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Everything posted by Bedouin

  1. Oh man Fwee...that's brutal. The Exorcist brutal. Remember the scene in the original movie where Regan does the cross thing? THAT kind of brutal. Like, cringe worthy brutal.
  2. Nah. That's the old white man answer to today's ills. Always has been.
  3. No, and no. They've nothing to offer for the future, and have fucked up the present.
  4. You sound quite anhedonic. I get it. This is the only life we get. Carpe diem.
  5. I think all old white men should be stripped of power, in government, and a truly representative government installed.
  6. Not really a story, but more a memory from my fundie upbringing in the Church of God in Christ. The choir used to sing this little ditty, during the devotional portion of the service: It's gonna rain down fire! One of these days! It's gonna rain down fire! One of these days! Sung in 4/4 timing, briskly, with glee, in classic call and response from slavery days in the fields. Sick.
  7. Conservatism in America is dependent, for the most part, upon where one resides. Southern and mid-western states tend to be more right leaning than northeastern and western states. While it may be true generally that the older people get the more conservative they become, that isn't true in my particular case, I have always been a liberal, and I'm 60 now, and am much more progressive than ever. Though I have a friend that was about as far left as they came when we were kids, I can barely recognize him now he's so far to the right (and extremely religious). While I'll admit that Australia is probably one of the more liberal and progressive nations, taking a look at some well off European countries nowadays leads me to the conclusion that conservatism and nationalism (see Brexit) are on the uptick. In America, I think that the "equal and opposite reaction" law applies in politics, with the pendulum swinging each way with regularity. Roosevelt/Truman, Democrats; Eisenhower, Republican; Kennedy/Johnson, Democrats; Nixon/Ford, Republican; Carter, Democrat; Reagan, Republican; George H.W. Bush, Republican; Clinton, Democrat; George W. Bush, Republican; Obama, Democrat; and now Trump who, really, has no loyalty, ideologically, to either party, though he is riding the tide of pushback against his predecessors liberal policies, which primarily arise from people who want the 1950's to "come back." Even though their fond memories are of a time that really never existed, memories are a tricky thing.
  8. It has to do with education. Back when I was in grade school, President Lincoln was touted as "The Great Emancipator." That was the agreed upon narrative, the accepted collective memory. Collective memory has to do with the current circumstance. That is to say, we interpret history, and historical figures, in light of the current situation. As we now know, through education, Abe really could have cared less about freeing slaves, by his own admission. He articulated that, if he could have saved the Union, without freeing slaves, he would have done so. As Dick Gregory said, years ago, during his commencement address at Kent State, after the murder of the four white students, by the National Guard, who were protesting our military presence in Viet Nam; the duty of educational institutions should be to "teach me how to live, not how to make a living." There is nothing at all wrong about learning how to make a living. Like my own mom said to me, "son, money isn't everything. But you just try to live without it." That was a valuable lesson. However, in today's world, "getting" seems to have relegated "getting along" to a back seat. There is no dialogue. Why? Honestly, I don't know why. I wish I did. Human nature I guess. I will venture a guess though. This is not about the majority of us. Not about black or white. Not about conservative or liberal. Not about male or female. Not about red or blue states, here in the US. It's about the haves and the have nots. It's about divide and conquer. As far as I can determine, as a student of history, it has always been so, and as far as I can see, will continue to be so. If you, or anyone, has a suggestion to change this? I'm all ears.
  9. There is a difference between reading and learning. While still a Christian, I read quite a bit from the "other side." I read the atheist/agnostic literature with the goal of being able to refute the arguments. As time went on, I began to actually internalize the information that I gathered. That is to say, I applied the arguments against religion in general, and Christianity in particular in my own life. There was no need for me to meet and interact with an atheist. I came to realize that there was no logical reason for me to retain the religion that I inherited. Bias is inherited. As I said before, bias is the result of socialization. If one associates with white, middle class people (not that all white people are middle or upper class), it is natural that one takes on the views of those people. If one associates with black, lower class people (again, not all black people are lower class), then one takes on the biases that come with it. Same if one only socializes with the religious, or conservatives, or liberals. In my case, meeting and socializing with atheists, in and of itself, would not have changed my mind. My own biases would have made the experience repulsive. Educating myself made the difference. If I may, here's an example. I grew up in a neighborhood that was racially mixed. Black, White, Puerto Rican, Jewish, Gypsy. As children we all played together. No problem. When I turned 17, I joined the US Navy (1974). I took my world-view into the service with me. I quickly found out that my world-view was erroneous. In 1976, I reported aboard my first ship, a submarine. I was the only black kid on the boat. Being on a boat involves quite a bit of advanced education. Hydraulic systems, electrical systems, nuclear power plant operations, weapons systems, communications systems, knowing what valves to shut off or open in a given situation, responding to spills, leaks, fires, flooding. There were those on the boat that placed bets that I was too stupid, as a black man, to ever be able to qualify ships. I qualified ships on my first patrol. Those same people refused to accept that I accomplished that, saying that I had been passed because I was black. So, even though they had access to me, had chances to interact with me, they still wouldn't change their opinion of me. To this day. I don't believe that interaction with the dreaded "other," whether racially, politically, or as pertains to gender alone will change peoples minds. I still think that education, internalizing information with an honest and open mind can change people to at least be open to a real dialogue. One has to want to.
  10. That's the point. Biased media is not the cause, unless that is where we get our information exclusively. How we have been socialized determines how we see the "other."
  11. "Modern liberalism has a word for racism that exists within a person without that person's knowledge. I can't remember and couldn't find it on a quick search (might be inherent, but that doesn't sound right to me)..." This interests me as well. In an interview with The Huffington Post (okay, admittedly a liberal leaning publication), Dr. Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, of Georgetown U., had this to say: "Studies have shown that many people have subtle, or implicit, racial biases that they’re completely unaware of. Are racial biases often unconscious? How do these unconscious biases over time develop into hateful beliefs and actions? Implicit biases are when you’re not aware that you have a race bias. You behave in a discriminatory way without realizing that you have racist values. That occurs a lot in the medical profession, for example — physicians don’t realize that they’re treating some patients differently to others based on race and often based on class as well. Again, you develop attitudes and stereotypes from socialization. Here’s a common example: An older woman is walking down the road and she sees a black man approaching. She holds her purse tighter thinking that it’s going to be snatched. Research has found that both black and white people often behave in this way because of our socialization. It’s because of what the media says about young black men being thieves and robbers and bag-snatchers. We all tend to behave in that way based on the socialization." I think that the same applies to misogyny. It's a product of how we have been socialized. But this begs the question as to whether or not we have the any justification to continue in our "socialized beliefs" given all of the information that is, quite literally, available at our fingertips. In my own experience, Christianity, as it is practiced in today's America, is far more conservative than liberal, and much more hypocritical as well. The goal of the Christian right, it seems to me, is the establishment of a theocracy through legislation based upon highly selective citations of biblical literature. As far as admiring Trump because he is, in fact, the least Christian of any politician ever, and, as an atheist I should applaud him, well...ummm...no. While I'm confident that his own thirst for fame and wealth, in this world, makes him unlikely to want to bring on the final battle between good and evil so that Jesus can come back is secondary to my concern that an insult to his fragile ego will prompt him to order a tactical nuclear strike against his perceived antagonist(s). Equally dangerous, for different reasons.
  12. Sorry if I kind of went off topic on your OP Lydie. You mention the promise of 72 virgins as a reward for Islamic martyrdom. Christopher Hitchens, in his book God is not Great has the following to say: “A critical case in point is the work of Christoph Luxenburg, The Syriac-Aramaic Version of the Koran, published in Berlin in the year 2000. Luxenburg coolly proposes that, far from being a monoglot screed, the Koran is far better understood once it is conceded that many of its words are Syriac-Aramaic rather than Arabic. (His most celebrated example concerns the rewards of a “martyr” in paradise: when retranslated and redacted the heavenly offering consists of sweet white raisins rather than virgins.)”
  13. That's some really sick shit, no doubt. Christianity (and Islam) are famous for suffering in this life to gain eternal bliss. So much the better to rob the poor of what little they have. Lately, though, there has been a twist added. When I was a kid, there was a preacher by the name of Rev. Ike (Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II), who was one of the first to make use of the airwaves to reach people. His take on "pie in the sky," was, why wait? Why can't I have my pie now? Over the years, this gave birth to the so-called prosperity gospel, which, in a nutshell is, "give to my ministry, and god will give it back to you a thousand fold, in the here and now." Both approaches have the same end. Fleece the flock.
  14. Sounds like something THE LORD would say, just before HE wiped out everyone.
  15. Witty, seems like these incidents have been weighing on you for awhile, and I get it. My entire family is and always has been christian, to varying degrees, from lip service to avid believers. When I began to move away from what I was taught from childhood on, I went through a time of resentment bordering on hostility. As time went on, I eventually arrived at a point where I realized that I was never going to change them, or how they thought. Here's a recent example. I have an aunt that just turned 100 years old. She is and always has been as strong a woman as I have ever seen. She fell ill, and had to have intestinal surgery. Prior to the surgery, my family got on the phone with the surgeon to pray with and for him. From what I understand, he was agreeable. The surgery was successful, my aunt is recovering nicely. Text messages on my phone exploded with "praise god," and "glory to god," etc., etc. In the past, I would have lashed out at them mercilessly, pointing out that maybe they should have been saying "thank you Mr. Surgeon," or "medical school is wonderful." But, I just let it go, because my silence spoke far more than any sarcastic, barbed remarks ever could, and all of them absolutely know where I stand. What's the point? Prayers are what the religious do, because that is a way to make themselves feel good about doing nothing.
  16. People in the Philippines survive crucifixion every Easter.
  17. Hi ShakyLady, welcome to Ex-C. Baby (congratulations!) doesn't know what's going on, so, if it keeps the family peace, by all means, go through with the ceremony. I "came out" to my family a few years ago, and I was kind of shocked that I wasn't disowned, though I'm sure that some just think that I'm going through "a phase." I'm 60, so, a phase is a bit of a reach. LOL. A couple of weeks ago, one of my sisters died, so I had to attend the religious ceremony. I didn't feel odd at all, because, in my mind, the prayers, etc., were not as important as being there for my niece, and my other siblings. I felt no need to disrespect the family, though they DO know not to debate me. Best wishes to you and your growing family!
  18. sdelsolray, you are of course correct. Perhaps my use of the word "principles" was a bit misguided. It's true that the tenets of Christianity are duplicated in the other two major religions, and many that preceded them. Nevertheless, in the US, Christians claim the right to legislate based upon their particular views, citing that the nation was founded by and for Christians. Europe seems to have moved away from religious legislation, as have, I think, Canada and Australia. Only the US appears to hanging onto religion as a guiding principle (aside from some of the Islamic middle-eastern nations). Today, for instance, is the "national day of prayer," here, and the current occupant of the white house intends to sign an executive order allowing Christians to participate in the denial of rights and services to those that are perceived as living a lifestyle contrary to their views as acceptable behavior, as well as allowing churches to expressly comment on political matters without fear of losing tax-exempt status. The US was founded by those that hated the fact that they had to pay the Crown for their hard work, forced to sell their goods at whatever price the British decided they wanted to pay. Religion was a distant second...in my opinion. So, why, now, are so many convinced that Christianity is the state religion?
  19. There has been much discussion as to whether or not the United States was founded upon Christian principles, such as they are. Most secular people often cite a quote by John Adams where he stated “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," and the 1st amendment to the constitution "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to John Adams, dated April 11, 1823 states, "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding..." However, it can't be questioned that the vast majority of those that came to North America were, in fact, Christian. After all, they were from Western Europe, specifically England, which I think we can all agree was a Christianized nation, albeit split from Roman Catholicism, in the form of the Church of England, which was equally dogmatic with the Protestant flavor. In my opinion, the United States was populated by Christians at it's inception, and, further, this wasn't disputed by the "founding fathers." Slavery was accepted within the precepts of the Christian bible. Women were relegated to no role, again, within the precepts of the Christian bible. My argument therefore is, that the United States is in fact founded upon Christian principles. It can't be argued that Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist...etc., etc., guided the young nation. Thoughts?
  20. Welcome to the forum and looking forward to your observations.
  21. Welcome to Ex-C Tom. My own experience is that since I finally have gotten to a place where "god" is no longer a viable possibility, I feel freer than at any other time in my life. Not, as Christians would say, free to just do any old thing I want, revel in "sin" and/or immorality, but free to just BE. To just be the best person I can, the best friend that I can, the best father and grandfather that I can be. I no longer think that I have to constantly apologize, over and over and over again, for being human. Do I make mistakes? Of course! But I don't believe that my mistakes determine where I go to after I die. That is an incredibly freeing feeling! Again, welcome, and I look forward to hearing about your continuing journey.
  22. Sky, all I can offer is my suggestion that you stay away from church and kindly decline to associate with any religious friends that you have. I would encourage you to read literature about the real history of the church, when and by whom the gospels and other NT documents were written. Authors like Richard Carrier, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Bart Ehrman helped me immensely. Someone above mentioned seeking out a secular mental health professional, and I strongly agree with that. It will take time, and some pain. But you've already begun your journey, like so many others before you. As you progress, you will begin to see that the so-called prophetic visions claimed by the pious are no more real than the horoscope in the daily newspaper.
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