Jesus Explained

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Ganonymous

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Jun 8, 2012
 

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If the population of the world were decreased to a mere 100 people, 30 of them would be Christian. Christians are part of a strange monotheistic religion dedicated to one thing and one thing alone: Jesus, a 1st Century religious teacher and probably the wisest and most intelligent man to ever walk the earth. Many people around that era claimed to be the Messiah, so what was so special about Jesus?
Jesus has to be placed into 1 of 5 categories: he was either a myth, a prophet, a liar, a lunatic, or the Messiah.
Well, we know Jesus was real. There have been claims that he is identical to the Egyptian god, Horus, but these claims are false. He is also mentioned by many early historians, such as Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger etc, proving that he did exist.
And he probably wasn't a prophet either. He claimed that he was the son of God, which was seen as blasphemy. A prophet would not deceive someone like that.
That leaves us with 3 options; Lord, liar or lunatic. Which was he? You decide!
Big Al

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Jun 8, 2012
 

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Ganonymous wrote:
If the population of the world were decreased to a mere 100 people, 30 of them would be Christian. Christians are part of a strange monotheistic religion dedicated to one thing and one thing alone: Jesus, a 1st Century religious teacher and probably the wisest and most intelligent man to ever walk the earth. Many people around that era claimed to be the Messiah, so what was so special about Jesus?
Jesus has to be placed into 1 of 5 categories: he was either a myth, a prophet, a liar, a lunatic, or the Messiah.
Well, we know Jesus was real. There have been claims that he is identical to the Egyptian god, Horus, but these claims are false. He is also mentioned by many early historians, such as Tacitus, Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger etc, proving that he did exist.
And he probably wasn't a prophet either. He claimed that he was the son of God, which was seen as blasphemy. A prophet would not deceive someone like that.
That leaves us with 3 options; Lord, liar or lunatic. Which was he? You decide!
Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117),(37 – c. 100), Suetonius (ca. 69/72 – after 130), Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), Pliny the Younger (61 AD – ca. 112 AD). None of them were alive when Jesus was.

Tacitus referred to Christianity as “a most mischievous superstition”.

I do, however,“believe” that a very intelligent Jewish teacher lived and taught in the beginning of the first century. I also “believe” that a lot of myth and superstition grew up around him over the centuries. Sons of God and miracle workers were not uncommon in those days. All of this happened 2,000 years ago and we cannot know anything for sure.

"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being." -Thomas Jefferson
Ganonymous

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Jun 8, 2012
 

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Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117),(37 – c. 100), Suetonius (ca. 69/72 – after 130), Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), Pliny the Younger (61 AD – ca. 112 AD). None of them were alive when Jesus was.
Tacitus referred to Christianity as “a most mischievous superstition”.
I do, however,“believe” that a very intelligent Jewish teacher lived and taught in the beginning of the first century. I also “believe” that a lot of myth and superstition grew up around him over the centuries. Sons of God and miracle workers were not uncommon in those days. All of this happened 2,000 years ago and we cannot know anything for sure.
"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being." -Thomas Jefferson
I wouldn't criticize the Bible too much. The historical accuracy of the Gospels is astounding. Archaeologists have found, among other things, the house of Simon Peter and the place where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount. The New Testament is a very reliable source of what life was like in the time of Jesus, so perhaps what it says should be accepted as truth, even if you don't believe that Jesus' miracles were authentic.
Yes, the historians do go to great lengths to put Christianity in a bad light, but they were trying to discourage the spread of his teachings, so they'd have to criticize it a lot.
Lastly, Jesus was different from other "miracle workers" because, after they were executed, their followers were dispersed or killed. Not the case with Jesus. His disciples were all the more eager to spread his message around the world, and even to die for Jesus! They must have known he was pretty special if they were prepared to die for him!
QUITTNER

Toronto, Canada

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Jun 8, 2012
 

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4:18 pm, Friday, June 8, 2012:
RE: Jesus Explained
..... There is far to much about Jesus, and far too little about the teachings of Jesus, what he actually did, and what he required ALL of his followers to do.
..... After Jesus was crucified many so-called "Christianities" were invented and their members did NOT, and do NOT, follow Jesus, but follow the teachings of others and their literature.
..... The so-called "Christian" churches are not artificial "families", nor intentional communities, the essential parts of the Christianity of Jesus. See Wikipedia, for example.
Big Al

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Jun 8, 2012
 

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
I wouldn't criticize the Bible too much. The historical accuracy of the Gospels is astounding. Archaeologists have found, among other things, the house of Simon Peter and the place where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount. The New Testament is a very reliable source of what life was like in the time of Jesus, so perhaps what it says should be accepted as truth, even if you don't believe that Jesus' miracles were authentic.
Yes, the historians do go to great lengths to put Christianity in a bad light, but they were trying to discourage the spread of his teachings, so they'd have to criticize it a lot.
Lastly, Jesus was different from other "miracle workers" because, after they were executed, their followers were dispersed or killed. Not the case with Jesus. His disciples were all the more eager to spread his message around the world, and even to die for Jesus! They must have known he was pretty special if they were prepared to die for him!
We don’t even know who wrote the Gospels.

“They [the gospels] appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no confidence whatever" - Rev. Dr. Hooykaas

"The gospel contains no express declaration about the origin and value of the Scriptures,...The first four historical books of the New Testament are supplied with titles (Euaggelion kata Matthaion, Euaggelion kata Markon, etc.), which, however ancient, do not go back to the respective authors of those sacred writings....It is indeed impossible, at the present day, to describe the precise manner in which out of the numerous works ascribed to some Apostle, or simply bearing the name of gospel, only four, two of which are not ascribed to Apostles, came to be considered as sacred and canonical." - New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia

Mohammed Atta and his cohorts who flew airplanes into the twin towers were willing to die for their faith. I don’t think a willingness to martyr oneself for a faith proves the truth of that faith.
Ganonymous

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Jun 9, 2012
 

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Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
We don’t even know who wrote the Gospels.
“They [the gospels] appeared anonymously. The titles placed above them in our Bibles owe their origin to a later ecclesiastical tradition which deserves no confidence whatever" - Rev. Dr. Hooykaas
"The gospel contains no express declaration about the origin and value of the Scriptures,...The first four historical books of the New Testament are supplied with titles (Euaggelion kata Matthaion, Euaggelion kata Markon, etc.), which, however ancient, do not go back to the respective authors of those sacred writings....It is indeed impossible, at the present day, to describe the precise manner in which out of the numerous works ascribed to some Apostle, or simply bearing the name of gospel, only four, two of which are not ascribed to Apostles, came to be considered as sacred and canonical." - New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
Mohammed Atta and his cohorts who flew airplanes into the twin towers were willing to die for their faith. I don’t think a willingness to martyr oneself for a faith proves the truth of that faith.
The terrorists of Al-Qaeda had faith, but a different kind of faith. They had been brought up as Muslims and told by their holy books that it was advisable to kill people so they could go to heaven. The apostles hadn't grown up with stories of Jesus, they had met him in person, and knew for certain that what they were doing was correct. The terrorists probably doubted in their faith, but once the apostles had seen Jesus after he rose from the dead, they never doubted once what they were doing. They were putting their faith into someone they had met, someone they knew to be special.
And, yes, you are right about the vague idea of who wrote the gospels, but that doesn't mean they aren't reliable. I made no mention of who wrote the gospels in my response, anyway, so I don't know why you brought it up.
Big Al

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Jun 9, 2012
 

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
The terrorists of Al-Qaeda had faith, but a different kind of faith. They had been brought up as Muslims and told by their holy books that it was advisable to kill people so they could go to heaven. The apostles hadn't grown up with stories of Jesus, they had met him in person, and knew for certain that what they were doing was correct. The terrorists probably doubted in their faith, but once the apostles had seen Jesus after he rose from the dead, they never doubted once what they were doing. They were putting their faith into someone they had met, someone they knew to be special.
And, yes, you are right about the vague idea of who wrote the gospels, but that doesn't mean they aren't reliable. I made no mention of who wrote the gospels in my response, anyway, so I don't know why you brought it up.
Faith is belief or trust in something without logical proof. Christian faith is no different than Muslim faith. The stories of the bible are no more reliable than the stories of the Koran. To suggest that those with Christian faith are any less apt to kill on the basis of their faith than those of Muslim faith is to ignore history, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that a willingness to die for one’s faith is not proof of truth but only of faith.

Jesus never wrote a word. Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who never saw or heard Jesus speak a word wrote most of the books of the Bible. The first Christians were a small sect of Judaism who followed Jewish law. Paul changed that when he confronted Peter about the necessity of circumcision, in order to convert gentiles and he invented the idea of Christ’s crucifixion as “atonement”.

“No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.”~ G.B. Shaw
Punisher

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Jun 9, 2012
 

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
I wouldn't criticize the Bible too much. The historical accuracy of the Gospels is astounding. Archaeologists have found, among other things, the house of Simon Peter and the place where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount. The New Testament is a very reliable source of what life was like in the time of Jesus, so perhaps what it says should be accepted as truth, even if you don't believe that Jesus' miracles were authentic.

Yes, the historians do go to great lengths to put Christianity in a bad light, but they were trying to discourage the spread of his teachings, so they'd have to criticize it a lot.

Lastly, Jesus was different from other "miracle workers" because, after they were executed, their followers were dispersed or killed. Not the case with Jesus. His disciples were all the more eager to spread his message around the world, and even to die for Jesus! They must have known he was pretty special if they were prepared to die for him!
No matter how many artifacts are found to date back to the time of a man allegedly named Jesus - none of them will ever prove the claims made about him. If we tolerate this sort of lame logic, and most of us do not, than we have to accept that all the much larger piles of artifacts for other belief systems are real too. Hell, one pyramid outweighs the entire pile of artifacts related to any one or all of the stories found in the Bible. Therefore by your logic, the beliefs re; the pyramids are real and true.(BTW, this artifact argument of yours is old and cliched and been beaten back a million times, and most often by rational thinking Believers.)

The NT doesnt mention much at all about "Life" at that time. You need to actually read the NT, and not take the word of those who extrapolate way too much from it, and or insert things learned elsewhere that have no Biblical relevance.

And "historians" (vague term to say the least) are not concerned with disproving the special claims of the Bible, because if any actually found the proof to the Supernatural and therefore proof, they'd be FAMOUS beyond their wildest dreams.
Punisher

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Jun 9, 2012
 

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
1. The terrorists of Al-Qaeda had faith, but a different kind of faith. They had been brought up as Muslims and told by their holy books that it was advisable to kill people so they could go to heaven.

2. The apostles hadn't grown up with stories of Jesus, they had met him in person, and knew for certain that what they were doing was correct.

3. The terrorists probably doubted in their faith, but once the apostles had seen Jesus after he rose from the dead, they never doubted once what they were doing. They were putting their faith into someone they had met, someone they knew to be special.

4. And, yes, you are right about the vague idea of who wrote the gospels, but that doesn't mean they aren't reliable. I made no mention of who wrote the gospels in my response, anyway, so I don't know why you brought it up.
1. Actually you're only about 1/100th correct. There is too much conflict within Islam as to the exact messages that created this modern age jihad. Its rather complicated in religious terms, which I'm sure you have not done any reading about...but in summary its not the actual words of Mohammed they follow - but like so many Extreme Xtians those of other men, much later men spinning their own tales.

But different or not its still extreme religious belief that infects their minds and squeezes out all rationality. Much like Modern American Xtians. Infected with some newer strain of Fundamentalism bacillus that makes people blind to actual logic and reason. Oh wait, that's not so modern after all...but just a newer strain resistant to modern reality. Like an Evolved bacteria.

2. Certain? They did have doubt. Dont make stuff up. Without doubt there is no such thing as faith. Without doubt you're some sort of psychopath. Doubt is not erased by faith...

3. see 2. Doubt is natural. To attempt to try and eliminate it means you're defining Faith for millions and millions of past and current believers. Which of course you cant do.

4. You miss the nuance of that point, which of course is normal for folks like you. The point is that IF we dont know the actual Who of authorship, we're starting at a place of unreliable information. When you add that we don't know what the actual first manuscript said, because all we have are copies of copies of copies, etc - which we KNOW to be altered each step of the copying process - the whole thread is full of unreliability...

To truly explain all this to you would mean you have to be willing at some point to look at and study the Bible from a Critical/analytical, scholarly POV, and not this died in the wool believer advocacy position of yours...a process I'm sure you're unwilling to engage in.
Punisher

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Jun 9, 2012
 

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Ganonymous wrote:
If the population of the world were decreased to a mere 100 people, 30 of them would be Christian.!
Not true at all. If the 100 were from the steppes of central Asia there would not be a Xtian among them.

You cant make stuff up and than proceed into your arguments as if your opening premise is true. This is what has been wrong with Xtian methodology since nearly day 1. Whats been wrong with most religious beliefs - Step 1. made up premise. Step 2 (thru whatever)- make up stuff, or use real stuff twisted to support step 1.
Punisher

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
The terrorists of Al-Qaeda had faith, but a different kind of faith. They had been brought up as Muslims and told by their holy books that it was advisable to kill people so they could go to heaven..
Americans die for the ideas of Democracy. What exactly is this Democracy? Can you show us what it is, can you conjure Democracy...for all of us to see...? Can you provide an exact definition that will satisfy say, those in the various 99% Protest groups (many of whom have been seriously injured) as well as the 1%, for all American Xtians, for all American Jews, for all American Hindus, American Sikhs, American Muslims, American Pagans, American Atheists...?

Americans die because they've been taught its advisable to support the American way of life - which is currently defined by the Markets. That dying in the cause of American Economic Interests is true patriotism. Dying to protect our gluttony is true Patriotism.

Or because some men, as boys, have been taught that the truest test of a man is war. Did Jesus teach us that?
Ganonymous

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Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>Not true at all. If the 100 were from the steppes of central Asia there would not be a Xtian among them.
You cant make stuff up and than proceed into your arguments as if your opening premise is true. This is what has been wrong with Xtian methodology since nearly day 1. Whats been wrong with most religious beliefs - Step 1. made up premise. Step 2 (thru whatever)- make up stuff, or use real stuff twisted to support step 1.
I did not make this up. I heard this some time ago, I think in a Guinness World Records book.(I don't know why it was in there!)
Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but I certainly did not make it up.
I don't know why you then started the 'side-argument' about all Christians being spineless idiots who make stuff up as they go along or something along those lines, but it was completely off-topic.
Punisher

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
I did not make this up. I heard this some time ago, I think in a Guinness World Records book.(I don't know why it was in there!)
Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but I certainly did not make it up.
I don't know why you then started the 'side-argument' about all Christians being spineless idiots who make stuff up as they go along or something along those lines, but it was completely off-topic.
So you start with an idea that is most probably specious to begin with and from a book like the Guinness Book of Records...? That is under constant revision to drop old stats for newer ones, and you're not even certain if it was that? How are we to accept anything you said from that point on...?

But my two step example was appropriate and you just supported it. You "think" you read that someplace, which could mean you made it up - or misquoted something out of context to start your argument. So in reality I was right...

And IF your quote was correct (focus on was) it still doesn't mean what followed was relevant to it or vice versa.

Where did I use the term "spineless idiots"..? That's you speaking, are you perhaps sharing how you really feel about Xtians in general?
Punisher

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Ganonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
I did not make this up. I heard this some time ago, I think in a Guinness World Records book.(I don't know why it was in there!)
Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but I certainly did not make it up.
I don't know why you then started the 'side-argument' about all Christians being spineless idiots who make stuff up as they go along or something along those lines, but it was completely off-topic.
I heard sometime ago that Jews use Xtian babies for their rituals! That alligators live in NYC sewers, and that a good portion of American Southerners are inbred, and that British men are pretty much all cross-dressers and poofs...all of which I read in some books some where...or saw on TV...

“To Believe is To Obey”

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The point made is to discourage people from saying that Jesus was some sort of moral teacher, and nothing more. This is a false but very popular idea. Good moral teachers don't tell their followers to hate mother or father, they don't tell people to sell all they have and "follow Me." Only one man who ever walked the earth had the right to do that, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.
Ganonymous

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Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Actually you're only about 1/100th correct. There is too much conflict within Islam as to the exact messages that created this modern age jihad. Its rather complicated in religious terms, which I'm sure you have not done any reading about...but in summary its not the actual words of Mohammed they follow - but like so many Extreme Xtians those of other men, much later men spinning their own tales.
But different or not its still extreme religious belief that infects their minds and squeezes out all rationality. Much like Modern American Xtians. Infected with some newer strain of Fundamentalism bacillus that makes people blind to actual logic and reason. Oh wait, that's not so modern after all...but just a newer strain resistant to modern reality. Like an Evolved bacteria.
2. Certain? They did have doubt. Dont make stuff up. Without doubt there is no such thing as faith. Without doubt you're some sort of psychopath. Doubt is not erased by faith...
3. see 2. Doubt is natural. To attempt to try and eliminate it means you're defining Faith for millions and millions of past and current believers. Which of course you cant do.
4. You miss the nuance of that point, which of course is normal for folks like you. The point is that IF we dont know the actual Who of authorship, we're starting at a place of unreliable information. When you add that we don't know what the actual first manuscript said, because all we have are copies of copies of copies, etc - which we KNOW to be altered each step of the copying process - the whole thread is full of unreliability...
To truly explain all this to you would mean you have to be willing at some point to look at and study the Bible from a Critical/analytical, scholarly POV, and not this died in the wool believer advocacy position of yours...a process I'm sure you're unwilling to engage in.
1. Altering the text? That's disputable... And what a surprise, the old 'blind faith' argument. Christians are actually ENCOURAGED to question truth and logic, contrary to what so many of you atheists think. It's just that many of us don't.
2.+3. The same argument paraphrased twice. If the gospels are to be believed, then the apostles had seen Jesus walk on water, miraculously heal and revive people from death, resurrect himself and ascend to heaven. I would argue that you'd be a psychopath if you DID have any doubts after seeing that.(Even without using the gospels as a source, most agree that the apostles claimed to see Jesus alive after he was crucified. It happened 2000 years ago and atheists still haven't come up with a reasonable alternative that isn't 'Jesus was resurrected'.
4. Actually, no. Anonymous doesn't necessarily mean unreliable. The Barnwell Chronicle is a reliable source of information about what life was like in medieval England, and no one has a clue who wrote that. A historian? A monk? A nobleman? We don't know for sure, yet modern historians understand its reliability. Besides, the writer of the Gospel of Mark may well have interviewed Peter, as it seems to mainly be told from his perspective. This suggests that the author knew the apostles very closely. We don't know for certain if the gospels were altered, although it is a possibility. If that is the case then one might argue that much of what we know about Julius Caesar is false. He was alive before Jesus, yet we take everything said about him for granted!
Ganonymous

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QUITTNER wrote:
See Wikipedia, for example.
"See Wikipedia." I think that sums it all up rather nicely.
Ganonymous

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Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Faith is belief or trust in something without logical proof. Christian faith is no different than Muslim faith. The stories of the bible are no more reliable than the stories of the Koran. To suggest that those with Christian faith are any less apt to kill on the basis of their faith than those of Muslim faith is to ignore history, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that a willingness to die for one’s faith is not proof of truth but only of faith.
Jesus never wrote a word. Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who never saw or heard Jesus speak a word wrote most of the books of the Bible. The first Christians were a small sect of Judaism who followed Jewish law. Paul changed that when he confronted Peter about the necessity of circumcision, in order to convert gentiles and he invented the idea of Christ’s crucifixion as “atonement”.
“No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.”~ G.B. Shaw
You have missed the point COMPLETELY. Modern-day theists have faith because they have heard about what they are representing and BELIEVE it to be true. Jesus' apostles preached the gospel because they KNEW it to be true, as they had seen it with their own eyes. Did the men of Al-Qaeda meet Mohammed? No, he died hundreds of years before they were born. Did the apostles see Jesus? Yes, of course they did! Faith can have very different definitions. The apostles had seen proof that their faith was correct.
If Paul wrote most books of the Bible, he would have to have been more than 200 years old when he began to preach the gospel. And you don't think Jesus was crucified? Visit The Divine Evidence website, all the proof you should need is there.
Ganonymous

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Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>So you start with an idea that is most probably specious to begin with and from a book like the Guinness Book of Records...? That is under constant revision to drop old stats for newer ones, and you're not even certain if it was that? How are we to accept anything you said from that point on...?
But my two step example was appropriate and you just supported it. You "think" you read that someplace, which could mean you made it up - or misquoted something out of context to start your argument. So in reality I was right...
And IF your quote was correct (focus on was) it still doesn't mean what followed was relevant to it or vice versa.
Where did I use the term "spineless idiots"..? That's you speaking, are you perhaps sharing how you really feel about Xtians in general?
I did not make it up. While I agree that the origins of that claim are somewhat dubious, I didn't simply invent it, I just wanted a decent introduction to this thread.
You'll notice I actually said "spineless idiots OR SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES", not what you have suggested. I myself am a Christian, so your idea is completely false anyway.
Ganonymous

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Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>I heard sometime ago that Jews use Xtian babies for their rituals! That alligators live in NYC sewers, and that a good portion of American Southerners are inbred, and that British men are pretty much all cross-dressers and poofs...all of which I read in some books some where...or saw on TV...
Alright, I've just verified it. Guinness World Records 2012 Page 134-135. If the planet were reduced to just 100 people, all from different racial, economical and social backgrounds, 30 would be Christian. The sources used for that were the CIA, the UN, World Bank and the Population Media Centre.
That enough proof for you?

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