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I'm an Animist/Buddhist. I believe in reincarnation. I leave offerings of food & tobacco for spirits

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:37 AM
Original message
I'm an Animist/Buddhist. I believe in reincarnation. I leave offerings of food & tobacco for spirits
I believe in divination of many sorts - crystal gazing, Tarot cards, the I Ching, "signs" manifesting in the natural world, dream interpretation. I believe in the possibility of communicating with the dead. I draw sacred circles in the dirt and light sacred fires on the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter sabbats, into which I offer sacred herbs specific to the season. I recite chants in Tibetan and Sanscrit and meditate on images from Tibetan Thankas and Hindu mandalas.

If any of this comes as a surprise to my fellow DUers it's because I've long prefered to keep these things to myself. I know full well that should I bring up any of these practices I will be mocked and derided as a "woo". I have no problem with that. I don't expect understanding or even tolerance from those who will not or can not countenance such beliefs.

I do not expect to be given a special pass or to be immune from criticism because these are my "religious" beliefs. I do not expect that my personal spiritual proclivities should be immune from mockery just because they are "spiritual". It has absolutely no effect on my spiritual belief system any more than someone proclaiming a preference for tall blond women effects my sense of my short, dark-haired self worth.

On the other hand, just because Christianity has many more adherents than my own blend of animist/Buddhist/pagan religious practices, why should they be given any more of pass than my own practices?

I don't want religion to be granted a special status in our social/civic/political life and discourse. I want people to be free to believe what they want to believe, without prejudice in either direction - of mockery or respect.

If it's what you believe, that should be good enough for you. If questioning or mocking that belief feels threatening to you, then maybe some self-examination is called for. What's NOT called for is for other people to be shamed into self-censoring in order to protect your personal sense of religious truth.

sw
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. +1
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AsahinaKimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
73. +100
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 05:52 PM by AsahinaKimi
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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
173. Nobody can force you to be rational, but I hope you're never allowed in a position of power.
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #173
175. At least you can see animals and the planet...it might be more sane that belief in a god you can't
see and that nobody has seen except one guy, thousands of years ago, who spent a day talking to a burning bush.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #173
191. I'm not sure why you would respond in such a way to a post that says nothing more than "+1".
Did you mean your post to be a reply to my OP?

I only ask because it seems to me that the "rational" thing to do would be to challenge my OP directly rather than direct your disapproval to someone who did nothing more than express some support in shorthand.

sw
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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #191
215. Oops! Okay, sorry. I'll post a response directly to you:
Nobody can force you to be rational, but I hope you're never allowed in a position of power.

I don't understand why you're receiving so much support here, considering how we regularly (and correctly) criticize the wacky beliefs and science denial of conservatives like Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee, to name a few. Ever since Ronald Reagan made critical decisions based on astrology-based advice from his wife, irrational belief in woo has been typically regarded as a uniquely Republican trait.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #215
218. Thank you for making the correction, I appreciate it. As for the rest,
are you so certain that your judgement of me based on this single OP is absolutely correct? It's quite possible that you've read nothing else of what I've written on this site in the 10 years I've been posting here, since I'm not a particularly prolific poster.

However, I suspect that if you had read anything else I've written here over the past decade, you would have found absolutely nothing that would have led to you form an opinion of me as being "not rational" or "anti-science". You most certainly would not have found anything that would have appeared to be a "Republican trait".

The point of my OP was to make the argument that no one's "religious" beliefs should be off-limits to criticism and satire, and I stand by that point. I completely support your right to express the opinion that my own beliefs and practices are "woo".

At the same time, since you do not actually know ME - the whole person, and how I interact with the world at large - I feel that I must point out that it's presumptuous of you to declare me, as a person, not "rational".

sw



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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #173
203. .....
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adigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. I am a "lapsed" Catholic, but believe many Buddhist
principles. Possibly reincarnation, also. Not sure about a lot. But I do like the respect for life, and do not harm sentient beings, and to unattach from many things. It has helped me a lot in my recent life.
Peace,
Adigal
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I prefer to call myself an "escaped" Catholic. However, the truth is, I'm grateful for much
of my Catholic upbringing (in the 50s), especially the Latin mass which steered me toward a deep appreciation of etymology.

I also loved the ritual of High Mass (incense, bells, chants, etc.), and the devotion to Mary, "Mother of God" -- which led me inexorably to the ancient Mother Goddess, the precise pagan holdover which originally inspired the devotion to Mary in the first place! :)

sw
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
36. I am as Peter O'Toole once said "a retired Catholic"
I loved the holiday rituals around Easter.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
120. Especially the purple wrappings coming off the colorful statues n/t
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
119. Incense, bells, candles and chanting are fantastic training for neopagans n/t
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #119
122. Or even atheistic nature-worshipers with buddhist leanings.
:evilgrin:
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
77. Just an FYI Buddhist don't believe in reincarnation
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 06:40 PM by FreeState
Hindu's do. Buddhism teaches a concept called rebirth.

http://www.angelfire.com/yt/fairtibet/rebirth.html

Rebirth vs. Reincarnation

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a significant conceptual difference between the two. On the whole, Buddhists believe in rebirth while Hindus, Jains, and some Christians believe in reincarnation. Strictly speaking, reincarnation means the assumption of another body by a permanent, eternal self (the Hindu notion of atman or the Christian notion of soul). Most Buddhists do not believe in a permanent self (anatman or anatta, without enduring self) but believe human consciousness (the "I" or self) dissolves at death and that only a subtle mindstream remains. The mindstream carries with it karmic imprints from prior lives (but not memories and emotions associated with prior lives, unless the person is a highly developed spiritual practitioner, in which case reincarnation is possible) and it is this subtle mindstream that conjoins with a new life-form after death. Thus, rebirth does not mean an identifiable human being assuming a new human body. Moreover, in Buddhism, rebirth is not always accomplished in human form. Depending on karmic circumstances, a human being can be reborn as an animal or as a being in any of the upper or lower realms.



It should be noted the above reference of a possible reincarnation is specific only to about 12% of Buddhism (Llamas' in the Tibetan tradition)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #77
97. As a close reading of my post ought to make obvious, I am no kind of doctrinaire.
I was grounded in Hinduism for many years before Buddhism showed up in my life.

In any case, my post was not intended to be a prcis of any particular dogma, and the point I was endeavoring to make was something else entirely.

sw
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #97
200. I was replying to a sub thread, not you
However, I have no problem with anyone's beliefs, including yours :)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #200
201. My apologies for my mistake!
:blush:

Thank you for being compassionate! :D
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #77
181. interesting--thank you!
I've used the word "reincarnation" with respect to Buddhism myself when obviously I should have been using "rebirth"--so sloppy of me!--and the other stuff about how karma works even if there isn't a permanent self is very well explained, so I thank you for your post!
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Vehl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #77
205. yes, but are the differences an illusion?
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 11:20 PM by Vehl
The definition you provided was good, however, as an Advaitin Hindu (non-dualist) I really do not see much difference between the idea of reincarnation and rebirth..especially when one really stops splitting the proverbial philosophical hair and tries to see the ultimate goal of these two systems..(btw there is no guarantee of a human-rebirth/reincarnation in Hinduism as well)

Did not Buddha himself remember his past lives? If nothing about the previous life is transferred to the next, how is this possible?

When one looks at terms like "self" (Atman) and "not self" of Buddhism..the question arises if they are speaking of the same thing, but are using different meanings. Both Anatta of Buddhism and Brahman of non-Dual Hinduism are imho the one and the same. Both transcend definition. The same goes for the Dao..is it not said that the Dao that is named is not the true Dao? Compare it to the teaching of Bodhidharma, the Buddhist founder of the school of Zen/Chan Buddhism. When he is about to pass on the leadership of his school to his students, the following happens


One day, Bodhidharma said to his four main students, I can sense my days are numbered and there is not much more I can teach you. So, I want you to tell me what you have gleaned from your studies after all these years.

Tao Fu, the last one to become Bodhidharmas student, replied first.

I believe people should not understand Buddhism through words only, because words are simply a means of propagating Buddhism.

Bodhidharma smiled and said to him, Tao Fu, you have understood the surface of Buddhism.

The second student, Tsung Chih, said to Bodhidharma, My understanding of Buddhism is like Venerable Ananda seeing the Pure Land of the Buddha: you can only see it once, because once is enough to bring enlightenment.

Bodhidharma nodded his head and said to Tsung Chih, You have understood the flesh of Buddhism.
Another student named Tao Yu then said, The four major elements of the world and we ourselves are always impermanent. Thus, I see no Buddhist teachings.

Bodhidharma said to Tao Yu, You have grasped the bone of Buddhism.

Then, Hui Ko simply stood up, prostrated himself before Bodhidharma, stood up and returned to his seat without uttering a word. Bodhidharma smiled and said to them, Hui Ko has understood the essence of Buddhism. Thus, Bodhidharma named Hui Ko the second Chan patriarch of China.


Compare the above two to the Brahman of non-Dualist Hinduism which is said to be the following

It's inexpressible. It's nowhere and everywhere. All things imply and depend
upon it. It's not a person, it's not a thing, it's not a cause.
It has no qualities. It transcends permanence and change;
whole and part, finite and infinite.


The above three definitions look identical to me. Imho they are three paths which talk about the same thing.


ps: anyways this is off topic, but I could not resist asking this question.

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ehrnst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
170. My spouse calls himself a "recovering Catholic." (nt)
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. recommend
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you. This is a message board, not a church.
The Xtians should go to church if they don't
want to see or hear other opinions.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
62. Well Cheese-us, I must be in the wrong place.
jk
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panader0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. I saw Ken Kesey begin a speech by Consulting the Oracle
years ago in Eugene, Ore. I went out and bought a copy of the I Ching the next day. Rec'd.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. Try being a "mystic" Marxist......
:) Although it sounds like that's kind of what you are. You get shit from both sides there. The dogmatic Marxists hate you for being a "mystic" and the mystics hate you for advocating an "atheistic" system.

My attitude towards religion has ALWAYS been, keep it out of fucking public policy with the exception of using the parts of it that promote the GENERAL welfare, even of atheists. And of course, keep it away from me unless I ASK for it. After that, whatever helps you sleep with your conscience every night is OK by me.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
27. You might like Cuba, many mystics, Santeria followers are also Marxists! nt
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Cuba has always been intriguing to me..........
Indeed ALL of the Latin American social democracies are intriguing to me lately. They've passed through the Shock Doctrine stage and have come back to a more or less socialistic type of system. IMO, they might be the new path for the left to follow.

And as to the main thrust of your sentence, I personally don't see much against it except for dogma. As a classic heretic to ALL dogma, I'm open to all systems that work FOR the people, spiritually and materially. Even mixtures of Marx and forms of spirituality should be OK IF it benefits the working class/poor. After all, there's very little cross purposes involved in Marx and mysticism. Marx is involved with the betterment of society and mysticism is involved with the betterment of the individual. I see no problem with being both.

Unfortunately, a lot of dogmatics don't think so.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
46. Many on the island would agree with you
sadly evangelical religions have taken hold there as in much of Latin America, BUT the Cubans insist on wearing their Santeria beads under their shirts to go to the evangelical meetings, Catholic services, and even Communist party meetings.. they see things from an inclusive, not exclusive viewpoint, it can all help..
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
154. Being a mystic Marxist isn't all that unusual.
As a matter of fact it's the norm in my circle of syncretist Gnostics and Jewiccans. Okay, a few of the Gnostics are libertarians, but they are definitely exceptions to the rule. Among my friends and acquaintances an ultra-progressive political stance almost goes without saying, even when they aren't out-and-out Marxists.

I tell everyone that I do indeed have a "religious test" for public office, and I don't care who knows it: I refuse to vote for or otherwise support anyone who isn't a secular humanist, REGARDLESS of what else they may or may not believe. The public sphere HAS to be religiously neutral in order to be a level playing field for everyone. For me the wall of separation between church and state is absolute and non-negotiable.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #154
165. Agreed. See my first post in this...........
Religious beliefs are verboten in public policy as a rule. The only exception would be if the religious/spiritual beliefs inform and substantiate public policies that are general welfare based and that INCLUDES citizens that are NOT part of your religious tradition. In fact, IMO, these citizens (people who DON'T believe as you do) should be paramount. That slight bias AGAINST people who are like you should make SURE that you keep it fair for those who DON'T believe liky you.

And of course evangelicalism needs to be cut off at the knees as SOON as it become apparent that it's unwelcome.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. That sound similar to what Rand Paul did for Aqua Buddha.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:48 AM
Original message
No Surprise, Ma'am
To the extent I have any religious feelings, they are not too far off from yours, certainly in regard to calendar and omens. My son calls me a very odd mix of rationality and superstition, and with justice.

I agree completely with you on the question of discussing religions: people adhering to a faith have no right whatever to expect people who do not share their beliefs to defer to them in discussion, on any level.

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sendse and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wige is beautiful and his children bright."

"The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind."
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
13. Many thanks. I'm not the least bit surprised that you would understand.
"people adhering to a faith have no right whatever to expect people who do not share their beliefs to defer to them in discussion, on any level."

Amen! :D

:loveya:
sw
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. Is tobacco bad for the spirit world too? And if not, how can I get to it?
I loves me some tobacco.

And hey, whatever floats your boat.

I tried playing poker with tarot cards once, got a full house and 3 people died.

Steven Wright
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
9. The Rabbi Yehoshua ben Yosef of Nazareth was a wise teacher and a good man.
Everyone could learn to be better people by learning about his life, ministry & sacrifice, and emulating him - even in a small way.

The problems begin when "Christians" ignore those lessons to concentrate on the silly supernatural mythology they've constructed around the life of this homeless beggar from 2000 yrs ago.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. The SOCIALIST, homeless begger from 2000 years ago
:)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. I agree. Furthermore, I think there are useful lessons to be found in ALL spiritual teachings.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:14 AM by scarletwoman
It is the distortions of those teachings that are the problem, not the teaching themselves.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
11. spiritual humanist
my daughter revived my faith after she died.
oh yeah, and ain't nobody's bizniz but my own.
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IGoToDU Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
137. i'm so sorry for yor loss
:hug:
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #137
142. thank you
:hug:
welcome to DU :hi:
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
155. "Spiritual humanist" - I really like that.
It's a good description of many people's religious position, including my own. I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. I've lost pretty much everyone I cared about, including my husband. But I can't even imagine the loss of one of my children.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #155
182. thank you Raksha
i agree that the loss of a child is the unkindest cut of all.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
14. The issue is bringing up stereotypes of Christians or ANY GROUP & insisting they are all the same.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:06 AM by KittyWampus
I no longer consider my self Christian. However, I do not think the mass of DU'ers who insist on lumping all Christians together as a bunch of rabid homophobic, Fundamentalist bible-thumpers should be allowed to spill their bile on this forum.

A lot of what gets posted here on DU is bigotry.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. I disagree. I think most DUers are well aware of the dinstinction between right wing fundies
and Christianity in general.

In any case, why should it matter? Why should ANY religious beliefs confer on the believers some sort of special immunity from criticism?

Belief is a conscious choice, not something inborn like skin color or sexual orientation. It's not "bigotry" to give no quarter to someone's CHOSEN belief system.

sw
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Examples of DU'ers doing just as I said are legion. Should I be allowed to post racial stereotypes
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:26 AM by KittyWampus
on DU? Gender specific stereotypes?

A huge number of DU'ers do not make that distinction between Fundies and liberal Christians. If you haven't noticed, you aren't looking or are somehow oblivious.

Sorry, this is a liberal website and bigotry is not allowed. And Mods will delete the crap IF it's pointed out. But it does get posted. Constantly.

Some of what gets posted about Jews is especially sickening. Hell, there's even been some racial crap about Obama.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. You seem to have missed the distinction I pointed out between inborn traits and belief systems.
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. I haven't noticed as much
You read more than I do here.

When I mentioned seeing a series of movies (beginning with a "Z" that shall not be outright named) and commenting on it, my thread was entirely deleted, only later to be explained as anti-semetic. I never understood the reason the mods thought it was so.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
65. Good grief. nm
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #14
152. It's almost as bad as the folks who bash others...
because they think that we can rationally look at the universe and solve our problems that way. Certainly you don't know anyone who does that though, right?
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
166. All Christians should actually be fundies if they read their bible
and adhered to what it said.

"I have a different "interpretation" -- Bullshit..

If it's truly "god's word" then you have to take it all, can't pick and choose the passages you want to follow. And then say other ones shouldn't be taken "literally"...
Can't just follow the happy half of your holy book

So actually in a sense fundies are at least stupid enough to be honest in their "holy book"

Bill Maher pwned O'Reilly on these points...classic---
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S77CUFQPPg

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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
15. you're not alone
:hug: one's belief system is such a personal thing.
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
18. Thanks for your excellent post......
"From the beginning, not a thing is." - Hui-Neng, Chan Master
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
21. Go, you. K&R :) n/t
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
22. Your wants are unreasonable
"I don't want religion to be granted a special status in our social/civic/political life and discourse. I want people to be free to believe what they want to believe, without prejudice in either direction - of mockery or respect."
These statements are mutually exclusive. You don't want religion to be granted special status, but you don't want anyone to say things you don't want to hear about religions (mockery). Being free from mockery IS special status.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. I may not have stated as clearly as I intended. What I meant is that religious belief should
not entail any expectations of respect or freedom from mockery.

My apologies for not saying it well the first time. It's a case of knowing what I meant but not finding the correct words to express it. Thank you for pointing this out.

sw
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. That is totally reasonable n/t
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
23. I have to leave now for Easter dinner with my family. :-)
Before I go, I'd like leave one more thought in this thread.

To wit: If anyone would count my political opinions LESS due to what I've revealed about my spiritual beliefs, then please explain why any self-proclaimed Christian's political opinions should ever count for MORE.

Happy Easter! (Love these fertility celebrations!)
:hi:
sw
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
25. I have a basket of colored Easter eggs on my
dining room table in place of the flowers that I usually have. They are in honor of the goddess of our planet earth in her persona of Oestra or spring. I'm sure many here don't realize that they are practicing a Pagan tradition when they color those eggs for Easter. Blessings on you.
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
26. I have no problem with anyone's beliefs, as long as they don't try to force it on everyone else.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 12:04 PM by krabigirl
I am a former pagan/ new age type myself, and still feel an attachment to some of the things you mentioned. Not sure what I am now..I am not religious at all, but some days I feel more atheist, others, more like deism or pantheism. I was raised catholic but didn't like the fact that they condemned all people who thought differently to a "hell". Seemed like mind control to me.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
28. K/R
My sister, God rest her soul, was an atheist. However, it was perfectly alright with her if the next person believed in something. She loathed Madelyn Murray O'Hare, who she thought gave atheists a bad name. BTW, my sister celebrated Christmas like no one else.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
29. I don't think any belief system, including mine--atheism--should be off limits to questioning on DU.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. atheism is not a belief system. it's the *absence of belief* in God. nt
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. That's true. nt
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #42
123. Exactly. Baldness is not a hair style. n/t
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #42
128. It's a belief...
but not a belief system. It's just one belief.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #128
153. So, being unconvinced by the evidence presented is a belief itself?
That seems like a rather unusual definition of belief.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #153
168. Sure...
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 10:02 AM by MellowDem
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.

"I believe there are no gods" is a belief.

Even agnosticism is a belief. "I believe there is not enough evidence one way or the other to know".

Course, there are some many different definitions and variations of atheism and agnosticism that it sometimes can be confusing.

I don't really understand with the insistence of many to say that atheism is not a belief. Maybe they think it hurts their argument and makes it similar to religion? I think a lot of it is that the word "belief" is heavily connotated with religion, so to associate it with something like atheism seems wrong maybe?
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #168
172. "I don't believe there are any gods" and...
..."I believe there are no gods" are two different statements. If you don't see the distinction, that's like not understanding the mathematical difference between a positive number and a non-negative number.

You can call the second of those statements a belief, but not the first. The first statement is all that's required to be an atheist.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #172
178. Depends on your definition of atheism...
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 10:49 AM by MellowDem
like I said, of which there are many. To me, your definition tends towards agnosticism. And it certainly is not the only definition of atheism out there.

If you were to ask someone why they don't believe there are any gods, it would be based on a belief of some sort.

I suppose if we were to use your definition, you could say atheism is an absence of belief, based on beliefs, but that's just silly. Really, this must be some sort of meta-strategy when arguing with religious people to insist that atheism isn't a belief? It just seems so convoluted.

Faith is not belief, and I think this is where the confusion comes from. Religious belief is often thought of as faith, and the idea is that atheism is just "faith" if you say it is a belief. But faith is not the same as belief. Maybe that's where this weird defense comes from.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #178
184. Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.
Further, atheism (sometimes called "strong" atheism) which asserts "there are no gods" is simply a subset of atheism stated as a lack of belief in gods -- if you insist that there are definitely no gods you certainly can't have a belief in those gods.

If there's any "meta-strategy" afoot here, it's the false equivalency gambit believers like to play that goes something like this:

Every believes in something!
Atheism is just another belief.
No one can proof or disprove anyone's beliefs.
Therefore atheism is no more valid, no less a matter of just believing what you want to believe, than any religion.

I've already made a response to that line of thinking in this reply elsewhere in this thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

As for the difference between faith and belief, sure they aren't exactly the same, but I have no idea what you're getting at or why you brought that up, so I will refrain from comment on that issue until you clarify your intent.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #184
188. Edit...
Damn, the DU timeout on allowing edits is really getting me today...

Every -> Everyone
proof -> prove
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #184
196. I mostly agree...
with you about the whole false equivalency thing. But the reason I bring up faith is because that seems to be the false equivalency that is trying to be avoided. Atheism is just another belief, but it's not the same as a belief system, and it certainly isn't faith, so it is very different from those religions that require faith.

Of course, I've met religious people who don't have faith but, based on evidence, believe that there is a God. I don't find that evidence convincing, and that's my belief.

I think that atheism is a belief, but that isn't a comment on the validity of atheism as compared to religous beliefs. I don't equate them as being automatically equally valid just because they both happen to be beliefs (one often based on faith, the other on a consideration of limited evidence). Many religious people and atheists allow room for doubt in their belief as well.
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. That was very good of you to share...
I realize I was being QUITE snarky in the Lounge earlier when someone essentially made fun of Easter and I joined in.

I think it was Linus Van Pelt who said it best in the comic strip, "Peanuts"..... He said, "It doesn't matter what you believe in, as long as you're sincere."

Someday I think I'll know more about WHY I feel the way I fee when in the midst of nature. I feel more akin to the inhabitants of this earth.. to the insects, birds, other flying animations, to what grows on its' own, what grows with the hand and care of the gardener, and especially to what grows when we help one another. Is this "love" immortalized through myth? If whatever you believe in makes you care more, "help ever, hurt never", then I shouldn't poke fun at it.

It's just that I feel organized religion has done little to motivate me as much. I was baptized Congregational, but THAT and 35 cents may buy you a phone call, if you can find a phone booth anymore.

MMM
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #32
174. Nah, I can't say I give out much credit for "sincerity"
Some people sincerely believe some pretty ugly, mean-spirited things. Some people sincerely believe some merely very absurd things. I don't see what makes sincerity particular commendable in either of these cases.
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MrMickeysMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #174
206. I think you can sum it up like this...
To thine own self, be true.

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #206
227. I don't automatically consider virtuous the idea...
...of being "true to yourself" either. The end result of that "truth" matters.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
34. K&R
I knew "this" about you, even though you never spoke of it. There have been clues along the way.

I would rather people chide or 'view with humor" but "mockery" is a good middle ground term. I've savaged forceful hypocrites, people have been dismissive of "spiritual" speakings on my part, I feel laughter is not sacrilage.

I have to be quick, because I'm baking a cake I forgot to bake, and i'm rushing around, but all i know for certain is I love you and that striving for understanding where other's beliefs are concerned is one of the most important things in the world. Peace would be ours if every child truly learned that.

Or maybe not, I don't know shit. It couldn't hurt. or could it? :D :loveya:



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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #34
133. Dearest K. I hope your cake turned out splendidly!
Your post is so delightful and sweet, all I can think of is how much I want to thank you.

"...striving for understanding where other's beliefs are concerned is one of the most important things in the world. Peace would be ours if every child truly learned that."

That's so beautiful! You are awesome beyond words!

:hug: :loveya: :hug:
sw
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #133
211. Unfortunately there are people more than happy to manipulate people's beliefs and disciplines
for nefarious means. If everyone had an attitude similar to what you express (And it's more than just an "attitude") of being fulfilled within the self in matters of faith, rather than relying upon the rest of the world to reassure one, if there is humor or just "not getting plugged in", why would anyone want to do any harm, or be led into it by those looking for advantage, be it starting a war or denying any woman or man their rights or privileges?

I knew their was something incomplete about my thought. What a surprise!

The cake was good. Added fresh squeezed orange juice, a touch of pineapple juice, ginger, Cardamom, and orange zest to the frosting and cake. Even though it would be healthier to eat the Easter Bunny, I wish I could share a slice with you. :) I hope you had a good visit on Easter, and thanks for the nice "hope". I needed it! :loveya:
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #211
216. Oh man, that cake sounds absolutely scrumptious! Sort of like you.
:D

To address the first part of your post: Yes, indeed, far too many people are susceptable to manipulation, because they cannot or will not do their own heavy lifting when it comes to taking the journey to deep self-knowledge.

And those who do the manipulating have also eschewed traveling that path, and have instead settled on a counterfiet ego-based faux spirituality. And it is ego-based thinking in ALL matters of human endeavor that creates all the suffering in the world.

Yes, I had a lovely Easter feast with my family.

:hug:
sw
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #216
217. Good to hear, feast-wise.
Ya' big flirt. :D :hug:
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #217
220. Moi? A flirt?
:rofl:
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #220
221. Yeah.
You and Venus there. ;)
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #221
222. Ve haf our vays...
:*
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #222
223. Hmmm...that's odd, I have this sudden irresistable urge to...
touch you...here... :hug:
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #223
224. Now is the time when we dance!
"liebe mein affe-monkey!"
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #224
225. LOL!
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 09:07 PM by Kurovski
Mein Sprockets commin' loose.

You hijacked your own thread! :rofl:
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #225
226. "You hijacked your own thread! " You made me do it.
You ALWAYS make me do it.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
35. i find it humorous that those that believe in jesus feels the need to defend him. i also respect
a person choice of belief and feel no need to mock, so i can feel better about myself.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
37. Seems like a strawman...
since Christianity isn't given more of a "pass" than your beliefs on DU or in American society. Indeed, as the majority religion, it is the one that gets the most criticism. I've never heard anyone mock Buddhism, though it probably happens, whereas Christianity is mocked very often.

Maybe your problem is that Christians are the majority, and therefore do have a bigger presence in social/civic/political life, but it certainly hasn't given them a special status from being mocked and criticized. If anything, it makes them a huge target.

Really, most of the religious bigotry on DU (which is fully allowed) is directed towards Christianity.
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Confusious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #37
70. That's because it's what most people know
most Americans aren't buddists, Hindus, Muslim, zorastrians, shinto, pagans, etc

I'm sure you can go and find people being mocked for their beliefs in crystals somewhere on this board, but since most people in the United States are christian, and that's what people know, and that's what's going to be discussed the most, it's going to happen.

the saying "victim of your own success" comes to mind.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #37
85. I think what scarletwoman was saying
is that religious belief shouldn't qualify as a special category of speech which cannot be questioned in public discourse.

And much of what is often called "mocking" or "bigotry" on DU is actually either simply questioning or statement of a different opinion.

If I say, as an atheist, that I think Christianity is mythological or absurd, I'm not saying it to mock people or because I think they are lesser beings than me or because I want to take away their rights. I'm saying it because from my world view, after reading Christian texts and looking at their historical context and thinking about them, I've come to the conclusion that it's the truth.

And there's no kind or gentle way to say I think your worldview is fundamentally flawed and is, on balance, a poisonous influence on American politics. Should I not be allowed to say that because it hurts someone's feelings to hear it?

I think that's sw's point about "self-censoring" behavior. It's not reasonable to ask people not to question your public assertions about the nature of the universe or science or morality because it offends you to talk about it. If it offends you to talk about it, don't. But don't expect everyone to walk on eggshells around your beliefs simply because they mean a lot to you. My control over my own reproductive system means a lot to me. So does stem-cell research and genetics and the right to die with dignity, all of which are threatened when public decisions are made based on faith and stone-age assertions about the way the universe works.

No progress is made when we don't talk to each other and we can't talk to each other if I'm not allowed to voice my own opinion without being accused of bigotry.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #85
110. There's a difference between criticism...
and mocking. The bigotry I refer to is lumping all Christians together when some Christian somewhere does something wrong.

Saying that you think a religion is wrong and has a poisonous influence isn't bigoted, but some do it in a mocking way, rather than respectful disagreement, which generally isn't very conducive to conversation.

Many also assume someone's beliefs from their stated religion, and even more are very ignorant about different denominations. That's the main problem on DU rather than the criticism.

And Christianity isn't given a special status at all in America. It is the religion most mocked in the US.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #37
197. I will tell you why Christianity is mocked here.
It is totally arbitrary and irrational. Lots of hateful, psychotic stuff in both testaments. Jesus condoned the mass murders and violence in the OT. Nobody can read the bible as a whole and get any moral guidance out of it because it was put together as a political tool. There are things mistranslated, forged, left out (noncanonical gospels) and put it to consolidate Emperor Constantine's political power at the Council of Nicaea. It was all about political power and control of the masses.

Nobody can take the bible literally because it's contradictory. I see no reason why the nomadic, non-scientific, primitive civilizations in it have any reason to be considered a good moral guide. The bible says slavery is fine and you should be nice to your slaves. So does Islam, which is equally primitive and violent in some parts.

It was totally arbitrary how it was put together by the power that ruled at the time. Much of it is by different and unknown authors. None of the gospels were written when Jesus allegedly lived. In fact, there is no historical evidence that Jesus actually lived other than a vague reference by Josephus.

I graduated from a Presbyterian university that had some very deep religious courses and I learned a lot. It is a liberal arts college and the religion dept. was like an extension of the philosophy department. The professors had all graduated from Princeton or Harvard.

The problem with Christianity is the evil of the starting premise: ORIGINAL SIN.
Telling people they are inherently evil, starting when they are little kids, crushes children and adults and makes them very depressed. I was once a Christian and had to leave because I wanted to crawl in a hole when I heard about original sin. Then I realised my mistake was taking these stupid preachers seriously in the first place.

If you want to know why so many millions are addicted to substances and actions, like being hyper-religious or any other addiction, read HEALING THE SHAME THAT BINDS YOU by John Bradshaw, Ph.D. He is a psychologist and a ex-Jesuit priest, raised a good Catholic Irish boy. He left the priesthood after he discovered he was a phony and enjoyed playing the role of authority figure even though he realized he was living in a phony life.

Most people in this society run on shame and guilt because of Christianity telling them they are worthless pieces of shit. And people wonder why they have low self-esteem and are depressed their whole lives. And that's besides all the teachers and parents who tell us we are lazy, stupid and slow (that's what I got--and I have three college degrees).

Adam and Eve is a fairy tale that never happened. It's just as valid a story as Pandora's box or the labors of Hercules.

And the solution to the nonexistent problem of original sin is substitutionary atonement. You wouldn't need Jesus if you didn't suffer from original sin. It is a complete farce.

It's like telling EVERYONE "You have dandruff" which is original sin.

"You need this special shampoo to get rid of it" which is Jesus. If you don't use this special shampoo you are going to hell.

Took me years to figure this out.

Christianity is a syncretic religion (totally stolen from other older religions) and has no original thoughts in it. Jesus is exactly like Apollo, Mithra, Osiris and other magic gods who were born of a virgin on December 25th, performed miracles and there were signs like supernovas in the sky when they were born. And since we don't know if he really lived, he might just be another made up god.

I have very little use for the Abrahamic religions except for some of the Jewish values of humanism, not worrying about the afterlife, and education and achievement.

I know that liberal Christians are different from fundies. I don't like the societal assumption in the U.S., especially in the South, that everyone is Christian, or should be, and if you are not a Christian, of a particular type of Protestant, you must be wrong and bad. My problem is with the starting premise from which Christianity springs: original sin.
So that means I have a problem with the whole religion. One cannot be a Christian without accepting original sin and substitutionary atonement.

I've studied Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time and I find them deeply interesting.

I am not as familiar with Hinduism, but I am not aware of any Hindu scriptures that say it is OK to go out and kill people, or that it is OK for the gods to kill people for no reason. There are wrathful gods and goddesses who dispense divine justice to evil people. That is different from killing people for absolutely no reason.

There is nothing in what the Buddha taught that has to be ignored for being hateful or violent, unlike the Bible and the Koran. When the Buddha died, his disciples had memorized everything he said while teaching for 45 years, between the ages of 35,when he became enlightened, and 80 when he died, and inscribed them in Pali on palm leaves.

I will not be part of a religion with such hateful messages in its holy scriptures. No thank you.



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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #197
202. That's all well and good...
but it doesn't refute the point that Christians are not given special treatment in America in terms of criticism. In a way, it just supports my point.

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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #202
204. Why should they or their religion be immune from criticism??
They are the vast majority. Why?
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #204
214. I don't think they should! nt
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JanMichael Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
38. Far out! K and R-
Wife was a religious studies major; she gave this two thumbs up
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
39. awesome OP; big rec (and a hug!) from this atheist!


:hug:


:yourock:
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
40. " Each one must learn for themself the highest wisdom.
It cannot be taught in words." Smohalla

That's pretty much my gig. I like that. I like peyote church too.

I am so in love with life, it is totally awesome, but I'm not worried; things will get better real soon.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
41. I doubt you'll be mocked
but I am curious. Are you a member of a Sangha? Have you taken vows? Refuge? Bodhisattva?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #41
116. Are these things important for you to know? Will they effect how you respond to what I write here?
To be honest, I'm reluctant to answer your questions. Not because I want to conceal anything, only because I don't think it's any of your business.

Still, here goes: No, not currently, since I live in the middle of nowhere and there's no Sangha within 100 miles of here. When my circumstances were otherwise, I did.

Yes, and Yes.

sw
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #116
169. thank you.
you're right it's not my business. I asked only because I was curious and because you opened the door in your op.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #169
192. Cali, you may not know it, but I do respect you.
I hope you understand that my reluctance to address your questions stems from my desire to not let this thread be about ME.

At the same time -- because I do, in fact, respect you -- I wanted to be honest with you.

sw
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
43. you have no problem with being mocked
and yet you keep your opinions to yourself in order to avoid being mocked

It seems like you contradict yourself there.

And I kinda doubt that atheists would turn the other cheek if they were mocked and derided on DU the way Christianity is.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. lol, funny/silly post
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cordelia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. lol, no it isn't. nt
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #43
53. Atheists are a difficult group to mock because so many religions are atheistic.
You may need to narrow down the group of atheists you wish to mock; e.g., Taoists, Buddhists, non-religious, New Age, etc.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #53
134. I'd call them non-theistic myself
Similarly, there is an important distinction between 'non-literate' and 'illiterate'. The question of whether or not God exists is important to atheists; to Taoists amd Buddhists, it's a distraction from more serious spiritual questions.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #43
104. What I am saying is that being mocked has no effect on what I believe.
I don't feel that my personal beliefs are in any way threatened by someone else's mockery. I don't feel any *need* to convince someone else that they must respect what I believe. Nor do I take personal offense if my beliefs are not respected.

Conversely, I see no particular reason for, or usefulness in, touting my spiritual beliefs in the context of making political arguments. In the political sphere I have always endeavored to marshall logic, reason, and simple human decency as the supports for my opinions and analysis. It's a poor argument that would rely on an appeal to some sort of spiritual authority.

I wrote this OP as a reaction to some of the chiding that was going on this morning in response to some joking and jabbing around the subject of Easter. "Have some respect for the Christians! Your joking is offensive!" was the jist.

And my reaction was, really? Why, exactly, should religion -- ANY religion -- be declared off limits to satire and snark? Therefore, as a demonstration of my willingness to practice what I preach, I've laid out my own beliefs in public.

That I've kept these beliefs to myself up to now is not because I feared any mockery. It's because I consider public knowledge of my beliefs to be irrelevant to anything I have to say on this board.

My beliefs inform who I am, and how I view the world. However, I firmly believe that anything I have to say publically in a political context must always stand on its own merits -- it must demonstrate its own internal cohesion, integrity, and logical consistancy. If these conditions are fulfilled, there ought never be a need to bring my "religion" into it.

sw
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #43
176. If someone criticizes my atheism, and that certainly happens...
...I simply argue the point. I dissect their criticism and provide a response. I don't whine, I don't play the oppressed martyr, I don't tell anyone they must be especially respectful or gingerly in discussing my lack of belief.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
45. Happy whatever y'all want to celebrate. I'm celebrating that my cancer
stricken sis is recovering from a setback and it's a lovely day here and my life is just pretty good at this precious moment.

Just as I type this, "Yes, We Can Can" queued up on Pandora--that's a sign of something cool, IMHO, and however you want to interpret it is just dandy by me!

Have a wonderful day, y'all! :bounce:
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. ...
I am, I will, and you, too...have a great one, one and all!
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
49. So, can I ask some advice Scarlet?
I'm interested in learning more about Buddhism since I really like the way it seems to combine reason with mysticism. My question is this, where should I start? Theravada or Mahayana? I know one is more mystical and the other is almost atheistic in its outlook, but views monks and nuns as the only ones who can achieve enlightenment. Any advice on where to start or just an overview of the differences?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #49
105. I'm sorry, I am not willing to respond to your request. DU is not the appropriate place
for such an inquiry. You will find your own way.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
51. When people ask how I would categorize myself, I tell them I'm a Jewish Buddhist Pagan. My belief
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 01:46 PM by OmmmSweetOmmm
system is incredibly closely aligned to your own, that if I were one tenth as eloquent as you, this could have been a posting about myself (right down to being short with dark hair) as well as my feelings about others' right to follow what ever religious/spiritual belief of their own.

Well done!

Now back to selling my crystals and stones. ;)
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
52. That tobacco isn't good for them. Maybe leave a nice salad instead. nt
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #52
58. Oddly enough, spirits prefer ranch dressing to French.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #58
177. Please! Any spirit worth an occasional ectoplasmic manifestation...
...chooses balsamic vinaigrette for their salad.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. ...
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #59
64. Spirits will haunt you for leaving that shit.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
54. Not to discount your post, but shouldn't this be in Religion and Theology?
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
55. We are human beings...
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 02:32 PM by CoffeeCat
...and we can try to figure all of this out--but we are bound by our humanity.

I don't believe we can answer these huge questions. But we can try. We can maybe find
something that helps us answer those questions and helps us make sense of it all. That's
why I could never criticize anyone for their religion of choice--or for choosing no religion
at all.

I would never mock your beliefs. They are a part of you--just as are your favorite colors
or the kinds of breakfast cereal you like.

I sense that we are spiritual beings, and that humanity and all of its trappings builds layers
around that spirituality--our "true selves". But then again, I really have no idea.

Mocking someone for their religious choices--is like mocking someone for liking blueberry cobbler. It's
simply a choice that works for that person. If a person's religious choices (or choosing to not be religious)
work for them--why can't we just let it be?

People judge out of fear. Fear that their way of thinking and believing really is a house of cards. Because ultimately,
as human beings--we can never know the answers. In the back of our minds--there is a part of us that understands
that everything we know may be a house of cards. Unfortunately, many people hold up their own house of cards
with rigid judgments and walls of closed mindedness.

If anyone does mock or judge--realize it is out of ignorance, insecurity or fear--send them loads of light
and be on your merry way.

:D
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #55
79. I've had a near death experience and consulted mediums
who didn't know me but told me intimate details of my life with my parents over the phone which not even members of my family knew.

someone on this board once said there are two kinds of people: those who have had a spiritual experience that gives credence to the afterlife and those who haven't.

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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #79
101. Interesting...
Do you believe that your near-death experience gave you additional insight or knowledge?

Do you believe that mediums and psychics are those who have had near-death experiences that
have given them these abilities?

I'm very interested.

I've always wondered how you find a truly gifted psychic--one with real abilities.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #101
207. everyone has the ability but most don't know or know how to
make something of it. My mom's family have had women in it who have been psychic for at least the last four generations. 'They had the touch' was what the family called it.

I find that I have zero fear of death, for me and for others. I know its beautiful and great.

My experience was so strange. I was falling down inside myself and went to sit beside my sister. I had a cookie and took a bite because I thought it was low blood sugar or something and then I sort of heard/felt a clicking sound and it all went from color to black and white. Then I was on a street in my old home town and it was the most incredible spring day, greenest grass ever and blue sky. I was looking around and saw a young woman in a pretty spring dress with little pale yellow flowers on it and white sandal shoes, all old fashioned, like the fifties or forties. It was my mother as a young girl and I knew when I saw her that I couldn't stay. I had to go back. Then it 'clicked', the colors went black and white and then color came back. I was back. I was sick as a dog let me tell you.

I asked every nurse that I ever met 'do you dream when you faint?' and they always say the same thing: no.

You can't consider it as a dream or hallucination. Its deeper and more beautiful. Its totally peaceful and the colors and feelings are so intense. My mother was there and who better to send me back than one of my wonderful parents. they died ten months apart.

All my life I have heard someone call my name very softly and almost on top of my ear drum. they say it very softly and have since I was small. I heard my dad and mom say my name after they passed. I have also smelled my grandma's carnation perfume when I'm really up against it. So have my mom and sister. When she died my sister was three and she had this game where she went into the orchard with her 'suh-ward' (sword) and defended Carlos Peewee (a worm in an apple) from the turkeys who wanted to eat it. I asked her about it a few ago and she said it was grandma comforting her in a way her child mind could understand. No one in my family who is a girl is unaware of such things.

I hear my dogs toe nails walking on the wood floors when all my living dogs are lying on the bed with me. I have seen shadow people who resemble my dad and I feel their energy touch me when I talk to them or feel awful. Its like electricity gently all over your head and shoulders.

I consulted Laurie Campbell and George Anderson, two of the best in the world and I have seen John Edwards do group seances or readings. Until you have had a cold phone call from a medium like that and listened without talking to them tell you dozens and dozens of things only you would know, you haven't lived. I try and put a few things into my mind that they could never know before the reading. things that even guessing won't know. I ask all my oldest known relatives to come and say hello. And they do. My great-great-great grandparents who I have pictures and information on show up and so do my dogs. I get real names. The good ones will tell you stuff and not allow you to answer or speak. These two work that way. Laurie told me sixty facts the first time I had her call me and all of them were right. One that I didn't understand at the time I just figure out now. She said I would drive a jeep like or suv type car. Three years later I bought a Honda Element and drove it six months before I remembered that one last fact.

I feel that life doesn't end here. You have a life to live to learn things and then you go back to where you came from. We all do whether we believe it or not. There is great and enormous love in the world around us that we cannot see and anyone who dies is still here. When you talk to them they hear you because my dad told George ANderson not only that I talk to them all the time and they hear me, he told George to tell me specific odd things that I had told them when I do. George woudn't know that. He couldn't. Only my dad tell him to tell me made that possible.

Most mediums are born that way and many work hard to develop their abilities. They do so inspite of some people who go out of their way to be critical. Anyone who doesn't think this is possible needs to speak to a real medium. They are used for grief therapy and since I talked to them, I can live. I can feel happy again. I can know that they are here and with me, that I will see them again and that life can be beautiful. If you feel on the edge of an abyss, this can help. But only a good one will do. If they ask questions, run.

this place is a nonprofit for the study of the possibility of the afterlife and can help you find good people:

www.foreverfamilyfoundation.org

I wish you good luck in your quest. I love Laurie Campbell. She is the best I ever saw but the one who is considered the best in the world is George Anderson. He is the most studied and tested psychic in the world. Laurie Campbell comes a close second. Good luck!

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #55
180. Religious beliefs and favorite desserts are hardly similar choices.
It's also a false equivalence to say that since humans are limited, and therefore can't help having limits of knowledge and understanding, that somehow anything someone decides to believe to fill in the gaps of our ignorance is equally valid or invalid.

Suppose you're looking at a large jar of jelly beans, wondering how many jelly beans are in the jar. Here are three different kinds of responses:

(1) 4328.
(2) Around 5000.
(3) 6,594,700,226,373,058,992,163.
(4) I have no idea.
(5) I like the green ones best.

These are not equivalent or equally valid responses to ignorance.

Choice (1), while possibly being correct, is ridiculously specific and far more likely to be wrong than right. It still might make sense to toss out a guess like this if there's a prize for guessing right and no penalty for guessing wrong, but staunch certainty about the rightness of this response would be unwarranted. Spending the expected prize money (if there was indeed a monetary prize) before a winner was declared would be foolish.

Choice (2) has a better chance of being correct (although when this sort of thing is a contest, not "correct enough" to win). This choice acknowledges the difficulty of obtaining a precise answer, and could at least possibly have arisen through some reasonable technique of approximation.

Choice (3) is simply flat out wrong. This entire history of humanity has not produced that many jelly beans.

Choice (4) is neither correct nor incorrect in regard to the number of jelly beans, and therefore cannot be an error regarding that issue. It it very likely a true statement, however, about the state of mind of the person providing that response. Unless there's an appealing prize being offered for making a correct guess, there's little or no good reason to commit to or even guess at an answer.

Choice (5), while perhaps seeming a quirky non-sequitur, is very much like choice (4). It doesn't answer (possible evades/avoids answering) the issue of the number of jelly beans, but it does provide information about the responder for which the responder is likely fully qualified to provide accurate information.

I should hope the parallels to religious/spiritual beliefs, and lack of such beliefs, are clear.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #180
185. Reverse Holy Grail: 3... I mean 5!
Oops.

I just noticed now, later than DU's #$@#!! limited post edit/update window, that although I started with three examples, I added two more without changing the word "three" to "five". :blush:
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
56. laws regarding religion aren't made with respect to individual belief. they're about power
& manipulation of believers.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #56
89. +1000!
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
57. I believe that the world sprang from the poop of a giant astral giraffe named "Lucky".
That's not weird or anything, is it?
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #57
66. That is weird......"Lucky"????
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. I know, right? I asked an ancient Babylonian spirit to clarify and she said,
"You spelled it wrong, but 'Lucky' translates to 'One Who Is Fortunate'"

I'm starting to get the impression that these spirits are just fuckin' with me.

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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. Well
someone is certainly fuking with someone. "Lucky"
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #57
212. I believe your Origins Theory to have great power
as it made me laugh and imagine a huge giraffe. How can a giraffe exist in my head? And yet, there it is. :rofl:

Giraffes seem to me to be some sort of miracle. Explain yourself.

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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
60. Why should mockery and derision be tolerated?
Are people incapable of discussion of beliefs without that?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #60
108. Because, IMO, religion should not be out of bounds to satire and criticism.
When religion is held to be somehow "outside the pale" in our communal discourse, we lose a piece of our essential freedom to question authority.

sw
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GillesDeleuze Donating Member (841 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #108
163. +1000000000000000
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devils chaplain Donating Member (245 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #108
164. +10000000000000000000000000000 n/t
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Annata4Peace Donating Member (36 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
61. I leave cookies for Santa.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
63. So you are the one leaving the food and tobacco. Thanks.
Just kidding.

I knew all along you were one of the good people.

I guess I am a secular humanist / pantheist, if that is even possible.

Stay cool.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
68. Same here. nt
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
71. I suspected as much!
:yourock: :loveya:
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WheelWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
72. Blessings.
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AsahinaKimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
74. I am
I am Shinto~Buddhist. (Jodo Shinshu)Though I wish there was a shrine around here, the closest that I know of is in the state of Washington. My parents always attended a temple here in the city..I had stopped going as a teenager, but have begun to pick it up again of late..maybe because I am starting to appreciate my heritage and ancestry so much.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
75. The Buddhists and the Hindus have a lot to recommend them, but
I love the teachings of Jesus. How could anyone not? Mankind has subverted the teachings, but who could not honor and appreciate their goodness? Happy Easter, all DUers!
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #75
195. A lot of Jesus' alleged sayings are hateful and evil.
If you'd read your Bible thoroughly you would know about the hateful, mass-murdering God in the Old Testament and the Jesus that condones mass murders of innocent people in the New Testament.

Because a lot of his alleged teachings are evil and hateful, that is why.

Those are ignored by most Christians.

Stuff about slaying masses of innocent people, sending them to hell because they don't like his preaching, cursing a fig tree for not producing fruit OUT OF SEASON. Completely irrational, hateful, psychotic words.

stuff like "I come not in peace but with a sword. I have come to set the mother in law against the daughter in law," etc., in order to split families apart.

That is just the beginning of the hateful stuff in the Gospels.

There is NOTHING that Buddha ever said that was hateful and needed to be ignored in his teachings.

I've taken some heavy religion courses in college, and I found out that the bible is a hodgepodge, a total mess, of mistranslations, stuff edited out, stuck in, removed for arbitrary reasons (noncanonical gospels) and generally put together at the Council of Nicaea in order for Emperor Constantine to unify his empire under one religion.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
76. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
78. I have chosen one path, and I have friends who have chosen many others
Each of us sees only part of the truth, because the universe is too large and complex for the human mind to understand fully. We each gravitate toward the metaphors that make sense to us.

To me, the rituals of traditional liturgical Christianity are the path to spirituality.

And scarletwoman, I have participated in Shinto rituals and Buddhist rituals and pagan rituals, and each of them was beautiful and enlightening in its own way.

Far be it from me to criticize what is meaningful to you.
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heppcatt Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
80. I follow Theravadin Buddhism and am atheist and do not believe in rebirth...
In the most orthodox sense according to Buddhism there is nothing that reincarnates or is reborn, at least nothing that is a I, Me or Mine.
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. Yep rebirth isn't a Buddhist word either
They translate that from "begging". I'm Theravada as well, I believe in rebirth, but only as in reference to each moment, every moment we are beginning anew. Good to know there are others here too :)
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #83
90. But wasn't Buddha fairly clear that he had lived countless lives before?
Isn't breaking the cycle of Samara the whole point of Buddhism? Not trying to be critical, because I'm interesting in learning more about Buddhism, especially Mahayana.
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heppcatt Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #90
92. Yes these stories are called the Jataka tales...
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 09:09 PM by heppcatt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jataka_tales

Here is a basic and good explanation of what is considered rebirth. This should be acceptable to the Mahayana and Theravada alike.

http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/rebirth.htm

EDIT: As to your question about Samsara, this is what needs to be done, to be free of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prat%C4%ABtyasamutp%C4%81d...

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heppcatt Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #83
94. I agree with you about the moment to moment rebirth...
It was the breaking of the 12 links of dependent origination (Pratītyasamutpāda) that brought Siddhartha into the presence of Nibbana. All of us follow this linked chain every moment.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #80
117. I'm an Atheist with Theravada Buddhist sympathies.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:35 PM by Odin2005
I believe that the only thing that survives our death is the consequences of our actions, be they good or bad. Good actions and intentions give "birth" to goodness in the world while evil actions and intentions give "birth" to evilness in the world.

Siddhartha Gautama was not a dogmatic, his own conception of rebirth was based on his own cultural upbringing and in one dialogue admits that his understanding could be wrong. in this dialog he tells some villagers he's talking to that even if there is no rebirth we can still live a good life in the one we have now. he then goes on a bit of a rant telling folks not to believe anything based on dogma, hearsay, or because some holy man said so, and then says that we should never believe anything that violates reason reason and common sense. That blew me over, it sounded so... modern!
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heppcatt Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #117
147. I agree with your post...
The talk you are thinking of is called the Kalama Sutta, or Buddha's advice to the Kalamas.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #147
151. Yes, thanks!
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
81. Best post ever.
:hug:
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
82. Your beliefs seem harmless enough to me....best wishes to you.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
84. Spectacular post sw, recommend
Happy bunny day to you!! Peace, :)
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
86. I applaud your declaration of belief and support your right to hold it.
+1.

I am a non-believer. An atheist.

We, you and me, are often mocked.

Thanks for taking a stand for non-Xtians.
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Joey Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
87. I'm a former Catholic with Buddhist/UU leanings
I'm kind of an oddity in Oklahoma :).......
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lutherj Donating Member (788 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
88. I consider myself an atheistic gnostic. Many would regard this as oxymoronic. C'est la vie. nt
I have my own little rituals, and if I knew you personally I would be happy to join you in many of your rituals. Rituals can express many things, but I think above all a deep appreciation of life.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
91. Great post!
:yourock:
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
93. So what. I was into Wicca many years ago.
And believe me, it works. But now I am an atheist. I wanted nothing to do with it any longer.
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Ricochet21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #93
98. So why do you have to start with "so what"?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #93
111. My apologies. I didn't intend for my OP to be some sort of "brag".
I had hoped that the takeaway would be that no one ought to be immune from criticism just because they hold certain religious "beliefs".

If I failed in that regard, it is entirely due to my own lack of expressing my thoughts with sufficient clarity.

sw
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
95. K&R
- "The hands of the many must join as one, and together we'll cross the river."
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
96. Kick. *nt)
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
99. From this atheist/Taoist/Advaitist, "Nice manifesto!"
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 09:50 PM by GliderGuider
The point of this life, as far as I can tell, is to find out who I am, and how I fit into this very large universe. I suspect that's the point of it all for many of us. No matter where we find our spiritual homes, it helps if we to build the foundation we need to keep our balance against the winds of criticism. It helps to move beyond attachment, and to "not believe everything you think" as a teacher of mine said. When that is accomplished, our own judgments fall away and the judgments of others cannot touch us.

Congratulations on finding your home.
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Kurska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
100. People will mock the foolish and as logic and reason continue their march
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 09:59 PM by Kurska
all religion will be increasing viewed as foolish

No matter how niche, I don't see why religion should be exempt to the same rigor and standards we apply to any other view.

I may respect the courage and conviction required to make a public stance such as this, but I won't respect illogical beliefs.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #100
106. I do appreciate your view, and I have no problem with it.
"No matter how niche, I don't see why religion should be exempt to the same rigor and standards we apply to any other view."

Thank you. That's an excellent summary of what I was trying to say. :thumbsup:

I have always strived to base all my political opinions on logic and reason and humanism. Which is precisely why I have avoided until now -- in order to make a specific point -- any mention of my personal spiritual beliefs.

sw

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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
102. sounds like you could throw spiritualism into the mix
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism

(that's my leaning, as was my mother's and grandmother's)
--btw--i've been self-censoring, to a degree, for years. but i've written some things in the bereavement forum that include various "signs" from my mother since she crossed over.
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gtar100 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
103. Nicely said!
:toast:
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
107. I think you may be a little confused.
I've gone through all the posts, over 100, and I have not seen any mocking or critical posts from Christians.

By taking up a defensive position from the start, you actually come out sounding rather aggressive. And that's not in keeping with your stated Buddhist practices.

And it wasn't necessary a simple statement of belief, without preempting non-existent attacks from Christians, would have sounded more genuinely spiritual.

Think about it.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #107
109. I don't recall that my OP said anything about "attacks from Christians".
I'm of the opinion that you perhaps didn't get the point of my OP, but that's neither here nor there.

I do appreciate that you took the time to respond. I've done what I could to elucidate my main point in the other posts I've made in this thread. If you care to read them, perhaps you will find them useful in understanding where I'm coming from.

On the other hand, I have no desire to push your opinion in any particular direction.

sw
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #109
124. Your last three paragraphs
stated that you expected to be mocked, and made particular reference to Christianity.

With respect, I don't believe I have ever seen Christians on DU claiming to have any special status - your words - nor are they given to attacks on others' beliefs. The greatest bigotry I have seen on DU comes from those who seem to have no beliefs of their own, but are quick to attack those of others, Christians especially.


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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #124
186. Not sure you read the same OP I did.....
Only mention of Christianity was in passing. SW was wondering why should they get a pass only because there may be more of them?
Never a reference that they claimed any special status.

I don't know how you picked that up from this..."I want people to be free to believe what they want to believe, without prejudice in either direction - of mockery or respect."

And I would agree with you that the loudest voices & bigotry on DU does come from those who loudly proclaim they have no "beliefs" of their own, but are all too quick to attack those of others, Christians and those they like to term as "woo".

Gets old. :)
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DeadEyeDyck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
112. Ken Wilber came to our school last semester
and I was fortunate to interview him for 50 minutes. I cannot say that I was in the presence of God but I will say I was in the presence of one who had been in the presence of God.

He is the most "perfect human" I have ever encoutered. If God has sent down a son, Ken is it.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #112
171. Wow, I would have liked to have seen him, too!
While I have seen the Dalai Lama, I don't remember a whole lot of it, and certainly didn't get to interview him. Do you have a transcript of your interview with Mr. Wilbur? I'd love to read it :)
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bethfully Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
113. We are all much safer
when no belief system is given greater credibility or legitimacy than another. It's part of the purpose of separation of church and state as well as freedom from religion. I wish more people belonging to faiths that they wish were more a part of the public sphere (public prayer, informing public policy, affecting curriculum, "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" etc.) could see that they are compromising the integrity of their own faith by insisting that their version of their faith be the one that is used in those ways above all others. I wish they could see that their belief in g_d or jesus or whatever is no more legitimate and real than any other person's belief system, whether it's animism, Buddhism, Wicca, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
114. What, exactly is a "woo"?
I've never heard that term, and I'm a Buddhist, if that matters at all.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #114
125. A "woo" is a derogatory term for a person who believes in extra-normal phenomena
Such phenomena are, in turn, sometimes described as "woo-woo," which can be either an adjective or a standalone noun.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #125
130. thanks!
I consider myself educated. :D
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
115. Think Jains have an excellent attitude or philosphy:
"You're right, and you're right too." That all paths lead to the same end, and tolerance and respect should be normal behavior.

Bout all I know is I fell really lousy when I kill anything.

And I find water most mysterious:



"If you should ask me to give you the reason for life that we know

Then together we flow like the river

And together we melt like the snow"

-Capaldi/Winwood







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nessa Donating Member (141 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
118. Why should any member of du be mocked for their religious beliefs?....
When is it appropriate to mock or disrespect should any group with members here?
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
121. It should bother you if people mock your beliefs for no reason other than that they seem "stupid"
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:35 PM by WildEyedLiberal
Your "woo" beliefs aren't hurting anyone - why would you condone mockery meant to insult you, mockery which adds absolutely nothing positive to the atmosphere here? Since when did insulting and mockery become a noble practice that must be defended on DU?

Of course, people have the right to insult and mock anything they please, religious or no. That's called freedom of speech. But there's a difference between accepting that a person has a perfect right to do something, and condoning the thing itself. Nazis have a right to free speech, too. That doesn't mean we should chide Jews for being upset when they march through Skokie.
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #121
126. Saying something disrespectful or mocking about someone's
spiritual beliefs reveals ignorance, or some agenda.

And when individuals think that they are in some rat-race, where family and tribes are fair game in the competition, ignorance can be contagious, IMHO.

It is loathsome to use the divisions engendered of competing religious beliefs to promote cupidity and usury: religious war profiteering.

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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #121
129. I don't condone mockery, I merely accept it. Those are two separate things.
The correct response to free speech which offends is ALWAYS more free speech.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #129
136. No one's saying people shouldn't be ABLE to mock whatever they please.
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 01:37 AM by WildEyedLiberal
Some are, however, saying that such mockery is disrespectful and in poor taste. I agree.

I think "accepting" ugly insults is not conducive to positive discourse. Should we blandly sit back and "accept" what skinheads have to say about Jews? What KKK members say about blacks? What teabaggers say about Muslims? Prejudice and bigotry should ALWAYS be challenged. Your OP is telling the hateful that they have carte blanche to hate away, and while legally they certainly do, ethically, their behavior contributes to the degradation and division of society.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #136
219. Hate and closed-mindedness can only be countered by love and open-mindedness.
I'm not saying don't challenge hatred, I'm only saying that attempting to suppress it doesn't work.

sw

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
127. K&R!
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
131. As an atheist I don't see those beliefs as any more, or less, delusional
(and I mean that in the nicest way) than Christianity and the biggest different between them is I don't get days off work on your holy days.

But I do reserve the right to condemn, mock, and disrespect Scientology. I mean, really, a religion invented by someone who is known to have said that if you want to get rich, invent a religion.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
132. I've come to believe in energetic relationships and vibrations. It's not really religion.
Not to me, anyway. I am glad you feel safe to talk about this here. As for the woo factor or anyone that might say you are spending too much time with your rituals, they might benefit from checking the way they use their own time.

There are few people I can discuss these things with I have one Christian friend who is open to it, but don't know any buddhists, etc. When I left organized religion I lost some friends, but found my true friends who accept my saying that being in a 'brand-name' group isn't right for me at this time.

My best Christian friend found out today that her church is closing because of the low tithing from the low-income parishioners. She was angry to see their mission to feed the homeless, help the disabled, etc, whom she invested years of volunteer work for decades be discarded for what the diocese considers more profitable, day care and other ventures.

They are going to keep the income producing part of the church going but they will not have services or take care of the poor. She lives frugally and never shirked her financial responsibility, but the congregation had grown older, their vision of service to others not fitting their diocese's bottom line anymore.

So we're planning to join a Quaker group where she can still feel part of her Christian faith and I can be honest to myself as well. It's in both of our families' background.

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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #132
141. I'm with you...
I can't define what I believe but it certainly doesn't fall within any religion. Instead, it pulls from what I view as the most loving aspects of all of them.

Interesting story about your friend's church. Not surprising but so very sad. :(

Good luck to you in your journey.

:hi:

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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #141
179. Thanks very much, OneGrassRoot. We'll keep living on love, huh?
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 11:09 AM by freshwest
:loveya:
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libmom74 Donating Member (577 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
135. I love your Venus of Willendorf avatar.
Great post! I consider myself a secular humanist but I have always been drawn to the ancient pagan goddess religions. Long ago when I was an Anthropology major my area of interest was comparative religion.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
138. At least you ain't Muslin.
:sarcasm: :popcorn:
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #138
213. LOL
Maybe you've heard of "Spare the rod, spoil the popcorn eater?" :spank:

:rofl: right down to the "n" for the "m".
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:08 AM
Response to Original message
139. Voodoo/Buddhist here. I like almost any religion if it's polytheistic.
Hard to fall into the trap of dualism if you believe in more than one god.

Have no use for any of the desert fire god cults, i.e Judaism, Christianity or Islam. How dare anyone call their neighbor's god a "devil" just because he supports the away team and not the home team?
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:40 AM
Response to Original message
140. Why do you believe these things?
How exactly does one come to believe in crystal gazing, tarot cards and such?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #140
143. Because it is my inclination to do so. (nt)
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #143
187. I wasn't trying to be rude
I was just curious how one comes to believe in such things. Like what sort of spiritual evolution you have taken to end up at this point.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #187
190. I didn't take your post as rude. I simply wanted to forestall shifting the focus of this thread.
The essential point of my OP is not about me or my personal history, it's about how we respond when encountering each other's religious beliefs.

My apologies if this leaves you unsatisfied. Please understand that I consider discussing my personal spiritual journey as decidedly beside the point.

sw

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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #140
144. Ask yourself this -
why would folks believe in imaginary folks in the sky, who perhaps touched down at earth at one point. Immaculate conception, risen from the dead etc ... How exactly would someone come to believe in such things?
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azul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #140
159. How does one make the chaos of the physical universe
fit inside one's little mind?

It take a balancing act to form a conscious perspective. Just as dreams are constructed, but with non-imaginary company?
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jumptheshadow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
145. Congratulations, DU, on keeping this thread mostly congenial...
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 07:30 AM by jumptheshadow
and thoughtful. Not once in my time at DU have I read a thread on this topic on an "open" forum that was this constructive.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #145
194. Let me second your observation! I had no particular expectations for this thread,
I just wanted to say something.

I must admit that I am beyond pleased that this thread has turned out so well. I am proud and happy to add my congratulations to yours.

To all my fellow DUers: :toast:

sw
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
146. I'm a non-believer in anything religion
I could care less what anyone else thinks as long as they aren't trying to push it off on me. When they do I let them know right up front where I come from, no bullshitting around about it. When I die there will be another dead body to burn, no soul to go anywhere no reincarnation to be had. Like the bug that hits my headlights, I'll simply be dead.

Recommend
Have a happy life :hi:

Religion makes life easier for many is what I think the allure of it is mostly.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
148. Thank you very much and a huge K and R
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JackInGreen Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
149. If some of my contemporaries
ever heard how I talk to the Gods in private, they'd never take me seriously....I name call and joke and make bad puns in private prayer, I've heard some say that it turns our faith into a joke, my only answer is that THEY get it, why can't we?
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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
150. Respect
Scarletwoman, you are my hero of the week. This was an incredibly brave statement:

If it's what you believe, that should be good enough for you. If questioning or mocking that belief feels threatening to you, then maybe some self-examination is called for. What's NOT called for is for other people to be shamed into self-censoring in order to protect your personal sense of religious truth.


Despite the fact that I probably would use the word woo to most of the things you believe, I respect you. Deeply. In fact, despite my sometimes hardcore militant atheism, I am drawn to Buddhist and Daoist beliefs, as well as occult practices, so I don't really think we are all that different from each other.

We are all human. Ultimately, our gods, beliefs, rituals, and "woo" all boil down to a single fundamental answer to the mystery of life. "I don't know." The most honest answer any of us can give to any question we cannot provide evidence for. Sure, we go about some really wacky, roundabout ways to give that answer, but that deep self-examination you call for, is the shedding of all of our beliefs and the stark reality that we don't know.

Call it existential nihilism, which doesn't seem very popular anymore, making me just as much a "woo" as you, but deep self examination always leads me to that answer. From there, I am free to do as I wilt.

And in the public sphere, you and I both know that secularism doesn't mean denial of religious belief. It means coming together in community, despite our differences, with the understanding that we are all connected and are utterly dependent on each other, no matter how silly some of the things we all do, may appear to others. Respect for freedom of consciousness always stands high above any other value I may have. I don't always live up to that ideal, because I'm human, but meditation and a simple "I'm sorry" goes a long way to restoring balance.


And for what it's worth, paganism and animism makes far more sense to this militant atheist, than monotheism. It's certainly got better stories. Not that the heretical traditions of Christianity or Islam aren't without their own fascinating ideas. So go ahead and "woo" it up. The world is a more interesting place with silliness and absurdity. But as a Buddhist, you probably already know that.
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Raksha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #150
158. Wow, that's an incredibly brave and honest statement in itself,
as brave in its own way as scarletwoman's.

Re: "Despite the fact that I probably would use the word woo to most of the things you believe, I respect you. Deeply. In fact, despite my sometimes hardcore militant atheism, I am drawn to Buddhist and Daoist beliefs, as well as occult practices, so I don't really think we are all that different from each other."

I can't count the number of times I've been intimidated and shamed into silence as sw says by the militant atheist types, and I'm really pretty sick of it at this point. And yet that's ALL they can do, i.e. intimidate me into silence and make me disinclined to engage in dialogue with them. No hardcore militant atheist has ever yet convinced me of anything, any more than a hardcore fundamentalist believer does. Very often I sense the same kind of insecurity just beneath the surface of their facade of militant "rationality." The only thing it accomplishes is to make me want to avoid them, or at least avoid discussing that particular subject with them. It's obvious that I have far less to prove than they do.

You are to be congratulated on seeing through your own dogmatism, because that's exactly what it is.
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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
156. K&R for a dear lady and for a great post.
:loveya: :)
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Abukhatar Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
157. how about an 'alternative' view of existence
thought this animated video about the nature of existence might be of interest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldSooggMg_o
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
160. Sounds as ridiculous as every other religion.
So what's you point?
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DisgustipatedinCA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #160
198. 160 posts in, and you weren't able to get her point?
I think she spent a good bit of time explaining what her point was. Hint: it had nothing at all to do with boasting about her beliefs, which is the nonexistent stance you seem to be arguing against, pitting her views against your own lack of belief. You should consider reading the post before responding in such a way as to let everyone know you either didn't read it or didn't comprehend it.

Oh, and I'm somewhere close to the atheist camp, if that makes a difference to you.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
161. light travels 5.9 trillion miles in a year
We have been able to witness the birth of stars, measure the orbits of comets that orbit our sun every 900 years. Shit, we even landed a probe on a comet.

We can now detect and locate black holes, one in the center of our own galaxy. Our little planet is nothing compared to our galaxy. Compared to the universe we are insignificant. A blip...

Now thinking about all this....


Where the FUCK are the dead people? The "spirits"? Where is the matter that makes up these contructs?
"And don't give me that "parallel universe" crap.


Think about it....WHERE?

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BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
162. Love this, wonderful post
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 09:27 AM by BlancheSplanchnik
I love non-conventional anything, including alternative spiritualities.

As long as the spiritual tradition doesn't organize to try to force its views on people; as long as it teaches equality, compassion, wisdom; as long as it's non-violent; as long as it's non-authoritarianas long as it enhances your life (rather than prohibitions and restriction ); as long as its doctrines respect women----then GOOD!





I'm a Buddhist in the Nichiren tradition, practicing with the Soka Gakkai

and I love Tarot, runes, and if there were some Pagan celebrations around here, I'd go! :)

Recced yesterday, Kicked today :)
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
167. +1 from an atheist often accused of picking on Christians
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 10:03 AM by Silent3
I'm an equal opportunity skeptic of all forms of superstitious and irrational beliefs. You'd be right to guess that I look at the kinds of practices you describe as "woo". Depending on how and in what context you presented those beliefs, I might well be very critical, and might not be gingerly and delicately diplomatic about it.

If I talk about Christianity more often it's only because Christianity comes up a whole lot more often in my life and the culture I live in, and even more so because some particular brands of Christianity are mixed up in politics that I consider a threat to myself and others whom I care about.

I must commend you on your attitude of not expecting any special consideration in free and open discussion of ideas. I believe strongly in freedom of belief and expression in all areas of human thought -- political, religious, scientific, philosophical, economic, etc. -- but that religion and "spirituality" deserve no especially higher or lower ranking in that list. The important thing is that we all have as much freedom as we can have without denying anyone else the same degree of freedom.

Part of that freedom has to be freedom to be critical. Just as we don't always stick to calm, cool, detached, kid-gloves discussion of politics that we disagree with (on DU being quite openly mocking and scathing when it comes to Republican politics and even the politics of many of our fellow Democrats), we have to be free to apply the same spectrum of rhetorical tools, from Socratic dialog to satire to insults, in discussion of religious and spiritual beliefs.

If we overuse or misuse harsher forms of criticism that can be a valuable element of public discussion too. We end up looking like asses, discrediting our own positions when we deserve it.

Edit - PS: I hope this thread remains in General Discussion rather than being shuffled off to obscurity in the Religion/Theology forum.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
183. Amen, sister......
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 11:53 AM by Desertrose
and I say that in a non-religious non denominational manner. ;)

AFAIC, I see nothing woo about your choices.

I feel too that blending elements from many spiritual practices works well for me,too. Truth is where you find it....




:hug: :hi: :loveya:
DR
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #183
189. Ah, DR! I'm utterly delighted to find you on this thread!
I was thinking about you a lot when I posted my OP -- thinking about the old days of the "Meeting Room" and all that led up to it and proceeded from it.

I'm always so glad to see you still showing up in this place after all these years, all the uproars, and all the many changing tides and flavors.

You are probably the one person still here who truly knows what I have always been about, spiritually.

Thank you, dear friend.

:hug: :hi: :loveya:
sw





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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
193. I'd settle for no more disrespect and ridicule than is heaped on Muslims around here.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
199. If there's such a thing as reincarnation, then I hope Bush and Cheney come back as
middle-eastern peasants and get picked up by the CIA and locked in GITMO at a very young age. I would believe that to be Karma.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 02:36 AM
Response to Original message
208. I agree 100% SW
:hug:
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mr blur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 05:37 AM
Response to Original message
209. Nothing to be proud of. Perhaps you'll grow out of it if you're lucky. nt
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #209
210. "Lucky"? I'm not superstitious, I don't believe in "luck".
:)
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