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Old 04-29-2012, 10:20 PM   #181
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I am not a fan of the implication that civil rights should be determined by how polite the minority group in question is when pleading its case.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:22 PM   #182
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Biblical illiteracy and misstating the application of Old Testament laws is one thing, calling it "Bullshit" is quite another.
Your religion and the hundreds of thousands of religions that came before it are bullshit. Why should you be handled with kids gloves when it comes to religion?

Thanks for posting the video though. It's going on my facebook wall so more people can laugh at the ignorant mouth breathers would couldn't stand to be challenged on their beliefs leave the auditorium
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:25 PM   #183
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I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy-assed move. I wasn't calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself. But that's a distinction without a difference—kinda like when religious conservatives tells their gay friends that they "love the sinner, hate the sin." They're often shocked when their gay friends get upset because, hey, they were making a distinction between the person (lovable!) and the person's actions (not so much!). But gay people feel insulted by "love the sinner, hate the sin" because it is insulting. Likewise, my use of "pansy-assed" was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it.

As for what I said about the Bible...

A smart Christian friend involved politics writes: "In America today you just can't refer, even tangentially, to someone's religion as 'bullshit.' You should apologize for using that word."

I didn't call anyone's religion bullshit. I did say that there is bullshit—"untrue words or ideas"—in the Bible. That is being spun as an attack on Christianity. Which is bullshhh… which is untrue. I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised. I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against—and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying "motivated by faith")—because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong. Yet the same people who make that claim choose to ignore what the Bible has to say about a great deal else. I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don't believe.

On other occasions I've made the same point without using the word bullshit:
"We can learn to ignore what the bible says about gay people the same way we have learned to ignore what the Bible says about clams and figs and farming and personal grooming and menstruation and masturbation and divorce and virginity and adultery and slavery. Let's take slavery. We ignore what the Bible says about slavery in both the Old and New Testaments. And the authors of the Bible didn't just fail to condemn slavery. They endorsed slavery: 'Slaves obey your masters.' In his book Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris writes that the Bible got the easiest moral question humanity has ever faced wrong. The Bible got slavery wrong. What are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? I'd put those odds at about 100%.

It shouldn't be hard for modern Christians to ignore what the bible says about gay people because modern Christians—be they conservative fundamentalists or liberal progressives—already ignore most of what the Bible says about sex and relationships. Divorce is condemned in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus Christ condemned divorce. Yet divorce is legal and there is no movement to amend state constitutions to ban divorce. Deuteronomy says that if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night she shall be dragged to her father's doorstep and stoned to death. Callista Gingrich lives. And there is no effort to amend state constitutions to make it legal to stone the third Mrs. Gingrich to death."
...and maybe I shouldn't have used the word bullshit in this instance. But while it may have been a regrettable word choice, my larger point stands: If believers can ignore what the Bible says about slavery, they can ignore what the Bible says about homosexuality. (The Bible also says some beautiful things that are widely ignored: "Sell what you possess and give to the poor... and come, follow me.” You better get right on that, Joel [Osteen].)

Finally, here's Mark Twain on the Bible:
"It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."
I'm not guilty of saying anything that hasn't been said before and—yes—said much better. What is "bullshit" in this context but "upwards of a thousand lies" in modern American English? And while those slamming me most loudly for "pansy-assed" may be on the right, they are also in the right. I see their point and, again, I apologize for describing the walk-out as "pansy-assed." But they are wrong when they claim that I "attacked Christianity." There are untrue things in the Bible—and the Koran and the Book of Mormon and every other "sacred" text—and you don't have to take my word for it: just look at all the biblical "shoulds," "shall nots," and "abominations" that religious conservatives already choose to ignore. They know that not everything in the Bible is true.

All Christians read the Bible selectively. Some read it hypocritically—and the hypocrites react very angrily when anyone has the nerve to point that out.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #184
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For the record, I don't think the Bible itself is bullshit. I think it's a fascinating book. It has interesting stories-whether they're real or "based on true events" or totally false is up to each person to decide (myself, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Based on real people and events, but with heavy use of metaphor, symbolism, imagery, etc. that was popular in those writers' day, and people's words/actions or events were exaggerated a bit for more awe-inspiring, "keep 'em on the edge of their seat" flair). But the stories are interesting no matter what. There are good messages in there, inspirational words, people to relate to, and so on. You have your good guys and your bad guys, you have your battles and your majestic scenes. I totally get its appeal.

I just personally don't think it's meant to be taken 100% literally, and I personally don't think it should hold any more special of weight than any other books that have those very same qualities. I think it was written by men with their own views of the world around them. It's been changed significantly over the years to fit people's agendas and beliefs. And I find it strange that some people don't seem to see how that poses a problem when it comes to trying to get people to convert to Christianity.

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Some people don't understand regardless. There is a rare variety of people that are so emotionally tough and have high enough self esteem that insults do not bother them. I knew a girl that could handle the worst of bullying without batting an eye--because she genuinely believed she was better than everybody else anyway. Learning to take with a grain of salt the opinions of your peers is a skill that is gained with age. Most kids in grade school, and even middle school, do not have this down to a T yet. Nowadays I can ignore somebody who is "bullying" me, but when I was a kid I didn't stand a chance.

Unfortunately it seems that the people who are immune to bullying will continue to talk about how they don't see what the big deal is.
I dunno, I think everyone gets affected in some way by an attack on them. Even if only briefly, I think everyone will have some reaction. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that girl you knew had some nagging self-doubts at some point. She may appear as though she really believes she's better than everyone, but who knows what she's like away from everyone else, or what insecurities she hides in her mind, if any.

But you are right that you won't be able to reach everyone no matter how hard you try, and that there will be people who will just dismiss this sort of thing and say, "Suck it up and deal with it". And you're also right that children definitely struggle in particular because of lack of thicker skins-hell, there are some adults that still haven't developed them.

Doesn't mean we should stop trying, though.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:33 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
As a Christian, I understand what Dan Savage was trying to say, and I more or less agree with him. As someone who treats the Bible as sacred the use of the word "bullshit" doesn't sit well with me, but I also understand that he is not a Christian and so is not bound to treat the Bible with the kind of reverence I would. Nevertheless, I am able to seperate my personal sensiblities and agree that there is much that we Christians consider irrelevant/no longer applicable in Scripture and thus our fidelity to the Scriptures on homosexuality is a more than a little suspect.
Context is extremely important in regards to scripture. I've had biblical scholars point out things to me from the bible itself that most religious folk would never understand. It goes down to multiple levels. Many things are metaphorical or hypothetical examples of other things but if you just open it up and read you might accidentally take it literally.


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I just personally don't think it's meant to be taken 100% literally, and I personally don't think it should hold any more special of weight than any other books that have those very same qualities. I think it was written by men with their own views of the world around them. It's been changed significantly over the years to fit people's agendas and beliefs. And I find it strange that some people don't seem to see how that poses a problem when it comes to trying to get people to convert to Christianity.
There are other texts that predate the bible and contain polytheistic versions of the same stories told in the bible itself. Learning about them drastically changed my viewpoint on how literally one should take the bible. Many things can be learned from it, but it is not the be all end all of theological belief.


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I dunno, I think everyone gets affected in some way by an attack on them. Even if only briefly, I think everyone will have some reaction. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that girl you knew had some nagging self-doubts at some point. She may appear as though she really believes she's better than everyone, but who knows what she's like away from everyone else, or what insecurities she hides in her mind, if any.

But you are right that you won't be able to reach everyone no matter how hard you try, and that there will be people who will just dismiss this sort of thing and say, "Suck it up and deal with it". And you're also right that children definitely struggle in particular because of lack of thicker skins-hell, there are some adults that still haven't developed them.

Doesn't mean we should stop trying, though.
On the contrary, kids not being thick skinned enough is why we need to step in. Too many people fall into the habit of blaming the victim for what the attacker did. Regardless of whether or not the bullied child is being too sensitive, we must turn our attention to why the bully is turning to that method of communication and give the bully other ways. If it is "kids just being kids" then we need to do what every parent spends their life doing: educating the kids on better ways to handle problems. Bullying should always be taken seriously.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:38 PM   #186
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^Yeah, I think Twain and Savage grossly oversimplfied things; "lies" is a strong word, that suggest that the Biblical authors wrote things they knew good and well were false. I don't agree with that.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:42 PM   #187
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I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against—and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying "motivated by faith")—because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong.
This, 100%. That most definitely is bullshit, and I have no problem with that being called out. The fact that people are using an ancient religious text to try and deny people certain rights and privileges is WRONG. Flat out wrong. There is absolutely no justification for that at all. Saying "God doesn't approve of homosexuality" holds no weight as a logical argument.

Hell, I don't think it holds weight as a moral one. Why on earth would I want to worship a god that refused to see a portion of its creation as equal?
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:43 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by ladyfreckles View Post
There are other texts that predate the bible and contain polytheistic versions of the same stories told in the bible itself. Learning about them drastically changed my viewpoint on how literally one should take the bible. Many things can be learned from it, but it is not the be all end all of theological belief.
Exactly. I always find the compare/contrast between all sorts of religious texts from the world over to be fascinating, and find it amusing that people get so uncomfortable about the idea that they all likely are telling some variation of the same story, just tweaked to fit their culture or language or whatever.

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On the contrary, kids not being thick skinned enough is why we need to step in. Too many people fall into the habit of blaming the victim for what the attacker did. Regardless of whether or not the bullied child is being too sensitive, we must turn our attention to why the bully is turning to that method of communication and give the bully other ways. If it is "kids just being kids" then we need to do what every parent spends their life doing: educating the kids on better ways to handle problems. Bullying should always be taken seriously.
Fully agreed on this, too. I've never understood why the victim gets blamed. It's like when people used to say about interracial kids, or what they say now about kids who have gay parents, "Don't the parents realize they'll be made fun of?" Well, here's a suggestion: don't make fun of them? Then there's no problem? Yeah.

And people using the excuse of "kids being kids" forget that we're not talking about an innocent little situation where a kid makes an offhand mean comment, or a potentially mean comment, because they're young and aren't able to understand the implications of such things, and it's one of those situations where they get corrected by their parents later about how that wasn't very nice to say and everyone apologizes and la-de-dah.

No, people need to realize we are talking about kids getting legitimate threats. Being beat up. Having humiliating messages on their lockers, or online, or people coming to their homes and harassing them. They hear some truly vile things said about them. Kids bring fucking guns to school to protect themselves or to deal with their problems. And if a kid goes to the school officials for help, either the officials look away or their hands are tied and they can't do much. And the school can't call the parents of the bullies in, because they're most likely the reason the bullies exist in the first place and the parents either don't care or think their kids are perfect little angels that do nothing wrong, so clearly the kid being picked on is lying or something.

That is a hell of a lot more serious issue than "kids being kids". That is beyond viciousand into frightening behavior. And nobody should ever have to deal with that, in school or anywhere else.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post
Your religion and the hundreds of thousands of religions that came before it are bullshit. Why should you be handled with kids gloves when it comes to religion?

Thanks for posting the video though. It's going on my facebook wall so more people can laugh at the ignorant mouth breathers would couldn't stand to be challenged on their beliefs leave the auditorium
Notice that the "ignorant mouth breathers" respected the right of the others to listen to the speaker.

Pretend Rick Santorum is the advertised speaker next year (if the organizers didn't succumb to the pressure to cancel him and that's a huge if), his first words would be met with rape whistles, "hey hey, ho ho" chants, jeers, turned backs, signs and other outbursts and demonstrations. Maybe even a pie tossing or glitter bomb if the security is lax enough.

But given that you seem to be as convinced as Dan Savage of your moral and intellectual superiority maybe you could deliver the keynote address next year.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:32 PM   #190
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What Santorum spouts and what Savage was speaking about are not flip sides to the same coin. Right and wrong are not opinions and opinions shouldn't be taken as equal. The difference is that Santorum's opinion has been poisoned by the crap he's been spoon fed since he was born. Savage's opinion is in the absence of all that nonsense
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #191
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As a Christian, I understand what Dan Savage was trying to say, and I more or less agree with him.
(edit)
Nevertheless, I am able to seperate my personal sensiblities and agree that there is much that we Christians consider irrelevant/no longer applicable in Scripture and thus our fidelity to the Scriptures on homosexuality is a more than a little suspect.
I don't buy the argument he gives for a second. He rifled off laws from Leviticus suggesting Christians are hypocrites for only observing sanctions against homosexuality. So what's he saying, that the world would be a better place if all Christian men grew untrimmed beards and protested down at Joe's Crab Shack?

For another thing that charge simply isn't true. Leviticus 19:18, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." I've been taught that since Bible school and I bet you have too. Same for the book's teaching on the holiness of God and the importance of obedience and worship

And I know I don't have to tell you that Christ brought a new covenant that superceded God's covenant with the Israelites for His believers. If Dan Savage is aware of this he isn't saying. Is homosexuality labeled a sin in the New Testament. Well, yes it is. But it is hardly the only sin is it? Does your church teach that only homosexuals need the forgiveness and grace of Christ? Neither does mine. I bet you're taught also that ALL fall short of the glory of God and ALL need His salvation.

I don't care what Dan Savage does in his bedroom. I do, however, care that he would use his fame to misrepresent the Bible in an attempt to alienate Christians from their peers and diminish their belief system.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:01 PM   #192
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Does your church teach that only homosexuals need the forgiveness and grace of Christ? Neither does mine. I bet you're taught also that ALL fall short of the glory of God and ALL need His salvation.
That same church would teach that it's a sin for me to live with my partner while we are not married but I am not aware of concerted legislative efforts to stop me from doing that or from extending rights that flow from that relationship.

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Old 04-30-2012, 09:23 PM   #193
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That same church would teach that it's a sin for me to live with my partner while we are not married but I am not aware of concerted legislative efforts to stop me from doing that or from extending rights that flow from that relationship.

Adultery and divorce are also legal, with no serious legislative efforts to ban them. But you're right, Indy, Savage had no valid points at all.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #194
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I don't care what Dan Savage does in his bedroom. I do, however, care that he would use his fame to misrepresent the Bible in an attempt to alienate Christians from their peers and diminish their belief system.
Do you care when people use your belief system to try and make "what Dan Savage does in his bedroom" illegal?
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:30 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by INDY500

I don't buy the argument he gives for a second. He rifled off laws from Leviticus suggesting Christians are hypocrites for only observing sanctions against homosexuality. So what's he saying, that the world would be a better place if all Christian men grew untrimmed beards and protested down at Joe's Crab Shack?

For another thing that charge simply isn't true. Leviticus 19:18, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." I've been taught that since Bible school and I bet you have too. Same for the book's teaching on the holiness of God and the importance of obedience and worship

And I know I don't have to tell you that Christ brought a new covenant that superceded God's covenant with the Israelites for His believers. If Dan Savage is aware of this he isn't saying. Is homosexuality labeled a sin in the New Testament. Well, yes it is. But it is hardly the only sin is it? Does your church teach that only homosexuals need the forgiveness and grace of Christ? Neither does mine. I bet you're taught also that ALL fall short of the glory of God and ALL need His salvation.

I don't care what Dan Savage does in his bedroom. I do, however, care that he would use his fame to misrepresent the Bible in an attempt to alienate Christians from their peers and diminish their belief system.
Once again you twist your theology and purposely miss the point.

But you are the people he's talking about so it doesn't surprise me that you don't "buy" it or get it.
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