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Nah I've decided to take a step back (i keep saying that, but keep adding responses- i cant help it). I am very passionate about my faith, and I enjoy being able to interact with everyone without tension or hostility or going around in circles on issues. That was not my goal. And I admit I got a lil upset today so, to keep from damaging the good and loving rapport i've built with everybustie, this will just be a topic that I remain quiet on. I'd rather just walk away. Everyone knows who I am now. I will still be lurking. You will most likely find me in the Our bodies Our hells thread or the SEX thread. I have no shame in admitting I'm a very sexual (married) Christian woman who enjoys the BUST lounge- that will never change LOL I am who I am and I love sexxxxxxxx LOL the more the better. HAHA

Have fun lovies! I'll keep you all in my prayers wink.gif whether you want me to or not HA! lol
Hey girls! So I just got through with reading all the many fascinating posts here from Feb 26 through today. I almost always stick to the Our Bodies, Our Hells forum because I have a health issue I’m dealing with however once in a while I’d check into here. For a while it was kinda dead so I never came back until now and Oh my gosh, wow it’s now packed with posts!! I really should get to bed, my goodness I will only have a few hours worth of sleep until my kid wakes up but oh well, this is kinda juicy. I can always stop by Starbucks later today for a quick zap.

Unfortunately the link for the ‘for the Bible tells me so’ from DJ-bizmonkey didn’t work for me so I didn’t get to see that BUT I’d like to share what I think regarding this topic. As a fellow Christian myself I agree that homosexuality is a sin because that is what the Lord tells me, through His Word. As someone here mentioned, I forgot who (so many posts to read!) the Bible doesn’t really talk about homosexuality that often, so I myself am very confused on whether it is a choice or not. I was raised and taught that is IS a choice however my common sense leads me to believe that it is not really a choice. However I don’t think that is what the topic is about, I think what everyone here seems to be commenting more about would be the ACTIONS of homosexuality. (So I probably didn’t word that correctly but it is late and I figure you get what I mean) Nowhere in the Bible have I come across actual answers as to whether we can all be born with this or not…………..again, my common sense leads me to believe that you can, seeing as babies are born every day with different things either physical or mental that are considered to be not normal. But all I know is what God tells me, and that is this: the act of a man and another man lying together is a sin. However the act of a straight man and a straight woman lying together is ALSO a sin unless they are married. Well gosh I have sinned so many times along with every other Christian and non-Christian!

Not sure if I’m really adding much to this discussion, or really making much sense so I’ll try to wrap it up here. I get so angry when I hear that someone is violent toward someone else just because of their sexuality or what they believe. That makes me so sad but they shall one day have to be judged for what they did, whether they call themselves a Christian or not. Also I think when certain evangelical people in the media speak harshly against a certain people I just kinda cringe because that is not the kind of message we are trying to portray. All I know is this, Jesus loves us all SO MUCH. He loves each one of us no more, no less. There are no favorites here. Just because a man is homosexual doesn’t mean he is not loved, or that I myself think him to be gross or that I am better than him. If he decides to lay with a man, well he sinned. But I am no better for I have sinned one way or another my whole life however I try to read the Bible daily so that I can become a better person and learn to refrain from sin as much as I can. The Bible teaches above all to love. And never to forget that we are all loved so much.

I learn new things daily, from God I draw my strength. Do not ever let another person make you feel as if you are less than they are. Churches are not perfect, Christians are not perfect at all and I hope no Christian has ever said that they are. No man can ever be perfect. Sometimes some “Christians” in the media get too outspoken about crap but I think we forget, even me, that they are only trying to help teach the word of God however because they are only human their emotions take over and they say the wrong things. *cough* Rush L. *cough* Ok well that’s all, I think I’m talking in circles here I really need to get to bed.
P.S. When I became born-again I slowly started to read the Bible. The more I read the Bible, the more I understand, the more I WANT to obey God, I want to make my Heavenly Father proud. There is no other feeling so powerful than to feel His love. For me it all just kinda clicked into place and life from then on just becomes so amazing. I will admit though that I sometimes do have trouble understanding some scriptures, sometimes it is hard for me to listen to people trash talk Him who loves you so much, however I take it day by day.
KONPHUSION: Hugs my sister! Thankyou SO MUCH for everything you have written here! I don’t think you realize just what a great discussion you have started. Discussions and even disagreements are sometimes a good thing. A woman who sticks up for what she believes is a woman to be respected. I am horrible at wording my viewpoint however you can get it right PERFECTLY without babbling on and everyone loves you!!!! You encourage me to stay strong along with countless guests whom I am sure read this here thread. Our faith is nothing if we are not tested. Everyone here will probably laugh but I’m proud, girl! (((double hugs!)))
Just thought I should step in here. I was raised a Christian & I still consider myself a Christian. However, I do not think that homosexuality is immoral or sinful. Not the thoughts and feelings and not the actions, either.

The fact is that all religious texts - be they Christian or no - are written by human beings. Flawed human beings - because each of us are flawed. And each of us have our own ideas, opinions, agendas, motivations, and our own filters that shape how we see the world. In addition, these messages that make up the Bible have been passed down through so many channels and interpreters over the centuries, like a massive game of Telephone. How are we ever to know what is the real message?

Well, that's why there are so many religions. That's why there are so many denominations even within Christianity.

The basic stance that I was taught (and that I still hold in my heart) is that God is love. So wherever you see people acting with love and kindness, then that is the power of God in action. So how could it possibly bad for two men to love one another? Or two women? How could something as genuine and wonderful as love be bad? In my opinion, it isn't.
Konphusion, I am seriously going to miss your posts in here if you are seriously going to stay away. You and I are so similar it is scarey and you are much more eloquent at expressing yourself than I am. However, I have walked more than a mile in your shoes here on this board, and I totally understand and respect your decision to simply drop it!

I would like to respond to what COCL asked

"my question is, how do devout feminists reconcile their faith with a decidedly patriarchal church? how does anyone who doesn't swallow religion part-and-parcel reconcile what they feel to be true when it conflicts with what his/her religion says is the Truth?"

I'll say I have struggled with it a lot over the past however many years I have been a part of this community. Maybe I am not as devout a feminist as some on here, and I have made no secret that I don't like abortion. But I have always tried to be open minded about things and I did finally realize how *I* could reconcile my faith and my feminist beliefs. For me, while I think abortion is wrong, I equally think the government is wrong to make personal decisions for individuals. So I can support the right of choice even though I have been taught that abortion is wrong. I think when dealing with homosexuality, abortion, promiscuity ect those are values, morals, or what have you that are unique to an individual. Mine do not necessarily match everyone elses. And when it comes to sin and it's eternal consequences, I have enough to worry about with myself instead of making lots of judgements about other people.
I agree with a lot of people that the way the bible has been translated (especially King James version) has probably really muddied up a lot of what it was origionally meant to mean. I wish I had the time and ability to learn Greek and Hebrew so I could study the origional texts. But since I can't, I like to read books by people who have read teh origional text and see how they interpret certain possibly vague issues of the Bible. I don't think there is any person or religious denomination that has "right". It's the fallability of human interpretation. But I also think the more I study and open myself to other viewpoints, the closer I will get to the truth.

wow, this place is hoppin!

first off, please don't leave us konphusion, i think we've all tried really hard to get along in here and done so swimmingly. and you are obviously not even remotely alone in your beliefs, as i see many busties in here supporting/agreeing with you. i think you are great at expressing yourself and alot of not just christians, but religious people in general could learn alot from your example. anywho, if i don't see you in here, i hope i see you somewhere else on bust.

two other things i wanted to respond to. crazyoldcatlady talked about catholicism. with which i enjoyed a brief flirtation with as adolescent. it was actually a few years, in fact, but i was REALLY into it, did the whole conversion/confirmation thing. i sang in the choir two days a week, constantly in confession and council with my priest. i have to admit, there is something intoxicating about the ritual and the vestments. the catholic view of women is lamentable (as is their stance on abortion, homosexuality and contraception) however, they are one of the few christian groups that venerates a woman alongside jesus and the disciples. although the church maintains mary's constant virginity (which i personally, am not buying) she does represent this all-powerful, goddess type figure, the mother of all humanity. even though she occupies this narrow corridor for women (i.e. she is a holy, assumpted into heaven virgin) she still has great power of intercession and much mysticism surrounding her. she fascinates the hearts of most, if not all catholics. she is venerated all over the world and appears to people more often than any other figure. so i think, to a degree, catholicism has found a way to venerate women, even if it is in a limited way.

in terms of reconciling sprituality with feminism, the bible has a few very strong women and the catholic, lutheran and anglican traditions have many female saints. ruth has her own book in the bible, mary magadalene, mary's mother anne etc. not only that, but people have been picking and choosing what they want to believe out of the bible and the various catechisms for hundreds of years. people, even fundamentalists, are STILL doing it now. there is no reason that you can't tailor your own spirituality a bit. there are alot of trimmings in the bible and other sacred texts, alot of fat to cut through before you get to the meat. i've always thought to myself, although i am most certainly an atheist, that if i were to follow christianity in any way, i would go by the words of jesus and thats it. nothing else. no revelations, no old testaments (it is the new covenant afterall, right) and certainly no epistles or letters from paul or anyone else. i think you can enjoy the rituals and gatherings of a religion, like going to church, celebrating christmas, confession, marriage, the eucharist, what have you and still stay true to yourself. i don't think it makes that act 'hollow,' if you aren't following every rule to the letter. all religions have core values that can be extracted from all the extraneous trappings. for christianity, i think it would be forgiveness and unconditional love, for islam i think it would be hospitatlity, generosity, kindness to the poor, philanthropy, that sort of thing. i don't know enough about judeasim or hinduism to extract from there. but lets not forget about taoism, buddhism, shinto, paganism, wicca, santaria, voodoo, obeah, moravians, and the list goes on an on. i think it's easy, because most of us are western women, to think of religion as only the judeo-christian tradition.

whew. ok, what else. OH, sprinkles, if you want to watch that documentary, just go to goolge video and search for 'for the bible tells me so,' it should pop right up. otherwise, i'm pretty sure it is out on DVD now.

also, the bible says that if a man lays with another man that is an abomination (like eating shellfish, wearing cloth of two different fibers or planted two different seeds in the same hole, all in the same chapter in leviticus) NOT a sin, like any of the 10 commandments. it is a very important distinction, to me at least, but i digress.

ok, getting back to the id/creationism/evolution idea. i take umbrage with the term 'evolutionist,' as if it is equatable to creationsim, as if it is a religion, some tightly held belief to the exclusion of all others. many creationists use the word 'evolutionist' to combat anyone who contradicts their doctrine, as if by believing in evolution you become some baby-eating, devil-worshiping atheist. i also don't even like using the phrase 'believing in evolution.' it isn't something you that believe in, like god, or santa clause, or psychics, or the healing power of reiki. evolution is something you learn about, you come to understand, you accept. it isn't a belief. it isn't faith-based. you wouldn't say that you believe 2+2=4 or that you believe that 'smelly' is an adjective. these are things that you learn and eventually. i don't believe that table salt is made up of two elements, NaCl, i know it, because i learned it. maybe i need to look up the definition of the word 'believe' before i continue on this rant, because i could be wrong and just getting bogged down in semantics.

AND accepting evolution and believing in god or being spiritual are not mutually exclusive. catholics have reconciled darwinian theory, as have anglicans, jews, calvanists, presbyterians, in fact the vast majority of religions (which are not fundamentalist) accept evolutionary theory as an acceptable explanation for the creation of the world we know today. how it all started, i dunno. i'm not an astrophysicist. maybe it was a big bang, maybe what we call the big bang is what was intended by the 6 days of creation in genesis. i do agree with neuotic.nelly on one point however, our perception of this world is exceedingly narrow. the fact that we can only see in visible light should be a huge clue. there is much out there that we will never 'see' or be able to perceive by tangible means. on that note, i would like to say that yes, i am an atheist. i don't believe in some almighty creator-god who is watching everything we do and judging us according to some rule book. i do believe in the law of cause and effect, however. i believe that if you put negativity out in the world, it will come back to bite you in the ass. i believe there is most likely something that is way bigger, more awesome, more powerful than any mere human being could ever conceive of. i don't know what that thing is, but i'm pretty certain it isn't the god that humans have created here on earth. if there is a god, an afterlife, a great spiritual awakening, i suppose i will find out when i'm dead. if there isn't, and dawkins is right, this is our one shot, well then, you won't know or feel any pain because you'll be dead and that will be it. i guess that is kind of the opposite of pascal's wager. i will find out when i'm dead. in the meantime, i plan to work as hard as i can to make this world a better place in case this IS our only chance.
dj - you put it all so so well - i may just outsource my thinking to you while i drink tea and eat cake all day...

there is so much on this board that chimes with me, and the discussions i've had with myself about how to reconcile my faith and my other beliefs in a way that feels true. i also think that if i'd had access to the views of christians like those posting here when i was younger, that i would've had a much easier time rather than spending years conflicted between religion and my sexuality. discussion like this is so valuable.

kon, i agree with others on here, please don't go, although we don't see eye to eye on the gay thing i think we have very similar experiences and i always appreciate your views - other christians could learn a lot from you.
Oh wow, I feel so loved here! ((((SPRINKLES BABAYYYYY!!!!))))) wub.gif Thats my sister right there. You all know its hard for me to keep silent on any topic that speaks to my spirit LOL so very very difficult. I really dont feel like I'm an eloquent speaker or writer and confuse myself very easily! LOL Shoot I had to whip out my dictionary to keep up with some of the things DJ Biz was saying. LOL I felt really dumb for a second HAHAH!! That might be why I dont speak out more. I'm content with being a spectator though.

((((((beck, dj-biz, pixie, rose, nelly, and anyone else I may have missed))))))

beck my sweet, i spent so many years with the same conflict - i wanted to do my thing and still be spiritual. It just didnt work for me.

I agree with so much that Sprinkles said especially about love. I guess thats the point of everything that I've been saying here thus far. Even though I dont agree with a lot of things, I as a Christian feel it is my responsibility to spread the message, but also show love to everyone and accept everyone - cuz I'm far from perfect or holy. I've sinned ALOT in my life and still do sometimes (even though I'm trying to let the Lord work those things out in me).... heck I know I cannot do anything by my own power. *if it were up to me, i'd never would have changed* . Thank God for Jesus.

Since yall have convinced me to stay LOL I'll stay, but I'll let someone else talk. I dont wanna do all the yappin!

wow DJ, so much to agree with and comment on... thanks for your post.

QUOTE(dj-bizmonkey @ Mar 20 2008, 11:58 AM) *
i do believe in the law of cause and effect, however. i believe that if you put negativity out in the world, it will come back to bite you in the ass.

this karma-like idea could be explained by psychology or human behavior too. people treat us the way we treat people. sounds like the golden rule? to me, that's a bit of common sense that no book needs to tell me. also, events in our lives often domino from other events or decisions, so we learn from our experiences and mistakes, and our lives build from there. call it intuition, or just something that hasn't been explained by science yet.

besides, i know a few people who are perfect examples of how to live honestly and morally, and then got cancer or in terrible accidents or something, and a couple others who are bastards but have perfect health. where's the karma in that?

i hate being a downer. i also hate to think that after i die, that's all folks. i hate that my dead grandma and aunt may not be still with me somehow. i hate to think human beings and other beings were just plopped here without knowing how or why we're here, and left to our own limited devices and curiousity to figure it all out, no matter what the consequences, such as war between conflicting religions or quickly ruining the environment. so the best i can do is be okay NOT to need all the answers; i'm okay that some things will never be explained in my lifetime.

btw, i am the most right-brained person ever, not some sciency left-brained geek!

edit to say.... welcome back konphusion!
I'm not really sure if this fits here when we're talking about religion, but I've been wondering....for those who are athiest/ do you feel about ghosts/spirits? I'm convinced that there are ghosts and spirits among us and to me that almost proves that there has to be a higher power and a more eternal destination. If everything is over when we die what would be the purpose of us having a spiritual soul, ya know? And obviously everyone who ever lived is not still hanging around so there must be some kind of eventul destination unless we are just vapors that disipate.
i am totally intrigued by the idea of spirits. but here i go again... any unexplained events that we think are ghosts could be just that.. something physical that's unexplained. someone here said it before. humans are limited in our senses; we can only hear at certain frequencies and pitches, and can only see in certain types of light, and can only think in specific amounts of time. who knows what's around us that we can't sense? whether or not that's a dead person's soul, i dunno.
hahaha, beck, that's so sweet!

nickclick, i AM one of those left-brained geeks....well, kinda. i have a strong sense of intuition, i suppose, but my manner of thinking is very analytical and deconstructionist. on the subject of bad things happening to good people and assholes seeming to come out on top: i think it may only appear from the outside that those jerks are getting all the breaks and kind-hearted souls are getting trampled on. i think people that step on other people (or the environment, or animals whatever) look from the outside to 'have it all' but deep down, i get the feeling they must be very lonely, sad and dejected. at least those good people who get cancer or are paralyzed in accidents have people that love them surrounding them and supporting them. they are rich in love because of the social network they have constructed. manipulative and malicious people might THINK that they have loving people around them, but the fact of the matter is, no one can be fooled for too long. in the end, they will be abandoned. imagine scrooge if he never had his epiphany. i truly think it all comes out in the wash. i think the whole notion of karma has evolutionary roots. it's the extension of reciprocal altruism, or the golden rule, whatever you prefer to call it. and even though the great karmic irony of the universe isn't dealt out instantaneously, that doesn't mean that it won't be eventually.

ghosts. hmmmmmm. this is one that always troubles me because it's so FUN to believe in ghosts. my cold, hard, scientific brain tells me that it's implausible and i am always very reluctant to use the word 'prove.' i will say this. i believe in the law of conservation of mass. i believe all creatures put out an energy, an aura, a magnetic field. i think that energy can leave its imprint on places and people. i also think that intuition is a very powerful muscle, that if exercised properly, can detect these imprints. that would be my explanation for most psychics (atleast the 'honest' ones that aren't trying to con us, like ms.cleo) and hauntings etc. i think it's a very selfish and ego-centric notion to think that this individual spirit, this identity that we have constructed throughout our lives is somehow eternal and will continue on forever. i think, however when all other trappings are stripped away, consciousness remains. i think that consciousness must somehow be preserved. maybe not in the form that we know, but perhaps that supposed 21 grams you lose when you die is that metaphysical consciousness returning to the great unknown. it's comforting for humans to think that their relatives are still around. funerals, the afterlife etc are all comforts for the LIVING, the dead are dead, so presumably it shouldn't/doesn't matter to them. maybe death is just a transition. i don't think, that if an afterlife exists, it is remotely like anything we could construct here on earth. i do believe that we can conjure up the dead with our memories, tap into whatever strength or impression they may have left on us. so, long story short, i believe in ghosts, kinda. i don't believe in an individual spector, traipsing about in victorian garb and wailing for his/her lost love. i do believe in the epic memory of places, plants and all animals (including humans). i believe in a greater collective unconscious where perhaps we all return when we die.......perhaps....i, like nickclick, am in no hurry to find out and not too worried about it.

for the scientifcally inclined out there, there is a fabulous book by Mary Roach, called "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife." it's mostly skeptisism, but alot of fun to read.

while we're on the topic, i'd like to ask the christian/religous people out there what they think about ghosts, mediums and psychics?
I'm not religious and there are a lot of things that the main religions embody which i don't agree with. But at the same time I cant help but respect anyone religious and love hearing their outlooks on life. I havent completely ruled out the concept of some kind of God or higher being; I find it hard to as there are so many other things in this world that I just wouldnt believe if i hadnt seen or seen proof of. Religions seem to me to just be a way of enforcing morality. The trouble is that they still express the morals of the time in which they were founded. times have changed (for the better) and problems occur when people cling on to the morals and beliefs of people who existed perhaps thousands of years ago when a holy book was created. A good person knows the difference between right and wrong and doesnt need to live by somebody elses morals. They can improve on them. I hope i dont offend anyone by using the muslim hijab as an example. I am aware of all the said reasons for wearing one but I always imagine it to be some rule created by a man who didnt want his wife to be seen by others or didnt want his self to be lead to sin and so decided all women should be covered- not for her benefit but for his convenience. Infact Ive heard a muslim man saying something along these lines on an Islam discussion show. I dont have any problems with Islam but, like all religions, there are elements of it which I dont agree with. I also find it strange how religious people are often the ones contradicting what they believe, through the way that they percieve those who dont conform. I like the concept of religion and often wish that there was one which I could relate too. I love how those with faith have an air of wisdom and strength about them (imo anyway). It's great listening to people discuss religion both here and in real life. I may not side with religion but I havent completely ruled out the possibility of God yet
and also isnt it possible for the evolution theory and the idea of a God to reconcile? Surely one doesnt necessarily rule out the other, or am i missing something. The adam&eve thing takes me back to how religion just appears to be the immortalised ideas of millenniums ago.We've moved on scientifically and so the need for a divine explanation of how we came about has become increasingly redundent. I think it would be better if people took the main essence of religion (because overall it's not a bad thing) and applied it in a less circumscribed way
I guess I'm an athiest open to persuasion
Hiya, just popping by to say to nelly - that punk science link you posted inspired a new song I'm writing! Okay, not totally - I knew there was a new song lurking mysteriously somewhere inside me today, and a few things I heard the interviewee say triggered in my brain, so I scribbled them down....subsequently, the mystery started to reveal itself. (Cosmic coincidence or paradoxical destiny?? Who knows?) So thanks!

I am not religious, though I consider myself spiritual. Though since nearly dying last year, I find myself less and less interested in whether or not there's a god or life after death or whether the universe is made of string cheese, and more and more interested in putting all my energy into really living and enjoying THIS life. Not trying to denigrate anyone's beliefs - it's just where I'm at personally. I started the previous thread on this topic (Are You There God? It's Me, Bustie), and the one before that (don't remember what it was called), so I'm really glad to see a discussion going again! I've been enjoying lurking. I know it can get heated, but that's because spirituality and beliefs are so deeply personal that we get passionate about them - nothing wrong with that, as long as we're respectful!

Actually, these days, music is my religion! wink.gif

Can't remember who wanted to know how to make a link, but basically:

1) in the reply field (the white box you write your post in), type the text you want to show as the link in your post
2) unless you are planning to re-type your whole URL, make sure you've copied your URL to your clipboard before you start the rest of this process
3) highlight the text you want to show as a link
4) click the formatting button that has the green A+ in it (it's right above the reply field, next to the smiley)
5) you'll get a pop up dialogue box asking for your URL - paste or type it in
6) click "okay" - the URL will show as your text from step 1 when you post your reply

Internet Explorer may block the pop up dialogue by saying something like "this website is using a scripted window to ask you for information..." etc. If so, right click that yellow warning box and select "temporarily allow scripted windows." Then try the A+ box again, and follow the previous procedure.
Dj- as I mentioned in my last post, I do belive in spirits, ghosts, demons, angels, the works! I think there is a whole nother spiritual plane if you will operating around us all the time. And occasionally those planes collide. Even the bible mentions the fallen angels being cast down to earth and since an angel is a spiritual being, these fallen angels (some might call demons) are still around here on earth. Further, I believe in the concept of heaven and hell. I'm not as knowledgeable in biblical things as I'd like to be, but from what I've read and heard it interpreted, no one is actually in heaven yet. Jesus talks about going to prepare a place for us. And it is my understanding that with the second coming of Christ "the dead in Christ" shall rise and then go to heaven. So There must be some sort purgatory in the meantime. And again I think some of that can spill over into hauntings or whatever here. I'm always cautious about phycics and such. I have lot of intuition myself and have in teh past had some really weird experiences where I just knew something was going to happen before it did. But I certainly wasn't communing with spirits and having them tell me stuff. The whole John Edawrds Crossover stuff doesn't sit too well with me.

On the whole evolution/creationism argument. I really believe in a mixture of both. I belive that ultimately God created the earth and plants and animals and so forth, but I also believe that what he created has evolved through the centuries. I have a hard time buying into the idea that every creature on earth started with the same single cell organism. But I think of like breed 2 different breeds together and get the best traits of both and get a better breed. And I think animals and humans have done this sort of evolving since creation.
**scurries in to say**

I friggin love you Pixie.... that is all....

**dashes back out**
doodlebug, that punk science interview, the concepts about consciousness playing a major roll in the evolution of woman and man, quantum physics new discoveries about light and how it carries information - kinda like a grid of light information, and most importantly how it has been documented that consciousness remains after the body has deceased gives me awe and wonder and hope and exhilaration about life and death. Glad it added to your inspiration for your song!

I think that it is harder to just think conceptually about all that is known, unknown, and unknowable - like ghosts, spirits, the afterlife, other dimensional beings, etc. - when one experiences something unexplainable, whether it be benevolent or malevolent. But, I agree that these things may still exist entirely on the physical level somehow, therefore, an afterlife may not exist the way we were taught. Life, and the energy that supports it may just make transitions.

that is all for now...
QUOTE(dj-bizmonkey @ Mar 21 2008, 05:44 PM) *
while we're on the topic, i'd like to ask the christian/religous people out there what they think about ghosts, mediums and psychics?

I don’t believe in ghosts, I believe in demons. Basically I believe in a lot of what Pixiedust wrote, I guess mine is just sorta extended since I really haven’t figured out how to write a short post yet. As a Christian I rely on God’s Word for my answers and the Bible mentions somewhere in the book of Luke about all this, also a little bit in Deut. and Eccl. If I stated scriptures here ya’ll are gonna think I’m trolling on you so I’ll try to refrain. If a person feels a bad ghostly presence it is my opinion that it is in fact a demon. Actually when I was saved last year I learned all sorts of cool things from the Bible that I don’t remember retaining as a child, like for instance when Satan chose to fall from God, if I remember correctly he took 1/3 of all the angels (extremely large number) with him, and they are the demons. Demons are fallen angels.

As for psychics, well the Bible forbids even attempting to contact the dead. I have to admit to being tempted to use a Ouija board a few years ago though. I was with my BF and some of our roommates and I gotta admit I was definitely higher than a kite so my mind was warped. Gosh I was so lost. Anyway so some of us were high, some high and not quite wasted but getting there, anyway I loudly announced (while performing snow angels on the carpet floor) that I wanted to use a Ouija board. It sounded (“bitches! It sounds cool!”) fun to me and I was open to new experiences. Heh, well strangely enough everyone in the room agreed that they didn’t think it would be a good idea. Most were raised Christian (definitely not born-again yet!) or Catholic and although we were all kinda goin down the wrong path, lost our way, etc. sometimes I guess you still hear your parents rules in your head during forks in the road of life. Well thank goodness they all talked me out of it because I truly now think that doing that sort of stuff is like calling out to satan and his many demons, a.k.a fallen angels. So anyway after one of the roommates talked me out of it they decided it would be a better idea to just do another couple lines and then go outside to the community pool and get naked and go swimming. So anyway even after that I really wanted to use a Ouija board because I was so friggin curious and the more everyone told me I shouldn’t, the more I wanted to. Also, I wanted to get my cards read, or whatever you call it. The palm readers? You know, basically where you throw away your hard-earned cash to a bunch of morons (no offense to palm readers out there!) who trace the wrinkles on your palm and explain that you will die in a couple years, or like marry someone, like a leprechaun with a pot o gold, and get divorced three times. Only God knows the answers to the questions about our future, as it is His grand plan.

To put it simply, I do not believe that people who died can actually come back to magically appear before us. They are in one of two places, and where they go is up to them. I do believe you can be possessed by a demon and of course I have seen programs on TV where people claim to have received like a message or something from a loved one who has passed. Well I don’t think that our loved ones can come back to comfort us, in fact a scripture comes to mind, Luke 16:26 if ya’ll wanna look it up. It plainly states that this is just not possible. However I do believe that people are comforted by angels. We have leagues of angels who are watching over us and I do believe those people are being comforted by them, who are God’s ministering spirits.

On another note, DJ-Bizmonkey I really like what you said regarding bad things happening to good people, and “assholes coming out on top”. I was quite surprised when I read this but I agree, however a little twist on the end. I would add that the “assholes” are walking with Satan and when you walk with Satan you acquire all the earthly possessions possible. When you walk with God sometimes it will seem as if you are struggling but God wants to test your love for Him and He only gives you what you can handle. If you aren’t given a lot than I guess those people can’t really handle much because they aren’t strong enough, i.e. the “assholes”. Anyway I would love to someday talk with an agnostic or atheist person because I have so many questions! I am a curious girl and I have come to realize that every woman here in this discussion that has posted something is very knowledgeable when it comes to scripture even though a majority of you ladies are not Christian. I got so many questions if I ever talked in person with you all! I have come to respect (for lack of a better word) some of your opinions even if I do not agree with them, as it is just not simply “I don’t believe in God because I cannot see Him”.

Nickclick, you totally hit it on the head there because from what I got from what you were saying is that there is much more that goes on than we are aware of. We have angels around us everyday yet we don’t see them, we have thoughts yet cannot fathom that perhaps the Lord helped us along, we accomplish something not realizing perhaps we did not do it alone.

Also Starship, I am very happy that you are an Atheist open to persuasion! I like open-minded people. I myself am very firm in my beliefs however I would never turn down an opportunity to learn more about someone else’s belief as it is a chance for me to grasp a bit more knowledge and learn where someone else is coming from. Only then can you find the right way to help. And if someone says something that really pisses me off I just have to remember that love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude……love endures all things.

If I am to love my neighbor I must require patience and that is something that I have actually learned a little better while here on BUST! This weekend is a very special weekend, it is all about a man, a cross, and a love that is so powerful it brings me to my knees. Anyway ladies I am enjoying the discussions here and I do much enjoy reading what everyone here has to say.

(((Konphusion!))) Oh how we are so blessed, aren’t we? Love ya, girl!!!! How much does He love us? THIS MUCH and He stretched out His arms and died and glory to God He rose on the third day. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I have my sister here.
...I just want to clarify one thing you said below, sprinkles - about your friends being raised christian or catholic. Catholics ARE christian, by definition.

Chris·tian (krĭs'chən) Pronunciation Key adj.

1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.

Even though I'm not even close to being a practicing Catholic (was raised catholic tho) I always find it kind of um... odd when people say "christian" or "catholic" as if they are two completely different things. It would be more apt to say "protestant" or catholic - both are christian, but protestant religions have descended from the bodies that split from Rome during the Reformation, while the catholic religion is the ancient undivided christian church which remains based in Rome with the pope as it's leader.

Prot·es·tant (prŏt'ĭ-stənt) Pronunciation Key

1. A member of a Western Christian church whose faith and practice are founded on the principles of the Reformation, especially in the acceptance of the Bible as the sole source of revelation, in justification by faith alone, and in the universal priesthood of all the believers.

anyhoo, I'm a language geek. But I do think that it's important to remember that they are BOTH christian religions, and at the end of the day, if you choose to follow one of them, the focus and interpretation differs from denomination to denomination, but you are linked with all of the other christian religions in the basic belief of Jesus' teachings. -I just think it's important, because there are parts of the world (I live in one of them) where that very basic link has been forgotten and people act very much against the basic tenants of christianity towards one another.

anyway, back to your regularly scheduled discussion ....

hi, sprinkles -

i have a question for you.

i was raised Catholic. i think that, in a certain way, we always retain some of the belief system in which we were raised. i know that i certainly found solace in attending Mass after 11 september. there is comfort in ritual.

you mention that "the Bible forbids even attempting to contact the dead".

i was raised to believe that Jesus raised the dead. isn't this considered a contact?

i'm confused by your comment. thanks for taking the time to explain, i really appreciate it.
QUOTE(tesao @ Mar 22 2008, 04:06 PM) *
you mention that "the Bible forbids even attempting to contact the dead".

i was raised to believe that Jesus raised the dead. isn't this considered a contact?

He also rose from the dead himself; this weekend, in fact wink.gif.
QUOTE(zoya @ Mar 22 2008, 09:47 AM) *
...I just want to clarify one thing you said below, sprinkles - about your friends being raised christian or catholic. Catholics ARE christian, by definition.

Chris·tian (krĭs'chən) Pronunciation Key adj.

1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
Even though I'm not even close to being a practicing Catholic (was raised catholic tho) I always find it kind of um... odd when people say "christian" or "catholic" as if they are two completely different things. It would be more apt to say "protestant" or catholic - both are christian, but protestant religions have descended from the bodies that split from Rome during the Reformation, while the catholic religion is the ancient undivided christian church which remains based in Rome with the pope as it's leader.
Prot·es·tant (prŏt'ĭ-stənt) Pronunciation Key

1. A member of a Western Christian church whose faith and practice are founded on the principles of the Reformation, especially in the acceptance of the Bible as the sole source of revelation, in justification by faith alone, and in the universal priesthood of all the believers.
anyhoo, I'm a language geek. But I do think that it's important to remember that they are BOTH christian religions, and at the end of the day, if you choose to follow one of them, the focus and interpretation differs from denomination to denomination, but you are linked with all of the other christian religions in the basic belief of Jesus' teachings. -I just think it's important, because there are parts of the world (I live in one of them) where that very basic link has been forgotten and people act very much against the basic tenants of christianity towards one another.

anyway, back to your regularly scheduled discussion ....

Good Point! A lot of people also forget that Mormans and even Jehova's witnesses are Christian religions too.

Happy Easter, everyone!!!

*sorry to interrupt the discussion*

today's oh hell no alert...

i have a lot of backreading from the last couple of days to catch up on, but i skimmed and will be back later.

*okay, continue*
looks like the misogyny of paul rears its ugly head again! yet ANOTHER reason if i ever became one of the faithful i'd only go by jesus's own words. all the apostles seem to have their own agenda! and paul isn't even one of the gospels!
I just have a few quick questions, then I'll leave it alone completely. LOL Lets just be clear here, I'm not attacking anyone. But my spirit won't let me be silent. Especially with yesterday being Resurrection day.

With all due respect, DJ-Biz my darling... I must ask this. You've made mention of Jesus in a few of your responses. And you said that if you ever were to become one of the faithful, you'd only go by Jesus's words. So does that mean you believe in who Jesus is? And if you do believe in His words and who he is, then how is it that you don't believe in God? Im not asking from a scientific standpoint or explanation or any of that... Just in your heart of hearts, if you would be willing to follow Jesus and His words, how could you not believe that God exists. In your knowledge of scripture and biblical things... we see who Jesus says He is... we see that he tells us who his words come from... and we know that He cannot lie. Its impossible for Jesus to lie, that would make him imperfect and sinful, and if He is imperfect and sinful, then that would make all his words null and void, Christianity would be nullified... His sacrifice would be powerless and for nothing. And that would leave us still in the same broken deadly relationship with the Father as before Jesus came to bridge that gap.

I'm just curious. Dont want you to take it the wrong way. but I really would like to know... And you can PM me if you want.

no worries, konphusion, no offense taken at all.

i believe that jesus existed in a historical sense. i do not believe he was the son of god, and i don't think anyone can be the son of god because i don't believe that any sort of supernatural being like that exists. as i said before, i enjoyed a flirtation with catholicism and i attended a southern baptist summer camp for 9 years as a young girl. i've read the bible cover to cover a total of four times. i'm well-versed in the text. did jesus actually preform all the miracles that are written about? i think it's highly unlikely, about as unlikely as the parting of the red sea or jonah and the whale. however, there are key parts to the message of jesus that i take into my heart of hearts and i think they should be ubiquitous amongst human beings. the notion of forgiveness, for one. i don't need to have a supernatural being to feel in my heart that EVERY living creature on this planet deserves redemption. it is my very belief in that which causes me to NOT believe in a place like hell. hell seems so contradictory, so out of place, so typically human to punish the 'guilty,' with pain and torture.

the golden rule is another, the extension of karma, the ultimate embodiment of reciprocal altruism. i think it is a powerful tool. i think it is very important for people to step outside themselves, be humbled and recognize how small they are in the face of the universe. i don't need a god or a religion to tell me that. it's something i've always felt. i think, given the chance in the absence of organized religion, most people would draw similar conclusions (as evidenced by the many parallels found in the major religions). learning about religion has merely reinforced values that i think are inborn in most if not all human beings.

i am undoubtedly an atheist, but i can certainly appreciate and take to heart what are powerful and useful lessons for everyday life. but i won't cover my head and be silent in church as paul suggests or ritually bathe myself after every menses. there are many parallels between the teachings of the buddha, ghandi, jesus, muhammed (i don't think i spelled that right, but oh well) and important messages that people should take to heart. my problem with religion and this all powerful father-god figure is that we are expected to swallow all this extraneous, excuse my language, bullshit, that comes with the powerful message. i think we as human beings need to learn to filter all of that away. quite honestly, the golden rule could replace ALL other tenants and commandments in ALL religions. i think it encompasses everything necessary. in my heart of hearts, my intuitive self, i know that i have experienced, touched something much bigger than myself. was it the theistic god? highly doubtful. was it something i created in my mind? possible. was it something that is beyond my ken and something i could never come close to constructing or even approximating with my feeble animal brain? also quite possible. no one can ever prove to me that the judeo-christian god is real. no one can ever prove to me that the laws in leviticus, acts, deuteronomy are essential for the well being of the world. but the teachings of jesus, ghandi, whatever, they all tap into this universal force, this ideal which has persisted throughout humanity, before the judeo-christian god was even invented. jesus was a man, a mortal man, an enlightened man, perhaps a misled man to a degree. i don't think he intentionally lied about who he was. i'm sure that he had moving spiritual experiences which prompted his teachings. i don't believe he rose from the dead or was born of a virgin, however. maybe he knew something that none of us on this planet know. maybe he was completely self-actualised. i think everyone on this planet can learn something from the life of jesus without becoming a christian or swearing allegiance to an arbitrary god-head.

maybe i'll have more for you later......but thanks for asking. i think it's important for people to understand that learning from religious figures or taking their teachings to heart is not mutually exclusive with atheism.
QUOTE(zoya @ Mar 22 2008, 09:47 AM) *
...I just want to clarify one thing you said below, sprinkles - about your friends being raised christian or catholic. Catholics ARE christian, by definition.

Hi Zoya! So I do totally agree that Christians and Catholics are VERY similar. HOWEVER there are differences. Growing up I was a minority in my city (I’m a white girl) and the majority were all Mexican. So my best friends up until college were Catholic and although we never had discussions like these seeing as we were just young and wanted to have fun or just get through life and school (which at that age is like THE main thing in life) I did find out some differences. For one, there seems to be an almost worship like emphasis on the virgin Mary. Also I think it is the consensus, at least among the Catholic families I interacted with (examples: sleepovers, dinners, birthday parties, the mom’s watched me so I wouldn’t have to hang out at the Salvation Army, etc.), that if we are not good enough during our life here on earth (from our “good deeds” I believe) that we won’t make it to heaven. I remember my most bestest friend EVER! (heh, still miss that girl!) used to tell me all the time I was a sinner because I didn’t go to church EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY. Her family believed that if you skipped even one Sunday service you were going to hell. Also I definitely think there is way too much worshipping of the Pope, however these are the differences so I do not understand them at all.

The main thing of course is that both Catholics and Christians (yes Catholics are sometimes called Christians………my stepmom and her family whom I dearly love are all Catholic and they sometimes call themselves Christian and it does not bother me one bit because I agree that they are despite our language barrier) believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and only through Him we are saved. End of story.

I must admit I have no friggin clue about Christian denominations. I grew up in a Christian non-denominational church outside of my city, which basically means instead of nitpicking among ourselves about specific titles and such we focus simply on God’s Word. I seriously don’t know the differences between a Methodist, Protestant, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian...any I left out?

If anyone here wants to research this go ahead I would love to read what the differences are amongst these Christian “titles” but otherwise I don’t care either way, it is not really important to me. Actually once I am done with this thread I think I will google my old pastor of the church I grew up in. I’m curious to see what he will be categorized under.

QUOTE(tesao @ Mar 22 2008, 11:06 AM) *
hi, sprinkles -

i have a question for you.

i was raised Catholic. i think that, in a certain way, we always retain some of the belief system in which we were raised. i know that i certainly found solace in attending Mass after 11 september. there is comfort in ritual.

you mention that "the Bible forbids even attempting to contact the dead".

i was raised to believe that Jesus raised the dead. isn't this considered a contact?

i'm confused by your comment. thanks for taking the time to explain, i really appreciate it.

Hi Tesao! I see why you might be confused but you have to remember that this was God’s doing, it can ONLY be done by God. Jesus had a supernatural power source, and that of course is God. If Jesus, the son of God, was just another simple man there is no way he could have done what he did, for example: Heal the sick, the blind, the mute, walk on water, change water to wine, feed a hungry crowd of four thousand with what started as only seven loaves of bread, etc.……….and of course as you said, raise the dead. Jesus IS God, and through God all things are possible. God does as He pleases, and no man can do as God can.
QUOTE(pixiedust @ Mar 23 2008, 01:04 PM) *
A lot of people also forget that Mormans and even Jehova's witnesses are Christian religions too.

Pixiedust! Hello girl. Actually I will have to disagree with you on this one. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are NOT Christian. There are some HUGE differences and these I know for fact from their belief. When I was in college a few years ago I met this awesome chick and she was Mormon. I had never had one as a friend before so I thought this was rad! Ok not actually I thought she was rad because she was the sweetest girl ever, she saw I was getting a bit out of line with my behavior, she saw the new group of friends at our large JC that I started hanging around, going to parties and such, and I think she decided that I was her new mission. I realized quickly after she kept inviting me to church functions and hanging out at her place with her roommates (also Mormon) and introducing me to some really surprisingly NICE guys, that somehow she could convert me. I didn’t mind at all, these people were so friggin cool and like, so well behaved, that I was so damn curious I went to everything she invited me to. Anyway one afternoon after our classes she invited me back to her place and as soon as I entered the house and walked toward the living room I saw a BUNCH of people (including the roommates) sitting down on the couches and some Mormon dudes standing up all dressed up in their crisp white shirts, ties, and black slacks. My first thought: Am I walking into an intervention? Cool!

Anyway needless to say right then and there they grilled me on my beliefs, those men of their church which btw, I had my eyes on one he was so friggin HOT! and totally my age as I later found out. Awww, so dreamy! That’s all I cared about at the time, also I was a brat back then so I liked being the center of attention (that role has totally been passed down to my little guy) so I gotta say I was enjoying it. Basically after asking lots of questions I found out some things. I gotta say I was shocked and kinda thought maybe they all had smoked a few bowls because SERIOUSLY I mean I thought it was, well, to put it nicely just kinda odd.

The Mormons believe that God was once a man but somehow like changed into a god but still has bones and flesh just like us. They also think that God has a father, a grandfather, etc. They believe there are MANY gods and that one day we can all become gods ourselves. Also they think Jesus is our “elder brother” and they do NOT believe that God is a trinity. To them the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate gods. They think the Bible is missing parts and that is why they have other books that to them are just as important as the Bible. The main thing everyone who is religious or not probably knows about Mormons are that their “works” are a REQUIREMENT to get to heaven. So like even if they don’t actually want to really do a “work” they only do it because they think it is the only way to get to heaven. This is in fact why my Mormon friend actually befriended me. That’s ok though, we had some good laughs, some good times at her hangouts. She is a good person and I am glad that I met her.

For these reasons alone I get a bit more than annoyed when a Mormon will call themselves a Christian. I am sorry but they are not Christians despite them hiding behind the name.

As for Jehovah Witnesses I have never had one as a friend so I don’t know much beyond that they simply do not fully believe in the Trinity and they don’t believe in hell. Also when they come to your door all dressed in their uniform I get really bugged. It’s like leave me alone, it’s the weekend!

DANG I just scrolled down and realized I just posted a crapload on here. Sorry ya'll, I promise this will be the last post. I haven't been on here in like three days!!

So anyway Konphusion had the guts to ask what I’ve been so wanting to ask!! (Again girl, we got that telepathy goin on!) DJ-Bizmonkey I gotta say that you completely stumped me tonight when I read your answer to Konphusion's question. In fact every time I read one of your posts here I feel like scratching my head, like “huh?! I’m so confused!” because your thoughts are not the typical thoughts of an Atheist, at least from the books I have read from Atheists and the live telecasts I have watched on TV from Atheists. You have many morals and I agree with SOME of the thoughts you have because we both got them from the same place…..and then of course I read your third paragraph.

So DJ-Bizmonkey I don’t mean to single you out but you and others here keep repeating a scripture from 1 Corinthians chapter 11 to sorta back up some of your theories. It is starting to bug so I figure I need to help you all out on this one. I have come across really weird scriptures that I just do not understand and I have to admit this is a weird one that I myself was unable to decipher however late last year it was actually explained to me through my pastor at my old church (I had a big move last year so I am no longer able to go there, only when I visit) that Paul is perhaps talking about “the distinction between a man and a woman” and of course the headship, or authority. I am totally going to get crap for saying this but unlike what our society is saying today, men and women ARE different and we were intended to have different roles. During these verses Paul said the head of every man is Christ, the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. It was God’s choice to create man first, He then created woman FROM man FOR man. Something about us being their “crowning glory” I believe. Basically from what my pastor said, I believe that Paul was not being literal when he said a woman should cover her head in church, he was in fact just reinforcing what God wanted, the ORDER that God wanted. So when Paul says that a woman must cover her head that means she must have like a sign of authority over her head, like knowing her place, but not specifically a physical thing on her actual head.

Paul is not a woman-hater ya’ll! Don’t think that……….ok so I used to think that too, whatever. If you don’t understand something you can always ask someone to help because otherwise you will get a total different meaning than what was actually intended.

Anyway I need to get to bed. I don’t have as much free time as I would like, I am losing sleep for Bust, but I am considering stopping by here more often. I would have shorter posts and I just love reading what you all have to say!

P.S. Sorry for hogging this place tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sprinkles, for the love of GOD could you please use the edit button in your posts from now on and not make an individual post for each and every person you are addressing? PLEASE? Also, if you can, could you try not to come across as patronising and as an authority on a subject, which you are obviously not an authority on? That would also be great.

For the record: as zoya said, Catholics ARE Christian.

Also, before I go: do you realise how separatist and frankly unchristian it is to be continually shouting out to your girl(s) about how great and on the same wavelength you are? You may say that you are open-minded and inclusive of others but it is coming across as if you are humouring opinions here, as if your opinion is the only one that matters and that you and your fellow born again Christians are the only ones that matter because you are not eternally damned; can you not see how unchristian an attitude that is? Do unto others, dude.
OK, I've not wanted to enter this discussion, because I really don't have time in my insanely busy world right now to keep up with this.. BUT.. Sprinkles, I have to take exception to your post about Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses not being Christian.

I was raised catholic. Attended Mass every sunday for 18 years. Went to a Theological College Prep High School where we were required to take 4 years of theology and the emphasis was on Comparative World Religions. I also took 2 years of Comparative Religion in College. As an adult, I've attended my fair share of protestant AND born-again services with friends and when I was in college for study. I'm not saying I'm the world's authority on religion, but I've got a shitload of personal religious background, as well as theological study and bible study from a few different points of view. So I HAVE done the research on it.

This is why I posted the DEFINITION of a christian in my post to illustrate that when I said that BY DEFINITION - the definition being that ALL OF THESE RELIGIONS BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS SAVIOUR - both Catholic and Protestant religions are INDEED Christian. And as Pixiedust pointed out, BY DEFINITION, so are Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Does this mean that I have to agree with them? No. But BY DEFINITION, they are irrefutably Christian. Again - THEY FOLLOW SCRIPTURE AND BELIVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS SAVIOUR. Ask any theological scholar, and they'll tell you the same.

I also DID address the subject of "works." I posted the definition of "protestant" to address one of the most (if not THE most) fundamental differences between "Catholic" and "Protestant." That is, that Protestants believe in the bible as the sole source of revelation, and redemption by faith alone. That is, that where Catholics may believe that doing good deeds adds to their chances of getting into heaven, Protestants believe that faith in christ alone with get you there. Good? Bad? At the time of the reformation, it was pretty much a good thing. At that time, the instead of just telling people to do a good deed to counteract a sin, the Catholic clergy had taken to having people PAY to have their sins removed. There are lots of things that added up to the split with Rome and the reformation, but this is one of the most fundamental reasons for it. That faith alone should be enough to get into heaven. These days, it's more of just a difference in Theology - Doing good deeds gives you redemption vs. being redeemed makes you want to do good works. (or at least that's the way I see it.. but I'm simplifying a lot...)

.... and if you really want to get your panties in a wad, ask a theological scholar what the Church of England (Anglican Church) is. It's not Roman Catholic, and it's not Protestant. They consider themselves "Catholic" and "reformed" but not part of the Protestant Christian faith. But anyway, I digress...

Why is this important? Well, when you're doing your own personal day to day worship, then it probably doesn't matter. But it does help to understand WHY people believe what they believe, because all of the different denominations of the CHRISTIAN faith came about because of opposing views with the denomination they broke away from. And Sprinkles, you say it doesn't matter to you, but clearly it does because you have spent time in your posts dissecting your understanding of the difference between different views of different CHRISTIAN denominations.

Now, as for the Catholic "worshipping the Virgin Mary" - The official position of the Catholic Church is that Catholics should not and do not pray TO Mary (or Saints), but that it's ok to ask Mary (or Saints) to pray FOR them. The official way the Catholic Church looks at this is that there is no difference between asking someone here on earth to pray for you, and asking Mary (or a saint) to pray for you. Ask a Catholic to recite the "Hail Mary" prayer. It's asking Mary to "pray for us sinners," not worshipping Mary.

That said, there are many Catholics who do pray directly to Mary or Saints. But this is not official Catholic teaching. The Catholic church does recognize that this tradition is not biblical. And you are correct - nowhere in scripture does it specifically state that anyone should ask anyone to intercede for them. However, one place where this tradition could have arisen is from Galatians 6. 1-2:

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

Now, remember that the Catholic church is a VERY old religion. The view of the line between living / dead was much more thin when these scriptures were written (hell, even into the midevil ages the view of the line between living and dead was more thin) take this, and the view that saints & Mary are "alive" with God, and thus part of the spiritual community. So it would be natural for the tradition to spring up to include the saints and Mary when you ask others to say a prayer for you, just as you would ask your friend, or prayer circle to say a prayer for you. Not saying that I agree, but I certainly think that this is a practice that comes from an interpretation of christian community.

OH, and just an interesting aside, the Islamic faith also recognizes the virgin mary. In fact, no other woman is given more attention in the Koran than mary. She is regarded as the most pious & virtuous woman ever. She's viewed as an example and sign for all and is a highly respected figure in Islam. And Jesus is considered to be one of the great prophets of Islam. ...but again, I digress....

To illustrate non-biblical things becoming part of tradition / beliefs - and you may know about this, Sprinkles - a lot of born-again Christians believe in the "Rapture." That is, the taking away of christian believers from the earth before the tribulation (spoken of in revelation) begins. There are lots of people that take issue with this word. Not once in the bible is there the word Rapture, referring to this taking away of believers. Personally, I find it pretty benign, just as I find the whole splitting hairs over someone asking a saint to pray for them to be benign.

Also, Catholics don't worship the pope. The pope is the leader of the Catholic church and Catholics believe that he is the spiritual successor to Peter, who was the first pope. Thus, he is considered to have the highest authority in deciding matters of the church. Does this mean that I believe he is infallable? No..just stating the facts, ma'am.

Anyway, I'm going to leave it at that for addressing your post, Sprinkles.

I've stayed away from stating my personal beliefs, because personally, I don't think this should be the point of this discussion, and I'm most certainly not here to evangelize..... But what the hell, I'll tell you my beliefs in a nutshell. I think organized religion sucks. Organized religion comes from man and while the basis of pretty much every major religion is good, people take it, and use it to their own ends, quite often to justify separatist and political agendas. I find it a fascinating thing to study, but I'll do my own studying and believing, thank you, and I pretty much like to keep it to myself. Am I an athiest? no. Am I an agnostic? no. Do I believe in God? I guess so, but I'd rather say I believe in a "God" because I can't put a definition on it, and I'm not going to go further than that with explaining it. Do I even know what the hell I am and does it really matter to me? no. (although apparently because I was raised Catholic, I'm by default a Celtic supporter) Am I damned because of this? well according to most christians, probably, but they're praying for me anyway. (and certainly Rangers supporters are praying for me) Do I believe I'll be left out of heaven because of this? I don't particularly care and if there's a heaven and I'm left out of it, then oh well. I'll go down in flames, drinking, eating, laughing, having out of wedlock sex, listening to loud evil scary music, having a fucked up sense of humor, and being a fucking great person that people can count on, respecting everyone's beliefs, hating when those beliefs cause strife and trying to work against that. I like my life. I believe in the golden rule, and I try to live it, and exemplify it in my life as well as I can and I try to get better at it every day.

Very good explaination Zoya! I've had some religious studies in the past and I know Morman and Jehovah's witness were also considered to be part of the Christian religion in much the same way the Catholics are. There are some fundamanetal differences in each, but ultimatly we all believe in the same God, and are all going to Heaven if we believe in him.
I think that is why I have such little patience for the Mormans and Jehovah's witnesses who knock on my door. They are out to convert everybody who doesn't believe exactly as they do. According to John 3:16 the only thing that is required to get to heaven is to believe in God. It never says you must go to church X amount of times or do X amount of good works, or convert X amount of people!
sprinkles, because you and i disagree about the origins of humankind, i don't think we'll ever be able to fully understand one another. i don't believe god created man as he is today and i certainly don't believe that woman was created from man. i don't think that men or women are destined or deserve to have authority over one another. we are all human beings and deserve to be treated equally and justly. i would never say that men and women are the same. that is plain for anyone to see. i'd like to quote one of my favorite science writers, Robert Wright who wrote the book 'The Moral Animal.' he said, 'it's best to imagine men and women as two different species which are symbiotic.' our body chemistry, our morphology, our brain structure and cognitive patterns are all strikingly different. but those differences are not an excuse for one sex to claim dominance and control over the other. since you take the bible literally, i understand why you believe what you do (kind of) but i am coming from a completely different place. i still think paul was a misogynist, as most men were during his time. i don't think he was evil and terrible, but he was certainly misguided.

i am hurt by the fact that you would assume that atheists don't have morals or virtues. i think that is a common misconception that is propagated by many church leaders. that without some supernatural being we are all lost. unfortunately, from what i've learned of history and what is going on right now at this very moment, far more people have butchered and slaughtered one another over religion than any group of atheists ever has (except perhaps in the case of China, where i believe the imprisonments and murders of all types of religious people are about politics and power alone, i.e. the communist government in china wants no one usurping its power). we can talk about the crusades, we can talk about the inquistion, the holocaust, the conflict between israel and palestine, between java and bali, between pakistan and india, and the nearly 900 year history in far eastern europe (bosnia, serbia and herzegovinia, muslims vs. eastern orthodox) of genocide, rape, and total destruction. to me, organized religion and killing in the name of god is far more consistent and frequent than any other kind of ammoral or evil behavior in human history. belief in god can inspire incredible acts of generosity and kindness, but they can also inspire horrible acts of violence and oppression. as i said, i think most people are born with a a moral compass, since most cultures have a similar interpretation of what is right or wrong. there are some truly evil human beings out there who are born without a conscience. we call them sociopaths, psychopaths or people with anti-social personality disorder. they are less that 1% of the population. the rest of us, i believe, have an innate sense of good and evil. even a dog or a cat knowns when they've done something bad. not the best example, but i'm sure you've seen a dog cower in the corner after he's mictirated on the floor or eaten the garbage. i don't think dogs and cats have the same moral compass that human beings do, but it is all born of the same fiber, the same element.

anyhow, the world is a very complicated place, one of exquisite pain and exquisite beauty. i think defining my life along the lines of a thousand or more year-old text, one that is patched together from different writers, in different time periods, one that has been edited and translated over and over and over again, is, not to be mean, kind of silly. i'm not going to believe in something just because its old and people have always believed in it. people used to believe the earth was flat and that this planet was the center of the universe. through discovery and human intelligence, we have found that to be erroneous, even though that is what is implied by a literalist interpretation of the bible. that knowledge, that discovery almost cost a good man (galileo) his life. BUT, just because i don't need to look to the heavens or the scriptures to find my purpose in this world. and if, by some stroke of grave misfortune, there is a heaven and hell defined along the rules and stipulations of the bible, well i'd rathe go to hell, because heaven would be very boring.

i know that sounds flippant, and i don't mean to imply that you are a silly person for believing what you believe. you and i will never see eye to eye, but that doesn't mean we can't live peaceably side by side. pray for me if you like, it can't hurt, and who knows, it might help.
Whoa, this thread is gettin a lil personal lol

Also, before I go: do you realise how separatist and frankly unchristian it is to be continually shouting out to your girl(s) about how great and on the same wavelength you are? You may say that you are open-minded and inclusive of others but it is coming across as if you are humouring opinions here, as if your opinion is the only one that matters and that you and your fellow born again Christians are the only ones that matter because you are not eternally damned; can you not see how unchristian an attitude that is? Do unto others, dude.

Umm, bunnyb... How is it unchristian for her to tell me she was thinking of asking the question I asked??? Does that mean I am not open minded or inclusive of others too because we had a similar thought? I'm not defending her cuz she's a grown woman, she can fend for herself (before anyone even goes there!) but, I totally didnt take it as Sprinkles trying to say Christian's opinions are the only ones that matter. I think there was a lil too much being read into that one. And what's wrong with Christians shouting out others Christians in here? LOL Everyone else seems to be free to show their agreement with other's opinions. Why is it a problem when Sprinkles did it??? Maybe I'm wrong and totally out of place here. But it just felt like there was some anger and over-analyzation in that response. I thought that everyone was free to say their piece without being attacked for stating their opinion.

Anyway, I'll let Miss Sprinkles say what she has to say in rebuttal. But i'm done. This is too sensitive a subject it seems. People's feelings are getting hurt, and I'm just disappointed at some of the things that have been said on all sides. I don't like when discussions get heated like this. I will continue to pray for each and every one here. I love you all, have a lovely day.

I haven't really commented in here before because while I have plenty of opinions about Christianity (not *all* bad!) I didn't grow up with any religion, so I don't have the backround to legitimately argue about the finer points.

My mom was raised strictly Catholic and my dad grew up culturally Jewish, but not religiously. By the time they got married they'd had enough of organized religion, so my sister ("humanist", here on the boards...her name should tell you something about how we were raised) and I were raised in a household with a solid morals and values. We were taught that you should be a good person, not to please God or get into heaven, but because it's the right thing to do.

I have my own personal beliefs about God- I do believe there is one, though in my mind God is more of an energy force than a old guy with a white beard. I believe in an afterlife, though mine is modeled after process in Defending Your Life. I believe Jesus was a real guy, and a good person. I do believe miracles can occur, and so my limited knowledge of him leads me to believe that maybe his birth was a miracle and many of the things he did during his life may have been miracles, too. I have great respect for what he did and I think the world would be a better place if more people were like him, but I don't think he's the only answer. There's lots of other people who did good stuff and I think they're just as important as him.

Anyway, what I really came in here to say was that I saw For the Bible Tells Me So last night, the movie DJ-Bizmonkey posted about a couple weeks ago. It was really good. Basically, it comes down to the human need to exclude other groups of humans because they're different, and there's a lot of stuff in the Bible that they can use as an excuse to do that, whether it's people of different races, homosexuals, non-Christians, etc.

Also, at the time that the Bible was originally written, in Aramaic or Greek, there was no word for the concept of homosexuality, so there's no way that the original intent of what was written has been correctly translated over the centuries. In addition, the word "abomination" had a different meaning back then, too. Now, it means "a vile, shameful, or detestable action, condition, habit, etc." (; at that time it just meant something outside of the rituals of the church.

If you're going to take it all so literally, why is homosexuality an "abomination" (the modern definition) any more than having sex while you're menstruating, eating shrimp, wearing mixed fibers or planting a field with more than one type of seed? It all stems from the fear of sex America has developed and the fear of the "others", our need to exclude groups based on arbitrary characteristics. I just don't think homosexuality is a sin or an abomination, whatever the definition, and I don't think God (my God, your God, whoever) cares who you love.

X-post with Konphusion- I'm sorry if bunny's post upset you; I can't say I disagree with her intent, though. I do think it's a litte exclusionary and condescending when you and sprinkles talk about how blessed the two of you are. Okay, we get it- you're both members of the Jesus Fan Club. The point of this thread, IMHO, is not only to discuss religion and different view points, but also to gripe about how overwhelming us non-Christians (or non-fundamentalists, more specifically) find it to be living in times like this, hence the name.

I'm going to go ahead and speak for other people here, who are more than welcome to disagree with me- I don't think our feelings about the two of you have changed- you're both great contributors to the site and I think we've all even enjoyed the conversation here even though we don't all agree on everything. But try to see this from our side, too.

konphusion, it's separatist; perhaps it was too much for me to say it's unchristian but by that I meant it isn't very nice to exclude. "what's wrong with Christians shouting out others Christians in here? LOL"? That would be the fact that Christians are not continually shouting out to other Christians here but to the other Born Again Christians ONLY; that's non-inclusive, which is what I have a problem with as it's as if nobody else matters and you should clap yourselves on the back because you are the ones going towards the shining bright light.

I don't mean this as snarky, although I'm sure it will come across this way, but please do NOT pray for me: I find it condescending and, besides, there's no point as I'm already damned.
QUOTE(bunnyb @ Mar 26 2008, 04:14 PM) *
konphusion, it's separatist; perhaps it was too much for me to say it's unchristian but by that I meant it isn't very nice to exclude. "what's wrong with Christians shouting out others Christians in here? LOL"? That would be the fact that Christians are not continually shouting out to other Christians here but to the other Born Again Christians ONLY; that's non-inclusive, which is what I have a problem with as it's as if nobody else matters and you should clap yourselves on the back because you are the ones going towards the shining bright light.

I don't mean this as snarky, although I'm sure it will come across this way, but please do NOT pray for me: I find it condescending and, besides, there's no point as I'm already damned.

From where I stand, sprinkles and kon can continue to give shouts out to eachother (it does not bother me in the least), most busties finding a connection with one another do the same thing. I'm just saying it seems a little hypocritical to point this out.

Edited to add:

Kon, I would like to acknowledge your awesomeness for not being snarky towards me, and moreover, for acknowledging my amends to you. This acknowledgment is long over due. So, just so ya know, you rock!
Okay, just to back bunny up a little, how is:

I like open-minded people. I myself am very firm in my beliefs however I would never turn down an opportunity to learn more about someone else’s belief as it is a chance for me to grasp a bit more knowledge and learn where someone else is coming from. Only then can you find the right way to help.

not patronizing? As an athiest, I don't need any help. I'm quite happy with my (non)beliefs, just as you're happy with yours. If the tables were to turn and one of the atheists said, "I'm gonna find a way to help you (fix your beliefs, since they're obviously wrong)," you'd probably get offended and flip your shit, and rightfully so. So honestly, whether a person is a buddhist, or hindu, or wiccan, or hippie goddess worshipper...they really don't need a christian intervention. Seriously.

i am hurt by the fact that you would assume that atheists don't have morals or virtues.

I never did get that. I remember watching that episode of 30 Days where the athiest stayed with the christian family, and they kept grilling her, "What do you teach your children? How can you raise them to be good people?" As if atheism, and you know...common sense, were mutually exclusive. They acted like those kids would never ever be able to differentiate between right and wrong and that they'd grow up to be murderers or something. Sheesh. rolleyes.gif
YIKES! Wow, so……….hmm. This is awkward, yes? Actually I lasted a lot longer than I originally thought I would before I got chewed up and spit out. Catfight, Rawr!!!! Ok so sorry about all that ladies. I truly, from the bottom of my heart, did not mean to offend ANYONE here. I really, really like this place. The problem of course is that we are all READING posts from people, we are not actually sitting down with them so it is very easy to misinterpret what the intention actually was. I must AGREE (yes, you read correctly!) with a few of you but before I do I just want to say that I am not used to these online discussion thingys. I am used to interacting with people IN PERSON therefore I did not realize there is this sort of secret online behavior that I must abide by. In fact I am so computer illiterate that I didn’t even know what a friggin “avatar” was until the second week I found Bust and please don’t read this to mean I am being sarcastic, I seriously do not know much regarding online interactions (besides AOL in highschool with my friends, gosh how dumb we’d all meet guys we didn’t know then hightail it once we peaked through the fast food restaurant window and saw what they really looked like. Yes, sometimes “teenage” guys really are more like 30ish!) So anyway I am learning here.

Thankyou Konphusion for everything you said. Just to let everyone here understand something, I first met Konphusion in another thread. We have quite a few things in common so of course that first made her stand out from the rest for me BUT once I found out she was Christian when I found this thread, and now after reading her posts, well I feel like I know the girl even though I don’t personally know her. You know what I mean? Heh, well whatever. I think Konphusion is an awesome chick, she’s got a great sense of humor, but most importantly for me she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes (even if people shoot her down) and that just happens to be what I believe. The reason why I told her “We are so blessed” or something like that last Saturday was because I didn’t think anyone else here would truly, TRULY, understand just what Jesus did for us, the depth of love He has for all of us, and on that very special weekend that He so proved it to us. Just to live our everyday lives knowing that, FEELING that, well that is what I meant. I don’t know if anyone of you here has ever been to youth group or even a concert where you all just come together to worship and sing His name but there is something so magical about being around a fellow brother or sister in Christ that I just cannot explain. There is such a bond there, it is a beautiful bond and you can all interpret that how you like but that is how I feel about my Christian friends that I physically spend my time with or like Konphusion here, whom I feel like I have come to know through reading her posts here. And yes, I also have many friends that are not Christian. I don’t really know anyone else here in this online thread but Konphusion, I didn’t mean to make you all jealous here, if we give each other the time and patience I might just make some new online friends. I show love to all my family and friends, I do not consider that a fault. I actually don’t PM anyone, I didn’t even realize you could until someone PM’d me with a question last month but I totally forget to use it! Like Neurotic.Nelly said, (Hi! Glad to know I didn’t insult EVERYONE) I am sure you all do this to your own friends here on bust.

BunnyB! Hello I feel like I must have insulted you the most. Again that was not my intention AT ALL and I am truly sorry if I hurt your feelings. Again, I don’t know you at all so I don’t have anything that I really know to say to you. SO………ok I am trying to word this so it doesn’t sound “condescending” but there is no amount of sin that anyone can do here on earth that is too much for our Lord to forgive us for. You are not damned nor is anyone else. I like everyone’s opinions, I know I am not the authority on this, I never said I thought I was, sorry if I sounded like I did. I hope maybe we can get along?

Faerietails2: Hi! Sorry to have offended you also. When I said I would help, I didn’t necessarily mean helping to learn my faith or that I want to like convert you or something. I meant if you or someone else is going through a hard time, if I know you and things about you, I can help say the right things. Obviously I did not even say that right. Again, sorry to have upset you.

Pollystyrene: Hello! Thanks for what you said, I kinda felt like that was the consensus but I guess not everyone here feels the way you do. However you did make a point that I should see it from your side, and you are right. Duh! I just need to look at the title of this thread to realize that you all DON’T like to hear about religion and maybe this is just not the right place for me to come to? I guess we shall wait for everyone to agree? I can always look for another place online where everyone is ok to share their viewpoints on religion………..and even Christians are welcome.

DJ-Bizmonkey, I am very sorry to have insulted you. That was not my intention. I actually probably didn’t word what I was TRYING to say to you well, but what I MEANT was that I have learned a lot from people here in this thread and YOU in particular have changed some of my opinions on Atheists. I am always quite interested to read what you say because, well, it interests me. I really truly had no idea exactly why Atheists believe what they believe. I have a few family members who are Atheists, and although we never discuss anymore, or I should say really DISAGREE on what we believe outloud, I love them. I wish they could feel what I feel on a daily basis but they don’t. They are good people though however sometimes when you are TOO close to someone, or I should say when I am too close to someone, well I have a hard time trying to continue to disagree and I end up just letting it be. So I leave them alone (I don’t wanna say who they are because I’m so paranoid perhaps they might come across this place) and we just enjoy the time we spend together. Since these family members are not my parents or siblings, well I cannot push more than I have in the past. It did not work before, now we just enjoy spending time together, knowing we are not perfect, knowing we disagree, but enjoying each others’ company. Again, sorry if I have hurt you but I am learning from you and I wrote without thinking. You project yourself so well, your opinions so well, that perhaps that is why I might single you out with questions or verbal thoughts?

And finally Zoya, I must tell you that I am sorry and I was very wrong for what I wrote regarding Catholics not being Christian. I re-read my post and gosh, that one I am so embarrassed by!! All I can say was that I was tired? I don’t know. You are very right, thanks for your post and sorry to make you write a long post when you didn’t have the time! I know what that is like. Anyway yes, Catholics are Christian, just like a Protestant, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. are Christian. You made me realize a few things, again I never had these discussions with my childhood friends so I just didn’t know. All I know is what I experienced. Again, this is just another thing I am learning while being here on Bust! I might disagree with you and Pixiedust (Hi! I don’t mean to exclude you either!) regarding the beliefs of Mormons and Jahovah’s Witnesses believing exactly the same as the Christian belief but you know what? You just reminded me of something that I must always remember. Me and no one here can look into another’s heart and actually see what they feel. I cannot know if a fellow Christian at my church truly does believe the same as I, they also cannot know how I truly feel. It is not my place to say if ANYONE truly believes what is important because I will not ever know, only God knows this. I actually never MEANT to imply this I just realize now this is why everyone is so upset. I just meant that I believe Mormons and JW’s don’t exactly have the same beliefs as the Christian faith, why else would there be different books and different names? When I said I do not care “either way” I meant I do not care to know the difference of the denominations of what I believe are the Christian faith, example: Protestant, Methodist, etc. But I do care about the differences of what I feel is not the Christian faith. Am I wrong? Maybe. This is just my viewpoint, I thought we were all able to share our viewpoints. Thank you for sharing yours, you changed my opinion a bit.

To all: I think everyone should be a bit passionate over what they believe so I do understand why everyone here is upset over how they perceived what I stupidly wrote. Again, I am used to interacting in person, this is new to me. Most importantly I feel like shit for tarnishing the Christian name. I am not a nature person (in the Bible it says, “Nature man” but I am not a man so I don’t know how else to say it!), I have become a SPIRITUAL person so as they say, I just cannot understand that of a nature person. You get what I am saying? Basically I am in awe of God and all that He does for us. I do not understand why people do not believe in Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. In the past I may have lived a very dark life for years, sinned and done horrible things, yet even though I wasn’t born-again at that time I always did believe in God. Your relationship with the Lord is a very personal relationship, and yes I understand this. However He asks me to share and I truly WANT to share how I feel, however I make mistakes all the time. I am far from perfect, I am a sinner as we all are. I did not get insulted by anything any of you have posted to me, for I understand the passion. But I am very sorry for offending all of you and if I could go back in time I would do things different. However hopefully we can all move on from this, yes? We are girls and we fight, big deal. It happens with all my friends and we get over it so I hope this will be how you all feel? If any of you truly don’t want me here, well I don’t wanna spend my time with people who don’t want me so I will find another place to spend my free time when I get it. I will not take offense, I will understand. I am learning to have patience, just as I hope you all can have patience with me? I feel horrible that I may have come across as patronizing? I did not mean to come across that way.

Everyone have a WONDERFUL day tomorrow (technically today), God bless you ALL, and if you don’t want me back (you can talk amongst yourselves?) I will understand but thank you all for unknowingly teaching me a few things.

P.S. I highlighted all your names in bold print so you don't have to read the whole thing if you are bored...........hmm. Well I guess if you got this far you must have? Heh, ok well you get what I mean.

P.S. AGAIN: If you want me back I PROMISE I won't type long posts anymore. wink.gif
QUOTE(faerietails2 @ Mar 26 2008, 11:37 PM) *
I remember watching that episode of 30 Days where the athiest stayed with the christian family, and they kept grilling her, "What do you teach your children? How can you raise them to be good people?" As if atheism, and you know...common sense, were mutually exclusive. They acted like those kids would never ever be able to differentiate between right and wrong and that they'd grow up to be murderers or something. Sheesh. rolleyes.gif

i'm actually really proud of my parents, mostly my mother, for raising me to be a good person completely without any religious intervention. go mom!
I've bumped the Are You There, God? It's Me, Bustie thread so that BUSTies have a space where they can celebrate their faith without it devolving into an Us/Them confrontation. By all means keep this thread for the intelligent debate but as polly has already mentioned the purpose of this thread is for discussion about religion but also for us to have a place where we can gripe about religion, whereas the other has a more peaceful and philisophical vibe (perhaps that's why it's not as popular?! wink.gif).

neurotic, I don't see how expressing my opinion can be seen as hypocritical; I'm not shouting out to anybody else in here. I just feel as if the shout outs should be reserved to the MA thread, another suitable thread (like okay or kvetch) or to PM.
thanks for bumping that thread, bunnyb, i think it will be useful for all busties of faith and i didn't even know it existed.

don't worry sprinkles, i wasn't by any means devastated by your comment about atheism, but it did sting a little. i don't like it when people make assumptions about my conscience. i appreciate the heartfelt apology, but it wasn't necessary. i'm glad i got the chance to respond to it. as both myself and faerietales pointed out, it is a common misconception but it is simply not the case.

oh YEAH, faerietales, and there was also that insano epidsode of wife-swap (or trading spouses, i can't remember) with the rambling, crazy lady. 'dark-sided, dark-sided!' i feel especially bad for her family who look like they love her but they don't know what to do.

here's the link if you want to watch.

ETA: thanks for telling me how to do the link thingy, doodlebug, but i just got lazy this time around
I haven't been participating in this discussion, but I have been following it and it made me think of a couple of things:

If I start out with an existing umbrella term like Christian (using zoya's basic dictionary definition meaning all persons who believe in Jesus as Christ), I would then need more specific terms to define any more specific beliefs than that (such as Catholic or Protestant). And from there, of course, more and more specific terms (Baptist, Anglican, etc.) depending on what I am trying to communicate. But that's assuming I'm trying to communicate. What happens if I take a broad term and use only that term to describe my specific sect's beliefs? The result would be that I have left the people within the sect less language with which to communicate to people outside of my sect. By appropriating and distorting a single (key) word I've effectively limited meaningful conversation, or at least made it much, much more difficult. I personally have a hard time seeing that as...uncalculated.

(I am not suggesting that anyone here has done this, unless you've started a religious movement I don't know about. I do think some might be the product of it.)

It's interestingly similar to the issue of defining the word "feminism" (which is always a good discussion around here!). The crucial difference (linguistically) being that the word "Christian" has had the same basic definition for hundreds and hundreds of years, of course, hence the recognized specialized definitions of various sects. Still, what is and isn't "really" Christian does sound interestingly similar to what is and isn't "really" feminist.

First off, this isn't an attack on you, Bizmonkey...I'm just using parts of your post to launch some commentary. It sparked some very serious thoughts. I haven't been on here in a might bit, but I wanted to revisit a few things from a more radical point of view. I'm going to assume that my thoughts aren't going to be very popular, and perhaps viewed as vitriolic, but I do ask you to take seriously my questions regardless of what you personally think of my prose.

"i think religion gets a bad rap because of people like the phelps family or islamic extremists. it's easy to assume (from an intellectual/academic standpoint) that religious people are just bumpkins who don't know any better and that they don't matter. i'd say that they matter quite a bit (case in point, the 2006 election). that's why, as much as i love Richard Dawkins, i cringe at times when he spars with religious leaders. i don't know if it's because he actually IS really arrogant or because he sounds that way because of his british accent, but it's obvious that these people so infuriate him, he can't treat them as equals."

I happen to think the accent makes him luscious. wink.gif That being said, I think that religion gets a bad rap because it has propagated more global atrocities than Pres. Bush. Let me explain:

If we look at general human understanding of the world and universe about us on a long continuum, we really have come a long way since Ugga Booga Caveperson crapped their pants when lightening hit a tree and created a fiery reckoning. We get that there are logical explanations for things of which we had not even transient understanding 2000 years ago. This isn't human arrogance; it's a damned fact. We have gone from believing that feast and famine were direct results of our ability or inability to "worship" correctly or the content of our character, we figured out that shit goes up and must come back down, that the world isn't flat, that the sun doesn't revolve around us, and that people aren't born retarded because they have the stain of sin on their mortal souls.

These are good things to know, right? Yet somehow humans have persisted in using a g*d to keep explaining shit that doesn't make sense to them. There are so many things to keep figuring out, but it seems that the more technologically enabled we become, and the more that science busts through "controversial" walls (such as stem cell research, women being able to fully have children with only a deposit in a tube from men, and cloning), the more that our fellow human animals push to revert knowledge back into fable and myth--as if UggaBooga Caveperson were soothing, like the ignorant equivalent of getting your hair brushed by your mom. Our mythos and fable become a balm in Gilead--we miss the days of the world being a somewhat simple place to live. Only we aren't six anymore, and this isn't ancient Judea.

Believing (and it is a BELIEVE, not a THEORY or FACT) in creationism and an Invisible Thingie in the Sky playing puppet with us silly little animals is SIMPLISTIC. It requires nothing other than reading an interpretation of an ancient text written by someone who cannot be questioned, because you CAN'T question the word of the Invisible Thingie in the Sky--even if it was penned by a human intervenor when we all know damned good and well that humans are fallible, right? Just like we apparently weren't supposed to eat of the Tree of Knowledge...well, I'm sorry, but an Invisible Thingie in the Sky that prefers us ignorant and childish, yet gives us the ability to reason and use intelligence is the ultimate in contradictory bullshit. That's not mysterious and worthy of worship--that's a Sadistic and Irrational Invisible Thingie in the Sky.

To Dawkins and Sam Harris and other of the like, you can barely talk to a believer because they will not ultimately use their rational brain, they will default to quoting and parroting scripture which cannot apparently be challenged, because your interpretation of the intent of the Inivisible Thingie in the Sky is right. You have a personal relationship with the Invisible Thingie in the Sky; He talks to you. This is where we atheists become scared shitless.

Religious persons are given so much credence that to question them critically makes us "hostile" (as if that's an inappropriate response to what we perceive as spreading global ignorance) to religion and we (atheists) are given some kind of blanket bullshit statement about how we've really just had bad experiences with the Invisible Thingie in the Sky, and if we could just be talked to and experience a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the Invisible Thingie in the Sky, our hardened little unethical hearts would melt into the Collective Invisible Thingie Goo.

And yes, I'm sick of playing nice when demons and angels other sundry oogedy-boogedy get more airtime than seriously humanist atheists using their brains and not 3000 year old badly interpreted fiction from the middle east, and when that shit is used as the justification of WAR and the subjugation of women--well, I probably shouldn't get started there. Yeah, Our Invisible Thingie in the Sky versus Your Invisible Thingie in the Sky. An atheist gets irritated by myth and ancient crap given more weight in these matters, and then WE get called HOSTILE to your believe systems. Umm, yeah. Because it's irrational. Because to an atheist it sounds the the childish ramblings of my 6-year-old when she's hopped up on sugar playing with her figurines. The exception being that my daughter's play is age-appropriate.

So, it makes sense to me that someone like Dawkins and Harris will look hostile to the average listener, even a less-radical atheist. We are so trained to make nice with our religious cohorts, when the reality of the situation is that religion is going to take this country, and others like it, back to the fucking stone ages. Ugh. Me Woman. Me Less Than Man. Uh-uh...and what someone who actually thinks that she is servile and deferent to a MAN is doing on a FEMINIST WEBSITE is far fucking beyond me. And yes, that personally makes me pissed off. It's the ultimate in hypocrisy. I am all for differing positions and types of feminism but that isn't even CLOSE to being a feminist.

It starts with the notion of equality between the sexes, and if you don't have that, then what are you doing here? Because you are helping to promote tolerance and equality? Because Your Invisible Thingie in the Sky says you can love the sinner and hate the sin? Are we feminists kind of funny to you? Or is this yet another case of taking the doctrine and scripture you personally agree with and leaving the rest behind? Why are you here? To hide behind those of us who have the ovaries to call out your paternalistic jackasses and fight them when your health and basic human rights are endangered? Nice. Come for the banquet, but leave when it's time to clean up the mess.

"I'm a feminist, and my man gave me permission to do so."

I would be laughing, but I'm very disturbed by a lot of the talk in this thread.
i fail to see how someone who is religious cannot be a feminist.

i agree zoya, but i'm not sure that's exactly what anyone is saying per se. however, to submit to the authority of a man simply because the bible or a priest or a rabbi or a imam or whatever tells you is NOT feminist. (edited for clarity)

however, minx, i wish you hadn't used that quote from me, because i too, love richard dawkins and loathe creationsim. and i have gone on in later posts to say that organized religion is hands down the number one source of violence, oppression, subjugation and prejudice. i don't know why i'm getting defensive. sorry. i know you said you weren't attacking me. but at the risk of sounding like a bitch, i don't want to be lumped in on the 'other side.' i understand your anger and your frustration. dr. barbara forrester is coming to tulane next week and i am uber-excited. she's a professor at southern lousiana state and her talk is called, 'intelligent design:creationism's trojan horse.' it is frightening how the discovery institute has enacted this plan to not only destroy science and it's foundations but to try and suck us back 200, 300 plus years in time. they are about as scary, well-funded and hostile as scientologists! before dr. forrester testified in the dover case (which ruled in favor of secularism and not id) the discovery institute slandered her several times on their website and in the courtroom, even going so far as to fabricate a radio interview with her to discredit her. do those sound like the tactics of people who are secure in their righteousness? i don't think so. they sound like the actions of people who have been backed into a corner, realize they are fighting a losing battle and want to pull out all the stops and throw away their own ethics just to push an agenda. like the even scarier kansas politician who said, 'i hope they are punished for what they've done on judgement day,' and that 'we are teaching our children that we are nothing more than random, chaotic mutants.' to say that it all happened by accident is to admit that you know NOTHING about evolution. some of the forces that drive it (i.e. mutation, weather patterns, disease replication) have random qualities, but the act of selection is a deliberate and methodical as you can get. when i read quotes like that, i literally swear outloud and probably frighten my neighbors. grrrrr. i'm as angry as you are minx but i guess i'm still trying to kill them with kindness. at least that way, in the end, i've been civil and they still look crazy.
*sticks head in*

i think someone can be a feminist and still be religious - I think it takes a little more work, as it were, to square them up but you can be aware of a religion's paternalistic/patriarchal roots and still be a feminist. Take my nan - she's a feminist, very independant, always taught me to stand on my own feet and take care of myself - but she goes to catholic church every sunday. She's also very pro-choice and couldn't give a damn about homosexuality 'cos she doesn't think it's a sin to love. Take the muslim feminists in the middle east - they work within thier religion to improve women's rights; I might not agree with thier religious views but I do respect them for trying to balance thier beliefs.

sprinkles, on the online behaviour thing, i think if you hit up the newbie thread and go back... oh, five/six pages, there is a kind of "guide to bustie netiquette" about how we tend to be careful here, particularly in the more argumentative threads
Biz, I totally wasn't lumping you in with any fundie weirdos; your post got me thinking about how unreasonable and unjustifiably angry atheists are perceived to be. I do think that we should all reconsider how we perceive things, and why it is that religion gets a de facto respect card. Honestly, how many of those people squawking about how they feel us godless heathens are disrespecting them will stick up for my freedom of speech, and paying our minds as much respect as their belief in the Invisible Thingie in the Sky. We're supposed to respect that? I don't know about you, Biz, but lately I'm having a difficult time with religious tolerance.

You've got a neat head, Biz. You use said neat head. I'm all for neat-headedness.

And Zoya, I wasn't claiming that someone who is religious can't be a feminist. I never said anything close to that. What I said was, what is someone who believes that women should be servile to men doing on a feminist website. I think that's a legitimate question to ask. You cannot hold that belief and be a feminist.
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