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dj-bizmonkey
awww, thanks minx, nice use of alliteration. you and i agree on pretty much everything, sorry for being defensive, kind of silly huh? i am not quite at the end of my rope because i sympathize with the desire/need for a creator god or something to believe in. it certainly makes for an easier, simpler existence. and it gets pretty freakin' frustrating to always feel like you have to be the bigger person and let the zealots spit in your face and tell you you're going to burn in hell. this dude abides, however. p.s. i love your avatar.

you are correct, mornington, and it's important to keep in mind that a unified, transnational/transcultural theory of feminism is near impossible to define. what works in north america or europe is different from what works in the middle east or india. it's interesting, "because for his time", the prophet mohammed was kinda feminist. he supported women having property rights and being able to conduct business. come to think of it, so was jesus, because he certainly allowed for female followers. it seems like the traditonal prophets were progressive, but their followers took their words and twisted them for their own advantage or to suppor their own prejudices. like gandhi said, 'i do not reject your christ, i love your christ. it is just that your christians are so unlike your christ.'
bunnyb
Hmmm, are we not getting back into the you're not liberal enough/feminist enough to participate on this board discussion? zoya successfully diffused that hot potato a few pages back.
dj-bizmonkey
i never said that anyone was not 'liberal' enough to post here. i said that women who are subservient to men or believe they must submit to the authority of men because of religious doctrine or spiritual imperative aren't feminist. in my opinion, i think the two are mutually exclusive. but i'm certainly open to hear some one's opinion on how they can be both subservient and feminist. i'm completely serious, not trying to be flippant or argumentative. if some one disagrees, speak out, lets hash out the issues (this is 'the f-word' after all!).

i'd also like to point out that when the 'hot potato' issue was brought up the first time. this is how i phrased it:

"yes, agree to disagree. i know that people in your position have very steadfast views, as i do myself, so perhaps we should let this one go before it snowballs. i am curious as to why someone with such seemingly conservative views would be drawn to BUST in the first place. i'm NOT saying that you don't belong here or aren't welcome, because in my mind, you certainly are. i just wonder what attracted you to a liberal, feminist forum."

(why i am so technologically disinclined to figure out how to use the quote button is beyond me, i should go post somehwere in 'from the top' and get some help with this. this is a quote from me about 3 pages back. oh the irony, the science geek is unable to use technology!)

i have no desire to be exclusionist, but i do think minx is right in the sense that it is a legitimate question. when i first asked it of konphusion, i got a legitimate, acceptable answer. even though i don't agree with my more spiritual or religious busties doesn't mean i don't enjoy engaging them in a debate. i guess i feel like i'm trying really hard to be open-minded but still stand by my convictions? i dunno. probably getting defensive again. sorry 'bout that, maybe it's just one of those days.......


nickclick
i think we're getting dangerous close to the question that gets kicked around here a lot, and to my knowledge, has yet been answered, if at all possible: what does it mean to be feminist?

does it merely mean having a consciousness of women's oppression and need for equality in all elements of patriarchal society, including religion? kind of like saying can you be a feminist sex worker? feminist cheerleader? so can you be a feminist catholic?

does it mean to actively work to end women's oppression, even if within a patriarchal structure like most organized religions?

does it mean to totally denounce anything patriarchial, personally and politically?

or all three? none at all? or other definitions?

maybe the answer is to be like mornington's grandmother - to take what you can from it and balance it with what you yourself believe. maybe religion's not all or nothing? personally, that's my biggest gripe with organized religion.... that you're expected to lose all independent thought. isn't that what makes us gloriously human? (no matter who or what you think created you)
zoya
QUOTE(nickclick @ Mar 28 2008, 01:26 PM) *
maybe the answer is to be like mornington's grandmother - to take what you can from it and balance it with what you yourself believe. maybe religion's not all or nothing? personally, that's my biggest gripe with organized religion.... that you're expected to lose all independent thought. isn't that what makes us gloriously human? (no matter who or what you think created you)


I totally agree with that. I also think that sixelacat's parallels in her post about christianity and the deominations and sects of denominations made sense also - very interesting when you substitute the word "Feminism" for "Christianity" the dynamic of the debate are very similar.

I'm not discounting the debate about "are you a feminist if you're subservient to men," or "what does it mean to be feminist" - not at all. What I have an issue with is when someone says (or implies) that because they don't consider someone a feminist, that that person shouldn't be a member of this board. I love that the lounge is diverse, and that there is open, intelligent debate. I would like to think that it is a learning tool to open people's minds and allow for exchange of ideas. I could care crap all if a someone here has more conservative views than I do (and I'm talking legitimate members, not tr**ls), as long as we are respecting each others right to express those views, being open to listening to the one another's views, and being open to learn from each other.

Threads like this one, and certain other "hot" topics, are going to be hot topics no matter where you talk about them - parties, classes, etc. Overall, I do have to say that I'm impressed that this thread hasn't devolved into the shitstorm that I've seen other threads go thru over the years. Not to say we don't all disagree on stuff, and it's certainly been getting heated, but overall I think that people have conducted themselves pretty well, and intelligently.
dj-bizmonkey
i don't have much else to add, save that i concur with both nickclick and zoya. so much of what is discussed in here, feminism, spirituality, values speak to the core of us. it's painful and difficult to have what feels like an essential part of you berated, deconstructed or criticized. sorry if i came off defensive earlier. it's hard to step outside yourself at times. and it's very easy to read text in whatever tone seems appropriate at the time. i think we have done incredibly well not alienating one another and keeping things civil and open. you're right zoya, it could get alot uglier in here.
neurotic.nelly
Well, I have something to ask, Is this a thread primarily for atheists? I am not at all religious as I've stated before, but I am "spiritual". In no way am I religious but I believe in the inner connectedness of all things and that all things are kinda like god, if that makes any sense. Also, have said atheists ever experienced anything synchronistic and/or seen, heard, felt, things that you cannot explain? Moreover, have they felt otherworldly in some way? And if so, how do you reconcile this with your atheism?

bunnyb, I really agreed with some of the things that you expressed regarding sprinkles and kon's posts, but Busties do not contain their love for each other to just the MA thread, Kvetch, or the Okay threads. They give shouts out and hug each other all the time in any thread they want. Those two made NO spectacle of themselves here by acknowledging each other (in my opinion). Now maybe, according to whoever, they don't necessarily belong in this thread... but I still think it was hypocritical... however, you had many really good points. I know you are one of the boss hogs here.

Sincerely,

Neurotic happy.gif
SpRiNkLeS
Dum, dum, dum…………It’s meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! tongue.gif Hehe, well hey girls. Did ya’ll have a good Friday night? So I decided to check in here to see if I’m like kicked out or not only to see a whole other discussion going on. Obviously the talk is still sorta about me but I see it’s moved on to “Get out! Your not really a feminist!!” Thankyou to all who actually wrote out my name instead of just talking about me but not wanting to write out my name. I appreciate it but next time, seriously if you got a question for me just say, SPRINKLES…….? I don’t mind one bit.

I think I answered this in one of my earlier posts but just to refresh, well the reason why I first came to this “liberal, feminist forum” was because of a health problem. So the quickie answer: The link I clicked on brought me to BUST. After a month I realized that some of the posters (“BUSTIES!” I’m finally gettin a hang of the lingo here!) in the health forum have like over a hundred posts on their post tally and I thought, well this can’t be just from here! I didn’t even know there were “threads” and “forums” so I decided to check out some other “threads”, only after attempting a few I kinda got bored. They just didn’t really keep my interest. Well then I happened upon this place, I thought it was interesting but I did not post anything, I was just silent and “lurking” (is that right?). Well after a while I stopped coming because this place wasn’t getting any action. Well then about like maybe a week ago? This place was on fire with heated discussion and ya’ll were ganging up on Konphusion. Not only is she my friend here but I happened to agree with what Konphusion was talking about, so that is when I stepped in to join this discussion and the rest, as they say, is history.

I thought BUST was actually open to everyone. I did not know only one kind, with one main view, is welcome. Minx, you seem to really have a problem with me. The things you said in your post were so shocking and I hate to prove you right but yes, you did come across very angry. Am I a feminist? If you can give me a simple definition of what a feminist is then I will answer your question. I get the feeling you think that I worship men at their feet and will do anything they say? Sorry to disappoint but that is not the case with me, but I do understand why you thought that from my interpretation of what Paul could have possibly meant in regards to the scriptures in question. I think men are hot (ok well not all), I think they can be funny, smart,sexy, strong, weak, etc. Every man is different, just like every woman is different. I look forward to one day finding the right man to share a beautiful marriage and future with. But do I do whatever a man tells me to do just because he says so and is a man? Hell no! In fact the men in my life have NEVER been there for me when I needed them. EVER. In fact if my ex were able to find out where I am now, with our kid, I probably wouldn’t make it to see tomorrow. I am a single mother (you mentioned you are a mother too?) and I am strong. I have been through things, you have been through things, people in this thread have been through things. I am sure some peoples’ past experiences have helped to shape who they are. My experiences have shaped who I am, they are the reason why I believe in what I believe in.

Is there a God? I believe there is. Does everyone have to believe there is a God? No, all you have to do is look at this country and the answer is no. In fact people are more afraid to insult UNreligious people than they are to insult religious people. It is like a double standard. Does this make me want to cower and say that I don’t believe in God so I can conform to everyone else’s opinions? NOPE. I am who I am and nothing will change the fact that I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Do you have to believe that? No. I don’t care if I get snickers when I say this because deep in my heart this is what I believe, this is what I FEEL. I feel the Holy Spirit in me, I feel the Lord’s presence when I need Him. As long as people are willing to listen I don’t mind sharing how I feel, and if I realize I am wrong I admit it, just like some of these busties in here brought me to realize. I also like to hear what everyone else has to say, I am deeply curious. I understand I am like 1 against 10 (or perhaps the whole BUST lounge!) here but I don’t really have a problem with it unless I have truly hurt soemone’s feelings and that is when I will go if me being here upsets them too much. I know, it is weird, I don’t care if people insult me ten times over but if I ever unintentionally hurt their feelings even ONCE and I truly feel like they are hurt, well I feel horrible. Maybe that is a fault of mine? However, when the posts turn to some serious bashing when I thought this was a cool place to share viewpoints over our beliefs this is when I start to become uninterested and prefer to move on.

If the tables were turned around here…………………………………..well never mind. I must accept the whole double standard thing. Dare I laugh at the thought that we all came from apes. Or perhaps we were just all accidents?

To Zoya, NickClick, DJ-Bizmonkey, BunnyB, Faerietails2, Pollystyrene, Pixiedust, Neurotic.Nelly, Tesao, Starship…….well ladies, I think we all had some great discussions, I learned a lot from all of you. If you only love those who love you, what reward is that? Ya’ll are awesome chicks, we had a good run. I wouldn’t mind staying and having more discussions with all you and all people joining in (including Minx!) but if I have to agree with everyone’s beliefs or viewpoints just to stay in here then I will proudly walk away. Either way I don’t regret coming here at all.
pixiedust
I've been thinking of how I would answer this since I first read Minx's post before anyone else had answered. i needed the entire night to calm down and try to rationally figure out whow to answer without inciting more bad feelings here. Most of you who have been here a while know I have been in some major shitstorms here and most of them have come down to that feeling minx has that you can't be feminist and still be christian or have conservative views. I really don't get how some feminists can claim(and I am speaking generally, not to anyone in particular) that they are all for women's right to choice their life, and then scoff at those who choose a different path than they did!
I grew up in a religious house. Southern Baptsist by birth....my grandfather was a preacher would have probably been a great friend of Jerry Fallwell. After my dad died, my mom moved us over in to the very zealot bible thumping evangelist side. I spent 10 years gloing to Kenneth Hagin's church. After I became an adult, I walked away from almost everything religious for a long time. When I came back, I tried catholicism a bit. I went to a couple methodist churches a time or two, and Ifinally found a church that's main message is inclusionism of everyon and that is where I have stayed. I chose to become religious again and it makes me happy to be a Christian.
I've tried to share of my thoughts in here, and whether I "have a right to be here" or not, I have to thank the ladies of this thread on both sides for helping me to question and redefine my beliefs. I like what somebody said a few pages back(I'm to olazy to go bakc and look it up) when they said if they were going to be a chirstian they would only follow the words of Jesus. And I really get that! I mean he's the only one of the hundred or so people who wrote different parts of the Bible that wasn't a totally fallible human. Take for instance Paul's epistles...like where he mentions women needing to have their heads covered and not speaking out in church ect...That was in his origional intent a personal letter to a curch he was affiliated with. I doubt he ever had any concept that it would be put into a book people would be reading thousands of years later. I also don't see it as a directive to last through the ages. I believe he was answering some questions that they were facing in the culture and times that they lived in. Just say say, 75 years ago women here weren't really allowed to wear bathing suits because they were too uncovered. I also think portions may have been misinterpreted or (Thank you King James) simply changed to suit someone's political agenda.
As for the crux of what Minx was saying about being subservient to men, I have never in my time being a Christian run into that ideology. In fact I have heard time and time again that "Eve was made from Adam's rib bone to stand beside him as an equal. She wasn't made out of his feet to be trampled on , nor his head to rule above him." I know a lot of people in here are/were Catholic and I don't want to offend anyone, but part of the reason I never could get into the catholic faith was because of that feeling of having to be subservient to the priests. But not all religions are like that. The only "man" I am subservient to is God and that is in a gender neutral, higher authorirty sort way like with a boss.

I've heard the whole "what is a feminist?" discussion tossed around here so many times. Maybe I am not "as feminist' as some people( if the degree to how conformed to the feminist norm you are matters) But I very much belive in women's rights. I want to see the end of oppression of women not just in this country, but all over the world. I don't believe the government should be making any personal decisions for individuals, and that all people should have the right to live the life they choose. And none of those beliefs in any way contradicts my religious views.
pixiedust
double post
roseviolet
QUOTE(pixiedust @ Mar 29 2008, 10:59 AM) *

I like what somebody said a few pages back(I'm to olazy to go bakc and look it up) when they said if they were going to be a chirstian they would only follow the words of Jesus. And I really get that!


In case you're curious, this type of Christian is called a "Red Letter Christian" because the words of Jesus are often printed with red ink in Bibles.
tesao
that's so cool, rose violet!

i've been lurking in here for some time now but never felt that i had anything useful to add to the conversation. i want to pop in now to say that i think that, for the most part, everyone is being very "adult" about their beliefs and how they are posting them.

for the record, that is what this thread was created for, healthy debate. no proselytizing. no name calling. no grandstanding.

i'm not sure what i believe in. i was brought up catholic. the rituals of catholicism still bring me peace.

i do believe that there is some sort of higher being, flying spaghetti monster if you will, out there. i think that humanity will depict the particulars of that being in a way that makes sense for them in their time period. i agree with a lot of what others have had to say, in that other beliefs such as the sun moving around the earth and the earth being flat were widely taken for "gospel" (if you will excuse the pun). we now know them to be untrue but we believed them then.

i have problems with belief systems that say that one will not "be saved", "go to heaven" if one does not believe completely in that belief system. i can't accept that a superior being would be cruel enough to not see the good in a ghandi or a mother teresa. i doubt that the flying spaghetti monster HAS a sex.

sprinkles, i think that you are kidding yourself if you think that "the talk in here is still sorta about me". there was discussion in this thread way before you showed up and discussion will still be here whether you decide to leave the site or not.
kittenb
I have to butt in here and say that as a non-Christian person of spiritual faith I am really tired of atheists who seem to believe that to have faith or to believe in an organized religion indicates a lack of intelligence. And I am curious about the idea of "women who are trained to be submissive to men being on this site." Okay, that is more surmised from rather than directly quoted but I think that is the idea that I got. Is the feeling that because the Christian god is pictured and referred to as male women how are Christian are automatically submissive to God are submissive to a male? Well, what about Pagan rites that invoke the God and the Goddess? Does that mean that I to am submissive to a male because I worship a God?

This may not be the best argument that I have ever constructed but I am really annoyed here. And for the record, I don't believe that anyone here needs to be assuming that someone is less feminist than anyone else, whatever religious beliefs that are held.
roseviolet
I totally agree with you, Kitten. I am flummoxed by the suggestion that a person with a religious faith - Christian or otherwise - is automatically not a feminist. Granted, I know that there are some Christians who believe that a wife should be subserviant to her husband, but there are a hell of a lot of Christians out there who don't believe that. How many Christian marriages have you witnessed in which the wife mindlessly did whatever her husband told her to do? I certainly haven't seen any ... and I was brought up surrounded by Christians ( mostly from the Disciples of Christ denomination in case you're wondering).

We shouldn't paint a group of people with such a broad brush. This is especially true when we're talking about something as personal, varied, and complicated as our spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof).

There is an essay that has been posted on Bust numerous times that adequately defines feminism for me. Here's a link: "Yes, You Are" by Sarah D. Bunting. Basically, it comes down to this: "If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist."

I identify myself as a Christian. A feminist, Democratic, pro-choice Christian. My best friend is Agnostic. Sometimes she gets so frustrated with some of the things that are done in the world in the name of Christianity. She says that it's good for her to be friends with me and our other Christian friends because it reminds her that not all Christians are bad. It keeps her from throwing out the baby with the bathwater. wink.gif

dj-bizmonkey
i don't ever recall saying that people of religious faith are stupid, unfeminist or don't deserve to be here. it seems to me that a few comments (albeit felt as offensive or hurtful ones) have been blown out of proportion. i feel like i have been trying very hard to be open-minded and inclusive. maybe it's just not enough and if that's the case, well, i'm sorry, i don't know what else to do other than shut up and leave this thread alone. i had this great post written this morning but it got eaten by the board.

sprinkles, i didn't address you directly, because i wasn't talking about you specifically. the women i had in mind were actually those poor daughters of fred phelps, who have been completely controlled and brainwashed. i mean, the westboro baptist church is really a cult, not even a legitimate religious organization. and also some ladies i've met from exodus ministries (through research, not personal involvement) who based their narrow views of how to re-feminize lesbians almost exclusively on scripture.

neurotic nelly, you asked a few questions. no, i do not think this board is just for atheists, and there appear to be all gradients of faith represented in the posts here from the uber-religious to the class 9 atheists (or whatever). my only hope would be that it continues on like this. i feel like i've been enlightened and enlivened to a degree. i would have to answer a resounding 'yes,' to your second question. i've definitely have experienced things that i could not explain. i have connected with something i felt to be bigger than all of us, bigger and more powerful than anything in the universe. it felt real. whether i constructed it in my mind or i was actually tapping into a universal lifeforce remains to be seen. however, i will not jump to the conclusion that whatever i experienced during intense meditation or overwhelming elation or sorrow was some how the embodiement of the judeo-islamo-christian god. simple as that. honestly, i know exactly what sprinkles is talking about when she says she can 'feel the presence.' the difference between she and i is that i do not subscribe to any organized religion and i do not accept any theist-god type explanation for its existence. whether it is fabricated or actual is of no consequence to me. the experience is still powerful and appears to be real. that's enough for me. all religion appears to be constructed by humans. there may be the occasional spark of the divine or what have you sprinkled in, but for the most part, not beyond anything in this dimension.

also, i too would find it laughable that we are all 'accidents.' nothing could be further from the truth. evolution by natural selection is anything but accidental, it is blind and deliberate at the same time. it explains 99% of the diversity of life and their patterns on this earth. nothing happens by chance, as you might think. as an athropologist i get this comment alot, 'i didn't come from a monkey!' and i like to say, 'well neither did i.' because this is, in fact a correct statement.

pixie, it was me that said i would be a 'red-letter christian,' if i were to adopt a faith. jesus got alot of things right. so did buddha, rabbi hillel, mohammed, gandhi and cesar chavez. and i'm with teseo on this one, i don't like the idea of some one being punished for all eternity simply because they were raised in istanbul instead of iowa or vice versa.

and i agree with both kittenb and roseviolet, it is not fair to paint all people in one kind of light. some of my best friends and the closest people to me are very religious (my parents are certainly, no question about it). as i had posted earlier, it's one of the thing that irritates me about dawkins (though i love many other things about him), this assumption that to be wrapt in a religion is synonomous with being some kind of slack-jawed bumpkin. it's that kind of exclustionist snobbery that keeps the united states divided. there is a heavy tide of anti-intellectualism in this country, but in order to counteract it, people must be respectful and not patronizing. i just keep thinking about the south park episode where richard dawkins takes over the world, cartman goes into the future and its different 'science' factions battling it out for world domination. they say 'hail science' instead of saying 'praise god.'

i know some people have gotten their feelings hurt, felt alienated etc. but that is bound to happen when you prod at people core beliefs and values. it's impossible NOT to take things personal, because, well, they are. i can sympathize with minx's frustration however. faith, scripture, is like an amulet that has been held up to 'ward me off' any time i would suggest something contradictory. i have been confronted, engaged and insulted over and over again because of what i study (primates, evolutionary biology), in airports, bars, restaraunts, waiting for the bus. and usually just springing from idle conversation like, 'oh what to you do, what do you study in school etc.' i have been yelled at, told i'm going to burn in hell, told i'm the harbinger of the devil and that i serve him and spit at. yes. a woman approached me in a grocery store parking lot because of my bumper sticker (it says, 'evolution is just a theory, kind of like gravity!). she gave me a stern talking to and when i failed to respond, because i was completely dumbfounded, she spit at my feet and told me 'people like you make me sick.' i KNOW that woman is in the minority. i think most people of faith are generous, loving and kindhearted people. new orleans is full of church kids on their alternative spring break, rebuilding houses in my neighborhood. faith inspire incredible acts in people. they warm my heart.

today some jehovahs witnesses brought their pamphlets to my door. i thanked them kindly for thinking of me. even though i might be mildly irritated by someone that tries to convert me to their faith, i know at least most of the time, they are doing it because they think it will help me. they are doing it because they care. well meaning, perhaps misguided. but i will not hide my beliefs from people. i will not be a closeted athiest. i broke a glass in the coffeeshop where i work today and a 'jesus,' slipped out of my mouth. force of habit. a man in line said, 'don't blame jesus, it's not his fault, he takes away blame and guilt.' i just smiled at him and cleaned up my mess. i should have told him, 'no in my world.' maybe it would have started an argument, but at least i would have been true to myself and as open about my own beliefs as he had been with me.

this is rambling......i think i'm done for a good long while.
auralpoison
Wow. You forget about a thread . . .

This was kinda strange:

http://www.wftv.com/news/15735444/detail.html

If the sign in that story was on a billboard where I am, it'd be dismantled an hour after it went up. There are a lot of "Abortion stops a beating heart" signs around here, though. I guess if you pay for it you can put up whatever you like.
bunnyb
dj-biz, RELAX! I really think that most of the reactions here are not as a result of what you said. Yours is a legitimate question and could generate a good discussion - what does attract people of a more conservative viewpoint/background to a feminist/liberal board? However, to exclude somebody on the basis of their religion is way out of line. If I were, for instance, to tell somebody in the BDSM thread that they don't belong on a feminist website because they are subservient to males in a particular area of their lives I would be massacred so why should it be allowed in this thread? Just sayin'.

QUOTE(neurotic.nelly @ Mar 29 2008, 06:16 AM) *
bunnyb ...I know you are one of the boss hogs here.


Hardly! I just like to think so wink.gif
dj-bizmonkey
i know, i know......
faerietails2
okay everyone, *inhale*...

i don't think anyone ever implied that religious people couldn't be feminists or weren't welcome on this board, and i think a bit too much is being placed on biz here. actually, i believe it was minx who mentioned the subservience thing. but, i think that was totally misconstrued and not at all what she meant, either. i think we're all on the same side right now, we're just not on the same page about what was meant by things being said. yes?

...*exhale*

biz, re: that grocery lady...what a bitch! the worst i ever got for some of my old bumper stickers were dirty looks from drivers who passed by.

AP, that billboard is wack. it would be totally graffitied (sp? is that even a word?) if it went up in my neck of the woods.
roseviolet
Oh, I didn't mean to put anything on you, Biz. Not in the least. In fact, I've really enjoyed your posts in here. smile.gif Notice that I did not mention the names of any Busties in my post. I was simply stating my opinion on the matter ... just like so many others.
pixiedust
Yeah, I don't think it's all on Biz or even Minx. There's been several things said along the same lines in here lately. I am adressing them as one collective. Frankly, I know what I say is probably not going to change anyone's mind about religion. But I do enjoy discussing what
I believe and why in the way we have here. And I haven't really gotten my feelings hurt per se. Rather I got really angry at the 'christians can't be feminists' idea because as others have said that's really out of line.
To me, chosing to be christian because of my inner conscience is no different than anyone else on here choosing to be vegan. I'm not vegan, I love red meat way to much to ever think of giving it up, but hey, I respect people who have enough convictions in thier own beliefs to make a lifestyle choice like that.
kittenb
It was this comment,

QUOTE
Believing (and it is a BELIEVE, not a THEORY or FACT) in creationism and an Invisible Thingie in the Sky playing puppet with us silly little animals is SIMPLISTIC. It requires nothing other than reading an interpretation of an ancient text written by someone who cannot be questioned, because you CAN'T question the word of the Invisible Thingie in the Sky--even if it was penned by a human intervenor when we all know damned good and well that humans are fallible, right? Just like we apparently weren't supposed to eat of the Tree of Knowledge...well, I'm sorry, but an Invisible Thingie in the Sky that prefers us ignorant and childish, yet gives us the ability to reason and use intelligence is the ultimate in contradictory bullshit. That's not mysterious and worthy of worship--that's a Sadistic and Irrational Invisible Thingie in the Sky.


that led me to the "aren't we too smart to have religious beliefs" feeling and reading it again, I still see no other way to interpret it. Having a religious belief isn't simple and it sure the hell isn't easy. Faced with the pain and suffering that I deal with as a 9-5 job, trust me there are many times I question if there is any point to all of this. But then I look at my boss, a radical feminist pagan whoes wife founded a church that is open to all Christians and I realize if she, who has worked with sexual and domestic violence for almost 20 years, can somehow study and question Christianity and dismantle all of the human bs that gets applied to to it, then I can keep my faith that there is something out there.

But that comment wasn't bizmonkey. It was from Minx who I notice hasn't been here in a few days so I'll let it go.

Sorry for the confusion, bizmonkey.
minx
I haven't been around because I received the blue screen of death on both of my PCs at home. Totally unfortunate. laugh.gif I've been on these boards for nearly nine years, and would certainly hope that enough people on here would be open-minded enough to get what I'm trying to say.

My comments are being taken out of context, however I can say that I'm glad it has sparked conversation.

My post had more to do with speaking a bit hypothetically and a bit more on my more radical side of atheism. Which is not to say that I am not tolerant. I am...for as much as I can be. Organized religion is not something that I am a fan of, and I suppose this is more than obvious. What did not come off as obviously as I had hoped (since I had spelled it out in black and white terms) was the fact that I had said that I didn't understand how someone could simultaneously claim to be a feminist and in the same turn claim to profess that Man is the head of Woman.

Now, I suppose that if one were touchy about this sort of thing, it would be emotionally compelling. I would hope that this compulsion wouldn't drive people to insert words and phrases that I did not use. I meant it as I said it, that by the very definition of feminism, how could one claim Man as naturally superior and use these boards, the boards of a feminist website which is about EQUALITY. That seems completely contradictory. And some people on these boards have uttered these words (and no, I am not including folks in the BDSM boards, because that's a TOTALLY different paradigm altogether).

I don't have it out for certain people here, but I am calling on you to answer how you reconcile this, because I sure as hell can't figure it out.

As per the comment that people are sick of atheists assuming a lack of intelligence in people "of faith"...well, I know lots of folks who are spiritual, and it's a personal thing and they fight for equality and social justice. The are quite intelligent. This is not to say that I don't question their judgment about something like the bible. I personally believe that too much stock has been given to a tome written by men, and not one account of Jesus until nearly 70 years after his death, with several gnostic gospels left out. It's troubling to me. It's like a phantasmagoric game of Telephone to me. I don't think that having this opinion makes me a "hater" when it comes to religion. I want people to think, and I don't think that "faith" gives someone a ticket to not think about the very fundamentals of their belief systems.

Oh, and Kittenb, I said creationism is a simplistic idea. That in combination with a lot of christian mythology is baffling to me. When explaining atheism, it becomes problematic because so many religious explanations for things are contradictory, or downright bizarre. How do you reconcile your belief in a loving god who lets humans do such atrocious things. That isn't a god that is loving...to me, that is cruel and merciless.
nickclick
QUOTE(minx @ Mar 30 2008, 02:03 PM) *
As per the comment that people are sick of atheists assuming a lack of intelligence in people "of faith"...well, I know lots of folks who are spiritual, and it's a personal thing and they fight for equality and social justice. The are quite intelligent. This is not to say that I don't question their judgment about something like the bible. I personally believe that too much stock has been given to a tome written by men, and not one account of Jesus until nearly 70 years after his death, with several gnostic gospels left out. It's troubling to me. It's like a phantasmagoric game of Telephone to me. I don't think that having this opinion makes me a "hater" when it comes to religion. I want people to think, and I don't think that "faith" gives someone a ticket to not think about the very fundamentals of their belief systems.

minx, i agree. i don't think you, me, or anyone else around here is saying that non-atheists in general or on this board are unintelligent or non-thinkers. my opinions are against organized religion and not its believers. and in my opinion, many of the institutions of organized religion are built on the goal that their believers will lose independent thought and only believe what they prescribe. i feel like there's some sort of spiritual olympics about who's the most right. and if a demonination were to change any of their tenets, they may have to admit they are not the best one, so they discourage discourse. so, i'm not saying the actual believers don't think or have questions, but that it's not encouraged nor fully explored.

but i'm obviously here to learn something, so please, no dropouts!
dj-bizmonkey
cool. thanks ladies. i think i'm mid-luteal because i am ultra sensitive this weekend. it's not just this thread being affected.

ok, so shifting gears a minute. what do you all of you (from all ends of the spiritual spectrum) think about astrology? i was baked and watching one of those super cheesy history channel things with leonard nimoy, ancient mysteries or something, all about astrology from the babyonians to modern times. i know that it is frowned upon by some christian denominations......but religious people have used astrology since its inception.

it made me think about the first part of that leftist, conspiracy-theory internet movie, 'zeitgeist.' has anyone seen this? it is all about astrology and its connection to world religions. i absolutely love the movie though i don't buy everything in it part a parcel. i think a guilty pleasure of mine must be being secretly paranoid.

for me, even though i find it hard to believe that the alignment of stars might somehow have an effect on your fate or personality, it's one of these things that i think its fun to believe in a little.
neurotic.nelly
oh yay! I love astrology and "truth-conspiracies". So, I've read that according to the ancient maya, not only do the planets, moon, and sun move individually through the 12 signs of the zodiac, but our entire solar system moves through a giant zodiac 'wheel'. So, as a whole our solar system has just moved into the age of Aquarius, which means that we should start seeing humanity as a whole move towards more humanitarianism (a major characteristic of Aquarius) and away from war. *let's hope so, I've got my fingers crossed*

"We are born at a given moment, in a given place, and like vintage years of wine, we have qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born" - Carl Gustav Jung

So, getting back to Zeitgeist and religions; I cannot ignore the connections made between ancient Egyptian and Pagan religions, as well as Babylon and Sumerian religions when compared with Christianity. So, essentially, people worldwide are worshiping the SUN and it's movements thru the seasons. This makes sense because the sun gives us energy, life, food, warmth, light etc. I once had a very long discussion with my boyfriend and his father (who is christian and lives in a small town). His father believes that modern (commercial) christianity is very pagan, idolizing things like gifts and/or the christmas tree, and more importantly, he purported that pagans were sun worshipers! How IRONIC! Then we discovered Zeitgeist, and according to Zeitgeist Jesus is a metaphor for the sun and christians worship this metaphor or symbol. His father tries to get the other christian townspeople to listen and feel him on this, but they just think he's crazy and alienate him around the christian holidays.

Here's a different rabbit hole to go down...

I've watched other "truth-sayers" such as Michael Tsarion. "2012: the future of mankind" is a good one, he didn't even know he was being filmed. You can go to google video and type in his name to see some of his lectures. He has studied ancient religious texts, such as the Old Testament, and compared them with other mythologies and ancient texts world wide, including those of Atlantis. Here's the interesting part, he contends that human civilization has not "evolved" as we've been taught by creationism or evolutionism. But, that ancient human civilizations were technologically, spiritually, and scientifically advanced, and lived in harmony with the earth. These particular ancient human civilizations lived during a time when our solar system resided in a golden era. (Civilizations go thru cycles: bronze, silver, and golden moving on a wheel, rising and falling. We are currently leaving the bronze age and moving into the silver). Ancient texts call it the Great Cycle, and on this great cycle civilizations experience periods of spiritual darkness and enlightenment. Before these ancient cultures perished they came into contact with "beings from the sky". Now, this is documented in the Old Testament in Genesis 1:26, there are (to name a few) ancient Tibetan texts, Mayan texts, and Egyptian, and Sumerian texts and drawings of these flying discs and "gods" from the sky. These "gods" were extraterrestial and they came here according to a text in the bible and mated with the daughters of the earth, and moreover, these "gods" from the sky used genetic manipulation to create man in his image. In order to create a slave race ruled by kings, priests and religions, and manipulated by governments worldwide.

Strange! But, it has been said that reality is stranger than fiction.

laugh.gif
SpRiNkLeS
Wahoo!!!!!!!!! Yes, the coolness factor has totally been “broughten!” back to this thread. laugh.gif I hope I can continue? I SO don’t wanna walk away now! I just finished reading all the posts and I think the main thing here is that our words are sometimes being misinterpreted or just not understood? I must apologize to Minx (I wrote that in bold just in case you decided to ignore my post ) , I am sorry I called you out. I had assumed people were talking about me but instead the thoughts were meant to be just a main generalization. Where I come from girls call each other out, if you don’t actually call the girl out you are considered a wuss and pathetic, it was quite embarrassing really if we didn’t “represent”. Heh, yes I know it’s lame but sometimes it’s hard to reprogram my thoughts or actions from the way I was raised in my old neighborhood. I could totally give a transcript example of a typical exchange and you’d all be like……….whaaaaa? Huh? Is that even a language?!!

DJ-Bizmonkey: So your post from March 29, especially the second to the last paragraph, made me finally (sorta, kinda) realize where yours and Minx’s frustrations with religious views might come from. I never really saw it from your point of view because of course I have never felt that way, but now, I mean especially knowing you study evolutionary biology in school, well I think I am starting to maybe (kinda, sorta) understand where you are coming from. Oh and I agree with Faerietails2 regarding the grocery lady who spit at you. What a biatch!!!!! Props to you for not spitting back.

RoseViolet: Thankyou for posting that link which provides a great article for what feminism really is. I don’t think there is an American woman alive who DOESN’T “look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes”. I was raised by a single mom so this view was always a bit more favorited but today I finally have a great, although of course always long distance, relationship with my dad (I got over the past, or maybe I like to think so?) whose views on feminism are that women think they are better and are “man-haters”, with an image of Jane Fonda, so the label “feminist” is something I just avoided, never quite understanding. I was always like, “I am who I am, no labels”. Of course last year I became born-again so of course I do tend to labelize now, starting with labeling myself as a “born-again Christian”. I guess it’s a humanistic fault however with all our different views it would almost be impossible NOT to label. So anyway thanks for the link! It helped clear my confusion, I almost wish every guy (along with any gals who were confused like me) could read that as a mandatory reading in history class….that is also where my confusion of the word “feminist” started.

Pixiedust: Yay! Thankyou!!! So you totally said everything that I MEANT but obviously didn’t say correctly, ESPECIALLY regarding Paul’s epistles. I also don't see it as a directive to last through the ages. I believe he was answering some questions that they were facing in the culture and times that they lived in. I now realized that my interpretation made me sound like I thought we were living in the biblical ages! I’m in my early twenties and I STILL seem to talk outta my arse sometimes. I can only hope with time I can learn to correctly explain myself better.
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Ok so now I am caught up, done with that. Moving on, I personally don’t understand or agree with the concept of astrology and how the alignment of stars can predict our futures. HOWEVER I admit to reading up on my sign (Scorpio? Anyone know about this one?) sometimes just to see what is supposedly going to happen to me that day. I think it’s kinda fun! Plus I DO think actual scorpions are freakin cool, I mean they wait for their prey and then shoot venom. Those feisty little buggers are so cool!! To me reading astrology signs is just like eating a fortune cookie for the sole purpose of getting your fortune...as retarded as some that I've read turn out to be. Some can be so dissapointing! I actually didn’t know that just looking at Astrology was frowned upon though, I thought it was just ok as long as you understand that only God has mapped out our future. Not to sound like a kid but there’s nothing more awesome feeling than to go outside at night, look up at the stars and just feel so amazed. It’s so freakin beautiful up there!!!

So I thought Zeitgeist was just The Smashing Pumpkins’ last album? Heh, ok just kidding! I have never watched the Zeitgeist movie, I remember the anger I had over viewing the trailer. However that was last year. With every day I read God’s Word I get more patience, understanding, love, strength……………strength to be able to hear blasphemy babble yet not frickin blow up. Sometimes I wish I could be able to sit through one of those movies so I could be able to participate in discussions like these but hmmmm………….don’t know if I’m there yet? I’d have to watch the trailer again to see. I do remember the roaring applause in the movie's background during the trailer, which just completely made me sick to my stomach. Kind of like Kathy Griffin's acceptance speech back in '07, only WAY worse.

How do you reconcile your belief in a loving god who lets humans do such atrocious things. That isn't a god that is loving...to me, that is cruel and merciless.” So this question might have been asked to someone else. BUT *raises up hand and waves it back and forth as if in an elementary classroom* Pick me! I wanna answer! Ok so my take on this is that God gives us freewill to either reject or accept Him. It is a choice, however I don’t understand why God gets blamed for the actions of humanity. We are not puppets, we are free to do what we want, but once you accept Him he is able to use you and this, at least for me, makes me feel so privileged! Think of it like this, like someone getting pissed off after gaining a few pounds from their Halloween candy, so therefore they blame the chocolate and candy, not themselves. Don’t they realize they are the ones that put the chocolate in their mouth and chewed and swallowed? It was their choice. Don’t blame the chocolate, ya’ll!

P.S. I totally would have used the reply button for some of those quotes but………um………..like ok I haven’t really figured out how to have more than one reply in a single post.
minx
But then that negates the notion of an all-loving, all-knowing god. An all-knowing god would have accounted for humans being retarded in that respect, so why would be put people through that? It seems The Invisible Thingie in the Sky is either fallible, or so hands off that prayer is an exercise in futility.
bunnyb
Um, no, an all-powerful, omniscient God has nothing to do with God investing us with free will (apart from the obvious that he has to be all-powerful to do that).
I have more of an issue with God allowing natural disasters that the horrors brought forth through human agency.
pixiedust
I agree that all knowing and all powerful doesn't directly correlate with giving us our free will. He did know we were screw things up when we gave us free will..see revelations, but he did it anyway because he wants us to love him of our own free will and not be and army of puppets.

As for Natural disasters and other bad things happening. I don't believe God causes any of them to happen, but he does sometimes allow them to happen. Probably to remind us that we still need him when we start getting too big for our britches! There are also other forces at work too. There is the evil forces. And some people chose to let Satan use them rather than God.

I like what Sprinkles said about astrology. I too read my horoscope from tiem to time, not because I really believe it's going to happen, but because it's fun in a cheesy fortune cookie type of way. The 3 men I have had the most serious relationships of my life with are all the same astrological sign, and couldn't be any more different from each other. I also rarely fit into what I've read a Virgo is like.
minx
"Um, no" isn't exactly a qualifier that does much good in this discussion. "Um no" presupposes that we are even on the same page, which we are not.

Why would an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent god give humans free will knowing some of us would be such scheissters? The idea of "loving freely" this Thingie that would let free will reign atrocities on his "free loving" followers is insane...to me. Seriously. And where does prayer come into all of this? If he is an intervening god, then why doesn't he (I mean, it's so random to me that it seems as if there is none)? I'm not trying to be dense.

How do you believers out there reconcile these things?
bunnyb
Um, no, actually suggests that we were so totally and completely and nowhere near on the same page at all and undoubtedly never will be.

Why would He invest us with free will yet only allow us to do nice things? Does that not defeat the purpose of free will or am I the one who is being dense? Since when did God become a dictator? Thou Shalt Do As I Say, period, and not earn your right behind the pearly gates but get there by default.
Also, let's think about what pixie said: are other forces are at work here? Where do we all stand on Good vs. Evil? Does God have the monopoly on it all?

Minx, I think you are missing the ultimate point of prayer: it is an act of communing with a higher being and not necessarily an act of supplication. Yes, the act of prayer can be used as a humble request of God to intervene but do I believe that He will? Um, no, and that would make the act futile, in that respect. However, in my opinion, prayers offered up (and answered?) are not ones asking for God to prevent atrocities -meted out by the darkness of man- but for God to grant serenity, courage and wisdom to the supplicant (it's that free will thing again) to intervene/help or to accept said atrocities.

eta: I don't pray but I don't think we should underestimate the amount of comfort that it provides to some, whether their prayers are answered or not. I view prayer as something that provides peace to others; something that is meditative and personal and something that could be compared to therapy - or maybe that should be the act of confession? I know it's sacred anyway because it gives some hope and who are we to quash another's hopes? Yes, we may not understand the concept and wouldn't do it ourselves but it is their spiritual release.
faerietails2
The free will/all-knowing thing has always been a major philosophical debate.

Because if god is all-knowing, then it does know what is going to happen in our lives and knows exactly what kind of choices we'll make, be it 5 minutes or 50 years from now. Which means we don't have free will...what's going to happen will happen. We can make a choice to shoot up heroin, or make a choice not to (what we deem to be our "free will"), but if god really is all-knowing, it already knows what choice we will make, so it's not exactly free will; it's a master plan.

Free will and being all-knowing can't both be coexisting qualities of god. If people truly have free will and truly are allowed to make their own choices in life, then that would mean that god is fallible and really isn't all-knowing, because there is no master plan and god doesn't know what the outcome of our choices will be. But if god does know how everything will turn out, then that means we don't have free will, because everything has been foretold.

So then that brings up the problem of "if god is really all-knowing and all-loving, why does it let disasters occur? (Furthermore, why would it damn non-believers to hell, since that's decidedly vengeful and not all-loving?)" Why would an all-loving, caring god allow such distruction?

(i apologize if what i wrote is completely confusing. i have a degree in philosophy that has sat completely unused for about 3 years now, so all the god arguments are coming back to me in the form of "uhhhh...what was that guy's name again??" *hangs head*)
roseviolet
Now would probably be a good time to bring up my mom's favorite scripture.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Notice the use of the word "plans".
Basically, in the church in which I was raised, we were taught that God knows all of the differnt options - all of the various paths and potential outcomes - but it's still up to us. God may have a plan, but we can always follow our own plan.

In my family's church, they talk of our "Heavenly Father" or "Heavenly Mother" (yup, they say both interchangably). The idea is that God, like a parent, can't really make you be anything other than what you want to be. But a good, loving parent will be there for you as a source of comfort during times of trouble or as a guide or traveling companion along life's journey. They can give you advice and try to teach you Right and Wrong, but you as an individual still have to interpret that info yourself and decide for yourself what you want to do with it.

Anyway. That's my personal experience at my church.
neurotic.nelly
QUOTE(SpRiNkLeS @ Mar 31 2008, 03:11 AM) *
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Ok so now I am caught up, done with that. Moving on, I personally don’t understand or agree with the concept of astrology and how the alignment of stars can predict our futures. HOWEVER I admit to reading up on my sign (Scorpio? Anyone know about this one?) sometimes just to see what is supposedly going to happen to me that day. I think it’s kinda fun! Plus I DO think actual scorpions are freakin cool, I mean they wait for their prey and then shoot venom. Those feisty little buggers are so cool!! To me reading astrology signs is just like eating a fortune cookie for the sole purpose of getting your fortune...as retarded as some that I've read turn out to be. Some can be so dissapointing! I actually didn’t know that just looking at Astrology was frowned upon though, I thought it was just ok as long as you understand that only God has mapped out our future. Not to sound like a kid but there’s nothing more awesome feeling than to go outside at night, look up at the stars and just feel so amazed. It’s so freakin beautiful up there!!!


As I understand it, astrology in no way claims to predict the future, psychic and remote viewers are more apt for this but even then, nothing is written in stone because the future depends on the choices that we make moment by moment. What astrology does do is give insights into personality traits, or qualities that an individual might possess, but no two people are the same because each person's full astrology chart is unique, like all of us here. There is your sun sign, your moon sign, your rising sign - all of which influence your personality, then each planet is in a different house as well.

Here's a sticking point for me, Sprinkles, you say, "I actually didn’t know that just looking at Astrology was frowned upon though, I thought it was just ok as long as you understand that only God has mapped out our future. Not to sound like a kid but there’s nothing more awesome feeling than to go outside at night, look up at the stars and just feel so amazed. It’s so freakin beautiful up there!!!"

Well, I thought God created everything, that would include astrology. Astronomy is the study of the cosmos and their position in space, and astrology is the study of how the position of the cosmos effects the human psyche. It is beautiful and it is all God's creation, in my opinion. laugh.gif

Also, I have recently come to the understanding that the universal language of the universe or of god is mathematics and sacred geometry as this would transcend all languages, words, misunderstandings, fabrications, manipulations, etc.

"The universe, our reality, is created by thought consciousness which manifests in physical reality through a geometric blueprint that we call Sacred Geometry. It repeats in cycles giving the illusion of linear time so we can experience emotions. The term "sacred geometry" is used by archaeologists, anthropologists, and geometricians to encompass the religious, philosophical, and spiritual beliefs that have sprung up around geometry in various cultures during the course of human history. It is a catch-all term covering Pythagorean geometry and neo-Platonic geometry, as well as the perceived relationships between organic and logarithmic curves." - www.crystallinks.com
SpRiNkLeS
Hi girlies!! So nobody has posted anything today. Is everyone OK?!!!! HEh, no but seriously! Everybody is fine? Well ugh, what a night. My poor little guy’s been getting sick all over the place, and you know it’s not really the funnest to clean up while dealing with tantrums. It’s late, I’m exhausted, I totally need to BUST tonight. So hmmm, this is weird. I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a room talking to myself. It’s totally echoing you know.

As for my take on how God can be all-knowing, all-powerful, all MAGNIFICENT and yet give us free will…………..well I really like what Roseviolet said, that’s like a perfect example! Look at it like a parent/child relationship. Our parents love us enough to let us take our own actions in life, to let us choose what we want to do, they let us live our own lives yet they are always there (well, SOME) when you need help, advice………basically everything. I also liked what Bunny B said, Why would He invest us with goodwill yet only allow us to do nice things? Good point!! Well anyway it took me YEARS to get to the point where I was last year, I mean yeah maybe for me I had to hit rock bottom, but it took forever for me to really UNDERSTAND this whole concept. I was pissed off and crap at things that happened to me in my youth so I went off on a rampage for like years, just totally confused. Finally now I UNDERSTAND and it’s all been up hill since. This of course is my own personal experience but I totally do get how this concept is hard to…………have faith in. No you cannot SEE God with your own eyes, but once I FELT God, then I understood, and that was when I became a believer.

As for me, I could not live my life anymore without prayer. It’s like, once you know something you just cannot go back to NOT knowing. I feel like when I pray, well it is just between me and the Lord, and we are at our closest. He totally hears me everytime too, He also answers me everytime. Is it audible answers? NO. Do I wish it could be? Hell yeah!!!! But sometimes you just gotta have a little faith, you know? It is up to me to intelligently understand what He is telling me, and no it is not always easy. So I might totally screw up because I didn’t understand what God was telling me but then I not only learned from that experience, I also gained SO MUCH MORE than I thought. God knows all this of course, as he is “all-knowing” (I totally wanted to throw that in there again!) but it is up to us to make the right choice. And as it was mentioned, yes prayer personally gives me so much comfort.

Neurotic.Nelly: Thanks for telling me a bit more about Astrology, I can tell you are very passionate about this subject. I remember taking an Astronomy 101 class my freshman year of college, unfortunately the professor was a “text book professor” meaning he just taught and read strictly from the text. I could have learned the same had I stayed at home and slept in, read the text in bed, oooh maybe with a bowl of ice cream too! MOOSE TRACKS!!!!!!!!!!! Well the dude was so friggin boring he killed my initial interest on the subject. My ADD ran rampant in the class, I mean crap I would look at anything that moved………the guy in the baseball cap (was he hot? Turn around!), some girl with a frickin weird hairdo (did she even run a brush through it?), the tapping of pencils on thighs I saw down the row…..etc. However when it comes to Astrology, and because I am a firm believer in God, who created the Heavens and Earth, well I still don’t personally believe Astrology really has an impact on our personality traits. Also I could be wrong but isn’t Astrology just the STUDY of the influence that the stars may have on people? So that would mean that God did not actually create Astrology. He created the stars and stuff but he didn’t create all the many STUDIES we have. I don’t mean any disrespect at all, maybe I am wrong I guess I just don’t get it. I mean at least for me, my personality does NOT come from the stars, that’s for sure. At least for me. I feel like, you know those psychics? Well they will say something really vague about someone and that person will be all like, “Oh my gosh! That is SO me!” so then they think the psychic was right on. I of course have doubt with this. Uh………OH, ok so I just realized I helped the other view point. K well I guess it comes down to what we understand.
konphusion26
Just popping in to check on my girlies. Hope everyone is having a great week. Been a rough week and it just started. LOL Take it easy beauties.

~your girl,
Konphusion26
faerietails2
QUOTE(SpRiNkLeS @ Apr 2 2008, 01:54 AM) *
As for my take on how God can be all-knowing, all-powerful, all MAGNIFICENT and yet give us free will…………..well I really like what Roseviolet said, that’s like a perfect example! Look at it like a parent/child relationship. Our parents love us enough to let us take our own actions in life, to let us choose what we want to do, they let us live our own lives yet they are always there (well, SOME) when you need help, advice………basically everything.

And yet our parents are not omniscient, omnipresent, all-knowing, etc. God(s) is/are (supposed to be), whereas parents are fallible human beings.

It really doesn't matter if we have "choices" in life; if God knows all the possible choices and all the possible outcomes and knows which choice we will ultimately make (which s/he's supposed to, since s/he's God), that's not free will. That's doing what's "supposed" to happen. In other words, if God really is all-knowing/all-powerful, s/he isn't surprised by anything that happens, because s/he already knew what would happen.

All the talk about God being loving and forgiving is completely beside the point. It doesn't matter if you find the cure for cancer or end up becoming a serial killer. It doesn't matter if the to-be serial killer finds God or whatever before committing his first murder, thus ends up not becoming a serial killer. Yes, the "choices" you made in this life may have led you to that point of finding the cure for cancer or murdering/not murdering, but in theory, God already knew you'd make those choices, since s/he's all-knowing, so that's not free will. That's just living life "according to plan" (and I'm using that term in a really broad sense).
nickclick
QUOTE(faerietails2 @ Apr 2 2008, 03:34 PM) *
All the talk about God being loving and forgiving is completely beside the point. It doesn't matter if you find the cure for cancer or end up becoming a serial killer. It doesn't matter if the to-be serial killer finds God or whatever before committing his first murder, thus ends up not becoming a serial killer. Yes, the "choices" you made in this life may have led you to that point of finding the cure for cancer or murdering/not murdering, but in theory, God already knew you'd make those choices, since s/he's all-knowing, so that's not free will. That's just living life "according to plan" (and I'm using that term in a really broad sense).

so if the serial killer finds God and asks for forgiveness, will he get into heaven? What about a gay scientist who was never baptized who finds a cure for cancer?
faerietails2
QUOTE
so if the serial killer finds God and asks for forgiveness, will he get into heaven? What about a gay scientist who was never baptized who finds a cure for cancer?


who knows? that's a whole 'nother debate in itself. (although if god does exist and excludes a good-hearted gay dude from heaven on the grounds of homosexuality, then god is an asshole and fuck him/her, imo. same re: good people from non-christian religions).

i'm just saying that in regards to the free will argument, in purely logical terms, goodness/wickedness/forgiveness has nothing to do with it. if one were to map it out like a math problem, saying that god is all-powerful/all-knowing and that people have free will just doesn't compute; pro-/anti-religious philosophers have been tackling that one for centuries.

ethics and morality? different story (and makes for much more interesting debate. wink.gif
dusty
I don't believe God is anti-gay, or that God thinks that homosexuality is wrong. I'm not sure what exactly I believe about God, but I am really sure about that.
dj-bizmonkey
i think this is at the crux of my utter disbelief in a theistic god. as human beings, we have placed our own values, qualifiers and constructions on god. we've put god in a box that fits with some of our natural human tendencies. unfortunately, one of those tendencies is fear of the other and one towards being exclutionist. it's not that i cannot conceive of an immense spiritual force that somehow exerts influence in our lives. that is entirely probably to me. but the god that is made available to us through organized religion is, for lack of a better word, fabricated. we made it up. just like the sumerians made up gozar, the greeks made up zeus, the vikings made up freya. so many of the rules and regulations are so arbitrary and at their root, meaningless in a spiritual sense. how about people obey the golden rule, treat all other beings (not just humans) the way they would like to be treated. every other commandment flies in the face of this tenant. and it isn't a tenant you can only hold if you are a christian. anyone can subscribe to this way of thinking without also covering their head, kneeling in a church, being baptised, what have you.

i my humble opinion, i think that homophobia is really about gynophobia, our fear and hatred of the feminine. patriarchy cannot stand up if the feminine is recognized as valuable and important. but i could go off on a really long tangent here that has nothing to do with religion, per se. suffice to say, the major organized religions are (whether you like it or not) systems which allow, condone and enforce oppression and patriarchy so it makes logical sense to me that if you devalue women as a whole and all that they are perceived to encompass, that you would also despise and denigrate homosexuals. Lesbians because they achieve sexual prowess/love in the complete absence of a man and gay men because they are perceived to act like women. what could be worse?! i mean, what is the ultimate insult to a man (other than maybe calling him a motherfucker)? call him a sissy, a pussy, a bitch. tell him he plays/throws/talks/runs/acts like a girl.

but i digress. i had a very religious boyfriend in high school who said to me, 'proof of god is that we can conceive of him.' at the time i thought it was very powerful. now, i am not so sure. i can conceive of alot of things but that isn't proof that they exist.
pixiedust
QUOTE(dj-bizmonkey @ Apr 3 2008, 12:36 PM) *
i think this is at the crux of my utter disbelief in a theistic god. as human beings, we have placed our own values, qualifiers and constructions on god. we've put god in a box that fits with some of our natural human tendencies. unfortunately, one of those tendencies is fear of the other and one towards being exclutionist.


I totally agree with you there. I really don't know what I think about gays and religion. It's always been one of those hush hush things you never talk about in church. But I don't think the Bible really says all that much one way or the other. It's a point I have struggled with personally for a long time. I have been/am attracted to some women, though I don't think I'd go as far as to label myself bisexual. My one lone experience was pretty dismal. And I have friends who are gay that I love to death.
dusty
Maybe in your church, Pixie. Around here, gays and lesbians are ordained ministers.
kittenb
QUOTE
i my humble opinion, i think that homophobia is really about gynophobia, our fear and hatred of the feminine.


Off-topic, but yes! Yes, I totally agree.
tesao
gays and lesbians can be ordained in some religious sects in the US, as well. it depends on the religion and the sect.

i believe that only the Catholic Church won't allow priests to be "out". there are certainly enough priests that are homosexual.

i also have a very close gay male friend who is an ordained Cantor. he stated in his entrance forms/exams that he was gay. he wanted his religion to be a large part of his life, but not at the expense of his self and self-worth.
dj-bizmonkey
i think that comes from the catholic seperation between the sex act and the compulsion or drive to do it for a catholic priest, ALL sex is off limits, including homosexual sex, so it shouldn't matter what their orientation is. i remember reading through one of those catholic teen handbooks. they had a whole section on 'my buddy's gay.' the emphasis is on that this boy not act on his desires, but that he as a person was not evil. but catholic priests have alot more on their hands than dealing with gay priests. sex abuse much? it isn't some stereotype being blown out of proportion. there is a major coverup that is and has been going on for a looooong time. that being said, my old catholic priest was one of the most compassionate, effective and understanding man of faith i've ever encountered. just goes to show, just because there is a stereotype, it is essential to evaluate people as individuals.
roseviolet
Here's a little info on the Disciples of Christ's policy on homosexuality.

"In 1997, the Disciples of Christ urged the enactment of 'legislation on local, state and national levels which will end the denial of civil rights and the violation of civil liberties for reasons of sexual orientation.'

The resolution specifically recognized that 'the church, among other elements of society, has contributed to the persecution and suffering of homosexuals, and it is its culpability in this regard which provides one reason for seeking a more enlightened understanding.'"

Pretty amazing stuff if you ask me. My father attended the national meeting at which this was discussed (my father is/was a minister in the Christian church). At that meeting, they began to discuss whether homosexuals should be welcomed as members of the church and whether they should be allowed to be ministers. My father voted in favor of these measures. As I understand it, they decided that this issue should be handled by region (I still don't understand that). In most of the country, gays are welcome, equal members of the church, but there are a few areas where only celibate homosexuals are allowed to be ordained (Texas is one state, as well as some places in New England I think). I suspect that in time, those churches will loosen their restrictions to match the policy of the rest of the church or they will seperate from the Disciples of Christ denomination. Time will tell.

By the by, the official stance of the Disciples of Christ on abortion is Pro-Choice.

And I haven't even started talking about the Society of Friends - aka Quakers. My husband was raised as a Quaker. That denomination has been very active in the fight for civil rights for all sorts of people.

My point is that there are a LOT of differences from one denomination to another within Christianity. The so-called Religious Right gets a lot of attention, but there are some rather liberal churches out there, too.
pixiedust
Yeah, Being here in the Bible Buckle, I've encountered a lot of the religious right, however, I also happen to know members of some of the larger evangists families here in town are Gay. The church I go to now has their mission statement and philosphy built on inclusion. No where in thier information have I ever seen anything that specifically mentions homosexuality, but I have heard it said severl times that our church welcomes all people without exception or judgement. Of course they go on to say if someone is doing wrong they will dotheir best to guide and support them to change. But again, nothing specifically mentioning homosexuality. We have a very large prison ministry in our church and several people who hold high positions in our church are excons, so some of that may be directed at that.
dj-bizmonkey
here's a link to the PBS nova program about the dover pennslyvania school board case about intelligent design (aka creationism). you can watch it online for free here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

what i find most disturbing about that whole case is that judge jones and the plaintiffs received numerous hate mail, death threats and other forms of harassment. i also got to hear one of the plaintiff witnesses (barbara forrest) speak on campus yesterday.
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