wrongly. They are deluded, or trying to delude others, in thinking that they are in any way a part of any sort of authentic Christianity.

      They say they don’t believe in Satan but they serve him. I have know someone who as a child was an ongoing victim of a coven’s dark altar. Not to sensationalize but just to get the truth out there and challenge this “soft” view of witchcraft.

      I agree with you that it’s a To Do, but not about this particular witchcraft as being just an old pagan thing. They (witches in general…I know because I was one) may lie all they want and fool people. That’s what they do!

      • Anonymous

        Looks like witchcraft to me…Hinn has probably caused more harm than all of O’Donnell’s dabbling and your friend’s combined.

        Witchcraft and paganism are as much nonsense as crystal healing, astral projection, yoga’s supposed mysticism and faith healing/”anointing with the spirit”

      • KeninMontana

        You are confusing “Black” witchcraft or sorcery with Wicca. No where in the Wiccan Rede is any stated or alluded to connection to Christianity. There are individuals and some covens that practice Black Sorcery connected to Satanism, however they are not Wiccans. We have about seven Covens here and I’ve known and know people that belong to each of them none of them even acknowledge the existence of Satan or Jesus Christ, they are polytheist and worship nature,their “spellcraft” consists of prayers and rituals dedicated to what they call the “Mother Goddess” and facets of nature, potions and herbal remedies, some that date before the coming of Christianity. The term “witch” was hung as a moniker on village midwifes who also served as village healers who used their knowledge of medicinal herbs to aid those of their village. By the way you are familiar with the origins of the word “pagan”, it’s origin is the name used to refer to peoples living in rural areas “country folk”. It was the Christian Church of the Dark Ages that first began using to the term to apply to “non-believers”,these pagans or country folk held on to these nature centered beliefs and practices for several hundred years even after converting to Christianity. Until in the 15th century when Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer wrote the infamous Malleus Maleficarum in 1486. This tome nearly depopulated the region that would eventually become Germany of its female population,in fact in a couple of villages it led to all of the women being put to death as witches. While Kramer,a Inquisitor of the Catholic Church, he was denounced by the Office of the Inquisition in 1490, due to his over-zealousness in pursuit of witches, the book continued it’s bloody path until well into the reformation. All due to someone who felt these nature worshippers were linked to Satan in ignorance and fear. If you were one these individuals would you not work to hide your practices to avoid being murdered?

        • Anonymous

          The Teutonic Order and their crusades into eastern Europe are a pretty good historical example of who, between the two, is the aggressor in the conflict between Christianity and the Pagans.

          The only heartening part of the entire mess was the eventual alliance of Polish and Lithuanian forces against the Order.

          Interestingly this was in the same general area as would be depopulated of women by Kramer, centuries later, Prussia/Germany

          Yes…those violent and malevolent pagans must be reviled!

        • Anonymous

          The Teutonic Order and their crusades into eastern Europe are a pretty good historical example of who, between the two, is the aggressor in the conflict between Christianity and the Pagans.

          The only heartening part of the entire mess was the eventual alliance of Polish and Lithuanian forces against the Order.

          Interestingly this was in the same general area as would be depopulated of women by Kramer, centuries later, Prussia/Germany

          Yes…those violent and malevolent pagans must be reviled!

      • KeninMontana

        You are confusing “Black” witchcraft or sorcery with Wicca. No where in the Wiccan Rede is any stated or alluded to connection to Christianity. There are individuals and some covens that practice Black Sorcery connected to Satanism, however they are not Wiccans. We have about seven Covens here and I’ve known and know people that belong to each of them none of them even acknowledge the existence of Satan or Jesus Christ, they are polytheist and worship nature,their “spellcraft” consists of prayers and rituals dedicated to what they call the “Mother Goddess” and facets of nature, potions and herbal remedies, some that date before the coming of Christianity. The term “witch” was hung as a moniker on village midwifes who also served as village healers who used their knowledge of medicinal herbs to aid those of their village. By the way you are familiar with the origins of the word “pagan”, it’s origin is the name used to refer to peoples living in rural areas “country folk”. It was the Christian Church of the Dark Ages that first began using to the term to apply to “non-believers”,these pagans or country folk held on to these nature centered beliefs and practices for several hundred years even after converting to Christianity. Until in the 15th century when Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer wrote the infamous Malleus Maleficarum in 1486. This tome nearly depopulated the region that would eventually become Germany of its female population,in fact in a couple of villages it led to all of the women being put to death as witches. While Kramer,a Inquisitor of the Catholic Church, he was denounced by the Office of the Inquisition in 1490, due to his over-zealousness in pursuit of witches, the book continued it’s bloody path until well into the reformation. All due to someone who felt these nature worshippers were linked to Satan in ignorance and fear. If you were one these individuals would you not work to hide your practices to avoid being murdered?

  • Anonymous

    Now was this a Satanic alter or just a game of D&D?

    • KeninMontana

      He was probably a fan of Slayer or Motley Crue. :)

      • Anonymous

        Slayer sucks, but you better not be talking bad about Motley Crue! lol

        • KeninMontana

          LOL I was trying to recall the metal bands of that era that either used a pentacle or pentagram in their logo or on an album cover. Those two were the first to come to mind, although given time I could probably come up with a couple of dozen more. ;)

          • Anonymous

            Lol, the 90s were a bad decade for music, the 80s were good, the last decade has been hit and miss. After all, Nirvana came out of the 90s.

            Metal forever m/

  • Puma for Life

    Let’s see; we are supposed to be concerned that O’Donnell dated someone in high school who was in wiccan, but no probem with Coon being a self-avowed Marxist; Scott Brown posing nude for some male magazine; and ummm, well on and on like Ted Kennedy driving drunk and killing some young woman while married and having an affair…hmmm…good old double standard busily at work.

  • KeninMontana

    The real question here is for the Democrats. Is this all you’ve got? If it is you are DOOMED.