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What To Read If You Love Jesus

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“It is my sincere hope that GLBT Christians and our critics alike will approach this material with open hearts and minds. Not everyone will come away convinced, but I’ve discovered it takes time to unlearn all the misinterpretations of scripture we’ve been taught through the years. I invite you to sit with this information, pray and meditate on it, and let God speak to your heart. I hope that when your journey is complete you’ll see God’s word with new eyes and realize GLBT Christians are welcomed in Jesus’ one word, ‘Whosoever.'” —The introductory note of queer Christian website Whosoever, which is part myth-debunker and part community forum for Jesus-loving fags

By:           editor editor
On:           May 11, 2009
Tagged: , , ,

  • 84 Comments
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      More sky pixie garbage from hustlers out to make a buck.

      http://jesusneverexisted.com/

      “The cost to humanity of fifteen centuries of Christian savagery – of hundreds of millions of lives brutalised and truncated, sacrificed to war, torture, pogrom, burning, pestilence and plague – is incalculable.

      Christianity is the worst disaster in human history.”

      May 11, 2009 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Bill Perdue

      ”Christianity is the worst disaster in human history.”

      Not just christianity, islam and the daddy of them both, judaism.

      May 11, 2009 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • theo geer
      theo geer

      Also, don’t forget the Straight-Friendly Blog. Really good stuff: http://straight-friendly.blogspot.com/2009/05/net-casting.html

      May 11, 2009 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oaklander
      Oaklander

      Jesus is my gardener.

      May 11, 2009 at 11:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)
      kevin (not that one)

      Just mention LGBT-affirming Christianity and Bill Perdue and Tallskin are almost always the first to comment in the negative.

      That’s what trolling is.

      If they weren’t so threatened by the idea of LGBT religious people, they’d STFU already.

      May 11, 2009 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I certainly understand where Bill Perdue & Tallskin are coming from, we’ve exchanged views on other threads.

      But really guys, there is so much human history that is not recorded, you just can’t throw around statements like “Christianity is the worst disaster”.

      Joseph Stalin killed millions in a few short years in Russia, sent lots of folks to Siberia, and imprisoned 10’s of thousands more.

      And if Christianity wasn’t here, it would be some other human invention that would accomplish similar things.

      May 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      The point I was trying to make about Stalin, he was just ONE person over a very short period of time that did a lot of damage.

      May 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @kevin (not that one): Criticism of Christianity is not trolling. Many people have recovered from the Christian, Mormon, Jewish and Islamic lifestyles, and there’s a space for legitimate criticism of the beliefs of these religions. Granted, I’d not consult Bill Perdue on this, but there are many people who are not religious and do object to Christianity on an intellectual level.

      May 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Alec:
      Criticism is one thing.
      Outright dismissal and intolerance is quite another.

      That site is actually arguing AGAINST the fundamentalist interpretation of the bible that condemns us.

      We would not have as much acceptance as we do now if it were not for the many religious people who struggle to help us. Blindly comparing them to the inquisition is both false, and insulting.

      May 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @strumpetwindsock: I’m also critical of liberal Christianity and theism generally. Yes, on pragmatic grounds when it comes to LGBT rights it makes sense to work with religious liberals and moderates, but I still think that their claims are false. Additionally, I think some organizations, and Whosoever does not really fall into this trap, offer strained interpretations of monotheistic scriptures and, in any event, fail to address much bigger ethical issues within the biblical text (notably, the genocidal warpath of the ancient Hebrews, their practice of slavery and misogyny, etc.).

      But yes, I agree, the criticisms that are offered here are often childish.

      May 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johan
      Johan

      By blaming an ideology for the atrocities committed in its name (Christianity, Islam, communism, what have you…) you ignore the fact that ideas cannot hold guns or dig graves. Belief systems cannot commit mass murder nor can they go on crusade.

      Instead, think on this: ideologies cannot twist themselves, men (and women) must do that. When you blame the ideology for the evil, you ignore the evil actions of the people manipulating it for personal gain.

      May 11, 2009 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Many? According to gallup 230 million americans believe that god wrote the bible–literally. And that the bible is the inerrant word of god. That’s a lot of christians who aren’t our allies…in fact, it’s most of ‘em.

      May 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      ANd we would have a whole lot more acceptance right now if it weren’t for the countless more christians working to deny us our rights. Kapo!

      May 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      The misinterpretations of scripture? Biblical literalists and fundamentalists of any creed are experts at memorizing and quoting and explaining scripture…experts…they’ve committed the book to memory and have rehearsed and thought about it for most of their lives. Of course, any interpretation is underdetermined, but most christians believe that leviticus is antigay…whether or not they themselves are (and many of them are).

      May 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Tank – no one says there aren’t a lot of intolerant Christians, but when Gene Robinson was made Bishop in the Episcopal Church, it made news around the world.

      But it didn’t just happen – a lot of people had been working behind the scenes for a long time. Social change doesn’t happen just because you or I think it should.

      Yes, it gets tiresome having to explain that many things in Leviticus are considered abominations (wearing cloth with two fibers or eating shrimp) are JUST as much an abomination as same sex (male) conduct. (Everyone forgets females weren’t considered at all) but so it goes. Be part of the solution or part of the problem.

      May 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      “While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. From the perspective of those seeking to live by the letter of the texts, the religious moderate is nothing more than a failed fundamentalist. He is, in all likelihood, going to wind up in hell with the rest of the unbelievers. The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it does not permit anything very critical to be said about religious literalism. We cannot say that fundamentalists are crazy, because they are merely practicing their freedom of belief; we cannot even say that they are mistaken in religious terms, because their knowledge of scripture is generally unrivaled. All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don’t like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us. This is not a new form of faith, or even a new species of scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to a variety of all-too-human interests that have nothing, in principle, to do with God. Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance—and it has no bona fides, in religious terms, to put it on a par with fundamentalism. The texts themselves are unequivocal: they are perfect in all their parts. By their light, religious moderation appears to be nothing more than an unwillingness to fully submit to God’s law. By failing to live by the letter of the texts, while tolerating the irrationality of those who do, religious moderates betray faith and reason equally. Unless the core dogmas of faith are called into question—i.e., that we know there is a God, and that we know what he wants from us—religious moderation will do nothing to lead us out of the wilderness.”

      Sam Harris, the end of faith.

      http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/chapter-one/

      More on moderates in the first ten pages.

      May 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Tallskin: I stand corrected.

      May 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johan
      Johan

      @TANK: Sam Harris hardly speaks as an authoritative voice on religion.

      It’s sort of like Rush Limbaugh writing from a position of un-biased expertise on liberalism.

      Add to that the fact that he pretty clearly thinks the right to religious freedom is a joke, and Sam Harris starts to look a lot less like an expert and a lot more like an anti-religous bigot.

      His words: “The usefulness of religion, the fact that it gives life meaning, that it makes people feel good is not an argument for the truth of any religious doctrine. It’s not an argument that it’s reasonable to believe that Jesus really was born of a virgin or that the Bible is the perfect word of the creator of the universe. You can only believe those things or you should be only able to believe those things if you think there are good reasons to believe those things.”

      May 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @strumpetwindsock: says That site is actually arguing AGAINST the fundamentalist interpretation of the bible that condemns us.

      So?

      Does it matter if some christers maintain that some of the angels perched on the head of a pin are GLBT angels if everyone who believes in angels is certifiably loony? Not eccentric, raving.

      Let them support us but they have to do it without trailing along a bunch of christer baggage about sin or ‘brokenness’.

      ————————————–

      @Jaroslaw: says “But really guys, there is so much human history that is not recorded, you just can’t throw around statements like “Christianity is the worst disaster”.

      I beg to differ. By accepting stolen, badly written 5,000 year old science fiction as a guide to action is it any wonder they burned midwives and primitive medical practioneers (witches and warlocks) and mixed gay men in with the kindling to wipe out the competition? Or developed the Inquisition? Is it any wonder they went on crusade and killed who knows how many fellow christers, Jews and muslims? Or slaughtered each other by the tens of millions in innumerable religious wars.

      Their warped views are why christers, prot and roman, accepted Hitler’s views on the necessity of ‘racial purity’ and, with a dozen or so heroic exceptions, did nothing about the final solution, the murder of millions of Poles and of 22 million Soviet citizens. Is it any wonder these depraved superstitious vermin used disease and mass murder to help conquer and enslave the peoples of the Americas, Africa, Australasia and most of Asia, taking in the process hundreds of millions of lives? (Before strumpet empurples himself I’m not saying his ancestor Eurocultures caused all the disease, just that they used it often and to terrible effect.)

      And if Christianity wasn’t here, it would be some other human invention that would accomplish similar things.” But it is there Jaroslaw and for the most part they’re the implacable enemies of the GLBT communities, science, enlightenment and democracy. Jaroslaw, bud, don’t be so gloomy. The odds are that some day as people become smarter and saner, society will be rid be rid of them, no matter what flavor of insanity they enjoy.

      May 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      “Christianity…(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man.” Thomas Jefferson

      “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? …superstition, bigotry, and persecution.” James Madison

      “Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself than this thing called Christianity” Thomas Paine

      It seems that christers we not well liked by revolutionaries then or now.

      May 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Bill Perdue:

      That’s pretty. I greatly admire Jefferson. And I know Paine was right behind the revolution until the point when they almost cut his head off for it.

      How about I see you and raise you a couple:

      Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

      O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.—John Wesley

      Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade public life.—Pro-slavery Lord Melbourne

      “The Bible is like a bull fiddle; you can play almost any tune you want on it. My background, being interested in social and economic questions, naturally inclined me to preaching the idea that religion in essence was entering into a new relationship with god… and that if Christianity meant anything, it meant building the brotherhood of man.” Tommy Douglas, founder of the CCF, father of Canadian medicare.

      May 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Johan:

      LOL! Your faith is a disease. Sam Harris is nothing like rush limbaugh. Your ad hominems…fail.

      May 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      Going by the short excerpt above, I found it funny that Mr. harris thinks memorizing quotes from a book automatically succeeds a deeper understanding of the text. Of course, when it comes to the Bible, you can take out a page from Corinthians and mention how women are not allowed to show their hair in Church but then forget the passage from the same book reminding man that they cannot come to be without woman.

      What many people – – fundamentalists – – don’t understand is that the Bible wasn’t written by God. It was written by people inspired by their faith and by the culture that they were raised in. Anyone who still believes that the holiness code written in the books of Law applies today are morons. And for a modern human to assume that slavery is justified because someone who lived thousands of years ago said so entails error on part of the reader, not the text. Simply put – – in the words of BKV – – religion isn’t fucked up because of God, it’s fucked up because of the people running it.

      May 11, 2009 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Silly @strumpetwindsock: is getting a little desperate, and that’s not pretty. None of the quotes he provided quotes have anything to do with the well established fact that the best of the American revolutionists were anti-clerical and aimed at creating a secular republic.

      Cults and most superstitious people have never played a progressive role in terms of advancing democracy. Sometimes they’re unreliable allies but even that’s not so common. The less they accept dogma and pray “To Whom It May Concern” the more likely it is that for a time, and for the wrong reasons, they’ll support parts of our struggle. That’s all to the good, as long as we realize that their world view is lunatic and they can turn on us at any moment.

      That includes cults in the US. As Frederick Douglass, a key leader of the American Anti-Slavery Society noted:

      “In the South I was a member of the Methodist Church. When I came north, I thought one Sunday I would attend communion, at one of the churches of my denomination, in the town I was staying. The white people gathered round the altar, the blacks clustered by the door. After the good minister had served out the bread and wine to one portion of those near him, he said, “These may withdraw, and others come forward”; thus he proceeded till all the white members had been served. Then he drew a long breath, and looking out towards the door, exclaimed, “Come up, colored friends, come up! for you know God is no respecter of persons!”

      .

      May 11, 2009 at 9:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      I’m a Christian.

      There is just no point to the attempt to reconcile the words of the Bible with modern moral understanding. The many different texts that comprise the Bible were written by ancient people.

      Many of their thoughts remain revolutionary today. There is a reason these books have survived for thousands of years.

      On the other hand, many of their thoughts are about the correct way to sacrifice a chicken. These texts have to be understood in the authors’ own context, not in the context of a world that would have been totally alien to them.

      May 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Shark:

      Well, you apparently disagree with the vast majority of americans when you say that the bible wasn’t written by god. They believe that it was. Further, though it may be funny to you, most christians do interpret leviticus as being antigay. And many fundamentalists are quite adept at biblical understanding…if it can be called that.

      What it also brought up, and brought up by greater atheists than sam harris (though, I must admit, he does an admirable job at tackling the political issue that religiousity represents…and the ethical abhorrence that it promotes globally), is that if your cherished interpretation of a biblical text can be shown to support more than one inconsistent beliefs, then it comes down to most likely interpretations of the text instead of just pronouncing it meaningless (though, it likely is just meaningless gibberish)…and the most likely interpretation would be the one that most be have of the text…which is that it is antigay…antiwoman…anti shellfish…and the opinions of a primitive people trying to make sense the world in the absence of empirical investigation.

      May 11, 2009 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Further, if you’d like to say that there’s no truth at all in the bible, then that can be extended to the existence of god, and everything else religious…it’s just a metaphor, not be taken literally and interpreted symbolically, therefore then, none of its teachings and pronouncements need to be taken literally as truth either because it’s a free for all…no literal truth to be had. Most american christians disagree with that.

      I think also that the dodge that many moderates like to make is that it’s not god who wrote the bible…or even inspired it, apparently…but man. Now if that’s the case, then the bible is about as much an authority on the existence of god or on what god is, or christianity and what christianity is…as goodnight moon. And, further, you are not a christian if you believe that.

      May 11, 2009 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      “These texts have to be understood in the authors’ own context, not in the context of a world that would have been totally alien to them.”

      Um, isn’t that a wee bit like trying to read minds?

      Or, put yet another way, simply read whatever interpretation necessary into the bible to support whatever lie someone is trying to sell us.

      A crystal ball or tarot cards will do just as well, thank you.

      May 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      Schlukitz:
      Um, isn’t that a wee bit like trying to read minds?

      No, it’s like trying to read a book, which is always a process of active interpretation.

      Tank:
      And, further, you are not a christian if you believe that [it's not god who wrote the bible].

      I was under the impression that being a Christian meant giving my pledge of faith to a living man, not to a collection of texts some of which refer to him.

      Of course, you are free to prefer a God made out of paper to the one made of flesh and blood that I know.

      May 11, 2009 at 10:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Distingué Traces:

      A living man? You mean Jesus? Well, we’re not going to get into why that’s problematic (the historical existence of jesus)…but no, you do worship a god, right? Not a living man? You don’t worship Fred the mailman, do you? Well…not in the biblical sense…well, depends on fred. But you don’t worship, say…a lump of clay or your parents, do you? That pledge includes “the son of a god” doesn’t it?

      May 11, 2009 at 11:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      But you do believe in the text’s authenticity, don’t you? Insofar as it indicates jesus’s teachings? You think those are true, right?

      May 11, 2009 at 11:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stamp
      Stamp

      Why does anyone regard old fictions written by the best fiction writers of their time with any regard? Look, man by nature needs order otherwise we are chaotic and wild beasts. Religion, which is something conjured in the imagination does just that: it provides a code and an explanation for the most inexplicable of things: why are we here? Extremely intelligent men and women believe these texts, while one suspects that politicians just have to, to stay in step with the constituency. Religion in itself is not a bad thing, but its very nature assumes that one belief is correct while the others are not, and yes, we did worship a lump of clay at one time. We, humans, have perverted while we interpreted these texts, thus they are rightly propaganda created to control.

      May 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Well, there such a thing as a worthy entity of worship. so when a christian tells me that they worship love, for example, they are, in essence, telling me that they worship an emotion. That is like worshipping, say, gravity. They require absolutely no religious or supernatural beliefs. However, I don’t think that’s what most christians believe. I don’t think that they worship a law of physics or all of them, or a cup or a lump of clay. If they did, they wouldn’t make extravagant claims about their beliefs that are in direct contradiction of such laws of physics we call miracles.

      Religion is bad in and of itself. It purports to have truths about the way the world is in the absence of the actually knowing about the way the world is. If I were to walk to be lost in a forest and wanted to know what vegetation was poisonous and what was not, I hope I wouldn’t be relying on beliefs that had no connection at all to the truth of the matter. Similarly, religion makes claims (christianity does) about the nature of mankind (some people are more worthy than others, and deserve more consideration, etc) and groups of people that have no connection to the fact of the matter. To base ethics, too, on an entirely a priori system (e.g., animals don’t have souls…souls exist…things that don’t have souls have no moral status and one can do with them as one wishes because it’s the same as breaking a pencil…) is, in the case of religion and any other fundamentalist belief system, unethical because it’s based on falsity and a total lack of concern for the best way we have of going about figuring out things (empirical investigation).

      May 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And that assumes, also, that there’s a non-perverted pure interpretation of those texts. And you know, there really isn’t. It is secularism that religious moderates rely on in condemning their extremist peers, not religion. It is advances in our understanding of ethics and egalitaranism, and political systems based upon equality and human dignity–a concept completely alien to christianity for most of its existence.

      May 11, 2009 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      Fred the mailman is pretty great, it’s true.

      But you do believe in the text’s authenticity, don’t you? Insofar as it indicates jesus’s teachings? You think those are true, right?

      The accounts of Jesus’ life and words are pretty consistent in the gospels – and they also vary quite a bit with the differing perspectives of the writers. I think they’re about as reliable as can be expected from texts that were written down out of a community-based oral tradition anywhere from several decades to a couple of centuries after they were first spoken.

      The writers of the gospels certainly appear to have been faithful transcribers of Christ as they remembered or had been taught of him, and the message they wrote down remained clear and strong enough to spark an ongoing revolution in world history for two millennia.

      But at the same time, I don’t think that the content of Christ’s teaching is as important as the fact of his life. This is not really something that can be made sense of except experientially.

      May 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      The accounts of Jesus’ life and words are pretty consistent in the gospels – and they also vary quite a bit with the differing perspectives of the writers.

      They’re pretty consistent yet vary quite a bit…

      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/jesuspuzzle.html

      http://nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

      I think they’re about as reliable as can be expected from texts that were written down out of a community-based oral tradition anywhere from several decades to a couple of centuries after they were first spoken.

      Yeah, pretty awful by historical standards.


      But at the same time, I don’t think that the content of Christ’s teaching is as important as the fact of his life.

      No, but some are pretty controversial, and if one were to JUST believe in the teachings of christ and nothing more (not even that he was the son of god), then one wouldn’t be a christian, would one? It’d be like worshipping…oh, I dunno, epicurus or aristotle. why don’t we worship aristotle? His virtue ethics are far superior to christian divine command theory and christian ethics. In fact, christianity bastardized virtue ethics for its own backward purposes. It’d be absurd to worship aristotle…and he’d be the first to tell you if he were alive. In fact, we don’t need christianity to love our neighbors…do you? Or any of the…okay teachings of jesus (some are controversially scary “I didn’t come to bring peace…but war” or something like that).

      This is not really something that can be made sense of except experientially.

      You have to believe it to understand it? Gotta feel it?

      May 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Are you under the impression that the Bible glorifies everything done by the people in it? I ask that politely of course. One ‘Saint’ can vilify everything he deems unnatural in one book, while another can claim that God Himself has gone against what was unnatural when he decreed that Gentiles be treated with respect. The multitude of inconsistencies simply mean that the book was written by many different people over many different timelines – – passed down orally and through writing so many times that no one in the world will ever know what the original Hebrew and Greek ever means (I’m looking at you Arsenotokois).

      Fundamentalists tend to see the Bible isogetically, unaware that they are selecting verses that adhere to their beliefs and ignoring those that fringe upon their own comfort. These verses are also the ones that tend to be declarative – – the easiest to understand. If a vast majority of the uneducated feel that their literal interpretation is correct, then that it no way means that the literal interpretation is the only one acceptable.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      [The internal consistency of the accounts of Christ's life is] pretty awful by historical standards.

      No, not at all. For any first-century figure other than Christ, four biographical accounts of so much detail – and such a broad cross-section of differing persctives – would be considered a gold standard of historical reliability.

      if one were to JUST believe in the teachings of christ and nothing more (not even that he was the son of god), then one wouldn’t be a christian, would one?

      This is absolutely true, and is part of the point I was trying to make.

      Christ’s teaching has been transformative in history. But moral teaching we can get from any good kindergarten teacher. Christ is either God or not, and this is what is essential.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      You have to believe it to understand it? Gotta feel it?

      No. Emotional or mystical experience has no more power to save than intellectual belief.

      Christ has to do it. That’s all.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Are you under the impression that the Bible glorifies everything done by the people in it?

      No, but it does glorify much of it, and we’ve nothing silence with regard to the few things that aren’t meant for our moral instruction.

      I ask that politely of course. One ‘Saint’ can vilify everything he deems unnatural in one book, while another can claim that God Himself has gone against what was unnatural when he decreed that Gentiles be treated with respect. The multitude of inconsistencies simply mean that the book was written by many different people over many different timelines

      I agree. Charitably, it’s so full of contradiction that taken as a whole, it’s simply meaningless. However, most christians don’t…they believe that it’s inerrant word of god. If you don’t believe that it’s the word of god, or that the bible has anything at all to do with christianity as a religion (don’t believe any of it)…then you’re not a christian.

      Fundamentalists tend to see the Bible isogetically, unaware that they are selecting verses that adhere to their beliefs and ignoring those that fringe upon their own comfort. These verses are also the ones that tend to be declarative – – the easiest to understand. If a vast majority of the uneducated feel that their literal interpretation is correct, then that it no way means that the literal interpretation is the only one acceptable.

      Well, acceptable, I dunno. Any translation of any text is underdetermined such that inconsistent meanings can be attributed to the same text…however, we do have such a thing called likelier meaning, and methods of going about gauging that. Now, many christian fundamentalists well versed in the bible can, it seems, justify their beliefs about it being antigay just as well if not better than their opponnents. If you’re saying that no translation of the text is any more likely than any other translation, and that they’re both equally justified and mutually inconsistent…then you are literally saying that the bible is meaningless. I don’t think it’s meaningless, though. I do think that it’s antigay and antiwoman…and it’s a very telling phenomenon of trying to interpret the text to be progay and prowoman coincides with largely secular historical social movements in feminism and gay liberation. I haven’t read many progay treatises from the religious in the early twentieth century…or late nineteenth. Similarly, I haven’t read very many religious folks defending women’s rights with their religious beliefs in the sixteenth century…in europe. Have you?

      May 12, 2009 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Distingué Traces:

      Oh sure, they’re pretty awful. NOw go through and read the links I gave so that you’re not just repeating yourself but have actual information…to use.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Also, putting an equivalence in the truth behind the content of the Bible and the existence of God seems to me quite a stretch. He/She does not need to exist simply because something has been written about it.

      As for its teachings (Jesus’ specifically) – – to love and respect one another – – I see no harm in doing that. Though in humor, one could take it’s literal interpretation as to make love to one’s neighbor profusely. Truth is, many liberals already look at the teachings as metaphors – – the resurrection not of the body but of the message for example. And as for the Bible being an authority on God, I do not believe it is. There are plenty of sacred texts in the world, and to assume that ANY of them offer true insight into the Supreme Being seems to me improbable. What most of these texts do offer though, to those who read the teachings instead of the war stories, is that the best way to serve the creator is to preserve creation. And – – even though I presume this makes me an idiot in your eyes – – that’s what I do.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      And, then, you admit that you’re not a christian…if you JUST believe in christ’s “moral teachings”…and honestly, they really weren’t christ’s…as they existed for hundreds…well, thousands of years before his birth.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      Actually, where did you get that data?
      According to the American Research Identification Survey there were only 224 million christians in the U.S. in 2004
      I have a hard time believing that every one of them believes the bible is the perfect word of god. Actually I know it is not true.
      There are plenty of christians who believe in evolution, and, for instance, do not believe the story of adam and eve is literal.

      As well, we do have original sources for some of the books – the books of Moses for one.

      And there are also enough existing early versions of scripture (and Gnostic texts) and knowledge of the original languages, that it is clear that modern translations are not perfect (and there are scriptural differences between them).

      I doubt anyone who has taken a religious studies course would think that the Bible is the perfect word of God.

      Anyway, I think I’m familiar enough with your beliefs and arguments that I don’t need to rehash things with you.

      I guess you won’t be visiting the Whosoever site for any pointers, eh?

      May 12, 2009 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Also, putting an equivalence in the truth behind the content of the Bible and the existence of God seems to me quite a stretch.

      Well, if one believes that the content of the bible is true, then they believe it’s true for a reason. Most christians believe it’s true because god wrote it or inspired its writing because…they believe in god as described in the bible. Go figure, huh?

      He/She does not need to exist simply because something has been written about it.

      I agree. That’s why most christian justifications of god’s existence (The unsophisticated ones, anyway) are pretty circular, e.g., it’s true that god exists because the bible says it’s true and the bible is the word of god…go figure, huh?

      As for its teachings (Jesus’ specifically) – – to love and respect one another – – I see no harm in doing that.

      Neither do I. But they’re not jesus’s teachings as…well, much more sophsticated ethical theories were advanced quite a few years before he even allegedly existed. And the moral is that you don’t need jesus or god or the bible to be good…go figure, huh?

      Though in humor, one could take it’s literal interpretation as to make love to one’s neighbor profusely. Truth is, many liberals already look at the teachings as metaphors – – the resurrection not of the body but of the message for example.

      Well, I Don’t know if that’s true. I think that most people in this country are religious and do believe in god, and are christian to…and they don’t think it’s a metaphor that god exists…not literally true. No, I think they it’s literally true that god exists and also, that the bible is the word of god just going by the numbers alone…230 million people. Go figure, huh?

      And as for the Bible being an authority on God, I do not believe it is.

      Neither do I. I don’t think it’s an authority on anything. Now if you’re a christian, what’s an authority on god if not the bible?

      There are plenty of sacred texts in the world, and to assume that ANY of them offer true insight into the Supreme Being seems to me improbable.

      Oh, so you’re not a christian. Okay. That makes sense, then.

      What most of these texts do offer though, to those who read the teachings instead of the war stories, is that the best way to serve the creator is to preserve creation.

      Well, that’s just not true. The best way to serve creation is to subjugate women, and destroy the nonbeliever? THese are what the bible advocates. the qur’an advocates killing the nonbeliever. I think repeating this lie enough is part of the problem…that is, you’re part of the problem.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Actually, where did you get that data?

      Gallup, as I said.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I have a hard time believing that every one of them believes the bible is the perfect word of god. Actually I know it is not true.

      I know, because facts don’t matter to you.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      You’re religious, after all…facts only get in the way.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Again, there is a difference between chronicling events and glorifying them. We can take that fellow from Indiana for example, who exiled his wife and married an 18 year old right after. We do not glorify hat he did but we do acknowledge it happened. Though as for Samson really making a stadium collapse, well, I suppose we can never know.

      As for my own Catholicism, I believe in a message of love spread by Jesus. My devotion to the person (let’s not debate his existence for now) does not impugn my critical views of the Bible – – if only because, as I’ve said and I’m sure you will expect me to say – – there is a difference between teachings and simple narratives.

      Also, I am not saying that any harmful interpretation of something that is supposed to be Sacred is right. I know it sounds impertinent, but if Christ talks about love, then I don’t see why people who lived hundreds of year after He did are equally qualified to talk about right and wrong – – or who we should and should not love. I follow Christ, but I’m hardly divine.

      As for the defense of women and gays, I see it more as a dawning, a realization. How naive of me, but it is naivete I embrace. More and more of the religious, or at least those who spent as much time getting pelted with Pater Hemon as I have – – do not blindly follow what’s written on ancient text. I’m not as well versed as you, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t have a heightened awareness of all of the Church’s many indiscretions besides the obvious.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      THis is going to be a full night combating this lies and falsehoods based on…ignorance…but it’ll fun.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito
      afrolito

      If it were not for the true axis of evil (islam judaism,christianity), humanity might be terra-farming on Mars by now.

      I’d rather worship the words in Grims’s fairy tales.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Shark:
      I should point out to you that I am an agnostic, not a christian; I just think people should be free to believe or not as they wish.

      But I’m out of here.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Again, there is a difference between chronicling events and glorifying them.

      I agree, but when moses exhorts his followers to commit genocide, then it seems to be glorifying them. Leviticus seems to be glorifying these things. THe number of passages glorifying violence and oppression the bible is…storied. We can turn this into a quote off, if you’d like. But numbers in the bible advocates genocide just like leviticus advocates murdering people because they have sex with a member of the same sex..and many more…LOL!

      We can take that fellow from Indiana for example, who exiled his wife and married an 18 year old right after. We do not glorify hat he did but we do acknowledge it happened. Though as for Samson really making a stadium collapse, well, I suppose we can never know.

      Oh, you’d like to… okay…

      Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
      — I Corinthians 14:34-35 (NIV)

      Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
      — Exodus 20:17 (AV), The Tenth Commandment

      Women=property in the above.

      “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he [Moses] asked them…. “Now … kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”
      — Numbers 31:1-18 (NIV)

      Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod [sceptre], he shall not die.
      — Proverbs 23:13 (AV)

      Beatings don’t kill kids…

      If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son … Then shall his father and his mother … bring him out unto the elders of his city … And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die.
      — Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (AV)

      Some small boys came out of the city and jeered at [the prophet Elisha], saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And … he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.
      — II Kings 2:23-24 (RSV)

      Kill those kids.

      Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return … will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” … and the Lord gave them into his hands…. When Jephthah returned to his home…, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! And he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
      — Judges 11:30-32, 34, 39 (NIV)

      daughter=burnt offering.

      … all who are under the yoke of slavery … who have believing masters … must serve all the better since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. If any one teaches otherwise … he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy…, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind…
      — I Timothy 6:1-5 (RSV)

      Slavery’s good, huh?

      Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother…
      — Matthew 10:34-35 (AV)

      that peacenik jesus…

      LOL! these seem like far more than your “chronicling events” but provide moral instruction…you’re ridiculous.

      As for my own Catholicism, I believe in a message of love spread by Jesus.

      You’re a catholic who doesn’t believe in the truth of the bible…wow…or that the bible has any relation to christianity…that’s simply amazing… maybe what you’re trying to say is that christianity is itself meaningless too as anyone who believes anything can be a christian.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Yes, you are a christian agnostic as are many.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @afrolito:
      LOL. And some of those are really scary.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      I mean, I can read the Bible, the Koran, the Upanaishads and other holy books as literature (and it is great literature) and I can even appreciate the moral value of some of it’s teachings. but as far as a belief in god(s)…something like “the Force” or “Tao”…something that’s…non-theistic is the closest that I’ve evr been able to get to that whole thing.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Yes, funny that. Know how a science fiction novel can either enhance or detract from what you perceive, I don’t know, extraterrestrials to be? The same, for me, can be said about the Bible and God. God (or the thought of one) came before the Bible as you know.

      And of course Jesus wasn’t the pioneer of warm and fluffy feelings. But He did make an effort to spread the word as far as he could. My suitor is an atheist. He’s a good man, so I don’t believe that you have to believe in the Bible to be one. But as I told my friend, believing in the Person is important, but believing in what He stood for is much more.

      Also, you misunderstood, I wasn’t saying that God’s existence was metaphorical. I was saying that the miracles and whatever unquantifiable acts are. terribly convenient, isn’t it?

      And as a Catholic, what authority is there on God? None. Catholicism is the path I follow because to me, it’s how I can honor God.

      And finally, it’s quite comical that you think my remark about preserving creation means to subjugate and kill. Again, I believe that what the Creator made, I must cherish. Nowhere in that statement implied maiming children.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I don’t think the bible or the koran is great literature even. I prefer dante, shakespeare and dostoevsky. Now that’s good literature.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Yes, funny that. Know how a science fiction novel can either enhance or detract from what you perceive, I don’t know, extraterrestrials to be? The same, for me, can be said about the Bible and God. God (or the thought of one) came before the Bible as you know.

      ? What does this have to do with anything I wrote? So what if the thought of god came before the bible? That’s like saying that islam predates a stoning…that doesn’t somehow make the bible less blood soaked, nor christianity less harmful and, literally, false.

      And of course Jesus wasn’t the pioneer of warm and fluffy feelings.

      Well..that’s not what ethics is…perhaps that how you understand it. Fluffy warm feelings…

      But He did make an effort to spread the word as far as he could.

      Did he? Went pretty far…unfortunately.

      My suitor is an atheist.

      Annnnd, that’s a rap! I can’t read anymore…it’s too much…but thanks for the laughs.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Also, you misunderstood, I wasn’t saying that God’s existence was metaphorical. I was saying that the miracles and whatever unquantifiable acts are. terribly convenient, isn’t it?

      So all the miracles in the bible are false…they didn’t happen…but the existence of an omnipotent, all knowing and perfectly good (though vacuosly re: euthyphro dilemma)…well, that’s what you believe in… I think that’s enough, though…as any other miracle pales in comparison to that one.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Funny thing about Moses, Exodus also states that he never entered Heaven. Anyhow, this should be one long morning.

      Leviticus, along with the other books of Law are obsolete. Jesus Himself said so when he spared that adulteress form being stoned. Anyone still believing them to be applicable to today is a moron.

      Corinthians speaks of women being beneath men, yet in in the writer’s own way, also respects the fact that there can be no man if not for woman since men don’t get pregnant. Also, I do recall a time when women weren’t allowed to vote. Just because the culture in one generation existed doesn’t mean that it’s righteous. The same goes for Corinth. And, really, pretty much ever other verse that you pulled out. Convenient, huh? (P.S. I loved the she-bear verse)

      Now, here’s the thing, didn’t I repeatedly say that many of those teachings were dictated by people and not God? People who lived in a time and culture different from our own? I wonder what moral authority a neanderthal has on me. You may be surprised that, in most civilized worlds, people can be both spiritual and not moronic.

      Also, I seem to remember implying that a belief in Jesus was necessary to be Christian.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: I said some people don’t believe in miracles, I never said that I belonged with them. And again, God came before the Bible, so if what’s written on the Bible is figurative indeed, then that has no bearing on the existence of a God nonetheless.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: I mentioned the alien bit because you mentioned something about how the Bible has no authority on God if it was written by man. The point I made was that since man has no authority on God then he or she will simply have to make do what they think of God.

      Now ethics. Should we discuss this? We’d probably end up talking about Buddha.

      Also, I’m glad I could give you a fun time : D

      (P.S. I dumped him exactly because he’s an atheist)

      May 12, 2009 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Shark:

      ah, there’s no reasoning with the unreasonable. You haven’t addressed any of my arguments or statements…go away, you’re boring me.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Please elaborate.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Shark:

      well, gods came before the bible. Monotheistic belief in your god, not so much.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Shark:

      I’m sure you did dump him because he’s an atheist and you’re …highly irrational…and a bigot.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      And where did I contradict this statement?

      May 12, 2009 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: It’s also because he smelled bad ;)

      May 12, 2009 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And I’ll stop because discussing these topics with the deeply religious such as yourself is not worthwhile. You go into trance like states of reinterpreting biblical texts so that conforms to your agenda (proving its meaninglessness if anything) and repeating yourself, talking past the points made by others…it’s worthless. But ultimately, it’s at the expense of your credibility.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I mean, you basically said that the bible has nothing to do with christianity…and that there’s nothing about the bible which advocates the subjugation of women, or is antigay, or anything really…

      FUrther, you did go out of your way to try to state that the miracles are metaphorical…and that means that they’re not literally true…and then you contradicted yourself. See, people like you don’t are about the truth…you care about empty faith in, well…nothing.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      You claim I am not a Christian by heart then you turn and call me deeply religious. Anyhow, this is probably the root of our impasse. You think that all devotees follow religion in as blind and ardent a way as possible – – texts included. Nobody does this. Not even fundamentalists (Muslims non withstanding).

      But again, your point is that the Bible contains violence and therefore promotes it. Well, so does every other history book we have. My point, again, is that a person in another time cannot dictate what is proper in this here now. What may have been acceptable then is no longer acceptable now. You believe that this makes the Bible meaningless. Feel free. I believe it makes me appreciate the fact that we live in more enlightened times – – fundamentalists non withstanding.

      I apologize if I upset you.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      It’s just too good.

      Now, here’s the thing, didn’t I repeatedly say that many of those teachings were dictated by people and not God? People who lived in a time and culture different from our own? I wonder what moral authority a neanderthal has on me.

      But the thing is that if you think that the bible is merely a creation of man and has no authority in christian faith (already making not a christian)…then every passage in it was written by people who came from a certain cultural perspective and a certain place in time…leaving nothing in the bible “dictated” by god…

      So sure, you can create your own understanding of god and your own divine command theory (what god really dictated) that has nothing to do with the bible…but it’s not christianity.

      It’s not just leviticus that condemns homosexuality, either. But you can spin and reinterpet the meaningless verses of the bible (which you must agree to if you think that the bible is not anti woman or antigay…basically, if you want to spin into a peaceful book of whatever you want it to say and not what it does say) to mean whatever you want it to mean…as you have attempted to. What that proves, though, is that you don’t need christianity for anything other than…well, nothing.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: I never said the Bible had nothing to do with Christianity. I said the Bible has nothing to do with the belief of a God/s. Christians aren’t the only people who believe in Him.

      Also, when i mentioned miracles to be metaphorical, I was simply presenting another view from what literalists state. I mentioned never believing in EVERY miracle (parting of the sea? Closest I can think of is low tide). But I am a believer of miracles nonetheless.

      You see my faith as faith in nothing. I see it as the belief that in all of us there is inherently something good, even though we are all mere animals.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      @TANK: Religion can be a hell of a placebo if I say so myself. Again, I don’t see the Bible as dictated by God. So what legitimacy does it show? It states what some people have attempted to to in order to get close to God. And if one of those ways is to love one another, then that is the one I will follow. I do no harm in that.

      Romans also mentions homosexuality is “unnatural”. There are four more besides Leviticus, but I don’t recall each one. And yeah, I can spin them : ) Also, the Bible is far from peaceful, it goes without saying (Tarantino can make a movie out of it) – – but again, so is history. Is Christianity necessary? Is anything necessary? There is no school of though beyond instinct that is truly necessary.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      You claim I am not a Christian by heart then you turn and call me deeply religious.

      Well, you believe in some god…it’s not the christian god, but it’s some vague theology…

      Anyhow, this is probably the root of our impasse. You think that all devotees follow religion in as blind and ardent a way as possible – – texts included. Nobody does this. Not even fundamentalists (Muslims non withstanding).

      No, I don’t…I think that the bible is central to christian faith, and if you think it’s just a book of metaphors, then be consistent and think of the existence of god and the conception outlined in the bible (and to christians…as a 3o world creator) is a metaphor, too…not literally true. but you don’t. Further, if there’s nothing about christianity that makes one a christian, then it’s meaningless. That ultimately is what you’re saying. One can literally believe anything they want and be a christian. Most christians disagree with you. Is there anything to being a catholic? No, not really.

      But again, your point is that the Bible contains violence and therefore promotes it.

      It certainly does promote it. I cited the passages. You reinterpreted them to meet a secular agenda…not a religious one. Jesus did not “overthrow” the levitical law, btw. Countless religious scholars would contend otherwise. He merely said those without sin can cast the first stone, not that one shouldn’t be stoned for violating leviticus. But they’re morons because you simply disagree with them…and they with you…and there’s no higher court to settle it other than you repeating yourself.

      Well, so does every other history book we have. My point, again, is that a person in another time cannot dictate what is proper in this here now.

      So the bible has no moral authority according to you. I think that in order to be a christian, one must give the bible some moral authority…however slight. You’re not a christian. You said you’re catholic…and the view expressed with the above is at odds with official catholic dogma.

      It’s literally false, too. As apparently many christians believe and act based upon that belief–that a person of another time can dictate what is proper here and now.

      What may have been acceptable then is no longer acceptable now.

      SO god’s inerrantcy is errant because, after all, the bible has nothing to do with god…what does if you’re a christian? I think that’s absurd. That’s like saying that the qur’an has nothing to do with islam.

      You believe that this makes the Bible meaningless. Feel free. I believe it makes me appreciate the fact that we live in more enlightened times – – fundamentalists non withstanding.

      A more enlightened secular time, yes. It’s not about my belief, it’s just the way it is for you. Every interpretation is equally valid, and therefore, it doesn’t mean anything to you.

      I apologize if I upset you.

      No, you didn’t upset me. You just aren’t honest in a discussion. You contradicted yourself several times, and equivocate whenever it suits your needs (secular agenda). I’m actually amused by it.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Religion can be a hell of a placebo if I say so myself. Again, I don’t see the Bible as dictated by God.

      That means that you’re not a christian. If you take away the bible from christianity, you’re left with you saying what god wants based upon your opinion, not what christians say.

      So what legitimacy does it show? It states what some people have attempted to to in order to get close to God. And if one of those ways is to love one another, then that is the one I will follow. I do no harm in that.

      No, I can just reinterpret that to mean that “love one another” means converting one to christianity at any cost…justifying the atrocities of the inquisition and the christian missionaries. After all, it’s meaningless and “love” means something different to christians than it does to everyone else.

      Romans also mentions homosexuality is “unnatural”. There are four more besides Leviticus, but I don’t recall each one. And yeah, I can spin them : )

      To say that the bible and, to be consistent, christianity has nothing to do with god…is to state that you’re not a christian…couldn’t be more plain and simple than that. After all, you can create your own religion now, and make up whatever god and commandments that that god you’ve created in your head wants.

      Also, the Bible is far from peaceful, it goes without saying (Tarantino can make a movie out of it) – – but again, so is history.

      The bible advocates genocide, slavery, the subjugation of women, and the stoning of children who are misbehaved and gay people…it is far from peaceful, even in its moral commandments.

      Is Christianity necessary?

      To do what? Some very good people aren’t christian, so it’s not necessary to being a good person. Belief in god isn’t, either…especially not one that contradicts itself like the christian god.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Even you think it’s false that a person of another time can’t dictate what’s proper now…as you believe that jesus exists…and that his teachngs are true. ANother self contradiction from you.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      I never said the Bible had nothing to do with Christianity. I said the Bible has nothing to do with the belief of a God/s. Christians aren’t the only people who believe in Him.

      Well, apparently it has something to do with belief in the abrahamic god, because christians believe in him because of what the bible says.

      And yes, you did state that the bible has nothing to do with belief in god by stating that it is written by man, not god. Not even inspired by god, I’d like to add you affirmed. THat’s what those words put together imply.

      But yes, gods existed before the monotheistic god of abraham.

      Also, when i mentioned miracles to be metaphorical, I was simply presenting another view from what literalists state.

      Ah, so it has nothing to do with what you’re saying, then. So for all we know, you’re a literalist.

      I mentioned never believing in EVERY miracle (parting of the sea? Closest I can think of is low tide). But I am a believer of miracles nonetheless.

      Well, if you believe in some of the bible and some of the bible miracles…then you do think that the bible is true, at least in part. Believing in the truth of the miracles in the bible does have something to do with the belief that god exists. Therefore, you’ve contradicted yourself again…you do believe that the bible is the word of god, not man.

      You see my faith as faith in nothing. I see it as the belief that in all of us there is inherently something good, even though we are all mere animals.

      Well, you’ve contradicted so much right now that it’s hard to really attribute any belief at all to you.

      May 12, 2009 at 2:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      Did my statement of a person’s symbolism being more important than the belief of the person mislead you into thinking that my statement was anyone who thinks like a Christian is therefore a Christian? Because it wasn’t. What I meant was that you can believe in anything and still be a good person if it is your choosing. Being a Christian has nothing to do with it. The Bible is essential to Christianity, but not to monotheism in general. That was the point I was making. I don’t believe in everything the Bible says, but the Bible isn’t the only book that says God exists, is it?

      As for secular reasoning, well, here I thought you’d appreciate a little less religion into the matter. Funny, Christians believe in Jesus Christ, but a lot of the violence in the Bible predated Him. Why then should a Christian follow these rules? And again, after His death, why should a Christian blindly follow men who wrote of Him without ever knowing Him in the first place? I simple follow the teachings that can be reconciled with Jesus said. And maybe whip some stall owners.

      Now, the Book of Laws. Nobody listens to them. Or all of them, at least. But (was it Deutoronomy?) that stated every single offense listed in these books are as great as each other? You already know what I will say about the holiness code.

      And I have mistaken my words, it seems. the Bible has no Authority regarding the true nature of God. Did I believe it had NO moral authority, then I wouldn’t mention Jesus’ teachings. Again, God is not a result of Christianity, but rather, Christianity is the result of the belief in a GOd. So is Islam and Judaism.

      You believe that something which can be interpreted multiple ways means it’s meaningless, I believe it is personal.

      I’m afraid I must leave for tonight. If you could so kindly, point of my contradictions through mail, I will be indebted. Blockpresident@yahoo.com. Have a good night *wave*

      May 12, 2009 at 2:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Did my statement of a person’s symbolism being more important than the belief of the person mislead you into thinking that my statement was anyone who thinks like a Christian is therefore a Christian?

      That’s pretty vague. Obscure, actually. If you mean a message being separate from the messenger, I agree. But one doesn’t need to be a christian, once again, to do the right thing. Do I think that people who donate large sums of money to charity and aren’t christian or religious, even, are christian? No…do you?

      Because it wasn’t. What I meant was that you can believe in anything and still be a good person

      No, that’s not true. You can’t believe ANYTHING and still be a good person. You can’t believe a lot of what is found in the bible and still be a good person.

      Being a Christian has nothing to do with it. The Bible is essential to Christianity, but not to monotheism in general.

      Which I didn’t say…this is a nonsequitur..

      That was the point I was making.

      That the bible isn’t essential to monotheism was the point you were making? That’s peculiar given that you said that believing that the bible is the word of god or even the inspired word of god isn’t essential to being a christian…and that the bible contains no unethical passages and defending cited unethical passages with your own highly unlikely spin.

      I don’t believe in everything the Bible says, but the Bible isn’t the only book that says God exists, is it?

      But you believe some of it, right? LIke that god exists? And in miracles, you’ve said. But man wrote it, according to you, not god…it wasn’t even inspired by god according to you…so why believe it’s true if you don’t believe it has any connection to god? And…once again, if you don’t, then you’re not a christian.

      As for secular reasoning, well, here I thought you’d appreciate a little less religion into the matter. Funny, Christians believe in Jesus Christ, but a lot of the violence in the Bible predated Him.

      And most of it in history post dated him. And a lot of in the bible post dated him, too. Point being?

      Why then should a Christian follow these rules? And again, after His death, why should a Christian blindly follow men who wrote of Him without ever knowing Him in the first place? I simple follow the teachings that can be reconciled with Jesus said. And maybe whip some stall owners.

      And christianity isn’t just the teachings of christ. ANyone who says that isn’t a christian, at least no christian denomination that exists.

      Now, the Book of Laws. Nobody listens to them. Or all of them, at least. But (was it Deutoronomy?) that stated every single offense listed in these books are as great as each other? You already know what I will say about the holiness code.

      But if you’re just going to pick and choose as you have been, why even believe in any of it? You don’t need any of it to be good…don’t answer that, I’m not interested in a vague justification of even vaguer theologies.

      And I have mistaken my words, it seems. the Bible has no Authority regarding the true nature of God.

      If that’s true, you’re not a christian. And also, it basically means that the true nature of god is whatever you say it is…create your own religion. But if you believe that some parts of the bible are true, as you’ve said, then obviously you believe that it does have authority on god’s nature…lol!

      Did I believe it had NO moral authority, then I wouldn’t mention Jesus’ teachings.

      Then the moral authority (which is inspired by god even according to jesus) means that you think it does have authority on god’s intentions and nature. Also, the god you’re referring to–the christian god– or 3-O world creator is also defined as god’s nature…

      Again, God is not a result of Christianity, but rather, Christianity is the result of the belief in a GOd.

      Nah, I think that there’s more evidence that the christian god is the result of christianity than vice versa. In any event belief in god causes religions…yeah…LOL!

      You believe that something which can be interpreted multiple ways means it’s meaningless, I believe it is personal.

      It does, personal or not. IF the same text can be spun to mean something completely different and equally well supported with argument as someone else’s interpretation…it seems pretty clear to me that the text is meaningless.

      May 12, 2009 at 2:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shark
      Shark

      Where did I ever say that you needed to be Christian OR religious to be good? Semantics. Had you understood then you wouldn’t have needed to mention people who donate money.

      And no, it is not a non sequitur. You relate the existence of a God to the sacred text tied to Him. I believe that Sacred text exist because God came before.

      It’s funny that you believe I don’t find anything unethical with the Bible. Just because I explained why the text seemingly promoted something then, doesn’t mean that it’s applicable now.

      As for believing in some of the texts in the Bible, well I certainly believe that the people who wrote it experienced what they did, even if some of them may be exaggerations. It may have not been divinely written, but it was divinely inspired.

      The point then, is that we don’t know what Christ supported or didn’t since a lot of the violence carrie din his name came long before, and after, his supposed existence.

      I’m a Catholic first, agnostic second.

      Now for the Book of Laws, i don’t follow ANY of them – – so selective worship isn’t really a problem. Not shaving? Not a problem. Now should a verse mention that it is an abomination to kill someone, then at the least it reconciles with the message of love presented by Jesus.

      The Bible is not an authority on God, I believe. But it is an approximation on what we expect God to be. Simply put, I think authority is too strong a word for people to use when talking about Something that man could not possibly comprehend.

      I don’t recall, was it Judaism that began so revolutionaries can gain a power base among the poor? Anyhow, I don’t believe God – – Christian or otherwise existed because of religion. Early man has worshipped deities long before they cold comprehend what they were doing.

      Again, you believe it meaningless, I don’t. Really, is there any chance for you and I to convince each other to the contrary?

      May 12, 2009 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Oh, so not the bible’s an approximation of god…mmmkay.

      This is funny. Each time you’re cornered, your story changes and you accuse me of saying things you didn’t say, etc. You spew unclear language to obsfucate…to no avail…and then your religious beliefs evolve…

      I’ll repeat.

      Well, there such a thing as a worthy entity of worship. so when a christian tells me that they worship love, for example, they are, in essence, telling me that they worship an emotion. That is like worshipping, say, gravity. They require absolutely no religious or supernatural beliefs. However, I don’t think that’s what most christians believe. I don’t think that they worship a law of physics or all of them, or a cup or a lump of clay. If they did, they wouldn’t make extravagant claims about their beliefs that are in direct contradiction of such laws of physics we call miracles.

      Religion is bad in and of itself. It purports to have truths about the way the world is in the absence of the actually knowing about the way the world is. If I were to walk to be lost in a forest and wanted to know what vegetation was poisonous and what was not, I hope I wouldn’t be relying on beliefs that had no connection at all to the truth of the matter. Similarly, religion makes claims (christianity does) about the nature of mankind (some people are more worthy than others, and deserve more consideration, etc) and groups of people that have no connection to the fact of the matter. To base ethics, too, on an entirely a priori system (e.g., animals don’t have souls…souls exist…things that don’t have souls have no moral status and one can do with them as one wishes because it’s the same as breaking a pencil…) is, in the case of religion and any other fundamentalist belief system, unethical because it’s based on falsity and a total lack of concern for the best way we have of going about figuring out things (empirical investigation).

      May 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Distingué Traces
      Distingué Traces

      lulz

      Jesus loves you, Tank!

      May 12, 2009 at 9:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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