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Free Will: Is It The "trickster God" Of The Christian Pantheon?


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So in the past year, out of curiosity, I have read some of the Norse mythology. I was introduced to the idea of a trickster demigod. Not a devil: Lowki serves the Asgarth pantheon, but he is still tricky and unreliable. I was thinking about this this past weekend, and especially in light of a moderate Christian's post on Facebook a few weeks ago. The standard boiler-plate evangelical response to everything is "free will." Just like any trickster, Free Will doesn't depend on fully revealed knowledge first. Eve would not have listened to the Serpent if she had known everything that was going to happen if she did. What we now would call "full disclosure."

Also, free will is the answer to the Tate / La Bianca murders by the Manson family. For the sake of the Manson Family's free will, many were brutally killed and presumably went to Hell. Several of the Manson family, notably Susan Atkins and Tex Watson have come out as born-again evangelical Christians. Since the 70s, in fact. Atkins died of cancer in 2010 and would have gone to heaven, according to the mythology. Free will / lowki having the last laugh. I only know what I know of the Manson situation because I started running into it in late 2010 via some articles, then researched it out via the Backporch Tapes recordings of live events on Youtube, from the late 60s early 70s. I have not read any f the celebrity literature on the topic.

Anyway, that gruesome example is just an example. But free will is everyone's Christian answer. The trickster Free Will provides us with the opportunity to choose, to love, to "not be robots," (a concept that didn't exist until early robotics came in). But free will never implies full disclosure ahead of time. the trickster free will gives place to the abuser, rather than avenges the abused. You can use the trickster later to avenge the abused, but only after the initial victimhood has taken place. The more and more I think about this, the more I think the 4th member of the trinity must be this demigod personality they call free will. It as a principle requires the possibility of positive and negative choices, and also supplies the allure from the demigod Satan, the world system and the 'flesh' or natural desires.

I'm not the most educated on religions, and certainly many on here are a lot more versed theologically. But as I watched this person on Facebook deal with these things, and I've observed in my own life as a Christian, it now strikes me the trinity has a 4th member of its pantheon. Free will is the Lowki of Christianity. It's supposed to serve Heaven's pantheon, but it is clearly unreliable. Not only by choices people make, but by available information to the chooser: often less information than the chooser might have wanted ahead of time.

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Thanks Human.

Ironically, we have to freely choose to subjugate our free will. We are free to unfree ourselves, as it were. We die in order to live, and live in order to die, and are under the constant strain of being constantly broken and rebroken. Startling and terrifying is the parenting notion of breaking a child's will in Christian circles. But then this broken-willed child is supposed to become a willful activist for the Church and its political aims in civil government, or willfully recreate the meme by bringing in new converts. Free will is a trickster.

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Interesting idea!

 

I like trickster gods, especially the Japanese kitsune. They can be good or bad, but are often a law unto themselves.

 

Another parallel would be the Greek god Hermes. He was a messenger and one if his symbols was snakes on a stick, if I remember correctly.

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Thanks Human.

Ironically, we have to freely choose to subjugate our free will. We are free to unfree ourselves, as it were. We die in order to live, and live in order to die, and are under the constant strain of being constantly broken and rebroken. Startling and terrifying is the parenting notion of breaking a child's will in Christian circles. But then this broken-willed child is supposed to become a willful activist for the Church and its political aims in civil government, or willfully recreate the meme by bringing in new converts. Free will is a trickster.

 

Then again one has the free will to not do any of this to anyone or take it.

 

I had them try this on me but they made a mistake if they didn't actually intend me to have free will. They told me I had free will first and it was up to me, then they laid on the religious poop.

 

Didn't work so well for christianity but it worked great for me building a will that cannot be broken by religion or the religious.

 

There is nothing tricky about free will. The tricky part is really recognizing that what you have in front of you is not actually free will. There is nothing free in any religion I know about. You are expected to pay in some way for simply being born... oddly enough not necessarily by your own will.

There is nothing free about free will at all either. You have to work for it fight for it strive for it because everytyhing around you is telling you that you should just conform to what "they" want about almost anything. I fight for it every day and the harder they come at me telling me what to think and feel the sharper my sword gets and the shorter their arm is to swing the butter knife of their control... I can tell you mine cuts meat just fine while theirs can barely cover bread,.

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That was really good.  I am especially disgusted thinking about murderers going to heaven while their victims burn in hell. 

 

What exactly is Jesus going to do, by the way, about being in heaven forever with his murderers?  They told us in church to believe that Jesus had forgiven everybody that nailed him to the cross and so those guys would be in heaven too.  Oh goody, they sound like such fine company.  Imagine Jesus walking past some man and saying "Hey, you look a bit familiar, don't I know you from somewhere?"....  "Oh, uh, Jesus, actually we met that day at Golgotha.  I was the one that put that crown of thorns on your head"......"Oh, that's right, John, is it?"....."Yessir, John, the Roman, that's me"....."well this is getting a bit awkward"...

 

I used to believe in free will but it fell apart after I did my university studies in Criminal Justice.  I started realizing that a lot of these criminals and murderers were either extremely mentally ill, had physical brain abnormalities, or were abused or came from poverty.  I wonder if these guys would have turned into such monsters if they had been mentally sane and well-treated by their parents and society.  But they were born with all the odds for "righteousness" stacked against them. 

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Also consider that Christians teach that you take you, your character, and all there is of you, with you into heaven. So all that Ted Bundy is, all that Jeffrey Dahmer is, all of these, went to heaven as is. While an honest skeptic burns in hell. And while these guys' victims burn in hell.

Carla Fay Tucker, poster child for evangelical conversion, in heaven and her victim in hell. Susan Atkins, Manson girl who was converted or reconverted to Christianity, depending on who you read, held up by some. ... 'nuff said.

I like what everyone else has posted here also.

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Also consider that Christians teach that you take you, your character, and all there is of you, with you into heaven. So all that Ted Bundy is, all that Jeffrey Dahmer is, all of these, went to heaven as is. While an honest skeptic burns in hell. And while these guys' victims burn in hell.

Carla Fay Tucker, poster child for evangelical conversion, in heaven and her victim in hell. Susan Atkins, Manson girl who was converted or reconverted to Christianity, depending on who you read, held up by some. ... 'nuff said.

I like what everyone else has posted here also.

Remember Leo our Sunday school lesson "God knit me together in my mothers' womb for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."  Now if god has carefully crafted and designed us all and his production has resulted in such catastrophic results as Ted Bundy and Jack the Ripper, what are we to conclude about God himself?  If people are expressions and handiwork of God then I am getting a very, very bad impression of who god is. 

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Thanks Human.

Ironically, we have to freely choose to subjugate our free will. We are free to unfree ourselves, as it were. We die in order to live, and live in order to die, and are under the constant strain of being constantly broken and rebroken. Startling and terrifying is the parenting notion of breaking a child's will in Christian circles. But then this broken-willed child is supposed to become a willful activist for the Church and its political aims in civil government, or willfully recreate the meme by bringing in new converts. Free will is a trickster.

 

Then again one has the free will to not do any of this to anyone or take it.

 

I had them try this on me but they made a mistake if they didn't actually intend me to have free will. They told me I had free will first and it was up to me, then they laid on the religious poop.

 

Didn't work so well for christianity but it worked great for me building a will that cannot be broken by religion or the religious.

 

There is nothing tricky about free will. The tricky part is really recognizing that what you have in front of you is not actually free will. There is nothing free in any religion I know about. You are expected to pay in some way for simply being born... oddly enough not necessarily by your own will.

There is nothing free about free will at all either. You have to work for it fight for it strive for it because everytyhing around you is telling you that you should just conform to what "they" want about almost anything. I fight for it every day and the harder they come at me telling me what to think and feel the sharper my sword gets and the shorter their arm is to swing the butter knife of their control... I can tell you mine cuts meat just fine while theirs can barely cover bread,.

 

gall,

 

That's an excellent point that free will is not free. It comes at a great cost of effort to fight for it, against all that the religion is throwing at us and imposing upon us. That's why free will is a "trickster" in a sense. It's a paradox.

 

Human

 

 

Maybe we should all just drop the "free" in it and just call it "will".

 

Nothing is free. Well almost nothing.

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Interesting idea. And all the "demons" are the dark recesses of the mind, perhaps mental deficiencies caused by traumas and other things, or they are just the desire to be different than the goose-stepping march to conformity. I'm not even sure there's a true desire to be different: we just find ourselves there and have to manage things the best we can. The thing that always troubled me about the Christian god, even as a Christian, was this idea that he was setting satan loose upon us, to a point. As though I took my daughter through her growing up years, and let her experience a mad and rabid dog on a leash. Not enough to kill her, but if her curiosity overpowered her she could get bitten, torn and sick. Ironically, my deconversion came perhaps as a result of being a father myself, in the modern era where fathers are caring and sensitive beings who are concerned for the welfare of the offspring, not placing needless rogues and roadblocks in their paths.

I do consider perhaps the eating of the apple to signify waking up to reality. All beforehand was sort of a dream, in the mythology. And waking up we now see where we are. If you've ever been serenely stoned, had some wonderful dreams, then awakened to the cold light of rationality, work, school, and maybe just sensitive to the world around you, perhaps that is what this sort of implies. That garden is a sham, a fantasy, a stoner's far out dream. That would make the Yahweh character sort of the paranoid response afterwards.

Anyway speaking of being just a little bit trippy, I guess I went off track there.

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I see the Eden narrative as a mythos that attempts to explain the tradition of man from hunter/gather and nomad to settled agriculturalists. It's not trippy, albeit possibly far out. The mythos attempts to explain why man had to start working the land, why humanity gave up the relative freedom and relaxation of the old hunter/gatherer and possibly more egalitarian ways.

 

The fruit taken from the tree is a symbol of agriculture, of the knowledge and responsibility to be bestowed upon man from that day forward. God would no longer provide; man would be expected to obtain his own provisions. Women would no longer have agency. The price they would pay would be their selves. Their husbands were no longer partners, but were instead their heads, their lords. Childbirth always hurt. The pain bestowed upon women was not strictly physical. It was to be emotional, each child being born into a world made harsher by man's choice (orchestrated by God, in my opinion) to turn away from the old ways and look into the new.

 

The trickster snake is a foil for the good and wise God. The snake takes the burden of responsibility from God, allows him to shuffle the blame. Humanity did not rebel. They made a choice to rely upon themselves after God failed to provide. Or more likely, one particular group sought to explain why they had to work the land and why their lives were so hard. Surely God didn't want us to suffer like this. Must be the devil! And women!

 

The greatest trickster of all time, in my humble opinion? GOD himself! God lies, murders, and repeatedly allows his chosen people to break his commandments. He allows his believers to do heinous things and to absolve themselves of responsibility by accepting the "truth" of the folklore surrounding his dead and risen again son as their savior. These believers are following their leader, the God who absolved himself of responsibility by allowing a trickster snake into his holy garden and allowing his supposedly beloved creations to fall into corruption.

 

What pitiful bastards this God and his Lich son are. The whole story is so flimsy as to be pathetic. Personally, I think that Satan has been yanking the chains all along. Yahweh has been away on business this whole time. The anti Christ has been here and left many times over. The lion has roamed and devoured and left the rotting remnants behind. All the while, the mythological characters are sitting somewhere laughing over cold beers.

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Interesting about the pain in childbirth. Of course, human women have a painful time due to bipedalism and the size of the baby's cranium. But it's been long observed that women in paleolithic hunter-gatherer tribes around the world seem to have less trouble. Some think the agricultural products like grains makes it worse somehow, others posit that the more sedentary less mobile lifestyle of the agricultural societies make it worse.

I think you're on to something with the cultural anthropological description of paleolithic to Neolithic societies. Especially as farming required property ownership. If nobody owns anything, the band functions as a unit, and polyamorous and other relationships are more likely to exist as they do in other primates. But once property ownership came about, then you have something to defend, and the classic archetype, where men wish to control the fertility of women so they don't end up paying for someone else's offspring, and women wish to control the fertility of men so they make sure they are the ones to secure all his resources for their offspring. Also, the more advanced society gets, the longer the childhood, which means the longer the child care.

A child in the Gobi desert among the San people was said to know, by five or six years old, all that she or he needed to know to survive. Agriculture and city states would have taken a lot longer, dealing with increased specialization.

Ironically, specialization of labor is in part what probably helped European homo sapiens outcompete Neanderthals. Hunting accidents are evident on the bones of both male and female Neanderthals. Specialization creates more complex societies.

I'm sure the old myths had to hearken to a time when all this complication didn't happen. And the earliest attempts at agriculture were met with some rather painful and stunting results, according to the paleontological record.

I forget who wrote the book "A Short History of Myth," but I read it as a Xian and I think it helped in my deconversion. Naturally, certain others didn't know I was reading that.

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Oh and Human, I will definitely check out Carl Jung in greater detail, especially if  I can get some explanations for some of the stuff I don't yet understand in psychology. I'll probably take an iTunesU course on psychology to try and understand the fundamentals.

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I see the Eden narrative as a mythos that attempts to explain the tradition of man from hunter/gather and nomad to settled agriculturalists. It's not trippy, albeit possibly far out. The mythos attempts to explain why man had to start working the land, why humanity gave up the relative freedom and relaxation of the old hunter/gatherer and possibly more egalitarian ways.

 

The fruit taken from the tree is a symbol of agriculture, of the knowledge and responsibility to be bestowed upon man from that day forward. God would no longer provide; man would be expected to obtain his own provisions. Women would no longer have agency. The price they would pay would be their selves. Their husbands were no longer partners, but were instead their heads, their lords. Childbirth always hurt. The pain bestowed upon women was not strictly physical. It was to be emotional, each child being born into a world made harsher by man's choice (orchestrated by God, in my opinion) to turn away from the old ways and look into the new.

 

The trickster snake is a foil for the good and wise God. The snake takes the burden of responsibility from God, allows him to shuffle the blame. Humanity did not rebel. They made a choice to rely upon themselves after God failed to provide. Or more likely, one particular group sought to explain why they had to work the land and why their lives were so hard. Surely God didn't want us to suffer like this. Must be the devil! And women!

 

The greatest trickster of all time, in my humble opinion? GOD himself! God lies, murders, and repeatedly allows his chosen people to break his commandments. He allows his believers to do heinous things and to absolve themselves of responsibility by accepting the "truth" of the folklore surrounding his dead and risen again son as their savior. These believers are following their leader, the God who absolved himself of responsibility by allowing a trickster snake into his holy garden and allowing his supposedly beloved creations to fall into corruption.

 

What pitiful bastards this God and his Lich son are. The whole story is so flimsy as to be pathetic. Personally, I think that Satan has been yanking the chains all along. Yahweh has been away on business this whole time. The anti Christ has been here and left many times over. The lion has roamed and devoured and left the rotting remnants behind. All the while, the mythological characters are sitting somewhere laughing over cold beers.

seven77,

 

You bring up a lot of interesting scenarios.

 

"The trickster snake is a foil for the good and wise God. The snake takes the burden of responsibility from God, allows him to shuffle the blame."

 

So, do you see God as intentionally setting up humans to disobey? Do you see God sending the snake to make this happen? So the snake was just a pawn, a scapegoat? A dupe?

 

So in this sense God 'failed' humanity, in that God turned out to be unreliable and untrustworthy. Therefore, humanity chose a different path, non-reliance upon God.

 

"Humanity did not rebel. They made a choice to rely upon themselves after God failed to provide."

 

So, in that sense, "The greatest trickster of all time, in my humble opinion? GOD himself!"

 

Yes, indeed.

 

However, I still view the Serpent as perhaps representing Eve's conscious will to choose against God's command and God's option. Eve chooses a different way. And as you say, humanity chose against God, and for themselves. I agree. I like that interpretation. But what do you mean that "humanity did not rebel"?

 

I'm still exploring the idea that the Serpent represents the human will choosing against God. I'm not sure I see much distinction between choosing against God and rebelling against God.

 

Later in the mythology, Ha Satan appears as the adversary. Could it be that Ha Satan has been demonized again by God wanting to pass the blame? Could it be that the Adversary is the personification of human will, again choosing against God?

 

The myth carries over into the New Testament, where the Serpent, Ha Satan, the Adversary, Lucifer, and the Dragon are all equated with one another as the alleged enemy of Humanity and as such the foil of God's will and plan.

 

For awhile, I was set on regarding Satan as an alter ego of Yahweh. But how would I reconcile that idea with the idea that the Serpent / Ha Satan / the Adversary is actually human will asserting itself against Yahweh?

 

Perhaps the Serpent and Ha Satan are not the same, despite the NT stating they are. Or perhaps the Trickster Serpent / Ha Satan / Adversary are indeed both the human will asserted against Yahweh's will, and an alter ego of Yahweh. If the Serpent / Ha Satan / Adversary and Yahweh both originate within the human psyche, perhaps Ha Satan / Adversary and Yahweh are a sort of yin/yang of the inherent conflict within the human psyche in its process of trying to become fully integrated.

 

So this synergistic tension and inherent conflict between Serpent / Ha Satan and Yahweh is a manifestation of the dynamic process in the evolution of human consciousness and self-awareness.

 

I appreciate your further illumination on the subject.

 

Human

 

 

In my opinion, humanity did not rebel because I do not view Adam and Eve as actively resisting God's authority. They may have broken a rule, but without a proper understanding of the consequences for breaking the rule, it was essentially meaningless. More to the point, assuming that God created humanity and that he knows all, knows the future, etc, he already knew that A&E were going to eat the damned fruit. So why even bother making a rule and punishing them for breaking it? The whole myth is fucking shoddy and anyone who buys into it unquestioningly is either willfully deluded or painfully clueless. Or perhaps both.

 

Now, addressing Snake/Satan's presence in the garden. Are we told that the snake is Satan in the story? HERE is the whole of Genesis 3, in which the story of the Fall is told. The following contains the excerpts regarding the serpent:

 

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”  And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,  but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”  But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths."

 

The parts I have bolded are my emphasis. That is the sum of what the serpent said to Eve. Infer from it what you will, but at NO POINT in the narrative does the serpent identify himself as Satan, the Enemy, or any other of the evil one's names in the Bible. So who was the serpent really? I think that perhaps the snake is just one of God's henchmen. Which Satan could have very well been and most likely is. wink.png Let us consider that humanity has made God in our image and Satan as well. Is it so much of a stretch to think that perhaps God is dualistic as we are? Not really, in my very humble opinion. The serpent here is a foil, the yin to God's yang, the instigator. We are to suppose that A&E were just looking for a way out, that sin got the best of them, etc? Bullshit.

 

A&E were agents, just as we are. They were human characters and they made decisions, plain and simple.

 

-----------

 

The Adversary (Satan) is a personification of free will. God is a personification of control. The enemy is freedom; the "good guy" is slavery. The Adversary says "do what thou wilt"; God says "obey and honor, all thoughts shall be held captive to Christ!"

 

Here are two quotes that sum up the character of Satan and his role as a character in the narratives of Christianity:

 

From the film, "The Devil's Advocate":

Kevin Lomax: "Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven," is that it?

John Milton: Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began! I've nurtured every sensation man has been inspired to have! I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him, in spite of all his imperfections! I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist....

 

From "The Satanic Bible" by Anton Szandor LaVey:

"Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!"

HERE is a complete list from which this statement was taken. They are quite wry statements, truthful as well, imo.

 

Satan is us, our inner natures, our primal urges. What is God? A manifestation of mental and emotional illness, a collection psychotic urges ruled over by a tyrannical sycophant. It is Satan (the character) that encourages man to seek knowledge, or the light. One of Satan's names is "Lucifer" which means "light-bearer". Christians are taught that Satan is evil and the father of lies, and so on ad nauseam. They are taught to deny all natural urges, to cleanse themselves of sin, to avoid unnecessary emotions that may lead them astray. A great many lead stunted lives as dwarves on their knees, pleading for supernatural interventions in their wasted lives.

 

Satan says (pun intended) "To hell with that sort of behavior!" He embraces humanity as it is, not as God would wish it to be. What is so wonderful about self-denial in the first place? That is a question well worth asking, but so few in the fold do. They prefer to think that self-denial will lead them to happiness and purity. Suffering is beautification! Carry your cross with pride! Cut it off if it causes you to stumble! Christians have no appreciation for their bodies, for their emotions, for their natures or the natures of other animals. Why? Because God robs them at gunpoint with lurid tales of what will happen if you don't submit to his holy will!

 

Free will isn't free, after all. You are born with the will to live, but you have to fight to remain free. wink.png

 

-------------

 

I end by saying that the will of humanity does stand in opposition to Yahweh/God. That is why such importance is placed upon the attributes of obedience and the boundless truth and majesty of the Lord. Notice how the Lord commands his followers to love and obey, yet he plainly tells them that his name is Jealous (Qanna). He has to repeat over and over again that he is "good" and "holy" and "righteous". Why? Could it possibly be because his actions are blatantly evil? Could it be because he breaks commandments in a wanton fashion? Could it be because he (Yahweh, God) and his Lich Son are actually liars, evil fucking bastards who have been misleading mankind for millennia?

 

Perhaps Satan is the only one telling the truth, after all. That is merely my perspective.

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I joined this forum specifically to ask where I could grapple with the psychological explanations of Christian Myth and I'm in day one and here you guys are already doing it! I always felt that the bible stories were very symbolic and metaphorical as a way of early humans/societies working through conscience and morality as tribes merged and became larger and larger (to the point of Rome...)

Anyway, I'm now trotting off to introduce myself to Jung. rolleyes.gif

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I joined this forum specifically to ask where I could grapple with the psychological explanations of Christian Myth and I'm in day one and here you guys are already doing it! I always felt that the bible stories were very symbolic and metaphorical as a way of early humans/societies working through conscience and morality as tribes merged and became larger and larger (to the point of Rome...)

 

Anyway, I'm now trotting off to introduce myself to Jung. rolleyes.gif

 

Yep, we're a deep lot 'round here.

 

I like your theory of tribal mergers. Seems kind of evolutionary to me.

 

I think that the collapse of the Western half of the Roman Empire was a major factor in the development and spread of the Christian faith. Things evolved (or devolved, depending on your perspective) from there.

 

Post-conversion Rome fought to subjugate the free will of the people who possessed it. They did this through deception and repression of all natural human impulses (sex, mostly) and also by suppressing their opponents (Hedonists, Epicureans, Stoics, and other philosophical groups).

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I haven't had a chance to really type out my introduction on this forum, and I certainly won't do it now, but you bring up a point I did want to talk about.

When I asked a Christian friend why Jesus (assuming he is God) decided to come to Earth 2,000 years ago instead of now when it would be less likely we could argue scientifically, he mentioned that no one would believe it now or would call it an internet hoax. He also mentioned how the fall of the Roman Empire was perfect in that it ensured God's people would be scattered "unto all the Earth". Now, early Christians (or anyone else for that matter) certainly had no reason to believe Rome could ever "fall", so how can the skeptic dissect this when Christians boast of it as God's perfect plan to spread the gospel? 

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I haven't had a chance to really type out my introduction on this forum, and I certainly won't do it now, but you bring up a point I did want to talk about.

 

When I asked a Christian friend why Jesus (assuming he is God) decided to come to Earth 2,000 years ago instead of now when it would be less likely we could argue scientifically, he mentioned that no one would believe it now or would call it an internet hoax. He also mentioned how the fall of the Roman Empire was perfect in that it ensured God's people would be scattered "unto all the Earth". Now, early Christians (or anyone else for that matter) certainly had no reason to believe Rome could ever "fall", so how can the skeptic dissect this when Christians boast of it as God's perfect plan to spread the gospel? 

It's all Monday morning quarterbacking. Your friend can think of any one of a million bullshit reasons, but it doesn't mean they are true. IMHO speculation divorced from fact is a waste of time. And... Welcome to the forum!

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I've actually been reading the forum anonymously for about a week now and your posts were always little moments where I could let out my breath a little. It's understandable how quick to eye-roll some members here seem to be. I'm also inclined to throw my hands up and say F-it, I'm just going to live my life. And yet, it nags and nags. I know there is no "bottom" in such discussions and one must draw their own conclusions. All that to say, I find your posts quite useful and easy to follow in threads where goading and cynicism seem to carry the bulk of the thread.

That said, I have yet to find a thread on this forum that is able to untangle/reconcile the wisdom in the bible with the angle of mythological/political agendas. If such a thread exists, I'd love to be directed to and read it. If not, I'd be happy to start one with my questions. This one is off to a good start, but I don't want to de-rail Leo's initial intention.

Thanks for the introduction! I'm glad to be here. Hard to find free thinkers/intelligent debaters in big Dallas. fun_84.gif

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Oh, also, thank you for your explanation of my question. It's exhausting how much research one ought to do to understand the foundation of their belief system. I guess it makes sense why (blanket statement) most Christians are easily hoovered into the church. 

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