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View Diary: The Ongoing War on Christianity (172 comments)

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  •  Let's forget for one moment that "Jesus Christ" (8+ / 0-)

    is a mythological character portrayed in a series of texts written anywhere from 40 to 100 years past his supposed lifetime, and take a real look at everything reported in them.  

    How did this character treat the pagan woman who came to him asking for help for her daughter?

    How did his character treat his mother and siblings when they approached him?

    What did he tell the potential disciple when he wanted to delay joining the following to attend a family funeral?

    Why was it OK for the disciples to leave their families high and dry to follow Jesus?

    What was Jesus's reaction to towns of people who did not want to hear him or his disciples' messages?

    What was the whole "I come to bring a sword" passage about?

    Did Jesus believe in the idea of hell and damnation and separation of people in the afterlife?

    I'm just saying that using this character as a justification for certain positions on modern problems is not helpful, as people can obviously guess anything they want on the question of "how Christ would view" something.

    We know what's right and wrong based upon our HUMAN responses, not upon some made up mytholgical being who was not at all consistent in his teachings or actions, and who often took what I view as immoral positions himself.

    •  We have to remember (11+ / 0-)

      In many ways, most of us will spend our days interacting with those who are religious in one way or another.   As I've pointed out, I'm not.  

      But I've found that telling people who view themselves as religious that their religion is "yuck" rarely starts a dialog that changes any minds; you don't influence them to understand that their position is wrong, you just harden their resolve that you're not a person worth talking to.

      But by asking them to not consider the passages of the bible you or I or anyone may find offensive, and instead, asking where the loving spirit that was proposed by many moments went, you are far more likely to start a real dialog about what's going wrong within the basis of belief, and why people - when given the chance - even those who are deeply religious want to believe in a loving, forgiving deity rather than a wrathful deity that waits to hate you.

      How we dialog and talk with those of faith is what makes a change, confrontation rarely does.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 08:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't post this to "change minds"... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        carver, RockyMtnLib, ImpactAv, kdrivel

        I posted it as an argument against using a certain yardstick for problem solving and addressing human issues.  For two thousand years now we have had much of our "thinking" in the western world contained within a parameter of what was written in a set of texts that have been presented as representing real events and real people.  They do not.  So we repeatedly get our creative thinking caught in this net of trying to reconcile the real world with some ancient worldview that has no more validity or evidence for it than a child's fairy tale.

        Of course we all work with and have relationships with people who consider themselves religious. That has nothing to do with the act of responding to the ideas that were presented here.  Religious opinions are no different than political ones.  If someone posts a political opinion that has no evidence behind it, people have no problem confronting that argument with skepticism and critcism.   The "what would nice good Jesus do" question is meaningless if one blocks out or doesn't consider the harsh mean Jesus, or pretends that part of the character doesn't exist.  It is better in my view to skip "Jesus" all together.  If that suggestion is "offensive" or "disrespectful" to the religionist, then so be it.  It is they who are insulting the intelligence of others by not being honest about what is in those texts.

        •  What exactly is the source of superior (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hammerhand, Paul1a

          moral judgement that is "HUMAN", but not "all too human"?

          It's not based on this particular myth or that because there's apparent contradictions and the bible isn't one dimensional?

          If you're looking for a one dimensional moral source or human standard, I think that will lead one far off the path of morality or truth about humanity.

          The only one dimensional story is one that was never read.

          The story of Odysseus has influenced Western Civilization too. There's all kinds of truths about the human condition to be discovered in it. You don't have to believe in hydras and cyclops to see it.

          Also, denying the "validity" of fairy tales is not in the least a creative endeavor. If there's anything I find offensive about atheist polemics against religion, it's a conspicuous lack of imagination.

        •  There's been a fair amount (0+ / 0-)

          of decent biblical scholarship that rather convincingly separates the "teachings" as originally recorded and understood by the "Jesus congregations" from the later additions (which changed essentially everything).  You find what's left from the Synoptic Gospels after you strip out the obvious fictions . . . the "miracles", the "son of god", the "virgin birth", "died for your sins", "raised from the dead",  and the crowning lie that if you just "believed" the nonsense you'd be "saved" and get "life eternal" . . . somewhere down at the end of the table just past the right hand of god itself.  Amen.

          Oh, and if you didn't believe it you'd go to hell for sure (after the "faithful" got done with you).  Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.  Watch the witches burn.

          There's a couple thousand years of decidedly ugly history to study if you want to know just how well that all worked out . . . (or you could just look around at "Christians" today).

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:01:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Religion isn't HUMAN? (1+ / 0-)
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    •  By all means take a look at everything (5+ / 0-)

      But certain points of the Bible are clearly emphasized and emphasized in clearer language than other points.  I think it is important to hold to that.  The diarist has admirably identified a key part of the faith.  Still many parts can seem troublesome.  I try to remember I'm reading the source in any number of the umpteen English translations from an ancient language and ancient culture.

      If your questions are important to you, look for someone who appears to be a recognized and solid biblical scholar.  She or he might be happy to talk to you.

      Or read some John McKenzie for example:

      “If Jesus can be trusted to have said anything at all, he renounced violence: interpreters have preferred to think that his words are irrelevant to politics, which should be discussed without any reference to anything He said, did or was. I shall raise a question or two about this.” The Civilization of Christianity, page 136.
      I also would also not set the "mythological" element aside because a fair amount of the Bible is written in mythological language.  Writing doesn't have to be literal in order to be truthful.  (How some fundamentalists think that their King James translation is the official mind of God and everything else is suspect boggles the mind.)

      If you've already made up your mind and the questions are rhetorical, then ignore this and I wish you well.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 10:14:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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