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Everything posted by older

  1. I have frequently written in this space that fear is a key component of Christianity. Many Christians I encounter have numerous fears from the significant, fear of death or of Hell or the Devil, for example, to the inconsequential, such as fear of spiders or of the dark. I sometimes wonder if fear is intrinsic to their personalities, which in turn propels them toward religion, or if fear is instilled by the institution. Perhaps it's a bit of both. It is certainly perpetuated by the church. Of course, Christians will say they are not afraid because God walks with them and protects them, but the reality is that they are scared of the unknown and of those who are not like them.
  2. Damn! Weezer, you are a genius! A business opportunity! Internet sales! Unlimited income! GENUINE HOLY WATER. Pints, quarts, gallons, delivered to your door! Filtered through prayer cloths for absolute purity. Special blessings available, see the fee schedule. Bulk orders welcome. ORDER NOW! Supplies are limited. We accept PayPal and major credit cards. Uh... oh wait. I just checked Ebay. Lots of folks beat us to it. Next idea.
  3. And its also fear. They generate fear in folks and then provide the answer to that fear. "Where will you go when you die?" People are afraid of death and Christians exploit that. Then there is the whole "sin" thing; convincing people that they are shitty scum and that there is only one way to resolve that. The list goes on.
  4. Well if LA means Los Angeles, the population of the greater metropolitan area is over 18 million. So that means that about half are female, so there are 9 million of them. Considering that lots of those are either married, too young, or too weird, there would still be several million good ones out there. Keep looking. You'll find one.
  5. Here ya go, boys and girls. Gaze upon them and weep. Mrs. Older's legendary pies, two lemon merengue and one pumpkin. And, unlike the pumpkin from Thanksgiving that was stolen by the dog, these are in a no-pets house and will be safe until devoured by the 12 people who will be here for one of Mrs. Older's legendary turkeys later today.
  6. Here's a quote from Emperor Augustus, 18 B.C.: If we could survive without a wife, citizens of Rome, all of us would do without that nuisance; but since nature has so decreed that we cannot manage comfortably with them, nor live in any way without them, we must plan for our lasting preservation rather than for our temporary pleasure.
  7. From The Onion, America's Finest News Source: https://local.theonion.com/priest-cursed-with-incredible-penis-1834078408
  8. Hey, Prof, that sucks. I'll never understand why some people just can't set those things aside once in a while. IMHO there is little worse than turning kids against a parent.
  9. Yeah. I won't be going to the midnight service, or any other. And most of the contemporary music is nauseating, but some of the classical music is good. Sharing the traditions with family is important, and watching the kids is loads of fun. Hope you all have a good holiday, however you spend it.
  10. They are out there. Be patient and you'll find one. I've said before on this forum that community colleges are good places to make connections. Take a class that has some sort of activity or lab, not just a lecture class. Night classes draw a broad spectrum from the community. If I was going to make up a checklist for what to look for, here are some things I’d put on it: 1. First, emotional stability. I’d want (and I got) someone who is steady, consistent, and not liable to fly off into extremes of emotion. Sure, we all have the range of emotions, but I’m sure we all know at least one person that has to be approached carefully because he or she might be in a “mood.” In this category is also how this person deals with the tough times. 2. A positive outlook. Who wants to be around an Eeyore? Being with someone who re-frames the half-full/half-empty question and says the glass is always full — half air, half water, is much better. Someone who smiles a lot. 3. A sense of humor. Hey, ya gotta laugh. 4. A reasonable amount of prudence. Good judgment and self-discipline. 5. Shared values. There are many ways of being, and many of those are just as right as any other. But the differences between them are important. This is a major issue for many of the folks on this forum. But it’s not just religious or non-religious values. It’s the answer to that elusive question, “What do you want out of life?” 6. A positive, fun attitude about sex. 7. An ability to love even during times when the partner can’t love back. Please add to this list.
  11. As Citsonga noted above, if we remove the political issues, Trump still fails the "Christian Values" test. He has had three wives and has cheated on all three of them. He has bragged about sexually abusing women. He has made cruel and insensitive remarks about the disabled, prisoners of war, and the deceased. He lies on a regular basis. He has violated five of the Ten Commandments. And he has used vulgar words including "shit", "fuck", "son-of-a-bitch", and "motherfucker" in his public speeches. None of this is subject to dispute, yet so-called Christians somehow rationalize their support by claiming that he supports their long-term goals, which include prohibition of abortion, the subjugation of the LGBTQ community, and the creation of a theocracy. Thus the end justifies the means.
  12. And here's the latest from The Onion: "Prominent Evangelical Magazine Calls For Removing Trump From Holy Trinity" CAROL STREAM, IL—In a scathing opinion piece published Thursday by Christianity Today, the evangelical magazine’s editor-in-chief Mark Galli made the case for President Trump’s removal from the Holy Trinity. “The president has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the ethical convictions necessary for us to continue worshipping him as a part of the triune God,” said Galli, explaining that when Trump was seated at the right hand of the Father, many Christians assumed his behavior would by extension be righteous and godly, but this has not been the case. “While it is not a decision we undertake lightly, our position is firm: If we do not reverse course now—if we continue to accept Mr. Trump as our Lord and Savior in spite of his blackened moral record—who will take the evangelical community seriously in the years to come?” Galli’s editorial goes on to reassure readers the magazine supports the deification of Vice President Pence, who in the event of Trump’s removal would ascend to a place alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit. https://politics.theonion.com/prominent-evangelical-magazine-calls-for-removing-trump-1840559882
  13. I think it comes down to abortion. Extremist Christians will never back down on that and will vote accordingly, everything else being less important.
  14. Someone once asked why breasts are supposed to be sexy. They are milk glands, he said. Suppose women had udders with teats on them like a cow? Would men go after that, he asked. The OP citation reminds me of Brother Jed and Sister Cindy. They used to come to college campuses (and may still) and holler at passing students about being fornicators. At that time they were not married and we were sure Jed was fucking Cindy. The students would gather around and hoot and holler back. Anyway, a woman student he had hollered at and called a whore filed charges against him and he didn't come back. According to Wikipedia, he's still at it, and has his own website.
  15. Having been near a volcano and sulfur springs, I can vouch for this. It would scare the crap out of me if I didn't know what it was all about. How else would you explain it 2000 years ago? Many other things that were ascribed to gods have been proven to be natural events with specific, measurable causes including the wind, rain and thunder. What would they have thought if you could go back in time and fly over them in a helicopter? Quit reading that bullshit. And if you get too stressed before your local counselor appointment, call this national help line: 1-800-273-8255. They're there 24/7. It's a secular hotline that anyone under stress is welcome to call. It was founded by the federal government, works with the VA, and gets evaluated by a foundation at Columbia University, so I feel comfortable suggesting it.
  16. Citsonga: THANKS! I'm emailing it to Wifey right now! Let's wait and see what she says. (She's in the living room reading a book....) ... "Oh, that's funny, honey." So I guess we'll keep sending cards.
  17. Yes to that! Wifey insists we send out a bunch of them and she's computer illiterate so I am the one who gets stuck making them and running the addresses. But the main thing is she insists on sending cards to people because they sent one last year. But we never see these people. My theory is that they send us a card because we sent them one the year before, and we send them one because they sent us one. What a fucking vicious cycle! I can't get her to stop. And, of course, she writes up another of the horrible, cliche letters we all get about all the things we've done and people we've seen so all the folks who don't give a shit, which is most of them, can open the envelope, toss the letter, take a glance at the cliche family group photo as they bin it and mark us down to get another card next year. AARRRGGGGGHHHHH!
  18. I think anything can work as long as all parties are completely open and honest. Honesty is the keystone of a marriage. By the second date I think some casual chat about religion or the lack thereof is warranted. Leading someone on is not a good idea. This works both ways and it is important that the other party understands that you are not going to become a "project" to be converted. Be gentle but firm that this is a non-negotiable. If both of you are cool with that and everything else works out, go for it. But we all change over time and a fundie could change in a direction that no longer works. Of course, anyone can change such that it no longer works — including you. It's always a bit of a gamble. I will add that a relationship often starts out with passion and lust. Passion is what makes you want to be together every waking moment, to want to breathe together, to cling to each other. Lust is what makes you want to get into her pants. Recognizing an attraction that is purely lust can be difficult, and lust fades quickly. Passion recedes over time and other things become more elemental to the relationship. Recognizing the passion is difficult when someone is newly in love. Basic attitudes about life, mutual trust and respect, and shared interests are what takes it forward. It's not that the passion is completely gone; it's that other things become significant. Take this from someone who just celebrated 50 years with the same woman and has no regrets or plans to change.
  19. I'm reminded of the story about some guy who went to an island near India to convert the natives there. They killed him and his body remains there. As I recall, he had been warned not to go there. Here is one story on it: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/world/asia/north-sentinel-island-missionary-killed.html
  20. Bears. Not the brown ones, the Grizzlies. You need to be afraid of them. But rather the black ones that inhabit the mountains where I regularly hike. The more I learned about them the less afraid I became. Yes, I respect them and am not dumb enough to get between a mother and a cub. But I've had them in my camp and had them lope across the trail in front of me, and now that I know how to deal with them I get a kick out of seeing one in the forest. (You probably think I'm nuts....)
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