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What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II

Bee 25 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM
Slag 26 Jan 07 - 02:22 AM
Little Hawk 26 Jan 07 - 02:31 AM
Captain Ginger 26 Jan 07 - 02:37 AM
Georgiansilver 26 Jan 07 - 02:43 AM
Slag 26 Jan 07 - 03:01 AM
Bee 26 Jan 07 - 09:05 AM
Wesley S 26 Jan 07 - 10:45 AM
Wesley S 26 Jan 07 - 10:46 AM
Captain Ginger 26 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM
Georgiansilver 26 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM
Captain Ginger 26 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 07 - 02:54 PM
Georgiansilver 26 Jan 07 - 03:19 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 07 - 03:22 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 07 - 03:35 PM
Bee 26 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM
Captain Ginger 26 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM
Georgiansilver 26 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM
Slag 26 Jan 07 - 05:17 PM
Amos 26 Jan 07 - 06:03 PM
Bill D 26 Jan 07 - 06:18 PM
Greg F. 26 Jan 07 - 06:28 PM
Greg F. 26 Jan 07 - 06:31 PM
Slag 26 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM
Bee 26 Jan 07 - 08:09 PM
Bee 26 Jan 07 - 08:22 PM
Little Hawk 26 Jan 07 - 08:40 PM
Slag 26 Jan 07 - 09:28 PM
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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM

I'm not so certain of that, Slag. It could as easily be argued that without Paul's church-of-the-times diplomacy, the status of women would have climbed faster in the Christian world than it has. The quote from Galations, though direct, in my experience has always been applied to strictly spiritual spheres (You'll get your reward in heaven, dearie), while the rest has been applied to the worldly reality.

As an aside, referring to hermeneutics and other means of dissecting the texts that make up the present Bible: most ordinary church-attending Christians never so much as hear of such studies. The preacher or the priest interprets the text as he (or she, in the case of a few denominations) sees fit; delving into such esoterica would likely get him fired. In fact, I've seen it happen. When I was a teenager, we had a young and progressive minister, for about a year. He was hounded out of the church by the elders, a group of well-meaning but narrowminded old men, who hardly believed him to be a Christian, let alone a fit minister.

The Bible as we know it (meaning the average congregant) is inscrutable; people grasp at the simplist and easiest understood aspects of the text, and out of that Old Testament morass of warrior god and wild-eyed prophets, and the New Testament combination of ultimate bloody sacrifice and resurrection mystery, they take whatever appeals to them individually and is acceptable within their segment of society.

I am not anti-Christian, though it might seem so. My family are staunch, kind, gentle, well-meaning old-fashioned Christians, and I love them, even when my 82 year old mother makes un-nerving statements about homosexuals or asserts the reality of the Flood while watching prehistoric science shows. But there are Christians like Promise Keepers and various Evangelicals out there with an agenda that I feel threatens many freedoms and fosters hatred, while the 'good' Christians remain largely silent.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:22 AM

I do know what you mean! I fight the "sit-tights" too. "We've never done it like THAT!" People tend to be content with what they've been told their whole lives and I honestly think that it must be painful for some folks to think on their own or to even consider something new. It is real easy to read into scripture something that tends to agree with opinions which own you already!

Just look what Christ was up against! No one in authority wanted to hear what he had to say because it challenged the AUTHORITY which they held so dear: not the love of God! Paul admoninished his young protege' Timothy, to "rightly divide the Word" which I take to mean, "Let the Word speak to you and don't try to impress your own ideas upon it."

I find that the study of history helps me to understand the life-situation and culture in which the ancients interacted. It is kind of like an Edmund Husserl "thought experiment" in phenomenology. You try and step outside of your own thinking and any modern insight and see the questions and problems as the ancients saw and understood them. That's a good- take off point for a more realistic understanding.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:31 AM

Never make the mistake of blaming the church on either God or Jesus! ;-) Or the Bible either, for that matter. (in my opinion, that is)

I'm not a bit surprised that the churches are full of misunderstanding and the Bible is full of contradictions. That's what usually happens with such things for one simple reason: way too many different cooks spoiling the soup. Many people wrote the Bible over many centuries of time. Millions of people built the churches over many centuries of time. Many mistakes were made in the process.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:37 AM

Slag, stemming from Bill's comment, it seems clear that y9ouare quite happy as a 21st Century interpreteive Christian. Yet had you declared those beliefs in the past, the mainstream church would have adminished you at best and had you killed as a dangerous feretic at worst. A church which would have done so in the name of the same god and using the same texts as bases for its actions. And even today there are people using those texts to justify manifest injustice - think of the far right and their views on welfare, back by the bible, or the views of racists and slavery supporters, backed by the bible. Or literal fundies, denying science with the backing of the bible. Thay can't all be right!
The problen is one of hermeneutics, and to those of us outside the church it would appear to be as such to be an exercise in semantics; trying to shoehorn rational, enlightened thought and blind faith into the one mind with a series of increasingly desperate interpretations of what god actually meant.
I'm afraid that, were religion not such a serious threat, the process would be laughable.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:43 AM

Captain Ginger..I am currently eating a very delicious apple....this may seem a very simplistic question but please answer anyway. Can you taste my apple?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:01 AM

I have no doubt that I would have been one to go to the stake and the thin veneer of our enlightened civilization affords me not a lot of comfort that it isn't still a very real possibilty even today. Christians are being persecuted and killed all around the world. In this supposedly "Christian" country Christianity is undeer ceaseless attack in the press, in art, television media, on college campuses. Some of the criticism is warranted, no doubt. And there is room for honest debate. But if you are honest you will see that there is an assualt upon the cause of Christ in general. Christians preach tolerance and so its enemies feel that they can attack with impunity. They are much to cowardly to turn the same vile treatment upon Islam because religious freedom and tolerance is not what immediately comes to mind when one thinks of Islam. Christ is a soft target for bullies and cowards.

One little note: God in His Word states "My Spirit will not always strive with the spirit of Man." His "Age of Grace" will not last forever.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 09:05 AM

Slag, people of all sorts are being persecuted and killed all over the world, Christians among them, but I seriously question whether they are more at risk than any others.

When you say 'this country' I assume you mean the US, where I believe 85% of the population is Christian. The 'constant attack' you speak of is therefore from at the most 15% of the population. Frankly, I think most of the attacking (which does not include much violence, while Muslims in the US are in danger of real violence every day) is from people who are afraid of the prospect of being a minority living under an extreme Christian regime.

You say Christians preach tolerance, but the loudest, and under Bush, most influential, Christian sects preach the reduction of rights for women, the denial of rights to homosexuals, and the stifling of art and literature they disapprove.

Islam is certainly more extreme than modern Christianity, but we are not dealing with Islam in NA, their numbers are too small. In the here and now, a study last year in the US found that the vast majority of people (remember that 85% Christian component) stated that they would trust anyone of faith, regardless of what faith, over an atheist. I worry much more about the US moving politically towards a Christian theocracy than about it falling to secularism.

And by the way, what vile treatment is served up to Christians in the US. Surely you aren't referring to a few artists who've mocked Christianity with their works?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 10:45 AM

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/fun/Bizarro.asp?date=20070126


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 10:46 AM

Let's try that again :

A cartoon


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM

That's better - cleaned some of the crap off my keyboard. I was beginning to read as if I came from Hull...

Gerogiansilver; you've lost me with the apple question, I'm afraid. Way too clever for me. Could you spell out in Janet and John terms for the hard of thinking?

Slag; you would have been persecuted by other Christians for your dangerously unorthodix views. And no-one is remotely suggesting that in the western world anyone who calls himself a Christian is at risk. In the USA it would be political suicide for anyone running for office to call himself an atheist. So, I'm sorry, but you're talking twaddle.
I am unaware of any 'hate campaigns' run by atheists. I am aware of plenty by Christians, some directed at homosexuals, some at Muslims and even some at fellow Christians.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 12:45 PM

We would all have been persecuted and possibly killed somewhere, sometime, by someone for the things we presently believe. So what?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 01:30 PM

Captain Ginger...your answer to my question about my apple would have to be no..you cannot taste the apple I am eating.
By the same token, I am a Christian who has had certain experiences as a result of my faith and belief and answers to prayer. You may profess a certain knowledge of 'religions' but you have not tasted my Jesus...you have not understood or experienced what I have.
You suggest that religion is a serious threat...could you please elaborate on that...how do you see Christianity in particular as a threat? What do you understand of what it takes to be or become a Christian?. If you wanted to become one...how would you go about it?
When you become one, how would you be expected to behave?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:40 PM

Captain Ginger...your answer to my question about my apple would have to be no..you cannot taste the apple I am eating.
By the same token, I am a Christian who has had certain experiences as a result of my faith and belief and answers to prayer. You may profess a certain knowledge of 'religions' but you have not tasted my Jesus...you have not understood or experienced what I have.
You suggest that religion is a serious threat...could you please elaborate on that...how do you see Christianity in particular as a threat? What do you understand of what it takes to be or become a Christian?. If you wanted to become one...how would you go about it?
When you become one, how would you be expected to behave?

I can't taste the apple, no. Neither can I hear the voices in your head. I cannot relate to your faith at all, I'm afraid. Full stop. But one does not have to relate to something to have an opinion on it. I'm sure you have strong views on racism, homophobia and anti-semitism, and yet no-one is asking you to experience the point of view of a homophobe, racist or anti-semite.

And yes, I think religion is a serious threat to peace. Across the globe, lines are constantly being drawn up on religious grounds. We seem to be marching deliberately away from reason and the values of the enlightenment, and backwards to a society where it is enough to say 'I believe' and no-one asks for objective proof or scientific demonstration. Where judgements are made on the basis of one's faith. If you think religion is no threat to stability, look at the threads here on Northern Ireland.
For sure there are a lot of people who do good in the name of religion, but I happen to think that religion as an entity is a bad thing, As a species it's something we should have outgrown. It really is time to put away such childish things...


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 02:54 PM

Georgiansilver- I understood immediately what you meant by the apple analogy...but it proves nothing beyond the tautology "if you knew what I experience, you'd know what I experience."

If I take a drug like is in some 'sacred' mushrooms for certain Indian tribes and have a mystical experience, all I can say is.."I had this internal experience" It does **NOTHING** for those who do not choose to eat mushrooms...and might not give them the same experience if they did!

You are essentially saying, "It is necessary to choose to believe in order to believe" ...but for those of us whose concern is less about 'comfort' and 'enlightenment' and more about practical testability, there is little to be gained by 'deciding' to believe.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:19 PM

Bill, you state.."You are essentially saying, "It is necessary to choose to believe in order to believe" ...but for those of us whose concern is less about 'comfort' and 'enlightenment' and more about practical testability, there is little to be gained by 'deciding' to believe". What I am actually saying is not you have to choose to believe to believe....but you have to believe to understand...


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:22 PM

Let me clarify something..I am aware that I cannot experience what you do...nor do I have the incentive to that you mentioned in an earlier post. In fact, I have a brother who had some of the issues you referred to...he drank, tried drugs and had MUCH trouble sorting out his personal life. He felt he NEEDED something outside himself to help him cope and to validate his very existence. A number of years ago, he also chose a religious path, and whatever the 'truth' of it, it DID provide him a focus for his attempt to improve his life.

For this reason, I cannot argue a lot with those who have found personal benefits from the security and community of religious belief...I wish they had found other ways, but it is what it is.
My only concern is keeping the logic in front of everyone that says "there ARE other ways" and resisting the often immense pressure to allow religious principles to determine the very fabric of society, much as happens in places like Iraq, Iran...etc.

For those who HAVE chosen religion as their personal path, I can only with them the best and the assurance that even as I question the basis, I still will defend the RIGHT to worship as they please...privately.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 03:35 PM

we cross-posted.... and to me "believing in order to understand" goes against everything I feel about being true to my own personal attitudes concerning values and knowlege. It is asking someone to 'buy a pig in a poke' when we can't look in the poke until after death to see if the pig was real or just a myth....and at that point, you don't get to ask for a refund...*wry smile*

It isn't fair, you know....if I am right, I don't get to say "I told you so!" in the hereafter...whereas, you can shake your head sadly at ME forever.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

Might I mention that there is something very exasperating to unbelievers about the manner in which Christians try to explain why they believe as they do. The number of times I've been told "Jesus came into my heart", "God revealed himself to me", "I had a personal revelation", etc., all seemingly attempts to describe their moment of conversion or point of salvation. They always describe it as sudden, unbidden, unexpected, often after being away from religion for years - which would be fine if they didn't go on to insist, first off, it is my own fault that no such religious experience has yet to electrify my being (no faith, even though they didn't have any before their 'experience'), and then secondly tell me no doubt God will one day announce his presence in me and I'll understand, and until then I should look into having faith.

Well, in that case, why hasn't he long ago announced himself to me in such certain terms? Why go about ignoring me completely for the 25 or so years I had faith of some kind? Some Christians even tell me (sadly, to be sure) that God doesn't reveal himself to everyone.

Christian faith is belief in the supernatural experience of a supreme being (plus baggage), and apparently you have to be chosen. I'm sorry, I got over 'choosies' in elementary school.

Now the above was a rant, a personal rant. In everyday life I treat people as individuals and don't ask for their religious bent, although the JWs and my Gospel Hall cousins don't offer me the same courtesy. The Mormons, bless their little blond hearts, don't come this far out in the woods.

And I, too would defend your right to believe whatever you care to, and will even admire some aspects of Christianity, or Islam, or Hinduism, so long as you don't interfere with my unbelief.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

It does make one wonder if, in the last glimmerings of consciousness before the eternal nothingness, there isn't sometimes in the devout a tiny, internalised and unheard squeak of "Oh crap, did I get that one wrong..." before the lights go out!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM

Bee. You suggest that you have to be 'chosen' but to the contrary, you have to choose...everyone has the choice of their path in life. I just hope everyone seeks their destiny, whatever it is and does not talk themselves out of anything without full knowledge of what they are actually talking themselves out of.
There have been many aspects of my life where I was a non-Christian and in trouble or strife of some sort and when at a very low ebb, I used to pray to God for help...I even tried bargaining..you know the sort of thing...God if you get me out of this I will.....whatever!
I never questioned why I prayed at those times but now I understand why I did. I believe it was an instinct.....no-one had taught me to do it. Have you ever prayed in those circumstances? Who told you to? Why did you?.
I don't see myself as better than others but I do feel privileged to be a part of a Christian family with God as the head. It is not harming anyone else and does me a power of good. After some of the trauma I have suffered in my life, life now seems so much easier and much less problematic.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 05:17 PM

This discussion is certainly far ranging and probably well beyond the scope or intent of the thread title. A lot of the issues raised involve debates that have been going on for literally hundreds of years. Virtually every aspect of well established religions raise questions, debates and divisions. This is true of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, the Democratic Party and Nader's Raiders. And I'm not intentionally ignoring the Republicans. It's just that they are so fractured right now that they don't know what they believe anymore.

I do, however, want to address the points Bee brought up:

"When you say 'this country' I assume you mean the US, where I believe 85% of the population is Christian. The 'constant attack' you speak of is therefore from at the most 15% of the population. Frankly, I think most of the attacking (which does not include much violence, while Muslims in the US are in danger of real violence every day) is from people who are afraid of the prospect of being a minority living under an extreme Christian regime."

Apart from Christians attacking Christians (which certainly does go on) the media, especially the print does have a "bully pulpit" and the anti-Christian rhetoric dominates favorable review. The attacks are mostly ideological but churches and synagogues are sometimes targeted, burned or vandalized. One of the point made on the "Hitler" thread was that a minority that was organized and focused seized control of the majority and control of Germany. The leading cause was the issue of what to do with those evil Jews. In America today, if you say the word "Fundamentalist" it conjures up the notions of wild-eyed radical, militias, etc.: just about anything except what a Christian fundamentalist really is.

"You say Christians preach tolerance, but the loudest, and under Bush, most influential, Christian sects preach the reduction of rights for women, the denial of rights to homosexuals, and the stifling of art and literature they disapprove."

You fail to name that "loudest and most influential sect" either "under Bush" or to which he belongs so I really don't know of which you speak. Southern Baptists? I think Mr. Bush is a Methodist and which version of Methodism? Nor do I recall any but one's (Bill Gothard, certainly NOT mainstream OR influential) religious camp that advocates a reduction in women's rights. See what I mean about getting bad press?? You are reacting to things you have heard about Christianity that are not necessarily true and certainly not true about mainstream Christianity.

And I think most Christians, except for thirty or so from around Kansas or Texas (you know, the ones on the 6 o'clock news all the time) believe in equal rights for everyone including homosexually oriented folks. Most of us understand that if any minority group doesn't have rights, none of us really have any rights.

And as far as "art" goes, there you may have me. I can't cal soaking a Christian cross in a bottle of urine art. I can't accept a depiction of the Virgin Mary covered with cow shit art. So call me an art critic. What do you really suppose the aim of this art was? Was it to beautify? Educate? Enlighten? Or was it to provoke? Was it to literally heap as much shit upon Christians and imagery as they could, to what? Test their tolerance? Consider something or someone YOU hold dear receiving the same treatment. How tolerant are you?


"Islam is certainly more extreme than modern Christianity, but we are not dealing with Islam in NA, their numbers are too small. In the here and now, a study last year in the US found that the vast majority of people (remember that 85% Christian component) stated that they would trust anyone of faith, regardless of what faith, over an atheist. I worry much more about the US moving politically towards a Christian theocracy than about it falling to secularism."

If the US was ever to become a theocracy that would have happened early in its history. A "Christian Nation" was a much more applicable term during the 1800's thatn today. Your 85% figure which I won't dispute covers such a broad spectrum of belief about the person and teachings of Christ that those beliefs vis a vis their proponents are incompatable to each other. I look no farther than denominationalism for proof. If your 85% were organized and in lock-step as you suggest, this nation would have a very different appearance than it does today.

Your points do represent how many people view and think about the Christian religion: prejudicial, biased and very generalized which is to say not a fair characterization at all.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:03 PM

I think a post I wrote earlier got eaten in transit. It said that it is a misapprehension to call this a Christian nation. It was not founded in terms of Christianity, or to promote Christians, but to promote the well-being and self-determination of humans. To color it as one or another brand of Xian or any other religious hue is to ignore what motivated the grand Experiment of 1776 to occur at all.

I would hazard that the number of people that call themselves Christian out of genuine conviction is probably much smaller than the number who allow themselves the label because they have been intimidated into it by social pressure, emotional blackmail, or cognitive abuse.

But in the final analysis the number of citizens of the country who are Christian, Jayne, Buddhist or Zorastrianism has nothing to do with the "country" as a nation. Its politics have been clearly delineated as separate and independent from individual religious persuasions, and the violation of that principle is the biggest insult the present administration has brought to burden the system with, aside from wreaking havoc on foreign nations irresponsibly. Whatever an American citizen thinks about religious matters has NO business in the commons.



A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:18 PM

durn, Slag...I used to live in Kansas, and I'm purty sure there were a few more than thirty...*grin*...and some of 'em followed me!

(as to 'art'...I don't consider that cross business artistic at all, no matter what its intent was...but that's kind of a 'straw man'.

I don't do out of my way to FIND Christians and knock on their doors to UNsave their souls...nor do I stand on street corners and exhort them to give up their beliefs. I'd like the same respect.
I do know Christians with whom the subject almost never comes up except when comparing schedules ..."Can't meet you till after services" "Oh, ok"...I know basically what they think...and they know I don't attend church. No one tries to 'sell' anything. But, please...do not make light of folks like the guy in Washington state who is harassing the school board using religious arguments...or the school boards who are trying to USE (Christian) classroom prayer despite rulings against it and with disdain for the feeling of non-Christians.

I am a member of a group which has NO religious concerns, but is largely made up of Christians, some of whom are determined to "thank Jesus" before every meeting & meal....one Jewish member has learned to head to the restroom at the proper moment.

It is insideous and it is constant and it is intentional,...and it is wrong.....if God cares about prayers, he will hear their prayers if they do it silently and quietly.

We folks of varying opinions CAN respect each other....I reject the nasty, hateful Atheism of the Madeline O'Hairs...I hope moderate Christians will reject the pushy attitudes of the TV evangelists and others.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:28 PM

In this supposedly "Christian" country Christianity is undeer ceaseless attack ...

Absolutely untrue. Bogus.

But mindless intolerant fundagelical proselytizing arseholes POSING as Christians are "undeer attack" - as they should be.

Jalapeño, brother.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 06:31 PM

Or, as our local minister had it some years back:

"Jesus came to take away our sins, not our brains."


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:01 PM

I remember a fellow in our neighborhood who had a sign on his front porch that said "No Solicitors, this includes you Jehova's Witnesses". Sometimes you just have to spell it out for people. I don't know id they still do but at one time the JWs ( who always had someone at the end of the street watching) would walk off a little ways down the street and take off their shoes and beat them together as a sign that God had rejected you for rejecting His messengers. This accrued some sort of spiritual favor for them in their belief system.

I do believe in evangelism. By that I mean making the body of my beliefs available to any and all. I DON"T believe in invading someone's personal space, family home, privacy, etc, and cramming my beliefs or philosophy down their throats. Most folks know which street the church is on, what channel to tune in or who the pastor is. I trust God enough to lead you that far. Then there is always the Yellow Pages!

Just to throw a different slant on these proceedings, try this. Imagine YOU are the Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent. All of Creation (both noun and verb) is Yours. What do you do for fun? How do You cope with Eternal Boredom staring You in the Eye? What story will You write? What responsibilities do You assume? What do You owe Your creation? What does Your creation owe you? How will You manifest Yourself or will You? So, go ahead but be careful. Your creatures are just waiting for the chance to tell You how You got it WRONG! This may be juice for another thread. If so "So be it, Amen!"

Footnote: Thank you for pointing out one typo I missed. Heavy fingers, you know. I knew you had to be a kind soul of great undeeeerstanding.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:09 PM

Hi, Slag'

I really don't want this to get out of hand and cause hurt feelings: I do tend to enjoy arguing.

I am in Canada, and don't see US print media, so you have me there. But I see more than enough American news television, and frankly don't recall seeing any anti-Christian rhetoric. Au contraire, my impression is that news people and commentors frequently mention God, praying, and miracles (which is less likely on any Canadian news). I would really like to see stats on vandalism of churches/synagogues AND mosques: I realize they might be hard to come by. At least can you describe these "ideological attacks"?

Of course it happens, it does here on occasion. Synagogues and sometimes mosques are vandalized by white power/neonazi idiots, who usually self-identify as Christians. Most vandalism of Christian venues is done by thieves and young idiots who think overturning gravestones is funny.

My notion of a Fundamentalist Christian includes the following: believes in Biblical inerrancy, therefore believes among other things: in a 7 day creation including Eve from a rib; in a global Flood; in a young earth; in homosexuality as an abomination; in women submitting to men; and also opposes on moral grounds abortion, same sex marriage, books with 'magical' themes (or homosexual themes, or evolution supporting themes, etc.). Twenty or thirty? You really ought to go read a few of the more gigantic American Christian forums. An eye-opener.

Quote: "You fail to name that "loudest and most influential sect" either "under Bush"

I said 'sects', not 'sect', and Bush's Methodism is secondary to his constant references to God, talking to God, and his obvious early efforts to elicit approval from the Christian Right: if there is no such thing, and has no influence, why seek its votes? Those non-existent people almost got an anti same sex marriage law passed, did they not?

You know better what is going on in your own country, but, media spin or not, people around the world see, or at least their perception is, that a huge percentage of Americans are very religious, don't think evolution is true, still favour use of the death penalty, and as a nation are insular and uneducated about the world.

I knew that was the art you were thinking of - now really, out of the millions of artworks produced that year, one artist's output was disgusting and blasphemous. I hardly see that as a trend. I hardly saw it as art at the time, either, but that's beside the point. Of course it was done to provoke, and was in extremely bad taste, but you know what? I am much more repulsed by graphic televised depictions of rape, murder and mutilation - it literally makes me feel ill. I don't plan to try to ban such depictions, however.

Quote: "Your points do represent how many people view and think about the Christian religion: prejudicial, biased and very generalized which is to say not a fair characterization at all."

Slag, I could as easily accuse you of the same, in that you seem to see no harm in any of it. Perhaps we'd best get back to talkin' music. ;-)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:22 PM

Da-yum, all them posts while I laboriously composed that last one. Regarding the JWs, we have a local Kingdom Hall. Last ones who came around, mother and daughter. She got started: "Have you seen what is going on in the World toda-Ooo, are those ducks!?" We had a great talk about mergansers and goldeneyes.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 08:40 PM

I've had several friends over the years who were Jehovah's Witnesses. Their religious assumptions puzzled me, but they were fine people in most respects, people of excellent character. I don't indentify with their zeal to go forth and convert, but I do enjoy knowing them simply as other people.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 26 Jan 07 - 09:28 PM

God forbid the Mr. Bush should reference his faith in God! Many of our leaders have done the same in the past. It seems that the problem is Mr. Bush's God may be a Republican and, well, we just can't have that!

I love sporting events where one team prays and then the other team prays!!! Wow! Who's God is going to win??? These are great contests and they have the potential to resolve many theological questions! When FDR prayed and ask the nation to pray God must have heard him. Lots of jobs were found and we won the war! And that's odd because Mr. Lincoln was always talking about God and praying and stuff and he won his war and he was a Republican!

Personally I believe marriage is an institution of God between a man and a woman. I also believe between a separation between church and state and I believe the state has NO business being involved in Christian marriage at all. So. If you want a secular or state marriage fine! If you want to marry someone of the same sex and you want the state to sanction it, be my guest. Call it what you want as it has nothing to do with my personal or religious beliefs. If it is a question of "Rights" however then I DO agree. Equal rights for all under the law. I don't get to excited about the marriage question as it has never been clearly defined historically.. Polygamy has been the dominate historical form of marriage. There are no Biblical formulae for marriage. There are some indicaitons of cultural traditions. Sexual intercourse as consummation seems to be the standard. All that is held near and dear today are actually fairly recent developments in the history of the institution of marriage.

How did God Create? I dunno. I wasn't there. I don't know of anyone else who was there. Adam came along at the end of the deal so what would he know? What did he care? Was God's process (which, gasp, certainly included adaptions and flexibility, i.e., evolution) so important that the disposition of my eternal soul hinges upon it? I think NOT. Especially since He didn't include a chapter in His book (the Bible) titled "How I DID It!" Got to leave some bones for the scientists to scrap over. They should have some fun trying to unravel His mysteries.

If you start with the proposition "In the beginning God..." it could ALL be true, just they way it is set forth in Scripture. Why can't God have a little fun? I contend that there are much more important questions to consider.

I think some Christian folks get their focus off onto relatively unimportant things and wind up looking ridiculous. The important things are fair and just and love-centered treatment of our fellow man (which includes you ladies too!). If Christians would only keep that in mind I don't think anyone anywhere would have much negative to say about them as a group.

LH, gotta couple of JW friends myself. Good solid people and I have received some much needed help from one of them in times passed.


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