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Do Gays go to Heaven or Hell?
April 2, 2009
3:50 pm
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caraway
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bereft, (or is this really Jesus talking through bereft?)

You wrote:
"my reason is but to bring the truth and to bring the warning and to repeat the words of our blessed Savior. you think me ignorant, brain-washed, an extremist, hilarious, sad: it matters not. i will be all those things and more for Jesus' sake."

I say:
Come on! Who really talks like this. Were you sitting on a throne when your typed this? Ever heard this one? "GET OFF THE CROSS, SOMEONE ELSE NEEDS THE WOOD?"

Cary

April 2, 2009
3:53 pm
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This is from the 'What Did Jesus look like?" thread. guest_guest wrote:

Man to Jesus: "Hey, whatsup?"

Jesus: "Nothing, just hanging out"

Then I continued:

Man to Jesus: "Mind if I hang out with you? I'm gay."

Jesus: "Nope, don't mind at all."

April 2, 2009
3:57 pm
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caraway
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OMW,

Ok,now I get it.

Cary

April 2, 2009
4:24 pm
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cary,
Tell me why the Scripture quotes from bereft make you mad.

April 2, 2009
5:57 pm
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marypoppins
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SYMPTOMS OF RELIGIOUS ADDICTION
© Paschal Baute 1993

Inability to think, doubt, or question religious information and/or authority

Black-and-white, good/bad, either/or simplistic thinking: one way or the other

Shame-based belief that you aren't good enough or you aren't doing it right

Magical thinking that God will fix you/ do it all, without serious work on your part

Scrupulosity: rigid obsessive adherence to rules, codes of ethics, or guidelines

Uncompromising judgmental attitudes: readiness to find fault or evil out there

Compulsive or obsessive praying, going to church or crusades, quoting scripture

Unrealistic financial contributions

Believing that sex is dirty; believing our bodies or physical pleasures are evil

Compulsive overeating and/or excessive fasting

Conflict and argumentation with science, medicine, and education

Progressive detachment from the real work, isolation and breakdown of relationships

Psychosomatic illness: back pains, sleeplessness, headaches, hypertension

Manipulating scripture or texts, feeling specially chosen, claiming to receive special messages from God

Maintaining a religious "high", trance-like state, keeping a happy face (or the belief that one should...)

Attitude of righteousness or superiority: "we versus the world," including the denial of one's human-ness.

Confusion, great doubts, mental, physical or emotional breakdown, cries for help

The ultimate temptation of the believer is to assume that his or her way to God is the best or only way for others. The particular Way to God becomes what is adored, not the ineffable and incomprehensible Mystery to which we give the name of God.

In essence we have become addicted to the certainty, sureness or sense of security that our faith provides.

It is no longer a living by faith, with hope and growing in unconditional love.

adapted from When God Becomes a Drug, by Leo Booth

April 2, 2009
6:43 pm
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Everyone,
What marypoppins wrote is "religion" described. Way to go Mary. "Religion" is harmful, and binding, and hurts people EXACTLY the way described above, so I agree. When one takes God and makes him into something he isn't this is what may happen. Man has done this for centuries. I used to feel this way as a child in church. I had Catholic friends who used to feel this way because of all of the rules in their church, they always came up short. But then, I found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, invited him in, and it isn't this way for me anymore, thank goodness!!!! God is not about rules, law and regulations. You get to know him personally, and life changes for the better.

April 2, 2009
6:47 pm
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OMW,

Yea, there's a difference between an addiction and spirituality. Unfortunately, trying to talk someone out/away from their addiction, be it alcohol, drugs, sex, Jesus, whatever, is pretty futile. Denial, denial, denial.

Mary

April 2, 2009
7:00 pm
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Mari Kwante
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Mary and On my Way,

I really agree with you... I am a spritual person but people tend to take things a bit far.

I think it is an issue to even attempt to say where anyone will or will not go. If ALL sins are equal then there are no "better" sins to commit, and there are no "worse".

Living a positive life and if you are a follower of Christ then striving to be like him is the way to go. I dont agree with telling people where they will go or forcing my beliefs on others.

I have noticed that people respond to my gentle spirit and my passion/love for humanity. That is how I spread the love of Christ. NOT by telling them what to do and where they will go if the dont do what I say. I belive that Jesus paid it ALL for us ALL and because he did, it is a sin to point the finger at others.

Some of you pointing figures should look at the three point back at you... (the three you point at yourself when you point a finger at others)

April 2, 2009
10:20 pm
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bereft

On the 2-Apr-09 you wrote:

"here's my question: what matters more? that i be correct in what i believe, or that which i believe in be correct?"

This is an interesting question - judged as geing 'correct' according to whom, and compared with what criteria?

I do not know what is more important to you. I can only speak for myself.

Being "correct in what i believe" suggests taking some scripture on blind faith as being absolute truth and then having the wisdom and insight to know that my belief and that of the scripture are one and the same.

This implies a lack of faith in one's own ability to base one's beliefs on one's own ways of knowing; ways of knowing that involve not only the intellect but deep meditation experiences within the depths of one's own mind. Therefore such a person feels compelled to rely upon the authority of others to tell them what is true and what is not. Certain early church fathers, pastors, elders, ministers, priests, rabbis, are examples of such 'authority' figures upon whom the above rely for what they believe.

Whereas the statement: "that which i believe in be correct" implies faith that ones beliefs are true, independent of any sctipture but based upon one's own meaning and interpretation of one's own experiences in life.

This implies having faith in one's own ability to base one's beliefs on one's own ways of knowing; ways of knowing that involve not only the intellect but deep meditation experiences within the depths of one's own mind.

I lean towards the latter. However, in the interests of having an open mind, I hold my own beliefs very tentatively as being true. That way, I am very open to seeing 'what is' without fixed firm distorting filters that reject that which doesn't fit into my jigsaw of life readily at this juncture.

Let us compare the basis for the authority of the bible versus the basis for the authority of the Buddha's teachings.

The basis for the authority of the bible for you comes from your belief that it is the inspired word of your God, who is omniscient by definition. That this is true for you, comes from the words contained within the Bible stating that 'fact'. Have I got that right?

On face value, the basis for the authority of the Buddha's sutras are to my mind suspect. No divine inspiration is claimed at any stage by the Buddha. In fact in one of his sutras he categoricaly states that words are labels for falsely reified objects and as such are nothing more than fingers pointing to the moon. Thus words are inherently incorrect. The Buddha strongly advised against taking his teachings as 'gospel'. He advised 'trying' before 'buying' what he said as being 'reality' in this very deceptive world largely formed as mental objects in our sense organ deceived minds.

Given this, I see my beliefs as being works in progress not static, unchangeable mind constructs.

If the bible was unequivocally, clearly written, coherent, beyond contradictions and verifiable from life's experience then only one Christian church would exist.

Instead you have fragmented warring Christian sects all claiming to have the true teachings of Christ. My understanding is that there was much dissention in the early church over what was kosher and what was not. James versus Paul, Jewish Christians versus the Gentile Christians etc. In fact what you have on this thread is a mini-war going on between yourself and other equally as genuine Christians as yourself. Yet you all cannot agree. What is this telling you? That God wasn't very good at writing an unambiguous manual for Christians?

I was a 'gung ho' Christian until at the age of around 40, I took the advice of a renowned American Catholic priest and followed the Holy Spirit 'whither to where it leadest me'. It lead me right out of Christianity altogether. I ended up in an Ashram in India; therein freed from my childhood conditioning at the hands of those who would have me believe that they possessed absolute truth.

Now I am free to look at whatever belief system I choose. I am presently looking closely at Buddhism, an atheistic religion, philosophy, psychology and a science of the mind. I am highly unlikely to join any Buddhist sect but will read and practice whatever works for me in putting together my own jigsaw of life's vistas. At least I will be the genuine article, as opposed to being a clone of this or that master, founder, messiah, avatar, or whatever label is placed on what is just another human being, no matter how exalted by his/her followers.

Why is your God depicted in the Bible as being male? Why did God sacrifice a son not a daughter? In order to compensate for the ignorance of and to reconcile his 'chosen people' to himself, why would an all knowing, all loving, all powerful God have to sacrifice a human being at all? The concept of a 'Sacrificial Lamb of God' is primitive religious offering to the wrathful God, Yehweh, inherited from Judaism from which two-thirds of the Bible have been 'plagairised'.

This is not intended by me as an attack on either Christianity or Judaism. I hope it inspires you to deepen your Christian faith in ways that free you from your own dogmatic imprisonment.

April 3, 2009
1:24 am
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I enjoyed your post, Tez, and found it inspirational. However, with religious addiction, as you're likely aware, there's no freedom from dogmatic imprisonment because without that imprisonment, a religious addict is lost. And should a religious addict waver in allegiance, he/she will view that as weakness, perhaps even a test of faith, and pray for forgiveness and more resolve. A horrible circle, in my opinion.

I have a sister who is a religious addict. And not only is she convinced that her path is the only way to heaven but that it's necessary to recruit others as a show of her love for Jesus. She has become robotic and has stopped probing for answers to the mysteries and wonder of life.

It's no surprise, I suppose, that along with other psychological disorders and addictive behaviors, we see religious addiction on this board. In my sister's case, instead of therapy, where she might have found healing from the abuse we sufered as children, she was "saved". She was told that the piece of shit she felt she was would be accepted by Jesus. Now she believes she is "good" only by God's grace. She has given over her power completely, and her issues remain buried.

It's difficult to have compassion for these people, especially when they're reminding us we're bound for hell. I have to remind myself how desperately they need to believe this to keep their world from crumbling.

Mary

April 3, 2009
11:21 am
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caraway
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OMW,

They offend me when used to condem and prove that one group is superior to another. They can be twisted and interpreted to fit anyone's personal agenda.

This stuff was written by white men who wanted power and wealth. You have to read this as it is. This is a book that was/is used to sway your belief system. If you want to read it and live by it, then do, but don't use it to justify the critism and hatred of those who don't.

That is why is offends me. People quote it at times when they don't even understand it. Some low rate preacher stands up on Sunday and gives the church his take on it and all of a sudden it is the gospel.

Use the mind God gave you and think for yourself.

Cary

April 3, 2009
1:29 pm
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bevdee
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Hey MaryP

About a year and a half ago, I had really told myself I was going to take a break from religious disagreements. So, I did. I still like to talk about the history of religion and Buddhism sometimes. Voyeuristically, I watched what happened on Libs when there was no one to disagree with whatever a "Xtian" said. It died.

When you talk of religion as addiction, I wanted to say something. And I am not saying this cryptically to you, I swear!! I am saying this only in response to your last post and a realisation I had almost two years ago at this site.

One of the main reasons I argued about someone (even an anonymous poster on an anonymous forum) telling me I was going to hell, was because I had heard that all my life from my daddy, and from the community I lived in. Arguing was cathartic for me. I would have loved to have helped anyone see that Religion is a sham, but it doesn't happen that way- at least it didn't for me. One of the reasons I stopped discussing or arguing with some posters is because of something that WD said to me, and from what people had shared on this site, made me realise that what you say here - "I have to remind myself how desperately they need to believe this to keep their world from crumbling. " is true. Sometimes, embracing the Jesus model or the Whoever model, is all a person has between them and despair, because they know no other way of saving themselves. No other way to salvation.

I also see this - alot. "She was told that the piece of shit she felt she was would be accepted by Jesus. Now she believes she is "good" only by God's grace." Yeah. Just as you are, no introspection required. No need to grow or heal, just slap a bandaid with a picture of Jesus on it, and call it good. Without God she is bad. Cast it all outward in magical thinking, prayer, misdirected credit or blame.

I have heard this a lot about jailhouse conversions. Lots of these boys (and girls) get religion once they are behind bars. The pedophile that lived next door is a jailhouse preacher now... He still says he was set up by the FBI, that he never actually committed a crime. As for his intent? God forgives him. He is here to spread the word. I almost laughed when I heard that, but

it's all he's got.

And I believe it is the same with people that have been horribly abused, told they are worthless pieces of shit. Brainwashed to think that is true, with no hope, and no way out, the alternative is more attractive. After all, there is heaven at the end of a miserable life. Sometimes I think that embracing the religion is the only tenuous hold some people might have on sanity, you know? They will defend that last hold tenaciously.

You get flak sometimes. So do I.

(((MaryP)))

April 3, 2009
3:03 pm
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(((Bevdee)))

Thank you for your post. See you in Hell...

Mary

April 3, 2009
3:25 pm
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Some of the comments here, only support the misunderstandings of what true Christianity is. God never said anyone had to be "good enough" or that by "slapping a band-aid of Jesus on" would ever fix anything. I guess this is what you were taught, and once again someone has misinterpreted the Bible, what it says, and who God is and why He came. This is what runs rampant in some churches and in some homes who call themselves "Christian". It is very sad.

CARY:
If you are speaking about the Bible? what white men are you talking about?

The Bible is said to be inspired by God through men. This I believe and have seen many times over how it has been a positive influence rather than a negative influence. But you are correct, it has been mis-used to inflict guilt, etc..which is not what God is about.

April 3, 2009
3:33 pm
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OMW,

The books of the Bible were wrtten by men who were paid by Kings and other wealthy patrons. Anyone can clai, that they were "inspired" by God, or that they "talked" to God, but come one. When is that last time that God acually told you anything? You may pray for guidence, etc. but ultimately it's all you.

Look at the nuts out there who have killed in the name of God, or because God told them to. Jim Jones is one that comes to mind.

My point is that mortal men wrote that book and one has to recognize that they had their own agendas.

Cary

April 3, 2009
3:43 pm
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Right.This is why i also avoid most debate when it comes to religion.

I'll post a site or a video instead.

(What ever happened to good ole Earth Mother energy? The goddess and respecting the female aspect of spirituality: the warrior, huntress, bringer of good crops and rain, healer and teacher. Gone with the male induced gods of war and division? Put into the breeding pen and "tied up" for her offspring and male captors?

Female energy.Ever seen a Sow on a Pig farm? In a small pen with all her piglets suckling her teets. She can't go anywhere and just has room to stand?

Islam comes to mind.HA!

This is where religion wants to have us..NO THANX!)

Like I have time to debate with the brainwashed.

Sorry. That's the simple truth. Both of those points.

If that's blunt. Too bad.

I also have been a target with the "you're gonna go to Hell if you aren't saved or believe in the One God". My son and I have been subjected to so much pain , marginalization and judgements due to religion so why should i mince words, show tolerance or keep my mouth shut? These words i say are nothing compared to what religion has exacted upon me as a non-believer all my life.

Times are a changing. The info, the truth is out there if anyone really cares to look and be free!

Yea. See you in Hell!ha!

Thing is some are already living it right now on earth cause we create it! Perpetrators and victims of human cruelty.

Besides, as David Byrne says: "Heaven is a place where nothin' ever happens."

Except maybe an eclipse, a solar flare, meteors, Aurora Borealis, Super Novas, Cats Paw, exploding stars, and infinite Galaxies.

The pearly gates twinkle!

Go have a glimpse at "Heaven". ;0)

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/ap.....90222.html

This one looks like an angel!

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/ap.....90312.html

April 3, 2009
4:52 pm
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Cary,
Yes, God does talk to me through the power of the Holy Spirit that He has given me. And don't compare me, or my relationship with God to Jim Jones and all of the other nuts out there. Don't make fun of my relationship with God. Even someone like satan knows the Bible is true.

The books of the Bible were written by men who walked and talked and lived with and witnessed Jesus Christ on a daily basis. Luke came afterward, but he wrote what other eye witness accounts he heard of. Surely you also know the story of Paul?

April 3, 2009
5:05 pm
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I know that God speaks to me and I know I am not that brilliant for it to "all be me". All the decisions that I have made while following what God said have worked out in marvelous ways. Things I did on my own did not.

We are all brothers and sisters in the family of humanity; respecting each others beliefs or lack of is vital. I know that all organized religions and other beliefs have bad reps. but doesnt everything?

It is amazing how the past clouds ones judgment. Where is the love?

April 3, 2009
5:20 pm
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Mari,

I agree with you, where is the love? Judgements carry so much condemnation.

April 3, 2009
7:41 pm
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On My Way,

I'm not sure if you were addressing this to me?

"Some of the comments here, only support the misunderstandings of what true Christianity is. God never said anyone had to be "good enough" or that by "slapping a band-aid of Jesus on" would ever fix anything. I guess this is what you were taught, and once again someone has misinterpreted the Bible, what it says, and who God is and why He came. This is what runs rampant in some churches and in some homes who call themselves "Christian". It is very sad."

I said this - "slap a bandaid with a picture of Jesus on it"

You wrote this - "slapping a band-aid of Jesus on", mostly like what I said, with quotation marks around it. So I wondered if your comments were addressed to me?

If they were addressed to me, are you saying I misinterpreted the bible? Do you know of any scripture that says, in effect that man is not worthy without God? That without salvation IN CHRIST, he will be outcast and live in hell?

April 3, 2009
11:37 pm
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BevDee.

You wrote:

"And I believe it is the same with people that have been horribly abused, told they are worthless pieces of shit. Brainwashed to think that is true, with no hope, and no way out, the alternative is more attractive. After all, there is heaven at the end of a miserable life. Sometimes I think that embracing the religion is the only tenuous hold some people might have on sanity, you know? They will defend that last hold tenaciously."

Very well put!

This realization makes me reticent to really speak openly against religious beliefs without regard for the desperate emotions that can easily be evoked.

Some people actually enjoy and think it funny to kick the crutch from under a one-legged person. Making unfunny and disrespectful jokes about religious founders is for some emotionally and intellectually challenged people a sadistic pleasure akin to that which they would derive from such abovementioned crutch kicking games.

If brutalized in infancy and childhood people can become so hardened and neurotic that such psychological crutch kicking of the beliefs of others can become an obsession that is bordering upon psychopathological and sociopathological mania.

April 4, 2009
1:25 am
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MaryP!

I'll see you there. Do you wanna meet in the sauna or in front of the fireplace?

April 4, 2009
1:32 am
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Hey Tez,

Sometimes, when I do tell someone that I don't believe as they do, I can see disbelief then fear in their eyes. When I see this, I know what is coming. The arguments and/or disparaging comments or remarks meant to be pitying or condescending. It's predictable.

You say "This realization makes me reticent to really speak openly against religious beliefs without regard for the desperate emotions that can easily be evoked."

But that just brings me back to the question I had on bashing a couple of years ago. Who has more right to speak their belief? The squeaky wheel, the crazy wheel? The one who needs it so desperately they might cry or come unglued if they can't stop you from saying what they fear? Or you who has the same right to your opinion and to freedom of speech? At what point do we set aside our sensitivity to exercise our own rights? Where does our responsibility toward others, and their inability to hear a different viewpoint, stop?

Years ago, my Sissy was really having a hard time with my daddy and the tactics he used to try to convert her Muslim-born husband to Xtianity. Her husband was patient and courteous, as he was with all his elders. She couldn't stand it. She complained to me, and asked me how I handled it. I told her "for one thing, I never talk to him on Sunday morning or evening after he's been to church cause he's manic after that. Second, I listen because after Mom left him and he lost us, going to church saved his life. And it makes him happy to minister to me." After that, she listened to him.

Still, for all that courtesy and consideration from us, he rarely hears us - he's too busy a-preachin. He really has missed knowing his children and now his grandchildren, because of the Xtian wall he puts around him, thoughts he can't tolerate, and what he won't discuss. I think he won't consider any different opinion because his fear is that he might not be entirely right. Ummm, that he might be wrong.

April 4, 2009
2:10 am
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Oh Tez!

That little sideboard initiation with bevdee.

Is that directed at me?

Perhaps I should dredge up your anti-Xtian posts from the past? The extremly verbose, almost obsessive ones.There were more athiest participants back then, and athiest discussion was lively, in the anti-religion debates. But now the tide has turned so any new agnostics/athiests should just be quiet? That territory was explored before.

My stance is anti-religion. You want to shut me up or control the manner of which I choose to express that? Where's the open sharing of athiest ideas in a open way now?

What is so offensive about posting astronomy links and others that dismantle religious myth with facts?

Do you ever visit the links i post?
I wouldn't know because you never respond to them.

You found Buddha. And that msg is shared here. We look and ponder and dance your way?

Was it the way i expressed myself? Must I be clinical and humourless.

Sorry, but George Carlin is one of my heros (R.I.P.) and i can't help having a sense of irony when it comes to religion.

I don't think being an enabler is condusive to healing, or makes this planet a better place to reside ( by not changing the things that don't serve us well as a whole)No matter what addiction is chosen as a crutch.

Speaking of crutches. They're only needed to aide mobility while a person is injured then can walk again right? Injuries do heal hopefully.

Physical therapy helps. If a person doesn't heal you don't make it to the track right? You learn to live with your disability and embrace it.

In the case of religion, the truth will set one free. It's an exercise of intellect no? Opening up the mind beyond it's usual scope. I think that's a good thing. Infinate potential. Possibilities.

Have you ever read David Icke? Amazing individual who reached beyond his limitations through some very wrenching emotional experiences. He explains part of his awakening and transformation as a damn breaking. Uses the symbolism of a damn and the calm waters held in the resivoir, as religion and societal control, then his awakening as a damn breaking, water rushing and chaotic until it reaches a settling place. Everyone thought he was mad during this period of his life ( early 90's just after he wrote his first book) He has a very persoanl spiritual awakening that leads him toward a total career change, and a marked oppostion toward organised religion and the people who wish to control this planet and the people on it. He talks of the old self transforming to the new self. The shedding of an old life for a new. If you have time and patience watch this video. Particularily the 30th minute on ( the beginning of the interview is slow)

(Or you can just dismiss me as "crazy".)

http://www.davidicke.com/conte.....ory/30/48/

Be well!

April 4, 2009
2:40 am
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Hey MsG,

I was the one who said "crazy". I'm not sure what sidebar initiation is, but I thought since Tez quoted me, the remark was to me in reference to some stuff that went on a long time ago and killed the conversations about religion altogether at this site. But I'm not sure. I understood the remark, in light of all that happened back then.

I think we should be able to say anything we want about religion, here or anywhere else. I don't at work because we have to be careful not to "offend" people. Whatever. If I say anything other than "I'm praying for you", it might be offensive. I would never say "Good earth energy" at work!! That freaks people out worse than when they see my wearing my crystals. That people dare to say that they will pray for me, with or without knowing my belief or lack or it? Never once does the person saying it, spouting their Xtian beliefs consider that might be offensive to me.

At the time I stopped posting about it, there was a lot of arguing going on here. I allowed myself to be backed off. It was ok though. It was art imitating life, and I did learn from it.

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