Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom, testifies before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the state of religious freedom around the world on May 22, 2014. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe

Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International  Religious Freedom, testifies before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the state of religious freedom around the world on May 22, 2014. Religion News Service photo by Lauren Markoe


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

(RNS) A coalition of more than 50 religious leaders, led by mostly conservative Catholic, evangelical and Jewish activists, is calling on President Obama to sharply escalate military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq. They say “nothing short of the destruction” of the Islamic State can protect Christians and religious minorities now being subjected to “a campaign of genocide.”

“We represent various religious traditions and shades of belief,” the petition reads. “None of us glorifies war or underestimates the risks entailed by the use of military force.”

But they say the situation is so dire that relief for these religious communities “cannot be achieved apart from the use of military force to degrade and disable” the Islamic State forces.

The petition was organized by Robert P. George, a prominent Catholic conservative and Republican activist, and he was joined by a range of other leaders, many of whom are known for their hawkish views on foreign policy.

They include Russell Moore, chief public policy official for the Southern Baptist Convention; Benjamin Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and conservative commentator; Edward Whelan, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Gerard Bradley, a law professor at Notre Dame; Christian author and commentator Eric Metaxas; Martin Peretz, former editor of the New Republic; and writer Leon Wieseltier.

The signatories call on the U.S. to arm Kurdish forces in the north, which the administration has begun doing after weeks of intense debate over whether such a move would lead to the final breakup of Iraq into enclaves of Kurds and Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, right, leads a June 9, 2014, panel discussion as David Platt, pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., listens. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks


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

“We further believe that the United States’ goal must be more comprehensive than simply clamping a short-term lid on the boiling violence that is threatening so many innocents in ISIS/ISIL’s path,” the signers say, using alternative acronyms for the Islamic State. “Nothing short of the destruction of ISIS/ISIL as a fighting force will provide long-term protection of victims.”

The statement follows reports that the U.S. is weighing a larger effort to protect refugees, one that could include putting troops on the ground in Iraq.

The petition also comes amid growing calls by religious leaders in Iraq and internationally for the global community to take more concerted action.

The Vatican on Wednesday (Aug. 13) released a letter that Pope Francis wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealing to the world community “to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.”

While Francis called for “concrete acts of solidarity” by the U.N. and included security forces as part of the solution, he was careful not to promote a military response as the chief means for resolving the tragedy. Other Catholic officials in Rome and Iraq have said the U.S. airstrikes are viewed as necessary and morally justified but they are leery of actions that could lead to another U.S.-led military campaign.

The letter from the religious activists, mainly Americans, was much more forceful in calling for military action.

At the end of their statement, the leaders, some of whom backed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq that led to years of violence, acknowledged that “our own nation is not without responsibility for the plight of victims of ISIS/ISIL genocide.”

But, they conclude: “The point is not to point fingers or apportion blame, but to recognize that justice as well as compassion demands that we take the steps necessary to end the (Islamic State) campaign of genocide and protect those who are its victims.”

YS/MG END GIBSON

76 Comments

  1. Its about time conservatives quit their “Obama derangement syndrome” and finally grew a pair. Kudos for conservatives for breaking out of the doldrums of isolationist nonsense.

    This is exactly the sort of thing the US as a superpower must be involved in.

    • Obama won the presidency in 2008 and 2012 by preaching isolationism and blaming the Republicans for going to war. Obama opposed the War on Terror, the Iraq War, ANY kind of war. He never gave President Bush credit for anything relating to his war efforts.

      But nowwwww that Obama has been re-elected, he finally figures out that American Ambassadors will get shot and burnt-up when you preach isolationism. He finally figures out that Boko Haram will kidnap and rape hundreds of girls when they believe America is too scared to fight.

      Obama finally figures out that BOTH Iran and Iraq, thinking he’s a big fat Spineless Peacenik Coward, will in fact commit actual genocide on Christians because they knew Obama wouldn’t do anything beyond a few cosmetic airstrikes, AFTER waiting till entire cities have fallen and their Christian residents fully depopulated.

      America, you voted for that Obama guy. You converted to his Peacenik Isolationist Religion. You STILL think Obama is big-time right and that Bush was big-time wrong.

      But that’s okay. The Terrorists will soon come back to America’s shores, specifically to prove to you who was right and who was wrong.

      Rots O’ Ruck !!!!!

      • You know what Doc, you are absolutely right!

        Obama has been entirely feckless when it comes to foreign affairs. This is no exception. I am also glad you chose to ignore the Ron Paulies and their attempt to bring isolationism to the Republican Party platform. They are a truly brain dead bunch.

        Unfortunately the issue of what to do in Iraq and Afghanistan fell to the wayside in our last 2 presidential elections. Both parties avoided it like the plague. Now we don’t have a choice. We have a responsibility to Iraq and the rest of the world to do what is necessary against this sort of evil.

    • Agree wholeheartedly Larry. And it is also time to stop qualifying our remarks by apologizing for the invasion of Iraq. Hussein and his sons were bad guys, evidence of chemical and biological weapons were found, Bush had the support of both Congress and our allies and what about the shipment that left Iraq headed for Syria.

      • The invasion of Iraq was a disaster from day one. But it is also past the point where finger pointing is going to help.

        I don’t believe for a minute it had anything to do with WMD. We were looking for an easy victory over a foe we had a good track record against. Plus Iraq had zero friends in the region which would care. Both sides of the Middle East Cold War (Iran and Saudi blocs) couldn’t stand Saddam.

        My theory was the purpose of the invasion was to draw Al Queda and wannabe jihadis to a place where it was easier to get them. It was also to draw attention away from Afghanistan

        But overall, I thought Saddam had it coming and will never shed a tear for his absence. The invasion of Iraq only highlighted problems which existed for decades under the surface.

      • Its a lot closer to Korean war, or even the “Malaya Incident” than Vietnam.

        ISIS is not a homegrown movement. It is a foreign backed, outside force. One which is currently doing its best to alienate the dissatisfied native political forces which supported them in Iraq. The Iraqi Sunnis and former Baathists kicked Al Queda out of their country, they will do the same to ISIS.

  2. Whoever thesr religious warmongers are, they are the true pshycos of the world.

    You can identify them by their absolute need to a massive state gov….to spread “democracy”…haha.

    The most dangerous and inhumane of humans are our neighbors in america.

  3. We need to pray for President Obama and world leaders that they will do the right thing; protecting the innocent and halting genocide wherever it occurs. This is an “Esther Moment” for the churches however, we need to go before the King as Queen Esther did, calling for mercy on the people of God.

    • No world leaders, nor man and all his governments, will put an end to the “mess” that currently exists on the entire planet at this time.

      As Jesus instructed his followers concerning what we should pray for, he said: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10)

      God’s kingdom or heavenly government,which was a major teaching of Jesus’ ministry when on earth, is the only government that will put an end to the terrible conditions on our planet, including the end of all wicked ones.

      As promised, “And just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more: and you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:10,11).

      God’s kingdom will soon be the source of that peace to meek ones on earth! :-)

      • Yes of course Fran that is true and we all look forward to that day when the Lord sets things right again. But the burning question is- what are we, as Christians, as true believers, to do, recommend and support until that day comes? It’s an important question.

        Augustine was the father of “Just War Theory” and I believe he was essentially correct. Our weapons are not man-made weapons of violence but rather the spiritual weapon of God’s Word, we know this. But are we to stand by and watch wholesale destruction and genocide of entire peoples? Would not the Good Samaritan have intervened if he had been there in time? Or are we only called to clean up and help in the aftermath?

        • Phil H,

          True Christians today should not get involved in the politics and conflicts (wars) of the world, as Jesus and his followers did not do so. They support God’s kingdom as the only government and hope for mankind and are no part of the world and its violent, warring spirit (John 17:16).

          He also admonished us to pay Caesar’s things to Caesar (such as paying taxes and obeying its laws as long as they do not conflict with God’s laws) and God’s things to God (loving and worshiping Him with our whole mind, heart and body), as brought out at Mark 12:17 and Matthew 22:37).

          As Matthew 4:17 brings out, “From that time forward, Jesus commenced preaching and saying, “Repent, you people, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.”

          That was the major theme of his ministry, and his disciples as well as the apostles fervently preached about Jesus and that kingdom after he died and was resurrected. They did this despite persecution and being arrested as brought out in the book of Acts.

          Jesus gave a plethora of signs that would mark the end of an era, described at Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. The majority of those signs are being fulfilled today.

          Matthew 24:14 brings out what true Christians and followers of God and his son, Jesus, should be doing worldwide before the end comes:

          “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” This preaching work is being done in all nations (Some even underground in the Middle East) today.

          As to the genocide of many people taking place now, we should apply this counsel at Romans 12:17-19:

          “Return evil for evil to no one. Provide fine things in the sight of all men. If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. Do NOT AVENGE yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says God.” God will put an end to all wicked ones on our planet (Psalm 37:10,11).

          Those who have lost their lives to violent ones, as well as from sickness, disease, accident, etc. have the hope of resurrection back to life on a cleansed or new earth, through God’s kingdom (Acts 24:15; John 5:28,29).

          Everything will soon be made right on planet earth!!! :-D

          • Pretty cavalier attitude Fran. Would you advocate this same position if invaders were here in this country preparing to do the same unspeakable things to you and your loved ones?

            Again I ask, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, if he had been there in time should he not have intervened in some way to stop the crime before it happened?

            Our leaders and system of gov’t are in place because God ordained it so and we are to follow the laws unless they conflict with God’s Law. And therein lies the question.

            You are advocating a position of passive martyrdom (for the believer at least). But in a diverse nation such as ours, not everybody is one and there are many children who have not reached the age of reason.

            However I am not saying you are wrong. We may very well be in the beginning stages of the end. In fact, I fall on that side myself and agree with your statement that many signs are being fulfilled currently. But we may not be and I think this is a tough but important question. What you are drawing from Scripture is to the individual believer but does it apply to the nation as a whole?

            Of course, it may very well be taken out of our hands altogether.

  4. Criticism of “isolationist” aka mind our own frickin business foreign policy only serves Israel well.

    Walter Lippman literally wrote the book on the clandestine foreign policy we enjoy today.

    General Wesley Clark…”we’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years”. We are still ahead of that plan.

  5. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    The trouble with the headline on this story is that by implication it says only “conservatives” are concerned with the genocide or ethnic cleansing of Middle Eastern Christians and others (like the Yazidis).

    • Well, George is presumptuously speaking to the religious persuasions of his kind in his culture. Sadly, they are vastly spread with awful ignorance and ugly hatred. So much for faith. So much for hope. So much for caring. And so much for the honesty that should be the basis of all virtues.

  6. Robert George is one of the most vicious religious terrorists in today’s world, equal to the worst member of any Islamic or other religion, even worse than the Islamic terrorists who attacked us thrice on 9/11.

    George is advocating violent revolution around the world that is unconstitutional right here at home in the Unite States. Let George carry his gang’s religious banner at the head of the mad slaughter he proposes.

    George is displaying the very ugliest side of religious history, including that of his own “Christianity.” Christianity is as rife as any other religion with atrocities. That make a farce of George’s religion’s presumption or claim that they are striving for goodness.

    Shame on George. Shame on all belief systems that have members like George.

      • @Phil H,

        What did I not understand?

        “execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

        Didn’t Rwanda (the most Catholic country in Africa)
        follow Jesus perfectly?

        “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

        800,000 were executed for being evil.
        Isn’t that what Jesus said he wanted of his believers?

        • No that’s not what happened and that’s a false and moronic statement about the truth of the Rwandan genocide which was pagan tribalism at its worst.

          But Rwanda is a good example to use for why we must intervene against this same type of horrendous genocidal massacre by Islamic extremists in the Middle East currently. Or would you, in retrospect, support the complete inaction by the world in Rwanda rather than lament it as B Clinton and many others have?

          • @Phil H,

            If you don’t care about RWANDA enough to learn about it, fine.
            But don’t tell me I’m somehow supposed to care … if you DON’T!

            Father Anatole Serromba killed 2000 of his own Rwandan parishioners while they were hiding IN HIS CHURCH!
            Catholic Fascists swept the country with machetes.

            And the Vatican hid him in Italy afterwards, knowing fully what he had done.

            RELIGION has proven it repeatedly;
            if you preach hatred of the devil you will find ‘the devil’ everywhere – in others. It is the seed of fascism!

            “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)

            Despicable, horrible nonsense.

          • @Phil H,

            “pagan tribalism”

            Ah, yes.
            Disparaging the other religion in support of your own
            is step #1.

            Step #2 is to force them to acknowledge your religion is the true faith.

            Step #3 is punish those who won’t join your cult.

            Insidious nonsense.

      • Phil H,

        In answer to your previous question, it can only be answered by God’s Word, the Bible. You questioned the illustration of the Good Samaritan, if he intervened before being the person attacked. Unfortunately, that did not happen in the illustration. What took place after he was attacked showed who the real “neighbor” who showed real love and compassion was!

        You would expect that the Israelite priest and Levite would act like good neighbors when they saw the condition of the man…. But they passed by him. Instead, the Samaritan, who belonged to a group of people who respected the Mosaic Law, but were held in CONTEMPT by the Jews (John 4:9) poured oil and wine on the injured man’s wounds, left 2 denarii (2 days’ wages ) with innkeeper for the man’s care, and If any further amount was owed when he returned, he would pay that amount as well!! This was an illustration that showed real love and compassion!

        Jesus said that the second greatest commandment, after loving Almighty God with all of our heart, mind and soul, was to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-39). We should follow this example as the Samaritan did.

        It is interesting to note that when Jesus asked who was the “real neighbor” in this case, the man who was versed in the Law and was trying to test Jesus answered, “the man who acted mercifully toward him.” Notice he did not even mention that it was the Samaritan; the Jews had that much contempt (and not love) for Samaritans! (Luke 10:29-37)

        So what else did Jesus instruct us about if we claim to follow him? Jesus said to “continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of the Father who is in the heavens.” (Matthew 5:43-45).

        Not only that, but Paul recommended that “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” (Romans 12:20; Proverbs 25:21).

        If course, we can’t forget the words of Jesus when he said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25). Therefore, if we lose our lives due to violent ones or war, of through our enemies, but we are faithful to God and follow the instructions of his son, Jesus, we are guarateed a resurrection back to life.

        Finally, as Jesus further says: “But the one who has endured to the end (whether of a person’s life or the end of this era) will be saved.” (Matthew 24:13).

        • Fran-

          You appear to be deliberately obstinate in answering my question or don’t understand it. It was unnecessary for you to repeat the parable of the Good Samaritan and explain it.

          Therefore I can only conclude that you advocate a position for Christians of non-intervention in the wholesale slaughter of men, women and children in the world. I assume therefore you support the same if they are at your door and will slaughter you and your loved ones and your neighbors as well. In other words, passive martyrdom across the board.

          • @Phil H,

            “Fran – you advocate a position for Christians of non-intervention in the wholesale slaughter”

            You miss Fran’s point entirely.
            This world does not matter to Fran. AT ALL.

            That is another immoral teaching of religion – the wholesale abdication of personal responsibility enshrined in ‘god’s will’ and Armageddon.

            Interpretations of the Bible are arbitrary.
            It is all fundamentally immoral – built as it is on the idea that God is more important than humanity!

            The Bible commands people to do horrible things in the FIRST place.
            And also to sit back and let horrors happen in the SECOND place!

            “Simply managing and reducing human suffering would be a more noble and useful agenda than attempting to appease a god who apparently has never been adequately appeased at any time in history.”
            – Atheist Max

          • Phil,

            So you believe that all the soldiers who sacrifice their lives to the “god of war” through the years and kill their fellowman are properly martyred and God approves of their actions? I don’t agree. Love for our fellowman, even our enemies, is what is approved by God and his son, Jesus.

            What has been the result of all their sacrifices, even since 1914, the first world war, for the last 100 years? Have they put an end to all wars or hate or injustice?? No; it has only gotten worse and will probably continue to do so.

            As Luke 21:25 testifies to: “Also, there will be signs in sun and the stars, and on the earth anguish of the nations, not knowing the way out…”

            Matthew 24:6 says: “You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not terrified. For these things must take place, but the end is not yet.”

            Yes, I completely agree that true Christians, because of their faith in God, should not slaughter their fellowman including men, women and children. Many persons have returned from war missing parts of their bodies or else commit suicide when they return because of what they had to endure.

            War has become an addiction or necessary evil for mankind (like lawyers and doctors) and more lives continue to be lost because of it. Vengeance belongs to God, to those, including terrorists, who are causing the deaths of innocent men, women and children. Those who die on that account have the resurrection hope back to life on a cleansed earth so all things just and righteous will take place, by God, and not man.

            But that is just my stand and those in my faith. We are conscientious objectors to war and do not get involved in politics at all. In other words, separation of church and state. I will continue to turn my sword into pruning shears and not learn war anymore (Micah 4:3).

            As to my family and my neighbors, concerning those who do not have the same faith and belief in God that I do, I have no idea what their position is or will be. So I cannot speak on their behalf.

            But don’t worry… There are still plenty of persons on this planet who are gung-ho for war, even the Pope. I still belong to a small minority of people who promote peace and will stay that way.

  7. I agree with the conservatives on this one–not because the Islamicists are enemies of Christianity but because, like conservative Christians, they’re enemies of modernity. Zero tolerance for movements or ‘cultures’ that don’t support male-female equality or other human rights essentials.

  8. How many veterans in this thread? Well, speaking as a veteran, I suspect that if the President had blasted ISIS the moment they crossed Iraq’s border, things would not look so bleak right now. It would have given them pause if we concentrated heavy air strikes on their paths of incursion and made them realize the President is not disengaged. Without widening the conflict, it may have encouraged the Iraqi army to stand fast. If, but, perhaps. Not particularly in favor of war and bloodshed, but if you don’t stand up to bullies they will run right over you, pacifist hopes notwithstanding. And sadly, the brotherhood of man has not emerged in 5000 years of human conflict, modern humanity is no closer to a putative brotherhood than our ancestors. As for bullies, Putin bears watching. I’m sure he’s not looking for a nuclear confrontation, but if he can, he will certainly regather the lost republics of the USSR, at least those in eastern and central Europe.

        • What is that a rule? Where did you come up with that one?

          Whose wives and mothers should we ask? Should we ask the wives and mothers who are about to be brutally raped, tortured and murdered in front of their families if they would like a soldier(s) to intervene and stop it?

          • @Phil H,

            It is time to stop the gung ho worship of American Veterans.
            America is not a nation of Warriors!

            We appreciate their service – but it is a disgrace that most Americans never get a chance to serve as they should.

            There are many ways to serve our nation and the military has been a very bad institution over all.
            Thousands of our excellent soldiers were misdirected into a 3 Trillion Dollar boondoggle – all of it wasted on Afghanistan and Iraq.
            News flash: WE LOST BOTH WARS!

            3 Trillion Dollars on war is enough. Wouldn’t you say?
            Yes – thank the Vets for goodness sake! It isn’t their fault we lost.

            But this rah-rah BS about worshipping Vets comes awfully close to hero-worship and warrior culture – and it must end.

            Yes – the Mothers will tell you that it is horrifying and wasteful to send their boys and girls off to war if the objective is idiotic, impossible to achieve, foolishly constructed and you never intended to win!

  9. The only signatory on this list with a constituency that could fill more than a conference room is Moore, and he represents a notoriously hawkish denomination. This letter is a nothingburger.

      • Yes everyone, Atheist Max has studied the entire Bible and boiled it down to it’s essential truth – that Jesus was all about war and killing the unbelievers.

        No one with any credibility has ever come to that conclusion. In fact, of course, the opposite is true – Jesus is a peacenik extraordinaire.

        I don’t know what happened in your life Atheist Max but atheism is not the answer. This was tried on a wholesale level behind the Iron Curtain in Soviet Russia and arguably resulted in the greatest death toll in human history estimated at 20 million. Who knows the exact number in the Peoples Republic of China-65 million has been estimated.

        Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the elimination of religion or faith in God will usher in some sort of Utopian world and the end of war and evil.

        • @Phil H,

          “atheism is not the answer. This was tried on a wholesale..”

          Your priest lied to you. What the Soviets tried was not Atheism.
          Faith-based fascist programs like ‘enforced communism’ or ‘belief in the miracles of Lysenko’ ARE NOT Atheism!

          Atheism is what you have RIGHT NOW in the United States Constitution – the only GODLESS Constitution in the world today:
          “The Government shall make no law establishing any religion”

          I recommend the US Constitution as the model for all the nations of the world.

          If you want to call that a bad thing, I feel sorry for your lack of education.
          If you

        • @Phil H,

          LESSON OF THE BIBLE IS DANGEROUS

          “No one with any credibility has ever come to that conclusion.”
          - PHIL H.

          Excuse me?
          None of these people had credibility?

          ATHEISTS
          WHO FOUND THE BIBLE DANGEROUS:

          Paul Newman (his charity, ‘Newman’s Own’ has raised $370 Million for charities)
          The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr
          Warren Buffet – Billionaire philanthropist
          Jonas Salk (discoverer of the Polio vaccine)
          Nehru
          Max Von Sydow (played Jesus in Greatest Story Ever Told)
          James Randi
          Langston Hughs
          Steven Hawking
          Andy Rooney (60 Minutes)
          Pat Tillman (Atheist in a foxhole)
          Thomas Edison
          Steven Wozniak
          Clarence Darrow
          Andrew Carnegie
          Francis Crick
          Charles Schultz (creator of Peanuts, Charlie Brown Christmas)
          Jacques Yves Cousteau
          Abraham Lincoln – “The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion.”
          Bertrand Russell
          Richard Stauss
          Roger Ebert
          Albert Einstein
          Richard Feynman
          Barbara Forrest
          Linus Carl Pauling
          Maurice Sendak
          Helen Keller
          Noam Chomsky
          Mark Shasha
          Paul Kurtz
          David Hume
          Steven Weinberg
          Peter Higgs
          James D. Watson
          Ray Romano
          Ted Williams
          Scott Joplin
          Marlene Deitrich
          Butterfly McQueen
          Billy Joel
          Steven Pinker
          Sigmund Freud
          Bruce Lee
          Bill Nye
          Susan B. Anthony
          E.O. Wilson
          Alan Turing
          William Shatner
          Marlon Brando
          Noam Chomsky
          Katherine Hepburn
          Helen Mirren
          Andrew Carnegie
          Richard Branson
          Kurt Vonnegut
          Kai Nielson
          Gene Wilder
          Virginia Wolf
          Charlie Chaplin
          Richard Rodgers
          Arthur Schleshinger Jr.
          Frida Kahlo
          Ernest Hemingway
          Carl Sagan
          Robert Wright
          Michael Martin
          Peter Singer
          Jerry Coyne
          Jennifer Michael Hecht
          Victor Stenger
          Martin Amis
          Lauren Bacall
          Philip Roth
          Ian McEwan
          Michael Shermer
          Oscar Wilde
          Frank Zappa
          Mark Zuckerberg
          Jamie Hyneman
          George C Scott
          Andy Rooney
          Ayaan Hirsi Ali
          Daniel Radcliffe
          Penn and Teller
          Arthur Miller
          Barry Manilow
          Kevin Bacon
          Burt Lancaster
          George Orwell
          Steve Jobs
          Mark Twain
          Voltaire
          George Carlin
          Rodney Dangerfield
          Adam Savage – Mythbusters
          George Bernard Shaw
          Simon de Beauvoir
          Isaac Asimov
          Thomas Paine
          Gene Roddenberry – creator of Star Trek
          Rod Serling – creator of The Twilight Zone
          John Stossel
          Brian Eno
          Leonard Susskind
          Stephen Jay Gould
          Dan Dennett
          Thomas Mann
          Noel Coward
          Philip Pullman
          Richard Leakey
          A.C. Grayling
          Lawrence Krauss
          Jodie Foster
          Stephen Fry
          Mick Jagger
          Margot Kidder
          Larry King
          Keira Knightley
          Brad Pitt
          Sam Harris
          David Jon Gilmour
          Robyn Williams
          Stanley Kubrick
          Neil DeGrasse Tyson – Physicist
          Richard Feynman – Physicist
          Buckminster Fuller
          Gene Kelly
          Paul Robeson

          THEISTS
          WHO THINK THE WORD OF GOD IS GOOD:

          Sarah Palin
          Michelle Bachmann
          Dick Cheney
          Osama Bin Laden
          Rudolf Hess
          Adolf Eichmann
          Cardinal Bernard Law – Kingpin of the Boston Priest Pedophile Ring
          The Koch Brothers
          Marshall Herff Applewhite, Jr.
          Ayman Al Zawahiri
          Robert Tilton
          Joseph Mengele
          Ayatollah Khomeini
          Hahmoud Ahmadinejad
          Peter Popoff
          Reichsfuhrer SS Julius Shreck
          Reichsfuhrer SS Joseph Berchtold
          Max Koegl (Manager of Auchwitz)
          Reichsfuhrer SS Erhard Heiden
          Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler
          Reichsfuhrer SS Karl Hanke
          Archbishop Cardinal Law
          Adolf Eichmann
          Adolf Deikmann
          Fritz Hardjenstein
          Werner Braune
          Bob Morehead
          Fred Phelps, Sr.
          Oral Roberts
          Matthew Hale
          Al Queda
          Billy James Hargis
          Bob Larson
          Jim Jones
          Saddam Hussein
          David Koresh
          Zionists
          John Paulk
          Suicide Bombers
          D.V. Grant
          Mike Warnke
          Emperor Hirohito
          Ariel Sharon
          Yasser Arafat
          Benjamin Netanyahu
          Paul Crouch
          Pat Robertson
          Marcial Maciel Degollado
          Michelle Bachmann
          Sarah Palin
          Franz Stangl
          Paul Blobel
          Hermann Goering
          Josef Kramer
          Jerry Falwell
          Oskar Dirlewanger
          Jimmy Swaggart
          Creflo Dollar
          Ilse Koch
          Joseph Goebbels
          Reverend Sun Myung Moon
          Sunday Adelaja
          Pope Leo X
          Anathole Serromba
          Jean Bertand Aristide
          Mel Gibson
          Benny Hinn
          T.D Jakes
          Adolph Hitler
          Kaiser Wilhelm II
          Rush Limbaugh
          Erst Kaltenbruenner
          Michael Bray
          Paul Jennings Hill
          Father Charles Edward Coughlin
          Tomás de Torquemada
          Emperor Constantine

          If god is good – why does he have such a disgusting marketing team?
          If God is moral, why do his injunctions lead to immoral behavior?

          Religion is selfish, solipsistic, over-rated, ill-advised, dangerous nonsense.
          And it leads to immoral behavior because of it.

          • I’m not related to any of them from either list.

            You don’t know what it means to be Christian. Including the Nazi’s who were loyal to the State and not Christ proves it. No mention of the Huguenots, the Ten Boom’s, the Polish priests and nuns who took in Jews at the risk of their own lives and many, many others who do the work without notoriety.

            Most people don’t identify as atheists but rather many are confused and unsure about God and go through their entire lives that way. Many on your favorites list above are in that category and, like you, are unable to make distinctions. So they go through their lives to their death in this state without knowing what follows.

            Two from your list, Edison and Ebert, had very interesting death bed utterances. Ebert’s being the most revealing.

            But as it’s written-

            “Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.”

            Btw- I meant no one with any credibility has come to that conclusion about Christ, specifically.

          • @Phil H,

            “those enemies of mine….Execute them” – Jesus

 (Luke 19:27)

            This is from The Parable of the 12 Minas.
            That is the context.

            
Is it supposed to make me feel better that Jesus didn’t know
            that people like Hitler and Franco would ‘misunderstand’ his parables?

            Hitler, a Catholic, was certain about the meaning of that parable!



            “….the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”

            - Adolf Hitler
            Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

            

”Hence today I believe that I am 
acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself
 against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
            - Adolf Hitler

            If Jesus didn’t know
            how his Parables would be “misinterpreted”
            how could he have been God !?

            And if Jesus DID know as YOU argue – then it isn’t a misinterpretation – JESUS simply meant what he said.

            “execute them” – JESUS

            Nothing has caused more misery for humanity
            than religion.

      • @Phil H,

        “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the elimination of religion or faith in God will usher in some sort of Utopian world and the end of war and evil.”

        Yes.

        Because Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands and other ATHEISTIC COUNTRIES are such miserable places where women have rights, wealth is distributed fairly, people are happy and safe, with free healthcare…etc..

        They could really learn a lot from religious countries like
        IRAN, PAKISTAN, IRAQ, PALESTINE, SAUDI ARABIA, SOUTH AMERICA.

        The reason to KILL other people is
        “because my magic Leprechaun told me to do it”

        Questioning the existence of the killer Leprechauns
        WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE TO START!

        • Any one can compile a highly selective list to prove a point; it’s called ‘cherrypicking’ and I’m quite sure a number of those you’ve listed as ‘Atheists’ would take issue with your characterization of them. Do you get all your facts from the Internet>

          • @Diogenes,

            Every one of the people I listed as Atheists
            have said, “I do not believe in god” in a very public way as when interviewed or in their own memoirs.

            Other people who I could have listed
            who have said they DID NOT believe in a personal god
            or who went out of their way to say they did NOT BELIEVE in the GOD of the Bible:

            Benjamin Franklin
            Thomas Paine
            Thomas Jefferson
            Abraham Lincoln

            Deists excused themselves from all scriptures and all doctrines.
            It is debatable whether ‘deism’ isn’t just a smokescreen for atheism.

  10. “Those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword” – that means us too…besides that there is no way to wipe out 1billion Muslims… what an evil thought. We should not be in Iraq in the first place…how would we like it if the Hindus invaded, marched in and said, “You have weapons of mass destruction and we’re here to save you from your dangerous government and military?”

    • Yes FKH thank you for quoting our Lord.

      So then you recommend that we, and say, the rest of the West like Canada, Great Britain etc should stand by and do nothing? Just like what happened in Rwanda in 1994 as Atheist Max so rightly references?

      The U.S. should now take a position of isolationism when it comes to any sort of intervention in other areas of the world no matter how horrific the crimes? I’m just asking.

      • You cannot avoid war if you continue to promote the nonsense of Jesus!

        “eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe”
        or “Be condemned to Hell”
        (John 6:53-54)(Mark 16:16).

        “I have come to bring FIRE to the world…What constraints I am under!
        I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE….but DIVISION.” – JESUS (Luke 12:49-51)

        These are words of war!

        • He was also the One who said “he who lives the sword, dies by the sword”.

          And “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”

          And “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”

          So which is it Max are Christians a bunch of killers who want to eviscerate the body of unbelievers and eat their hearts or a bunch of craven, sheep being led to the slaughter by their master?

          If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. This is why it’s called an act of Grace.

          How can an atheist and a believer have a debate? Either you would have to suspend your unbelief or I would have to suspend my belief in what I know to be true. However I would argue since I’ve been on both sides, I’m at least able to see where the blindness lies.

          I’m done.

          • @Phil H,

            Your problem is THE INCOHERENCE of your Jesus, not me.

            “Cigarettes are bad for you” – JESUS
            “Cigarettes are Good for you.” – JESUS

            They both can’t be true.
            I am pointing out that Jesus is a con game, nothing more than a parlor trick. And it is time for Christians to stop forcing this nonsense on the rest of us!

            “Blessed are the Peacemakers” – JESUS
            “Do not think I come to bring peace!… but Division” JESUS (Luke 12:49-51)

            “Love your enemies” – JESUS
            “Execute enemies” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

            “Do not Judge” – JESUS
            “Deem [them] UNWORTHY..” – JESUS (Matt 10:14)

            “Love Your neighbor” – JESUS
            “They are Swine” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

            This is trash. A useless, incoherent mess.

          • “execute them”- JESUS
            “slay them” – Allah
            “Kill them” – Yahweh

            Anyone who thinks this garbage
            can be taught, or preached,
            safely and without killing innocent people, is willfully ignorant.

            Christians KILL. That is what they do.

            Shame on you, Phil H!

  11. @ Phil – A Max was abused by Catholic leaders (men) for 44 years by his own admission. I am sorry for him and his weak attempts to justify his hatred. No one can argue perspective with one who is still eclipsed by another’s abuse. “The letter kills but the Spirit gives life” – Justice will come to us all so keep the faith!

      • If what Art says is true then I can certainly understand why you would have a very, very negative view of our faith and I’m very sorry for that!

        Memories are memories and I have learned (in 57 years) they can not be suppressed or abolished entirely.

        I can only say that abuse and violence is not in any way a taught or supported by the words of Jesus or the Apostles. I can only suggest that you would put aside the evil actions of your abusers and pursue Him separate from that. Again, if what Art said is true.

        This can be the big problem with the internet – not knowing anything about the person at the other end.

        Jesus said ‘the road is narrow and the gate is small that leads life and only a few find it”. I see the truth in this more and more each day.

        • @Phil H,

          Art tried to change the subject. I was not ‘abused’ by a priest.
          I was lied to.

          Of course the injunctions of Jesus are abusive, absolutist and immoral:

          :-( JESUS COMMANDS YOU TO JUDGE
          OTHERS HARSHLY
          MAKE A “TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM”

          “Any place that does not listen to you,
          as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet
          for a testimony against them.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

          “If you deem [them] not worthy,
          take back your blessing of peace” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)

          :-( JESUS SAYS ‘KILL THEM’

          “bring to me those enemies of mine who
          would not have me for their king – and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

          • Then you have a complete misunderstanding of the Gospel. I’m sorry for that. I hope one day you will reconsider but, at present, it appears that your mind is made up.

          • @Phil H,

            Name one person who has the ‘correct’ interpretation of the Bible.
            Christians like these:

            The Koch Brothers?
            Rupert Murdoch?
            Pat Robertson?
            Sarah Palin?
            Pope Francis who aids and abets the pedophile priests in hiding?
            Michelle Bachmann?
            The Rwandan Catholics who killed 800,000?
            The Orthodox Priests in Russia who round up gays for persecution?

            ATHEISTS
            HAVE THE RIGHT INTERPRETATION
            OF THE BIBLE.
            THEY CALL IT ‘UNBELIEVABLE’:

            Paul Newman who raised $370 million for charities
            Oskar Schindler who saved thousands of Jews
            Warren Buffett who raised millions to save lives
            Bill Gates who raised millions to save lives
            Andrew Carnegie who built all of our public libraries.
            Norman Borlaug who fed the whole world!
            Chuck Feeney
            George Soros
            Richard Branson
            Jon Huntsman, Sr.
            Gordon More
            Johns Hopkins
            Jeff Skoll

            If religion is so good, why do its practitioners act so awful?
            Is it just too scary to admit a godless humanity is all we have and we’d better start doing the best we can to help each other?

    • @Art,

      “I am sorry for him and his weak attempts to justify his hatred.”

      And I am sorry you agree with Al Queda, The Catholic League, Nation of Islam and ISIS and the faith-based arguments defended by suicide bombers, genital mutilators, women-hating doctrines, etc.

      Sorry you see the rejection of suicide bombing as a negative thing.
      How sinister can you be?

  12. Two sides of a coin all the same. One religion says their religion is evil and theirs is good. It’s bad enough we have wars about land it’s worse it’s about religion.

    … a verse most suiting.

    “The nature of humanity is evil. His goodness is acquired”

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