Articles on Secular Humanism by a Baptist Preacher

By Pastor Ed Rice

We shall see in this treatise that Secular Humanism is indeed a religion which is prohibiting the free exercise of all other religions in the public school. It is an atheistic religion with a Humanist Manifesto and Affirmations of Humanism, which has and spreads intolerable ignorance about it's intended monopoly on the whole public square with its misrepresentation of 'Separation of Church and State;' is an atheistic religion which has irresponsible intolerance towards any who believe in God, and an atheistic religion which has an ignoble indifference to both 'Individual Soul Liberty', and true 'Separation of Church and State' both concepts founded, termed, secured and sternly held to by Baptists.

Article 1 The Secular Humanist's Intolerable Ignorance

Article 2 The Secular Humanist's Unconstitutional Intolerance

Article 3 The Secular Humanist's Intolerable Ignorance of The Bible, The Baptists, and 'Individual Sole Liberty'

Glossary of Terms

Appendix 1 Correspondence and Published Letters

Appendix 2 Open Letters

Appendix 3 Separation of Church and State

Appendix 4 The Problem Statement for Educational Reform

Article on Secular Humanism by a Baptist Preacher #0600 TOC

The Secular Humanists' Intolerable Ignorance.

In their words, Humanism is an “atheistic progressive philosophy of life that affirms an ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity”. We are establishing herein that a philosophy that deals with ethics, and with the questions; “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? and How do I get there?” is a religion. To be ignorant is to be unaware or uninformed. To be intolerably ignorant is to be so with a refusal to accept information and to purposefully and willfully stay ignorant. Such are secular humanists, the atheistic religion, because of their purposeful bias to remain godless, no matter what, their purposeful bias to obliterate all other religion's free speech in the public square without accepting that humanism is a religion, and their purposeful hatred and willful ignorance for the historical book called the Holy Bible, and the historical phrase “Separation of Church and State.”.

The Bible says “The fool hath said in his heart There is no God.” Please don't be ignorant about the religion of atheism taught by mandate in your school district. Allow me to illustrate how foolish this really is:

One could say, “I don't believe there is any gold in China.” And we would say they are entitled to their opinion and tolerate them. But when they start a movement and infiltrate some national teachers association and mandate that it be taught exclusively in all public schools, come on! When they insist that references of gold brought from China to America be removed from every text, pledge, and class and that teachers not be allowed to say 'gold' and 'China' in the same sentence one might see how ludicrous this is. Not the secular humanist; they can't see it at all. 'No gold in China' is a statement of faith until you have overturned every rock in China. Every rock to a considerable depth! Now if this country were founded on the gold that came from China, you might understand why those who know and love the heritage of this free country would be upset. If you found this movement using some of that gold to finance their faith based conjecture into the public square every one should get upset. The secular humanist has made a faith based conjecture that there is no god in the universe. Without turning over a single stone to substantiate this conjecture they have forced it into our public schooling and will not tolerate any other teaching. They have used the gold in the statement “Separation of Church and State” to cause a people, ignorant of it's meaning, to enforce their edict of separation of god and country and especially separation of Jehovah God and country. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of this Jehovah God (a by faith conjecture), is the sole founder of this thing called a Church (a by historical fact conjecture.) Its separation from state has to do with Baptists vs the Roman Empires Imperial Catholic Church and her daughters, not religion and not the public square. Do not ignorantly allow a religion of atheism make it mean separation of God and country. I have been told by the intolerably ignorant, that I could not take our Baptist Sunday School class into a village owned public square because of 'Separation of Church and State!' Atheistic Humanists are now using this faulty logic to force all public school teachers and staff to behave themselves as if they were atheistic in religion and thus prevent every other free exercise of religion in the public school. In the story line all it took was one child to stand and say “The Emperor has no clothes.” In America that child is mocked and scorned by NPR, hated by the NEA, sued by the ACLU and locked up by judicial decree. Could it be more obvious “The Emperor has no clothes!” and there could still be gold in China!

This is an excerpt from an Open Letter to School Boards from a Baptist Preacher. You should read the entire letter at www.gsbaptistchurch.com/humanism You may be blocked from this site on your schools computer because it contains information about God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ which is not allowed in your school because of 'Separation of Church and State.' Go figure. Go learn. Check out the Emperor. Do something.

The Secular Humanists, their atheistic religion, contends that they are THE philosophy springing from science, i.e. the only philosophy or world view springing from pure unadulterated science. The existence of God cannot be proven by science, therefore it must not be taught, or eluded to, or conceived as possible in their religion, i.e. their naturalistic philosophy and world view of where did we come from, why are we here, where are we going. They insist that the public be kept free from the free inquiry into the book, the Holy Bible, they ban it from our public schools. The scientific method, their bible, contends that we make observations, devise a hypothesis, do experimentation and draw demonstrated conclusions that then become their theory and eventually, after many infallible proofs, becomes a law. For example, this is how the 2nd law of thermodynamics1 came into being. There are two great hypocrisies in their atheistic, science only religion. First, as just illustrated, science cannot prove what is not true, it can only prove what is true. Thus, their conjecture that there is no supernatural anywhere in the universe is a 'faith based' conjecture not a science based conjecture.

Secondly, the humanist cannot even stick with their scientific method in answer to the question “Where did I come from.” They hypothesize that we got here by a process that defies the 2nd law of thermodynamics. They hold up the conjectures of Charles Darwin as the mechanism for their hypothesis. A hypothesis does not become a theory because a majority of scientists believe in it. It does not become a theory because several more observations seem to substantiate it. They must experiment, not dig around and find fossils that might substantiate their hypothesis, but perform a number of laboratory experiments. In a laboratory they must demonstrate as true, or even possible, a process of genetic mutation which defies this 2nd law of thermodynamics and substantiates a process of natural selection. There should be a demonstration of a transition from one species to another. Especially beneficial would be a laboratory transition between the plant and animal kingdoms as Darwin hypothesized, but even a laboratory transition from one species to another would be substantial. Their laboratories are strangely silent. They conjecture the production of amino acids from rock and simple life forms springing from these acids rubbing together in nature. But their test tubes are always empty. No mutated fruit fly that can jump like a flea, or mutated flea that could suck and fly like a mosquito. All their mutations support the 2nd law, so they abandon the laboratory and go make more observations. They turn over more rocks, even rocks on other planets and moons. They write thick books on their observations. Their unsubstantiated hypothesis grows remarkably large and is paraded in front of everybody stark naked. The majority of scientists hold to their world view, and all are coerced to stand behind the naked body or loose their credentials. So they must be right and theirs must be the only 'theory' which can be taught in the public science class, the only 'science' voiced on NPR and viewed on public television. But the scientific method still insists that evolution is not even yet a theory but still only a hypothesis which is very, very popular. It is such a popular atheistic hypothesis that it has become a 'sacred cow!' They have not demonstrated the revocation of the 2nd law so they reword it, and try and make it say 'change is good.' It is hypocrisy. The secular humanists must know this or be intolerably ignorant.

Such hypocrisy is often obvious to their own rank and file, but such openness and free thinking is quickly washed from view. Jonathan Wells' book “Icons of Evolution, Science or Myth, Why much of what we teach about evolution is wrong” dare not be found in our public school science room because it does not carry the party line. Noted Author Kurt Vonnegut made these blatant observations in an NPR interview this week:

NPR There was another novel that you wrote, called slapstick .... and part of that novel was that the United States had vulcanized, it had become a series of feudal societies... and obviously that has not literally happened but is there anyway that metaphorically it has happened?

Well we are terribly divided politically, yes, and you know, I don't mean to intimidate you and your listeners but I have a Masters degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago ...

Anyway it is obvious through the human experience that extended families and tribes are terribly important. We can do without an extended family, as human beings, about as easily as we can do without vitamins or essential minerals.

Where you can see tribal behavior now is in this business about teaching evolution in a science class and intelligent design,... look it is the scientists themselves, they are behaving tribally

NPR How are the scientists behaving tribally?

They say, you know, about evolution, that it surely happened, the fossil record it shows that, but look, my body and your body are miracles of design the scientists are pretending that they have the answers as to how we got this way when natural selection could not possibly have produced such a machine ...

NPR Does that mean you would favor teaching intelligent design in the classroom?

Look, It is what we are thinking about all the time, if I were a physics teacher or a science teacher it would be on my mind all the time, as how ... we really got this way, it is a perfectly natural human thought and OK, and if we go into the science class we can't think this? Well OK, But as soon as we leave we can start thinking about it again without giving aid and comfort to the lunatic fringe of the Christian religion?

Also, I think it is tribal behavior, I don't think that Pat Robertson for instance doubts that we evolved, he is simply representing a tribe.

NPR There are tribes on both sides here then?

Yes.

NPR May I ask what tribes, if any, that you belong to over the years?

Well its an ancestral tribe and these were immigrants from north of Germany, who came here about the time of the Civil war, anyway, these people called themselves free thinkers, they were impressed incidental by Darwin; they are called humanists now, people who are not so sure that the Bible is the word of God

NPR Who are denounced by some religious people as being Secular Humanists

Well That is exactly what I am. The trouble with being a secular humanist is we don't have a congregation, we don't meet, so it is a very flimsy tribe, but, well, there is a wonderful quotation from nature. Nature said “Only a person of deep faith can afford the luxury of skepticism.” it is that something perfectly wonderful is going on, I do not doubt it, but the explanations I hear do not satisfy me.

NPR That is the long view from Kurt Vonnegut. His latest book is called a “Man Without a Country” .... This is morning edition from NPR news, I'm STEVE INSKEEP 1/23/06

It is this blinding hypocrisy, this blatant foolishness, that the Secular Humanists uses to blind the eyes of Americans and force them to chant the misguided phrase “Separation of Church and State.” As their atheism monopolizes the teaching in the public schools all teachers and administrators are forced to behave as if they too were atheists lest they be sued by the ACLU.

I then have a theory. It says that the book we call the Holy Bible, a book written by 40 different authors over a period of over 2000 years with no deviation in theme and content on the questions of life, is true and the best basis for life issues. The humanists precedent that we can go from a hypothesis to a theory with nothing more than lots and lots of observations adequately substantiates my theory. My theory also deals with life questions like “Where did we come from?” Why then is my theory and now even my object of study banned and prohibited from the public school? Secular humanism is an intolerant atheistic religion. One that demands that such a source book as the Bible, which contradicts their world view, be banned from the public square. Humanists contend that school children must remain ignorant about the book that initiated their schools founding. Even the very basics of it's laws, say for example the basic ten, must not appear anywhere in the public where the humanists are promoting their atheism. It is hypocrisy! Very popular, judicially authenticated, sacred cow hypocrisy.

Humanism is a religion of life that has an unconstitutional teaching monopoly in our public schools and wants one on the whole 'public square.' This religion has as it's god the 'atheistic naked square.' They would substitute their god into our pledge to eliminate 'One nation under God.” An 'atheistic naked square' that they would idolize and substitute for the motto that founded this great country, the motto on our currency, “In God We Trust.” And an 'atheistic naked square' that they would drape over every court house occurrence of the Holy Bible's commandments, even though those commandments form the basis for all law in this great country. This humanist religion will not stop until it has only its atheism brandished and lauded in every avenue of public school, public property, and government. They want every prayer banished and every other free exercise of religion prohibited.

The Baptist who founded, paid for and secured the 'Separation of Church and State' and the concept of 'Individual Soul Liberty' need to step up again and stop the unconstitutional government favoritism of one religion, humanistic atheism, and their prohibition of the free exercise of other religions. But you can do something as well. Please inform the general public and your public school board members about this travesty, a short letter to your editor would be appropriate. Please inform your government representatives about this travesty, both state and federal, congressmen and representatives. With our nations attention focused on our supreme court justices, it would be a good time for you to speak up. We need a grass roots education that this thing called humanism is an intolerant prohibitive monopoly seeking religion that owns the ACLU, Senator Kennedy, our Senator Schumer, and the progressive humanist liberal democrats. It is a religion united with a state and it would burn Baptists at the stake as much as the Roman and Protestant religions did. We should pray for sure. Speak for certain.


Pastor Ed Rice


Article on Secular Humanism by a Baptist Preacher #0601 TOC

The Unconstitutional Intolerance of Secular Humanists

Although the Secular Humanist claims tolerance as one of their ten commandments, they are wholly and wrongfully intolerant of me, an ordained Fundamental Baptist Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and of my kind, Fundamental Bible Believing Christians. By their own affirmation they “deplore our efforts to explain the world in supernatural terms and to look outside nature for salvation”, ... their deploring swiftly cultivates their intolerance. By their own declaration they have lumped fundamental Bible believing Christians into their hated and opposed 'antisecularist' and wrongfully called us 'authoritarian religions.' Their unwarranted hatred and opposition makes them not only wholly intolerant but wrongfully intolerant. We shall see in this article the irresponsible intolerance of the humanist.

The Secular Humanist will tolerate only their religion in the public square. Towards all other religion they are intolerant. By a carefully thought out definition 'religion' is the entity in mankind that strives to answer the questions; “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? And How do I get there?” The humanist tries to deny being a religion by saying that they have no belief in a deity nor a transcendent order. Thus they and Buddhism both would not be a religion! No! As much as Buddhism and Hinduism are religions, Secular Humanism is a religion and not just a philosophy. They hold up their god the 'atheistic naked square' and insists that he be the only god allowed in the public school system. For them no other idea or answer to the question; “Where did I come from?” will be tolerated; only one answer allowed, their god, the 'atheistic naked square', must be the answer to all these questions. They insist that their god be substituted into the pledge, and that the God who caused the founding of this great country be erased. They insists that their atheistic naked square be hung to cover every occurrence of the Bible's commandments that form the basis of all law in this country. They demand that their god, the atheistic naked square, be the only one printed on our money. The motto that was instrumental in founding this country; “In God We Trust” must be erased and their god must be inserted in its place. They will not tolerate and they would prohibit the presence of any god but theirs. They have their 'articles of faith' (The Affirmations of Humanism) and they do have their transcendent order to which they aspire. (A Secular Humanist Declaration Issued In 1980 By The Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism, and the Humanist Manifestos of 1933 and 1973) These affirmations and declarations deal with ethics and strive to answer the questions “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? And How do I get there?” Just because they insist that the answers be absolutely void of a 'supernatural' or of a 'salvation from God' they think their atheistic answers are not a 'religion' and thereby they secure absolute privilege to banish and twist laws to prohibit all other answers. Like other religions, they do this with a vehement denial of the supernatural, yet they exhibit a vehement prohibitive intolerance of those who would embrace one. Secular Humanism is not only a religion, it is a very intolerant one.

The intolerance of the Secular Humanist has taken them so far as to defy and redefine 'Separation of Church and State', founded, termed, secured and sternly held to by red blooded Baptists. Their definition requires separation of God and country and separation of Holy Bible and country. God and Bible out, their god, the atheistic naked square put in and mandated as the only answer to matters of religion. The religion of Secular Humanism has effectively insisted that their philosophy of 'Where did I come from and why am I here?' be the only tolerated answers addressed in our public schools. No other religions will be tolerated. If one strives to address these questions without bowing to their god, they will be prohibited, banned and forcibly removed. Only the Godless atheistic naked square is allowed to address these questions. They particularly villainize Christianity because it is the founder of this free country and founder of the public schools that they have invaded with their intolerance. They say that Christians have been given a 'disproportionate privilege' and thus, like affirmative action, the Christians must be banished completely to make up for the disproportion. They label Christians as intolerant and league with the ACLU to erase any remnant of prayer, pledge and precedence, (especially the precedence of the 10 commandments and presence of the Holy Bible that the 10 came from.) Secular Humanism is an intolerant religion and is now the only condoned religion in our public school system, only their atheistic naked square can be worshiped as the creator. They are the only ones allowed to address the questions “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? And How do I get there?” All others are banned. Others are not tolerated and Christianity which produced the public school is singled out as especially heinous.

Toleration comes in various degrees. To tolerate is “to allow without prohibiting or opposing; to permit.2” To say that a humanist does not oppose Christianity and strive to prohibit it, is intolerable ignorance. By his own affirmation he will not tolerate any embracing of Jehovah God in particular; displaying a clear animosity towards Judeao/Christian society. The clarification of the degree of intolerance comes from dividing the definition between the word 'prohibiting' and the word 'opposing'. Baptists have been founder, promoter and securer of religious tolerance when it means that no religion is to be prohibited. They have always held that all individuals have the liberty to answer the questions 'Where did I come from? And Why am I here?' openly and freely without intervention of the state or prohibitions about the answers. A Baptist is intolerant-opposing of immorality, and of intolerant-prohibiting. A Secular Humanist is intolerant-prohibiting of God, Bible and Christianity. They have prohibited our involvement, prohibited free speech, and prohibited our free-exercise in the public square, securing for themselves the sole right to answer there the questions of religion. Securing for themselves the sole right to be intolerant-prohibiting. That prohibition is unconstitutional.

The Secular Humanist is intolerant in the worst degree of intolerance. They would prohibit the free expression of thought in the public square. If thought deals with the question of 'Where did I come from?' they insist that they be the only ones to provide the answer to that question, and that the only answers to be entertained must have only their god, the atheistic naked square and no regard for the 'supernatural'. If thought deals with the question of 'Why am I here?' they demand that only answers obtained outside the influence of the Holy Bible can be expressed. If thought deals with the question of 'Where am I going?' they require that any answers must not entail any kind of faith. If thought deals with the question 'How do I get there?' they refuse to accept any argument that may step out of their defined science. Religion deals with these eternal questions. Secular Humanism is a religion dealing harshly and narrowly with these questions. They prohibit the free exercise of the answering to these questions, and the entity in man that would give answer to each is called religion. On December 15, 1791 the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights insisted that Congress make no law respecting or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The Secular Humanist takes the ACLU in their hip pocket and grossly violates this American right. Their intent is to restrict in every way possible the free exercising of religion in the public square and their intolerance is unconstitutional. In the 60s and 70s the Secular Humanist made great strides for making their god the only one allowed in the public school system. I am a Baptist preacher who does not bow to their atheistic naked square and purports that we break the monopoly which the religion of Secular Humanism has in our schools. We should not only teach intelligent design, we should teach the Biblical 6 day creation. We should openly teach that when it comes to religion, i.e. The answering of the questions 'Where did I come from and why am I here?' there are lots of theories out there.. The only theory allowed in school now is that the secular god of the atheistic naked square made us, and he violated the 2nd law of thermodynamics to do it. Some theory. Some monopoly on thought. I oppose this restrictive monopoly and you should too.





Article on Secular Humanism by a Baptist Preacher #0602 TOC

The Secular Humanists' Intolerance of 'Individual Sole Liberty' Violates My Constitutional Rights.


The Secular Humanist's Intolerance of 'Individual Sole Liberty' constitutes a huge stepping stone whereby they have restricted the free exercise of religion and gained a majority thinking in our society. A majority opinion about intolerance of the free expression of religious beliefs about our origins does not make it constitutionally acceptable. A majority thinking that a wall of separation need exist between God and Country does not make it constitutionally viable. A majority thinking that man must have gotten here without the intelligence of the supernatural, ... thus two rocks and some dirt naturally got together and naturally by random chance, produced amino acids that spontaneously generated life that naturally kingdom-iated, phylum-iated, class-iated, order-iated, family-iated, genus-iated, and finally naturally by random speciated! till one species even got a PHD, ... this wildly hypothetical majority opinion does not license the silencing of the other (more reasonable) hypothesis in the science classes of America just because it relies on 'naturalism.' These are unconstitutional acts of the humanist atheistic religion. Humanists are so swift to erect walls between their religion of atheistic naturalism and anything which might be supernatural, that they cannot tolerate critical analysis or free thinking in their presence. They just want to make sure all such 'religion' is separated from them and their society, especially their court owned school classrooms. This swift thoughtless wall of separation leaves them in the dark where they want to be, but they are evangelical, wanting everyone else to share their darkness. They are wall builders, fundamentalists, whom they hate are wall busters. The war is not slight.

The Secular Atheistic Humanist first reject the Bible as the word of God. That, of course if their prerogative, but then like any other religion or philosophical persuasion they do their dead level best to get as many others to follow their philosophy down this vein. Again, this is their prerogative until they cross a constitutional right wherein they forbid one from the free practice of one's belief and one's religion. They have done this when they use the court system to keep the Bible out of the public square, particularly out of the public3 school. And the decree that teachers, who believe the Bible, must now act like, teach like, and converse like they are Bible rejecting atheists, violates the free exercise of their religion. This forced acting like there is no Bible and there is no God is what violates the constitutional rights of teachers and students. The violation of the constitutional right of free speech and free expression of religious beliefs is particularly coming to bear in the science class, wherein it violates the rights of students, and violates the rights of a free society, and free thinking. It violates my rights, as my religious convictions forbid my use of the public schools wherein the 'religion' of atheism is mandated by the courts and by the gross intimidation of the ACLU. The courts forcing the beliefs of one philosophy and world view into the science classrooms of America is a violation of the constitution.


The Secular Atheistic Humanists construct an artificial wall between God and Country. The Supreme Court's Establishment Clause rehtoric


The Atheists writes: It is a central dogma of all fundamental Christians that the Bible is without error. They teach this conclusion by "reasoning" that god cannot be the author of false meaning and he cannot lie. Is this true? If written by a perfect being, then it must not contradict itself, as a collection of books written by different men at different times over many centuries would be expected to contradict each other.

With this in mind, let us have a look at the Bible on several subjects.

ON THE SABBATH DAY

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." -- Exodus 20:8

"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." -- Romans 14:5

ON THE PERMANENCY OF THE EARTH

"... the earth abideth for ever." -- Ecclesiastes 1:4

"... the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." -- 2Peter 3:10


Could I now take their exactly quoted statement and say:

The American Atheists Organization says “The Bible is without error.” In an article from their web site they have declared that the Bible is “written by a perfect being,” even though they declare it to be “written by different men at different times over many centuries!”






ON SEEING GOD

"... I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." -- Genesis 32:30


"No man hath seen God at any time..."-- John 1:18


Glossary TOC

ar·ti·cle (ärt¹-kl) n. Abbr. art. 1. An individual thing or element of a class; a particular object or item: an article of clothing; articles of food. 2. A particular section or item of a series in a written document, as in a contract, constitution, or treaty. 3. A nonfictional literary composition that forms an independent part of a publication, as of a newspaper or magazine. 4. Grammar. Any of a class of words used to signal nouns and to specify their application. In English, the indefinite articles are a and an and the definite article is the. 5. A particular part or subject; a specific matter or point. --ar·ti·cle tr.v. ar·ti·cled, ar·ti·cling, ar·ti·cles. To bind by articles set forth in a contract, such as one of apprenticeship. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin articulus, part, diminutive of artus, joint. See ar- below.]


au·thor·i·tar·i·an (-thôr”¹-târ“¶-n, -th¼r-, ô-thôr-, ô-th¼r-) adj. 1. Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom: an authoritarian regime. 2. Of, relating to, or expecting unquestioning obedience. See Synonyms at dictatorial. --au·thori·tari·an n. --au·thori·tari·an·ism n.


bi·as (bº“…s) n. 1. A line going diagonally across the grain of fabric: Cut the cloth on the bias. 2. Usage Problem. a. A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment. b. An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice. 3. A statistical sampling or testing error caused by systematically favoring some outcomes over others. 4. Sports. a. A weight or irregularity in a ball that causes it to swerve, as in lawn bowling. b. The tendency of such a ball to swerve. 5. The fixed voltage applied to an electrode. --bi·as adj. 1. Slanting or diagonal; oblique: a bias fold. --bi·as tr.v. bi·ased or bi·assed, bi·as·ing or bi·as·sing, bi·as·es or bi·as·ses. 1. To influence in a particular, typically unfair direction; prejudice. 2. To apply a small voltage to (a grid). [French biais, slant, from Provençal, perhaps ultimately from Greek epikarsios, slanted.]


big·ot (b¹g“…t) n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. [French, from Old French.]

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WORD HISTORY: A bigot may have more in common with God than one might think. Legend has it that Rollo, the first duke of Normandy, refused to kiss the foot of the French king Charles III, uttering the phrase bi got, his borrowing of the assumed Old English equivalent of our expression by God. Although this story is almost certainly apocryphal, it is true that bigot was used by the French as a term of abuse for the Normans, but not in a religious sense. Later, however, the word, or very possibly a homonym, was used abusively in French for the Beguines, members of a Roman Catholic lay sisterhood. From the 15th century on Old French bigot meant “an excessively devoted or hypocritical person.” Bigot is first recorded in English in 1598 with the sense “a superstitious hypocrite.”


Bud·dhism (b›“d¹z”…m, bd“¹z-) n. 1. The doctrine, attributed to Buddha, that suffering is inseparable from existence but that inward extinction of the self and of worldly desire culminates in a state of spiritual enlightenment beyond both suffering and existence. 2. The religion represented by the many groups, especially numerous in Asia, that profess varying forms of this doctrine and that venerate Buddha. --Buddhist adj. & n. --Bud·dhistic adj.



Chris·tian (kr¹schn) adj. 1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. 2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings. 3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike. 4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents. 5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane. --Chris·tian n. Abbr. Chr. 1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. 2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus. [Middle English Cristen, from Old English cristen, from Latin Christi³nus, from Greek Khristianos, from Khristos, Christ. See CHRIST.] --Christian·ly adj. & adv.

WORD HISTORY(by Pastor Edward Rice): A Christian by original and stricter definition is one who is Christlike in behavior because he has previously become a believer in Christ and been trained as a disciple of Christ. The first use of the word was not just to believers but to disciples in The Acts of the Apostles chapter 11, verse 26 it says “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” To be a believer in Christ one must affirm Jesus Christ as God and saviour of their soul. Thus cults, which deny the trinity of the Godhead and Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ are not Christian. Fundamental Christians are those who go back to the fundamentals of the Biblical teachings of Christ as the source of all faith and practice. Thus the religion of Roman Catholicism, a religion which unites Church and State, a religion which mandates and forces the baptism into their ranks (by mandatory infant baptism, by law and even by sword, see their doctrine of two swords), a religion which utilizes Roman celibate priests and buying and selling of penance, (this due to their Latin mistranslation of the term 'presbyter' to priest and the term 'repentance' to penance), a religion which holds a Pope as their infallible authority and not the Bible, is not Christian. And the protestant daughters of the Roman religion who strove to burn and drown Christians with such a uniting of Church and State powers, and still Baptize their infants (infant Baptism is a Roman practice nowhere sanctioned in the Bible) are not Christian in practice but Roman.


doc·tri·naire (d¼ktr-nâr) n. 1. A person inflexibly attached to a practice or theory without regard to its practicality. --doc·tri·naire adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a person inflexibly attached to a practice or theory. See Synonyms at dictatorial. [French, from doctrine, doctrine, from Old French. See DOCTRINE.] --doctri·nairism n. --doctri·nari·an n.


e·lit·ism or é·lit·ism (¹-l¶“t¹z”…m, ³-l¶“-) n. 1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources. 2.a. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class. b. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class. --e·litist adj. & n.


e·van·gel·ism (¹-v²nj-l¹z”…m) n. 1. Zealous preaching and dissemination of the gospel, as through missionary work. 2. Militant zeal for a cause. --e·vangel·istic (-j-l¹st¹k) adj. --e·vangel·isti·cal·ly adv.


e·van·gel·ize (¹-v²nj-lºz) v. e·van·gel·ized, e·van·gel·iz·ing, e·van·gel·iz·es. --tr. 1. To preach the gospel to. 2. To convert to Christianity. --intr. To preach the gospel. --e·vangel·i·zation (-j-l¹-z³“shn) n. --e·vangel·izer n.


ig·no·ble (¹g-n½“bl) adj. 1. Not noble in quality, character, or purpose; base or mean. See Synonyms at mean2. 2. Not of the nobility; common. [Middle English, of low birth, from Old French, from Latin ign½bilis : i-, in-, not; see IN-1 + n½bilis, gn½bilis, noble; see NOBLE.] --igno·bili·ty (-b¹l“¹-t) or ig·noble·ness n. --ig·nobly adv.


Laws of Thermodynamics The first law of thermodynamics says that the total quantity of energy in the universe remains constant. This is the principle of the conservation of energy. The second law of thermodynamics states that the quality of this energy is degraded irreversibly. This is the principle of the degradation of energy. The two principal laws of thermodynamics apply only to closed systems, that is, entities with which there can be no exchange of energy, information, or material. The universe in its totality might be considered a closed system of this type; this would allow the two laws to be applied to it. About 1850 the studies of Lord Kelvin, Carnot, and Clausius of the exchanges of energy in thermal machines revealed that there is a hierarchy among the various forms of energy and an imbalance in their transformations. This hierarchy and this imbalance are the basis of the formulation of the second principle. The image of the inexorable death of the universe, as suggested by the second principle, has profoundly influenced our philosophy, our ethics, our vision of the world, and even our art. The thought that by the very nature of entropy the ultimate and only possible future for man is annihilation has infiltrated our culture like a paralysis. This consideration led Leon Brillouin to ask, "How is it possible to understand life when the entire world is ordered by a law such as the second principle of thermodynamics, which points to death and annihilation?"(from Entropy and the Laws of Thermodynamics, by J. de Rosnay @1998) The Bible description of the universe, both it's creation by an outside influence, i.e. an almighty God, its degradation and its pending demise is in perfect league with these laws. The hypothesis that species are 'evolving' into higher life forms is in perfect contrast to these laws. (from Pastor Ed Rice)


lit·er·al·ism (l¹t“…r--l¹z”…m) n. 1. Adherence to the explicit sense of a given text or doctrine. 2. Literal portrayal; realism. --liter·al·ist n. --liter·al·istic adj.


par·ti·san1 (pärt¹-zn) n. 1. A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea. 2. A member of an organized body of fighters who attack or harass an enemy, especially within occupied territory; a guerrilla. --par·ti·san adj. 1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a partisan or partisans. 2. Devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause: partisan politics. [French, from Old French, from Old Italian dialectal partisano, variant of Old Italian partigiano, from parte, part, from Latin pars, part-. See PART.] --parti·san·ship n.


pa·ro·chi·al (p-r½“k-l) adj. 1. Of, relating to, supported by, or located in a parish. 2. Narrowly restricted in scope or outlook; provincial: parochial attitudes. [Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin parochi³lis, from parochia, diocese. See PARISH.] --pa·rochi·al·ism n. --pa·rochi·al·ist n. --pa·rochi·al·ly adv.


plu·ral·ism (plr“…-l¹z”…m) n. 1. The condition of being plural. 2. A condition of society in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups coexist within one nation. 3. Ecclesiastical. The holding by one person of two or more positions or offices, especially two or more ecclesiastical benefices, at the same time. 4. Philosophy. a. The doctrine that reality is composed of many ultimate substances. b. The belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life.


sec·tar·i·an (sµk-târ“¶-n) adj. 1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect. 2. Adhering or confined to the dogmatic limits of a sect or denomination; partisan. 3. Narrow-minded; parochial. --sec·tar·i·an n. 1. A member of a sect. 2. One characterized by bigoted adherence to a factional viewpoint. --sec·tari·an·ism n.


Secular humanism is a philosophy and world view which centers upon human concerns and employs rational and scientific methods to address the wide range of issues important to us all. While secular humanism is at odds with faith-based religious systems on many issues, it is dedicated to the fulfillment of the individual and humankind in general. To accomplish this end, secular humanism encourages a commitment to a set of principles which promote the development of tolerance and compassion and an understanding of the methods of science, critical analysis, and philosophical reflection. (taken from secularhumanism.com)


tol·er·ate (t¼l“…-r³t) tr.v. tol·er·at·ed, tol·er·at·ing, tol·er·ates. 1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing; permit. 2. To recognize and respect (the rights, beliefs, or practices of others). 3. To put up with; endure. See Synonyms at bear1. 4. Medicine. To have tolerance for (a substance or pathogen). [Latin toler³re, toler³t-, to bear. See tel- below.] --toler·ative adj. --toler·ator n.


tran·scen·dent (tr²n-sµndnt) adj. 1. Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme. 2. Lying beyond the ordinary range of perception: “fails to achieve a transcendent significance in suffering and squalor” (National Review). 3. Philosophy. a. Transcending the Aristotelian categories. b. In Kant's theory of knowledge, being beyond the limits of experience and hence unknowable. 4. Being above and independent of the material universe. Used of the Deity. --tran·scendence or tran·scenden·cy n. --tran·scendent·ly adv.


trea·tise (tr¶“t¹s) n. 1. A systematic, usually extensive written discourse on a subject. 2. Obsolete. A tale or narrative. [Middle English treatis, from Anglo-Norman tretiz, alteration of treteiz, from Vulgar Latin *tr³ct³tºcius, from Latin tr³ct³tus, past participle of tr³ct³re, to drag about, deal with. See TREAT.]


tyr·an·ny (t¹r“…-n) n., pl. tyr·an·nies. 1. A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power. 2. The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler. 3. Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly: “I have sworn . . . eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” (Thomas Jefferson). 4.a. Use of absolute power. b. A tyrannical act. 5. Extreme harshness or severity; rigor. [Middle English tyrannie, from Old French, from Late Latin tyrannia, from Greek turannia, from turannos, tyrant.]





APPENDIX 1 Letters of Interest TOC

Pastor Ed Rice, Good Samaritan Baptist Church

54 Mian St Box 99, Dresden, NY 14441

(315) 536-0878 www.gsbaptistchurch.com


Tom Flynn, Editor, FREE INQUIRY Magazine 1/7/06

Director of The Robert G. Ingersoll Birthplace Museum

P.O. Box 664

Amherst, NY 14226-0664

(716) 636-7571-213

I wanted to meet with you at sometime because I would rather look my enemy in the eye than chat on the phone or barrage him with mail. You are my enemy because you are an enemy of the cross of Jesus Christ my Lord, not for any personal purpose. I am sure you are a very charismatic and likable guy. I wanted to correspond with you because your actions, letters, and writings reveal your intolerance, even hatred, for Bible Believing Christians. Your desire to obstruct, hush and annihilate them is indeed confirmed in the closing paragraph that you wrote to my mission field.

"It's time for tolerance ... and it's time to admit that the traditional Christmas is way to narrow and sectarian for an increasingly multicultural society."

I am one of the dogmatic, partisan, narrow-minded (sectarian) members of a sect that you want to eliminate from the face of our society; that you want to duct tape the mouth of; that you want to exterminate in the name of Godless tolerance. Your idea that a Bible Believing, Bible Preaching, Christian has no place in a multicultural society, and should thereby be banned and silenced, has permeated the town of Dresden where I exercise the commission form my Lord Jesus Christ to preach the saving gospel to every creature. Your 'tolerance' of all except those who belong to Christ is straight from your father Satan, whom you pretend does not exist, and of whom you seem to be intolerably ignorant. (“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Holy Bible John 8:44) We need to meet and correspond because I expect that you are my enemy in woeful ignorance. And if that is not true, because we need to have battle lines drawn.

I wish to contribute to your magazine for atheists, agnostics and secular humanist some articles I am now writing to deal with three major issues. Your kind is wholly intolerant of my 'sect' as you call us, woefully ignorant of the Holy Bible and the Holy God of that Bible, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and intolerably ignorant of a 2,006 year old Baptist battle cry called 'Individual Soul Liberty.' Articles dealing with these three issues will indeed be a test of how much free inquiry you will tolerate in your magazine the “Free Inquiry.” My first article is in draft. We should meet so I am not woefully ignorant of your devices and intentions. In days past and in my military career I have seen enemies remain cordial.

Servant of my God the Lord Jesus Christ

Pastor Ed Rice

attch. Response to Penn Yan Chronicle opinion.

Penn Yan Chronicle-Express

Dear Sirs, 1/3/06

Please print this rebuttal to Tom Flynn's intolerance in your Dec 28th paper.

Pastor Ed Rice

Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 54 Main St, Dresden NY 14441 (315) 536-0878


Mr. Tom Flynn ought not be dismayed by the intolerance of Christians, especially when it comes to a celebration about their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Christians are commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to every creature, to persuade men every where to believe on Him and to evangelize the world. Biblical Christians have an evangelical faith in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and Mr. Tom Flynn and his agnostic atheist cronies need to learn tolerance of such evangelistic outreach, preaching and persuasion, especially around Christmas time. A true Christian is not to be silently tolerant of unbelief, of other faiths, or of an atheist. If a person knows Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour they will tell anyone and everyone about that relationship, and do so with a fervent desire that they would also come to know Him in the same way. Prior to 1776 Baptist Preachers were put in jail for preaching the gospel to every creature. But today every Christian has the freedom to share their faith in Christ with everybody that they meet.

Mr. Flynn, following the godless mold of Robert Green Ingersoll, is being intolerant of Biblical Christians, as he whines about their celebration of Christmas and calls them a meaningless minority. Anyone who does not celebrate Christmas, as he boasts, needs to be an evangelical target for those who know the truth about Jehovah God and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.


Ed Rice



Dear Pastor Rice, 1/9/06


Thanks for writing. After reading your words it doesn't seem like we have much to discuss. But one point cries out for clarification. You said I charge that "a Bible Believing, Bible Preaching, Christian has no place in a multicultural society, and should thereby be banned and silenced." Actually such a Christian has a most fitting place in a multicultural society -- it's called private life. Expressing your religion at church, in the home, over breakfast in the diner, no one dreams of taking that away from you. What does need to be reformed is the unfair and disproportionate privilege Christianity still enjoys to be expressed in the public square ... in ways taxpayers of other belief systems have no way of avoiding, nor any way to avoid being forced to support through their taxes.


In your letter to the paper, you brought up the Baptists of pre-Revolutionary America who were harshly persecuted and sometimes jailed or killed for their beliefs. Those bitter years taught lessons that American Baptists took to heart for some 200 years, during which Baptists were among the leading voices in favor of separation of church and state. (Indeed, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization I don't expect you think much of, was originally founded by Baptists ... as Baptists and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State! It later became "Protestants and Other Americans United" and then just "Americans United.") One of the great tragedies of American religion since around 1970 is the reactionary revolution in the Baptist movement that has led so many Baptist churches and churchmen to take the side of the oppressor.


In American public life today, the situation for nonChristians, religious and irreligious, is very much like that faced by the pre-Revolutionary Baptists -- similar in kind, if not in degree ... fundamentalists aren't executing anyone (if we don't count Barnett Slepian) or torturing anyone (if we don't count Paul Mirecki, the University of Kansas professor who was recently forced off the road and beaten by Christian zealots because he tried to teach a college course critical of intelligent design). But surely Christianity in general is taking unfair advantage of its bygone near-monopoly over American spiritual life to claim advantages in the public square that have always been unjustified ... and are now clearly intolerable. "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, "In God We Trust" on currency and coins, Christian prayer before town council meetings, out-of-control proselytizing in the Air Force Academy, millions in public support for the Boy Scouts, a hate group that discriminates against gays and atheists ... I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. Christianity's stranglehold over the public square represents an era of creedal homogeneity in America that is long past. And it's a terrible violation of the principle that a free country should favor neither religion nor irreligion.


In a society as religiously diverse as ours, the only fair solution is a naked public square. Let us remove all religion from our public schools, our public buildings, and the activities of government. Let faith bloom freely in the home, in the church, wherever private life is lived. (I've always found it ironic that your church faces a former, long-abandoned public square most traces of which have been obliterated by later road-building. Is there a message in that?)


My concern is simple. Precisely because American religious life is so diverse, the present (and, terrifyingly, growing) favoritism toward Christianity in public life carries the seeds of grave social dislocation. When will America's growing minorities that are devout but non-Judaeo-Christian decide they've had enough of having Jesus rammed down their throats ... or down their children's throats in school? The cure for this is simple ... to get back to the healthy secularizing trend of the 1960s and 1970s, to establish a naked public square where Americans of all faiths can feel equal because they can see clearly that the state isn't cutting majority Christians any favors that they are denied. I suspect that no one would recognize this more clearly than the American Baptists of 200-odd years ago.


If this constitutes a drawing of battle lines, so be it.


Secularly yours,


Tom Flynn

Director, Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum

61 Main Street

Dresden NY 14441

315-536-1074

Owned and operated by the Council for Secular Humanism

(OFFICE ADDRESS, PLEASE USE FOR ALL COMMUNICATIONS)

PO Box 664

Amherst NY 14226-0664

(716)636-7571 ext 213

FAX (716) 636-1733

http://www.secularhumanism.org




Dear Tom, 1/13/06

Thanks for responding. I was surprised that you do know a little Baptist history, perhaps even enough to understand that the religious freedom and religious tolerance that they secured for you were then used to extricate them and all Christianity form the 'public square.' And that by an entity that pretends it is not a religion, just a philosophy. I wonder when you think a philosophy turns into a religion?

I wanted to seek clarification on three points. First you said we Baptist had our place and you would like to put us there, and it is not in the 'public square.' What is your definition of the 'public square?' You referenced the village owned property outside our door, is it your contention that I be banned and prohibited from approaching people about their relationship to Christ when they are standing there beside our Church? Would you prohibit me from preaching on the public streets of Geneva, where I regularly street preach? I also frequent the steps to city hall and the court house. Would you silence my voice there? How about the public sidewalk that crosses our Church property or the one that leads to the Penn Yan Public School? I meet to give 'religious' counsel and to tutor students (i.e. Preach) in the public library, is that holy secular ground from which you would ban my free speech? Please draw a cognizant line around this 'public square' where you would not tolerate a Baptist preacher heralding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Secondly you talked of a 'naked public square.' Is such a naked square to be monitored and kept free of all talk of 'religion' or just free from the Christians who have been given this disproportionate privilege you perceive? Should a Buddhist be banned from your 'naked public square?' Or would he be allowed because he is a non-theist like yourself? Could the Bible be quoted in a 'naked public square?' Or is the Holy Bible to be a banned book? What is your 'naked public square' in essence?

Lastly, where does a philosophy become a religion and get banished from your Utopian society? I strongly contend that every man has religion. Every man has the drive to answer the questions “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? And How do I get there?” When you, begin to develop a belief system that addresses these question that reside in every human being you are developing your religion. Yours is quite well developed and documented and godless (but not alone on the last point.) Yet you contend that yours is the superior democratic secular philosophy and not a religion. Your Secular Humanistic answers to these questions are so elitist that you would ban all other discourse from our public schools, our public buildings, and the activities of government, and allow only yours to be entertained, and that elitism is being done in the name of tolerance and freedom of religion. Seems to be a glaring disparity. Do you see it? When does a philosophy become a religion? Has yours?

I shall not address here your repeated villainization of fundamentalist as you attribute all of societies woes to our backs. Nor shall I address your avowed hatred for the Boy Scouts of America. They and us fundamentalist do oppose moral depravity in our society. Not prohibit, but oppose. You would thereby prohibit our voice and rights, not oppose but prohibit. You should get a dictionary and figure out what intolerance is, opposition or prohibition. You might then re-examine the secular humanist's history and stance on prohibition.

Please clarify these three items for me. Such discourse is enlightening in the least.

Pastor Ed Rice

Opinion Sent to 7 local papers 1/13/06 (PY,Dun,NR,CL,FL,RD,SN)

Religion Still Taught In Public Schools

With the confirmation hearings for a justice underway we need to revisit the banning of all religion in the public square. Religion is by definition “A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.” But to keep Buffalo Bill fans from organizing into one we better understand a religion to be that entity in man which seeks answer to certain questions. Where did I come form? Why am I here? Where am I going? How do I get there? A philosophy or systematic consideration which pursues these kind of issues is a persons religion. Every human being with the rational power to think will address these types of questions and in life will develop a belief system which takes care of them. Thus, every human being who can think, has a religion. To think that we can get our children through 12 grades of public education without addressing these questions is quite naive. What must be determined is what types of answers will we allow our children to pursue. Once we know that, we can just ban and prohibit all the unacceptable answers from the public schools. If those unacceptable answers come from a book, like say a Holy Bible, we will ban that as well and not allow this free exercise of those types of religions with those types of answers. They will not be tolerated, not in that they will be opposed, but in that they will be prohibited. The secular humanists who own the ACLU, and have their own elitist answers to these questions, strive to prohibit the free exercise of other answers to these question. They are especially intolerant-prohibitive of Christianity. They call us intolerant, but we are intolerant-opposing, in that we oppose immorality, they are intolerant-prohibiting which is unconstitutional in this country. At present the only religion allowed in our public schools is a godless one organized and promoted by secular humanists. On Dec 15th 1791 an amendment to the Bill of Rights was supposed to stop this kind of monopoly on thought, teaching and free speech. Secular Humanists are intolerant elitists who have banned all others from the public square. Perhaps a new supreme court justice will tip the scale back toward the Constitution of the United States.

Rev Ed Rice


Dear Ed, 1/13/06


I'm pleased to address your questions. It would appear that at least some of your position is based on a distorted view of the secular humanist position, and perhaps we can clear that up!


You wrote, "the religious freedom and religious tolerance that they secured for you were then used to extricate them and all Christianity form the 'public square.'" Um, are we living on the same planet? On *my* earth, there was an effort to move in the direction of a naked public square (more on that below) in the 1960s and 70s. Had that been successful, America would have been far better prepared to cope with the great religious diversity of today, but it was *not* successful. Since the late 1980s momentum has been firmly in the opposite direction. If all Christianity has been extricated from the public square, as you suggest, then we should not have "In God We Trust" as the national motto, much less on U.S. money. "Under God" should have been removed from the Pledge of Allegiance some time back. Courts should not have upheld Ten Commandments displays in West Chester, Pa., and Austin, Texas. Faith-based organizations should still be barred from receiving public funds. No meeting of any government body should begin with a sectarian Christian prayer. No creche or menorah should be displayed in any public venue at some people's holiday time. Much to my chagrin (and I'm sure, to your approval) none of these things are the case. Far from being barred from the public square, Christianity enjoys substantial privilege there ... a level of privilege extreme enough to be quite provocative to Americans of other faiths and none.


You wrote, "I wonder when you think a philosophy turns into a religion?" Actually I have written extensively on that. I think a philosophy turns into a religion when it admits a transcendent or supernatural component. Christianity is unquestionably a religion with its claims concerning God, immortal human souls, a cosmic plan, vicarious atonement, and so on. Buddhism has no deity, but it's a religion too -- its system of karma requires a mechanism rooted outside the world of ordinary experience, a mechanism that's surely transcendent though it is impersonal. On this definition zealous Marxism could be considered a religion, too -- surely the confidence that common ownership of the means of production will lead to the withering of the state is insupportable outside of some transcendent commitment. In contrast, secular humanism makes no transcendent claims. (In fact, it disallows any appeal to transcendent entities.) Like any other school of thought or endeavor without transcendent elements, it is not a religion. And yes, that means that secular humanism (like every other nonreligious endeavor) is eligible for certain kinds of access to the public square that is -- or should be -- denied equally to all religions.


You asked what is included in "the public square." Basically, the public square is verbal shorthand for every venue owned, operated, or controlled by any governmental or quasi-governmental body. This includes municipal buildings, courthouses, correctional facilioties, public schools and their grounds, public parks, post offices, sewage treatment plants, military facilities, public hospitals, public housing, public sidewalks, and public streets.


Now we come to what I believe is your great misperception. You wrote, "Is such a naked square

to be monitored and kept free of all talk of 'religion' or just free from the Christians who have been given this disproportionate privilege you perceive?" Neither. The "naked public square" concept does *not* mean that government enforces a ban on all religious speech (with one exception I'll discuss below). That would be contrary to the First Amendment. So relax, your street preaching in Geneva is safe, unless it becomes so aggressive that it attracts attention under laws regarding harassment or public nuisance. What the "naked public square" concept forbids is any action *by government* that encodes or suggests active favoritism toward one religion against others, or toward religion in general against irreligion. So Ed Rice preaching in the old square in front of your church is OK; the village of Dresden

allowing a creche to be displayed in it in December would not be, *because it constitutes an act of government that displays religious favoritism.* A simple test for whether something violates the naked public square concept is, "Could this action give a reasonable observer the impression that government is taking sides with this religion, or with religion in general against irreligion? Is it sending a message to persons outside the favored tradition that they are second class citizens?" That's the problem with "In God We Trust" on the money -- it sends the message that if you have no god, or if you have one but its name is not God, you're on the outs with the Department of the Treasury!


On the same basis I would oppose government funding of faith-based charities -- if I had my way, it would be forbidden even for government to contract with religious agencies like Catholic Charities. I also oppose tax exemptions for religious institutions, because they amount to a government subsidy for religion. That would in no way limit anyone's freedom to practice their religion, though it *would* mean that members of each religious body would need to bear the full cost of its operation, including taxes thereon.


What I see as your misperception is the idea that the naked public square concept places limits primarily on individual expression. In fact it places limits primarily on *government.* (Read the Bill of Rights carefully -- despite its title, it doesn't create any rights. It takes those rights as "givens" and bars government from abridging them.) Individual expression is limited only secondarily: if a certain kind of individual religious expression would create the appearance of government endorsement, then AND ONLY THEN the state must prohibit that expressive act. So Ed Rice preaching on the streets of Geneva is OK. Ed Rice reserving a bandshell and using a Geneva-owned P.A. system is not, because that creates the impression that the city is endorsing your religious statements.


There is only one circumstance under which religious expression of any sort, even between individuals, should be discouraged on my view, and that is in government-controlled venues that members of the public are compelled to frequent. Children have to go to school. People who need to settle a dispute at the bar of law have no choice but to go to the courthouse. People who need to do business with the government need to visit government offices. Members of the military have no choice about being in military settings. Prisoners have no choice about being in prison, and so on. In these settings I would argue that a complete ban on religious expression, even between individuals, makes sense. Why? Because the government compels citizens to be present, *anything* that occurs in such venues carries the tang of endorsement by the state. So in my perfect secular humanist world, public school students would be forbidden from talking to one another about their religions, because any student who found the exchange offensive would have been compelled by the state to be there and hear it. Government workers would be forbidden from wearing religious symbols, using religious decoration at their workstations, or talking about religion on the job because it might offend some taxpayer who has no choice but to be there. And yes, I see a church-state problem with chaplains in the military, in prisons, and in public hospitals, though I acknowledge that there are powerful arguments on the other side (it's also unreasonable to deny the comforts of religion to believing soldiers who might end up giving their lives for the country).


Except for those situations in which government control and compulsion to attend weigh so heavily as to color anything that occurs in those venues, I seek no limitation whatever on private expression. The home is wide open to you, as is the church, and so is the public square so long as the religious speech you engage in there is free from any suggestion of state endorsement.






Secularly yours,



Tom Flynn

Editor, FREE INQUIRY Magazine

Published by the Council for Secular Humanism

PO Box 664

Amherst NY 14226-0664

(716)636-7571 ext 213

FAX (716) 636-1733

http://www.secularhumanism.org


Open Letter to Baptist Preachers 1/16/06


In their words, "Humanism is an atheistic progressive philosophy of life that affirms an ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." A philosophy that deals with ethics, and with the questions; “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? and How do I get there?” is a religion. Humanism is a religion of life that has already obtained an unconstitutional teaching monopoly in our public schools and wants one on the whole 'public square.' This religion has as it's god the 'atheistic naked square' that they would substitute into our pledge to eliminate 'One nation under God.” An 'atheistic naked square' that they would idolize and substitute for the motto that founded this great country, the motto on our currency, “In God We Trust.” And an 'atheistic naked square' that they would drape over every court house occurrence of the Holy Bible's commandments, although those commandments form the basis for all law in this great country. This religion will not stop until it has only its atheism brandished and lauded in every avenue of public school, public property, and government. They want every prayer banished and every other free exercise of religion prohibited.


The Baptists who founded, paid for and secured the 'Separation of Church and State' and the concept of 'Individual Soul Liberty' need to step up again and stop the unconstitutional government favoritism of one religion, humanistic atheism, and their prohibition of the free exercise of other religions. Please inform your public about this travesty, a short letter to your newspaper editor would be a good start. Please inform your government representatives about this travesty, state and federal, congressmen and representatives. Baptist Preachers need to speak up here; I don't think some Episcopalian Priest will. With our nations attention focused on our supreme court justices, it would be a good time for you to speak up. We need a grass roots education that this thing called humanism is an intolerant prohibitive monopoly seeking religion that owns the ACLU, Senator Kennedy, our Senator Schumer, and all the progressive humanist liberal democrats. It is a religion united with a state and it would burn Baptists at the stake as much as the Roman and Protestant religions did. Pray for sure. Speak for certain.


I have written for publication the attached article on the intolerance of the Secular Humanist. (Article1 of 3) Please read it. Then freely use and distribute this information out loud.


May God bless your voice,


Pastor Ed Rice

New York City

757 Third Avenue

Suite 17-02

New York, NY 10017

Phone: 212-486-4430 Fax: 212-486-7693 TDD: 212-486-7803

Sent via email http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/contact.html


Dear Senator Schumer 1/16/06

It is clear you are not even in the main stream concerning the selection of a chief justice and you are thus not representing me at all.

While you are swirling around in the backwaters of liberalism please consider that the intolerant progressive religion of secular humanism that you speak for has an unconstitutional monopoly of our public schools and wants to expand their unconstitutional religious monopoly to every corner of the public square.

In their words, "Humanism is an atheistic progressive philosophy of life that affirms an ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." A philosophy that deals with ethics, and with the questions; “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? and How do I get there?” is a religion. Humanism is a religion of life that has an unconstitutional teaching monopoly in our public schools and wants one on the whole 'public square.' This religion has as it's god the 'atheistic naked square' that they would substitute into our pledge to eliminate 'One nation under God.” An 'atheistic naked square' that they would idolize and substitute for the motto that founded this great country, the motto on our currency, “In God We Trust.” And an 'atheistic naked square' that they would drape over every court house occurrence of the Holy Bible's commandments, although those commandments form the basis for all law in this great country. This religion will not stop until it has only its atheism brandished and lauded in every avenue of public school, public property, and government. They want every prayer banished and every other free exercise of religion prohibited.

Please represent the Baptists who coined, paid for and secured the Separation of Church and State, and stop these atheistic humanists from using it to violate the free exercise of religion in the public school, the public square and oversight of government.

Pastor Rice


Dear Tom, Jan 16, 2006

I have wondered what I would do with an atheistic humanist article for publication sent to the Baptist Flaming Torch paper. I can't imagine publishing it without numerous editorial comments, but even so most of it would likely end up trashed.

Just the same, at the risk of being even more villainized by your editorial comment, I am sending you three articles for publication in your 'Free Inquiry Magazine.' Attached is the first. Please let me know what becomes of it, as I don't subscribe to your mag.

Ed

***

Article on Secular Humanism by a Baptist Preacher #0601

The Unconstitutional Intolerance of Secular Humanists ...


* * * * *

Hi Ed, Jan 17, 2006

Thanks, but no thanks. There are so many errors and distortions I hardly know where to start. Some of them seem like simple truth to you ... our worldviews are that different. You're of course welcome to argue that secular humanism is a religion, but it's disingenuous when you write, As much as Buddhism and Hinduism are religions, Secular Humanism is a religion and not just a philosophy. In my last post to you I said quite clearly that secular humanists view Buddhism as a religion even though it teaches no personal god -- because the Buddhist system of karma clearly requires a supernatural mechanism.

Ah well, I suppose we must agree to disagree ...

Secularly yours,


Tom Flynn

Editor, FREE INQUIRY Magazine

* * * * *

Dear Tom, Jan 18, 2006

I expected as much.

Atheistic humanism is a religion because it deals with ethics, it deals with the questions I referenced, and it wars against all the other religions, not because of its parallels to the other godless religions. But rather than address anything meaningful you take a half hearted swing at the latter.

I expected as much, but just the same, I will send the next two articles when they are done. The religion of secular humanism has the ear of the judicial branch as they try and prevent the free exercise of other religions. If there is a God in heaven who will hear my prayer, that will soon come crumbling down at your atheistic feet.


Ed



Dear Dr. Smith, 1/18/06 co editorial@swordofthelord.com

Yours was an excellent heads up warning about hate crimes in your January 13th issue. Mr. Tom Flynn, the Editor for the Council of Secular Humanist is museumed (Robert Ingersoll's Birthplace Museum) across the street from our Baptist Church and declared war on Christians in our community. I have sent this open letter to every Baptist preacher I know. You know more. It includes the article that I sent to Mr. Flynn, Article 1 of 3. He won't publish them, you are free to. This is an issue that doesn't just stop the humanists hate crime victories, it is an offensive to take back ground. Our congressmen, legislatures, and judicial system must see the Secular Humanist as the religion that they are, and see them violating the free exercise of religion with the very phrase that Baptist's coined, “Separation of Church and State.” Please help get this information out and take back our public square in 2006.


Pastor Edward Rice

Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 54 Main St. Box 99, Dresden, NY 14441 (315) 536-0878 www.gsbaptistchurch.com


PS. My congressman is Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, so I don't expect much help from NY on these issues but I wrote them just the same.

Cc Open Letter to Baptist Preachers ...


Dear Dr. Sexton, 1/18/06 co editor@crowncp.com

I enjoy your paper The Baptist Vision immensely. Mr. Tom Flynn, the Editor for the Council of Secular Humanist is museumed (Robert Ingersoll's Birthplace Museum) across the street from our Baptist Church and declared war on Christians in our community. I have sent this open letter to every Baptist preacher I know. You know more. It includes the article that I sent to Mr. Flynn, Article 1 of 3. He won't publish them, you are free to. This is an issue that doesn't just stop the humanists hate crime victories, it is an offensive to take back ground. Our congressmen, legislatures, and judicial system must see the Secular Humanist as the religion that they are, and see them violating the free exercise of religion with the very phrase that Baptist's coined, “Separation of Church and State.” Please help get this information out and take back our public square in 2006.


Pastor Edward Rice

Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 54 Main St. Box 99, Dresden, NY 14441 (315) 536-0878 www.gsbaptistchurch.com


PS. My congressman is Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, so I don't expect much help from NY on these issues but I wrote them just the same.

Cc Open Letter to Baptist Preachers ...


Similar Sent to Focus on the Family Magazine www,family.org on 1/19/06


Open Letter

In their words, "Humanism is an atheistic progressive philosophy of life that affirms an ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." A philosophy that deals with ethics, and with the questions; “Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? and How do I get there?” is a religion. Humanism is a religion of life that has already obtained an unconstitutional teaching monopoly in our public schools and wants one on the whole 'public square.' This religion has as it's god the 'atheistic naked square' that they would substitute into our pledge to eliminate 'One nation under God.” An 'atheistic naked square' that they would idolize and substitute for the motto that founded this great country, the motto on our currency, “In God We Trust.” And an 'atheistic naked square' that they would drape over every court house occurrence of the Holy Bible's commandments, although those commandments form the basis for all law in this great country. This religion will not stop until it has only its atheism brandished and lauded in every avenue of public school, public property, and government. They want every prayer banished and every other free exercise of religion prohibited.

They, with their ACLU, already pretty much own our judicial branch of government. It will require strong legislators, senators, congressmen and representatives to take back the stronghold these atheist secular humanists have on our public schools. Yet these are falling daily to the humanists who twist the hate crime legislation, malign the 'Separation of Church and State' clause founded, paid, for and secured by Baptist in this country, and demand that every form of immorality be 'tolerated' which is their tongue tying code word for silencing all Christian preaching in the public square. When a teenager named David went out to slay a giant named Goliath he started with the question “Is there not a cause?” and concluded with a statement “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” Baptists have been delivered out of the paw of the Roman lion with the clause “Separation of Church and State.” Now Atheist Humanists wield this clause as a giant judicial sword to cut out the tongues of Christians with their Bibles in the public schools and public squares. Is there not a cause?

The Baptists who founded, paid for and secured the 'Separation of Church and State' and the concept of 'Individual Soul Liberty' need to step up again and stop the unconstitutional government favoritism of one religion, humanistic atheism, and their prohibition of the free exercise of other religions. What will you do to help? With our nations attention focused on our supreme court justices, it is a good time for you to speak up. We need a grass roots education that this thing called secular humanism is an intolerant prohibitive monopoly seeking religion that owns the ACLU, Senator Kennedy, our own Senator Schumer, and all the progressive humanist liberal democrats. It is a religion united with a state and it would burn Baptists at the stake as much as the Roman and Protestant religions did. Please speak for certain on this issue. There is a cause.

Pastor Ed Rice of Good Samaritan Baptist Church in Dresden NY, across the street from the Counsel for Secular Humanism's holy shrine “Robert Ingersoll's Birthplace Museum.”



Other Contacts Made with this Information

The NYS senator for zip code 14840 and 14441 is:
 Senator George H. Winner, Jr. - District 53 http://www.nyssenate53.com/

Albany Office: Room 814, Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 12247 Phone: (518) 455-2091

NYS Assemblies Member Listing for ZIP Code 14840 and 14441:

Assemblymen Jim Bacalles - 136th District http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=136

LOB 439,Albany, NY 12248 Phone:518-455-5791

OR 105 E. Steuben St.,Bath, NY 14810 Phone: 607-776-9691


For the ZIP code area 14840 and 14441, the US House Representative is:

John R. "Randy" Kuhl Jr. (R) New York 29th http://kuhl.house.gov/Issues/

P.O. Box 153, 22 Buell Street, Bath, New York 14810 Phone:607 776-9142
OR 1505 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone:202 225-3161

For the ZIP code area 14840 and 14441, the US Senators ares:

Clinton, Hillary Rodham- (D - NY) Class I Terms for Senators in Class I expire in 2007

476 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510

Phone:(202) 224-4451 http://clinton.senate.gov

Schumer, Charles E.- (D - NY) Class III Terms for Senators in Class III expire in 2011

313 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510

Phone:(202) 224-6542 http://schumer.senate.gov


©2006 New York State School Boards Association

24 Century Hill Drive, Suite 200, Latham, New York 12110-2125 Phone: (518) 783-0200 Fax: (518) 783-0211 info@nyssba.org http://www.nyssba.org see also sites of interest


See www.nysed.gov for listing of New York Schools addressed

Pastor Edward Rice

Good Samaritan Baptist Church

54 Main St. Box 99, Dresden, NY 14441

edrice4@linkny.com Feb 11, 2006

Robert E. Drury

2811 Pre-Emption Road

Geneva, NY 14456-9564

rdrury@rochester.rr.com


Dear Robert Drury,

Thank you for your clarifying letter of Feb 8, 2006. It was informative and helpful. I do wish to argue effectively on all three of the problem areas that you outline. Logic and the mathematical exposition that you sent substantiates the latter of the three in no uncertain terms. The momentum that I see in the movement toward intelligent design will, I believe, decimate those who hold the erroneous view that the random mechanics of evolution are responsible for our existence here. Those with half a mind will be forced to deal with the impossibility of evolution as a science. However that will leave a large majority of humanists and government educators still cramming such an unsupported hypothesis down the throats of America's children.

I, therefore, want to make those first two problem areas the focus of my efforts. 'They' (the humanists and educators) are not open to receive my arguments, true, as you contend, but the continual publishing and exuberant arm waving bringing attention to their flagrant error is intended to curb this government ‘of the people’ to fix the brazen deception the humanists have already propagated into the government (public?) schools. Your obvious insight into the dilemma and forethought on the foundations of science vs philosophy, entice me to seek you as an ally in this effort and pursue the additional exposition that you offer.

I am in correspondence with the editor of the Secular Humanist magazine The Free Inquirer, Tom Flynn, who is also the director of the secular humanist museum across the street from Good Samaritan Baptist Church where I pastor. I am publishing and offering for publication several articles on this subject and request permission to use your mathematical exposition and your letter in reference. It is not likely that Mr. Flynn will publish such. His inquiry is not quite that free. However, other outlets are publishing and I would be pleased to include your arguments in a positive light. Permission to use your exposition and letter would best be served with an emailed copy of each or either. My typing is atrocious and scanner is broke. Email: edrice4@linkny.com My current article publications are at www.gsbaptistchurch.com /humanism.

Addition exposition is hereby requested in light these 3 areas of interest you outlined. First, you presented the humanist party line that schools should not teach children religion, philosophy or values, and contend as unarguable that the government runs government schools. I contend that we are not in a totalitarian government, the courts should not be in control of the school curriculum or the school rules and dress codes. I have address of 736 school board chairmen in New York and we, by the help of God, intend to start a grassroots awareness that things have gone very much awry in our PUBLIC schools. Your input concerning tactics would be very much appreciated.

Secondly, the presence of philosophy in the science class needs to be delineated and treated appropriately. Our children are body, soul, and spirit, and pretending that they can be broken into separate sections in our educational system and the spiritual can be barred from entry makes our schools a dysfunctional social experiment. Education reform, must include the fairest treatment of all philosophies (religion, ethics & moral codes, where did I come from questions, why am I here questions, where am I going questions, how do I get there questions, etc.) especially when these come up in a science class. Currently, via court order, only one defective atheistic philosophy can be addressed in science class. This needs to be intelligently addressed and the same grass roots need to be activated to fix the discrepancies of the past. Your input concerning this delineation and intelligent tactic would be very much appreciated.

Lastly, as you so eloquently stated in your exposition, evolutionary theory is bankrupt. It is only mandated in our society and more particularly in our public schools by NPR, ACLU and NEA. Every day the hollowness of the hypothesis grows larger and larger. It should soon join the philosophy of the flat earth, as an all but extinct era of ignorance. It is destined to collapse, but is currently doing irreparable harm to generations. Anything we can do to hasten it's exposure to true scientific method should be pursued. Your mathematical exposition on the impossibility of DNA evolution is so ignored by our society that I have repeatedly published the Emperor's New Clothes analogy. Additional tactic must be employed to reverse the momentum of the ignorance of this society. The propagation of this error begins in kindergarten and intensifies every year of public school. The majority of Americans believe in God the creator, but, again, our schools are forced to teach spontaneous generation. Grass roots are key. Grass roots are unbelievably abiogenesis. Our proof's are eloquently true, but our tactics are currently ineffective. It will be a battle in the public school system. It will involve our judicial system.

Thank you for writing. Thank you for systematically delineating the problem. Thank you for any additional support and advise.


Pastor Ed Rice


Good Samaritan Baptist Church


Hello Pastor Rice, 3/15/06


Thanks for the tapes.


In your cover note you wrote, "If you are right and I am wrong I have lived a very good life according to the dictates of a falsified book. If I am right and you are wrong there will be Hell to pay." That was a cogent restatement of Pascal's Wager, which made a venal sort of sense when Pascal posed it in 17th century France. There, there were only two culturally viable choices: Catholicism or unbelief. In today's world Pascal's Wager isn't very compelling, because there are so many more worldviews available to us to choose from. Sure, you may be right in your Baptist worldview. I may be right in my secular humanist worldview. Then again, the Catholics might have it right. Or the Mormons. Or the Hindus. It's even possible that the only people who have the true religion are a tiny tribe of Melanesian Islanders who worship ant hills, and *everybody* who doesn't pray to their ant god is headed straight for the lake of fire.


I'm being a little flip here, but my serious point should be clear. There are literally scores of faiths that a 21st century American could choose from. Most of them claim to be the only true one. Leave aside the pure coincidence of which faith tradition you were born into, and there's no *objective* reason to favor one or the other. (My choice, of course, is to say "none of the above," which simply means that I disbelieve in one more religion than you do.) In that setting, Pascal's Wager is meaningless, as there is no "safe" choice. Whichever religion you pick, there are dozens of others that will say you're damned. Ah well, onward.


I just finished "The Fool Says in His Heart." I see from your website that someone supplied you with the reference to Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes." (See? I really did listen.) It was nice to hear that you're doing your part to keep Ingersoll's memory alive in your sermons. (It's also the first time I've heard myself mentioned by name in a sermon; perhaps that's my fifteen minutes of fame?)


Two substantive points. It's perfectly clear where you're going with the "no gold in China" argument, but I don't think it really works as a reductio ad absurdam of atheism. Why? Gold in China simply isn't a very good metaphor for the idea of God.


God and gold in China are very different sorts of things. If you actually ask someone, "Do you think there's gold in China?" they'll probably say yes. China covers a huge land area, so the likelihood is high that there are gold deposits. China has also been a wealthy and powerful empire over the centuries, so even if it had no native gold deposits it's likely that past emperors would have imported gold. Finally, people might recall seeing pictures of the gilded buildings and statues in the Forbidden City. So it's quite likely that there *is* gold in China -- from which it follows that you've got to be some kind of an idiot to go around screaming that there is absolutely no gold there. That fits your agenda, but it's not a good stand-in for God ... especially, not in the context of you as a Bible-believing minister trying to convince an unbeliever that God exists.


The problem is that from the unbeliever's standpoint (or simply from a theologically neutral standpoint), the existence of God is inherently unlikely. Believer and unbeliever, we all know that the world of matter and energy is out there. It's the domain of nature. We see it, we touch it, we measure it with scientific instruments. Unbelievers say that's all there is. Believers say there's something else, this whole vast domain additional to nature (literally, "super-natural"). Only believers assume the epistemic burden of asserting that, in addition to the natural world, such things as eternal duration, immortal human souls, God, demons, heaven and hell, etc. exist.


So the disjunct should be pretty clear. When we start from a neutral perspective -- that is, without any religious presuppositions pro or con, just ordinary knowledge about the world -- it's inherently likely that there's gold in China. The default assumption would be, then, that if anyone says there is no gold, the burden of proof should fall upon that person to justify his or her assertion. From the same starting point, it's inherently unlikely that God exists. The default assumption here would be that the burden of proof falls upon the person who claims that God does exist. Result? It is foolish indeed to insist that there is no gold in China. Insisting there's no god is only being reasonable; it is the person who insists there is a god who may wind up playing the fool, depending on the quality of the evidence. To be sure, that's not the viewpoint you start from ... but it's the viewpoint most unbelievers start from, and if you want to reach them with your message you need to find ways to convince them where *they* stand.


My final observation is much simpler: I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the stance that "maybe there is a God, but we can't know him" is not agnosticism, it's deism. Deism maintains that a god exists who is the first mover, the uncaused cause ... but after creating the universe and setting it into motion this god turned his back and has no present-day interest in human affairs. Hence he has no moral instruction for us, prayer is futile, etc. That's deism. Agnosticism is the position that "we cannot know whether or not God exists." It's an epistemological position about the knowability of God. Some agnostics assume atheism is correct, some assume that theism is correct; some agnostics wind up choosing to be deists. But the stance you were describing as agnosticism is deism. Don't take my word for it, check any standard reference.


BTW, I do have to give you credit for taking by the horns the problem of Psalms containing two slightly different versions of the same text. And your solution was clever, if not entirely convincing. The Bible scholars on my side of the fence point to the imperfect repetition of the "fool says in his heart" passage as yet another example of the sloppy, historically contingent accretion of an uninspired, thoroughly human book. As often, I suppose we must agree to disagree.

Secularly yours,


Tom Flynn

Editor, FREE INQUIRY Magazine

Published by the Council for Secular Humanism

PO Box 664

Amherst NY 14226-0664

(716)636-7571 ext 213

FAX (716) 636-1733

http://www.secularhumanism.org



Hello Pastor Rice, 3/16/06


I listened to "Why I Believe the Bible." I must say, you are a very talented and vibrant preacher. In my humble opinion, you need every ounce of your oratorical skill because you are asking your congregation to accept some whoppers.


I have to give you credit for audacity when you say that you believe the Bible because it claims to be the inspired word of God. It is little short of brilliant when you *admit* that this is circular reasoning, and then compound it by piling yet another claim based on the Bible's self-description on top of it. But seriously, why should any serious inquirer lend any weight to the self-serving claim of any specimen of literature that it is inspired by God? If simply claiming to be the word of God is the criterion, the world is full of scriptures whose claim to truth is exactly equivalent to that of the Bible. Among scriptures that are, if anything, even more emphatic and consistent than the Bible in claiming divine origin are the Book of Mormon, the Qur'an, Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health with a Key to the Scriptures," and the secret books of the Church of Scientology. Again, you tried to anticipate that objection with a swipe at the Book of Mormon (and I agree with you regarding that scriptures high risibility) but you did not really address that issue either.


At the end of the day, "I believe the Bible because the Bible tells me so" is empty circular reasoning. It may convince some who are already predisposed to believe, but I doubt you'll ever convince any atheists with that line of argument.


Your assertions of the Bible's superior grasp of scientific truth left me slack-jawed. Again I must credit you for your audacity, and if you are able to convince members of your congregation with such arguments I can only say "Well played, sir." I was especially impressed with your supposed proof text showing that the Bible enjoyed a 20th-century appreciation that matter is mostly empty space. I've never heard that claim advanced for scripture. On your claim that alone among the early scriptures only the Bible knew that the earth was round, I think you are on far shakier ground. The references in Genesis to the water above and below the firmament clearly reflect a Babylonian view of the cosmos as a series of concentric hemispherical domes overarching a flat earth. The Old Testament contains numerous references to the "four corners" of the earth. If we take that literally, as you say everything in the Bible should be, that can only be construed as a picture of an earth that's not only flat but explicitly quadrilateral. Then there's that story where the sun stops in its motion, giving the Israelites extra time to vanquish their enemies on the battlefield untroubled by earthquakes, mountains and trees suddenly uprooting and scouring the globe as they give up their residual momentum, etc. Clearly this story presumed a flat and immobile earth over which the sun moved. Then there's that explicit claim that the value of pi is three, which hardly seems consistent with an outlook that is able to encompass the idea of earth as a sphere.


Finally, I stand in awe of your (for lack of any better term) chutzpah with your claim near the end that there are no gray-haired atheists. (I was able to disconfirm this with a look in the mirror, by the way.) There is perhaps no more wishful and scurrilous category of literature than infidel deathbed conversion stories; among the most famous (and fully discredited) are those concerning Thomas Paine and Darwin. You had the grace not to stoop to using the Paine story, but you did make the groundless claim that Darwin recanted. In fact he progressively lost more and more of his religion as his life progressed, and he almost certainly died an unrepentant agnostic. As for your claims for Ingersoll and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the mind reels. Even you had to admit that Ingersoll remained an explicit agnostic till the day he died. Be he was wont to wax sentimental in connecting with death, especially the death of loved ones, holding out a promise of an afterlife he really didn't believe in out of compassion for the bereaved. In connection with his father, as you well know the "I was wrong" passage was a reference to his father's integrity and strength of character -- rather along the line of the truism that "when I was 18 my old man didn't know a darn thing, but now that I'm 30 it's amazing how smart he's gotten!" -- not a concession that Ingersoll was wrong in his agnosticism. (In fact, it's generally acknowledged that Rev. John Ingersoll softened in his own religious convictions toward the end of his life, particularly giving up the doctrine that all who do not embrace the full doctrine of his particular sect would be damned for eternity.) As for Madalyn O'Hair, a headier mix of fact and misinformation I have never heard. Yes, her son Bill recanted and became a minister, but Madalyn continued as an atheist activist for more than 20 years after that event. And there is absolutely no information suggesting that she had a deathbed conversion -- the only people with knowledge of the last several months of her life are those surviving among her kidnappers, who have made no such claim.


In closing, I thank you for sharing the tapes. You wanted me to experience a full measure of your worldview, and I dare say that I have. In keeping with the terms of your generous offer I look forward to hearing when you have finished reading my book THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS.

Secularly yours,


Tom Flynn

Editor, FREE INQUIRY Magazine

Published by the Council for Secular Humanism

PO Box 664

Amherst NY 14226-0664

(716)636-7571 ext 213

FAX (716) 636-1733

http://www.secularhumanism.org


Surface shipments only:

1310 Sweet Home Road

Amherst NY 14228


Tom,

Got your comments. I didn't think you would take the challenge. I was wrong,... this time. I am reading this weekend. You will likly be surprised that I agreed with most of what I read already, you seem to have a handle on some of the Christmas problems, but have no idea what a born again Christian is, or what he believes. I would not have you be ignorant on that point.

Secure in Christ

Ed


Dear Tom,

In your book “The Trouble With Christmas” you build a defensible case for the ludicrously of Christmas Celebrations. In so doing you would find a Christian in agreement with many of your observations, but for very differing reason. The only place a Christian would take strong and everlasting issue with your argument is where you deliberately attack, malign and misrepresent the Christian faith and it's bible the Holy Bible. While I agree that Christmas is Roman Catholic Religion and not Christian, you engage in several misleading, Christian bashing tactics that I would address here succinctly.

Tactic1 – The Clergy are liars ....

Correction: 'Clergy' is Catholic invention not Christian

First you build up and strive to capitalize on a conspiracy tactic wherein the 'clergy' know the truth but are involved in cover up scandal to conceal the truth from the pews. (ref page 53 of your book in chapter 5 “The Babe and the Bathwater”) I am sure that the Catholic Religion with which you are conversant lends itself to such a tactic, and the modernist Protestants you elude to play well into such bunk. The tactic is base at best, but very revealing of your notion that pews are occupied by idiots, ergo Christians are moronic. That is evidence that you have not had much exposure to true believers, ergo independent fundamental Baptists. You likely have never heard of a Berean Baptist, nor understand why they took that name (ref Acts 17:10-12 in your King James Bible.) Baptist (those few remaining who have not followed after modernism that you use as your baseline) are not so mislead by blind clergy, referenced by Christ as blind leaders of the blind. Indeed you will find true Bible believers have no clergy whatsoever, for clergy is entirely Roman Catholic in conception, the word being Latin in derivation, and never occurring in the Holy Bible. Catholics and their daughter religions as Protestant's have this perception that a 'clergy' are given the insight to interpret the 'secrets of the Bible' and the 'laity' have no business reading on their own. God hates this concept and says so plainly (ref Rev 2:6, 15 and a little study of the Nicolaitans.) Your deceitful tactic suits you well in “The Trouble With Christmas” because the religionists have well developed a deceitful clergy. Don't confuse such with Christians. True Bible believers do not have mindlessly following idiots in their pews but Berean Christians.

Tactic 2 Rudolf says the Bible was not written by the Apostles ...

Correction: Both Rudolfs are a father of lies, and should not guide your sleigh!

A second unscrupulous tactic you engage in this chapter is to paint infidels like Rudolf Bultmann and British linguist G.A. Wells as Christian spokesman on Bible accuracy. These men are confessed unbelievers in the Christ. With premeditation they set out to malign and distort the truths of the Bible. That is not an open minded approach except for a fallen depraved man. These have sided with yourself and another as an opposer and adversary of Jehovah God and his Word. They are not the Christian nor scholar that they pretended to be, but, although they are not atheist, you are quick to jump on their misguided band wagon because you have the same enemy. War makes for strange bedfellows. Soon you may find yourself in bed with your xPope as the supposed vicar of Christ once more reveals his alliance with the Bible opposer and adversaries of Jehovah God. You should not be surprised to learn the word 'Satan' comes from both the Greek and Hebrew of the Holy Bible to mean opposer and adversary of God. In attacking Christian belief you lean on supposed 'Christian scholars' to tend your cause when in reality none of the lot are Christian and it is clear your all on one side in this thing, sided with the personage of Satan himself. Bultmann, Wells, the higher critic and the lower critic took their best shot through the 20th century and were unable to substantiate their deception, ergo we still know today that the Apostle Matthew did exist and did write the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, the first of the written gospel accounts; Mark did accompany the Apostle Paul and preach across Asia Minor with the Apostle Peter before penning the Gospel according to Saint Mark, Luke was the Apostle Paul's personal physician who accompanied him for 30 years of preaching tours before penning the Gospel according to Saint Luke and the Acts of the Apostles; John was the beloved disciple who laid his head on the bosom of the Lord Jesus Christ and penned the Gospel according to Saint John after 60 years of preaching what he wrote about. These Apostles, as holy men of God, wrote and authorized all the 27 books of entire New Testament in the Holy Bible. That is what has been claimed and held and believed by Christians for 2000 years now. The Catholic, Protestant, Bultmann, Wells' lie that the Bible was written in the 2nd and 3rd century by 'church theological evangelists' is exposed for what it is, balderdash. Rudolf couldn't dispel the truth about Bible authors no matter how eloquently he opposed it nor how fervently you quote him and his. God preserves his word and the message clearly states “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?”

Tactic 3 There have been lots of god-men and Jesus was just a copy cat ...

Correction: This one, Jesus The Christ, raised from the dead then rose from the dead!

Thirdly your deceitful, vain and vile tactic to dismiss the Lord Jesus Christ as just another of the preposterous and pagan 'god-men' is hollow. Four thousand years before the birth of Christ, when mankind fell into sin in the garden of Eden, God promised that he would send a redeemer, messiah, and saviour through the seed of woman. That promise was passed down to every tribe, peoples and nations that populated this world. It should not so surprise you or anyone else that in the ongoing fall or 'devolution' of those tribes that their remained twisted flavors of this promised truth. Your implication that the Jews were ignorantly copying the pagans in presenting a mythical virgin birth of a god-man is diabolical; but diabolically errant. The Bible's teaching that a virgin shall conceive and bear the messiah as a God-man, in a town of Bethlehem is irrevocably 6000 years old. Your trying to muddy the water with Osiris and Attis is base. Your reverse twisting on the name Adonis is vile and wholly unsubstantiated. With choosing between truth or mud your deep in the latter here.

Tactic 4 – The Bible is full of contradictions ...

Correction: No, the nay sayers are just overwhelmed in Bible ignorance.

Forth, your accounting of 'Bible contradictions' shows more Bible ignorance than Madalyn Murray O'Hair's previous naive attempt, and I did not think that possible. When your hero Robert Ingersoll was bashing the Bible he, being the son of a Presbyterian Preacher, at least knew what he did not believe. Your ludicrous insistence that all gospel accounts give all the same detail or else they are lying is based on your acceptance of Rudolf's fantasy and Catholic illusion about who wrote what when. Your pretense that Luke didn't know what Matthew had already written and that Mark and John were ignorant of everything altogether is Tom Flynn lost in his own circular rejection of God given truth in the Holy Bible. And I won't even touch on your tirade about Joseph's genealogy differing from Mary's genealogy, when you display such theological, genealogical and linguistic ignorance about the presentation and necessity of each, which in your mind, and Roman Catholic, Bible ignorant teaching are somehow supposed to be identical. Your Bible ignorance may only be exceeded by the Jesuits at Xavier. If you want to disbelieve, do so. But don't try and mock the Word of God when your knowledge of it is so very lacking. Your ill fated repeating of things you heard reveals your ill gotten preparation on this ill conceived topic of 'Bible contradictions'.

Tactic 5 - Mock and Scorn the Birth in Bethlehem ...

Correction: Those who refuse to believe shall refuse,

but believers know how Rome did their census.

Lastly your mocking, trivializing tone and tactic concerning the timing, census and portage to Bethlehem demonstrate gross ignorance of both the Holy Scripture with it's actual authors, and of the Roman Empire and census taking edicts. Your ill fated repeating of things you once heard reveals your ill gotten preparation on this ill conceived topic of 'Mis'-”Placing the Christmas Story in History.” Like most Bible believers we don't much care about the Roman Catholic derived date of December 25th, but your mocking tone and blatant disbelief of the Biblically presented account of the birth of Jesus the Christ, reveals the true character of the opposer adversary in you. Jesus said “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3) You may reject the Christ that was born in Bethlehem. You may reject in disbelieve the written words that he left for the record. You therein stand condemned. But when you mock and scorn what was written you purchase for yourself an eternal punishment that is heated hotter than it is want to be heated. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” .... “ And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Heb 9:27, Rev 20:12-15) Tom, you needn't scorn the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, that saved my soul and changed my life. Don't mock it. Indeed you should try it. I shall not be judged for my works, I am cleansed by the redeeming blood of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ is my saviour.

If you go to your grave rejecting Him you will be judged and condemned for rejecting and judged according to your works. Your mocking disbelief won't stack well on that judgment day. You could still get that fixed and taken care of by believing and accepting Jesus Christ as your saviour, ... that's called the gospel or good news. (1Cor 15)

We have engaged in a noble exchange of ideas that come from opposite perspectives of our world. Neither expected by argument to persuade or convert the other. I have come to understand a little better how religionists can produce professed atheists and agnostics. (I shall still contend for my definition of an agnostic as one who has quit trying to understand truth or to know God. That is quite different than a deist.) Particularly your contorted view of the Bible and the world come from blind catholic teachers, ... religionists, ... not from study of the Bible. Your now professed “free thinking” is tainted by your bias that 'thou shalt not believe the Holy Bible' and 'thou shalt not believe in a supernatural.' I hope via this exchange that you can see some of your own 'closed thinking' bias, that you can see the difference in 'religion', with priests, clergy, and religionists who invent holidays, and true Bible believing Christians, and that you can see that we Bible believers are not blind ignorant unthinking Bible thumpers. Indeed Evangelical Christians are more 'free thinking' than secular humanists. Your brush with religion has made you utterly dismiss the Word of God, without study and with scorn. How unfortunate.

The underlying theme of the 66 books of what we call the Holy Bible is that mankind needs a Saviour, and that God so loved the world, that he promised and sent one. The narrative of the Old Testament aptly demonstrates mankind's bent to reject, deny, and rebel against God his creator. This despite God's overwhelming evidences and miracles. (These you reject as well. Your thinking that the only way the sun could 'stand still' is by stopping a rotating mass of earth, without consideration that God, the creator, made the laws, can suspend the laws at will, and can more easily bend light or alter it's velocity than you can suck in your next breath. Man's know it all attitude about inertia and geometrical orbits has made him consider Einstein mad also, but now that we know that the speed of light is not really constant, nothing we supposed true 20 years ago is the whole truth. Your know it all attitude about what a supernatural God can and cannot do is trifling. Your limiting of thought to the limited and trivial 'science' of man's knowledge is not 'free thinking' is it.) This rejection culminates in the rejection of God's only begotten Son. Interwoven throughout you find a small remnant who believe and trust (Matt 7:13-14 references the many on the wrong path, and the few on the straight and narrow path that leads to life,... Tom, your on the wrong path.)

These Noah's, Abrahams, Davids, and Elijahs are the minorities. The religionists, the catholics, the clergies, reject God's truth for their man made religions, that they stoutly defend, even pretending to use a Bible. You, Tom, reject Christ because of their blind and bumbling leadership and because of your bent nature, a fallen nature that impresses you to reject God and His Christ. You see, the Bible reveals more of why you believe what you believe than you have.

Although I did not expect my arguments to convert you, or any atheist, I expect that my God can. I want only to warn you that there is an eternal consequence for rejecting the only begotten Son of God. You need a saviour today, or you stand condemned in your sin (John 3:18) Although you reject my contention that atheists do not stay atheist when death approaches, the Bible contends that a second after your last breath, your rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ as saviour to the world will be your most eternal and unforgivable sin. I'll therefore suggest that you step out of your religionist teachings about the Bible and read the Bible on it's own merit. I'll not persuade you, but the word of God is sharper than any twoedeged sword (Heb 4:12) and is able to convert the soul (Acts 3:19, 28:27). Except ye be converted, ... ye shall not enter into the kingdom of God. (Matt 18:3) You just need to be converted.


The following research results are presented to demonstrate your shallow investigation of the lineage 'contradictions' that you site as if you were expert. You did much good research into the traditions of Christmas but very shallow investigation into the truths of God's word. The Bible, read without the allegorical eyes of catholics, nor the unbelieving eyes of the critic is clear. Your forcing all things to be literal (as in the four corners of the earth) when it suites you and their forcing all things to be figurative to fit their 'religious' beliefs, is not reputable nor honest. Perhaps you could set aside your bias and openly look at the research results below.

I'd still like to meet you and buy your Dairymans breakfast when your in Dresden. Thanks for the intriguing dialog.

Pastor Ed Rice


Research Result From "The Fabulous Prophecies of the Messiah" Part IV: Problems in the Genealogies of Jesus by Glen Miller (http://www.christian-thinktank.com)


However, notice the main assumption in this argument:

Only gene-carrying descendants are considered as descendants.

This assumption is demonstrably false. Let's look at the situation and background closely.

  1. Matthew and Luke present different genealogies of Jesus--one through David's son Solomon (the royal line) and the other through David's son Nathan (the non-royal line). The royal line is traced in Matthew; the "natural" line in Luke. Matthew's genealogy goes only back to Abraham (to show the Jewish character of the King); Luke's goes back to Adam (to show the universal aspect of the Savior). Matthew's emphasizes Jesus' royalty; Luke, his humanity.

  2. It is generally accepted (but not unanimously) that the genealogy in Matthew belongs to Joseph's family, and the one in Luke applies to Mary's line. (The historical evidence is fairly strong that both Mary and Joseph were of the house of David.)

  3. Both genealogies are 'aware' of the virgin birth: Luke adds the phrase "He was the son, SO IT WAS THOUGHT, of Joseph" (3:23) and Matthew switches verbs from "X begat Y" to "Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom (feminine pronoun) was born Jesus".

  4. So, how does Joseph 'step into' Mary's lineage? How does he 'pick up' her legal heritage?
     

 
 
 

Probably through the law of levirate marriage.

The Jewish folk had numerous provisions for cases of inheritance-transfer in extreme cases. One of the more frequent situations that had to be covered (in a land-based, clan-ownership system) was that of childless marriages, or in some cases, of son-less marriages.

One of the more concise statements of how this would apply here, is by J. Stafford Wright in Dict. of New Test. Theol., III. 662:

"Mary's father (Heli?) had two daughters, Mary and the unnamed wife of Zebedee (John 19:25; Matt 27:56). If there were no sons, Joseph would become son of Heli on his marriage, to preserve the family name and inheritance (cf. Num 27:1-11; 36:1-12, esp. v. 8, which accounts for Mary marrying a man of the family of David.)"

[The main passages in the OT that refer to these various laws are Num 7:1-11; Num 36:1-12; Lev 25:25; Dt 25:5-10. These practices were widespread in the Ancient Near East, and a good discussion of the details in Israel and differences from the ANE can be found in Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel: Vol 1--Social Institutions. Two famous cases, for good or ill, of these practices are in the story of Ruth (Book of Ruth) and in the story of Tamar (Gen 38:6ff).]

What this 'nets out to' is that Joseph 'married into' Mary's gene-pool...and hence, the virgin birth doesn't stop the lineage "transfer".

In other words, the the physical-gene did NOT come FROM JOSEPH was IRRELEVANT in this case. Legal standing was related to EITHER 'genes' OR to 'marriage'. (Although it should be pointed out that levirate arrangements like this required close kinship already, and hence, quite a number of overlapping genes.).

So, strictly speaking, Jesus got his genes from Mary and his legal standing (in the royal heir line) from Joseph (thru the marriage of M+J).

  1. Now, as a practical matter, I consider the gene-issue to be important, simply because there were NUMEROUS other indications that the Messiah WOULD BE from the 'stock of Jesse' etc--images and phrases that DO put more emphasis on the blood-line that does simply 'legal lineage'--but I am persuaded that these requirements were adequately satisfied from Mary's side.


APPENDIX 2 Open Letters TOC

Open Letter to School Boards and Superintendents

Please don't be ignorant about the religion of atheism taught in your school district.


One could say, “I don't believe there is any gold in China.” And we would say they are entitled to their opinion and tolerate them. But when they start a movement and infiltrate some national teachers association and mandate that it be taught exclusively in all public schools, come on! When they insist that references of gold brought from China to America be removed from every text, pledge, and class and that teachers not be allowed to say 'gold' and 'China' in the same sentence one might see how ludicrous this is. Not the secular humanist; they can't see it at all. 'No gold in China' is a statement of faith until you have overturned every rock in China. Every rock to a considerable depth! Now if this country were founded on the gold that came from China, you might understand why those who know and love the heritage of this free country would be upset. If you found this movement using some of that gold to finance their faith based conjecture into the public square every one should get upset. The secular humanist has made a faith based conjecture that there is no god in the universe. Without turning over a single stone to substantiate this conjecture they have forced it into our public schooling and will not tolerate any other teaching. They have used the gold in the statement “Separation of Church and State” to cause a people, ignorant of it's meaning, to enforce their edict of separation of god and country and especially separation of Jehovah God and country. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of this Jehovah God (a by faith conjecture), is the sole founder of this thing called a Church (a by historical fact conjecture.) The Churches separation from the state has to do with Baptists vs the Roman Empires Imperial Catholic Church and her daughters, not the separation of religion from our thinking, nor the separation of God from the public square. Do not ignorantly allow a religion of atheism make it mean separation of God and country. I have been told by the intolerably ignorant, that I could not take our Baptist Sunday School class into a village owned public square because of 'Separation of Church and State!' Atheistic Humanists are now using this faulty logic to force all public school teachers and staff to behave themselves as if they were atheistic in religion and thus prevent every other free exercise of religion in the public school. In the story line all it took was one child to stand and say “The Emperor has no clothes.” In America that child is mocked and scorned by NPR, hated by the NEA, sued by the ACLU and locked up by judicial decree. Could it be more obvious “The Emperor has no clothes!” and there could still be gold in China!

This is an excerpt from “Articles on Secular Humanism From a Baptist Preacher.” You should read the entire article at www.gsbaptistchurch.com/humanism You may be blocked from this site on your schools computer because it contains information about God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ which is not allowed in your school because of 'Separation of Church and State.' Go figure. Go learn. Check out the Emperor. Do something.

Edward G. Rice

Appendix 3 Separation of Church and State Documentation #TOC


THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE DANBURY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION

by Gene Garman

[Typed from photocopies--Library of Congress: LC, 20111 & 20593]

The address of the Danbury Baptist Association in the State of Connecticut, assembled October 7th, 1801.

To Thomas Jefferson Esq., President of the United States of America.

Sir,

Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your Election to office, we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your Inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief Magistracy in the United States. And though our mode of expression may be less courtly [stylish] and pompious [pompous] than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, Sir, to believe that none are more sincere.

Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty--That Religion is at all times and places a Matter between God and Individuals--That no man ought to suffer in Name, person or effects on account of his religious Opinions--That the legitimate Power of civil Government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbour.

But Sir, our [Connecticut] constitution of government is not specific. Our antient [ancient] charter, together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted as the Basis of our government At the time of our revolution, and such had been our laws and usages [practices], & such still are, that religion is considered as the first object of Legislation, & therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, are inconsistent with the rights of freemen.

It is not to be wondered at therefore, if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretence of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men--should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law, & good order because he will not, dares not assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

Sir, we are sensible that the president of the United States is not the national Legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial Effect already, like the radient beams of the Sun, will shine & forever prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth.

Sir, when we reflect on your past services and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America's God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have called you to sustain, and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.


Signed in behalf of the Association,


Neh'[emia]h Dodge The Committee

Eph'[rai]m Robbins

Stephen S. Nelson

* * * * *


TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL [LEVI LINCOLN]

January 1, 1802

Averse to receive addresses, yet unable to prevent them, I have generally endeavored to turn them to some account, by making them the occasion, by way of answer, of sowing useful truths and principles among the people, which might germinate and become rooted among their political tenets. The Baptist address, now enclosed, admits of a condemnation of the alliance between Church and State, under the authority of the Constitution. It furnishes an occasion, too, which I have long wished to find, of saying why I do not proclaim fastings and thanksgivings, as my predecessors did. The address, to be sure does not point at this, and its introduction is awkward. But I foresee no opportunity of doing it more pertinently. I know it will give great offence to the New England clergy; but the advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from them. Will you be so good as to examine the answer, and suggest any alterations which might prevent an ill effect or promote a good one, among the people? You understand the temper of those in the North, and can weaken it, therefore, to their stomachs; it is at present seasoned to the Southern taste only. I would ask the favor of you to return it, with the address, in the course of the day or evening. Health and affection.

[The above is copied from The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Library Edition, Andrew A. Lipscomb, Editor, 1904, 10:305. The "alliance between Church and State" of which Jefferson writes is the one which still existed in 1802 in Connecticut under its constitution (charter). In 1802 Baptists in Connecticut petitioned its legislature to repeal laws which compelled citizens to pay taxes for the support of religion. That "alliance" was eliminated by the Connecticut legislature in 1819. As Jefferson knew, tax support for Anglican clergy was eliminated in Virginia in 1776 and Virginia's "alliance between Church and State" was for all practical purposes destroyed in 1786 by the Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty. The only state which still had a significant "alliance" after 1819 was Massachusetts which disbanded its legal relationship in 1833, and the principle of voluntary financial support for religion and its institutions finally prevailed throughout the nation--thanks, in no small way, to Jefferson's "bill for establishing religious freedom" which was introduced into the Virginia legislature in 1779. In his reply to the Baptists, President Jefferson deliberately defined the religion clauses, as they related to the national government, in terms of principle with which he totally approved, as "building a wall of separation between Church & State." Accommodationists, read it and weep--including Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and those confused organizations which emphasize this comment from Jefferson and completely overlook his distinction (in the same sentence ) which clearly states that "the legitimate powers of government reach actions."]

* * * * *


To Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which delcared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.


ThJefferson Jan. 1, 1802

Copyright 1996 Gene Garman

* * * * *

Addendum:

Thomas Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Baptists in historical context: "law religion" and "religious laws" in Connecticut, as described in 1791. The following is quoted from The Writings of [Baptist] John Leland, ed. L.F. Greene (New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, reprint edition, 1969).

Religion is a matter between God and individuals: the religious opinions of men not being the objects of civil government, or in any way under its control [p. 181].

Government has no more to do with the religious opinions of men, than it has with the principles of mathematics. Let every man speak freely without fear, maintain the principles that he believes, worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in so doing [p. 184].

Having made the foregoing remarks, I shall next make some observations on the religion of Connecticut....

At present, there are in the state about one hundred and sixty-eight Presbyterial, Congregational and Consociated preachers; thirty-five Baptist, twenty Episcopalians, ten separate Congregationals, and a few other denominations. The first are the standing order of Connecticut; to whom all others have to pay obeisance. Societies of the standing order are formed by law.... Their choice of ministers is by major vote; and what the society agree to give him annually, is levied upon all within the limits of the society-bounds; except they bring a certificate to the clerk of the society, that they attend worship elsewhere, and contribute to the satisfaction of the society where they attend. The money being levied on the people, is distrainable [enforceable] by law;....

It is not my intention to give a detail of all the tumults, oppression, fines and imprisonments, that have heretofore been occasioned by this law religion [italics added].... Let it suffice ...to say, that it is not possible,... to establish religion by human laws, without perverting the design of civil law and oppressing the people.

The certificate that a dissenter produces to the society clerk, must be signed by some officer of the dissenting church, and such church must be Christian; for heathens, deists, and Jews, are not indulged in the certificate law; all of them, as well as Turks, must therefore be taxed for the standing order, although they never go among them, or know where the meeting-house is.

This certificate law is founded on this principle, "that it is the duty of all persons to support the gospel and the worship of God." ...Is it the duty of a deist to support that which he believes to be a cheat and imposition? Is it the duty of a Jew to support the religion of Jesus Christ, when he really believes that he was an impostor? Must the Papists be forced to pay men for preaching down the supremacy of the pope,...? Must a Turk maintain a religion, opposed to the Alkoran ...? I now call for an instance where Jesus Christ, the author of his religion, or the apostles, who were divinely inspired, ever gave orders to, or intimated, that the civil powers on earth, ought to force people to observe the rules and doctrine of the gospel.

Mahomet called in the use of the law and sword, to convert people to his religion; but Jesus did not--does not.

...so there are many things that Jesus and the apostles taught, that men ought to obey, which yet the civil law has no concern in....

The charter of Charles II., is supposed to be the basis of government in Connecticut; and I request any gentleman to point out a single clause in that charter, which authorized the legislature to make any religious laws [italics added], establish any religion, or force people to build meeting-houses or pay preachers....

The certificate law supposes, first, that the legislature have power to establish a religion; this is false. Second, that they have authority to grant indulgence to non-conformists; this is also false, for a religious liberty is a right and not a favor. Third, that the legitimate power of government extends to force people to part with their money for religious purposes; this cannot be proved from the New Testament....

Although it is no abridgement of religious liberty for congregations to pay their preachers by legal force, in the manner prescribed above, yet it is anti Christian; such a church cannot be a church of Christ,...[pp.186-189].

In addition to the above, there is a quote from Elder Leland which provides understanding as to what Jefferson meant when he said that "man ... has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." On July 5, 1802, Leland used the same words in the following context:

Gentlemen, you have taken notice that some men are always contending for the energy of government, while others are pleading for the rights of the people. On this I shall remark, that man has no right which stands in opposition to his social duties; no right to exercise his liberty to destroy the right and property of his neighbor; no right that frees him from his proportionable part of the burdens of government, and the restraint of just laws [p. 266].


Copyright 1998 Gene Garman

Separation of Church and State

1st Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


The phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution, but rather derives from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group identifying themselves as the Danbury Baptists

The phrase was introduced, not by Thomas Jefferson, but by Roger Williams on or around the year 1635. Williams was banished from the Massachusetts General Court for advocating religious tolerance, and separation of church and state.

Williams believed that no person should be restrained from, nor constrained to, any worship or ministry," except in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience.

The 1st amendment was intended to protect Religious sects(denominations) from control by the government. It was designed to stop the government from instituting a “National Religion”


II. People that influenced Separation of Church and State:

A. Isaac Backus: was born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1724. In 1741 he was saved due to the preaching during the great Awakening period. In 1756 he became the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Middleborough, Massachusetts. He would be Pastor there for the next 50 years.

While in the Pastorate, the state of Massachusetts had imposed a “ecclesiastical tax” on all citizens to support the congregational churches. The problem with this tax is if a person opposed the views of the congregational churches that person still had to pay the tax. Any person refusing to pay the tax would have their house,lands, and other possessions taken away. If after all of that the person still did not pay the tax they would be imprisoned.

The people that refused to pay the taxes believed that the teachings of these churches went against the Bible and that the government of Massachusetts had no right enforcing such a tax.

In 1774 Backus and others went to the 1st Continental Congress to voice thir concerns. The members of Congress did not grant the freedom Backus and others were looking for.

In 1780 Massachusetts adopted a new state constitution. Again Pastor Backus and his followers appealed to the government to discontinue the religious tax and to include a bill of rights ensuring religious freedom in the state constitution. The request was denied.

B. Fighting against the Divine,Moral and Martial laws of 1611.

C. In the 1780s, the Virginia legislature considered a general tax bill for the support of “Teachers of the Christian Religion.” Payment was mandatory. As a result, Baptists, Presbyterians, Quakers, and other denominations vehemently opposed the bill. In 1785, James Madison expressed their sentiments well:

[T]hat religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right...We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance.

The bill not only failed, but also served to promote the successful passage of Thomas Jefferson’s “Bill for the Establishment of Religious Freedom” in 1786. Under this Virginia law, the people could not be forced to support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever. There could be no punishment for religious opinions or belief. Freedom of religious expression replaced the sin and tyranny of compelling a man to contribute to the spread of opinions that he disbelieved and abhorred.

D. Danbury Baptists: (see attached letter)


What happened in the mean time?

1. Everson v. Board of Education, 1947

A New Jersey State law authorized local school districts to make arrangements and rules for transporting children to public and private nonprofit schools. One school district, Ewing Township, directed students to use the public bus system to get to and from school, and then reimbursed their parents for the costs. The township made payments to parents of both public school students and students of private, Catholic schools—payments that were permitted under State law.

One taxpayer, a Mr. Everson, brought suit against the Board of Education. In State court, he argued that money collected as taxes for public education was being used instead to help support students of private schools—private schools that provided religious education on behalf of a particular church. Everson claimed that the payments to parents of parochial school students violated the constitutional guarantee against the "establishment" of a religion contained in the 1st Amendment. The school board, Everson believed, had violated the constitutionally guaranteed "separation of church and state."

Decision and Rationale

The Court decided 5–4 in favor of allowing townships to reimburse parents for the cost of transporting their children to parochial schools. In expressing the opinion of the majority, Justice Hugo Black agreed with the State of New Jersey's interpretation of religious freedom under the 1st Amendment. The state provided some general benefits to all citizens, including reimbursement for transportation to school. These benefits should not be taken away because of the parents' religious beliefs or their choice of State-accredited schools

2. McCollum v. Board of Education, School District 71

Facts of the Case:

In 1940, local Jewish, Roman Catholic, and some Protestant groups formed the Champaign (IL) Council on Religious Education. The group, with cooperation of the Champaign Board of Education, offered voluntary classes in religion to public school students. The classes were held during the school day and those children not participating were forced to go elsewhere in the school to pursue secular studies. In order to participate, a student needed to have a permission slip signed by his parents.

In decision in McCollum v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional for religious instructors to enter public schools to give religious instruction.

Decision:

By a 6-1 vote the Supreme Court disallowed the practice of allowing religious education to take place in public school classrooms during the school day.


3. Zorach v. Clauson

Students in New York City public schools were allowed to go to the religious institutions during the day to receive religious education. The students needed the written permission of their parents in order to participate in the program.

Decision: In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court permitted the public school students to travel to parochial schools to receive religious education.


3. (Here is The Kicker) ENGEL v. VITALE, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)

Facts of the Case

The Board of Regents for the State of New York authorized a short, voluntary prayer for recitation at the start of each school day. This was an attempt to defuse the politically potent issue by taking it out of the hands of local communities. The blandest of invocations read as follows: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our teachers, and our country."


What is the problem?

1. Christians- Yes we can be blamed! We have dropped the proverbial ball. We have given an inch and the humanists within our country have taken a mile, and we watched believing we were helpless, but in all honesty we were anything but helpless.

1 Peter 5:8 -9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Eph. 6:10-12: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].


We should have been ready to fight when the secular humanists made their move we should have fought as hard if not harder to keep the freedoms that our forefathers made sure to give us.

Is it too late?

Should we just sit by and watch our freedoms leave one by one while the secular humanists rack up victory after victory and gain more of a foothold in shaping our country? The answer is a resounding “no” but what ca new do about it?

VOTE- Vote for leaders that have the same principles as we do. Remember we are the majority, not the atheists or the agnostics-WE THE CHRISTIANS!!!!


David Cranmer

Deacon, Good Samaritan Baptist Church, Dresden NY 14441



Appendix 4

Problems In the Public School

A Call for Education Reform

By Pastor Edward Rice

There have been outlined three major problems in America's public education which are major symptoms of a root cause to it's current dilemma. Succinctly stated the source problems are:

  1. The public schools are become government schools wherein the whole curriculum is driven by federal dollars and federal courts.

  2. The Science class has become a social experiment wherein anti-religious philosophy has been intermixed with science and only this atheistic philosophy is allowed into our public schools, especially in the science class.

  3. The teaching of spontaneous generation and evolution of species is scientifically bankrupt and so hollowed by DNA evidence that it is at the point of complete collapse, but ill contrived court precedent forbids questioning it in the science class.


These cry out for reform but such reform cannot be enacted outside of the individual school board actions and school boards are intimidated into submission by the ACLU and the threat of the courtroom.


The root cause to the dilemma in our public schools is thus three fold and that root cannot be unrooted without going to it's source. The Scopes Monkey trial of 1925 set the ugly precedent for the courts errant entry into the educational system. The precedent expanded in the 1963 court upholding the atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hare and making atheism the only accepted religion allowed in our school systems. Thus the insane, humanist, even demonic drive to evict God from every auspicious of life and our children's education has marked the entry of Supreme Courts as the controlling entity of the schools, has mandated the teaching of only one philosophy in the science class, and has embarked American society on a religious campaign to believe and allow only a naturalist explanation of the universe, no matter how unscientific that approach might be.


The Goodnews Christian Ministry (E.C.S.Leavenworth Ill) expertly put's it like this:

“In June of 1963, the Supreme Court upheld the argument of the atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hare and promulgated an edict with ramifications so widespread it insured that God would be evicted from public society across the entire spectrum of the American governmental system. From that day to this, not only has prayer been outlawed, God's very name has been declared anathema to the United States Constitution, and forbidden to be mentioned in any federal, state, county, city or municipal context.”


Notice the evil progression of the legal precedent that needs to be reversed to accomplish education reform. First in 1925 the Dayton Tennessee court room ruled that evolution “Must Be Taught” in the science class room. Ruling that all philosophies of our existence should be given equal and complete critical analysis in a science classroom would have been wholly adequate and proper. But instead the Scopes trial forced evolution into the schools as a proven science, when it was not even a soundly tested philosophy, and could never be an experimentally 'proven in the test tube' science. Secondly, the 1963 ruling for O'Hair ruled that a concept of God could not be taught in the school because it violated the religious rights of an atheist. This ruling so twisted the Baptist coined phrase of “Separation of Church and State” that it defies all logic. The twisted consideration of this phrase has been the cornerstone of the atheists wall to lock out all 'religious' philosophies of existence and to secure their nest as the only philosophy about human existence that is allowed in the public square, i.e. naturalism, via atheism is allowed to nest in the science class without any critical review, and all other philosophies are banned by the courts. Now that the atheist humanist's have secured the foundation of their wall in the public school, they strive to build the wall so high as to exclude God's Ten Commandments, America's motto “In God We Trust” and even 'One nation under God' with the misnomer of the phrase “Separation of Church and State.” The wall has proven so ludicrous that Americans have begun to call it so, thinking judges are finally calling it 'tiresome', and elected officials are seeing it as adversely hostile toward our founding religion of Christianity. This wall has now prohibited, by law, the free exercise of religion in America, and it's foundation, rooted in the public school system, must be broken up for education reform to take place.

This wall falsely standing on a derived coinage of “Separation of Church and State” must be dismantled for American society to get back on track as free thinkers. We need a freedom to think about all the philosophies of our very existence in this universe; especially with a freedom to think in the science class! Science classes should equally require any philosophy or hypothesis to stand a scrutiny of scientific method before it can gain the status of theory, much less be taught as scientific fact. Ongoing court cases have examined the concept of 'Inteligent Design' as a 'wanna-be' science that can patch up the horrible void found in evolutionary theory. They have ruled that it is not a science, because it is not scientifically testable. Bravo, except for the fact that they remain blind about evolution not being a science, and that it has failed every scientific test except previous court precedent and majority rule! Every item presented as evolutionary fact in the 1925 Scopes Monkey trial is now disallowed by science. Every item, except the final ruling that evolution must be taught as science by court order. Foundations need to be overturned before sanity can prevail in the science classroom.


Other Reference Material

Who was Madalyn Murray O'Hair? (1919, Pittsburg Pa, - 1995, murdered on a remote Texas ranch) From Who2, LLC:

“O'Hair was one of the litigants in the case of Murray vs. Curlett, which led the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 1963 decision, to ban organized prayer in public schools. The decision made O'Hair the country's most famous atheist and such a controversial figure that in 1964 Life magazine called her "the most hated woman in America." O'Hair founded the group American Atheists in 1963 and remained its leading spokesperson until 1995.”


Madalyn wanted an absolute wall between Government and God: From American Atheists:

“AMERICAN ATHEISTS has been the premier organization laboring for the civil liberties of Atheists, and the total, absolute separation of government and religion. It was born out of a court case begun in 1959 by the Murray family which challenged prayer recitation in the public schools. That case – Murray v. Curlett – was a landmark in American jurisprudence on behalf of our First Amendment rights.


Progress? From an APO in Kentucky:

“A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals approves a Kentucky display of the Ten Commandments and declares that the presentation has nothing to do with promoting religion ... Writing for the panel in the latest Kentucky case, Judge Richard Suhrheinrich blasted the American Civil Liberties Union which had brought the suit, and criticized "tiresome" legal arguments about the "wall of separation" between government and religion. He added that ACLU, and presumably other groups and individuals challenging such displays, did not represent a "reasonable person," and said that there was no evidence that county officials had a religious purpose in mind by allowing the display ... "Our concern is that of a reasonable person," wrote Suhrheinrich. "And the ACLU, an organization whose mission is 'to ensure that ... the government (is kept) out of the religion business,' does not embody the reasonable person." ... He also criticized "repeated references to the 'separation of church and state,'" opining that "This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. Our nation's history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion." ”



What happened? The top ten from Pastor Rice:

  1. ACLU initiated court rulings requiring separation of God and public.

  2. ACLU initiated court rulings about what can and cannot be taught in science classes

  3. ACLU initiated court rulings about what rules can schools can have. i.e. boys wearing skirts to get around a no shorts rule.

  1. The atheistic philosophy of spontaneous generation, though only a wild unsubstantiated hypothesis is called a theory and taught as fact, while all other hypothesis, specifically biogenesis, is forbidden consideration.

  2. The atheistic philosophy of evolution of a new species, though only a wild unsubstantiated hypothesis is called a theory and taught as fact, while all other hypothesis, specifically creationism, and even the agnostic's intelligent design, are forbidden consideration.

  3. The atheistic philosophy of a 4.5 billion year old earth, though only a wild hypothesis based on the circular reasoning around an artificially contrived geological column, which is dated by evolving fossil species which are dated with an artificial law of superposition and uniformitarianism by the same contrived and artificial geological column, is taught as unquestionable fact in every grade and every class of public school. Teaching this as fact brazenly teaches that the Holy Bible is a falsified fairytale. This desecration of the Bible is taught daily to every public school child from kindergarten through graduation. Just because this circular reasoning is accepted by a majority, it does not make it fact or even good theory via any scientific method. It is an unsubstantiated philosophy derived in attempt to salvage a far fetched methodology called 'natural selection' propagated by Charles Darwin and his Darwinian evolutionists.

  4. The teaching of spontaneous generation and evolution of species is scientifically bankrupt and so hollowed by DNA evidence that it is at the point of complete collapse, however illcontrived court presidense forbids questioning it in science class..

  5. The giant hoax that random chance could account for the multitude of species present in the world today, even given the unlimited time that Darwinian Evolutionist are requiring, has reached the end of it's life expectancy; scientists are showing their embarrassment, but holding firm on their monopoly on the education system.

  6. Suspected missing links like the ... are covered over in evolutionist's lies and deceipt.

  7. Human nature wants Jehovah God of the Bible out of their religion, out of their lives and out of their 'public square' via any avenue they can get him out. Avenues always begin in the eduction of the next generation. Their methods are currently prevailing but the final chapter is the Lords.


Appendix Dr. Drury Discourse

Dear Rev. Rice:

I received your email. Rather than as a wall in the minds of the proponents of speciation by random mutation and natural selection I am inclined to think of the problem as a twilight zone of equivocation. Random mutation starts out as an abstract mathematical concept. Then, passing through the twilight zone of equivocation it emerges as a material reality, an uncaused cause, which ‘scientifically’ takes the place of the Uncaused Cause. This uncaused cause is working full time throughout human existence thereby subverting the possibility of experimental investigation. In contrast the Uncaused Cause of Judaism and Christianity rested on the seventh day, which covers all of human existence, rendering possible the experimental investigation of the natural world by man.

It is my impression that the Baptist tradition of religious freedom was focused on resisting the imposition of belief by government. A lawsuit in favor of teaching ‘Intelligent Design’ in the science curriculum does not appear to me to represent that tradition. In contrast, a lawsuit against the required teaching in the schools of ‘belief in the unfolding mystery of randomness’ would be in keeping with that tradition.

By US mail I am sending you an essay on ‘The Imposition of Belief by Government’ for your comment. It is included in a set of four essays, to which I have given the overall title, Random Escapes from the Field of Mathematics. I am sending a copy of the set to the Discovery Institute in Seattle, also.

Sincerely,

Bob Drury


My Reply Research :

The Uncaused Cause (from http://www.rationalchristianity.net/uncaused_cause.html)

One argument for God's existence is known as the kalam (Arabic for "eternal") cosmological argument, or KCA:

The universe began to exist

If something began to exist, something else must have caused its existence

Therefore the universe was caused by something else

Explanations and defenses of the kalam cosmological argument (offsite):

William Craig (see also his other articles)

Bill Ramey

Some answered objections to the KCA:

The universe could have always existed

1. Theories that the universe could have always existed are always being proposed, but the majority of the scientific community still holds that the Big Bang theory is the most likely. Since the Big Bang is considered to be a singularity - a point at which the laws of physics can no longer give definitive results - many scientists are agnostic about what could have happened prior to the Big Bang.

While there is a relatively new cyclic universe theory (proposed in April 2002), as Space.com states, "Even the cyclic universe does not address when the cycles began, so 'the problem of explaining the "beginning of time" remains,' the researchers say." (In New Theory of Universe, Time Never Ends by Robert Roy Britt)

For more information:

UCLA Prof. Ned Wright answers common questions about astronomy, including what occurred before the Big Bang

So Long, Eternal Universe; Hello Beginning, Hello End! by Bert Thompson

2. If the universe has always existed, then time has always existed, for matter has always existed and presumably was not entirely inert (i.e. events would occur by which the passing of time could be measured). This implies that an infinite number of events have occurred prior to now, as there was an infinite time prior to now for them to occur. Yet this is the same as claiming that one can count to infinity: it is the claim that infinity has already been counted to, by counting each event prior to now. Since infinity can't be counted to (there is no number at which one reaches "infinity," only an increasingly large finite number), the universe hasn't always existed.

If God made the universe, then who made God?

Atheists object that positing God only raises more questions without answering the original question of the origin of the universe. It only moves the question back a step, so that instead of asking how the universe came into existence, we ask how God came into existence.

However, this objection is true of any proposed explanation for the beginning of the universe, including those proposed by scientists and/or atheists. If the current universe came about through the Big Bang, what caused the Big Bang? If the Big Bang was caused by a Big Crunch, what caused the Big Crunch, and where did all the matter that is contracting and expanding come from?

Actually, positing God does answer some questions which aren't answered by scientific explanations. Positing an immaterial, powerful being as an uncaused cause explains how the physical universe could have come to exist without relying on the existence of matter in some prior universe. And positing God provides a starting point to answer philosophical questions about the purpose of the universe and our lives, which scientific explanations can't address.

See also Bill Ramey's answer (offsite) and Who created God?

If there can't be an infinity of time, how can there be an eternal afterlife or an eternally pre-existent God?

There is no problem with there being eternity going forward. Suppose we count each second, starting now and continuing indefinitely. At any point in time a finite number of seconds will have been counted, yet the counting continues forever. There is no contradiction, for we never reach a point where an infinity of time has passed; there is always a finite number of seconds between any future point and now.

One must keep in mind that time as we know it may simply not exist outside the duration of the universe. Perhaps there was a single "timeless moment" before the creation of the physical world, and perhaps there will be another such moment at the end of the world, with no physical events by which we would measure time passing.

See also William Craig's articles on divine eternity (offsite).

The KCA doesn't prove the existence of God, only an uncaused cause

Atheists object that even if there is an uncaused cause to the universe, it is not necessarily a deity; it could be any imaginable natural or supernatural cause, or even a plurality of deities as opposed to the Christian God.

Proving Christianity is beyond the scope of the KCA; its only intention is to prove (or at least give grounds for believing in) theism. That said, there are reasons to posit an immaterial, powerful being as the uncaused cause.

As far as science has determined, material events have material causes. It seems more likely, then, that an uncaused cause would not be material, but rather immaterial. It's been objected that the first cause of material events would be just as likely to be material itself, since all material events have material causes. However, the fact that we observe material causes of events doesn't exclude the possibility that there are immaterial causes for those events as well. For instance, an immaterial deity could have set in place the laws that govern various cause-and-effect relationships.

The universe is larger than humans can readily comprehend and contains many objects too small for humans to see. Whatever caused the universe had to cause a gigantic mass of matter and/or energy, composed of mere particles, to come into existence. Therefore, the cause must be very powerful.


1See 'laws of thermodynamics” in glossary.

2The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd edition

3 The infusion of the federal courts into the public school make them no longer public, but government schools.

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