Author Topic: The healthy ones [#2619]  (Read 994 times)

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Offline pianodwarf

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The healthy ones [#2619]
« on: November 12, 2011, 09:02:21 AM »
Hello, I don't self-identify as Christian, but I would say I'm a spiritual person. I think Anne Rice expressed the problems with the Christian crowd well:

"For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."
I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life."

There are, however, some healthy ones:
http://www.tcpc.org/template/index.cfm

They just make less noise.

Keep up the good work!

[name redacted]
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 08:23:37 PM »
Regarding Anne's statement, I think it is dishonest for someone to say they are committed to Christ, but no longer a Christian. If you have faith in Jesus and follow his teachings, you are a Christian. Christians follow what is in the Bible, and the verses really are anti-gay, misogynistic and so forth. If you don't follow the Bible, then you are not committed to Jesus. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Hatter23

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 12:50:25 AM »
Hello, I don't self-identify as Christian, but I would say I'm a spiritual person. I think Anne Rice expressed the problems with the Christian crowd well:

"For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."
I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life."

There are, however, some healthy ones:
http://www.tcpc.org/template/index.cfm

They just make less noise.

Keep up the good work!

[name redacted]

So most Christians..., uh sorry, those committed to Christ are less of an asshole than other. A great deal are even nice. Fine, but that doesn't validate that just because some people who believe in X are nice means X is real.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2011, 02:08:40 AM »
Well, that's nice. As long as you don't go around telling people that they will burn in hell, or that Noah rescued 1 million species of weevils, you are on the same team as us.

Some of us have peered into the NT from several angles, and have found that we cannot in all good conscience ascertain what it is talking about. The same gospels that deliver us the interesting ideals of the Sermon on The Mount, also assert strict Judaism. But even during the sermon, the intolerance of Jesus raises its head, to the point that we are not sure that he has anything to offer besides a novel strategy to settle disputes, namely: love your enemy. Paul then goes and wrecks that, by saying that you only do it to annoy your opponent. (Rom 12:20) The Pharisees may have been coming to this conclusion prior to Jesus, anyway. I suspect that the hellfire and apocalypse are what really comes from Jesus; an intolerant Essene puritan.





 

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Offline Onesimus

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 02:19:33 AM »
Most of what passes for Christianity in the US today is more like Paulianity anyway.  It's just as well. 

Offline One Above All

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 02:59:37 AM »
Although what curiousgirl said is correct, I appreciate and understand your PoV.
However, I do not appreciate that a lot (I'd say "all" but I'd be lying) of christians (sorry, but this really is what you are) like you don't do anything to stop the fundamentalists from making other people's lives a living hell.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 03:06:27 AM by Lucifer »
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 07:18:13 AM »
Regarding Anne's statement, I think it is dishonest for someone to say they are committed to Christ, but no longer a Christian. If you have faith in Jesus and follow his teachings, you are a Christian. Christians follow what is in the Bible, and the verses really are anti-gay, misogynistic and so forth. If you don't follow the Bible, then you are not committed to Jesus. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
It really, honestly, sounds like you're saying that Christians should act like how you think they should based on your own understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and if they aren't, they're not actually a Christian.  I don't see that to be much different in practice than some Christian carrying around assumptions about atheism, then telling atheists that they're not really atheists because they don't "act like an atheist".

Offline One Above All

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2011, 07:34:06 AM »
It really, honestly, sounds like you're saying that Christians should act like how you think they should based on your own understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and if they aren't, they're not actually a Christian.

I must agree with curiousgirl here. The Bible says that Jesus said a lot of things that Anne disagreed with. That's perfectly fine, but one cannot profess devotion to something without actually devoting oneself to it. Assuming the Bible to be true, Jesus said a lot of stuff that most christians ignore, whether they admit it or not.

I don't see that to be much different in practice than some Christian carrying around assumptions about atheism, then telling atheists that they're not really atheists because they don't "act like an atheist".

The difference being that this is not about attitude but beliefs. Atheists and theists are individuals; each free to act according to or against his/her own beliefs, morals or lack thereof. To believe in Jesus based on the Bible but to ignore what the Bible actually says is an oxymoron.

TL;DR version: This is simple SPAG. Anne is not following Jesus; she's following her own version of morality.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline kcrady

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 09:00:33 AM »
Regarding Anne's statement, I think it is dishonest for someone to say they are committed to Christ, but no longer a Christian. If you have faith in Jesus and follow his teachings, you are a Christian. Christians follow what is in the Bible, and the verses really are anti-gay, misogynistic and so forth. If you don't follow the Bible, then you are not committed to Jesus. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Hmmmm...  I think a "Christian" of this sort could say they call themselves that because they follow the "philosophy" of Jesus the way an advocate of Aristotle's philosophy is an "Aristotelian" and a follower of Plato is a Platonist.  Their position would be rather flimsy IMO because the Jesus of the Gospels didn't produce a philosophy, so much as a random, disconnected, and (in the hands of Gospel authors with different agendas) contradictory collection of parables, assertions, and commands.  If they try to go with what mainstream NT scholars think the historical Jesus probably "really" said, their situation is even worse, as there's not much "there" there.

It's also possible to be a Gnostic Christian, and get your idea of "Christ" from mystical experience, rather than the Bible.  Of course, the Bible worshipers would consider such "Christians" to be heretics...
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 10:19:04 AM »
Regarding Anne's statement, I think it is dishonest for someone to say they are committed to Christ, but no longer a Christian. If you have faith in Jesus and follow his teachings, you are a Christian. Christians follow what is in the Bible, and the verses really are anti-gay, misogynistic and so forth. If you don't follow the Bible, then you are not committed to Jesus. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
It really, honestly, sounds like you're saying that Christians should act like how you think they should based on your own understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and if they aren't, they're not actually a Christian.  I don't see that to be much different in practice than some Christian carrying around assumptions about atheism, then telling atheists that they're not really atheists because they don't "act like an atheist".

I'm not telling them my own opinion, I am telling them what is taught by their own Bible:

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-19

"If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." Leviticus 20:13

"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. " Ephesians 5:22-24


Anne Rice refusing to be anti-gay or anti-feminist clearly goes against what the Bible says, and Jesus supposedly said that the law still counts. So claiming to be committed to Christ while going against the supposed Word of God is contradictory. It's illogical.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 10:34:14 AM »
Hmmmm...  I think a "Christian" of this sort could say they call themselves that because they follow the "philosophy" of Jesus the way an advocate of Aristotle's philosophy is an "Aristotelian" and a follower of Plato is a Platonist.  Their position would be rather flimsy IMO because the Jesus of the Gospels didn't produce a philosophy, so much as a random, disconnected, and (in the hands of Gospel authors with different agendas) contradictory collection of parables, assertions, and commands.  If they try to go with what mainstream NT scholars think the historical Jesus probably "really" said, their situation is even worse, as there's not much "there" there.

It's also possible to be a Gnostic Christian, and get your idea of "Christ" from mystical experience, rather than the Bible.  Of course, the Bible worshipers would consider such "Christians" to be heretics...

What I want know is why Anne Rice said she was committed to Christ, but not a Christian. Doesn't the first entail the second, by definition? Although I doubt she is committed to Christ, if she does not want to follow what he said. I don't think she was claiming the first or the second possibilities that you provided, because those certainly would look flimsy, especially to her Christian fan base. Perhaps she is trying to subscribe to a more fashionable, faux "Christianity" where one claims to be into Jesus, but not all the rules. One would have to do a considerable amount of Bible cherry-picking to do that, or just stop looking at the Bible altogether, because as I pointed out earlier, Jesus claimed in the text that he wants those who love him to follow what he says (and that the law still stands). I'm no theist, but having a better understanding than the average Christian about Christianity has always irritated me.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 10:46:26 AM by curiousgirl »
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Online jaimehlers

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 12:00:23 PM »
Sorry, but this strikes me as being a form of "No True Scotsman", except from an outsider's perspective.

Basically, according to curiousgirl's post[1], if Anne Rice is committed to Christ and follows his teachings, she is a Christian.  But Christians have to follow what's in the Bible.  If Anne Rice doesn't follow what's in the Bible, then she's not a Christian and therefore can't be committed to Christ.  In other words, she's not committed to Christ unless she is a Christian, and she can't be a Christian unless she abides by the Bible, which has all of those scriptures which contain things she disagrees with.  Since she is opposed to those things, she doesn't abide by the Bible, thus she isn't a Christian, thus she can't be committed to Christ.

So how is this not a form of "No True Scotsman"?

I should note that this is a serious question.  I don't understand how this doesn't count as "No True Scotsman", since it follows the general form.
 1. which I am paraphrasing
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 12:02:24 PM by jaimehlers »

Offline Graybeard

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 01:01:32 PM »
The Bible is probably an irrelevancy to Christianity - hands up anyone who has got a copy signed by Jesus... No? Jesus (who never existed) did not say you should read his biography, He apparently advised,

M't:6:5: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. [edit = don't go to church. Elsewhere Jesus mentions about false prophets (priests/vicars/pastors, etc.) God also mentions He is incomprehensible, so it's not even worth bothering to try and understand Him.
M't:6:6: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. [edit = pray in private]
M't:6:7: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
M't:6:8: Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.[edit = God knows already what you want; if you pray for something that God thinks you don't want, you won't get it.]


as jaimehlers said,
Quote
This is simple SPAG. Anne is not following Jesus; she's following her own version of morality.
and this is what Jesus advised.

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Online jaimehlers

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 02:37:28 PM »
Lucifer actually said that specific quote.

Very interesting, though.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 03:37:49 PM »
Jaime, it is No True Scotsman because that is the nature of the Bible verses I provided. That is what Christians usually find "logical," which is one reason why I am not one of them anymore. I am not saying they are right, I am telling you how they usually think based on their own Bible, and my past experience with growing up going to many churches.

Graybeard, that sounds interesting, but I think it is more likely that the Biblical authors used the fictional character of Jesus (which is what I mean when I say Jesus said something) to tell people to follow the authors' own versions of SPAG, and the SPAG of earlier Biblical authors, through Matthew 5:17-19 (which I posted earlier).
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Traveler

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 04:14:27 PM »
Most christians I knew growing up were liberal peaceniks who believed the bible was simply a book full of stories. Metaphors for various things. Sort of like a book of poems, perhaps. Are they any less christian than the fundamentalist bible-thumper who believes the world is only 6000 years old and that the bible, every last contradictory word of it, is literally true? I don't see why not. Christian is simply a label that very roughly means someone who believes in Jesus-god. After that, it's a gigantic soup of 30,000 or so varient groups who call themselves christian. When someone says christian I assume they love Jesus, and after that I've got to have more information to have any clue at all what they believe.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 05:31:14 PM »
Most christians I knew growing up were liberal peaceniks who believed the bible was simply a book full of stories. Metaphors for various things. Sort of like a book of poems, perhaps.

Except for the part about the things Jesus did, and/or how they need to believe in him, right? I think that is just cherry-picking.


 Are they any less christian than the fundamentalist bible-thumper who believes the world is only 6000 years old and that the bible, every last contradictory word of it, is literally true?

By the Bible's standards, they would be (my bolding below):

"I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word." Psalm 138:2

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

I don't see why not. Christian is simply a label that very roughly means someone who believes in Jesus-god. After that, it's a gigantic soup of 30,000 or so varient groups who call themselves christian. When someone says christian I assume they love Jesus, and after that I've got to have more information to have any clue at all what they believe.

I see where you are coming from, and of course people can feel free to define themselves as whatever. It's just that these people who claim to love Jesus sometimes ignore his own (fictional) words, which are supposed to be important:

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15

When they claim to love Jesus and they do not obey his commands, and his statement that the law stands, then by (fictional) Jesus' (meaning the Biblical authors') own logic, they do not love him. This is not something I am pulling out of thin air; that is what their mythological savior teaches.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline ungod

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 05:53:21 PM »
"All Scripture is God-breathed "
You gotta love those weasel words. The Theologues dare not claim God "authored" anything, since the doubters might want to see evidence, such as an original manuscript. And "inspired by" also raises the question, evidence?
And so, we have the nebulous "God-breathed", designed to implant the idea of "inspired by" in the minds of the gullibles, without actually claiming such.
Ah, those Theologues - masters of deception, yet they are the foundation of our "morality."

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2011, 06:40:27 PM »
Jaime, it is No True Scotsman because that is the nature of the Bible verses I provided. That is what Christians usually find "logical," which is one reason why I am not one of them anymore. I am not saying they are right, I am telling you how they usually think based on their own Bible, and my past experience with growing up going to many churches.
Alright.  Except that Anne Rice has every right to exclude herself from being a Christian.  The whole point of the fallacy is that it is always about excluding someone else from the in-group (or saying that a person can't hold certain beliefs without being part of the group).  What she is basically saying is that she is removing herself from the group, and no longer considers herself a Christian.  I don't consider it dishonest to do that and to say that she wants to remain committed to Christ.  What it is, is cognitive dissonance taking form.  But cognitive dissonance is not about dishonesty, it is about conflicting beliefs.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2011, 06:58:11 PM »
Alright.  Except that Anne Rice has every right to exclude herself from being a Christian. 

For sure. Which is why I said this earlier:

Quote
...of course people can feel free to define themselves as whatever.

I just wanted to point out that she was saying she was committed to Christ, but went against some of his teachings (some of the Bible verses I posted earlier).

The whole point of the fallacy is that it is always about excluding someone else from the in-group (or saying that a person can't hold certain beliefs without being part of the group).  What she is basically saying is that she is removing herself from the group, and no longer considers herself a Christian.  I don't consider it dishonest to do that and to say that she wants to remain committed to Christ.  What it is, is cognitive dissonance taking form.  But cognitive dissonance is not about dishonesty, it is about conflicting beliefs.

OK. It just seems like (based on scripture) if she is saying she is committed to Christ, and going against some of what he is saying, then she is not committed to Christ. I think Luc said it better than I did earlier.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline kcrady

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2011, 09:10:31 PM »
What I want know is why Anne Rice said she was committed to Christ, but not a Christian. Doesn't the first entail the second, by definition?

It would be, if "Christians" (as she's using the term, i.e., American right-wing fundamentalists) were genuinely "committed to Christ."  I think this is the issue she's disputing.  The passages you cite ("if you love me, you'll follow my commands," etc.) can be wielded just as effectively against the fundamentalists, especially when it comes to every single thing Jesus ever had to say about money.  Of course, Anne Rice isn't exactly giving all her money to the poor and living as a wandering ascetic either...   

Although I doubt she is committed to Christ, if she does not want to follow what he said.

The problem here is that no one, with the possible exception of a relative handful of nuns, monks, and hermit mystics comes close to consistently following the words attributed to Jesus in the canonical Gospels.  In other words, the right wing fundamentalists have no better claim to the mantle of Real, True Christian than Rice does.

Perhaps she is trying to subscribe to a more fashionable, faux "Christianity" where one claims to be into Jesus, but not all the rules. One would have to do a considerable amount of Bible cherry-picking to do that, or just stop looking at the Bible altogether, because as I pointed out earlier, Jesus claimed in the text that he wants those who love him to follow what he says (and that the law still stands).

Doesn't this apply just as well to the televangelists and Jesus-on-their-sleeve Republicans who flaunt their enormous wealth and take the side of the rich against the poor, advocating economic and international policies that are based on the Satanic Bible, rather than the Christian one?  Consider the following, from the "Nine Satanic Statements:"

1. Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

Got my Hummer?  Check!  Earth First!  We'll strip-mine the other planets later!

4. Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it instead of love wasted on ingrates!

Out of work?  Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, you lazy hippie!  Fortify the borders to keep the damn Mexicans out!  Cut Social Security, and if that means Grandma has to eat cat food, well, guess she should have saved for retirement, amirite?  *Burns incense to the Free Markettm*

5. Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek!

See: Pentagon budget, the.

6. Satan represents responsibility to the responsible instead of concern for psychic vampires!

Hey, hippie!  Didn't I just tell you to get a job?

7. Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his “divine spiritual and intellectual development,” has become the most vicious animal of all!

Why do you think we need to fire teachers so we can afford to build more prisons and Predator drones?

I'm no theist, but having a better understanding than the average Christian about Christianity has always irritated me.

It's been said lots of times, that actually reading the Bible is one of the main routes to atheism. :)

Most christians I knew growing up were liberal peaceniks who believed the bible was simply a book full of stories. Metaphors for various things. Sort of like a book of poems, perhaps.

Except for the part about the things Jesus did, and/or how they need to believe in him, right? I think that is just cherry-picking.

Yes, it is.  The problem, IMO, for your argument that Rice is not an RTC because she rejects fundamentalism is that it's cherry picking all the way down. 

Jesus: Lay not up for yourselves treasures on Earth--

Fundy: La la la la laaaaaaa, I can't HEAAARRRRRR YOUUUUUUU!

"The Bible" itself is cherry picking.  Proto-Catholic prelates selected a few out of a large body of Epistles, Gospels, Apocalypses, and doctrinal documents like the Didache to form their "New Testament" canon, while more or less following the lead of Jewish rabbinical councils who did the same thing for the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament.  All while ignoring the rabbinical interpretations and commentaries on the Torah and the halakha (sp?), their interpretive rulings on how the Law should be applied.  Though they claim the Hebrew Scriptures as (in whatever sense) "God's Word," all Christians cherry-pick their way around it so they can wear cotton-polyester blend fabrics, eat cheeseburgers and shrimp wrapped in bacon, and not have to stone their daughter to death for not being a virgin on her wedding night.

Protestants came along over a thousand years after "the Bible" and decided to pitch the Magisterium of the Catholic Church overboard, while setting out to turn the book it created by its authority into a paper Pope.  In rejecting the ecclesiastical authority of the "Apostolic Succession" churches (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox), the Protestants saw off the limb they're sitting on.

Are they any less christian than the fundamentalist bible-thumper who believes the world is only 6000 years old and that the bible, every last contradictory word of it, is literally true?

By the Bible's standards, they would be (my bolding below):

"I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word." Psalm 138:2

This is not necessarily talking about a book.  Do a BibleGateway search for "Word of God" and you will see that it often refers to mystical revelations and prophetic utterances that are heard, rather than read.  See also "Word of the Lord"

Even fundamentalists like Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, etc. will regularly claim to have received a "word of knowledge" from Yahweh directly.  Thus it would be possible in principle for someone to reject "the Bible" in whole or in part[1] while still claiming to be "committed to Christ."  A Course in Miracles also purports to be the teachings of "Christ," and it has the virtue of being more expansive and coherent[2] than the fragmentary "teachings of Jesus" found in the canonical Gospels.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

This passage doesn't say what fundies think it says.  Observe:

"The Chronicles of Narnia is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."  See how the sentence still makes sense?  2 Timothy 3:16 does not say that Scripture is useful for science or history or cosmology or training in mathematics.  The things it is asserted to be useful for can be done just as well by allegory and fable (e.g. Aesop's Fables).

Furthermore, there was no such thing as "the Bible" when that passage was written.  The idea of "New Testament Scripture" had not arisen in the Christian communities yet.  The author could only have been referring to the Hebrew Scriptures.  And, if we look at the way New Testament authors use and interpret passages from the Hebrew Scriptures (e.g. examples of "prophecies" Jesus "fulfilled," Paul's midrash of the Sara/Hagar story[3] as an allegory of the Heavenly Jerusalem vs. the Earthly Jerusalem), it is abundantly clear that nothing resembling Chicago Statement-style "grammatical-historical method" literalism ever passed through their minds.  Biblical authors simply did not approach Scripture as if it were a scientific or historical treatise the way modern fundamentalists try to, when they're not cherry-picking for all they're worth.

I see where you are coming from, and of course people can feel free to define themselves as whatever. It's just that these people who claim to love Jesus sometimes ignore his own (fictional) words, which are supposed to be important:

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15

When they claim to love Jesus and they do not obey his commands, and his statement that the law stands, then by (fictional) Jesus' (meaning the Biblical authors') own logic, they do not love him. This is not something I am pulling out of thin air; that is what their mythological savior teaches.

Again, this applies with equal force against the fundamentalists Anne Rice and others like her oppose.  Right-wing fundamentalists do not have a legitimate claim to being the Real, True Christians.  Nobody does.
 1. If Protestants can reject the authority of the Apostolic Church and create their own interpretations of Scripture, why does this not extend to the process of Canonization itself?  If the Roman Church was corrupted by power, why should we trust it to have chosen the right books as "Scripture?"
 2. As in, "less self-contradictory," not necessarily "more consistent with reality."
 3. Galatians 4:21-31.
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Offline voodoo child

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2011, 10:01:55 PM »
Question to letter writer. let me get this strait.

so, you actually think that Jesus existed and maybe vampires as well?

how about buff boys that turn into 450 pound wolfs, that are somewhat cut, but ruff?
The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself. Truth has no path. Truth is living and therefore changing. Bruce lee

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2011, 10:11:39 PM »
Kcrady, that was a great post that got me thinking about how Christianity is defined. Obviously, I was taught certain ideas (from fundies from many different churches), so it is very refreshing to see your POV.

The problem here is that no one, with the possible exception of a relative handful of nuns, monks, and hermit mystics comes close to consistently following the words attributed to Jesus in the canonical Gospels.  In other words, the right wing fundamentalists have no better claim to the mantle of Real, True Christian than Rice does.

Yes, that does seem to be true, which would, ironically, make this true if God were actually real:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14

It's been said lots of times, that actually reading the Bible is one of the main routes to atheism. :)

Yes, it was my main route for sure. Must be all the cherry-picking and willful ignorance that keeps Christians coming back for more.


Yes, it is.  The problem, IMO, for your argument that Rice is not an RTC because she rejects fundamentalism is that it's cherry picking all the way down. 

Jesus: Lay not up for yourselves treasures on Earth--

Fundy: La la la la laaaaaaa, I can't HEAAARRRRRR YOUUUUUUU!

"The Bible" itself is cherry picking.  Proto-Catholic prelates selected a few out of a large body of Epistles, Gospels, Apocalypses, and doctrinal documents like the Didache to form their "New Testament" canon, while more or less following the lead of Jewish rabbinical councils who did the same thing for the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament.  All while ignoring the rabbinical interpretations and commentaries on the Torah and the halakha (sp?), their interpretive rulings on how the Law should be applied.  Though they claim the Hebrew Scriptures as (in whatever sense) "God's Word," all Christians cherry-pick their way around it so they can wear cotton-polyester blend fabrics, eat cheeseburgers and shrimp wrapped in bacon, and not have to stone their daughter to death for not being a virgin on her wedding night.


Absolutely. The cherry-picking turned full-blown SPAG drives me batshit. I like your argument. It does seem like a lot of Christians don't practice what the Bible itself says, and they do make up their own reasons for it, such as, "God will understand" or "God is loving. He won't punish me for breaking that rule."

This is not necessarily talking about a book.  Do a BibleGateway search for "Word of God" and you will see that it often refers to mystical revelations and prophetic utterances that are heard, rather than read.  See also "Word of the Lord"

Even fundamentalists like Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, etc. will regularly claim to have received a "word of knowledge" from Yahweh directly.  Thus it would be possible in principle for someone to reject "the Bible" in whole or in part[1] while still claiming to be "committed to Christ."  A Course in Miracles also purports to be the teachings of "Christ," and it has the virtue of being more expansive and coherent[2] than the fragmentary "teachings of Jesus" found in the canonical Gospels.
 1. If Protestants can reject the authority of the Apostolic Church and create their own interpretations of Scripture, why does this not extend to the process of Canonization itself?  If the Roman Church was corrupted by power, why should we trust it to have chosen the right books as "Scripture?"
 2. As in, "less self-contradictory," not necessarily "more consistent with reality."

Great points. I guess anyone who hears a voice in their head and follows it (thinking it is Jesus) can claim to be committed to Christ. That is some scary SPAG right there.

This passage doesn't say what fundies think it says.  Observe:

"The Chronicles of Narnia is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."  See how the sentence still makes sense? 
Yes, I see your point, and it is creepy how people can basically claim whatever they want is “God-breathed” if they truly think it is.

Again, this applies with equal force against the fundamentalists Anne Rice and others like her oppose.  Right-wing fundamentalists do not have a legitimate claim to being the Real, True Christians.  Nobody does.

I see your point, and I thank you for that fresh perspective! You have helped me see things in a new way.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline Traveler

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2011, 12:25:44 PM »
...This is not something I am pulling out of thin air; that is what their mythological savior teaches.

I hear you. As soon as they say the bible is a metaphor, however, they can disregard any of it they please. SPAG, for sure. But many, if not all, christians practice it. And in my opinion, some christians are kinder, gentler, and saner than others. The more fundamentalist they are, the more dangerous. Just as with any religion. I'd rather someone throw out all the nasty bits of the bible and say they follow the nicer bits than have someone trying to follow all of it, nasty bits and all. I guess that's the realist in me, acknowledging that religion will still be here for a long time to come, and as long as it's a harmless type, I can deal. As a fictional example, let's take Father Mulcahey from M.A.S.H. Catholic, but kind and gentle, and he'd do the appropriate (non Catholic) services for Jews, Buddhists, whatever. He was there to help, and you didn't have to be Catholic to get it.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

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Re: The healthy ones [#2619]
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2011, 02:01:22 PM »
Nevermind

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.