Sam Fields’ Week In Religion






In what is lightening speed for the Vatican, Pope John Paul II was made a saint only nine years after his death.  Two verified miracles are required.  One of them was a Costa Rican woman named Floribeth Mora Diaz who was diagnosed with an incurable brain aneurysm and sent home to die.  After praying to JP II to speak to Jesus, the aneurysm disappeared.

Miracle or what? I’m going with “or what”. This so-called miracle is classic violation of The Rule in Occam’s Razor. It states that: “All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right one.”  The Diaz miracle cure rejects that idea.

Her story requires one to assume that doctors, and in particular her Costa Rican doctors, like the Pope on matters of faith and morals, are infallible on matters of medicine.  Got a problem with that?

About twenty years ago a wealthy friend went to the doctor complaining of a persistent sore arm.  He was referred to a top New York hospital that diagnosed him with late stage Multiple Myeloma.  Having only months to live, he started giving away his considerable fortune.

A few of weeks later, learning of an experimental cancer treatment, he was admitted to Sloan Kettering, which began his treatment by retesting him.  He had Tennis Elbow.  He also had less money.

I always thought, had he gone to some bullshit faith healer, he would now be living with a false belief system and even less money.





Last Wednesday afternoon I went to see the last movie any of you might think this little old atheist would see.  I went to see “God Is Not Dead”.

It’s a Rightwing Christian flick about a college freshman that uses his fundamentalist faith to overcome an atheist philosophy professor. This is a teacher who threatens to reduce the grade of every student who refuses to sign a paper acknowledging that “God is dead”.  Whatever happened to sleeping with a teacher or getting high with him to get a good grade?

In the end, through the power of prayer, a merciful, loving Jesus solves the problem by having a car run over and kill the professor. Jesus also gives the other acknowledged atheist terminal cancer. Praise the Lord!

There were three others in the theatre. They took it seriously.  I thought it was pretty funny, especially the part that involved one of those idiots from “Duck Dynasty”.

“God Is Not Dead” is the religious equivalent of “Reefer Madness”. I suspect the day will come when it’s also the Saturday midnight show for stoners.  Bong hits for Jesus!


Jews and Muslims In One


For the past decade, a Group known as Revolution Muslim has promoted the ideas of Al Qaeda in the United States.

The head of the group, Yousef Mohamid Al-Khattab, apparently stepped over the line when he published the photos, along with the names and addresses, of Jews around New York urging his followers to confront these folks. He also gave them a link to “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a work which teaches how to build bombs. He has now pleaded to a terrorist charge and is looking at five years in prison.

What makes the story interesting is that before he was the Muslim revolutionary known as Yousef Mohamid Al Khattab, he was the Jewish nebbish from New Jersey known as Joseph Leonard CohenOy vey ist mir!

I suspect his relatives would like to get back the savings bonds they gave him for his Bar Mitzvah.





39 Responses to “Sam Fields’ Week In Religion”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    Psalm 137:9
    Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

    Translation: Basically, murdering babies is a good time!

  2. Sam The Sham says:

    If Sam Fields and Chaz Stevens were in an anti Christian circle jerk, which would be the pivot man?

  3. Sky is Falling says:

    Sam why didn’t Muslims get their own paragraph like the Catholics & Protestants – are you afraid of Muslims,but not afraid of insulting Christians and Jews? Could that be due to the religious values that Christians and Jews have been taught.
    As a Jew I thank God everyday that I live in a country founded on Judeo/Christian principles. I as a minority have the same rights as all – that is truly special, divinely inspired.

  4. Catholic Liberal says:

    Or what? So having an incurable disease that disappears is just what? I think if I’m diagnosed with anything incurable and it all of sudden goes away without explanation I wouldn’t just brush it off. I think most doctors would tell you that if you have an incurable anything that just goes away, there is no medical explanation for that. That’s the definition of a miracle.

  5. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    In The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition (Harper & Row, 1970), Jewish theologian-novelist Arthur A. Cohen questions the theological appropriateness of the term and suggests that it was essentially an invention of American politics. Three cheers for that earlier political use, for it grew out of an effort to promote interfaith concord and to put an end to ageless prejudices. Now that the “Judeo-Christian tradition” is back for a second round in American politics, give it at best one and a half cheers, for its use can also license or disguise mischief. Criticism of the term will not and probably should not abolish its use (though I, for one, believe a better historical case can be made for referring to “the biblical tradition”), but it may encourage citizens to regard it with suspicion.

    The term ‘Judeo-Christian’ lacks explanation, description, or definition. ‘Judeo-Christian’ would appear to be a politically correct term indicating that America is not strictly a Christian nation, but also one that accepts Jews.

    “Truth, justice, responsibility and freedom” were classical values. According to Locke, these notions are the traditional Divine Right of Kings.

    I would argue America was founded on the virtues on Enlightenment. The thinkers of the Enlightenment, who studied human nature and advanced and clarified the concept of human rights, and established the validity of many of these ideas of individualism: self-responsibility, self-reliance, independent spirit, and individual liberty.

    I can only think of two reasons why one would say of a nation “This is a (insert name of religion) nation.” One would be that the religion in question is the official state religion, or that the majority of the population practices a particular religion.

    The United States has no state religion; in fact, the Constitution, the first governing charter of the United States, makes no reference to any deity at all, Christian or otherwise. In fact, the only references to religion of any kind in the Constitution are a prohibition against the government establishment of a religion, and the prohibition of any religious test as a “qualification to any office or public trust…”

    Prior to the Constitution, there were many documents specifically invoking Christianity of one kind or another, but none of these were governing documents of the United States. Not even the Declaration of Independence was a governing document. There was none until the ratification of the Constitution.

    The fact that the Constitution was godless was no accident; that very omission was hotly debated during the ratification process. It was deliberate, and enthusiastically supported even by Baptist preacher John Leland, who recognized that if the force delegated to the government were ever harnessed by a particular religion, then his own freedom to believe would be threatened.

    Some believe that The Ten Commandments, an early attempt to codify proper human interaction, was the foundation of the Constitution.

    In fact, at least five of the ten Commandments are not enforceable under the terms of the Constitution. “You shall have no other gods before me” and “You shall not make for yourself a graven image… you shall not bow down to them and serve them.” Clearly, these admonitions are not enforceable in a court of law in the United States. Neither is the one demanding that “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” or “Remember the Sabbath Day,” or “Honor your father and your mother,” or “You shall not covet…anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    Thomas Jefferson himself asserted at length in his writings that our government, our law, our Constitution, have their roots in British common law, and that neither the Ten Commandments nor any other aspect of Christianity were incorporated into British law, either by adoption or by legislation.

    In a treaty with Tripoli, written by Thomas Barlow at the time of the problems with the Barbary pirates, stated “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion.”

  6. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:


    Why don’t you try to pray away your raging case of herpes.

    Get right on that and report back!

    It’s a Festivus Miracle!

  7. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    PS This miracle nonsense.

    Reminds me of Lauderdale Lakes…

    How’s that you ask?

    Recently, that town was bestowed an award for “impeccable financial data.”

    Now, holy shit, that right there is a fucking miracle.

    Like the Catholic Church, this is all a self-propagating marketing ponzi scheme.

    The folks giving the awards are the same shysters who’s selling you the snake oil.

    There’s no independent third party.

    Make you this deal, you religious fucknut

    Get the Mayor of Science, Bill Nye, to agree this is a fucking miracle and guess what? I’ll shove a giddeons bible up my ass. And Youtube it…

    If Nye says this is bunk, then all I ask is for you to practice your nonsense in the confines of your home.

    Religion, you see, is like masturbation. Both best done in private.

  8. Doolittle says:

    It is just as easy to believe that the unexplainable gift of prayer, a miracle, cured the woman as to believe she had a misdiagnosis.
    You can’t prove or disprove either one, Mr. Fields. You just don’t believe so the idea that prayer can work because it is beyond your belief system.

  9. I am, I said says:


  10. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:


    Arguments like this are easy to derail. It’s called the God of the Gaps argument and Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a wonderful line to deal with it.

    “If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then god is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that is getting smaller and smaller every day”

    Of course, you’ll probably just cite some unverifiable “miracle” that totally happened to their brother’s uncle’s cousin’s former room mate.

    Just because something doesn doesn’t have an explanation, doesn’t mean it cannot be explained eventually.

    Unexplained =/= unexplainable.

    Also, a lot of so-called miracles are personal religious experiences, and for some reason, people think their perception is infallible, and it’s not. Anecdotal evidence isn’t evidence, either. Some people lie, some people exaggerate, many people remember things differently than they occurred (which is why security cams are preferable to eyewitness testimony, because memory can be unreliable).

  11. Plain Language says:

    Real atheists give little if any thought to what other people believe. It’s simply not relevant to them. Atheists who constantly complaint about the faith or religion of others are very often self-doubters seeking approval through others. That is not a classic behavior of atheists.

  12. modeengunch says:

    We’ll eventually find out who’s right or wrong here. It’s not that far away.

  13. Catholic Liberal says:

    Chaz its a miracle someone like you can put two words together.

    Its just as ignorant to claim there is no such thing as miracles as it is to claim a miracle in a grilled cheese image. By definition science cannot disprove miracles. Miracles are singular events that happen in contrast to the laws of the natural world. Science explains the natural world by being able to repeat situations in a controlled environment and to study the cause of such an event. Therefore, again miracles are events that science or medicine cannot explain or duplicate.

    Whether its divine intervention or the power of suggestion or a law of nature we haven’t discovered or something else is another question altogether possibly philosophical and not scientific. However, again if you speak to people in the medical profession you’ll find that there are instances where they cannot medically or scientifically explain the recovery of certain patients because otherwise the previously incurable disease would not longer be incurable. Therefore, such a situation can only be described as, by definition, a miracle.

    I know that may be hard for you to understand since its not written in crayon form with pictures.


    I like this comment. It makes sense to me. Thanks for contributing.

  14. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Dootlittle,
    Every hospital has review committees to go over earlier diagnoses. A small percentage of the cases will reveal false positives and false negatives.

    It is far more reasonable to conclude that this case fell into the “false positive” category than to conclude that some dead Pope lobbied some indivisible guy who made her all better.

    With over a billion Catholics I am sure that millions have prayed to JP II for relief. And the best the Church could come up with are two so called miracles?

    That tells me that St. JP II is even a worst lobbyist than I was.

  15. SAM FIELDS says:

    Thinking it over, if I wanted someone in heaven get God’s ear, I would pray to my former law partner Don McClosky.

    I am pretty sure Buddy will back me on that one.

  16. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    @Catholic Liberal

    I worked for NASA.

    Did you?

  17. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:


    I don’t give much thought about Santy Claus, the Easter Bunny, and free blow jobs — recognizing they don’t exist.

    Why bother wasting my time of imaginary characters concocted in your head?

    Life’s already tough enough, without having to go on your bad acid trip.

  18. Bill Maher says:

    “Even atheists make me roll my eyes sometimes, Like when they sued to have a cross taken down from a building. Oh for f*ck sake, we are atheists not vampires. If you can’t handle seeing a cross now and then, you picked the wrong country.”

  19. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    @Catholic Liberal

    When I was working for the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Disney, Motorola, and Sprint … your Catholic priests were busy systemically raping young boys.

    So kindly take your fucking god and shove him up your ass.

  20. Duke says:

    “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

    Albert Einstein

  21. Catholic Liberal says:

    Chaz I’m sure you did. Even NASA needs their floors mopped.

  22. Catholic Liberal says:

    Dear I am Sam,

    Sure there are false positives and false negatives but for you to tell me that there is NO medical case that exists where a person was diagnosed correctly and still defied medical knowledge is as naive as those who see miracles in everything.

    You’re falling into the trap of confusing a miracle with divine intervention. Again a miracle is something that happens contrary to natural law. Miracles can be caused for many reasons such as the power of suggestion. It is possible that this person’s strong belief that JP2 could cure her was powerful enough to cause a reversal in her condition whether or not the spirit or soul of JP2 had anything to do with it. The bottom line is that her belief in JP2 was enough.

    As far as track record of millions praying to JP2. Sure millions if not billions of people around the globe pray to X Saint and claim miracles happen. Which is why the Church does look into claimed miracles to verify whether or not there is a scientific or real world explanation as to why something happened.

    Now was JP2’s canonization fast tracked because of how popular he was? Sure…but so what.


    I believe you are making the most reasoned points in this debate.

  23. Why can't we get along? says:

    What is a militant Atheist? Who are you fighting?
    Let me guess the Christians & Jews.The ones on the front line protecting you and yours.
    Why don’t you take your militant talents and fight the real enemy – Islam. Because if they win the only poetic justice will be that the liberals and enlightened atheists will be the first to go.

  24. Catholic Liberal says:

    Disney huh? I believe it. Thats were they get Dopey from.

    Oh and Chaz when you’re in your militant rage just remember…he’s your god too. 🙂

  25. City Activist robert Walsh says:

    Heathens are very hard to persuade. Usually they come around when something bad happens to them or to one of their loved ones. Then you see them coming around. I learned @ a very early age there is a God and the hand that is dealt you can be a very good one if you do one little thing-“let go and let God”…..

  26. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Someone once asked me what was wrong with prayer, and I responded “Nothing’s wrong with prayer but the blood that flows when the discussion is about whose prayer.”

    The above virulent prose used by some of the bloggers certainly illustrate that thought.

    Spirituality is one thing; organized religion quite another. I’ve been told people kill people over religion/lack thereof. Imagine that.

  27. SAM FIELDS says:

    Liberal, Doolittle, etc,

    There is a philosophical theory that 90% of all disputes result from not agreeing on the definition of words.

    In this case, you seem to use the word “miracle” in multiple ways. It makes any discussion useless.
    When I used the word “miracle” I was not talking about the girl group who sang “Shop Around” or the street in Coral Gables. I was not talking about some placebo effect.

    I was talking about a religious “miracle”, as propounded by The Roman Catholic Church, which was the subject of my blog. It involves asking some deceased person, believed to be in heaven, to petition the guy who is in the first sentence in Genesis (the Bible not the rock group) to alter what is otherwise believed to be an inexorable event occurring on Earth. Often it is a life threatening disease.

    Until about 200 years ago everything that was inexplicable was attributed to god. Medicine 200 years ago was not much different than medicine 3000 ago.

    Science has changed all that.

    Guess what, lightning is not fire sent by god to punish the wicked. And Ben Franklin inventing the lightning rod is not thwarting the will of your god.

    In the search for truth, science and the scientific method admits its mistakes and marches on. Scientists often eliminate false explanations before they get to the truth. The scientific method is self-correcting.

    Religious “miracles” are just a reaction to otherwise inexplicable events that cry out for an explanation regardless of whether the explanation is reasonable or not.

    There is nothing self-correcting about religious beliefs. To the contrary, religion has a long history of killing people who use science to challenge its supernatural beliefs.

    Just because you can make up a story does not mean the story has legs. The right to a belief and the wisdom of the belief are two different things. Just because two groups will disagree about whether cigarettes cause cancer does not make it a 50/50 argument.

    There was a time when 100% of the people believed the sun revolved around the earth. Scientific truth is not subject to public opinion. It is not up for a vote. And that also includes religious “miracles”.


    I disagree with your comment “scientific truth is not subject to public opinion.”

    How come there remains substantial differences among the public over global warming?

    Often times, scientific truth remains a squishy concept. Drugs and pesticides are scientifically proven to be safe…until they aren’t. Certain foods are either good for you or not good for you, and both sides have “scientific truth” to back their argument.

    I think blind belief in science is akin to blind belief in religion.

  28. just sayin' says:

    Thank you Catholic Liberal. People like Chaz really don’t understand. While I like Chaz and think some of the work he does is pretty great, I feel sad for someone who can’t believe that miracles can and do happen. And it’s because of something bigger than all of us. Chaz, keep up your good work. I pray that you never need that higher power to help you.

  29. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:


    You confuse scientific uncertainty with scientific doubt.

    Don’t be too tough on yourself, happens all the time.

    Though, often, it’s religious fucknuts trying to inject confusion into the debate.

    As to this worthless discussion, I’m reminded of what my personal Astrophysicist Neil Tyson says about debating the religious rabid.

    He’s not interested, believing they’re already too far gone to worry about. He’s much more concerned about the youth, who have might not yet been coerced by the dark side.

    Rememeber, all babies are born atheists, they only learn about Santy Claus and gawd from their parents.

  30. SAM FIELDS says:

    If scientific truth is subject to public opinion then the earth must only be 6000 years old…at least in the United States but not in Europe.

  31. Chaz Stevens, Militant Atheist says:

    My thoughts of Islam … I’ll let Neil Tyson explain them for you.

    After the 9/11 attacks, when President George W. Bush, in a speech aimed at distinguishing the U.S. from the Muslim fundamentalists, said, ‘Our God is the God who named the stars.’ The problem is two-thirds of all the stars that have names, have Arabic names. I don’t think he knew this. This would confound the point that he was making.

  32. Real Deal says:

    Curiously, some say they’re not interested in debating the question of faith yet they spend a lot of their time bringing up the subject. Sort of like tat saying about he who complains too much. That point has been previously made.

  33. Catholic Liberal says:


    “There was a time when 100% of the people believed the sun revolved around the earth. Scientific truth is not subject to public opinion. It is not up for a vote. And that also includes religious “miracles”.”

    According to this National Geographic article it doesn’t look like the public opinion of Europeans is 100% in support of an important scientific truth.

    As far as religious miracles, yes there have been many times throughout history where the inexplicable was explained using stories of deities of some sort. However thats not the type of miracle the Church used to canonize JP2. In this case it was a miracle which defied scientific truth. Scientific knowns. These are the types of miracles (defying natural law) that the modern Church recognizes as miracles. For you to just say “oh its a misdiagnosis” is at best a guess that you are making up and hoping it has legs.

    The funny thing is that the Catholic Church, when they investigate claims of miracles, are looking to debunk it scientifically. The Church teaches evolution. They teach man made climate change. Genetic principles taught in college level biology classes are those discovered by a Monk. They teach all the scientific truths you and I hold dear. Scientific truths do not contradict nor disprove any existence of a deity or higher power.

    Even philosophically speaking, there exists strong philosophical arguments, made by some great historical philosophers, that use logic and reason to prove the existence of a god and not just because a hand written book says so. After all if disproving god was as simple as explaining scientific or philosophical concepts then there wouldn’t be an argument anymore. It’s just not as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

  34. SAM FIELDS says:

    Liberal Catholic

    Exactly how many times does religion have to be proved wrong about explaining worldly phenomena before you concede they they likely to be wrong about the remaining issues?????????????

    The problem is that as long as they see things in mystical terms we are all in trouble.

    For example, in 1349 your peeps (Catholics) decided that the Plague was a collaberation between Satan and the Jews.

    Exactly how many evil acts does religion and its ignorance have to foster before you you admit it sucks. My guess is that they have unlimited free passes becasue you are afraid of invisible guy in the sky.


    Oh, pleeeeze. 1349 ?!?!?!

  35. Chaz Stevens, Tea Party Antagonist says:

    Oh, pleeeeze. 1349 ?!?!?!

    Or, as I like to think, your early formative years.


    Wow! The angry blogger has a sense of humor.

    When Sam refers to what happened in 1349 he sounds like these lunatics in the Middle East screaming about the Crusades. Get over it! Nobody alive today is responsible for what happened in 1349. It is irrelevant.

  36. Chaz Stevens, Tea Party Antagonist says:


    You and I share a similar close acquittance. Ask that person about me. To paraphrase Descartes, what I write is not who I am.

    Or better yet, come on board MAOS as the world’s oldest intern!

  37. SAM FIELDS says:


    I am sure that the 10 of thousands of Jews that slaughtered in 1349 as a result of Catholic superstition did not see it as a “pleeeze”.

    But since you are an expert on when complaints are too old, perhaps you can project the date when Jewish whiners can quit reminding us of the Holocaust or Tutsis can quit complaining about the 1994 massacre. How about Blacks finally quit bringing up slavery?

    For 1500 years the Roman Catholic Church oppressed Jews every chance they got. For every kindness by some individual Catholic there were a dozen offically sanctioned acts of oppression.

    I could make a list of those acts but you do not have enough space on the blog.

    “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”

  38. Catholic Liberal says:


    Just like science has had to evolve in their understanding of the world so too has the Church. No one, not even science, could explain back then what the bubonic plague was all about and what caused it. With half the population dying and no one able to explain it, thats a perfect combination for a whole lot of crazy theories to pop up.

    Today, however, as science itself has developed, the modern church has embraced science but that still doesn’t discount the possibilities of miracles..again things that go against understood natural law. They don’t look for mystical things, they try to debunk them and if the event goes against understood, current science without any other explanation then at that point its supernatural. Discounting supernatural events by guessing is just as incorrect as seeing them in things that can be explained scientifically.

    Religion in general has some ugly historical moments as does science with documented accounts of vivisections on humans, unethical research, used as a reason for “racial purity,” and even today with some pretty disgusting animal research. The one constant in all of that is people. Put an ignorant person in charge of anything and you’ll get some bad results.

  39. Plain Language says:

    Faith is the ability to believe in something without evidence. Not just in a religious sense, there are many different types of faith and applications for it. Some see our ability to have faith as a weakness and others consider it a central human strength. Either way, faith exists and those without the capacity to feel it have always tended to be outcasts.