September 20, 2007

If All Theists Thought Like Pastor Jerry Lossner, There Would Be No Atheist Movement

I admit it, I'm part of a new phenomenon, The Atheist Movement. I am considered by many to be a militant atheist thanks to my outspokenness on this blog and many message boards. Yes, I tend to irritate others who ARE WRONG and I also have a tendency to belittle my opponents on occasion. See, I can admit my weaknesses and strengths.

I read an excellent and very refreshing article this morning called 'He Trusts God But Likes Secular Coins' by Pastor Jerry Lossner of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Bellflower. It isn't long so I will copy it here and include a few of my witty gems as they pop into my head:

P-T columnist Tim Grobaty sure knows how to get my juices flowing! I must respond to his Wednesday article about "In God we Trust" on coins.
Grobaty's article is pretty boring but his line "filthy secularists" made me smile. Oh, and he does admit that the God in "In God We Trust" is the Christian God.

I guess I'm one of the few Christians who opposes God's name on coins, in the pledge of allegiance, and I am opposed to prayers in schools.
I wonder what percentage of Christians and other non religious theists agree with this statement. I'm thinking maybe 5% tops.

Don't misunderstand. I am a devout Christian who believes that Jesus Christ is the only way God has provided for our salvation. I just don't think God wants us to cram our faith down other's throats. The Lord Jesus wants people to come to Him because they love Him, not because they feel coerced.
Does that include not indoctrinating children at a very young age? Isn't taking a child to church before he even realizes Santa Claus is a myth forcing the parents faith down the child's throat. You know, like choosing faith based schooling over public schooling for instance.

First of all, when we put God's name on coins, which God are we referring to? Christians believe that the only true God is the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons, yet one God. Is that the God on the coins? Or is it some false God? Or is it the god we individually worship, such as money, sex, fame, etc.?
I'm sure Christians will agree it is the Christian God. But this is a great point. I'm wondering how many Americans would like to see "In Allah We Trust" on coins.

We use money for things which are immoral and illegal. The thought of placing a bill with God's name on it in the G-string of a stripper makes me sick.
Doesn't the G in G-string stand for God? But seriously, the God in the bibles did way more "immoral" things that were worse than lap dancing. God murdered millions of innocent babies in the flood, for example. I could go on of course:)

Putting a bill or coin with God's name on it into a slot machine is disgusting. We drag God's holy name through the mud when we put it on money.
They uses cards and vouchers these days when it comes to most slot machines. Call it a moral victory for God.

We use it for shady real estate deals, purchasing illegal drugs and pornography, buying elections, etc.
Cash is hardly used nowadays, except for maybe illegal drugs. But there isn't much of a difference in denying reality through drug use or religion.

We live in a nation which was founded on the principle of religious freedom. At the founding of our nation Christianity was just about the only religion practiced, except for Judaism. Freedom of religion meant you could be a Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, or Jew, etc., and that was about it. Times have changed!
I'm not going to slam this comment, I agree with it completely. Although "In God We Trust" came much later than the actual founding date of America.

Now that we are inundated with non-Christian religions, Christians feel threatened. They forget their own history, which says the church was built on the blood of the martyrs. The more Christianity is persecuted, the stronger it gets. God's Word predicted this, and since God's Word is true, the prophecy has come true over the centuries.
I would say that Christianity is weaker today than yesterday and it will continue to get weaker because God's Word is not true. There is no evidence that any God exists. Science is not a conspiracy theory against religion, but it really takes the wind out of bible stories like Noah's Ark.

No faith has the right to force its faith on others. Do you really think anyone has ever been converted because they saw the name of God on a coin? Atheists also have rights.
Another point is that nobody will lose their faith by removing God off money.

While I agree with what the Bible says about atheists, that they are fools (Psalm 14:1), they have every right in our country to believe what they want. They should not be constantly confronted with the name God.
Call me a fool if you must. I'll give him that for writing such a refreshing piece.

The Christian faith begins in the home. That is where children are taught to pray. The public school is just that, a school for the public, not just Christians.
I thought this guy was against shoving religion down the throats of others. I guess children don't count. They don't have the same rights as us atheists:)

If a child has not learned the Ten Commandments by the time he goes to school, it is unlikely he will learn it from a poster hanging in the school hallway. If he has learned them, then the poster is not necessary. If parents want their child to study the Bible in school then they should send them to a Christian school.

And the parent should pay for Christian schools. Don't forget about that.

If the child has to go to public school, either because there is no Christian school in the area, or the parents can't afford it, then if the parents have done a good job instilling the Christian faith in the hearts and minds of their children, then the children's faith will be a beacon to their non-Christian friends.
Yes, it is up to the parents to brainwash their sperm egg product, not the states.

If the non-Christian friends have a negative influence on the Christian child, then the parents did not do a good job. Having your child baptized and then never taking him or her to church or Sunday School, or teaching them to pray, or teaching them to study and love God's Word, is not nurturing the faith that was planted in them at their baptism.

Didn't the good Pastor earlier say "I just don't think God wants us to cram our faith down other's throats." I guess he left out, "unless they are children."

The pastor is concluding 22 years of service at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Bellflower, this month. In October he will will become the pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church in Compton.
Still, I would have to say that the Bellflower Church is losing a progressive Fundy, though it was very hard for me to type "progressive Fundy."

I think the reason why atheists like myself are so obnoxiously outspoken these days is because Lossner represents such a small percentage of religionists. I'd like to see some stats on this one.


  1. I think the percentage of evangelicals who do not want God on the money, the ten commandments or Christian references in the schools, and so on is very, very much higher, it's just that you don't hear from us because we're more involved in the Great Commission (evangelization and discipleship) than politics.

    Taking the Lord's name in vain, used meaninglessly, is blasphemous, and having it on a bill with an Egyptian pyramid and eyeball, come on. Our texts don't show Jesus seeking socio-political reform, and he was living under the Romans. These people have a warped idea of Christianity.

  2. If there is no god then how are there still Jews!? Like Bengurion said: any Jew that dosnt believe in god is not a realist.

    I do believe in the seperation of the church and the state but you are way too hostile towards religions. Your ignoring all the good it has done and that hitler and stalin were atheists. If they had been religious alot more people would be alive today.

    Dont confuse Islam with other religions.

  3. Orde, I can't share your optimism. I think the numbers that want Christian references on the dollar, in schools, and the public sector is very high.

    Geno, there aren't that many Jews considering we've been around for at least 2500 years.
    Where is evidence of God? Just name something.

    Stalin had a very strong religious upbringing and Hitler was a bad Catholic but a Catholic none the less. Worse case is that he was a deist who believed he was doing God's work and that he was divinely inspired. He thought Aryans were specially created by God.

    And the anti-semitism that ran rampant in the Catholic church in the 20's and 30's in Germany made anti-semitism policy by Hitler a very easy sell.

  4. The thing with children is that "cramming" somethign down there throats implies that they aren't willingly swallowing it. They don't know to protest. Personally I think Christian schools should be treated as homeschooling, get no federal aid and the kid has to get a GED (which asks questions about evolutionary biology) before they can apply to college. Then teach science in schools.

    That way kids who decide to listen to their parents will, but more kids will question the more ridiculous tenets of their faith because they are exposed to facts. Then again, I don't care if someone believes that Jesus could walk on water as long as they admit that the Old Testament and Revelations are metaphors and science is tested and testable fact. And honestly, if all they do is sell pizza in Podunksville, Iowa then they don't even have to believe that.

    I like this guy, though, he seems to understand that the only people who want to become Christian are the children of Christians.

  5. beaj,

    geno did give/name evidence for God: the Jews!

    Prophecy regarding the Jewish people points to God in several ways, including:

    (1) the specificity, detail, and 100% track record of the Jewish prophecies so far, defy probabilities, thus pointing to both omniscience and transcendence.
    (2) the manner of fulfillments are such that man can't take credit, and point to omnipotence and sovereignty over all nations and history.

    As for your statement about Hitler and the Catholics, it's true the Catholic church never disfellowshipped him (I forgot the word they use), and Catholicism by its theology is antisemitic even to this day. But the unbiblical Protestant tradition in Germany, and Luther's antisemitic writings (cited by Hitler) in particular, greatly contributed to the Holocaust. This antisemitic theology continues today, and to purge the Church of its present antisemitism requires challenging faulty theology, which we are doing with diligent tenacity.

  6. Orde, what Jewish prophecies? Israel was a self fulfilling one. That is the only one I know of.
    And yes, man can take credit for that one.
    There is absolutely no evidence God has ever existed.

    Orde, true about that. Christianity of all forms contributed to the anti-semitism in Nazi Germany that helped make it possible for laws against Jews that eventually led to the Holocaust.

    Yes, the Holocaust also sped up a sovereign Israel, however, if you buy that a God watched 5-6 million of his "chosen ones" perish in such a manner, one has to wonder exactly what the hell you are worshiping.

  7. Basiorana:
    "he seems to understand that the only people who want to become Christian are the children of Christians."

    And it takes a child's mind to believe the earth in less than 6,000 years old and that evolution is false, and that Noah's Ark is a totally true story.

  8. Prepare to be awed, I will assemble a list from the Tanakh. Awe, Beaj, awe!

  9. Yeah, Bjay, be prepared to be AWED! (lol)

    Interesting post and comments. I might link to this tomorrow.

    Personally I don't think you're too hard on religion (well, sometimes a liiiitttlle perhaps - lol) but I do think you spend way too much time and attribute too much importance to the "brainwashing argument". Listen Bjay, we're all brainwashed: education = indoctrination, whether you accept that or not.

    A few examples. My 13 year old daughter did at one point quite like religious education at school. Well, I'm an atheist/agnostic but I never tried to indoctrinate her... No? No, but the fact that daddy doesn't believe in sky goblins has of course influenced her: children do tend to follow their parents' example. Call it "soft power indoctrination" if you will.

    Other example. My daughter is being taught at school (in a sensible way I feel) about man-made global warming (MMGW) and I've no problem with that. To me the evidence is pretty clear... but to a far-right Loony Conservative American that would smack also of brainwashing: to them MMGW is "Leftist plot against Big Oil and SUVs, a device to raise taxes and give the money to... the pooooor!"

    We tend to shout BRAINWASHING! when what is being said or taught is something we don't agree with. But that's rather relative, whether we like it or not...

  10. So, Beaj, I'm looking to your comment to guide me in choosing which of the hundreds of Jewish prophecies to select, and I note:
    (1) you admit to knowing the general prophecy of an Israel restored to the land -- therefore I will NOT go there, and
    (2) you have issues w/a God that would watch millions of his chosen perish -- therefore, I WILL go there!

    Because when I show that the Tanakh promises Jews worse affliction than any nation ever, global in extent, persistent through time, severe to threatening utter extinction, and specifically promising furnaces, then since I'm offering outrageous bad news prophecies, I'm hoping by this approach to eliminate the "self-fulfilling prophecy" rebuttal, since it's counterlogical to assert that millions of Jews thru time and geography would conceive their own torment and destruction to fulfill such prophecies.

    But then there will remain a problem, since after proving that the God who actually more than watched the Holocaust matches the God of the Bible, this will do nothing to address the unspoken outrage and/or questioning of such a God's goodness that is behind your statement that "one has to wonder exactly what the hell you are (I am) worshipping."

    This is a very valid question, and the scriptures do reconcile the goodness and justice of God with the problem of evil, however it is a separate question from whether an evil-allowing (at least for the time being) God exists, and I don't want to confound the two.

    Now you know my the approach and rationale underlying my subsequent post, which will be nothing but a straight list of scriptures using the JPS Tanakh translation, lest anyone accuse me of twisting or decontextualizing scripture.

    Showing that outrageous, logic-defying, horrors were promised and happened and are happening will prove that the Bible had origins outside of our time domain. The prophecy list will not just include present-day events, but even go all the way back to Moses before the Jewish people ever were in the land, and even back to Abraham before a Jew ever existed.

    When it's shown that the Bible's been correct about the bad stuff, a logical conclusion will be that it will be correct about the good stuff. (Just as the Jewish day has the night before the light, the bad is before the good, labor pains before the joy of birth.) No more talking from me, only the verses ... judge for yourself whether it has happened just as it was written...

  11. Gert, there is a difference when it comes to brainwashing ideologies and morals and ethics, and it is another story when the brainwashing involves myths as if they were truths.

  12. Orde, I'm familiar with the Holocaust apologist arguments when it comes to God. In fact all religions predict bad things for those who don't follow the religion to a tee, that is why they are affective in keeping the flock scared sh1tless.
    As for the bibles, the NT and OT were written after many of the prophecies they supposedly predicted. There is no evidence of an Exodus from Egypt btw.
    I'll tell you in advance, I doubt you will show me something I haven't seen, and it will do nothing make me acknowledge God ever existed. But feel free to try.

  13. Bjay:

    I rather look forward to Orde's list of prophecies [ahem!] and for the following reasons. It's now become very fashionable among theists and atheists alike to not only denounce Islam as "not a religion of peace" but even to believe in the massive and demonstrable fallacy that Islam is not one of the Abrahamic faiths but "something else altogether".

    Truth is that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are really Godology v1.0, v1.1 and v1.2 respectively and that v1.1 and v1.2 have borrowed heavily from the original monotheistic faith, i.e. early Judaism. Christianity has been particularly good at trying to expunge its early Judaic roots, including the suppression of Judaic gospels and the persecution of Jews (as the fallen people). Of course today, political expedience demands the promotion and emphasis of "Judeo-Christian values", the latest twist in the tale that man-made theology essentially is.

    Over at Mad Zionist I got (again!) embroiled in one of those pseudo-theological debates with a guy (Jay) who believes (even likes) in Armageddon, and then with a straight face tells me that his faith gives hope to millions. Lemmesee, billions are supposed to die in a final reckoning (Mwhahahah... hahaha) and then the Righteous will be wraptured up to heaven (but not Jews, conversion required first, please! Form an orderly queue!). And that makes some hopeful? (insert sound of gnashing teeth...)

    And so the Holocaust can be justified because YHWE has a plan? Because Diaspora Jews didn't... well, behave according to God's laws? Or did they? Or didn't they?

    Frankly that "Holocaust was OK" because "all will end well" is a first for me...

  14. Though furnaces and more amazing Jewish prophecies are in the post-Moses prophets, it's fitting to start w/Moses,the foundation, proving:

    (1) all the world of all time hates you (Jews)- just like Bible-God said,
    (2) not just the first expulsion from the land, but the post-70 C.E. explusion, which occurred after written copies of the Torah is prophesied by Moses, as seen in his use of words like "all nations" (plural) and so on,
    (3) he predicted continuous preservation despite near extinction, rather than annihilation nor assimilation, and
    (3) a Holocaust-allowing God is consistent with and confirms Bible-God, about whom Moses said: "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, an impassioned God."(Deut4:24). Here goes:

    *"And He said to Abram, 'Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed..."(Gen15:13)

    *"When...long established in the land, should you act shall soon perish from the land..."(Deut 4:25-26)

    *"The Lord will scatter you among the peopleS, and only a scant few shall be left among the nationS to which the Lord will drive you."(Deut 4:27-28)

    *"But if you search there for the Lord your God, you will find Him...When you are in distress...and in the end, return to the Lord your God and obey Him." (Deut 4:29-30)

    *"But if you do not obey...shall be constantly abused and robbed, with none to give help...downtrodden continually, until you are driven mad by what your eyes behold...You shall be a consternation, a proverb, and a byword among ALL the peopleS to which the Lord will drive you...shall have to serve -- in hunger and thirst, naked and lacking everything --the enemies whom the Lord will let loose against you." (Deut 28:15-48)

    *""You shall be left a scant few...The Lord will scatter you among ALL the peopleS from one end of the earth to the other...even among those nationS you shall find no peace...The life you face shall be precarious; you shall be in terror, night and day, with no assurance of survival.(Deut 28:62-66)

    *"But if you...I will wreak misery upon you...set my face against you...And if for all that, you do not obey Me, I will go on to discipline you sevenfold for your sins, and I will break your proud glory...And if you remain hostile...I will go on smiting you sevenfold...And if these things fail to discipline you...and you remain hostile to Me, I too will remain hostile to you: I in turn will smite you sevenfold for your sins. I will bring a sword...But if, despite this, you disobey...I will act against you in wrathful hostility...sevenfold...I will spurn you...make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled by it. And you I will scatter among the nationS...then shall the land rest...the land of your enemies shall consume you. Those of you who survive shall be heartsick over their inquity in the land of your enemies...then at last shall their obdurate heart humble itself...Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob...when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or spurn them so as to destroy them, annulling My covenant..."(Lev26:14-45)

    *"When all these things befall you...take them to heart amidst the various nationS to which the Lord your God has banished you, and you return...then the Lord your God will restore...bring you together AGAIN from all the peopleS where the Lord your God has scattered you. Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you...will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it...Then the Lord your God will open up your heart...your God will inflict all the curses upon the enemies and foews who persecuted you. (Deut 30:1-6, obviously the end part is still future, not fulfilled yet).

    *"For the Lord will vindicate His people and take revenge for His servants, When He sees that their might is gone...I deal death and give life; I wounded and I will heal...He'll avenge the blood of His servants, wreak vengeance on His foes, and cleanse the land of His people." (Deut 32:36-43, obviously implying pollution of the land at the time of this return)

    *"I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way...Do not defy him, for he will not pardon your offenses, since My Name is in him; but if you obey him...I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes." (Ex 23:20-22)

    *"The Lord you God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your own people, like myself...and if anybody fails to heed the words he speaks in My name, I will call him to account." (Deut 18:15-19)

    Yikes, gotta run...

  15. Orde, I'm not qualified to rip apart your comment the way I would like to.
    Let me just say that you are quoting a bible that couldn't even get the past right when it states that the Ark story is true. Any predictions of the future and prophecies were either written after the fact, cherry picked, or just plain flukes.

    As far as Moses is concerned, it is highly likely that no such person existed, and for sure, there was no Exodus.

    By the time the bible was written there were people of Israel who were temporarily expelled. In fact, we don't even know when the bible was written and when the final version was written.

    I read your whole post, and it didn't awe me in the least.

    There is no evidence God exists, and there is no evidence that the words you quoted were nothing but a story made up by a few or many writers who were thinking very short time and based their words on the recent history that they knew.

  16. Orde:

    The "prophecies" you mention carry about as much weight as Nostradamus' nonsense. The word "you" could really mean anybody for instance. It's a tribute to the paucity of your argument that you need to resort to emphasize one letter ("nationS") to "prove" your point. So much for context... Long live LITERALISM! (not)

    If you take the number pi, assign a letter to each digit and then list, say, every 16th letter and string them together you'd get "prophecies", provided you repeat the process long enough. You also find the phrase: "Orde isn't too smart" but what would that prove...

  17. The Atheist Jew,
    I haven't read all the ongoing bantering in the comments but I did read you post. I would be in your 5% that says "'In God we trust' should not be emblazoned on coins. Prayer should not officially happen in schools. Etc." A little about me: I am sometimes hated by Christians even though I am a follower of Jesus. The way Christians treat people is horendous. Though I have a B.A. in Theology and am working on an M.A. I probably can't convince you that there is a god. I'm sure you've heard all the arguments. So I won't try. Nonetheless, I believe in one. Hope to hear you thoughts.

  18. beaj & gert,
    Ha! I didn't even get to the "awe" part, didn't even start, that's why!

    I was just laying the Mosaic foundation, that there'd be not just one scattering, but a subsequent global one (and more than one return), that the intense persecution would be ongoing, that it'd be intense yet preservation would remain. The awe comes with filling in the specific details--that's what really makes them not like Nostradamus--that are written of in the Tanakh's books of The Prophets, not the books of Moses.

  19. I'm not sure if you caught my post that I submitted both to and rational responsders, but I do appreciate someone who can provoke the kind of comments that your blog does. I have something to say about God here:

    and Jesus here:

    By the way, as a fellow Ontarian, I agree with your post about John Tory.

    As for Atheist Jews, don't even get me started!

  20. Travis, I hope you make it to become a preacher of a big church one day.

    Orde, it is pretty evident how you are going to fill in the puzzle.

    Oryx, I disagree with your finding God post, because most atheists like myself grew up assuming God exists for quite some time. I could have gone my whole life assuming (believing whole heartedly) that God exists, but I escaped the nonsense as I questioned and became more educated.

  21. O.k., beaj, but it's not evident to me.