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Archive for Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Letter: Vengeful God

December 26, 2012

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To the editor:

I tried to resist but just couldn’t. And besides, it is the season of Christmas. Once again, Carl Burkhead has resubmitted the same letter to the Journal-World, which says in essence that the world and all of its inhabitants are doomed to eternal damnation if they do not conform to his religious beliefs. Thus, all non-Christians are in deep do-do and a significant proportion of those who profess Christianity are also in deep trouble because they do not require a literalist interpretation of the Scriptures to understand and be in relationship with their God.

Burkhead’s God is a vengeful God who “has allowed 9/11, AIDS (a belief held in common with the Phelps gang), suicides, murders, natural disasters, economic bondage and family division as judgments on this nation, families and individuals.” These horrible events (I assume including the deaths of 20 innocent kindergartners) are apparently the consequences for those who do not conform to Burkhead’s religious beliefs. My God is NOT a vengeful God. I guess in the end, we shall see, Carl; we shall see.

Comments

Linda and Bill Houghton 1 year, 8 months ago

Disappointing as it may be we will not see. Our "soul" which is supposed to go to heaven or hell is nothing more than electrical impulses in our brain. As one of the final components of death these electrical impulses stop and our soul no longer exists. The religions of this earth were developed over time to try to answer questions about things that we could not understand. So, in fact, there is probably neither a vengeful god nor a loving god.

God was created as a supernatural being to solve what we did not understand. Should such a god exist, what created it. We are just pushing our lack of knowledge back one level by creating such a supernatural being.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

You shouldn't bring quantum physics or anything more advanced than that into this discussion, because they like to keep it down to the simple Newtonian physics that they know something about.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 8 months ago

Wow, and I thought I was the only malcontent re religion here!! landb, you have beat me to the punch with your assissment of what passesfor "religion" these days. It is used for a variety of reasons, most recently to shore up various groups political assertions in their unending quest to obtain political control over various stripes of "nonbelievers". Of course I find this abhorant and ignorant that otherwise seemingly intelligent people would collapse into blubbering flesh when various religious notions and flubdubary are presented. I totally agree with your assertions that the Power of the Univerxe (which no one really understands) has been saddled for many centuries with these simplistic notions of being some sort of "God". There most certainly is a "music of the shperes", an organization of laws of physics and creation that is very evident to us, but for us to say we have just figured out that all this is the creation of some diety who is out to get us is just plainly ignorant and stupid. But it has been my experience that there are plenty of innocent and ignorant victims for the peddlers of fraudulant and noxious religious dogma. And we will continue to be hassled by these willing dupes of the offering plale.

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bballwizard 1 year, 8 months ago

Hey Shane on you. You can't have logical thoughtful discussions about this subject. What are you? A sane person. On a further depressing note. I took my family to movie theater yesterday and my first thought was an escape route ???? I thought what kind of a world are we leaving my sons.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, unplug the cord, that's all it takes. Or, remove the batteries. Or maybe short out the capacitor or inductor.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

Personally, I doubt that religion will go away anytime soon. Some evolutionists believe that religion was a survival of the fittest mechanism because it brought people together in a community. If you were part of the community, you were more likely to survive. Outsiders were/are a threat to the community.

I believe that religion is a strong genetic force and still helps people cope---sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. Too often people blame God---it's God's will that it happened---when they have screwed up, i.e. it's God's will that my fingers were cut off. No, you stuck them in a running lawnmower because you were too lazy to turn it off. (This happened.)

I think it's questionable that we will evolve beyond this in any foreseeable future. Religion is way too useful both to make people feel good about themselves and to manipulate them.

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JayCat_67 1 year, 8 months ago

The problem is that some feel that their beliefs not only condone, but call for mocking and condemning others' faith or lack thereof.

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

If I told you that I believe that I have the right to enslave anyone I want that is from a foreign land, would you call me crazy, or would I be allowed my belief? You might say that it's ok that I believe that as long as I never act on it, because that infringes upon the rights and beliefs on others. Well what about other people's crazy half-cocked ideas that they cherry pick right from the pages of the bible or koran, and manage to get those ideas legislated? How is that fair to everyone else who doesn't believe in that ridiculous book? Silly ideas that people use to rule over others demand to be mocked.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

This is exactly the sort of ridiculous rhetoric I was speaking of that makes my head ache. Makes me want to sign off and say, "WHATEVER!" (Which is precisely what I'm going to do...)

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

when faced with an uncomfortable truth, many religious folks do exactly what you did.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

AreUNorml..."when faced with an uncomfortable truth"? You know me not at all. You have no idea who I am or what I have been through in this life. You place me in a category with "religious folks"? As I said, you know nothing about me...whether I am religious, spiritual...or otherwise. And what makes your atheism preferable over another's thoughts...religion, spirituality, or belief system? Who or what gives you the right to judge me...or anyone else?

AreUNorml...I'm still pondering how you manage to continue living in your self-imposed vacuum. You must be one lonely person. No belief system...unless you call a void a belief system. No real reason to even exist. Not judging you, just "recogizing" you because I was once agnostic...many years ago, but I wasn't full of hate as you seem to be...(my opinion). I had my children and knew the purest form of love...perhaps that is what saved me from the hate and a downward spiral from agnosticism into atheism. C.S. Lewis helped me more than any other writer...more than anyone in my own personal life other than my children. Then I began to explore other writers...we each find our own truth. If atheism is your truth, then my heart goes out to you because I know the emptiness of agnosticism...atheism must be even more ghastly, if that's possible.

I know from personal experience that what Kathy said way down below this post is not true:
"Many beliefs are no longer useful, but just as many are unable to let them go. Confirmation bias, perhaps? Beliefs are emotionally based, learning how to use questions will hopefully help make these core beliefs suseptible to logic and reason. Buddha talked about this long ago....right view, right thinking, right action. It’s an egocentric quirk of human nature that we maintain our beliefs by selectively exposing ourselves to information that we already know is likely to support those beliefs and ignore everything else."

I had no beliefs to let go...no core beliefs. I had no beliefs to maintain by selectively exposing myself to information that I knew would likely support my beliefs...because I had no beliefs! What a bunch of hogwash all that rhetoric is...what a convoluted mess.

As I have said quite a number of times about LJW...there are a few commenters that make reading here such a pleasure. I put up with all the fools' gold just to get to the real thing. It's worth it (to me, anyway).

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Kathy Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

"I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure - that is all that agnosticism means. Clarence Darrow

Florida, it is great that you believe in god, however, it is your personal experience, your belief . No one else's.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

Kathy..."No one else's"? Indeed, I think there are many millions who share my belief system (believing in God and Jesus as our Savior). Last time I checked, anyway. I don't think they've all disappeared. You are correct, however, in saying that each person's experience with God is a personal experience. I've never cared for labels...I have views that differ from many Christians. That's what I love about my Lord...we're all on a one-to-one basis with Him.

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Kathy Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

Did it again. Didn't check to see who was logged in. You see, we do not post in tandem. :-)

My response:

"I have views that differ from many Christians." Exactly. Each and every individual has a very individual belief system. No two alike. That's why it is important not to judge others, you have no idea what storms they have endured, just as you have.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Mohammed was great, and we should all follow his example. That is, we should all have thirteen wives or concubines. And get betrothed to 6 or 7 year old girls, but not consummate the marriage until after the latest child bride is 9 to 11 years old.

That is Allah's will, that we follow the prophet Mohammed's example. Try explaining that to the police at the elementary school playground, I'm sure they'll understand. After all, we do have freedom of religion in the United States.

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deec 1 year, 8 months ago

Considering Solomon is said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines (or is it the other way around?), that s a rather silly criticism.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

deec...why is Ron's comment silly? Just asking...

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Solomon and his wives were about 2,500 years ago. By 2,000 years ago, Judaism had discarded all of that. Mohammed lived only about 1,400 years ago. So, there was about a 1,000 year difference, and that is a very long time.

The point being, Islam is very Old Testament in that respect, and even in the year 0 BC, that had been discarded by Judaism.

Plus, I think that Solomon's wives were a bit older, like, at least 14.

Those are very, very big differences, but to be fair, they were the practices of very, very different cultures and very, very different times.

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

or all made up, with people trying to justify all of it, regardless of the mental gymnastics they have to perform, to make it remotely plausible.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

Sometimes the "thumbs up" just isn't enough. :~) Good point, Ron. All of this sort of ridiculous rhetoric makes my head ache. People KNOW...they, for whatever reason, simply will not use common sense. Thanks, Ron.

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voevoda 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't think that there is any reason to cherrypick outdated and rejected material from the Quran, but excuse it from the Torah. All scriptures from all religions contain material that made sense in that society but seems offensive today. That doesn't mean that the spiritual and ethical truths scriptures contain are invalid, but only that their lessons ought not to be taken literally.

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

this is absolutely true, especially the part where man invented gods. That has led to more misery than any other invention in history.

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notaubermime 1 year, 8 months ago

That is a pretty intellectually lazy viewpoint. The Russians, Chinese and Cambodians managed to make things pretty miserable even without religion. The truth of the matter is that immoral people will find ways to abuse others in the name of whatever will get people to follow them. Religion has always been more convenient than necessary.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

"The Russians, Chinese and Cambodians managed to make things pretty miserable even without religion."

Never let a few facts get in the way of a good argument! The following is from Wiki:

Russia:

Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism are Russia's traditional religions, and are all legally a part of Russia's "historical heritage". The Russian Orthodox Church was the country's state religion prior to the Revolution. It remains the largest religious body in the country. Estimates on how many believers the church has fluctuate widely in different sources.

China:

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by China's constitution, although religious organizations which lack official approval can be subject to state persecution. An accurate number of religious adherents is hard to obtain because of a lack of official data, but there is a general consensus that religious belief has been enjoying a resurgence in China since the late 1980s. A 1998 survey by Adherents.com found that 59% (over 700 million) of the population was non-religious. A later survey, conducted in 2007, found that there were 300 million religious believers in China, constituting 23% of the population, as distinct from the official figure of 100 million.

Cambodia:

Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of Cambodia, which is practiced by more than 95 percent of the population. The Theravada Buddhist tradition is widespread and strong in all provinces, with an estimated 4,392 monastery temples throughout the country. The vast majority of ethnic Khmers are Buddhist, and there are close associations between Buddhism, cultural traditions, and daily life. Adherence to Buddhism generally is considered intrinsic to the country's ethnic and cultural identity. Religion in Cambodia, including Buddhism, was suppressed by the Khmer Rouge during the late 1970s but has since experienced a revival.

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notaubermime 1 year, 8 months ago

I think that you misunderstood my point. Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, and the Khmer Rouge all sought to actively repress religion. Each of these were also marked by very violent periods that killed millions. This just goes to show that contrary to AreUNorml's point, it isn't religion that has made people miserable, it is the actions of tyrants.

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

Stalin, Mao & Pol Pot actively sought to repress religion, because those men didn't want anything competing with the worship of themselves.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 8 months ago

I wanted to ask God why there was so much misery, heartbreak, poverty and suffering on Earth and why He didn't do anything about it. I was afraid to because I feared He would ask me the same question.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

cait...we should all be afraid to ask that question because certainly He would ask us the same. We ARE our brothers' (and sisters') keepers, whether we acknowledge that truth or not. We are here to take care of each other with love. We all fall so short of that. Great comment, cait!!

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RoeDapple 1 year, 8 months ago

He still hasn't done anything about my lottery request(s).

0

RoeDapple 1 year, 8 months ago

Damn! I heard it more as "In due time, my son. In due time." Or that might have been the UPS truck as it rattled by. Who knows ;-)

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

In the movie, "Legion", a girl asks her mother why God is angry with His children. "I don't know," her mother answers. "Maybe he just got tired of all the bull." Best answer I have heard.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

My observation has been that a person's God usually has the same personality that they do.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Reality does not depend upon what you think it is, no matter how wise you think your writings are.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

Another example of the "thumbs up" not being enough. Thanks, Ron...again.

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

and truth is still the truth, no matter how badly you need to believe otherwise..

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

Wow...saw this and couldn't believe I'm in agreement with AreUNorml. Yep...the truth will always be the truth...always has been, always will be.

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Kathy Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

Many beliefs are no longer useful, but just as many are unable to let them go. Confirmation bias, perhaps? Beliefs are emotionally based, learning how to use questions will hopefully help make these core beliefs suseptible to logic and reason. Buddha talked about this long ago....right view, right thinking, right action.

It’s an egocentric quirk of human nature that we maintain our beliefs by selectively exposing ourselves to information that we already know is likely to support those beliefs and ignore everything else. Not the road to happiness, IMO.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

Kathy, while overall I agree with what you say, and maybe this is more a problem of semantics, but beliefs can also be based on evidence, logic and reason. Of would you give these some other name to separate them from emotion-based beliefs?

As far as the person above who stated that the truth is the truth . . ., the problem we have is ascertaining what the truth is. Even reasonable people often don't agree on that.

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Kathy Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

Sure they can, if the right questions are asked. I guess I had in mind those who refuse to ask skillful questions, those who continue to only allow information in that supports those beliefs. Yes, the truth is relative, we each have our own. :-)

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

Religious belief is an adaptation sculpted by natural selection.

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Stuart Evans 1 year, 8 months ago

too much interference from politicians.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

If you saw the power grid in Detroit, that might be an answer

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

Despite our differences, I prefer your figment of god to most.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

There is no figment like a religious figment, forcing one to doubt that humans can ever know anything except god.

As knowledge and science advance, it is the last refuge (refuse?) of the religious: to deny that humans can ever know anything about reality.

Belief in god can certainly thrive in this environment.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

Agreed. Religious ideas do indeed persist.

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Kathy Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

It seems the human mind will accept all sorts of things as long as it's got social pressures working against it.

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Wow tough concept to grasp. Religeous bigots please feel free to post your stupidity below.

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

Feel free to be very specific as to where i depart.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5 RSV)

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:7-10

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

Nope, you shot your mouth off. Show me specifically or shut up

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

'Feel free to be very specific as to where i depart.' answer what's already been answered

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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jenniflip 1 year, 8 months ago

Bigots who portray our president in a pimp hat as their avatar please feel free to post their stupidity above.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

I am so going to steal that.

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

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

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mrbob 1 year, 8 months ago

Mr. Dailey is correct about one thing, in the end he will indeed see.; those who are spiritually blind in this age will see in the age to come.

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jonas_opines 1 year, 8 months ago

Dr. Dailey always struck me as somebody who was capable of a great degree of spiritual sight, so to speak.

Carl Burkhead, Scott Burkhart, on the other hand, they seem pretty blind.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

What would Jesus do? He would be hanging out with his friends, hoisting a cold one and getting buzzed while all around him the Pharasees buzzed, buzzed their words.

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verity 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh, tange, I missed it all, having been partying with relatives of many religious and political persuasions. Fortunately, the teetotalers prevail, and we know not to go where angels fear to tread, but I digress.

Thanks for the condensation--- I was worried we were to lose you completely and that wouldn't do.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh, dear God, no!!!!!!!!!!! Druids? You were free from your very first breath. And, you can take that to the bank.

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JayCat_67 1 year, 8 months ago

Hmmm. Apparently "Tange" + "Armstrong" = job security for the LJWorld thread monitor. :-D

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

Ha!! Wish I hadn't missed so many of the comments before the monitors removed them...they must have been doozies!! :~) Reminds me of some "interfacing" I've had with Liberty_1 in the distant past...removed as if never written...gone with the wind...poof. Probably for the best. :~)

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi tange...Reminds me of my reaction to Liberty_1. I've been over Armstrong for quite a while...but even Liberty_1 wasn't enough to make me want to be fishing instead. :~)

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phoggyjay 1 year, 8 months ago

If there was a God, why would he have given me cancer when I was 14 and has allowed my Dad and Grandpa to get incurable cancer now?

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

phoggyjay....this never ceases to AMAZE me...that people actually believe God "gave" them cancer or some other horrible disease. As a cancer survivor, I can assure you that God had NOTHING to do with your cancer...nor mine, nor anyone else's. No one knows how cancer, or MS (as my beloved daughter has), or any other horrific disease or disorder comes upon us. We ALL wish we did know...in the meanwhile, I suppose, it's easy to blame God. How very, very sad. He is my strength and my source of delight through all of the ugliness LIFE ON EARTH sends our way. You, my dear phoggyjay, have a very twisted opinion of God. As do many people. Even when I was agnostic many years ago, I knew better than that. This is something I will never "get"...(the blaming of God for everything bad). I have to say I get very impatient with reading and hearing this "blaming game" over and over and over. It's ridiculous. Get a grip. Go to group meetings for SURVIVORS of cancer. Be thankful you're alive and that you've had your dad and grandpa to love as long as you have.

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phoggyjay 1 year, 8 months ago

Just to be clear, I don't believe in God.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

We can't test god, but it can test us: "But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord." Job 1:11-12 "Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah." Deuteronomy 6:16 In other words, do as I say, not as I do.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

and dear lord jesus, please tell me that hell's angels is one of the best books you've ever read.

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phoggyjay 1 year, 8 months ago

Like I said, I don't believe in God.

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Corey Williams 1 year, 8 months ago

Really? You equate my response to flourida as a response to you? Come on, be a little weird. Fear and Loathing, anyone? Better than sex? Screwjack? Be a believer. There are worse things than hell. West Lawrence tops the list.

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phoggyjay 1 year, 8 months ago

Sorry about that. I misunderstood.

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FloridaSunshine 1 year, 8 months ago

phoggyjay...I am very confused by your comments... "If there was a God, why would he have given me cancer when I was 14 and has allowed my Dad and Grandpa to get incurable cancer now?"

If you don't believe in God, then why the comment about God perhaps (if there were indeed a God according to your belief system) deciding to give you cancer...and also your dad and grandpa? As I said, I'm confused.

And as for Corey Williams...I have no idea WHAT you're talking about (or trying to say).

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phoggyjay 1 year, 8 months ago

Religion and faith bring out the worst in those who believe. Just read the history of the last couple of millennia for proof.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

All of this flailing about trying to understand "god", why he gave me cancer, why he didn't, etc. etc.

Folks, it's evolution. There is no god. In evolution we trust.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

I liked Barry Andrews better with XTC.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

Reality can be disappointing and boring to some. This is why they invent gods.

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