Note from Dan: This was submitted by Dave Gresham, who lives on the Franklin County side of the Smith Mountain Lake. He has recently waged a campaign to persuade the Franklin County Board of Supervisors from opening their public meetings with denominational prayer.
By Dave Gresham
For the past couple of months I have been working to stop Franklin County’s policy of opening their meetings with Christian prayers. (First privately, then publicly when that failed.)
Last Friday, one of the Board members told me that they have decided to go back to non-denominational prayers only. (At least until a higher court rules on the ACLU’s lawsuit against neighboring Pittsylvania County, who had been opening their meetings with Christian prayers, until an injunction stopped them.)
Why don’t these so-called leaders read the Constitution and Bill of Rights?
Church and State are to be kept separate. For the protection of both!
These actions of mine have resulted in total strangers calling me, most of them with hostile insults. I have also received a number of similar emails. And every one of them is a righteous Christian, of course.
The letter that follows is one of the few responses I bothered to write to any of these detractors, since he was at least polite.
I share it in hopes of getting more people to think about what they believe, versus what they know, which are not the same concepts.
He began the conversation by sending me an email, to which I replied, to which he countered (without addressing a single point I made), and so I ended our exchange with this final reply.
The Bible is the Word of God? No thank you!
I’ll take love and the golden rule.
As for Thomas Paine? I won’t waste time arguing your errors, but I can tell you he is a hero to me.
Note the golden rule is not based on the Bible, but rather is an innate knowledge within all mankind. The idea literally carries its own authority as the truth. We choose to obey it, or not. This universal truth is always co-opted by priestcrafters to help sell fictional authority over us.
Nor is Jesus above us. He was just a great teacher, turned into a new and improved religious business, after he got killed trying to end the Moses business. (All religions put icons above us, so their priestcrafters can be above us in their icon’s absence.)
“God said, “Take your son to the land of Moriah and kill your son there as a sacrifice for me.” Genesis 22:2)
This is the word of God?
No. This is the word of a demon.
1. A real God would be too good to ask such a thing.
2. A real God would be too almighty to need to.
3. We put people in jail or asylums if they set out to do such thing!
“Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” Numbers 31:17-18)
This too, is the word of demon.
1. God wants orphans?
2. To be sex slaves?
3. Owned by murderers?
4. Of their families?
This particular passage is one of the most wicked ideas ever written by man. And the wicked author put the words in God’s mouth, no less!
The Bible is not the word of God! It is the word of men…
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12)
1. Aside from the obvious that we all had mothers…..
2. Are female bosses an offense to God?
3. A grown man should live his life and learn nothing from half the world?
4. You married? Is your wife too stupid to teach you anything? Of course not.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the churches and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”(Matthew 6:5-6)
So why are you disobeying your Word of God!?
But the bottom line point here is that the whole affair is a matter of Constitutional principle and that our government must be religiously neutral. As far as I’m concerned, people like you are persecutors, believing it their right to privately contact and intrude on strangers with a different point of view… We can agree to disagree, which for both of us is our right, but please leave me alone. (I will concede that you have at least been gentlemanly, which is more than I can say for many others who represent your brand of God.)
You should really look into Deism. Love and the golden rule is all the religion we need.
I wish you well.
Here is the first email reply I sent to him. I hoped this might make him stop and think, even imagining he might search for Thomas Paine’s brilliant book on the internet (public domain). But when he replied with brainwashed Christian lies about Paine, I realized it was not to be and sent him the second email you just read…
Thomas Paine, one of America’s founding fathers, explains the falsehood of bible authority better than I can. The following words, paraphrased and abridged, are drawn from a letter he wrote to a friend, and also from his book The Age of Reason, which was the most controversial book in history for 60 years, until Darwin’s Origin of the Species.
“You cite quotations from the Bible, which you call the word of God, to show my opinions on religion are wrong. However, I could give you as many quotes from the same book to show yours are wrong, so the Bible settles nothing as it decides any way we choose. But by what authority do you call the Bible the “word of God?” This is the first point to be settled!
It is not your calling it so that makes it true, any more than Muslims calling the Koran the “word of God” makes that true. Popish councils voted the books that now comprise the New Testament to be the “word of God.” This was done by yeas and nays as we vote a law. They rejected some, voted others doubtful, such as the books called the Apocrypha, and those books which had a majority of votes are presented as God’s official word.
The Pharisees of the second temple selected the books that comprise the Old Testament, which is also represented to us as God’s official word.
And this is all the authority there is, which is no authority at all. I am as capable of judging for myself as they were, and even more, because they made a living by their religion, so they had an interest in the vote they made.
It is said in the Bible that God spoke to Moses, but how do you know? Because, you say, the Bible says so. The Koran says that God spoke to Mohammed, do you believe that too? No. Why not? Because, you say you do not believe it. And so, because you do, and because you do not, is all the reason you can give for believing or disbelieving, except that you will say that Mohammed was an impostor. And how do you know Moses was not an imposter? As for me, all are impostors who pretend to deliver instructions from God.
That bloodthirsty man, called the prophet Samuel, makes God say, (1 Sam. 15:3), “Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
It is blasphemy to believe that God decreed it. All our ideas of the justice and goodness of God revolt at such impious cruelty. It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes here!”
Paine’s logic is irrefutable. And as for his book The Age of Reason (note there are two major parts and one minor), it should be required reading for anyone who proselytizes.
See for yourself why Thomas Jefferson loved him like a brother, or why Abraham Lincoln said “I never tire of reading Paine.” Then take a copy to your clergyman and\ watch the discomfort.
When it gets right down to it, priestcrafters make a living serving their neighbors in ways the rest of us do for free. This by itself is not wrong, as some people have no one else to call. But make no mistake, anyone who has subjected themselves to be ruled by love has all the religion they need.