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Everything posted by older

  1. Well, below is a link to the story. What more can I say. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/11/17/navy_apologizes_for_sky_penis.html
  2. I predict that B.O. will post something outrageous and blatantly false on this forum.
  3. Facts, logic and common sense. Ask this of a believer: "Do you believe this because it makes sense or do you believe it because other people have convinced you that bad things will happen to you if you don't." Religion is based on fear. Those who practice it are laden with fear and they project that fear onto others. They are afraid of sex, afraid of the dark, afraid of the unknown, and afraid of death. Mark Twain once wrote: “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
  4. Hi Borticus: The only thing I could add to the good advice above is that some morning you will wake up and feel a tremendous weight has been lifted from your shoulders. You'll feel a freedom you never felt when you were a Christian. It's hard to say when that day will come, but it will. Keep checking in to this site and keep us posted. We're rooting for you.
  5. Vigile and Buffetfan: Thanks for your comments; they are a big help. I've been all worked up over this all day and you've given me some perspective. I was going to write Daughter an email about this, but now I think I'll just let it go. And, Buffetfan, you've given me a great response if it happens again.
  6. I think the child was upset with the notion that I was not going to get into heaven unless I believed. I'm not going to try to plant doubts in her head at her age. As I wrote above, we have a good family relationship, but the child's father, our son-in-law, is more fundy than our daughter and I would not put it past him to cut or somehow restrict our relationship if he thought I was interfering with their child rearing. One option is to ignore this unless it happens again. But I just can't comprehend why this girl's mother would put her daughter in such a position. As of today, I think what I'll do is just send an email, which gives everyone time to think, and tell my daughter that the kid was upset. I don't think my daughter wants that. I think I'll just tell her what happened and let her find a solution. I think I will say that I was also upset that my world view would be discussed with children. We watched the kids again today and there were no comments or issues.
  7. Thanks, Vigile. What bothers me about this is that it's an 8-year-old kid that's upset. I don't think it's appropriate for a parent to put a kid in this position.
  8. I’d like your input on something. We were watching grandkids today at their house on the other side of town, and I was reading books to one of them. They are fundies, I am not a believer. One granddaughter, who is eight years old, brought over a few short picture books of Bible stories. I read them to her, after which she said, “Mom told me something about you.” I teased around, saying that I’m smart, good looking, etc. and she said, “No, it’s serious. If you don’t believe in God you won’t get into heaven. You need to believe.” I was so caught off guard that I didn’t know what to say except, “Well, don’t worry about that.” I could tell she was getting upset, and it looked like she was holding back tears. A moment later she got down from my lap and went into her bedroom and laid down on her bed. I didn’t follow. After a few minutes she came out and we went on to other activities and nothing more was said. Later at our house, I asked my wife for her reaction to this, and she told me that this wasn’t the first time that one of their young children brought this up. Once the boy, who is nine, asked “Nana” if he could pray that I would become a Christian. She told him that it would not be good to do that right then. I really don’t care if these kids know my world view or not. I don’t discuss it with them. But I do care when one of my grandchildren is so upset that she leaves the room. What I believe or do not believe is not something that should be upsetting young children. Our family relationship has been good and we have always had a tacit agreement that we don’t discuss religion. They do their thing and I do mine. I’m going to let this settle for a couple of days before I contact their mom. I find that time helps to produce more thoughtful statements. But I have to tell her that this has upset one of her children (and me), and ask her why she would even bring up my world view with these kids. My wife suggests that in their family prayers they probably are praying that I’ll find Jesus. I don’t care if they do that. But who put the thoughts into this kid’s head that I’m not going to heaven because I don’t believe, resulting in her becoming upset? Why did they even have to discuss this with children at all? Now a second, and really minor, issue is that my world view is my property. I own it. I choose who to share it with and under what circumstances. I don’t put bumper stickers on my car or wear badges on my hat. And I see no need for it to be brought up unless in the context of a religious discussion in which I choose to participate. It is no different from the relevancy of any other status — gender identity, race, age — to any discussion in which that status has no importance. Anyhow, I know that I can’t control what goes on inside their house. But with the thought that we all have a good relationship, I would be interested in what you might say to the children's mom if you were in my position.
  9. I have a wonderful grandson who is a serious chatterbox. In fact, he takes ADHD meds, but he still talks constantly regardless of whether anyone is listening. I have told him that if he uses up all his words, he won't have any left for when he grows up. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
  10. Calvin: Dad, how come old photographs are always black and white? didn't they have color film back then? Dad: Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It's just the world was black and white then. Calvin: Really? Dad: Yep. The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too. Calvin: That's really weird. Dad: Well, truth is stranger than fiction. Calvin: But then why are old paintings in color? If the world was black and white, wouldn't artists have painted it that way? Dad: Not necessarily. A lot of great artists were insane. Calvin: But... but how cold they have painted in color anyway? Wouldn't their paints have been shades of gray back then? Dad: Of course. But they turned colors like everything else did in the '30s. Calvin: So why didn't old black and white photos turn color too? Dad: Because they were color pictures of black and white, remember? Calvin (to Hobbes): The world is a complicated place, Hobbes. Hobbes: Whenever it seems that way, I take a nap in a tree and wait for dinner.
  11. I’m invoking serious self-control to restrain myself from a long profanity-laced tirade, in part because I know that nothing posted anywhere on the net is truly anonymous. And also because you will be able to deduce what I might write, and probably add some choice words yourself. Here’s the story: -In our state the law now requires middle and high schools to teach science-based sex education including STDs, birth control and abortion and cannot limit the curriculum to abstinence only. They must also include LGBT information. -Throughout the region, the ACLU has been having “Know Your Rights” seminars to teach students to be whistleblowers if school districts don’t follow the law. -Our region has some of the highest rates of teen birth and STDs in the nation, as well as some of the highest levels of poverty. -Our region is extremely conservative. The president of the school board is a Mormon as is one other member. -In regard to the sex education curriculum, the board president recently said: “My biggest fear in teaching this — which we’re gong to do it because it’s the law — but you have kids who are extremely moldable at this stage, and if you start telling them that LGBT is OK and that it’s a way of life, well maybe you just swayed the kid to go that way; it’s so important for parents to teach these Judeo-Christian philosophies.” And as to abortion, he said, “There’s certainly a lot of psychological effects that come from abortion that people need to be aware of. Your life is a lot easier by not doing it. Look at these poor girls who get raped and have to have an abortion. If that’s the way they’ve got to go, God bless them. But think of all the repercussions that come later in life, mental and psychological.” The above provokes at least 150 responses in my mind but I’ll restrain myself except to say that this man’s brain is lower on the scale of ultimate values than a fetid, rotting, prune.
  12. I'm not interested in labels. I don't like "atheist" because that is so often used as a pejorative. When pressed, I simply say that I'm not religious; and if pressed further, that I don't believe in gods or spirits. Labels for other belief systems are confining and can put someone into a category into which he or she doesn't completely fit. To someone who would ask me, "What are you?" I'd just say, "Why does it matter?"
  13. ^ ^ ^ A frequent challenge in this regard is, "But you can't prove he doesn't exist." Of course, the response is that they are the ones making the claim so the burden of proof is on them. We also have to be careful to state that we don't believe in gods, and not say that God does not exist. Taking the latter position gives them an opening to say that you can't prove that, which is true. (I will say that based on the evidence, I don't believe the Christian god exists. It is easy to point to such evidence — cancer in children, for example.) Something I'm waiting to use is this (parts of this are from an unknown source): So you believe in a deity that exists everywhere, knows everything, created everything, planned everything, and can do anything, who sent himself to earth and then killed himself in order to avenge himself for a curse he put on us because one of our distant ancestors and a rib woman ate fruit off a magical tree after being told to do it by a talking snake. Now do you believe this because it makes sense or because other people have convinced you that bad things will happen to you if you don't? But I, too, find it mostly a waste of time to debate. I read an article on line recently in a political context that folks make up their minds based on a core world view, something that is buried within their minds and may not even be perceptible to the individual.
  14. I'm sorry, Long, that your dad is dying in this way. His cancer is proof that the Christian god does not exist — no entity that allegedly loves his creations would permit this. My brother-in-law, a fundie, died three weeks ago, also from cancer, and I think they held back too long on the morphine. If you think he needs it, don't hold back on that.
  15. A. He's teaching us a lesson. B. He's testing our faith. C. God works in mysterious ways.
  16. Good luck. Here in my region school teachers are vetted and fingerprinted, but at least once a year one gets caught having sex with a middle or high school student. As they say, a stiff prick has no conscience.
  17. Actually, he did pay for the lunch. And thanks, folks, for your thoughts. It all happened so quick I didn't have time to think. But next time, with him or anyone else. I will just say, "Thank you but I'm not religious. You go ahead."
  18. I was caught off-guard recently with a new friend who wanted to say grace over a meal in a restaurant. I’m still not completely sure how I might have handled it. The background is that we met as the result of our rather uncommon hobby. He is local, while all the other friends I have in the hobby live a hundred or more miles away, and I was hoping that this might develop into a friendship. I’d like to have someone I could drop in on, and vice versa, and share information and techniques. When he first got out of his car at my shop, I sensed that we would probably only agree on hobby issues. I know one shouldn’t characterize a person by how he looks, but regardless, certain people who look a certain way almost always have certain political and religious beliefs. And this guy looked “that way.” And political and religious discussion is almost never done among folks in this hobby. We talk about our toys, our kids, our trips, and that’s about it. As it turns out, he has a great deal of knowledge and experience in the hobby and is the kind of guy I’d like to be able to bounce ideas off of. So after about an hour during which I showed him my workshop and hobby stuff, he suggested we go to lunch. The closest place is a Chipotle joint about three miles down the road. We order, take our seats, and he says something about blessing the meal. I said, “Go ahead,” thinking he’d just take a quiet moment to himself. But he puts out his hands toward me. I was so taken off guard I couldn’t think fast enough in the second of time that passed, so I reached out and grasped his fingers (I hate the hand-holding-prayer thing) while he said an audible grace in the noisy restaurant. In that second that I grasped his fingers, I’m thinking about how this guy might be able to help me from time to time with hobby things, and that I didn’t want to offend him this early in our new friendship. And that this moment won’t kill me or even keep me awake. Now to be fair, I didn’t fully process his offer, and I’m not sure exactly how he worded it. It could have been possible for me to politely decline. But I was uncomfortable about the whole thing, more so that it was in a restaurant. I have family who are fundies and I stand quietly while they say their grace, but they also know I’m atheistic and they don’t pressure me to participate. And they don’t do it in public, either. Now I could have said something rude, but I don’t care to do that. I’m thinking that I could have just said, “I’m not a Christian, but you go ahead.” That would have solved the immediate problem, but I was still hoping that we could find other common grounds and I didn’t want to poison the well, so to speak. But now that it’s over and I’ve written this, I think the friendship is not going to develop. My rational self says I should be able to be friends with this guy regardless of his religious beliefs, but my emotional self says this was just too much for me. I really don’t care to be around people who put their religion onto me. I think it was presumptuous of him to expect me to participate, but then he did give me the opportunity to decline and he obviously misread my response. On the other hand, I could have stood up for myself. It was an awkward situation for me; I don’t know how he felt — such folks can often be clueless about what they are doing. I think I’ll just have to keep looking for someone to be a local hobby buddy. How do you react when someone puts you in such a position?
  19. The average lifespan of an eyelash is about three months.
  20. Random interesting things: 1. You have more computing power in your cell phone than all the computing power in all of NASA at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Would you go to the Moon today using only your cell phone to run everything? 2. The first choice for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was Shirley Temple. (shudder)
  21. There is a certain look on the faces of these people. Hard to describe but there is a grin that you have probably seen, sort of a self-satisfied look that you might expect to see on the face of someone who just got whacked on the back of the head with a 2 x 12.
  22. I hope those of you who predict the decline of religion are right. But I'm not that optimistic. I think that if Christianity declines, it will be replaced by something else. I believe that people are inherently fearful (perhaps something that evolved into us from life in the jungle) and that religion is a means of dealing with fear. I just don't see that fear going away in large masses of people, particularly when I see people capitalizing on that fear to pass their agendas — politicians, salesmen, shamans, preachers, and others. They all have something to gain by encouraging that fear.
  23. To thank, I say "Thanks." And if it needs more than that, I'll say, "Thanks. I really appreciate that." For a sneeze, I say "gesundheit." Here is some trivia I found re. "God bless you" for a sneeze: It was once believed that the soul could exit the body during a sneeze, causing ill health, so folks said "God bless you" to ward off this danger. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gesundheit)
  24. Once again, Margee nails it. What she wrote is a good re-statement of the serenity prayer, although those of us here would use it without the God part: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
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