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About MultifariousBirdLady

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    Explorer of Ideas

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Southern Tier, NY
  • Interests
    Birds, ecology, flora, fauna, psychology, religion, Paganism
  • More About Me
    I've been out of Christianity since about 1990 or so. Sure feels good!

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    The Pleroma riding the Sacred Chao.

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  1. This!I think the "it's not a religion" idea is popular only because they're grasping for something to make their religion different from the others.
  2. Welcome, Bhim! Thanks for sharing your ex-timony. Your Christian college group sounds very similar to the kind I was involved with. My experience in Christianity is similar to yours in that I found it possible to explain away many of the same things (evolution vs. creationism, Biblical contradictions, inaccuracies) by reading the text symbolically or whatever, but could not find a way to reconcile the condemnation of unbelievers -- many of whom were simply born into a different religion/culture -- with the idea of a loving God. I absolutely agree with you that the doctrine of eternal hell is one of the most horrible ideas out there. I realized this, also, and it seemed contrary to everything I had been taught... everything about loving other people regardless of who they were. The breaking point for me came when my best friend from high school -- who was Jewish and studying to become a rabbi -- was shot and killed during our college spring break. The question of "who went to hell" was no longer theoretical or a problem I could hold at arm's length and try to ignore. I'm pretty much in the same place WRT belief and practice... in my case Paganism ("Neopaganism," mostly the Greek pantheon). I also have an interest in the "cross-fertilization" of ancient Greek religions with those of other cultures. Ficino, thanks for mentioning this. I'm interested in the topics your friend writes about, too! I found his "presocratics.org" website. I didn't see anything there about his views on henotheism, but would be especially interested in reading about that. My guess is it would have something to do with demonizing non-sanctioned Gods and religious beliefs. I agree completely. It's so sad when religion gets in the way of relationships. This is a big problem with fundamentalism, especially. (I've met a lot of people with more liberal Christian beliefs who would not do this -- religious difference is much less of a problem for them.) I've come to the same conclusions that you did on these issues, too. I'm looking forward to reading more from you.
  3. DOswalt, You were treated very unfairly. I'm sorry this administrator stooped to using these abusive tactics with you. Especially this: Which has no basis in reality whatsoever. He is telling you that for two reasons... 1. he wants to scare you back into Christianity, and 2. he is so trapped himself that he has believed these fearmongering ideas that get passed around within the faith. I know that must have been a horrible experience to go through. Someone did something a little similar to me at one point. Don't let his words bother you, though. See for yourself how beautiful the world without religious tyranny and guilt-tripping can be.
  4. Welcome back, ContraBardus! I'm glad to hear you're stable and doing better than the docs were expecting. I hope things go well for you in the future... it would be really great if you could get stem-cell replacement parts. I'm really sorry to hear that the religious vultures have descended with the news of this. It sounds like you're coping with that really well, despite how annoying it is. I'm glad you'll be living with your less- (or non?)religious dad soon.
  5. Welcome, Josh! Although my background and exit are both different than yours, I noticed many of the same things and came to the same conclusions you did. The idea that a "loving" God would send people to hell only because they were born into and learned the "wrong" religion was the clincher. Congrats on extracting yourself and freeing your mind.
  6. Happy New Year, everyone! May 2013 be good to you!

    1. Deva


      Happy New Year to you as well!

    2. Margee


      You too MBL!!Hug!

    3. MultifariousBirdLady
  7. Hi Bill, You might not be making too much of it. I have seen some people write or speak about about Nature in ways that struck me as idealized to the point of being naive. It didn't sit well with me. I don't know if that's happening in this case or not, but if it is then I can appreciate your discomfort.
  8. Sure thing. I'm right there on board with you when it comes to that. Bill, it's the "spiritual learning" claim that really makes me wonder what specifically he's referring to. If he means developing a deep sense of "our place in nature," or acceptance that death is a natural part of life, or seeing for yourself that life will return after devastation, sure. I think there is a way in which seeing/experiencing these things for yourself in nature can help people to grasp these ideas on a level that you don't get by, say, listening to sermons. But in my experience not everything one learns from nature along these lines fosters a "continuing elevated spirit," as you say. Perhaps that's "as it 'should' be," so to speak. Nature, like life itself, is not a parade of rainbows and unicorns. There are seriously difficult things to face in the mix. I have a guess about the author's use of "spiritual renewal"... usually when I hear people saying something along these lines, they seem to be referring to feeling refreshed and inspired after getting out and getting involved with the natural world, whether through experiencing beauty on a walk or finding gratitude and connection in something like, say, eating from one's own garden.
  9. Totally agreed. I would still like to hear some examples of what the author considers "life lessons," though. Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of wonderful, uplifting things in nature, but the saying that it's "red in tooth and claw" is also true. As one example of what makes me cautious: I've seen occasions where some people try to use the behavior of animals as some kind of guide for making a case about what is "natural" (and thus "good") or not. They usually end up cherry-picking their examples.
  10. Hi Bill, I do put a high value on nature, but as some kind of substitute for religion I think it's a mixed bag. Awe, wonder, a sense of connectedness, yes, absolutely, you can get all that. Life lessons? Yes and no, IMO. I'm curious what exactly the author means when he says this. But also: ecological crisis is real, there are a lot of "losing battles," and as you learn more, along with amazement and appreciation for the natural world comes fear and grief associated with understanding the magnitude of what has been lost so far and what is precarious and vulnerable. Some problems seem to have no good answers. At least, that has been my experience.
  11. A certain discussion is bringing up stuff I don't want to look at... but maybe I should?

    1. Akheia


      What's the worst thing that could happen? :)

    2. MultifariousBirdLady


      A whole lot of discomfort... realizations that are hard to swallow... perhaps effects for others, if I talk about it... it's a little complicated. :/

  12. I just noticed part two in the new content list and hadn't seen part one before. This looks wonderful... very well-done! The campus group I was in had the same style of prayer. I'm looking forward to watching part two.
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