We don't agree about everything and that's OK. What we do agree on is the need to carry on the discussion in a civil way.

Before you contribute to a discussion, familiarize yourself with logical fallacies. Ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated.

The goal here is for civil conversation so be nice; no profanity. Anyone who calls another person an idiot will be banned.

Lastly remember, when someone disagrees with your views it does not mean they like you less as a person. If you can't handle being disagreed with then go away.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Desmond Tutu on the Bible and Gay Marriage

I love this man, he's so humble and funny and stands for all the right things! South Africa and the world is lucky to have him.

Tutu says he still reads the Bible every day and recommends that people read it as a collection of books, not a single constitutional document: "You have to understand is that the Bible is really a library of books and it has different categories of material," he said. "There are certain parts which you have to say no to. The Bible accepted slavery. St Paul said women should not speak in church at all and there are people who have used that to say women should not be ordained. There are many things that you shouldn't accept."

In the debate about Anglican views of homosexuality, he has opposed Christian discrimination against homosexuals while suggesting homosexual church leaders should currently remain celibate.

Tutu has remarked that it is sad the Church is spending time disagreeing on sexual orientation "when we face so many devastating problems – poverty, HIV/AIDS, war and conflict."

Tutu has increased his criticism of conservative attitudes to homosexuality within his own church, equating homophobia with racism. Stating at a conference in Nairobi that he is "deeply disturbed that in the face of some of the most horrendous problems facing Africa, we concentrate on 'what do I do in bed with whom'". In an interview with BBC Radio 4 on 18 November 2007, Tutu accused the church of being obsessed with homosexuality and declared:
"If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God."

Tutu has lent his name to the fight against homophobia in Africa and around the world. He stated at the launching of the book 'Sex, Love and Homophobia' that homophobia is a 'crime against humanity' and 'every bit as unjust' as apartheid. He added that "we struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about; our very skins...It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given."

Grand questions with Grandma

Moving this from Facebook ... Comments from ME are in RED, comments from Grandma in BLUE

I haven't had a chance to do much research on the King James Bible like you requested, but I did recently learn that King James I of England was openly bisexual with a strong preference for men.

I don't know what that means for the veracity of the translations, I just found it quite interesting since so many of the quotes against homosexuality comes from the KJV of the Bible. More research to come, I'm very interested now!

Many of the Royals have been very openly bisexual and various other unique choices. I've wondered about Paul because of his attitude toward women. The man who became Paul was originally Saul of Tarsus, and proud of it. Saul boasted that he was born a Roman citizen, a distinction which often saved him from ill treatment. When he later broke with Judaism, Saul went by the name of Paul, which was probably his Roman name since birth. In any case, the Jewish name Saul was a handicap in Greek-speaking circles because "Saulos" meant "effeminate" in Greek.

The things they don't teach you in Sunday school! This is ALL new information to me!

They don't teach it because they teach from their Sunday school books and pamplets; and if they get away from the provided materials they are in danger of losing their retirement or losing their position at the church, or both. And during the "gospel reading" they will read a verse or two from the bible and the rest of the hour is devoted to personal testaments. Bet you heard about that apple in the Garden too....dare you to find "apple" in the Genesis story.

I knew the forbidden fruit wasn't really an apple, but probably a pomegranete. Not a big deal, unless we were told eating all apples is wrong. But after years of demonizing homosexuality, or really sex in general, learning how much the church heroes engaged in "unnatural" behavior casts doubts on the authority of such declarations. (Doubts I already did away with ... Fornicate away folks!) ‎... 

Pretty sure I never thought I'd write "fornicate away" to my grandmother ... Surely i should be struck by lightning about now!!

So they ate a pomegranete? And then they covered their private parts with fig leaves? Ch.3;v.3 -"Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die". When you have research time, look up the word "touch" in the Strong's concordance. Do use the standard King James version as the new versions have changed too many words and their meanings. And DUCK! We're probably both drawing lightning!

And old people are not necessarily old fuddy duddies. Sarah was old when she put her maid out to whoredom with Abraham so he could have a child. And then Abraham put his helpless whore out with their son and never paid a penny child support! So all this middle east war was started for the lack of child support?!

Just so you know; my Church (Catholic) would not let me teach Bible school. I do tend to get a little carried away with my interpretations.

Of course you couldn't teach Bible school, you're a woman. Jesus was very clear that women shouldn't speak in church but hold their tounges and ask their husbands for clarification if their weak minds were unable to grasp what was being taught

NO, that was Paul . . . again with Paul. Jesus, if anything, was partial to women. Did he meet a man at the well and speak to him? To whom did he appear first after the crucification? Did he consider his Mother when he changed the water to wine (or grape juice)? He loved Mary Magdeline and there is a writing by her; however that was not accepted by the Church and is in the Accrophia. Maybe a lot of jealousy there, especially from Peter. Oh, and yes, I know your comment was "tongue in cheek".

Now forgive me if I seem impertinent but isn't the Bible at least divinely inspired, if not divinely written? So, according to the traditional orthodoxy if Paul wrote it, its because the holy spirit moved in him to write it right?

If we can't trust the accuracy of Paul why should we trust the accuracy of second and third hand stories of Jesus recorded at the earlist 60 years after his alleged resurection?
If we can't trust the accuracy of Paul why should we trust the accuracy of second and third hand stories of Jesus recorded at the earlist 60 years after his alleged resurection?

§  Devinely written?  Of course.  But in the hands of man for many years before the common man saw or read it.

§  Most people do not know that we only have part of the Bible.  Man's first meddleing came by deciding which books would be accepted and which banned from the writings. You can read so much on the internet if you go to Lost Books of the Bible....  I won't reprint it all here, but here's a partial list of those lost or banned.  So if these books didn't make the cut, no wonder the Hindu scripture and others are not here....they would be considered the Pagan beliefs, I believe.The Old Testament Scriptures were first written in Hebrew and later translated into Greek, the oldest being known as the Septuagint, or "Version of the Seventy," made at Alexandria for the library by a company of seventy learned Jews.  This was about 285 B.C.

§  The New Testament was all originally written in Greek, except Matthew which was first written in Hebrew, and later translated into Greek.

§  Latin translations of both the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament were made by different individuals, and the more carefully prepared Latin Vulgate of Jerome, the Bible complete, was made A.D. 383-405.

§  Printing was yet unknown and copies of the Bible were laborious and expensive -- written by hand.  It's illuminating and saving truths were largely hidden for centuries by the errors, superstitions, and apostasy of the dark ages.  The common people knew little of its contents.

§  The first book printed from movable type was the Bible in Latin which came from the press of John Gutenberg, at Mentz, Germany, in 1456, a copy of which, in 1926 was sold in New York City for $106,000, the highest price ever paid for a single book.

§  Moses wrote in the language of the people of his time; the prophets spoke in the tongue familiar to the men whom they addressed; and the New Testament was written in the language then current throughout the Roman world.  All the bibles, except in England, were in an ancient tongue and could be read only by the educated.  Usually, the common man heard it read by their Priest. 

§  Then Martin Luther  did not believe the living Word should be confined to a dead language.  He gave his countrymen the New Testament in 1522, and the Bible complete in 1534.  This was not without opposition.

§  As Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes under King Zedekiah showed their contempt for God by burning the writings of Jeremiah, and confining the prophet in a dungeon (Jer. 36: 20-23; 38: 1-6,) so now men sought to stem the rising tide of reform by burning the Bible and its translators.

§  Bible burning was started in England by destroying copies of the Antwerp edition of Tyndale's New Testament in 1527, and again in 1530.   "If Luther will not retract" wrote Henry VIII of England, "let himself and his writings be committed to the flames."

§  The Bible had taken deep root with the people by now and the prelates and kings began to foster and supply.  Henry P. Warren's Stories from English History, pp 196, 197:  "Henry, by Cromwell's advice, ordered a translation of the Bible to be made in English, and a copy to be placed in every church.  Cromwell then appointed Cranmer and the bishops to revise the Bible and publish it without note or comment; and in the year 1539 a copy of the English Bible was chained to the reading desk in every parish church.

So, I believe, Samantha, in the devine origin of the Bible.  Since then, however, I believe that man has had ample opportunity to make their "changes".  Translations can be dangerous things.  Some languages have no corresponding word in other languages; most words have more than one meaning, and some words are just changed to our detriment.

I'm familiar with many of the writings that didn't make the cannon. Some of them seem like pretty logical choices to... be excluded, others not so much. Most of my life I was taught that we simply have to believe that God guided the canonization process, just as he guided the writings of the books of the Bible.

So back to the original question, refined further - do you think it's possible, at least, that God also inspired the writings of other scriptures? The Tao Te Ching is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful pieces of religious works ever created. If that wasn't divinely inspired, why should we accept that a book full of war, celebrating the death of children and a cosmic wager on a mans life between God and Satan, to be divinely inspired?

And in a complete 180 -- (here comes the blasphemy ... run for your life!!) doesn't the crucifixion and resurrection seem a little self-serving? I mean, wouldn't YOU gladly climb onto a cross to be tortured if you knew 1) within hours you'd be hanging out in Paradise  2) the result would be the saving of mankind from eternal death  and 3) that 3 days later you'd be walking around alive and well again?

And to that point, why do we have crucifixes as iconography? If, for instance, I was walking across the street arm-in-arm with a couple children and a bus came hurdling toward me, and a stranger threw himself in front of me, died by being hit by the bus and saved our lives, I would eternally grateful, but I would not hang images of a bus around my house to remind me of his sacrifice, that's always seemed macabre to me.

I am not familiar with The Tao Te Ching (never heard of it, in fact), so I will take your word for it that it is at beautiful piece of religious works.  I know there are many more.   In fact, once during a meeting of The Northeast Georgia Writer's Club, one of our members gave an invocation that was the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard.  I can't tell you how touched I was by this; however beautiful though it was, I did not even begin to think it was "inspired".  As far as the other religions' holy books, let those religions rely on them.  There were many other religions and pagans during the time of Christ, too.  The Bible cautions us to be aware of other religions and false prophets throughout.  The Bible also gives us the best way to deal with the differences in human beings: 

"Judge not, that ye be not judged."  Matt. 7:1. 
Satan is "The accuser of our breatheren ---which accused them before our God day and night."  Rev. 12:10; and Then when we judge, accuse, or condemn one another, we are doing the work of Satan. 
Your question - do you think it's possible, at least, that God also inspired the writings of other scriptures?   Sure I do.  There were many found with the Dead Sea scrolls.  No telling how many others are out there.  But for me to personally accept them, they would be confirmed by the known Bible  (the two witnesses rule)    Example: The Quoran(sp) justifies honor killing—a --father/brother to uphold the family's honor can kill is wife or daughter! I just couldn't buy that.

For you to personally accept other scriptures they would be confirmed by the known Bible - could you elaborate on that? The known Bible, as canonized by politicians, distributed by Monarchs ... with the finger prints of man and politics and manipulation all over it?  As we've previously discussed, there are all kinds of problems with the Bible, beautiful and inspiring though it may be. We have to rely on our own minds and hearts to find truth, not just centuries of teachings and harmonizing passed on to us to people just as fallible as ourselves. 

You said "As far as the other religions' holy books, let those religions rely on them" and that's the heart of the problem! If it's truth we're after, not just warm tingly feelings and fitting in with our culture, then shouldn't we consider other religion's holy books as possibly true? We can't just dismiss them out of hand because we're from a Christian culture!

The Q'ran justifies honor killing and you couldn't buy that ... that's good! The Bible justified slaughtering an entire city so the Jews could take it over as the promised land (there were ALREADY PEOPLE LIVING THERE!)  With that example, the European conquest of America and slaughter of Native Americans was every bit as justified as our promised land. 

"The Bible cautions us to be aware of other religions and false prophets  ..." which again brings me right back to the start -- why are we just assuming the Bible is the true book? The Vedic scriptures (Hindu) encourage embracing everything, that God can be found everywhere. Why shouldn't that be true? The Tao Te Ching teaches that you can’t have something without it’s opposite. You can’t have good without evil, you can’t have up without down, everything must be balanced (seriously, I love this book. You should read it. Here’s a link to it, it’s a very short book, I’ve read it at least a dozen times and learn something new every time.)

The Old Testament teaches that if a man rapes a woman, he should marry her! I can't buy that. In Psalms, a book of PRAISE, not laws, one verse says "Happy is he [God] who shall seize your children and dash them against the rock" 

But wait, before you tell me Jesus told his followers to be more kind and loving than the law of Moses as prescribed - Jesus himself said he came not to bring peace, but a sword. And that every one who wants to follow him must hate his family. Further, in the parable of servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding Jesus says when the master returns and finds his servant drunk and haven beaten the other servants the master will "cut him to pieces" and that the servant who knows his masters will and will and does not do it will be "beaten with many blows."  So even if he is speaking in a parable it seems Jesus is saying that God is going to beat the living s*it out of me for disobeying him, and then he'll kill me and annihilate my soul. It also seems that Jesus is OK with owning slaves, as he never spoke out against it or even encouraged slave owners to be nicer to their slaves.

So in summary, the same reasons I rejected Islam is why I reject Christianity (and let's not forget they are members of the same religious family) -- my deep investigation of the Bible has led me to conclude :
1)    It’s full of contradictions
2)    Advocates at least as much awful as it does good
3)    Was shaped by the desire of man rather than God
4)    Is no better than many other world scriptures

In fact, I think I have a much stronger reason for not being a Christian than I do for not being a Muslim. I’ve never looked into Islam very much, I’ve just dismissed it for being crazy. I’m sure people who were not raised in a Christian household think that about Christianity.  (Really: if you hadn’t been raised Christian, wouldn’t it be weird to have people telling you that this guy died, went to hell and them came back to life, and so to honor that we eat his body and drink his blood? What the hell? Are we Vampires?)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Get those Liberals out of my Bible!

Okay, I'm late to learning about this but all I can say is HOLY HELL what a terrible idea! This guy has created the "Conservative Bible Project" to remove the liberal leanings out of the Bible (because OBVIOUSLY God wants everyone to be a Republican).

From their website:

Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:
* lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
* lack of precision in modern language
* translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.

The project works like Wikipedia, anyone can make edits to this version of the Bible. Regardless of their understanding of how the Bible came into being, the history of Biblical translations or any comprehension of the languages the Bible was originally written in.

The best way to get rid of the liberal bias thrown into the Bible by King James 600 some years ago is to let good Conservatives throw their own bias into the translation of the translation of the translations.

I really don't need to go on about this any further; I think we can all agree this is the stupidest idea ever. Even Bill O'Riley would agree with me on this one!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Sermon

There was once a time in my life when I kind of wanted to be a pastor. I wanted to speak to a church about the importance of kindness to all God's children, to not lose sight of the teachings of love among all the legalistic hemming and hawing. Here's my chance! My sermon is to the Christian community in response to this video.

While the founders of America were Christians, they purposely did not establish a national religion so no one was persecuted for their beliefs, as they had been. As a nation, “we” don’t worship ANY god. You are free to worship (or not) whatever god you so choose. All faiths are welcome in America. All enjoy equal rights under the Constitution. That's the beauty of freedom of religion that led to the foundation of our nation!

Freedom of speech means anyone can say stupid things if they want (a la the pastor in this video). It doesn't mean you can expect to have everyone pat you on the back and say good job, all people have the right to say what they want as long as it does not incite violence. And so we're clear: being disagreed with is not persecution.

The faith of Christianity is a personal faith. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and sup with him and he with me." Revelation 3:20. Christ has called his followers to love their neighbors at themselves. He told his disciples to spread the good news of the forgiveness of sins, of God's love for mankind. He told them to love their neighbors as God loves them. He told them to give to the poor.

He rejected the political power and might offered to him by Satan and expected of him by many Jews. Instead he chose to take up the cross and die for your sins. His public speeches, like the Sermon on Mount were full of admonishments to love God and man, to seek the kingdom of God.

Did Jesus tell the blind man he deserved to be blind because he sinned? No, he healed the blind man. Did he tell the leppar his leprosy was the result of his sexual sins? No, he healed him.

Never did Jesus teach that nations who refuse to keep his commandments will be destroyed. He said individuals who rejected his teachings and sinned would go to hell. He did not say his Father would bring down a holy wrath upon the nation. This sort of fear mongering, hate speech and blaming the victims have no place among those who are true followers of Christ.

Christians open your eyes! Among the faithful you have wide divisions in belief. Was Jesus crucified on a cross or a tree? Do we have to baptize our children as infants or should baptism occur in adulthood? Is divorce allowed for reasons other than adultery or not? Is the communion wafer actually the body of Christ? Does Christ require us to speak in tongues to be saved? Should we reject the world or embrace the world God so loved?

Because we live in a nation of religious freedom, you are free to disagree about each of these issues and practice your version of Christianity as your heart tells you. That freedom applies equally to non-believers and believers of other faiths as well.

Jews and Christians both lived among people of other faiths. Jesus instructed his followers "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's." If Jesus had intended his followers to militantly push their faith on a nation (as the pastor in the video suggests Christians must do) his answer would have been more like "Tear down all of Caesar's idols, remove him from his post and find amongst yourself a leader to replace him, for my Father in heaven will surely strike down all who do not follow me." That was NOT the message Christ taught at all.

Look at it this way -- if a person commits no sin his entire life because he was locked in a cell his entire life, does that make him holy or handicapped? When he appears at the pearly gates would he hear those so longed for words: "well done, good and faithful servant" or would God say "Away from me, I never knew thee." You can't force a nation to love God with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind. That is what Jesus wants, not forced obedience to a list of rules.

Christ called his followers to choose him, to follow his example out of love. He did not suggest taking up arms against your neighbors and forcing them to say the Lord's Prayer. Simply forcing people to conform to a life you think God expects will not forgo his wrath, for it is the hearts of men that God judges, not their actions.

Remember, "For by Grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourself. It is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) After God made a new covenant with the world through the crucifixion of his son, he had no reason to destroy nations for their willful disobedience. The price for all of our sins has already been paid.

The next time you think God should be put in control of the nation, ask yourself first if he is in control of your life. Even with the in-dwelling of the holy spirit, we all sin and "fall short of the glory of God." Live your life the way you feel God is calling you to, and let others do the same. Even if that God is Allah or Krishna or the great spirit. God will judge them at the end, not you.

So in conclusion, if your faith or your heart tells you that homosexuality is a sin, don't engage in homosexual acts. If your faith tells you that working on the Sabbath day is a sin, don't work on the Sabbath day. You have tremendous freedom here in America to make those choices! Let us thank God that the founders of our country never established a national religion. We can all study and practice our faith however we feel called.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Why the constant claims that Obama is a socialist? The real socialist party openly rejects him.  Do those of you who accuse him of being a socialist even know what that is? The world socialism gets thrown around a lot as a knee-jerk reaction to most anything the Liberals propose that involves any form of tax payer dollars. Before you throw that phase out again, take the time to understand what you're saying, don't be convinced by politico soundbites on TV.

What may surprise you is that aspects of life in the US are already "socialized" - like education and the highway system. Do you object to allowing the government to use tax dollars to pave the roads you drive on? How about public education? [note: that does not mean it is perfect! Still, I'd rather let my tax dollars pave the roads than worry about selecting which roads I want to fund and only driving on them]

The proposed healthcare reform bill won't create a single payer (that being the government) system that provides universal healthcare to everyone. In short, the PPACA is NOT going to turn into healthcare system that Canada and Europe currently employ. A diabetic will not have her leg cut off because it is more cost-effective than treating her gout. I implore you to read up on the subject from an objective source. FOX News and the Huffington Post are examples of UNbiased sources.

Socialism has recently become a slur word, but it wasn't always that way. Great American presidents, from at least the time of Lincoln, have respected and engaged with socialists and social-democratic ideas. They have not always embraced those ideas. And even when they have borrowed from the socialist toolkit, the act of doing so did not make them socialists—any more than Jimmy Carter’s openness to drug law reform made him a libertarian or Obama’s intriguing with those who would begin the gutting of Medicare makes him a Barry Goldwater Republican. (

A pure socialist system involves the government runinng the production of goods and services for direct use rather than profit. No more mark-ups, everyone has a home and money for free time, everyone is taken care of ... that sounds like many of the descriptions of heaven. There is no pure socialism, and America is not a true democracy either.

Let's all of us vow to stop seeking out exactly what we want to hear and then patting ourselves on the back for being so smart when we're agreed with. Don't regurgitate what you've heard in sound bites. If you're going to be passionate about an issue, research and understand both sides. Whatever side you wind up supporting, you will be forced to recognize the humanity of the other side, rather than painting them as a monster.


1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2. a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
    b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who the F#*k Cares?

Craig James: Being gay ‘is a choice … they are going to have to answer to the Lord’

Being a Christian is a choice too. I choose not to be. I'm not scared of the wrath of your God. And as God teaches, "vengeance is mine" - so let the "sinners" sin.

The Bible also teaches that adultery is a sin and divorce is a sin. The incidents of divorce and adultery are higher than the incidences of homosexuality so why don't you go worry about that.