“What people need is beautiful, comforting stories”

Most people are not looking for provable truths. As you said, truth is often accompanied by intense pain, and almost no one is looking for painful truths. What people need is beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning. Which is where religion comes from.

—Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

  • Norm

    Mmmm,Love your enemies,pray for those who persecute you,yep all feel good stories.

    • Custador

      Name me one example of a first-world Christian who’s persecuted for being Christian. In return, I’ll show you hundreds of examples of Christians claiming to loce people even while their every action proves their hatred.

  • http://www.nature.com Agnikan

    What a beautiful story.

  • OpenMindedGayChristian

    While I respect Haruki Murakami, I disagree with the whole premise of this copypasta quote. Religious stories are often not beautiful and comforting. They tend to be confusing and open to numerous interpretations. I find that pain plays a key role in the majority of Biblical stories. Just look at that the Israelites went through in the wilderness after they left Egypt. Working through painful situations is the only way to find inner peace, to reach the promised land if you will. Unfortunately, many Christians are left in a state of fear and confusion due to the modern literalist interpretation of the Bible.

    Only by embracing and acknowledging the painful truths encountered in life can one truly find inner peace. Religious stories are usually not beautiful and comforting. To me at least, they can be powerful metaphors to the struggles we all face in life.

    • Custador

      You do know that Exodus never actually happened, right? Also, how does being a gay follower of a majority homophobic religion feel?

      • Norm

        Hes loved for who he is as a person and so are you.

        • Brian K

          Yet this Being who loves us is going to condemn the vast majority of us to eternal torture*! Feel the Love.

          *A concept enthusiastically promoted by the followers of the Prince of Peace, if not the man himself.

      • OMG!Christian

        I simply found the quote to be inaccurate, especially when applied to Christianity. Do you agree or disagree? Or are you just going to attempt to belittle me? I’m not uneducated…

        Whether or not the Exodus actually happened (which I know it didn’t btw) is irrelevant to me. Lessons can still be learned from Exodus and the Bible in general. The teachings in Exodus played a role in the African American churches, and contributed to the abolition of slavery and segregation. African Americans are often condemned for taking their masters religion, but the blacks actually better understood the message. Christianity and religion in general can be a powerful force for positive change. You should check out the writings of MLK some time.

        Being a gay follower of a majority homophobic religion feels great. Liberal religious groups are growing quite rapidly. They provide a much healthier environment for social interaction for people like me than the gay bars and such. Also, nothing pisses off the fundies more than being a gay Christian. It’s the best way to stick it to them, even better than being an atheist. My church has been really supportive to me and I don’t have to give up my faith just because so many Christians have drank the cool aid of hate. I would love for nothing more than to see all Christians truly embrace the unconditional love of Christ. It’s often them who need witnessing to.

        As for Atheism, I think Andrew Stuttaford of the National Review said it best. In regards to an atheist convention, he said “Fundamentalism, it was obvious that weekend, does not depend on a god.” While terrible things have been done in the name of God, abolishing religion has proven to be disastrous at times as well. And on that note, have fun with your misogynistic atheist community. I follow these things. It seems like you’ve had some issues with the ladies, in elevators for instance. Have fun at your cons, where you get accused of sexual harassment for giving a hug. Yeah, I think I’ll stick with my church.

        God loves you all and I do too, regardless of what you believe.

        Peace…

        • Custador

          I was going to break down your reply point by point, but honestly, a Christian accusing atheism of being misogynistic and rife with sexual misconduct, is so disingenuous that it just makes me think you’re not worth the effort.

          • OMG!Christian

            Translation: “I was going to break down your reply point by point, but honestly, I couldn’t so I just got all butthurt that you said anything bad about my (lack of) beliefs.”

            I just wanted to press your buttons and boy are they easy to press. Custador, I think that I’ll just take that as your admission of defeat.

            And for the record, I never accused atheists of being rife with sexual misconduct. I cant think of one instance of the top of my head. It’s you people that consider a simple hug to be sexual misconduct. I know that most atheists are good people, but the Rebecca Watson incident did reveal that misogyny is present within the atheist community (especially online). PZ Myers hasn’t been doing all that damage control for nothing.

            The Christians I know are quite tolerant and progressive. It’s you who lumps all Christians together and bash our beliefs relentlessly. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. I guess this isn’t the place to try to have any kind of intelligent discussion.

            • vorjack

              Wow, you’re not a drive-by. Hey everybody, we’ve got one that isn’t a drive-by!

              I just wanted to press your buttons and boy are they easy to press.

              You ain’t seen Custy when his buttons are pressed. He gave you a dismissive reply. Be thankful.

              PZ Myers hasn’t been doing all that damage control for nothing.

              “PZ” and “damage control” should not be used in the same sentence. PZ causes damage, not controls it. PZ has gone on the offensive on behalf of Watson, McCreight, Christina, et al. Call it like it is.

              The Christians I know are quite tolerant and progressive.

              When Progressives do more than wring their hands about the conservatives who have seized the definition of Christian away from them, I’ll listen. It’s not that we don’t recognize the Liberal and Moderate wings of the Christian community, it’s more that there’s no point in acknowledging them.

            • OMG!Christian

              vorjack, thank you so much for the legitimate reply. I’ve been visiting this site for awhile and was about to write it off all together.

              “You ain’t seen Custy when his buttons are pressed. He gave you a dismissive reply. Be thankful.”
              -I’ll be thankful when Custy actually gives me a legitimate reply! I would love for him to school me but he seems reluctant to do so, LOL.

              ““PZ” and “damage control” should not be used in the same sentence. PZ causes damage, not controls it. PZ has gone on the offensive on behalf of Watson, McCreight, Christina, et al. Call it like it is.”
              -I don’t know, I sympathize with Watson at a personal level. I thought that Richard Dawkins response to the overblown “elevatorgate” incident was particularly unacceptable. As a younger gay guy (who gets hit on constantly by guys who only want sex), I can see why women don’t like being treated like a piece of meat. Female attendance of atheist conventions decreased following this event. If I were an atheist, I would want to address this problem (not ignore it like Custador.) I realize that this is a complicated issue not confined to atheism itself. It’s really a problem within the strait community that I (being gay) simply cannot understand.

              “When Progressives do more than wring their hands about the conservatives who have seized the definition of Christian away from them, I’ll listen.”
              -You don’t even know how hard we are trying. We are up against so much opposition. As a gay Christian I often feel hated by the atheists and fundy Christians. Liberal religion is growing, and hopefully we will be able to better voice ourselves in the future. I don’t think that atheists realize what an uphill battle we face.

              “It’s not that we don’t recognize the Liberal and Moderate wings of the Christian community, it’s more that there’s no point in acknowledging them.”
              -There are a growing number of us in the liberal religious community that are fighting for the same things that all you atheists are. We vote the same way and would probably get along great in a face to face social setting. Atheists are largely not acknowledged here in the US, and neither are we.

              Shouldn’t we at least acknowledge each other?

  • dave

    It’s fun to play let’s pretend with an imaginary friend.

  • 100meters

    I for one think that this is some pretty profound thinking for a guy with an IQ of only 84. But listing it right after his name seems a bit rude…


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