Topic of the week: God

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How blogging works is a mystery to me. Surprising things happen all the time. Some stuff sticks for awhile. A lot more doesn't. It's a blur of information, and focus is hard to find. I've been wondering lately if a weekly theme might have any value.

So without further adieu, here is our first-ever topic of the week, complete with a fancy blue button you may soon be able to push.

Let's talk about God.

Comments

Go with me here.

Someone else's post tonight reminded me of growing up Baptist. I miss those old days in a lot of ways. My mother was the Grape Juice lady. She filled the little glasses once a month for the Lord's Supper. I helped (we used a big syringe without a needle).

A week of conversations about God. Could be interesting.

Not to go all Scopes Monkey trial on you guys...

but in sixth grade i distinctively remember reading Clarence Darrow being quoted as arguing that, "I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose." That always stuck with me, and is perhaps partly responsible for my views today. I always feel that sometimes my opinion is quick to offend, but perhaps this quote will promote discussion itself.

One of these days you have to meet my son.

He's an atheist - and has very distinct reasons for his beliefs. And they are beliefs, not lack of belief. I would not speak for him; but he makes me laugh on a regular basis when he describes his conversations with his friends, who are mostly Christian. He knows their religions better than they do, because he has studied it better than they have. Amazing.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I'm heavily intrigued by the Antitheist movement lately.

My ultrarealist childhood somewhat lead me down that road, much to the chagrin of my mother. But alas I find more truth in it all, so it's held close. But the timing of this thread on the very day I move on to reading Dawkins' The God Delusion MUST be more than coincidental. Let's just hope it doesn't leave me in BlueNC's bad graces!

Never.

There's room for everyone here. Theist, Atheist, Antitheist, Pantheist, Polytheist, and even random Libertarians.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

another mom of atheist son

My son has gone with me to the United Methodist Church since infancy, Sunday School, Bible Study - but at eight, he just can't figure out any way to believe in God. He also never believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy - I blame his scientific mind, or else the Chinese found a way to encode atheism in the DNA. I still get him to Bible study, and remind him he can always learn more about being a good person. At school, he has told kids that he doesn't believe in God and they have told him he is going to hell. He stands up to them. I hope he will find a faith to sustain him - because that is the importance to me, more than religious preference. I just don't think that I can force it.
I will say, from a young age he loved to hear the story of the Good Samaritan - I recall being in hotels and he would look for the Gideon Bible so I could read it to him.

Wow.

That might be the coolest thing I've ever heard. It sounds as if you're quite quite lucky to have such an intuitive son.

My son always loved Greek and Roman mythology

He still does, as a matter of fact, and find truth in it, and in the myths of other cultures as well.

And the Good Samaritan is an example of one of the best stories ever, one we can all learn from, no matter what our personal preferences are about God.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Try this button

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Try this one.

See of it takes you anywhere.

Heh. My transcript

Me:
Hello, is this thing on?
God:
Hello there. Yes I think this is thing on, but I'm not completely sure.
Me:
Test
God:
This is just a test.
Me:
Hi, God, what's up with the Patriots?
God:
Hi there . I am a Christian.
Me:
Why does my head hurt today?
God:
Ah. Perhaps it is just fate.
Me:
But you ARE fate, correct?
God:
Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am fate correct.
Me:
Ah, see, now we get to it. You appear to be little more than a Markov chain machine
God:
So you understand. Good. I see. Why now? By "we" do you mean you and me? OK I will try to be little more than a Markov chain machine.
Me:
Very clever. So answer this -- which side of the Trinity am I speaking with? The logos? The Creator? Or the Councellor?
God:
Am I a smart robot or what? That's alright. The tall one, I think. What are your goals in life? Thanks for the info. I have never heard about it.
Me:
You're breaking up! The deus ex machina loses it! What do you have to say for yourself, machine?
God:
I will tell my botmaster you said I am breaking up. I have never heard about it. I like to meet new people online.
Me:
But as far as I understand, you KNOW me already. How can I be a new person you've met online?
God:
Perhaps. That might not be very far off. You should download my chat robot software.
Me:
What would happen if I plugged that software in to talk to you?
God:
Try it and see what happens.
Me:
I'm afraid the world might end.
God:
Not literally afraid, right? Why? The whole world?
Me:
I suppose not literally. But a bit concerned
God:
Why? If not that, what? How much?
Me:
How much what?
God:
More than a little, less than a lot.
Me:
Ah, yes. Sentience and intelligence requires memory, and it appears this God has neither. I'll not worship you, you false prophet! (or false profit?)

And with that, iGod crashed.

God is somewhat of a mystery to me...

When I think I have a bad day, I try and think of what God goes through.

This being listens to all of the problems of the world. That must be a lot of stress on one person. It kinda makes me wonder if God has his own personal therapist to release some of the information people tell him. And how exactly, would he relax? I mean it's not like God get a day off or anything.

He must have splitting migraines...

God migraines

Now there's an interesting idea.

Spitting hairs on God Needles?

And how exactly, would he relax? I mean it's not like God get a day off or anything.

He must have splitting migraines...* Dixie Blue Chick?

Sure God takes a day off, in the bible, it said to take the 7 th day off and come back on Monday to see if anything has improve! And what makes you think God is a "he" and a Viking with a dark tan?

Yours in the faith of the Force!

Peter, Chief CEO VP and offical gatekeeper of the Kingdom

I officially never understand your posts.

I don't mean it in a bad way, I just always read the things you write and I'm usually left wondering not only WHAT I read, but also debating whether or not throughout the day someone has slipped something into my drink. Sure it livens up the discussions at times, but the randomness paired with your unique method of quoting posts usually makes my head hurt. I'm oft intrigued by those that puzzle me, however, so keep up the good work.

You speak for many

Except for the head hurting part. That passes.

I'm now at the "serene acceptance" stage. There's always something in there worth finding. And the constancy is strangely reassuring.

I hope the hell that Max is not God?

I officially never understand your posts.*Christopher

It is written in DiVinic code and submitted by the George Bush persona.....There is a secret message in the posts, but you will have to get a Knight's Templar to fill you in. However! The bad news is that most of them were murder by the King of France 800 years ago. So you are on your own...Don't worry! I promise paradise like the Republicans and Fred Smith....

Max is most confusing frigging fool that I have ever seen on the internet, but somehow the idiot makes sense like a Greek God in heat. * paraphasing A with a bottle of Russ Limbaugh pain pills

Spin!

What tells me that He isn't male and a Viking with a dark tan?

"Faith is like a glass of water. When you're small, the glass is little, so it's easy to fill. As we grow, the cup gets bigger, so it's harder to fill."

More BS Spin?

What tells me that He isn't male and a Viking with a dark tan? *dixieblue

Easy! I just got my new Playboy yearly datebook and special events Poster. On the front cover, there is blue eye and blond hair Brit Muslin terrrorist in a Blue prison jumpsuit that says " love me or prepare to meet the 72 HO's"

God(s) are a touchy subject with me.

I started out Presbyterian, was "born-again", and somehow found myself quite Pagan and quite happy with it for a long time.

At this point in my life, it just doesn't matter to me. If there is(are) God(s), or not - I'm living my life the way I think it should be lived. Not because somebody or something outside of me tells me to, but because I feel it inside. I don't know if it's me, if it's god/dess, or if it's just .....crazy. Or both. I don't think it matters.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I tried reading there for a while.

I stopped - because it really didn't add anything to my internal discourse. (There's another point for crazy.)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Same with me.

Though I did meet a wonderful person named Rain. Then I ran out of steam. Or got all wet. Or something.

friendly folks on street prophets

I am a regular, was part of a quilting group that connected to make quilts(mailing pieces, etc.) and I am a buddy of Rain. It is a cozy place, and I appreciate that people are willing to share a bit of their personal spiritual practice and beliefs.

50 bucks on "crazy"

Just kidding. We're all born with the "golden rule" somewhat inherently instilled in us, or so is my belief. You'll be just fine living your life to the very best of your understanding of it. That's a great thing to go by these days, as much as the MSM would love to force otherwise.

I don't know if we're all born with it

and some of us have it beaten out of us, or if none of us are born with it and some of us learn it.

I'd like to think you're right.

And you'd probably win that bet.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Talking with God..

This is a subject very few can talk about with authority. I always thought you really have to be such a special case to know his opinions and decisions on so many subjects. But we do have quite a few authorities on this subject, and they are usually pretty wealthy people! Maybe my antenna is usually faced in the wrong direction?

Weak topic. Why not fav Seinfeld episodes?

God? As the first topic? Why do Dems have to spend so much time on myths? I've been to lots of Dem meetings where we fritter away our time with vague prayers and with presentations from "Dems of Faith."

It's interesting how many Dem meetings claim to be Big Tent but then serve pork as the main dish, excluding the Jews, the Muslims, and many Hindus not to mention secular vegetarians.

Next week: Windows vs. Mac vs. Unix.

You misunderestimate us.

When we talk about G*d here on BlueNC, it's not your regular political rhetoric. It's an inspired discussion that you may never have another opportunity to engage in.

We really are the big tent.

Windows vs. Mac vs. Unix

That's a toughie for me. How about a couple of other suggestions? Since we have no precedent (other than God, of course), pretty much anything goes.

Pile on!

Ex-Methodist

I started out at a Christian & Missionary Alliance church, which had some troubles (I think re the pastor) so we left. I was about 9 or 10, so it's very hazy.

Then we church-shopped for a while, and we landed at my grandparents' UMC church. I got confirmed and all that, then by the time I got through high school, I'd been seduced to the dark side: agnosticism. I'd decided I didn't believe in the Christian god, but a friend was Pagan, so I tried that for a while. That lasted into college, but I never really got much out of being a solitary pagan.

Now I'm happily atheist. I appreciate Buddhist philosophy, but not so much the supernatural aspects.

Nice discussion

saw this last night right before bed and have been thinking about it all morning.

I'm in my mid-50's and still not sure what I believe. I feel that there is something bigger than me, sometimes I feel that I'm being protected, sometimes I scream at the sky and ask why is man-kind so evil.

The bible....I've had trouble with those stories since I was a little girl and wondered why all the heros were men. Why are women supposedly punished for eternity because Eve listened to a snake (who talked to her???).

Then there's the one about a man who endures the death of his family, sickness and the loss of everything so God can show Satan how much this man loves him???

I've often wondered if God is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-everything, why he set Cain up to kill Abel.

So I've decided that the Bible is man's interpretation of God, because my God, or Creator, or Whatever is better than that.

I want to believe that Jesus had it right, that the key to everything is love...just love.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

"Working together to discover God's truth"

Parents met at a Presbyterian college, was baptized at Pilgrim UCC church in Durham, was confirmed at Central Methodist in Asheville, but moved to Howard Hanger's Jubilee! community when the new pastor at Central ran him off. Went to a college that used to be Congregationalist a long time ago, and picked up a bunch of pagan leanings there, while reading up on lots of various forms of American Indian beliefs. Came back to Durham, and decided that ultimately, the nature of the Divine transcends human understanding, but that the practice of religion in a mindful way with a community of others was, from an empirical perspective, a healthy and constructive thing to do. Additionally, in attending my girlfriend's Episcopal church, I got to hear an incredible sermon by the excellent Bishop of North Carolina, Michael Curry, as he laid out the case that "belief" was much more about love and less about epistemological and ontological certainty. That was key.

After two years of visiting (and playing on the church basketball team), I finally joined First Presbyterian in Durham. In speaking with the senior pastor, Joe Harvard, he stressed that what was most important was that we were all seeking God's truth, and that we were doing it together, as a community. I made it clear that I wanted to join but that my doubt was stubborn, and he made it clear that I was welcome nonetheless.

My current theological musings run heavily towards just what John was getting at in the opening chapter when he identifies Christ as the logos (often translated as "the Word") made flesh, and how that ties in with the earlier Greek concept of logos as the fundamental principle underlying rational thought, and also what that means for the often poorly defined Holy Spirit, or sophia.

Used to enjoy

Howard's liturgical weirdness at Jubilee! community, years ago.

Much as I dislike the limitation of labels, I'm finding my own irreligious bent is moving towards existential buddhist christian agnosticism. While I still believe in God, and while I still believe that in some sense Jesus was fully divine (maybe by virtue of the fact that he was fully human), I'm finding that I don't really believe in a theistic notion of God or a theistic interpretation of incarnation. Does that make me a Christian a-theist?

If you want to feel better about not fitting in...

Go through the Wikipedia articles on Arius and Arianism (no relation whatsoever to notions of the Aryan race), the various forms of Gnosticism (particularly Valentinus and the Aeons and all that mess), and the pie fights that took place before the Council of Nicea. If the early Christians, just a couple of centuries removed from the time of Christ, had that many wildly disparate ideas about Christianity, I don't feel so bad about having trouble stomaching the virgin birth and a corporeal resurrection.

Devout Presbyterian

My of my views comes from my father. He has never had much use for those he calls "Holy Rollers" and nor do I, but he always said the only thing worse than a "Holy Roller" is an atheist. To be honest I have trouble understanding them, my faith in God has pulled me through troubled times that I believe I could not have done without the Lord. I do not see how someone could refuse the help, but that is me. Right now I could not vote for an atheist becasue in these times I think faith in God is needed for our leaders.

Not trying to offend but these are my beliefs.

Thanks for weighing in

This has been a very informative thread, handled with grace and generosity throughout. Your comments are much appreciated.

It must be nice to have the kind of faith you do.

When I look at leaders like Bush, a man who says he is called to action by his faith in God, I conclude that faith is very possibly the most destructive force at work in these difficult times.

But then again, I'm so far gone as a back-sliding Baptist that it's hard for me to even understand what faith is any more.

It's a curiosity of language

how words come to mean things they may not really mean. The word "athieist" doesn't mean "no God;" it simply means "no theistic God." I do indeed believe in God, altho not the small, easily conceived and defined theistic model of my ancestors. Maybe nontheist would be a better description than atheist, given the freight that word carries.

Missing the "god-shaped hole."

In troubled times, I turn to my friends and family. Or my therapist, when I had MDD on top of SAD in Oregon 2 years ago. I've never found comfort in god or Bible readings, even when I attempted to be the good Christian my family expected. I don't get it.

Why does faith in god make someone more likely to be a better leader? That's a sentiment I've never understood.

Thank you for your view

I am not sure what MDD or SAD is but I hope you got help for it. In reading what you said I am not surprised that you failed to receive any comfort. To put in a nutshell of why I think you did not get any comfort is first of all you made the effort for the wrong reason. While honoring your Father and Mother is a comandment that should not be confused with the fact practicing faith in God should be based on that sole purpose. More over if, and I really hope you do, find Christ it will not shield you from harm or danger. And when you are hurt and need help there is nothing wrong with using a therpapist or a doctor. The way I look at it is God gave you a brain use it. But to be clear, those who have reached a relationship with God are less likley to be afraid to fail and be hurt. If you reach it then it will bring you a kind of joy that nothing else can bring, and I am not just speaking of the afterlife but the life of here and now.

As for me voting I do require someone who is trying to be our leader to make a sincere effort to be on the path to the Lord. I hope I have shed some light on this subject, I do not claim to be in the league of John Paul II or Billy Graham so it is possible I can not make the point I am trying to make.

I'm gleefully atheist. Seriously.

I can also say that my mom, who goes to church and all that, was still pretty damn devastated when her husband died of cancer a week after her birthday almost 2 years ago. Belief in god isn't a magical shield against pain.

I find religion illogical.

MDD is major depressive disorder, and SAD is seasonal affective disorder. Antidepressants are awesome.

As for me voting I do require someone who is trying to be our leader to make a sincere effort to be on the path to the Lord.

Why?

Better living through chemistry.

Antidepressants are awesome

I'm not ashamed - Cymbalta and Lyrica have changed my life.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I hope you drugs help you

I am not real fond of taking drugs but I am aware that sometimes they are the only cure with whatever those disorders are. I hope whatever you are doing works.

Life has pain in it, it will have pain in it and those who believe Christ will shield you from pain are going to be disappointed. Having said that as a Christian I am not always afraid of pain either, and what pain life has given me has helped me understand others when they are in pain.

Logic is a useful tool at times but to me it is not a be all and end all. My biggest rewards in life has been when I went against logic and gained a reward in spite of logic. If you ever do decide to search Christ and you do it for the right reasons, you will find that logic if abused can become a prison, that does not mean that I endorse foolishness either, studpid behavior will cost you.

To answer you question why I could write a thesis as to why but I am not going to do that. Just to say first of all I think atheist are close minded, and that right now with time so uncertain as they are I want a leader who will turn to the Lord and help get this nation through this. I am begining to feel that only without God this nation is not going to make it.

Off meds

since July 06. Still have the 10 pounds I gained on them, though.

A lot of Christianity (especially the parts Paul wrote) and other religions, too, to be fair, is mostly intent on keeping women's status low and men's high. As a feminist, I can't stomach that.

I also can't stomach forced conformity of belief, the idea that people who believe otherwise will be going to eternal torment, or the oppression of gays.

I want a leader who will look at the facts, discuss with human advisors and staff the facts and options, and use historical knowledge to reach a decision. Where that person gets his warm fuzzies, and what comfy blanket he turns to is none of my concern.

Also, would you be OK with a Muslim president? Jewish? Hindu? Buddhist? Or does your definition of "relationship with the lord" mean only Yeshua ben Yosef and YHWH, in the New Testament flavor?

Glad you do not need the drugs.

I quit smoking in 1996 and put on 25 pounds and I still have it. I think you do not understand Paul's writing or where he is coming from, but having said that Paul is not God. Like us he was a mere mortal and he made mistakes also. Christ gave women a status quite higher than most of his day. While I find homosexuality immoral I do not think oppressing them is a Christian behavior, or course what do I define as oppression may not be the same.

To me the Muslim God the Christian God the Jewish God and the Mormon God are one in the same. I could vote for any of the believers though I am more at home with a Christian.

Jesus was groovy.

Feed the hungry, heal the sick, love your neighbor. That's some serious liberal hippie talk there.

I don't believe Jesus, if he even existed, and the historical record on that is spotty, was divine. A radical (at the time) rabbi, with great ideas, who got a strange mythos built up around him over time, cobbled together from ancient sources like Zoroastrianism and Mithraism.

How can loving someone be immoral? How can any act of love (between consenting parties) be immoral? It's far more immoral to deny a person whose partner of 30+ years is dying in the hospital the right to see that person, or to deny after that person's death that the partner has any right to the home they shared or any of the belongings - photos, for example.

So your idea of religious people who would make good leaders doesn't include, say, HH the Dalai Lama. Or, presumably, Mohandas K Gandhi (Hindu, iirc.)

Interesting. And rather telling, frankly.

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