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TABA

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Everything posted by TABA

  1. That was great @decafaholic! It captures how a lot of people here feel when they look back, I think, but you’ve expressed it so well.
  2. Pinker will probably survive this, but when the mob goes after him, no free-thinking person is safe. This would be a good time to buy one of his books, especially the excellent “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress”, which Bill Gates described as his favorite book ever. https://www.amazon.com/Steven-Pinker/e/B000AQ3GGO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
  3. EDIT: Never mind. I started to make a comment and then remembered that I almost always regret setting foot in this section.
  4. The ‘idiocracy’ to me is the rapid escalation of the attacks on statues and monuments to include Washington, Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Ulysses S Grant and even Mount Rushmore. It’s become a frenzy. A moral panic. Likewise the frantic ‘canceling’ of whomever is deemed to be insufficiently on board with whatever today’s Woke agenda happens to be.
  5. Joe Biden seems to be working to drive away voters like me with this kind of stuff. I and many others don’t want America “transformed”. We just want a return to a steady hand on the helm.
  6. I took even more time, this time around.... I was not familiar with the presence of a large Somali community in Minneapolis. I wondered what was behind Ilhan Omar’s rise to prominence. I have thought of her as less a representative of the Somali community and more a product of Woke America though. There is a similarly large Somali immigrant population in Columbus, Ohio, which is the nearest big city to me. My wife and I go to one of the shopping centers in Columbus once or twice a year and always see some Somali-looking women in hijab, in a city that is not known for its ethnic diversity. The thought I have had about it is this: although Muslim immigrants seem to assimilate better in the US than they do in Europe, with such a large population of Muslim immigrants in an area it only takes a small handful of Jihadi wannabes to cause problems. I’ve been truly surprised that there have been no more successful attacks on this country on the scale of 9/11. Knock on wood. Do I see Somali immigrants as a threat? All religious fundamentalists are potential threats to personal freedom, to citizens in general and to you and me in particular as infidels. Do I think Donald Trump understands the nature of the threat? Not really. Do I think he has the wherewithal to articulate it and to build a consensus around what to do? Not at all. Trump is good at identifying enemies, real and imagined, but he rarely accomplishes more than firing off some Tweets and enflaming the situation without actually accomplishing anything. As for religious fundamentalism, I think we would be better served by making a strong case for personal freedom and against theocracy, whether it’s Christian or Muslim. Although I generally avoid identifying myself as a “humanist” because the term has become synonymous with leftism and Social Justice crusaders, I am enough of a humanist to regard human lives as valuable, regardless of nationality. As I’ve said before, sometimes there are people who need to be killed; clearly I’m no pacifist. I don’t think Trump cares about anybody but himself. I think that a President Biden would be a steady presence in the White House and would be unlikely to cave to leftist demands. I do worry about his longevity in mind and body and his choice of running mate could influence my vote. Biden could put the election in the bag if he were to pick Condoleeza Rice or even Tulsi Gabbard as his running mate. But that won’t happen. I would prefer that the Republicans hold the Senate. I would rather endure two years of Democratic control (I doubt it would last longer) than see the madness that has seized this country continue and even intensify for another four years. Madness in the media, in academia, among leftists and in our culture. I do think a defeat of Trump is being made less likely by the insanity being displayed in all these areas: condemning Mount Rushmore, taking Independence Day as an opportunity to show hatred for the USA, the NFL talk of playing the “Black National Anthem” at games. If Trump wins in November, these people will have themselves to blame. I seriously doubt I’ve changed your mind, but I appreciate the dialog, Bhim.
  7. According to Wikipedia, the word "firmament" translates shamayim (שָׁמַיִם) or rāqîaʿ (רָקִ֫יעַ), a word used in Biblical Hebrew. Shamayim is translated as "heaven". Rāqîa derives from the root raqqəʿ (רָקַע), meaning "to beat or spread out thinly", e.g., the process of making a dish by hammering thin a lump of metal.[5][6]. No idea how they got “atmosphere” from that. Actually I do have an idea: they thought ‘atmosphere’ would be less embarrassing than ‘solid dome’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmament
  8. You may have heard of Martin Luther . Luther famously came to the conclusion that believers are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not by any works. Luther famously referred to the Epistle of James as “really an epistle of straw” and proposed that it not be taught in schools. Other Christians disagreed and there followed centuries of religious wars in Europe.
  9. Two things about SV... He clearly wanted to fight Satan, but since the guy is rather elusive, he figured we were the closest he could get. It looked like he was commenting on various threads with the goal of getting them moved to the Lions Den. A kind of hack of our forums.
  10. @webmdave, PMFJI but I think you may be reading too much into an offhand comment from @Weezer. Maybe 2020 is getting to ya, the same way it’s getting to a lot of us! Weezer and I and many others show our appreciation for this community and your role in it by being financial supporters. Money talks...
  11. TABA

    Hell

    Be thankful you don’t have a fear of Hell. Many other people are not so lucky. I never really had a strong belief in Hell myself, which made deconversion quite a bit easier. Roght now I’m reading Bart Ehrman’s book “Heaven and Hell”, which talks about how the concept of life after death evolved through the course of history, ancient, Jewish and Christian. It’s a good read!
  12. I wonder if anybody has read "The Origin of Satan" by Elaine Pagels... https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Satan-Christians-Demonized-Heretics-ebook/dp/B005O1BLU8/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 I have it but it hasn't risen to the top of my reading list yet...
  13. Yeah it’s mind-boggling that such fragile creatures can accomplish anything like that. Quite apart from the navigational skills built into those tiny brains...
  14. I believe I read somewhere that the northbound migration takes several generations but that the southbound journey is made by individual butterflies. Don’t make me Google it.
  15. I watched the documentary yesterday and I think it’s well worth the time and the small rental charge. Thanks to @Hierophantfor bringing this to our attention! I wish I could have sent it to my TV screen via my Roku or Apple TV but I couldn’t see a way to do that and watched it on my iPad. It’s very well done, professional, nicely photographed, entertaining and chock full of information on early Christianity. It covers a lot of the ground that Bart Ehrman covers in “How Jesus Became God”. I thought for a while that I might share it with my wife, who is a believer but is somewhat open to questions about the Bible and Christianity. But I’ve decided this program would be too much coming at her all at once.
  16. Judging by the some of the scholars involved, this looks worth watching...
  17. I thought “JoshPantera” was a reference to the theory that the real father of Jesus/Yeshua was a Roman soldier named Pantera.
  18. I know, right! And a deity that would allow any of his ‘children’ to be tormented like this, year after year, by an evil being, is either unable to do anything about it, or is evil beyond anything we see among mortal humans. That’s it. No human parent would tolerate their child going through such torment if they had any ability whatever to stop it. Oh, that or this monster doesn’t exist.
  19. Uhh, prof, I’m not sure how to put this but ... you might want to see your doctor.
  20. I wish you’d stay, @TruthSeeker0 And I say that as one who often disagrees with you and is even irritated by things you say. But if we only hang out with people we agree with, it’s not good for us. It may be comfortable sure, but we don’t grow by being comfortable. You’ve made me think about some of my opinions and attitudes. Thinking is good. Part of the reason 2020 is such a mess is because of the echo-chambers people choose to inhabit.
  21. Good summary of the changes that were underway in Judaism in the couple of centuries BC. I would like to elaborate a bit... It appears, from the earliest Gospels like Mark, that Jesus saw himself as the herald of God’s Kingdom, whereby the powers of evil (both the supernatural power that came to be known as Satan and the earthly power of Rome that was occupying the land of Israel) would be routed once and for all and God’s just kingdom would be established here on Earth. But when instead, after the death of Jesus, Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish rebels, and Jesus did not return as promised in the lifetime of his disciples, the story had to evolve to reflect this. In John and later writings, the Kingdom of God was re-launched as something in the hereafter. That became the Christian doctrine that prevailed.
  22. Welcome to Ex-Christian @Dandilion! You’ve come to the right place. You’re absolutely not alone in what you’ve been going through, both the deconversion from Christianity and the heartache of dealing with loved ones who are staunch believers. At the age of 40 you have every right to be your own person and not to have to pretend to be something you’re not. Alas, life isn’t always fair. Every Ex-Christian is unique, and so is every family. From my experience, and reading other people’s stories, a good way to proceed may be slowly revealing your unbelief. Most people still have an instinctive dislike and distrust of people who don’t believe in God, or who have left their religion, and they can rush to judgement about what kind of people we are, or have become. My suggestion would be to gradually reveal yourself: you’ve made a start by no longer going to church. You could mention that you have questions or concerns about the Bible. You could say later that you still believe in something (we all believe in something, even if it’s just peace and love) but not in traditional religion. Let them down gently, so to speak. I realize that works for some families but not for others. I’m sure you will receive other good advice here and I know you’ll receive encouragement and support. Welcome again! TABA
  23. Happy Father’s Day to all you Ex-Christian dads! Today I sent greetings of the day to various friends who are lucky enough to be fathers. Text messages mostly. Some guys I see regularly, some Army buddies I haven’t seen for a while, and some of my Ex-Christian friends that I’ve never met but whom I value a lot. It did me good to get in touch with these guys. Life is short. Think about saying Hi to somebody you appreciate today!
  24. Hi @FreeFromGuilt and thanks for sharing your story! I’m glad to know this site was helpful to you and I know your story will be encouraging to others. Your experience of Christianity and Jesus bringing you anxiety rather than blessings is all too familiar. It’s almost as if Christianity is like any other human concept: works for some, not for others. For me, the icing on the cake was when your husband shared his unbelief with you. What a huge relief that must have been for you both! Awesome. You being on the same page about religion is a huge plus for your relationship. Congratulations to you both! - TABA
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