If, as Donald Trump asserts, it is legitimate to deport and ban people from the U.S. based on the religion of potential terrorists, perhaps we should start with the Christians, since most of the murders in the U.S. are committed by Christians.

John List, who slaughtered his family to please God was a high ranking Lutheran, as was the BKK serial killer, Dennis Rader, who, for over 20 years , never missed church services between killings.  Perhaps we should deport Lutherans from America.  Or, at the very least, President Trump could deny any more of them entry into the U.S.  

Likewise, there have been a number of notorious murders committed by Mormons, led by Ted Bundy, who may have murdered 100 or more.  Let’s deport all the Mormons, too.  And if we can’t do that, perhaps President Ted Cruz could order the police to conduct round-the-clock surveillance of the homes of Mormons and Lutherans.

Then there is the case of one of the most heinous killers ever - John Wayne Gacy, a good Catholic who murdered at least 33.  Did he confess to his priest?  Or was the priest too busy molesting children to have time to hear his confession?

And what about the infamous terrorist, Eric Rudolph, who killed several people and injured at least 120 more based entirely on his membership in the “Army of God” and “Christian Identity”?  Wouldn’t it therefore also be prudent to ban all Christians until, as Donald Trump says, “We know what the hell is going on”?

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Get the Christians to build a wall of separation between religions and the government and get it paid for from the $74 billion that they don't pay because of religious tax exemptions.

RE:Did he confess to his priest? Or was the priest too busy molesting children to have time to hear his confession?

LMFAO!

I love it! Where do I sign the petition?

Then there is the case of one of the most heinous killers ever - John Wayne Gacy, a good Catholic who murdered at least 33.  Did he confess to his priest?  Or was the priest too busy molesting children to have time to hear his confession?

Come on. I no more think that all Catholics are serial killers than I think that all priests molest children. I've known many a Catholic in my lifetime and most of them were basically decent folks. Demonizing the other side is something I'd expect a right winger to do.

Where did you get the idea that most murders in the US are committed by Christians?

Dennis Rader, who, for over 20 years , never missed church services between killings.

Are you saying that just because he regularly went to church means that he is a Christian? Don't you think it would be better to determine if a person is a Christian based on whether or not they actually follow Christian doctrine?

Jeff, do many of the Christians you know believe there will be a showdown between religions/nations soon and then that will signal the end of times/rapture? I have heard several Christians say this lately.

No, I don't. In my church, we don't talk about the end times very much. There is so much unnecessary controversy in the Christian church over when Jesus is going to come back and what specifically will happen when he comes back.

I think it is pointless that people spend so much time talking and arguing about the end times. For one thing, there is nothing that anyone can do about it. Secondly, the Bible even says that no one knows when Jesus will come back (Matthew 24:36), so why bother arguing about it?

There are always people who say that the beginning of the end is almost here. I generally don't pay much attention to those people.

Where did you get the idea that most murders in the US are committed by Christians?

Given that the overwhelming majority of Americans are Christians, it would be very very surprising if this were not true.  In fact, I was considering calling Dale out on this one as being basically a pointless thing to say, and explaining how utterly meaningless a statistic it was, then I thought maybe he was being ironic or something.

A fairly recent survey showed that atheists are under represented in the prison population.

Unseen: you apparently don’t recognize irony when you see it.  Of course I don’t believe Catholics are more likely to commit murder than anyone else.  I was using that ironical comment to point out that being Muslim doesn’t make you a killer, either.    That being said, the Bible is a lot more explicit about condoning murder on behalf of God than is the Koran.  Also, Catholic murderers like Gacy can always confess and be forgiven.  Just one of the advantages of being Catholic.

Jeff: inasmuch as Dennis Rader was, throughout much of his murderous 20 year killing spree, a DEACON of his Lutheran Church in Wichita, I think I am on solid ground calling him a Christian.  Unless of course, your definition of a Christian is someone who never does anything of which God (or you) disapproves.  But, if you read the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible), it is quite clear that God DOES approve of murder whenever it is in his megalomaniacal interest to do so.  In II Kings, Chapter 2, Verses 23&24, God blithely dispatches a pair of she-bears to brutally rip to shreds 40 or so children for laughing at a holy man for being bald.  Is God therefore NOT a Christian?  Then there is the nutcase who just shot up the Capitol Visitor Center in D.C. and said God told him to do it.  HE apparently believes he is a Christian.  

Finally, as a statistical matter in all sociological studies, MOST serial killers have been revealed to have been either practicing Christians or were raised in strict Christian households.  “Yahoo Answers” states categorically that "Nearly all serial killers are very devout men who were raised by members of Pentecostal sects, fundamentalist Catholics or were 'hard-shell' Baptists and Methodists." Furthermore, they back that up with a LONG list of serial murderers who were self-identified Christians.  I also base that on watching a lot of the reality crime shows.  Time and again, the killer turns out to be a Christian, including not a few pastors, but I’ve yet to see one where the killer is identified as an atheist.  You see, there is no Christian God to forgive us if we choose to kill.    

The only professed atheist serial killer of whom I’m aware was Jeffrey Dahmer.  But he was insane and converted to Christianity in prison (thus proving it!).  And George W. Bush executed Karla Faye Tucker for a heinous murder, despite thousands of “Christians” trying to save her life - not because they were compassionately pro-life, but because she was a practicing Christian, therefore entitled to God’s (and “W’s”) forgiveness.  And predictably, her last words at her execution included her claim that she would soon be in the arms of Jesus. 

By the way, nearly ALL serial killers have been white.  Perhaps all white people should be deported and let African-Americans build a better America.  

   

No, I do NOT define a Christian as someone who never does anything God disproves of. 

It is true that the Mosaic Law had very strict rules with harsh consequences if a person broke a law, but that law was never meant to apply to people today. (If you disagree with this, here is a discussion I and some others on TA had about the Mosaic Law.) 

In II Kings, Chapter 2, Verses 23&24, God blithely dispatches a pair of she-bears to brutally rip to shreds 40 or so children for laughing at a holy man for being bald. 

I don't really have a solid answer for this one. One thing that is for sure. With such harsh consequences, there would not have been many disrespectful children. Also, if there is no god and morality is subjective, who are you to determine what is too harsh of a consequence? 

You also have to consider the possibility that there is much more to the story than what we read in the Bible.  

Is God therefore NOT a Christian?

This question does not make sense. There wasn't even such a thing as a Christian until shortly after Jesus was crucified. The Romans called people who believed Jesus rose from the grave and followed him Christians. 

Then there is the nutcase who just shot up the Capitol Visitor Center in D.C. and said God told him to do it.  HE apparently believes he is a Christian.

As Steve mentioned above, most people in the US identify as Christian. (Maybe that isn't true anymore, but it has been for most of American history.) Comparing this to the very few people who identify as atheists, it is no surprise that more murders are committed by "Christians" than Atheists. 

But what about mass genocide committed by people like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot? I'm not sure about Hitler, but Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists. 

People can twist whatever religion or belief they want to fit with their personal agenda. But that does not mean that the religion or belief condones their behavior. Nowhere in the Bible does it condone anything like shooting up the Capital Visitor Center.

Do you determine if a person is an atheist simply based on if they say they are, regardless of how they act? Or if you could see how the person acted, would base it more on their behaviors? 

Jeff:

Apparently, you believe that “Mosaic Law” does not apply to people today, but that the people in Moses’ time deserved the death, torture, rape, etc. imposed by the God of Moses.  Are you saying that God has EVOLVED since then?

In your response to that heinous verse in II Kings, you seem to imply that, were we to impose God’s punishment today, children wouldn’t be disrespectful, and that it is better to slaughter them than to allow them to be disespectful.  You also question whether my belief that this kind of punishment is wrong should supersede God’s judgment that it is right.  If so, I’m proud that my sense of morality is better for humanity than God’s.  Your statement that there may be “more to the story” is preposterous.  The Bible IS the story - the only one we have.     

Your response to my ironic question about whether or not God is a Christian also includes a misunderstanding of when Christianty, as we know it, really began.  It was in the third century, when self-appointed clerics stitched together the ravings of bonze age shepherds and ignorant wanderers into what we now call The Bible, which is nothing more than manufactured gobbledegook.  Many atheists say they became unbelievers simply by reading the Bible.  I have.  You should try it.

The statistics showing atheists commit far fewer crimes than religious people clearly state that it isn’t just raw numbers, but rates, or percentages.  In other words, as a PERCENTAGE of their populations, professed atheists commit far fewer murders than professed Christians.  You will find no shortage of religious terrorists who proudly admit that God directed their actions.  But you never find any incidence where someone says he/she committed a murder because he/she didn’t believe in God.

There are two good reasons that God never explicitly endorsed the Capitol Visitor Center shooting: 1) there was no such place in Moses’ time, and 2) God does NOT exist.  

As to that old Republican (and “Fox News”) saw that Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were atheists makes an unproven and undemonstrated connection between their supposed atheism and their genocidal rampages.  Hitler was absolutely NOT an atheist.  In fact, his first act upon assuming the chancellorship of Germany in 1933 was to declare atheism illegal.  And most of his writings and speeches invoke the name of the Christian God - a fact you Christians refuse to admit, despite ample evidence. Stalin was likely an atheist, at least in the political sense, inasmuch as the rulers he displaced were VERY much into Christian iconography.  But you won’t find a single word in any of his writings and speeches that implies in any way that it had something to do with his lack of a belief in God.  He was simply an evil, power mad megalomaniac (kind of like God).  I know nothing about Pol Pot’s religious leanings except that he did attend Catholic school in Phnom Penh and later became a Buddhist, and Buddhists are the ultimate pacifists; but I suspect, like Stalin, he just became a brutal dictator with a homicidal lust for power.  

Christian history, on the other hand, is rampant with invocations of the Christian God approving the slaughter of non-Christians, beginnng with the 9 Crusades, the 600 year period of Inquisition, the extermination of native populations, and, in recent years, the horrific, rapacious genocide in Bosnia -  Christian extermination of peaceful, unarmed Muslims.

The number of incidences of Christians murdering homosexuals and abortion doctors, as well as the murders of people around these doctors is FAR greater than the numbers of Islamic terrorist incidents in the U.S.  Furthermore, they explicitly declare that their killing is approved and/or directed by the CHRISTIAN God.  So why do Republicans, Bill O’Reilly, and Christians refuse to call it what it is: CHRISTIAN terrorism? 

And your last comment demonstrates that you have no idea what an atheist is.  Anyone who does not believe there is any kind of god is an atheist - THAT’S THE DEFINITION!  And why would anyone say he is an atheist if he is not?  That makes absolutely no sense.

I, myself, call myself an antitheist.  That is an atheist who believes that the worst idea that ever entered the mind of Homo sapiens was religion.  An antitheist is OPPOSED to the practice of all forms of religion as detrimental to society.  An atheist only lacks belief. 

Do you determine if a person is an atheist simply based on if they say they are, regardless of how they act? Or if you could see how the person acted, would base it more on their behaviors? 

Wow. This is incredible. You can guess if someone is an atheist based on their behaviour? Keep in mind...there are hundreds of millions of Chinese atheists...who all together make up more than half of atheists in the world.

This is exciting. A sort of test to see if someone is an atheist (other than asking them if they believe in God or not). Very very interesting.

Jeff...what kind of behaviour would someone exhibit (apart from saying if they believe in God or not) that helps you determine they are an atheist? Please be specific and give examples.

When compiling “Sunday School” I often find articles claiming atheists cannot be good without god. They do not always intend to be disparaging of atheists but because Christians assume the higher moral ground they cannot help it. Even though their book explicitly says “Thou shalt not kill” and that their God is the only one that can judge someone, the majority are in favour of Capital Punishment. They need to get more informed about the facts. Remember that statistics might be damn lies.

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