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BS: The Religious Left

Greg F. 28 Jan 05 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,Com Seangan 28 Jan 05 - 04:13 PM
Jim Tailor 28 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jan 05 - 04:20 PM
Jim Tailor 28 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Frank 28 Jan 05 - 05:03 PM
Once Famous 28 Jan 05 - 05:36 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jan 05 - 05:47 PM
Once Famous 28 Jan 05 - 05:48 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM
Rapparee 28 Jan 05 - 06:00 PM
PoppaGator 28 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Jan 05 - 06:16 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jan 05 - 06:20 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jan 05 - 06:36 PM
frogprince 28 Jan 05 - 07:37 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jan 05 - 07:52 PM
Burke 28 Jan 05 - 08:47 PM
frogprince 28 Jan 05 - 09:28 PM
Little Hawk 28 Jan 05 - 10:37 PM
robomatic 29 Jan 05 - 06:48 AM
Jim Tailor 29 Jan 05 - 07:23 AM
Little Hawk 29 Jan 05 - 11:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jan 05 - 12:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 12:32 PM
Bill D 29 Jan 05 - 12:48 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 01:25 PM
Bill D 29 Jan 05 - 02:00 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 02:05 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 05 - 02:14 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 02:26 PM
Jim Tailor 29 Jan 05 - 02:33 PM
akenaton 29 Jan 05 - 03:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 03:43 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM
Little Hawk 29 Jan 05 - 04:30 PM
Greg F. 29 Jan 05 - 05:25 PM
akenaton 29 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM
Jim Tailor 29 Jan 05 - 05:44 PM
Bill D 29 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM
Amos 29 Jan 05 - 06:15 PM
Bill D 29 Jan 05 - 06:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 05 - 06:28 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jan 05 - 06:38 PM
Jim Tailor 29 Jan 05 - 06:42 PM
Greg F. 29 Jan 05 - 06:44 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 04:02 PM

" overwhelmingly majority...belief system (just like any other closed community might develop)--"


Hmmm....... majority belief system......closed community.........

You mean like certain strains of 'Christians' or possibly right-wing Republicans?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 04:13 PM

"Jesus Christ did not try to appropriate the power of the state to impose His views on everyone (as do today's right-wingers who profess to be His followers). Authoritarianism of any kind was never part of His message".

Well said Popogator. I hadn't heard it put that way before. Hard to contradict.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM

"You mean like certain strains of 'Christians' or possibly right-wing Republicans?"

I think I covered that ground, GregF, when I said...

"just like any other closed community might develop"

But if it makes you feel better to bring it up yet again, have at it m'man!

Have a nice evening!

Brucie,

Of course I know I was overstating the case to make the point. Thankfully, you've been gracious enough to show that you know exactly what I meant, even if overstated.

Of course I see the disagreements among those on the left here. I also see 1. lots of unchallenged, cliche'ed rhetoric -- accepted because of the make-up of this community, however incidental or accidental, allows for it, and 2. a very high degree of that familial kind of protectionism (for want of a better word), not unlike two brothers who fight like cats'n'dogs -- until an interloper happens to challenge -- then blood is thicker than water....or in this case, "mud is thicker than water".

Okay....even I'm groaning at that one.

Have a very pleasant eveining, sir!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 04:20 PM

Yes, Martin, the Nazis DID claim to follow Jesus, Hitler claimed to follow Jesus, but that is not Jesus' fault. :-) Everyone in European civilization has been claiming to follow Jesus no matter what horrific things they did, ever since the Roman Emperor Constantine. Everyone except the Communists and the Jews, that is. Perhaps that is why Hitler linked Communists and Jews as the principle "enemies" of mankind. If so, it is certainly the height of irony, wouldn't you say?

I love you too, Martin. You're okay with me. I'm not anti-semitic, I'm anti-Zionist. And I am against genocide, no matter who practices it. The Nazis practiced it. The Israelites practiced it, when they entered what they called "the promised land" and wiped out Jericho and all those other places, and beat out the brains of the children even. That's genocide. I don't approve of it. I do not suggest that all Jews today are guilty of it or that it is an intrinsically Jewish trait. It's not. I am simply saying that it happened. It's in your holy books. It happened.

What is the qualitative difference between asserting that your own nation is "God's Chosen" and asserting that your own nation is the "Master Race"? The Jews used the first term in their holy books, the Nazis used the second in their propaganda.

I don't see how you can feel comfortable with a God that is as vengeful, demanding, and punitive as Jehovah. I would not dream of worshipping or believing in such a God, and that is why I only went to Sunday school ONCE, and never went back. I became a confirmed atheist when I was a child and an adolescent, precisely because of the grotesque stuff I encountered in the Old Testament. I could not believe it or stomach it. It was sick and horrible.

I later came to find spiritual meaning in life that goes beyond organized religions or cultural boundaries, and it includes all people, with no Master Race set apart from the rest.

I don't have any problem with Jesus having been a Jew, or "looking like a Jew", whatever that means...? Fine with me. Bob Dylan is a Jew, and I love Bob Dylan, so why not Jesus?

You know, you have the choice to interpret my opinion as anti-semitism if you want to, but you may be mistaken about that. Is it possible to criticize wrongful behaviour by some Jews at some points in history and not be anti-semitic? I certainly hope so! Otherwise, we are living under some kind of Orwellian thought control, under which Jews are given a special status and are beyond criticism no matter WHAT they do. I suspect that the real business of the so-called anti-defamation league is...defamation. They are enforcing thought control and silence by means of fear. What better way to destroy the career of any public figure than to label him as an "anti-semite"? It's the same dirty tactic Joe McCarthy used when he labelled people as Communists or fellow-travelers...just because he wanted to destroy them. It's dishonest, it's self-serving, it's paranoid, and it's wrong.

I am not going to live in fear and silence because some particular bunch of people have decided that they, and only they, are beyond criticism...no matter what.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM

"Jesus Christ did not try to appropriate the power of the state to impose His views on everyone (as do today's right-wingers who profess to be His followers). Authoritarianism of any kind was never part of His message".

Those on the Christian Right with whom I am familiar do not disagree with this statement. (Except, obviously that parentetical part *grin*).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:03 PM

Jerry,

I believe in the Separation of Church and State. I believe with Jefferson when he says,
" I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." He went on to say,"The blasphemy and absurdity of the five points of Calvin, and the impossiblity of defending them, render their advocates impatient of reasoning, irritable and prone to denunciation."

Jefferson was persecuted by the Theocratic Fascists of his day and denounced as an "anti-Christ", "French infidel", "a howling atheist".
Does this remind anyone of today?

It's interesting that Bill Clinton's middle name was Jefferson and he also was hounded by the Christo-fascists.

I believe in Jefferson's ideal, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion"…………

As much as I like Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo,
I am concerned about a Religious Left because is leaves non-believers out of the dialogue.

Washington has this to say about Christianity.
In the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796 (article 11)
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…….."and he goes on to state that the U.S. has never entered into a war or emnity toward Mohammedanism (Muslims).

I believe that the Left must be open to all persuasions, believer and non-believer and not co-opted by religious Christian fanatics that are found today among the so-called Right.

Dr. King found that many African-Americans were turned off by a Christian orientation in the Civil Rights Movement.

Ghandi was a Hindu (though some Christians thought him more Christian than most Christians) and Jesus was a Palestinian Jew.

Therefore, Left or Right, religion should be separated from politics as stated in the Constitution. That doesn't mean that politically aware people need to give up their religion but it must not be overarching as to diminish other forms some of which may be secular.

Sydney Carter wrote a song about George Fox, founder of the Quakers. A line reads:
"'Will you swear on the Bible, I will not', said he. For the Truth is as holy as the Book to me."

Why should the truth be restricted to any particular persuasion, religious or not?

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Once Famous
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:36 PM

Sorry, Little Hawk. zionism and Judiasm go hand in hand.

personally, we know that we are the chosen people.

We said it first. You can be as jealous as you want. As usual, we are dispised because we have the highest education and income of any group per capita. We run Hollywood, the media, business, and finance.
We got to where we are because we worked hard and had some brains.

You can knock our God if you want, but I always thought that the God of the Jews was the same God as the Christians had. We just didn't need Jesus to help us understand him. I think Jesus was a good MAN, but nothing more than that. His mother got knocked up the same way any woman does. Jesus is pretty close to being out of business, I think.

you can be an atheist all you want, Little hawk. Plenty like you found religion on their deathbed.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM

I want to qualify what I mean by "anti-Zionist" before anyone jumps on that and claims that it means I favour the destruction of Israel...

I do not favour the destruction of Israel, and I am in support of the continued existence of Israel as a self-governing nation, within the boundaries established in 1948.

I am not in favour of Israel's attacks and incursions on its immediate neighbours, I am not in favour of continued expansion of Israel's territory by war or settlement, I am not in favour of Israel's occupation of the Left Bank or Gaza or the Golan Heights or any part of Lebanon. I am not in favour of Israel's penchant for launching military reprisals against civilian populations. I am not in favour of Ariel Sharon's aggressive political policies. I am not in favour of what amounts to an apartheid policy within the state of Israel.

I am in favour of establishing a Palestinian homeland, and compensating Palestinians to some extent for the past 50+ years of land theft by Zionists.

I am in favour of cessation of all terrorist attacks by anyone upon Israel...or anyone else.

I am in favour of guaranteeing Israel's right to exist as a sovereign state within the 1948 borders.

I am in favour of any Israeli citizen (and there are many) who opposes the punitive policies of the Sharon government and seeks a peaceful settlement with Arabs and Palestinians rather than seeking further vengeance and retaliation.

I likewise am in favour of any Arabs and Palestinians who oppose the punitive policies of terrorist factions, and who seek peaceful coexistence with Israel rather than seeking further vengeance and retaliation.

I am in favour of those on both sides who would live and let live.

I do not regard that as being unreasonably idealistic, I regard it as being sane.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:47 PM

Hey, Frank:

If you read my posts you'll see that I am in 100% agreement with your last post. I believe strongly in the separation of church and state, I believe as Jefferson did that there should be no laws passed establishing a religion, and I believe that the Christian Left (which doesn't actually even exist as some form of formal group) is just one part of a larger group of people of all faiths, as well as Atheists and Agnostics who take our constitution seriously and are dedicated to trying to live by it.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Once Famous
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:48 PM

somebody I heard equated the size of Israel to the rest of the middle east to a matchbook on a football field.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM

I'm not an atheist NOW, Martin. :-) Just when I was a kid. I pray to God every day...I just don't pray to the pet God of some organized religion. I pray to the God that existed long before there WERE any organized religions...that God has no denomination.

And you are NOT the Chosen People. No one is. But, if you want to think you are, that's up to you. The Jews are most certainly not the first who have thought so! I think the Egyptians also thought so, and the Japanese, and the Chinese, and probably the Babylonians and Persians and the Romans and the Greeks and the Vikings and just about everybody else too. LOL! It was actually a VERY common presumption in the ancient World, probably THE original boastful assumption of all time.

EVERY primitive tribe imagines itself to be God's "special" people, his Chosen. You weren't the first, Martin. I can guaran-dam-tee it! But I sure hope that you are the last.

And, yes, of course the Christian God and the Jewish God are the same God...but I am suggesting that the picture the Old Testament paints regarding the nature of God is faulty.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:00 PM

And because I do respect others, those who do not accept what is called "Christianity", I tried very hard to reflect in my statement that was not addressed to them.

Yeshua and his teachings mean little to an animist, or a Shintoist, or a Wiccan. And yet...and yet...my readings in these and other religions show an interesting overlap with the teachings of Yeshua and, yes, the "Old Testament."

Don't kill without necessity. Don't steal. Treat others as you'd like to be treated. Respect your neighbor.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM

GUEST,Frank mentioned Jim Wallis in passing a few posts earlier; I'm not sure, but I don't think this author had been mentioned here previously.

I don't know much about this person, but saw him briefly on TV a couple of days ago. (I tuned in when the interview was almost over.) All I know about him is the title of his new book, which makes LOTS of sense to me:

"God's Politics:
Why the Right Gets It Wrong and
the Left Doesn't Get It"

I suspect that many of us on both sides of this little debate would find much to agree with in this book, which is prominently displayed and discussed (for the time being) at the Sojourners web site to which CarolC provided a link on 27 Jan 05 - 05:15 PM (above).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:16 PM

of course the Christian God and the Jewish God are the same God And that goes for the Muslims as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:20 PM

So true, Kevin: That's why when we have a family gathering and say Grace, our Muslim sons are comfortable giving thanks to Allah. They know it is the same God. Probably why I can sing gospel at a Jewish Home For The Aged (although most of the people there are Christian)
God is inclusive.. not exclusive.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 06:36 PM

Yes, it certainly does, Kevin. Also goes for the Hindus, the Bahais, the Buddhists (although their understanding of it is less anthropomorphic), the Janes, the Sikhs, the Native American Shamans, the Wiccans, the Druids, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, the Zoroastrians, and whoever else is out there.

They all have their own way of talking about it, of course. And THAT's what they tend to argue about!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: frogprince
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 07:37 PM

"the Christian Left... doesn't actually even exist as some form of formal group" (Jerry R.)
And, so far as I ever saw, never tried to; unlike the right, with numerous groups blatantly trying to re-create the United States in their own image.
Martin, you put us in an impossible position; unless we say you are superior to us, by God's own decree, we are ant-semetic hatemongers. A few years ago I heard a despicable "Christian" clergyman stand up and say "Jews don't love their children the way Christians do" (Because they don't have the spirit of God working in them in the same way). I had considered joining that church, but I knew at that moment I never would. Numerous people here have said in effect that we believe Jews are as good and valuable in God's sight as any other people on earth. How can you construe that as anti-semetism?
    Dean.(My name, not just something I come here under to play around.)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 07:52 PM

Exactly. I consider Jews to be of the same value as any other people. I believe in equality and brotherhood, not a Master Race or a Chosen People. I don't care what it says in some ancient book that was written by God knows who in some little tribe 3 or 4 thousand years ago, I care about what's happening right now. We need equality, not a Master Race. I do not envy Jews who have accomplished great things in entertainment, media, commerce, or whatever. What's to envy? I admire them for it, like I admire anyone who is good at doing something worthwhile.

Joan Baez said in her book that when she sees great talent she does not feel envious, she gets excited and inspired by it. That's how I feel. The only people I remember envying were guys who got to go out with girls I liked when I was a youngster! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Burke
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 08:47 PM

I hesitate to enter here, but I want to correct the idea that the Religious Left ignores the Hebrew scriptures.

Writings available from organizations such as Sojourners & The Other Side are in fact steeped in the language of the Hebrew Prophets such as Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: frogprince
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 09:28 PM

Thanks for throwing that in, Burke. Years ago someone from the "R.L." side asked Billy Graham why he preached little or nothing from the prophets, with their calls for justice and social compassion. Graham said (approximate but accurate) "I'm a New Testament evangelist, not an Old Testament prophet". It's hard not to slip into simplification of a complex picture. L.H., if you take another look at the prophets, you might see why a lot of us don't want to toss out the Old Testament lock stock and barrel; there are things there that "Yeshua" (however we anglocize his name) repudiated, and there are things that he embraced , reinforced, and passed on.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Jan 05 - 10:37 PM

Agreed, Frogprince and Burke. Good point made! I do not deny the entire Old Testament by any means, I just object to the more negative parts of it. There are some magnificent and inspired sections in the Old Testament. It's the portrayal of a wrathful, angry, vengeful God that I am not in sympathy with. Such a God makes no sense to me. Such a God would merely be a mirror image of the very worst in human nature, and the worst in human nature is rooted in fear. I hardly think that God is fearful or jealous or anything like that...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:48 AM

Paraphrasing Will Rogers I'll say that I don't belong to an organized religion. I'm Jewish.

As for the old Testament new Testament debate, I'll remind y'all of the obvious. Jews don't have either. We have 'The'.

By the same selective quotations and analysis that is represented here, one can try to use the OT or NT, and probably the Koran, the Bhavagad-kita to argue for harsh punishment, lenient punishment, pro and anti-Darwinism, pro and anti socialism, pretty much anything you have set your mind to. If you look you will find Jews all over the political spectrum, even in this thread perhaps.

What has always impressed me about the 'OT' is what I regard its frankness. It starts right out with narrative that does not stint from acknowledging incest, wife stealing, murder. It lays before you fraternal strife and reconciliation, notions of tribal organization, and the harshness and forgiveness inherent in God.

I do not find the OT to be 'defacto' conservative. I find it to be honest.

I do not find the NT (which I have read on a superficial level) to be half so engaging, because I see it as a brochure. It's trying to sell me on Christ's teachings by way of his 'closer than thou' relation to the deity. I don't think it captures human nature in the raw half so well as the OT. Most of what Jesus has to say is perceptive but not brilliant, and he doesn't say all that needs to be said. From my point of view, naturally, he doesn't fulfill prophecy. Those arguments invariably try to define the prophecy to prove the deity rather than the other way around, which is like shooting the arrow and then drawing the target around it.

I depart from most Jews, and Christians and Muslims in that I don't expect our problems to be taken in hand from the outside. the concept of Messiah as a separate being is I think a real problem for the world.

I think WE are the Messiah. If not now, hopefully soon. We need to see the messiah in ourselves and others, not some imposed outside being.

I didn't invent any of this. A lot of people from all backgrounds are coming to similar conclusions. I value my religion and respect that of others, for we all have more in common with the above concepts regardless of what they call themselves. It's the narrow minded folk with the very tiny heavens I disagree with.

I have arrived at using the language of science as a standard while trying not to forget that one can make a false god out of anything. ANYTHING.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 07:23 AM

Very interesting post, robomatic.

So much of it I like -- your New/Old contrast and analysis is interesting. And even as a Christian I find this statement, "Most of what Jesus has to say is perceptive but not brilliant, and he doesn't say all that needs to be said." , to be curiously accurate. Though I might give Jesus more credit than you do for his insight and wisdom, my take on Jesus' "ministry" would very much coincide with your perception...

....because, to the Christian (as I understand it), Jesus mission was to sacrifice himself. He was a propitiation. He was the providence of grace.

But that contrast parallels nicely with modern day characterization of those who would call themselves "Christian".

For some, "Christian" is a noun. For others, "Christian" is an adjective. If one refers to themselves as "Christian", meaning the former, it is likely that they, like me, are somewhat uncomfortable with the appellation because, though they are grateful as can be for the grace that "nouns" them a Christian, they are painfully aware that their behavior so rarely "adjectives" them as "Christian" -- and they (I) know that there is no excuse for the gap -- other than still being human.

Others who call themselves "Christian" reject the noun aspect altogether -- there is no grace because none is necessary -- there is nothing from which to be "graced". But they like what they believe are the teachings of Jesus -- and in that vaguely intellectualized way, choose to follow that concept philosophically -- like following the golden rule as best they can.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 11:41 AM

I pretty much agree with you, robomatic. Very good post. We ARE the Messiah, in that we must save ourselves. The responsibility is entirely upon us to make of our lives the best that we can. That which will save us is the best that lies latent within us...not some miracle that is going to descend out of the sky and to it for us.

And as you say, people can make a false god out of ANYTHING. They do it all the time. Money, sex, riches, power, prestige, popularity, fame, patriotism, weapons, titles, military supremacy, political theory, technology, professional status...the list is endless.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM

Seein's as how I started this thread, I'll just toss in that I believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that he died on the cross for me, and that without him I don't have a chance in Hell. Or, let me restate that. I have an excellent chance in Hell. :-)

Just my faith... No way to prove it, and if you can prove something, it isn't faith.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:12 PM

Then for you, Jerry, Jesus Christ is that highest potential within you that will save you. He lives within you and guides you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:32 PM

Thanks, Little Hawk. You are a kindred spirit, and my brother. For all the battles that rage about faith in here, it seems like the ultimate oxymoron to talk about proving faith. The best each of us can do is to follow our faith and respect that of others.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:48 PM

"... and that without him I don't have a chance in Hell. Or, let me restate that. I have an excellent chance in Hell. :-)"


doesn't bode well for the likes of me, does it Jerry? no matter how much you like me or respect my way of living. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM

As Jesus instructed people not to judge others, Bill, I don't think Jerry would be inclined to cast judgement on you. He is attending to his own spiritual development, not yours.

Why feel threatened by his faith? What you are really saying is that his way isn't reasonable, and he should see it your way. Or I think that's what you seem to be implying, anyway. Thus, are you not doing what you think he's doing, and prosyletizing?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 01:25 PM

No, Bill: I'm not talking about you, or anyone who doesn't believe in God. The God I love is infinitely merciful and IS love. I think that you are a good man, and I have a great respect for you. In the long run, we are only responsible for ourselves. I am not in the judgment business. I am not equipped for it, and it isn't my responsibility.

In here, no matter how much of a patina of intellect and reason we all apply to our posts, we all end up talking about (and revealing) ourselves.

Far as I know Bill, I'll see you in Heaven. And won't that be a surprise when you get there? We'll have a big laugh about it. I have a son who doesn't believe in God either. I expect to see him too.

And, the concept or reality of heaven or Hell doesn't motivate me. Fear doesn't either. Or ignorance or a lack of intellectual capacity.

It's love what does it.

Love knows no season, and it is unconditional.

And universal.

Love you, Bill..

You're my brother, too.. sure as you're born.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:00 PM

I sent LH a private reply to his post...

and Jerry, I agree with most of what you say about 'revealing ourselves' in here. I happen to think we should often reveal a bit less than we do...but *shrug*...we all have different public personas.

I am eternally curious about how I might get to Heaven without the requisite faith(maybe there are Left Wing branches for reprobates like me?)...but it IS important to me that I not be viewed as a lesser person for NOT believing....

kinda complicated, ain't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:05 PM

Can't give you any help there, Bill. But then, for those who don't believe in an afterlife, what's to worry? Kinda hard to figure out how to get into a place that doesn't exist? Talk about convoluted thinking :-)

You are certainly not a lesser person in my eyes, Bill.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:14 PM

Larry K asks:
    How does a practicing Catholic support abortion?    It is contrary to all their teachings.
I think Larry's right. You find very few Catholics who believe abortion is a good thing, although many of us don't buy the right-wing hysteria about it being genocide or the like. Many Catholics believe that it is not up to us to make the choice for or against abortion - that choice must be made by the woman who is most directly involved. This is not a choice that can or should be controlled by law or other means of coersion.
Still, if we believe abortion is wrong, then we must do what we can to help women find alternatives to abortion (like birth control and adoption, for example....).
The current doctrine of the U.S. Democratic party seems to demand that the legitimacy of abortion be accepted without question. That makes some of us Catholic Democrats very uncomfortable. We sure as hell don't want to join the Republicans, though.

-Joe Offer, pro-choice pro-life anti-abortion Catholic-


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:26 PM

Hey, Joe:

Having been a Catholic for many years, and respecting those of that faith, I'd have to say that many devoted Catholics I've known believe that the Pope isn't infallible (another topic and one I don't really think needs exploring in here.) I kid them that if they don't think the Pope is infallible, but just right on matters of doctrine a Heck of a lot of the time (but not on birth control) then they're just Prostestants in Catholic tunics.

My point is, if some (perhaps a great many) Catholics believe that birth control is not a sin, while the Pope has declared that it is, then that opens the door to disagreements with other church doctrines as well.

Again, I don't want to open a discussion on whether abortion or birth control are sins or not.. or gay marriage or all the other issues that divide us. In the long run, to some extent we're all on our own around here, whatever faith we profess (or deny.)

(I think it's kosher to say God Bless to you, Joe)

Or is that a mixed greeting? :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 02:33 PM

"many of us don't buy the right-wing hysteria about it being genocide or the like"

Certainly not "genocide" in a purely etymological sense of the word. It's not the planned extermination of a race, though it certainly has had those elements interjected by people very active in the inception of the "Pro-choice" movement (like Margaret Sanger).

But it has certainly resulted in a greater shedding of life than any genocide in history. So, though one may take great comfort in the etymological distinction, the reality of dimunition of life, its value and meaning, has certainly been broader than any genocide.

I heard one commentator state that he thought it was John Kerry's "Joe Offer-like" comment (he didn't actually say "Joe Offer-like" -- I just threw that in for mudcat clarification *grin*) ---that, though he believed that life began at conception, he would never do anything to stop abortion -- was a turning point in the election. That one really had the moderates shaking their heads.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:37 PM

I agree with Bill D, and for once take iussue with Little Hawk, (hope Im not struck down by a thunderbolt for that).

People like Jerry worry me.
Its always the same,"its not "God","god is love, god is understanding, god is within us all" they always try to rationalise the irrational.
And then they spoil it all by saying "see ya in heaven",revealing the selfish, egocentric stance that is religious faith.....Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 03:43 PM

Lighten up, akeneton: I was not being selfish or egocentric with Bill. Bill was having fun and so was I. I doubt that he took any offense, as we are friends.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM

Oh, I understand Bill's reaction, akenaton, but it just kind of tickled my funny bone in a way... Like all people, Bill is an advocate for his particular version of "reality". We just can't seem to help being so. :-)

I think of both heaven and hell as what could be termed divergent states of mind. Thus, I think there are many heavens and many hells...all analogous to their own level of consciousness. A person who feels most at home in one of the "hells" does, merely because it makes sense to his level of consciousness...so to him it might not even seem like hell. Or it might. Hard to say.

Suppose you have a person whose basic philosophy is: "Life is cruel. No one can be trusted. You have to fight constantly to survive, and steal and lie in order to live." Now that person is living in hell, simply because he sees it that way. He's already in hell. I've witnessed people like that, and it's a sad thing to see.

I don't view "hell" as a punishment. I don't believe that God or the Infinite or whatever you would call it would ever punish anyone. People punish themselves through their own negative thinking...and they sure as hell punish others too! People are the punishers in this Universe. God is Love. Love does not create hells and does not cast sinners into them to suffer. Love allows people to find their own level of reality according to their own free will and awareness.

You can be in heaven or hell right here and now while you are still in the body. It's your state of mind that determines that, mainly...though people will also point to outer conditions. (Certainly, there are some outer conditions that no one but a saint could find much joy in! Most people would interpret those as hellish.)

I think that there are very likely a great many non-physical realities or dimesions, all built by conscious awareness, and that people naturally gavitate (as bodiless spirits) to the one that best suits their present level of awareness. They do that sometimes when they're dreaming, and they do it when they "die".

If their awareness is peaceful and loving, they go to a level that fits that awareness. If their awareness is fearful and hateful, they go to a leve that fits that. It's entirely up to them.

The function of a saviour or a great spiritual teacher, in my opinion, is simply this: to set the example of higher spiritual awareness through his/her own behaviour, and to guide anyone who is willing to listen and learn and work toward that higher awareness.

It's up to them. They will not be judged or punished, but they will certainly be in charge of finging their own "heaven" or "hell". As they sow, so shall they reap.

I think the only real difference, Bill, between you and me...and maybe me and Akenaton also...is this: I believe I have a non-physical spirit that is just temporarily using this physical body like a vehicle...like we use a car, for example. And you think that it all ends when the physical body dies. You guys think you ARE the body (and mind). I think that I'm an immortal consciousness that has built and is temporarily using this body/mind known as "George", and I will soon discard them both, process what I learned using them, and move on to further expanded spirit life without the body/mind. My Spirit is far wiser than my mind, but it has to work down through the mortal mind and the mortal body in order to communicate with you here and now in the English language on Mudcat and type these friggin' computer keys!

(talk about an inefficient way to communicate!)

It's primiteve down here, guys! And slow! But it's very interesting and challenging, so that's all right.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM

A wise friend of mine once said "You get the life you perceive." You know what I mean, Little Hawk. And to some extent, I think that we all live in prisons of our own design.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 04:30 PM

Yup. I am allowing myself to be imprisoned by my addiction to a danged Internet forum. :-)

Time to go downtown and get something real done around here...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Greg F.
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 05:25 PM

But [abortion] has certainly resulted in a greater shedding of life than any genocide in history.

Nonsense. Did someone say hysteria?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM

I can understand your stance Little Hawk, but most "religious" people dont think like you.   As in other topics you strike me as an individualist.
Although Im an atheist, that doesn't mean that I cant be "spiritual".
I feel inspired by the beauty of nature or the intricacy of the insect world, or music, or even someone like yourself writing on an internet forum.
But to me the thing that drives the "orthodox religious" is not love, but the promise of eternal life (in heaven).
To wish to live forever is in my opinion both selfish and egocentric.
I know you love Burns , and "Holy Wullie" is a typical example of what I mean,and dont think Im out of touch , because here in Scotland the "Holy Wullies" are still alive and well.
I was fortunate enough to be brought up from childhood by an old batchelor uncle who taught me all I know of nature and kindness to my fellow creatures. He also taught me compassion and how to stick up for my self when the need arose. We were quite inseparable, we slept together , worked together and even enjoyed our sport of greyhound racing together for twenty years ,until the day I got married.

I gave old Jock many a worry in my youth, experimenting with the booze and keeping late hours, but as I matured I began to realise that I had something that not many people on this earth have.
Someone who loved me with a real unselfish love.
In fact I know for certain that if it had been necessary, Jock would have given his life to save mine without a second thought.

Jock wasn't the "son of god", just a good kind old man, but although he had no "religion", he had more spirituality in his little finger than the whole sanctimonious gang rolled into one ...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 05:44 PM

Here are the "hysterical" numbers as given by Planned Parenthood (AGI)

       (AGI)            (CDC)
1973       744,600       615,831
1974       898,600       763,476
1975    1,034,200       854,853
1976    1,179,300       988,267
1977    1,316,700    1,079,430
1978    1,409,600    1,157,776
1979    1,497,700    1,251,921
1980    1,553,900    1,297,606
1981    1,577,300    1,300,760
1982    1,573,900    1,303,980
1983    1,575,000    1,268,987
1984    1,577,200    1,333,521
1985    1,588,600    1,328,570
1986    1,574,000    1,328,112
1987    1,559,100    1,353,671
1988    1,590,800    1,371,285
1989    1,566,900    1,396,658
1990    1,608,600    1,429,577
1991    1,556,500    1,388,937
1992    1,528,900    1.359,145
1993    1,500,000    1,330,414
1994    1,431,000    1,267,415
1995    1,363,690    1,210,883
1996    1,365,730    1,221,585
1997    1,365,730      
1998    1,365,730      
1999    1,365,730      
40 MILLION ABORTIONS SINCE 1973
4,000 each day


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:09 PM

you know..I was just thinking how very bloody hard it is to straddle the fence and try to see all sides of an issue! I KNOW Jerry, and I KNOW he is not pressuring me to "get right with the Lord"....but so many other have, and certain phrases set off 'tilt' lights in my head, like when you hit a pinball machine just a bit too hard.

There are infinite gradations of proselytizing...both pro and anti Christian, and everyone has their personal threshold of 'irritation'. There are people I have known for years without having any idea what their metaphysical beliefs are, though we can argue endlessly over other stuff....and in a lot of ways, that's kinda neat. Others, I know basically what church they go to, but the subject never arises except as an aside when some event causes a schedule conflict...etc. And then there are a few (not many these days)where the religious pros and cons color every aspect of our relationship, because they can't speak two sentences without some reference to 'blessings' or 'the Lord's will'...and yeah, I have known atheists who were just as bad--acting as though they had a divine mission ...ummmm...'personal goal' to DISprove every religious comment they hear.

Me...I just like clear, reasonable thinking...and in spite of what I often write in here, I have known some very religious people whose explanation of, and way of living their faith were no problem for me at all! The one thing I cannot argue with is when a person says "well, I just can't imagine a universe without a first cause, and it comforts me to put a loving intelligence behind the idea."

I can explain that I don't need to imagine a 'cause', and that I get my comfort other ways...but I can't dispute the urge to resolve the wonder with a decision.

I can poke at Little Hawk and his rhetorical flights of metaphysical fancy about "universal spirit" and such with my own references to "Occam's Razor" and "The Law of Parsimony"...but I'm not gonna sway him, I'd guess... I suppose I just like to see both sides of the argument presented in case any 'fence sitters' are reading...*grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:15 PM

An abortion is not a murder. It is an interruption of a process that has not yet produced an individual.

To compare abortions with mass-murders is disingenuous, misleading and a distortion. I understand the sentimental impulse on which it is based, but I think they are orders of magnitude apart and not fit to be held up side by side in terms of cruelty and offense against one's own. I realize this is, in the final analysis, just an opinion.   It would be nice if those who are so adamant on the other side of the divide would recognize the same.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:27 PM

there WILL be abortions as long as there are unwanted pregnancies...the only issue is whether they will be done safely and freely, or whether they will be outlawed by those who seek to impose a personal view on those who do not share their beliefs.

Abortion is not a nice thing, and it would be good if we could drastically reduce the need for them with the modern resources we have...but this is NOT one of those issues that should be subject to the back & forth vagaries of Liberal and Conservative Supreme Courts. The only opinions worthy of notice are the parents...and often, only the woman.(or, if the woman is a minor, her parents).

Statistics are interesting, but if there were only one case in 20 years, the rule should be the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:28 PM

Just an opinion Amos, but one you think is right. And precisely the same is true of people "on the other side of the divide".

It just strikes me that if people could set aside those opinions for a time, and just get on with trying to cooperate in doing what they can to make sure that no pregnant woman ever feels that she has no choice but to have an abortion, that would be a significant step forwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:38 PM

Well, Jerry, I didn't mean to drag the discussion over to the issue of abortion. My point is that on such issues, those of the ideological right AND of the ideological left see only two answers to any question - their answer, and the wrong answer. Jim Tailor gave proof to that, I think. He spat out all the standard responses that the demogogues have fed to him.

I think abortion is wrong - but I also think it is wrong to try to control it by legislating it away. That answer makes me a pariah among both liberals and conservatives.

Why is it that we have to be so exclusionary, that we have to pigeonhole everyone and demonized people who don't think exactly like we do?

How can we ever accomplish anything together, if we can't tolerate anybody but our own clones?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:42 PM

Amos,

I think the discussion is (at least partially) to determine who is representing the more moderate view. It was, after all, Joe Offer who raised the "hysterical" rhetoric.

By your own terms you claim "An abortion is not a murder. It is an interruption of a process that has not yet produced an individual". The implication being that, were the process far enough along, your opinion might change.

But the pro-choice side is the one most adamant that that kind of line NOT be drawn -- that no distinction made to distinguish the millions of those farther along (by your own allowance as how there is a process) in the process, so as to allow the killing of those whom you would put on the "not produced individual(s)" side of the arguement. The pro-choice side, not the pro-life side is better characterized as hysterical. The pro-choice side is at least as immoderate as the pro-life.


I now know 4 perfectly healthy children who only went to a 23 week term. Three are "normal". One is downs syndrome. If you were to tell the pro-choice, ultra-liberal Democrat that gave birth to that lovely downs syndrome child that she should have aborted that imperfection, I doubt that, pacifict that she may be, she wouldn't haul off and deck you.

As Americans become increasingly aware of the viability of so many VERY short term births that are resulting in perfectly healthy children, they are also becoming increasingly horrified at the entrenched insistance from the Pro-choice left that no change be made in our public policy. It is becoming increasingly evident how immoderate "abortion on demand" is, or has become.

g'day!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Greg F.
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 06:44 PM

The stats aren't hysterical, Jim (tho I'm surprised someone of your predispositions would believe ANYTHING put out by the Anti-Christ, Planned Parenthood ! ) its the idiosyncratic, narrow, unscienticfic, religion-driven definition of "life" that borders on emotional excess or neurosis.


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