Atheist group threatens suit over ‘angels’ on memorial to beloved teacher

JOANN Christy’s 26-year career educating children at Ravenswood Middle School in the US came to a tragic end in 2004, when she died in a car accident. But her loved ones and the community she had served sought to remember her with an engraved, stone memorial decorated with angels near the school’s entrance.

But more than a decade later, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the memorial gone, claiming its presence on public grounds violates the First Amendment. The foundation criticized the display as a promotion of religion that infringes on students rights.The foundation wrote a letter to the school requesting an investigation into the memorial and the “multiple Latin crosses” near the school’s entrance.

Christy’s family, apparently in an attempt to resolve the situation, reportedly agreed to the removal of the crosses, but left the angels in memory of Christy, who had a collection of angel figurines.

The legal threat did not sit well with some in the community, who said the memorial is merely a remembrance of a teacher, not an endorsement of Christianity.

Charles Hicks, the pastor at Christy’s church, remembered her as a devoted Christian who died in a car crash after a Bible study meeting at the church.

“It is a remembrance of who Joann Christy was,” Hicks said. “And it is hard to separate the good that she did and her devotion to her Christian faith.”

A local TV station pointed out that the atheist group did not have an issue with the school’s mascot: a red devil.

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63 thoughts on “Atheist group threatens suit over ‘angels’ on memorial to beloved teacher

      • “Fundamental atheists”?? As opposed to what?
        How can a NON-ideology be carved into denominational degrees?
        Neither have I ever heard of ‘atheist morality’. Can you tell us what it is?

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      • yeah yeah yeah. Y’say that all the time; it’s impossible NOT to read it.

        “As I said, you don’t bother to read or listen to what anyone else says. And I guess you won’t bother to read this!!”
        “As I said, you don’t bother to read or listen to what anyone else says. And I guess you won’t bother to read this!!”

        You say it every time you shy away from an issue because you’ve nothing useful TO say, or because the only reasonable response is one you don’t like.

        From the top, Sam? :-

        Bryan……. Webster-Miriam defines a bigot as a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own.
        Dabbbles…….. Agreed. That clearly defines god ~ any god ~ as being a bigot. Right?
        Bryan…….You don’t bother to read or listen to what anyone else says.
        Dabbbles…. And it just as clearly defines YOU as a bigot; right?
        Bryan….. I did not say you were a liar!
        Dabbles…. Here’s the proof that you did:- you say (quote) “another lie of dabbles” (unquote), and obviously refer to a series of lies.
        Bryan…… You don’t bother to read or listen to what anyone else says.
        Dabbbles…..But is my assertion correct or do you have a counter-argument?
        Bryan….. We’re special to god, so we can think in the abstract! That’s more than other animals can do.
        Dabbbles ….. Why do you say “other animals” when for years you’ve insisted humans aren’t animals at all?
        Bryan (and chorus of other Li’l Ol’ Ladies)…..Stop bullying us!!!
        Dabbbles…… I’m not bullying you! Just asking if you do have anything to say on the actual issue. ANY issue. A single FACT, for example.
        Bryan & chorus…….We have a soul and can think in an abstract fashion, which makes us a superior creation, so we don’t NEED facts.
        Dabbbles….. (Censored)
        Bryan……. You don’t bother to read or listen to what anyone else says.
        Dabbble….. Well SAY something! Make it up as you go along if you have to; I know you’re good at that.
        Bryan…….You wouldn’t understand the context.
        Dabbbles…… (Censored)

        …..and I’ve just wasted yet another percentage of the rest of my life!
        (Perhaps THAT’S the plan…….????)

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      • I meant ‘atheists who are militant’, Dabs.

        Some are zealots who, in the words of Steven Glover, for the Daily Mail, states “despite their scientific training, can be far more emotional and extreme in their thinking than the religious believers whom they hold in contempt.

        The truth is that there is a new breed of militant atheists who are capable of being as unreasoning as the most bone-headed creationist. Their intolerance is a strange mirror reflection of the bigotry of religious extremists. Some are habitual anti-religion diehards and the most devoted anti-religious crusaders of all.

        Such people are almost unhinged in their relentless excoriation and unceasing hatred of religion.

        The atheistical zealot makes no distinction between Christian, Muslim and Jew in his denunciations of all religion as irrational and destructive. Christians simply make up a larger target because there are more of them in this country, but all people of faith should feel under attack.

        Fashionable though they may be, and feted in certain quarters, the militant atheists, by contrast, constitute a small minority. However, they make a great deal of noise, and are extremely sure of themselves.

        It’s evidently painful for them to live in a Christian country, but they do. However loud their cries, they can’t re-brand the one they inhabit, which has been shaped by the Christian faith in countless ways, and continues to be influenced by it.”

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2609924/This-new-breed-militant-atheists-intolerant-religious-fundamentalists.html

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      • ” no distinction between Christian, Muslim and Jew in his denunciations of all religion as irrational and destructive”

        And the distinctions would be ? ?

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      • One might suggest, Mon, that “there is a new breed of militant atheists who are capable of being as unreasoning as the most bone-headed creationist.” is a cameo of the (specially-created /human animal ~ take your pick!) nitwit species generally.
        (Perhaps confirmed by the FACT that pound-for-pound homosapiens has by far the biggest head-bone of any creature known.)
        One might also suggest that a ‘militant atheist’ cannot actually exist ~ even semantically.
        It’s not possible to be militant about, literally, ‘nothing’ ~ a NON- belief.
        In reality (though we all tend to get sloppy with language) it’s not even semantically or philosophically possible for an individual to be ‘AN’ atheist. At most, the concept ~ and correct use ~ allows one to ‘BE’ atheist. …’without god’. eg. BillyBob.

        One might further note that not once through the years have I nor any other atheist that I can recall posted an advocacy of atheism on this site. There IS nothing to advocate.
        Bryan, one the other hand, with a horde of ‘believers’ in train, brings up the issue repeatedly. Even repetitively, ad.nausem. But ALWAYS in advocacy of religion, which does have a substance that can be supported or rejected and therefore CAN be an issue which is capable of advocacy or defence.
        A boxer in a ring on his own simply cannot win a fight UNLESS he punches up an imaginary opponent. ( it’s called shadow-boxing) On the other hand, the imaginary opponent cannot ever win a fight under any circumstances.
        He doesn’t exist, and, while it may serve a training purpose, shadow-boxing makes one look about as foolish as it’s possible to look.
        It’s why the apologists are so utterly desperate in asserting that ‘atheism’ is a belief, and pick a fight on that basis. They’d rather go down in a bloody heap than admit they can’t get a fight in the first place. In other circumstances such a situation is called ‘A Religious War’

        As I read it, ‘militant atheists’ don’t (can’t) advocate atheism; they try to dismantle religion ~ a whole different game, and one that finds easy justification. A good example is Richard Dawkins, though he’s no ‘Great Communicator’. Imagine Hitler or Ronald Reagan pushing the barrow for atheism; there wouldn’t be a godbotherer left standing…….except for the bigots (sic!) on this blog. 😉

        And as I also read it, those who declare/describe themselves as a militant atheist are more likely to be a closet-godbotherer who can’t get a fight.
        ….probably because they’re too stupid to be ANYthing.

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  1. The arrogance here is not that the memory of this beloved teacher is forcing atheists to share her beliefs, it is arrogant to deny those who knew her the right to remember that she was a Christian who collected angel figurines. I suppose if she collected Disney characters that would be okay. Of course, then those of us who don’t believe in Cinderella should be offended.

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    • Therein lies the difficulty ~ and sometimes outright evil ~ in building and maintaining artificially huge population-groups. Usually these are based upon the general religious edict:- ‘Go forth and multiply and fill the earth.’

      In the same vein I see the public being groomed (sic) for the removal of yet more of the few remaining individual rights and considerations on the basis the ta-da!! Terrorist Threat.
      Needless to say those of us who can’t be cajoled and kidded into accepting this extension or the Police State (for our own good, of course!!) will be terrorised into submission….or gaoled or whatever. Not far down the track we’ll no doubt also have our private property confiscated in order to pay for our incarceration.
      ….and to fund the the dedicated heroism of our Anti Anti-Terrorist Police.
      And before you start laughing, remember there are precedents that go back millennia.

      All the Hippie conscientious objectors must’ve died.
      …. or something.

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    • “A local TV station pointed out that the atheist group did not have an issue with the school’s mascot: a red devil.” Ha ha ha!
      As also with Disney characters.

      But what if she had been Hindu, and symbols of Shiva had been placed there? Some Christians would have been okay with that, but others – I think not.

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      • You might want to see whether Alliance Defending Freedom will help this family. They help with religious freedom issues. The Bill of Rights includes both the prohibition against the government establishing religion (anti-establishment clause) AND against interfering with the free exercise of religion. They are both there, not just one or the other.

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    • Incidemtally, as a general question, one wonders why, if she was a wonderful well-loved person, those who knew her need icons in order to remember her. Ditto hugely expensive grave-stones, the money for which could’ve fed gawd-knows how many poor people, for example.
      Now what was that about ‘morality’??

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      • ….or even resource-wasting cemeteries?
        Perhaps another of those ‘abstract’ qualities that make the human animal so ‘special’??

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      • Judas pointed out to Jesus that the ointment put on his feet by Mary Magdalene could have been sold and given to the poor. Your argument against gravestones makes me wonder if your deceased family members are buried in cemeteries and had funerals or if y’all saved the money by not doing that and, if so, if you gave it to the poor. My father had a 21 gun salute as a military honor. i don’t think it was a waste.

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      • Yep….”Judas pointed out to Jesus that the ointment..”
        And I have NO qualms in saying Judas was right. (in fact, if you can ignore the ‘preached’ mindset, you might conclude Judas put ALL the rest of them in the shade in terms of actually LIVING the christian ideals….among other things he was the ONLY one Jesus could trust to play the necessary role of ‘betrayer’ if Jesus were to ‘fulfil the prophecy’ and claim the fame. Judas has carried that burden for 2000 years, and was prepared to keep his mouth shut because he believed in ‘The Cause’. The only REAL christian among them ~ including Jesus if you want to get into that.

        And to confirm my first assertion:-
        On the one hand we have the accolades for the widow’s mites (the MOST laudable action of the whole gospel up until then as far as I’m concerned) and on the other this hypocrite who ~ after years of preaching sacrifice and selflessness ~ wants to go to his grave smelling sweet, no matter how many kids are going to bed hungry, or in actual pain from drinking contaminated water.

        Ever seen a movie called ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’. If you haven’t, make a point of doing so; apart from anything else it makes the whole gospel yarn approximately ‘feasible’ in the real world……and the last 10 seconds redeem the character of Jesus. You may have to watch it several times before it jells in your brain.

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      • You are under a strong delusion Dabs. You really are. And what’s more you believe what you say. 😯

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      • In case you don’t know what I am talking about Dabs, this is how Got Questions Org explains it below, and I couldn’t agree more. Amazingly, I was just now looking for an old prophetic word the Lord gave me about Judas many years ago when I asked Him if Judas was saved, and came across another word of rebuke instead. The context is identical to what is said below by Got Questions Org:

        The Bible makes it clear why God is sending a strong delusion in the end times:

        “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Simply put, God sends a strong delusion to those who chose not to believe the gospel of Christ. Those who take delight in mocking and rejecting Him, He will condemn.

        It is man’s choice whether to accept and believe the truth of Jesus Christ as presented in the Scriptures. To receive the truth and the love God offers is in keeping with its teachings, “This is love for God: to obey His commands” (1 John 5:3). Conversely, to know the truth and not obey it is to face the wrath of God: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18). Frankly speaking, there is no more dangerous condition for man than to know the truth and refuse to obey it. To do so is to harden the heart and make God’s condemnation sure.

        When one knows the truth and refuses to obey it, he is subject to any lie, any deception, any untruth that man can conjure up. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21-22). Paul goes on in next few verses to describe the mindset and behaviors of those who disbelieve (see Romans 1:29-31). As a result of man’s foolishness and his arrogant disdain of the things of God, “God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28). And correspondingly, “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32).

        Isaiah puts it succinctly: “They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations; so I [God] also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in My sight and chose what displeases Me” (Isaiah 66:3-4).

        When men know the truth and refuse to receive it, when they refuse to obey it and hold it in unrighteousness, “they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:12 NLT).

        “God is love” (1 John 4:16). He is not some cruel monster who deliberately and inwardly delights in preparing people for everlasting condemnation. But He earnestly and lovingly proclaims the gospel of Christ, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

        Throughout the Scriptures, God urges people to accept the truth. But when people reject Him and spurn His message, then—and not until then—God hardens them and turns them over to a deluded mind to wallow in their wickedness to their eternal damnation. This is what the Lord says about those who choose to reject the truth: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them; He will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins” (Jeremiah 14:10).

        http://www.gotquestions.org/strong-delusion.html#ixzz3SXf9i7lJ

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      • Geez Mon! Have you been hanging around with that Bryan Patterson character again!?
        You’ve picked up his bug.—->>(“You are under a strong delusion Dabs. You really are.”)

        Next time you get anywhere near him use condoms! (about three stuffed in each ear ought to do it!)
        ….and then try addressing the issue!

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      • er…..WHICH case, Mon.? (“In case you don’t know what I am talking about Dabs”)
        I have trouble keeping up since the adding-machine broke down…. 🙂

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      • I did address the issue, by ignoring what you said because what you said is so daft, and it’s the same BS you’ve been spouting for as long as I can remember since participating in this blog.

        May I suggest that it’s time you removed the condoms that are apparently jammed in your ears?

        Oh, and I’m not a young Mormon, unsure of my faith in the Word of God and easily shaken when confronted by your wild imaginations. No, I am someone who knows that Jesus Christ lives, and therefore I have no need to listen to your fairy tales…..and I won’t, Dabs.

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      • Sounds good, Mon:- “Judas Iscariot: From Apostle to Apostate”;
        it’s got rythm, alliteration, and tends make one overlook the fallacy of the basic premise.
        Judas was never an ‘apostle’.

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      • Chapter and verse?:- “Judas Iscariot was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve original apostles of Jesus Christ.

        As far as I know the disciples were created apostles AFTER the resurrection by the ‘great commission’, by which time Judas had long since departed.

        Here—> are a few dozen linked references. http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-an-apostle.html
        eg.”The qualifications of this type of apostle were: (1) to have been an witness of the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1), (2) to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:15), and (3) to have the ability to perform signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; 2 Corinthians 12:12).

        Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-an-apostle.html#ixzz3Soxp3TUQ

        But that’s ok. ~ I’m used to your bullshit.
        Though the downright nastiness is new.

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      • Yes that definition does point to a difference between disciples and apostles. Practically there is little difference between the way these two words are used in the Bible.
        An apostle was originally and usually referred to the early followers of Jesus.The twelve “disciples” or maybe “apostles: clearly had a different role than the crowd of “disciples” who followed Jesus across the countryside. The apostle word means “one sent forth.” It was the title Jesus gave to the twelve whom he chose and ordained to be his closest disciples during his ministry on earth. When a vacancy occurred with the death of Judas Iscariot, Matthias was appointed to that special office.

        For all that, I feel that the definition you linked may be more accurate.

        I’m used to your bullshit.
        Though the downright nastiness is new.

        Yeah I’m used to yours as well. I apologise if I’ve hurt your sensitivities. Maybe you can give it out but not take it.The truth sometimes hurts

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    • Is there any separation of Disney and State explicitly built into the US constitution ?

      Cause if there’s not it’s a kinda stupid analogy.

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      • Right so people will remember “that she was a Christian who collected angel figurines.” by noticing the angels that have nothing to do with Christianity.

        Yeah that makes sense.

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  2. Wouldn’t’Cha no, you did not answer my question about whether your own family buries its dead in cemeteries and marks graves with gravestones. You made a point about giving to the poor instead, but I wonder what you actually do regarding dead relatives and about giving to the poor. It is a fair question. If you were urging donations to the Red Cross, it would be fair to ask if you give to the Red Cross. You expressed you admiration for Judas. Why should I admire you?

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    • Cowboy, I have strong sympathy with Judas too. Are you sure his last actions weren’t at the behest of Jesus himself? How can you be sure, as the gospels won’t help you. Only Paul’s theology goes there. And there is a big band of apologists like Got Questions Org who are of course on that wagon.

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      • I think the circumstantial evidence is unassailable, Strewth. The whole of the gospels is predicated upon supposed prophecy from the OT.
        That (supposedly) dictates that the events take place at a certain place and time and under particular circumstances. ANY claim to legitimacy of Jesus’ mission depended on fulfilling all the above, which meant it couldn’t be left to chance.

        The whole thing was engineered and Judas was the engine-driver because NONE of the others could’ve been relied upon to the extent necessary. (They didn’t even have the nerve to attend the crucifxion, ~ and denied any connexion when challenged.
        Even the long march to Jerusalem after they’d been laying doggo in the north for some time points to the stage-management (though some might claim god was the choreographer as far back as the Creation’)

        Keep in mind they were well tucked-up in a safe house (the law had been looking for Jesus for some time). Judas was sent to dob them in ~ and the others didn’t know they were going ANYwhere, nor where they would go, BEFORE JUDAS LEFT the table. The ONLY way Judas could’ve known was if Jesus told him in advance.

        Judas the long-standing zealot hardcase was also the only one with the political nous and ruthlessness necessary to make it work. (and the guts! ~ he wouldn’t’ve been on his knees sweating blood looking for a reprieve at the ’11th hour’, as Jesus did..

        Even after the event: it’s nonsense to suggest a traitor who was motivated enough to do what he did EVER feel any remorse. But a hero who did what was necessary could easily regret doing what was necessary ~ and seek to throw the money back at those who’d paid for his treachery.

        And then, right at the end, just before the ascension, even though being urged by the others, Jesus refused to condemn Judas.

        The only other way that could’ve been explained would be with another homily about ‘forgiving your enemies’. But that didn’t happen. Instead, when pushed by the others as to why Judas wasn’t to be punished he, in effect, snapped at them ‘mind your own ucfking business!’.
        In hebrew, of course ~ or greek…or aramaic….whatever. Whichever it was it obviously lost something in the translation.

        70 years later the same Zealot spirit stood up to the might of the Roman Empire at Masada, in another demonstration of ruthless politico/religious determination.
        People with that sort of fanaticism can’t be bought for 30 pieces of silver.

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      • My comment merely pointed out that Judas wanted to give to the poor like Dabs said he did rather than bury the dead. Jesus also said, “The poor you shall always have with you.” I think we can both honor the dead and give to the poor. There is more than one use for money. Giving to the poor sounds noble, and it is the responsibility of those who have resources to do so. But that does not require doing away with cemeteries.

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      • That depends on who’s doing the measuring [Yes some things can be measured.] and what they use for a yardstick. Sort of like those experimenters you mentioned who ‘sized’/measured a fraction of ‘Infinity’ during which their monkeys could polay with a typewriter..
        My financial situation is currently in a most peculiar state, but I’m comfortable that I pay my way: I make a point of it as a matter of ….er,.. ‘principle’ (erk) to pay for the resources I choose to use or services I support.
        And not paying taxes is also a matter of principle, (though of course it’s not entirely possible to duck.) If the “rest of” you choose to willy-nilly hand over your cash to any thug (beginning with Moses) who demands it under threat of consequences that’s up to you.
        ….But you might want to consider buying a pair of iron knickers; up to now the protection-racket bureaucracy has been happy to keep you on your knees. Given the recently-created ‘new horizons’ I can see the time coming when you’ll be required to be on all fours.

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      • If you don’t pay taxes you’re not paying your way (roads, hospitals etc etc that YOU use)). We are paying your way.
        Tax avoiders (including corporations) who use the excuse of “principle” are not fooling anyone. It’s all about self interest and not giving a damn about the rest of us.

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      • ps…. What’s wrong with this that it hasn’t bee published?:-

        Woodn’t’Cha no on February 24, 2015 at 14:51 said:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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      • Careful there Mon. Churlishness makes your hair go curly! 🙂
        –> “And what’s more, he judges us…..”

        Three of the books you mentioned are indisputably fiction ~ and there’s no reason ‘inspiration’ shouldn’t be garnered whenever and where-ever it presents itself. Shakespeare is another source of endless inspiration for the human being in me.
        Quite unlike the bible, in fact ~ which pretends to be ‘factual’, and has no relevance to the ‘real’ human being in us. It tries to drag us into a realm which (though perhaps ‘desirable’) is not fit for human nature or humanity.
        Human beings never could and never will be able to walk on water; nor love their enemies ~ which in itself is a contradictory and self-defeating concept. If you ‘love’ them they can’t BE ‘enemies’…..which is the whole point of the lesson.

        Ardrey’s is not a work of fiction like the others. But, unlike the bible, it DOES present facts. And, also unlike the bible, it it raises propositions based on those facts and invites us to use our brains to evaluate those facts.
        I found a great deal of ‘inspiration’ by doing exactly that. For one thing it resonates with what I know about myself and other people ~ and a lot of other animals as well.

        And the final difference is this:-
        I have read the bible and cogitated upon it’s contents fairly and without prejudice.
        I doubt you’ve done the same for the books you disparage.
        What’re you afraid of?
        Reality?

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      • So, I finally got your attention Dabs. Wonders will never cease! 😉

        African Genesis is the only book I haven’t read out of that list. At one time—-when I was a teenager—I too got a lot out of all that fiction, but I’ve moved on, a long time ago. You seem to be stuck, 🙂

        And no, I wasn’t deliberately being mean spirited. Short perhaps, because I’ve had enough of your nonsense.

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      • Can you find out how much the furball in the Lotus Position paid in taxes last year?
        Obviously it must be more than the tax-dodging Kerry Packer, for example.
        And let’s not forget that for years the best-built and most meticulously-maintained road in the whole of Australia was that which ran from the Premier’s office in Brisbane to the front door of the Honourable (!) Joh Bejelke-Pedersen ~ when every other road in the state was at best a goat-track. All paid for by the dopey taxpayers. But, as god-bothing Queenslanders they neither knew or cared.
        Nobody else I know of used the road.
        Did you?? (because of the way finances/federal-funding, etc. are set up you will certainly have helped pay for it. Just makes your chest swell with pride, I’ll bet!

        Even if all your twaddle had some justification, by WHAT right ~ other than sheer fire-power ~ has anybody to demand I pay for something I neither need nor want?
        Nor approve: like sending troops to the other side of the world to butcher Afghans, Iraqis or anybody else. Or the incarceration of conscientious objectors ~ at least those who didn’t have the cash and connections to duck ‘out of the draught’ (sic)
        I know Eric the Red succumbed (years later) to the blandishments of taxpayer-funded social-security cheques. Sometimes wonder how those nearer to home made out. You know…those who ran and hid in church and overseas, etc.

        Moses, who invented taxation and a society based on the (discriminatory!) Class System told the jews that god TOLD him to institute a tax system in the week after he had “over 3000” dissenters murdered and their property divvied-up.

        Odd, though; it’s such a fundamental source of road-building revenue I’m amazed god neither mentioned it in the Ten Commandments where so much other ‘law’ is laid down, let alone created it Himself ‘On the Seventh Day’ of Creation….

        oh! Just remembered: He had an RDO on the Sunday, didn’t he.

        Anybody in this country who does not minimise his tax wants his head read. I can tell you as a government that you are not spending it so well that we should be donating extra. ~ Kerry Packer.

        As it should be:-
        I don’t give guarantees to governments, I get them. Kerry Pack.

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      • I thought self-interest and abandonment of honour,virtue, fairness, and integrity was better demonstrated by those who’d SELL an eternal soul (their own or somweone else’s) for a seat in heaven, and bugger any other consideration.

        And btw. the only time you’ve ‘paid for’ me was when you were paying $1300 a day to keep me locked up. And that was YOUR choice, not mine. (and it was also your choice to support the thuggery and buggery that went on for years in the various church-run boys’ and girls’ homes.)
        Other than that I CHALLENGE you to pinpoint a single dollar which ‘YOU’ have paid for ‘ME’.

        Roads? I pay assorted ‘duties’ to pay for the roads I use ~ and object to paying for roads I DON’T use or don’t think should be there. Or legal fees of a coupla billion dollars for the breach of contract which results from a political shitfight over roads….which would never have occurred if those moronic taxpayers represented by YOU had kept a tighter grip on their purse-strings and refused to install yet another bunch of parasitic, big-headed, holier-than-thou politicians and their support-crew of ‘militarised police’ who are killing more and more people as time passes. In fact, YOUR taxes go to more ‘ law-enforcement officers’ than there are soldiers in the army …for whose activities you also pay ~ like the slaughter of men, women and kids all over the world. (Not to mention the destruction of the atmosphere due to them playing with there mechanical toys. Flying a single politician across the country or ovwerseas in a 300-ton aircraft, for example.)
        And since you pay for that slaughter, and couldn’t bear to admit you’re in the wrong, you cheer them on and find excuses for their activities. .
        Even to the point of having some rrsol Prime Minister you’ve also paid to elect declare that ‘Australia’ ~including YOU ~ wants to send paid (by YOU!) killers overseas quite unilaterally, and for no other purpose but to patch up his tattered record in the electorate.

        Hospitals, I think was the other bitch you had.
        Well, any services I use I pay full price for. Last week a consultation cost me $119. And my last hospital bill set me back just over $2000 for about an hour’s work.
        And it’s not something I complain about because I chose to use the service. But I DO object to having to pay for your a doctor shoving a finger up your bum to play with out your prostate gland….. at least without asking me first.
        Free Will?? My arse…um,your’s actually.

        And I object to paying ‘rates’ on a house I’ve already paid for and own, and for the ‘supply’ of water whether I want it or use it or not. Ditto sewerage. Ditto for about a million other ‘services’ some overstuffed bureaucrat ~ handsomely paid for by YOU ~decides I need whether I do or not ~ and all without asking me.
        ….and let’s not start on the mafia-style ripoff called ‘stamp duty’ ~ let alone the GST we pay ON that stamp-duty.
        If Ned Kelly collected it you’d call it robbery.

        Time to put up or shut up. Tell us all how much tax YOU paid last year, and we’ll divvy it up to try and figure out how much “WE” (you) paid “YOU” (me). (And I here assume your “WE” does, in fact, include you, and you’re not copping some Centrelink payment or other ‘free’ income for which you don’t work. (I deliberately DON’T say ‘work in an economically-productive way’, because I KNOW you don’t do that.)

        And further, I’m happy to compare my contribution (and, recently, personal references!) to yours any day you feel game. …which I’m betting won’t be tomorrow.
        My confidence stems from the knowledge that Jesus wouldn’t be seen dead in your suburb ~ not while 100,000 or more people were living on the streets in the slum areas……Partly because the well (taxpayer) funded police would keep them off those streets you inhabit.
        Nor would he have considered castigating a ‘multitude’ for “bludging” a few loaves and fishes.
        …or the occasional leprosy-cure.
        But of course he didn’t pay taxes unnecessarily either, did he?
        A Bludger after my own heart.

        PS. Typically, you haven’t answered my question as to how much tax the exemplary Hippie in the drawing paid last year ~ as compared to those seeking tax-minimisation advice in the other line.
        Let him who is without sin….and all that.

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      • Sorry Dabbles you are wrong on several points re Jesus and tax.
        In Matthew 22:17-21, the Pharisees asked Jesus a question: “Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought Him a denarius, and He asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” In full agreement, the Apostle Paul taught, “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:6-7).

        In Matthew 17:24-27 we learn that Jesus did indeed pay taxes:
        After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
        “Yes, he does,” he replied.

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      • The selfish ones like Dabbles are parasites. They care only for themselves and no one else. They probably wouldn’t have any real friends.

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      • Well, Mel (“The selfish ones like Dabbles are parasites. They care only for themselves and no one else. They probably wouldn’t have any real friends.”)
        …I’ll make you the same challenge I offered Our Host.
        But let’s make it interesting, hey.?
        Let’s each put 5 grand on the table to go to a charity selected by whoever has contributed the most (to non-self-serving) charitable causes over the last twelve months, and who has ‘parasited’ the fewest freebies from whatever source ~ including Centrelink.
        Oh…….. and who can produce the most ‘real friends’….. independent ones; not counting relatives or people you owe money/favours to/from..

        Get in touch and we’ll work out the details and accountancy methods.
        ….and decide upon someone neutral to hold the bets.
        But you’ll have to hurry! I expect Bryan to to take up the challenge any decade now.
        Or not.
        ….and here’s the irony!:- I’ll lay odds that Bryan has ‘paid’ you rather a lot more than he’s paid me, in the last, say, ten years.
        He’s such a ‘giver’, y’know. Can’t help himself.

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    • Very briefly, cowboylawyer…(can’t help wondering whether you represent the cowboys or he cows??):-
      I have this long-held motto that anything done according to convention must be wrong in principle.
      Other family members observed all the conventions above, and over my objections. The corpse doesn’t care , and wasting dwindling resources to pander to a survivor’s (unthought-out) sensibilities is unjustifiable; particularly when those sensibilities become calloused after a few months, years, or whenever said survivor ceases to survive: whichever comes first. Can you remember (to make it easy) anything about your maternal great-great grandmother, some of whose very genes you carry?

      In hindsight (I know: perfect vision!) would you rather the people who poured resources into her funeral/death had invested it at 5% to go toward’s
      your (hypothetical) child’s education or some other useful end. (Just “useful”: ignoring even any such considerations as ‘good’ and ‘bad’.)
      My wishes for my last remains have been officially documented and my ‘friends’ informed of them: Donated to medical science (to perhaps save some other animal or two being tortured, mutilated and butchered ‘experimentally’); failing which turned into dogfood for the countles animals whose owners should’ve been processed already or used in some other useful way, like fertilizer to grow food for kids whose stupid rrrsoles of parents breed like rabbits on viagra only to watch them die of malnutrition or associated diseases.

      Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Anything else is bullshit; as you’re probably aware, there is more life and vitality and potential in a pile of horseshit in the sun by the creek than in the deeply-buried and weighted-down-by-marble (or cremated) remains of even some King of Kings.

      Is there a connection between me ‘admiring’ Judas and seeking ‘admiration’ from others? ‘Twould never have occurred to me ~ perhaps because it’s not in my nature to seek admiration at all; I don’t think in such terms, since we can all do ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ things that have no bearing on admirability or its lack. So while I don’t see it as being strictly necessary to make ’cause-and-effect’ connections (! think about it) querying credentials is not unreasonable.Generally: yes, I practice what I preach. But whatever I do I do because it needs doing and I’m on the spot with the necessary resources. Life isn’t any ‘bigger’ or more ‘important’ than that.
      …and anything less amounts to a waste of resources and flies in the face of the natural order of all things.
      I don’t keep accounts in such matters because for one thing any effects can’t be realistically measured, and anyway I’m not comfortable doing so even where it’s possible. Unlike our mongrel-bred, seminary-educated ‘Prime’ Minister, who last week demanded the Indonesians drop the death penalty for drug-traffickers because ‘Australia’ had put some money into tsunami-relief.

      A small comment, since you mention the Red Cross, might be that a couple of weeks ago ( due to a personal situation) I availed myself of a service the R/C provides wherein each morning they ring people with age/medical risks who live alone to make sure they’re ok.. Not a big deal, but I appreciated the concern at least as much as the service. Consequently I offered to make some calls myself. Some of the best things can’t even BE measured.

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      • And what’s more, he judges us by his own ‘superior’ standards, which are, ‘African Genesis’, ‘Soylent Green’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’, just to name the few sources of fiction that have greatly ‘inspired’ Dabs, that I can remember. Now who is deluded again? 🙂

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      • You are a deep thinker. You seem intelligent. I recommend that besides thinking deeply, that you also think widely. By that I mean considering that there is more than one choice. One can pay for a funeral and give to Red Cross. Or do neither. There are many good places for one’s money and we have the freedom to decide for ourselves even if you would decide to make other choices. I acknowledge your right to donate your body to science. I even think it is a good way to contribute to medical research. Please acknowledge my father’s right to be cremated and the right of others to put angels on a memorial to a loved one.

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      • Thanks for the thought cowboylawyer; but I certainly wouldn’t deny your father the right to be cremated or anything else that mattered to him. I’m an anarchist by nature and by conviction.
        I’ve also got an overarching aversion to wastage of resources ~ in general, I really suspect it’s a genetic thing! , but particularly when there’s so much need.

        My main beef is that people often don’t give a thought to anything much, and act from rote, convention or compulsion ~ either conditioned-in/personal or socially-demanded/legally-required.

        Sometimes making a salient point can be enlightening and fruitful in the longer term, and the benefits can ripple out in all directions.
        That’s about the best I hope to achieve.
        …and in that respect I could tell you some real good-news stories in the field of animal rescue and rehab. which is my ‘thing’……(‘Thang’?) 🙂

        Getting back on track: my problem with Jesus and the oil wasn’t so much that that’s how it went down, but that Judas has unjustly been getting a kicking over it ever since.
        Another pet peeve is the sanctimonious accusation that he became the group’s ‘treasurer’ because he was in the business of stealing from the kitty.
        I think it’s far more likely that he was holder of the bank-account because he was a zealot: by definition a man who carried a knife and could ~ and would ~ fight off any would-be robber.

        Did you have a go at getting hold of that movie I mentioned. If necessary I could run up a DVD and send it over.

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      • I’ve never read such brainless, prejudiced garbage in anything theological I’ve ever read. Or ANYthing I’ve ever read.
        In fact the author/his organisation are obviously themselves guilty of their most damning condemnation:-
        “There is none so disgusting as he who attempts to achieve fame and fortune by “hitching a ride” on the back of the crucified Son of God. See “Judas’ Deal, 2,000 Years Later.”

        Apart from any other consideration, ask yourself why Jesus CHOSE Judas as a disciple in the first place. Whatever Judas’ motive was, are you suggesting God/Jesus was so STUPID as not to know what was coming and chose Judas for that very reason.
        Does the WHOLE value of Jesus’ birth, training and ministry AND the enitre gospel story hinge on the sheer CHANCE that Judas would ‘betray’ Jesus….and at just the right moment, and in all the necessary circumstances, on the off-chance that the Sanhedrin (a) wanted to know and (b) had a stray 30 pieces of silver laying around.

        I suppose the contention, then, must be that the long trek to Jerusalem from the north (where they’d been laying doggo for months), at that very time, along with the triumphal entry into the city, must also have been just sheer coincidence.

        ooops!!
        …..and I’m a devout atheist!

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      • ps…..and let’s not forget the incredible pure luck in finding a suitable donkey just standing around idly, with an owner who didn’t mind lending it to a complete stranger, just when it was needed to get god to his hotel for the night! Perfect timing, perchance?

        The Donkey
        By G. K. Chesterton
        When fishes flew and forests walked
        And figs grew upon thorn,
        Some moment when the moon was blood
        Then surely I was born.

        With monstrous head and sickening cry
        And ears like errant wings,
        The devil’s walking parody
        On all four-footed things.

        The tattered outlaw of the earth,
        Of ancient crooked will;
        Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
        I keep my secret still.

        Fools! For I also had my hour;
        One far fierce hour and sweet:
        There was a shout about my ears,
        And palms before my feet.

        ….and btw: this donkey has served Jesus more practically and consistently than any ‘abstact-thinking’ ‘christian’ I’ve ever known of. Never once committed a sin!

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      • Sent by a mate

        “In ‘The Donkey,’ Chesterton describes how the donkey is looked upon by people and when the donkey had been chosen by the greatest Creator of all. The first stanza begins with the donkey’s birth, ‘When fishes flew and forests walked/….Some moment when the moon was blood/ Then surely I was born’ (Lines 1-4). These lines are representative of the fact that the world must have been turned upside down in order for the donkey to be born. In the fourth line the reader knows the donkey is negative about himself because ‘I’ is the animal describing himself. The donkey goes on to say that he is, ‘The devil’s walking parody’ (Line 7). Seeing himself as a creature of the devil instead of a wonderful animal created by God, is showing how distorted his self image is. He feels he is, ‘The tattered outlaw of the earth’ (Line 9), which furthermore expresses the hatred he feels from the world. Tattered means, a torn piece and the word outlaw means, exile; criminal, make or declare illegal. All the word choices combine emphasizes how Chesterton wanted the reader to fully understand that the donkey was an unpleasant creature. Though in the last stanza, the donkey has his laugh, ‘Fools! For I also had my hour’ (Line 13). Although, the donkey is a mixed breed, he was loved and chosen by the one person who has the greatest power- Jesus.”

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  3. This is a reply to a question I was asked by Woodn’t’Cha no but I was unable to reply immediately below his question about whether I have seen Passion of the Christ. I did. I thought it was well done. I know that it impacted many people. The people I know who saw it told me that it made Christ’s sacrifice seem more real. Mel Gibson has had his own problems, but I think that project was well done. Thanks for offering to send it. I have a question for you — where you raised in a Christian family? I ask because you seem to know a lot about the Bible. You spend time on this site articulating your opinions, so it seems important to you to enter into debate. I identify with that. I have engaged in a forum called Coming Home Network and been chastised for questioning some Catholic practices such as denying Communion to divorced Catholics who remarry without an annulment. However, on that site, we are all Christians, but searchers are welcome.

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    • Duh! I was asked about Last Temptation of Christ, not Passion of the Christ. Wrong movie. No, I have not seen Last Temptation of Christ. Thanks for offering to send it but I can get it here in Colorado USA.

      Like

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