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Billy (A Liberal Disabled Vet)

Great post. Here's my take on lying christians:

Many christians believe that they are doing 'gods' work. They believe that everything that they say or do is part of 'gods' master plan. Even our president openly admits that he has conversations with god, and that god tells him what to do.

So. If god is telling you what to do, and it is part of gods master plan, then is it possible (as long as you are still following the master plan) to sin? Christians are attempting to create a 1,000 year reich . . no, wait, a 1,000 year paradise when jesus returns to rule the earth. If a christian believes that by lying about atheists will hasten that terrestrial paradise, then go to it. If lying about atheists saves one more soul (at what interest rate?) for jesus, then the end justifies the means.

Another thought just popped into my head (as Lee Hayes once said, "I don't know where the poop these ideas come from. I don't always agree with 'em, but they're interesting.") regarding forgiveness. One of the more annoying bumper stickers I see is the one that says "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." It's okay to lie about nonbelievers because, as a christian, they are forgiven. Automatically.

As one of the guys in my office points out, Adolf Eichmann was supposedly 'saved' just before execution, so he goes to heaven. However, the 6 million Jews who died in the ovens are all in hell because they never accepted jesus. A christian can get away with anything and then claim that god forgives them.

Unfortunately, it means that those who espouse reason are fighting an asymetrical battle. We (generally) try to tell the truth and when we are proved wrong (by actual evidence) we modify our thinking and writing accordingly. Conversely, christians can lie, cheat, misrepresent, steal, molest children, support Bush, and do all sorts of immoral things because god will forgive them.

Sorry. Today is Monday for me and I'm feeling kinda snarky. Also, sorry for the long post. It's an occupational hazard.

Zach Alexander

Honestly, these guys seem like Rush or Dan Savage -- it's not serious dialogue, just an exercise in throwing red meat to other antis. Showbiz, really.


I've been a reader of your blog since, yes, I Stumbled on the "Atheists and Anger" post, and this is the first time that I've commented on one of your wonderful essay + photocommentary entries.

I have to admit that I have a somewhat vain reason for doing so, and that's that I was the first poster on the AS blog entry in question.

I'd like to steer anyone who's interested to the Atheism Sucks post url at

As it stands, I've posited several defenses of secular ethics, and, crucially, I've asked a few questions that have yet to be answered. Hopefully, anyone who feels so inclined can add a bit to the ongoing discussion, which has been capped by what I consider to be a fundamental question of religion for a good while now.

Apologies for the egocentric, self-stroking bastardism, and thank you so very much for your writing!


I find it infuriating to see our position repeatedly distorted by people who have no excuse for not knowing better. However, I don't think they're deliberately lying. I think they're engaging in a more subtle and unconscious form of intellectual dishonesty.

As religious fundamentalists, they've been taught that they don't need evidence for their claims, that the way they feel about a proposition determines whether it's correct. I suspect that most of them believe that, if they were atheists, they would find life to be depressing and hopeless. In their minds, that outweighs everything, even the protests of actual atheists. (When we say life is meaningful and valuable, we're just lying to hide our despair at being atheists, dontcha know!) This, for them, is good enough, and they don't think they need any further confirmation. They want it to be true, and so they believe it is.


Unfortunately, the more "committed" the Christian, the more likely it seems to be that they can rationalize away the bearing of false witness.

It makes me seriously wonder whether all the other rules are as easily rationalized away when it suits them. Unfortunately, close examination seems to indicate that for many of the supposed rules, the answer is a resounding yes - almost any rule can be ignored if you can provide the right rationalization. So it's perfectly okay to kill or steal, for example, if you get the rationalization right.

Christianity is, from what I see, much more about finding ways to impose your interpretation of morality on others than it is about actually living morally yourself. "You live by my rules - but I don't have to, because when I do it, it's not 'really' lying, stealing and killing. And send me money, or you won't go to heaven."

Frank Walton

"I can understand this attitude from a theist who hasn't spent any time talking with atheists. I can understand it from the theists who come into the atheist blogosphere without any previous knowledge or experience of actual atheists, who only know about atheists and atheism from the monstrous, pathetic picture their pastors or other religious leaders have painted for them."

If you look at my blog, look at the right-hand side where I posted plenty of times where I squared off with atheists. I have read many atheist literature, too.

"But once you've actually spoken with a few atheists -- once you've had, say, half a dozen atheists tell you, "Of course I treasure human life; of course I believe in ethics and altruism; of course I'm not nihilistic or amoral or hopeless or joyless" -- then you don't have any excuse."

I'm afraid I do. Look at atheists like Dr. William Provine (whom Dawkins quotes quite often) who is a Darwinian evolutionists. He said the following:

"Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear -- and these are basically Darwin's views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either."

"You know that it’s not true. You have the evidence of thousands of people telling you, and showing you with the reality of their lives, that it's not true. You have, just for example, atheist soldiers, atheist cops, atheist firefighters... all willing to risk their lives for their fellow humans on a daily basis."

... okay. But they cannot account for morality. So far, all you did was just assume a moral position (that self-sacrifice is moral) without justifying it.

"And yet you still insist on saying that atheists don't value human life; that atheists selfishly look after themselves at the expense of helping others."

Atheists cannot consistently value life given their worldview. Even Dawkins said above all there is no good or evil:

"Theologians worry away at the `problem of evil' and a related `problem of suffering.' ... On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of this bus are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: `For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.' DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music."

"So what I want to know is this:

Whatever happened to "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"?"

Never did. Atheists have vindicated my premise that life is nothing more than matter and motion given their worldview.

"Every now and then, I do an ego-Google search on my name. (No, this isn't a tangent; stay with me.) And experience has taught me to search on my name plus the words "Comforting Thoughts." Because a number of Christian ministers have been using my essay, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God, in their sermons -- as an example of why atheism is a depressing, joyless, terrifying, nihilistic worldview."

I ought to check that out :o)

"How do they manage this, you may ask?

GravestoneWell, they take the first part of the essay -- the part where I try to be honest about the very real problem of permanent death and how frightening and paralyzing it can be -- and they quote it out of context. They make it seem as if that's the entire thrust of my piece. They conveniently neglect to mention the entire damn point of the essay... which is that, while the permanence of death may seem to be an impossibly horrible buzzkill for atheists, in fact it is not."

Well, none of this has anything to do with me, so I dont' know why you're bringing it up except to vent your frustrations.

"It is difficult to see this behavior as anything other than a flat-out lie. It is a deliberate misrepresentation of others, for the sole purpose of supporting your own world view."

As we've seen that's not my problem.

"And again I ask:

Whatever happened to "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor"?"

And again, I did no such thing.

"Even I know that you shouldn't bear false witness against your neighbor. Even I know that you shouldn't intentionally tell lies about people; that you shouldn't deliberately misrepresent other people's actions and beliefs and opinions."

Then don't bear any false witness of me. Also, you may know this but can you account for it without just assuming it. Otherwise, you are begging the question.

"And I'm an atheist. I don't think it's wrong because God told it to Abraham. I think it's wrong because it hurts people needlessly.

How difficult is that?"

The difficulty is knowing how you can account for morality. You're thinking that it's wrong to hurt people is no different than someone who thinks that it's not wrong to kill people. The killer can use your argument as an excuse: "Well, duh, killing people is good to me. How difficult is that?"

"Is your belief that atheism is a joyless, heartless worldview so important to your faith that you have to deny the largely positive reality of atheist lives?"

Positivity of atheism? Yeah, right! Tell that to Sartre, or Nietzche, or Darwin! They lived rather miserable lives.

"Is your belief so important that you not only deny that reality in your own heart and mind, but feel compelled to convince others of it?"

No. Atheism sucks. Pure and simple. It cannot account for morality. And you haven't even begun to give a justification of it.

"Is your belief so important that you have to lie about that reality, not just to yourself, but to the rest of the world?"

Is *your* belief so important that you have to lie about that reality, not just to yourself, but to the rest of the world?

"And is your faith so weak that it can't accept the existence of people who don't share it and yet have good, happy lives, full of meaning and connection and concern for others?"

As we've seen you cannot have a meaningful life given an atheist worldview. Sorry.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

It's not rocket science."

No, but it's in the Bible. And I thank you for quoting it. On the other hand, in atheism, everything goes!



Thank you for the good post and for the link. They both make interesting reading. Given his staring point Frank Walton is correct in his assertions. God exists. There are some who are predestined to heaven and the rest regardless what they believe are condemned to hell. Who the divine judge chooses to save before the foundation of the world rests in his eternal counsels and humanity has not right to question. The elect, the holy ones, stand in judgment over those who are outside. Those who are outside the faith are not capable of telling the truth or love in any fashion as they are of the devil.

His thoughts and words are guided by the Spirit of God and therefore they are correct and true. His statements are based upon truth and all the he states is true. How they are reconciled with conflicting statements made by those who are guided by the Spirit of God is not an issue. As they are dealing with those outside the faith, agreeing to disagree in an agreeable manner is not necessary.

The whole is judged by the statements of the few. This is the thinking that stood behind in Inquisition and the atrocities committed during the Crusades, from which the church and Christians quickly tries to distance themselves. I am content with Walton judging the whole by the few, as it allows me to then judge him and his friends by the cruelties and statements of a handful of Christians who have committed horrendous atrocities in the name of Jesus. Of course they would note we would be doing disservice even though that is much of what he and fundamentalist extremists consistently do.


Why do I suspect that Frank is probably quoting things just as out of context as people do your comments?

As for accounting for morality, or anything else. We don't have to, but we try anyway, and biology and science have shown that, in **all** social species, all show the same sorts of moralistic characteristics, with the differences being sometimes subtle, and other times stark, depending on the *conditions* they live in, and thus how they have had to survive. And, in all of them, those that acted against that pattern, where treated as dangerous, unstable, untrustworthy, and either exiled, or killed, which ever that social species was known for. We even see it all the way down to fracking Ravens. Why the #$#@$ would god care, if humanity is what everything was made for, if a raven distrusted other ravens that stoled from their nests, or offered to help, even in the face of danger and death, those that they found trustworthy?

No, people like Frank have the burden here, in explaining why there is not one scrap of evidence that god has "created" these moral codes, but vast amounts of evidence showing that it arises, even in simple forms, among entirely simulated organisms, to one degree or another in "all" types of life.


"I'm not nihilistic or amoral or hopeless or joyless"

Well I am.... sometimes anyway.

But I've never had a date, so I've always been hopeless and joyless.


"is your faith so weak that it can't accept the existence of people who don't share it and yet have good, happy lives, full of meaning and connection and concern for others?"

Yes, it is. That's the problem with faith. It never stands up to reality unless you continually trick yourself into thinking it's really. In order to do that, you have to circumvent logic, personal accounts that contradict your belief system, and your own intelligence.

Of course, I know many people of faith who don't do this, but they don't have a vested interest in killing anyone who doesn't agree with them (liberal Christians and Jews, usually), so I don't have a problem with them. It's the fundacrazies who have this obsessive need to be the only ones with the True Way and who can't tolerate any kind of intellectual poking and prodding at their belief system - including from inside their own heads.

I used to hate fundamentalists. Now I just pity them on good days and consider them a waste of protoplasm on bad ones.

Jon Berger

Maybe it's because I have a lawyerly way of reading rules, but I've always taken "Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor" as permission to bear false witness against people who aren't your neighbors. If whoever wrote this rule (I nearly said "the Legislature") had intended it to be a general proscription against bearing false witness at all, it would have been quite sufficient to say "Thou shalt not bear false witness." The "kill" and "steal" Commandments are phrased that way, so the author clearly know how to stop after the verb. If the Sixth Commandment said "Thou shalt not kill thy neighbor," that would be a very different rule than "Thou shalt not kill." So I think that there's at least a non-frivolous argument for the concept that Christians may bear false witness against non-neighbors without offending the Ninth Commandment, and I think it's not unreasonable to interpret "neighbor" as "someone who is part of the same community and shares the same beliefs and values." In other words, I think that a lot of Christians interpret the Ninth Commandment as "Thou shalt not bear false witness against other Christians," and I think there's a certain amount of textual justification for that.

I also think, though, that many Christians ascribe weak or nonexistent moral positions to atheists out of less sinister motives than you suggest. I think that when you're brought up to believe that the basis for your personal morality is that a supernatural power will punish you if you feel differently, it's very difficult to grasp how anyone could have an equally strong moral position in the absence of the threat. To continue with the law metaphor, I think that a lot of people assume that the primary reason most people don't commit crimes is fear of being caught. Someone with this mindset might very reasonably believe that an abolition of the criminal justice system would lead to more crime, despite talking to a lot of people who assure him that they'd be law-abiding even if there weren't any laws to abide by.


Oddly enough, I think the main problem with Frank Walton's position here is actually too much rationalism- that is, pure rationalism without the addition of empiricism.

He's come up with a line of reasoning that leads to the conclusion that atheists can't have morals or a happy life or a concern for human beings, and now he refuses to accept the empirically observable fact that many (allthough not all) atheists do have these things as a refutation of his position.

It's rather as if someone would have thought about the eternal verities of the universe and, based on that, have come to the conclusion that logically, the skies should be green, and then, he would simply refuse to accept observations about the color of the skies as a refutation of his position because he can't see a fault in his line of reasoning.

Mr Walton, you keep arguing that atheists can't consistently have morals, or happy lifes, or a concern for human beings. Wich is completely besides the point. If we assume for a moment that atheists really can't consistently have these things, then that simply means that right now, a whole lot of atheists *inconsistently* have these things. What's going on in other people's heads doesn't depend on what you think would be consistent. Other people think what they think, not what you think would be consistent for them to think.

So, perhaps you'd even be right if you would write that for an atheist, there's ultimately no good reason to run into a burning building and safe people. But it's a blatant falsehood to state that an atheist *wouldn't* run into a burning building to safe people. Wich makes Greta Christina's complaint that by writing that, you beared false witness against her, perfectly valid.

Greta Christina

Damn you, Raphael! I've been composing a reply to Frank in my head for half the day, and you have to go and say exactly what I was going to say! :-)

I just want to add this:

Frank's comment actually makes my point for me. It's a clear example of denying the evidence that's staring him in the face, in order to maintain a belief that he's not willing to let go of.

I mean, can you cherry-pick and quote-mine to get quotes of atheists saying unethical things? Can you find a handful of nitwit Nietzsche wanna-bes to support a position that atheism is amoral and selfish? Sure.

But to really hold the position that atheism is de facto amoral and selfish, you have to ignore the empirical reality of the overwhelming majority of atheist lives.

To hold the position that atheists would never risk their lives to save another, you have to ignore the reality of atheist firefighters and police officers and soldiers. To hold the position that atheists don't care any more for human life than they do for protoplasm, you have to ignore the reality of atheist doctors and nurses and medical researchers... not to mention atheist teachers and political activists and non-profit workers.

And you have to ignore the reality of atheist secretaries and janitors, systems analysts and cable installers, folks who don't necessarily do altruistic work in their day jobs but who care about other people and try to do good in their everyday lives.

You can certainly argue that atheist have no good moral foundation for our altruism. You'd be mistaken, but you can argue it. But when you try to argue, not just that atheists' beliefs don't support altruism, but that we don't *behave* altruistically -- that atheists don't risk their lives to save others, that atheists treat humanity as nothing more than matter and motion, that atheists see saving a human life is no more better than saving protoplasm -- that is not a matter of opinion. That is a flat contradiction of reality.

That is bearing false witness.

Robert Madewell

Frank Walton kinda reminds me of myself. Really! I was a hot headed christian once. I argued with atheists and other (non-conformist) christians. What Frank probably doesn't realize is that he could become an atheist. It is possible! It happened to me. Sometime in my life, I stopped relying on faith and started using reason for my beliefs. I can't tell you when that happened, but it did. And not long after that, my religious beliefs started unraveling. I know that Frank would argue that he would never give up on the belief in God, but it is so possible. As a matter of fact, when I started having those doubts, I argued harder and harder for faith and belief. I was desperate. I really was trying, but finally reason won out. As far as accounting for morality, I don't think we have to. Morality is hard wired into our brains somehow. Maybe, more for some than others, but all humans seem to have a tendency for altruism. Even the awful thugs who kill people have some morality, maybe just not as much as Frank or I have. BTW, I wouldn't pause for a second to run into a burning building to save someone. I cried for a week after 911, for sympathy for the ones who died. I would risk my life to save even Frank's life.

Blake Stacey


"Posed like that, the question sounds positively ignoble. When a religious person puts it to me this way (and many of them do), my immediate temptation is to issue the following challenge: 'Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base thought.' As Einstein said, 'If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.' Michael Shermer, in The Science of Good and Evil, calls it a debate stopper. If you agree that, in the absence of God, you would 'commit robbery, rape, and murder', you reveal yourself as an immoral person, 'and we would be well advised to steer a wide course around you'. If, on the other hand, you admit that you would continue to be a good person even when not under divine surveillance, you have fatally undermined your claim that God is necessary for us to be good. I suspect that quite a lot of religious people do think religion is what motivates them to be good, especially if they belong to one of those faiths that systematically exploits personal guilt.

"It seems to me to require quite a low self-regard to think that, should belief in God suddenly vanish from the world, we would all become callous and selfish hedonists, with no kindness, no charity, no generosity, nothing that would deserve the name of goodness."

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, pp. 22627.

John B Hodges

I have an essay at the following URL that critiques the foundations of religious ethics, and explains where atheists get theirs.

John B Hodges

How can you have any ethics if you don't believe in god?

Ethics is a matter of maintaining peaceful and cooperative relations with your neighbors. If you want to maintain peaceful relations, don't kill, steal, lie, or break agreements. This is objective. As Shakespeare wrote: "It needs no ghost, Milord, come from the grave, to tell us this."

Human beings are biological beings evolved by natural selection, so we would expect that with few exceptions they would value the health of their families, where "health" is the ABILITY to survive, and "family" is "all who share your genes, to the extent that they share your genes." This is also called "inclusive fitness" by biologists. Essentially all living beings are going to seek this, because their desires are shaped by natural selection, and inclusive fitness is what natural selection selects for.

Human beings are social animals, who survive by cooperating in groups. Social animals would be expected to value the peace of their communities, seeking to limit conflict and competition to forms that do not cause bodily harm nor endanger the ongoing cooperation.

Because humans are social animals evolved by natural selection, we have a "natural" standard of ethics: The Good is that which leads to health, The Right is that which leads to peace. A "good person" is a desirable neighbor, from the point of view of people who seek to live in peace and raise families.

Religious folk do not really have any ethics. They misunderstand morality at its roots. Certainly for society to survive, the people must agree that killing and stealing are wrong. The question is, WHY are they wrong? Religion says, because the priests report that the Bogeyman said so. The priests are not actually against killing and stealing, they are just opposed to disobedience. If the divine is alleged by the priests to command killing and stealing, then in their view it is right to kill and steal. See Numbers 31, for example. (Many other examples available on request.)

Just as religious faith is believing what you are told, so religious morality is doing what you are told. Religious "morality" consists of obeying the alleged will of God, as reported by your chosen authority. But obedience is not morality, and morality is not obedience. We can all think of famous people who did good things while rebelling against authority, and others who did evil things while obeying authority. Religious folk may be Good Samaritans or suicide bombers, it depends entirely on what their chosen authority orders them to do.

Religion does not really impose any moral restraints on believers. If a believer wishes to make war or keep slaves or oppress women, all they have to do is persuade themselves that their god approves. This seems not to be hard, and no god has ever popped up to tell a believer that they were wrong.

I am not saying that all believers are without morals. Some can practice a morality that rivals even the greatest of atheist social reformers. It is that they have no basis for their morality, other than believing what they are told. They do not have a code of morality except by the convenience of the priesthood. What they have is a code of obedience, which is not the same thing.

There is a long history of philosophical thinking about ethics, going back at least to the ancient Greeks, that makes no use of the Bogeyman. Morality is not based on authority, but on reason and compassion. If I had to recommend just one book on ethics, it would be GOOD AND EVIL: A NEW DIRECTION by Richard Taylor. If I were allowed to add a couple more, I'd recommend THE ELEMENTS OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY by James Rachels and SCIENCE AND HUMAN VALUES by Jacob Bronowski. These books are far, far better than any "sacred text", for teaching morality.


Consider also, Kohlberg's theory of moral development. (Wiki the phrase if you want to learn more.) Kohlberg basically says that doing the right thing because wrongdoing is punished and goodness is rewarded is the very FIRST stage.

Moral maturity only occurs when "one acts because it is right, and not because it is instrumental, expected, legal or previously agreed upon." (The quote is from the wiki entry, not from Kohlberg himself.) I don't agree with everything Kohlberg has to say, but he's worth reading if you are interested in this question.

Robert Madewell

Hey Greta, I replied to Franks article a couple of times. Each time, he ignored my point and replied to my comment with sarcasm. I even gave him a condensed version of my deconversion story. I didn't realize he was a (what's the word?) ... ummm ... idiot. That what I get for assuming someone like Frank has enough reason to listen. Check it out.

David Harmon

Just to correct Zach, it's Michael Savage who flocks with Limbaugh. Dan Savage is on our side. And to correct Greta, it was Moses, not Abraham, who received the Ten Commandments.

About the original point, the thing to realize is that religion derives from tribalism, and it always retains an implicit "us vs. them" distinction. The best that even the most liberal faiths can do about that, is to try and claim that "my tribe is humanity". Unfortunately, the rest of humanity has no particular reason to reciprocate this sentiment.... Of course, the more aggressive faiths instead try to absorb the rest of humanity into their tribe, often by force.

Once you realize this, it becomes obvious that the "moral community" of a faith is implicitly limited to its membership! The Ten Commandments were originally given to Moses, the holy leader of a specific tribe, the future Israelites. They were then co-opted by another tribe, this one defined by the nascent religion of Christianity.

In both cases, the point was that all members of the tribe could rely on the protections of the Tribal Law. Outsiders take their chances ... which is the "real" justification for all those Old Testament genocides the Crusades, Inquisition, and so on.

And even to this day, there's an implicit assumption that non-Christians are not only "not in the tribe", but implicitly enemies to the tribe. After all, they could join in the fellowship of Christ anytime they wanted, so if they don't then they must "hate God". It follows that "whatever it takes" to absorb them into the B/o/r/g/Church is justifiable. Of course, "free will" doesn't apply to non-Christians either, because choosing not to be Christian is simply not acceptable.

Frankie Wallton

Thanks for your commentary. Best we can tell Frank is an insane man not just because of his religion, but due to actual issues. Here is a post that describes the deceit of Frank Walton:
Also the only legitimate site we know of that exposes Frank, in a sometimes satirical manner is this site all about Frank Walton and his atheism sucks friends.

Bonnie Frimet

This is for Greta Christina
God our Father in the name of Jesus he Loves you very much. It seens you are so unhappy with our self and your life. God can Help you know matter what the problem is. NOTHING and No Problem is too BIG for Our God in Jesus name. Stop judging others. You were saying about others giving false testimony. Well you doing the very same thing!!
Proverbs 3:7
Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil.


I find it amusing that a spam idiot is trying to claim Greta is unhappy with herself. She seems perfectly happy to me!

Also, yknow, two year old entries, but was linked from elsewhere I was reading and gave me quite a shock such that I had to comment there as well as here. You see, I knew Matthew Murray. Just online, just in IRC, but I knew him and I liked him. And because of this, I know his background and his history and why he chose to go out shooting. Matthew Murray was raised christian, in an abusive cult. He chose the churches he did to shoot up because of the hypocrisy of their pastors - namely Ted Haggardy. Christianity had done nothing but hurt him his entire life, so he chose to punish christianity in his suicide. He wanted it to be CHristian America's Columbine, he wanted to make some kind of impression on them. Unfortunately for that aim, his shooting was bracketed a few weeks apart by a bus shooting that killed more people than he did and something I no longer remember, so his blaze of glory faded into the background.

Matthew Murray was as human as the people he killed and as human as the woman who stopped him.

If thou shalt not kill, why was it okay for her to shoot and and try to kill him? I mean, it's quite logical to stop someone from killing lots of people at whatever cost, this is the rationale behind the death penalty. But it's not really borne out in the ten comandments, is it?

Sorry to be rambly and tangenital. I just haven't been reminded of this for a long time. He was my friend. I miss him.

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