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PostPosted: February 5 19, 10:26 pm 
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33anda3rd wrote:
That's my childhood, and I assume you're addressing me. So it's to say when you're saying that I need to be able to quote the Bible (I can't) to talk about christians, you're wrong. Because "christians" are the people who call themselves that, they are not the text in a book from centuries ago. I can make judgments--accurate ones--about the immoral nature of police randomly killing black guys without being to cite the policeman's manual. Sometimes common sense and simple data give us the easy, true, uncomplicated truth. Christians and white catholics express their values via voting in a way that shows they have lousy values as a group. Sorry, Strat, I know those are not your values. But in the modern world they are the group you are stuck with, kind of like the truly good cop who is looked at suspiciously after yet another incident of a policeman killing an innocent black person. It sucks, but that's where you're stuck until the church and the body of christians/white catholics is overhauled dramatically.


I'm going to try and take two different approaches to your posts. The first will address the concepts in general. The second will attempt to address the more personal response you have offered.

So, first, I guess I'll just point you back to what I said:
Quote:
If you can't quote the scripture, don't read or study the Bible, don't examine Biblical commentaries, don't go to church, don't try to know or relate to a variety of Christians on a personal level, don't regularly listen to a variety of pastors/preachers/leaders from a variety of denominations, and don't regularly read up on Christian history/theology/philosophy/sociology then don't pretend like you have any clue what you're talking about when you try to talk about any of those things.

In other words, if you can't quote scripture, don't try to quote scripture. If you don't examine Biblical commentaries, don't try to offer Biblical commentary. If you don't go to church, don't try to give informed opinions on what church is like. And so on with the rest of the examples I cite. That's not at all the same as saying that if you're not a Christian you can't talk about Christians or their voting habits, or things based on data or common sense. Simply put, if you don't know about something -- like Nancy Pelosi and the Bible -- then just be honest and say you don't know.

This is particularly frustrating because I see people make value judgments, build personal religions, and make major life choices based on stuff that is just not true, a misrepresentation of a truth, or an intentionally altered truth. Like the prosperity gospel people. Or some young earth/science deniers. Or, on the other side, people who claim Christians are cannibals or that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and moved to India. (Those are all very real things that I have actually heard and seen.)

Second... You seem to be reading yourself and your story into my post. I'm sorry if you viewed it as somewhat personal. I can honestly say that my post didn't have anything to do with you or your posts, or anyone or anything specific from here in this thread or at GRB. The trigger for my post was external and I brought it here to soapbox because I thought that it might make for an interesting and new conversation, which it has. I do not think -- and don't think I said or even implied -- that any non-Christian, can't speak into their own personal experience with "Christians" or make readily observable conclusions about "Christians". As to how that relates to your story, I guess I would ask you to consider that for yourself. As an outsider who knows a bit about this stuff, it seems like my post unintentionally dug into some things that you're still dealing with related to Christians you've known, the nature of faith, the character of God, death, and the choices you've made in light of your personal suffering. Your response to those things, in your words, was to conclude that Christianity is a cult and to F the whole thing. You felt the need to tell me that specifically, in that specific way. Ok. That's how you feel. It doesn't insult me or anger me. And I won't try to change your mind or in any way try to convince you you're wrong. That would be foolish and irresponsible of me. Instead, I'll just ask why? Why did you need to say that here? Why did you have to say it now? Why did you want to say it in response to me? My experience tells me there is always a reason when I get that kind of response from others and that I should not ignore it, for their own sake. Please don't answer those questions here on the board. They are meant for you to consider in your own way or with your own family, and truly not for me or the board to get involved in. (In fact, I would take this to PM, except that I think others could benefit from it as well). Or you can laugh at my questions and throw them away as stupid questions from a crazy cult leader! :wink:

Nothing I ever say to anyone who has experienced loss can make up for what they have suffered. It's insulting to them to even try. When Jesus was faced with some who were grieving, he simply wept with them. I do hope, though, that if you decide you are still carrying around unresolved pain from your past that it would probably be therapeutic to seek out some kind of reconciliation with a religion that you have come to associate with suffering and injustice and have likely grown to despise. I'm sorry that you went through that and I wish you the best.


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PostPosted: February 5 19, 10:35 pm 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
I guess I also don't understand what we're doing here sometimes. Trying to decide if American Christianity is "bad"?

For me, yes. I was raised in the church and my first instinct is to think it does some good. That was drilled into me back in the day. But human progress can be boiled down to two words, empathy and science, and I don't see a persuasive argument here for Christianity on those two fronts. The latest argument is a "no true Scotsman" fallacy, which is not at all encouraging.


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PostPosted: February 5 19, 10:35 pm 
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greenback44 wrote:
33anda3rd wrote:
That's my childhood, and I assume you're addressing me.

Nah, he's too passive-aggressive to do that.


I was and am trying to understand what 33 said and meant in regards to my post. I took his post very seriously and answered him very directly.

But, you are welcome to address me personally here if you have an issue with me and my posts.


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PostPosted: February 6 19, 1:35 am 
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I apologize for my part in putting the political alliance between Christian groups and GOP/Trump at feet of some nice/patient fellow GRBers.

If it isn't already obvious, I am frustrated by my ex-church affiliation - 12 years Catholic school indoctrination and family steeped in it. The semi-formal alliance between Trump GOP with my ex-church leaders is especially chafing. A few family members, staying loyal to this regime...it insults me.

Though the leadership does not necessarily include the congregants, far too often official Church stances (pro-life, anti-Gay marriage, second class treatment of divorced people) allow for congregants to rationalize and adopt the full GOP Trump MAGA agenda.

An example is those Catholic boys from KY-I formerly identified with. A school sanctioned pro-life cover for playing MAGA. I am pretty sure I wouldn't have been that dumb. I hope at least.

I chime in here way too much. I just know that Fat or Tim etal stand a better chance of helping their fellow Christians' out of this US historical-level morass of misplaced nationalism than I do. Or is it historical-level?... Hence the frustration.

And Christians, a question - First Commandment. Honor no gods before Me. The nationalism of Trump GOP -is that not honoring another god first? Not that you are doing this.

Anyways. Thanks for all you do Fat, Tim and all.


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PostPosted: February 6 19, 9:13 am 
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As an outsider who knows a bit about this stuff, it seems like my post unintentionally dug into some things that you're still dealing with related to Christians you've known, the nature of faith, the character of God, death, and the choices you've made in light of your personal suffering. Your response to those things, in your words, was to conclude that Christianity is a cult and to F the whole thing. You felt the need to tell me that specifically, in that specific way.


So really Strat I'm past dealing with all of that, it's been close to 30 years, and I got past it with a therapist over several years and there's not much left to come to terms with. There isn't any emotion in the brief statement I made about my personal history in the Methodist church and with my mom, whose religion and her belief that it would deliver her salvation I find to be weakness and a fantasy escape from the realities of a lousy marriage and a terminal illness at a young age. She gave up because she, like her church community, thought there was a better place that brought release and relief. I think you know from years of interacting with me that I'm a pretty cold, hard objectivist and that probably feeds my views on religion more than any personal/emotional inputs.

As an objectivist, if in 2016 people under 30 years old turned out in massive numbers and a large % of them voted for Trump, and they were demonstrably the votes that propelled him into the White House we would all ask "What on earth is wrong with these millennials? They need to get their values straight." I'm saying the same thing, but about white religious people, who in large numbers have completely lost their way. I'm not supposed to say that, because we have a looooong tradition of agreeing to never criticize the religious, from the POTUS candidate who pretends to be a churchgoer because it's a litmus test and you HAVE to be christian to lead us, to the catholic parent who will take the church's money rather than face being ostracized by his community for reporting a priest for raping his kid, to every point in between.

White christians are not practicing good values, they are not practicing christianity as you and other good christians do. It's up to those bad actors who are christians to get their [expletive] together, and in LARGE part it's up to the good christians to condemn their actions and not let them continue to represent christians, or it's going to be the whole lot of you in a half-century that America as a whole will view as a radical fringe.

The democrats, we are able to cast out those who we do not wish to represent us. Al Franken. He walked the walk, talked the talk, fought the fights for the things we think are worth fighting for, was a good democrat. He had to go. Ruben Kihuen was like "I'm innocent, I swear, but I'm not running for re-election because I'm clearly dragging the party down, giving us a bad name." Conyers had to go. Why can't the religious in America do that? Why do priests get shuffled from job to job instead of being fired? Why doesn't the house get cleaned? (I don't accept "I can't answer because I'm not cahtolic" as an answer.) Tell me how, in Alabama, Roy Moore gets 80% of white christians, when he was found unfit to be a public servant twice and was accused of statutory rape? Why can't the good christians clean house? Unwilling? Incapable? Overwhelmed because more christians are bad than good? A combination?


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PostPosted: February 8 19, 8:09 am 
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Pope publicly admits priests, bishops have sexually abused nuns

Or should this go in the #MeToo thread?


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PostPosted: February 8 19, 8:52 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
Why do priests get shuffled from job to job instead of being fired? Why doesn't the house get cleaned? (I don't accept "I can't answer because I'm not cahtolic" as an answer.)



I was raised Catholic and I have observed the Catholic church for decades, although I never really bought into it much, even as a kid. There are many reasons IMO why the Catholic church has not "cleaned house". The first is the obvious and easy one - it's a massive hierarchy with tons of vested interest in keeping it alive. This is why they cover up these things rather than deal with them.

But what about the rank and file Catholic church-goers? Why don't they want to clean house? This one is more complicated. Some of the church goers themselves are heavily invested in the church and want to keep it going. That is one group. Another group is the people whose kids attend Catholic school. By definition, these people are well-off and many of them (no, not all) send their kids to Catholic school because they want to keep their kids away from the unwashed masses of public school kids. So they want to keep the church going so they don't have to expose their kids to these lesser humans.* Yet another reason is because the church is steeped in patriarchy. All the people committing the horrific crimes are men in the Catholic church, and crimes by powerful men just get treated differently. Or at least, they did get treated differently for centuries.

Where these two above paragraphs overlap is the people who decide where to locate priests within the Catholic church. They are usually not locals, and live in some city far away. The local church-goers don't know this person, and probably cannot even reach the person. Shuffling priests around to other parishes gives the appearance that "something is being done" and it all seems distant and like it's not our problem.**




* This is anecdotal but I have found that the Catholic churches here are basically a separate entity from the rest of the community they are in. A zoning issue that came up a few years ago where the Catholic college wanted to expand their campus for a football stadium was revealing. The church encountered resistance from the community. Their reaction to this resistance was basically the attitude that "You are darn lucky to have us here and you should let us do whatever we want." They think they are above the community, not part of the community. They can point at charity they do to feed the hungry or house the homeless. But again, the attitude is they are doing those things to us as favors, and we owe them deference. Basically, the Catholic church is part of their higher status, and this higher status must be preserved.

** Another anecdote: One priest in charge of the treasury at our church back in the day got caught mixing personal funds with church funds, and likely embezzling some. We were friends with him. One day he vanished without a word. We didn't even know where they put him, and no one would tell us. We found out like 6 or 7 years later, through word of mouth, that he got moved to a small town about 3 hours away. It's impossible to have a conversation about justice with someone if you don't even know where they are.


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PostPosted: February 9 19, 8:46 am 
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pioneer98 wrote:
33anda3rd wrote:
Why do priests get shuffled from job to job instead of being fired? Why doesn't the house get cleaned? (I don't accept "I can't answer because I'm not cahtolic" as an answer.)



I was raised Catholic and I have observed the Catholic church for decades, although I never really bought into it much, even as a kid. There are many reasons IMO why the Catholic church has not "cleaned house". The first is the obvious and easy one - it's a massive hierarchy with tons of vested interest in keeping it alive. This is why they cover up these things rather than deal with them.

But what about the rank and file Catholic church-goers? Why don't they want to clean house?


Part of this is like the thing with Congress. Ask a voter "Is Congress doing a good job?" and they are likely to say "no," then to go to the polls and vote to re-elect their Congressperson. Congress as a whole is bad, but our guy, my guy, they guy I voted for, is actually fine. Ask my devoutly catholic mother-in-law about the priests and the shenanigans and she'll say that there are some bad priests, but she loved that [expletive] Cardinal Bernadin until he was underground and then some. Ask a person who's generally conservative but dislikes Trump and they'll defend Trump voters when they're from a local area full of Trump supporters--those are their neighbors, they're fine, they're not the problem. We are generally, by nature, very prickly when it comes to our local stuff even when we can be critical of the problems as a whole.


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PostPosted: February 9 19, 10:03 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
pioneer98 wrote:
33anda3rd wrote:
Why do priests get shuffled from job to job instead of being fired? Why doesn't the house get cleaned? (I don't accept "I can't answer because I'm not cahtolic" as an answer.)



I was raised Catholic and I have observed the Catholic church for decades, although I never really bought into it much, even as a kid. There are many reasons IMO why the Catholic church has not "cleaned house". The first is the obvious and easy one - it's a massive hierarchy with tons of vested interest in keeping it alive. This is why they cover up these things rather than deal with them.

But what about the rank and file Catholic church-goers? Why don't they want to clean house?


Part of this is like the thing with Congress. Ask a voter "Is Congress doing a good job?" and they are likely to say "no," then to go to the polls and vote to re-elect their Congressperson. Congress as a whole is bad, but our guy, my guy, they guy I voted for, is actually fine. Ask my devoutly catholic mother-in-law about the priests and the shenanigans and she'll say that there are some bad priests, but she loved that [expletive] Cardinal Bernadin until he was underground and then some. Ask a person who's generally conservative but dislikes Trump and they'll defend Trump voters when they're from a local area full of Trump supporters--those are their neighbors, they're fine, they're not the problem. We are generally, by nature, very prickly when it comes to our local stuff even when we can be critical of the problems as a whole.



This may be correct to some degree. But even here, we had a brother groping 3rd graders, and a pastor arrested for soliciting sex for $$$ at a truck stop bathroom. The priest caught embezzling to support his gambling habit was a much smaller scandal. And the church here has shrunk. So I think a lot of people (like me) did leave. The ones left are the diehards. I'm not sure if there is anything that could happen to convince them they need to clean house.


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PostPosted: February 15 19, 6:11 am 
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