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Tyson

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  1. http://www.alternet.org/belief/149588/no,_atheists_don't_have_to_show_%22respect%22_for_religion/?page=entire
  2. A recent convert to Islam from conservative Christianity who claimed she converted after Allah made a guest appearance in her life (in the form of a voice) told a critic who was questioning her about her new found faith that he should read the entire Koran and Hadiths to get his questions answered. A similar suggestion often comes from [some] Christians, often AFTER they are cornered with questions they cannot answer or refuse to answer. While for [some] Christians they do not really believe people have enough time to read the entire Bible to make an educated decision about the faith as Jesus can return at any given moment, the advice is often thrown out there to the stubborn who refuse to give in just on their word. Now, what I find very interesting is that the same ones who pass out this advice have themselves not read through the entire Koran or Bible but came into the respective faith without a full knowledge of what is on the pages of their holy writ. This tells me that they made up their minds what is the truth based on an extremely partial bit of information without knowing ALL of the information yet they are advising others to read ALL of the information to make an educated decision. I realize that we probably all do or have done something like this in some area of life, joining something based on appeal rather than comprehension, however, religion is particularly interesting. I mean, how does this work?
  3. I posted this on another forum, a Christian one. Of course no one has answered after nearly 12 hours. ====================================================================================================== There is a segment of Christianity (some on this forum) that believe the Jews are "god's time clock" and are the focal point of end time prophesy. They believe that the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 kicked started end time prophesy into full gear and it is only a matter of time before Jesus cracks the sky to call away a select group of people in something they call the rapture. After this calling away, this select group will be in heaven with Jesus watching the lord wreak havoc on the earth as explained in the book of Revelation, much of which will fall upon the Jews, as god whips them into obedience, ultimately allowing the anti-Christ to persecute them so severely, Hitler's campaign against them would seem like child's play. This will them ultimately force them to cry out to Jesus, the messiah they have refused to accept. MY QUESTION IS, if this is what is supposed to go down on the Jews (an upcoming horror), why aren't Christians making it their business to DISCOURAGE Jews from going to live in Israel instead of influencing them to go/return and funding their entrenchment in Israel? Why are these Christians passively and actively allowing Jews to walk into a soon to come death trap over there?
  4. Wonderful behind the scenes insights.
  5. It hardly seems worth trying to debate under those circumstances. It's like a rigged jury trial with a judge receiving a bribe. And if all you get are "run of the mill" answers, then you can object, but never get into a debate that has a resolution. But then, when does a debate with a Christian have a resolution? I know Shyone. I know, however,the mods have cut me some slack after I had a serious talk with them. They realize that some of the wild, out of this world nonsense some of these people are running with needs to be checked. The only stipulation is that I can't grill the Christians unmercifully meaning I have to dumb down my approach to make them feel safe and not make them look bad.
  6. It's not really a matter of local law. It's a matter of us vs. them, devout vs. the heathens. Yes, that's because the Christians are the good ones, "us", the in-group. Those persecuting them are the evil ones, "them", the out-group. So regardless of what is legal elsewhere, it will always and evermore be wrong for an out-group member to kill their fellow. Stop trying to be impartial or you'll never get it! More to the point, you should ask them why it is now wrong to kill heathens (they probably consider it wrong, and not merely illegal), and whether it would be right to kill heathens if it were currently legal. Our society's idea of what is proper treatment of out-group members has changed since 2000 years ago, and probably they'd be squeamish about this, which is an inconsistent attitude to take. Fundamentalist Christians think atheists/gays/evolutionists/abortionists/etc. are dragging the country to hell, so in principle we're just as much a threat today as those priests of Baal were. But the majority of fundamentalists would be disturbed by someone killing one of us heathens for religious reasons, and not just in a pragmatic "oh, you shouldn't kill them because it's against the law right now" way. Oh Petrel I know how to ask the questions, but you see, this is a Christian forum and the Christians there love running to the mods, reporting posts by non-Christians that forces them to think so you have to pussy-foot with them. When they realize your questions are cornering them, they stop responding and the thread dies so you have to feign ignorance to give them the impression you are convertible material and they will be MORE then happy to give you the usual run of the mill answers..
  7. Because the prophets of Baal were evil, while the prophets of God were good, ergo killing them was entirely appropriate. I'm surprised you didn't get this answer, actually. Actually I did, but again they could not connect the dots. For the sake of making it easy, I admitted that in Israelite law, the book of Deuteronomy does say that a person was to kill anyone in their family who tried to steer them from the national god so this was THEIR law so Elijah killing these "wicked" prophets was okay. However, when I flipped the script and asked if TODAY, base on this thinking, it is okay for Christians to be thrown in jail, tortured or killed in other countries if they break the law by trying to proselytize, then we get silence. What happens to the Christian is called "persecution" and Christian circles are drumming this up nowadays to no end, but the prophets of Baal were not persecuted. They deserved it. Notice the thinking?
  8. This is often the problem. Religious folks either do not connect the dots or refuse to see where they connect because of fear and pride.
  9. Most Christians don't really know much about Islam, and they don't care much about it. They might answer the question if it were framed from a Christian perspective: "Instead of knocking on doors to preach the gospel, why not just shoot the unbelievers like in the good old days?" That would bring out some apologies. Christians, however, feel no need to defend Islam. When I posed the question I was not even thinking about Islam, to be honest, however, someone (a Christian) answered and said that if a Christian is killed or proselytizing in a Muslim/Communist country they got what the law of that country meted out. I then asked why then, is there so much growing talk about "Christian persecution" in such countries if Christians are receiving what the law dictates just like the priests of Baal received in I Kings 18? Is it fair for Christians to cry persecution, but on the other hand find no issues with others being killed for their faith in ancient Israel?
  10. So I posed question on another site and received a few answers. I pointed out that in the book of First Kings we are told that Jezebel killed the prophets of god (there is no record of such in the book with the exception of Naboath who was not a prophet) but we are also told that Elijah killed 500 prophets of Baal all on one day. I asked why is it that Jezebel has been eternally demonized, but Elijah, who also killed, is hailed as a great hero? I was basically told that capital punishment was the rule for those who tried to convert Israelites to other religions and I admit, that according to Old Testament barbaric laws, this was true, however, I then asked what if a Christian today (as they do) go to a Muslim country where proselytizing is punishable by death and tries to convert Muslims, wold it be fair to apply the same thinking? So far *crickets*
  11. This view also shows up in Asimov's Guide to the Bible, which is really goddamn long (longer than the Bible itself!) but well worth the read. Interestingly enough, even though the conflict between royalists and Yahwehists in the bible is pretty clear once you study it, it's never touched on in church, even though it's well-known in scholarly circles. I always wondered about the differences between Kings and Chronicles as a young Christian. Why tell the same stories with different details? Now I know – because Chronicles is a later, more sanitized and priest-approved version of history. when it comes to bible religious/church history and how things REALLY went down, that is an area of knowledge MOST church folks are clueless about. Those who know either continue to fake it or walk away.
  12. You bring up a GREAT set of points here! I often say that while much has been said about the religious tug of wars that have gone on since the start of Christianity, little attention is given to the religious wars that took place in the days of the Old Testament. It was not a clean, clear cut and dried situation. Bleeding through the pages of the Old Testament are accounts of religious factions fighting against each other for religious prominence. In the end, the Yahwehists won out. One example of this that has always struck me is the story of Josiah who came to the throne of Judah at age 9 (I think). At such a young age he was already making decisions to eliminate every other rival gods and their priests. Like his ancestor Hezekiah, he is lauded for these purges and reforms and graced with the noblest of praises. But then I look behind the scenes and realize that the respected prophet, Jeremiah, and other Yahwehists are behind the throne of the young king. This is just one example of the Yahwehists pushing their agenda to ensure their worldview became the dominant worldview amongst the Jews.
  13. So when you say "the Jews" you're not speaking of the Israelites. You're speaking only of those from Judah. I wonder why there could be so much friction between these two once the push to "unite" them started? mwc Correct MWC. When I say Jews, I am referring to those who survived to tell THEIR tale.
  14. At this point in time Israel and Judah were two states (Israel being the more well-off of the two). Since Judah didn't cooperate it was their people and temple that paid the price and it was from them that captives (~17,000 as I recall) were taken. So what of Israel? Your hypothesis omits them (or seems to assume they were part of Judah). mwc Isn't Judah the only tribe that really survived to write everything down? Maybe the glorious history of the 12 tribes was made up to explain their situation? After all, the 10 tribes were allegedly exiled in 800 B.C. so there was lots of time for the story to evolve into legend. Are we relying on the word of scribes from Judah to tell Israel's story? MWC, to go along with Jabber's response, note carefully in the Bible that not one Israelite king is written about in a favorable light. It appears that the later scribes wanted to make sure that it was drilled home in the minds of the Judahites that their brethren across the border left the TRUE god (Yahweh) and his TRUE temple (Jerusalem) to pursue other gods and built their own temple in a declaration of rebellion to the true royal lineage over Israel - the house of David. Naturally, as a result, the story is told that they were erased from the land BECAUSE of these affronts to god. For the Jewish scribe tying to make sure his own tribe stayed faithful to the religion, stories of past failures that led to punishment filled up the books of Exodus all the way through to the books of Chronicles.
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