Teacher Fired Over Bible Comments [UPDATED}

Courtesy of Des Moines , Iowa:

Teacher: I was fired, said Bible isn’t literal
The community college instructor says the school sided with students offended by his explanation of Adam and Eve.

By MEGAN HAWKINS
REGISTER STAFF WRITER

September 22, 2007

A community college instructor in Red Oak claims he was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted.

Steve Bitterman, 60, said officials at Southwestern Community College sided with a handful of students who threatened legal action over his remarks in a western civilization class Tuesday. He said he was fired Thursday.

“I’m just a little bit shocked myself that a college in good standing would back up students who insist that people who have been through college and have a master’s degree, a couple actually, have to teach that there were such things as talking snakes or lose their job,” Bitterman said.

Sarah Smith, director of the school’s Red Oak campus, declined to comment Friday on Bitterman’s employment status. The school’s president, Barbara Crittenden, said Bitterman taught one course at Southwest. She would not comment, however, on his claim that he was fired over the Bible reference, saying it was a personnel issue.

“I can assure you that the college understands our employees’ free-speech rights,” she said. “There was no action taken that violated the First Amendment.”

Bitterman, who taught part time at Southwestern and Omaha’s Metropolitan Community College, said he uses the Old Testament in his western civilization course and always teaches it from an academic standpoint.

Bitterman’s Tuesday course was telecast to students in Osceola over the Iowa Communications Network. A few students in the Osceola classroom, he said, thought the lesson was “denigrating their religion.”

“I put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn’t given any more credibility than any other god,” Bitterman said. “I told them it was an extremely meaningful story, but you had to see it in a poetic, metaphoric or symbolic sense, that if you took it literally, that you were going to miss a whole lot of meaning there.”

Bitterman said he called the story of Adam and Eve a “fairy tale” in a conversation with a student after the class and was told the students had threatened to see an attorney. He declined to identify any of the students in the class.

“I just thought there was such a thing as academic freedom here,” he said. “From my point of view, what they’re doing is essentially teaching their students very well to function in the eighth century.”

Hector Avalos, an atheist religion professor at Iowa State University, said Bitterman’s free-speech rights were violated if he was fired simply because he took an academic approach to a Bible story.

“I don’t know the circumstances, but if he’s teaching something about the Bible and says it is a myth, he shouldn’t be fired for that because most academic scholars do believe this is a myth, the story of Adam and Eve,” Avalos said.

“So it’d be no different than saying the world was not created in six days in science class.

“You don’t fire professors for giving you a scientific answer.”

Bitterman said Linda Wild, vice president of academic affairs at Southwest, fired him over the telephone.

Wild did not return telephone or e-mail messages Friday. Bitterman said that he can think of no other reason college officials would fire him and that Smith, the director of the campus, has previously sat in on his classes and complimented his work.

“As a taxpayer, I’d like to know if a tax-supported public institution of higher learning has given veto power over what can and cannot be said in its classrooms to a fundamentalist religious group,” he said. “If it has … then the taxpaying public of Iowa has a right to know. What’s next? Whales talk French at the bottom of the sea?”

Reporter Megan Hawkins can be reached at (515) 284-8169 or mehawkins@dmreg.com

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59 Responses to “Teacher Fired Over Bible Comments [UPDATED}”

  1. Tim Kurek Says:

    Interesting… It is a literal story, but she shouldn’t have been fired.

    http://UriahMinistries.wordpress.com

    tim

  2. Shawn Says:

    No, it is not a literal story. It’s a metaphor.

  3. Tim Kurek Says:

    If it was a metaphor, it would say its a metaphor. It is an account, a literal account. It takes faith to believe. But it also takes faith to believe in the alternative. Let’s just agree to disagree.

    tim

    • Dawn Says:

      So, since Aesop’s fables do NOT say they’re metaphors, we should take THEM as literal accounts as well. That’s a good thing to know!

  4. Shawn Says:

    No, it’s a metaphor. Very little in the Bible is literal. I am a historian, I know what I’m talking about.

  5. Tim Kurek Says:

    And I’m the King of England…

    Just because you say you are a historian doesn’t mean you have credibility. The account of the garden is literal.

  6. Shawn Says:

    I have a Ph.D. in History from Boston College. (You can see my diploma by clicking here)

    Where did you get your crown from?

    The account of the Garden of Eden is a rather simplistic metaphor told by Jewish historians to explain their history, in the same way that the Greeks and the Romans invented stories to explain where their societies came from. A very typical event in early cultures.

    Have you ever taken a history of Christianity course? You should (at a regular college, of course, not Liberty University). I was fascinated by the course I took.

    I’d also like to note for the record that you are the one who became insulting first.

  7. Idetrorce Says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  8. Shawn Says:

    Why don’t you agree?

  9. Libertarian Girl Says:

    Whether the Bible is literal or not, it seems that people are learning more and more that the entire subject must be avoided or their jobs might be in question. Why not just have a discussion about it? I don’t believe that the book of Genesis, at least, is absolutely literal, and many Christians agree that God’s “seven days” could be different than our meaning of seven days.

    I just saw a Christian forum post where a person said they didn’t think that dinosaurs had existed, because that would go against Genesis. That really is madness, and it is sad for our school system and sad for our country when people will start thinking dinosaurs never existed just so that the story will continue to fit their very narrow interpretation of the Bible.

  10. Dan Says:

    If u truly believe the entire Biblical witness to be 100% literal then please read this passage.
    2 Kings 2:23-24 (New King James Version)

    23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
    24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

  11. Josh Says:

    What is so unthinkable about that being literal?

  12. Erin Says:

    Tim and Shawn cut it out! Tim, I’m assuming you’re a Christian since you believe that Genesis is literal, so do I, but arguing isn’t going to prove your point. Shawn, maybe you would like to share your viewpoint, then we can discuss both sides. Both of you, you’re getting nasty. Quit!

  13. Aled Says:

    lol that passage in 2 kings is really harsh, but that meant to be taken litteral. its part of a written down history that people belived. genesis however can be seen as poetic, symbolic rather than historical. personal i believe its litteral, but each to there own on that one. as far as 2 kings go. they wernt just a bunch of pesky kids mocking elisha, they were the youths (proabally young men. 14+ in age made you a man) of a town that was the centre of idolatory in the northern kingdom, they had mocked elijah when he came and now they were doing the same to elisha. were supposed to see this as God punishing a town (bethel) for its callous un-belief, not the judgment of an old prophet on some children. but no ones asking you to believe its real!

  14. MAtt Says:

    Wheather or not you follow the bible literally, or contextually, or not at all is your own personal belief, you really have no right to hate on someone else just because they believe different then you.

  15. Aled Says:

    yeah i agree! intolerance to other beliefs is wrong. that doesnt mean you not allowed to say what you believe but it means that you cant discriminate another person because they believe differently to you!! Jesus is clear that the last thing christians should be doing is hateing ANYONE. Jesus even forgave the people who killed him to prove this point!

  16. Mike Says:

    Don’t try to talk an atheist out of atheism. Atheists have large chips on their shoulders and many a teacher has been fired for less than what this teacher did. Atheists do not believe in free speech and all that I’ve met online are LOOKING for a fight. They’re more zealous than 99% of Christians.

    This is what this behind this article–some atheist was offended. They’re very vocal and more activistic (not a word?) than your average Christian. Very few will attack any religion besides Christians. Ever hear one try to sue someone for any non-Christian activities?

  17. suezq Says:

    its our constitutional right!

  18. Mike Says:

    Whose? Both sides of this have constitutional rights. Honestly, you can wear an atheist pin everywhere. You could get it tattooed on your forehead. What was the problem with a book on this guy’s desk?

  19. Aled Says:

    the guy had a book on his desk? i thought he said creation was a myth and so he was fired. which has a bible beliveing christian i think i ridiculous. the man was doing his job. and believing in creation is ridiculous. as is belive that God came to earth to die for a bunch of sinners!! BUT THATS FAITH!!! and he shouldnt be fired for not having faith!

  20. L C Says:

    Personally, I think there was more to it than the guy saying Genesis shouldn’t be believed literally. The further quote stated that the students felt he was denigrating their faith. The question is HOW he stated his belief. If he was truly ridiculing their faith and religious belief, he was taking advantage of them (because he was older, more educated, and in a place of authority) and should have been fired.
    His job was to teach, not ridicule his students…

    I think it is more likely that the other person lost his job because he stated he believed in “Intelligent Design” There are no more intolerant people than those who spout their love for “Academic Freedom” Their definition of academic freedom usually begins and ends when you agree with them.

    Incidentally, the Bible does not teach that there were no dinosaurs.

  21. Soldier of Christ Says:

    Was reading your comments about dinosaurs in the Bible. Yes, the Bible does talk about dinosaurs, read this link and it will tell you:

    http://www.gotquestions.org/dinosaurs-Bible.html

    Most of the Bible is literal. If God created the Heavens and the earth and everything in it is it so hard to believe that God can allow a snake to talk. Satan has powers also, not over God of course. Satan possessed the snake and made it talk in Genesis. Why people don’t want to believe that is cause as people we have limits but God has no limits and can do anything and all things, nothing is impossible with God. When you come to realize that then it won’t surprise you.

    What is totally wrong about the teachers in the schools and colleges is that it is alright for them to talk about evolution with no problem but if a teacher brings up creationism and says that evolution is not true and God created the earth and everything in it then they get fired. That is totally wrong and not fair. If the head of the schools and colleges find it alright to talk about evolution then why is it not alright to talk about creation, that God created the Universe. The Constitution says freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. I have read the whole Constitution.

  22. Soldier of Christ Says:

    Some say that evolution is supported by scientific evidence. That is simply not true. There has never been any scientific evidence supporting evolution. In fact when experts on creationism or experts that can prove that evolution is not true talk with scientists and tell them facts they have no answers. When scientist are asked how was collagen formed or how was your DNA formed if we are evolved over time from monkeys or from fish in the sea. They have no answers because evolution is a lie. In each of our DNA we have 10 trillion cells and in those cells is DNA. DNA are microscopic strands containing digital information. If you connected all of your DNA strands together they would reach from the earth to the sun and back 66 times, just the ones in your body. That whole thing is packed with genetic encoded digital info. that is the instructions on how to make a nose, eyes, teeth, skin, hair, and bones – your whole body. How did the info. get in there? By accident? Charles Darwin spoke of the simple cell but that was so long ago, he did not have the level of knowledge that we have now and could not see down to the DNA level where you have the enormous complexity and the very specific information. Any self respecting molecular biologist will tell you no one has a clue how the human body could possibly build itself by an accidental process.

    You can’t even compare Einstein’s theory of relativity and Newton’s theory of gravity to evolution because relativity and gravity have been proven to be true but evolution never has and never will be proven to be true. You can’t make a lie to be proven into truth. You can prove that evolution is not true and that has been proven for years. More and more scientist are saying that evolution is a lie. Watch the movie Expelled by Ben Stein. Did you know that Einstein, which is one of the greatest minds there ever was, believed in God? Look it up, do the research. Now remember people that Einstein and Newton were two of the greatest scientific minds in history. Isaac Newton said the most beautiful systems of the sun, the planets and comets could only proceed from the council and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being. Albert Einstein said in the view of such harmony in the cosmos, which I with my limited human mind am able to recognize, there are yet people that say there’s no God. He also said what makes me really angry is they quote me to support such views.

    Charles Darwin even said that the fossil record is incomplete and he even went on the say often a cold shutter has run thru me as I have asked myself if I have not devoted myself to a fantasy. Charles Darwin also said in order for his theory to be true there must be millions of in-between stages, transitional forms in the fossil record and if within 100 years we don’t find those transitional forms that his theory should be discarded. More then 100 yrs. has gone by & those missing links, the transitional forms, the in-between stages are still missing.

    Time Magazine said – Scientist conceive that their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments and huge gaps exist in the fossil record.

    News Week said – The more Scientist have searched for the transitional forms that lie between species the more they have been frustrated.

    Scientist Earnest Chain – the Nobel Prize winner for developing penicillin said I would rather believe in fairy tales then such wild speculation.

    Nature is observable proof that God made us to produce after our own kind. Man did not evolve from amebas or monkeys. If people evolved from amebas or monkeys then how come it is not happening today and how come that we are not born from amebas or monkeys? Also, how come there is no animal or human now on this earth or ever has been that evolved from any animal, fowl or fish into another or a human? You don’t see a bird evolving into a dog or you don’t see a dog evolving into a horse. Any fossil you find at any museum is fully formed. There is not something that is half way between one animal and half way between another. You have never seen any animal produce anything other then that type of animal, no one has or ever will. You can’t extrapolate micro evolution over time and equal macro evolution. No one has ever seen it demonstrated. Why, because it never happened and it never will.

    Why are there diseases, problems, etc. in life? Why does God allow suffering? The Bible tells us we live in a fallen creation, in the beginning God created everything perfect – no disease, no suffering, no death. By the sin of Adam and Eve death entered the world, death passed on all men because all have sinned so don’t use suffering as an excuse to reject God because it’s a very real reason to accept him. The Bible tells us why we have suffering, we live in a fallen creation, it’s very clear.

    Atheist think that Christians are small minded people who are not intelligent, they say we don’t think. Here are some of our idiots who believe in God: Albert Einstein, Galileo, Shakespeare, Sr. Isaac Newton, and Copernicus. These guys were not stupid. When it comes to creationism the science is good and the logic is good. If someone insists there is no God when creation clearly demonstrates that there is a creation then the problem is not an intellectual one, it’s a moral one. It’s not the problem that you can’t find God, it’s that you won’t find God; it’s a matter of the will. Free will that God has given to all of us.

    Richard Dokins, who wrote the God delusion said even if there was no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories. He said even if there is no evidence we should still believe it over the other theories. Even though what can be presented to justify those theories, that is unreasonable and not scientific. That is the definition of blind faith; I believe something even though there is no evidence to support it. Why would anyone do that? Here is my opinion – if you admit there is a God you put yourself under his authority and now you’re not in charge. Atheist don’t want anyone telling them what they can and can’t do morally. Especially one that is all powerful, created everything and has rules and consequences for violating those rules. They reject the whole concept and start with the presupposition that there is therefore no God and they ignore the evidence that supports the existence of God and they pick the ones that they want to support their theory. You have to make a decision about what you believe about God, it’s the biggest decision you’ll ever make in your life. God will reveal himself to you, not just generally but specifically and purposely to you if you will respond to creation, respond to your conscious and to the gospel. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble and the only way you can approach God is with a humble heart and if you do that you will find him.

  23. Soldier of Christ Says:

    God is coming to judge the world of all the evil. Just like in the day of Noah when the earth was flooded, and yes there is scientific proof of that. There is scientific proof of things that have happened, proof of creation, proof of the flood, etc. How do you explain that the Bible has talked about the dividing of Israel, fighting over the Temple Mount and the peace treaty that will be made with Israel in the last days? That has been in the Bible for a few thousand years and it is happening right now in our day. There are many, many prophesies that have already been fulfilled and have yet to be. All of these prophesies were written many years before they happened, thousands. Do you know any other book that is like the Bible? There is no other book like the Bible because it is God’s Word. It is the only book that has been around for thousands of years, no other book in history has or ever will be. Satan has tried many times to destroy God’s Word but it will never happen. The Bible says that no one can destroy the Word of God {the Bible}. If you humble yourself like, Kirk Cameron, a former atheist, and ask God if he is real then he will reveal himself to you. You must come to God with a humble heart.

  24. Lindsey Needham Says:

    Hi my Name is Lindsey,

    yah no i have been a pasters daughter for a while now, and i think that its is good that god be in schools with children, teens, and college students these days. Beacuse i think everyone should know about god and what he is all about. And i very much think that those students and teachers were in the wrong. And i don’t belive that that teacher should have been fired. He did not do anything wrong. I mean a kid walked up to him, and asked him a question and the kid didn’t like what he heard, so he got him fired. And that i personally think is just wong that the other teachers agreed with the student and fired him they didn’t have right to do that. But i am not just talking about him i think if any teacher is teaching kids about god, that they should not get fired, because the student dose not like what the teacher has to say. And i will say i do not have a kid but i personally think we should keep religon in the schools. And i think that maybe if we kept relion in schools that the ones who don’t know about god or don’t belive in him would come to know him. And see that maybe he isnt such a bad guy and it is not such a bad thing to learn about him. And maybe the kids who dress like emo punks would change. And hopfully change there apperance to cause that just looks horable.

  25. Brian Says:

    To say that his response to the question was scientific is ridiculous. There is nothing “scientific” about the King James bible. It has been dismissed as a historical document for one very serious reason, there’s nothing historical that backs a single claim about it. His response to the question could have been simple (and would’ve saved his job), “there’s nothing historical about the bible because it is a religous book that was written and intented to only propigate the abrahamic religions”. Period…End of sentence…

  26. Brian Says:

    Soldier of Christ…You’re an idiot. Less than 1 percent of all scientists disagree with the theory of evolution through natural selection. To say that this theory is unproven is ignorant. The WHOLE idea of science is that ideas are proved and proven wrong. Darwin’s theory has lasted and has never been debunked. Evolution is as automatic as global warming. Wait a minute, you don’t believe in that either…Here’s the problem, do I have your attention yet??? All Christians that have been posed an un-answerable question about the naure of our species or the cosmos, to themselves, have all had the same response, “GOD DID IT”. This is not only unacceptable, but insulting. Science operates on a different level. It actually thrives and depends on free thought, as opposed to the dogmatic, centuries old religuous speak that this world has been subjected to for thousands of years. When an idea (hypothesis) poses cause for skeptisism, scientists set out to disprove it! They actually try to contradict fellow scientists! I know, novel thought… If religuous people operated on the same level, there would be no such thing. To say that a banana was “designed” because it conveniently fits in the form of one’s hand is the extent of your argument. Please remind your spokesman, Kirk Cameron, that bananas were un-eatable until they were re-engineered by humans.

    Do you have any idea how far our civilization has been set back because of our ignorance as a species? Think about how far advanced we’d be if we didn’t have the catholic church suppressing science for centuries. Keep in mind that the bible was written by people that thought the world was flat, thought that the Sun revolved around our planet, had zero understanding of germ theory, had no concept of anything other than their own superstitions. Yet we cling to these 2000 year old ideas of how the universe was created and how we came to be.

    Ask yourself one question, would you be as willing to sacrifice your public dignity if you’d been raised a ‘hindu’ child, a ‘buddhist’ child, dare I say a ‘muslim’ child? The answer, the honest answer, is that the only reasons you hold the BELIEFS you hold are because you were raised that way, or you were lacking something in your up-bringing that allowed you to get sucked into the most populiced religion in this country. How convenient!!!

    The ignorance that is American Christianity was never more prominently displayed then when McCain took the question from that old lady that condemned Obama as a muslim and a terrorist. He quickly straightened her out, to his credit, but that only shows what a pathetic backward-thinking country that we live in.

    Here’s an idea… Nevermind, I’m wasting my breathe.

  27. Dave Says:

    Lindsey Needham, Are all atheist alternatives immoral and morally corrupt? Just because people dress a different way and don’t follow the teachings of god you feel pity for them? these people don’t need to be saved. In my eyes they are saved.

    I was an emo kid when i was 15 and for your information I was ripped off my face on drugs. Did this make me a bad person? I think people would agree NO, I never hurt anybody, I never became a waster and I worked full time, a large sum of my minimum wage to charities that i worked with. People choose their ways of life themselves and make their own mistakes THEMSELVES they don’t need self riotous Christians looking down on them, when in fact they are making a mistake that hurts and angers. Its not your business and personally I blame your parents.

    Bottom line is people that make mistakes and realise them become better people. People that think they couldn’t be possibly wrong because they follow the bible are quite frankly, assholes, and will stay assholes untill they open their eyes and think for themselves.

    I wish i could have written this more stylised but as you can tell I’m writing in pure stress at the moment and i apologise if i have offended anyone, apart from Lindsey of course.

  28. Aled Says:

    hey dave and brian, you both make really good points. brain yours about “soldier in christ” being an idiot is probaly your best. the thing is your both just judging christianity by the occasional morons that you see following it. similarly christians like Soldier… cant help but pick the scientists that showed a vague amount of relgious intrest whist they were alive and then say “ahah look even your greatest minds belive God over science” when cleary thats not the case. many scientists still belive in God and many of them beilve in micro if not macro evolution as well. the two are not irreconcilable. and dave, the last thing christians should be doing is looking down on people. thats certainly NOT what jesus taught. christianty does NOT allow its belivers to bury their head in the sand. christians are commanded to test everything and to have an answer for what they belive and qhy they beilve it. i personally seek to do this in everything and therefore study science at degree level but i dont find that it effects my faith one jot. i suspect that the reason christians like soldier for christ get so edgy about the whole thing is because deep down they must be worried that there faith wont stand up to scrutiny. where as ive not been deterd through suffering, homosexuality, evolution, abortion, and more. i still belive 100% that Jesus christ is God. and that the bible is the Word of God. does that make me one of your assholes who doesnt think they could be wrong? i hope not. because i know i can be wrong. but they christians should never claim to be right. i think they can say the bibles right but it can be misconstrued in translation but then every good thing can be turned bad by someone!
    it would be alot better if people from both ends of the debate asked questions for the other to answer rather than just coming on here and spewing our preconceptions and histories. also soldier in christ… if you read this. there’s ALOT you need to learn about grace.
    one thing you said brian is:
    “All Christians that have been posed an un-answerable question about the naure of our species or the cosmos, to themselves, have all had the same response, “GOD DID IT”. This is not only unacceptable, but insulting”
    what are the unanswerable questions? and also why is this unacceptable? why is it wrong for a person who belives their life has been changed by an encounter with God to give Him credit for the mysteries of creation?

  29. Ruth Says:

    The professor’s problem was his stepping outside his own disciline. He was teaching Western Civilization. It is possible to teach Western Civilization without denigrating a religion. He was not a professor. He was an instructor. That suggests he does not have his doctorate, certainly not in Bible History, or Old Testament History. I would not, as President of any college or university, expect or want an instructor of Western Civilization, to advance any theory of his own about the Bible, in part or in whole. It is possible to teach a course in Western Civilization without denigrating anyone’s religion. I have been an instructor in a community college. I am a Christian and I was not expected to teach the New Testament. I was expected to teach literature, both English and British. I often paired with a history instructor to teach early American history, since the literature often played a large role in the events of history. We never discussed what we did or did not believe. We built ladders of skills on the events of history and on the literature, either born of the period, or effecting changes in the lives of people of those times. It was never necessary for us to insist that the beliefs of the people were either Biblical or secular. We simply taught the course according to the history of the times. We did not have to defend any fact of history, nor did we have to avoid any. Biblical doctrines or interpretations of them, formed the basis for many laws and changed the lives of people in the West. It was historical events students accepted, but we did not have to insist they view the doctrines as truth to realize the doctinal views of Scripture were forceful in the the march of history from The Great Brittain on to the foundation of America. Civilization grew as people moved through feudlism to freedom. Facts presented themselves in the events of history. Within the construct of Western Law, the picture of a diverse population acquiring cohesion as a nation without the need of a King to rule over them was clearly seen. Society grew where freedom of religion, is or even freedom from religion in some periods. Many times, I have seen youngsters who were at first, incapable of forming an historical concept and to move people to work for Democracy and freedom from any kind of tyranny.

  30. Victoria Says:

    Too bad our country, our nation has come this far in the wrong direction. We should not even be having this conversation! One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!!

  31. Victoria Says:

    Too bad our country, our nation has come this far in the wrong direction. We should not even be having this conversation! One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!!

  32. Vicki Jo Nash Says:

    I agree with Victoria, Jesus IS Lord. The Bible is God’s Holy Word.

  33. Bob Says:

    Let me tell you a story (abbreviated version):

    God gave his only son, who was born of a virgin. This birth was witnessed by three kings under a bright star. This boy grew up and became a great teacher. His teachings threatened the established leadership, so he was cruxified along with two others. He was buried, rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the father.

    Sound familiar? Well, this is the story of Horus, son of Ra, from Egyptian mythology–a story that PREDATES christianity by almost 1,000 years. Christianity is merely a reiteration of previous creation/god myths that had been around for a long time.

    See: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa5.htm

    Use your brain; that’s what it’s there for…

  34. Joe Says:

    Bob, this is the actual wording copied from the page you suggested I link to. You should read it all, and realize that it is theory, not fact.

    On this topic, we are faced with a stalemate. Skeptical commentators claim that there are many parallels between the lives of Horus and Jesus; Christian commentators tend to deny the existence of most or all of them.

    Some skeptics may lose objectivity because they are motivated by a desire to weaken the claims of Christianity; Christians may lose objectivity because they don’t want to admit that there such parallels could exist and throw doubt on the accuracy of the Bible. We have not yet found an objective, reliable source.

  35. Seeker Says:

    Why argue science and religion? Regardless of HOW we came to be give that credit to God.
    I believe Genesis to be an illustrative story of Gods creation. I have no argument with literalists except they make it difficult to

  36. Seeker Says:

    have any common ground where all may have a voice.
    I read where ‘Wild’ had terminated Bitterman’s employment over the telephone? What gall! If she believed she had ‘right’ on her side, shouldn’t she have stood up for her views? It’s a sad day when religious freedoms give way to radicalism. Fundamentalists may have their religious freedoms but NOT at the expense of the rest of us. Christianity will always be challenged and argued but would God want anyone’s head on a chopping block? Has the Inquisition kept pace these many years? Christianity YES. Freedom YES. Tyranny NO. Dictatorship NO.

  37. John Says:

    It matters little what you believe. Certain truths remain true whether you believe them or not. I hope you discover the truth of God and his living word before you stand before Him an instant after you leave this life. Jesus is the only way to the creator of the universe.

  38. Minister of Information Says:

    Who do you hope this for, John?

  39. Bob Says:

    Thank you, John, for your kind thoughts. Unfortunately, they have been expressed many times before by the adherents of Horus, Zoroaster, Buddha, and many others.

  40. Aled Says:

    Bob, your as bad as john. your both just making really big closed statements that dont stand before scrutiny nor a real argument! john! it DOES matter what you believe, Jesus said Believe (and be baptised) your not doing a good job at helping people understand “the truth” if you talk like that! im a born again fundementalist christian too before you asume im another heathen, but i think it would do you good to remember that jesus looked down his nose at no one but humbled himself (phil 2 v8) and carefully explained what the truth was, and showed it through acts of love! bob, you aught not to rely on such films for all your religious education, its like quoting wikipedia. but in fairness, what you said is true, bobs declarations of having a monopoly of truth would likely be shared by other religions. doesnt make them all right tho. but thats not the debate. as far as horus goes, im not an egyptologist, but my uncle is. saying that i dont expect you to take my word for it! either way it doesnt take long to find little credible, historical evidence that backs up the claims that the horus story was anything like Jesus’ life story! also im presuming your not suggesting that the story of jesus is anything like zoroaster and buddha, cos it isnt, neither is the teaching, nor the massivly contradicting religions that have branched from them. i think theres a lot of merit in seeing the good in other religions, i see also alot of merit in studying them, objectivly and historically, but ultimatly when it comes down to matters of faith, non of us, neither of you, should be so glib and patronising as you have been! theres greater more intelligent men that have, after years of extensive study and debate, came to the opposite conclusions as you have. at least give the other side some respect then and debate properly

  41. Lois Says:

    Either I believe the whole Bible is true,or I can’t believe any of it. If God is a liar, then the whole concept of Christ living in my heart and forgiving my sins is false. That would be like someone telling me I was never born and that I don’t exist. It is not something I can explain to the satisfaction of non believers, but it does not change the fact that it is real.

    You will never convince unbelievers of what they don’t understand or want to acknowledge, but if you have been impacted and changed for life, no one can take that away from you.
    As far as the Greek myth, I have never heard of any stories of him changing lives, healing the sick or impacting society for the good, which is still ongoing today.

    My husband had a stroke and sometime later they took brain scans and came in and told us that his brain had grown back and they had no explanation for it. Even said that brains don’t grow back, but his did. Our daughter had cystic fibrosis, but today she is free of it. These are scientific and medical facts the doctors have no answers for, except it happened. Would I deny that GOD DID IT? Would you if this happened to you?

  42. Lois Says:

    Back to the firings, unless you were there and know first hand exactly what was said, and the tone of voice, you cannot judge. I know a young lady who dropped out of a journalism class in college because the prof was so demeaning and insulting to anyone in his class who believed in God. Her parents did not spend hard earned money for education to have someone make it so miserable for her that she had ulcers. So, if he was that kind of professor,yes, he should have been fired. He overstepped his position.

    The other teacher denies all claims other than that of having his personal bible on his desk? After all the things our students are taught in class now that endanger their lives, characters, etc. who is afraid of the Bible?

  43. Bob Says:

    Aled,

    Firstly, I would suggest that you take spelling, punctuation, and grammar lessons; it would had credibility to your arguments. Secondly, I invite you to speak to to a professor of world religion at your local university (from your British spelling, I’m assuming you’re not located in the U.S.).

    Contrary to popular belief, many professors of religion are not religious themselves and, therefore, take an objective view on the subject. Thus, he or she would be glad to point you to the wealth of accumulated, empirical research that demonstrates the intertwined nature of the religions we’ve mentioned.

    You might also be interested in the 1998 survey done of the scientists who are members of the U.S. National Academies of Science (E.J. Larson and L. Witham, ‘Leading scientists still reject God’, Nature 394(6691):313, 23 July 1998). It found that less than four percent of scientists believe in a god (i.e., 96% are atheists or agnostics). A similar survey of professors in the social sciences and humanities found a lower, but still high percentage (81%), had held the same disbelief or doubt.

    The question that arises is why the most educated, and assumedly most intelligent, sector of society rejects your “personal god?” Could they know something that the general population doesn’t? In full disclosure, I hold a Ph.D. and two Master’s degress.

  44. Mat Says:

    Bob, I find it amusing that you believe ‘the most educated and most intelligent sector of society rejects your personal god’. Have you ever read Plato, Aquinas, Augustine, Aristotle etc? These guys are still read and studied in Philosophy and Theology departments all over the world, and they all believed in God. Not that it matters though. What matters is the truth. There are MANY academics, intellectuals and scientists who believe in the God of Christianity. John Polkinghorne was Professor of Physics at Cambridge University (to think of one off the top of my head), and he has written numerous books in defense of Christianity. Time would fail me to list all the other thinkers who back the Christian world view. In any case – it strikes me as intellectual cowardice to say ‘well most scientists I know reject belief in God’. Their views should only spur you on to make up your own mind about these issues and think autonomously. So even IF it were true that most scientists reject belief in God – does it follow from that to say that therefore God doesn’t exist? The answer is no, and its a resounding no from the thinkers I listed earlier too. Think for yourself. A fantastic and compelling introduction to Christian thought is Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis – I would encourage you to read that, some really interesting stuff.

    As for reading Genesis literally, I mainly feel sorry for people who feel the need to latch on to this view. The text does not present itself as a scientific text book about the beginning of the world (does that even need saying out loud?). Genesis is not a science book. Indeed – science (in its modern format) didn’t even exist when it was written. To all the 7 day creationists I ask this question: Does the book of Genesis make it EXPLICIT that it ought to be read – without any ambiguity – as an historical proof text? The answer, I believe, is no. The point behind Genesis describing the creation of the world in 7 days is (amongst other things) this : There are different levels of creation – but man – who was made last and described by God as ‘very good’ is the highest level of creation. Man is the pinnacle of Gods creation. That is one of many readings I hold to be true from the Genesis story.

  45. Aled Says:

    Thanks mat, thats a really helpful message, not least because its more or less what i was about to say!
    Sorry bob, your right i should of spell checked and proof read what i had written before posting. I guess i did not think it would lessen my credibility as someone who comments on seldom seen websites about articles very few people care about.
    You appear to make the presumption that not being religious is what makes an objective professor of religion, i would think that made them incompetent. certainly i’m understanding religiosity to mean much more than being a christian. many people hold a religious position, atheism is a religious position! in fact its impossible really to have a world view that isn’t affected by our own subjective experiences which make up our understanding of what truth is. and that is, in the end what religion is all about isn’t it? discovering and uncovering, living, proclaiming, what you feel/know to be the “truth”. science is one method of uncovering certain elements of truth, i’m not going to presume but i hope there’s not many scientists that would go so far as to say all we needed was science, or that hard empirical data can reveal EVERYTHING there is to know.

  46. Rode Madalena de Jesuz Says:

    Dinosaurs in the Bible
    Os dinossauros surgiram assim.
    Enoque. Capítulo 7:1´´E aconteceu depois que os filhos dos homens se multiplicaram naqueles dias, nasceram-lhe filhas, elegantes e belas.

    2E quando os anjos, (3) os filhos dos céus, viram-nas, enamoraram-se delas, dizendo uns para os outros: Vinde, selecionemos para nós mesmos esposas da progênie dos homens, e geremos filhos.

    …5Mas eles responderam-lhe e disseram: Nós todos juramos;…11E as mulheres conceberam e geraram gigantes, (7).

    E foram extintos por isso. (7) O texto grego varia consideravelmente do etíope aqui. Um manuscrito grego acrescenta a esta secção, “E elas [as mulheres] geraram a eles [as Sentinelas] três raças: os grandes gigantes. Os gigantes trouxeram [alguns dizem “mataram"] os Naphelim, e os Naphelim trouxeram [ou "mataram"] os Elioud. E eles sobreviveram, crescendo em poder de acordo com a sua grandeza.” Veja o registro no Livro dos Jubileus.

    12Cuja estarura era de trezentos cúbitos(150 metros). Estes devoravam tudo o que o labor dos homens produzia e tornou-se impossível alimentá-los;

    13Então eles voltaram-se contra os homens, a fim de devorá-los;

    14E começaram a ferir pássaros, animais, répteis e peixes, para comer sua carne, um depois do outro, (8) e para beber seu sangue.

    (8) Sua carne, um depois do outro. Ou, “de uma outra carne”. R.H. Charles nota que esta frase pode referir-se à destruição de uma classe de gigantes por outra. (Charles, p. 65).
    e foi assim que os dinossauros morrera. 10:´´4Então explicou-lhe a consumação que está preste a acontecer; pois toda a terra perecerá; as águas do dilúvio virão sobre toda a terra, e todas os que estão nela serão destruídos.

    5E agora, ensina-o como ele pode escapar, e como sua semente pode permanecer em toda a terra.

    …10Restaura a terra, a qual os anjos corromperam; e anuncia vida a ela, para que Eu possa recebê-la.

    11Todos os filhos dos homens, sua descendência, não perecerão em consequência de todo segredo, pelo qual as Sentinelas têm destruído, e o que eles ensinaram;“

  47. Aled Says:

    woah… can anyone translate spanish (im asuming that the above is spannish!)
    thanks for you post tho!

  48. Bob Says:

    It’s Portuguese, not Spanish.

  49. Anonymous Says:

    A warm hello to all my brothers and sisters in Christ:)Smiles and back-patting all around for one and all,Life is a journey.On that journey you can find yourself in some heavy duty trouble and just feel like giving up and giving in (I know that I did!).But you know, stronger then that desire was the need to know the truth.I had my own ideas and concepts about what life was all about (unsatisfying as they were )and some I staunchly defended when I felt necessary because I felt my comfort level being threatened.But still I had come to a place in myself where I just needed to know the truth.What is reality?Is everything random or is everything purposeful and ordered?I always believed that there was a God but much of the time He seemed angry and forbidding.I respected him in my way even though He seemed far away.I wanted the Bible to be true because even though I felt” guilty as sin” when I would try to read and understand it, it also made me feel safe.I guess I’d say it”s like a child having to play within a fenced yard because just outside of the fence is a busy street.Yes,there are boundaries but they are there for protection sake not to spoil the child”s fun.The child may not understand or like this but the loving parent acts out of a caring concern for what is in their child’s best interest.Anyways,as I said, I was at a pretty low point in my life and the worlds “speak” was screaming in my brain and I couldn”t find any peace or comfort and Ijust couldn”t stand it one more second!So I cried out!I said “God help me!””I”m so tired of living this way””I need to know the truth!””I keep hearing about something called being born again and it sounds kind of arrogant but I need to know what’s true and what isn’t no matter where that leaves me or where that may lead me ,Ihave to know what the truth is!”I’m sure that most of you have seen “The Matrix”.Well, it was very much the same experience only I didn’t need a pill.One second I had a head full of one thing and a belief system bsaed largely apon outward experiences.The next second I was up close and personal with a loving and most gracious Father.He welcomed me in and filled me with peace and great joy (I literally felt like I was floating around my house for days)!All I can tell you (and I know that this is not what the general discussion here started out to be)is that if you really want to know what the truth is you must “truely” come to the end of yourself(what you want or need it to be)and deeply and earnestly reach out and look outside of yourself.Jesus Christ is the closest most dearest friend that Ihave ever had(and it has been my priveledge to have known a few).He quite literally took me from one existence to another,from a slippery slope to a solid “Rock” that I have now built my life apon.My prayer for one and all is that the Lord Jesus Christ will shake and wake all of you,from the tops of your heads to the soles of your feet.I pray in the name of Jesus that He will bring all of you to the “knowledge of the truth” and that He will “Preserve you all until that perfect day”.In the name of Jesus may you all be saved and sanctified and may His kingdom come in your lives.I pray that His hedge of protection will be around you and that His angels will have charge over you.In Jesus’ name I pray,amen.God bless my “family” and love to one and all.

  50. Bob Says:

    Another fact to chew on. We live on an unremarkable planet orbiting an unremarkable star in the outer arm of a rather unremarkable galaxy. There are an estimated 300 billion stars in our galaxy, and recent astronomy (see exoplanets.com) have proven the existence of hundreds of known planets outside our solar system.

    In fact, so many planets have been discovered thus far that astronomers now assume that most stars have planetary systems, which would imply the existence of billions of planets in our single galaxy. Add to that the fact in the observable galaxy, there are QUADRILLIONS of known galaxies. Multiplying those factors together, I find it ridiculous to make the assumptiont that a god created a single “people” on a single planet to be the center of his universe.

    In fact, when I hear christians spouting this drivel I feel as though I have been transported back in time to hear the Salem witch trials or other similarly ludicrous and delusional fantasy tale. But that’s just one person’s opinion.

  51. zebulonthered Says:

    Well said Bob!!
    I could not agree with you more.

  52. jan calloway Says:

    THIS IS WHY WE AS CHRISTIANS,NEED TO MAKE A STRONGER STAND.. WHAT HAS THIS WORLD COME TO? I NEVER IN MY LIFE THOUGHT I’D LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE THIS GOING ON..LORD,PLEASE LET THESE UNBELIEVING FIND YOU.. I PRAY FOR THEM ALWAYS…

  53. Aled Says:

    thats you faith is it ‘anonymous’ ? after all its really just a matter of faith wether you believe or not. and you have strong motives to believe what you do. cos it wud suck if you were wrong!
    Bob. im not a creationist but i would sit there and say we live on an unremarkable planet either! when there are greater scientists, physicists and astronomers that you or i that are amazed to the point of wonder that this planet exits with such a sublime balance of all that intelligent life needs to exist! great theres quadrillions of unremarkable rocks, crashing into one another out there for us to study. but the very fact that we do and that we have the capacity to care about such questions as the ones in this disscussion, to me at least, convinces me that we are at least remarkable, if not designed to be remarkable by a remarkable God.
    nevertheless this is a matter of faith.

  54. Bob Says:

    Aled, punctuation, spelling, and proofreading would assist your message.

    As an astronomer, I would disagree that the “rocks” are “unremarkable.” As Richard Dawkins has so elegantly explained, the illusion of order is itself evidence of the processes of evolution. The same type of processes are at work in the universe in planetary formation. By the estimates given in the scientific papers that I have read, based on the number of exoplanets thus far discovered, there are likely at least 5 million planets in our galaxy alone in the so-called Goldilocks Zone (i.e., where Earth orbits–not too hot, not too cold).

    More down to Earth, any world religion professor can explain Christianity is just a newer version of older mythologies. Given that it’s Easter time, the raising of the savior story existed in many religions before Christianity. There is nothing new under (our) Sun.

  55. Donna Says:

    all of this talk about God, how ethnocentric! What about other religion’s gods and goddesses? What about those that take a more secular approach? Do you acknowledge that just merely mentioning Genesis in a light that makes it sound like fact may insult someone from another religion? To state that you are right and everyone else is wrong is presumptuous. Why not tolerate everyone’s beliefs. College is about challenging your beliefs and expanding your horizons. If these individuals wanted to hear only supportive things about their own personal religious beliefs, they should have went to a religious school. Any federally funded public school ie. community colleges are not supposed to teach religious beliefs, its in the Establishment clause.

  56. Ralie Swart Says:

    Does Satan have more power in your schools than our Almighty God? Teach your children at home to love God, but maybe the parents could not care less!!


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