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Richard Norway

Pastor Blames Tornado on Gays

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This gets so tiring after a while.

So should I feel powerful because I can cause a tornado?

Or should I feel pissed off because another half-witted homophobic asshole is blaming me for something else I had nothing to do with?

I think pissed off. Hell yeah. How many kids are going to die because of the hate generated by assholes like him.

Can you imagine being a young teen in his congregation or one like his, and coming to the realization that you're gay?

These guys are getting away with murder because their hatred leads others to commit bashings, murders and suicide.

And it's perfectly legal and within their rights.

Is somebody ever going to wake up and stop them?

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:lol:

So is there a connection between gay people eating beans, and wind?

The pastor probably thinks that climate change is related to sodomy and other assorted human sexual activities?

The guy is plainly nuts about other guys using their nuts.

I bet this guy thinks that medieval is Obama's health plan. (medi-evil.)

:lol:

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Rather than blame the gays, I think the reason the tornado touched down was because that Baptist preacher--Rev. John Piper--forgot to kill all the people who work on the sabbath as ordered in Exodus 35:2 whereon it is written, "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. " Since there are many more people who work on the sabbath than there are gays, obviously all those people working are a bigger problem than gays.

There are lots more things I could point out that the Baptist preacher isn't doing that God demands, but I'd have to look them up. However, as long as no one insists on actual verses to prove it, try slavery, human sacrifice, burning animals at or on the alter, and so on as some of the things the Bible tells us that God demands. Don't forget that unless it has fins or scales you cannot eat anything from the ocean, or any cloven foot that does not chew a cud. Such crimes are supposed to be punished by death in any of a number of ways that would not pass the rule of cruel and unusual punishment, such as stoning, burning, crucification and others. There are even rules in the Bible for selling your kids into slavery, including sex slavery.

So, until Rev. Piper starts to follow all the other rules in the Bible I won't take him seriously. Of course if he started I wouldn't have to take him seriously because he would be in jail and probably headed for execution although in a more pleasant manner than his silly Bible advocates.

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Colin, the thing I find the most offensive about people like Rev. Piper is that they have set themselves up as God by determining which of God's rules they will follow. Nowhere does it say that you get to follow only those rules that you agree with. Yet Rev. Piper and his ilk have decided that they will condemn gays, but won't burn and stone those whom the Bible specifically demands be burned and stoned by the true believers. In short they run around saying that the Bible is the word of God and that everyone has to believe and follow it, but won't follow it themselves. I can't say if they believe that it is the word of God or not because I don't know what is within their hearts, but judging by the way they follow it I don't think they do.

So that leaves me with with the belief that instead of operating their churches for the good of their flocks, they are instead operating them for their own selfish desires. They preach hate against the weak or minorities thinking that will make them appear strong, but it only makes them appear as bullies. There is an old rule in life that goes, you cannot raise your standing in life by belittling others, yet that is what they do. They depend upon hatred and fear to keep their flocks together in a lot of instances. By keeping their flocks together they assure themselves of sufficient money and food to survive and it also gives them a power base. In the end, most, if not all churches are about power rather than doing that which they proclaim is their mission. In that sense they are much like politicians. Politicians are not there to better their respective countries, they are there to advance their own careers. Robert Heinlein once advanced the theory that the person selected to be president should be the one who least wanted to be president, and I think that may well be true.

As for whether or not to refer to people like Rev. Piper by the title Reverend, it is much like whether or not you will address a president as Mr. President. You are not honoring the person, but rather the office. It is not intended to convey a judgement on whether or not I think the person bearing the title is competent or admirable, only that he or she holds that position.

Understand that the above is not an argument against a belief in God. Instead it is only an argument against many of the aspects of all organized religions that I am familiar with. I actually believe in God, but I don't believe much of the BS associated with with the various religions which claim to believe in some sort of supreme being. And no, I can make no good arguments for my belief that there is a God and can make many against such a belief, but that is a topic for another thread.

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Fritz, that was a clear and outstanding statement. As an agnostic myself, I admire the honesty of your analysis as much as I respect your right to your beliefs.

Your words inspire me to realise that we all don't have to think the same, but that rational thought is necessary, to be intellectually honest with ourselves, and that is not always easy, but in my experience, well worth the effort.

When, in the course of intellectual discussion, people exercise honest, rational thinking, even though with diverse, and opposing beliefs, the conversation has every opportunity to be as enlightening as it is sophisticated.

Well done. :lol:

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With slight modifications:

In Exodus 35:2 it is written, "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. "

Slavery, human sacrifice, burning animals at or on the alter, and so on are some of the things the Bible tells us that God demands. Don't forget that unless it has fins or scales you cannot eat anything from the ocean, or any cloven foot that does not chew a cud. Such crimes are supposed to be punished by death in any of a number of ways that would not pass the rule of cruel and unusual punishment, such as stoning, burning, crucification and others. There are even rules in the Bible for selling your kids into slavery, including sex slavery.

I'm the very last person in the world, after even Des, to be talking about what's in the bible or interpretations of same, but I've been told by less benighted people than me that what Fritz cites are passages from the Old Testament. I've also been told that the Old Testament has been held by many scholars to be more of a history than anything else, and a flowery, metaphorical, opinionated and exaggerated history at that. It is held not to be absolutely factual, and not the basis of the Christian faith that its accompanying test, the New Testament, is. My understanding is that this latter text is held to be the word of God by the faithful rather than the former text. By most. But not all.

People who do hold the Old Testament to be the strict word of God belong in a loony bin, for the exact reasons Fritz specified for us. How can anyone believe people should be put to death for these things? How can they condone what these pages condone, and abhor what they tell us to abhor?

I agree with Fritz, that those promulgating the most hatred in the name of the lord do so speciously. They have an agenda, and it's usually a very worldly one, not at all based on faith. It's based on greed, power and money. Why they are able to seduce the number of followers they do boggles my mind. Can't people think for themselves?

C

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The Baptist preacher is best answered by one word: Hog-Wash.

I do love Baptists. They are such delightful dip-shits. They will rave on in the pulpit for hours about the evils of sodomites and then the congregation will get in their Cadillacs and go have lunch at the Sunday afternoon casino buffet.

If they had bothered to read their own bible, they would know that their God is much more annoyed by pious hypocrites that sully his name than the actions of complete strangers.

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Cole wrote:

I'm the very last person in the world, after even Des, to be talking about what's in the bible or interpretations of same, but I've been told by less benighted people than me that what Fritz cites are passages from the Old Testament. I've also been told that the Old Testament has been held by many scholars to be more of a history than anything else, and a flowery, metaphorical, opinionated and exaggerated history at that. It is held not to be absolutely factual, and not the basis of the Christian faith that its accompanying test, the New Testament, is. My understanding is that this latter text is held to be the word of God by the faithful rather than the former text. By most. But not all.

People who do hold the Old Testament to be the strict word of God belong in a loony bin, for the exact reasons Fritz specified for us. How can anyone believe people should be put to death for these things? How can they condone what these pages condone, and abhor what they tell us to abhor?

You have an excellent point Cole because most of the references were to things in the Old Testament. I would give the following as my response to it.

1 The Christian churches are supposed to be founded upon Christ's teachings as promulgated in the New Testament, yet every one I've read about or visited has also made extensive use of the Old Testament. I remember going to Sunday School and having the lessons be about such things as the Ten Commandments and how Moses brought them down from the mountain, or God speaking from the burning bush, or the parting of the Red Sea. Yet never once did the minister or the Sunday School teacher tell us that certain things in the Old Testament were exaggerated or fanciful, and this was not some far freaking-out church, but rather the Methodist Church(although some may consider the Methodists far freaking-out.) I have also attended a number of other churches and never heard them say anything about the Old Testament being exaggerated or fanciful even when challenged upon some of the things in it. So while I have no doubt that Bible Scholars might say things like that, I have not heard it presented to the flock in the Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Catholic, Presbyterian, or any of the other churches I've attended or looked into. Of course that does not mean that it isn't being widely presented that way today because I've only attended churches in my general area and have not attended in more recent years, but if it is being presented that way one would think that you would have fewer people jumping up and stating as fact some of the more outrageous things said in the Old Testament. About thirty years ago I pretty well gave up going to church or looking for a church that I thought presented things honestly, so what is taught may well have changed and it is simply that it was not publicized well enough to come to my attention.

To explain a little. I spent a number of years looking for a church in which I felt comfortable because of some of the things presented as God's word in the Old Testament. I gave up about thirty years ago because I kept getting answers like you have to take it on faith. In short, the ministers I encountered were either unwilling to answer my questions, or unable to do so. I suspect the latter because I became friendly with most of those of whom I asked questions and have a hard time believing that they were unwilling to answer me. Perhaps if I had lived closer to a metropolitan area which had bigger churches I would have received the answers I sought.

2 Although it was many years ago, I was taught that unless directly refuted in the New Testament, the Old Testament was to be believed and followed. While it is true that the New Testament does directly refute some of the laws and rules of the Old Testament, it does so far less than many people or most Christian churches are willing to admit. Yes there was a general refuting of many things, but then the New Testament turns right around and tells us to do things that such a refutation would prohibit. For example, the New Testament still accepts and condones slavery even though some have held the opposite owing to those general refutations. And while it makes many changes in the concept of sacrifice of animals or people, in the end it does not directly refute it as best I can find. It may well be that younger and more modern ministers have changed and that my perceptions of churches is no longer accurate, but if so they have done so in stealth mode when they should have been shouting it from the rooftops. I would also add this. If many of the things that allegedly have been refuted are still promulgated by some, it is the duty of the many to correct them and show that Christians no longer believe that. We have all heard people saying that moderate Muslims should take a stand against the extremists of their faith, so I think it fair to say that moderate Christians should do the same with people like Fred Phelps and Falwell and others. In short, if Christians don't wish to be know as a religion of hatred when there are many examples of Christian ministers preaching hatred, then let them condemn all who preach it. Yes, we do hear a few condemning Phelps, but even fewer are willing to condemn the excesses of Falwell, or Rev. Wright, or Rev. Piper and his ilk. While we hear lots of condemning from the press or private individuals, not much from the churches themselves.

3 I need to elaborate one point I made earlier in this thread. I think that most of the ministers one encounters are truly trying to do good and help their flocks. The problem arises with church hierarchies which appear to me to be the ones after power. The hierarchy are also the ones who determine what the dogma of the church will be. In fact I once had a Catholic priest tell me that. His contention was that the Catholic Church would be much better off and a better reflections of Christian values if the Vatican was gone and the dogma of the church reflected the views of the priests in the churches. The more I learned about organized religion, the more I agreed with Father Victor. I actually considered joining the Catholic Church, but Father Victor recommended against it, telling me that I would never be happy with the answers that the Church was willing to give to many questions. When I asked him what he meant by willing to give me, his answer was that dogma prohibited meaningful answers on many questions. It has been too many years for me to remember his examples, but he threw out several and explained why Church Dogma prohibited any other answers than what he had given me when I asked him about them. I do remember that he likened priests to police in that they were forced to preach certain things just as the police are forced to follow the law even though they may disagree with it. And for what it is worth, Father Victor was a man whom I much admired. You could always tell whether he was telling you what he believed or whether he was simply telling you what the Catholic Church's position was. Looking back, I suspect he was stuck in my area because he had rattled far too many cages to be allowed a large congregation. He certainly didn't believe a lot of what his church forced him to say. I would add that he was very well liked by his congregation and had many friends outside of it.

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I would agree with much of that, Fritz. I too have been disenchanted with organized religion because I was told to stop trying to apply logic to matters of faith. I'm sorry; I'm not built that way. Things have to makes sense to be for me to be comfortable with them.

I will say, however, that many of the questions that can't be answered to my satisfaction by many people of faith actually can be answered in ways I find acceptable, even convincing, by some people in the clergy. There are scholars and philosophers who ponder and discuss these same issues, and they've come up with answers I hadn't thought of -- an easy task, I'll admit -- and they can make one realize there are ways of looking at things that make you reconsider your position.

It's a matter of finding the right people to talk to. There are answers out there.

C

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I too have been disenchanted with organized religion because I was told to stop trying to apply logic to matters of faith.

I just finished reading Carl Sagan's 1986 novel Contact, and that's the core of the plot: how do you justify science and the scientific method (and logic) on one hand, and faith and religion on the other?

I think the novel deals with it very well, and in the end, attempts to reconcile both religion and science into one experience. It's not 100% satisfying -- there's a glaring plot contrivance that I think flaws both the movie version and the novel -- but I thought it was courageous of Sagan to even attempt a story as complex as this. And the movie is terrific, too.

At some point, I think in life you kinda have to throw science away and just go with your gut instinct -- "use the Force, Luke!" -- but I have to confess, the rest of the time, I'm very much a "show me the solid evidence" kind of guy. But there's a time and a place where you just have to go on emotion and faith, and I don't have a problem with that.

Where I do have a problem is when a religious zealot tells me their faith is more important than mine, or their interpretation of The Bible (or God or anything else) matters more than mine. I very much believe that somebody's religious or philosophical beliefs is their own business, and they gotta keep it to themselves. No bumper stickers, no T-shirts, and no brochures shoved in my hand will convince me otherwise.

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I will agree with Pec. I have my own religious belief that I have formulated over the years. And it's mine, not associated with any particular organized church or dogma. I'm not a religious zealot that I have to present to the world what my beliefs are. They're mine and it's the way I conduct my life, and I'm happy and content with that.

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Cole wrote,

Things have to makes sense to be for me to be comfortable with them.

I totally agree.

Cole further wrote,

I will say, however, that many of the questions that can't be answered to my satisfaction by many people of faith actually can be answered in ways I find acceptable, even convincing, by some people in the clergy. There are scholars and philosophers who ponder and discuss these same issues, and they've come up with answers I hadn't thought of -- an easy task, I'll admit -- and they can make one realize there are ways of looking at things that make you reconsider your position.

It's a matter of finding the right people to talk to. There are answers out there.

Likely very true. A couple of points I would make in response to that. 1 If such people have good explanations for some of them, why are those explanations not more readily available to the general public, and more especially, why is it that many of their ministers are not familiar with those explanations so that they can explain or at least show people like me where to find such explanations? 2 Something I have observed is that some of the explanations I was presented with were based upon single verses and if you read the whole chapter containing the verse, suddenly you realized that the verse was taken out of context and if you used the whole chapter the explanation made no sense. In fact, part of the problem with organized religion is that all to frequently the hierarchy of the church will take a single verse and base their dogma on it. A classic example of that would be the Seventh Day Adventists insistence that Saturday is the sabbath because it is the seventh day on the Gregorian calender. While they may very well be right, they may just as well be wrong because the Gregorian calender came long after the admonishment to use the seventh day as a day to rest and in fact the day of rest might actually fall on any of the days of the week because we have no accurate calender to determine on which weekday God decided he was finished.

When I was young, one of the better explanations I was offered about the Old Testament, when I brought up the fact that science said it took many years for the planet to form and cool sufficiently to support life, was that we have no idea how long God's days are. Later on I came across the concept that the Old Testament was in fact more a history of the Jewish people rather than the word of God.

Pecman wrote,

At some point, I think in life you kinda have to throw science away and just go with your gut instinct -- "use the Force, Luke!" -- but I have to confess, the rest of the time, I'm very much a "show me the solid evidence" kind of guy. But there's a time and a place where you just have to go on emotion and faith, and I don't have a problem with that.

Where I do have a problem is when a religious zealot tells me their faith is more important than mine, or their interpretation of The Bible (or God or anything else) matters more than mine. I very much believe that somebody's religious or philosophical beliefs is their own business, and they gotta keep it to themselves. No bumper stickers, no T-shirts, and no brochures shoved in my hand will convince me otherwise.

An excellent assessment on about where I stand with regards to religion, and more especially organized churches even though you wrote it for yourself and not me. I especially like the last part. I have long come to an understanding of my own beliefs and when asked, I'll give them. I don't expect my beliefs to change anyone's mind. Like you, I resent others who insist on trying to change mine. Don't take that to mean that you cannot change my opinion if you present arguments that convince me, but don't present your beliefs as the only way to believe when addressing something like religion where there is little absolute proof of anything.

For what it's worth, were I younger and still searching for what to believe I think that Cole's remarks regarding there being explanations is probably right and if young now I would likely search out the answers for those questions I had as a young man. Having said that, I'm not sure such explanations were available when I was young. I think that many of them are more likely to be recent because now more people have been exposed to science and churches have had to come up with reasons why science does not destroy the basis on which said churches are founded.

Des wrote,

Your words inspire me to realise that we all don't have to think the same, but that rational thought is necessary, to be intellectually honest with ourselves, and that is not always easy, but in my experience, well worth the effort.

When, in the course of intellectual discussion, people exercise honest, rational thinking, even though with diverse, and opposing beliefs, the conversation has every opportunity to be as enlightening as it is sophisticated.

Thank you Des, although I would not call that concept inspiring. I agree that it is possible to admire and respect many people who hold beliefs that we disagree with. I would go even further and say that I can think of none of my friends with whom I agree on every issue which could be contentious between us. We have even held discussions on many of those topics and parted friends. Where I do have problems is when someone fails to acknowledge a point and either refute it or accept it. I have encountered too many people who simply ignore any argument they cannot refute and go on to another argument to make their point. It is like whatever argument you used was never advanced. On some subjects, such as religion, all that is required is to express the argument that you disagree with them, but in other instances you need to present reasons why you disagree. For example, I remember an argument in which I put forward actual laws as a reason to support my point of view regarding what a president could do, but they were totally ignored. It was like the law did not exist and people did not have to obey it. After enough of that I tend to lose patience with such people and can become very disagreeable. I will add that normally I overlook some actions like that, but they add up over time and the disagreeable part by me may come much later than the first instance where they ignored my arguments. Perhaps I would be better off by insisting that people respond to my arguments immediately rather than letting it slide to the point where I become angry with them, but I am who I am.

One thing I insist on when debating a subject. When you advance a belief you must be willing to accept all the consequences of that belief or modify it. It is not fair to say I believe thus, but it only applies part of the time and then only when I agree that it should be applied. For example, if you believe in free speech you don't have the right to prohibit that which is referred to as hate speech. By the same token, if you favor prohibiting that which is called hate speech you cannot claim you believe in free speech. If you see one politician do something and say it is bad you should be willing to say it is bad when any politician does it no matter what your political beliefs or which party the politician belongs to. In short, you hit the nail on the head when you used the words, "Intellectually honest with ourselves." I'm willing to admit that sometimes my beliefs will produce results that I would rather they did not, but I have adopted such beliefs because I think that they do far more good than bad and can come up with no way to cover the good without accepting the bad.

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