43
   

Obama..... not religious?

 
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 11:50 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
in a nice, neo-Gothic building, with an arch-conservative Lutheran liturgy -- no music composed after the death of Johannes Brahms!

"The Heft of cathedral tunes", as Dickinson put it, ambiguously.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 11:53 am
@sozobe,
Question!

Serious question.

Quote:
But the people here -- JPB, ehBeth, DrewDad, Obama for that matter -- from what I know of them and their religion, they don't deserve the scorn that was heaped on them for being religious. So I said something.


Could you please point to ANY specific where I heaped any scorn on anyone for being religious.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 11:54 am
@Frank Apisa,
Exclamation

Um.

You're serious?
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 11:58 am
It was probably me, rather than Frank.

There's a database which an FOI request just made available which lists me under the heading of "Scorn-heaper" which is, obviously, a sub-file within the larger category "Evil-doer"
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 11:58 am
@sozobe,
ABSOLUTELY!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 12:04 pm
@Frank Apisa,
OK, a quick survey:

Frank Apisa wrote:
Of course, most are too frightened of the boogeyman god to actually say that...so they go through the “interpret it in light of life's new challenges” malarkey.

I stand by my contention that any Christian who condones homosexual behavior is a hypocrite"which is equivalent to not being a Christian.

People who finally come to their senses about the nonsense in the Bible ought not to go half way. Get the hell out!

Become an agnostic.


Frank Apisa wrote:
**** no. My guess is the supposed theology of the Bible is bullshit.

[...]

Yeah...just like lots of folks "understand" it is the literal word of some god.

You don't "understand" about the Bible any more than they do. You are guessing...and apparently do not have the balls or sense of integrity to identify your guesses as guesses.


Frank Apisa wrote:
C'mon, use your brain...or grow one.

The god of the Bible...whether real or fictional...expresses sentiments about certain activities. Whether those words are there because a real GOD spoke them to Moses...or because a bunch of ancient Hebrews decided to put their feelings into a god they invented...

...the words are there.

But of course, Christians like you are hypocrites enough to try to weasel your way past the obvious.


Frank Apisa wrote:
What a laugh!

Incredible!

So...we have Christians who can interpret “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” to mean...ahhh, don't worry about it. You can even make them priests and ministers...and even bishops if you want.

******* hypocrisy on a galactic scale!!!!


Eh, you get the picture. (That takes me to page 8.)
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 12:29 pm
@sozobe,
Well, Sozobe...I guess one persons “scorn” can be interpreted by liberal discussers...as being something quite different.

Let's take one of these items at a time...and see if I can make my case:

Quote:


Of course, most are too frightened of the boogeyman god to actually say that...so they go through the “interpret it in light of life's new challenges” malarkey.

I stand by my contention that any Christian who condones homosexual behavior is a hypocrite"which is equivalent to not being a Christian.

People who finally come to their senses about the nonsense in the Bible ought not to go half way. Get the hell out!

Become an agnostic.


Gosh, I don't see any “scorn” there at all. I think those words represent a loving, empathetic way to help someone find the light and the truth.

I think anyone seeing it as "scorn" is being way, way too literal.

If you were to look at it in terms of the many posts where I said I love my fellow human being, however, I think you would see what I mean when I say it really is "a loving, empathetic way to help someone find the light and the truth. " Just open your mind to what I am saying here...and don't take the words too literally.






Quote:
**** no. My guess is the supposed theology of the Bible is bullshit.

[...]

Yeah...just like lots of folks "understand" it is the literal word of some god.

You don't "understand" about the Bible any more than they do. You are guessing...and apparently do not have the balls or sense of integrity to identify your guesses as guesses.


Once again, the liberal interpretation of that should be viewed in the light of the thousands upon thousands of other posts I've made in A2K over the years...and you would easily see that in that context...there is no scorn intended here at all. Obviously what I am saying here is, “I love you folks and I'm just trying to be of help in sorting things out.”





Quote:
What a laugh!

Incredible!

So...we have Christians who can interpret “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” to mean...ahhh, don't worry about it. You can even make them priests and ministers...and even bishops if you want.

******* hypocrisy on a galactic scale!!!!


Well I think that anyone interpreting this to mean that I think there is hypocrisy involved here...is simply taking the words much too literally! If you were to step back from it...and really put your heart into it...interpret in light of the challenges life brings to posters in these kinds of forums...you would easily see that I said absolutely nothing about hypocrisy.




I am sure you understand, Sozobe, when I say a heartfelt and sincere “thank you” for taking the time to help me with this little enterprise.


nimh
 
  5  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 01:46 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Well, Sozobe...I guess one persons “scorn” can be interpreted by liberal discussers...as being something quite different. [..]

Gosh, I don't see any “scorn” there at all. I think those words represent a loving, empathetic way to help someone find the light and the truth.

I think anyone seeing it as "scorn" is being way, way too literal. [..]

Well I think that anyone interpreting this to mean that I think there is hypocrisy involved here...is simply taking the words much too literally!

So - question, Frank. From where I'm standing I've seen pretty much everyone in this thread except for Thomas and Blatham tell you that you were heaping scorn on the religious, or responding to you as if you were. And that includes about as many non-religious people as actual religious people.

Why do you think this is? Is it just that we all collectively fail at being proper "liberal discussers"? That we are just all demonstrably unable to get beyond the literal?

In short, is it all of our collective fault, or do you think that, just maybe, you may not be expressing yourself successfully as the, um, "loving, empathetic" interlocutor you claim to be?

Quote:
Once again, the liberal interpretation of that should be viewed in the light of the thousands upon thousands of other posts I've made in A2K over the years...and you would easily see that in that context...there is no scorn intended here at all. Obviously what I am saying here is, “I love you folks and I'm just trying to be of help in sorting things out.”

And there's the rub. Double rub.

For one, just say that last sentence out loud to yourself, and imagine it's someone else saying it to you. That it's someone else feeling that way about you. Someone you really dont agree with. Let's say, a good old-fashioned Christian. Who says he just feels nothing but love and empathy for your lack of understanding and just really wants to help you sort things out, by opening your eyes to the real truth.

How would you respond to that?

Do you see remotely what we mean when we say that in many ways, you seem so alike to the very Christian fundamentalists you abhor? You have their zeal, their absolute confidence in your possession of the truth, and their intolerance to any kind of ambiguity. And you have that same condescension, in which anyone who doesn't agree with their vision must just not have had their eyes opened to the truth yet. It's like talking to a Jesuit!

As for the "the thousands upon thousands of other posts" you've made on A2K - you hit a nail on the head there, it's just not the nail you think it is. I think you'd have to search with a lantern for more than a dozen of people across the forum, over all those years, who would not have interpreted the posts you have addressed to the religious as scornful - regardless of whether they're themselves religious or not.

I think people are responding in part exactly in the light of those thousands upon thousands of other posts. Take me. I've never really bothered before taking on your points - because the very encounter of so many, unceasing and unnecessary, putdowns and insults, so much snideness and scorn, and such unceasing macho posturing in argument, tires me out before I even get to type a single word in response.

By now, when people who don't agree with you still respond, it will be with either wariness (JPB or Soz-style) or exasperation (DrewDad-style). File me under "wary" when it comes to discussing the topic and "exasperated" when it comes to your style.

----------------------------------------------

Now, despite all the above, I will give you one thing. I, too, may have had a very different attitude towards all things religious if I had grown up in America rather than in the Netherlands. I do realise that you've just gone through several decades in which Christianity was pushed up everyone's noses without relent, and in which it got to inform the highest levels of political ideology and decision-making. That's scary. I suppose I would have developed a very negative reaction to that as well.

As it is, I have only experienced Christianity as a source of moderate benevolence. The Christians I've come to know were without exception open-minded, tolerant, and private in their religion. I realise that's partly thanks to how the Christian churches here have, to some extent, been defanged. We have no fights over abortion anymore. And when it comes to the most acute of our own culture war issues, about immigration, asylum-seekers, integration and Islam, it's been the most orthodox Christians who have taken on an important role in defending tolerance and openness. A small party of "black-stocking" Protestants, the Christian Union, is generally regarded as a kind of centre-left nowadays, because when it comes to those issues, and when it comes to socio-economic issues like poverty and inequality, they're on our side, a force for good. Yeah, they're not when it comes to gay marriage - but it more than evens out in the end.

Here in Hungary it's different of course. Christians are largely very conservative. But the real intolerance comes from young nationalists who I don't think care much about the church at all. Even here, with notable exceptions, the bulk of the church is a moderate conservative force.

In short, I just don't have the experience that you, Blatham, or for example Lola have had. And I feel no need to lambast Christians for their purported hypocrisy. I see it as no greater than the hypocrisy of those with other belief systems - political ideologies and the like - who also somehow seem to be able to filter out all the stuff that would come awkwardly and might call their affinities in question and to rely on self-confirming arguments. Yours, for example, but you can substitute any number of liberals and conservatives here.

----------------------------------------------

I also lack - and respond negatively to - the black and white thinking. The reasoning in which anyone who is willing to see the Bible as a mix of divine wisdoms and parts that can be overlooked as misguided or era-specific, is "hypocritical" or "not a real Christian". (And in which those who do take the Bible literally are, of course, consistent ... but misguided and possibly dangerous fools. You can't win, here - another mark of the zealot.)

Even though I'm not a Christian, I have no problem with this concept: God, if he exists Not Equal everything the chroniclers of his wisdom who wrote the Bible said he is; but the Bible still remains as a source of rich and varied divine wisdom.

You see a contradiction in there: either the Bible is literally the Word of God in every phrase, or it's, as you put it so colourfully in different variations, a worthless pile of bullshit. I don't understand that reasoning. Why should this be so? Why wouldn't the Bible be able to be a source of much, unmissable wisdom, even if it's not literal divine truth from cover to cover? What's so hard to grasp about that concept?

I've tried making that point a couple of times - and both times, I believe, you ended up responding in variations of "well, if you need the Bible just to tell you killing is wrong you've got a lot of problems, kid". What kind of argument is that? Isn't that a complete nonsequitur? Who said that, if the Bible can't be taken as literal divine instruction from cover to cover, all it must have left to offer are the platitudes of do-not-kill? How do you jump to the conclusion that if not every word in the book is right, then all you must have left are the Ten Commandments?

These kind of jumps in reasoning just do not compute to me. The only way I see how they work is in the context of a mental universe that is sealed within its own certainties. One in which any gap is immediately covered up by a resort to some fallacy or other, as in: "Oh, you must just be saying that..". But no, that's not what we must just be saying. Though after enough of this, we might give up saying what we were trying to say.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 01:54 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
For one, just say that last sentence out loud to yourself, and imagine it's someone else saying it to you. That it's someone else feeling that way about you. Someone you really dont agree with. Let's say, a good old-fashioned Christian. Who says he just feels nothing but love and empathy for your lack of understanding and just really wants to help you sort things out, by opening your eyes to the real truth.

How would you respond to that?

I have said things like that to Frank in the past. He usually found me guilty of bullshitting. But never of scorn-heaping.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 02:20 pm
@Thomas,
You conflate different points I was making. That para was not re heaping scorn, it was re something else Frank does, something which is remarkably similar to what the undoubting religious people he critcizes do.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 02:53 pm
@nimh,
Nimh...I thought I did a fairly decent job of mocking the "you have to interpret it differently" argument of the Christians.

I didn't think you, or anyone reading this, would take me seriously...rather than facitiously. I even used some of the same wording Christians do when pretending that "homosexual conduct is an abomination" means "there is nothing wrong with homosexual conduct"...or "slavery is moral" means "slavery is immoral”...or “I have not come to change anything” means “I have come to change everything.”



Quote:
So - question, Frank. From where I'm standing I've seen pretty much everyone in this thread except for Thomas and Blatham tell you that you were heaping scorn on the religious, or responding to you as if you were. And that includes about as many non-religious people as actual religious people.


I think the Christians doing it are doing it because they are reading the words and intent (my words and intent) for exactly what they say...because in this case, they have no need to pervert them...to twist language and logic to make it seem that the words were not scornful, but loving and empathetic.

If these were the words of their idiot god...they would find all sorts of ways to make the sneering and scorning I was doing...seem like a bed of roses being spread before their feet.

That was my point here, Nimh.

Just giving 'em a dose of their own medicine...so they might be able better to appreciate how absurd that kind of rationalizing is. I am sure they, like you, had no difficulty at all seeing how absurd my rationalizations were...how phony my protestations of it all being misunderstood were...how absurd my contention that it could be seen in some other context in a way that negates the thrust of what was said.


That was my point here, Nimh.

I'll respond to your other issues tomorrow.

Super Bowl about to get started...and I am going to a friends house to watch it.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 02:54 pm
@nimh,
Er...I had the impression Frank was being ironic in the benevolent guidance and compassion post, ya know. Aping the "benevolent" god of the bible and all.

I haven't read a bunch of posts, so forgive me if I am wrong, but, all posturing aside, don't you think that christians who espouse what I think of as a damn decent and reasonable theology ARE, like it or not, caught in a dilemma?

Even if you buy the new covenant thing in relation to Jesus, as I understand it (and I may be wrong) he DOES condemn homosexuality.

It seems to me (much as, were I still religious, I would do the same thing) that taking some bits and leaving others is a bit like the being the politician who has made a bunch of promises to get elected then deciding some are "core" promises, and some can be dispensed with?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, having just finished "Infidel", and still busy digesting her firm views that the Koran DOES, indeed, justify systematic treatment of women as second-class beings, for example..more liberal interpretations notwithstanding.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 03:24 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
It seems to me (much as, were I still religious, I would do the same thing) that taking some bits and leaving others is a bit like the being the politician who has made a bunch of promises to get elected then deciding some are "core" promises, and some can be dispensed with?

True. And in addition to that, it solves the question if Christian scripture is true only by begging the new question what's the relevance of the Bible at all. Sure, it's a book with some good stuff and some bad stuff in it. But so is Hamlet. So is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. So is the script of Pulp Fiction. So are 42 other books. With that in mind -- what, according to liberal Christian theology, is the point of calling yourself a Christian at all, as opposed to, say, a Beeblebroxian?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 03:50 pm
@Thomas,
Um...slightly strained analogy as those writings do not claim to contain the true North for one's moral compass!

While I am all for subtracting awful stuff from the bible, and living by the nice stuff, I have never seen a good argument supporting the logic of which bits we ignore and which we say are the artefacts of an ancient civilisation.

I assume we ignore the bits that don't fit with our current ethical beliefs?

Well, fine, and, as Nimh says, some of the people at the forefront of what I consider to be deeply moral and decent activities have been and are liberal christians (or very lovely buddhists, or nice muslims I assume)...but, it seems to me, logically speaking, that there no telling which is baby and which bath water when throwing things out.

This is not denying that people find all sorts of goodness in religion, it is just simple reason.








Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 04:05 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Um...slightly strained analogy as those writings do not claim to contain the true North for one's moral compass!

I admit that, but your objection actually cuts in favor of my argument. True, the Sopranos don't claim to contain anyone's moral compass. Still, if you compare the ratio between words to live by on the one hand, and needless butchering, sado-masochism, and just general psycho-pathology on the other hand, The Sopranos still compare favorably with the Bible. So if you've got to pick a scripture to selectively worship, why Christian doctrine? Why not become a Sopranoist?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:25 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I assume we ignore the bits that don't fit with our current ethical beliefs?

Well, yeah. I suppose I just don't see what the problem with that is supposed to be? Or even why it's necessarily hypocritical?

A lot of Christians (or Protestants, I suppose) believe that finding the divine truth is about communing with God - which, in the end, is a conversation everyone must have for himself. The Bible is a book that offers many wisdoms on that path, and many Christians don't see it as more than that.

Per Frank, of course, Christians who think that way are dishonest hypocrites...
rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 07:39 pm
@nimh,
Excuse me but isent the old testament a book that is a writen account of verbal history. The new testament is also a verbal history.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:37 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
These kind of jumps in reasoning just do not compute to me. The only way I see how they work is in the context of a mental universe that is sealed within its own certainties. One in which any gap is immediately covered up by a resort to some fallacy or other, as in: "Oh, you must just be saying that..". But no, that's not what we must just be saying. Though after enough of this, we might give up saying what we were trying to say.

That pretty much sums up where I am with it.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:38 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
True. And in addition to that, it solves the question if Christian scripture is true only by begging the new question what's the relevance of the Bible at all. Sure, it's a book with some good stuff and some bad stuff in it. But so is Hamlet. So is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. So is the script of Pulp Fiction. So are 42 other books. With that in mind -- what, according to liberal Christian theology, is the point of calling yourself a Christian at all, as opposed to, say, a Beeblebroxian?

Isn't that what Hubbard did with Scientology and Dianetics?
DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:40 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
Nimh...I thought I did a fairly decent job of mocking the "you have to interpret it differently" argument of the Christians.

Main Entry: mock
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: ridicule
Synonyms: buffoon, burlesque, caricature, chaff, deride, flout, hoot, insult, jape, jeer, kid, laugh at, make fun of, needle, parody, poke fun at, rally, rib*, scoff, scorn, show contempt, sneer, taunt, tease, thumb nose at, travesty
 

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