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“Keep your God if you must”

By Stephen Tardrew

To those who suffered abuse at the hands of the Christian religion, thank you with all my heart for telling your stories. I will listen and support so they can be held truly accountable.

Catholic apologists, there is no excuse. Drop the magical mythical hypocrisy and come home to a rational science-based reality in which you stop hiding behind a lie. Love is what you are. It is not the belief system you wrap around your fragile egos.

Keep your God if you must, however, your members vilify and brutalise the most marginal people in this country – including refugees – in the name of God. Who will stand against this deceitful model of judgement, blame and retribution? People don’t create their realities; they are, more often than not, victims of circumstances. It is not a few rotten apples when it goes from bottom to top. Catholic Church, you all know deep down while people suffer and die in abject poverty and you attend your grand edifices in your clownish regalia. You are not moral people.

Your ritual is primitive and your dishonesty legion. No more deflecting. No more it is a minority, or it is not us, it is your religion and all of you are accountable. A dogma of shame, prejudiced and endemic cruelty and sexual abuse. Many of the leaders of this country are so-called Christians while they willingly destroy the biosphere and vilify the low income and the poor. No more. No more until you throw away your veneer of love and do what your Christ would have done. Sell your riches and save the poor and marginalised. I have worked in the welfare sector and know the way staff are underpaid and programs are slashed as you all put in tenders to undermine each other while managers and directors cream off the top with high wages and rewards.

How can anyone with a moral sense join any of these religions that endlessly live a lie while claiming the opposite? This has gone on for much too long. Point is, I don’t think many of you have the courage to do anything about it. You don’t feed people with endless bible study and theological polemic nonsense … no-one will read while people are homeless and suffering. This garbage has no sound rational or evidential basis and if you want to believe it then be honest; you are projecting your fantasy onto others. Your organisation is not democratic. It is a theocracy of hierarchical authority built upon myths.

Believe it or not I support a secular society, however, when religion is at the forefront of the greatest injustice and inequity to infest this planet it is time to call a spade a spade. Remember Christians voted for the Vietnam war, Iraq, Libya, the endless coups in South America, the current vilification of Russia – which is no worse than anyone else – while carrying on a bunch of illegal global interventions so don’t give me your holier than though rubbish. “It wasn’t me” does not cut it anymore.

Yes, there are good people in all religions however when their overall actions are based upon war mongering, corporate corruption, hoarding of vast wealth while people are homeless and starving, your religion is a travesty. This goes for all religions of wealth and power.

We are at crisis point and religion is one of the major contributors to the infection of irrationality and stupidity that is ruining this planet. You want a Christian society, well then if this boiling mass of inequity and corruption is it then you can stick it. No wonder people are leaving in droves.

To all those who suffered abuse at the hands of religions … my heartfelt sympathy, compassion and love.

 

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84 comments

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  1. Andreas Bimba

    The fundamentalist evangelical christians that so strongly influence right wing politics especially in the U.S. and that almost universally implement policies that are contrary to the original Christian values of helping the poor, the sick and the powerless are particularly reprehensible. The rapacious greed and destructiveness of the world’s ruling wealthy elite, whether religious or secular is the most reprehensible of all.

  2. Kronomex

    Whenever I hear about the catholic religion I am reminded of the pope, John Paul II, who asked for forgiveness of the “errors” of his religion for the previous 2,000 years. 2,000 years? The destruction of cultures in South America (the Maya spring to mind), the Crusades and the witch hunts just for starters. Actually I think I’ll stop there, Andreas pretty much sums up for the rest of how I feel.

  3. Matt

    Your allegations of the Catholic church are quite justified. However, do not confuse one church with the Christian religion. Please also do not confuse the actions of people who claim to be Christians with the Christian religion.

    “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16

    As for morality being what you are told or what you think is right – that is a whole can of worms. If you are raised – as many are today – to believe in your so-called rights, that it is ok for you seek your own profit at the expense of others – then that is being told a morality much as a religion does. Your morals must come from somewhere. You think this doesn’t apply to non-Christian Australians? Well again the deeds reveal the reality. How many Australians have rushed into buying investment houses not thinking that in doing so they are depriving a family of owning their own home? Is this what you mean “by doing right regardless of what you are told”? And don’t tell me that people do this to provide houses for renters, the statistics tell otherwise – most investment homes bought by everyday Australians are existing homes, not new ones.

    Christianity is a religion of love, it says that love for others must always be our highest motivation. Do not drag it into the mud by conflating this beautiful creed with the lowly motivations and actions of fallen and corrupted men and women, regardless of whatever religion they claim.

  4. Joseph Carli

    “The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord.”
    ― Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  5. Matt

    Joseph,

    Edward Gibbon wrote quite a good book, but I think in regard to the relationship between religion and philosophy he was somewhat controversial. In these matters it seems he may not have had an even mind, apparently being not only anti-religion but also anti-Semetic, here is what he said about Jews:

    “where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but also of humankind”

    See for example:

    http://www.antisemitism.org.il/eng/Anti-Semitism

    and:

    https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2017/02/edward-gibbons-jewish-problem-can-a-great-historians-anti-semitism-be-exonerated/

    “Lerner reveals how Gibbon, in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, employed the Jews as a useful foil indirectly to criticize Christianity”

    Matt

    NB the above quote is a verbatim citation from Dio Cassius, Historia Romana LXVIII, 32:1–3: The Jewish Uprising:

  6. Joseph Carli

    Oh, Matt..Gibbon, if you read closely, despised with equal vitriol all monotheistic religion…he was a pagan at worst , an atheist at best…and I too despise those religious demagogues of what ever faith who see no future for humanity than eternal servile submission to a substitute patriarch (God)…get on your knees if you like and stay there in humble obsequience for the rest of your worthless life if you so desire..but remember…one slip of the tongue..one falter into lust with the mind..one slighting exchange of fraudulent financial dealing and your benevolent dictator will thrust you into your hell of eternal damnation as quickly and as surely as the most deviant and cruel earthly tyrant resident on this planet…You, Matt..along with the rest of sinning humankind are doomed!!…For – f*cks – sake…give it a rest.

    And as for the “Jews”..the name, along with the nation never existed until these later times…even Shakespeare’s Shylock was never described by him as a “Jew”…the word first appeared in the seventeenth century…and there never even was a name : “Jesus” as the letter “J” was not in the Latin alphabet and the Greeks didn’t have such a name…Israel never existed except a vague reference to an “Izrael” up above the Black Sea somewhere near Azerbaijan…

    And in the “Jewish wars” ..it was the infighting between the Hebrew and other tribes that killed each other and Titus virtually only had to walk into Jerusalem and do mopping-up operations…

    I sympathise with Gibbon in the fact that I can’t stand any of the useless religious f#ckers!

  7. Matt

    Joseph,

    Your understanding of God is completely different to mine. He does not want us on our knees, He does not need our worship, He does not condemn people to hell, in fact He is very sympathetic to our struggles and our failures. But He does want us to grow strong in the respect that we gradually learn to put aside our own desires and wishes in favour of love and care for others – fault that if you will!

    Regarding hell I believe the following:

    “Don’t you see that I am a Lord of Life?! Don’t you have every reason to rejoice?! Why are you so faint hearted? – God’s love, meekness and mercy are infinite, and He does not forget even the least of His created beings. The God of revenge lies only in your fantasy. You made him that because only a revengeful, stern God appeared to the Jews as worthy of veneration, wherefore so much emphasis is placed on His judgements which, however, were always only the consequence of the wickedness, foolishness and obduracy of men. But I am the Father Himself, Who has now descended in the form of man in order to show His immense love to the people and to open to them the gates of life which they have barricaded themselves.”

    Source: Jakob Lorber: Great Gospel of John (GGJ XI/37-43)

    see: jakob-lorber-australia.net

  8. Will

    Ghosts Devils talking snakes etc etc my 7year old son wouldn’t believe that shit for a second! Got me f*cked how grown adults still believe it. Some Americans in the Bible Belt think humans and dinosaurs co-existed. You can’t fix stupid.

  9. Joseph Carli

    ” He is very sympathetic to our struggles and our failures. But He does want us to grow strong in the respect that we gradually learn to put aside our own desires and wishes in favour of love and care for others – fault that if you will!”…Human..all too human..

    “Source: Jakob Lorber: Great Gospel of John (GGJ XI/37-43)

    see: jakob-lorber-australia.net”……..Who give a f#ck what another guru says. : ” Jakob Lorber was born in 1800, he was a simple and humble man. At 40 years of age he received a series of dictations as a voice in his heart. Following this he …”

    The Dromenom Labyrinth.

    ” One set comes from the Gnostic tradition of the Chartres School, and the other from Sufi beliefs.”..

    Well, there you go !..and I had in mind ‘Greeks bearing gifts’..Many years ago I was “involved” with a lady deeply immersed in the psychic..hey! I don’t make these things up , you know !! And so I was taken on the trip with the Full Monty..I still have a couple of pics somewhere with myself and a couple of the faithful holding a stick with some loosely tied chook or crow feathers on it as a kind of symbolic “connection” to “our” spiritual ancestors…..and why not?…my grandfather did breed chooks after all..and granny had her turkeys !…but it was at one of those workshops where people go back into their past lives and discover their tribal roots….strange how many American Indian princes there are in the anglo-saxon gene pool!….Of course, one wouldn’t like to discover a spiritual ancestor who was ..say ; Outer Mongolia prince…the image of “horde”, “massacre” and Genghis Khan springs to mind…the same with Germanic princes…: Attila and all that!…no, no…safer to wander the ancient forests of Seattle with Pocahontas or Running Bear on ‘the shores of Gichigoomie’ (spelling ?)..after all ..all they did was hunt buffalo and make jokes about two dogs!

    But I had to give that relationship away when it got to joining in public performances of full-moon circle-dancing on the suburban beaches….I mean..fair go eh?…there’s only so far a young bloke can be expected travel for such things..eh?…I’m a great believer in the spiritual myself..why..I’m almost a Buddhist, y’ know? There was this moment at one of the monthly meetings of “The Dromenom Circle”, where we were all expected to bring some example from our jobs that would show the spiritual connection between our everyday working life and our inner soul…As you know, I was in the building trade….heavy then…full on!….I thought of Ron th’ brickie…my mind went blank on spiritual connection somewhere between sweating and swearing..after all..the “thing” in building for the tradie, is the finishing of the product….or as James Joyce said to his portrait painter wtte ;… “Don’t worry about the spirit of the thing, just get the tie right!” ..Then I made three different wooden joints as an example of the advance of the human vanity from the ancient Egyptians with a heavy-beam “scarf-joint” spanning the rooves of temples, to a early concealed “fox-joint mortice and tenon” used in high-class chair manufacturing to the creme-della-creme ; “three way concealed dovetail” joint for use in display cabinets…I thought they were symbolic of the innate desire in humans to conceal the structure of a thing, yet contain the strength of construction of a thing….that sort of stuff….jeez!..they took some time and effort to make..esp’ the three-way-dovetail…but, you see…they were too ‘industrial” to be given mush more than a curious glance..nothing spiritual in the actual working structure of things, so much more in the finished facade…the gargoyle gets more attention than the corbel supporting it.

    So that was my experience with labyrinths…I walked them, I talked them…I did a lot of listening about them…them and Joseph Campbell on mythology…jeez! he put out a lot of books and tapes….that’s it..; Cosmology…there’s a science there somewhere, I’m sure of it….Though I’m buggered if I know…one can only travel so far down someone else’s road..and then it seems that while they are spiritually walking a “field of wild-flowers and buttercups”, all you are seeing is brambles and thorns….there comes a time to walk another path…perhaps a ; road less travelled.

  10. Matt

    Will,

    The bible is metaphoric and allegoric. I am a Christian and I too do not believe in talking snakes.

    Also: “some Americans think humans and dinosaurs co-existed. You can’t fix stupid.” – I think your reasoning here is somewhat flawed, logically you are presenting the following syllogism:

    Proposition 1: Some American Christians believe X, therefore all Christians believe X,
    Proposition 2: Believing in X is stupid, therefore all Christians are stupid.

    The logical flaw lies in the inference of Proposition 1.

    Matt

  11. diannaart

    “Christianity is a religion of love”

    Could someone wake me up when this “love” starts? It’s been over 2,000 years.

    I have seen the love of a few individuals whose compassion was as much a part of them as destruction is a part of the ‘pious’ Tony Abbott. The innately compassionate have nothing to do with any religion, they would’ve been caring whether they had been born into Christian, Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist cultures.

    Love has nothing to do with religion. Love does not require dogma nor doctrine – you don’t even have to be human. My old dog had more love in her dew claw, than any of the noisy self proclaimers of piety.

  12. Joseph Carli

    ” The logical flaw lies in the inference of Proposition 1.”…That there is a Heavenly God?…THERE you have the flaw!..

    House without love.

  13. Freethinker

    At the end of the day, IMHO, it is not a problem of religion, regulated societies, political parties or ideologies,etc, It is the human behavior.
    As we are participating in this debate, hundreds of man are going to the Philippines and some Asian countries to take advantage of the poor and sexual abuse children and woman.
    These low life individuals are workers in holiday, scientists, retirees, members of religions or political parties, any kind that we can image.
    Some people act alone, others join a religion, political party or even select a job where they can satisfying their greed.
    I do not follow or agree with any regulated religion, further more I was victim for 2 years of physical abuse (no sexual) by working very hard at the tender age of 11 and 12 years old in an Catholic agricultural college. They have exploited me.
    Do I blame all the Catholics for that? No
    Do I blame the organization? yes.

  14. Joseph Carli

    ” The bible is metaphoric and allegoric. “…So are the host of “traveling salesman” jokes…

  15. Will

    Well said j c

  16. Ann

    Matt, thanks for the link to Jakob Lorber. Reminds me of the work of New York psychologist Helen Schucman who scribed ‘A Course in Miracles’.

  17. Keitha Granville

    It seems to me that current factions of Christianity have very little to do with Christ.

    The organisation that is the church these days is the very thing that Christ railed against (if we are to accept that Jesus Christ existed as an historical figure) and I venture to suggest that if he appeared today he would rail against it again and another whole split of beliefs would begin.
    He was a Jew, he didn’t like the way the hierarchy was behaving, so he complained.

    Right at this moment, Jesus would weep.

  18. Win jeavons

    Matt; thankyou for your contribution to this theme. Jesus called on people to follow, i.e. Imitate him. Where is any record of his wearing rich robes, building cathedrals, performing ancient rituals to approach his God ? I call myself Christian and have consistently voted against wars since Vietnam, for decent attitudes toward refugees, for the poor and needy here and around the world. Which I back with my charitable giving, even though , paying no tax now, there is no tax gain for me. Also I try to act to minimise or avert environmental damage (God’s earth?) and climate disruption.

  19. Joseph Carli

    “Where is any record of his wearing rich robes,…” Interesting you should mention robes, Will…one of the lures to get pagans to “come across” to Chistianity in the early days of the faith was to offer a robe with hood to those men who would allow themselves ” to be baptised in the name of the Lord”…It worked well..too well in fact that it had to be stopped because the elders found out that many families would go from location to location that was offering such reward until the whole family was well clothed!

  20. paulwalter

    Yes in the New Testament. Christ tell a young rich man to get rid of his possessions including his posh clothing and follow him instead, but the young fella squibbs at the enormity of it.

  21. paulwalter

    People don’t like religion because it ask something of them rather than offering them a freebie.

    Which is not to say it isn’t hokum, of course…(geez, they’ll be after me next, nails anyone?).

  22. Matt

    Paul,

    I like Chesterton’s comment in relation to this:

    “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

    And I do suspect that there are probably very few who do really seriously try it.

    But actually, the difficulty is all relative. It is hard to try and restrain one’s own selfish desires, and to try and limit one’s needs and demands on others and the earth, and I have not done much in this regard by any means, but even so I have reaped the other side of the equation, which is a glorious freedom from anxiety and fear – which are tools used by evil forces today as ever.

    Matt

  23. diannaart

    I was baptised into the Church of England as a babe in arms – which, I understand goes by the moniker, Anglican Church these days.

    At age 8 my sister was belatedly baptised, she had learned to talk and asked the perfectly reasonable question, “why did this man wet me?”

    When I was ten I began questioning the bible stories we were told – to my friends.

    When I was twelve I wrote an essay on questions for which Christianity either had no answers (the ministers, religious instruction teachers, other adults couldn’t answer except with platitudes) or questioned me for questioning.

    At thirteen, I was an atheist – in thought if not in full expression.

    As for Christianity being “too difficult” – I would posit that accepting life as it is without doctrine is far more difficult.

  24. stephengb2014

    Just a couple of lessons from Neil DeGrasse should fix you up!

  25. Joseph Carli

    You know…you could quote wisdom, research, historical fact and any number of logical reasons why religion is a fools paradise and they would not bother with a word of it…Far better in their minds to believe what was written by mad-men, drunks, opiate-afflicted delusion, murderers and killers and plain fraudsters…in there is their “truth”…they are just hopeless..and down that path lies madness….a beautiful, simplistic, glorious madness…Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!….FFS!

    And Chesterton was a convert to catholicism..and we ALL know how fanatical THEY are!

  26. Matt

    Ann,

    Thanks for your link also. I particularly like the following passage:

    “Equals should not be in awe of each other because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours […] “No man cometh to the Father but by me” does not mean that I am in anyway separate or different to you.

    from: http://openacim.org/freeperson_text_vol1.pdf

  27. Matt

    Diannaart,

    So you walked away from Christianity because some people could not answer questions that probably no-one has been able to answer since the beginning of time? Sounds like you want an answer machine rather than a relationship of love, which – as understand, is what God offers us and allows us to offer each other.

    Matt

  28. Freethinker

    Paul, it appears to me that cardinal Pell does not understand well Latin because he spent over $150000 in decorating his apartment in the Vatican.

  29. Joseph Carli

    Aww, Matt…you’re making it up as you go along!

  30. diannaart

    That’s right Matt, I was a ten-year-old questions machine.

    The answer I have found, being a tad more mature than ten, is that there is no answer. The point being, the research/journey being just as important as the destination. Scientists know this. They know their discoveries always lead to more questions and research – this is how we learn.

    Religion does not learn – that is why is it called doctrine.

    …and Matt, quoting doctrine does not further your argument.

  31. paulwalter

    Thanks Matt. And diannart.

    Of course, diannart, admitting you were a pest at tens year old (as was I) in no way indicates you are still a pest now.

    Freethinker, Pell is possibly the perfect example of pride coming before a fall. We all do it. His likely error has been in blustery denial because he has come to believe he is “special”; in believing the flattery of the Miranda Devines of this world. He has taken to hiding behind his religion rather than trying to understand what it seeks of him and he is due to pay that thumping price that comes with a heavy fall, as we all eventually do somewhere in life.

    I like to hope that life has some educative purpose, so the sooner George has his Damascene epiphany (if guilty), the sooner he (and potential victims) will be able to move on also.

    Although, of course, it is unwise to pass judgement with certainty until events have run their full course. So,we will have to show, even a little more patience, concerning George and his situation.

  32. diannaart

    PW

    So,we will have to show, even a little more patience, concerning George and his situation.

    Of course it is all about George… although, try telling that to the people who have suffered for so many years. Whether through negligence or deliberate abuse, George has questions to answer. Anyone who has risen near the top of a hierarchy missed the turnoff to Damascus a long time ago.

  33. Joseph Carli

    And talking about “George”..the original “St. George” (of George and the dragon fame) , bishop of Alexandria was an absolute tyrant and arsehole who eventually was hunted down and literally torn to pieces by the mob!…But they made him a saint anyway…because that’s how one does religion, you never heed the angst of the people, you RULE them with threats, however sublime , of fear and punishment…the dagger always follows the kiss.

  34. Ann

    Matt, ACIM is one challenging book but the pay-off was worth it. If you prefer videos you can try ACIM + Marianne Williamson “Everyday Grace” or ACIM + Burt Harding.

  35. paulwalter

    diannart, I thought you knew me better than that.

    I am talking about the trial upcoming and any commentary that may derail the trial by being perceived as prejudicial to a fair hearing for Pell. If he has done wrong. I don’t want him off the hook any more than anyone else (should he proven guilty in public view)..

    The trial itself will in fact be very much a trial for George himself, but there will be powerful forces out to derail it on any pretext, especiaily as some types of testimony and evidence emerge as many suspect will happen, that some would prefer not be aired, as would happen due to an aborted trial.

  36. diannaart

    PW

    Nah, I don’t know you all that well, any more than I know the other regulars to AIM. Which is why we can always surprise one another.

    I agree the trial will be a trial for Pell (and his accusers). I also agree there will be strategic efforts to derail the trial – unlikely to be supporters of the accusers 😉 funny about that.

    I am concerned how well prepared the Victoria Police work is for the legal team.

    While I am aware there are genuine, sincere Catholics who have every right to feel discombobulated (perhaps they could join with beleaguered Muslims in a support group). I have little time, respect or concern for the Catholic Church – a gold encrusted insult to anyone’s god, little more than an idol in fact.

  37. Matt

    diannaart,

    Sorry but you completely misunderstand spiritual development when you say the following:

    “The answer I have found, being a tad more mature than ten, is that there is no answer. The point being, the research/journey being just as important as the destination. Scientists know this. They know their discoveries always lead to more questions and research – this is how we learn.

    Religion does not learn – that is why is it called doctrine.”

    Science asserts that the universe is real, and it seeks to understand that reality as a ‘collective’ enterprise. Because it is collective, and ever expanding -as you say – no individual can know or appreciate the whole. Each is doomed to be a ‘specialist’ i.e to know very well only a very small part of the overall ‘reality’.

    Christianity also asserts that there is one reality – one truth. and INDIVIDUALS seek to find that truth. The difference is that in Christianty the individual’s knowledge grows as he or she comes to better and better understand the truth and thus God. His or her knowledge/understanding is not a fractured thing growing in a collective, but growing within the person. One’s relationship with God and Truth is thus a personal relationship, quite different to the impersonality of science.

    But to say that Christianity means there is no learning is a complete and grave error.

    Matt

  38. Joseph Carli

    “The difference is that in Christianty the individual’s knowledge grows as he or she comes to better and better understand the truth and thus God.”

    Of course.That’s “Grans'” opinion.

  39. Joseph Carli

    Matt..the insult to humanity is the casual “air” that religos’ place upon their proselyting, when in fact there has never been any plague, disease or natural disaster that has deliberately betrayed, divided and slaughtered young, old, healthy or infirm than religion..the butchery, the debasement, the slavery cannot be ameliorated by ANY AMOUNT of appeasing slogans or so called “gospels” calling for “love” and “peace” and “yielding to the will of god”…The proselytising of whatever religion is the promotion of a new era of the killing fields and those who do ought to be ashamed of themselves!

  40. Anniebee

    Stephen …. an excellent article, opening up much debate and soul-searching [ perhaps to those game enough, including me, to do it ], … something we all need to do from time to time – but not aligned with any ‘religion’ as we know religion to be, today. Religion and true soul searching / honesty, do not compute.

    Keitha …. ( June 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm )

    I sooo do agree with you. Jesus – the Jewish man who was pretty radical for his time, tried to teach ‘goodness’ … maybe the word ‘love’ was used here and there, in relation to his God, who he called his “Father / Master” … but I don’t think he ever explained anywhere in the New Testament, exactly
    what ‘love’ is ?

    In part, on that basis I agree with diannaart …. that there IS no explanation. ” Love has nothing to do with religion. Love does not require dogma nor doctrine – you don’t even have to be human. My old dog had more love in her dew claw, than any of the noisy self proclaimers of piety. ” … “Love” is not explainable in simple – or for that matter, any terms.

    If anyone here can describe what ‘love’ truly is, I would really appreciate hearing it.

    My own understanding of it, frail as that probably is, means ‘goodness / kindness / charity { towards other human beings – not in terms necessarily of money } / understanding / assistance to those needing it …. all of which we try, but probably fail miserably at – daily / weekly / monthly / yearly, because none of us are perfect beings. Jesus himself, according to him, was also not a perfect being. … He relied on his own belief in a higher being than himself, for perfection. And he went out among the people to teach gentiles and fallen Jewish souls, souls sorely in need of something to hope for – for redemption ( bearing in mind his jewishness which was a good thing ) … that there IS a better way to behave, to feel, to live, to endeavour.
    He was, I believe, a radical teacher of better ways of life – but that has been fiddled with, altered, discredited and disgraced by humanity over time – in the form of many hundreds of religions / sects / cults … all of whom claim a greater knowledge than anyone else in their ‘beliefs’. All of which does NOT lead to kindness and generosity of spirit – but rather to …. ‘power’ … or at least to some warped sense of same. … And adoration of power, is the pits.

    Joseph Carli …. I find your comments somewhat abrasive and mocking – especially those of [ June 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm ]. And in a further comment you made the following : ” the word first appeared in the seventeenth century…and there never even was a name : “Jesus” as the letter “J” was not in the Latin alphabet and the Greeks didn’t have such a name ” …. which probably doesn’t matter as ‘Jesus’ was referred to as Yoshua by Messianic Jews – ( interesting article if you wish to pursue it ) : https://jewsforjesus.org/answers/an-introduction-to-the-names-yehoshua-joshua-yeshua-jesus-and-yeshu/

    Which language came first, is no longer relevant, except to serious students of language and its’ origins.

    A most interesting debate.

    Thank you Stephen for opening up this subject.

  41. stephentardrew

    Thank you all for your contributions. I read all with interest and openness. Many points of view make a good discussion and it is one we must have. The thing is it is urgent that we resolve the interface between magic, mythology, religion and science quickly because we really are facing difficult times made worse by ignorance and dogmatism.

    Anniebee thank you kindly for the direct comments very much appreciated.

  42. Anniebee

    Michael – – –

    ** Note … I tried to edit a previous rather long comment as I had left out an html validation ( I think that’s what it is called ) … and received a note at the end of the post ( before time had run out ) … showing “You can no longer edit this comment”. ?? Much of the italics in the body of the comment are not necessary, and might tend to give a wrong impression.

    Not to worry, I guess….. If it is read, I hope it is done so in the context that it is meant, particularly onwards from the “J Carli” ( bolded ) quote …. which should not be read in italics.

    Wondering how this happened ???, especially as the original answer has now disappeared altogether 🙂

    I am very disappointed, as I think I made some valid and well researched comments, and have not the heart to try and repeat it all … except to say thank you to Stephen for an excellent, thought provoking article

  43. Michael Taylor

    I think you only get 5 minutes to edit since to comment was published, Annie.

  44. Anniebee

    I know Michael … but I had approx. 1+ minute left to correct it – and if I HAD missed the 5 minute mark, the longish comments, should have shown up anyway – with incorrect italics and all ?? All my research gone down the gurgler. Have often run out of editing time, but the comment still appears, as is ( warts and all ).

    I have never ever seen that comment ” you can no longer edit this comment” before.

    It’s all simply gone, yet Stephen has thanked me for my direct comments …. so I am presuming he might have seen it ??? somehow ?

    Not to worry … I should be less lazy and copy and paste my comments to a Word Document … serves me right for being lazy. I do copy to save, but don’t use any other format to paste to. !! That’ll teach me to cut corners, won’t it 😉

  45. diannaart

    Matt

    Christianity, your religion is the one true religion, right? Were you born in a Christian culture? Which Christian culture, the one in Saudi Arabia? Greece? Russia? Ireland?

    Just think, if you were born in a culture which was primarily Hindu, you would still be dismissing my point of view and claiming Hinduism as the one true way of spiritual enlightenment.

    …or, in Japan, ancestor worship, or in Syria, Islam would be your one truth.

    You just happened to be born… wherever …and your first days on earth… you were an atheist. You had to be indoctrinated into your belief system with no proof whatsoever… and now you challenge those who do not share your beliefs. That’s very arrogant.

    Matt, I do not actually have any argument with you. You can believe in elves and fairies – just so long as you keep it to yourself. Spiritual development is not about proselytising – it is about maturing within oneself. Spiritual development is not external, it is not overbearing others; it is internal, like love. Except love can be expressed, it is not a set of beliefs based on superstitions, you either have love in your heart for all or you don’t.

  46. Anniebee

    It has now magically re-appeared. … Thanks Michael.

    Had never seen that comment before ” you can no longer edit this comment” … thought I had lost the lot.

    I had over 1 minute left to edit. … I try to be very very aware of editing time.

    Well, that was one way of having a minor conniption, for me. 😀

  47. Michael Taylor

    Annie, for some reason your comment was caught up in the system. I dived in and saved it. ?

  48. Michael Taylor

    Annie, did you delete your last comment?

  49. Anniebee

    Thanks so much Michael – for saving my comment. Much appreciated.

    And yes, I did delete a comment, as it related to more of the same grizzle and weep I was having – and then I discovered quite by chance, scrolling up – that it had re-appeared. Had rebooted AIMN, and found you had worked your magic.

    Ta muchly ….. 🙂

  50. Michael Taylor

    Would you like me to delete it again?

  51. Matters Not

    Matt note this comment:

    Spiritual development is not about proselytising – it is about maturing within oneself. Spiritual development is not external, it is not overbearing others; it is internal, like love. Except love can be expressed, it is not a set of beliefs based on superstitions, you either have love in your heart for all or you don’t.

    Now that’s a perfect example of a culture free comment. You know ‘culture free’ claims like – love can be expressed, it is not a set of beliefs based on superstitions .

    Or maybe not?

    Then there’s : either have love in your heart for all or you don’t. Now that has to be ‘culture free’? Of course there are those who think that the ‘heart’ is there to pump blood around the body. Just silly buggers. Apparently, the ‘heart’ is the centre of emotions – with ‘love’ having a staring role.

    I shake my head. Religion takes so many forms.

    I feel lonely. LOL. And happy to be so.

  52. Joseph Carli

    ” Joseph Carli …. I find your comments somewhat abrasive and mocking …” Indeed, they were meant to be…the biggest mistake we, as a society can make is to lower our guard to these religious barbarians..they have had thousands of years to infiltrate, dictate, and corrupt civilised research and science..

    We nearly had organised religion beat in the early seventies when the progressive Baby-boomers had discarded organised religion of the Abrahamic faiths in Australia before the betrayal of the Fraser Govt’…they were on their knees as far as attendances went and now, after letting our guard down , here we are again with a community divided down religious lines, even though now most of Australia have rejected religion…
    You cannot let up on these ghastly prosetysers..they are akin to criminals, they rob the pockets of the poor , they steal the education opportunities of society and they indoctrinate toward hate both children and the simple minded of the citizen body.

    WE must never underestimate their evil intent..

    There is nothing in their philosophy but oppression and power..their corruption has penetrated to the highest positions of power..why?..because that is where they can do the most damage and make the most profit..mockery and debasement of their hocus-pocus is the best way to defeat them..and I will continue to mock them in whatever way I can and which they fully deserve.

    I was instructed through my primary school years in a catholic convent school…I could not without vivid description give you an impression of the callous, cruel indoctrination those foolish nuns and priests did deliberately go about their systematic brain-washing, as per instructions from the high office of the diocese on how to educate those most vulnerable children…THAT was more than abrasive and mocking..it was a deliberate mind-bending exercise.

  53. Kaye Lee

    I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me

  54. Zathras

    Christianity is the religion of love? Really?

    It may be if you believe the phony Disney-fied Hollywood version of its history and ignore all the facts.
    Many make claims about the brutality of other religions but few know the true history of their own.

    From it’s bloodsoaked origins where they slaughted thousands of pagans in the killing fields now known as Syria, through the Spanish Inquistion and more recently the attempted ethnic cleansings in Germany, Bosnia and Botswana, just to name a few.
    In Botswana, some members of the clergy not only condoned the killing of 800,000 but actively participated.
    There was also the historical obliteration of several cultures through invasion and settlement as Christianity raped and plundered its way around the globe.

    While Christianity may not have directly stared many wars, despite its self-proclaimed high morality it has never stopped a single one.

    Hitler has been blamed for the killing of 6 million Jews (plus others) but chances are that he never killed any himself. That work was left up to his willing Christian followers who wore military uniforms with “God With Us” engraved on their belt buckles.

    All religion is potentially toxic and never more so than now, and has been a handbrake on human progress for millenia.

  55. Anniebee

    Michael ….( your question June 30, 2017 at 10:37 pm ) – – – tks, but no thanks. Don’t want anything more deleted. All seems right now, to be left as is.

    Ta muchly ……. 🙂

  56. paulwalter

    re diannart, it seems they have gun lawyer robert Richte representing Pell, no doubt others also costly. They couldnt find the money to help rehablitate the priests or help the victims though.

  57. Joseph Carli

    My last word on this subject..:

    https://liberationtheology.voices.wooster.edu/documents/document/

    6: Pope John Paul II Nicaragua Visit (1983)

    Pope John Paul II visited Managua, Nicaragua in March 1983. During this time the Sandinista government was currently in power. However, the Sandinistas began to face opposition for their communistic tendencies. For example, a group by the name of the Contra, which simply means against in Spanish, became prominent around 1979 as opposition against the Sandinistas. The Contras consisted of people against communism, followers of Somoza, and people who were left out of the Sandinista government. Another force of opposition was the United States, who ultimately helped fund the Contra, since they wanted Nicaragua to be a democracy. Another intriguing force of opposition was ironically the higher level of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

    One of the leaders of the Catholic Church that opposed the Sandinista government was Pope John II. Pope John II expressed his disapproval of communism during his visit in Nicaraugua, which just polarized the Catholic Church even more between those against communism and liberation theologians. Liberation theologians thus began to be condemned by others for supporting the Sandinsta government because they viewed it as not a part of the priest’s religious duties. However, the priests viewed it as their duty because they were supporting the poor.Ultimately, some liberation theologians were forced to leave the Society of Jesus, such as Ernesto Cardenal, Fernando Cardenal, and Miguel D’Escoto. This picture illustrates Pope John II publicly reprimanded the Jesuit priest and Sandinista Minister of Culture, Ernesto Cardenal

  58. Matt

    Diannaart,

    ” and now you challenge those who do not share your beliefs. That’s very arrogant.”

    I do not challenge others beliefs any more than you do. I argue for I what I believe just as you argue for what you believe – but it seems you would have me – and perhaps others, perhaps in the end all who disagree with you – just shut up? as per:

    “You can believe in elves and fairies – just so long as you keep it to yourself.”

    I have never suggested anything like this to others – that they should shut up – that would be extreme arrogance. I am happy to hear all arguments and to present my case.

    As for different religions in different areas, I beleive that you can find the truth in any religion. C.S Lewis, a Christian, explains a similar view point, which is voiced here:

    “the rival conceptions of God” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaGwF7A79_w

    Zathras,

    Earlier in the conversation here we dealt with the difference between Christian teachings and the actions of people.

  59. Matt

    By the way it is setting up a ‘staw man’ to replace an argument about God with one about “elves and fairies”. I never mentioned elves and fairies, and to bring it up seems like a deliberate attempt to diminish and demean another’s point of view. May I suggest, it even seems somewhat of a bully’s tactic.

    As for all those who would blame the sins of man on Christianity, it takes a particularly twisted, and very human, turn of logic to convert:

    “love thy neighbour as thyself”

    into:

    “kill thy neighbour”

    or

    “bugger thy neighbour’s children”.

    Matt

  60. stephengb2014

    Very young children belive on faith that their parents would not talk of fairies unless they were true. Indeed very young children, not so young children and adults, on faith alone, believe in this omnipotent invisible god who apparently looks like a ghostly grandad with a white beard.

    There is of course not one shread of evidence of the existance of an invisible grandad or fairies, except in well written books, written by men and women long after the verbal stories of fairies were supposed to have been actually visible. As for the invisible grandad he has never been actually seen on earth but adults have written so much about him and his apparent ability to create billions of people on our Earth, our Sun, our Solar System, our galaxy, the billions of Galaxies in our Universe, some 12000 (or is it 6000) years ago.

    Yes children and adults actually believe in fairies and Gods (esecially the invisible grandad ) just on faith which is based on the books written about them by MEN and WOMEN who have no evidence whatsoever of the actual existance of Fairies or Gods.

    Seems to me to be extremely childlike for an adult to believe in Gods when clearly they regard believing in Fairies as ‘childlike’.
    I suppose it is kind nice to have a childlike mind when your an adult, but I think it also a bit pathetic, and really how could you take anything such a person said as being anything other than well – ‘childlish’.

    S G B

  61. Matt

    Stephen2014,

    I cannot speak for others, but on my part my belief is based not on faith, but on the hardest possible evidence: the testament of my own heart:

    http://candobetter.net/node/3778

    So I think perhaps you might consider the possibility that your knowledge is not so complete as to know everything in the universe – visible or invisible, or rather in fact material and spiritual.

    As to what God looks like in human form, He looks exactly like Jesus, as the two are the same.

    Matt

  62. corvus boreus

    Matt (9:09),
    Perhaps those who choose to murder neighbours and rape children are merely following the example of that other ‘divine prophet’ Moses (of 10 commandments fame), since, according to the good book, he not only ordered his followers to invade (ie kill) their neighbours, but also specifically told them to kill all the captive women and boys, and to enslave all the virgin girls.
    Or was one of the ‘allegorical’ bits of the ‘holy book’?

  63. Matt

    corvus boreus,

    No, I suspect that is sadly true. But note that Christianity is based in the New Testament, not the old, which was Judaism. There is much more to this, but I doubt anyone wants me to go into that in this forum.

    Matt

  64. Kaye Lee

    Isn’t that website, candobetter, the one that printed a series of articles about the Port Arthur massacre and the “innocence” of Martin Bryant? Seems to me they make a habit of printing absolute bullshit. My computer won’t even let me access it – it immediately says “threat has been detected”.

  65. diannaart

    PW

    re diannart, it seems they have gun lawyer robert Richte representing Pell, no doubt others also costly. They couldnt find the money to help rehablitate the priests or help the victims though.

    Indeed, neither the abusive priests and of course their victims were high enough up the “food” chain of the church to warrant help.

    The priests did not require transfers to other parishes and the children needed to simply be listened to.

    Natch, Pell will have top shelf legal defence – just as a CEO of a massive corporation would expect. They deserve the very best you know.

  66. diannaart

    Matt

    On “elves and fairies”.

    I made the mistake of assuming you would recognise an analogy when you saw one, after all religious texts are full of them, aren’t they?

    Or are you a literalist?

    In which case, there is no fair and reasonable discussion with the likes of you.

  67. Will

    Give it up matt your only convincing yourself. Christianity is in rapid decline because people are being better educated. Work that out.

  68. Kaye Lee

    “He does not want us on our knees, He does not need our worship”

    Unfortunately, organised religion is based around worship That is what drove me away from the church. Incense, chanting, costumes, pomp and ceremony, intolerance

    Eat His Body, drink His Blood

    And we’ll sing a song of love

    Allelu, allelu, allelu, alleluia.

    I also refuse to accept women’s handmaiden role as dictated by the Men of God. Not to mention the obscene wealth hoarded by religious organisations.

    The part of the church that I loved was the coming together of the community to help others (and I DO love a rousing hymn though that entails ignoring the lyrics and just smashing it out as I play on the piano and sing loudly). But religion does not have a monopoly on good deeds. It is absolutely possible to not believe in any supernatural god but to be a person who cares for others and understands that the health and happiness of a society comes from the compassion, help and care that we collectively offer to each other.

    There should be much less focus on judgement, punishment and reward and much more on peaceful coexistence, co-operation, support and acceptance.

  69. Matt

    Kaye Lee,

    If you read through the posts above, you will see most of your questions have been addressed there already.

    Matt

  70. paulwalter

    Just a footnote on Joseph Carli’s comment re Nicaragua, I remember the rally for the Pope, his arrogant disgraceful conduct , the response of the crowd and feeling incensed at the Pope beyond measure.

  71. Zathras

    Matt,

    “Christianity is based in the New Testament, not the old, which was Judaism”.

    Jesus claimed his role was not “…. to abolish the Laws or the Prophets…but to fulfill them”.
    He never changed or refuted anything in the Old Testament and so as far as he was concerned it still stands and that’s why it remains part of Christianity.
    To that end he was born a Jew and died as a Jew and several versions of Christianity were created afterwards by followers.

    The New Testament was commissioned by Constantine to stop (the several) Christian sects fighting among themselves by coming up with a story they could all agree on and was progressively altered and updated at each Council of Nicea.

    Whenever Christians make statements or claims about Commandments or social issues like marriage, homosexuality and so on, it’s usually cherry-picked from the Old Testament and not the New.

    Christianity = Old Testament plus New Testament
    Judaism = Old Testament plus Torah
    Islam = Old Testament plus Koran.

  72. wam

    Indoctrination transcends abuse, stephen. the men of the church exist because the women of the church are given the divine faith that:

    ‘their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church’

    Should women understand the man’s god did not give them a brain, just a womb.

    The thought may occur that something else gave them a brain and a reason for christ’s preference for men becomes clear and the church admits women and changes or disappears.

    Dream on wam the diludbrabsimkims shows the boys rule everywhere.splitting the women to destroy any critical mass.

    The only way is to exhume the green white and purple.

  73. paulwalter

    wam, haven’t women often been complicit in this state of affairs themselves? Far too easy to move to one side then blame others when things go wrong.

  74. Matt

    Zathras,

    You are quite right, I did say there was much more to this, that I didn’t want to go into it here. The truth is the Old Testament had become completely misunderstood, and mis-interpreted, Jesus came to clarfiy the original teachings – with the classic example being the way he dealt with the stoning of the adulteress.

    But in case you think there is no difference, compare Judaism today with Christianity.

    Matt

  75. Joseph Carli

    I wasn’t going to say any more on this silly stuff, but are we noticing a bit of a pattern here..I men “Jesus” isn’t Jesus when he’s the old testament Yoshua, and Israel isn’t Israel when it was Iudea and the Christians weren’t really Christians when they were Jews, except the word “Jew” didn’t exist then so they were really “Nazereans” , except the real translation of “nazerean” meant “pauper” in those times and the new testament has nothing to do with the old testament except the old testament God the Father and the Gospel of John cannot be understood until it is filtered through at least a dozen translations and one or two gurus……and the entire bullshit philosophy gets changed and sifted through a ever modernising filter to suit the mood of the times so that the churches get richer and richer and richer..and THAT is the pattern!

    And there is that old joke about the stoning of the “adulteress”..where Jesus holds back the crowd and confronts them with the challenge :
    “Let the one who has not sinned cast the first stone!”…
    There is silence ..then suddenly this half a house-brick come sailing in from the back of the crowd, smacks Jesus in the face and knocks him flat to the ground..he gets up, looks to where it came from and cries in disappointment..:
    “MOTHER!..I thought I told you to stay indoors!”

  76. Matt

    Joseph,

    Well I like the joke, and I am sorry I have not replied to most of your posts, but to be honest, I cannot make heads or tails of what you are saying.

    Matt

  77. Joseph Carli

    “… but to be honest, I cannot make heads or tails of what you are saying.”…Matt..ol’ sol..you are writing the lines for me!..: Why can’t you understand it, after all , it is all metaphor and allegory!

    And please..don’t come the Shirley Temple cutsie on me (that’s a metaphor)..don’t be sorry..be truthful to yourself…Go read my recent post here on the subject : https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/house-without-love/

  78. Zathras

    Matt,

    And yet the common Christian punishment for adultery back in Alexandria was that the woman would be staked to the ground and have her entrails eaten alive by pigs and Hypatia was killed by a Christian mob by having her living flesh carved from her bones with razor sharp shells and broken tiles.

    Slavery and witch burning also persisted for centuries in spite of doctrine because it was condoned in the Bible.

    So much for misunderstanding – morality doesn’t come from religion but from mutual social necessity and Biblical interpretation provides not a reason but an excuse for modern behaviour.

    Modern Christianity is the result of infighting between various sects long before the rise of Protestanism and is still changing today with over 10,000 variants.

    As for modern Judaism, the Torah is as controversial and hostile toward unbelievers as the Koran but doesn’t attract the same notoriety.
    It was the main reason for their historic persecution long before Jesus came onto the scene – as far back as ancient Greece.

  79. Anniebee

    Zathras …. agree with most of what you have put forward here – but, not too keen on the blood and guts description of your last post ( July 2, 2017 at 10:49 am ) … even though it be true. There are two versions of Hypatias’ death, but they don’t differ much. …

    And the Torah is indeed controversial – as is the Qu’ran AND the Bible.

    Matt …. thanks for your comment ( July 2, 2017 at 9:17 am ) … I respect that…. Jesus ( or whatever anyone wants to call this great Jewish man ) … did indeed ( I believe ) come to clarify, rather radically for the time, original Jewish teachings.

    Those teachings remain today for the Jewish peoples. … They have stood the test of time, but to christians are probably seen ( often ) as barbaric and anti-women. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    While women may well remain seated at the back of the synagogue to this day ( ” the home, and not the synagogue is the most important institution in Judaism” ): http://www.beingjewish.com/kresel/synagogue.html)….. they are revered and lauded within the Jewish religion. For one example ( and please don’t see this incorrectly ) … no person can claim Jewish heritage, except through being the product [born] of a Jewish mother. One could claim all they like, that their father is Jewish therefore they are Jewish, but it ain’t so. Cannot be. Sounds weird in todays’ world, but that’s a fact.

    And thanks for the link to “The rival conceptions of God” … ( July 1, 2017 at 8:28 am ) … a very thought provoking video – so well constructed.

    wam …. indoctrination does NOT transcend abuse. … indoctrination is a constantly learned and brain-washing thing … abuse comes about from a myriad of triggers, not all of them taught ( or indoctrinated if you wish ). Abuse can be learned by a young person simply getting in with the wrong type of crowd – bowing to peer pressure to be a little mongrel, while his / her parents despair …. because they did NOT teach him/her how to be a bully or a despot. Happens so often in this day and age.

    Joseph … I too do not quite understand what you are aiming at – but one thing I would like to comment on – – – the Nazarenes. …. Jesus came from the Nazarene community of Judaism at that time. …. and perhaps they were poor ( as were many back then ) …. but he appealed mostly in his ministrations and teachings, to the gentiles ( non-Jewish ) who had not one iota of an idea of a higher power than themselves. They were pagans. …. He also appealed to fallen Jews, with promises of better life, if they followed his sermons and directives. I have never found in my studies of the bible, that he actually claimed outright, that he was the Messiah. ( stand to be corrected on that – to this day ) …. He took it upon himself to radically change the tendency to violence towards both men AND women. He largely instructed peace, but with quite a few warnings toward people not being obedient to what he was saying. … Rather think he was not one to be messed with.

    I am now agnostic … but previously studied much of the christian bible, and heard / read a lot of the teachings of the many allegedly ‘christian’ churches, sects, cults, off-shoots, et al …. but certainly not all. ….. [ it is claimed that there are more than 30,000 christian ‘bodies’ ?? ] …. Most christian ‘churches’ claim to be the owners of the ‘whole truth’ … against their brethren in other christian communities. …. One of the fallacies that christians ( who came AFTER Jesus – he was never a christian ) seem to adhere to, is the so called fact that Jesus was put to death on the cross – and that he with the two thieves beside him, were the only ones to suffer such gross punishment. Not so. … it was a given punishment to many hundreds of people, whether guilty or innocent, who were lined up hanging from ‘crosses’ ( T bars usually ) …. along roads leading to Rome and other parts, to dissuade possible law-breakers from their unlawful pursuits.

    Enough already …..

  80. silkworm

    Jesus was not an historical character, but rather a fictional character, loosely based on the real Hebrew messiah Judas of Galilee, who was the founder of the zealot sect. Judas Iscariot is another fictitious character also pointing to Judas of Galilee. Judas of Galilee was referenced in the gospel of Luke when Jesus is tried before Pilate, and the Hebrew elders ask whether Jesus is from Galilee.

    PS. There was no census under Cyrenius. That was also made up.

  81. Anniebee

    silkworm

    Interesting comments there. There are many who subscribe to most of the religious books being works of fiction ( over a period of time ) ….. however, you have made some statements here ‘as fact’, certainly the way you have written them, sounds like ‘fact’ …. and I would like some references / links to these, if you have them. ?

    And you mention Cyrenius …. there was another similarly named person – Quirinius – under whom was also conducted a census. There is much furore over the times of census taking in those ancient days.

    Would be interested if you have any credible evidence.

  82. Joseph Carli

    Anniebee..:

    ” Would be interested if you have any credible evidence.”…Since it is the likes of yourself that is doing the proselytising, should it not be incumbent upon yourself (being SO in touch with the “truth” and “wisdom” of “God”) to supply adequate “credible evidence”?

    And for “not quite understanding” what I am poking fun at, strange!..because here we have those like yourself SO savvy at interpreting metaphor and allegory and interpretation of vague and uncertain texts..:

    ” He took it upon himself to radically change the tendency to violence towards both men AND women. He largely instructed peace, but with quite a few warnings toward people not being obedient to what he was saying. … Rather think he was not one to be messed with.”

    Yet you seem quite certain in your interpretation of the above sentence..and as for the women ..: “Yeah!…the women!!”..the “Jesus” of the new testament was quite well supplied with willing women..like Mary and Martha jealously squabbling over his attention…: Luke 10:41.. ” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;”……Ha, ha!..Oh ladies..oh experienced gentlemen…where and when does one hear such placating and patronising things whispered into a lover’s ear?…That man was “having it off” with both of the sisters…dirrrrrty bastard!

  83. Anniebee

    Joseph C ….

    Wonder if ‘silkworm’ would appreciate you replying ( !! ) to a question I made of him ( not you ) … and going on to make some reference to my proselytising. ??? …. Being agnostic, it is virtually impossible for me to proselytise at all …. the word means to evangelize or convert ( particularly to a religion ). I have nothing to do with religion in its’ practiced form – or any form, but have studied the subject over the years.

    Continue with your poking fun at whatever it is you are poking fun at. …. I get that you are totally anti-religion, I guess all here ‘get that’. ,… Noticed you are a ‘rational atheist’ ( house-without-love link )… I get that too.

    I will not be responding again to anything else you have to say.

  84. Joseph Carli

    ” I will not be responding again to anything else you have to say.”…and don’t think I won’t appreciate it…

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