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Everything posted by Snafutopia

  1. I worked in QC for the census for several weeks earlier this year. One of the biggest messes I've ever seen in my life. All of us were pressured and actually ordered to fake data, on a massive scale. No, I'm not kidding. There is no possible way the census is accurate. Incredible waste of your tax money. And for what? I don't get it. If the goal isn't accurate data, then what is the goal?
  2. I really, really hope so. Even as cynical as I am, I really don't want to believe there are actually people that stupid out there. "It would be like if an African person and an Asian person had a baby." Sadly, there are a lot of people that stupid out here. Smalltown and rural Arkansas is populated with kids just like Molly and Rachel. And their parents, pastors and Sunday School teachers who helped make them this stupid. Did you happen to catch the part where Saraa (I've no idea what her full name is nor how to spell it) is trying to explain her ethnic background, and Rachel says to Molly, "I think she's lying to us." Molly is convinced that Saraa is actually black, but refuses to admit it, and is trying to "pass" for Asian. My absolutely favorite part is the very end of the video, when Saraa -- civilized, polite, and intelligent in a way that Molly and Rachel never will be -- shakes their hands and says, "It was nice to meet you." and then she leaves, like a young lady. Leaving Molly and Rachel sputtering. They just can't believe their intended victim -- their hoped-for conversion trophy -- got away!
  3. I'm trying to locate the originals at youtube. Those might have info re how to contact Molly.
  4. My bet -- it's legitimate. But I'll do my best to find out. The fundie airheads in this video are EXACTLY like the majority of church kids around where I live.
  5. How Not To Convert Someone To Christianity
  6. {{Bird28}} Sincere sympathies re the death as well as the guilt. On a lighter note ... this will no doubt come as quite a surprise to Christians, but the Bible teaches that animals have souls and are going to be in heaven Revelation 5:13 "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under theearth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard Isaying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him thatsitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Fundies insist that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally. They must therefore concede that according to the Bibe, animals talk, animals have souls, animals recognize and acknowledge God and Jesus, and at least some of the animals are going to heaven. Christians have failed to obey Jesus's command to preach the gospel to the animals (Mark 16:15) "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Remember that Jesus said, in Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Notice that the end won't come until the gospel is preached "in all the world for a witness to all nations." In conclusion -- Jesus isn't coming back, and it's the Christians fault, because they refuse to preach the gospel to animals
  7. I love VacuumFlux's and Rev R's ideas! One new thing I've tentatively begun trying, in a perhaps futile effort to get away from the requisite prayer we seem to have to have anytime our daughter and her husband are eating with us, is to just start talking about thankfulness. Just in a light tone, say to the grandchildren, "What a wonderful thing it is, to have food and be together and happy. What are you thankful for today?" Suggesting things like "Mommy", "Daddy," "pineapple", "water," etc. Just keep it light and friendly, and begin eating. It just occurred to me recently that the only time there is prayer in our house is when we're having a meal with our daughter and her husband. They're sweet kids, truly dear to us, but they're fundies, and while they have the right to pray anywhere they want to, of course, this is our home and we're just not into prayer -- I'm agnostic/atheist and my husband even though he's still a Baptist he's more of a cerebral sort of person and doesn't feel comfortable about the whole issue of prayer. So, I decided it was time to slowly transitioning to a non-prayer / non-religious "meal time ritual". At least, I have to try. Sometimes, I just feel overwhelmed and life as a nonbeliever here in the rural south is making me totally nuts! (uh ok, so it's a short trip! lol)
  8. I'm surrounded by fundies :(

  9. It's not just the Church of Christ. The Baptists I know personally believe and teach exactly the same thing -- that the only outcome if a person is being honest, is to totally agree with them, and that if anybody really is sincere about seeking truth, their search is going to lead them directly to the Baptists -- not just ANY Baptist church, but to the specific Baptist church which teaches exactly the way these Baptists believe. In open discussions I've heard various of them say that Catholics aren't "real" Christians, other Baptist churches aren't "real" Christians, etc. They are the only "real" Christians -- they are the only ones who have interpreted the Bible "correctly" and therefore theirs is the "one true church". In one of the posts in this thread, somebody mentioned about feeling guilty -- me too, and also very stupid, because I used to believe basically the same way these people do. Looking back on it now, all these years later, I just have this mixture of awful feelings of guilt and shame and embarrassment. And perpexity! How could I, who consider myself a not-completely-brainless person, how could I have fallen for that scam? How could I have believed and joined and participated in that scam? It's baffling, and I've never known what to do, to be free from guilt -- guilt for having been born, then guilt for being a sinner, followed by years of guilt for being an imperfect Christian, now guilt for my past beliefs and behaviors.
  10. The OP mentions stuff that's taken straight out of "Evangelism Explosion." For those of you who have never read that thing, please do so and prepare to be sickened. It's utterly cynical, and nothing more than a SALES pitch. It treats prospective victims as customers, and the "witnessing Christian" is the "salesman" -- the book tells the salesman how to sell the product to the customer. It's one of the most cold-blooded, calculating primers on manipulation ever published. It used to be "big" here in the South among Baptists and other fundies, but a lot of them have reverted to (or embraced) the Calvinist anti-evangelism perspective implied by the doctrines of election / predestination and "irresistible grace". The reason this has become so popular, I think, is that it appeals to human laziness while at the same time giving them a handy excuse as to why the Evangelism Explosion failed.
  11. Talmud - Mas. Kethuboth 46b MISHNAH. A FATHER HAS AUTHORITY OVER HIS DAUGHTER2 IN RESPECT OF HER BETROTHAL [WHETHER IT WAS EFFECTED] BY MONEY,3 DEED4 OR INTERCOURSE;5 HE IS ENTITLED TO ANYTHING SHE FINDS AND TO HER HANDIWORK; [HE HAS THE RIGHT] OF ANNULLING HER VOWS6 AND HE RECEIVES HER BILL OF DIVORCE;7 BUT HE HAS NO USUFRUCT8 DURING HER LIFETIME.9 WHEN SHE MARRIES, THE HUSBAND SURPASSES HIM [iN HIS RIGHTS] IN THAT HE HAS10 USUFRUCT DURING HER LIFETIME,11 BUT HE IS ALSO UNDER THE OBLIGATION OF MAINTAINING AND RANSOMING HER12 AND TO PROVIDE FOR HER BURIAL. R. JUDAH RULED: EVEN THE POOREST MAN IN ISRAEL MUST PROVIDE13 NO LESS THAN TWO FLUTES AND ONE LAMENTING WOMAN. GEMARA. ‘BY MONEY’. Obviously what this is saying is that a father's rights to his daughter once she marries are superseded by her husband. As a result the husband, among other things, must provide for her burial which includes no less than two flutes and one lamenting woman. This is the only place where I can locate such a provision. Was it only something done for women? The traditions here are often a bit later than 1st century CE. Now in Wars 2.1 there is this: 1. NOW the necessity which Archelaus was under of taking a journey to Rome was the occasion of new disturbances; for when he had mourned for his father seven days, (1) and had given a very expensive funeral feast to the multitude, (which custom is the occasion of poverty to many of the Jews, because they are forced to feast the multitude; for if any one omits it, he is not esteemed a holy person,) he put on a white garment, and went up to the temple, where the people accosted him with various acclamations. This reflects what Herod the Great's son did after he died. Now, there was also (not mentioned here) a funeral procession connected with this burial which likely involved many mourners and the like. The aspect I wanted to point out was the feast which wasn't mentioned at all in the Talmudic source. Perhaps that was eliminated later as a requirement due to cost? I can't say. I can say that this statement appears to be true for women although it would probably be true from the 2nd or 3rd century. I can't say it was a law that everyone had to have this as a part of their funeral based on what info I have but I'm leaning away from it. The reason is that in the 1st century with all the competing sects in place it would have been hard to make a sweeping law like that. After the temple fell and the Rabbinic law filled the void it became easier to accomplish these sorts of things. Kind of the opposite of the Reformation. It was easy when the Catholics ruled the world but now they can't simply make a rule and have the Protestants obey even though they all pretty much agree on the bulk of the basics. mwc wow great info, MWC, thank you!!
  12. No. It's not horrible. If the guy is too lazy or too dishonest to fact check his sermon material, then he needs to be corrected. Preachers don't have a license to spread b.s.! Think of the toll it takes on the unsuspecting people who have to sit through his misinformation week after week! And these unsuspecting people are paying this guy more than fifty thousand dollars a year for that misinformation!
  13. And that's the basic problem. Even nonreligious people can't seem to wrap their minds around the notion that it is possible for a person to simply have no supernatural beliefs or deities of some kind. The word 'atheist' is neither positive or negative - it's descriptive. The term 'atheist' doesn't and shouldn't imply alternative beliefs to fill an imagined void that is left by not believing in gods. It's simple. An atheist just lacks a belief in gods, and usually all other supernatural notions as well. But strictly speaking it only means no belief in any god. The word doesn't address the concept of possible alternative beliefs to not believing. It doesn't mean believing in some god, but just not 'yours". It doesn't mean that another spiritual path that leaves out a god has been chosen. I got tired of explaining how calling myself an atheist provides no information about what I think about philosophy, religions in general, or evolution. That's why I just tell the misinformed to look up the word and accept its meaning. Agnosticism, deism, etc. are entirely outside the reach of that simple term. How about instead of saying you're an atheist, just say, "I don't believe in any gods"? I'm afraid even that clear statement would be frequently met with disbelief and more prodding about what belief has replaced the god concept. Maybe it's just hopeless. I'm agnostic on that point. As always, Florduh, you make some good points. And re that last paragraph, sometimes I'll say, "I'm unable to believe anymore," or "I've lost the ability to believe." Because that's true, and it maybe helps the person understand my p.o.v. -- that belief isn't a choice -- and neither is unbelief. Losing faith is something that happened to me, not something I did. This phrasing seems to help (a bit) diffuse the tendency fundies have, to instantly attack ex-c's, as if we've committed a crime.
  14. I'm not able to feel comfortable with the label "atheist". Even if I weren't a part-time agnostic, I'd still feel uncomfortable with the label "atheist." And it's safer to call myself a wannabe-rationalist.
  15. Which I think makes it all the more remarkable that she's come to this point, where she's finally willing to open the communication channels. So glad you're enjoying Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus! It's cool to find books like this, that are accessible and helpful, profound and yet not intimidating (I just recently finished reading Robert Price's "Inerrant the Wind" but wow the uberscholarly vocabulary and sentence structure make for difficult reading! well, difficult for me anyway) Re the John gospel -- there are couple of ex-preachers here on the board whose names at the moment escape me, but I'm confident they'll be able to shed some light on the John gospel.
  16. I think it's commendable of your wife to offer to read ANYTHING that might cause her to question her faith. This is not an easy thing to do, and is very brave of her. I have hopes for my dear husband. He made the remark not too long ago that Christians ought to "try to prove their religion is false." And that just astonished me, for him to say that. So, good naturedly, I agreed with him and said, "In that case, I have some books you might enjoy reading." He's not ready any of them yet but at least he's seemed open to the idea and hasn't refused outright. There's so much emotion tied in with this whole thing. I really do think your wife is brave, and to me her willingness to read things that are important to you, shows that she does love and care about you and wants to keep connected with you in this area. Wishing you both all the best, and I hope your journey together is a happy one, even if you're unable to come to total agreement with each other.
  17. I'm very much so inclined, and would dearly love to know where he's getting this stuff -- because he's certainly not an original thinker, for sure. But I've asked him several times about this and many other things he's said from the pulpit, and he has one reply only -- silence. No comment, and quickly change the subject. Reading the other replies posted above, I'm kinda laughing because this guy has said exactly the same things -- right down to the thing about the *ooh evil* vegetarians!
  18. Hi, and thanks, to everyone who replied. Yes, I know all this about the empires, as I'd already researched it. I even compiled an extensive list of all the empires (African, Asian, European, and n the Americas) which have risen (and in most cases fallen) since the Roman Empire, and sent it to this guy, who of course ignored the info and issued no retraction, not even from the pulpit. As I said, this guy is a font of misinformation and has no qualms about dishing it out to the uninformed congregants. All I need to know is the thing about whether condemned prisoners at that time/place were given the choice of carrying their own cross (or crossbeam) or having someone else carry it for them. And a new thing -- in yesterday's sermon, he made the statement that, in Jesus's time, whenever somebody died, "Jewish law required that the family hire a minimum of two mourners and one flute player." I'd like to know, again, is this more crap, or actual fact? It's horrible of me, I know, but I've come to enjoy exposing the misinformation in this guy's sermons. Yeah, I'm snarky that way.
  19. Just a note of sincere sympathy. So much pain and suffering in the world already, and this heartless ignorance heaped on top of it.
  20. When I was a Christian, I never really thought much about heaven. uh, which kinda suprises me, now. As I began to lose my faith, my main thought about heaven was regarding the whole "praising God for eternity" thing. It seemed to me that that sort of god was an egomaniac, and what a pathetic loser, to have set all this in motion, and caused/allowed all these eons of suffering and death for billions of people, and for what? So he could end up sitting around with a bunch of people who do nothing except tell him what a great guy he is.
  21. hmmm ... that would be an interesting question to pose to them.
  22. omg I never knew of FSTDT. Those quotes are horrifying. omg Feeling really discouraged lately. Will there ever come a time when compassionate rationalism and science are the norm? Or is humanity doomed to fundie bonkerdom?
  23. Understood. And I'm as skeptical about the whole thing as you are. But what I need to find out is: 1. were condemned prisoners really given the choice as explained by the preacher? 2. was carrying a cross to one's own crucifixion really an admission of guilt,and conversely was having one's cross carried by somebody else really a proclamation of innocence? Specifically, was carrying one's own cross or not carrying one's own cross understood by the general population "in Bible days" as indicating the prisoner's assertion as to guilt/innocence?
  24. Recently I attended the Baptist church with my husband. The pastor/preacher of the church is a font of misinformation, especially when it comes to history. For example, in one sermon he stated that the Roman Empire never fell. In the same sermon, he said that the Roman Empire was the last empire, and that there have been no other empires since. These are just two examples of many. Needless to say, whenever I attend church I'm astonished at the amount of misinformation this guy dishes out. More recently, he preached about how "Simon of Cyrenia" carried Jesus's cross (Matthew gospel chapter 27 verse 32, Mark gospel chapter 15 verse 21, Luke gospel chapter 23 verse 26). According to the preacher, the reason Jesus didn't carry his own cross is that "back in those days" if a condemned person carried their own cross, they were admitting that they deserved the punishment. But if they wanted to "proclaim their innocence" they got somebody else to carry the cross for them. This makes no sense to me, because I can't imagine the Romans giving any condemned prisoner such a choice -- "Do you want to carry your own cross, or do you want somebody else to carry it for you?" (Of course the preacher ignored the John gospel chapter 19 verse 17 where it says Jesus carried his own cross.) So, is this just more of the preacher's crap? Or is it an actual fact? I've been trying to find out. Does anybody here know for sure? I've written to a couple of professors who specialize in the history of ancient Rome, and to a Jewish historian. The latter replied saying he's never heard of such a thing, but recommended some authors, so I'm doing a bit of googling and thought I'd ask you guys. Thanks in advance for any info.
  25. Phanta, you write so movingly, and these posts have helped me today. Thank you.
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