There are certain experiences that atheism simply cannot explain
"One day in September 2008, Vander Woude’s 20-year-old son Josie, who has Down syndrome, fell through a broken septic tank cover in their yard. The tank was eight feet deep and filled with sewage. After trying and failing to rescue his son by pulling on his arm from above, Vander Woude jumped into the tank, held his breath, dove under the surface of the waste, and hoisted his son onto his shoulders. Josie was rescued a few minutes later. By then his 66-year-old father was dead.
This is something that any father, atheist or believer, might do for his son. But only the believer can make sense of the deed.”
I’m sorry, what? Because I’m not religious I don’t have the ability to understand why I would want to sacrifice MY life for my own son? Absolutely ludicrous.
Yeah, that’s a totally despicable framing. It suggests that atheists are heartless, nihilistic solipsists. (They must have been thinking of libertarians!) And couched within that framing is an argument from ignorance fallacy, but whose counting?
Then, later on in the conversation, when I told him that libertarianism is a racist ideology at it’s heart, he said, I was being offensive.
Authorities in Minnesota have launched a manhunt for a minister who is facing 59 counts of first-degree sexual assault in cases against girls — called “Maidens” — as young as 13.
The Star Tribune reported that authorities announced on Tuesday that the two women who had come forward with allegations against 59-year-old Victor Barnard, the former minister of a cult-like faith community in central Minnesota, were not the only girls raped by the religious leader.
In a phone interview with the paper, one of the women, Lindsay Tornambe, confirmed the details of charges that were filed in court documents by prosecutors.
Tornambe, now 27, said that she met Barnard at the age of 9 as a part of her parents’ home schooling. At age 11, her family joined the “Shepherd’s Camp.” And then, Barnard chose her to be “sacrificed to God” by raping her at age 13 in 2000.
The rapes continued over the course of nine years.
“If I wasn’t being spiritual or following his orders, he wouldn’t have sex with us,” she recalled. “If we were doing well, it was almost like he rewarded us.”
In the charging documents, the second victim explained how Barnard compared their relationship to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And he spoke of the concubines of King Solomon. He allegedly told the girls that sex with him was normal because of “God’s word.”
He considered his answer carefully. Finally, he said that there was nothing he would like more in the world than to see his mother and father again, but that he had no reason—and no evidence—to support the idea of an afterlife, so he couldn’t give in to the temptation.
Then he told me, very tenderly, that it can be dangerous to believe things just because you want them to be true. You can get tricked if you don’t question yourself and others, especially people in a position of authority. He told me that anything that’s truly real can stand up to scrutiny.