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No disrespect intended: for believers

Posted by elly_nj NJ z6 (My Page) on
Fri, May 24, 13 at 9:27

I am an athiest. I respect people with faith who demonstrate and practice the tolerance, love and charity their Gods promote. I do not respect anyone who wishes to impose their beliefs on me, or anyone who, in the name of their God, wants to deny others their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I understand how believers get comfort from their faith in God when they and their loved ones face death. So much is out of our control, and I get how belief in a deity can help someone feel "direction."

But I don't understand how believers cope with catastrophes that randomly destroy lives. How do the survivors of Sandy Hook, Aurora, the holocaust and all the other devastating events cope with their Gods' will?

I cringe when I hear someone say "The Lord was watching over us" when their neighbors or their neighbor's children precipitously die.

If you can't mind you manners in your responses, please post elsewhere. No insults, direct or tacit. Please.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"Believers" in what, "believers" in whom?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

elly I get where you are coming from and will read the responses with interest.
"I cringe when I hear someone say "The Lord was watching over us" when their neighbors or their neighbor's children precipitously die"

I do too.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Believe in God. Who else?

I respect people with faith who demonstrate and practice the tolerance, love and charity their Gods promote.

This post was edited by elly_nj on Fri, May 24, 13 at 9:45


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Thank you elly for such a thoughtful post. I certainly don't want to impose my beliefs on someone else, yet when confronted, it's impossible for me to waver.

Having lost a child, lost everything in two hurricanes, as a believer I know that nature is just that, nature. Evil also exists in this world. This wasn't Gods choice, but without free will, one cannot love, and love is what God wants. God doesn't kill people, but you also have to know that death doesn't mean the same to Him as it does to us. When we die, there is rejoicing in heaven. A child is coming home. And have you noticed that in times of catastrophes and tragedies, so many people look to Him for comfort, so many come together to help one another and love one another, to help each other move forward. God doesn't cause catastrophes or tragedies, but He does use them to reveal Himself. He wants us to live full and joyous lives, without fear of what tomorrow brings. Knowing that if tomorrow brings an end, there will be yet another beginning.

I hope I've explained myself well enough without coming across as proselytizing.


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I am in relationship with Him, so I'll answer. I don't cope well. I say to myself, some day I may know the answer. I don't understand. I'm not going to try to understand. There are so many things that don't make sense in our lives. Having faith doesn't mean life is easy or all the answers come, it means I have an inner peace in the chaos storms of this world.

__________
((((MrsK)))) I understand everything you've said, and I agree. I don't think of what you've said or I say as imposing our beliefs on anyone. I see it as standing behind what we believe. It doesn't upset me if someone doesn't believe. It breaks my heart that some are, and will continue to, miss out on the mercy, grace, and love that can make life easier to live. But do I expect to convert anyone? I wouldn't know, I'm not trying to.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Elly

Good thoughts ....and you are a breath of fresh air. I hate the sin and love the sinner. Its nice to see your respect for the individual go both ways.


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I don't understand it, either, Elly...

I was raised Catholic, but have come to realize that none of it works for me when I begin comparing our world to what I was taught through religion. Today, I consider myself an atheist.


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mrskjun, I was hoping you would respond! Thanks. I want to understand.

But to me it is still a dilemma. I just don't see how one reconciles God's love with arbitrary, untimely death and destruction. Don't people turn away from God when they lose a child? It's little comfort for the regular believer when their child is ripped from them, to think she's going "home," no?

rob, many people live peaceful, enriched, loving lives without believing in God. Not believing in God and understanding mercy, love and grace are not mutually exclusive. Your way is not better than my way. Nor is my way better than yours.


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Actually elly, I shook my fist at God, how dare He allow this to happen. I had always been a good person, was He punishing me, for what? Then a series of things began to happen, it would be too hard to explain it here. But my sons death began a ripple in a pond that was wondrous to see. And it was so easy for me to see the hand of God in all of it. No, I can't call my son back from paradise, but when I've lived this full and wonderful life that God has given me, I'll join him there.


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Oh I'm not saying it is that way for eveyrone. It's ok, I respect that you live your life how you do. :) I was more thinking of those who never live a life of peace and mercy. I wish they could get it somehow. One way or another. Better doesn't even come into play in my mind. It's just another option.


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Many people live peaceful, enriched, loving lives without believing in God. Not believing in God and understanding mercy, love and grace are not mutually exclusive.

Isn't that, in essence, what Pope Francis said, "Just do good and we'll find a meeting point."

"Redemption" however one wishes to define it, takes care of itself. For a believer, it's almost a linear march to pleasing God, or the gods, in order to earn an afterlife reward. For the non-believer, suffice redemption to be satisfaction in a dignified life well lived.


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I read HT every day but have never posted here before.

Elly, your posting is superb, as are those of others who posted here. As a believer in Christ, I try to practice living in a way that my faith shows through as words are just words without actions to back them up. I believe rob333 and MrsK have put into words quite well what some of us as believers in Christ feel in our hearts and hopefully show in our actions.


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Elly, your question is one that bothered me a great deal also, it was a big factor in the eventual disbelief of the Christian God I was raised to believe in. The various answers always given to me seemed to have a tiny question mark at the end of them. To my ears they were not answers but rationalizations.

I wonder quite often if the way the brain works with those who believe in a God functions somehow differently than those who dont. In the end, it often strikes me that in conversations like this where a respectful exchange takes place, it is almost like two different languages are being used. Or, like two human beings from vastly different cultures who are explaining to each other why it is they so love to live as each of them do.

I know that for me, the lack of a belief of any supreme being is not a choice I make.

Duluth, what a perfect response you made. It is an accurate reflection of how I think things to be, most especially your very last sentence.
That is perfection. It is what I strive for in my life.


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I will miss Bill's contribution to this thread. Though he fully embraces his belief and I don't believe at all, I always found him well spoken about his belief with an interesting way of expressing himself regarding his belief.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

To me, it is an irreconcilable thing to believe in an omnipotent being, a 'creator', that is supposedly all knowing, all loving, and all forgiving, when I look around the world and see what humankind is capable of doing to one another and especially to innocents, what is done in the name of a god, and what happens naturally... as in catastrophic disasters. Both cannot co-exist in my mind.

I've explained many times the way in which I view organized religions, or the belief in a god... especially as it all pertains to religious texts.

No prayers that I know of have ever been answered, and I feel very much like I was completely let down by my original beliefs. I feel like I was lied to from the very beginning... and the older I get, the more positive I am, in my own mind, that no god can exist. It doesn't make any sense to me when I look at it all from rational, critical perspective.

And those are nothing more than my own opinions, garnered through years... decades, really... of hard thought on the subject.

I think if others find some inner peace or comfort from a belief, and it works for their lives, that's a good thing. I simply cannot reconcile, or fit such an intangible thing into my life.


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I was raised as a Catholic but can honestly say I have never, in my entire long life, felt anything like a "hand of god" in myself--I had doubts about the existence of some kind of god from about 10 years old when a nun said that people who were divorced and remarried were going to hell. I knew someone who fit that category who was probably the kindest and most loving person after my mother that I have ever known. I instinctiviely knew that this good person could not possibly be damned, that what the nun said simply could not be true and the seeds of doubt grew from there. Yet it was not easy to discard an entire beleif system when so many around me accepted it. But I am glad I finally had the courage to accept that belief in a god or gods was simply not there for me and to move on.

I also have lost a son, just a year ago. Not for a moment did I think this was part of some kind of divine plan or that I would meet him in an afterlife--he died and he's gone forever--any "afterlife" is in the memories I have of him and the continuing presence of his wife and children. Nature and the relentless drumbeat of the evolutionary process cannot be sugar-coated.


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I think if others find some inner peace or comfort from a belief, and it works for their lives, that's a good thing.

I agree. And I would not seek to ever change that for them. I have no desire to "convert" anyone to atheism.


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esh, if only believers would not try to convert me! I've had people say they "feel sorry" for me and press me for "reasons" why I don't believe. I wish they would just leave me alone.


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Yes Pidge, I have too, with almost every single conversation I have ever had with anyone about it. The reaction is that somehow something in me must be fixed. I quickly stopped talking about it until I came onto the internet and discovered I was not alone.

The country that became the United States was forged by strong Christian believers. Everything changes, change is always difficult. The internet changed a lot, I believe it provided a more accurate vision of who we are as a people that makes up our country.

Im terribly, terribly sorry for your loss of your child. A surprising number of forum members have walked in your shoes, you are not alone.


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Another atheist here, but with respect for others' desire for a comforting -- or demanding -- religious belief.

From early childhood I have thought it impossible -- and pretty presumptuous -- for any person to believe he knows and understands the universe. However, for all of recorded history people seem to want to believe they do know the unknowable and to think they influence outcomes through religious practices.

I have also known people who felt the need for a religion's "sterner hand on the tiller".

Underneath the dogma of most religions I see completely practical and useful purposes.


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I'm glad to know I am not alone although rather than saying I'm an atheist, I say I'm agnostic. I guess I'm covering my bases...lol. I was raised /brainwashed in the Lutheran church and began questioning stuff when I grew a brain. I think if I were raised Catholic it would have been sooner. I was a pregnant MARRIED woman taking courses at a Catholic woman's college in the 60's. I was 20, married for 8 months, but the Mother Superior said I couldn't continue because I would be a bad example for the other students. WHAT???

Living around this part of bible belt PA, I hear bigoted racist views by the so called Christians every day. The ones who call in talk radio are usually the most ill informed about everything they blabber about quoting bible passages. Any atheist who calls always presents a rational argument.

Again when the older man was pulled out of his house the other day in Moore, he said he knew God loved him and wouldn't let anything happen to him. My question. Did God NOT love the ten little kids who died including two babies?


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I cannot fathom what it is like to lose a child, and extend a heartfelt desire for inner tranquility to anyone who has gone through such an experience...

It's interesting, that lately, I've found I have more in common with some of you than I previously had thought, in regards to several of the things being discussed in various threads of the moment...

I would agree, Pidge... there's always been something that didn't quite "fit", or feel right about the things I was taught. I didn't feel anything when I was officially "confirmed" (receiving the holy spirit), nor did anything feel different during communion, confession... none of it gave me any kind of inner peace or any kind of special feeling... and as a youth, I though maybe I was just doing something wrong... not praying hard enough, or something. But even so, leaving it all behind was really hard... I don't know why that should be, but it was.

If I don't have all the answers, then how can anyone else say they do? There are way too many unknowns in this world, and in our individual lives, to say for certain what tomorrow holds, or even the next moment... so how can anyone be so precise in knowing certain things that are, in all honesty, so intangible?


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elly, thank you. It was great while it lasted. I'm done.


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Pidge - I had no idea that you recently lost a child. I am so very sorry. Words are inadequate to calm the grief of a parent who has had such a loss. I admire your strength and wish you healing.

Please accept my deepest condolences.

Sable


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Thanks for the kind words. I know i'm not alone in this group in losing a child. My sister and one of my brothers each also lost a child. That's way too many gone out of a total of 11 cousins. I thought I would escape that but hepB and cancer are greedy diseases.

I am grateful that I have his wife and kids as part of my life circle.


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MsK answered the question well. I personally have questions also. I don't know the book/chapter/verse, but somewhere in the Bible it says something along the line of 'man isn't meant to know everything'. I've said many times that "I hope He has lots of seminars when we get to Heaven because I have lots of questions". ;^) In the meantime, I just have to continue to trust in Him.

I don't believe God caused this tornado to punish anyone but that He allows nature to take its course. As for some living and some dying during the Oklahoma tornado, I just have to believe that for those who died it was their time to go. Death is something we all have to face and again I don't understand why some have to go so young, some in such pain or some in such a horrific manner. That more weren't killed during the tornado is a miracle itself. When I look at pictures of the devastation it's hard to believe anyone could have survived. Even though I don't understand why some lived and some didn't, I have to believe that yes, God's hand of protection was there for some.

duluth""""" For a believer, it's almost a linear march to pleasing God, or the gods, in order to earn an afterlife reward."

Duluth, I have to respectfully disagree with that statement. As a Christian we are not required to "earn" a reward. The Bible says "For by GRACE are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." EPHESIANS 2:8-9
Grace means "a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior". Not only do we, as sinners, not deserve Heaven, there is in fact nothing we can do, no matter how impressive and self-sacrificing, to earn our way into Heaven. Yet God, through Jesus's sacrifice graciously offers it for free!" Not trying to proselytize either, just trying to explain my belief.



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Pidge and all who have lost children, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine the pain.

I don't believe God sent the tornado to punish anyone. I just wonder what a 4 month old did to deserve death. If God was such an benevolent being, why weren't the brothers in Boston blown up with their own bomb? Why three innocents killed and 100's of others grievously hurt for the rest of their lives? Why were 20 beautiful first graders and their teachers slaughtered by a psychopath in Newtown?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Fri, May 24, 13 at 17:57

x-Catholic here, the Doubting Thomas in Catholic grade school, the nuns just loved me. Can't say for sure that there is a God who created everything, but if there is, "He" waited over 13 Billion years to create us. "He's" had a nice vast universe to play with for a very long time.


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I don't believe any kind of "god" sends anything. We like to think we can "control" what happens to us--to me, that's why we invented "god"--but I am convinced that life is completely arbitrary.


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LB, I have no issue with disagreement. But in all my 16 plus years of religious (RC) environment education, certain teachings were a constant - even when leaving childhood's faith for the greater sophistication of prep and university.

For believers, Grace is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures for their eternal salvation, predicated on and being furthered and attained through salutary acts. But salutary acts are often fleeting and can be regarded as doubtful in influencing eternal salvation. But Grace is always considered benevolent, Grace is goodwill.

Given for those who believe, all of creation is a gratuitous gift - God was not compelled to create anything. Then amidst all this we have the promise of eternal salvation through "the merits of Christ" coming into play. Since the "Fall from Grace", all the grace a free will chooses to accept emanate from Christ's death. In prayer Christ is invoked directly or prayers end with "Through Jesus Christ our Lord"?

But is faith the only means to salvation? I can't fathom that. "Here is the classical collision between the ignorant and the enlightened, each trying to tempt the other into a different way of life." (Dr. Peter Critchley)

And don't read anything into or perceive any name calling in the use of "ignorant" and "enlightened". Most of us likely smack a bit of both on assorted things.


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I appreciate the thoughts articulated here. I'm tired now and need to come back tomorrow to do justice to the heartfelt expressions offered.


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Pidge and all that have lost a child I am so very sorry. I do not think there can be a bigger hurt than losing a child.

I am a Christian and do not like to argue or try to convince anyone what and who to believe or how to live their life. I have a hard enough time living my own life. That is something everyone I feel should do for themselves.

I can answer why people say try it, why won't you try, why do you not want to try.......Have you ever ate a meal and asked your spouse to try some? Have you seen a movie, or TV show and suggested someone should watch? It is something humans do. If they find joy in something they want people they know to find the same joy. Do you react different if the word Christianity changes to try a movie, TV Show, a lobster dipped in drawn butter?

That is what religion does for me. It gives me joy. Plain and simple. Bad happens I have had bad happen. I was taught this is not heaven. My belief is do the best I can for me, my family, society and be the best person I can be not for anything other than it makes me feel good because it is what I want to do. I am not looking for the perfect world where nothing goes wrong. If something goes wrong I feel God gives me the strength to work through the wrong and it will be made right. It is how it has worked out for me. Maybe I am just lucky or I do not expect much. Which ever it is I am happy with my life and happy being a Christian. It works for me, and my expectations have been met.

Christianity is about "Free Will"


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Pidge, I am very sorry to read that you lost your son. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

We all have our beliefs and they are not the same. IMO, it's how one lives their life that matters not who or how they worship or not. Live and let live.


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Elly, you posted thoughtful queries.

I can assure you that you are not the only person that has difficulty making sense of a God that answers prayers about jobs and money, yet allows innocent people to be tortured for years or those small children to drown in a basement, terrified of the weather and then knowing they were drowning.

I think of that every time I pray and am humbled by even asking for prayers for others, or myself.

I can tell you that one day I will be Ricky Ricardo asking God to do some 'splainin. Not that I deserve to know, but I do hope to know.

I can tell you that I have come to a point in my life that I am fine in not having the answers, because my faith is larger than my doubt.

I have faith not because I have any need to believe in a God, or any pressure to do so. My belief is the result not of learning about God and peer pressure, but from a personal experience, and subsequent experiences that leave me so sure that there is a God that I would give up my life for that God.

I love God that much.

Now, a rational person might ask--and I could ask myself--how can you feel love for an entity that you cannot see?

Ah, but I can see.
God is in everything, big and small.
And not just our senses and intellect, but in something far superior to our cognitive abilities and natural intellect.

How arrogant a species are we to assume that we have reached the pinnacle of understanding and since we don't perceive a God, have no need for a God, can't see a God, can't explain or reconcile a God--that there is no God?

I contend that our true capacity is in our spiritual intelligence.
That's something anyone of any IQ can possess--and some with very little brain power far outweigh the spiritual intelligence of MIT graduates and heads of state.

I choose to believe in God because God has revealed himself, after I asked Him to do so, on faith.

There is no need for me try to convert anyone.
While I do not deny God, you cannot make a person believe in God. One might cause a person to intellectually decide that in the remote possibility there is an afterlife, they may as well believe in God and claim they are believers for that reason alone, but I think that is dishonest.

God shows himself to everyone that wants to see, in one form or the other. It is our choice--free will, to accept and recognize that first grain of doubt that no God exists--and open our souls up to accept what so many others know. If and when that time comes--I believe is up to each individual AND part of God's plan.

This post was edited by demifloyd on Sat, May 25, 13 at 0:17


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 9:01

I do not respect anyone who wishes to impose their beliefs on me, or anyone who, in the name of their God, wants to deny others their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

.....on this I wholeheartedly agree! Who dragged religion into our statehouses and whitehouse? And why did the rest "jump on board"? I was quite content not knowing how my representatives believed.


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Nor do I care if they don't believe in any form of religion at all. It's pretty clear that ethical principles don't automatically reside in those who call themseoves believers.

One's ethics reside in the self, no matter what belief is or is not professed.


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Well said, Ohiomom, Pidge, Epi, Elly...

I, too, am a firm believer in keeping church and state very separated, and the reasoning has been made clear by many of us. The twain simply do not fit together and go against the very things we hold dear, our freedoms.

As I said earlier... if a belief helps one, that can be a good thing...

But I am weary of the mindset on atheism from some quarters. We are not empty, soulless, unfulfilled heathens. We are human beings with a different belief, and a set of values that I think we each hold. I can't speak for all without a religious belief, but that's been my experience.

We are known by our deeds in this life...


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You choose what to believe. We *believe* the current 'truths' about everything. We *used* to believe that the earth was the center of the universe! Now we believe differently.

Some of our beliefs depend on our frame of reference. Some of our beliefs are child-think, 'learned' before we are able to separate 'magical thinking' from a mature reality.

Some of what we profess to believe we may even know to be convenient white lies, lest we be shunned by family or society.

I must tread carefully and often keep silent with my dear grandchildren. They are being raised RC within a large, extended, devout Polish-American family.

When our DS wanted to marry, I saw no choice but for him to join his wife's religion. I believe we may be the only non-RC people that this family knows outside of work; they are so inseparable from their religion.

I suspect that this will get harder before it gets easier. Our grandkids are only eight and two. We have excused ourselves from DGD's christening and DGS's first communion and celebrations. (Attending DGS's christening was proof that I can't do these things. It doesn't help that I have no 'poker face'.)

I would like to hear from anyone who has lived longer in this situation.


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 13:38

Chisue ... three of my children hold no beliefs and/or attend church ... three of us do. There is no problem here, and no pressure from either side. It is all about "tolerance and respect" amongst my children and myself.

Now on the "outlaw" side we were shown much disrespect and intolerance when himself passed, but they are "fundies" and their way (according to them anyway) is the "right way". Funny thing is he was never that way .. again "tolerance and respect".

I had all I could do not to stand up at his funeral, turn around and say "bite me" ... LOL

But my parents taught me better :)


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  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 14:17

So.....let me understand what you are saying............. you are saying that if someone believes in the American Christian God........they are "believers", and that is to be the norm?.... and that makes the rest of us...... "nonbelievers"? Hmm.... that seems rather intolerant of the rest of us.

We all believe in something, we just don't all believe in the American Christian idea of God, do we? And it looks like fewer and fewer of us do, every year.

I think we need to be very careful with our terminology - people who believe in the American Christian God should certainly be called Christians, nothing more.

I get so tired of the assumption that if one doesn't believe in the American Christian idea of God, one is somehow out of step with the rest of America. The country was founded by men, and women, who did not consider themselves "Christians" then, and would most certainly not be considered Christians now. Thomas Jefferson even rewrote the Bible. And those Founding Fathers were very careful to ensure that the US was never going to be a Christian nation, or any other religious nation.

We are now, and have always been, a diverse and pluralistic nation, many different people, many different religions or non-religions.

Again, I ask, believers in what, believers in whom.


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in the name of their God

I did not specify anyone's faith.


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Thanks, Ohiomom. I try to keep focused on our being Family. It gets difficult when every conversation concerns 'the church' or 'Polish tradition'. (I guess those are two sides of the same coin.)

I've wondered if it might be even harder negotiating between 'sects'. Luther just *started* that ball rolling! Come to think of it, within the family there's some ongoing contest over who is MOST devout/traditional. This is a new-to-me sibling rivalry.

I'm sure that they find us blind and damned. We are only two, and they are *legion* -- dozens and dozens of extended family. They are all friendly, well-educated people, but there are so few things we can discuss.

I know my silences have been misinterpreted. Our DS's high mass wedding was painful for me. When I complimented an aunt on her beautiful dress at the reception, she assumed I was patronizing her. She said I must be surprised that her family cleaned up so nicely.


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Good heavens, Chisue! How in the world could anyone respond to such a statement? Beware, it almost sounds like they are aching to get into a verbal altercation with you. Awful. How you can stand to be in the same room with such disrespectful behavior from these people is beyond me, Id be in tears, running for the nearest exit.

Im very sorry you have to deal with such people.


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 17:09

Actually Chisue they sound like my outlaws ... and why I avoid them.

(((Chisue)))


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I don't believe in god, or any higher power. I don't believe in karma either. But I would never tell anyone not to believe. I think most people need someone to talk to about things and it is often god or something similar they talk to. If it helps to figure things out, it's a good thing.

I believe we have a lot of control over our lives. Many good things happen because we put ourselves on the path to get there. There is also luck though, too.

I believe bad things happen to good people because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time or get mixed up with the wrong person or are just born in a bad home with bad people.


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It gets difficult when every conversation concerns 'the church' or 'Polish tradition'.

It can also be difficult within families of the same religion. I was never in the numeric minority, so I haven't faced the problems that you have. Avoidance was my strategy, and it was relatively easy to do.


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That lady pulled in her horns after that. I've wondered if I didn't get blamed for some *other* outsiders' presumptions about 'immigrants' -- although the family emigrated from Poland three generations back! These are well-to-do people with fine careers -- doctors, lawyers, etc. They are "cordial". It's just hard to find anything to talk about when our 'outlaws' lives revolve so exclusively around their religious activities or the last visit to Rome or Poland.

I might do better if it were JUST the religion, but the distance is magnified because of this allegiance to all things Polish. Our DIL is only the second person in the family to marry someone NOT of Polish heritage.

Sorry to have monopolized the thread with personal stuff. Perhaps there is a more appropriate forum? (Most ban politics and religion.)


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How arrogant a species are we to assume that we have reached the pinnacle of understanding and since we don't perceive a God, have no need for a God, can't see a God, can't explain or reconcile a God--that there is no God?

Isn't it just as arrogant to declare there is a God just because you happen to be a believer?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

chisue, no need to apologize for bringing up your personal family situation. I doubt anyone was offended. As for mentioning politics or religion--this forum thrives on those topics.

If you want to discuss more the ideas you brought up, why don't you begin a new thread of your own--maybe about problems with "outlaws". You could summarize what you said on this thread (for those who didnt' read this thread), and take off on a separate thread in who knows how many possible directions. I'm sure a number of posters would have something to say on the general topic.

Welcome to the forum, chisue.

Kate


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Ah Chisue, I know of what you speak. I've gotten old enought to realize that my sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law will never deviate from their rigid Catholic beliefs and to know that I don't give a hoot. I don't go out of my way to challenge them, but I don't let them walk over me, either.
I guess I wonder why you think it was a given that your son would change his belief system to satisfy his spouse and her family. But he had to make his own decision about that, I know.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Sat, May 25, 13 at 18:25

How arrogant a species are we to assume that we have reached the pinnacle of understanding and since we don't perceive a God, have no need for a God, can't see a God, can't explain or reconcile a God--that there is no God?

Isn't it just as arrogant to declare there is a God just because you happen to be a believer?

*

Not really.

I have felt God and God has spoken to me.

That is how I can say there is a God.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 25, 13 at 19:08

Sure he has.

Oh wait, there he is now, looking in my window!

Hey! Trim the beard, will ya?!


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Well said demi...I bailed at 14:30...I know that elly meant no disrespect at all, but you had to know it was coming.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

What are you even talking about k? Everyone has been very respectful. This is a conversation and the only way to have one of those is to discuss different points of view. You are looking for trouble where there isn't any.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

What is it you like to say about reading comprehension jz? You are right. I haven't heard a single person disparage atheists on this thread.

"Living around this part of bible belt PA, I hear bigoted racist views by the so called Christians every day. The ones who call in talk radio are usually the most ill informed about everything they blabber about quoting bible passages. Any atheist who calls always presents a rational argument."


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

JZ: "Everyone has been very respectful."

True. I'm sure bboy was just pulling your leg. It's been a very thoughtful discussion, IMO. Lots of venting, but very adult, actually.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Maybe it's not really karma I mean when I say that, but I do think that what goes around, does come around. I've witnessed natural retribution time and time again... or so it would appear... so I think there's some kind of balance in the Universe, but one I can't really put a name to. Maybe it's energy... I dunno.

I could not imagine having to interact with family who behave that way, Chisue... we're (my husband's side) mainly a family of non-believers, so there's never any tension over this issue.

My husband and kids and myself are all considered the "outlaws" or "black sheep" to my side of family. We love each other, but we don't often gather for big family to-do's these days like we used to. Everyone has always done his or her own thing.

I think Jerzee said it well... and I don't care that people believe all sorts of things that I don't... just as long as those things are not pushed into my life, I'm happy with someone else believing in whatever they choose to.

I think the truth is... we simply do not know. We do not have all the answers. Maybe one day we'll be privy to those answers we seek... who knows? But for now... we can either have faith in something intangible that helps us... or we can take the journey, knowing that we already possess everything needed for the trip that is life, inside of us. I'm not so sure it's the destination that's important, but the journey, itself.

When I feel I need to talk to someone, I talk with my husband... we often have very deep and meaningful conversations, and no topic or feelings are off limits. We're partners, and we support each other fully. There's nothing I can't discuss with him... even my innermost thoughts, questions, problems, intimate secrets, anything. And there's nothing he can't tell me. We spend just about 24/7 with each other, so we get to talk quite a bit.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Chisue, for what it is worth I take no issue with personal reveals - honestly? I see them as a kind of gift offered to the other forum members. Privacy being the precious commodity that it is, whenever people offer personal information about themselves I take it as a kind of gift of trust, a rare thing in this world, even if the information shared costs the person sharing it very little.

The longer I live the more I suspect that maybe in many ways we ALL are outlaws in some way ( love that expression) I mean, what the heck is " normal" anyway, we all come with issues.

Im glad they decided to ease up though,I cant imagine having to endure comments coming out of left field like that one did.
Of course we endure what we have to if it involves the well being of our child, husband or parent.i wonder if somehow the first generation of that family made the idea of religion and culture kept within family so sacrosanct that it became a kind of unhealthy suspicious withdrawing from the world they live in.
My husbands non DNA father who raised him came from a RC polish family out of NYC and from what I heard of them, it has a familiar ring to your own experiences. My husband was badly treated by his father's mother and sisters because he wasnt of their blood. It made things difficult for him to say the least. My MIL was raised a mormon so I guess you can just imagine.......

There is nothing wrong within this thread imo - for a hot topics discussion about God and belief it could not have gone any better. If one is waiting and looking to be offended, then I could cite a paragraph or two myself that I had to let go. But in order to respect the idea behind Elly's wishes, I let it go and discovered that within just a minute or two that it really didnt bother me all that much after all - when I decided not to let it.

I believe that thus far we have done pretty darn well for a subject fraught with sensitive points, in a hot forum such as this one with a group such as we are.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"Maybe it's not really karma I mean when I say that, but I do think that what goes around, does come around. I've witnessed natural retribution time and time again... or so it would appear... so I think there's some kind of balance in the Universe, but one I can't really put a name to. Maybe it's energy... I dunno."

"...one I can't really put a name to..."

I would call that God. God is not a 4 letter word. It's just a word that means different things to different people.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Elvis, then you mean that the word god does NOT necessarily, in your opinion, always indicate that which is understood to be a super extraordinary intelligent being of some sort with supernaturally extraordinary creative abilities?
Im not understanding what you are talking about, especially about god not being a four letter word, which on the face of it seems obvious?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"Elvis, then you mean that the word god does NOT necessarily, in your opinion, always indicate that which is understood to be a super extraordinary intelligent being of some sort with supernaturally extraordinary creative abilities?"

Your understanding of my understanding is correct.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Mrsk..I was not being confrontational about my comments about the Christian talk radio around here. I stated a fact. It is what it is. Christians think there is a movement going bashing them. The callers to this particular show do everything to make me dislike them and everything they stand for. They make totally outrageous comments from bashing Obama ,to bashing gays(pedophiles, they say), to bashing women in the work place, to bashing Roe, to bashing BSA for admitting gays, to bashing anyone who is prochoice.

Have you ever read a right wing forum, say on Facebook? The vitriol is so sickening and many times Bible passages are quoted in their reply.

My immediate small family (husband and I are only children)are non church goers. I don't think any of us are atheists. We rarely if ever discuss religion. I might argue politics till I'm blue in the face, but I never argue religion or question anyone's beliefs. That's an extremely personal matter and none of my business.

I know people who go to church every week who are NOT good people. One case involves a Presbyterian minister in a nearby county who murdered not one, but two wives and is now in prison for life. This was a well respected man and church. On the other hand, I know some wonderful people who never set foot inside a church. Whatever floats your boat. I just don't like extremists in any religion.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"How arrogant a species are we to assume that we have reached the pinnacle of understanding and since we don't perceive a God, have no need for a God, can't see a God, can't explain or reconcile a God--that there is no God?"

"Isn't it just as arrogant to declare there is a God just because you happen to be a believer?'

I have often thought along the lines that Jerzee posted in response to Demi in this exchange. IMO, IF there is such an entity as a "god" capable of all that is attributed to it, that entity would be so far beyond human comprehension that it could never be known by anything as flawed as human beings. People who claim that "god" "speaks" to them or gives them signs or otherwise bothers to "reveal" itself to them seem the most arrogant of all, as if their "god" has singled them out for special treatment. IF there is a "god," I know that it's way beyond bothering with anyone as insignficant to the universe as I am.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

lily, church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Well, I'm a Christian in that I do attend Quaker meetings for fellowship and volunteerism. And I do believe in Jesus Christ as Savior ... but otherwise, I in my actual personal beliefs, I am probably not as in tune with the Trinitarian ideal as most self-professed Christians, nor do I place greater value on Jesus death and Resurrection than on his teachings (biblical and apocryphal).

I guess you could say the way I cope with God's will is that I don't believe these type of events were God's will. At least in so far as the fact that I don't think there is a separation between God and us ... I guess if you get technical, I believe God's will and our will are interconnected.

In essence, I am saying I believe we manifest these tragedies ourselves, and I don't believe in God as being the "quicker picker upper" for human mistakes ... more like a mentor as to how we can stop effing up in what we choose as a society.

So I don't end up with anything I have to "cope" with in a religious sense. I just keep trying to make the world a better place, in my tiny sphere of influence, hoping that enough others do the same, such catastrophes and tragedies will lessen with time.

Sidenote: when I began to be dissatisfied with my agnosticism and wanted to join a church again a year or two ago, Buddhism ran a close second to Quakerism for me as a faith I felt I would be proud to be a part of, so if my personal theology probably reflects some inconsistency that is consistent with these two faiths lol.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I guess that is what this kind of "faith" really means: believing, without concrete proof, that something greater is happening, and accepting that it is beyond your ability to understand.

So when something horrendous happens, you know you cannot understand any meaning or purpose to the catastrophe, and you take it on faith that it is not something that God intended as a punishment or result. You accept it. You don't approve, but you accept it.

If I were God, I would not want to have to 'splain myself to Demi! : )

Txangoddess said it well: I don't believe in God as being the "quicker picker upper" for human mistakes ... more like a mentor as to how we can stop effing up in what we choose as a society. I think I understand that.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Txan, I concur with you insofar as things that happen arbitrarily are not "God's will" or part of some "divine plan" or part of "everything happens for a reason." Those platitudes have always seemed to me to be a passive response to events and situations. Why would "god" will a hurricane that would wipe out hundreds of people or have put in place a plan that would require that a hurricane kill hundreds or pretend that there could possibly be a "reason" for hundreds to die? Passivity cannot be part of a workable life philosophy.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Don't read anything more into what I wrote about "what goes around, comes around" than is already there.

What I mean is, every dog has his or her day... it's only a matter of time. If one is not decent to others or does something horribly rotten or selfish, it seems like something bad befalls them in return. But I don't see any deity's hand in that. I see an overconfidence or arrogance in that indecent person.

What I see is a certain balance between positive and negative. But to be more scientific about it, I think it probably has more do with the fact that those who aren't decent in their dealings, or who weave a web of deceit, always get caught in their own webs. It's as simple as that.

It's like lying... one lie leads to another, which leads to another, and pretty soon one forgets what they've lied about, or where one lie ends and another begins, and gets caught in those lies. I think that's more of an expected progression, really... though it may seem abstract at times.

And... as Lily says, it's really those of a religious nature that don't behave as they purport to believe that places a stamp of hypocrisy on the whole thing in my mind... like those who quote bible passages, and when trumped by another's deeper knowledge of the text, get all un-christian all of a sudden, throwing out swear words left and right. It kind of makes no sense. If one claims a religious belief, why is it then, that they don't act that way?

Lily, I've read too many conversations in various comments sections that progress exactly as you describe. And I often wonder why those people bother to post such vitriol in the first place... why go to a comments section that deals with something one opposes, and then basically throw an all out temper tantrum of curses when some other person corrects their biblical knowledge? Certainly, one can see that coming before it happens, no? I see this sort of thing on blogs, news articles, social networking sites, etc... on a fairly regular basis.

And... to continue that line of thought, Pidge... as flawed as humankind is, how could we ever be created in the image of something so far beyond human comprehension? I'd say humanity is far from perfection or omnipotence.

It's not that I didn't try... but I never had any deity speak to me or answer me or give me any sign of existence. I concluded that there was no one there, and that it was better to talk with someone I trusted.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Posted by lily316 z5PA (My Page) on
Sun, May 26, 13 at 2:12

Mrsk..I was not being confrontational about my comments about the Christian talk radio around here. I stated a fact. It is what it is. Christians think there is a movement going bashing them. The callers to this particular show do everything to make me dislike them and everything they stand for. They make totally outrageous comments from bashing Obama ,to bashing gays(pedophiles, they say), to bashing women in the work place, to bashing Roe, to bashing BSA for admitting gays, to bashing anyone who is prochoice.

*

Lilly, with all due respect, you, more than most any poster on this forum, bash most everything Christians and/or conservatives hold dear, in a very aggressive and insulting manner, and make outrageous remarks as well.

What is the difference?

This post was edited by demifloyd on Sun, May 26, 13 at 10:07


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Interestingly, this same kind of dialogue is going on in Arizona, where the freedom of expression is being shut down...

"Last Tuesday..."

Well, I'll let you read it for yourselves. This is the kind of thing that our forefathers left other lands to avoid, and as the article points out, freedom to believe as one wishes should be second nature by now... it's only been 200 or so years...

Here is a link that might be useful: The freedom to worship, or not to worship...


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

OT but relevant because it's going in this direction and I'm tired of it:

I would find it offensive if every time an atheist liberal nature lover does something asinine and ugly that members of this forum assigned me to their club. It would certainly put me on the defensive. I don't want people to look at me to explain why PETA does some of the things they do, even though I do support animal welfare and oppose fur farms and puppy mills. If a democratic politician displays his penis on Twitter, don't look to me and say "I told you so!" because I vote as a democrat.

Same for others. The Muslims that do things in the name of their religion do not represent my friend, who is Muslim. The self-proclaimed Christians who are on their own crusade do not represent Christians. Catholics do not condone Catholic priest that molests children.

Why do I have to say this?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

TxanG, I too have felt that were I to embrace any spiritual belief system that Buddhism would probably be one I could have a connection with.

My DH was stationed in Thailand in the mid 70's and told me about the traveling Buddhist monks he not only saw passing through villages but had the opportunity to meet and talk with them several times, merely by chance. The monks had learned just enough English that they were able to have conversations with English speaking people and for those who wanted to speak with them, they were there, no matter the nationality.

The Thai people were very poor but held the monks in such high esteem that whatever they had was the monks for the taking, the monks never lacked for a place to sleep as they passed through the towns. The monks accepted only enough food to survive, they were thinner than the villagers.

DH is a hard one to impress spiritually but to this day he speaks of those men with a true reverence.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sun, May 26, 13 at 10:51

If you listen to any local AM talk radio show these days, the venomous, vitriolic rants aimed at foreigners, "non-believers", people of color, gays, women, the poor, etc, are almost always prefaced by the caller declaring their Christian beliefs, and then spewing hate, intolerance, and threats towards people "not like them."

I assume that these are not people that mrskjun, demi, brightonborn, october17, etc associate with, or even know, but these people claim the same beliefs as our forum members, and by supporting these intolerant hateful people, simply because these people call themselves Christian, it becomes guilt by association.

Sadly, the public face of Christianity has been co-opted by people who present the worst examples of Christian faith, tolerance and charity. As long as American Christians continue to tolerate, and even encourage these radical, hateful people, who in my mind are no more Christians than they are cockroaches, Christianity in America will continue it's inevitable decline.

Good people have to stand up and declare, over and over again, that this is not what Jesus would do. When a public figure declares that his hate and intolerance represent Christian values, people who have real Christian values must stand together and say that these are not Christian values.

I will add, the same goes for any extremist in any religion. radical Muslims, radical Jews, radical Hindus, etc - it's no different, by not saying anything, you are saying that you agree with these radical ideas and actions.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I agree with you mom.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

mom, we hear hate and intolerance from atheists every day here on HT. The guy from Occupy who defecated on a police car, does that mean that all who support Occupy are him? Intolerance and hatred abound, I've heard the words so often here. I hate Sarah Palin...ok, it's not like I would vote for her, but why should I hate her?

Good people live ordinary lives and do extraordinary things. A personal relationship with God, does not mean a person is perfect. If any of us were, we would be sitting at His right hand.

You have certainly seen people who believe in God, right here, speak of the disgust they have of Westboro, of Pat Robertson, of those priests that commit pedophilia. But they are no more us, than the defecator is you.

How will you know a Christian? It is not by his words, but by his works.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

That's what I'm saying... why is so necessary for these public figures to stand up and shout their prejudices from the government podium, or in front of a television camera, on such a loud and consistent basis? It gives their political party, or whatever else, kind of a bad name by association.

Why can't we all just live and let live instead of trying to control what the next person does?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Some of my ancestors belonged to the Society of Friends. Many were Presbyterians, and my 'Frenchies', originally from Bern, were what we generally call Protestants today (Evangelicals, then). My maternal grandmother was raised Catholic, but married a Protestant. My mother was baptised RC, but that was all. My grandmother attended the Episcopal church during my lifetime.

Reflecting on my difficulties with my Polish 'outlaws': I'm reminded that the last straw for my grandmother came about when her RC neighbors in NYC 'reported' her to the parish priest for 'living in sin' -- with her legal, but non-RC husband. She rebelled against an insular, ethnic group of Catholics -- Irish immigrants in this case -- and chose her husband over 'the clan'.

As she told it, she swept the hectoring priest out the door with her broom, for all to see and hear. She told him, "My husband is a finer man than you could ever hope to be!"

Perhaps the need to close ranks is/was vital to new immigrant clans? Like anything, it can outlive its' usefulness and start to be an impediment.

That 'clan' mentality is why I told our DS he would have a rough time if he did NOT join their church. Bad enough he wasn't Polish!

Forgive me for rambling, but I'm thinking of another 'clan' plus 'religion' illustration. One of my DH's colleagues in Chicago told of going with a fellow soldier to his Southern home during their leave. He enjoyed the Southern hospitality -- but also wide-eyed stares from the soldier's young sister. The girl's jaw really dropped at dinner on Saturday when our friend inquired where he might attend mass the next morning. She blurted out, "OMG! A Yankee AND a Catholic!"


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Demi ,everything mom47 said , I totally agree with. Since you also agree with her confuses me since it's basically just what I said in my post in which you replied that I'm the biggest Christian basher here. Make up your mind.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

If it's any consolation lily, I think she is wrong. I think you are second, and jodik claims top spot.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Sun, May 26, 13 at 12:18

I would find it offensive if every time an atheist liberal nature lover does something asinine and ugly that members of this forum assigned me to their club. It would certainly put me on the defensive

I have yet to find "multiple" threads started by posters bashing atheists. In fact I can not recall one.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

om, I think elly started this thread with the best of intentions. She had some genuine questions that she wanted answered. But as usual it ended up with never miss a chance to bash Christians, or religion.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

But as usual it ended up with never miss a chance to bash Christians, or religion.

Lilly, with all due respect, you, more than most any poster on this forum, bash most everything Christians and/or conservatives hold dear, in a very aggressive and insulting manner, and make outrageous remarks as well.

I don't get either of these statements. I went back and read through the comments. I didn't interpret any of the comments as "Christian bashing."

What I do take from mrsK and demi's comments are a sort of siege mentality. Could either of you please enlighten me via specific quotes what consists of "Christian bashing?"

-Ron-


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I'm going to turn this car around...


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Smart thinking, Elly. It was good while it lasted and it lasted longer than any I can recall off hand- thank you.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I didn't mean to upset anyone. Just thought it was a legitimate question.

-Ron-


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

As far as Im concerned, my last remark to Elly was regarding the disintegration of the thread in general and not your remark in particular.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I thought it was a legitimate question, too, Ron. When charges of "Christian bashing" are thrown out and even aimed at specific posters, it would be good to know what qualifies as "Cb." Like you, I've followed this whole thread and I don't see anything that strikes me as insulting or denigrating.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sun, May 26, 13 at 14:08

How will you know a Christian? It is not by his words, but by his works.

Good works may make you feel good, but they don't speak your message to the world any more. The outrageous statements and works of the Christian fringe taint all Christians.

Just look at the comments on this forum - the criticisms aren't directed towards moderate, "well-behaved" Christians who do good works - they are directed at that very same fringe - hateful, intolerant, bad works people who claim to be speaking for the Christian God. And anyone who defends or tolerates them is no better than they are.

If American Christians can't get control of THE MESSAGE, and how it's presented, they have no credibility, no matter how many good works they do. Tired old statements from church signs just don't matter to anyone.

I, like most people on this forum, am horrified when anyone, right, left, middle - behaves badly, but no one can possibly know all that is going on and condemn all bad behavior everywhere.

But I think you'll find that most of us in the despised liberal camp, are more than willing to criticize and condemn bad behavior, bad judgements, bad policies, even from people and governments and religions we support.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"How will you know a Christian? It is not by his words, but by his works."

That sentence implies that if I see someone doing good works, I will know that she/he is a Christian. The world is not that simplistic.


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Let's see. If I were one of the US Jewish population estimated to be @ 6,588,000 (North American Jewish Data Bank), I might well resent my "good works" being diminished by the idea that ONLY Christians are thought to perform them.

And let's not overlook all others.

Know a Christian by his works? Simplistic indeed.


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You can't help yourselves can you? Of course Jews do good works, Buddhists, atheists, etc. The only point that I was making and you pretended not to get, can't ruin your good times, is that a Christian is not just his/her words, they are also their actions. And I was speaking of Christians because that was the subject of bashing.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

The only point that I was making and you pretended not to get, can't ruin your good times, is that a Christian is not just his/her words, they are also their actions.

No one has bashed Christians. They were clearly commenting on the fundamentalists that put a bad face on the majority - NOT all Christians. No different than Muslims, etc.

There are those that profess to be good Christians whose words do not match their actions. On the contrary. Those that murder because they say "God told them to" are not good Christians are they? Yet they would tell you they are nor do they represent the majority of Christians.

SOME Christians state that Jews can't/don't believe in the "real" God because they don't believe in Jesus or original sin and won't go to heaven until they do just as some on this board have stated that the religion of Islam condons murder and all Muslims believe in Jihad.

This post was edited by epiphyticlvr on Sun, May 26, 13 at 16:58


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Excuse me? I do believe I've stated more than once, within this very thread, that if a belief works for someone, then it can't be a bad thing. And I'm not the only one without a belief who has said that.

I think more than anything, this is just another case... (and please forgive me, Elly)... but just another case of someone trying to make everything that's been written but doesn't meet with approval personal, all about oneself, and not about the subject at hand. It's a case of twisting context and reading more into what's written than is actually there.

Mom's got it right. One cannot claim moral high ground when one says one thing but does the opposite, or does not practice what one preaches. Unless one fits the exact description of what Mom just stated, it's nothing but a case of trying make a size 5 shoe fit onto a size 12 foot.

I see no christian bashing going on here... except that which is falsely perceived.

Carry on...


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Mrsk, I see what you mean. I hope you see what I mean, too.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I have not seen any Christian bashing on this thread either.

And mrskjun - I reacted the same as the others to your statement of "How will you know a Christian? It is not by his words, but by his works.". and it is the only reason I have decided to make a comment. I guess I'm not a Christian because I don't go to church and I am agnostic. So if I do good works does that mean that they somehow don't count?

momj47 - "If American Christians can't get control of THE MESSAGE, and how it's presented, they have no credibility, no matter how many good works they do". Can you explain this for me please. I didn't realize that there was a difference between American Christians and the rest of the world Christians. Why the differentiation?

jodik - re: the link - The behaviour of Steve Smith sickened me and I hope I never live in a society where a non-believer is not made to feel welcome or has to fight for the right to be such.

I will say that from the reading I do on these threads that when religion starts to shape the discussion/argument that those who believe think that they are better than those who don't or those who are agnostic. That is not meant as a criticism or as any form of bashing but it just seems that non-believers are more accepting of those who believe than the other way around. Just my take.


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Of course, this whole topic becomes even more confusing if we take into account that some "Christians" (I didn't ask them of what persuasion) adamantly argue that Republicans are the "believers" and Democrats are the "nonbelievers." And we all know that some of the biggest Democrat-bashers and liberal/progressive-bashers are self-professed "Christians" who are non-liberal and vote Republican. But that is all right--because Democrats/liberals are not Republicans/conservatives nor are they Christian believers--so bash away.

Now you did it, Kate--bringing up religion and politics--watch out--the explosions should start any minute!

Kate


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Elly, I went back to the OP just for fun. I see one question there: "How do the survivors of Sandy Hook, Aurora, the holocaust and all the other devastating events cope with their Gods' will?"

No pat answer there. One could even argue with this: "their Gods' will", because for some, like me, I don't "have" a God or Gods; we have each other. It just is, by whatever name--for me it's a sort of collective conscientious, benevolent energy. Others make it more complicated; that's fine. Some are compelled to share their joy, feeling that keeping it to themselves is selfish. Some are annoyed by that. The very act of feeling threatened or annoyed or angry at another's real or perceived intolerance is itself an act of intolerance, isn't it?

We must live together, so I think we just have to suck it up and carry on.

So this must be a topic for general discussion, which it has been for the most part. You did end your OP with this statement: "If you can't mind you manners in your responses, please post elsewhere. No insults, direct or tacit. Please."

It's so interesting to hear all the different perspectives on what helps us through this life, if this is all there is, why do bad things happen to nice people and so on. This has to be a discussion; it cannot be an argument. There are no sides, nobody can "win.". It's all personal.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I've got news for you Kate...and this will probably make you shudder, but there are a good many Christians who are also democrats, and just the same, you will not know them simply by their words. It is their works that you will notice first. Jimmy Carter comes to mind.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 26, 13 at 18:46

It's all passive-aggressive, when chronic attackers make outrageous statements about others and then bleat they are being picked on themselves when the inevitable blow-back occurs. I keep thinking of the predatory snails that have outsize poisonous barbs that pop out suddenly, stab the prey and then disappear back into the shell.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Oh my, mrsk, I am so sorry that you are not willing to be generous with yiour considerations for others. I think you are better than that.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

pidge, I thought I had made myself clear, but perhaps I didn't. I hope one day to get to heaven. It is my belief that it will be filled with people of all faiths. I say that because I cannot even pretend to know the mind of God. I have the Bible, for me, it is historical, and a blueprint for the way I should strive to live my life. I judge you and no one else for what you believe. When speaking of Christians, which is my faith, the point I was trying to make, is claiming to be a Christian, and this is my perspective, means nothing unless ones life shows that they try to live a life that God intended.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Thank you for your response, Mrsk, but I do not share your perspective. I don't think there is a heaven (and can't even imagine what the title even means), Even if there were a "god," I can't imagine what that entity "intended."

Take care, be well, do some fine painting, and have a great week.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

And yet, mrsk, you are one of the meanest jabbers politically on this forum. I cannot see how that adds up to Christian love and tolerance. And I'm not bashing--just stating a fact.

However, I must take exception to another act of misreading on your part. I have no objections to Democrats being Christians and, in fact, my point was that many Democrats are Christians. If you read my post carefully, I said that certain "Christians" claim that Democrats are not Christians, only Republicans are. So if you want to aim barbs at someone, I'm not the right target--since I agree with you that there are many Christians who are Democrats. You should be aiming your barbs at those self-professed "Christians" who claim Democrats are not Christians. I'm not one of them--so please stop that nasty habit of attacking me because you can't read very carefully.

I'm serious--when some "Christians" go into political mode, I see absolutely nothing Christian about their behavior--and that includes a number of self-professed Christians on this forum.

Not trying to bash anyone--just stating the truth as I see it--which might explain why I sometimes bristle over "Christian" talk on this forum.

Note: Quotation marks around "Christian" means I'm questioning to what extent they really are what they profess to be.

Kate


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Thanks pidge, same to you.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I think I read pretty good Kate.

But that is all right--because Democrats/liberals are not Republicans/conservatives nor are they Christian believers--so bash away.

Your words, not mine.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

While I am late coming to this discussion, I think that the question really centers on what one's perception is of God's sovreignty. Some believe that everything is God's will, that if you found a good parking spot, that was God moving on your behalf. That is not how i perceive it but I am really at a loss to know what is happening with the tragic events mentioned above. It is not only the supremely tragic but other things that i wrestle with, like why does one son have autism and why does my daughter's pancreas not work requiring her to give herself shots every time she eats something? H*ll if i know why but what I do know about god's will is how i am to respond to people in need, to those who are struggling. I am to weep with those who weep, feed those who are hungry, clothe the naked and do what I can to help those who need it.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

because Democrats/liberals are not Republicans/conservatives nor are they Christian believers

Can you really not read very well, mrsk? That is not what I said. Why do you keep on saying I said that when I did not? I said that is what some "Christians" say.

It is when you behave so obnoxiously that I find myself so glad I am a not a "Christian." You see nothing wrong with taking some words out of context--you lift them right out of the sentence they were in--then you give them a flip in the air so that they land completely turned around (and inside out, for that matter) and end up saying the exact opposite of what they said in the original sentence. That is dishonest--you are lying about what I said. And you claim that is "Christian" behavior? telling lies? One of the things I really dislike about this forum is the way several posters have of (deliberately ?) misreading other posters and then slinging mud at them for what you claim they said (even though they did not).

If you are not a poor reader, then you are deliberately playing passive-aggressive games that you think are cute or something. Do you really get off on infuriating other people with your lies? I would not ever want to become that kind of "Christian."

Kate


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Gotta love it, eh Elly?

You asked valid questions.

I hope the sincere answers FROM BELIEVERS helped you.

Peace.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

And my non-believing answer was as sincere as yours. "Believers" do not have a monopoly on sincerity.

Kate


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I am not trying to add to the acrimony of the very contentious dialogue between dublinbay and mrskjun, but I do think its worth mentioning that right here on this very board, a right of center poster (citywoman perhaps?) made an assumption in a thread about Christians (as also being right of center) and then, later, when told there were liberal Christians, said she didn't know any personally, and so was not familiar with the idea.

That's a paraphrase, but it is intended honestly ... wish I knew the exact thread ... this board is quite hard to search on compared to a regular UBB coded type.

Anyway, point being, mrskjun, there are definitely people who assume that Christianity is generally not compatible with a liberal political viewpoint.

I just keep doing my best to show them that we are out here though! Which is what said to citywoman: "Well, hey, I'm Christian and liberal too, so I guess you can't ever honestly say that again!" ;)


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Posted by dublinbay z6 KS (My Page) on
Sun, May 26, 13 at 21:56

And my non-believing answer was as sincere as yours. "Believers" do not have a monopoly on sincerity.

Kate
*

I didn't say your comments weren't sincere.

I said sincere answers from believers--that seemed to be Elly's question--to believers.

You weren't anywhere in my thoughts when I posted, but I can see you are touchy in making sure you're heard, even though as a non believer you have nothing to add about how believers reconcile tragedies.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I don't know why it should be that non-believers who might espouse science and the logic it entails and who claim the “argument of silence” as proof that no God exists, have been told, by some Christians (and NOT here on HT), they were assured a really odious spot in Hell.

In the face of tragedy beyond comprehension, believers might ask why is God silent. It's natural, it's human. The non-believer doesn't ask anything of a God but could/would certainly rail against Nature showing an unimaginable cruelty.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Nature? why would athiests rail agaisnt nature?
Nature is not sentient. God is presented at bbeing all seeing all knowing and benevoent.
you cant compare god and nature


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

And God is sentient? We know this how? The very idea of that seems to be an emotional construct. A tornado destroyed Moore, OK and claimed 24 lives - and as an Agnostic leaning more toward non-belief, I'd be more likely to "rail" against the forces of nature than against an entity who must have lapsed at being benevolent.

Just my opinion which I accept as possibly being at odds with other opinions.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"In the face of tragedy beyond comprehension, believers might ask why is God silent. It's natural, it's human. The non-believer doesn't ask anything of a God but could/would certainly rail against Nature showing an unimaginable cruelty."

I guess there's probably somebody out there who can see a tragedy that is beyond comprehension. I can't. I guess some might ask why God is silent, but I would not ask that. I guess anyone might "rail against nature" for a really bad natural disaster, FWIW, which is nothing. All that negativity is futile, no matter what one believes.

----

"Nature is not sentient. God is presented at bbeing all seeing all knowing and benevoent.
you cant compare god and nature"

We're part of nature; we're sentient. Many natural things are sentient. So we disagree. And it sounds like the God being discussed here is somebody sitting in a chair maybe waaay up high watching us all on a wide screen. There are probably people who have that notion; left over from catechism class. I think that's pretty much a stereotype nowadays.

As far as comparing God and nature, I think they are inseparable. I see that when a seed germinates, or knowing that certain frogs can freeze solid and come back to life in spring. It seems pretty simple to me.


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Not only Jefferson

Here are the words of America's greatest founding father, Thomas Paine, who without his words there would never have been this nation and who with his words saved Washington and our country at it's most critical moment...

"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism; and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as respects the good of man in general, it leads to nothing here or hereafter."

Here is a link that might be useful: The Age of Reason


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I agree that Thomas Paine was a great man.

This statement of his, "I believe in one God," tells me that in that belief, he's no different from people like me.

However, Paine's musings on religion are his opinions.

They are no more valid or less valid that the opinions of others.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

TxanGoddess thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify on the remark from another post.
I stated I didn't personally know any liberal Christians and it was a surprise to me (as I think about it) that I have a divided view of liberals.
One db & sil voted for Obama, they are Dems but they are so far right from being "liberal" I just never think of them as liberals. They are very devout Christians in every sense so its difficult to put them in the same framework as my view of Liberals from this board.

I clearly remember your remark of being a Liberal and a Christian and I can remember it caught me so off guard
because my perception of Liberals , who they are, what they believe has been learned first hand on this forum.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Yes Thomas Paine did believe in a "God", he just wasn't very fond of 'religion'.. I just wanted to make note that many of our founding fathers and their independent thinking, came out of the enlightenment and the age of reason.

I would disagree with your statement that his writings on the subject are no more or less valid than the opinions of others.

I do think in general that certain opinions carry more weight, more value than others and are therefore, more respected than others. Why that is so is based somewhat on how well reasoned an opinion is expressed and whether it illuminates the subject (for me. )


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I do think in general that certain opinions carry more weight, more value than others and are therefore, more respected than others. Why that is so is based somewhat on how well reasoned an opinion is expressed and whether it illuminates the subject (for me. )

*

Yes, and that is your opinion, and a matter of opinion.
As you noted.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I'm in CW's camp. I personally do not know any liberal Christians. In keeping with my Christian bashing record, (according to demi) second only to Jodi,(according to Mrsk), I'll state this too. I think many Christians aren't environmentally active and don't seem to care about the world their God created for them. I think religion can be a crutch for some people, more like a security blanket for a baby.

As I have stated I come from a very religious family including aunts and uncles, grandparents. One school teacher aunt comes to mind as being the biggest racist I ever had contact with. She had a perfect church attendance, same pew for 50 years. She was given a plaque. Yet this same aunt shuddered when she saw the first black people on a TV commercial or appearing in starring roles in shows.

All I can say is, if I was one of the poor souls standing on the barren landscape of Moore OK. tonight , I'd wonder, if I was a Christian, why God caused all this misery to nice God fearing people. And I'm not being sarcastic. From all the interviews I saw, they DO appear to be nice kind people.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

duluth I was responding toyour comment
"n the face of tragedy beyond comprehension, believers might ask why is God silent. It's natural, it's human. The non-believer doesn't ask anything of a God but could/would certainly rail against Nature showing an unimaginable cruelty. "

You appeared to be comparing a believer asking of god and a non believer asking of nature ..."how they/it could be so cruel.

The difference is that a believer thinks that god is sentient and a non believer thinks that nature is not. so the comparison is not valid.

and elvis your comment "we're part of nature were sentient are not relevant to this discussion as the "nature " being spoken about here is "the natural force" ie the "elements"


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Citywoman: One db & sil voted for Obama, they are Dems but they are so far right from being "liberal" I just never think of them as liberals. They are very devout Christians in every sense so its difficult to put them in the same framework as my view of Liberals from this board .

Why do you loathe liberals on this board who are not devout Christians?
Do you loathe atheists, agnostics or is it just the atheists or agnostics who voted for Obama?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Heri, where does Citiwoman say she "loathes" liberals on this board or anywhere?

Lilly, your perceptions about Christians who do not take care of the enviroment are based on your personal knowledge. I have many friends who are Christians and are very concerned about the enviroment. Some of them are even conservative. Heck, I'm a Christian (don't attend church but that's a long story), a conservative and am concerned about the environment and our world. I suspect you may know people like me but you just don't realize it because of a preconceived notion that a conservative Christian can't be environmentally aware.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

posted by lily316
"I'm in CW's camp. I personally do not know any liberal Christians."

This is demonstrably false as I just showed it to be for citywoman, and you're cracking me up with it too.

What a funny way to respond to a post that shows citywoman was (unknowingly) in error in her claim of not knowing any liberal Christians! To agree with her error! LOL

If you've ever read any of my posts, you know me ... not closely, sure, but you do know me, and I am a liberal Christian.

So here's another poster that cannot ever [honestly] make that claim again. :)

And while the anecdotes are interesting, I think it's a mistake to generalize out of the smallest possible defined unit of persons available: your own family.

I'm not always against trying to tease out a broader conclusion from a small group's thoughts or behaviors, but a family is not only a tiny unit (in the broader picture) it's also one that is laden with the baggage of perception from the person who tries to generalize as a member of it. Just seems unwise, and certainly inaccurate.

ETA: The edit was to add the part after the smilie face. I hadn't read your whole post when I responded to it, so once I did, I added more on.

Then I saw I hadn't given a reason for the edit, so here it is in a 2nd edit ;)

This post was edited by TxanGoddess on Mon, May 27, 13 at 11:03


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Kate, I'm sorry that I don't live up to your "standard" of what a Christian should be. I'm not sure what that "standard" is supposed to be, so I'm sure I'll always fall short.
I enjoy discussing politics. I'm able to do it without calling people names, or trying to diminish them by insulting their intelligence. You call me obnoxious, simply because you and I agree on so little. Just because you don't agree with my positions in no way makes you any less or more intelligent than me. It simply means that you have thoughtfully come to your position, I have thoughtfully come to mine. Our goal should be in discussion, is that one of us would convince the other of the rightness of our position. Not berate the other for having a different position.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I'm able to do it without calling people names, or trying to diminish them by insulting their intelligence.

Good grief, you insulted lily AND jodi right in this thread. What a ridiculous statement.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

What was insulting about that jz? Both of them have stated their very low opinions of Christians and religion. I simply pointed out that one seemed to have a lower opinion than the other. I certainly didn't call them names, or personally insult their character.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Posted by mrskjun 9 (My Page) on
Mon, May 27, 13 at 9:57

What was insulting about that jz? Both of them have stated their very low opinions of Christians and religion. I simply pointed out that one seemed to have a lower opinion than the other. I certainly didn't call them names, or personally insult their character.

*

I have found that in efforts to ameliorate the perception of those that do throw insults of character, intelligence and motives, the definition of "insult" has been greatly expanded to include the pointing out of inconvenient facts.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I'm not going to argue. Your words speak for themselves.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Txan...The KEY word in my post is PERSONALLY. I have no idea your beliefs, and I am sure there are a lot of liberal Christians, just none I know. In all the graphs and surveys I've seen, Christian church going people are less likely to be liberal.

As for the environment, climate change is believed by something like 90% of liberals and around 30% of conservatives some who believe the earth is 6000 years old. How many liberals think that?

I have a busy day and don't have time to check the statistics, but I'm sure some will try to refute my statements. Have had it.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

YQ: "and elvis your comment "we're part of nature were sentient are not relevant to this discussion as the "nature " being spoken about here is "the natural force" ie the "elements""

Maybe you will re-phrase that. It makes no sense as written.

---

Heri: "Why do you loathe liberals on this board who are not devout Christians?
Do you loathe atheists, agnostics or is it just the atheists or agnostics who voted for Obama?"

Putting your ugly words in CW's mouth.

--
Mrs: "Our goal should be in discussion, is that one of us would convince the other of the rightness of our position. Not berate the other for having a different position."

Everyone should read this. With comprehension.

---

JZ: "I'm not going to argue. Your words speak for themselves."

They sure do. ;-D

----

Do I have anything to add to the subject? That's what I am doing here. No mosquitoes. Have to catch up is all. Big gardening day; gotta get at that frozen tundra during this all-too-brief thaw. ;-)


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I think there are two - at least- kinds of Christians. Those in the fundamentalist camp and the main-stream camp. The fundies get the most publicity because they are often outrageous (my opinion) in their beliefs. For example, Bryan Fischer or Pat Robertson or any one of the rightwingers that scoff at science and people who don't believe as they do. The press, for several decades, have designated these people as Christian and not given the other Christians, who make up the majority, equal play. Thus, many have come to associate the word "Christian" with right-wing conservatives, which is not the case.

Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in the US. There's a saying that even Jesus Christ could not win an election if he ran as a Republican. Yet, there are many main-stream churches in Seattle, most of them liberal in voting patterns (DH and I belonged to one of them for several years and now belong to another one nearer where we live). These churches are very active in helping those in need, in other words, living Christ's message.

So, there are lots of liberal Christians out there. Just look beyond what the know-nothing press reports and you will see them. They are Lutheran, Methodists, Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, and even Roman Catholics.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Okay lily, if that's what you intended fine, but that's not what knowing someone personally is generally understood to mean, so you can't expect me to take it as a "key word" when it was misapplied.

BTW too, if you are busy, you don't have any obligations here holding you back, nor do you owe anyone explanations about it. We all come and go at will too :).


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, May 27, 13 at 12:31

Our goal should be in discussion, is that one of us would convince the other of the rightness of our position.

Yet earlier I certainly don't want to impose my beliefs on someone else,

Are you trying to "convert" us, or not?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I'm in the PNW area and there are a lot of liberal Christians just as dockside mentioned. I'm wondering if it is a regional thing.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"Are you trying to "convert" us, or not?"

I'm not saying she is.. But! If she is, you can always
"just say no." You're a grown up.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Are we talking about 'cultures' here and confusing them with various 'religions'?

Are we talking about individuals' 'beliefs' in a benign or punishing 'god'?

Are we talking about an individual's ability to control anything beyond his or her own actions or feelings through 'prayer' or 'ritual'?

When you look at the stars do you think you know the 'why' of the universe? Do you assume there IS a 'why' -- or one man can comprehend?

Do you think a belief helps man know how to live 'more authentically' than other living things live their lives?


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, May 27, 13 at 13:35

Sorry, elvis, it's too late for that, by about 50 years. And, I'm a Democrat, too.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I am a Christian who is an environmentalist and tends to vote more liberally. I hesitate to call myself a liberal as I am not overly fond of the way religious identity is subsumed into political identity.

There are very definite shifts, powerful shifts, happening within the church. Many christians are questioning the way things have been done and are changing things but not necessarily abandoning their faith, just living it a different way. It is not being broadcast so it can be difficult to see if you are not looking for it. Likewise, many are not going to argue with the vocal side of Christianity, as it is futile. A shouting match helps no one.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Not knowing any liberal Christians says more about the not knower than perhaps is intended. The old saw 'birds of a feather flock together' certainly comes to mind because on the main we tend to hang with people who think as we do. I know plenty of conservatives, some Christian and some not.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 27, 13 at 14:33

The thing is to argue specific points without expanding that into a complete dismissal of the other party. Leave out the second part of "If you think that, then you are the enemy".

"And if you challenge my claims you are persecuting me" also does nothing to generate a productive discussion - quite the opposite, in fact.

This post was edited by bboy on Mon, May 27, 13 at 14:38


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

It would never occur to me to associate a fellow Canadians political affiliation with their religious belief / non belief. Perhaps that is because, generally, religion is simply not part of our politics.

As a personal observation I find that liberal policies tend to be be very much in keeping with the teachings of Christ in terms of our obligation to care for our fellow man without judging.

Judging requires a higher pay grade than we mere mortals.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

Christian church going people are less likely to be liberal.

That would depend on the Christian denomination, and the region in the U.S. Also there are various currents even within the same denomination.

The peace and social justice movements have plenty of religious members -- Christian and non-Christian -- working with atheists and agnostics to promote a common cause.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, May 27, 13 at 15:27

I agree patriciae not knowing any liberal Christians is kind of sad, and a commentary on how narrowly some people live their lives.

I know plenty of conservatives, Christian and otherwise, my family is overun with conservatives - and I think they are wonderful people.

I am reminded of the comment my DD's MIL made when she first visited them years ago, in Ohio. "I don't think we've ever had a Democrat in our home, I'm not sure we even know any".

I enjoy living in a state with lots of different people all shapes and sizes, all makes and models. It makes life so much more interesting - and the restaurant selection is terrific, too


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

As a personal observation I find that liberal policies tend to be be very much in keeping with the teachings of Christ in terms of our obligation to care for our fellow man without judging.
*

The only problem is those liberals bragging about doing "Christ's work," while scoffing at the notion of a Christ or ridiculing those that believe in Christ's message and identity, seem to often want to do their version of "Christ's work" with other people's money before ponying up their own.

This post was edited by demifloyd on Mon, May 27, 13 at 15:44


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

"The only problem is those liberals bragging about doing "Christ's work," while scoffing at the notion of a Christ or ridiculing those that believe in Christ's message and identify, seem to often want to do their version of "Christ's work" with other people's money before ponying up their own."

Really, how interesting that you should know that. The liberals I know, including myself, are tax payers who are OK with having their tax dollars help those less fortunate.

I don't know a one who is more interested in spending your money than theirs.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

As a personal observation I find that liberal policies tend to be be very much in keeping with the teachings of Christ in terms of our obligation to care for our fellow man without judging.

From an article on the Vatican and Pope Francis:

Da qui l’appello ai governanti e agli esperti di finanza affinché prendano in considerazione «le parole di san Giovanni Crisostomo: “Non condividere con i poveri i propri beni è derubarli e togliere loro la vita. Non sono i nostri beni che noi possediamo, ma i loro”».

Some of the comments made a few days ago by Pope Francis regarding financial reform and the 'cult of money':

The Pope appealed to government officials and financiers to consider the words of Saint John Chrysostom: "Not sharing our goods with the poor is to rob them and take away their life. It's not our goods that we possess, but their's."

those liberals bragging about doing "Christ's work," while scoffing at the notion of a Christ or ridiculing those that believe in Christ's message

This is more a product of your imagination than reality.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

I don't know a one who is more interested in spending your money than theirs.

*

Oh, I do.

They're the liberals who vote for Obama and don't produce enough to pay any federal income tax and contribute.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

One does not need to be a Christian to know what Christ's teachings are and what doing the work he suggested entails. Nor does one need to be a Christian to admire that kind of work or even to perform it. Helping those who are in need is an ethical imperative for most people whether they are "believers" or not.

But of course in some minds, it's always reducible to the cash nexus.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

As I say , how interesting. I have met plenty of American liberals, all who work and pay taxes ...big taxes.

Must be a different breed of liberal in LA. except that LA didn't vote for Obama they voted for Romney..President Obama was elected by those rich guys, in states like NY, CA, MASS etc who are liberal and pay boat loads of taxes...to the degree any rich person does,

How do you explain the fact that , generally , wealthy states voted liberal and the poorer States voted conservative?

As many liberals as conservatives pay taxes. I suspect some of those rich conservatives aren't paying either.

I would be interested however in any factual info you have that would support your position that liberals are more interested in spending your money than theirs.


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RE: No disrespect intended: for believers

The peace and social justice movements have plenty of religious members -- Christian and non-Christian -- working with atheists and agnostics to promote a common cause.

I(ndeed. And we have discussed them at length on many different threads over the years. I know we have discussed Riverside and Judson Memorial located here in NYC and their work in the anti-war movement social justice programs and other advocacy programs many times.

They're the liberals who vote for Obama and don't produce enough to pay any federal income tax and contribute.

Applicable to this statement as well and worth repeating
This is more a product of your imagination than reality.


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