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Old 10-30-2006, 04:05 AM   #46
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Originally posted by Irvine511




it's interesting ... i think FYM has made me much more respectful towards the thought processes and rigorous thinking that many individual Christians apply to Scripture and to themselves and the world (like a certain poster who is sadly missed these days), but since the conclusions that are so often drawn seem so divorced from reality and so fundamentally flawed, it has turned me OFF from Scripture itself and convinced me that, yes, it really is a bunch of words in a book written down by a bunch of people who were trying to start a religion. ironically, it's through the respect i have for individual posters in FYM that has revealed to me that there is no such thing as Scriptural inerrance and therefore authority.
Great post, thank you.

I myself am very comfortable in my beliefs and love the thoughts of both the non-believers and the literal believers.

And yes he is missed, I told him so just the other week. But I understand his absence.
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Old 10-30-2006, 04:12 AM   #47
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At the same time, you have to admit that there is a degree of antagonism in FYM towards Christians/Christianity that certainly rears its ugly head more than often. It's why I don't post in here very often anymore. Browsing through some of the recent threads and seeing strongly implied (if not downright asserted) comments that people who don't see things a certain way can't think/don't get it/aren't educated/etc. is just as problematic and antagonistic. (Let's face it -- this entire thread is based on a couple of huge presumptions and judgment calls, blowing off steam as much as it may have been.)

I myself am a Christian and have never felt the antagonism towards Christianity.

That being said, I also realize I myself may come off sometimes as that anagonism. For I am often turned off by some of it's followers. I also understand that my passion can come off as "attacking", but I honestly don't ever mean it in that way.

I think FYM can be very antagonistic towards any extreme form of thought, be it extreme liberal thought, extreme conservative thought, extreme religious thought etc...

and honestly I think that's a good thing.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:14 AM   #48
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Not exactly sure what you mean here, but it sure sounds great!
A lens that brings the world into focus for one person doesn't necessarily work for others. Scripture is great for some, but many of us find it blurs the subject.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:06 AM   #49
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Originally posted by nathan1977
At the same time, you have to admit that there is a degree of antagonism in FYM towards Christians/Christianity that certainly rears its ugly head more than often. It's why I don't post in here very often anymore.
My antagonism towards the Christians in here (and anywhere) comes from their demands that laws in this secular country be based on what they consider to be God's word. With a smug smirk, they endlessly quote Bible verses that support their demands, and if anyone points out that ours is indeed a secular country, they trot out their own interpretations of the Constitution.

It gets old.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:15 AM   #50
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I agree with this with one big exception -- I would qualify the statement with the word some prior to both Christians and atheists. Yes, some Christians are complete fuckwits. Some atheists are complete fuckwits. Some members of each and every group of people you can think of are complete and utter fuckwits. But not all.

I try to steer clear of the fuckwits.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:18 AM   #51
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Athiests are not dogmatic they are pragmatic. Christians arrogantly put forward their views about their faith and treat them as fact whilst they are totally unproven and unprovable. Athiests purely deal with objective facts to come to their understanding about where they stand, not any historically flawed scripture.
Uh...yeah I've heard that before. Atheists are pragmatic and right and all that in THEIR VIEW. Guess what Christians think the same way about themselves for that matter. So does everyone. Everyone thinks they are right, and everyone else thinks that they are full of crap.

Atheists like to call us agnostics "atheists without guts". All that jazz about how the world would be a better place if there was no religion, is only half right in my view.

Christians like to call us believers without guts. All that jazz about how the worldw ould be a better place if everyone was a believer is naive in my view.

We simply have the guts to admit we don't know.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:25 AM   #52
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Originally posted by indra


I agree with this with one big exception -- I would qualify the statement with the word some prior to both Christians and atheists. Yes, some Christians are complete fuckwits. Some atheists are complete fuckwits. Some members of each and every group of people you can think of are complete and utter fuckwits. But not all.

I try to steer clear of the fuckwits.
I agree with you. Every movement has its noble people and points. But the human animal is the human animal.

Jesus predicted before hand that he would say to some of his fanatical followers with no real love in their hearts that "I NEVER KNEW THEE."

Karl Marx would roll over in his grave if he saw what was done with communism. He wasn't a fan of religion, but I'm sure he would not be a fan of how communist regimes have treated people of faith.

Malcom X's heart was softened when he did his Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and came back with a more tolerant stance.

etc etc etc

Someone once said that God works in mischievous ways. I believe that statement no matter what your concept of God or the ultimate realities may be. It will never fit into anyone's world view. And often morsels of truth come from people who represent world views that you yourself would rather not hear from.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:59 AM   #53
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Originally posted by martha


My antagonism towards the Christians in here (and anywhere) comes from their demands that laws in this secular country be based on what they consider to be God's word. With a smug smirk, they endlessly quote Bible verses that support their demands, and if anyone points out that ours is indeed a secular country, they trot out their own interpretations of the Constitution.

It gets old.
What about the Christians in here who agree with you? Like me?

I'm assuming that you meant to say "some Christians in here."

Not to be snippy or anything. I just hate to be tarred with the same brush so to speak.

They had a an atheism thread some months back and before it got hijacked by fellow believers, I learned a lot from it, including that there are all kinds of atheists and I couldn't assume that the way one atheist believes (or disbelieves ) is representative of what all athiests believe.

The same is true for Christians and I just wanted to underscore that point.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:02 AM   #54
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dietcokeofevil, I like how you think.
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:24 AM   #55
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Originally posted by nathan1977
At the same time, you have to admit that there is a degree of antagonism in FYM towards Christians/Christianity that certainly rears its ugly head more than often. It's why I don't post in here very often anymore. Browsing through some of the recent threads and seeing strongly implied (if not downright asserted) comments that people who don't see things a certain way can't think/don't get it/aren't educated/etc. is just as problematic and antagonistic. (Let's face it -- this entire thread is based on a couple of huge presumptions and judgment calls, blowing off steam as much as it may have been.)


thanks for a great post, nathan, but i would like to address the point in the above paragraph, and i'll keep it very simple -- does not the endless quoting of scripture combined with a God-told-me-so attitude that more often than not retreats into "this is what it says in the Bible so therefore i simply am unable to change my position."

that's not being strong in faith, that's being brittle with faith, and it's the intransigence and the using of Scripture to effective end debate -- the Know-Nothing-ism that i alluded to in another thread -- that i think inspires the Christian antagonism that does arise from time to time. i might not see it in the same amount that you do, but that could just be me -- not everyone sees, say, the heterosexism implicit in some of the respectfully disagreeing statements made in the NJ gay marriage thread, so it makes perfect sense that some Christians might well perceive an implicit anti-Christian sentiment in some posts that a non-Christian wouldn't even think twice about.

that said, yes, there are some posters who do view a life centered around Scripture as a life unexamined, or something to that effect. i was once one of those posters, but i'd like to think that i've changed just as i elucidated in my earlier post in this thread -- i respect the individuals more (and, specifically, many of your posts have helped me to better understand the logic, thought, and rigor i mentioned), but the source material less.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:51 PM   #56
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In response to Irvine's post...

What frustrates me about the time-honored "let me pull the Bible out and show you where you're wrong" argument is that people who do so miss one fundamental fact -- the laws and commandments in the Bible weren't meant for people who didn't follow Him. Both Old and New Testaments were written to people inside the church, not outside it -- helping them to understand their calling, their freedom, their new identity. Our pastor has taken to pointing out recently that the Scriptures don't make sense outside of a relationship with God. It's time to stop making people "behave" before they've even met God, and actually be God to people -- which is going to require a whole new way of doing things. Maycocksean's post about the scriptures being God's way of starting conversations with us is right on the money. The Bible is the collection of God's words to us, meant for us to have common ground to relate with Him. Not meant to be a bludgeon.

Having said that, I do think God is good. And I do think that His words and promises to us are good. So, yes, at the end of the day, I need to trust in His goodness. However, at the same time, I'm not supposed to open the book and turn off my brain. It annoys me when Christians too easily use pat answers and pat theology to reinforce conclusions they've already arrived at. If we're not in Heaven yet, then this life is a journey -- and if God built us for relationship with Himself, then the ultimate journey is the one of getting to know Him. I get nervous when people automatically assume they know what God wants. Yes, His word is a good indicator, but if there's anything the Bible tells us, it's that God enjoys confounding our expectations. I think it's because He is always drawing us further away from us, and closer to Himself. There is a wrestling match in this; there has to be. If God wants me to relate with Him, He wants me to question, to wrestle, because He's not exactly an easy individual to get to know.

So yes, I'm starting to join the throngs of people who get frustrated by Bible-quoting without any seeming thought given to either the scriptures or the sandbox they're playing in.

HOWEVER. Antagonism breeds antagonism. Much of what seems to happen in here is by mutual consent. Martha's comment, "if anyone points out that ours is indeed a secular country, they trot out their own interpretations of the Constitution," seems to indicate that there's only one way to interpret the Constitution. And maycocksean's comment, "What about the Christians in here who agree with you?" indicates a FYM trend that the only respect worth giving is to those who agree with us. I'd like to think that respect is respect, regardless of the sayer. I've tried to always be respectful of whoever I'm responding to, whether it's (the sadly missed) nbcrusader, Irvine, or Melon. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn. I am saying this to say that I don't think I'm smug or smirking when we engage in back-and-forth about issues important to us, and I don't think I'm all that unique. Most Christians I know struggle daily with their walks, learning as they go. Most Christians I know struggle to balance faith and love, joy and hope, mercy and justice. Most Christians I know vote with the same moral convictions redhotswami said when s/he posted, "my values ARE for the greater good of society, not for the betterment of myself. And that's how I am with most other things. My job, my studies, etc...all that is for the world, not for me." The easy, casual disregard for people who disagree with us is what troubles me most in FYM these days -- the casual assumption that no one else sees the world the way we do. It seems to me that in order to get respect, one must give respect. Perhaps it's too much to hope for.
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:57 PM   #57
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Most Christians I know vote with the same moral convictions redhotswami said when s/he posted, "my values ARE for the greater good of society, not for the betterment of myself. And that's how I am with most other things. My job, my studies, etc...all that is for the world, not for me."
i'm a she, for the record
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:39 PM   #58
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Good to know; didn't want to assume.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:44 PM   #59
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Martha's comment, "if anyone points out that ours is indeed a secular country, they trot out their own interpretations of the Constitution," seems to indicate that there's only one way to interpret the Constitution.
There's no Christainity mentioned in the Constitution.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:48 PM   #60
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In response to Irvine's post...

What frustrates me about the time-honored "let me pull the Bible out and show you where you're wrong" argument is that people who do so miss one fundamental fact -- the laws and commandments in the Bible weren't meant for people who didn't follow Him. Both Old and New Testaments were written to people inside the church, not outside it -- helping them to understand their calling, their freedom, their new identity. Our pastor has taken to pointing out recently that the Scriptures don't make sense outside of a relationship with God. It's time to stop making people "behave" before they've even met God, and actually be God to people -- which is going to require a whole new way of doing things. Maycocksean's post about the scriptures being God's way of starting conversations with us is right on the money. The Bible is the collection of God's words to us, meant for us to have common ground to relate with Him. Not meant to be a bludgeon.


i thank you for the post, and greatly appreciate what you've written above, and agree with you, but for the sake of furthering the discussion about what is and what is not antagonistic and how we might unwittingly be antagonistic when we don't intend to be, i want to respond to something right here because i think you might not realize how unintentionally even a paragraph like this might come across as antagonizing to non-Christians or atheists or agnostics.

i understand that you're operating from a different starting point than i am, but in these words seem to be an assumption that, yes, there is a God, that, yes, i am worshipping the right onw, and that, yes, there are people who aren't yet aware of what i know but that's part of my mission is to spread His (and even using the capital "H" is quite assertive) word.

i know we want to steer away from endless qualifications, "i believe" or "imho," but i think what many people do react to is the way in which many christians speak about god as if he's a person and there's something they know that others don't, very much, "i was once like you." it's not that people who are atheist are missing something in their lives or are unaware of God or angrily choosing to ignore God for whatever reasons. some people simply look around and through simply clarity and logic don't think that God exists, that there's no "there" there, that religion is a human fabrication meant to explain the unexplainable and shield us from the paralyzing paradox of the human conditon as we await our impending deaths.

it gets back to a theme that i hit on several times -- that faith requires doubt. and the posts by Christians that rankle me most are those that are assertive of a reality that they feel should be plainly obvious to all, and if you don't see it it's because you've just misunderstood something.

and i fully understand that the basic thought blueprint up above cuts both ways, absolutely, and there are many people who will say things that i might agree with but i, like you, might find the manner in which it was expressed to be disrespectful. but, and maybe this is just me, something seems different when being assertive about earthly issues (from abortion to NoKo to Iraq to taxation to suburbal sprawl) versus being assertive about the metaphysical. i am much more receptive to someone saying, "an embryo deserves the same status as a human being, period" than i am with someone saying, "Jesus died on the cross to absolve us of sin, period. accept it, or not."

but that's me.
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