August 21, 2007

The Party Of Tolerance

How desperate are Louisiana Democrats to hold onto power? They're about to air a television ad attacking the leading Republican candidate for governor for his religious views. The TV spots will accuse Bobby Jindal of being anti-Protestant (via Bryan at Hot Air):

In one of the hardest hitting – Republicans will undoubtedly say “dirtiest” – television ads aired in history, the Louisiana Democratic Party is accusing Rep. Bobby Jindal of being anti-Protestant.

The bizarre charge is delivered by an unidentified woman in a new Louisiana Democratic Party TV ad produced by Carvin/Seder Communications, a Louisiana-based consulting firm whose clients have included former Governor Edwin Edwards (D-La.), Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D).

In the TV spot, the announcer charges that Jindal wrote articles that “insulted thousands of Louisiana Protestants,” and she holds up an article in which she says Jindal “doubts the morals and questions the beliefs of Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Pentecostals and other Protestant religions.”

Here's a local news report on the subject. This effort is apparently officially endorsed by the state's Democratic Party, which wants $1 million in contributions to buy air time for the spots:

I purchased the first essay highlighted on the website that the Democrats set up to demonize Jindal's writings. In this, they cleverly write hyperbolic descriptions of his essays while hiding behind the knowledge that readers will have to pay to read them from New Oxford Review. For instance, the description on the essay I bought claims that "Jindal explains how Catholicism has more merit than all other Religions. Jindal states non-Catholics are burndened [sic] with "utterly depraved minds" and calls individuals who ignore the teachings of the Catholic church intellectually dishonest."

When I read Jindal's essay, however, it says nothing of the sort. Jindal quotes John Calvin as saying that all men are born "utterly depraved" and then argues against it:

One of the most consequential, and yet neglected, Reformation beliefs is the view that utterly depraved man is incapable of meaningful sanctification. This rejection of spiritual regeneration and subsequent separation of spiritual from physical realities has resulted in various widely held current beliefs, ranging from predestination to nominalism. Yet Luther was wrong to claim that our sins are as dung covered by snow, for he underestimated both God's justice and His power. Faith does more than cause God to ignore our sins, for His grace is enough to accomplish a true spiritual rebirth. In embracing God's grace, our righteousness becomes imparted, as our sins and their effects are "removed from us" ...

He also does not call Protestants "intellectually dishonest." He says that it would not be intellectually honest to ignore the teachings of the Catholic Church when studying Christianity. That doesn't mean all Protestants are dishonest, but that any comparative study of the religion without at least seeing for one's self what Catholicism has to say about itself is intentionally self-limiting. He also calls on the Catholic Church to live up to those teachings in almost the same breath. Frankly, this piece is pretty much Catholic Apologetics 101.

However, the Democrats have proven themselves intellectually dishonest in this attack on Jindal. Their website lies about what Jindal has written, hiding behing NOR's subscription-only skirts to throw mud at Jindal. The party which sells itself on its supposed tolerance wants to pillory Jindal for his Catholicism and scare up anti-Catholic bigotry through lies and deceit.

Put frankly, the Louisiana Democratic Party is despicable. Anyone contributing to this campaign should be publicly outed for the bigots they are.


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Comments (71)

Posted by eaglewings | August 21, 2007 10:27 AM

I guess now that the dems have lost alot of the blue collar Catholic vote to the Republicans they are fair game. Since Catholicism is a minority religion in America, I wonder why the dems aren't stepping up to the plate to defend it against venomous attacks by dem politicians? Imagine if it were an antigay attack on a politician (oh right, dems are the ones who have been in the forefront of those attacks as well)?
As to the lies involved in the commercial, I think the republican candidate should sue the dem party in Louisiana for libel/defamation, and even under the ultraliberal NYT v. Sullivan, I think the candidate could prevail. Only issue is whether calling someone anti Protestant is 'opinion', but the ad gave several statements it portrayed as facts, attributing those false statements to the candidate, so he has a good chance of surviving any motion for summary judgment, if not winning the case.

Posted by RBMN | August 21, 2007 10:28 AM

What would be great, is for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann to offer to go to Jindal's defense on this. She knows how hurtful this stuff is. She was smeared for just the opposite. According to her opponents, she was a Protestant with "anti-Catholic views." It’s ridiculous in both cases. It's just one of those "last refuge of scoundrels," to go after people's faith, and so dishonestly at that.

Posted by NoDonkey | August 21, 2007 10:30 AM

"Put frankly, the Louisiana Democratic Party is despicable."

How is that any different than the national Democrat Party? They are both run by despicable people who use unethical tactics to elect worthless and corrupt politicians.

And stupid. Almost a third of the population of Louisiana is Catholic, which is the 6th highest percentage in the nation and by far the highest percentage of any southern state.

But hey, maybe there's not enough religious strife in the world, the Democrats are just trying to shake things up.

This story needs to go national. Reid and Pelosi should be forced to defend the actions of the vile Louisiana Democrat Party.

Peeling off Catholic voters can doom the Democrat's chances next fall.

Posted by kingronjo | August 21, 2007 10:38 AM

the New Oxford review should make those writings free as of right now.

Lets face it, the Dems are bereft of any ideas. At pretty much any level now.

By the way, who have the Dems chosen to go against Bobby? I think also that Bobby Jindal might very well be the first person of color to be POTUS.

Jindal is the real deal, read his resume before he was 30 and compare it to Obama's. The big O's is typical grievance theater ala Rev Al and Jesse while Jindal's is accomplishment.

Posted by YouGottaBeKidding [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 21, 2007 10:50 AM

Walter Boasso is the loudest Dem running for governor. He was a Republican until he got his boxers in a bunch when the state Republican party endorsed Jindal, at which point he switched to the Dem party.

There are a lot of registered Dems in LA who won't vote Dem no-how, no-way, uh-uh.

Posted by goldwater | August 21, 2007 10:55 AM

The Democrats are attacking a Republican's religion and the Republicans are attacking a different Republican's religion.

Which is worse?

How long until the "factions" start forming coalitions and killing the opponents in the street?

Posted by John Steele | August 21, 2007 10:56 AM

"the New Oxford Review should make those writings free as of right now. "

What makes you think that the people who fall for this kind of cr*p can read anyway?

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 11:23 AM


You are right -- the Catholics are a minority. But a 30% minority in Louisiana. Of course, they are concentrated in the southern part of the state (the part hit worst by Katrina), so this ploy may not be so bad after all:

a) Convince the Catholics in the south that the Government ignored their plight post-Katrina, and
b) Convince the Baptists (38%) in the north via these TV spots that the Catholic candidate is out to get them.

Of course, the Baptists don't hold to a lot of what Calvin said, and those who do (Presbyterians) aren't even on the radar in Louisiana, so we'll have to see how far this goes.

Posted by Anna Puna | August 21, 2007 11:25 AM

I wonder how Sen Ted Kennedy feels about this. He is Catholic as were Jack and Bobbie, at least nominally enough for Catholicism to be a problem for Jack's Presidential bid.

I think we have found something lower than the 9th Ward in New Orleans, democrat politicians.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 11:46 AM

Whoops, read the article. It's Martin Luther, not John Calvin, addressed by the front page of the Jindal article. So, substitute Lutherans for Presbyterians above, and Luther for Calvin, and my comment still holds. I doubt anyone will get subscriptions for the New Oxford Review articles, so the free portions (and that small paid portion excerpted by the Democrats on their hit page) are all most will see.

Of course, I've never overtly seen anyone, myself included, in a true state of grace, so Luther's description may be completely appropriate. I sometimes wake up feeling like a turd, but I've never been snow-covered.

I like the "Catholic Dossier Jan/Feb 1996" written across the first page of the PDF of the sixth article. I wonder how big Jindal's Democratic dossier is?

And, if one looks hard enough, one finds that Jindal provided the purple ink used to show solidarity with Iraqi voters during the President's State of the Union speech in 2005. Obviously a necessary target by the Democrats.

Posted by Captain Ed | August 21, 2007 11:50 AM


The first reference to "utterly depraved" in the article is referenced to Calvin; I quoted the second and last reference to it, which he uses to debate Luther. I don't know if Jindal is accurate in that first reference, but that's his reference.

Posted by wooga | August 21, 2007 12:14 PM

Didn't Luther talk about pooping in the pope's pants? Why don't they just call Jindal a fecalphilliac for even mentioning Luther in passing? (spelling?)

Posted by Jason | August 21, 2007 12:41 PM

This is just hysterical. I'm a graduate student in philosophy and recently completed a masters thesis that concerns the problem of human freedom and the Fall. In it I criticised the anti-humanism of Augustine and Luther and defended the humanism of Pelagius.

In doing so I assumed all I was engaged in was a bit of tepid heresy, as Pelagius remains condemned by the Latin church.

Little did I know I had greviously sinned and committed the new ultimate heresy of liberal society: offending the sensibilities of others!

Would 1000 hail Mary's get me out of this purgatory?

Posted by Casey | August 21, 2007 12:48 PM

Jason--no, but a $1000 donation to the dem party probably would...

Posted by NoDonkey | August 21, 2007 12:50 PM


I'm sure the Louisana Democrats would prefer 1000 unmarked bills to 1000 Hail Mary's.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 2:21 PM


Since I didn't buy the article, I didn't get as far as you did. On the front page of the article, he addresses Luther, so I assumed he stayed there. My apologies.

Looking on the web, I find the "utterly depraved" phrase to be one of Calvin's -- in which Calvin (not Jindal) argues that mankind is totally incapable of accepting God unless God allows them to. This is a facet of Calvin's theology of which I was unaware, but is an obvious extension of the concept of predestination. No person can come to God unless God lets them. Wow, talk about lack of free will here. We might as well throw in the towel now, because either God wants an individual to be saved, or he does not; if God doesn't want you to be saved, you are damned before you were ever born, and if God does want you to be saved, you are.

[Actually, the "utterly depraved" paragraph addresses a subtext of Calvin's overall thesis on grace -- that Catholics, with their outward showing of various aspects of their faith, including the Mass, are as the rich man come into the temple. It is an overt attack on Catholicism's embracement of outward signs of faith. I guess Calvinists, on the other hand, are to consider themselves the poor widow, I guess because they are not to be demonstrative in any way concerning their faith?]

A Calvinist might sing "Jesus Loves Me", but can he truly be sure?


Luther talked about excrement when speaking of the Devil and his works. Of course, to the theologists over at Wonkette, Michele Bachmann is the Pope.

The most amusing thing about the website is that it attempts to paint Jindal as thinking that Hinduism is better than Christianity. If that's the real case, he didn't really convert, right?

Posted by Tully | August 21, 2007 2:22 PM

One of Jindal's opponents (Foster Campbell) has already been caught using his own government office phones and email as his listed campaign contacts.


Posted by Darren | August 21, 2007 2:26 PM

I saw some pretty vicious anti-Catholic campaigning by Republicans in a GOP Congressional primary in NC a couple years back. As an ex-Catholic, I was quite astonished to see such hatred directed at my former belief system--and to learn that the hatred had deep roots in that part of the state. Since then I've become much more aware of certain sects of Protestantism that pretty much spend their days whipping up anti-Catholic sentiment. Nothing much surprises me now, especially when it comes to devoutly religious people.

Posted by starfleet_dude | August 21, 2007 2:28 PM

If the GOP wants to make faith a big deal in politics, religion is going to be an issue no matter who brings it up. It's not as if there hasn't been some religious friction between Huckabee and Brownback's campaigns, based on Brownback's conversion to Catholicism.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 2:39 PM


The first time you got a Tony Alamo broadside stuck under your windshield, you should have known.

And when John Kennedy had to face a room full of ministers, you should have known.

Mitt Romney now faces the same questions about his faith.

And, by the way, it's all correct. A person's stated religion is a weathervane for their morality and ethics. It is part of what they are. To the extent they claim to be of a faith, and thence to follow (or not follow) its precepts, to that extent the voter gets another measure of verity.


Read the paragraph just above your name. End of debate.

Posted by starfleet_dude | August 21, 2007 2:43 PM

This is free, but don't bother wasting your time reading it Ed:

Atheism's Gods

It's just so much bashing of the unbelievers for no good reason.

Posted by Darren | August 21, 2007 3:03 PM

"It's just so much bashing of the unbelievers for no good reason."

It took me a minute to realize that piece was written by Jindal. It doesn't appear to be vitriolic ranting or anything, but it does seem to be filled to the brim with misdefined concepts, false dichotomies, straw men arguments, and downright amateurish arguments against atheism. Regurgitated apologetics long since refuted by the likes of George Smith. That's too bad--I like a challenge!

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 3:09 PM


That's one of the articles referenced on the Democratic site. I'm surprised they put it there, because

a) It shows off Jindal's Christianity (counter to the article mentioned above it which attempts to position Jindal as a Hindu reconverso), and
b) Atheists aren't the target for the website.

I expect that reference to disappear or to be changed to something else over the next few days.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 3:17 PM


As Jindal himself put it at the end, "The atheist, unlike the agnostic, makes metaphysical assumptions as significant as those of theists."

We will, of course, find out the truth about all such metaphysical assumptions at our point of death. And, if the atheists are right, those of us who are religious will have lost nothing; if they are wrong, they will have lost everything.

Wiki "Pascal's Wager"

Posted by IanY77 | August 21, 2007 3:20 PM

Knock it off, Captain. This is right out of the Republican Party playbook.

"As you sow so shall you reap"

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 21, 2007 3:36 PM

Nonsense. Any nitwit knows the Dhimmicrats will never ban the Bible in 2008 or any time soon after.

Not because they wouldn't if they could...but because they couldn't so they won't.

In the ol' U. S. of A....there are far too many God-fearin' neanderthals who have access to guns.

Posted by Captain Ed | August 21, 2007 3:39 PM


Yes -- and I criticized it then, too:

Maybe you should read my blog for a while, or at least learn how to do a search ....

Posted by Jason | August 21, 2007 3:40 PM

Nice rationalization Ian. Are you denying that the commercial exists?

If not then you are just engaging in some typical sophistry.

Posted by viking01 | August 21, 2007 3:57 PM

Is fake but accurate See-BS still considered a credible news source, or the NY "Jayson Blair" Times or the New "Beauchamp" Republic?

For purposes of debate it's probably unwise, not to mention weak, for Leftists to link to the Katie Channel except to elicit guffaws

Sure, Les Moonves [cough] claims to be improving See-BS News accuracy but don't bank on it until Gunga Dan Rather confirms with his magic fax machine in Lubbock after Bob Schieffer and Mark Knoller discuss it with Howard Dean.

Posted by IanY77 | August 21, 2007 4:02 PM

I never denied it's existence, I merely said that since this is how the game is now played, it's a little hypocritical and, honestly, pathetic to be shocked, shocked I say!, that this sort of crap is being fired back at you. I never heard any complaints when the Republicans were smearing the Dems:

So either suck it up or clean your own house.

Posted by viking01 | August 21, 2007 4:05 PM

Is fake but accurate See-BS still considered a credible news source, or the NY "Jayson Blair" Times or the New "Beauchamp" Republic?

For purposes of debate it's probably unwise, not to mention weak, for Leftists to link to the Katie Channel except to elicit guffaws

Sure, Les Moonves [cough] claims to be improving See-BS News accuracy but don't bank on it until Gunga Dan Rather confirms with his magic fax machine in Lubbock after Bob Schieffer and Mark Knoller discuss it with Howard Dean.

Posted by Neo | August 21, 2007 4:06 PM

Just how far does anti-Catholic bigotry go in a state that uses "parish" rather than "county" ?

Posted by IanY77 | August 21, 2007 4:09 PM

Viking: So the West Virginia RNC didn't send out that campaign flier? What is it with you conservatives? Every news org makes mistakes, so do bloggers. Can we still trust Power "Martinez memo" Line? How about Michelle "Lonely Kerry Pic" Malkin? Or Confederate "Jamil Hussein doesn't exist" Yankee? Pajamas "Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dead" Media?

Posted by Pez | August 21, 2007 4:10 PM

Taking a peak at the Lousianna Demacratic Party leadership is a disgraceful array of corrupt power brokers

Renee Gill Pratt
DNC At-Large

--former board President Ellenese Brooks-Simms who pleaded guilty to accepting $100,000 in bribes from a consultant working for a vendor. The consultant was reported to be none other than Mose Jefferson, the brother of the indicted congressman. Another scandal involved the girlfriend of Mose Jefferson, former Councilwoman Renee Gill-Pratt, who improperly used donated vehicles that were sent to the city post-Katrina for her own personal benefit.---

Mose Jefferson is William "freezer" Jefferson's brother

Stephanie Butler

is William Jefferson staffer who has gone before the Grand Jury at least 2ce

Posted by starfleet_dude | August 21, 2007 4:11 PM

unclesmrgol, this is why Jindal's essay on atheism is there:

These principles lead to the conclusion that some uncreated being, particle, entity, or force is responsible for creating all matter and energy and for giving an initial order to the universe. Whether this process occurred through the Big Bang or through a literalist's interpretation of Genesis is irrelevant. What is crucial is that there must exist some uncreated being with the ability to create and give order. A being which defies the natural laws of physics concerning energy, matter, and order is necessitated by the very laws of nature.

I think Jindal's wrong about his the logic underlying his conclusions about atheism, but generally that's not something that normally enters into the political arena. But if Republicans like Mitt Romney want to go go around saying that Presidents should be "persons of faith", then don't be surprised if certain matters of faith become hot political issues. Because to a lot of Southern Baptists, how Genesis is interpreted is not irrelevant. As an atheist myself, I have absolutely no sympathy for Ed's feelings here, because there are still laws on the books in several states that would marginalize me as a citizen if they were enforced, and in any case there is a tremendous amount of prejudice against atheists that makes it almost impossible to run for public office if matters of faith are an issue. I don't expect such laws to be stricken anytime soon, because there still is a lot of religious bigotry in this nation, and as far as I'm concerned the GOP deserves all the blowback it gets for pandering to it.

BTW, regarding Pascal's Wager: the odds favoring a payoff are better if you go with the Tooth Fairy.

Posted by viking01 | August 21, 2007 4:22 PM

Sorry Ian77, you lost me when you dare suggest that Jayson Blair, Beauchamp and the obviously fake Rather memos are "mistakes."

Posted by IanY77 | August 21, 2007 4:24 PM

Son, I lost you when I learned spelling and punctuation

Posted by docjim505 | August 21, 2007 4:28 PM

I read "Atheism's Gods" which was kindly linked by starfleet_dude (thank you). I must say that I found it neither "bashing of the unbelievers" nor "for no good reason".

Jindal begins by asserting that "political correctness, which has affected universities at every level, has also infected religious and philosophical thought." Now, given how despised "political correctness" is in a large segment of our society, it seems a perfectly "good reason" to discuss it.

He then lays out his view of the atheist / rationalist position, which is that:

(A) "God"* does not exist at all; he is the creation of man, not vice versa; he is the product of man's psychological needs, and;

(B) That morality is a product / construct of society and does not stem from some universal principal or force (i.e. "God"), and that morality is therefore completely subjective. This forms the basis of multiculturalism and the "politically correct" aversion to making unfavorable comparisons between one society and another.

Jindal argues that both tenents of the atheist position are flawed. He believes that the evidence for the existence of "God" is actually pretty good and rests upon natural law, especially the laws of thermodynamics. Essentially, the existence of "God" explains WHY the universe exists. If matter and energy exist in finite quantities (though they can be converted between each other), where did these finite quantities originate? If entropy - disorder - always increases in the universe, why has there ever been ANY order at all?

Jindal also points out that science cannot account for the human traits of consciousness, morality, and free will. It is one thing to attempt to prove that life, through some random process (I do not use the term "miraculous"), originated from some fortunate chemical reactions in a primordial soup of organic molecules. How did increasingly complex collections of molecules become rational, self-aware beings? Science cannot begin to say.** But religion can easily answer the question.

Jindal then deals with the atheist / humanist view of morality as a construct created by society to meet some arbitrary list of societal goals. However, in rejecting any universal, transcendental (i.e. given by "God") morality, atheists at once deny the ability to make comparisons between one society and another ("Even the most adamant multiculturalist reserves the right to condemn Nazi Germany and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust."), but also overlook the role of the individual. Why SHOULD an individual who is without "morals" refrain from stealing or murder? As Jindal notes:

Only the risk of getting caught prevents the truly consistent relativist from stealing, killing, or acting in any other selfish or destructive manner. There is no reason to care for others, including loved ones and future generations, except for the feeling of self-satisfaction generated by such feelings.

Jindal argues that even the most ardent atheist / humanist ultimately must come back to the universal, transcendental moral code that is totally against their beliefs. They must, without admitting it, come back to a belief in "God". Murder is wrong because it is wrong; this is a moral truth, not a logical outcome.

And what of societal efficiency? If the purpose of morality is simply to have a smoothly running and productive society (my interpretation, not Jindal's), then why not indulge in eugenics or the euthanasia of the old, sick, or handicapped? Why not slavery or genocide? Why not killing some people to harvest their organs so that other, more useful people will live? Only the most amoral - nay, sociopathic - person would fail to bridle at such notions applied on a universal scale.

Ultimately, Jindal argues that the atheist who denies the existence of "God" has simply made another "God" for himself:

The atheist, unlike the agnostic, makes metaphysical assumptions as significant as those of theists. Not content with admitting uncertainty about the existence of God, the atheist claims that God does not exist and that creation can explain itself. My tactic has been to show the logical conclusions of atheism in an effort to illustrate its contradictions with scientific reason, humility, and the concept of morality. Anyone still choosing to adhere to atheism cannot be convinced otherwise because he has made a free-will decision based on faith alone. Atheism becomes a religion unto itself.

Far from "bashing nonbelievers", Jindal has written a decent, thoughtful, though a trifle verbose argument against atheism. Whether one accepts his argument is (to coin a phrase) a matter of free will, but to dismiss them out of hand demonstrates a narrowness of thought and an obstinate yet frightened desire to avoid what must be an unpleasant attack on one's worldview.


(*) I use "God" to mean some omnipotent deity, not necessarily the Judeo-Christian God.

(**) I would like to insert an argument AGAINST intelligence here. Michael Crichton wrote in "The Andromeda Strain" that "the evolutionary advantages of intelligence have never been demonstrated". By any standard, bacteria and other simple forms of life are evolutionary successes; why should they evolve into higher forms that have no more (or, indeed, much less) success? We believe the universe to be a harsh and uncompromising place; why should a creature evolve that expends a huge amount of energy to support a rational brain? Why not expend LESS energy to support more powerful muscles or sharper teeth or better eyes? Is the rat not more successful than man? The cockroach?

Posted by viking01 | August 21, 2007 4:52 PM


LOL poor, testy Ian. You can reproduce? Less logic required for that than refuting the Blair / Rather / Beauchamp mistakes. Blair indeed spells his first name Jayson which your beloved, discredited NY Times can readily verify.

Nice comma splice you've placed there preceding an orphaned fragment? Next...........

Posted by starfleet_dude | August 21, 2007 5:09 PM

Jindal writes:

THE wave of political correctness, which has affected universities at every level, has also infected religious and philosophical thought. Whereas Western universities once existed to train clergymen and educate others in the fundamentals of the Christian faith, modern centers of higher learning are much more secular and skeptical toward anything remotely religious. Faith is a taboo subject among many of the educated elite; indeed, persons with strong religious convictions are often viewed with scorn and disapproval. Equating all religious beliefs with the seemingly intolerant attitude of Fundamentalists, the more ardent critics of religion are so bold as to equate faith with ignorance and disparage any attempt to support faith with reason as naive.

The skepticism about supernatural claims is well placed, given what we now know about the universe. When God has been pushed into Planck length gaps, resorting to religious explanations of anything in the natural world is nothing more than a form of nostalgia. Those who have strong religions convictions that lead them into denial about evolution are simply wrong and should be told so rather than be excused by appeals to religious correctness as Jindal does in his essay.

The atheist persists in demanding that God reveal himself while denying all possible forms of communication as invalid. Miracles are dismissed as unexplained events, theists are engaged in self-deception, even personal spiritual inclinations are nothing more than psychological phenomena. In Jesus' parable, Abraham said, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." Science will always hint at, but will never conclusively prove, the existence of God. All experiential and objective evidence can be dismissed as incomplete by those who choose not to believe.

Substitute "UFOs" for God and "alien abductions" for miracles and you can plainly see how flawed Jindal's argument is. Supernatural claims are not scientifically falsifiable, because those who make such claims also say that such things are unknowable by definition! Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

Atheists insist on theoretical models of moral relativism, but then rely on the norms of objective morality in formulating their codes and resolving their moral conflicts. Whether one chooses to view objective transcendent morality as God or the creation of God, even the hardened atheist should admit his own dependence on such morality.

Theists on the other hand insist that God is the source of all morals, but then run in to difficulty as all the various religious sects try to properly interpret what God's will really is. Is it "Thou shall not kill" or "Thou shall not murder"? Or does that vary depending on the circumstances? All Jindal is doing is using God as an appeal to a moral authority that is beyond questioning, so just shut up and do as I say God says.

I'd write more, but I suspect Ed would get bored pretty quickly if I did so enough.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | August 21, 2007 5:58 PM

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 6:15 PM

Reading the comments makes me sick. They sound like Iraqis talking about Sunni vrs. Shiite (The Catholics in the south vrs the Baptist in the North.) The Louisiana Democratic Party has caused this debate. Just another hard fought point of courtesy that has been established over the last 200 years is now out the window.

This is America and we don't criticize people for their religious viewpoints -- even when we disagree. We don't try to warp elections based on religion -- not since Kennedy. Wait. I take that back. Mitt's Mormon and evidently some people feel that is an issue.

Our nation was founded on religious freedom and NOTHING else. And like it or not, that means every freeky-deeky viewpoint is at least tolerated, and at least allowed to hold it’s opinion.

Seriously folks – it’s so un-American that I can’t even think of anything more un-American than to bring religion into politics.

I hope the people of Louisiana spank the Democrats so hard for this that their a$$ hurts all the way to the DNC.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 6:31 PM

I want to be more clear. I am sick that the conversation has to be taking place. Not by the comments.

Posted by docjim505 | August 21, 2007 6:45 PM

starfleet_dude wrote (August 21, 2007 5:09 PM):

The skepticism about supernatural claims is well placed, given what we now know about the universe.

What do we "know" about the universe that undermines the existence of God? Please note that Jindal himself writes:

Science will always hint at, but will never conclusively prove, the existence of God.

We have a better understanding of the universe than we did 100 or 1000 years ago, but nothing has conclusively discredited the existence of a supreme being. Whether you believe in crystal spheres, that the sun goes round the earth, or the earth goes round the sun, there are still the basic questions of "why?" and "where did it all come from?" Unless and until somebody can come up with a rational explanation that is supported by evidence, we are left with a choice between "it just happened!"... or that some supreme being caused it to happen.

Those who have strong religions convictions that lead them into denial about evolution are simply wrong and should be told so rather than be excused by appeals to religious correctness as Jindal does in his essay.

I have to chuckle at the sheer, unmitigated cheek of telling theists - who include some of the most brilliant men in history - that "you're WRONG!" when they open a holy book or pray or go attend religious services... By the way, what do you say about people who do good as a result of their foolish, nostalgic beliefs? Do you sneer at people who donate to religious charities? Laugh at missionaries or religious aid workers? What a bunch of fools! Doing these things in the name of something that doesn't even exist!

At any rate, Jindal doesn't deny evolution in this article. What he DOES do is discuss one particular scientist, Richard Dawkins, who asserts that "unassisted evolution explains the development of human beings from inorganic chemicals and thus does away with the necessity of God to explain the origin of life." Jindal points out that, even assuming that unassisted evolution is a fact, Dawkins merely explains HOW human life evolved; he does not explain WHY the process of evolution began. As I said before regarding the origin of the universe, one is stuck between a very unsatisfying "it just happened, OK?" and belief in a creator.

Lest anybody be tempted to pigeonhole Jindal as some fundamentalist whose understanding of the universe begins with Genesis 1:1 and ends with Revelations 22:21, he writes this:

This [pointing out the flaw in a belief in unassisted evolution] is not an indictment of science, but a realization of the limits of scientific inquiry.

There are and have been quite a large number of theists who were also great scientists and philosophers. Apparently, they were able to keep their foolish, nostalgic beliefs in a supreme being from interfering with their efforts to better understand the universe he created.

Substitute "UFOs" for God and "alien abductions" for miracles and you can plainly see how flawed Jindal's argument is. Supernatural claims are not scientifically falsifiable, because those who make such claims also say that such things are unknowable by definition! Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

I have read this argument before. It has merit in that the existence of a supreme being cannot be proved (as Jindal himself admits). However, I think that you are twisting his meaning in this particular instance. Jindal argues (and cites Scripture to demonstrate that the argument is FAR from originally his) that those who REFUSE to believe cannot be persuaded by ANY evidence. Indeed, it would be far easier to convince some people of the existence of UFO's and alien abductions than it would be to convince them of the existence of a supreme being. As Jindal writes:

... atheists must specify what evidence would be enough to prove the existence of God; even genuine miracles would not be accepted according to such standards. Indeed, it is not clear how the atheist would prove his own existence without reference to his own claims or the testimony of others.

If I and everybody else in the world choose to believe that you do not exist, do you? Could you prove to us that you exist if we stoutly ignore you and explain away any impact that you have on our lives ("I don't know why I tripped! Why, it's as if I bumped into somebody, but since nobody's standing there, that can't be what happened!")? Congnito ergo sum is sufficient to prove to oneself that he exists, but it doesn't prove it to anybody else.

Theists on the other hand insist that God is the source of all morals, but then run in to difficulty as all the various religious sects try to properly interpret what God's will really is. Is it "Thou shall not kill" or "Thou shall not murder"? Or does that vary depending on the circumstances? All Jindal is doing is using God as an appeal to a moral authority that is beyond questioning, so just shut up and do as I say God says.

No, theists don'r run into such difficulty because we realize (and I think that this is universal among the major religions) that man is not perfect. Jesus Christ, for example, tells us to love God and to love each other as we love ourselves. That we fail (usually miserably) is not an indictment of Him but rather of ourselves.

Jindal - at least in this article - does not attempt to use God as an appeal to moral authority, to tell people to shut up and do as he says. He simply argues against the atheist position that a supreme being does not exist.

Now, I'm not aware of ANYBODY who doesn't in some way appeal to some authority to make other people shut up and do what he says. Whether it's by appeal to religion, to secular law or to brute force, men always attempt to force some sort of moral values on each other. To choose a very hot-button issue, take abortion. Those who support a woman's right to this barbarous procedure are enforcing their own morals on those of us wo don't. They use some high-sounding words such as "right to privacy" or "woman's right to choose" or invoke the authority of the Supreme Court to give their views an air of legitimacy. How is this different than invoking Biblical (or Talmudic or Islamic) law or appealing to the authority of God (or Allah)? If enough people - or enough powerful people - agreee that murder, rape, theft, slavery, or any other "crime" is acceptable, is it? The nazis felt that tossing Jews into ovens was morally acceptable. Without reference to the morality that most people accept as divinely inspired, was this evil? Without reference to the laws of God, can we even say that the nazis were wrong? Without God, do "good" and "evil" even really exist?

I suspect that everybody, even the most hardened atheist, would say that good and evil DO exist. If good exists, from where does it come? How is it described or identified? Who's to say which is which? The nazi who nodded and said, "Sehr gut!" when a Jewish baby was tossed into a furnace, or the Jewish mother who watched it happen?

Atheists are not amoral people. They are outraged by murder, theft, rape and other crimes just as much as theists. They know right from wrong, good from evil. This underscores Jindal's final point, however: atheism is its own religion. Though it hasn't got the trappings or books, there is no atheist Vatican or Mecca or Temple Mount, and there is no atheist Pope, nevertheless atheists believe in their "god" with all the fervor that a theist believes in his; some atheists use their "god" and his "laws" as a bludgeon just as surely as the most narrow-minded and dictatorial theist uses his.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 21, 2007 6:51 PM

Louisianna is one of those states that have people living there "forever." It's a "family" thing.

And, the party they vote for is also tied into "family traditions."

If I had to guess?

While changes are occurring, the act of desperation on the part of the Bonkeys is amazing. Because they once owned Louisianna lock, stock and barrel.

About politics. Because I've said it before. If you can get people "involved," where "knowing someone in the power structure is "just a phone call away," it's less than likely that you can intervene in this system; as swampy as it is. And, put in a whole new "ethic."

Is this attack on the Republican's religion just "politics as usual?" Or can there be fear, here? Dunno.

I'd be amazed if Louisianne did what Texas did, when Rove moved mountains over there.

Meanwhile, fascinating to watch.

By the way, I'm a fan of books. And, just for fun I picked up Will Rogers Says ...

Will Rogers became an American legend, oh, back in the 1920's. Sure, his style and his material, when you hear it, still sounds fresh.

So, as a matter of fact, does Lincoln's.

Means politics, like whore houses, don't change all that much through the years. Except perhaps to add a coat of paint, and toss out old bedsheets.

Now, here's a one-liner Will Rogers spoke in March of 1925: Once a man wants to hold a Public office he is absolutely no good for honest work.

See what I mean?

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 6:54 PM


You're wrong. starfleet_dude is right. But in this country, you're allowed to be wrong.

That may not continue indefinitely.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 7:07 PM


I stand by Pascal's Wager. If I'm wrong, it doesn't hurt me either before or after I'm dead. If you are wrong, you certainly won't be prepared for the afterlife.

I think Jindal makes a good point where he challenges atheists to prove their anti-theology.

You aren't going to win this one. I won't either -- maybe.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 7:14 PM

I'm sorry uncle. I must have mis-read. I will re-read and re-comment.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 21, 2007 7:19 PM

Oh, and I like docjim's last post, especially the part about forcing group morality onto the individual.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 7:32 PM


Okay, I’m back. I re-read. You’re still wrong.

“I have to chuckle at the sheer, unmitigated cheek of telling theists - who include some of the most brilliant men in history - that "you're WRONG!" “

I can never change your mind. I’m not one to try. But here’s the thing…you tried to change mine, and I’m telling you, “You’re wrong.” I think that you can understand, intellectually, that one of us is wrong. We can’t both be right.

It’s you.

Posted by docjim505 | August 21, 2007 7:39 PM


OK. Hopefully, you'll have a "C.S. Lewis" conversion in your life. I hope so. Meanwhile, if being "wrong" means continuing to believe in a God who so loved the world that He gave His only Son to die for our sins and save us from the pit, I can live with my "error".

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 7:42 PM

wait...who's italisized?

I'm going to just shut up because the post is so long I' can't figure it out anymore.

I like God.

Which one of you is in favor of that? That's the guy who I think is right.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 7:49 PM

This is embarrasing.

Is it so much to ask for the simple courtesy of a "Star_fleet says:", and a "Doc says:" between transitions so that idiots like me can follow along more easily?

I mean really...I do it for all of you.

Again, I'm on the pro-God side of this argument. Even though you probably don't want me to admit that now that I've proven myself a fool. A fool who can't read.

God loves fools that can't read -- good thing for me.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 7:56 PM

Doc...soooo sorry. soooo sorry.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 8:13 PM

Eric slooowly backs towards the door. Everyone is just staring at him.

He smiles nervously.

Finally, before bolting out the door, he says, "well, if I can be of further assistance here, just let me know."

He makes a cartoon sound as he disappears.

Posted by SkyWatch | August 21, 2007 8:39 PM

I 'm not educated enough on history to know the truth but aren't Catholics and Christians different? Catholic is an older religion that has saints ,fallen angel, devils ,exorsims and a leadership that will not open their great library to the open of sunshine?

I could not care less about a persons beliefs as long as they are good people but the Catholic church has done more harm then the many off shoots from it in the Christian churches.

Posted by Eric | August 21, 2007 8:44 PM

Thank you skywatch...I'm off the hook.

Posted by Neo | August 21, 2007 9:11 PM

I think "SkyWatch" has it pretty much.

The point here is that LA Democratic party apparently just can't read the works of Bobby Jindal, so in their ignorance they just assumed that it must be anti-Protestant, we hope. Otherwise, they are a bunch of liars.

Posted by flenser | August 21, 2007 9:14 PM

I 'm not educated enough on history to know the truth but aren't Catholics and Christians different?

Another fine product of the American educational system.

Posted by SkyWatch | August 21, 2007 9:41 PM


Actually I dropped out of the government schools in the 2nd week of 11th grade (but thank you for worrying about me) The Christian churchs came from the Catholic church. England (for you smart people). Now, you seem to say that the two different sect are the same? that is like saying that America and England are the same.

The Americans of old decided they had had enough and split off. The same with the churches just the churches was a bit before the land mass change.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 21, 2007 9:57 PM

SkyWatch, you're trying to fit hundreds of years of history into your nutshell.

But for the Catholic Church, what began as the single "light" in the very dark ages, grew during a time people didn't read or write. And, the limited education that was provided, blocked out everything that was Roman! And, of course, everything that was Greek.

Still, to end the barbarism, it was the Catholic Church that moved into the pagan enclaves; promising Salvation. It brought an order t the chaotic emerging European world.

In other words, long before Henry VIII got into a "fist fight" with the French Pope. The one who crowned kings; only to learn that Henry was looking to divorce his first wife. And, the French Pope was also looking to say "he couldn't."

Of all the crowned heads of Europe at the time (the late 1500's), it was Henry VIII who was the better Catholic. But, you bet. To "win" he then took England "out" of the Catholic Church. AND, he confiscated ALL of the Pope's "holdings" in England. Instead, he made the aristocrats in his camp RICH. That wealth is still there for some of the families that got it. Pope's BIG mistake.

And, the world then had two popes. Avignon. Which is no more. And, the "outpost" that was in Rome. Poor at the time, too.

The biggest switches came from Martin Luther. He said "St. Peter wasn't talking to the Pope, any longer, on the Throne." That's why there was a moving away from the wholesale selling of "pardons" ... to a belief that Faith could be preached by reading the text of the Bible, alone. And, yes. Many forms of Protestant worship emerged.

Can't put spilled milk back into the bottles.

To say nothing of the changes wrought by the Enlightenment. Used by America's Founding Fathers, to break away from England. And, to choose NOT to have an official state religion. From this grew our own Bill of Rights.

Did we make it? Yes.

Did the Brit's think we would fail? YES!

And, not only did they come for a rematch, in 1812. They also put the arabs against our fleet of ships. And, American sailors (without protection) were caught and enslaved.

Yes, America paid "tribute" ... through four presidents. This means that Washington paid it. And, so did Jefferson. Jefferson said it was "cheaper than war."

Washington had said Americans were tired of war.

James Monroe finally blew a fuse. Congress, which had been sitting on its hands, had finally provided the money to build about six ships.

Oh, and for good measure, Napoleon thought he'd control the Caribbean. Ah. You think Napoleon only lost at Waterloo? NOPE. He lost to the American ships in the Caribbean. Where Napoleon tried to sink our ships.

It was that success that led James Monroe to finally allow our marines (soldiers who sail by sea), to tackle the problems coming out of Africa. To Tripoli.

When you sing FROM THE HALLS OF MONTIZUMA, TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI ... you go back in time to an early success for America. The Europeans, by the way, BENEFITTED. Because they, too, "paid tribute."

In a sense, we're stuck with this "tribute" deal; because in 1928, the Europeans thought they'd run the Saudi oil fields. And, all they did? Give the Bedoins money. Was the thinking, this tribute wouldn't be costly?

Look where we are now, post 9/11.

Yes, with another chance.

Let's hope, ahead, we make the best of it.

Or darkness escapes into the light.

Hate to think of what it would take to put that one to bed, if we let the nuclear idiots get to where they want to go. 6 Billion people on earth, and counting, what would be left?

Posted by Carol Herman | August 21, 2007 10:15 PM

Not to forget: SEX!

Martin Luther was a priest, and was forbidden to marry.

Among his complaints was that this "wasn't natural."

He took issue with the church's teachings about holiness for men forcing them to be celebate: UNNATURAL.

And, this happened 80 years or more BEFORE Henry VIII wanted to divorce his first wife.

In today's world, SEX, again, is playing a major role. In other words (and, I think my mom said it was the availablity of the Pill), that allowed families to be PLANNED. And, not just by the Catholic "calendar" (where you couldn't diddle your wife for about two weeks worth of time, as people tried to guess when she was ovulating.)

The sizes of families has since come down some, in case you haven't noticed.

The other thing? Up at one of the sites I saw today, was a story from England. About how there are no longer "as many" brides who are teenagers.

In other words? Back in the 1950's, more than 100,000 brides a year were 17 or 18, or 19 years old. NOW? There aren't 4,000 brides a year who are teenagers.

So UP's gone the starting age for women to marry (if they marry before their first kidling comes along.)


It means lots of brides today have "shacked up" with the person they eventually do marry. So, first? Comes the SEX.

Which is what happens when you go back to the 1960's, and you watch "that" door open wide.

Again, you just can't put the spilt milk back into the bottle.

And, you can't blame Martin Luther, either!

Heck, eventually the Pope in Avignon, France, signed the death order, to kill Luther. But he had friends ... who postponed the pony ride ... where this paperwork was sent out with the Pope's signature on it.

Anyway, Luther was German.

And, if you look at history ... those darn Germans are at the turns of events, where things go flooey.

Heck, it was the Germans that the Roman's thought of as too uncivilized. So the Roman's never crossed the Rhine.

The German tribes did, though. And, Rome got sacked in 144 AD? (Heck, I'm lousy on dates. Sorry.)

But for Europe it didn't emerge "whole." It crept foward, without science. And, within the first thousand years, Europe lost all that technology that had been Rome's, before!

The peasants of Europe would later be surprised to learn about Rome. And, Greece. They thought everything started with Jesus Christ.

So, it all depends on the story tellers, doesn't it?

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 22, 2007 12:00 AM

Eric, I'll say it right here, in bold: I believe in God.. That puts us apparently on the same side of a (non) argument. But I'm a Catholic, which according to skywatch makes me not a Christian. Also makes the Captain not a Christian. And probably quite a few other posters who thought they were Christian.

Actually, Carol, who knows very little about Catholicism (but thinks she knows a lot), is wrong. People did read and write when the Catholic Church began. As a minor example, Paul wrote -- in fact, he wrote quite a bit. A huge hunk of the New Testament was authored by him. What didn't exist in large numbers, until the invention of the printing press (or, rather, movable type), were Bibles. Because each Bible prior to the press had to be transcribed by hand, they were very few and very costly (imagine the worth of an object that takes a group of people several years working dawn to dusk to complete). And not only that, but because that object is the Word of God, you would have to make sure it was done right. In many cases it wasn't, and the errors proliferated via copying -- that's why Pope Damasus I commissioned Saint Jerome to compile the first standard Bible -- the Vulgate. All Christian bibles are descended from the Vulgate or the Greek or Hebrew texts Jerome chose to translate when making the Vulgate; if you hold a Bible, you hold a document whose content was dictated by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

I posit that if people had not read when the Church was founded, Scripture would have died and we'd have a totally oral tradition today, regardless of church affiliation. I don't think God would be very pleased with us.

Depending on where you lived, throughout the middle ages, lots of people could read and write -- they just didn't have access to the Bible, except at Mass. As has always been the case, the Catholic Church reads the entire Bible at Mass in a three year cycle So, in about a thousand days, if one went to Mass every day, one would hear the entire Bible. The Bible's reading was translated into the vernacular (language of the people), although Bibles themselves were the Vulgate.

The Reformation was not possible until after about 1455 (the year Gutenberg began selling a Vulgate Bible produced using movable type). At that point it became possible for mass production of Bibles printed in the vernacular, at which point people could privately read the Bible themselves.

The word Catholic comes from the Latin and means "universal". It stems from the period when there was exactly one Church. For those who hold to the Nicean Creed, the word is a prominent part of the Creed -- and actually meant the Catholic Church when it was composed in the early 300's. The Nicean Creed is part of the tradition outside Scripture maintained by the Church.

So the Catholic Church, whatever you may think of it, is the mother church of Christianity and the source of your Bible. Hopefully, some Eastern Orthodox person chimes in at this point about the Great Schism.

Oh, excuse me, Skywatch, I have to go read a bit from my secret library.

Posted by Joshua | August 22, 2007 12:27 AM

Bobby Jindal should arrange for the New Oxford Review to make his essay available free, and confront these attack ads head on. He should make it clear that he isn't anti-Protestant, his essay wasn't anti-Protestant, and he is willing to stand by his writings so much that he is making them available free.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 22, 2007 1:15 AM

If there's one business in the world where God doesn't show up to work, I'd say it's in the halls where poltiical powers are exercised.

So this contest of what your religion is, is foolish. Doesn't matter to God. He's not gonna show up at the usual meetings.

Besides, politics really doesn't change. It just costs us more and more, each year. We get the same crap, though. No improvements in quality.

And, there's an old line told by Will Rogers. Since it's funny, it bears repeating. And, he made these remarks way back, in 1932:

"Every year it gets hard to tell the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. Their platforms and policies become more and more alike. Bt I believe I have found a way to tell one from the other this year. It's just the way they talk. The Republican says: 'Well, things could have been worse'; and the Democrat says 'How?'

Posted by docjim505 | August 22, 2007 4:06 AM


No prob. You're right: I really need to make the origin of quotes more clear.

RE: Whether Catholics are Christians

I've heard the argument before that Catholics aren't really Christians. It seems based mostly on Catholic "idolatry", chiefly their "worship" of the Virgin Mary.

As it happens, I attended Catholic school for grades 1 - 4 despite the fact that my family is Protestant (an indication of how bad my parents thought the local public schools were). Along with all the other kids, I went to Mass every morning. I have been to Mass many times since with friends of mine who are Catholic.

Let me say that, if the Catholics are not Christians, they are doing a good job of hiding it!

Posted by celebrim | August 22, 2007 12:58 PM

1) It's really unlikely that Protestants will see Jindal as having anything but the courage of his convictions. This sort of attack add only makes sense really to the non-religious. To the religious, we are used to the language of the essay and the ad doesn't get it.
2) Jindal has a reputation for integrity in LA that's going to be impossible for anyone but Jindal to knock the shine off of. The real intent of this ad is to try to pull Jindal into a mudslinging contest where he can be made to be seen as down at thier level.
3) As far as atheism and science goes, the discovery that the universe has a definate beginning ought to make any intellectually honest atheist extremely uncomfortable. Jindal is quite right to point out that if the universe has not existed in a steady state for eternity, that there is a serious problem with attempting to explain the universe from an entirely materialist perspective. This alone does not imply a god, much less a Christian God, but it does imply that any explanation of the universe must appeal to some unknown (and perhaps unknowable) force existing outside of the universe. Any atheist that takes it on faith that this external force which created this uncannily anthropomorphic universe must certainly be mindless is no less fundamentalist and certain of his belief than any young-earth Creationist, and I've about the same degree of respect for thier intellectual stand. You can be an agnostic in this universe, and that's a valid stand. You can claim to have experiential knowledge of the external unknown, and that's a valid stand. But you can't claim to have scientific knowledge of the external unknown, because no one has touched outside of this universe by any sort of emphirical process.

Posted by Jim Thomason | August 22, 2007 9:51 PM

Re: Pascal's Wager

Let's assume for the sake of argument that theists are right, and there IS a God. Let's also posit that this entity is, in fact, a "jealous God" who has no problems with consigning people to "everlasting" torment for the sin of using their brains and doubting his existence.

What I've never understood, is why the people who advance the Pascal's Wager argument seem to feel so confident that they are going to heaven too. What if you're following the wrong God??

Even if Yaweh really is the creator of the universe, what if Jesus was a fake? Wouldn't that mean that every Christian is following a false God and is therefore going to Hell?

Pascal's Wager is pretty pointless without knowing which of the multitude of Gods to believe in. Even if He were to be satisfied with such a craven CYA form of "belief" as the Wager envisions.

Posted by Mark | August 23, 2007 2:03 AM

You know, it is really extremely easy to find out if there is a God or not. Just ask him.

After all, the Man promises in holy writ: "Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will open, ask and it shall be given", and "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally... and it shall be given him".

Now, an all powerful being who exists and keeps his promises should be able to let you know one way or the other. All you have to do is ask him sincerely. If God lives, and you sincerely ask him, then he should tell you.

No more philosophical arguments, no more esoterical rumblings. Just a knowledge one way or the other on the existence of God.

Posted by celebrim | August 23, 2007 2:14 AM

"What if you're following the wrong God??"

Read Paul in the book of Romans, C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity (and for that matter in the Chronicles of Narnia), etc.

Moreover, you don't even get the math right, much less the theology. Let's suppose that we did not know the right deity, and let's suppose that the unknown diety had some gnostic standard of belief or ritual which we did not know and did not follow, and therefore that we are damned for our wrong beliefs and worship of false gods. Well, the question is, are we any more damned for our wrong beliefs than we would have been for our non-belief? No, we are still just as damned as ever. So, all our wrong beliefs have not hurt us any.

BUT, there is a chance that we would be correct in our faith and rituals, in which case, we again come out on the winning side of Pascal's wager. So, your counter-example is in fact nothing of the sort. You've just added some columns to the grid, but all the winning strategies for this game of life are still in the Faith column.

Posted by Gerry | August 25, 2007 2:16 PM

This is why I call it the Phlegm 'n Crap Party.

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