Archive for Sunday, October 15, 2017

Letter to the editor: Christian values

October 15, 2017

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To the editor:

I read Fran Johnson’s letter on Oct. 13 and was very annoyed. This is just another example of a right-wing mentality who have attempted to steal and corrupt the values of Jesus. His message was definitely not one of hate but of love, compassion. understanding and acceptance. I don’t believe he would have persecuted gay people and would have accepted and tolerated them as equals.

Also, this country was founded by people who left Europe because of religious persecution to seek freedom to worship in peace. Fran Johnson stands on her pulpit and declares she is the official interpreter of what family and Christian values are. How arrogant of you! Hate is not a value Jesus ever supported and is certainly not one of my values.

I am proud to live in a city that provides a safe haven and accepts many types of diversity, those who are gay, transgender, witches and anyone else who may be just a little different. I always try to keep an open mind and try not to pass judgment on those whose ideas are a little unique and I like to listen and educate myself. Although I am pushing 70 I am never too old to learn. Yes, Fran, you are correct it is time to speak out! It’s time to speak out against ignorance, intolerance and persecution.

Please remember Fran Johnson, maybe God is more likely watching you!

Comments

Larry Sturm 4 months ago

People like Fran Johnson are not really Christians at all. They are hate mongers.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months ago

LIBERAL, LIBERAL, LIBERAL GOES THE SCREECH MONSTER!!!!!!!!!! (Over and over and over and l.............over......again..............)

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

'Liberal' shares a root with 'liberty' and can mean anything from "generous" to "loose" to "broad-minded." Politically, it means "“a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change."

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months ago

Thanks, Dorothy for the clarification. I do not know "Bob" (if that is his real name) personally, no would I particularly want to. But as you know, he is the source of a lot of political blather on this forum. I would not want to cast aspersions on him, although the urge to do so is great. I just like to call him out when this simplistic comment appears nearly every time he posts. Nothing substantial, just the "L" word. Amusing.

Pete Kennamore 4 months ago

Give it a rest Bob. You are now worse than Richard.

Greg Cooper 4 months ago

A comparison I'm sure both gentlemen value, especially coming from you.

Bill Turner 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Written as thought the label "Liberal" is something to be ashamed of. I embrace it proudly. I am a liberal, I have compassion for other human beings, and I will gladly fight against hatred and bigotry and for the downtrodden and persecuted. Call me an ultra-liberal... what of it?

Cait McKnelly 3 months, 3 weeks ago

A conservative says, "I don't care.This has never happened to me and doesn't affect me."
A liberal says, "I care because this should never happen to anybody."
It's the difference between having empathy and being devoid of it.

Paul Beyer 4 months ago

Excellent letter. Explains the foundation of our country much better than the so-called "christian" Fran Johnson. Don't know her nor care to ever associate with anyone like her.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 months ago

Well, hooray for this!! I am glad to see this reply to the "Christian" who thinks that we all should be of one "religion" and should shun others. This is the main problem.

There are far too many people who think that "their" take on religion is the only "way"

My applause and accord to this letter!

t

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

And Fran Johnson has the freedom not to attend anything that she hates, but she has not right to dictate to others. That's what she and the other haters do not understand. They are free to worship their savior, whoever that is (not Jesus). but they have no right to force others to do that. And if they claim to love Jesus, maybe they should read the things that Jesus taught, not the things that were taught before Jesus came along.

Brock Masters 4 months ago

I agree that Fran does not have the right to dictate to others; in fact no one does. No more dictating that people have to accept liberal ideologies, illegal immigrants, beliefs that run counter to their own.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months ago

You should have the right to BELIEVE what you want to. You don't have the right to hurt other people who also have a right to BELIEVE what they want to... and to live their lives without your interference as long as they don't hurt you. They might hurt your feelings just because they exist, but that's not illegal, nor is it unethical or immoral. If it's not illegal according to our government, not your religion, then you can fret and stew about it, but it's none of your business.

P Allen Macfarlane 4 months ago

How about practicing the adage, live and let live.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

Actually, Dorothy, your definition would be a proper description of a progressive – not a liberal. But since you are here, lets get back to the original discussion.

You have said publicly in this very space that you have read the Bible many times and that nobody “knows more about the Bible” than you do.

So, based on your knowledge of the Bible, what do you think a man who said he wanted to fulfill the law --- not overturn the law --- would say about various aspects of 21st century society?

Remember, your answer has to be based on what Jesus knew about what we refer to as the Old Testament. Please enthrall us with your insights into 1st century society and religious thought.

Better yet, don’t waste your time because it cannot be done and should not be done.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

You know what, Richard? I'm sick and tired of you telling me I know nothing about Christianity. I have never said I read the Bible several times, I said I read it twice with NO help from al Bible study group telling what it means. It's not hard to figure out what it means. If you are part of the Christians sects who are haters, fine. I guess when we all die we will find out who is right and who is wrong.

But we are on Earth right now. I will NOT be talked down to people who are holier than thou, then urge their mistress to get an abortion, or molest children, or say they can do what they want to women, because they are a celebrity or they refuse to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple after they have been divorced several times themselves, or refusing to help poor people, because they aren't the "right" religion, or building expensive churches instead of helping the poor, or those who worship money even if they have ripped it off, or try and use the Bible to claim that whites are superior or men are superior. I'm tired of hearing about how they should be "forgiven" and not sent to jail, because they are the "right" kind of Christian. If you are a Christian, why don't you try and live like him? I know many atheists who live a more moral life than a lot of Christians, especially those who think all they have to do is be "born again", then they can go out and sin all they want. So you go ahead and be that kind of a Christin. Thankfully there are still a lot of Christians who aren't hypocrites.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

You're full of it, DOrothy! You absolutely said in this space that you have read the Bible many times and you absoutely said you know more about the Bible than anyone else.

Now, try answering the question. What would a man who lived 2000 years ago say about 21st century society?

And it's time you accepted the fact that most of what you think is wrong with your life is the product of your very own best thinking.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

Here it is, Dorothy --- from a response of yours to a letter to the editor in the LJW on 03/17/17 The letter was titled 'Give Trump a Chance"

"Anyone who supports Trump and his actions and his budget can NOT call themselves Christians anyway. And I don't care who gets angry at me for saying that, posters here, friends, or relatives. I've had it with their hypocrisy. I know more about the Bible than these self righteous low lives, and they are NOT following the teachings of Jesus."

Theodore Calvin 4 months ago

You're misquoting the quote you just quoted. Dorothy did not say she knows more about the bible than anyone else. Her quote is obviously talking about the hypocrites calling themselves christians as your excerpt points out.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

I found the quoted passage after a three minute Google search. The LJW ought to be able to reproduce the older letter with the "i know more" quote --- but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

I said I know better than the haters who voted for Trump and forgive scum sexual predators like him and some of the other creeps, just because they say they are Christians. You can say you are Christian all you want, but if you don't follow what Jesus taught, you aren't really one. Why was it so horrible when Weinsten harassed women, but it was okay when Trump did it? Why is it so horrible when Clinton fooled around on his wife, but it was okay when Trump or when Gingrich did it? Liberals have condemned Bill Clinton for doing it and Weinstein for doing it, but conservatives evangelicals give their politicians a pass.

But you go ahead and run off to your evangelical church, send a bunch of money to the low life tv evangelicals, so they can have their private jets, and their hooker,, then go out and sin all you want. It's your religion and you have a right to it. But don't push it off on me. I have values, and try not to be a hypocrite.

Justin Hoffman 4 months ago

What a warped view of the world you have.

Kendall Simmons 4 months ago

What's warped about what she wrote?

Kendall Simmons 4 months ago

What part of "I know more about the Bible than these self righteous low lives" are you missing, Richard?

Oh. Wait. Perhaps you believe that EVERYONE...yourself included...is a self righteous lowlife, in which case you'd be correct in thinking that Dorothy was saying that she knew the Bible better than anyone else.

But that is NOT what Dorothy actually said so, unless you truly believe that everyone, including you, is a self-righteous lowlife, you're misinterpreting what Dorothy CLEARLY said.

Oh! And you wrote "You absolutely said in this space that you have read the Bible many times". Would you please show us where she said THAT???

Theodore Calvin 4 months ago

Who cares what a man 2000 years ago said anyways, or would say about society today? There is little to no proof this person ever existed, and about as much proof that any of the figures in the bible ever existed or the events in the bible actually happened. Can we stop judging people and forming our modern society based on iffy stories that are centuries old? None of the accounts in this collection of stories were first hand experiences, and are most likely of the King James version, which was the interpretation of the original 2nd and 3rd hand accounts by an English king hundreds of years later.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

Josephus mentions the execution of Jesus. That's a contempory account.

Kendall Simmons 4 months ago

And you just mentioned both Josephus and the execution of Jesus...so, based on your comment, that MUST mean that YOU are a contemporary of Josephus and was alive at the time of Jesus' execution.

Oh. But wait! Joesphus wasn't even born until 37 CE...several years AFTER Jesus was executed. So how does his mentioning the execution decades later make it a "contemporary account"?

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months ago

To Christians today:

Time for you to check your "Jesus" characteristics. Aren't you supposed to act like Jesus? Or are you supposed to usurp God and judge people and punish them according to YOUR wishes? That old saying, "Who died and made you God," is something every preacher or priest should talk about at the pulpit today. Christians have gotten way out of hand and are not learning the most important message Christ preached throughout his life.

Christians, don't you care that you're presenting a warped and twisted Christ to the world? He said He'd spew you out of His mouth in the latter days because of exactly this kind of thing. You're God in your own minds. It's YOUR job to rid the world of anybody YOU think deserves it. Judge them. Talk bad about them. Punish them. Ostracize them. Point fingers at them. Yeah, right... your job.

No.

You are to PRAY for those you think are wicked. Not pray AGAINST them. Pray FOR them.

You are to act according to what Jesus taught: Don't judge. Don't hurt others. Don't shun others for your own ideas of what is sin. IOW, Christians, clean up your own doorsteps and leave others to God except to pray for them.

If they hurt you there is likely a law against it that is not a religious law. Then you can sue'em. Have fun.

If they don't hurt you or others (other than your feelings) just sit down and shut up.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months ago

Evangelicals just think they have to believe in Jesus, they don't think they have to try and be good people, especially if it means getting more money and power. But not all Christians are like that. There are still some wonderful churches and caring pastors who teach and live what Jesus taught.

I'm surprised the evangelicals didn't rewrite the Bible showing Jesus charging the people he healed and insisting on living in a castle. I'm mean maybe God didn't love Jesus, because he didn't make a lot of money and build huge gilded churches.

Kendall Simmons 4 months ago

Bitter? How about sadly being right about so many people.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months ago

I have to guess that people who "use" God for their own personal delight at the suffering of others might be courting some major headaches when the blank hits the fan.

You're right. My husband is a practicing Christian and he's a Democrat. He was a Republican for many decades, but this Trump thing and the attitude of many Christians today caused him to move over to what he said seemed to be more Christlike people... even when they are not believers. They show more Christianity in their behavior and beliefs than Republican Christians do. His pickup has two stickers on the back window: I'm a Christian. I voted for Obama.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

There are many versions of what Josephus wrote about Jesus that scholars refer to as containing "Christian embellishments." But most scholars believe that the most accurate version is from this ancient Arabic translation of the writings of Josephus:

“At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive. Accordingly, he was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.” (10th Century Arabic Text)

Kendall Simmons 4 months ago

But this doesn't make it a "contemporaneous account", now does it? "10th Century Arabic Text"...hmmm.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

Josephus wrote his history around 93CE, around 60 years after the death of Jesus and based his history on the writings that existed and oral history at the time. Next time, try researching before approaching a keyboard.

Theodore Calvin 4 months ago

So one old guy one time wrote about an even older guy along time ago. Total proof that Jesus existed, all the stories in the bible are true, and we should fashion modern day society on these stories and treat people who don't follow these teachings badly.

Kevin Elliott 4 months ago

Christians have had little to do with Christ for centuries

Ken Lassman 4 months ago

Ethical behavior and other "emulating Christ" guidelines are common to all of the major religions and even the minor ones, as well as most philosophical ethical traditions. Please check out the versions of the Golden Rule found in most religious traditions: http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc2.htm

I think what Dorothy legitimately complains about is hypocrisy amongst believers when they cast judgement on those who are behaving in ways they themselves are guilty of, which is also a common trait amongst all religious/philosophical systems. Casting aspersions on her religious expertise does nothing to de-legitimize her critique, which does not hinge on the veracity of her religious "chops."

Guilt of said hypocritical crime is spread fairly evenly across those who are powerful and famous, as they have been across time and culture as well. Part of the social contract requires those who are participants in said culture to rise up and call those hypocrites for what they are and re-establish the responsibilities of those in such positions to maintain ethical behavior for the good of all. This is not new and this dynamic will never go away. It's part of who we are as humans.

Theodore Calvin 4 months ago

Yes, the social contract. Many people fail to remember that even if they haven't explicitly agreed to it's tenets, if they are enjoying any benefits of our society (which they are if they will admit it or not) they have implicitly agreed to live by it. You can't use religion to exempt you from contributing to society while benefitting from it. Especially if we are to observe religious freedom. Your religion isn't any more right or wrong than anyone elses. That is hypocrisy at it's finest.

P Allen Macfarlane 4 months ago

Many in our country are pretend Christians: always attending church on Sunday, but calling up their religiosity only when it is convenient and self-serving. Such behavior borders on the sociopathic. Nobody has a monopoly on truth. We all need to practice some form of the Golden Rule to each other with regard to physical characteristics, origin, or creed.

MerriAnnie Smith 4 months ago

And it's also true that many people claim to be Christian but never darken the door of a church. It's like a club they've joined for the purpose of being called one. They're some of the biggest mouths out there in Republican land. God this! God that! Then they gather at the local bar with friends on Saturday night. But let a Democrat say the Constitution doesn't allow religions to run the country and they're suddenly God's personal messengers to the evil world.

Richard Aronoff 4 months ago

Didn't Jesus say it would be better to pray at home? Didn't he say that people who make a big show of displaying their religiosity are hypocrites (from the Greek word for "actor" by the way)?

Personally, I believe there is some creative force behind our existence. So there is God and there is what people have made of God. I believe that is what Thomas Paine meant in his Age of Reason.

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