Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Christian Defends Atheism

" Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." ~ Karl Marx

The recent argument (found here, starting around the 54th comment or so)in favor of Janet Reno's storm trooper style "rescue" of Elian Gonzales from his oppressive family in Miami to be returned to his loving father in freedom loving Cuba seems to me to be somewhat disingenuous especially coming from a Christian.

Just after I woke up this morning, I turned the TV on and coincidentally, it was tuned to the channel that airs "The Coral Ridge Hour" , which this morning featured a report on atheism, particularly in oppressive Communist countries. It reminds all of us, once again, of the horrors of Communism.

Communist regimes kill Christians and Jews.


As in murder.

Of all things, religion is the biggest threat to a Communist society.

In reminding readers that Communism is a bad thing previously, I neglected to mention perhaps the most egregious pillar in the Communist philosophy is the creation of an atheistic state.

In order for a Communist society to exist, it is necessary to abolish religion.

In a Communist country, religion is outlawed. All religion. The only God the people are allowed to worship is the state.

Our resident Liberal commentator, Dan, would have us believe the Christian thing to do in Elian Gonzalez's case, is to remove him from a freedom loving, Christian family, and return him to his father in atheistic Communist Cuba. A father, who may or not be a pawn (or at least,under the influence)of Fidel Castro, the dictator of Communist Cuba.

I find it incredible that any Christian would support forcing a child, or anyone else, to live in a society where Christianity is illegal and often punishable by death.


Al-Ozarka said...

Now you're getting the idea, Mark.

Purposely deceptive, our dear Dan...using Christ's name in an attempt to further an agenda that mocks Christ...and invites, sustains, and glorifies evil.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

In remembering the pcitures of Gonzalas being unwillingly ripped from the arms of his Miami family to be returned to his communist father says it all.

UNWILLING is the key word here. Even at his young age Gonzalas knew to be afraid of what Cuba offered.

I wonder is he would have supported returning fleeing Jews to Stalin's Russia ?

Dan Trabue said...

I find it incredible that any Christian would support forcing a child, or anyone else, to live in a society where Christianity is illegal and often punishable by death.

And I find it incredible that any Christian would advocate taking a child away from his father - and breaking the law in the process - short of any real evidence that the father is abusive or being coerced into asking for his return.

Where do you draw the line? Should you come and "rescue" my children from my house so that they're not raised under my influence because you disagree with me?

You guys are living in a nightmare world based on fear and hatred. Get out into the light of day and smell the clean air of reason and morality, fellas.

ELAshley said...

First of all. I refuse to believe that Dan does not mean well when he makes the kind of statements he made in the previous post. Dan sincerely seeks to find "the Good" in other peoples and cultures. I believe he is misguided at times, but I know he means well. Having said all that...

Here's a snippet of article from Christianity Today, Oct 7, 2002

Bearing the Cross: Freedom's Wedge
What you can do to help persecuted Christians

--Jeff M. Sellers
posted 10/07/2002

The Fidel Castro era's severe persecution of Christians in Cuba has dropped dramatically since the late 1980s. As late as 1995, however, the government sent a denominational leader to a labor camp for disobeying an order to close 85 house churches (international pressure led to his release after nine months).

Some Cubans are still in prison for their religious beliefs, according to unconfirmed reports obtained by International Christian Concern.

Cuban churches have sprouted and grown by the thousands in the past decade. But the communist government often ignores their attempts to obtain registration, leaving them vulnerable to charges of illegal association, according to the U.S. State Department's 2001 report.

The dictatorship maintains tight controls on religious activity. It rarely gives permits to build new churches. It delays or rejects applications to worship even in homes, forcing 20,000 congregations to meet "underground." The regime still arbitrarily bans some church activities, according to Operation World. And Christians face job and other kinds of discrimination.

Castro's Cuba IS as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

For all that Communism seeks to stamp out God behind its borders, the Holy Spirit of God cannot be driven out of the hearts of men and women. There are Christians in Cuba, just as there were in Soviet Russia, just there IS in North Korea and China. Millions of Christians worshiping in fear of repressive and brutal governments.

We have it very easy here, despite the relatively tiny level of persecution we face here. But things can always get worse.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

--Edmund Burke

Would we have done a measure of "good" had we kept Elian in the U.S., with family, or have we done better by sending him back to Cuba?

Just because we cannot say without question that Elian's father HAD been pressured by threats against family still in Cuba, or offered bribes to NOT defect when he entered the U.S. to get his son, does not mean these things did not happen. And it is foolish to assume otherwise in the case of a repressive regime as IS Castro's Cuba.

It is perfectly logical and right to infer the truth of something based on empirical evidence that supports, with very high probability, said "inferred truth." The personal and anecdotal evidences of Dan's friends in Cuba, is one thing... thousands of people dying in the straits between Cuba and Florida is quite another.

And the latter speaks volumes more than the former.

BenT - the Unbeliever said...

The defining factor of communism is the public ownership and management of industries. Considering that no one is proposing this idea in the US, you're barking at shadows.

And this opposal to Elian Gonzalez going back to Cuba is ludicrous also. United States laws say that the interests of children are best served with their closest relative. There are no exceptions for country of residence. So Elian had to go back to his father in Cuba. The manner in which he was removed from his relatives in Miami was crude, but the law is the law. Don't like it write your state congressman.

Mark said...

"And I find it incredible that any Christian would advocate taking a child away from his father - and breaking the law in the process"

For one thing, he wasn't with his father when they came and took him away. He was with loving family members in FREE America.

Breaking the law? Are we to assume that had you lived during the 1800's that you would have been among the first to return run-away slaves to their owners? After all, it was against the law at that time to help slaves escape, wasn't it?

Lone Ranger said...

Liberalism is all about bad behavior without consequences. God is the ultimate judge. Therefore, God must be abolished.

I wonder what the liberal stance would have been if the child had escaped the Branch Davidians. Would he have been returned then?

How about if he had escaped Nazi Germany? I very much doubt any American would have returned a child to WWII Germany to be raised to be a good little Nazi. But liberals seem to have no problem returning him to a brutal regime, where he is being raised as a good little commie. The left in this country has never met a communist regime they didn't like.

Dan Trabue said...

So, then, the rule that you're proposing is that if THE STATE thinks that a child is being raised in an unwholesome environment (regardless of evidence - just based on a hunch), then to hell with the laws and parental rights, let's take the child away. Is that what you're saying?

So, since you all are advocating child abduction, I'm thinking that YOUR children should be removed from your homes. That's an immoral and ungodly environment in which to raise children.

Being supportive of state child abduction, I'm sure you'll willingly relinquish your children to the state, right?

You all are nuts.

Where your logic is breaking down is that there is a difference between slavery, fascist Germany and Cuba.

Cuba is not perfect and I'd be a protestor if I lived there. Just as the US is not perfect and I protest here. (And I may well face more severe penalties and end up in jail for doing so in Cuba - all the more reason to protest and God bless America's freedoms!)

But ultimately - lacking a single shred of evidence against the father - it is the parent's God-given right to raise that child the way that parent deems best and you all, I repeat, are frozen by fear and emotions into supporting immorality in support of your bastardized notion of morality.

Come now, I know you all are better than this - you have your moments of clarity and rationality. Shall our gov't REALLY take your children away based on assumptions (and no proof) that your home environment is unfit? Is that a power you really want to give to Big Brother?

Dan Trabue said...

I don't know why I do this, but let me try one more appeal to reason, directly to you, Mark.

Your title, "A Christian Defends Atheism," is wrong. I simply never in any post defended atheism in the real world.

That would be an example of you taking something I've written and assigning some other meaning to it. Which you're free, to do, of couse. Just understand that it doesn't match reality.

You go on to state unequivocally:

Communist regimes kill Christians and Jews.

Again, that's your perception and it doesn't match reality. What DOES match reality is that SOME communist nations, which have also been totalitarian and fascist in nature, have killed Christians and Jews. Just as some capitalist nations have that were fascist in nature.

In the particular nation we're talking about, Christians aren't generally killed. They have much less freedom of religion than we do here, and sometimes they are jailed, but it's not like a death sentence to be a Christian in Cuba.

That's just the reality.

You went on to misrepresent reality here:

In order for a Communist society to exist, it is necessary to abolish religion.

Again, some communist nations have tried to abolish religion. But that doesn't mean that all have. In "communist" nicaragua in the 1980s, the communism was began largely by Christians in Catholic communities who had been oppressed by capitalist nations.

This is reality.

Similarly for most of your other claims in the post. I don't support communism, nor atheism, nor Cuba, especially, nor unjust laws.

But I DO support laws that are just.

I DO support making fact-based statements, not emotionally-charged appeals to hatred and demonization of Others.

Mark, surely you can agree that my statements are fact-based and match the reality of our world? Yes, I agree with you that Cuba has some serious problems. And as concerned Christians, we can do our part to help such places in legitimate ways.

But demonizing these nations like Cuba, misrepresenting reality, breaking laws that are legitimate based on a hunch - THIS is NOT how we help Cuba. Can't we agree that, in our efforts to make the world a better place, if we misrepresent and demonize others, we're undoing the very real work that needs to be done?

Abouna said...

What morality are you speaking of Dan? Since when are liberals moral? It is a joke when liberals claim to be Christian. Since when is snuffing out the life of an unborn child moral? Since when is two or more men getting it on with each other moral? Since when is two or more women getting it on moral? Since when is handing out contraceptive pills, patches or condoms to eleven year olds moral? Since when is polluting the minds of children with liberal filth and ideology moral? Since when is with holding food and water from a comatose patient moral? I'm sorry, but Jesus never did and never would support or condone any of that. I sniffed your "fresh air" of what you call morality and it made me wretch.

All countries or regimes that have stamped out religion and proclaimed God dead, have never produced a happy or healthy society. Any time a State or Head of State sets themselves up as a god, it only leads to immorality and complete depravity among the populace or a society of people who go about their daily lives in complete hopelessness. And because they have no hope for a brighter and better tomorrow, their sunrises are as bleak and dark as their sunsets. If Cuba was such a happy place, then why did Elian's mother sacrifice her life to get him out of Cuba?

My four sons whom I adopted from Vietnam and Laos would tell you that their lives are so much better here then they would have been had they remained in their homeland under communist rule.

How any liberal can be truly happy once they have managed to convince themselves that there is no right or wrong good or evil and that whatever seems right is ok to do, is beyond me. But if that is how they want to live, then at least let them have the common sense to do so in the privacy of their own homes and stop trying to infect the rest of society with their vir5us filled garbage.

Ms. Reno was wrong on this one as she was on many other cases.

Dan Trabue said...

"The boy [Elian] should come back to Cuba."

[said Cuban Leoncio Veguilla, president in 2000 of the Western Baptist Convention of Cuba].

...interviews with Havana pastors and national church leaders reveal that most evangelicals share Veguilla's opinion.

But don't the details censored from Cuban media shed important new light on the child's case? Not according to Veguilla, father of three and grandfather of six.

"There's no proof of any of these accusations," Veguilla says in the perfect freedom of his son's home in Miami, where no government censors monitor phone calls for counterrevolutionary speech. "In reality, there's not much foundation [to the accusations]. It's very important, this matter of proof.

"As a pastor, grandfather, and father, I'd want my children and grandchildren to be where I am."

From that bastion of Left Wing communism, Christianity Today, in a 2000 article.

Dan Trabue said...

Abouna opined with God-like wisdom:

It is a joke when liberals claim to be Christian.

I have been born again, brother. Repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, trusting in God’s grace to see me through.

Are you, sir, going to say that I’m not saved? Based upon what?

Was I wrong to repent of my sins? Is trusting in Jesus for my salvation and striving to follow in his steps where I erred? Am I foolish for trusting in God’s Grace?

At what point did I err? Please tell me in your wisdom so that I might be saved.

ELAshley said...

Christianity Today is a Bastion of Left Wing Communism!???

They suffer from "itchy ears," no doubt! But I'd hardly call the folks at CT what you have, DESPITE knowing full well you were being facetious.

Dan, I understand your objections. I think too rosy a picture of Cuba has been painted for you, but I can certainly see your point, however much I believe Elian would have been better off with family in Miami... Family. Especially after the sacrifice his mother made to get him there.

As to your objection to this post's title... I don't think you defend communism so much as you make excuses for it. But wanting to find the best in people and situations should in no wise be construed with defense of bad/evil behaviors/ideologies...

Reno was an abysmal Atty Gen. ABYSMAL. Everyone seems to be criticizing Alberto Gonzales, but his crimes-- assuming the accusations are true --pale in comparison to burning men, women and children alive at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco.

Perhaps I could be persuaded to agree Elian would have been better off with his father in Cuba had Reno NOT handled it the way she did. For one thing, it wouldn't have made the headlines so damning of her and the Clinton Administration.

That argument however is moot.

Abouna said...

To Dan;

Pardon my utter stupidity, but I don’t see anything in my comment that mentioned anything about your state of grace or lack there of. I do recall saying that it is a joke when liberals claim to be Christians and I stand by that. I have no objections to anyone who repents and turns to Jesus and who trusts in God’s grace, as that is what we are all to do.

However, the operative word here is REPENT. And when I hear liberals claim they are Christian and they are “born again” and that they have repented of their sins and sinful ways, yet they still support abortion, they still support gay rights or they support taking away food and water from comatose patients to hasten their death, or they support or condone and make excuses for any of the other immoral things that the liberal left stands for, then, pray tell, where is the repentance?

I cannot, nor is it my duty to read what is in your heart, but since you brought it up, no you are not wrong to repent of your sins, but the question becomes, have you truly repented? If you support or condone any of the things I have mentioned above, then I would have to question if you truly are repentant, simply because one cannot be repentant if they support or condone sin or immorality.

These are the same questions that I ask myself when I examine my own conscience and soul. None of us are perfect, which why we all have to strive toward perfection even if we do continue to fall along the way, but we cannot claim repentance if we support sin or immorality, because even if you do not engage in immoral acts, or even if you do not perform an abortion, have an abortion or assist at an abortion, or even if you do not commit any other sin, but you support another persons right to do any of those things and you support enacting laws to make doing any of those things legal, or if you remain silent and do not speak out against any of those things, then you are just as guilty as those who do commit such acts. Repentance means “Turning away from the sins”, but it also includes speaking out against sinful behavior and NOT condoning it in any way, shape, or form.

Lone Ranger said...

Dan, grow up. Stop being such an ass. Are you incapable of being embarrassed by the things you say? That's why you no longer ride my range.

Dan Trabue said...

If you support or condone any of the things I have mentioned above, then I would have to question if you truly are repentant, simply because one cannot be repentant if they support or condone sin or immorality.

I have indeed repented and continue to repent of my sins. As you duly note, you have no way of knowing my heart (or all the other so-called "liberal" hearts out there) and therefore aren't God enough to dismiss our Christianity.

On the two "sins" you mention, I disagree as to their being sins at all. It's not that I think that gay marriage is sinful and embrace it anyway, I don't think it's a sin in the first place.

Just as you embrace some actions that I consider to be sinful (mocking the Christianity of others, included in that).

Is it possible that you are wrong on some action that you heartily embrace when, in fact, it is a horrible sin? Sure it is. Just as it's possible I'm wrong.

The truth is, neither you nor I are perfect and, darn it, sometimes we are going to be wrong. And that, my friend, is why you are saved by God's grace, not by your perfection. Cause as you rightfully agreed, you ain't it.

Mark said...

"What exactly offends you? My Christianity? The Cuban father, grandfather and Baptist minister who wants his children to remain with him in Cuba?"

I suspect what offends LR, Dan, is the fact that you argue with virtually everything anyone says here.

I have deleted the rest of your comments. I will not have you insult LR. He is off limits to your vitriol on this blog.

As far as your reference to ministers in Cuba, surely you know that ministers in Cuba are regulated and censored more than even ordinary citizens, and the only thing you will ever see quoted from them is more of the same Communist propoganda. It is the only things they are permitted, by law, to say.

Why don't you find quotations from ministers who have escaped to America for their take on the issue? I have no doubt you'll find a definite disparity between the two.

Try to understand this, Dan:

No one can say anything, legally, in Cuba, that the government doesn't approve. Therefore, any quotation from anyone, even Baptist ministers in Cuba, are not necessarily what they themselves personally believe. They say only what the Government allows them to say.

That is Communism.

Dan Trabue said...


Mark, if you read the article quoted, you'd see that the minister made those comments while he was visiting here in the US.

And I made no unnecessarily disparaging comments against LR. Certainly nothing like "Dan, grow up. Stop being such an ass."

So, I guess if you will allow simple name-calling and belittling, but not more indepth reasoning, then let me put it this way:

You fellas need to stop being such sniveling chickenass cowards. Grow up and reason like adults.

Is that better, Mark?

Dan Trabue said...

I suspect what offends LR, Dan, is the fact that you argue with virtually everything anyone says here.

Mark, this post began with YOU (not me) twisting my words, misrepresenting what I have said. This about it. Again, I believe you are a reasonable fella at times.

You twisted my words, I came here and corrected them. In return, I (and "liberals") have been demonized further and statements made that are unsupported by reality.

When I correct misrepresentations and ask you and your commenters here to stick to reality, you're calling THAT attacking? Do you understand how strange that appears to me?

And - although I've said this before, I'll repeat myself - understand that I don't care a whit about name-calling and misrepresentations as it relates to me and my kindred spirits. You haven't "hurt my feelings" or anything like that.

What I'm concerned about is the nature of communication between those of us - brothers and sisters in Christ, oftentimes, and fellow citizens and patriots - who disagree. United we stand, you know? We really need to learn to communicate more reasonably and we Christians should be leading the way, showing how we can responsibly and lovingly communicate and even disagree without resorting to demonizations and misrepresentations.

It's important and I'm sure you agree.

Dan Trabue said...

Now, one who has been reasonable was Eric with his comments about Cuba earlier. He said:

But wanting to find the best in people and situations should in no wise be construed with defense of bad/evil behaviors/ideologies.

That's a reasonable comment. Now, he happens to be mistaken about my reasoning (my limited "defense" of Cuba and support for the father's rights has nothing to do with wanting to find the best in people) but at least he is able to separate a simple disagreement of policy with demonization of those who disagree with you.

I suspect that you all probably have not heard me say repeatedly here that Cuba's got problems. Big problems. "Liberals" understand this. We're the ones who tend to support groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, who have a long list of human rights abuses in Cuba.

We understand Cuba's and Castro's shortcomings. And, we understand her strengths (did you know that they are a model in self-sufficiency and energy independence? We could really learn from that) and our own shortcomings.

But the bottom line is that Cuba - according to some of the folk who live there and who've visited here to tell us about it - is not an impossible-to-live-in hellhole. It's a flawed nation. Much more flawed than ours, seems to me.

But every nation is flawed. Some more than others. Some, to the point where people DO need to be rescued. But the US is not the Great White Hope, we're not the Lawmakers of the world, who have final say on how fathers raise their children.

I'm sure you would reject the US trying to do so in your own families. I'm saying that Elian's father deserves the same respect that I support for you and your families to raise your children the way you deem best.

Rescue, sure, when there's evidence that a child needs rescue. But there must be evidence, not just prejudice and fearmongering.

Mark said...

Dan, LR is a valued commentor on my blog. I appreciate his comments here and I don't want him to stop visiting because some "ass" wants to argue with him.

He was visiting here, eh? Well, he still had to go back, now, didn't he? Do you understand the fear that Communist oppression and censorship instills in the oppressed and censored? Does it occur to you that perhaps the minister may be aware that Fidel might find out what he says, particularly if it is something Fidel doesn't want known?

You really don't understand Communism, do you?

Dan Trabue said...

I appreciate his comments here and I don't want him to stop visiting because some "ass" wants to argue with him.

Last time: I'll ask you to look at what actually happened. I made no comments at all - ZERO - directed to Lone Ranger UNTIL he called me an ass. At which point, I corrected his factual misrepresentations.

How is that "arguing with him"? HE went on the offensive. I corrected.

Is that what passes for being mean-spirited and argumentative here, Mark? When someone corrects a hostile misrepresentation?

Listen, I'm going away for now. Y'all can continue to make up stuff to match whatever reality you want. I understand that ranting amongst your friends and blowing off steam can be healthy and if that's all you want to do, have at it.

I'll rest content confident that the great majority of my fellow citizens (those that you disparage as stupid, Mark) don't fall for the sort of emotion-based illogic when it comes down to actual policy-making that has passed for discussion on this topic.


Mark said...

Oh Please, Dan. You are forever whining that you are being misrepresented. Fact is, we all know you much better than you know, I think.

Abouna said...

Mark, this will be my last comment to this post and to Trabue:

Remember I said that I think it is a joke when liberals claim to be Christians and once again I stand by that. Well guess what? Trabue just proved my point with the following statement:
"On the two "sins" you mention, I disagree as to their being sins at all. It's not that I think that gay marriage is sinful and embrace it anyway, I don't think it's a sin in the first place."

Dan if you are such a great Christian and you believe in the Bible, then apparently you feel that God Himself doesn't know what He is talking about, because proclaimed homosexuality, not only a sin but an abomination.

I rest my case.

ELAshley said...

Wow! You guys are still going at it!

Allow me to quote Rodney...

"Can't we all just get along!?"

As much as I feel we need to defend the truth, this nation, our way of life, and our faith... this is getting tiresome, and getting us nowhere.

Dan Trabue said...

OK, really, the last one, just because Abouna misrepresented the Bible.

then apparently you feel that God Himself doesn't know what He is talking about, because proclaimed homosexuality, not only a sin but an abomination.

No where does God "proclaim homosexuality" a sin and an abomination. NO WHERE.

There is ONE verse in all the Bible where it pronounces "men who lay with men" an abomination - along with eating shrimp and various other horrors.

Two things to learn from this:

1. I don't think that word (abomination) means what you think it means, unless you think that "an abomination" can change and be okay later on (or, put another way: If eating shrimp was an abomination but now it's okay, why couldn't "men laying with men" now be okay, too?

2. That the Bible's not as clear as you believe it to be on this issue. What does it mean "men laying with men"? We could just assume that it means any and all homosexuality - including gay marriage, but we know what happens when we assume.

Off topic and out of here.


ELAshley said...

I don't believe Abouna has misrepresented anything here, Dan. Why does everyone conveniently forget Jude 7. Add that to Romans 1, and you get a pretty clear picture of what God thinks of those who engage in such activities.

Homosexuality is sinful. Period.


mom2 said...

I suggest Dan take a man to bed with him every night. If he says he doesn't want to, why? Is there something wrong with it? This is not really my recommendation, but if I believe him and his reasoning and his strong defense of it......why not?

tugboatcapn said...

Romans 1:22-27,

22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Now, Dan...

Are you going to "profess yourself to be wise", and try to tell me that I misunderstood that passage?

Or did that say that God Almighty essentially gave up on this group of people because of their homosexuality?

By insisting that God's Church accept the sin in order to include the sinner into fellowship, and refusing to seperate yourself from those who agree with you on Political issues, but refuse to condemn the murder of the most innocent form of life immaginable, you undermine your own credibility as a Christian.

I do not know the state of your heart, nor will I speculate whether or not you have actually been saved.

That is between you and God.

But I will say that, judging by the general tone of your comments here (which are legion...) and your apparent need for confrontation, argument and strife in your life (even though you claim to be a pacifist...), as well as your constant assertions that you, and you alone understand the Word of God, and that the rest of us, (most of us professing Christians for years, and studiers of the Bible from childhood...)"are all nuts" and have it all wrong and must be corrected, you appear more like the Pharisee in Luke 18 than the Publican.

Not an accusation, just an observation.

I'm praying for you, Dan.