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Old 10-01-2002, 11:55 AM   #41
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


I wish we knew for sure where the bulk of Christ's ministry took place, in the Temple or with the sinners. I know where I believe it took place.

Don't discount Jesus's ministry to his disciples. He spent more time with them than with anyone else.

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But there have been very few churches that I have been in where the $$$ is not consistently sought out.
I'm not sure what churches you've been to, and I'm not sure what you meant by "consistently sought out" (e.g. an offering plate is passed around each week, or a plea for increased giving is given every week), but do you consider the ideal church one that requires no giving of money, time, or effort by it's members? Of course, you seem to be against the idea of churches, so that may be a silly question.

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The message of Christ is a simple one, yet it has been twisted and turned into something complex by church organizations. God gets lost when that happens.
I think I share some of your concerns for the church, but I'm not ready to throw out the idea of a church. Shouldn't believers still get together? At what point does it become a "church", and does it become wrong at that point? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth D-sox, I appreciate your posts around here and would like to hear more of your thoughts on this.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox

I am still seaking a single story in the good book where Jesus sought out $$$.
In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus said:
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"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Jesus is not seeking out money here, but he is supporting the idea of giving to the church (while making the very important point that there are far more important things we should be doing as well).

I know we're way off on a tangent issue here. Sorry.

Melon - I wish Marx were right. I wish we would all be satisfied with equality. But if we can get more, we want it, even if (especially if?) it comes at someone elses expense.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:09 PM   #42
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Originally posted by Melon
- Anti-American sentiment is going to levels worthy of "The Onion." Yes, we blew up our own buildings and brought down our own planes, so we could own all the world's oil and establish a "Gap" in every Islamic temple. Never mind, of course, that America has been researching hydrogen fuel cell technology that would make us probably no longer need foreign oil in another decade...so I'm sure we would get yelled at for that as well.
I don't know whether this rant (no offense meant) responds to what you really believe since I don't find it to be much in line with your next posts. I certainly don't agree with this paranoid campaign many Americans are adhering to regarding "anti-Americanism". The fact that people don't agree with US foreign policy or future actions the US government plans to undertake doesn't necessarily make them anti-American. In fact many of them are actually American! People may be anti-Bush or anti-imperialist in any case, but it's plainly ludicrous to make out of such opposition a case of being the victims of the rest of the world's hate excluding naturally the Islamic fundamentalist part of it. I fully agree with Anthony on this one.

Re hydrogen fuel cell technology and other alternative energies research. I understand that their financing on part of the present US administration has suffered drastic cutbacks if it wasn't cut off altogether. It makes you wonder, doesn't it? On the other hand, no I don't think the US would be yelled at for it since besides putting an end to conflicts arisen because of oil control it would also reduce pollution on our already battered planet.

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- Leftism has proved completely ineffectual in dealing with terrorism, which has always looked disdainfully upon intellectualism and pacifism--bulwarks of leftism. Something indeed tells me that intellectualism and pacifism will not dismantle Al-Qaeda, no more than intellectualism and pacifism will not dismantle the Christian Coalition. In fact, it only seemingly fuels the fanaticism further. I guess as long as Al-Qaeda doesn't strike anything else but America--since they "clearly" deserve it, according to Canadian opinion polls--then America should just shut up and take it?
What do you exactly mean by leftism? Communism? The US intellectual left - Chomsky et al? I fail to see in which actual cases "leftism has proved to be completely ineffectual against terrorism". That I know of the US were never ruled by "leftists" unless Democrats are considered to be such. On the other hand pacifism is not certainly a bulwark of leftism. Left-wing ideologists have always been pro-revolution whatever the forms, unless you mean John Holloway and his recent concept of anti-revolution breeded during his experience in Chiapas. If you mean opposition to US interventionism in the foreign front (anti-imperialism), that's something else, but that can hardly be called pacifism. In any case it hasn't given much of chance as to conclude that it has proved to be ineffective.

While I agree that pacifism (true one - in the Gandhian sense - not anti-imperialism) and intellectualism can't contribute much towards doing away with terrorism I don't see how they "fuel fanaticism further". It must also be said that while root solutions (removing causes) have never been given a chance, the retaliation or "we're gonna get 'em" approach which have been conversely widely tried out, i. e. military actions in the Israeli style not to mention the recent war in Afghanistan have also proved to be completely ineffective.

Does this mean that the US or Israel have to sit back and take it?

No, but nobody in their right senses can really believe that killing bin Laden and dismantling Al-Qaeda will put an end to the terrorist threat from Islamic fundamentalists. I mean that the chosen approach won't help to achieve the goal of doing away with terrorists. This is because this approach relies exclusively in the removal of the effect rather than the cause. In fact it's the result what's being pondered and not the reasons why such events happened in the first place. Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda did not perpetrate the 9/11 attacks because they are "madmen who hate the US for no reason". They did not do it either beacuse they resent past American policy in the Middle East and much less because they give a damn for their people's welfare. However they use such arguments which are those that make them widely supported in the Middle East to enforce their own agenda consistent in wiping out the opposition to establish their own theocratic system.

The real problem is however the widespread support they get from their own people which is what really fuels the existence of such groups both with manpower readily available to join their ranks and in general with facilitated operativity (lots of people ready to hide them, provide them with food supplies, etc). The question is why do people get to the point of supporting such extremist tactics and the ideology that goes with it. The answer is fairly simple: not certainly because they are all fanatics nor because Islamism preaches violence, but rather because these people are victims of real grievances which stem from extreme living conditions, years of oppression and of claims being ignored, most of the time caused by foreign aggressive policies originated in the west.

If something isn't done to actually remove such grievances there is no hope of doing away with terrorism and this has nothing to do with intellectualism but rather with common sense.

I'm certainly aware that terrorism won't disappear automatically if local people have access to better living conditions, education, etc or their claims are responded to, but rather that such a scenario will make them much less prone to support terrorist cells and even willing to get rid of them altogether. That will undoubtedly make the task of hunting down terrorists and punishing them as they deserve much easier to carry out. Wars and raids against individual terrorist cells may temporarily knock them out of the game, but if the causes of resentment which are the ones that encourage the massive support to such groups continue to exist, it won't be long before new similar organisations spring up.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:14 PM   #43
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3. Don't think that the 19 terrorists and their backers have some goal of making the world a better place, solving the Third World debt crisis, ending the African AIDS crisis, liberating the space monkeys, or globally restoring human rights. Their beef is with the presence of Jews (Israel), westerners (U.S. & European military and businesses), moderate Muslims, Hindus and other "infidels" in the Arabian peninsula, Palestine, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia. Their goal is to drive these groups from a large geographical region so that they can rule the area with a theocratic empire.
I fully agree. However this fact musn't be mistaken for the nonexistence of the grievances they claim to fight for and because of which they are massively supported.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:29 PM   #44
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Interesting thoughts Melon.

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Originally posted by Melon
* "Truth," as we wish it were, has always been mutable and irrelevant.
What is "truth"? Is there anything like it?

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The issue of "balanced representation" is a fallacy in itself, because what we really want is something that appeals to our ideological lenses, whether that be liberal or conservative--again, putting "truth" at the last priority.
Agree.

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* Karl Marx believed that the working classes would someday rise up, overthrow capitalist society, and be satisfied with equality. This, being perhaps one of the cornerstones of Marxist philosophy, is a fallacy. In contrast, humanity is inherently greedy, and, as long as there is some deluded promise that they themselves could be as wealthy and fat as Bill Gates, humanity will accept the accompanying abuse. This is why capitalism works, because, truly, we enjoy being elitist, and, at the other end, we enjoy seeing others worse off than us.
Absolutely agree.

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* Religion, in theory, is supposedly about "love," when, in fact, religion is about as corrupt--if not more corrupt--than the worst of human regimes. What other device is prone to wars, cults, terrorists, self-hatred, mind control, greed, and power? The nature of religion angers and upsets me so much that, for all the good it claims to bring, I fear that humanity would be in far better shape with its destruction. God was cast out of religion from its inception, and in God's place came worldly power and greed--what we crave the most--and nothing has ever changed.
Well religion IS a human regime. There are other devices prone to the evils you mention, however when they originate from religious organisations it makes you crazier because they contradict the spirit of what they supposedly preach. Nevertheless I'm not so sure that humanity would be better off with its destruction since many people actually need some sort of organised entity to instill in them the fear of God in order for them to behave decently. Also it's not entirely fair to ignore that many good works are actually done in the name of God under some religion's watch. On another account I'm not so sure that the sort of massacres performed in the name of God could have been avoided altogether, since even if God wouldn't have been the excuse, who can tell if some other pretext wouldn't have been invented to perform them anyway? In fact even if the religious pretext was used to paint them with the gloss of legitimacy it's obvious that they stem/med from clearly human shortcomings such as racism, sexism, fanaticism, hate and intolerance in general. Somebody would have undoubtedly come up with something else to be able to direct such passions.
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:46 PM   #45
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Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
Don't discount Jesus's ministry to his disciples. He spent more time with them than with anyone else.
Very good point. It is actually something I think I took for granted and had not spent a lot of time thinking about it.


Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
I'm not sure what churches you've been to, and I'm not sure what you meant by "consistently sought out" (e.g. an offering plate is passed around each week, or a plea for increased giving is given every week), but do you consider the ideal church one that requires no giving of money, time, or effort by it's members? Of course, you seem to be against the idea of churches, so that may be a silly question.
Actually, time and effort is something I appreciate and I looked forward to giving to my church. It actually means more to me to see people working as a community.

Currently, to satisfy my need to work in the community I have turned to non-denominational organizations to satisfy my need to gove back to others for the blessings I have received.

Started off Catholic, then Congregational, then Nazarene, then Unitarian, then Catholic.....now.....????



Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
I think I share some of your concerns for the church, but I'm not ready to throw out the idea of a church. Shouldn't believers still get together? At what point does it become a "church", and does it become wrong at that point? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth D-sox, I appreciate your posts around here and would like to hear more of your thoughts on this.

I do not think I have thrown out the idea of church, however, the closest I have felt to God in recent times has been:
#at the U2 concert in Providence last October 30,
#when I am working with students who are lacking in a male role model at home
#when I am with my children playing and praying. On a side note, kids speak to God in the simpolest of terms and have the most perfect prayers.

As for getting together with believers, I do think it is important to be together with a community of believers, yet I find God when I am talking religion with other people with different beliefs from mine. When I see the soul of a person, be they of another faith, or of no faith, I still find God. One of the most kind souls that I know belongs to an atheist friend of mine. She has honor, integrity, loyalty, love of neighbors and the world. I see more of Christ in the Native American culture than I do in the culture of the community I live in.

Now I am off topic. Rambling.....


You are not putting words in my mouth....you are making me think. I appreciate it.


Peace to all.
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Old 10-05-2002, 08:03 AM   #46
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I have long felt this way, that one unfortunate facet of American conservatism is one that wishes to promote *sameness*--not solidarity or unity or mutual support. Some conservatives--and it seems to be those who shout most loudly--make it no secret that they believe everyone ought to be a Christian, Republican, heterosexual gun owner. And we all know that's never going to happen.
I would say that the problem applies to both sides. There are moderate liberals who are drowned out by the people who shout the loudest on the loberal side as well.

WE had this discussion at a meeting the other day. People were shout loudly about problems, and changes were made to fix the 'problem'. It turns out the people shouting were waaaaaayyyyy in the minority and the change actually rocked the boat more than helping things. The change was undone.


Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
I certainly know that many conservatives do not feel this way, and have other reasons for believing and acting as they do. But unfortunately for more fair-minded conservatives, the ultra-right faction is the loudest, and plenty of people--even myself at one time, though I hope not anymore--still think of *all* conservatives in this manner.
I feel the same way about the openminded liberals. Unfortunately both sides are dominated by extremes.

Now where is my bible and my shotgun!!!! HEHE I am kidding!
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Old 10-05-2002, 04:15 PM   #47
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


I would say that the problem applies to both sides. There are moderate liberals who are drowned out by the people who shout the loudest on the loberal side as well.
Loberal?
What is this. A liberal after a lobotomy?

Sorry, I just had some weird associations after reading the quote above...

Marty
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Old 10-05-2002, 06:16 PM   #48
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Originally posted by Popmartijn


Loberal?
What is this. A liberal after a lobotomy?

Sorry, I just had some weird associations after reading the quote above...

Marty
Hahaha.

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Old 10-05-2002, 10:34 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by Popmartijn


Loberal?
What is this. A liberal after a lobotomy?

Sorry, I just had some weird associations after reading the quote above...

Marty
Oooops....I should not type, watch kids, and think at the same time. Sometimes I wish I were a woman. Y'all are better at them there multitasking.

Loberal....Mwwwwaaaahhhhhhaaaaa
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