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Wed May 9, 2012, 06:42 PM

I am a liberal Christian

I've posted a few times on religious issues, and I have been SHAMED over and over that I am part of the problem as a liberal Christian. I have been told about my “mythical” or “imaginary” friend (or God) and how what I believe is fictitious. I have had the bible quoted back at me to try and show how ridiculous it is. At one time I really thought I belonged in this political party since most all of my ideals have always been liberal. I believe LGBT’s should have the same rights as any other American. I believe in social programs benefiting lower class individuals. I pushed for government health care (anti-mandate and pro-public option). I even believe women should be able to choose what to do with their bodies. These stances are somewhat unorthodox for a Christian, but I only recently found God, and have been unable to turn away from my core principals of equality. I cannot follow conservative philosophy in good conscience.

I am not from a UCC, Lutheran or any other LGBT friendly congregation. I am from a Southern Baptist Church. I grew up in a Church of Christ. I have been at the same Church for over a year now and have many friends there. My congregation is UBER conservative. I catch the pastor every now and then going on a quasi-political rant. And I hold no punches. When I am asked about my beliefs I am open and honest. I have an Obama '08 sticker on my truck that's not coming off, and I park right in the front where everyone can see it - they all know it's mine.
My church doesn’t hate homosexuals. They don't hate non-Christians. They don't hate period. They promote love and compassion. However, they do view homosexuality as immoral, and marriage as a sacred institution. And I am at odds every time I hear about it. While I believe every American has civil rights granted in the constitution, marriage is very clearly supposed to be between a man and a woman as per the Bible. It is mentioned over and over, old and new testament – even by Jesus.

So what do I do? Cast away my belief in God because I have a problem with something he is clear about? Become a conservative so I can hold open religious discussions with people of like minds (ugh)? Or maybe keep posting on DU but refrain from religious discussions. Then what if I see an anti-religious rant posting - I am not the type that shuts up when fired up. I am literally at odds between my politics and my religion. This is a strange turning point in my life.

I don’t think we should make our laws based on religion, this is not Islam. The term marriage is spoken about in our church and we have our beliefs, but rights are rights – and they should not be denied based on religion. I do not believe in biblical marriages between same sex couples since it goes against my religious beliefs. I also don’t make the laws. And I don’t think gay couples should have any less rights than anyone else. I have a lot of respect for Obama coming out in support of the LGBT community – specifically pro-gay marriage. I do support him for president in 2012. The term marriage is taking on a different meaning in today's times than it did in biblical times. And I'm not sure where I stand anymore.



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Reply I am a liberal Christian (Original post)
shagsak May 2012 OP
LARED May 2012 #1
libinnyandia May 2012 #2
HockeyMom May 2012 #3
mr blur May 2012 #5
edcantor May 2012 #4
rug May 2012 #6
mr blur May 2012 #7
SoutherDem May 2012 #8
shagsak May 2012 #15
SoutherDem May 2012 #17
Goblinmonger May 2012 #53
dmallind May 2012 #9
Liberal Insights May 2012 #10
shagsak May 2012 #13
dmallind May 2012 #19
shagsak May 2012 #34
dmallind May 2012 #44
shagsak May 2012 #47
dmallind May 2012 #56
Goblinmonger May 2012 #54
muriel_volestrangler May 2012 #71
white_wolf May 2012 #11
Thats my opinion May 2012 #72
laconicsax May 2012 #73
Humanist_Activist May 2012 #12
cleanhippie May 2012 #14
cbayer May 2012 #16
Adsos Letter May 2012 #18
shagsak May 2012 #50
Oddman May 2012 #20
cbayer May 2012 #22
Oddman May 2012 #24
cbayer May 2012 #25
Oddman May 2012 #29
cbayer May 2012 #42
Starboard Tack May 2012 #86
shagsak May 2012 #30
LTX May 2012 #36
Lydia Leftcoast May 2012 #70
cleanhippie May 2012 #37
shagsak May 2012 #41
cleanhippie May 2012 #43
shagsak May 2012 #51
cleanhippie May 2012 #60
shagsak May 2012 #63
daaron May 2012 #67
shagsak May 2012 #23
Oddman May 2012 #28
shagsak May 2012 #31
cleanhippie May 2012 #38
shagsak May 2012 #39
cleanhippie May 2012 #40
shagsak May 2012 #45
shagsak May 2012 #32
Oddman May 2012 #33
shagsak May 2012 #35
Goblinmonger May 2012 #55
shagsak May 2012 #58
Goblinmonger May 2012 #59
shagsak May 2012 #61
deucemagnet May 2012 #46
shagsak May 2012 #48
deucemagnet May 2012 #49
shagsak May 2012 #52
opiate69 May 2012 #57
opiate69 May 2012 #66
shagsak May 2012 #74
Humanist_Activist May 2012 #68
Thats my opinion May 2012 #75
Humanist_Activist May 2012 #77
Thats my opinion May 2012 #78
Humanist_Activist May 2012 #80
Thats my opinion May 2012 #81
Humanist_Activist May 2012 #82
jeepnstein May 2012 #21
shagsak May 2012 #26
cbayer May 2012 #27
cynatnite May 2012 #62
CJCRANE May 2012 #64
laconicsax May 2012 #65
Why Syzygy May 2012 #69
Thats my opinion May 2012 #83
Rowdyboy May 2012 #76
Thats my opinion May 2012 #79
backscatter712 May 2012 #84
Why Syzygy May 2012 #85

Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 06:52 PM

1. I would recommend putting on your

 

flame proof pajamas.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 06:56 PM

2. If churches were required to perform same-sex marriages, then it would be wrong.

A strict interpretation of the New Testament says divorce is wrong. Some very right-wing people are trying to make divorce much more difficult but they have for the most part not been successful.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 06:57 PM

3. I am a straight, married for 38 years woman,

and religious education is what completed turned me off to organized religion, which includes abortion, birth control, divorce, women's rights, gay equality, etc. Far, far too many issues to me to align myself with them and their outright bigotry and discrimination. As an old lady, I would rather be dead than live like these organizations want me, as a female, to live.

You want to live like that? Your choice, BUT I object, and will fight to my dying breathe, when you try to legislate and impose your narrow minded views on the rest of society.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #3)

Wed May 9, 2012, 07:13 PM

5. REC. +1

 

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 06:59 PM

4. Honestly, as long as you are liberal, I don't care what religious beliefs

 

you may have.

"Some of my best friends..."

I grew up when there were very few people of the Jewish faith in my town. There were no synagogues, people of that faith had to travel 10 miles to worship.

That town is still much the same, but in the town of the same size which I live in now, just 24 miles away from where I grew up, there are two houses for Jewish worship. There are a dozen or so Christian houses of worship, and one of them holds services in Portuguese, a growing but prosperous minority in my community.

There is also an LGBT support group at my local high school, not there 10 years ago. There are openly gay teachers and students in high school here. Some of them go to Temple, some go to a church, some don't.

My current town in a Northeast state is typical of many towns in America.

Times have changed in the last 40+ years. But the change has more to do with demographics than Christianity nor Judaism, nor any other faith, as far as I know; it has to do with people living amongst us! Wonderful people of all varieties, and all with the very same rights.

Neither religion nor opinions about gay marriage or racial intermarriage by the non-religious need be involved in the current debate. The words of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are clear, as is the Declaration of Independence: it just took almost 250 years for people to hear, read, and understand

"We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men, (verbatim meaning "mankind" which includes women) are created equal, and are endowed. by their creator, (either a spiritual being, a religious being, or simply a mother and a father) with CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS..."

Religion may have influenced these matters, but the First Amendment and the Declaration of Independence made it all very clear many centuries ago. Religion has nothing to add now.

If your "religious beliefs" are such that they deny people what is in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, then I REALLY think your religion is in opposition to the basics of the United States of America, and might need to just step down from trying to influence any American living here and now. You are welcome to your religious beliefs, but you or your religion never have the right to impose them upon anyone else in America.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 07:20 PM

6. Keep posting.

 

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 07:24 PM

7. When you say:

 

marriage is very clearly supposed to be between a man and a woman as per the Bible. It is mentioned over and over, old and new testament – even by Jesus.

you lead any atheist to say, "So what?" We don't care or afford respect to anything written in an ancient book of myths, no matter who is supposed to have said them.

Are you going to live your life on guidelines you know to be right or on ones passed down from nomadic Bronze-Age desert dwellers?

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 07:57 PM

8. Wow!

Your are between a rock and a hard place.

I will admit up front, I am an Atheist. But, I am not going to try to shame you, tell you your wrong or anything like that at all.

For me, before giving up on religion, or a belief in god I was in several denomination. From pentecostal to protestant. From conservative to moderate. One of which was Southern Baptist, so I understand how you feel.

I must admit it is hard for a liberal to be in a Southern Baptist church and I hope this doesn't happen to you but I was slowly worn down till I changed to another denomination. For me what made me finally change was when I realized I was using the church as a social club instead of a place of worship. Leaving my friends was hard. But I felt the purpose of church wasn't to socialize. I will admit the Southern Baptist church I was in, Democrats were rare and the few who were there, were old George Wallace Democrats, extremely racist.

There are some moderate to liberal denominations out there. I found that The Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA) was a church I could be liberal even openly gay and be welcomed. I am sure there are others, PCUSA is just the one I know about.

For me continuing my education is what moved be from a faith in god, but if I would have not found a denomination in which I could be myself, today I still think I wouldn't be in a church. But I would be a guilt ridden unchurched christian rather than a content atheist.

I am not telling you to give up on your core values. Nor and I telling you to give up on your faith. I am not even telling you to change churches. I am just telling you what happened to me.

As to DU. While not speaking for anyone else I can tell you we sometimes, for open minded liberals, are not always so open minded. We at times get heated on subjects which we are passionate about and can go overboard. I have simply accepted I am going to be offended at least once each day and I will offend someone each day. I try to remember overall we really are on the same side even if we don't agree.

I wish you the best of luck in finding your way in this sea of confusion. Whatever your choice I hope you will continue to post on DU. I hope no one ever feels they are not free to be themselves.

By the way, I promised I wouldn't shame you or tell you were wrong for your faith and I hope I have kept that promise. But, if you ever do want to discuss that matter I would be happy to do so.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #8)

Thu May 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

15. thanks

Thanks for the honesty. I get that as a Christian I am going to automatically upset some by bringing religion into the debate. Mostly because the extremists have been oppressing for so long, it's easy to group us all in the same box. I am truly trying to find a way to satisfy both sides. And you are right it isn't easy.

I have strong faith, and I'm not too concerned that I will be swayed into thinking that any group of people deserves less of a right to pursue happiness than any other. And our laws should not be legislated from the pulpit. Luckily that's not what the bible teaches, from my reading. Now what is taught in some churches is a different story.

This is probably the most positive response I have received with this issue. I appreciate the time.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #15)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:03 PM

17. Your are welcome

I truly wish you the best of luck in your journey.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #15)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:41 AM

53. It's not the extremists that have been oppressing

 

Some very mainline churches have, and continue to, oppress many people. Do you understand that when people say you enable, this is what they are talking about? You want to push the nasty bits of religion off on the "extremists" and not own what your religion does. You say they don't hate anyone but only preach love yet your religion is probably one of the most responsible for what happened in NC. It seems disingenuous to say they don't hate gays but they want to deny them their rights.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 11:01 PM

9. This is the important line.

I don’t think we should make our laws based on religion

As long as you stick to that, the only beef you're likely to get is no more harmful than fans of another baseball team are likely to hand out. I don't think anybody gives a crap what your church thinks about sexuality and marriage as long as they keep their mouths and wallets shut about it being supposedly relevant to secular laws.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:03 AM

10. "marriage" and "marriage" aren't synonymous!

How many people think that when Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Bahia's, Buddhists, and atheists use the word "marriage" they all mean the same thing?
It really puzzles me why so many Americans have so much trouble understanding the simple fact that the word "marriage" has MORE THAN ONE MEANING.
When Christian conservatives whine about us liberals "changing the definition of marriage", rather than be defensive about it THIS LIBERAL CHRISTIAN CLERGYMAN says "Damn straight we are! But what we are changing is the definition of CIVIL MARRIAGE, not YOUR religious MARRIAGE."
By the way, what have conservative Christians done to the "Christian" definition of marriage which Jesus taught so clearly, which DID NOT allow for DIVORCE? What kind of joke is their embrace of Republican politicians who are thrice married, like Newt Gingrich? If he was REALLY SORRY for his sins (of divorce) wouldn't he have to prove the sincerity of his repentance by going back to his one TRUE wife according to the teaching of Christ, the first one, and stop living in sin with this trophy adulteress? Or have conservative Christians also redefined the theological concepts of repentance, forgiveness and reparation, etc., See myhttp://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/JesusonDivorce.html
Rev. R D

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Response to Liberal Insights (Reply #10)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:50 AM

13. I don't want to get on a big religious rant

But Corinthians is the basic law on marriage that is followed by most mainstream Christians. And though it is not advised, divorce is allowed - unless you are talking about the catholics and that's a whole different ball of wax.

My only concern is the word marriage and what it means to me. That is either what I have to get over or what I have to convey is the true issue in my heart. Most of the people in my church don't want to deny homosexuals rights.

I have brought up civil unions on DU before and I get the "separate but equal" argument. I have always thought civil unions would be a way to allow for the same rights as married hetero's without a large backlash from right wingers in power (polling shows it to be popular), but the response is "No, we want marriage".

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Response to shagsak (Reply #13)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:24 PM

19. here's the problem

But Corinthians is the basic law on marriage that is followed by most mainstream Christians. And though it is not advised, divorce is allowed - unless you are talking about the catholics and that's a whole different ball of wax.

My only concern is the word marriage and what it means to me. That is either what I have to get over or what I have to convey is the true issue in my heart. Most of the people in my church don't want to deny homosexuals rights.

I have brought up civil unions on DU before and I get the "separate but equal" argument. I have always thought civil unions would be a way to allow for the same rights as married hetero's without a large backlash from right wingers in power (polling shows it to be popular), but the response is "No, we want marriage".

Emphasis mine. Your words in toto.
_______________________________________________________________________________________



The only way to show the truth of bolded statement 1 is to join them in bolded statement 2. If you don't, you are denying them a right you enjoy yourself.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #19)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:00 PM

34. seems to me

That society has morphed the word marriage to mean something different than what I believe it to mean. In today's society it is realistically only a civil contract, legally binding two individuals into a type of corporation with rights and priveledgs therein.

The religious context is different, however as i stated, if you arent religious it shouldnt matter. I am just trying to come to terms with how both issues can coexist.

Why are my words in toto?

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Response to shagsak (Reply #34)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:27 PM

44. But why can they not have ALL the rights you do?

Including the terminology and even the sacrament of the many churches willing to grant it? Your church will not be forced to marry gays any more than the Catholic church preferred by my wife's family was (or should have been) forced to marry me. You don't get to choose whose wedding is blessed or affirmed by any church other than your own (and that only as the appropriate church official). Being unwilling to support the rights of gays to marry in churches willing to marry them, with all the sacramental force that ceremony represents, IS trying to deny them rights - rights you and your church would not willingly surrender I'd warrant.

How else would I quote your words to preserve context?

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Response to dmallind (Reply #44)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:54 PM

47. They Should!

The same rights should exist, otherwise we are oppressing people, and that is not Democracy.

But what is required to marry someone in a church? I know some pastors required us to be a member of a church in addition to marriage counseling... it wasn't just walking up to the JOP and writing a check.

Marriage is a word that means one thing to Christians and another thing to everybody else. To us it means a sacred covenant in front of and honored by God. To everyone else it is simply a contract entitling them to certain rights. I've said it before, but if you arent Christian, I'm not sure why it should matter what you call it, unless you are concerned that by calling it something else you possibly will not be entitled to the same rights...

But even then all it would take is a challenge to go to the supreme court, which would not rule in favor of the church (separation and all), and it would be done. Guaranteed equal rights.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #47)

Fri May 11, 2012, 12:46 PM

56. Did you miss my question, or am I missing your answer?

I'll be uncharacteristically brief:

Do you think gays should be able to get married, using that term, in churches and by clergy willing to marry them. and by doing so partake in both the civil and sacramental aspects of marriage just like any other marriage at that church?

If yes, then we're not really in disagreement. If no, how is that not trying to deny them rights you have?

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Response to shagsak (Reply #13)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:42 AM

54. There's your problem

 

You are relying on the writings of a hateful, anti-gay misogynist for your definitions of marriage.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #13)

Sat May 12, 2012, 01:17 PM

71. Divorce may be allowed; remarriage is not

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20corinthians%207&version=NIV


And, from the gospels:

18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2016&version=NIV


Any church that allows remarrying while an original spouse is alive, while not allowing same-sex marriage, is being hypocritical.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:43 AM

11. I used to think religion was useless and reactionary by its very nature, especially Abrahamic ones.

However, then I read up on Liberation Theology and my opinion changed greatly. I'm still an atheist religiously and Buddhist philosophically, but I have a lot more respect for left wing religious people now. Please, don't let the right-wing assholes define Christianity.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #11)

Sat May 12, 2012, 06:17 PM

72. The impications of Liberation Theology are much wider than juist what has gone in in Latin America.

You are correct. Right wingers cannot be left alone when they erroneously define Christianity.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #72)

Sat May 12, 2012, 09:40 PM

73. Who are you to decide what defines Christianity for others?

 

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 11:28 AM

12. So you became a good person despite the Bible, thats great, what do you want, a cookie? n/t

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 12:03 PM

14. Unless and until you put your beliefs out in front as the reason for your actions

or the reason for a policy, you will get no push back from me. I (and most other non-believers) could care less about what your personal beliefs are, right up until you decide to use them as your REASON for doing (or not doing) something.

If you do something or treat people a certain way because its the right thing to do, we will always be on the same side.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 12:05 PM

16. Are there no other options in your community?

Not all churches interpret the bible and take the positions that your current church does.

There are GLBT affirming congregations and those that uphold much more liberal values.

Have you looked around, or is this one all that is available to you?

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:05 PM

18. "These stances are somewhat unorthodox for a Christian..."

but there are more of us out here than you (or I) probably realize.

Your post described my own position very well.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #18)

Thu May 10, 2012, 06:36 PM

50. At least I'm not alone in this.

Thanks.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:40 PM

20. You never really 'found' god

Nothing personal but if you are a christian then you must believe and accept everything written in the bible as fact. You cannot cherry pick the bible to your own personal satisfaction because you have nothing to discern what is true and what isn't in the bible. If you are of christian faith you must use that same faith to believe every speck of the bible. You can't make a claim that jesus is real but Noah's ark is a fable because you have no tools or evidence to differentiate fact from fiction. This is the problem with the superficiality of faith and christianity. People's beliefs are so incredibly shallow and not well thought out.
Let's try a little test:
There are 4 simple questions that no believer has ever answered - because they can't answer them:
1.Do you remember how you came to the conclusion that a magical god speaking the universe into existence was the most plausible explanation out of the infinite possible explanations?
2.What criteria did you use to discern that?
3.What other possible explanations did you explore, investigate and negate before determining that a magical god was the most reasonable answer?
4.What did you weigh the god explanation against and how did you compare the possibilities to arrive at a magical god?

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Response to Oddman (Reply #20)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:56 PM

22. Not true.

While you describe fundamentalists pretty well, in doing so you sweep up a lot of other people with your net of the *rules* of christianity.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #22)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:06 PM

24. Of course it is true.

If you claim to be a christian you have no choice but to believe every single thing in the bible - if you read the post carefully you would understand why - if you disagree please explain how you can claim that jesus was real but Noah's ark was not. Please explain how one can claim Lot fleeing from Sodom is fact but Adam and Eve are allegory. What tools do you use to discern them? There's absolutely no evidence for any of it - so how do you honestly make these choices? You can't just guess and make up what is real and what isn't. That's the problem with the superficial and shallow thinking that faith requires.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #24)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:11 PM

25. Who told you that?

Many christians and christian institutions have no such "requirements".

You need to spend more time in this group talking to the different types of religious believers who post here. You might also want to find and visit some non-fundamentalist churches.

Many christians see the stories you outline as metaphor, lessons, stories used for guidance.

The picture you are painting correctly describes a particular type of religion, but it most certainly does not describe all christians.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:17 PM

29. They are free to make up anything

Of course they can pick and choose what to believe as fact and what to believe as fiction - but it's a totally dishonest position because they can't back any of it up. They have no facts or evidence to make those kinds of discernments. It's a faith based on self delusion and lies. Period.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #29)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:22 PM

42. Faith and belief are not based on facts or evidence.

It's a totally different animal.

It you think it's self delusion and lies, that's your right. Judging other people on who they are and what they believe, OTOH, may be your right but it's generally labeled as something most liberals and progressives do not embrace.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #29)

Fri May 18, 2012, 01:27 PM

86. What a load of nonsensensical dogma.

Been smelling your own rosary too much? Religion is not about evidence.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #24)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:19 PM

30. That is true

You do not get to nit pick. Hence my dilema. Anyone who claims part of the bible isnt exactly true isn't following a true religion based on the teachings of Christ. IMO that is the dividing line between true religion and man made religion.

I don't believe any of the bible to be fictitious. There are portions that are poetry, history, prophecies, etc. But all true.

Just consider that the old testament and new testament are different historical documents. OT is typically used as a reference to the world before Jesus. NT is what mainstream religions typically preach from, unless making specific reference to something in the OT by the NT. That doesnt make the OT untrue, just not as relevant given Christ's coming to die for us (that didn't happen until NT).

Many like to point to Deuteronomy (among others) and some of the horid rules that God created for the Israelites. But that was a true historical event and there were reasons those rules were put in place. However they only applied to the situation at the time, and not today (you can't kill your wife if she's not a virgin).

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Response to Oddman (Reply #24)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:46 PM

36. Oh for crying out loud.

Biblical literalism is a fairly recent phenomenon, and an almost uniquely American one. The notion that Christianity should even be centered on the Bible, and not on its rituals, can be traced in origination to 16th century Europe (what did that coincide with?). Puritans were early adopters of literalist interpretations, and they were persecuted for this heresy by established churches (both Roman Catholic and Church of England). They carried their vein of literalism to the US to escape that persecution, where it took root in pentecostalism and later in fundamentalist and evangelical bible-churches and revivals.

Biblical literalism is certainly not your supposed "essential" christian tenet. When St Augustine wrote his treatise called "The Literal Meaning of Genesis," for example, he argued explicitly for a symbolic interpretation, not a literal interpretation. Indeed, there is no christian creed that says anything about how to read biblical scriptures, and the highest claim the Bible itself makes is Paul's letter to Timothy stating that "Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness . . . ." This was a gloss on foundational Hebrew scriptures. It does not suggest literalism, and indeed, there is no history of literalism in foundational Judaic theology.


Of course, its handy for you to use this phony pronouncement of literalism as the sine qua non of christianity because it permits you to set it up as a sole measure, and to then burn all of christianity to the ground by putting a match to your single straw. It's really rather juvenile.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #24)

Fri May 11, 2012, 10:19 PM

70. Millions of Christians would disagree with you

You may be a fundamentalist, and if that's what you believe, fine if you want to limit yourself in that way.

If you are an atheist, who are you to define any of us Christians? One former poster used to jump down the throat of anyone who used the "wrong" terminology in talking about atheism.

I won't try to define you, and you don't try to define me, deal?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #22)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:51 PM

37. What does it mean to you to be considered a Christian?

And I'm not going for the NTS here. I'm curious as to what it means to you to be a Christian.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #37)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:21 PM

41. Great question

It means I am saved and redeemed. That through Him I will have eternal life. And it brings me such happiness I want to share it with others.

In a nutshell.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #41)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:22 PM

43. How does that differ from those that feel the same about their christianity?

Especially those on the Right?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #43)

Fri May 11, 2012, 10:06 AM

51. How we feel about our faith differs very little

It's how we (them vs. me) feel our religion should be imposed on the masses that IMO differs greatly.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #51)

Fri May 11, 2012, 02:19 PM

60. So how do you feel that your religion should be imposed on the masses?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #60)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:38 PM

63. My religion is my decision

And I am held accountable for it, not you. My religion should not be responsible for imposing the laws that you have to live by (see posts 15, 52 and 61).

However, that being said, man makes laws. And many of the men who make those laws are influenced by their religion to identify morality and right from wrong - as are many of their constituents. just sayin'.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #63)

Fri May 11, 2012, 07:46 PM

67. Hm. But isn't the point of federalism and republicanism (small f and r, respectively) ->

 

precisely to act as a balance of power for the excesses of democracy, so that the rights of the few might not be trampled by the whims of the majority?

In fact, if I'm not mistaken the above describes in brief the whole point of the executive branch in the U.S.'s still novel system of gov't - to ensure that we retain the character of a secular democratic republic into perpetuity. Which is to say, to moderate the rapid changes of direction of which pure democracy (aka "mob rule" or "ancient Athens" finds itself prey. In the case of the USA, that means the Feds trump the States, or the Civil War was for nothing. It wasn't that long ago, if you're idea of history isn't limited to the pruriently recent. The Ute tribe of Colorado was expelled in 1897. New Mexico wouldn't be a state for while, yet, and it wasn't alone of our 50 stars.

I would go so far as to say, and not be alone in saying so, that Israel is the closest thing the world has seen to pure democracy since Athens. It is that very directness of democratic processes that leave it subject to the whims of the mob. One day, 2-state OK. Another day, 2-state go to sheol, and there's nothing "leadership" can do except plead with the religious leaders for mercy. That's how small-d democracy can translate into big-T Theocracy. An eventuality which I think we can all agree we want to avoid.

To sum: this experiment, this secular democratic republic, takes a long view on intervening in the evolution of social norms. It's unfortunate, but it's also more responsive than either a pure democracy, or an ideologically pure republic. It HAS given us, on the plus side, say the civil rights movement.

But what does it say about us as a nation that we NEEDED the civil rights movement? That we HAD slavery, or COMMITTED genocide against Native Americans? All past tense, inescapable black marks on our collective permanent record, if we are, as I am, white men.

It's not an easy thing. We deal with it with greater aplomb than the right wing, but we aren't perfect. How can we improve?

I struggle with this, and apparently it is a spiritual struggle, for here I am waxing on about it in the Religion group at DU. I choose you all. I choose this. I choose to engage, even if sometimes I'm an ass and you are, too. I choose to remain, to intrude, to continue.

And that's why "man makes laws... just sayin'" can go fuck itself sideways, my friend. It truly can, and you and I know it. The Man has shown his hand - the Leviathan's laws cannot be enforced. That's what's meant by "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." His power is subject to our consent.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #20)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:06 PM

23. That is a disrespectful response

I get that you don't believe in God but you shouldn't be rude to me because I do (calling him magical god is similar to me saying a person chooses to be gay).

But why not, I will play along with you:

1.Do you remember how you came to the conclusion that God creating the universe into existence was the most plausible explanation out of the infinite possible explanations?
Yes. Praying with some random stranger who was trying to convert me brought me a peace I had never felt. I couldn't describe it and didn't understand it until well into my teens. I was about 10 years old.

2.What criteria did you use to discern that?
A feeling of peace every time I prayed from that point on. A sense of when I was doing wrong and an internal drive to do the right thing in my decision making.

3.What other possible explanations did you explore, investigate and negate before determining that God was the most reasonable answer? Big bang theory, alien implantation of a subspecies, some crazy crap in my twenties. All of which still had no definitive answer (hence all theories).

4.What did you weigh the god explanation against and how did you compare the possibilities to arrive at an all powerful God?
I didn't have to weigh anything. Just a look within myself to seek out what the truth was. He was there all along throughout my life. Even when I had turned away from Him, He was still guiding me. The realization of that was powerful enough for me to put my faith in Him. Afterwards, I started a journey through history and found that many of the events in the bible are proven fact.

Your questions are steered more toward a philosophical debate than an internal struggle. You seem to want it to be proven to you. It is impossible to prove that God exists - and that is intentional. Otherwise it wouldn't be a choice. I didn't have to prove anything to myself. I just always knew it was true and finally stopped ignoring it. That made my life so much easier.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #23)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:15 PM

28. You've negated the big bang theory?

That's interesting - endorphins are not god.

Thinking a god is guiding you on an infinitesimally tiny planet while 40,000 innocent children suffer and die horrific deaths each and every day is astounding arrogance. Looking within yourself for the answers is, of course, silly.

Self serving beliefs are very dangerous. This is why witches were burned at the stake and Rhinos are hunted to near extinction for their horns. It's why Bush started the Iraq war and why the terrorists flew planes into our buildings. The terrorists had beliefs that they would be reward in heaven with virgins for killing Americans. That belief served them well. It's not enough to believe something because it feels good.

And there are no events in the bible that have been are proven fact beyond the exchanging of money.
At least be honest about your 'faith'.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #28)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:33 PM

31. OK

Can you prove the big bang theory? Can you prove what existed directly before the big bang?

First: Concede that the entire universe is made up of energy.

Second: Understand the first law of thermodynamics, which is (essentially) that
energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but can only change forms.

Then conclude that: going from 0 energy state to almost infinite energy state takes a little bit of energy added into the system (on the order of infinite).

Any one of those tests is proven and verifiable. That is how I disproved the big bang theory, junior year at college.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #31)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:52 PM

38. Wow, a cut and paste response from any apologists website.

And here I thought you were different.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #38)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:57 PM

39. wow you got me

If by apologists website you mean wikipedia.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #39)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:14 PM

40. No, you got me.

I thought you were different. Turns out, not so much.

Have a nice day.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #40)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:28 PM

45. I will

Thanks!

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Response to Oddman (Reply #28)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:49 PM

32. To answer the rest

The devil rules our planet. God is trying to save us. God is self serving, each one of us. He loves us all (hence sending his Son to die for us). You can't prove religion, you can only open your heart to it. Our debate will be fruitless as it seems both of us have deep seeded faith. I wish you good luck on your journey.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #32)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:00 PM

33. My beleifs not faith based

They are based in evidence. You are probably a very nice person but it is scary that people still believe that devils rule our planet.

Did god create Febrile Seizures in children or did the devil?

How did the devil know how to create this disease? Did the devil attend medical school? Where did the devil gain his knowledge and power?

How about Sydenham's Chorea? Was that a creation of god or the devil?

How about Asperger Syndrome? Such a very specific disease must have a purpose too. God or the devil? How did the devil know what to do to create this very complicated disease?

Did god create a disease like retinitis pigmentosa?

Or why did he create Tourette Syndrome? Such a specific disease must have a purpose. What could it be?

How about Hydrocephalus? What is the lesson learned by the fetus dying in the womb of the mother?

It's simplistic to say the devil did it, but you need to say how he did it.

What kind of medical training did the devil have in order to create the hundreds of thoudsands of different diseases?

Each with their own specific rules that degrade protiens or attack nerve dendrites or feast on muscle tissue.

These are the problems that faith refuses to answer.

Nothing personal.

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Response to Oddman (Reply #33)

Thu May 10, 2012, 03:18 PM

35. Again

I don't need to prove it to myself, it's already been proven.

What kind of medical training did the devil have in order to create the hundreds of thousands of different diseases?

This actually made me laugh. I can just see the devil in a classroom asking about Hydrocephalus. No offense.

I don't have the answers to all of your questions because, well in short, I don't know.

Your beliefs are in fact faith based. You have faith that there is no God. You say it has been proven but I havent seen you state proof, just unanswered questions. And I just don't think I am the person that can prove it to you.

Of course nothing personal. I would have been surprised if a religious posting on DU didn't catch a little firestorm.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #35)

Fri May 11, 2012, 11:46 AM

55. So because someone on an internet board can't prove the big bang theory

 

it is false. But you can just spout off about the devil and get to just say "I don't have the answers."

Go ask Neil Degrsse Tyson about the big bang. I bet he can explain it a heck of a lot better than you or any theologian ever will the devil.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #55)

Fri May 11, 2012, 02:07 PM

58. No, that was just a response to why I don't believe in the big bang theory

It was not supposed to be the final answer to man's origin. You have to find your own path and answer your own questions. I did a quick search though and you are correct, some scientists argue that there is a negative energy which would negate the positive so that in theory (there's that word again) the big bang "could" have happened without violation of the first law. But no one has yet been able to prove (there's that word again) that it happened.

You don't have to understand every detail of God and Satan to be a Christian, that's a ridiculous requirement. So no, I don't have all the answers. But I don't have to prove the existence of God to you (or anyone) in order for me to believe in Him.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #58)

Fri May 11, 2012, 02:16 PM

59. By your remark, you don't understand what theory means.

 

Gravity is a theory, you know.

You can believe what you want. I have no problem with that. But too many laws (and not just the evil ones currently from the far right) have their basis in religion and that's when I do have a problem with it.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #59)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:30 PM

61. I apologize for the misuse of terms

I was thinking hypothesis. Gravity is actually a scientific law, not a theory.

IMO since 1st law of thermo is a law and big bang is a theory, I believe it is trumped, but I digress. That will be a debate for a different post.

Religion should not impose it's code of laws and standards on society - that is where we agree. It is a personal decision and you are held accountable for your own actions by God, not by laws of the land. I am still held accountable to laws of the land by God since it is explicitly mentioned in the bible.

The problem is the term marriage has been adopted from religion into our mixed society over a long period of time. To the point now where we have JOP ceremonies, common law marriages and non-religious marriage ceremonies. None of these have anything to do with a biblical marriage but they are widely accepted as to allow a legal contract between two individuals (and inherent rights). So what is the difference between any of those and gay marriage? As long as you are not in my church, nothing.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #23)

Thu May 10, 2012, 04:49 PM

46. May I ask a serious question?

I'm really not trying to be offensive or snarky. Consider the Heaven's Gate cult from the '90s. They sincerely believed that they knew the truth. They had found happiness. In video clips they seem deliriously blissful, even as they submitted to voluntary castration, laced up their brand-new Nikes and drank the kool-aid, believing they were going to a space ship behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

Can you please explain to me how their religious epiphany is any less valid than yours, and how you can still cling to a religious epiphany as a valid reason for faith after seeing the Heaven's Gate folks and so many other true believers misled by such feelings over the years?

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Response to deucemagnet (Reply #46)

Thu May 10, 2012, 05:11 PM

48. historical precedence

The bible is a historical document with proven elements. That cult guy was a douche.

Actually, I think some of them had doubts toward the end, especially with the suicide pact. In any case, they were as you said, misled. They weren't following the bible or God's word. If any of them had taken the time, they could have seen through their cult leader for being a douche. But he hand picked them based on insecurity and loneliness then manipulated and destroyed them to fulfill his own delusions. I think that's why most cults end in death. If they don't kill the followers they end up realizing it's BS and moving on.

I would say a big difference is I am certain I won't have to commit suicide, unless it is a personal sacrifice to save another life. If anything I am encouraged to do good things for others. Even if you suppose I was wrong about my faith, what have I lost? I have tried to better myself and follow a positive path. I have tried to love others and not hate or discriminate. I think that in itself is a good thing.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #48)

Thu May 10, 2012, 05:29 PM

49. Can you see that you're using circular logic?

You believe that the bible is a true historical document because you have faith, and you know that the faith that comes from opening your heart to God is true because the Bible is a historical document.

I'm sure that those cultists, along with many other people from many other religions looked deeply into their hearts, found love and peace, and are just as bone-sure as you are that they are right. They can't all be right. Don't you see that as an indictment of the emotional intangibles that people base faith upon?

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Response to deucemagnet (Reply #49)

Fri May 11, 2012, 10:42 AM

52. I see your point

But I don't think it's circular logic. It's my acceptance of faith AND that the bible is legit - they go hand in hand. One is not dependent on the other. The bible does have stories that are reverberated in other historical documents that are not related to the bible (these reinforce my faith), but there are many stories/proverbs/prophecies that are not. Not sure that my previous response conveyed that, but that is my belief.

I really do see how some peoples faith can be dangerous (especially with cults). But I don't think that religious beliefs should dictate laws. It is a personal decision and something that I hold MYSELF accountable to, but not others who do not believe as I do.

The problem is that actual marriage is a religious institution. If unions between couples (gay or straight) were called something else, this wouldn't be a substantial issue. However since that word holds a different meaning to Christians, it is being used as a tool to divide and oppress by some of those in power.


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Response to shagsak (Reply #52)

Fri May 11, 2012, 01:01 PM

57. so it seems that you are claiming the word "marriage"

as a Christian term. Do you have any etymological basis for this? Further, are you aware that the couplings we now recognize as marriage, anthropologically, have been a part of human history for far longer - and in almost every conceivable variation - than modern religion?

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #57)

Fri May 11, 2012, 05:24 PM

66. Bueller??....... Bueller??........

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Response to opiate69 (Reply #57)

Mon May 14, 2012, 02:49 PM

74. I am explaining the significance the word marriage has to ME

And what I personally support based on my belief system - which is biblical.

I am aware of the history of "marriage". However many of the elements of historical marriage are not based strictly on a biblical system neither (which is why many have failed over time, IMO).

Corinthians (letters from Paul) was written in about 55 A.D., and give a detailed description of what marriage is intended to be. Whether or not that has been followed explicitly over time is irrelevant to my belief that it should be followed today.

FYI,
Corinthians make no mention about common law marriage, or any other type of ceremony that falls short of a marriage before God (JOP quick and dirty, etc.). Therefore I do not support calling those marriages neither. You won't hear any right wingers argue that point though, because it doesn't get the oppressive result they are after.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #23)

Fri May 11, 2012, 08:29 PM

68. "calling him magical god is similar to me saying a person chooses to be gay" Seriously?

How is this comparison even remotely valid? First things first, gays don't have a choice, that is scientific fact, second, your god, especially as portrayed in the Bible, is a magical being in the same sense that wizards, other gods, and leprechauns are, they violate laws of physics to perform "miracles"spells, etc.)

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #68)

Mon May 14, 2012, 06:43 PM

75. You and the fundamentalists believe exactly the same thing about the bible.

The only difference is they hold it to be total truth, and you hold it to be total falsehood.If you could only see that there are other ways to view the Bible, you could break loose from seeing it the same way the fundies do. Any chance?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #75)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:24 AM

77. I don't hold the Bible up as a total falsehood, it has some history in it.

Its a combination of histories, legends, myths and thinly disguised political tracts. But the point I was making is that the god of the Bible is protrayed as an interventionist god who performs miracles. Either you accept that part or not. If you claim this isn't how your god works then the conclusion to be drawn is that you don't worship the god of the Bible.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #77)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:30 AM

78. I'm working on a long piece about the Bible.

There is a very different notion of God who is not an intervening miracle worker. I'm not asking you swallow what I will say, just that you take a look at it.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #78)

Tue May 15, 2012, 02:05 PM

80. I find no evidence for a deistic god, but such a god isn't at all like the one in the Bible.

A non-interventionist god wouldn't have birthed Jesus, or talked to the prophets, or performed the many miracles and interventions that are mentioned in the Bible. You seem to be talking about an entirely different deity.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #80)

Tue May 15, 2012, 05:35 PM

81. No, but a notion of deity not trapped in what is going on in cuture at the moment. nt

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #81)

Wed May 16, 2012, 02:50 AM

82. How is that not a different god than YHWH?

Note, I'm using that designation because "god of the Bible" is cumbersome to talk about.

Anyways, YHWH is called, repeatedly, the God of the Israelites, his chosen people, indeed this was typical of deities of the Middle East of that time period(around 600 B.C.). Local gods and pantheons for local cultures and nations.

YHWH isn't an exception to this rule, except during development of monotheism later than 600 B.C.

YHWH was typical of gods of the time as well in other ways, performing miracles and fighting on the side of his people. He was the Ares to Sparta, or Athena to Athens, a patron god for a certain people. They prayed to him for strength, etc.

Again, far different than the god you believe in, a transcendent being that is universal and non-interventionist, a deistic deity, to put it simply. Such a being would bear no relation to YHWH, who is distinct and separate being from the one you conceived of. A non-interventionist god would not, and indeed cannot have any influence in writing the books of the Bible, and given the tribal nature of that deity, it would be rather insulting to call the creator of the universe, assuming such a being existed, YHWH, wouldn't it?

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2012, 01:55 PM

21. I'm a Christian.

Yeah, that pretty much means I'm not perfect and I know it. And I fully understand that what has worked quite well for me isn't for everybody. I'm OK with that. We all get to choose the path we walk. I will say the path I've chosen has worked remarkably well for me, although it is quite difficult at times. Liberal? I don't know what that even means anymore.

I've got no problem with gays marrying. What difference does it make to me anyway? Well, I mean other than the whole Civil Rights thing. We all have rights and it's really not up to the state to be deciding who they like better than others. Or which Rights we're allowed to have.

Christians would be better served to view marriage as the civil matter that it really is. It's the only ceremony that a preacher would stand still for having to have a license from the state to perform. That ought to tell you something right there. The wahoos that go around wanting to form a Christian Nation should spend more time studying what it is Christianity is supposed to be doing. Hint, it isn't the least bit concerned with election results. It really irks me to see this being tossed around as a political issue, on both sides, when good people's lives are being impacted the way they are.

The Church in general is shooting itself in the foot by playing in politics.

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #21)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:11 PM

26. You nailed it

However the churches aren't playing politics as much as the Politicians are playing to the churches for the voting block. It's obvious when you look at the extent of what politicians will push for as opposed to what the churches actually preach.

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Response to shagsak (Reply #26)

Thu May 10, 2012, 02:14 PM

27. Agree. Well said.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 03:31 PM

62. Do you follow all the batcrazy laws of the bible like killing someone who is a different religion?

That's not just a Muslim belief, it's also a Christian one and in the Bible.

You've got a bit of hypocrisy going there. You are saying rights are rights and gays should not be denied rights based on religion. Yet, you said that marriage is only between a man and woman. Two men marrying or two women marrying is against your religious beliefs.

So which is it? Are you trying to have it both ways?

The term marriage is not only yours or your religion to decide. Marriage is up to the individual couple. The definition is theirs. To assume you can define it for them is arrogant. This is why I find the religious argument for denying people marriage equality patently offensive. You and others like you presume to decide what my marriage is and is not.

Also, you are in a religion that endorses discrimination, slavery, and concubines...among other things. Do you pick what works for you and discard the rest?

Maybe this ancient belief in a one woman one man religion should be discarded just like slavery was.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 04:26 PM

64. No single religion or culture owns the word 'marriage'.

The concept of 'marriage' existed before the Bible was written and even today there are many religions that have 'marriage' rituals (e.g. Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism etc) as well as secular marriage rituals in most countries.

So you're not talking about 'marriage'. You're talking about a 'Southern Baptist marriage'. In the same way, an Orthodox Jew would have an Orthodox Jewish version of marriage. No one would force your church to perform an Orthodox Jewish marriage ceremony, or any other type of ceremony that they don't agree with.




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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 05:09 PM

65. Something you might find useful would be studying theology.

 

Studying theology may help you find answers in the Bible that may have otherwise eluded you.

There are a couple theologians who post here, and they might be able to point you in the right direction to get started if you're interested.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Fri May 11, 2012, 08:32 PM

69. Are you sure about that?

marriage is very clearly supposed to be between a man and a woman as per the Bible. It is mentioned over and over, old and new testament – even by Jesus.

It really isn't. If you are truly searching your soul about this issue, you need to be fully equipped with the religious teachings on the matter. One preacher in a SBC is not the authority on all things Biblical. (My dad was a SBC minister and I can promise you they are not perfect.)

Three wonderful places to research this issue so you can be at peace.



http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1265
Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality

Walter Wink is professor at Auburn Theological Seminary, New York City. He received his Th.D. from Union Theological Semianry, has been active in peace movements throughout the world, and is a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar. His books include: The Powers that Be: Theology for a New Millenium (1999), ...



http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality/
Soulforce » What the Bible Says–and Doesn’t Say–About Homosexuality

Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.



http://www.religioustolerance.org/morality.htm
Ethics and morality: a broad range of topics



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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #69)

Wed May 16, 2012, 02:27 PM

83. A very helpful list of citations.

Fundamentalists take ancients words as if the meaning is clear to us. Only a vigorous understanding of the language and forms clarify what may just be prejudices used to condemn someone. The Walter Wink bit is particularly important.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2012, 11:48 PM

76. I'm also a liberal Christian. My Episcopal priest is the only man in town I more liberal than I am

He started out a Southern Baptist too but a divorce thirty years ago made him too immoral to be a southern baptist preacher. He went back to seminary and became Episcopal priest. What matters most to me is that you can be gsy, accepted and proud of your faith in our rural Mississippi congregation. Maybe its time to reconsider your backing of a denomination that doesn't support your values.

Or maybe it isn't. Whatever your comfortable with, what you support and what you profess is what defines you. Just know that there are plenty of people like you out there if you ever want to be part of an affirming congregation. Even in rural Mississippi it can happen....

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Response to Rowdyboy (Reply #76)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:34 AM

79. Hey! Stay in there and you will discover you are not alone.

The Episcopal church has a sturdy group of progressive priests--even in Mississippi.

And keep you oar in "religion." Your voice is important.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 03:09 PM

84. Try reading the books of Samuel.

There's a different take on homosexuality in there.

Specifically, re-read the stories about David and Jonathan. They were very friendly with each other. Veeeery friendly.

And while I'm an atheist, let me suggest a different viewpoint on the Bible. If I were a believer, I'd believe that the Bible is not the inerrant word of God, but a fallible book written by men, inspired by God. So sometimes, the Bible gets things wrong.

Why would a loving God create homosexual people only to condemn them? That doesn't make sense to me.

I'd also suggest exploring how other Christian denominations believe. Check out the Unitarian-Universalists, for example.

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Response to shagsak (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 03:28 PM

85. As far as MARRIAGE

The religious right doesn't follow the Bible no matter how many times they say, "one man one woman".

http://bible-christian.org/discussion/response41.html

Question: How many wives did David have and where can I find them in the scriptures? I read about him in I Samuel and I found 2 by name, I also know that Bethshaba was one of them, if I spelled it right. Please help.

Answer: Thanks for your question. The best place to start, is to read 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, here it talks about King David's wives. He had at least ten concubines that were defiled by Absalom. These were taken care of after the rebellion by Absalom, but David did not go into them as wives again. He probably took more concubines after this, but I don't see their names right off hand. His main wives were (because concubines were considered second class): Michael 1 Samuel 18:17; 19:12-17; 2 Samuel 6:16-23. Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11:27. Abigail 1 Samuel 25:39. Others were: Ahinoam, Maacah, Abital, and Eglah.

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