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Do you think that there are a lot of religious people who live in Lawrence?

Asked at Tower Plaza, 2540 Iowa on November 15, 2004

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Photo of Eric Lackey

“I would say no, at least not in the groups I find myself in.”

Photo of Dan Truesdale

“Yes I do. I think that college towns foster thinking about those kind of things. Even if it is not your mom and dad’s religion, it leads people to think about what they believe.”

Photo of Daryl Quick

“No. Less than the national average. I would guess that a third of the community are college students, and students tend to be atheists or agnostics. They are at the age where they question their religious values.”

Photo of Kathy Bechtel

“I wouldn’t say that they are especially religious. It’s probably about average.”

Comments

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

i am sending this as a test, will it get posted?????????

Libcon 10 years, 1 month ago

Lulu and I have no connection other than I agree with many of her thoughts. I knew I may ruffle some Jayhawk feathers with my thoughts, as I usually do with discussions of religion, politics, and race with my extended family.

jonas 10 years, 1 month ago

Fangorn: My apologies, eldest, for leaving you in the dark. Please don't mistake me for a Christian, and Das Ubermime is a groomsmen in my upcoming wedding.

Larry 10 years, 1 month ago

Honestly, I know more religious people from Lawrence than non-religious people. However, I think that is more the result of the people that I choose to hang out. I would guess the vast majority of people in Lawrence are of non-religious belief.

Have a great day and God Bless all of Lawrence!

Chocoholic 10 years, 1 month ago

bige1030: So...If a spider with 8 legs thinks it highly probable that the divine* does not exist, does that make it an agnostic atheist arachnid? Sorry for the leg humor; couldn't help myself.

Seriously, I wasn't aware that agnostic folks went to such hair-splitting lengths. Deity probability computation: fodder for a SOMA meeting? I learned something today. Seriously.

But you know, I guess I never thought about agnostics or atheists or any combination thereof as having issues with feeling shunned or persecuted by society. In every Christian church or group I've been a part of, it has been generally understood that being shunned etc. is a part of the deal. It's in New Testament scripture; Christ himself talked about it.

I guess I always thought that the people who were supposed to be shunning us must be the "godless" people. But apparently (except in Lawrence and the other towns with lower percentages of "religious" folk cited in the survey) it is us Christian (or otherwise "religious") folk who are shunning you, the atheists. However...if you atheists feel shunned while at the same time we Christians are feeling shunned, who is it doing all the shunning?

BTW, for the person who commented that separation of church & state will never really be a reality (or something like that--I can't find the post now), talk to a true American Baptist about that. Not Southern Baptist, not Fundamentalist Baptist, not Fred Phelps Baptist (let's not even go there) but American Baptist. They will tell you exactly why separation of church and state is so important for true religious liberty.

I had an important lesson in this first hand when my family had an opportunity to relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah. My hubby had a job offer there with an organization that was closely tied to the Mormon church, but not directly a part of it. We flew out to get a feel for the city, check out houses and schools, etc.

What we quickly became aware of, that we never gave a thought to in Kansas, was that we wanted to be the ones to provide our children with a religious education. We did not want them to be proselytized at school or in the neighborhood by people who wanted to convert them to Mormonism.

We didn't end up moving, but suddenly religious liberty became very important to me.

Have a good Tuesday, folks. I'm off to bed.

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

If you read the article that this question is in relation to, Andrew Strangl claims to be an "agnostic atheist". He claims to be a "free-thinking, open-minded kind-of-guy".

Hmmm....Well let's see......

First off, an agnostic claims to believe that the existence of God (or any god) is unknown and probably unknowable. Now, I have to say that most agnostics I've ever known, describe themselves as being "agnostic" so as to conveniently keep themselves from EVER subscribing to ANY religious views. Furthermore, it has been my experience that most agnostics I have met have never made any real attempt to find out and/or discover if there is any god. I believe that most so-called "agnostics" are lazy thinkers. They use the term "agnostic" when talking about religion to others in much the same way that you or I would use a "Get Out of Jail Free" card in the game of Monopoly!

The subject of religion and/or God comes up and it's like....."I'm an agnostic!"..."Say, how about them KC Chiefs? Boy, they're having a tough year, aren't they?"

----So much for being truly "open-minded", eh?

Oh, sure, on the surface, claiming to be "agnostic" does appear to make someone SEEM "open-minded" to others. Okay, I'll grant you that. It does "seem" that way. However, when you get right down to it, most agnostics make it a habit of being agnostic! They become "comfortable" in their "agnosticism", and as a result, they end up living their whole lives without ever really exploring the possibility of the existence any god!

Again, so much for being truly "open-minded"!

I don't know where this Andrew Strangl fits in, but I have my doubts about him truly being "open-minded"! I would describe Andrew, at the very least, as being a "fence-sitter", and I do believe that God puts "fence-sitters" in the same category as "non-believers"........Which is not a good thing, spiritually speaking!

Anyway, Andrew also claims to be an "atheist" too.

Now I don't know how a person can be both an "agnostic" and a TRUE "atheist" at the same time! An atheist basically believes that there is no deity of any kind. Period!

Okay.........So if you are a true atheist......... Number one, how does that make you truly "open-minded"? And number two........If you claim to be an atheist, and then say that you are an agnostic as well, I think that you are trying to appear "open-minded", but in fact, you are giving the appearance of being contradictory (and confused)!---Which undermines any position you may have about any religion and/or the existence of God.

And remember one thing, folks.....

It been said at least a million times, but it's very true.........

"There are no atheists in foxholes."

......Just something to think about!

jonas 10 years, 1 month ago

Probably less that the national average, if there is such a thing, but I doubt it's much less than normal. I'm the most religious person in my group, meaning that everyone else is an agnostic or atheist (I totally disagree with atheism) while I'm more of a deist, but I can't say that I've seen less by far of a religious influence in this town than in the others that I've grown up in. I think that most people consider themselves religious to some extent, and most of them probably believe in god, in some form or another. The only real difference, I think, is what the people (I've always used the term thin-Christians, because I've been surrounded by Christians moreso than other faiths, but it runs the same in any faith) who profess believe, but not strongly enough to really do anything on their own to serve it, do with the limited faith that they have. (sorry about that sentence, I think the idea is still readable, though). In a college town such as lawrence I think they may tend to slough off, as such thinking is more expected or condoned as it would be in a community like, say, Johnson County. More people in Johnson County went to Church, and professed religion, but I found very little change in the people who actually practiced the tenets of one religion or another. It's just that there were lots of excess folk going to church because they were, more or less, expected to do so.

Hi, everybody!

jonas 10 years, 1 month ago

Hi-Jinks: About the foxholes reference: I would say that any significant event will have a high chance of bringing out the closet communer with god in all of us. The little extra security it brings, in the form of feeling watched over, perhaps, in some way, is undoubtedly comforting. The only times I ever truly prayed was for God to intervene when I was it a tight spot or afraid. I think there are a lot more people like that than we really want to believe.

It's an interesting point you make about agnostics, and I totally agree with your agnostic/atheism= impossible point, but the point for most of the agnostics that I know is that there is no providable emperical evidence to base a conclusion off of. I think most of them feel that if there was ever a miracle of the sort that happened in the bible, they would believe, but not until then. It may be closeminded, but then I don't think there is such a thing, truthfully, as open minded when in comes to religion.

lunacydetector 10 years, 1 month ago

how does all of this reflect in the crime rate? if lawrence has a low crime rate then it would be telling in a crime rate comparison with other communities that have a large religious community presence. i've always heard that with a college community comes higher crime. is this true? if it is true then the lack of being religious would fit the stereotype and the survey would be true.

also, how does lawrence fit into being a charitable community? i read that the Top 10 states in charitable contributions per capita went to Bush.

let's see....large metropolitan cities went to kerry, and kerry supporters are not religious, and they have higher crime rates, and they don't contribute to charities....hmmm

is this such a good thing? it sounds like something is missing....like God.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 1 month ago

The question could have been a bit more specific. There are a lot of religious people in Lawrence as the University attracts diversity which allows for a larger menu. Some wear it on their sleeves but most do not.

mrcairo 10 years, 1 month ago

Have you been to church lately?

Better get there early if you want a seat. Take a look around, and you'll see chuch pews filled to the brim, at most churches, it's standing room only.

We're all religious. We believe in all that is seen and unseen. Even not believing is a form of religion, isn't it?

craigers 10 years, 1 month ago

I think that Lawrence is very religious, because religion seems to be something you practice and I see a lot of people practicing religion by going to church on Sundays and the other normal times. However, if you were to ask if the community will go out of their normal time schedules to go to a Christian event, then I would say no. Lawrence people turn out in great numbers to see a hard rock band or Marilyn Manson, but when you get Christian artists or a Christian event, the turnout is lacking numbers. A better question would be, "Do Lawrence residents live a Christian life?" To that I think the answer is clear.

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

Jonas,

First, let me say, "welcome back"!

As far as God and/or religion goes.....it's all faith-based. You believe in God (with or without any religious guidance/assistance such as Catholicism) with the thought in mind that you can't physically prove that God exists. You have no photos or signed documents from God. You don't know where he lives, so you can't bring a friend over to his house for dinner.

But I look at this way.......Faith is something all of us have inside us. We all have this thing called "faith" that dwells within us. I have faith that the KU basketball team will go all the way this year, but I can't prove that at this point in time. Most people have faith in themselves and/or their kids. I have faith that my relatively new car will start when I walk out the door in a little while.....but at this second, I don't know for sure that it will. So we all possess this thing called "faith". Many people choose to put their faith in this thing called "God". My personal feeling is that having faith in the existence of this thing/being called "God" sure can't hurt in the broad scheme of things, can it? I mean what if a person chooses to be rotten his or her whole life, with the thought that, "Hey, who cares how rotten I am?! There ain't no god, anyway!".....And as it turns out, there is a God!! WOW! I'd hate to be in that person's shoes come Judgement Day!!

And just to reiterate.....I don't know how this Andrew Stangl can claim to be an atheist and yet be open-minded. That one loses me! I can't quite wrap my mind/logic around that one!

Anyway Jonas, hope your trip went well. About the only thing that you missed last week was Hoofy tried to come back on this forum under the name of "Hugh Jass". He tried to outsmart the LJ-World people by using a different name, and presumably a different computer, but they caught on to his act in relatively short order and gave him the boot! So no more Hoofy.--And no more "Hugh Jass", either!

Chris Beightel 10 years, 1 month ago

Yeah there's lot's of religious people in Lawrence. Thank god the great majority aren't. I'll bet god hates religion. I'll bet that god can't stand the fact that the crowning achievement (conscious reason) in his greatest creation (man) so often falls prey to this disease. No, I misstated that... the need for faith and wonderment are not the disease, it's the religion, the structure, the proselytization who's end is fascism that is so distructive to the human soul. The test for bad religion is pretty simple. Just ask yourself, "Am I worshipping the one true god?" If your answer is an unequivocal "yes", then you can be sure that somewhere the one true god is nodding paternalistically with a sad smile, because he knows you don't know him at all.

jonas 10 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I read the past posts saturday night when my plane came in, and caught up on the news. The trip went very well, we helped a lot of people (over 1100 got doctor referral and meds for 70 pesos a person, which is less than 3 US dollars) and got to spend some time on the beach watching bikinis. Good times.

You caught the crux of the matter, in faith vs empiricism, and stated it very eloquently, if I may say so myself. Spiritualism certainly plays a very important part in our society, and it's very existence and prolifence certainly, to my mind, proves it's necessity for a large portion of our society, or possibly even our species. Truly free-thinking people, though, can find a belief structure that is beneficial to themselves and those around them without needing a higher power or deity to act as a judicator or mediator. But people like that are a minority of the population, to be sure. For the rest, who need fear of judgement or displeasure to motivate them to behave respectfully, the church can provide order in the same way as a government. I cast a broad net saying that, and it certainly is only a generalization, of course. Nor am I suggesting that the only people who believe in god or religious tenets are the ones incapable of free thought. For the people who are otherwise adrift, the church can provide both stability and community, making it a valuable asset. But it is not necessary as a whole to finding a moral center, or a beneficial place in society. It is simply one way to do so.

craigers 10 years, 1 month ago

Fangorn, your comments on Islam were very helpful. Thank you for the insight. For those who don't feel God exists, I know I can't show you a video tape or anything, but I am certain that God is real. The reason being that I have personally had an encounter with evil(demonic) spirits but because I was raised in a biblically solid church, I knew what to do and let me tell you the name of Jesus had so much power it wasn't even funny. The moment I spoke that name, the spirit left, just like it says they will in the bible. Jesus is very real and my faith has been followed by signs and wonders. You don't have to believe me, but I have my proof and Jesus is very real. Please don't take this post as a way for me to puff myself up, because the only boasting being done here is that I know Jesus Christ and He lives in me.

Larry, it was about time we heard from you. Just joking. I hope your early morning went well.

badger 10 years, 1 month ago

I am deeply spiritual. I am not and never will be deeply religious.

The church I was raised in teaches that to be religious is to have loyalty to a church and its precepts, tenets, and conventions. To have faith or be spiritual is, I was taught, to hold one's loyalty and devotion to the divine. The latter, as I was raised, is so paramount to the former as to make one question, when one finds oneself described as 'religious', where one's devotion lies.

I don't wear my faith on my sleeve. I don't advertise it. However, I live my life in a manner so that others who meet me often ask me what the secret is to my peaceful countenance and happy nature. I'm more than happy share it, and more often than not, they're surprised by the information.

Libcon 10 years, 1 month ago

Religion is a funny thing sometimes. But I do not think Lawrence is religious. In fact I think even people who go to church in Lawrence are hypocrites. Simply b/c all who are at church on Sunday were out drinking and galavating the night before, probably engaging in not-okay-to-talk-about activities. Lawrence and religious should not be in the same sentence.

tell_it_like_it_is 10 years, 1 month ago

I think we're all about to get a good dose of religion want it or not now that we've got TV preachers running the White House.

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

interesting how this question brought so many posts so early in the day. hi_jinks, your comments are so good. i was wondering about one thing. about the 'atheist/agnostic" label for Stangl. i first thought that it might have been a label put there by the reporter, but upon re-reading the article, i see that it is in quotation marks. so if he calls himself this, he does'nt seem to be much of a free-thinker, at least he is not too knowledgable about atheists and agnostics. as has been noted in other posts, atheists definitely do not believe in the existence of God or gods. agnostics reserve judgement. are not sure. have open minds. so Stangl, i would think, is not an agnostic.
now about free thinkers, could he be comparing himself to those who are strong in their belief in an all powerful God, thinking that these faithful have been brain-washed either by parental influence or church influence. could this be why he labels himself a free thinker? he has not been coerced into a certain belief. what do you think, jinx?

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

fangorn - yes, i found your post on islam very helpful and informative and thank you very much. you were far more succinct than the web site i found. i see now why craigers says that the concept of God is so different to muslims and christians. as for wrath, use a concordance read all the references to God's wrath in holy scripture. but be sure to note that His wrath is directed at the sinful acts and attitudes in this poor old world. craigers - at first i could not quite get your quote of I John 2:22 re denying the Son, but now do. thanks.

akuna 10 years, 1 month ago

I would say that this town is more religious than not. I run in a group that is not religious but can still see the masses going to mass. What is really sad is that most religious people are religious but not spiritual. They tend to believe in things that they have not thought about or that don't concern them - accept gay rights and abortion. What's sad is that this past presidential election was won with a God ballet rather than an American people ballet. We will see long term ramifications from our action as a country. Now that Bush has another four years to undo the actions of the early and mid 20 century, it is time to prepare ourselves for another depression. A free market is only good for shoddy products and the rich, not the working class stiffs like most of us. May your belief in God help us all.

Adam 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't know, would you consider the Wiccan cult that lives upstairs "Religious"?

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

now the question that begs to be asked is, 'how do you define religious?' there are many religions or should we say beliefs. there is the judeo/christian/islamic faith. they all believe in the same Yahweh/God/Allah. and don't say they don't. there is only one deity to these believers and the name makes no difference. i don't know lawrence, so ask, are there mosques or a mosque, is there a synogogue? the christian faith takes many different paths and some non-believers cast aspersions because of this. but, never the less, how do you define religious? in the christian church, i would say that is not the question. the question is about spirituality. what kind of relationship do you have with your Creator? is it personal. have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? do you commune with Him regularily? do you put your whole trust in Him? do you seek His guidance from His Word be it koran or bible? OR, do you consider a visit to the church/syogogue/mosque each week enough to call your self religious? i think the topic question today is unanswerable because no one can know the deep inner feelings of the majority of the residents of lawrence or any other town. going to church each week is no real indication.

badger 10 years, 1 month ago

Have houses fallen on any of them recently?

That's the best way to tell if a witch is a good witch or a bad one.

Wicca is neither 'good' nor 'bad', inherently. It is a framework through which many people who are pagan reach their personal relationship with the divine, and as such is subject, like any religion, to the vagaries of those who define how it will be used in one's personal life. I lived in a Southern Baptist-controlled town in the South for five years, and I've been involved with a number of Wiccan groups (though I myself am not Wiccan) for the last twelve or so, and I can honestly say that I've known as many 'bad' Wiccans as I have 'bad' Baptists, and the proportion of good people to bad in each faith is about the same. It's just a different frame of reference.

Wiccans are also not the only form of pagan, merely the predominant form of organized paganism.

craigers 10 years, 1 month ago

ms canada, I would have to disagree with you about the fact that they all worship the same god. Each has a different core of characteristics, especially between the christian and islamic gods. Islamic is about pleasing a wrathful god, but christianity is about the God that is loving with grace and mercy. My God said that we are not appointed to wrath, which means my belief in Him keeps me from wrath. I feel that the Islamic god is more about trying to appease an angry god, not enjoy a lovable divine creator. There is definitely a difference. I don't have enough time to debate and defend everything that I have said because I know some will come after me after this post, but I am just simply saying, there is a difference between the Islamic god and the chrisian God. I would be wrong in saying that the Jewish faith and the Christian faith don't share the same god, because the Christ I believe in is the same because of the trinity. Christ is the link between the so-called "Old Testament" God.

Faith_in_action 10 years, 1 month ago

Hi, I have been reading the comments from jonas and hi_jinks. It has been most interesting from my perspective.

Jonas, you made a comment earlier about most people, when in a tough spot or afraid, seek God to help them. Yes, I believe that to be true. But I also believe that it is in those times we have the opportunity to grow in a personal relationship with Him.

Let me tell you where I am right now and why I feel able to adress this topic...I am up in Rochester, MN at the Mayo clinic with my 1 year old who has a very nasty brain tumor. She is curently undergoing chemo. It is our hope that she is healed. If she dies will I give up on God and throw my faith away? No, to do that is to thow away any hope of comfort. You might say that I have a narrow perpective on this. Actually, it is quite the opposite. I have faith that my daughters life (all life), no matter the lenght of time here on earth, has meaning and that meaning comes from God.

If you or any reader want to check in on my little warrior you can look at her caingbridge site. www.caringbridge.org/ks/elizamae

If you ever wanted to know who is that Eliza we are to pray for (the signs around town) this is the gal!

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

craigers - i think our difference of thought here is in the way of worship. i think you will agree that there is only one God. true? if our God is the only god then the deity that the islamists worship does not exist except in their fantasies. i think the difference in the judeo/christian faith and the islamic faith is not in the god that both hold true, it is in the way of worship. i don't know a great deal about islam but do know some. one thing i know is that it is not Allah that has been corrupted but the acts of worship by the believers. take for instance the concept of jihad. it has been so corrupted as to be taken as a holy war with guns and bombs whereas the true meaning of jihad is a spiritual war. a war to defend islam with words. the terrorists use the corrupted meaning to justify their war on the west, the christian west and israel. i heard an islamic lady, (seemed extremely knowledgable) yesterday speaking about the killing of theo van gogh in the netherlands as well as other acts of terrorism including 9/11, she feels that these acts are the greatest calamity to befall islam as they only increase the hatred of the world for all muslims. i think she was right on. i also was reading a web page by christopher allbritton, former ap and ny times reporter. he says that the election of mr. bush and co. convinced the east that not only was this gov. to be feared (which was the previous case) but now indeed the american people were to be feared because it was the hated religious right that put them in office again. he is based, (chris a.) in iraq and jordan and speaks to many in those countries. yah, yah, it is only one man's report. but there are other. what are you thoughts on this, craigers?

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

first to craigers - the passage on wrath that you alluded to is I Thess. 5:9. which says, 'for God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ', that whole passage speaks of being in the light (of God's love) and being self-controlled and alert, not like a thief in darkness. any way.......... where is fangorn to-day? i expected to see some words of wisdom from him.. perhaps later. fangorn once you said, i believe it was nov. 8 in some words to lulu that 'we don't have to understand...." the enemy and that put me in mind of a chess game and a bullfight. for those not familiar with bullfights... the matador (the killer) does not usually enter the ring immediately the bull is released. he waits on the sidelines and observes the playing of the bull by the banderilleros (those who place the barbed banderillos in the shoulders of the bull) and the picadors. he wants to know and understand the actions of the bull, especially how and which way he turns as he passes through the waving cape of the banderilleros. this is crucial to his method of killing and his safety. when the time is right he steps into the arena and performs the killing now to the chess match, the opponents watch closely the moves of each other trying to understand and second guess the next move. don't you think it would be most wise of us to try to understand and second guess the next move or our opponents? it makes sense to me. (i am not being mean spirited, please don't mistake my motive here.)

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

The problem with all religions (as I see it) is that they can be (at times)twisted to fit some peoples' lifestyles and/or conscience. So for example..The Catholic church says "no" to same-sex marriages and abortion. But there are some Catholics who call themselves "moderates" and say that they believe there is nothing wrong with same sex marriages and/or abortion. Case in point: John Kerry. Boy, did he ever walk the political tightrope during the election season, didn't he? He said he favored "a woman's right to choose"....but he was not in favor of "same-sex marriages". Hmm...You know, spoken like a true politician, huh? Anyway, it's not fair to lump the Catholic Church as being run by a bunch of "closeted homosexual priests" and those priests who aren't gay are out running around molesting young boys.Now that's a characterization that I have heard made by callers on radio talk shows and the like who happen to look down upon the Catholic Church and it's unfortunate that some people feel that way.---Just like Libcon, who in an earlier post, made the broad/sweeping/borderline-hysterical generalization that "all who were at church were out the night before drinking, galavanting, and engaging in not-okay-to-talk about activities".Oh, really? ALL OF THEM, Libcon??!! I don't know about that! Can you (if at all possible) prove that statement of yours? You know, if religion doesn't suit you (any religion), that's fine. But I think that you'd be better served if you went off on your own and lived your life as you see fit--as opposed to claiming to be a part of a religious group (with its own strict teachings) and claim to be a "moderate isert-religion-here".

A good analogy (I think) is that of the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America have their own code of morals and ethics. So far as I know, those "morals and ethics" do not include homosexuality or the inclusion of young girls into the group.---Now are there (closeted) gays in the Boy Scouts? Sure there are! Of course! But for someone in that goup to say: "Hey, guess what? I'm gay, and I want out-in-the-open gays to be a part of the Boy Scouts, damn it!" just doesn't make it so. And the Boy Scouts (backed by a 2000 Supreme Court ruling) have the right to say, "No!". It's not part of the Boy Scout way of doing things! So, if you're gay, you must remeber that this is America, and you're free to form your own "Gay Scouts of America" if you so desire. And young girls have the option of becoming Girl Scouts if the wish. And in the Catholic Church....If you call yourself Catholic (like Kerry did) and you don't like the Catholic Church's views on homosexuality and/or abortion.....Well, as Fleetwood Mac once said...."You can go your own way!"

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

Look around you.....Don't like any of the religions you see? They don't EXACTLY fit/suit you?

Okay.......

Form your own religion!

But don't hold your breath waiting for the Catholic Church to change/amend its views concerning same-sex marriage.--And don't waste your time and energy hurling "verbal rocks and stones" at the Catholic Church (as some people do) for being (supposedly) so close-minded about homosexuality, either! They believe what they believe, that's their views and teachings. Don't agree? Well, declare yourself an "major independent" like I did many years back!

Now getting back to Andrew Stangl (the guy in the article) for just one moment. It is my feeling that some people can be "career agnostics"--as opposed to a "I consider myself an agnostic at this stage/point in my life, thank you" type agnostic. And Andrew may very well be a career agnostic! "Career agnostics" sit comfortably on the fence (for much, if not all, of their adult life) and forever pit one side versus the other (believers versus non-believers) and all the while, they (the agnostics) look down from their perch (that being the fence, of course) and they "pity the rest of us fools"! I mean, after all, look at what Andrew did...He declares himself an "agnostic atheist" (an oxymoron I do believe) and he forms his own group of agnostic atheists (I guess that's what he did) and he (conveniently) names himself president of said group. Now I've got to stop right here and admit, that as I'm typing this post right now, I'm smiling to myself and shaking my head back and forth. This Andrew Stangl is an interesting dude, isn't he? He managed somehow to get his name--and his group/organization---into the local newspaper. Congratulations to you, Andrew!!

And if you go back and read the name of the (his) group, it says (in part) "open-minded atheists"!

Huh? What? Say that again?

"Open-minded atheists"???!!!

.....Ahhhhh......Okay!

Man! I need another cup of coffee!

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

Jonas- Welcome back! Dominican Republic, right?

Libcon- In any group, there will always be people who struggle to live up to the group's stated ideals. Does that make them hypocrites? Possibly. Others may simply still be growing in their faith. When someone becomes a Christian, Satan doesn't just throw his hands up and say, "Well, shucks, I guess I'll have to give up on that one." You could visit my church, if you like. You would meet many Christians of the non-hypocrite variety. In fact, if you visit any church here in Lawrence I believe most of the Christians you will meet are not hypocrites. Just a thought.

I am amused by all the Chicken Littles out there, nursing their phobias about religion. Most of you seem to want any religious belief to be like Ted Kennedy's-so private that he won't even impose it on himself. Why is it that any other type of belief system is allowed to inform a president's or legislator's policy decisions, except for religious belief systems? Now that's hypocritical!

Wiccans are religious. One of my best friends is Wiccan, and we have spent hours discussing our beliefs. She is definitely spiritual. I don't know that I've ever heard her use the term "witch". It is just one way of being a pagan (People Against Goodness And Normalcy. . . just kidding! Some of you will know the origin of the joke.) Teddi and I talk about the people at our churches ("circle" is another term she uses). It's interesting how Wiccans struggle with many of the same things as Christians. And I'm sure the same thing could be said for Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, animists, Jayhawkers. . . oh wait, that's just the local religion.

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

btw, where's Lulu today? This discussion just won't be complete until we hear from her!

Lively discussion today. Good give-and-take tone without a whole lot of nastiness. Considering how contentious the topic is, this says a lot for the people (from all sides) who participate in this forum.

ms_canada, my keyboard stopped working this morning (overuse, perhaps?) I've got it working again. Didn't mean to keep you waiting! :-)

[Tactically speaking, it is essential to know and understand your enemies. That is a fundamental tenet of Sun Tzu. In my post several days ago, my point was that seeking to understand why some Muslims hate the West, in general, and the US, in particular, will not stop the conflict or help us win the war. I communicated that point poorly. Your analagy was very good.]

badger 10 years, 1 month ago

Some do, Fangorn. Some struggle deeply with ways to bring spiritual living and everyday life in line, and to incorporate their beliefs into their daily lives, so that faith can be a guiding factor for them.

Some, unfortunately, use paganism as a way to rebel against Christianity, and when those people speak for our community, we as a whole get the black eye. That's one of the reasons I work within the community to encourage the idea that we should not be anti-Christian just because we're not Christian.

It's amazing how many people expect me to hate Christians when they find out I'm pagan. I always ask them if they hate me, and when they say, "No, of course not," I ask them why they expected me to be different.

The real question, though, Fangorn, is, "Do you have your goatskin leggings?"

Lulu 10 years, 1 month ago

Everyone says I am a fraud or questions me. I am not posting here anymore.

I just wanted to meet some friends in my movement. My movement is small but once it was very large. I was hopeing, just hopeing I would have a big movement again - if John Kerry was elected it would have been the case.

craigers 10 years, 1 month ago

mscanada, I was under the assumption that Islam thought Allah was their messiah. Maybe I am wrong in this, but would love to know if that isn't correct. I feel that would make a clear distinction between their god, Allah, and ours. And yes, in the way people look at their god, the characteristics are completely different. I like the way this sums of Christianity vs. Islam. In Christianity, our God died for us and with Islam, their God wants them to die for him. A completely different God. I don't know if I necessarily agree that by elected Bush, that we have put ourselves in greater danger. Whether or not we elected Bush, our country is still characterized as a Christian nation. People view us that way because the majority of our nation declares themselves as christian. Our country still would have had that same characteristic had Kerry been elected. Other countries are going to find reasons to hate us. It seems inevitable.

And Libcon, I think you have been going to some of the wrong churches because I know there are plenty of non-hypocritical people at the church I attend as well. However, I do agree with you that too many people practice their "religion" on a certain day of the week and act like they worship God, but the rest of the week they live a lifestyle quite contrary to what Christians are supposed to live.

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

badger- lol! No goatskin leggings. If I would need them to visit your group, I would certainly be willing go buy a set. ;)~

Teddi mentioned the same thing, that many in her group hate Christians. She advocates the same attitude you have. We've been talking about having me go to circle with her sometime, but I don't get back to Nebr. as often as I'd like. I would be interesting to put faces with names. I feel like I know some of them already. I like to visit with people who believe differently than me. It's easier to understand someone when they are no longer this faceless, nameless "other".

Teddi's group calls itself "The Order of the Red Grail" (I think it's red; other groups use different colors). What is your group called?

missmagoo 10 years, 1 month ago

good riddance lulu.

faith: god bless you and your family! she's a cutie!

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

"My movement is small but once it was very large."

LuLu, what "movement" was/is that, if you don't mind me asking?

P.S. Everybody here is guilty of typos now and then, this I understand completely.

So having said that, please tell me that your "hopeing" is a typo! (I anxiously await your response. So please respond sooner rather than later so that I don't end up biting a hole through my low lip!!!)

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

Oops! I meant "lower lip"!!! See! Even I do it sometimes!! :)!!!

Libcon 10 years, 1 month ago

I defend my earlier comments by saying "everyone" as just a generalization of most people I know. I do not attend church simply because I would feel like a hypocrite b/c of my actions sometimes.

Therefore it is better to not attend something than to pretend to attend it for the right reasons.

craigers 10 years, 1 month ago

Libcon, do you think your actions are not correct? No offense, but those who do sin and do those acts that aren't necessarily moral should be the ones in church. However, they should not judge others and tell them that they are in the wrong for doing something themselves just did the night before. Don't avoid church because of your actions. As long as you aren't passing judgement on others then you aren't really being a hypocrite.

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

I could be wrong, folks......

But I'm getting this really, really weird feeling that there's a Libcon/LuLu connection here somewhere!

Kind of like Hoofy/Hugh Jass.

But, naturally, I really can't prove that! (Not yet, anyway!)

acg 10 years, 1 month ago

NO Lulu, don't go! Don't let them run you out of here. You just keep on being you and to h*ll with anyone who doesn't like it!

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't think there is a Lulu/Libcon connection. Libcon is (esp. today) being reasonable and thoughtful. He/she is being honest about a very personal matter. I think that most of Lulu's remarks are made simply to provoke. (But honestly, her viewpoint and mine are so dissimilar I could be wrong about that.) And either way, Lulu always stirs up discussion! I hope she doesn't leave.

And Libcon, Jesus came to "seek and save that which is lost". He was often criticised by the religious community of His day for associating with "tax-gatherers and sinners". He had compassion on those who were spiritually separated from God. The only hypocrites in church are those who profess Christ and purposefully live contrary to His teachings. You would be welcome at my and many other churches in Lawrence.

Carmenilla 10 years, 1 month ago

Its funny what we think of as being "religious". My first inclination would be to think of Christians. Not because I care for Christianity, mind you, but because they are the ones who are pushing their religion into the forefront. I know, I know.....Its the evangelism part that tells you to "spread the gospel" but the reality is that more than any other religion, Christianity has converted more people by the sword throughout history. I'm sure some will debate this but the reality is that the Crusades were started because the Christians wanted the Muslims out of the Holy Land. But the Holy Land was always a mish mosh of religions. I just see this whole religious debate to be more about power and land. It was that way a 1000 years ago and it still is today. Power and land have very little to do with my spirituality.........How about yours?

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

Carmenilla- Jesus told Pontius Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting." Throughout history, too many Christians have been fighting for land when they should have been "fishing" for lost souls. Yes, Crusading Christians wanted the Muslims out of the Holy Land, just as many of today's Muslims want the Jews out of the Holy Land. But God isn't concerned about how much territory we "control". His concern is how Christians live according to His Word, which includes evangelizing, or "making disciples of all nations". Christians cannot change a person's heart. We are responsible to proclaim the Gospel; God will change the hearts of those who are receptive.

Libcon- I might at "sports" to your list of contentious topics.

Bugbear 10 years, 1 month ago

And these days radical Muslims try to foist their religious beliefs on the rest of us by slamming really big planes into the sides of really big buildings!!! I don't know about you, Carmenilla, but I'm less concerned about Christian crusades from many centuries ago, AND FAR MORE CONCERNED ABOUT PRESENT DAY RADICAL FUNDAMENTALIST MUSLIMS AND THEIR TWISTED BELIEFS!!!

tell_it_like_it_is 10 years, 1 month ago

Most of the holy rollers churches today are cults. They don't even recognize a lot of main stream churches as "real Christians" any more. I'm not anti religion I was raised Lutheran and still go. But those folks are getting more powerful all the time and they want to take over our country via the president. Talk about radical.

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

craigers - i will try to find out about islam and the messiah. i have never heard that before. i like what you said about our God dying for us, etc. could be that they have a different concept of god
are there any muslims out there who can tell us. fangorn - you took the words out of my mouth (fingers) in your message to libcon. Jesus died for sinners and we are all in that category. libcon - you would be most welcome in my church also, if it wasn't so far away.

badger 10 years, 1 month ago

Fangorn, I don't really work with a group regularly. I have friends in the area I celebrate holidays and mark the passing of the year with, but most of my work tends to be solo.

I'm more than happy to answer any questions and I have no objections to talking about my faith, though.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 1 month ago

Spread the word, brother Badger!! Goddess worship: Alive and well for 10,000+ years!! I practice Wicca, am totally out of the broom closet and not afraid to say, "I am a Witch." I am close with many, many Christians (and Buddhists, and Hindus, etc.) and we share mutual appreciation, respect and affection for one another. They know me well enough to know that I would not engage in anything remotely "evil." That would be against the rules. An it harm none, do what ye will. Blessed Be, all.

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

craigers & ms_canada (and anyone else who may be interested), I know something of the Islamic faith and will gladly share it with you. If this seems extraneous to anyone, please skip this post. It is a bit off-topic.

Islam means (in Arabic) "submission". A Muslim is "one who submits" [to the will of Allah]. They believe that Jesus Christ was a sinless prophet but not a divine Savior. They believe that the teachings of Muhammed ("the one who is praised") supersede those of Jesus and all previous prophets. Muslims do not believe the English word "God" fully conveys the meaning of "Allah". To a Muslim, "Allah" means "the unique God Who possesses all the attributes of perfection and beauty in their infinitude". They believe in the Law of Moses, the Psalms of David, and what they call the "Injil", or the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, the Quran (or Koran, which means "the recitation") supercedes earlier scriptures.

There are several sects of Islam. Sunni is the largest and tends to be more moderate. Shia'ite Muslims are essential the fundamentalists of their faith. The Ahmdiyan sect was founded in the 19th century and has written most of the apologetic literature against Christianity and Judaism ("apology" meaning "defense of the faith", not "I'm sorry"). The Sufi sect is mystical in practice and does not hold to a strict monotheism. Thus, it is rejected by the majority of Muslims.

The Islamic concept of Allah is not as a loving and compassionate Father but as wrathful and issuing judgment. They seek salvation through fulfilling the works of the Five Pillars of the Faith. 1. Recitation of the Shahadah, or "confession": There is no god but Allah and Muhammed is the prophet of Allah. 2. Salat, five daily prayers said while bowing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. 3. Zakat, or almsgiving, which is one-fortieth of their income. 4. Saum, or fasting, during the month of Romadan. 5. Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. [6. Jihad, or holy war, was once included in this list and is being revived by some Muslims.] So essentially, Allah is their god, and they have no "savior" but work toward their salvation through the Five Pillars.

I hope this was helpful and informative. I tried very hard to be succinct.

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

"out of the broom closet". Now that's funny!

badger- Teddi has commented that Wicca tends to be very individual in practice. She meets with a number of people each week, although I don't know the size of her group. They don't have a rigid hierarchy but each person goes through training before they are allowed to teach or lead others. They also celebrate certain holidays and observe the passing of the year (equinoxes, solstices, etc.) I always watch the sunrise on the first day of spring (usually at Wells Overlook). Teddi smiles and may see a mild paganism in this, but I merely appreciate the orderliness of God's world and enjoy the renewal that comes with spring. Thank you for sharing your beliefs with the forum. If we ever meet, I would enjoy discussing your faith with you. It would be interesting to see the similarities and differences with what my friend practices.

Strontius 10 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Hi_Jinks,

My name is Andrew Stangl, and I would like to respond to your initial post. I'm afraid I can't answer them all, but please email me at StanglA@ku.edu and we can discuss this further if you wish.

Starting out, I call myself an Agnostic-Atheist because while I don't believe in the existence of any gods humans have ever created, I can't say for certain that there is not an all powerful entity of some kind in the universe. Because I am NOT omnipresent myself, I can't make any definite claims for the entire universe. Just to put things into a perspective of likelihood, given what we as thinking animals have discovered about our own surroundings, remember that I can't prove that a colony of pink unicorns doesn't exist at the center of the Earth either.

As to your descriptions of Agnostics, I don't know how a person actually goes about proving the supernatural. Is it those warm feelings when chemicals combine in your body that let you know some magical deity is taking care of you? Believe it or not, many people aren't concerned about the existence of a god or gods, they just want to live their lives without being harassed because you yourself can't handle existence without a father figure guiding your actions and taking care of you in the end.

You describe me as a fence sitter, but don't make that error. I'm very firmly certain that humans create gods and religion as a cheap drug so that the ruling class in society doesn't have to take responsibility for the poverty or poor conditions in the general society. The Catholic Church has been and continues to act as a back bone for societies around the world, perpetuating a minority ruling class. When the "Divine" monarchies fell in Europe, so did the religiosity that kept them in power.

Since you don't know me, but feel perfectly fine to slander me in public (perfect example of Christian hypocrisy) you can't make any claims about who I am or where I stand being open-minded. But I assure you, I'm respectful to any idea that is brought before me, but I won't just lay back and not question you. Just because I disagree with you, doesn't mean I'm not open-minded. Perhaps you should focus your energy on more useful endeavors then worrying about what I think about the world around me.

And just for the record, there are plenty of atheists in foxholes. There are several members in SOMA that have served honorably in the military, and by claiming otherwise, you dishonor those who would fight and die for this country. Perhaps you should be more careful with your words in the future.

-Andrew Stangl President of SOMA

jonas 10 years, 1 month ago

Ubermime: I disagree, and you're going to hell.

And I'm still going to have your head on my wall.

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

Jonas- was your last post constructive? Perhaps Ubermime is someone you know and your remark is part of some running conversation between you. If not, as a Christian, you should ask: does my conduct (and in this context our posts are our conduct) attract or repel people from the Gospel of Christ? Your visit to the Dominican Republic was a missions trip, yes? Remember there are mission fields closer to home, too.

Mr. Stangl- first, is the acronym of your group a purposeful reference to "Brave New World"? Or is it fortuitous? Second, for someone who has voluntarily thrust himself into the public domain you seem a bit thin-skinned. I admit I could be mis-reading the tone of your post. You say you are "respectful to any idea that is brought before me" but your description of religious belief ("can't handle existence without a father figure" etc.) is certainly not respectful. The purpose of this forum is to discuss the issues, including what the public figures involved may or may not believe about the world around them. Perhaps Hi_Jinks does not understand your position. We appreciate you explaining it in more detail. Finally, the "no atheists in foxholes" aphorism regards the likelihood of a combatant adopting religious belief in a life-threatening situation. Its purpose is not to suggest that atheists cannot or have not served honorably in the military. Your indignation at the remark is entirely specious.

Larry 10 years, 1 month ago

Libcon - hey - you're just like me, Jonas, Lulu, Hoofy, etc. We're all sinners and we all need Jesus in our life. That is the point of attending church and surrounding yourself with those who strive to become Christ like. You'd be welcome at my church, just as anyone else would be, EVEN Lulu (if she were real)? :o)

Strontius - Hey - the great thing about America is it has an open door. You can leave it right now if you don't like the Christian values that founded this country. Don't even try to come back with that liberal hogwash "separation of church and state". It does NOT exist, PERIOD!

Craiger - good posts. No way has President Bush caused all of this hatred. It has gone on for years. 9-11 occurred only months into Bush's term. Does that mean it was Clinton's fault. No! Muslims have hated America and American's for decades due to our relationship to Israel. As for the difference in Christian's and Muslim's. Some claim that both worship the same God while others deny that they are the same God. Essentially, we become like the God that we worship and just as you stated - we are fighting for peace and the terrorists are not. They intend to inflict as much pain and terror into the world as possible.

ms_canada - I respect your post and enjoy reading them. I know you sometimes get frustrated with mine and possible believe me to be a conceited American, but imagine if Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein had total control of the American military. What would the world be like? I believe Bush has done an admirable job in protecting America first and foremost without destroying the planet.

As for whether or not Muslim's and Christian's worship the same God. Think of it this way........"He that denies the Son has denied the Father" Due to this Scripture, I think that it is impossible for Christian's to believe that we worship the same God as Muslim's.

Well folks, I need to head for bed as I have an early morning scheduled. Have a good rest this evening! I'll check back to this page tomorrow.

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

It's a little too late in the day for me to go "toe-to-toe" with Mr. Stangl. However, I'll say this much (for now)....

1.) You are either agnostic or atheist. You simply cannot be both! Period.

2.) Your "ruling class/cheap drug" comments smack of Marxism. Your choice, so be it! That's fine with me, "Karl Jr."!

3.) Be extra, extra careful when you say that I "slander" your name, my "agnostic-atheist oxymoronic friend! You should know that "slander" is extremely difficult to prove sometimes in a court of law. Very often, one person's definition of 'slander" is another person's definition of "free speech".

For example...... If I told everyone here on this site that I think you are a jerk (which, for the record, I did not say earlier), and that your group is full of faithless losers (which I also did not say earlier), and that I thought you and yours will someday rot in Hell (which once more, I did not say earlier).........You would interpret those remarks/comments by me as "slanderous"........However, I'm entitled to say as such.....It's my view of you! Go back and read all of my posts again. There is no doubt that everything I've said is my feelings, thoughts, and opinions of you. Period. So get over the "slander bit".

4.) I'll never get the opportunity, this I know......... But I'd love to see the look on your face and the words emanating from your lips when you are on your death bed someday. I do believe that you won't be thinking (with a smile)...."Well, it was a wonderful agnostic/atheist life, wasn't it? Okay "black nothingness", here I come!!!!"

nicegirl 10 years, 1 month ago

The only prophecy not fulfilled according the Bible involves Middle Eastern peace and Israel. With Arafat out of the picture, this could happen soon. After this happens, Jesus Christ will return and there will be Armageddon. Thank God (literally) for my faith. Mr. Stangl may find himself regretful much sooner than he planned.

Hi_Jinks 10 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Stengl.....Your taking "umbrage" at my "no atheists in foxhole" phrase made me smile! I guess either you're a lot younger than I thought, or I must be getting old! Because I (incorrectly) assumed that everyone was familiar with that really old phrase!---And believe me, that phrase has been around for a long time! Apparently, you haven't been around too long (or so it would seem). Okay, so my bad on that one! In the future, I must remind myself to use more current/up-to-date words and phrases in order to make my point(s).

bige1030 10 years, 1 month ago

One who thinks that "agnostic atheist" is an oxymoron does not quite know what it means. I'm not trying to insult anyone's intelligence; rather, I am trying to illustrate what it means in the spirit in which the author wrote. Some agnostics choose to define themselves based on whether or not they act like the divine* exists.

Agnostic atheists take the view that it is more likely than not that the divine does not exist, so they behave like atheists without declaring absolutely that the divine does not exist.

Agnostic theists, on the other hand, believe that it is more likely than not that the divine exists, so they may worship the divine without declaring the absolute existence of it.

They treat the idea that the divine exists like we treat the notion that humans have two legs; we cannot declare that all humans have two legs (because of amputations and birth defects), but we can declare that almost all humans have two legs.

Similarly, agnostic atheists treat the idea that the divine does not exist like we treat the notion that humans have two legs.

What all agnostics have in common is that they believe that no human can know with absolute certainty whether or not the divine exists. Equivalently, they believe that no one can prove or disprove the proposition that the divine exists.

  • As I write it, "the divine" is meant to be an all-inclusive term - meant to include all ideas of belief in one god or several gods. It being in the singular does not imply that it only means "belief in only one god."

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

Jonas- My apologies. I should have been more careful and gone back and read some of your earlier posts. I must have misremembered something you wrote. For some reason I thought/assumed your recent trip was a missions trip. I did not mean to misrepresent you. And I'm certainly glad Das Ubermime is a friend of yours. "going to have your head on my wall" would be a pretty. . . aggressive remark to a stranger!

badger- If you haven't already, you absolutely must see this site badgerbadgerbadger.com. It's bloody hilarious! Check it out and tell me what you think in a future post. Come to think of it, it was my Wiccan friend who first pointed me to this site. How ironic.

craiger & ms_canada, was my information on Islam helpful?

everyone- good night and thank you all for a good discussion today.

badger 10 years, 1 month ago

Fangorn, I'm actually very emphatically not a Wiccan for a number of reasons. Though paganism, polytheism, and goddess worship are thousands of years old, Wicca itself is a johnny-come-lately, at roughly 50 years old. There are many forms of paganism, and though it seems, because most open pagans are Wiccan, as if all pagans are Wiccans, the two words can't be used interchangeably.

I have nothing against Wicca itself, but I find that groups that classify themselves as such do not suit the modality of my personal relationship with the divine, and I've yet to find one that will match my personal ethical standards. It's not that they're unethical, just that I am very rigid in certain of my practices, and certain points of ethics are non-negotiable for any ritual, circle, or working I'll be part of. Consequently, I network with other pagans to exchange learning and information, but don't organize often.

Fangorn 10 years, 1 month ago

badger- I must be tired today. Earlier I made an assumption about Jonas' religious beliefs, and I have done so again with yours. I usually read more carefully, but since I got a late start today I was perusing more than reading. I missed some important details, or simply equated paganism and Wicca. Either way, I still think it would be interesting to talk to you sometime. [Did you check out the site I mentioned earlier?]

Jonas- congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Many years of happiness to you!

moffie22 10 years, 1 month ago

Larry,

The beauty of living in America is that people can believe in what they want. Most "Christians" think that their way is the right way and discount everyone else. People don't have to leave because they are not Christian. By the way, Native Americans "founded" this country. Your kind came and wiped them off of their land. What do you have to say to that?

bige1030 10 years, 1 month ago

The_Original_Bob: To answer your question - Suppose that I am an agnostic atheist, and that the Divine* actually does exist. Moreover, suppose that the Divine is actually the God of Christianity, and that I am faced in front of Him to be judged after death. Then, I would proceed to tell Him something along the lines of the following:

"I'm sorry that I could never really feel that You actually exist while I was alive. It had been nearly impossible for me to fathom a concept of You, since my observations contradict what I was taught about you in my younger days. I was told that You commanded us not to kill, yet I see some of Your most vocal followers waging war, obviously killing others. I was told that You commanded us not to lie, yet the most vociferous of those who proclaim Your name tend to lie a lot. So how is it that I was supposed to imagine the existence of You with such contradictions at hand?"

After what you said about the impossibility of proving God's existence, I'm tempted to say that you're an agnostic theist. However, you're not one if your faith is strong, which it is. I would reserve that term for one whose faith in the Divine is rather weak and who feels uncertain about his own belief system.

Chocoholic: I'm sure that my analogy isn't taken literally, though it might spice up a SOMA meeting if it were! Maybe I should actually show up there and ask the agnostics how likely it is that the Divine exists.

I hope that you figured out by now that I'm a math major - otherwise probability wouldn't be this exciting! I'm such a big nerd!

  • Thanks for capitalizing the word "Divine," since it is proper grammar to do so. I am sorry that I haven't been doing so until now.

bige1030 10 years, 1 month ago

There's actually more than I thought there was to the whole agnostic "whatever" labeling. I found the website, http://www.apatheticagnostic.com, of the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic. They can't be classified as agnostic atheists or theists, since they live the same way regardless of whether the Divine exists. To them, if there is a "god" (sic), then it is apathetic to us.

I've gotten myself into a mess trying to define things, haven't I? (sigh)

bige1030 10 years, 1 month ago

The_Original_Bob: I didn't intend to talk about your version of Christianity, but that which is heard the most - that of political leaders, radio show hosts, and the like. I guess that one who is out with his faith would think that he is one of God's "most vocal followers." My bad.

I never really intended to embark on a journey into belief debate with my post (let alone change someone's mind) - just a clarification of a few terms :) But it's all good and well, as I am up to talking about it with anyone who's serious about discussing it.

I suppose that it will be hard for anyone to convert me from my agnostic ways, since I've been hurt so much by so many people's views of Christianity - probably not yours, since you seem very open-minded - but other people's views have hurt me.

It's great to hear that your church is so open. Recognizing a lesbian couple's marriage in public is a big deal, especially in a church that doesn't perform the ceremonies. It's great to hear that there are churches that accept gays out there.

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