Monday, December 26, 2011

Coming in 2012..................................

I will be taking my blog in new directions. I never intended to become a political blog, but alot of my local friends stopped blogging, and turned to Facebook (Fags). All I have left now are some new friends, that are scattered throughout the United States, and this upcoming year, hopefully some new foreign friends.

I guess I might as well talk politics, since the Presidential elections will be in 45 short weeks. I have been studying the constitution, to try and find the best solution to my curiosities. But in the long-term, I will still be asking questions. I'm sure we'll still get into some debates. And I'm sure we'll still have a few laughs and alot of fun............

I will also be getting a little bit more personal. It just seems like I've been communicating with you guys for so long, that there are a few things you might like to know, and find interesting. Probably give us something to talk about too.........

I hope everyone had a wonderful and Merry Christmas.

Oh, I'm glad to receive the feedback from my pictures. I'm hoping to learn how to take pictures on my new phone and download them onto my blog. But I will apologize in advance, for the lack of Queen O'Bloggin pictures. She has threatened me with divorce. She's worried about backlash at her job, for her husband's views. Oh well, I can tell you that she is beautiful, and lights up my life.


  1. Johnny,

    Sounds like a great plan. I don't think that we'll ever see the likes of the original Founding Fathers.

    I think as you examine the Constitution, you will be surprised at what ISN'T in it. The best example of that is the "separation of church and State" which is nowhere to be found.

    Most of the amendments made have weakened rather than strengthened the document.

  2. CS- do you have any examples you would like to share?

  3. So the 1st Amendment provides exclusionary wording of:

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

    Now Thomas Jefferson, who was the main developer and over saw the penning of the Constitution with Madison made an interpretation of the 1st Amendment to his January 1st, 1802 letter to the Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association calling it a “Wall of Separation Between Church and State.”

    Madison had also written that "Strongly guarded is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States." There existed little controversy about this interpretation from our Founding Fathers.

    So please tell me how this has now been negated today?

  4. EOK,

    You understand that the government cannot promote any one religion, nor can it outlaw any one religion, right? Posting the ten commandments at a courthouse neither promotes or bans any religion. You also understand that the ten commandments are the basis of all our laws, right?

    What the founding fathers meant in the first amendment was that the government cannot tell everyone they must be Catholic, or Anglican, or atheist. The government is not allowed to pass a law regarding religion, that doesn't mean they have to ignore religion altogether. Isn't supporting an atheist group demanding the removal of monuments also against the first amendment? I say it is.

  5. Johnny,

    I get the same from my wife, although not about her work. She doesn't believe any picture ever made of her is flattering, so refuses to pose for pictures. You should see her duck cameras at events like birthday parties or Christmas. Amazing.

  6. Hello TGP,
    You bring up a very good point and I agree that the government cannot promote any one religion, nor can it outlaw any one religion, Absolutely!! Then again, nothing in my posting suggested that but I do appreciate that you asked the question.

    I also agree with your statement that the government is not allowed to pass a law regarding religion, (like the "Church of England" that King Henry VIII mandated,) that doesn't mean they have to ignore religion altogether. I agree and give you the example that when a Congressman swears into their office, their left hand is on the Bible or with the example of the first Muslim sworn into Congress, he sworn his oath of office on Thomas Jefferson’s Koran that was obtained from the Library of Congress archives.

    When you ask, “Isn't supporting an atheist group demanding the removal of monuments also against the first amendment?,” a very good question as I am old enough that when I started school, we said the Pledge of Allegiance to the Country, then the Lord’s Prayer. I am trying to remember if I was in the third or forth grade when the Prayer was banned. I think it was the forth; anyway I always have felt that we lost something after that.

    Then on the other hand, growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore I had classmates of different Protestant faiths and Catholic faith, which the Lord’s Prayer is a little different between the two. There were also some Seventh-day Adventist. There were also Jewish classmates who were suppose to just stand in silence until the class was done with the Prayer passed on by Christ…..I’ve got no good answer for you on this question. I do respect people of different faiths and would want no one to try to subject me to their faiths due to respect for me. I have very good friends of different faiths that I would be appalled should I offend them with regards of religion.

    So in the big picture and your question as far as atheists, not a religion, but do they go into the same category of respect as I have mentioned in the other faiths? I have to give this much more thought.

    I would interject that that the laws in this country had their origins from British Law as that was the law of the Colonies before the formation of the country. I would say that the moral values of the Ten Commandments are contained within but not the basis.

    On a side note, I take it that this is you and your daughter? As a father of two adult daughters I can pass on that there is nothing more special than a Daddy and his little girls. I enjoyed raising, mentoring, and bring then up and today reaping the rewards especially during Christmas here at home.

  7. EOK,

    Thus the danger of a superficial understanding of the evolution, ratification, and implementation of the US Constitution and a public school education.

    Jefferson had little to do with the development of the Constitution as he wasn't in the country when it was written. While it is true that he and Madison were close and did correspond during that time your statement about Jefferson is completely incorrect.

    During the entire time Jefferson was President he attended church in the Capitol building - and was doing so regularly during the time that he wrote that letter. Does that imply a "separation of church and state?"

    It is also amazing that it took 150 years before Jefferson's words were rolled out in the infamous Everson vs. Board of Education (the modern basis for this ridiculous premise). Chosing Jefferson's words vaults over all of the legitimate Founding Fathers who were actually delegates to the Constitutional Convention and who all had a hand in ratifying and implementing the Constitution.

    Those eight words were meant to calm the fears of Baptists who didn't want to see a "Church of the United States" as Tenth points out. The thought that they were meant to exclude religious practice from our government is patently absurd on its face.

  8. Johnny,

    It appears that you didn't even get into the New Year and your series before a lightening rod topic came up. I proposed two things - not sure which you want elaborated - things that are not in the Constitution are legion at this point (executive orders, executive privilege, and one that nailed me the other day - the number of Justices on the Supreme Court).

    As for amendments that hurt the Constitution, the 16th (Income Taxes) gave the Federal government unimaginable power and the 17th (Direct election of Senators) reduced the power of the States.

    More properly the interpretation of the Constitution is the greatest sin today.

  9. EOK,

    Please excuse my flippant introductory sentence - I forgot that you were the one reasonable person from Mud_Rake's echo chamber. You didn't deserve that - particularly in light of your response to Tenth.

    The rest of my response remains valid.

  10. EOK,

    I have to agree completely with respecting people of other faiths - I think a great part of what is wrong in this country today stems more from a lack of respect than any other value. I was raised to sir and ma'am, to thank people for such things as "God Bless you" after a sneeze, and to respect people's persons and property. We are not raising the majority of our children that way anymore.

    The picture is of me and my second daughter. I have four, ages 2 through 7. I dread ages 12 through 17. I may call for advice as those years near.

  11. Everyone- I would like to formally welcome Engineer of Knowledge. I think you will all find him to be a good and smart man.

    CS- We're close enough to the New Year. Let me start off by saying this........................
    You are 100% correct, the Founding Fathers were great men. But, they lived in different times, and I apologize for making this interpretation, but I think they realized that. They knew, the country would change, go forward, and evolve, and I think that's why they created Article 5. In my opinion, that's what made them great men.
    I meant your opinions on the Amendments. (Which you gave)
    16th Amendment. Maybe it didn't give Congress total power. In my opinion, it gave that power to us, the voter. Not to mention, I persomally feel that this country needs a certain level of taxation.
    This Amendment was passed in 1913. At the height of Industrialization I think. Automobiles were flying off assemly lines. I am lead to believe, that this Amendment was passed out of necessity. We needed roads, and bridges(Still do). I don't think the writers of this Amendment ever intended for generation after generation of welfare recipients to live off of our tax dollars. But remember, we control who is elected to Congress.
    17th Amendment. I just got done researching this one 5 different times. I'm sorry, but by very definition of everything, you are wrong. The 17th amendment was an amendment of Article 1, section 3, which stated "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by 17th Amendment, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote."
    This sounds to me, that before the 17th Amendment, Senators were hand-picked by the House, just like the B.A.s in Unions.

  12. Johnny,

    Senators were hand picked by the legislatures of their respective states. That encouraged senators to be loyal to their state, not "other" bodies. As it is now, to borrow from Mud and them, LIVs are picking the senators, and they are pretty much doing as they please. They are responsible for the nationwide change to 55 mph. They are responsible for the .08 DUI limit. They are responsible for seatbelt laws and other impediments to the pursuit of happiness, when they were supposed to be the main defenders of those pursuits.

    The Federal government has gotten way out of hand, and to a man, our founding fathers would already be fighting it.

  13. EOK- I'm not quite sure what point you are trying to make. If you are trying to say that Separation of church and State "IS" in the Constitution, then I believe you are wrong. But I'm not sure what you meant.

    I've read and reread this, and I have come to the conclusion, that their is no clear-cut explanation. So here is my take on it.

    The separation of church and state, is not clearly defined in the constitution. So, CS in right on that one. But I have many thoughts on the subject, My next post will be about them. Thanks for coming by, and please continue to do so.

    Hope you had a great Christmas.

  14. TGP- I stand corrected, but yet, I'm still right. The ultimate "Fairness" is to let citizens of a state, elect it's own Senators. No such position should ever be appointed.

    We can get to the bottom of the afformentioned laws at another time.

  15. Johnny,

    The reason behind appointing them was so the senators would be loyal to the state, not the voter. It is a major difference. Because of the change, many, many states rights have disappeared to legislation from DC.

  16. TGP- But the state is the voter, is it not? It seems like the U.S. Senators would be appointed by the State House, which is elected.

    And as a total Brainfuck to you, my constitutional rights guaranteed to me by this federal document have been trampelled on by my State government.(2nd amendment).............AAAAAAA-HHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  17. Johnny,

    Agreed. You should sue on the grounds of un-constitutionalism.

  18. Johnny,

    There are timeless principles on which the Constitution was based. Technology doesn't change the right to privacy for example it just makes it a bit harder to protect ourselves from the State. The passage of time has not changed those principles or their application.

    The Federal government built canals and a belt of fortresses along the Eastern Seaboard (the most expensive Federal projects of their day) without an income tax.

    The problem with the 16th is that it opened the flood gates to allow the Federal government to bribe or coerce the States with their own citizen's money - or worse yet with money that they borrow. Witness the threat every time the government wants to enforce behavior - they threaten to withhold highway funds if we don't enforce seat belt or speed limit rules for example. Or they dangle grants for conforming to Federal education goals.

    Giving the Federal government vast sums of money is wrong and assumes that local communities could not (or would not) coordinate to build those same roads or bridges. Or worse - that the free market would not do the same.

    Tenth is on the right track with the 17th - we are a collection of States and must be viewed in that light. The Constitution grants specific authority for the Federal government - not ALL authority. By changing the way Senators were elected, they simply became big versions of their 2 year cousins in the House. The House was designed to be sensitive to "We the people" while the Senate was to protect the States. It is fundamental to understanding the extensive checks and balances designed into the Constitution. We have largely neutered the States over time and have suffered as a result.

    If we fail to acknowledge the primacy of the State in Constitutional thinking we fail to understand how terribly wrong we have gone.

  19. Hello J.O.B.
    Just a quick note as I do not have a lot of time this week, but to let you know “We’re Good.” I am working on designing, developing and documenting the 4G Fiber Optic Broadband infrastructure between Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas over the holidays with serious deadlines for the New Year. A lot of people have the new 4G phones but no infrastructure to support them….Go Figure?

    To respond to your question, I really did not make any concluding statements as I can get as many answers of “Separation of Church and State” as I have learned legal friends….which are several. I can say for the majority of those, the consensus is there is a definite aspect of the “Separation of Church and State.” For me, I can say it like we do here in the country, “I don’t have a horse in this race.” :-)

    The one legal scholar I do have the most respect is a long time family friend who was the lawyer who represented the CIA agent that Ollie North reported to during the Iran Contra Hearings. (The CIA Agent was the only one who was not indicted and a fact he takes great pride in) He got his B.S. Political Science Degree and Law Degree from Johns Hopkins in the mid 1950’s. He and classmates along with the Head Of The Department Professor, wrote several of President Dwight Eisenhower’s speeches at that time. He has only lost one case in his whole carrier and as you may well support, quite an impressive record. (Just some background information)

    He and I have spoken in length on this subject and he is of the mind that the secular aspect of government is very important and the “Separation of Church and State” is very much the meaning of our founding fathers.

  20. Wow EoK, this is probably the first time I've ever actually witnessed you posting something somewhat conservative instead of just claiming to be one while agreeing with whatever muddy says!

    The change of venue reveals a new man who actually articulates and debates his point as opposed to sophmoric attempts at insults.

    Perhaps you've found a new home where "Yer an idiot because I don't wanna heer what you say" doesent pass for debate when actual debate is presented?

    Or maybe...just maybe you want to actually argue an oppinion you feel is valid with some folks who WILL either challenge you or, agree with you instead of just circle-jerking you into the realm of no real oppinions being allowed?

    The difference you'll see in the "Possee" blogs is that if you actually articulate your viewpoint and, argue it like an're not going to be shit on as a troll and has been well demonstrated by the posters here who have a different viewpoint.
    Nobody is insulting you.
    Nobody told you to leave.
    Nobody is internet stalking you.
    Nobody is rewriting your post.
    Nobody is denigrating your education.
    Nobody has shit on you for saying what you feel is the truth without providing some kind of reasoning that they'd still use face to face with you off the internet.

    You were debated respectfully...because you simply spoke your mind and layed it out in your own words without the usual mwtmr venue's condescending bullshit towards alternate viewpoints.

    It must be a breath of fresh air for you to have someone who disagrees with you actually say so and articulate it as oppossed to the cowardly "just not answer you" or the, bland / generic / phony patronization you should be well used to.
    You want debate?
    We'll give it to you.
    You want common ground?
    Sometimes you'll get that.

    You want to be circle jerked and patronized?
    Stay at the moonbatcave.

  21. Johnny,
    I welcome your plan for 2012. Truth be told, in the beginning I was a little worried about you being a lefty. To your credit, you remained polite and curious. Over the months, I have witnessed you becoming more of a conservative as you explored the vast amount of information available. I don’t remember who coined the phrase “the truth shall set you free” but from my prospective it has helped shape your attitude versus the scripted echo chamber script offered by the left.

    Kudos to you.

    I look forward to your posts in 2012.

  22. EOK,
    I have read your comments but I fail to see your argument.

    Thomas Jefferson’s writings are not law. The constitution is.

    I agree that our nation is secular and should always remain that way. However, how do you explain the frontal attack against all things Christian in this country and at the same time special treatment and accommodation for Islam?

  23. TGP- Unfortunately, I don't think Illinois' lack of conceal/carry is Unconstitutional. Chicago, as a whole had a ridiculous handgun ban for 26 years, but the Supreme Court finally upheld the second Amendment, earlier this year. I know a few organizations are pushing for Illinois to pass some sort of carry legislation, but I don't know if an argument could be made, for carry/conceal rights being protected by the second amendment.

  24. CS- I totally agree with your 1st statement.

    Could you provide info that I could research how canals and roads and such were built. I'll google it, but maybe you know of a specific website.

    As far as speed limits and what have you, Tenth mentioned the same thing. I am unaware of what you are talking about. Are you saying that some of the laws for Illinois roadways were passed because that's what the Federal Government wanted? Is there a specific site too research this info?
    Don't get me wrong, I think there is too much taxation. And you seem to have a valid point with this Amendment giving Federal government 'free reign' to get states to do what they want them to do. But states do the same thing. At least the one I live in(See my Post on Blagojevich)

    But I do understand the principle of that the states should be governing themselves. With very little federal involvment.

    As far as the 17th Amendment, I understand that the Senate is here to look after the State's rights. All I was telling TGP was that a position like that should not be appointed.

    I wholeheartidly agree with your final statement.....

    Thanks for your input buddy, As always, it is appreciated.

  25. Johnny,

    I believe that the bulk of Federal expenditures were funded through the collection of tariffs - but I'll have to check.

    LOL - I just looked up the Erie Canal and it was funded by New York State as the Federal government rejected it as too expensive! I guess that is kind of too my point.

  26. Johnny,

    My pleasure - it's always a pleasure "talking" with you.

  27. EOK- I didn't forget about you my man. I had to run off to work. Seems I will be working nights for the next few days.

    Anyways, in regards to your statement, that's cool. I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth (or fingers). I was just a little confused. You'll come to find that I get confused alot. :)

  28. H/Nox- Don't rush to judgement just yet.LOLOLOLOLOLL

    I think you'll find, that even though I proclaim to be in the center of the political spectrum, my beliefs do lean a little more to the right.

    The new postings on the constitution this year is for everyones enjoyment, and feedback. However, I do hope to gain something else by it. I hope to figure out exactly what my own beliefs are, and my I should feel that way about it. Sort of a "Political" soul searching if you will.

    I'm sure some of you will shake your heads, and disagree, but I will always keep the debates friendly, since I consider you all my friends.....

  29. Sepp- What up TOLEDOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Everyone- One more thing. Alot of my research and questions will be based on a post that CS had. it was something about 23 things Conservatives think, or seek. I agreed with 17 of them.

    Later gators...................

  31. it was something about 23 things Conservatives think, or seek.

    Think or seek? I wonder of in the 'seeking' category, conservatives wish to tamper with the Constitution as amended?

  32. Mud- That's what I intend to figure out. I am gonna try to find out if conservative and liberal values fall into the guidelines of the Constitution. But, I can tell you that the 6 I didn't agree with, would not be effected by the Constitution. I don't think.

    Hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas.

  33. Johnny,

    This will probably be a wild ride. Notice how the left came at the First Amendment (Freedom of Religion) issue. They ignored the obvious meaning and then justified their position with the unrelated words of a guy who wasn't involved in writing the document. When that was brought up - he ignored the destruction of his original position and held out the opinion of some guys he knows.

    This Constitution discussion is going to be fun and raucous.

    I guess Mud_PILE couldn't stay away after all. You too give his life meaning Johnny.

    I hope that Mud_PILE wasn't so disgustingly hypocritical to actually mark much less celebrate Christmas. Of course it must be tough for a guy who validates the existence of Jesus every time he writes the date.

  34. I guess old CS has already lost the CHRISTmas spirit; or is he a CINO, as I have long suspected?

    Sorry to disappoint you, CS, by showing up again on JOB's blog, but he posts comments on my blog. Do I post them on yours?

    So, CS, what did Jesus ever teach you? Which of his many sayings and commandments do you hold as most helpful in guiding your life?

    Perhaps I should give you a multiple choice set so that you don't have to hunt for your NT.

    a.) "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? "

    b.) "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"

    c.) "A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

    d.) “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.”

    e.) “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    OK, Common Sense, why don't you rank/order them in importance to your own life? As a follower of Jesus Christ, you surely can instruct us better than any of us ever could.

    Go ahead, Common Sense, pick one of those and tell us how important it is in your life.


  35. Mud_PILE,

    I love getting lectured on my religion by an atheist. I won't pick from your list. How about this one where he speaks directly to you:

    "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell" Matthew 23:33

    Jesus spoke to the community of Christians and he expected that once a person such as you had been presented with the truth that they would stop being evil. Rest assured that Jesus is pretty damned tired of you. He would give you the same treatment he did the money lenders:

    "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves," Matthew 21:12

    Jesus also never repudiated nor did he criticize the judgements of God that lead to the destruction of God's enemies.

    You aren't any better at religion than you are at politics.

  36. Arguing religion with an athiest makes about as much sense as arguing logic with a liberal and both are always a waste of keystrokes.

  37. HEY, Let me join in the fun, I actually try my best to follow #1 on Mud's list. I do my best to treat people as I would like to be treated.

    CS- You're right, it will be fun. In EOK's defense, I think he probably confused the D.O.I. with the Constitution, I do it all the time. I just ggogled it. What I found interesting, was that it's said that Jefferson did not agree with the constitution. He was afraid the document would take power away from the states.

    Seems like you are in good company my friend.

  38. CS writes,
    "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell"

    So, I'm going to Hell? Funny stuff, CS, very funny. And who are the vipers, CS? Do you have their names or why they are called vipers?

    You are way-too hilarious.

    I figured that you'd decline to select any of the '10 most famous sayings attributed to Jesus.'

    Those 5 are really tough, aren't they, CS? Difficult to obey. Hard to follow. Do you find these 5 difficult, Common Sense?

    Which of the 5 trips you up the most often?

    Go ahead and let's talk 'religion' because it is obvious that your political party isn't worth discussing at this point.

    By the way, may I correct you [and Sepp] at the outset: I'm not an atheist, but then, you like to pigeonhole people so that you can denigrate them.

    So, now what's your plan of attack, Mr. CHRISTian?

  39. Mud,

    You are being called an atheist because you said so yourself. Later, you tried to claim agnosticism, but you said, in your own words, that you were an atheist.

    So quit trying to imply that us uninformed yokels are trying to pigeonhole you.

    a) yes, we noticed the speck in your eye. Its a huge fucking speck.

    b)I have said repeatedly that I guess I am supposed to pray for you, but you make it soooo hard.

    c)when I showed love for my neighbor during Hurricane Irene, (where you showed absolutely zero concern for any of the potential victims, and lamented the horrible cancellation of the MLK Memorial), you accused me of being a socialist, not a Christian.

    d)We argue with you in an effort to save your soul. Its tough work.

    e)You need to go back through these blogs and see who cast the first stone. You found us, not the other way around.

    Now I am waiting to hear your response, Mr. Atheist.

  40. Mud_PILE,

    If you aren't an atheist - what are you?

    You broach a complex issue no doubt without actually know it. Most people want to turn Jesus into some soft hippie love-child. The first gentile Christian was a Roman Centurion - Jesus didn't ask him to give up his day job.

    You provided a simplistic and low information debater (LID) challenge based on what I can only assume is ignorance.

    But to the specific issue at hand - did you celebrate Christmas? How?

  41. Guys- Great discussion, but please continue your comments on the new post......Thanks

  42. Johnny,

    It will be interesting. Jefferson in particular is a complex figure. The preparation of the Declaration was assigned to a committee by the Continental Congress. There were three people on that committee: Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. There is a school of thought that Jefferson gets more credit than he is due as the author.

    There is no doubt that he wrote it, but the others don't get as much credit as they are due as the inspiration for the document. Further, there were a number of changes made (if memory serve more than 80) by the Continental Congress before it was published.

    Liberals reach for Jefferson and they claim him as the first Democrat President - he fits.

  43. CS asks- If you aren't an atheist - what are you?

    If you'd like to pigeonhole me once again, then you can play around with the term, agnostic. Yet, I prefer the much more challenging term, gnostic, without the 'a.'

    Do you know anything about the gnostics? Interesting people. Some say that Jesus was gnostic as was one of his disciples.

    The Gnostic Gospels give us lots of insight in the minds of the earliest 'Christians.'

    Are you familiar with these gospels?

    By the way, your continuing ad hominem attacks on me dilutes your credibility as an effective debater.

  44. Mud_PILE,

    I haven't generally made ad hominem attacks, but rather have focused my attention on the underlying belief system. You rarely use facts so it is a little difficult to "debate" with you. Your arguments do fall into the "liberal" arena.

    If your professed faith Gnosticism or moniker "Mud Rake" are indications of a search for or study of truth - you aren't exactly hitting them out of the park. We've provided you any number of factual arguments, reams of data, and references that you dismiss without justification or remark.

    If you're searching for truth - you're doing a damn poor job of finding it.

  45. You rarely use facts so it is a little difficult to "debate" with you.

    Is that so? Well from your perspective, but that hardly qualifies for truth.

    By the way, CS, as you are a Christian, what 'facts' do you have about the man called Jesus?

    A week ago TGP wrote something about 'irrefutable facts' regarding the life of Jesus. Apparently he believes that the 4 synoptic gospels were biographical, written by the actual men who supposedly walked around with Jesus.

    Surely you don't hold that opinion, do you CS?

    Well, CS, you criticized me by claiming that I 'rarely use facts.' Tell me about the 'facts' surrounding the man called Jesus.

    Seems to me that this man fits the profile of lots of men who claimed similar things and performed similar deeds.

    You'll have to admit that 'facts' are not on your side and that you are driven by beliefs, not fact.

    Therefore, any 'debate' on this topic is impossible. Or do you wish to discuss something?? I'm always game.

  46. Mud_PILE,

    I have tried the debate thing with you - you don't understand how the game is played.

    In my belief in Jesus I am in good company. How do you know Alexander lived? Or Genghis Khan? You can't view their tomb, there are no remains. You are completely dependent of accounts of their lives.

    Why are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John any less credible than Tacitus or Josephus? Both of whom were famous historians who coincidentally wrote about Jesus. Even Muslims believe in Jesus.

    Why are you so afraid of Jesus?

    We Christians don't care whether you believe or not. However we will defend our faith when attacked by you.

  47. Mud,

    There are a lot of historians who wrote about Jesus. Josephus was probably the most prolific, but there are plenty of others. The man called Jesus was a real human being. If you want to say he didn't rise from the dead, fine. But you cannot say he never existed. That would be crazy. You're not crazy, are you?

  48. Tacitus or Josephus? Both of whom were famous historians who coincidentally wrote about Jesus.

    They did? Many scholars regard the 'writings' of these men as forgeries. Josephus 'wrote' his letters 60 years after Jesus' death and Tacitus was born 24 years after his death. These were not first-person accounts and are therefore not a valid as actual witnesses.

    However we will defend our faith when attacked by you.

    Attacked? Are you paranoid? It is your posse-buddies who get their briefs all in a knot over 'atheists' as if they are some form of enemy who needs to be silenced.

    TGP states, If you want to say he didn't rise from the dead, fine.

    Well, that's an interesting point. If he didn't rise from the dead, then he was a fraud and, of course, just a mere human being like all of us.

    So, TGP, did he or didn't he rise from the dead?

  49. Mud_PILE,

    Are works only valid if they are personal accounts based on only an author's eye witness experience? You do understand the whole history and scholarship issue right? Don't bother that was a rhetorical question - of course you don't.

    If something contradicts your perverted view of the world then you discount it as false.

    Why do you fear Jesus?

  50. So, you agree that there are no first-person accounts of the life of Jesus. Good. At last you and I can agree on something.

    Would you like me to make a list for you of the errors in reporting of the second-hand accounts of the life of Jesus- the Gospels?

    Funny thing about 2nd and tertiary accounts of historical events-- they seem to get muddled with errors and opinion, no to mention, in the case of Jesus, Christian apologists.

    Should I make a list for you, CS?

    By the way, regarding your idiotic reamrd about 'fearing Jesus,' I already answered that in another thread. But to repeat, I fear no mythical creation, not even Loch Ness nor Dracula.

    Why are you so 'afraid' of things, CS? Is it because you 'believe' in so many myths, mystery and magic?

    So, should I make a list of the errors in the Gospels or will you just say that I won that argument?

  51. Mud_PILE,

    Your non-point was that Tacitus and Josephus were not eye witnesses. You really don't get this whole thing do you?

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provided first hand accounts. They were disciples and they traveled with Jesus.

    Why do you fear Jesus so much?

  52. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provided first hand accounts. They were disciples and they traveled with Jesus.


    My my, you are an ignorant Christian.

    They were NOT his disciples and they never knew the man!

    You've been duped, really duped!

  53. Tell me if I'm wrong. It seems like Mud and CS are arguing over the Validity of Jesus being the son of God. I think Mud's arguement is now to the point of, Noone was there, so how could it be true. I beleive, CS is attempting to make the point, that even though noone was there, it doesn't mean that Jesus didn't die, and rise again. I may be wrong.

    But if I'm right, let me ask this. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, because their is no first person account, should we still be talking about the constitution? Just asking, because none of us were there either.

  54. Johnny,

    Excellent point, but, we have several instances of eyewitness accounts of the founders debates and discussions on the Constitution. I imagine even Mud will agree to that.

    Mud's problem with Jesus is he doesn't believe that he existed, and to prove his point, he claims that Mathew, Mark, Luke and John also didn't exist.

    When confronted with Tacitus and Josephus, Mud refutes their histories by saying "many historians doubt they really wrote about Jesus." So he's saying that someone made the whole thing up. Its impossible to argue with someone who has appointed himself referee.

  55. Mud,

    Please provide evidence to back up this drivel:

    My my, you are an ignorant Christian.

    They were NOT his disciples and they never knew the man!

    You've been duped, really duped!

  56. I note that CS has not yet bothered to reply to my challenge that the writers of the Gospels were not 4 of the 12 apostles.

    I wonder why???

    Yesterday Common Sense wrote this about me:

    Mud_PILE really isn't much of a challenge from an intellectual point of view.

    Really, CS? Not much of an intellectual challenge?

    Silence is golden.

    As to TenthGenerationPatriot's comment- I'm afraid that you, too, are an uninformed Christian a well.

    Funny, isn't it. Here I am, a play-toy for these so-called Christians, and I know more about their religion than they do!

    Pathetic ignorance and self-righteousness.

    Let me repeat to make it perfectly clear:

    The writers of the 4 synoptic Gospels were NOT four of the 12 apostles of Jesus.


    You've been duped by your own religion.

    Try the Agnostic Faith for a real breath of fresh air, gentlemen.

  57. Johnny,

    I don't know what Mud_PILE's point is and neither does he. It's his typical drive-by style.

    As Tenth points out Mud_PILE appoints himself debater-in-chief, moderator, and referee. This is from the liberal (democrat, socialist, progressive, whatever) playbook.

    Jesus is an historical figure recognized in the Bible, Koran, and other histories. His divinity is of course virtually impossible to prove. But Christianity is the world's largest religion and the books of the Bible have been remarkably consistent through the ages.

    We don't care that Mud_PILE is an atheist but he can't live in a world that recognizes Christ. The very thought terrifies him. He'll say it doesn't - but that's a lie just like the rest of his life.

    But note the ebb and flow of the "conversation" is always the same:

    Anyone: Happy birthday Jesus
    Mud_PILE: You're an idiot, there's no Jesus!
    Anyone: There is evidence here . . . .
    Mud_PILE: LOL - you're a moron!
    Anyone: This Roman and this Jew wrote about a man called Jesus
    Mud_PILE: They are lying and their mothers were ugly!
    Anyone: What evidence do you need?
    Mud_PILE: I win! I win! (oops, just pissed myself gotta change the Depends)

    The only other gambit he will use early in the discussion is to try and change the course by seeming to ask probing questions that don't pertain to the subject.

    The pattern is pretty consistent. One time on your blog we were talking about taxes or health care and he did present a link to an article that wasn't even tangentially related to the topic. That's as close as he ever got to making a factual argument.

  58. Mud,

    I'm really interested in reading your sources. Would you please, please, please cite them?

  59. Mud_PILE,

    Your charge cannot be confirmed nor can it be conclusively denied. Scholars will debate it until the end of time. They continue to dig up the world with some looking to support Christianity and others seeking to disprove it.

    The determination of age of these documents is not precise enough but even then some of these documents (or at least fragments) are dated to within the potential life times of these figures.

    If the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written instead by followers within a few decades of the death of Jesus, then it is still entirely possible that they remain accurate accounts of the life and death of Jesus.

    For you to simply shout that they are not is meaningless. You don't know that and you can't prove a negative.

    Why do you fear Christ? You must know that your blind and dogged belief in socialism (democrats, progressives, liberals, whatever) is much more dangerous (and foolish) than whether or not you believe in Jesus.

  60. Mathew and John were disciples of Christ, and traveled all over Judea (that's the original name of the area now called Palestine; also the origin of the Judeo-Christian faith) with him. Luke and Mark may have been followers of Mathew and John, or they may have been disciples whose names have been confused in translation.

    If Mud won't provide sources for his claims, doesn't that make him the worst debater? Or is he the master bater?

  61. It is pathetic to see both Tenth and CS squirm, wiggle and spin in order to somehow defend their idiotic statements that the Gospels were written by 4 of the apostles that hung with Jesus.

    That's why I'm not visiting their blogs any longer. I cannot stand their ignorant machinations. The posses is quite uneducated and post nonsense as truth all of the time.

    I'm sure that Tenth and CS found some Christian apologetic sites to 'defend' their wrong statements about the Gospels. Tenth, why do you continue to challenge me on my sources? By now, you ought to know that you've been proven wrong every time you do that.

    CS- so there "isn't much of a challenge from an intellectual point of view." Really? I've trumped every idiotic challenge you've give me.

    Let me tease both of you a bit, like a cat playing with a half-dead mouse.

    If these gospels were written from approximately 70 to 100 C.E., how old were the apostles during these years? What was life-expectancy during this era?

    The oldest surviving copies of the gospels are written in Greek. Jesus and his apostles spoke Aramaic. Did they know Greek too, considering that they were illiterate fishermen?

    ...just wondering

  62. Jesus Mud. You think you have proven me wrong even once? You have not provided any evidence until this last post.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls are written in Aramaic. They are older than the texts you are referring to. The texts you refer to were written after the Dead Sea scrolls, about 300 AD. The Dead Sea scrolls were written in the time frame you cite. All of the Gospels were written down after years of oral repetition. They were not actually written by the Apostles, hence the "according to" portion of each title.

    Good luck spinning it yet again.

  63. Mud_PILE,

    We keep asking for references because you never have anything to back your opinions up. We're just supposed to roll over and say "Mud_PILE said it so it must be so?"

    Mud_PILE you are not now nor have you ever been a credible source for anything.

    We aren't in your echo chamber now - we're not going to tale "I said so" for an answer.

    Why do you fear Jesus? Is it that there are more than 2 billion people who believe in Jesus? Probably close to 4 billion when you add Muslims who believe that he existed as well. You've staked out a pretty lonely position for yourself Mud_PILE.

  64. That's what you've got Mud_PILE? That's debate craft? Pitiful.

  65. That doesn't even make sense. I think he's setting up an insanity plea.

    What a tool.

  66. Patience, gentlemen, patience. I realize that you two are reactionaries, but most people have patience. Let's let the scenario build.

    OK. So far I've dropped two clues on your head but apparently you are wearing your tinfoil hats.

    Let's review those clues:

    1.) the earliest dating of the authorship of the documents is 70 CE. That would mean that the author, if of the same age as Jesus, would be in his 70's.

    But wait! The year 70 means that 37 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of the Gospel. Thirty-seven years? Seems like that's a LONG time to put together a narrative. Can you remember details from 37 years ago?

    2.) those documents are written in Greek, as I already said. Greek. Jesus and his apostles spoke Aramaic, not Greek. They were uneducated fishermen and itinerants. Rosetta Stone wasn't around nor was Google Translate. Maybe there was a "miracle" and just after Jesus's death, the Holy Ghost came down and instilled Greek onto them. Classical Greek, mind you, not just casual chat. Oh, and by the way, the Holy Ghost also taught them how to read and write as well.

    So that's the summary of what you should have learned during our last session. Any questions?

    OK. Let's press on.

    3.) the oldest piece of manuscript on which a Gospel is written is "a business card sized fragment" dated to 125-160 CE; fragments from the other 3 date from 200 CE to 250 CE.

    Well, gentlemen, there are no 'original' copies and no autographs, only copies over 125 years after the birth of Jesus. Copies, not Xeroxes. Hand written copies in Greek.

    Let's press on.

    4.) in none of the Gospels do the authors refer to other writers. If, as you two claim, there were 4 authors living, eating and preaching with Jesus, would there not be some cross reference in the writings to one of the other three? Or at least a mention that "[x] wrote these things down?" Or perhaps this, 'as [y] wrote in his letter...

    Four men living, eating and talking together 24/7 and none of them reference each other. This of course brings me to the fifth point.

    5.) according to your 'beliefs' there were 4 men chronicling the works, acts, and sayings of Jesus as they wandered around with Him. They all heard the same things and witnessed the same deeds. Why then, gentlemen, are their narratives so different?

    Let us take just one example: the birth scenario of Jesus. Surely there must have been some sharing around the campfire, stories of their own childhood and tales of their families [as there were no sit-coms to watch in the evening.]

    "So tell us, Master, of your birth."

    Mark, the earliest of the 4 Gospels, decided not to tell the birth nor childhood of the Master, but rather, he jumps forward 30 years to his baptism. John skips the 'virgin birth' as well.

    Luke noted that "Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart." Obviously, Jesus repeated the birth story to Luke; was Matthew absent during this family-story telling? Matthew has Wise Men bringing Jesus marvelous gifts; Luke omits that detail. Luke says that shepherds visited the child.

    Matthew tells of the terrible threat to the lives of Jesus and his family which causes Joseph to take his family and flee from Bethlehem to Egypt. Luke did not include the death-threat nor the 'massacre of the innocent children' by Herod.

    Did these two men hear different stories around the campfire? Or was it that the 'authors' of the story were not first-person witnesses to the events, the events that "Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart?"

    source: Gospels

    OK, Tenth and CS, I've written quite a lot and I know that it will take time to digest all of this.

    What can I expect in your next comment?

    Some casual dismissal?
    Snide remark?

    ...the ususal

  67. Some casual dismissal?
    Snide remark?

    ...the ususal

    That's your style, Mud, not ours.

    Please explain your apparent dismissal of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which predate your sources and are written in Aramaic. Do you dispute them with your obvious scholarship in this area? You refute their existence? You deny their authenticity? Explain yourself.

  68. Mud_PILE,

    I don't agree with what you wrote, but that is a pretty good piece of scholarship - biased and wrong to be sure - but that is the first time that you have put together a cogent thought process. I will give proper consideration to what you have written and respond. In the meantime, you might consider this excellent article that explains part of the gulf between us:

    I'll be back.

  69. Tenth- I'm done.

    CS- interesting link. I suppose that I could exchange the word 'liberal' for 'conservative' in Limbaugh's piece and it wold be satisfactory to me.

  70. Whew. One little well thought out post seems to have worn you out. Thanks for answering my questions, Mud. You really helped clear that up.

  71. Mud_PILE,

    Let me commend you on addressing a subject in a mature manner for the very first time. I think that Johnny has been a good influence on you. In the discussion that follows, I winnowed the question out of your response and responded.

    1.) Mud_PILE: Can you remember details from 37 years ago?

    Answer: I can’t but people of that age certainly could. There was a rich tradition of oral histories in the ancient world. Also the actual dates of the birth, death, and so forth of Jesus are problematic at best. However since Pontius Pilate is also an actual figure who is said to have ruled Judea up until 37 AD (the proper form; it stands for “Anno Domini”) the production of the Gospels probably started about that time. The fact that the oldest copy or fragment found dates to 70 AD doesn't mean that an earlier compilation doesn’t exist. It only means we haven’t found the manuscript yet or it didn’t survive.

    2.) Mud_PILE: those documents are written in Greek.

    Answer: The Eastern Mediterranean area was conquered and subsequently ruled by the Greeks and their descendants (Cleopatra was Greek). Koine Greek was a common language spoken in the Middle East of the period in which the books of the New Testament were written (between 40 and 150 AD). Indeed there isn’t the consensus that you insist on – there are scholars who date the books of the New Testament before 40 AD due to their content and an analysis of events described. For example if you discussed a trip to New York before the destruction of the Twin Towers, you might casually mention a visit to them. Likewise a visit to Jerusalem might mention stopping by the Temple before the destruction of same. The narrative of Jesus mentions a visit to the Temple. Obviously that occurred before 70 AD.

    3.) Mud_PILE: the oldest piece of manuscript on which a Gospel is written is "a business card sized fragment" dated to 125-160 CE;

    Answer: The only word missing there is “found” the oldest piece of manuscript found dated to 125-160 AD. Again, that is the age of that particular copy and there are scholars who maintain that the Gospels were written starting around 40 AD. You have selected one branch of the argument. It’s a lot like all those Global Warming “scientists” who maintain that it is “settled science.” It is not and neither is your argument that focuses on one path. No matter how well that particular piece of evidence fits into your preconceived narrative, it is only part of the puzzle and not conclusive in and of itself.


  72. (Continued from above)

    4.) Mud_PILE: Four men living, eating and talking together 24/7 and none of them reference each other.

    Answer: Using your same reference Wikipedia- an entire theory about the way the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were written was born of the fact that they agree so much with each other. For example only 3% of the Gospel of Mark is unique to Mark (not common with the one or both of the others). Further the accounts were about JESUS and not about his merry band. Opinions differ as to the size, composition, and cohesiveness of the Apostles. But again, the narrative is of the life of JESUS and not his associates.

    5.) Mud_PILE: according to your 'beliefs' there were 4 men . . . . Why then, gentlemen, are their narratives so different?

    Answer: First of all if any four men (or more) were to view the same event they would write about it differently. If you and I were to witness an arrest following a burglary I would write about the brave policeman collaring a brazen criminal. However you would write about the cop overstepping his authority by harassing a citizen who happened to stumble against the door of a home, accidentally springing it open with the crowbar he happened to be carrying. In that vein as long as there are not major inconsistencies then there isn’t a real problem. There were numerous “Gospels” but these four were selected to become part of the Bible. In the case of the Synopic Gospels they are very much alike.

    With all that said – I readily admit that my belief system requires a leap of faith on my part. However that is no different that your belief system. They haven’t found the “missing link” yet nor have they discovered the smoking gun from the “Big Bang.” Archeological evidence would tend to support creation, but hey – they seem content with digging up the world, it’s a job, and those are scarce these days under a socialist. Which belief is more foolish – that there is a God or that the entire universe originated from a compressed black pea that blew up billions of years ago? I choose God. I know where you stand.

    It was nice to know that you would actually take a stab at research. Good try – that was very close to something resembling a “debate.” You should try it again.

  73. CS,

    Excellent rebuttal. In my research, I discovered one of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been argued to be The Gospel of Luke. It has been dated to 30-70 AD.