Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Christianity core

December 15, 2007

Advertisement

To the editor:

I feel I must reply to the Dec. 10 letter of Bruce S. Springsteen. He issues a blanket condemnation of all religion. Any fair-minded person with knowledge of the subject will recognize that religions are not all alike.

I know that violence has been committed in the name of Christianity, but in the beginning it was totally pacifist. Jesus taught ONLY love of enemies, forgiveness, simple living and care and compassion for the sick and needy. It's not his fault that so many of those who bear his name have ignored his teachings.

Please understand that I am only referring to the teaching of Jesus as recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It's no use trotting out violent passages from the Old Testament. Christians understand that the teachings of Jesus supersede anything that went before.

And many, many Christians over the centuries have put these teachings into practice, founding hospitals, charitable organizations of every kind, caring for the needy and promoting peace. There is a strong pacifist element within Christianity. Christianity, when practiced as Jesus taught, influences people to be unselfish, to think of others, to be kind to all and to help the suffering.

Mr. Springsteen refers to the "lunatic implications" of religions who claim to have a revelation "from the eternal source." But those who have a true revelation from God all say the same thing: "Love your neighbor, love your enemy, treat others as you want to be treated."

Dianne Hofmann,

Lawrence

Comments

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

(continued)


"Of course, once you admit that God has not protected the text, it isn't many more inferences to the conclusion that God never had a hand in it at all. A glorious, miserable fake, from cover to cover. This is a point the evangelicals are fond of making, and while I am not fond of the bigotry and oppression they represent in many of their forays into our secular politics, I am willing to admit they are right about this."

The evangelicals aren't right about it, and the only reason you agree with them on this is back to my point I made earlier: You are really trapped in their same distorted mindset -- that all or nothing, black or white reasoning to life, truth, faith. It is this mindset that is self-delusional, and frankly it boils down to arrogance.

Rather why not have the humility to admit that somethings that may have been understood to the believers at the time of Christ aren't as clear now because people didn't keep as close a track on the meanings that changed linguistically over time?

I remember when I was a child, I read: "It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel to enter the eye of a needle." I thought it was a very weird statement. However, years later i learned that eye of the needle referred to a narrow entrance into a walled city. They were designed to be narrow to keep armies on riding on camels from being able to just get in and take over the city. Was the text really weird? No. My understanding was limited at the time I first read it. In MY language and understanding there were plenty of needles in my grandmothers sewing kit, and though I had never seen a camel up close and personal, I knew that they were definitely larger than the width of a thread. Luckily, at that later time I had the maturity to accept that the fault was not with the BIble, but with those who translated it or at least those that should have explained its meaning.

" "If you want to call what I follow, picking and choosing, that is fine. Realize that life is about picking and choosing." Isn't just beside the point. It is unChristian. You've confused life with a Christian life."


Not at all, the Christian life is about choosing to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do -- as to just choosing that which is more self-gratifying, safer, or easier.

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

Dr_B (Anonymous) says:

"None2, not a lot here that isn't missing the point. You say don't submit to the entirety of the strange teachings of your text (the four canonical Gospels), but you take your name, "Christian", from it. That not just picking and choosing, though picking and choosing what you want, and what you don't, is how you do it. It's theft. If unrecognized as such, it's self-deceit, too..."


Most of what you say misses the point. Plus you love to distort. I never used words like "strange" or "my text". There is nothing strange about it, your problem is that if it doesn't read like Reader's Digest, it isn't valid. Well sorry, but text HUNDREDS of years old just isn't going to be that way. I'm sorry that we don't have emails, iPod casts, DVD's, video tapes, and other modern medium that have exactly what Jesus did and said throughout his life. We don't and until someone invents some science fiction time machine, what we have is it. What would be strange is if the Bible did read like a modern book or modern media. Then I'd call it strange and possible a forgery.

Second, it isn't "my" text, I wouldn't DARE to be so arrogant to claim to be the author of a book that has survived for around two millennia. Who am I to think I had a hand in writing a book that has been in existence for centuries.


"Christianity isn't only what you say it is, by saying it, it is the Christian Text first, the Teaching of Christ recorded there first, your beliefs and conduct as consequences, or failures, last. Or why recognize "Christianity" as the Teaching of Christ? Now we can interpret all we wish but we don't get to simply dismiss, and call ourselves a Christian. Not without an argument that the dismissed text is infected with purely human, counterfeits of the Divine teaching."


Your problem is that you are a fundamentalist at heart. You have an all or nothing mentality to life. Most people don't have that kind of mentality because such an attitude can eventually lead to unnecessary mental illness.

Were there no Christians between the time of Christ life on earth and much later when the books that make up the New Testament were finally determined? Due to your distorted all or nothing view of reality, the answer would be no because they either weren't exposed to the entire truth or they may have been exposed to distortions. In most people's minds, they were Christians.

0

Dr_B 6 years, 4 months ago

None2, not a lot here that isn't missing the point. You say don't submit to the entirety of the strange teachings of your text (the four canonical Gospels), but you take your name, "Christian", from it. That not just picking and choosing, though picking and choosing what you want, and what you don't, is how you do it. It's theft. If unrecognized as such, it's self-deceit, too.

Christianity isn't only what you say it is, by saying it, it is the Christian Text first, the Teaching of Christ recorded there first, your beliefs and conduct as consequences, or failures, last. Or why recognize "Christianity" as the Teaching of Christ? Now we can interpret all we wish but we don't get to simply dismiss, and call ourselves a Christian. Not without an argument that the dismissed text is infected with purely human, counterfeits of the Divine teaching.

Of course, once you admit that God has not protected the text, it isn't many more inferences to the conclusion that God never had a hand in it at all. A glorious, miserable fake, from cover to cover. This is a point the evangelicals are fond of making, and while I am not fond of the bigotry and oppression they represent in many of their forays into our secular politics, I am willing to admit they are right about this.

So you see,

"If you want to call what I follow, picking and choosing, that is fine. Realize that life is about picking and choosing."

Isn't just beside the point. It is unChristian.

You've confused life with a Christian life.

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

yourworstnightmare (Anonymous) says:

"Like faith, they need to be checked by other parts of human nature such as empathy, reason, evidence-based decision-making, kindness, and forgiveness..."

============================ Just how do you propose to restrain faith? Have an all knowing state make laws against those that seem too passionate about anything? Perhaps as a society shun and or shame those that passionately believe in something larger than themselves? Maybe pass out drugs to keep everybody calm, uninspired, & controlled? I wouldn't want to live in such a dull, flat civilization. Sounds like a hell on earth. (Pardon the religious reference.)

Most of the problems we have aren't about someone having too much faith, they are about the basic vices that we all grapple with. Now some would see such a comment as a negative view of human nature and based in Christian principles -- thus a flawed concept. I don't see it that way. I see it like a diamond. It may have defects, but those defects are the very thing that can cause the diamond's special luster.

0

Sean Livingstone 6 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says:

"All religions are alike in that they all require the suspense of critical thought and reason in order to become a follower of a given religion"

Not true. Some religions are less "obvious" than the others. Some practices but never preach, and hope that others will follow. Others seem like they're not religion at all. Your "interpretation" is based on Judaism, Islam and Christianity, which have roots in Judaism by the way. There are other religions that are very dissimiliar to these three faiths.

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

"You almost got it right. Except you don't seem to be able to admit that human nature includes the need to have faith in something larger than one's self."

I fail to see how you conclude that I don't seem to able to admit that faith is part of human nature. I do not disagree that part of human nature is a desire to explain the unexplained by having faith. However, there are lot's of things in human nature that would be detrimental to civilization if they were not tempered. Extreme self-interest, violence, reckless depletion of available resources, etc. All are parts of human nature. Like faith, they need to be checked by other parts of human nature such as empathy, reason, evidence-based decision-making, kindness, and forgiveness

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 4 months ago

None2 wrote:

"You almost got it right. Except you don't seem to be able to admit that human nature includes the need to have faith in something larger than one's self."

Marion writes:

Why?

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"Do you really think someone who grew up in this country can be so vain to say that their ethical/moral beliefs didn't get influenced by Christianity?"

Nearly every core moral precept which in the west is considered "Christian" exists in every human culture, Christian or otherwise.

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

yourworstnightmare (Anonymous) says:

"The other point is that the Bolsheviks were still driven by an "-ism", a faith in a political and economic system that ignored reality and human nature and was bound to fail."

=============================== You almost got it right. Except you don't seem to be able to admit that human nature INCLUDES the need to have faith in something larger than one's self. It doesn't matter whether it is God, science, a language, a culture, a political system, an economic system, or even just a 12-step idea of a higher power. People want something to believe in.

If you think that there is some ideal society that can remove all "ism's" (as you call it), then you are even more delusional than the Bolsheviks.

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

Dr_B (Anonymous) says: @ 10:58 p.m

" ... ... ... ... ... ..."

===================== No there is nothing "ethically schizophrenic" about the Gospels. There is simply people who need to follow a red dot on each word to grasp it. If you need that kind of hand holding when you read, sing, or think, then good luck. Most people won't have time to hold a red dot wand for you.

"In support of anti-xian's, which are rare enough-don't know any personally"

If your rantings aren't that of an anti-xian, then maybe you have that fundy escapist attitude of "hate the sin [religious belief] love the sinner [religious]"?

"Most of them [anti-Xians] are, in their writings, nice people."

Ah yes, there are these wonderful anti-xians out there, pure untainted by religiosity. Kind of like the noble savages who live pure, self-less lives before outside influences from dominate cultures and religions corrupted their war-free, stress-free, egalitarian lives.

"And I don't know anyone who thinks the Gospels were written recently."

You seem to think it was written yesterday from your expectations that it should have come with a TV Guide like supplement to understanding every word. That is something that only one would expect from a contemporary book.

"So yes, you're picking and choosing based on your human preconceptions about what is goodness."

If you want to call what I follow, picking and choosing, that is fine. Realize that life is about picking and choosing. If I needed to be spoon fed everything I should ever think, feel, and believe, then I might as well be a machine.

Note, that such an attitude isn't unique to me nor is it unique to people's religious beliefs/adherents. For instance, do you think people feel a sense of guilt or go into an ethical guilt trip if they don't follow every single law in the law books? I don't see drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians with pained faces of sorrow when they don't follow all the rules. Most people pick and choose all the time.

"...it isn't the Bible that guides you, but you who guide the Bible..."

Here we go with what was first the chicken or the egg. Do you really think someone who grew up in this country can be so vain to say that their ethical/moral beliefs didn't get influenced by Christianity? Even if I had come from a Zoroastrian, Buddhist, or atheist household, do you really think Christianity wouldn't have played a part in my thinking? That would be like saying that English has no affect on me when I attempt to learn other languages. English is part of me, it will be till the day I die, even if I were to move somewhere that it wasn't the spoken language. Sure there are things outside of a church or a Bible passage that influence my thinking, but to not acknowlege that influence AND embrace it would be a gross self-delusion. If my values have "goodness" in them it is in big part thanks to Christianity -- not inspite of it.

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

The religious, fundamentalist xtians in particular, always like to bring up the Soviet Union and other marxist-based societies of examples of "godlessness", as if this is the only other alternative.

It is true that Bolshevism was officially atheistic. However, the Russian Orthodox church survived and is going gangbusters now. They cooperated with the Bolsheviks to save their skins.

The other point is that the Bolsheviks were still driven by an "-ism", a faith in a political and economic system that ignored reality and human nature and was bound to fail.

The atrocities committed by these "atheistic" societies was because of their faith in their flawed system.

Faith is corrosive, whether it is faith in a supernatural god or faith in an atheistic political philosophy.

0

alicenevada 6 years, 4 months ago

I can only shake my head when I read these letters, because it is so true. So many Christians have turned into really judgemental hateful clean-cut bigots. And they use scripture to back it up. I can only say what Billy Graham recently said when commenting on all his knowledge of God and all his experience as a preacher: I have come to understand that God is just a great loving mystery.

0

Bruce Springsteen 6 years, 4 months ago

"Ah yes, lets bring back optimists that created the Bolshevik revolution and other such revolutions of the last century. There is nothing like a anti-religion-pusher to free the masses from their delusions whether they want to abandon their beliefs or not and whether their beliefs harm anybody els or not - for the anti-religious know what is best for everybody else. That must be the definition of free-thinking."

If you want to know the definition of freethinking, look it up, don't construct it yourself from broad, invalid conflations of Bolsheviks with Enlightenment humanists. Your attitude conveys a clear unwillingness to engage the actual position being presented by modern, optimistic secularists, by erecting an historical, extremist straw man you prefer to argue against, without demonstrating any connection to the actual philosophy being proposed. This is fraudulent discussion on your part. There is nothing intrinsically authoritarian in irreligion, or even in argument against religion, and certainly not in the precepts of secular humanism, if you are honest enough to engage those by, say, reading them.

There is however a great deal that is intrinsically authoritarian in revealed religion, and intolerant in theism propped up with the kind of arrogant truth claims made by even liberal religionists. Who is Dianne Hofmann to say what Jesus meant, and what God intends? Who is Leonard Pitts to do so? Such presumption is infinitely beyond the conceit of any unbeliever I know.

But, please, don't let me ruin your cherished, impenetrable pessimism about human decency and reason. Ignore the totality of the evidence, drag out your irrelevant and unrepresentative Bolsheviks, and continue your condescending dismissal of the religious as people who are well enough off believing whatever they like, true or not. They probably couldn't responsibly handle the truth if it turned out not to be absolute and comforting anyway, right? Only we superior types are able to raise our consciousness and sustain virtue and hope without superstition? How disgusting is your view. You may keep it.

0

BigPrune 6 years, 4 months ago

The Boss ain't on earth, He's upstairs.

But I've always enjoyed "Born to Run" and "Jungleland" is kinda funny but the part that says,"but they wind up wounded, not even dead," sounds stupid. "Born in the USA," told me you were a sell out and went corporate because it's too Top 40 sounding.

Too bad you got too old like so many rockers and your creativity dried up.

0

lounger 6 years, 4 months ago

True christians are VERY hard to find indeed. When they are found then its a beautiful thing. On the opposite side of the spectrum the christian imposters are some of the most frightening people on earth!!

0

toefungus 6 years, 4 months ago

With so many denominations, how can you tell what the real core is?

0

Dr_B 6 years, 4 months ago

"One thing worse than a fundy xian is a fundy anti-xian."

That's silly, None2. Yes, it is a fact that Christianity is consistent with most any society. How is that anti-Xian? If it's the fact, then the fact, not the messenger, is what is "Anti-xian". But really: Sounds like good marketing strategy, and it has been for 2000 years. Yes, Christianity as found in the Gospels is ethically schizophrenic. Well, it is--another fact--and that's a key to its endurance. Again, well done, xity.

Quite a brand you got there.

In support of anti-xian's, which are rare enough--don't know any personally--most of them are not in possession of, and possessed by, texts that advocate vicious eternal torture. Most of them are, in their writings, nice people. That's a plus. Right? So why are they worse, again?

And I don't know anyone who thinks the Gospels were written recently. Do you? You seem to think it's a common delusion. Hard to tell why.

Jesus preaching of Thermodynamics, Quantum mechanics? How is this relevant to his reported ethical doctrines, which appear to have been understood far too well. Noticed you left out the torture by fire.

So yes, you're picking and choosing based on your human preconceptions about what is goodness. Glad they are humane, but admit it; it isn't the Bible that guides you, but you who guide the Bible. You're just a user. Period. Convenient, welcome enough in your case, but hardly devout.

See, I don't think many people mind the existence of Christianity. I think people fear what would happen if it gained truly significant political power in our society. Those "fires" are a terrible temptation for Christians when they do gain truly significant power. And the sort they would light this time around is terrible to imagine.

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

sdinges (Anonymous) says: "...It is up to each individual to determine their own faith and belief. Why would you attack someone who has based theirs on love?"
============== Precisely

TomPaine (Anonymous) says: "...Don't let the cynics here claim their reflexive, sinister bitterness about humanity is anything but the residue a nasty old slander, perpetuated by delusional and/or conniving religion-pushers."

================== Ah yes, lets bring back optimists that created the Bolshevik revolution and other such revolutions of the last century. There is nothing like a anti-religion-pusher to free the masses from their delusions whether they want to abandon their beliefs or not and whether their beliefs harm anybody els or not -- for the anti-religious know what is best for everybody else. That must be the definition of free-thinking.

0

sdinges 6 years, 4 months ago

Does it really matter if the author of the letter is one hundred percent correct about what Jesus said word for word in the bible?

If a Christian believes that Jesus taught kindness, forgiveness and love, and they live their life according to his teachings, then they will live kindness, forgiveness and love. Do you -really- want to change their mind? What purpose do you have in arguing the point, other than that you are a cynic about religion or feel the need to justify your own anti-religious values?

You may say that they are "delusional" - Does it matter, if their 'delusion' makes them better people?

Jesus lived some 2000 years ago. He didn't walk around with a secretary to copy down his speeches word for word. The bible was written by many different people who didn't know him personally. It has been added to, subtracted from and revised hundreds of times. Arguments over how to interpret it have inspired dozens of forms of Christianity. Are you sure -you- have it right?

It is up to each individual to determine their own faith and belief. Why would you attack someone who has based theirs on love?

0

Bruce Springsteen 6 years, 4 months ago

"The question for anyone that wants to eliminate religion is, what do you purpose to replace it with?"

With whatever sustains those who currently lack belief, and who manage to live beautifully, graciously, and happily. You do not notice there are such people, and that such people have been around for a long time? Are they only figments of imagination!? You assume we cannot build a society and civilization full of such free and decent people? Why not?

Of course we can, but first we must clear the weeds, and finally refuse to accept "faith" as an excuse for arbitrary assertions about cosmic meanings and earthly values. Observe and imagine the best of humanity, not the worst. If you can do that, you will be less perplexed by what can "replace" - I'd rather say "succeed" - religion. Don't let the cynics here claim their reflexive, sinister bitterness about humanity is anything but the residue a nasty old slander, perpetuated by delusional and/or conniving religion-pushers.

0

i_tching 6 years, 4 months ago

Delusions do not require replacement.

0

ChristmasCarol 6 years, 4 months ago

Lilith was not someone to f@ck with. Of course disobedience is only fashionable in some aspects. Rebellion etc. I always wanted to meet CHEESEWHIZ CHEESEFOAL OF ZOELAND OR CHEESE WIZ OF OZZYZOE- LAND WHERE THEY ARE ALL GOING BACK TO LIKE A BAD '50's act like Sha-na-na-na-na. She was my favorite myth like . Well behaved women rarely make history.

Jesus was not all about forgiveness but he had many things to say but I am not sure I am all for any christian and what they say. For instance the parable about casting your seeds in fertile ground instead among thorns or rocks or sand.

If men of the "status quo" "Question Authority" or the heirarchy of "Question the Reality" of those liberating common elements of the greater polite society. They either have to be minorities or women.

It's only cool to disobey in the regularly formatted way. so don't shave your underarms and eat only vegetables in front of other people and tell everyone you are a lesbian because revolution is all about who you f@ck.

I kind of wanted to meet the furies or the Nereieds...

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, but I really want to meet and hook up with LILITH!

What a gal!

0

Speakout 6 years, 4 months ago

You guys are all arguing about a book written by four men who didn't live in Jesus' time and who postulated a religion. Who ever Jesus is, it is clear that he isn't a god as the Bible calls him the Son of Man, but Jesus never said he is God's son. His mother was Mary, and he had no father. All God has to do to create is say "be" and it is. Look at Adam, he had no mother or father, but we don't call him the son of God. Because the Bible was written by men (M,M, L & J) how can we call this book God's word? It was M,M,L & J's words of what they believed to be Jesus' life and what God taught Jesus, but, because they were not contempories of Jesus, how do they know for sure what Jesus said and did? They only think they know through word of mouth from one person to another who actually knew Jesus, or saw what he did. We don't use that kind of evidence in court today or in hearings because it is not reliable evidence, but millions of people have based their life after death on this book. Perhaps we should follow what Moses revealed of God's word: "I am thy Lord, thy God, take no other gods before me." (The Ten Commandments) This is what Jews believe and Muslims believe that "There is no god worthy of worship except God." God has no partner, no equal, So there is no trinity or three parts of God, just one and He is IT. Jesus was God's apostle, not His son, why does He need a son? After all, He is God!

0

jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

hmm, now I kind of wanted to know what nightmare just said. . . .

0

Sigmund 6 years, 4 months ago

The benefit of religion to societies can be seen as separate from the truth of their dogmas. Societies operate most efficiently when a common set of beliefs are understood and voluntarily adhered. Cooperation between members is necessary for the society to survive. In societies where religion, or religions, provides a shared common morality minimal resources are needed to sanction behaviours inconsistent with those shared beliefs.

This cooperation between individuals benefits all members and maximizes outcomes of the society. However, those individuals who violate the common values, or commit "immoral acts," will be able to maximize their individual outcomes at the expense of others. Religion, to the extent it sets common values and constrains aberrant behavior, benefits society almost regardless of the individual religious tenets.

Philosophical opposites Ayn Rand and Karl Marx would both eliminate the opiate of the masses in their respective Utopian worlds. While it might appear that cohesive benefits of faith and belief could easily be replaced with more empirical scientific, secular, or economic principles, those societies that attempted to do so have met with varying degrees of failure. The question for anyone that wants to eliminate religion is, what do you purpose to replace it with?

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

Dr_B (Anonymous) says:

"...If we must take the Gospels whole, and not pick and choose on the basis of our human (and hopefully humane) preconceptions about goodness, we are left with a schizophrenic vision that embraced both extreme forbearance, kindness and forgiveness as well as furious anger and the most vicious, unending torture imaginable.

This schizophrenia is what has made Christianity compatible with almost any society, no matter how cruel and self-loathing."

One thing worse than a fundy xian is a fundy anti-xian.

Why don't people grow up and realize that the Bible was written a LONG time ago. This is hundreds of years later... I'm not saying that the bible is something like the Da Vinci Coded or numerology that needs to be de-coded, but neither is it something you can take each phrase and word literally.

Would the masses of people 2000+ years ago have had any ability to grasp evolution, the laws of thermodynamics, or hundreds/thousands of concepts that many understand today (or at least have of heard of) if Jesus had preached these things as to how God's universe operates? No, they would have thought He was mad/possessed. Do we know the vocabulary with absolute 100% certainty of those who wrote the Bible so long ago? No, we can only approximate it through linguistics, anthropology, etc.

You quote about speaking against the "Holy Ghost". Many of us grew up knowing "about" the doctrine of Trinity. However, what was their meaning of the "Holy Ghost" when those words were put in the Bible? If Jesus states that slander would be forgive if spoken against Himself (Son of Man/Son of God) AND he is part of the Trinity (as is the Holy Ghost), then who are we to know exactly what is "unique" about slander to the Holy Ghost that would justify eternal "unforgiveness"? What if the nature of the Holy Ghost is some kid of divine spark God imparts on all of life, and to slander it isn't so much a rejection by the rest of the universe towards the slanderer, but rather the fact that the slanderer has poisoned his own heart/mind/soul against the rest of the universe. In essence a DELIBERATE CHOSEN seperation from others. In such a context, such a Biblical text isn't a judgement call on God's ability to love/forgive, but rather just stating the natural consequence of hatred: chosen separation from others.

The Bible isn't a law book. It isn't a chemistry, biology, mathematics, or astronomy book. It isn't a wigi board, a crystal ball, nor a Cray computer. The Bible is simply a book of Christian faith. Only a fundy minded person (both xian and anti-xian) who has to have every concept spelled out for them, would think otherwise. It is also rather arrogant and lazy to think that God owes us a book that explains everything there is ever to know, and that if something is missing it must mean the Book is completely false and that God is false. God gave us the brains to think for ourselves to fill in the gaps.

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

I smell a distinct whiff of satire in Gogoplata's post, so you can probably stop shrieking about it.

Still sounding out Finding-Uranus though.

0

Finding_Uranus 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe non-believing liberals could mind their own business, as they say Christians should.

If you're lives are dependent on 'stuff' and your neighbors and their 'stuff, then go enjoy your 'stuff'. And while you're at it, stuff it.

Go enjoy your short time on earth.

0

beobachter 6 years, 4 months ago

gogoplata. thanks for providing absolute proof of what's wrong with religion. no tolerance, no allowance for any other thoughts, etc. you are a prime example of a fundamentalist. I feel pity you, in your case, ignorance is truly bliss. Exactly what the religious nuts and church leaders strive for.

0

Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 4 months ago

Wow. Many of these comments prove that Kansas really is as bigoted as you think.

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

"Christianity is more than a religion. Christianity is truth. The absolute truth about the creator we owe our existence to. The God-Man born of a virgin who died on the cross and rose from the dead."

roflmao.

Maybe if xtians focused more on Jesus's teachings and less on the supernatural power trip of xtianity, the world might actually be a better place because of xtianity.

0

Dr_B 6 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm. Jesus preached nothing but love? Not so fast.

Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

To put terrors of this kind into the world certainly is strange for a man who preaced that we must love our enemies and forgive without end. And the price of being unforgiven? We are told Jesus held this view,

Mt 13: 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The fires of the Christian Inquisition were a result of the teachings attributed to Jesus. If God is going to burn them anyway, forever, why not start now?

If we must take the Gospels whole, and not pick and choose on the basis of our human (and hopefully humane) preconceptions about goodness, we are left with a schizophrenic vision that embraced both extreme forbearance, kindness and forgiveness as well as furious anger and the most vicious, unending torture imaginable.

This schizophrenia is what has made Christianity compatible with almost any society, no matter how cruel and self-loathing.

0

gogoplata 6 years, 4 months ago

Christianity is more than a religion. Christianity is truth. The absolute truth about the creator we owe our existence to. The God-Man born of a virgin who died on the cross and rose from the dead.

0

jonas 6 years, 4 months ago

Nightmare: In imperial japan Buddhism had been largely super-ceded by Neo-Confucianism and Shinto, mostly Shinto as the ruling powers of the Meiji were trying to revive the more purely Japanese traditions.

There have, however, been a number of Buddhist "led" drives to eradicate enemies and competitive religions, in both historical China and Japan. I'm sure, though, that for at least a few of those the Buddhist aspect was just a pretty cloth to drape a traditional power struggle in, like most of the other "religious" wars probably were.

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 4 months ago

none2:

Go here for some truth about the Bible; the parts that Christians don't like to talk about:

http://www.evilbible.com/

0

Clint Gentry 6 years, 4 months ago

"Faith" is not a philosophy, it is the lack thereof...

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 4 months ago

Bruce Springsteen: the king of tolerance and diversity.

0

none2 6 years, 4 months ago

Ragingbear says:

"~~Jesus taught ONLY love of enemies, forgiveness, simple living and care and compassion for the sick and needy.~~

Try reading parts of the bible other than the select passages quoted by your preacher sometime. You might be surprised to see what type of intolerance, bigotry, and double-standards Jesus taught in the Bible."

================================= Since you believe you know so much about the Bible, would you care to share with us those parts of what Jesus taught that are full of intolerance, bigotry, and double standards?

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

In ancient times, the Ashoka, for example spread across the asia and europe spreading Buddhism and proselytizing and converting.

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

"There have never been wars to subject people do convert to Buddhism, as far as I know, and I'm pretty well read in history."

In modern times, the Khmer Rouge were Buddhist, and Imperial Japan also had Buddhism at it's core. The Sri Lankan majority are Buddhist, trying to wipe out the Hindu Tamils.

0

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 4 months ago

In a basic philosophy class we discussed how all religions are based on faith, rather than real empirical proof. We concluded that since all religions are based on faith, then all religions are equal, no one religion is more correct than others. That would really gall fundamentalists.

0

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

Many of the passages of the new testament attributed to Jesus are indeed inspirational and serve as good guiding principles for one's life. Words to live by.

Modern xtianity and most xtians are not even close.

Indeed, like all religions, modern xtianity is a powerful excuse for violence, discrimination, repression, intolerance, and persecution.

On top of that, this "faith" so touted by the religious is simply a mindless attempt to wish the world were a different way. Faith is corrosive to the mind and to the soul, and is a danger to civilization.

I believe Mark Twain wrote "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

Indeed.

0

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 4 months ago

Buddhist also are not full of themselves. If you want to practice another religion, while at the same time observing Buddhism, they don't call you an evil devil worshipping heretic. There have never been wars to subject people do convert to Buddhism, as far as I know, and I'm pretty well read in history.

0

blackwalnut 6 years, 4 months ago

Buddhism is the only religion that, IN PRACTICE, makes its practitioners into better human beings. No god. No desires. Only a striving to treat all other people and all creatures with love and respect. At least that's what I've observed in my lifetime.

0

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 4 months ago

I think there are Old testament Christians and New Testament Christians. The extreme of the Old Testament Christians are people like Fred Phelps and his family. New Testament Christians tend to be more loving and caring, and follow the teachings of Jesus. Whenever I hear someone going on about something in the Old Testament, like an eye for eye, I always say: Then along came Jesus and changed all that.

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 4 months ago

All religions are alike in that they all require the suspense of critical thought and reason in order to become a follower of a given religion.

0

storm 6 years, 4 months ago

Ms Hofman, I just re-read his letter. He is talking about fundamentalism, no matter the religion. He does make a good observation with this sentence, "Nothing makes sensible, articulate people spout nonsense more flowingly than does religious faith, as Leonard Pitts unwittingly demonstrates in his column of Dec. 6."

0

Dollypawpaw 6 years, 4 months ago

This guy walked the earth thousands of years ago and you are going to tell me what he was like?................

After thousands of years of hearsay?

0

Ragingbear 6 years, 4 months ago

~~Jesus taught ONLY love of enemies, forgiveness, simple living and care and compassion for the sick and needy.~~

Try reading parts of the bible other than the select passages quoted by your preacher sometime. You might be surprised to see what type of intolerance, bigotry, and double-standards Jesus taught in the Bible.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"Christians understand that the teachings of Jesus supersede anything that went before."

"There is a strong pacifist element within Christianity. Christianity, when practiced as Jesus taught, influences people to be unselfish, to think of others, to be kind to all and to help the suffering."

Quite obviously, most American "Christians" strongly disagree with your interpretations of Jesus's teachings.

0

i_tching 6 years, 4 months ago

To many of us it is quite obvious that caring for others and promoting peace and prosperity has nothing at all to do with the bizarre delusions of religion.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.