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All in the name of a god….
Posted: 19 April 2005 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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I’ll be getting back at ya, haven’t forgot ya. I currently am busy with some things. Get back to you later today. Reserve judgement until then.

HEY, Colorado is a beautiful state! The mountains surrounding Denver are awesome, Pikes Peak down south is awesome as well. You’ve picked a great place to live.

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Posted: 19 April 2005 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Hello NoMoreSilence. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. We had a death in the family, among other things (cancer scares, etc.). Actually, my cousin’s son-in-law, whom I am close to, his Grandfather past away. He was a grand ole gent. So sad to hear of his passing. Now comes all the arrangements. God rest his soul. R.I.P.

Now, let’s get to you, my friend. Surely you jest in your compliments on the deep knowledge within my posts (but I’ll take compliments anywhere I can get them, even if they’re not true, grin. You’ve said so much, so where to start. Guess any place is as good as the next.

The folks who ostrisized you in your Baptist church, they did not show the love of Jesus. I find it hard to believe not a one checked up on you after you left. I think a lot of people are just shortsighted, they want their own perfect world, not realizing that there is so many needs out there and the need so great for compassion and understanding, and dealing with wisdom in all situations. So, I officially apologize for the way you were treated there. You must also forgive, otherwise the grudge will fester and you’ll never be free from it (you’ll feel better anyway).

I thought about this during the last couple of hectic days, and I did not want to throw out a lot of dogma and scriptures, I’m sure you know them well. What good would it do to give you the pat Christian answers?

The fundamental problem is that you have a burden that you carry and most of us have no clue on its weight. While I can sympathsize with you, I simply cannot emphasize with you because I know not the burden (and I don’t pretend to comprehend the grief you’ve suffered). You know the bible is our instruction map for life, you probably know its instructions on believe in Christ, making disciples of Christ, living the Christain life, etc., but exterior problems (your church experiences) and interior burdens (your vexation of your homosexuality) have kept you away (kind of like a double whammy!). You basically said that you wrestled with homosexuality for a long time (years?), trying to remove it, but gradually came to acceptance of it.

But I sense that you still believe in Christ (no matter what Sam’s book says) and most likely, still love him in your own way. Even though you are estranged from the church, I sense that you are still drawn that direction (even though your posts say the contrary). And the important thing to remember is that God has not forgotten about you and still loves you the same as when you were a little child. Nothing has changed with his love for you. He took the time to design every facet of you mind, body, and soul, then released you so you could have a free will. What you do with that free will is entirely your business on this earth.

God designed us to need him (why? I don’t know, I think it is because he loves us and knows that we can do nothing without him). And despite what any brainy PHD might tell you, you probably feel that need down deep in your soul (I sure do). Sometimes that means overcoming the greatest of obstacles. And you sound like you have one of the toughest obstacles that stands between you and having the peace of God in your heart. Regardless, he can give you the “peace that passes all understanding.” This comes from being in the middle of the storm (recall that parable Jesus talked about, the man who built his house on the rock and the one who built on the sand….the storms came to both, but only the one who built on the rock was still standing)...in the middle of the storm and knowing that you are standing on the rock of ages.

Right now you sound like you are outside the realm where any kind hearted true Christian can partner up with you and help lead you back to the rock (is this true?). Do you know someone who has built his/her house on the rock, a fundamentally and doctrinally sound Christian who knows his stuff, but has a heart of gold, and compassion for the lost (are there any in your world?).

So the instruction manual for life is this out there, hasn’t changed in 2000 years. It still offers a thirsty soul his peace that passes all understanding. I think if you just get alone one day or night, and pour out your heart to God, he’ll hear you. The opportunities to follow him will come, of that, you can be sure. It is up to you, and to me, and to anybody else out there, to humble ourselves before the Lord, put up the good fight, and allow him to lead us to the path and place where he can pour out his blessing upon you.

Think about if you had a child (have any?). I know that I know how you would most likely love that child with all of your heart. You would do anything for that kid (I know it). I think that God is the same way. Just reach out to him, you’ll know what to do and when to do it. You’ll know, and everything will take care of itself.

I’ll be praying that you will have peace and that your hurts and past wounds will be healed. Talk to you soon, my Christian brother…..

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Posted: 19 April 2005 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Champion, now I feel guilty for having got on your case. It was an unwarranted attack and I sincerely apologize.

Dave

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Posted: 19 April 2005 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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What are you doing up so late? grin

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Posted: 20 April 2005 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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Champ, I’m sorry to hear about the loss in your family.  I appreciate you posting your reply during this difficult time for you.

You’ve become quite a ‘staple’ in this forum.  I’m not sure what we would all talk about if you suddenly left. wink

You are showing some compassion, and I appreciate that.  Deep down, you still are a human being….it’s just been covered up with so many man-made rules and ideologies.  I can see how stifling that is for you….I’ve been there.

Unfortunately, it seems that’s where it ends for you, and others who believe like you believe.

I really just wanted YOUR answers to my questions.  But all I got back was in essence…..pray about it, and everything will turn out fine.  Further emphasizing my point that God/Jesus are excuses for abandoning personal responsibility and growth. 

Can you not even entertain the idea that the book you call the ‘instruction manual for life’ is sooooo incomplete?

So, back to topic on ‘political and organizational issues’ here.  The reason I posted in this forum is because of the constant, attacks on gay people by political leaders that are calling themselves Christians and ‘people of faith’.  Why does invoke the name of a god, give them a license or right to verbally abuse, and make second-class, otherwise law-abiding citizens? 

Doesn’t the church see that it is being ‘played’ for votes?!  It’s being used as nothing more than a political pawn for power?

Champ, if you can’t concretely answer my questions about what you pray for and what you think I should do, can you answer me about why your Christian cohorts feel it is necessary to attack people for loving one another?  Why is that form of love so abhorent to you?

Why are people like you soooo afraid of gay people?  Have you ever met any gay men or women?  Do you have any in your family?


NMS

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Posted: 20 April 2005 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Thank you for your condolences.

You said: “it’s just been covered up with so many man-made rules and ideologies. I can see how stifling that is for you….I’ve been there”

Well, actually, I do not feel stifled. Not sure why, maybe I am just conditioned to believe a certain way. But I am comfortable with this situation and the only reason I can figure is that the bible says God will give us a joy that comes from within.

You said: “I really just wanted YOUR answers to my questions. But all I got back was in essence…..pray about it, and everything will turn out fine.”

Sorry NoMoreSilence, but that is the best answer I can give. The only other answer I can think of is to disregard the gospel and go your own way, but I certainly wouldn’t and couldn’t tell someone that.

You said: “The reason I posted in this forum is because of the constant, attacks on gay people by political leaders that are calling themselves Christians and ‘people of faith’. Why does invoke the name of a god, give them a license or right to verbally abuse, and make second-class, otherwise law-abiding citizens?”

Well, I have not seen any political person who purports to be a Christian verbally abusing anybody (I could be wrong, can you give me some specific examples). I certainly would not condone it or stand for it, most of the Christian folks I have would be put off by it.

You said: “Why is that form of love so abhorent to you? Why are people like you soooo afraid of gay people? Have you ever met any gay men or women? Do you have any in your family?”

I would not use the word abhorent, but rather, unnatural. Though unnatural, it certainly has never made me discriminate against any gay individual. I have had gay friends, yes indeed. Not lately, but in the past. Of course, back then I was not so religious. Now, not sure what would happen. But I am positive that no condemnation would come from me.

Let me tell you something that I think (this is cause and effect), I think the church’s concern is that sex outside of marriage is classified as a sin. And the church is supposed to speak out against sin, in general. So how that speaking out occurs and how it is received by your community, I think there are misunderstandings and hurt feelings on both sides.

As a Christian, I have to tow the company line on this issue. It is the disipline. I pray that you too will tow the company line, and follow the instructions in our “instruction book.”

Keep looking up, don’t give up, and run the race….

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Posted: 20 April 2005 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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All you have to do is pick the newspaper, turn on the radio or TV news and hear that constant bashing by the right-wing politicos on the validity of gay people…and all in the name of a god, mind you.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a prime example, as well as the whole “defense of marriage” hooey that have relegated gay men and women to second-class citizens in the eyes of their country.  All this discrimination is fueled and funded by right-wing religious organizations (Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, etc.).  In my eyes, that is verbal and psychological abuse, all in the name of a god.

My country and my state are telling me that my loving/long-term relationship with my partner does not deserve the same benefits or protections or validity because we are both men.  So, in order to GET those protections, I must pay hundreds of dollars in legal fees to get the necessary documents (POA’s) that would be automatically in force if we were officially married.  This does NOTHING for the benefits however.  No right-of-survivorship benefits at the federal or state level are available.

Just as I can’t KNOW what it feels like to have a sexual attraction to a woman, you cannot know what it feels like to have sexual attraction to a man.  But, can you imagine, just for a moment, what it would be like to walk in the shoes of a gay man or woman?  Or, how about this:  If your entire life the world and your authority figures and your church were telling you ‘be homosexual, be homosexual’.  Every billboard, every magazine, every movie, every newspaper telling you the same.  But you KNEW that you weren’t.  You tried to be, but it wasn’t ‘natural’ for you.

What if your Book said that people with blonde hair were of the devil, an abomination?  Sure, you could color it for your entire life, covering up the FACT that you have blonde hair.  But, the fact is, you would STILL have blonde hair.  How would it make you feel to know you were living a lie and that you could be physically harmed or killed because something you cannot change?  Get my point?

So, I guess in the eyes of your church and you, and all the millions of gay men and women in the US, are relegated to the ‘unlucky’ ones that can never have the joy of sexual human relations because it would be a sin.  Can you Champ, imagine what such an existence would be like?!  Especially if you didn’t choose it, like priests choose to be celibate?

I know I am asking you to empathize deeply here with me.  Can you see the sheer human torture in what you are proposing?

NMS

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Posted: 20 April 2005 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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SkepticX wrote:

I think it is bizarre that others’ sexual orientation even rates notice(except ofcourse in cases of romantic or sexual interest) more bizarre is that it’s considered “normal” to think non-standard sexual orientation is not only important, but everyone’s business.It makes about as much sense to me as expressing great concern over “shoe lace color orientation.”

    That pretty much sums up my line of thinking since I reached the age
of reason. I was not raised in a religious home but I studied many different religions and forms of spirituality and still do. I have always found it rather breathtaking that many people,including some non-religious
people would concern themselves over ANY behavior that harms nothing/no one else. I not only find discrimination of ANY kind against
homosexuals to be GROSSLY IMMORAL AND ABHORANT IN THE EXTREME,I find it to be the apex of irrationality.

  With that said, I actually can see why sexuality ITSELF could be viewed
atleast with some suspicion, by a genuinely ethical person. Sex is ofcourse, an extremely powerful drive within us. There is nothing
wrong with sexuality, in and of itself. What it boils down to is; too much
of any good thing is not good.I think what may have happened is certain wise thinkers(in spite of their other unsupportable beliefs about god etc..) realized that due to it’s very nature,sex has a great propensity for abuse.
They may have realized that people often abuse their sexuality,become quite self-indulgent and neglect themselves and others.


  Then mabye what occured is that the admonitions of these wiser individuals were misinterpreted and taken to be a condemnation of
sexuality itself,not a warning meant to discourage excessive sexual behavior of any kind. Then perhaps,the more uncommon/unusual a certain
sexual behavior was,the more it was seen as “immoral”. Now this is
not even really a theory of mine,it’s just a passing thought. This is what
happens when I rack my brains trying to understand the reasons for how and why,some people think homosexuality is immoral etc….They never do satisfactorily explain(as usual) why and how homosexuality or ANY behavior that from a scientific perspective, does no harm to anyone/thing else;DOES HARM their god and/or, anyone/thing else from THEIR perspective OR god’s.

 

  Among many christians and others,the most “tolerant” of them (like Tchamp) will tell us homosexuality is “unnatural.” That must mean that
homosexual behavior among the human species is uncommon. I’m afraid
if you look at the facts,you will find that’s not the case. The real truth is that homosexuality is not as COMMONLY ACCEPTED IN THIS SOCIETY as heterosexuality. This is what they mean by “unnatural” and the sad thing is, they don’t even know it.

 
  I would now like to thank all the Falwells,Robertsons,Pope John Paul II’s and the new fascist in Rome for making it so easy to hate. I have found it increasingly hard not to hate these “people” and those like them. I often
find myself wishing someone like Falwell would just get AIDS and die a horrible death. I confess I was glad when JP II kicked the bucket. So now I hate myself because this is not AT ALL who I wish to be.All these people are is a hate virus,they infect everyone and everything they come in contact with.I think they would have eventually drove Mahatma Gandhi to abandon his non-violent practices. It is hard to believe that anything beyond their eventual deaths will cleanse the earth of their unspeakably despicable bile. Everytime I see the fat,pig-jawled, head of that cockroach Falwell,I have to physically restrain myself from throwing the TV off the balcony. The rage is similiar when I see that ridiculous, howdy-doody/Alfred P. Newmann head of Pat Robertson. Their entire worldview is SO Alien and SO illogical to me that even though I know better, I am sometimes very tempted to believe that they really are somekind of malevolent, reptilian, beings like the ones potrayed in the movie,“They Live”. I am certainly in NO WAY condoning or threatening violence against
Falwell,Robertson or ANYONE ELSE. All I can say is that if I would have the slightest bit of empathy towards anyone who commits an act of physical violence(outside of self-defense) towards another person/living being;that empathy would be given for those who struck out against the wholly baffling and wholly nefarious, fundamentalist whack- jobs who seem so hell-bent on making existence for every life form on this planet,(often including themselves) far more miserable than it has to be.

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Posted: 20 April 2005 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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I started the thread;“should gay males apologize”? Like I said in my post on that thread,it is POSSIBLE that gay males, strictly as a group COULD bear greater responsibility for the spread of HIV than other groups.I really have not
seen conculsive evidence to prove this one way or another. THAT SAID,if
they do bear a greater responsibility,so what? There have been countless
groups throughought history who have been responsible for harming others. It is quite possible that white,christian,heterosexual males as a group, have more to apologize for than any other “group”.

  All human subcultures etc… have the capacity to harm others and none are exempt. People like Mr. Donahue and Pat “the hammerhand” Buchannon simply love to demonize and scapegoat gays and others.
Ofcourse,you’ll never hear them say the church,white men or homophobic
bigots like themselves have anything to apologize for.Their hypocrisy truly surpasses my comprehension. What happened to; “he who is without sin” etc…. and “first remove the board from your own eye before you remove the splinter from your brother’s eye? These are christ’s own words
and to amplify their hypocrisy even MORE,they then accuse secularists and others of, “selective morality” and “moral relativism”!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! OK,
let me remove my head from the sheetrock, ahhhh…,there we go! IF gay
males do have greater responsibility for the spread of HIV,then I would
not expect an apology from those in the gay community that did practice safe sex. I don’t expect whites who had nothing to do with slavery to apologize for it. What I WOULD EXPECT is that responsible members of
the society gay or not,would do everything possible to discourage irresponsible,harmful behavior. Christians may claim to have the totally unrealistic solution of discouraging sex outside of monogamous,heterosexual marriage.They then proceed to discourage/prevent more rational,reality based solutions.Therefore,since they are just not part of the solution,they just increase the problem.They
ofcourse, will never believe they have anything to apologize for in terms of the spread of AIDS and other undesireable social ills like over-population etc…I truly believe that many on the religious right pose
as much of a threat,in their own unique and bizarre way, as the nazis did and I am a secular Jew!!! It is quite ironic that the new pope was a member of the hitler youth.

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Posted: 20 April 2005 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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In other words, I think if heterosexuals shut the f**k up about homosexuals, AND homesexuals shut the f**k up about homosexuals that world would be a better place. Excuse my crude and perhaps incomplete form of reasoning but… IT TAKES TWO BABY? In fact I think we should all shut the f**k up about sex in general. Just do it, don’t talk about it.

Please tell me why I’m wrong. Oh yes I know, because the homosexuals say the only reason they are so vocal is because they are being persecuted, and heterosexuals only persecute the homosexuals because they are religious and/or ignorant. Wait a minute… I think I’ve figured it out. Ignorance and religion are the root of this particular problem. Yes I’m accepting nominations for academic prizes. Don’t applaud, just tell me to shut the f**k up.

——If you know you are, then you also know your purpose——

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Posted: 20 April 2005 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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I really think that “machismo” thing is a big part of the problem,if not the root. Although I know that women discriminate against homosexuals too,I think it’s safe to say that men seem to have more of a problem with
gays(gay males) than women do,on average. I think many men simply view gay males as “weak”. Therefore,in a macho culture any kind of “weakness” is not only to be avoided,it is to be ridiculed and persecuted. I have had the dubious pleasure of knowing many men
who do not at all base their hatred of homosexual males on religion
or even “homophobia”. They simply embrace a “survival of the fittest"mentality and view countless other males,including gay males
as “unfit” and thus justified targets of their petty malice.I think there is
a deep,fundamental “sickness” in this society and religion is just one manifestation of it. Like scurvy is a result of Vitamin C defiency,the “sickness” in our society is the result of a defiency
in unconditional love, among other things.

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Posted: 20 April 2005 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Damn, there goes that academic prize :cry:

- I think the “survival of the fittest” is far from a sickness. Survival of the fittest is the engine of our existence, it’s what keeps us strong and able to evolve. The sickness has gotta be closer to fear and ignorance. A fear spread by and an ignorance held by religion.

the “sickness” in our society is the result of a defiency
in unconditional love, among other things.

- Love is just a word.
- I hope that you’re not saying that religion is not to blame as it teaches unconditional love. Do you think an act of unconditional love is to excommunicate a gay member of the church?

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Posted: 20 April 2005 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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You say that “survival of the fittest” is the “engine of our existence”. You would then consider yourself a “social darwinist”. I agree that survival the fittest is the “engine of existence”. This applies to humans as well as all other organisms. The question appears to be,is this natural state of affairs
desirable to us humans? Unlike all other species, we seem to have atleast some ability to make choices. Smallpox is also natural,does that mean we should permit the smallpox virus free reign? Humans seem to have little problem changing any kind of nature when it’s in their interest to do so. I really think there is no reason that can’t include “survival of the fittest”.

You say love is only a word. I suppose then you are a material absolutist
who is 100% certain love is just the result of biochemical factors instilled by evolution. As an agnostic,trained in the physical sciences,I would be the first one to say it is quite likely you are correct.With that said,I think myself and billions of other people earnestly hope that’s not the way it is. Yes, I know you will tell me this longing for meaning and answers to “why"also has it’s origins in biology and evolution. Once again,mabye you are correct;but I really don’t think that means that this desire is going
anywhere or can be quelled in many people.

 
  I know alot of material absolutists, mabye yourself (if you really are one)believe this desire for meaning and answers to “why” is just the “crutches” and “opium” for weak-minded,cowardly people who can’t
face the harsh realities of materialistic universe. Ofcourse that gives some “material absolutists” the luxury of sitting back in their armchairs,
with pipe in hand and smugly convincing themselves of their own great courage and hard-nosed attitude in the face of the pointless cosmos.Many
of these same people would jump out of their armchair at the sight of a drop of their own blood. Many believers would show a far greater degree of courage. I am certainly not saying believers of any kind are superior to non-believers. What I am saying is the materialistic worldview should not
be used as a method of ego-gratification,unless one can be consistant and I’m sure it is often enough.

  I don’t care how you slice it,many people in the world (most likely the majority) cannot see much,if any, worth to a wholly materialistic universe where hitler and Gandhi wind up in the same oblivion,love is nothng more than the result of biology and everything that one values will be lost forever. It’s RELATIVELY damn easy for the average priveledged westerner to find SOME purpose in a ultimately material reality. I am not so sure the average person in the Sudan or the average holocaust survivor can easily do the same.

  I have just as much of a problem with christianity and other organized religions as anyone else. If I did’nt, I would not be on this forum. Christianity, with it’s eternal hellfire and cosmic tyrant is just as undesirable, IMO (if not more so) as the pointless,empty existence
of the scientific material absolutist. The only difference is the materialist
perspective is far more reasonable and plausible. Like I said,it IS ONE perspective that is likely to be accurate. Yes, it’s pretty much what all the
availiable physical evidence would suggest and much of the circumstantial evidence too. I just wish that many materialistic absolutists
would stop expecting everyone to be happy about it and labelling them as “weak” or anything else,  when they’re not. So can’t people be allowed to hope against hope without being looked down upon by people who are so certain nothing exists outside the material universe?

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Posted: 20 April 2005 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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What i’m trying to say is “survival of the fittest” does allow us to evolve and keep strong. But when we allow it to violate the “laws” of common sense ethics,that’s when the trouble arises. You can say no such laws exist
in reality and you may be right. I assume you do not believe the police should not protect you from a “stronger” human who attempts to take your life or property. Humans have the ability to choose what aspects of
“SOF” they wish to control and which ones they don’t. This all tends to be subjective, ofcourse. Some may think it’s ok for a retarded child to be left
to starve and die. Most of us don’t think that way thankfully IMO.  The debate about abortion,euthanasia,genetic engineering,etc… often involves this. The question is;who decides who/what will be protected and who will not be,the state?,the majority?,the church?,scientists? We have not found
James Rachels’ “satifactory moral theory”.  I don’t claim to have all the answers,it is far too complex an issue for that. I have strong convictions,but that does not mean they are objectively correct,if such a thing even exists. As much as I dislike the pope,I think he atleast recognizes “moral relativism” as a problem.I personally find his solutions ridiculous and not supported by what I consider rational or ethical.Man must find an objective moral order, or with CERTAINTY determine that no such thing exists. We would then enter the realm where nothing is true and everything is permitted. I am not so sure that would be a good thing. If secular law enforcement is the only thing that prohibits predatory behavior,I think injustice of all kinds would have a field day.After all, what’s the meaning of conscience in such a world? You can say people should then behave themselves because we all wish to live in a civilization without chaos and pain until we meet our oblivion. I hardly see how the predatory instincts of humans would be quelled by this. Obviously ,many “predators” greatly benefit from the “chaos and pain” in civilization. I ofcourse, have no idea of just exactly HOW with certainty, we can find a universal moral order or lack thereof. I think the REAL harsh reality is that unless we do,the “moral relativism” will continue
and cause endless problems. BTW,I absolutely do not believe the religions teach “unconditional love”, that is another reason i’m on this forum.

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