----- Forwarded Message ----
From: PZ M
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:12:25 AM
Subject: Lori Lipman Brown: Wednesday, 20 Feb, 3:00 in Sci 1020
We are going to be visited by Lori Lipman Brown, Director of the
Secular Coalition for America, on Wednesday, 20 February. She will be
speaking in Sci 1020 at 3:00, in an event sponsored by the UMM
Freethinkers Club. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested
in separation of church and state issues, or more generally, for
anyone interested in political advocacy.
She will be joining students for lunch at noon in TMC, so if you know
of any students who might be interested in the conversation, send them
around. We'll also be having dinner at Bello Cucina that evening, and
if anyone would care to join us there, let me know.
“A Place at the Table: How the Nation’s First Congressional Lobbyist
for Nontheists is Enjoying the Feast”
Lori Lipman Brown, director of the Secular Coalition for America
(secular.org), will discuss how the nation’s first lobbyist for
nontheists has been received by members of Congress, theistic allies,
and the press. She will also update us on the latest church/state
challenges and how we can take action to protect our secular government.
Lori will be interviewed twice on “Atheists Talk” radio in the Twin
Cities while she is here. The interviews will take place live in-
studio on Sundays, February 17 and 24, 9-10 a.m., AM 950 KTNF (or
stream live at AirAmericaMinnesota.com/listen).
Lori Lipman Brown served as Nevada State Senator from 1992 to 1994.
Her legislative efforts focused on public education, mental health
care and the repeal of consensual sex crimes, which resulted in her
being named Civil Libertarian of the Year by the Southern Nevada
chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Legislator of the
Year by the Nevada chapter of the National Association of Social
Brown has been a frequent political commentator on television and
radio and a regular columnist in a variety of print media. A former
private practice lawyer, she taught constitutional law, American
history, and education law for the University of Phoenix, and women's
studies for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Brown was also a
high school English, speech and drama teacher in the Clark County
She obtained her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in
1983, and her B.A. in communications from the University of Nevada,
Las Vegas in 1981.
She has facilitated or presented at numerous events and served as a
National Education Association diversity trainer from 1996 to 2000.
Brown was hired by the Secular Coalition for America in September,
2005. She directs the coalition’s activities and lobbies members of
Congress on issues arising out of the inappropriate incursion of
religion into civil law. She also addresses the interests and
concerns of America’s atheists, freethinkers, humanists, and other
nontheists through media appearances and speaking engagements.
Author: Chris G. of Glenwood, MN
*met him at a small "UMM Aluni Reunion" get-together through a UMM Alumn friend (Erin A.) at Pizza Ranch (1st)=>Common Cup.
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:33 PM
"I grew up in a Christian family. We went to Church every Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday, every Easter, Christmas, or whatever Christian holiday. I even went to Sunday school and to a youth group on Wednesdays. However, we did not talk about Jesus at home, just at Church. I was a confessing atheist, I told everyone at youth group and at school that there is no God, but they didn't think nothing of it because even though they called themselves Christians, they still weren't Christians. My aunt was, however, a Christian. She invited my family and I to a Luis Palau Festival at the Minnesota state capitol building in St. Paul. I rose my hand to receive Christ. I was 15 years old turning 16 years old soon. A tall African American man, named Chuck, read to me the first few verses in the book of John chapter 1, Then he asked me if I wanted to believe in God, I seriously just broke down crying and I gave the guy a hug, then he said the angels in heaven are now rejoicing because of your decision. So the pastor at the new church we went to found out I became am actual Christian, so he mentored me, then the church started a youth group. I went to that and got discipled there as well. But I was confused because I saw all these christians at church and youth group and they lived in the grey zone, not the black or white zone, I know no one is perfect not christians either, but I saw most of it as blatant hypocrisy. I sort of was a hypocrite too because I started to go to church and youth group to get girls. I didn't know what sin really was when the bible told me to repent of my sins and that Jesus payed for the sins of mine. I knew right from wrong in my conscience, but it was full of grey areas and only a few black and white zones. I didn't know what the standard was to determine whether or not if something was sin or not. I would say recently I actually found out God's standard, sins are recognized by breaking the Ten Commandments, God's Moral Law. So, maybe I just reached a more mature state in my christian walk but whatever it is, The Ten Commandments really woke me up and showed my sins in the True Light. I still fall into sin, and struggle with it, I am not perfect, but I have turned from sins that I hung on to for a while. Sin is my enemy and I want it gone forever but it still knocks at my door every day waiting to devour me. I don't really know if I was actually saved at the Luis Palau Festival or not, but now I am sure of it. Glory to God."
by Diana Howard
It would be virtually impossible to explain the existence of anything without some physical evidence, but what makes us think that God left no physical evidence for us to examine in regard to His existence. His creation, ...read more
"5. by Curtis Hahn....When Billy Graham was asked to prove the existence of God, he likened it unto the wind "I can't see the wind, but I can see the effects of the wind."...
"FORT THOMAS, KENTUCKY (ANS) -- In some near-death experiences, people report they were drawn toward “the light.” But in this horrifying near-death experience for an atheist art professor, he was drawn into the darkness of hell, which dramatically altered the course of his life.
“I was a double atheist,” says Howard Storm, who became a tenured art professor at Northern Kentucky University by age 27. “I was a know-it-all college professor, and universities are some of the most closed-minded places there are,” he notes.
On the last day of a three-week European art tour he led, his group had returned to their hotel in Paris after a visit to the artist Delacroix’s home and studio. As Howard stood in his room with his wife and another student, suddenly he screamed and dropped to the floor in agony.
“I had a perforation of the small stomach, known as the duodenum,” he recalls. At first, Howard thought he was shot, and he glanced around the room to see if he could spot a smoking gun. As he writhed in pain on the ground, kicking and screaming, his wife called for a doctor.
“They said I needed surgery immediately,” Howard says. “It’s like having a burst appendix. I was told that if they don’t get to it within five hours, you’re probably going to die.”
Howard had the misfortune of a falling ill on a Saturday in a country with socialized medicine, and no doctor could be found. “French doctors do seven surgeries a week, and after they do the seven surgeries, they take the weekend off,” he discovered.
They placed him on a bed without sheets or a pillow and offered no pain medication. He waited in the room for 10 hours. “I was just lying there going south,” Howard says. Meanwhile, intestinal contents were leaking into his abdominal cavity, which would soon lead to peritonitis, septic shock and certain death.
At 8:30 p.m. a nurse came in and said they were still unable to find a doctor, but they would try to find one the next day, Sunday.
"I had been struggling very hard to stay alive, but when she said there was no doctor, I knew it was time to stop fighting,” Howard says.
Yet the thought of death scared him. “I was terrified of dying because it meant lights out, the end of the story,” he notes. “It seemed horrible that at 38-years-old, when I felt powerful and successful in my life, it would all come to an end in such a ridiculously pitiful way.”
Howard made an impassioned farewell to his wife, and told her to tell their friends and the rest of his family goodbye. Then he lost consciousness.
It wasn’t long after he lost consciousness that he had a very unusual out-of-body experience, and found himself standing next to his bed, looking at himself lying there. As he stood there, he noticed he didn’t feel the pain in his stomach. He felt more alive than ever, and his senses seemed more heightened than usual.
He tried to communicate with his wife and another man in the room, but they didn’t respond, which frustrated him. “I was glad I didn’t have the pain, but also I was very confused and disturbed by the situation.”
“I saw my body lying on the bed, but I refused to believe it was me. How could that be me if I was standing there,” he wondered.
Suddenly he heard people outside the room calling for him by name. They spoke English, without a French accent, which seemed strange, because everyone in the hospital either spoke French or heavily accented English.
“Come with us,” they said. “Hurry up, let’s go.”
Howard went to the doorway. “Are you from the doctor?” he asked. “I need to have surgery. I’m sick and I’ve been waiting a long time.”
“We know all about you,” one said. “We’ve been waiting for you. It’s time for you to go. Hurry up.”
Howard left the room and started to walk with them down a long hallway, which was very dimly lit – almost dingy. “They took me on a very long journey through a grey space that got increasingly darker and darker,” he recalls.
"LONDON, UK (ANS) -- World famous atheist, Christopher Hitchens, made a surprising revelation recently that his former debate opponent, outspoken evangelical scientist Francis Collins, is behind a new experimental cancer treatment that he is using.
This has been revealed in a story written by Ethan Cole in the Christian Post (www.christianpost.com).
Cole wrote that in an interview with U.K. Telegraph Magazine, Hitchens said that Collins, who was formerly the director of the National Center for Human Genome Research and now serves as director of the National Institutes of Health, is partially responsible for developing a new cancer treatment that maps out the patient’s entire genetic make-up and targets damaged DNA.
“Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, said that he was asked a few weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer last year to be a guinea pig for a new genome sequencing treatment that could possibly cure cancer," said Cole.
In June 2010, Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The cancer is at stage 4.
"And the thing to note about stage four is that there is no stage five,” commented Hitchens during the interview.
Although he was told to not have any expectations for the treatment, he found out earlier this year that there was already medicine out for the genetic mutation expressed by his tumor.
"I want more Christian news!"
Cole went on to say that prior to falling ill, Hitchens had debated Collins, author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, about the existence of God. Hitchens said he and Collins have become good friends despite their religious differences.
"It is a rather wonderful relationship,” said Hitchens. “I won’t say he doesn’t pray for me, because I think he probably does; but he doesn’t discuss it with me."
Hitchens added, “He agrees that his medical experience does not include anything that could be described as a miracle cure – he’s never come across anything."
Cole went on to say that Hitchens “has been polite about the idea of Christians praying for his cancer treatment. But he has remained resolute that his cancer battle will not sway his religious opinion on God.”
Last year, Collins wrote in a special piece for The Washington Post for “Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day”: “My prayer is not so much for a supernatural intervention – as a physician I have not seen evidence for such medical miracle in my own experience.
"Instead I pray for myself and for Christopher along the lines of James 1:5.”
The verse James 1:5 says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
Cole concluded his story by saying that Hitchens has said that he will not convert on his deathbed unless he is “very ill” or “half demented, either by drugs or pain where I wouldn’t have control over what I say."
The New Christian Apologetic Movie Starring Stephen Baldwin
"What if you had 1 night to solve the world's problems? For 7 geniuses, the have no choice. See the Christian film that has atheists around the world up in arms. It's GOD vs. ATHEISM at it's most intellectual. From Director Tim Chey and Producers Arch Bonnema and Stephen Baldwin"
"Posted By emimusic about a month ago
Buy Now More videos from this user
The official music video for God's Not Dead by the Newsboys. From the record God's Not Dead on itunes now: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gods-not-dead/id471679867
"Astro-Theology is the first, original, and therefore the oldest, and most respected story on Earth! It did not take ancient man very long to decide that in this world the single greatest enemy to be feared was the darkness of night, and all the unknown dangers that came with it. Simply stated, man's first enemy was darkness.
Understanding this one fact alone, people can readily see why the greatest and most trustworthy friend the human race could ever have was by far, heaven's greatest gift to the world ... that Glorious Rising Orb of Day: ...
"A Reader's Digest version of why I am a Christian.
Stan Guthrie "
C.S. Lewis - From Atheism To Theism
"Lewis: The new Psychology was at that time sweeping through us all. We were all influenced. We were all concerned about fantasy, or wishful thinking. I formed the resolution of always judging and acting with the greatest good sense."
"LITHUANIA (ANS) -- Her atheist parents were surprised when their three-year-old began to describe dreams and visions from God. This inexplicable direction in their daughter’s life, combined with a remarkable talent in art and poetry, inspired her family to re-examine their own lives.
“My life began in an unusual way,” says Akiane Krimarik, 17, who spent her early years in rural Illinois. By unusual, she refers to her underwater birth in “a shack” on the edge of a cornfield. “Our family had no money, no friends, no relatives, no television or radio. Our life was quite simple -- long walks in nature, open conversations, and hands on explorations of knowledge,” she says.
Her mother, Forelli, is a Lithuanian immigrant educator. Akiane’s father, Mark, is a chef from Chicago with a Catholic background. In her early family life, there was no prayer, no discussions of God, and no visits to church. Yet in the insular atheistic environment her parents created – free from media influences or even outside babysitters – Akiane suddenly began to talk about God.
She spoke of colorful dreams and visions about heaven, Jesus, and God’s amazing love. Her stunned parents realized her intense focus on God could not have come have been inspired by anything in the world they created for her. Indeed, Akiane seemed to be having supernatural encounters with the living God.
“Most of my spiritual experiences I kept secret, so as not to overwhelm my parents,” she says.
"Our Daily Bread (Aug. 22, 2008)
READ: John 13:1-5
[Jesus] poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet. �John 13:5
Questions about God's existence often troubled H. A. Hodges, a brilliant young professor of philosophy at Oxford University. One day as he strolled down the street, he passed by an art store. His attention was gripped by a simple picture in the window. It showed Jesus kneeling to wash His disciples' feet.
Hodges knew the story recorded in John 13�God incarnate washing human feet. But suddenly the sheer meaning of that scene gripped the heart of this young philosopher. God�God!�humbling Himself to do that lowliest of tasks! He thought, If God is like that, then that God shall be my God! Seeing that painting was one of the circumstances that caused Hodges to surrender his life to the true God�the foot-washing God.
We Christians sometimes take God's existence for granted. We believe what the Bible tells us about the eternal Spirit who had no beginning and whose existence will never end. But we may wonder sometimes about His character. If He allows disaster, how could He also be kind and loving?
As we read John 13 thoughtfully, we see that God is the foot-washing God. His unfathomable, sacrificial love for us should cause us to surrender to Him too. � Vernon C. Grounds
All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit�
Truly know that Thou art mine. �Van de Venter
No life is more secure than a life surrendered to God. "
"Atheism, as a philosophical view, is the position that either affirms the nonexistence of gods or rejects theism. When defined more broadly, atheism is the absence of belief in deities, alternatively called nontheism. Although atheism is often equated with irreligion, some religious philosophies, such as secular theology and some varieties of Theravada Buddhism, also lack belief in a personal god.
Many self-described atheists are skeptical of all supernatural beings and cite a lack of empirical evidence for the existence of deities. Others argue for atheism on philosophical, social or historical grounds. Although many self-described atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism and naturalism, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere."
"Steve Kuban is interviewed by ABS/CBN 700 Club (Asia) for his Phiilippine concert tour "Jump For Jesus". Steve shares his testimony of why he began singing Christian music, even though he was an atheist earlier in his life."
*see live concert recording
What If I Stumble?
"Video with "What if I Stumble" by DC TALK in the background"
Related Sites "�The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.�
-from �What If I Stumble?� by DC Talk"-Total Praise
Regina Spektor- Laughing With - Comedy Videos
'Posted By hulahan about a year ago
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The Lyrics are below. There is no cursing. This is about how we don't laugh about God when we're in danger but if we're at a party then we laugh at God and it's not right. "
" 1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
"BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA (ANS) --"How can you prove that God exists?" my son asked as we headed down the Bruce Highway to Brisbane. "You can't," he reasoned. "You can't just show Him to people!"
Having grown up in a Christian household with the input of a Christian school, kid's church and church youth group, he was looking for ways to articulate his faith. He wanted to know how he could explain God to others; how he could make his non-Christian friends understand their need to know Him.
"Those who don't know God are often unsatisfied with any answers we give to that question," I told him, empathizing with his struggle for answers. "Those who have truly encountered Jesus, however, know without a shadow of a doubt, that God exists."
I shared my testimony, recounting the way God drew me to Himself. I had come from a background in England of not knowing God and could not at the time think of any neat explanations about His existence that would have instigated my conversion.
However, God, in His wisdom, strategically dropped questions along my path to catalyze my search. He knew how to guide my steps to Himself.
God knows the intricacies of our hearts and understands the cries within. He works constantly to draw us close in ways that are unique to our own experiences.
I recently read the moving testimony of Chandu Ray*, a man who has inspired many with his passion for Christ. I found his search for God interesting as he grew up surrounded by devotees to religious practice and yet found no peace within their tenets.
He says, "I was born in a Hindu family. My lovely mother would gather us around her and tell us the stories of our gods and goddesses, our heroes and heroines. When I was 17, she asked me if I would like to go with her on some pilgrimages. I was thrilled to be invited to travel with her to all the sacred places of India - to the place where Shiva told the eternal tale to Parvati; where Krishna met with Arjuna, and the dialogue of Bhagwad Gita was enacted, where sacrifices were offered to the Kali Mata.
"Also, where Buddha did his meditations; to the sacred Ganges where the Yogis have worshipped for thousands of years, and to the place where the god of duty, Ramchandra, performed his penance.
"I was thrilled," he went on, "but as I traveled from one place to another, I became conscious of an emptiness. I did not sense the presence of God; I had no communication with Him.
"When I asked my mother about this, she replied, 'I know you miss reality, and I miss it too, but our holy books say if we do these pilgrimages we shall have a reward in the next life.' Mother was in the evening of her life and passed away within 18 months of those Pilgrimages. I remained dissatisfied.
"I searched for communion with God in Hinduism, which offered me a million lives in which to work out my own salvation. Knowing I had no merit I found this a terrible prospect. I studied Buddhism only to find that it was an atheistic philosophy in which there is no hope of communion with God, only an agnostic belief in nirvana. I searched Islam which believes in salvation by works; on the day of reckoning, our good deeds will be weighed against our evil ones and whichever are greater will determine if we merit heaven or hell.
"Christianity was a foreign religion about which no one had spoken to me although I had lived in the city of Karachi for 17 years. For nine long years I wandered in the wilderness seeking for the reality of God. Then a Christian friend of mine had trouble with his eyes. His doctor told him he would operate in the hope of restoring at least some sight.
"As can be imagined, my friend was very much perturbed at the possibility of losing his sight. When I visited him he said, 'I may never be able to read my bible again. Will you read it to me?' I took his bible and opened it to the 14th Chapter of John's Gospel. As I read aloud, I was amazed at the claims of Jesus -'I am the Way the Truth and the Life,'-'[He that hath seen me hath seen the Father;'-'I am in the Father and the Father in me.' And then I read the promise in verse 14: 'If ye ask anything in my name I will do it.'
"I turned to this Christian friend and said, 'This Jesus of yours makes such amazing claims, why don't we ask him about your eyes?' My friend and I both knelt by his bed and spent most of the night in prayer. That night I became conscious of the reality of God. I turned to my friend and said that when he returned from the hospital seeing, 'I would follow Jesus.'
"My friend grasped my hand and asked, 'Do you believe I will ever see again?' I replied that I believed God had given me 'my sight and his, too.'
'The doctors were amazed to see that the tension in his friend's eyes that they had seen the day before, had gone. He no longer needed surgery."
Chandu followed Jesus from that day on. He later became the Bishop of the Anglican Church in Karachi, Pakistan, brought many to the Lord and taught on Evangelism to a worldwide audience.
I praise God when my children ask questions about God, I know that the work that needs to be done in their hearts must be deep so that they can stand strong in the midst of a multitude of worldviews and conflicting thoughts on inner peace.
I know that my answers must lead them to Him and that I cannot make their decisions for them. As they make a stand for their faith, their friends will demand answers about it, either directly or indirectly. It is in this arena of friendships that they will discover their strengths and vulnerabilities. How comforting it is, therefore, to know that God hears a parent's prayers and that He has had His hand on them since before they were born.
Also that He is constantly at work to draw them to Himself.
*Testimony taken from "One Race, One Gospel, One Task" the official reference volumes for the World Congress on Evangelism - Berlin 1966 "
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Ministry: Healing
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the Weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."[d]