Sep
27
2010

‘Reason is the Devil’s whore’

This famous quote comes from Martin Luther the reformer. Interestingly, infidels have long used this quote out of context to show that religion and Christianity are contrary to reason, but this is actually not Luther’s meaning, nor is he rejecting reason, but rather, reason divorced from revelation and faith.

The actual quote is

Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”
[Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148]

And again

But since the devil’s bride, Reason, that pretty whore, comes in and thinks she’s wise, and what she says, what she thinks, is from the Holy Spirit, who can help us, then? Not judges, not doctors, no king or emperor, because [reason] is the Devil’s greatest whore.
[Martin Luther's Last Sermon in Wittenberg ... Second Sunday in Epiphany, 17 January 1546.Dr. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe. (Weimar: Herman Boehlaus Nachfolger, 1914), Band 51:126, Line 7ff]

But in what context was he making such a statement? Here’s an interesting line from a book by John Osborne entitled Luther.

“And I sat in my heap of pain until the words emerged and opened out, ‘The just shall live by faith. My pain vanished, my bowels flushed and I could get up. I could see the life I’d lost. No man is just because he does just works… This I know; reason is the devil’s whore, born of one stinking goat called Aristotle, which believes that good works make a good man. But the truth is that the just shall live by faith alone. I need no more than my sweet redeemer and mediator, Jesus Christ.”

Remember, Luther was reforming against the unbiblical theological approach of the Catholic church and the pagan approach to knowledge in the Universities of the time, which included its adoption of the Aristotalian view of science and God (which included the earth-centric view of astronomy which later was used by scientists and Catholics to persecute the heliocentric view), and specifically, the idea of dualism, i.e. the separation of the sacred and the secular, reason and faith, the body and the spirit, etc.

What Luther was complaining about was reason untethered from faith and scripture, and how such use of reason can lead man astray. Luther realized that, for instance, secular work could be a God-given calling, just as much as a call to the priesthood. As Nancy Pearcey relates in her book Total Truth:

One of the driving motives of the Reformers was to overcome this medieval dualism and recover the unity of life and knowledge under the authority of God’s Word. They argued that the medieval scholastics had accommodated far too much to pagan philosophers such as Aristotle, and they urged a more critical attitude toward the alleged truths of reason arrived at apart from divine revelation.
[Total Truth, pp. 80-81]

It is plain to see that Luther hated the Aristotalian approach to knowledge, and associated it directly and almost solely with those using ‘reason’ to attack faith, as seen here:

The universities also need a good, thorough reformation — I must say it no matter whom it vexes — for everything which the papacy has instituted and ordered is directed only towards the increasing of sin and error. What else are the universities, if their present condition remains unchanged, than as the book of Maccabees says, 2 Macc. 4:9, 12: Gymnasia Epheborum et Graecae gloriae,[1] in which loose living prevails, the Holy Scriptures and the Christian faith are little taught, and the blind, heathen master Aristotle[2] rules alone, even more than Christ….It grieves me to the heart that this damned, conceited, rascally heathen has with his false words deluded and made fools of so many of the best Christians. God has sent him as a plague upon us for our sins.
[An Open Letter to The Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate, 1520 by Martin Luther (1520)]

In the lengthy analysis in Trinity Journal, historian Ronald Frost relates:

Luther’s greatest concern in his early reforming work was to rid the church of central Aristotelian assumptions that were transmitted through Thomistic theology….[]
Despite claims to the contrary by modern proponents of an Aristotelian Christianity, Aristotle’s works offered much more than a benign academic methodology; instead, as we will see below, his crucial definitions in ethics and anthropology shaped the thinking of young theological students in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who read the Bible and theology through the optic of his definitions. Luther recognized that Aristotle’s influence entered Christian thought through the philosopher’s pervasive presence in the curricula of all European universities. In his scathing treatise of 1520, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, Luther-who for his first year at Wittenberg (1508-9) lectured on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics four times a week-chided educators for creating an environment “where little is taught of the Holy Scriptures and Christian faith, and where only the blind, heathen teacher Aristotle rules far more than Christ.”
[Aristotle's Ethics: The Real Reason for Luther's Reformation?]

CONCLUSION
Luther’s position was not that reason was not to be used, but it was to be used within a biblical framework, that is, in subservience to revelation. As I love to say:

Before faith comes, reason is king. After faith comes, reason is servant.

32 Comments+ Add Comment

  • “Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”
    Thank you, seeker, for providing this insightful discussion of what lies behind the xian rejection of reason! What a wonderful indictment of xian faith, from the mouth of the founder of Protestantism and channeled through one of the religion’s most irrational and bigoted champions! I am now emboldened and strengthened to adhere to reason as a bulwark against the evils of religion. It is clear that your religion constitutes one of the most vicious and evil adversaries of America I can think of. Just look at what this abandonment and condemnation of reason has brought us throughout history: the Crusades, the Hundred Years war, the Inquisition, the Holocaust, the destruction of native American culture and peoples, the persecution and destruction of gays, 9/11, and all the unnamed oppression of people throughout Western history since the fall of Rome, etc., etc., ad nauseum. The deranged rhetoric used by the obviously demented Luther bespeaks what occurs when reason is forsaken and “faith” put in its place (like a dwarf in the clothes of its master). Thank whatever God there is that this evil ideology is in eclipse in the West!
    Thank you, seeker!

    • “reason” when it is not based in a Divine reality has no foundation. I see you are an atheist. If naturalistic atheism holds, then all your rational and moral assertions are baseless and a laughable absurdity, they are determined by the cause and effect of the universe and guided by survival since it would be simply a product of biological evolution and nothing more. So your post is literally baseless, determined and geared only for survival, literally the white noise of the universe, nothing more so thank you for demonstrating the absurdity of atheism and I will use Reason that is undergirded by a Divine Reality and Revelation against the evils of atheist lunacy that you display! Thanks! BTW- atheist mass murderers dwarf anything a jihadist could dream of. Atheist hall of fame.
      1) Lenin- tyrant
      2) Stalin- mass murderer
      3) Mao- mass murderer
      4) Pol Pot- WOW! another Mass murderer, go figure.
      5) Ho chee- O!M!G! another mass murderer, is there a pattern here?
      6) Kim ill- ego maniac
      7) Castro- ditto
      8) Ohare- bonified screech
      9) Louis- atheist troll, ignoramus par excellence
      P.S. atheism is on the decline worldwide. 1970- 5% world population atheist. Today? 2%. Thank God he is ending the hopeless, meaningless nightmare that has been the atheist worldview imposed on billions. Praise God!!

  • ROFL!

  • Thank you, seeker, for providing this insightful discussion of what lies behind the xian rejection of reason!
    I think you missed the point entirely. You see what you want to see.

    • why do we even try and reason with atheists at all? If their view holds our “reason” is literally the baseless determined white noise of the universe, nothing more.

  • BTW, the point is, that reason unsecured by scripture ends up shipwrecked on the shoals of man’s fallen nature – you end up believing and justifying such things as sexual promiscuity and perversion, abortion, and bogus scientific theories, among other lies that we like to believe in order to justify our ungodly perspectives and behaviors.
    I know you don’t agree, but that’s fine. But to entirely miss the context of Luther’s quote is what most leftist intellectual hacks and axe-grinders do – like those who mistook Jesus’ hard sayings, they foist themselves on the petard of their ‘elevated’ reasoning powers, thinking they are justified in rejecting Him, and entirely missing the point. That is certainly what you have done here.
    In fact, you almost have *no choice* but to respond is such a fashion, being captive to your own mindset (and gender orientation).
    Like all of us sinners, you are dependent upon God to give you the grace to repent and believe. But for whatever reason, you still enjoy claiming you can see, while not seeing. I am sorry you missed the point, but you go ahead and add this to your arsenal of ideas about why you are justified in rejecting Christianity.

  • “Fallen nature,” “ungodly,” “sinners,” “repent,” – all are the unsupported nonsense which emanate from the abortion known as “faith.” What is faith, anyway, but the unproven nonsense made up by churchmen in cahoots with political hacks to rule the minds of mankind. Take a look at the history of the development of xian faith in the West: politically motivated kow-towing to the Roman emperors intent on cementing their power. Mix this with the demented ramblings of the nutjob Saul and you have a true witch’s brew. Why should modern Americans pay any attention to this crud? I once again demand evidence for your assertions. Oh, right…evidence is a component of reason, that foul “whore” which religionists, of course, have to slander or else admit their moral and intellectual bankruptcy.
    That which is asserted without evidence may also be dismissed without evidence. Reason is the only thing that protects us from the rampant evils and perversions inherent in faith. Any moron with even the most minuscule knowledge of history can see this. Of course, xianistas have a hard time ascending to the heights of moronism, so I don’t expect much. Anyone who can endorse Luther’s tantrums can’t be expected to amount to much.
    No wonder you dis reason, seeker. You and your ally and fellow believer Luther don’t amount to a flea’s fart when it comes to approaching the truth. The true whore here is faith, which spreads its legs to the lusts of power and stupidity. It is the spreader of filth and disease which has eaten away at the minds of men for too long.

    • You are a joke, go troll somewhere else

  • At least we all see your true opinion of faith, while you have no idea what my opinion of reason is, even though I have clearly stated it. Like I said, you see and hear what you like, and your rage keeps you from effectively engaging your ability to logically engage arguments without such senseless ranting. It’s a waste of your abilities, and our time.

    • atheists are a joke. If naturalistic atheism holds (any stripe take your pick) then all their rational assertions are baseless(they reject an objective rational reality), determined (by the cause and effect of the universe) nonsense geared only for survival (they accept biological evolution without any metaphysical aspect), literally the white noise of the universe. How can we reason with them? They should be forever dismissed as a rational option in the game of competing worldviews. unfortunately, atheism is all the rage among many gullible college students and pop starts. They are a joke

  • The fundamental fact about the Greek was that he had to use his mind. The ancient priests had said, “Thus far and no farther. We set the limits of thought.” The Greek said, “All things are to be examined and called into question. There are no limits set on thought.”
    - Edith Hamilton
    All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason.
    - Immanuel Kant
    Science makes godlike – it is all over with priests and gods when man becomes scientific. Moral: science is the forbidden as such – it alone is forbidden. Science is the first sin, the original sin. This alone is morality. “Thou shall not know” – the rest follows.
    - Friedrich Nietzsche
    You will find men like him in all of the world’s religions. They know that we represent reason and science, and, however confident they may be in their beliefs, they fear that we will overthrow their gods. Not necessarily through any deliberate act, but in a subtler fashion. Science can destroy a religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistance of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.
    - Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s End
    “Do not all charms fly
    At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
    There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
    We know her woof, her texture; she is given
    In the dull catalogue of common things.
    Philosophy will clip an angel’s wings,
    Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
    Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine –
    Unweave a rainbow….”

    - John Keats

  • …your rage keeps you from effectively engaging your ability to logically engage arguments without such senseless ranting.
    How can one logically engage that which contains no logic – nay, which is anti-logic? You don’t seek to marry reason with faith; rather, you seek to subordinate reason to faith. Faith, according to you, must rule the mind, and reason may follow after. This is the answer of the believer to reason’s demand on the mind of man, and thus requires the closing of the mind. For there can be no reason where faith rules, as reason demands freedom from limits with no boundaries and faith is all about limits and boundaries. The priest, the theologian, the rabbi, the imam, cannot bear the scrutiny of reason so they must shut the mind to the demand for evidence and free inquiry. Thus did Saul fail with the Greeks, attempting to make a virtue out of unreason. He merely asserted, and condemned any who would not bow to his dogma. And, when we abandon reason in favor of faith, we invite the inquisitor, the rack, and the stake, for the only answer that faith can make to reason is suppression. That is why the final resort of the faithful is the threat and the power play.
    It’s too bad, but there it is.

  • i find it funny that there are those that find religion as the enemy of freedom, when the absence of the use of God’s word has brought us:
    abortion
    broken homes
    proliferation of STD’s
    racism
    war
    loss of morality
    the looking upon of science as the savior of man, and man has proven himself self governable, right?
    religion is not the problem, it is the lack of exercising the principles of the Bible.
    yes, “free thinking” has been very wise.

    • what is funny is that atheists claim to be “freethinkers”….well unless you are a Jew…Christian..Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sihk, Jehovah’s, Mormon, Scientology, Any type of Theist, Deist, wimpy agnostics are lame. really they are for “freethought” unless you have a thought that disagrees with them then you are a deluded moron, basically 99% of the human race that disagrees with them, lol. atheists are a joke

  • You don’t seek to marry reason with faith; rather, you seek to subordinate reason to faith. Faith, according to you, must rule the mind, and reason may follow after.
    I stand corrected, you DO understand, at least partially, my position on reason. But you are right, I do not see reason as a king over all, since it has limitations in what it can explain and approach. And while I couple it with, guide it with, and subordinate it to faith, you would have it coupled with, guided with, and subordinated to man’s intellect and nature, both corrupt with self-interest. Such a position is where, in part, we see the operation of the saying “ultimate power corrupts ultimately.”
    The priest, the theologian, the rabbi, the imam, cannot bear the scrutiny of reason so they must shut the mind to the demand for evidence and free inquiry.
    Real faith, including Christianity, which arguably set the stage for modern science (The biblical origins of science), most certainly does bear the scrutiny of reason. But it doesn’t pander to the self-deceptions of human nature.
    Thus did Saul fail with the Greeks, attempting to make a virtue out of unreason.
    As Paul said, Greeks want only wisdom in order to live reasonably, but the gospel is foolishness to such a one-sided approach to life. While the bible is filled with calls for wisdom, and filled with wisdom itself, it laughs at men who want to govern their own lives with wisdom apart from God, as if that in itself can save them. The ‘illogic’ of the gospel has always offended those who want to live by their own wits alone.
    And, when we abandon reason in favor of faith, we invite the inquisitor, the rack, and the stake, for the only answer that faith can make to reason is suppression..
    I agree, and history is full of religionists who did so. But when we put reason in it’s place, as a serious feedback mechanism and informer of faith, we get health. And when we abandon faith for reason, we get such cruelties as atheistic communism and social darwinism, and sexual turpitude of the worst kinds.
    But when faith and reason are in proper relationship, we get such things as our American form of government, western science, abolition, and an escape from superstition and fear *without* the loss of a healthy, vibrant faith for mankind.

  • And btw, it seems to me that YOU have faith in man’s ability to employ reason, which is in a sense circular, putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
    i.e. “I reason that I can use reason” which is really “I have faith in reason and my own mind to guide me faithfully.”
    You can have faith in mankind and his use of logic, but history’s meanest cruelties have been accomplished by such (see Atheist Atrocities)

  • That passage is one of the most misogynistic metaphors I’ve ever read.

  • What do you expect? It’s Martin Luther, a religious fanatic from the middle ages.

  • Actually, the metaphor of the whore, as well as the warning against actual whores, is a common theme, esp. in the old testament. Israel “played the harlot” with foreign Gods.
    This is not really misogyny, but a plain metaphor for unfaithfulness. Infidelity in spirituality is a big deal, biblically speaking, and by extension, so is infidelity in marriage. In fact, Paul compares human marriage directly to the relationship between Christ and the Church.
    But if you are married, and you go take yourself a whore, you ask your wife how she feels about you and that woman who seduced you – that’s the feeling that Luther is going for when people who call themselves Christian abandon the scriptures for ‘vain philosophies.’

  • I was going to continue the discussion, but after seeker’s post on hx I see no reason to do so. It’s hard to hold a rational discussion with someone who holds such opinions of me.

  • This post is about the role of reason in faith. Those who think the two can never meet or work together are either fundamentalist extremists of the religious or secular sort.
    I have said nothing of you in this thread, so am not sure what you are referring to.
    I am, naturally, critical of your choice of gender orientation, and my (biblical) perspective that those who defend homosexuality do so either because (1) they are knowingly suppressing the truth in their consciences, or (2) are so deceived that, unless God intervenes, they are helpless to see anything else.

  • 1. It is not a choice. I’m aware that you conservative types, and especially of the religionist variety, constantly seek to establish this lie as truth, but it is just not true.
    2. The term “gender orientation” is false and misleading. I, and the vast majority of gays, have no problem with gender. I am completely and comfortably male. The correct term is sexual orientation: I simply am orientated erotically towards the male. Simple.
    3. I am referring to your lumping me in with rapists and pedophiles in another thread, as you well know. And it relates because such insulting absurdities are the result of allowing faith to rule reason.
    4. Your two points above are typical of you: ex cathedra assertions provided as self-evident and without any supporting evidence. How do you know that I suppress the truth in my conscience? And what is this “truth” to which you refer? An assertion of truth requires evidence – do you have any besides your opinion? And where is this “God” you claim will intervene?
    You don’t have any real arguments or evidence to counter me so you fall back on ad hominem attacks: I am “deceived,” I suppress the “truth.” The same can be said about you, btw. This is what comes of raising faith above reason: poor argumentation, ignorance, assertions rather than logic and evidence, and insults instead of reasoned and proven discussion. Superstition cannot be exalted above reason.

  • It is not a choice. I’m aware that you conservative types, and especially of the religionist variety, constantly seek to establish this lie as truth, but it is just not true.
    Actually, I did not say that, and my position is that, while the compensating mechanism of homosexuality is not a conscious choice when it is taken, because it is rooted in emotional injury, one CAN choose to work on the emotional issues behind it. Like other emotional disorders, most people don’t choose them on purpose.
    The correct term is sexual orientation: I simply am orientated erotically towards the male. Simple.
    Fine with me.
    I am referring to your lumping me in with rapists and pedophiles in another thread,
    Yes, perhaps it is unuseful to include all three in the same breath, since even I don’t think of all three as equally heinous. However, I do think of homosexuality as a sexual perversion that results from poor gender identity development, which would happen in Islamic cultures which are oppressive, heavily paternalistic and legalistic, and where the healthy feminine is also absent.
    I am not lumping you in with anyone. I am discussing the probably increase in homosexuality and other sexual deviance that I suspect is increased in oppressive cultures, be they Islamic, Christian fundamentalist, or Catholic (not to mention any other strict rule-based culture). If you take personal offense, perhaps you can ont objectively discuss this issue. But I am not thinking of you when I discuss such things.
    Your two points above are typical of you: ex cathedra assertions provided as self-evident and without any supporting evidence.
    That’s because I am willing to assert such things for discussion without waiting for a 10 year longitudinal study to be completed. Thinking people like to propose such things as they suspect them based on observations. The fact that I think they are self-evident is up for discussion. I also stated these things within the context of the evidence cited in the story. Incomplete evidence, of course, but I am fairly confident that such things are worth exploring.
    How do you know that I suppress the truth in my conscience? And what is this “truth” to which you refer?
    Well, I know nothing of you, but I said that I suspected one of TWO options – people like you are either ignoring their consciences, or, having their consciences either hardened or uneducated by the laws of what is objectively right or wrong (Paul the Apostle said “I would not have known I was sinning if I had not heard the law”), have no idea that they are doing wrong.
    I state these things because they are biblical principles which I believe are true, and defensible, though like many moral and philosophical principles, they are open for debate. But I think they are still objectively true, and state them as such.
    ad hominem attacks: I am “deceived,” I suppress the “truth.”
    These are not ad hominems per se – they are rational explanations for why I think people oppose certain specific obvious truths. Some people still think blacks are an inferior race. I would say something similar about them, and you would not quibble, I suspect.
    In fact, in my recent post Hypocrites, virgins, and sinners, I discussed why even I might not be that believable on issues that I have a personal stake in the results of. You are suspect, though not necessarily wrong, on issues of homosexuality because you have a personal interest in how things come out. I may be suspect in issues that I too am trying to defend.
    So the point remains, despite the fact that these terms and mechanisms I propose have some negative moral or ethical tone to them, their primary focus is in the proposed mechanism for why some people deny obvious self-evident truths.
    This is what comes of raising faith above reason: poor argumentation, ignorance, assertions rather than logic and evidence, and insults instead of reasoned and proven discussion.
    Not at all. You are expecting only one type of approach to a subject, and you take offense at things that are meant as clinical descriptions of illness, not ad hominems. As to poor argumentation, I have made what I consider to be compelling arguments regarding the roots of homosexuality in other posts.
    BTW, I would say that YOU are stooping to ad hominems rather than addressing my assertions, but you could always claim that you are making ‘clinical descriptions’ of my illness.
    But I stand by the principle that reason MUST be subordinated to faith for Christians. That sound horrific to those who have been abused by religions that fail to hold the correct balance between faith and reason (using it as an excuse to ignore or abuse reason) – just like those who abuse the command for men to lead their homes. The principle is still true, even if some abuse it.
    As I said, those who want to rely on reason alone live a lower type of life, never being free from the limits of their own lack of faith or trust in someone smarter and more loving than themselves. Those who live by faith uninformed by reason live an equally poor life. But those who understand how they work together live the highest and best lives.
    I do not expect people without faith to easily be able to live with both faith and reason, nor easily understand how to avoid the abuses of faith or reason. Nevertheless, as Luther understood, and as the Wesleyans understood (see The Weslyan Quadrangle II – Scripture and Tradition), and as the founding fathers of the USA understood, when your faith is placed in something as tested and true as scripture, putting faith before reason, without abandoning reason, is the way to go.

  • I find nothing in the above to change my mind or my criticisms of your position. You still rely on baseless assertions and “biblical” pronouncements to support your thesis – neither of which is compelling. Believe the Bible in all things if you will. Just be aware that those of us who adhere to a higher standard will laugh when so-called “biblical” standards are cited. I stick with Christopher Hitchens’ formulation: that which is asserted without evidence may also be dismissed without evidence. Once you provide evidence for your “biblical” principles and your anti-gay stance, we can talk (ie, if you can provide evidence for me that the Bible is true, I will take your hitlerian assertions about gay people seriously. Until then, forget it.)

  • the argument you lay down:
    “Once you provide evidence for your “biblical” principles and your anti-gay stance, we can talk (ie, if you can provide evidence for me that the Bible is true, I will take your hitlerian assertions about gay people seriously. Until then, forget it.)” ——-
    what part or parts? to give a thorough “white paper” on the Bible here would take an unreasonable amount of time. tons of archeological evidence is there to reason on. also, putting aside the homosexual issue for the moment, the concepts of how to treat our fellow man, property, family, etc., all work if exercised. of course our own imperfections get in the way and we all deal with our foibles. but it can be done.
    if you are arguing that the Bible must be proven “true”, how would you want that to be done? as a person who would use “hitlerian” as a descriptive word, i think that no amount of proof would be enough, as you would dismiss it out of hand, since it may interfere with how you wish to lead your life.
    religion is not the problem, it is the lack of exercising the principles of the Bible.

  • Okay, what principles are these? Describe them, please. Also, please show that these principles cannot also be found in other religions or no religion at all.
    seeker keeps talking about “Biblical” principles. Why should a non-Christian take these seriously given the amount of utter nonsense contained therein. I agree that there is much wisdom in the Bible (eg, my favorite book, Ecclesiastes) which can be extracted. However, that doesn’t qualify one to cite the Bible as if all it has to say is good or true or applicable. It’s just a book, like any other, and thus open to interpretation and dispute.
    btw: I use “hitlerian” in a very specific way: to describe the anti-gay rhetoric which echoes the anti-Jewish language used by the Nazis. Sometimes the language is exactly the same, as is the intent. I think it’s a very serious matter that the religious right is using the same arguments and rhetoric against gay people that the Nazis used against the Jews (as well as gays), and this certainly should be pointed out and people like Hagee and seeker be called to account. When gay people (especially youth) are in constant danger of verbal and physical abuse, such beliefs and language use are unconscionable and must be opposed by civilized and reasonable people (of course, those who feel faith remains paramount won’t listen and are part of the problem).

  • "Okay, what principles are these? Describe them, please. Also, please show that these principles cannot also be found in other religions or no religion at all." ——-
    well, the Ten Commandments of the old testament would be the place i would start. Although, I do not think we as Christians need to view these as the guide posts they once were, the principles remain the same. The principle of long suffering, love, fatherhood, patience, etc., just to name a few. All these principles are explained within the scriptures, as in how to apply them in daily life. As i have stated before, yes religion, mainly corrupted religious leaders, are to blame for many of the historical problems man has dealt with. But the principles,like those in Ecclesiastes and the other books, along with that wisdom you mention, was recorded long ago, for our insight now, whenever our "now" is in the stream of time. They are timeless and never change or have to be adapted, no matter how "modern" or "enlightened" we think we are.
    "It's just a book, like any other, and thus open to interpretation and dispute." ——-
    i must differ here with you. if memory serves me, its 66 books written over 1600 yrs(?) in 3 different original languages. Yet it all jives when taken together in its main message or theme, forgiveness through a blood sacrifice. all of the quibbling over the details to me is interesting i guess, and if it works out understanding cool, but the real message should not get lost. I think those details in themselves make it quite different from anything else in history. can we find some good stuff in other religions? islam – came after the Bible and was directly influenced.
    tao te jing – happy thoughts gathered by a grandfatherly figure, not really directly comparable, but cool in itself. thats what drew me from Buddhism to Christianity, the Bibles depth.
    i do not know what you mean by non-sense contained there-in, but one must filter through what is dogma and what is biblical/scriptural in nature. i would dismiss the militant anti-whatever-the-cause rhetoric for just that, no matter if it was secularist based or religious.

  • I get tired of repeating myself in ten different ways to someone who has no interest in listening. But foolish me, I’ll try again, since some people might be tempated to believe your superficial questions and statements.
    1. Christian principles and world view
    If you are interested in Christian principles in any discipline, be it relationships, psychology, politics, finance, science, even math, very good books exist. Amazon the term “biblical *” where * = economics, government, marriage, etc and you’ll find them.
    Naturally, they include proven non-religious concepts that are often recognized as universal truths, but they are integrated into a system of assumptions about man, God, and history that may be considered pretty much exclusively and clearly biblical.
    For example, as I described in Is Man Basically Good or Evil?, xianity assumes that man is made in the image of God, but also spiritually fallen. With that in mind, a Christian government would not only reflect the potential of man, which can flourish in freedom, but would also have a system of checks and balances so that no one person or group gets so much power that their own innate corruption causes them to do evil (as observed, ‘ultimate power corrupts ultimately. Sound like any government you know?
    Fundamentalist religionists often focus solely on man’s guilt and imperfection, while humanists often focus solely on man’s innate goodness. Both are extremists practicing half the truth.
    I could give tens of other examples, and have on this blog, of xian assumptions and views that are part of the xian world view.
    As a second example, many, if not most of the founders of the US believed that God guides history, which is often referred to as “Providence.” Not merely as an answer to prayer, but according to his own purposes, in order, among other things, to spread the gospel of Jesus. I doubt any other religions teach that ;).
    The founders founded our nation based on the world view that assumed that the biblical God would reward a country that did what is right and virtuous (biblically speaking), that we should teach the precepts of the Judeo Christian God to our children in order to have a healthy society, and that we should create a government that was founded on the precept that rights are not established or granted by the state, but established by God – the state can merely oppose God in this matter, but it has no permission to take those away. Hence the famous saying “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal AND are endowed BY THEIR CREATOR with certain inalienable rights.”
    2. Hitlerian condemnation of anti-gay arguments
    As I’ve often said, those who condemn the Christian opposition to sexual immorality, like homosexuality, love to compare it to the Islamic or Nazi cruelties, warning with a tremble in their voice that such things are “the exact same ideas that led to the killing of gays in a totalitarian fashion.”
    The problem with this fear-based, slippery-slope, anti-intellectual laziness is that, like much liberal thought, it abandones reason and intellectual discernment for emotional appeals, unbalanced principles, and bogus fear-based demonization, in spite of evidence to the contrary. Let me explain so that you don’t think I am merely making ad hominem attacks.
    The obvious and plain difference is that, while xianity, islam, and even nazism, morally disapprove of homosexuality, rightly evaluate it as a mental coping mechanism and not a healthy variant, and label it as unhealthy for the individual and society (both supported, though incompletely, by epidemiological data), they DIFFER in their approaches to fixing the problem. That is, they DIFFER IN THEIR MEANS to perhaps the same desired ends.
    Islam’s method for cleansing culture of homosexuality is to execute. Same with Hitler. However, despite the infrequent and awful times that mostly Catholic ‘christians’ have done cruel things to gays, the Christian teachings regarding those who sin sexually is much more benign, and aims at turning the offender to God through methods that are consistent with freedom, including:
    – reasoning
    – preaching
    – service
    – excluding them from xian fellowship if they continue in sin unrepentantly
    Now, you might counter with the old-testament commands to kill gays, adulterers, and rebellious children, but the short answer is, such things are NOT accepted by Christians, for both theological and ethical reasons. And NO major xian organizations, nor any that i even know of, are calling for such things. None.
    Additionally, as I have often said, I think in such matters, the xian view regarding government should be one of neutrality in such morally ambiguous questions, avoiding the twin errors of criminalization or approval.
    Accusations that Christian moral disapproval of homosexuality is the same as Hitler’s or Islam’s is a fear-based smear tactic, not a reality.
    When gay people (especially youth) are in constant danger of verbal and physical abuse, such beliefs and language use are unconscionable and must be opposed by civilized and reasonable people
    I hate to tell you, but your ‘moral disapproval’ of me, and your badmouthing of Christianity is ‘unconscionable’ by your own lame definition.
    Moral disapproval is not hatred, nor is it cruel. But such things are not insults or verbal abuse per se, Physical abuse and threats are, of course, should be opposed by civilized people.
    But free discussion of morality, and social and moral disapproval of morally questionable acts remain the boon of a free and open society. Your condemnation of my position is, with perhaps a few exceptions, unjust.
    It’s just a book, like any other, and thus open to interpretation and dispute.
    Um, that’s a nice ambigous question which will go nowhere fast. Yes, it is a book, and as such, can and should be analyzed with the modern tools of scholarship and reason. However, by it’s own admission, and by it’s historical impact, it is not just any other book. Its claims to be a special book, one that is inspired by God, make it worthy of a different type of consideration and inspection.
    Few books claim such authority, and the ones that do should be examined for reliability and believabililty. As someone mentioned, the scriptures are overwhelimingly supported by historical evidences, as well as many other arguments and proofs based in linguistics, logic, philosophy, and ethics. Other ‘holy’ books pale in comparison when shown next to the scriptures.
    Anyone who has faith in the scriptures is standing on very solid ground, and those who oppose such are making a stoopid mistake, imho.

  • I get tired of repeating myself in ten different ways to someone who has no interest in listening.
    Yes, yes, YES! I agree that we've gone over and over this, time and again, to the point of nausea. I feel exactly the same. What's the point? I propose that we agree that we disagree (often vehemently). Christian and non-Christian shall never agree. You insist on excusing any and all Christian sins, while I never tire of pointing them out. In the final analysis, this means absolutely nothing – nothing at all. Neither you nor I shall change anything. Can we, at least, agree on that? It's pointless to continue this stupid, pointless argument – back and forth, back and forth – rolling the same old stupid rock up the same old stupid hill.
    Did you see Breach? An excellent film which I recommend.
    I recently picked up an HD-DVD and a Sony Blu-Ray player to go with my new Samsung 61" DLP 1080p HD tv. Are you jealous? The experience is, indeed, spectacular (particularly when you add my Denon receiver and Martin-Login speakers). I particularly liked Brokeback Mountain in HD.
    btw: I hate politics. I think all candidates stink and are the servants of the true ruler of this world: M*O*N*E*Y.
    btw2: I think cats are superior to dogs.
    btw3: I think I'm drunk.

  • Did you see Breach? An excellent film which I recommend.
    I did not, but I've seen lots of crappy films lately. I did enjoy Yuma, and I watched Tron again this weekend, one of my favorites.
    I recently picked up an HD-DVD and a Sony Blu-Ray player to go with my new Samsung 61" DLP 1080p HD tv. Are you jealous?
    Absolutely. I love high def (I have a 50 inch Mitsubishi 1080i CRT monster). I have begun ripping all of my movies to the server as mp4 files so that I can watch them using my AppleTV. The bad part? The resolution is something less than 480p, which is just plain old DVD. The good part is, no more discs.
    I particularly liked Brokeback Mountain in HD
    What a surprise ;). If I got an HD player, the first movie I would watch would be… I dunno, the Matrix probably.
    I hate politics. I think all candidates stink and are the servants of the true ruler of this world: M*O*N*E*Y.
    I like it only because it is an area where ideological battle goes on. I like ideas. Ideas have consequences. And besides, as long as I stay in the realm of ideas, I don't have to actually DO anything (ivory tower type).
    I think cats are superior to dogs.
    I too am a cat person. Did you catch Dog people : golf :: cat people : ??? I am particularly happy with that one.
    I think I'm drunk.
    I can tell the difference. You're *nicer*. JK.

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  • [...] fabricated, and only a reality among real extremists. Even Martin Luther’s infamous quote ‘Reason is the Devil’s whore’ does not mean that faith is opposed to reason – he was actually saying that reason apart from [...]

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