Obama Video Address: May 9, 2009

As conservatives whine and growl over the government trampling the little guy by exercising too much power, perhaps they should take a moment to notice how the Obama administration is going after the fat cats who have raped our country for the past few decades at the expense of the little guy? This week, President Obama discusses two important initiatives that are underway. First, an attempt to put to a stop the tax shelters used by many of our most successful corporations. Some 12,000 US corporations call the Cayman Islands their “home” for tax purposes. It is an outright scam that has been allowed to go on for much too long.  You have to pay your taxes and you don’t have anywhere to hide your income. Now it’s time for the big boys to do the same.

The other legislation involves putting a stop to credit card companies making capricious changes to your interest rates and payment terms. Do you know that if you are late paying your electric bill, your credit card company may use that as an excuse to hike your interest rate? The fact is that for the first time in a long time, your government is coming to your defense to protect you against predatory, unfair lenders and towards making everyone pay their fair share of the tax burden.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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170 thoughts on “Obama Video Address: May 9, 2009

  1. I hope those that find this populist action applaudable will not cry too much when the little folks get their cards cancelled. Keep your eyes open folks the economic divide is about to start growing. and you can take that to the bank

  2. Alfie, this little guy canceled his own cards. So no problem there. I literally would be better off going to the street for loans. The Credit Card companies have been blatantly ripping off consumers for decades. The things they do are unconscionable and outright fraud. Masking important documents as junk mail. Purposely making it hard to communicate. Waiting on payments. Sneaking interest hikes. The lists go on and on. I believe people make their own choices and must live by them. But I also believe people shouldn’t be effed over.

    I’ve said this before, but my brother works at a non profit debt consolidation/consultation outfit. His take on the world is much like mine. And he is stunned what these credit cards get away with. I applaud Obama for going after these blood suckers and defy anyone to research the practices of CCs and claim they have been on the up and up.

  3. DR, didn’t think you’d find much to dispute here. (Although I have to ask … how the heck do you live without credit cards?)

    But Alfie, I’m a bit confused by your comment. Are you suggesting that the banking industry’s reaction to better regulation will be to cut off people altogether? Please elaborate.

  4. Credit isn’t a right. “your” credit rating isn’t yours it’s something placed on you by others.
    R better regulation ? that’s a howl. by who’s definition ? Yeah much like some of the companies have done already due to their own credit/asset issues they will yank and deny cards.

  5. I have an excellent rating,don’t buy what I can’t pay for ,look out for my consumer interests,cancel a credit relationship that does me wrong see here all in all I am a grown up. So the practices of the companies isn’t that big an issue w/ me. As far as dishonest practices. How so ? They’re playing by the rules even if those rules are like microfiche and written by them. Thems the rules ! This is just another example of “I signed it,didn’t read it,and now I’m responsible ?! Boo hoo”
    You also seem to fail to see the likelihood that the “better regulation” that’s coming is NOT going to be of benefit to the lower classes. You’re killing me. I’m shocked and in net/cell terms LMAO. From the Economist to FT and others the truth is flowing. The money guys are gonna stay money guys and the little guy will have no chance to get up.

  6. Alfie so you’re saying if you’re a smart and savvy consumer good for you and if not, tough luck? Kinda hard-ass if you ask me. Lemme guess, you work for American Express. 🙂

  7. That is total bull shit, Alfie. Where in the fine print does it say letters will be purposely sent out to look like junk mail? Where in the fine print does it say the company will purposely make it very difficult for simple correspondence? Where in the fine print does it say they can stall on payments.?

    Look, the last ten years have seen the masses become debt addicted idiots. They need to pay for that, no doubt about it.

    Obama isn’t making the Credit Card companies do anything outside a just system of Christian inspired Capitalism.

    Point out exactly what Obama is calling for that will unfairly hurt the Credit Card Companies and explain why.

  8. The funny thing is, I bet Alfie would be calling for my ass to be on his local news “Hall of Shame” if I pulled the same kind of stunts selling roof jobs.

  9. “You have to pay your taxes and you don’t have anywhere to hide your income. Now it’s time for the big boys to do the same.”

    Sending tax cheats after tax cheats.

    It’s hard to believe the late night talk show writers can’t find a use for this stuff.

  10. I know. It’s amazing. The pass this administration gets in the media is spellbinding.

    I wouldn’t be able to do it: Stand next to a tax cheat and look the camera straight faced and talk about going after tax cheats. I would burst out with that sound one makes when one “lol’s” but trying to keep it quiet.

  11. R
    No I don’t work for AMEX but they are actually my preferred card and I have purchase rate of 6.24% w/ them . The cash advance is over 20 % sitting as living testimony why anyone should never get money that way. That’s like Mafia vig rate baby and the result being not much different. You can’t pay it off.
    DR
    I understand your viewpoint and thank you for discussing it. I just don’t see great differences between the Fed regs due 2010 being a real consumer plus. I also don’t see the Obama Congressional stuff being a cure to the ills you call out. (Some I never heard of but will take your word for it). Really if you think 12 point font notice is gonna help ok.
    I still say that (as do those smarter than me) that lending will drop. Now that may be a great thing and is definitely a good thing but it does take us back to my earlier point that the divide between the classes will now grow faster and wider. How will that feel ?
    As for the cc & banks. I just looked at a bill and a notice just for giggles. The amount of paper that will be needed and added costs to the companies is obvious. Now let me get crazy. the added paper will hurt the environment. The push for paperless and the mandated web based notifications I think will help fuel the divide issue as well as serve up a fresh spike in privacy scams and identity theft.
    Don’t get me wrong guys. I think the consumer gets the raw end of the deal more than they should. I equally believe it’s a situation that you need to be better about your $$$ and govt can’t deregulate stupidity and greed.
    btw here is what the House has sent to the Senate
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c111:4:./temp/~c1113QE99J::
    Dodd (ironic huh) more stringent attempts have already been squashed. And as if this comment wasn’t long enough here is the Fed’s main points

    Prohibiting credit card companies from raising interest rates on money already borrowed unless it was borrowed on a variable rate card, or the minimum payment is made more than 30 days late.
    Protecting new cardholders by prohibiting interest rate hikes in the first year of an account. The only way interest rates can go up in the first year is if the card issuer disclosed a future rate hike at a preset time when the account was opened.
    Imposing a new rule that “zero interest” really means zero, ending the practice of so-called deferred interest.
    Prohibiting credit card companies from charging a late fee if the cardholder’s bill was mailed out less than 21 days before the due date.
    Requiring that payments be allocated fairly among credit card balances with different interest rates. Payments must either be allocated to the highest interest balance or prorated.
    Prohibiting credit card companies from charging interest on amounts already repaid, through two-cycle billing.
    Restricting the financing of fees on credit cards where the fees or deposits use up the majority of the available credit on the account.
    take care

  12. “the added paper will hurt the environment….”

    come on Alphie, you can do better then that.

  13. “I’ve noticed everyone who’s for abortion has already been born.”

    – Motther Teresa

  14. DR, gender based abortions are abominable. You get no argument from me. Despite how disgusting this is, I remain unconvinced that the state should interfere with what a woman chooses to do with her body with the advice of doctor and clergy.

    Speaking of clergy, while I’m not a big fan of Mother Teresa, her comment is clever.

  15. Speaking of clergy, while I’m not a big fan of Mother Teresa, her comment is clever.

    My Gawd…just when I think you can’t get any lower, Rutherford the slug can’t even compliment Mother Teresa. What in the world can you not hold in high esteem about this dear woman?

  16. For 45 years the woman toils with the poor in India, receives the highest Indian civilian award that exists (not to mention the N. Peace Prize), suffers malaria in her 80s and renounces personal materialism. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to claim she saved thousands of lives. She did all of this while having serious doubts about her relationship with God, struggling on like the rest of us poor saps.

    Who, in their fricking right mind, could not be a fan of this woman?

  17. “In 1982, at the height of the Siege of Beirut, Mother Teresa rescued 37 children trapped in a front line hospital by brokering a temporary cease-fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian guerrillas. Accompanied by Red Cross workers, she traveled through the war zone to the devastated hospital to evacuate the young patients.” (wiki)

    Rutherford’s comment made me read up on her.

  18. Rutherford’s comment made me read up on her.

    You obviously read selectively. Try googling “criticism of mother teresa”. It’s funny how a google of “tell me more about the great Mother Teresa” will get you a one-sided view.

    Will I sit here and say Mother Teresa did no good? Of course not. But whenever I hear someone universally praised, I start to scratch my head and the one or two lone voices that dare to refute it get my attention. In this case, it was Christopher Hitchens, a moderate leaning toward conservative journalist. Read for yourself if you dare.

    Martin Luther King Jr. did great things for the civil rights movement. He was also a philandering scumbag. So let’s stop turning humans into saints and lets get real. (Same can be said for JFK.)

    Oh yeah, Tex before you go there, Obama screwed around with drugs as a young man, and lacks the courage of his convictions to defend gays in the military. They’re all human my friend. No one is beyond reproach. In fact, I’d strongly suspect Christ himself would have said he was not beyond reproach.

  19. OH … and yes I’m aware that Hitchens is a raving atheist who wrote a book named “God is not Great”. This makes him the perfect skeptic to dig under the covers and humanize religious figures.

  20. Christopher Hitchens is all over the wiki about Mother Teresa. I’m familiar with the criticisms. Even if those criticisms are true, who cares? The lady is a human being.

    Sell your 3000 square foot house you feel so entitled to own, sell all of your stuff and donate it to the poor, wander India helping poor people for 50 years and dedicate your entire life to charity.

    When your done, I’ll write a book telling you where you screwed up and then some stupid ass blogger will quote me in between his essays glorifying Obama as proof that he doesn’t glorify people.

    Dude, the lady had more guts as a senior citizen then 1000 Rutherford and Dead Rabbit lives put together.

    You just don’t really get it, do you. The lady lived a life of utter sacrifice trying to help people for more then a half a century.

    You don’t have the balls to put a half day in a soup kitchen while you purr in your big ass house trying to sing the yuppie blues.

    May I ask who you ARE a fan of? (Other then Obama)

  21. You are back peddling.

    How insightful, Rutherford. Thanks for pointing out nobody is perfect.

    You started off dissing Mother Teresa.

    Got called out on it.

    Googled criticisms of Mother Teresa. (Because you didn’t know why you weren’t a fan)

    Found a dude who wrote a book called God Sucks or some shit who thinks Mother Teresa wasn’t perfect.

    And now feel like you have proof why you dissed her.

    Sometimes I swear your 17 years old.

  22. DR, LOL, no I suggested YOU goggle criticisms of Mother Teresa. I watched Mr. Hitchens tear MT to shreds on TV years ago which is why I’ve been a bit skeptical of her ever since.

    To let this thread get consumed in a debate over Mother Teresa is really kind of silly. I don’t buy Hitchens criticism of her wholesale but the fact that he has the balls to say the “saint” wasn’t that saintly still resonates with me. Sorry. Of course, you have to remember where I come from. I’m skeptical of religion to begin with and religious do-gooders who get lots of press particularly bother me. I like my religious do-gooders to be the quiet ones who help people on the QT and no one even knows about it until after they’re dead. MT was a celebrity of sorts before she died.

    The thing I found most interesting in Hitchen’s article was the notion that Mother Teresa was a fan of poverty, not of the poor. She found nobility in being poor, rather than seeking to lift her followers out of poverty (while she availed herself of all the benefits of American modern medicine). If Hitchens is full of crap about this, then you have my humble apologies but if he’s on the mark, then I stand by my skepticism of her.

    As for MLK, like so many public leaders he was great in public and flawed in private. For us to elevate him to super-human is mistaken idolatry.

  23. So, I take it if I happened to quote MLK, you would’ve started off with a caveat about “not being a big fan of him”?

    You found one guy who hates religion and psychoanalyzed mother Teresa?

    Are you kidding me?

    Your seriously annoying me. When I made my 17 year old insult I was wrong. I meant to say its like you never graduated from college.

    Your cliched “cynicism” really hasn’t matured much since your 2nd year at Harvard.

    No doubt about it. They taught you to be critical at Harvard. But your intellect is seriously lacking sometimes.

    If your so critical, why does the entire life’s work of Mother Teresa hinge on some dude named Hitchen?

    Dude, sometimes you are simply underwhelming.

    I will ask you again. Who are you a “fan” of?

  24. I can’t let this one go.

    I can not believe that you are incapable of conceding the enormous sacrifice the woman made.

    I can not believe you are incapable of looking at your own “life’s work” and saying, damn, I’m a fan of that little old lady.

    Step out of yourself, just once. I beg of you. You seriously can’t be this ignorant.

  25. On balance, I’d say I’m a fan of MLK. From what little I know of Pope John Paul II, I’d say I was a fan of his … I get the impression he wanted outreach and he was a healing influence.

    You know who I’m a big friggin fan of? Fred Rogers. That’s right, Mister Rogers. He spent the better part of his life making kids feel good about themselves and from what I could see, didn’t possess a selfish mean bone in his body. There are still segments of that show in repeats that make me well up.

    This has really gotten under your skin. I never said that Hitchens conclusions wipe out Mother Teresa’s entire body of work. I said they paint a picture of her that is less than saintly and that keeps her from the top of my greatest people in the world list.

    Why don’t we return to the quote that kicked off this discussion? The empathetic saintly Mother Teresa said “I’ve noticed everyone who’s for abortion has already been born.” What a damn flippant statement! First of all, no decent human being is FOR abortion. That’s the first red herring pro-life people like to bandy about. Abortion is, for most women, an agonizing choice, the consequences of which they wrestle with the rest of their lives. How dare Mother Teresa, who I assume was never laid a day in her life, make such a statement? Where is her empathy for the minor who was raped? Where is her empathy for the mother who cannot bear a child without almost certain death for herself? And I’ll tell you what else, I don’t know this for sure but I’d bet my last dollar that MT opposed or would oppose gays adopting kids. No abortion but keep the kids out of potentially loving homes cos the parents are “perverts.”

    So please spare me the lectures about how I must admire Mother Teresa because she lived her life among the poorest of poor and gave them some sort of comfort. She was not alone in that endeavor. There are crap-loads of Peace Corps volunteers who’ve seen what Mother Teresa had seen and none of them are getting lined up for saint hood.

    You have every right to hold her in the highest regard. It doesn’t mean I have to.

  26. Oh, Rabbit, while I’m thinking of it …. if Mother Teresa’s example has you so guilty about your own piss-poor contribution to society, why not forget that roofing work this summer and go build houses in Appalachia? My nephew goes with his Dad every summer to West Virginia to build homes for the destitute who live in unthinkable poverty in one of the wealthiest nations on Earth.

  27. Deal. But you have to go. Every roof crew needs a chew toy.

    R, go find the shingle stretcher!

  28. DR, LOL chew toy is about the size of it. I would be worse than worthless on a construction crew. I don’t know how my brother-in-law and his son do it every year. Heck they don’t even stay in a hotel. They basically set up “camp”.

  29. In fact, I’d strongly suspect Christ himself would have said he was not beyond reproach.

    😆 Normally, blatant blasphemy would get my goat, but I’ve decided you’re so clueless concerning who Christ said he was, all I can do now is laugh at you. Of course, ignorance will be no excuse…

    Here is what Christ said of Himself:

    Luke 14:6
    International Standard Version (©2008)
    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Yeah, I think it safe to say Christ would have and will call Himself beyond reproach.

    Boy “R”, you are in desperate need of an epiphany. 😮

  30. Christ’s awareness that he himself was a flawed human can be inferred in at least two places:

    Matthew 7:1 “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

    I’d gather from this that Jesus knew that humans are flawed. Isn’t there also scripture that speaks of Christ wrestling with temptations?

    As for your quote, I could easily interpret that to mean that Christ viewed himself as the holder of the only true religion, the only true path to God. It does not necessarily mean he felt he was God or that he was infallible.

    I hope my colleague Wickle stumbles upon this thread as I’d really love to hear his views on this.

  31. lol…..dude…..are you kidding me?

    Hell, I’m the last person to be talking scripture. But I do have basic comprehension skills.

    How do infer those two passages to be commentary on Jesus’ sinfulness?

  32. DR, seems to me simple logic. Now of course I have to assume something that perhaps you are not willing to assume. The assumption is that Jesus was a human being. Now let’s follow the logic:

    “Judge not lest ye be judged”: In the context of the verse, he is saying that we all may have done things for which judgment is due and that to judge others as if we were perfect is to be a hypocrite. Now here’s the logic:

    We all have done things ….
    Jesus is part of “we all” …
    Therefore Jesus is fallible.

    “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”:

    This one is a no-brainer. If Jesus was without sin, he would have tossed stones at the girl like he was at pitching practice for the Jerusalem baseball team. The inference is clear: We are all sinners and none of us have the right to abuse another sinner.

    Now if you want to maintain that Jesus was born free of sin and remained that way, then how do you account for his doubts and temptations? Rabbit, I’m piss poor at citing scripture and picked the two most obvious quotes I could think of. I don’t know the parts of the Bible that discuss Christ’s doubts but I do know it’s in there.

    I’ve reached out to Wickle for his opinion since he is the only overtly religious blogger in the WPPBA that I know of. What I want is to hear from a non-fundamentalist. I do know that some very religious people still view Christ as flawed which makes him all the more heroic in their eyes.

  33. I got news for you “R”. Wickle isn’t near as deep about scripture as you think. But you are absolutely clueless.

    What part of Jesus being God do you not understand? He knew it and said as much. And whether you choose to believe in Christ or not, here is what He said of himself (without flaws and beyond reproach):

    John 14:8-11
    Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

    Now “R”, I know you do this to be offensive because you believe it to be cute, but you can not imagine the price you are going to pay for your arrogance “R”. I can’t tell you how foolish I believe you are…

  34. “R”,

    Do you have any idea what the word Immanuel means?

    Immanuel or Emmanuel or Imanu’el (Hebrew עִמָּנוּאֵל “God [is] with us” consists of two Hebrew words: אֵל (’El, meaning ‘God’) and עִמָּנוּ (ʻImmānū, meaning ‘with us’) – from Wiki.

    Now, here is the Old Testament verse concerning Christ. You really need to brush up Rutherford. You of all people with your health problems need to give a little thought beyond stupid politics. In the end, what you believe important will not be.

    Isaiah 7:14
    Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

  35. Now “R”, I know you do this to be offensive because you believe it to be cute

    You know nothing of the kind. Granted my Jerusalem baseball team comment may have bordered on irreverent but I assure you I am not trying to be the least bit offensive.

    Again, this is why I want a non fundamentalist to weigh in on this. Tex, are you really telling me that you cannot be a Christian and still find the virgin birth idea hard to swallow? Are you really telling me that believing Christ was a man with a close relationship with God, and not God himself, disqualifies you from being religious? Are you really telling me that the only valid interpretation of the Bible is a literal one?

    I think you come off as way more arrogant than I come off offensive. If my “health problems” put me in an early grave I may not be in God’s good graces but I assure you there are loads of very reverent, God fearing people who do not share the world according to Tex, who will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God with open arms. And you my friend may be the one who gets the cold shoulder in return for your intolerance of other people’s method of worship and interpretation of their religion.

    P.S. I maintain the chapter you cite from John can simply mean “I am God by example”. “Can you not see, after having been with me that God is in me and I am with God at all times?” And isn’t a fundamental aspect of Christianity that God is within us all?

  36. Again, this is why I want a non fundamentalist to weigh in on this. Tex, are you really telling me that you cannot be a Christian and still find the virgin birth idea hard to swallow?

    Being you have no idea what a fundamentalist is, I would love for you to define it for me. You’re clueless. And yes, without the virgin birth, Christ’s story is meaningless. That is exactly what I am telling you.

    Being religious is irrelevant. In fact, only once in the Bible is the word religious even mentioned in good graces, and only then prefaced with the word “pure”.

    Your health problems have nothing to do with your relationship with God. Again, you understand so little. I mentioned it because you are running out of time.

    who will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God with open arms. And you my friend may be the one who gets the cold shoulder in return for your intolerance of other people’s method of worship and interpretation of their religion.

    Don’t knock the little messenger boy – I’m only telling you out of your own ignorance exactly what Christ said. Got a problem with it, first learn enough to debate and then take it up with Him.

    Are you really telling me that the only valid interpretation of the Bible is a literal one?

    Some of the Word may be metaphorical; some allegory; some simply good advice. But the story of Jesus is abundantly clear, His significance without debate if you call yourself Christian, far more than just a man with a close relationship with God, and the entire New Testament a testimonial of witnesses to all the above facts. There is no debate. Either Christ is the Messiah or He is a liar. Chose…

    What I do find ironic is that you speak as if you know the message of Christ well, when you don’t even understand the basic tenets. It would be comical if not so tragic. I think you only mention it to be offensive…but the only thing that does bother me is your naivety at exactly what you do. Politics is debatable with few lasting consequences. This debate is for all the marbles.

  37. You know, Rutherford, I followed the link you left me, and I wasn’t sure I had the right article at first.

    I guess I missed that it was this deep in the comments that the discussion of Jesus started.

    I’m going to have to disagree that Jesus would argue that He was imperfect. He didn’t actually talk about Himself in such terms much, but Tex actually nailed it with the “Way, Truth, and Life” passage.

    Paul tells us later, of course, in Hebrews 4:14-16 (quoting only v. 15):

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

    Although He experienced temptation, He didn’t ever give in to it. That, I would argue, has to do with being God and not just a man (and please don’t ask the obvious follow up question, which is about Enoch … I don’t get it!).

    As to whether you can be a Christian without believing the virgin birth … I’m not sure I can see that.

    Certainly, the most important thing is to believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus (I Cor. 15 is a good place to look for discussion of that reality.) If that isn’t true, then I might as well sleep in on Sundays and not bother with the rest ’cause when I die I’m just worm food, anyway and there is nothing else.

    If it is true (and just to clarify, it is), then I don’t see why it’s that hard to believe that a virgin gave birth. If the dead are resurrected, then there we are. Being omnipotent, God gets to manipulate the rules now and then.

    I do see that we have to come back to one of three choices for Jesus. If we actually look at what He said and did, then either He was a madman and thought He was God but wasn’t, a liar who built up a following on nothing but charisma, or God.

    Unless you scoop out large amounts of Scripture and don’t count them, I don’t think you can make the “Jesus was just a great guy” position work.

    Rutherford, you asked “And isn’t a fundamental aspect of Christianity that God is within us all?”

    Sort of.

    That principle is espoused, almost verbatim, by the Society of Friends (the Quakers). Possibly others would hold to that, but I’m not sure which groups by name.

    The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is actually a gift. Not necessarily to everyone. Rather, we all do have a conscience and we have all nature to testify to the existence of a Creator.

    God does give gifts to everyone (rain falls on the sinners and the saints), and is omnipresent; but God’s living presence is a bit different and, no, isn’t in everyone.

    Part of the problem here is that we’re not all speaking the same language.

    Although Tex and I apply our beliefs very differently, we both have a fundamental faith in God and Jesus that defines the rest of the world. Without that, most of what we say about it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    Skipping around a bit more … I’m a fan of Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. despite their flaws. I don’t know a whole lot about the failings Hitchens finds, and I don’t really care to, to be honest. I heard nothing about it until after her death, and I don’t feel the need to tear her down now. I’ll admire what she did right, which is plenty for me.

    I’m with you on the Fred Rogers bit, though … The man (a Presbyterian minister, by the way, though an extremely liberal More Light one) poured out love. If the meek are blessed, then he’s got to be a role model for believers.

  38. Wickle,

    Can’t argue with anything you posted. I agree completely, even if we have had our theological differences in the past. The most important thing is, I do believe you a brother in Christ.

    There is no sin in temptation (for Rutherford). The sin is acting upon the temptation. Christ did nothing of the sort, and in fact quoted three times from Deuteronomy to bear witness, demonstrating the power of scripture.

    —————————-

    The reason the virgin birth is necessary is because without it, that would mean Jesus had an earthly Father – there are none qualified to make such claim. Without the virgin birth, Old Testament scripture would be meaningless, rendering the New Testament and Jesus’ message as meaningless.

    It is abundantly clear from the very first Chapters of Genesis that Christ was not only present from the beginning, but that from his miracle birth to walk with man for a time was planned from the beginning. As example:

    (1) Genesis 1: 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. The word God is actually translated from the word Elohim – a name of God which is plural.

    And for anybody who saw ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ and may have wondered about the significance of the snake which Christ smashed with his heel in the garden, it is from these verses from Genesis 3:15, signifying the prophecy of the coming Messiah:

    (2) And I will put enmity, between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

    I highlighted the “her seed” purposely, because women have no seed. It is the man who “plants” the garden.

    Rutherford,

    If you are really interested in learning who Christ really is, then my suggestion would be to pick up a Bible, or even go to Bible Gateway if you do not have one and read the Gospel of John – most importantly the very first chapter. It may very well change your life if you would bother to study it closely.

  39. “The most important thing is, I do believe you a brother in Christ.”

    No he isnt. If he was, he would care about islamic persecution of Christians around the globe. He doesnt. He is a multicultural relativist. Makes him feel superior.

  40. Rutherford.
    Even the most detached interpretation of the stoning entry should pick up the context that it was a teaching moment. In greater context the power and authority of forgiveness by Jesus links well to this episode. (healing on Sabbath another).
    Also to some of your queries in comment #45. FWIW I don’t think you’re being fair to the concept of faith. I’d also add that there is more than a mere nuance in the differences of words like religious,faithful,spiritual. Especially in the way you and others use them in your logic quests.

  41. I’m cracking up. Rutherford thinks I am a fundamentalist. Dude, I’m a shitty Catholic who never read the bible and believes in God probably once every 3 months for a 10 second period. I was strictly responding to your lack luster attempts to use the
    Bible. It just didn’t make much sense.

  42. Elric I took a deep breath before deciding to respond to you.I don’t know how your comment relates or is meant but I’ll try to cover some of the possibles:
    The thread related topic of stoning occurred 600+ years before Mohammed. Stoning is/was a well established form of punishment in the day.
    The teaching moment shot you take is pretty cheap. Jesus was teaching those that would judge an important lesson. Much like almost everything in the Bible it offers different applications to the reader and the time it is read. As for stoning in Islamic nations today it is a punishment that is meant to carry a message. It is not unlike the message behind placing a first century Jew onto a tree. There is a message behind the punishment.
    Back the plot of the post….does anyone want to stone the credit card companies or take any other Biblical/spiritual based lesson to heart regards the economy ?

  43. “The teaching moment shot you take is pretty cheap. Jesus was teaching those that would judge an important lesson.”

    Yep and so did Mo. Big difference, isnt there? Jesus said stoning people is bad, Mo said it was justice.

    “As for stoning in Islamic nations today it is a punishment that is meant to carry a message. It is not unlike the message behind placing a first century Jew onto a tree. There is a message behind the punishment.”

    Amazing. You help prove my point and you dont even realize it. Thanks Fray.

  44. Jesus also said that judging other people is bad.

    But you sure seem to do an awful lot of it.

    Why are you so willing to go against one of the fundamental teachings of the prophet you claim to hold in such high regard?

  45. Red,

    Who said Jesus was a prophet but the Muslims? A messiah is a far reach above a prophet.

    And Jesus did not say judging people is “bad”. He said, be careful how you judge because you would be judged by the same measure. That verse speaks as much or more about forgiveness as it does judgment.

  46. Rabbit, sorry but my fundamentalist whining was not directed at you. My mind was on Tex when I longed for a more moderate religious person to pipe in. In fact, it spoke volumes to me that you didn’t engage the religious debate at all but really limited yourself to challenging my logic.

    OK, speaking of logic, this is where I make my mistake. I surrender gentlemen. Wickle, in his moderate tones has reminded me that it is a losing proposition to take religious verse out of context and try to make a logical argument about it. Indeed, Wickle’s clearest point was that for anyone who believes in the resurrection, the virgin birth is no leap at all.

    Tex, you, however disappoint me because you are intellectually dishonest. When you weren’t quite sure how Wickle would pipe in, you said, “Wickle isn’t near as deep about scripture as you think. ” Once Wickle stated an opinion that aligned with yours, suddenly he was “a brother in Christ”. This, in my book, makes you full of crap.

    What is abundantly clear is that I just don’t “get it” and as a result I’ve wasted everyone’s time with this debate (which incidentally had nothing to do with the actual post). I shall, to the best of my ability refrain from future religious pronouncements on this blog since I don’t see that it serves any positive purpose (as is evident from the Elric Islam bashing that has already commenced).

  47. Tex, you, however disappoint me because you are intellectually dishonest. When you weren’t quite sure how Wickle would pipe in, you said, “Wickle isn’t near as deep about scripture as you think. ” Once Wickle stated an opinion that aligned with yours, suddenly he was “a brother in Christ”. This, in my book, makes you full of crap.

    I think the one that is being intellectually dishonest “R” is you. Wickle gave you the answer I knew he had to even in our disagreements, and the correct one, and you don’t like that it agreed with “my fundamentalism.” Which speaking of dishonesty, why don’t you the “Harvard Educated intellect” show me your superior capability and define “fundamentalist” for me Rutherford? Do you know, in your infinite honesty and superior wisdom, how many of my questions you conveniently ignore on this blog alone? Isn’t that ironic for the honest gentlelib? 😉

    Since you are calling me a liar, why don’t you find a comment, or place on this thread, Chen’s blog, or any other place you can located where I have calledl Wickle anything but a Christian, even when I do disagree with him? Yes, I do think I have far more experience in the Word than Wickle. I don’t believe me saying so makes me a hypocrite, or even arrogant. It’s the fact I’m older.

    Oh, there’s a lot of intellectual dishonesty on this blog alright… much of it in ignore mode when convenient.

  48. Elric: Now you are applying your generalizations to me.

    You’ll be hard pressed to find any comment from me anywhere that defends the deeds or sayings of Mohammad. Look back at our debates and you’ll see. That’s not what I do.

    Tex, without breaking out with a Bible (not that I would begin to know where to look), it seems that passages like “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (why I even thought of this in the stoning debate) are speaking to the act of judgement just as much as the act of forgiveness. In fact they seem to be very related concepts. Doesn’t the concept of guilt have to be established before the concept of forgiveness can take place? Guilt implies judgement.

    “Who said Jesus was a prophet but the Muslims? A messiah is a far reach above a prophet.”

    I’m not religious, so you got me on the religious symantics, there. But I don’t think the difference takes away from the point I was making.

    Which is that Jesus pretty much said to leave the act of judgement up to God.

    Not meaning the accusatory tone that comes through in text, but do you disagree with that assessment?

  49. We already had the debate here concerning what Muslims believe about Jesus.

    I’m not religious, so I personally see 1 story equal to another. To me they are all just that—stories.

    Not meaning to offend anyone, just being frank.

  50. Tex, I define fundamentalist as a religious extremist, adhering to literal interpretations of religious scripture and intolerant of alternative interpretations. The poster boy for me is Jerry Falwell. Now, quite frankly I think you’re a helluva lot brighter than old Jerry was, but you still have that fire and brimstone jumping off the computer screen when you write on religious topics.

    As for Wickle, I’ve busted you and you’re dodging the point. I never said that you think Wickle is not a Christian. To say so would be the height of foolishness considering the immense role Christianity plays in Wickle’s life as evidenced on his blog. What I said was … to hedge your bets, you minimized Wckle’s knowledge of scripture and then did an abrupt 180 when he supported your view.The lack of intellectual integrity really has nothing to do with Wickle. It has to do with your implicit suggestion that any man’s depth of religious understanding is measured by the degree to which that man agrees with Tex Taylor. That is what got my nose out of joint.

  51. Which is that Jesus pretty much said to leave the act of judgement up to God.

    Now granted, Red Pill is no more religious than I am but his comment here illustrates my confusion. If Jesus is saying that God is the only judge then Jesus cannot believe that he is God himself. He must view himself as human.

    Honestly, the father-son-holy ghost concept is probably one of the hardest for a non-believer to get his brain wrapped around.

  52. The impersonation of Wanda is dead on.

    It is a shame that no First Lady has been singled out for humor about how she looks to the degree Michele has. Barbara Bush was hardly a “classic beauty”. Still, in the world of humor there are no sacred cows and that is as it should be IMHO.

  53. I would love it if you could quote some deeds Jesus did that would justify violence like the deeds of Mohammed did that justify islamic violence.

  54. Well Rutherford, if your MSM didnt fawn all over her beauty or Michelle brag about having a full time stylist, she wouldnt be singled out.

  55. Wrong again, Elric.

    What I am critical of is your intollerance for those who follow his faith.

    I would feel the same way if you were intollerant of Hindus or Buddhists or any other religion. I just wouldn’t have as much to say because I don’t study the history of those religions, or the regions where they are prevelant.

  56. If the point isn’t that Muslims and Christians believe different myths about the return of Christ, then I’m afraid that I’m not getting the point.

  57. “If the point isn’t that Muslims and Christians believe different myths about the return of Christ, then I’m afraid that I’m not getting the point”

    The point is muslims believe that Jesus will return, break the cross, convert to islam and lead an army against the infidels til islam reigns across the planet. Not very tolerant, is it?

  58. “If Jesus is saying that God is the only judge then Jesus cannot believe that he is God himself. He must view himself as human.”

    Thomas Aquinas, amung others, struggled with these same issues. How can Christ and God be equal if God created Christ? And, how can God be the all-powerful if he has an equal?

    Again, just to clarify. Those aren’t my questions, but questions by medieval religious scholars.

    “Honestly, the father-son-holy ghost concept is probably one of the hardest for a non-believer to get his brain wrapped around.”

    That concept was invented by a small collection of men at the Council of Nicea in the 4th Century, upon the order of the emperor Constantine. Those who didn’t agree with the concept were accused of heresey, and threatened with removal from the Church.

    Is it any wonder that there weren’t many who didn’t go along with the program?

    Once you know the history, religion loses its luster.

  59. Perhaps I am showing my religious ignorance here, but don’t Christians believe that Christ will return and take all of his followers to paradise (Heaven), while leaving the rest of the infidels to rot on Earth? Seems like some Christian sects even mention some smiting going on.

    So 1 myth is as good as another. Because with either one, when Christ returns, us infidels are screwed. The main difference seems to be who gets classified as an infidel.

  60. I’ve never claimed that Islam was a faith of tolerance.

    But you sure aren’t doing much to prove that Christianity is, either.

  61. “I’ve never claimed that Islam was a faith of tolerance.

    But you sure aren’t doing much to prove that Christianity is, either”

    The teachings of Jesus are very tolerant. He never led armies to conquer territory, he never called for dhimmi like laws, he never had “sinners” stoned, never spoke out that other religions were inferior or that non Christians were descendent from apes and pigs etc..

  62. [47:4] If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste.

  63. Being an infidel, I beg to differ.

    Either way, I’m going to be punished upon Christ’s return because of my lack of faith, right?

    How is that not the same?

  64. Hmm…

    Here is 1 comment from Elric….

    I should tolerate an intolerant faith?

    And here is another….

    The teachings of Jesus are very tolerant.

    Which brings us right back to my original comment….

    Why are you so willing to go against one of the fundamental teachings of the prophet you claim to hold in such high regard?

  65. “Being an infidel, I beg to differ.

    Either way, I’m going to be punished upon Christ’s return because of my lack of faith, right?

    How is that not the same?”

    Because its a personal choice. With islam, they are claiming that anothor religion’s prophet is going to convert and force them to convert by the sword.

  66. Oh my. Here comes Elric’s cherry-picked Koran verses.

    Don’t forget to post the ones that mention the People of the Book.

  67. I asked YOU why I should tolerate another faith which is intolerant of me. Since you arent religious and frankly neither am I so tell me why I should without bring up Jesus.

  68. I can cherry pick 100’s of verses especially from the Medina parts of the quran and of course the ahadith.

    Curious though that muslims throughout the centuries used the same “cherry picked” verse to justify their oppression even to this day. Tell me this. Did islam’s prophet “cherry pick” when he went on his rampages across the middle east?

  69. See why we shouldn’t generalize?

    I generalized about your faith based on your arguements, and I was evidently wrong in doing so. So I apologize.

    Which is really all I try and get you to do…not generalize about other people’s faith and/or culture.

    And since this blog post we are commenting in doesn’t have to do with Muslims, Christians, or faith (unlike Alfie’s where we are still going at it), this comment will be my last in this particular discussion.

    We’ll have others, I’m sure.

  70. I’m commenting purely for the joy of being #100. Sorry Rutherford for adding to your problems but then again you got 100+ hits so no matter right ?
    All the pious sods on the thread do know there were any number of people that sincerely thought Jesus was on the scene to overthrow the Romans right ? A lot more than just Judas.
    Elric should you be tolerant of a religion that is intolerant of you ? Well ironically I don’t know where the religion is actually intolerant of you. In previous encounters I was lead to believe you were a self proclaimed Christian ergo you are of the Book so the religion tolerates you quite well. Of course being of the book doesn’t help you the same way compared to say how a Hassidic Jew would interact with you on the streets of New York,Brookline MA or Sharon Ma. Those are three US communities I can tell you you get right pissed on by the folks with curly sideburns and wives that walk behind them.
    As for Mo’s rampage I’ve for one told you before that had more to do with $$,land and power much like all otherisms in history. You didn’t like it then and surely you’ll not like it now.
    As for your mad Quran skills which come from such greats as Spencer and Horowitz oh well. Their translations and interpretations are just about the same as Osama’s and assorted other fatwa tossing turds. Like McDonalds baby over a billion served and a great majority of them are not now or any time soon tossing stones,bullets or anything else at you. How tolerant is that ? Hahahahaha

  71. I’m not minimizing Wickle’s knowledge of scripture “R” – if I led you to that conclusion, I’ll rephrase as I believe Wickle knows a heck of a lot more than 95% of those calling themselves Christian. But I still don’t think he’s that deep. That’s not meant as an insult as much as I think he’s still fairly young and has got a lot to learn. That’s certainly not to say that I’ve know it all either – nor will I. And on at least one occasion, after giving thought to Wickle calling me Jonah and disagreeing, I now have to agree with him. So it’s not like I think I’m always right either (you wouldn’t understand and I’m not going to bother explaining).

    ————————————

    How are you busting me when on this particular occasion I said Wickle is absolutely correct? I was almost sure I knew what his answer would be before he gave it, because it’s one of the basic tenets. Wickle and I surely don’t disagree on who Christ was and have in fact, agreed more than we have disagreed. He doesn’t like my style – I don’t like his straddling; doesn’t mean I don’t think him a brother in Christ. You just don’t like the fact Wickle’s answer is in agreement with mine. If anybody got busted, it’s you Rutherford because for an educated man, you don’t know squat about Christianity and didn’t like my message, so you were displeased when you got the same basic message from Wickle.

    It has to do with your implicit suggestion that any man’s depth of religious understanding is measured by the degree to which that man agrees with Tex Taylor. That is what got my nose out of joint.

    Hey pal, like I said before, you don’t like the message I spout take it up with Christ – I’m just parroting what Christ spoke because I’ve been studying it all my life. What Tex Taylor thinks is unimportant. What Christ says is all important. You find that more palatable?

    But if you can prove me in error on anything I’ve quoted here, take your best shot and prove me wrong.

    ————————-

    Personally, I have absolutely no problem with Christ being called God – makes perfect sense to me. I know Him God because Christ is the one that will judge added to the fact He said as much. Same God, different role, and for a time in the physical world subordinate in the flesh to the Spiritual Father role. But not after the bodily resurrection. Since time and space meaningless for the Creator, I have no problem with the acceptance of that fact; not that I understand how He did it. I don’t understand a universe came into being from nothingness but I can observe the creation without understanding how God did it, can I not?

    Now if you want me to explain why Christ took on the sins of the world as the Heavenly Father turned his back, there isn’t a theologian in history that can explain that. Some things you simply have to accept because you’re not capable of understanding the explanation.

    Ask me, the arrogant one here is you Rutherford because you’re still chasing you don’t need a God. When I stated you’re running out of time, it hit a little too close to home. You don’t like the idea of being subordinate in nature, or the fact you’re not in control.

    Besides, you ought to thank me and Rabbit – at least indirectly. We now have helped you establish the type of traffic you used to dream about. Now that you’ve got it, you’re not sure it was such a great idea after all because we aren’t trumpeting Obama.

  72. You don’t like the idea of being subordinate in nature, or the fact you’re not in control.

    Ahhhh, “nature”!!! NOW you’re talking my language. Yes I readily admit I’m subordinate to nature. Do I like it? No. Does anyone? I doubt it. Few of us like the idea that other than suicide, we cannot control when or how we die. We just know that we will one day. I have no illusions about my place in the grand scheme of things. As that great rock group Kansas once said, “all we are is dust in the wind”. I can’t explain why I’m here, how I got here or for that matter where I’m going when this ride is done. Doesn’t mean I can’t make the most of the ride while I’m on it.

    Now that you’ve got it, you’re not sure it was such a great idea after all because we aren’t trumpeting Obama.

    The whole point of a blog, in my opinion is debate. My only disappointment are the spineless liberals who read this blog in silence and force me to do all the heavy lifting.

  73. That concept was invented by a small collection of men at the Council of Nicea in the 4th Century, upon the order of the emperor Constantine.

    Red Pill I know you said you’re done with this thread (and I can understand why) but I do wish you’d elaborate on your comment concerning the trinity because it intrigues me. What motivated Constantine to “commission” this concept? What was in it for him? I’m not challenging your assertion. I honestly want to be educated on the subject.

    The only really fascinating aspect of religion to me is man’s intervention in it. It is interesting to see what happens to the divine in the hands of the flawed and self-interested.

  74. I am seriously considering creating an entire new page on my blog entitled “Elric’s Problems with Islam” where Elric can play out his obsession with the evil religion (or maybe it is really just a cult?) and take on all those who defend the right to worship just about anyone and anything. Then again, maybe not. 👿

  75. If you like to call in nature, that is fine. But let us remember who it is that not only controls natures (scriptural), but created nature.

    Have no fear, though. You don’t need a spineless liberal to back you up. In reading thru Red’s comments, he’s equally clueless with you are about Christianity. It appears he has received his theological knowledge from the web. Bad idea, but you’ve got company. And I should add I like Red as a rule.

    One day, I’ll elaborate about Israel and why as hard as it is for you to believe, it’s happening exactly like Christ said it would…what surprises me, is that for a smart enough guy, you can’t find that interesting enough to explore. Far more interesting than Obama (who will be used as a tool in the affair I’m now convinced) or politic. America ain’t where it is at.

    You’re running out of time “R”. Consider it advice from a friend, even if you think me the nut…

  76. Well, I know that religious skeptics come in all political flavors. Religion is probably the only area in which Red Pill and I have any common ground. I should let Red defend himself but I will remind you that he is actually a scholar with respect to some of these religious issues. He has formally studied it, far from a casual glance at a Wikipedia page. Being a scholar doesn’t necessarily make you right but it ain’t getting knowledge from the web either.

    Where the spineless liberals let me down is in my defense of Obama. I can’t believe I’m saying this Tex but I will concede something to you. I’m beginning to think my fellow Libs were really great at dissing Bush but seem to have a harder time making positive arguments. That makes them not much better than the Party of No, aka the GOP. I’m limiting my comment here to the average lib blog reader. The formal Dem party is about solutions which is what distinguishes them from the Conservatwits. 🙂

  77. “In reading thru Red’s comments, he’s equally clueless with you are about Christianity. It appears he has received his theological knowledge from the web.”

    I get my theological knowledge from a secular History classroom, thank you. Where we cut through the myths, and deal with historical facts that created them. History of Christianity is on next year’s agenda. But I’ve had several courses on Roman and Medieval Europe which have shown me how and why Christianity spread through Europe, and the men that have used it to gain and maintain power over others.

  78. That’s a good question that I am not sure I have the answer to. I will refer to my notes and books, and get back to you with what I can this evening.

  79. But yet you dont feel compelled to mention how islam was spread in the Middle East, North Africa, India and Asia. Oh wait, you learned what you know in classrooms. That would explain why.

  80. I have no problems answering that question. However, the answer can be complicated and time-consuming. And to be honest, I don’t think you are truely interested to the point that it would be worth my time to educate you.

  81. Oh the irony.

    Here is 1 comment from Elric…

    You just ok with the state interfering with your entire life.

    And here is another….

    Goes to show evil people support abortion.

    You have no problems with the state denying someone the right to abort their pregnancy, while at the same time speaking out against government “interfering” in our lives.

  82. I’m not dodging or spinning anything.

    You go ahead and admit here and now that you are truely willing to be educated on the topic, as Rutherford has done, and I will gladly take the time and effort to honor your request in the same fashion I will honor his.

  83. “You go ahead and admit here and now that you are truely willing to be educated on the topic”

    I already am. I dont need a multiculturalist or moral relativist to “educate” me on islam. But feel free to continue your kafir taqiyya.

  84. “Are you that unwilling to back up your own hypocricy?

    Who’s dodging and spinning now?”

    Im not dodging. One of the few real duties of the state is to protect its citizens. Thats why we have the police to enforce the law and the courts to prosecute people who harm or kill other people. I would argue that includes babies in the womb. Especially ones that can survive outside the womb.

  85. Elric, you’re the one that asked me a question, and then accused me of dodging and spinning when I replied with a comment that you have now proven to be completely accurate.

    Why should I take the time and effort to answer your question, when you already believe you know the answer, and will not accept any views that oppose yours? That’s not dodging, it’s time management. I don’t have enough of it to educate someone who doesn’t actually care to be educated.

  86. You were dodging when I called you on it. Now that you have actually offered substance, you are not.

    But you knew that.

  87. Perhaps you and R ought to get your history and your facts from the book, and not some secular dunce caps with an axe to grind. I’ve heard them all. And I will tell you with most of these so-called scholars, there is nothing scholarly about them.

    I know you and Rutherford perfectly capable of self study. If you are going to study the history of a subject, you must first know the subject before studying the history if you are to make a fair judgment.

  88. “But yet you dont feel compelled to mention how islam was spread in the Middle East, North Africa, India and Asia. Oh wait, you learned what you know in classrooms. That would explain why.”

    I’m compelled to mention things that I am asked about, or that come up in a discussion. That topic hasn’t. Although I certainly know a bit about it, including its violence. All of which I learned by reading and in classrooms.

    Incidently, where have you gained your extensive knowledge of Islam and the Middle East if not through formal study? Jihadwatch?

  89. Rutherford, your question requires a large bit of back-story, as well as consequences in order to be answered properly. I want to make sure I do the proper research as well as give you all the details. And that has to share time with my studies.

    So I probably won’t get you that answer tonight. I’m writing it up little by little in Word, and I’ll post it up here when I’m done.

    This will teach you to ask me questions about the Medieval Age…lol.

  90. OK, Rutherford. Here’s my best shot at answering your question. But first, a disclaimer.

    You and anyone else reading this need to keep in mind that: a) All History is open to interpretation. b) This is my own interpretation, based on what I have learned. I don’t claim to know everything. c) My advanced course in this topic is next fall, so I still have much to learn, even from a history perspective d) Others will have a different perspective, based on their own education foundations and religious beliefs. Those differences don’t make 1 right and another wrong. They just make them different. e) I would welcome any alternative perspectives that are rationally and intelligently presented.

    So with all that said, grab a dose of your favorite reading beverage and settle in.

    Mystery Cults

    In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Roman Empire saw a rise in what were known as “mystery cults,” of which Christianity was considered, along with many other cults. Some of these cults, such as the cults of Mithras, Sol Invictus, and Apollo had similarities to the Christian belief. For example, Mithras was seen as a good sheppard, was the son of a sun god, and had a baptism ritual. These kinds of similarities made it easy for the people of the Roman Empire to begin to accept the ideas of Christianity. However, when they did accept the Christian faith, some of them had based their belief on different foundations. Therefore, there were lots of people worshipping Jesus differently and preaching his word differently, because they had a different interpretation of things.

    Constantine

    In the beginning of the 4th century, there was a civil war in the Roman Empire. In the year 312, Constantine was marching his army on Rome, when he was met by his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. This bridge was a major choke point considered to be the “doorstep to Rome.” As Constantine prepared to do battle with the superior force, he received what he believed was a message from God that told him “in hoc signo vinces,” or “by this sign, you will conquer.” The sign revealed to him was the Christian cross. Constantine ordered his men to paint the sign of the cross on their shields. And he defeated his rival in battle, becoming the Emperor of Rome, and being seen as its savior.

    As the Emperor, Constantine also became Pontifex Maximus, or Highest Priest, which gave him control over the religion of the Empire. The following year (313), he issued the Edicts of Milan, prohibiting persecution of Christians, and ordering tolerance of all religions throughout the Empire.

    Romans had a long tradition of believing the gods controlled the fate of the Empire. Proper actions pleased the gods. And happy gods made for happy times. Constantine’s victory brought an end to civil war, and renewed stability to the Empire. And many Romans believed this was due to a happy God (as opposed to god), which was the new god of the new Emperor. Christianity began to spread throughout the Empire. But as mentioned above, because of some of the different foundations, it was not always based on a uniform set of beliefs. This became problematic for those trying to organize a Church, and develop doctrine to unify it.

    Interpretation of the Bible

    As Pontifex Maximus, it was the duty of Constantine to bring a unifying doctrine to the religion he had now converted to. Romans were still free to worship other gods, but if they were going to worship Jesus Christ, they needed to do it the same way as their Emperor. In 325, Emperor Constantine called the First Ecumenical Council in the little town of Nicaea, in modern day Turkey. Its purpose was to decide on the doctrine of what it meant to be “Christian.”

    I have read that Constantine was influenced by religious figures to support the Trinitarian position (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) that God and Jesus are one, as opposed to the Arian/Unitarian (not to be mistaken for Aryan) position that Jesus is divine, but beneath God. But I’ve seen no support either way for the claim that he was influenced by the ulterior motives of others. I prefer to think that Constantine was sincere in his motives, and was simply using his interpretation of passages like “I and the Father are one” to support his final decision.

    Regardless, as Pontifex Maximus, what he said went. And in the end, it was decided that the Trinitarian doctrine was to be followed if one was to be considered a Christian. Any other belief was rendered heresy. It was not a decision that was favored, or followed, by all.

    Aftermath

    The Western portion of the Empire mainly took the Trinitarian position, while Arians held mostly to the East. As the Huns chased nomadic tribes from Asia into Eastern Europe, many were converted to Arian Christianity. From Turkey and Greece, these nomads made their way North, and began converting the Germanic tribes of Northern Europe to Arian Christianity (remember, that isn’t Aryan). As the Germanic tribes moved into the Roman Empire, they brought their “heretical” Arian beliefs with them. This mixing of Trinitarianism, Unitarianism, and the old Roman pantheon is seen as one of several factors that ultimately led to the “fall” of the Empire (though I prefer to say “fade” as that is what the Empire actually did).

    In the end, Arianism died out (although there are still Unitarians today). The Empire split, with only 1 of 5 patriarchs (big city bishops) being in the Western portion (the others were in Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch). His city was Rome. The Patriarch of Rome is also known as The Pope. And his church is the Roman Catholic Church. The word “catholic” is derived from Greek, and means basically “universal.”

    Summary

    So, long story short. Constantine called the Council of Nicaea in order to standardize the Christian faith in the Empire. Basically, it was an organizational move as part of a centralized government that included religion as part of its responsibilities. And as the Highest Priest, it was almost his duty to do so. As for his decision on Trinitarianism, it was not his duty, but certainly his right. The buck stopped with him. A decision had to be made, and he made it.

    The End.

  91. So why did Mohamamed marry a 6 year old girl, consummate the marriage at 9, take slaves, behead people, steal other people’s property and treat non muslims as 2nd class citizens at best. And why do muslims consider him. “The perfect man”

  92. Go look it up in one of your books, or on Jihadwatch. I’m sure they can tell you all you need (read: want) to know.

  93. “Go look it up in one of your books, or on Jihadwatch. I’m sure they can tell you all you need (read: want) to know.”

    Knew you would be too scared to answer. 🙂

  94. I’m not afraid to answer, you’re afraid to learn.

    You don’t need to be educated by a formally-educated, multi-culturalist and moral-relativist like me, remember? You prefer to gain your knowledge through your own uneducated interpreation of whatever you’ve read, and through xenophobic Internet web sites.

  95. THE QUESTION RED PILL REFUSES TO ANSWER

    “So why did Mohamamed marry a 6 year old girl, consummate the marriage at 9, take slaves, behead people, steal other people’s property and treat non muslims as 2nd class citizens at best. And why do muslims consider him. “The perfect man””

    Come on Red Pill, “educate” this poor unenlightened xenophobe. 🙂

  96. @ Elric…On behalf of every blogger whose blogs you’ve ever commented I say YOU ANSWER FIRST.
    Each part is a separate question.

  97. Many thanks Red Pill for all the research on this. I appreciate it. It casts an interesting light on how humans shape religion.

    I wonder if this is a struggle for the average religious person — separating the truly divine from the human.

  98. So why did Mohamamed marry a 6 year old girl, consummate the marriage at 9

    Ahhhh, ok now at least I understand why you’ve been calling Mohammed a pedophile. Since that’s a doozy of a charge, how bout quoting some Islamic scripture to back that one up. Again, as I said to Red Pill, I’m not disputing you … I’d like to be educated. By the way, as you back that up, you also need to put it in context to the social norms of the time. I know for a fact that childhood has not always been as revered as it is in current society. (And much of the current reverence for childhood is pure hypocrisy but that’s for another thread.)

    While you’re at it, how about sharing the origin of your obsession with Islam? I’m very curious why this religion, of all religions gets your undies in such a knot.

  99. Red,

    I’m a little confused on your story of Council of Nicea – parts of your response almost read as if revised from the Islamic Council which dates Christianity by more than 600 years. In fact, if you read the Koran carefully and know your Bible, you’ll note that it reads like a cheap imitation of the Pentateuch (The Torah) without any mercy shown by God.

    Now you can correct me if you think I’m wrong, but there is little dispute about the Trinity being the original manuscript. We have 2nd editions of the original writings that talk of the Trinity that date a full 200 years before Constantine was born and he did nothing in the way of changing the language or rewriting the context.

    In a nutshell, the Council of Nicea decided what books would be included in the Bible, and which would not. That’s why if you were to read a concordance of any popular Bible, you’ll most often read of Roman Catholics have a larger canon than Protestants. This means that Roman Catholics have some inside books that Protestants consider outside.

    Even these do nothing to detract from the New Testament context. The books not included were simply considered “noncanonical” books with less authority. In other words, the Council took a most prudent approach.

    There were only three books of the now remaining sixty-six of any dispute if memory serves that were finally agreed to be included: (1) Job, (2) Jude, (3) The Book of the Revelation.

    The fact that the Bible spans fifteen hundred years and has yet been preserved intact I believe lends testament to its divinely inspired nature. 😉

    But if you don’t believe me, and consider the Judeo-Christian philosophy equal in value to Islam, what might be best is to simply view the end results and decide who has been blessed and who has not. An easy way to do this to measure where people prefer to live (immigration vs. emigration rates).

  100. Tex: I’m not sure where your references to Islam are coming from since the Council of Nicea predates the founding of Islam by about 250 years. You’ve lost me with that opening paragraph.

    “Now you can correct me if you think I’m wrong, but there is little dispute about the Trinity being the original manuscript. We have 2nd editions of the original writings that talk of the Trinity that date a full 200 years before Constantine was born and he did nothing in the way of changing the language or rewriting the context.”

    I didn’t dispute that. I said that I believed scripture was Constantine’s motivation.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough (and I’m not meaning that in the sarcastic tone it sounds like). I’m not saying the Council of Nicea invented the concept of the Trinity. I’m saying the Council of Nicea made that concept the “official” Christian “law of the land” so to speak.

    “In a nutshell, the Council of Nicea decided what books would be included in the Bible, and which would not. ….”

    I thought I knew that one, but didn’t see it when I was scanning my notes, so I didn’t want to mention it. But making the Trinity official doctrine in the Roman Church was another thing it decided. And there was opposition to that decision, that had future implications. Those parts weren’t interpretation. They are indisputable facts of history that are well documented..

    “The fact that the Bible spans fifteen hundred years and has yet been preserved intact I believe lends testament to its divinely inspired nature.”

    Now you’re talking about faith, and that’s not my field of study. 🙂

    But I would add that there was another period in Medival history where the Bible had to be standardized because people were preaching and rewriting it in ways the Church found as heretical (I’m not passing judgement on that decision). This was in about the 12th-13th centuries when inquisitions (not the Spanish torturing kind, but just a bunch of tests and reviews) were needed to root out people who were not preaching the faith right, and books that promoted such beliefs. The people wen’t burned, but the books were.

    So it may have lasted the test of time. But it has most certainly had the hand of man to help it along over some rough spots along the way. 😉

    “But if you don’t believe me, and consider the Judeo-Christian philosophy equal in value to Islam, what might be best is to simply view the end results and decide who has been blessed and who has not. An easy way to do this to measure where people prefer to live (immigration vs. emigration rates).”

    I don’t think that is a good measure, Tex. 20,000,000 illegal immigrants from Catholic Latin countries into the US says faith is not the only thing that motivates a person to immigrate. I think 2nd and 3rd world status has a lot to do with that.

    Now the fact that the Islamic East has been unable to keep up with the advancements of the Christian West, keeping it in the 2nd and 3rd world status, may be a better measure. There are progressive Muslims who recognize such a correllation between that separation and the way their faith is interpretated by its followers. Unfortunately, (In my opinion) their voices are too few and too quiet.

  101. Rutherford: Without getting into too much detail, Muhammad did marry a 6 year old girl. Her name was Aisha As I recall, her father was an influential man and one of Muhammad’s top guys, Abu Bakr. Muhammad married Aisha as part of political manuevering to basically solidify his base.

    Aisha became a very influectial figure in Islamic history. Her father pretty much took over when Muhammad died, which really pissed of Muhammad’s daughter (from his first wife Kadija) Fatima and his cousin/son-in-law Ali. This is the start of the Sunni/Shia split. Aisha led forces in the Battle of the Camel, pitting Muslim against Muslim for the first time in a major battle, at the start of the first Muslim civil war. And she got her ass kicked. This action is said to be one of the reasons many Muslims don’t treat women very well.

    As for the age of consumation, I have heard conflicting accounts. The ones I believe are that she was too young. However, I would also point out that there are no records of Muhammad making it a habit to sleep around with children.

    But I am not condoning his relationship with Aisha.

  102. As a footnote, the term Shi’ite means (I’m going to butcher this spelling without notes) Shiat Ali, or Partisans of Ali. That tells you a little bit about why we have 2 major sects of Islam.

    1 side wanted to keep the power in the family, and the other wanted to keep it with the community leader.

    And when Muhammad was sick one day and missed preaching for the first time, he asked Abu Bakr to fill in for him. That had never been done before, and Muhammad died before ever giving another sermon.

    The history of organized religion is rooted in politics.

  103. You arent curious. If you were, you wouldnt put the precondition of “the context of the social norm of the time”. Jesus lived over 600 years before Mo-bomb-ed and unlike islam’s prophet of God and “the perfect man”, Jesus was never a pedophile, never chopped people’s heads off, had people assassinated that offended him, robbed caravans and lead armies to gain land etc

  104. You obviously don’t know the answer.

    You might know that those things went on. But your question is why they went on.

    I’ve already shown my willingness to address one of the topics in your very broad question. As you see, I didn’t sugar-coat anything.

    So now let’s see you flex that muscle you claim to have between your ears, and share some of your extensive knowledge on the subject with us.

  105. Elric, you sure are picky about the questions you choose to answer, but you expect everyone to answer all of yours.

    Why are you dodging Rutherford’s question?

  106. Except for the pedophilia thing, the Hebrews did all of that. And they were ordered to do it by God.

    So I guess it’s safe to say that you hate Jews as much as Muslims, right?

  107. Not dodging. Whats the point. He already said “about the norm of the day”. SO it really doesnt matter if I provide the hadith text, he will say it was the norm of the day. Why did even even bother asking for the proof if it doesnt matter to him anyway?

  108. Last I checked, Jews werent oppressing non Jews, Jews werent committing a Jewish version of jihad around the globe, Jews arent chopping heads off.

  109. “Last I checked, Jews werent oppressing non Jews, Jews werent committing a Jewish version of jihad around the globe, Jews arent chopping heads off.”

    But you said before that you base your opinion of Islam party on its history and the sources of its faith.

    So the violent foundation of Islamic history, and its sources that justified that violence to them is worthy of your scrutiny and hatred. But the violent foundation of Jewish history, and the stories of God or Moses or David or whomever telling them it was their right to do so is not worthy of your scrutiny and hatred?

    You’re so concerned about the land that Muslims have taken from Christians and Jews, but you don’t seem to concerned about how Christians and Jews got that land in the first place.

    Lest you forget, that land God gave to the Hebrews already had people living on it. And they didn’t go quietly.

  110. He asked you why you hate Islam so much. And you seem to want to dodge that question.

    You dodge quite a few questions. You play these little childish games like “I asked you first,” to make up for the fact that you probably just don’t know the answers. Either that, or you just expect other people to put more into the debate than you do.

    Of course, you could prove otherwise by simply answering the question.

    ““So why did Mohamamed marry a 6 year old girl, consummate the marriage at 9, take slaves, behead people, steal other people’s property and treat non muslims as 2nd class citizens at best. And why do muslims consider him. “The perfect man”””

    Like Alfie said, your question has multiple questions.

    Well I’ve answered one of them because Rutherford asked about it.

    So why don’t you tackle one of the other topics in your broad question? If you know the answer, it should be no problem to give it. And if you continue to dodge it, we will be left to assume that we have breached the extend of your knowledge on the topic.

  111. Still dodging I see. Cant blame you really. Because you would have to come to grips with a fact that a “prophet” revered by over a billion muslims would be in Gitmo if alive today.

  112. I guess you are too ignorant know the difference between God given a specific time and enemy and allah giving muslims a timeless order to go to war with non believers.

  113. What am I dodging? If you look right above this comment you can see my answer to 1 of the questions.

    Meanwhile, you continue to show us that we have indeed breached the depth of your knowledge. You don’t know the “why”s of which you ask, and so to make up for your ignorance, you badger others to give you the answers.

  114. Ah, so not only have we found the boundaries of where your knowledge on Islamic and Middle Eastern history ends. We’ve also found where the boundaries of where your moral relativism begins.

    As long as the time and enemy are limited, it’s cool for people to kill others and steal their land, and then brag about it all in the sources of the faith.

  115. LOL Elric you are too much. OK I can sign up for a debate about Mohammed vs Jesus … at least we’re talking about two men (ok. Tex, one was more than just a man).

    But now you’ve moved onto God vs Allah? You’re really going to play the “my god is better than your god” game? Just how absurd do you want this argument to get?

  116. Still waiting for you to tell me what Obama’s GPA was in Havard.

    Not an absurd argument. Of course thats what people say when they are losing the argument. But then you wont even get into the Mo vrs Jesus because you already dismissed Mo’s sociopathic behavior as the norm of the time.

  117. Yeah you’d think he’d just throw together the stereotypical one liners and be done with it. Instead when challenged he goes pre school and says

    I asked the question first. Not playing your little games Fray

    Which is why during my blog “housecleaning” today Elric will start to magically disappear and won’t return without answering.
    You see Elric commenting is a privilege not a right. You’ve been given a lot of latitude and now deserve to be seen as nothing but an ignorant spammer. Take care

  118. Couldnt hack it Fray? Well thats what people do when losing the argument. Keep up the dhimmitide though, at least you are good at that.

  119. Still you refuse to answer though. In fact you turn to a minor insult instead. You were called out by two people and you flinched big time. To be expected ?
    I won’t bother R any further with this but whether here or elsewhere if I see an answer I’ll change my view of you. Until then I (and others) have but what you willingly present.

  120. Insult? Coming from someone that called me a bastard that is rich. Like I said, Im not playing your little game of answering a question to my question. You answer mine, Ill answer yours. But that you cant answer it honestly without admitting the truth about Mohammed, I’ll never get an answer. You learned a lot about ducking questions from your liberal friends. Now run along and continue your rants about Sarah Palin and defending the marxist enemies in our government.

  121. Like I said, I dont play the game. If you can answer my question that I posed first, I would be more then happy to answer it. Like I said, you cant, hence this childish game. Thats ok though, your refusal to answer is an answer in itself. Because if Mo, the perfect man to muslims was a good guy, Jesus like, you would answer. But he wasnt so you have to flip the question to me because you cant defend your position. Sad, isnt it? I have facts, including islamic scriptures to back me up, all you have is feelings and a muliticultural perspective on life. 🙂

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