Equality brings loss of church for an Elder

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    I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult

    At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

    It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

    The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/los...#ixzz2JGTCAJaz

    Well written by a former US President who was known as a deeply religious man. His concerns are the same as many women have: Focus on parts of the Bible that subjugate women is to be missing much of what the Bible has to say.

    My personal feelings about the Bible are that is is a great historical description of the ethics and morals of the time it was written. Many parts of it still are relevant. many specifics have changed. I believe the over all message of love as Christ is reported to have said. I think that on any balance sheet has to weigh more than Leviticus's rules.

    tewdles, leslie :-D, somenurse, and 1 other like this.

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  2. 33 Comments...

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    Many people, when they actually DO explore their religion, do develop questions, and some do end up deciding that religion, and gods, don't have that much to do with each other,
    and some decide,
    that morality is doing what is right, no matter you are told,
    and religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.

    Most christians have to cherry-pick from among the bible, to 'create' the gods they want to find in the bible, and find ways to overlook, gloss over, or ignore what the bible actually says.
    (this is true of most large, organized religions, not "just" christianity)

    Most christians decide which parts of the bible are 'true'
    based on
    whether or not they "like" that part of the bible
    . The part of the bible they do NOT like, well, those parts are not "true".
    The parts of the bible that DO coincide with the gods they want to find in the bible, well, those parts ARE "true".

    ^this IS cherry picking, and a form of 'creating' the god you want to worship,
    instead of worshiping the gods that are actually IN the bible.

    In dismissing vast swaths of the bible, the christians have many ways to rationalize this. "It's human error". Which i always find odd, that since so many christians DO believe the bible is a divinely inspired book, written by authors hand-picked by the gods to write the message down,
    that so many of the authors describe the bible god as a horrific beast.
    Not just one or two, but the vast bulk of them.

    I am only mere mortal, i can not see the future,
    but, if i wanted to find 40 humans to write down my message, i think i probably could find ones who can write down what i want them to. Oh sure, some might get a point wrong here or there,
    but, to go completely opposite on my message? I think i'd be able to avoid choosing authors who are likely to do that.
    and i can't even see the future, like the biblegods apparently can. so i always find it odd, that an infinitely intelligent god,
    who CAN see the future,
    would have so much trouble locating humans to accurately write down his message.
    and end up with a divinely inspired word of god
    that is so so chockful
    of "human error" on most every page.

    Also, another method that many christians use to dismiss parts of the bible they don't like,
    includes "Don't take it literally".
    except for some parts, like the dead man walking, that part, yeah, take it literally, but the parts about raping women is okay with god, or slaughtering infants, or murder, or torture, or stealing, or genocide (gods hobby, really, was genocide) or all kinds of horrific stuff, and ridiculous nonsensical rules,
    well, don't take THAT part literally, cuz i don't "like" that part,
    it is not "true".

    Most christians have never actually read the bible that they say they "love".
    A Book of Blood

    ^one of the most thoughtful bible critiques i've ever read.

    Another popular one, is, "OHHhhh, that's OLD testament!" BUT the NT has plenty of very very questionable morals in it, too, and Jesus himself stated over 100 times that the OT should be followed, that he himself very much approved of the OT.
    but, whatever.

    I applaud Jimmy Carter's courage to challenge the idea that religion is a force for "good" in the world. No doubt, he will be slammed and shredded up for doing that, but, i've always
    always admired courage.
    Last edit by somenurse on Jan 28, '13
    leslie :-D, BCgradnurse, azhiker96, and 1 other like this.
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    It is good to see people following their hearts and ethics about treatment of women.
    leslie :-D, BCgradnurse, and somenurse like this.
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    "If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for a reward then we are a sorry lot indeed." -Einstein
    caroladybelle, tewdles, somenurse, and 3 others like this.
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    This is why organized religion leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth. I prefer to live my life by the Golden Rule, rather than by any tenets of a specific religion. Treating others as you wish to be treated doesn't discriminate.
    tewdles, somenurse, aknottedyarn, and 1 other like this.
  7. 2
    We have the gift of faith from our Lord...
    We have organized religion as a gift from the devil.

    Our faith saves us and helps us to live better, more connected lives.
    Our religions are by and large intolerant and are responsible for the deaths of millions over the years.

    I got me some faith. I have read the Bible cover to cover several times now. Nah I don't like all of it...and don't even worry about that. I am a sinner.
    herring_RN and somenurse like this.
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    Faith is seen as a great thing by many to most religious people. Most people seem to take great pride in being able to believe in things that there is no empirical evidence for, as if that is a quality. I don't see suspending one's critical thinking skills in a certain area,
    as a quality,
    but, many people do. No one much ever questions, if being able to pretend or believe what others tell you,
    even without objective empirical evidence, really IS a good idea.

    Faith is needed for things which are not provable by reason or rational logic.

    Name:  faith not know.jpg
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    The more fantastic the claim, the more fantastic evidence i'd need.

    Tell me you have a dog, i'll take your word, as that is not a fanstastic claim. Tell me your dog can fly, and i'll be skeptical til i see evidence of it.

    And there are various types of faith. I can have faith my best friend will be there for me in hard times, as, she has proven that to be the case in the past, and i can make assessments as to her character, by knowing her. This is not illogical.

    But, to each her own.

    Yes, i am always impressed at how the atrocities in the bible, the immoral stories about that god, never seems to bother christians. They almost all seem to find a way to squeeze their eyes shut to alllllll that stuff in the bible, or say "It's human error" or "Don't take THAT part literally, just this here part over here." and stuff, it is fascinating how they do it.

    Many seem able to read a story,
    without stopping to ponder what the story is about, what the gods are actually doing in THAT story. Kinda gloss over it, really, not stopping to question if that was really a "good" god who would slaughter so many infants, or indulge in genocide so so often, etc etc etc.

    There might be a god, it can't be proven one way or the other,
    but, for me to worship the god, it'd have to be a better god than the one in the bible.

    I think one can be very moral,
    very kind, very fulfilled, connected, and know right from wrong, even without following a bronze aged text.

    I follow my own inner moral code.
    I think christians ALSO mostly follow their own inner moral code, too,
    because they DO pick and choose which parts of the bible they WILL say is worth following, based on their own inner moral code,
    and the christians will also reject big swaths of the bible, as immoral/wrong/not a good idea
    based on their own inner morals.

    Any christian who DID follow all of the bible, would end up in jail,
    as luckily,
    in USA
    civil law trumps religious law. Christians trying to follow many of the rules or examples in the bible, would be thrown in jail, based on civil law. It wouldn't matter it is in the bible.
    Areas where rleigious law IS = that area's civil laws, are always disastrous. Doesn't matter which religion, theocracies are always oppressive, tend to be poverty stricken, and brutal.
    I'm very glad i do not live in a theocracy. whew!
    Last edit by somenurse on Jan 31, '13
    herring_RN likes this.
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    aw, the link doesn't show up, you have to click on it.

    Attachment 12240
    ^ I think more people should be willing to question, or even just mull over, if "faith" in illogical, fantastical things with zero empirical or rational evidence, is really a "good" idea.
    or not.

    at any rate, it's not required whatsoever to be a moral person, or a 'good' person. It's totally optional, but, sometimes believing in other people's ideas can lead some people to extremes, poor judgment, and actual harm.
    Last edit by somenurse on Jan 31, '13
    herring_RN likes this.
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    One doesn't have to suspend critical thinking skills to have faith in God.
    That may not be evident to someone outside of faith...I know that I did not understand it when I was an agnostic.
    herring_RN, aknottedyarn, and somenurse like this.
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    To believe in something there is no empirical evidence for,
    zip, nada, none....
    something that is illogical, and fantastical, like a cosmic jewish dead person, who is his own father,
    who can make you live forever,
    if you symbolically drink his blood and eat his flesh,
    while telepathically telling him he is your master,
    so he can remove an evil force from your soul
    that is present in all humans
    because a rib woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree
    actually does require one shuts down their own critical thinking skills.

    I was once a believer myself, as a very very young person, many many decades ago,
    and i do recall how it is all done,
    how one takes actual pride in never questioning if this makes sense or even seems fair,
    without ever questioning if this really IS a 'good' god at all,
    without ever questioning if it is real outside of my mind,
    without ever exploring if there is ANY actual objective, empirical evidence at all for any of it,
    or if it is even necessary, or even helpful at all? to be a good moral person...?

    AS IF that kind of thinking is actually a 'good' thing to strive for.

    EDIT: I, in no way at all, ever mind anyone questioning anything i say at all, if it makes no sense to you, feel free to ask what i mean by this or that, i don't mind.
    Last edit by somenurse on Feb 1, '13
    herring_RN likes this.

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