April 14, 2017

Easter and religious hypocrites: Western civilization’s Christian foundations are everywhere

Brian LilleyArchive
 

It’s Easter and if you listen closely, you can hear the silence from the hypocrites who say religion has no place in public life while enjoying another religiously motivated holiday.

They’re the ones who say religion only causes harm, or that religion has been a cancer on society but in fact, our western civilization is built upon religious traditions.

There is a Judeo-Christian tradition underpinning western civilization, specifically, a Christian one.

From medicine to law, to science-our society owes a great deal to men and women of faith.

Watch as I look at all the good things in society that were built upon the foundations set in place by religion, by churches, by people of faith.

Some of us know this, others don’t even though the evidence is all around us. But too many don’t know what they’re looking at, including the symbolism around us at Easter.

The traditions around Easter weren’t created by a candy company or a greeting card company, they came from people of faith as a way to express themselves, to teach.

The foundations are there if you know where to look, just like the rest of our Western Civilization.

To you and yours, I wish you a happy and blessed Easter. He has risen, truly he has risen.

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commented 2017-04-17 12:18:33 -0400
Apparently double dashes result in strikeouts. Weird. Why can’t they just use HTML like normal commetn sections?

Peter Netterville
“The theory of evolution is indefensible, but that doesn’t stop them from desperately trying over and over again, but no matter how much they “beat that dead horse” it remains dead. Ahhh, no matter. They will find out the truth eventually”

It’s pretty defensible, and it can and has been directly observed in things like bacteria. Even the Church largely acknowledges it. (see also, Drew’s acknowledgement of “adaptation”, which is merely the short term manifestation of evolution).

“Because society prefers the pagan symbols over the true meaning of Easter. Just like in that movie “A Few Good Men” Jack Nicholson said, “They can’t handle the truth!” Well, society can’t handle the truth, so the pagan symbols are prevalent. Same applies to Christmas. "

I’d argue the real meaning of Easter is pretty subjective. I don’t particularly celebrate either the religious or secular variants. If you don’t buy the Jesus story (whose veracity is a matter of “faith”, which again any religious thinker will acknowledge) then perhaps it is merely an excuse to stock up on chocolate or “peeps” and other mushy abominations.
commented 2017-04-17 12:10:13 -0400
Allan Peterson commented 11 hours ago

I’m not a biologist but I am a diabetic. If my sugar levels are not right I’m dead. If they are too high I’m dead in about 10 years. If they are too low I’m dead in hour or less. Millions of years don’t enter into it. These levels have to be right from day one or I’m toast.


Diabetes is a modern disease. Type 1 diabetics died in infancy, and type 2 is largely a consequence of modern diets and sedentary lifestyle. Further, Type 2 manifests mostly after reproductive age, when there is little to no selective pressure against it.



For evolution to work both males and females would have to evolve at the same time at the same rate and in the same place or there could be no procreation. Again millions years of evolution does nothing to solve this problem. And how would each sex if they are not intelligent conversant beings be able to know what genitalia and reproductive system the other will have in the future so that they will have the complimentary works necessary for reproduction to take place? And until this is all worked out there can be not reproduction. To paraphrase the Monty Python sketch, millions of years don’t enter into it.

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Insects and plants seem to manage just fine without being able to discuss the mechanisms behind it. Whether the genitalia work together is purely a biomechanical problem, although the diversity of morphology suggests it’s not a particularly strict one.
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The number of toxic plants and predatory animals don’t make the evolutionary scenario very likely either. If some poor slob evolves out of the swamp and then eats the lovely looking amanita mushroom its all over. And there is no-one to tell the next poor scheme about it as a warning. Likewise if they confuse a Manchineel fruit for an apple. Dead. This is tree you shouldn’t even stand under. Multiply this by the thousands of deadly plants and you get the distinct notion that evolution could not possible work.

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Toxic plants are an interesting question… but remember, it’s no help to the plant if it gets eaten, toxic or not. The point of being toxic is to be disincentive… which is why toxic items are usually brightly coloured. That bright yellow caterpillar wants you to know it will make you sick, which is why it’s so bright. This selects for prey (food or animal) that is moderately toxic, and advertises that fact. You’ll eat it once, then never again. (this also leaves the door open to mimics, which look poisonous but are actually quite tasty). Even the most basic predators are capable of learning what’s palatable. |My favourite is the soil nematodes, C elegans.With 300 cell brains, they can “smell” out palatable prey, which for them is individual bacterial cells. You can put them on a petri dish and watch them run away from prey they find distasteful.
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Is that sabre tooth tiger food or predator? If it is based on evolution who would know until it was too late? Hey what about all those snakes slithering around? Wolves? Rhinos? Wolverines. bears? and the list goes on. Pretty far fetched. It takes greater faith to believe evolution than creation. N More convenient because you have no intrusive God telling you what is right and wrong but still it takes more faith. “It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.” G. K. Chesterton

Nobody needs to know whether a sabre-toothed tiger is a predator or not (it’s somewhat of a meaningless distinction as many animals are both predator and prey, in marine environments the food chain can have a dozen levels; many organisms are omnivorous ) Evolution does not have purpose, it’s essentially a combination of random genetic events and whether those confer selective advantage in a particular niche.
A sabre-tooth tiger evolves because its ancestors with larger than usual teeth were able to better catch and eat the ice-age megafauna than their small toothed cousins. Over many generations the teeth get larger and larger as the animal better adapts to its niche. Then, the megafauna go extinct (possibly hunted to extinction by early humans, which itself may have been a consequence of neanderthalensis being driven out of its habitat by the more aggressive sapiens) leaving them without a niche and now their ridiculous teeth are detrimental to survival, and they themselves go extinct. As for predator vs prey, many creatures are opportunists and will act as either. Put them into a certain niche and they too will evolve to take advantage of it. Throw some black bears onto an island overrun with voles. Come back in a million years, and they’ll be the size of cats and exceptionally good at digging out vole tunnels.
commented 2017-04-17 11:45:31 -0400
“If there’s no “overlay” then why do we celebrate with Pagan symbols?”

Because society prefers the pagan symbols over the true meaning of Easter. Just like in that movie “A Few Good Men” Jack Nicholson said, “They can’t handle the truth!” Well, society can’t handle the truth, so the pagan symbols are prevalent. Same applies to Christmas.
commented 2017-04-17 11:39:34 -0400
The theory of evolution is indefensible, but that doesn’t stop them from desperately trying over and over again, but no matter how much they “beat that dead horse” it remains dead. Ahhh, no matter. They will find out the truth eventually.
commented 2017-04-17 11:39:25 -0400
If there’s no “overlay” then why do we celebrate with Pagan symbols? (The passover story is nice, but that depends on you buying the Bible as truly objective, rather than a cobbled together mythology with 3000 years of political meddling underlying it)

*"Drew Wakariuk commented 10 hours ago
Andrew Stephenson please show me any proof of the missing link , all i see is natural adaptation. "
What is evolution, but adaptation over extended time periods? *
If you buy adaptation (shifts in the relative frequency of alleles) then why wouldn’t you buy the possibility of mutation introducing new alleles into that dynamic? That’s all evolution really is, is a mutant allele conferring selective advantage such that it spreads through the population over generations.

The concept of “missing link” is somewhat based in the idea of species as discrete entities, which is not really a model that anybody’s used in at least 150 years. Evolution is a continuum and speciation is somewhat indistinct – -Darwin himself observed this with his finches. We do indeed see a gradual progression of more human hominids in the fossil record over the late Tertiary period. There is no “missing link” – the fossil record does exactly what is predicted even if you can’t trace the exact genealogy generation by generation.
commented 2017-04-17 11:37:02 -0400
Good comments Allan!

I especially like the sentence, “It takes greater faith to believe evolution than creation.”, which is essentially the same as the paragraph I wrote that Andrew addressed, except you wrote it succinct and much better.
commented 2017-04-17 02:20:46 -0400
And “thank you” Andrew Stephenson for getting it wrong yet again..
“Easter is a Pagan celebration of spring, which is where the eggs and bunnies came from.
The Christian mythology very specifically overlaid the Jesus story on it because the rebirth story is very compatible with the pre-existing Pagan traditions that predated the Christian takeover of Europe and allowed for easier conversion. "
There is no “overlay” of the crucifiction of Christ because it is demonstrably and historically linked to the Jewish feast of Passover , to wit: – “the first full moon following the vernal equinox”… That’s when it happened “bunkey”, unless you have some insight that thousands of historians don’t… Bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with it…
commented 2017-04-17 01:14:53 -0400
Andrew Stephenson please show me any proof of the missing link , all i see is natural adaptation.
commented 2017-04-17 00:31:36 -0400
ANDREW STEPHENSON commented 34 mins Iago.
“I’m rather the opposite. I’m a biologist, and evolution is nothing more than a study in genetic half-assery, There is nothing in there that suggests any sort of deliberate and methodological order.”

I’m not a biologist but I am a diabetic. If my sugar levels are not right I’m dead. If they are too high I’m dead in about 10 years. If they are too low I’m dead in hour or less. Millions of years don’t enter into it. These levels have to be right from day one or I’m toast.

For evolution to work both males and females would have to evolve at the same time at the same rate and in the same place or there could be no procreation. Again millions years of evolution does nothing to solve this problem. And how would each sex if they are not intelligent conversant beings be able to know what genitalia and reproductive system the other will have in the future so that they will have the complimentary works necessary for reproduction to take place? And until this is all worked out there can be not reproduction. To paraphrase the Monty Python sketch, millions of years don’t enter into it.

The number of toxic plants and predatory animals don’t make the evolutionary scenario very likely either. If some poor slob evolves out of the swamp and then eats the lovely looking amanita mushroom its all over. And there is no-one to tell the next poor scheme about it as a warning. Likewise if they confuse a Manchineel fruit for an apple. Dead. This is tree you shouldn’t even stand under. Multiply this by the thousands of deadly plants and you get the distinct notion that evolution could not possible work.

Is that sabre tooth tiger food or predator? If it is based on evolution who would know until it was too late? Hey what about all those snakes slithering around? Wolves? Rhinos? Wolverines. bears? and the list goes on. Pretty far fetched. It takes greater faith to believe evolution than creation. N More convenient because you have no intrusive God telling you what is right and wrong but still it takes more faith. “It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.” G. K. Chesterton
commented 2017-04-17 00:10:22 -0400
ANDREW STEPHENSON commented 30 minutes ago.
“Complexity does not imply divinity, it is often simply an emergent property of exceedingly simple models. Take Pi, for example. Divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter… and you get an infinitely complex number,”

Pi is not infinitely complex it is just an infinite number. As far as we know so far. There is nothing comes about it really. It just keeps on thinking and ticking and ticking and…. Infiniteness and complexity are not the same thing.
commented 2017-04-17 00:05:06 -0400
ANDREW STEPHENSON commented 1 day ago
"The Christian mythology very specifically overlaid the Jesus story on it because the rebirth story is very compatible with the pre-existing Pagan traditions that predated the Christian takeover of Europe and allowed for easier conversion. "

Time to put this old chestnut to rest. Again. Easter in Christianity has its roots in the Jewish passover as even a cursory reading of the Gospels will attest. The connection to a spring pagan celebration is simply a coincidence of timing.

As Christianity spread the pagan celebration was forgotten. Until atheists and agnostics drag it out again as if it somehow dismisses the significance of Easter. Yes, there may have been the co-opting of some elements but as Brian has just pointed out that is also unlikely. But, at any rate it does not change the impact of Easter except for those who willfully wish to remain blind to it. and continually dredge this old chestnut out for another year.
commented 2017-04-16 23:50:56 -0400
LEVITICUS 2013 commented 11 hours ago
“Alexander the great was responsible for homogenizing paganism and Christianity into a blended tradition…”

Leviticus, Alexander the great lived in the 300’s BC so he couldn’t have mixed Christianity with paganism. Perhaps you are thinking of Constantine in around 300AD?
commented 2017-04-16 23:37:36 -0400
“Peter Netterville commented 7 hours ago
The amount of faith necessary to believe that everything exists, as extremely complex as it is, and came into existence as a result of random convergence with no complex living creator making it requires far more faith than I can muster.

It is imminently more logical and common sense to believe an intelligent being created all that exists."

Complexity does not imply divinity, it is often simply an emergent property of exceedingly simple models. Take Pi, for example. Divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter… and you get an infinitely complex number, as far as anybody can tell. Far more complex than the phenomenon it describes – take a circle of diameter so great that light could not traverse it in any plausible lifespan of the universe (say, 10^500 years, long enough for the last supermassive black holes to evaporate) and measure it in the smallest possible units (Planck lenghts), and Pi measures it… and keeps going for tens of trillions more decimal places.

Does that suggest God? I’d argue, no. It’s purely emergent. Patterns like that exist everywhere. Put enough of them together and you have a universe. The beauty of the infinite multiverse model many physicists support, is that with millions of potential combinations of parameters, some of them might even be suited for life. Again, weak anthropic principle… if they weren’t, we wouldn’t be here to see them. Probabilistic? Perhaps. But someone does win the lottery from time to time, and that’s also improbable at an individual level.

I’m rather the opposite. I’m a biologist, and evolution is nothing more than a study in genetic half-assery, There is nothing in there that suggests any sort of deliberate and methodological order.
commented 2017-04-16 18:18:23 -0400
“I needed the Quiet”

I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside
Into the shadows where we could confide

Away from the bustle, where all the day long
I hurried and worried, when active and strong
I needed the quiet, though at first I rebelled
But gently, so gently, my cross He upheld

And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of, when active and gay
He loved me so greatly, He drew me away

I needed the quiet, no prison my bed
But a beautiful valley of blessings, instead
A place to grow richer, in Jesus to hide
I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside

By A.M. Mortenson
commented 2017-04-16 17:21:14 -0400
Elton Braun:
There is a program on EWTN tonight at 8:30pm (EST) “Man of the Shroud” http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/schedules.asp?weeknum=0&sat=DOME&date=04%2F16%2F2017&alerted=1
If this the program I (also) saw before, it is a condensed version of the post/program I made earlier. I can’t seem to get the other parts of that program; maybe its only for those who join that website (Women of Grace). If I find it I’ll post it.
Fascinating though. A life size model has been made of Jesus from the information gathered from the latest studies of the Shroud.
commented 2017-04-16 16:10:50 -0400
The amount of faith necessary to believe that everything exists, as extremely complex as it is, and came into existence as a result of random convergence with no complex living creator making it requires far more faith than I can muster.

It is imminently more logical and common sense to believe an intelligent being created all that exists.
commented 2017-04-16 15:57:09 -0400
What Paul Dixon said. I will add that I could never have so much faith as to believe everything came from nothing completely by random and for no apparent reason. Besides the math says there’s not enough time. Anyway the digital code of DNA and all its machines and complexity proves everything had to happen at the same time.
Thanks for having an open mind Andrew and enjoy the book.
commented 2017-04-16 15:47:44 -0400
I hope no one minds my reposting Bravo Zulu’s comment.
“There are very few atheists when there is no rule of law.”

BRAVO ZULU commented 22 hours ago
Any time I saw violence in one of the countries I visited, and any time I was involved in that violence, literally everyone in the crew was saying some sort of prayer to get through that violence – even the proud atheists were doing that.

There truly are very few atheists when there is no rule of law and the only defence you have is superior firepower or superior violence to protect yourself.

When the day comes that there is a serious act of terror in Canada it will be an eye opener to many.

It will come

If that violence were to involve Andrew Stephenson, I would not lift a finger to help him.
commented 2017-04-16 13:14:55 -0400
Andrew: I do applaud you for your honesty. And that you will at least read Lee Strobel’s book.
We do need to chose our “heroes” carefully, since any “person” is weak in and of themselves and all have some skeletons in their closets that would prove embarrassing to their “hero” status. I do not have human heroes, although I do admire some people for some specific commendable character traits.

My experience with most skeptics is that they know little about true Christianity, or the Christian life (I do not know anything about your situation, so this may or may not apply to you). Most with whom I have interacted have created a “straw man” god, or a “straw man” Christianity, whom they then attack with a vengeance. I have found that sometimes the errors are so deep that it is hard to know where to begin.

The bottom line though, in light of the fact that this is Easter weekend, is: Did Jesus rise from the dead. The apostle Paul makes it very clear in 1 Corinthians 15;12-19 that if Jesus was not raised from the dead we Christians are to be pitied above all people, that our faith is a sham and in vain, and that we are misrepresenting God (who or whatever that might be!). With the impact that the resurrection has had on the world and individual people’s lives since the first century, I believe that the resurrection is worth investigating. I think Lee Strobel’s book is a great start – I read it years ago when it first came out.

Christian’s will always be flawed, and there will always be black marks on the church, because we are sinners. We are all “renovation projects”. But God has promised to work on us all throughout our lives. I for one have faith in what He has done and what He will do.
commented 2017-04-16 13:12:54 -0400
Alexander the great was responsible for homogenizing paganism and Christianity into a blended tradition…
This didn’t happen by accident as he was trying to appease the woodland fairies who practice paganism and the Christians so there would be less uprisings and they would be much easier to rule… His efforts have confused people of religious upbringing’s for quite some time but for clarity one only has to read the Bible.
commented 2017-04-16 12:21:58 -0400
“Jan G commented 15 hours ago
Andrew Stephenson:
To think that atheists see Christopher Hitchens as a hero. Hitchens considered Mother Teresa of Calcutta as the most evil person of the 20th Century. Surpassing Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung.
That is your hero”

Not sure why you’d think that. I am capable of picking my own heroes. Mother Teresa is indeed somewhat controversial, but I find Hitchens assessment to be over-the-top.

“Elton Braun commented 12 hours ago
Andrew Stephenson; any similarities between pagan rituals and Christianity have nothing to do with it. The reason the church stole pagan holidays and changed them to Christian ones was to completely eliminate paganism and instead celebrate the truth.
Lee Stobel used to be an investigative reporter who was also an atheist. After he married a Christian woman he decided to investigate Christianity to prove it wrong. He ended up becoming a Christian himself and wrote the book A Case for Christ which has just been released as a movie. I highly recommend both. His books are super interesting which also includes A Case for Creation among others. "

Celebrate the truth, or celebrate the “truth”? I suppose it depends on whether you buy the Christian mythology. I don’t, and instead see a great deal of coercion and strategic manipulation of pre-existing beliefs to further your own agenda. Plus ca change …

I’m not atheist, I’m agnostic. Which is to say, I can’t say whether God exists or not, since it’s not empirically determinable, instead being a matter of “faith” or belief. In my case, I don’t see God as necessary to explain anything – the Universe can be explained, as far as anybody can tell, as a magnificently complicated but ultimately purely mechanical entity, and one which by necessity even if randomly, developed parameters amenable for life (if not, we wouldn’t be here to see it; aka the weak anthropic principle). That’s not to say there isn’t room for a spiritual realm within it, but that if it exists, it is not something that impacts our daily life and which I therefore find unnecessary.

I will go find that book, though. I do enjoy a good discussion of theology.
commented 2017-04-16 11:48:37 -0400
Keep in mind Tanna… Catholicism is not Christianity and is steeped deeply in the traditions of men and not God as they would have you believe.
Hence the term ROMAN CATHOLIC
With the emphasis on the Roman.
Read the Bible both the Old Testament and the New Testament and you will understand God’s laws… Apply that to what you see in a Roman Catholic service and you’ll understand the meaning of Idoltry, paganism and symbolism. Not to mention in any of the major Catholic churches like a basilica you will have dead bones of saints and other religious people and as you enter the church you are literally walking on the bones of the dead..
God specifically states that he is the god of the living and that dead things shouldn’t be in a house of worship… These are all man’s traditions.
Most religions are the same now as they have all been groomed economically by certain provisions in our tax codes but they have to preach the way they are told.
However Nothing but nothing exceeds the Vatican for organized religious evil.
commented 2017-04-16 09:54:13 -0400
I was born into a catholic home but I now cannot find a reason why anyone over the age of four can’t figure out this shit and the damage it has done, all religion I mean. It wasn’t even a day long torturous episode where I had to make a decision, it just made more sense. I do admit the christian influence in our society but can’t use that as a reason to dump on muslims. NO, I dump on muslims because they are on a mission and the result will not be good for me. I also believe if the US stayed out of doing all the things they accuse Russia of doing, we would have put this resurgence of world domination exercises off until another reformation would have taken care of that nasty little problem. Repeat after me, the US, religion, and islam are not our friends…repeat as necessary.
commented 2017-04-16 07:59:55 -0400
Jan G; thanks for the shroud link, but where do I find part 2 episode? I have always been fascinated with the shroud ever since reading a book about it many years ago. The book I read was written by an archaeologist who specialized in Central American terra cotta artifacts. He and his assistant had the opportunity to do DNA testing on a small piece of it but he blamed his assistant for not properly cleaning the piece of bacteria buildup which he claimed resulted in the earlier medieval dates as he expected this from his terra cotta experience.
commented 2017-04-16 03:59:26 -0400
The bunny and the eggs have nothing to do with Christianity.
commented 2017-04-15 23:47:13 -0400
Andrew Stephenson; any similarities between pagan rituals and Christianity have nothing to do with it. The reason the church stole pagan holidays and changed them to Christian ones was to completely eliminate paganism and instead celebrate the truth.
Lee Stobel used to be an investigative reporter who was also an atheist. After he married a Christian woman he decided to investigate Christianity to prove it wrong. He ended up becoming a Christian himself and wrote the book A Case for Christ which has just been released as a movie. I highly recommend both. His books are super interesting which also includes A Case for Creation among others.
commented 2017-04-15 21:57:55 -0400
Thank you Brian. That was refreshing ! I also just finished listening to the Easter message from President Trump . Absolutely wonderful ! My wife and I lamented having such a disappointing prime minister . Void of any qualities that truly make a leader.
To all Canadians who value your way of life, the memories of your childhood and want the same for your children and grandchildren . Stand up to m103. Stand up for what you believe ! Make your beliefs known . Stand firm against those who do not protect you and those who would do you harm. Throughout history it has always come down to "we the people ".
Happy Easter Everyone !
commented 2017-04-15 21:33:12 -0400
Andrew Stephenson:
To think that atheists see Christopher Hitchens as a hero. Hitchens considered Mother Teresa of Calcutta as the most evil person of the 20th Century. Surpassing Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung.
That is your hero.