On Martyrs

[caption id="attachment_2879" align="aligncenter" width="528" caption="A print ad promoting peace in India"]chhattisgarh martyr ad[/caption] In my past life, the only causes worth dying for were one's faith and one's country. I remember attending a youth conference where a provocative speaker spent an hour telling heart-wrenching stories about Christian persecution around the world and how many believers go to their deaths because they refuse to give in to those who do not give them religious freedom. These stories had a great impact on me at the time. I once considered going on a bible smuggling mission trip to China so I could help people who had to be underground and hidden in order to practice Christianity. Martyrdom is revered in Christianity very highly, and it's not hard to find a believer who will say they would gladly die for the cause of Christ. Willingness to die for one's beliefs is considered an honorable act by most every religion I can think of. Even secular causes (especially in times of political upheaval) can bring about this drastic act of devotion. I do not think martyrdom---whether modern or throughout history---proves anything about the claims these people made or the beliefs they held. More death does not equal more truth. I do not think that the more one suffers for those claims, the more glorious and righteous one is. (more…)


Did the Prayers for Christopher Hitchens Work?

[box sid=”box-alert” type=”info” ]UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday December 15, 2011.[/box] I may have been the only atheist who didn’t know that September 20th was supposedly “Everyone Pray for (Christopher) Hitchens Day.” Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, his illness and his attitude about it have been Read more…