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Old 09-05-2007, 01:57 PM   #41
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When Jesus lived there was no way he couldn't "hang out" with Jews.
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Old 09-05-2007, 02:06 PM   #42
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I'm an Irish Catholic Christian. I essentially believe that religion at its core is about believing in love. Anything after that is the spin and politics of those involved in religions over the centuries. I believe that the Bible, for the most part, is a politically written book that takes God's word and gives it some bias. I'm not going to take a book written by humans like me and assume that God wrote it, because it would be a flat-out stupid assumption to make. I feel very, very comfortable with my beliefs, and saying that I'm a Catholic. I don't agree with everything about Catholicism, but most of my beefs are with the people in it. At its core, I think its beliefs are right in line with my own.

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This piece makes no sense. If you're not a Christian, you do not truly know what it is like to live as one in the United States, so the above has no backup or support.

In response to that, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian in the United States and to live out my beliefs the way I wish, and unless you are one, you cannot say otherwise, so don't bother. It is difficult to be a Christian anywhere in the world. I'll never forget what one of my professors said last year. He said that in one country (I think in the middle east, I wish I could remember) if I was to go over there, walk down the middle of the street and say "I'm a Christian!", I would be shot on the spot. And as a formal military man and police officer, I believe him. Tell me that's not persecution. Last time I checked, we don't do that to Muslims here in the states.
I am a Christian, so I can say otherwise. This is an absolute bullshit statement. You are the one who stated that you, as a conservative American Christian, receive an equal amount of oppression as do homosexuals, right? Give me a break. Ridiculous. The biggest problem with America right now when it comes to moral issues are the religious people who use religion to hate, for the most part conservatives. Christianity is the most common religion in this country, for Christ's sake! How can you have difficulty living as the majority? For the most part, conservatives favor the majority!

And what does a Middle Eastern country have to do with the discussion at all? Yes, there are problems in the Middle East with acceptance. We know. It doesn't make your life here in America anymore difficult. Your only difficulties come from the fact that anyone who points out flaws in your outdated and borderline stupid ideology is "trying to oppress you." When they call you on it, you might as well stick your fingers and your ears and say "Na na na na na" because that's the maturity level of stating that Christianity is hard to live with. You think that because we don't murder Muslims in the streets here, that their life is easy? No! There's plenty of religious bigotry in this country! Just because we aren't killing them doesn't mean that there aren't people hating them and making their lives actually difficult. A white, conservative, Christian, American male doesn't have difficulties based on those things, especially when you look at other groups of people who do.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:31 PM   #43
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Quote:
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When Jesus lived there was no way he couldn't "hang out" with Jews.
True, true.
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:55 AM   #44
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I think one of the problems I have with how some people practice Christianity (and other religions) is the misuse of it often enough to SANCTIFY how you are, believe, behave anyway. Other than finetuning a few external behaviors or mouthings for appearance's sake, you really don't have to change much to think well of yourself and to look down on somebody else. You will always be able to find some text that will justify your behavior. Maybe even celebrate your behavior.

I think it is that sanctification that is dangerous.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:48 AM   #45
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not to be flip, but i think i can say this: Jesus Was A Cool Guy.

after that, well, Christianity and Christians are just like any other group with a central self-identity, and are a part of identity politics just like any other group (blacks, jews, gays, etc.) there's good people and bad people, smart people and unthinking people, some who do wonderful things in the name of their religion, and some who do terrible things in the name of their religion.

i am appaled at the work done by Falwell, Dobson, and others, but i am inspired by the day-to-day incremental charitable work done by individuals working through their church.

i don't understand how people can center their lives and identity around something that is, to me, as subjective and ephermeal as religion, but i know that people do. i don't know how people can spend their lives obsessing over the supernatural when the natural and real is so wonderous, but i know that people do. i don't know why people spend their time analyzing a 2,000 year old text written decades after the fact and treat it like a science textbook, but i know that people do.

ultimately, none of the above activities bother me too much, so long as none of the above activities result in a redution of my personal freedoms.

i don't understand the obsession with being "saved," nor do i understand where the conclusion that all others are going to hell, or at least not going to be with God, when they die. i see religion as an extention of culture, and if there is a God, doesn't it make sense that he'd present himself in a manner that was understandable to all cultures? it's the chauvinism and, yes, colonialism embedded in the evangelizing/missionizing that i find incredibly distasteful.

but other than that, yeah, i'll say it again: Jesus Was A Cool Guy.

no question about that.

and, like all religions, Christianity is the ultimate justifier for good, as well as evil. if God is telling you to do something, then you'll do anything. because if all that there is (this earth, this life) is nothing compared to the afterlife, and if your life on earth is spent preparing for the afterlife, then what's to stop you from destroying life here if it doesn't matter at all?
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:09 AM   #46
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I totally agree with your post.
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:36 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


because if all that there is (this earth, this life) is nothing compared to the afterlife, and if your life on earth is spent preparing for the afterlife, then what's to stop you from destroying life here if it doesn't matter at all?
I think what stops most believers from destroying life here is that religion really is ultimatley about this life--or at least about resolving the aspects of life on earth that most human beings can't seem to get completely comfortable with, chief among those issues, the whole death and suffering thing.

As for the radical believers that do seem intent on destroying the lives of the "infidels" I'm not entirely sure they are so motivated by the afterlife either. I sense there are more immediate (and twisted) rewards in the here-and-now for their need to attack in whatever form those who do not share their belief. Maybe it's the sense of power, of specialness, the motivations of hatred or prejudice, I really don't know. But I do know it's most likely very much wrapped up in this life not the next.

I do agree with you that humans have always been drawn to being able to claim a certain unassailable Authority as being on their side. And I agree with you that such claims are very dangerous.

Well, I'm off to do some "door to door" proselytizing. . . .

( I wish I was joking, but I'm not. . . Long story. Suffice it to say I tried to avoid it as long as I could, but now. . .my responsibilities at my church make it unavoidable. I'll try to avoid thumping my Bible or being pushy and hope for the best. **sigh**).
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Old 09-08-2007, 06:51 AM   #48
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I think the base message of Christianity is very simple. I think living it is very hard.

And I want to thank Sean for posts here and elsewhere for making me keep that particular door ajar, when I've read so many posts here that made me want to slam it completely.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:41 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
I think the base message of Christianity is very simple. I think living it is very hard.
I would agree with you on that.

Quote:
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And I want to thank Sean for posts here and elsewhere for making me keep that particular door ajar, when I've read so many posts here that made me want to slam it completely.
Thank you.
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