In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and religion, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Well, isn’t that special… But let me tell you why it’s bullshit. 

1) It’s because you try so desperately to legally prohibit someone from being able to pursue their happiness as freely as you that you are deemed fearful and/or hateful. Don’t pretend you just passively don’t agree, as if it were their choice of shoes we’re talking about. 

2) see 1.

Well, isn’t that special… But let me tell you why it’s bullshit.

1) It’s because you try so desperately to legally prohibit someone from being able to pursue their happiness as freely as you that you are deemed fearful and/or hateful. Don’t pretend you just passively don’t agree, as if it were their choice of shoes we’re talking about.

2) see 1.

Rick Warren on “Liberal Theology”

azspot:

Rick Warren stirs up a tweet storm. It’s been awhile since he emitted some stupidity on the Twitter, so I guess it was time to cast out again a nebulous and offensive remark to the social media sphere. Then he doubled down by channeling David Barton with a crack about the “Declartion Signers” — a claim easily disprovenThe truth is that only four of the 56 signers of the Declaration went to college to study theology, and only two, John Witherspoon and Lyman Hall, stuck with it and became ministers, but Hall was booted out of his church for some moral indiscretion and decided to become a doctor instead of a minister. Of the other two, one became a lawyer and the other became a merchant.

I’ll let others address the biblical illiteracy and uninformed theology. Still, it’s surprising to me, given that Rick Warren possesses a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary — I just would assume better discernment here. But the more he opens his word hole, he strikes me as more and more unenlightened. And displays a spirit quite contrary to his Twitter profile tagline. But I just wanted to enter a few thoughts on some other aspects of this micro-missive.

First, what exactly is the definition of liberal theology. Warren offered up no followup discourse to reply queries asking for clarification. Does it mean homosexual affirming churches? Or just seminary eggheads who spend most of their days with their eyes affixed to weighty tomes? Or is it about those church denominations that are egalitarian champions and believe in female pastors, ministers, and priests? Or is it anyone that deviates at all from Southern Baptist and/or conservative evangelical doctrine? We don’t know and must guess because it seems Warren is content just to launch an incendiary remark with no additional comment.

Second, I think this quote juxtaposed against Warren’s tweet is percipient:

Surprising as it may seem to some, Protestantism is thus essentially liberal, in the classical sense of allowing, and even encouraging, diversity of interpretation, the right of dissent, and personal freedom of belief. It calls for liberty of conscience, as a condition of its own existence — even though it sometimes practises intolerance of disagreement within its own fellowships. It calls for the equality of all before God. In rejecting a central teaching authority and in insisting upon an open Bible, which all can interpret for themselves, it undermines any spiritual hierarchy — even though it has reinforced many social hierarchies in its church organisation. It calls for fraternity and brotherly love and fellowship, in rejecting any distinction of clergy and laity, any special class of ‘religious’, and in stressing the participation of all in the communion service and in the running of the churches — even though some of its tracts are still filled with vitriol against Christians of different persuasions.

Rick Warren took to Twitter to blame yesterday’s shooting on teaching evolution. What a tremendous douchebag!! And how derogatory to animals, I’ve never known any other species to go on a shooting rampage.

Rick Warren took to Twitter to blame yesterday’s shooting on teaching evolution. What a tremendous douchebag!! And how derogatory to animals, I’ve never known any other species to go on a shooting rampage.

What Obama Needs To Know Before Meeting Rick Warren Again

Even if Obama supporters end up with a fair number of seats at the forum, the campaign’s communications team needs to be smarter than it was in 2008 about setting expectations. In the last campaign, the Obama team acted as if the Saddleback forum was just an ordinary campaign appearance at a neutral site instead of the first-ever presidential forum hosted by a Southern Baptist pastor for a conservative evangelical crowd. If Obama’s flacks had done their job, their spin to reporters would have been that Obama won just by showing up to the event and being willing to field questions. But they didn’t, and post-forum coverage focused on the difference between the slightly chilly reception the crowd gave Obama and the warm welcome that McCain enjoyed.

Finally, Obama should consider that Warren either lied about his plans for the 2008 forum or bowed to pressure from other conservatives regarding the topics up for discussion. In the week before the earlier event, Warren told TIME’s David van Biema that his questions would center on four areas: poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate change, and human rights. “There is no Christian religious test,” said Warren.

The night of forum, however, Warren stuck to a more conservative script, quizzing the candidates about gay marriage, judges, and abortion—and only briefly touching on poverty and climate change. As one progressive religious leader told me at the time: “They hadn’t done their research on Warren. Obama wasn’t prepared for the Saddleback thing at all, and Warren bushwhacked him.”

In the months following the forum, Obama aides didn’t bother to learn much more about Warren. That became clear when the pastor was invited to give a prayer at Obama’s Inauguration, and political liberals reacted with outrage, citing Warren’s endorsement of the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 in California, his controversial comments about homosexuality following the election, and a Fox News appearance in which he agreed that the President of Iran should be assassinated.

Isn’t it amazing that you have been able to decipher the true nature of divinity where all of the world’s ancient and time tested institutions have failed? You must be really smart!

Isn’t it amazing that you have been able to decipher the true nature of divinity where all of the world’s ancient and time tested institutions have failed? You must be really smart!

christiannightmares:

Pastor Rick Warren tries to control his staff’s Twitter habits, tells them not to follow ‘atheists, critics of Saddleback, and mean-spirited or vulgar accounts’ (For the heads up, thanks to Stephanie Drury)

I can think of at least one Twitter follower that I’ll probably lose from this.

christiannightmares:

Pastor Rick Warren tries to control his staff’s Twitter habits, tells them not to follow ‘atheists, critics of Saddleback, and mean-spirited or vulgar accounts’ (For the heads up, thanks to Stephanie Drury)

I can think of at least one Twitter follower that I’ll probably lose from this.

underthemountainbunker:

…
Here’s the man of God himself, “Pastor Rick,” aka “America’s Pastor” (God help us!) answering Jake Tapper’s question about whether he agrees with President Obama about helping our neighbors, according to the Bible:

“Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There’s over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation. The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You — you rob them of dignity.” —Pastor Rick Warren, yesterday, on ABC ‘This Week’

Kevin Drum comments,

You know, there’s nothing really wrong with a Republican politician saying this. Or a Democratic politician, for that matter. My first preference for helping the poor is indeed to make sure they have decent jobs. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet met anyone who has an especially great plan for making the economy boom on such a sustained basis that jobs are available for everyone.
But I’m a blogger, not a minister. And while I might not be an expert on the Bible, I’ve read enough to know that Jesus sure didn’t seem to think that helping the poor robbed them of dignity. Can someone help me out here? What part of the gospels do you think Warren is referring to?

Digby says,

I just love it when people who pay no taxes make this case.Especially when all they have to do is crook their fingers and millions of tax free dollars flow in to them — no questions asked:


It’s been a heck of a year for mega-pastor/bestselling author/power broker Rick Warren of the enormous Saddleback Church. It started out with Warren’s invocation at the historic inauguration of one President Barack Obama – and it concludes with Warren asking his flock to cough up nearly $1 million in just two days to keep the church out of the red.


[…] Nobody knows what [the money] was used for, of course. But I guess we know it didn’t go to “subsidizing” the poor and robbing them of their dignity, so there’s that.

Blue Texas adds,

Since Warren is against “subsidizing people” — I say we start taxing his ministry like any other business. Also, I don’t ever remember the part in the Bible where Jesus fretted about “dependency” when he instructed his followers to give everything they had to the poor, do you? Why would a supposed follower of Jesus say such a thing?

And Hunter wonders,

It’s puzzling how an Obama reference to loving thy neighbor and, rather more specifically, not asking poorer Americans to shoulder the burden of our suddenly-scary deficits “alone” morphs so quickly into tsking aboutfairness and wealth redistribution and, in the end, “freedom of religion.”What the hell does “freedom of religion” have to do with poor people “shouldering the burden alone” unless your religious viewpoint is that they should, yes, shoulder the damn burden alone? How do you get from one part of that discussion to the other?

Related: 
Politicization of Christianity fuels atheism in U.S.

underthemountainbunker:

Here’s the man of God himself, “Pastor Rick,” aka “America’s Pastor” (God help us!) answering Jake Tapper’s question about whether he agrees with President Obama about helping our neighbors, according to the Bible:

“Well certainly the Bible says we are to care about the poor. There’s over 2,000 versus in the Bible about the poor. And God says that those who care about the poor, God will care about them and God will bless them. But there’s a fundamental question on the meaning of “fairness.” Does fairness mean everybody makes the same amount of money? Or does fairness mean everybody gets the opportunity to make the same amount of money? I do not believe in wealth redistribution, I believe in wealth creation. The only way to get people out of poverty is J-O-B-S. Create jobs. To create wealth, not to subsidize wealth. When you subsidize people, you create the dependency. You — you rob them of dignity.” —Pastor Rick Warren, yesterday, on ABC ‘This Week’

Kevin Drum comments,

You know, there’s nothing really wrong with a Republican politician saying this. Or a Democratic politician, for that matter. My first preference for helping the poor is indeed to make sure they have decent jobs. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet met anyone who has an especially great plan for making the economy boom on such a sustained basis that jobs are available for everyone.

But I’m a blogger, not a minister. And while I might not be an expert on the Bible, I’ve read enough to know that Jesus sure didn’t seem to think that helping the poor robbed them of dignity. Can someone help me out here? What part of the gospels do you think Warren is referring to?

Digby says,

I just love it when people who pay no taxes make this case.Especially when all they have to do is crook their fingers and millions of tax free dollars flow in to them — no questions asked:

It’s been a heck of a year for mega-pastor/bestselling author/power broker Rick Warren of the enormous Saddleback Church. It started out with Warren’s invocation at the historic inauguration of one President Barack Obama – and it concludes with Warren asking his flock to cough up nearly $1 million in just two days to keep the church out of the red.

[…] Nobody knows what [the money] was used for, of course. But I guess we know it didn’t go to “subsidizing” the poor and robbing them of their dignity, so there’s that.

Blue Texas adds,

Since Warren is against “subsidizing people” — I say we start taxing his ministry like any other business. Also, I don’t ever remember the part in the Bible where Jesus fretted about “dependency” when he instructed his followers to give everything they had to the poor, do you? Why would a supposed follower of Jesus say such a thing?

And Hunter wonders,

It’s puzzling how an Obama reference to loving thy neighbor and, rather more specifically, not asking poorer Americans to shoulder the burden of our suddenly-scary deficits “alone” morphs so quickly into tsking aboutfairness and wealth redistribution and, in the end, “freedom of religion.”What the hell does “freedom of religion” have to do with poor people “shouldering the burden alone” unless your religious viewpoint is that they should, yes, shoulder the damn burden alone? How do you get from one part of that discussion to the other?

Related: 

Dan Dennett at TED

talking about the evolution of religion and a proposal for the compulsory education of all students on the facts of all world religions. Then, as a good example of religous evolution, a nice rebuttal of Pastor Rick Warren (who aparently preceded him on the stage) on the ideas presented in his book, The Purpose Driven Life.

In my own life I have noticed that God tests my faith through problems, tests my hope by how I handle possessions, and tests my love through people.

Rick Warren (via azspot)

No god, that is just life.

(via thereisnogod)

More meaningless money making gibberish.

You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.

Rick Warren (via mighty2save)

I don’t believe in God at all, and life makes perfect sense.

So no.

But thanks for the condescension.

(via robot-heart-politics)

God is really fucked up if he makes people who are born into nothing but starvation abuse mutilation and suffering just for his own kicks.

(via golden-notebook)

“Life won’t ever make sense if you don’t accept the least sensical thing ever as unquestioned fact.”

(via dionthesocialist)

I’m good without god, thanks.

(via sanityscraps)

Useless pastor being useless. Contrary to popular belief, Rick Warren is in the business of convincing thousands (nay, millions) of people that their life is pointless unless they believe what he believes. So, to Rick I offer a hearty FUCK YOU.

(Source: leadme2thecross1)