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arely staircase

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Member since: Sun Dec 11, 2011, 05:54 PM
Number of posts: 10,723

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An apology to atheists of good will from a liberal Christian

I started a thread and GD that, rightfully, was locked. In it I stated that atheists and fundamentalists shared the same flaw of insisting the Bible be interpreted literally - the former for the purposes of discrediting Christians and the latter for the purposes of claiming they were the only ones doing it right.

By doing so, I was engaging in the same type of behavior I was decrying - lumping all atheists into a monolithic category. Some of the people I admire most in this world are atheists or agnostics.

Please accept my apology.

arely staircase
Posted by arely staircase | Fri May 31, 2013, 03:46 PM (21 replies)

On Christian fundamentalism

It would seem that only two groups of people interpret the Bible literally;

fundamentalists and atheist.

how ironic
Posted by arely staircase | Thu May 30, 2013, 11:42 PM (35 replies)

"we might as well go home and get our guns out" says crazy man

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) sounded a dire note of caution Wednesday about the dangers of curtailing the First Amendment, warning ominously that any limits to free speech should serve as a call to arms. LePage was still fuming over an incident at a state Appropriations Committee meeting on May 19, when his request to speak about the state budget was denied by a Democratic legislator.

"It’s freedom of speech. You folks should understand that better than I," LePage told reporters, as quoted by the Portland Press Herald. "It is the First Amendment, then there is the Second and I love ‘em both." The outspoken governor added, "The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out."

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/paul-lepage-we-might-as-well-go-home?ref=fpb
Posted by arely staircase | Wed May 29, 2013, 09:41 PM (0 replies)

Best Iraq/Afghanistan War Movie

What is the Iraq/Afghanistan war movie you have seen?
Posted by arely staircase | Mon May 27, 2013, 02:50 PM (27 replies)

Louis CK nails the banking system: funny because it is true

“I’m broke, is anyone else broke? {cheers} You ever get so broke that the bank starts charging you money…for not having enough money? {laughs} I’m fuckin’ broke, man.

The bank called me up, they said ‘Hi, we’re calling you because you don’t have enough money.’ I said, I know! They said ‘You have insufficient funds,’ and I said, well, I agree with that. I find my funds to be grossly insufficient! Thanks for calling… {shrugs, audience laughs}

Why are you mad at me? I don’t understand what…How is this something I’m doing to you? She was like, ‘Sir, you only have $20, that’s not enough. You can’t only have $20!’ I was like, look, I’m not being broke just to fuck with you, I really don’t have any money! I’m not trying to be a dick, I just…my life is shitty! {laughs}

So they charged me $15, that’s how much it costs to only have $20. {laughs} But here is the fucked-up part, now I only have $5! What am I paying the $15 for if I don’t get to have the $20…that I paid to have! I paid the fuckin’ money, where is my $20? That’s like going to the movies, you pay for your ticket and they say ‘Get the fuck outta here, go home!’ …But I paid for the movie? ‘No, you paid for a ticket, motherfucker, you didn’t pay for a movie!’

You ever have negative money? That’s depressing, isn’t it? You look in your bank account and it says ‘negative $10,’ that’s how much I have now. Negative $10. That means I don’t even have no money now. I wish I did! I wish I didn’t have anything, I wish I just had nothing, but I have less than that! I don’t have none. I have not $10. {laughs} If it’s free, I can’t fucking afford it!

Someone could come up to me, ‘Hey, this is free!’ Fuck, that costs nothing! I can’t afford that, that’s more than I have! I gotta raise $10 to be broke! That’s not good. That’s bad! {laughs}

Apparently some of you are in the same fuckin’ position. {cheers, laughs} How’s your economy doin’? Shit! I’m glad you appreciate that story, not everyone appreciates that story. I told that story about a week ago in Orange County, California with all these rich motherfuckers lookin’ at me they’re all lookin’ at me like, ‘Well, yeah. You were financially irresponsible and had to pay the price. I don’t frankly see why you’re angry about it. The bank had the right to approve a fee, clearly.’

That’s how different it is to be rich than it is to be poor! ‘Cause when you’re rich, the bank pays you for being rich! If you have a lot of money, they give you money! Because you have a lot of money! You have so much money that we should give you some! Because you have a lot, you should have more! Here, take more money! Take this guy’s $15, fuck him, you should have it! {laughs} He doesn’t have enough, but you have a lot. {shrugs}

Fine, take it all you motherfuckers, I don’t give a shit! You ever get so broke it just becomes funny to you after a while? You’re like, ‘Jesus Christ! I have no fuckin’ money! Jesus!’ {laughs}

People call you, ‘Hi, we’re gonna turn off the….” Fuck it! Turn it off, man! Turn it off, I don’t give a shit!

‘When can you make a payment?’ I ain’t payin’ anything, what am I gonna fuckin’ pay you with? I fuckin’ sold the phone, I don’t need it now. Damn it, man. Shit’s brutal.”
Posted by arely staircase | Sat May 25, 2013, 07:19 PM (9 replies)

When were you saved?

That is a question I am asked by fundamentalist friends who don't understand my Episcopal faith. Here is the best answer I have found:

"Can a person get 'saved' in the Episcopal Church?"

The answer is an absolute "YES!" Often, there is the follow up question, "When were you saved?" My response is "I was saved in the year 33AD by a man hanging on a cross between heaven and earth on a filthy hillside just outside of Jerusalem, and I am being saved as this same man, who rose in victory over the grave and death, lives to interceed for me at the right hand of God. And more, I will be saved when he comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead--pick one, but I live in all three catogories according to the Scriptures..."

Here are four aspects of an Anglican understanding of salvation, from A sermon given at The Episcopal Church at Princeton University,
The Rev. Dr. Stephen L. White, Chaplain


1. We believe salvation begins with baptism. In baptism we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. (So, if anyone asks you if you are born again, the answer can always be “yes” if you are baptized.

Baptism is the rite by which we are initiated as Christians. In it we turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as our Savior an we are sealed and marked as Christ’s own forever. But far from completing the process of becoming a Christian, in baptism we are just beginning the journey.

2. The salvation process is nurtured by the Eucharist – that great rehearsal and celebration of our salvation. The consecrated bread and wine are the food for the Christian traveler. Eucharist is central to our lives as Christian pilgrims because in it:
•we hear the scriptures read and rehearse the history of our salvation
•we hear the Gospel proclaimed
•we pray for the church, the world, others, ourselves
•we are reminded that our sins are forgiven if we ask for forgiveness
•we celebrate the real presence of the risen Christ among us and we are fed with spiritual food in communion
•we dedicate ourselves to serving Christ in the world as we prepare to depart.

In other words, we pray – implicitly and explicitly – “Lord Jesus, be known to us as you were known to your disciples in the breaking of the bread.”

3. As already mentioned there is continual growth. We stumble and fall, and then pick ourselves up again and keep on going. We stray and we return. As we receive communion we should say: “Out with self, out with envy, out with anger and self-centeredness, out with greed. In with Jesus, in with love, in with compassion, in with patience, in with understanding, in with love.” Our goal is to be able to say with Saint Paul: “It is not I, but Christ who is within me.”

4. Finally, honesty with ourselves is paramount. If life is a continuing process toward salvation, then continual repentance is key. And there is no true repentance without brutal honesty with oneself. You can’t fake repentance.

We come now to the four steps of repentance:

To repent we 1.) We acknowledge our sins to ourselves; 2.) We confess our sins to God; 3.) We ask those whom we have harmed or offended for forgiveness and we make restitution or reparations where necessary and where possible; 4.) We resolve to amend our lives, asking God’s help.

Rather than asking if others are saved, Christians would be much better off to embrace that God's love is unconditional---Jesus never asked anyone if they were saved, but in his life and ministry he did ask those he encoutered "How can i help you?"
Posted by arely staircase | Sat May 25, 2013, 05:54 PM (19 replies)

RIP Lee Rigby

Woolwich attack: murdered soldier Drummer Lee Rigby 'would do anything for anybody’

Drummer Lee Rigby was a loving father who only ever wanted to be a soldier and “live life and enjoy himself”, his family said.

The 25-year-old soldier, from Crumpsall, Manchester, was walking towards the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, on Wednesday when he was run down by a car and murdered by two terrorists.

A moving tribute from his family described how he was always there to protect his loved ones and played the “big brother” role to his sisters.



Posted by arely staircase | Thu May 23, 2013, 06:16 PM (14 replies)

Obama Acts to Curtail Drones


WASHINGTON — President Obama on Thursday announced new restraints on targeted killings and narrowed the scope of the long struggle with terrorists as part of a transition to a day he envisions when the nation will no longer be on the war footing it has been on since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In a widely anticipated speech at the National Defense University, Mr. Obama offered his most expansive defense of the drone war he has waged since taking office, but he signaled that he planned to wind down the strikes, which have stirred controversy at home and abroad. He referred obliquely to a new secret order imposing a higher standard on authorizing such attacks and shifting responsibility more from the C.I.A. to the military.

Beyond that, Mr. Obama proposed the creation of a secret court or some other independent body that would have to sign off on strikes in the future. He also called on Congress to revise the authorization of force it passed in the aftermath of Sept. 11 to reflect the changing nature of the war on terrorism. And he renewed his moribund effort to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by saying that he would lift a moratorium on transferring scores of detainees to Yemen.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/us/politics/pivoting-from-a-war-footing-obama-acts-to-curtail-drones.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Posted by arely staircase | Thu May 23, 2013, 06:11 PM (0 replies)

Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor’s house

Perpetrators of the worst practical joke on the Internet, be warned: If you pose as someone else on Craigslist and invite sex-hungry strangers to that person’s house, you will get charged with a felony.

Meet 30-year-old Jason T. Willis, of Waterford, Wis. who’s sitting in jail today on a $1,000 bond. Willis told police he was just “joking” when he posed as a neighbor and posted at least six sexually explicit Craigslist ads inviting men to her house. One of the hopeful, horny Craigslisters showed up in full flasher regalia, naked except for a coat. The neighbor was not amused and called the cops.

Willis has been charged with felony identity theft and is currently sitting in jail awaiting a May 28 court appearance. He’s not the first one to get busted for harassing someone with sex ads on Craigslist. In March, 61-year-old LIbrary of Congress Archivist Kenneth Kuban was charged with felony stalking after allegedly harassing his 64-year-old ex-girlfriend with phony ads for months


http://www.salon.com/2013/05/23/craigslist_practical_joker_arrested_for_inviting_strangers_to_neighbors_house_partner/

I sure am glad we didn't have the internet when I was a teenager - I would be unemployable now. Of course this guy is 33.
Posted by arely staircase | Thu May 23, 2013, 05:12 PM (111 replies)

Drones to be used against civilian non-combatants

WWF To Use Drones to Stop Poaching

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has announced plans to use drones to counter the recent increase in poaching. If all goes according to plan, WWF will to have deployed a surveillance drone in either Africa or Asia by the end of 2013 and will deploy another drone in a second country in 2014.

“We face an unprecedented poaching crisis,” WWF president and CEO, Carter Roberts, states on WWF’s website in defense of drone use. ”The killings are way up. We need solutions that are as sophisticated as the threats we face. This pushes the envelope in the fight against wildlife crime.”

In 2012, a single haul of elephant tusks was seized in Malaysia that weighed more than all the ivory seized in 2011 combined and in 2013 alone a record 668 rhinos were killed in South Africa and the illegal trade of rhino horns and elephant tusks became so serious that Hillary Clinton ordered U.S. Intelligence to track poachers in the name of national security.

WWF isn’t the first to propose using drones to protect wildlife. Conservationists are already using drones to monitor orangutans in Sumatra and counter Japanese whalers. The unprecedented nature of WWF’s strategy lies is its integration of three different technologies: unmanned aerial vehicles, mobile phone technology tracking animal movement, and handheld devices carried by rangers.

http://www.bonfireimpact.com/2013/02/28/wwf-to-use-drones-to-stop-poaching/
Posted by arely staircase | Thu May 23, 2013, 05:04 PM (1 replies)
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