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For god's sake

I've been kicking around this piece for a while, but it hasn't quite gelled before. I think its time has come, though -- what better way to observe a Sunday on a holiday (as in "Holy Day") weekend for a good old-fashioned bashing of religions?

I've said several times I am an agnostic -- often tacking on "born-again" to both signify that I arrived at that conclusion, not born to it, and to irritate certain types. I was raised Methodist, but that never really "worked" for me.

I came to my agnosticism relatively young in life -- I was in my teens. I had nothing against religion per se, it just didn't "work" for me. There is something deep within me that simply cannot accept the tenets of faith, of believing in something that not only cannot be proven, but by its very nature must not be proven. (See Oolon Coluphid's seminal work, "Well, that about wraps it up for God.")

I tend to have a very laissez-faire attitude toward religion -- if they don't try to convert me, I won't attack their faith. I think of it as a form of mutual respect. I have major issues with the core beliefs of most of the world's faiths, but as a matter of manners I don't bring them up. (For example, why does the Bible list the lineage of Jesus from Adam twice, and why do they differ so radically?)

So as a matter of practicality, I don't judge the religions on their beliefs, but by the behavior of their adherents -- especially those with some level of authority.

For example, I don't get Mormonism. What little I've learned of its basic tenets strikes me as, well, profoundly silly and require not only a whole lot of faith, but a complete discarding of common sense and rational thinking.

On the other hand, nearly every single Mormon I've ever met has been polite, respectful, decent, honest, and an exemplar of morality and honor. So I find myself completely baffled and befuddled over their faith, but still having a great deal of respect for the individuals who practice it.

Catholicism, though, I have some troubles with. When it was the sole faith that governed most of Europe, it was rife with corruption and tyrannical impulses. Even today, it is a bit too totalitarian for my tastes, and as a New Englander the pedophile priest scandal is still fresh in my memory. (At one point, over 60% of American bishops had either been accused of sexually abusing children or of protecting priests who had done so.) I think that the Catholic church has done many great works throughout its history. But it, like most monolithic institutions, has also committed many wrongs as well. As a result, I tend to find individual Catholics, for the most part, decent folks, but I have a deep, ingrained suspicion of the Church as an institution.

I have a special fondness and respect for Judaism. For one, they are the least annoying of faiths. "Jewish Evangelical" is a wonderful oxymoron. They not only don't actively seek converts, but they make it quite difficult to convert on your own. Theologically speaking, they just want to be left to their own devices. They aren't interested in changing the world, or compelling others to abide by their beliefs. (In fact, they have a tradition of embracing non-Jews who do not follow Jewish law and custom.) Yeah, I could never convert to Judaism (Not even God could convince me to give up pepperoni pizza), but it seems to be the religion I could best get along with.

Other Christian denominations, I must confess, tend to blur together for me. Again, I see them as mostly positive, doing good works and living decent lives, so I consider them a "plus" in our society. As long as they respect my right to not believe and not belong, I cheerfully accord them the same.

Some of the Eastern religions leave me puzzled. (Much like most Westerners.) I have almost no grasp of how Hinduism works, and Buddhism usually gives me a headache. But again, I judge them by their results. Hindus probably don't appreciate my fondness for steak and hamburger, but apart from that they really don't seem to be that troublesome.

Buddhists, on the other hand, tend to be troublemakers. Troublemakers of the best sort. They have their own moral and ethical standards, and refuse to compromise over them. But their idea of refusal is in the finest form -- they refuse to use any sort of force, just overwhelming moral compunction. The Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire to protest the Viet Nam war showed just how deeply they believed in their cause, yet would not violate their beliefs even for the greater cause. They seem to have assumed the burden of the world's conscience, and while we might not always agree with them, they definitely ought to at least be listened to.

And then there's the elephant in the room, the one I've been tap-dancing around all this piece. Islam.

Individual Muslims, by my own experience and those others have related to me, can be among the most decent and peaceful and considerate people on earth. But there is very often a cauldron of fury bubbling beneath that surface.

The tenets of Islam (which, despite what many say, does not mean "peace," but "submission") are simple and universal: the world is divided into two houses, Dar El Islam ("House Of Islam") and Dar El Harb ("House Of War"). It is the duty of all Muslims to expand the former to embrace all of the latter. There will not be true peace on earth until Islam rules all. Other faiths may continue, but only if they acknowledge Islam's supremacy and abide by its restrictions. (See "dhimmi.") It also inculcates intolerance and hatred for other faiths, especially the Jews -- see Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Number 6985: "The Hour [of Resurrection] will not arrive until you fight the Jews and the rock and the tree will say: O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!"

But to judge a religion based on the tenets of its faith is against what I spelled out before. I should rather judge it based on the conduct of its adherents. And on that scale, how does Islam measure up?

For one, it seems extremely aggressive and violent. Perusing a list of major conflicts going on in the world today, it seems that nearly every single one of them has an Islamic faction on one side (some times both). "Muslim" and "terrorist" are terms that are almost inextricably linked, and the first thoughts many have when hearing about a terrorist attack is that it was an Islamic extremist -- and they are almost always right. (Cue the "Timothy McVeigh/Unabomber/Aum Shinrikyo/Eric Rudolph" exceptions.) The ones who commit these atrocities are not singing the praises of Jesus or Moses or Buddha or Krishna or Reverend Moon or L. Ron Hubbard or even Satan, they're shouting "Allahu Ackbar!" as they set off bombs, saw off heads, stone people, hang people, or commit other atrocities.

I do not come by my distrust of Islam readily. I don't like the feeling of fear and suspicion and resentment I get whenever I encounter Muslims. But it won that the old-fashioned way -- it earned it.

No, not all Muslims are terrorists. I'd be surprised if the terrorists were even a significant minority. But it is the failure of mainstream Muslims to forcibly reject the terrorists in their midst, to denounce them, to cooperate with others in rooting them out, that makes me so concerned.

For example, we are often told that the Palestinian people only want peace, and are tired of the long conflict with Israel. That flies in the face of certain established facts:

1) They set up a children's summer camp, with the assistance of the United Nations through UNICEF, named in honor of Wafa Idris, a female suicide bomber.

2) After a suicide bomber killed 15 people in a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, Palestinian college students set up a re-creation of the massacre at Al-Najah University, complete with fake blood and body parts.

3) The Palestinian people frequently dress their children -- even infants -- in tiny suicide bomber suits, complete with fake explosives (at least, I hope they're fake) for public demonstrations.

If the Muslim people really want to convince people like me that Islam is a religion of peace, they need to start by turning on those who they claim have "perverted" their faith and working on bringing them to justice. That means that they need to stand against those who claim to be fellow Muslims and work with the "unbelievers" -- and so far we've seen precious little evidence that they're willing to do so.

President Bush has been roundly criticized for his "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists," but a variant of that holds true for the rank and file Muslims of the world -- you're either against the terrorists, or you're not. The time is long past for them to declare where they stand, and to put action to those words.


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Comments (89)

You say what I have felt fo... (Below threshold)
Jo:

You say what I have felt for years. Although I believe in God, the aspect of "organized religion" has no appeal to me. I'd rather have a relationship with my God without the trappings of the "forced this and that, you must do this and that" stuff.

Good post.

"For example, why does the ... (Below threshold)

"For example, why does the Bible list the lineage of Jesus from Adam twice, and why do they differ so radically?"

One is Mary's lineage and one is Joseph's.

If you are wondering why ma... (Below threshold)
2k352lkl24:

If you are wondering why many people believe in God and the afterlife, this web site gives a pretty clear explanation:

http://www.victorzammit.com/book/index.html


The web site also gives a lot of information on results of scientific investigations on the subject.


You're pretty smug aren't y... (Below threshold)
Allan Greaves:

You're pretty smug aren't you? I don't wish it for you, but if you ever got a bad report from a medical test; if you ever heard the words "you have cancer", I'll bet you start believing in God.

Ah, but wouldn't Joseph's b... (Below threshold)
Jay:

Ah, but wouldn't Joseph's be extraneous? Just sayin...

Excellent post JT. Fits my experience too, except I've known extremely moderate muslims and can't even say I saw anger seething. Almost dated one of them. This way predates 9/11, so maybe I didn't see it, but she liked things like hot tubbing and would not have wanted to go anywhere near Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.

OTOH I worked with a guy from the West Bank and dunno if he was muslim, but he was definitely seething underneath, and was contemptuous toward the women we worked with.

Allan, been there and done ... (Below threshold)

Allan, been there and done that (not cancer, but pretty unpleasant), and I don't have much respect for those who "find God" as an absolute last resort. That seems the shallowest form of faith -- born not of sincerity, but fear.

My lack of faith is not something I take pride in or feel shame of; it simply is.

Laura, had to do some digging (don't have my Bible handy), but Matthew 1:1-16 runs Adam to Joseph, while Luke 23:38 runs it backwards, from Joseph to Adam -- and they do NOT match up.

J.

I agree with you, Jay. I'm ... (Below threshold)

I agree with you, Jay. I'm tolerant of nearly every religion out there BUT Islam. I don't care what the Catholics or Hindus do for kicks as long as they leave me alone but far too many members of the Religion of Peace want to shoot my Jewish ass and far too few of them speak out against them doing it. I don't think all Muslims are terrorists but too many of them are and way too many of them aren't doing anything about it.

"Ah, but wouldn't Joseph's ... (Below threshold)

"Ah, but wouldn't Joseph's be extraneous? Just sayin..." No.

But I don't want to hijack the thread for an extraneous detail, so I won't comment on it again. It just caught my attention, it's one of the "inside baseball" things that people outside the church rarely know about (no reason for them to know about it) and often call "mistakes" in the bible.

I dated a muslim woman a fe... (Below threshold)
BC Monkey:

I dated a muslim woman a few years ago- what you're saying about the cauldron of fury below the surface is, in my experience, correct. Very nice and wonderful until the subject of jews, israel or the US came up, then BOOM. Foam flecked fury

Laura, that's a cool page. ... (Below threshold)
Jay:

Laura, that's a cool page. I was just joking about that whole "son of God" schtick though. Still, if adoption in the face of uncertain paternity is considered to make the adoptive father's lineage legally your own even if some other dude or deity is really the father, then it fits. :>

Jay - doh! I'm a bit under... (Below threshold)

Jay - doh! I'm a bit undercaffeinated and didn't get the joke. Time to thank God for my Capresso and have another cup. ;-)

There is something... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
There is something deep within me that simply cannot accept the tenets of faith, of believing in something that not only cannot be proven, but by its very nature must not be proven.

The fundamental tenet of science is that the universe is governed by laws that can be understood by humans. When you accept that notion you’re doing so by faith, same as every other religion. Many say, “but there’s so much scientific evidence that it must be true” Yet that response is just faith in the witness of others who have done various experiments and developed theories, same as having faith in the witness of the Bible. To really know the universe is governed only by laws that can be understood by humans, some being (human or otherwise) would have to do all the experiments themselves so they wouldn’t be dependent on the witness of others. They would also have to know every detail of the universe and be able to explain it. To do that a person would have to live an indefinite amount of time and have to be present personally in every part of the universe. Only then could they declare from knowledge that there is no god. Of course they would likely realize before hand that to know there is no god, one needs to be god. Thus, you, me and all people believe in something that cannot be proven. You are a man of faith Jay, you just haven’t come to terms with it yet.

why does the Bible list the lineage of Jesus from Adam twice, and why do they differ so radically?)

One if the lineage from Marry and the other from the lineage of Joseph.

In your long list of religions you forgot “Atheism”. You would do well to remember the problems and the number of people that died under the rule of officially atheistic governments and the threat they have posed and still pose to the U.S.

The Bible is a true and authentic witness of God and his dealings with humanity. Open your eyes and you’ll see that the prophesies of the Bible are unfolding as the end of this age approaches. God’s plan for salvation is simple. He sent Jesus to pay the full price for all sins for all people for all time. Nevertheless, you must affirmatively receive the gift of salvation or stand before the Judge on your own merits. Salvation rests on your personal relationship with Jesus and nothing else.

Jay,I understand you... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Jay,
I understand your confusion concerning religion, especially Christianity. There are a lot of "pretenders to the throne", so to speak. The only way to know what is correct and real is to study the source, not just some tome that suits your immediate needs. There are philosophical and biblical answers to your confusion. But both roads take an indepth and expansive investigation of your reasoning processes, worldview and willingness to persevere to find the truth even when learning it you still may not submit to it. I was raised Presbyterian but was not aware of what doctrine really meant. Couldn't have cared less. I also judged the faith by the actions of those professing...BIG MISTAKE! They always let me down. I didn't want any part of it. But during the early 80's, I was called to become a believer through the grace of God and started a long arduous path of study and personal review of Christianity. I found through these past 20 odd years there was a firm compelling and convicting answer to all my questions, thoughts and fears. It was based on solid philosophical and logical grounds not evidential application. It was life changing (aka "born again"). But it's not for all. Biblically Christ said that my sheep will hear my voice and will know me. Whether you're called or not is between you and God. But as a believer I can defend the existence of Him and from there what true doctrine is. I didn't want this to start a debate on the existence of God (the Judeo/Christian God of the Bible) on your thread, but I am willing to answer any questions you have via email. By the way, I found that most American churchs preach a "different Jesus" from what is in the actual text. I'm in the reformed Presbyterian church but they even at times don't fully exposit biblical doctrine (probably because it is too harsh for some to comprehend). Good luck in your quest (should you have one).

PS..slight differences in various translations of biblical text (such as the lineage trace of Jesus) are called variances. There are several in the Bible. The Bible is considered the infallible word of God. Infallible means that it is incapable of being defective in matters of doctrine (teaching), not that there are not variances.

Jay:It appears tha... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Jay:

It appears that saving your heathen soul is more important to many, that worrying about getting their butts blown out of the sky some day.

I can't let this one go. <... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

I can't let this one go.
MacLorry...Christ did not die for all...it would behove you to pick up an innerlinear Bible with a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and read John 3:16 in the original first century Greek. Then study Romans (from the Textus Receptus in the first Century Greek) concerning salvation before you issue anymore absolute credas. You want to make sure that you don't mislead any sheep here.

If I may respectfully sugge... (Below threshold)

If I may respectfully suggest to Christians who will be posting in this thread:

Don't proselytize Jay Tea. He said, "I tend to have a very laissez-faire attitude toward religion -- if they don't try to convert me, I won't attack their faith. I think of it as a form of mutual respect."

By all means pray for him, but Mac Lorry and prohoridzo have probably said all there is to be said. The point of this post was not Jay Tea's doubts about Christianity, but his distrust for Islam and why its adherents don't take a stronger position about terrorism. Continuing to witness to him, by his own account, would be a lack of mutual respect. Which does nothing to bring him closer to faith.

Just my 2 cents...

Is it the idea of faith/rel... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Is it the idea of faith/religiousity or is it the Church (organisation) that makes you not believe in God? Or is it that you just simply believe there is no 'meaning of life', we are on earth by pure happenstance; no divinity or divine plan.

There is a difference between Atheist and Agnostic, they are not the same.

USMC PilotYour state... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

USMC Pilot
Your statement is illogical. The two points don't comport. Stand down.

Laura,You are corr... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

Laura,

You are correct.

It seems to me that my first thoughts and words when Eric Robert Rudolph bombed abortion clinics and some people linked him to Christianity was to denounce his 'brand of Christianity', this just NEVER HAPPENS from any Muslims...EVER.

BTW, Eric Rudolph is a racist and bombed for racists reasons, not faith or prolife issues.

I have a deep faith, which is Christian, but I don't preach or go to Church....I too believe it is personal.

Wow Jay, great posts. It's ... (Below threshold)

Wow Jay, great posts. It's posts like that that makes a brother stick around Wizbang. Like you, I am an agnostic-though I suspect you probably believe more in a some form of God than I do-but I do respect all religions, and other people's beliefs. I think it's a personal thing, and I don't like proselytizing. Which is why I respect the Jewish religion so much, if you feel what they are putting down, you are welcome to join, but they aren't going to beg you to become a member of the Jewish faith.

I love how you tied religion to the war on terror, and dared all muslims, (not only the terrorists and extremist) to put up or shut up; and just leave everybody else alone.

Prohoridzo, with all due respect, I think what you said is beautiful. But that's YOUR journey, and it was personal to you. So good for you, we all take different paths to get to different places in life. And as long as we don't harm other people or hinder them from doing what they want to do, no harm no foul.

Allan, many people have heard those words, and worse worse than that: "I am going to kill you now", or "the plane is going down", and I am sure they called on God. But sadly, I don't think it helped much. Well, I suppose as an insurance policy in case they bought the farm, but that's about it.

The truth is Allan, if you drive through North Philly this morning, you will find lots and lots of people in churches on every block. Poor, down trodden people, whose neighborhoods have gone to sh#%. Somehow, all the preaching and praying in the world won't stop the crack dealers from preying on their kids, or all the murders -260 plus and counting- from taking.
place in their back yards.

Sorry, their God is going to have to step his game up for me to believe he gives a damn about them.

By the same token, all the ... (Below threshold)

By the same token, all the Christians I know who are aware of Phelps and his spawn take the time to denounce him.

In all fairness, though, a handful of Muslims have denounced terror in a serious way (as opposed to what CAIR does) but they don't seem to get much press, or support from the Muslim community. Remember Wafa Sultan on al Jazeerah?

I'm not agnostic, I'm a Pre... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I'm not agnostic, I'm a Presbyterian, but I think the post has much truth to it. Faith is a personal thing, despite attempts at forced conversions in Muslim lands.

The only Muslims I've known were ex-Muslims: some of the folks who left Iran after the Shah fell in the late '70's attended my school. They were nice people, and the ones I knew had given up on Islam due to the intolerance and violence.

Perhaps the religion was "hijacked" by Mohammed who apparently was a military conquerer, as best as I can tell, a prophet with a nasty streak.

Laura,I don't consid... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Laura,
I don't consider defending the faith proselytizing...do you?
Had Jay's point only been about Islam then he would have not included the rest. He could have just said he was coming at the Muslim problem from an agnostic point of view. But he used comparative religion to make a biased interpretation of why Muslims do what they do. He is abhorred with the actions of Muslims (as we all are) that enact their will and persecution on non- Muslims. They would say that they are following Koranic dictates. He would say they are crazy. In order to form that opinion he revealed his philosophical underpinnings. Jay uses Christianity to form his viewpoint without giving it credit. If he wants to explore why he has that uncredited worldview, then let him do so...don't discourage him. I understand your reticence in not wanting to upset Jay with calls for introspection, but let Jay determine that.

prohoridzo, I think that Go... (Below threshold)

prohoridzo, I think that God is sovereign, that Jay has heard the truth many times, and that repeating it is counter-productive. You do as you think best.

F-NPerhaps we should... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

F-N
Perhaps we should do a JFK and ask not what God can do for us, but ask what we can do for God. .

I'm with Jay on this. Raise... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

I'm with Jay on this. Raised catholic and now, at best, Agnostic.

My lack of faith was arrived at bit by bit. Not some overnight conversion thing and I don't rule out a Supreme Being.

I rule out the organized religions as they exist today whatever their denomination. I find most of the teachings to be more about maintaining a pwer structure for the religious elite more than a guide to some sort of eternal salvation.

For example, I reject the notion the Bible is the Word Of God. It is, and not just my opinion but historical fact, a collection of written stories--some of which are quite possibly historical--which were agreed upon by a group of men. What books went into the Bible and which ones stayed out was dependant on the opinion of men and how THEY interpreted the Bible. there isn't even agreement on the books in the Bible between Catholics and Protestants.

In just looking at the Old versus New testament it appears to me that God is bipolar. Fire and brimstone smitting and genocide on hand and all love and forgiveness on the other--not sure I buy into a god equipped with the flaws of human emotion --or worse--mental disorders.

In my opinion it was put together by a group of men intent on preserving their power base and hierarchy and ultimately subjugating women. This is particularly true of the Catholic Church who, for centuries, portrayed arguably the lead Apostle, Mary Magdelene, into a prostitute and outlawed the translation of the Bible so others wouldn't figure it out.

Many Christian churches abstain from alcohol and use the Bible as justification--yet the first miracle performed by Jesus--according to their book--was to change water into wine for a party.

As soon as an Evangelical starts quoting chapter and verse all I hear are noises like the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon. Quoting the Bible to justify the Bible is a circular argument to me and I reject the authority of the book itself--much like I reject the Koran as another book written by a human justifying his assumption of power--or the Torah--or just about any other religious doctrine. To put it another way I consider the Bible and other religious tomes on par with L Ron Hubbard's self-aggrandizing book of Dianetics. His only really differs in that it was written fairly recently but it's no more fanciful than the others.

All that being said, however, Fundamentalist and evangelical Christians annoy the hell out of me....but they don't frighten me. Islam is another story--or at least the Islam pushed by the extremists and quietly being accepted by the non-extremists. I fear it now like I would have feared the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.

Fundamentalist Islam has little to do with worshipping Allah and everything to do with subjugating the masses to the bidding of a select few self-annointed leaders.

The question that intrigues... (Below threshold)

The question that intrigues me is WHAT will it take for the billion or so peaceful Muslims to start publicly, loudly, repudiating terrorism AND for the media to report on it enough so that it is encouraged and more people step up?

After the 7/7 bombings, Adrian Warnock blogged about a survey that proclaimed that only 5% of British Muslims thought the attacks were justified. The problem was that 5% of British Muslims are 80,000 people. And since we have the number, 5%, what if only 5% of those 80,000 people wanted to act on that opinion? That's 4,000 people. After the 7/7 anniversary, the number of people who thought the attacks were justified was reported as 13%. I've never seen a similar study in the US, but I'd be really interested in one.

If even 5% of British Muslims took a loudly proclaimed stance against Islamic terrorism, that would mean 4,000 people writing letters, calling in to radio stations, begging to be interviewed on TV, and most importantly, outing extremists in their midst. That would make a huge difference. But they don't do it, and the question is why? I think two reasons: they implicitly agree, even if they don't want to get their hands dirty, and if they disagree, fear.

What is the ultimate point ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

What is the ultimate point of Islam? "Convert to Islam or die, because Islam's essential truth is ____________________." I'm having a hard time with what goes in the blank.

What is it that the Muslims think is more important about Islam over any other religion that makes the conversion of non-adherents so damn important?

A belief in Mohammed? To what end. A belief in Sharia, why? Is the process more important than the reasons for the process? If so, what are the reasons?

They all seem wound up in denying the humanity of the person. It's a sad religion if you think about it.

Jay, my apologies for track... (Below threshold)

Jay, my apologies for tracking back from the wrong blog. The trackback from Panting Hart was in error.

It is about land and protec... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

It is about land and protection of the Arab (ie Muslim) race. It's origins are w/Abraham's first son. During the 7th century the Arab race was spread out over the entire middle east and Mohammed was able to "unionize" them w/Islam. The Koran is at best a schizophrenic apologetic of how to subjugate and replenish the Arab race in order to sustain it. Any land taken by a Muslim is theirs ad infinitum. Any land that has a Muslim in it is theirs, period. Therefore all the world is theirs. The conversion to Islam is mandatory in order to maintain the possession of the appropriated property. It is irrationality made rational for a billion people. If you ask why would anyone irrationally follow this religion, all you have to do is look to the secular world and see other examples such as pragmatism, Liberalism, marxism or decontructionism. Same mindset...just not as pronoucned or actionable. You can go look all this up on the net. There is no appeasement, there is only stopping it by any means. It is inherent in the culture and we are just seeing the fringes of it. There is much more to come. I recommend Phares' "Future Jihad" for bedtime reading...though you won't be able to sleep once you start.

Heh - check this LGF post o... (Below threshold)
I come from a Methodist bac... (Below threshold)
Peg C.:

I come from a Methodist background (started in New England also) and find my beliefs amazingly in sync with yours. I, too, find myself greatly sympathetic toward people of certain faiths (Christians, Jews) without partaking of or participating in those faiths.

Mainstream Protestant religions have veered far to the Left and lost most credibility.

My distrust of Islam know no bounds. Put baldly, it represents pure evil to me. If there is anything that could get me back into Christian churchgoing, it is the threat Islam represents.

Prohoridzo,I'm not... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Prohoridzo,

I'm not ignorant of the point you're making, but what I said is correct. I didn't say that all would be saved, although there are some who believe that and cite scripture to support their position. My point is that the sacrifice Jesus made is absolute. Cite exceptions if you disagree.

Sorry prohoridzo, I see far... (Below threshold)

Sorry prohoridzo, I see far too many people doing a whole heck of a lot for god, and he ain't reciprocating.

Faith+1,Not to be to... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Faith+1,
Not to be too "annoying", but I would recommend that you do some more research into the subject matter (the Bible). Here is an excellent start for anyone who wants to be accurate on the origins of the Bible.

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/bible.html

I can recommend others once you have reviewed this rather exhaustive site.

Laura,I understand... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Laura,

I understand your point about mutual respect, but I get the sense that Jay assumes his position is based on logic and science, while religious people base their positions on blind faith. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t meet my definition of mutual respect. I can’t prove what I believe is true, but I can sure prove that no one’s position on such matters is based on knowledge. Once the playing field is level, that is, that everyone’s position is based on faith, then it’s possible to exchange ideas that may lead to a better understanding of others and their positions.

Pro, thanks for the post.</... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Pro, thanks for the post.

FN, you're an angry man. You can't see because you won't see. Get over your anger, and you will see much beauty in this world.

prohoridzo:My poin... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

prohoridzo:

My point makes absolute sense to most, but I'll explain it to you.

Instead of responding to Jay's main idea, which was that the Muslim faith seems to condone terrorism, many responses where aimed at his declaration of being an agnostic. Unless you have been recently promoted to commandant, you can forget ever telling me to stand down. Arrogance is not a becoming trait, and will not get you closer to God.

Mac LorryYou said<br... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Mac Lorry
You said
"He sent Jesus to pay the full price for all sins for all people for all time."

I noted the "all people". If you want to retract that statement, please do.

But also please note that to receive the "gift of Salvation" there must be a giver. Someone who has control over the gift prior to giving. That Someone also has determination as to who will He will give it to. He either gave it to all or to some. It can't be both ways. Salvation is not an easy thing. The Greek word used in the New Testament is "Sozo". It means that you start at point A and take a long trip to arrive at point B. Someone cannot just simply open their eyes and they are Saved if they are dead in their sins. I was pointing out the Scripturally accurate definition of that and giving you some information to advance your education on the subject. And yes, I admit guilt to citing Scripture. Perhaps you would rather I cite the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita or the Four Noble Truths" of Buddhism. Please...words mean things..be careful of what you mean.

Mac, I agree with you that ... (Below threshold)

Mac, I agree with you that the playing field isn't level and on what the assumptions are. I'm just disagreeing as far as "strategy." When someone basically announces that they will not "hear" you, I think it's wiser to go pray for their ears to be opened than it is to continue the discussion under those circumstances. God will level the playing field and make fruitful discussion possible - in His timing, not ours.

prohoridzo,Been th... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

prohoridzo,

Been there done that. You aren't dealing with a 20-something year old in search of himself here. Been around the world and around many "churches".

To me The Koran, Bible, Torah, Dianetics and any other book you want to quote is a bunch of bunk written by men for men to keep men in power over the masses--period. And nothing in history does anything to disprove that.

As to the site you posted. Thanks, I needed a good reference to portray the crap I've been talking about. It is the epitome of the self-appointed elitism I see in the supposedly "saved" preaching to the unwashed masses. It does nothing but use the Bible to try and prove the Bible in a circular logic argument. It is exactly the kind of site I needed to so blatantly display everything that is WRONG in the modern man-made, human run, self-interested self-feeding "churches" of today.

Let me say it again. The Bible (in whatever the numerous versions you wish to quote--even the Koran isn't as schizophrenic) is not a holy book, it wasn't written by God and is nothing but a collection of stories told down through the ages. I reject it as a source of spiritual salvation.

USMC Pilot,You have ... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

USMC Pilot,
You have no idea of my credentials or what I do for a living. As I explained in earlier posts, Jay could have used another form to express his point of view. He choose to use a religious one. In fact he chose a very provacative title of "For god's sake". The discussion is about the application of religion by Muslims to justify their behavior. To understand that behaviour and have the moral justification to call that behaviour wrong, Jay unstatedly borrows from Christianity to do so. He also choose to interact w/Laura on that point. As Christians we are called to defend the faith just as you are called to defend the constitution. So your interpretation and comments are off base. You being a jet jockey (if you are one) does not entitle you free reign over what is discussed. While I have great admiration for your service to our country, I work with brass (2+) quite a bit and they know when not to challenge personal religious beliefs when it comes to matters of interpretation. I would encourage you to follow the example. BTW next time you talk to God, let me know. I'm always amazed to hear from someone who knows what God is thinking.

Small correction, pro: The ... (Below threshold)

Small correction, pro: The commenter who wrote "I was just joking about that whole "son of God" schtick though." was not Jay Tea, it was Jay from Accidental Verbosity.

Faith+1I gave you th... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Faith+1
I gave you that site so that you would stop embarassing yourself with factual inaccuracies concerning the Bible (historically and as literature) not to whether you believe it or not. Your past statements are loaded with personal conjecture and not fact. Socrates wrote that "the only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." You have seen the product of ignorance in the events that you rail about. I gave you a source of knowledge. It's up to you if you want to stay ignorant.

Faith+1One last thin... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Faith+1
One last thing. Do you consider what the Islamic Terrorists are doing wrong?

I'm not seeing the whole "m... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I'm not seeing the whole "men invented the Bible to hold power over other men" thing.

Didn't Christ eschew Kings and say that there was only one Ruler? How does the story of Christ lead the complaint that it was concocted to hold others in their place?

Now, I can see that being said of the Koran. And there are parts of the Bible that go off in tangents, but basically, it is a religion of peace, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

pro:You're just so... (Below threshold)

pro:

You're just some guy commeting in response to a post. And that's all we know.

Jay said that he couldn't/wouldn't judge a faith based on its source writings, but that he would judge it by the behavior of its adherents. Judging the tree by it fruits, so to speak. Based on his observations, not the source writings, he finds Islam wanting and downright scary.

As do I.

F-N,One of the bigge... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

F-N,
One of the biggest fallacies in the Protestant Church today is that we are somehow rewarded by God for doing the right thing. We think that we can make a bargain with God to get what we want. I call it a tit for tat syndrome. But, nowhere in the Bible does it assure us of earthly rewards. In fact it's just the opposite. Instead of asking God why is He doing all this bad stuff to us, we should be asking God why are we such desparate sinners, fall on our faces and ask forgiveness for our sins. Christianity is not an entitlement. God's love has to be earned by following his commandments. He drove his chosen people the Israelites into the Babylonian captivity for seventy years for allowing idol worship into Israel and not letting the fields lie fallow once every seven years. It was a horrible time. Do you think that He has any Mercy on those who allowed their neighborhoods to go to pot (no pun intended)? If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. Take a look at Hurrican Katrina. Miss. got going and cleaned up and are back up and running. NOLA's are still disbursed, disenfranchised and w/out hope. The difference in the two is the culture. One is a self reliant culture and the other is an entitlement culture.
Perhaps you should take a closer look at who is at fault here instead of unleasing your anger on God.

leelu,What makes you... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

leelu,
What makes you think I'm a guy?

Back to the subject. How does Jay judge? What makes up Jay judgements? Why are Jay's judgements any better or more just than say UBL's? Different religions judge differently, so what makes Jay's more moral than others? Which ones do you chose to observe to make that judgement and why?
Now most people just look at things and make a decision based on unspoken logic. But a myriad of conditions and artifacts go into making decisions.
All decisions are biased. You have to look at the biases to determine the value of the judgement. Jay's bias comes from a Judeo/Christian point of view even though he denys it. I have no problem with that. I wish he would take a deeper look at why he thinks as he does. But that's up to him. But to make a morally absolute judgement, one has to have the underpinings of an absolute value system (except when you're a pragmatist and then you're like jello). Islam has what it considers a morally absolute judgement system. So what do we use to compare it with? Is one third of the earth's population morally wrong? Compared to what. Logically as a Christian, I can make sense of why it is morally right to be repulsed by Islam and the heinous acts that are purpetrated in it's name. That gives me comfort in the knowing that I can only find safe harbor in Christ. Does that mean I'm a pacifist? No way. I'll fight to the bitter end and to a greater reward. But that being said, you are right with your simplistic analogy. Islam is scary.

Pro:I never claime... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Pro:

I never claimed to have talked to God, but it sure seems as if you do so daily. Most of your writings today are of an extremely condescending nature. Your right, I have no idea of your background or education, but I know your type so very well.

I, like Jay, am an agnostic. I cannot prove that God does not exist, just as you can not prove that God does exist. I capitalize God out of respect for those who do believe. I have choosen to live my life by the golden rule, not out of fear of an after life, but because I have to live with myself in this one. When religions stop killing in the name of God, I might consider looking in to the matter a little further.

BTW, I was a helicopter pilot.

USMC,First, thank yo... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

USMC,
First, thank you for your service to our country (from one who works w/intel).
Putting aside the "my type" comment, I find it interesting that you unknowingly cite Mathew 7:1 (All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.) and the Talmud Shabbat 3id (What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.) as the philosophy you live by. As a Christian, I don't mind you borrowing from my faith...it's a great way to live.
You said:
"I cannot prove that God does not exist, just as you can not prove that God does exist."

USMC, I can prove the existence of God, the Judeo/Christian God of the Bible.

I would be willing to have that debate, although I think that for the sake of the others on this thread (so as not to hijack the thread) it should be via email. You can let me know.

Pro:bdgoetz@bellso... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Pro:

bdgoetz@bellsouth.net

Take your best shot.

P.S. - If you take some sort of holier than thou attitude I will not respond. Also "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" has always been enough for me.

USMCThanks. ... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

USMC
Thanks.
I'll be there in a few...have to finish dinner w/family first. Just in case.

prohoridzo@gmail.com

Pro has done a pretty thoro... (Below threshold)

Pro has done a pretty thorough job extrapolating Jay Tea's beliefs and positions, but I think I might be better qualified to do so. After all, I've known the guy for almost 39 years.

I started out by citing other religions besides Islam for a couple of reasons. First was to get a few things off my chest. Second was to spell out my (very slender) theological background and to express my general ignorance and willful separation from any specific religious tenets or denominations. I worked mainly from the "Christian" perspective because, like the vast majority of Americans, that is the general faith in which I was brought up.

leelu seems to have nailed it perfectly. My whole point was no to judge a faith based on its tenets, but on the actual leaders. "By their deeds shall ye know them" is how I think the phrase goes. I could have cited the example of Mormons sending out teenagers with name tags calling them "Elders" (always good for a giggle) or the annoying Jehovah's Witnesses who come right up to your door and try to evangelize you, but again in both cases the people (apart from those annoying pratices) tend to be decent, honest folk.

It's the Muslims that seem to have the highest percentage of raving, hateful, dangerous psychotics in high positions of authority, and who tend to act out the most frequently.

One last thing: I said up front that I have a very laissez-faire relationship with religion: it leaves me alone, I'll leave it alone. My dear friend Candy, an extremely devout evangelican Christian, knows better than to "work" on me except in the most delicate ways, because she knows it'll just piss me off no end. That still didn't keep a few folks from trying to "show me the truth" above.

Foks, I've seen most of those truths. I'm glad they work for you, but it doesn't for me. Don't push me and I won't push back. Deal?

J.

Jay:I believe that... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Jay:

I believe that the religions that send their young people out to convert the heathen masses, don't do so to save the masses but to convince their young people. There's nothing like trying to convince someone else for convincing yourself.

"The difference in the two ... (Below threshold)

"The difference in the two is the culture. One is a self reliant culture and the other is an entitlement culture.
Perhaps you should take a closer look at who is at fault here instead of unleasing your anger on God."

So here it comes, I knew it was just a matter of time. So let me guess, the black ones in La. rely on others, while the white people in Ms. do for self, right Pro.? I mean let's just forget that the people who were hit in Ms. had more wealth to begin with. Careful now Pro., you are not being very christ like, you are prejudging an entire race of people. Would jesus do that? I think you need to pray a little more for an open mind there Pro. what happended to all those teachings you were giving in the above posts, don't you think you should practice what you preach? It's still Sunday, if I were you, I would make a b line back to church.

Anyway, it's nice to know that ignorance is a universal trait, whether you are christian, muslim,gnostic or whatever.

Sorry Mitchell, I have to stay angry, I can't lose sight of who I am in this country. My anger motivates and drives me. Besides, there is just so much to be angry about ;)


Sheesh, Jay that was the fi... (Below threshold)

Sheesh, Jay that was the first thing I noticed when I started reading the comments. It seems I walked right into an evangelical's convention. I grew up Catholic but am currently non-practicing. I know much about Catholicism and for those that generically espouse Protestant (read: Fundamentalist Christian) views as wholly Christian, need to read up a bit more. The Bible is not infallible. It was written by men. Heck, it even contradicts itself a few times. Some stories aren't even written by a single author, but collaborations of a few that were jumbled together. I read an interesting book in my mother's library titled "Who wrote the Bible?", and a good portion of the book covered the Noah's Ark story, demonstrating the differeing styles of text used in piecing together that story (Example, one author who generically describes the ark, and the other describes the measurements in detail).

And as someone mentioned, evangelicals just push people like me farther away. When someone who effectively walks up to you and pushily says "have you found Jay-zus yet?", then starts quoting the scripture to back themselves up, citing chapter verse (often taking those quotes out of context, too), it just turns me off.

Everyone has already heard your message, stop it and just have an honest discussion about the content of his post.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Jay, it is posts such as this are why you are a treasure to all the readers here @ Wizbang. In fact, you're one of the reasons that I came back to Wizbang when I first visited this blog (Kevin posted more news-like articles and Paul was inflammatory, while your posts seemed more personable). One could read entirely through and wholeheartedly agree (or at least see the point your making and find little to disagree with).

Keep it up, I'm rootin for you

Good enough Jay. Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Good enough Jay. Thanks for the kudo on my part...understand that as a Christian I am called to defend the faith. What you believe is between you and whatever you wish (even if its a cucumber). I wish you the best and look forward to reading post from you on occasion. But hey, if you ever want to discuss. You have my email. Good luck.

What race?? The Louisianna ... (Below threshold)
914:

What race?? The Louisianna pilgrims or what?

Uh, FN, when did all the hu... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Uh, FN, when did all the huricane victims in MS become white and NOLA black?
You're reading into things again.
HOwever, aside from the culture differences in the more rural MS (having lived in both rural and metropolitan areas, it's my exp that country mice are much better at pulling themselves up by their boot straps than city mice), there is the issue of infrastructure. NOLA lost much more of theirs, and that has a huge impact on recovery.

F-N,That is a racist... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

F-N,
That is a racist remark. I bet you use that a lot to win arguments but it won't work with me. I've got some experience with that. If you had an inkling of knowledge about the MS coast line you would know that is is just as African American as NOLA. It has nothing to do w/race but with culture. Culture...look it up. Wikipedia. Once you get that huge chip off your shoulder, perhaps you can start to understand what it takes to make a difference.
The only ignorance here is your inability to see the facts as they are. But of course you're probably all talk and no action. Big hat no cattle. Why don't you try spewing that racism w/someone who cares. Better yet...volunteer for an Al Sharpton rally. You will be in good company.

No pro. you brought race in... (Below threshold)

No pro. you brought race into the mix, although I think is was rather subconscious on your part. And for your information, I know quite a bit about Louisiana and Ms. The Ms. coast line is not as Af.Am in terms of who were effected by this storm and you know it. So don't try to back out of your conclusions now by making silly points.

Also, you are really showing your ignorance; not all black folks like Al. Sharpton, I happen to think he is a charlatan and a fraud. Kind of like many other pastors I happen to know. (Whoops, sorry about that, maybe a little too close to home for you) But you get the point.

"Big hat no cattle"

Ahhh, yeah, you are right about the cattle part. I don't have any. -You must be from Texas- But I do wear a pretty big hat ;)

Prohoridzo, <blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Prohoridzo,

I noted the "all people". If you want to retract that statement, please do.

When I say all people I mean humankind or the older "mankind." Jesus came in the form of a man to pay the price for the sins of mankind as in all mankind. My next sentience after the one you quoted makes it clear that salvation requires accepting what Jesus did.

He either gave it to all or to some. It can't be both ways.

You seem to be missing a simple point. While God gives salvation freely, it must be received. A person does that by believing with their heart and confessing with their mouth. Yes, the Holy Spirit must lead a person to that point, yet they have the choice of receiving salvation or not. Refusing the Holy Spirit’s invitation is dangerous because a person may not get another invitation, and you are right, a person cannot accept salvation apart from the Holy Spirit.

Salvation is not an easy thing. The Greek word used in the New Testament is "Sozo". It means that you start at point A and take a long trip to arrive at point B.

The work of Salvation has already been done. A person simply needs to accept the invitation of the Holy Spirit and receive it. The hard part for many is defeating their pride and humbling themselves.

Someone cannot just simply open their eyes and they are Saved if they are dead in their sins.

Everyone is dead in their sins before they are saved. The Holy Spirit must turn on the light, but it’s up to every person to open their eyes while the light is on.

I was pointing out the Scripturally accurate definition of that and giving you some information to advance your education on the subject.

Well thanks. I don’t believe in absolute predestination, but rather that God knows beforehand who will accept salvation and who will not, yet it’s a choice people must make. You may assume my belief is ignorant, but to do so would suggest pride on your part.

I want to clear one thing u... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

I want to clear one thing up. The reason that evangelicals "push" themselves on people is that they think they realize the outcome of an "unprofessing" person. That outcome is of course hell (or separation from God). They do it out of love and concern for the individual as well as other things such as self importance and dedication to a cause. While I don't consider myself an evangelical, I do defend the faith as called. This is sometimes taken as smugness, arrogance and ignorance.
While the intention is good, the result is sometimes not. While I don't consider myself an mainstream evangelical, I do defend the faith as called.
Everyone should take a big deep breath and remember that we are all human beings whether Saved or not. We are all where God wants us to be whether Christian or not. Not all are called.

MacLorryI can see th... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

MacLorry
I can see that you are an Arminian (dispensationalist). That theory, while now rampant in the Anerican Church was dispensed with at the Council of Dort in the 16th century. It crept back in 1840 under Darby. The maintenance of your proposal is scripturally impossible. Brother, I exhort you to research in the original text, not a translation. If the bible is the infallible word of God, so it shall be. I don't want to take your response and pick it apart here. It serves no purpose but to cause a rift in front of non-believers. Just study!

F-NWhere did I menti... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

F-N
Where did I mention race in my post? You're trolling for the negative so that you can act hurt and enraged. That is a straw dog that you threw up to dismiss the evident. It won't work here. If you are not a Sharptonite, you certainly portray youself in your responses as one. Once again, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
I find it interesting that you admit that most of the AF-Am ministers you know are like Sharpton yet you don't fault the people in Philly for following those corrupt ministers. Perhaps you should be mad at them instead of God.

pro:why should I t... (Below threshold)

pro:

why should I think other wise (guy/gal)? And, so what? On the interweb, no one knows who you are unless you tell us. I can see cranky & bitter, but not boy/girl.

Look to results to judge actions. And, sure there's a bias. Most of us think that random killing is *bad*. Most of us think that helping someone in need is *good*. Thise may be 'biases' to you, but they are core beliefs that give lives direction and value for many people.

Yeah, value judgements. But, look beyond my value, and ask yourself which choices make the world a better place? Kidnapping and conversion at gunpoint to a 'religion' that supports mass murder?

Or is it all opinion to you, pro, so it doesn't *really* matter what we say? What do you believe about, oh, say the value of mass murder? Good, bad, or just the same as building an orphanage?


"Sharptonite" ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Sharptonite"

What a great label.. Thx for the laugh.

leelu,Yeah..rock and... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

leelu,
Yeah..rock and roll, baby. Sorry, your post had me going there for a minute.
Back to reality.
So in your mind results matter. The Nazi's had core beliefs. The German country as a whole approved of those core beliefs. They got results. What makes your core beliefs better than theirs. The Chinese on habit abort girl babies who are worthless to the continuance of the male line. The country as a whole follows this practice. They think that this gets them good results. Pol Pot killed 3 million of his own countrymen in order to convert the rest to marxism. The majority of Cambodia followed his lead. It was a value judgement. Why is you judgement better?
The answer is obvious. I'm only pointing out that you should at least delve a little deeper into your belief system instead of dismissing the origin out of resistence to the Maker. Whether you become a believer is between you and God.

Prohoridzo, <blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Prohoridzo,

That theory, while now rampant in the Anerican Church was dispensed with at the Council of Dort in the 16th century.

The Council of Dort was limited to the Dutch Reformed Church, and it's decision was as much political as based in scripture. I'm familiar with the five points of difference and believe the Arminians have it right. I think you’ll agree that you and I are certainly not going to resolve that issue.

You say that "I can prove the existence of God, the Judeo/Christian God of the Bible." Well that's something I have to see, so please include me. Here's my address: maclorry27@yahoo.com

MacLorry,Thanks for ... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

MacLorry,
Thanks for your response. I once considered the dispensational movement. Not to belabor the point but once I was drawn to the actual original text (Textus Receptus) in context with the traditions and customs in the first century Greek, I was convicted that the arminians were wrong and in fact there was more to the five points than is usually portrayed. If you are amenable, I would like to also have a dialogue with you concerning dispensationalism via email. If USMC approves, I will include you on our emails.

prohoridzo,I’m pri... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

prohoridzo,

I’m primarily interested in your proof of God’s existence. You don’t need to copy me on what you send USMC, just send me your proof apart from what you send USMC. That way you don’t need his permission.

Thanks

MaclorryI would stil... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

Maclorry
I would still like to have a dialogue concerning dispensationalism. I have concerns about your understanding of the Council of Dort. Those cannons were added to the DRC and not as the result of their efforts. As I have said before, I don't wish to get into a theological argument here. But I also don't want to pursue a conversation on the subject via email if you are not amenable to it.

prohoridzo, I had ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

prohoridzo,

I had assumed your proof of God's existence did not rely on Calvinist doctrine. As far a arguing the merits of Calvinism vs. Arminianism, it would be like arguing Catholicism vs. Protestantism. It’s unlikely we would agree, so what good could come of it?

Pro. maybe the poor people ... (Below threshold)

Pro. maybe the poor people of Philly are in the dark. Why don't you come and help them or send someone? You seem to be very well schooled in theological dogma, and homeletics. Why would you have your fellow christian brothers and sisters following the teachings of...what did you call it? "Sharptonites"

BTW, I am not mad at god. It's hard to be mad at something or one, that you don't believe exists. I am mad at the system that let's these poor souls think that religion is their only hope out of a miserable life here on earth. That's what pisses me off. And people like you who go around promising a better way in the after life when you should be helping people here and now. Not to mention, going to some poor third world country and teaching them about your god, so that you can tithe them for every last penny they have, when they can't even afford to put food on their tables. That pisses me off too. Oh, and your friends in their mega churches with their million dollar broadcasting studios, begging poor grandmothers for their last social security check, so that they can get a new organ. Yeah I get pretty pissed at that one.

And that's not only the "Sharptonites". That's the Falwellites,the Dobsonites,the Swaggertites, and...well, you get the picture.

So no, I am not part of the problem; you are. And it's people like me who has to try to clean up the mess your problem creates every day. So while you pray, I do, and while you build that mega church, I try to help people build homes. I think that's what jesus would do right?

Ok, FN, I'll be Un-PC and s... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Ok, FN, I'll be Un-PC and say it, yeah, the black authorities and culture have been a problem in N.O. Is that not reality?

What the Hell are you thinking? You say the Sharpton types are frauds, and then ignore the damage they've caused?

We've had 40 years of bad leadership in the Black culture, what do you think is going to happen? Sheesh. I'm not afraid to say it.

I drive my Nicaraguan wife through the poor/black part of town in Durham, and she sees all the young black men hanging around at Noon, with no purpose. She says, these people don't know what they have. She didn't grow up rich; hell, Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the hemishpere.

For Christ sake, what are you thinking? Face the problem and be a problem-solver, and quit bitchin. Nothing got fixed with belly aching.

My Nicaraguan brother in law moved up here and got a job within 3 days. What the Fuck???

Mitchell, I don't want to b... (Below threshold)

Mitchell, I don't want to be rude, but who gives a f#@k about your Nicaraguan wife or brother in law? I am from Jamaica, and I know many people who came here and got jobs too. And I know of Puerto Rican stick up kids who were born and raised here and can't speak a lick of English. So what's your point?

Yes those lazy black men in Durham need to get up and get jobs, and the lazy ones in Philly, and Detroit, and New York too. Again, we have been there done that; acknowledged! Lazy people need to work. Poor black people need to pull themselves up by their boots straps blah blah blah. Those lazy five year olds need to get out of those housing projects and beg for quarters at stop lights... give me f#@%&%g a break!

Listen, I will tell you what I told the christian lady. I am working to make the problem better, and I faced the problem a long time ago. So I am not sure what you are getting at. If it's that having a Nicaraguan family helps you to see the problem better, I will take your word for it.
Good for you.

But you sound frustrated, and I am not sure what race you are, nor do I care. But if you happen to be black, may I suggest you do some soul searching and get back to me. Nothing is worse than a black man who can't find his way in America. It makes for a lot of confusion, and a crisis of self identity :)

BTW, Sharpton was never one of my leaders, and neither was anyone else that white America propped up as a mouthpiece for me. My leaders are my two parents, and the other positive role models I grew up around. Which by the way, is what I try to do to other young black men I happen to come across. It's called giving back.

F-NMy last response ... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

F-N
My last response to you is that you go get professional help before you self destruct. Your self-hatred is seething out of evey post you have made. Get help now before you harm others.

MacLorryLet those wh... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo:

MacLorry
Let those who have ears hear. Your right. No need to argue with you. Have a good life.

And this is my last post to... (Below threshold)

And this is my last post to you church lady. I think you have it a little twisted on the self hatred thing. I happen to love myself very much.

Which is why I don't need religion or anything else to make me whole.

And I suspect you will do way more harm to others than I ever will ;)

Peace!

<a href="http://porkopol... (Below threshold)
prohoridzo,So does... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

prohoridzo,

So does that mean you won't share your proof of God's existence with me?

Porkopolis,<blockquot... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Porkopolis,

The 'argument' itself then falls apart when its very methodology is then applied to the 'creator' KCA concludes with in its argument. Or put more simply, what process created the 'creator'?

The conservation of energy law states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system (such as the universe) remains constant. In other words, energy can be converted from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. In modern physics, all forms of energy exhibit mass and all mass is a form of energy.

That means that all the mass and energy in the universe has always existed and will always exist. Yet science demonstrates that the universe had a beginning, and thus, there was a time when the laws of nature were suspended. With the suspension of the laws of nature being a scientific fact, by what logic should we assume that cause always proceeded effect? Thus the implication of your question, which is that the creator must have been created is without merit.

pro:RTFP... *judge... (Below threshold)

pro:

RTFP... *judge* the results. And, answer the question.. is murdering 3000 people in the WTC morally equivalent to, say, building an orphangage?

"Why is you judgement better?
The answer is obvious. I'm only pointing out that you should at least delve a little deeper into your belief system instead of dismissing the origin out of resistence to the Maker. Whether you become a believer is between you and God."

My judgement is based on the result. Germans - 6 million dead. Stalin - 20 million dead. This is generally considered bad. Do you disagree? Please answer specific questions and quit tap dancing. You're running and hiding from the questions and issues.

And for us unenlightened, what is "the answer" of which you speak? As you said about yourself earlier, you *don't* know of my background, experience, or personal path. I'm just a guy (really) who's commenting on Jay's post. Don't presume to lecture me. Instead, engage me as a potential equal, and begin a dialog out of respect, if you aren't afraid of that. You arrogance is off-putting, and not conducive to conversation, convincing or conversion. I appreciate that you feel the need to defend you faith, but for Christ's sake, don't be an asshole about it.

Jay, have to correct you ab... (Below threshold)
eman:

Jay, have to correct you about something: "Buddhist Monks setting themselves on fire to protest the Vietnam War". You've probably seen the famous photo of a Vietnamese monk immolating themselves while calmly sitting in the Lotus position, an extraordinary act of self discipline by any measure. But the monks did not do this, despite it's propaganda use by anti-war groups, in protest of the war itself. What the monks were protesting was more self interested, anti-Buddhist measures taken by the South Vietnamese government, such as not allowing them to carry flags on the Buddha's birthday!
But your point still stands; the Buddhists destroyed themselves in a dramatic demonstration of spiritual power and did not resort to acts of terrorism, as Muslims habitually do.

But Buddhists talk a great deal about compassion for others without doing much about it. There are few, if any, Buddhist relief organizations, hospitals, schools. There are no Buddhist equivalents to Dr. Martin Luther King, or Gandhi.

WOW - I showed up really la... (Below threshold)
Candy:

WOW - I showed up really late for this party, didn't I? LOL.... This is "Jay Tea's Dear Friend Candy". I've known Jay for over ten years. He comes to my house for visits, spends many holidays with us, and we speak online or on the phone constantly.

USMC Pilot - I can honestly tell you that I WOULD prefer to see Jay saved for Christ than to worry about whether or not my fanny is going to get blown up by some terrorist psychos. I know where I'm going - I am NOT trying to be "holier than thou" because that stuff drives me insane. I'm just speaking the truth.

Wow! This was a very exhau... (Below threshold)
wallaboo:

Wow! This was a very exhaustive read. I only kept on because some of the things some people said really struck a cord with me. So, I'll try to not be redundant.
--
JT: Your post was very interesting to me. I like your attempt to be objective by including pros and cons to all religions. I do think you're being a bit unfair when judging the Islamic culture though. I don't know very much about very many religions, but I do know that the Muslims that I've personally known have been some of the nicest people I've met. It's very stereotypical to say that Middle Easterners are walking time bombs waiting to explode at any mention of the wrong topic. I do know some people like that, but the ones I can think of weren't even Muslim. Personality traits are individual, not cultural, not religious. I've even met self-proclaimed witches who were as sweet as can be, off beat, but sweet. :)
In any even, it seems almost as if you're looking for a well-fitted religion, as if you want something to believe in. That's my interpretation, but if that is the case, I would highly recommend looking again into Christianity. There are many different sects you can opt to go with that best suit your preferences. My family for example was very selective in finding the best fitting form of Christianity. Why not do the same?
--
F-N: I understand that you keep seeing all this hate and destructions and corruption in the world and it, as you say, angers you that people are being told to believe in God and that will solve their problems. Let me offer a perspective. First and foremost I am a Christian. I'm not here to bash anyone of their religions or lack there of. However, I don't think people are saying "Believe in God and it'll all be better." If they are, they shouldn't - that is very misleading. If anyone actually takes the time to read the Bible, it clearly states repeatedly that being a Christian does not make your life any easier, in fact it will more than likely make it more difficult. Believing in a greater being brings comfort for many. So just because it may not make a physical difference that you see, it may help bring peace amongst the chaos. That is a good thing. And if more people were to convert to Christianity, things would change drastically. The Bible calls for "doing the right thing". So, in theory, if these people were PRACTICING Christians then you would see a difference. Crime would decrease b/c that is wrong by definition in the Bible (and law). It's important to note that just because people go to church regularly does not mean that they are practicing Christians. I know many people who go to church and all 6 other days of the week act like complete fools and only make a bad name for Christians. Believing is only 1/2 the battle. Remember, even Satan BELIEVES in God. You have to act like a Christian - follow the Bible. So in short, the fact that you say there is tons of crime in areas full of people who go to church only proves that not all Christians PRACTICE their faith but just claim it. And it's hardly fair to say it's God's fault there's all this chaos when it's people who are not doing right. God gives us freewill. If we want to be idiots or kill people or grafiti or whatever, that's 100% on us, not who/what we believe in.
---
Mac Lorry: You want proof there is a God? I can help you out a bit. I can't give you a convenient web link, but I can recommend a book. It's called A Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel. It's actually quite interesting. The author is an investigative reporter who set out to prove that there is no God, and to do this scientifically. He interviewed many people, mostly scientists, from both sides of the argument (whether or not there is a God) and tried (very well) to present his information objectively. However, in the course of his mission, he ended up actually converting to Christianity due to the overwhelming scientific evidence that proves there is a God. All is presented very eloquently in his book. He also has a few others, A Case for Faith, A Case for Christ, A Case for Easter... there may be more. You might be interested in this. Hope you read it.
---
Prohoridzo: You have some very strong convictions and obviously enjoy sharing them with the world. More power to you. That's all fine and dandy, but you have to be careful not to be a punk. No one will really listen to you if you sound like your belittling others. I'm a very strong believing Christian and you're making me want to go hide. To be perfectly honest, while you do bring up many good points, your method of teaching is almost embarrassing. I say this only because you are being too aggressive and condescending. Nothing wrong with being evangelical, I am myself. But you don't do it to a point of scaring people off. And you don't do it in a condenscending manner, nor should you pass judgement. That may sound hypocritical of me b/c it sounds like I'm judging you. I'm really trying not to. But you call people ignorant and constantly talk down to people. You should know, since you seem so well versed in the Bible, that it says it is not for us to pass judgement, that is God's job. Equally, our job is to spread the Truth, the Good News, however you want to call it. You're right, we are called to witness for the Lord. But we are not to bash people over the head with it. If you really want to get someone to listen, try making a connection with them first and work in how God can improve things for them. Just an idea... perhaps easier said than done, but worth a try. I think it'd make more of a difference.
---
Who was it up there that said God is fickle and perhaps has a personality disorder? I mean this in the nicest way possible - that is the dumbest thing I've heard. God punishes those who need to be punished. God forgives those who genuinely ask for forgiveness. He's not fickle or subject to human whims. He's wiser than we could ever grasp. Unlike many parents, the Holy Father is actually able to let us suffer in order to learn a lesson. How many parents bail their kids out because of love? Those kids don't learn anything like that. They learn that they can do what they want and then Mommy and Daddy will come fix it all for them. God doesn't do that. He'll actually make us pay the consequences - out of love. He may smite sinners who refuse to repent. I suppose it's equivalent to a parent kicking a renegade kid out of the house.
I don't remember who said it (and I'm sure not re-reading all this to find out), but some one made some reference to Protestants being way off base and not keeping in line with the Divine truth. Being a Protestant, I find that extremely offensive. For those who don't know, Christianity is branched into 2 main categories: Chatholic and Protestant. From there Protestant branches into several more categories (ie: Mormon, Baptist, Evangelical Covenant, Presbyterian, etc.) All the branches differ, some slightly, some drastically. Personally, my family did our best to affiliate with the one that we felt followed the Bible most closely. My church preaches "when in doubt, follow the Bible". So I think it is highly unfair to clump all Protestants together and call them off base. All forms of Christianity have different practices but it's all in the name of the Lord and Jesus Christ. Why some practices are in place in some religions and not others eludes me, and that's fine. That's the beauty of faith, you don't need to know the why's. You just need to believe that you're doing the right thing.
With that said, lets address the Bible and it's many so called "contradictions and discrepencies". Like the whole alcohol thing that was addressed ages ago. The Bible does mention Jesus making wine for a gathering. But if you read the whole Bible, it also says don't drink to a state of drunkeness. So I think it's safe to say it's ok to drink, but not to the point of being a drunken idiot. A lot of times, discrepencies are just a matter of who's telling the story. There's the phrase "there are 2 sides to every story". That's true here. One even can transpire, all those involved and all those observing will all have different versions of the same story based on perspective and interpretation and memory (which is known to be flawed). That doesn't make any one story wrong, just different parts are emphasized or left out. The fact the stories differ merely means that these people are telling these stories without outside influence and are saying it how they remember it. Besides that, there is historical evidence that a lot of major parts (even the seemingly bizarre stories) are true. They've even pretty much proved that there was a crossing of the Red Sea, although from location and such, it wasn't really the Red Sea. They've been using the wrong name, long since established. Enough on the validity of the Bible now.
One more thing that I wanted to comment on: the historical violence of the Catholic church. I agree that a lot of laws were made to profit the church and a lot of things were done to prevent people from figuring it out. But that's old news. Choosing which books to keep in the Bible has been done - it doesn't make them any less true. (By the way, whoever said it, Catholic and Protestant Bibles are the same. I do believe that Mormon and/or 7th Day Adventist have an extra book or 2, but everything else is the same, even down to the order in which the books appear.) You can't blame current Christians for crimes in the ancient days of yore. It'd be like still being mad at white people for enslaving blacks. You'll never get over the past and make things better unless you forgive those who did the wrong and move on. We don't really have a choice in that matter anyway. It's either forgive and forget, or dwell on the past and be bitter. Which is the more productive option?
~I tried my best to cut this down, sorry guys.~

Nice post wallaboo. Damn, I... (Below threshold)

Nice post wallaboo. Damn, I might join the church of wallaboo now :)

PSYCHE! But seriously, nice post, I don't agree with you on a lot of things, but you came at me with some strong arguments.

Peace!

Ok, Blood for Odin has run ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Ok, Blood for Odin has run it's course. The new and improved mantra of the Wizbangers shall be "Wallaboo U". LOL - anyhow, thanks, Wallaboo, for your post.

One aside: I was brought up Catholic and I'm now Baptist. I would disagree about Catholic and Protestant bibles being the same. Catholic teachings lean heavily on saints, and one of the other major differences for me was that Catholics teach of Purgatory, from where one can be prayed to heaven. That's why my mother has so many masses said for all of our dead relatives. Protestants teach heaven or hell - Heaven for those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And sadly, hell for all others (hell being eternal separation from God). I may not have done a stellar job of explaining this (I'm dog tired) but I do know that although I knew Jesus had died for my sins, I never understood until the age of 28 that having a personal relationship with Him would change my entire life.




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