Monday, January 19, 2009

Gay bishop: 'Bless us with tears'


If a bishop spoke at a nationally televised event attended by 400,000, would anyone hear the prayer?

Not as many as you might think.

The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, delivered the invocation before Sunday's We Are One inaugural concert. But HBO started its live coverage after the prayer, and a problem with either the microphone or the speakers kept many in the audience from hearing his words.

I'm not among those who attribute this to a conspiracy to silence the controversial clergyman, whose election as bishop has stirred conflict and possible schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion. But I do think it's a shame, because the prayer is unusual in what it requests from God. How many of us would ask for the "blessings" of tears, anger and discomfort?

Here is what Bishop Robinson prayed:

“O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will bless us with tears – tears for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women in many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

"Bless this nation with anger – anger at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

"Bless us with discomfort at the easy, simplistic answers we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth about ourselves and our world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

"Bless us with patience and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be fixed anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

"Bless us with humility, open to understanding that our own needs as a nation must always be balanced with those of the world.

"Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance, replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences.

"Bless us with compassion and generosity, remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable.

"And God, we give you thanks for your child, Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

"Give him wisdom beyond his years, inspire him with President Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for all people.

"Give him a quiet heart, for our ship of state needs a steady, calm captain.

"Give him stirring words; we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

"Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

"Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

"Give him strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

"And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking far too much of this one. We implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand, that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity, and peace. Amen."

It is true, of course, that prayers need not be televised or amplified to reach the One to whom they are addressed. But I believe this particular prayer is worth reading, pondering and taking to heart. God save us from complacency!

What if you were asked to pray publicly for our incoming president? What would you say to God in earshot of a nation?

285 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Too bad this will probably be the most inclusive prayer at the inauguration.

Maggie said...

I was so disappointed to learn that HBO excluded +Gene's prayer. Thanks for calling attention to this.

Danbo59 said...

The man is a disgrace to clergy everywhere -- intentionally disregarding God's laws and commandments, setting himself up as his own source of truth.

There is only one Truth, and it is not a thing -- it is a person. Jesus Christ!

Iztok said...

Danbo, talking about Rick Warren?

Quibbles said...

I like the way the prayer appeals to a "God of many understandings" and then uses commonly understood words in unexpected ways. Reminds me of another preacher who was once denounced as a disgrace to the clergy.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie write, "Danbo, talking about Rick Warren?"

No, Izzie, I am not. I refer to the Right(?) Reverend Gene Robinson. I've not heard Rick Warren speak in opposition to the Bible.

Danbo59 said...

It's a shame that nowhere in the Rev's prayer (or was it a speech?) is there a call for a return to morality.

Very telling.

Iztok said...

Danbo, well when you said it is a disgrace I thought about Rick Warren and his intolerance. But I guess people like you prefer witch burning to spreading love. I wonder why people like Rick Warren are so much against homosexuality, after all it is God's creation and as Genesis says, all is good.

At morality? Which one? Hate your mother and father one? Abusing kids with threats of hell? Making abortions illegal so you can punish woman that do illegal abortion? Maybe stoning would be in order for those who would have illegal abortions done? (Good old biblical way of dealing with women.)

I am glad our morality evolved since that fiction book was written by men for men.

D.J. Williams said...

We certainly need tears. However, I pray that we will reserve a few tears for our abandonment of God's word and our elevation of the "god of our many understandings." When we begin to worship the god of our many understandings, the true object of worship becomes, necessarily, our own understandings. We become the arbiters of truth. We become god.

The great and sad irony is that while Robinson's prayer contained many needed petitions, it ultimately lacked the most important element of any prayer - focus on God himself.

Soli Deo Gloria

Iztok said...

DJ, you are seriously thinking that your God is so petty that needs constant focus and worship?

D.J. Williams said...

Needs? Of course not. Deserves? Absolutely.

Iztok said...

DJ, why is it deserving? Because of couple of million it killed? Because it set up the laws to stone women and kill disobedient children? Perhaps because we supposed to rejoyce while thrashing childrens' heads against the rocks? Because it tells us to hate our mother and father? Because it lied to Adam and Eve and set them up for a failure? Because it still punishes us for Adam and Eve's disobedience? Because it threatens us with hell?

Because it tolerates bigots like Rick Warren?

D.J. Williams said...

God is deserving of worship because he has created all things, sovereignly reigns over all things, is perfectly holy and just, and in spite of our (read: my) great sin and rebellion graciously poured out his mercy and love through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie is back to his old tricks again, saying, "I wonder why people like Rick Warren are so much against homosexuality, after all it is God's creation and as Genesis says, all is good."

Homosexuality is not God's creation. All God created was good. Man chose to debase himself, and homosexuality is an evil act that some men choose. Evil is the work of Satan and requires the acceptance of man. Man brought disorder into this world when he sinned. Adama and Eve removed themselves from the "perfect sphere of God's love and grace."

Izzie drones on, "At morality? Which one? Hate your mother and father one?"

Not familiar with that commandment. Sorry.

The droning continues, "Abusing kids with threats of hell?"

You don't abuse children by warning them of the consequences of their actions. Children don't go to hell, Izzie. Mortal sin requires 1) full knowledge of the evil of the act, 2) free choice in making the decision and 3) making the decision to act against God. Children don't have #1 until they come of mental and spiritual age, so to speak.

Droning 201, "Making abortions illegal so you can punish woman that do illegal abortion?"

I don't want to punish women for abortions at all -- I want to end abortions. Punishment is reserved to God. Abortion is not an issue -- it is murder.

Izzie rambles on, and on, and on,..."Maybe stoning would be in order for those who would have illegal abortions done? (Good old biblical way of dealing with women.)"

No, Old Testament punishments were dictated for the times in which the people lived. Different times, different ways of dealing with transgressions. That doesn't make the act anything less than evil.

And finally, "I am glad our morality evolved since that fiction book was written by men for men."

Not sure what book you are talking about.

God bless you, Izzie. Never has a sheep been more lost.

Iztok said...

"Izzie drones on, "At morality? Which one? Hate your mother and father one?"

Not familiar with that commandment. Sorry."

It is not commandment it is what Jesus requires of you to be his disciple. (Luke 14:26)

Danbo, don't blame me I am just getting info from "good book" you call Bible. I never claimed they are good advices.

Don't you believe that God created everything? Or is there someone else that is also capable of creating things at will? Didn't God create Satan? Thus Satan must be good? I know, you will bring "free will" argument. Which will ultimately lead to there is no free will in heaven thing.

Yes you abuse children if you can not provide ANY evidence of such dire consequences. It is abuse of children telling them that if they masturbate they will go blind for example.

You claim abortion is murder. Thus if such is true, we know how we punish murderers, don't we? We jail them and/or execute them. So this is what you want to happen to women that have abortions (or murder in your eyes)? I guess you didn't think this trough, did you? (Not that I expected you to see the consequences of it.)

"Not sure what book you are talking about." Thought it was obvious, but I will spell it out for you. I am talking about Bible. Best selling fiction book.

BTW: Have you seen the latest news when God smites worshipers, killed 7, injured 50? http://news.uk.msn.com/world/article.aspx?cp-documentid=12966977

Danbo59 said...

Izzie, the convoluted logic you employ is just so laughable that it hardly derves a line-by-line rebuttal. All your facts are wrong; you confuse Creation with action -- they're not the same.

You're right -- Once abortion is illegal, then it will also be murder in the eyes of the courts (it's already murder in a true Christian's eyes) and those responsible will be punished because they've violated the law.

Izzie. Truly lost. Truly angry. Hopefully you will let go of your anger some day and embrace the God Who embraces you.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie bats 0.000 saying, "Didn't God create Satan? Thus Satan must be good? I know, you will bring "free will" argument. Which will ultimately lead to there is no free will in heaven thing."

Yes.
No.
Yes.
No.

1. God created the angel (the physical), Lucifer (light-bringer).
2. Lucifer chose to do evil (action).
3. Free will is correct -- the angels have it; we have it.
4. There is free will in heaven, but that doesn't mean there are no consequences for the actions one may choose.

One of the problems with atheists is that they think there should be no consequences for their own (or anyone else's actions). Tough luck. There are consequences, even for the angels should they choose to do evil.

God created the angels and humans and the physical world. Certain angels and man chose to do evil. There is a difference between physicality and action. Homosexuals are to be respected and loved in a Christian manner as should be any sinner. But that does not make the actions of such sinners any less intolerable.

The truth hurts, I know. Learn it, love it, live with it, Izzie.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie wrote, "BTW: Have you seen the latest news when God smites worshipers, killed 7, injured 50? http://news.uk.msn.com/world/article.aspx?cp-documentid=12966977"

I hate to point out the obvious but exactly where does this story say that it was God who killed those people? If the story does say that Giod killed those people, on what facts do they base that finding? Eyewitnesses? Physical evidence? Circumstantial? Please elaborate.

Iztok said...

Danbo, is it not fact that Jesus said to hate your mother and father according to the Bible? Or are you arguing that Bible is wrong factually?

Isn't it fact that according to the Bible God created Satan? Isn't it fact that God said its creation was good?

Yeah it is easy to try to dismiss as factually wrong but your Bible says otherwise.

Talking about lost.

Here is what Bible says about who created evil: I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7, KJV)

Sorry I guess you've missed that particular Sunday school?

Perhaps some more moral teachings?

1 Timothy 2:11-15
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. -- Psalm 137:9

1 Peter 2:18
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

High morals indeed!

Iztok said...

"One of the problems with atheists is that they think there should be no consequences for their own (or anyone else's actions)."

Where did you get this misinformation? We all know that there are always consequences of actions. Perhaps you should at least familiarize yourself with Newton's laws. You know, basic education.

Iztok said...

"I hate to point out the obvious but exactly where does this story say that it was God who killed those people?"

Hm... so you are saying that God wasn't there? Or are you saying God wasn't able to prevent this? Or are you saying God didn't care?

Because I am confused as you don't seem to be consistent in your beliefs.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie wrote, "Because I am confused...."

Now you've got it! You are confused.

Take some of those Scripture refereces and do some research on what they mean instead of taking everything literally. Sucks taking Scripture out of context, doesn't it?

Danbo59 said...

Sorry, Izzie, the KJV holds no sway with me.

I form the light, and create the darkness, I make well-being and create woe; I, the LORD, do all these things. -- Isaiah 45:7. God 'permits' evil for the sake of the greater good; just as He permitted the murder of His Son to win Redemption for us all.

Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock. Psalm 137:9. The infants represent the future generations, and so must be destroyed if the enemy is truly to be eradicated.

Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse. -- 1 Peter 2:18. Most of the labor in the commercial cities of first-century Asia Minor was performed by a working class of slaves. The sense of freedom contained in the gospel undoubtedly caused great tension among Christian slaves: witness the special advice given concerning them here and in 1 Cor 7:21-24; Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-25; Phl. The point made here does not have so much to do with the institution of slavery, which the author does not challenge, but with the nonviolent reaction (1 Peter 2:20) of slaves to unjust treatment. Their patient suffering is compared to that of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21), which won righteousness for all humanity.

A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. - 1 Timothy 2:11-1. I don't see anything so radical here -- they are speaking of a woman's role in liturgical services. Women are not to take part in the charismatic activity of the assembly (1 Tim 2:11-12; cf 1 Cor 14:34) or exercise authority; their conduct there should reflect the role of man's helpmate (2 Tim 2:13; cf Genesis 2:18) and not the later relationship of Eve to Adam (2 Tim 2:14; cf Genesis 3:6-7). As long as women perform their role as wives and mothers in faith and love, their salvation is assured (2 Tim 2:15).

Even Satan can quote Scripture, Izzie, but he (like you) twists the words to suit his meaning rather than God's.

Iztok said...

Danbo, if you don't take Bible as literal then you run in all sorts of problems. For example, perhaps people who wrote God really meant something else thus the whole story is bunch of baloney. If you redefine words to suite your purpose then there is no end to what conclusions one can arrive. You can either take all or nothing. When you start picking and choosing you are on a slippery ground. KJV might not do it for you but it does for many. Are you saying that KJV is wrong? The issue I see with that is that we have many versions of Bible and even Christians can't agree which one is "the right one". Most of them accept only one as "true Bible" and object other version. Pretty much the same as with gods. Many religions have many different ones and take it for sacred and object other religions' gods. Take you for example, why don't you believe in Allah? Or Zeus You too are atheist when it comes to all but one god.

Iztok said...

"God 'permits' evil for the sake of the greater good;"

Please tell us what the greater good is. Because if you can't then this statement has no meaning.

Basically one could also say, God permits evil because he can't do anything about it or cares not to do anything about it.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie, are you reading for content? You said, "God 'permits' evil for the sake of the greater good." Please tell us what the greater good is.

I gave you an example already. Reread for content. If I knew all the greater goods, I'd be God.

Jesus never taught hatred of mother and father. To say so is but a shallow understanding of Scripture without understanding in context.

Atheism does not refer to disbeleif in Zeus, since he does not exist. There is only one God. The job is taken.

Iztok said...

Danbo, atheism refers to ALL gods. Your evidence for your particular one is just as strong as any competitors.

Zeus is just as real and just as powerful.

No, you didn't state what the greater good is. It is bs story you've been told and repeating w/o any evidence. You are fed that "if you knew such and such you would be god" it is just excuse you are told by people that know just as little as you about god (perhaps they fake it better and get paid for it) so you don't question their "knowledge" of the unknowable.

Great mind control that worked for centuries no doubt.

As far as homosexuality vs. homosexuals. Can you separate Christian from Christianity? If so then you will understand that all this making fun of is nothing against Christians, just about bs Christianity.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Danbo59 said...

Izzie, I stand by the Bible when it says, "Go from the presence of the foolish man when you perceive not in him the lips of knowledge." In other words, I shouldn't waste my time arguing with a blithering idiot.

Bye!

Danbo59 said...

To answer Jane's original question, if invited to deliver the opening prayer at the inauguration I'd pray for a return to morality in America -- a return to thinking of others before oneself, a return to putting the lives of others (including the unborn) as the highest priority of our nation.

I'd pray that America begin to realize that a healthy respect for human life, from the time of conception to the time of natural death would begin to solve a wealth of problems in this country (and in the world).

Iztok said...

Danbo, then you should know this as well from the same Bible:

Matthew 5:22
Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Welcome to hell Danbo :)

Iztok said...

Danbo, o I forgot, you follow the man in funny hat that joined Hitler Youth and lied that resistance was impossible. Oh morality.

I guess burning at the stake is more in line with your criminal organization whose priests seem to heavily practice pedophilia.

Justin said...

We get it Iztok- you're a nonbeliever. Christianity is about faith and I don't think you're redundant and fallacious arguments are going to shake anybody's faith.

Iztok said...

Justin, you are a nonbeliever too. So is Danbo. I just take it one step further one more god I don't believe in. You don't believe in hundreds I don't believe in those either plus I don't believe in yours. (For suitable value of yours.)

Iztok said...

More on morals:

http://www.denverpost.com/watercooler/ci_11526486

The trouble started when a $1,772.50 deposit to the Pratts' FNB Bank account showed up as $177,250 last summer. Police say that instead of telling the bank, they withdrew the money, quit their jobs and moved to Florida.

Randy Pratt tells the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise he did attempt to ask the bank what happened, but was ignored. He said he considered the money "a gift from God."

Anonymous said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzz....

Quibbles said...

In my prayer, I would ask people to bow their heads and silently give thanks, each in his own way, for the Establishment Clause.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

Establishment Clause? It merely states that Congress shall make no laws regarding the establishment of religion. That means setting up a preferred religion, such as a State religion, like the Anglican Church of England.

The Constitution does not prohibit the State's recognition of religion or of God.

What law is being enacted when Congress pauses to open their session with a prayer? None.

Deal with it.

Iztok said...

Danbo, freedom of is also freedom from.

Religious liberty, if it is to mean anything, cannot merely mean that the state won't use the police to stop or harass adherents of certain religious ideas. It must also mean that the state won't use more subtle powers, like those of the pocketbook and the bully pulpit, to favor some religions over others, to endorse certain religious doctrines rather than others, or to take sides in theological disputes.

Danbo59 said...

I repeat -- what law is being enacted by the prayer being said when Congress opens it's day? If you're angry enough to be an atheist, just shut up and be quiet while the prayer is said. No one is forcing you to pray.

Iztok said...

I am not angry. Interesting thing is that verbal abuse always starts from people like you Danbo.

First amendment is definitely in question when government sponsors religion. People like you are just blind because it is your religion that is being favored. Imagine that for a year prayer to Allah was being said in Congress? How would you feel? Would you shut up or would you start asking why are you as a taxpayer excluded?

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, "Imagine that for a year prayer to Allah was being said in Congress?"

Who's Allah?

Iztok said...

Danbo, Allah is god of the fastest growing religion. Strong competitor to your religion. They to have strong or even stronger faith you know.

Danbo59 said...

My point was that Allah is another word for the same God. God is God.

Iztok said...

Danbo,

in name only, not in the attributes.

For example: http://www.studytoanswer.net/ claims that your assertion is a myth.

http://www.studytoanswer.net/myths_ch3.html

I assume you believe Jesus is the same as God, right? Part of the trinity? Islam doesn't acknowledge it. It is at most prophet in the same footing as Mohammad.

So in Christianity Jesus is God in Islam Jesus is not Allah.

So let us examine your claims:

1. Allah = God
2. Jesus = God

And add:

3. Jesus != Allah/God (as specified in Qu'ran)

So how can it be? Since it is obvious that the fastest growing religion in the world is claiming Jesus is not God and you claim Jesus is God and Allah is God it seems someone is wrong or more obvious, everyone is wrong and there is no such thing as God or Allah.

We can go further.

In Islam Allah is unknowable. In Christianity God revealed himself.

In Islam adherence to good works is a paramount to reaching heaven, in Christianity relationship with God is the way to heaven.

In Islam Jesus is prophet, not divine, in Christianity that is not the case. (Discussed above.)

You can't take everything on faith Danbo. Some thinking and research does good sometimes.

Then once we've dealt with the fastest growing religion we have several others that are faster then Christianity that need to be addressed.

The Bahai Faith, Sikhism, Jainism, and Hinduism.

Not to mention LDS and Scientology here in US.

So how would you feel if their prayers would be uttered every day in Congress? Would you shut up? Or would you speak up?

Danbo59 said...

You analyze too much. You can skip the transitive property of equality and the logic primers. I've had them all.

Catholics, in the Mass, ask God to remember and bless "all those who seek Him with a sincere heart."

The fact that the religions don't see eye to eye on every aspect of God doesn't mean they aren't "seeking God with a sincere heart."

I'll let God sort it all out. he's gotten us this far.

By the way, the measure of an angle formed by two secants which intercept a circle is equal to one-half of the difference of the measures of the arcs they intercept.

Iztok said...

"he's gotten us this far." And you base that on what EVIDENCE?

No the issue is that I don't analyze too much, issue is that you take things without analyzing if it comes from a man with funny hat and his child molesting squad.

"By the way, the measure of an angle formed by two secants which intercept a circle is equal to one-half of the difference of the measures of the arcs they intercept."

Cool, I remember this from my 7th grade math class. Too bad I lost my notes during the move. Would be neat to brush up on this. However I admit I had to draw things out because I learned it in different language and had to translate this and visualize.

We also covered mythology in primary school (covered Jesus and Mohammad in that class).

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "...a man with funny hat and his child molesting squad."

I've no idea to whom you refer here. Sorry.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, ""he's gotten us this far." And you base that on what EVIDENCE?"

The beauty of Creation. Look all around you.

Iztok said...

Danbo, where is the evidence that this is creation?

Iztok said...

Danbo, you know, the organization whose leader is former member of Hitler-Jugend and wears funny hats. Whose priests that molested children were protected by the organization and victims shunned and/or paid off for their silence.

Iztok said...

"The beauty of Creation."

Sure, maggots, HIV, locust, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, hail ...

Hm... beauty indeed.

Plus not to mention it is rather Pantheistic argument don't you think?

Perhaps this short cartoon is for you: http://www.atheist-community.org/atheisteve/?id=52

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"What would you say to God in earshot of a nation?" - Jane

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." - Jesus

Iztok said...

Danbo, the principal in this story is the man I refer to as man with a funny hat.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/408/story/494367.html

"Pope Benedict XVI, acceding to the far right of the Catholic Church, revoked the excommunications of four schismatic bishops Saturday, including one whose comments denying the Holocaust have provoked outrage."

The man is a disgrace to clergy everywhere -- intentionally disgracing God's laws and commandments, setting himself up as his own source of truth.

Iztok said...

Case in point why belief/faith is dangerous. From bishops of the largest Christian sect in the world:

"I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against -- is hugely against -- 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler,"

"I believe there were no gas chambers,"

"I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them by gas chambers."

This is what happens if one believes. If one were to examine facts one wouldn't come to the same conclusion.

And flock follows such "leaders".

Disgrace to human race.

And here in US people are upset because openly gay clergy delivered prayer? And calling him disgrace?

Shame on you!

Danbo59 said...

Iztok -- I'm sorry, I missed those last points. Can you repeat?

Danbo59 said...

Rule # 1 - It's God's game and He makes the rules.

Rule # 2 - When disagreeing with any rule, see Rule # 1.

Iztok said...

Danbo, so it is God's game that you think gay bishop is a disgrace but Catholic pedofilic clergy enjoying protection from their organization) with anti-semitic ex-Hitler-Jugend pope in charge are to be praised?

Some twisted game indeed.

Whatever makes you sleep at night while defending the clergy who hailed Hitler. Sieg Heil!

Danbo59 said...

Izzie, you are still fixated and talking in riddles. Oh, well....

Iztok said...

Dumbo, sorry if it is over your head. Perhaps you should ask your priest to explain it to you.

Danbo59 said...

No thanks. He has real problems to deal with. He's not going to have time to unravel an agitated, angry atheist's ramblings. But thanks for the suggestion.

If you get any new material that doesn't come off the atheists' website, let me know.

Iztok said...

Dumbo, the anti-semitic stance of fomer Hitler-Jugend member Pope is not from atheist site. Perhaps you could ask your priest to ask his bishop to ask pope to confirm? That is if you dare and if you expect any to tell you the real truth?

Also the child molesting Catholic clergy protecting each other is not from atheist site either. After all your contribution helped paying the victims of such abuse by your sect.

As far as "real problems" do you mean praying to imaginary beings? The ones from "Bible is true because it is God inspired and I know this because Bible says so"?

Also, most of the things come directly from your Bible about God sanctioned genocides, incests and other "good" things.

Go "hate your mother and father" as commanded by your fictitious savior.

Quibbles said...

I can't imagine anything that isn't imaginary.

Danbo59 said...

[turning other cheek...]

I pray for Iztok. Please join me.

Quibbles said...

Is there a patron saint for manners?

Anonymous said...

Our Father, who art in pesto
Alfredo be thy name
Thy kingdom come, Al dente done,
on forks as it is on chopsticks
Give us this plate with garlic bread
be sure to give us napkins
As we give napkins to those who impress us
And lead me not to Olive Garden
but delivery from Carraba's.
For thine is the garlic,
the marinara and the oregano
Forever and ever
rAmen

Quibbles said...

Table manners are a start, yes.

The Iztok Credo said...

Note to New Readers and Sharers at this Blog:

The following three statements, from the mouth of the master himself, comprise the “Iztok Atheist Credo”. They are posted here to save the master valuable time in having to repeat them in many forms and shapes in his futile attempts to refute to those who are here to share their faith. This way his thoughts can always be made known at the start of a topic, and there will be no need to rehash them over and over again ad nausea. (This would have been posted closer to the start of this topic had more of us known that Jane had resumed her blog.)

It remains a great and deep mystery as to why the master insists on sharing his non-faith at a blog dedicated to faith issues. Perhaps in time he will reveal this dark secret. In the meantime, all that can be assumed is that he wishes you to abandon your faith per the adage “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Gonna Be Happy!”

His creed:

1. “There is no evidence of any kind that "spirit" really exists or what it is. It would be just as productive discussing an Invisible Pink Unicorn or Flying Spaghetti Monster, as they are just as real”.

2. “People who say they have faith are full of BS as they certainly don't practice what they say.”

3. “As far as what atheism stands for, it can be many things to many people. But mainly only one thing is important: We don't believe in Supreme Being of any sort. Faith is not such a great thing. We don't live by it.”

Probably one of the best commentaries ever on “The Credo” came from a post at this blog by a person called Bob, who notes that “According to The Credo, Iztok defines an atheist as someone who DOES NOT BELIEVE that God exists, as opposed to someone who BELIEVES that God does not exist. The emphasis is on the non-use of belief in making the judgment. If God KNOWS that He exists, then He does not use belief to reach His conclusion. According to Iztok’s eccentric definition of atheism, a God who knows that ‘I Am Who I Am’ is an atheist because He does not BELIEVE that ‘I Am Who I Am’. By the dictionary definition, God cannot be an atheist unless He either “denies or disbelieves’ His own existence. The rest is silence. Or should be.”

Iztok said...

To the anonymous coward. Perhaps reading dictionary definitions might help.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism

From Merriam-Webster:

2 a: a disbelief in the existence of deity

It also is not a mystery why I post here. As an Charlotte Observer subscriber, this is Observer's blog. Once this is no longer Observer's blog then it is a non-issue.

Bob said...

The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines "atheist" as "one who believes that there is no deity."

Anonymous said...

You could have fooled me. Here I thought that this is Jane's blog. So do you have definite proof you can share with us that this is the Observer's blog and not Jane's blog? I mean, is it the Observer of Jane that is providing the topics and thoughts expressed here, and if the former, just what is the Observer?

If Barack Obama starts a blog, would it be his or is it the "Government's" blog? He works for the government - in fact, for all of us - so wouldn't it really be our blog? I subscribe to big government.

If Jane starts a vegetable garden, is it hers or ours or the Observer's?

By the way, are you the Iztok whom I found via Google who is a minister of the First Church of Atheism? Their website said "Great news! Another Atheist Minister is available to perform ceremonies in and around Charlotte,NC! Rev. Iztok Umek is ready to serve all your needs."

So if you are a minister in a Church of Atheism, and a Merriam-Webster definition of "church" is a building or place for public worship, just what are you worshipping? What are you administering?

Iztok said...

Anonymous, no guts to even pick a nickname? Lack of faith I guess?

A little more research should also show you that most atheists worship the ultimate supreme being that created everything, including Christian God. His noodliness Flying Spaghetti Monster.

As far as the Observer blogs. Here is the link:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/blogs_columnists/



As far as the minister part is partly because I can and party because it is requirement in many states for one to perform certain ceremonies to have some sort of affiliation. Since I always wanted to be able to perform weddings such step was currently necessary as our government puts certain not so secular requirements for pure secular things as performing weddings and funerals.

Plus it is good to be able to sign with "Rev.".

Rev. Iztok

Bob said...

A compulsion to participate in empty ceremony. Interesting.

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danbo59 said...

The use of the title "Reverend" in front of an atheist's name is an affront. What degree do you hold in Theology? From what University?

Perhaps your title should be "Irreverend" (sic).

Iztok said...

Bob, compulsion from the state in order to be able to perform ceremony.

Dumbo, sorry I didn't pass the child abusing test to fit the criteria to belong to Catholic Church clergy. Bar there seems to be very "high" and I just refuse to abuse children. Sorry I do not share anti-Semitic views of your "infallible" pope (with faith so great that his churches have lightning rods and he uses "papa-mobil" for protection).

Agent Orange said...

What if the IRS checks on whether you've been reporting all your income from your ministerial work? You've probably been swamped by folks wanting to be married by an atheist minister, right?

Danbo59 said...

The Irreverend Iztok wrote, "...sorry I didn't pass the child abusing test to fit the criteria to belong to Catholic Church clergy. Bar there seems to be very "high" and I just refuse to abuse children. Sorry I do not share anti-Semitic views of your "infallible" pope (with faith so great that his churches have lightning rods and he uses "papa-mobil" for protection)."

Iztok, do you pick your words out of a dictionary at random? It'd make just as much nonsense and still be as totally wrong.

Danbo59 said...

It's bad enough that you have a one-track mind, Iztok, but that track runs in a tight circle.

New material is needed; may I sugegst a cogent and factual point? That'd be new territory.

Anonymous said...

"Atheists worship the ultimate supreme being that created everything."

Thanks for finally admitting it.

Let's see: You worship, minister, celebrate the sacred, have a church, etc.

If it looks like faith, tastes like faith and smells like faith, it must be faith. Welcome to the club!!

Bob said...

Amen.

Danbo59 said...

I can hear Iztok scouring the internet atheist sites now for his rebuttal. Talk about blind obedience!

Iztok said...

I guess irony is alien to both Anonymous and Dumbo.

Esp. on Dumbo. Faithful accusing others blind obedience? Talking about ultimate irony there.

Quibbles said...

Some people are so dumb they can't tell the difference between blind obedience and banal imitation. How's that for irony?

Iztok said...

Quibbles, so are faithful blindly obedient or banally imitational?

Quibbles said...

Neither. They are imaginative.

Iztok said...

Quibbles, so they are making up stuff? Makes sense.

Quibbles said...

They are imagining possibilities.

Iztok said...

"They are imagining possibilities."

Like that Earth was created old? Vs. it actually is old?

I guess. But people call such thins fiction.

Trying to return to the original topic. Dumbo seems to think that gay bishop (God created him gay according to Dumbo's beliefs) is abomination but anti-Semitic Pope is one of his idols?

Interesting how perpetrators think they are victims.

Quibbles said...

Next Iztok will be claiming that the parables never really happened.

Iztok said...

Quibbles: More important question then dissecting fiction is why people frown upon two consenting adults of same gender having sex behind closed door but seem to support (financially even!) organization that is headed by person with anti-Semitic tendencies. Organization that supported (and most likely still does) its child molesting clergy by moving them around not informing congregation about their children being in danger.

As parables are concerned, here are a couple from Douglas Adams:

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

". . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise."

PornStudent said...

I don't care much for the "God judges" part, but Rev. Robinson also prays for "a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences." God will judge the fat and spoiled of the world who let others die, not those who prefer a different kind of sex. This "judgment of God" helps us understand what is immoral and what is an innocent pleasure.

Danbo59 said...

God will punish -- in a manner befitting the sin -- all who break His commandments, including those who trangress his law concerning homosexuality and those who intentionally misrepresent the facts about His Church on Earth. Are your ears burning, Iztok? They should be.

Danbo59 said...

PornStudent wrote, "I don't care much for the "God judges" part...."

No kidding. Unfortunately for you, God doesn't care what you care to think. It's His game and it's His rules.

Quibbles said...

Iztok:

You don't have to believe in fairies. You get to.

Quibbles said...

Iztok:

If a puddle can do nothing to avoid his own demise, he is better off believing that he is special until the end. And is he wrong? What are the odds against a thinking and dreaming puddle?

Iztok said...

Quibbles: What are the odds that the hole was made perfectly to fit the puddle? I guess just as good as universe was created perfectly to sustain life.

Danbo: Don't forget to never wear polyester blend. Also, you can separate homosexuals and homosexuality in same sense you can separate Christian and Christianity. Not to mention it is God who created evil (according to fictional bestseller you worship). Plus it might be good if you start calling your deity by the name he chose and used for himself. (That is if you know what the name is.)

As far as intentional misinterpretation of the Bible. You can not possibly know what is the right interpretation. You even name wrong 10 commandments (as most Christians do).

Iztok said...

"God will punish -- in a manner befitting the sin --"

Yes and you call that a loving God?

True loving , benevolent, all knowing, all powerful God would:

1. Make his word (aka Bible in Christian word but other books for others) clear vs. convoluted mess.

2. Make world actually perfect w/o need for evil/suffering.

3. Still allow for free will (suffering/evil is not required for free will - unless someone claims there is no free will in heaven).

4. Be actually LOVING. I.e. no need for hell for those who find no evidence for blind obedience.

5. Would actually show up when asked for evidence. For example, when I was in a group of Christians and they asked me why I don't believe I told them that there is no evidence. They said if I pray (they will pray with me) that God will show his power to me. So I decided to take them for their word. My prayer went like this: "Dear God, please forgive me for my doubts but I find no evidence to trust people when they proclaim your existence. So I humbly ask for a miracle to show me your power. I would like to request you to grow John's leg (John was one of the people in this group who lost his leg a while ago) so he can walk and run again. Thank you! Amen." At that time people around were confused. Needless to say John still doesn't have his leg. I guess this was too much to ask from God, poor bastard was incapable of delivering a simple miracle. Science on the other hand flies you to the Moon, religion flies you into buildings.

Rev. Iztok

Danbo59 said...

Replying to Iztok's Theses...

1. ""God will punish -- in a manner befitting the sin --" Yes and you call that a loving God?"

Yes. My parents punished me as a child for misbehaving. They loved me, but punishment taught me consequences for my misbehavior.

2. "[A] true loving , benevolent, all knowing, all powerful God would:

a. Make his word (aka Bible in Christian word but other books for others) clear vs. convoluted mess."


It's clear to me. What could be clearer than this -- 'You shall love the Lord they God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your thought and you shall love thy neighbor as thyself?'

2. "Make world actually perfect w/o need for evil/suffering."

He did make the world perfect, without evil/suffering. Man introduced evil and suffering into the world by bowing to sin.

3. "Still allow for free will (suffering/evil is not required for free will - unless someone claims there is no free will in heaven)."

Suffering and evuil are the natural consequences of free will gone awry. You make the wrong choice in how to live, you suffer the consequences. That's a law of nature. There is still free will in heaven. If someone in heaven starts a revolt against they'd best remember there are consequences. It's God's game; it's His rules.

4. "Be actually LOVING. I.e. no need for hell for those who find no evidence for blind obedience."

Is that how you define "loving?" By no need for consequences? What kind of children would you (or do you, oh Father-of-the-Year) raise in such a household? Hell is the natural consequence of man choosing against God. God doesn't make that choice -- man does! God loves me more than any of us can know. You, too.

5. "Would actually show up when asked for evidence. For example, when I was in a group of Christians and they asked me why I don't believe I told them that there is no evidence. They said if I pray (they will pray with me) that God will show his power to me. So I decided to take them for their word. My prayer went like this: "Dear God, please forgive me for my doubts but I find no evidence to trust people when they proclaim your existence. So I humbly ask for a miracle to show me your power. I would like to request you to grow John's leg (John was one of the people in this group who lost his leg a while ago) so he can walk and run again. Thank you! Amen." At that time people around were confused. Needless to say John still doesn't have his leg. I guess this was too much to ask from God, poor bastard was incapable of delivering a simple miracle. Science on the other hand flies you to the Moon, religion flies you into buildings."

God did show up -- in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. As for your tired, lame repetitive regeneration of limbs argument, "Thou shalt not test the Lord, thy God." If your prayer to God had been sincere, you might have seen that there could very well be a reason why John had lost a leg. When God closes a door, he opens a dozen windows.

You are no Reverend, Iztok. As for calling God a 'poor bastard,' I'd suggest you get on your hands and knees and beg forgiveness for your blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

It'd be nice if the blog author could provide some input here.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"You shall love thy neighbor as thyself."

Oh Yeah!! Masturbation is good, but sex with others is better.

Quibbles said...

Iztok (or, one hopes, someone else):

Does Western religion teach that creation is perfectly suited to sustain life? My Bible says that God, after cumulative examination of the natural evidence, observed that creation was good enough to sustain life and very good for human life. What's your research say?

P.S. Putting aside trivial disputes about fact versus myth, is there significance in the detail that God imagines the world into existence by means of the spoken word? Quite postmodern, if you ask me.

Iztok said...

Danbo, your parents did abuse you but at least they didn't punish you severely disproportionate to your acts. God on the other hand not only disproportionately punishes but also punishes by association (several generations after the "sinner"). Sorry to say that is not an act of love, that is act of blind hate.

In our household we tend not to abuse our children and punishment is proportionate to acts committed. I do not ask for blind obedience without explanation as I don't accept it either. If I ask for something I have good explanation on why such request is made. I don't ask my kids to blindly offer me respect I should be able to earn it. Your God is unforgiving control freak.

As far as calling him poor bastard, if your God doesn't like it I am sure he will smite me before I hit the submit button. If he doesn't I can only assume he enjoys it. After all he calls himself Jealous. So I might correct myself. Jealous is a vindictive unforgiving control freak who became impotent in last few thousand years since book giving praise to him was written.

As far as "thou shall not test thy Lord". How convenient that book was written with such wordings. However if you would read your Bible you would see that Jealous was tested several times (Judges 6:36-40, 1 Kings 18:36-38, 2 Kings 20:8-11). So apparently until his impotence later down the road tests were ok.

Iztok said...

"My Bible says that God, after cumulative examination of the natural evidence, observed that creation was good enough to sustain life and very good for human life. What's your research say?"

What is very good for human life? We have vast universe that is mostly uninhabitable. You could hardly define this very good for (any) life, could you?

Let's say your job was to make something, like car parts for example. Only one in several billion would be good enough to be put in a car. Would you consider this a very good achievement? I wouldn't but I understand that some of you have different criteria when it comes to quality workmanship.

Quibbles said...

Iztok:

One argument for why creation is very good for human life is that I am here. The counter-argument, of course, is that so are you. It's a draw, then. But I don't see the problem with having a little extra space. It keeps the Borg from finding us too soon.

The first Genesis story does not say that the world was designed for human life. It does not say that the world was designed for anything. It does not say that the world was even designed. It says the opposite: that the world happened when God said for it to happen and that God periodically checked on the results to make sure that they were good before taking on something a little more complicated. You might even say that God's concept of creation evolved over time. Perhaps He wants us to go and do likewise.

Iztok said...

"One argument for why creation is very good for human life is that I am here."

So the hole in the ground is very good for puddle because puddle is there and fits perfectly?

Isn't it making more sense that puddle adopted to the hole instead?

Quibbles said...

I suppose the puddle adapted to the hole because that's what the hole was good for. It's hard to get puddles to give you a straight answer, though, so it's just my speculation.

Iztok said...

"I suppose the puddle adapted to the hole because that's what the hole was good for."

Hole is also just as good for being patched, covered with snow, leaves, or being left dry. But imagine the odds of the hole being perfectly shaped for that exact same puddle! What are the odds of that? Must be that God created particular hole just for that special puddle! No other hole would fit exactly for that puddle.

Quibbles said...

I'm glad that's settled. I was beginning to think this discussion had no point.

James said...

Danbo - "God will punish... all who break His commandments, including those who trangress his law concerning homosexuality"

Do you cherry pick Levidical law, or do you follow ALL of the law? For example, Leviticus 11:9-12 says it is an abomination to east shrimp. Strange, I don't see many Christians protesting at Red Lobster or Long John Silvers, do you? In fact, many Christians actually PARTAKE in this abomination! According to the law, shouldn't they receive the same punishment as homosexuals? How many people have you put to death because they were working on the Sabbath? You are commanded to by the Bible, so surely you must have followed the law, right?

Many theologians believe that Jesus condoned a gay couple, and the early church welcomed a gay man. But, I guess the preachers that are too busy pushing political agendas and lusting after money and political power to actually examine the TRUTH.

There is a war going on for your mind. If you are THINKING, you are winning.

D.J. Williams said...

James,

Could you show me where in Scripture Jesus condones a gay couple? Thanks.

Soli Deo Gloria

Danbo59 said...

James asked, "You are commanded to by the Bible, so surely you must have followed the law, right?"

Correct.

Where I have failed to adhere to God's comamndments, I expect to be judged. I've surely sinend in the past; I've sought forgiveness and received same (that's what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is meant for) and I resolve not to sin again.

Thanks for your concern.

Now, let's see the rest of you accept judgment for your sins. But that's the problem -- you don't consider them sins because you write your own commandments. That is the biggest sin of all.

Iztok, your license to child-rear should be revoked.

Danbo59 said...

DJ wrote, "Could you show me where in Scripture Jesus condones a gay couple?"

DJ, thanks for asking that. I was pondering whether or not to ask for his absurd ratrionalization on that. I want to see his revered list of "theologians" who espouse this.

Danbo59 said...

James wrote, "...and the early church welcomed a gay man."

So, what's the big to-do here? The present Church welcomes gay men and women, too. The Church does not shunm homosexuals, the Church shuns homosexuality (sin). The Church shuns all sins.

Danbo59 said...

From James' blog -- "I’m not sure which my parents would be more upset about – that I voted for Barack Obama or that I am now an atheist."

If I were they, I'd be upset about both. But at least now we know that you are just another troublemaker looking for a fight in a blog that has absolutely nothing to do with you. Why are you here? Why are you not, instead, trolling atheist blogs?

Iztok said...

Dumbo: "Now, let's see the rest of you accept judgment for your sins. But that's the problem -- you don't consider them sins because you write your own commandments. That is the biggest sin of all.

Iztok, your license to child-rear should be revoked."

Sure, can you SHOW us the judge for these sins? Bring him down tonight at the CLT square (Trade & Tryon) and alert the medial. I am sure it will make national news. Once I see that I will believe you.

No I am not writing my own commandments, I am not like men that wrote Bible (those did write their own commandments). My morals are result of human evolution and parental upbringing. I don't consider wearing polyester blend, eating shrimp, working on Sunday etc. a sin because they simply are not. In fact I consider the mere notion of condemning someone that works on Sunday an immoral act. I also don't condone slavery (yet holy book does). Sorry, my morals are definitely higher then those of God of OT and even NT.

As far as child-rearing is concerned. It is not your decision to make. This state has trusted me with few temporary and also a permanent care of children based on my actions and my morality. The people who were involved were deeply religious and knew about my atheism. Interesting thing is that abusers of children that were put in my care were all Christians. (Some morals did they learn from Bible huh?)

Danbo59 said...

Iztok, why not just post your own blog and then link to it from here. It'd save you the trouble of repeating the same tired lines over and over an over again. They make just a much nonsense as they did the first time you wrote them.

Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe.

Bob said...

DJ:

In answer to your question to James, I offer the following: You probably know these things already, but I thought I'd mention them:

The suggestion that Jesus might have accepted gay relationships as legitimate is made by the theologian Theodore W. Jennings, Jr. in a book called "The Man Jesus Loved." The argument is based on the healing of the centurion's servant, which Jennings suggests might have been a young gay lover. An inference about Jesus own possible homosexuality is based primarily on references to the Beloved Disciple in Gospel of John and to a fragment found near Jerusalem which some scholars argue might be a missing piece of the original Mark. The arguments are speculative, to be sure. They might even strain credulity. But they are not unserious.

A more interesting take, in my view, is a book called Homoeroticism in the Biblical World by Marti Nissinen. It suggests that the Biblical passages hostile to homosexuality should be read as reflecting a particularized aversion to the exploitation of boys common in Greco-Roman culture, and not as a more generalized condemnation of all same-sex relationships. Again, not exactly conclusive stuff, but worth thinking about.

D.J. Williams said...

Bob,

Thanks for the info. Yes, I'd say they strain credulity. What about the centurion's servant suggests a gay relationship? The idea that John's use of "the disciple Jesus loved" indicates a gay relationship is just plain laughable. This is an example of a modern reader attempting to read their own conclusions into the text. Contextually, there is absolutely nothing to suggest a homosexual undercurrent in those instances. As per the mysterious Mark fragment, the manuscript evidence shows that to be a pretty far-fetched claim.

I'm more familiar with the arguments you mention from the second book, an honestly, they just don't hold water. The Greek word that is used of homosexuality is a blanket term, not the more specific idea some suggest. The multiple occurances (esp. the condemnation of Romans 1) make it pretty clear that it is homosexuality in general that is under discussion. That's not even taking into consideration the Levitical command, which was hardly influenced by the Greco-Roman world.

If one wants to accept homosexuality, then so be it - that's certainly the prevailing view in our society. I'd just prefer that people would say "I know that the Bible condemns this but I don't care," then to see them perform exegetical backflips to try and make Scripture support their case.

BTW, Bob - don't take this as a tirade against you. I'm not trying to shoot the messenger here, but those arguments are more speculation than evidence, as you pointed out.

Soli Deo Gloria

Danbo59 said...

What *if* the centurion's servant was gay? Did healing him indicate an acceptance of homosexuality? No more than casting the demons out of man (who had probably maimed or murdered others) indicate an acceptance of violence or murder.

Jesus came to heal sinners -- people. He didn't come to say to sinners, "You sin so you are not going to get the benefit of my healing grace." To have said so would have made his journey to and through this world unnecessary.

Jesus came to show us that we -- frail as we are -- could aspire to rid the world of sin on our own, because He was just as human (and still is) as we are. If He could resist sin, so could we. And to sweeten the deal, Jesus told us our sins would be forgiven if we we faltered in the future and asked for His Father's mercy and forgiveness. Talk about as near to heaven on earth as is possible!

Bob said...

DJ:

The messenger deserves to be shot, but the reprieve is appreciated. I wasn't taking sides. Just trying to identify where the argument comes from. I personally agree that the Jennings thesis is weak.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

I agree with Danbo59 and Iztok, God doesn't turn away homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

"The Church does not shun homosexuals; the Church shuns homosexuality."

Isn't that like saying that the IRS loves taxpayers; it's just that it abhors taxes? Doesn't make much sense. The two are inexorably connected.

Or maybe: "The Pope (or whoever)loves Jews; he just doesn't love Judaism." That makes as much sense.

Wouldn't it clarify things to simply state that "The Church loves all mankind except those who practice what we don't preach?"

Bob said...

You're thinking of the First Church of Atheism.

Church Going Slut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Could you show me where in Scripture Jesus condones a gay couple?"

Conversely, can you show us empirical evidence that proves God doesn't condone homosexuality?

I'll settle for a video clip, but doubt if I can attach much credence to a voice recording or to some scribe's account of what he believed God told him sotto voce. Heck, I'm pretty sure I'm devinely inspired as well, so that counters Peter, Paul, etc.

Just show me the clip.

Danbo59 said...

Anonymous writes, ""The Church does not shun homosexuals; the Church shuns homosexuality."

Isn't that like saying that the IRS loves taxpayers; it's just that it abhors taxes? Doesn't make much sense. The two are inexorably connected."

1. No
2. You are correct; you don't make any sense.

Anonymous writes, "Or maybe: "The Pope (or whoever)loves Jews; he just doesn't love Judaism." That makes as much sense."

I agree, you still haven't made a proper analogy.

Anonymous asks, "Wouldn't it clarify things to simply state that "The Church loves all mankind except those who practice what we don't preach?""

It might clarify what you are trying to say -- but it would be an inaccurate statement. Only a person with a specious grasp of English would equate abhorence of an action with hatred of the person who commits the act. Christians are called to hate sin; not the sinner. If we hated sinners, we'd have to hate ourselves.

Danbo59 said...

MSL (why are we permitted to use account names like this?) writes, "I agree with Danbo59 and Iztok, God doesn't turn away homosexuals."

Finally, we agree on something.

Homosexuals are not shunned by God unless they persist in sinful activity without remorse. Homosexuality is sinful activity.

Iztok said...

Danbo, now you understand why Christianity is so bad. Christians are ok, one has to love sinner it is the sin (Christianity) that is the problem.

You know, science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Homosexuals wouldn't be homosexuals if they didn't practice homosexuality, unless they are born homosexual, which is something they aren't responsible for and can't change, like their race. If God shuns homosexuals because of the acts that define them as homosexual or because it is how they are born, then He is shunning homosexuals. Being wise and loving, God doesn't shun them for either reason.

Besides, homosexuality is no less loving than other sexual preferences and inclinations. God has no reason to shun those who openly and cheerfully enjoy sex with those of the same sex.

Quibbles said...

And atheism doesn't get you anywhere.

Iztok said...

Hm... well the brightest in this country disagree. "According to a 1998 report in the journal Nature, a recent survey found that 93% of NAS members are either atheists or agnostics." (from creationwiki even!)

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "You know, science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings."

I've heard that before. It was...oh, that's right -- it was from you. Stale. Pointless. Iztok.

Danbo59 said...

MSL wrote, "Homosexuals wouldn't be homosexuals if they didn't practice homosexuality,...."

Sure they would, just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic -- but they can abstain from alcohol. Homosexuals can abstain from sex. Sex is not a right.

MSL wrote, "...unless they are born homosexual, which is something they aren't responsible for and can't change, like their race."

There has been no study to conclude that people are born gay.

MASL wrote, "If God shuns homosexuals because of the acts that define them as homosexual or because it is how they are born, then He is shunning homosexuals."

Incorrect. Refer again to the alcoholic analogy. God shuns pornography and also the purveyors of it -- not because of who they are but because of the choices they make in disobeying His laws.

MSL wrote, "Besides, homosexuality is no less loving than other sexual preferences and inclinations."

This is an opinion. References?

Danbo59 said...

Just because a person is book-smart does not mean that they are right about everything. In fact, the more one relies on science the more apt one is to accept science as God. Science was created by God. The NAS survey just polled people who could not see the forest for the trees.

I've know people with 180 IQs who couldn't replace a light bulb on their own.

Iztok said...

Danbo uttered: "Just because a person is book-smart does not mean that they are right about everything. In fact, the more one relies on science the more apt one is to accept science as God. Science was created by God. The NAS survey just polled people who could not see the forest for the trees."

No, but at least we don't claim we know things that are unknowable (unlike religious people).

No, scientists would never accept science as God. This is utter nonsense. In science the premise is question EVERYTHING in religion is question NOTHING. In science the greatest achievement to be made is to get better explanation for world around us (better theory) then one in existence, in religion no such thing.

"Science was created by God." Hm.. you have EVIDENCE for this? Or is this from circular logic of God exists because Bible says so and I know that Bible is true because it is God inspired?

"I've know people with 180 IQs who couldn't replace a light bulb on their own."

I know people who are religious (practicing Christians) yet they can't raise kids without abusing them. In fact we all know the largest Christian sect that knowingly covered for their priests abusing children.

Good thing is that I am not one of those with 180 IQ who can't change the light bulb. I've changed all the light bulbs in my house to CF ones on my own.

Iztok said...

"Sure they would, just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic -- but they can abstain from alcohol."

So you are saying that one can be Christian but not practicing Christianity?

Your example is flawed anyway. One can enjoy alcohol without being alcoholic. So one still can practice drinking alcohol without being alcoholic. I guess one could practice homosexuality not being homosexual (at least not admitting it I guess - as we see in case of Tedd Haggard).

Can one call herself pregnant without pregnancy itself?

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "I've changed all the light bulbs in my house to CF ones on my own."

Good for you. I, on the other hand, have bought a lifetime supply of real light bulbs that will last me and my kids forver. Global warming, come and get me.

Danbo59 said...

Religion teaches us that if we don't find the answer to everything, it's OK -- God will reveal it to us in time.

Quibbles said...

Iztok:

According to a recent article in Psychological Bulletin, studies around the world have repeatedly shown that devoutly religious people tend to live longer, to have more satisfying marriages, to do better in school, and to be happier generally. (McCullough & Willoughby). They probably spend fewer lonely nights blogging, too, but that's just a guess. So, there you have it. Atheism for hard work and achievement. Theism for music, art, literature, and enjoyment. Thanks, chump.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Your example is flawed anyway. One can enjoy alcohol without being alcoholic."

I'm afraid the flaw is on the other foot. Just because the reverse of a statement cannot be proven true does not negate the truth of the original. Shame on you -- you flunk logic 101.

Can one perform a homosexual act without being a homosexual? I don't know. It's irrelevant. The act is immoral and sinful. What do I care what label you want to attach.
Back to school, Izzie.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie, you are a card! Since when does saying, "...an alcoholic is always an alcoholic -- but they can abstain from alcohol" mean that anyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic? Laughable. You're reaching.

Danbo59 said...

Quibbles, in case you haven't been listening to Iztok long enough, his story is that he is a disgruntled Christian. He's pissed off at God -- whom he knows to exist -- for something that has happened to him in the past and takes it out on God like a kid holding his breath against his parents until he is blue in the face.

Of course he denies this, but only a person with an intense hatred of something he knows to exist would hang out on a blog intended to facilitate the exchange of ideas concerning faith.

He has nowhere else to go. His hatred of all things Christian is the only thing he has left in his life. Without it, he's empty. I pray that he'll drop his act and realize his mistake before it's too late for him. Worse, can you imagine the effect he has on his wife and children?

Danbo59 said...

To deny your kids one's own faith in God -- that truly is abuse.

Iztok said...

"I, on the other hand, have bought a lifetime supply of real light bulbs that will last me and my kids forver."

Bless your heart.

Iztok said...

"Religion teaches us that if we don't find the answer to everything, it's OK -- God will reveal it to us in time."

Hm... I guess God did a piss poor job at revealing answers until some hard thinking humans came along and start figuring things out. What a shame.

Back on topic. If according to you one can be homosexual w/o homosexuality, can one be Christian w/o Christianity?

Iztok said...

"Atheism for hard work and achievement."

Thanks for pointing this out. I never claimed atheism comes easy. If I wanted easy I would be religious.

BTW: It is also shown that secular alcoholic treatment works better on long term then religious (AA) one. I.e. has better results of keeping people sober and alive.

Iztok said...

Danbo, I never was religious. My parents brought me up in a way that I was informed about different mythologies but I never subscribed to any including Christianity.

BTW: Spreading willful lies is a sin as well. 9th commandment on your list. Check it out.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Comparing homosexuality to alcoholism is making things more complicated than they are.

First of all, the analogy fails immediately because homosexuality is not considered a disease.

Secondly, we're talking about God shunning people (or not) because of what they are or what they do, not whether people addicted to alcohol can function and live long happy lives.

Thirdly, God doesn't shun alcoholics whether they continue drinking or not.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"God shuns pornography."

This is an opinion. References?

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asked, "...can one be Christian w/o Christianity?"

Do you mean can one be aChristian without accepting the beliefs of Christianity.

No. Christianity is a set of beliefs, not an "activity." One of the beliefs of Christianity is that actions speak louder than words, but Christianity is not, in and of itself, an activity.

Homosexuality is an activity, Christianity is a set of beliefs.

Wow, you are really reaching far!

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

There is no evidence that homosexuality is less loving than other sexual preferences and inclinations. To say they are without evidence is unloving and probably bigoted.

Danbo59 said...

MSL wrote, "'God shuns pornography.' This is an opinion. References?"

Sure, no problem.

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male or female slave,.... -- Ex 20:17

and

You shall not commit adultery. -- Ex 20:14

combined with

You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. -- Mt 5:27-28

Your references?

Danbo59 said...

MSL wrote, "There is no evidence that homosexuality is less loving than other sexual preferences and inclinations. To say they are without evidence is unloving and probably bigoted."

Opinion on top of opinion. You're entitled to it, but it doesn't make it any more true.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him." The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this outrageous thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish." - Judges 19:22-24

Danbo59 said...

MSL wrote, ""While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him." The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this outrageous thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish." - Judges 19:22-24"

Your point is...?

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Where is your evidence that homosexuality is less loving than other sexual preferences and inclinations? If you insist they are, then what does that make you? Jealous? Desperate?

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

If you can't recognize porn when you read it, how can you criticize it? This is rape porn right out of the Bible.

Quibbles said...

I don't see the point of your evangelical project. If you have a hard life as an atheist, and I have an easier, longer and happier one as a theist, and we both get the same benefits from science, why shouldn't I just kick back and use my imagination on Sundays? Religion is no more imaginary than truth, justice and the American way. There are bad uses for imagination, of course, but there are even worse ones for rationalism. I'll eschew my dark side if you eschew yours. Truce?

Iztok said...

homosexuality - the quality or state of being homosexual

(1st item on Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary)

Quibbles said...

That comment was to Iztok, if it wasn't clear.

Danbo59 said...

"MSL writes, "If you can't recognize porn when you read it, how can you criticize it? This is rape porn right out of the Bible."

It's a narrative on the actions of rapists. It's not written to arouse prurient interests! If so, every newsppare article that stated 'A raped B' would be publishing porn. There are no details on what occurred.

You can't be that ill-informed, MSL.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "homosexuality - the quality or state of being homosexual(1st item on Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary)"

Next time, paste BOTH items.

Main Entry: ho·mo·sex·u·al·i·ty
Function: noun
Date: 1892
1 : the quality or state of being homosexual
2 : erotic activity with another of the same sex

You only present that which supports your nonsense instead of reporting the FACTS.

'Nuff said.

Danbo59 said...

If it will ease MSL's conscience, I will concede that God does not shun homosexuality when it is limited to the first definition in Meriam-Webster, i.e., to the state or qulaity of being a homosexual, but He does shun those who persist in and show no remorse for homosexuality as defined by the second point in Webster-Meriam.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"It's not written to arouse prurient interests!"

How do you know? Wasn't it written to edify? Instruct on how the religious should treat their guests and daughters?

I think it was written because the story tellers and listeners enjoyed it.

Yes, the many news articles about rape are printed because readers enjoy them.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"He does shun those who persist in and show no remorse for homosexuality..."

Your opinion. I disagree.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

I meant to write, "Was it written to edify?"

Danbo59 said...

MSL wrote, ""He does shun those who persist in and show no remorse for homosexuality..." Your opinion. I disagree."

My references speak for themselves. You obviously have a vested interest in believing the opposite. In the end [no pun intended], that won't help you.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

What references? Some verses from an ancient book? Their voices have long died.

Your comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism is foolish.

"Sex is not a right."

We don't need a "right" to have sex.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

What is your interest in believing that God shuns so many people? It makes no difference in your salvation. Be careful, though, because God may judge you for judging others.

Iztok said...

"There are bad uses for imagination, of course, but there are even worse ones for rationalism."

What is bad about being rational? Can one be to reasonable?

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"In the end [no pun intended]..."

Who would have thought one. I still don't get it. Is "end" another word for penis?

Danbo59 said...

MSL writes, "What references? Some verses from an ancient book? Their voices have long died. Your comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism is foolish. "Sex is not a right." We don't need a "right" to have sex."

I guesss if I were to respond in kind I'd say, "Your mother wears army boots." But I won't.

The Founding Fathers' voices have long since died, yet their idea lives on. So it is with the Bible.

You cannot obtain a "right" to sex. Rights are granted by the Creator. Governments can impeded them or restrict them. Sex is a privilege, one that is earned. It carries with it responsibility and consequences. It is reserved to married couples, as was and is God's plan. Man perverts that plan. That doesn't mean he has the right to sex or has earned the privilege.

You don't have the right to murder, but you may still do so if you choose. Not "needing" a right to do something does not give you license to do it.

Sure the comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism is valid. Both are activities that involve free choice (will). Both can be controlled and abstained from. Both are inherently sinful and evil.

Denying facts doesn't make them any less true, MSL. That's what really frustrates you.

Danbo59 said...

MSL pesists in misreading everything I said when he says, "What is your interest in believing that God shuns so many people? It makes no difference in your salvation. Be careful, though, because God may judge you for judging others."

I don't judge others. I judge actions. But I can tell you how God will judge remorseless sinners, whoever they are. I can't see remorse in one's soul so I don't judge individuals.

Who knows if Hitler is in Heaven?

Danbo59 said...

MSL asks, "What is your interest in believing that God shuns so many people? It makes no difference in your salvation."

I have no "interest" in what is. Fact is fact, whether I take interest in it or not.

Christians are required to try to save souls by preaching The Word (aka Truth) in all we say and do.

That's my "interest."

Danbo59 said...

MSL wrote, "I still don't get it."

And at this rate, I fear you never will.

Iztok said...

"You only present that which supports your nonsense instead of reporting the FACTS."

Well does it state that homosexuality is a sin? It doesn't does it?

Since when you are such proponent of facts? I thought you are into faith thing?

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Its Christians who deny and ignore facts.

You are really mixed up if you think we need a "right" to have sex.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok asks, "Since when you are such proponent of facts? I thought you are into faith thing?"

A proponent of facts? Who isn't a proponent of facts? Faith and fact are not mutually exclusive.

Faith is the knowledge that not all facts are within our ability to understand at present.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

"And at this rate, I fear you never will."

You can't explain your pun to me? Sarcasm is very limited.

Danbo59 said...

MSL persists in miscomprehension, "You are really mixed up if you think we need a "right" to have sex."

Then, by your definition I am not mixed up, because (as I have said about thre or four times now) there is no such thing as a right to have sex. A privilege is different from a right (think "driver's license).

Try reading for content.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Well does it state that homosexuality is a sin? It doesn't does it?"

Are you saying the Meriam-Webster is your resource on morality?

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Try writing better.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

You think we can't have sex unless we have permission? That's still mixed up.

Quibbles said...

Iztok:

If you want to test the limits of rationalism, tell your wife that you love her only because, on balance, the benefits exceed the costs, discounted by the likelihood that the costs and benefits will be experienced. As in particle physics, the experiment itself may alter reality. Or, if that wasn't offensive enough for you, reconsider the rationality of adoption from the standpoint of the selfish gene. I'm not saying rationalism is all bad or all good. Just that humans were not built for the binary oppositions on which you dote.

Danbo59 said...

MSL writes, "Try writing better."

This from someone who lives his life looking at the "pictures."

Too funny!

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Not only is it mixed up, this kind of thinking destroys people's freedom.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Danbo59, you often write of things you know nothing about, eg, homosexual love and how I spend my time. Is making up reality a habit you've learned from your religion?

Anonymous said...

"The Church does not shun homosexuals; the Church shuns homosexuality."

That hackneyed statement, which you love to spout, smacks of deceptiveness. Which was the point I made. Alas, you are the one too obtuse to understand.

Homosexuals are going to participate in homosexuality. Jews are going to participate in Judaism. If they didn't - DUH - they wouldn't be homosexuals, or Jews or whatever.

So your "the Church does not shun" nonsense is truly nonsensical. Better to be honest and admit you despise all those who believe differently than you, than pretend you welcome them with open arms by making a statement like that. Or maybe living a lie isn't a sin in the RCC?

By the way, I see where the Pope had to change his mind about your pals in the ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X. Saint Pius indeed! It appears one of the society's English bishops claims the Shoah (Holocaust) never happened. His next statement was probably "The Church does not shun homosexuals; the Church shuns homosexuality."

Anonymous said...

I think what Danbo is saying is that the Church does not reduce complex human beings to single traits. It tries to see the person as a whole, even though as it disapproves of certain acts that most of us have come to regard as private business.

Danbo59 said...

A priest's removal from excommunication has nothing to do with whether he believes in the Holocaust or not; or whether he believes in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. It's not why he was excommunicated.

Preists are not required to believe in the Holocaust.

Danbo59 said...

To Anonymous at 7:24 PM. From what I can see, you seem to have understood what I have been saying from the get-go, whereas Iztok and MSL are too dense and too wrapped up in their own stupidity to hear anything except the echo inside their own empty heads.

Danbo59 said...

To Anonymous at 6:56 PM. You wrote, ""The Church does not shun homosexuals; the Church shuns homosexuality."

That hackneyed statement, which you love to spout, smacks of deceptiveness."

No more than your attack smacks of an inability to read. Judaism is not an action, it is a belief system. Homosexuality is an act.

There is one other major difference -- homosexuality is a sin. Judaism/Catholicism is not. DUH, as you would put it.

Homosexuals are called to abstinence. Life is tough. Get over it.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Danbo thinks people are attacking him. His defense is telling them they can't read, or that they're dense, stupid and empty.

Something else his religion taught him?

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

It's people that many Christians think are going to Hell, isn't it? The things people do aren't sent there. The murderer goes to Hell but the murder has happened and isn't sent to Hell. So how is it that God can hate the sin but not the sinner when it is the sinner God torments forever?

Anonymous said...

The light of heaven is the fire in hell.

Masturbation Saves Lives said...

Since there isn't sex in heaven (boring!), what difference does our sexual preference make in whether we enter it or not?

How is it that many Christians would spend so much time and money trying to persuade others that homosexuality is a sin when we live in "a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women in many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS?"

Anonymous said...

Hell isn't a place. The light in heaven is the fire in hell.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "Are you saying the Meriam-Webster is your resource on morality?"

No and neither is Bible. After all I don't condone, instruct or perform genocide like some particular character in the book. Neither I subscribe to the "woman has to learn in silence" or stone women for being unfaithful. Nor do I think that dashing childrens' heads against rocks is a happy thing. My parents did expect much higher morals from me. Too bad someone didn't teach the main character in the Bible that, this would have been a better world.

Iztok said...

Quibbles: "Or, if that wasn't offensive enough for you, reconsider the rationality of adoption from the standpoint of the selfish gene."

I guess you can't see how altruistic behavior can be compatible with selfish gene. So sad.

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