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Everything posted by older

  1. Meanwhile we don't have easy, affordable care for the mentally ill.
  2. Just today I ended up at some vegetarian place for lunch — not by choice but by expediency. I could't figure out anything on the menu as the items all had weird names and strange ingredients. But everything was supposed to be pure, organic, gluten-free, allergy-free, and totally without any nutritional value whatsoever. So I ordered the first item on the menu and for $9 I got a tube-shaped thing wrapped in a lettuce leaf and containing some unidentifiable assortment of green and red rabbit food and which oozed out some sort of yellow goo when bitten into. Bah. As soon as I got home I grabbed a glass of milk and an extra-large chocolate chip cookie.
  3. I think that is it for more people than we might realize. Oh sure, there are lots of True Believers, but when you take a close look at the folks in the pews, it seems to me that quite a few are just mouthing the words and are eager to get on to the social hall and the free food. (I've previously reported here about attending a mass at Yorkminster in England, and how the show was so damn good that I'd go once in a while just for that. OTOH everything else I've suffered through was excruciatingly boring and not worth tolerating for even a seven course dinner with a good wine and an after-dinner cordial.)
  4. In yesterday's news was a story about seven people in Panama who were found dead after an exorcism. All but one of the victims were children. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-51144629
  5. Hope you'll stick around and contribute. It's been rather quiet lately and we could use more folks in the discussions.
  6. Hm. Very valid point, Wertbag. I think if I were filling out a form I just might put "atheist." But if I was having a discussion with a Christian, I still would avoid using the term "atheist." I agree with Florduh's post about theists getting to make the linguistic rules. It shouldn't be that way, but the reality is otherwise. My position is I feel the most effective way to communicate with someone is to use language they understand. Anyone who has studied a foreign language knows that there are elements of one language that just can't be translated easily into another. It may take a whole paragraph in the second language to explain a word or two from the first. So for me to communicate with a Christian, I want to use words in a way that fits into their perspective. Yes, it would be nice if we could educate them as to the meaning of the words as we use them, but that introduces another whole element into the conversation and, when attitudes are not that flexible, which we often see in Christians, our communications might not be received in the way we intend. So I like to meet them on their playing field. I've even used religion as a tactic. Some years ago I encountered a neighbor getting ready to dump trash in the field behind our house. He knows it's against the law. I asked him, "Are you a Christian man?" Him: "Yes." Me: "Remember, God is watching you." He didn't dump the trash.
  7. This relates to the "You're just angry at God" response we sometimes get. What a presumptuous thing to say! If we said, "You're just sucked into the myth because you are afraid of reality," they'd probably be offended and pissed. For them to say we are angry at God is no different from them to say we are angry at Santa. How can we be angry at something that doesn't exist? What we may be angry with is Christians who have abused us or pushed their religion upon us.
  8. It's raining hard with blowing winds so I've spent the afternoon on the net looking for quotes to add to my collection. Here's one I found for you, from Winnie the Pooh, the most popular character in British children's literature: “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh
  9. And I wonder why any form to be filled out would ask for religious preference anyway. Outside of a funeral home, whose business is it, anyway?
  10. Art: Yes, it is hard to start a new life when so much of who you were is wrapped up in that group. Finding new friends is always difficult. And it is hard to leave people who genuinely care about you. But sometimes that has to happen. It can be done without hurting them. "I appreciate so much everything you have done for me, but now it is time for me to move on." [Repeat as often as necessary.] The fact that you are here discussing this proves that you can do this.
  11. "Fifteen-year-old Kayla Kenney suddenly finds herself kicked out of her high school, and her family says it’s because she posed for a photo with a rainbow birthday cake." https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/heidi-stevens/ct-heidi-stevens-girl-expelled-rainbow-cake-lgbt-john-pavlovitz-0115-20200115-mxctamkj2bebjlfsa3okbjzx4i-story.html
  12. Art: Read Myrkoos and Nontheistpilgrim's posts above again. And when you are done, read them again. Here's your script: "Friends, I thank you all for the opportunity to serve as a worship minister here. I've enjoyed making music with you during the last five years, and I want to thank you for all the love and help you have given me during that time. It is time for me now to move on to another phase of life, so Sunday the 26th will be the last Sunday I'll be able to worship with you. So I thank you again and I wish you all the best in the future." If they badger you, just repeat the above. You do NOT owe them an explanation. "Thanks for your concern, but I have decided to move on to another phase of life." Period. And don't show up after the 26th. As Nontheist writes, after you have left, you'll never hear from them again. (My wife, although not in a leadership position, recently left her church (yay!). She had many "friends" there. Guess how many called to see what happened to her? Zero.)
  13. And in our newspaper today was a story about a woman celebrating her 101st birthday at the all-you-can-eat buffet. She had fried chicken. She said she was raised on bacon. By the way, don't forget that chocolate is a vegetable. Chocolate comes from beans. Beans are a vegetable. Therefore chocolate is a vegetable.
  14. And what Wertbag writes is the reason I avoid saying I am an "atheist." I prefer to say I don't believe, or that I'm not religious. As I've written on this site before, the term "atheist" is often used as a pejorative by Christians and I don't want to give them an opening for inaccurate claims about my world view.
  15. Well, the domain name seems available. Sex-Christian.net. The no-guilt site for horny Christians. First month free with a year's membership. Only $9.95 per month, one year paid in advance. Credit cards accepted. Not sold in stores.
  16. It is worth noting that this guy posted only twice, on Dec. 26, and hasn't been back in two weeks. Perhaps he found what he was looking for.
  17. Part of middle eastern cultures is that they do not forget. They will wait as long as it takes and then strike. It should also be noted that Iran has one fourth or one third, depending on how you count it, of the world's oil reserves. So it is unlikely that the country will ever be left to itself.
  18. That's what I get for zooming quickly through the forums!
  19. To add to what I wrote above, what really scares me is what happens when end-times Christians are in the driver's seat about all this. What if they get hold of the nuclear codes? From the NYT: "The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who last year agreed with a Christian Broadcasting Network interviewer that God might have sent Trump to save Israel from the “Iranian menace” — has been pushing for a hit on Suleimani for months." (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/opinion/trump-iran.html)
  20. I don't think it is inevitable but this was a very stupid move and Iran will have to respond. There were significant factions within Iran which were very large and opposed to the current government that have now been united by this bonehead action. A response to a provocation needs to be proportional and measured with consideration of the consequences. That was not done here. I could write a lot about this, but the main thing to know is that too many of our politicians know little about the history and culture of the middle east. I once had dinner with Joseph Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame. You may remember that she was the CIA agent whose cover was blown by Dick Cheney in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Wilson was the second in command at the American embassy in Iraq before the war and was the last American to talk to Saddam. Wilson was a career diplomat, not a political appointee. I sat there for three hours while he told the story of this whole mess. And to understand it you need to go back to the end of WWII when these countries were created by the Allies with no consideration for the local cultures or religions. Religion is a far more important force there than it is anywhere in the west. The West has continued to meddle there without such understanding, and there will never be a resolution until we get out of there and leave them alone. The current mess can be traced directly back to the Bush administration and it's invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a power that kept Iran in check; removing him opened the door for Iran to move throughout the area. Taking out Soleimani will not stop the Iranian agenda; there are many other folks in the regime who can step in and keep up the campaign to control the entire area. Soleimani was in Iraq at the invitation of Saudi Arabia to work on defusing regional tensions.* So this assassination kills that and makes everything much worse. Saudi Arabia is particularly upset that they were not notified before this was done, as are many of our NATO allies and members of Congress. The advisers who presented Trump with this option in a list of several choices, are partly to blame for even suggesting it to him. They did not think he would choose this, which was the most extreme of the options given to him. So Iran will have to retaliate. Let's hope that it will be just enough to save face and not an escalation, and that the madman in the White House will move on to other paranoias. -------- *https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7854971/Soleimani-Iraq-discuss-escalating-tensions-Saudis-killed-PM-says.html
  21. Sorry, Taba, but this really is Fake News. Here's an explanation: https://www.earnthenecklace.com/fact-check-daniel-sharp-florida-veteran-convinces-female-officers/ Also, the writing contains numerous errors of newswriting style that would never happen with a legitimate source. And if the story was true, it would have been covered by legitimate news sources. A Google search fails to turn up any news source with the story.
  22. Hi Giovanni: Glad to hear that things are good now. We hope you'll stick around and contribute to the discussions. (And don't forget to work your way over to the News and Humor subforums, too.)
  23. You sound quite determined and motivated. You'll succeed. Here's a quote that helped me once. I keep it on my desk. I hope it helps you, too: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
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