An interfaith week in KC: 11-9-09
A time for requiems: 11-11-09

Saving the children: 11-10-09

Sister Berta Sailer (pictured below), a founder of Operation Breakthrough, is standing at the end of a long table in a conference room at the center's headquarters at 31st and Troost, asking us to use our prophetic voices.

"Be their voice," she says to 15 or 20 of us who have gathered for a tour of this fabulous facility that provides day care and so much more for more than 600 poverty-stricken children each day.


"Many state legislators," she says, "don't like our mothers."

So when Sister Berta goes to Jefferson City with mothers of the children her agency serves so they can plead for better state support for people struggling to get out of poverty, she runs into hostility. She finds legislators who don't understand why these mothers can't pull themselves out of poverty without so much public assistance.

Sister Berta needs the help of people who -- often motivated by their religious tradition, as is she -- feel compelled to use their influence to help these little children, who are incapable of fixing the system themselves.

Operation Breakthrough started in 1971 with just a few kids, but today it is the largest single-site childcare center in Missouri. At any given time, about a quarter of the children are homeless and a quarter are in foster care. The center now has about 120 full-time employees but also relies on some 300 volunteers. It annual budget approaches $7 million, half of which is raised from private contributions.

As we walk through the center, we see dozens and dozens of beautiful children being nurtured in various ways. It is easy to think of Jesus saying, "let the little children come unto me" and to remember him saying that it's not possible to enter the kingdom of God without first becoming like a child -- which to me has always meant being open to awe.

Sister Berta says that despite efforts such as those by the Operation Breakthrough staff, on the whole "children are poorer" than when Breakthrough began nearly four decades ago: "Utilities are getting to be a luxury. Food is getting to be a luxury."

And yet many of us who live in comfort and comparative wealth never think about the children who come to Operation Breakthrough every day looking for comfort and hope. Religion that doesn't call us to stand with such children is essentially worthless. Look around the Operation Breakthrough Web site and see if maybe there's a way for you or your congregation, if you have one, to help.

* * *


The ways in which religion gets dragged into court can be fascinating. In this case, an attorney defending the man accused in Utah of abducting Elizabeth Smart has objected to bringing religion experts in to testify about whether the man is delusional. One person's religion sometimes is another's delustion.

* * *

P.S.: I wrote here yesterday about two events in this year's Kansas City Festival of Faiths, but I want to highlight another upcoming event that's part of the festival -- "The Hindu and the Cowboy," a play to be presented at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at the auditorium in the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library. I've seen the show. It's well worth your seeing it, too. For a list of all the festival events, click here.

* * *

NOTE: Because much of my time today is committed to events related to the Kansas City Festival of Faiths, it may be hours and hours and hours before I can publish your comments. Also: In recent days some of you are drifting back to off-topic attacks of each other. I will either edit that trash out or not publish your comments if that continues. Thanks for your patience today. Bill.



Bill, it's frustrating when, as Sister Berta says, people/lesgislators "don't like (the) mothers" of poor children. Some people claim to have a heart for disadvantaged children -- but if they can't love the parents, then that means they won't be loving the children, either, in another 10 or 20 years when they are parents.

How can you say you love someone, and then just stop because they're not little and cute anymore? I understand that the older people get, the more challenging it can be to love them -- but come on, people: we have to learn -- since we all have that little child inside us. And sometimes it takes kids a while, even most of a lifetime, to know how to receive the love and help that's offered.

From yesterday -- thank you, Just Thinking, for sharing the connection between communion and David pouring out the water, because to drink it would be drinking the blood of the men who had risked their lives to obtain it for him, David. I had never made that connection before.

Also from yesterday -- Will, I will keep believing in love regardless of how my spiritual beliefs get challenged, because without love I just see no purpose for living. But as I've said, I do not believe it's possible to disprove the existence of God, and I simply don't think I'm capable of not believing in God, He is so real to me -- I was just trying to answer Cole's question hypothetically, sorry if something in my answer offended you.

I am for saving children from pain. Perhaps, if we can remove our thinking from religion we can live in the real world.
Bill, wrote, “It is easy to think of Jesus saying, "let the little children come unto me" and to remember him saying that it's not possible to enter the kingdom of God without first becoming like a child -- which to me has always meant being open to awe.”

0. an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration; "he stared over the edge with a feeling of awe"
0. inspire awe in; "The famous professor awed the undergraduates"
fear: a feeling of profound respect for someone or something; "the fear of God"; "the Chinese reverence for the dead"; "the French treat food with gentle reverence"; "his respect for the law bordered on veneration"

Now, we have to decide if we live in a natural world or a supernatural world, often times quoting verses from a bronze –age book, the bible.

Bill went on, “One person's religion sometimes is another's delustion.”

I’m up late, sleepy, but having fun, yet one can only guess what that means. Here is an idea:
0. (psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary
0. a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea; "he has delusions of competence"; "his dreams of vast wealth are a hallucination"
the act of deluding; deception by creating illusory ideas



Bill added, “Also: In recent days some of you are drifting back to off-topic attacks of each other. I will either edit that trash out or not publish your comments if that continues. Thanks for your patience today. Bill.”

Perhaps I have unknowingly added to this, I’m not sure.

0. rubbish: worthless material that is to be disposed of
0. worthless people
0. dispose of (something useless or old); "trash these old chairs"; "junk an old car"; "scrap your old computer"
folderol: nonsensical talk or writing

What is truth? What is trash? It is of opinion as is the real world.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Dolores Lear

"It is easy to think of Jesus saying, "let the little children come unto me" and to remember him saying that it's not possible to enter the kingdom of God without first becoming like a child."

Mark10:15. KJV. "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein."

Translating the Bible with High Tech makes the Kingdom of God a Physical World, like God/Us in our Human Image in Genesis, and the Purebred Asexual Adam and Eve Physical Human Celibate Clones in our God/Us Celibate Clone Human Image, in the beginning.

Sin on Earth began, when Adam and Eve Clones lost their Innocence, and began Reproducing Children. Once Human Adults and Children lose their Innocence and become Sexually Active, they cannot enter into the Physical Purebred Asexual/Celibate Human Society of God/Us.

There is No Sex, Marriage, or Giving in Marriage in the Kingdom of God/Us. The Asexual/Celibate High Tech Society of God/Us, does not have Heterosexual or GLBT Humans.

In a High Tech Society there are No Children, and the Adults are Reproduced Purebred Males with their Female Helpmeets Reproduced from the Male Rib. So to be like Jesus, is to be Celibate like he and his Disciples were.

When the Bible, Scriptures and Myth are translated by High Tech Science, all the Supernatural Mysteries, and Asexual/Celibate Humans, can be explained, including Innocence that was lost when Adam and Eve Heterosexually Reproduced Misbred Children.

Humans today can reproduce Human Fetus' without the male sex act to the female. All we need now, instead of Nuclear Bombs, is a High Tech Womb.

Eternal Physical Human Life After Birth is for Living Purebred Male and Female Human Clones, on Planets and in Spaceships, like God/Us Humans in Genesis.

Jesus will get his Female Clone when He goes with God/Us to be the Leader of a New Planet, like Adam was on our Earth.


Man arrested for underaged marriage. The marriage was arranged for religious reasons. This is why laws must remain religiously neutral - so that all children are protected.

Scott Roeder confesses to shooting George Tiller.


Lynne -

I'm glad there is daycare for poor kids. Daycare is really expensive. After doing the calculations, we figured out that it is better for me to hang onto my part-time job long enough to get a high paying job, rather than getting a low paying but full time job right away. Why? Because in a low paying job nearly all your income goes toward paying for daycare!

The crazy thing is that with computers and the Internet, many jobs can be done at home. Employers should be more open to work-at-home, flex hours, on-site daycare. This is not the 1950's anymore, most mothers have to work. And year-round school would help because summer camp prices are outrageous. I could only give my kids 4 weeks of summer camp this year (although I realize that's 4 weeks more than poor kids get!) I can't even imagine trying to get by on minimum wage.

Lynne -

About the Elizabeth Smart case, this is complicated by the fact that not all mental illness is going to qualify you as incompetent to stand trial or (later) insane. Sanity only means you can distinguish between right and wrong - it doesn't mean you are mentally stable. The issue right now, though, isn't sanity but competence to stand trial. So the perpetrator can be bat-crud crazy but as long as he understands the charges against him and has the ability to pay attention and understand what's going on in court, he still has to stand trial.

And I think it's possible that a mentally healthy person could hold some crazy religious ideas AND that a crazy person could be sincere in their beliefs, no matter how crazy those beliefs might be. Obviously this guy held some religious ideas that were dangerous - and engaged in harmful behaviors that seemed to stem from those religious beliefs - but did those beliefs make him crazy or was he attracted to those beliefs because he was already crazy?

I don't know but another interesting question is - how much distinction is there really between criminal behavior and mental illness? Don't you have to be somewhat crazy to engage in criminal behavior in the first place? It's hard to understand how a mentally healthy person could make those kinds of choices.


God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to Create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the 'beginning'."

"Oh, is that so? Tell me how.." Replies God.

"Well, " says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man."

"Well, that's interesting, show Me.

"So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

"Oh no, no, no..." interrupts God, "Get your own dirt."

Just Thinking

When your physical body is gone, there is still something which remains. It is your essence. It is your spirit. It is in your spirit where free will and the ability to make choices is found. Free will is necessarily beyond the scope of Science. If Science could predict the choices that you would make, then you would not have choices at all, because Science would determine those choices for you! That's what the term 'free spirit' means. You have the ability to alter the course of your life through choices which Science cannot and never will predict.

Sin causes our spirit to fall out of relationship with God. Our spirit, our soul, begins to wither and die, and the freedom to make choices also begins to die. We become trapped in our sins, unable to alter our course. We become less and less able to make correct choices, and to escape sin. That's why we must be reborn spiritually. Born again, of water and the Spirit. Washed clean from sin, symbolized in water, and born again of a new will and freedom in God's Holy Spirit.

Even when we are trapped, we still have the free will to choose to believe in the saving power of God, and to desire what is right, even when don't have the power to do it. That is a choice which God honors.

One choice that Christians must make is to serve others in meaningful ways that God calls them to. That is part of the freedom that Christ offers: the freedom to make the right choices. Sin may have enslaved you before coming to Christ, and choices to escape sin were not possible. But after God breathes new life into your through the Holy Spirit, then those choices to overcome are there again. And He expects grateful service.

Lynne -


I'm glad you and your friends did show up and that you enjoyed Josh's talk. I don't get how you connected the political discussion to either of the organizations being a "front for atheism" though. Getting science and only science taught in public school science classrooms has political opposition, and as such some political strategy is important (even if it's not as interesting as the science-based part of the talks). Unfortunately, all of the political opposition happens to religion-based so it's impossible to discuss their politics without also discussing their religion. But the reverse is not true - good science education is supported by people of various religious backgrounds. Yes there are atheists in AUKC and KCFS but there are also religious people. If you think either group is not diverse enough, you could always join. (I'm being serious, not facetious.)

adam harrison

Cole, Bill's remarks were completely reasonable in the light of the last few posts from your groupl

Here is a term, GASLIGHTING, that you and Igor Dybal might find interesting:

Dan Beyer

It seems to me that atheists have a lot of pain and confusion in their lives.

I feel so sorry for you.

Dolores Lear

"..when Sister Berta goes to Jefferson City with mothers of the children her agency serves so they can plead for better state support for people struggling to get out of poverty, she
runs into hostility." -

"Be their voice," she says to 15 or 20 of us who have gathered for a tour of this fabulous facility that provides day care and so much more for more than 600 poverty-stricken children each day."

Where are all these 600 poverty-stricken children coming from in one facility, in one City in the USA? How many of the Children do not have any Male Father to Take Care of them?

How many Male Fathers of these Children, are in Religions, or is this Shelter, the Result of Heathen Males?

What type of Males made the Population Explosion, from 1 Billion to 7 Billion in 100 years? Religious or Heathens?

Does it make any Sense to Followers of Celibate Jesus, that he had a Male Celibate Movement Lifestyle, not a Religion? The Man-Made Religion came 300 years later, with many Celibate Male Monks.

Does it make any Sense to Religious Followers of God/Us in Genesis, that They made Humans in their Image, 'Supernaturally', with the Female made from the Male Rib, without the Male seeding the Female and making children?

God did not make Children, only Heterosexual Males do. Why are the Male Fathers Not Taking Care of all these Needy Children, or Go Celibate, and quit making Unwanted Children? What kind of Selfish Lifestyle is this?

When did God/Us make Children? Why did Males make so many Fatherless Children, and a Population Explosion that is Killing our Home Planet?

Is this Why God/Us, High Tech Humans, Reproduced Equal Male and Female Clone Helpmeets and, not Unequal Mates and Children?

Dolores Lear

"Sin may have enslaved you before coming to Christ, and choices to escape sin were not possible."

The Original Sin of Body Birth, enslaved Humans to Hate, Greed, Inequality and Death. Christ Jesus taught Celibacy to escape the Sin of Body Birth. All Male Followers of Jesus were Celibate.

1 John 3:8,9. KJV. "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."

Without High Tech, Humans could not understand that God/Us did Reproduce Human Male and Female Clones, without High Tech Knowledge. But we have it today, and Know Christ Jesus taught Male Celibacy, so the Many Unwanted Children would not be born, that Males do not want to support. A Female cannot make Children without the Male Sperm.

The Supernatural Births in Religious Scripture and Myth, were Humans with High Tech Science, that put a Human Fetus into the Female Womb, Supernaturally by High Tech Science.

All the Supernatural Miracles in Religion, can be Translated as High Tech Science Humans, Misbred mates and Purebred Helpmeets, not Gods.

And accept the High Tech God/Us Humans did visit Earth off and on. The Noah/Atlantis Society also had a High Tech Explosion like Humans today have had for 100 years.

With all the Homosexual Males today, we still had a Population Explosion by Heterosexual Males.

So Scriptures need a High Tech Translation, to separate the God/Us Peace High Tech Clone Asexual Celibate Human Males 'in the beginning', from the High Tech Heterosexual Killer Human Males of the Noah/Atlantis Society.

adam harrison

Lynne, it is simply not true that the folks at KCFS promoted simply science and only brought up religion when they faced opposition.

There were a number of Militant Atheists on their board, who specifically argued that science, when properly pursued, led to atheism.

Even today, they link to articles at Talk Reason that make THAT SPECIFIC CLAIM. So, either you are uninformed, or you are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. (And I am being serious, that is what I really think your groups are trying to do. The fact that Cole and Iggy receive the support they do from the other members supports my contention.)

But the claim that science leads to atheism is, I agree, false on logical grounds alone.

Science can not explain the origin of the universe, or the origin of life, much less demonstrate that it is the result of an undirected process, as Greg Swartz asserted.

Of course you believe that someday that will be accomplished, but what you have amounts to faith in a method.

Red Biddy

Bill was complaining a few days ago (could be a week or two ?) about the lack of good "faith" reporting in the media. Newsweek is keeping good faith reporting going, however, in their columnist Lisa Miller.
I thought this was interesting in Novemebr 2nd issue:-
"Two White Guys Walk into a Bar....
In view of the amount of "atheist vs religion" debates currently available on You Tube - and often recommended by posters to this page, I think her piece was very relevant. She writes that "Three charismatic men - Harris, Richard Dawkins and Hitchens (who is a Newsweek contributor)_ - have not just dominated the conversation, they've crushed it.
I've listened to some of these "debates" which really aren't debates at all, because as Protestant theologian Karl Barth said: "Belief cannot argue with unbelief it can only preach to it."

Red Biddy

The Breakthrough, Bill is supporting to-day is performing a very useful service in KC. It used to be called St. Vincents. I've been there once, it was packed !! We really should support it.
It's really sad that legislators in Jefferson City are so resistant to helping poor people, but then this seems to be usual Republican attitude. I'm sure if Sister Berta had spoken with our Jolie Justus, the Democrat Senator, from our district, she would have found a sympathetic ear.
I wonder if Sister Berta has tried for Federal Funds from the "Faith Based Initiative" which Obama is keeping going. I would have thought Breakthrough would be a perfect candidate for help from that source, and with Michelle in the White House.....?
Finding affordable day care for children for working Moms has always been difficult.
Most day care centers are just baby sitting facilities and won't take kids until they are potty trained, and don't offer any pre-school education, so kids miss out on those wonderful formative years before 5 years old, when they could be learning something !

Red Biddy


I'm really glad that "Jesus will get his Female Clone when he goes with God/us to be the Leader on a New Planet....." Mary Magdalene perhaps ?

After the way his Father and God/us treated him on this planet, not to mention having his blood and body perpetually consumed in remembrance ever since he left, I'm sure he deserves some compensation for all of that !

Doesn't quite fit with .....and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He'll come to judge the quick and the dead.....

but your's is a better idea, and I'm sure Jesus will be grateful - although I hope you will let him stop being celibate on your new planet. I'd think he'd like that. LOL


Just Thinking,

I am not afraid of tooth fairies.
I am not afraid of leprechauns.
I am not afraid of Zeus's wrath.
I am not afraid of Poseidon's wrath.
I am not afraid of Juju of the mountain.
I am not scared/afraid of the supernatural.

Are you afraid of these supernatural "idols?" Are you afraid of your god? - I think you are. If you understand this you should understand why I take it just one god/surpernatural further.

I am not afraid of the unknown/death or what you call "god's ultimate plan". In fact I am looking forward to death as a new experience. I have been dead for eternity, I am OK with being dead for another eterntity. So many sperms and eggs did not culminate in life, so I am fortunate I can live and die while they cannot experience it.

I am not looking forward to the process of dying itself - hope it will not be painful and I will make every precaution to make sure I die on my terms. First off, I will make sure I have plenty of pain killers and I will make sure that I die in a "controlled" environment when my brain can be cryonically suspended immediately at my death.

I wish laws were in existance that would allow people the same freedoms we grant our dogs and cats when we put them to sleep so they don't suffer. I would never deny the right to you to suffer in your death if you chose so, and I'd never deny the right to you to end your life on your terms. Will you deny me the right to end my life when I want it? I have a feeling you would.

But "rational thinkers" are always a step ahead of dogma. Should it be needed, I will die in an "undisclosed" location or in "international waters" on a boat with a doctor and suspension team by my side where laws of other countries cannot reach me and my body will be donated as "Anatomical Gift" for cryopreservation in hopes of future technological advances for reanimation.

As "intelligent design" buff, you should appreciate that - this maybe a validation of your crazy "god of the gaps" theory one day? What will remain of me your god may have fun reanimating one day? - have you thought about that?

My "fear" is of "crazy laws" and "crazy people" who stand in the way of individual freedoms. My fear is that you are one of these people. Think about it.

adam harrison

Red Biddy, if you think Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens have "crushed" the debates, then you have not been listening to both sides.

Listen to Dawkins debabate Lennox, or Hitchens debate Wilson or William Lane Craig; its not Dawkins and Hitchens doing the crushing!

And CHARISMATIC?! Hahahahahahaaaaaaa...

Here is the CHARISMATIC Christopher Hitchens:

By the way, you do now that both HARRIS and HITCHENS were...and are...gung ho for the Iraq war, don't you?

Red Biddy

P.S. to Goldstein and Bill might be interested.....

Lisa Miller (newseek religion columnist) had a couple of books to recommend this month....

Jennifer Hecht "Doubt: A History" (2004) and the Harvard humanist chaplain Greg Epstein comes out with a new book this week "Good without God" which sound interesting.

Red Biddy

My response (last night) to Goldstein on Hitchens "crushing" debates, got lost. Sometimes happens late at night I've noticed !

Loved the image of the charismatic Chris Hitchens...I'm going to frame that ! I can't believe Hitchens would have allowed anyone to actually photograph him in the "altogether" with cigarette smoke.Funny !

Goldstein misunderstood my previous post - it wasn't ME saying that Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris were crushing the debates...I was quoting what Lisa Miller said about them and she used the word "conversations" not "debates". I think she meant that they were "dominating" the "atheist vs religion conversation" at the present time !
Of course I knew that Hitchens supported the Iraq war ! I certainly didn't agree with him about that....there's a lot of things I don't agree with him about ! Didn't know that Harris was also an Iraq war supporter.
As for the debates themselves which Goldstein seems to think resulted in Hitchens being "crushed" by the likes of Wilson, William Lane Craig and Lennox (haven't watched him yet) - so far I can only respond by quoting Karl Barth (yet again!)
"Belief cannot argue with unbelief, it can only preach to it."
It's like listening to two different telephone conversations. They aren't really debating at all ! Hitchens is just as "preachy" as his opposition. They are on completely different wavelengths.
There's only one thing I rather agreed with, with Wilson - that religion isn't all bad. His analogy of the good and the bad student was quite good.....but hardly "crushing" - just asking for fairness when dealing with the subject. i.e. the bad apples should not be allowed to define any faith.
I rather agree with that.

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