Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!


“The most beautiful thing we can experience in life is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: for his eyes are closed.”  -- Albert Einstein
Today is the high point of the Christian Calendar.  Christ's death, burial, and resurrection is a mystery.  It inspires believers and renews our faith; while atheists scoff and say it is an impossible fairy tale.  But C.S. Lewis reminds us...
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word "darkness" on the walls of his cell. -- C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Anthony De Stefano wrote a nice article in USA Today yesterday about Christianity in America amid a rising number of non-believers (1.6 million atheists).  He takes a page from C.S. Lewis in answering the charge that Christianity is a made-up religion, a wishful thinking "fantasy" sprung from a weak and fearful psychology.
But is it wishful thinking to believe in hell, the devil and demons? Is it wishful thinking to believe we’re going to be judged and held accountable for every sin we’ve ever committed? Is it wishful thinking to believe the best way to live our life is to sacrifice our own desires for the sake of others? Is it wishful thinking to believe that we should discipline our natural bodily urges for the sake of some unseen “kingdom”? (USA Today)

Like Lewis, De Stefano concludes that if it's all made up, we sure did a crummy job.  We could have made ourselves feel better by codifying lust, greed, gluttony and hating our enemies.

But that would go against what we know instinctively to be true:  That there is more to life than this material world.

Happy Easter!

41 comments:

LD Jackson said...

Well said, silverfiddle. We can not abolish God, just because we say to ourselves that he does not exist.

I heard Rush Limbaugh say something one time that has really stuck with me. In my own words, he asked how anyone could look around at the wonders of our world and the universe and say there wasn't a higher power that controls it. I never expected to hear the man say something like that, so it made it that much more relevant.

Mark Adams said...

Happy Easter, Silver. May god bless you and all!

Jersey McJones said...

"We could have made ourselves feel better by codifying lust, greed, gluttony and hating our enemies."

We did. It's called Conservatism! LOL!

Actually, the values you cite above are not unique to Christianity. Other customs and religions promegate the same moral fundamentals.

The "wishful" thinking comes in the form of what we think we get from our religious beliefs - that we will be rewarded here and/or in an afterlife for our good behavior in this life.

The funny thing about these moral tenets is that they were designed to maintain a stable and civil society. The trouble with these tenets is that when they come from religion they have the added baggage of tribalism and xenophobia - the belief that "we" are right and so therefore "they" must be wrong. That's why more people have died in the name of Jesus than even Nazism caused!

We do not instinctively know there is more to the universe than the "material." Some of us just want to believe that.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

Anon:

Your anti-Jew, pro-Palestine propaganda ploy won't work here.

I will thank you for beautifully illustrating that neo-nazis and islamic jihadis are one in the same, sharing virulent America-hatred and Jew hatred.

Here's my favorite observation about this video. Read it and learn something. It is from Fish Eaters Traditional Catholic Forum"

Your blind hatred of all things Jewish has obviously kept you from looking at this rationally.

It's obviously not a kids show. It's intent is obviously to be rude, crude and uncivilized. It obviously was broadcast on whatever the Israeli version of Spike TV is.

So some Jews hate and make fun of Christians, so what? At the end of the day, it was a tv show, but the Jews didn't burn down any churches, they didn't rape and murder Christian women, they didn't gather in the streets in huge crowds to scare and beat all the Christians out of the village.

Oh, wait, who does that? You're beloved muzzies.

I have never met a Jew that has been disrespectful to me about my Catholic beliefs. Does that mean all Jews are respectful? Of course not. But you see one example of such crudity and you sensationalize it as if every last Jew was exactly the same. You're an ignorant person, at least when it comes to Judaism, because you let your emotions lead you around.

So, yes, even after seeing that, I'd still vote for Israel on the Israel vs. Palestine thread, because if I were a Christian in Israel, if all I had to deal with was some disrespectful tv satire around Easter (um, history channel anyone? at least their tv is mocking it as an obvious joke, our tv mocks it and tells us if we're intelligent people we would never believe the claims of Christ.), it would be much better than what I'd have to deal with in Egypt or Palestine.


We are not so stupid as you to fall for this propaganda, so pack your Jew-hating, hitler loving, Jihadi-supporing, cowardly, lily-livered ass on down the line.

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey, you are entitled to your beliefs.

More people killed in the name of Jesus?

Religion is a fundamental part of any society, just as language and culture. You might as well blame linguistic differences!

Silverfiddle said...

Fellow Right Blogistanis:

I tracked our little anon back to his fetid lair. He's from England, so he's a the Militant jihadi variety of America hater, not the domestic white supremacist variety.

See, they google 'Easter' and then plant this propaganda meant to stir Christian hatred against all Jewish people.

Sorry little militant muslim, we don't hate that easy. Will you be celebrating by firebombing a church later?

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

A very Happy and Blessed Easter to you and yours Silver!

Bastiatarian said...

The anti-Christians, etc., can blabber on all they want, but one thing they can never do is take away the reality of lived experience. A humble, devout Christian (including those of us highly fallible people who are trying to do our best to be humble and devout in our discipleship) knows the power of God and the power of Christ's Atonement, from personal experience. Faith is a requirement, of course, but that faith is validated empirically through repeated experience.

Happy Easter!

WomanHonorThyself said...

Blessed holiday to you my friend.:-)

Jersey McJones said...

Well, Silver, it just so happens that more people died in wars in the name of Jesus than just about anything else. But that's just what they thought they were fighting for... money, power, glory, jealousy, greed, revenge, sociopathy; these are the real causes of war.

Religion is less and less important in society as history moves forword and societies become more advanced. Also, "religion" is a very broad term. There's a huge difference between Abrahamic monotheism and say Buddhism.

In the particular case of Christianity, more people have died in it's name than for any other ostensible cause.

JMJ

Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez said...

Happy Easter Silverfiddle!

Bastiatarian said...

>it just so happens that more people died in wars in the name of Jesus than just about anything else

Wow. There are still people who believe that absolutely laughable meme?

Jersey McJones said...

Bastiat,

It's a terrible irony that it's true. I see you can't refute me.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

facts, Jersey. Bring facts. You can't just spout crap without backing it up.

Mustang said...

Happy Easter, Silver ....

Bastiatarian said...

>I see you can't refute me.

Speaking of irony...

Jersey McJones said...

Are you guys seriously refuting the point I made that religion is not really a cause of war but rather a convenient, cheap, sleazy, stupid excuse???

Did you miss me by that far???

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

OK, I get that part. I guess it was just that you surrounded it with so many gratuitous slaps.

Jersey McJones said...

You said I "surrounded it with so many gratuitous slaps," just as you guys with today's Islam...

JMJ

Bastiatarian said...

"That's why more people have died in the name of Jesus than even Nazism caused!"

Then

"more people died in wars in the name of Jesus than just about anything else."

Then

"In the particular case of Christianity, more people have died in it's name than for any other ostensible cause."

Then later

"Are you guys seriously refuting the point I made that religion is not really a cause of war"

It might be helpful if you actually kept track of your own point.

The problem, of course, is that you never really have a point. You started out as a troll, you are now a troll, and you will always be a troll. The very fact that you decided to start posting anti-Christian blabbering on someone's Easter post is also a clear indication that you are not merely a troll, but a thoroughly classless troll as well. Congratulations.

Finntann said...

So Jersey, people fight over some esoteric intangible like religion and not resources, territory, or power?

More people killed in the name of Jesus than Nazism.

That's a pretty neat trick there Jersey, given that in Europe there were an estimated 62-79 Million deaths.

At the time of the Crusades the population of all of Europe was only approx 40 Million and the population of the Fatimid Caliphate was only around 6 million.

So where did all these people killed in the name of Jesus come from? Name the wars and estimated deaths in each.

Or are you just going to keep blathering on like some drooling imbecile?

Bastiatarian said...

>Or are you just going to keep blathering on like some drooling imbecile?

All signs point to "Yes!"

Trestin said...

Jersey, more people were slain in the last century in the name of atheistic communism, than all the religious wars in history combined.

I'm not going to be nice and say you are full of it. I'm going to say it like it is. You are a liar and the truth is not in you.

Always On Watch said...

Love that excerpt from C.S. Lewis!

As a believer, I am convinced that I serve a risen Redeemer.

Others do not believe.

Lack of belief doesn't diminish or nullify truth.

So let non-believers refuse to believe. One day, maybe soon or maybe far in the future, they will have to recognize Truth.

Jersey McJones said...

Trestin, that isn't true.

The rest of you obvisouly never studied any history whatsoever.

As I stated clearly, and in English, above: ...it just so happens that more people died in wars in the name of Jesus than just about anything else. But that's just what they thought they were fighting for... money, power, glory, jealousy, greed, revenge, sociopathy; these are the real causes of war.

For you silly nit-pickers, I refined my point to exclude disease, infant mortality, old age, and such.

Christian Europe alone was embroiled in wars with religious for the better part of 2,000 years!

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: You're wrong. Every war was not fought over religion.

Give us the numbers to prove your point or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Jonesy, all of us read English, you're correct and all of us have studied history, that's where you're just unkind and dead wrong.......

Your comment "in the name of Jesus", of course, is the most laughable of all your comments. Yes, Jesus said "Go out and KILL FOR ME" Right? Oh, he DIDN'T? You can't find that anywhere in the New Testament? OH, my gosh, I thought he was more like mohammed than some think :-) (yes, plenty of sarcasm here, of course)
I suppose Hitler was a good Christian, right? (please PLEASE do some studying of history on your own!...and not at moveon.org, OKAY?)

Jesus asks us all to love everyone (oops, I have to destroy your fallacy, Jersey, but he EVEN wants us to love gays....imagine? :-)
And OH, I THINK he wants to love other races, too! OUCH, that DOES hurt for the liberals to consider that, huh? But, go ahead...honor Margaret Sanger and the black-baby-killing group she founded, and Byrd, the ex KKK recruiter..>GOOD JOB, LIBS! :-)

Yes, it's tough to be a Christian because we're all sinful and we all fall short of God, but BOY, to hear people like Jersey talk you'd think he'd never looked into the faith at all. (and yes, I know, he'll now proceed to tell us he was in seminary one year...sort of like talk radio callers on the day before an election who pose as Republicans and say "well, I would have voted for mcCain, but now I just can't" !!)

Silvrfiddle, I've not been here before, or at least in a long time...sorry to sound insulting and demeaning to a commenter of yours...and I'm signing ANONYMOUS not out of lack of courage but I don't want anybody like HIM at my place.
GOd bless you and I hope you had a very beautiful, meaningful Eazter Sunday. Thank GOD we've got Him....

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Christianity does more to feed and clothe the poor than any religion I know of. And that is all around the world.
And they don't treat their women less than an animal.

Z said...

This is an interesting thread, to say the least. thanks.
Lisa said a mouthful there, didn't she. Sometimes people have a tendency to forget the truth.

Jersey McJones said...

Nobody knows the numbers, Silver. We can safely would be somewhere up in the tens of millions.

JMJ

Anonymous said...

Is that number including what Socialist Russia did to it's own people? the millions Cambodia killed of its own people? The Armenian genocide at the hands of islam?
Is Hitler considered by the uninformed to be Christian?
Was Korea a religious war?
hmmmmmmmm

Silverfiddle said...

Nobody knows the numbers Jersey? Then you are full of it. Communism killed over 100 million, as estimated by various researchers.

Thanks Z and Anonymous. Jersey can't put up, but I'll guarantee he won't shut up either

Finntann said...

You're gonna make me do it, aren't you a$$hole?

Estimates for deaths in the crusades range from a low of 1 million to a high of 9 million.

References:

Robertson, John M., A Short History of Christianity (1902) p.278: 9,000,000

Aletheia, The Rationalist's Manual: 5,000,000

Henry William Elson, Modern Times and the Living Past, (1921) p. 261: 5,000,000

Om Prakesh Jaggi, Religion, Practice and Science of Non-violence, (1974) p. 40: "The crusades cost Europe five million young men"

Fielding Hudson Garrison, Notes on the History of Military Medicine, Association of Military Surgeons, (1922) p. 106: 3,000,000 total, incl. 2,000,000 Europeans

Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841): 2,000,000 Europeans killed.

Wertham: 1,000,000

John Shertzer Hittell, A Brief History of Culture (1874) p.137: "In the two centuries of this warfare one million persons had been slain..."

Median estimates for deaths in the European witch hunts fall between 50,000 and 60,000

References:

Jenny Gibbons "Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt, Lammas 1998

Davies, Norman, Europe A History

Hexen: Glaube - Verfolgung - Vermarktung. 5 Jan. 1999 Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Vlad Dracula, yes him...estimates of muslims killed in Wallachia 1456-1462, 100,000.

References:

Florescu & McNally, Dracula: Prince of Many Faces

Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History

Spanish Inquisition 1478-1834 estimated executions 35,000.

References:

Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History

Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church

Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic

Britannica

Fox's Book of Martyrs

Paul Johnson A History of the Jews

Want to throw in the 10-20 million indigenous persons killed in the Americas by smallpox, typhus, influenze, diphtheria, and measles?

Well you still aren't anywhere near the deaths of the non-religious WWII, not to mention WWI.

Finntann said...

Want the top 20 death tolls?

WWII: 63 Million

Mao Zedong: 40 M

Genghis Khan: 40 M

British India (famine) 27 M

Fall of the Ming Dynasty: 25 M

Taiping Rebellion: 20 M

Stalin: 20 M

Mideast (Muslim) slave trade: 19 M

Timur Lenk: 17 M

Atlantic (US) slave trade: 16 M

WWI: 15 M

Conquest of Americas: 15 M

Muslim conquest of India: 13 M

An Lushan Revolt: 10 M

Xin Dynasty: 10 M

Russian Civil War: 9 M

Fall of Rome: 8 M

Congo Free State: 8 M

30 Years War: 7.5 M

Fall of Yuan Dynasty: 7.5 M

Reference: 20th Century Atlas; Historical Body Count.

FUNNY, I didn't even see Jesus mentioned.

No matter how you do the math you are hard pressed to even come close to the death toll of WWII, not to mention all those other wars and atrocities that weren't "in the name of Jesus".

So put up or shut up.

~Finntann~

Silverfiddle said...

Damn Finn! Your towering intellect leaves me humble.

See Jersey? You've got responsible conservative doing the homework irresponsible liberals like you just won't do. (probably because the research shows you are wrong)

Z said...

Finntann, super

Lisa said...

Liberals are always drudging up the past. Civilization was quite brutal and primitive centuries ago. Unfortunately some civilizations still have primitive beliefs.

Trestin said...

Jersey I'll repeat my previous point. You are a liar and the truth is not in you. You are more than a misguided fool. You know the truth, and purposefully spread lies. It is clear what spirit you are of. I feel sorry for you.

Bastiatarian said...

>It is clear what spirit you are of.

Trestin, Alma 12:3 and 30:42 definitely come to mind in this case.

Joe said...

Jersey: If I go out and kill a bunch of people in YOUR name, does that mean that I am a true Jerseyite? Have you told me to go kill a bunch of people in your name? Am I following you? Am I justified in calling myself a Jerseyite? Can I then say, "More people have been killed in the name of Jersey than for any other cause?"

What shallow thinking.