Quotes of the day

posted at 10:40 pm on September 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

“If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.

“Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term ‘blind faith.’…

“American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

“‘These are people who thought a lot about religion,’ he said. ‘They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

***
“To me, it’s no surprise that the highest scorers — after controlling for everything — were religious minorities: atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons. As a matter of simple survival, minorities tend to know more about the dominant group than vice versa. To use a familiar example, blacks — and especially those with middle-class lives — tend to know a lot about whites, by virtue of the fact that they couldn’t succeed otherwise; the professional world is dominated by middle-class whites, and to move upward, African Americans must understand their mores and norms. By contrast, whites don’t need to know much about African Americans, and so they don’t.

“Likewise, religious minorities — while not under much threat of persecution — are well-served by a working knowledge of religion, for similar reasons; the United States is culturally Christian, and for religious minorities, getting along means understanding those reference points. That those religious minorities can also answer questions about other religious traditions is a sign of broader religious education that isn’t necessary when you’re in the majority. Put another way, there’s a strong chance that religious privilege explains the difference in knowledge between Christians and everyone else.”

***
“That finding might surprise some, but not Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, an advocacy group for nonbelievers that was founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

“‘I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people,’ Mr. Silverman said. ‘Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.’”


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Much ado about nothing.

OldEnglish on September 29, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Ditto,

A better quote would be about absorbing another terrorist attack

Kini on September 29, 2010 at 1:17 AM

sharrukin, The Jewish day starts at sundown the day before. The Sabbath is Saturday but starts on Friday evening.

Rose on September 29, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Which is how we know Christ was crucified and buried before sundown on Wednesday.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM

So Allah is now basically telling me he knows more about God than I do. One thing atheists seem to share is a very inflated view of themselves.

leftnomore on September 29, 2010 at 1:33 AM

Was it the 15 question quiz posted earlier, or more extensive?

sharrukin on September 28, 2010 at 11:50 PM

No, only the 15 question quiz is linked above. I’d love to take the 35 question one. We can see it in the posted PDF but that takes all the fun away. I’m avoiding peeking so I can take the other 20 questions should they put them up. When I took the quiz, their site was running really slow and went down shortly thereafter, so I suspect they were overwhelmed.

unclesmrgol on September 29, 2010 at 1:43 AM

GULP:
Colorado Governor – Maes vs. Hickenlooper vs. Tancredo

FOX News/POR-Rasmussen

Hickenlooper 44, Tancredo 34, Maes 15 Hickenlooper +10

WoosterOh on September 29, 2010 at 1:44 AM

GULP:
Colorado Governor – Maes vs. Hickenlooper vs. Tancredo

FOX News/POR-Rasmussen

Hickenlooper 44, Tancredo 34, Maes 15 Hickenlooper +10

WoosterOh on September 29, 2010 at 1:44 AM

Tancredo is a lot closer than I thought he would be.

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 1:46 AM

“Blind faith”

What do you call someone without faith, but can see…?

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2010 at 2:33 AM

Which is how we know Christ was crucified and buried before sundown on Wednesday.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM

No. Incorrect.
Before sundown on Friday (the beginning of the Sabbath).

Jenfidel on September 29, 2010 at 2:34 AM

What do atheists need an “advocacy group” for?

Can’t they say, “everyone, look at me, I’m different!” on their own?

NoDonkey on September 29, 2010 at 2:43 AM

So Allah is now basically telling me he knows more about God than I do. One thing atheists seem to share is a very inflated view of themselves.

leftnomore on September 29, 2010 at 1:33 AM

We’re not the ones who create gods that create the entire universe just so we can exist. We’re not the ones who demand of life immortality. We don’t go around knocking on doors trying to convince people that they should join our club and pity their “eternal” fate for not joining our club. Religion is the epitome of egocentrism.

I thought you guys prided yourselves on unquestioning belief and not bothering with any pesky empirical stuff. You should be proud that you’re so into your bible that you don’t know about other stuff. Rather than discount this poll you should trumpet it.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 3:22 AM

We’re not the ones who create gods that create the entire universe just so we can exist. We’re not the ones who demand of life immortality. We don’t go around knocking on doors trying to convince people that they should join our club and pity their “eternal” fate for not joining our club. Religion is the epitome of egocentrism.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 3:22 AM

So what do atheists do when they are calling the shots?

When atheists control a country, how do they behave?

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 3:26 AM

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 3:22 AM

That’s a lot of “we’s” for such a wallflower.

nico on September 29, 2010 at 4:31 AM

The quiz I saw doesn’t make anyone more knowledgeable or less knowledgeable about God. “I’ll take World Religions for $500″, Alex does not a relationship with God make.

Any intelligent person would know this. Any objective person would admit it.

nico on September 29, 2010 at 4:56 AM

I took the 15 question mini-quiz and so did my husband. I scored 97% (1 wrong) and he scored 73% (4 wrong).

The question I got wrong was due to confusion between hinduism and buddhism.

I went to Sunday School and Church every week until I went to college. I have a deep and abiding faith in God, but not so much in organized religion (raised Methodist and gave up when they took “Amen” from the end of hymns and decided “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was too militant for the hymnal).

Hubby was raised a Catholic and was an altar boy for years. His Dad still passes the collection plate at Mass. One of the questions he got wrong was whether the bread and wine turn into the body of Christ or just symbolize it. You’d think a former altar boy would know this. Also didn’t know the questions about who was most noted for suffering, whose writings influenced the Protestant Reformation, and which person was prominent in the First Great Awakening/Enlightenment. He guessed on the religion of Joseph Smith and lucked out. Later he asked me “which one was Abraham?”. Eesh!

In my household, we didn’t seem religious but my parents both taught Sunday School, we always said grace at meals and prayers at bedtime, and I remember having one of those big children’s Bibles my Mom read to me from time to time. I loved the illustrations.

My husband’s family seemed super proud of being Catholic. They had crosses in the house and wore crosses. They did all the first communion things with all 5 kids and made sure everyone went to Mass. Yet, I never saw a Bible in the house. I guess that is the point of the quiz. I knew some of the questions because I had taken courses in college that required reading of Jonathan Edwards (US History). The rest of the things on that quiz I thought were just common knowledge. Apparently not. LOL.

Greyledge Gal on September 29, 2010 at 5:08 AM

We’re not the ones who create gods that create the entire universe just so we can exist. We’re not the ones who demand of life immortality. We don’t go around knocking on doors trying to convince people that they should join our club and pity their “eternal” fate for not joining our club. Religion is the epitome of egocentrism.

I thought you guys prided yourselves on unquestioning belief and not bothering with any pesky empirical stuff. You should be proud that you’re so into your bible that you don’t know about other stuff. Rather than discount this poll you should trumpet it.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 3:22 AM

I didn’t create a God. He has always been there for me. And I didn’t demand immortality. If that exists, it will be a gift from God to me, not a demand to which he accedes. I don’t run about proselytizing anyone. I am happy to talk about God if someone asks; however, I do not see the point in forcing my point of view on others. Your opinion of those who believe in God seems very one-sided and cartoonish.

Greyledge Gal on September 29, 2010 at 5:17 AM

Always a little suspicious of those that are constantly rationalizing their beliefs…or lack there of…

winston on September 29, 2010 at 5:22 AM

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 3:22 AM

Atheism thrived during Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China.

What loving times, only 100 million murdered.

Atheism in and of itself is harmless, but any notion that an atheistic society would be more peaceful or knowledgable than a religious society, is absolute rubbish.

Everyone has a belief system. Mao’s and Stalin’s were in the state. Darwinism doesn’t take place without a whole lot of discarded losers.

NoDonkey on September 29, 2010 at 5:23 AM

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TERROR ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In less than two years,a credible Terror Plan
might go operational!!
=======================

Multi-Attack Terror Plot On European Cities
1:30am UK, Wednesday September 29, 2010

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Multi-Attack-Terror-Plot-On-London-And-Other-UK-Cities-Paris-And-Germany/Article/201009415747154?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15747154_Multi-Attack_Terror_Plot_On_London_And_Other_UK_Cities%2C_Paris_And_Germany
======================

‘Credible But Not Specific’ Threat of New Terrorist Attack

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/us-credible-specific-threat-terrorist-attack/story?id=11747364

canopfor on September 29, 2010 at 5:30 AM

No. Incorrect.
Before sundown on Friday (the beginning of the Sabbath).

Jenfidel on September 29, 2010 at 2:34 AM

Matthew 12:40

And you need to understand Jewish culture at the time.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 6:38 AM

Psalm 53:1

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,”

When atheists control a country, how do they behave?

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 3:26 AM

Think USSR pre=1980′s with 100,000,000 murdered for their “lack of faith” in the state.

dthorny on September 29, 2010 at 6:55 AM

Look at the survey…
Full of trick questions to make
Christians look stupid.

Haiku Guy on September 29, 2010 at 7:13 AM

Christian by choice” and that “the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brother and sister’s keeper.” — Obama

Obama can pick and choose when he wants to appear Christian on the precept of convenience. Obama’s brother lives in squalid poverty, remaining such an inconvenience. For the Christian, it’s the Holy Spirit that “speaks”. Not “precepts”. Are “precepts” something that Liberation Theology and Mormonism uncomfortably share in common? Where on earth did Obama come up with precepts that speak for Christ? These esoteric and fabricated “precepts” supposedly converted Obama to conveniently wear Christianity for affect. And he assumes incorrectly that he need not approach God with humility, crying “forgive me, a sinner!” Therein, his mentality remains where his Muslim by birth and upbringing placed him, as anti-redemptionist. (Pope John Paul II said that in the Quran, there is no redemption in the Muslim faith. The Threshold of Hope) In his haughty ignorance, Obama dictates his own “precepts” mandating federal redistribution of the wealth as if a “precept” of Jesus who steered clear of government and politics until his martyrdom for love being the first and greatest commandment. And only fools fall for this Obama con job to abusively fleece the flock with winter approaching.

maverick muse on September 29, 2010 at 7:21 AM

So, we’re working off the assumption that knowing something about religion implies knowledge of God?

MeatHeadinCA on September 28, 2010 at 10:56 PM

That seems to be the “conclusion” that AP is dangling under our noses.

disa on September 29, 2010 at 7:22 AM

OK then, so atheists are more up on current events and geography AND religion. What might that say about those darned atheists?

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 12:39 AM

Are you going to say that black evangelicals and Hispanic Catholics are stupid? That atheists are smarter than they are? Huh? Huh?

ddrintn on September 29, 2010 at 7:30 AM

canopfer
Unknown but Credible commando style attack threats

…just in time for elections. How will THAT play out for the obtuse Democrats? Janet Napolitano should NEVER have been appointed to lead the DHS, let alone remain there to misdirect intelligence in order to protect Jihad-terrorists.

Why do the Paris Police think that Jihad-terrorists are going to call with a bomb warning before they detonate the Eiffel Tower? Did the World Trade Center get a warning call to evacuate? The Pentagon?

maverick muse on September 29, 2010 at 7:30 AM

disa on September 29, 2010 at 7:22 AM

It appears that those religions most dogmatic have members who know their dogmas.

maverick muse on September 29, 2010 at 7:32 AM

Atheism is a dogma since it can’t be proved that God does not exist.

Atheism consists of “precepts”.

maverick muse on September 29, 2010 at 7:35 AM

If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist

Pffft. Very misleading survey results. The test was very easy, but many (if not most) of the questions weren’t really about religion, like, what is the predominant religion of Indonesia?. That is more of a history/current events question. One could be very well-versed in the Bible yet not know the religious demographics of other countries. People who are students of history and current events will probably fare better than people who study their Bible religiously, but pay little attention to world events. I don’t know how well Atheists would do if a test focused solely on the contents of the Bible, or with topics like, say, the Nicene Creed. If I were asked about the Koran, I might not do very well. That has nothing to do with ‘knowing about God’. It’s about knowledge of your own religion.

Buy Danish on September 29, 2010 at 8:06 AM

Quotes of the dayShare5posted at 10:40 pm on September 28, 2010 by Allahpundit
printer-friendly “If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.

And if you want to know about exercise, talk to a fat slob.

olesparkie on September 29, 2010 at 8:09 AM

AP is no Christopher Hitchens.

wraithby on September 29, 2010 at 8:11 AM

I zipped through the 15 question quiz–guessing on the last one, eliminating Graham instantly–but my mind flashed a picture of John Edwards fussing over his hair, so I guessed wrong ): 14/15 The site informed me only 1% scored higher than I did, while 97% scored lower.

I find myself pretty discouraged at the ignorance of so many. Both the ‘dumbing down’ of America and intimidation by the vociferous Atheist groups has taken a heavy toll.

Auralae on September 29, 2010 at 8:12 AM

Atheism thrived during Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China.

What loving times, only 100 million murdered.

Atheism in and of itself is harmless, but any notion that an atheistic society would be more peaceful or knowledgable than a religious society, is absolute rubbish.

Everyone has a belief system. Mao’s and Stalin’s were in the state. Darwinism doesn’t take place without a whole lot of discarded losers.

Do you think Sweden or Saudi Arabia is a better place to live.

See it is easy to play this game.

Pablo Honey on September 29, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Anyone who thinks Christians are ‘egocentric’ or believe they are better than non Christians know NOTHING about Christianity.

The very concept of accepting Christ is first admitting you are a sinner and unpleasant in the eyes of God.

DavidM on September 29, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Atheists basic position is:

We don’t know why EVERYTHING is as it is, but we are positive it isn’t God.

DavidM on September 29, 2010 at 8:38 AM

Which is how we know Christ was crucified and buried before sundown on Wednesday. csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM

Not.

Luke 20:-21- The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.

The three days began when He was “handed over,” meaning his arrest.

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 8:55 AM

“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so,” -Ronald Reagan.

The same can be said about atheists.

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Tell me this “poll” wasn’t stacked. Of the 15 questions in the online poll there was not a single one regarding New Testament Christianity. Not one. Can you say…..bogus? (I scored 15/15 despite this)

tommyboy on September 29, 2010 at 8:58 AM

The three days began when He was “handed over,” meaning his arrest.

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Did you read Matt 12:40? Christ was to be in the heart of the earth for three days AND three nights (not a part of three days and nights)….just as Jonah was in the whale’s belly. Jewish law prohibited many activities on any sabbath day. The Thursday before that Friday was a High Holy day…..a Sabbath. Christ had to be interred before the beginning of that Sabbath day. Meaning during Wednesday and before the beginning of the Thursday Sabbath which began at sundown Wednesday night.

3 days…..Thursday night and day….Friday night and day….Saturday night and day….rising at the beginning of Sunday, which is at sunset on Saturday, the end of the regular weekly Sabbath.

The Good Friday myth can only account for 2 full nights (Friday and Saturday), one full day (Saturday), and 2 partial days (Friday and Sunday).

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Christians make up 75 % of America. Atheists somewhere around 10 %. This article seeks to make them the smartest people in the room. Just like Obama.

kingsjester on September 29, 2010 at 9:14 AM

No. Incorrect.
Before sundown on Friday (the beginning of the Sabbath).

Jenfidel on September 29, 2010 at 2:34 AM

Impossible. It was a “high” Sabbath. The Law contains a number of Sabbaths were not sundown Friday. It had to have been either Wednesday or Thursday (most likely Wednesday).

And here’s another thought, there were 5 crosses, not three. The thieves and malefactors were two separate groups… just a thought. :)

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Anybody can know all there is to know about religion. The true deal is a relationship with God and knowing him personally. Religion can get you in trouble.

abcurtis on September 29, 2010 at 9:20 AM

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 9:11 AM

And just to add this… when Mary arrived at the tomb “it was yet dark” (Jn 20:1). She arrived just before dawn and the tomb was empty. The Lord rose at the start of the first day of the week (or the 8th day as it were) which would have been sundown Saturday (as we reckon it).

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Anybody can know all there is to know about religion. The true deal is a relationship with God and knowing him personally. Religion can get you in trouble.

abcurtis on September 29, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Very true. The Lord speaks about those who hear and “understand.” I studied “religion” and was a Religious Education Teacher… but it wasn’t until I made my study personal that my understanding opened up.

I believe we all have a “Theology of One.” That is, in the end, all our beliefs are personal and each of us has a responsibility to seek on his own.

Which is the basis for my allegorical book (available at amazon, linked to my username)… [whistling].

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:27 AM

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 1:24 AM

A case can be made for a Wednesday or Thursday crucifixion. I tend to lean to a Thursday crucifixion myself, but I’m not dogmatic about it. Whichever day he was crucified is irrelevant. The facts are, he was crucified, he was in the tomb three days and three nights, AND he rose on the third day. The resurrection is the most important. It’s like arguing if Jesus was nailed through the palms or the wrists. It doesnt matter, it doesnt change the three facts above.
We have to be careful when we strain out gnats that we dont swallow a camel.

abcurtis on September 29, 2010 at 9:28 AM

The Holy Trinity: Colt, Winchester and Browning.

Worship as often as you can.

Your life may depend upon it.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2010 at 9:29 AM

It’s like I told a dear atheist friend of my daughter’s:

It’s like knowing how to prepare the most beautiful, delicious feast in the world, but not eating a bite. You walk around the table, take notes, know how everything is prepared, but you still won’t eat.

Oh well.

Mommynator on September 29, 2010 at 9:30 AM

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 9:11 AM

“Three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Does “heart of the earth” mean grave?

It can’t mean grave because on Sunday, on the Emmaus Road, a disciple says it was three days since Jesus was arrested. The “heart of the earth” we might loosely translate as “belly of the beast,” a dungeon of the Roman Empire. This is analogous to “the belly of the sea monster” in Jonah.

Luke 20:-21- The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.

The heart of the earth must jive with “three days since all this.”

Scripture interprets Scripture.

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 9:30 AM

abcurtis on September 29, 2010 at 9:28 AM

It is important in the sense that understanding tradition helps us understand the scriptures. I believe this is a big reason why many people feel the scriptures are outdated and irrelevant.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Under Hebrew law any part of a day was considered an entire day.

tommyboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

The headline should read, “survey shows atheists most knowledgeable on religion, still pretty much the doucheiest and most annoying on every topic.”

TheBlueSite on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 9:30 AM

For your consideration:

The fact that “three days” is used by Hebrew idiom for any part of three days and three nights is not disputed; because that was the common way of reckoning, just as it was when used of years. Three or any number of years was used inclusively of any part of those years was used inclusively of any part of those years, as may be seen in the reckoning of the reigns of any of the kings of Israel or Judah.

But, when the number of “nights” is stated as well as the number of “days”, then the expression ceases to be an idiom, and becomes a literal statement of fact.

Moreover, as the Hebrew day began at sunset the day was reckoned from one sunset to another, the “twelve hours in the day” (John 11:9) being reckoned from sunrise, and the twelve hours of the night from sunset. An evening-morning was thus used for a whole day of twenty-four hours, as in the first chapter of Genesis. Hence the expression “a night and a day” in 2Cor. 11:25 denotes a complete day (Gr. nuchthemeron).

When Esther says (Est. 4:16) “fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days”, she defines her meaning as being three complete days, because she adds (being a Jewess) “night or day”. And when it is written that the fast ended on “the third day” (5:1), “the third day” must have succeeded and included the third night.

In like manner the sacred record states that the young man (in 1Sam. 30:12) “had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights”. Hence, when the young man explains the reason, he says, “because three days agone I fell sick”. He means therefore three complete days and nights, because, being an Egyptian (vv. 11, 13) he naturally reckoned his day as beginning at sunrise according to the Egyptian manner (see Encycl. Brit., 11th (Cambridge) ed., vol. xi. p. 77). His “three days agone” refers to the beginning of his sickness and includes the whole period, giving the reason for his having gone without food during the whole period stated.

Hence, when it says that “Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17) it means exactly what it says, and that this can be the only meaning of the expression in Matt. 12:40; 16:4. Luke 11:30, is shown in Ap. 156.

In the expression, “the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40), the meaning is the same as “the heart of the sea”, “heart” being put by the Fig. Metonymy (of the Subject), Ap. 6 for “the midst”, and is frequently so translated. See Ps. 46:2. Jer. 51:1. Ezek. 27:4, 25, 26, 27; 28:2. It is used of ships when sailing “in the heart of the seas”, i.e. in or on the sea. See Ezek. 27:25, 26; 28:8; also of people dwelling in the heart of the seas, i.e. on islands (Ezek. 28:2). Jonah uses the Heb. beten ( = womb) in the same way (2.2).

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

In regards to the 3 day stuff above- can’t we all agree that whoever wrote the gospels weren’t stupid enough to screw up simple math multiple times? Let’s pretend it’s all a hoax, are we really suggesting the folks who were smart enough to create a dominating worldwide religion were so stupid they couldn’t get the math right on 3 days? It’s absurd.

TheBlueSite on September 29, 2010 at 9:34 AM

The headline should read, “survey shows atheists most knowledgeable on religion, still pretty much the doucheiest and most annoying on every topic.”

TheBlueSite on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I think atheists know a little about a lot of religions, whereas most Christians I know do not have the same breadth of “knowledge”… but in my personal experience, atheists seem to only know what is commonly held… which is usually the mythology. They tend to quote the same verses and have very little concept of context.

The point that many came out of religious traditions is telling. You can study a religious tradition without ever actually studying faith. I was educated for 12 years in a “religion” and taught in its system… but my “understanding” came when I rejected the standard traditions and decided to settle issues for myself.

The atheists I know, tend to just parrot standard traditional teachings without having done the personal digging.

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:38 AM

“‘These are people who thought a lot about religion,’ he said. ‘They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

Yeah, they care about it all right.

First of all, many of the people who think “religion is a con” are surprisingly obsessed with the subject, and some of them spend an inordinate amount of time railing against it. It seems reasonable that they would pick up at least some superficial knowledge of the details, if only as a means for making fun of religious beliefs in great detail.

Rae on September 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:33 AM

No problemo. The disciple said on Sunday it was three days since Jesus was handed over.

Let’s say it was lunch or dinner time, since they ate a meal when they got where they were going. Counting backwards by full twenty four-hour days we get Saturday, Friday, Thursday.

Arrested Thursday, crucified Friday, resurrection on Sunday.

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

I considered myself a moderate/independent, agnostic until I realized I was just hedging my bets both politically and spiritually…

I figured out that I just don’t like being part of a club, lol. I am wary of group think and hate the conformity of organizations… Tea Party and private prayer work for me.

(I took the test, 14/15, missed the last question because of that damned John Edwards “I feel pretty” youtube video. I thought it was the right answer but then second guessed myself.)

Fallon on September 29, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

You still can’t get three days and three nights “in the heart of the earth.” The comparative is Jonah who was clearly in the belly for three days and three nights.

Also consider the “six days before the Passover” of John 12. If the passover sacrifice was on Friday that puts the trip to Bethany on the previous Saturday which would have been a violation of the Sabbath.

We have therefore the following facts furnished for our sure guidance :

1. The “high day” of John 19:31 was the first day of the feast.

2. The “first day of the feast” was on the 15th day of Nisan.

3. The 15th day of Nisan, commenced at sunset on what we should call the 14th.

4. “Six days before the passover” (John 12:1) takes us back to the 9th day of Nisan.

5. “After two days is the passover” (Matt. 26:2. Mark 14:1) takes us to the 13th day of Nisan.

6. “The first day of the week”, the day of the resurrection (Matt. 28:1, &c.), was from our Saturday sunset to our Sunday sunset. This fixes the days of the week, just as the above fix the days of the month, for:

7. Reckoning back from this, “three days and three nights” (Matt. 12:40), we arrive at the day of the burial, which must have been before sunset, on the 14th of Nisan; i.e. before our Wednesday sunset.

8. This makes the sixth day before the passover (the 9th day of Nisan) to be our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset.

Therefore Wednesday, Nisan 14th (commencing on the Tuesday at sunset), was “the preparation day”, on which the crucifixion took place : for all four Gospels definitely say that this was the day on which the Lord was buried (before our Wednesday sunset), “because it was the preparation [day]” the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, “for that sabbath day was a high day”, and, therefore, not the ordinary seventh day, or weekly sabbath. See John 19:31

FULL STUDY

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Perhaps I am mistaken, but the point of this blog post seems to be that atheists are ‘better educated’, particularly when it comes to ‘religion(s)’, and therefore have come to the ‘correct’ conclusion that God does not exist. An equally valid argument regarding this survey is that education doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about. Good examples would be Barrack Obama and Ted Kennedy. Both are Harvard grads. Isn’t Larry Summers a Harvard grad too? Maybe he just works there. You gotta be REALLY smart to teach the very, very smart, right? Need I go on?

This blog post also begs the question: Why is AP always throwing his atheism in our faces? What’s his point? Do we care what his religious beliefs are? Do we come to this blog site for religious purposes or for political information? How many of us know what Ed’s religious beliefs are, if any? I don’t, nor do I care unless he plans on imposing his own sharia law upon the rest of us.

My conclusion is that this blog post shows more about the author than the survey shows about the lack of education among Christians. To paraphrase: I think AP doth post too much about atheism.

JimP on September 29, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Are “precepts” something that Liberation Theology and Mormonism uncomfortably share in common?

maverick muse on September 29, 2010 at 7:21 AM

Don’t be ridiculous, Mormons very definitely believe in the Holy Ghost. If you knew anything about Mormons at all, you would know it is a very basic part of our doctrine from the very beginning. It is always amazing to me how “Christ-like” some people are towards Mormons. We love Jesus Christ as much as any other Christians, and yet are told constantly that we are not “real” Christians. An evangelical friend of mine tells me this is because Mormons often know their Bible better, and it scares the life out of other Christians who can’t tell you the first thing about what they profess to believe.

Kristamatic on September 29, 2010 at 10:18 AM

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Interesting study. How to account for the disciple’s statement on Sunday -resurrection day- that it had been three days since Jesus’ arrest?

The passages you cited earlier allow for the idiom to refer to islands, that are not in the sea but in its midst.

“He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.” (First apology of Justin, Weekly Worship of the Christians, Ch 68, AD 150).

He had the Bible and was only 100 years removed.

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM

btw – today (9/29) is most likely the day of the birth of the Savior.

/another can of worms

;)

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Akzed on September 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM

As to the statement by the disciples, I’ll just say that I haven’t studied that in particular… but I will! Thanks. Always ready to look at something afresh.

In general, however, the overwhelming witness of scripture, to me, is in favor of a Wednesday crucifixion (for the reasons previously noted).

As for Justin, well, that is interesting, but I don’t accept anything as “authoritative” other than scripture. I’m not suggesting you are presenting it as “authoritative” (just as don’t I present my links as “authoritative”) but I wanted to note that anyway… in the case of its antiquity, that is also of limited value as most of Paul’s epistles were written to combat heresy present in the first century. Error enters quickly and sometimes it takes centuries for truth to shake off tradition and go back to the original.

Just one example:

And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it… And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Quick thoughts on the disciples and three days (in addition to what is above)… If the “three days” inlcudes the arrest, how do we reckin this:

Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

The “destruction” of the “temple” (His body) was the cross, not the arrest.

Here is a literal translation of Lk 24:21 for your consideration (Young’s Literal):

we were hoping that he it is who is about to redeem Israel, and also with all these things, this third day is passing to-day, since these things happened.

Also note that Israel was not yet redeemed… but that is another study for another day. :)

mankai on September 29, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Under Hebrew law any part of a day was considered an entire day.

tommyboy on September 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

You can remove yourself from the conversation now that you have spouted your idiocy for this topic.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I see you believers in “truth” are arguing over exactly what that “truth” is. I thought the the alleged crucifixion of the alleged Jesus was rather important and you don’t even agree on what day it happened or even when he was supposedly born. Maybe the problem is with your source of information. Are there any conflicting accounts in there?

It sure would be helpful if the contemporary writers of the time in the region had made any mention of the powerful earthquake that allegedly happened when the alleged crucifixion happened. Too bad there are no writings from the time and place of the alleged Jesus that make any mention of him to cross check things with. I wonder why the chroniclers of the time in the region didn’t think a powerful earthquake that destroyed buildings was worth a mention, let alone the presence of some muckraking Jew hippie bringing the dead back to life.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

For the same reasons the powers that be ignore it now. Idiots like you dismiss it out of hand and do not note it as a significant event, even though the event, did in fact, occur.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Too bad there are no writings from the time and place of the alleged Jesus that make any mention of him to cross check things with.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.11.xv.html

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM

15/15, but I’m a former atheist, so that should come as no surprise. :-D

I investigated the New Testament documents and the origins of the Resurrection story as a folklorist and historian. Long story short, I quickly came to the conclusion that if we discount the New Testament as a valid and reliable historical source, then we absolutely have to throw out the entire body of Classical literature from Homer to Tacitus.

But all that proves is that within living memory of the event, people believed the Resurrection story strongly enough to choose death rather than recant. So I had to ask, why did they start believing that story? To make a long story short, the least improbable explanation that satisfied the evidence was that it actually occurred.

But being intellectually persuaded that the Resurrection was a historical event did not make me a Christian. I didn’t become a Christian until I had a personal encounter with the living Christ, asked Him to forgive my sins, and felt His grace wash over me.

Life hasn’t been the same since.

skydaddy on September 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Life hasn’t been the same since.

skydaddy on September 29, 2010 at 3:16 PM

+1000

Kristamatic on September 29, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Do you think Sweden or Saudi Arabia is a better place to live.

See it is easy to play this game.

Maybe, but it doesn’t help your case to use strawmen in so arguing. Both Sweden and Saudi Arabia do have freedom of religion (more limited in Saudia’s case, but still there).

Atheistic regimes have actively fought against religion. As if it is, somehow, a threat.

Natrium on September 29, 2010 at 4:14 PM

“American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum.

I have to agree. I was raised as a Catholic by parents who both attended Catholic schools. I began to question my parent’s beliefs starting in high school, which led to even more introspection in college where I briefly belonged to Campus Crusades. Although it was gradual, I an now an atheist (small a) as are all of my siblings. Even my parents have moved away from the church almost completely. The “small a” comment is because we still celebrate Christmas and Easter as family holidays, I love Christmas music, and I don’t think I’ll melt if I see a creche or menorah in public.

It just doesn’t make sense in a number of ways. For example, when my Campus Crusades group told me that a man, say an Australian native who had never heard of the Christian God, but was a good man who took care of his family and his neighbors, would go to hell anyway unless he accepted Jesus into his heart, I knew it wasn’t for me.

I actually took the Pew quiz online and got 13 of the 15 answers correct. Partly because I’m an educated person, partly because I took a World Religion class is high school, and partly because I learned about some religious customs from coworkers and friends. I learned about Jewish customs from both Fiddler on the Roof and a boss who was an orthodox Jew. I know about Ramadan because there are usually news articles about it each year. I know about Mormon beliefs because I had a Mormon classmate in my Religions class, my children have had many Mormon friends, and I use their genealogy resources in my research.

I missed the question about the Great Awakening because, heck, school was 30 years ago, and I missed the Job/suffering question because Catholics aren’t big Bible studiers in general and it wasn’t part of my Catechism classes.

I do value the Judeo-Christian values this country is based on, and try to live my life by the Golden Rule.

Common Sense on September 29, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Too bad there are no writings from the time and place of the alleged Jesus that make any mention of him to cross check things with.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM

http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.11.xv.html

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Thanks for the link, but I was talking about people who lived at the time and place that the alleged Jesus lived. This web page the link goes to says the it was written in 109 A.C.E. It is not contemporary with the time that Jesus supposedly lived. By the time 100 years passed the mythology had taken hold. It’s right there in the quote you posted. Do you have anything from the time Jesus supposedly lived?

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 4:47 PM

For the same reasons the powers that be ignore it now. Idiots like you dismiss it out of hand and do not note it as a significant event, even though the event, did in fact, occur.

csdeven on September 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM

How does an earthquake that destroys buildings register as insignificant in anyone’s book? It would have at the very least disrupted commerce and someone would have noted it. How does a guy raising people from the dead register as insignificant in anyone’s book? That’s the sort of thing that would get around and traders in the city from other parts of the world would have spread the word. Surely people would come to see that. It’s more impressive than a star in the east. No one thought to record such a spectacle at the time? Someone could consider zombies walking the streets insignificant. Really? I know they didn’t have digital cameras but I would think even Richard Dawkins would snap a photo of that.

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

By the time 100 years passed the mythology had taken hold. It’s right there in the quote you posted. Do you have anything from the time Jesus supposedly lived?

deewhybee on September 29, 2010 at 4:47 PM

If he was born around 1 AD then he would actually have to live and grow up. That takes time, so we are talking around 50 AD. Pliny mentions him as well. I believe he is also mentioned in Josephus.

Mara Bar-Serapion in 70 AD mentions a ‘wise king’ who the Jews killed and who lives on in his teachings. It really can’t get much closer than that.

What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given.

Do you have anything from the time Jesus supposedly lived?

Ummmm, that would be the Gospels then wouldn’t it?

I mean seriously, how many contemporary sources do you expect to see of a Spanish troublemaker in Hispania?

Why then do you expect a barrage of such sources for a Jewish one in Judaea?

sharrukin on September 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Do you have anything from the time Jesus supposedly lived?

I suppose since you require such proof of Jesus’ existence through other contemporaneous sources than those provided of his disciples, that you would be the first to agree that to apply such requirements of proof for the existence of other ancient philosophers, etc. is only fair and just.

Do you have any such proof for, say, Homer or Socrates?

BTW, your dismissing of “The Testimonium Flavianum” by Josephus actually raises the stakes higher in the symmetry game. To be honest, you also have to do the same for others (as I have noted above). You may wish to reconsider your decision, in this regard. I may be wrong here, but it certainly appears that you are implying that manuscript rescension is a no-no (I hope that I’m wrong on that last point, but that is what I’m seeing by your arguments at face value).

Natrium on September 29, 2010 at 5:42 PM

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