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"Letting Go of God"

post #1 of 326
Thread Starter 
Ah, the magic journeys made possible by the WWW.

I started out at the Penn & Teller Bulletin Board because of my interest in the amazing Showtime program Bullshit!, began reading the topic church, state and atheism in "This american life", followed a link to the This American Life web site, and ended up listening to a Real audio stream of the Godless America episode.

The first part of this episode (about separation of Church and State and the US Constitution) is quite good (and a good source of counterpoints if you ever end up arguing with one of those "this is supposed to be a Christian nation" sort of folks), but my favorite part of the broadcast was a long excerpt from Julia Sweeney's planned book, CD, and film on the subject of "Letting Go of God".

Here's a woman who really did believe in God and Jesus and the Bible. No, she was what you'd call incredibly devout at first, but she questioned her own lack of devoutness and went on a journey to try to rediscover her faith, with the ironic result that the more and more she studied the Bible the more bizarre and implausible the things she was supposed to believe in became -- even when trying to grasp at some figurative enlightenment when the literal words were simply too weird or too downright ugly and nasty to accept.

From what it says at Sweeney's web site, the various incarnations of this project are at least a couple of years from fruition, but I'm eager to see this material get out into the world and especially into the American culture. Would I expect it to have much impact? Nah. I even wonder if the movie version will ever manage to see the light of day. But damn, it would be refreshing for more voices like this to be heard by more people in this country.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #2 of 326
I love This American Life. Granted that quality varies by episode but that's a great show.
post #3 of 326
"Letting Go of God" is a phrase that sounds like the first real step moving toward religious maturity in my mind: from there you leave open the idea of the Other, (ie: commonly referred to as 'God") and can have a non egoic, non-desperate or grasping relationship to the Ultimate.
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #4 of 326
Shetline, shetline, shetline. I know this is OT and should be a PM but I've gotta get off line and this board is so slow for me. I think I've got this right and you're the CD fan, if not just ignore it. If yes, I know. I'm good at remembering stuff about people aren't I?

I've been discussing copyright with Cory Doctorow via email. <Puffs out chest; struts about looking pleased with self> Screenshot in Macworld, chinwagging with Cory, it's almost like being famous!

Only problem was, in his reply he said a whole lot of stuff about Oz copyright law that was incorrect. What to do? What to do? Gnashing of teeth. Wringing of hands. After a while, I decided WTF and opened my reply with:

Hearing myself say, you are dead wrong about a copyright matter, makes me think you're not the real Cory Doctorow at all. :LOL:
Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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Tomorrow shall be love for the loveless;
And for the lover, tomorrow shall be love.
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post #5 of 326
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by crazychester
I know this is OT and should be a PM but I've gotta get off line and this board is so slow for me. I think I've got this right and you're the CD fan, if not just ignore it...

Well, I guess I'll just spin a little OT along with you for a bit... I'm certainly pleased with the work Doctorow has been doing to fight against DRM and the excesses of copyright/patent law. I don't know much about the particulars of Australian copyright law, however, other than a vague recollection that I heard that even ripping a CD into iTunes in Australia is technically illegal. True?

The funny thing is, although I've never spoken to Doctorow myself, he has spoken about me. (And, yes, I'll just have to leave it as cryptic as that. )
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #6 of 326
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by pfflam
"Letting Go of God" is a phrase that sounds like the first real step moving toward religious maturity in my mind...

Step 2) There is no step 2.
Step 3) Try going back to step 2 and see what happens.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #7 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Step 2) There is no step 2.
Step 3) Try going back to step 2 and see what happens.

Exactly like that . . . except there is no smily face for shunyata! - attainment !- realization!

.

or is it like this:
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #8 of 326
Heard that piece, really interesting work. She really has a way of mixing a unique style of comedy with heavy duty stuff.

Any of you catch "God Said Ha!", her previous show? About her brother's death from cancer, and, strangely enough, funny as hell.

Would have never imagined she had such talent from her stint on SNL.

The part of "Letting Go" that really got to me was her series of realizations that all the people in her life who had died, and who she had thought of in some vague way as being "elsewhere", were merely, and really, dead. And that one day she would merely, and really, die.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #9 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
The part of "Letting Go" that really got to me was her series of realizations that all the people in her life who had died, and who she had thought of in some vague way as being "elsewhere", were merely, and really, dead. And that one day she would merely, and really, die.

That's exactly what happens to all dying people, they really and merely die and are not elsewhere, at least until the world ends and judgment day arrives and God recreates all life again to receive their reward or punishment.

I'm always astonished that people seem to lose faith in God's existence and message after reading the Bible, a men-written collection of witness-reports about the sayings and doings of God's wonder and prophet (aka New Testament) combined with the faint collective memory of the jewish scriptures (the originals got lost after the two desructions of the Temple, and the oral connection got broken by the expellation of jews and the change of the mother-tongue..), more thoroughly.

Nightcrawler
I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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I disagree, and could prove you're wrong; care to offer any proof that you're not wrong?
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post #10 of 326
I knew there was no God when the movie "It's Pat" came out.
post #11 of 326
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Nightcrawler
...at least until the world ends and judgment day arrives and God recreates all life again to receive their reward or punishment.

And this should be believed because...?
Quote:
I'm always astonished that people seem to lose faith in God's existence and message after reading the Bible...

Okay... all of your life people tell you that the Bible is the Word of God. From an MSNBC poll I saw last night, around 36% of the people in the certifiably-insane US have been telling you that each and every word of the Bible is supposed to be taken as complete, literal truth. (Even allowing for a large margin of error, since the poll wasn't a very scientific poll, the percentage is frighteningly high.)

One day you decide to embark on a Voyage of Personal Spiritual Discovery, diving into the pages of "the Good Book"... and, to your utter amazement, you find out it's crap! Oh, maybe the book has a few moments here and there, but otherwise it's rambling, disjointed, contradicts itself, glorifies bizarre acts like handing your daughters over to an angry mob to be raped as acts of faith, and paints a portrait of a rather ill-tempered, vain, and arbitrary God with a Son who often isn't that much better.

You really find disillusionment when confronting the reality of the Bible astonishing?

Of course, the Faithful will tell you the above problems aren't really there. Most of these so-called "contradictions", for example, go away once you appeal to the appropriate original Hebrew and Greek texts and perform the appropriate amazing, gravity-defying feats of mental gymnastics. (You can probably find some "noted Biblical scholar" to point out how "angry mob bent on rape" is actually a poor translation of the ancient Hebrew for "friendly neighbors throwing a block party".)

Anything left that doesn't make sense to you? Well, that's your shortcoming, not the Bible's. Start with the simple assumption that you're not worthy to judge anything, pray for the fixing that you "obviously" need and the Strength of Faith to see black when you're looking at white, and everything's gonna be alright.
Quote:
...a men-written collection of witness-reports about the sayings and doings of God's wonder and prophet (aka New Testament) combined with the faint collective memory of the jewish scriptures (the originals got lost after the two desructions of the Temple, and the oral connection got broken by the expellation of jews and the change of the mother-tongue..), more thoroughly.

If the Bible itself is such a mess, based on what other external basis of authority or evidence should one buy into your vision of God and Judgment Day and reward and punishment?
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #12 of 326
New Diet Book: "Stop Eating Food"

New idea on net: "Letting Go of God"


Shetline we all know America has problems with politics of war, the masses who support it and the leader who claims to be a Christian. This being said your thread is a turn off to those of us who have true faith and follow the teachings of Jesus.

This thread is like a diet book which suggests to stop eating food.

It is just plain dead, mistaken and ill.

If you do not wish to believe certain things don't. The need to post this thread is interesting.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #13 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
If the Bible itself is such a mess, based on what other external basis of authority or evidence should one buy into your vision of God and Judgment Day and reward and punishment?

A) It wasn't always a mess - it was messed it up deliberately. In many cases this is provable due to the original documents being still extant (in the case of the NT) and by textual analysis in regard to the OT.

The originals in many cases are diametrically opposed to the tampered with versions. That is suggestive.

B) There are other scriptures that have not undergone this abominable treatment.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #14 of 326
Meant to say that the title is misleading here. Perhaps it needs changing to 'Letting go of the Judeo-Christian myth of God as judge and oppressor'.

Surely one cannot judge all conceptions of God by a book that has not only been adjusted and redacted over two millennia but which has served as the primary tool in perhaps the most oppressive (ie non-religious and anti-spiritual) enterprise ever conceived by the depraved human imagination.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #15 of 326
The program has some very interesting stories. Particularly disturbing was the way that science teacher's principal essentially forced her to repeat after him in denouncing evolution. The way she framed it reminded me of a psychopath coercing someone into saying something insane to validate that the voices in his head are real.

Disturbing to say the least.

Money quote:

"Basically the point is to protect Christians from being persecuted the way they are persecuted simply because they are the majority faith."

Logic!? Who needs it!
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #16 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Logic!? Who needs it!

This is the problem actually - it's not so much about the existence or not of God per se but rather that people have 'Let go of Logic' and they should regain a grip.

There may or may not be a being that approximates to our idea of God. no-one can say either way. That is a fact.

The Christian idea of God as derived from the Bible is self-contradictory and illogical. That is also a fact.

Conclusions can be drawn but only up to a point.

People should be free to believe whatever they like but facts should take precedence or we approach the definition of insanity.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #17 of 326
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
New Diet Book: "Stop Eating Food"

New idea on net: "Letting Go of God"

Another new book idea: "Stop Drinking If You Don't Want to Be Drunk"

A parallel between God and addictive substances seems much more applicable to me than any parallel to food. There are many people who seem to get along quite well without God, much better than they'd do without food, that's for sure. You may wish to contend that people suffer in some terrible way without God (oh, like having the "Infinitely Loving" Father toss them on the Eternal Barbeque forever), but that's unfounded dogma.

There is some statistical evidence that people with religion are, on balance, more content that those without, but (A) there are still happy atheists and unhappy believers, and (B) the exact nature of that which is believed bears little relationship to the effect obtained from simply believing in something, anything of a religious or spiritual nature, no matter how much that conflicts with other such beliefs, demonstrating that measuring efficacy in creating happiness can't possibly be the same thing as measuring truth.

If some day we understand brain chemistry well enough to make safe and effective happy pills, what truth other than the truth "these pills work" would be proved by that happiness?
Quote:
If you do not wish to believe certain things don't. The need to post this thread is interesting.

Why should I feel a need to remain quiet about my views? I find it just as "interesting" that you think it's better for a disbeliever to keep disbelief quietly to himself. Why should that be?

In fact, I'd say one of the most likely reasons that religious belief (including what I consider extreme religious belief which potentially poses a threat to the degree of liberty I'd prefer to enjoy) is so prevalent in the US is that agnostics and atheists are far too politely quiet for their own good and for the general mental health of the country.

Religious tolerance is an important civic value, but when tolerance turns into meekly keeping your own views to yourself for fear of "disturbing" someone else's belief system, it goes to far. Are we supposed to accept that religious believers are entitled to as comforting and non-confrontational a protective shell around their belief systems as we can provide?

What I'd like is vibrant enough a public discourse that believers are regularly exposed to critical opposing viewpoints. I'm talking about more than simply being aware that others disagree or simply being aware that others find one's beliefs irrational/stupid/laughable or anything else where, by taking offense, a believer can find a convenient refuge from the actual issues at hand.

What Julia Sweeney has to say is the kind of thing I dearly wish more people in America heard much more often. Unfortunately, too many agnostics, atheists, and believers in a more abstract notion of God feel the need to be politely and non-confrontationally quiet about religion and religious beliefs, as if merely questioning the insanity of something like Biblical literalism would be tantamount to religious persecution.

I ran across a great quote today:
Quote:
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #18 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts

Great quote - as I always say, you're all fundies.

Just different religions and none.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #19 of 326
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Great quote - as I always say, you're all fundies.

Just different religions and none.

I've certainly run across what I'd call "fundamentalist" atheists, but many I've known who describe themselves as atheists, rejecting the term "agnostic", are nevertheless willing to accept the (distant) possibility of some sort of Divine Being. It's not so much that they're dogmatically insistent upon the absolute non-existence of God as that they take a view along the lines of, as one person put it, "I can't completely rule out that there's not a teapot in orbit around Mars either."

For them, the possibility of a God, by any reasonably concrete and extensive meaning of the word God, seems so small, or lacks so much in useful explanatory power, that their place in the middle ground of agnosticism is but a hair's breadth from atheism, making the word atheism appealing as a more apt description of their philosophical position.

If 0% belief in God is atheism, and 100% belief is theism, and anything at all in between is agnosticism, a 0.0000000001% belief in the possibility of a God might technically be agnosticism. I can certainly understand the desire, however, to round down to 0% for clarity's sake, particularly if you're bothered by the idea that claiming agnosticism might tend to imply to some minds a belief closer to 50% than your own 0.0000000001%.

I personally call myself an agnostic. This is not because I hold out much credibility for the existence of any sort of being or beings which are in any way like any traditional notion of God or gods. For me, my agnosticism represents an expression of an appreciation for the mysterious nature of the universe, an appreciation that the nature of the question "Is there a God?" is in itself a puzzling mystery. I'm an agnostic because I appreciate the poetry that exists in the idea of God while the idea of God floats beyond the edges of concrete meaning. I'm an agnostic because when I ask myself the question "Why is there, rather than isn't?", I wonder if something that might be worthy of the poetry found in the word God lies behind that question, or exists within the question itself.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #20 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I personally call myself an agnostic. This is not because I hold out much credibility for the existence of any sort of being or beings which are in any way like any traditional notion of God or gods. For me, my agnosticism represents an expression of an appreciation for the mysterious nature of the universe, an appreciation that the nature of the question "Is there a God?" is in itself a puzzling mystery. I'm an agnostic because I appreciate the poetry that exists in the idea of God while the idea of God floats beyond the edges of concrete meaning. I'm an agnostic because when I ask myself the question "Why is there, rather than isn't?", I wonder if something that might be worthy of the poetry found in the word God lies behind that question, or exists within the question itself.

Brilliantly put.

If I understand you correctly the subtext is that you reject the notions of God which have been presented throughout human history.

I would agree with this position (if this is what you mean - actually I agree with it anyway !) because by definition - any God is unknowable. Therefore any conception of such a being must be false.

However, philosophically, what it boils down to is simply: is there a higher intelligence than the human or are we the peak of intelligence in the universe ? Of course there may well be higher intelligences - this is very likely and if such were discovered and found to have interacted with us at any point in our history they may well be 'God' or the genesis of our conception of such.

It's time we outgrew religion, you are right. Spirituality is a different matter and the two are nto the same - in fact now they are further apart than they have ever been and are almost mutually exclusive. when they reach the opposite end of the spectrum religion will die out. That's what's happening with this resurgence of fundamentalism in all religions imo, the last throes of denial with a knowledge of impending doom, but that's another story.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #21 of 326
I far prefer "Letting Go" than "Letting Go of God"...

"Letting Go of ______________"

Greed, hate, jealousy, possession, sloth, past/future, attachment, labels, blame, guilt...etc...

God, or lack thereof, is not the problem.

There is a fundamental human ignorance of the reality of the present moment and a blindness to the interconnectedness of all things. Plus there is a lack of knowledge of actions that can be taken to avoid making matters worse. These are the problems.

Most people will not try to see things more clearly, on their own. They like the walls that the organized religions put up around them and others to shut out reality.

They use memories of the past or fears of the future to justify their present moment outrages against others.

We don't want to change, generally speaking.

This mega-church/Lakewood type phenomena is a brainwashing, nationalistic rallying cry for this modern day Roman empire. This isn't religion or worship, it is mindless indoctrination to instill an aura of moral righteousness in every atrocity the U.S. is committing (and will commit for the next decade).

You need Gods to command you to send your children out to die and to pray to when they are in harm's way.

There is -nothing- peaceful about the American born-again Christianity movement. It is a political tool, a way to instill obedience.

There are other parts of Christianity in the U.S. that are peaceful (in words, despite vast amounts of complacency/apathy) but not the born-agains of the Bush ilk.

Quote me.
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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post #22 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
If 0% belief in God is atheism, and 100% belief is theism, and anything at all in between is agnosticism, a 0.0000000001% belief in the possibility of a God might technically be agnosticism. I can certainly understand the desire, however, to round down to 0% for clarity's sake, particularly if you're bothered by the idea that claiming agnosticism might tend to imply to some minds a belief closer to 50% than your own 0.0000000001%.

But I think there's an asymmetry between belief and non-belief. They aren't simply polar opposites along a continuum.

I think of belief as something that happens when you reach some threshold of evidence. It's like a 'guilty' vs. a 'not guilty' verdict. If you vote 'guilty,' that means one thing: that you're convinced of guilt. But a 'not guilty' verdict may represent either an affirmative belief that the suspect is innocent, or it may simply be an acknowledgment that there's not enough evidence to convict.

In the same way, I'd only believe in a supreme being that watches over us if I really had some observation or experience that convinced me it was true. Otherwise, I don't believe it. My lack of belief doesn't mean I am convinced there isn't a supreme being, it just means I haven't been convinced that it's true.
post #23 of 326
I wish people would see religion, and it's abused forms, for what it is. Control. <- period.

It's government. Borders-defying supra-government. It is controlling the filthy rabble that we all are if we are left alone with just our animal instincts and no understanding of the true immediate reality. We are distracted by images of things and our imaginings from our limited and flawed senses.

But instead of from-the-top-down organization/control/governing, what we need is individual peace, individual responsibility for our actions, individual tolerance/caring.

Conventional reality forces me to necessarily use these pre-defined labels for people (like Born Agains or U.S. military/foreign policy/Neocons etc.) but really it is the underlying hatred, hostility and ignorance that is what I am against. I could care less about the nationaities/politics/race/region/religion/etc...involved.
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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post #24 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by johnq
I wish people would see religion, and it's abused forms, for what it is. Control. <- period.

It's government. Borders-defying supra-government. It is controlling the filthy rabble that we all are if we are left alone with just our animal instincts and no understanding of the true immediate reality. We are distracted by images of things and our imaginings from our limited and flawed senses.

But instead of from-the-top-down organization/control/governing, what we need is individual peace, individual responsibility for our actions, individual tolerance/caring.

Conventional reality forces me to necessarily use these pre-defined labels for people (like Born Agains or U.S. military/foreign policy/Neocons etc.) but really it is the underlying hatred, hostility and ignorance that is what I am against. I could care less about the nationaities/politics/race/region/religion/etc...involved.

Exactly. Brilliant analysis.

And we are all here begging to be conditioned and abused some more in ever newer and extreme ways.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #25 of 326
Its Control with the please send us you money. Its about control and money. Allways amazed at how many religions man has invented. And everyone claims to be right. Perhaps they are all wrong.
VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS! Its the only way we can clean up Congress.
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VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS! Its the only way we can clean up Congress.
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post #26 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius


And we are all here begging to be conditioned and abused some more in ever newer and extreme ways.

I'll be your bitch, if you'll be mine
post #27 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Allways amazed at how many religions man has invented. And everyone claims to be right. Perhaps they are all wrong.

That man created all religions, must mean that they're all right.
post #28 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
And this should be believed because...?

Because he grew up with mommy and daddy telling him that that was the way it is.
post #29 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Because he grew up with mommy and daddy telling him that that was the way it is.

funny how that works, I remember one summer day, when I was about 6, I asked my mom why the sky was Blue, - she told me it was because it was a reflection of the sea.

I went all through schooling, thinking that was why it was, I didn't find out it wasn't right until I was about 25.

That's why they target kids, anything installed in a kid by about the age of eight, will remain there for life, even in the face of contradictory evidence.

That's why Ken Ham has built a noah's ark complete with the screams of drowning people. Kids will never forget that. It's for breeding the next generation of hate-filled evangelical fundamentalists, .
post #30 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline


Why should I feel a need to remain quiet about my views? I find it just as "interesting" that you think it's better for a disbeliever to keep disbelief quietly to himself. Why should that be?

Don't get me wrong I fully support your right to voice your opinion. The reason I found it interesting is that I thought you rather did not care for "evangelizing" from others so to see you in effect "evangelize" your viewpoint via the subject matter of this thread caused me to find your thread interesting.

Quote:

What I'd like is vibrant enough a public discourse that believers are regularly exposed to critical opposing viewpoints. I'm talking about more than simply being aware that others disagree or simply being aware that others find one's beliefs irrational/stupid/laughable or anything else where, by taking offense, a believer can find a convenient refuge from the actual issues at hand.


I think adults can agree to disagree. I do find that in our society we all are faced with violent disagreement over these types of subject matter. The "discussion" if you will is there absolutely.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #31 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by johnq


This mega-church/Lakewood type phenomena is a brainwashing, nationalistic rallying cry for this modern day Roman empire. This isn't religion or worship, it is mindless indoctrination to instill an aura of moral righteousness in every atrocity the U.S. is committing (and will commit for the next decade).

There is -nothing- peaceful about the American born-again Christianity movement. It is a political tool, a way to instill obedience.

You are simply a fool to lump Christians in this manner. What you spew above is analogous to labeling all muslims terrorists.

Disrespect of others be you a member of a Christian walk, other religious persuasion or secular is wrong and hateful.

Show me where the teachings at Lakewood by Joel Osteen are hate filled.

In the mean time I can assure you that this post of yours was filled with hate filled commentary.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #32 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
You are simply a fool to lump Christians in this manner. What you spew above is analogous to labeling all muslims terrorists.

No, *some* muslims are terrorists. The rest are just "collateral damage" or "persons of interest". At least, from what the government would have you believe.

Notice we only see press coverage of "good muslims" when we want a feel-good stories like "they're voting in droves" or "our doctors do free surgery for injured civilians. Look how grateful she is for her new prosthetic limb"

The rest of the time it's about "the bad guys" only.

Yet all our troops are good, peace-loving Christians that just want to defend our way of life. (As opposed to the reality of the U.S. positioning itself to control the oil in the region.)


Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Disrespect of others be you a member of a Christian walk, other religious persuasion or secular is wrong and hateful.

A rejection of the actions of others is the right of all free people. Even atheists, agnostics, non-Christians...

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Show me where the teachings at Lakewood by Joel Osteen are hate filled.

He needn't be overtly hateful. All he needs to do is to continue doing his literal brainwashing of the tens of thousands in the stadium (and more on TV). He just tells us what evil is and how good we are, and the Defense/State Departments tell us who the evil-doers are. It's part of a whole package y'see.

We're good, they're bad, let's send our kids to kill them or die trying.

Joel Osteen/lakewood is a CULT and it's exploded since the Bush administration's rise to power. People making a buck on fear and despair, other people generating the fear and despair. Perfect.

Lakewood is a brainwashing, money and real estate-centered, cult.

Chanted in monotone:
"This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive. I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same. Never, never, never. I will never be the same. In Jesus name."

Do not think. Do not waver in believing what we tell you. Do not question. Do not investigate. Do not defy us. Everything else is a lie from Satan. Etc.

Repetition, repetition, repetition is the key to brainwashing. Note his incessant blinking too. He repeats things endlessly. Slight variations over and over again.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
In the mean time I can assure you that this post of yours was filled with hate filled commentary.

A political movement utilizing (any) religion as a motivational tool to send your kids off to kill and die is worthy of strong words. I give a stern rejection of all the myth-building that is done in the name of "our boys fighting to protect our freedoms" b.s. that is so tightly wrapped in prayers and preaching.

This country is a war machine, we have recruitment at middleschools, we have a widespread myth that Iraq had WMD and was involved in 9-11. This is painted as a fight against Islam to protect "our Judeo-Christian values".

It's all a mess of hateful policies carried out with moral righteousness.

Damn straight I rebuke it. "Respect" and "tolerance" isn't keeping quiet against the crimes of others.

We can get precision fly-overs at NASCAR events (which have enormous military recruiting stations) during the National Anthem (to hammer home that God-Nation-Military Might trinity), yet we can't scramble enough fighters on 9/11 to save the day?

Religion and war are hand-in-hand in the U.S. now. Possibly irreversibly.
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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post #33 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by johnq

I still do not see how you can on the one hand say that the country is effectively "run by Christians" yet on the other use Lakewood as an example as a micro example of the whole and then lable Lakewood as a "cult".

How do you define cult and how do you define mainstream?

Do you not also believe that Bush and co. are playing our people?

I believe politicians are playing people and I believe that some who preach in some churches do a bad service when they lable others as "bad" ie: muslim etc.

I can tell you that my pastor does nothing of the sort.

I have not seen Joel Osteen say that muslims or what have you in the ME are the "Bad guys"

Sure there are some back woods "so-called" Christians who do and say really red-neck things and I feel they are taking a back seat with their actions behind the real message of Jesus when they fall for this "patriotism, red white blue and yellow ribbon" nonsense.

Don't mistake the positive message out of Lakewood as hateful or that of a cult.

Sure they have their opening profession of faith.

Are you trying to suggest that people of faith are evil? and that faith or the profession of it automatically puts one in the category of "cult" ?

I was just trying to get some clearing up of the confusion which you seem to infuse in your broad generalizations.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #34 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
I still do not see how you can on the one hand say that the country is effectively "run by Christians" yet on the other use Lakewood as an example as a micro example of the whole and then lable Lakewood as a "cult".

Tele-evangelism, and Mega-churches - the WalMartization of Faith is clearly a part of the plan to make over the U.S. into a Christian "reality based community" (gag)

Plan? Yes. It's too perfect, that Republicans gain control and the push is on for so much faith based meddling in public policy. Patriotism, fear of terrorism (and raw hatred of terrorists) go hand in hand with the increase in the evangelical movement. It isn't growing naturally - that people are just flocking to God for the heck of it. It is a symbiotic relationship. Each grows the other. But both are controlled by the same people.

Make the wars and the people will flock to their Gods.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
How do you define cult and how do you define mainstream?

I define cult in this case as an organization or movement that uses it's followers for financial and political gain.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Do you not also believe that Bush and co. are playing our people?

Certainly. At worst, the followers are victims. I don't blame them for buying into things. It's enticing and comforting to follow along with your own.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
I believe politicians are playing people and I believe that some who preach in some churches do a bad service when they lable others as "bad" ie: muslim etc.

Agreed.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
I can tell you that my pastor does nothing of the sort.

Many may indeed be good natured and well intentioned. As a personal system for finding a moral path, much good can be gleaned from religions. Only when it becomes a doctrine for empowering you to change others (whether they want to be changed or not) does ti become a harmful force.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
I have not seen Joel Osteen say that muslims or what have you in the ME are the "Bad guys"

I said that part of the equation is handled by the Defense and State departments. Evangelists only need to fire us up into knowing we are right, good, pure and just in everything we do as people and a nation. It is a blank check to do whatever we need to do. They needn't ever explicitly name the enemy.

So, 1. instill an inflated sense of moral authority in our people, then, 2. the government points out today's enemies on a satellite photo. Add 3. terrorism or the mere threat of it, and you can mix and match these 3 things as you see fit and you can do anything.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Sure there are some back woods "so-called" Christians who do and say really red-neck things and I feel they are taking a back seat with their actions behind the real message of Jesus when they fall for this "patriotism, red white blue and yellow ribbon" nonsense.

I do feel for you, that there are so many people of that type making things harder for you.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Don't mistake the positive message out of Lakewood as hateful or that of a cult.

There is a clear, systematic form of brainwashing going on in that church and others, I insist. *Mostly* it is crass commercialism at work. But there is an insidious byproduct that is blind nationalism.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Sure they have their opening profession of faith.

I realize chanting and repetition is prevalent in all cultures. But this is used by Lakewood as a party loyalty oath. Imagine being there as a guest and not saying it along with the other 29,000 people. No, there is a not-too-subtle coercive aspect about it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
Are you trying to suggest that people of faith are evil? and that faith or the profession of it automatically puts one in the category of "cult" ?

"People of faith" are only as evil as they allow themselves to be. If they suppress their own internal acknowledgment of right and wrong and instead use the externally supplied definitions as reasons to harm or control others, then yes, they are then "evil".

Profession of a belief is fine but when it is tacitly mandatory (evangelism implies that it is) it ceases to be a simple congregation of fellow believers and becomes a corporate structure designed to maximize growth at the expense of the individuals involved. It's chilling to watch the entire mega-church phenomena. (Rick Warren too)

It's humorous that Lakewood ushers and greeters are volunteers. brilliant! Why pay people to work?

People don't want faith. They want to be excused for their fuckups and a promise that things will be better. But the faith is usually merely adrenaline from being in a room full of 30,000 fellow believers and the high you get from thinking you are entirely right. It's a Metallica concert for Christians.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
I was just trying to get some clearing up of the confusion which you seem to infuse in your broad generalizations.

Well, I appreciate the responses you give. I can understand wanting to defend against my rather terse hand grenade-like statements. I describe what offends me and it comes off as offensive depending on where you stand. I can understand that.
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
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post #35 of 326
Osteen is basically Anthony Robbins for Christians who think the New Age and therapy are demonic.

He never says anything bad about Islam or anything else because he doesn't say anything at all. Nothing bad anyway - would dilute the message. Fellowship is definitely with the programme in that way. It's just about making people feel better and giving them some hope when everyone else is taking it - fair enough, but let's not place it in the tradition of Jesus: this is just Elmer Gantry for the 21st century.

At the end of the day you won't hear much about Jesus, God or the deep questions because that's not what people want. We live in the age of the shallow - the 'religious' answer to political shallowness is merely 'religious' shallowness.

Shallowness is the new depth.

Gotta watch out for the skin deep.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #36 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by johnq
Tele-evangelism, and Mega-churches - the WalMartization of Faith is clearly a part of the plan to make over the U.S. into a Christian "reality based community" (gag)

I went to a mega-church not too long ago. Scared the crap out of me. Honestly, I couldn't believe half the stuff I was seeing.

For starters, the stadium hall could hold at least 3000 people comfortably, probably more. I was seated in ZZZ section, must have been 6-8 stories up. The stage was pretty small from where I was and while the live band was rocking but immensely cheesy, the pastor team creeped me out. Though there were no actual stunts or acrobatics, they ran on stage with as much zest as any circus performer might, sermons were broken up amongst the half a dozen reverends and a couple people from the audience came up as well at once point. But all that is nothing compared to the next bit.

4 or 5 giant projection screens that told the masses what chapter and verse was being read from, but also, intermixed amongst serene images of clouds, water, trees...etc. words like "WORSHIP" and "PRAY" and "LOVE" and "JESUS"...etc. would appear.

On top of all that, people were ACTUALLY doing that closed eyes, arms extended thing, and there was a camera crew going around and randomly popping various people onto the jumbo-vision. I half expected to hear commentary about how much people were into it, which, was actually sort of provided by one of the pastors.

It was an absolute spectacle! about as far removed from spirituality as I could possibly imagine.

I left in the middle of the service to explore the rest of the church grounds. The church was laid out like a mall. There were 3 or 4 shops, a food court and a dozen or so seminary rooms. The courtyard was very nice, and I ended up spending the remainder time of the performance pondering there.

But man oh man, that was a wild experience. I would like to go again just for the pure surreal factor of it, but I don't think I could stomach it.
orange you just glad?
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orange you just glad?
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post #37 of 326
Church is a Big Business, it doesnt matter who's.........they are all doing one thing............Making $$$ .........from the Catholic chuch to the Scientologists............$$$
VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS! Its the only way we can clean up Congress.
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VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS! Its the only way we can clean up Congress.
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post #38 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by Wrong Robot
I went to a mega-church not too long ago. Scared the crap out of me. Honestly, I couldn't believe half the stuff I was seeing.

For starters, the stadium hall could hold at least 3000 people comfortably, probably more. I was seated in ZZZ section, must have been 6-8 stories up.

Which was this Church?

Fellowship Church holds about 4,400 people at one seating holding 4 weekend services usually full or 95% full.

This 4,400 seat capacity is just two floors and really is not all that huge.

You describe "6-8 stories up" and being seated in "zzz section" I really do not have any idea what Church this could be as Lakewood and Fellowship are 2 of the 10 largest in America and neither of them are 6-8 stories nor do they have sections labled such as zzz for ex. as you describe.

I am most curious to check up on this church you describe. Which one was it?

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #39 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by johnq

I do feel for you, that there are so many people of that type making things harder for you.



No need to "feel for me" there are idiots of all stripes some just happen to claim they are Christians. People of that "type" do not make things harder in any sense for me as my faith is between myself and God and I am comfortable where I am. Others are on their own and also stand before God with their lives. It does not make things "harder for me".

Quote:
It's humorous that Lakewood ushers and greeters are volunteers. brilliant! Why pay people to work?



I don't see it as humorous. The teachings of Jesus time and time again speak of the nature and mind of being a servant. In our culture of ego and selfishness, pride and arrogance it is nice to see people get involved in serving their fellow man. This business of actors who make millions and throw telephones at hotel staff show the other end of the spectrum. Childish selfish and spoiled bratdom. Jesus teaches us to serve our fellow man and volunteering at a Church is just a small facet of this general teaching. I see nothing humorous about it. It is in fact admirable in my eyes.

Quote:
Well, I appreciate the responses you give. I can understand wanting to defend against my rather terse hand grenade-like statements. I describe what offends me and it comes off as offensive depending on where you stand. I can understand that.

I respect your intellect as for the purpose to evaluate and critique but after a point you lean towards paranoia and just hate filled rhetoric against people of faith.

I would suggest that not all are as you paint them. Those who attend "mega" Churches that is.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #40 of 326
Quote:
Originally posted by Aurora
Church is a Big Business, it doesnt matter who's.........they are all doing one thing............Making $$$ .........from the Catholic chuch to the Scientologists............$$$

You remind me of a guy I know who says that the "French" are only polite to me while I visit Paris because "THEY JUST WANT MY MONEY" as he states it. In his eyes the "French" are supposed to be rude people who are just pinko socialists who just want cash from Americans in order to provide a psudo kindness when I visit.

He fails to understand that such a general idea is just false based on bigoted and mal-informed information he has been fed by other bigots and ignorant individuals.

Funny thing is he has never been to France and he makes these statments.

Your statments about Churches being just a big business all for the money is equally dishonest and incorrect.

"THEY JUST WANT YOUR MONEY" is a lazy and blind way of viewing the world.

I know bitter old men who pinch every penny and when you ask them,, "Hey let's go out to eat some dinner" reply " Bahhhh Those restaurants just want your money". Don't fall into the bitter old man syndrome.

People put their money where their heart is.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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