We’ve Dismissed God — How’s that working out?

Yes, I know all the protests. “We weren’t doing all that well when everyone at least paid lip service to the Creator. And some people can be good without faith.” I’ve heard it all a thousand times.

But this I know: When a society thinks humiliation is entertaining (such as in our “reality” shows) . . .and when people are outraged that zoo keepers killed a gorilla to save a child’s life. . . and when political candidates stand for nothing but the joy of insulting others . . .and when unborn babies are killed in their mother’s womb . . .and a thousand other signs tell us human dignity is becoming obsolete. . . then isn’t it time to ask, having disowned and dismissed God, the loving and righteous judge of the universe, how is it working out for us?

Despite the strong image of the Daniel Boones and the John Waynes, we in fact are not merely individuals. We are who we are in relation to one another and especially in relation to our Creator. When we declare God dead, when we reject God and our accountability to God, we cease to be the persons we were created to be. We’re no longer at home in the Garden of our creation but have been cast out. Lost and alienated, we are turning against ourselves and against each other.

 

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About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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19 Responses to We’ve Dismissed God — How’s that working out?

  1. notabilia says:

    Your rantings are pure evil – I cannot believe that a human being can be so irrational and spiteful towards rational people. The remarks about abortion and the dead gorilla are disgusting and vile.

    • mthayes42 says:

      It would be helpful if you’d point out my irrationality and tell me a bit about what constitutes a rational view. People are calling for the mother of the boy who got into the gorilla enclosure to be jailed. Is that rational? My point was that we humans are not taking good care of one another and are treating one another in degrading ways. Is that irrational?

      • notabilia says:

        1. Abortion must be available for women who do not want to have the child. This has been the case for the millions of abortions that have been performed, and the millions of abortions that will be performed. Anti-abortionists have this deluded, monstrous theory that every zygote must be born eventually, adding millions more unwanted children to the world, denying women and men the right to safe family planning and beneficial sex lives. If the maniacal theory of anti-abortionists is right, then they, the anti-abortionists such as yourself, should carry, bear, and care for, financially and otherwise, or the rest of each of the millions of unwamted child’s life, the child you so desperately want others to have. It’s a staggeringly evil position to take.
        2. The mother’s negligence, along with the zoo’s, caused the gorilla to be killed. Surely this evokes humane consideration from people concerned for the taking of the imprisoned gorilla’s life.
        3. Nearly a quarter of the US population, and well over half of more advanced countries in Europe, are not religious. There is not a single piece of evidence for this phantasm of a “god,” so the world is doing well to turn away from the irrational legacy of the original chicken-entrail readers, and try to find real-life ways of constructing a more decent, justice-dispensing society. Sadly, no, the religionists remain in great power, hence the world is beset by horrific social injustice exacerbated by all the money-grabbing, money-laundering religious con artists. How’s that for “rationality”?

      • mthayes42 says:

        Well, I see y0u have reasons for your views, though that in itself does not make them rational.
        1. Abortion — Calling the unborn child a “zygote” or “fetus” does not make him or her less human. The question is, when does human dignity begin? Can you provide a rational defense for the idea that it begins when the mother says so? huge numbers of people know how to have sex without pregnancy. It is not some secret art. If a person wants sex without pregnancy, is it not irrational to practice unsafe sex? And by the way, the vast majority of help offered to unwed mothers and others with serious social needs comes through faith-based ministries.
        2. Mother’s negligence? I assume you are not a parent. I’m sure every parent knows that it is a near-maracle that our children survive to adulthood. We cannot provide absolute safety and security, so it is irrational to condemn every parent whose child gets hurt in one way or the other. Nothing in the various stories I’ve read about the situation in the zoo suggests the mother was negligent.
        3. Religion — Much harm has been done in the name of religion, just as there has been much damage done without any religious dimension at all. Are you acquainted with Hitler and Stalin? The problem is not with religion but with the human heart. Can you give me “a single piece of evidence” for the idea that all the world’s ills are caused by religion?

        Finally, the large number of emotion-laden words in your note suggests that rationality is not one of your real concerns.

      • notabilia says:

        1. Human dignity, in a world in which your oil use comes at the expense of the deaths of Midle Eastern children by the untold millions, begins when you recognize that your theroetical, preposterous ruminations are absurd. The creepy notion that women are somehow “irrational” when they use safe abortion methods betrays a bizarre fascination with controlling other peoples; sex lives. “faith-based ministires” should be outlawed for preying upon the poor, inflciting the horrific imperial practice of forced adoption upon poor woemn, and the monye-laudering I have spoken about before. They are a criminal enterprise.
        2. Again, no compassion for the gorilla. Where is your sense of honor?
        3. As you say, religion has done great harm, and that which does great harm needs to be vanquished,. Hitler’s brand of nationalistic “gott mit uns” fascism betrayed the horrors of faith-based identity irrationalism. Stalin shows that people of all kinds can engage in mass murder. Yes, religion has its competitors as a practice that engenders killing, rampant injsutice, and untold waste of human potential, but it is not hard in the USA to see how pervasive it has become in making a Trumpian mockery of all that it infest as a virus.

      • mthayes42 says:

        I’m still waiting for an answer to the questions I asked. So, I’ll ask them again. Please do respond with clear, rational answers. I wrote: “The question is, when does human dignity begin? Can you provide a rational defense for the idea that it begins when the mother says so?”

      • notabilia says:

        Rationality, of course, is what each of us thinks we own, but none of my clear, consistent, reality-based cognitive formulations rise to that standard for you. None of us is completely rational, of course – we would be dead if we did not have an emotional, visceral component to our actions, as Lawrence Gonzalez explained in a brilliant book.
        “Human dignity” begins when the mother uses abortion to avoid having an unwanted child. All children should be wanted, planned for, and welcomed with anticipation. The mother is the one that will have the baby, not you, not Pope Francis, not the rabid anti-humanity religious lunatics.
        Most clear-thinking people support this basic right, but the religious virus of censorious, bilious cultish opprobrium has hit this infected country, resulting in a settled issue being clouded by means of stupidity and hostility to basic social reality. Each one of the clear, simple points I have made to you regarding abortion goes unanswered by you, resulting in my further conviction that you are seeing the pathetic, illogical stance of your horrendous anti-abortion convictions. Where are you going to house all of the babies you are demanding others have to satisfy your theoretical evil? Where in your house? How will you take possession of the fetuses in yoru body? Why are there tens of millions of abortions in the world? Why are you so against sex between consenting adults? Why have you no sense of honor for your fellow humans? What went so wrong in your life that you became doggedly anti-human?
        If you don’t answer these questions, I will assume that you needed someone to show you the light, and that you are renouncing your horrific views.

      • mthayes42 says:

        Methinks you and I have very different ideas of what the word “rational” means. I asked, for example, for a rational answer to the question of when human dignity begins. First you said human dignity begins when I recognize that my “theroetical [sic], preposterous ruminations are absurd.” So humans have dignity only if I approve of abortion? Is that a rational answer? Then you say it begins with abortion. Is that rational? If so, does that mean you believe un-aborted people have no human dignity?
        As far as housing all the babies that would be born if abortion were minimized, I wonder if you have any idea how many people want to adopt a baby. That might be something for you to explore.
        You say that “each one of the clear, simple points I have made to you regarding abortion goes unanswered.” I must confess that I’ve been unable to find your “clear, simple points” because your writing is badly choked by so many emotion-laden words. Your reliance upon insult suggests you are not really concerned about being rational, just judgmental.
        In general, I think the difference between the poorly named “pro-life” and “pro-choice” positions is that we who want to see abortion minimized consider unborn children worthy of the same respect as those who are born. We cannot see how abortion for any but the most severe of reasons is not considered murder. The dignity of the person must surely begin sometime before birth, right? So I ask again, when does human dignity begin? Does it begin at conception, one month later, eight months later? Does it only begin when the mother says it does? Please tell me – without insults if possible – when a person becomes a person and deserves to be treated with dignity.

      • notabilia says:

        A person become a person when he or she is born, correct? Before that, the person is not alive as a person, but as a zygote, as a fetus.
        You seem to have, just the like the Colorado terrorist who was judged mentally incompetent to stand trial, this lunatic notion that a zygote or fetus is a “person,” a “baby.” Thus, you claim to have “respect” for the trillions of zygotes that will be unborn, and the hundreds of millions of incipient, non-viable fetuses that have been aborted, and will be aborted. Where is the human dignity in the starvation of millions of children in the Middle East, who will certainly die? Where is the “respect” for the human world that contains so many children and humans that will suffer and die while you prosper based on nothing so much as accidental circumstance?
        Adoption cannot happen for the tens to hundered of millions of children that you would need to bear in the physically impossible circumstance of you giving birth to them. Adoption by religious zealots amounts to child-snatching, and it should be stopped. Adoption has not, and cannot, substitute for safe, supported, chosen family planning, and I urge to support the wonderful people at Planned Parenthood.
        Your mind has become utterly fixated on this massive series of religious and theoretical (check the spelling – obviously, there are words here that you do not recognize) delusions, and yet you cannot answer the very simple charges I have proffered here before you.

      • mthayes42 says:

        Up until the point of birth, the unborn is not a person, not a human being? Do you really believe that? Is there a rational way to explain your conviction other than science has some specific words for the unborn? I find it hard to appreciate that you think expressing your opinion is somehow proving your point. you want to be rational, so please write that way. And please help me understand how aborting a baby in America relieves the problems of suffering children in the Middle East. And please give me the source of the information that only religious zealots adopt children. And I ask you once again to state your views without recourse to such emotional language. Rational discourse is hindered by your mixture of bald, unsupported statements and emotional language. I’m looking for some middle ground here, since I know you and I both care deeply about the children and mothers.

      • notabilia says:

        Half of all embryos – that is, fertilized sperm and egg combinations, if you want the scientific truth – are naturally aborted in the mother’s womb. Where is your zygote-love weeping over that? Did you know that your ancestors practiced infant killing?
        You have utterly no “concern” for the mothers – otherwise you would get off your theoretical insanity and let them have their abortions in peace. Give them birth control pills, too, and condoms, and there won’t be as may abortions, if that is what your bizarre fascination is all about.
        The world is full of the killing of children, the suffering of people, directly tied to the oil you put in your car and your house, but you want to wrap yourself in some irrational, blood-soaked cloak of “human dignity.” Humans are a predator, the direct cause of our planet’s warming, a species not often given to acts of “dignity,” especially those who seek to snatch children away to convert them to their malificent cause (witness this informative post:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathryn-joyce/christian-adoption-movement-problems_b_3367223.html
        There is no rationality to your views – and I’ll leave you to your insane position of grieving for the billions of zygotes that evolution deems unviable. You’ll need lots of Kleenex. I still don’t see you getting going on your house plans for all the enforced births you will responsible for.
        Check Roe v. Wade – that settled the idea of personhood.
        Our sperm – is that also a person? You have got a lot of crying and sawing of wood to do – we lose billions of sperm a day without making babies.
        As for “emotional” language, you might have been able to shush your flock, but no atheist is going to listen to that authoritarian nonsense. Stop the pretense – you have emotions, do you not?

      • mthayes42 says:

        Ah yes, I have emotions and deep compassion for mothers and children and gorillas. When someone claims to want a rational discussion, however, I try to limit myself to ideas. If in fact all you want to do is insult me, then there’s not much basis for discussion, is there? As for Roe v. Wade settling the idea of personhood, I think you’d better read the transcripts again. And then ask yourself whether it is rational to believe a court is the ultimate arbiter of morality, rather than merely of the law as the rest of us believe. And I am very curious why you keep referring to my use of oil and other resources. Do you not use any yourself?

      • notabilia says:

        1. Yes, I do use oil. You were complaining about how bad the human world was getting, but you made no mention of your own contributions to the genuine crises that are afflicting human societies.
        2,. Yes, the courts are far too often wrong on moral and legal merits, but in Roe v. Wade, they got it right. Women have the right to abortion. Zygotehood is not personhood.
        3. We have come to the end here – this has been enjoyable for me, in many ways. We’ve established that anti-abortionism is a theoretical nullity, with no logic behind its vapid premises. Also, we’ve seen that behind the Christian drive to adopt children is a relentless mania to convert and control poor children, as the essay explained. We have seen the utter intransigence of those deluded by the powerful religious virus, again and again.
        I have learned, though, the proper spelling of maleficent, for which I am in deep debt.
        Ever upward, atheism is on the march, with a typo here, a misspellling there, but with the power of righteous cognitive creativity, it shines forth upon the dark, bilious underworld of religious fanaticism.

      • mthayes42 says:

        I’m happy to call a halt to this conversation, since we never seemed able to reach rationality. I’m still wondering how you know that “zygotehood” is not personhood or how you know when the transition takes place from non-human to human in the development of an unborn baby. I guess I’ll never know your reasoning. And I seem to have missed the note where you established that my view is a “theoretical nullity,” whatever that might mean. All I’ve heard from you are assertions and insults. May I suggest you go my my other blog and read the two entires on stupidity?

      • mthayes42 says:

        I just got the chance to check out the online article you recommended, Notabilia. Sorry for the delay. I’m afraid I couldn’t find there anything to justify your claim that there are “those who seek to snatch children away to convert them to their malificent [sic] cause.” It seems your deep emotions shade your reading as well as your writing. Can you point me toward the sentences which speak of people “snatching” children or adopting for the purpose of convert children to some maleficent cause? And by the way, I have in fact shared tears with mothers who have miscarried. And I have never, never heard one say she had lost a fetus. They always refer to losing a baby.

  2. History is good for cherry picking. …if you like cherries.

    • mthayes42 says:

      It takes wisdom to sort through all the “facts” of history and sort them into a meaningful whole. There is never a “right” interpretation of history but there is a difference between understandings which lead to health and wholeness and those which lead to destruction and enmity. It’s too bad wisdom is no longer one of our cultural values.

      • Declensionist narratives are not wisdom. They are little more than opportunism.

      • mthayes42 says:

        One reason Trump keeps getting into trouble is that he continually thinks he sees opportunities where there are none. There is no possible way, for example, for him to defend his comments about the judge. He thought he saw a weakness in the judge (Mexican heritage), tried to walk through what he saw as an open door to intimidating the judge, and bumped his nose into reality.

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