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   Why I Admire Jesus
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torporchair
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Why I Admire Jesus
« on: Mar 14th, 2008, 2:48am »
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Why do I admire Jesus? The guy is a hero. He had no fear. It is possible he was delusional. In fact, to those of us who aren’t Christians, we’d have to say Jesus was delusional, I guess. But what the heck? No one’s perfect. Then again, did Jesus ever actually say he was the son of God, or did he say "son of man"? Did the translation get skewed?  
 
A note about my annoying wise-acre attitude toward religion:
One of my brother in laws has my favorite response to my free-thinking Christ-scoffing ways. He said to me, with a friendly pat on the shoulder, “I hear they’re packing hell with folks like you.” No pressure to come to church, no unpleasantness. He just told me what he felt was the crux of the matter, and we continue to have great conversations and get along famously. Now that’s my kind of Christian. He is a strong believer and very into the church, but he doesn’t force his ideas on you.  
 
Anyway, Jesus. Yes. The guy was a reformer. He was a feminist for one thing, and that was a huge break from the vulgar oppression in Christianity to that point. It took the Catholic Church a long time to catch up with Christ’s simple reform: women are equal in the church! Heck, the Catholic Church and probably others still don’t allow women to be big-timers, Bishops and so forth. Very regressive, in my opinion. But Jesus? He had no time for oppression of women! He overturned that nonsense quick. That alone stands him in good stead in my book. He also was a champion for the oppressed generally, and had an innate sense of fairness. He is just a decent guy, a very righteous person. And he was not afraid. He was brave in a different way, in a Gandhi way as opposed to a rambo way. He had the courage of his convictions.  
 
He also favored less restrictive ideas regarding the church. No more of this stuff where the temple is such-and-so and a half cubits long and so forth. All that nonsense stifles the spirit! Christ was very liberal about what constituted a temple. He had sense; he had more common sense than most people, except of course that he got himself killed, but that was simply the courage of his convictions. It wasn’t so much lack of sense at it was a sense of mission and a sense of standing up for what he believed.  
 
As for the horrors of the crusades and other utterly barbaric and stupid behavior which people have felt moved to say, think, and do in the name of Christ, all I can say is they are about as smart as a box of rocks. It is a complete sham that people do cruel and repressive and stupid things in the name of religion. This seems like it should be obvious…
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mitakeet
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #1 on: Mar 14th, 2008, 11:25am »
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Power attracts the corruptible.  The church, even today, represents substantial power; hence the church is filled with corrupt people.  This has nothing to do with its start.
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torporchair
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #2 on: Mar 14th, 2008, 3:39pm »
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I wonder what your thoughts are on the general character and personal attributes of Christ? To me, it is not so easy to get at who Christ was because the bible is so convoluted and corrupted by self-serving translations.
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mitakeet
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #3 on: Mar 14th, 2008, 4:16pm »
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There is really no way to know Jesus the person.  Besides the fact that he is dead (or whatever) these 2,000 years, knowing any historical person of any stature is improbable at best, impossible at worst.  Jesus has been subject to so much editing of history that there is no account that can be trusted.  Even in the unlikely event that we had authentic period descriptions of him or even writing in his own hand, it is all subject to interpretation through a 2,000 year lens making even the most innocuous statement fraught with multiple interpretations.  From what I have read he seems like a rather tolerant dewd and I suspect, as you mention, he would have substantial complaints about the churches that now exist in his name, not to mention the crimes committed in his and his church's name.  Still, all is just speculation.  The Christian bible itself is a Frankenstein monster that has been assembled out of bits and pieces cobbled together centuries after the fact, subject to untold editing and probably several generations (or more) of oral traditions.  It seems preposterous to kill people over, let along having red-faced arguments, but there you go.
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torporchair
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #4 on: Mar 14th, 2008, 4:38pm »
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Our statements of opinion about religion and holy texts are sure to really upset many people, and I think I speak for both of us when I say there is no intention to offend- the purpose is not to offend. However, if in the pursuit of talking things out and saying how we really think and feel someone gets offended (including present company!) it is a shame, but an un-avoidable, I think, side effect of honest and earnest discourse!
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #5 on: Mar 19th, 2008, 1:33am »
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This is a question, and I intend it as a serious question. Did Jesus ever say or do anything to indicate that the denying of equal rights to gay people is in any way justified? If He did, I would really like to know the reference and check it out for myself.
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #6 on: Mar 19th, 2008, 1:52am »
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I doubt it.  When most complain they talk of 'The Bible' being against homosexuality.  I am certain that if any of these types felt they could in any way interpret the words of Jesus to be against gays they would latch onto it with a vengance.
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trogdor
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #7 on: Mar 19th, 2008, 2:58am »
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Leviticus 20:13 says that the penalty for gay [male] sex is death. Pretty clear, at least in most translations. But then again, just 14 verses later (Leviticus 20:27) there is a similar penalty (namely, death by stoning) specified for people who attempt to communicate with the dead. Are both verses equally valid?
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torporchair
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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #8 on: Mar 19th, 2008, 5:11am »
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There are a whole smith-load of laws in the first four or five books of the bible that are, by the standards of today's society, ludicrous! Also there are contradictory laws. One law I particularly like to point out to literalists is the one where if yer son misbehaves take his butt to the gates of the city and holler for the men-folks to come and stone him to death.  
 
All kinds of stupid crap like that. Not to mention good old God telling 'his people' to go and kill whole towns of people (including women and children of course) since God, that sweet old feller, promised that land to these peoples' forefathers.  
 
Smite 'em, baby!
 
Christ himself never says gay people are an abomination. Not in the bible anyway. Probably in some latter-day found-in-the-bushes text cooked up by an unfortunate zealot in need of a more stable diet and regular bowel movements there might be such a quote from Christ.
 
They that lay-eth with a man, if they be a man, then they better not go to the barbecue but remain they in the bushes, to hide and be ashamed. Thus sayeth the Ford.
« Last Edit: Mar 19th, 2008, 5:14am by torporchair » IP Logged

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Re: Why I Admire Jesus
« Reply #9 on: Apr 9th, 2008, 3:48am »
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Trogdor, I apologize for remaining flippant after you stated that yours was a serious question. In my opinion anyone who backs up their arguments and especially who presumes to justify oppression of a group of people (in this instance Gay people, who still appear to be fair game for derision, denial of rights etc) with that tried and true method: "the Bible says", are almost certainly either self-righteous (always people to avoid if possible, I say, a real bother to talk to), afraid, using religion to political ends, or just not yet developed in their critical thinking to see and face the undeniable fact that the bible "says" many completely contradictory things, sanctions genocide (see the first few books of the bible, you can't miss it), and promotes punishments that are outlandishly brutal, and, if followed, would put Texas to shame for the number of executions per year.
 
As far as people who are Christians and may be afraid they are some kind of abomination, because the bible tells them so, I would point out the things in the bible that are, please pardon me, utterly ridiculous. The history of the books of the bible and which ones were included in the canon and what happened to the accuracy of the texts being copied (completely intentional in some cases if you ask me) before photocopy machines, as well as the difficulties and shades of meaning faced when translating into English, I think a Gay Christian is being way too hard on themselves if they give credence to what the bible has to say in reference to "he who lays with another man" or whatever the King James says. I never saw a mention of a woman lying with a woman being declared an abomination. That sort of oversight seems patently un-God-like for God to have made when he laid down the laws.  
 
Again I apologize to all those I offend with my treatment of religion. Please consider my tone and remarks with the full realization that they are the product of a ridiculous mind; my mind. A truculent, self-righteous, mind guilty of extreme hubris and about every other bad trait I accuse people of when I don't like their actions or statements.  
 
An agnostic is, in my opinion, an inherently ridiculous person, and that's still what I am. Agnostic. It shows a lack of character, some might say, or else a very, very slow thought process; you'd think a guy would come down off the fence much sooner.  
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