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Christianity is not a religion, says Fox News' Bill O'Reilly

Christianity is not a religion, says Fox News' Bill O'Reilly

Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly thinks that atheists are "a merry band of fascists" and that "Christianity is not a religion."

In case you're wondering, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook lists Christianity as a religion, and then goes on to describe its various sects, just as it describes the various sects and branches of the religion of Islam.

O'Reilly had Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, on his program last night to debate why atheists challenge Christmas displays on public property.

"Why are you messing around with my tradition?  Why are you messing around with Christmas?  Just leave it alone," O'Reilly demanded.

Silverman responded that atheist organizations are not messing around with Christmas, but "messing around" with government preferring one religion over another.  He said that long before Christians were celebrating Christmas, people celebrated the Winter Solstice with evergreen trees and get-togethers and that the government has no business choosing which religions, such as those celebrating Christmas as opposed to the Winter Solstice, should be favored over others. (Silverman characterized the celebration of the Winter Solstice as a secular celebration, but some religions celebrate it as well.)

"Mr. Silverman, it is a fact that Christianity is not a religion.  It is a philosophy," O'Reilly stated (see video embedded below).  For O'Reilly, denominations such as the Methodist and Catholic faiths are "religions," but Christianity itself is a philosophy.  "So you're going to actually tell me on live television that Christianity is not a religion?" Silverman asked.  "Correct," O'Reilly responded. Silverman tried to explain that Catholicism and other denominations were sects, but O'Reilly would have none of it.

The two engaged in a shouting match over one another, with Silverman saying that the issue is about government neutrality and O'Reilly calling atheists a "merry band of fascists" who should not take Christmas Day off of work.  During their exchange, O'Reilly also "took the Lord's name in vain" by muttering, "Jesus Christ!" and proclaimed that a Christmas tree is a secular symbol that has nothing to do with Christianity.  To this, Silverman asked why, then, O'Reilly referred to the decoration as "a Christmas tree" when the word "Christmas" has everything to do with Christianity.

"You are so unreasonable it is frightening," O'Reilly opined.  "Your view is insane."

Watch:


{video link}

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • http://www.facebook.com/jerusha.indy Jerusha McDonald

    i have given up watching o'reilly a long time ago; however, my husband will watch him every once in a while and last night i was shocked. shocked to hear him mutter my Savior's name in vain and then deny Jesus Christ's divinity. we will not have his shown on again in this house!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-McKinney/1005880781 Michael McKinney

    O'reilly once again proves that he's an idiot. He should NOT be debating anything that has to do with religion, he has not the education or the wit. They both looked bad, but especially O'reilly, when you resort to name calling it's because you've LOST the argument. I wanted O'reilly to win, I think Christmas should be freely celebrated at all levels of society. The fact is that our nation was founded on a belief in the Creator(God) and that our unalienable rights were endowed by Him. It is impossible to separate the Church and state in this country without the collapse of one or the other! Our system of Government was designed by God fearing men who knew that any rights a man can give another man can take them away. I say O'reilly should have to attend a class or two and educate himself on how to present the argument correctly. The word for the day is ASININE!!!!!!

    • Spuddie

      Why should Christmas be government subsidized?

      Why do my tax dollars have to support your faith?

      Can't you just celebrate it on your own, on private property?

      Why do you have to take mine as well?

      Church and State are separated to protect them both. Ones religion is protected by the state, the state is protected from having only one religion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000171062969 Esther Clark

      Which sect of Christianity shall we make the official religion? And do I as Jew get to exempt myself from paying taxes since I'm not a Christian and therefore not a full participant in the Christian government?

      • Arthur

        Dear Esther I normally would not try and knock some one else religion. I live in the U.K .and as far as i know over here our government does not approve funds to Christians for Christmas. Also i know that there are lots of Jewish business,s who make plenty of money through selling crap jewelry at Christmas time to unsuspecting Christians who buy it in good faith, pardon the pun. One of the firms was called Rattners who actually admitted to making 500% profit on there goods .My question to you is if you dont want Christmas to be a holiday fare enough .Is it then wrong to profiteer from something –using your words that you as a jew wish to be exempt from. Remember you cant have your cake and eat it not even at Christmas.

        • Spuddie

          The pseudo-antisemitic stereotyping nonsense doesn't do much to dissuade the notion that people who attack secularism are generally sectarian curmudgeons.

          Taking advantage of the stupidity of others is just good business sense. That's the capitalist way of life. If you don't think their prices are moral, try eBay. The UK is not a communist nation, there are plenty of free markets for goods.

          So why does your holiday require funding from people of other faiths? Wouldn't the more sensible approach be a much more inclusive one? Fund Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever other faiths in the neighborhood that have holidays at that time. Its not the holiday which is objectionable, its the exclusive treatment at everyone's expense.

          When people talk about a "war on christmas" they really mean they want Christianity to have the government stamp of approval and all other faiths should be shown the door.

    • bodhi80

      You don't need a God to tell you that everyone has rights, you just need to all agree that this is the case. What we say becomes our reality. Take God away and nothing changes; the law is still the law, created and upheld by us so that individuals can pursue happiness but *not* by harming others. Every society lives by the Golden Rule, it's self-evident common sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004571885806 John Jones

    When O´Reilly hasn´t anything intelligent to say he simply reverts to name-calling or telling people to shut up. He said that Christianity is not a religion but Judaism is – forgetting the Judaism is also divided into different sects. He will say anything for the ratings.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRantingSlut Kit Love

    awesome! let's start taxing them then!

    • Deborah_B

      Many of us agree. :)

  • RadicalAtheist

    In one sense Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Paganism etc. are not separate religions. They represent a philosophy of explaining existence and the universe. There was little difference between them, so their major contribution to the human race was population control via wars. Humanity began to form another "Philosophy" within the last couple of thousand years or so….trial and error. This eventually led to what we now call "Science", a different way of understanding reality. Science will eventually replace all the above mentioned philosophical methods, because it is based on objective examination and reproduceable testing methods. The older methods referred to above are rigid. Science however, grows by definition. Science constantly challenges itself as to what is understood as true. But it will take time. Humanity may survive long enough to allow this new Philosophy to truly flourish, but as science has shown, time is a very long thing, and species come and go.
    Atheism is a term denying the existence of gods in explaining our universe. That is all it really is. That is why "science" cannot be referred to as a "religion". The only problem with using the word "Science" is that some people already screwed up the word by making another current religion "Scientology", but that is for another day.

    • Deborah_B

      I think that the Dalai Lama, who admitted that "…if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims" would agree. Where religion will not come into alignment with science (or be replaced by science) for hundreds if not thousands of years, in my opinion, is the issue of morality, which many of the faithful believe is exclusive to their religion and holy texts.

      Source on the Dalai Lama's remarks:

      http://io9.com/5942616/dalai-lama-tells-his-facebook-friends-that-religion-is-no-longer-adequate

      • RadicalAtheist

        Who among us does not want peace, love, harmony & family for all? As there has been little difference between religions in this matter, it is likely that religions are not the source of such desires—it is just humanity.

        • Deborah_B

          I don't think I am understanding what you are saying, Radical Atheist. On a general level, humanity appears to want peace and harmony, but as long as people think their governments/nations are superior or their morals come from religion, I don't see how there will ever be peace, harmony, love and family for all.

          Putting aside political corruption and greed, it seems to me that the goal of religions, particularly the ones that claim that they are the "one and only true faith," is more about control and being exclusive. The recent bickering over "Chrislam" is an example of how some sects absolutely refuse to tolerate others because they fear that a one world religion is a sign of the apocalypse. Sectarian violence worldwide also shows that religion is not uniformly fond of peace, love and harmony, and as we report here regularly, rigid religious definitions of what constitutes a moral family means that in the view of many religious, some humans are "less than" and don't deserve alternative families if they happen to be LGBT.

          A rational scientific approach can transcend religion in explaining the universe, but I am still not convinced that it will replace what people judge to be moral.

          • RadicalAtheist

            I am not convinced either, but I do believe that science & rationality agree with most religions as to what is moral.

          • Arthur

            Dear Deborah ,I really think that all of you secular,Atheist ,Nones Radical Atheist and what ever you dont want to believe in, all got together on your side of the Atlantic and formed a communist party .As far as i can see or read into the many posts that your fellow man or woman puts online,a person should contribute and receive according to their ability and need as regards to society .End of story, and then you can all talk under the same manifesto .Also just think of the other benefits –like cheap holiday,s to Cuba .After all its just next door ,better check up on there homosexual laws though dont think there all that tolerant to the LGBT life style. Just goes to show you ,you cant trust anyone these days.

            • Peter

              If you knew anything about early Christian history you'd know the original Jesus movement was communist. Read about that infamous passage in Acts where a couple didn't hand over all the proceeds to the communal pot and Peter killed them. Perhaps Stalin got his ideas from Peter.

              • savvy

                Peter killed no one in Acts. Your making that up.

                • Peter

                  Acts 5:1-10

                • savvy

                  I replied but to the wrong post. oops

              • savvy

                God allowed their sin to ultimately bring about their demise (simply put, he let them die). Peter didn't touch them only rebuked them. They were judged harshly not because they didn't give everything to the communal pot but because they were trying to appear as though they gave all their profit to the church to seem more generous. They lied to God and to God's people directly. They were a destructive pair and this sudden act of judgement shocked the church and in turn the Bible says "great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events". God took the young church very seriously…this was a 'wake up call' for them. As for the two who perished, they were not judged prematurely; they were already riddled with sin and essentially con-artists among the congregation, not Christians who made a mistake.

              • Arthur

                No wrong Peter that was called Christianity caring and sharing . Communism in the political sense means all men are created equal .There are just some more equal than others.Also to deride me about Christian history and then say Stalin got communist ideas from early Christians to start his party your a good few years out .Try Marx thats Karl by the way not Groucho .

          • Spuddie

            If rationalism was capable of such an appeal, religion would have gone away a long time ago. It serves a need on a cultural/emotional level which is not easily replaced in society.

            People of a certain kind of faith like to give religion too much credit for what it really is. Religion is at best a shorthand. A digest of ideas within a culture and society mixed in with ceremony for enforcing a notion of group identity. Morality is not created by religion, but religion helped impart such ideas to the masses. When certain religious ideas fail to produce effects conducive to society, their either change or get abandoned by society for the most part.

            Despite the trolling of people like Arthur, secularists, atheists, "nones" tend to consider the ideas behind religion much more closely and deeply than those who simply follow a sectarian belief. There probably will always be the appeal for sectarianism because deep down it is much easier than introspection, contemplation or having to get along with others in society.

            • Arthur

              Like ,your take on morality Spuddle,and for once we agree.I know that it was not created by religion ,but it is upheld by it .The anything goes in society does not work .At least over here it doesnt ,am not trying to be a killjoy and enjoy sex the same as others.But you and I both know that there are boundaries ,cross them at your peril .Just this week in the U.k the stats went out about the rise in H.I.V. now you can get a thousand free condoms over here for the weekend –if you want them–so the so called safe sex lobby doesnt work .So where does society go from here , O and by the way the rise in H.IV. was the same for homosexuals as it was for heterosexuals ,but not the same in ratio to the population. As in if as is banded about that 8% are homosexual and 92% heterosexual. There is a big disparity there,no matter how you look at it or want to dress it up.

              • Spuddie

                There is no rational thought or common sense for you, is there? No evaluation of things on their own merits and reasonable decisions. Its either puritanism or licentuous extremes. Nothing in between, no ambiguity, no careful consideration. Virgin or whores one and all.

                Religion doesn't "uphold" morality. They just digest them for those who want "the cliff notes" version.

                Some things religious types consider morality is really more of custom or culture. One must bear in mind that a good deal of your Biblical prohibitions had nothing to do with actual moral actions but were a way of enforcing a group identity to distinguish against foreigners (who were frequently traipsing through their ancient Judea with remarkable regularity) Virtually everything involving what consenting adults do behind closed doors falls under this category. [Ironically consent is not being a Biblical particular concept when it comes to personal relations].

                Of course in the UK AIDS increases are more logically pegged to increased availability of intravenous drugs. IV drug users were the most prevalent carrier of AIDS to both gay and straight communities in the developed world. Central Asia floods Western Europe with cheap heroin and the Afghan war has been a major boost to the opium market in terms of access.

                HIV among gays has been on a steady decline with the increase of a culture of public openness and monogamy. Marriage equality and public acceptance of gays reap public health benefits as well. But don't let basic facts get in the way of a silly rant.

                • Arthur

                  No my learned friend over here as i clearly stated H.I.V among homosexuals has been alarmingly on the increase .That,s not my statement that,s the medical facts .I personally don,t care what goes on behind closed doors either but when i have to pay extra taxes to keep the N. H. S.which is already over stretched then thats a different matter all together .After all am talking here to the converted who doesnt want to pay a coulple of cents tax for Christmas Decorations .My my you really have to open up that mind of your,s.

        • savvy

          Religions are not the source…I totally agree with you. But please tell me – why does humanity hold peace, love, harmony and family in such high esteem? Where did these things come from? This is not a rhetorical question…I am really interested to know what you think.

          • Spuddie

            It is innate to all living things. If you are trying to claim its because of religion, then you are making a truly ignorant statement. Such desires predate any concept of religion. Religion doesn't create anything other than a structure for culture and concepts.

            • savvy

              I agree with everything you said actually. I don't give religion credit for these characteristics in humans. Most would agree they predate "religion". But why are they innate? What was there before religion took form?

              • Spuddie

                Evolutionary psychology and sociology is a nascent science with some methodological teething pains at the present time. I am sure there is plenty of work on such ideas.

                However, it is not too difficult to imagine the need for a family (protection, propagation), to live in a low stress environment, and to have positive emotional experiences are part of what it is a natural part of being a living thing capable of self-awareness.

    • savvy

      All of the above are "religions" be definition. Christianity is separated from the rest because it is TRUTH. And you are right – all of these religions including Christianity are similar in many ways…tell me, why hasn't someone come up with something NEW in the past few thousand years? Because we are all internally drawn toward the truth of Jesus Christ (because he is our creator).Man's attempt to 'get to God' is distorted by sin, therefore each religion is a little different but they are all trying to get to the same place! Redemption! Eternal life! Which is what we were created for in the first place! That is why we have the Bible. It holds God's standards of truth in place for everyone and explains God's redemption plan. It is my belief that there are no natural born atheists. At some point everyone has to accept or deny God and a true atheist has denied him to the fullest and probably believes himself after a time (Romans 1). At what point did you decide there is no God? Science only supports Creationism more and more. Science and Christianity do not conflict. It is harder to believe there is no God and that this eternal debate is going on for nothing than to believe that God did create you. How are our finite brains able to have comprehension of even a concept of 'god'? You and I are no animal, your creator made you in His image and he has called and hopefully will continue to call you back to Himself.

      • Spuddie

        In other words Christianity is different because YOU believe in it.

        Everything you said is self-serving and self-referential. It shows the typical disregard for other faiths and concepts of religion common to people who profess to call themselves Christian.

        The idea that people are born religious is hogwash. You seem to believe your version of God is the one that people naturally gravitate towards. Never mind one's surroundings, culture and family in how such things are developed.People are just magically born with varying concepts of religion because of …. who the hell knows?

        • savvy

          No, it has nothing to do with me. Let me clarify that my statements are not self-serving in any way.

          "It shows the typical disregard for other faiths and concepts of religion common to people who profess to call themselves Christian."

          This is because Christians have found truth, not religion. I do not look down upon people of other religions…I simply believe they're religions are false and in the end pointless. What if I said "You know, maybe we are all right! Or maybe we are all wrong? It doesn't matter, as long as I don't hold any one religion above another!" Doesn't that defeat the purpose of serving a so-called religion in the first place? Why in the world would anyone want to worship a false god or practice a false religion knowingly? If I believed any other religion was just as right as Christianity and that they were all here to help us cope with existence I sure as heck wouldn't be wasting my time. Jesus commanded us to love one another. I care deeply about people of all cultures and religions and I strive to carry out his commandment.

          Also, I meant people are born aware of God, not already religious. Tell me in history where ANY group of people were discovered/found/studied and did not serve some sort of god (besides modern day westernized people, who I argue have chosen science/rationality/secularism as their god). Is our basic good humanity screwed up by this annoying need for a god and thus all the problems in our world? Or quite possibly the other way around?

          • Peter

            “Tell me in history where ANY group of people were discovered/found/studied and did not serve some sort of god.” I suggest you study pure Buddhism before it, too, became corrupted. Gautama did not sanction a belief in a creator god and never expressed any belief in a creator deity and though questions of this sort were worthless. It has often been called the agnostic religion of the east, and we would do well to learn from it. Buddhism is an individual effort and reach Nirvana through you own efforts without relying on some hazy, ill-defined man in the sky

            • Spuddie

              In all fairness, although Buddhism doesn't even bother with cosmology, the faith has no problem incorporating such ideas from the pre-existing religions from the places they move into.

            • savvy

              Tell me why you call current Buddhism "currupted" and how can we learn from the agnostic religion of the east?

              • Peter

                By corrupted I mean the original philosophy of the Buddha is now subject to various factions all with their own versions of what he said. This schism would, I think sadden him. The same goes for Christianity. What we see today bears little resemblance to Jesus and what the early Jesus movement taught and practiced, they were called the “poor” after all. What would he think about the ostentatious displays of wealth evident in today’s Christianity? It would shock
                him and he would horrified that anyone started a religion using his name. His mission was to reform Judaism. Most of what Christians believe in today comes from the mind of that tortured, repulsive and bitter little man Paul, who actually invented Christianity. Just read Galatians to see what I mean. What I mean by us learning from the east, I explained above. It’s an individual effort without all nonsense and convoluted dogma that makes up today’s Christianity. The Church of Rome is the most obvious example.

                • savvy

                  I think he knows what's going on…and he warned about this happening during his life on earth. The path to righteousness is narrow and hard. The church of Rome is not representative of true basic Christian faith. I agree that many, many Christian organizations are way off mark…but that does not diminish the actual message. Jesus came to provide freedom from the law…he did just that, and if we choose to follow in that freedom from the slavery of sin and the law then religion and dogma is obsolete.

                • Peter

                  So what denomination represents true basic Christian faith. None IMHO.

                • savvy

                  None. What is IMHO? Sorry if I am not catching something obvious.
                  Anyway, no denomination does. Christianity is person to person. The Bible is the only pure source of truth. The "church" that Jesus describes is nothing but the people who are followers of Christ and live according to his example and fellowship with each other for the edification of the body and the spreading of the gospel. That is why so many people despise churches. Churches in general have gotten away from what church really is. I am a Christian who attends church and it makes my stomach turn to know that many people are repelled from the gospel because of so-called Christians. Do not let today's "churches" in general be the definition of God's church for you.

                • Peter

                  IMHO In My Humble Opinion.

                • savvy

                  What do you mean Paul invented Christianity? He persecuted Christians before he was converted by God (not to mention Christianity wasn't 'invented' – it was prophesied by Jews years and years before Christ was ever born that someday of the law of Judaism would be obsolete). Also, I am not sure why Galatians makes him look like a miserable man to you. Can you explain?

                • Arthur

                  Now there,s a man our Peter who really thinks he knows what he,s talking about a bitter little man called Saul .Yet after his conversion he was stoned to death and the Christians got round about him and prayed he got back up and went back into the Town and preached about Christ.He was shipwrecked twice ,bitten by a poisonous snake and didnt die .He say,s all of these are nothing to the reward God has in store for him. Yes sounds like a bitter little man indeed.–Or maybe its just because he spoke out against homosexuals –Or again am I just being obtuse.

                • Peter

                  Paul, or the author
                  of Acts, that lousy historian, Luke, claims he survived two shipwrecks, but
                  it’s only his word. He claims he was bitten by a poisonous snake on Crete.
                  Crete doesn’t have any snakes! He says he was stoned but doesn’t say he died
                  and Christians prayed and he rose from the dead just like his hero, Jesus. Odd,
                  first time I’ve ever heard this. If Paul’s resurrection was true we’d be
                  hearing from every pulpit. Throughout his epistles he often says “I’m not
                  lying” or “I’m not a liar.” Obviously, someone was accusing him of lying,
                  probably the first apostles. Also, he talks about his gospel
                  and condemns those teaching “false gospels.” At that early stage the only ones
                  preaching about Jesus were his first disciples or their converts. These
                  disciples walked and talked with Jesus and would have a better handle on his
                  teachings than a money-hungry charlatan like Paul who never met Jesus. In
                  another era, Paul would make a perfect televangelist.

                • savvy

                  Luke was a doctor not a historian. But that is neither here nor there. And Paul was being attacked all around by false gospels. Paul was directly spoken to by God to begin a ministry, so that qualifies him I'd say, to do the job. Paul was crucial in helping establish the one true gospel of Jesus during the early years of the church. Part of Pauls job was to set the churches straight in his letters because the Law, idols and pagan worship were still very much ingrained in the people even though they had converted …he was firm but offered wisdom and guidance almost as if he were having to deal with children. Paul would have made a lousy televangelist because he gave everything…his reputation as a roman citizen, his wealth, his previous beliefs, comfort, health and his time to commit himself to Christ and the church..

            • Arthur

              You see Peter the thing about being a Christian is that we believe in the son of the living god .Therefore Christ is alive and I would not entertain adoring a deity that is dead.–Seen as you know all of the bible quotes remember this one –( Let the dead bury the dead ). God Bless .

          • Spuddie

            Of course it has everything to do with your beliefs. You have framed your entire spiel in a very self-referential practically circular argument. You define truth purely within the framework of your own faith.

            You may not admit you are looking down upon other faiths, but it is readily apparent. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that such things are not intended, for now.

            It is typical of the arrogance associated with people professing to call themselves Christian. No sense of perspective beyond their own religious structure. The notion that all religions and religious concepts follow the same form as their own beliefs.

            What you are doing is merely finding an excuse for not showing a modicum of respect for people who may believe differently from yourself. There can be no good coming from such a view. In the long run it becomes an excuse to absolve rather repugnant actions and ideas.

            "What if I said "You know, maybe we are all right! Or maybe we are all wrong? It doesn't matter, as long as I don't hold any one religion above another!" Doesn't that defeat the purpose of serving a so-called
            religion in the first place?"

            You make that sound like a bad thing! Far from it. In essence it is the primary problem with such a view of religion. Rather than seek personal meaning within the religious framework, someone like yourself seeks to impose it upon everyone else. Not caring or realizing that no religion is capable of a monopoly on "The Truth" beyond what is personally accepted.

            Religious truth is always subjective. Always will be. There is absolutely nothing which can support an objective notion of religious truth. (Don't even try Creationism, it is a dishonest hackwork cheapening philosophy, religion and science).

            Your notion of a "false god" or "false religion" is your own. Don't mistake it for a view anyone else has to accept. It is pure vanity and arrogance on your part which gives rise to the belief everyone has to believe as you do. Given the difference in views and the lack of any way to prove yours is "the one true faith", the sensible plan is to not go about insulting and antagonizing people of other faiths. Respect differences in such ideas, understand the limitations of your faith and move on with your life.

            Is our basic good humanity screwed up by this annoying need for a god and thus all the problems in our world?

            Many would say that is most definitely true. In fact it is one of the reasons why many chose to avoid formal organized religious faith.

            • savvy

              I would be a hypocrite of the worst form to claim to know the truth if I did not want to share my beliefs to others who do not have the advantage of knowing God's truth. Christians who look down upon others for their views are not true Christians (and there are many). I would NEVER insult or antagonize another because of their beliefs. As a Christian, I live in freedom from religion. The only way to have this freedom is to accept it from Jesus who taught that religion in and of itself is meaningless. Knowing God personally really does create a desire in oneself to tell others because we care for mankind not because we are arrogant. The only way me sharing with you by beliefs is if you accept the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your own soul that there is a connection between you and God.
              We are not unlike each other (even though that statement might make you cringe). We both see the flaws and destructiveness that religion can bring upon a society…where we are different is that you believe we should rise above the notion of God, whereas I believe we should acknowledge Him and allow him to forgive us of our sins and help us rise above the flaws of humanity by letting Him teach how to live in the way he created us to be before sin distorted us.
              I have always wanted to ask an atheist at what point in their lives they decided God is not there at all. Do you care to share?

              • Spuddie

                You are mistaking a personal subjective truth for an objective one. Your view of knowing God's truth is one which has nothing to support itself than faith and the acceptance of the parts of your religion which have a personal appeal. There is nothing which gives you any kind of wisdom or knowledge which requires being accepted by anyone else.

                You strike me as someone who would act very obnoxiously towards others under the guise of trying to "teach someone to accept the one true faith". I would like to hope I am wrong on this.

                I know you would like other people to come around to your version of faith, but frankly you have nothing substantial to bring to the table besides your own emotions on the subject. Once you accept that simple truth, it becomes much easier to treat other people with respect. If you act in a way which antagonizes the beliefs of others and is generally disagreeable in nature, all you do is make it easier for people to ignore whatever message you have.

                What you would call "the advantage of knowing God's Truth", is in reality personal vanity, arrogance, ignorance and utter indifference towards the beliefs of others. Christianity appeals to you, so everyone has to feel the same way.

                You live with freedom of religion, in spite of your faith, not because of it. If not for the efforts of people who did not feel the need to impress their "knowledge of God" upon others, it would not exist. It can exist without anyone accepted Jesus or any other religious figure as a source of belief.

                • savvy

                  First of all, I have not one time antagonized on my posts. I am speaking my opinion without insulting anyone. Second of all, of course I am 'generally disagreeable' because I don't agree with you! You, however, are being insulting to me because of my beliefs and are generally disagreeable as well. I understand disagreeing with me but not as to why you feel the need to belittle me.

                • Spuddie

                  You have antagonized and insulted. You just don't realize it or don't care to acknowledge it. Its of a casual nature. Done so constantly, you don't even see how others react to it.

                  All I am saying is you are coming in with a perspective which lends itself to perceive antagonism and insult of those who disagree with you. You mistake the personal appeal of your faith with a universal appeal. That is nothing more than hubris.

      • Peter

        "Science supports Creationism more and more." I don't think so my friend unless you're talking about "Creation Scientists from Ham's AiG or Morris' ICR. There has never been one of these so-called "scientists" who has ever published a paper in a peer-reviewed science journal. Ever.

        • Spuddie

          Creationism doesn't even support Creationism.

          Philosophically it is dishonest at its core. Creationists argue that their religious beliefs have an objective basis to them and claim to produce evidence of it. The problem with such a claim is, to be philosophically and methodologically honest, you have to accept that the religious beliefs can be disproved by the same methods.

          No Creationist will ever reject their religious beliefs on such a basis. Yet they expect others to accept theirs on the same. So in essence, they don't even believe the concept behind Creationism to be true because their belief are never objective as they claim it to be.

          • Peter

            Well said. Generally, all Christian beliefs have no objective base to them. They can't because if they did apply objectively to their "truths" the whole house of cards would collapse. But, they never will.

            • savvy

              What do you mean by 'objective base'? Are the evolutionary scientists who debate the big bang theory objective or grasping at straws? There is NO evidence to support micro evolution at a mass level and there is NO evidence to support that we all came from a single cell organism. On that note, there is also NO evidence to show how in the world that little cell that started it all came into existence in the first place. So according to you, we are all in the same boat if you define 'objective' correctly.

              • Spuddie

                First shifting burden of proof, now monkeying around with definitions. You are not doing much to show an honest POV here. Objective meaning capable of general acceptance from someone who is not actually involved in the process of gathering the information.

                There is plenty of evidence of evolution which is accepted by the global scientific community. Entire collections of scientific journals on the subject if you bother to educate yourself on the subject. You won't accept it because you are under the mistaken belief that your religious ideas have objective evidence to show to others. You don't care to look for such things yourself. Your faith in Christianity isn't based on such things. To claim otherwise is a lie on your part.

                • savvy

                  This was an interesting debate until you decided what I do and do not think. I am sad to see that if I refute you, I am an automatic liar so I will not bother. I did not intend on making you or anyone angry…but since I have I will apologize for insulting you in any way hopefully to clear the air.

                • Spuddie

                  You can't refute me in an honest fashion. Creationism is about saying anything to get people to accept the end result of acceptance of your religious beliefs. If one line of argument fails, use a completely different one. Vary methods, vary arguments. Consistency or honest has nothing to do with it.

                  Creationists ignore any kind of standards and rules set up for credibility. All Creationist arguments eventually end with hyper-philosophical muttering about what "scientific" really means. Because none of them can ever hold themselves to the standards set which make science objective credible. Creationists have to attack all forms of scientific reasoning to get their ideas shoehorned in.

                • savvy

                  You never even gave me a chance. I am one of 'those people' to you. I didn't put you in a category by prejudging you. I wouldn't give two cents about whether you believed what I believed or not if I didn't care about all of mankind in the first place. I have no reason to push a religion on you! I only wish others could see that there is peace to be obtained by letting Jesus Christ wash our sins away. Dont let me or anyone else hinder you from giving God another shot. Read the Bible and ask God to open your eyes. If I ended up hindering you in the long run, God forgive me.

                • Spuddie

                  Rather than waste our time, take a look at a very learned Christian take on the alleged conflict of religion and science.

                  The two are not in conflict because the two have no actual relation to each other. "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth"
                  http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm

                • savvy

                  Where did I mess up? I agree with most of that article.

                • Spuddie

                  The (late) Pope is actually slamming Creationism.

                  "my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation,"

                  Catholics are meant to accept Christ and Evolution.

                  "The sciences of observation describe and measure the multiple manifestations of life with increasing precision and correlate them with the time line. The moment of transition to the spiritual cannot be the object of this kind of observation, which nevertheless can discover at the experimental level a series of very valuable signs indicating what is specific to the human being. But the experience of metaphysical knowledge, of self-awareness and self-reflection, of moral conscience, freedom, or again of aesthetic and religious experience, falls within the competence of philosophical analysis and reflection, while theology brings out its ultimate meaning according to the Creator's plans"

                  Leave science to science and faith to faith. The two are separate forms of observation which do not intersect. Science can't prove God. It doesn't try. We have religion for to handle those questions.

                • savvy

                  What I was trying to say is that science doesnt conflict with God or creationism. I do not believe that all current ideas on evolution are accurate. It is still simply a theory as is creationism. If God is real, science should support His truths because science is the study of his creation.

                • Spuddie

                  It doesn't wash.

                  Creationism conflicts with the wealth of accumulated scientific observation hence its attack of Evolution using various unscientific and philosophically dodgy methods. It conflicts with religion because ultimately it seeks to undermine the basis of belief in God as well and replace it with something it isn't.

                  "God is real, science should support His truths because science is the study of his creation."

                  Science is limited by observation and methodology which have no bearing on religious truth. So no, it doesn't work that way. Two separate areas of study, two separate methods, two separate goals. To respect both is to respect their differences.

                • savvy

                  I guess I see your point. I do not expect someone who does not know God to agree with me. This is a debate for people of like minded faiths not of opposing ones. Science alone will never change anyone's mind on 'to believe or not to believe'. We are operating on different planes that cannot coincide.

            • Arthur

              Our base to them is faith ,what savvy has been putting across . If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat .No matter how smart any of us think we are -A human being can only think as a human being.- Our whole faith is based on truth ,although you no doubt would deny that.which would really be condemnation without true investigation.

              • savvy

                Very well put. Finite human beings are very good at putting a cap on truth when it extends beyond what they think is possible especially when it comes to considering beyond the physical. Some things simply cannot be explained in the physical, obviously. That is where faith comes in. We all realize the very real possibility of a Creator (some may deny that but it is true). It would be pure arrogance on anyone's part to dismiss the idea of a creator and stubbornly labor towards finding truth after having already rejected the source of truth! Science, as I have said, will NEVER change a person's heart. The message of the gospel and true Christ-like example and testimony deals with the spiritual first, then as fellow Christians can agree, the rest makes sense. Our eyes are opened to God's wisdom and we come closer to being able to view the world as God does. That does not make us better or superior, but the confusion vanishes. I never claim to have all the answers, I know I don't. What I do have is the certainty that my soul has been redeemed and I am free from sin – it has no hold on me. The burden has been lifted and I have the joy of the Lord that is utterly unshakable. Jesus said to put your burdens upon Him because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Being a Christian does not mean blinding yourself to science or anything else. It means taking the blinders off and seeing the universe for what truly is – God's masterpiece. And we are lucky enough to be the ones among His vast creation whom God calls His children.

          • savvy

            Well yes, their methods would disprove their own religious beliefs if there were evidence to do so! The foundation for our beliefs as Christians is the Bible. Science and history do a fabulous job coinciding with the Bible simply because it is the truth! If you study the way the Bible actually all came together and the order in which the books were written, it is quite a miracle. Honestly, though, it is also my belief that these debates could go on and on with no real solution. The fact is, Christians don't know it all and neither do secularists or atheists. None of us will ever know it all. But what a wonder it is that the very desire to get to the bottom of it is built inside of us! Why did evolution curse humanity by giving to us this stirring to explain ourselves? Did we 'evolve' into humans as superior beings and now we are de-evolving into a sorry mess of creatures as we search for truth and God who isn't there that will eventually lead us into extinction? If there is nothing out there beyond our feeble minds I sure wish I had been born into this world a cat.

            • Spuddie

              You are a liar.

              Despite the efforts of Creationists, there is no objective proof of God at all. No Creationist "evidence" has ever passed muster under even the loosest scientific standards. Therefore under a Creationist POV, you should no longer believe in God. But you will never accept such things. In fact Creationists are notorious for ignoring any and all contrary evidence to their dogma.

              You don't believe in God based on physical evidence. You simply look for something to confirm your existing faith, not evidence of its veracity. All you are doing is expressing arrogance and vanity in your beliefs.

              • savvy

                I am not a liar. I do not believe that God can be proved with physical evidence. If that is what it took, then you got me. I do have the Holy Spirit residing in my heart and that is how I know my sins are forgiven and that I am right with God. That cannot be debated and won, I am aware of that. It is something that can only be experienced personally.

                • Spuddie

                  If you claim to be a Creationist, the unpleasant truth is, you are.

                  Creationism cheapens both religion and science. It shows an infantile grasp of both. One's religious beliefs is not subject to logical debate or proof. It exists based on faith. Science does not accept anything which cannot be subject to objective proof (and capable of disproof with the appropriate evidence). Two separate magisterial areas, two different goals. One does not disprove the other and visa versa.

                  Pope John Paul II had some very clever words on the subject of science and faith. Religious truth does not displace the truth of what is observed in science. Science does not claim to peer into the immortal soul.
                  http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm

                  Creationism posits the lie that your religious belief can be objectively proven to be true, yet will never provide anything credible to back such ideas up. If it were the case, a whole lot of court cases would have been won by them.

                  "I do have the Holy Spirit residing in my heart and that is how I know
                  my sins are forgiven and that I am right with God. That cannot be
                  debated and won, I am aware of that."

                  There you go. The admission that Creationism is a sham. Your belief is deeply held faith. Nothing will shake "the Holy Spirit in your heart".

                  There is nothing wrong with faith. To understand religion is to understand faith.

                • savvy

                  I agree with the Pope! my beliefs don't argue with science! that would be stupid of me to throw out science altogether if I thought it would disprove my belief. I am not that desperate.
                  And you are right, nothing will shake the Holy Spirit in my heart. Why is that? If there is nothing wrong with faith why do you abandon it?

                • Spuddie

                  Yet Creationism does just that. It throws out the best of religion and science. The problem is a lack of respect for the actual boundaries of such things.

                  It seeks a harmony which does not exist in an honest fashion.

                • savvy

                  There is harmony and plenty of evidence to point to it. Why should there be boundries if this earth was created by God? The depths of creation are so great that no scientist can explain it completely, however, studying his creation has never pointed to the fact that there is no God. Are you an atheist?

                • Spuddie

                  That is your belief, not what you can prove.

                  Science has specific boundaries and rules which allow it to be credible to all. To attack those is to attack the basis of scientific credibility. A Creationist has to do so because the idea neither respects the nature of science nor religion.

                  You can't just change the rules of the game to get your desired outcome. But your willingness to do so shows the underlying dishonest conceit of Creationism.

                  "The depths of creation are so great that no scientist can explain it completely"

                  Yet you are asking to do just that. That is the point of Creationism Come up with an instant scientific answer of "God did it". The problem is religious explanations are not a default response in the absence of a scientific one. Doing so shows no understanding of science or religion. Simply the wrong tool for the wrong job.

                  Btw I am not saying anything about God's existence here. I am just stating that you will never prove it in a lab. If you want to find God, look towards your faith.

                • Arthur

                  You know pal I have read lots of your posts on this so called Religion Dispatches and not once have I read about what you belief in I am not talking about religious am talking about any beliefs .I know from your posts that you are venomously against Christianity especially.So lay your cards on the table ,are you—must be whispered in the U.S a communist –For as such a learned man as you must know its root,s, began in Darwinism –be careful for what you wish it might just come true .Also nobody,s asking you to take part in Christmas in any way ,and surely you would not want to make all of those American Santa Clause,s redundant. Now just think of all the welfare that you would have to pay THEM if you cancelled Christmas Day . Post replies to Rudolph and Chris Cringle.

                • Spuddie

                  Bwahahahahah

                  I am venomous against fundamentalism, sectarianism, religious based bigotry and the notion that religious belief needs taxpayer subsidizing. If you think these are necessary elements of Christianity, then we have two far different definitions of the term.

                  If your religious belief is threatened by Evolution, you don't really have faith nor can you appreciate the search for knowledge. It means you are too ignorant to trust what is credibly proven by years of learned observation and too insecure to trust your own belief in God to stand up without some kind of half-baked phony validation from the outside.

                  Santa Claus is not redundant, but I don't feel the need to give money for his dry cleaning or reindeer stabling. Nobody stops you from celebrating Christmas, you just shouldn't ask for others to pay for it.

                • savvy

                  Why venomous? You should learn from your own message – people will ignore your ideas and thoughts when you become insulting and antagonistic.

                  I agree with arthur….lay your cards on the table….you ignore everything that might cause you to talk about your personal beliefs.

                • Peter

                  Speaking of personal beliefs, I take it you are a creationist, true? If so, to get a handle on your thinking are you Young Earth Creationist or a Old Earth Creationist?

                • savvy

                  Old earth so far (I am not definitive on this, it is a result of what science is finding out and what the Bible has to say – as I believe the two must coincide to make sense and be true). The Bible eludes to the fact that before God gave form to the earth and put life on it, it had been here a while, but void. Genesis 1

                • Spuddie

                  Its called showing personal conviction. There are some subjects where there is no middle ground or conciliation is possible. Ones where people are making direct attacks on what is right, moral or on our free way of life. There are usually 2 sides to every subject. But that doesn't mean both sides have equal value.

                  Some subjects get so wrapped up in phony euphemism, irrelevant asides, and deceptive language that antagonism is the only way to get to the heart of the subject. I don't necessarily want to convince someone to adopt my POV, but instead make them examine what they are really saying and own up to its full implications. Sometimes a spade has to be called a spade.

                  My personal beliefs are my own. They come out with what I write. My POV is usually plain and direct enough to figure out.

                • savvy

                  Ok I am going to copy and paste the first part of your post the next time you bust me for being antagonistic.

                • Arthur

                  Am sure as you being a good Democratic American Citizen even with your bigoted views of Christmas can see the Capitalist goodness of this lovely holiday .Although if you really want to get away from it all you could book a nice little holiday in the Middle East where a nice man like your self could live in peace from all of those bad Christians who take all of those taxes out of your pocket. O and by the way I hate to really break this news to you there is no Santa Claus .Sorry if that came as a shock but unfortunately someone at sometime in your life has to tell you. God Bless.

                • Spuddie

                  All I am saying is, don't be such an obnoxious cheapskate. You can pay for your own Christmas decorations. You don't need my money for it. You may call that bigoted, I call that just being sensible.

                  Now if you said we are all chipping in on holiday decorations for everyone's faith. I am all in for that. If I am going to pony up the dough, at least it should benefit myself a little. =)

                • Arthur

                  Sorry pal I don,t buy decorations .Give all of my spare cash to the poor at Christmas .You see politically I am a Christian Socialist which at least In this country I can say without being tagged a Communist. You to me seem to be a Liberal which to most of us over here means you want to ride two horses at the same time .Unfortunately you need two arses to do that but am sure that you could manage that without much difficulty .Any how have a Merry Christmas when It arrives dont be an old Scrooge.

                • savvy

                  I already said that science will not prove God's existence. The more we learn in the field of science the more a Creator will become evident, that is unless secular scientists skew facts or make them up, like with my example of radiocarbon dating.

        • savvy

          They are only so-called scientists to you because you will not accept creationism at all even if a scientists says there is support for it. Which scientists are the 'real' scientists? If you are biased towards creationism there isn't a scientist in the world you would listen to if they said they aren't secular evolutionists even if they presented you hard evidence.
          Bring something to the table that conflicts with creationism.

          • Spuddie

            I am biased against self-serving liars. Creationism is self-serving lying. Pure and simple. To call yourself a Creationist is to declare you are a liar for God.

            It posits dishonest ideas about religious belief as well. A Creationist
            can never be dissuaded by contrary evidence but expect their "proofs" to be accepted in a similar fashion.You will never let your belief in God be disproved by objective evidence. But if you accept an honest objective POV, it would be necessary.

            It is not science, it has nothing scientific behind it. Its not even honest philosophy or religion. A Creationist will frame their argument any way possible to get to the end result of acceptance of their religious belief.
            None of the methods and elements which make science credible are used by Creationists.

            Proof of that is your silly challenge to prove Creationism wrong. The more honest scientific approach is to place the burden of proof is on you to prove Creationism. After all you, are challenging the globally accepted theory.

            • savvy

              I do challenge the accepted global theory. It is not as solid as people would like to think. If my challenge is so silly that someone should prove creationism wrong, why hasn't anyone done that yet?
              I will bring something to the table since you won't. Research radiocarbon dating and how well that works for scientists who are 'objective'. It has been proven unreliable in dating the earth time and time again, yet it is still widely used and accepted as a way to date bones, rock, etc. Don't just accept something because it is secular and claims to be objective. There are many who have their own agenda against creationism in the academia and scientific fields.

              • Spuddie

                You bring nothing to the table anyone has to accept.

                Get yourself published in journals accepted in the various scientific field with the exploits of your fantastic evidence and then come back to us.

                Btw attacking Evolution or The Big Bang theories is not support of Creationism. Theories are accepted on positive evidence. Not on simple attacks on the existing one. Again, more proof that Creationists don't really like to adhere to credible scientific notions.

                • savvy

                  What? So I need to be published to refute something? Also, what positive evidence are you speaking of? I am not attacking something to make my thoughts look better. I am only stating that these theories have no proof. I will adhere to any credible scientific notions…key word here – credible. Educated guesses do not mean proof.

  • Pingback: Bill O’Reilly says Christianity is not a religion, calls David Silverman a facist – God Discussion (blog)

  • Norm

    Bill O'Reilly is not really a moron, he is reilly an idiot instead,

  • skater60

    The early followers of Jesus were not Christians, they were Jews and practiced the Jewish religion of the time. Jesus taught the importance of Compassion, Mercy, Love and Understanding as opposed to ritual – the Jewish religion was BIG on ritual as pleasing to God. Jesus told them they were wrong. That their focus was wrong. In my very not-so-humble opinion, God cares not a whit as to what your beliefs (religion) are but does insist on Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness and Understanding – no matter what your beliefs. End of sermon.

  • Biblicalfulfillment

    Christianity is a faith based discipleship, not a religion. Christianity has never been a religion unlike catholism which defends, enables, and even justifies bad social behaviors and misconduct as well as perversion of both law as well as sexual perversion. Christianity cannot be turned into a religion because unlike religion, Christianity holds you responsible and accountable mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physically as well as spiritually for crimes aka sins no matter how you try to justify them. When God said, "there's nothing new under the sun", it meant that no matter how you attempt to cover your nakedness your shame, you can't. there is no way to hide sin from God's eyes, enable it, justify it, and cleanse it or yourself from it without Jesus Christ and have salvation. it's not allowed, and not possible. Man can not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God, As a living testiment a living testimony, it means humans can not absolve their own guilty wicked sinful nature and grant themselves salvation, God alone has already done that but most still refuse to accept Jesus Christ, because sin feels too comfy for the moment. Carpe diem?

  • Biblicalfulfillment

    first let me thank you for deleting my comment and attempting once again to destroy my technology asyou have allowed encoraged or hired someone to do through whatever means possible. Christianity is faith based, it is a discipleship, it has never been nor ever will be a "religion", It is a fellowship. Christianity is one of the most attacked, persecuted, debated faiths ever becaus a religion can be and has proven through repeated history to be formed into hypnotically suggestive weapons to attack Christs' disciples. even catholism enables, encourages, promotes, justifies, perverts, and yes protects bad social behavior, ethics or unethical ways and the most perverse laws and sexual demeaning acts known to offend God Almighty. How dare you! even jerusalem harbored that idol worshipping adulteress called jezebel. how dare we, the United States, expect to be exempt from taxation for the crimes we commit both in the flesh and in the spirit!!! don't erase this message unless you dare to further prove your own guilt. sin is something you can never hide, and you cannot absolve yourself no matterhow many avenues you attempt.k

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