I’ve Been Talking to God …

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.


  1. Peter Houlihan says:

    Nice :D Holy American Empire eh? Can I be an Elector?

    Just one tiny thought: is it necessary to mix polygamy in with the other misogynistic stuff? Theres plenty of egalitarian polygamists out there.

  2. Well I used to talk to God, but I stopped when he started talking back.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    This is completely offensive. Only the leaders of my denomination actually talk to God. You are clearly a false prophet, unlike the real ones. How can I spot the real voices of God? They agree with me. Quite simple, really.

    By the way, people who immigrated to colonial America were fleeing religious persecution, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to establish religious freedom in America. Many of the Puritan communities were *stricter* than England was. They kicked people out of town for teaching “false beliefs” in their own homes. They were generally against separation of church and state, as evidenced in the people hanged for witchcraft, or the people thrown in jail for saying “goddammit.” Rhode Island started as a place where all sorts of people wound up who were kicked out of the other colonies because if religious differences. Not exactly a haven for religious difference….

    Unfortunately, zealotry goes back longer than separation of church and state.

    • wellokaythen says:

      P.S. I meant “of those immigrating to America for religious reasons….” The vast majority of immigrants have come for economic reasons, not for religious freedom. (Not counting the ones forced to come here as slaves, etc.)

    • By the way, people who immigrated to colonial America were fleeing religious persecution, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to establish religious freedom in America. Many of the Puritan communities were *stricter* than England was.
      yup the puritans werent persecuted, they were the bloody persecutors.
      banning this, banning that.

      our(uk) history says the puritans werent persecuted but they were simply ignored after their little coup(oliver cromwell of the english civil war, was a puritan), and considering england lost, they decided to leave for america to establish their ‘heaven on earth’.
      from memory, 45 of the 49 plotters against the english crown were pardoned.

      • from memory, 45 of the 49 lead plotters against the english crown (english civil war) were simply pardoned.

        • wellokaythen says:

          The earlier Puritan/Pilgrims immigrants were in the 1620′s. They had faced some persecution earlier, but by the time they started coming to America, the worst times were largely over. The Pilgrims were separatists – they didn’t want to pay taxes in England because some of that tax money went to the Anglican Church. That was the main reason they left when they did.

          That would be great if we in the U.S. could do that, opt out of paying taxes to a government that has too many ties to the wrong sort of religion. I’ll take an IRS refund on all federal money going to “faith-based” organizations, please.

          At the first Thanksgiving celebration, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for sending disease to kill so many of their heathen Indian neighbors. Are we sure we want true believers like that determining health care policy?

  4. I’m amused by how religious fundamentalism can be so selective about when writings are to be taken literally and when they’re subject to interpretation or metaphor. They generally say it’s all about the literal truth, but in practice it’s not really like that.

    For example, the Old Testament passages about homosexuality as an abomination. However, other things on the list of abominations seem to be okay for most American Christians: shaving your face, eating a cheeseburger, eating bacon, wearing cloth with more than one fabric, etc. In fact, there’s even one passage about homosexuality that they do NOT want you to take literally. “If a man lay down with man as with a woman,” then that’s a sin. Okay, so lesbianism is totally acceptable, and as long as the male lovers don’t actually do it lying down then it’s all good. Technically, by definition you can’t have sex with a man exactly like you would with a woman, so gay sex is okay even lying down.

    Ask American Christian fundamentalists about the passage where it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven. You are bound to get some interpretations and allegories and calls not to be so literal, or even the suggestion that the translation was a little off. Of course it’s not *literally* true, because camels are much bigger than needles, and I’ll be damned if I’m giving away my money because Jesus told me to. That can’t be right, must be a mistranslation.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      My own position when I was a catholic was that the new testament was a correction of the old. I never wanted to eat a shellfish, but I couldn’t see how it was more of a sin than eating a lamb.

    • Tom Brechlin says:

      Eye of the “needle’ .. your right, it’s how its been translated. “Needle” as we know it is something you put thread through. Villages were built with walls around it. People lived in these towns and camel were not supposed to be in there. Translation of the opening into that town was a “needle” which was big enough for people to go through but not a camel. Although hard to do, one could manage to get a camel through that opening.

      Old testament has been mentioned. Key word “old” … things changed when Jesus came into the picture. Nonetheless, The strict Jewish faith still follows the rules in the old testament.

  5. I don’t mean to be fussy about this, but why do you have a portrait of Henry VIII of England for an article referencing the Holy Roman Empire? Surely Charles V of Spain (a true tyrant if ever there was one – makes our ‘Enry seem delightful by comparison) would be a better candidate?

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