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Letters to the Editor

Speaking for God

March 3, 2011

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To the editor:

To understand God, infinite by definition, would require infinite understanding. Anyone who proposes to speak for God is likely a fool or a liar or both.

People like that one in Topeka, invoking God while spewing a message of hate and intolerance, reduce themselves to absurdity, are mostly regarded as fools and are routinely castigated by the general public.

I must say that the letter in Tuesday’s Public Forum (“Endorsing sin”) reads much like it could have been written by someone from that “church” in Topeka. They claim to know God and His “wrath” so intimately that they can zealously reveal to the rest of us that people are suffering because they don’t share their condemnation of (fill in the blank: homosexuality, nontraditional marriage, anything contrary to their own belief system).

I personally believe that exclusion, hate, intolerance, wrath and “rejection” have absolutely nothing to do with a perfect God.

Comments

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vigorous disagreement with Carl Burkhead on religious issues connected with homosexuality, as is voiced in another letter appearing in today's J-W, is to be expected. However, comparing Professor Burkhead with the Phelps family and their vile tactics, simply because Professor Burkhead believes that homosexuality is a sin, is both absurd and defamatory. Many Kansans who disagree with the agenda of the homosexual rights advocacy industry are equally sick and tired of the Phelps family and find their practices abhorrent. I'm surprised that the J-W printed this letter.

Getaroom 3 years, 9 months ago

And so now you are God eh? Veerkamp is right on and this bolg even being available for us to express ideas is a worthy example of free speech. Burkhead has never been shy about expressing his opinions and I am sure can take care of himself without your bias added to the mix.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

No, getaroom, I am not God. I never made such a statement. Your reactionary comment to that effect is ridiculous.

voevoda 3 years, 9 months ago

cato_the_elder, The real Cato the Elder held a rather different view of homosexuality than you have voiced here. He accepted as normal that men would engage in sex with males.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Voevoda, I've expressed no specific personal view on the subject. Once more, you evince difficulty in comprehending the written word.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, as LarryM has articulated below, the Phelpses have specifically stated that God hates a certain group of human beings. Professor Burkhead didn't say that. Moreover, he hasn't identified what the specific "cancer" is that he believes has been caused by the rejection of God's ways, other than "economic woes." Professor Burkhead said nothing about 9-11 or dead soldiers, and has never supported anyone's picketing at funerals of deceased servicemen. He has never supported violence against homosexuals. He simply believes that homosexuality is a sin, as a number of others do. The fact that you disagree with Professor Burkhead does not entitle you to presume things about him that are patently untrue.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, Professor Burkhead never said that God hates anyone. The Phelps family members say that with great regularity.

You may recall Barack Obama telling Joe the Plumber that it's great to "spread the wealth around." You may also be familiar with Karl Marx's most famous statement, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." I'm sure that you'll agree that this proves that Barack Obama is a Marxist.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, no one but you wrote the words you wrote, which speak for themselves.

In light of your views on the Phelps family and Professor Burkhead, do you believe that based on what Obama said about spreading the wealth, as I reported, he's a Marxist?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

A little confused, aren't we? Try taking your pills (all legal, I hope) and get back with me later when you're not so seriously confused.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, check out your post on March 3, 2011, at 7:31 p.m.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, you're not even close. There's a world of difference between voluntarily giving up everything one owns and having it forcibly taken from him by government.

You apparently haven't yet learned that philosophies like Obama's are much more in sync with those of the Roman state and its zealous tax collectors than with the teachings of the Bible.

By the way, how's Barack's half brother in Kenya doin'? Checked that out lately? Is he now living on more than a dollar a month?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, the man's name is "Burkhead," not "Burkhart." You've defamed him multiple times, and yet you can't even get his name right. This is always what happens to you when you find yourself totally owned in a discussion on this forum. Of course, being as flustered as you are one can perhaps understand. Perhaps that's why you sank so low as to call me a "liar," meaning that you've now defamed me too.

Vertie, the fact that you can't even grasp why your absurd position regarding the Phelps family and Professor Burkhead is analogous to the parallels that could be drawn between Obama and Marx demonstrates once more that you lack the skills and requisite judgment to engage in intelligent debate.

If you're going to defame someone, next time don't embarrass yourself by not even knowing his name.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, check out your post on March 3, 2011, at 7:31 p.m.

My experience on this forum has been that when people have been licked they often resort to labeling their opponents as "liars."

You're obviously no exception, Vertie.

Kirk Larson 3 years, 9 months ago

We create god in our own image. Everyone thinks that god holds similar values to what they themselves believe. Burkhead's message is pretty much the same as WBC's: tolerance of homosexuality is bringing doom to the nation. I doubt that and, of course, I doubt that god holds that view.

Larry Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

Actually WBC's message is that God hates people. Which means they lie about the character of God. Burkhead's message is very different.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

You're wrong, Vertie. See my earlier response.

Larry Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

If you look at the signs they display you will see many that state "God hates (certain class of people-typically a slang word). This is a lie from the pits of hell. God has stated that He loves all people. He did not leave room for debate.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

You should personally believe there is no god.

That said, the distant juxtaposition of these two sentences is fascinating:

"Anyone who proposes to speak for God is likely a fool or a liar or both." "I personally believe that exclusion, hate, intolerance, wrath and “rejection” have absolutely nothing to do with a perfect God."

Are you a fool or a liar? Or both?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

There's a difference between "believing" something, as the letter writer does, and purporting to "speak for God".

The difference is one of certainty.

For example, I agree with the letter writer - I don't believe in a God that is punitive, etc. But I'm aware that I don't know any of that for sure, so I don't "speak for God".

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"The difference is one of certainty."

I knew someone would try that. In reality, nothing is certain, everything is opinion. That's why I ignored the attempted cop-out preface.

I accept that every thought I have is opinion and therefore have no use for such wasted words.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

You're missing the point.

There are those who are certain they know God's nature, and desires, and are quite comfortable spreading their version of him, and "speaking for" him.

There are others who believe certain things, but don't have that certainty, and don't pretend to "speak for" God.

Then there's you, who says "nothing is certain, everything is opinion" - would that be an opinion as well, or a fact?

If everything is opinion, then you shouldn't have any problem with believers holding their opinions, just as you hold yours.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"There are those who are certain they know God's nature"

Would you go so far as to say they - believe - they know god's nature?

"and don't pretend to "speak for" God."

The last sentence of the LTTE intended to speak for god despite the author trying to hide behind a disclaimer. Which was silly, really. He might as well been speaking for godzilla as god.

"If everything is opinion, then you shouldn't have any problem with believers holding their opinions, just as you hold yours. "

That question is as silly as believing in god(s). Even if I had a problem with people holding opinions contrary to my own, I couldn't do anything about it. Besides, I find diverse opinions more interesting than faceless consensus.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I would say they believe they are certain - but they don't see it that way.

And, again, it's not that hard to understand - I can believe something without being absolutely certain that it's true, which is how I read the last sentence.

And, there's a substantial difference between that and the certainty that one is absolutely right.

I guess your "opinion" that God doesn't exist is somehow superior to other people's "opinion" - not sure why or how that happened though, given your general perspective that it's all just opinion.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"I can believe something without being absolutely certain that it's true"

How? You either believe or you don't. The in between is just hedging and a cop out. Have you ever wondered why I, as an atheist, detest agnostics more than god-followers, even though the god-followers are more wrong?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Because belief is not knowledge.

That's why there are different words for them.

If I were absolutely certain of some truth, I would use the word "know" and the word "fact", not the word "believe".

Given your own portrayal that "it's all opinion" - how is it that you are so sure yours is right and others are wrong? It's just your opinion, that's not fact or knowledge either.

And, detest whomever you like, if that's what you're interested in doing.

Your metaphysics doesn't support your certainty and detest of others though.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

That's silly, to call all believers fanatics - kind of robs the word of any meaning.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow - what did I do to deserve such scorn?

I'll be more precise - I don't find this letter to be one from a religious "fanatic" - it seems to me that someone who does tends to lump all believers into that category.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Jafs, right on. You've hit the bull's eye.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Oh, my bad.

I thought you meant the letter writer and Burkhead.

My point is that I don't believe this letter is written by a religious fanatic.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Apology accepted.

I didn't think I had done anything to offend you.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

See above.

Simple misunderstanding.

Do you think this letter is written by a religious fanatic, or simply a believer?

Larry Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

Are you willing to learn how to do the research and then are you willing to do the research?

Corey Williams 3 years, 9 months ago

Yes. Show me scientific proof that god existst.

Larry Miller 3 years, 9 months ago

No, you have to do the work yourself. If you are really honestly interested, I can get you a book that covers the fundamentals. It was written by a guy that used to be an atheist.

andrew55 3 years, 9 months ago

Read the Bible as you would any man-authored text. Heed instructions. See Psalm 14:1 and 19:1.

storm 3 years, 9 months ago

I before E except after C, that's weird...carl became carol similar to the demise of stories in the bible being altered by oral tradition...and really the only god I care to know exists is the one on the legal tender...sigh, and by the way, phelps' cult are not the same as burkhead... they wear signs spewing bigotry which provide excellent teaching moments for children.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertigo (known to his friends as "Vertie") says: "Just checked it- nowhere do I say the Professor said God hates people.

My experience is when someone tells a lie they are a liar. You're obviously no exception, liar."

Vertie, as I previously stated, my experience on this forum has been that when people have been licked they often resort to labeling their opponents as "liars." In response to the following, all you could conjure up was to continue to call me a "liar:"

"Vertie, the man's name is "Burkhead," not "Burkhart." You've defamed him multiple times, and yet you can't even get his name right. This is always what happens to you when you find yourself totally owned in a discussion on this forum. Of course, being as flustered as you are one can perhaps understand. Perhaps that's why you sank so low as to call me a "liar," meaning that you've now defamed me too.

Vertie, the fact that you can't even grasp why your absurd position regarding the Phelps family and Professor Burkhead is analogous to the parallels that could be drawn between Obama and Marx demonstrates once more that you lack the skills and requisite judgment to engage in intelligent debate.

If you're going to defame someone, next time don't embarrass yourself by not even knowing his name."

Vertie, you displayed a great deal of hatred and bigotry in attempting to put Professor Burkhead (a/k/a "Burkhart" to you) in the same circus tent occupied by the Phelps family, and then tried to weasel out after you realized that lumping Professor Burkhead in with the Phelps family could be viewed identically with calling Barack Obama a Marxist. Immaturely calling me a "liar" doesn't change any of that.

What you ought to do is apologize to Professor Burkhead.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

None2, how old were you when you began to hate your country's history? Do you find anything good about America and its history? Have people of God ever done anything good in America? Is there even one in your mind? How about John Brown?

Vertie refuses to acknowledge whether he's an atheist. Are you?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, this exchange is perhaps the best example I know of the vacuousness of liberal "thinkers." I've been trying to tell you this, but you don't get it, as demonstrated most recently by what you've last posted. All I ever stated was what Professor Burkhead had never said, period. Here's what I said:

"Vertie, Professor Burkhead never said that God hates anyone. The Phelps family members say that with great regularity."

You then replied that you had never said that, even though I had never said that you did. In short, a non sequitur if there ever was one.

What you then did was to attempt to deflect the conversation away from my question to you about the comparisons between Obama and Marx by trying to making it look like I had attributed a statement to you that in fact I never had. All I had done was to reiterate one more reason why your attempted comparison between the Phelps family and Professor Burkhead was and is not valid, citing what they say regularly as opposed to what Professor Burkhead has never said. You have persisted in this to the point that, a satisfactory record now having been made, the question becomes who the real liar is.

So, Vertie, let's approach it this way: Why don't you show me where in this exchange I have ever said that you stated that Professor Burkhead said that God hates people? A statement such as "Vertie, you stated that Professor Burkhead said that God hates people" will suffice.

You're toast, pal. I'll be waiting.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

Vertie, does calling another poster a "liar" on multiple occasions violate any of the rules of this forum? If you're shown to be wrong and then choose to cut and run, is that how you operate?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 9 months ago

If you're that concerned, then stop replying to me. If you insist on doing so, you can also apologize to me for calling me a "liar" on multiple occasions, which I have previously understood to be a violation of the rules of this forum.

Kris_H 3 years, 9 months ago

What a lot of words.

What does it matter what any given person believes?

It doesn't to me. What matters to me is what people do, not what they think or believe. If your religion leads you to treat others badly, what good is it? If something is a sin to you, by all means don't do it. You can't control anyone else's behavior no matter how much you would like to.

What's important is whether you regard all citizens of the USA and indeed of the world as equal in the "eyes of the law," and whether you work to see that they have equal rights and opportunities or whether you work to deny them those equal rights and opportunities.

That tells me more than what deity you worship, or not.

hipgrrrrl 3 years, 9 months ago

I love my children and always will, no matter what. However, I do not always love what they do. In fact, I can say that there have been times when I hated they choices they have made.

However, their choices do not define who they are in my eyes. I can discipline them for poor choices they make and still love them unconditionally. In fact, appropriate discipline is a form of love.

I think Mr. Burkhead would understand that train of thought because it is very much along the same lines as how the bible describes God's love for people.

Plus, what's up with the focus on homosexuality? As a nation, we commit all sorts of sins against God based on biblical writings. I think some on this board have either a very narrow focus of what could be considered sin or are obsessed with sex...which is probably a sin, too :).

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