China’s Big Balls Thread

big balls.jpg
Ah, modern art.

The Discussion: 52 Comments

Continuing from prior thread:

Lisa said, “THIS is why I’m so careful about who I lend my books to….”

(or, “to whom I lend my books” Sorry, I got 750 on my verbal SAT and I’m very nitpicking about grammar even 20-odd years later….. ๐Ÿ™‚

….well, Lisa, you’re right! We men are such bastards! Males just want to take women’s books, selfishly!

We Males only want books and conversation. BASTARDS!

(As I write this, I’m having recovered traumatic memories of women saying, “IVAN! Won’t you put that book down and come to bed!” Oh, the abuse, the abuse…I was just a piece of meat, to those women….)

It’s true, most men are bastards. Because so many of us are more interested in books and ideas and conversation, than in sex.
BASTARDS!

The Feminist revolution will not be complete, until men want sex as much as women do.

November 15, 2005 @ 2:36 am | Comment

This is a comment I just wrote for an earlier thread on Pat Robertson, addressed to Ivan, and I wanted to put it up here in case he misses it….
—————————————–

Ivan, you really are a smart guy. What are you doing in China? (Not that you can’t be smart and be in China at the same time, but it does seem an unusual place for you to have ended up.) I fully concur with your analysis of the Jesus mystique, which even i, as a Jew, am inexplicably drawn to. I have considered converting many times, and I have to admit, I’m fiercely jealous of my ultra-religious RC friends – the ones who shut their eyes and pray and genuflect in the restaurant in front of everybody before they eat – becuase they tell me once you find Jesus life is just immensely wonderful and fun and enjoyable, and so much love permeates your being. Would I like to partake in that? Damned right. But then, my cynical side takes over when these very same people tell me that if I don’t surrender to JC, I’ll burn in hell forever. I’m totally serious. When I said to my friend, “How can you have such faith in a God that would send you to hell forever for not believing in him.” And my friend answered matter-of-factly, “But Richard, Jesus isn’t sending you to hell. You are. You know about Jesus. it’s your choice. If you reject him, you will have to go to hell.” And I decided that I could never be comfortable “surrendering” myself to such an unjust and uncaring God. Though in all fairness, I can’t believe the Jesus Christ I’ve read about in the Bible would ever, ever send a caring, good, loving person to hell for all time simply because he was taught to believe in a different God.

November 15, 2005 @ 2:41 am | Comment

I really like this one:
————————————————
57% of Americans: Traitors?

If you are to believe the President of the United States, more than half the American population is now flirting with treason. In his new, and strategically disastrous, mode of ultra-polarization, the President is pushing back against war critics and, sadly, questioning their loyalty.

In the worst sort of demagogy, President Bush โ€“ in a speech at an Alaskan air base on Monday โ€”first feinted that his mind was open to discussion and then landed his sucker punch:

“Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war, but it is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American peopleโ€ฆ some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy.”

Translation: Sure you can disagree with me. But if you do, youโ€™re undermining our troops and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Sorry, my conservative friends, but this is filth. A disgusting assertion beneath the stature of any American President. For those on the Right who recoil at over-the-top lefty characterizations of Bush as an idiot, a fascist or some sort of criminal conspirator, here is your President frolicking around in the same sort of rhetorical gutter.

Problem for Bush is, that according to one poll after another, a clear-cut majority of Americans believe that Bush has โ€œmisledโ€ the country into the war in Iraq. So by the Presidentโ€™s own logic, somewhere between 52-57% of Americans are now โ€œsending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy.โ€

Traitorous bastards! Perhaps time has come for Dubya to take that Brechtian step of dismissing the people and electing a new one.

November 15, 2005 @ 2:54 am | Comment

Richard:

EXCELLENT questions, my Friend!

First, a disclaimer: As far as the Catholic Church (in which I was raised) is concerned, I am a heretic.

Second: I am even more of a heretic (as far as the Vatican is concerned)because I am an heir, by blood and by creed, of the Templars. That is another long story to tell. (Cf, two books, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, and a far less accurate book, “The Da Vinci Code.” There are still some Templars in the world, and I am one. Not giving away any secrets here – the Templars’ secrets are not literal.)

Now, answering your excellent questions, seriatim:

1. “What are you doing in China?” Answer: You know better than to ask me that question. I’m just a scholar passing through, a man who loves wandering. If I don’t travel all around the world now, when I’m still young, then I will regret what I missed when I am old.
And so I repeat, you know better than to ask me that question. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. You say, that “even as a Jew”, you are “inexplicably” drawn to the character and teachings of Jesus. No. It IS explicable, largely BECAUSE you are a Jew. Jesus always said that all of his teachings were perfections of the laws and ethics of the Jews.

3. You mentioned some Catholics (and again, I say, I am NOT a good one) who go into their own kinds of ecstasies about God, in public. And I do not say that they are wrong. However, although they might be sincere (and many of them are saintly, just like many atheists and Buddhists and Muslims and Jews etc)
….still, THOSE ecstatic Catholics do NOT represent what Jesus taught. Because, Jesus said:
“When you pray, do it in private, with the door closed. God knows what you do and what you think in private. The hypocrites pray in public, and that is their reward, to be seen in public.” But Jesus advised against making public displays of piety.

4. You said, “these very same people tell me that if I DON’T surrender to JC, I’ll burn in Hell forever.”
Richard, they are wrong. This is NOT what (mainstream) Christianity (Catholic and Protestant and Orthodox) says.
According to the BEST saints and scholars of Christianity, “accepting Jesus” is identical with striving for Truth. It is NOT a matter of mouthing any meaningless words like
“I accept Jesus.”
THAT is what Jesus meant (in the Gospel of John, which so many American fundies misquote and do not understand) when he said, “You must be reborn in the spirit.” He did NOT mean that you must mouth some empty words about any creed.
He meant (just like all of the great Jewish prophets meant), that we must reform our SPIRITS, reform our minds and our hearts.
Jesus taught, that your OUTWARD religiion does not matter. What matters is whether you are dedicated to Truth, and to Compassion.
And so, at the heart of Jesus’ teaching, is the idea that ALL Humans are children of God, whenever they strive for Truth and Compassion. And their outward, professions of “belief” do not matter.
(And that was the main lesson of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritans were pagans, and Jesus taught, that a Samaritan-Pagan is closer to God than any Jew or Christian, if he is truthful and compassionate.)
Thus, most of what Jesus taught is against what most “Christians” of today believe. And Jesus was very similar to the Old Testament prophets, who urged the people to reform in their hearts, rather than making an outward show of religion.

5. You say, you can never be comfortable surrendering yourself to an unjust and uncaring god. You are right. Jesus would agree with you.

6. You believe Jesus would never countenance sending anyone to hell simply for refusing to believe in a cruel and merciless god. You are right. Jesus would agree. If you read the Gospels, you will see, Jesus agrees with everything you say.

7. Still, I am NOT a formal or categorical “Christian.” However, I see extraordinary, transcendent truth in what Jesus really taught.

8. Finally, Richard, I ask you to pray for my soul, when I am in Purgatory and you are with Jesus and Moses and Buddha and Muhammed and all of the Saints. Please pray for me, Richard, when you arrive in Heaven.
I will spend at least 10,000 years in Purgatory….
….partly because of all of the mischeif I cause on TPD. And by the way, have you taken a look at flowingwaters.blog.com recently?

๐Ÿ™‚

November 15, 2005 @ 3:51 am | Comment

PS, more simply, a line from the movie “The Last Temptation of Christ” (which, I think, was the BEST movie ever made about Jesus):

It is a paraphrase of something Jesus actually said. He came to a wedding, accompanied by whores and other criminals, and some overly proud religious leaders objected to Jesus keeping bringing criminals to the wedding, and Jesus said:

“What do you think Heaven is like? It’s like a wedding. And EVERYone is invited.”

THAT is what REAL Christianity is!

๐Ÿ™‚

November 15, 2005 @ 4:03 am | Comment

Ivan, that is truly fascinating. Which makes me wonder, if these devout Catholics got it all wrong, where are they getting it from and why has this wrongness been so standardized? Obviously any answer will involve the hand of organized religion, which I always view with suspicion, even fear. But it’s so intriguing, how such a gentle religion founded on love could metastasize into a rant about fire and brimstone and eternal hellfire and damnation…. Is it all due to the Book of Revelations?

Speaking of going to hell….Ivan, those latest comments over at fouled waters are painfully wicked. They really do push the envelope. If you find out who’s doing it, tell them to ease up. Tell them instead to do something constructive, like warning others not to goggle bomb the name Mark Anthony Jones.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:08 am | Comment

PPS, two things a wonderful Catholic nun told me. (Her name was Sister Genevieve, and she was crippled):

1. “Ivan, all Catholics are required to believe in the existence of Hell. But only a fool would ever believe that anyone actually goes there.”

2. “When you die, do you know the FIRST words God will say to you? God will ask you:
“Did you enjoy yourself?”
๐Ÿ™‚

November 15, 2005 @ 4:09 am | Comment

Richard,

1. Yes, if I ever find out who has gone over the top at flowingwaters, I will tell him to ease up. Although I cannot promise you that he will follow my advice.

2. Yes, you are correct, to deduce that most (but not all) Catholics “got it wrong” in the past 1,700 years, ever since Emperor Constantine pretended to become a Christian.
And, seriously, I have a good explanation for you, of how the pure religion of Jesus became corrupted – yet not quite destroyed – by political, official religious authorities:
The great French-Catholic philosopher, Bernanos, wrote a metaphor about how the official Catholic Church remains partly true, although inevitably corrupted. He said, “Gold is useless unless it is alloyed with base metals.”
And so, the teachings of Jesus have been corrupted – inevitably – because of Original Sin, ie, the tendency of Humans to lie to themselves. It could not have been otherwise. If we presume that Humans have a native tendency to lie, then it is inevitable that whenever God speaks to us, most Humans will distort what God said, and most Humans will lie about it.
However, this does not disprove that there IS a transcendent, Divine truth. It only means, that we Humans will inevitably misunderstand – and some of us will try to corrupt – anything God tells us.
As long as Humans have any capacity for evil, we will never know any perfect words of God. But, we CAN come close to some obscure, partly corrupted, words of God.
As I said, in the prior thread, citiing Saint Paul:
“For now, we see through a glass darkly.”
And I can tell you, that the mark of a TRUE Christian (or any child of God), is his willingness to doubt his own ability to know any perfect truth.
๐Ÿ™‚

November 15, 2005 @ 4:20 am | Comment

PS,

One thing which continually reaffirms my (very clouded, imperfect) belief in some kind of EXTRAordinary divine truth, which Christ (and all people who emulate him) personify, is:

Homo Sapiens is the ONLY species which is capable of lying.

Humans are the ONLY creatures who deliberately tell absolute lies. AND, we are the only creatures who create Art. (Like God does.) Maybe, monkeys can be deceptive.
But monkeys do not create art – they do not use their imaginations to create original things. But HUMANS are able to use their imaginations to create new things, both good and evil, both true and untrue creations.

And so, Shakespeare was right, when he said Humans are “just lower than the Angels.” We are far closer to Angles than to monkeys. All Human evils AND all Human beauties, are creative and original.

We are the only creatures who can create beauties like Shakespeare and Van Gogh did. And we are the only creatures who can CHOOSE to create transcendent ugliness like Auschwitz.

And Darwin cannot explain this. Human beauty AND Human evil, both are transcendent, in ways Darwinist biology cannot explain.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:30 am | Comment

Oh and about Auschwitz:

After Auschwitz was liberated, one of the liberated prisoners asked a Rabbi:

“At Auschwitz, where was God?”

And the Rabbi replied:

“Where was Man?”

And the essential teaching of Jesus, is that God is Human.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:37 am | Comment

Ivan:

You’re right, you are a heretic, but not because of any silly nonsense about Templar bood. You are a heretic because you falsify Christian doctrine.

Christ says in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Peter says in Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we may be saved.โ€

The Christian creed is very clear: “Once [men] were alienated from God and were enemies in [their] minds because of [their] evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” Colossians 1:21-22

So, Christianity teaches that Christ and only Christ redeemed man and that there is no way to salvation except through Christ.

Ivan, your formulation sounds very modern and forgiving and attractive. Unfortunately, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity.

God is loving and forgiving. He sacrificed his only begotten son so that man’s sins could be forgiven. To reject that ultimate sacrifice and then complain that God is being a bastard for not forgiving you anyway, requires a lot of chutzpah.

Maybe you are right, Ivan. And everyone goes to heavan. But if you are, then Christianity is simply false and wrong and deluded. The two are irreconcilable.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:40 am | Comment

PPS,

So now, can I go back to flirting with Dish and being an overall clown?

๐Ÿ™‚

November 15, 2005 @ 4:45 am | Comment

Richard:

When you ask where the doctrine in question came from, it came from Christ himself and Peter his appostle. And it’s not unique to Catholics, it’s fundimental to all orthodox Christianity.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:46 am | Comment

Conrad:

I AM a desdendant of some Templars, and oh, if you only knew.

What you wrote, sounds typical of most Black-American-Christian-Fundamentalists I’ve known. And I admired most of them (and I represented some of them in criminal cases, when I was practicing law in America) – except for the ones who were as intolerant as you are.

SINCE you have provoked me, Conrad, you Protestant heretic….
…(meaning, I know I’m technically a heretic according to strict Vatican doctrine, but I have never been excommunicated – AND I KNOW that our new Pope would AGREE WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE SAID HERE!)
….Conrad, you are a Protestant, and a fundamentalist, biblical literalist. Conrad, I was just being a humble Catholic when I called myself a heretic. But YOU, Conrad, YOU are a REAL heretic, when you say:
“The Christian creed is very clear.”
NO IT IS NOT! It is NOT clear in any LITERAL ways. Christianity is ONLY clear in the HEART!
Conrad, you bloody heretic: YOU have committed the WORST sin, when you told Richard that there is some kind of “literal” interpretation of Christ. Jesus called that, “the sin against the Holy Spirit.”
Meaning – the “sin against the Holy Spirit”, is when you confuse the words of men with the spirit of God.
God DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH!
ALL of Jesus’ teachings, are about the Holy Spirit being more truthful than any words of men. INCLUDING any words in any Bible.
Conrad, Jesus did NOT say what you cited. Because, Jesus did not speak English. What you cited is a rough translation of something Jesus said in Aramaic – and even in Aramaic and Greek, Jesus never made himself perfectly understood. Why? Because GOD DOES NOT SPEAK ANY HUMAN LANGUAGE!
And so, Conrad, the “sin against the Holy Spirit” (which Christ said was the WORST sin of all), is to presume that we can say any final words about God in any Human language.
You, Conrad, are a superstitious heretic. You think you can find the final word of God in a book written in Human language.
And that is why, in the end, I say the Catholic Church (flawed as it is) is the closest one to the teachings of Jesus: Because any Catholic who understands our religion, understands that Jesus is a mystery who cannot ever be perfectly understood in human words.
Just like Humans. No Human can ever be perfectly understood. Jesus taught us to DOUBT, and to think for ourselves. That is why he spoke in parables.
Conrad, you suggested that I was saying, “Christianity if false.” YES! ALL worldly, temporal, Human interpretations of Christ ARE false, to some degree. “Christianity” IS false.
But Christ, the Word, is not.

November 15, 2005 @ 5:02 am | Comment

ALSO (now replying to Conrad’s SECOND unchristian comment), it is NOT true to say that the “doctrine” of “say you accept Jesus or go to Hell” came from Christ OR from Peter.

Jesus taught very simply, two commandments:

1. You must love God (truth) above all, and

2. Love your neighbour.

That’s it. That’s all. Truth and compassion. Nothing else matters to Christ. Truth and compassion. Period.

November 15, 2005 @ 5:05 am | Comment

AND, Conrad, my “formulation” is NOT “very modern” as you say. My formulation is ancient. I was baptised and anointed in the oldest Christian church in the world. The Catholic Church agrees with me, that ALL Humans are children of God, as long as they love truth and compassion.

And so, Richard, once more, I ask you to pray for me when I am in Purgatory and you are with the Saints, with Jesus and Buddha and Moses and Moses Maimonedes and Gandhi and many good “atheists”….
๐Ÿ™‚

November 15, 2005 @ 5:11 am | Comment

Richard
Could you start a new thread and leave this one for the Jesus freaks?

November 15, 2005 @ 5:18 am | Comment

Where to start?

First, why do you presume that I am a Protestant?

I am not. I am a Roman Catholic. In fact, a former alter boy.

Second, the Catholic Church does not hold that decendants of Templars (or anyone else) are heretics. Heresy is an act. It cannot be transmitted by blood. The church doesn’t label anyone a heretic or appostate because of what their great, great, great, great grandfather might have done. Your assertion to the contrary is absolute nonsense and patently absurd.

Finally, your assertion that John 14:16 should be ignored because “God doesn’t speak English” is also silly. The Gospel of John was written in Greek (and the 14:16 in Greek is entirely consistent with the English translation). Mathew, Mark, and Luke were also written in Greek.

Since God presumably doesn’t speak Greek either, your approach allows you to jettison the entire New Testiment, ignore anything within that you find unsatisfactory, and espouse whatever you want.

How very convenient. Unfortunately, for you that isn’t Christianity.

As for labeling you a heretic, I was simply restating your own characterization of yourself and attempting to joke with you. If I offended you, it was not my intent and I apologize.

Which doesn’t change the fact that, theologically, you’re full of it.

November 15, 2005 @ 5:29 am | Comment

PPPS, Conrad,

My first Templar ancestor was Othon, Seigneur de Diest (Lord/Baron of parts of Flanders and Alsace), a Crusader who died in Palestine in the early 1100s (something like 1106, but the exact date is debatable.) And he entered the Temple of Jerusalem, the remains of Solomon’s Temple.

At this moment I wear my maternal grandfather’s Ring, with Templar insignia.

I also descend from one of the (European) Queens of Jerusalem (circa 1150), but I won’t go into that here. All I will say is, “Conrad, stuff this up your vulgar, superstitious fake “Christian” ass.”

Sincerely yours,
Ivan, “Son of the Widow” if you know what that means, Conrad?
If you don’t know what “Son of the Widow” means, Conrad, then just shut your pie-hole about my Templar patrimony, you pathetic vulgarian Ethiope.

(Oh I always wanted the chance to call some arrogant Black vulgarian an “Ethiope” in proper context… ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey, Conrad, sue me, you Ethiope!

November 15, 2005 @ 5:33 am | Comment

Oh and Conrad, the only reason why your African ancestors ever learned ANYthing about Christianity, was because my Templar ancestors saved it all for you. So you can just thank me…….

November 15, 2005 @ 5:37 am | Comment

Good Lord, first you make me a Protestant and now you turn me into a negro! Next you’ll be trying to replace my genitalia.

November 15, 2005 @ 5:37 am | Comment

Keir:

I find it interesting that Richard’s threads have hosted discussions of just about every topic imaginable, and this is the first time I can recall anyone calling for one to be shut down.

Also, I find it interesting that you feel free to use the disparaging slur “Jesus freaks” when I have no doubt that terms such as nigger, dyke, fag, kike, spic, etc., would rightfully be instantly deleted and the poster banned.

Anti-Christianism — the last form of socially acceptable bigotry.

November 15, 2005 @ 6:00 am | Comment

Dear TPD, and All of Humanity:

I only wanted you all to enjoy yourselves. Sorry to see that you all let it go so out of control.

Sincerely yours,

God

November 15, 2005 @ 6:19 am | Comment

Conrad
I have no respect for anyone who insists on believing ridiculous ancient fairytales in the year 2005. To compare the term ‘jesus freak’ with ‘nigger’ is atonishingly crass and ignorant. Supporting atheism (common sense) is one thing I give the CCP credit for.
Besides, from what I could gather,it was all a tortuous attempt at a joke.
If you’re that touchy,I suggest you hide away in your corner of the world where they still teach how penguins could logically migrate to Palestine in time for the Great Flood.
To everyone else,sorry- I just completed “My complete and utter refutation to the Bible verse by verse”; just need to find a publisher…

November 15, 2005 @ 6:42 am | Comment

Penguins to Palestine? Give me a break! Is setting up a ridiculous strawman really the best you can do? Plenty of people much smarter than you believe in God. Of course, based upon what I’ve seen so far, the catagory “people smarter than you” is pretty damned broad.

November 15, 2005 @ 7:13 am | Comment

1. Learn to spell.
2. I can email you what I wrote as mentioned above.
3. I teach philosophy (TOK) so outside class in the real world I don’t feel like debating the existence of Zeus to grown ups as I find it demeaning and pointless. No doubt you’re a Yank. Funny that the most militant Christians are the ones least troubled by tragedy and can argue from real spiritual ignorance. I would have thought the Holocaust would have answered anyone’s idea that a God looks after us. If there really is an Almighty a-hole in the sky causing all this pain and suffering, he isn’t one worthy of my respect or honour.

November 15, 2005 @ 7:28 am | Comment

Ivan wrote:

Homo Sapiens is the ONLY species which is capable of lying.

Ivan, I hope this doesn’t up-end your faith, but in fact other higher primates lie and decieve as well.

November 15, 2005 @ 7:56 am | Comment

Good lord. I go away for a few hours and all hell breaks loose.

Um, anyone read any good books lately?

November 15, 2005 @ 7:59 am | Comment

By the way IVAN, please email me, I have something I need to discuss with you!!!!

In order that I know it’s really you, tell me something about those four furry figures, one was mute and had a trunk.

November 15, 2005 @ 8:00 am | Comment

Sweet Jesus, please spare me having to read a tedious, unpublishable monograph by an obscure fourth tier academic. Were that to be inflicted upon me and even I might begin to doubt the existance of a just and loving God. On the ohter hand, the experience would certainly reinforce my belief in hell.

For one who claims to teach philosophy, you are remarkably ignorant about Christian theological belief regarding the source of suffering.

I guess it’s understandable though. After all, it’s not like you’re a real professor or anything.

November 15, 2005 @ 8:02 am | Comment

On another note… America is in such deep shit thanks to the Bush clowns it is almost impossible to fathom it. This article made me realize just how lucky I am to have left the US. I’m not going back anytime soon. We are witnessing the slow, torturous demise of one of the greatest nations of all time. Thank you, Mr. Bush.

November 15, 2005 @ 8:30 am | Comment

With that, I’m going to bed.

November 15, 2005 @ 8:30 am | Comment

Richard,
You let Ivan loose again, didn’t you?
Tut-tut-tut

Ivan,
God loves Conrad just as much as s/he loves you.

Conrad,
Hate to say this, but I suspect that God loves Ivan and Kier as much as s/he loves you.

Ivan,
You really do have a lot of ancestors, don’t you?
And, hypothetically speaking, it doesn’t matter who the person is, anybody who utilises multiple personas to talk to themself is a bit freaky.

Having said that….is that a book in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?

November 15, 2005 @ 8:46 am | Comment

Dishuiguanyin:

God loves us all the same . . . even low down heathen turtle eggs like Keir.

November 15, 2005 @ 8:57 am | Comment

I’m glad to hear it Conrad. And so to bed.

(with a book)

November 15, 2005 @ 9:36 am | Comment

Ivan, for the record, I got 740…I just like messin’ with the grammar police!

November 15, 2005 @ 10:10 am | Comment

I’ve really enjoyed this thread. I’ve only lurked around TPD, but after reading Ivan’s posts, Conrad’s responses, and Keir’s “God is dead” statements, my complete and abject fear of discussing religion on a blog have been reaffirmed.

November 15, 2005 @ 10:12 am | Comment

“God loves us all the same . . . even low down heathen turtle eggs like Keir.”
Thanks Conrad. I feel that if God is one worth worshiping he’d respect my atheism which comes out not from pride but from genuine use of the brains he gave me. To believe in something without question for me is the source of all problems.
I promise I’ll try never to mention god(s) again on this forum, so feel free to refer to him all you want.

November 15, 2005 @ 3:21 pm | Comment

richard said:

‘Though in all fairness, I can’t believe the Jesus Christ I’ve read about in the Bible would ever, ever send a caring, good, loving person to hell for all time simply because he was taught to believe in a different God’

not exactly true in my eyes. i dont think of hell as a burning, smelly bad place where you endure endless pain, rather, it is a place in which all contact with god is forever severed. i dont want to get into a long speil, but i also believe that adam and eve were a sort of analogy in that that was a time when we did have a full connection with god, and leaving eden was the severing of that tie. we now live our lives in a limited physical place with our ability to percieve higher (spiritual) dimensions suspended, or removed. if you want it back, you know who to talk to.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

i liked ivan’s comments, and he seems to have the general idea. it is indeed true that jesus taught that public displays of piety were in poor taste, and meant only to show that persons belief to others. god is not impressed. read the bible, its all there.

November 15, 2005 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

Is atheism a religion? Why or why not?

November 15, 2005 @ 7:20 pm | Comment

And the Lord said unto Conrad:
“Arise! And go ye into the Asian rice paddies, and say unto them bitches and hoes, “I want me some poontang!”

Book of Momma-Are-You-Gonna-Use-The-Strap-This-Time? 38:12

(Yeah, I understand. If you just “accept Jesus” then you have a white card, full license to excuse any of your favourite personal vices or crimes. That’s the payoff for quoting a few lines about “getting saved” and then setting yourself above all “unbelievers” How convenient.)

November 15, 2005 @ 7:42 pm | Comment

Good to see that the Duckie is still visible in Beijing without resorting to anonymouse. I have to say I am somewhat bemused by Conrad’s recent bout of piety. I always thought he had a profound attachment towards fornicating.

November 15, 2005 @ 8:59 pm | Comment

Ivan, all I gotta say is, “SNORT!!!”

(that’s me laughing in undignified fashion)

November 15, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

I don’t find it surprising that those who read the Bible literally apply the same “reasoning” to the US constitution: my literal interpretation is not an interpretation at all; it is merely the document’s “plain meaning.” Well, originalists and fundamentalists have never made good philologists.

November 15, 2005 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

Ivan:

Again, for someone who claims a knowledge of theology, you have a penchant for getting it hilariously wrong.

If you just “accept Jesus” then you have a white card, full license to excuse any of your favourite personal vices or crimes.

Not a single Christian demoniation anywhere in the world believes that.

As for me, go back over this thread and you will note that I have never said one word about what I personally believe. Instead, I have pointed out what Christian doctrine is. Indeed, I have even explicitly stated that such doctrine may be wrong.

It is interesting that you folks leap to the (laughable) conclusion that I am a so-called “fundamentalist” and a “Jesus freak” merely because I point out what orthodox Chirstianity actually says.

Christianity has the same ability to provoke modern liberals as “race mixing” had to freak out Jim Crow era southerners. It’s actually quite funny to watch otherwise sensible people become completely irrational and unhinged.

November 16, 2005 @ 12:21 am | Comment

I’m opening a new thread, but leaving this one open (for now) for those who still want to debate this stifling topic.

November 16, 2005 @ 2:47 am | Comment

I just want to know exactly what book Dish took to bed …

Lady Chatterly? Ivanhoe?

๐Ÿ™‚

November 16, 2005 @ 9:30 am | Comment

How on earth did this thread become a faith-off?

You sound like a lot of little children squabbling over which comic book super-hero is best.

The fact is that everybody here who is a Christian shares the same basic tenets and the same basic ideology (with the exception of conefssion of course) and is, excuse the pun, singingi from the same hyme sheet, but to a different tune.

What this thread needs is some interjection from the competition, how about some budhist, Shinto, or Hindu views.

November 18, 2005 @ 1:21 am | Comment

Dishuiguanyin

Tell them about the Shivalinga. That should spice things up. I know that I was heavily traumatized by that story, I will never look at Indiana Jones and the Temple of doom in the same way again (nor willl I show it to my children until they are 16).

November 18, 2005 @ 1:23 am | Comment

Shanghai Slim:

I suspect that it Dish’s book was probably more along the lines of still life with woodpecker. She has some funny reading habits does that girl.

I secretly suuspect that she Shanghai Slim has a stash of trashy shounanai hidden under her matress.

November 18, 2005 @ 1:26 am | Comment

It’s vaguely amusing that this all happened on the “big balls” thread.

Slim: was going to answer you a few days ago, but couldn’t think of anything witty enough to say. Was considering going with the “there’s nothing better than curling up in bed with a good Trollope” quotation, but couldn’t remember who originally said it.

ACB: did you see the second last comment on the “Yunnan ladies thread”? I was wondering if anybody would pick up on that one.

November 19, 2005 @ 8:40 am | Comment

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