Baby Jesus
Posted by ABC (+381) 12 years ago
I read in tonight's Miles City Star that the Baby Jesus was once again stolen from the nativity scene at FPC. I'd like to appeal to the responsible party(ies) to return it ASAP. What possible use could you have for it, besides making someone else miserable?

ABC
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
I saw this same thing happen on Walker, Texas Ranger...it was solved by a lot of ass kicking.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Maybe Baby Jesus ascended bodily into heaven.

Or is this not plausible?
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
It is plausible, just not for some.
That's terrible that someone finds delight in taking anything, much worse a religious symbol. I pray it will miraculously appear...
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
It's certainly the worst thing that happened in Miles City in 2008.

Let's hope the community can recover from this tragedy.
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Posted by Leanne Stewart (+205) 12 years ago
We can always rely on you for a dumb ass reply!!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Thanks, Leanne! And a Happy New Year to you, too!
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Posted by Toni Campbell Tivy (+143) 12 years ago
I guess it's time to go high-tech and plant a tracking system in the baby Jesus. They recently caught someone with this technology in Florida, as stolen baby Jesus's aren't uncommon.....

http://blogs.usatoday.com...ed-by.html

" They implanted a small GPS tracking device on the statue -- which, sure enough, was subsequently stolen late Wednesday. The tracking device was activated, and Jesus was found in a house a short distance from the community center.

Police subsequently arrested Danielle Santino, 18, of Lake Worth, Fla. and charged her with grand theft. She was still in jail late Thursday.

"I stole Jesus," she told police, according to the newspaper"
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
Seems like there should be a Talledega Nights joke to make here somewhere. I haven't put it together yet.

But it's sad, anyway. Especially after the story of what happened with this particular Baby Jesus last time.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
What happened last time?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
It couldn't be any worse that what happened to the real baby Jesus the very first time!
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 12 years ago
It's a doll!
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
It was already stolen once awhile back. Then a few years ago or so, it was returned along with (I think) a letter from the person who'd had a change of heart about taking it in the first place.

Hopefully history can repeat itself.
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Posted by BeerNut (+68) 12 years ago
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
I'm not easily offended.....but geez.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
I applaud your chutzpah, sir. Wow.

And (provided you're not passed out on the floor in self-righteous indignation), any comments, Leanne?
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Posted by V (+168) 12 years ago
That is just plain wrong...!
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Posted by marciehoff (+207) 12 years ago
Brian- Go back to bed or just shut up!!!!!
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 12 years ago
Okay, since BeerNut broke-in with that...uh...picture..I'll go ahead and add a thought that crossed my mind when I saw ABC's first post on this...

...when I saw the first entry on this thread, my mind flashed-back to an episode of Beavis and Butthead from a few years back.

In the episode, B&B are manning a rummage sale for their grumpy old neighbor, Tom Anderson. One of the items up for sale was a little nativity scene. An old lady comes to look at it and says: "oh, what a nice nativity scene...but where's the baby Jesus?"

Butthead gives hs usual chuckle and replies "he's ten bucks extra".

The old lady replies "charging more money for Jesus? That's sacrilige!"

Butthead counters: "he's NAKED".

To which the old lady leaves in a huff replying: "you tell Tom Anderson he's going to hell for this!"

B&B give their usual comatose laughs and conclude "That wuz cool."

...anyway, this all made me think of it...I don't think I'll go to hell for it, though.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Have you looked into pirates of Islam? This is like stealing the school mascot of religion.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Brian- Go back to bed or just shut up!!!!!

Oh, marciehoff, you hurt me. You really do. Your fascination with the wonders of shift-1 is painful.

But since I have the utmost respect for you (or anyone who tells me to "shut up"), I will let you choose my response to your oh-so-polite request.

Please* choose one response from each of the following sub-groups:

Group 1 - "Juvenalia"

A.) "Yo' mama!"

B.) "Your face is!"

C.) "But I haven't had my dessert yet! THATSNOTFAIR!!! Mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Group 2 - "Movie quotes"

1.) "Marcie, what an ugly thing to say. I abhor ugliness ... does this mean we're not friends anymore? You know, Marcie, if I thought you weren't my friend, I just don't think I could bear it. There. Now we can be friends again."

2.) "I don't shut up, I grow up, and when I look at you, I throw up. Aghhh! (And then your mother goes around the corner and she licks it up)."

3.) "You're just mad because someone dropped a house on your sister."

Marcie - I am all a-twitter in anticipation of reading your reply. It's like Christmas Eve all over again! And speaking of Christmas, I am sincerely heartbroken that Santa (yet again!) did not bring you a sense of humor. I've got my fingers crossed for you this year, Marcie.

* (see, even the Worst. Person. Ever. can say please)
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Posted by Gail Finch Shipek (+94) 12 years ago
Sometimes I just have to laugh. The "Jesus is everywhere" really got a chuckle.

It makes me remember where I came from: Miles City. You guys are all so funny.

May the person who stole baby Jesus be blessed by Him.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
While I abhor stealing, perhaps the thief needed Jesus in his life more than anyone else.
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Posted by Curt Hammond (+45) 12 years ago
Once I painted the Virgin Mary all up like trash with fake lashes and Dark Secrets lipstick... But I never stole the baby.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
I have even less use for a plastic baby Jesus than I do for the person on which it was modeled.

Worse things have happened.
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Posted by Leanne Stewart (+205) 12 years ago
I used to like the forums on here, but it is people like you "Brian Reed" that can turn a serious forum into a trash talking. Like the saying goes, "If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all".
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Posted by Bridgier (+9194) 12 years ago
Yes, who is this so-called "Brian A. Reed" anyways?

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (edited 1/6/2009).]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Bridgier - I'm just the Worst. Person. Ever.

Um, Leanne?

Here's the post of mine that you responded to in such an oh-so-polite manner:

It's certainly the worst thing that happened in Miles City in 2008.

Let's hope the community can recover from this tragedy.


I didn't feel that I needed to expound in that post upon any of the "real" tragedies that happened in Miles City over the course of 2008 (you know, the murder-suicide, the drowning, etc.)

And here was your response to me:

We can always rely on you for a dumb ass reply!!

I ask you, Leanne - if a person was completely unaware of who originally posted them, which message appears to be an example of "not saying anything because it's not nice?"

I've done nothing on this forum except state my opinion in my tongue-in-cheek way. When I've had people like yourself and marciehoff get huffy and rude in response, I've responded both kindly (to you - I don't recall YOU ever wishing me a happy new year) and in kind (to marciehoff).

You have no high road to take, so I suggest getting off your high horse.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/6/2009).]
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Posted by Frank Hardy (+1607) 12 years ago
SHUT-UP Brian A. Reed!!!

Cheers!
FH


...btw, Happy New Year!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Frank sent me to my room.

But seriously, Frank - that's all you've got? Telling me to shut up?

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/6/2009).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 12 years ago
Brian:

I don't think Frank was being serious...what's that word again?....he was being facetious.
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Posted by Leanne Stewart (+205) 12 years ago
My point being, that some forums are meant for sharing information and discussion of that subject, and not for the tongue in cheek remarks. I am not against the tongue in cheek remarks, but there is a time and place for them. Have a Happy New Year!!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
So that's what "We can always rely on you for a dumb ass reply!!" means. Got it.
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Posted by JAGB (+110) 12 years ago
Brian A Reed I DO NOT understand why you would even read a forum on a subject you don't believe in ????
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Posted by Chad (+1763) 12 years ago
Because in America we have a right to do that; it's a part of the Constitution that let's us say, see, hear, read what we want whether or not we believe it is irrelevant.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
I browse through most of the threads on here and post on the ones that I find interesting. I'd be the last person to say that you have to agree with what I post. How boring would that be?

I believe that a plastic baby Jesus was stolen. I don't have to put my faith in "the real deal" to acknowledge that. Being irreverent doesn't put me out of touch with the reality of a situation. Quite the opposite in most cases.

Thanks for the thoughtful question, JAGB.
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Posted by BeerNut (+68) 12 years ago
Hallelujah and Hail Satan!

Its not supposed to make any sense, so don't read anything into it.
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Posted by Dillpickle (+34) 12 years ago
I love this site...
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
I was about to post a tongue-in-cheek reply, but I'm unsure if this is an appropriate time. Leanne, when and how are you going to tell us the proper moments to do so? Will there be regular hours, or will we just have to hope to be lucky enough to be online at whatever times you deem fit for tonguing?

I dunno -- having someone define what times are and are not appropriate for tongue-in-cheek comments seems like a head-up-yer-bummer of an idea to me...
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 12 years ago
I saw a sign once that said

"Need Jesus?
Call 555-2365"





So I called.






A Mexican showed up with a tow truck.


Oh, I'm so going to hell.....
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Posted by Julie (+420) 12 years ago
I gave myself to Jesus.....

And now he never calls
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Posted by Chad (+1763) 12 years ago
I think he's here at the 2 minute 20 second mark......
http://www.youtube.com/wa...JFyIaybXbU

I'm pretty sure he's not here though....
http://www.youtube.com/wa...QcNiD0Z3MU

I do like both versions.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
The people of milescity.com have spoken. We miss you, Big Baby Jesus.

AKA Dirt McGirt ... AKA Osirus ... AKA Man of All Rainbows ... AKA Peanut the Kidnapper ...

... AKA Russell Tyrone Jones ...

... AKA Old Dirty Bastard.

RIP, ODB.

(Bridgier will get this. Some others, probably not).



HAVE YOU SEEN ME?

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/7/2009).]
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Posted by Chad (+1763) 12 years ago
Hah, HAH!
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Posted by Leanne Stewart (+205) 12 years ago
I thought Brian understood what I meant and obviously Steve does not, so I will be praying for you both. You can post what you want after this because I won't be reading anymore of your garbage.
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Posted by DJS (+100) 12 years ago
I believe some of you are missing the point "Leanne" was trying to make. These forums are a great way to share community information and get feed back. However, it seems that when any serious topic comes up, a lot of people make a mockery of it.

Yes, the baby Jesus is a "doll" however, to most of us that "doll" is a symbol of our Faith. I am not saying you have to share my beliefs but, your disregard is disturbing.

I shall pray for all of you and suggest you try it yourselves. You may be surprised what God has in store for you.

Happy New Year & GOD BLESS!
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Posted by BeerNut (+68) 12 years ago
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
HFIP* Leanne.

*Have Fun In Paradise
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 12 years ago
Nobody messes with The Jesus.
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
I read in tonight's Miles City Star that the _______was once again stolen from the _______ scene at FPC. I'd like to appeal to the responsible party(ies) to return it ASAP. What possible use could you have for it, besides making someone else miserable?

There. I wanted to post the original message in such a way as not to fire up a few people into getting off topic. The key words are "stolen" and "appeal" and "return". That's what this thread was intended to communicate. Now please stay on topic or don't reply.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 12 years ago
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
I read in tonight's Miles City Star that the _______was once again stolen from the _______ scene at FPC. I'd like to appeal to the responsible party(ies) to return it ASAP. What possible use could you have for it, besides making someone else miserable?

Are we playing mad-libs now? Fun!

Yes, the baby Jesus is a "doll" however, to most of us that "doll" is a symbol of our Faith. I am not saying you have to share my beliefs but, your disregard is disturbing.

The persecution of the majority continues. How dare anyone question that!?

Throughout most of history, you could have me executed for such blasphemy. There's a proportionate response from the God is Love crowd. Oh, come let me adore that!

Rhetorical question - if your "faith" or a symbol of that faith can't endure the slightest bit of irreverent humor, then how powerful is it, anyway? Strong enough to give your mind and soul to?

Now THAT is disturbing.

Equally puzzling is that you believe that someone who was executed in a most horrible manner would really care about what happens to a piece of plastic. One would think that Jesus would have a better grasp of the "big picture." Having suffered the worst in life, you'd think he'd have more of a sense of humor.

Typical Christian arrogance - your god will let good people in the community die in a car crash, wither away with cancer, get riddled with bullets or drown in a river, but it's clobberin' time if someone swipes a plastic doll or makes fun of the irony of it all. Yep - go ahead and pray to that. Throw your mind away for that.

You have no claim whatsoever on my mind or soul, so don't bother wasting your time praying for either. My mind and my soul are mine and no one elses. If you're inspired to do something constructive, by all means go ahead. But I'm sure your god - if he exists - would rather you do something that "helps make this a world of morality, peace and joy."

"The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.

True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge."


- Henry Louis Mencken
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
I love it. Only on MC.com would someone respond to the theft of a plastic doll with a quote by Mencken. As my daughter would say, this site rocks!
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
You are so NOT going to be raptured, Brian!
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Posted by Julie (+420) 12 years ago
Brian A. Reed for President!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
And here I was, just waiting for my stigmata to start appearing.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"Typical Christian arrogance - your god will let good people in the community die in a car crash, wither away with cancer, get riddled with bullets or drown in a river, but it's clobberin' time if someone swipes a plastic doll or makes fun of the irony of it all. Yep - go ahead and pray to that. Throw your mind away for that."

Brian:
-there is a false assumption in the "cigol bomb" (backward logic ) you attempted to drop. There are no "good people"; just sinners that are forgiven and sinners that are unforgiven.

-What is truly ironic and somewhat humorous is that you can't stand it either when someone impugns your belief in "nothingism".

-I trust that someday you will learn just how blessed you are that people ARE praying for you.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Richard - your religion has nothing put prescribed self-loathing and fear to offer, and you expect me to ask you where I can sign up? What contempt you have for freethought.

Give me fact. Without fact, or even the willingness to seek fact (you know, the actual kind - not the fabricated, self-serving variety), you have nothing.

I believe that the world is a beautiful place full of beautiful people. I believe the world and the people in it are worth the effort to make it an even better place. I don't loathe humanity - you do. I don't believe humanity is worthy of eternal torment over a difference of opinion - you do.

You believe you are "saved" because you believe in something that has no more substance than a fairy tale, and this willingness to believe the absurd gives you primacy over others who don't believe as you do. I cannot think of a better example of hubris.

I believe in what is. This is a far cry from a belief in nothingness.

"Christianity has such a contemptible opinion of human nature that it does not believe a man can tell the truth unless frightened by a belief in God. No lower opinion of the human race has ever been expressed."

"The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called "faith." What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that belief. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration."

- Robert Green Ingersoll
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
your religion has nothing put prescribed self-loathing and fear to offer

The only thing you're clearing up Brian is how much you don't understand. And as far as your own religion goes, nothing says 'inner peace' like working overtime trying to destroy the faith of those around you. No thanks.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"You believe you are "saved" because you believe in something that has no more substance than a fairy tale, and this willingness to believe the absurd gives you primacy over others who don't believe as you do. I cannot think of a better example of hubris."

I don't believe that I have primacy over anything or anyone. I am sorry you seem to believe otherwise. I am NOT better than you because of my beliefs, just different.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 1/7/2009).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Brian,

With all due respect to Ingersoll, neither you nor he should give in to the temptation to paint all Christians - and Christian ideals - with one stroke of the brush.

The Christianity I subscribe to stresses the word "faith" and seeks out the questions in the Bible - whereas I'm guessing (hehe) that Richard's stresses the word "belief" and finds answers in the Bible.

Some use the Bible to justify acceptance of the status quo and "mastery" of the earth; I see it as a call to seek justice for all God's children and an edict to respect earth as a precious gift. We're all familiar with the popular portrayal of Eve as the temptress that brought ruin to Adam, but I see her as a liberator who delivered the very thing that gives "humans" our very humanity.

Some churches interpret the Bible literally (though it's impossible to do so) and elevate the Bible to icon/idol status, while other churches use the Bible as a text and collection of parables that provide guidance through life's most perplexing situations.

Very different ....

As for Man's inherent nature being good or evil, I just have two observations to offer:

1) Looking at myownself, I can attest that I skipped right over Original Sin and went directly to Original Guilt. All I can say now is I wish I'd had more fun when I was younger...

2) Looking at newborn children, I don't see how anyone could give any credence to Original Sin as being something inherently evil in our nature -- I can only give the concept of Original Sin credibility if it is seen as the capacity for evil - but that capacity is far, far outweighed by the propensity to love.

I was fortunate to be raised in the Congregational Church (now known as the United Church of Christ). In Miles City, it's the United Christian Church at Tompy and Strevell. Our church isn't big on focusing on sin or providing Divine answers, but it's very effective at helping individuals ask the questions that will help them find God's love, forgiveness, guidance, grace, strength and wisdom.

It isn't for everybody and it doesn't try to be, but everybody is welcome -- and that does make it different from many other Christian churches.

I agree with your observation that Christ surely has bigger things on his mind and a broader sense of humor than most of the posts here would indicate. And I think God, Allah, Yaweh, Shiva, Vishnu, The Supreme Power, Bhodisatva, Osiris, Zeus, Odin, ________ that has the awesome capability to create the universe really could care less if we sprinkle our heads with water or confess our sins on a regular basis. To borrow a phrase from a good friend, we all worship at the same altar. Some will say that makes me UnChristian. I say I don't recall anything in the Bible that gave any one human the right to make that kind of statement - in fact, it pretty strongly cautions against it....

So, there is no one "Christian" faith to either praise or criticize -it just plain doesn't make sense to do so. Just thought you might want to know.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 1/7/2009).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
Reading that Ingersoll text again... it's so full of logical fallacies that taking it seriously requires a deep faith in and of itself.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
Hmm.... original guilt.... interesting concept.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
"I don't believe that I have primacy over anything or anyone. I am sorry you seem to believe otherwise. I am NOT better than you because of my beliefs, just different."

Do you believe I am going to Hell, Richard?

"The only thing you're clearing up Brian is how much you don't understand. And as far as your own religion goes, nothing says 'inner peace' like working overtime trying to destroy the faith of those around you. No thanks."

What don't I understand, Rick?

I don't have a religion.

I have no ability to destroy anyone's faith - if your mind is made up, your mind is made up. But just for smiles and giggles, I reserve the right to poke fun at the ridiculousness of it all. If you perceive a difference of opinion and the expression of that difference as an attack, then we have to agree to disagree.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/7/2009).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
What don't I understand, Rick?

Well one good example is your constant reference to fear. Is that your only motivation? Why would you assume it was anyone elses?
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
Whoever Brian is... he has strengthened my faith in God. Thanks, Brian whoever you are. I didn't know how much my faith meant in my life until I read your posts. Thanks. I pray you can find peace.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Fear is not at all my motivation, Rick.

What else is there to religion but fear?

Fear of what lies beyond this life is what motivates the religious to seek their answers in religion. To the religious, fear of eternal punishment is the basis of morality. Without fear, religion is toothless philosophy.

How strong is faith if it can be "destroyed" by the likes of little old me? Strong enough to base your life upon it?

If Ingersoll isn't to your liking (I am interested in reading about the "logical fallacies" you've referred to), how about Mark Twain?

"A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell -- mouths mercy, and invented hell -- mouths Golden Rules and foregiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!"

"The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them. Your country and mine is an interesting one, but there is nothing there that is half so interesting as the human mind."

"I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit."

Montana Kid - good for you. If praying for me helps you feel better, by all means feel free to do so.

As for who I am, that's fairly self-explanatory. I, on the other hand, have no idea whatsoever of who you might be (other than a possible cousin to a bag of sunflower seeds?)
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Show me someone who has truly found peace on this earth, and I'll show you a truly remarkable person. The Dalai Lama comes to mind, and even he admits to having misgivings from time to time.

Montana Kid, are you as or perhaps even more remarkable than the Dalai Lama?

If so, please explain why Brian's postings would have any impact on you whatsoever? If not, maybe your prayers would be better directed someplace closer to home than Brian...
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
I dont profess to be the Dalai Lama... or even the Dahai Lama. Let me relate that sometimes it takes people who fight their own souls to appreciate my own. It's no big thing to you, so don't get your panties in a bunch. I'll still pray for you. What's the first post on this thread? Uh I forgot.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Montana Kid - what makes you believe that I "fight my own soul?"
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
Uh sorry... you have none. I'll pray for the soul that tried to break in.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
When Brian posts his thoughts, Leanne attacks him for posting "dumb ass replies." And when I post comments, the Montana Kid postulates it's because my "panties are in a wad." (btw, MK, my boxer briefs are actually riding quite comfortably). Neither of those comments are what most people would find very Christian things to say, yet both Leanne and MK seek to comfort Brian and me by praying that we find peace.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony in this?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Wow, Montana Kid. And here I was thinking that we might be able to have a rational discussion about theology.

Thanks for clearing that up, O' Judge of Souls. I have a soul, it's just that it's not made out of glass.

Steve - he's better than I am. I guess I should just learn to accept it.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/7/2009).]
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
I don't judge souls. Not my job, kidddies. Now grow up and adresss a post as it's intended. You didn't on this one.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Montana Kid - Hmmm... apparently the obvious has to be spelled out for you. It's not a fun job, but someone has to do it....

It isn't your place to pray for others and it isn't your job to police where conversations go on this thread. That's the beauty and the beast of public conversations - they take on a life of their own. Get used to it.

And here's some more news for you: Self-righteousness and holier-than-thou praying doesn't make you a good Christian or even a better person than anyone else. On the other hand, making high-and-mighty speeches about "kiddies" while hiding behind a childish moniker like "Montana Kid" does make you look a little foolish.

There is some growing up that needs to be done around here, but once again it's closer to home than you think.

btw: Seeing as I'm not on first name basis with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I'll have to ask you to say hi to Dahai for me.
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
Wow. You sure educated me. Good job. Over and out from the "Montana Kid, ...alias Christian,... alias, supporter of MC.com. Good night. You kiddies need to move on...........
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1272) 12 years ago
Is this Eric again?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
A quick rundown of recent posts ...

Me - "What makes you believe that I "fight my own soul?" (I believe this is an example of a mature question posted in a respectful manner).

To which Montana Kid replied: Uh sorry... you have none. I'll pray for the soul that tried to break in.

In an equally cheeky manner, I responded: "Thanks for clearing that up, O' Judge of Souls. I have a soul, it's just that it's not made out of glass."

To which Montana Kid's oh-so-coy reply was: "I don't judge souls. Not my job, kidddies. Now grow up and adresss a post as it's intended. You didn't on this one."

Montana Kid - you DO pass judgment on souls, at least on mine. And trying to take the high road after denying that you do (and calling Steve and I "kiddies") only paints you as a sanctimonious, patronizing ass.

But that's right - YOU'RE one of God's All-Stars (and you're so proud of it that you go about it in anonymity). But Steve and I (a theist and a non-theist who get along despite our differences in theology) are the ones with the problem.

Feel free to go rapture yourself anytime, Montana Kid.
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Posted by Montana Kid (+113) 12 years ago
I feel sorry for you. I ask anyone else one here to tell you the same. Ooops they already have! Now go to bed and dream about your next day.... Eeeeuuuuuu.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
And I truly pity you, Montana Kid. At least you can't say that we disagree on everything.

But shouldn't you be praying to your god (-sized ego) right now?

Feel free to come back when you want to have a "big boy" discussion.

Moving on ...

Richard - I asked a question of you earlier in this discussion. I'm interested in seeing your reply, so I'll post it again. I feel there's a good chance that the original post was lost in the white noise that is Montana Kid.

Here goes:

"I don't believe that I have primacy over anything or anyone. I am sorry you seem to believe otherwise. I am NOT better than you because of my beliefs, just different."

Do you believe I am going to Hell, Richard?

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/8/2009).]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"Do you believe I am going to Hell, Richard?"

Your eternal destiny is not my decision. I have my hands FULL dealing with Richard.

But, if you think that my believing where you might spend eternity gives me some sort of "primacy" doesn't that indicate a small modicum of fear on your part? Why bring up the notion that someone may have something over you (which I don't) or act intimidated if you truly have no fear?
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Posted by Chad (+1763) 12 years ago
So, here are a couple of questions:

If a person spends their life working an honest job and working diligently; being courteous and pleasant to others; helps out in their community with kids, service projects, the elderly, etc.; saves wisely and lives a humble life; and is generally a very nice, humane, decent person.....are they going to be sent to Purgatory or Hell if they're not Christian, or if they don't pray to or believe in the current God of the millennium? The God that is popular at that particular moment in time and in their particular part of the planet.

What of all the other religions- ARE THEY ALL WRONG? Are those pagans damned for eternity from the day they are conceived in the womb?

I for one believe there is more than one right answer and more than one way to go through the experience that is life.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Cory asked: Is this Eric again?
The Kid's rants appear to be more Ike than Eric.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Chad. No one ever mentions money. In my opinion, many religions exist to make money for the uppity-ups in their organization. If there are many ways to "get to heaven", and people realized this, its adios to the cash flow. Many religions NEED to convince you they are the "only way" or they fail to exist.

I have also seen and heard people who firmly believe "being saved" is based more on what you expound than on any good works you might have performed. I personally think a Muslim that lives a good life as you described above, has a greater chance at heaven than an @sshole who calls himself a Christian.
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Posted by ike eichler (+1226) 12 years ago
Steve,

You will know my posts as by my real name, the one I post under, and as far as "rants" you will forever be the rant king of MC.com. No one can compete with you in that regard.

Duz this mean you want to continue our conversations of a few months past??? Ike
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
I'm with Chad.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
"Your eternal destiny is not my decision. I have my hands FULL dealing with Richard.

But, if you think that my believing where you might spend eternity gives me some sort of "primacy" doesn't that indicate a small modicum of fear on your part? Why bring up the notion that someone may have something over you (which I don't) or act intimidated if you truly have no fear?"


My question was only a question. I realize that you don't have anything over me. What I was trying to gauge is whether you think you have something over me, based on your belief and my corresponding non-belief.

I would venture to guess that nearly everyone is somewhat afraid of death, of the unknown. I haven't let whatever fear I have override my common sense, however. I haven't been compelled by irrationality to believe in something that strikes me as absurd.

Again - just a simple question: Based on the tenets of your belief system, do you believe that people who do not believe are destined for Hell, simply because they do not believe?
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Posted by Wilbur Cain (+150) 12 years ago
If people do not believe, than they do not believe in Hell, and those that believe, believe in Hell, so they may go to Hell if they die at a time they are questioning their beliefs because they believe in Hell. How can one go to Hell if they do not believe in Hell. We are our own destiny. What the Hell?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Hey Ike. Please forgive the confusion. Just hadn't seen you in a while, and all of sudden the Montana Kid showed up and ya have to admit - he/she sounded just like you. Sort of like that whole Michael and LaToya mystery, ya know?
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+281) 12 years ago
Wilbur, huh?
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2042) 12 years ago
So who stole the Baby Jesus??
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Posted by BeerNut (+68) 12 years ago
Santa Claus did of course. But he's hiding him at the Easter Bunny's house!

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Posted by Stone (+1596) 12 years ago
Brian, this stimulating theological discussion reminds me of my foray into vacation bible school as a youth. The instructor explained to us children that if you did not know Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOR that you would burn in hell for all eternity.

Putting two and two together and being a perpetual realist and a pragmatic smart a**, I stated that, Moses, Abraham, King David and Noah would all be burning in hell because they did not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and SAVIOR. His reply was to attempt to have me excommunicated from vacation bible school. How Christian is that?
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 12 years ago
Stone:

Ha!

Yeah, those types always disliked me until they wanted our lame church to win the bleeping "Bible Bowl." Then I was their pal.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
The instructor explained to us children that if you did not know Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOR that you would burn in hell for all eternity.

Such a wonderful thing to tell children. Compliance coerced by fear.

I refuse to give my mind, heart and soul to the concept of a deity so petty.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Or, as an option, you could refuse to let your Diety be defined by such petty hearts, minds and souls...
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
What else is there to religion but fear?

Look at it this way... If your child behaves or does what you ask, do you always assume they only did it because they are afraid of you?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Rick has a good point (while that isn't the first time I've said that, and it probably won't be the last, it doesn't happen often - so those who keep score of these things should take note)

But on a higher note, it appears that there is a strong notion here that religion is really just a rule book that at the end of the game is used to determine if one is makes into the heavenly EndZone or gets banished to some eternally hellacious Penalty Box. To which I can only reply with the seminalogically-erudite term: Phooey.

There are many elements of Religion, and one is that it provides a way to understand the origin, issues, blessings and future of mankind, the world, the universe, an anthill ~ whatever.

Many folks find it is helpful to to see patterns and purpose in life, while some prefer to think everything is random and there is no order or intelligence behind what exists. So be it. When it comes to understanding the world around you, atheism and agnosticism are every bit as much a "religion" as Christianity or Judaism.

In that respect, religion joins death and taxes as the things that one cannot escape in life.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
I've always believed that the message of the Bible is a message intended for your own good. Imagine the lives we'd all lead if we only followed it... believers and non.

What core (Biblical) Christian teaching can anyone say is a really bad idea?
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Uh Oh.
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 12 years ago
100 posts!!! WOO-HOO!!!

Funny how a post about a stolen plastic baby Jesus can become such a can of worms.
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Posted by Bart Freese (+926) 12 years ago
W.W.J.D?

Well, I'd hope he'd go out and enjoy the beauty of his Father's world. How, That's right, by ice skating at the city rink.

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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
When it comes to understanding the world around you, atheism and agnosticism are every bit as much a "religion" as Christianity or Judaism.

I can't agree with you, Steve. There is a somewhat-famous statement by Don Hirschberg that "if atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color." While this statement runs the risk of becoming trite, it is not at all inaccurate.

Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of a higher power (God or gods). Theism (also known as religion) is the belief in the existence of a higher power. They are mutually exclusive concepts.

To paraphrase a comment I found online a while back, calling atheism a religion is like calling the act of not playing baseball a sport.

As an atheist, I am not constrained by the dogma possessed by religion. Whereas some people have the need to believe, I do not have a corresponding need not to believe.

Keep in mind that the definition of atheism does not state "there is NO god." This is very different from lacking a belief in a god or gods. A common argument used by theists is that it can't be proven that gods do not exist. While this is technically true, it ignores the fact that the burden of proof is on the believer. If one believes that something exists, that person should be able to produce evidence to support the claim.

In that light, I also can't fully agree with your statement that religion "provides a way to understand the origin, issues, blessings and future of mankind, the world, the universe, an anthill ~ whatever."

Religion may provide such understanding, but such "knowledge" comes at the expense of discovery. Once something is labeled "Truth," (something religions are wont to do) the search for understanding is truncated in favor of the acceptance of what has been decreed to be unquestionable.

It would be more accurate to state that an atheist continually seeks answers while a theist claims to have already found them. Or, as Mencken said, "The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable."

I am not so arrogant that I claim to have all of the answers. While I presently do not believe in a god or gods, I would not refuse to do so if given proper evidence. After all, it was once "Truth" that the sun revolved around a flat Earth. Only the very foolish still believe the earth is supported by four elephants on the back of a tortoise. If there were actual proof of the existence of a god, I would no longer consider myself an atheist. My eyes remain open.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
"I've always believed that the message of the Bible is a message intended for your own good. Imagine the lives we'd all lead if we only followed it... believers and non."

Rick - The Dark Ages were such a wonderful time, weren't they? Almost utopian. With an attitude like yours, you'd make a great Inquisitor.

... quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur. - "... for punishment does not take place primarily and per se for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit."[/i]

Countless millions of people have been killed over the last 2000 years in the name of that message, Rick. I seem to recall a certain saying about intentions ...

"What core (Biblical) Christian teaching can anyone say is a really bad idea?"

Here are just a few (hint: Deuteronomy is chock-full of great messages intended "for your own good") ...

Bad parenting ideas:

1.) Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod [sceptre], he shall not die. -- Proverbs 23:13 (AV)

2.) If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son ... Then shall his father and his mother ... bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. -- Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (AV)

3.) God did tempt Abraham, ... And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest ... and offer him there for a burnt offering... -- Genesis 22:1-2 (AV)

4.) Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: "If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return ... will be the Lord's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering." ... and the Lord gave them into his hands.... When Jephthah returned to his home..., who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of tambourines! And he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin. -- Judges 11:30-32, 34, 39 (NIV)

Bad relationship ideas:

1.) Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. -- I Corinthians 14:34-35 (NIV)

2.) If a man [meets] a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her ... He must marry the girl ... He can never divorce her as long as he lives. -- Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NIV)

3.) "Have you allowed all the women to live?" he [Moses] asked them.... "Now ... kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man." -- Numbers 31:1-18 (NIV)

Ideas that may or may not be legal in Mexico:

1.) There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
-- Ezekiel 23:20 (NIV)

Bad ideas when it comes to responding to the likes of me:

1.) "Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." -- Deuteronomy 13:13-19(NLT)

2.) Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. -- Deuteronomy 17:12 (NLT)

3.) They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. -- 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 (NAB)

Uh oh is right, Bob.

I'd rather ...

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
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Posted by Major Pain (+201) 12 years ago
Steve Craddock wrote:

> There are many elements of Religion, and one is
> that it provides a way to understand the origin,
> issues, blessings and future of mankind, the world,
> the universe, an anthill ~ whatever.

I almost agree. I suggest a slightly modified version:

There are many elements of Religion, and one is
that it provides many ways to misunderstand the origin,
issues, blessings and future of mankind, the world,
the universe, an anthill ~ whatever.


Steve continues:

> When it comes to understanding the world
> around you, atheism and agnosticism are
> every bit as much a "religion" as
> Christianity or Judaism.

Agnosticism is the position of being unwilling, or incompetent, to admit to one's condition of theism (belief in a god or gods) or atheism (lack of belief in a god or gods.) It is not a third state apart from them. A person either holds such beliefs, or they do not. There is no valid middle ground, as inconvenient as that might be, socially speaking.

Often, the self-professed agnostic advances the view that agnosticism is a matter of knowledge; but the dichotomy of belief and non-belief in a god or gods is not a thing that comes into being due to knowledge or the lack of it; the question that precisely determines the state of theism or atheism is merely "do you hold any belief in a god or gods", to which the only thoughtful and honest answers are either yes, or no.

Atheism, the state of being without belief in a god or gods, does not offer a framework for "understanding the world around you." What it does is disposes of the theistic frameworks, which makes room for others that have non-theistic characteristics. That is to say, such a framework does not require a belief in a god or gods to be understood or pursued. The scientific method is the usual candidate here.

Actually, the other way around is how it often works: Observing that unlike religion, the scientific method produces information of steadily increasing accuracy about the world around us, a significant amount of which is new information, the theist is supplied with some of the tools needed to go beyond the stories and behavioral rules offered by theistic outlooks. This can serve as one of the foundational building blocks of atheism. I know it certainly does for me.
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Posted by Frank Hardy (+1607) 12 years ago
Perhaps a clue?









Cheers!
FH
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Posted by Nancy Drew (+288) 12 years ago
The city ice rink was great this afternoon. The warm evening, rains, and a fresh spray of water this morning on the ice has made for some great skating. Saturday should be in the upper 30s. Take advantage of the rink and warming house. A lot of fun and no charge.

Was there a Jesus sighting? Maybe today Brian will spot Jesus skating while he is on his sled.
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Posted by Stone (+1596) 12 years ago
Brian, unlike you I have not been able to let go of my belief in a universal creator but I have let go of Paulinian Christianity. I am a firm believer in scientific method but I still feel that there is more out there. Something unexplainable. Is it a supreme being or a superior race? Who knows? Until the rapture or the evidence of the prime directive I will live my life by the Ten Commandments, love my wife and kids and hope that we do not get obliterated by an asteroid or some Klingons from Uranus. Live long and prosper and love thy neighbor.

Oh, Jerry is maning the rink today so bring some extra bread to break with him. He loves free food.

[This message has been edited by Stone (edited 1/10/2009).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
Brian, the problem is that you're saying

"I don't believe in anything inparticular, but you're wrong and you're wrong and you're wrong and you're wrong."

To us, it gives off all the credibility of a Night At The Improv heckler.

As I've said before, Atheist states have killed more human beings in the last century than all theocracies combined throughout history. You selectively blame mankind's espoused beliefs, when really the blame rests firmly with mankind. And I doubt your new theology of "Survival of the Fittest, Plus Try to be Nice" will offer much in the way of improvement.

And for all that typing, I haven't seen you even address a real core tenet of Christianity. You posted a bunch of (mostly BC) scripture, that likelier than not, you don't understand. But I guess that's what happens when you surf atheist sites for your theism.

I'd rather ...

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today


As spoken by one of Jesus' "biggest fans"

http://www.telegraph.co.u...-band.html

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 1/10/2009).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5094) 12 years ago
Rickenhawk accusing someone of not understanding Bible passages.

That's rich!
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Rick: What core (Biblical) Christian teaching can anyone say is a really bad idea?

Bob Netherton: Uh Oh

I think that will go down as my favorite "brief exchange" on MC.com of all time. I don't know how long I chuckled over that when I first read it, and it continues to strike me funny when I re-read it.

As Brian's subsequent post attests, Bob N. had very good cause for concern.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
"And for all that typing, I haven't seen you even address a real core tenet of Christianity. You posted a bunch of (mostly BC) scripture, that likelier than not, you don't understand. But I guess that's what happens when you surf atheist sites for your theism."

Are you saying that the passages I included aren't contained within the bible, Rick? Tell me what I don't understand, O enlightened one.

Are you also telling me that you don't reference sites that you find to be convenient to the argument(s) you attempt to make?

I KNEW you were going to play the "but that's in the Old Testament!" card, but I figured I'd let you bring it up rather than address it pre-emptively.

I see no reason to omit Old Testament scripture when it makes up the bulk of the Holy Bible. If you want me to disregard it, I would assume that you also believe that Christian churches should tear out the first several hundred pages of your most sacred text?

It's the Old Testament that gives you mention of "God" in the first place. Are you now saying that there is no God?

It's the Old Testament that gives Christians the biblical depiction of the Creation. Are you now saying that God didn't create the universe?

It's the Old Testament that gives us the concept of the messiah. Without it, this Jesus Christ fellow is just some dude born to a teenage mother with a deadbeat father. According to Ann Coulter, Mary is the source of all evil in the world (she may be on to something here ...)

It's the Old Testament that provides the foundation upon which your religion - as well as Judaism and Islam - is based.

If you want me to disregard the Old Testament (which, conveniently enough, I already do), I call on you to do the same.

"As I've said before, Atheist states have killed more human beings in the last century than all theocracies combined throughout history."

Ah, the Commie-Nazi argument. Your ace-in-the-hole. And you tell me that I'm the one lacking understanding. Let me ask you this: How many people killed by "atheist states" were killed in the name of atheism itself?

There is no difference in your logic than stating that "Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler both have dark hair and mustaches. Stalin and Hitler were responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Therefore people with dark hair and mustaches are responsible for the deaths of millions of people. All glory to God!"

"You selectively blame mankind's espoused beliefs, when really the blame rests firmly with mankind."

Are you not also being selective with your blame and praise?

In your view, God created mankind. Yet God escapes all culpability for any of his creation. God deserves praise for all things good, but is blameless for anything bad.

If it's good, God did it. If it's bad, Mankind did it. How convenient. With that kind of attitude, you'd be absolved of all responsibility - which, ironically enough, is something theists have used as a condemnation of atheists.

If Man was created in God's image and then began to sin, wouldn't that mean that God's creation was imperfect? And if God's creation was imperfect, wouldn't that also mean that God is imperfect?

Please tell me how you escape this little problem.

"And I doubt your new theology of "Survival of the Fittest, Plus Try to be Nice" will offer much in the way of improvement."

I propose no new theology whatsoever.

"As spoken by one of Jesus' "biggest fans"

The interview you referred to was given in 1969. "Imagine" was released in 1971.

Perhaps Mr. Lennon had a change of heart in the interim. It is possible, you know - after all, I used to lead the Cowboys' pre-game football prayer in high school. Then again, I also used to write letters to Santa.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/10/2009).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
I was raised in a Christian home, and then went through a 10 to 15 year period of agnosticism during high school, college and beyond. During that time, I liked to use a funky little ska-poem of Kurt Vonnegut's to explain my view of religion and those who held tight to it:

Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly -
Man got to sit and wonder why why why.

Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land -
Man got to tell himself he understand.

Now I'm back "in the fold" again, and that poem still rings true for me - perhaps more now than ever. I accept that part of my faith probably has its roots in some inherent desire that humans have to paint a comprehensible picture of the incomprehensible. And I accept that part of my religion defines a role for me in a huge picture that would otherwise be incomprehensible. There is nothing wrong in that.

It seems to me that where many religions go wrong is in becoming so cocksure of themselves that they get all carried away and start imposing their view of the natural and supernatural world on others. And when one particular religion starts claiming that "We offer THEE ONE & ONLY 100% SUREFIRE WAY TO GET TO (heaven / nirvana / valhalla / etc) - well, that's when they lose me and I believe that's when religion starts getting a bad name in the secular communities.

Very few people have been killed or even harmed by faithful people who are asking earnest questions and searching for inspired answers. On the other hand, time and time again throughout history, scores upon scores of people have been slaughtered in the name of religious doctrine and because of the imposition of theological BELIEFS upon non-believers.

For that reason, I think "Do you believe?" or "Are you saved?" have become perhaps the three scariest (or at least the three most dreaded) words in the English language. The potential for harm - spiritual and physical - is huge whenever words like those are hanging in the air.

Now, I don't know if any of this has anything to do with Brian's dour outlook on religion, but I know it had a lot to do with mine. When I began appreciating the difference between "religion" and "faith", I also began to see spiritual challenges and opportunities that I never thought I would welcome back into my life. And now, somewhat paradoxically, I can wonder why why why at the same time that I understand, and I can understand at the same time that I wonder why why why.

Or maybe it is better expressed this way: I know I don't have the answer, but I know that having the answer isn't what's important.
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Posted by AJS (+219) 12 years ago
To all those of concern pull up this Bible and read it daily, better still let it be read to you, as it is a reading Bible.
http://BibleGateway.com/

This is a talking Bible, You will grow with it a little each day.

[This message has been edited by AJS (edited 1/10/2009).]
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Frank -

Why did you post a picture of a baby Jesus-adorned condom?

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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago
This is kind of funny but might offend some people so if religious jokes offend you then read no further.

Q: Why did Jesus stop playing hockey?

A: He kept getting nailed to the boards.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Q: Why did Jesus stop playing hockey?

A: He kept getting nailed to the boards.


Yeah, by this guy ...



Or this guy ...



(his first name is Roman)

Jesus walks in to an inn, hands the innkeeper three nails and asks, "Hey, can you put me up for the night?"

(insert rimshot here)

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/10/2009).]
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Posted by Frank Hardy (+1607) 12 years ago




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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago






[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/11/2009).]
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Hey Brian,

I'm no expert, but I'd be willing to bet a month's rent that the condom comment pretty much guaran-damn-teed you an eternity spent with the likes of Ann Coulter, Nancy Grace, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Harry Reid (assuming blandness is equivatent to obnoxiousness as a punishment). But have no doubt - I'm very glad you're around because, as Billy Joel once sang, sinners are much more fun!

Hmmm... as I made that list of names I couldn't help but wonder why they use rock music to drive the prisoners crazy at Guantanamo and Abu Gharib. Surely a non-stop tape of Nancy Grace interspersed with a healthy dose of Ann Coulter would do the trick much more efficiently.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 12 years ago
I thought they played the Barney song "I love You". That would drive anyone nuts.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
I'm no expert, but I'd be willing to bet a month's rent that the condom comment pretty much guaran-damn-teed you an eternity spent with the likes of Ann Coulter, Nancy Grace, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Harry Reid (assuming blandness is equivatent to obnoxiousness as a punishment). But have no doubt - I'm very glad you're around because, as Billy Joel once sang, sinners are much more fun!

Hell is other people.

Wait a minute ... you mean I'll be the smartest, tallest, strongest and the best-looking person in the room? WooHoo! Where do I sign up!?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
Brian, think about it....

being the the smartest, tallest, strongest and the best-looking person in the room is only a good thing if there are other people in that room that you want to attract and interact with. Where oh where is the benefit of attracting the folks we're talking about here?

Face it, pal - it's gonna be pure unadulterated Hell - unless you do the dirty deed with Ann or Nancy or Bill - and then it will be pure adulterated Hell, which is worse!

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 1/12/2009).]
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Posted by KELLY BABCOCK (+185) 12 years ago
In all things, there comes a time when the boundries of good taste, are crossed. It has nothing to do with personal beliefs, or to what extent you are willing to go, to expound upon them, it is strictly a matter of having a little bit of class. Some of you are showing how little class you have!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Oh, snap! Did you read through all 122 posts prior to yours in order to come to that conclusion, Kelly?

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/12/2009).]
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Posted by ABC (+381) 12 years ago
Since I started this thread, I wanted to be the 125th person to post. Happy 125!!!!

ABC

And who is low class?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
I see no reason to omit Old Testament scripture when it makes up the bulk of the Holy Bible. If you want me to disregard it, I would assume that you also believe that Christian churches should tear out the first several hundred pages of your most sacred text?

First off, you need to look at how I framed the topic. I'm basically saying that Christian teaching is powerful regardless of whether you believe, as many of us do, that he is the Son of God. Talking about the Old Testament in that secular context, makes no sense. Either Jesus is a powerful philosopher, useful for anyone concerned with human ethics, or he isn't.

Whether John Lennon believed literally in The Way, the Truth and The Life is up for debate. You say he had a change of heart, but then again, later in 1977, he claimed to be a born-again. He may have gone back and forth. Where he ended up, nobody knows. But what we can say is he never questioned the value, of Jesus' ethical teaching.

To briefly address your OT comments in a religious context though, you're guilty of several cardinal sins in your interpretation, many of which we've seen on here before.

First, the mere mention of something in the Bible does not make it law. Some stories are just there to be documented, but that doesn't mean that those events were condoned by God as they were written about. This would be akin to claiming the "9/11 Commission Report" was really a book on "How to be a Terrorist" because it documented some stuff terrorists did.

Second, you quote (or maybe some atheist site quotes) scripture selectively, sometimes leaving out preceding (and qualifying) verses that completely nullify the point you're trying to make.

and Third, you judge Christianity by the law it was intended to replace. Laws that were written for a different time, and a different world entirely. Think, in a loose parallel, of judging the Law of the United States by quoting precedents of the British Monarchy. In some cases it might be relevant. In others, obviously not. One obviously led to the other, but at some point most of it was changed, and for good reason. We no longer live in that world. In alot of ways we can't even begin to understand it.

As far as my ace-in-the-hole, you need to read more about the outright religious persecution in both the Soviet Union and China. In outright persecution, I mean wars waged against people of literally any faith simply for not conforming with the one true non-faithy faith.

But on the other hand, we have a kind of double-standard at play. A theocratic state, when engaging in tyranny, by necessity has to have a theocratic explanation for all its bad behavior. You take advantage by claiming all that tyranny was "religious." Obviously not the case. The reasons for violence were the same as in any other dictatorship. But a (usually false) religious justification was required to keep things in line.

Yet, when Stalin wanted to murder a million or so, his professed atheism meant no religious justification was required. He could say he had a Fever and the only Prescription was more Gulags for all anyone cared. So he was free to eliminate virtually all churchgoers or anyone else he saw as a threat. And you get to claim it wasn't "religious" I say if all tyrannical actions of a theocratic state are "religious" then so are all the tyrannical actions of an atheocratic state.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 1/12/2009).]
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Posted by KELLY BABCOCK (+185) 12 years ago
Brian, Yes, I did read all of the posts prior to mine. Your point?
ABC, I'm sure those who have stepped beyond the lines, know who they are. Kind of reminds me of the artist that made religious icons from fececs. The only reason for doing some things is for the shock value that the actions create.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
I apologize to everyone who does not own or watch television, go to movies, read anything but books from the Children's Section of the library, and never engages in conversation people over the age of 12.

For those of you who meet the above characteristics, I can understand how you would be shocked, yes shocked and offended by my use of the phrase "dirty deed".
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
The only reason for doing some things is for the shock value that the actions create.

If that's what you believe, I daresay it has more to do with a lack of imagination on your part than any intention to shock on mine.
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Posted by ABC (+381) 12 years ago
<<The only reason for doing some things is for the shock value that the actions create.

If that's what you believe, I daresay it has more to do with a lack of imagination on your part than any intention to shock on mine.>>

Yes, lack of imagination can account for many things. I think it was once given as a reason that 9/11 occured.

ABC
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
First off, you need to look at how I framed the topic. I'm basically saying that Christian teaching is powerful regardless of whether you believe, as many of us do, that he is the Son of God.

You didn't really frame the topic, Rick. This may have been your intent when you asked, "What core (Biblical) Christian teaching can anyone say is a really bad idea?" but you left a lot of room for interpretation. If you were preaching only to the choir, you might not have the need to clarify yourself.

As it is, I don't think I can be called to task for not recognizing (as I now do) that you meant "teachings of Christ" when you typed "(Biblical) Christian teaching." To my non-choir singing sensibilities, "(Biblical) Christian teachings" encompasses all that is taught on any given Sunday in a Christian church. In recognizing that OT lessons are given in conjunction with NT lessons, I did no more or less than your average pastor or priest.

Your parallel of me "judging the laws of the United States by quoting precedents of the British Monarchy" isn't valid. The laws of the United States and those of British Monarchy aren't literally bound together and don't share the same cover and gilded edges. They truly are separate. A better analogy would to pair the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the latter of which requires the former.

That being said, I really don't have a problem with Jesus Christ the man. My problem is with the things that have been done in his name and the attitude that "whosoever believeth in him" have primacy over those who don't. Honestly, if Jesus wasn't seen as the "Son of God," he'd be just another person with a decent message but no means to broadcast it. Many people through the centuries have had just as profound of messages. Jesus is just "alright" with me, so to speak.

In bringing up the concept of framing, you've given me an opportunity to clarify some things as well. When I've decried religion's role in the history of human misery, I haven't done so with the thought of "Religion equals murder" in my mind.

To me, religion is an artificial construct that has its origins as a way to comfort oneself in the face of a "nasty, brutish and short" life, beyond which no one knew what happened. I see religion as superstition with a massive following. I have no problem with religion as a question, but when religion becomes the end-all, be-all answer, problems emerge.

When I've stated that religion is the cause of more conflict than any other source, what I refer to are the divisions between people that religion causes. Over time, what started as a superstition that huddled people together, started to separate people from others who did not have the same notions. In other words, religion provided an artificial abalienation between people who otherwise might not have a reason to hate, fight or kill each other.

Whether it's theists killing other theists (The Crusades, practically any conflict in the Middle East), theists killing nontheists (the Inquisition, witch burnings), or nontheists killing theists (your example of Communist Russia and China), there is one common thread: religion and the divisions in humanity it has caused and continues to cause.

There always have been and probably always will be reasons for people to kill one another. There will always be limited resources, hormones and intoxicants. But I see no reason to add another "justification" for blood, especially when that reason boils down to nothing more than mythology.

If believers in Santa Claus started killing Grinchlings, you'd think the situation was tragic in its stupidity. If people who believed Santa Claus should be called Kris Kringle started killing people who still called him Santa Claus, you'd think that was stupid and tragic, too. If Santa followers started burning people who didn't believe in any giftbringers whatsoever, you'd think the same.

And if nonbelievers started killing Santa worshippers, you'd probably think that was a pretty silly reason to kill someone and would question why anyone would believe in Santa in the first place.

This is EXACTLY how I see religion. There is no difference.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"Again - just a simple question: Based on the tenets of your belief system, do you believe that people who do not believe are destined for Hell, simply because they do not believe?"

Brian: While I am sure you are hoping for a "check "yes" or "no"" answer... that is not what you will get from me.

I believe in the doctrine of original sin. Sin is not just what we do, it is who we are. It is part of our DNA. We can't help ourselves. We are all sinful beings. God (for reason known only to Him) required atonement for sin. Most of the Old Testament is about the law of God, how to make atonement for sin, a record of what happened to people who couldn't keep the law, and the promise of a Savior. The main point of the OT is to point us to God's perfect sacrifice... His own Son. Properly interpreted everything about the OT looks forward to the coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah. The people of the OT were saved by looking forward to God's Word about coming Savior. We look back in time to God's Word about and the Savior. All are saved by trusting in God's Word an allowing the Holy Spirit to create saving faith in their hearts.

The Christian religion is unique because it is about what God has done for us, not about what we do for God. (There are sects of Christianity that ARE confused on this point.) All other religions are focused on what the participant does to serve their god. Can he ever do enough to make "god" happy? The answer is no. These people are the ones living in fear.

As a Christian, we participate in what Luther called the "great exchange". I give to God my sin and unrighteousness which He laid on Jesus at the cross. In exchange, God gives to me pardon for my sin and His righteousness. The debt that I owed God was paid for by Jesus death on the cross. It is out of gratitude and love that I serve Him, not fear. The debt I owed to God is paid in full. This side of heaven the Christian is both saint and sinner.

There is another "option". Those who decide not to place themselves where they hear God's Word and allow the Holy Spirit to create saving faith, basically pay for their own sin in the next life through eternal separation from God. This separation is "hell". Right now we can't see all of the ways that God sustains us every second of our lives and how truly blessed we are. God would have all people be saved. So, if you end up in hell it is through self-condemnation, not so much that God sent you there. You can hear God's Word and accept His remedy and payment for sin, or you can pay your own way.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 1/12/2009).]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 12 years ago
Brian, we both know it's a waste of time to parse Christian vs Jewish vs Judeo-Christian. You're really not interested in the difference, other than to mark it as a point of disagreement.

When I've stated that religion is the cause of more conflict than any other source, what I refer to are the divisions between people that religion causes.

The conflict isn't due to the faith, but because of the significance of the subject. You don't have much credibility in saying it's only those nasty religionists who go looking for conflict. Your non-faithified self does at least its fair share of looking for a fight.

Sometimes Christians are the lightning, sometimes they're the rod.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
The conflict isn't due to the faith, but because of the significance of the subject.

It's only significant because people believe it should be significant. I've already said that it's an artificial discrimination between groups of people who would otherwise have one less reason to see the differences in each other.

You don't have much credibility in saying it's only those nasty religionists who go looking for conflict. Your non-faithified self does at least its fair share of looking for a fight.

I never said it was "only those nasty religionists who go looking for conflict." What I did say is whether or not religionists go looking for conflict or conflict finds them, religion and violence go hand in hand due to the arbitrary classification.

I'll debate with you, yes. Will I think I that I am destined for eternal bliss while you're doomed to the Worst Place Imaginable because of it? No. Will I seek legislation that places me above you due to my beliefs? No. Will I hurt or kill you because of it? No.

Sometimes Christians are the lightning, sometimes they're the rod.

I haven't said otherwise, Rick. In fact, I think I've said the exact same thing.

Richard - I have one son and will very soon have another (and the second one doesn't have to redeem the first). I love them exactly the same. They don't have to prove anything to me for me to love them. They can love me and I will love them. They can hate me and I will love them. They can believe that I'm not their father and I will love them. I'm not so petty as your god.

Any god so petty is hardly a god, and hardly worth praying to.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (edited 1/12/2009).]
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Kelly - You haven't commented on the dog's pooper.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
"Richard - I have one son and will very soon have another (and the second one doesn't have to redeem the first). I love them exactly the same. They don't have to prove anything to me for me to love them. They can love me and I will love them. They can hate me and I will love them. They can believe that I'm not their father and I will love them. I'm not so petty as your god.

Any god so petty is hardly a god, and hardly worth praying to."

And there is nothing you can do to make God love you more than He does right now. You can believe than there is no God and He still loves you and everyone else the same way. Your sin is no trivial mater, but He takes care of your sin with the death and resurrection of His Son.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 12 years ago
So many words have been written here and elsewhere extolling the virtues of one approach and critizing the shortcomings of the other. But in reality all approaches (theist, agnostic, atheist) are needed. They not only conflict with each other, they also complement each other when it comes to developing a better understanding of the world, the universe and man's role in both.

A solely theistic approach to life can lead to misunderstanding, especially if based on a purely literal interpretation of a religious text. The same can be said of a pure adherence to the scientific method. Atrocities have occurred both in the name of "religion" and in the name of "science." But the atrocities mentioned in the posts above were committed in situations where religion was bereft of science or where science was bereft of religion.

In a word, atrocities occur when the terms "religion" or "science" are BASTARDIZED for selfish and misguided ends that at their core have more to do with domination than either religion or science.

Taken together in measured and diligent steps, faith, doubt and curiousity inform, reinforce, balance and CHECK each other. Arguing over which is better is as nonsensical as arguing over which is more important: air, water, food or shelter. Take away any one and the others become meaningless for life at both the societal and individual level. Each one is essential; all are necessary.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (edited 1/13/2009).]
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+474) 12 years ago
So all theololgy aside, what happened to the baby Jesus that was stolen from the manger scene last year? Someone hinted that something awful happened to it earlier in this thread.

Have they found the one that was stolen this year yet?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
Last year's Baby Jesus was kidnapped by a madwoman who lied to friends and family for months about a pregnancy, then stole Baby Jesus and told them she'd given birth to him (not sure if it was in a manger.)
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
Way to go Buck... crass and tasteless as usual.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 12 years ago
I do what I can

...And I killed it

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (edited 1/14/2009).]
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