Turn Me Loose

I want to teach Sunday school.  I think I'd devote a semester to Darwin and evolution.  Then debunk the mythology of a historical Jesus.  Then a full year pointing out all the places where the bible contradicts itself.  Then, if I had any students left, advanced work examining Sartre, Kafka, and Beckett. 
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
21 Responses Aug 1, 2007

Someone has done her homework. To me, this explains the phrase, "The devil can cite scripture." The bible says pretty much everything, at one point or another, so if you're looking for a biblical reference to back up your point, you can almost always find it - no matter what it s.

It's very coincidental that I just finished watching the movie "The God Who Wasn't There" when I came to this site and this story was on the home page. Perhaps you have seen it; it purports evidence that a historical Jesus never existed. While the facts that were presented were fascinating indeed, I was a little turned off by the snarky and opinionated commentary. <br />
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I am interested in all of the bible's contradictions as well. <br />
My favorite: "...thou shalt not kill" Genesis 20:13<br />
...but wait!<br />
"Thus sayeth the LORD God of Israel, "Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour" Exodus 32:27<br />
Hmmm...

Logicmosquito: Now THERE'S a pseudonym! I love how you present this to your kids! Very nice. "An island in a sea of interpretation." True enough. As to the whales et al, the bible teaches that man should be a steward and custodian of the earth - a servant of it really - nowhere is it written that we should treat the earth like a self-restocking Quickie-Mart. -- With regard to the Commandments - I'm actually amazed by how well the "basics" hold up in our modern age, the same way our Constitution continues to work. While I aree that if there were a vote today - Commandment 5 would be in trouble - not to mention 7 - I still maintain that using the big 10, avoiding the 7 deadly sins, and polishing up the golden rule every day gives a human being a real step up on not only a righteous life, but a happy one.

I teach my children that the bible is an Island in a sea of interpretation. God did not give man dominion over whales. God did not tell Eve she could not eat the fruit.<br />
I also try to remind them that the Ten Commandments were written on the hearts of men, long before they were carved in stone. The top ten concerns of the people 2,000 years ago, differs somewhat to the top ten concerns on the hearts of men today......... If the whole world voted on it, I have my doubts the fifth commandment would make it to the a new top ten list!

Celainn: I am just a man with an opinion. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. I cannot prove my opinion. I'm sorry if all of this puts you in a defensive posture. I don't mean to imply anything about any particular person - much less relatives of yours. T.S. Eliot was a devout Catholic - and you can't get much smarter than that. People enter the church for a 1,000 reasons, their parents did, they married into it, it's comforting, there's a sense of community. I am not casting aspersions on any of this - I am simply stating my own beliefs on the subject.

I see no contradiction in spiritual belief and being a scientist. God made all we see and feel. Scientists study it. I don't have to tell you that scientific beliefs are constantly changing. Where I become irked is when intellectual honesty becomes agenda building. When creationists attempt to tell me that dinosaurs and people lived together, they are twisting themselves into pretzels in order to perpetuate their interpretation of a book that was written long ago by many different people at many different times (who themselves had agendas) and translated innumerable times. That's intellectual dishonesty and "bad faith" as I use the term. I have a friend who says, "The bible isn't God's biography, it's his autobiography." Every time he says that I want to cry.

El, you forgot to struggle for breath and wave the other hand in front of your face frantically as if trying to cool yourself...<br />
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I'm so disappointed. hehe<br />
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I believe you've been brave with this post. Any time, regardless of intent or lack there of, a post has even an inkling to do with religion people go jump all over it in an emotional feeding frenzy. <br />
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Our opinions and belief systems may not be popular. However, just as everyone else has the right to believe what they do, so do we. Being brave enought to publish/post a belief system that is not so popular (not main stream) is to be commended and hopefully will inspire some to step back and think a while before they too paint themselves into a corner with the rest of the popular belief masses.<br />
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I simply cannot be led to slaughter with the rest of the sheep. And I'm happy to have a friend in this.<br />
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Anonymity is not for those of us who are ... well ... like us. We will always end up doing something, most likely thinking and forming an educated opinion, that will get us noticed again.

You've said it far more succinctly than I have.

Organized religion in my estimation is nothing but using God to promote a business, or Allah, or Buddha, or????<br />
What a great way to collect money - instill fear in people.

Things are scarier than I thought. Once again, I've painted a target on myself. I relish saying outrageous things, but I've posted the address of the roost, the chickens will find their way home. Oh dear, whatever will I do? (He puts back of right hand to forehead.)

We may be alone, Constant. My opinions about religion are not exactly popular! Perhaps I should reclaim my anonymity! Like becoming a virgin again. Is it too late for that?

I'm with ya, El, all the way!

(Feh!? Strong language, bud!) This is very educational for me. My initial post was intended to be funny - I had no idea it would evoke such an emotional response. Perhaps I should be more responsible, less glib and more sensitive. -- Here goes. -- Spiritual faith and respect for science are not mutually incompatible. Ironically, science triumphed long ago, it IS the religion of our society, we look to it to solve all our problems instead of looking into ourselves. I have virtually no faith in science at all, to me it is a false god. However, my faith in divinity, in grace, in a god surpassing human understanding, is unswerving. Fortunately I had the benefit of 16 years of Quaker education and was introduced to the idea of god as something inside of us trying to get out. No middleman was required. No one collecting money or handing out rule books. However, through many years of Episcopalian training I learned the bible back to front, the stories and their meanings. I learned music in the church - as part of the boys choir - and there is little to match that for beauty. I learned it thoroughly enough to conclude what I still believe to this day - it is a collection of fairy stories designed to help children afraid of the dark get to sleep - and in so doing control their actions and dig into their pockets. But this was an informed decision. When it came time to educate my daughter I supported her religious training because I think it's important to be aware of these issues. All well and good. But the experience you describe - church as a place where your parents could show that you had no bruises, where there was peace, a place that is pretty and calm, one could hardly call this religious - much less spiritual. This same sort of social benefit could have been obtained at Thursday night bingo. I do not mock faith, I encourage it. But I do mock organized religion every chance I get. Indeed, if you weighed government, big business, and organized religion on a pure evil scale, organized religion would almost certainly win.

A CONSTANT source of rationality in an insane world. Bless you.

When people assign themselves to a 'truth' (as they see it) and refuse to allow for change, they are failing to realize they've painted themselves into a corner ... A corner God (or whoever/whatever) just might let them rot in miserably for their inability to consider anything beyond what they felt was 'right' or beyond what they'd been taught before. <br />
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Ignorance truly is bliss, eh?<br />
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The point is that: There are very few things which can be proven at this time and for a 'human' to negate or disregard a 'theory' based on their belief set (their belief set being the end all be all) is rather idiotic all things considered...

"Happily agnostic" - embracing uncertainty. In an uncertain world I find this a wise position. It's the people who are so desparate to prove the validity of their beliefs that seem to get themselves all twisted up - frequently arguing points that are patently ludicrous.

Churches are social instutions and the first responsibility of any institution is to perpetuate itself. It only makes sense that you would get in there as early as possible and hardwire the dogma. I was spared Catholicism - thanks goodness - but I have many friends who describe themeselves as "recovering Catholics."

Pre-Kafka?

I don't think little children in Sunday school have chosen anything. I think their parents have involuntartily committed them to a sophsticated brainwashing program - bringing to mind the observation that "a religion is merely a cult that's been around for a while."<br />
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I'm in favor of faith - but faith only has meaning when it occurs in an environment of intellectual honesty. To teach the "bible" as fact - whichever one you subscribe to - is to swap obedience for faith. Given what I learned in math class, I wish the HAD taught me tap dancing. After all, my first name rhymes with Fred Astaire.

Thanks bro! Yeah, I didn't expect to be popular with this one - but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Poisoning little minds with superstitious voodoo just ain't right.

You said it... 5 from me because I agree, and seeing as someone else has given you 1 that puts you at 3. <br />
Bump up the rating peeps! Why the hell not.