Texas Atheist ‘Flabbergasted’ by Outpouring of Christian Charity

The Story: According to the Athens Review, an atheist who had threatened to sue a Texas county over the display of a nativity scene says he is “completely flabbergasted” that Christians from that same county provided him financial assistance for a medical problem.

“My wife and I had never had a Christian do anything nice for us,” said Patrick Greene. “Just the opposite.”

The Background: Last month Greene, an activist with a long history of bringing lawsuits related to public displays of Christian imagery, threatened to sue Henderson County if county officials allowed a nativity scene to be placed on the courthouse lawn next Christmas. Greene had intended to represent himself in the lawsuit, but dropped the threat when he discovered he had a detached retina and may lose his sight.

“There is no way for me to go up there if I’m blind,” said Greene, who lives in San Antonio, nearly 300 miles from the Henderson County courthouse. Greene said he has no insurance to pay for an operation that might save his sight, and can’t even pay for the exam that will confirm the diagnosis. “Why waste the money if I can’t do anything about it,” he told the local newspapers.

When Jessica Cry, a member of Sand Springs Baptist Church in Athens, read on the Internet about Greene’s troubles, she felt compelled to help. Cry told her pastor, Rev. Eric Graham, who contacted Greene and inquired about how his church could help with the surgery.

Greene told Graham he had a more immediate need.

“I said, if you really want to contribute something to help, we need groceries,” Greene said.

[. . .]

“I told my wife about it,” Greene said.

“They’re going to help us?” Karen asked.

Greene thought that if anything, he’d see $50, maybe $100.

A few days later, the Christians made good on their promise, and sent a check for $400.

“I said I can’t believe it,” Greene said. “I thought I was in the Twilight Zone.”

The money went to help pay the rent, and provide necessities from the grocery store.

The contributions didn’t stop at $400 either, Cry said. More money is coming in.

Greene is so amazed by the generosity of the Christians in Henderson County, he’s sharing the story through the media, and is thinking about writing a book.

“I’m going to call it the real ‘Christians of Henderson County, Texas,'” Greene said. “These people are acting like what the Bible says a Christian does.”

Greene plans on publishing the work as an e-book.

“I’m dedicating the book to my wife, the young lady who started the idea, and Reverend Graham.”

Why It Matters: Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). But far too often we get bogged down in fighting faux cultural battles (like the “War on Christmas”) and forget that the “enemies” our Lord commands us to love are also our neighbors. When we take the time to show concern and charity, as the Christians in my former home of Henderson County have done with Mr. Greene, it can melt the hardest of hearts.

“I have decided to show my appreciation to the Christian community for all their help, and I am going to buy a star for the top of the Nativity scene,” says Greene, “ You people can figure out how to plug it in.”

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  • Jack Brooks

    Most people aren’t atheists because they’ve thought it out. They’re atheists because they’re angry.

    • chris

      @ jack brooks, I’m sorry Jack, but you are flat out wrong. I am an Atheist, and Im VERY active in my community. We have a good large group here in Indiana. My Atheism was over years of study and was an intellectually arrived DECISION. As is I would say at least 85-90% of Atheists ARE the same. Albeit, just like any group, there are bad apples, and dumb asses.

      • Heather E. Carrillo

        He didn’t say anything about activity in the community…

      • Will Johnston

        Hey Jack,

        This is a tough one to figure out without a survey. Your experience with the active atheist community may or may not reflect the experience of the majority of atheists. Because atheism (unlike many religions) doesn’t require a person to be a part of any sort of community, it is possible that atheists who base their atheism primarily on reason tend to be more active in atheist groups while atheists who base their atheism primarily on something else tend to be less active. I’m not saying that’s a fact, just that it’s possible.


        • Jack Brooks

          Several atheists I’ve read or heard speak had something really horrible happen to them or to a loved one. E.g., they were molested by a priest when they were a boy, or their mom died of cancer. That’s what propelled C.S. Lewis into atheism — his mom’s shocking death when he was only nine, combined with the intellectual influence of his tutor, “Old Knock.” Others like the philosophy because it (supposedly) allows them to do whatever they feel like doing.

          • Susan

            C.S. Lewis abandoned his atheist beliefs and converted to Christianity in 1931 and went on to become one of the most influential CHRISTIAN authors of the 20th century. Stop misleading people with your ignorant comments.(in the name of Jesus! STOP!)

            • wow Susan!

              Susan, I’m not sure why you are so angry. C.S. Lewis was an atheist before he converted to christianity. Jack is right. I dont know who Jack is but there is nothing ignorant about his comments. his thoughts on atheism are his opinion, and his thought on C.S. Lewis are fact. I think that if you re-read jacks comments you will agree with him, if you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian, then please repent of your sin and trust in Jesus alone. If you are a christian then before you ever have an instinct to post anything in a blog, or really in your case to ever speak again remember this in C.S. Lewis’s words, “Telling us to obey instinct is like telling us to obey ‘people.’ People say different things: so do instincts. Our instincts are at war… Each instinct, if you listen to it, will claim to be gratified at the expense of the rest.
              C. S. Lewis

      • carolina

        Well Chris it seems that you are implying that anyone who has faith is not educate.
        I used to think like you growing up but in college I saw the empty void which I lacked wisdom. Sure I have knowledge but what good does it do when my psychology education teaches and justifies self worship. Keep in mind I came to Christ at 22 years old both my parents are atheist. People blame Christians for being hypocrites but I learned to not look upon the people for guidance. I was sexually abused by an anthiest at 7 several times but It did not cloud my judgement to accept Christ. And Yes I did forgive him. So keep in mind many believers are well educated.

    • Barry

      I don’t know if most are angry, but the few ones I’ve known in college and now in my professional life have been extremely angry. Anyone can be that way. I understand that.

    • christina

      Wrong. Most people are atheists because there is no evidence of the existence of God and we are lovers of science. I have nothing to be angry about.

      Scratch that, one thing. Churches in America make billions of dollars. Thousands of innocent children die horribly every day because they can’t afford treatment. Being proud of giving a measly $400 to some crabby atheist just to make a stupid point is extremely insulting.

      • Heather E. Carrillo

        No, Christina…you don’t sound angry at all. Regardless of what other people think.

        “Churches in America make billions of dollars.” Oh? Really? You know this how? Stats please? What about churches made up of under five families (I’ve been in at least four of those)? How do they make billions of dollars? Surely you meant “SOME churches in America make billions of dollars.” Otherwise your ignorance would be showing, and I’m sure you don’t want that.

        Plus, this is one girl trying to get a collection together to buy someone some groceries. I doubt SHE makes billions of dollars. Don’t you guys at least celebrate “human nature” and “generosity” (as purposeless at that is)? And what point do you suppose Jessica is making? She didn’t write this article. Maybe, just maybe, she is actually a nice person.

        • christina

          I wasn’t talking about Jessica, I didn’t even mention her, did I? And yes, I said “churches” Like, all of them, together. If you can never agree about anything even as simple as charity, then how do you know you are right about the way you are serving god? Only one of you can be right, you know. The rest are going to Hell, apparently. And by “churches” I mean New Life, Catholics, United Methodist, Baptist, Churches of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Jews, whatever, take your pick… Whether your temple is decorated with gold and silver or bigscreens and stadium seating. Or even folding chairs and basement potluck dinners, I’m sure that money can be better spent on something else.

          • Heather E. Carrillo

            Well, you mentioned exactly what she did, sooo…yeah, you actually did mention her.
            Ok, clearly you don’t know how organizations work. I mean, there are a bunch of beauty salons across the country correct? Are they all one conglomeration that pool their income and make collective decisions on how things should be spent? No. Apply the same to churches. There may be a few churches (like megachurches) that bring in quite a bit. The churches with very few families only bring in a little.
            The principal most of orthodox Christianity (which includes some of the ones on your list) would adhere to is that we are to care for those in the community of believers, and the geographical community. How that is worked out is strictly the business of the local congregation. It will have no affect on whether or not they “go to Hell.”
            So, in your condemnation here, I’m assuming you’ve never bought an extra thing you liked? Never bought a new pair of jeans you thought were cute. Never went out and had a nice dinner with friends. You give everything to the poor? That’s pretty amazing, and I’m impressed.
            I mean, you are correct. Churches could be held in someone’s house, with a lot of people crowded on the floor (little rough on the elderly but you know). Christians could live on the barest of nutrients and all live together in one house in order to give a lot more to the poor. But there really isn’t anything in the bible that condemns getting your house/church building re-roofed, or having a meal with your church community (by the way you know potluck means the church isn’t paying for it…right?) or getting some new hymnals.

            • christina

              I am an atheist, I don’t believe in the concept of condemnation, I can only offer my opinion. I understand what you mean. And no, I wasn’t talking about Jessica, I was talking about those who donated the money, which as I understand, was several members of the church, which obviously isn’t located in someone’s house or made up of 4 or 5 families.

              I just had one question too, for whoever said that about the man being such an angry atheist, that he would be mad about a nativity scene 300 miles away…

              The distance isn’t the point, the point is the location. On the Courthouse Lawn. We are supposed to have separation of Church and State. I would be alarmed if the President put a sign that says God Hates Fags on the White House lawn, and so would you. This is exactly the same thing. Exactly. You are pushing your religious beliefs on people who want nothing to do with them, and have protection under the Constitution to have nothing to do with them. The Nativity scene is wrong, whether you donate to a man’s eye surgery or not. I am just as annoyed that the atheist caved in after that.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              Yeah…and it just sounded like condemnation….An entirely ungrounded opinion, but sure. And we don’t know for sure how many people were in that congregation. For all I know it could very well have been four or five families.

              I think we are aware that you’d rather shove your religion down our throats than have us shove ours down yours. Point taken.

            • ed schultz

              Why so angry Christina? If you do not believe it let it ride. No one is forcing you. Or does your heart say something else. Time will tell. Do you have the time? We will all find out.

      • Shelboyd

        Here goes.

        First off I would like to commend those of you out there that are commenting politely. Discussion is fine, arguing doesn’t help. In speech and debate we were always told that your goal isn’t to change the judge’s opinion, that’s near impossible. The goal is to prove just ONE of the other team’s points invalid or wrong. My point is that arguing isn’t going to change someone’s mind. But polite discussion can help to encourage personal growth and understanding others.

        A little more on that note is it saddens me to see Christians be hateful. You know who you are, I don’t want to personally call you out. If you are going to comment and help spread the Word that’s wonderful! Please please please remember that everything must be tempered with love! You are representing God and His people in these comments. Sometimes it helps to calm down before writing a reply if something was said that irritated or offended you.

        (I am going down a list of things I’ve seen in these comment threads so bear with me)

        CS Lewis was not atheist then Christian. He was raised Christian, became atheist, then came back to Christianity. He went on to write some very amazing things about God, Jesus and the bible. Truly a remarkable man. (I know that’s splitting hairs but it’s an important part of his testimony.)

        There was apparently some concern over the education of Christians. That to me is ignorant. It’s another way someone is using a category to judge you. “You are a barber? You must be a poor immigrant.” “You are an atheist? You must be angry.” “You are a Christian? You must be judgmental.” None of these are accurate. You can’t look at someone and pick out one thing they are or associate themselves with and jump to conclusions about them. (talk about judgmental.)

        As for Christians being hypocrites. I would like to say that we all are sinners and none of us are perfect. Now, there are most definitely hypocrites among us; however, not all Christians are. In fact, our inability to live up to the laws laid out by God to Moses is the very reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross. To be the perfect sacrifice that we couldn’t be. That being said I’d also like to point out if you don’t like hypocrites, you’re not alone: Matthew 23.

        “Churches in America make billions of dollars. Thousands of innocent children die horribly every day because they can’t afford treatment. Being proud of giving a measly $400 to some crabby atheist just to make a stupid point is extremely insulting.”

        God calls us to give back 10% of what He has given us. That’s not a huge request and it’s my personal conviction to be faithful in tithing. To answer the statement you made about the money churches receive being better used elsewhere, churches give to a lot of charities. They pick in different ways. I know my church gives to charities and also to missions, which provides spiritual and physical help. So yes, they are receiving a lot of money. Some more than others. But its from the giving hearts of its members AND the money goes to good causes. Whether it’s upkeep, updating or outreach and charity the money is well spent. To answer the second part of your statement a “measly” $400 is definitely something to be happy about. That is $400 that family didn’t have before. God bless that church family for doing what they could and also for setting an awesome example to the rest of us. And if it was to make a point, which I doubt, it’s not for us to judge them. We don’t know their hearts.

        I’m sorry, I’m going to dwell on this point a little further. It bothers me that the contribution would be looked down upon because of the amount. If a homeless man receives $5 for a warm meal do you think he’s angry because it’s a “measly” $5? No! He is grateful for the help! Each person gives what is on their heart to give.

        I’d also like to say that if anyone posts a sign saying “God hates [anyone]” they need to open their bibles and shut their mouths. God most certainly does not hate homosexuals.

        I’ve noticed a lot of “you guys” and statements lumping groups of people together. Atheists are not an organized group of people per se. Some atheists form groups or organizations because of their similar belief that God doesn’t exist. They might have other agenda I wouldn’t know. What I’m getting at is they aren’t a united “body” as we Christians would see it. BUT we are! Or at least we are called to be. We are the body of Christ. We need to act like it. It boggles my mind how mean Christians can be to one another, let alone how they treat others.

        This comment was also made somewhere down the line: “then how do you know you are right about the way you are serving God? Only one of you can be right, you know. The rest are going to Hell, apparently.”

        Firstly, we get our guidance from the bible. That is what we use to find the right way to serve God. Not everyone agrees on how to translate this and that, but the important thing is the belief and the love.
        Secondly, how we serve does NOT determine if we go to Heaven or Hell. Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior DOES. :)

        This is going to be another thing that might set some people off but Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians. Basic Apologetics can explain to you why. (and listen, even if you don’t agree with either, the point is that if their beliefs deny what the bible says then it can’t be the same religion. It doesn’t add up.)

        There was a comment saying that they didn’t approve of him “caving” after the Christians helped. I just wanted to clarify that he decided not to pursue when he found out he was going blind.

        There was a small string of comments about a gay scientist. It was said as if it would amaze Christians that a homosexual could be smart and invent things. This isn’t amazing at all. God created us all and gave us all talents. He also gave us the ability to choose. So this man is smart and gay. Big deal.

        I was saddened to see some name calling. It’s inappropriate for adult conversation and mature discussion.

        I am incredibly happy not to have to address the issues of the accusations that “God created sin.” @Christian and @Another Christian spoke amazingly eloquent on the subject! Thank you!

        For the logically minded out there, Christian and non, check out Apologetics and also there are some interesting books about science in the bible.

        (PS nothing was said in anger. Everything was meant in love and a wee bit of admonishment here and there.)

        Peace, Grace, Mercy and LOVE :) God bless!

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          Yup. I think you’ve nailed it. :-) Thanks!

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  • AStev

    If your enemy is hungry, feed him.

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  • Washington DC Evangelists

    Praise God!

    “Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

    And Jesus said “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

  • Jessica

    Thanks for your encouraging words

  • Heather E. Carrillo

    Wow! Way to go Jessica Cry! What a wonderful story!
    It reminds me of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or something. :-) Completely made my day.

  • Jack Brooks

    Materialism means that every thought an atheist has is the random by-product of non-rational molecular activity. Consequently, atheism self-refutes, by denying cause-and-effect. You can’t cite reason to prove a philosophy that attributes reason to atoms. Matter isn’t sentient.

    • Adam Hawkins

      Jack, can I just say this argument is so good, and yet always so ignored. I have never heard it refuted, but rather it’s always brushed aside. Many of my friends are atheists and accuse Christianity as being a “thought stopper,” or a “conversation stopper,” but what your argument reveals is that the real conversation stopper is the post-modern materialism posited by atheists.

      • Jack Brooks

        It isn’t so much a positive evidence for God’s existence as it is a refutation of materialism. What is the origin of reason? is a fair question for anyone of any opinion to answer.

        • McFormtist




        • Melody

          You can’t argue people into heaven. The only reason to try is personal pride.

          • Heather E. Carrillo

            @Melody, I’m sure you don’t mean it this way, but this sounds like you are suggesting we give up looking into the REASON for the hope that is in us. It is important that we don’t just give out a lame “God exists because I feel Him” to people, right? There have been quite a few atheists who have become theists due to intellectual reasoning. You are correct, it doesn’t necessarily “get them into the kingdom.” But whenever this is used, I get concerned that people think we aren’t supposed to pursue anything in the area of apologetics, and this is just untrue.

            • Melody

              It’s amazing that you got all that from two short sentences. I’m not talking about defending the gospel or even having answers to questions like Peter says that we should. I am speaking to the silliness that I knew that these posts would turn in to, marring the loveliness of the original article. Many atheist bait and a whole lot of Christians think they can out smart them but they still take the bait. It isn’t done out of love. As evidenced by the posts immediately following mine.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Melody: No no…I said I figured you didn’t mean that. I just wanted to clarify. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between baiting and actually wanting to know. I figure I’ll answer if they are asking me and who knows…if God can use it, great!

            • shelboyd

              Heather I like what you said. Melody, you have a bit of truth to your statement about arguing. We do need to make sure what we say is said out of love. The bible uses the words “admonish” and “edify” which are very positive terms. On that note I would like to say that witnessing to nonbelievers does, at times, call for lively discussion. Especially in apologetics. However – no amount of arguing,discussing, or witnessing will soften their hearts unless God is there and chooses to. We can plant seeds but God makes them grow. So I guess what I’m saying is…go plant some seeds! lol

            • Cynthia

              Love what you said here. I think that we have to remember that we are all individuals that react to all things based on our own personal strengths and weaknesses. Although we all are capable of reasoning and logic as well as feelings and emotions (and everything in between) some of us are stronger in one area or another. So some people will respond to a more logical reasoning approach to faith vs. something more emotional. There is nothing wrong with this because God created us in these ways, and he’ll talk to us in the way we’re most likely to listen. I had a friend in college who was at least an agnostic, if not downright an atheist – and was probably one of the most logical, scientific minds you could meet. He attended church with his family, but when he was a freshman in college he read “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” which was a very logical, reasoned approach to proving that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God and our savior. This guy is always going to be one more comfortable with a scientific approach, but there is no doubt that he had a true heart experience based on his logical entry into the faith. There is a reason there has only been one burning bush experience – and that was because that was what worked for Moses. Yes, there is one truth – but God will use different methods to get you there. Atheists don’t have the corner on logic, reason, and intellectual thought, nor should they.

        • chris

          the origin of reason is man’s necessity to invent things to make things easier on himself. Add that to curiosity, creativity and mathematics. And the summation is part of the reason we are typing to each other on here. (btw, computer technology was invented by a GAY scientist in the late 40’s, Alan Turing)

          • Heather E. Carrillo

            Right and GAY scientists also get their capacity for creativity from God.

            • chris

              you are an idiot.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              ~citation needed~

            • http://FaceBook Barbara Holland

              Good one!!!!!!

            • http://FaceBook Barbara Holland

              My comment “good one” was intended as a reply to H.E. Carrillo’s comment that all GAY scientists get their creativity from God.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Barbara: Haha! Thanks…and thanks for the clarification.

    • chris

      “Matter isn’t sentient.”<— umm…if "god" created it all…then it is part of him, ergo you just facepalmed your OWN self. (going with theistic logic. it sounds to me like you are comparing micro/macro things here. so…"non-rational molecular activity" would be the micro, HOWEVER you are ignoring the (borg haha) MACRO that all the molecules ADD UP TOO…wich is the VERY mechanism which you and I BOTH are communicating with. soooo….are you saying that the VERY same reason you are implying is also self-refuted by way of your own blathering?

      • Jack Brooks


        • Heather E. Carrillo

          HAHA! My thoughts exactly, @Jack.

      • McFormtist


        “if “god” created it all…then it is part of him”

        That’s very interesting and all, but it doesn’t follow. Why is this the case?


        • chris

          …dear MC…quoted originally from jack.—>”Matter isn’t sentient.”
          my response—> umm…if “god” created it all…then it is part of him, ergo you just facepalmed your OWN self.

          how does it not “follow”?

          • Heather E. Carrillo

            @Chris, I don’t think anyone knows what you are talking about. I mean, if you create a new car, does that mean you ARE the car?

          • McFormtist


            You need to explain how one entails the other.


            • chris

              im sorry..this is chris’ physician, he just suffered a “facepalm Concussion” and cannot respond.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              I’m just going to assume Chris is satirizing “the troll” for us. Otherwise I think I will start crying. Good one, Chris! Great impression.

            • chris

              chris just died, and he shriveled up very fast…im going to bury him near a tree….hopefully they will cut it down at some point…send it too a paper mill, and print a gideon on him!!!

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              This is the funniest conversation I’ve ever read in TGC. Ever. If I were an atheist I’d wonder if Chris was a “plant” from TGC to represent my side poorly. Since I’m not, I’m just going to wait for Chris to reveal that he has been kidding since the beginning of this discussion.

            • chris

              i only injected comedy to this because i cannot stomach the supercharged intellectual dishonesty of religious folk. im not dead, nor do i have a concussion. but i am INDEED an ATHEIST.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Chris, I know you are neither dead nor concussed. No one believed that. I am assuming you were trying to be humorous when you spouted something no one understood and then just kept repeating things like: LOLZ totes facepalm and the like.
              Perhaps we could attempt to show some intellectual honesty, if you gave us some material with which to speak intellectually with you. As is, no one can respond to mud slinging and silliness.

            • chris

              well heather, i honestly don’t know how much plainer i could be. i answered his “stuff” point by point, and with equal intellect. quotations, and in proper order. (hence the “facepalm cuncussion”. haha

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @McFormist just asked how one entails the other….you didn’t answer. You just re-quoted your odd comment that no one but you understood. I’d start by explaining this entire thing: “”Matter isn’t sentient.”<— umm…if "god" created it all…then it is part of him, ergo you just facepalmed your OWN self. (going with theistic logic. it sounds to me like you are comparing micro/macro things here. so…"non-rational molecular activity" would be the micro, HOWEVER you are ignoring the (borg haha) MACRO that all the molecules ADD UP TOO…wich is the VERY mechanism which you and I BOTH are communicating with. soooo….are you saying that the VERY same reason you are implying is also self-refuted by way of your own blathering?"

      • Tony

        Just another pseudo-intellectual I assume, eh chris? “I am so philosophically splendiferous. I read Nietzsche.” Good for you, buddy. Good for you. Idiot.

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          Oh insults…the last resort of the losing argument…funny

          • Tony

            Uh, pretty sure we share the same argument: that chris is an idiot. Oh, and sometimes insults aren’t a means of arguing. Sometimes they are just for calling a spade a spade.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              I sure hope not. I just don’t think insults are fruitful. I don’t think Chris is an idiot. I’m just waiting for his clarification. I do; however, think I will be waiting for a long time.

            • Tony

              I guess we’ll agree to disagree then. I don’t think insults are ever fruitful either, but neither is calling chris “chris.” That is not productive. It just is what it is. Chris=chris. Chris also=idiot. And you can take that to the bank. So, in other words, not all things are fruitful, but that doesn’t mean that you or I will ever refrain from saying unfruitful things. I will agree with you in that you’ll be waiting a long time for an answer though.

            • Dave Balchin

              Tony, did you know that the phrase “calling a spade a spade” is in reference to the racial slur suffered by black people? It is not, in fact, a promise of speaking rationally and truthfully.
              I am also an Atheist who “converted” from Christianity. I did this through logic and reason, after 20 years of being a church attender, as the “truth” that is given in scripture (which directly translates as “written word”, not “holy truth” as a minister once tried to convince me) ceased to make any logical sense to me. I can see where the confusion lies in Chris’ argument about micro and macro matter each being components of the other, but his point is a valid one – a computer doesn’t do anything at all until you combine the atoms and molecules that make up that computer. Therefore, just because matter itself lacks sentience, it does not follow that the sum of matter will lack sentience. To put it very simply, I am conscious, but a rock is not. We are both made up of a mixture of the same basic elements, it is just that one combination results in intelligence (I am aware of my intellectual limitations, by the way, so there will be no need to call me an idiot or any variation on the insult) and the other combination results in inert matter. I also agree, in the broadest sense, with Chris’ convoluted argument about the nature of a god – but this is simply in relation to the idea that a god must be composed of matter in some respect.
              The two questions that I have never received a good, logical and well reasoned answer to in all my long years, both of faith and of none-belief (and I can never conceive of getting a satisfactory answer to them) are this – if “God” is loving and caring and active in our lives, how can he allow the suffering that is in the world? (the reason the word god is capitalised and within quotation marks is that I am speaking specifically of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god, Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah and wish to avoid confusion) Logically, if “God” created EVERYTHING, then “God” created SIN, SATAN and GAY PEOPLE. How can this be true when “God” is perfect and does no evil? In the words of Christopher Hitchens, if we are to believe any sort of Judeo-Christian faith, “we were created sick and commanded to be well”. This is, at least to me, too much of a leap of faith to make, and even were it the case, I would not want to worship such a deity. I am, however, not an angry person, not with the church or with any particular part or person in the church, nor with religion as a whole. I am, however, a confused person, and a sad person, because almost all that I see in the world is hate and cruelty. This article, whatever it’s origin, has brought a rare smile to my face. It does not prove to me the existence of a god, just the existence of good people.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Tony: Yes, we’ll have to disagree

              @Dave Balchin: Hah! I was just about to call him on the “spade” thing, but a little further down we had an Al Sharpton impersonator calling “racism” on everything, so I didn’t. But yes, you are correct. That is indeed a slur, and I winced.
              You said you had two questions that were never resolved for you, but I only say the question on the problem of pain. I can give it a go from my understanding of it. God created a perfect world where nothing bad ever happened. It was pain free and worry free and sin free. But man was given a choice in those early days in the garden and he chose to “be like God.” That’s when sin and death came into the world.
              One day sin and death will be gone again, but until then we live in a world where bad things happen. God COULD intervene to stop every evil, but that would mean He’d have to intervene to stop ALL of the evil. So, ANY sin you and I commit, He’d have to stop. Part of loving someone is giving them the freedom to live and make choices. I mean, we could take our kids and keep them in a germ free, worry free, bad influence free room with padded walls so they NEVER hurt themselves, and feed them exclusively organic vegan food. We can pretty much guarantee that nothing bad will happen to them, but they wouldn’t be free, would they? I wouldn’t call that loving. Does that make a little sense?

            • Dave Balchin

              Sadly, Heather, that is the same answer I always receive from the theists who I have consulted. It is not a logical answer, though, because according to the Christian Bible, we are not free – we have the free will to choose our own path, but if we don’t choose God’s path within our three score years and ten, we receive eternal damnation as punishment. That is not a just or a loving God, and that is not freedom – if my Dad were to say “You, son, are free to do what you want, and make all the mistakes in the world…but if you don’t do exactly as I say all the time, I will make sure you never eat again” – that would be called abuse. Sadly, when a deity does that, it is called infinite wisdom and unconditional love. Seems to me like there are a lot of conditions to this love. The second question I asked, which I have also never received a reasoned and logical answer to, is the one of God’s supposed infallibility, i.e. God created EVERYTHING, yet there is evil in the world. That means God created EVIL. Whether it is humans doing the evil or not, the logical step from “God created everything” is that God created evil. Which seems to me like a boss who claims credit for all the good things you do, but then blames you for all the bad.

              Thank you, though, Heather, for trying to answer my questions. I would truly love to find the answers that make sense and that are found through reasoned thought, as opposed to the starting point being “you need to take this on faith”. “Take it on faith” just isn’t good enough for me, I need a reason to dedicate my life to something. As far as I’m concerned, you only get one life. I refuse to spend mine on my knees, just in case there is a god.

              I do, however, appreciate this discourse with you. I am not in any sense trying to create conflict with anyone – I simply wish to understand how someone can give themselves so fully to something there is no empirical evidence for.


            • Tony

              @ Dave,

              I appreciate your point of view. What you laid out so eloquently was something that (even though I don’t agree with it) makes sense in the fact that I can actually understand what it is you are trying to say (unlike chris’ nonsensical posting). In regards to the slur bit: –not even close. Good try though. And that is for you too, Heather. Ultimately when it comes down to it, my point is that if someone says something like the following: alkjcojiwe words try yes satient computers science lkajscoe and maybe utilize probably ummm understanding what? and breeze underline diatribe summary apoijcenk understand quite?, then I don’t care if you think it is mean or bad-hearted or not, you would call me an idiot because I made zero sense. Anyone can spout off. If you want to make a point, understand what forum of discussion you are in. Using big words to explain your inexplicable philosophy does not make you a “smart” person. Not even close. But seriously, “calling a spade a spade” is not even close to a slur. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Is that racist?

            • Dave Balchin

              I am afraid I do not take Wikipedia as fact, Tony – that is the very definition of flawed research, and “facts” gathered from that particular website would not be permissible in any form of work, from academic thesis to business proposal. And you’re example of “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight” is a particularly fine example of using a completely irrelevant statement to make an argument.

              In reference to Chris’ previous posts, I agree completely that he made very little sense semantically, but reading his words it was easy to gain a thorough working knowledge of his point of view and therefore refute it or agree with it, without ever feeling the need to use insulting terms. If you were to speak plainly and simply (in your words, to “call a spade a spade”) then the sentence “Chris, your post makes no sense, please rephrase” would have been a more than adequate alternative to the word “idiot”. Chris is not an idiot any more than you or I.

            • Tony

              Oh, and in reference to the “why does God let bad things happen” conversation, I will agree with Heather and take it a little further. According the Bible, God has pretty much done what He wants since He made this thing we called earth. When He allowed Job to be victimized by Satan, when Job asked what was up, God was pretty much like “I’m sorry. Do you make this planet move the way it does? Did you create everything? Are you in charge of your life?” This may seem harsh to the one who can’t grasp God’s sovereignty…I won’t lie, I don’t even have all the answers. All that I know is that I am not God, and He didn’t even have to create me to allow me to question Him if He didn’t plan it. Sin is the reason why pain and suffering is in the world. As Heather said, He gave us a choice to either do what He said or suffer the dire consequences. Even after letting us f this world up, He still was gracious enough to give us a way to overcome the trials and tribulations…namely His Son, Jesus. Dave, you need to understand that it is an incredible mercy that He even allowed you to come into existence to have your opinion of Him. Why were you so lucky to live? I know you think it is chance or happenstance, but I will strongly beg to differ. Ultimately, I believe God can do what He wants, because He is in charge of all of it anyway. You can think that is mean or what-have-you, but because you choose to see it that way, you miss out on seeing all of the beautiful graces He has provided to those who wish to seek them. Fin.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Tony: Read the very last sentence on the Wikipedia page. Have you ever heard of “creep” phrases? It’s basically a phrase or word that sounds so close to something inappropriate that it’s usually avoided.

              @Dave: I don’t perceive you as trying to create conflict. No problem. I’m not sure this is exactly the forum, but I’ll try and keep answering. The other option is to go to my blog (from the link here) and I could let you have my email address. It might be an easier form of communicating.

              I think I see the problem now. You are assuming we are sent to hell because we don’t “choose God’s path.” This isn’t true. We are sent to hell because we all are born sinful (through the original fall). Some of us are saved from hell because Christ took our sins from us and gave us his perfection. We can only “get out of hell” by being perfect. We can’t be, and Christ had to be perfect for us. He also had to take on the punishment that we deserved.

              Oh, I see your second question now. I hope I’m not going too far out on a limb here when I say God cannot sin. It’s completely foreign to Him. When sin entered the world, it didn’t surprise God necessarily, but it was outside of Him. This is kind of debated a LOT among other Christians. I don’t believe God created sin. I’m not sure how other people would answer this question for you.

              “Take it on faith” is not good enough for me either, so you are in good company. :-)

            • Tony

              Oh, and by the way, Dave, I’m not expecting you to be swayed by the way I see things. If you disagree, then that is perfectly acceptable. That is where we would part ways in regards to theological standing. I can almost guarantee that if we knew each other personally, we would be friends regardless.

            • Dave Balchin

              Sorry, Tony, I do not think it is “mean”. I think it is immoral, unethical and repugnant. If the god that you talk about created this world with so much potential for pain, evil and suffering within it, then it is not praise and worship that he deserves. Rather, he deserves a damn good talking to, and we deserve the right to ask him why he chose to create such a flawed, broken and destructive thing such as the human race.

              As it is, even were there a god, I not prostrate myself before him/her/it, simply because I do not believe it is deserved. I did not ask to be created or given life.

              But you are correct in one respect – I do think it is chance that gave me breath and thought. It was a very unlikely chance and I am very lucky to have it – but I will not take credit for it, nor will I bestow the credit upon a fiction. The reason I find truth in the things I do is that there is evidence and proof for the claims and hypothesis that are made within Science. The only “proof” for a god is a collection of ancient writings and people having faith. That is not enough, nor will it ever be. If enough people believed wholeheartedly in the true existence of the Power Rangers, it still wouldn’t make it true, and I would not believe in them until there was some reputable and measurable evidence of them. That is, in my opinion, the only sane and rational way to exist within reality.

              You, however, are entitled to your own views, and I do not fashion a creative and threatening punishment for you as a result of you not agreeing with me.

              To quote you: “fin”.

            • Tony

              @Heather, I hear where you are coming from, but I don’t buy into the common ideology of what race-baiting actually is. It’s all about context. Did I seem like I was trying to be racially derogatory? I think that you’ll agree, despite our disagreement on what is truly an insult, that race had nothing to do with what I was saying. I have never known the phrase to be racially-tied, and therefore, I used it with the original connotation in mind. I think that the racial slur aspect might be slightly under-looked by a large portion of society because I use it often and have never been called for it, and, I think you probably can tell by my rhetoric that I don’t really live under a rock (i.e. I am rather well read).

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Tony: Right, from context I know you weren’t, which is another reason (that and the Al Sharpton impersonator) why I didn’t actually bring it up. It’s more the word “spade” that makes it a “creep phrase.”

              @Dave: Well, that will be very interesting when you meet an all powerful God and give Him “a talking to.” I say that tongue-in-cheek. I don’t think it will ever come to that. But you actually are incorrect. He created a PERFECT race, but He gave them freedom to choose. They chose against him and THAT’S when we became a “flawed, broken, and destructive” race. That was us. God now gives us a way out: Jesus Christ.

            • Dave Balchin

              Tony, thank you – I have friends of a multitude of races, religions and sexualities, and I truly couldn’t care less how they choose to live. As long as they are happy and causing no harm, then they are fine with me. My family are Christians, and perfectly accepting of my none-belief, just as I accept their belief. It is one of the many reasons why I love them.

              @Heather: Sadly, that is still a flawed argument – we go to hell automatically because of a sin committed by Adam and Eve? I was not present in the garden of Eden, and yet from the moment I was conceived I was inured with the sin they committed?

              That’s not a loving God. For another analogy, that is equivalent to me saying to my girlfriend “my last girlfriend cheated on me, so you can’t have friends”.

              And in response to the second of your comments – If god was not surprised by sin, but he didn’t create it, who did? and who created the creator of sin? To say that god created everything means that somewhere down the line, god created one of the forefathers of the creator of sin. Ergo, God created sin, however indirectly. This applies to evil in all it’s forms. Either god created everything, good AND bad (god created evil, deliberately, making him a very unloving deity), or god is massively ineffectual as a deity, as he has allowed a parallel deity to create an oposing force. This last option leads to the conclusion that god did not in fact create everything. And if that statement is a lie, then how could we trust anything that is written about god?

            • Tony

              @Dave, I agree that we do deserve the right to ask Him why He made such “a flawed, broken and destructive thing such as the human race.” I just don’t think you will ever like the answer because of the way you choose to view things. In regards to Science, that is a whole other argument. By believing “Science,” you are putting faith in the fact that what your textbooks have told you are infallibly correct, and no group of people colluded upon an idea and it simply became “fact.” Is all science flawed? Of course not. Is some science flawed (through human manipulation)? Undoubtedly. I think even an intellectual person such as yourself would agree with that. And in taking Wikipedia to be fact, of course I don’t use it for my academic research. But do you really expect me to take hours to dig up actually text from the 1500’s to prove that I’m wrong on a blog, dude? Of course I’m not going to do that. Do you really think that my reference to the things that were on Wikipedia is unequivocally incorrect, though? I know you don’t. Again I will say, however, you seem like a smart dude. I can’t push my beliefs or ideology on you–I just figured I’d share sense it seems that what you were looking for.

            • Dave Balchin

              @Heather: But I would certainly give him a good talking to if it turns out he is there. There is a lot to answer for in this creation.

              Please could you post your blog address again for me? I am eager to continue discussion with you, but I’m not sure this is the ideal place for it. Thank you.

              @Tony: It was a pleasure talking to you, whatever our disagreements, and I walk away wanting you to know you have my every respect. I never thought you were being deliberately racist, rather I wanted to warn you of the possible meanings of your words if you weren’t already aware.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Dave: Obviously we do not go automatically to hell due to the sin of Adam and Eve…you and I are still on earth are we not? I said we are all headed there because Adam represented the whole race. I mean, Adam was a perfect man and he was interacting with God, sooo…if Adam screwed up, I really can’t see you or I doing any better.

              The girlfriend analogy isn’t at all like that. She’s a different person with different flaws. We are humanity, and we are all flawed (as you yourself earlier admitted).

              Well, your logic is a bit all over the place, but this is as close to an answer as I can think of. I would say sin isn’t…a thing, so I wouldn’t really say it was “created”? I mean, it’s like saying God didn’t create love. He didn’t. He just IS love. He is also justice. But He didn’t “create” justice. He did however create angels who all were given the freedom to stay with God or reject him. Some of them (most famously Satan) chose to reject Him. I would say that is when “sin” as a concept was around, but it didn’t enter the world until the fall.

              I have a feeling, Dave, if you ever see Him, giving Him a talking to will be the furthest thing from your mind.

              If you click my name on here, it should take you directly to my blog. If not, I’ll…have to fix that.

            • Dave Balchin

              And I am glad to find that despite our opposing views, there are also people on the other side of this argument who are willing to challenge and question received opinion. I would happily receive the “truth” were there any evidence for such statement. As life stands at the moment, there is no evidence to back up the idea of an all-powerful creator-Father god-head, therefore I cannot in all good conscience belief in such. I choose to believe that humans have the capacity for both good and evil, but that whichever they choose, whether good or evil, it is on them, not on a mythical and ethereal consciousness, benevolent or otherwise.

            • Tony

              @ Dave, it sounds you like you have a pretty freaking awesome family then. :) Kudos. I too have many different friends with many different world views.

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Dave: I don’t know how much of this weekend I will be around a computer, but I will answer whatever you send me. :-)

            • Dave Balchin

              But my girlfriend-analogy-logic makes perfect sense, because just as the new girlfriend is a different person to the old one, with different flaws, so too am I a different person to Adam – what made him so deserving of the chance to start with a clean slate, whereas I am forced to start with the consequences of HIS sin already on me?

            • Christian

              God did not make anything flawed or evil. His creations made themselves like that. He in fact made Satan, known as Lucifer(light-bearer) very good, but let him choose the wrong path so as not to violate free will.

              God made all things good, but had to leave the possibility of evil so that we could choose to love him, instead of being mindless robots.

              God is goodness itself, and evil is the result of when something goes against God. If you look at all evil intentions, they are, in fact, distorted forms of good. A rapist wants pleasure, a good thing. Hitler wanted(among other things) order, which is a good thing. But as Lewis put it, they wanted it too much, or in the wrong way. Evil cannot exist in the same way good can.

              Hell is not a mere munishment. As I said, God is goodness itself, and that includes pleasure and life.All things that we enjoy we enjoy because something of God is in them. When someone decides to cut themselves off from God, he WILL NOT violate their free will. That is why evil exists, he will never violate free will, otherwise he would be like a lover who chains his desired in his basement. And when you cut yourself off from the source and the definition of goodness, you have only one alternative. That is what Hell is.

            • Another Christian


              Here’s one view of sin that makes the most sense to me at this point in my Christian walk. God did not create sin or evil. Sin and evil are not the opposite of goodness; they’re the *absence* of it. In other words, if God is good and all goodness comes from God, disobeying God (sin) basically creates distance from God and His goodness. When God created everything at the beginning, He called it all “good,” and Adam and Eve lived in the constant presence of God. However, once Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, they created a rift between man and God. They immediately hid from God in fear and shame. They could no longer remain in His presence. Why? Because God is so holy that He cannot tolerate us in His presence unless we are also holy, and God is so righteous that we fear being in His presence if we are not also righteous.

              So ever since the Garden, there’s been this rift between God and man, and humans in their new-found knowledge (from the tree of knowledge) have tried (and failed) to atone for it by their own efforts. They received the law from God and found that they could not live up to it. God knew that once we were separated from Him in this way, there was nothing we could do fix the problem and bridge the gap, so He sent Jesus to bridge the gap on our behalves. He lived a perfect life and served as an eternal sacrifice, once and for all.

              Now the question of suffering is no small one. I agree with the explanation others have given (the free will defense), but I saw you argue that we’re not truly free. Ok, so the other side of the coin is God’s providence. God gave us a measure of free will, but scripture also says that God has a plan, is ultimately in control, and can work even our failings for good. So why let us suffer? Well, God gave humans dominion over the earth back in the Garden, responsibility with which to steward the resources. And He gave instructions on how to do so properly but left a choice whether to follow. Humans did not obey, starting in the Garden and continuing to today, and that has led to innumerable sufferings. Arguably, it’s our fault things are so messed up. I see your point about inheriting the sins of our forefathers so-to-speak, but the truth is that each of us has also had a chance to obey, but each of us has also fallen away from God. Except for Jesus, of course.

              Could God in his infinite love wave His hand now and end the suffering? Sure…but to what gain? “What profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” God loves us, but He’s more concerned with the state of our hearts than with the fleeting experiences of this world. We’ve fallen away from Him. Our hearts are broken, hardened, and darkened. We don’t need an end to our sufferings as much as we need a change of heart to fix the fallen condition of humankind (which eventually will put an end to suffering for all eternity). Only Jesus can save us through His sacrifice, turn our hearts away from disobedience and back toward the will of God, and thus show us the fullness of life that was waiting all along. He can bridge the gap and bring us back into the eternally glorious presence of God.

              Is this making sense? As for believing in the Christian God, what do you make of miracles? Of workings of the Holy Spirit? Because they’re still happening today. I’ve witnessed and experienced some.

            • Shelboyd

              “Calling a spade a spade”


              If you’re interested in knowing the origins and how it came to be a potentially racial slur (though it’s really not suppose to be. Spade was used to refer to a slave because of the color of the spade in a deck of cards, but that’s not where “call a spade a spade” is from.)

  • Ana Cecilia Erazo

    I am certain of good, Texas Christians, they always think of others and have a good heart. Thank God the Green’s have been blessed by them and touched with God’s gentle hands to save them from a real need.

  • philwynk

    There very definitely is a “War on Christmas;” it is anot a faux issue. Your article describes how an important battle in the war has been won, and lays out a reasonable strategy for winning this and other, similar wars.

    The strategy is simple; take Jesus at His word and do what He tells us to do.

  • The Dandler

    Wow – praise God! I think about how John rights, When the Son of Man is lifted up, He will draw all men to himself. Christ talked about being lifted up on the cross, and when we display the way of the cross – God’s mercy to the undeserving – to people in the world, the world can’t help but wonder . . .

  • Pingback: Gospel Economics « Crucified Hero()

  • Rev. A. Sharpton

    “I have decided to show my appreciation to the Christian community for all their help, and I am going to buy a star for the top of the Nativity scene,” says Greene, ” You people can figure out how to plug it in.”

    What do you mean by “you people?”

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      …..the story happened in Texas.

      • M. L. King Jr.

        True. Since he’s from the South I think we can pretty much infer that this comment had racist undertones. Typical Southern-Atheists, no respect for religion or race.

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          *Ahem* Ok, I think Jessica Cry gives us a great example of the Christian walk. Praise God for people like her. This was a really touching story, and I suggest the comment thread now be closed. Just a suggestion, since it’s not my blog, but I think maybe people are missing this great story for the REALLY stupid “discussion.”

  • chris

    so the “REV” removes my comment to HIS…this is his response.

    “As a Proud, Black, African-American, I speak from experience when I say that “you people” is often used in a derogatory way towards Black, African-Americans (especially the Proud ones). I read his statement as saying, “I’ll let you Black, African-Americans figure out how to get it to work.”

    On a side note, you incredibly angry response and the profanities you used incline me to believe that you have some racist tendencies. As a Christian, I do not reciprocate the hate that you direct towards me and my people. I can only hope that you will see the error of your ways and love every person, regardless of the color of their skin, the way Jesus Christ would want.

    “you have some racist tendencies”>LET THIS SINK IN<< just the LONE question "What do you mean by "you people?"" IS THE EXACT same as "SOME" racist people AUTOMATICALLY assuming that saggy pants+person of color means "im gettin robbed" JUST like…when i SHAVED MY HEAD…AALLLLLLLL the "people of color" i have worked with for SIX YEARS (and get along GREAT WITH) thought i all of a sudden turned "KKK" as on person put it…wtf?? all i did was GOT TIRED OF THE HAIR CUT I HAD!!!!!!! nothing more….

    • Rev. A. Sharpton


      First, I apologize your comment was removed. I did not intentionally remove it, I edited my comment to your post to fix a spelling error. Perhaps this is the reason this occurred?

      Second, I don’t appreciate your yelling at me.

      Third, I am elated that you have been friends with Proud, Black, African-Americans for six years. However, as you may know, my People are the victims of racism, We are not racists ourselves. The fact that you have been friends with Them for so long suggests to me that you must have displayed some racist tendencies which only were exacerbated by the fact you shaved your head.

      Fourth, being referred to as “you people” is not the same as someone assuming they will be robbed. A robbery can be committed by a person of any color towards a person of any color. The phrase “you people” however, has only been used in a derogatory way towards Proud, Black, African-Americans.

      • Heather E. Carrillo

        ….Chris, this isn’t real. The guy is making all that up. First of all, Al Sharpton is a real person, and he isn’t commenting on this blog. And second, “you people” is not a derogatory term exclusively for African-Americans.

        • Rev. A. Sharpton


          Yes, I am a real person. However, I am commenting on this blog. I appreciate your efforts to try to quash the racial anger that Chris is exuding but I’m afraid your characterization of “you people” is incorrect. You people is not used in a derogatory way towards any other group other than Proud, Black, African-Americans.


          I never said you were born racist. I merely said that it is impossible for a Black, African-American to be a racist because we were born into a world where people like you judged us solely based on the color of our skin, thus we would never reciprocate that feeling back onto someone else. The fact that you’re white has nothing to do with you being a racist Chris. The fact that you’re attacking a Proud, Black, African-American and calling him a racist does.

          By the way, if you consider the geographic location of the Bible, it logically follows that Jesus Christ himself was also a Proud, Black, African-American. You should keep this in mind next time you judge my people based on their skin.

          • Max

            Did you really just say that Jesus was African-American?

          • Shelboyd

            I don’t know if Heather is right about you or not, but I do have a little problem with some of the things you’ve said. When the man said “you people” he was obviously referring to the Christians of the church that helped him. It has definitely been used as a slur to group a set of people together (especially African-Americans) but when you automatically throw it out as a racial slur even when the context has absolutely nothing to do with race I have a problem with that.

            I also disagree with your statement “it is impossible for a Black, African-American to be a racist because we were born into a world where people like you judged us solely based on the color of our skin, thus we would never reciprocate that feeling back onto someone else.”

            One person really shouldn’t speak for an entire group of people (you know, unless elected to lol). I’m glad that you feel that way about racism and pray that others share those sentiments. But there are people out there that are racist toward other cultures including white, Asian, Indian…etc. Unfortunately this will probably always be a problem. :(

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          You aren’t the real Reverend Al Sharpton. And no, “you people” is not a derogatory term exclusively for African-Americans. It’s a term that denotes other people. It can be used in a mean way or just in a descriptive way. You’ve had your fun, now stop taunting poor Chris. He had enough, I think.

        • Rev. A. Sharpton

          Dear Heather,

          Thank you for the kind, guiding hand that only a woman can provide. I am just glad that Chris has seen the error of his ways.

          Also, I see now where the miscommunication was. I never said I was Al Sharpton, my name is Andrew Sharpton, I’m a minister in Louisiana. I apologize for the confusion.

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          You are very funny, but I don’t believe you. Great parody though.

      • Kim

        I am a Caucasian woman and I have had Black people use the “you people” comment at me. Racism needs to stop with everybody. I don’t care what color or nationality a person is. We all bleed the same color. My husband works in a shop where there is a lot of black people. A lot of people won’t speak to him or make eye contact. He doesn’t let him bug him though. He has a small blended group of friends that are not racist against each other. Hopefully it will spread!

        • Kim

          “My people”? How about God’s people! Your mindset seems to be setting black people apart from others. “My people” sounds a little racist to me.

          • Heather E. Carrillo

            Guys…he’s joking. The guy also posted as M.L. King Jr. (who is dead). It’s pretty clear this is all a joke.

    • Collin Sturm

      The word Racism is overused, we are all the human race. If you want to refer to “Racism” you should be talking about culture. (for example, when I talk about black people, it isn’t their color that I MIGHT be talking about. It is their culture. Each different “Race” has a different culture.) So “culturism” needs to stop

      (I don’t talk, think, or act racist. Just putting out my point of view, so no hatin!)

  • Ryan H

    I wonder if anyone has setup a fund for this man’s surgery. Perhaps we could do Mr. Greene one better, and Christians from around the country could contribute and help take care of his eye.

    • Kim

      That would be pretty cool.

    • http://FaceBook Barbara Holland would be the perfect place to set this up. I just found out about this web site this month when my ‘across the street’ neighbor’s home suffered a fire. Her next door neighbor, whose home was also damaged by the same fire, set it up for her. (As Deb’s home had the most damage.) Neighbors helping neighbors…whether on the same street or across the nation we are all neighbors. I’ll gladly donate for Mr. Greene.

      • shelboyd

        If this gets set up I want to know about it!

  • Bobby Mosteller

    I agree with the lawsuit and wished he still would have continued to fight against public nativity scenes.

    It is interesting that the Christians that help the neighbor who is a jerk, drinks Busch, barbecues every Saturday while Metallica plays in the background never get articles written about them.

    Of course that is just not sexy enough and I get it. Unless it is about white/black, gays, atheist or something “relevant” it doesn’t get much airplay.

    This article and the misuse of Scripture along with it is just plain mediocre and weird. For every five nominal evangelics this article excites I am sure there are about fifty non-believers/agnostics saying huh?

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      @Bobby, if you are a non-believer/agnostic why are you concerned about misuse of Scripture and Christians who help out their jerk neighbors (for the record, I understand Busch makes lousy beer, but is there anything wrong with drinking lousy beer). Also, why is barbecuing every Saturday wrong? Also, why are you reading TGC in the first place?

      The article is just relaying something that happened. Maybe if you know a Christian who helps out a neighbor YOU could write a blog about it. Otherwise I don’t think I understand your complaint.

  • Ash

    This is a very heart warming story, kinda. But I don’t get the point. Clearly this story has nothing to do with the goodness of people but is a propaganda ploy. I wonder if this would have made it here if the woman was a Muslim and her mosque raised money for an atheist. Or if it was about a libertarian donating money to a marxist. Or as someone has mentioned race already a black person donating money to a hispanic person.

    I can’t help but think its all about how good Christians are and that is rubbish. These people acted out of the goodness of their hearts and should be commended and credited for it. If anything god is at best sadistic for nearly turning a man blind in the first place.

    People can be good because they are people and we should applaud them and their actions at every opportunity, not a third party that played no part.

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      This would not have made it on here if the woman was a Muslim or a Libertarian, because this is a website made by Christians for Christians. Maybe you should find a website made by Muslims FOR Muslims or made by Libertarians for Libertarians for something like that. The website is not just to celebrate the goodness of people. Note the name “The Gospel Coalition.”

  • Bobby Mosteller


    You have made some very bad assumptions which nonetheless supports my conclusion of the bad theology behind people who eat this (the aforementioned article) kind of stuff up.

    First thing, I am a Christian and belong to a solid independent, reformed church. Of course in your assumption I am sure this is shocking news. You may be asking yourself, “How could a Christian not support Nativity scenes?”.

    Second, you are assuming some kind of legalistic morality that I am imposing on my jerk neighbor who likes Busch. I never said there was anything wrong with beer or barbecues. So I am not sure where that is coming from.

    Lastly, I know several Christians who help out their neighbors and their neighbors around the world….They just don’t blog about it because they realize anything positive out of what they do happens despite them not because of them. Also they value the conscience of their fellow believer. Therefore they don’t spout silly stories about nativity scenes, atheist and how awesome they are in giving someone money who falls on hard times – inadvertently binding the consciences of fellow believers who are barely able to get out of bed in the morning.

    Does it matter that the man is an atheist? Why don’t we just help people, regardless of their beliefs, because it is just the right thing to do. We are not special in the realm of common grace where all men deserve love.

    Anyhow…this article, sadly, is a nice helping of law. Would like a little gospel to wash ‘er down.

    • Tony

      Good comment, Bobby. I agree with you on all points.

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      @Bobby: I have made no assumptions. I said “IF” you are an agnostic/non-believer. I couldn’t tell from your comment so I said “if”. Not an assumption. Please note that ALL of my comments were in question format. I understood nothing of what you said, so I was like…what’s wrong with that? The way you set it up sounded as if you had issues with barbecuing and Busch. I was confused and needed clarification. No assumptions. Sorry you misunderstood.

      However, since you seem to freak out about “assumptions” (which I could seriously care less about), you assumed I would be shocked by your not liking nativity scenes. Uhhhm, no. I don’t really care. I don’t like them myself because I don’t like depictions of Jesus. I realize that’s a personal thing though, and wouldn’t impose myself on others.

      Ok…now I’m really confused by your comment. You set up that string of things: “Neighbor – is jerk, barbecues, drinks Busch” It really sounded like those were negative things. I guess that’s not what you meant. I’m still in the dark over what your point was then…

      You do realize that Jessica didn’t blog about this right? She just did the right thing (you know…what would Jesus do…at the risk of sounding cliche) and The Gospel Coalition picked up on her story. I don’t know how this could possibly be construed as law. This girl is living out her Christian life. Christ loved and gave. She loved (even someone who was trying to take down the nativity scene that maybe she liked) and gave and inspired others to give. I don’t know…sounds like gospel to me.

      It doesn’t matter that the man is an atheist. I think the point being made is not only was he an atheist. He was suing to take out a “Christian” symbol. When the Christians in the town found out he was going blind and needed groceries they COULD have reacted with: “Haha! Serves you RIGHT you horrible person!” But they didn’t…instead they showed Christ’s love. I think it’s pretty neat.

      • Tony

        “Which I seriously COULDN’T care less about” *

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          @Tony: *slow solitary clap* Well, great, uhm, cookie? Medal? Trophy? Yep, that’s what I meant. I always have wanted to ask people who do this something…Does it make you feel like you are better than me somehow because you found out I made a mistake? Or do you hope it makes me feel stupid? I hope it’s the former, because Hooray for you! You set me straight on an idiom. Does that help?

          • Tony

            Honestly, Heather, that is just one of my pet peeves. It’s nothing personal, I just feel that if I can help you to use the idiom correctly in future references, then I have done you and everyone that has ridiculous pet peeves such as myself a great service. Take it or leave it. I wasn’t trying to call you a chris…I mean an idiot.

            • Tony

              Much like you trying to call me on my use of “calling a spade a spade.”

            • Heather E. Carrillo

              @Tony: Well, I didn’t initially call you on it, and I think a possibility of a racial slur is just a wee bit worse than messing up an idiom. AND the grammar police happen to be MY biggest pet peeve. Guess our pet peeves collided somewhat.

            • Tony

              Lol. I’m not particularly a member of the grammar police, unless someone is really trying to be super intellectual and misspells a bunch of words, pronouns, and contractions. It just so happens that the “couldn’t care less” pet peeve is one of my only major idiom pet peeves, and that comes from years of me misusing it and realizing it. Haha. I wasn’t trying to make you feel stupid. I can clearly tell that is not the case. :)

      • Bobby Mosteller


        No, what Jessica did was NOT the gospel. That has to be settled straight away. The gospel is Jesus and what he did. We simply report the announcement of his grace for all men. The gospel is not something you are or can be it is something that has been done. Which again this all proves the point of a misunderstanding of law, gospel and confusing humanitarian efforts with the building of God’s kingdom. I rest my case.

        WWJD is for sure cliche and I probably wouldn’t use that anymore. It simply isn’t biblical. I am not upset with Jessica…whoever it is that propagates this stuff needs to maybe rethink what it is they are actually praising.

        • Heather E. Carrillo

          @Bobby: You are right. Forgive me for misspeaking. She was acting in a Christlike manner. STILL isn’t law. She was acting like someone who has received the gospel and truly puts her faith in it. You don’t rest your case because you haven’t MADE a case. You have so far freaked out because a girl helped someone…and called it “law.” Since when?

          Uhm, so, when you see a brother/sister in Christ doing something nice, you don’t stop and say, “Hey praise God for you! That was really nice.”? I don’t see what’s wrong with that Bobby.

    • shelboyd

      I didn’t read the other replies to this comment yet so I apologize if I say something that’s been said. I don’t understand how this is being viewed so negatively by anyone, atheist or believer. I think that with all of the press about people doing terrible things that an article covering someone who did what Christ called us to do is beautiful. It’s not anyone tooting their own horns (and even if it is that’s for God to judge). I personally find this article encouraging!

      • Heather E. Carrillo

        @shelboyd: I agree! I don’t get it either.

  • Lynda Carrell Haveman

    This is what God calls us to do! Show HIS love to all.

  • http://FaceBook Barbara Holland

    Thank you, Lord for my brothers and sisters in Christ who showed Mr. Greene the TRUE meaning of Christmas and Christianity. May their actions be the seed that starts growing in his heart to lead him to You.

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  • Ellen Webster

    This is incredible! I am so proud of Henderson Co. residents, especially the church and Pastor that is helping this family.

  • http://thetribulationtimesherald-exhorter.blogspot RN

    An exercise of a positive testimony by these believers.

  • Collin Sturm

    Good job guys!! Represent!

  • Bobby Mosteller


    I think we are speaking a bit passed each other and our premises are dramatically different. It is always hard to really understand what each other is saying through a medium like this…

    That being said I want to make sure that you understand I don’t have anything against Jessica and her willingness to help her fellow man. I hope that it has not come across that way. I just believe that we need to qualify things and make sure we are not confusing very important categories.

    Jessica I am sure is a wonderful, Christian lady and would put me to shame ten times over. However we run the risk of binding the conscience if we do not qualify good deeds with humility and forgiveness in the gospel. Also, we need to be supportive of all believers everywhere that will never make it on the front of a Christian publication. We need not hold a standard up that the bible doesn’t, as well as being honest when generalized statements are loosely supported by Scripture. We may run the risk of trying to dress up the Christian life to be more than what it is.

    Heather, thank you for your time.

  • Shelboyd

    @Christian, beautifully spoken! I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to say just that and you got there first. Thank you for your comment!

  • Butch Baker

    I just heard Ricky Skaggs say on TBN that,” God is not looking for the famous, he’s looking for the faithful”. I had no idea what he meant untill I read this. Thanks for sharing. God Bless. BB.

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  • fred17

    Great story. But note that this atheist must be one angry guy. Why else would he be bent out of shape about a Nativity scene 300MILES AWAY?

  • ed schultz

    I was loved before I loved.I love becouse I am loved. A Christian will continue to reach out to those who do not know Christ or to those who reject him. The time is short on this earth but eternity is everlasting.

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  • Elder RS

    Rev. Sharpton,

    Please, please do not say that blacks, or African Americans, proud or not, cannot be racists. I know from personal experience that they can, as they are no different from other humans that have this failing. I was born in the mid-50’s in South Carolina. I never had strong racial feelings, but those that I did were nailed to the cross when I accepted Jesus Christ.

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  • Andrew

    It seems to me that TGC was covering a story about an atheist who was surprised Christians would help him financially, even though he is/was an activist against Christian displays. Claiming that any of the Christians in the story were grandstanding ignores the fact that the atheist was impressed and confused by this act of Christian charity. It also side-steps the fact that he is going to write a book about this and sell it for profit!

  • James

    I love this story. I pray for Mr Greene for God to restore his sight and provide him with a faith knowing no bounds. Bless his family abundantly. Thank you Mr. Greene for sharing your story.

  • Kim

    I’m thankful that this lady was not bitter and that she shared the love of Christ. I had a situation happen recently that angered me. Someone did something very petty and mean. It cost my family $135. I’m a Christian, but I was more than angry. I couldn’t get past how someone could be so mean and heartless. I’m a Christian, but I’m ashamed at my reactions. If I can show that love of Christ to others it will make a bigger impact and difference. This story touched my heart. God loves every single soul on Earth.

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  • Dustin

    I’m agnostic. I’m not angry and I do a TON of volunteer work in family law. I think agnostics like me are just educated enough to know that we don’t know everything and that no human knows everything.

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