Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just askin'

Is it fair to ask this question: Does life altering circumstances turn people either to God or away from God? I ask because I have read many peoples stories about why they de-converted from Christianity. Usually something tragic may have happened in their life or they got fed up with all the political BS and disputes that sometimes arise inside the church. And of course inside the church, we have many people who may have never turned to God if not for the fact that something tragic did happen in their life.

Those who find "faith" due to these circumstances are grateful to God and continue to rely on His grace to deal with their past or circumstances.

Those who left the church will then turn to the "intellectual" reasons for justifying their lack of belief and why they left the church.

BTW, there are many of these "intellectual" reasons to believe or not to believe? But It seems those intellectual reasons usually don't play a part in somebody's conversion/de-conversion until after the fact.

Someone once said "A belief in God is not a matter of intellect, but a matter of the heart."

I'm not trying to belittle what Atheists believe, and even if what I say is true, it doesn't prove that there is a God. But can you see any truth to this?

feeno

60 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I think when something tragic happens, it's common to feel that one needs to change. One has to be very numb in order to not feel compelled to action during trying times.

    I imagine this is the result of the paradoxical situation we have here. I think a tragedy drives people to question themselves, and this might account for why it drives some non-believers to faith and some believers to skepticism.

    Most of us can see that religion has little to do with the circumstantial events of one's life. I'm not going to start believing in God if I am diagnosed with pancreatic cancer anymore than you would likely stop believing Jesus died for your sins if a car hit and paralyzed you (at least you live in your scenario...).

    In most cases, our beliefs are only re-affirmed, though we will likely be driven to do something unrelated to changing our respective worldviews... like spending time with those you care about and eating way more ice cream.

    However, there are sometimes large trends which I am unable to explain. The one that comes to mind is that after 9/11, church attendance and donations rose sharply. I don't have a good explaination for how a trend like this could occur, because everyone in the country was affected and the sharp increase means there were not people leaving.

    Odd... an act of religious violence drove us to religion. I see that as a disturbing consequence of our flawed psychology. I guess you see it as people realizing they need to get right with the winning team before the shit hits the fan.

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  3. Maybe it does happen that way for some atheists, and the "intellectual" reasons they give afterwards are just rationalisations. That doesn't diminish their inherent merit as arguments against theism though, and it doesn't mean that the atheist doesn't understand and accept the arguments as well as having some emotional aversion to God or religion.

    So if like James Spiegel you suspect atheists in general of merely wanting there to be no God for emotional reasons, you may well have some people pegged but
    1. those people aren't really atheists if they still believe in their heart of hearts,
    2. if they're right they're no less right and
    3. this isn't the case with everybody.

    Personally, once I stopped worshipping (purely for convenience), I gradually lost my emotional connection to God and the Catholic Church over a decade or so. Afterwards, instead of having an emotional reason to reject God I was without an emotional reason to continue to accept God, so I needed an intellectual one. I couldn't find any.

    As a counterpoint to your implications, I hope you realise how dependent on emotion many people's faith really is.

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  4. Like I state on my blog, my deconversion had nothing to do with any traumatic incident.

    Mine came strictly from the weakness of theistic arguments for God and the realization of the repercussions of having a readily available answer via naturalism.

    My main goal was to get to know Christ more personally than anyone at my church... who merely seemed to have a superficial desire to be acquainted with Jesus. I tried about seven or eight different churches and the more Fundamentalist ones appealed the most in their "devotional" qualities, but they were as dumb as rocks.

    I wanted an intelligent and sturdy faith. Not a whitewashed or hollow faith. Also I didn't want a faith devoid of intellect or knowledge.

    But the more knowledge I gained the more implausible, indeed impossible, the authenticity of my faith seemed.

    So my deconversion was tied directly to my love of Jesus Christ--and me desiring not only a personal relationship with him, but also a personal understanding. I wanted to know him intimately, and so I began to research his life.

    Ultimately this lead me to get involved with the real historical information, talk with the real biblical scholars and historians, read their works, works which have been looking into the questions I have for over 300 years, and there was a lot of material to choose from.

    Eventually, I did get to know Jesus better than anyone at any of the churches I ever attended. Because I knew what they didn't.

    And this secret... as hard as it was to believe at the times... was simply that my religion, my faith, had failed me.

    Christians often reserves this and say that the atheist turned their back on the faith, or they lost faith, or they're rebelling against religion, or they're angry at God, etc. Sometimes this might be so, but for me, it was the opposite. My faith is the one that turned it's back, it simply was false, and when I realized the hollow nature of my faith... that this was the very design of Christian faith itself--all a sham predicated on mass ignorance and misinformation and the distortion of genuine facts.

    That's when I realized that I could not redeem even the slightest hope of rekindling my passionate devotional beliefs. They crumbled away under the weight of the existing evidence.The truth won out, and my faith was a lie.

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  5. Although my best friend, raised a Catholic, is atheist for having experience traumatic whippings by his Priest as a child. The Priest would use either his belt or a yard stick to whip the little boys when they made mistakes. So I'm not saying that many people don't leave their faith because of the cruelty inflicted on them... but then the question would be... why don't more people leave for these very same reasons?

    I have another friend who thinks he's no good, unworthy, that he's incapable of being a good person... and that his faith is the only thing keeping him a decent human being. The more guilty his beliefs make him feel, the more disgusting, depraved, and sinful his radical Church says he is, the more he seems to enjoy his religious life. This masochistic life style is just not for me, and I really don't see how breaking people down, does society any good.

    I'm about building people up, both intellectually and spiritually. Sadly however, what I see is religion stifling people's intellects, and feeding them drops of spiritual comfort while it backhandedly oppresses them. Even the little things, such as making women cover their heads. The Messianic Jewish church I attended for three years made their women do so. Neither were the women allowed to attend service when they were menstruating, because according to the Bible they are "unclean" during this time.

    I told my Grandma this, and she said it wasn't so uncommon in her day for the mainstream churches, both Protestant and Catholic, to do the same. Religion just seems to hold people back, all in the name of faith. And to me that's too big of a sin to just overlook.

    Which is why I feel it's so important to advocate reason, independent free thinking, skepticism, and critical thinking skills. Religion has no defenses against such things which is why it's so necessary to talk about them and free people's minds.

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  6. Is it fair to ask this question: Does life altering circumstances turn people either to God or away from God? I ask because I have read many peoples stories about why they de-converted from Christianity

    It's a fair question. It reminded me of a local mega-church (several thousand members) that noticed that they had a complete turnover of about 30-35% of their congregation every 6 months. That is to say, about 30% would leave that church and through advertising/outreach efforts, another 30% would take their place.

    When people were later contacted who no longer went to church there in a 'no hard feeling, just tell us what you think' sort of way, the most common reason they had for no longer going to church was that they had previously been going through some "life altering circumstances" and had turned to church to lessen the pain. Whether it was a divorce, or the illness/death of a loved one, they sought out God for awhile and then after they satisfied their "God fix" they then stopped attending.

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  7. "A belief in God is not a matter of intellect, but a matter of the heart."

    Ok...do we know where the "intellect" resides?...do we know where the "heart" resides?

    Perhaps this quote would make sense to me if I were given a definition for "intellect" and "heart" and then explain how each of those deals with a belief in God.

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  8. I actually get the opposite impression when reading people's deconversion stories. I tend to see a strong rational component where people start investigating their beliefs and then gradually lose their faith. Perhaps it's a difference of whose stories we are reading, or perhaps a difference in interpretation.

    At any rate, I think the fundamental issue here is that when terrible things happen, humans naturally ask, "Why?" For some people, it seems that question can be answered with the idea of some divine plan. For others, that answer doesn't comfort them, and they chalk it up to the randomness and unpredictability of life. It probably has a lot to do with personality, previous life experiences, religious background, etc. as to which approach a person will take.

    Ginx, you mentioned people turning to religion after 9/11. There's actually a psychological theory that deals with this effect pretty well, called Terror Management Theory. In times of threat or a reminder of one's own mortality, people tend to cling more strongly to their cultural worldviews. That often includes religion, but also includes patriotism, stronger support for the government (usually leaning more conservatively as well), and authoritarian viewpoints. I think this tends to explain the rush to religion after 9/11 pretty well - it's a desire to cling to the status quo (or what's left of it) when threatened.

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  9. 'Sup y'all

    Although I am a Christian, This site has always been pretty much an atheist site. But I think it now has become official since DM shows up so much.

    LX, Maybe? But what is wrong with using your emotions? What's wrong with making decisions based upon experiences? I call that wisdom. I think God gave us emotions and a way to communicate with him. Experiences shouldn't count for anything? Don't you ever use your instincts or gut feelings to make a decision? Or do you always just base everything on what you think is a more logical choice? The Bible tells us that "God has placed eternity in the hearts of man". Other scripture reminds us that He "placed the spirit of man in us". That's why I think everyone, including atheists think about God, eternity or another realm where spirits are etc. even if it's just now and then. You can read over at DC where Mr. Loftus asks the the question "Do I Prefer to Live in a godless Universe?" It sounds like to me it's not a god he's against, just the Christian God. You know, a god that gives everybody everything they want and doesn't have a hell. That God would be OK.

    T-Vick and Jeffery, I don't think so? Let me explain why. Everyone questions God and the Bible. Even or especially Christians. There is some crazy stuff in Bible and I still ask God why all the time. But I still don't think people use these reasons until an emotional reason actually forces them out? Then they might say "I've had these thoughts for a long time".

    bobaloo, As I was mentioning to LX we can communicate with God. Our heart is really our minds. God created us in his image, He gave us a mind and a way to talk with him. Did you know that's what separates us from the animals? He enjoys His creation, all things were made by Him and for Him, but he made us above the animals and would truly enjoy a relationship with us, the crown of His creation.

    JD, interesting. Good lookin' owt mi amigo.

    feeno

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  10. P.S. To Vickster, I forgot to mention how the Nuns at Sacred Heart used to beat the shit out of me. But it was harder trying to fight back the giggles than any tears. But as I look back I see how God put people like that in my life to help me, not hurt me. Maybe them Priests whipped his little ass because he was a punk?

    peace be with you all, feeno

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  11. "bobaloo, As I was mentioning to LX we can communicate with God."
    Could that be debatable? :)
    During my 25 years as a bible believer, not once did I ever get the impression that God received any of my communications I directed his way. And I never once received a single communication from him. Odd?

    "Our heart is really our minds."
    OK, now you lost me. My mind, which I have always thought (which I do with my...mind) resides in my brain...I think.
    Now, my "heart", as best as I can tell, is about 18" below my mind (brain) and resides in my chest.
    So, I have no idea (actually, I have a good idea) how you can make such a statement like - "Our heart is really our minds."

    "God created us in his image, He gave us a mind and a way to talk with him. Did you know that's what separates us from the animals? He enjoys His creation, all things were made by Him and for Him, but he made us above the animals and would truly enjoy a relationship with us, the crown of His creation."
    Thanks for the sermonette feeno :)

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  12. I call decisions based on experiences wisdom too, Feeno, but that's got nothing to do with emotion. An "emotional experience" or "spiritual experience", as far as anyone can discern, is something which has been generated entirely by one's own body and mind. That doesn't mean it's completely invalid, but it's not attributable to external agencies based on anything but the experience itself. There's nothing to back it up.

    I do sometimes make decisions based primarily, or entirely, on my emotions. When I do, and I realise that I've done so, I accept that I may well be wrong and hope that something in the real world has steered my emotions in the right direction.

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  13. Feen said .."You can read over at DC where Mr. Loftus asks the the question "Do I Prefer to Live in a godless Universe?" It sounds like to me it's not a god he's against, just the Christian God. You know, a god that gives everybody everything they want and doesn't have a hell. That God would be OK."

    Feen i suggest you think this is so, because you hope it is so.Because if you can continue to think it is so,it will then continue to back up that what you have been "instructed" to believe.

    You dont dare allow yourself to trust John Loftus when he says its not his choice to live in a godless universe.

    You wouldnt allow yourself to trust me either,if i said to be honest id far prefer there was actually some God,so that then the god might be able to come down to this world and give a few abusive faithful a swift arse kicking!,without any fear of being punished by the law for doing so.

    No you far prefer the idea im fearful of Gods existing.Im a evil prick ..L.o.L ...I just enjoy misbehaving! and not warming them pews! on sundays

    It makes you feel better to think thats what it hopefully is all about.. huh?.

    Otherwise your faith is on very shaky grounds ..Because if you were as honest as John Loftus, you`d need to also admit, you yourself have seen and experienced little/none actual real intellectual evidence of Gods existence either ...Hmmm

    You are basically telling us, your belief of God realistically relys totally a method of faith.

    John Loftus tried explaining he put the "method of faith" aside, and looked for real evidence! of God, and saw in all honesty, there was none.

    But you feel uncomfortable with this being the truth....Even though John is far from being the only one, coming out publically these days, and simply admitting they didnt ever really see any honest evidence of God.

    You`d far prefer to have "faith" these these people are liars ..They saw evidence of God for sure! all right ,but the trouble is,they just dont want him to actually exist .

    L.o.L ..My friend Feeno i can understand how this false thinking might make you feel a little stronger and more sure with your faith.

    But the reasoning is slightly flawed.

    Do you considder me to be totally crazy .Do you considder John Loftus as being the type to be suicidal.

    Feeno do you honestly think if people honestly saw any evidence of Gods ...They would be likely to deny their existence?.....Do you think these crazy God-denialist humans think themselves as some sort of super-hero ,who can rid the universe of existence of Gods ,just by denying they exist or something ?.

    Feeno your reasoning is flawed.If i saw any honest evidence for Gods ,there would be no way i would dare try and deny it.Just no way Feen.

    To be honest for many years i even feared to "dare" to even lose faith.Even though i saw absolutely no evidence for Gods, i still feared i might be punished if i dared to speak honestly about it.

    Your idea that supposedly non believers are simply non believers because they dont much like the god that actually exists .Is ludicrous.Its like saying maybe some people might hope to be able escape being attacked by a lion ,simply by suggesting it didnt exist.

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  14. In the O.P you said..."Someone once said "A belief in God is not a matter of intellect, but a matter of the heart."

    To me that sounds lots like saying faith is not about believing through need to be seeing any real evidence,its more about belief through simple faith.

    Which might infact even be quite ok, if it wasnt so very dangerous,and hadnt already caused the long suffering and death of very many.

    See Feen its this type "faith thats a matter of the heart" like you discribe,that was also the cause of the deaths! in Jonestown, and is also about what still entraps my own family in a cult to this very day also.

    They dont listen or see all the hurt and heartbreak they cause.They dont even dare to let themself care to see it,so fixed! is their blind gaze on hopes of some supposed special salvation for themselves after death.This "faith thats a matter of the heart" flowed over and included "faith thats a matter of the heart" with regards to continuing to agree to follow a abusive christian cult thats hurt many.

    The key is they "follow the heart" and dont dare allow themselves to use intellect and question anything or look at evidence in depth.

    You of course naturally will wish to seperate yourself from these people.Which is quite understandable.

    You maybe will even also wish to deny they happen to use the very same "faith thats a matter of the heart" ...The very same type of faith that is also being used to kill those accused of being witches in Africa.The very same faith which fuels West bro baptists.

    And yet when John Loftus or people like myself happen to speak out against this faith ..You think we could only ever be doing it through hatered and for reason we dont happen to like who God is.

    You know Feeno im sure the Pope feels kinda the same way..Im sure in the Pope eyes,he`d think people are only saying what they do about the Catholics sexual abusers,because its really about they hate Gods and want to attack Gods followers.Why? ...Well it help make the Pope feel stronger in his faith.

    My family do exactly the same...They think some folks attack their cult,because they hate who God is and want to attack Gods followers.

    Faith and pride really go hand in hand together.They is honestly like a long married couple.

    Feen this very same faith that is a "matter of the heart" is what keeps people turning themselves into human bombs for the Taliban.For if these people stopped and used intellect and studied the facts and looked at all the evidence in great depth, it less likely they would "follow the heart" and do what they end up doing.

    Feen you need to know both me and John have no reason to hate you! or your non existent God!.

    We hate what these "matter of faiths" have caused many people to do.

    Be well! Feen

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  15. "Someone once said "A belief in God is not a matter of intellect, but a matter of the heart."

    Yeah and explain that to all the animals who then have need to have their blood shed! in public sacrifices in India each year to this very day.Not a matter of any intellect,but far more a matter of faith from the heart! , Feen

    And did you know once upon a time there was also even some faithful people who used to cast live babies into fires!,they were told by other faithful ! that it would supposedly produce them more abundant fertility.

    It wasnt really any matter of intellect Feen,NO once again, it was FAR MORE just about this matter of the "faith from the heart" thing.

    I personally cannot bring myself to become involved at all in any "rejoicing" of that what has so long caused, the long suffering and even death and bloodshed of so very many

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  16. I'm a little embarrassed that so many atheists think the philosophy of abstract concepts which we call "religion" is anything but "intellectual." Religion is one of the original and most raw forms of intellectualism. It certainly isn't observational science.

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  17. Ginx sorry if i embarrased your level of education, guess you could call it a raw form of intellectualism like you suggest.Although they suggest it came from L. intellectus "discernment, understanding," .

    Is faith really so much about decernment and understanding ,as apposed to going more on gut feeling and assertion and emotion etc ?.

    I guess i could let myself get disturbed by scholarly atheists who get embarrased about those not so scholarly ...But i usually dont let it worry me, after all i have a brother whos a scholar who even became a lawyer. But he still managed to prove himself sometimes really obviously ignorant when it came to some matters of logic and common sense.

    If you ask me.Ive found education seemed to sometimes be rather overated.

    Intellect =the power or faculty of the mind by which one knows or understands.

    Decernment = exhibiting keen insight and good judgment.

    Well i admit to not being a scholar.But to me faith still seems more about emotion and guess work etc, than being much about intellect as in being about real honest understanding.And as for keen insight ,well maybe not really if so happens you were wrongfully accused of being a witch or demonically possessed when only suffering a mental disorder.

    But i guess it must be correct, suppose yes its a raw form of intellect.

    I must remember to be repentant to the Gods of atheism.And go wash my mouth out with soap :(

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  18. Gandie, I'm really not trying to insult you. Okay now I am...

    You need to teach me how to speak out of both sides of your mouth like that. Atheism is science, knowledge, logic, and intellectual... but intellectualism is over-rated and formal education in particular does not lead to greater understanding? No college course could limber my mind enough for those rhetorical acrobatics.

    Also, people were falsely accused of being witches or demonic, which is bad... but doctors are pretty notorious at this point for diagnosing everything as a disease. Prayers and even most exorcism technniques have less side effects than most of the over-prescribed pharmaceuticals.

    I mean come on, we prescribe pills to people who are unhappy, and one of the side effects is increased risk of suicide. Doctors want us to be happy, even if it kills us? That's messed up (especially since really they just want to sell us pills). They'd diagnose happiness as a disorder if they found a chemical that made people miserable. And why not? If half the population is depressed, wouldn't that make happiness a disorder?

    I'm not saying theism has any validity in regards to verifiable truth (which I think is the only kind of truth), but isn't it rather lazy to merely transfer faith from those who wear vestments to those who wear lab coats - especially if you are not willing to personally take the responsibility to attain any deeper understanding for yourself?

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  19. One of the big differences I've noticed between myself and the atheists and theists that I encounter in Bloglandia is that my level of religious indoctrination was minimal. It was just enough indoctrination to lead an LGBT child into self hatred, but not enough indoctrination to become a solid faith.

    The funny thing is, the negative views that much of Christianity holds against LGBT people was enough to lead to a rejection of Christianity at age 17 but it wasn't enough to get me to reject my belief in a god. It was very easy to let go of Christianity because a minimal level of indoctrination left me with few emotional ties to the religion. Nevertheless, the concept of a god still seemed like an appealing notion to hold onto.

    As time went on, it became apparent to me that the god concept was little more than a byproduct of the human tendency to anthropomorphize everything, including the universe. It also dawned on me that the universe is so vast and complex that any human imagining of what "underlies reality" is probably incredibly wrong. It's kind of like a monkey trying to imaging the biological complexity of the rain forest s/he lives in. So, it seemed to me that the human notion of entities controlling the universe who behave very much like human beings was most likely inaccurate.

    So, did trauma lead me to reject the notion of a god? No, but prejudiced, abusive ideologies lead me to reject Christianity. Is my brand of atheism/agnosticism based purely in logic? No, it's based upon a melding of intuition about how human psychology works and the underlying complexity of the universe. The logic that I use to arrive at my views rests upon those intuitive foundations.

    The thing is, because my indoctrination into a religious faith was so minimal, I don't feel compelled to form bullet proof arguments for or against theism. What I do feel compelled to do is challenge religion on the hateful and condescending attitudes it generates toward various minorities. If y'all can keep the hatred and prejudice at bay, I really don't care what you do.

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  20. bobaloo

    Sorry about the sermon. "Our hearts" so to speak isn't really the heart. It's like your inner most beliefs, thoughts, feelings etc. A heart is like a kidney or a liver. How can we love with all of our appendix? It differs with the intellect part of you brain. But the two should work together to make the best decisions. If this is confusing you, it's because I'm making most of this up as I go along.

    Gandamania, If we were in a pub somewhere together and a fight broke out, I know for sure we'd have each others backs. Thank you for trying to understand where I come from.

    timberrrrrr, That's very fair, and I hope the church can learn not to be abusive and or prejudiced against anyone, even if we may disagree with a lifestyle choice. Hopefully Christianity hasn't turned you totally off of the God concept. Thanks as always for stopping by and sharing.

    P.S. Anybody seen Tink lately?

    Peace and hair grease, feeno

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  21. the negative views that much of Christianity holds against LGBT people was enough to lead to a rejection of Christianity at age 17

    Would you be willing to substitute the words "much of Christianity" with "certain groups within Christianity that don't constitute a majority"?

    it seemed to me that the human notion of entities controlling the universe who behave very much like human beings was most likely inaccurate

    "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

    Christians think that God is quite a bit different from human beings. To say the least.

    prejudiced, abusive ideologies lead me to reject Christianity

    Perhaps you wouldnt mind spelling out some specific examples of these "prejudiced, abusive ideologies" for us to examine?

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  22. I was born and raised Christian. Became Pentecostal in my high school years and stayed that way for years afterwards.

    I came to believe that I needn't be so strict in my Pentecostal beliefs. That feeling caused me study my Bible more to be sure I wasn't making a mistake. Around that time, I picked up the fad of doing Sudoku puzzles.

    Around that time, I saw the movie trailer for "The God Who Wasn't There", quite by accident. I walked in on my supervisor after hours and he was watching the trailer. He called me over to look at it. I heard the narrator say something like, "Christians do not believe because of the evidence, but in spite of the evidence". I had to prove that wrong, because only God could be right. It was only natural that I could derail and falsify that statement.

    So, I started studying some more.

    Then, I started seeing contradiction in my closer studies of the Bible. I think that was in part from working Sudoku puzzles so much. I started thinking with logic after I got decent with those puzzles. You can't have contradictions in Sudoku. So, my eye for that slowly generalized to everything I studied-- even the Bible. I also started reading more archeology, which lead to me reading more about physics and astronomy and history.

    Also, as with contradictions-- following an idea through to it's logical conclusion was something that started happening in my mind better than before.

    And as a further result, I started seeing even more contradictions in my faith.

    I started reading why people were atheist. But reading "The Bible Unearthed" really shook me.

    Eventually, my religious faith simply unraveled. I couldn't make myself believe any more.

    Nothing tragic happened to cause me to leave my faith. My dad had had died years before, but I had worked through that. I was angry with God. But that's just it-- you can't be angry with God if you still don't believe in him. I reconciled my feelings and came to even believe that God even brought me through that hardship in my life. This was settled years before I saw that movie trailer.

    If I hadn't seen that movie trailer, I probably wouldn't be posting this comment right now.

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  23. JD said:
    "Would you be willing to substitute the words 'much of Christianity' with 'certain groups within Christianity that don't constitute a majority'?"
    No. However, certain subsets of Christianity are quite accepting of homosexuality such as Quakers, United Church of Christ and a good portions of Mainline Christianity.

    Even so, in the US, religious people are more likely to be homophobic and religion serves as one of the strongest predictors of attitudes toward homosexuals. While the relationship between degree of religiosity and level of tolerance toward homosexuality is not completely clear when one examines data from across the world for different religions, the largest gap in levels of tolerance toward homosexuality exists between less religious Christians and more religious Christians.

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  24. JD said:
    "Christians think that God is quite a bit different from human beings. To say the least."
    Indeed. I have no doubt that believers in Christianity see God as being quite different from human beings. However, if you come to see that distinction as being false, you're more likely to stop believing in a god, no?

    Even so, in Genesis, it says that God created human beings in God's image. I interpret that as meaning that the Christian god shares a number of characteristics in common with human beings. Also, God manifests a whole range of emotions (anger and jealousy seem to be spoken of fairly prominently). That seems fairly human-like, or at the very least, super-human-like. Why does a god have emotions at all? Does god have a biological body that generates emotional states of being?

    If you look at the concept of a god or gods in many of the world's religions, past and present, you'll find an entities that have much in common with human beings. There seems to be a tendency to project human qualities onto the notion of a force that created and guides the universe and all of it's contents.

    Given that the universe is so bloody huge and most likely contains many other worlds with forms of intelligent life beyond our imagining, I find it unlikely that the entity that controls the universe just happens to share so much in common with human beings.

    I suppose you could argue that God is a kind of shape shifting spiritual chameleon that can be all things to all living creatures. If that's true, then I choose to believe in a god who is a female entity and doesn't cast judgment on Her creations based upon petty criteria such as who we fall in love with or whether or not we believe She exists. I also choose to believe that She is all loving and could never do something like drown most of the inhabitants of Earth in a flood.

    Who want's to join my religion? We can have a potluck next weekend to discuss the finer details. ;-)

    Actually, I think I just described the Goddess that many neopagans favor. I rather like their female deity, even if I don't believe in Her existence. However, if I had to choose, I'd take the neopagan Goddess over Yahweh any day.

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  25. JD said:
    "Perhaps you wouldnt mind spelling out some specific examples of these "prejudiced, abusive ideologies" for us to examine?"

    How about many Christian sects' condemnation of homosexuality and the self-hatred that such condemnation leads young LGB children into? How about the rift that these beliefs create between an LGB child and her/his family?

    However, given the nature of your own perspective on LGBT issues, I'm sure you won't see those things as evidence of prejudice or abuse.

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  26. TW,
    Please define the word "homophobia" (and thus "homophobic") when you use it to describe conservative Christian attitudes toward homosexuality/homosexuals in general.

    Does it mean an irrational fear of homosexuals? "The dread of being in close quarters with homosexuals"? What do you mean specifically when leveling this charge against people with an opposing viewpoint?

    Even so, in Genesis, it says that God created human beings in God's image. I interpret that as meaning that the Christian god shares a number of characteristics in common with human beings

    Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

    I believe that Forerunner commentaries sums this up the best IMHO.

    "When God molded Adam of the dust, He shaped him in the outward form of Himself; He gave this unique form to man alone. Besides this, God gave man dominion over his environment, and to do this job, He gave him abilities like His own. Man can think, reason, make decisions, and plan. He can originate and evaluate ideas and bring them to completion. He can communicate and express complex concepts that can be understood by other men. Mankind understands and marks the passage of time.

    No animals have these abilities!
    But there is more: Man has a unique ability to imagine and desire life after death (Ecclesiastes 3:11)! Men want to live forever! The problem is that without the revelation of God, they have NO IDEA how to attain it!"

    If you look at the concept of a god or gods in many of the world's religions, past and present, you'll find an entities that have much in common with human beings. There seems to be a tendency to project human qualities onto the notion of a force that created and guides the universe and all of it's contents.

    Greek and Roman mythologies come to mind, but these ideas are a bit different than orthodox Christianity.

    I suppose you could argue that God is a kind of shape shifting spiritual chameleon that can be all things to all living creatures

    I wouldnt do that. I believe that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

    if I had to choose, I'd take the neopagan Goddess over Yahweh any day

    When you are ready to provide some tangible statistics regarding lives transformed and people changed at their very core by God as opposed to "the neopagan Goddess", please cite your data here.

    How about many Christian sects' condemnation of homosexuality and the self-hatred that such condemnation leads young LGB children into?

    Please steer me towards the peer-reviewed, scientific study that determined once and for all, the age in which a young child is definately gay without any possibility of heterosexuality in their future. Is it the same age for boys as for girls? I admit that this is a bit new to me and I was uninformed regarding the conclusiveness of the study that you cite.

    given the nature of your own perspective on LGBT issues, I'm sure you won't see those things as evidence of prejudice or abuse

    While there certainly is no shortage of material in the archive of my blog concerning the topic of homosaxuality, nowhere do I...

    Advocate violence against gays,

    Nor advocate taking away their abilities to earn an income.

    Or any other action against such a group or individuals all.

    Does criticism of a certain lifestyle and disagreement as to how healthy such orientation is both physically and mentally to one's health constitute "homophobia"? And if so, may I ask by who's definition?

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  27. Here's a study from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics exploring how levels of parental rejection of LGB children correlate with negative health outcomes in children.

    Here's the definition for homophobia from Wikipedia:
    "Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people identified or perceived as being homosexual. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear. Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of a perceived non-heterosexual orientation. In a 1998 address, author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King stated that 'Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.'"

    JD Said:
    "Does criticism of a certain lifestyle and disagreement as to how healthy such orientation is both physically and mentally to one's health constitute 'homophobia'? And if so, may I ask by who's definition?"

    Obviously, you see homosexuality as an unhealthy disorder. See the definition above. Also, the field of psychology weighed in on the issue of homosexuality a long time ago:

    "Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, a mental disorder, or an emotional problem. More than 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information.

    In the past, the studies of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people involved only those in therapy, thus biasing the resulting conclusions. When researchers examined data about such people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue."


    I grew up in a family of racists, JD. My family made all sorts of logical sounding arguments as to why people of color are inferior to whites. They would reference things like crime statistics, level of poverty, levels of educational achievement and various other social metrics in a quest to prove the inferiority of their favorite target of prejudice. I see people of your stripe doing the same thing for your favorite targets of prejudice. I know from experience that prejudice is stubborn as heck and will do everything it can to provide excuses to justify seeing the world through it's distorted set of lenses.

    Last but not least, don't try to bullshit me with claims that you don't really advocate harm against LGBT people. You are doing your darnedest to prove that we're inferior to non-LGBT people. You wouldn't be doing this unless you wished to form a basis for treating us differently from everyone else. Prejudice is inevitably accompanied by action, conscious or otherwise. When a group of people is considered inferior to the majority, inevitably, harm will come to that group of people.

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. Here's the link to the APA website, btw.

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  30. JD said:
    "When you are ready to provide some tangible statistics regarding lives transformed and people changed at their very core by God as opposed to 'the neopagan Goddess', please cite your data here.

    Since I don't believe in either your god or their goddess, I'll leave it to you guys to duke it out amongst yourselves as to which spiritual belief provides the most "bang for your buck."

    Nevertheless, the idea of transformation is so subjective that it's not possible to establish a set of criteria that both religions could truly agree upon. In fact, I'd posit that one religion's version of "transformation" includes various shifts in ways of being that represent a path of embracing evil and moral decay by the other religion. Put another way, one religion's notion of personal transformation is another religion's notion of spiritual degradation.

    Besides, can you provide peer-reviewed scientific evidence that your version of Christianity transformed people in a more positive way than the spiritual practices of thousands of other denominations of Christianity and the 39 or so other religions on the planet?

    Just to be completely fair, btw, if I had to believe in a god, I'd also prefer the kind of god that is embraced in progressive denominations of Christianity. I've spent quite a bit of time sitting in the pews of a UCC church (United Church of Christ). Their version of a god seems fairly humane and likable. It's not necessarily believable, mind you, but their take on God is far more palatable than conservative Christianity's interpretation.

    And yes, I'm aware that a lot of Christians see the UCC church and similar versions of Christianity as heretical cults. *shrug* Oh well. Somehow, the Kool Aid tastes better when that denomination mixes it up. ;-)

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  31. Feeno said:
    "timberrrrrr, That's very fair, and I hope the church can learn not to be abusive and or prejudiced against anyone, even if we may disagree with a lifestyle choice."
    If one's faith designates homosexuality/bisexuality as a sin and positions heterosexuality as a preferable state of being, then one's faith is stating that homosexuality/bisexuality is a part of the fallen state of humankind and heterosexuality is not. In other words, heterosexuality is a superior state of being as it does not automatically constitute a manifestation of the imperfect, fallen state of humanity.

    When one positions one state of being as superior to another state of being, that constitutes a form of prejudice. You might see your particular forms of prejudice as justifiable because of your religious beliefs, but it is still prejudice. Sexism, racism, classism, ageism, abelism, etc. all engage in the process of positioning a particular way of being as superior to others, by the way.

    As for labeling homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice": a lifestyle choice is when a person decides that living in the suburbs and drinking fine wine is preferable to living in the country and drinking cheap vodka. Sexual orientation is one of many dimensions of the human persona. It's as much a part of someone's persona as being extroverted or introverted. Would you describe those ways of being as "lifestyles choices?"

    As far as I'm concerned, describing who I fall in love with as a "lifestyle choice" trivializes the loving relationships I have shared with others. Falling in love is not an act of choosing one style of cuisine over another. It is not a preference for German engineered cars over American. It's love for goodness sakes, not a product sitting on a shelf with a barcode and a price tag. So, can we agree to dispense with the demeaning terminology of "lifestyle choice" and use the neutral terminology "sexual orientation?" I doubt that you'd feel comfortable if I equated your relationship with your wife with a preference for smoked meats over tofu, no?

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  32. Ginx.."Gandie, I'm really not trying to insult you. Okay now I am..."

    But i didnt really get insulted Ginx.Evidently you feel embarrased by a atheist who dont see faith as a Raw from of intellectualism.

    Im sorry about that,and i tried to explain that even to me its seems faith/theism was often much more about pure guess work.Yet yes,i suppose even guess work could also be classed as intellectualism.

    I was merely pointing out surely "many" folks could easily be forgiven for embarrassing anybody, by not seeing faith as so much connected to matters of intellectaulism.IE ..it is quite hard to considder it as "keen insight" and "good judgment" and "good understanding" for many people these days.

    Ginx said.."Atheism is science, knowledge, logic, and intellectual... but intellectualism is over-rated and formal education in particular does not lead to greater understanding? "

    Yeah...But only when people can be intellectual as in having been very educated ,but yet also stay stupid as in still lacking keen insight good judgment and real understanding.

    Im all for education and intellectualism , but intellectualism isnt the be all end all, is it?.

    A man can be so dumb,he`s not smart enough..Or so smart, he become dumb also.And both times mostly its usually just about to much pride that gets in the way.

    Ginx said.."Also, people were falsely accused of being witches or demonic, which is bad... but doctors are pretty notorious at this point for diagnosing everything as a disease. Prayers and even most exorcism technniques have less side effects than most of the over-prescribed pharmaceuticals.

    I mean come on, we prescribe pills to people who are unhappy, and one of the side effects is increased risk of suicide. Doctors want us to be happy, even if it kills us? That's messed up (especially since really they just want to sell us pills)."

    Ginx i doubt doctors prescribe pills purely and simply because some folks wanted to make money out of them.That seems slightly far fetched story to me.They do it because they have/had the idea some people brains waves are lacking certain chemicals or something?

    And even when i "agree with you" that yes over dosage of pills likely causes as much danger as exorcism .Its still due to ignorance yes and once again not so much about intellectualism as in keen insight good judgement and real understanding ...Infact id even suggest its more like its become far more about a type of "faith" which as you say is this raw form of intellectualism.

    Ginx said..."I'm not saying theism has any validity in regards to verifiable truth (which I think is the only kind of truth), but isn't it rather lazy to merely transfer faith from those who wear vestments to those who wear lab coats - especially if you are not willing to personally take the responsibility to attain any deeper understanding for yourself? "

    I just think we should be wary of faiths.Wary of faiths in unproven Gods and wary of faith in overdosed meds or meds that are useless.There is nothing wrong with having faith/ideas in Gods or Meds,but we should be wary of it being about any complete guess work.

    Which is why if overdosing meds leads us to suicide,it is no less stupid than any guesses of Gods leading to suicide.

    Im not insulted Ginx.In my humble opinion i still suggest maybe you should rethink why you need feel embarassed by athiests, who didnt happen to really connect faith as really being so much about real intellectualism.

    Its not really like faith is so obviously intellectual, straight away to everyone.Not when intellectual is usually most often thought of as being about keen insight good judgement and real understanding.

    You could forgive many for thinking...Hold on that dont sound much like faith.

    Does that make any better sense to you,of where im coming from?

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  33. Ginx said.."Atheism is science, knowledge, logic, and intellectual... but intellectualism is over-rated and formal education in particular does not lead to greater understanding?"

    "No college course could limber my mind enough for those rhetorical acrobatics"

    Yes you your proved it Ginx.You told me Doctors will overdose their patients with pills .

    1,Doctors who have formal education will sometime overdose patients.

    2,equals = intellectaulism can sometimes be over-rated

    "formal education in particular does not lead to greater understanding"

    No the key missing is "not always".

    Im not suggesting anything about "does not lead" at all.As in never

    Im merely suggesting "formal education" isnt entirely what always delivers any great intellience.

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  34. Feeno said.."Gandamania, If we were in a pub somewhere together and a fight broke out, I know for sure we'd have each others backs. Thank you for trying to understand where I come from.

    P.S. Anybody seen Tink lately?"

    Feen i dont see our differences here about faith anymore of a personal us verses them thing,than i do feel that way with my own faithful family.I naturally regret that people choose to have these beliefs,because i think they have caused very much harm and ive enen experienced it ...But i must try to remember it was about culture and time and the random effect involvement of certain prevailing situations.

    I cannot allow myself to feel like maybe its a personal thing that happened purposely against me.

    I accept much of my life has become like a type of sacrifice, so as to allow that people can learn about the dangers of faith,just like people did also learn of the danger of slavery and racism and sexism etc.

    You danm right if a fight broke out in a pub id have your back as quick as id have anyone elses back Feen.

    And no i havent seen or heard from Tink lately sadly, i know im missing her, and im sure our good friend ! JD very likely feels exactly the same way. :)

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  35. Uruk that was a very interesting account.

    There is renewed hope for intellectualism

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  36. In a 1998 address, author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King stated that 'Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.....I grew up in a family of racists, JD. My family made all sorts of logical sounding arguments as to why people of color are inferior to whites.



    The achievments of her murdered husband not withstanding, I am not aware of any advanced, earned degrees or studies held by Ms King in any other field than music. Perhaps you might wish to explain what qualifies her to provide commentary comparing gays with blacks? That is unless you can provide me with a website akin to PFOX, Exodus International or Homosexuals Anonymous that provides help to those who are struggling with the changes involved with being "formally black" in which case I would readily concede the point.



    Obviously, you see homosexuality as an unhealthy disorder



    Yes, I do view such a lifestyle as being unhealthy. I base this on the demonstrable facts that homosexuals have dramatically lower life expectancies than heterosexuals and also that homosexuals also enjoy much higher incidences of mental health disorders.



    In order to counter these points, might you like to list for our amusement the advantages of being homosexual?



    the field of psychology weighed in on the issue of homosexuality a long time ago...



    Does the percentage of psychologists that belong to the APA rival that of the percentage of medical doctors who belong to the AMA? (About 20-something percent?) Such organizations are absolutely as politicized as any other and I wouldnt mind at all if you tried to demonstrate otherwise.



    the idea of 'transformation' is so subjective that it's not possible to establish a set of criteria that both religions could truly agree upon



    Let's start with drug addicts who no longer are addicts, alcoholics who no longer drink and wife/child-beaters/abusers who no longer engage in such activity. Please present the number of examples you could cite of those affected by the neo-pagan goddess and then I will provide testimonies from those who's lives were transformed by the Triune God of Christianity. I await your statistics on the matter and by all means we can compare the two through other metrics once we have finished making this comparison.

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  37. one religion's notion of personal transformation is another religion's notion of spiritual degradation



    Which is a bit OT. Competing religions can be compared to see which one makes much more sense before deciding whether to follow one or the other. Whether or not the peson is then moving toward spiritual degredation is a matter of whom you ask. That is, whether the person being asked is an adherent of the former religion or new one.



    Last but not least, don't try to bullshit me with claims that you don't really advocate harm against LGBT people. You are doing your darnedest to prove that we're inferior to non-LGBT people.



    Ding-ding-ding! Und vee have a VINNER! I had no idea, nor did I care in the least whether you were gay or you only sympathic to the gay cause. I have stated repeatedly that I ould not possibly care less what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults and that most certainly is the case.



    I'll tell you what. My entire archive is yours. If you can demonstrate that I ever statd that homosexuals are 'nferiors' then please show it here or on my blog if you prefer.



    Your lack of a specific reference speaks volumes concerning the factual basis of this pet theory of yours though.

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  38. Here's the definition for homophobia from Wikipedia

    That's amusing. It almost seems as if I asked for a random definition of the word "homophobia" when I asked how you yourself defined the word. However if you would agree with the definition put forward by a factually challenged, demonstrably biased website that kids arent allowed to cite as a reference when writing a research paper for school, than so be it.

    The problem that I have with the term "homophobia" is a very basic one and perhaps you wouldnt mind clocking down to my speed to 'splain to me.

    The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a "phobia" as: "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation".

    Given that scholarship on the use of the term by Bunmi O. Olatunji (PhD) has indicated that there was a complete absence of "fear" among subjects when the topic of homosexuality was studied, then how does such rejection/disgust/indifference/anything but wholesale acceptance of the concept of homosexuality constitute a "phobia" when fear is not a factor at all in any way, shape or form?

    ReplyDelete
  39. JD said..."Yes, I do view such a lifestyle as being unhealthy. I base this on the demonstrable facts that homosexuals have dramatically lower life expectancies than heterosexuals and also that homosexuals also enjoy much higher incidences of mental health disorders. "

    Hi JD.

    I read up on your links but it seems Paul Camerons so called "facts" are not peer reviewed http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/simpleSearch.jsp;jsessionid=oyRj6SbHzNfwy5asF9TEpg__.ericsrv003?_pageLabel=ERICSearchResult&_urlType=action&newSearch=true&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=au&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=%22Cameron+Paul%22

    Even states..."recorded (whether or not AIDS was involved), "

    So it even includes gay folk beaten or driven to death.Or accidents...And he combed special gay mags or something to collect his data.

    The man seems kinda Nazi type, and obviously not shy of spreading rumor and some bullshite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cameron

    And plenty has been documented about him and sounds real shonky.

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron.html

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_sheet.html

    And your link stated some homosexual folk have psychological problems ...Gee really? i wonder why ? ...Folks often treat them mighty bad! and abuse them! .Suppose they should always feel like lifes a box of fluffy ducks then huh?.

    How can you use this biased rednecks trash, with a clear concience as a christian ...When it seems pretty obvious this guy is so shonky.Hell most reputable pyschological associations dropped him like a rock ...washed their hands of him and want nothing to do with his biased unprofessional propaganda.

    And yet here you are supposedly christian .Using it and seems proud of using it too ....And yet you would still try and tell us, really you aint homophobic

    These gay folks have likely been around since time began.And yet most likely always been treated in a very inhuman manner also.

    To be honest i just dont really see the real point in it.

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  40. Let me get this straight.

    In the world you live in Gandy, homosexuals are not significantly more suseptible to...

    Anal Cancer
    Chlamydia trachomatis
    Cryptosporidium
    Giardia lamblia
    Herpes simplex virus
    Human immunodeficiency virus
    Human papilloma virus
    Isospora belli
    Microsporidia
    Gonorrhea
    Viral hepatitis types B & C
    and Syphilis?

    Are homosexual men allowed to donate blood where you live? If not, might you like to list the reasons why?

    And your link stated some homosexual folk have psychological problems ...Gee really? i wonder why ? ...Folks often treat them mighty bad! and abuse them!

    Sounds pretty "shonky" to me. Is this a study you are citing?

    "An extensive study in the Netherlands undermines the assumption that homophobia is the cause of increased psychiatric illness among gays and lesbians. The Dutch have been considerably more accepting of same-sex relationships than other Western countries — in fact, same-sex couples now have the legal right to marry in the Netherlands. So a high rate of psychiatric disease associated with homosexual behavior in the Netherlands means that the psychiatric disease cannot so easily be attributed to social rejection and homophobia."

    This link has more information than you could possibly process.

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  41. JD said..."Are homosexual men allowed to donate blood where you live? If not, might you like to list the reasons why?"

    Yes people donate blood here.But all blood is tested anyway JD.Naturally if people have disease its best they dont be donating blood.We do have some things regulated JD.Its a no-boner really,yes we need to be careful but aids aint the only problem around...For all we know ole JD might have da Madd Cow desease or somethin he`s gonna try palming on to others

    http://www.nzblood.co.nz/?t=65

    Thats a long list you have there JD.Many other folks also get that "anal cancer" too, through digestion problems etc, what you want to hate on them poor folk too??..And sheeze man other folks get Gonorrhea,Syphilis,Chlamydia,hepatitis and whatnot....We got a real faith witch hunt underway ..Burn them all at the stake ! grrr grrr

    Why? the need to pick on one certain group like you are the faithful Grim Reaper of Tossatown or something.

    I dont really give a rats arse what some other study say.Do you really want to try and argue with me,that maybe hatered! and abuse! and opression! etc, is all actually gotta be "real great" for anyones psychology ?.Of course it aint.

    There is increased psychiatric illnesses related to faith practice also too!, especially the abusive christian cults .And increased psychiatric illnesses related to some mothers who give birth too.And many other things.Your studys aimed at picking on one group JD.Its homophobic bullshite

    Im not arguing at all "for" Gay relationships here,just like i also dont ever argue im all "for" people having abortions either.Im all for all people having safe sex if they have sex,even the young folk ,if thats what they gonna do..Thats my point.Im not suggesting we should be clapping our hands together over gay relationships,anymore than we should be clapping our hands together with abortions.Or sex among young people.Im saying this is a part of life,its best we face it and learn to understand it ,and realize situation dictate than life isnt perfect and a lot in life is not always so equally the same with everybody.And shit happens.

    I just dont see benefit in alienating and opressing and demonizing any special type of group of humans.

    What happened to your sweet lil biblical idea that evidently no human is created perfect ...JD?

    Was it just a meme??.

    Recited while warming church pews ??.

    Sorry JD ...Sure i admit that personally i too far prefer to see male-female relationships ,but still im no more ready to "personally hate" on the gay folk, any more than i am ready to "personally hate" on faithful folk ..faithful folk who also happen to include my family.

    Please remember, this is about nothing personal against you JD ..

    I just have a different opinion about whether "personally hatered" of any particular group really helps fix anything.

    Imagine how faithful would start feeling if atheists like me didnt only just really dislike faith practice ,but we also decided to start to "personally hating" on the faith followers as well too.

    Crikey it seem you want to stop the right for two gay folk to make a vow ....But think it just fine and all sweet and dandy, if faithful start some dodgy faith group up, that can then legally use group manipulation mindcontrol and fear tactic of hell etc and split and divide family even cause plenty of suicide.Sometimes even witch killings and botched up exorcisms

    Why not concentrate more on your own big problems and many messy dodgy dealings that exist first.

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  42. Thats a long list you have there JD.Many other folks also get that "anal cancer" too, through digestion problems etc, what you want to hate on them poor folk too??..And sheeze man other folks get Gonorrhea,Syphilis,Chlamydia,hepatitis and whatnot....We got a real faith witch hunt underway ..Burn them all at the stake ! grrr grrr

    This is without a doubt the stupidest comment you have ever made that I can possibly recall. It's so completely mind-blowingly stupid and at a completely different, exponential level that it far exceeds the definition of "stupid" and calls for another, yet uninvented adjective.

    1) Is it a fact that homosexuals are much more suseptible to the listed diseases or not? If it is not true, what is the source you are citing?

    2) I don't "hate" homosexuals. I'll invite you, (as I did TW) to access the entire archive of my blog to try to construct a "I hate gays' argument. Burn the at the stake? Puh-leeeze. If homosexuals arent bothering me, then what the heck do I care? I especially would never advocate putting the names of addresses of those who disagree with online or call for burning down their houses of worship to the ground as is currently being done in this country (US) by homosexuals.

    Yes people donate blood here

    You imbecile. Your own link (nzblood.com) states outright that "You must not give blood for
    FIVE YEARS:
    • Following oral or anal sex with or without a condom
    with another man (if you are male)." (Emphasis their's) Thanks for making my point for me. Bravo.

    Sorry JD ...Sure i admit that personally i too far prefer to see male-female relationships ,but still im no more ready to "personally hate" on the gay folk, any more than i am ready to "personally hate" on faithful folk.

    This makes the mistake of assuming that I ever said anthing remotely like I "would prefer to see male female relationships as opposed to gay folk". I never made such a statement, however you just did. How very honest of you though. Thanks.

    Insofar as the rest of your post, please do not state that I "hate" anything or anyone without showing that I do. No. "Everybody just knows it" isnt an explanation any more than "I dont really give a rats arse what some other study say". Please demonstrate as much or STHU.

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  43. There is increased psychiatric illnesses related to faith practice also too!

    Boom b'gosh begorrah. I can pretty much forget about you actually substantiating this claim, right?

    Crikey it seem you want to stop the right for two gay folk to make a vow

    Because it has more to do with destroying the institution of marraige than gays marrying one another. From the right-wing, Christian apologists at The Washington Times...

    Study finds gay unions brief

    "A recent study on homosexual relationships finds they last 1-1/2 years on average -- even as homosexual groups are pushing nationwide to legalize same-sex "marriages."

    The Dutch study -- which focused on transmission of HIV -- found that men in homosexual relationships on average have eight partners a year outside those relationships.

    "Fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior but rather by their emotional commitment to each other," the authors said. "Ninety-five percent of the couples have an arrangement whereby the partners may have sexual activity with others."

    Such findings show how recognition of same-sex unions would "erode the ideal" of traditional marriage,

    Link

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  44. JD..."This is without a doubt the stupidest comment you have ever made that I can possibly recall. It's so completely mind-blowingly stupid and at a completely different, exponential level that it far exceeds the definition of "stupid" and calls for another, yet uninvented adjective.

    1) Is it a fact that homosexuals are much more suseptible to the listed diseases or not? If it is not true, what is the source you are citing?"

    JD you great ignorant Git .Maybe homosexuals are more suseptible to anal cancer ,but so are other people with certain type of genes.However you prefer picking on the homosexual folk.So happens Women are more suseptible to cirvical cancer too,what do you wanna do ,hate on females too?.

    You f**king idiot.I dont like getting personal, but i have finally decided you are a utter moron that i dont need to even want to try getting on with...Its people like you! JD who help me understand people like Stalin and Hitler .We dont need to find any hate gay people quote on your blog JD , you attitude reaks of blatant personal hate for gays and homophobia ...Because you forever come at this bullshite of singling them out.

    Oh so some gay put some anti gays name and address online and called on folks to go burn the sucker down ...Should i be any more surprised about that?, than the action of Stalin, who so happens had NASTY christian BIGOTS! as his teachers ..One of whom he developed such a utter hatered for, he even called him the black spot.

    JD you faithful have been picking on certain groups of people for years ...Burning folks at stakes ..And causing all manner of devision and war.

    If some folks started burning your houses down ...I wouldnt find it so very surprising at all.

    JDick head said..."You imbecile. Your own link (nzblood.com) states outright that "You must not give blood for
    FIVE YEARS: "

    Yes you fool i knew that..And i was hoping you might understand its partly why us New Zealanders have little need to be hating gay folk JD .We dont hate certain people,we design and put in place certain measures to cope with the situation at hand.After all its not only Aids amongst the gay community thats the only problem we need to be aware of.Did you think about that at all JDickhead?, or were you far to busy hating on gay folk.

    JDickhead said..."This makes the mistake of assuming that I ever said anthing remotely like I "would prefer to see male female relationships as opposed to gay folk". I never made such a statement, however you just did. How very honest of you though. Thanks."

    Fool, we can read your thought pretty much like its a open book .Do you think we dont see right through your homophobia, JDickhead.Do you honestly think people need to see everthing written down ? ,are you so slow! that you didnt realize people can actually understand many things without need for any words.

    And yes atleast im honest ...I admit i would prefer seeing male/female relationships ...But still i do! understand situations and life just isnt the same for everyone.And so see no reason to personally hate on gays, like you ignorantly do JDickhead.

    JDickhead said.."Insofar as the rest of your post, please do not state that I "hate" anything or anyone without showing that I do. "

    Listen here f**knuckle ..I dont really give a damn what you ask for anymore .You have become one person on the net who i NOW have grown a serrious PERSONAL dislike for.You are a ignorant imbecile and a utter disgrace to matters of faith.

    You are a blatant ugly homophobe.

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  45. JDickhead said..."Boom b'gosh begorrah. I can pretty much forget about you actually substantiating this claim, right?"

    If you were not so far away JD ,id be more than happy to come and even "demonstrate" the fact to you.Why do you suppose Jim Jones crew got to commit suicide,because they were extremely sane?.How sane do you suppose West Bro Baptist, really are JDickhead .What about Russian Christian dooms day cult members living in winter in the snow in a cave with CHILDREN in dire situation of danger ,how sane do you suppose those folk were JDickhead? .

    You utter ignorant fool ..If i really need to supply you some paper to substantiate the claim ...Its obviously a complete waste of time anyway ...Because you are so utterly ignorant!, it obvious you go through life with your freaking eyes closed!. So what use is any paper to read.

    JDickhead said..."Because it has more to do with destroying the institution of marraige than gays marrying one another"

    Bullshite ..It dont stop any other folks choice to still marry .Pityful excuse.

    JDickhead said..."Fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior but rather by their emotional commitment to each other," the authors said. "Ninety-five percent of the couples have an arrangement whereby the partners may have sexual activity with others."

    Such findings show how recognition of same-sex unions would "erode the ideal" of traditional marriage,"

    Listen here ...If you feel continuing to demonize and make gay life out as some public disgrace ...Is really going to help matters. You are just another fool.

    All you are doing is driving gay life further underground ...Inforcing their personal embarrasment that naturally many gay folk will feel through persecution,and causing them to live a life hidden away where "some" then will often not learn hygene or better ways to cope with their life.Faithful folks nasty ignorant attitude, carrys itself on out into the wider community also ,in effect driving much about Gay folk lives and way of living out into the underground.


    In effect instead of helping matters, freaky Homophobic Gits like you JDickhead ...Really only serve to keep making matters a whole lot worse, in the long run .

    Far better that we make them feel less embarrased and more accepted, and more able to come forward.

    Folks like you JDickhead have hated on gays now for many years ...You have not made matters better..Not at all...Gay folk have existed ..Will always continue to exist no matter how much your faith bigotry exists also....You and your faith bigotry have only served to make matters a whole lot worse !!

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  46. JDickhead ...The more gay folks lifestyle is driven underground, and made out to be something thats very taboo.

    All the more some folks will be drawn towards it.

    You utter ignorant faithful twit.

    This is a well known phenomenom ...Infact if i build a high fence on my property that people are unable to ever see behind ...There will be some of those folk who will be drawn to try and climb my fence ,so as they can then see and maybe even experience what im hiding behind the fence.

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  49. I'll post something later., In the meantime, I mentioned you in my blog entry from today Gandy. What do you say? Kiss and makeup?

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  51. You know JD, I came here earlier in the day and put a few angry replies up in response to you and then I decided to deleted them. Honestly, I am done interacting with you.

    I've been to your website. I've read through your posts there on homosexuality and it's clear that you are doing your best to portray LGB people as diseased, prone to debauchery, mentally/emotionally deranged and politically dangerous.

    As I stated before, I grew up in a family that focused upon whatever negative behaviors they could find in the particular minorities they disliked. It's not hard to do. We're all human. If you want to find flaws in our individual communities, you will. You can always find a basis for hating a group of people if you look hard enough.

    I suppose that I could dismiss straight people as immoral for having so many unwanted children and dumping them into the adoption system, right? I could condemn them for overpopulating the world and forcing the rest of us to live in the pollution, the crowded cities, and the filth generated by their many offspring, could I not? I could condemn men as the sex that rapes. I could condemn men as the half of the human race who tends to wind up locked away for violent crimes far disproportionate to their numbers. I could condemn men as the sex who has traditionally started wars and has visited destruction upon countless innocents in the process. And of course, as an atheist, I could find a whole host of reasons to hate Christians and in the past, I have. It wasn't hard to find reasons to do so. So, yes, if I choose to hate a group of people, I could find reasons to condemn them. No problem at all.

    The funny thing is, very much like you, my racist relatives would deny that they hate people. I too have denied that I hated people when deep down, on an almost unconscious level, I did. We say that we are simply "telling it like it is." We say that it's not hatred. We say that we are speaking the truth of the world and nothing more.

    Even so, the pattern of our words betray us.

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  52. Honestly, I am done interacting with you

    I never put up an "angry" response to anything you have written and I don't know why you did.

    If you are done "interacting" with me, then I guess I can forget about you ever answering any of my above questions. Such "fade-to-black, run-and-hide" methods of argumentation are so common on the internet.

    I've been to your website. I've read through your posts there on homosexuality and it's clear that you are doing your best to portray LGB people as diseased...

    Funny. I just went to my blog and typed the words [homosexuals diseased] and for good measure [gays diseased] and into the SEARCH field. It yielded no hits whatsoever. Neither did the term [LGB].

    prone to debauchery

    The term [debauchery] yielded exactly 0 hits.

    mentally/emotionally deranged

    [Deranged] yielded no hits. I did state on this thread that homosexuals are much more prone to have mental health issues as compared to the rest of the population. Heaven forbid we would provide any counter evidence against that statement. So much easier to play the 'bigot' card than prove the unprovable I guess.

    politically dangerous

    Again [politically dangerous] yielded exactly 0 hits. Do you see a pattern here?

    It is true that I disagree with aspects of gay activism. Such as when the APA was pressured by gay activists to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. That, and the indoctrination of children as young as kindergarten and the first grade. Yes, I find that to be "sick".




    As I stated before, I grew up in a family that focused upon whatever negative behaviors they could find in the particular minorities they disliked

    2 errors here.

    1) Are gays the same as blacks or other minorities? You refereced Coretta Scott King earlier. It seems that another member of the King family, Dr. Alveda King had some rather strong thoughts on such a comparison. From her address to the Massachusetts state assembly...

    "Again, if behavior or other aspects of personhood may be altered, then those aspects fail to meet civil rights status. Homosexual practice clearly falls into this category. As my mother, Alveda C. King has said, "I have met many ex-homosexuals just as I have met many ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-drug addicts and ex-lawyers. Yet I have never met an ex-Negro, ex-Caucasian or ex-Native American." The politics of preference does not jibe with civil rights legitimacy."

    2) You confuse "dislike" with "disagreement". I could dislike some homosexuals. But usually that would be due to some sort of personal animosity with a particular person. I could just as easily "like" others in a cordial sort of way.

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  53. I suppose that I could dismiss straight people as immoral for having so many unwanted children and dumping them into the adoption system, right?

    One's sexual orientation does not factor in to people having children out of wedlock and giving them up for adoption and finding with such loose, sloppy, immoral behavior to be reprehensible.

    I could condemn them for overpopulating the world and forcing the rest of us to live in the pollution, the crowded cities, and the filth generated by their many offspring, could I not?

    I disagree that the world is "overpopulated". The population of the entire world could fit into an area the size of Jacksonville, Florida. Link

    I could condemn men as the sex that rapes

    Which would be a breathtakingly stupid thing to do given that only a very, very small percentage of men have ever raped anyone.

    And of course, as an atheist, I could find a whole host of reasons to hate Christians and in the past, I have. It wasn't hard to find reasons to do so

    As long as you then cast a critical eye toward your own, non-theistic religion. And then show that atheists havent mucked up the world much, much worse.

    The funny thing is, very much like you, my racist relatives would deny that they hate people. I too have denied that I hated people when deep down, on an almost unconscious level, I did. We say that we are simply "telling it like it is." We say that it's not hatred. We say that we are speaking the truth of the world and nothing more

    We all dislike certain people. It's human nature. Insofar as gays are concerned, might I assume that you are the person who kept searching my blog several times recently, utilizing every way possible to search the term "homosexual" in an attempt to find something incriminating against me?

    Your lack of a specific reference from anything I have ever written speaks volumes.

    the pattern of our words betray us

    I'm sorry. Does this mean that you won't address my earlier question concerning how the term "homophobic" is an Etymologically incorrect term?

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  54. The definition that I provided for "homophobic" is quite accurate. If you spent time frequenting venues in which the word was regularly used, you'd see that the definition I supplied is faithful to how the word is actually used. You can dislike the definition all you want. That doesn't change what the word actually means. However, feel free to substitute the word heterosexist and heterosexism in place of homophobic and homophobia. The words are almost interchangeable. (Go look up the definition yourself. You have a computer.)

    Negative comments about LGB people from your blog:
    link
    link

    Negative comments from this thread:
    "Yes, I do view such a lifestyle as being unhealthy. I base this on the demonstrable facts that homosexuals have dramatically lower life expectancies than heterosexuals and also that homosexuals also enjoy much higher incidences of mental health disorders."

    "In the world you live in Gandy, homosexuals are not significantly more suseptible to...

    Anal Cancer
    Chlamydia trachomatis
    Cryptosporidium
    Giardia lamblia
    Herpes simplex virus
    Human immunodeficiency virus
    Human papilloma virus
    Isospora belli
    Microsporidia
    Gonorrhea
    Viral hepatitis types B & C
    and Syphilis?"

    "The Dutch study -- which focused on transmission of HIV -- found that men in homosexual relationships on average have eight partners a year outside those relationships."

    It is quite evident that you doing exactly as I stated in my previous post. The fact that you deny your attempts to portray LGB people in the worst possible light in spite of readily available evidence--on this very thread I might add--shows that you are arguing in bad faith. I wash my hands of you.

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  55. 1) Is anything I said factually incorrect?

    2) If I point out to smokers that they run a substatially higher risk to contracting lung cancer, am I then portraying smokers in a negative light or the act of smoking itself?

    3)Rather than "link dump", please point out (specifically) what I stated in those threads that you found so objectionable and we'll examine it.

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  56. The definition that I provided for "homophobic" is quite accurate. If you spent time frequenting venues in which the word was regularly used, you'd see that the definition I supplied is faithful to how the word is actually used. You can dislike the definition all you want. That doesn't change what the word actually means

    I'm sorry but you did not address my previous question in the slightest. In your response, you basically state that.

    1) Your definition is accurate.
    2) Other people who use the word often use it the same way that you do. As if consensus=etymologically correct.
    3) That I dislike the definition (Which I didnt say at all. I only questioned how it could be etymologically correct) and yet my disliking it doesnt change the meaning.

    To reiterate, my original question was...

    "Given that scholarship on the use of the term by Bunmi O. Olatunji (PhD) has indicated that there was a complete absence of "fear" among subjects when the topic of homosexuality was studied, then how does such rejection/disgust/indifference/anything but wholesale acceptance of the concept of homosexuality constitute a "phobia" when fear is not a factor at all in any way, shape or form?"


    Please answer this specific question before we begin to examine the term "heterosexism" which appears to have a myriad of problems of it's own.

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  57. JD Curtis said... "I'll post something later., In the meantime, I mentioned you in my blog entry from today Gandy. What do you say? Kiss and makeup?"

    To be quite honest JD i felt so very angry,so angry that until today i havent even ventured back to look at Feeno`s blog.

    But ive now cooled off a little, and to be honest its just not in my nature to personally hate anyone for to long,sheeze i even find i have a soft spot for that funny ole fossil Pastor Harvey Burnett.He and i have gone hammer and tong plenty of times on DC, and to be quite honest i still think his faith is nasty and really sucks!,but still i aint gonna let that make me personally hate him.

    Something you might not realize about me JD is i have nothing personal against faithful folk,infact on another forum i actually stood up for a person of faith, who was being personally attacked and abused by atheists .Two or three came back at me and for sure it really would have been much easier and saved me lots of trouble and dislike and heat that ended up coming my way later through standing up for this faithful person ,but ive never been the type to be afraid of taking some flak myself, if it so happens to save somebody else from being downtrodden and slaughtered.

    And so what im saying is if there ever came a time where i felt you were being picked on! and overly personally abused! ,you`d find i would be no more likely to quietly stand for it either.There would come a point when id say,look dont be to harsh on JD.

    So yes i have buried my hatchet and cooled my anger,but just the same i still totally dislike your attitude towards the gay folk.

    In my personal opinion some of you faithful folks dont really honestly practice what you preach.You are not setting a good example or being good role models in our societies,and many gay folk who are bashed and beaten and even murdered !.Are treated this way through nasty attitudes existing in our societies through the presence of bad attitudes often displayed by judgmental faith bigots.

    There is more and more being learned all the time about reasons why gay folks have always existed.And i suggest, one day faithful folks like you will need to eat humble pie and accept having been the cause of inciting some gay bashings and even murders of gay folk,many of whom actually had little control of their genetic makeup or situations that helped effect whom they became.

    Most of my friends wear leathers and ride Harleys or British bikes,and many have been in and out of jails ...But i will not stand by silently while any of these folks try bullying or personally picking on somebody either.

    Only a "real blind man" could think, all gay folk simply "choose" to be gay,so to be bashed! and abused! and looked down on! and despised! by our societies.

    I will not stand by quietly while these gay folks are personally demonized and persecuted, anymore than i will stand by and let faithful folk including my own family who`s beliefs have even ruined much of my whole life,be personally persecuted for their nasty faith that they only came by because of certain situations that long existed.

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  58. JD im a white male who`s been known to stand up and stick up for dark skinned folk, being attacked and abused by bigoted white murderers, just fresh out of jail!.

    I did so when every body else at the party was simply cowering and quietly running away.

    I cant stand bullys.As a kid at my school, i even had to learn to fight bullys to stop them standing over me and stealing my lunch every day.I was taught to always turn the other cheek,this made me even feel guilty when standing up for my own rights.

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  59. So yes i have buried my hatchet and cooled my anger,but just the same i still totally dislike your attitude towards the gay folk

    I really couldnt care less what the response from the "gay folk" was Gandy. Just so long as they didnt try to include me in their BS.

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