Hundreds of faith leaders and immigration activists participated in a protest in front of the White House on July 31, 2014.

Hundreds of faith leaders and immigration activists participated in a protest in front of the White House on July 31, 2014. RNS photo by Heather Adams


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 100 religious leaders and activists were arrested Thursday (July 31) in a White House protest aimed at halting deportations and aiding immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Hundreds of faith leaders and immigration activists protested in front of the White House on July 31, 2014.

Hundreds of faith leaders and immigration activists protested in front of the White House on July 31, 2014. RNS photo by Heather Adams


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The direct action sponsored by Church World Service and Casa de Maryland, an immigration advocacy group, brought leaders from New England to Hawaii to the nation’s capital.

The U.S. Park Police completed the arrests of 112 people by 3 p.m., charging each with “blocking passage” on the sidewalk outside the White House, a misdemeanor, said Sidney Traynham, a spokesman for Church World Service.

Each went through a “post and forfeit” process, paying $50 in cash and forfeiting their right to a trial.

By 5:15 p.m., all of the people who had been arrested had been released from a processing center in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington.

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano of Los Angeles spoke at a rally before more than 100 protesters were arrested in front of the White House on July 31, 2014. They sought to halt deportations and aid immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano of Los Angeles spoke at a rally before more than 100 protesters were arrested in front of the White House on July 31, 2014. They sought to halt deportations and aid immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“We are here because we are not hearing a moral voice coming from the White House,” said United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano of Los Angeles. “This is a day of justice. Let us be that moral voice.”

Sister Eileen Campbell, whose Sisters of Mercy order has a mission to help the vulnerable, took a step she’d never taken in her 67 years — joining others in the act of civil disobedience to protest 1,100 deportations a day and seek relief for 11 million immigrants living illegally in the country.

With Congress failing to act on immigration, she said, and children massing at the nation’s Southern borders, it was time to do something.

“We have exhausted every other means to do this and so now we really have to rely on the executive authority of our president,” said Campbell, who has sisters in her order affected by the violence in Central American countries from which the children are fleeing.

A protester clasps his hands in prayer during a march of religious leaders and immigration advocates towards the White House on July 31, 2014. They sought to halt deportations and aid immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

A protester clasps his hands in prayer during a march of religious leaders and immigration advocates towards the White House on July 31, 2014. They sought to halt deportations and aid immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“I think standing outside the White House will make a difference,” she said as she rode in a van with other leaders past the Capitol and toward the White House.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest criticized congressional leaders for failing to pass immigration reform and “instead driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families and undermining (the Department of Homeland Security’s) ability to secure the border.”

Other first-time arrestees voiced a mix of hope and desperation.

“I’m ashamed of the way some of our lawmakers are refusing to grant people the opportunity to live and work and contribute to our society,” said the Rev. Thomas Bain, a retired United Methodist minister and community activist from Kailua, Hawaii, as he sought a cup of coffee before leaving for the protest.

A woman signs a release form at the United Methodist Building before taking part in a protest in which more than 100 religious leaders and immigration advocates were arrested at the White House on July 31, 2014.

A woman signs a release form at the United Methodist Building before taking part in a protest in which more than 100 religious leaders and immigration advocates were arrested at the White House on July 31, 2014. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The Rev. Hector J. Hernandez, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister from Indianapolis, said he was taking part for the first time for one reason: the children.

“I have seen firsthand how destructive this is,” said Hernandez, a marriage and family counselor who knows families separated by immigration mandates. “Children are innocent — period.”

The Rev. Susan Frederick, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Phoenix, joined a group of 10 that traveled via subway to the White House.

“Faith calls us to love, not to fear,” she said. “Crossing a border to protect and love your family is not a crime. Undocumented immigrants should not be treated as criminals.”

In the morning before their protest, the activists were reminded to eat lunch, use the bathroom and wear their white armbands. Clergy were told to bring their stoles and wear their collars. And everyone was warned not to lay hands on arresting officers.

“Just remember that the target of our demonstration today is inside the White House,” advised Gustavo Andrade of Casa de Maryand. “That’s the person that can give us what we want.”

Melissa Bowe of National Justice for our Neighbors, left, gives Nikki Kleinberg, a United Methodist deacon from Philadelphia, her armband ahead of arrests of more than 100 protesters in front of the White House on July 31, 2014. They sought to halt deportations and aid immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Melissa Bowe of National Justice for our Neighbors, left, gives Nikki Kleinberg, a United Methodist deacon from Philadelphia, her armband ahead of arrests of more than 100 protesters in front of the White House on July 31, 2014. They sought to halt deportations and aid immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

After a rally in Lafayette Park across from the White House, the protesters willing to be arrested sat and stood in three rows. They sang “We Shall Overcome” and chanted “Si Se Puede” (“Yes We Can”) while holding signs declaring “Pray for Relief” and “Stop the Deportations.”

A police officer warned them three times by bullhorn that they were violating the law when they did not move from the sidewalk.

“You are now under arrest,” an officer said. “You may not leave the secure area.”

As the protesters were put in plastic handcuffs one at a time, hundreds more who were fenced off across the street in the park cheered them on.

Antino Aleman, an undocumented man from El Salvador, said before joining the arrestees he was there “to ask the president for him to do what is better for all of us.”

His son, Erick Aleman, 17, joined the protest, but from across the street in the park.

“It’s difficult and it’s not,” he said of protesting at his age. “But you gotta fight for what you want.”

YS/MG END BANKS


Click on any photo to begin this slideshow of RNS images by Heather Adams.

61 Comments

  1. Whenever religious people come out in favor of
    bringing more Catholics into the country
    I wonder how many of them ever catch on
    that they are being manipulated by the church.

    I wonder how many of those Holy-roller protesters go home and watch Fox News and send their support to ‘good Christian, Republican candidates who then go to Washington and stone-wall any immigration reform.

    Conflicted, incoherent and counterproductive.
    That is religion for you.

      • @Billysees,

        Sorry but religion is always conflicted and miserably incoherent.
        Always.

        Think about it…The Taliban shot little 10 year old girl
        Malala Yousufzai for going to school along with her classmates.

        A little girl. Shot for going to school.
        Because ALLAH abhors women getting educated.

        If you bless Jesus, you must bless Allah.
        It is inhumanity on steroids.

        • if any of these pro illegal groups would only divulge their plan for ending further illegal immigration. does any rational person believe that open immigration will work? it won’t it would be a disaster for the country. so since we must draw a line at some time, I’m happy enough just enforcing the 1986 law

          • @Bill,

            In a country of 300 Million people an extra couple million immigrants won’t make any difference.

            The problem is they will come here anyway!

            So the better thing to do is make a plan for them, reform the immigration system so they arrive and learn some english, get a card, learn some skills, pay some taxes and becoming proper citizens.

            That would be the moral and Humane thing to do.
            Instead, FOX NEWS RELIGIOUS RIGHT WING NUTS are running this whipped up anti-human “god & country” insane frenzy.

          • Bill, why are you trying to make it easy for companies to get cheap labor and undermine American wages? Why do you support organized crime?

            The more draconian our immigration laws become, the larger the underground labor economy becomes. The easier it is for people to find and obtain illegal immigrant labor. It makes human trafficking a lucrative business.

            What those restrictions you nabobs call for do NOT do is reduce the flow of people coming to this country. As long as our country is better off economically than their own, they will make their way here.

            ” I’m happy enough just enforcing the 1986 law”

            You probably have no idea what that law actually entails.

            That law had problems as well such as work visas which are inherently exploitative causing at least 25% of our illegal alien population (people who come legally and overstay visas). 2-4 million illegal aliens would not be so if people were actually concerned with our immigration laws enough.

      • Take for example

        1 Cor 16:2

        Which actually says:

        1 Cor 16:2 “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

        But Max quotes as:

        “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:2)

        I’m telling you this stuff is pure entertainment gold! :-)

        “Viva Cristo Rey!!”
        DHS

          • Max,

            Usually I ignore your bad hermeneutics (Actually I don’t thing this com box is the proper place this sort of discussions) but since it is a slow Friday afternoon…

            It seems to me you are interpreting 1Cor16:22 as if the apostle is cursing you personally because “you do not love the Lord”. In fact your correct words were :

            “I was hated before i even had a chance!”

            In this passage, the Greek terms used for “love” is “Philo” (meaning Personal or brotherly love) the term translated as “Curse” is “anathema” (meaning a sentence of disfavor, or separation). This term only applies to those members of the Corinthian Church who were behaving in a less than loving way (This is a letter TO the Corinthians after all). In the context of the whole letter, a better translation for this passage would be something like “If anyone (in your Corinthian Church) lacks brotherly love for the Lord, then a sentence of disfavor/separation (from the Corinthian Church) be upon them”

            Simply put, since you are not a Corinthian, you can sleep without worries tonight because this indictment doesn’t apply to you. :-)

            (AND NOW A SHAMELESS PLUG)

            I Just started a podcast, addressing the many instances of bad hermeneutics atheists and humanists constantly use in their public discussions. You might want to take a listen. Just go to my web site or do a search for “The Hidden Bible Podcast” The first episode is up, I just completed the second episode last night which will be up in the next few days, and episodes 3, 4, & 5 are in various stages of production.

            Have a great week end! (And some restful night sleeps :-) )

            “Viva Cristo Rey!!”
            DHS

          • @Deacon Harbey Sant,

            Congrats on your podcast. But I hope you consider a few questions:

            1. Could better hermeneutics have saved Zeus? Or Osiris? Or Isis? Or Thor?
            If your answer is yes, you should give this up. If the answer is no, perhaps this religion is flawed, too.

            2. If two people who study hermeneutics still disagree on any particular verse, what hope really exists on a wider acceptance of proper interpretations of Jesus or Yahweh?

            3. It has been 2000 years since the stories of Jesus were written down. We are farther and farther away from the culture which thought this stuff was real. Why is it any more likely that we will do better than the ancients in analyzing these texts?

            4. If the Bible needs analysis, what good is it. Really.
            It claims to be the official operating instructions of God and yet it needs a user’s manual for proper interpretation?

            5. If you could remove the worst texts from the bible, where would you start? And if you can even ponder this question, how do you claim the authority rests in GOD, or in His TEXT and not in YOU?

            6. “I tortured and shot up my son and made sure he bled to death and I did this all for your personal benefit and if you don’t believe me I will do worse things to you.” – Yahweh.
            Regardless of Hermeneutics, this sentence sums up God’s word perfectly. Your re-interpretation of and elaboration of specific parts won’t fix the fundamental disaster of Christianity. It can only be a blunder.

          • Max,

            Again, this com box is not the place to discus these. Send me an email and I will be more than happy to continue our discussion off line.

            DeaconHarbey{at}yahoo.com

            “Viva Cristo Rey!!”
            DHS

          • @Dcn,

            Thanks for the invite. I may take you up on it.

            But I prefer the public square.
            More public discussion and public challenges of religion are what is needed.

            Furthermore, I am a public figure (in a small way) and I am
            coming out in stages taking deliberate steps.

          • Bro Chaplain,

            I’ll remind you.

            People on a mission from God, right?
            They are praying that the government will allow 2 million immigrants entry into the united states.

            YET, they are praying to a supposed All Powerful God, while demonstrating IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE; the one power which can actually respond! WEIRD, RIGHT?

            But that is religion for you. Completely, utterly counterproductive and incoherent.

            Perhaps if these demonstrators took a different approach it would actually work out in their favor. The politics of the situation is what the President will actually respond to, not ‘prayers’.

            If these demonstrators applied the thought process instead of ‘the emotional nonsense’ of religion they might get something accomplished.

            Instead, they waste their time. On many levels.
            The pointlessness of religion is always the story, bro chaplain.

          • @Junia,

            “Jesus got one-upped on that one and apologized.”

            The JUDGE of all humanity isn’t all-knowing?
            The JUDGE of all humanity needs guidance?
            THE JUDGE of all humanity is flawed?

            How does Jesus claim the right to judge others
            if he is “unknowing” of every sin?
            And even “a sinner” himself?

            Who are you to claim that he is pure
            after he admits to complete failure of character?

        • “In a country of 300 Million people an extra couple million immigrants won’t make any difference.

          So the better thing to do is make a plan for them, reform the immigration system so they arrive and learn some english, get a card, learn some skills, pay some taxes and becoming proper citizens.

          That would be the moral and Humane thing to do.
          Instead, FOX NEWS RELIGIOUS RIGHT WING NUTS are running this whipped up anti-human “god & country” insane frenzy.”
          MaX– I agree with you — Noel

    • “Religion” is not a monolith and “religious people” are not of one mind about everything or maybe anything, just as Max probably does not share many beliefs with Stalin or Pol Pot, who were also atheists. People are complicated. Don’t be simplistic, Max.

      • @Cynthia,

        Simplistic? “Jesus is Lord” – THAT is simplistic.

        I am the one imploring people to look at complexity.
        Jesus is immoral and dangerous and nothing proves it more than a group of people who are on a self-proclaimed mission from God.

        Stalin was a Russian Orthodox seminarian and Pol Pot was a Theraveda Buddhist. So please don’t start slandering Atheism with these FAITH-BASED criminals. I will defeat that argument.

  2. Gentle sociology and ruthless economics cannot mix.

    The world does not have infinite resources, and the most critical resources will be gone in a few years.

    Most of the conflict comes by decisions to have an infinite number of babies regardless of the consequences.

    • Agreed. Its a math thing. Pretty simple.

      Everyone has been conditioned to believe uncle sams charge card exists, and that if it has to be paid…it’ll be somebody else. Amerikans are the greatest group thinkers on the planet….sorta like tangible proof darwin was wrong cause we shouldn’t be leading the world with the paths we choose.

    • Malthus is calling, he says you have no idea what you are talking about.

      The “we can’t afford them” argument against taking on immigrants is complete and total bullcrap. Immigrants legal or otherwise are a net gain on society.

      Developed countries have declining populations without immigration to fill in numbers. We are a nation of mostly consumers. More people mean bigger markets, meaning more money and resources sent in our direction.

      • “Developed countries have declining populations”

        Yes, those populations are mostly under control.

        1. Thanks to ignoring their Catholic dictators.
        2. And Contraception
        3. And contraception.
        4. and contraception.

  3. Atheist Max is a hateful troll who seems to do nothing but whine about religion, even when they’re doing something good. Atheist Max only wants to kick out all Christians from America and doesn’t care about treating children humanely.

    • I agree totally! That’s why we need to KICK OUT THE ATHIESTS before they kick us out! Actully it is even worse than that, I have read that Obama the Abomination is setting up FEMA camps for us Christians. He is going to send around the black gang members to round us up and disarm us and put us in the camps. And I don’t think they are the kind of camp where you roast marshmellows and sing Koom Bye Ya.

      • @ronald,

        “He [Obama] is going to send around the black gang members to round us up and disarm us and put us in the camps.”

        Have you ever tried turning off Fox News?
        You prove that ‘Christian’ is a detrimental philosophy of life which is unsafe at any age.

      • Honestly, you don’t need to worry about black gang members. OBAMA and his white Democrat plantation overseers are destroying America. Obama, the Liar-in-Chief, lied to the Latinos and now he doesn’t want to help their children at all. These bonehead liberals are KILLING the American (and Central American) people!!

        PS. I dare Obama to show up on this discussion forum. I’LL tell him off 100 percent !!!! I dare you, Obama!!

        • @Doc,

          You CLEARLY start your day with Jesus.

          “To anyone who does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!” – (1 corinthians 16:22)

          “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

      • Wow! I would never vote for Obama but not because he is black–and he is not black anyway–he is mixed. What you wrote is racist. It is pure evil to hate someone because of the color of their skin. Why as a human being would you comment the way you did? If you were born blind and never saw any colors how would you treat other people?
        How can a skin color make anyone look differently at a human being? Where did you begin to hate someone because of skin color? Where did that start in your life? Even if someone from another race did something evil to you, that does not mean everyone is like that.

    • @Neon Genesis,

      I only ask that you examine the contradictory motives of those who claim they are on a mission from God.

      And that includes yourselves. What are you really up to?

      Some right wing Christians want immigrants killed
      at the border “because God”

      Other Christians want immigrants
      allowed entry “because: God”

      Why can’t this just be handled in more practical way
      without bringing religion into it?
      Because God!

      And – If preaching Jesus is not whining
      Then preaching AGAINST Jesus cannot be whining.

      It is clear that religion corrupts every single decision
      humans try to make – it is fundamentally unreasonable.

      • You’re missing the point. Your complaint about the immigration reform calls is that you claimed they were only in it to bring more Catholics into the country. That is a completely baseless statement with no proof backing it up and you’re hateful for even suggesting it and buying into some whacky anti-Catholic conspiracy you pulled out of your butt.

        • @Neon Genesis:

          I DON’T MAKE CLAIMS I CAN’T BACK UP WITH EVIDENCE.
          (too bad you hold me to a standard you won’t keep yourself.
          I have yet to see your evidence that Jesus turns into a cracker.)

          The Catholic Churches in the Midwest are actively preparing to grow thanks to influx of Hispanic immigrants.
          It cannot be a ‘conspiracy’ if it is publicly stated church policy.

          http://denvercatholicregister.org/parish-leaders-get-equipped-enrich-hispanic-ministry-parishes/#.U9vzbFbzwk8

          I am a supporter
          of full Amnesty for immigrants on
          humanitarian grounds.

          But if it were not for these immigrants
          the Catholic Church would be dying fast:

          http://publicreligion.org/2010/03/religion-values-and-immigration-reform/

  4. Chaplain Martin

    Bro Max,
    What the heck happened to the humanist who wouldn’t “hurt a fly”? You know even a broken clock is right twice a day. Maybe even the Catholic religion there are some who really want to help others. John Leland a early Baptist leader fighting for full religious freedom in the new United States wrote that everyone should have the right of their conscience (freedom) whether they believe in one god, or no god. He fought for the rights of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and atheist.
    He thought honest dialogue was good between differing beliefs and views. Respecting the views of others is some times most difficult. Well, there’s not much respect in the many comments that I have read on this site, by either side.

    • Bro Chaplain Martin,

      First, I will never hurt anyone. I reject all violence and bigotry.
      Remember that if preaching ‘Jesus is Lord’ is not bigoted
      It cannot be bigotry to preach against that same Jesus – which is all I am doing.

      John Leland was much, much better than his religion.
      Just Like you are!
      And as I was when I was a Catholic years ago.

      Leland is a bad example to use to defend religion
      since the mark of John Leland was that he rejected Christ.

      John Leland rejected Jesus’ words:
      “believe in me, or be condemned.”

      Leland supported other religions. Jesus would not do that!
      “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)

      Leland rejected this too:
      “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” – Jesus (John 3:18)

      Leland rejected Jesus as MOST AMERICAN DO:
      “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality..” (1 Cor 6:9)

      This is nonsense and Jesus is the perpetrator of it.

      It is not fair at all to accuse me
      of sounding like a violent person
      when these outrageous and absolutist threats against humanity
      screeched by your Jesus are the very ones I am objecting to!

        • Chaplain Martin

          Actually, Rev. John Leland believed very much in Jesus Christ as his savior. He baptized nearly 1,500 converts during his life-time of ministry. He, however was a deep thinker and he had studied the failure of the church when it became a state religion in many countries of his day. He believed that no one had the right of conscience over another. He was against government paid chaplains, time out for prayer of legislators while they were on the payroll.
          If you would like to influence people to give up Christianity, how would you do that?

          • @Chaplain Martin,

            Rev. John Leland is gone
            so he can’t speak for himself.
            Clearly he BELIEVED he was being a Christian. I don’t deny that part of what you say.
            But based on what i have read about him he was a great humanitarian – I do not see him being a Christian.

            He cannot have been a Christian according to Jesus Christ.
            He rejected the preachings of Jesus – most priests do!

            Consider the average decent Priest:

            He loves helping others and being compassionate (almost everyone does, and science shows this is actually how we make ourselves truly happy).
            He follows 2 of the Commandments; he won’t steal or murder.
            He tries to forgive most people. But he won’t forgive them all. He can’t.
            He thinks prayers do good so he enjoys that, too.
            He enjoys the idea of leading people to behave better.
            All of this is better known as humanism.

            But the average Priest
            IGNORES JESUS ALMOST COMPLETELY:

            He Ignores 8 of the 10 commandments!
            He lies; tells old ladies they look good when they don’t.
            He covets, lusts, draws pictures, writes, swears ‘dammit’,
            He ignores 100% of Yahweh’s Laws which Jesus expressly said He did NOT ABOLISH and this alone is a 100% rejection
            of the first 3 commandments!

            He cannot pay even the remotest attention to the Law – rejects the 600 stoning laws as immoral!
            He doesn’t believe in Hell (unlike Jesus).
            He loves life and would rather not die, ignoring Jesus ; “die for me!”
            He rejects Jesus’ injunction to hate his family and loved ones.
            He rejects God’s 1st Commandment and puts baseball, and football and other things, way ahead of praising God on certain Sundays.

            He rejects the idea that prayer is better than science
            as he takes his medicine and encourages others to do so as well (unlike Jesus who insisted on faith an never on material solutions!)
            He Knows that evolution is real (unlike Jesus) and puzzles about how Mary’s DNA could not have infected Jesus with man’s original sin!

            He Knows that the Old Testament is just troubling nonsense which really didn’t happen (unlike Jesus)
            Knows that sin does not cause illness (unlike Jesus)
            Knows that psychopaths and child molesters should not be forgiven or trusted (unlike Jesus)
            Knows that investment and savings are extremely important (unlike Jesus who said ‘give no thought for the morrow’ and sell everything)

            He suspects that God may not be a real thing (unlike Jesus) and spends hours doubting and second-guessing.
            Rejects God’s claim that “the Laws” are perfect.

            He rejects Jesus’ command to execute HIS enemies.
            He rejects Jesus’ commands regarding Hell,
            He sells prayer blessings and indulgences in the candles at the back of the church, ignoring Jesus’ admonishment against moneychangers.

            He knows that HIS RELIGION
            is not the ONLY WAY to live (unlike Jesus).

            That is extreme cherry picking.
            YET THAT IS YOUR AVERAGE PRIEST.
            How does this differ with Atheism? Practically not at all!
            I don’t believe in any of that stuff either.

            THE ONLY PROCLAMATION OF JESUS WHICH HE AGREES WITH
            IS THAT HE IS A FAILURE FOR EVEN TRYING!

            That is why I am disgusted with religion and Jesus in particular.
            These people deserve to know that Jesus is the failure – not them.

            The best, most decent people in our society
            are ALWAYS the ones who ignore the claim that Jesus is an Authority. The most decent people are ALWAYS the ones who reject Yahweh completely – including most of the commands of his supposed ‘son’.
            They accept humanity as it is and work to find solutions.

            The best part of Jesus’ teaching is the Golden Rule which PRE-DATES JESUS by thousands of years and is not unique to Jesus.
            The Good Samaritan was not a Christian
            but simple person who had empathy – that is all.

            To teach the golden rule does not make you a god!
            It just means you are teaching a very good ancient moral code. Why Jesus went off the rails and taught truckloads of garbage in addition to the Golden Rule is for historians to speculate – many of Jesus’ words are actually made up by the hundreds of writers.

            I hope you are getting a glimpse of my point.
            Religion, Jesus, Yahweh – all of it diminishes humanity. It is about obedience and fear. And nobody really respects it for that reason.

          • Atheist Max,

            You demonstrate great skill at opening up a conversation. And To throw ‘cherry picking’ at a bible thumper is pretty clever.
            “That is extreme cherry picking.
            YET THAT IS YOUR AVERAGE PRIEST.”
            So completely true. Would love to hear you debate some of these preachers we have in Kansas.

      • Max, you can’t take the baptism off your soul. If you where baptized a Catholic — you will always be a Catholic even for all eternity. But if I debate with you, I’m worse than you. So hope you go to church this Sunday– the doors are always opened for you to come back. bye Max — It really is true, those who leave the church, their Catholic faith — many times are the worse promoters of hate towards those who stay — while we welcome you back with open arms — You Max keep your arms tightly shut around your heart and grow more bitter and empty as the days go. Dialogue is not about attacking what another holds sacred. It is trying to understand the heart of another human being even when they seem to be filled with hate and revenge.

        • @Noel,

          I am a non-believer in God. That is all.
          I am a very nice person.
          My ‘hate’ is only against the religion which tells people to hate others:

          “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

          “I come to bring fire to the earth…such constraints I am under.”
          “Believe in Me or be condemned” – JESUS

          Yes, I was baptized as a baby.
          But if Jesus is interested in sending half my family to Hell because they, in their good hearts, decided that Eternal Hell is impossible for a loving god – then I must stay with my family and go to hell with them (i don’t really believe in hell either!)
          So love? Yes.
          Hell? No.

          Jesus? It Can’t be real. Sorry.
          Time for us all to abandon this ancient nonsense.

  5. HAMAS MAY NOT HAVE KILLED THE ISRAELI TEENS.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/hamas-didnt-kidnap-the-israeli-teens-after-all.html

    BUT ISRAEL HAS NOW DEFINITELY KILLED AND INJURED 10’s of THOUSANDS.

  6. FaithfulQuestioner

    Folks, the discussion has degenerated into diatribe; name calling; and less. There are people who choose to participate in a religious practice of their choice. They are humans as is each of us – sure they have the ‘right answer’, ‘wedded to a theology’, etc. I identify myself as an Episcopalian (Christian). Do I believe everything in the Bible? No. Do I believe the ‘morals/messages’ attributed to God through Jesus? I do. The main message is ‘to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (may not be an exact quote)’. Immigration has been a tough subject for centuries- Jews, Irish, Vietnamese, various religious denominations. The status quo never wants the status to change and, yet, it always will. Today, questions of economics and will an incompetent Congress (leaving on their 5 week summer break) assist the American people in either accepting immigrants or closing the doors to all immigrations. The politics of Latin America are a huge factor in this tragedy.
    What do I think? Morally, I demand the children and their moms (and/or an accompaning adult) be housed and feed and given health care and access to practice of their chosen religion. Love of and humanity to each other is morally correct and, in our fractured and war-like Nation, a step toward the Nation our founding parents wished for. Stop blaming the victims and reach out your hand to each and every one of them and hold the Congress accountable.

  7. @Max: Your theology must have hardened into concrete at an early age. You do a lot of proof-texting. Read the text a few times and think about it. Consider the context. Then think about it some more. Jesus apologized by complimenting the woman, and then healed her daughter. Think about that. Leave the fire and brimstone aside for a while. It’s no way to go through life.

    • @Junia,

      “You do a lot of proof-texting.”
      When I see a Christian throw away the text of the Bible claims such as “He is Risen”, I’ll stop bothering Christians with their bible. Until then, your bible will be called out for its flaws, its incoherence and its foolish claims.

      “Read the text a few times and think about it. Consider the context.”
      I did. I was a Christian for 44 years.
      It is incoherent for a loving God to be calling his ‘children’ dogs if he is going through all the trouble of being crucified to save them! Please don’t insult my intelligence.

      “Then think about it some more. Jesus apologized by complimenting the woman, and then healed her daughter. Think about that.”
      Yes. I THINK It is delusional to believe this ridiculous story. Jesus cannot be scolded for acting immorally by the same apostles who he scolds repeatedly!
      Jesus is NOT a worthy god if his disciples are more moral than him!
      This is incoherent and only fool would fall for it. Perhaps you are the one who needs to apply some ‘thinking’.

      “Leave the fire and brimstone aside for a while. It’s no way to go through life.”
      Christians apparently have no problem shoving this immoral, despicable, absurdist Jesus nonsense onto our laws:

      Forbidding access to life-saving medical procedures
      Granting corporations the right to enforcing a religion, be it Islamic, Christian or other.
      State Legalized Murder of Doctors – South Dakota


      Mandatory Trans-vaginal probes – Virginia Legislature



      Preaching the Bible in public schools – funded by Hobby Lobby


      Forced prayer at Government meetings – Supreme Court has allowed this.
      Blocking people from family planning – Texas, 5 other states.


      Obstruction of prescriptions – Illinois, Washington



      Discrimination as religious choice -Arizona (SB-1062)



      Anti-Gay laws – Texas
 & elsewhere


      Anti-women’s rights laws – Texas, Louisina, Virginia



      Biased Counseling laws – South Dakota


      Creationism to replace Science Education: 12 States
      “Intelligent Design” to replace Scientific theories

      Tell you what?

      You don’t have the right to punch someone in the gut
      and then tell them too chill out while you walk away!

      Keep your evil Jesus nonsense away from us Unbelieving Americans
      And we’ll get along fine – okay?

  8. just allow children that are 10 and under into the US and let the others either go back home or go through the proper immigration process. Then, search for and deport all illegal immigrants currently living in the US. I am pro-immigration, but I am strongly against illegal immigration.

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