A hermeneutic walks into a bar …

The story is just stupid, OK?

First off, gorillas can’t talk. Duh. So, like, what? You actually believe in talking gorillas? That makes you a moron. You and everybody else who tells this story. And everybody who listens to it. You’re all morons.

Plus, do you realize how terrifying this would be? How dangerous? A gorilla could kill a room full of people by accident. Here you’ve got a huge, frightened, confused animal thrust into a strange situation it couldn’t possibly comprehend. It’s gonna be aggressive. It’s gonna be violent. It’s gonna go ape.

So do you really think the smart thing to do would be to approach the gorilla? To try to talk to it? That’s a great way to get yourself killed.

And that’s why this story isn’t just stupid, it’s also irresponsible. If anybody is stupid enough to take your stupid story seriously, they’ll get themselves killed.

And, frankly, I’d almost say they deserved it, if they’re also stupid enough to listen to stupid stories about talking gorillas. Almost, but not really, since unlike you people I don’t have an outlook shaped by cruel fantasies and ridiculous stories and I don’t really want to see anyone ripped limb-from-limb by a frantic silverback.

I mean, just, really. What are you people thinking? Hey, look, there’s a gorilla in the building — let’s go talk to it! I know — let’s give it some alcohol! What could possibly go wrong?

You people are just stupid and your stupid stories are stupid. And then you have the nerve, the arrogance, to tell me that I’m the one who doesn’t “get it”?

Yeah, well, gorillas still can’t talk. Until you “get” that, you and your stupid stories are just wasting my time.

(Walks away, muttering.)

  • Tonio

    Is that tradition Christian or Jewish? The book doesn’t appear in the bibles used by the vast majority of Christians and Jews in the US. That doesn’t render it invalid, but it does mean that that most casual readers of either religion’s bible won’t understand the Nephilim reference without having to look it up. Some of them might make my mistake and assume that it referred to another ethnic group in the region.

  • Tonio

    Here’s the reason for the distinction with “cruel and wasteful” – if an event is caused by a sentient entity that is capable of moral choice, then the morality of the entity’s choice to cause the event is fair game for scrutiny. An event that results from undirected forces isn’t cruel or wasteful because those words depend on a context where other choices involve mercy or frugality, and an undirected force doesn’t have a consciousness that can make such choices. Deaths caused by undirected forces are not the same as deaths caused by sentient entities, because with the latter the entities could have made other choices. Whether the deaths were unavoidable in the entities’ best judgment is another subject.

  • Joe Bleau

     You are welcome, but I really must protest.

    You have even made snide comments about Christians needing to believe
    these things if calling themselves Christians is to actually mean
    anything. You have done so in a condescending tone that is not conducive
    to a constructive conversation, only to an argument.

    OK, even taking my posts as what it actually said, and not what I intended it to say, that is an exceedingly uncharitable reading of what I wrote.

    First, it is a gross mischaracterization of anything that I have written on this board to say that I have expressed or even implied an opinion as to “whether someone qualifies as a “real Christian.” ” Fact is, as I’ve expressed rather openly, few questions interest me less, and in this opinion I believe that I stand squarely in the majority of atheists, at least the ones who might just have ideas worth entertaining. As far as I’m concerned, you are a Christian if you are willing to call yourself a Christian.

    Secondly, perhaps you should check your eye for a beam, unless you think that the sarcasm in your little side conversation w. Sgt. Pepper is somehow inherently more rhetorically elevated than any mild satire that I have offered.

    More to the point, though – you are of course well within your rights to object to my tone and to characterize it as “snide” – but I think that you are flat out dead wrong if you are insinuating that the only means of discourse “conducive to a constructive conversation” is through deferential and hushed, well-mannered tones. You might prefer that type of discussion, but really it is an arbitrary provision that needs to be stipulated by all members of a discussion in order for true communication to happen.

    Why, you might ask, would anyone not prefer politeness to acrimony, sincerity to snark, kum-bay-ya to vitriol?

    Well, one might not prefer that if there were to exist a serious and abiding imbalance in what the dominant culture generally considers acceptable discourse, such that some ideas and notions are considered to be so sacrosanct and precious as to be utterly unassailable or unchallengeable, no matter how fanciful or flat-out nonsensical (or harmful) they are. For example, let’s say hypothetically that even mild and reasoned protestations about the practice of Christianity in America were to be frequently met with screams of “Angry Atheist does not appreciate Sophisticated Theology!”; in this case, then, I assume you can imagine that people holding contrary views might come to believe that the rules of genteel discourse are rather stacked against them, and try some other way to get their point across.

    Some of us don’t discount the possibility that an argument can in fact be a constructive conversation. Sometimes, in fact, that’s the only way to get there.

    In any event, I am in all sincerity willing to publicly stipulate that for now and for ever more, until such time as I am to become acquainted with the exact specifics of his beliefs and practices vis a vis Christianity, that any unkind, derogatory, or otherwise uncharitable utterance or insinuation that ever heretofore ushers forth from my lips or keyboard shall in no way be construed as referring or pertaining to Patrick McGraw and/or said his Christian beliefs.

    And I’m not even gonna ask for the same consideration in return.

    Deal?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    First, it is a gross mischaracterization of anything that I have written on this board to say that I have expressed or even implied an opinion as to “whether someone qualifies as a “real Christian.” ” Fact is, as I’ve expressed rather openly, few questions interest me less, and in this opinion I believe that I stand squarely in the majority of atheists, at least the ones who might just have ideas worth entertaining. As far as I’m concerned, you are a Christian if you are willing to call yourself a Christian.

    I was writing in reference to this:

    Yes, but let’s be honest – it’s not just a story, is it?

    I mean, maybe for you (and certainly for me) it is, but if I’m going to identify myself as a “Christian” and have that term signify anything beyond what I myself have decided to believe completely irrespective of what anyone else who ever has called himself a Christian has ever believed – then it’s not merely a story, it’s part of a framework; at a bare minimum, it’s the plot of the play in which I find myself starring. It has to be more than just a story, because I can’t get what I really need from it if I don’t at least pretend for the sake of the story that it’s true. And while I’m doing that, I’m likely to be at loggerheads with people
    who are starring in a different play, and who maybe take theirs a little more seriously than I take mine.

    Right there you’re stating a set of beliefs as being required for the term “Christian” to “signify anything beyond what I myself have decided to believe completely irrespective of what anyone else who ever has called himself a Christian has ever believed”, and guess what? What you’re describing up there? Does not describe what I believe at all.So yes, I took that as making a claim about whether I could legitimately call myself a Christian.

    Secondly, perhaps you should check your eye for a beam, unless you think
    that the sarcasm in your little side conversation w. Sgt. Pepper is
    somehow inherently more rhetorically elevated than any mild satire that I
    have offered.

    Did either of us say anything characterizing the negative behavior as being part-and-parcel of being an atheist? No, because that kind of behavior is exactly what we were sarcastically griping about.

    I think that you are flat out dead wrong if you are insinuating that the
    only means of discourse “conducive to a constructive conversation” is
    through deferential and hushed, well-mannered tones.

    I insinuated no such thing. I said that “a condescending tone” is not conductive to a constructive conversation. There’s a world of difference between not condescending to someone and using “deferential and hushed, well-mannered tones.”

    Condescension sends the clear message that you do not consider someone’s opinion worthy of consideration.

    In any event, I am in all sincerity willing to publicly stipulate
    that for now and for ever more, until such time as I am to become
    acquainted with the exact specifics of his beliefs and practices vis a vis
    Christianity, that any unkind, derogatory, or otherwise uncharitable
    utterance or insinuation that ever heretofore ushers forth from my lips
    or keyboard shall in no way be construed as referring or pertaining to
    Patrick McGraw and/or said his Christian beliefs.

    That’s just it. You aren’t acquainted with the exact specifics of my beliefs and practices vis a vis Christianity. Not those of my parents, or my local Meeting, or thousands of other Christians.

    So, in recognizing that, please avoid making statements like “Christians believe X,” because I can guarantee you that for any X you will find many Christians who instead believe Y, Z, or Q. Christians are in no way a monolithic group.

    We’re a lot like people in that way.

    And I’m not even gonna ask for the same consideration in return.

    You deserve the consideration of not having beliefs falsely ascribed to you because everyone deserves that consideration.

  • Joe Bleau

     Oh, for crying out loud, Patrick.

    Look, words do have meaning, and we have to start somewhere. So let’s back up.

    Let me ask you this: is there any import whatsoever to the term ‘Christian’ beyond the complete sum total individual “beliefs” of Every. Single. Person who has ever called him- or herself a Christian? If there isn’t, how can we even start the conversation? What sense does it even make to talk about a community of Christians?

    So, OK, fine, yeah, ya got me. I guess I do have at least one bedrock assumption about what it “means” to be a Christian, I mean beyond the fact that there really should be someone or something called “Christ” involved (please tell me you and I can at least see eye to eye on that!).

    So let’s get this out of the way, and flat-out assert what I directly and intentionally implied in what you quoted above. We’ll go with this, then, for starters, and see if it flies:

    Anyone who calls him- or herself a Christian who thinks that his/her entire spiritual framework is just a story (see, please go back and read what I wrote, ‘just’ is a really important word to understand in the specific context there that you seem to have somewhat glossed over) is using the term “Christian” in a rather perverse fashion. As a corollary, let’s go ahead and stipulate the rest of what I implied, that it’s similarly perverse to call oneself a Christian if one does not consider the framework or story of Christ to be in any way true for at least some sense of the word ‘true’ (and acknowledging that the term ‘true’ is potentially problematic and needs further elucidation).

    Does that describe you, Patrick? Do you feel that your spiritual framework, your conception of Christ, whatever that may be, is just a story? Do you really not care at all if it’s true? If so, then I sincerely apologize for offending you, but I guess if that’s the case than I do think that you are almost certainly using the term ‘Christian’ rather perversely to describe your views. If that sounds impolitic, then I’ll sincerely listen if you want to try to disabuse me of that notion.

    Beyond, that, there’s another phrase in there that you seem to have passed over in your zeal to find your name in the penumbra of what I wrote, namely:

    at a bare minimum , it’s the plot of the play in which I find myself starring

    See, I naiively thought that the phrase ‘bare minimum’ accurately conveyed the idea that I was not in fact trying to account for the sum total of all possible opinions of all possible Christians. But I was in indeed in fact implying that there is a threshold somewhere. Touche.

    So yep, again, you’re right, I did positively assert something somewhat controversial with that little riff on what mud man was saying. And you pretty much ignored all of it, didn’t even attempt to engage the content of what I wrote, and went straight into High Dudgeon mode: how DARE you tell me what it means to be a Christian!

    See what I mean about a communication disparity?

     

  • mud man

    also @Tonio:

    I don’t believe God sometimes kills people “just for fun” and I don’t believe he does it as “punishment”. I believe he’s going somewhere with it and he’s doing what he has to do. In other words, “whether the deaths were unavoidable in the Entity’s best judgement” is actually the point, not that I would put it quite that way … I don’t thing avoiding stuff is what Christians are called to worry about. After all, the Father sent the Son to be scourged and crucified. I choose to believe that it is done FOR A PURPOSE and in the end, when I understand, I will agree that it is all worthwhile.

    IF you accept that there is a presiding force watching over humanity (which I do), then I say you MUST ACCEPT that that force acts (or fails to act) in ways that in human terms are cruel and capricious, or else deny the evidence of your senses and lots of science. Denying the evidence of your senses is in my mind putting your faith in a pretend God: craziness.

    I am also saying that TAKEN AS STORY, the STORY of the Flood has important similarities to the STORY of the Evolution of human societies. The difference being that the former is appropriate to ancient pastoralists, the latter to us scientifically literate moderns. 

    And in the end, I’m saying that SINCE we evidently can’t count on God to play nice, we had best do our best to play nice on our own. Whereas Fred’s pair of posts is a great short story about people NOT playing nice.

  • Joe Bleau

    Did either of us say anything characterizing the negative behavior as
    being part-and-parcel of being an atheist? No, because that kind of
    behavior is exactly what we were sarcastically griping about.

    I really don’t understand the relevance of this at all. The part-and-parcel thing seems to be your area of sensitivity, not mine (when someone tells me, say, that being and atheist means that I “hate God” or some such nonsense, I’m more likely to simply tell that person that neither I nor hardly any atheist actually believes this – why hate that which you don’t even believe?. It just doesn’t bother me all that much if someone’s conception of what atheism is or “means” doesn’t comport with mine).

    Subject matter aside, I really sounds to me like what you are saying here is sarcasm for me, but not for thee.

  • Tonio

    I would have no basis for assuming that a purpose exists or that it doesn’t. Note that I’m not equating your beliefs with assumptions. 

    If the sentient force exists as you describe, any cruelty that it chooses to cause would be needless if the force is omnipotent and omniscient, since it could easily accomplish the same goals without cruelty. It would be like a physician choosing to use a needle for a vaccination even if there was an oral version that was just as effective. That’s a big if, since many ideas about goes involve limits on their powers or perceptions. 

    Your post seems to imply that human definitions of cruelty or capriciousness are faulty and that humans should just simply trust the god to do what’s best for them. Trust is earned, not granted, and a competent adult shouldn’t have to put up with others deciding what’s best for his or her life. If I were to decide that your standards for what you consider cruelty to yourself were worthless, I would be giving myself license to treat or mistreat you however I damn well want with no regard for you as a person, and I can’t imagine you or anyone else putting up with that for long. 

    With the Flood story, the survivors would be justified in being skeptical of the god’s promises and being less than willing to trust it. If the god can’t be counted on to play nice, as you describe, then I see no basis for calling the god good. I would think that playing nice with each other is a good idea whether or not gods exist.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Casual readers of any religious work won’t understand a massive amount of it without having to look stuff up, at the very least. But the Nephilim being angels is one of those things that I’ve “known” forever without having a clue where I learned it. It’s like knowing a cherub is an angel.

  • Tonio

    That makes sense. I suppose the difference with the cherubs is that they’re commonly seen in religious art. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Let me ask you this: is there any import whatsoever to the term
    ‘Christian’ beyond the complete sum total individual “beliefs” of Every.
    Single. Person who has ever called him- or herself a Christian?

    The term “Christian” refers to anyone who identifies as such. To bring their beliefs into it will exclude some Christians.

    Anyone who calls him- or herself a Christian who thinks that his/her entire spiritual framework is just a story

    Okay, we can stop right there, because your earlier comment related to the book of Genesis, specifically the Noah narrative. And views of that book differ tremendously.

    If you’re going to talk about the “entire spiritual framework” of Christianity, then making any single claim about it is absurd.

    As a corollary, let’s go ahead and stipulate the rest of what I implied,
    that it’s similarly perverse to call oneself a Christian if one does
    not consider the framework or story of Christ to be in any way true
    for at least some sense of the word ‘true’ (and acknowledging that the
    term ‘true’ is potentially problematic and needs further elucidation).

    We’re not talking about one story, or even one book. There are those who insist that a Christian must treat every part of the Bible the same way, but that is not true of all Christians. See Fred’s post on genre and the Dewey Decimal System.

    I do not have the same view on the book of Genesis as I do on the
    Gospels. Heck, I don’t have the same view on the Gospel of Matthew as I
    do the Gospel of Mark. I don’t have the same view on some of Paul’s
    epistles as I do on others.

    Does that describe you, Patrick? Do you feel that your spiritual framework, your conception of Christ, whatever that may be, is just
    a story? Do you really not care at all if it’s true? If so, then I
    sincerely apologize for offending you, but I guess if that’s the case
    than I do think that you are almost certainly using the term ‘Christian’
    rather perversely to describe your views. If that sounds impolitic,
    then I’ll sincerely listen if you want to try to disabuse me of that
    notion.

    Given how insulting the tone is in the rest of this paragraph, I’m not inclined to believe your claim of sincerity.

    the content of what I wrote, and went straight into High Dudgeon mode: how DARE you tell me what it means to be a Christian!

    Repeating myself: You do not get to decide whether I can call myself a Christian or not. You do not get to declare that identifying myself as a Christian is “using the term ‘Christian’ rather perversely” any more than I get to declare that someone identifying as an atheist “hates God.”

    I don’t have to justify my religion to you, or to Ken Ham.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    I really don’t understand the relevance of this at all. The
    part-and-parcel thing seems to be your area of sensitivity, not mine
    (when someone tells me, say, that being and atheist means that I “hate
    God” or some such nonsense, I’m more likely to simply tell that person
    that neither I nor hardly any atheist actually believes this – why hate
    that which you don’t even believe?. It just doesn’t bother me all that
    much if someone’s conception of what atheism is or “means” doesn’t
    comport with mine).

    The fact that something does not bother you does not mean that no one else should be bothered by it, or find it hurtful. I am bloody sick of being lectured on my religious beliefs by others.

    Just as you do not get to decide what my religious beliefs are, you do not get to decide whether I am allowed to be hurt by people doing just that.

  • Mary Rogers

    I agree with you on this. I am not clear on exactly what you do believe (having never met a Quaker before) but I believe that no one can possibly define a person’s relationship with God. It isn’t based on dogma, it is based on the state of one’s heart. I tend to judge people more on their actions. Do they practice the love that Jesus taught? That is the only thing that truly matters.

    A lot of people seem to think that in order to be a Christian you have to agree 100 % with the Bible. The problem with that is that the Bible does not have a consistent ideology. It changes over time, plus it was written by many different authors over hundreds of years. And then the Catholic church finally decided which writings were “scripture” and which were not.

    Not even the self-proclaimed “fundamentalists” practice or believe everything in the Bible so in my book they are hypocrites to the extreme. They seem to be more interested in dividing the church rather than uniting it. Which is why we have thousands of different denonimations, each saying that they are the only ones that understand “The Truth.” Please, this is just human hubris at its worst. It has nothing to do with God at all.

    My church is in my soul, where it belongs.

  • Joe Bleau

     Yes, we certainly are done. You seem like an intelligent person who writes reasonably well, but your posts keep veering farther and farther away from what I’m actually saying – I can only assume that you are either not a very careful reader, or that you are so infuriated by what you feel is an insulting tone and this particular subject matter that you are incapable of offering even a pretense of a thoughtful or charitable reading to anything with my ‘nymn on it.

    Not once have I lectured you about your religious beliefs, nor made any insinuation whatsoever about what your religious beliefs are or should be. Not once.

    Not once have I told you what you should find hurtful or not. Not once.

    All I have done is asserted my opinion that if the term ‘Christian’ has any meaning at all, there must be something to signify what that term denotes. Because that’s what meaning means.

    I would never dream of impinging on your right to call yourself a Christian. You can call yourself anything you like. Call yourself a turnip for all I care.

    And if you do, and if you yet steadfastly refuse to engage in a substantive conversation about what you mean by calling yourself a turnip, and instead declare the entire subject matter completely off limits and any angrily insist that any discussion at all of what it means to be a human/turnip is dreadfully insulting and utterly beyond to pale; then that’s too bad, because that sounds like an interesting conversation that could lead me to find a new appreciation for the idea of turnips qua humans.

    Good day, sir.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Not once have I lectured you about your religious beliefs, nor made
    any insinuation whatsoever about what your religious beliefs are or
    should be. Not once.
    Not once have I told you what you should find hurtful or not. Not once.

    No, you just don’t think you have.

  • Joe Bleau

     

    IF you accept that there is a presiding force watching over humanity
    (which I do), then I say you MUST ACCEPT that that force acts (or fails
    to act) in ways that in human terms are cruel and capricious, or else
    deny the evidence of your senses and lots of science.

    It’s a pity that this thread is for all intents and purposes dead – it would have been really interesting to see if, since you have already declared yourself to be a member of Team God, your opinion of what a believer MUST ACCEPT would have drawn the same ire as my posts have…

  • Joe Bleau

     Kindly cite your examples, please.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The bit where you took it upon yourself to explain what Christians think ‘grace’ means and several of our number pointed out that you’re wrong, for starters.

  • Joe Bleau

     As I have already pointed out, that was not at all intended to explain what *all* Christians think ‘grace’ means, merely *some* Christians. Patrick himself acknowledged this.

    Given this explanation, it is utterly uncharitable for anyone to continue to believe that it was intended to explain what *Patrick*  thinks Grace means.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Okay, fair enough, I hadn’t seen Patrick’s edit to that effect, Disqus doesn’t seem to think people who subscribe to comment threads need to see edits. Or formatting.  For other examples, how about you go back and reread every one of Patrick’s comments since the one he put that edit in, as you seem to be missing his point.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Okay, so can someone explain to me just exactly how much you can strip away from Christianity before calling oneself a Christian amounts to just slapping a belief-name on oneself with no substantive actual belief or backing?

    The boundary seems kind of fuzzy, but good grief, surely one basic component has to be belief that Jesus Christ was in some way kind of important, yes?

  • Joe Bleau

     No, I’m not missing his point, I’m pretty sure that I understand exactly what he is saying, and what the nature of our disagreement is. Most of it boils down to these three points:

    1) He thinks that when I originally replied to mud man, I was referring specifically to the Genesis accounts of the Flood when I was talking about a putative Christian “framework”. This is false, and I think that a reasonably careful and/or charitable reading of what I have subsequently written ought to have made that pretty clear.

    2) He seems to think that when I told him that I’m not particularly bothered by people who try to tell me what atheism is, I was also saying that he should not be bothered by people telling his what Christianity is. This is false, and I think that a reasonably careful and/or charitable reading of what I actually was responding to there ought to have made that rather abundantly clear (it’s actually pretty rich – I had implied that his lecturing me on tone was a tad hypocritical since he himself had engaged in some sarcastic snark at my expense, and he fired back a post that for all the world seems to imply that sarcasm is AOK as long as it’s stuff that he is sensitive to. That’s the only reason that I responded that what bothers me isn’t necessarily what bothers him. Instead, he lectures me about not appreciating that not everyone is bothered by the same things!).

    3) He  hates the way that I write, and it causes him to ignore substantive points and reject expressions of conciliation that I mean in all sincerity. He will, of course, blame this on me,; he seems to have decided early on that I’m an asshole and not worth really engaging with. I, of course, find it frustrating and unacceptable that he seems to want to place entire important and substantial topics of discourse completely off-limits, and I suspect that he has several times used the manner in which I expressed something as an excuse to avoid engaging with the content of what I wrote.

    Now, back to the matter at hand:

    You flat-out accused me of either having “lectured [him] about [his] religious beliefs, [or] made any insinuation
    whatsoever about what [his] religious beliefs are or should be.”, and/or  “told [him] what [he] should find hurtful or not.” I asked you to cite examples.

    It’s pretty weak sauce to follow that up with “go back and read what he wrote”. In this case, it only seems fair that the burden of proof is on the accuser.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    I agree with you on this. I am not clear on exactly what you do believe
    (having never met a Quaker before)

    Quakers have no creed by deliberate choice, and about the only thing you can be sure any two Quakers agree on is that Jesus was really great. So I’m not very representative of the Religious Society of Friends any more than any other Quaker.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Okay,
    so can someone explain to me just exactly how much you can strip away
    from Christianity before calling oneself a Christian amounts to just
    slapping a belief-name on oneself with no substantive actual belief or
    backing?

    The boundary seems kind of fuzzy, but good grief, surely one basic
    component has to be belief that Jesus Christ was in some way kind of
    important, yes?

    It’s very problematic, because any definition beyond “self-identifies as a Christian” will exclude people who do. And I think that dictating to people how they can or cannot define themselves is a hateful, dehumanizing act. The fact that many people who identify as Christians do just that does not make it moral to do it back to them.

  • Mary

    @ Joe: If you can’t figure out that you have been saying offensive things then why should anybody HAVE to point it out to you! The truth is that people have been telling you but you choose to ignore them.

    I doubt I will get through but I will TRY to explain it to you as others have.

    Calling Patrick’s belief system “perverse” is insulting. Just because you don’t agree with his definition of what a Christian believes does not give you the right to be abusive.

    I will give you an example of what you sound like and compare it with what a fundamentalist sounds like:

    Fundamentalist: Unless you believe XY and Z you cannot call yourself a Christian.

    Joe The Athiest: Unless you believe XY and Z you cannot call yourself a Christian.

    The only difference I see between the two is that you do not believe in God whereas fundamentalists feel that they have a monopoly on God. Both your position and the fundamentalist positions represent a rigid intolerance to others.

    Now if you did not mean to convey such a negative position then that is your own fault for not making it clear to others.

  • Mary

    @Neutrino: I think that most people who call themselves Christian do believe in Jesus. That is a given. I think the issue is HOW to interpret Jesus and his message.

  • PJ Evans

     Some of them say they believe in Jesus, but their actions and their other words say otherwise: they’re more interested in Mammon.

  • Mary

    @Joe: I need to correct something I said. I implied that I have a problem with you being an atheist. What I meant to say was that I have some problems with your views on what constitutes a Christian position.

  • Mary

    I agree with that. The litmus test is “ye shall know them by their fruits.”

  • guest

    15th century YORKSHIRE :).


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