Atheist High-Treason
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20-05-2013, 10:45 PM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
If all else fails my friend, I will offer you a logical bombshell that is difficult for most Christians to argue against. Here's how it goes:

You: Can God change his mind? Does he have the ability?

Answer 1: No
Response: Then why call him God? He has less free will than you or I do.

Answer 2: Yes
Response: Then what makes you think he hasn't?What makes you think that the information about God's will in the bible is still accurate?

Either way, he will be on the point of having to justify his beliefs, once you've shaken that religious wall, then I think you should begin to talk reason and logic. Don't push him for an answer, the longer he thinks about the question, the more reasonable his response will be.

I wish you luck.

Obama promised you change. Reach in your pocket, feel those coins? There's your change...
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29-06-2013, 06:09 PM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
I have an update, you guys Smile

We met for the 1st time a few weeks ago & spent about 3 hours rogether having lunch, then walking around downtown while we chatted. Supersweet guy, and he accepted the book. We didn't spend much time on religion or sexuality, maybe 10 minutes or so.

Last night I got a message from him thanking me again for the book & saying that there's "some cool stuff in it." I didn't press him for more thoughts on it, because he's like me, he's in his head a lot before he speaks about something. It gives me hope for him, though. Heart

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30-06-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
(20-05-2013 04:50 AM)Percepticon Wrote:  For several months I've been following the blog of a friend-of-a-friend, a man who's gay & goes to an AOG church. He acknowledges that being gay isn't a choice, but still thinks it's a sin, so has been suppressing his romantic desires for quite some time. Because we have a friend in common (who's his former partner of 5 years, so it's painful for them both), I've been pretty much quiet as far as responding to his blog entries that I take issue with. I didn't want him to think that our friend put me up to anything, nor did I want to turn him off before we actually get to know each other.

Last weekend, however, he posted some things indicative of his torment at not being able to act on his love for men. I'm uber-sensitive & could almost physically feel the anguish he must have been feeling as he wrote. I couldn't *not* write, especially knowing that many of his friends are Christians, probably of the same AOG flavor, and might respond by telling him to keep fighting his homosexuality. There were few responses, but these two pissed me off to no end: one guy basically said he's fought it for 14 years so it *is* possible, and urged him to keep fighting. Another guy urged him to keep fighting because, "we need you."

He gave me his e-mail address when I asked & last week I spent quite awhile writing to him. He knows that I'm an atheist, and I didn't want that knowledge to discredit my words in his eyes. So I decided to put my atheism on a shelf & write to him as though I were still a Christian. When I was a Christian, there's no way in hell I'd take a literal approach to the bible, and I ascribed only positive, life-affirming attributes to God, so being gay & Christian was possible. It's from that standpoint I wrote to him, while also introducing the topic of gender--if I can help him see how fluid gender is, maybe he'll start to see how ridiculous it is to impose rigid standards about who people should love based on the shape of the skin between their legs.

He thanked me for my message, assured me he's OK (I was a bit concerned after seeing his newest posting), and wants to meet in a week or 2. I then remembered a book that a pastor gave me years ago while I was struggling--"What the Bible REALLY Says About Homosexuality" by Daniel A Helminiak. It explores the texts that allegedly condemn homosexuality from a historical-critical approach to show that they don't at all condemn homosexuality. And that, I do believe--I do believe that the bible we read today is nothing like what the original writers intended--it's still ridiculous, it's still made-up, the deity is still a farce--and I'm not convinced that its writers even wanted anyone to take it seriously anyhow. Anyway, I ordered a copy to give him when we meet.

I can almost hear the irritation of some of you as your minds react to this. But for me, it's more important that he feel comfortable being who he is than it is to convert him to reason and atheism at this point. This guy's hard-core indoctrinated, in a crisis, and needs to feel comfortable in his own skin--now. He'll be a Christian for a loooong time. It doesn't make the beliefs any less ludicrous; it doesn't make the deity any more real....I'm just helping the guy create a deity that won't fry his ass for loving men & tossing in some good 'ol secular logic in the mix. He may or may not come to reason at some point in his life, but I'm not even sure if I give a damn.

What's more, and I even surprise myself here, is that I've considered he still might distrust my efforts since I'm not religious..and so I even have a backup plan to refer him to an LGBT-affirming Pentecostal group if he continues to wrestle with his sexuality. Lead him right into the hands of the enemies of logic. Hope it won't come to that.

He's a precious thing & I just want him to be OK. So tar, feather, stone and burn me for high treason. Tongue

I would be skeptical about a book looking to prove a forgone conclusion, but I do know that the old testament was translated into Greek then the writers of the new testament seemed to have used the Septuagint in their writings.

So there are definitely things that will be lost in translation. Even if it is true the bible really doesn't condemn homosexuality the problem still lies with those who think it does. Convincing those people will be a large challenge.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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07-07-2013, 11:48 AM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
I see where you're coming from.

I actually read the book first years ago & then again a couple weeks before I gave my new friend his copy. It seems legit, and the author does at times take pains to specify when the information available to him is unclear or could be translated multiple ways. From what I've seen, it's a shame that more Christians don't take time to study the Bible as it was originally written. It's still a pack of mythology, but the mythology is much more interesting.

Here's an excerpt that sets the premise of the book:

Quote:"Take an example from the Bible. In three of the Gospels-- Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25 and Luke 18:25--Jesus says, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." It sounds as if nobody who had lots of money could ever get into heaven, for certainly no camel could ever get through a needle's eye. At least that's what this saying suggests to us.

But some scholars have pointed out that in Jerusalem there was a very low and narrow gate through the city wall. When a caravan entered through that gate, the camels had to be unloaded, led through the gate crouching down, and then reloaded inside the city wall. That gate was supposedly called "the eye of the needle."

So what was Jesus saying? Understand something about his everyday world and his meaning is obvious. Jesus was simply saying that it would be hard for the rich to get to heaven. They might first have to unload their material concerns. Jesus was again preaching his Sermon-on-the- Mount message about simplicity of life and single-heartedness.

What if similar considerations apply to the Bible texts on homosexuality? Maybe those texts do not mean what we have been taking them to mean." ~Daniel A Helminiak

And yet, even given that, many religious people would say it's a load of crap (like my mom did when I tried to engage her in a discussion about it--I still haven't been able to engage her on the topic)....but I betcha' dollars to doughnuts that if we left off that one line about homosexuality, almost all Christians would be open to this type of interpretation.

I realize the challenge faced in popularizing a controversial concept in religious circles, but I wasn't trying to do that. I'm just trying to help one beautiful person not hate himself for being who is. And it might work. We'll see.

Below are links to the author's website & the Amazon page for the book I was referring to. I haven't read his website & so can't speak to it but included it for those interested:

http://www.visionsofdaniel.net/

http://www.amazon.com/What-Bible-Really-...188636009X

~Valerie

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07-07-2013, 04:22 PM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
Helping one man in his time of need is admirable. But be careful of trying to manipulate a religious belief at large. Why bother to convince Christians that homosexuals are ok, when it would be better overall to fight the ignorance at its source. This man is struggling due to his religious indoctrination. If you kill the religion you kill his pain. You were right to do what you did. But if we are now talking about Christians in general, then it turns into a case of if you cant beat them.... I would prefer to beat them Smile

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07-07-2013, 07:35 PM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
@ DeathsNotoriusAngel

Quote:You: Can God change his mind? Does he have the ability?
According to the teaching of the Catholic Church. No. This is based on the concept that God exists totum simul and is pure act. God sees all things simultaneously. As far as he's concerned you are either in heaven or Hell already. So Since God has all knowledge he wouldn't change his mind if he could. Changing one's mind occurs when new information is presented to us. God never receives new knowledge.

Not that I want to start a theological discussion. I just thought it was funny that you portrayed it as a faith destroying question when it talks about it in the Catechism.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
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07-07-2013, 09:02 PM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
(07-07-2013 07:35 PM)TarzanSmith Wrote:  @ DeathsNotoriusAngel

Quote:You: Can God change his mind? Does he have the ability?
According to the teaching of the Catholic Church. No. This is based on the concept that God exists totum simul and is pure act. God sees all things simultaneously. As far as he's concerned you are either in heaven or Hell already. So Since God has all knowledge he wouldn't change his mind if he could. Changing one's mind occurs when new information is presented to us. God never receives new knowledge.

Not that I want to start a theological discussion. I just thought it was funny that you portrayed it as a faith destroying question when it talks about it in the Catechism.

So the catholic church has never read the account of the Israelites in the wilderness? The one where god became angry and Moses talked him down several times.... If he cant change then how did Moses have an impact on his actions? Just because the Catholics believe something doesn't mean that it cant be busted. Don't really know what you mean by that?

"Your mind is twice a valuable as your body. And your ears are twice as valuable as your mouth. People will pay you based on which you use." - A very smart old lawyer
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08-07-2013, 05:04 AM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
@ DeathsNotoriusAngel

Quote:So the catholic church has never read the account of the Israelites in the wilderness? The one where god became angry and Moses talked him down several times.... If he cant change then how did Moses have an impact on his actions? Just because the Catholics believe something doesn't mean that it cant be busted. Don't really know what you mean by that?

Their argument would be that it is used analogically. similar to God remembering Noah. But as I said The point of that post was not to start a debate (although it seems to already have happened), It's just that you said it as though it was a question no theist could answer when you can find the answer in the Catechism Of the Catholic Church (basically our rule book). I just found that funny.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
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08-07-2013, 08:27 AM
RE: Atheist High-Treason
Does American law even differentiate between treason and high treason?

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