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  •  These people are nuts (none)
    and I had the awful misfortune of having to walk past them on my way into Mass a few weeks ago.

    They were in my city protesting against a local high school doing a production of the Laramie Project.

    They decided also to go after Catholic churches.  I certainly didn't stop to look, but the signs I saw on my way into Mass said, to the best of my recollection -

    • the ubiquitous 'God Hates f--s'
    • also, 'God Hates America'
    • something about 'Gay Priests' (even though 99% of priests don't abuse children and pedophilia isn't about gay-or-straight)
    • something really vile about '.....the Catholic Church'

    They were, of course, chanting.  There were, of course, very few of these nuts out there.  And, of course, the police and the local media including TV were there.  (If a handful of nuts show up on a sidewalk, exactly how come is that newsworthy?)

    They made the mistake of dragging the American flag on the pavement or sidewalk which enraged some of the veterans in the parish.

    Mass went ahead as scheduled, although I wondered if the nuts were going to disrupt the Mass.

    Some of the parishioners were really upset and I told them, these people just want attention, they do outrageous and offensive things, and they are certainly NOT Christian.

    •  Yeah right. (none)
      they are certainly NOT Christian.

      They certainly are Christian.  

      They're also assholes.  Extreme assholes.  But that doesn't make them non-Christian.

      •  Orville, (3.33)
        Hate works both ways. And it's never pretty. I've listened to your rants here about religion, and in my opinion, the moment Phelps and his ignoramuses start talking about how much God hates anybody or anything, they are self-excluding from Christianity. The Christian God may hate "sin", but he loves sinners. (Jesus himself was quoted as saying very little about sexual sins- most of what we have on it is from the last Gospel of John, Paul, and the Old Testament. That last Gospel, incidentally, was also the last written, probably for Roman ears, and may in fact have no direct quotes within it.)

        Phelps' Hezbollah may call themselves Christians, but that alone doesn't make them so. I can call myself a Green Bay Packer, but unless I've gone through the colleges and training camps- unless I truly understand it- I am not one. Fred Phelps does not understand Jesus- because he has refused to live his life like him.

        I, for one, would not deny that much hate has come from Christianity. To people of other faiths, to people of no faith, even to other Christians. I'm hardly the expert on Biblical prophecy, verses, or interpretation- but at least I admit it. I see a zillion so-called "experts"- Christians and atheists alike- claim that literal interpretation of the Bible is the true way it should be followed. The truth is somewhat more complex.

        I'd like to point out that some of my friends are homosexual and Christian, and see no problem at all with it. There's more contradiction in other Christians than within them. Their minister, a very liberal person, is just appalled every time she reads about Phelps and his ilk. She once told me, "I wish they could just see the real Jesus behind the verses they quote."

        Using Bible verses literally is like using random sentences in any old history text or biography randomly to prove a point. Without understanding context ...without knowing the times in which the writers lived... the Bible is a useless book. Contradictions abound, because the Bible was written by more than one person, each with their own bias and prejudices. It was written in a series of violent times, with lots of invading and occupying powers duking it out for control of Israel/ Palestine/ Judea/ etc. Judeans of the age (a far more diverse lot than most of us give them credit for) understood the language of violence pretty well.

        Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. If the "sword verse" were the way J.C. really operated, he would have gone down fighting, instead of allowing himself to be arrested, abused, flogged and crucified. But did he "bring a sword?". Nope. So, too, his disciples, who largely died emulating their rabbi- their master and teacher. Then perhaps the sword was a lie? No, it was a symbolic one- the sword within, the spiritual one, cutting through enemy lies to the hidden truths. As he often did, Jesus was speaking in a parable, something which even crossed up his own disciples from time to time. Christians who use that quote probably are also loath to use other, less aggressive ones.
        It is as complex- and contentuous- an issue as the Jihad is to Muslims.

        But I probably am falling on deaf ears. You've probably made up your mind on Christians long ago, and found us all wanting. Our ministers are inevitably corrupt, our priests pedophiles, our followers all ignorant sheep or violent, phobic hicks. I will not deny that those people exist. Doing so would deny the truth. They are not, however, representative of the Christian religions (and yes, there's more than one) as a whole.

        But I guess you don't know how alienating bashing all of a religion, large or small, is to its adherents. I can only repeat the old saw, "You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar."

        •  Alienating, catching bees (none)
          But I guess you don't know how alienating bashing all of a religion, large or small, is to its adherents. I can only repeat the old saw, "You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar."

          I'm not interested in "catching bees", and I don't care if Christians feel "alienated" when I speak the truth about their religion.

          Yes, there are lots of nice, friendly concepts in Christianity.  That doesn't mean that everything in there is nice - which is what many, many Christians like to pretend.

          Or, actually, that's giving a lot of them the benefit of the doubt.  A lot of supposed "Christians" barely know anything about their religion.

          •  Christianity (none)
            is about Christ.

            Christ said, 'I give you a new commandment:  Love one another. As I have loved you, you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples [eg., followers], if you have love for one another.' [from John 13]

            That's all anyone needs to know to understand that the Phelps hatemonger crew is not Christian.

            •  Christ also said (none)
              That you can't be his disciple if you don't hate.  If you don't hate your mother.  If you don't hate your father.  If you don't hate your sisters, your brother, your wife, yourself.

              You can pick and choose one particular thing that Christ (supposedly) said, ignore everything else that he (supposedly) said, and say "That's all anyone needs to know".  But that doesn't make it so.

              •  if you see the buddha on the road... (none)
                many zen masters teach the saying if you see the buddha on the road, kill him.  

                this very clearly means one of two things, that if i want to be a buddhist, i must either:

                • hate siddhartha gautama and his teachings; or
                • kill some jolly fat man in order to be initiated

                since you're so knowledgeable about all religions, perhaps you can tell me which one it is.

                courage, faith and truth my brothers and sisters

                by zeke L on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 05:00:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not entirely sure (none)
                  I'm not entirely sure what gave you the impression that I'm here to rationalize away idiotic sayings of various religions for you.

                  Or how the existance of that Buddhist saying in any way invalidates the fact that Christ (supposedly) said that you have to hate your mother in order to be his disciple.

                  •  idiotic sayings of various religions? (none)
                    I'm a buddhist. The fact that you don't understand the saying does not make it "idiotic".

                    If you're interested in what it means, read the book. If not, please refrain from calling something you don't understand "idiotic".

            •  Isn't it obvious? (none)
              This clearly says that Christians are to love other Christians, not that they are to love everybody.

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