Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jolly ole' St. Nick and the Big Red Machine

Let's forget about all the formalities and just jump right back into our debates. C Woods left a nice comment on our last post. She is a bright person and her blog is one of the first places I visited when I began blogging. But like many Atheists from the beginning of time they think they've come up with something Christians have never thought about. Since I learned how to use a computer, I don't think there is an argument I haven't heard a thousand times. Same with you guys.

Do you remember the kid in school that still believed in Santa Claus about 3 years after you and everybody else in your grade realized Santa was a hoax? Well after his shock has worn off he feels compelled to find every 6 year old he can and tell them about how their can't be a Santa. He's armed with a bunch information everyone else in the world already knows, but he thinks it's new and wants to flex his new found knowledge on his niece or nephew or the kindergartner down the street. That kid reminds me of Atheists.

Now that might have been demeaning, so I will apologize now(sorry). But how could anyone think my last post was?

Anyways, as Rodney King and others would ask, "Can't we all jjjust gggget along?"

The answer is yes, and we probably already do. Every day Atheists inter act with Christians. You act so pleasant and nice we cant even tell that your Godless. I can't think of one Atheist I have encountered on the internet that wouldn't turn out to be one of my close friends if they happened to live next to me. As a matter of fact, we'd be sitting in my back yard listening to the REDS games and sharing a couple cold PBR's once or twice a week.

3 cheers for C Woods, she's right about us respecting each others views, she's right about politicians and certainly speaks the Gospel on her stance about chocolate.

I'm glad to be back, missed you all.

Peace and Reese cups, feeno

43 comments:

  1. I like this post. I always thought that the goal was to dialogue, not debate. Although, that does not happen so much. You are so right about the whole Santa Claus metaphor. That is exactly what it feels like.

    I will tell you a funny story. At work, a coworker and I were talking. She made a comment that kinda alluded that I was Christian. Normally, I do not really say anything, but I kinda like her, and I am comfortable joking around with her. So, I told her that I was an atheist heathen and I that I do not believe in God. She seemed really shocked, and I asked her why. She thought that I was a very religious person. Then, later a Muslim coworker of mine (who is a really sweet woman, and always gives me an apple or an orange when I work with her) found out that I was atheist. She told me not to worry, that I was better than most religious people anyways, which kinda took me back. Got me thinking. I do not know why they would assume I have faith, I have never gave any indication that I do. What is it that makes us suspect someone does or does not have faith or belief in God?

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  2. Santa Claus is nothing like God. I bet Santa would still give gifts to gay people.

    To me, a closer analogy would be your friend just bought crack... do you not say a word because its their life and their decision? I'm not suggesting you physically restrain them, but I find it irresponsible and lazy to not even take the effort to communicate your concerns. Sure it makes them happy... but is hedonism the highest form of decision making?

    "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
    - Goerge Bernard Shaw

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  3. Yeah what Ginx said .

    If Santa was really so much like religion, then where abouts can it be honestly said it has actually created just as many problems.

    Do we even see opposing countries harassing and even hating each other, saying look here sunshine our Santa is much better than yours is

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  4. TB 13, I work with an Atheist all the time. He also is a tile setter. We get along very well, but if I was to be honest, we do get along much better when we aren't discussing politics and religion.

    Geenks, I can't remember my exact post, but I did try to address this issue once. Christians don't want to get up in everybody's grill and spew off Bible verses all the time. But we also want to share the Gospel message to those we care about. That's a dilemma for me.

    Here's what I believe the Bible teaches about your friend who is on crack. As long as we aren't condoning his practice, he's aware of our position on such matters and we are trying to slowly bring him around to a sober life, and eventually a relationship with the Lord. Go for it.

    I may not get parent of the year for what I'm about to say, but I just told my 15 and 1/2 year old daughter this: (she has a friend who is a dude that smokes pot) I said "Honey, you tell him that he can smoke all the tree he wants too, but when and if he wants to hang out with you, he can not be high or have that stuff on or around him". Of course I later said "Besides, how will he ever hear about Christ if you stop being his friend"?

    Big G, You may have inspired a future post? But let me just ask you this; Do you really think there would be less wars and fights and hardships with out religion? I'm pretty sure humanity doesn't need religion to find ways to be hateful?

    Late, feen

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  5. I think that the two major problems in this world are poverty and religion. Religion has done WAY more damage than it is worth. I agree with you in the way that humans do not need it to be hateful, but it has certainly enabled us to way more spiteful and cruel than ever needed.

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  6. TB: I think poverty and religion fall under the same umbrella: ignorance.

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  7. I used to think that..... And, I agree on some level. However, I think that poverty is way more complex than the ignorance of religion. If you are poor and marginalized, you do not have a shot in this world. I started realizing this when I had to start working with and researching mentally ill and vulnerable populations.

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  8. These sorts of discussions, (with Tink and Ginx starting the ball), tend to devolve into a weird reverse "one-upmanship" of comparing atheist badness and atrocities with those that have been actually or nominally based upon religion, in whole or in part.

    Humans can perpetrate unspeakable evil? Really? I never would've thought that, 10,000 plus years of human history, notwithstanding.

    As I understand our host's entry, the point is that the vast majority of us Christians, are not the sort to grab you by the lapels every ten minutes and scream "brother are you saved?" I disagree with you and you with me.

    So be it.

    If you wish to engage me, I will discuss it; otherwise, I shall leave you in peace. Most of us, however, refuse to become involved in a disputation that has nothing to do with us and Christianity or Theism as we know and embrace it, but is more focused on whatever caricature of Christians happens to be in vogue at the moment.

    Cheers.

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  9. Feeno .." Do you really think there would be less wars and fights and hardships with out religion? I'm pretty sure humanity doesn't need religion to find ways to be hateful?"

    Feeno to me thats kind of, a bit like arguing folks dont need nuclear bombs to kill each other,so whats wrong with nuclear bombs .

    Some people dont force use of their nuclear warfare on anyone either,it just sits there quietly tucked away in their armory.Helps them feel protected.Quietly it works away on its own steam at the personalities of many other folk, just by the fact of being a psycological threat.

    Doesnt mean at some later date someone else wont take that idea of possessing nuclear weapons, and then go and actively use them on somebody either.Thats quite possible,maybe even very likely.

    R Shermans ideas of passive religions that dont ever try evangelizing sound really great written on paper.But history proves overall, this is not the way its really likely gonna happen .

    Its mostly only shop keepers who evangelize for the Father christmas faith.You dont often get you average neighbour leaning over the back fence feeling a need to say, son i happened to notice you dont have a christmas tree in your lounge.I just wanted to quickly pass on a little message, father christmas loves you! and doesnt want anyone not being saved! and missing out on presents!.Did you realize Santa actually promises everlasting suffering and torment in eternity,for people not being good and keeping christmas??

    The difference between christmas and religions is.A big part of faith is as a faithful person who`s saved, part of the deal in being saved then becomes you are also called to atleast evangelize a little, and try to convert and save some others too.Many faithful even believe their salvation is not at all guaranteed, unless they atleast try to do this a little.

    If R Shermans great ideas of passive religions actually honestly existed ,then we would not likely see the likes of christianity trying to infiltrate and convert in so many other countries,quite the way that we actually do.And im sure if Islam had all the coin, and upper hand, it would be busy do eactly the same.Many Hindu priests in India dont relax until the families fatted calfs blood has fallen in sacrifice,too.

    We cn argue these things time and time again.But honest reality and history wont ever change.

    While your average family might enjoy having kids who do get involved in the spirit of christmas,i dont see that many families who feel maybe part of their own salvation in eternity, might also rely on them being involved in it.

    While yes, Santa threatens the non existence of presents for bad children.Thats a long way short! of the fear parents have of possibilities of their kids suffering in hell,that in turn creates this force of evangilism that has caused us humans many problems.

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  10. feeno said... "TB 13, I work with an Atheist all the time. He also is a tile setter. We get along very well, but if I was to be honest, we do get along much better when we aren't discussing politics and religion."

    Messes with the grouching? ...ermmmm grouting??

    Yeah to be quite honest... id be real keen to simply keep right away from both subjects of politics and religion ....If it wasnt the case that so happens, life is effected by them both ...like it or not

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  11. I agree with you Gandolf. Passive religion is an ironic paradox; it cannot exist. I would have no issue whatsoever with it if it was passive, but it is not and it never has been. Here are some recent examples-

    What stopped stem cell research (that could have advanced medicine and saved millions of lives? Religious doctrine. Who has weaved their beliefs and values into Texas State Curriculum? Religious special interest groups by eliminating the right of the educator to contextualize the seperation of church and state. And, best yet, who is stopping people who are gay from getting married and obtaining the most basic civil rights in our society- religious freaks. Hell, even slaves were allowed to get married on the plantations.

    @ R Sherman- I actually kinda agreed with you to some extent. But, as you can see from the above list, it is not that simple.

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  12. Maybe Christians shouldn't be allowed to vote?

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  13. In a democracy, we all get to play and we all base our votes on some moral view of the world, regardless of where that morality comes from or of what it consists. Like it or not them's the rules. People only get vexed about those rules when they're part of the forty-nine percent.

    Cheers.

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  14. Gandolf: "R Shermans ideas of passive religions that dont ever try evangelizing sound really great written on paper.But history proves overall, this is not the way its really likely gonna happen."

    Well, to be fair, evangelism is actually somewhat of an oddity as far as religions are concerned. Most of the religions throughout history have never made much or any attempt to evangelize. When you think about tribal religions and other animistic native religions, they don't ever try to convert others. Even Judaism has very little conversion effort, since much of it is seen as cultural or hereditary. The Eastern religions aren't too big on conversion either - they are more about orthopraxy (what you do and practice) rather than orthodoxy (what you believe). One of Sikhism's fundamental tenets is actually against evangelism - they believe that everyone's beliefs should be respected rather than argued. That, of course, came out of the clash between Hindus and Muslims in the region of India.

    Of course, not having a focus on conversion doesn't necessarily make these religions harmless. I'm not trying to say that - many of these have still led to deaths in the name of the religion. But it's not at all clear from history, as you say, that religion can't refrain from evangelizing. It's really only Christianity and Islam that have placed a large focus on it. To generalize those religious principles to encompass all religions is a little naive and Western-centric, to say the least.

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  15. Hey Feeno, welcome back.

    The difference between outspoken atheists and the anti-Santa kid, from your perspective, is that the kid is right, and although it might upset the other kids if you approach the subject tactlessly, they shouldn't live to please a non-existent father figure forever. From my perspective, however, that's no difference at all.

    It's telling that you see the kid's actions as a way to "flex" his righteousness "on" people, wielding it as a weapon for a sense of power. There are atheists out there who attack religion for that reason, sure, and there are way more Christians who do the same thing, have for decades and see it as a perk of the proselytising gig. There's a name for people like that on both sides: wankers. (The word is seen as far less offensive in Australia and England than it apparently is in America.)

    My point is that there's another reason to challenge the religious, and it's the same basic reason for the religious to challenge atheists: knowing what's most likely correct and letting go of falsehoods is beneficial, so attacking those falsehoods is not a power trip but a service.

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  16. Jeff said.."To generalize those religious principles to encompass all religions is a little naive and Western-centric, to say the least."

    Jeff you are most likely correct,maybe i did generalize to much ....So for that i repent :(

    Please forgive me of my sin father Jeff :)

    You said.."When you think about tribal religions and other animistic native religions, they don't ever try to convert others."

    Didnt they just tend to war and take other tribes over.No need for converting others if you take them over ...use their women as breeding stock ...and then simply have the children offspring immersed in the conquering tribal beliefs.

    Sure i know its far from evangelizing ...But has kind of some of the same effect.

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  17. R Shermans said..."Like it or not them's the rules"

    Howdy R Sherman would you say that kind of compares at all,also to saying something like.

    Right or wrong,them`s the rules .

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  18. I just like the term "wanker".

    Good night.

    feeno

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  19. SmartLX said... "My point is that there's another reason to challenge the religious, and it's the same basic reason for the religious to challenge atheists: knowing what's most likely correct and letting go of falsehoods is beneficial, so attacking those falsehoods is not a power trip but a service."

    Howdy SmartLX .

    Im glad to hear somebody try to point this factor out.Because to be quite honest i can say i have nothing personal against any of the the faithful folk .I personally often actually find it quite hard discussing these matters of faith, with people like Feeno of whom i do find it still really like and even respect.

    Being able to be absolutely honest in what my personal opinion is about matters of faith,while also trying hard not to offend, i personally find is real tough going.Because its almost like faith almost has a personality,it often seems like the faithful folk dont see it as you opposing their "belief" they see it more as you attacking their "god" or "saviour" a "holy being" in (person).

    I dont think i feel im "personally connected" to atheism/agnosticism quite the same way.When the faithful oppose atheism/agnostcism etc ,to me they are only discussing/debating a belief......Not any real "being" in person.

    I really do worry about hurting the feelings of faithful folk.Faithful folk who i know who have also left the abusive religious cult we were born to,i have noticed are also very touchy with any questions of any matters of their continuing faith.

    They feel fine with suggesting things like "God will take care of us" or "isnt it wonderful how Jesus always provides for us all" ....But should anyone dare even question the validility of the very "positive claims".

    Look out!.

    You`ll become very disliked! ...End up in the dog box! ....Promptly get treated to some shunning! and even some ecommunication!.

    They themselves dont see these subtle remarks they make as being any form of evangelism.

    However hearing the slightest unfaithful question from a non believer???

    Man! ...that non believer,it obvious to them he`s plainly just the damn devil in disguise

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  20. I kind of feel like religion is grabbing me by the lapels and not letting me just simply live apart from faith on many occassions, and it's largely because American Christians in the last century have gone out of their way to shove their beliefs in everyone's faces. "In God We Trust" on money, "...under God" in the pledge, not to mention their ridiculous moralistic crusades against things like homosexuality.

    If you want to play the "I'm not trying to get in your face" card, you have to stand up for the seperation of religious (and even anti-religious) slogans and iconography in society. I wouldn't want "There Is No God" printed on the money. Besides, do you really appreciate your God being reduced to the role of Mammon? I find it degrading, and I don't even worship YHWH.

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  21. I don't like upsetting people either, Gandolf, my liberal Christian wife least of all. That's why, instead of a blog, I write mainly for a site which is reactive in nature.

    There's a flipside to the idea that we're attacking their god. Since we have no god to attack, criticism of atheism has to centre on atheists themselves, generally making it more directly personal.

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  22. SmartLX i once used to belong to a site for ex members of the cult i was born into.I found it was kinda reactive too in nature also , the sort of "reactive" that Ginnx explained so very well .."I kind of feel like religion is grabbing me by the lapels and not letting me just simply live apart from faith on many occassions"

    I felt like it was really crinkling my lapels rather rudely.The very same situations i decribed in my last post above this one.For me the choice came down to "me" deciding to just leave a site with the only real ex member support available on the internet for ex members of this cult,to allow christians there the right to say whatever they wished, without needing to face answering questions by naughty devilish non believers like me.

    Funny thing is though, i really doubt many wonderful caring faithful folks there, have even given much thought to me now not having any support at all,nor even a place to be discussing my thoughts and questions with others who experienced the same cult.

    But ahh such is life...Besides to be quite honest,(weird) as it might seem, i do feel a much more honest type of love coming across cyberspace from total strangers in places like the U.S.A and Canada and even Japan on these blogs etc .

    Im not pulling anyones leg ..Just being honest here....This cult i was born into made all those within it and also many who managed to leave it, to become rather cold and unfeeling , sadly even those who are your own flesh and blood.

    Ginx said..."If you want to play the "I'm not trying to get in your face" card, you have to stand up for the seperation of religious (and even anti-religious) slogans and iconography in society. "

    Yes Ginx, and one of the main reasons i bother annoying faithful folks and their faith like i do, is ive experienced and even still experience what a type of earthly hell faith can be for some people,with absolutely little choice of it being forced upon their lives ..And to be honest i feel the best there is left for me to do to atleast try to make something good come of my life ..Is to try to do something to try and change things so that in future hopefully other kids need not be born into such unescapable faith abuse.

    Its unescapable simply because ...yes while you may chose to leave the cult ...But the cult bred hell you need to experience still remains ...As all your family, whether still within the cult or even those having left, are still effected ! and never again can learn to be normal family, in the sense of being loving and/or close.They often stay distant and cold and harsh and judgmentle.

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  23. For instance ..Nobody in my whole entire family even cares enough to even bother! to want to know even the "names" of either of both of my sons might be.Never mind wanting to know anything about their actual lives.

    As far as my sons are concerned, its like they have no grandma no grandpa no uncles or aunts or even any cousins,on my side of family.They dont even have a sense of family history or connection of where they came from to pass onto any children they might later have.

    And i myself, never knew/learned how to get close to people,so i never knew how to love and make any real relationships with other people.In effect i could never let myself get close to anyone,including even my own kids.

    This has not been good for them!, or even for me.And i now beat myself up over it often.

    Im not moaning ..I do accept there are others out there in life, not even in religious cults who also have to deal with much the same type situations.As Feeno might point out...But i have no other way of relating this problem exists ...And i dont not really see that just the fact this problem exists outside religion,makes it anymore right that it also exists inside and around religion?.

    Kind of like Ginx ,im quite willing to leave faithful folk to quietly go on about their faith,so long as there is something put in place,so that faith isnt so freely able to cause "some people" such abuse and harm,simply by "chance" of to whom humans be born to.

    I dont know if my feelings seem wrong to others.Maybe its wrong of me to feel such a need to try talking and discussing these faith issues,in hope of helping "some" future change.

    Im certainly not about wanting to remove faith all together.I dont even begrudge people the "right" to faith at all.

    But do i have a "right" to some protection from faith,also?

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  24. I agree with both Gandolf and Ginx. Yes, democratic principles dictate that everyone has the right to vote. But, just because many Christians believe that they are passive in their faith does not make it so. And, there needs to be protection from their "abuses" and irrational ideas for the larger society. Religious doctrine stopped stem cell research.- Here is a link to an article that explicitly dictates how each religion stands on it;

    http://www.stemcellnetwork.ca/uploads/File/whitepapers/Religion-and-Stem-Cell-Research.pdf

    This research is vital to the survival of humans on this planet. And, of course, the United States is left in the dark ages because they are no longer part of this project. So, as much as most Christians would like to think that they keep it to themselves, they do not.

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  25. So, Tink, I assume then that all religious people's views/voting patterns are suspect merely because they are theists? What if, such people can (and do) support opinions on the basis of something other than some sacred text?

    For example, there are quite a few atheists who believe the U.S. should support Israel for reasons without a basis in religion at all. Obviously there are Christians who do, as well, and who will cite the verses to support that position.

    Who decides which of those groups gets to participate in the public square? You? The government?

    Gandolf, as for the other "abuses," does a motto on money really bother you guys that much? Are you offended if you see someone wearing a cross or displaying a mezuzah on their door? Does the poor soul who has the audacity to wish you a Merry Christmas vex you that much? What's wrong with accepting the spirit of the the giver, and saying, "thank you?"

    Exit question: What should be done with a politician who openly proclaims a duty to "pursue public policies 'in keeping with the values' of Jesus Christ, 'The Word made Flesh?'"

    (Identity of this loathsome individual here.)

    Cheers.

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  26. R. Sherman said... "Gandolf, as for the other "abuses," does a motto on money really bother you guys that much? Are you offended if you see someone wearing a cross or displaying a mezuzah on their door? Does the poor soul who has the audacity to wish you a Merry Christmas vex you that much? What's wrong with accepting the spirit of the the giver, and saying, "thank you?" "

    Hi R. Sherman. No to be honest in my opinion most of these things dont matter a whole lot,but then as somebody who experienced a extreme type of faith abuse,naturally i dont really tend to sweat some of this other stuff quite the same.Personally i think id be quite happy if thats all i had to worry me about religion.Its just such a long way short of many split and devided and unhappy families,and experience of suicides that followed it.That i experienced.

    But then i do also see some would ever see these smaller things as being kinda like the tip of a wedge .Specially maybe the motto on money bit ..I happen to love christmas,even though for me it tends to remind of bad things ..like not having close family ...I still like the idea of christmas,its a pagan thing anyway,Christians just hyjacked it.And maybe thats part isnt really so honest of them.And well i guess if im completely honest for me hearing "merry christmas" coming from the lips of faithful folk when its faith that devided my family and left christmas a very lonely time ...Well i guess coming from faithful who have so often devided our communities into lots of special little faith groups, i guess coming from these people it really does sound slightly false, and i supposed it has a type of double standard type ring to it, for me personally anyway when i think about it and be completely honest.Because as a original pagan belief it was all about family.How does that mesh so honestly well, with folks of faith with a jealous god! who actually expects the faithful to put him!, even above their own family?.Merry christmas?,your family shun you because they happen to love their jealous god more than family.

    But i still like the idea of familys getting together at the end of each year,and spending time together ...I guess i still like the idea a whole lot,because all my life, i always wished our family did that "cool stuff" together also.As a kid at christmas we would look out the window and see other kids up and down the street, riding new bikes and playing with toys together, and cousins and uncles and aunts staying over at their places..They had colours all over there houses and it seemed it was joy joy joy.We even listened to the great excitement in the weeks leading up to the event.

    But for us there was religion,and in our cult christmas was pagan,and as such was the devils work.

    R. Sherman people who chose to hang crosses around their necks or on their door,just aint anything that really worried me so very much.

    But what i dont like is that there is really no "boundarys set" for whats known in this life as "religious freedom" ...And kids just dont really get to choose their parents do they.

    Kids born into faiths are left wide open to possibilities of faith abuse,simply because faithful adults continued to vote for freedom of faith, without even many boundarys being set.

    Parents may not bash their kids with any violence,faithful folk will be quick to vote and see that dont happen.

    But possibility for faith abuse ? ..pffttttt ..thats where they all start pissing in each others pockets ..making sure all their rights to this faith freedom still exists.

    If im so wrong ..please point me towards any news, which actually shows evidence of any groups of faithful folk campaigning and taking any ACTION for more faith regulation.

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  27. Gandolf, faith "regulation?"

    The regulation of ideas?

    Please.

    Think about what you're suggesting.

    For [fill in blank with an apostrophe "s" at the end} sakes, where then does it end? You seem to be proposing a system where it is guaranteed by law that you are not vexed by someone else's behavior.

    Good grief, there is no freedom if there is not the freedom to offend. Offense is purely subjective, which means it's a moving target. For me, as a Christian, I'd rather support your right to piss on a cross than try to prevent it by penalty of law.

    As for rearing children, trust me on this fact:

    Been there, done that.

    I was one of those kids.

    And surprise! After multiple liberal arts degrees and a lot of reading and thinking about things, from physics to philosophy, I--gasp!--returned to the fold. Let's everyone clutch her/his(not that there's anything wrong with his) pearls and repair to the fainting couch.

    Of course you think I'm an idiot. So be it. I think differently. You have a caricature in your mind about me, and people like me.

    So be it.

    The moment, however, you attempt to subvert our freedoms as individuals to believe and say what we want, just because you've had some bad experiences, is the moment you cross the line.

    And I know.

    I've had those same experiences.

    You won't believe me, but if you and I were to share a twelve pack of decent beer, I'd probably tell you about them.

    And I'm still a Christian.

    Go figure.

    Cheers, my friend.

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  28. Why does everyone have to share a beer before they get along? I don't drink, and maybe that's why I have the brain cells left to see through so much of this garbage.

    Aren't you right wing retards also the people who elected a former alcoholic (who is on the wagon) on the basis that you would "have a beer with him"?

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  29. R. Sherman said... "The regulation of ideas?"

    Well no regulation of actions actually....You know things people able to do ...Its no real biggy really is it?,after all we do regulate peoples actions already.In many things you already cant simply treat others any which way you feel like.

    Oh what, you saying you think we need less regulation? ..Fine ..please yourself ..then deregulate matters!, and then i can go take the law into my own hands .I`ll simply go sort the f**king shit out for myself.Tribal law revisited.Suits me ...After all its only your "regulation" that stopped me so far R. Sherman.

    But hold on..oh no... you religious folks wont really want that either will you, right? .It might tend to "vex" you all a little, to have angry f**kers like me running wild and free and "unregulated"..Cant you make up your mind? ..Do you really believe in us humans needing some regulation, or what R Sherman ?.

    R. Sherman said..."And surprise! After multiple liberal arts degrees and a lot of reading and thinking about things, from physics to philosophy, I--gasp!--returned to the fold."

    Well,well done .Hoorah! for R. Sherman ...What a hero ..So you telling us you returned to the fold of a abusive religious cult, that so happens caused many suicides, and devided husband from wife and parents from their children ....A place that even sent some chidren into strange homes, where some were then sexually or physically or psychologicaly abused ..You say you returned back to a place like this, who had seperated people some who then years later died elderly outside the group, in great loneliness!,dispair! and great sorrow and pining!, without ever even setting eyes on any of there loves ones ever again before they passed on..And all this done in the name of "religion" and "God" and this thing called "freedom of faith"...But you say you returned to the fold of a place such as this ..So what. would you like a medal for that R. Sherman?.

    "And I'm still a Christian."

    That title dont mean much to me R Sherman, thanks to people like you its meaning less and less to many other folks as well .Many folks call themself this "title" Christian .Its a worthless title anyone can claim, without boundary or regulation,in this world you can title yourself christian and still be the biggest lowly scummy scoundrel this side of the black stump.You giving yourself the "title" of Christian, going by the widespead unruly bunch that it stands for overall, i could just as easily take it to mean, you are a homosexual hating biggoted woman opressor who thinks its quite fine if child molesting priests, simply get shifted on to continue their abusing elsewhere.

    The title "Christian" today is really meaningless.It holds very little value! today.And has made a very fine job! of really making itself, deserving of very little respect either.

    And yet its faithful people like you that will start a hollering and whimpering, if you feel its wrong and a little unfair, if us folks start throwing all you christians into a bunch together ...But yet you got no regulations? and nothing defining any boundarys? and seems you dont want any either!...So what the hell do ya expect?.

    These days you getting more and more of what you actually so long have deserve though, thats for real.Little respect! and much ridicule!.

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  30. Ginx said... "Why does everyone have to share a beer before they get along? I don't drink, and maybe that's why I have the brain cells left to see through so much of this garbage."

    I agree with you Ginx .I have nothing against folks having a drink,i have a beer or two if its a hot day ...But dont feel a need to drink to be friends with folks ...My friends dont bother with drinking that much either.

    Feeno sorry about the tone of my last posting in reply to R. Sherman.I didnt really wish to return to your blog and greet you with this sort of tone.It was never my intention at all...But i felt i had to make a reply to what i personally see as some blatant biggoted ignorance and arrogance ,i doubt your man R Sherman really wants no regulation ...He being the religious biggot he is, obviously just dont want any religious regulation of the faith freedoms thats all.

    To be quite honest i wouldnt even be interested ! in sharing a "twelve pack of decent beer", with somebody who seems to belittle the suffering and even death of some of my friends and family , experienced through this freedom of faith that led to such nasty religious abuse that even caused suicide.Just the thought of sharing a beer with somebody who thinks its ok ,i find a sickening thought

    As much as i still do like some Christians as friends .Maybe i still need to learn to just stay right away from their blogs .Because some of their strange ideas of "moral thought" and "fair practice" and equality etc,seems to rub me the wrong way.

    All the best ..Later!

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  31. Geenks

    Are you kidding me? This is why normal people think Atheists are uptight morale elitists. If I told you that R Sherman's proposal of sharing a beer with with Gandy is like him extending an olive branch, instead of seeing it as a peace offering, you see it as some sort of conspiracy to kill his brain cells. I'm sure your offended right now because I subjected you to a Biblical term like "olive branch".

    Beer is something that can be enjoyed by everyone. Christian or Atheist. I don't have to "share" a beer with someone to get along with them. But my point is that they taste better with people you care about. I'm not gonna drink with an a-hole just to drink a beer. (Well, that could depend on who's buying)? But you get my drift.

    I feel like if I could drink a beer with an Atheist I'd be getting lectured on everything from recycling my empties and which beer company supports gay rights. Damn, can't we just sit back and relax enjoy each others company with out having to hear about George Bush or how hypocritical Christians are for wearing fur coats?

    I think R Sherman took a shot at me after I suggested a cold PBR, because he said a "decent" beer. But I'm not offended, we can still drink a beer together, I'll just have to stop at the drive-thru and pick up my own beer.

    Maybe that's your only problem Geenks, you just need to drink a beer or two with an old friend and relax?

    Peace and hops, feeno

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  32. Gandamania

    First, you don't have to apologize to me. Thanks for the thought as always tho. I understand the frustration you can feel. That's why I haven't been to DC in such a long time. It does get a little aggravating. But I do very much enjoy the people I have met because of DC and other Atheist sites, so I'm grateful for that.

    And if you stay away for awhile I will understand. But will miss you and hope you return.

    If Jeff is out there reading this He will probably be rolling his eyes, because he's heard me say this so many times before. But, our friends are our friends in spite of ourselves. And that does go along with what you were saying about having friends of faith etc.

    P.S. It doesn't have to be a hot day for me to enjoy a beer. But they sure do taste much better on a hot day.

    Late, feeno

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  33. Hmmm. Regardless of what R Sherman says, Gandolf is 100% correct.

    The IDEAS create very dangerous actions, and we all suffer. Please, enlighten me, as to one argument AGAINST stem cell research that is not religious in tone. This is where these ideas become dangerous. I was not suggesting that people should have their "rights" taken away.... However, I hope that I live to see the day when religious people become intelligent enough to support secularism and become objective enough to live their ideas at home with the rest of us. After all, religious people elected a president, TWICE, with a C average and a drinking problem who has bankrupted their country. He could barely string a sentence together, and you all happily marched to war with him. While the rest of the world advances, Americans are tying up their court systems arguing over the linguistic semantics of church and state. Instead of placing themselves in the forefront of scientific advancement, religious people stopped stem cell research which could have cured many diseases over ideas born 2000 years ago when they still believed the earth was flat. And, here we are in the 21st century, gay people still cannot get married, the most basic of civil liberties and human rights.

    Who is the dangerous one?

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  34. Tink

    We all have values, morale's or principles which we live by. Atheists included. And yes, some of those are helped formed by our faith/faiths. But it's dangerous to want to silence a whole group or demographic based upon the fact that they might go to church.

    What group of people should have a voice? And what group should be silenced? How about we let everyone have a voice. Is there anything more fair than that?

    BTW, I'm not against stem cell research, I'm against killing babies in order to get the stem cells. But I will respect your right to voice your opinion and your right to vote those into public offices that hold the same principles, values and morale's you share.

    In my opinion, and history will tell me I'm right? The dangerous one is the one who wants to silence his/her opposition. We call them people Dictators, and they usually are horrible people and leaders, unless of course you like their ideology?

    Tink, you've never meant anyone in your life that hates politics as much as me. I get ill even writing things of a political nature. Most people in the church would disagree with me about most of my politoical views and my outlook on most political positions. I personally wish the church would stay out of politics. But as individuals, it's not fair to take away their freedom of being able to choose for themselves.

    I will check back in tonight after church. Peace be with you. feeno

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  35. R. Sherman said... "The regulation of ideas?"

    Yeah,thats right ,some regulation of ideas that often later become actions.

    Like we regulate some matters to do with the mentally insane,specially when it starts to "vex" people.

    Do you wish to also fight for the mentally insanes right to simply think and do whatever they please, R Sherman?.

    Because some ideas of some so called "Christians" aint really a whole lot different, to ideas of the mentally insane !.You know,like commiting group suicide in Jonetown ...Or crazy religious gits in Russia practicing their "right" of "freedom of faith" suggesting their women and even CHILDREN have some stupid idiotic need to go live in a cave ..for cripes sake http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7404318.stm

    And just so happens, we do often regulate whether kids really deserve a life, ruled and controlled by parents of the mentally insane R Sherman .

    Yet mentally insane folks of faith simply get to treat their children pretty much however they wish,simply by claiming this bullshit about it being a matter of "freedom of faith" rubbish.

    You go use your law to deregulate controls of the thoughts and actions of the mentally insane ,and then maybe it becomes a little more HONESTLY fair that these "faith freedoms" exist.

    But after you deregulate, i hope some mentally disturbed madman arrives at your house while your away, and terrorises the hell outa your wife and children,it might work to help teach you all a bloody good lesson!.That it seems, any ammount of schooling/university etc, just cant seem to really get through to your brain.

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  36. Feeno, I would never dare to criticize another man's beer of choice. After all, there are some lines you just don't cross. For me, the definition of "good beer" is "brewed somewhere out of town."

    Cheers.

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  37. feeno said... "Gandamania

    First, you don't have to apologize to me. Thanks for the thought as always tho. I understand the frustration you can feel. That's why I haven't been to DC in such a long time. It does get a little aggravating. But I do very much enjoy the people I have met because of DC and other Atheist sites, so I'm grateful for that. "

    Well my friend ..just know this ...Any anger ive displayed on your blog has never been meant in any personal way, Feen.

    I think very highly of you on a personal level.

    Its just i have to be totally honest about some things that ive experienced ,that i know need to change ....Im always sorry if my honesty offends anyone ,but i have had a number of folks close to me get pushed to the limits of commiting suicide.And it will only continue to happen unless some changes are made.

    Its just a matter of the bloodshed of my friends demanding of me that i dont hold back any punches ...I need to be straight up.

    If i dont ...All the time more people continue to suffer and some commit suicide ...And then i become just as guilty!, for not speaking up loud enough.

    So just so long as you know where im at ..Please understand, its not meant in any personal way.

    Gandy.

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  38. Gandolf

    I think that your pain needs to be discussed. I think that more people need to know, first hand, how it feels to have religion rip through your life. As much as it can be disturbing, I think that it is very brave and healthy for you to voice what has happened, and if there is anything that I can do, please let me know.

    Feeno- I agree. I fully respect and completely believe in the democratic principles that construct our society. However, that does not make it right.

    Stem cell research would have cured disease, and saved many people from needlessly suffering. I do not know if you have ever been around people that are dying slowly from awful and chronic diseases like ALS, MS and Huntingdon's Disease, but it is awful. And, I would not wish that on anyone. Guess what, fetal cells in a petri dish that are only visible under a microscope ain't a baby.... I would suggest that you see what circumstances these "babies" are created in, and I would also suggest that you seek this information in secular, scientific sources. Part of why you are all riled up is the misinformation that you were fed to get your support.

    That is why we need to advocate for secularism, and people like you need to be more vocal about it. Sorry, but opposing religion being involved in politics does not make me support a dictatorship. I just feel like they need to be seperated. And, it can be done. Canada, my home country, is very close to being fully secular. And, we are still doing stem cell research, and are instrumental in the human genome project. In fact, we just decoded genetic messages in human tissues, which means that we will be able to start growing them.

    The decision is clear- progress or do not. I have also noticed that no other argument can be put forward against stem cell research that is not religious in nature, which is exactly what I thought.

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  39. P.S.- I believe you that your ideas may be too liberal for the Christians in your church. In many ways, you are very progressive. I hope that you keep it up, and I appreciated your response.

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  40. Tink said.." I think that it is very brave and healthy for you to voice what has happened, and if there is anything that I can do, please let me know."

    Cheers Tink thanks for the kind thoughtful offer.But the thing is, nothing anyone can do now, can really help with our problem .Can anyone really give us back our lives? .Can anyone bring those who suicided back to life?.Can anyone repair and replace the many years with relationships torn apart between family, husbands and wives, and give them the chance (again) to watch and enjoy the experience of their own children living and growing and enjoy life together?.

    No its just not at all possible is it.Many of these people lives are simply "wasted away",and now there is no choice, many will just have to take this deep sadness to their grave ..Because really you (need to be heartless) to escape the sorrow that haunts many folks each and every single day, until they finally pass on from this cruel life.Which is why a number in the end, simply choose to commit suicide and get the pain over and done with.Its just to much like having a cancer eating away at you inside every single day,yet you stay living on and on, year after year after year with the pain.Your body alive,but your heart feeling so dead.The sun may shine brightly, but still all around you seems nasty and dark and kinda dull and dreary

    Brave? ...To be honest im not really so brave ..Do you know i often feel like a fucking idiot here on these blogs ..getting so really angry ...And sounding like all i actually ever enjoyed doing in life, is moaning and ruining life for everyone else.Sounding like maybe i simply enjoy bitching at these christians and faithful folk.

    If i could simply shut up and say nothing ...And expect that things would still change sometime soon

    I would gladly choose to do so.

    I dont do what i do because its any fun ...I do it because i just cant see any other option, if i want hope of any likelyhood of some real change ever happening in future.

    The best folks like you can actually do, for us people in cults ..Is to keep putting pressure on the christians and faithful folk, who being in such numbers actually (hold the key), to be able to vote in any great numbers to see that some change finally actually happens.We need them to start a worldwide movement on regulation of faith to work towards stopping faith abuse happening.

    They being in such numbers voted for "freedom of faith" in the first place ...Even if they do try passing the responsinbility onward ,and try blaming the actual cult leaders! (for just making use of freedom of faith laws) that ALL faithful folks actually made available in the first place.

    You want to help me Tink? ..Good well keep telling and reminding these faithful scum bags ,how worthless (their words) of "sorry to hear that" really is..How "hollow it sounds" to somebody who experienced an abusive cult... .Keep reminding these twits ...people like me who`s lives have been wasted by freedom of faith ...Dont give a danm about people feeling sorry for us ...It dont even f**king help our situation that some faithful git says ..ooh he`s/she`s feeling sorry for us? .No it dont!! ..Funny that

    Remind these faithful idiots ..we dont care if theys sorry ..We really dont ..Their wee "sorrys" just dont really help matters any.

    What we care about, is that these so called faithful caring folk, get off their butts! and church pews!,and start putting their money where their mouth is ....And start using their combined power and some real ACTION with votes, to actually finally bring about some real changes in these matters.

    Thats how people like you, can actually help people like me Tink.

    Pressure these faithful into action.Remind them how their words are "completely worthless" without taking any action !

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  41. I said this .."We need them to start a worldwide movement on regulation of faith to work towards stopping faith abuse happening."

    What i mean is we need a worldwide movement to start to change the old time "stigma" surrounding matters of "freedom of faith",which at present holds everyone back ,from feeling its ok to have some regulations in place, that deal with this matter of faith freedom.

    Its like all folks fear there might be some God who dont care if some people use faith to cause abuse ...A stigma which makes all people fear God, to ever dare regulation of faith.

    And dont the abusers just love it .The Taliban and all ,full steam ahead making full use of this utter ignorant stupidity of humans to frightened to even suggest maybe faith should have some regulation

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  42. Don't you worry, Gandolf my man.

    My book is slated to start this fall. I fully intend on being very forthright in my opinions. Many, many times I have seen much pain that religion has caused people. My work puts me in that position. From Holocaust survivors (who have REALLY BAD nights) to people who have been abused within the Catholic Church, I have had to see it all. And, I intend on voicing for them.

    I admire and fully respect your bravery. You will have days that it will feel futile, but in the long run, you will be able to fully accept and grasp all that has happened by doing this. This is part of the process of healing, and it will take time.

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