Pastor vs Pastor

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    Round and round and round we go…,,


    Simon Paynton

    That’s some pretty gruesome logic – “don’t equate sin with the colour of my skin”.

    People are born gaayyyyy – deal with it.


    Simon Paynton

    Would you actually buy your cake from that shop?  What about “the extra ingredient is love”?  eugh.


    Daniel W.

    Pastor got caught in a big lie.  The bible repeatedly condoned slavery.  So did Jesus.

    He has the speach style and mannerisms that make me just want to smack him.  And I am nonviolent.  Sort of like they said about Ted Cruz, he just makes you want to smack him,



    Daniel, I agree Ted Cruz’s face is eminently smackable. 🙂



    Robert James Jeffress, Jr. (born November 29, 1955) is an American Southern Baptist (Evangelical) pastor, author, and radio and television host. Jeffress hosts the program, Pathway to Victory, which is broadcast on more than 1,200 television stations in the United States and 28 other countries. He also has a daily radio program, Pathway to Victory, heard on 764 stations. He is the pastor of the 12,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas

    This site says he is worth $12 Million. That’s what Jesus would do, right?. Watching him talk sets my “gaydar” detector to 50%


    Simon Paynton

    @robert – now you come to mention it, you do wonder what he does for leisure time.  Maybe he loves Will and Grace.  I do, it’s fantastic.  Or, The Simpsons.



    Greetings – @robert.  I was browsing around and found your comment about Robert Jeffress.  Back in the summer of 2016, he did what he called his “Tour for America”.  Me, being a “good” Christian was curious.  I had not paid much attention to Jeffress but since he was coming to my city and the event was free, I figured – hey, why not.  But I told my wife, if he tells me to vote for Trump, I’m leaving.  (As a black man and a Christian, I’m convinced evangelicals supported Trump out of a major misunderstanding of the faith… more on that later).

    I went to the arena in my area.  I have no idea what it cost this man and his donors to rent the arena, but it wasn’t cheap.  The music was fine – in fact, from a Christian perspective, it was great.  But then, Jeffrees came out to speak.  I wasn’t sure where he was going, but eventually he said it – indirectly, of course, to keep his tax-exempt status for his organization, but after a bunch of proviso’s and caveats, he said something like, “I can’t tell you who to vote for, but my vote will be based on the future selection of supreme court nominees”.  I walked out.

    As a theist of the Christian verity, I have concluded that a proper understanding of the text held as sacred does support many ethical principles and guidelines you would probably strongly oppose.  (There are also many you would strongly support – like our shared desire to end human slavery on the planet). However, the flaw in the mind and heart of so many southern white evangelicals is that they are trying to make heaven on earth.  Regardless of what you think of our text, there is no way to parse the writings and teachings historically and contextually, since the birth of Jesus, to justify any attempt to create a theocracy – none!

    It drives me crazy when I hear Pastors promote such things and make inappropriate and theologically unsound connections to nationalism.  I’m an American and I love my country as much as the next man, with all of our ugly past and potential for good.  I don’t fully agree that faith should be removed from our pluralistic public square.   Yet, I am convinced that many evangelical Pastors, opinion leaders, and radio personalities get this wrong, theologically speaking.

    Maybe I will start a thread on the  related topic of Utopian Society and see what else I can learn from the different perspectives of those in this Atheist Zone.


    Daniel, I agree Ted Cruz’s face is eminently smackable. 🙂

    A little late with my reply but worth the wait….Jesus already smacked him in the face 🙂


    It drives me crazy when I hear Pastors promote such things and make inappropriate and theologically unsound connections to nationalism.

    Great to hear that. It is one of the reasons many of us atheists are anti-theists (not anti theist, as @jakelafort said). They are only too happy to parade their “acts of righteousness” before others and I suspect many of them pray as hypocrites (to paraphrase lines from Matthew 6).



    I don’t fully agree that faith should be removed from our pluralistic public square.   Yet, I am convinced that many evangelical Pastors, opinion leaders, and radio personalities get this wrong, theologically speaking.

    @fullermingjr, when you say “faith”, do you include Hinduism or Wiccan in our public square and if so, what would be the point of it all? Moralities and beliefs differ. How are we to govern in that way? I could conjure up 10 more religions in a year’s time and they would be as valid as any other institutions that are based on faith. The passage of time and number of adherents do not sway, nor does the implied benefit and promises, nor does past or present testimony or magnitude of punishment for disbelief. All of the gods and prophets are silent and we are left with faith alone (usually gained by childhood cultural indoctrination: where and when you were born) and apologetics (which boil down to various logical fallacies).



    …when you say “faith”, do you include Hinduism or Wiccan in our public square and if so, what would be the point of it all?

    Excellent question @robert.  I did not include those other faith systems.  In the context of this thread and the context of my response, specifically referring to Robert Jeffress – a mega-church Baptist Pastor  who supported and continues to support President Trump, the word “faith” referrers to the general beliefs of those that can be classified in some way as “evangelical Christian”.  This is especially true of those that seem to be politically engaged, regardless of my own disparagement of some of what they represent. (I really do consider myself a Christian, really).

    However, your question is a really fair one in that I used the term “pluralistic”.  Thus, I would not be opposed to Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, or anyone else presenting or representing – in appropriate and acceptable ways – various aspects of their faith in the public square and in the marketplace of ideas.  But “ay, there’s the rub”… how do we define “appropriate” and how do we define “acceptable”?  This falls in the purview of the various levels of legislatures (local, state, federal) and then of the courts to interpret.

    It’s fascinating to me how this has been done over the past 300 years or so, first by the American colonies and then by the states and the federal government. With regard to the colonies there were fines in Williamsburg Virginia for not giving to the church, and we all know about what happened in Salem Mass. and vicinity between February 1692 and May 1693… both inappropriate and unacceptable! Over time, the “court of public opinion” influences the government to the point of making laws that address such definitions.  It all falls under the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.  Thus, I would include all the other belief systems, worldviews, etc., and I think the first Amendment was written to allow this in our pluralistic society.  But things must be done in a fitting and amiable manner.

    Finally, what’s the point?  Why freedom, of course – especially freedom of thought.  At Trump’s recent Tulsa Oklahoma rally, he said that burning the flag should be illegal and subject to an immediate one year sentence in jail.  This goes against the very nature of what the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights represents.  Let ideas stand or fall on their own – put them out there and let people decide.  To be sure, the public square and the marketplace of ideas need some kind of policing but let the ideas and belief systems speak for themselves.  Sure, there are plenty of uncritical folks out here (and you may even consider me one of them 😉) but like Wikipedia, and the balance of power in our three co-equal branches of government, the competition of ideas will also, I think, seek an appropriate level of civility.  Maybe this is “sociocultural evolution” at its best! Your thoughts?



    I’d just like to chime in that I’m not anti-theist myself. That is, my goal isn’t to irradiate religion from the world. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it wouldn’t be a joyous occasion if the poison of religion left this world, but then, it can ONLY be replaced by something more stable like secular humanism. I am not against God. I am only against god expression to the point that it interferes with non-believers.

    The separation of church and state in most of continental Europe (at least the WEstern countries) is quite strict and becoming stricter. I’m lucky to live here so I’m a lot less jaded about religion in my public sphere. The remnants of religion (cultural artifacts, history, architecture) is everywhere. Its easy to appreciate it and enjoy it. Because religious people are no longer vocal. The few who attempt to impose religious values on the rest are mostly ignored these days. People don’t hold crosses in your faces, talk about Jesus on the streets or try to mention their faith in casual conversation. Because of this religion in general is tolerable. I would prefer children weren’t indoctrinated so young and that even religious schools didn’t exist but that is the free market of ideas and world views. As long as they don’t interfere with the progress of secular humanism, then fine. They don’t. So if someone wants to believe in a bearded man in the sky, pff, they can believe whatever ludicrous nonsense they like.

    I’m not against believers. I simply pity that they cannot see the history of religion for what it is, human created myths to explain away ignorance. Their blindness to how they so fervantly believe, what happens to be the very same preposterous religious beliefs their parents did, and yet are totally fine with that. It’s sort of like growing up and realizing there aren’t such things as ghosts and Santa Claus and yet not making the larger leap. Their idea that meaning in life should be fed from superstitious dogma and that values should come from bronze-age books that can only modernize by chucking most of it away. Their inability to look at the most secularized democracies like Canada and Sweden and see a mostly non-religious people who have created a far more just and safe and kind society than religious ones like parts of the US or Poland or Iran or Burma. Those who ask why anyone would be good without dictated morality despite the fact that this dictated morality is rarely followed by believers, is terribly immoral from a philosophical analysis and that people in Canada and Sweden don’t go around murdering one another despite the fact that they don’t fear hell.

    So to make a long disclaimer short, I totally understand and respect anti-theists, it should be known that not everyone here is.



    fullermingjr, you seem to be equivocating about the first amendment as it pertains to religion. It is simple…the government can’t establish/endorse an official religion (because history taught the founders that persecution of non-establishment religious groups are hosed)and every idiot can do his or her own thing..practice to your heart’s content. So there can be no favoritism among the practitioners and the government has to keep its nose out of religion.

    Davis, my problem with what you have said is that as long as religion is here it will not be moderate. It just won’t. I also live in a pocket within USA in which religion is not typically shoved in one’s face. Can only recall two incidents with believers my entire life in which i was accosted and browbeaten. But i hear from Americans in the bible belt and it is a fucking nightmare for some of them. As long as reason is cast out and faith is the M. O. we will have hardcore orthodox believers and sects that branch and are invidious. These folks exert an untoward influence on government even when we nonbelievers and moderate believers are not feeling personally offended. On top of that we have millions who live lives of quiet desperation born into a living nightmare.



    Thanks @jakelafort, I was responding to the question from @robert. I agree… no state established religion in the US, and all the ancillary implications therein.

    @davis, I too despise the “poison of religion”, and some of what you meant by that phrase I would agree with wholeheartedly but obviously not all. Also, I really don’t care if a bicycle riding Mormon missionary, a Jehovah’s Witness,  or a Hare Krishna devote accost me at a mall or on the street or even knocks on my door… I just say, “no thank you, I’m not interested”. If they persist,  I stop, look them in the eye, and firmly but respectfully say it again.  (I admit that sometimes I do talk… its fascinating what I discover about their particular faith systems). I do the same with pesky sales people!

    But I do have a question, assuming you are from Western Europe as implied… Are you saying that in some Western European areas, forced separation of church and state is legislated by law? Please excuse my ignorance of Western Europe.

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