The cost of atheism
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27-08-2014, 01:38 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:36 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:21 PM)CiderThinker Wrote:  Why is giving examples of what I perceive to be immorality in the NT now cherry-picking? I gave you what you asked for! Dodgy nonetheless...

We shall just have to disagree with each other about Thomas because I don't see your mind changing at this point.

Taking no thought for the morrow may be about trusting God - that is something I don't question, but it also gives license for inaction on so many things.

As to the commandment to love. To quote Alan Watts "Is that a commandment or a joke?" How can you enforce love? You cannot be forced to love another human so how can you love God on command?

What I meant by cherry picking was isolating texts from their NT contexts which explain their meaning.

No one could read the NT and say that Jesus is giving license to do nothing. You could only do that if you read that one verse and nothing else. Read the NT and see if you feel it gives license for you to do nothing. The christian work ethic is very strong.
Interesting that you call it a christian work ethic...

I would call it human evolutionary instinct...


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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27-08-2014, 01:40 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:28 PM)Leo Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:22 PM)Leo Wrote:  Holy shit ! This troll is hardcore ! 69 posts in one day!Laugh out load

Hey Christian dude , are you this guy ?

I wish, he is much better looking!
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27-08-2014, 01:42 PM (This post was last modified: 27-08-2014 01:45 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:38 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:32 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  and not answering up to the facts laid out for you is what we have come to expect as well...

All we have had lately is a series of fundamentalist Xtians who are unable to articulate or substantiate their faith, and when I thoroughly dismantle the bible for them, they scream in caps "Your are going to hell" and then run away." So unless you can actually enter intelligent discourse, have an ability to substantiate and validate your faith, and can interpret facts as they are laid out neutrally, then you are wasting your time entering our forum.

Let's do a test:

You made a reference to something about jesus. Since all writings of jesus were made by people who based it on hearsay and oral traditions, and none of them, let me say it again slower....N..O..N...E...of them actually had met jesus, how can you base anything on scripture in reference to jesus when it is all pseudepigrapha, interpolations, parables, allegorical writings or simply hearsay?

Liberal scholarship was debunked years ago. Go on then, prove to me that NT was written years later by people who never met Jesus, like Paul?

You may want to take a theology class or two in christianity, I have a degree in it.

Matthew: The Gospel of Matthew is generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view, but has been strongly supported. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer...do some research. Knowledge is power, and quite liberating.

Luke/Acts: Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). Many modern scholars reject this view.

Mark: Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative.

John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This is the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it...otherwise known as a FORGERY.

James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.

paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

To look further into it, the gospel of John presents Jesus quite differently from Matthew, Mark and Luke. According to the most widely accepted critical scholarly theory, the gospel of Mark was the first of the Gospels, written approximately 70 CE. Since Jesus died around the year 30, we must assume a gap of approximately 35 to 40 years during which historical traditions about Jesus’s life were passed down orally. Jesus spoke Aramaic; the Gospels are written in Greek thus translation could also be an issue. Because the gospel writers were explicitly writing to encourage faith, most scholars argue that they were not interested in historical accuracy (Albl 282).

Paul refers often to the “traditions” that he has passed on to the congregations: “I praise you because you remember me in everything and holdfast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you” (1 Corinthians 11:2). From whom did Paul receive his traditions? Paul himself did not know the historical Jesus, but he did know and spend time with Jesus disciples(Albl 283). Thus all writings of Paul in regards to Jesus are based on tradition and stories passed on to him from others.



Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.
- Flavius Josephus, (37–100 CE) (http://www.josephus.org) a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations, (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html)

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.


Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

As you can see, apologist Christians embarrass themselves when they unwittingly or deceptively violate the rules of historiography by using after-the-event writings as evidence for the event itself. Not one of these writers gives a source or backs up his claims with evidential material about Jesus. It doesn't matter what these people wrote about Jesus, an author who writes after the alleged happening and gives no detectable sources for his material can only give example of hearsay. All of these anachronistic writings about Jesus could easily have come from the beliefs and stories from Christian believers themselves. And as we know from myth, superstition, and faith, beliefs do not require facts or evidence for their propagation and circulation. Thus we have only beliefs about Jesus' existence, and nothing more.

getting the picture yet?

Works cited:

Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2009. Print.

The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press, Inc., 2011. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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27-08-2014, 01:42 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:34 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  As per standard, I get ignored.

Give him time, he's responding in turn to about a dozen different people.

Laugh out load
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27-08-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:42 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:34 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  As per standard, I get ignored.

Give him time, he's responding in turn to about a dozen different people.

Laugh out load

Yeah, I know. But, he skipped me when I said the Bible isn't literal as it never makes that claim.

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27-08-2014, 01:45 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 12:57 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 12:51 PM)Metazoa Zeke Wrote:  where are you people coming from? Why are all these theist flooding TTA right now?

Just looks like normal statistical noise to me...

They are only coming here in waves,
Their lips move but I can't hear what they're saying ...

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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27-08-2014, 01:46 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:42 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 01:38 PM)ChristianMan Wrote:  Liberal scholarship was debunked years ago. Go on then, prove to me that NT was written years later by people who never met Jesus, like Paul?

You may want to take a theology class or two in christianity, I have a degree in it.

Matthew: The Gospel of Matthew is generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view, but has been strongly supported. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer...do some research. Knowledge is power, and quite liberating.

Luke/Acts: Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). Many modern scholars reject this view.

Mark: Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative.

John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This is the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it...otherwise known as a FORGERY.

James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.

paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

To look further into it, the gospel of John presents Jesus quite differently from Matthew, Mark and Luke. According to the most widely accepted critical scholarly theory, the gospel of Mark was the first of the Gospels, written approximately 70 CE. Since Jesus died around the year 30, we must assume a gap of approximately 35 to 40 years during which historical traditions about Jesus’s life were passed down orally. Jesus spoke Aramaic; the Gospels are written in Greek thus translation could also be an issue. Because the gospel writers were explicitly writing to encourage faith, most scholars argue that they were not interested in historical accuracy (Albl 282).

Paul refers often to the “traditions” that he has passed on to the congregations: “I praise you because you remember me in everything and holdfast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you” (1 Corinthians 11:2). From whom did Paul receive his traditions? Paul himself did not know the historical Jesus, but he did know and spend time with Jesus disciples(Albl 283). Thus all writings of Paul in regards to Jesus are based on tradition and stories passed on to him from others.



Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.
- Flavius Josephus, (37–100 CE) (http://www.josephus.org) a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations, (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html)

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.


Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

As you can see, apologist Christians embarrass themselves when they unwittingly or deceptively violate the rules of historiography by using after-the-event writings as evidence for the event itself. Not one of these writers gives a source or backs up his claims with evidential material about Jesus. It doesn't matter what these people wrote about Jesus, an author who writes after the alleged happening and gives no detectable sources for his material can only give example of hearsay. All of these anachronistic writings about Jesus could easily have come from the beliefs and stories from Christian believers themselves. And as we know from myth, superstition, and faith, beliefs do not require facts or evidence for their propagation and circulation. Thus we have only beliefs about Jesus' existence, and nothing more.

getting the picture yet?

Works cited:

Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2009. Print.

The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press, Inc., 2011. Print.

I also have a degree in theology, but thanks for your concern.
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27-08-2014, 01:47 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 07:31 AM)ChristianMan Wrote:  Everyone likes to have a cause, an enemy, something to fight for, its human.
Atheism isn't an exclusive group.
We don't consider Christians to be the enemy.

We only consider people who get violent on us or oppress us as the problem.
If you pray behind closed doors to your god then we have no issues.
If you force us to pray with you, then you will have a problem.
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27-08-2014, 01:48 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:34 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  As per standard, I get ignored.

If it makes you feel better I liked your post.

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27-08-2014, 01:48 PM
RE: The cost of atheism
(27-08-2014 01:04 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(27-08-2014 12:37 PM)phil.a Wrote:  Thanks - good luck with the ongoing extinction of religion in the UK ;-)

Yeah there's loads of unused churches being converted to gastro pubs or being sold to property developers to be knocked down and replaced with blocks of flats (apartments).

Last I heard only 10% of the population were regular church going Christians. About the same percentage of gay people, or left handed people.

If it declines any more then there will have to be a Christian couple featured on a socially aware soap opera and Christian Pride marches through London where people are warned in advance that cameras are ahead.

I think you will find that evangelicalism is doing quite well. Probably because it is Bible believing and so doesn't water everything down.
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