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Religion Is Evil


R. S. Martin
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There's probably a whole batch of threads with this title. I'm too seething mad to look them up right now. I don't know where to start. I've written the last assignment for the last class on New Testament. I hated the prof and he hated me. The real me. He's the most boring prof I've ever had. And testy too. He's so boring and doesn't even teach anything worth knowing yet I had to spend eight months meekly sitting under his sermons. Yes sermons. I paid for education not sermons. He preached. And the stupid thick-skull would resort to crap like faith is not rational when confronted with a certain type of question. Before the eight months were up I learned how to survive his classes without getting him mad at me. I couldn't help but notice that he could laugh at the jokes in his monologues but he couldn't take mine. When I inserted a joke he said it was not good use of class time. I've had several dozen profs and only one other insecure kiddo prof (an RC psycho) told me my class input was not appropriate. I dropped the psycho's course. I had no choice with this prof this winter. I was forced to take the course.

 

I have no completed the final paper for his course. "For we struggle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers...." Eph. 6:12. Everybody here probably knows that verse. I found an author (Walter Wink) who did a thorough analysis of those "powers." In a nutshell, the powers are nothing more and nothing less than The System. This includes the religious system. He quoted what Jesus said to the high priest or whoever at his trial. He said "I am not of this world. If I were of this world my disciples would fight....." It's in the Gospel of John.

 

That is what the Bibles generally say. Wink says we can insert the word "System" (he capitalized it) instead of "world" to get the intended meaning of the Greek text. This is how that would look: I am not of this System. If I were of this System my disciples would fight...

 

Do you get what I'm saying?

 

Is there a fundy church anywhere on the face of this planet who has not heard: We must be in the world but not of the world. Apparently they should say: We must be in the System but not of the System.

 

Get it?

 

Is there a fundy church anywhere that is not a System?

 

NO!

 

JESUS CONDEMNS THEM!

 

But they in their self-righteousness judge and condemn us for being true to our self and loyal to Truth. They hate us for deviating from the System. They persecute and kill and psychologically cripple us all the day long--all in the name of a god whose mythological son says god hates their System.

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And the stupid thick-skull would resort to crap like faith is not rational when confronted with a certain type of question.

Ruby Sera, thanks for sharing this! IMO, faith is convicted belief, hence using some rationality. I do think even though we may not have objective proof, we may have a certain amount of belief anyway. However, why would we go by blind faith alone in things that make no sense what so ever?

<snip>In a nutshell, the powers are nothing more and nothing less than The System. This includes the religious system. He quoted what Jesus said to the high priest or whoever at his trial. He said "I am not of this world. If I were of this world my disciples would fight....." It's in the Gospel of John.

 

That is what the Bibles generally say. Wink says we can insert the word "System" (he capitalized it) instead of "world" to get the intended meaning of the Greek text. This is how that would look: I am not of this System. If I were of this System my disciples would fight...

 

 

 

<snip>JESUS CONDEMNS THEM!

 

But they in their self-righteousness judge and condemn us for being true to our self and loyal to Truth. They hate us for deviating from the System. They persecute and kill and psychologically cripple us all the day long--all in the name of a god whose mythological son says god hates their System.

I agree the character Jesus and his disciples are condemning the religious right... and the government. I've also heard that the persecution of his movement was because they thought him to be atheistic, because he believed in self empowerment and a god that was within us all. IMO, there have been twists and turns made by the religous right to turn the power of this movement to their own benefit... something which it seems they have always been masters at doing.

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Ruby Sera....However, why would we go by blind faith alone in things that make no sense what so ever?

 

You answer that question and we'll both know.

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Ruby,

 

I just hope you can find a successful end to the course.

I can sympathize, I had a couple of profs who were self-inflated gasbags as well. But not in the two philosophy-religion courses I took as electives. One was on the OT, taught by the college chaplain, who was a very liberal xian, the other in talmudic judaism, taught by a rabbi. For me, they were real eye-openers who really helped this former fundie along.

 

Perhaps when the smoke has cleared, that despite the troubles you had in the course, it will be valuable to you in the long run. I hope so.

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Ruby,

 

I just hope you can find a successful end to the course.

I can sympathize, I had a couple of profs who were self-inflated gasbags as well. But not in the two philosophy-religion courses I took as electives. One was on the OT, taught by the college chaplain, who was a very liberal xian, the other in talmudic judaism, taught by a rabbi. For me, they were real eye-openers who really helped this former fundie along.

 

Perhaps when the smoke has cleared, that despite the troubles you had in the course, it will be valuable to you in the long run. I hope so.

 

Piprus, I reread my post and I see I made a critical typo. I said:

 

I have no completed the final paper for his course.

 

That should read:

 

I have now completed the final paper for his course.

 

In other words, I have completed the course. And I think I will do okay.

 

Piprus: self-inflated gasbags

 

I love that term:)

 

I had a really good teacher for OT two years ago. I learned so MUCH. I expected to learn equivilent amounts and types of info on NT. Didn't happen. There could be all kinds of reasons. Maybe I had changed so much. Maybe the teacher was bad. Maybe I did not apply myself. Who knows.

 

He did say in about the second last class that he does not teach about the NT. I forget what he said he does teach but whatever he said, it seemed really stupid to me. The very fact that he made that statement tells me that I was not the only student who was disappointed in the way he taught the course. I had not even tried discussing that kind of thing with him in recent months. He was duly sympathetic (I would say he over-did it) regarding the funeral in my family and the complications around it. And I had learned how to submit to his style.

 

How did I do it? I took a book along to read while he's having his jokes and monologues with himself. I was afraid that would be an insult to him but he seemed not to notice or care.

I forget what all came together for me last night. I'm done with school so I need some other kind of human community. So I've been going to a really liberal Mennonite church where I attended about five years ago. People are so glad to see that I've come back. I know they think I've "come back to god."

 

Last night I was thinking about what kind of people they really are. Do they ever think about their faith or is it a Sunday morning thing? Unlike some other churches, and true to the Mennonite tradition, they serve Communion only several times a year as opposed to every time the doors are open. I have a friend who always is "too busy" to go to church on those Sundays. Her beliefs are nearly identical to mine but she calls herself a Christian. The church has "rules" around taking Communion and signing the church convenant annually. She never does that and an elder promised her a visit. Then she went for the meeting but he didn't show up; had forgotten. He said he still wants that meeting sometime. Several years have passed. She is not reminding him.

 

In the meantime I figured out this horrendous thing that the fundies operate by and for and in the System--the very thing they profess to reject. I dunno. The whole thing just got to me. Being rejected from family and native community is so painful. The worst part is that they refuse to believe that I am a decent person. Dozens of people told me a the funeral that they were so glad I showed up.

 

AS THOUGH IT WAS UP TO ME. As though I was such a heartless person that I would not WANT to show up. My father's sister who--along with her husband--got a car (left the Old Order church) offered me a ride to the funeral. She told me she didn't want me saying I didn't attend because I had no way to get there. I don't drive.

 

What she was really saying was that "Ruby you are such a hard-hearted and cold-blooded person that you would be liable to pull off such a heartless thing as not attending your mother's funeral. I just wanted to make sure you wouldn't put the blame on us for not providing you a way to get there."

 

I see I need to get moving. Got an appointment to meet. Thanks for your support Piprus.

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However, why would we go by blind faith alone in things that make no sense what so ever?

 

Amanda, I hope you have time to answer this question because it has bugged so much life out of me. You say all things are parts of God so I guess you believe in God. Given what we know about the universe and its inhabitants it makes no sense whatsoever to even talk about god. Thus, I presume you know the answer to your question. Would you be kind enough to share it? And please, if I may be so bold as to specify it, please state it in a normal every day language. Not some high-falutin philosophical lingo only the very highly gifted can comprehend. Christianity is, I am told, a religion for the uneducated. Thus, we should not require education to understand it.

 

I agree the character Jesus and his disciples are condemning the religious right... and the government. I've also heard that the persecution of his movement was because they thought him to be atheistic, because he believed in self empowerment and a god that was within us all. IMO, there have been twists and turns made by the religous right to turn the power of this movement to their own benefit... something which it seems they have always been masters at doing.

 

Whoa there! I never said that. I never mentioned the "religious right." So you can't "agree" with me on it. Perhaps I will eventually agree with you when it is clear to me what you mean by the religious right. But you can't just say you agree with me on something I never said or thought or intended.

 

As stated, I'm still waiting for answers from you. Maybe you don't have much time for this forum as I don't see much of you.

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However, why would we go by blind faith alone in things that make no sense what so ever?

 

Amanda, I hope you have time to answer this question because it has bugged so much life out of me. You say all things are parts of God so I guess you believe in God. Given what we know about the universe and its inhabitants it makes no sense whatsoever to even talk about god. Thus, I presume you know the answer to your question. Would you be kind enough to share it? And please, if I may be so bold as to specify it, please state it in a normal every day language. Not some high-falutin philosophical lingo only the very highly gifted can comprehend. Christianity is, I am told, a religion for the uneducated. Thus, we should not require education to understand it.

Ruby Sera, I hope my explanation is simple instead of convuluted. :)

 

My views are really not that different than most Atheists. One essence of God, IMO, is a sense of sacredness, a sense of reverence. The essence of which all things are made deserve a reverence, a sense of sacredness, and I understand that all things are interconnected at some level. There are many parts to our own body, but we are one body.

 

One part of the human body that has emerged is the ability to be 'self aware' and reason. Carl Sagan says that we are part of the cosmos trying to know itself. It is our nature, given to us by nature, to use reason. It is a wonderful ability that should be accepted and used toward positive outcomes for the 'whole'. It is the way in which we can know ourself and all that which is interconnected to ourself, everything else. Everything being separate is only an illusion, IMO. Accepting something blindly goes against our nature to use reason, to know ourself and the rest of ourself. Maybe we are the conscious emergence of God wanting to know itself?

 

Faith is a convicted belief, and I don't see how we can have a convicted belief if we accept something blindly. That seems to be an oxymoron to me.

 

I probably missed something, but I'm sure you'll point it out to me. :)

I agree the character Jesus and his disciples are condemning the religious right... and the government. I've also heard that the persecution of his movement was because they thought him to be atheistic, because he believed in self empowerment and a god that was within us all. IMO, there have been twists and turns made by the religous right to turn the power of this movement to their own benefit... something which it seems they have always been masters at doing.

 

Whoa there! I never said that. I never mentioned the "religious right." So you can't "agree" with me on it. Perhaps I will eventually agree with you when it is clear to me what you mean by the religious right. But you can't just say you agree with me on something I never said or thought or intended.

 

As stated, I'm still waiting for answers from you. Maybe you don't have much time for this forum as I don't see much of you.

 

I apologize if I misunderstood your post below...

 

I have no completed the final paper for his course. "For we struggle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers...." Eph. 6:12. Everybody here probably knows that verse. I found an author (Walter Wink) who did a thorough analysis of those "powers." In a nutshell, the powers are nothing more and nothing less than The System. This includes the religious system. He quoted what Jesus said to the high priest or whoever at his trial. He said "I am not of this world. If I were of this world my disciples would fight....." It's in the Gospel of John.

 

That is what the Bibles generally say. Wink says we can insert the word "System" (he capitalized it) instead of "world" to get the intended meaning of the Greek text. This is how that would look: I am not of this System. If I were of this System my disciples would fight...

 

Do you get what I'm saying?

 

Is there a fundy church anywhere on the face of this planet who has not heard: We must be in the world but not of the world. Apparently they should say: We must be in the System but not of the System.

 

Get it?

 

Is there a fundy church anywhere that is not a System?

 

NO!

 

JESUS CONDEMNS THEM!

 

But they in their self-righteousness judge and condemn us for being true to our self and loyal to Truth. They hate us for deviating from the System. They persecute and kill and psychologically cripple us all the day long--all in the name of a god whose mythological son says god hates their System.

 

I think I am agreeing with you in that Jesus condemns the system. The system at the time was the religous right and the government, much as it seems to be today. It does seem that his emphasis was on the religious right because he suggests they were using God to propagate their own selfish agendas... almost as if they were prostituting God. Needless to say, this did not make "Jesus" a popular guy.

 

Further, other scholars have suggested that "Jesus" was considered an Atheist for those times. This was because the Greeks, Romans, and Jews believed in a God out there somewhere, and "Jesus" believed in a God within us all (and probably everything), making statements like we too are gods and that he considered it not robbery to be equal to God. These kind of comments are thought to have had an Atheistic ring to them in a very pious environment of Gods way above us, that looked down on us. They certainly didn't want their Gods to get mad at them and punish them for allowing "Jesus" to say such things. :nono:

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Guest Vetch

Well, I don't know about you, but if my Gods had to punish me for anything, I'd rather they did it now than saved it up until after I was dead and said, "well, this won't teach you a lesson but it'll make me feel better."

 

I was told by the evangelists of Reachout Trust that if I believed, then God would make himself known to me. But if this would be blind faith, because I didn't get anything out of Christianity to have a conviction - i.e., the one I might get if God decided to get up and show he existed to me. If it's not blind faith to ask me to believe in God without any proof or reasoning, I don't know what is! Is this just poor witnessing or an actual part of Christianity's viewpoint?

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Well, I don't know about you, but if my Gods had to punish me for anything, I'd rather they did it now than saved it up until after I was dead and said, "well, this won't teach you a lesson but it'll make me feel better."

 

I was told by the evangelists of Reachout Trust that if I believed, then God would make himself known to me. But if this would be blind faith, because I didn't get anything out of Christianity to have a conviction - i.e., the one I might get if God decided to get up and show he existed to me. If it's not blind faith to ask me to believe in God without any proof or reasoning, I don't know what is! Is this just poor witnessing or an actual part of Christianity's viewpoint?

 

:DWelcome to these forums Vetch! I look forward to seeing some more posts from you.

 

They have to impose blind faith on people, because if you use reasoning... you wouldn't remain in their clutches. Well, at least we know you're the type to go for reasoning. :)

 

As far as fundamentalist Christianity's view point, I think their's is very diverse... yet there seems to be some main tennants according to what appears to be the popular version today. I think it's safe to say that blind faith is a requisite to most of them. :twitch:

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My views are really not that different than most Atheists. One essence of God, IMO, is a sense of sacredness, a sense of reverence. The essence of which all things are made deserve a reverence, a sense of sacredness, and I understand that all things are interconnected at some level. There are many parts to our own body, but we are one body.

 

I think you explained how you see all things being part of God. My question was how blind faith can be any good, since you had asked me. I don't know why you asked.

 

However, I think it is a major a contradiction to claim your beliefs are similar to those of an atheist in one breath then start talking about the essence of God. Atheist is supposed to mean not theist. In other words, no belief in God. If you give so much thought to the essence of God your beliefs are nowhere near those of an atheist. I don't know if I am an atheist but I think I know something about terms and definitions. And yours just don't fit.

 

I think I am agreeing with you in that Jesus condemns the system. The system at the time was the religous right and the government, much as it seems to be today. It does seem that his emphasis was on the religious right because he suggests they were using God to propagate their own selfish agendas... almost as if they were prostituting God. Needless to say, this did not make "Jesus" a popular guy.

 

My problem is that I think it is inaccurate to call the Pharisees of Jesus' day the "religious right" because they did not have political parties like we do now-a-days. So far as I know (which isn't all that much) the USA is the only country that has a religious right political party. The System, however, is not limited to the religious right. It is just as much in the left. The System is not of necessity religious but the System is present in religious bodies.

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I think you explained how you see all things being part of God. My question was how blind faith can be any good, since you had asked me. I don't know why you asked.

Ruby Sera, I was agreeing that blind faith seems to be counter productive. I was asking, how could it be of any good? The blind faith concept seems useless to me.

However, I think it is a major a contradiction to claim your beliefs are similar to those of an atheist in one breath then start talking about the essence of God. Atheist is supposed to mean not theist. In other words, no belief in God. If you give so much thought to the essence of God your beliefs are nowhere near those of an atheist. I don't know if I am an atheist but I think I know something about terms and definitions. And yours just don't fit.

I believe similar to an Atheist, in that if we have a problem or seek a solution, we don't pray for it to come out of the sky and drop down in our lap. It has to come out of ourselves, through ourselves. Further, that how the universe was created and things that have come to be are NOT supernatural or magic, but can be studied and through objective means come to a conclusion. If I say that God is everything, and everything is God, then how is that different from being an Atheist? They become very similar, just maybe a different initial reference of nomenclature and adding a sense of sacredness, that's all.

My problem is that I think it is inaccurate to call the Pharisees of Jesus' day the "religious right" because they did not have political parties like we do now-a-days. So far as I know (which isn't all that much) the USA is the only country that has a religious right political party. The System, however, is not limited to the religious right. It is just as much in the left. The System is not of necessity religious but the System is present in religious bodies.

We don't have a religous right political system. There is suppose to be a separation of church and state. There is a political party that seems to pander to the religous right, however, the two are not connected in any other way than their support of votes. The Pharisees and Saducees were the predominant religous presence from the Jews, so the government pandered to them to some extent to keep the peace in that region.

 

The religous right Pharisees back then said they were God's chosen people and their beliefs were the only way to get to heaven. They set themselves up as an exclusive group instead of as an inclusive one. The present religous right, fundamentalist Christianaity is the established religion of this country, and the government has a tendency to placate them... to get elected and keep the peace. What has changed? :shrug:

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