Good posts Timo and UP
I never did welcome you Timo, so welcome. And UP, you're brand new. So welcome to you as well. You are refreshingly honest and enlightened. I do hope you can find ways to contribute to the site. Most, if not all,of us welcome Christian points of view (I even capitalized it out of respect for you) as long as they are intelligently presented and backed by reasons (even if we disagree with them).
I actually know exactly why christianity has so much variety. It's exactly for the reasons Timo mentions. I tend to assume that stuff based on fiction has no reason for consistency. (Sorry UP, but I am an atheist). What confuses me is not the variety, but the lack of effort on the part of Christians to reformulate the structure of their beliefs in such a way as to both act as a unit and to still allow for a bit of personal freedom.
Of course the American right wing would have none of that. They're all for freedom, but not the real kind.
We talk a lot around here about "cherry picking" as various christians give us various interpretations of various parts of the bible. The also ignore other parts when that is convenient. And they just plain make stuff up sometimes. Those who practice such long venerated but ineffective methods seldom stay around long. But in the meantime they sure do exhibit some pretty original thought processes. Well, processes anyway.
The dichotomy you discussed, Timo, re: liberals and conservatives. That is far more understandable, simply because the sources of each persons opinions range much wider than just one book or one organized group. One person might tend towards being liberal mostly because of their stand saving the environment, while another may be liberal mostly because they want more equality for the poor and disadvantaged. The two of them may or may not agree on cross issues. But I don't expect much agreement on the wide variety of issues political thought takes in. I am far more stunned by the lack of cohesion within the realm of religion.
You point is good, and it is another example of differing opinions, but it's just not one where I expect unanimous opinion on much of anything. Again, I would think, were I more naive, that religious people would do better.
Loved your last paragraph, UP.
Sometimes I'll be listening to some idiot talk about how you should "believe god to go to heaven because the bible says evolution is not science" and I'll really sincerely wish they weren't on my side, but Christianity is not an exclusive club, any idiot can join, there's nothing I can do about it.
I would rather not treat believers as idiots, but it often takes just a few posts to give me no choice in the matter. Some fare better, but if I were to tell any of those that there were a member of a minority group, most of them would cringe noticably
. Anyway, I was hoping to get some input from a less agreeable christian or two, just for the fun of it. Probably won't happen, but mostly because I haven't prayed for it yet.