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Searching For The Gay Jesus

spezialecover11-27-06You can sum up the Christian right’s reaction to lesbian author Kittredge Cherry’s novel Jesus in Love: At the Cross as “Oh no, she didn’t!”

The story, which she’s been publishing excerpts of all week on her blog, retells the Passion story so that Jesus is ultimately persecuted for his love affair with the disciple John, or rather that’s the pretext that Caiphas uses to nail the Messiah to the cross.

It’s a radical retelling, to be sure, but not the first time Jesus has been portrayed in a queer light. Terrance McNally’s Corpus Christi continues to infuriate mainstream Christians with its depiction of a love affair between Judas and Jesus whenever it’s performed, for instance. The question is, beyond pissing off close-minded Christians, is there any good reason for making Jesus gay?

To begin, we have to divorce the historical Jesus from the Biblical one.

From a historical perspective, there’s so little known about the actual man from Galilee that every depiction of him is bound to be wrong. Certainly, it’s far more likely that Jesus had a same-sex relationship than it is that he was a six-foot blond-haired, blue eyed Arayan, for starters. Every culture depicts Jesus in their own reflection, so from a purely historical perspective, the question of Jesus’ sexuality will always be unprovable sexuality, one way or another.

So, when we talk about Jesus, we’re talking about the person depicted in the Gospels, who is both man and God in one. In essence, we are talking about the nature of God.

The first place Christians look for Jesus is in the liturgy and if we delve into what’s written about Jesus, there’s scant evidence one way or another about Jesus’ sexuality. He certainly talks about loving your fellow man a whole lot. from a Christian perspective, this isn’t something that can be easily dismissed. While not a sexual love, Jesus makes it pretty makes it pretty clear that the love he’s talking about is deep and abiding. John 14:21 reads:

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

harrelsonlastsuppercolormedium Or as John puts it more succinctly earlier on in the Gospel, “God is love.” Jesus is pretty much all about love, regardless of gender and implores his followers to “love one another as I have loved you.” In fact, the primary goal of Jesus’ ministry is to get people to love each other.

Some scholars read one Biblical account as Jesus healing a gay man, or rather the male lover of a Roman centurion, a story told in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10:

“In Matthew, we are told that the centurion came to Jesus to plead for the healing of his servant. Jesus said he was willing to come to the centurion’s house, but the centurion said there was no need for Jesus to do so — he believed that if Jesus simply spoke the word, his servant would be healed. Marveling at the man’s faith, Jesus pronounced the servant healed. Luke tells a similar story.

Just another miracle story, right? Not on your life!

In the original language, the importance of this story for gay, lesbian, and bisexual Christians is much clearer. The Greek word used in Matthew’s account to refer to the servant of the centurion is pais. In the language of the time, pais had three possible meanings depending upon the context in which it was used. It could mean “son or boy;” it could mean “servant,” or it could mean a particular type of servant — one who was “his master’s male lover.”

Biblical scholar, Morton Smith, looked at a fragment of an early version of Mark’s gospel found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958 and found this passage, just one of many depictions of Jesus’ sexuality that was excised by the early Church:

“And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God”.

It certainly gives you pause, right? There’s a whole cottage industry of books that look into gay subtexts in the Bible, with titles like, The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives From the New Testament, but if speculating about the sexuality of a closeted actor is tedious, trying to determine the sexuality of Jesus in any definitive way seems pretty pointless. Outing the Biblical Jesus ultimately seems like a pursuit that will bear few tangible rewards.

2jesusentersthecitySo, if we accept that there’s no way to tell whether the historical or Biblical Jesus was ever attracted to another man, we’re left with what Christians call “the Living Jesus”.

This is the Messiah that exists in the here and now and this Jesus is an evolving thing. For Catholics, He evolves through pronouncements from the Vatican. For Protestants, Jesus is a personal connection to the Divine. For other groups, Jesus manifests Himself through divine revelation or the speaking of tongues. Put simply, this Jesus comes in many forms and by many means, so to imagine The Living Jesus as a gay man is not a huge leap.

In fact, Gay Jesus has a lot to teach Christians of all stripes. Jesus’ suffering has been a way for oppressed minorities to express their struggle and find comfort since the faith’s founding. It’s the spark of the African-American spiritual, the bond that ties Chinese Christians together and for gay Christians, Jesus’ message of universal love has special resonance when they are persecuted for loving each other.

Consider Cherry’s retelling of the Garden of Gethsamane story. John sits beside Jesus in vigil, all too aware that their time together would soon come to an end:

“I don’t want you to go.” He stifled a sob, for he knew from my group discussions with my disciples that there was no talking me out of it. I lay my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat again while I let him hold and stroke my body as much as he wanted. We were both damp with sweat and tears. Our salty, musky smell evoked my compassion, like a low musical note purring where my womb would be.

I spoke from that place: “I won’t abandon you. I’ll be back. The world won’t see me anymore, but you will see me,” I promised. … “God will give you Someone to be on your side forever. This Someone is the Spirit of truth.”

It’s a poignant and beautiful passage partly because we recognize it from our own lives. Modern Christianity can be a mighty intolerant place for gays and lesbians, but while Jesus may be eternal, our understanding of Him continues to evolve and grow over time. In recasting Jesus in a gay light, authors like Cherry are sweeping away the intolerance of the past and trying to renew the core message of Jesus’ life and death — that God is love. – Japhy Grant

*Images from “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by F. Douglas Blanchard
By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Apr 10, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 205 Comments
    • Katie
      Katie

      1) I am LGBT civil rights advocate, and have been advocating for their full inclusion in the Church for a long time.

      2) I am a Christian, in case that wasn’t clear already.

      I think this is going to offend more people than it will win over. Frankly, it is hard enough to get people to not think we are trying to rip up the Bible … and now this? How am I supposed to defend this?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Jeez, my knees! Who gives a brown fingered fuck????

      Many years ago whilst involved heavily in gay politics here in the UK, I ploughed through Foucault (at least rational) and John Boswell’s “Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality” (irrational).

      Nothing has been resolved since Boswell’s book was published. Christian gays are still going on about this bollocks! It’s all speculation and pedantic idiots arguing over the meaning of certain words. Sheeez. Who cares if some fucking centurion buggered the still warm corpse of jesus? Who cares if jesus and the jewish temple hierachy fought over access to the sphincters of the alter boys? Who cares if Saul lusted after cute curly-haired Greek boys and hated himself because of this?

      So, if you don’t know why go on about it??? Every fucking easter this shit is brought up again!

      I will, however, give a fact. When the Emperor Constantine made christianity the religion of the roman empire in the 4th century AD it initiated 2,000 of serious persecution of gays – and we are still trying to overcome that hideous act. All the persecution and homophobia our culture suffers from originates from christianity (from Judiasm).

      If you call yourself a gay christian, then you are a fool. Give it up, the sky pixie you worship hates you.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seadog
      Seadog

      @Katie: What’s to defend? Jesus definitively had a gay sensibility, pretty well documented throughout ‘approved’ texts. That he might have been gay is a good thing. That the fact that he was either gay or straight would matter to anyone is a condemnation of that person, not the Lord!

      So, let’s go on offense, instead!

      1) Ironically, it is the Bible itself which tells us that the Bible is just a collection of useful stories, histories, vignettes, morality plays. All interesting, but NOT the Word of God. The Word of God is a person! (John 1:1, John 1:14). Haters who rely on biblical injunctions against gay sex are IDOLATORS who worship the Bible and not the Living God. Not to mention ignorant (see Boswell for the right translations and analysis of the relevant texts). Not to mention bad (heretical, nonconforming) Jews.

      2) Bad Jews (Christianist textual literalists) are also guilty of PRIDE, believing that they own goodness due to their adherence to the ‘Law.’ Christianity is a call to conversion, not obedience. But conversion is hard work–not the calling of sinners such as they.

      3) Such people are also BLASPHEMERS, railing as they do against God’s good creation (gay people).

      I could go on and on. Suffice to say that the haters need a loving taste of their own medicine. Their religious and moral postures are those of bad children. They have not begun to experience the glory of a life lived in Christ. I say this myself as a very early adolescent in Christ, so I know whereof I speak. The point of my suggestion is not to proclaim my own (or your) righteousness, but instead to simply try to get people to do as Christ taught–examine your own damn self! :-) (Matthew 7:5)

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marcelo Castro
      marcelo Castro

      There is no eyewitness account of the life of Jesus. Which is why most historians suggest that Jesus was purely a mythical figure. So, since the Bible is based on hearsay then why are you lot giving weight to a character that probably did not exist?

      Hell, maybe even zeus was gay too, or how about all the hundreds of other mythical religious figures that have sprung up over the years.

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=696492648668420724

      http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/

      Apr 10, 2009 at 8:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete From Canada
      Pete From Canada

      Think that it is funny that Queerty even has this posting. Given all that has happened in America concerning Same-sex marriage. People think that “Fundamentalists” are the problem. I would think by now GLBTQ people would have realized that THEY are not the problem, GOD is. Some people never learn…
      The Gospels do not provide information about the “Historical” Jesus – New Testament scholars have failed to acknowledge the “mythical” nature of the Bible. The Gospels are not “historical”, nor can “historical” data be found in them. As such, we can’t really say anything about “Jesus” using them. Stop reading the Bible like a Fundie!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 8:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      It’s a silly question, and moot. jeebuz never existed.
      http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

      Apr 10, 2009 at 8:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Angelo Ventura
      Angelo Ventura

      Concur with Seadog, even if, face it, the average traditional Christian, not to mention the fundamentalist, will bal in outrage at the suggestion of a gay Jesus. Really, this theory is based on an apocryphal, very possibly forged “secret gospel of Mark” , and twisting on word meanings. After all, “beloved disciple” could mean simply a paternal or friendly affection, without any sexual hint. And in any case, how are we to know? No, we should rather focus on the message of all-encompassing Love, Charity and understanding of Jesus, and the fact that He always upheld the outcasts, the persecuted, the oppressed by the religious and political authorities, who have always betrayed His message, from Constantine onward.
      To Tallskin: wash your mouth. Can’t you argue without being so rude?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 8:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      But our side has done it all the time with the David and Jonathan story (which is a beautiful story by the way). The entire meaning of David’s love for a man the “surpasseth tha of woman” all depends on the translation of the Hebrew word for love which is inclusive (but does not necessarily mean) sexual love. Which mens, basically, that we don’t know. David and Jonathan could have been lovers, they may not have been, we will never know.

      So it is with Jesus. I am not for claiming Jesus as gay, per se, but he always seemed to have a gay sensibility to me. I do think it is important to challenge the translations of the New Testament and even the Septageunt(sp?) because with each newer version that I have observed, it seems to get more homophobic. The ennuchs in Matthew 19 have become “men who cannot marry.” or something like that.

      Japhy does raise a point that oppressed minorities (especially in America do have a bond with Jesus. However we feel about Christianity, if we ever expect to do any sort of outreach (and I am thinking of African Americans in this particular case, since I’m black), the role of the church and Christianity has to be respected. The heavy anti-religious sentiment, while understandable, is a turnoff to many even in the black LGBT community.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      Sometimes I feel like an alien in America. I’m going to work today (no one else is). I’ll have Easter dinner with my family but, really….I could care less. If I had my way I’d just celebrate the coming of Spring.

      When I was eleven I pretty much decided these were all delusional fairy tales, and I haven’t really deviated from that position. The questions Christians, gay or straight, should be asking themselves is a) of what relevance is a religion that is practically impossible to practice in the modern world without living in a commune and rejecting the world altogether and b) of what value is a “god of the gaps” in a post-Darwin age of quantum mechanics?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Just keep eating the easter eggs!

      That part of Easter is the pre-christian pagan celebration. All about sex and fertility.

      So, everytime you eat, give as a present, receive as a present, easter eggs then you’re annoying the christians.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er (formely scott)
      scott ny'er (formely scott)

      @Alec: I think I can feel your pain. Trying not having a religion and going to school with Catholics and some Jews.

      Anyhoo, can you elaborate on “b) of what value is a “god of the gaps” in a post-Darwin age of quantum mechanics?” I really don’t understand what you mean by god of the gaps and quantum mechanics.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @scott ny’er (formely scott): “God of the gaps” is a term used to explain the retreat of supernatural explanations for natural phenomena as scientific knowledge expands. For example, we now know that the sun doesn’t revolve around the Earth, and the universe has been around for well over six thousand years. Hence the reference to Darwin and quantum mechanics.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      But Alec, there will always be physical and emotional phenomena that can’t be explained. Personally, I think that a lot of the clinging on religion has to do with the fear of death, which some studies have shown is there in some way, shape, or form deep, deep in the subconscious.

      Religious belief ain’t going nowhere no time soon. But I really don’t see the value of engaging it either.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TikiHead
      TikiHead

      @Tallskin: Nooo, the Easter Eggs represent an ancient secret society, one that follows the way of the Rabbit, and has been locked in combat with the Church for centuries! (a la South Park) ;-)

      I love that that episode pissed off Bill Donohue so much.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: Sure, it will probably exist forever. But it needs to take a backseat to better ways of explaining the world.

      Europe is emerging as a post-religious society. The US will get there eventually.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er (formely scott)
      scott ny'er (formely scott)

      @marcelo Castro: That first video was fascinating. I’ll have to get to the second link now.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er (formely scott)
      scott ny'er (formely scott)

      @Alec: Thanks Alec. That was helpful and made sense as I thought it thru.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      I love that someone referenced Foucault. Because one thing Foucault showed, to an extent, that more “scientific” ways of viewing and understanding the world will not stop oppression. Marxism (and I’m going to tick off Bill Perdue with this one) is such an attempt to explain the world in a scientific and rational manner, and it is extremely homophobic in some forms. People fear that the study of genetics will unleash scientific racism.

      So simply becoming a post-religious society will not rid the world of its’ isms, and such a view of the world is incredibly naive. These -isms are just as irrational as religion.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Chitown Kev: Stalinism is where you’ll find the bule and anti-gay sentiment on the left. One of the first acts of the Bolsheviks was to repeal anti-gay laws. Stalin, after murdering the Bolsheviks, reinstitued them.

      @Chitown Kev: David and Jonathan seem to have been real people, and gay men.

      jeebuz was neither.

      Superstitious people of all sorts are changing their minds about their former ‘beliefs’ based on an unending series of killer scandals and expose’s about the cults and their leaders.

      Ireland is an example. A few priests in Ireland, especially during The Troubles could be counted on to provide shelter and support for Irish people suffering from the savage attacks of the Anglo/Scot colonists. Irish good feeling towards the cults began to evaporate in the last few years with an unending recital of stories of sexual abuse of young boys and indentured servitude of girls and women in cult owned businesses. http://www.atholbooks.org/magazines/cands/abuse.php

      Eventually I think we’ll see more of these cults morph into vague feelgood dogooder groups who pray to “whom it may concern”. Lots of Quaker and UU groups moving in that direction but for now most cults are our enemies especially on the HIV/AIDS and ssm.

      I’ve worked with religious people in lots of movements but I’d be against them using us to push their agenda, proselyte or recruit. By the same token we shouldn’t make it acceptance of atheism a condition of working with others.

      But if the question comes up I won’t deny being an atheist no matter who it rubs the wrong way. I won’t dishonor my friends who died needlessly of HIV/AIDs because of the cultists anti-GLBT role in preventing education about the plague while gloating about its victims.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: I’m not in favor of pseudoscientific explanations for social phenomena either.

      And I’m not stating that “becoming a post-religious society will…rid the world of its’ isms.” I don’t believe that. I do think, however, that the sky god religions of the ancient Hebrews, with all of their Platonic appendages and thin pagan coating, are particularly irrational when compared to, say, Eastern religious thought. The Buddhists in particular seem to be able to tolerate change.

      I’m a proponent of reason and skepticism, not Marxism or even atheism (although I do consider myself a “soft atheist”). But Marxism can at least be engaged; you cannot rationally engage people who believe the world was created six thousand years ago. At least, not when it comes to their strongly held religious beliefs.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      bulk not bule – damn that spellchecker, it’s full of demons.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsdrane
      dsdrane

      @Pete From Canada: The Gospels are as “historical” as any other text from “history”…and require critical analysis that examines authorship, context, etc. Casting them aside because you don’t like them or like what others use them for is not an option. It’s also not smart, because a close, detailed reading is actually one of the best tools against a “fundamentalist” reading. Contrary to what most are taught, the Bible isn’t a single book, but rather a collection of books written by different authors over centuries. Like any “library”, there is something in there for everyone. (Equally instructive/confusing are the writings NOT included — the Apocrypha.)

      Arguing that these texts are irrelevant is a non-starter; the fact they they are deeply relevant to those who seek to oppress gay people means that they are very relevant to us, too. Better still, a close reading with an accurate translation can actually give us the tools we need to combat deeply-held but erroneous convictions by the Religious Right.

      As for Jesus and sexuality, his commandment was to love one another. There was no qualification as to “how” or “whom”.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jocklog
      jocklog

      wow. those who don’t believe don’t have the Holy Spirt and cannot understand nor feel Him. So all these arguments waste time. He’s alive .. hehehe for sure!!! very very alive!!! I’ve seen His miraculous wonders with my own eyes!! I’ve seen demons depart from seemingly normal people!! Those who deny Him hate Him because of the prince of this world that lives in them. THAT SIMPLE. Faith alone, in Christ alone is what saves the soul. God have mercy on those who won’t seek His face!!!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Bill Perdue: Nice try. It started a bit earlier; Engels in particular was no fan of the “pederasts” as he called them.

      The anti-gay laws in Russia criminalizing sex between men were only repealed after the Communists were toppled, in 1993.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Beth
      Beth

      @Alec:
      I embrace your rejection of a “God of the Gaps”. However, I think you’re overlooking a form of Christianity that is still somewhat underground in the mainstream church, but growing every day! There are people, myself included, who identify as Christians, who acknowledge the full and complete humanity of Jesus and do not believe in a theistic God. It is difficult but possible to separate theism from Christianity. This is a version of faith that allows us to live as participating citizens of a modern world, embracing scientific advancements and rejecting Christian superiority. If you’re interested in reading more about this, I would definitely suggest delving into the book, “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” by John Shelby Spong, a retired Bishop of the Episcopal church. He has devoted his career to answering the questions that you posed. I absolutely agree that Christians should be able to respond and defend the relevance of our faith, but Christianity is not a monolithic entity. There are many different faith models within this overarching label, and while many are no longer defensible or relevant to this world, I believe that some still have value to offer.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Beth: I’ve read Spong. It is an interesting if somewhat convoluted approach to the Christian religion. For people who still embrace Christianity as an ethical identity, I suppose it has value. But at some point I just think, why bother?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dsdrane
      dsdrane

      @Alec: The smells and bells, of course!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      You beat me to the Engles comment, Alec.

      Everytime I read She Who Shall Not Be Named and her discussions of “white gays” and “the white gay mafia,” I see it for the regurgitation of Engles that it is. It’s homophobic and totally unacceptable.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: That one’s a nutter. I’m tempted to pull a Frist and recommend medication. As far as “white gays” and similar nonsense, you should have seen the explosion on dailykos after Prop 8 passed (I’m sure the same thing happened here). It was like a free for all.

      She has a habit of playing with identity politics. Little wonder Brock was seduced by conservatism with those people running around in the 80s and 90s.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      Oh, I have gone back and read all of message boards from November 2008 (PHB, here at Queerty, Towleroad, Rod 2.0, Daily Kos, Savage, AMERICAblog, etc.) they’re still here. All I really have all that much to say about it, really, other is that 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Oh, and identity politics are SO tired. Oh, and some (I would go so far as to say 60% of the criticism was legit, some wasn’t.)

      When I read that OPED by SWSNBN, Engles was the first thing that popped in my mind.

      As far as a gay Jesus is concerned, I mean, he cursed a damn fig tree that had no figs for him. How “gay” is that?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Uh, why was I flagged?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Ok, so I am a chatty queen with a tendency to digress into all sorts of wild and crazy shit at a moment’s notice…point taken.

      Anyway, given his portrayl in the Gospels, it’s pretty easy to “gay up” Jesus. For the life of me, I have often wondered if I am reading the same Bible as the fundamentalist Talibangelists. After all, Christ (at least as he’s portrayed) would have been far more likely to dine with me than with a fundie.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      I’ve heard of other attempts at portraying Jesus as gay.

      I think people assign Jesus and other religious figures the traits that want to see.

      In my opinion it’s all individual interpretation since nobody can really know.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion
      rogue dandelion

      @Alec: i haven’t followed your entire thread, but after the first few posts something became clear. You are questioning the value of religion as a way to explain the world, which is certainly valid. In fact, it is quite a poor way of doing so, given our current knowledge.
      More importantly however, religion is a moral guide. For me it isn’t a very good one, I look to other philosophies for that, but you can’t destroy religion without a moral system to put in its place. (I think Nietzsche said something along those lines)
      Science offers few if any moral guides. In the natural world, among our closest ancestors, rape, male dominance, violence as a way of solving disputes, these are all very common. (there is even a species of bat, where the male wakes up from hibernation an mates with as many sleeping froze females as it can and then returns to sleep- the date rape bat)
      Science is a way of knowing, not of living. While the bible may be insufficient as either, for the incurious among us, it serves as primarily as their moral compass. It is now the moral system that must be replaced, not the way of knowing.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      christ being gay is a good litmus test for the church(body of believers). when there comes a time that it doesnt make any difference, then you will know gay is finally accepted equally with heterosexuality.

      however that being said it is also true that the church is the culture and the culture is the church. no lives in a spiritual bubble.

      but lets face it 700 years of cultural and generational bias(400 years 1500′s enacted english law, hanging punishment + 300 years local enacted punishments) wont be erradicated immediately(83 million invested in the prop 8 issue….a historical record) but historically changes in attitude are happening faster than any other time in recorded history.

      after having been backballed from every conservative site(last one was christianpost.com), it appears that there is no longer a such a thing as a conservative unmoderated blog internet site, either secular or christian. apparently conservatives are losing so badly they have been forced to circle the wagons.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NewYorkness
      NewYorkness

      c’mon y’all. Jesus was a drag queen back in the day and her name was Gia Seuss.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @rogue dandelion: The Golden Rule seems like a sufficient moral guide. Enlightened self-interest has worked pretty well so far.

      “Christianity” as a religion was really a cult that died out within a few decades of its founder’s execution. Whether they acknowledge it or not, what most Christians worship is a God invented by Catholic theologians and ancient Greek philosophers. Primitive Christianity is, as I alluded to above, essentially possible only if you divorce yourself from the modern world.

      Secular humanism seems like a sufficient replacement to me.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Jesus was a pedophile. You’d see jesus on to catch a predator nowadays. Jesus gay? Pfffft, crazy talk.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Alec: @Chitown Kev:Marx, Engels and a number of early labor and socialist leaders reflected the backwardness of their day. I found more than a little of that when myself I was in the socialist movement. But I’m still on the left because that doesn’t negate the fact that what they said in The Communist Manifesto is still basically sound and the most optimistic guide to the fight to end war, economic chaos and bigotry.
      And in any case they were never as backward and bigoted as the Clintons, the Bushes and Obama. There’s no comparison there.

      Alec, where do you get that uncanny ability to sound like a press release from the CIA; “The anti-gay laws in Russia criminalizing sex between men were only repealed after the Communists were toppled, in 1993.”

      The Stalinists were no more communists than you’re left of center. They wrecked everything the Communists built and in the process murdered most Bolshevik leaders and members who’d survived the rigors of the Civil War.

      Alec, let’s try this in terms so simple that even right centrist can understand them. Under the Tsars there were anti-gay laws. The Communists repealed them in 1917 and were generally supportive of gay rights. “The Soviet Union sent delegates to the German Institute for Sexual Science, and to some international conferences on human sexuality, who expressed support for the legalization of adult, private and consensual homosexual relations.” That was in the late 1920′s and early 1930′s. (Wiki)

      Bear with me now Alec because it’s about to get complicated with all sorts of twists and turns. The Communists were by and large murdered by the Stalinists, who weren’t the same people and didn’t have the same politics. The Stalinists reinstituted anti-gay laws in 1933 – Article 121. When the Stalinists morphed into ‘democrats’ and broke up the USSR they repealed them again to gain a little credibility but even in their current ‘democratic’ mode their ruthless bigotry is policy in Russia just as it was when they ran the USSR. They even leagalized supersitious cults like the orthodox and old believers.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      Well, you subscribe to the view that the only Christian that ever existed was the one that died on “the cross.”

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Well, there’s really no historically credible evidence that Jesus existed as a person. That says a lot about his actual existence…which probably didn’t manifest. It really irritates some christians to bring that up, for even if you aren’t irrational and don’t subscribe their fable that he was “son of gad,” then at least you could be confident that he was an actual historical figure. Not so much.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      People have a right to believe in God or not without insult or persecution. I happen to believe in God but have many friends who are atheists and agnostics. What does not makes sense to me are fundamentalists whose whole life seems gear toward insulting and bullying those who don’t share their tunnel vision world view. If you think there is only one proper way to believe and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is an idiot you are a fundamentalist. Also you can’t call yourself an atheist if you are telling people God hates them (untrue) if according to you he doesn’t exist how can he hate anyone? Whatever any of us believe if you are a good person you will try to be kind to others and support justice. I never understand why some people seem so invested in what other people believe religiously it seems like a way to avoid their own problems.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      all of you do yourselves a disservice if you do not differentiate between those who characterize their christianity by their beliefs “i believe this and i believe that” which centered around the concept of”i”, and those who characterize it by faith in one they have personnal relationship with and trust in his spirit in their lives which is instead, spirit centered.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      @john r: Seems like verbal ballet to me.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      OMG The Jesus I know is SO gay! This hotty was awesome-tastic in bed. Let me tell you, he could make his tongue do this weird little roll … wait … wrong Jesus! ;o)

      I said it before on some other post here on Queerty: The dude wore those lovely flowing robes, rolled with a gang of other men and a hoe-hag and loved to get his drink on. And drama? OMG, the drama!

      Side note: I love that your fucktastic Google adsense fuckery slots ad space here for “Amazing Bible Software”. Oooo a “free” Bible CD for ME??? SWEET!

      (Yes I know the ads rotate, blah blah, still funny on my screen)

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      ??

      Atheism gets a bum wrap because people don’t know what it is. It’s not a belief about the way the world is; it’s not a moral system; it’s not a philosophical outlook or theory. What atheism is, more or less, is the commitment to having good evidence to believe that x; to proportioning one’s belief to the evidence (to rip off hume’s definition of rationality). It’s the understanding–minus vaguer theologies– that a 3-O world creator wouldn’t allow a child to be brutally raped, tortured and murdered because of the value of “freewill” (whatever that means to the nuts–but we’ll entertain that they know what it means…and say it’s not worth the cost in suffering, and further, that it could’ve been had without the suffering). Atheism doesn’t say what one “should do”; for that we have a rich history dating back thousands of years (predating religion in our evolutionary history)…of ethical theory that happens to be secular.

      Religion, on the other hand, is a “view” about the world. And it’s demonstrably false, because it’s about how the universe works (causal). To see that religion doesn’t have a monopoly on ethics, all one need do is understand that people who still make their moral judgments with or without their religious faith in many cases. However, religion, in many other cases, compels otherwise good people to do horrendously unethical things to others. Toxic religion is poisoning the future, because in an age of an ever increasing speed of communication and access, people feel that their beliefs are more threatened by exposure to disagreement, and if taken literally…as many of the who have them do, are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect them…even if that means hijacking planes for a suicide mission…or perhaps worse…like a nuclear holocaust.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      bum rap even…you know, if you look up bum wrap, you’ll see advertising for diapers!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      then to you belief is faith and faith is belief.

      that would mean that every one of your beliefs you would trust your life with.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Bill Perdue: It is virtually impossible to dialogue with or debate you. Anyone who is deluded enough to believe that Obama is more anti-gay than Engels has a mind warped by one too many readings of Capital. @john r: You sound like most American Protestants. Whether you call it a personal relationship with a dead man or refer to it as your beliefs, it is the same damned thing.

      @Chitown Kev: Kind of. I accept the possibility that the first couple of generations following his death may have practiced it. But….it is impossible for someone to be keyed into the modern world and practice Christianity. Hence my reference to communes.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      No, belief isn’t synonymous with faith. Knowledge is traditionally ;) defined as a justified true belief. I don’t think that knowledge is synonymous with faith, for example. Anyway, I think that people want to believe in belief…it’s the belief in the “powers” of belief itself that draws otherwise sane people to irrational beliefs…that and boredom for more intelligent people, I think. Intelligent people believe things that they KNOW can’t be true because justifying them turns into a game…and it’s harder to play than most.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      well, atheism is, quite literally, “no-god.”

      The distinction is important because one can be a Buddhist or a Taoist and still be an atheist. In fact, there’s a Buddha sutra that explicitly states that you should investigate things on your own rather than what is written in a book or what someone else says and believes.

      @Alec:
      I think that was one of the bigger disagreements between Marx and Engels, there were socialists that also were supportive of gay people, I believe.

      And yeah, true Christianity would seem to be pratically impossible to live if you don’t seperate yourself from the world. as much as possible.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      The distinction is important because one can be a Buddhist or a Taoist and still be an atheist.

      I call those vaguer theologies because they are packed with spiritual beliefs and understandings which are not falsifiable and not necessarily true…what a good friend (and, ironically, hyper nietzschean) of mine who now understands that all metaphysics aren’t bad metaphysics, calls “bad metaphysics”. I think that atheism is inconsistent with spiritual (difference between theology and sprituality is whether or not you believe a sentient (intentionality–beliefs, desires, folk psych composition) supernatural being intended things to be as they are and acted upon that intention, or no intention at all, but supernatural nonetheless) “bad methaphysics” such as those found in taoism and buddhism. So, I don’t think that literally, one can be an atheist and a religion which does not explicitly specify any god to worship, because atheism and a literal interpretation of spirituality are inconsistent. However, you can be an agnostic and a christian or a buddhist.

      In fact, there’s a Buddha sutra that explicitly states that you should investigate things on your own rather than what is written in a book or what someone else says and believes.

      I could show you buddhist passages that are chalk full of superstitious mumbo jumbo…reincarnation, for example.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      chock

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: You can be an atheist and a Buddhist. In fact, one branch of Buddhism, Theravada, practically insists on it.

      I think you’re confusing atheism with empirical skepticism.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Well, no, you can’t be. You can be an agnostic (which deals with a knowledge claim) and a buddhist, not an atheist.

      I think you just don’t know what atheism means… Which I see a lot…and is what prompted me to clarify that with my above remarks.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      uh, I know just a little bit of Greek, that is what atheism is literally, “no-god.” Anything grafted on to that is as much an ideology as Christianity is.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: Atheism is simply the absence of a belief in god. There are weak atheists, who simply lack any belief in god(s), and strong ones, who positively deny the existence of god (I’m a “weak” or “soft” or “negative” atheist, btw).

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And it’s not just a free for all. Words have meanings…right? It’s one of the reasons why most people can’t…formulate a coherent argument. Spirituality–insofar as it does posit the existence of unfalsifiable things that aren’t necessarily true and–atheism are inconsistent.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      oh, and there are Taoist passages that are like that also for that matter. A lot of that “mumbo jumbo” in Buddhism came when Buddhism began to leave India for other parts of Southeast Asia.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Alec:

      No, this is confused… Atheism isn’t just the absence of belief in god; it’s the commitment to rationality that is responsible for, in that case, the absence of belief in god…

      If we want to get literal about this idiocy…”no god” doesn’t mean anything…for an atheist could believe in several gods, then. IT’s not helpful, and doesn’t characterize what atheism is.

      SImilarly, omnipotent means “all power” so god can’t be all powerful…even according to tradionalist christianity…for that means that god has all…are you people that stupid? LOL!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      I don’t doubt that you think you have a point here…that buddhists can be atheists…I just think it’s based on a tremendous ignorance of what atheism is.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      Oh, it doesn’t matter where it came from…buddhism and toaism are both full of bad metaphysics. Unfalsifiable hokum.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Alec: “It is virtually impossible to dialogue with or debate you.” I can see that you’re one very frustrated Obamabot. It’s because you repeatedly demonstrate your political and historical illiteracy only to get shot down for it.

      Obama gave your Republican cousins ammo to torpedo SSM in California last November while you were singing his praises. Engels expressed homophobia in some correspondence but wouldn’t have dreamt of being an active bigot like Obama. When will you rightwing Democrats learn to put LGBT equality ahead of your partisan squabbles with you cousins in the Republican Party?

      I’m not holding my breath.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: Um, no. I’d suggest Atheism: A Philosophical Justification by Michael Martin. It is a good primer.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Bill Perdue: I admit, it is very amusing to read your replies to me. Nothing quite like being called a fascist by someone who promotes a political system that has shown itself to be one of the most repressive in wherever it has taken root.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      okay…a strong atheist (like me) thinks that the proposition “god exists” is literally false. A weak atheist can think of that as not a proposition at all with a truth value, and be a non cognitivist… The difference is not predicated on spirituality, however…which is inconsistent with both.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:
      ah, no, the original atheists were actually the Sophists in Athens. Socrates was tried and convicted of atheism and “asebia” (literally, blasphemy against the gods) even though (if Plato is to be believed) he was not, literally an atheist.

      Now what Buddhism (and even some forms of Hinduism) does hold is that there are domains of existence beyond which the human mind cannot comprehend and cannot be explained; it can only be attained through experiential means. Even Michel Foucault (as rational a philosopher that ever lived) understaood that.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Alec:

      I suggest you read the problem of evil, an anthology edited by marilyn mccord adams and her husband, featuring both atheist philosophers and top theists. Also, you may want to read the end of faith by sam harris. You seem…totally ignorant of what atheism is.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Bill Perdue:

      oh, please Bill, Engles was more than happy to use homophobia as a form of class warfare.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Oh, and the dialogues concerning natural religion by david hume is a classic! You should definitely acquaint yourself with that.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      That is, if you’d like to speak intelligently about atheism.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      ah, but now those books seem to be defining atheism as a “doctrine” of sorts (I haven’t read them so I can’t agree or disagree with it’s premises). But simply the way that you are arguing this indicates that you are every bit the fundamentalist as a fundie Christian is.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: I’ll reiterate my support for Professor Martin’s book, which discusses strong and weak atheism in detail and is one of the leading books on the subject. Good day.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:
      Fuck hume(whom I like by the way), I can read Protagoras

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      ah, no, the original atheists were actually the Sophists in Athens. Socrates was tried and convicted of atheism and “asebia” (literally, blasphemy against the gods) even though (if Plato is to be believed) he was not, literally an atheist.

      No…that’s not true at all. Sokrates was tried and convicted not of atheism, but of corrupting the youth of athens by encouraging them not to believe in traditional gods. Sokrates wasn’t an atheist nor was he a sophist… Atheistic arguments predate christianity, however. I suggest you read some epicurus.

      Now what Buddhism (and even some forms of Hinduism) does hold is that there are domains of existence beyond which the human mind cannot comprehend and cannot be explained;

      It makes unfalsifiable spiritual claims.

      it can only be attained through experiential means. Even Michel Foucault (as rational a philosopher that ever lived) understaood that.

      I disagree that michel foucault was very rational…he was, after all, a continental philosopher…not too clear on meaning nor concerned about getting things right. And to that “attained through experience” bit…hey, whatever that means to you. I just think you’re making a false claim here that atheists can be buddhists.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Alec:

      And I reiterate my recommendations. Once again, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about…

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I know the difference between strong atheism and weak atheism and haven’t demonstrated…otherwise…anyway, this has really deteriorated partly because I don’t have patience for people who don’t know what they’re talking about, but also because it’s fun to disagree with them.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: I don’t think you can reason with him. He’s pretty much a true believer and has to rush to their defense even where it leads to absurdity.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      alec, you will never admit that you don’t know what you’re talking about. You through in a complete nonsequitur distinguishing weak from strong atheism…had nothing to do with anything I wrote…

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      threw even

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: Looking up thread, it should have been apparent that it was pointless to talk to you when you deny that there was any credible evidence Jesus existed.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Also, for others who might be observing this, it’s instructive to put it out there that there are STUPID ATHEISTS, too. Stupid atheists exist just as surely as stupid religionists exist…guys that don’t know the arguments or the reasons for atheism, or the definitions, or relevant implications… It’s almost trendy for them. Don’t confuse them with thinking atheists.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Alec:

      So no you’re going to defend the evidence for jesus’s existence? LMAO! You’re a loon, woefully ignorant, or a bit of both.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Are you a shroudie, alec? There’s a strong case to be made that Jesus didn’t exist, and that we’ve no credible historical record of his existence…and it’s been made several times…

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: Yes, the argument has been made. Most scholars have rejected it, however. I would even say the overwhelming majority.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      Wow. Stupid atheists, is that like blasphemous Christians?

      I don’t care about anyone’s worship (or lack therof) but fundamentalism such as yours drives me crazy.

      And obviously, since I already posted about Protagoras, I know a little something about the arguments for atheism that predated Christianity.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Alec:

      Most scholars have rejected it? Name a few…william lane craig? Is he one of the scholars? How about that guy who said he proved that jesus literally came back from the dead? He another? Make your case. Don’t rely on empty rhetoric. Most historians, I posit, accept the case as very, very cogent.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Wow. Stupid atheists, is that like blasphemous Christians?

      No…it’s like stupid christians.

      I don’t care about anyone’s worship (or lack therof) but fundamentalism such as yours drives me crazy.

      How am I a fundamentalist? Because I assert that atheism has a coherent meaning that rules out belief in gods and spirituality; basically, unfalsifiable faith based claims that rely on “bad metaphysics”? That makes me a fundamentalist? My respect for, and inclusion of the definition of rationality into atheism makes me a fundamentalist?

      And obviously, since I already posted about Protagoras, I know a little something about the arguments for atheism that predated Christianity.

      Yes, you do…but, I just don’t think that you can get away with calling a buddhist an atheist…I see this happen a LOT. A LOT of people like to capitalize on the ambiguities and IGNORANCE lots of people have of eastern religion and spirituality and make claims like that…I don’t see it. I Think buddhism is a religion, and makes starkly religious claims, and is inconsistent with atheism both STRONG and WEAK.

      Spiritual experience is different…it can be measured and assessed…consistent with physicalism.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      But why is it a concern of yours what someone believes? We all have to live in a civil society and religious beliefs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon (the god(s) however may change).

      Again, it’s the fundamentalist need to be right as opposed to “live and let live” that pisses me off, personally.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      Please, feel free to go through the history department of liberty U and tell me how many of those “historians” believe in the historical evidence for jesus in spite of the case made against it. For full disclosure, it should be mentioned that many of them are also young earth creationists, and believe that the earth is literally six thousand years old…they do imaginative things with hard scientific evidence, as you can imagine.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Chitown Kev: Where, I’ve never seen it.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      I mean, to some extent, I agree with you about Christians…

      Well, it’s the over assertion and the…aggressiveness of your argumentation (OK, it’s a style thing, I’m gay, remember?) that sounds like fundamentalism to me.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Alvin Plantinga may be a batshit, CALVINIST bigoted (antigay) crackpot…a real pot drummer…but he’s extremely smart…not nearly as smart as dr. adams, but really smart, nonetheless…and I’d prefer to talk to him than the average atheist about these matters. I should just top interjecting in popular religion forums…I invite this stuff.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      Right, I agree…that my style is off putting…to most people. It’s a little aggressive and insulting. I apologize for that. I take no prisoners have very little patience most of the time…it’s an online character flaw. In person, I keep it in check, but not enough, apparently, because my earned nickname doesn’t refer to my appearance…but my debate style.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Bill Perdue:

      I don’t have my Engles handy (Woman, Society, and the Family, I believe) but I do remember that he talked about both the pederasts and the propertied classes in ancient Rome as the oppressors of the plebs.

      Granted, the patricians were oppressive to the plebs and the freedmen and the slaves and granted that sexual explotation was a part of an overall system of domination, Engles just swooped those “cinaedi” right up on in his analysis.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Alec: I didn’t call you a fascist. That’s just another of your interminable lies. They make you look dumb and that’s fine by me.

      Instead I called you a Democrat and an apologist for Obama’s bigotry. And I proved that you make things up instead of providing historic facts.

      That’s plenty bad enough.

      Your inability to distinguish between Bolsheviks, Fidelities, Chavez, Stalinists and Maoists is a further demonstration, if one were needed, that you’re more than a little like a talking head – spokesmodel for the Pentagon who never got the memo that the Cold War is over.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Ok, wrong book, it was Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      Engels condemned homosexuality among men of ancient Greece in two separate passages of The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, describing it as “morally deteriorated”, “abominable”, “loathsome” and “degrading”.[6]

      August Bebel’s Woman under Socialism (1879), the “single work dealing with sexuality most widely read by rank-and-file members of the SPD,”[7] was even more explicit in warning socialists of the dangers of same-sex love. Bebel attributed “this crime against nature” in both men and women to sexual indulgence and excess, describing it as an upper-class, metropolitan and foreign vice.[8] Although, he was a major political proponent of repealing the anti-gay criminal laws.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism_and_LGBT_rights

      I know, I know, it’s wiki.

      I will give you that Marx disagreed with Engels on this as did many socialists…still that’s pretty bad

      Apr 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Chitown Kev: Thanks, I’ll check it out at the library and look it up. Was that “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Bill Perdue:
      Yep.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Actually Bill Perdue, both Marx and Engels were vile homophobes. Their writings are riddled with anti gay sentiments.

      And this sad fact infected socialist and communist organisations for decades with homophobic attitudes. George Orwell, a man most definitely of the socialist type, made many contemptuous remarks about Edward Carpenter being a sandal wearing pansy.

      And this is true of the left up until very recently. A friend of mine I used to know in OutRage! here in the UK as a teenager belonged to a Trot organisation called Militant. This was in the 80s. They went on a summer camp, with tents and singing revolutionary songs underneath the canopy of the stars etc. All that sort of shit.

      When he admitted to being gay around the campfire one night he was promptly dragged off and beaten up for being “counter revolutionary”.

      And at the same time the middle aged (male) leadership were seducing the teenage girls on the summer camp and having them to visit them in their tents every night for “private Marxism tuition”. (typical heterosexual hypocrisy)

      Ah, if only Marx or Engels had been gay, what a huge difference that would’ve made to the course of socialism in the 20th century!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      So? Screw Engels; we can evaluate Marx on the merits of his ideas, which were superior though completely flawed and false garbage. Gottlob Frege (the most significant logician since Aristotle), was a virulent antisemite and racist. Does that invalidate his contributions to logic and set theory, and the foundations of mathematics? No.

      What does this have to do with Jesus?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      Because often our side (though not you specifically) operates on the premise that if only we could reduce the influence of religion in civil society, that society would, ipso facto, be less homophobic. That is a view that I don’t agree with.

      It’s back to that whole causation/correlation argument.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      tank

      “is the commitment to having good evidence to believe that x;”

      you are leaving out human factor of being able to recognize evidence when its sitting, right in front you.

      de nile isnt just a river in eqypt.

      “commitment to evidence” that is so vague. already i can see tons of things i would consider evidence and you would consider machinations of my own mind.

      in “pulp fiction” there was the classic line by samuel jackon it wasnt important whether an incident was miracle or not, only whether he thought it was a miracle.

      luther revealed something in scripture that had been sitting there for milenium, but was so obsessed over converting the jews that he, like the rest of christendom were unable to see romans 10 and 11 and was responsible for antisemetic writings that were so severe, that they contributed to a groundwork of antisemetism that culminated in the halocaust.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      you are leaving out human factor of being able to recognize evidence when its sitting, right in front you.

      de nile isnt just a river in eqypt.

      Anything specific, or is this just the argument from design you’re hinting at? Which is a terrible argument.


      “commitment to evidence” that is so vague. already i can see tons of things i would consider evidence and you would consider machinations of my own mind.

      It’s funny that religionists become crude relativists when it suits them. I think we know what evidence for x means. If you don’t, that’s not my problem, is it? Science isn’t a democracy for a reason…it’s not evidence that the door is open to you is evidence that it’s closed to me….lol!


      luther revealed something in scripture that had been sitting there for milenium, but was so obsessed over converting the jews that he, like the rest of christendom were unable to see romans 10 and 11 and was responsible for antisemetic writings that were so severe, that they contributed to a groundwork of antisemetism that culminated in the halocaust.

      ….are you kidding?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      I think that’s largely true, though. Because if we lessened the influence of religion, there’d be less to rely on in the justification for sexism and its byproduct homophobia–gender roles.

      I think that if religion were eliminated, many injustices would go away because people do bad things specifically because of what their religion demands of them.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      I had to look up Frege, I’d heard of the name but not his accomplishments.

      As far as his accomplishments in those particular academic areas, no…but assuming that he was a university professor, how would those views have impacted Ludwig Wittgenstein, WEB Dubois, or Albert Einstein, had they been his students?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Wittgenstein was going to be his student, but he referred to Russell instead. It depends on what he was teaching. He taught math and logic.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      By the way, the little bit of Wittgenstein that I’ve read and understand is why I think I “get” you.

      I think that some injustices would go away if religious influences were decreased, but I also think that new forms of social bonds would form that would perpetuate injustices.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Tallskin:
      To the extent that Marx, Engels and others were bigots they reflected their times, which neither excuses them or detracts from their great contributions. I experienced plenty of anti-LGBT hostility in the socialist movement which is why I got out, but I still prefer their programs to the garbage politics of apologists for Obama’s bigotry, his pretensions to be an imperial warlord his tail wagging generosity to the looter rich.

      On the question of superstitious cults I think we’re at a stage when we can begin to take actions directly aimed at causing them grief.

      When it seems clear that their calls for violence caused violence I think we should sue them for enormous sums to compensate their victims. The Southern Poverty Law Center conducted a brilliant campaign along those lines against the KKK and broke their back. http://www.abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=3416862&page=3

      I think we should ask the IRS or the Inland Revenue to classify them as parts of the entertainment industry and begin taxing them on that basis.

      I think we should insist that cult schools be closed, if only to prevent rape and other kinds of abuse.

      And etc. Taking baby steps are first we can begin to eat away at their influence and their power to harm us.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Chitown Kev: I don’t think that anti-gay bigotry and violence are innate, and I do think that the prerequisite for eliminating them is to achieve a decent society, a socialist society, which could eliminate various bigotries easily enough.

      That can’t be done in capitalist societies, which are cesspools of various kinds of bigotry used by the looter rich to divide and rule.

      Here’s a link to “Why I Am Not A Christian” by Bertrand Russell.
      http://www.users.drew.edu/~jlenz/whynot.html

      Apr 10, 2009 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      “I think we know what evidence for x means.”

      that sounds exactly like conservatives “saying we know what scripture says”

      did you ever think of yourself being bedfellows with religous conservatives?

      “are you kidding?”

      what a cop out.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Yes, read why I am not a christian…arguably one of the worst arguments Russell ever advanced in his career…he just couldn’t conceive of an infinitely powerful being, and that’s why he wasn’t a christian…oy.

      Don’t read that one. There are better books by Russell than that…Routledge has a great series out now on the essential Russell (covers almost everything he wrote excluding, of course, the principia mathematica which no one wants to read anyway; though they should cause it’s awesome) which covers it all… I’d even suggest the history of western philosophy before why I’m not a fireman (unreservedly uninformed about the views of those who spoke of…and an exercise in historicism–it was all for analytic…traditional of the disregard for the past found by many of the people I’m more intellectually at home around).

      Of course new justifications would pop up, kev…no memes. We’re a meme generating species. But would they be as effective? I just doubt it. But regardless, that doesn’t argue for the preservation of this one, and neither will an argument from ignorance.

      Start with Hume and Leibniz and work your way up to John Mackie.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      Not you, kev. I’m not suggesting you read those authors.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @john r:

      I like easter candy. It’s the best part about this goy holiday. It’s awesome, even though I’m allergic to peanut butter…not on easter! Not at the emergency room. WHy? because I chose not to be allergic to peanut butter when I ate that peanut butter egg. Ipso facto, I’m not allergic…even when I’m getting a tracheotomy. No siree, if I don’t believe it, it’s not real!

      …cake…eat it.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      chitown

      history of homosexuality………………1500′s, king henry (no separation between church and state in england even to this day) mandated a law that made homosexual sex punishable by hanging. it stayed on the books for 400 years(that’s longer than the history of this country). english settlers of this country upheld this bias by immediately making similar local laws about this but with different punishments.

      It was not until the stigma of illegality was removed that this cultural and generational bias could be tested.

      The only way that this decriminalization could have happened is because of all the revolutions that happened in capitalist society from the industrial revolution to civil rights revolution to the sexual revolution to today’s revolution about the embracing individual opinion.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I’m murdering grammar today. I shouldn’t do other things and this at the same time. It’s the best part of that holiday, instead.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Bill Perdue:

      Yeah, that sounds like good ‘ol Bertrand.

      John R, why are you lecturing me on the history of homosexuality? The Christian emperors imposed laws 1200 years before. In classical antiquity, while there weren’t specific statutes, there were culturally accepted protocols against same-sex conduct outside of the man-boy relationship. There were also protocols against extremely effeminate men, read Aristophanes.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion
      rogue dandelion

      something tells me this thread has become more about egos than gay jesus.
      gay jesus commands us to love one another as we do ourselves, regardless of our petty and self aggrandizing ways.
      whether or not gay jesus was actually gay, or actually existed, his extremely gay teachings are just as true today as they were 4000 thousand years ago when the philosophers he stole the idea from originally though it up.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion
      rogue dandelion

      @rogue dandelion: thought*

      Apr 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stenar
      Stenar

      Jesus is a fictional character in a novel… and a really bad novel at that.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 9:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @rogue dandelion:

      I think that people who LIKE CHARLIE KAUFMAN MOVIES (with the exception of being john malkovich) HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR! PEEPEE VAGINA! …ROTFLMAO!!

      Apr 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      Wow… this is an exciting little thread.

      My first thought… why not a Gay Jesus? When you consider all the mithraic, hellenic and other attributes that have been grafted on to him it makes perfect sense. It’s a powerful story that has strong resonance for many people. Why shouldn’t they make it their own?

      Secondly… even though this thread isn’t about religious right wingers condemning us it’s no surprise this has turned into another anti-religious fight, but it’s tired old bullshit. I don’t go to country music sites and write about how much their music stinks. If religion doesn’t have any resonance for you, fine, but we don’t need to hear it a million times. Frankly I’m not a Christian, but I can appreciate that the story has important meaning for some people. Whether Jesus actually existed is completely irrelevant, IMHO.

      And some (not all) of the “atheist” opinions I have read on here are as self-righteous as the worst Puritan – worse actually, because they imagine that their dogma is actually based on hard science, when in fact it is a belief system with more than a few holes in it, just like most religious belief.

      @Bill Perdue: And Bill, very good of you to say that Marx and Engel’s were just prisoners of their culture, and that their errors didn’t detract from their great work. That’s probably the most charitable thing I have ever seen you write.
      It’s certainly more merciful than the harsh judgement you mete out to most of us living people on this forum. What happened? Did the cat eat your “no compromise” hat?

      Apr 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Don’t forget the Isis/Horus myth. That’s where the whole Mary/Jesus line of iconography comes from.

      That was damn good marketing by the 2nd century Christians, if you ask me.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: I missed your original reply to me about, as you deem her, SWWNBN. I found myself pretty much incapacitated by the debate. I was very skeptical about the exit polling but only based on the 2004 exit polling; and I freely admit to being at the mercy of statisticians (why else would I go to law school? I hate math).

      One thing that seemed to be pushed aside during the debate, which is really too bad, is that marriage and relationship recognition seems to be a more important issue for gay and lesbian minority couples, as a practical matter (for all sorts of demographic and economic reasons). And frankly, when it came down to it, as mad as I was about Prop 8 I was far more pissed when the anti-gay amendment passed here in MI withut getting any money to fight it from national groups (who thought it was better to focus on a narrower, marriage-only amendment in OR). Such is life.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Chitown Kev:
      One of the best analyses of the story I have read was in the Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets – not just all the god-myths that were tacked on, but even less attractive human sacrifice and cannibalism traditions that may have been part of the mix.

      So again, why not a Gay Jesus? We have already had a proletarian Jesus, soldier Jesus, non-Christian Jesus, and wimpy confused Jesus. I think part of the nature of belief is that you make your connection to the story.

      Actually, if you haven’t seen “Jesus of Montreal” by Denys Arcand I highly recommend it.

      And anyone who thinks Buddhists can’t have religious myths should check out the “Ten Courts of Hell”, built by the Tiger Balm creators. If I ever make it so Singapore I will definitely go there:
      http://www.spi.com.sg/spi_files/haw_par/main02.htm
      There’s actually an interesting page on the site about terrifying visions of the afterlife, as opposed to the pleasant white light at the end of thetunnel.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I don’t go to country music sites and write about how much their music stinks.

      You should. It’s so much fun. You’ll feel alive. This isn’t a religion site.


      If religion doesn’t have any resonance for you, fine, but we don’t need to hear it a million times.

      That’s defeatism because we hear that it does have resonance from people a million times…literally…millions of times. This isn’t a country in which faith is a private matter for the most part.

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And some (not all) of the “atheist” opinions I have read on here are as self-righteous as the worst Puritan

      This is a typical tactic of the religious right to villify atheists (an extreme minority), and reduce their position to one of “dogmatism” when it couldn’t be further from the truth…atheism isn’t a dogma…it’s not a belief about the world, again.

      - worse actually, because they imagine that their dogma is actually based on hard science, when in fact it is a belief system with more than a few holes in it, just like most religious belief.

      It’s a belief system? What kind of belief system? Where are those beliefs that are held so dogmatically? Oh, and where are the holes? LOL! I’m serious, if you wanna talk about atheism, then dismiss atheistic arguments…you should know what atheism is. Get serious about it…

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      There shouldn’t even be a word for atheists, folks. There isn’t a word for people who aren’t alchemists, and who don’t believe in astrology…no antiastrologists or antialchemists…

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      Well, I’m from Michigan originally, so that is a sick piece of shit that Proposal 2 is. I mean, it was Wayne County that prevented it from going over the 60% mark.

      Don’t forget about the Cynic Jesus ( my personal favorite since Diogenes happens to be my favorite philosopher) or Jesus as Indian yogi. You have shaman Jesus, Jesus as Dionysous (sp?)…

      Apr 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      Tank, I have no problem with atheists per se. As an agnostic I think there’s a fair to middlin chance the atheists are right and there is no god. More importantly though, we are unlikely to prove the matter one way or another.

      Please note that I specifically said “some (not all)”, as you quoted in your post.

      The most dangerous part of SOME atheists’ belief is that they feel they stand on a foundation of truth and pure rational thought, while all religious belief is just mysticism and nonsense.

      Again… I know all athiests do not have this arrogant blind spot.

      The second problem I have with this group of athiests (again… not all) is that they don’t seem to understand some of the basics of how the human mind works. They assume that we can somehow train the spiritual, the intuitive, and the dreamworld out of humanity, and that we would actually be better off without it.
      It is nonsense, and it shows that this group of athiests actually have their own set of irrational views.

      Thirdly, some of them have the notion that religion is the root of all evil, which is also nonsense. I happen to think organized religion has done more damage to the world than any other institution. But religions have also created our greatest movements of social reform, and been a source of spiritual awakening and improvement to many people.

      As I understand it, true athiesm is dedicated to humanist improvement of our society, just as many spiritual beliefs are.
      I only have a problem with those atheists who turn against the spirit of that belief and use it as an excuse to attack the beliefs of others.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      well, you would have to get in a time machine to Periclean Athens and tell the Athenians that they just can’t kick Anaxagoras, I believe (it’s been awhile) out of Dodge.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 12:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Truthsayer
      Truthsayer

      Jesus wasn’t gay. Jesus wasn’t straight. Jesus wasn’t anything at all and is still nothing. Please learn to differentiate fairy-tale from truth and your vivid imagination from reality. Your beliefs in this so-called savior Jesus Christ are no more sane than those of Schizo Skip; believing that aliens will eat his brain. Christianity has brought nothing but shame, violence and oppression to the human race. It’s disgusting that someone with even the most basic of education could still believe in such trash. No one has ever been enslaved, hanged, burned at the stake or banished from their birthplace over the tooth-fairy; go spread belief in her.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Chitown Kev: Proposal 2 passed in all but two counties (Ingham and Washtenaw; MSU and UofM, of course). It passed in Wayne, Oakland, Genesee, Macomb and all of the other population centers; it was age that determined the outcome more than anything else.

      Young whites, blacks, Arabs, Jews, Hispanics, etc. all rejected it. That is the lesson from the proposal. Age was the determining factor; not race.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Xanadude82
      Xanadude82

      Jesus? Maybe you should go ask a rape victim or victim of child abuse what they were doing as they got attacked. They will undoubtedly tell you that they were begging and praying for help. Needless to say; they did not receive help. That means A) Jesus doesn’t care, B) Jesus likes the idea of rape and child abuse, or C) Jesus does NOT exist. Take your pick!

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Alec:

      No, I brought up Wayne County because Wayne County approved it by 54%, it was 58 or 59% statewide. And Wayne County is black and poor and much of it looks like post-Katrina New Orleans (and has since the days of Coleman Young).

      It’s just that all of the demographics that people were using for that 70% figure in California would apply equally (if not more) to much of Wayne County in Michigan. And that suprised me.

      Personally, I think these types of votes are regional.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      And I just checked back and saw this post.
      I suppose you might be right that this is not a religion site, but the topic of this thread most definitely is.

      Also, it’s not the usual thread about all the bad things Crhstians do, but one about gay sensibility in Christianity.

      Those who want to try to shout it down will certainly try to do so, but the fact remains we have a right to talk about this.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @strumpetwindsock:

      I don’t know, for me when I went through the Gospels by myself, as literature as opposed to “Scripture,” Jesus just seemed pretty damn gay to me. I mean, no need to queer him up, then again as with the Olympian gods, that says more about me than it does the Christ of the Gospels.

      It’s called anthropomorphism, I believe. The spelling may be wrong.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      the thing about connecting the dots isnt so much about how they are connected but rather that they even exist.

      i wish that those who feel so compelled to dismiss christ would actually quote one of his teachings to show how superfilous he was.

      everyone is entitled to believe whatever they chose to believe without recrimination.

      but……..either christ is what he claimed to be or he is the greatest liar that ever lived. if you know scripture then you know there is no middle position. if you think you know a middle ground based on scripture……………………im all ears!

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Chitown Kev:
      Yeah, but I always figured Nikos Kazantzakis was sort of on the right track, and that he would have a thing for Judas.

      I remember a friend telling me once that the pantheon wasn’t so much gods worshipped as we not know them, but rather psychological archetypes and stories that people used to learn how to behave. Really the morphing that has happened to Jesus is at least partially a similar thing (although there is most definitley god-worship).

      BTW, my friend also told me a theory about our modern comic book heroes and TV characters being used as ersatz Greek Gods in the same way. On one level they are just stories, but we also use them as a way of understanding the world.

      (can’t remember if he got this from Robert Bly or some other theorist – you might recognise it).

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @john r:

      I agree with Bertrand Russell. the moral teachings of the person that the anonymously dictated (and translated from the 6th or 7th or 15th or 20th ed. of some medieval manuscript or another) are exemplary. Do I believe he is God? No. Do I believe that he’s the son of god? no.

      From what I read of the gospels, there is much wisdom in the gospels that is used and missused and missused by people like you (I love the Beatitudes, for example). Good thing the Gospel of Thomas came along to straighten some of this shit from those who claim to follow Christ…

      Do I put Christ on par with a Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jeremiah, Lao Tzu (who may or may not have existed)? Yes.

      So I don’t but your fundamentalist bullshit, John, bottom line. I can make a determination as to what is right and wrong moral teaching. Whoever uttered the Beatitudes was a person of great wisdom. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @strumpetwindsock:
      Well, Superman is the story of Jesus Christ, more or less.

      Grant Morrison, who was the writer of the JLA series when it made that comeback in the 90′s admitted that his model for the Justice League was the Olympian Gods.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      But you do take my meaning, right? There aren’t people railing against Ptolemaic geocentrism, and who identify as antiptolemaicists…

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      There’s too much goddamn caloric in this food! I burned my fuckin’ mouth off on it! ha ha ha

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      And no one is denying religious people the right to talk at obscene length…and at moment they choose…really just yammering on and on and on and on ad nauseam…about their religious faith…on television, the street corner…people…on and on and on and on…neverending, really. And I have a right to talk about the absence of my religious faith, and atheism.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @john r:
      I don’t think he is superfluous at all, but you can’t go the way of scriptural literalism, either.

      Jesus didn’t write any of those books, and everything in them has been edited, revised and altered (John’s warning in Revelations notwithstanding).
      And example – the oldest gospel, Mark’s, didn’t originally include a resurrection. That was added on later.
      Likewise many of the miracles attributed to him were revisions.

      Now I don’t think any of that takes away from what is really important in those books – his philosophical lessons – but on the other hand there are a lot of assumptions made about his intentions that aren’t necessarily there.

      Did Jesus ever tell his disciples they should set up a church and worship him? In Mark he tells his disciples on several occasions to not tell anyone about him, what he has done, or by whose authority.

      Was he the Messiah? and did he mean it in the traditional Jewish sense or as Christian churches understand it. Was he a child of God any more of less than the rest of us presumably are?

      And of course the big question – did he die (or suffer in Gesthemane, as some believe) to take on the sins of the world?

      Unfortunately you can’t solve these mysteries by the book.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      No one is denying you that. But much of what you have written sounds like is proseltyzing to me. And that turns me off, personally.

      By the way, as someone who has studied fairy tales from Aesop to The Grimm Brothers (and their gruesome version of the Cinderella story) to The Wizard of Oz, I find fairy tales to be profound cultural documents of a certain time and place.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Could be Bly, could be Joseph Campbell.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Tank, I have no problem with atheists per se.

      What a relief. For a minute there, it was tense, and I was sweating bullets.

      As an agnostic I think there’s a fair to middlin chance the atheists are right and there is no god.

      Well, agnosticism is a knowledge claim; not a metaphysical one.


      More importantly though, we are unlikely to prove the matter one way or another.

      Well, as an agnostic, you don’t think it can be proven one way or the other. But proof probably means with 100% absolute certainty; in which case we can’t really prove anything…”glass on the table”…if all it takes is one skeptical hypothesis we can’t rule out. I think we can. I don’t believe that the god of islam, christianity and judaism exists because I do believe that suffering exists (confirmed to exist, in fact). It’s an old argument (problem of evil), but it’s never really be given a good answer…


      Please note that I specifically said “some (not all)”, as you quoted in your post.

      Right…

      The most dangerous part of SOME atheists’ belief is that they feel they stand on a foundation of truth and pure rational thought, while all religious belief is just mysticism and nonsense.

      Well, there are stupid atheists…but no religious person’s beliefs are anything more than beliefs in mysticism and nonsense…the content, anyway.


      Again… I know all athiests do not have this arrogant blind spot.

      Not all…no. I have a lot of respect for people who can converse intelligently about their faith…defend it with a theodicy or defense…not too many of those around, though. ANd there aren’t too many good arguments out there.


      The second problem I have with this group of athiests (again… not all) is that they don’t seem to understand some of the basics of how the human mind works. They assume that we can somehow train the spiritual, the intuitive, and the dreamworld out of humanity, and that we would actually be better off without it.

      SO do you think there’s a god gene? I think it would be good for humanity to rid ourselves toxic faith (most faiths are…toxic). Religious faith with more than just a tendency to cause harm…well, it’s not a goood thing. And most religions are pretty awful in what they demand of their congregants. We’d be better without racism, too.

      It is nonsense, and it shows that this group of athiests actually have their own set of irrational views.

      It’s nonsense to rid ourselves of toxic faith? I personally don’t care what people believe UNTIL those beliefs interfere with other’s lives…then it matters–good or bad.

      Thirdly, some of them have the notion that religion is the root of all evil, which is also nonsense.

      It is nonsense. I agree. But religion causes a lot of evil, and continues to.

      I happen to think organized religion has done more damage to the world than any other institution. But religions have also created our greatest movements of social reform, and been a source of spiritual awakening and improvement to many people.

      I don’t know about spiritual awakening….what you mean here…but all of that could have been had without religion. There isn’t a single good thing attributed to religion that couldn’t have been achieved without it. Maybe churches if you’re into that kind of thing…

      As I understand it, true athiesm is dedicated to humanist improvement of our society, just as many spiritual beliefs are.

      And one is ridding humanity of toxic faith, of which there’s a glut.

      I only have a problem with those atheists who turn against the spirit of that belief and use it as an excuse to attack the beliefs of others.

      Well, sometimes people’s religious beliefs need to be attacked. Those beliefs cause harm…they’re unethical.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      Well, whatever it sounds like…just wanted to correct some pretty big errors detected starting with buddhism being consistent with atheism…and what atheism is…that’s not helpful.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      so you are saying that christ who gave some of the greatest teachings of all mankind was also either the greatest liar who walked the earth for all time, or part of the greatest fabrication ever perpetrated for all time.

      Matthew 16:15-17 (Niv)

      15″But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

      16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,[a] the Son of the living God.”

      17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      But Buddha ( who’s very much like Wittgenstein when I think about it) would not answer questions related to God and the universe and metaphysics. Sam Harris is Buddhist.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @john r:

      You’re right. What was I thinkin’? JEsus literally was dead…for a looong time…and then through god magic came back to life to applause and fanfare. He walked on water, and made lunch for all his friends on the beach…he was the son of god, and was conceived without sex…of any kind… When you’re right, you’re right.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      don’t forget he turned that water to wine…he was a bit of a party boy, I’ll give him that.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      Buddhism is full chock full of spirituality and unfalsifiable beliefs and assertions. That is inconsistent with proportioning to the evidence as it requires religious faith… I posited, earlier, the difference between spirituality and theism (of which I include deism, too)…and that spirituality, though vaguer theology, is a theology nonetheless.

      Sam Harris trashes the buddhist tradition as a whole…maybe he was a buddhist, I dunno, but he’s the first to say how much religious claptrap is involved in buddhist teachings.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      Doves were released by scantily clad women in elaborate constume.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      jason voorhees and jesus have a lot in common.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      well, I think Harris (and I’ve read a little bit of him) may be trying to get back to Indian Buddhism. A lot of the religious stuff came as Buddhism began to move into Chinese and Southeast Asian folk culture. Remember, Buddhism was actually a rebellion against Hinduism.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      Maybe. I’ve got nothing against meditation…or harmless religions (buddhists aren’t all harmless, though…there’s some interesting history there that’s not all bespectacled smiling take the pebble from my hand stuff)…I mean, obviously they’re all false, but they’re harmless! No jain is going to kill people b ecause of jainism!

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Also, I don’t deny that people have profound spiritual moments that are literally life changing…through sensory deprivation, or crisis, or whatever really. I just don’t think it’s inspired by anything that isn’t physical.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TANK:

      ah, Gandhi was a Jain, I believe. Some Jains won’t kill their own bodybugs, so strong is their belief in “ahisma” (?) or non-violence.

      And yeah, there’s some hair raising stuff about some forms of folk Taoism, too, especially that internal alchemy type of stuff…

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      so you connect the dots by excluding the dot about the authentification of christ……liar or fabrication.

      in the words of the church lady……….”how convenient”

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Chitown Kev:

      Real good book on taoism is entitled “the tao is silent”. Corny name, but the guy who wrote it’s a super smart and cool guy named raymond smullyan. It’s very lucid, too.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @john r:
      John, I don’t want to get into a scriptural debate with you, because as I said I don’t think it is a firm foundation.
      But regarding that passage, I am sure you would also consider yourself a child of God. Anything beyond that is assumption.

      @TANK:
      Actually atheism and agnosticism are just as metaphysical a belief system as any religion.
      You certainly have arguments to back up your position, but no hard evidence (and I’m not making a “there’s no reality” deconstructivist argument); you have faith that it is true.

      And no, I do not think there is a god gene. But the mind does primarily work by logic or in straight lines, but by intuition, dream and symbols.

      I know all religions have taboos and myths and elements of control. I also know that for many believers church is a glorified social club – only a lot more dangerous.

      But that is not the essence of real spiritual belief – the way to learning humility, self control, opening one’s heart, helping others, understanding the mystery, divine perfection and that which is greater than ourselves.

      Sure there are people who go to church because they need to be told what to do, but that’s not really belief any more than asking for stuff is prayer.

      You’re right that someone who is seeking those things can probably find them on an atheist path.

      What you’re missing is that for all its evils some people manage to find it in the big nasty Roman Catholic Church too.

      I am with you on fighting the dogma, the discrimination, the oppression and the blind stupidity. But like it or not there are real and good things mixed in with the bad, and anyone who things they can just take it all cleanly apart is a much wiser man than I am. Like it or not some people are going to want to be told what to do, and that is not likely to change anytime soon.

      To deny that is … well, an irrational myth.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK


      Actually atheism and agnosticism are just as metaphysical a belief system as any religion.

      No, agnosticism is epistemological such that its contention is that we can’t know whether or not god exists, for example…

      Theism is metaphysical for it doesn’t concern our knowledge (though, that too) of god’s existence, but that god exists period…independently of our ability to know or not.

      Atheism the other hand is a lack of such a belief…that god does not exist is true, for example.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I think we’re at a point right now where we can unravel morality from religion. It served its purpose in more primitive times, and yes…some good things came of it…but many bad things did, too, and continue to. I posit any man who says he’d go on a killing spree if he were to stop believing in god is a psychopath who shouldn’t be trusted anyway…lol We’ll never be at a point where we can unravel immorality from it, though.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      There are better ways of telling people what to do than to murder people because they’re gay, or to commit acts of terrorism… Or discriminate at the ballot box, in hiring, etc. Or to advocate for the oppression of a minority directly or indirectly simply because of that faith…

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      those ills that were perpetrated in the name of religion were not perpetrated thru the teachings of christ but what man claimed was the teachings of christ.

      the old claim is that scripture says homosexuality is a sin. but the bottom line is that scripture never said homosexuality was a sin, it was only man who said scripture said so.

      some believers assign meaning to scripture in spite of the words, but i challenge anyone to show me how the words of scripture say homosexuality is a sin.

      i have taken my request to every conservative site on the internet. to date i have been banned from every one and no one has been to address my request.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      another example:

      read romans 10 and 11 http://www.biblegateway.com and then attempt to explain how believers were able to think that perpetrating antisemitism on the jews for 2000 years, was of christ…………………..good luck!

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      Good luck with the unraveling. Perhaps you are ready, but there may be a few billion people who aren’t quite there yet.

      But athiesm is no belief at all?
      Come on. Surely you don’t expect to hide behind that sophistry and pretend you don’t believe anything at all so no one can challenge it and you don’t have to defend it.
      For something you don’t believe you seem to take it very seriously.

      Now if you believe there is no God I respect that and I think you may be right. But it is a belief, and it is something you can’t prove.

      If on the other hand you have no belief at all then you don’t deny that a god might exist – and you are an agnostic.

      Either you believe yes, you believe no, or you don’t know, but you can’t pretend some non-spiritual ignorance of the concept like some Kaspar Hauser.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnsommmmnnnnnnnnnnneah.

      Ya know, John, the problem with “true” faith is that everyone claims it.

      Is my belief that suffering exists synonymous with atheism? Or, perhaps, my belief that proportioning one’s beliefs to the evidence is rational…that atheism? Sure, it’s responsible for me saying that “god exists” is false, but I don’t believe that “god exists,” I believe these other things that entail its falsity.

      Let’s say i do believe that god does not exist. Is that a faith based belief on par with religious faith that god exists? no……it’s not a belief about the world….there’s a reason why (suffering rules out 3-O god’s existence, for example).

      Apr 11, 2009 at 4:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      you can believe what ever you choose without recrimination.

      my question to you was christ….. liar or fabrication?

      you can say i choose not to deal with the question?

      you can refuse to answer.

      then i would have conclude that this is a conversation about connecting ONLY CERTAIN WITH DOTS WITH EXCLUSION OF OTHERS.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 5:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      reedit

      you can believe what ever you choose without recrimination.

      my question to you was christ……. liar or fabrication?

      you can say i choose not to deal with the question?

      OR you can refuse to answer it.

      then i would have conclude that this is a conversation about connecting ONLY CERTAIN DOTS WITH THE EXCLUSION OF OTHERS.

      Posted: Apr 11, 2009 at 5:42 am · @Reply · [Flag?]

      Apr 11, 2009 at 6:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mister C
      Mister C

      All of this for what?????????

      If you believe in Christ fine
      If you DON’T believe in Christ fine also.

      Anyone that is Gay and believe do not need to be insulted by non-believers TO EACH HIS/HERS OWN PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

      This is RADICALISM at it’s best. And unfortunately for Gays this shit will NOT ADVANCE our quest for equality. There are many heterosexuals who are religious who believe in our equality and will fight with us and for us.

      But they read some of the passages from “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by F. Douglas Blanchard. And they will all truly turn against fighting for us and where will that lead us in the end????????? Back at square one! We’re the ones who need help now!

      Think about it STRATEGY is the name of the game!
      People have the right to believe what they choose and to non-believers every christian DOES NOT feel that you should’nt have rights, or your lifestyle is WRONG!

      Apr 11, 2009 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      For me the best evidence that at least John was in love with Jesus, and Jesus accepted John loved him, was John attended the crucifixion and Jesus gave over the care of his Mother to John.
      I survived a young lover, and his concern that his Mother be cared for, was paramount. All the other disciples denied Jesus or hid, only one stayed with Mary, which seems like a lover to me.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mark
      mark

      I wonder which the bat sh*t fundies would rather have queers, Godless aethiests, or those who view Jesus as gay?
      Since Corpus Christi received multiple BOMB THREATS, I guess the gay Jesus wins, it also simplifies Fundies arguements against gays if they make us appear all aethiest.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 10:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      The suffering=nogod argument is not logical. But I think we’re at a stalemate.

      @john r:
      Not sure what you’re after, but if those are your only two answers then it is definitely fabrication, because not all of it is true.

      But neither is all of it false, IMO.

      @Mister C:
      Well said, thank you.
      The only thing I disagree with is the notion that we should censor ourselves in order to make ourselves more acceptable – that won’t do any more good than selling out the TGs because they’re not as “normal” as us.

      In the first place we can’t stop people from talking about this, and in the second I think any reasonable person is going to know it’s just speculation/revisionism, no different than “holy Blood Holy Grail”, or “The Last Temptation of Christ”, and I doubt too many are freaked out by it.

      And the fundamentalists? The only think we could to do satisfy them is to disappear completely.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 11:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      strump

      “Not sure what you’re after, but if those are your only two answers then it is definitely fabrication, because not all of it is true.

      But neither is all of it false, IMO.”

      i have idea about what you are trying to address.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      REEDIT

      i have NO idea about what you are trying to address.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      The suffering=nogod argument is not logical. But I think we’re at a stalemate.

      You mean to tell me that the logical problem of evil is not logical? Plantinga said something like that when he was clearing his throat of his freewill defense…and then treated it like a logical argument. LOL! I don’t know what you mean by not logical…not valid? It’s valid…not sound? Well, I think it’s pretty damn sound.

      Think of it this way, though, about my beliefs…or an atheist’s (stupid and smart). I believe that that thing over there’s a yellow triangle. Does that mean that I believe that it’s not a blue square? Well, no, because I don’t have to believe such a thing to believe that it’s a yellow triangle (which rules out me believing that it’s a blue square)…and not a blue square doesn’t mean the same thing as yellow triangle, for it could refer to a purple trapezoid.

      And jesus didn’t tap out.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      Now evil is something completely different than suffering. The notion that there are empirical forces of good and evil is a completely religious value judgement.

      Atheist humanist traditions of course also have a concept of actions which harm and help ourselves and others.

      But good and evil? If there is no God or spiritual realm how is a mass murderer evil when a ravenous lion is just following nature?

      Of course we should try to put a stop to deceit, hatred, manipulation and other harmful actions for the good of the community. But really, they are just part of our nature. Evil is must a made-up religious idea we use to explain these natural impulses when we cannot understand them. We can no more prove that evil exists than we can prove the Devil is a living being.

      Really, I think the notion of evil is just an attempt to avoid responsibility for our actions.

      But back to the question of suffering. Of course the world is full of disease, natural disaster, botflies which lay their eggs in the eyes of children, and terrible acts which humans do to each other.
      But none of this has any correlation with whether there is a supernatural realm, spiritual beings, or life after death.
      Do we assume that if God exists it is his or her job to keep us comfy and make sure our drinks are topped up?

      No, we can’t make that assumption, so even the existence of horrible things does not disprove the possibility of something beyond this world.

      It has nothing to do with your comparison of what colour you or I see. There is just no logical relation between the two.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Check out the problem of evil. Specifically, John Mackie’s version. Unnecessary suffering (neutrally defined and accepted as evil) is incompatible with the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, perfectly good being (I maintain, anyway…if you’ve got the stomach, read plantinga’s famous freewill defense). There are two now…the logical and the evidential.

      I suppose you could say that if god doesn’t exist, evil can’t (and self flagellate, too) but then we can just change the argument a bit using conditionals (if/then statements).

      As to atheism being consistent with spirituality (Which you clearly did not advocate, strumpet, and thankee thankee), there’s a difference between being godless and being an atheist.

      Something I wrote a while ago…

      I cede that there are some religions that do not mention deities or a deity, and, obviously, don’t engage in deity worship. However, these are religions nonetheless, and make a host of unfalsifiable claims. As such, it’s no worse nor better than if they were to cite a deity and engage in deity worship. It’s different, but religion; thus it’s totally arbitrary to claim that they’re atheists, yet are religious. Agnostics I could understand.

      I don’t see how, then, one could claim without a chuckle that one is an atheist and yet religious (buddhist, in this case), without only taking into account a very narrow and impractical definition of atheism that, say, rules out deity worship…for one’s claims are equal in terms of evidentiary support as those who engage in deity worship.

      A buddhist can’t respond to the question of why not christianity with, “I don’t believe in Christianity becase, for example, I demand evidence for my beliefs.” One has beliefs that aren’t capable of being vindicated through evidence or empirical investigation…yet, we’re still going to call her atheist? Why aren’t they christian…and if there’s no principled answer…we’re left with the unprincipled christian answer, “Because I believe in christianity, not buddhism because I believe it’s right narrative of the world and buddhism’s wrong…because i believe in believing and belief is blah blah blah blah…oh, look, it’s benny hill” or vice versa, then atheism has no meaning in my opinion for it’s just as bad as religion.

      But it does have a meaning! And that meaning’s incompatible with religion.

      I’m done with this topic, alright? Sborin’ me.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      On second thinkabout…don’t read st. alvin’s freewill defense. That’s some relatively hardcore analytic theophilosophy, and requires a bit of technical knowledge.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Audrey
      Audrey

      Don’t forget to give credit to lesbian artist Becki Jayne Harrelson for her portrait of the gay Jesus at the last supper.
      It’s important to not make lesbian art invisible, and I noticed you were good enough to credit Doug Blanchard’s painting of Jesus coming into the city–Palm Sunday.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      Thanks for the info.

      Though it makes me wonder why you didn’t understand my argument; Platinga’s free will argument is essentially a more complicated version of my own, countering your suffering=nogod position.

      Perhaps it’s a copout on my part, but I just assume that if there is a divine supernatural it may operate according to rules we cannot understand, so there is no need to logically prove that God can allow suffering to exist.

      Mackie’s thesis (why god didn’t just make people who do good?) reminded me a relevant thesis in Mormon belief – that to force good behaviour and remove the freedom to do evil is actually the Devil’s work.

      The way mormons believe, humans needed to come to earth and return perfect to heaven. Satan offered to fulfill this by forcing everone to not sin. God turned him down, because to remove our ability to choose would mean we would not learn anything from our experience here and mature.

      One third of the spirits in heaven did not want to take the risk of suffering and the chance of not returning, and so sided with Satan in the war in heaven.

      Like many religious allegories, you don’t actually have to believe them literally to understand there is a life lesson there.

      But as you say, you’re done. I’m sure we’ll talk again.

      Thanks again.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GJR
      GJR

      You know, normally I would not give a rat’s ass about what the interpretation of Jesus was. The fact is, the world is so vastly differ than the nomadic, agricultural society of the bible, where they believed the earth was flat than it is today, there is really little that can be derived from the accounts of that that world in terms of the applicability today. If there is anything salvagable from Jesus’ message, it is to treat others with kindness and respect and that we should ultimately be judged for our tolerance and the good we do for others. But you can be Wiccan or Navaho and practice these basic principles.

      The issue, however, is that so much in the world is determined by what people think they see in the Bible – wars are declared, slavery is justified, people’s rights in 2009 are denied because of what some feel the Bible says. I think it is not so much important to have THE definitive story of what happened in Jesus’ day but rather that we need to rethink virtually all of history and the things which are considered the unquestionable precepts of society. We have to rethink things like what we did to the Indians, what our role in various genocides around the world has been, how we have used religion and the Bible as the justification for so many horrible things. Revisiting issues like homosexuality and what the Bible may or may not have said is a step toward reevaluating what the “given” is about history.
      People who make judgements about others regarding the Bible must be told, among other things, um, unless you speak things like ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin, are aware of the various redactions of the Bible and have an excellent example of the content in which these texts were written, you need to shut the fuck up. Ellie May thinks she can pick up any old copy of the Bible around the cement pond, with zero knowledge of history or other languages, yet make pronouncements about how people should live today.

      Let me end with a really silly example. A week or so ago, I happened to watch a bit of the pilot episode of Bewitched. In the episode, Darrin is bitching as usual about Samantha using witchcraft. In one scene, he obviously wants to head upstairs for some good old sex with the hot witch wife. So he leaves her with a kitchen that needs like 2 hours worth of work, admonishes her to use no witchcraft, then scoots on upstairs, waiting for her to come pleasure him. The point of this is, just 40+ years ago, it was a completely foreign concept that Samantha would say, “Get off your fucking ass and help me clean this kitchen or I will use witchcraft..” But that is how society was perceived, that is how the role of the man and the woman were perceived. So can you imagine what it was like in a nomadic, agricultural society thousands of years ago?

      History must be reviewed with a critical eye. We must challenge most of what we have been taught, from how “wonderful” Columbus and the gang were to the texts of the Bible.

      Apr 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Monica Roberts
      Monica Roberts

      When I snatch my panties to the floor in a flourish and squat down on the commode, a serious look comes over my face as I read the “Bible in Plain English” and sometimes lose myself in the Spirit for hours at a time.

      Apr 12, 2009 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      tank appears to be to attempt to make the case for non belief by making the case for what we can see and touch and by excluding a number of dots and by emphsizing authors who do the same.

      but history shows us that man has consistently changed in his understanding over what he was able to see and touch…………ergo that at one time slavery at one time was considered a societal good to now becoming an intolerable evil(not good).

      and it required a believing friend, to go to john newton the author of amazing grace,after 3o years of having a successful pastorage after he having left the slave trade, to explain to him how slavery was evil(not good)…….newton a man who had first hand knowledge of it.

      while what has remained consistent is the goodness that has been exuded by those who upheld the teachings of christ, which are teachings that call us to love those who are in our lives as well as ourselves.

      another dot which may also have to be avoided. jesus said he came to show us the father…”ïf you know me you know the father”

      christ broken beaten, tortured, stabbed and nailed to the cross for those who actually did this to him?

      the dot……………………did he show us the father?

      Apr 12, 2009 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      i can only speak for myself when i say, that knowing about loving was not sufficient. that on attempting to love on my own power,i ran into all kinds of problems in actually being able to carry it out, in that most of the time i was in the way.

      that in coming to faith in christ i could trust his grace to guide me in that endeavor.
      that in receiving and acknowledging his love for me, i could hold that love up as a plumbline in guiding me on how to love others and myself as well.

      there are not many “ONLY’S” in scripture, but this is one of them.

      Galatians 5:6
      For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
      (the only thing that is important is a faith(islam, buddhism, judhism etc) that can express itself thru love)

      as for the importance of love

      1cor13(paraphrase)
      anything without love is nothing and gains nothing.

      as for believers in christ
      John 6:44
      “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

      who is to say who the father is drawing, except each individual speaking for himself?

      Apr 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marcelo Castro
      Marcelo Castro

      John R… what do you mean by love? You talk like it’s something to be manipulated.
      Love is one of these terms that has no real meaning. But let’s try to define it a little. Love is unconditional compassion.
      No texts required. No Bible required, No Koran required, No Buddhists philosophy required, No Krishna required.

      Unconditional compassion or ‘love’ is a natural occuring phenomena that is usually distorted by peoples beliefs. So if we drop the beliefs, all that remains is love.

      Instead of reading books, just ask yourself one simple question – Who is the I that say’s I am? There are no books to answere such a question. Many have tried. Only the one that asks the question can truly answere it.

      Here’s some tips – There is only one I. We all refer to ourselves as ‘I’

      The so called ‘mind’ can not find it because the mind is contained within the experience. So, logically, the answere doesn’t require books or thoughts, but merely, a simple FULL STOP.

      If you pause a thought, the world does not fall apart.

      Apr 12, 2009 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      love

      according to scripture…… 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1cor13)

      according to faith…………in my personal intimate relationship with christ….. my spiritual experiencing his love for me.

      according to my living experience and my own cognitive awareness, it is all that affirms and gives life.

      Apr 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vanhattan
      Vanhattan

      @jocklog:

      Poor dude….you need some serious help for sure. Here is sincere hope that you find it soon.

      Apr 13, 2009 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marcelo Castro
      Marcelo Castro

      Your relationship with Christ? If the guy ever actually lived (most non religous historians agree that he didn’t), he is now dead. You can’t have a relationship with Jesus because that would make you a necrophiliac. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      You have a relationship with scripture not Jesus.

      And your interpretation of love is purely conceptual. Let the natural flowing unconditional compassion to come up untainted by concepts. Love by religion is purely conceptual and tainted.

      Full Stop – pause a thought and tell me what you see in that moment of silence my good friend

      Apr 13, 2009 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vanhattan
      Vanhattan

      Gosh, seems like lots of people went off their meds for the long Easter weekend.

      As far as Jesus rising from the dead, and faith that this was so….just a couple of comments;

      I remain open minded but a skeptic. No person hsa ever proven that Jesus lived.

      No person has ever proven that Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days.

      So for all of those who are absolutely sure that the two activities mentioned above took place, I don’t understand why you have not shared the ‘proof’ with others.

      So as far as I am concerned, Jesus and his teachings is nothing more than a myth, perhaps an elaborate allegory, but nothing more.

      Cheers

      Apr 13, 2009 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      anyone is entitled to believe what they chose without recrimination.

      to any one of you.

      if i asked anyone of you how you would prove that you loved the most important person in your life what would be your proof?

      you are saying that jesus is a fabrication.

      Apr 13, 2009 at 1:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      “Jesus and his teachings is nothing more than a myth……”

      are you speaking from your knowledge of scripture and the dead sea scrolls, and the nature of the hebrew culture to create and foster myth.

      what was it about “that which we heard, which we have looked at, which we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have touched” in 1john1 that made you think the author was into establishing myth.

      what was it about the gospels that made you think the authors were attempting to create myth.

      what was is about paul’s writings that makes you that you think he turned from predator to prey for the sake of a myth.

      why is it the jews themselves, as well as the islamics who refused to believe in christ, actually acknowledge that he lived?

      it is one thing to believe in something, it is another to have objective reasoned evidence to back it up.

      Apr 13, 2009 at 9:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leisha Camden
      Leisha Camden

      I don’t have time to read all these comments here, I just want to put in my 2 cents. Which are as follows: You, the author of this piece, are of course aware that there is no evidence worth the name for the existence of the so-called historical Jesus, right? Right.

      Oh, and John R., Muslims definitely do believe in Christ. They just don’t believe he was the son of god, since they don’t see god as the sort of creature that can produce offspring, but other than that they are big Jesus fans. Your problem is that unfortunately for your ‘logic’, this proves nothing.

      Apr 13, 2009 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      leisha

      how you would prove that you loved the most important person in your life?

      Apr 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      leisha

      “how would you prove that you loved the most important person in your life?”

      the reason for the question?

      god is spirit.

      love is spirit

      god is love.

      Apr 14, 2009 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      There’s just so no point in arguing this. Christian-heads are going to inevitably fall back on the “it’s what I BELIEVE!!!” argument, which is supposed to be inviolable and not subject to argument. Balderdash. In the absence of any real historical documentation of the guy, and with nothing but religious propaganda, political image-building, stories thirty-times removed, and the made-up medieval nonsense that so many deluded moderns hang their little wishful hats on, we can any of us say anything about Jesus without fear of running afoul of any historical reality. I could maintain that Jesus was really a talking purple pony, and if I wrap that contention up in the bullet-proof blanket of “This I Believe” and shove bibles in my ears and sing la-la-la (or Hosannah, or whatever) real loud, then no one can convince me otherwise. I mean, PROVE to me that anywhere in the bible it says that Jesus WAS NOT a pretty purple pony. Just try. I’ll say it’s a translation issue, and that the Aramaic “hand” is easily misconstrued from the word for “hoof”.

      Jesus may have been gay. He may have been Black. He may have been a pre-op transvestite. He may have been a pony. Most likely he was sorta persuasive, in the right place at the right time, became something of a political symbol for radical Jews, and got hisownbadself mythologized over 2000 years of nutbaggery. Anyway that’s what *I* believe. La-la-la.

      Apr 15, 2009 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @emb:
      Well if he existed, he was in all likelihood not as outwardly pretty as the modern images portray him.

      One version of Josephus’ history said he was short, bald with a patchy beard and a unibrow. He also had an ugly long nose and likely suffered from scoliosis.

      http://www.roadjunky.com/guide/695/will-the-real-jeus-please-stand-up

      Apr 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john r
      john r

      emb

      your approach is to remain absolutely ignorant about scripture that way you can claim anything(paraphrasing is not evidence of knowledge)………… claiming out of ignorance.

      like i said anyone can believe anything without recrimination……….but making objectively reasoned statements to back it up is something else.

      i dont challenge your belief, but your evidence for your belief.

      strump

      “One version of Josephus’ history said he was short, bald with a patchy beard and a unibrow. He also had an ugly long nose and likely suffered from scoliosis.”

      that is more than likely. isaiah 53 (written 600 years before christ…….(of the old testament) said there was nothing physically about christ that would attract anyone to him.

      it has always been my opinion that if one was to see all the the apostles and christ together one would have been unable to identify who was christ until he spoke, because of the authority and depth of his words.(verse 2)

      isaiah 53: 1 Who has believed our message
      and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

      2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
      and like a root out of dry ground.
      He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
      nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

      3 He was despised and rejected by men,
      a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
      Like one from whom men hide their faces
      he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

      4 Surely he took up our infirmities
      and carried our sorrows,
      yet we considered him stricken by God,
      smitten by him, and afflicted.

      5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
      he was crushed for our iniquities;
      the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
      and by his wounds we are healed.

      Apr 15, 2009 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      I don’t think the idea of Jesus being gay is so threatening and I’m a christian. He never had a partner so we don’t really know if he was gay or straight. We do know what he looked like he had hair like wool and skin the color of brass that is what scripture says. I remember people getting just as mad when people suggested there had been a black jesus. I don’t think it matters what his race or ethnicity was or is. It is interesting to read all the discussion points though.

      Apr 15, 2009 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      A gay Jesus?

      Why not.

      It’s not like it would’ve changed his message about love and fidelity, or resisting all forms of oppression. Paul was also rumored to have been gay, and the observations I’ve read are pretty convincing.

      Whether Jesus was gay, straight, bi, or even transgendered, most liberal Christians should be at the point of saying “who cares”. I think that’s what our goal should be anyways…a open-minded view of impartiality towards the insignificant differences that divide us into boxes of identities.

      It is telling, though, at who would be offended at hearing a suggestion that Jesus could be gay. Even liberal Christians have a hard time getting over that “gay is wrong” hurdle.

      Lastly, it’s amazing how many people here doubt the existence of the historical Jesus. There is strong evidence that he, in fact, did. The Apostle Paul, whose extensive writings we still have, lived in the time of Jesus and met Jesus’ disciples (Peter and James, as well as others). The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius also corroborates the existence of Jesus as a man who came from the Galilee and was crucified by the Romans. But the deeper question is this: if YOU had lived 2000 years ago, would your existence be a fact or fantasy simply because people today had no hard proof of your existence?

      If a tree fell in the woods and no one was around to see it, did it really fall?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      kevin (not that one) wrote, “But the deeper question is this: if YOU had lived 2000 years ago, would your existence be a fact or fantasy simply because people today had no hard proof of your existence?”

      A better question is, if someone was alleged to live 2000 years ago, tried by the Roman governor at the time, Pontius Pilate, personally and sentenced to death, would you expect there to be no public record of the execution, especially given the involvement of Jewish officials? Usually in such situations, the bureaucratic rule is to CYA by documenting everything.

      Oct 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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