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History's Troubling Silence About Jesus by Lee Salisbury

How many people have never heard about Jesus of Nazareth? Of course everybody has heard of Jesus. The bible tells us his fame spread throughout the lands of Palestine and Syria. This is the god-man / savior of the world who performed miracles only a God could perform: He turned water into wine; fed thousands with a few pieces of bread and fish; walked on water; stilled the raging storm; healed the blind, the deaf, the infirm, the withered hand and the demon-possessed; and raised the dead. His moral teachings are said to surpass anything ever taught.

Rejected by his own Jewish people, the Romans brutally crucified him. But, that didn’t stop Jesus. At his crucifixion the bible tells us the heavens and earth affirmed his deity, causing a three hour eclipse of the sun over all the earth, an earthquake causing Jerusalem’s temple curtain to be split in two, and graves were opened with many Jewish saints resurrected and appearing to the people in Jerusalem. Within three days, the Son of God, defeated Satan the prince of darkness, rose from the dead, appeared to his disciples, then ascended into heaven. How can anybody not love such a story and want to believe it?

The problem sincere, objective-minded inquirers of history have with this astounding story is why the historical record is virtually silent about the Jesus of Nazareth story in the writings of non-Christian Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers. Certainly news of such events, if true, would have spread throughout the Mediterranean world. Yet, the surviving writings of some 35 to 40 independent observers of the first one hundred years following the alleged crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus give virtually no confirmation. These authors were respected, well-traveled, articulate, thinkers and observers, the philosophers, poets, moralists, historians of that era. Some of the most prominent figures who make no mention of Jesus are:

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Watch Out for those Terrible Atheists

by Lee Salisbury / February 12th, 2008
Reprinted from dissidentvoice.org with permission from the author.
 
A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota shows that atheists are more distrusted and despised than any other minority and that an atheist is the last person for whom Americans would vote in a presidential election. “Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians” all ranked higher than atheists in public acceptability. Furthermore, Americans are “least willing to allow their children to marry” atheists.

State laws instill and perpetuate this attitude. Article IX, Sec. 2, of the Tennessee constitution states: “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.” Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas have similar laws.

George H. W. Bush while campaigning for President in 1987 exhibited this same attitude, “I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

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Letter To A Young Religious Friend

by August Berkshire
My friend, you have asked me how I became an atheist. Here is my story.
I was raised as a Roman Catholic and was even an altar boy with my brother. In the small towns in which we were raised, everyone I met was also a Christian. When you're a child, you pretty much automatically believe what adults tell you. Why would they lie?
Indoctrination is a powerful force. There is a Jesuit anecdote that says, "Give me a child until he's seven and he's mine for life."
Religion actually helped me develop my imagination. I recall sitting in church wondering how Noah got all those animals on the ark, and how they survived for a year. Then I realized that a god could have easily miniaturized all the animals and put them in suspended animation! Later, I discovered that just because you can imagine a thing doesn't mean that it's true.
In tenth grade, I took a biology class and was taught evolution. It made so much sense! It explained things in a way creationism couldn't. I also realized that you could believe in a god, while still accepting the fact of evolution. You could believe that a god created and directed evolution. (This is known as "theistic evolution," and is what the Pope now accepts.) However, to me, evolution makes more sense without a god than with one.
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Others Should Delve Into Info About Religions

By Jack Richter, Sartell 
There have been a number of letters in the Times recently about atheism that accuse or imply atheists “have not done their research” when it comes to religion.
On the contrary, all of the atheists, agnostics and secular humanists I know across the country have done extensive reading, research and investigation into the origins of not only Christianity, but also Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and many other religions.
In addition to researching all of the world’s religions, we have also delved with a critical thinking mind into the areas of paleoanthropology, DNA research, biology and world history. We have studied the ancient civilizations of not only Israel and Rome, but the Persian, Greek and Babylonian empires. My personal studies have taken 10 years of research.
What have atheists found after many years of critical and discerning study of the Bible and its origins? We have found that the mythological figure of “Jesus Christ” was based on other mythical pagan savior gods from Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and Sumeria.
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