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Homo-expect-us: Imposing Values on Christians

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There is a maelstrom brewing around High Point Church in Arlington, Texas. Church officials had offered to host a funeral for a homosexual man, Cecil Sinclair, even going so far as to agree to feed 100 guests and create an elaborate photo presentation about the man’s life. However, the family neglected to inform the church that Mr. Sinclair’s homosexuality would be featured prominently, with pictures containing obvious homosexual content on display. Understandably, the church would not be party to the exhibition of sin, and its offer was rescinded.

The family is mad, some of the media is mad, and I’m mad too. What irks me, though, is an invidious double-standard: Homosexuals and their sympathizers often expect a special dispensation from rules that apply to everyone else, while Christians are expected to dispense with their rules.

I’ll first echo a point church officials have made, only my example will be different. It’s understandable that Christians may offer their services to known homosexuals, as we’re all sinners; however, most of us sinners don’t expect our characteristic sins to be on display in a church service held on our behalf. Why, if a man had been a compulsive philanderer, would we expect that a church shouldn’t have a problem displaying sexually suggestive photographs of him with gaggles of gals? It’s absurd.

If this would be readily understood if the individual in question were a fornicator, why not when he is a homosexual? Do they want to be treated like everyone else or don’t they?

This situation reminds me of the case of Rev. Eugene Robinson, the cleric who declared his homosexuality and was then was elected bishop by some Episcopagans. It was such a grand victory for inclusiveness, such a bold show of tolerance, allowing the Brave New Worlders to puff up their chests and boldly go where no half-man had gone before. Seldom pointed out, however, was that Rev. Robinson had left his wife and children upon receiving his netherworld epiphany. If a normal man had done so to be with another woman, would he be exalted and elected bishop? No, the attitude would be quite different, as he just might be labeled unfaithful and irresponsible – if not a pig. Rev. Robinson, though, well, was “brave.” I guess being a homosexual means never having to say you’re sorry.

Getting back to the church – the one that can still be called Christian – it’s time for some perspective. Let’s say that a mosque had agreed to host a service for a family but balked upon learning that the party would insist on including roast pork and bacon in its food selection. In our politically correct climate, I can’t imagine too many journalistic Jacobins placing the onus on the Moslems. Multicultural imperatives would hold sway, and the poseurs would disgorge platitudes about respecting differences and Islamic sensitivities. For that matter, would anyone find it anything but laughable if someone expected Moslems to brook homosexual displays? So, why are the religious convictions of Christians not similarly respected?

Then, you’ll have to forgive my lack of benevolence toward the bereaved, but just how dull are these people? Even if you’re a confirmed secularist, shouldn’t you at least suspect that a Christian church just might have a problem with overt displays of homosexuality? What are we to think of their failure to mention such a thing? After all, I can’t imagine there would be any expectation that Moslems should make a concession simply because you pleaded ignorance about their prohibition against pork. On the contrary, I think you’d be told to expand your cultural horizons.

Thus, who, if anyone, should be offended? A teacher is thought insensitive and offensive if he brings a crucifix and Bible into a public school and relates a religious message (although, homosexual content seems to be just fine); after all, it is said, some of the students may be of another faith and may take offense. Well, what are we to say about the act of bringing images into a church that will likely evoke the same reaction?

But I suspect that a sort of cultural ignorance is the issue, along with a certain kind of provincialism. Many people are so awash in relativism nowadays that they just can’t imagine anyone who embraces authentic Christian doctrine; that is, not anyone with whom they could possibly consort. Why, those snake-handlers may exist in some backwoods region of stills, spells, unkempt hair, rotting teeth and home-birthing, but the evolved people modernists such as themselves encounter would never subscribe to antiquated notions like sin or Truth. Of course they’d espouse the tenets of the times. Doesn’t everybody?

It’s funny, though, our askew conception of rights and responsibilities. I can hear it now, “Oh, those intolerant Christians! Always imposing their values on others.” So, before this refrain is regurgitated once more, let me say something. If the Christians entered the family’s house or business and insisted that photographs with homosexual content be taken down, they might be guilty of imposition of values (I would say “morals”). In this case, though, who was invading what with whose values?

The issue here really is what fashions dictate is the greatest value: Broad-mindedness. Many people treat prejudice as if it’s the first and last Deadly Sin, and through their impugnment of their age’s unpalatable variety convince themselves of their sanctified state. Prejudices, though, are funny things; being a reflection of the bearer’s deepest, most ingrained feelings, they often are noticed by him no more than a blind man sees his own blemishes. And the prejudices that will truly influence one are seldom those everyone warns of, but those constituting dark shades that remain unseen by a color-blind world that’s afraid of the light.

One prejudice nowadays that characterizes those on the left involves a certain assumption. It is the idea that anything they choose to remove from the closet must be accepted by all, and no objection to the disposition of the junk is to be respected. In their philosophical chauvinism, however, a very important principle eludes them. You have a legal right to empty out your closet as much as you want. This right ends, though, where my property line begins.

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About Selwyn Duke

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Putting aside the bigotry and homophobia which run though this entire piece (I’m sure we’ll get that later), you did miss one part of this story. The church actually offered to pay for their entire funeral at another location, which seems more than generous.

    The question it all raises for me is what the hell did the family of the dead guy think they were doing going to a fundie church in Dallas for his funeral. Unless they were trying to provoke an incident I don’t understand why they’d even want to do it.

    Dave

  • Doug Hunter

    ‘The church actually offered to pay for their entire funeral at another location, which seems more than generous.’- Dave Nalle

    That fact doesn’t fit with the oppressor-victim storyline so it was purposely omitted. Predictable media spin.

  • Clavos

    Note to Doc,

    Per your recent request, consider this your Official Clavos Reminder NOT to post comments on this thread…

    This has been a Public Service Announcement.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  • Clavos

    One fact omitted from the story, but nonetheless potentially relevant:

    Just WHAT “homosexual activity” was depicted in the display?

    An article in the Dallas Morning News says this:

    “The family also disputes Mr. Simon’s statement last week that “very strong homosexual images of kissing and hugging” were among photos relatives submitted for a church-produced memorial slideshow. A CD of the photos the family says it gave the church does not include such images.”

    Which is what I suspected: Even if the images of same sex hugging and kissing had been included, to object to them WOULD be discriminatory, because it’s a certainty that such images in a hetero display would have raised no objections whatsoever.

    Mr. Duke failed to mention the nature of the images (or their alleged non-existence) on purpose, IMO, because that, too, would have weakened his argument.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Thanks, Clavos, but if you’ll remember, the rule was not that I shouldn’t post at all on a Duke thread, but that I should endeavor to change the subject.

    It’s a little early in the game for that yet, so I’ll stand back for now.

    BTW, I tried the Dallas Morning News link, but it gets stuck on an ad featuring a young lady who, judging by the expression on her face, appears to be suffering from a severely obstructed bowel.

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    I’ll put this as delicately as I can; perhaps your computer is obstructed. Where have you been surfing lately?

    I just tried the link and got the story.

  • Zedd

    Clavos,

    Thinking caps are free! Hey, put it on sometimes.

    You have to understand that this is a church and not a government building. A church exists because of a philosophy or a theology. In their theology, homosexual engagement is a sin. The church is there to help people not to sin. The church does not say that homosexuals are any different and should be treated any differently but that engaging in homosexual behavior is a sin (much like stealing or fornicating or adultery or any sin according to the bible). Now putting images of the sin being committed IN THE CHURCH would be counter productive. It would be a condoning of the behavior. In THEIR BELIEF it’s like putting up pictures of the guy robbing a bank or cheating on his wife. In THEIR BELIEF it’s the same thing Mr. Civil Liberties.

    The real question would be: what was the family thinking? If they wanted the man’s service at that church, why did they not simply have other slides of his, I’m sure, complete life. Did the guy fish or hang-glide or volunteer or ski? I’m sure they left out shots of him being drunk at some bar or any other acts that he may have committed that would go against the church’s teaching.

    It seems to me that these people were picking on this church for believing what THEY BELIEVE. That is shameful on their part.

    Why would they choose to bury their loved one in a church that doesn’t espouse their beliefs or the beliefs of their dearly departed? They might as well have tried to have the funeral at a Mormon place of worship or a Mosque. It’s silly and bullying.

    Why should Doc not post and you should… MATE.. sigh.

  • Clavos

    “Why should Doc not post and you should… MATE.. sigh.”

    You might want to check the reference before you rush to judgment, Zedd. In this case, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    And, regarding the church’s reaction:

    Here, too, you don’t know what you’re talking about. The gist of my comment only referred to Duke’s presentation of the case. I offered no direct implication about the church’s action.

    I know you like to disagree with everything I post, but to avoid making a fool of yourself again in the future, I suggest you read my comments a little more carefully from now on before you jump in to disagree.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    That ad goes away after a few seconds, Dr. D.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Other reports say that there were images of a homosexual nature.

    I live in the area.

    Besides the church doesn’t HAVE TO bury anyone that they don’t want to bury.

    Gosh…. I just realized that you may not understand how churches operate. I am sorry for the wise-gal comment. Do you know that if you have committed fornication, for instance, in most churches that are of a fundamentalist nature, you can not serve in the church or receive communion? You have to go through a period of atonement. If you are “in sin” you are obligated to step aside and receive counseling and repent before the church. Some churches require that you go before the entire church body and ask for forgiveness. Within the faith, it is appropriate for believers to admonish one another in love. It is not looked upon negatively to remind a person of their commitment and obligation as a Christian. It is thought to be a good thing to tell someone that they are in the wrong, as for as their Christian walk. The person receives the admonishment with humility and repents. Their secular rights (?) don’t play a role what-so-ever, because they became a Christian and joined the body of their own volition and may choose to disassociate any time they so choose.

    Now knowing this, does it make the church’s decision more understandable?

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    I really don’t like disagreeing with everything you post.

    I was asking a sincere question.

    Remember, I was in on the “Selwyn article subject change thingy” so I knew about Doc…. I was just wondering why you were posting and saying to Doc not to. It was a genuine question. Relax.

  • Clavos

    “Now knowing this, does it make the church’s decision more understandable?”

    Once again, I wasn’t addressing the church’s stance, Zedd, only Duke’s.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Ah, I finally got through to the article. When I tried before, I got that little countdown thingy saying the page would load in (x) seconds, but it kept resetting. This time, the ad didn’t appear at all. Shame, really, it was quite amusing.

    It’s something of a storm in a, as I suspected, teacup. I can see both sides here. The church is clearly not following the example of its own founder: even a cursory reading of the Gospels should demonstrate to anyone that Christ would not have turned his back on Mr Sinclair. As for the “very strong homosexual images” they fell back on as an excuse, well, for the love of Mike (pun kinda intended), it’s not as if they wanted to display porn. If it was brothers hugging, or a father and son, it wouldn’t have been any kind of deal.

    On the other hand, Mr Sinclair had a relative who worships there, and so the family should have been aware of the church’s nature. I think that Mr Sinclair was not a member himself: so, apart from the insult and hurt they should have been keenly aware that they were setting themselves up for, they don’t really have a legitimate beef. Unless you’re Daniel, you don’t walk into the lion’s den and expect kitty to sit down at your feet and start purring.

  • Nancy

    Zedd is certainly correct in her statement that churches don’t have to serve anyone they don’t want to. I don’t understand what some of you seem to feel she misinterpreted from the article? She seems to have ‘gotten’ it to me.

    Actually, I’d have to agree with the author, that one does indeed wonder what was going thru the family’s mind(s) to try to push this through with a fairly conservative religious organization of any denomination? As for photos of kissing & hugging being acceptable if they were hetero as opposed to homo, some folks find photos of kissing & hugging of any sort to be offensive. Again, it depends on what KIND & how intense that kissing & hugging is. I should think a peck on the cheek would be OK – but a full tonsil-cleaning & groping session would not. After all, I really don’t care for photos of even hetero lovers pawing each other in public; let them save that for their private photo albums. IMO no one should be foisting explicit or suggestive photos of one’s affection on the public, regardless of the gender/species of the object of those affections.

  • Clavos

    Precisely, Doc.

    And Selwyn has presented it, speciously and withholding some of the facts, as something much more important than that.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Exactly, Clavs – it’s that ol’ homosexual agenda again. They’re trying to recruit our children!

    I’m sure folks like Selwyn more than half-believe that somewhere in San Francisco, in a secret lair deep beneath the streets of Haight-Ashbury, a gay Ernst Stavro Blofeld-type figure is lurking, dictating via an open phone line the Sinclair family’s every move and dispatching his trusty henchqueens to send all those scurrilous e-mails to the pastor. Mwuuaah-ha-ha-ha!!!

  • Zedd

    Gotcha Clavos. I apologize.

    I wrote the post before I read your new post.

    ———-

    I have to add that it is Christians however who have displayed an inaccurate view of what they are intended to be.

    1. The politicization of the faith is a major deviation from the message of Jesus Christ

    2. Christians also require non-Christians to live as Christians, holding them up to the same standards.

    3. American Christians confuse American values like capitalism, and American patriotism to be synonymous with Christianity.

    What resulted is a public which wants to “correct” the Christians and make them more in line with the message of love that they are supposed to present. What becomes problematic is that the public doesn’t understand the message; how it works. The public expects platitudes and democracy when the faith requires something totally different, which Christians are failing to demonstrate; humility. This is where the challenge lies.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Yeah, it seems to me that either this was a complete miscommunication and misunderstanding (stupidity can often be traced to lack of clarity), or the case of a muckraking family. In this case, the church seems to have taken a rather even-handed approach.

    Of course, this has automatically led to the homophobic mud-slinging and issue-transference that characterizes this whole debate. Selwyn takes up the straw-man tactic of putting words in the mouths of the opposition, painting the whole political left as naive, unapologetic relativists… a characterization that simply does not hold.

    Let me repeat: the inexplicable funereal decisions of one family do not represent the whole gay-rights (aka human rights) advocacy community. Most of us would rather let you have your megachurches to yourselves.

  • Doug Hunter

    “I’m sure folks like Selwyn more than half-believe …”

    Exactly, people justify their own silly arguments and positions by building up the other side as a hateful and destructive strawman. The truth is this isn’t part of some pro-gay conspiracy and it’s also not some horrendous and vile action on the part of some homo-hating church members.

    The question becomes why is it news?

  • Nancy

    My question is, why are homosexuals supposed to be ‘recruiting’ people? How do you ‘recruit’ people to something that is inborn? That’s like recruiting people to get blue eyes. Very odd.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “The question becomes why is it news?”

    News, gentle readers, is what you make to be news. This twentieth comment about a change in plans of a funeral gives a clue to what you all consider news.

    The comment section after the articles mirrors the readers and their interests….

  • Zedd

    Nancy,

    I think the idea is that by presenting homosexuality as being inborn in ALL who profess to be homosexual, it forces those who question their heterosexuality to believe that they MUST be born homosexual. I’ve had gay friends who insist that there are not such people as bisexuals. That they are just closeted homosexuals who haven’t found the courage to admit to themselves that they are homosexual.

    However I don’t think that people think that there is literally recruiting going on
    .

  • http://pleasestopstampingonmyhead.blogspot.com/ Colin Ricketts

    What troubles me most is a seeming obsession with homosexuality on behalf of some churches – and bugger me (teehee), if it isn’t starting to appear in the lovely United Kingdom too.
    You rarely see evangelical churches protesting outside military bases for example – when they wish to live in a Christian country and, as far as I recall, RULE NUMBER ONE in the biggest red letters you can imagine is, Thou shalt not kill. Purpose of military base? Killing. Job of soldier? Killing. Do they ban military men from funerals too. I don’t think we should have to listen to talk of moral relativism from an organisation which took that RULE NUMBER ONE and made of it the concept of the ‘just war’, that would just be silly now. Perhaps I am wrong though, and when an angry Jesus returns he will indeed make his first priority the levelling of gay bars.

  • Zedd

    Wait a second, this church is being victimized. No one else.

    Let’s not get carried away here….

  • Doug Hunter

    “Job of soldier? Killing.”

    It is well established that the biblical reference is to murder. Society has differentiated self defense and national defense from murder for centuries as well. It’s fine to try and play dumb and conflate the two, just don’t expect everyone else to go along with your fantasy.

  • Irene Wagner

    When I had nearly finished reading Duke’s quite reasonable article, I wondered how many (or how few, actually) comments I would need to read before encountering the word “homophobia.”

    David Nalle, you exceeded all my expectations for alacrity! But thanks for sending props out to the church for its generous offer to pay for the funeral at some other venue.

    And speaking of a Christian organization’s effort to keeping its promise, even when the keeping requires intricate choreography with OTHER treasured values, I’m reminded of the company New Tribes, which produced End of the Spear, the true story of missionaries whose death had such an impact on the Aucun tribesman who killed them that they in turn became missionaries for Jesus.

    The story of forgiveness and redemption caught the attention of actor Chad Allen, who auditioned for, and got, the lead role of missionary Nate Saint. During production, when it was brought to the attention of New Tribes that Chad Allen was a very politically outspoken homosexual, there were some decisions that needed to be made.

    New Tribes took it on the chin from many Christians who were outraged to have their hero played by an outpoken homosexual, but they were men of integrity, and they continued filming with Chad as Nate.

    And they explain why here . New Tribes provided Chad Allen with a script. High Point Church couldn’t script the funeral service that was to be held in their sanctuary. Though the decisions made by the leaders of New Tribes and High Point Church were different because of differences in circumstances and control, their hearts were clearly in the same place.

  • Irene Wagner
  • http://pleasestopstampingonmyhead.blogspot.com/ Colin Ricketts

    “It is well established that the biblical reference is to murder. Society has differentiated self defense and national defense from murder for centuries as well. It’s fine to try and play dumb and conflate the two, just don’t expect everyone else to go along with your fantasy.”

    I don’t think I am ‘playing dumb’, it seems quite clear to me – many Christians (Quakers for example) are indeed pacifists because of that belief, which I think is a mighty and noble thing!

    I’m no biblical scholar, a complete ignoramus in fact, so you’ll have to tell me how it is ‘well established’ that it means judicially-defined murder rather than all taking of life, I am well aware that is what many people take it to mean.

  • gonzo marx

    again..i must call bullshit…

    this rant revolves around two different things…

    1 – someone wanting to be buried in their church, it being agreed to, then denied for reasons fo the church

    2 – the big one here, some thinking that homosexuality is “sinful”, where they trot out the old Leviticus quote about “abomination”

    even if we toss aside the actual Christ message about forgiving sinners, and the part about how you treat the least of these…and his ministry to those society had tossed aside (which demonstratres that this “church” has completely lost their Way)…you still run afoul of the theological problems with trying to state that a single admonition in Leviticus is still to be followed…but the rest of that Book can be ignored…

    or do i still need to gather the entire village to stone my grandmother for wearing cloth made of two different threads?

    so many who like the “abomination” bit forget the rest of that book, or some of the other silliness in the OT…

    try this link for a fine refutation, utilizing Biblical quotations, of the entire “abomination” argument…

    for those who think themselves “righteous” and find it proper that a church failed to minister to one of their own, for what they perceive as a “sin”…

    get the fucking stick out of yer own eye

    nuff said…

    Excelsior?

  • gonzo marx

    oh yeah..for Colin…

    if you accep tthe Jewish scriptures as authentic for verification, then the 10 Commandments do translate as
    “thou shalt not murder”…big differenc ethere, especially since rabbinical Law has clear definitions for murder

    which always tickled me about so called “literalist” christians who hold sunday as the “sabbath” which is a Roman invention , shifting from traditional sabbath of the Jews to “sun” day, to usurp the day of rest that was observed by the Roman sun worshippinj greligion prevalent at the time of Constantine…

    but i digress

    Excelsior?

  • Irene Wagner

    “You rarely see evangelical churches protesting outside military bases for example…”
    August 21, 2007 @ 14:27PM — Colin Ricketts [URL]

    “It seems quite clear to me – many Christians (Quakers for example) are indeed pacifists…” August 21, 2007 @ 16:39 PM – Colin Ricketts

    And while we’re on the subject of changing the subject, do you think Quakers would approve of accepting homosexuals into the military? Would you approve if the Quakers were to disapprove (on the basis of their pacifism, of course)?

    What if High Point Church had hosted a funeral with full military honors for a homosexual, including punch and cookies afterwards? Would that’ve been ok. Don’t get mad (=cross) I just love “yankin” Brit chain.

  • Irene Wagner

    Gonzo Marx – get thee to a Bible Concordance. It’s not just some obscure Levitical reference. If I were to list all the NEW TESTAMENT prohibitions of homosexual activity, I’d be called a Bible thumper.

  • Dr Dreadful

    You rarely see evangelical churches protesting outside military bases for example

    And Fred Phelps doesn’t count.

    (Before anybody brings him up…)

  • http://pleasestopstampingonmyhead.blogspot.com/ Colin Ricketts

    Thank you Gonzo Marx (a very fine conflation that!).

    No worries Irene, what’s a Brit and a chain, I know what a yank is. :)

  • Dr Dreadful

    It’s not just some obscure Levitical reference. If I were to list all the NEW TESTAMENT prohibitions of homosexual activity, I’d be called a Bible thumper.

    Paul (and others) also have quite a lot of other prohibitions which modern Christians conveniently ignore. Like the one about women not speaking in church, for instance.

    In fact, if Paul saw you commenting on here he’d probably have a conniption.

  • gonzo marx

    Irene, pleas edo list for me anytime Yeshua ben Miriam, who holds the Greek honorrific of “the Annointed” called ANYONE an “abomination” …or said to outcast any sinner from his ministry

    not the Pauline dogma, but some quote from “Jesus”

    then you can try getting down off your high horse, and we can discuss comparative theology in a reasonable fashion…

    i’ll be glad to go over and discuss my knowledge in scriptural matter in both the realm of content and anthropological as well as archeological accuracy…not to mention the theological

    but, do feel free to attempt to “educate” me…i await your Enlightenment

    however, i do operate under the premise that gnosis > dogma

    Excelsior?

  • Irene Wagner

    Ah yes the amazing Reverend Phred. I actually was going to bring him up, but changed my mind. Most Christians eschew any association with this graceless man.

    But the farther east you go, the closer you end up to west.Phred Phelps might just have some insight into why the family tapped a church with conservative theology to host the funeral of their homosexual relative. Apparently Phelps has inscrutable (to the rest of us) reasoning they do.

  • Irene Wagner

    Groucho Marx, Why should I have to show you Scripture where Yeshua called homosexuals an abomination? Why are you requiring me to do this?

    There aren’t any stories of Jesus interacting with a homosexual. But he DID have words for the woman caught in adultery, and they weren’t, “You abominable whore.” Jesus, using the brilliant “let those of you without sin be the first to throw a stone” forestalled her execution by a self-righteous mob.

    What he did say was, Neither do I condemn you, go and SIN NO MORE.

    Love the sinner, hate the sin. And homosexual practice is a sin, no greater, and no less a sin, than adultery, lying, overeating, and being a pompous jackass online.

    I eagerly await your mea maxima culpa. *wink*

  • Dr Dreadful

    Why is it a sin?

    Who does it hurt?

  • Irene Wagner

    Well toots we aint in church, so St. P can rest in peace.

    But seriously Gonzo Marx (!) St. P was a GOOD deal more respectful of women, even as important functionaries within the church, than people realize. The women he wanted to keep silence in the church (context is EVERYTHING) where ladies who kept badgering their husbands with questions in the middle of the service when they heard something they didn’t understand.

    Elsewhere, St. Paul gives instructions for women who were prophesying. So he allowed for women to be prophetesses–that’s a pretty high position, wouldn’t you say?

    Now far be it for me to suggest that modern Christians follow the Scriptures to the letter, or even more importantly in full accordance with the Spirit. The Bride (a biblical analogy of the Church) needs a lot more work before she’s ready for the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ) to bring him to His Father’s home.

    But there are a lot of Christians who are doing their best, their flawed, human, best to walk that Narrow Road (between Law–keeping the commandments and Grace–keeping them with Love.)

    I put the leaders of the church in question in that category, though I’m not their ultimate judge. Jesus is.

  • Irene Wagner

    Dr Dreadful,

    What if it only hurt God? Would that be enough for it to retain its status as sin?

    And don’t accuse me (you haven’t of course, yet, but I can feel it comin’ ON from other quarters) of wanting to codify it as sin on the American lawbooks. As long as adultery and premarital sex and overeating aren’t against the law, then neither should any kind of (non predatory) sexual behavior be.

  • Baronius

    Dr. D, why does a sin have to hurt someone else? Sitting at home fantasising about a friend’s wife doesn’t hurt anyone else, but it’s clearly considered a sin in Christian churches. I think you can make the argument that some acts hurt the actor, but you don’t have to.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Irene, I’m not gonzo. You’re being tag-teamed! ;-)

    Call me cynical, but saying it’s ‘disgraceful’ (NIV) for a woman to speak in church is a bit more than a reaction to inappropriate nattering in the stalls.

    Also, not surprising that Paul was OK with women prophets. If they claimed to be speaking the word of God, far be it from him to stop them, eh?

    And, as you say, it’s all about context. Like the context which led to the author of Leviticus prohibiting the ‘abomination’ of homosexuality. It was a response to a special situation which faced that society and no longer applies.

  • Irene Wagner

    But does homosexuality only hurt God?

    Even if you agree with me that CIVIC laws against homosexual practice are Unconstitutional and perhaps even antibiblical, is this something we should steer our kids away from?—as the book being advertised on this page suggests it is.

    Just so happens I have a young son who is artistic, more articulate than his very articulate older sister, sensitive…all the positive traits that one associates (stereotypically or not) with homosexuality. But if a physical attraction to the same sex turned out to be also one of my son’s attributes (after the normal gender confusion of the teenaged years had passed), what would I do?

    I’d have to tell him that he was experiencing strong sexual desires that needed to be brought before God at the Throne of Grace (as ALL strong sexual desires need to be, be they desires for premarital couplings, incestual couplings, one night stand heterosexual couplings…all of those are, or can be, STRONG sexual desires).

    In the end, its a matter between the Lord and him. I can’t control my son’s sexuality after he reaches a certain age. My role is to teach him what the Bible says, and just as important, point him to the Person–He’s real and alive, not just an Idea–who is able to help him walk in those paths. And to pick him up when he falls down, as everyone does.

    I think Christian men (in the West) could stand to be a lot closer to one another, a lot less “macho.” So its not like I’m going to squash any manifestation of tenderness in my son towards other guys. But if there’s a reason he really can’t relate or interact in a romantic way toward females, I’d certainly want to explore that block, rather than automatically assigning my son to a life as a homosexual.

    It’s a hard life. There are few homosexuals who’d deny that.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Irene, we appear to be a comment or two behind one another(!)

    Same question, really. Why would a loving relationship between two consenting adults hurt God?

  • Irene Wagner

    The above was to…whom it may concern. Gonzo, Dr.Dreadful. I’m sorry for getting you mixed up there!

    But what is going on, guys? I mean, I don’t want to sound paranoid, because I really am NOT afraid of homosexuals, but I hear about prominent gays auditioning for roles as Christian missionaries, and hear about families wanting their deceased homosexual members eulogized in conservative Christian churches. What gives?

    It sounds like…Fred Phelps in drag, you know what I mean?

  • Baronius

    Well, if you guys are talking over each other, I should really shut up. You’re doing fine on your own, Irene.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Irene, on #46 —

    The church has been an imposing unified force for a long time. But there are people who believe in the core philosophy without subscribing either to the letter of the bible or to the authority of the clergy. Homosexuals who attempt to forge their own Christian movements, and to participate in Christian culture, are these types of activists. They care about the core values of the church… belief in a protective power, universal love and sacrifice, and duty to their transcendental values. But they don’t agree with certain codes (laws? dogmas?) held by the institution.

    And they have this right, according to precedent. Scripture has been reinterpreted for years, whether by sects, or by the Vatican, or by individuals who wanted to find a more personal relationship with God. No matter what faith you claim, it’s probably the result of a long history of reinterpretations.

    And people who questioned the authority of the church have been at the heart of some of the most important movements in history. Martin Luther was an activist in his own right. He asserted his right to protest, and as a result, he created a new movement, and he sparked reforms within the Catholic church, as well.

    I hope gay activists are able to do something similar… when the church begins to understand who its conception of “sin” excludes, it might have to shift its philosophies back in the direction of tolerance and humility. This would probably be a healthy development.

  • Irene Wagner

    Dr Dreadful,

    There’s a book by Rob Bell, called Sex God. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read his Velvet Elvis and it was thought provoking. Maybe you should take a look, if you want to get inside the evangelical mind, or rather AN evangelical mind, on the relationship between God and Sex.

    I’m not God, and I don’t mean to be disrespectful or snarky, but what if I answer your question and the Almighty’s looking down and saying NO, you’ve got it all wrong, Irene, THIS is why it bothers me.

    But I’ll give it my best shot, ok?

    I think it has something to do with the fact that maleness and femaleness and the relationship between the two is one of the very first things God established about being human (I’m using the book of Genesis as a basis for that statement).

    And even more importantly, man and woman were made in God’s image. There was something about man alone that couldn’t fully reflect God’s image. There wasn’t something about woman alone that couldn’t reflect it fully either. But man and woman together, that God closer to the image of God that man and women were created to reflect–and in reflecting, glorify, exalt, celebrate.

    That’s not to say that deep committed caring same sex friendships are not important to God, and pleasing. “How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in harmony, it is like the fat rolling down Aaron’s beard…”

    But there is something symbolic about the act of sex, and the Bible is very explicit about making that connection. Sex between man and woman, not animals but the part of the creation that was supposed to reflect God’s glory, is supposed to be Holy.

    The metaphor of sex as communion with the Divine is repeated time after time in the scriptures. Israel’s wandering from God is described as harlotry, adultery, spiritual whoredom. And when God forgives Israel, the imagery is of a husband taking back a wayward but beloved wife. And in the New Testament, Jesus himself reinforces the idea of God as Lover and God’s People as his Betrothed.

    The other consideration is God as Designer, God as Artist. Might it be an affront to the Artist to use the most symbolic, the most spiritually significant part of my body, in a way other than the Designer intended it to be used?

    But what about the people who really genetically ARE both? There’s a rather rare chromosomal condition (I can’t remember the specifics) that causes a married man who has fathered children to, in midlife, start growing breasts and other secondary female characteristics. How is he/she to be true to the intentions of His Creator?

    I’ve read some of their stories. They are very moving, and many of them very directly address the question of how they perceived God directed their decision to embrace one gender over another. They don’t seem to be furious at God. But they’ve born MUCH pain.

    As a Christian talking about gender roles, I always try to keep people like this in mind. Growing into the man, or woman, God made one to be isn’t easy for ANYBODY. And there are some for whom it is a particular burden.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    I don’t think the Fred Phelps analogy holds. Nobody would give a crap about Phelps if he was just a fundamentalist who believed all non-evangelicals were going to hell. But he’s a violent, hateful force, instigating the media with open celebrations of death and vengeance by a higher power.

    Aside from almost non-existent splinter cults, there’s nobody in the homosexual community who orient their protest around open violence.

  • Irene Wagner

    OK at 4:29 MST i read all comments addressed to Irene, and I appreciate all the thought that went into them.

    But it’s dinner time in the Mountains, and part of my current gender identity involves getting some grub on the table!

    Carry on!

  • Dr Dreadful

    I don’t think the Fred Phelps analogy holds.

    Neither do I. That’s why I said he didn’t count.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    however, i do operate under the premise that gnosis > dogma

    Thereby falling into the fallacy of thinking you are privy to revealed truth. The formula should actually be:

    logos > gnosis > dogma

    Dave

  • Egbert Sousé

    If this is an article about imposing values on Christians, shouldn’t the title be “Homo-accept-us”?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    Its quite clear that you don’t understand Christian theology.

    Your comments reveal that fact. I’m sure you don’t really want to understand it either. But come on, for the sake of scholarship, you shouldn’t be so brazen about a topic that you obviously know very little about.

    Before you let loose on me and invite the rabid Rambo Chick from the other thread to sick me…..Huuuuug?

  • Zedd

    Jesse,

    You are correct when you say that people have been reinterpreting the bible for hundreds of years.

    However your statement that “when the church begins to understand who its conception of “sin” excludes, it might have to shift its philosophies back in the direction of tolerance and humility. ”

    You misses that, its not the Church which defines the sin, its the text, the Bible.

    What you are saying is the Church (universal church) should acknowledge and dismiss the sins that you think they should acknowledge or dismiss. If there is a God, he would be rather tiny if he operated that way. If his laws for us as our Creator depended on how we feel about them, then he would be irrelevant wouldn’t he?

    However if you think the Bible is a nice book, not in anyway attached to the will of a deity for us, with some good stuff and some bad stuff and you can pick and choose what you want to adhere to, then it’s a different story and your conclusion makes sense.

    Some look at the definition of sins to be like the restrictions that we place on infants. We don’t allow them to walk in the middle of the street even though they may be having fun and find it adventurous but they don’t have the big picture and don’t have a concept of traffic or accidents. They just see an opportunity to explore and feel stifled by us adults, cry and throw a fit. To many, the restriction against sinning is just that. We don’t understand the extent of the harm that we place ourselves under when we ignore the warning against engaging in sinful practices because it feels so great and so natural and so freeing, but God has the bigger picture. Even though we may kick and scream, the inevitability of the harm that is ahead supersedes our momentary angst.

  • Zedd

    Doc

    Sin according to theology hurts the person who commits it. The issue of sin is not only about order and fairness in society but it is about the individual’s spirit.

    So if the belief is that if one is living contrary to their “intended state”, they are hurting themselves because it is in their “intended state” that they find their true purpose for being and therefore their unmeasurable joy.

  • Irene Wagner

    Zedd: You rock!

    Dr. Dreadful, not wanting to borrow trouble, but when Jesse said “I don’t think the Fred Phelps analogy holds,” I believe he was referring to MY comment:

    “…but I hear about prominent gays auditioning for roles as Christian missionaries, and hear about families wanting their deceased homosexual members eulogized in conservative Christian churches. What gives? It sounds like…Fred Phelps in drag, you know what I mean?”

    And, several hours later, Jesse’s comment notwithstanding I’m still seeing FRED PHELPS IN DRAG written all OVER this Texan funereal fiasco.

  • STM

    DD: “Thanks, Clavos, but if you’ll remember, the rule was not that I shouldn’t post at all on a Duke thread, but that I should endeavor to change the subject.”

    The rugby world cup starts in two weeks, with France first cab off the rank in Paris against Argentina, who are promising to be the surprise packet of the competition (which probably means they’ll be going home by the quarter-finals).
    The Wallabies face Japan in their first game.

    My tip: New Zealand. They are still the best team running around at the moment, despite their loss to Australia last month in the Tri-Nations at the MCG.

    Don’t know much about your mob Doc, except that they gave Wales a flogging in the warm-up Tests earlier this month but fell badly against France.

    I reckon The William Webb Ellis Trophy (“Bill”) will be coming back to the Antipodes, but in the hands of those dreadful men in black from the land of the wrong white crowd just across the ditch.

  • Zedd

    Lets not forget that most charities in the Western world are Christian charities.

    And yes there are a lot of Christians who are pacifistic. Must they be in the news to exist. Especially since its not news that they exist because they have been with us for hundreds of years.

  • Clavos

    Would love to support you in that most valiant effort, mate, but I know diddley about rugby, including not knowing until now that the Frogs play it. That must be a sight- a mob o’ poofy Frogs prancing around and squirting stinkwater on themselves and their opponents; Zut alors! Bet the Poms love that!

    Nonetheless, I salute your spirit, my friend…

  • Irene Wagner

    Speaking of poofy Frogs prancing around, I wonder if they might resemble…FRED PHELPS IN DRAG?

  • STM

    Clav: “That must be a sight- a mob o’ poofy Frogs prancing around and squirting stinkwater on themselves and their opponents; Zut alors! Bet the Poms love that!”

    Actually, they are really good at it and play a very entertaing – and bone-rattling – style of rugby.

    Their forwards are all really ugly looking and battered up, and more ominously, their backs are all good looking and look like they’ve never been tackled.

    As my dad used to say, when you run onto the park and spot the opposition, the only thing more worrying than a 130kg prop forward with cauliflower ears and a nose that’s been broken 50 times is a five-eighth (like a quarterback) with a nice hair do who looks like he’s just stepped off a hollywood film set.

    Well, that’s the French. I am also told the smell of cheap aftershave, sweat, garlic and Gitanes can grind down their opponents’ mental fortitude in the scrums.

  • STM

    Fred Phelps, the mad preacher who’s not really a Christian?

  • STM

    BTW, does anyone think that Selwyn seems a bit, well … I dunno if obsessed is the right word, but captivated, certainly in terms of his opposition, by these photo-montages of man-on-man love?

    Isn’t the church supposed to extend its love to all, without condition, according to the teachings of Jesus.

    Surely that should also apply to raging teapots.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Zedd #57: Some people choose to be celibate. Their “intended state” is to procreate like everyone else. Yet the Church does not consider them sinners.

    And now, over to Stan at the sports desk…

    Knowing squiddly dot about the rugby form book as I do, all I am able to predict with some confidence is that England will probably make the most inept defence since “I do not recall”. Therefore, I’m tipping them to lose to Namibia, Tuvalu and the Vatican before recovering (too late to qualify from their group though) to pull off an implausible victory against a team of Terminators from the year 2025 who’ve travelled back in time having identified Will Carling as the savior of mankind. No-one will have the heart to tell them that they’ve got the wrong World Cup or that the venerable Mr Carling is about as potentially harmful as a lobotomized guinea pig.

    I’ll go with Fiji to win the whole tournament after tempting each of their opponents with an ultra-strong batch of kava the night before the game. New Zealand will get as far as the semi-finals, whereupon they will forfeit the game in terror when their opponents, the United States, respond to their haka with a sequence of dance routines from Broadway shows.

  • STM

    Or, mate, the Poms could respond with a spot of morris dancing. What do you think?

  • Irene Wagner

    STM YES, that’d be the Fred to whom I refer, and yes, the Church needs to extend its love to the Fred Phelpses of the world as much as it needs to extend love to the homosexuals, and teapots (?)

    But extending love to a person doesn’t necessarily mean, in fact it often PRECLUDES, inviting him up to the pulpit to preach, or giving him the right to subject the saints to any kind of dang slide show he wants.

    Now, I will rephrase the FRED PHELPS IN DRAG question, in the fond hope of actually getting a straight, if you’ll pardon the expression, reply.

    Even as a Christian with an old-fashioned view of homosexuality, I cringe when I hear Fred Phelps going on his “God hates fags” tirades. Are there, conversely, any homosexuals out there who cringe when they hear about other homosexuals (claiming to represent YOUR interests) carrying the Hate Crimes philosophy to the extreme that it threatens the freedom of speech and religion of EVERYBODY?

  • Irene Wagner

    And Dr. Dreadful, you’re being dreadfully rude. You pressed me, TWICE, for a theological discourse at a time of day when I was busy feeding my young, but I took the time to put some thought into a response, which, rather than acknowledging, you trampled over with your silly (albeit amusing) subject changing tactic.

    NOW, you have THRICE declined to answer my question about FRED PHELPS IN DRAG.

  • Irene Wagner

    If you weren’t…you know…and I were married to you, you’d be sleeping on the couch tonight, I’m THAT disgusted.

    hmmph!

  • STM

    Irene asks: “teapots (?)”

    Think about this Irene. Think about the shape of a teapot, dear (old song … “here is my handle, here is my spout” :).

    You know … resembling a person with one hand on their hip and another pointing, perhaps, you know, a bit limp-wristedly.

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    I don’t want to get into a biblical nit picking thing and also get too boring but actually, perhaps according to biology and evolution our intended state is to procreate (sort of) but not Christianity. Our intended state is to please God. Actually Paul says not marrying (ergo not boinking) is a better place because it allows him to be more focused on his Life’s mission. BTW he wasn’t saying that everyone should not boink…

    Doc, I hate to tell you but you just said that homosexuality is a glitch…. I know we don’t want to go there again (I certainly don’t) so I’ll leave you with that. But GOTCHA! Mowed down again!! Aim and thrust! One for the Zulus! Yeah baybeee!!

    I’d better get to work.

  • Clavos

    Irene,

    Just for the record:

    Neither STM nor the Doc are, ahem, gay, despite their clever senses of humor.

    That said, I’ve never met either of the blokes personally; I’m speaking from having avidly followed both of their posts and comments here on BC for about a year now.

    They are, however (as am I), strong defenders of individual freedom, including those of gay folks.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Zedd: I said no such thing. I was merely tossing your own argument back at you. And you’re behaving like a high school football player who just sacked the QB. Where’s your dignity?

    Irene: Sorry for offending you. I thought Jesse had answered your Fred Phelps analogy pretty well. Unless I’m misunderstanding it, I don’t think it’s a particularly good one. From what I can gather, the Sinclair family didn’t purposely seek out that church just to cause maximum offense, which is Phelps’s approach. They chose it because a family member attends there.

    Now if Fred has a stipulation in his Will demanding that his memorial service be MCed by Gene Robinson, then I might be prepared to accept the comparison.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Irene: “Even as a Christian with an old-fashioned view of homosexuality, I cringe when I hear Fred Phelps going on his ‘God hates fags’ tirades. Are there, conversely, any homosexuals out there who cringe when they hear about other homosexuals (claiming to represent YOUR interests) carrying the Hate Crimes philosophy to the extreme that it threatens the freedom of speech and religion of EVERYBODY?”

    This is SUCH a strange analogy to me. Nobody in the gay activism community goes around saying “DEATH TO THE STRAIGHTEYS.” I’m not even sure HOW you could articulate the gay-rights agenda (haha) in terms that are as violent and offensive as Fred’s tirades.

    The other thing here: we’re talking about a purely civil disagreement, not a legal one. Nobody is threatening with legislation, or even a lawsuit. Nobody is threatening your, or High Point Church’s, “right to free speech.” Censorship is an alarm bell that’s sounded ALL THE TIME in this country to ward off disagreement, but in this case, mutual hostility and disagreement are the beginning and end of the problem.

    If you really want to get into the Marriage debate, then go for it. That’s an issue where talk of freedom, free speech, and government sanction actually makes sense. But nobody can take away the rights of these two parties to be pissed at one another… nor can they take away Phelps’ right to say stupid shit at Veterans’ funerals. Talking of “threaten(ing) the freedom of speech and religion of EVERYBODY” is irrelevant to this case.

  • Dr Dreadful

    And, Irene, I am sorry for not responding to your post about why homosexuality might be a sin. That was ungracious of me. I did read it and was going to type a thank you, but somehow my fingers didn’t make it to the keyboard.

    While I don’t agree with it, it was a very thoughtful response in which you actually considered your grounds for your belief, as opposed to many Christians who never get beyond “because the Bible says so”.

    Having read quite widely on cosmology, the Christian view of the Universe doesn’t make much sense to me. I do perceive in the elegance of quantum mechanics the workings of something that may be a Creator, but he (she, it, it doesn’t really matter) is very far from the Being conceived by any of the world’s religions. (To be frank, I think that Hinduism gets closest.)

    And – not that it should matter – Clavos is correct in his assessment of my sexual orientation. Either that, or my wife is in for a nasty shock! ;-)

  • Duncan

    Jesse, WRONG, Irene’s analogy is an excellent one. In fact the homosexual lobby is infinitely more powerful than Phelp’s one family. And there are plenty of people pushing legislation, it just hasn’t succeeded yet. Where have ya been? I think you need to read more. And no, I don’t mean the new york times.

  • Nancy

    Sorry I’m late (as usual) to this debate.

    I’ll start by observing that I really hate it when people cite Paul as if HE were JC. He wasn’t. In fact, a helluva lot of what he wrote is diametrically the OPPOSITE of what JC preached – & practiced. From early on, it occurred to me that in fact if Paul hadn’t claimed some sort of conversion, his perfect m.o. for destroying this hated nascent religion/blasphemy (to him) would be to infiltrate it, gain high credibility/authority, & then deliberately pump it full of dogma & theology exactly the OPPOSITE of what the founder & original followers intended so that the entire structure would be a sham. It seems to me he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, if that is so. And if it wasn’t his intent to do so, then he accidently perpetrated the greatest harm to the original Message to the point where he couldn’t have done worse if he’d intended to. Who says Satan doesn’t work in mysterious & effective ways? Gulling the #1 fervid cheerleader into spouting precisely what his purported leader DIDN’T preach to the faithful as gospel? Nice job, Hellboy.

    Paul has way too many problems of his own, both obviously psychologically & (via what shreds of history are left as well as inference from the various letters, letters, gospels, & traditions) literally to have much credibility for anyone with half a brain who can read & isn’t inclined to swallow whole whatever is fed to them by religious authorities. It’s known (not surmised) that he had some first-class run-ups against not only Peter, but James as well as the rest of the Original Our Gang, not only over power/authority in the group, but over policies & intent (as in, what would JC do?) as well. Massive ones.

    Now, considering that THEY were all actually present to hear what JC himself said, and Paul was NOT – regardless of how very convincing he claimed his vision of JC to be – I’d have to say that given any claims by Paul over those who had actually been there & had post-sermon Q&A sessions w/JC as well – I’d believe anybody BUT Paul. Paul obviously had issues also with self-aggrandizement, self-congratulations, self-importance, etc. Read his letters. Quite a few are full of ‘…me-me-me-I-I-I….’ He’s an incredible narcissist, to start with. Arrogant & cocksure as well. And his policies towards women stem not from nattering biddies in the stalls, but from the traditional view of Greeks (remember he was a Greek Jew) that women are less than human. Indeed, he verges on the misogynistic to the point where several armchair psychologists/theologians have speculated rather strongly that he was himself a homosexual, albiet a closeted & self-hating one. Oddly, I’ve seldom met a gay man who hates women; most of them seem to be just the opposite, & like women in general, just prefer men for sexual/romantic partners. Not being a psychologist myself, I can’t say how that particular foible works out, but I do assert Paul is no friend to women in general.

    To build most of the Christian religion as currently practiced throughout the West on Paul’s rantings & misplaced assumption of authority & understanding of JC’s message is the main reason I have personally rejected the Christian church in any of its manifestations. PAUL is NOTJC, never was, never will be. And his teachings are for the most part the exact opposite of what JC actually preached & practiced, on many, many fronts. Yet the bulk of modern Christian theology is based on Paul. Not the fragmentary teachings of JC as quoted in the 4 gospels.

    Enough of Paul the maniac. He doesn’t deserve further attention, IMO.

    I read Irene’s comments w/interest. She has some good takes on conservative, traditional church explanations of what is sin, why thinking about things that hurt nobody (seemingly) are still sins, etc. I was lucky enough to have a really good philosophist/theologian for a catechism teacher, who was willing to go into the minute details of the official rationales against this that & t’other thing, & her explanations accord a lot with his, in that it isn’t the sinner, it’s the sin. The sinner (including the despicable Phelps) is to be pitied & loved – altho as she pointed out, not necessarily given podium space. Forgiveness is from God, not anyone else. JC never ascribes the authority to forgive to anybody but the Top Guy, regardless of what the RCs claim about Peter (which is actually a 3rd century insertion & therefore eminently suspect anyway).

    After thumbing thru my own several copies/versions of the Bible, I can’t find any reference to homosexuals by JC whatsoever. I’m sure there were plenty around back then, but – especially given the norms of 2000+ BP Judaic culture – they certainly weren’t & wouldn’t be “out” unless they were totally suicidal or prepared to move to Athens or Rome on a permanent basis. Perhaps therefore they weren’t an issue to JC in addressing his Judaic followers, since he was pretty specific that he was NOT preaching to anybody BUT the Israelites. Certainly if he’d been addressing the faults & sins of Everybody, he’d have had plenty to keep him busy, depending on what culture he was focusing on: the Greeks – loose morals, the Jews – internecine squabbling & forgetting their #1 obligations to Yaweh, the Romans – well, just about everything anyone could think of, starting with power-craziness.

    Since JC didn’t ever directly discuss this aspect, it would be interesting to hear how Believers justify current religious policies towards gays in general. I’d have to agree with Gonzo & Gandhi: Christiantiy would be a dandy religion – if only someone would actually practice it.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Your rudeness-to-logic ratio is approaching infinity, Duncan (as opposed to Irene, who knows how to make a decent point). If the analogy makes sense, spell it out for me.

    Fred Phelps : The Sinclair Family :: what? : what?

    homophobic activism : gay-rights activism?
    religiously-minded people : homosexuals?
    conservatives : liberals?

    All these analogies show is that the religious far-right is much more mean-spirited and petty than the left. If that’s what you’re trying to prove, then by all means, make the claim.

  • gonzo marx

    ok..reverse order, so i can catch up…

    Zedd in #55 – thanks for the condesencion, but no thanks…try dealing wiht my argumentative position, and i migh tsuggest keeping away from what you think you know (especially about me) and stick to what you know yourself for certain…do explain what you think i am missing in my “scholarship”…to wit..i differentiate between Pauline doctrine and the Synoptic texts

    but, apostate and heretic that i am..i consider Iraneus and Constantine to have ruined th eoriginal concept of the Annointed’s ministry and message…i can get into that if you would like, but i don’t think you are really interested

    however, trying to impugn my understanding of current theological dogma, as well as it’s historical origins is not only insulting, but ludicrous based on just my body of writing here on BC…you are entitled to your Opinion, of course…but no hugs for smarmy types

    #53 falls into the same category of talking about things the typist has no fucking clue of and should stay away from…his right to his Opinion, of course..but just trying to bash with silly ad hominem does nothing to further the conversation…he sez..
    “however, i do operate under the premise that gnosis > dogma

    Thereby falling into the fallacy of thinking you are privy to revealed truth. The formula should actually be:

    logos > gnosis > dogma”

    my formulation stated “knowledge is greater than authoritarian pronouncements”…now i don’t pretend to know what he meant by “logos”…but here’s the beginning of the wiki entry for it, just to show how wide ranged the meanings are…

    Logos (Greek λόγος) is an important term in philosophy, analytical psychology, rhetoric and religion.

    Its semantic field extends beyond “word” to notions such as “thought, speech, account, meaning, reason, proportion, principle, standard”, or “logic”. In English, the word is the root of “log” (as in record), of “logic,” and of the “-ology” suffix (e.g., geology).

    Heraclitus established the term in Western philosophy as meaning the fundamental order of the cosmos. The sophists used the term to mean discourse, and Aristotle applied the term to argument from reason. After Judaism came under Hellenistic influence, Philo adopted the term into Jewish philosophy. The Gospel of John identifies Jesus as the incarnation of the Logos, through which all things are made. The gospel further identifies the Logos as God (theos), providing scriptural support for the trinity. It is this sense, the Logos as Jesus Christ and God, that is most common in popular culture.

    Psychologist Carl Jung used the term for the masculine principle of rationality.

    i reject the Vox formulation, due to the uncertainty of meaning being implied as well as it not fitting th ebasics of the formula i presented, as well as the implication that i am in any way attempting to claim any “special knowledge”…merely stating what i typed above…

    Irene…i didn’t forget about you, will check in later and respond

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If you’re not claiming ‘special knowledge’ then you should be using some term other than gnosis. I’m sure looking up the wiki entry on logos was fun, but now go look up the one on gnosis, because unless god is whispering in your ear or you have a magic book given to you by the Angel Moroni, or you’re in touch with your inner Thetan, a claim of gnosis is a pretty weak reed to cling to.

    As for the Wikipedia definition of logos it has the usual flaw of being too thorough to be useful. Boiled down, logos is just reason. And IMO reason trumps ‘revealed mysterious bullshit’ aka gnosis every time.

    Most of our discussions here aren’t theological in nature, so unless you’re going to turn politics into a religion – which might put you in MR’s camp – sticking to the secular definition of these terms is probably a good idea.

    dave

  • gonzo marx

    @ #81 – ummm..bite me..

    the direct translation of gnosis is Knowledge, just as logos is Word

    the implications can indeed be otherwise, but those are the direct, secular translations…therefore your entire premise is incorrect

    as for the theological versus the political…try going with the context of the thread…as well as the discussion in which i use the terms, in this case it IS in the theological, and to avoid confusion i even defined my terms

    i’ve long since stoppted even attempting to advise you, might one suggest you try to avoid doing the same towards me?

    probably too much to ask for, i know…

    but i can Dream, can’t i?

    Excelsior?

  • troll

    skeptomai>gnosis>logos>dogma

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Logos beats gnosis.
    Gnosis beats Dogma.
    Dogma beats Logos.

    one… two… three… SHOOT!

    I think gonzo should write a blog post on the definition of gnosis, its value in the context of human thought, and how it interfaces with Logos. After all, logos could be a form of revealed knowledge, inspired by the divine order of the universe. Or, conversely, gnosis could be a form of logos, specifically the type rooted in intuition rather than mathematics.

    Why don’t we have a philosophy section on BC? Come on! Then I could stop submitting articles to Culture, where nobody reads them!

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    The Bible:
    1.) was written by human beings but, for the most part, we don’t know who the individuals were, when they lived, or how they came to write.

    2. is not original but a copy of a copy of a copy… The originals do not exist, as far as is known.

    3. is not ‘A’ book but rather a collection of books put together many years after they were written by committees who decided what to include(in support of the Church’s agenda) and what to leave out (anything that challenged their orthodoxy.)

    4. presents a human interpretation of the nature and actions of an imagined abstract divine being. (Humans cannot possibly describe the ineffable and conceptionally indefineable, and so all descriptions of the mind or being of God–being beyond existence as we understand the term and, therefore, beyond human understanding–are only human conceptualizations, not literal facts.)

    In Acts 17:23, Paul states that he is going to make the unknown God known–an arrogance that has poisoned Christianity from that time forward.

    Although God is beyond mere existence and the limits of human knowledge, orthodox Christians believe he has revealed “himself” to them. Paul’s theology can’t reveal the nature of God–nothing can. It only convinces Christians that the things THEY think are true about God and his will are the gospel truth–a false, dangerous and damaging human rigid mindset.

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    I understood what you were doing. I was purposely being silly. I couldn’t resit. Hey it’s Duke’s thread, there is an unwritten rule….

    By the way BBC is getting some good programming. Have you been watching Jeckle and Hyde? There is also a new sci-fi coming up and off course Dr. Whooo-oooo (I always sing the song when I say his name, I’m such a nerd).

    Im Zulu. I cant shed my dignity. Its there even when I don’t want it. Oh, what to do….?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    You are right. I shouldn’t have said that. I am sorry.

  • troll

    *Hey it’s Duke’s thread, there is an unwritten rule….*

    …you mean the conspiracy to be rudely caddish – ?

    despicable

  • Dr Dreadful

    No, troll, the conspiracy (a pretty open one) to thumb our noses at Selwyn’s Neanderthal views by hijacking the thread. Pretty harmless really.

    Honestly, you’re the most untrollish troll I’ve ever come across…

    Zedd, haven’t caught Jekyll yet, although it looks intriguing. I’ve been DVRing MI5 (aka Spooks), Dr Who and Coupling. Ain’t got time for much else, especially since my wife (bless her) seems determined to record the Complete Works of Oprah and Dr 90210, and of course she needs time to watch them before our DVR hard drive gets filled up!

  • Baronius

    Since JC didn’t ever directly discuss this aspect, it would be interesting to hear how Believers justify current religious policies towards gays in general.

    Nancy, I can see that you’re not a fan of Catholicism, so I’ll try to answer this question in as evangelical/Protestant a way as I can. First of all, Paul doesn’t contradict Jesus. The emphasis of much of Paul’s writings was on his Greek audience. The Gospel writers were mostly focused on their Jewish readers.

    So the ban against homosexual activity is a matter of law that the Old and New Testaments agree upon. The fact that Jesus didn’t say anything about it doesn’t matter, as the Bible itself is God’s voice. Jesus didn’t say anything about not sleeping with wild beasts, but that doesn’t mean he endorsed it.

    But is there a reason for the law against homosexual behaviour? Didn’t Jesus overturn the old law? Which OT laws are we allowed to ignore?

    The importance of children was integral to the Jewish life. It was the basis of their identity and survival. Some people would be consecrated to G-d and live without sex, but most were squeezing out kids. Sex was the fulfillment of the obligation to go forth and multiply. Any act which limited familial reproduction was a sin: spilling the seed, adultery, bestiality, whatever.

    Jesus supported that moral code in dozens of ways, from criticizing the Samarian woman to partying at Cana. He even upped the ante on adultery, saying that thinking about cheating is cheating. He condemned divorce, and stated the the Mosaic law was too leniant! Also, Paul wrote a lot about marriage, saying things that fit the OT tradition.

    If I remember my catechism, the definition of sin is that which opposes God’s will. The norm of marriage and children is God’s will, and any use of sex or marriage in a way contrary to reproduction is a sin.

  • gonzo marx

    troll – i’ll stop being a “cad” on a Selwyn thread when he stops using phrasology like “Episcopagan” and the like…fair enough?

    Zedd – accepted, no worries

    Lee – you grok in fullness

    Jesse – you think far too highly of my ability to write…i’ve tried delivering on such topics previously…

    Irene – i have not forgotten you…my reasoning for asking you to produce sai dquotes was to avoid the distractions such as the one you utilized about th eincident of the adulterous wife… it has nothing to do with the topic under discussion…

    what i was attempting to find out was EXACTLY what scriptural passage you are referencing to list homosexuality as a “sin”

    my understanding has always been that it came from Leviticus and/or different oblique references from Paul (Saul of Tarsus)…hence my asking if you had something that was alleged as a direct quote from “Jesus”, since i can’t think of any such at the moment, anywhere, in any text..

    in fact, historical data of the early Church (up through the Valentinian period) shows that believers greeted each other wiht a kiss on the mouth…men and women, women and women, men and men…this custom was abolished during the Pauline period

    hence my asking where you find the admonition that Jesus himself stated homosexuality was considered a “sin”…NOT the words of any “elder” or pope…but a direct quote, please

    Excelsior?

  • troll

    takes all kinds Dreadful…even liberals and bigots

    censorship is distasteful

  • Zedd

    Lee

    “It only convinces Christians that the things THEY think are true about God and his will are the gospel truth–a false, dangerous and damaging human rigid mindset.”

    I’m not sure if I understand what you mean by this statement. If you are saying that it is futile to discuss God because he is God (infinate and eternal); Since it is futile to discuss what is eternal because it has no characteristics.

    However we derive that notion from a lot of Paul’s writings (the bigness of God that is).

    Paul talks about a realationship with God that has never existed among this group of Athenians. He was talking to a crowd of very religious people who worshiped every idol available including one that Paul said was called the unknown god. He used the existance of this idol to reveal what was revealed to him. He says:

    24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

    Context always helps doesn’t it.

    Also what is revealed in scripture is not God but us.

  • Dr Dreadful

    ‘s not censorship, troll. How is anyone being stopped from saying anything they like here?

  • Dr Dreadful

    The norm of marriage and children is God’s will, and any use of sex or marriage in a way contrary to reproduction is a sin.

    Oh, very nice, Baronius. Thank you so much for informing me that the loving marriage I am a partner in, which happens to be childless, is sinful.

    Shall I tell my wife, or do you want to?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    As I mentioned some 70 comments ago, you, gentle readers determine what is news. This little piffle of trash about a changed funeral plan seems to have gotten a lot you scratching under your underwear. It is rather amusing…

  • troll

    shouting down unpopular views is not directly censorship either but it has the same stink as your disjointed hijacks

    …of course I wouldn’t be nearly so down on your smarmy act if you kids had chosen something to talk about other than sports

  • Dr Dreadful

    troll, since your second utterance right there indicates that you do have a sense of humor, where’s it been?

    We change the subject on a lot of Duke’s threads because his opinions leave a bad taste in the mouth. That’s our view. I say we are exercising our freedom of speech, not censorship.

    And in case you hadn’t noticed, we have been discussing not only sports but also British TV, and have now embarked on a quite in-depth discussion of Pauline theology.

  • troll

    both British TV with its obviously homosexual agenda and Pauline theology are very much on topic

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    The norm of marriage and children is God’s will, and any use of sex or marriage in a way contrary to reproduction is a sin.

    Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.

    Dave

  • Dr Dreadful

    Careful, Dave. Cardinal Baronius will put you in the comfy chair if you carry on like that…

  • Clavos

    troll,

    How many comments would there be on these Duke threads if Doc et al simply boycotted the thread altogether, rather than just changing the subject.

    IMO, it’s a far cry from censorship to change the subject; anyone who wants to stay on topic is free to do so, even with the subject subversively changed, n’est-ce-pas?

  • Baronius

    Dread, I’m sorry. That was a very, very short posting and I skipped through a lot. I should have said “possibility of children”. If you don’t do anything to prevent children, you’re open to God’s will. This is where we get into the stuff that Catholics and Protestants don’t see eye-to-eye on, which I was trying to avoid. Nalle is right (although he thinks he’s joking), the posibility of procreation is a pretty important thing.

  • Zedd

    Doc

    MI5 is amazing!! I caught Coupling the first time around. Loved it. Thats right it’s called Jekyll :o). LOVE! Its so smart and ridiculous. I keep missing Dr. Who.

    Did you catch that short run series of the guy who woke up in 1973 (i think) after an accident. It was so well made. He’d been a detective in our time and found himself in the 70’s working on a case which may involve his Dad. It was brill! He knew that what he was experiencing was weired and he kept thinking he would wake up. What made it so smart was that his reactions to some of the antiquated goings on of that era mirrored we the audiences reaction. The police brutality of his fellow policeman, often startled him. I forget the name of the show (off course)

  • Dr Dreadful

    Thanks, Herr Baron. I also feel bad about snarling like that. I realize you were simply trying to explain the Church’s general POV, rather than specifically your own.

    Shake.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Zedd, the show you’re talking about was called Life on Mars. I’ve read about it but it must have run on BBC America before I got Dish.

    They’ve just signed a deal to make an American version of it, which will probably bomb spectacularly, as most of these remakes tend to do (The Office being a notable exception).

  • http://trytoremaincalm.blogspot.com High Heels

    “This right ends, though, where my property line begins.”
    You OWN the church? Can you walk on water, too?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re # 90:

    “God’s will” is an interesting term, illustrative of human hubris.

    Claiming to know God’s will implies that we could comprehend what that would mean on a divine scale of understanding–a self-evident impossibility to all but the delusional or seriously misguided.

    We, of course, can only know what those words mean to us in human terms of understanding. So, claiming something is “God’s will” is only saying that it seems right to us in our mortal and limited capacities, or that we want it be an unbreakable rule for all. In other words, it is someone’s very human interpretation of what they WANT to be the law from on high.

    (And, no, telling us the Bible says so and the Bible is true because it says it’s true is not a convincing argument.)

    I would think that since God, by definition, is beyond existence and creation as we apply those terms to our world, we cannot logically define nor confine such an essence–or its will– by any human constraints.

  • Baronius

    Lee, that makes sense, but only if you believe that God is an intergalactic moron. Most adults can talk to five-year-olds, so I imagine that God could communicate to us if he wanted to. Maybe he doesn’t want to. That’s a possibility. Based on my study of world religions, I’m convinced that Christianity is correct.

  • STM

    Everyone should just chill out, go away and have a nice cup of tea and a sit down, then come back and rejoin the discourse.

    And of course, if you want a proper cup of tea, everyone knows you need a nice teapot.

    Tea is the preferred brew of the civilised (which is possibly why Americans love coffee, although they don’t do it that well :).

  • STM

    Baronius: “I’m convinced that Christianity is correct”.

    And we’re talking the pure form of Christianity here too Baronius, right? The one that says we shouldn’t make judgments, shouldn’t exclude anyone, should offer our love without conditions (and by extension to the last, the lost and the least), should be tolerant of others, should behave at all times with compassion, should forgive – and should ask forgiveness of ourselves because none of us is perfect – and should treat our neighbours as we would treat ourselves. Also, all the while remebering that the sins we should be focusing on are our own, not those of others.

    Which is why I don’t believe many “Christians” of the evangelical right are even Christians at all. They are very fond of telling you that the instructions for living are to be found in the Bible, and if you don’t do what they say you’ll go to Hell, but they forget that the whole basis of Christianity is about those very simple of teachings of Christ – also to be found in the Bible. Indeed, real Christianity has always been more about love and community than about a rigid ideology.

    In a way, fundamentalist “christians” are a bit like fundo muslims – they take the bits that suit their argument and twist the ideology to justify their own actions.

    Mine might be a very Catholic viewpoint, but I’m convinced it’s as close we get to the original idea, which is that the spiritual journey is a contract between oneself and God.

  • Duncan

    Stm, I have to chuckle when non-believers such as you pose as authorities on the faith. Did you ever hear, don’t throw pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot? Do you know that Jesus called people children of the Devil and a den of vipers? Not only that, but to say that making judgments is wrong is a judgment.

    It is you who is picking and choosing. You know nothing about Christianity. So stick to what you know, like plum pudding and tea time.

  • Clavos

    Duncan,

    STM is a practicing Roman Catholic. An Irish one, at that.

    You might want to wipe that egg off your face, know-it-all.

  • Dr Dreadful

    It may be 100 degrees outside, but that cup of tea is sounding pretty good all the same.

    Have to be out of a jug kettle though. Don’t own a teapot.

    BRB…

  • Duncan

    Clavos, if he was a practicing Catholic, he would understand his church’s teachings and not profess nonsense. The Catholic Church calls homosexual feelings gravely disordered and the behavior a grave sin. Anyway, if he really thinks he’s a practicing Catholic, he’d better keep practicing, maybe he’ll get it right one of these days.

    Of course, Irish Catholics are often the worst kind. Hello Ted Kennedy?

  • Dr Dreadful

    So rather than stand up and admit you got it wrong, you take the coward’s way out and resort to ad hominem attacks. Really classy, Duncan.

    (It’s a good thing personal attacks aren’t allowed. The words ‘arrogant’, ‘little’ and ‘prick’ come to mind…)

  • STM

    Duncan probably also doesn’t understand that the real Church doesn’t close its doors to anyone, sinners or not. It follows the REAL teachings of Christ, which are very different to the kinds of hate mongering practised by the heathen evangelical Christian right – who, like I say, are not real Christians at all.

    You simply can’t hate and be a Christian at the same time, and another person’s homosexuality is God’s business Duncan, not ours. We’d all be better off looking at our own sins before we look at those of others.

    Casting the first stone, and all that … remember. And mate, please think before you get on here misguidedly claiming to be a real Christian and calling me an unbeliever (I guess that signifies you think you have all the answers), a member of the original Church that can trace its direct, unbroken lineage all the way back to the apostles.

  • STM

    I think Duncan would find his answer in the fact that many of the hospices around the world that care for the victims of AIDS are run by the Catholic Church.

    They don’t discriminate when it comes to the dying, nor do they care you got it.

    You have your ideas totally arse-about Duncan. Perhaps it’s not up to me to judge you, but I was told by a wonderful, caring priest Jesuit priest once who works (happily, and with love) on the sleazy side of life with drug addicts, prostitues and yes, victims of AIDS, that you can’t hate AND be a Christian. The two are mutually exclusive.

  • STM

    Of course, we could easily get around this very simply by shooting all gays, leftists, liberals, those on the “wet” right, any Christians who don’t confirm to the fundamentalist “christian” viewpoint, people of other religions, any immigrants who aren’t white or even better, anglo-saxon, blacks, browns, oranges, yellows, latinos, etc.

    Possibly once that happens, then we can set about restoring America to the values upon which it was founded: freedom for all (except for those fu.kers we don’t like).

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I read the article…and was reading down the comments when I got to #55…

    …Gonzo,

    Its quite clear that you don’t understand Christian theology.

    I almost fell out of my chair! I quickly started skipping over comments looking for gonzo’s reply…all I can is…it took you long enough gonzo!

    I’m not sure how the Jesuits let you get away gonzo?!??!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    STM – what’s the “wet” right?

    And if you’re gonna use “We” when talking about restoring American values…then get your ass over here…let’s spark one up and talk about it! I’m sure we can come up with some kind of agreement on what those values should be…Let’s start with the value of “sparking one up”!!!

  • Nancy

    I don’t think STM has been to America since the time he announced to everyone he was wearing “thongs”…and in his mind he was referring to his flip-flops, but everyone else thought he was referring to his underwear. IMO most Ozzies make the world a better place.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’m looking for the one true religion…I’ve been turning over stones in my yard…I uprooted a few trees…nothing…dirt and worms is all I can find…

    Honestly, I think I’ve found more truth in things that were outlawed by the christian church thousands of years ago than I ever did in 11 years of catholic school. Not sure I’ll ever grok it all…not sure I really want to!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Nancy – you just made me throw up in my mouth…luckily all I tasted was a little bit of bitter coffee…the thought of seeing STM or any guy for that matter in a thong is really really disturbing to me!

    It brings back this memory I have of this 80 year old man in Waikiki wearing one of those sling things on the beach…sort of like a marble bag…only much more disgusting!

    No offense STM

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And since we’re supposed to be talking abou funerals on this thread…I have a question.

    I was sitting at a red light yesterday waiting to make a left turn and right before I got the green arrow a cop car pulled into the intersection to let a stream of about a 100 cars through in a funeral procession.

    My question is this: Why hold up traffic for a funeral procession? Something tells me the person in that staion wagon isn’t in a real hurry…but I was!

  • troll

    (Dreadful – *We change the subject on a lot of Duke’s threads because his opinions leave a bad taste in the mouth. That’s our view.*

    if that’s your view why not say so…present your argument and be done with it rather than spreading PATDD (passive aggressive thread disruption disorder that is…which could prove contagious and for which I’m not sure there is a pharmaceutical intervention) – ?

    BC threads have lives of their own without your plotted distractions

    Clavos – we’ll never know how many bigots itching to vent their collective spleen in comments are discouraged by the self appointed BC Thought Soldiers…and as I read the subplots in the evolution of the anti Duke movement that was one of its early objectives despite present protestations of innocence

    if you want to silence your ‘opposition’ then come up with an observation that leaves ‘em speechless

    just my humorless opinion)

  • Clavos

    Whew!

    These threads can literally turn on a dime!!

  • Clavos

    Again, troll;

    Changing the subject prevents NO ONE from posting their own (presumably on topic) comments.

    It’s pretty benign – IMO, falls in the same category as a protest march.

    For evidence as to how little subject changing inhibits comments, merely re-read the previous twenty or so comments on this thread.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Changing the subject? Maybe we all have a little case of ADD?

    And on that note…Nickleback is coming to town next week….

  • troll

    irony is a dirty job…

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re # 109:
    Baronius,

    Your “imagining” God could communicate with us if he wanted to is my point exactly.

    As a mortal, you can have no direct knowledge or understanding of what an ineffable divine being would or could want or would or could do. So, you have only your imagination, concepts, assumptions and opinions, which do not equal rational knowledge.

    “Based on my study of world religions, I’m convinced that Christianity is correct.”

    A Muslim might say, “Based on my study, I’m convinced that Islam is correct”. Someone else says, “Based on my study, I’m convinced all religions are largely mythological”.

    Unsupported premises are not rational arguments.

    The point for you to address is the irrationality of those who imagine that a divine being communicates its will to the finite minds of chosen insiders who are then empowered to issue marching orders to the rest of humanity.

  • Silver Surfer

    Lol. Andy, thongs in Australia are worn on your feet. It’s our name for flipflops. Lol. What Americans call a thong, we call a G-string. I’m a surfer mate. I wear fucking boardshorts (yes, I’m STM).

    That’s why Nancy wrote it … because she knows how these cross-cultural things can go down the gurgler.

    Lol. I’m gobsmacked you’d think I’d wear a g-string. I can’t believe ANY blokes actually wear them, as they’re for sheilas, but I have seen a few at the beach.

  • Clavos

    SS,

    How about a short treatise on the etymology of “gobsmacked?” Its meaning is clear enough from context, but I’m curious, language being one of my interests.

    troll,

    If irony was your intent, I apologize for being too dense to appreciate it.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Now I know what board shorts are…but I don’t care where you wear ‘em mate…they can’t be comfortable on your feet!!!

    I am kidding okay?!?!

  • Clavos

    Andy’s right; you’d trip a lot wearing ‘em on your feet.

    And surfing would be impossible…

  • Silver Surfer

    Lee wrote: “Jesus supported that moral code in dozens of ways, from criticizing the Samarian woman to partying at Cana. He even upped the ante on adultery, saying that thinking about cheating is cheating.”

    Lee, did he criticise the Samarian woman? I don’t think what he did was in the nature of a crticism, or even an admonishment.

    And here’s the truth about the adultery thing. I thought the way you did, that he’d upped the ante on it ….

    Then an amazing old priest told me that it was used as a lesson in regard to forgiveness: ie, those who are quick to condemn others for their adultery need to consider only their own sins, and the fact that they hadn’t actually committed adultery didn’t make them any better than someone who had – because, as a very worldly Jesus knew, only saints haven’t thought about committing adultery.

    It’s a bit more than how you’ve painted it, and isn’t really about the adultery at all but the rush to judgment.

  • Silver Surfer

    Clav: Smacked in the gob (mouth). You know, how surprised you’d be if someone just walked up and whacked you fair in the gob.

    Andy. I can’t stop giggling about the thongs. I went to the US once and walked into a surf shop and asked how much the thongs were.

    They all fell about laughing, so after a while, I thought, “shit, these bloody yanks are weird”, and just walked over to the flip flops, grabbed a pair and said, I’ll have a pair of these thanks, paid up and left. They were still sniggering when I walked out the door.

    I didn’t realise why they were so shocked and thought they might have been smoking something that’d I’d probably like. Anyway, that’s what happened. Thongs are essential Australian footwear. A friend I was staying with clued me up later when I told her I’d lost me thongs.

  • Silver Surfer

    Fuck! Fair dinkum. A dirty great spider just about bit me on the arm just then. Bastard. I’d like to know how the mongrel got in the bloody house. This is a very dangerous country. You can die typing.

  • Duncan

    Stm, chief, I AM a member of the true Church, the RCC. And I never said that our church didn’t minister to all, what I said is that it makes as many judgments as any other institution. You ought to try reading the catechism sometime, it’s full of judgments.

    Our church DOES teach that homosexual feelings are gravely disordered and that the behavior is a grave sin. And that fact that SOME prelates have gone soft on this is precisely why we’ve suffered the fairly recent sex scandal. By the way, Jesuits have long been known for being schismatics.

    Also, I stand by what I said, because if you WERE a true believer you wouldn’t espouse the un-Catholic beliefs you do. Going to church doesn’t make you bona fide.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Yeah, I have to say that the rest of the english speaking world sure does fuck up the language something fierce… I wish the rest of you would get it together!

    I was in Brueklin, not sure of the spelling, wouldn’t matter I’d fuck it up anyway, in the Netherlands…pronounced Brooklyn…or close enough that you can get away speaking NewYorkese and the cabbie will get you there…but I met an Irishman on the train into Amsterdam and one of the Germans that was with me that spoke English said after my conversation with said Irishman that she couldn’t understand a word he said…I informed her that I understood only about every fourth word out of his mouth!!!

    Amazing that two people that supposedly speak the same language can’t communicate…but then again, I’ve been married for 24 years and I have communication problems there too!!! But she speaks what I call a Mugsy version of Brooklynese…so it’s understandable.

    I seem to see it here at BC too…people speaking or typing as the case may be, but not a lot of communicating going on…sometimes anyway.

    On a side note…I’m starting a college level english class on Monday, so I may actually learn some more betterer communication skills!!!

  • Nancy

    Heh, you might even learn to speak as gooder as the Communicator-in-Chief about nuculurrr bombs….

    STM – I know, that’s why I brought the incident up. Thought it was one of the funniest anecdotes I’d ever heard. Your comment about dying while typing reminds me of the Crocodile Hunter movie, in which a CIA operative says, “Good thing Australia’s a friendly country; nothing there to hurt you …” and the the scene cuts to Steve holding various ultra-poisonous reptiles & spiders, wrestling man-eating/cow-eating crocs, etc. Gawd, I wish he’d lived to make more movies. That was a stitch; I loved it. I watch it about 1ce a month.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    #139:

    Duncan,

    By what objective means did you verify the accuracy of your subjective claim that the RCC is THE true church?

    Or is it a belief and not dependent on knowledge?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Nancy – I always wondered how you spelled that …nucuulla….ah the hell with it!

  • Dr Dreadful

    Re: Comments 126-130 (troll’s objection):

    You realize of course that we changed the subject to… changing the subject.

    Don’t you just love the Politics section…?

  • gonzo marx

    heh…

    Andy. took me a long time because for the near fututre (a few more weeks) i have no internet at home, so can only check once in a while here at work (first week back after a year out pon disability)…

    as for the Jesuits “letting me go”..the one i knew well didn’t really have a choice, but he did teach me quite a bit during the years his judo proficient self was learning gung fu from my sifu…some of the best theological discussion i’ve ever been privy to happened during lunch between the Jesuit, my sifu and an old Hassidic rabbi at a deli…

    but i digress…

    for those who keep saying that homosexuality is some kind of “sin”, my challenge is still out there, show me where Jesus says so…not Leviticus, not Paul..

    for Baronius – far be it for me to give you any shit about your Faith, if it works for you, more power to you…but to think that the Bible is “the Word of God” sets you up for at least this Question…

    since the books gathered and edited by Iraneus around 150 AD into the Bible have been translated many times since their writing, you get very human errors that are verifiable objectively…let’s look at a single example..

    we all know the infamous “suffer ye not a witch to live” quote, very popular with the Inquisition as well as Protestant witch hunters…

    but examination of the oldest copies of the text, in Greek, using modern translations techniques and scholarship have demonstrsated that the actual quote is “suffer not a poisoner to continue”

    big difference, eh?

    makes you think about how many people were tortured and killed over the translation and thi smistake in what was claimed to be the “infallible Word of God”

    just something to think about…

    for Andy, and any else it might Amuse

    Excelsior?

  • Dr Dreadful

    gonzo, I thought you were going to tell a joke.

    “A Jesuit, a sifu and a rabbi walk into a deli…”

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Well good on ya for getting off disability. Glad to hear you’re doing well…at least well enough to head back to work.

    And I don’t think that’s a fair challenge gonzo…I mean, there really isn’t alot of Jesus said kinda stuff in the book, is there? Most of the really good stuff was hidden away for a long long time…I’m pretty sure there’s nothing like that in Thomas!

  • Nancy

    I lost my impetus to Organized CrimeReligion when I first realized that, if JC was God’s son, & he wasn’t married to Mary, that made JC a bastard. It got completely locked out when I started reading comparative religion about the same time (age 10 or so) & realized further that Christianity had lifted vast amounts of quasi-historical/fictional BS wholesale out of other religions in order to be able to reach & hold converts therefrom. Such as the myth of the Virgin Birth – along with those of Mithros, Alexander the Great, and a score of other divine/semi/demigod others. It was all downhill after that. The death knell was sounded when I started going in depth in Anthro studies, not to mention advanced multicultural lit & history. Oh well. I like Holi & New Years’ just as much as I ever did Easter & Christmas, altho I do have to say no other religion has developed such a plethora of gorgeous music & carols/hymns as Christianity. They do get that credit from me: the religion, falsified & bogus as it is, & far from the practices & actual teachings of the founder, has been the inspiration for lots & lots of incredibly gorgeous art & music. One wonders what the artists/musicians would have used for inspiration without it?

  • Nancy

    The vast advantage of blogging is that it’s almost like free association. Like this thread, it runs the gamut of subjects, from sociology/human sexuality, to politics, to religion, to soccer, to sexuality, to religion, & back again. Yeah, I love the politics section.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    It was my experience growing up that the book was not to be questioned…nor the dogma.

    I was in 7th grade in catholic school, as I remember it, when I first really understood what was meant by the virgin birth and I asked my teacher…How can a virgin have a kid? Sister Mary I believe was her name, didn’t answer with a word or a sentence, she answered with a severe slap across my 12 year old face. That was the only answer I ever got…not immaculate conception or anything like that…just a smack…

    The bad thing was I had an abscessed tooth at the time…I looked at her and said very calmly…the dentist told me if this abscess breaks I could get really sick and die…she lost it…substitute for the rest of the day. She never did answer my question…and she never apologized for smacking me either…BITCH!

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Protestants are too lenient, so they’re raising agnostics. Catholics are too strict, so they’re raising atheists.

    I guess that’s only true of my personal observations and anecdotes. At any rate, my favorite people are the ones in the margins… the conservative atheists, like Objectivists and the people over at the Center for the Defense of Capitalism… and the liberal spiritualists, like the ones who attend the tolerant churches all over my fair city.

    Duncan and Duke’s demographic is getting more vocal, but it’s also definitely getting smaller. Thank ______.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I’d say my daughters are more agnostic than athiest…but that’s just me.

  • gonzo marx

    Doc D – the Joke owuld be….a rabbi, a priest, a minister, a man with a duck on his hea,d a horse and a penguin smoking acigar walked into a bar…th ebartender said “is this some kind of Joke?”

    /rimshot

    Andy – not better, they still don’t know what the problem is (even after surgery), fired the specialists, go tmore vicodin, and went back to work monday…all about the benjamins (med bills piling up)

    and yeah…hence why long ago, i showed ya those gospels that Iraneus tossed out as “heresies”

    hope ya liked the linked clip above

    Excelsior?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Helped me to understand what the real heresy was!!!

    And yes, I did like it!

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Gonzo – that’s one of my favorite jokes of all time, though I usually tell it with a blond, a pollack, and the President of the United States.

    Yay for postmodern humor.

  • Nancy

    I don’t get it….

  • Dr Dreadful

    Take your time, Nancy…

  • Nancy

    …is the bartender referring to the ‘straight’ persons (i.e. the rabbi, the priest, etc.) as the joke, or the oddities (the penguin, the president, etc.)….? Help me out, here, guys; it’s Thursday pm & I’m brain-dead already for the week.

  • Nancy

    [muttering to myself] … I need a good dose of caffeine … where’s my Mountain Dew Code Red…?

  • Clavos

    It’s the whole package, Nancy, because so many jokes start out “man walks into a bar…”

  • Nancy

    … * ….

    [blank expression, blank mind: TV test pattern on]

  • Nancy

    Very strange. You say it’s an old joke, but I’ve never heard it before. Obviously I’ve been hiding under a rock all my life in that regard.

  • Clavos

    [Sigh]

    Print it out and put it under your pillow tonight…

  • duane

    Baronius: “Based on my study of world religions, I’m convinced that Christianity is correct.”

    About 2.0 billion Christians agree with you.
    About 1.2 billion Muslims disagree with you.
    About 0.7 billion Hindus disagree with you.
    .
    .
    .
    About 0.7 billion people admit to not knowing.
    About 373 atheists disagree with you.

    Incredible, ain’t it?

    Baronius also says: “… only if you believe that God is an intergalactic moron.”

    It makes me wonder about God’s relationship to His other possible creations scattered throughout the Universe, and the debates about God’s will vis-a-vis behavior and ethics.

    INTERGAL RELEASE 4-1002, 2327 GCT

    An Andromedan Muslim leader has told the GBC he believes quadrisexuality is “not acceptable by the will of God” and denounced new quadri-sex civil partnerships as “harmful”. Head of the Muslim Council of Belleron 433 Iqbalion Sacranicius said introducing the partnerships “does not augur well in building the very foundations of galactic society – stability, trisexual family relationships. And it is something we would certainly not, in any form, encourage the 27 trillion citizens of the Realm to be involved in.” Nevertheless, he told GBC Subspace 4’s Seg 3 program, everyone should be tolerant. Xothique Chell of quad rights group QRage! said: “It is tragic for the religious majority to attack a struggling God-loving minority.”

    The prominence of lay theologians such as Aymanabadh al-Zawahari 63, a Circinian replicant (Gen 4) and chief religio-economic ideologue of the Circinus Rim Domain, who considers mainstream interpretations of the Koranaht to be ignorant and misleading, particularly their willingness to detube quadrisexuals, has long been a source of frustration to Andromedislam’s mainstream scholars. According to al-Zawahari 63, “The hard core really are in a sense beyond reason.”

    Responding to charges of inflammatory and heretical darkino transmissions, al-Zawahari 63 said, “If you did not have the counterbalance of these blanket denunciations, the momentum would be all on their side. It’s not a Lorenium bullet, but it might keep their hold on the masses of otherwise right-intuiting Andromedans at bay.”

  • gonzo marx

    duane wins, imo

    funniest bit of satire i’ve read on BC in years…(hope ya liked the clip too, duane)

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    Strangely enough, I got that last one. Must be the Code Red….

  • Baronius

    Wow, the fur’s been flying around here while I was gone.

    Lee, you have a problem with the irrationality of believing in a communicative divine being. I have a problem with a divine being incapable of communication. I sure don’t see how your position is more rational. Maybe we’re overwhelmed, trying to stretch the meaning of rationality. But if a divine being capable of creating us exists, it is rational to at least theorize that such a being could communicate in a way that a finite being could understand.

    I mean, even Australians and Americans can communicate sometimes.

    You say, “The point for you to address is the irrationality of those who imagine that a divine being communicates its will to the finite minds of chosen insiders who are then empowered to issue marching orders to the rest of humanity.” I think I’ve addressed the first part. The second half deals with insiders and marching orders. Specifically (and Duane touches on this as well) the idea that Christianity carries those marching orders.

    Why I believe in Christianity is as an issue that I’m trying to skirt, mainly because my reasons may be different from Zedd’s or Irene’s. If you want to explore it, we can. I’m going from nothing (0) to theism (1) to Christianity (2) to traditional Christian morality (3). I’ve explained some of my 0-1 thinking, and my 2-3. But the worst thing you can do is bait me to ramble on about my beliefs. That’s like asking me not to shut up.

  • gonzo marx

    just food for thought, Baronius…

    but many Deists think that there is indeed a reasoning why any divine being would not communicate…a matter of scale…

    to the very alive bacteria in your stomache, your body woudl seem to be the entire universe…with you being “god” to them…

    for all you know, they have been praying to you for your entire life, thanking you, calling upon you in disasterous times and so on…

    ever hear them?

    Excelsior?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Baronius,

    Thanks, but there’s no need to ramble on about your beliefs;they don’t constitute what can objectively be called knowledge.

    Observeable, demonstrable, empirical evidence rather than truth claims are always welcome.

    (BTW, your analogies about communication always involve two humans talking to each other, which is completely irrelevant. A more convincing analogy of divinity/humanity “talking”–if you could make it–might be something along the lines of claiming God could teach math to a dog, if the dog believed enough in the teacher and really tried to understand. That’s more to the point I’m making.)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    gonzo – You mean…I could be a gas bubble in someone’s large intestine???

    I’ve been called a lot of things in my life…

    My feelings may just be hurt here…I’m gonna have to think on it!

  • Clavos

    gonzo,

    Your analogy reminded me that, when I first learned about atoms as a kid, I fantasized that Earth was an electron in an atom in the heel of a giant’s shoe.

    Well, I WAS a kid at the time…

    And he was a HELL of a big giant…

  • STM

    Duncan: “By the way, Jesuits have long been known for being schismatics.”

    OK, good, count me among the schismatics (not in Australia, though, are they regarded thus). And what, you think I haven’t read the catechism?

    And yes, of course the Church makes judgments. However, it also bases its entire existence on the teachings of Jesus, which are, variously, the exercise of compassion, tolerance, non-judgment (God’s business, not ours), forgiveness, UNCONDITIONAL love, and an intrinsic understanding that ALL men (and women) are sinners.

    Add the Jesuits’ belief that in practising life as a Christian, the spiritual journey involves seeking the presence of God in all situations.

    So like I said, I’ll count myself in with the schismatics and the leave the judging to God. I’m flat out working out what my own sins are most of the time, and they are many, let alone those of others – and so really, ultimately what others do is not my business. I’ll try hard to get over my own prejudices against all kinds of people and keep treating everyone the way Christ said I should, which is with love and compassion, no matter how difficult I find that sometimes.

  • troll

    so……what did Christ (not Aquinas et al) say about dealing with people who want ‘you’ dead…like terrorists – ?

  • duane

    Matthew 5:39, 5:44

  • troll

    yup – an oldie but a goodie

  • Duncan

    Stm, you are nothing but an ideologue, someone who places his worldly agenda ahead of truth. I gave you some Christ quotes, one that contradict the namby-pamby, flower-child Christ that you glom onto.

    By the way, a bunch of schismatic priests in Australia (or anywhere else) don’t determine church teaching. The Pope and Magisterium do.

    You should also know that the RCC teaches that if you do not assent to all definitive church teaching you’re in a state of mortal sin. As such, it’s a further sin to accept Communion without going to confession and getting back into a state of grace.

    Also, the NT tells us to judge with righteous judgment. Not that I’d expect a cafeteria Catholic to know that though.

    You’ll believe what you want, but I was right about you, you are not a believer. Not in anything but name anyway.

  • STM

    Duncan: Who said I don’t assent to all the teachings of the Church? I have my beliefs and they in accord with the Church’s. I try hard not to judge people though because as I keep saying, and as any priest or religious will tell you, it’s not my business, it’s God’s business. I might note that nowhere have I said I that I disagree with the Church’s view on homosexuality. That IS the Church’s view. It’s the judging, bit though … the Church doesn’t say I have to hate homosexuals, or anyone for that matter. The most used word in the Catholic Church is “Love”.

    On the other hand, I am starting to think that your obnoxious, patronising comments not just to me but to others make you appear on here like a prize dickhead. Perhaps I’m too quick to judge. You might not be, but, yes, I am judging you.

    I am now going to ask God’s forgiveness for what I’m about to say. Possibly, if I were to encounter you in a pub in Australia, even though I am a patient man, I’m almost certain that as an old sinner, I just know I’d also be tempted to judge you at the point of a fist (and confession: you wouldn’t be the first of your ilk to cop one fair on the nostril). Let’s hope such a thing would never happen, but you know, sometimes patience only runs so far.

    There you go. IMO, It’s views like yours that give the Church a bad name. My advice, for what it’s worth: move beyond just the dogma and move up a spirtual gear to find out what it’s really all about in terms of making your own relationship with God. Going to Mass seven days a week and memorising the Catechism doesn’t make you a Christian. There’s a bit more to it than that.

    Until then, mate, bugger off and keep your hate-filled ideas to yourself. I’ll reiterate, you can’t hate AND call yourself a Christian – it’s against the rules :)

    (Note to editor, nowhere here have I actually resorted to a genuine ad hominem attack, actually called this man any names or actually threatened to snot him one – because as a Christian, I am obliged to love him even though he gives me the screaming shits. A careful read will see this is so, Rosey)

  • STM

    Luke – 6:37

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Duncan:

    “Stm, you are nothing but an ideologue, someone who places his worldly agenda ahead of truth.”

    “By the way, a bunch of schismatic priests in Australia (or anywhere else) don’t determine church teaching. The Pope and Magisterium do.”

    Here’s where you guys lost me, back when I was twelve and my rational thought processes were coming to fruition. I was already old enough to understand that human beings… especially those invested with enormous amounts of power… are naturally manipulative and self-serving. This ruled out the possibility of “the truth” coming from any worldly authority, so if I was going to form any relationship with God, He would have to initiate that relationship Himself, or at least reveal Himself to me when I tried to communicate with Him.

    He never did.

    Mr. Duncan, your God is inferior, and gradually, as the world comes around to a place of reason, He will die (as syphilis-ridden F.W.N. predicted). The only God with a chance of surviving is STM’s, or perhaps even more so, Lee’s, because these Gods can make peace with reason.

    You know what I think Hell must be? It must be reaching the threshold of mortality and realizing you spent so much time fretting about the afterlife that you wasted your chance to live.

  • STM

    Jesse: “He never did.”

    He probably did, Jesse. Sometimes it’s subtle and hard to notice unless you’re really up for it.

    I’ve looked back on many things and realised I didn’t see them at the time.

  • STM

    And sometimes not appearing to get an answer can actually be the answer.

  • Irene Wagner

    Hello again. Some apologies and thankyous from me are due.

    Dr. Dreadful, I am sorry for assuming that you were a teapot, and for telling you I’d make you sleep on the couch even if you weren’t. STM, thankyou for telling me what a teapot, or rather, a “teapot,” is. Clavos, thankyou for telling me that STM and Dr. Dreadful are not “teapots.”

    ****
    I send HOLY KISSES to all!!! ***SMOOCH*** Somebody made a mistake in an earlier comment when he said that Paul abolished HOLY KISSING. Thank goodness they were wrong. (2nd Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 12: “GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH A HOLY KISS.”)
    ***

    Thankyou, Dr. Dreadful, for reading my feeble but honest attempt to explain how the sensibilities, and even the feelings, of God are wounded when His children disobey him, even if only in their motives and desires.

    One of the questions people often ask about God is: but the question is: WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING IF HE IS SO ALMIGHTY AND LOVING?

    I don’t try to explain the mystery of suffering, ESPECIALLY to those who suffer— the answer I give MYSELF is that what amazes me is that God retains within himself an enormous vulnerability to suffering–he does not sit by and watch it coldly. He suffers, too, when evil is done. And he suffers WITH. There’ve been sometimes when that has been the only comfort I’ve had—the presence of God. But cold comfort, it is not. Imaginary comfort, it is not. OH, I could tell all the stories…I wish I could make people understand they can know God too, not JUST the same way, and going the exact same paths I by which I came to know him, but better than they know him now.

    ***

    And believe you me, I know that there aren’t many who suffer like the homosexual who is looking for God.

    I am aware that many men and women are DELIGHTED with their homosexual lifestyles, and have no desire to change. Nobody should force them to change. It’s a free country and the State has no business telling non-predators how to behave sexually. (Incidentally, the most decent God-fearing politician on the scene today believes that too. His name is RON PAUL http://www.ronpaul2008.com.)

    But a man or woman who is TIRED of homosexuality and trying to leave it behind–where do they go but to an old-fashioned church? Since 1978, the American Psychiatric Association has not allowed its members to counsel or treat homosexuals as presenting a pathological condition, no matter how unwanted that condition is.

    I know, there are Metro Churches where homosexuality is not considered a sin. I could quote a lot of scripture in defense of St. Paul and I could answer Jesse’s questions about how Jesus’ mission was not to abolish moral law, but rather ceremonial law, and I could write out other verses in defense of the..the–well, I’ll call it old fashioned since that won’t offend anyone, least of all the people who identify with the term—old-fashioned view of the sinfulness of the homosexual act, but that’s really NOT what this thread is about. It’s not at the root of what everyone here cares about.

    THE BEST DESIRE OF EVERYnonpsychopathic PERSON POSTING HERE IS FOR EVERYONE TO LIVE IN PEACE DESPITE THEIR DIFFERENCES.

    ***

    Now here is something that will challenge the imagination of everyone across the spectrum on this issue of homosexual acceptance. Let’s just assume, for the sake of argument here, that God really is sad when people do the sex act with people they’re not married to, or if they’re Canadians and married, and they happen to be the same sex, lets assume that makes God sad, too.

    However clearly one finds the New Testament to be about the wrongness of the homosexual act, it is impossible to interpret the Scriptures as saying that homosexuality is worse than any other sin in the eyes of God, and no Christian (ah how WELL some of you here know it) is perfect.

    So my point here, in this *** section, is MAYBE, even in the case I’ve suggested–the case that homosexual acts are indeed sinful in the eyes of God–there is room for the Metro churches in the great scheme of God. Maybe the ONLY place a homosexual who longs for God, longs for Jesus, can FIND him, is within the context of a church which has (assuming the assumption above is correct) messed-up theology regarding homosexuality. I don’t know. I know Catholics think Protestants have messed-up theology, and I know Protestants think Catholics have messed-up theology, but I know of very few representatives of either camp who would state categorically that it were IMPOSSIBLE to learn of, and even grow closer to, Christ in the “opposite camp.” So why, Catholic, why Protestant, is this not possible at the Metro churches, flawed as they may be?

    BUT THEN, when a homosexual WANTS to walk away from the lifestyle (and this is likely to be a LIFE LONG STRUGGLE, as struggles with alcoholism, overeating, lying, addiction to porn, having a complaining attitude often are) again, where is he to go, ye homosexual activists who wish to be fair to EVERYONE?

    Please! Please, you people who believe that homosexuality is not a sin. Please don’t come into such old fashioned churches and make them show gay slide shows, and eulogize and give approving sermons on the homosexual lifestyle. Please don’t make a special project of becoming the star, the hero, in evangelical movies. Because when there are homosexuals who are going to those old fashioned churces to find help to change something they want to change, DOING SO would be like hauling a DANG KEG INTO AN AA MEETING, can’t you SEE THAT??? Go drink in a bar, but don’t do it in an AA meeting. And go to a gay bar or have your funeral at an Episcopal church overseen by a gay bishop, but live and let live, you know?

    Let there be a place for people who don’t WANT to be homosexuals any more. Not ALL homosexuals are in that category, but don’t forget: the men who were raped as young altar boys by priests with a problem (or by those who became priests SOLELY for the predatory opportunities), or molested by predatory youth group leaders at church camp, or teachers, or sleazy uncles. Not ALL people get into homosexuality that way, but some do, and they hate themselves AND their lives. Let there be a safe place for them to go to figure their sexuality out.

    And likewise, listen up, you people like me, who have old-fashioned ideas about homosexuality, lets TALK CIVILLY with the people who believe they are Christians but who go to these homosexuality-affirming Metro churches. Talk it over with your doctrinally pure friends while you’re at your Baptist covered-dish-feeds, where many show the manifestations of lifetimes spent indulging in the sin of gluttony. Let’s not speak to homosexuals who claim to love Christ any more hatefully than Protestants and Catholics speak to one another (these days, I mean, Post-Inquisition and Post-Oliver-Cromwell, and in contexts other than online fora, which are merely playgrounds for the Verbally Athletic where there’s plenty of aggression, but no real harm is meant.)

    ***

    Duncan, thankyou for taking up for my “people who try to show steaming teapot slide shows in Evangelical Churches are like FRED PHELPS in DRAG” claim.

    I tried to explain myself a little better earlier in this comment.

    ***

    Nancy, I think you should ask God to reveal unto you the meaning of the pollack joke. (I believe ducks were involved, too.) But again, there are other paths of wisdom He might have ye walk in before you receive enlightenment. Walk in patience, and in obedience, and all will be revealed, in its time.

    And Nancy, I so wish you would take another look at the much-maligned St. Paul, and get to love his writings. Or at least SOME of them.

    You are right, Paul had MEGA CONFLICT with the apostles, but the conflicts were all part of the growing pains that the early Church needed to go through. One of the big problems Paul had with Jesus’ Original Jewish Disciples was that they were forgetting that the Messiah wasn’t just for the Jews–Jesus Christ was for the whole world. After Pentecost, all the apostles were hanging out not too far from Jerusalem, even refusing to eat with those not having Jewish blood. If Jesus hadn’t knocked St. Paul off his horse, one wonders if there EVER would’ve been an “Apostle to the Gentiles.”

    Without St. Paul’s encouragement to the original apostles, Christianity would’ve remained, largely, only for the Jews, just as Judaism is, with the rarest of exceptions, as always, only for those BORN Jewish.

    More disputes with Paul came as Gentiles started being accepted into the church. Why, some of the Jewish Christians were even requiring Gentile men to be circumcised before they’d be accepted into the church! (Acts 15:1-2) (For more on this chapter, see my remarks to Jesse a little later on.)

    The apostles knew that iron sharpened iron, and though there were conflicts (rebukes and accompanying changes of heart, or compromises agreed to in matters of administration, though not doctrine) they DID acknowledge Paul’s apostleship (Acts 15:4,12).

    Peter was the “ringleader” as it were of the original 12 Jewish disciples, and read what HE has to say about St. Paul in one of his letters to the Gentiles (whom PAUL had taught him how to love):

    “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as OUR BELOVED BROTHER PAUL also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (II Peter 3:15,16)

    ***

    And JESSE, based on the brief (though not as exhaustive as available evidence might allow it to be) validation of Paul’s apostleship, above, I will tell you again, that the New Testament forbids homosexual activity because Paul forbids it in his (unchallenged by any other apostle) writings. EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, There is nowhere in Jesus’ writings or in Acts where the Old Testament ban on homosexual acts is lifted.

    In fact in Acts 15, we see the place in the New Testament where some (most in fact) of the Old Testament ordinances ARE lifted, including the requirement for males to be circumcised. Here you will find all the DON’Ts of Christianity packed into two verses. (The apostle James is speaking here, after a conference with the other apostles, including Paul):

    “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from being Gentiles are turned to God: but that we write unto them, that they abstain from (1)pollutions of idols, [there are too many of these for the Bible to list–but we all have our idols from which we need to be weaned in order to serve God–a single-minded pursuit of money to the exclusion of all other eternally valuable things in life–like people, addiction to hours and hours of TV or computer games, all-consuming preoccupation with appearance…], (2)and from FORNICATION [notice no new definition of illicit sex acts is listed– the same ancient prohibitions against adultery, premarital sex, incest and homosexuality and bestiality apply], (3) and from things strangled, (4) and from blood. [#4 probably has to do with the pre-eminent spiritual symbolism, and hence consecration, of blood in both the old and new testaments.]

    Four prohibitions, and that’s it, that’s all the DON’Ts And the DO’s will *ALL* fall under the rubric of the two most important commandments, according to Jesus: (1) Love God with your whole mind, heart, soul, and strength (2) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, including loving your enemy. (Loving one’s enemy, which Old Testament Jews were never required to do, is arguably more difficult than keeping to the letter Old Testament ceremonial law.)

    ***

    OH MY GOD!!! I wish I could make some of you see that I don’t just believe these things I’ve said because I’ve been blindly reading and obeying the Bible, or by because I think I’m so special that God has given me logos-gnosis-dogma no one else could grasp.

    No! Anything that I’m really CONVINCED of, comes from my being confused about stuff and asking God to help me understand, in His time–it took years and suffering myself to BEGIN to understand some of the answers.

    God can be like a teacher who is always with you and knows when you are ready to learn certain things, and when you are not. For EVERY SINGLE PERSON READING THESE COMMENTS God can be that teacher, no matter who you are, an Australian Jesuit, or a Duncan-style Catholic, or an STM Catholic, or a Baronius style Catholic, or a Hindu, or an atheist or agnostic, or a fundy Muslim, or Ruvy in Jerusalem…

    Just one step, and the journey starts. “Well, God, if that’s your name, I don’t even know if you’re there. But I want to find out, and if you made me, I want to be who you made me to be. I promise to be patient, and I promise to obey what I have been CONVINCED you’ve shown me to do. And I’ll take Irene’s word for it–you’ll give me more Light and direction as I obey and wait, one step at a time.”

    Naturally, as a Christian, I believe you’ll end up meeting the man who died on the Cross for you, eventually, if you walk that path. But I know TOO many people who’ve ended up there without STARTING there, to tell you that that is the place you have to start.

    Am I a heretic? I know I may have been, in the opinion of many here, skating dangerously close in THIS post, but I know that until we reach perfection, on the other side of “the glass through which we see darkly,” there is a little bit of the heretic in all of us. God will not forsake ANYONE who calls on him for help, messed up doctrine and all.

    I may, in fact, be, and probably AM, in error in some of the things that I’ve said today. But my hope is that you will realize that burying oneself in Ireneaus (both the original and the Gnostic versions) and being confused and in drowning in the swamps of conflicting sects and doctrine–is not the only way to find the Truth.

    Truth is in the loving arms of a Person who wants to love you like the child, like the infant, really, we all are in terms of knowledge of the Mind and Ways of God.

    We can’t have it all together in EVERY way, but God knows the NEXT thing He consideres it most important, a different “thing” for each one of us, HE wants to get straightened out. That next thing isn’t necessarily homosexuality, not for every homosexual it isn’t. But for some homosexuals, yes, it is.

    Jesus says, “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • Irene Wagner

    What’s the max number of characters allowed in a comment here? I’ve been working on one for hours, and it previews nicely, and after I press Publish, the comment doesn’t show up. I’ve tried cutting it into pieces.

    I wasn’t mean to a SINGLE person in it either.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m still trying to figure out why anyone cares what a being who doesn’t exist gets sad about. Oh wait, is this like a roleplaying game or something?

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    I’m not going to bother you about the content of what you desire to post; I won’t bother get involved in a fight among Christians about homosexuality, but if you have that much to say – and usually you are pretty lucid in saying it (unlike some folks) – you should set up a blog-site and write articles here!

    Besides – 190 comments about a changed funeral plan are a bit much… The body is probably a skeleton already!

  • Irene Wagner

    That was a nice thing to say Ruvy, about my being lucid and all.

    I will have to think about having my own space here. That would be pretty cool, but if no one read them or left comments, I’d be sad and embarrassed.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    If you wrote articles, I’d read them. You might not like my comments, but rest assured I’d read what you have to say…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I should clarify. In order to be a writer here, you have to have your own blog site. You’re not getting a “space” here to write, you get an article published here.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    This site is indeed spectacularly neutral and tolerates the expression of all legal opinions. That’s not to say that there won’t be a colossal amount of argument in the comments space though! Please be prepared to defend your views rather than expect them to be accepted unchallenged…

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, I’m the Comments Editor for Blogcritics and just wanted to let you know that your original lengthy comment got snarled up in the automatic anti-spam system.

    It happens from time to time and is very frustrating for all of us. I have now liberated your piece and would request that you don’t resort to multiple re-posting should this slight annoyance re-occur.

    Thank you.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    comment #176 is a perfect example of why I quit going to church! That was exactly the way I was taught. If you ain’t catholic, you’re going to hell. And if you’re not a perfect catholic you’re going to hell.

    When I was a kid there was a point where my mother stopped going to church and I still wanted to go. The nearest catholic church was miles away but there was a methodist church up the road. When I told a priest that I had gone to a methodist church and even received communion you would have thought I had murdered someone!

    It was my grandmothers church. When it came time for communion my grandmother asked me if I was going to receive. I told her I couldn’t, I hadn’t been to confession…one of those catholic rules you know…anyway, my grandmother told me that in her church, if you had something you needed to confess, you just talked to God and Jesus yourself. Wanna talk about an eye opener! You mean, I didn’t have to sit in a little dark room anymore telling my deepest darkest secrets to some anonomous male on the other side of a blackened screen? And in this day and age, knowing the things we know now about alot of old priests,,,who knows what they were doing on the other side of the screen when I confessed to myriad of adolescent male problems…makes my fucking skin crawl to think about it!

  • Zedd

    Jesse,

    You are right. Any god that HAS to do anything because you require it, is indeed an inferior god and not the God.

    Perhaps the god that you are looking for doesn’t exist.

    Perhaps you continue to miss the revelation of the one God because you are looking for something else.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, as you repeatedly claim to be a rational person, how do you reconcile the facts that Homo Sapiens is around 200,000 years old; stopped being largely nomadic between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago; and has worshipped multiple gods for most of that time, including up to the present day, with the fact that the appearance of the one and only god concept is only about 5,000 years old?

  • Silver Surfer

    BTW Duncan, I don’t actually believe you’re a Catholic. You used the term “going to church” instead of going to Mass. It’s a dead giveaway. I go to Mass, the people down the street who belong to the Uniting Church go to church. I’ve also never heard a Catholic describe the Church as the RCC … it’s just “the Church”.

    And no Catholic would indulge in the kind of nastiness and baiting that you’ve indulged in, especially with another Catholic (yes, I know I’m being judgmental, but still). You made it all up, I just know you did.

    You’re a heathen and you’re lying to us, aren’t you, old boy? Don’t know your reasoning but it does seem a worry. ‘Fess up, and all will be forgiven.

  • Silver Surfer

    Irene wrote: ” Dr. Dreadful, I am sorry for assuming that you were a teapot, and for telling you I’d make you sleep on the couch even if you weren’t. STM, thankyou for telling me what a teapot, or rather, a “teapot,” is. Clavos, thankyou for telling me that STM and Dr. Dreadful are not “teapots.” .. ”

    Lol. I haven’t stopped giggling since I read that. Good on you Irene – you’re a legend, even if I don’t agree with everything you’re saying.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Off topic a bit but I gotta ask…STM, do you call yourself Silver Surfer because of your hair color?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Even though I know, i’m not going to answer for Stan but, Andy, I thought you might like to know that commenters aren’t required to stay on topic in the comments space.

  • Silver Surfer

    Irene, on St Paul and Pauline thought … if you haven’t read it already, I recommend William Barclay’s The Mind of St Paul. It is hard going but worth it, Chapters 12 (Paul’s Conception of Faith) and 13 (The Essential Grace) are enlightening, to say the least.

    I noticed also you were talking about the Episcopalians. There’s a book I’ve just read that is fascinating in regard to the Church of England: G.R. Balleine’s The Layman’s History of the Church of England. This deals with the reformation in England, the (Roman) Church in England, Puritanism, the English Civil War, the Restoration and the subsequent return to High Church catholic-style liturgy (as opposed to the more moderate Episcopalian version of the Anglican communion or the more recent move in the Pacific and the Antipodes to evangelical happy clapping-style services) and a whole lot more besides. It is great even if just for its historical value.

  • Silver Surfer

    Yeah Andy, my hair is as grey as a Pommy summer. When I spend a bit of time in the surf, it gets sunbleached and goes a metallic silvery white (a couple of my mates always pretend to be dazzled and blinded when I walk into a room – the bastards are bald, though).

    Mine’s also starting to recede at the front, so I don’t know for how much longer I’ll be able to use that moniker.

    :) for now, though, I still look like a surf bum.

  • gonzo marx

    ok…just a quick bit until i can check back at lunch time…

    Irene – good to see you typing, it was me who mentioned that the Kiss of greeting began to die down after the time of Paul…most speculate it was to keep the Romans from being able to easily identify Christians..

    and there’s my reason fo bringing it up…as was noted, early Christians gfreeted each other with a Kiss…men, women..all of them…

    so..in the case of this funeral we are talking about, the ONLY objectionable pictures appear to be of two men kissing in greeting…hence my point in mentioning it

    ok…more later

    Excelsior?

  • Duncan

    Stm, Silver Surfer or whatever your handle is, of course a cafeteria Catholic like you wouldn’t want to believe I’m Catholic, because I remind you of your fallen away status. Hey, it’s later than you think, old man, you’d better get to confession and make sure that grace is yours.

    By the way, I never said I hated homosexuals, the issue was HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR. Of course, a cafeteria Catholic would play the hate-card game of confusing the two. Anyway, I’m pleased as punch that you judged me right here in a public forum, and in so doing contradicted yourself. That’s a great victory for the right side and reveals your flawed philosophy for what it is. In other words, I cracked you, old man, LOL.

    Oh, and I’d just love it if some cantankerous old codger of a cafeteria Catholic took a swing at me in a pub. That would be precisely when my respect for my elders (the ancient?) went out the window and the fossil got a butt whoopin’ he’d never forget . . . even if he was senile.

  • Zedd

    Christopher,

    Actually, many cultures have believed in the one God. Most have revered him to the extent that they would not give him a name but would refer to him as The Great One or The Largest or something of that nature.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Duncan, your cesspit needs emptying.

  • Catey

    Comment#200: You do have your tongue in your cheek, right?

    Your either having great fun, or you really do think that mere mortals can not distinguish between types of kissing.

    Some cultures kiss as a way of greeting, and I know you know that.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Zedd, you’re sort of on the right track. But in polytheistic cultures which conceive of a ‘One God’ (usually the Creator), he/she/it is usually regarded as unknowable – so far above his creation as for us to be not worth his attention, and, that being so, they conclude – quite reasonably – that there’s not much point in worshipping him. They therefore focus their devotions on the ‘lesser’ pantheons of gods who are more concerned with human activity. I believe Hinduism takes a view somewhat like this.

    In ancient Greek cosmogony, the universe and the gods were called into being by a vaguely anthropomorphized creator (Chaos) who then stepped into the background and let the gods, headed by Zeus, run things.

    For all practical purposes, then, such cultures are purely polytheistic because the one creator, although he exists/existed, isn’t relevant to their lives.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    it appears that Duncan hasn’t heard the “turn the other cheek bit”…which proves all his protestations false,

    but i digress…

    fun with the Roman Catholic church and their fuck ups…

    way back when, there was a conflict between two approaches, those who followed the ideas set forth by Iraneus, the Bishop of Lyon and his desire to form a unified (catholic) church, and those of Valentinius..who professed individual learning and understanding/teaching…similar to some of the base differences today between Sunni and Shi’a in some respects…

    where the problem came was after Iraneus wrote a book titled “the Five Heresies”..which denounced many of the accepted scriptures at the time, and his admonitions to others who thought like him that in order to combat the “heresies” it was acceptable to lie, cheat, and bear flase witness…

    even then, the difference between the two schools of Thought became the difference between finding it acceptable for the ends ot justify the means, or that the means were th eend in and of themselves…

    this willingness fo rth eends to justify the means has polluted the Church ever since…especially once you comprehend that the basic Lesson that Christ taught by his Sacrifice ( rather than staging a revolt, but instead submitting to authorities and being executed) was that the means are indeed the Ends, in and of themselves…how you do something is at least as important as what you do…

    this Lesson was lost in the very formation of the Church, along with many scriptures being forsaken in favor of Pauline doctrine which promoted the authoritarian dogma that the RCC follows to this day

    one o fth ethings that amuse me so much about many Protestant sects is that they remain clueless as to this early schism, and for all their protestations ot the contrary, still follow th ePauline doctrines unquestioningly, while never really touching upon the actual Lessons set forward by the one they claim to follow…but rather adhere to the pronouncements of a mere man, Saul of Tarsus…known as Paul

    Irene’s passionate comment earlier in this thread demonstrates this fallacious approach clearly

    the Tao of D’oh

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    for Catey, cuz i missed it whil ei was typing…

    ye sindeed, i do understand the differences in kissing as a form of greeting…hence my point…

    in an Italian family, men kiss within th efamily as a greeting, such is not considered a problem

    yet in the example we are speaking about from the article, the worst thing in the pictures the family had desired to present are a hug, and a kiss between men…without knowing th emen were homosexual, it looks like any other kiss of greeting, as those Italians do…or eearly Christians did…that’s my point…

    i still am waiting for someone to quote from Jesus himsel fto show where he had stated that homosexuality was any kind of sin…no takers, and the point is regularily ignore din these discussions..

    but i digress…

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, you didn’t answer my question…

  • Catey

    Gonzo, but no one greets each other with a holy kiss anymore, and unless they were obviously Italian, what else could possibly be inferred from it?

    It would be helpful if we could see the pictures.

  • Clavos

    I think you missed gonzo’s point, Catey…

  • Catey

    Maybe I don’t.
    Either way, I don’t think anyone at the funeral would have looked at it as holy kissing.
    Especially if their lips were touching.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    Catey, we are talking about kissing on the lips..that IS/was the “Holy Kiss”

    hence my point

    my second point is a challenge to show me where in scripture it says homosexuality is a sin…we have debunked Leviticus, and i will NOT accept anything from Paul(Saul of Tarsus), which rules out about 21 books of the NT

    still no one has found me a Jesus quote saying homosexuality is a sin…

    Excelsior?

  • Catey

    But MY point is…. no one at the funeral would have thought to themselves, “oh, looky there, what a nice holy kiss, my my, how very holy of them”.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    understood Catey…my reason for bringing it up was that traditions change , over time and across cultures

    i can understand some folks being upset…but upsetting folks is not a sin, per se

    i have been asking where the sin is, and no one has answered, thus i do not understand why a church that professes forgiveness and understanding for all sinners woudl reject burying one of their own congregation

    Excelsior?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Gonzo,

    Because they conceive of God as fitting their own particular worldview of a book, a dogma, or a prejudice.

    The Bible was written by humans who imagined God, and went on to describe, portray, and quote him in myths, legends, allegories, symbols and metaphors. (Logically, that which exists can’t comprehend that which is beyond existing;it can only imagine and interpret it in finite terms.)

    The stories and laws were written for their people and their times–not ours. The have no validity today, unless our society decides to validate them, one by one, not wholesale just because they are scriptures of the ancients.

    The Bible is ignorantly venerated–worshipped even–as “the word of God”, its human-authored words twisted and corrupted to condemn any who don’t fit or fall in line with the priest and preacher created dogma and doctrine.

    The rules of the Bible have no authority, unless we give them authority. Some are obviously good ideas, some are nonsense for us and so were discarded long ago.

    Quoting the Bible on homosexuality is like using the Model-T handbook to work on the space shuttle. It is, in fact, irrelevant as any kind of divinely-ordained guide, and has nothing useful to say as a literal heavenly proclamation of any kind.

    Ignorance, fear, and superstition get in the way of logic and knowledge. I don’t care what any church does, so long as it doesn’t promote the former and ridicule the latter.

    So, when the ranting starts about “God says…God wants…God wills…God forbids…know that what you’re hearing is only a little human with a big God complex.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    well do i understamd, Lee…

    hence why i have always stated that ANY human who claims to know “the Mind of God” is delusional at best and an outright liar at worst

    but that’s always the case, which is why i bring up Saul of Tarsus, Iraneus and Constantine so much in these discussions…their lies/delusions have shaped so much of modern dogma in the field that it is difficult to converse outside of it with otherwise rational folks due to the very vocabulary of the discussion having been polluted by them…

    ah well..i’ll see yas all on Monday, until then… those interested in my own esoteric theology ( i slipped it into the comedy) might want to try this article for some fun…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    One small correction, gonzo:

    According to the article in the Dallas Morning News which I cited above, the decedent didn’t actually belong to the church; one of his relatives did, and asked that his service be held there. At first, the church agreed, because the relative IS a member.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    fair enough Clavos..and while it does explain much in this particular situation..i’ll stand by my earlier point that the tenets of the philosophy as taught by th eone it’s all named after, imply universal acceptance, imo

    ah well…

    Excelsior?

  • Baronius

    Duncan and STM – Girls, you’re both pretty.

    We’re Catholics. We’re supposed to be the ones who put the unam in “unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam”. Chesterton wrote about the dangers of virtues running amuck. Truth and love are necessary to balance each other. Love without truth is feely-good nonsense (which STM is letting himself look like). Truth without love is brutality (which Duncan is letting himself look like).

    Anyway, play nice. There are Protestants watching.

  • Irene Wagner

    Thanks for the recommendation of the book, Silver Surfer. JUST SO HAPPENS I’m reading David Jeffrey’s compilation of excerpts from Isaac Watts, William Law, John Wesley, George Whitfield, William Wilberforce, John Newton and others. It’s called “English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley.” I’m reading it to report to my book club which has been studying the history of the Church IN (not merely OF) England, from the Irish monasteries right up through the present, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with a great deal of fairness to both the Protestant and Catholic points of view.

    I’m sure there’d be folk there who’d be interested in the title you gave, Ballein’s Layman’s History of the Church of England.

    LOL @ Happy Clappy church. I’m actually a member of such but it’s a doctrinally sound yet tolerant nondenominational Community Church. I consider anyone INCLUDING CATHOLIC who is trying to walk in the light of Jesus to be part of my spiritual family. If it isn’t my week to teach Sunday school, I like to visit the houses of worship of my Smells’n’Bells Anglican friends, my charismatic friends, my Black Gospel church friends, my Baptist friends, even my Roman Catholic relatives. And I respect all who are seeking after God, even if they don’t yet understand Jesus.

  • Irene Wagner

    The Bible doesn’t record Jesus saying a blessed word about homosexuality. It also doesn’t record him saying a blessed word about bestiality or incest. Sacre bleu! I don’t want to watch some toothless redneck in a menage a trois with his cousin and a BigHorn Sheep next time I see a slide show in church.

    Eh, I have something to say to everyone here, you’ve all been so kind and interesting, but I’ve got to get back to spreading the good word about RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2008 . He is fair to all, and voted AGAINST the marriage amendment act, take notice y’all who think he is out to make life hell for the homosexuals.

    Ron Paul y’all!

  • STM

    Duncan: “That would be precisely when my respect for my elders (the ancient?) went out the window and the fossil got a butt whoopin’ he’d never forget.”

    Lol. Yeah, right, you and whose army? Big-noting septic tanks like you are notorious for being long on talk and short on ability.

    I’ve never met one such braggart yet who could actually hold his hands up. And while I might be getting older, Duncan, old boy, I’m a long way from being senile, ancient and the potential recipient of a “butt whoop’n” – believe me.

    Yep, I did judge you too. I don’t like dickheads.

  • Irene Wagner

    Chris Rose, you claim 1) H. sapiens is 200,000 years old 2) monotheism first appeared 5000 years ago.

    The earliest peoples whose writings we can interpret lived no earlier, or not much earlier, than the 4th millenium BC, 6000 years ago. Without any written record, how can you be sure that monotheism was NOT a belief during the first(assuming it’s really that long) 194,000 years of human history?

    Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954), in his Der Ursprung der Gottesidee, 12 volumes, Münster, 1912-54) collected linguistic and folkloric data from primitive societies around the globe, and concluded that all religions derive from a common monotheistic root. And in more than a few locales, this primitive Sky God (e.g. China) is tender, merciful, and involved with his creatures. Schmidt’s ideas have fallen out of favor, and back in again. Pretty interesting stuff.

    I dunno. Maybe some of them worshipped this big black beeping obelisk thingey that claimed to be from Saturn. (dum. dum. DUM. dumdum. boom. boom. boom. boom. BOOM.)

  • STM

    Irene: “English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley.”

    Considering Wesley was a heathen, wouldn’t that be oxymoronic? A bit like military intelligence, or good tabloid journalism?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Don’t say that around here, Stan. The hardcore southern methodists will lynch you.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    A couple of pickle smooching activists are mad again because the practicioners of a 2,000 year old religion won’t bend to their will and completely disregard the tenets of their faith so that a tiny but vocal minority can have their way?

    Why the fuck is this even news?

    It’s just one more example amongst the plethora examples of how the left is trying to eradicate each and every societal norm, wether private or public, that could in any way be used to pass judgement on any actions of another. The left won’t be happy until this nation is swallowed whole by the concepts of political correctness and moral relativism that they push so hard to ram down everyone’s throat. When child rapists and islamic terrorists who kill American civilians are viewed with no more contempt than jaywalkers then the left may take a breather for they are truly in the home stretch of seeing the of seeing all of the hopes and dreams that stem from their warped, distorted, and perverse view of the world come to fruition.

    To the family of the guy that died……….sorry that your love one has passed but you can go fuck yourselves if you think you have the right to hijack a christian church for the purpose of making a spectacle to further your little agenda.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    The thing about Archie is that he can start off making sense then in less than a heartbeat spins off into loonyland where those on the left don’t want equal rights for minorities, they want child rapists and islamic terrorists to be treated with respect.

    You’re really undermining your own perspective with such hysterical over-statement…

  • Zedd

    Christopher,

    I know, isn’t it weird that I’d believe in such a notion? A very valid question. Actually I thought you’d bring that up on the the other thread.

    I have had various times in my life where I have determined religion to be an opiate and only that. However there were situations in my life which have debunked my conclusions and brought me to an acknowledgment of the Divine.

    I am not dogmatic about Christianity. I do however believe that the Bible is a wonderful tool. I do believe that yes it was written by man but that as God uses everything for a purpose, even our ineptitude, and wrong intension’s, the bible is and has been used to reveal the big picture to humanity. Its basically told humanity to chill, be reasonable and love. It also informs us about what hurts us in a long run. But it also reveals our frailties, stating that in all of our gooberness, we are loved unmeasurably

    The bible also attracts kooks as we all know. Since in our culture it is considered the overall authority beyond anything that man can conceive, It would pull every power hungry, delusional, diabolically obsessed weirdo.

    I tend to think that because it was meant to last over the ages and speak to each generation of man, that it couldn’t be worded in scientific language. If it was, it would have been discarded because no one would be able to understand it and it would have never had the impact that it has.

    Perhaps the departure of Elijah might have been a departure in an air craft but the only traveling device that existed in that time was a chariot, so it was said that he rose to heaven in a fiery chariot. (who the heck knows)

    This is really going to trip you out.

    Some have proposed that there may be a fourth dimension and that is what would explain omnipresence; that is what would explain the disappearance of Jesus. Or maybe it was a worm hole. Who the heck knows.

    If God created the universe, he certainly would be technological.

    Some off course have suggested that God represents a much more developed civilization which introduced the elements which caused our evolution. Wouldn’t know….

    What I know is that God represents something large, that goes beyond me. I respect “Him” and revere “Him” because of acknowledging the limitations of man and certainly my own limitations. I feel fortunate to have been brought to the place of resignation, where I have no choice but to believe, because of the experiences in my life. I simply would not believe were it not for those persistent factors which have demonstrated his grace.

    Not a good answer because what I have actually said is that “I cant explain it, but I just do (believe)”.

    I believe that science is man’s attempt at understanding God’s creation (the big picture).

  • Zedd

    I somehow deleted a portion of my third paragraph Chris. Please kindly use your detective skills and try to make sense out of it.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    It’s one thing to assert that you believe in this god because of events in your life but without knowing what they are, it’s quite another to expect others to believe it…

    As to the bible, sure, there are some useful points made in it, but any halfway lucid person could sum them up in about 100 words or less, so it’s a huge amount of waffle padding out a handful of fairly obvious good advice. =Big deal!

  • Clavos

    “As to the bible, sure, there are some useful points made in it, but any halfway lucid person could sum them up in about 100 words or less, so it’s a huge amount of waffle padding out a handful of fairly obvious good advice. =Big deal!”

    True, Chris, but not everyone is as perceptive as you are. Most humans need and seek guidance from outside of themselves, and the bible has served that purpose for millions of people for millenia.

    That said, I believe that it’s possible to be a thoroughly moral and decent human being without reference to the bible, and millions have also done that.

    I was raised by an atheist (my father) and a devout catholic (my mother, obviously). My father agreed that my mother would expose me to Catholicism and baptize me, send me to catechism, confirm me, etc. In return, my mom agreed to let my father expose me to his religious point of view. Mostly, he didn’t; he just led his life as he had all along and merely set an outstanding example for my siblings and me. If we asked him questions, he answered them; fully, completely and honestly; but mostly he let us come to our own conclusions.

    Both of my siblings are catholics (though not as devout as my mom was), and I would best characterize myself as a doubting non-believer; a result, in part, of the inability on the part of the priests and nuns I knew in my youth to answer such questions as “why does god allow evil?” with anything but platitudes about faith.

    I digress. My main point is that the bible has served a purpose throughout the ages; it has taught those who need it how to lead a “good” life (even though most humans don’t fully achieve that ideal), for which reason I would say that it’s been a positive influence, even though, as you say, verbosely.

  • Irene Wagner

    According to the assertions of Clavos and Chris Rose, 1) There are moral, well-adjusted atheists. I agree.

    2) These atheists are so much more “lucid” and “perceptive” than believers. Those remarks comes closer to being ad hominem attacks than scientifically verifiable statements.

    Chris Rose, you have STILL failed to give evidence for the complete absence of monotheism in the first 192,000 years you claim man existed with polytheistic gods. Sorry to lay the burden of proof at your feet, but that’s the way debate works when one side is trying to “prove” a negative.

    Now, I will turn off my intellectually cold snark. I can’t speak for ALL believers, but I don’t expect others to believe what I believe. I certainly don’t expect either of YOU to believe any time soon, not through my efforts anyway. But you aren’t the only ones reading the conversations you are having with Zedd and other believers.

    I DO tell others about my experiences with God, not in the EXPECTATION that they’ll believe, but in the HOPE they do. My life now is so much richer than it was when God wasn’t a part of it, not because I’ve become any more or less “lucid” or “perceptive” but because God is an amazing, fascinationg, mysterious being who is willing to love us, ALL OF US, the finite and flawed. I’ll admit this last point in particular beggars belief. Something beyond reason, but NOT inferior to it, is required to accept it.

    I hope that “something” overcomes you one day, Dave and Chris, but I’m certainly not going to bet the farm on that happening.

  • Clavos

    “These atheists are so much more “lucid” and “perceptive” than believers. Those remarks comes closer to being ad hominem attacks than scientifically verifiable statements.”

    Irene, please don’t put words in my mouth; I never said that. I merely pointed out that Chris is more perceptive than most people, not “believers;” an assertion I think is true, based on the evidence of his comments on BC. For the record, he and I often disagree on a umber of issues.

    I carefully refrained from attacking believers. I consider religion (or the lack thereof) to be a purely private matter, and I don’t think anyone, believer or non-, should proselytize.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, you have turned my words upside down. I didn’t say that humans believed in multiple gods for all that time, I said the quaint idea of there just being one was fairly recent. I’m not trying to prove anything so please stick your snark!

    Personally, I think your claim that you are still lucid is charmingly self-deluding nonsense, though I would of course defend your right to believe anything you want to. You’ll have to come up with something a whole lot better than “Something beyond reason, but NOT inferior to it, is required to accept it”, which is self-serving drivel as far as I am concerned.

    The only things that would make me believe this wishful thinking fairy story is if this alleged god turns up from its millenia long holiday or if I have a stroke and lose the power of reason!

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd and Irene:

    You each write of your personal beliefs and experiences through faith. I respect what you say, feel and believe.

    For you, faith seems to be an uplifting attitude, outlook, process, striving and positive way of living.

    My problem is with those–in all faiths–who insist that there is only one truth for all, theirs, accept it or be damned. Much of organized religion is like that because of ridiculous literalism (and human nature.)

    Their doctrines are based on ignorance, superstition, misunderstanding, weakness, selfishness and fear. Their minds are closed, their thinking turned off, questions are heresies.

    Theirs is not faith;it is a crazed and corrupted certainty in their rightness, because they follow some doctrine, attend some service, or practice some sacrament.

    I do not admire that dark and damaging, selfish, and even pagan side of Christianity. I do respect the “Santa Claus” spirit of it:sharing, caring, giving, redemption of attitudes and behaviors, living in peace and goodwill.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I see this conversation has moved from the ridiculous discussion over a few photos at a funeral to the more important issue of whether there is a G-d or not.

    While I have quibbles with Irene over a number of details, her basic premise is right on the money.

    “God is an amazing, fascinating, mysterious being who is willing to love us, ALL OF US, the finite and flawed. I’ll admit this last point in particular beggars belief. Something beyond reason, but NOT inferior to it, is required to accept it.”

    Logic will not prove G-d. Science will not prove G-d. Anyone who wastes his time on such a chase will come up with nothing more than a goose egg.

    G-d is found only through faith. Period.

    To Clavos, specifically,

    Evil exists in the world because there is imperfection. That is to say, G-d put into place a series of laws by which the universe operates, and largely took His hands off the operation. By withdrawing Himself to a degree, He allows for a certain amount of slack; thus you have such diseases as cancer, heart disease. You have asteroids striking planets, etc. This “slack” in Creation extends to humans as well, and has resulted in something known in Hebrew as yétzer ha’rà – the evil inclination.

    This Withdrawal of G-d, known in Hebrew as tzimtzúm, took place about 15 billion years ago at the moment of the Big Bang, and was the cause of it. This, in simple English, is why bad things happen to good people.

    Your nuns could never have told you this. Neither could the priests. They didn’t know Kabbala. But when Jewish physicists study Kabbala, this is the correlation you get. Oh, and Clavos, the Big Bang and the age of the universe was known to ancient Jewish scholars – but they didn’t describe it in scientific terms. They weren’t scientists. But the description of NaHmanides of the creation of the universe, when laid side by side with a standard physicist’s description of the Big Bang is eerily similar. This is because the two descriptions describe the same event.

    If you folks what to argue over what Jesus did or didn’t say about homosexuals, I’ll take my leave.

    But if you are going to argue over G-d, at least understand that yes, there was advanced technology that humans saw; the “chariot of fire” that carried Eliyáhu (Elijah) was a kind of spaceship. Some of the instruments designed for the ancient “Mishqán” (altar) of the high priests of Israel are suspiciously like computer technology. There is much more to the words of the Torah and the Tana”kh than meet the eye at first glance.

  • Arch Conservative

    The thing about Archie is that he can start off making sense then in less than a heartbeat spins off into loonyland where those on the left don’t want equal rights for minorities, they want child rapists and islamic terrorists to be treated with respect.

    I should have said far left Christopher. If you start in the middle and begin walking left you will experience reason and sensibility at first but the longer you walk the more lunacy you encounter and you WILL eventually be in a land where pedophilia and islamic terrorism are accetable hobbies.

    To be fair and to show that I am not a complete ideological hack I must admit that if you also walk long enough to the right you’re going to see some pretty bizzare shit like christians fundamentalists protesting military funerals with god hates fags signs and neo nazi skinheads. Let me make it crystal clear by saying that I have just as much contempt for them as I do the far left. It’s just that they don’t have one scintilla of the influence on this nation that the far left does.

  • Irene Wagner

    Christopher Rose (snark=BACK ON, or IN, per Chris’ suggestion) and Clavos: Being misrepresented is a b-tch, isn’t it?

    “As to the bible, sure, there are some useful points made in it, but any halfway lucid person could sum them up in about 100 words or less, so it’s a huge amount of waffle padding out a handful of fairly obvious good advice. =Big deal!”—Chris Rose

    True, Chris, but not everyone is as perceptive as you are. Most humans need and seek guidance from outside of themselves, and the bible has served that purpose for millions of people for millenia.—Clavos

    Maybe the misunderstanding came from my inability to read your body language.

    (SNARK=BACK OFF)
    I think we’ve ALL been spending a little too much time in the same sandbox. I was hoping to post comment #250 but am running out of things to say on this subject.

    PS Clavos, it should be “not everyone is SO perceptive as you are” rather than “not everyone is AS perceptive as you are. *ducks and leaves*

  • Clavos

    Ruvy,

    Thanks for the very poetic reply which is, unfortunately, no more convincing to me than the Catholic one.

    Neither empirically verifies the existence of god; nor does any other explanation or theology I’ve read or discussed over the past half century with dozens of believers, both lay and clergy.

    It always boils down to “having faith.”

    I continue to doubt.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Having faith is just a tactic these mystical loons use to try and turn off people’s brains. It’s really quite offensive…

  • Zedd

    Lee

    “My problem is with those–in all faiths–who insist that there is only one truth for all, theirs, accept it or be damned. Much of organized religion is like that because of ridiculous literalism (and human nature.)

    Their doctrines are based on ignorance, superstition, misunderstanding, weakness, selfishness and fear. Their minds are closed, their thinking turned off, questions are heresies.”

    Boy you are the bossy one aren’t you?

    The truth is, you have no way of knowing any of what you have said. You have no idea what lies beyond your scope of awareness. You have no idea what lies beyond the awareness of the most rational, knowledgeable human that has ever walked the earth. Your knowledge is limited to what human beings have been able to prove or make conjectures about. You would admit that that is tiny compared to all that there is to know.

    It sounds to me that YOUR belief (can we say faith?) is what you believe to be absolutely the truth. You have just expressed it. It is you who is saying that those who do not adhere to YOUR belief (as you have articulated) are WRONG. As you chastise others for not being open minded, you also do not hold opinions which offer an openness for other possibilities. I caught you didn’t I.

    I would say that one believes what they believe because they see it to be their gospel truth. It would be silly to believe in something while thinking that that belief is wrong or possibly wrong. So off course many take dogmatic stances about their beliefs. It certainly seems as though you do. Even if ones belief is that all is permissible and believable, THAT is their belief and they are sure of it.

    So leave people alone.

    I appreciate anyone who is certain about anything, no matter whether I agree with them or not. It is excessive relativism which I find cowardly and to some extent dangerous.

  • Zedd

    Christopher,

    “but any halfway lucid person could sum them up in about 100 words or less”

    Boy this sounds like something that a teen would say when being advised to go to university or when trying to get out of doing their homework.

    Chris, you haven’t studied the bible well, so you have no knowledge of what you speak. Just as life would have very simple lessons to teach us, we learn those simple lessons in various levels. If we persue wisdom, the level of depth inwhich we experiance life becomes more profound yet more simple over time.

    Just as it is true with music or any other experience, initialy one enjoyes the simple beats and is invibed by the melody or the showy aspects of it, upon experiencing it further, one experiences the transcendance that music offers, deeper with each experience, enjoying the silence between the notes, the minute tap or obscure beat between beats (I find music orgasmic, you can tell).

    The bible unveils itself. What was once skim over material becomes deep as you mature spiritually. What is fascinating is that you become smaller (less of a know it all) as it becomes more clear to you.

    I suppose in the same way that you become less arrogant with age……

    Clavos,

    Shush.

  • Clavos

    “Clavos,

    Shush.”

    Why?

  • Zedd

    Because I like needling on you.

    Why do you ask? Don’t you know?

  • Clavos

    Don’t I know what?

  • Zedd

    That it is my pleasure, and immense indigence, a luxury of colossal proportion to tease you?

    How could you have missed that.

  • REMF

    “PS Clavos, it should be “not everyone is SO perceptive as you are” rather than “not everyone is AS perceptive as you are.”

    Wow, is it possible BC’s self-proclaimed resident literary narc got busted on a grammatical error?

    Sweet.
    (MCH)

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Actually it’s “not nobody are so perceptive as you am”

  • Clavos

    “That it is my pleasure, and immense indigence, a luxury of colossal proportion to tease you?”

    You lead a dull existence, eh?

    “…immense indigence,…” Hmm. Have you tried working?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd,

    I complinent you on your sincere faith and positive attitude and all you can do in return is call me bossy and close-minded.

    My mistake; I won’t make it again.

    Since the Bible has matured you spiritually, I’m sure you will find it a simple matter to straighten out silly old me on one or two obtuse points.

    Please don’t let me down:

    1.) God either wishes to take away evil and is unable;or he is able and unwilling;or he is neither willing nor able;or he is both willing and able, but doesn’t. Which does a spiritually mature individual such as yourself know to be true and why?

    2.) Why did an all-knowing, all-good God create such flawed creatures as humankind and give them free will to do evil to others? If it’s part of a bigger plan, what good is it if we don’t know what it is? Why couldn’t such a God figure out a simpler, more efficient plan, without the evils? And why threaten us with eternal punishment because of the natures he gave us?

    3.) If your Christian faith is true, then all others must be false. Given that there are hundreds of Christian sects alone, what is the probability that what you believe is THE truth? Certainly the majority of believers in some kind of god throughout history disagree with your concept of a Christian one. How can you prove that your God is the right one. YOU WERE QUITE POINTED IN CHALLENGING MY “TRUTH”:WHERE’S YOUR PROOF OF YOURS?

    4.) Do you assert that since no one can disprove your God exists, you and others are right to believe in him? Then, why do you not also logically have to believe in all gods that were ever professed, since those claims can’t be proven false either?

    5.)You say the Bible unveils itself. Does that mean you take religious stories, myths, and figurative language as facts and literal truth? If so, you can’t get away with claiming “truth”, if your claims violate reason. Now you need some evidence. Is the Bible literally true? If, not, how do you decide what part is and isn’t?

    6.) Are you saying your personal experience is a valid proof of religious truth? What about others who claim the same thing but have experiences that contradict yours?

    7.) Is it logical to you that God didn’t have any plan for salvation–that anybody knew about any way–until Jesus came along?

    8.) A perfect being needs nothing. Why does he expect and require so much devotion, attention and obedience?

    9.)God, by definition, must be beyond existence as we understand that term. Will you please describe that which is beyond existence?

    I don’t expect an answer. You’d rather make simplistic truth claims, ad hominem attacks, hasty value judgements, generalizations, appeal to authority such as the Bible, or ramble on about your spiritual maturity.

    The burden of proof is on you;you’re the one claiming insight and spiritual knowledge and possession of the eternal truth.

    If you don’t enlighten us, it will be because you have no logical arguments to offer, no thoughtful reasoning, and no proof that anything you claim is true, just more platitudes. No wonder you want to be left alone.

  • Clavos
  • Dr Dreadful

    “PS Clavos, it should be “not everyone is SO perceptive as you are” rather than “not everyone is AS perceptive as you are.”

    Wow, is it possible BC’s self-proclaimed resident literary narc got busted on a grammatical error?

    Indeed no, MCH. There was nothing wrong with Clavos’s English here. What you witnessed was that rare collector’s item, an incorrection. The conjunction is “as – as”, not “so – as”.

    However, the incorrector may have left us a clue. Wagner is a German name. The German word for “as”, at least in this context, is “so”.

    I’m sure you must be as disappointed. ;-)

  • Clavos

    Irene #238:

    From the Bartleby site and William Strunk’s Elements of Style (which as you should know, is the authority on writing in American English):

    “So. Avoid, in writing, the use of so as an intensifier: “so good;” “so warm;” “so delightful.”

  • Dr Dreadful

    Clavos,

    Shush.

    Zedd… are you being Danger Mouse?

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Wise guy. I could have sworn that I wrote “immense indulgence”. I’m convinced that Dave goes back and changes my comments. However my engagement is a relaxing and non taxing undertaking, while I’m not an indigent, I am in chill mode.

    now shush :o)

    Lee,

    You were not complementary. Wow how bossy. Now you want me to feel bad for not enjoying your bossy tutorial. No, you were bossy as usual and NO I did not take your comments to be a compliment. I haven’t read the rest of your LECTURE Mistress Richards. I may read them later or maybe not. It depends how I feel.

    Boy I bet that got you in a tizzy. Chill with trying to boss people in their own homes, who are participating in an activity totally for THEIR own pleasure.

    Its nice that you feel so compelling and relevant. But its highly possible that everyone else feels just as vital. Be over joyed in your experiences and perspective. However, there is absolutely no way that you could logically talk God out of existence. You’d have to know everything to do so. You just feel as if he should not exist based on what you know. You would agree that you know very little compared to everything there is to know. Simply because he hasn’t been revealed to you doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist.

    Now what you do know is that his existance has not been revealed to you.

    Ta ta.

    And simmer down some.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, you’re starting to sound like a zealot (that’s a bad thing by the way).

    YOU have absolutely no idea as to whether Jesus was a deeply spiritual person or simply a “political” revolutionary kind of like a prototype Bin Laden. It all happened thousands of years ago in a time when most people were barely, if at all literate.

    Vast tracts of the bible were written centuries after the fact and vastly distorted by storytelling, rumour and hearsay. Hardly a reliable source for factual information.

    If yhou want to talk about “teen” thinking, how about your presumption that I haven’t studied the book, as much as you can study a work of mostly fiction? You’re just making stuff up to suit your faithist presumption.

    your closing comments were so deleriously funny, I feel the need to quote and annote them here:-

    “Just as life would have very simple lessons to teach us, we learn those simple lessons in various levels. If we persue wisdom, the level of depth inwhich we experiance life becomes more profound yet more simple over time.”

    Setting aside your characteristically arrogant commitment to sloppy spelling, you are making the classic faithist mistake of trying to read greater depth into something than it actually contains. You sound like a hippie and we all know how disastrously that social experiment turned out.

    “Just as it is true with music or any other experience, initialy one enjoyes the simple beats and is invibed by the melody or the showy aspects of it, upon experiencing it further, one experiences the transcendance that music offers, deeper with each experience, enjoying the silence between the notes, the minute tap or obscure beat between beats (I find music orgasmic, you can tell).”

    Here we go with another set of dubious presumptions. You may be so simple minded as to only enjoy music on first hearing for its simple beat (which makes me wonder exactly what kind of music you listen to) but you then presume that to be a universal experience. What rot! If you find music orgasmic, that must make it pretty embarrassing when at social functions involving it. It’s true that one can notice more subtle aspects of any work with repeated exposure but that is to do with the way we perceive, not any secret or special hidden depth to the content. Try to be a little less hysterical.

    “The bible unveils itself. What was once skim over material becomes deep as you mature spiritually. What is fascinating is that you become smaller (less of a know it all) as it becomes more clear to you.”

    This is the same deluded and simplistic attitude as in your previous paragraph. Why do you presume that you are becoming more spiritually mature, whatever that actually means? As your brain has been losing billions of cells a day for decades now, you’re quite possibly just becoming a bit more gullible with the passage of time. Indeed, the very notion of a spirit is just another faithist conceit. I’m still giggling over your use of the lazy stereotype of people becoming less of a know it all as they learn more. You’re such a parent, lazily relying on such double talk as you patronize we kids. Get over yourself!

    “I suppose in the same way that you become less arrogant with age……”

    More wit and wisdom from the “1001 cliches” manual. You are the perfect disproof of that statement as you babble inanities with all the callow conceit of the middle-aged. You’re not an intellectual, you’ve simply waded out of your depth and are too proud and dim to admit it. Your reasoning is as specious and shallow as your grasp of simple grammar. Finally, there are only three dots in an ellipsis, three…

  • Clavos

    “starting???”

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    More ad hominem attacks from Zedd.

    No rational argument, ever;just attack the person.

    No need for evidence or logic, just believe.

    No answers, just unsupported opinions.

    And she’s proud that, “…I haven’t read the rest…”:just close your eyes and put your hands over your ears.

    Your pretentions are laughable.

  • Zedd

    Lee

    We are not engaged in a debate or an argument. You just want to tell people what to do and expect them to simply accept it joyfully.

    You haven’t been attacked. I simply told you that you were bossy. There is nothing subtle, out of context or irrelevant about that statement. Had we been engaged in a debate of sorts and I veered to making personal attacks, then and only then could you makes such claims. But we are not.

    I don’t buy your assertions. Sorry. Its not an attack.

    I think you are aggressive and bossy. Sorry. I do. No one attacked you.

    Sorry wrong thread Lee. The barrage of attacks on Zedd is over.

  • Zedd

    Chris

    “you are making the classic faithist mistake of trying to read greater depth into something than it actually contains”

    How do you know this Chris? I suppose we should all admit proudly and out loud that neither of us have a way of proving our assertions. Chris you don’t know if you are right. You believe that you must be right but you really don’t know. With that in mind, it is inappropriate for you to tell me that I am making a mistake of doing anything……

    I don’t think that it is a good idea for you to wag your finger, making judgments about what others believe. Perhaps you haven’t been granted a reason to believe. Perhaps it is you who is incredibly naive.

    If you are saying that you don’t care to learn what the bible contains any further than what you have explored and have come to know, then I would support you and agree that it is your right. However being dogmatic about what the bible is when you really don’t have an interest in it, is messy and irresponsible at least in as for as you expecting to engage anyone in a reasonable discussion on this topic.

    What you have said is, all is what it is because I said so. Anything different is ignorant. Now who is condescending?

    Lasty, YES I am wiser than I was at 15. I hope you are too. Yes at 40, I throw my eyes back at teenagers and their rationale. I would hope you do to. If I haven’t learned a great deal in yrs, than I should than simply pack it in.

  • duane

    I’m looking forward to reading Zedd’s responses to Lee’s #250. I’m sure that behind her seemingly dismissive responses (chill, bossy, tizzy, ta ta, etc.) lies a perfection of clarity:

    “For thou shall be his witness unto all men of what thou has seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou?” (Acts 22:15,16).

  • Irene Wagner

    Dr. Dreadful, you were correct in correcting me for correcting Clavos. I stand corrected. (The Wagner was a wedding gift, by the way.)

    After checking around for a source to confirm what you told me, I learn from a grammarian whose book is recommended by Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club *hangs head in shame*– that in negative comparisons, “not so…”as” is correct, but so is “not as….as.” *hangs head in shame*

    I’m sorry, Clavos.

  • Irene Wagner

    It still grates, though.

  • Clavos

    No shame, Irene.

    Few people on this site accept correction with your grace, m’lady.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd:

    Simply now,

    I stated my views(#235) and you challenged them (#241). You didn’t want a debate? What did you want?

    When did I ever tell you what to do? Why did you make that up?

    I did ask for answers and evidence–you challenged me, remember? Your answer is to call me bossy, close-minded and aggressive, and tell me to leave people alone–but no response to my requests. That’s an ad hominem attack.

    I don’t care if you childishly call me bossy, or see me as Satan;as a thinking adult if you’re going to comment here
    stop hiding behind this “neither of us can prove anything” and “you’d have to know everything” crap.

    You make definite claims about your very specific knowledge of and close relationship to a god. Give us some rational evidence. Again, the burden of proof is on you and you alone. You have claimed you have the knowledge that others of us don’t have to make that case.

    Make it.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, not everyone learns as they grow older, some simply get ever more boxed in. Your great trick is you think you’re free when you simply no longer see the walls. Please do pack it in!

  • Irene Wagner

    Zedd, I’m feeling for you. You probably, by this point in your life, have multiple NOTEBOOKS, as I do, full of personally meaningful evidence (there is just as much dearth of LOGICAL basis for calling it coincidence than for calling it anything else) of God’s love for you and the trustworthiness of His Word.

    No argument of any evangelically fervent “New Atheist” in the world could ever sway you or me from the convincing power of that empirical knowledge.

    Similarly, no argument based on logic alone will convince the evangelically fervent “New Atheists” the fact that such notebooks exist means nothing to Chris Rose or to Lee or to Duane unless and until they start collecting data for notebooks of their own.

  • Irene Wagner

    And I’M KICKING MYSELF. I should remember never again to try to defend myself when a suggestion is made that I’m not even “halfway lucid.” First of all, I AM TOO HALFWAY LUCID, even Ruvy of Jerusalem says in this very thread that I am! Besides, when I try to take up for anyone but God, and perhaps RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2008, I end up making a fool of myself.

    I will henceforth try to live by the words of St. Paul, who was possibly more brilliant and even a better grammarian than anyone here, in his letter to the Corinthians. “We are fools for Christ’s sake,” (not for our own) and “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”

    I’m still not ashamed to talk about the Bible or Jesus or the Father or the Holy Spirit. I don’t have to be a genius to make people hungry for the Truth. But from now on, I want to be ready to humbly accept ridicule, and not let my pride get in the way of their starting to believe in God, or accepting the claims of Jesus, or voting for Ron Paul for President 2008–that last event being, I hasten to add, independent of the first two.

    The same Truth that tastes like a cool cup of water to some is like rotten fish in the nostrils of others. The reaction to this kind of message has more to do with the nature of the message than to me personally.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I find it offensive to be called an atheist. I don’t need to be tagged in some faithist taxonomy for exactly the same reason that we don’t have a word for people who don’t believe in astrology or other such mystical nonsense.

  • Zedd

    Chris

    “Your great trick is you think you’re free when you simply no longer see the walls.”

    And so it is clear that you think that this has to be true Chris. So be it, in your eyes.

    This is where our problem lies. You are actually, strongly addressing me on my beliefs, beliefs that I haven’t even spelled out to you, based on YOUR understanding and interpretation of something that you have no intention of taking seriously in the first place. However you see yourself as progressive and more open minded and less foggy. It is because of this conundrum that we can not actually engage in a meaningful discussion. Your claims of a more lucid position are simply based on you saying you are. That shouldn’t be sufficient in any discussion, now should it?

    As I have stated, I believe what I believe based on MY experiences. You said that you could respect that.

    I have not attempted to draw you in or prove the existence of God to you. I have not shared the why’s for my personal belief. I have simply stated that I have a specific and personal belief based on MY experience. I have also said that I have gained a great deal from the bible and that the more I read it, the more I learn from it. You have insulted me for doing so. WHY? I really don’t know.

    Chris, I am fully aware that you will not understand what I am speaking of. That is why I haven’t bothered to engage you or Lee on specifics. This is for ME. If it will ever be for you, it will be. But right now, its clear that it is not. That is as it should be.

    Now, going back to the music thing. Lets slow it down a bit. With most things, we don’t see the intricate details that they possess the first time that we encounter them. Even upon the second, third or forth time, we don’t know all that we can know about them. The connoisseur for instance, is one who emerges from extensive experience and knowledge on a particular subject matter. His taste is refined based on his ability to differentiate based on experience.

    That is what I was referring to my friend. I think you misunderstood my example to mean something else.

  • Zedd

    Irene,

    Please don’t’ feel badly for me. I am home in the comfort of my bedroom, cozy and comfy. I am choosing to be on this out of millions of sites on the Internet, on this particular thread, of many.

    I understand the resentments against Christians. It is well deserved.

    Also Christianity is supposed to sound like madness to those who aren’t Christians. I mean think about it….

    Thank you for your kind words. However if things were uncomfortable for me, I would not engage.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t recall saying I could respect you believing in your own personal interpretation of your own subjective experience. If I did, I apologise, because I don’t.

    I also fail to understand why you make the staggeringly arrogant presumption that I don’t understand what you’re speaking of. However I do note that is in keeping with your other all too frequent presumptions such as your assumption that your subjective experience of life and music is something universal.

  • Irene Wagner

    I don’t believe in astrology, Christopher Rose.
    You may call me an a-astrologist if you wish.

    I won’t find it offensive. I suspect Dr. Dreadful will, though.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I didn’t suggest you did, Irene, and I can think of better things to call you. Wilfully and complacently blind is one that comes to mind, but don’t worry, it’s a quality you share with other Christians, Muslims and Jews!

  • Irene Wagner

    But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t COIN the word, Christopher Rose. You used the word “faithist,” after all, and I can’t find IT in the dictionary either.

    I’m actually starting to like the ring “faithist” has to it. It doesn’t need to carry the connotation of bigotry, the way “sexist” or “chauvinist” or “racist.” Neither “exhibitionist” nor “artist” do.

    “Christian” was originally a pejorative term (literally “little Christs”), and now Christ’s disciples bear it with pride.

    Thankyou, Christopher Rose, for your unintended contribution to Christian Culture.

  • Faithist and Serene Queen Irene Wagner

    All hail, Faithist Zedd.
    Aye, this site is almost sinfully addictive.

  • Zedd

    Lee,

    I do apologize for the manner in which I approached you.

    I do feel that you are bossy but I should have not stated that right off. I should have attended to your statements. I felt that it was a waist of time because we would not convince one another and we would be left days later, where we started. And I don’t feel comfortable about speaking about God with too much familiarity, in a casual environment as it seems rather disrespectful because I am engaged only for my pleasure.

    Without all parties having the benefit of my experiences to judged the validity of my conclusions, our discussion is mute.

    Now as for the guns blazing aproach… I am sure it is useful however, it may also deter a person with whom you may actually enjoy engaging.

    I have conversed with Clavos and Chris a number of times and get a sense of where they are coming from. Even though I tease Clavos, I think the persona that he presents is adorable. I agree with Chris on most things. Religion is not one of those things. We’ve acknowledged this in the past. And so it shall be. Even if ether one of them were to hurl an insult, I would take it in the chin and know that in a few threads we will be about something different. I have not engaged with you but on one other thread. I have observed your comments on two others and I agreed with you for the most part but did not participate because wow you were in Rambo mode, strongly adversarial, mowing everyone down in my opinion. I am on this site for fun. That is all. As I have said before real life is stressful enough.

    I do apologies for dismissing you.

  • Catey

    Atheism simply means you do not believe in a deity or multiple deities.

    Atheist is not a term used to exclusively mean a non belief in the christian God, or jewish God.

    Therefore, a Buddhist is considered an atheist , and a person who does not believe in astrology would be considered an atheist, as astrology has multiple deities.

  • Catey

    wrap that around your collective thoughts a bit. hehe.

  • Zedd

    Chris

    You are right, it wasn’t you who stated that.

    Well I am assuming that you don’t know what I am speaking of because I haven’t told you.

    It would seem that you are accusing me of what you are doing in this case; assuming that is.

    I used the example of music because I thought that you would relate since you have worked in the music industry. Now apologize. Don’t be unnecessarily nasty. It doesn’t suite you.

    I spell checked the last couple of posts. Proud of me?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    “I find it offensive to be called an atheist.”

    It’s not a derogatory word, or a slur, so that’s kinda your problem.

  • Catey

    *update*

    however…if you believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob..which I do…but do not practise or observe astrology.. you are not an atheist. :)

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd,

    I appreciate your thinking that an apology was worth offering. That spirit, it seems to me, is very often the way to open up meaningful lines of communication.

    When I post a comment, I expect to be challenged;likewise, sometimes I challenge others’ comments. That is how we stimulate our thinking, learn and grow.

    That’s why God gave us brains, isn’t it?

    Thank you,

    Lee

  • Faithist and Serene Queen Irene Wagner

    Yes, Faithist Catey, Catholics, Protestants, Zoroastrians, astrologists, Orthodox Jews, Kabbalists, Muslims, Rastafarians, animists, and I’d contend, some, but not all Buddhists–we’re all Faithists.

    WE FAITHISTS ARE LEGION, and that’s why I have to give feel some sympathy for Afaithists (rhymes with HAY-fith-ists) like Christopher Rose.

    All he has to do is get the WEENSIEST bit passionate about the body of his convictions vis a vis religion, apparently consisting of but one tenet, “anyone who believes in god or gods is willfully blind,” and he has most of the rest of the planet jumping down his throat.

    I do make a distinction between Atheists and Afaithists. Christopher Rose doesn’t want to be called an atheist, so I won’t call him one. (He called me a faithist, so I infer the term afaithist will give no offense to him.) Not all Atheists believe “anyone who believes in god or gods is willfully blind,” but apparently all afaithists (again, rhymes with HAY-fith-ists) do, so yes, we really DO need a new term. Afaithistm

    Someone better let Dawkins and his self-identifying “New Atheist” friends know. Atheism is out. Afaithism is in. Oh! The irony. The vice of denominationalism is already beginning to rear its ugly head in the Church of the Unbelievers.

  • Irene Wagner

    Christopher Rose, thankyou for serving us all as Comments Editor. The fact that you left that last one of mine in shows me that you really CAN take it in as well as you dish it out.

    You’ve really been most obliging in dealing with the problems my massive and incorrectly HTML-d posts have sometimes caused. If aiding and abetting faithists is the cardinal sin of afaithism, you have erred gravely, but I do appreciate it.

  • daryl d

    Gosh, what’s more difficult? Being a comments editor on a website like this or being a strong, muscular prison guard who has to do cell inspections each night?

  • Irene Wagner

    I think it’s easier to restrain one’s hand when it’s shaped into a fist than it is to restrain it when it’s settled on a keyboard. Yes, I do.

  • Dr Dreadful

    You may call me an a-astrologist if you wish.

    I won’t find it offensive. I suspect Dr. Dreadful will, though.

    Now what would I find offensive about that?

    I’m glad you agree that astrology is complete and utter bollocks… although you probably wouldn’t couch it in quite those terms! ;-)

    I suppose that since the word ‘astrology’ begins with a verb, we would have to call you an ‘anastrologist’.

    I’m intrigued, though: what’s your premise for concluding that astrology is complete bollocks, as opposed to faith in Jesus Christ?

  • Clavos

    Ay, Doctor; you estart the whole theeng overr again!

    ¡Chihuahua!

  • Irene Wagner

    I’m glad you agree that astrology is complete and utter bollocks… although you probably wouldn’t couch it in quite those terms! ;-)

    Indeed, I wouldn’t Dr. Dreadful. Using “complete” and “utter” to characterize the same package of bollocks would be redundant. :D

    Now what would I find offensive about that?

    Christopher Rose doesn’t want to be labeled as an atheist. My reply was, though I’m not a believer in astrology, I wouldn’t object to being called an a-astrologist.

    I reckoned you’d object to the term because it isn’t in the dictionary.

    I should’ve omitted the hyphen, and spelled the opposite of astrologist this way: aastrologist, instead of this way: a-astrologist.

    Though I am an aastrologist, I can’t consider it utter bollocks. Maybe it’s a flawed system of belief based on some currently inexplicable phenomena. Maybe God really is telling us something through the stars.

    I’m intrigued though: You’re intrigued? That’s good enough for me, Dr. D. Put your question underneath your pillow and sleep on it, and may God bless you!

  • Irene Wagner

    Dr. Dreadful, I posted a reply to you that was really quite clever and rather charming.

    But it hasn’t showed up yet.

    I won’t irk Christopher Rose by re-posting it.

    Now, THAT my friends, is restraint!

  • SonnyD

    uh…Zedd, spell check doesn’t catch it when you use the word “mute” when you mean “moot.”

    and Caty, astrology doesn’t have any deities. It does, however, make use of an ungodly amount of mathematics. Try it sometime, it’s good exercise for the brain.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Clav, you press and what to get the upside-down exclamation point? (Assuming you’re using Windows, which I’m not at this moment, so there’s a whole new kettle of fish.)

    I make good use of non-English characters, but that one has always eluded me.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Irene:

    Did you get an “error: banned word” again?

    Not to worry. That happens quite frequently. I myself fell foul of the anti-spam filter the other day because I used the innocuous word “Bakersfield”.

    …Actually, I can see its point…!

  • Irene Wagner

    No, Dr. Dreadful, I didn’t get nada.

    Pressed Preview, read the results, was more pleased with myself than a Christian woman has a right to be, then pressed Publish. Scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page to see my handiwork in print, and…it wasn’t there.

    I’m DYING to tell you all about the contents, but I’m sure Christopher Rose will have it all sorted out by the a.m.

    Oh, but, forgive me Christopher Rose, I’ll go ahead and tell Dr. Dreadful the very last bit.

    * clears throat *

    I’m intrigued, though: what’s your premise for concluding that astrology is complete bollocks, as opposed to faith in Jesus Christ?…Dr. Dreadful

    Intrigued, Dr. Dreadful? That’s good enough for me. Put the question under your pillow and sleep on it, and may God bless you.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Clavos

    “Ruvy,

    Thanks for the very poetic reply which is, unfortunately, no more convincing to me than the Catholic one.

    Neither empirically verifies the existence of god; nor does any other explanation or theology I’ve read or discussed over the past half century with dozens of believers, both lay and clergy.

    It always boils down to “having faith.”

    I continue to doubt.”

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I once pointed out to a fellow, one born and bred in Jerusalem, how the prophecy that Jerusalem would grow to be crowded and filled with people (by growing to the north and to the south) had taken place in his own lifetime, in front of his own eyes. You know what he said?

    Aní od m’sapék – I continue to doubt.

    Please reread:

    Logic will not prove G-d. Science will not prove G-d. Anyone who wastes his time on such a chase will come up with nothing more than a goose egg.

    G-d is found only through faith. Period.

    I’m not trying to prove anything. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. That native Jerusalemite refused to be convinced of what was in front of his own eyes, and what had happened in his own lifetime.

    The point is that the Jewish explanation deals with something real – physics: the Catholic one (whatever it might be) deals with metaphysics. The physics skirts awful close to metaphysics, and the point where you say “aní ma’amín” – I believe – is the point where you have crossed from physics to metaphysics.

  • SonnyD

    #294: Good one, Irene.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Suss, welcome to the circus. As to your point, I would have to disagree.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, I’m an equal opportunity afaithist! ;-)

    And your comment got snagged by the anti-spam tool, which is also an equal opportunity device apparently, as it has also taken to snagging my own comments. I think that’s ironic!

  • duane

    Ruvy: “The point is that the Jewish explanation deals with something real – physics: the Catholic one (whatever it might be) deals with metaphysics.”

    Don’t let’s exaggerate, Ruvy, if you’re talking about the 15 billion year thing. Maybe there’s more than that. If so, I would be interested in reading about it. And so would many metaphysically- steeped Catholics, no doubt.

    Ya know Ruvy, as an aside, and I mean this with nothing other than total sincerity, since you’re fond of citing that work, why not spend some time learning about what the guy is really saying? Understanding physics is easier than understanding the Torah. If physics is to truly be on your side, I think you might want to do better than rely on a guy who has many detractors in the physics community. That 7 days to 15 billion-year argument is full of holes. Big ones. Don’t fall into the trap of granting him credibility based on his credentials. There are all manner of quacks with those three letters attached to their names.

  • SonnyD

    Duane: Just a question in all sincerity. If there were no earth spinning on its axis and orbiting its star, how would one measure days and years?

  • duane

    An excellent question, SonnyD. Since the earth is spinning its way toward morning, I just have time for a quick answer. My clock on the wall has no sense that the earth is spinning. It does a fairly good job of keeping time. If you need something better, atomic clocks are pretty good. The best timekeepers in the Universe, however, are pulsars, where precision to 15 decimal places can be had. But, yes, that’s something spinning, also.

    For the larger question (implied?) regarding Genesis and the use of the word “days,” I will have to defer to Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

    The answer is, more or less, there. Must … go … to … zzzzzzzzz….

    (See, the ellipsis at the end of a sentence has four dots.)

  • SonnyD

    Actually, Duane, the ellipsis still only has three dots. The fourth is the period to denote the omitted words continued to the end of the sentence.

    Through the Looking Glass may make more sense than parts of this thread. I’m off to catch some zzzz’s myself.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Duane,

    “I think you might want to do better than rely on a guy who has many detractors in the physics community. That 7 days to 15 billion-year argument is full of holes. Big ones.”

    I realize that you’re talking about Gerald Schroeder here, and that you are one of his detractors. But the numbers I’m citing are not his, the proofs not his, though he did make the linkage.

    NaHmanides lived centuries ago. The Jewish scholars who came up with the age of the universe as being 15 billion years lived over 1,600 years ago. Maimonides, who is considered to be the foremost Jewish scholar who ever lived, wrote in his opus The Guide for the Perplexed, “study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relationship between the world and G-d’s management of it.”

    You argue that Schroeder has many detractors and that his theory has holes in it. Controversial ideas always have detractors – think about Wegener’s continental drift theory – and the holes in his own theories – theories which have been evolving over the last 18 years or so – keep Gerald Schroeder from resting on his laurels. I’d say that’s good rather than bad.

    The idea that science and religion are working in tandem rather than against each other seems counter-intuitive to a society that worships man and his petty desires – that is what “western civilization” has degenerated to being – but it is quite logical to a society that sees all of the universe as a whole; this is the direction the religion of Israel is headed towards.

    It is not a coincidence that there are so many Jewish scientists, Duane. They’ve only been following the advice of Maimonides.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Duane/Sonny: Could we get a definitive ruling on this vital point of grammar? My understanding was that an ellipsis at the end of a sentence served in place of a full stop…

    Ruvy, surely there is a disconnect between your contention that Judaism is heading towards seeing all of the universe as a whole and your own attitudes towards some of your neighbours? Surely you’re not disagreeing with your faith? LOL!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “…surely there is a disconnect between your contention that Judaism is heading towards seeing all of the universe as a whole…”

    I too am rather picky with words Chris. I didn’t say anything about Judaism. For nearly two millennia, Judaism has been what we call “dat zékher” – a compilation of customs to REMIND US of what we would be doing if we still lived in Israel with a Temple, etc. etc.

    Inevitably, we are moving towards a revolutionary change in the nature of the faith. When it is accomplished, my religion will no longer be “Judaism”, it will be the religion of the Nation of Israel, with all of her tribes intact and reunified.

    This faith will view the world as one where science and religion work hand in hand for the betterment of all living beings.

    What you (and I) know as “Judaism” will be a mere memory.

    As for the rest of what you have to say, I have said repeatedly that the Arabs are a hammer in the hands of another. There will be a reconciliation between the Children of Israel and the Children of Ismail – together, the Children of Abraham [see Yeshayá/Isaiah, Chapter 60].

    The real issue between the Children of Israel and the Children of Ismail is how much blood needs to be shed BEFORE this prophesied reconciliation takes place. I’d prefer that no blood be shed – but events far beyond my control seem to be dictating that much blood will be shed.

  • troll

    ????? (an ellipsis indicating the omitted ‘what the fuck’)

    …leave it to a Brit to look for definitive rules where there are none

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy: interesting stuff; I had no idea that you embraced these ideas of change and growth. Indeed, I was under the impression that you were rigidly living your life literally by the book! Needless to say, I’m delighted to be put right, although I still disagree both with your interpretation of events and your prognosis.

    Troll: I didn’t make up the rules of grammar so … you!

  • Clavos

    “…leave it to a Brit to look for definitive rules where there are none”

    Ah, but there are, troll.

    From: The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

    “Conventionally, use three periods within a sentence. When your ellipsis ends with the end of a phrase, clause, or sentence in the original, use four periods or three plus whatever mark ended the original.”

    Thus, Sonny wins the ellipsis debate.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Wow, I never knew that, Clavos, thanks for looking it up. Mistakenly, I always thought an ellipsis occurring at the end of a sentence was sufficient….

  • troll

    #!$%#@ back at ya

  • Clavos

    As did I, Chris.

    We both owe Sonny and Duane thanks for planting the seed of doubt that germinated into the tree of scholarship.

    [Sheesh! Did he really say that?]

  • troll

    Clavos – thanks for the correction…!

    …and what about using the symbols to represent pregnant pauses or uffish thought rather than words – are they ellipses in such cases – ?

    …awaiting further education – !!!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Are their any laws about aborting pregnant pauses. The stylish sentence looks so much better without one….

  • Catey

    Astrology is polytheistic with its many gods associated with planets.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    If there were no earth spinning on its axis, would there be anyone on the planet to measure time?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Astrology is polytheistic with its many gods associated with planets.

    Catey,

    There is a bit more to astrology than meets the eye. The part about signs and personality (“what’s your sign, babe?”)is just Babylonian superstition transmuted into Greek and Roman superstition and carried forward from there. But the signs themselves signify issues as dealt with on the ancient Sumerian calendar, the one adopted for use by Babylonians millennia ago.

    For example, the Virgin signifies the attempt to purify oneself during the month of Elul, which is Jewish practice reflected in the SliHót prayers recited during Elul (by Sefardi Jews). The next symbol, Libra, is the month of judgment – on the Rabbinic calendar, Yom Kippur the Day of Judgment, comes during the month of Tishri, which corresponds to the symbol, the scales, the symbol of the month of Tishri. Aquarius, the water carrier, reflects the rainy season in this part of the world.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Theory #290:

    “Maybe it’s (astrology) a flawed system of belief based on some currently inexplicable phenomena. Maybe God really is telling us something through the stars.”

    And through crystal balls, and tea leaves, palm-reading and chicken entrails.

    I mean, who are we to say?

    Weeping statues and holy images in pizza might just be God’s ultimate message to humanity, right? Who’s to judge?

    But if the stars or chicken guts tell us to start slaughtering lambs on altars or sacrificing virgins, I might have to rethink.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Chris, re. comment #299:

    Could you see your way clear to unsnagging Irene’s comment, so that we can read it?

    Thanks immensely,
    Da Doc

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Long since done, Doc. Do keep up! :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    well..you folks have been busy…

    Irene in #226 sez – “The Bible doesn’t record Jesus saying a blessed word about homosexuality.”

    finally, some Truth comes out…

    ok then..please can anyone tell me then where the notion (in Christianity) that homosexuality is a sin derives from?

    not to be found in the Commandments, nor from the acepted words of Jesus…so, who gets to say what is a sin and what is not if those two don’t?

    there is the blanket Golden Rule bit , but i cannot fathom how such could be construed to make homosexuality a sin

    nearest i can think of is Saul of Tarsus, but while apostate and heretic that i am do not consider that old fraud any kind of definitive source…i’m wondering how he gets to define *sin* that is not stated by “Father” or “Son”…can any madman or meglomaniac claim Inspiriation fo the *Holy Spirit* and say what is *sin* and what is Law just because they claim that “god said so”?

    that’s how it appears

    who chooses?

    in this case, as i demonstrated in #206…one man took it upon himself to do just that…

    i’d also like to hear how the sabbath as laid out directly in the Commandments, got changed to Sunday, but no on ever answers that one either

    silly me, i just don’t trust any person that says “because god told me so” and would like to know the criteria for authentication, and get the list of who all passed the test so we can check their *work*

    not that i’m denigrating the value of personal experiences…an individual’s gnosis, if you will

    but one cannot reasonably expect that kind of subjective data to be accepted as “empirical” without rigorous verification…and such is not usually possible in these matters

    Excelsior?

  • Dr Dreadful

    All right, Rose, but you should probably have taken out the comment where she was complaining about her comment not taking; then I’d probably have scrolled up far enough!

  • Dr Dreadful

    Irene, I only just read your comment about aastrology, because Chris was hiding it! ;-)

    Redundancy can be a useful tool, especially when used in an informal setting like the BC threads. I used “complete and utter” to add emphasis, which I think is a perfectly legitimate use of the language.

    And indeed I don’t object to a word just because it’s not in the dictionary. (For some strange reason, a lot of dictionaries don’t have the word “bollocks” in them.) Like Shakespeare, Joyce and Lewis Carroll, I invent words myself all the time! I just think that because your root word begins with a vowel, it should be “anastrologist” rather than “aastrologist”. Kind of like the term “Anabaptist” was coined to mean “we’re not those Baptist losers and don’t you forget it!”. (Yes, I know the word “Baptist” begins with a consonant, but “Anabaptist” is certainly easier to say than “Anbaptist”.)

    What does bug me is spelling and punctuation errors in notices and signs (I highly recommend the book Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss, which addresses this subject). There’s a sign up in our office right now that reads “Your truly appreciated”. I’m tempted to put a Post-It underneath saying “Our truly appreciated what?”

    As for astrology, the only worthwhile thing about it is that it gave birth to the science of astronomy, by which we’ve learned far more about the workings of the universe than some mystic mage mumbling into his star charts could ever tell us.

  • Clavos

    “(I highly recommend the book Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss, which addresses this subject)”

    Ditto. A terrific book.

    “There’s a sign up in our office right now that reads “Your truly appreciated”. I’m tempted to put a Post-It underneath saying “Our truly appreciated what?””

    I’m disappointed Doc, that you’ve hesitated this long.

    Back when I was in the airline biz, I traveled a lot as part of my job. After a few too many times hearing the announcement that “we’ll be landing in Podunk momentarily, I finally lost it one day and asked the stewarde flight attendant if we would be stopping long enough for me to get off the aircraft.

    She didn’t get it.

  • Irene Wagner

    Thanks, SonnyD in #297. By rescuing my comment #290, Christopher Rose bumped #294 up to #295.

    Christopher Rose and Dr. Dreadful, maybe this answer will please you more. I still prefer my first answer. Maybe by saying it a different way, I will help you understand what I mean.

    Dr. Dreadful, in answering your request to discuss the relative bollocks ratings of astrology and Christianity, I must walk carefully. God says to Job and his know-it-all friends (Elihu got them all to shut up first): “WHO IS THIS THAT DARKENETH COUNSEL BY WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE?…CANST THOU BIND THE SWEET INFLUENCES OF PLEIADES, OR LOOSE THE BANDS OF ORION?…CANST THOU DRAW OUT LEVIATHAN WITH AN HOOK? OR HIS TONGUE WITH A CORD WHICH THOU LETTEST DOWN?…UPON EARTH THERE IS NOT HIS LIKE, WHO IS MADE WITHOUT FEAR. HE BEHOLDETH ALL HIGH THINGS: HE IS A KING OVER ALL THE CHILDREN OF PRIDE.”

    I believe that neither Christianity, nor the Bible, nor ANY religion, contains the sum of all there is to know about God. Hey, the last verse in the Get-to-Know-Me Gospel, John 21:25, says of
    Jesus, if ALL the things that Jesus did (and said, I suppose) were to be written, “the world itself should not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

    For all that I know that I don’t know, I believe the person of Jesus Christ is the closest I can come this side of the grave to knowing the Creator and His character. Jesus is God in a form I can reasonably try to emulate. He is a sympathetic and perfect High Priest. Perfect, because after living a life that pleased the Father perfectly, he gave himself up a perfect sacrifice for all sinners (all of us), once and for all. Sympathetic, because he has lived a life that pleases the Father perfectly, even though he knows what it’s like to be (temporarily) hungry and weak and tempted and tired and sad–and on the Cross, for a few minutes before the triumphant, “It is Finished,” even despair.

    I’ve spent a lot of time reading the arguments, and the counter arguments and the counter^10^3 arguements–for and against–the historical basis for believing in Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, but you know what really convinced me?

    He’s with me. He’s WITH me. Not just me. He can be with YOU. He was (google these please, or read biographies) with Cory ten Boom when she miraculously found ways to protect Jews during the Holocaust, and absent any kind of decent medical care, helped to sustain emotionally and physically those who were brought to her during her stay with them in the Concentration camp.

    He was with Gladys Aylward when she led to safety, without losing ONE, 94 Chinese orphans (some of them teenaged girls with recently unbound and still deformed feet, mind you) for days and days over mountainous terrain with Japanese bombers flying low, close to the ground where they were hid at night.

    He was with George Muller, who, with only two shillings (50 cents) in his pocket, and without making his wants known to any man (get THIS mendicant televangists) PRAYED IN four hundred thousand pounds ($7,000,000) for the building and maintaining of these orphan homes.

    He’s with millions of quiet humble Christians who are this minute working in refugee camps right now, or bringing meals to shut-ins. I should be about that sort of thing myself right now, I’m windin’ down, people, I’m windin’ down.

    * wipes forehead with handkerchief*

    Can I get a witness?

    ***

    It’s all very fascinating, this dialogue between Ruvy and the afaithists, concerning knowledge being revealed through huge cosmological entities that configure the constellations, all the way down to the as-yet-still-mysterious workings of sub-atomic particles. Ruvy, I too believe that our good God will bring peace to Jerusalem, and through that peace, the peace of the rest of the world. I don’t know how God’s going to do that, but it’s His promise.

    There are depths to the knowledge of God that after almost 30 years of actively persuing and loving Jesus, I’m just beginning to explore. I’m showing you where you might look to find out more about Him, too.

    And the rest of the conversation is between you and Him. (The first of these often takes place after midnight, hence the pillow reference.)

  • Irene Wagner

    Oh dear, Dr. D, yet ANOTHER comment of mine has been swallowed up, completely and utterly DECIMATED, as it were.

    It’ll be along directly, I trust.

  • duane

    So, what now? We can’t be repetitive and redundant? And I thought I was picky and particular about grammar and writing and stuff. Sheesh.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/gonzo_marx gonzo marx

    bah…put in a lengthy and verbose comment over an hour and some minutes ago… missing and not there to be seen!

    Excelsior?

  • duane

    El Bicho (#316): “If there were no earth spinning on its axis, would there be anyone on the planet to measure time?”

    Sure, why not? Many life forms have evolved their cycles roughly in accordance to the day-night cycle (I’m still working on it). But if there were no day-night cycle, life would have adapted to that. Or, suppose Earth were spinning twice as fast. A different adaptation, yes?

    Creationists would reverse the order and say that the Earth was given its 24-hour rotation because humans were designed to have a roughly 24-hour sleep/wake cycle. This would also account for our historical fascination with Mars, which has a day of length 24 hr 37 min, which is perfect for us. Heh. Except the designer left out a few vital ingredients. I think the designer probably wants us to stay put, but then it would be presumpuous of us to try to infer the intentions of the creator.

    In any case, ancient man could also have measured time by the change in seasons (axis tilt) or by the phases of the Moon (revolution about Earth). Absent the tilt, absent a Moon, stellar parallax (the apparent shift of star positions when viewed 6 months apart) shows the yearly cycle. Also, the apparent positions of the planets change, although that is more complex (speaking of astrology). Absent the Earth’s motion about the Sun, there would be no Earth. Reminds me of Isaac Asimov’s excellent short story Nightfall.

  • Nancy

    Redundancy certainly has its uses. Think of all the great speeches & lit that use it. It can lend a tempo all its own if used properly.

  • Irene Wagner

    Still no sign of my comment either Gonzo Marx. Maybe yours and mine are off battling it out in cyber-space somewhere.

    It wasn’t here yet as of a few seconds ago but it’s the LONG one that expands on my Put it Under Your Pillow answer to Dr. Dreadful.

    I’m here to say goodbye, so people who want to “get into it wid’ me” about it will know that I’m not being dismissive or rude for not replying. It’s the first day of school for my kids, the summer is over, and I too must go back to work.

    You’re a fun group of people! If the Spirit moves me, I hope to be back to visit.

  • SonnyD

    #326: Hey, gonzo, last night Chris said the spam filter was snagging his comments, too. See, every cloud does have its silver lining.

  • SonnyD

    Hee,hee. My above comment #330 got snagged by the spam filter. Very funny.

  • duane

    Ruvy: It is not a coincidence that there are so many Jewish scientists, Duane. They’ve only been following the advice of Maimonides.

    I respect that. Jewish scientists have indeed made some stunning contributions to science, and continue to kick ass.

    I realize that you’re talking about Gerald Schroeder here, and that you are one of his detractors. But the numbers I’m citing are not his, the proofs not his, though he did make the linkage.

    He has attempted, unsuccessfully, to make the linkage. Proofs? Could you provide an example?

    Controversial ideas always have detractors ….

    Not so fast, there. There is nothing controversial about Schroeder’s misapplication of basic physics (example, implying that photons have a rest frame). If he had done his calculations properly, and reached the conclusion that Genesis and modern cosmology were in accord, then there would be legitimate controversy, and he would be hailed as one of the most brilliant scientists in the world. So far, no one can interpret “7 days” quantitatively. I won’t try to challenge the ancients and their 15-billion-year claim. That’s way over my head. All I’m saying is that the linkage a la Schroeder doesn’t yet exist.

  • duane

    Ruvy: The idea that science and religion are working in tandem rather than against each other seems counter-intuitive to a society that worships man and his petty desires ….

    WARNING: diatribe to follow

    A bit harsh, but I see where you’re coming from. The issues of purpose, conduct, morality, and ethics are far beyond me, especially “purpose.” I think the Golden Rule, which did not originate in Judeo-Christian thought, is a self-evident guideline concerning the part of ethics it addresses. It is obvious given the successes of early Man when abandoning the hunter-gatherer culture for agrarian society. Then the fighting started. Fights over land rights and resources. Desire for power reared its ugly head. The implementation of standing armies, lots of killing. Class divisions. The haves and the have-nots. Materialism runs amok among the leaders and wealthy classes. A subset of the educated class formalizes philosophy, finding little virtue in wealth and power for their own sake. Ethics. Metaphysics.

    Gods, who themselves were often petty and imperious, fell, in favor of a loving parental God figure. God is attributed with rules for his creation. Those who abide will be rewarded. Those who don’t will be punished. A cosmic legal system. Man’s inherent pettiness is tapped, compelling them to be “good” in the here and now, so that they will be eligible for a grand prize of major proportions in the there and then. With their minds on the afterworld, they are able to come to grips with the world’s woes; the eternal battle of good vs. evil is being played out, and Man has a role, poorly defined, but all will be made clear at the appropriate time. Infighting continues to factionalize religion. Believers are at the whim of church authorities who claim insight and revelation. We must choose what to believe.

    The clockwork universe is expounded, evidence of the perfection of Creation. Imperfections are subsequently revealed. The “laws” of Nature appear. Science and religion start to butt heads. Man is bumped from his central position in the Universe. The age of Earth is hinted at, seemingly at odds with the western creation myths. One nation under God is founded. Evolution makes us into the descendants of monkeys. The size of the Universe is hinted at, forcing yet more humility on God’s special creation. The existence of the atom is confirmed. Efforts to understand it leads to quantum mechanics and the probabilistic nature of creation. The scientific establishment is seen to be useful to governments. Radar. Jet planes. Torpedoes. The bomb. The discovery of DNA and the possibility of tampering with our biology further challenges our godly ethics. Computers, artificial intelligence, neural networks, the nature of consciousness is debated in a new light. Religious factions further insinuate themselves into politics, seemingly losing touch with their visions of the great beyond. Continued debates over who has access to God’s will. Dark matter is discovered. More humility is imposed on Mankind. The basic aspects of Big Bang theory are confirmed by measuring microwaves. The Universe is 13.7 billion years old. The multiverse hypothesis is taken seriously, possibly addressing the fine-tuning of the Universe, required for life.

    God’s hand recedes further and further back into time. God’s intervention in our lives and in nature is progressively obviated as natural cause-and-effect links are discovered. God is given a more remote role, as the One who started the ball rolling, but then backed away. Physicists talk about singularities and tunneling and quantum fluctuations and additional dimensions, grappling with the beginning of time and space from an entirely different point of view.

    The reconciliation of modern science and ancient religion is an ongoing desire for many. To the extent that “religion” sees “science” as an enemy, why not co-opt your enemy through assimilation? Scientists can only shrug at the question, “Did God create the Universe?” But as scientific discoveries continue to be made, the the idea of a causative link from our existence to God is receding from us, finding itself untouchable only at the very beginning of time. That those of faith are unshaken by this goes back to our inherent desire to identify purpose and meaning. They are afraid of what our existence is, if there is no master plan.

    That’s my humble opinion, in a nutshell.

    I’ll finish up with a quote from Steven Weinberg. It’s quite a different pronouncement on the nature of reality from that believed by the majority of people in my country, and probably yours. And I think it inspires fear and anxiety (ooops… is that redundant?).

    “It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we were somehow built from the beginning . . . It is hard to realize that this all (i.e., life on Earth) is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more is also seems pointless.”

  • Irene Wagner

    Debbie DOWNER.

  • duane

    Thanks for volunteering to be a case in point, Irene — twice.

  • Irene Wagner

    Redundantly, even, Duane!

    The POSSIBILITY of that last statement’s being true is horrifying. But it’s still only a possibility! What frightens me even more is the PROBABILITY that someone who hasn’t even had the chance to explore and taste the goodness of God, will read what you’ve written and put the ol’ bullet to his temple.

  • Irene Wagner

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t have said it, or that you’d be responsible if someone were to read it and commit suicide, or slide into the Slough of Despond. Most people have had the notion “life is pointless” cross their minds, without knowing so much as a smattering of the physics you know.

    There’s a way to crawl back out without being delusional.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Just like to quickly point out, Irene, that there’s a big difference between objectively saying life is pointless in the cosmic scheme of things, and saying it’s personally pointless.

    Duane was outlining the former viewpoint.

  • duane

    Au contraire you redundant faithist, you. It should encourage people to realize that their time is now. Existence and the universe are awe inspiring. If you can’t find that to be the case without your backdrop of harps and angels and pointy-eared demons and bubbling lava pools, you have my sympathy.

    And again, you are confirming my opinion that people need the comforting and quaint stories found in the religious myths to deal with reality, which treats many (if not most) people in the world rather harshly.

  • duane

    Thanks, Dr. D. That does clarify the point.

    Irene, I’m not presuming to judge or categorize you, personally. I’m making some sweeping statements for which I know there are exceptions. Ruvy, for example, believes he has had direct heavenly intervention in his life. I can’t dismiss him or people like him. I just have to say, hmmmm….

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    duane:

    You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free…

    For those who value freedom, anyway.

    Thanks.

  • Irene Wagner

    No, don’t worry, I didn’t take it personally, Duane, nor am I threatened by what you wrote, because I can’t un-know the things I know already (and neither can Ruvy, or STM, or Moebius Strip or whatever the heck his name is.)

    It’s impossible for us to un-know what we know just because someone who doesn’t know it yet posits that it’s all a Grand Delusion.

    And that’s NOT being condescending, Duane. But somebody, lots of faithist somebodies, need to be reminding people that there’s basis for COSMIC HOPEFULNESS no matter how bad things are likely to get if RON PAUL DOESN’T GET ELECTED in 2008. I have my own personal history of God’s interventions, I have inspiration from the lives of Corrie ten Boom and the other heroes I named in #325… ….

    The atheistic members of the Soviet and Chinese Communist parties were full of people who saw the personal point of their own lives, of conducting purges and gathering the left-over booty, and living this ol’ life high off the hog. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we will die. I want to infect people with a hope that is more cosmic BEFORE they are forced by their governments to click into survival only mode.

    For decent, freedom-loving afaithists like you who would never participate in such Communistic shenanigans, I want to goad you on to keep on looking. You’re doing that anyway, right, when you look into the mysteries of the Universe?

    Just try saying Thankyou the next time you see something truly amazing, and see what happens. I’m EXCITED for you!

  • duane

    Irene, thanks for the nice words. I can’t say that I accept your implication that atheism breeds lunatic mass murderers. But don’t let’s go there. That’s an old one. But please explain something to me. If you believe there is a God, and if you believe people are going to spend eternity either in total joy or in total despair, why do you care about something as trivial (in the cosmic scheme of things) as presidential politics? It’s just the blink of an eye, isn’t it? It’s all so … worldly. I was told in my formative years that Christians were in the world but not of the world. What’s the deal? Anyway?

  • Dr Dreadful

    “Render unto Caesar…”

  • Irene Wagner

    That’s right, Dr. Dreadful. I’m going all out on this thread for my last summer vacation “online hurrah!” because soon I need to get back to earning some Moolah. Caesar keeps a sizeable chunk of that before my family sees any.

    On worldliness, Duane. The Bible says I’m supposed to take care of my family, that I’m “WORSE than an infidel” if I make God look bad by being the worst thing in the world’s eyes, a crappy parent. (Speaking of which, yes, my last post for tonight. I’M NOT ANSWERING ANY MORE QUESTIONS.) Campaigning for Ron Paul, online, in the streets, with our friends, on our bumper stickers, on the phone, sending postcards, is one of the ways my husband and I believe we can make a difference for our kids.

    I don’t know if God wants RP to be elected. Maybe just as God allowed Israel to go into Babylonian captivity, God’s going to sit back and let this country get the leadership it’s apathy has earned it. Or, God may continue to extend his blessing, but through a DIFFERENT candidate.

    Whichever way, it’s a God-given responsibility to push the forces of evil back in one’s own generation. In America, performing one’s civic duty by getting informed and participating in the electoral process is a means to pushing that Evil back, for a LITTLE while at least.

    Don’t think I don’t KNOW that the Religious Right has snookered the faithful into voting for who their (oftentimes bought, and I’m sorry to say you’ll be seeing more of this) PREACHERS tell them to vote for instead of using their own brains. That’s why as a Christian I feel that I have to work EXTRA hard to get my co-religionists (and Republicans in general) to closely examine all the various presidential stunts being pulled without Congress’ consent, executive privilege being invoked left and right, the sunset clause of the “Patriot” Act fading into the sunset and a version II foisted on us instead. Go to ronpaul2008.com for starters and lewrockwell.com if you’re into finance. I don’t want to jam the comment system again.

    And Duane, I took especial care in my last thread to make a distinction between atheists who have been, and are being used as tools for the Communist government, and freedom-loving atheists such as yourself. Considering that the afaithists here have said that the majority of humankind needs a force outside itself to behave morally and civilly (I COMPLETELY and UTTERLY agree!) aren’t you glad that there are loudmouths like me running around with bullhorns?

    You don’t have to answer that. :D

  • Catey

    Ruvy:

    Very interesting, thank you for sharing…

  • Catey

    I’ll miss you Irene :(

  • bliffle

    irene: “The POSSIBILITY of that last statement’s being true is horrifying.”

    To you, perhaps, but to others it is freeing. It frees one from simply obeying rules given by an almighty and allows one to explore the evolved rules of our human existence.

  • Nancy

    But what “truth” are you following? An actual “truth” — or rather, the whim & say-so of self-appointed church authorities who claim to have special insight & revelation? I don’t trust anybody who claims to have special knowledge about or from God – especially if somewhere down the line it involves either money or falling under their ‘authority’ in any way. Of COURSE the church assures everyone they “know” the only truth. How else they gonna control their followers & scarfe in the vast amounts of money they get from people who otherwise can’t afford it, except thru spiritual & mental extortion?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Irene quotes Bible verses she likes.

    For a fuller picture of the pagan god she would have us know better, you might refer to Evil bible.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Sorry, no comma before ‘com’ in #352.

    Gonzo says, “not that I’m denigrating the value of personal experience…an individual’s gnosis, if you will.”

    That’s where any spiritual meaning for an individual is to be found, IMO, not in insisting that ancient myths and metaphor-laced stories prove that certain truth-claims and belief systems are literal, rational, and gospel.

  • Irene Wagner

    Nancy and Lee: #352 paragraph 6-10. You’d better believe I don’t trust all preachers and leaders.

    And Lee, above I referred to arguments and counter arguments and counter^10^3 arguments. The Evil Bible site (scores lik was examined somewhere near argument # counter^5 – counter^15. Let’s not waste one another’s time.

    Nancy, many of the “religious” wars have their origins in the quiet and peaceful resolve of Bible-reading God-fearing people to speak truth to GODLESS men who took on the cloak of spirituality so as to deceive and take advantage of believers. Guess which side typically starts the bloodshed?

    ***

    By the way, do any of the afaithists here have children? Listen to what New Atheist guru Dawkins has to say about them. “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents?” Dawkins asks. “It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehoods?”

    This was quoted in Wired magazine by an atheist who was DISGUSTED with New Atheism.
    YOU would never separate mother and child over religion? Ah, the irony, again, of the existence of denominationalism within your logically pure and consistent system of atheism.

    It would seem you have more pressing matters within your OWN camp to be addressing than to be finding fault with mine!

  • Irene Wagner

    I want freedom for YOU guys. I don’t believe in laws that dictate sexual behavior. You guys and gals, go out and be free and have sex with whomever you want and have your abortions and your multiple sex partners. FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM!

    Enjoy the STD’s and infertility in your later years. But don’t tell your outdated and deluded moms and dads they didn’t try to warn you.

    Just keep your bloody hands off my kids.

  • Irene Wagner

    “Church of the Non-believers” by Gary Wolf

    Nancy, you can leave a comment there to let a freedom-threatening demagagogue HAVE it. It’s reprinted *right* on his own website. Go for it!

  • bliffle

    Things have changed a lot, Irene. Atheists are no longer routinely intimidated by faithists. In The Olde Days the faithists regularly expected atheists to bow their heads when they made their prayers and were very offended if atheists didn’t. Faithists regularly expected atheists to support the fantasies they told their children, and that includes Santa Claus. The holy pronouncements of politicians were (and still are) treated with unwarranted respect by everyone.

    But now you can’t expect everyone else to remain silent when you propagandize children. Nor can you expect atheists to remain respectful in public shows. that’s over. They don’t want to stop you from telling stories to your kids, but you can no longer intimidate them into showing respect.

  • Irene Wagner

    Biffle, and YOU’RE going to determine what constitutes propaganda to children?

    We’re not allowed to tell them about hell, because YOU know it’s not real. What might be the legal ramifications for telling one’s child about hell?

    First warning, wrists get slapped? Second warning, kids are handed over to Child Protective Services?

    Were CCD or Sunday School or Sabbath School really so scarring that you wish you’d been taken away from your parents forever and put in the custody of strangers?

  • Irene Wagner

    What a brave new world you have in mind, Biffle!

  • Leslie Bohn

    You sure nailed us afaithists, Ms. Wagner. We all agree 100 percent with Richard Dawkins on everything.

  • Duncan

    I’ll tell you something. Any leftist sleazebag who injects himself into my home and presumes to tell me how I should raise my kids will be sucking on the end of a 12 gauge. Trust me, it’s a great way to make social workers mind their p’s and q’s.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re #355:

    I really don’t have any idea where this particular non sequitur comes from.

    I suppose if you don’t have facts on your side, just pound the table.

    Re #358:

    I have a very definite opinion of anyone who would intentionally inflict children’s minds with threats of hellfire and eternal damnation if they don’t follow Jesus, “meek and mild.”

    I thought they were precious in his sight.

    If pounding the table doesn’t work, try fear, intimidation and terror on defenseless kids.

  • Irene Wagner

    Lee, before I’d whine about non sequiturs in #355, I would have checked #354 for important clues. Hint: it’s the Dawkins quote.

  • Irene Wagner

    And the facts, Lee, would be in the link in…oh HERE it is, the next comment down, #356.

    No table pounding required.

  • Irene Wagner

    They’re precious in MY sight, too, Lee. They’re precious in the sight of MOST parents, even the ones who tell their kids about “the bad place.”

    I’m assuming the 2nd amendment right to bear arms will have been revoked before the Atheist Van comes ’round to collect the Fundamentalist kiddies.

    Otherwise, there’ll be a lot of crash courses in hell taking place on the doorsteps of America.

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Irene:

    Just a small clarification:

    To make a declarative statement is not to whine. I don’t label your comments whining;do you really think you need to mischaracterize others–a propagandist trick–to strengthen your point?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    The Bad Place??? I thought that was a Dean Koontz book…a really good one too!!!

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ms Wagner expresses the one true pillar of Christianity: Contempt for others. ALL others.

    “Enjoy the STDs…”

  • bliffle

    So Irenes Velvet Glove is finally thrown aside to reveal the Iron Fist within.

  • Clavos

    I’ve noticed (particularly here on BC) that those on the left usually exhibit a similar contempt for those on the right, whether or not said right encompasses belief in a religion.

  • REMF

    “I really don’t have any idea where this particular non sequitur comes from.”

    Glad to see there are other non sequiturs out there besides GW Bush’s desertion…
    (MCH)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    If a girl tells me not to hop in the sack with her because she has chlamydia and I hop in the sack because I just have to have her, who am I to complain if my pecker starts to burn the next day? The girl was at least honorable enough to warn me.

    I don’t see where Irene’s velvet glove came off. Irene is a cold realist who tells the truth – the facts of life. STD’s are one of the prices of non-marital sex. If you want to play, you have to be willing to pay. It is so much a constant of these atheistic types to not want to have to account for their behavior, to pay the piper when the bill comes due.

    There is NO FREE LUNCH in the world!

    One of the prices of monogamy is that you have have to be satisfied with one main course only in bed, without any side dishes. But one of the rewards of sexual loyalty is that you don’t get AIDS, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, etc. etc.

    Grow up already! Stop with the childish bullshit!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/thereverendspadgedooley Colin Ricketts

    “There is NO FREE LUNCH in the world!”

    My local church does free lunch for oap’s on a Sunday.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    That lunch isn’t free either, Colin. The oap? pays with the loss of his dignity.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    yeah, I’d noticed Irene’s change of tack too. Maybe her kids are playing up.

  • Duncan

    Ruvy, when you tell an atheist a truth they don’t want to hear – which is most any truth – it’s considered a hostile act. Bursting their bubbles and destroying their fantasies is the only sin in their book.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    But then telling a rabid faithist the truth, any truth, is met with complacency, arrogance and patronising nonsense.

  • Leslie Bohn

    ..keeping in mind here the “truth” in question: Lack of belief in gods causes STDs.

    Ruvy: “Stop with the childish bullshit.”

    Wagner: “…Enjoy the STDs.”

  • http://www.myspace.com/thereverendspadgedooley Colin Ricketts

    Sorry, an OAP is an Old Age Pensioner – Senior Citizen I think is the American equivalent.

    They seem rather dignified to me, though I can’t speak for the quality of the lunches – seems like rather a cool thing to do.

  • gonzo marx

    ok…time to cash some Reality checks…

    faith has NOTHING to do with catching a disease, and it’s bullshit to try and conflate the two…whether you are a person of Faith or not, use a condom…nuff said?

    now that that stupid canard is set aside…

    Clavos in #370 – bullshit, and you know better…the extremists and ideologues from all sides can be just as bad as any other side, to try and lay that kind of shit on only one faction is absurd, untrue and beneath you, imo

    \as fo rthe bullshit about atheists trying to bust down your doors and convert your children..

    can anyone show me ANYTIME such has occurred? any atheist squads coming to your house?

    i know Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and some Evangelicals have found my lonely little round house in the woods and tried to convert ME…but never any atheists

    so, can we set the factional bullshit and making stuff up aside?

    or not, your choice..but it’s EXACTLY this kind of bullshit that stunts meaningful dialog on many topics, this realm especially

    state your case…and listen, then respond reasonably…looking over this thread in particular, it appears that reasonableness has indeed been observed by those professing a more secular viewpoint, whereas a few of the comments by the so-called christian faction have been anything but christ-like

    could just be me

    i also find it amusing that the very valid, and verifiable facts i have laid out in various comments get ignored, but the ad hominems fly around unabated…

    go figure…

    Excelsior?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    No Jews have ever tried to convert you either. But Irene said,

    “I want freedom for YOU guys. I don’t believe in laws that dictate sexual behavior. You guys and gals, go out and be free and have sex with whomever you want and have your abortions and your multiple sex partners. FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM!

    Enjoy the STD’s and infertility in your later years. But don’t tell your outdated and deluded moms and dads they didn’t try to warn you.

    Just keep your bloody hands off my kids.”

    In other words, she said that if you don’t wish to follow a moral code and act like oxen without a yoke, go right ahead. That is what the doctrine of free will implies.

    But there will be consequences. There is no free lunch. And don’t bitch that you weren’t warned.

    Irene didn’t mention faith – and neither did I. But she did throw the idea of acting without consequences in your collective faces. Take that “reality check” and bounce it somewhere else.

    As for restricting the freedom of worship in one own’s home Gonzo, try this on for size.

    In Freehold, NJ, a has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the township where he lives, saying local officials are conducting an illegal surveillance of his house and restricting his right to pray at his home.

    Why are the township officials harassing the man in his home?

    The Monmouth County township says he is violating local zoning ordinances because he is using his home as a house of worship, according to the lawsuit. Bernstein received a zoning violation in February 2007 and a summons in April; in May he filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court. The township retaliated by ‘secretly setting up a video camera,’ aimed at the Bersteins’ home, which is operated on Friday afternoon before Shabbat until its conclusion on Saturday, the lawsuit alleges.

    Bernstein, his wife and eight children live in a 4,000 square-foot single-family home, where they invite friends to celebrate the holiday with them. Since they are not allowed to drive, many are neighbors who walk.

    An attorney for the township, Duane O. Davison, did not return several telephone messages left by The Associated Press.

    If Monmouth Country is upheld in this little case, then a minyán (ten men) gathering in the home of a mourner to allow him to recite Kaddísh will get the mourner a fine for violating zoning ordinances!

    That is worse than being prohibited by the state from teaching your children your religious beliefs, but not much worse.

    Another reality check to be bounced, Gonzo.

    Of course, I don’t have to be Jesus-like in my comments – there is no rule that says I have to act like my relatives…

  • REMF

    “I’ve noticed (particularly here on BC) that those on the left usually exhibit a similar contempt for those on the right, whether or not said right encompasses belief in a religion.”

    And I’ve noticed (particularly here on BC) that those on the right usually exhibit a similar contempt for those on the left, especially when said left exposes phony, empty rhetoric.

  • Clavos

    gonzo #380,

    Perhaps it escaped your notice that I was simply turning around a similar, sweeping statement from comment #368. To Wit:

    “Ms Wagner expresses the one true pillar of Christianity: Contempt for others. ALL others.”

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    ruvy, it is simply amazing how, when religion rears its ugly head, you go as daft as a post. Translating her giddy rhetoric into plain English, what Irene actually said was “without some specious and arbitray code of conduct, people are not capable of acting judiciously or responsibly in their relationships and will as a matter of course catch infections.” She also ties all that into some weird reference to her kids; whether she’s trying to imply some connection with paedophilia or whatever, I have no idea, but it is certainly odd that she threw that in just there.

    Of course that is all pompous nonsense and completely ludicrous thinking. You don’t need to be deluded by dogma to be wise. Just because one isn’t blighted by this faithist stain on one’s character doesn’t mean one lacks responsibility. There is an acceptable alternative to morals and it is called ethics.

    Your odd kvetching about free lunches and warnings is even more bizarre, making you sound like some manic street preacher claiming the end of the world is nigh!

    You then go on with some even more pompous bleating about acting without consequence, followed by a swift diversion about a case of an ultraorthodox Jewish priest trying to convert his home into a place of worship, in defiance of local zoning laws. You really get off on this perpetual victim role…

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Mind you, you did remind us all of the oft forgotten fact that the three strands of the one god theory, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have more in common than divides them.

  • gonzo marx

    Ruvy – your entire tirade is rendered moot by the simple fact that i specified three types of proselytizers, and Jews were very definitely NOT among them

    so, your point?

    as for the case in Monmouth County (my home turf), that you cited…not an issue at all, until and unless the court finds for the prosecutors, in which case i will be right there with you railing against them for infringing on those folks rights to assemble and practice their faith unhindered as guaranteed by the Constitution

    so take your panties out of that knot, you should know better, if i want to rattle your particular tree, i ain’t shy about doing it…but in this case, my comment had nothing to do with you or yours

    i’ll do the point by point later, but you missed the mark repeatedly, imo

    Excelsior?

  • duane

    Leslie, Bliffle, Lee, Gonzo, and Christopher have already commented on Irene’s “freedom” comment #355 but I’m adding my two cents anyway.

    Irene, I believe that you exemplify one of the characteristics of modern day believers in America — your worldview is childishly simplistic. To you, the world looks like this:

    __________________________________________

    party animals
    druggies
    crooks
    sex deviants
    materialists
    child molesters
    abortionists
    warmongers

    ___________________________________

    Christians

    ___________________________________

    Most of my acquaintances are secularists, and they are some of the kindest and wisest people you could ever meet. They are good parents, monogamous, humorous, charitable, well-read, well-traveled, and have a deep perspective on world events. They would never write something as ignorant and cruel as what you have written on this thread. They (and I) would not even think such a thing as presuming to condemn millions of people to diseases that, to you, represent the wages of sin, presumably to teach them a lesson.

    With your venomous comments, you have revealed yourself as veangeful and bitter.

    And I understand why you are beset with images of heartless atheists beating down your door and taking your children from you. You are projecting your own twisted worldview onto “the enemy.” You have convinced yourself that your fearful faction represents the summit of humanity, and that those not of your faction are, therefore, a lesser form of humanity. Irene, it’s just blinkered ignorance and your willingness to accept the “we are the champions” blather that your leaders spew.

    But you know what? I have known many Christians throughout my life. Neither would they write what you wrote here. They would feel saddened to witness the fruits of your labor, and, no doubt, pray for you. See, Irene, I happen to know that the world is far more complex than the simplistic world you have dreamt up for yourself, an imaginary world in which you are able to justify your fearful philosophy. Yes, it is the voice of Satan taunting you, Irene. Not reason. Satan! Evil! Sin! STDs! Now run along home.

  • Irene Wagner

    The Iron Fist came out of the Velvet Glove in reaction to an article by atheist Gary Wolf about afaithist Richard Dawkins. I can’t fault anyone (except Lee) for missing the connection–the original posts were way up in #354 and #356.

    An excerpt: “When atheists finally begin to gain some power, what then? Here is where Dawkins’ analogy breaks down. Gay politics is strictly civil rights: Live and let live. But the atheist movement, by his lights, has no choice but to aggressively spread the good news. Evangelism is a moral imperative. Dawkins does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with tolerating them, with cooperating in their colonization of the brains of innocent tykes.

    ‘How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents?’ Dawkins asks. ‘It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehoods?'”

    Speaking of “the bad place,” is this thread beginning to remind anyone else of Sartre’s play No Exit?

  • Irene Wagner

    So Duane, your comments to me are misdirected. Take it up with atheist (not afaithist) Gary Wolf. And don’t forget to say, thankyou.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris,

    Were it not for all the other Brits (and former Brits) on here who seem to understand plain English very well, I would ascribe your own giddy language in comment #384 (this many comments on a fuckin’ change of plans for a homosexual’s funeral?!!) to quirky British behaviour. But it isn’t quirky British behavior at all, it is your own attempt to disperse plain English so that you do not have to recognize it as such. In America, it’s called shuckin’ an’ jivin’. I’ll let you look it up so you fully understand what you’re being told…

  • Leslie Bohn

    Ms. Wagner, I believe Duane’s comments were directed at the author of the awful phrase “…Enjoy the STDs” here on this thread.

    It’s pretty dishonest to blame them on some atheist who doesn’t post here.

  • gonzo marx

    wow..Irene, if duane’s comment wasn’t directed at you for that nasty STD comment..mine will be

    so, in your opinion, there is NO moral code, nor ethical guidelines outside of your belief system of dogma?

    interesting indeed, especially since the born again creed states that a scumbag like
    Stalin can do EVIL every day of his life, and be born again a few moments before death and make it into heaven whilst someone living their entire life in the best Christ fashion will go right to Hell…like Gandhi, or Mother Teresa

    but that aside…to be so binary to think that it’s either your way or right to hell is amusing at best, and psychotic by most standards

    Ruvy sez – “In other words, she said that if you don’t wish to follow a moral code and act like oxen without a yoke, go right ahead. That is what the doctrine of free will implies.”

    same thing there, Ruvy..we ALL bear responsibility for everything we do over the course of our lives…sorry, no scapegoating for it, you did it, you are responsible…just that simple

    doesn’t take some book written by men to show change that, merely good parents who teach ethical behavior

    last bit, there are some who like to bring up self professed atheist authors like they are some kind of authority on those who think of themselves as atheists…

    pure bullshit, that’s like someone trying to say that Phelps, or Falwell speak for ALL Christians…total shit, they don’t even speak for all Evangelical/Pentacostals etc….much less Manicheans or Greek Orthodox

    nice try at distraction, but poor debating technique, even worse conversational etiquette, imo

    stay with a topic, and those you are talking with, rather than feebly attempting conflations that just don’t exist…sign of a weak position, imo

    or mebbe just a lack of faith in their arguments

    Excelsior?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Irene has set up Dawkins as her personal strawman and delights in attacking him over and over.

    Some calm, simple evidence would be nice instead.

    How about answering the questions I asked in #250 or there abouts?

    How about addressing the twisted logic, contradictions, and lack of common sense in the Bible: talking snakes, a jealous and vengeful diety and where he came from, the science of Genesis, the problem of evil, a god producing a son with a virgin, the miracles that son performed that apparently no one noticed at the time, since they weren’t written down by anyone until many decades later when a man-god legend had already started, etc., etc.

    Just any observeable, demonstrable, empirical and rational evidence will do.

    And anyone who likes can address the bloody history of the Prince of Peace’s faith: the Inquisition, Crusades, witch burnings, persecutions of non-believers(even a Galileo, whose blasphemy was to look through a telescope.) Atheists and free-thinkers can’t begin to approach anything like that record.

    duane, you are right about the stereotyping of good people who just happen to think for themselves, by some who don’t choose to use that ability when it comes to their religious faith.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    ruvy, you’re the one that is bedazzled by all that mystical delerium you believe and speak in forked tongues. I’ll keep my language plain and direct, so anyone with a mind to can understand. You ought to try it some time, rather than trying to justify everything in terms of some naive if well-intentioned ancient writing. Unfortunately we all know you can never set yourself free…

  • Dr Dreadful

    What I find odd is that the devout seldom stop to consider how strange it is that of all the world’s religions, theirs just happens to be the True one.

  • Irene Wagner

    My comment “Enjoy the STD’S (and infertility)” was in response to the claims of how wonderful freedom one would enjoy if the shackles of religion were thrown off. I understand how people can interpret that remark turn to mean I think religion is required to have sexual mores, or that I have contempt for people with STDs. I also think that if you read my remark, again, in context, you can also see that what I am telling you now is an ANOTHER valid interpretation of the statement.

    We’ve all misunderstood people before, no hard feelings.

    What *is* pretty discouraging to me, is the fact that I printed a quote by, (and gave a link to an article about) the hero of some of you, Dawkins, which people who taught their children doctrines of which HE did not approve should have their children taken away.

    The article was written by an atheist criticizing Dawkins. Unless I’m missing a comment, I don’t find many atheists here saying, Good point, fellow atheist Wolf.

    That’s chilling to me. It’s chilling enough, that I think I may be back, as my schedule allows, to try to fight that mentality in people who are being infected with it–no matter how many knocks I have to take.

  • Zedd

    Christianity:

    There is no hierarchy of sins.

    party animals
    druggies
    crooks
    sex deviants
    materialists
    child molesters
    abortionists
    warmongers

    Are no different from

    white liars
    over eaters
    paper clip stealers
    nasty thoughters
    lusters
    over spenders

    Christians believe that people tend to look at outwardly presented “personas” but God looks at the heart. So Mother Theresa may have been having all sorts of wild sexual fantasies about the married men she was working with, she would be no different than a prostitute who was sleeping with other people’s husbands. In her heart, she would have no more respect for those marriages than the street walker.

    Christians are taught that when one judges, he also opens himself up to be judged too because he does sin.

    By becoming a Christian one acknowledges her nature and that she is no better than ANYONE else and therefore has no right to boast. What they believe is that they are simply loved by God and acknowledge that love and grace, despite their imperfection; their tendancy to do wrong.

    The problem is that because Christians are human and imperfect, they will do wrong even in their discussing their faith. Most of us like being top dog, so many Christians use their status as Christians as something to brag or look down on others about (another sin).

    So Christianity is for sinners. Any Christian who projects themselves as anything other than that is sinning at that moment.

    *Any minister who obsesses on a particular sin is suspect (most times they are guilty of that sin).

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Re: #395

    That’s because they work backwards, I think, Dr D.

    They begin with an unsupported conclusion;they’re convinced from the start that their’s is the one true faith.

    If you’re already sure you’re right, starting with evidence and rational knowledge don’t really matter. And before you know it, everyone else is an unbeliever.

  • Clavos

    “There is no hierarchy of sins.

    party animals
    druggies
    crooks
    sex deviants
    materialists
    child molesters
    abortionists
    warmongers

    Are no different from

    white liars
    over eaters
    paper clip stealers
    nasty thoughters
    lusters
    over spenders”

    That alone is the strongest argument against the precepts of Christianity in this entire thread.

    And it was posted by a Christian….

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Zedd,

    Am I correct in understanding that:

    You really think child molesters are no different from paper clip stealers?

    And warmongers no different from over-eaters?

    And Mother T’s THOUGHTS may have made her no different from a street prostitute?

    And you say that’s Christianity’s position?

    I’m speechless!

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Christianity:

    There is no hierarchy of sins.

    party animals
    druggies
    crooks
    sex deviants
    materialists
    child molesters
    abortionists
    warmongers

    Are no different from

    white liars
    over eaters
    paper clip stealers
    nasty thoughters
    lusters
    over spenders

    What kind of a monster is God, who sees no difference between child molesters and overeaters? And why would I or anyone else want to spend eternity with such a disgusting Creator?

  • Zedd

    Lee

    I am talking about Christianity. But don’t forget we are talking about things of the spirit.

    As for me personally, I am human just like you Lee. I think that molesters need to be tied up and hung in the square and beaten at will by anyone who walks by and have salt rubbed on their wounds.

    Christianity teaches about sin. The act of consciously choosing to do wrong. That act is the same always.

    Yes the social deterrents are different but the decision is a deviation from the state of perfection, so I can not stand up and think I am better. That does not mean that there shouldn’t be legal ramifications for crime.

  • Zedd

    Now Lee,

    As for the love of God….

    I would give you the analogy of a mother of a molester. While she may HATE what her child did, you wouldn’t call her a monster for loving her child the molester.

    Actually the mother of the molester may have two sons. One a patient, listener, who pays his bills on time, who will give you his shirt and is a molester. The other child may be a selfish, unforgiving, mean, vindictive, self consumed, self righteous and impatient, wealthy, civically engaged, participates in popular charities, and is an admired by many. Who would the mom consider to be the good son?

    Her KNOWING her son’s she can not possibly claim that the one who has committed the atrocity is worse for she KNOWS the boys well. Christians believe that because God knows us well, while we look at the outside (civic duties, status, wealth, charity, etc) God knows the real scoop. We are gullible, believing the simple overtly apparent qualities or actions, yet it’s not that cut and dry.

  • Zedd

    Michael J. West

    Sorry #403 was directed at you.

  • Irene Wagner

    Christopher Rose. If you really want to keep hating me, that’s OK. I’d remind you though, that that attitude of WANTING to hate, without listening and trying to understand, is the real root of wars.

    But I’m going to try one more time to show the difference between your interpretation of what I said, and what I actually said. I’ll not back-pedal though. I’ll use my words exactly as they appeared.

    Step one: I post a link: Atheist Gary Wolf criticizes New Atheist Richard Dawkins for (among other things) suggesting children should be taken away from Christian parents

    Step two: I consider the very real possiblility that Dawkins’ many disciples are going to bring his dreams to fruition.

    Then, I combine that consideration with the fact that SOME people who have thrown off the yoke of religion have released themselves from all sexual moorings. Also, many who are religious have decided that all or most of the sexual moorings their religion teaches them are outdated. The result? More STD’s, more infertility, more abortions.

    Step three: Thus,a comment is born: #355 — August 28, 2007 @ 14:54PM — Irene Wagner
    I want freedom for YOU guys. I don’t believe in laws that dictate sexual behavior. You guys and gals, go out and be free and have sex with whomever you want and have your abortions and your multiple sex partners. FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM!

    Enjoy the STD’s and infertility in your later years. But don’t tell your outdated and deluded moms and dads they didn’t try to warn you.

    Just keep your bloody hands off my kids.

    Step Four: Christopher takes a stab at interpreatation. #384 — August 29, 2007 @ 13:55PM — Christopher Rose Translating her giddy rhetoric into plain English, what Irene actually said was “without some specious and arbitray code of conduct, people are not capable of acting judiciously or responsibly in their relationships and will as a matter of course catch infections.”

    I’ve looked and looked, Christopher Rose, but I can’t see any reference to religion WHATSOEVER in that comment. “You guys and gals” refers to ANYONE who wants to throw off the sexual inhibitions their religion taught them. Some of them will act irresponsibly (or just have a condom break) and will get infections. Certainly, some people who end up with STD’s or get abortions ARE religious, but certainly not ALL of them are.

    Some of those guys and gals are Dawkins fans.

    Some of those guys and gals are Dawkins fans who want to take my children away from me.

    I’m asking for freedom to live as I wish, too.
    I can’t see much difference between Dawkins speaking at colleges, getting college kids all riled and hating Christians enough to take kids away from their parents, and Hitler at his Youth Rallies, expounding on the Jewish Problem and its solution. My guess is Ruvy in Jerusalem doesn’t see much difference either. Think about it.

    Christopher Rose, now that I’ve clarified that, I hope, what do YOU think of Dawkins’ proposition?

    My question isn’t off topic. The article to which this thread is attached, after all, is about Imposing Values on Christians.

  • Irene Wagner

    Sorry for interupting, Zedd and Lee. Christopher Rose won’t get around to answering til later, if he answers at all, and I won’t be getting around to looking at his answer until tomorrow.

  • Bitchin’ kitchen

    Despite the bizarre opinion in the comment section, the bible is clear on the subject. Lot tells the alternative lifestylers in Genesis: “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.” It calls the lifestyle the article talked about “wicked,” or in some bibles it even says “evil.” If you think that isn’t right then be your own god and start your own religion, L. Ron Hubbard did.

  • Clavos

    “If you think that isn’t right then be your own god and start your own religion…”

    Or better yet, eschew all religions.

  • Irene Wagner

    Oops, sorryIn step 4 above
    “You guys and gals” refers to ANYONE who wants to throw off the sexual inhibitions their religion taught them.

    SHOULD BE

    “You guys and gals” refers to ANYONE who wants to throw off sexual inhibitions their religion taught them, or those that came from another source.

    I had said that my original comment said nothing about religion, and it didn’t.

  • Clavos

    Irene,

    Chris lives in Spain, where it is now about 6 AM, so he may answer sooner than you expect.

  • Irene Wagner

    Yes, he’s a Spanish Republican. I’ve heard a rumor. Still, I probably won’t be here to read it til tomorrow, if then.

  • Zedd

    I am not religious either. I don’t quite get being religious

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    The most annoying aspect of dealing with faithists like Irene and Zedd is that they just can’t keep making up completely deluded nonsense.

    I assume it goes with the territory of believing in such nonsense in the first place as it is a quality they share with adherents of the other strands of the one god delusion. Never has so much time and energy been poured into such a futile enterprise.

  • duane

    The Six Deadly Sins:

    white lying (I told someone their singing was pretty good)

    overeating (oh, yeah … damn right… every Thanksgiving)

    paper clip stealing (I think I may have stolen some printer paper)

    nasty thoughts (yeah, I hope that abs commercial guy gets fat)

    lust (daily … aw Hell, right now … dammit … there was this woman in line at the grocery store … good gosh O’Mighty)

    overspending (only around Christmas … oh, yeah, and when I ordered a double burger instead of a single and didn’t finish)

    Oh yeah, and I use … ready … sarcasm. There, I’ve confessed. That makes seven.

    I’m doomed.

  • bliffle

    Zedd: “…molesters need to be tied up and hung in the square and beaten at will by anyone who walks by and have salt rubbed on their wounds.”

    Great news for masochists! All they have to do is molest someone and society will perform the desired sadism.

    We can expect molestation incidents to increase.

  • Zedd

    Christopher,

    Thats a bit rude isn’t it.

    I’m offended that you think that I am coming on line to simply make up things about Christianity of all things to complete strangers.

    Again, If you at least understood what the faith was about, you wouldn’t conclude that things are being made up.

    I’m more interested in why YOU are bothered by my personal belief system? Why does it bother you so much? I don’t get it. I am not personally bothered by other people’s systems of belief or lack thereof. I don’t feel a need to tell them just how stupid I think they are. I just don’t buy it and move on.

    I don’t buy a lot of what Christians espouse. I may shake my head or roll my eyes in private but whatever…. C’est la vie.

  • Zedd

    Duane,

    Funny!

    The point of Christianity is that you are NOT doomed. In our imperfect nature, we are not condemned much less doomed. We are loved. That is it.

    But you see if we all acknowledge that we are no better than others, we treat each other better, acknowledging their humanity, importance, loved state if you will by the same God who loves us.
    We learn how to “chill”.

    I enjoy sarcasm especially if its funny.

    Did you ever watch “Gulliver’s travels (the cartoon on the Banana Splits show). There was a character named Glum and he used to always say “we’ll never make it, were doomed”. In a really glum voice. Loved it!

  • Zedd

    biffle,

    You could have kept that one.

    Save that sort of thing for the high school debate team.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, no,it isn’t rude. It might be a fact you aren’t comfortable with but that is your issue.

    Again, you presume I don’t know what the faith is about; again, you’re wrong. Everything about the one god cult is made up.

    I’m bothered by false beliefs that cruelly deceive people. What sane person wouldn’t be bothered by a bunch of childish fairy stories, myths and legends that have long since lost their original function and meaning?

    Faithists are pretty much the enemey of humanity in general with their divisive and discriminatory attitudes. Life is too short for such nonsense. We’d all be a lot better off accepting that what we do in the here and now is crucial and that there is no second chance in paradise.

  • bliffle

    Zedd: “The point of Christianity is that you are NOT doomed. In our imperfect nature, we are not condemned much less doomed. We are loved. That is it.”

    Aha! I get it! That’s why we torture masochists masquerading as molesters. By satisfying their desire for torture we express gods love for them!

    Of course! It should be obvious even to a gradeschool student! How clever of you.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Zedd – You say you’re not doomed. I hope you’re a member of the one true holy catholic church…or you ARE going to hell. That’s the way us catholics were taught. There is only ONE true christian religion. All the rest are pretend…

    …I’m lucky enough to be born into the correct church. Even if I screw up my whole life…last rites will save me. And now that they’ve done away with purgatory…apparently, there’s not even a line to get into heaven for catholics!!!

  • Clavos

    Bingo, Andy!

    Meanwhile, I’m havin’ a ball pretty much doing what I want to (or what my wife will let me), and even denying god, ’cause I know I was baptized AND confirmed and my wife will take care of getting the priest to my bedside.

    Laissez les bons temps roulez!!!

  • Clavos

    Ahem: “rouler.” :>)

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    The box Christianity is in:”No one comes to the Father except through me”…

    A serial killer who accepts Jesus moments before his execution is “in”;the Dalai Lama–not having Jesus as savior–is out.

    A pedophile priest who repents after he is found out goes to be with God;a Jewish pediatrician who saves children’s lives has no chance.

    An arsonist who burns down an apartment building killing dozens but then converts to the one true faith goes to heaven;a firefighter who doesn’t believe in any religion and who dies trying to save lives will burn in hellfire.

    And this is “God’s Plan”?

  • Duncan

    Although you fallen away Catholics are being sarcastic, it seems as if you really don’t understand Catholic doctrine. No, the teaching on Purgatory has NOT changed. I don’t know where you got that from, perhaps from some misinformed mainstream media dummy.

    Otherwise, needless to say, your heart has to be in the right place when you repent, you have to be sincere. If you’re playing games, God knows it.

  • Irene Wagner

    Christopher Rose,

    In comment #405 August 29, 2007 @ 23:38PM, I asked you what you thought of Richard Dawkins’ proposal. “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents?” Dawkins asks. “It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehoods?”

    Surely, #413 WASN’t your answer to #405, was it?

    #413 — August 30, 2007 @ 04:20AM — Christopher Rose
    The most annoying aspect of dealing with faithists like Irene and Zedd is that they just can’t keep making up completely deluded nonsense.

    I assume it goes with the territory of believing in such nonsense in the first place as it is a quality they share with adherents of the other strands of the one god delusion. Never has so much time and energy been poured into such a futile enterprise.

    It wasn’t meant as a trick question, Christopher Rose. I’m genuinely interested in learning what YOU think there is “to be said for society stepping in.”

    I don’t address specific individuals unless I intend to consider their answers thoughtfully and respectfully. I’m learning to identify those on BC who have a similar standard.

    Should I come back later to see how you answered #405?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Never having read any Dawkins, I don’t know the context in which he made this remark.

    As you know, Irene, I dislike your belief system because I consider it a cruel deception, however I can’t imagine wanting to live in a world where society stepped in to people’s personal lives in that way.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Duncan – you’re right, that was my bad…it wasn’t purgatory they did away with it was limbo…that place that unbaptized babies used to call their own. Now, if a baby dies before he or she is baptized, they don’t get to go to limbo…they just go to hell with all the other sinners…another one of god’s lovely plans as written by men.

  • Irene Wagner

    Thankyou for your answer, Christopher Rose. We’re already living in a world that could go that way, but I’m glad you wouldn’t be happy to see it get any worse.

  • Clavos

    Just read that Telegraph article; VERY scary stuff!

    Mr. Blair was prophetic.

  • Nancy

    #421 being the main reason why Catholicism is most assuredly NOT “christian” in any sense of the correct usage of the word. As Gandhi said, ‘it would be great religion … if someone would only practice it.’

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, the Telegraph article is long on fear-raising but short on detail, particularly in terms of telling us anything about the mother in question.

    I completely agree that these kinds of social policies can be a matter of great concern, particularly if the state does not have a clearly defined framework in which to act.

    It’s always dodgy reading the Telegraph because of its strongly biased attitudes.

    What’s Blair got to do with it?

  • Duncan

    Andy, unfortunately, you’re mistaken again. The position on limbo was put forth by theologians, NOT the Church. It was never formally defined teaching by the RCC. It’s important to realize that theologians don’t create Church teaching, the Pope and Magisterium do. This is a distinction that people who aren’t well versed in the faith often have trouble making.

    Unfortunately, there are some nuns and priests who sometimes relate incorrect teaching. I heard of a priest who once told a woman I know that she could use an IUD. And that certainly isn’t in line with Church teaching. Anyway, it was never defined teaching. At best it was Catholic “urban myth.”

  • Leslie Bohn

    What a dishonest arguer Ms. Wagner has turned out to be!

    To represent that her “Enjoy the STDs” comment was not aimed at atheists is completely disingenuous. Please examine the comment RIGHT ABOVE THE ONE IN QUESTION. The one in which Ms. Wagner repeatedly addresses atheists as “you” (or “YOU”). Then mere minutes later, in a new post, uninterrupted by any other posts or replies, she repeats the “you” (“YOU”) terminology.

    To claim that she is now addressing a new group (“those who have thrown off the sexual mores of blah blah) is just so much bullshit, to anyone who can read.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    So know you’re telling me that all those nuns and priests in 11 years of catholic school lied to me…nice!

    And to think my mother thought she was paying for a good education and now I find out that it’s all a lie…a myth…

    But it is good to know we now have an authority on catholic teachings here at BC…to bad it’s way to late for me…but maybe you can save a few of the others…

    So I guess we don’t really know if there’s a purgatory or a limbo…is that the deal? Not that it matters to the non-catholics anyway…they’re going straight to hell…because, although you’ve disputed the limbo and purgatory thing…you do seem to have left alone the…if you’re not catholic you’re going to hell…part of my statements…

    I had a brother that died seconds after he was born…never baptized…and any religion that says that he has to suffer eternal damnation can kiss my half italian almost white ass!

    Where’s gonzo…what is that thing about dogma gonzo???

    Jesse the gov said something too…organized religion is a sham!

    Buncha bullshit I tell ya…they threw out a lot of good stuff when they put all that dogma together…I’m gonna start the church of the striper fisherman…you have to spend every Sunday out on the water…enjoying what god gives us! And I get half of all catches…HEY! It’s my church!

  • Clavos

    Chris,

    Thanks for the tip on the Telegraph; sounds like a Brit version of the Enquirer?

    Re Blair:

    George Orwell, né Eric Arthur Blair.

    Your trivia for the day, brought to you by Clavos’s Useless Facts, Teeny Tiny Press.

  • Baronius

    Irene, you’ve stayed in this thread a long time. I’ve learned that every religion discussion board eventually descends to a few atheists telling each other how perceptive they are. All I ever try to do is make one main point and get out before the self-congratulation starts.

    And no wonder they’re so impressed with their thoughts. They really believe that they came up with a stumper that no one else thought of an answer to in 2000 years. You read Augustine, Aquinas, or even C.S. Lewis, and you’ve got to think that these guys probably covered all the bases.

    Oh well. I hope you planted a seed or two, but don’t expect to see the results.

  • Irene Wagner

    Clavos and Christopher Rose. Thanks both of you, for taking a look at the Telegraph link I posted. Eat dem fish ‘n spit out de bones. The leading hook story wasn’t what I found to be most chilling, though, because, right, it was short on details.

    It was the statistics posted on the increase in the number of non-physical, non-sexual abuse cases, and the Department of Health’s definition of what constitutes emotional abuse that sent shivers down my spine: “conveying to children that they are worthless or inadequate” and “some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child, though it may occur alone”.

    Richard Dawkins has a lot of people in his thrall. I hope not many of them work for the Department of Health.

  • Irene Wagner

    Baronius, I’m poppin’ in from time to time to see who lands on #666. :D

  • Nancy

    Did we ever have one that ran that long…?

  • Nancy

    I think the only christian denomination I’ve ever had any respect for are the Quakers. I’ve never heard of one – or any of them – ever arrogating absolute divine knowledge unto themselves, or pronouncing themselves the Only True Church, or the rest of the bullshit other organized church groups pull. Other than that, I’d have to go with one of the more basic forms of Buddhists – can’t remember at the moment if it’s Mahayana or the other one that’s closest to the original Buddhist thought/teachings. Shinto is pretty pure, too. The striking thing about all of those is that they are less ‘organized’ than they are individually focused. That would lead to the natural inference that the more ‘organized’ a religion is, the worse off it is, & the farther away from its founder and the true nature of God…which kind of says it all for something like RCism, doesn’t it.

  • duane

    Baronius: I’ve learned that every religion discussion board eventually descends to a few atheists telling each other how perceptive they are.

    Maybe I don’t read as many religion discussion boards as you, but in my experience, they morph into a series of disjointed statements by angry and petulant believers as they sidestep their way through direct questions that they cannot answer, unless it’s to say something equivalent to “Just because!” Eventually, they resort to claiming that atheists would not be atheists if they were as enlightened as the faithful, followed by charges of condescension and smugness, you know, the wisdom of Man is folly, etc., after which the distant air of superiority makes it appearance (usually around post #437).

    The whole discussion could be cut short by the following declarations:

    Christian or other believer — “I believe in God, because if most people on Earth didn’t believe in God, we would lead nasty lives filled with selfishness, greed, and desperation, then we would kill each other.”

    Atheist or other non-believer — “Belief in God or gods is silly.”

    Two posts, and that’s it. But what fun is that?

    Now I’m going to curl up with The City of God so I can get the real story. Or maybe I will see what Dawkins has to say. I need some dogmatic assertions so that I know what to believe. Independent thinking? Ha! What a concept.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I can’t help feeling that this whole paranoia is an extension of the Satanic abuse hysteria of about 10-15 years ago. That – and Chris would do well to bear it in mind as he dismisses the Telegraph piece as overblown and light on facts – was a real witch-hunt that destroyed innocent and healthy families. The difference this time is that the alleged abusers are not devil worshippers but simply Bad People.

    We have got to face up to the fact that it is not only saints who are capable of having children. Even in the most loving and nurturing families, you can’t wrap them in cotton wool and expect them to grow up without experiencing any kind of personal hurt. And we have got to train pedeatricians, social workers, cops and so forth to recognise the signs of real child abuse – not behavior that might, one day, on the second Thursday after the full moon when Mom steps on a crack in the sidewalk after a couple too many beers, might, possibly, result in some injudicious yelling.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Irene #439: We’ll probably be taking some very un-Christian bets on here as to who writes comment #666…

    Some of our regulars, I have no doubt, would be getting very short odds! ;-)

    And Nancy, yeah, given enough time some threads can go way past that number. I’ve seen a few with more than 1500 comments on them.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Nancy, I too have a lot of respect for the Quakers. They seem to have a handle on the Christian ethic without swamping it in all the ritual mumbo-jumbo.

    My mother loved attending Quaker meetings. She was very spiritual but had a degenerative brain disease, so she couldn’t follow regular church services. She was seldom happier than after attending a Friends’ meeting of a Sunday morning.

  • Baronius

    Duane, believe it or not, my comment wasn’t intended to needle you. I wasn’t thinking of anyone but Irene. I know how exasperating these discussions can get.

  • gonzo marx

    exasperating is indeed a good Word for it

    one cannot discuss the purely subjective in an objective manner, and no matter what…this topic tends to be purely subjective by definition…as has been borne out in this thread and many others…

    as for the comment #666…

    i call dibs!

    your friendly neighborhood apostate and heretic

    Excelsior?

  • duane

    Hey, Baronius, just guy talk, eh? No (real) offense intended.

    Gonzo, I wanted 666, too. I’m preparing to change my internet alias to Mark O. Beast, so by all rights….

  • Zedd

    Chris

    #419, pull it together bud. You are sounding a bit wacko now. You do know that the majority of people on this planet have some sort of spiritual belief. If you are the loan prophet screeming in the wind with your few diciples, doesn’t that make you the nutter or cult leader?

    I cant help but sense a deeper reason for your distaste for “religion”. Would you like a lie down on the sofa and share with us? There there old boy…..

    Now as for your insistence that you understand the faith, uhmmm, I have been to England on a number of occasions and have a sense of it, but I sure as heck could not claim to KNOW it, especially against your knowledge of it. I would look very foolish. Well bud, your statements clearly indicate that you don’t understand Christianity. Now because you think Christians are stupid, you will assume that your conclusions are superior and your knowledge is complete by default. You don’t get it, even from an academic stand point. Your comments betray you. Sorry. Just as I don’t get Northern England (I think that’s where you are from) and my comments about the green grass and the rolling hills palleted with cricket players of the regions that I have visited, would betray my ignorance. I was born in a British colony, I spoke British English before I learned American English. I ate British foods and brand names but I don’t really KNOW Britain. Perhaps better than Nancy (maybe) but I don’t know it. Bud, let it go.

    Now I shall avail myself of this thread for now. Its not that interesting. There is really nothing of substance being said from all sides. There is nothing to debate.

    I would have preferred an engaging discussion on cosmology or something of that nature. At least a watered down version of something of that nature.

    This seems more like rebellious teens who don’t want to be told by their parents what to do so they offer nagging “arguments” against the advise. Or a bunch of hippies (same thing)

    next….

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, “loan prophet”? Are you sure you don’t mean “loan profit”? That’s your best yet, you goon! Oh my.

    To try and engage with your comment, which is as waffle-y and ill-thought out as it is mistaken in its mock condescension, I didn’t deny a sense of spirituality, I simply said the one god theory and its associated cults are a cruel deception.

    I don’t think Christians are stupid, and didn’t say so, but your persistent misunderstandings and off topic responses sure are leading me to wonder about you.

    Now why don’t you go and “avail yourself of this thread”, you giddy goat, as you are certainly neither saying anything of substance nor displaying the ability to even notice if anyone else did. I’m actually starting to prefer moonraven’s outright misplaced hostility to your deliciously imprecise ramblings and affectations of intelligence.

    Maybe you’d like to entertain us with your diluted pet theories on the nature and origin of the universe? Don’t forget to include some of your good advice on parenting and your incisive take on the socio-cultural evolution of the late 20th century.

  • troll

    Chris – there are two glaring policy breeches in your last to Zedd…

    you’re confusing my inner bitchy child

  • troll

    (breaches that is)

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    troll – get your trousers back on this minute, you giddy goat goon you!

  • troll

    perhaps it’s a cultural thing…calling a troll a goat is a vile personal attack

    …would ‘insensitive power mad maldito pendejo’ be offensive – ?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I dunno. What’s it mean?

  • troll

    it means ‘capricious alien boy’….xxoo

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Well, in that case, no, it’s not offensive, for I am all three of those things!

  • Zedd

    Chris,

    Funny on the profit thing. I was like, that’s not how you spell prophet. It took me a while to get it….. Oops that was five dots not four or is it three. I see a deep debate on the horizon. Where’s Clav? Google-ing is hard. Sigh…. I’ll have to go to the attic to bring out the enormous 20lb ancient manuscript on dotting. I’ll have to pack a lunch as this quest will be one to tell my grand children about. But what if I misspell? Oh horror of horrors. I revere the great English language!! It matters a great deal to me!!! My self worth is intertwined with my ability to convey my expertise on it. I feel like a puddle of mud… sigh. Oh there those pesky dots are again.

    Yep this religion thing is deep for you. You are hurt. Relax Chris. Huuuuuug! (one of those mellow, puffy hippie group hugs). Fell the love. Flowers and daisies to you man! Hug again! Ooops daisies are flowers, I see another DEEP debate a’comin round de bend. Did I misspell any of that?

    Now, why would you debate me about your part of the world when its clear that I know nothing of substance about it? Its pointless. Its not condescending to tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. It would be sort of kind. I mean it would be rather embarrassing for you to witness, flush worthy even.

    Pride is a booga bear? Did I misspell that?

    You are going on and on about stuff that is completely unrelated to Christianity and are INSISTING that it is relevant. Whats to be done or said? Sorry you don’t get it. I don’t know what to do for you. I told you a couple of times, ignored you, told you again. Sorry bud. Hug though. Cheek pinch. You silly loan profit goon.

  • Zedd

    Chris,

    Light bulb moment!!!

    I never considered getting a theory for a pet. I have always wanted another pet but didn’t want to go through the whole potty training thing again.

    You mean I can have a theory as a pet? I get to nuzzle up with it? Do tickle tickles on it? Oh what to do? Should I get one from a reputable breeder and Register it with the American Theory Club or get a mutt theory? I’ll give it a cute yet quirky name. Can I name it after you Chris? No that would be creepy when it gives me wet theory kisses. It may also require me to edit all of my coos before I say them to it. I’d rather go crazy and coo on the fly.

    This thread as enriched my life after all. You see there is purpose in everything. Oh ye of lil’faith. (thats a nod to your hip hop background)

    Perhaps I can start with the theory about your name and your disdain for the faith. Does this anger have something to do with the folks and their wishes for you and your future? I haven’t decided to take that one home yet though. Does it shed I wonder?

  • Zedd

    I think my dog my be jealous of my theory. I’d better let the entire thing go. Darn!

    Thanks for the suggestion though Chris-t. Oops misspelled again. I’m such a dumb bunny.

  • Duncan

    Andy, it’s so simple that even a simpleton could understand it. Purgatory has long been a defined doctrine of the Church, Limbo has never been. Yes, the nuns and priests who taught you very well might have been mistaken, and they wouldn’t be the first. Then again, maybe you were just a lousy student.

    As for babies who die shortly after birth, the Church leaves them to the mercy and love of God. You should remember that the Church teaches that we can never really know who is saved and who isn’t, but we know God is loving and merciful.

    Really though, I know that anything I’d say would only fall on deaf ears because you’re NOT interested in what the truth is. You dislike faith because if it is true it means your sins really are sins, it means you don’t have the leeway to sin. That’s what bothers you.

  • Zedd

    I really did misspell unintentionally… meant may and said my. ooopsie heh heh.

    Its hard work being a smarty pants. Fun though.

    Excelsior? Weeee?

  • Clavos

    “You dislike faith because if it is true it means your sins really are sins, it means you don’t have the leeway to sin. That’s what bothers you.”

    I dunno about Andy, but that’s me alright.

    That’s exactly why I rejected religion in my teens.

    That and the fact that there’s NO convincing evidence (at least not to me, Doubting Thomas that I am) of it being, as you say, “the truth.”

  • Clavos

    Zedd,

    #459 made me laugh! Quite funny, props.

  • troll

    Duncan – please reference Benedict’s magisterial document that clarifies the status of the limbus puerorum – and of original sin vrs original grace

    that might help to clear things up

    has he actually taken action on this issue in the light of what Sextus V said about aborted infants – (that they couldn’t attain the beatitude) – ?

    …just curious

  • Irene Wagner

    Just a friendly theological comment as the “Rough Beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards comment #666 to be born.”

    The Sunday School teacher in me cannot keep silent, especially when there may be anguished moms and dads reading who have recently suffered the death of a child, in utero or out, or have had an abortion in the past.

    My guiding light is the Bible, as it is for many Christ-loving Roman Catholics, who, in belief and praxis are diverse, as its Magisterium has been historically. I am Protestant, but not a Catholic-basher.

    Re: Eternal Fate of Dead Babies and Foetuses:

    God struck with sickness the infant who was the product of King David’s adulterous union with Bathsheba, whose husband David had arranged to kill. David had this to say after his fasting and weeping to God had failed to restore their child. “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (Nathan and God were both in David-Correction mode, and this last statement of his went unchallenged.) David’s sin had many other painful ramifications, but God restored him into fellowship with himself. David’s psalm 23 is preserved in the Canon, and it says, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” His first baby with Bathsheba was waiting for him there.

    Also, we cannot forget Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples, who were trying to keep the little kids from bothering him. “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Also, his “verily I say unless ye be converted, and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” and his,”Take heed that thou despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

    On the salvation of Christians who have led crappy lives: A key point in the story of David: God does NOT let sin go unpunished, ESPECIALLY in his saints. Payback comes in this life, or the next. It’s important to note that Christ bore the penalty for sin, which is hell, but that does not mean God excuses careless living. At the Judgement Seat of Christ, all those who have called out to God will be rewarded, or denied rewards, depending on how they’ve lived their lives. Some Christians will get JACK SQUAT, though they will be saved “as if by fire.” (I Corinthians 3:15.) Purgatorial fire? Could be. Seeing one’s lifework go up in smoke while others get rewards for theirs sounds pretty purgatorial to me.

    On the Bible and Things About Catholics I, as a Protestant, appreciate: I thank God for the Roman Catholic monks of the Dark Ages who preserved the ancient scholarship of the Greeks for Western civilization. I thank God for using the early church (it didn’t become “Roman Catholic” until a few centuries had passed) for preserving the Textus Receptus which Wycliff, Tyndale and Cloverdale translated into English. The translational errors were polished up by King James’ group of doctrinally diverse Greek and Hebrew scholars, who, remarkably for the religio-political tensions of that time, all signed off on the finished product, the King James Bible. The KJV is still regarded as an accurate translation today, for all its archaic (yet beautifully poetic) language. St. Francis of Assisi still inspires Protestants as an example of humility and charity, as well as being the author of the transcendent “All Creatures of Our God and King” and “Lord, make me an Instrument of Thy Peace.” There are several biographies of Mother Teresa in the library at our Protestant Church.

    On hell: Read C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra, a horrific allegory of what hell may be like, even without the metaphorical hellfire and brimstone. Again, I refer to Sartre’s No Exit. “L’enfer c’est les autres,” or the absence of any “autres” who love you, or whom you could love.

    As I said before, Truth is embodied in the loving arms of the PERSON of Jesus Christ. It’s something you learn bit by bit at His feet, the way a child learns from an adoring Parent. We call God the Father “Abba” which translated is “Daddy.”

    As I’ve also said before, I don’t know all the truth, and I accept that other faiths have truth that I don’t know. I hope nothing I’ve said here (including the misunderstood context of the ‘enjoy your STD’ comment) has given anyone lasting offense, and I hope for some of you, it will bring some measure of peace and comfort.

  • bliffle

    Lots of words but little enlightenment.

    So what happens to infants and unborn dead?

    And what happens to deathbed converts?

  • Irene Wagner

    Hi, Bliffle. Some Sunday School teacher I am! But go back and read the scriptures to which I refer. I’m not sure how I could make the story of King David’s dead infant, or Jesus’ words about children any clearer.

    As for unborn dead, a dead infant is a dead infant, no matter how early in its development its life ended. I’ve shown scriptures that make a pretty good case, I believe, for the view that God’s mercy opens heaven’s gate to all innocent children. I can’t see any Scriptural basis for the view that the case of an aborted child is one in which that mercy would not apply.

    Your second question is a VERY good one. The thief, or one of the thieves, crucified next to Jesus was a prime example of a “deathbed conversion.” This thief watched the way Jesus, even in his agony, prayed out loud to the Father to forgive the soldiers who were hammering in the nails, and indeed the whole mob who clamored for his crucifixion. Having known nothing about Jesus besides witnessing the way he died, this thief was convinced (as was one of the Roman soldiers who was there that afternoon) that there was something noble, kingly, majestic about that Man on the cross next-door, and asked that he be remembered when he entered into his kingdom. And Jesus said to him, This very day you shall be with me in paradise.

    Now, what’s going to happen to that forgiven thief at the Judgment Seat of Christ? What good works does he have to bring to Jesus? Nothing, but the fact that when he was in agony, instead of cursing and mocking God the way the other thief did, and the way many other people on their deathbeds do, he opened his arms to God for the first time in his life. I’m thinking, that’s gotta be worth a reward or two.

    Now, while watching that thief receive his reward at the Judgement seat of Christ, some people who have been slugging away for 70 years, grimly carrying out their “Christian duty,” may be complain that someone who was a Christian for 15 minutes got as many rewards as they did. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the thief was rewarded MORE than such joyless whiners.)

    How will Jesus reply? Jesus might re-tell his parable of the disgruntled workers. The owner of vineyard promised to pay anyone who worked in his field a penny at the end of the day. He hired some at morning, and when they still weren’t finished close to quitting time, he hired some additional workers to get the job done. At the end of the day, everyone got a penny, as promised. When the ones hired at morning were irritated that the ones hired late in the day didn’t get a half a penny, or an eighth of a penny, Jesus replied, “I promised you a penny, and you got one. Why is your eye evil, because I am generous?”

    At the end, Bliffle, even the ones who don’t get rewards are going to be happy. Where God is, there is heaven.

    I came up in a religious home the way many non-believers did. My parents were kind, loving people, but they introduced me to a set of do’s and don’ts, not to God. I blew the whole thing off when I was about 11. I was no smarter then than I am now. Perhaps less so?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    I’ll not argue with anything you say in comment #468. This is your religion and you understand far better than I do – or want to.

    But you managed to inspire me to write an essay on the Jewish concepts of messianic Redemption. It’s about time somebody put forth in clear English just what we do believe in, so that you can’t ask, “why don’t you believe in Jesus?” It’s an essay that I’m sure that Christopher Rose is just dying to read…

  • troll

    Irene – I’m glad to see that you have spoken on these issues…I’ll inform the pope

    …Protestants sure are cocky (and blasphemous) with all that independent interpretation of scripture

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy – I’ve never asked a Jew why he doesn’t believe in Jesus. I’ve only them why *I* do. I look forward to reading your article!

    Troll – Right now, I’m picturing you dressed up in a fluffy white First Holy Communion dress.

  • Clavos

    V, IV, III, II, I…

  • troll

    I don’t have a camera – how did you know – ?

    …paranoia slowly takes hold

  • Zedd

    troll,

    Where is Shark. I miss him. He was so funny.

  • Irene Wagner

    Zedd, where is Ruvy? I wanted to read that article, but I can’t even find him in the Writer’s List.

    Troll – don’t worry. The magic glasses don’t have X ray vision or any sick-o stuff like that.

  • troll

    Zedd – I’ve heard nothing concerning His battle with cancer

  • Dr Dreadful

    Irene,

    He might not be in the list of writers at the bottom of the BC main page, but if you click on the “List All Writers” link by it you should be able to find him.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Shark, I have to say, is a true scholar on Christianity. Between him and Gonzo, I’ve learned a great deal about the religion…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    I haven’t written the article on Jewish messianic concepts yet. Yagía b’karóv – it will arrive soon…

    But if you look at my writer’s page here, you’ll see all 84 articles I have written…

  • straight and proud

    It is my right to repudiate homosexuality and reject fagotism completely!! Deal with it!!

  • James

    I am so tired of the homo agenda being rammed dwon my throat. In this case, I agree with the church. Its their property, their building and it should be their rules.

  • Clavos

    straight and proud and James,

    So I guess a bj would be out of the question then?

  • Bert

    Can homosexuals deal with the Christian/Jewish/Muslim truth that homosexuality is a SIN. We are all sinners. The whole world is under sin. Do we want to now flaunt sin before our HOLY GOD??? Instead we should humble ourseleves in the sight of the Lord.

  • susieq

    Church was right – they did what they felt was right – they did not have to offer to pay for the services at another church – while I never ever discriminate against anyone no matter what their sexual orientation, race, religion, yadayada, my view of homosexualty is it is a sin. And there is no rights afforded homosexuals under the constitution. How a person chooses to have sex, other than with minors, by force and with animals, is no one’s business and there should never be special rights given to anyone based on how they choose to have sex. Geeeezz

  • Dr Dreadful

    How a person chooses to have sex, other than with minors, by force and with animals, is no one’s business and there should never be special rights given to anyone based on how they choose to have sex.

    So by that, Susie, I take it you agree that people who choose to have straight sex should not have any “special right” to get married which gay couples do not have?

  • Nancy

    Irene, your concept of God as a loving “daddy” is a wonderful & snuggly fantasy; I wish I could share it, I really do. Unfortunately, the way the world seems to run, I remain convinced it’s just that: a fantasy, wishful thinking. Because otherwise, why is God so kind & loving to some, & so callous or even cruel to others? How is it he seems to so lavishly reward the wicked, while abandoning the helpless? Please don’t refer me to various bible verses; I’ve read the whole thing in detail many times, plus years of commentaries by various theologians, can probably quote it better than you, & have found no answers there – just glib, pat fob-offs & BS. I’ve also had access to translations of various other religions’ scriptures & commentaries, altho I don’t know them as well, obviously, but haven’t seen anything I could bank on in them, either.

    However, I do envy you your faith. Wish I could be that delusional….

    Ruvy, I look forward to your article. For some reason, there are very few things I’ve ever read BY a Jew on what Jews believe regarding the Messiah & messianic thinking. The Passover Plot is about the best thus far. I recommend it to anybody for general reading who’s interested.

  • Mikeyh0

    There seems to be a lot of people out there in the nether regions who offer insights both great and small. Knowledge seems to be at a premium, though. I guess that’s why it’s called opinion. Gee, I wish I had one. How about this: I really like cauliflower.

  • Mark

    If I visit a church, I take my hat off.
    It is a sign of respect.
    If a lady visits a mosque, she covers her head for the same reason.
    The institutions of faith have their own codes of conduct and should be respected.
    However, aren’t churches rented out for other activities, such as bingo gambling, and october fesivals, etc…?
    Where should the church draw the lines?
    What else should they be allowed to include or exclude?
    I don’t really have a solid opinion on the matter.

  • Jaime

    Hey Clavos & Nancy,
    Remember GOD and his Angels destroyed Sodom just for such acts. GOD is a GOD of love yes.. But he is also a GOD of Hate.

    Though he can forgive your sins he will not forgive a way of life simply because it feels good. Remember this he says if he doesnt know you he will not let you into eternal life. Im sure we all know who president Bush is but try getting into the White house, it wont happen, BUT !! if President Bush Knows you, Guess What Your in !!

    You both are missing the whole point to Hummanity. GOD is not about solving All our problems at this time. Its about our Selection of Life and Government. Who do we want to govern us and what kind of love, family and life do we want. The Father told us along time ago to not choose a king, but that he would be our king. We rejected that notion and since then we’ve tried every form of Govt since that time.

    We now know that we cannot govern ourselves as greed and power will eventually corrupt. Even the best intentions of a society will fall.

    And through this all we a have brought on mirads of battles dealing with health, accidents, treachery, war, sinful desires, sinful behaviors that are detrimental to all humanity. We are loosing Honor, dignity, respect, Love and discipline. These are the virtues of a lawful abiding Nation or Family. Instead we quarrel, demand and divide. Where is the Unity that once was? Its falling with the lack of Sanctity in our beautiful Laws that were once based on the Ten Commandments.. Think on this and I have faith the deep down you will see the visions of which i speak.

  • Patriotic

    Okay, I’ve read every comment placed regarding this so-called news. The man is forgiven for his sin of homosexuality. Just leave the pictures home. And, yes, this country was founded on the ideals and Christian beliefs that make up our Constitution. We’ve just lost track of the message. Forgiveness is in our hearts. Allow the funeral service, just don’t make it an endorsement of the sin of homosexuality.

  • Jaime

    Just another quick comment. I dont care, and never did about the current culture of PC and diversity. Its wrong.. We should be preaching Unity not diversity.

    As far as Homosexuality, its WRONG!! I dont care who says what or what they think or how they got there, the Bottom Line is that its WRONG !! I personally know a few people who are admitted Homosexuals and I like them on a personal level, but that does make what they do All Right !!

    That be like saying, since im a nice guy and take care of my family people should make special cause for my need to beat animals. Of cousre thats wrong!

  • Nancy

    Jaime, Jews & Muslims are equally adamant that eating pork is a sin, & you’re going to suffer for eating it…even tho you’re not of their faith. Their belief in pork being verboten is exactly like your belief in imposing your religious prejudices & superstitions (which in the end is what religion truly is) on everyone else. So keep them to yourself, & cease this babble. You wanna worship & believe in a god of hate? Go ahead. It sort of defines you & your fellow believers, in a horrible way.

  • Jaime

    Nancy
    no its not the same. how can I say this? Well for one thing there is only one scripture on text known to man to claim it is only this text and by this faith can one be saved. NO OTHER. That Scripture and text is the holy Bible known by most as Christ the one and only savior.

    I know this sounds like other religous zealots and faiths but truly only one can come out as the real one. And this is the crux. you Just have to have some direction and faith. But its easy, which one promotes Love, kindness, tolerance, faith, wisdom and order. I promise you I am VERY indepth when it comes to Islam and it DOES NOT promote this. Not if you want to be a devout Muslim. Am I against Islam? Yes.. Am I
    against muslims? NO…

    And the hate things, your saying Nancy that if i kill your sibling or child you wont hat this? Of course GOD hates SIN.. Its imposible to have love without hate. Sorry to break it to you Nancy but it does not exist.

  • Jaime

    And remember this Nancy,
    I will not cease this “babble” as you call it(by the way I’m suprised you used this word as it comes from the scriptural word Babel, as in the Tower Of). I am a devout Christian who is by no means a weak meely mouthed idividual. Im physically strong, mentally fused with the Knowledge of Christ and the Scriptures. Can even rebuttal and debate any scholar.

    But i am also firm and loving and demand alot from myself with discpline and open mindedness. this does not Im open to Sin, im open to ideas and others opinions. Just because Im Christian dont think im some whimp.. In fact REAL Christians are hard, loving, good sense of humor type people. Trust me there may not be many but we are out there. So be careful of your challenge I will standfast and hold to the ONE And ONLY GOD The father through CHRIST !!

  • Mark

    Jaime,

    are you against all faiths that are not Christian?
    are there denominations of Christianity that you are against?

  • Jaime

    Mark,
    I cant say.. I know there are some that I disagree with but, I would never limit the Father’s wonderful work to just one group or faith.

    I can only believe the written word, —as it is revealed to man (ie:in just the last 35years have the keys of Daniel been opened up to mankind).

    Having said that Im open to all those who honor Christ, and do not agree any that do not acknowledge him as savior.

    but Thank you for asking Mark..

  • Nancy

    Hold to whatever fantasies you want, Jaime, but don’t threaten or impose them on everybody else. It’s zealots like you (yes, you are indeed a zealot, altho you deny it, probably because you can’t recognize the tree trunk in your own eye while decrying the splinter in everyone else’s) who give christianity a bad name, by trying to endlessly and annoyingly peddle your beliefs without invitation, or outright impose them on the rest of us. You’d scream bloody murder if someone tried to legislate pork away, but you & your christian ilk don’t hesitate to claim that your certainty authorizes you to do whatever you want to promulgate your beliefs. Yet muslims & jews are just as certain in their beliefs, about pork & other things. I used that as an example. Yes, by all means believe what you like, especially if some of the strictures can serve to keep you in check & away from imposing on the rest of us who refuse or reject your god & your particular idiosyncratic religious delusions.

  • Jaime

    MY BELIEFS ?!!! What about YOURS you self imposed righteous Pios pushing Civil liberty Painter ! Who are you to tell me what I should say or not.? Is this not a blog. Did I not freely engage in comment such as you? Who do you think you are telling me what i can and cant say?!!

    Let me tell you Nancy, your way of thinking is just what is bringing down this nation. And I for one, has had it. Your attack on Christianity has to stop. But then again I dont have to worry do I? Because according to the Faith of the Father he will restitute in the end and only then will –even someone- like you, will know what its like to be loved and forgiven.

    Even now as you spew your fodder and intolerance I can still forgive you, for you do not know of what you speak.

    Nancy they will have to kill me before they stop me and my belief in the ONE and ONLY CHRIST and our father.

    So dont go there. Try another approach and maybe we can get a good conversation but dont EVEN try to shut me up. Cause it AINT GONNA HAPPEN !

  • Nancy

    Ah-HA! Well, if your god is so powerful as well as intolerant, where’s the lightning? Or does he require YOU to do all his smiting for him as his authorized agent on earth, as Bush & so many other so-called christians seem to believe? Hunh. You christians can dish it out but you can’t stomach your own medicine, can you.

  • Jaime

    Nancy

    Your not getting it and Im not sure you ever will. I really feel sorry for you Nancy, Truly. I couldnt imagine living life without the beautiful relationship with the Creator and his Son.

    What kind of GOD would he be if he struck down anyone who said any word of injustice at any given time? NO. He is the GOD of great mercy and is only giving us time to find all we need to find out as an earthly people.

    Its not about just right and wrong (yes this is needed to live true, otherwise chaos would exist)but its about family Nancy.

    You know Nancy, my biggest and only fear would be to live a life Without The GOD family. To live without Christ!! I love him and feel so Honored and blessed to have the scripture and his Faith.!

    Man Nancy, i so wish this for you.. Is okay though.. Im not worried about being right. Im only wanting more to understand and believe.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Jaime, to those of us not afflicted by the god delusion, you are a perfect example of everything that is wrong with this cruel deception.

    Not only are you so dogmatically committed to your unshakeable delusion, you actually go so far as to admit that you are afraid of giving up your illusory comfort blanket.

    Truly, this is a most insidious disease of the heart.

  • Mark

    why insult those who have a faith in a god as being delusional ?

  • Nancy

    Because they go around insulting non-believers by accosting them & insisting they also believe, or will go to hell, or whatever the threat of the day is. It’s a lame threat, based on cowing the recipient into superstitious acquiescence & joining their herd mentality by bullying & the threat of impending eternal Doom, that’s why. I’m sick of spiritual bullies & con men. Keep it to yourselves. Believe whatever tripe you like, but keep it to yourselves & I won’t harangue you about Cheney being the ringleader of 9/11.

  • Nancy

    More to the point: you have enough to do to look after your OWN soul; leave me & mine alone.

  • gonzo marx

    don’t make me stop this car and come into the BACK SEAT OF THIS THREAD!!!

    i’m just saying…

    for those who like to think of their Bible as the literal Word and such…or that this book is either infallible or written by other than men…ponder your arguments first…

    than Ask yourself…why are the Commandments different between Jews, Catholics and Protestants?

    who changed the day of the Sabbath, and why?

    food for Thought…

    Excelsior?

  • The Reformer

    Thats funny….does Jamie do all the smiting?….lol….Tell ya what nancy, Jamie aint got nothing compared to what wrath you will suffer from God on YOUR day of Judgement. And also, on your faith comment up higher, there is only ONE faith, and that is in Jesus Christ, NO OTHER, any faith in budda, Allah, whatever, is like having faith in a roach,,…..it will get you nothing but HELL.

    Have A Nice Day

  • Jaime

    To Nancy and Christopher Rose.

    you two are so off the path..

    Where in my argument or debate to you did I “go around insulting non-believers by accosting them & insisting they also believe, or say you will go to hell?!!!

    Thats between you and the Creator (or Whatever your end will be. ) its okay with me that you die without a belief in the right one. I dont mind if you want to practice HOMO Sex. I really dont care What you do with your life. Just dont impose an agnostic or fallible law that would call the destruction of organization and solid foundations that made this country great!!

    Go do your gay things or promote all the lewdness you want but dont YOU DARE expect me to sit on the side lines an let you destroy Family and Good Character. I will fight you and all your acts that cause harm to decency!!

  • Jaime

    to: Nancy and Rose
    The freedoms that we have and the freedoms we continue to fight and Die for, we have, not because of celebrities or elites. The freedoms are because of ordinary people who did extraordinary things, who loved GOD and this country, more than life itself but who earned a place for you and I, to enjoy this great land we call home, this wonderful nation that we should love enough to protect and preserve with the kind of conservative, solid Christian values and principles that made us a great nation. We live in the Land of the Free because of the Brave! We are not and Will NOT be blinded by political correctness.

    We will continue to our dying breath to protect and spread the good news of Christ and believe in true Sovereignty.
    We also know concerning Liberty and Peace on or ally to our soil, It’s far later in the game than most realize, for the enemy has accomplished much in terms of their infiltration, population and entrenchment on our lands and in so many hearts of the people. Many including radical Islamist barbarians truly believe that America is their’s for the taking. They’re convinced that their imperialistic drive to conquer our nation is far stronger than our willingness to fight for what’s rightfully ours. A scant few of us are willing to make the necessary changes within ourselves first then our country and to resist these cretins.
    Their victory would mean the end of the United States and the end of the free world as we know it. To them, it is not about politics, it is about religion, a radical religion where the law allows for beheadings, stoning and maiming; a radical religion that uses terror as its tool of choice to keep the masses in line.

  • gonzo marx

    for Jaime in #509 – please do demonstrate and/or cite examples of how in any way , a homosexual relationship harms or diminishes anyone else’s relationship?

    while you are at it, i’ll extend my usual challenge..please do find me a single quote from Jesus that calls homosexuality a sin

    good luck…i’ll wait

    Excelsior?

  • Jaime

    Gonzo,
    Jesus didnt but Paul did. he also called it perversion. Romans 1:27 and dont forget the destruction of Sodom.. If you dont find that the new testament is divine and true, then I cant help you or even win an argument with you. All I can do is tell you that I disagree and begin a frontline from there.

  • Jaime

    Mark,
    wanted to let you know that I respect your ability to be open and Kind with your thoughts. I currently am the Chancellor of a group called the Western Knights of Peace. So I wanted to make the below statement about our committment, drive and spirit.

    I promise you “that every fiber of my being is consecrated to our cause; that nothing shall be lacking from the struggle that can be brought to it by enthusiasm, by devotion, and plain hard work. In this world no person, no party or organization can guarantee anything. “The good Lord raised this mighty Republic to be a home for the brave and to flourish as the land of the free-not to stagnate in the swampland of collectivism”, Diversity, Liberalism, Islamic Radicals, and “not to cringe before the bully of communism” nor socialism or the Principalities of the world.
    “The tide has been running against freedom”. “Our people have followed false prophets. We must, and we shall, return to proven ways– not because they are old, but because they are true. We must, and we shall, set the tide running again in the cause of freedom”. We can be freedom’s Knights of Honor in a doubting world with the strength of a good man and gentlemen. “Now, certainly, simple honesty is not too much to demand of men in government”. Knights will make a movement to hold accountability for it from everyone holding any public office.
    We Knights are now the Light of the World to shout and to take action.
    “Those who seek to live your lives for you, to take your liberties in return for relieving you of yours, those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for divine will, and this Nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom”.

  • Catey

    Gonzo, I read somewhere that a gentile believer should not practise the sabbath the same as a jew.It is for the same reason that the jews discourage coverting to judaism,aswell as the keeping of all the laws expected of the jews.

  • gonzo marx

    Jaime, thanks for correctly stating that Jesus said nothing about it…

    i am well aware that Paul said a lot of shit, so..you are taking as literal gospel the ravings of a delusional man who claimed to know the Mind and Will of God..and using this as your theological basis for argument?

    just wanting to be clear, especially since 21 of the (normally) 27 books of the NT are attributed to Saul of Tarsus…hence making what passes for “christianity” in today’s context really equate to the following of Paul, NOT Jesus..despite all protestations to the contrary…

    scroll up earlier in the thread..i openly refer to myself as both apostate and heretic..but i am a knowledgeable one on some of these subjects, for all that i completely reject not only the correctly attributed Pauline texts, but the vast majority of them thta were written after his death, but with his name on them..and then included into the unified (catholic) bible by a single bishop(Iraneus) around 150 ad

    these simple and verifiable facts destroy whatever credence you care to make about the divinity or even the accuracy of the texts you appear to revere so…not that there isn’t some good stuff in there on how to live a life…but there’s a lot of shit in there too

    and so it ever is with the works of Men and the hubris of those who claim to know the Mind or Will of *god*

    Excelsior?

  • gonzo marx

    Catey – i’d be interested in seeing where that came form..i’ll bet it’s something from a christian in the Middle Ages or later during the rise of Dispensationalism

    see, it was changed by Constantine to usurp the day that Roman’s worshipped their sun-god at the time (it was also the time period halos were introduced to christianity, stolen form the holy glow of the sun-god’s prophets))

    but if the Laws and the Prophets are to be followed by christians..then the ONLY direct words of god to man, the Ten Commandments as given to Moses, would be paramount..would they not?

    not only do they disagree on the sabbath, there are many differences between the traditional 10 kept intact by the Jews since Moses…the Catholic verison..and the Protestant verisons…go and look them up

    the fallacies and foibles of Men appear to corrupt even the direct *word* when carved in stone by the Divine, eh?

    a lesson that Faith is a private thing for the Individual..but Religion is a political tool and serves only itself

    Excelsior?

  • Mark

    It seems that the preaching (secular or not), and insulting from any side, from any belief can be problematic. People don’t respond well to it.

    However I will state my thoughts:

    I believe there is a god that is beyond what is being discussed here, not swamped in religion or dogma. There are many ways for god to communicate.
    I also believe in science, such as evolution and geology, being the method of creation.
    I believe it is part of human nature to have faith even though not everyone has it.

    So, where does all this division and opinions leave us?

  • Catey

    Gonzo,

    Maybe Ruvy knows .There are things that non Jews are forbidden to do in the same manner as Jews.

    Your theories sound like Jack T. Chick , who published comic books about the evils of the catholic church…

  • LeeAnn

    An earlier comment says that “resentment against Christianity is understandable” (yes, I’m paraphrasing). I am forever astounded that I live in a world that, in 2007, has such a strong phobia and hatred when it comes to Christianity. Those of us that are believers and followers of Christ are not bad people. We are not hateful, misguided, or “close-minded”, among other negativism thrown our way. Most of the “great” religions have had issues, directly related to the people, not the religions themselves, and have amassed numerous reasons they can be “resented”. Why should Christianity be singled out? I don’t understand the hatred and YES, intolerance thrown our way. Especially here in America we are free to believe what we believe, just as you are free to believe in something else, or not believe at all. I am constantly floored by the expectation that I give on everything, yet so many have no give for me.

    I’m rambling a little bit here, I know, but the point is that Christianity is no worse than any other religion out there and I’m frustrated by those of you that insist it is. Despite my frustration, I will continue my prayers for all of you: that God will touch your lives as He has touched mine. Good luck and God Bless.

  • Hobart Stinson

    On sinners: Their god is their own appetite, they glory in their shame, and this world is the limit of their horizon. Philippians 3:19

    That statement applies to the family who did not respect the basic tenets of the Christian church when displaying images of a man’s homosexuality inside the church.

    To those who say Jesus would have welcomed this funeral think this: would Jesus have exalted a prostitute and prominently displayed images of her plying her trade at her funeral?

    *****************************************
    Discussion is the exchange of knowledge. Argument is the exchange of ignorance.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Jesus’s closest female disciple, Mary Magdalene, was a prostitute. Read your New Testament, you dogmatic dunce.

  • http://Justusbros Anthony

    First time blogger. LOL. serious. I wish to thank everyone of you for a very interesting ; and educational evening. Most FUN Ive had in a while. GOD BLESS.

  • bliffle

    “Those of us that are believers and followers of Christ are not bad people. We are not hateful, misguided, or “close-minded”,…”

    Nevertheless, your armies marched and killed millions where they lived in their own countries, your torturers savaged innocents, and your priests destroyed the cultures of millions and provided moral excuses for plunder and murder. And you wonder that people are suspicious, wary and resentful as they are?

  • troll

    funny that you should bring up the 10 commandments:

    in the 10th where we are instructed not to covet our neighbor’s ass

    now god in his omniscience has known forever what connotations this phrase would take on through the ages and therefore the admonition against homosexuality is clear……

  • gonzo marx

    Doc D sez “Jesus’s closest female disciple, Mary Magdalene, was a prostitute. Read your New Testament, you dogmatic dunce.”

    actually Doc..that is a fallacy…there was a scribe ..Barnabbas i think, some minor clergyperson…who mistakenly conflated an unnamed woman in an earlier Story..a prostitute who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair…with Mary of Magdelene

    current studies posit that the two are NOT the same, and that the error may have been perpetrated by a patriarchy uninterested in a strong female figure

    to see why, you would need to understand the strife between early christian factions…the Valentinians versus Iraneus and the Unified(catholics)…but is the Gospel of Mary, check chapter 4, verse 26 for pertinence to this discussion

    on that website is also the Valentinian theology…an interesting read for those who like such things, and a far cry indeed from what we know as church dogma in history

    but my poin tis that the unnamed prostitute is NOT Mary of Magdelene, but just another mistake by church elders involving the scripture they chose to utilize

    Excelsior?

  • Jaime

    Gonzo,
    Im going to hav the last word here. You spew out your venomous hate and claim yourself a scholar but Jesus made comment agains those who thought themselves scholars and literalists. John 5:39.

    Perhaps you’ve seen newspaper reports about the “Jesus Seminar,” a group of scholars who claim that Jesus didn’t say most of the things the Bible says he did. Or perhaps you’ve heard of other scholars who say that the Bible is a collection of contradictions and myths.
    Many well-educated people dismiss the Bible. Many other equally educated people believe it is a trustworthy record of what God has done and said. If we cannot trust what the Bible says about Jesus, for example, then we will know almost nothing about him.
    The Jesus Seminar began with a preconceived idea of what Jesus would have taught. They accepted the sayings that fit this idea, and rejected the sayings that didn’t, thereby, in effect, creating a Jesus in their own image.

    This is not good scholarship, and even many liberal scholars disagree with the Seminar.
    Do we have good reason to trust the biblical reports about Jesus? Certainly—they were written within a few decades of Jesus’ death, when eyewitnesses were still alive. Jewish disciples often memorized the words of their teachers, so it is quite possible that Jesus’ disciples preserved his teachings accurately.

    We have no evidence that they invented sayings to deal with early church concerns, such as circumcision. This suggests that they are reliable reports of what Jesus taught.
    We can also be confident that the manuscripts were well preserved. We have some copies from the fourth century, and smaller sections from the second. This is better than all other historical books. (The oldest copy of Virgil was copied 350 years after Virgil died; of Plato, 1,300 years.) The manuscripts show that the Bible was copied carefully, and we have a highly reliable text.

    and as you think you may know dont forget that before Jesus was flesh he was the Word of GOD whom all things the father Does, this included the destruction of SODOM.. GOT IT GONZO!!?

    The words of David were inspired by the Holy Spirit (Mark 12:36); a prophecy was given “through” Daniel (Matthew 24:15) because its real origin was God.

    Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-5 that the Creator said in Genesis 2:24: “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.” However, Genesis does not describe this verse as the words of God. Jesus could say that God said it simply because it was in Scripture. The assumption is that God is the ultimate author of all of Scripture.

    The evidence throughout the Gospels is that Jesus viewed Scripture as reliable and trustworthy. As he reminded the Jewish leaders, “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Jesus expected it to be valid; he even upheld the validity of old covenant commands while the old covenant was still in force (Matthew 8:4; 23:23).

  • gonzo marx

    Jaime – no hate for any living individual here, quite the contrary…

    and you might want to look more deeply into the reality of the Jesus Seminar…far different than what you state

    as to your assertions on provenance of scripture…look up the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts, both of which i reference earlier

    while you are at it, look up Iraneus and his “Book of Five Heresies”..and do note that it was he who is considered the first individual to set down the texts acceptable and referred to now as the New Testament

    then c’mon back and i’ll be happy to discuss some of this with you…but there’s no hate from me

    just some Questions, and a rejection of dogmatic pronouncements no matter the source

    thus i remain, apostate and heretic…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    …and hands down winner of that mini-debate…

    The earliest known writings so far discovered, BTW, were written in 5500 BC and discovered in Pakistan in 1999.

  • gonzo marx

    well now, Clavos…good eye on the old writings bit, tho there are some Chinese scholars who dispute the claim to oldest writings…

    but i digress

    my point is not just about how old some writings are, but their overall provenance and authenticity…not to mention the dubious quality of “inspiration” when it comes to source for the material

    case in point, Saul of Tarsus…known as Saint Paul, the alleged author of 21 out of 27 books in the New Testament…we are supposed to believe that this old reprobate fell down and was “inspired” to write out all of this as if it was the direct word of the allmighty..

    yeah..and blue monkeys could fly outta my butt (royalty to Mike Myers)

    but, ya get my point…

    Excelsior?

  • STM

    Straight and proud wrote: “I am so tired of the homo agenda being rammed down my throat.”

    Lol. Classic S and P. But as Clav’s question poses, was it accidental?? How the fuck did I miss this.