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Jessica Campbell
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Thanks, Greg. Although I often find you holding back in your blog posts, they consistently remind me how right we are as we have struggled over the course of many years to define/clarify/question what we believe to be true. That's why I keep reading.
Greg - I reckon Sarah should fly in and join us for some wine and good food? I loved this interview - it was natural - like two friends sitting down and having a "get to know you" session. Felt like some of the conversations we've had. You two hit all the good points: don't be a dick, comfortable with the mystery, sexism in religion. Good stuff all around. Thanks Jay for putting this together so it can be shared with the interneters. ps. this is written from Utila Honduras - which I say for two reasons: 1. so you'll all be ridiculously jealous, and 2. to let you (Sarah and Greg) that your great words are being listened to everywhere.
Westophanes - I really liked your first paragraph and then you lost me on your second. It's hard to get past the first sentence - what exactly is it you're saying is above our pay grade? It sounds like one of those "humans are lowly creatures that don't have the right to question and/or reject the ways of God because we can not understand God's ways with our tiny finite human brains." Is that what you're saying? In your second sentence you say, "If the Christian God is real, then I suppose THAT's about as useless as disliking being born." What's "THAT" because you didn't lay it out in the first sentence but now you're referring to it. Finally - your third sentence - you equate disliking being born, which you refer to in your 2nd sentence, to being unborn. You're ignoring the option of suicide- if someone were to really dislike being born - and they feel this world is screwed up and useless - they could kill themselves. Finally - you toss in the typical "but you can choose not to follow Jesus" - it doesn't really arrive logically in that place - it feels like a cheesy Jr. High Youth Pastor reminding his kids that it's their responsibility to choose Jesus despite their doubts. "You didn't get to choose your life kids, but you can choose to follow Jesus ....." leaving out the hidden premise that somehow in so choosing Jesus that will make life living - whereas now it is not? Further, for people who don't have a belief about the nature of God and disagree about the system that has been created in which we live - it's sort of silly to skip straight to Jesus. Granted - within the system, Christians see Jesus as the most important part - and the most definitive - however - the system still sucks and if hell is a possibility even with Jesus having "died for our sins" then the system is still unjust. You seem like a really great person - open and loving and full of grace ;-) hehe - the reason I'm picking at your 2nd para. is because that's when you're trying to impart some sort of theology or belief in a positive nature and yet it's the part when you're most vague, obscure and illogical. Your ideas are not complete, the sentiment is bizarre and the conclusion is trite. - I don't know - just something that stuck out to me - something to think about. Maybe you were just tired of writing after that very nice first paragraph.
Toggle Commented Apr 23, 2011 on Fall to Grace (useless word) at the parish
Alright, there's #1:
Can I do this too? For a long time I thought it would be fun to hash out my beliefs but the task seemed too daunting. How many questions are there?
You should have a little clicker for when you read. And every time you think "are you fucking kidding me?.." you make a click. This can then be used as a new rating system for your reviews. Also - I like that his evangelism is: "striving to reach the world with the gospel of Christ through revivals, television, audio/video media, printed material, and missionary sponsorship." screw you orphans, widows, and poor! We've got TV!!!!! Jesus..not through helping, through entertaining!!! sigh........
well put. this has been a huge beef of mine since freshman year of college. Constantly frustrated that I could get fined $25 / curse word yet those who spread untrue rumors or even true rumors around the school got put on "who's who" and elected as homecoming queen. ps. I got a pink slip in 1st grade for calling a kid a son of a bitch. I felt it was justified b/c he had stomped on a mother craw-dad and its babies. Neither the girls who told on me, the teacher who gave me the pink slip, nor my mother who washed my mouth out with soap for a week agreed. I still think I was right. And it just goes to show you how valuable corporal punishment is.
I hope Kylie is secure in herself not to buy in to the bullshit. It's hard to be immersed in the crap for an entire week- with the message that your life is sad and that you are hurting being repeated, while your regular teenage insecurities and hurts are being exploited and not at least feel kind of badly about yourself. From what it sounds like though their tactics aren't as mature as she is and she'll be able to withstand the pressure to feel badly about herself. The religious stuff is what it is - it's the message of not being a "slut" etc. or all the other social insults that go along with the messages of purity, drinking, abortion, faith - etc. that make me cringe for her. Remind her that the Socratic method is a rather helpful way to get the attention off her and on to the question asker - make them define what they mean - that will get them to leave her alone maybe. And beware of "I used to be bad but now I'm good" camp counselors - they're the worst.
I like this. it is funny. I think we are all missing the genius of theism- you never have to discount your asinine beliefs b/c the more you believe the better you are! it's so fun and so clever. I particularly like the following theistic tricks: 1. point out how truly bizarre what they believe is, then say something like - but isn't it bizarre that god loves sinners like us? and then 1. rejoice that god loves us lowly sinners, and 2. affirm faith in preposterous ideas. 2. when faced with a doubting pray-er you can just tell the pray-er that sometimes god is silent. THAT"S GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3. also- in desperate situations- blame the individual's doubt on the individual. i love it. 4. name something ridiculous that happened in the bible then say - God is amazing. It's so fun I just wish I could apply it to all areas of my life. Oh to not be tied to a desire for truth, coherence, or credibility. damn you science and reason for testing your propositions and chucking them out if they don't hold up....damn you Kuhn and your scientific revelations and paradoxes.... I LOVED GEOCENTRISM!!!!!!! ugh!!!!!!!!
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2010 on Simple Questions at the parish
Adding to Cheek: 1. Insurance -- scare them in- phrase most heard in this category - "if you are driving home tonight and get hit by a car - can you say you would go to heaven? Do you want to spend eternity in hell?" Belief in Christianity presented as Insurance from eternal hell fire. 2. Christianity presented like taking your first hit/drink/smoke etc: "Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart- won't you let him in?" "It is right here for you- won't just do it?" 3. Destinal Occasion - used for predation of 1st timers - while everyone is praying - "You're here tonight- this may be your first time- yet you feel something within yourself- something you may be missing- and now it makes sense, it's Jesus. Your friend brought you here because they love you and they want you to feel God's love (( friend inevitably starts crying )). This is what you've been missing- take this moment and fill that void. You are here tonight for a reason- you accepted the invitation to come to church tonight- now accept the invitation to let Jesus into your heart." 4. pushy car salesman- don;t think about it just do it
I would like to see you team up with a psychologist and expand on your not so covert subtext about the psychological reasons individuals come to Jesus-- to be differentiated from why they STAY w/ Jesus-- which could be another book.
yeah- I'm way fucking impressed.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2010 on Sandbagging: A Parable at the parish
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Feb 2, 2010