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I want to thank readers of my blog for being tolerant and accepting of my posts about organized religion. It is a pleasure to write not only among fellow Quakers but also among fellow believers. You have shown a kind of intellectual maturity and tolerance I rarely experience in any other context. I have occasional rubbed a few people the wrong way, but it has never been difficult to smooth over rough edges with the right words.

Those who paint my readers and friends with the same sarcastic, skeptical brush haven't made acquaintance with the people I have. I'm glad that most readers will give me the benefit of the doubt and know that the very last thing on my mind is to win converts to Christ. That runs contrary to what I believe.

Starting on Tuesday, I began to post about the particulars of my faith, particularly my belief in God and in Christianity. I received some extremely strong criticism and was accused of proselytizing. I faced a tremendous amount of hostility that only grew with time. In reality, I was only sharing the particulars of my faith, in what I hoped was an informative way, but not in a way that implied I wanted people to believe the same way I do. I have made the acquaintance of other people of faith and have even had several diaries rescued and put up on the front page of Daily Kos. I'm very thankful for the Street Prophets Kos group, where I have found many like-minded people.

Feministe is a website for young Feminists. My references to organized religion there have been met with extreme suspicion and at times anger. I must admit I do not understand people who assume that religion in any form must be destructive. All I was trying to show was the link between feminism and Christianity, but that opportunity never materialized. I was eventually shut down by everyone who responded to me, then the moderator. Should you wish to read through this extensive hyperlinked thread, start about a quarter of the way down when I, cabaretic, begin to share my thoughts.

This post is not a way to vent about the way I was treated, but rather it is a plea that we not let our real or imagined issues with organized religion get in the way of teachable moments. To Feministe readers, I was not trying to force feed my Quakerism to a group of people who resisted it and had no interest in the first place. They were not ready to hear it on its own terms. Someday they may, and someday they might not. That's up to them.

I hold no grudges, but I am frustrated by people who believe that religion is automatically evil. As I kept posting, I found that, unlike other venues, the more I tried to define myself and my own beliefs, the angrier and less tolerant comments became.

Should anyone want to better understand the conundrum I found myself in, they can use the link here. In short, I ran into a group of people who would not tolerate my right to religious expression. I found myself besieged on five sides by people who simply would not listen and did not care. I have occasionally discovered destructive comments along those lines in other articles, but I've also read overtly religious diaries that are treated with reverence and respect.

These are some of the comments I received.

1. Many people find your opinions to be proselytizing and obnoxious, and so we have grown to dislike you. That’s not persecution, not matter how much you may wish to model yourself on the central figure of a death cult that has been used as the justification for mass slaughter an extraordinary number of times.
           
2. Officials what you say about Quakerism is true, I am actually pretty sure that your fellow Quakers would be utterly horrified to hear about your exploits trolling feminist forums, “promoting” their cause even when asked not to, and being completely dismissive of the reasons offered by women here as to why they are not interested in your religion and not interested in hearing more.
3. Joking, I noted something that I thought was very harmless.

Honestly, you would make an excellent Quaker.

The response was not what I was expecting at all.

To me this comes off as super creepy

I spent three hours talking past people who did not want to give me the benefit of the doubt. My entire point was not to convert or win souls to Christ. Rather, I wanted them to see that Quakerism is indeed a feminist religion, and that their automatic fears about any organized religion might be a little paranoid and inaccurate. I see now that this is a conclusion they will have to reach on their own.

But in the meantime, I hope these people make peace with organized religion. We're all aware of the evil that religion has produced, but I tend to fault individual people more than I do a belief system. As George Carlin put it, "There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions. And words." To me it takes a kind of courage to reexamine Christianity and religion with different eyes, eyes that aren't automatically looking to find fault.

I grew up in the Bible Belt, and once I rejected the predominant cultural mindset. And then I looked at what I had been taught earlier in life, and saw that there was much worth there. Any system devised by human hands will be imperfect, which is why there must be constant reform. The challenge for me is recognizing the groups who will hear me, just as they chose to hear or not to hear Jesus, and then share my strategy to bring us together. My motivations are a little Utopian, but then again, I care for people enough that I want to bring everyone to the table

Originally posted to cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

    by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:55:55 AM PDT

  •  Since the dawn of man. . . (6+ / 0-)

    . . .we have created literally thousands of religions. Some of them were very popular in their day. Had you spoken out against Zeus or Thor, most likely you would have been put to death. Today, the man with the hammer seems quite trite to us, because we were not born into it, yet the man in white robes walking across the wave tops and bringing corpses, rotting in the hot desert sun for three days, somehow does not bring about the same questioning.

    We are no closer to answering the mysteries of "God" today than we were those thousands of years ago when we first contemplated where in the world we came from. God doesn't talk to me and He/She/It/They don't talk to you either, despite what your religious man might tell you.

    No one on earth knows one damned thing about "God". That is the way it has always been and will forever remain. I am the only one that will tell you the naked truth about it all.

    •  I'll grant you this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rogneid

      God is evolving, and our understanding of God is also evolving. I try to keep my mind open, knowing that I grow at the same pace God does.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:11:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're the "only one" in possession (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, Dixie Dawg

      of "the naked truth about it all?" Looks to me from the diary itself that your claim is patently bogus.

      Though human psychology informs us that most people believe that they and they alone are in possession of T.H.E. "naked truth" when it comes to spiritual matters. So from that perspective your boast probably seems accurate. To you. Not so much to others.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:21:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Umm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tikkun

        I don't think that's what he actually said. The only thing he is in "possession of", if anything, is his own experience. That doesn't run herd on your experience, or mine. The struggle is to express it in some mutually acceptable way that promotes understanding rather than more alienation.

        You are accusing him, if I understand you correctly, of megalomania by sitting in judgment on everybody's experience. That as far as I can tell is the last thing he is doing or wants.

        It is interesting that you misperceive that in him as an attempt to be condemning. Project much?

        •  The exact words of the last sentence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, tikkun

          of matador's post are:

          I am the only one that will tell you the naked truth about it all.
          Which, somewhat humorously, contradicts the first two sentences of that paragraph, which say:
          No one on earth knows one damned thing about "God". That is the way it has always been and will forever remain.
          Which motivated my tongue-in-cheek response. In my experience - and probably yours, his/hers, and everybody else's - there are a whole lot of people who claim to know at least "one damned thing about 'God'" and aren't the least bit shy of claiming such knowledge loudly and with a high degree of hubris whenever they get the chance. Even if the "one damned thing" they claim to know about God/gods and/or demigods is that they do not exist and never have existed.

          Absolutism in all its guises can be somewhat humorous once one manages to get past the patent absurdity (per cognitive dissonance) of the mindset.

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:35:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Everyone Seems to Have Their Own (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, semiMennonite

      naked truth.  One of the rules of religious dialogue is that you always leave space for the fact that you and your belief or lack of it does not have an unimpeach.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:03:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where nakedness lies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      Millions of people use "god" and religion in all its manifestations as a metaphor to discuss what is right/wrong, desirable/undesirable, life-sustaining/death-producing.  The fact that you don't understand what they're talking about and reject the conversation doesn't mean you have special knowledge about what "has always been and will forever remain." It means you have a general disregard and disrespect of people from cultures different from yours, and you have little interest in intellectually engaging the "other."  Too bad your moral upbringing didn't include a general love and respect for all people, including people unlike you.

      Many Christians and religious of other traditions do in fact feel like we are progressing/evolving in our knowledge of right and wrong, and condemn the speech and actions of the religious right.  That you are unaware of these things reveals the nakedness of your own curiosity and moral development more than anything else.

      God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. - JG Holland

      by Liberal for Life on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:29:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't get it. (0+ / 0-)

        matador states an opinion. The only personal remark was:

        God doesn't talk to me and He/She/It/They don't talk to you either, despite what your religious man might tell you.
        .
        And you respond with a complete dressing down of his/her entire person and that of her/his upbringing.

        By your your logic, you're rejecting matador's conversation. By your logic, you have a general disregard & disrespect for matador. By your logic  you have little interest  in intellectually engaging the "other" and you do not love and respect all people, including people unlike you?  

        Insulting matador wasn't enough? You feel justified in saying matador lacks a proper moral upbringing? That is beyond the pale.

        I said, "By your logic" because even though I totally disagree with your rant, I wouldn't think of saying any of these same things about you.  I would rather assume you are a good person, who went a little off the rails.

        But this... words fail me.

        That you are unaware of these things reveals the nakedness of your own curiosity and moral development more than anything else.
        Are all these qualities unimportant when you feel  religion is slighted by someone? Because what you said to matador was vicious. I don't get how you justify completely disregarding a person's worth because they don't see things as you do.

        It's just wrong.

        ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

        by denig on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 12:24:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  naked vs. pantalooned curiosity/moral development (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denig

          what the hell does the phrase naked curiosity supposed to mean?

          Will somebody, preferably somebody with a pantalooned curiosity or moral development please explain?

          •  hahaha! Naked 'whatever' appears to mean (0+ / 0-)

            'no barriers'.

            In the instance from Liberal For Life:

               That you are unaware of these things reveals the nakedness of your own curiosity and moral development more than anything else.
            I have no idea what he/she is talking about. perhaps someone will enlighten us both.

            I do have this pantsed curiosity as to the origins of your name, barleystraw

            An algae allergy? heh heh.

            ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

            by denig on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 12:43:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I picked barleystraw because (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig

              barley straw is a food you can feed donkeys- i.e., democrats

              as an added bonus the name also can connote strawman or something like that.

              •  Very interesting! Your post sent me off on an (0+ / 0-)

                exploration of donkeys. That set me to exploring mini donkeys, which are really cool.

                That in turn, started me down the road of mini cows and  mini goats. I had no idea! But it is all quite fascinating.

                So ya  know... you rock!

                ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

                by denig on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:36:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  "Naked" as in lacking support/defenseless (0+ / 0-)

            My point is that when matador comes into contact with people of faith, rather than display intellectual curiosity by trying to understand where we come from, he throws bombs at us that are personally insulting and disrespectful of our culture - which is in fact an assault on our moral upbringing, our sense of self, our most cherished values, our parents and grandparents, the most revered members of our community, etc.  His lack of compassion and moderation towards us is morally defenseless, IMHO, and unsurprisingly evokes a karmic backlash.

            Atheism and agnosticism are valid alternatives to belief in God and practice of religion.  Being an unrestrained jerk towards the vast majority of people in this world who believe in something higher than themselves, including things sacred, isn't.  "Matador" crossed a line in his post, and I called him on it.  

            He is an emperor without clothes, and it has nothing to do with panties.  

            God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. - JG Holland

            by Liberal for Life on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 11:17:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your post says nothing about matador, it says (0+ / 0-)

              everything about you.

              "Matador" crossed a line in his post, and I called him on it.  
              hahaha! yeah, right.

              ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

              by denig on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:45:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Selective umbrage (0+ / 0-)

          Um, NO.  But thanks for the post, because it made me consider my earlier post carefully and examine if I were unfair to matador.

          If I were as wrong and vicious as matador, I would have called him an idiotic "flying pig farter" - actual words he used to refer to a preacher who had the misfortune of matador attending a friend's funeral at his church.  (See his Feb 2014 posting "The Last Agnostic".)  That is him, not me.

          Political parties and philosophies rise and fall in influence.  Empires and entire civilizations come and go.  Among all inventions of the human psyche, it has been religion that has been most lasting and influential.  Matador finds no value in any of it, and his behavior - flinging shit at people he doesn't like - is the lowest expression of our primate origins.  His post was not an invitation for conversation; it was his attempt to thrust a sword into what he thinks is bull(shit), to kill the bull(shit).  Thrust and gloat, because he's the "matador."  Get it?  

          On the other hand, I believe in a global, multicultural society that celebrates and embraces differences in religion, philosophy and culture.  When I have had the opportunity to experience other people's religious traditions, I have mostly been fascinated by the complexity and nuance, and how we're often so much alike beneath these traditions that most of us happened to be born into.  Except for fanatics, most religious people are just trying to discern right from wrong, and provide their children a moral foundation.  All matador sees is fanaticism - and that distortion makes him behave fanatically in response.

          I reject his fanaticism, not "conversation."  Even though he has stated that I am an unquestioning idiot, I'm actually quite curious about how he ended up in this place of hatred towards everything religious, and everyone who believes in God.  I have experienced my share of spiritual violence, and find forgiveness to be a more empowering response.

          God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. - JG Holland

          by Liberal for Life on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 05:28:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  here's your problem (6+ / 0-)

    This

    My motivates are a little Utopian, but then again, I care for people enough that I want to bring everyone to the table
    contradicts this
    I'm glad that readers will give me the benefit of the doubt and know that the very last thing on my mind is conversion.
    •  I see what you mean, but.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite, freshwater dan, amyzex

      And thanks for pointing it out.

      When I say that I want to bring people to the table, I want people with different beliefs to take part. I always delight with those who believe as I do, because that's only normal, but I'd rather speak at a table with 9 Muslims and 1 Christian than fold my tent and pout that I wasn't somehow able to convert them to think like me.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:13:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good grief! (6+ / 0-)

      "Bring them to the table", I doubt very much means "lead them to Christ"-- especially since the author disavows that.
      It can just as well, and seems more likely given the context, mean have an open and mutually respectful conversation.

      If we've gotten to the point that one cannot even share their experiences without rejection or hostility we are no longer liberal or open minded.

      •  I want to have a summit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, semiMennonite

        I want people who believe and people who don't. And I want us to talk about our reservations and what we want for the worlds.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:34:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We call it Interfaith Dialogue and You Can (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, Joieau

          probably find one near you. Also called Interidealogical Dialogue if it's conversation between people of not faith and people of faith.

          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

          by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:10:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank You! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semiMennonite

            I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

            by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:49:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Rules for Dialogue (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              are very useful and necessary.  They help us to have a way to call foul when the conversation stops being a dialogue and reverts to debate or when the dialogists are unequal (freshman to doctoral students as an example) Leonard Swidler pulled them out of the dead failure of Jewish and Christian academics, who needed to be able to work together because the Romans burned everybody's books, but couldn't because of baggage.  They are quaintly titled, Dialogue Decalogue

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:02:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The FIRST thing on your mind should be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freshwater dan

      conversion. Christians should be acting like their hair is on fire, spreading the good word before billions of us are throw into the lake of fire for eternity...or they don't really believe all that, not really.

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:20:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nah (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, semiMennonite, Joieau

        People have free will and the right to worship as they choose. If someone comes to me and asks, I'll be glad to provide. But that's always their decision.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:35:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you read your book? Jesus commanded (0+ / 0-)

          his followers to spread he Gospel but then maybe you either don't believe in hell or don't care if billions of people end up there?

          "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

          by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:47:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't believe in hell (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            merrywidow, amyzex, semiMennonite, Joieau

            I can understand it as an intellectual construct, but I don't understand why a loving God would doom any of us humans to hell.

            I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

            by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:03:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Me either! I think there is some intelligent (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              amyzex, Joieau

              energy that we can "contact" or tap into, I just don't think anyone knows what it is, and my objection to religion is certainty, people who KNOW if and what god is and what he-she wants seems impossible. If they all admitting doubt, it would help everyone!

              "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

              by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:31:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Religious Experiences (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                semiMennonite, tikkun, Joieau

                I have had strong religious experiences that cannot be rationally defined. I've experienced God in unexpected places. Sometimes he is far away. Sometimes he is resting on my shoulder.

                Quakers believe in a mystical God and that each of us have a different perspective. I would love if God was around me at all times, but he never has been, and he may never.

                I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:13:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Good to know that UU (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tikkun, semiMennonite

              my own persuasion are not the only Protestants who believe this.

              The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

              by amyzex on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:00:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cabaretic, pvasileff, tikkun

            his religious experience is more his guide which he sees reflected in religious words. It is likely the vocabulary through which the Quaker expresses his/her inner experience.
               Many Quakers are not Evangelical. This one has stated he/she is not. You sound like a fundamentalist trying to impose a religious approach he/she does not own. It's like trying to convince an atheist that they are a nihilist-- it doesn't apply.

            •  No, but I have read and studied the book (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              amyzex

              and it is pretty clear that there is a hell and non-believers in Christ do NOT get everlasting life. So if that is the case, then I would expect more urgency to get us all saved!

              but I know many people do not take the Bible literally, they take the meaningful-to-them stuff and ignore the rest, totally fair.

              I do hope that the ones who believe in hell might feel some need to save the rest of us. But they don't, in fact they delight in their private club.

              "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

              by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:34:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm a Universalist (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                amyzex, semiMennonite

                I believe in a loving God who does not condemn anyone to hell, and I think the same goes for those with whom I worship, too.

                I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:40:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  what part of the book? the part included by some (0+ / 0-)

                arbitrary committee assigned by a ruthless roman emporer who had his own son murdered?

                or the parts that that committee left out?

                or is it the part that doesn't translate into English very well?

                or the part that was intentionally mis-translated to not offend social mores?

                or the parts that are mutually inconsistent and obviously derived from some arbitrary, ancient mythology?

                or possibly the parts that are barbaric and allow openings for hatred and bigotry to creep in?

                •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)

                  "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                  by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:01:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Here's What I Usually Ignore (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, semiMennonite, Joieau

                  Quakers are pacifist and much of the Old Testament is very violent. So I tend to stick only to the New Testament, which the exception maybe of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Psalms.

                  I find more that is helpful to me in the life of Jesus than in the life of Samson or Ruth or Daniel, or Joseph.

                  I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                  by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:15:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I consider the Song of Songs (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    merrywidow, semiMennonite

                    to be the most beautiful - and titillating - work of ancient almost-pornographic poetry ever written. And am particularly fond of the Book of Job, for its portrayal of the tragic contradiction in humanity's odd "relationship" with inconceivable deity. I also consider it to be the best handbook of debate fallacies the ancient world ever produced...

                    §;o)

                    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                    by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:01:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Job (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau, tikkun

                      Job has really been my salvation in tough times. Song of Soloman is very beautiful.

                      Job reminds me all the time that God is in control, and I am not.

                      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:27:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  My father caught me reading Job (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        semiMennonite

                        in the midst of my initial grief after our son died. He was very agitated by that, suggested strongly that I go to John - the most spiritually informed of the books of Gospel.

                        But he didn't realize I was already well familiar with Gospel, and that's not what I needed at the time. When something so awful happens the natural tendency out of broken-heartedness is to blame one's self, to say "if only..." until it can literally drive you nuts. The eternally excellent arguments Job defeated in that epic are just those products of one's own mind and feelings of guilt. I needed that, so that's where I went seeking comfort.

                        People misunderstand Job terribly. Luckily for me, my godparents were Jewish and not averse to answering my childish questions back in the day. I tend to view the Bible in its entirety as holy, but not a whole lot like most Christians tend to view it [inerrant, literal, etc.]. Always go with the views of the people who wrote it, I always say... §;o)

                        By the way, Job is considered by quite a few scholars of the subject to be perhaps the most ancient book of the scriptures. Despite it not boasting many truly ancient extant copies. IOW, written at or before the time of the patriarchs, a "posing of the question" so to speak, that the collections of archaea and oral traditions of the people were intended to try and answer.

                        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                        by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:08:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Job (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Joieau

                          When I was fighting for my life, I read Job in my hospital bed. The last passage where Job questions God has always reminded me that God's will is subservient to my own. I may never know the answers I seek.

                          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:51:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Insightful. The anti-religionists (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            semiMennonite

                            like to make hay out of the obviously primitive framing of the book of Job, the insulting notion that a god and a devil would wager between themselves over the piety of any individual human. But that's just the stage setting, the framing of the play.

                            And when I said "oldest book" I didn't really mean it was written. Like most other examples of deep folk histories in the form of poetry (or even prose in pentameter), it was 'created' in a form that enabled its generational survival orally in a memorizable form. Which is how people kept their mythologies and great stories before there was writing.

                            I got pretty far along the writing of a 3-act play some years ago called "Mom." Not a lot of action, but a dining table conversation between God and Jesus and "Uncle Mo" (a Mel Brooks type orthodox Holy Ghost) who was inordinately proud of dinosaurs and still bitter that they didn't fit onto the ark...

                            Highlighted by occasional falling feathers and booming angelic tones, the basic underlying dynamic between the two primary protagonists was the younger's threat to call Mom. A fate apparently to be avoided at all costs to the decidedly un-hippie old guys...

                            You're right. Job is the only human throughout all the annals of "The Writings" and/or "The Books" of canon who ever bested God. And the only one to whom God felt called upon to manifest himself to in order to 'defend' his omnipotence and amorality. That god is an infant. It is an interesting exercise to follow the maturing of this deity through his supposed incarnation in human flesh, all the while following - not leading - the intellectual maturing of the people of the book(s).

                            Different human cultures are notable throughout history for their particular genius in art, or science, or poetry or martial prowess or... whatever. The Jews are notable for their genius at philosophical psychology. And their generational suffering because of that.

                            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                            by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:21:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I Love It All (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    semiMennonite, Joieau

                    OF course it helps to have some anthropological frame works to understand what it is that you're reading.  

                    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                    by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:52:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  "Pretty clear" depending entirely on (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                semiMennonite

                the specific interpretation(s) applied by the humans doing the interpreting. There actually is (or was) a hell. It was a garbage dump in a deep ravine outside the Jerusalem walls. Where the bodies of dead stone-ees (in the old days) and Roman victims ("the crosses extended to the horizon") were thrown to be torn apart and eaten by wild dogs.

                As to a literal hell in the afterlife, think about the concept as put forward by human interpreters since forever - if you are condemned to spend an eternity suffering the tortures of hell, how can you say out of the other side of your mouth that people sentenced to hell don't get 'everlasting life'? That's internally inconsistent enough to be ridiculous on its face.

                Still, when you think about it, where would you rather spend an eternity? Living in an authoritarian gated community next door to Jerry Falwell, et al. sure doesn't appeal to me or anybody I know and love. Besides, I'd be bored to death floating around on clouds playing sleepy tunes on instruments with too damned many strings, forever.

                Or, as someone once said, heaven for the climate, hell for the company.

                There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:55:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hell (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau, semiMennonite, merrywidow

                  I think it is an fantasy. I can understand the need for some to be punitive, but all it does is traumatize people or fill them full of needless guilt.

                  I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                  by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:31:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  One of the primary causes (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    semiMennonite

                    of what I'll call the "religious impulse" in human beings is injustice in this world. How many times can we execute a Hitler for killing millions of people? How can there be any equitable measure of justice for crimes of that magnitude? Answer: There can't, such is not within our power to impose.

                    Most people would readily admit that life and death on planet earth is chock full of gross injustice and always has been. We make small strides forward, interrupted semi-regularly by major slides downhill in slick blood-red mud. All the way up to the present day, so things don't really seem to get better over time. We're not at all distant from the barbarism of our past, it's pure hubris to believe otherwise.

                    As humans, armed with human brains (and their peculiarities) by evolution on this planet, we innately understand injustice. Hell, work with primates and some other critters demonstrate that a sense of injustice isn't entirely exclusive to our species. But much worse, it's not just our personal sensitivities projected onto the larger world. We are - for some unknowable reason - able to conceive of a concept we could call "Perfect Justice." A condition where there is a judge who knows all the details and can weigh the hearts of those involved.

                    Where the hell did THAT ridiculous notion come from?!? It is demonstrably at odds with what we observe and know from observation of life and death on planet earth across all levels of life and nature. Is it just a wiring aberration? Or does it suggest that perhaps, just maybe, there is 'More' than life and death on planet earth? We as a species are also strongly predisposed to suspect so...

                    We cannot 'know' for a fact, because dead people aren't known to come back to life and tell us what's out there. And we probably wouldn't believe them anyway. But we do tend to invest emotion in belief. It is an integral part of our nature, for whatever that is worth. We choose to believe, and attempt to live our lives as if it were true.

                    P.S. Guilt has its purpose too, and is another peculiarity documented in primate behaviors. We humans are sometimes prone to going way overboard in all the lesser aspects of our constructed belief systems, but that doesn't mean the things we feel and believe about what we feel, are "unnatural" or in any way "non-existent." IMO.

                    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                    by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:55:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Religious Impulse (0+ / 0-)

                      But if you measure the progress of society, and as a pacifist, I am interested in lessening the warlike impulse, we have been growing more kind and fair to each other.

                      We don't burn anyone at the stake. We don't hang people. We don't chop of their heads.

                      I think, slowly, we are growing more compassionate. It's easy to miss in the midst of the chaos, but with time, I think we are growing towards peace.

                      I'm not a Kool-aid drinker, so I know that peace is elusive and a long way away. But I see the beginning.

                      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:54:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Alas, your observation of civilization's (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        semiMennonite

                        benefits - to the people who live in ostensibly 'civilized' societies - is illusionary. That should be self-evident even within current generational memory, and not just for the Jews who survived Hitler's dark obsessions.

                        There was a fascinating documentary aired by the tribunal as the Hague began its hearings on accused war crimes by principals in the Balkan "unpleasantness" of the 1990s that I wish more people had seen. It was archived footage and narration by a regional media wig that documented what life had been like when the Soviets were in charge and peoples who had hated each other murderously since 1066 somehow managed to live together and work together and intermarry and attend celebrations together... as if they could get over ancient animosities and learn to live together in peace. Then, when the UberPower dissolved and left them on their own, how families turned against each other in genocidal rage worthy of the Khans... it was positively bizarre. Yet real as rain, and there was all that blood-red mud to judge it by. "Almost overnight."

                        We are NOT so far removed from barbarism. To believe so is to turn a blind eye to the cruelty and bloodlust all around us all the time. Remember, it was us - our US government - that both imposed the genocidal regimes of Central America during that time period, and literally taught the wannabe junior Sith-lings how to most effectively torture their fellow citizens to death, thereby evoking the most pain and suffering for the buck. There is no evil in conceptual existence humans aren't capable of making real and visiting upon others of their own kind or any other critter we share the planet with.

                        We're still at it right now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and probably at Gitmo. And a hundred other lesser known provinces of this planet where there are "inferior" humans to be tortured and killed wholesale. It happens daily in jail cells all over the damned place, right here in our own towns and cities, as well as on our streets. Just because it's supposedly removed to some 'third world' enclave or hidden behind cinderblock walls closer to home in no way diminishes its evil or its barbarity.

                        I too hope that someday humanity will evolve past its thirst for innocent blood. I see no real indication that it's happening.

                        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                        by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:08:12 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I wish there were a literal judgement (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau

                      day with spectator seating to watch God have it out with Cheney, so I understand the desire to believe in all this

                      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                      by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:35:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  The critical moment in Huckleberry Finn (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  semiMennonite, Joieau

                  Well, I will go to Hell, then.

                  in which, Twain observed, a sound heart defeated a deformed conscience.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:23:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You're just not making sense (0+ / 0-)

                anyone who wants to join my Episcopal club is more than welcome but we don't believe the good news has to do with dragging people in the door.  We don't wear our religion on our sleeve because it's in bad taste and demeans those who don't experience mysticism the same way we do.  I've experienced this strange thing before with friends who are contemptuous of evangelism and pissed that we don't work our butts off to get them into our particular spiritual home..

                Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:50:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, I am. You don't seem to believe in a real (0+ / 0-)

                  physical hell where billions go for eternity, but if you did, wouldn't saving as many others with the Good News be priority number one? Or would saving someone from an eternity of fire and pain be in "bad taste?"

                  Many Christians do believe this, an actual hell. And I think those people should be trying to save as many others as possible on every street corner. But if you believe in a God would not do this, then there is no reason to try to convert anyone

                  "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                  by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:39:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Evangelical Quakers (5+ / 0-)

              There are Evangelical Quakers, but most of them live out West. Some of them are more liberal in faith and some all about saving souls.

              On the East Coast, where I am, we're unprogrammed. We conduct Worship in silence, and if the Holy Spirit should compel one of us to stand and give a spontaneous message, then we do. And Worship becomes a conversation between those who stand and talk.

              It's very different from almost any other faith tradition I have ever observed. Sitting for whole minutes in silence can be difficult for those who are not used to it.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:35:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "Hell" is a fairly recent literary construct (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            denig, Joieau

            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

            by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:13:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What?? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, semiMennonite

        Are you speaking for others?  It might be a good idea to have a little better cultural knowledge before you tell Christians (or other Christians) what and how to believe.  

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:12:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Author Is A "Quaker" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite, Joieau

      A little cultural knowledge is a good thing.  

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:09:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  LOL (6+ / 0-)

    The link between feminism and Christianity? No wonder they were skeptical.
    Organized religion has worked for centuries towards keeping women as second class citizens, and continues to do so, even here in "modern America".
    Stop trying to push your religion on people who have no interest in listening to you.

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:41:41 AM PDT

    •  I know that NOW (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite, Joieau, tikkun

      And I know that I'm wasting my time, but I've know many women who were even feminist women who are religious and see no reason that the two should conflict.

      Ultimately, I'm about freedom of choice. What works for me may not work for others, but all I can offer, through my own lived experience, is the pleasure I receive from religion.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:15:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is too much history (4+ / 0-)

        Yes, there are very progressive religious people out there, and many of them Quakers. However, as you know the dominant strain of Christianity has stood squarely for oppression, so you will have work to overcome the reputation earned by your co religionists, I'm afraid

        •  Very true (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, Joieau

          I have to undo the work of a thousand careless, thoughtless people, but I believe too much in the faith to avoid the work needed.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:56:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Quakers established their bona fides (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, Joieau

          centuries ago, when they won grudging acceptance in England and the colonies as the only honest businessmen, among other things. To this day dishonest businessmen wear gray suits because Quakers did back then.

          Quakers don't have to answer for what they firmly rejected, and have worked against with considerable success, including Southern Baptist and other Evangelical theological support for slavery, Jim Crow, misogyny, bigotry, pseudoscience, and Mammonism. Many of them have put their lives on the line for humanity as Conscientious Objectors, as conductors on the old Underground Railroad, as schoolteachers in the South until Klan violence drove them out, and much more.

          You might just as well reject the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission because racist Dutch Reformed Afrikaners took part by admitting their wrongdoing, or claim that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as a Christian, is necessarily evil.

          You might just as well reject Gandhi and Dr. King, and all of their works, for being religious.

          You might just as well claim that all that in the South was all Southern Democrats, and therefore Democrats cannot promote Progressive policies today. One of the stock Republican lies.

          We are supposed to be the evidence-based community. But when cabaretic invites a discussion based on evidence, not proselytizing, the response is bigoted accusations. Be ashamed.

          I apologize for our bigoted brethren, cabaretic. Welcome.

          Without a link to the discussion, I cannot tell for sure, but perhaps you should have begun with the historical evidence, and not your personal faith.

          Quaker views on women

          Quaker views on women have always been considered progressive in their own time (beginning in the 17th century), and in the late 19th century this tendency bore fruit in the prominence of Quaker women in the American women's rights movement.
          Now, on the other side of the problem, we must agree that there are some who call themselves Christian, and Republicans more generally, pretending to be feminists, and demanding fealty. They should in fact be called out wherever they are found. But one must learn the differences.

          Communists and Fascists and Ayn Randians will also tell you that they are on your side, and therefore you must be on theirs. There is no better evidence-based advice on this subject than this, attributed to Jesus but true no matter who said it.

          By their fruits ye shall know them.
          Buddhism says much the same thing, though more frequently and consistently. It is the consequences of our actions and intentions that matter. Causing suffering is the only measure in Buddhism of bad karma. More precisely, what causes suffering is by definition bad karma.
          The Twin-Verses

          1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

          2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

          Dhammapada 1:1-2

          Various strands of Secular Humanism similarly talk about the understanding of cause and effect as the foundation for defining morality, particularly including Human Rights.

          Disclosure: I used to be a Reform Jew, and then a Soto Zen Buddhist priest. I have never been a Christian.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 05:18:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing like proving a point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex, tikkun, Joieau

      "Organized religion" for you  pushes your emotional buttons so that your ears shut down.
        You do know that Susan B. Anthony was a Quaker? I challenge you to show how she worked to keep women as second class citizens. . .

      •  Actually (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiMennonite, tikkun, Joieau

        That was my entire point. Organized religion shuts down the ears of the people I was trying to talk to yesterday.

        She did a huge service both to women and the Religious Society of Friends. I wish we remembered her contributions more beyond her face on a silver dollar.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:37:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quakers (6+ / 0-)

          have been in the vanguard of promoting peace and human well being for a long time. For example the Quakers were the  group the native americans trusted to negotiate for them during the time of William Penn. And Wilberforce and John Wesley joined with the Quakers in England agitating  to end slavery prior to the civil war. Quakers were instrumental in joining with the abolitionists to end slavery here as well. They have been one of the major branches of the "Peace" churches refusing to fight in many wars, while at the same time willing to risk their lives in the medical corps because of humanitarian concern.

          Sad most appear ignorant of their history and what they have suffered on behalf of humanity. I like the Quakers! They are good Friends!

          •  It takes effort to educate (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semiMennonite, tikkun, Joieau

            We're so reticent to share who we are and what we believe, that we keep our light under a bushel. I'm different because I'm very open with the particulars of being a Quaker.

            I encourage others to learn all the particulars. We have a kind of Quakerspeak that has developed over the last 300 years. Much of it is Biblically inspired.'

            If I want to think about a particular problem for a while, I say that I want to let it "season." If I've been laboring with a decision for a while, I trust that "way will open", and I will know what direction to pursue. Anything that requires thought and further contemplation is said to be a concern.

            And I could keep going...

            I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

            by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:06:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  One woman (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amyzex

        Out of all the Quakers that have graced our shores, and you come up with ONE woman who died over 100 years ago.
        Although I am proud of her for being the first liberal accused of trying to destroy traditional marriage.

        If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

        by skohayes on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:00:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A few more (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          amyzex, semiMennonite, tikkun

          The musician Bonnie Raitt was raised Quaker. The writer Parker Palmer is Quaker. Unfortunately, Herbert Hoover was a Quaker, and Richard Nixon was too, though he was more culturally Quaker than practicing.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:09:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  People are a strange lot eh? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, amyzex, pvasileff, Joieau, VirginiaJeff

    Reading through the comments, it seemed like you were going through a strange initiation ritual. Sometimes that is necessary in groups that are a bit xenophobic--xenophobic for good reason at times.
    I think the presumptive anger and frustration by members of the group is important to understand, though I'm also sure you feel the sting from the preemptive tongue lashing.

    The way I read it, you spoke in a foreign tongue, that the group members of that group at that time were not used to hearing, and you reinforced the impression by speaking in terms that could be understood from their already pained preconceptions about "organized religion".

    Besides, I think it is a piss poor way to speak about the Quaker experience as "organized religion"-- not because it is not true, but that the perception of organized religion is so negative from modern groups, garnered rightfully from their experience of rejection by the same.

    On the other hand, any "feminist" group that does not know Susan B. Anthony was a Quaker is woefully ignorant of the history of feminism, and in my opinion has earned the gentle suggestion to consider your post a college entry course on religion. So there's that.

    As to proselytizing, why would any "feminist" take exception to your statements that there are religious options and paths available in support of feminism? Especially when feminists  are not squeamish themselves about getting preachy about their options to the religious! Good grief! Read the feminists of the seventies if you want to hear full throated preachiness and proselytizing (Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinham come to mind). Me thinks some people protest too much.

    •  Good point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite, Joieau

      They weren't ready to be stretched and challenged that way. They had a very negative and short-sighted view of both Christianity and Feminism, and they weren't ready to be put on the defensive.

      I probably need to find a better way to introduce Quakerism, and you're right that organized religion is a loaded term, though I do think terms can be reclaimed if they are needed.

      Some people hear what they want to hear, and I can't do a thing to change them.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:18:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it would be an enlightening (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cabaretic, Joieau

        experience to observe the interactions with Pagan Feminists (Diana worshipers for example), and Wiccan Feminists, and yes Buddhist feminists, with the antireligious here, as all the above are also "Organized Religion".

        •  Works for Me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite

          I really do believe that having dialogue between groups would cut down on the misinformation.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:12:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, but there is a big difference between (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          the Holy Roman Catholic Church and a small gaggle of like minded new age women flirting with Paganism.

          what exactly are the organizational similarities you see between two such groups?

          are those similarities limited to religion or just any old group of people?

          •  Catholics versus Quakers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semiMennonite

            On their front, there really isn't much in common.

            Catholics have a very ornate worship style, their leadership is hierarchical, there are many things one must do to be a truly observant Catholics, including communion.

            Quakers have no outward sacraments. No communion, no baptism, no confirmation. There is no music or hymn singing. The most important part of a Quaker Worship are the people gathered there, who will provide the Worship themselves.

            I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

            by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:00:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  LOL!!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw, semiMennonite

            There's a reason I've long called Christianity "Pagan Lite."

            There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

            by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:13:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They have their own criticisms ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... of Christianity so I'm not certain if trying to play team-based pie fights really works. (Never mind the paradigm-busting existence of religious atheists.)

      •  I give you these words from your writings: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1, pvasileff
        "Each of us, well or sick, has a tendency to look only through our own eyes and our own perception"
        Perhaps you can see how this applies to you in your interaction with the young Feminists.

        You keep saying they are not ready to hear your words. While it is plain to me you are not ready to hear their words. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way.  You assume that them understanding your experience is more important than you understanding their experience. But you went to their site. You approached them. And yet you were not there to hear or understand them. You were not there to stretch your own knowledge and experience. You were there to enlighten them.

        Before you tell new acquaintances  how Feminist friendly the Quaker Religion is, I would suggest you Witness their pain. In my opinion you would fare better by asking questions and by listening.

        There is just something so condescending about the way you reference your experience with the young women.  

        When I was in high school in the 60's, I was a full on rebel in a Catholic girls school. The nuns would shake their heads and say "I will pray for you". That superior mewly little attitude of theirs irritated me no end.  "Please don't" I would reply, "I'd rather not be brought to God's attention. He strikes me as a bit vindictive and perhaps unbalanced."  

        Them trying to tell me how God was good for me only meant they didn't understand or give a shit what was going on with me. They wanted to change what I thought. And I was fighting for my own thoughts. Nobody wanted to listen to the rebellious young woman I was. They only wanted me to listen to them.

        I haven't changed and neither have the people who come to my door to tell me about their God, their religion. There is always this tendency to treat me like a child, like someone not ready to understand their 'kind' overtures.

        In my opinion Quakers are an exceptional religious group because I consider them people who listen and do not make judgements; who believe in learning from others; who believe each person must follow their own conscience.  To me this means they see the God in each person, rather than asking each person to see their God.

        I believe the teachable moment here, is yours.

        ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

        by denig on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:20:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the preconception is yours (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tikkun

          and stands in the way of your perceiving what he/she is saying. I find it amazing that so many so easily are condescending to this Quaker-- this Quaker that is here before you, not the Catholics, not the Fundamentalists, Not the Pentecostals-- and accuse him/her of being condescending.

          Besides, many here due to their manifest ignorance, in my opinion, are earning the right to be condescended too. Why Quakers manifest such patience in suffering fools I have a hard time understanding.

          •  Ohhh gawd, Spare me the sanctimony. It's just so (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barleystraw

            unattractive.

            You see me as ignorant and I see you the same. So really an further discussion is pointless.

            ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

            by denig on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:12:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree - spare us all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              barleystraw

              that is part and parcel of the objection to discussions of God and relgion - the holier than thou sanctimony.  Do you see what an abject turn off that is?  You don't see your own preachiness and prosletyzing in these type of statments?  Maybe the objection isn't merely to one sect of Christianity but the entire damned premise!

              Why are the religous so ready to give credit to God for anything they manage to do in life, but never blamd God for any of the bad things that happen - in his name?  Why is it that all the good is ascribed to a 'loving God' and then war is made in his name?

              •  So Obama now establishes the rule (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tikkun

                that anyone that stands up for anything is "sanctimonious?
                I see you asserting your premises and preaching to me. Why isn't that sanctimonious? Or is it okay if you are an atheist, but no one else need apply. . .?
                  And since you are projecting onto me that I'm prosyletyzing, I challenge you to show where in this thread I've revealed my religious beliefs. Far as I know, I've only defended another from the blatant prejudice and refusal to even attempt to understand the experience of another.
                   Maybe you should look in the mirror and see what an abject turn off that is.

          •  I thank you deeply (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semiMennonite, tikkun, Joieau

            semiMennonite, know that you have my appreciation. If I can help you in the future, know that you have made a friend.

            I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

            by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:17:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  is your bonnet on too tight? (0+ / 0-)

            manifest ignorance
            condescending fools

            can you help me out here, I forget the full quotations:
            * judge not lest ye be something or other
            * something about a board in one's eye

            •  Again you misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not a Quaker. So your ignorance of me is manifest. That's a fact not a judgment.
              And the ignorance of many here in understanding, or even attempting to understand the Quaker's experience and meaning is also manifest.

              And being condescending before one even understands or attempts too understand what another is trying to relate is foolish. "Fool", a person who acts unwisely or imprudently".So that too is factual as it is clearly unwise to jump to false conclusions, based on faulty preconceptions, unless the purpose is to derail communication.

              Or perhaps that is your purpose. Care to elaborate?

              •  elaboration: I was quoting your earlier post (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                denig

                the two phrases stuck out so I echoed them for clarification.

                fools:
                here are larger quotes:

                Why Quakers manifest such patience in suffering fools I have a hard time understanding.
                condescending, manifest ignorance:
                Besides, many here due to their manifest ignorance, in my opinion, are earning the right to be condescended too.
                when I read the original post it reads like an insult to the people who are trying to participate in the dialog, accusing them of condescension, ignorance and foolishness.

                Is that the intent?

        •  Here's my response (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, tikkun

          I spent a long time examining the thoughts and passions of those who I chose to confront. I think I have a pretty good idea of who they are what they believe. Condescension aside, I notice that they are darkly suspicious of organized religion. Some of them have had negative experiences, and some of them were raised by parents who never raised their kids with any religion.

          There's a difference between someone who has been traumatized and told he or she is going to hell. Theres's a difference in a situation where a person simply has no real understanding of religion in any context. And when you don't really understand, that opens the door for fear and for the negative reactions that ignorance provides.

          I started talking to these people trying to get a toehold. But they weren't willing or comfortable to accept my basic premise. When they heard religion of Jesus or Quaker, their immediate response was negative.

          And as I've said, it's their right. They have a right to believe or not to believe. But they should have a basic understanding that religious people have a right to not be put on the stand and given the third degree. That's just basic common courtesy.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:46:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OMG now they are persecuting you. Priceless. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1, barleystraw, Bradana

            You approached them. You were looking for a "toehold".   You demonstrate a lack of respect for them, yet insist they respect some right you just made up, that they not give you "the third degree".

            If this were my only experience with a Quaker, I would think Quakers are the just same as any other "patronizing, proselytizing religion that thinks women need enlightening.

            Fortunately, that is not the case.

            We see this situation differently. So I'll leave you to it.

            ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

            by denig on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:08:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

              Nothing like being insulting and then running away. It sure seems like you are loaded for Bear as it were, with preconceived notions and emotional hostility. Perhaps that prevents you from at least trying to see what he is saying and trying to do, and entering into an honest conversation. Instead we get screeching judgmentalism. You are demonstrating a marked disrespect for him.

              Besides what is so very wrong with seeking a "toehold" to be understood? Why is there so much concern trolling about who condescends to whom? Who gives a fuck? There is more important things to be discussed like attaining mutual understanding. Complaining about who condescends to whom is a deflection from the more important item of mutual understanding and openess to shared experience.

            •  That's a choice... (0+ / 0-)

              and you're welcome to your choice.  This Christian will honor it by not seeking you out at all, in good times or bad.  

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:06:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did you mean this as a reply to me? If so, would (0+ / 0-)

                you mind explaining it a bit further? I don't understand what you mean.

                ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

                by denig on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:45:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I Mean (0+ / 0-)

                  you clearly would be much more comfortable with like minded allies and we can relieve ourselves of feeling any responsibility for you.

                  Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                  by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:06:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Which says to me... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    merrywidow

                    ... it's less about doing good than looking like you're doing good.

                    •  The way you read it is your responsibilty (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't spend time with people who proselytize for any group.

                      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                      by tikkun on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:54:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You pick up the hammer and you pound the nails ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        denig

                        ... because that's what politics is about. It's about doing the jobs that need to get done. Throwing down your hammer and flouncing because someone disagrees with you just means that someone else ends up doing their job and yours.

                        We're never going to agree on the theology or religious history behind the politics of gay rights, healthcare, environmental justice, education, or civil rights. So we need to have a space to work together and express those disagreements.

                        •  Actually we may agree more than you realize (0+ / 0-)

                          What isn't acceptable is having someone tell me what i believe, and what I don't believe.  It's simply not your place and I don't feel in the least obligated to hang out for it on any turf.

                          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                          by tikkun on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:39:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Look to your own posts. (0+ / 0-)

                            Throughout this entire discussion, you've been throwing pies (coconut, not banana, alas) about what non-Christians do and don't believe, and posting lists of rules that you're not following. Frankly, "why won't you assholes join us in interfaith discussion" isn't all that inviting. (That's a paraphrase.)

                            Those honestly engaged in those discussions are meeting me in church or in the parks. This is just pie-hurling.

                      •  It's also the case that ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        denig

                        ... religious minorities are disproportionately affected by "I won't spend time with you" than progressive Christians within relatively mainstream denominations. I've yet to hear of Quaker meetings being barred from military bases, attacked with hate speech on the house floor, excluded from memorial services, or restricted by discriminatory application of local tax and zoning laws.

                  •  Well that's very creepy. But the insight is (0+ / 0-)

                    appreciated.

                    ...wispy longings for a time before Elvis and the Beatles, back when "a girl could cook and still would". You know before the troubles.~Hunter.

                    by denig on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 05:45:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I will be respectful to you but you still may n... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lurkyloo

            I will be respectful to you but you still may not like what I say.

            Whether you actually practice it or not sexism is condoned in the bible. Claiming it to be the word of god or divinely inspired but only following the tge parts you agree with seems disingenuous.

            From my perspective and I think many atheists would agree it doesn’t matter what your particular interpretation of the bible is, the bible is the problem.

            The concept of original sin and subsequent punishment of the entire species is morally reprehensible. The subsequent redemption of the species through human sacrifice only adds to the immortality. The very building blocks of the religion are detestable in my eyes.

            •  immortality!? (0+ / 0-)

              "The subsequent redemption of the species through human sacrifice only adds to the immortality." I trust this was a typo.

              the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror... FDR first inaugural address

              by blogokvetsch on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:48:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Excellent point (0+ / 0-)

              and have to say I agree totally.  When religion HAS been used to enforce social mores and 'keep people in their place' there is no longer any room for it in a modern, humane, pluralistic society.  Just look at the daily battles waged against the Tea Party loons who use religion every day and that right there pretty much shoots any real social 'credibility' of organized Christian religion.

              You and the rest need to keep your beliefs to yourself.  If someone wants information about those beliefs fine, but the fact that you feel you need to 'get a toehold' to have a religious conversation is indeed a subtle cue for some kind of conversion discussion.  Keep it to yourself, thank you.

              •  Here's the Thing (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not usually the type to seek out conversation the way I did. But I felt, for whatever reason, that I could make inroads.

                If there was a better way to go about it, I was not aware of it. If it wasn't received well, then that's just how it went. My hope is that I'll find a way in the future to raise an issue in a different way.

                We all want to do good. We all have plan and dreams to make that happen. I took an approach that didn't work. But it probably won't be the last time.

                I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:04:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Don't envision you having much luck (0+ / 0-)

                  Feminists reject the bible because the bible is sexist. Your particular interpretation doesn’t carry as much weight as the innumerable injustices perpetrated by those who follow the same bible. Feminism alone has a list of grievances against the bible your going to have trouble getting past.

                  As for the negativity you receive in general there are going to be many like me, who have rejected the bible because of our own reasoned objections to it. Atheists tend to be more educated on religion than the religious. Most of us were raised religious but chose not to accept it for various reasons.

                  I don't dislike you for being religious but I will adamantly protest assertion that I don't understand what I'm talking about or that I'm somehow missing something. Although you may sincerely believe I am I feel the same way about you. If you saw religion through my eyes you could understand my aversion to it but conversation can only go so far when both sides have deeply held beliefs.

              •  I Guess You Don't Need Us As Allies (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                semiMennonite, Joieau

                our spirituality is at the core of who we are and you don't get us as allies by determining which part of ourselves we should cut out.  Doesn't work.  So long

                Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:10:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Ok a request for parity (0+ / 0-)

                When atheism has been used to enforce social mores and keep people in their place (as is still ongoing in China by the way) there is no longer any room for it in a modern pluralistic society. Perhaps then you and the rest need to keep your beliefs to yourself.

                Trying to hang the acts of authoritarian sects of Christianity as an albatross around the necks of the rest of us doesn't fly.

                Perhaps the fact you feel the need to try to shut the rest of us up through a false association with the authoritarian religious right is indeed a subtle cue for some kind of  conversation domination.

                So, should you keep it to yourself thank you?

            •  That Would Make the Whole Of History (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              detestable in your sight.  No point in understanding the past right?  All that matters are 21st century gadgets. math, and applied science.

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:08:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure what your trying to imply (0+ / 0-)

                Much of human history is deplorable and I don't condone basing your life on it either. Furthermore nobody has ever suggested I am responsible for the holocaust because my ancestors were german. If you cherry pick mein kampf you can find some good points but that does not make it a moral guide.

                Another difference here is history has evidence to support it actually happened,  religion not so much. Also I never suggested that there is nothing to be learned from religion,  only that I believe it immoral. The same is true of history.

                •  My Goodness (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  semiMennonite

                  I'm astounded by your vast superiority, insight and knowledge.

                  Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                  by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:18:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Difficult to hear? (0+ / 0-)

                    The OP expressed the wish to engage in dialog with nonbelievers, I am willing to have that conversation with civility. In order to do that however, one must be willing to hear the other sides viewpoint. I am expressing just one of many arguments that can be made against religion but I am not trying to offend but I will defend my position. Your reaction illustrates the point I was making before about the limitations of conversation between those with strong beliefs.

                    What is it that I said that illicited your original reply to me? I was being neither rude nor condescending, simply expressing my point of view. Just hearing another viewpoint is often enough to get this kind of emotional reaction. Although I was not attacking you or the OP you took it personally because it is an attack on what you believe and this is how conversation breaks down.

                    •  There is A Very Useful Set of Rules (0+ / 0-)

                      that was developed out of failure by academics with strong and differing points of view, who were required by the nature of their work, to cooperate with one another.  The rules work on at least 10 levels.  

                      Dialogue, by the way, is not debate.  Debate is a very different kind of conversation (one which has it's own clear set of rules).  In order for productive conversation of either kind to take place, the members of the conversation must first have a clear understanding of the nature of the conversation.  Otherwise, things get very murky very quickly. Without reasonable rules it's difficult to end the conversation in a way that everyone understands.  

                      People who are experienced in dialogues and who have a greater purpose than proselytization (and the impulse to proselytize comes from all sides) use dialogue rules to examine and understand honestly surmountable and insurmountable differences between groups who need to work cooperatively for one reason and another.  The rules save valuable time because when certain things are spelled out ahead of the conversation, they don't need to be wrestled with informally in the midst the real work.

                      Because I've seen innumerable, well meant conversations go bad due sloppy definition and naive assumptions, I try to point people to what I've found to be a very effective model.

                      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                      by tikkun on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 07:49:40 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I was not originally debating. (0+ / 0-)

                        I was establishing what I believe and why to set the stage for the problems of the convention the OP was seeking with feminists. You made a false equivalency between my view of religion and history which i refuted. When I did you replied with a sarcastic remark. My question to you is why? I was simply explaining my view. What did I say to provoke a personal attack when I had not issued on against anyone.

                        My assertion is that my view itself is offensive not because of my intention but because of the content. My view directly contradicts yours and so provoked an emotional response. On a subconscious level the mind protests being wrong, the instinctual respone is to adamantly protest instead of analyze the issue. This is the downfall of intelligent conversation between those with strongly held opposing views. This is exactly what happened when he tried to introduce an emotionally charged issue to those who have already rejected its content.

                        •  A Double Standard (0+ / 0-)

                          I think there's a double standard where Progressive Christians wrestle with the problems of sexism, racism, and cultural imperialism both in scripture and in practice, but it's taboo for non-Christians to raise the same issues.

                          A feminist board is probably not the best place to do so.

                        •  Religion and wisdom texts (0+ / 0-)

                          You seem to attempt to separate religion and history and my response is to deny that it can be done successfully.

                          Religion and wisdom texts are part of history. Trying to discuss them without the context of history leads down some very strange paths.  Trying to discuss history while excluding religion and wisdom texts doesn't work either.  Neolithic cultures are identified by some anthropologists as not having formal religious practices but no one disputes their consistent engagement in shamanistic practices.  Whether one considers shamenistic practice formal religion or not depends a lot on ones definition of formal or organized religion. Whatever the definition, we know that, at the very least, nolithic people were involved in mytical foreplay

                          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                          by tikkun on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 02:33:47 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Unproductive (0+ / 0-)

                            These semantics have no practical value in this conversation. In either case I assure you I am not ignorant of in these subjects, another foundation of my lack of belief is what I know of the history of religion. I can elaborate if you wish.

                            My original question still stands however. You have yet to explain your unprovoked personal attacks. Do you have the intellectual honesty to analyze your own reaction to my worldview?

          •  Jim Jones and David Koresh agree (0+ / 0-)

            and an endless parade of other true believers.

            it's their right. They have a right to believe or not to believe. But they should have a basic understanding that religious people have a right to not be put on the stand and given the third degree.
          •  I'm not surprised (0+ / 0-)

            that you don't get what they were trying to say. So, as a feminist and a reader of Feministe, I'd like to offer some words of wisdom

            You are not the first man to come in to a feminist discussion and try to explain yourself. Feminists are used to men coming into their space and schooling us, as if we are children, how Feminism is supposed to work. There's a word for that, it's called "mansplaining". Yeah, don't do that.

            And common courtesy? You speak as if you have all the answers and we feminists should be humble and meekly listen to every word you say. "Tone policing" is just another way that men shut down women's conversations. It's shorthand for telling women to sit down and shut up because the men are talking. Where is it courteous to hijack a conversation and refuse to listen to what the other people are trying to tell you? By coming in and insisting that others pay attention to your ideas, you have shown how little respect you have for their ideas.

            Lastly, where in the world does it say "religious people have a right to not be put on the stand and given the third degree." What makes religion so damn special? Religion is no more free from criticism than any other philosophy. I'm sorry, in no law or practice does it say you have that right.  

            Maybe you do have something of value to add to feminist thought, but unless and until you can check your privilege at the door, no one is going to listen. And if you don't want to be criticized, then you should probably stick to websites that are more friendly to your message.

            •  oh, and (0+ / 0-)

              you are the one who approached us with your beliefs. It's kind of a punk move to do that then complain when we question your motives.

            •  Mansplaining (0+ / 0-)

              I'm familiar with Feminist terminology.

              If I entered your space and proceeded to tell everyone that I knew everything about women, then that would be mansplaining. I probably wouldn't know what I was talking about, but would act like I did. This is why I'm not a Republican congressman.

              I'm no expert on contraception, for example,  and wouldn't want to be. But I could act like I knew everything. I don't, but I'm eager to learn.

              I don't know everything about women. What I do know is by listening to women talk and interact in places like Feministe. And if we'd actually been having a conversation, rather than an argument, I know I would have learned even more from you.

              And the funny thing is that I do try to check my privilege. I try to be a good male ally. I try to stand back and let women talk and conduct their own affairs. So, I never implied that I knew better or that I was the authority on anything.

              Second, I expect to be criticized. I'm a freelance writer. I get criticized every day. I get 50 comments to every piece I publish and half of them are mean-spirited. Maybe I held feminists and Feministe to a much higher standard than that. I really did think that you would respond to me in a way that was engaging and interesting.

              I would have stopped talking immediately if I wasn't being attacked by someone else. Maybe you could have just ignored me. Maybe you could have even told me that what I was saying wasn't appropriate for your forum. But, instead you and others proceeded to argue. And if you were arguing, I was arguing.

              A question for you. Does arguing really do any good?

              As for punk moves, if you wanted to make a big deal out of what I said, you had the right. But when certain people lost their cool, then what they said can be and should be used against them. It doesn't matter about the context. Neither you nor I look like roses, okay? I'm not trying to make anyone look bad, but I am seeking to emphasize that these sorts of fights are totally worthless and what some might think is empowering, is really very sad.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:45:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One More Point (0+ / 0-)

                I don't think I have the right to your attention. I know it might give you some pleasure to label me that way, but that's not how I think. I don't think I own your ovaries, your body, or your attention span.

                I never had a chance to even introduce what I was trying to do. People salivated like Pavlov's dog. If you didn't want to be criticized, I'd suggest you keep your cool next time. There's nothing righteous about fighting, be it with fists, mouths, or weapons.

                You know how to fight. Do you know how to resolve a situation in a peaceful way?

                I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:54:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let's try this another way (0+ / 0-)

                  Stop being a condescending, patronizing jerk and listen to yourself. In two replies you have accused me of "salivating like Pavlov's dog" and "losing my cool". You "stand back and let women talk" like it's okay because we have your permission. Then you want to school me on how fighting doesn't solve anything. And you tell me that standing up for myself is "really very sad".

                  Here's a little hypothetical. Suppose that I, a flaming atheist, were to come into your house of worship and proceeded to tell you how much better the world would be if you could just see that atheists want to help religious people to come to a better understanding of the universe. No, I don't want to hear about your God, I want to tell you how awesome atheists are and how they can help you. Why can't you understand that I'm only trying to help you? Why do you criticize me when I just want to talk to you about how atheism rocks? I have the right to tell you how much better atheism is than religion, without criticism or "the third degree."

                  Pretty insulting isn't it? Don't you feel the least bit violated that someone would just walk all over you like that?

                  When you go to someone's house, do you rearrange the furniture to your liking? Do you show them how to make your dinner properly?

                  You went over, you started your spiel, then when you were challenged, you came here and asked for sympathy because the big, bad, meanie feminists had the gall, the insolence to give you "the third degree".

                  How do you respond when someone attacks your religious beliefs?

                  1. You make it all about you and your hurt fee-fees
                  2. You blame it all on those close minded feminists, cuz you know b*tches be crazy
                  3. You appeal to like-minded people
                  4. When someone challenges your assumptions you act like you're Ghandi, just trying to bring peace and harmony to the world.

                  Really, you're a humanitarian who should have folk songs sung about you and how heroic you were to challenge the might of the Great and Powerful Feminists.

                  that last line might be snark :)

                  •  I Continue (0+ / 0-)

                    1. I encourage you to stop making assumptions. I meant that many people I have encountered on Feministe have rushed immediately into conflict, when a careful evaluation of the facts might be a better outcome. I could have been talking about you in my past post, or I could be talking about other people. Does it matter?

                    2. Actually, if you did enter my House of Worship and begin to speak on the topic you've introduced, you would be in keeping with many Quakers. George Fox, the founder, deliberately interrupted Church of England services to claim that his was was better. Naturally, this often got him thrown in jail, but he was so devoted to what he believed, that he continued his behavior.

                    People would admire your courage to say something so bold.

                    3. People would believe that you had a right to your opinion and were acting like George Fox and the Early Quakers. Some of the Early Friends went naked for a sign from God after all.

                    4. I'm an average guy, really. The point of being a Quaker is to avoid honorific titles and to try to stay humble. And that's all I want to be.

                    5. My feelings are not hurt. Don't you know that this column got 100 times the readership and attention than normal? It's a win-win! Thanks for helping me out!

                    6. I'm not afraid of Feminists, but I don't care to linger in a space when all that will happen is that I'll get insulted.
                    Honestly, I'm not hurt. And I'm not scared of anyone.

                    7. I don't seek any accolades. Quakers aren't supposed to have buildings named after them, number one. Number two, I do what I do for its own reward.

                    8. This has been an extremely successful day for me. To have nearly 200 comments on one post? Amazing. I guess that means you've been played.

                    I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                    by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:27:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One More Thought (0+ / 0-)

                      It's not like I ran away. I couldn't publish this on Feministe, could I? Sure, I found my share of allies and my share of enemies, but that's just how it goes.

                      This was an easy option and it drew you here, did it not?

                      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:30:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Before I forget (0+ / 0-)

                        You're still fighting, Bradana. Do you want to win? Do you want to twist my words around the way you'd like them?

                        You're not an impartial source because you're twisting words around to suit your own designs. And you can do that, if you want. Having an argument with you would imply that I could somehow change your mind. And I don't want to.

                        If I have any real desire, it would be if we parted ways without lingering bitterness.

                        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:40:32 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Final Thought (0+ / 0-)

                          Every post you publish can be used later for subsequent diaries and columns. I may well use the language of what you've already posted.

                          And all I have to do is label it an assault upon my religious beliefs. I'll have posts for the next three years. If you could stop, then I'd have nothing to use. But you won't, because you want to get even with me.

                          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:00:44 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Other than the fact (0+ / 0-)

                        that I've been here on kos since 2004 and I routinely look for posts on religion, you got me there. I think you have mistaken my enthusiasm for anger with you. I love debating and I like to poke at people.

                        I'm sure without a doubt that you are an ally, and I'm equally sure that you are confident in your faith and it's impact.  I, however, do not think that you are mindful of the fact that communication isn't just about what you said, it's also about what is heard. So I will simply wish that you continue your study of feminism. In time you may come to understand some of the points I was trying to make.

                        Peace! :)

                        •  Good! (0+ / 0-)

                          I am always willing to listen to reasonable people like you.

                          I part ways with you fondly.

                          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 04:01:50 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  I Don't Give A Second Thought (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            semiMennonite, Joieau

            to people who hold me in contempt.  They are none of my business, my feet are dusted and I'm happy with my own.  Don't need literalists be they Calvinists or New Atheists.

            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

            by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:04:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You Did Just Fine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cabaretic, semiMennonite

        dialogue does not require apology unless you've actually done something wrong and you have not.

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:58:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your comments here are very perceptive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      I will follow you and look forward to your someday writing a diary.

      The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

      by amyzex on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:13:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem people had (0+ / 0-)

    Is a perceived problem that the practices of religion almost inevitably become more important than the a relationship with God. That is, r > g.

    (Sorry about that!)

    •  True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      I'm all about people having a direct relationship with God. All the terminology is not very important unless it helps another person. I think that a relationship with God is spiritually powerful and not easy to explain in rational terms.

      And here, people are seeking to have a rational argument.

      They have a right to their own beliefs and I'll always be here should someone wish to seek me out.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:19:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Which god and which Jesus are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barleystraw
    •  In the context of this post... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite, Joieau, VirginiaJeff

      Let me paste in an earlier response to this post.

      The way I read it, you spoke in a foreign tongue, that the group members of that group at that time were not used to hearing, and you reinforced the impression by speaking in terms that could be understood from their already pained preconceptions about "organized religion".

      Besides, I think it is a piss poor way to speak about the Quaker experience as "organized religion"-- not because it is not true, but that the perception of organized religion is so negative from modern groups, garnered rightfully from their experience of rejection by the same.

      On the other hand, any "feminist" group that does not know Susan B. Anthony was a Quaker is woefully ignorant of the history of feminism, and in my opinion has earned the gentle suggestion to consider your post a college entry course on religion. So there's that.

      They aren't ready to see the link between the deeply Christian First Wave of feminism, and how their religious beliefs guided them to gain rights for women. Instead, they are afraid of what they as automatically repressive and evil. This is something they'll have to work through, or not work through.

      If it happens, I'll rejoice. If it doesn't, I won't worry.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:23:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well that didn't answer my question at all. (0+ / 0-)

        Best of luck to you.

        •  Sorry about that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tikkun, VirginiaJeff

          I tried! :-)

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:47:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'll try (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tikkun, VirginiaJeff

          It's the Jesus and God of his experience, the one you obviously don't. It is his experience, not really verifiable by doctrinal or scientific analysis.

          You don't seem to understand mysticism at all. Really I don't either, and maybe that's the point-- it (mystical experience) is not doctrinally bound. But if one believes them (Quakers at least) the experience does transform them to behave in prosocial ways. And for me, that's more important than whatever verbiage is used in an attempt to communicate that experience.

          •  Mysticism (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tikkun, semiMennonite, VirginiaJeff

            I've been taught that Mysticism in Quaker Worship is that there's mystery and a very subjective and personal understand of God. I couldn't begin to tell you how it works for me.

            When it's there, it's there. When it's gone, I miss it. I never know when it's my time to stand and give a vocal ministry, but I feel my heart beating in my chest and I know it's time to stand and talk.

            I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

            by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:46:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  One of the reasons I am an atheist (0+ / 0-)

            is because I realized two things in general. One was that the figure of Jesus, who is mythological, was not a good role model for morality.  The other was that my idea of "God" was just that.... my IDEA, and not something that actually exists in reality.  Everyone's god is imaginary, so I do understand mysticism in that sense, and also from having gone through several phases of it.

            I have no problem with Quakers, but you usually don't see them overtly active in communities or into political or social issues.

            I guess this diarist is unusual.

            •  To answer your question, some of us do (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite, VirginiaJeff

              One fellow Quaker I know is at every protest, no matter what.  In fact, Quakers go to protests at the drop of a hat.

              If Atheism works for you, then great. To me, God is not an abstraction. I feel his presence every day. I couldn't be an Atheist, because I know God.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:44:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Are you Kidding, Right? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite, VirginiaJeff

              Friends Field Service.  You're not paying attention

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:13:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for this reply (0+ / 0-)

              as it helps me understand you as a person much better rather than through the lens of the flames you usually throw. I personally would encourage you to not stop throwing the flames as well. I find the critiques useful to me personally to prevent falling into mere religious smugness.

              At the same time, I wonder if you devalue too much imagination and limit the impact of the mythopoetic aspects of human experience. It's been part of who we are since whenever and has been at least instrumental in producing both very bad and good results.

              For many people apparently that mythopoetic and imagogic language speaks to a part of our humanity and allows a part of our humanity to speak that the scientific rationalism doesn't seem to touch. ymmv.

              Some of us, like myself who are neo-Jungian, are attempting to integrate the irrational through the use of mythopoetic  and imagogic language as a vehicle for the expression from that irrational side of our humanity as well as a means to communicate to it. The hope is that through the integration of the irrational into full awareness, rather than suppressing it, we may be able to inhibit some of our destructive propensities. Again ymmv.

  •  Christians are supposed to proselytize! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    Jesus commanded you all to give up everything, family included, to follow him and spread the Gospel.

    I commend you that you would prefer others not live in hell for eternity, other Christians seem to relish the thought.

    Christians are usually lazy, they think if they pass a law against a sin, they don't have to do anything hard to change hearts or minds. No law ever saved a soul.

    BUT, women are ill served by any religion I see, including Buddhism, which has female monks now but is still not equal. So you can not be surprised that women would not want to hear about it.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:18:36 AM PDT

    •  I'm not really that kind of Christian (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      Rather than saving souls, I'll give you an example. One of my Quaker friends was very depressed, like clinically depressed. And since I struggle with depression, too, I knew exactly what he was going through.

      So I took the opportunity to contact him and ask if he'd be willing to meet with me for dinner. And after we ate, I asked him, in a nice way, if he was feeling okay.

      At first he said everything was fine, but then it all came out. I was willing to help him, including getting him admitted to a hospital if he needed it. But mostly, as he told me later, he appreciate that I took the time to inquire about him. Lots of people, lots of Quakers even, don't bother to care for those with whom they worship.

      And that's, to me, more important than saving a single soul.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:40:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then do unsaved souls go to hell for eternity? (0+ / 0-)

        because if they do I would think you might care more, but better if you don't believe that, so your beliefs are pretty much personal pick and choose?

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:48:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My take (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite

          If "hell" is a kind of separation from God, forget all the other things that have been invented, that would be pretty awful.

          I've never seen much use of the idea of hell. I think that it's a very punitive way to keep people in line. I would prefer that people have free will in order to live their lives as they wish. Some will choose bad and some will choose good, but I don't think that the threat of hell is much of a deterrent.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:14:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You must be Evangelical You must!!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tikkun

        You must, you must you must!!!!!!!. . .

    •  I follow Jesus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite, tikkun

      But I don't think he calls me to give up all worldly possession and spread the Gospel everywhere. I'm not an Evangelical.

      I'm closer to a lay minister who wants to make sure that the fifty people he comes in constant contact with are healthy and fed and cared for.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:42:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then you don't believe in hell for the unsaved? (0+ / 0-)

        because if you do, I don't understand why there is no urgency to save people.

        I have more respect for those out on the streets begging me to let them save me. Unless you don't believe in hell then all is good.

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:50:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's talk about Jesus (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite

          Jesus saved people who wanted to be saved. He cured lepers, he cast demons out of people, he raised people from the dead. But I have never gotten the feeling, in my study of the New Testament, that he was in a hurry to save people.

          He had lots of other things to do while he was on Earth. So, the reason I don't have an urgency to save people is that I am not blessed by the Holy Spirit, and I am not commanded to heal. I don't have that great gift.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:21:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The fact that you are not Jesus is no excuse (0+ / 0-)

            for not trying to save others from hell, in fact he commanded his followers to spread the gospel. If you are saved you are filled with the Holy Spirit. ( I was in one of those churches in my early teens, very well read.)

            but if no hell, then no need to help anyone else avoid it

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:49:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Absurd! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:16:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it is just what the book says. (0+ / 0-)

                but if the commenter doesn't believe in hell then its fine if he/she does not want to save anyone else, no need if no hell

                but believers in a real hell that billions are going to who do nothing to help others avoid this fate with a sense of mission that would preclude normal life,, then they don't really believe

                "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:31:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  So you get to choose not to "be an evangelical?" (0+ / 0-)

        Mark 16:15 NKJV

        “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”

        I know Christians are on a spectrum of literal belief and the ones who just want to help others are saints, but the book does say all of us non believers are in hell for eternity so the literal believers really need to be spreading that Gospel!

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:57:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, tikkun

          Regardless of what conservative Christians say, I don't take the Bible as 100% true. It was written in different languages, by different people, for different motives, at different times in history. So you can't read it as one text that is infallible.

          Every faith group takes verses that agree with its stance and beliefs, and ignores those who don't.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:17:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which is why religion should never be (0+ / 0-)

            considered in law or court decisions because it is a totally "pick your own" personal thing with no supporting proof that any of it is true.

            but I imagine you do respect the separation of church and state, so thanks

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              I do believe strongly in the separation between church and state. The Bible has many worthwhile concepts and words, but I would prefer it left to the individual believer.

              The Lord's Prayer and 1 Corinthians 13 can be used more liberally because they are not didactic. They are reminders of moral conduct and have no implicit message beyond it.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:32:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Many Options (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite

          Christians come in many size and shapes. The verse you cite is only one particular interpretation.

          As I recall, it was a directive from Jesus to his disciples. But I don't live in Israel of 4 BC, and the world is way different than it was then.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:49:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jesus again (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite

          I think if you take into account Israel in 4 BC and the arrival of God in human form, who was called Jesus Christ, this passage addresses how Jesus spoke to his disciples. I don't think it has any resonance for today.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:22:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, so if others are going to hell, too bad (0+ / 0-)

            You are certainly not responsible to let anyone else know how to avoid hell for eternity, no siree, that was centuries ago, you are now absolved of all responsibility.

            but again if you don't believe in hell than no need to reach out

            It really does bother me that literal hell-believing Christians are not urgently trying to save everyone.....kind of awful that they care more about their home and social life then saving souls for Christ.

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:54:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't believe in hell (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              But I do believe in extending a hand to the people at my Meeting who I really care about. I can't save the world, but I can make a difference to other Quakers.

              If hell were real, I'm not sure how that would change how I worship or what I believe.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:44:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. A real hell, painful fire for all time? (0+ / 0-)

                and you wouldn't want to tell and convince as many others as possible? Thank "god" there is no hell!

                "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:08:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If I recall correctly, (0+ / 0-)

                  Jesus was not "all about" saving anyone but the Jews. This follows from the Jewish concept of "Messiah" - a powerful and rightful king who would unite the people to overthrow foreign occupiers and re-establish the kingdom of David. Sure, Jesus healed some non-Jews and even used a Samaritan in one of his parables, but he wasn't particularly ecumenical.

                  It was Paul who took the sect to the gentiles and bothered the sect bigwigs in Jerusalem with the question of whether or not his gentile converts had to undergo circumcision and follow the judaic laws and honor the judaic holy days, etc. "Become Jews" in order to be Christians.

                  You appear to believe in a literal hell, while the Christians you are conversing with here do not. That's just a difference of opinion about a certain concept. Most Jews don't believe in literal hell either, nor in a literal Satan as an equal-but-opposite antithesis to deity. They also don't believe Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah (there were lots of self-described Messiahs in those days), and never believed the Messiah to be co-equal to or an incarnate avatar of the singular God of Abraham.

                  It isn't difficult to understand why people turn away from religion(s) to become non-believers in any kind of deific being. Especially when their background includes some real abuse at the hands of 'organized religion'. But it's really quite amusing to see self-professed atheists assert the notable literalisms of this sect or that sect and insist all believers MUST believe them.

                  There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                  by Joieau on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 09:00:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You really are trying your damnedest to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              semiMennonite

              stir up a pissing match and seem a little testy that no one will pick up your wuff tickets.

              Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

              by tikkun on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:18:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. I am a recovered End Times Christian (0+ / 0-)

                and I do think that if there is only one way out of hell, a believer should be trying to save souls. Or how immoral and uncaring are they?

                but it seems these days few people actually believe in a hell anyway and that is comforting
                 

                "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:45:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You never enjoyed late night religion and (0+ / 0-)

                philosphy debates that were to no point but to test out ideas or think something through, challenge ideas?

                shoot me for enjoying the lobbing

                "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

                by merrywidow on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:47:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I never went in for that proselytizing thing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      merrywidow, semiMennonite

      But then, I never had any choice as to what religion I was indoctrinated into as a child. I figured out early on that the many insular conclaves representing each little group and sub-group set different rules and regulations for themselves based more on their own fantasies than anything a deity might demand, so it was all kind of casual.

      When I got out on my own I did go looking around. I was kind of impressed with the eastern traditions. Until I found that the main gurus had this weird idea that no matter how 'holy' you were, you couldn't get off the wheel of karma until you reincarnated as a man. Because the deity doesn't like women or some such crap. I never bought that one, from anybody.

      Per proselytizing, my sister married a Sikh and they had a daughter. Who asked me very seriously when she was about seven what the deal was with that tortured dead guy worship. It horrified her, and putting myself into her seven year old head space, it definitely did seem horrifying. Kids in our society in the modern age don't generally get to know much about suffering and death until much later in life, or not at all for some who lack a deep sense of empathy (and they aren't the ones suffering and dying).

      I shrugged and said maybe she'd understand it better when she was older, but that if it bothered her she should probably not get involved with it. Fortunately for her, her parents didn't force the issue. She did like the life-lessons of the gurus of her father's faith, though she's not a member or practitioner. That's fine. If there is a God/godling, I doubt he/she/it/they fit comfortably into anybody's pocket. Underneath all the human-imposed misconceptions, the basics have a lot in common.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:53:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, semiMennonite

        In my own life, I just want people to get along. I want people to see that sometimes they are their own undoing and sometimes other people lead them astray.

        But mostly I want people to get along.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:41:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Origen taught that all would ultimately be saved (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      including the Devil himself. This is not orthodox teaching, but the idea is still around among various kinds of Christian. Catholic doctrine used to hold that virtuous non-Christians would reside in the First Circle of Hell, where they would not be punished. Since Vatican II, it has been taught, though not widely known, that non-Christians can be saved.

      Original Buddhist doctrine, which does not have the authority of, say, Catholic dogma, positively affirms that sojourns in any of the Hells are at most for one kalpa, although one's situation in the next kalpa after could start very far down. Even Devadatta, who attempted to murder the Buddha, gets only one kalpa in the Avici Hell, the lowest and nastiest, before his karma burns itself out. Suffering in Buddhist Hells reflects the deluded state of mind, and is not imposed by divine authority. A later tradition has the Buddha predicting Devadatta's enlightenment in the distant future.

      Conquered by eight untrue dhammas, his mind overcome, Devadatta is headed for a state of deprivation, headed for hell, there to stay for an eon, incurable.
      Devadatta Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya

      Some Mahayana Sutras claim that one can be born into the Avici Hell repeatedly, kalpa after kalpa. But then they also talk about bodhisattvas sitting in meditation for ten kalpas at a a time, which Zen in particular wants you to understand is rubbish, intended only as Skill in Means to encourage greater effort in the here and now.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:09:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You should choose your words (more) carefully. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dinazina, cabaretic, MugWumpBlues

    Your use of "bring everyone to the table" carries a strong echo of fundamental/evangelical doctrine - and the only way to "come to the table" in that realm is through conversion.

    The same applies to "strategy...to bring us together;" to many, such strategies imply proselytization/evangelism.

    I'm a believer (Southern Baptist, actually), and I see these hints and hear these echoes in your words; I suspect that those with an animus against religion (or against a specific religion) see and hear them more strongly than do I.

    As you noted, there are those who (for whatever reason) will simply not accept/tolerate general Christian apologetics in any form. Those folks have always existed, and will always exist. Therefore, I respectfully suggest that you might have a better experience if you 'take it down a notch.' For instance, you can't really assert a "link between feminism and Christianity" in the face of the Bible's treatment of women and the history of various denominations in feminist matters; I'm not surprised that you met with criticism if you suggested such a broad link. Instead, why not write about the specifics of WHY you see a connection between your faith (or that of your local congregations/groups) and feminist ideals?

    I'd never say that "all Southern Baptists...", "all Catholics..." or "all Christians..." believe or act in a particular matter, but I find that many folks are willing to accept/discuss the notion that, within almost every denomination, there are individuals and groups with whom common cause can be made on many issues. Remember that the labels are almost universal, even if the beliefs and practices are not; for every "good Christian" you may know, your readers may well have known more than a few hypocrites; you should adjust your writing accordingly.

    Simply put - I think things will go better if you write in terms of YOUR faith, not THE faith. Good luck.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:47:17 AM PDT

    •  Actually I think the Quakers Can (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cabaretic

      assert a link between Christianity and Feminism as their actions speak louder to me than the Baptist words.

      Their views on Scripture are far less strident than evangelicals, less strident than even many moderate denominations as their focus is heavily weighted toward religious experience, and the inner light as their guide for faith and practice. That's why they are one of the least judgmental denominations, being less doctrinally oriented.

      •  They can assert a link... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denig, semiMennonite, gramofsam1

        ...between Quakerism and femininity, perhaps, but neither they nor any other denomination can speak to the more general relationship between "Christianity and femininity."

        Keep in mind, too, that not all Quakers are Christians. The Friends General Conference states:

        Are Quakers Christian?

        The Quaker way has deep Christian roots that form our understanding of God, our faith, and our practices. Many Quakers consider themselves Christian, and some do not.  Many Quakers today draw spiritual nourishment from our Christian roots and strive to follow the example of Jesus.  Many other Quakers draw spiritual sustenance from various religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and the nature religions.

        As I mentioned in my earlier comment, you can find a broad range of thought in almost any denomination.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:56:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite, Mokurai

          I'm a liberal unprogrammed Quaker. Where I worship, some of the members are Christian, and some of them only believe in God.

          If I were a conservative Friend and dressed plainly like the Amish, then just about everyone would be Christian.

          My desire to emphasize the link between Quakerism and feminism was, in part, to speak about the significant, powerful Quakers who were women and feminist. We forget their contributions, not just to Quakers, but to everyone.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:25:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cabaretic

          you are talking about the "purity" (for want of a better term) of a whole denomination. I'm talking about the actuality of  individual Quakers' experience and behavior as related through history, especially those who espouse Christianity. Their individual behavior and experience is a clear link between Christianity and Feminism. And not the only one. For example there are Christian mystics that could be categorized as "feminist" in the Catholic Church as well. Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, comes to mind, as well as Matthew Fox more recently( who was defrocked for following Eckhart, and became, I believe Anglican now.). How much link does one need before one accepts a linkage?

          And I would really like to know what they think they mean by being Christian or not, rather you telling me what they mean. Not to put you down, but the two may be quite different.

    •  That is entirely possible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      But never once did I believe I was using Evangelical language. Some many have picked up on bits and pieces, but no one really broke down for me what their reservations really were. I would have appreciated that.

      If a person has had a negative Christian/religious experience, then they're going to be automatically attuned for a word or phrase they object to. If I'm walking through a minefield, I have no idea that I've caused an objection unless someone brings it to my attention.

      I tried to talk about MY Quakerism and MY Christianity, but unfortunately even those seemingly innocent terms made people see red.

      What I know now is that any religious language is going to be taken by these people as offensive. So I'm not going to try again, because it would be a waste of my time.

      If they want to talk to me about what religious means to them and why it causes them such consternation, then that would be great, but I don't expect it.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:23:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Discussions of faith/religion ARE minefields. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sideboth, gramofsam1, Bradana

        After reading the Feministe discussion to which you linked, I have to say that--in this case--I think you're laying your own mines.

        Folks here at DailyKos often speak of triggers - words, phrases or descriptions which can evoke memories of past events among individual readers. While you may not realize it, your comments are loaded with phrases and attitudes that are often triggers for agnostic, atheist or anti-religious folks. I've already mentioned a few examples, but your comments at Feministe were loaded with them. I'm not going to list them here--kosmail me if you want to know what caught my eye--but I think that you REALLY need to take a hard look at your writing/commenting style before attempting to engage in such discussion again.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:43:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  partly agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cabaretic

          However it's also very difficult not to set off triggers when people come in loaded with their own issues, looking for something to just yell about, rather than have an honest discussion. Hypersensitive, overreactive, and rigidly inflexible speak more of tribalized bigotry than the open mindedness of liberal feminism.

        •  Part of that is my fault (0+ / 0-)

          If I'd been able to maintain my cool and have a polite discussion, then my words would have been very different.

          I'm sure that I laid my own mines, but not until after someone laid one of theirs. I don't think I have to worry about the words to use next time. Next time, if there is a next time, I will go into a discussion where I am greeted warmly and politely.

          Then it won't matter what words I choose to use.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:41:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Information Short Cuts and Sales (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      People are not omniscient and we all rely on information short cuts.

      People also have emotional cues.

      Its why a salesman will try and get customers saying yes.  At corporate america, they are trained for it.  Reconfirming  your name multiple times, for example.

      Part of many religious sales pitches start with one thing everyone agrees with.  A few more of those, then they move on to other things.

      Its natural and rational to use information short cuts--we have to since the world isn't perfect--all one can do is keep in mind that is what is going on.

      Like a lot of religious people, this diarist has multiple assumptions and then claims she is being "attacked" when people question those assumptions.

      If someone is going to try and advocate a set of ideas, seems to me there is nothing rude about a recipient of the set of ideas pointing out inconvenient facts which challenge the underlying assumptions.    

      Among Christians, there is a wide range of opinions. There are the altruistic branches  and muscular christian groups and most are somewhat mixed.

      Personally, if they want to lecture, I always want to know which Church group they are coming from.  Seems to me that's often something that's hid by the speaker, as they don't want people using an information short cut to quickly discredit their position.  

      “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

      by MugWumpBlues on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:34:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Attacks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiMennonite

        If I'd had a very calm, rational, adult dialogue, and they told me they weren't interested, then I get that.

        But instead, no one really seemed to want to tell me anything except that they disagreed with what I had just said. I'll know from now on that the approach I took was probably not very effective.

        I tried to be calm and rational, and very quickly those speaking to me lost their cool. If I was Gandhi, I'm sure I would have had a kind of superhuman patience. But, I'm not, and I took offense to what some said. And then we had an argument.

        If they could have been polite about their reservations, we would have never gotten to this point. Instead, I had to deal with a lot of projection and a lot of fear.

        I don't care who is wrong or right. That doesn't really matter to me. What matters is that nothing got accomplished.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:39:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Quakerism is indeed a feminist religion?" (0+ / 0-)

    I think you are abusing Quakerism.  It cannot confer feminist credentials on you by itself.  Only your writing, activism, and general conduct of your life can do that.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:27:29 AM PDT

    •  I'll say this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amyzex, semiMennonite

      Talk to Margaret Fell, the Mother of Quakerism. She bankrolled the Quaker movement as it was just getting going. She wrote extensively and pushed hard for women's participation. She was the equal of George Fox, our founder, and without her money, Quakers would have never grown.

      So that sounds very feminist to me.

      We could also talk about Lucretia Mott, or Susan B. Anthony, or Alice Paul.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 08:53:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do so many here run to wordsplaining? (0+ / 0-)

      How can anything/one confer feminist credentials? Or what does that even mean? And how can one "abuse" an ism?

      You really want to tell a Quaker who practices his religion that he doesn't experience the "feminism" of his religious experience? It's like telling an African American that he doesn't know what being black is. You can't be the judge of his experience, unless you are delusional and really believe you are in his head.

      And the behavior of Quakers historically has been feminist that flows, by their account, from their religious experience. Do you even know what he/she means by Quakerism? I don't and I doubt you do either. So why be so quick to criticize?

      •  I didn't say I was in her head (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiMennonite

        I said being a Quaker by itself is insufficient.  As she pointed out herself upthread, Richard Nixon was a Quaker.  And I think you have made generally good points throughout this diary and am now following you.

        The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

        by amyzex on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:16:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's What I Think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiMennonite

        Margaret Fell has enriched my faith. Susan B. Anthony has enriched my faith. Lucretia Mott has enriched my faith. Alice Paul has enriched my faith.

        They were feminists and they were extremely influential women. I'm proud of their accomplishments.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:27:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have alot of respect for Quakers and yet (0+ / 0-)

    I admit I am mostly ignorant of the religion/denomination/whtever. This means it is possible that what I respect is not really there and instead is a misconception of mine based on ignorance. It's also possible that I underestimate it out of the same lack of knowedge of Quaker beliefs and history.

    what I like about it:
    embraces pacifism
    open minded
    not dogmatic

    what I heard once and don't like:

    someone once told me that they tried going to a Quaker church for a while and that it was very thoughtful and full of good people. a lot like UUs the person said. But one thing that he did not like and I didn't like either as he described it, was the after you had been going for a while the church (or the church elders or whatnot) got together and voted on whether they would allow you to become a member. Kinda like tenure in a University, I guess.

    If you passed the vote you were in. If you didn't, you could still continue to attend, but you more or less had your chance and blew it.

    Does this sound like a practice in the Quaker church? Like I said, I heard it once from a guy, I don't know much about the religion and I have no experience of my own.

    •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

      That was never my experience. Should you choose to become a member of a Quaker Meeting, you will usually go through what is called a Clearness Committee.

      People will meet with you to get a sense of what you're looking for and what questions you have. When you go through that, and you feel "clear", then you become a member.

      During Business Meeting the clerk in charge will bring up your pending membership and ask Friends if they wish you approve you.

      And everyone says "Approve!" in a loud voice, and then you become a member. So no voting. Just confirming.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:02:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Quaker process doesn't rely on votes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      What is great in theory about Quaker process, is that no one votes. We work on consensus method, so that everyone has a say. If someone feels strongly against something, they may choose to either stand aside and let it happen, or stand firm and refuse to let the matter pass.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:05:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So I read the thread. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, barleystraw, Bradana

    In order to have an open dialogue you need two things:

    1.  A willing listener

    2.  The ability to listen and learn yourself.

    You said "I love Quakerism, let me tell you about it."

    You got two responses...No and No, I don't like religion.

    The first answer means...Move on.  You can't share your great truth with people who aren't interested.  And they don't have to be interested.

    The second answer gave you an opening.  It was your chance to share Quakerism and also the Bible which you seem highly attached to.  People gave you reasons on why they didn't like organized religion.  Some absolutely valid and some based in bias.  

    You pointed out the biases and they countered back..with literature and reading.  

    Here is where the conversation broke down:  

    Instead of taking a step back and reading what was proposed, you dismissed it out of hand and went back to trying to shove your "truth" as fact.  A one way conversation.

    I love to talk about religion.  I have a great understanding of the Bible but I also have a historical context to it's background.  I'm interested in peoples spiritual growths.  

    However my spiritual growth doesn't need to be the same as yours.  When it comes to religion, we can both have spiritual truths that have nothing to do with each other and also still respect that.  

    I think the hardest part for people in organized religion to understand...is that there is NO ONE TRUTH and that is okay.

    •  Let me try to explain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VirginiaJeff

      If people objected to what I said, and then told me that the discussion was effective over, then that would make sense to me. Time to move on.

      I really wasn't trying to say that my truth was any better than anyone else's. If they'd added their own religious beliefs, then that could have been a very good discussion. But they didn't, for whatever reason.

      If anyone had told me to leave them alone, I get that. But it seemed to me that some people wanted to keep the dialogue going. If they had made effort to tell me, I have nothing further to tell you, then I would have respected that.

      But instead, they seemed to want to engage in a disagreement. And so long as they were talking to me, I decided to talk to them. If someone had told me I was wasting my time or that they were ignoring me, then that message is pretty transparent.

      So I guess I don't understand the concept of badgering another person who is quite willing to return fire. If it had been me in that position I would have said, "I'm sorry, but I'm not interested."

      No one ever did that.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 09:45:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But they did add their religious viewpoints (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gramofsam1

        I count at least six references to outside material that they asked you to look at.

        You ignored every single request.  

        And also the moderator put you in a timeout...Which clearly to me says...not interested.

        What is your goal?  Is it to share the structure of Quakerism?  

        Because I would love to hear the history (not the philosophy) of this particular sect.

        You went on a feminist website and lead with the most sexist book out there...It's actually rather amusing.

        •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiMennonite

          But it wasn't like they were being polite about it. If they'd said, "Hey, why don't you read the Communist Manifesto" and then we'll get back to talking, I would have done it.

          As for the Bible, there are some passages that are very sexist. But, there are sections that are very feminist.

          For example, in John, Jesus confronts a Samaritan woman who has been married multiple times. She's got a bad reputation and she's not even married to the guy she's with right now.

          Jesus doesn't have to talk to her. If he wanted to stay a mile away, he could do it. But, he doesn't. He goes up to the well and speaks to her.

          And she says, "Why are you even speaking to me?"

          And Jesus says, "I have some living water for you, if you'll take it seriously.

          And eventually the woman realizes that Jesus is the Messiah and all of her gruff, angry demeanor goes away. She's a fallen woman, possibly a prostitute, but yet, God has spoken directly to her.

          It's all about what you pick and choose. I don't care about harems or women who are slaves. I don't read that part.

          My goal is pretty simple. Many Quaker women and men have fought for the reforms you've wanted, and they're also people of faith. That's it.

          If you want to know about how Quakers got going, I'll be glad to tell you.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:19:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They don't have to be polite. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gramofsam1

            I don't think they were rude either.

            That is an interesting example you gave, primarily because historically that woman has been confused for Mary Magdalene.

            The truth is that they are two separate women and instances but that passage has been used in a very sexist way by the church.  

            They used that particular passage to exclude the gospel of Mary from inclusion in the Bible.  

            That move took women from an equal role of spiritual leaders and equal partners in the church to a second class citizen that need to receive spiritual guidance from their male counterparts in order receive the kingdom of Heaven.

            For every non sexist quote in the Bible, there are about 20 more and historical history that undermine it's message.

            •  I see what you mean (0+ / 0-)

              Politeness is nice, but being taken seriously is what I prefer.

              Honestly, I've always heard the version I mentioned in my last post. It came up during a Bible study a few months back. I read the Bible with parallel translations, to see if I can get as complete a picture of the original Hebrew and Greek as I can.

              But I have read the Gospel of John, and I have to say I've never come across an alternate version.

              Quakerism is sometimes called Primitive Christianity Revived. We focus in our Worship on a very ancient way. It's meant to mimic the First Century Christians who were illiterate. There were no hymns at this point. So from a period of silence, it was up to each attender to fill space with a vocal ministry.

              Every so often, another person shared until an hour was up. And though Quakers now Worship in a very plain setting on hard wooden benches, we still keep the same basic form.

              And as for women and their role, the first Quaker Meetings included women. They were allowed to preach, even though they were sometimes made fun of it. Samuel Johnson said that seeing a woman preach was like viewing a dog trying to balance on his hind legs. It was not done well, but one was surprised to see it done at all.  

              With time, business meetings were divided by gender. The reason for this was that some women felt as though they weren't comfortable speaking so honestly in front of their husbands. But that wasn't for long. Nowadays, men and women sit together even in business meeting.

              Again, not to belabor the point, but that arrangement sounds pretty feminist to me.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:36:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Being able to sit in the same room as men (0+ / 0-)

                isn't feminist.  Most churches allow that now so if you want to present why Quaker is "feminist", you are going to need a greater argument than "Hey, we let you talk at meetings"...

                •  I'll try again (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  semiMennonite

                  Women are allowed to serve on committees. They are allowed to be clerks of committees, which is essentially the leader.

                  What I talked about earlier was the progress made from from say 1590-1805.'

                  Women helped hide runaway slaves underneath the floorboards of the Meetinghouse. Women can participate in Clearness Committees, where people are formally married. I can't think any Meeting task that a woman is barred from participating in.

                  I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                  by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:07:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Sexism (0+ / 0-)

              I ignore sexist passages in the Bible whenever possible. I don't believe that women should cover their heads, though I have a friend who does. I certainly don't think that women should be silent in worship.

              I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

              by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:38:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But isn't that the problem (0+ / 0-)

                You went on a feminist website and presented a book that has sexist passages and then were shocked by the hostile reception.

                You might ignore them but most feminist who know biblical history would not.

                •  Here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

                  I've never seen anyone make any kind of reference whatsoever to the Bible. That just isn't on their radar. It doesn't mean they aren't aware of it, for sure.

                  If they asked me, I could surely point out sexist parts of the Bible, but I'd make sure to note that it's not all that way.

                  The Bible is us...Do we cast it aside completely because it has some objectionable passages, or do we use it because, like 1 Corinthians 13, it has some passages of real beauty.

                  I really can't find any written text that is 100% in favor of gender equality.

                  I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                  by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:04:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are trying to promote to a feminist audience (0+ / 0-)

                    Who..trust me...are aware of the Bible.  If the Bible is you, than be prepared for push back on what is

                    a) actually written in there

                    b) the historical aspects of how it was composed.

                    Those who did answer, answered with specific books that addressed those concerns about the Bible.

                    And yes, many will reject the entire thing based off the objectionable passages, especially when asked to base spiritual beliefs off it.

                    •  I understand (0+ / 0-)

                      No one brought up a single detail of the Bible, but that doesn't mean they don't have an understanding of it.

                      I have enough faith in my biblical literacy to respond best to the push-back. All I can do is propose it, and hopefully we can have a respectful discussion. If it's rejected, then I gave it a good try. But, there's always the possibility of examining a section of Scripture that may not be known and might be exactly what is needed.

                      I won't know this until it happens.

                      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:33:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  No one mentioned sexism (0+ / 0-)

                  Which is odd. It almost implies that they have not very much institutional understanding of anything in the Bible.

                  I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

                  by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:34:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Explaining an Argument (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      I have my truth. My truth is that I'm a Quaker and Christian and a liberal.

      I would be a very poor Quaker if I ever suggested that there was only one truth. One of the things that's confounding about Liberal Quakers is that everyone has a different Truth. We're to speak to our Truth.

      That's why it's incorrect to say that "All Quakers Believe..."

      We have our own understanding of God. If I speak in Worship, I am speaking with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that only I understand. I would never presume to know anyone else's.

      We have the Testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Equality, and Community. Each of those are applied individually. We define roughly what they mean, but we think of them in very individual ways.

      So when I'm arguing with five people online. I'm trying to respect their own perspective and their own Truth. Surely if they're still talking to me, they must be speaking their own Truth. And I want to listen to them, because it must mean quite a bit to them.

      So what we have here is just basic misunderstanding. I never had the opportunity to say all of these things, and they were busy trying to negate what I'd just said.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:09:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  None so blind as those who will not see (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, Prinny Squad, Bradana

    cabaretic, to me you come across as another condescending and patronizing believer.  

    I'd paraphrase your comments about those on the feminist board as "Oh, these poor women are either rebelling against God/religion or they are so ignorant of religion that they can't understand why they should uncritically accept everything I'm telling them."

    I faced a tremendous amount of hostility and those who I confronted were not yet ready to come to the table in a spirit of mutual understanding.
    Your comments sound like a typical "notpology", where all the fault is placed on the injured party for having the gall to be insulted/annoyed by your aggression.  And I don't see aggression as being too strong of a term -- you characterize your actions as "confronting" people and it sounds like you got a response suitable for someone who was being confrontational.
    To Feministe readers, I was not trying to somehow force feed my Quakerism and religious beliefs to a group of people who resisted it.
    That looks to me to be exactly what you were doing.  You went to a place where you hadn't been invited and hectored people, apparently continuing even after you'd been told you weren't welcome.

    You don't live in the USA without being exposed to religion.  Even in relatively "godless" San Francisco there's no shortage of churches and proselytizers.  Anyone with an Internet connection or access to newspapers can see on a daily basis good reasons to be suspicious of religions and those who believe in them.  In 60 years of living around the country I've yet to meet anyone who says "religion?  No, I've never heard of the concept.  Jesus?  No never heard of him either."

    Sure, there are people of good will who are believers who don't go around bothering people who haven't asked to be bothered, but even if they constitute a majority that still leaves a lot of people that justify treating any "hello, have I told you today about my religious beliefs?" approach with considerable suspicion.

    If you want to try and gain friends for religion I suggest you try being friendly.  In my experience friendly people aren't going around bothering other people.  Your desire to share your "good news" doesn't trump other people's desire for you to leave them alone and peddle your beliefs to someone who is interested in hearing them.

    •  Need to correct my intention (0+ / 0-)

      You've said something similar to others, so I know I need to add my opinion.

      All I meant to imply is that there's a link between feminism and Quakerism. Had someone told me to stop, I would stop. That is only polite. But it continued, and I was never able to really explain my intentions.

      I wanted a discussion. Instead, I didn't receive it. If I went about it the wrong way, I accept it. I never thought I was bothering people. And because I was unaware of how I must have been coming across, that motivated me even further to try to explain myself.

      But at no point was I implying that I had the answer. What I meant to imply was, "Look at this interesting idea. Why don't we talk about it? Have we ever considered the link between feminism and religion? There are a lot of intelligent people on this board, and I think we could really flesh out much that would be helpful to everyone"

      I can understand why people felt that I was ambushing them with a subject that they might not find very interesting. But see, I tend to respond to a challenge directly. I usually think that being present and being forceful with my opinion is to the benefit of the talk.

      I was invited to this particular thread. I commented on another page, then was told by a moderator to move my discussion to a spillover page. So I was invited, but I didn't apparently succeed in my desire to begin a substantive, positive dialogue. Instead, people began to insult me. And they could have stopped anytime too, and I would not have seen their refusal to talk to me as a deep affront. I would have respected their opinions.

      But what you don't understand about me is that acting like a Jehovah's Witness or an Evangelical Christian, was probably the farthest thing from my mind. I was advancing a point, which never caught fire.

      Here's the thing. I did not want to convert people. I did not have any desire to be confrontational with my faith, because I would take offense to that myself. But I was sure that if I talked about two subjects, feminism and Christianity, that what would develop would have little or nothing to do with religion. I was asking for a historical or even sociological discussion.

      When someone attacks you for being confrontational, in their mind, I was taught to fight back. I tried very diligently not to ask anyone to become a Christian, but to acknowledge that there might be a link between a topic that they hold dear and a topic they may never before have even considered.

      And again, if anyone had told me to buzz off, that's just what I would have done. Unless people got some kind of gratification in shooting back at me, then nothing else would have happened. I would have said, "Well, that didn't work." and that would have been it.

      I pushed back, in the second quote I cited, because I could not understand why people felt that I had any motive or desire to push my faith down their throats. They assumed this, but we never had enough of a real conversation, which was what I wanted.

      In hindsight, I will be more careful about the audience I choose to speak to about religious topics. One option for me is to ignore this. Another is to think long and hard about appropriate audiences for talks about religion. Another one is to blow it off and recognize that certain people respond to certain approaches in a way that isn't very helpful.  

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:02:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your last paragraph makes some sense- (0+ / 0-)

        in particular your somewhat belated but welcome realization about "appropriate audiences for talks about religion".

        IMO, the appropriate audience is an audience that has demonstrated an interest in your religion. To many people, any version of "let's talk about my faith" just sounds rude and intrusive, And since most people who do this are trying to proselytize, that's how it's gonna sound to many who hear it.

        I know more than a few Quakers. One of the things I admire about them is that they don't ever do this. And none of them ever cites the bible- they're not necessarily Christian and a couple of them are actually agnostic.

        •  More Sense Forthcoming (0+ / 0-)

          You gotta learn from something. There's that old quote from Oscar Wilde that wisdom is the name that men give to themselves.

          As you might guess, I know many Quakers myself. I really did have ever intention of starting a helpful discussion on feminism and Quakerism. Not a theological discussion, but more the Quakers who were feminist.

          But there's really no good way to start a dialogue like that on a website where someone else formulates the subject. Likely, there might never be a good means of trying to see if anyone was interested. I can post once a week about something I wrote that means a lot to me, and maybe five people read it. But that's limited.

          When someone confronts you it is really difficult to not fire back. I'm not Gandhi and I'm not Martin Luther King Jr. I could have immediately left and felt cowardly, or I could have done what I did and try to defend myself.

          If all they were doing was telling me to get out of their face, that would be easy enough. In future, I don't see myself in this situation again, but I do hope that someone is direct enough to let me know I probably need to bow out gracefully. I'm a strong willed person, and so are all of you, I bet.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:51:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What I Tried Not To Be (0+ / 0-)

      I never wanted to be condescending and patronizing. When you're having an argument with someone, it's difficult not to match their tone.

      If they're angry, you're angry. If you're calm, they're calm. Sadly, I was not allowed to be calm.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:23:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are doing it again (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prinny Squad, Bradana
        Sadly, I was not allowed to be calm.
        It isn't my fault, they forced me, they were asking for it, etc.  Do you really want to use the same excuse that rapists do?

        You aren't doing your religion any favors if you come across as "the ugly believer".   I've seen various believers say that they don't proselytize, but instead try to live their life as an exemplar of their beliefs.  I guess that's a "walking the walk" attitude rather than a "do as I say, not as I do" practice.

        Religion is a very personal subject for many people, and when you want to add to that to other sensitive subjects as you did at the feminist board I think you'll find that the chances of having things go wrong expand exponentially.

        Perhaps you need to work on keeping your cool before you go bearding the lion in its den?  You might get better results versus going in with a "I'm going to enlighten these poor benighted ignorant fools and they'll thank me for it or rue the day they crossed me."  Yes, that is hyperbole, but it still is based on what you've written.

        •  Fair Point, but it depends entirely on context (0+ / 0-)

          What should I have said instead? When being directly confronted by someone who was very forceful in their delivery, it was very difficult to keep my cool.

          If I was perfect, I would have kept my cool. But I'm human. And I make mistakes.

          Most likely, I won't make any attempt to try to start a debate on a website. And if I do, I will do a tremendous amount of research beforehand, to see if I am only wasting my time.

          I can't be a saint. If I am the ugly believer, then that judgment is nothing I would ever assign to myself. Regardless of how much self-restraint I have under my command, I'm going to be the ugly believer to someone.

          It was one frustrated sentence. And if you've ever gotten into it with someone, be it through an argument or through even fists, staying calm is a Herculean effort. I had no idea that everything was going to get heated yesterday. I admit that I felt shocked more than I did angry.

          I was certain that through force of will, persistence, and listening, I could resolve this grievance. And I was wrong. So now, if I ever do decide to take this course of action, it ain't gonna be here.

          I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

          by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:22:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Orthodox Christian theology says: (0+ / 0-)

    Believe in our theology, or suffer eternal torment in Hell.

    How can anyone make a greater threat?

    I know that many people who describe themselves as Christians do not believe that particular theological assertion.  But it has been part of the dominate organized Christian church since before the Council of Nicea.  The most politically potent forms of Christianity in America today in the conservative movement and the Tea Party do believe that assertion.

    For that reason, it is hard for me and probably many other people to feel very good about Christianity and other organized religions.  Though I and many other non-Christians have succumbed to the temptation of pointing out how the ethical teachings of Jesus contradict the modern conservative movement.

    Ultimately it is impossible for any human to understand the infinite, so for me agnosticism is the only way to go and detailed theologies are vain.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:03:55 AM PDT

    •  I'm a Universalist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      semiMennonite

      It has been my complete quest to try to increase the profile of the Religious Left. The Religious Right gets all the attention, and it comes at our own expense.

      Every Christian denomination emphasizes different parts of the Bible and different teachings. I was raised a Methodist, where hell was simply not talked about. We never read Revelation and hell simply wasn't real.

      And from my experience, only the real holy rollers hold fast to and old way of looking at Christianity. The founder of Quakerism, George Fox, read the Bible and memorized it. The first Friends had no Bibles during Worship, because they were expected to memorize it. Every Quaker had a complete immersion in the entire text, and could recite everything from memory.

      How you choose to worship is your decision. I don't begin to know the infinite in totality. But every now and again, God gives me the ability to see at least some of it. And it keeps me coming back.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:57:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't "believe" in an invisible sky god than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad

    the Easter Bunny. It just doesn't make sense. If that's what helps you overcome your fear on your inevitable death, great. Just please don't try to force the culture part of your sky god belief system on me.

  •  How about when someone attacks you FOR your (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad, Bradana

    religious beliefs, or lack of them?  How about separation of church and state?  Ring any bells for you?  Take a look at what religion is doing over in the ME and tell me again how God can save us all?  Please.

    As for Feminism and religion - the two hardly mix well, all one needs to do here is take a bit of a look at historical FACT, and that means not what's in the Bible but what has actually been wrought in the name of God by so many who tell us they "know the word of God" all while killing as many who dont believe the same way as possible.

    And lets look at the latest congresscritter who feels his colleagues need to be guided by YOUR Bible, paid for at taxpayer expense - oh maybe not the Bibles themselves but the delivery of them to all 535 members, and those of us who don't believe get to pay for that too.

    Your religion is being used to bring about a country that none of us will want to see, all in the name of God.  I for one cannot reconcile myself to that and have little sympathy for a religion that allows itself to be used so blatantly to hurt the 'other' among us.

    •  Hold On (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VirginiaJeff

      I think you may have a very different interpretation of my Bible.

      Quakers believe in the separation of church and state!

      It is unfortunate that the Bible has been used by some to kill other people. But so has the US Constitution. Yes, certain Christian denominations act as though they have the right answer. For some people, they feel more comfortable not having to worry about any doubts.

      As a liberal Christian, and a liberal Quaker, I have my own understanding of God and the Bible. Everyone in the Meeting where I worship feels the same way. You can never say, "Quakers all believe this..." That is not correct and would make an awful lot of people mad at me.

      The Bible, as I read it, is a book of wisdom and a book of guidance. I don't read it literally. I know enough about Greek and Latin to understand how it was originally written and what it really means.

      I don't cast it aside because I find value in it. But you'd never see me cite a passage about the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in Revelation. You have to be discerning. Reading the Bible is not something to be taken with a grain of salt.

      If it isn't for you, then that's your right. But it means quite a bit to me, and to many other people I know. We never cover the sections that are sexist or offensive.

      Everyone does that. Every denomination uses a different passage than the next, for their own reasons. So no one reads the whole thing and no one ever will.

      I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

      by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:15:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and to clarify (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prinny Squad

      by your religion I mean Christianity as a whole, not Quakerism or any one particular sect of it, but the whole premise.

      •  Christianity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiMennonite

        It can be the best of times and the worst of times. I hate it that so many people have been wounded by religion. But in the middle of all the interpretation, some parts are extremely helpful.

        I don't read the whole thing because I don't need the whole thing. I tend to focus most on the saying and works of Jesus. Those speak most highly to me.

        And I don't see many people who find fault with Jesus.

        I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

        by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:34:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lemme break it down for you. (0+ / 0-)

    Though there are a few good posts above, but here is some additional info:

    1. "I began to post about the particulars of my faith, particularly my belief in God and in Christianity. I received some extremely strong criticism and was accused of proselytizing."

    That's because you were. We live in America. Christianity is ruining it. Most of us are well aware of its existence.

    2. "Feministe is a website for young Feminists."

    Young people are rejecting religion more than ever. Better education, more world exposure, and less ignorance kind of make this a trend that will keep going as long as America never becomes a theocracy.

    And as for women, Christianity has been a vile tool of oppression against them. I mean, even the origin story is hateful of them. Eve? Horrible. Lilith is the only admirable female character in Christian mythology.

    In short, you picked the worst target audience. You were looking for old housewives who listen to whatever their husbands tell them like it's the 1950s.

    3. "I must admit I do not understand people who assume that religion in any form must be destructive."

    Religion is based on the concept of belief without fact. It's make-believe. Even with the best of intentions, it's not wholly constructive.

    I wouldn't say it's always destructive, but I'd say it's definitely a negative influence in our society. At it's best, it's neutral. Even when it's trying to do something good, it's tainted by the fact it's based on supernatural beliefs without evidence.

    Of course you can believe whatever you want, but when you start shoving it on our laws and start harming people with it, then it's toxic sludge.

    4. "teachable moments"

    Again, we are all pretty familiar with your religion here as whole (Christianity). If we have any particular questions about your subdivision, we will ask. No one cares, otherwise.

    You aren't teaching, you are preaching.

    Which is your right. You can say vile stuff and stupid stuff in America. However, don't expect people to cheer you for either. At least until you picked the right target audience.

    But don't pretend you are the More You Know Star with valuable info.

    5. "I hope these people make peace with organized religion"

    No.

    Trends show it will take generations to die out, but die out it will in the realm of the mainstream. And the swath of Americans that believe that are younger, better educated, more worldly, and growing daily.

    6. "To me it takes a kind of courage to reexamine Christianity and religion with different eyes"

    Please, don't insult us. Most of us know more about the bible than any Christian hick you yank out of an anti-abortion rally.

    See, the thing is we actually read the book, not have a creepy preacher/priest/pastor make it sound less horrible than it is and tell us what it's really saying.

    7. "I do know that religion and in particular, Quakerism, could be extremely helpful to many."

    That's your opinion, not a fact. And I disagree.

    Even if your subsect is marginally less terrible, it's still an outdated mythology based on unfounded belief.

    8. "To me this comes off as super creepy."

    Creepy, or insulting.

    ----

    In summary, this should not have been a surprise to you. This is a free country, you can do and think any legal thing you want. Have fun.

    But don't expect hugs and high fives when you bring an ancient religion to a modern forum.

    I'm glad you learned your lesson.

    If you want to get a better reception, post on Christian progressive forums.

    All six of you can have a good discussion while the rest of your religion's members assault gay people, protest abortion, shut down science, hand out bibles instead of food, and annoy the rest of us with handing out religious tracts.

    It's not personal. You seem like a nice person. But there is no getting around what the most vocal and visible members of your religion are doing to this country.

    Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
    Stranger: Indeed?
    Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
    Stranger: I wear no mask.
    Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

    by Prinny Squad on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 12:39:20 PM PDT

  •  One Second (0+ / 0-)

    You have some worthwhile points, which I will comment upon.

    1. No one ever responded to me as though they found the Bible offensive. No one responded with biblical verses. It made me feel as though their understanding of Scripture was negative, but they had no real comprehension of why it was bad.

    People my age often have no understanding of the Bible. Which is sad, if you consider how our English language was shaped by the Bible and how many Biblical allusions there are in our culture.

    2. I have no allegiance at all to conservative Christianity. None. I don't agree with them. I don't read the Bible the way they do. I don't protest abortion clinics.

    3. I recognize that the Bible has been used over time to oppress women. But there are also very strong women in the bible like Ruth, Delilah, Mary, and Eve. And to pass aside a very large portion of our history is, in my opinion, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    4. I never sought to convert. It seemed that way because I could not introduce the topic I wanted to introduce, because people were fixated on what they thought I was doing, which is to say, trying to convert them.

    5. I'm not ready to give Christianity up to the Right Wingers. I don't think that's fair. And if I could, I'd do everything to let people know that Liberal Christianity and The Religious Left are real.

    6. I'm not asking you to understand what it is like to know God. If you don't, you don't. But if you do, you continue to be a religious person and you make sure you reclaim Christianity from those who do things you are opposed to.

    7. Rationally, yes, religion makes no sense. But that's what makes it religion. I cannot explain why I believe or what I feel. But I know it's there, and if I tried to put it in rational terms, I'd be lying to you.

    I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I lead you in, some one else would lead you out. - Eugene Debs.

    by cabaretic on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:13:59 PM PDT

    •  I'm guessing this is a reply to me? (0+ / 0-)

      1. The bible is disgusting. I've read it.

      I could go through and quote passages, and I will if I need to, but we both know I'm right. You have to put the text through the Christian "but this is what it really says" filter to make it acceptable by modern civilized standards.

      I'll take it for what it is.

      And yes, I know, it's inspired countless quotes and references. That's not really relevant to its value. Language is constantly changing, and draws elements from current popular culture.

      LOL is in the dictionary now, for example.

      2. Okay, great. No one is saying you are. But they are still Christians, and they outnumber you. You can't kick them out of your club, religion doesn't work like that. They do these things, and they believe the character known as Jesus Christ is their lord and savior.

      Everyone already knows Quakers are generally among the least offensive of Christians, but they are still Christians.

      3. Eve sucks, she's a terrible character and a bad female role model. Nothing worse than subservient women.

      And okay, yes, the bible has historical relevance, and there is no question it has had a large impact on human culture. Unfortunately for humanity.

      Which is why I will never complain if taught like the mythological story it is (not as fact, which it is not) in an appropriate elective classroom setting.

      4. I'm not calling you a liar, I'm just saying that's how it looked. And even if you were not intending to convert, you were preaching. If you really wanted to make it about the people and how their religion motivated them, you'd start with the people, not the religion.

      5. Fair enough, that's your fight, not mine. But you are losing.

      If you manage to reclaim it, and keep it out of our laws, away from our school science classes, and back in your churches, then I'm pretty sure Christianity will become less offensive to forward thinking people.

      Basically, become as unobtrusive and friendly as modern American Wiccans and Buddhists, and non-Christians might actually not despise Christianity anymore.

      Good luck. You will need it.

      6. You do realize this sounds ridiculous to the rest of us, right?

      7. I believe you believe that.

      I know the human mind is capable of wondrous imaginings.

      It is capable and able of playing the greatest of tricks on itself.

      It has often turned to the supernatural or fantastical when the answer is not apparent.

      Alien abductions, monster/demon visits, ghosts and strange experiences, believing to have a connection with powerful deities or deity.

      Let's just say, I'll be very interested when our technology advances to where we can truly study the intricate details of the brain.

      It will be enlightening, I feel.

      Consider a schizophrenic, who believes audio and visual constructions of their brain to be real.

      Consider dreams, playgrounds of the mind that can at times seem almost real when experiencing, and sometimes when just waking.

      Consider night terrors, originally thought to be supernatural, later explained with science.

      Consider that there has been no instance of a supernatural explanation being the correct one, but the multitude of times the scientific explanation has replaced a formally supernatural one.

      I believe people believe themselves that they have a supernatural connection, can tell the future, can reach a spiritual place in their minds.

      I just have every evidence-based reason myself to believe that their conclusion of the situation fails to consider the possibility that the conductor of their beliefs is simply their own mind.

  •  What you are looking for is called, in Buddhism, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiMennonite, Catte Nappe

    Skill in Means. It means that you first understand where your listeners are coming from, before you speak, and you then begin with what they can understand already.

    You demanded that they start in the middle of where you have been seeking, with no introduction, no explanation, and no consideration for them. I am not surprised that it went badly.

    I suggested above that you start with historical facts about Quaker feminists, and not talk about your own faith until someone asks about it.

    I lurked here for years before starting to post Buddhist points of view and quotations from the Sutras and other writings. It turns out that Buddhism in general and Zen in particular is a welcome topic of discussion. I made the mistake of quoting the Bible in a way that was not appreciated in an Israel/Palestine Diary early on, and got donutted to death. It took weeks to get my mojo back. So I never did anything like that again until I learned how it could work, and until all of the nastiest I/P bullies got themselves banned.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:14:09 PM PDT

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