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  #101  
Old 01-08-2020, 08:01 PM
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You have compared religion to a virus and said God is a homophobic prick. If you don't hate religion than you are doing a good impression of someone who does.
Thatís like saying that if I donít like [insert American political party] and I think [insert American politician] is a homophobic prick, I hate America (or at least do a good impression of someone who does).

But inasmuch as I donít hate religion, there are only a very few religions that I donít think are worthy of scorn based on what their dogma and how they encourage their followers to express that dogma and to allow beliefs which are at best of unknown veracity and at worst demonstrably false to influence their interactions with other people.

I hate bad ideas, and if a religion is full of them, well... what do you expect? Unlike you, I am NOT a member of a church supposedly founded on the words of a guy who (again, supposedly) preached love. I guess Iím comfortably unencumbered in that regard.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-08-2020 at 08:05 PM.
  #102  
Old 01-08-2020, 09:41 PM
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Liberal Christians aren't biblical literalists. They do not, as a rule, tend to believe that the Bible was personally authored by God, or that God would go to any particular lengths to make sure what was written in the Bible was accurate. The Bible, in this view, is the work of people over many centuries describing their experience with God, and trying to interpret what those experiences meant in terms of God's will. Christians who adhere to this interpretation would, generally, view the writers of the Bible as very wise, but not infallible, and subject to many of the cultural assumptions inherent to the times and places where they were born. They're also generally aware that modern translations of the Bible are basically a game of Telephone played across thousands of years between people who didn't necessarily all speak the same language, and are mindful that what it says in King James may not have much resemblance to what was intended in the original document.
I probably couldn't have put it much better, so I will simply echo this. In addition the Church are the people of God who have for a little less than 2000 years been interpreting Holy Scripture. These interpretations have ebbed and flowed and changed and taken on new forms. After all, we are reading (or more often in Christian history, hearing) Scripture in non-perfect human languages trying to describe encounters with a perfect divinity. 200 years rival interpretations of Scripture were arguing for and against human slavery - we take it for granted that the Bible passages speak against slavery, but that is because that interpretation won out. I feel the same will occur with LGBTQ. The Holy Spirit still moves, helping God's Word take root.

And, of course, there were Churches before there was New Testament Scripture (the oldest of the New Testament we have are Paul's letters to various churches in the 50s). FWIW, Paul, himself, is quick to point out that he is not perfect, and how many of his letters make up the New Testament (I wonder if he'd be slightly embarrassed by how many take his letters as the literal word of God).

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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
No one (or almost no one) says that adulterers, drunks, and fornicators (gay or straight) should be banned forever from the church, just that when at church they should be called to repentance. Most churches don't hold keggers or key parties because to do so would mean the celebration of sin.
There have been more than a few jokes about the drunkeness of Catholics and Episcopalians (I like the whereever there are 4 Episcopalians there is always a 5th). I don't hear a lot of repentance called for or offered for their prodigious drinking and drunkenness (as long as no one gets hurt, of course).

And I can assure that at our Easter Vigil (Lutheran - no stranger to alcohol), there are more than few people who leave quite a bit tipsy.

Last edited by ISiddiqui; 01-08-2020 at 09:44 PM.
  #103  
Old 01-08-2020, 09:43 PM
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Did the Wisconsin Synod eventually merge with the Missouri Synod? I grew up in a Missouri Synod church. But my mother's folks belonged to a Wisconsin Synod congregation. I noted very little difference in the Sunday services at the two churches. As I recall the Wisconsin Synod broke off from Missouri because the Wisconsin folks didn't approve of dancing. That has to be about as silly as it gets.

****

How does each congregation decide which Methodist group to go with? Do they vote? Form new congregations? What happens?
Wisconsin Synod still exists. They are still more conservative than the Missouri Synod (which I find super conservative). The NALC is the Lutheran denomination who broke off when the ELCA affirmed same sex relationships among our Pastors (and Bishops - of which we now have 2 LGBTQ Bishops).

And I would imagine that those who want to leave would vote to do so.
  #104  
Old 01-08-2020, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
You have compared religion to a virus and said God is a homophobic prick. If you don't hate religion than you are doing a good impression of someone who does.
He said your god was a homophobic prick. Thinking that your specific religion sucks isn't the same as hating religion in general.
  #105  
Old 01-08-2020, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
I probably couldn't have put it much better, so I will simply echo this. In addition the Church are the people of God who have for a little less than 2000 years been interpreting Holy Scripture. These interpretations have ebbed and flowed and changed and taken on new forms. After all, we are reading (or more often in Christian history, hearing) Scripture in non-perfect human languages trying to describe encounters with a perfect divinity. 200 years rival interpretations of Scripture were arguing for and against human slavery - we take it for granted that the Bible passages speak against slavery, but that is because that interpretation won out. I feel the same will occur with LGBTQ. The Holy Spirit still moves, helping God's Word take root.

And, of course, there were Churches before there was New Testament Scripture (the oldest of the New Testament we have are Paul's letters to various churches in the 50s). FWIW, Paul, himself, is quick to point out that he is not perfect, and how many of his letters make up the New Testament (I wonder if he'd be slightly embarrassed by how many take his letters as the literal word of God).



There have been more than a few jokes about the drunkeness of Catholics and Episcopalians (I like the whereever there are 4 Episcopalians there is always a 5th). I don't hear a lot of repentance called for or offered for their prodigious drinking and drunkenness (as long as no one gets hurt, of course).

And I can assure that at our Easter Vigil (Lutheran - no stranger to alcohol), there are more than few people who leave quite a bit tipsy.
it may have won out but plenty of bible passages do not speak out against slavery. Even the 10th commandment says not to covet your neighbors slave. If god wanted to speak out against slavery one would think the 10 commandments would be the place to do it. The bible supports slavery and most Christian's just ignore the fact. They pick and choose what they want. Some want to support gays some don't so the UMC is probably splitting over that. People use religion to support what they want. Clearly the bible is not the word of god but the word of lots of humans made up over many years to influence other humans.
  #106  
Old 01-08-2020, 11:42 PM
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Churches in general don't make sense. Institutions whose whole existence stems from irrational belief can hardly be chided for adopting irrational policies.
Churches make sense as social institutions, not so much as scientific institutions. Being a church/mosque/temple/coven member give you community and support - except for the local Methodist women's group my MIL supported for decades but that ignored her when she lay dying. When your social group turns on you, you're fucked.

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Originally Posted by Miller View Post
Liberal Christians aren't biblical literalists. They do not, as a rule, tend to believe that the Bible was personally authored by God, or that God would go to any particular lengths to make sure what was written in the Bible was accurate. The Bible, in this view, is the work of people over many centuries describing their experience with God, and trying to interpret what those experiences meant in terms of God's will. Christians who adhere to this interpretation would, generally, view the writers of the Bible as very wise, but not infallible, and subject to many of the cultural assumptions inherent to the times and places where they were born.
"Interpret" is the weak point here. If biblical texts are Divine Wisdom but are coded, misunderstood, even products of fallible writers, then the divinity didn't communicate very well, and whatever is written can be re-interpreted to mean whatever is desired. Is 666 The Mark Of The Beast or just an old way to say "zillions"? Is it really joyful to smash your enemies children against the rocks or was that only a social comment? Must Jesus's followers abandon their families and all they own and live communally with fellow-believers or was that instruction metaphorical? I'll start a sect where the rich are only saved after they've become miniature camels. Jesus said so!

Words meaning whatever you want possess no meaning at all. But they're fun to play with.

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Originally Posted by Miller View Post
He said your god was a homophobic prick. Thinking that your specific religion sucks isn't the same as hating religion in general.
Almost everybody else's religion sucks. If not, why not worship with THEM, not US? My Quaker grandparents didn't much care for the Baptists across the street.
  #107  
Old 01-09-2020, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
Thatís like saying that if I donít like [insert American political party] and I think [insert American politician] is a homophobic prick, I hate America (or at least do a good impression of someone who does).

But inasmuch as I donít hate religion, there are only a very few religions that I donít think are worthy of scorn based on what their dogma and how they encourage their followers to express that dogma and to allow beliefs which are at best of unknown veracity and at worst demonstrably false to influence their interactions with other people.

I hate bad ideas, and if a religion is full of them, well... what do you expect? Unlike you, I am NOT a member of a church supposedly founded on the words of a guy who (again, supposedly) preached love. I guess Iím comfortably unencumbered in that regard.
That's fair. Perhaps you could come up with a list of approved religions and guidelines for deities to follow.
  #108  
Old 01-09-2020, 01:25 PM
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That's fair. Perhaps you could come up with a list of approved religions and guidelines for deities to follow.
Sorry, I’m like a city permitting office. Present me with the plans, and I’ll tell g-you if it meets code. I can tell you, specifically, though that your religion as you’ve described it fails on a number of grounds. See above for details.

Oh, and of course that’s not what this thread is about. I mean, my own personal list of acceptable religions. It’s about the Methodist church, which can’t even seem to decide among its own members what is and is not god's will.

Look to your own house first, eh?

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-09-2020 at 01:27 PM.
  #109  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
(snip)

There have been more than a few jokes about the drunkeness of Catholics and Episcopalians (I like the whereever there are 4 Episcopalians there is always a 5th). I don't hear a lot of repentance called for or offered for their prodigious drinking and drunkenness (as long as no one gets hurt, of course).

And I can assure that at our Easter Vigil (Lutheran - no stranger to alcohol), there are more than few people who leave quite a bit tipsy.
Hell, the Catholics'll give you a drink right there in the middle of the Mass.

(One of the more interesting classes I ever took when I was a good Catholic boy, before I stopped pretending I believed in God, was a nuts-and-bolts view of the parish, from the pastor. He gave us a behind-the-scenes tour, explaining things like who vacuumed the carpets and how the light bill got paid. One of the tidbits he told us was where the Communion wine came from. Can't remember the brand, but it was a cheap, very sweet white.

Always liked Fr Churchwell - unlike some other priests I knew, he wasn't in love with the uniform.)
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  #110  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Slow Moving Vehicle View Post
Hell, the Catholics'll give you a drink right there in the middle of the Mass.

(One of the more interesting classes I ever took when I was a good Catholic boy, before I stopped pretending I believed in God, was a nuts-and-bolts view of the parish, from the pastor. He gave us a behind-the-scenes tour, explaining things like who vacuumed the carpets and how the light bill got paid. One of the tidbits he told us was where the Communion wine came from. Can't remember the brand, but it was a cheap, very sweet white.

Always liked Fr Churchwell - unlike some other priests I knew, he wasn't in love with the uniform.)
Always figured it would be red wine, you know, blood colored. of course if one is catholic it doesn't matter the color of the wine since it turns into blood after it is consumed
  #111  
Old 01-09-2020, 02:50 PM
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Always figured it would be red wine, you know, blood colored. of course if one is catholic it doesn't matter the color of the wine since it turns into blood after it is consumed
So did I, actually. I think he said it was a sweet white to be palatable to everyone, even folks like me who don't like wine.
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  #112  
Old 01-11-2020, 05:55 PM
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Perhaps you could come up with a list of approved religions and guidelines for deities to follow.
Many seem not to grok the US Constitution's First Amendment. Banning establishment of a state religion protect religions from governments, not vice-versa. Welcome to the US Dept of Religious Affairs (DRA), with all the conviviality of a Motor Vehicles waiting room and the efficiency of a Pentagon procurement office. Some religions are now effectively illegal because their rituals or sacraments are outlawed. The DRA would "regulate" faiths by arbitrary bureaucracy and probably bribery. How to out-spend Scientology?
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