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  •  Good for you (1.71)
    You have a way to rationalize away the existance of hate in your religion.

    Your god is hateful.  Open the Old Testament to any random page for proof.

    •  A Great Martini (none)

       Kalamata Olive Juice

       Fresh Lime

       Dry (chilled sake)

       Dry vermouth

       Citron Vodka

       Put lots of olive juice and fresh-squeezed lime in bottom of frosty martini glass -- I keep mine in the freezer.

       1 part each of sake, vermouth and vodka.  Stir.  Enjoy.

       BenGoshi
      ________________
       

      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

      by BenGoshi on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 01:39:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ohhh (none)
        I need to start saving these recipes.

        That one looks particularly good.

        Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. -- Marie Sklodowska Curie

        by Page van der Linden on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 02:41:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Note: (none)

            The vermouth should be kept in the fridge, and the vodka in the freezer.  Pour them, and the sake, directly in the chilled martini glass -- DON'T put 'em in one of those pretty shakers with ice, it'll just water down the flavor.  Enjoy!

           BenGoshi
          ______________

          "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

          by BenGoshi on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 02:54:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Okay (2.66)
        Rate me "Super Troll".  Fine.

        Post a recipe.  Fine.

        Neither changes the fact that the Bible is chock-full of hatred.

        You rating me "Super Troll", when what I am saying is easily demonstrable fact, just shows me that you're not willing to deal with unpleasant truths.

        •  Just spewing hate and venom... (none)
           
            . . . for the shear "wow" of it is more appropriate for the Free Republic site than here.  "Troll" and "Super Troll" ratings are not reserved for those who disagree with me (I've 4-rated comments and opinions that have been inopposite to mine), but, rather, for those comments which, in and of themselves, are mere bile-spewings and little to nothing more.

           BenGoshi
          _______________

          "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

          by BenGoshi on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 07:52:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Partly true (none)
      It is hard for me to find any religion that doesn't at times degenerate into hatred. Even Buddhism has had its share of religious-inspired hatred and genocide, though they seem to do somewhat better than most. Islam and Christianity as organized religions each have jihad/crusade. Judaism has done its share of genocide. All of these have some version of thou shalt not kill/ahimsa as a doctrine, yet then they choose to define those that aren't "of  the faith" or who believe in "heresies" as not really human so they can be killed. Even Hinduism and Buddhism, in some places, have "scripture" that justifies killing of those who really aren't human because they don't believe.

      THen again, I have known many people in whom religion is part of their kindness and generosity. Religion CAN be a force of good within people, but way too often throughout history it has been yet another way (along with ethnicity and nationality) to define "us" vs. "them."

      Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

      by mole333 on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 05:35:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You pretty much nailed it. (none)

         I think over the past dozen or so (sociologists and psychologists out there correct me, please) the term of art has been "the Other," which, in cults -- like "Heaven's Gate," "The Unification Church," the GOP and the "Southern Baptists" (the latter two being, of course, the most dangerous of all) -- instill in there members the sense that they are "the chosen ones," to the exclusion of all others and that the others, who have been dehumanized, are not worthy of life (this, ironically, paradoxically, often comng from strenuously "Pro-Life" stalwarts, go figure).  But, to me, groups of this sort who hold themselves out to be "Christian" are "Christian" like Herf Applewhite (Heaven's Gate, Hale-Bopp comet, remember?) was a respected astrophysicist.

        A Buddhist Story

         About a year ago I was having dinner with several new Japanese friends and, one of them, a guy sitting next to me, mentions that he's Buddhist.  You'd kind of have to have been there, and have interacted with lots of Japanese, but this was a little odd -- Japanese tend (this is a gross generalization, mind you) to be somewhat areligious (by Western standards) and (to their credit) simply don't wear there religion (when they have it) on their sleaves.

         So, we start talking about Buddhism, in real general terms, and Buddhism in the Deep South, where I live.  I happen to mention the very warm receptions that have been given to delegations of Tibetan monks (envoys of the Dalai Lama) and how pleased we've been to have them (not the Big Monk himself, yet...) visit our humble city and state and...WHAM! my new friend starts going off on how the Dalai Lama is not a real Buddhist and how he's a mass murderer and on and on and on...  In about 25 years of interacting with Japanese, I've never seen such wigginess on a religious issue.  I thought this guy was going to really blow a gasket.  And this was at dinner in a nice restaurant.  I quickly changed the subject.

         This is the only example of an real a--hole Buddhist, but I'm sure he's got many kindred spirits out there.

         BenGoshi
        _______________  

        "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

        by BenGoshi on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 08:14:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting! (none)
          I agree with you about Japanese not wearing their religion on their sleeves and being what I would call multi-religions. There is that old saying you probably have heard that Japanese are born Shinto, marry Christian and die Buddhist. I lived a year in Kyoto and I actually spent more time going to temples and shrines than any Japanese I knew. They almost never identified themselves with a single religion unless they were Christian and even then often had no problems going to Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines when they wanted to.

          The most interesting person I knew in Japan (he is now a professor at Rockefeller in NYC) was from a Catholic family (which is unusual in Japan). He, partly due to his scientific studies, had become atheist. And yet he knew more and was more interested in traditional Japanese Buddhism and Shinto than almost any other young Japanese person I have known. He and I (the borderline atheist Jew) spent lots of times exploring Zen temples and he and his family invited me to spend NEw Year's with them doing a nice traditional Japanese New Year (eating a special kind of noodle, ringing the temple bell at midnight and then going to a particular shrine for the first prayer of the year). I got to return the favor when he came to the states (we were both in California for a bit) and I brought him to my sister-in-la's place for Christmas. He got a traditional Mexican Christmas with midnight mass at the Santa Barbara mission.

          I often find atheists are more curious about religion than religious people are.

          Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

          by mole333 on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 10:54:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where in Kyoto? When? (none)

             And, yes, I had heard that expression -- a great one.

             I was at Kansai Gaidai in '84 and a year in Hyogo-ken in 90-91.  Over the passed several years have been in Kyoto frequently on business, but, of course, it's also a great pleasure.  What's your story re:  Kyoto?

             As for your specific Kyoto story, that's great and you've had an experience so few Westerners will ever have.  Hoping you live long (mochiron) but knowing you can die happy anytime having had that experience!

             And, you've got an interesting point about atheists being more interested in religion than religious types.  I'm the type of Christian who believes doubt is good and helpful along one's journey.  Moreover, I agree with what some Episcopalian publishing house put on a poster I saw several years ago:  "He came to take away our sins... Not our minds."

             Akemashite Omedetoo Gozaimasu!

             BenGoshi
            _________________

            P.S. -- Boku no 'Nom de Kos' ga yomemashita ka?

               

            "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

            by BenGoshi on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 11:33:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nihon (none)
              I have actually been to Japan four times, but the main time was working at Kyodai as my first post-doc. First trip was to interview at a few labs--Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto. I wasn't really expecting to take a job, just go interview and get a partly paid for trip to Japan. But then I realized I'd be stupid not to take one of the jobs. I figured that it was a perfect time and opportunity to spend a year in Japan and get paid for it and there was an excellent lab at Kyodai that was open to foreign postdocs. So I went. It was a great experience. I spent the first few months stopping in the streets at least once or twice a day and thinking, "Wow! I'm in Japan!"

              I have been back since--once for my honeymoon and once for a conference. Spread through the various trips I have traveled a fair amount through Japan from Tokyo, Kamakura and Nikko all the way down to the southernmost island in Okinawa. Learned some of the language. Nihongo ga jozu ni narimashita ga, ato de wasurete shimaimashta. Each trip I took back I forgot more and more, particularly the kanji. I can still speak enough to please people I meet in Japan, but quickly have to switch to English.

              I like the quote: "He came to take our sins, not our minds." One thing I have always liked about Judaism is that doubt, questioning and even arguing was encouraged. I read somewhere that Abraham rather than Noah is considered the first patriarch of Judaism even though Noah really had the first covenant from god. But Noah just did what he was told while Abraham bargained. I kind of like that.

              Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

              by mole333 on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 03:28:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kyodai. Subarashii desu. (none)

                  Yeh, I've lived there twice ('84 and '90-'91) and have been back over -- on 10-day to 3-week stretches -- about 10 times over the past 4 years and I still get the "Wow.  I'm in Japan" feeling.  I can't see how I'll ever lose it.

                  When do expect to be in Kyoto next?  If anytime in the next couple of years, let me know, as I've got a few places to recommend.  If you've been there recently, please give me the "heads up" on any eaterys or bars you like to drop in to.  Oh, and I'm immune from "temple burnout."  That some (many?) tourists get "temple burnout" in ONE DAY blows my mind.  I salute them for going to Japan, but for the life of me can't understand how, with all the effort and expense to get there, would get so bored so fast being there!  Go figure.

                  Tokoro de, Nihongo ga mada joozu soo desu, yo.    

                 BenGoshi
                _______________

                "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

                by BenGoshi on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 07:40:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Kyoto (none)
                  Sadly I have no plans to return any time soon. Not enough money or time...a chronic problem. My last trip there was kind of in two parts--first the conference in Osaka where my expenses were all covered, so I had a nice hotel room, got some great meals, etc. The second part was on my own in Kyoto which was majorly budget. I stayed in what was pretty much a flophouse for about 2000 yen per night  and ate about as cheaply as I could, so not sure I can suggest anything that good. Most of the places I  liked when I lived there had died since (in the neighborhood I lived in there was a good Indian, and good African restaurant, but both are gone). My friends did take me to a good Sushi restaurant near Kyodai, but I don't remember the name. I was amazed, though, that the restaurant was MUCH better and MUCH cheaper than New York sushi places.

                  I hear tourists get a similar kind of burnout when visiting Florence, Italy. I can't imagine that either. Both Kyoto and Florence basically fascinated me. I think I would never get tired of  places like that. Ryookoo ga, totemo suki desu yo!

                  Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

                  by mole333 on Tue Jan 04, 2005 at 04:31:41 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  4 for balance (4.00)
      See, the zero ratings illustrate the difficult position you "Christians" find yourself in in US politics today.  Those critical of the unfortunately toxic tributaries to the mainstream of contemporary US "Christian" thought are immediately marginalized.  It leaves us no option but to use reductio ad absurdum to illustrate our own perspective.  The wingers are always saying you have to take a holistic approach to the bible; so the hateful bits must be acknowleged.  I resolve to fight this absurd fence protecting the rickety apparatus of religious superstition in 2005.  The very notion that Christianity is NOT TO BE CRITICIZED is ridiculous.  Our critical faculties are all we have; we can't abandon rationality; we have to live in the real world.  I find it offensive that I'm scolded to respect the things I find appalling about religionism.  I don't respect those who wield their (societally dominant) beliefs like a weapon.  Not Phelps, not Falwell, not Zarqawi or Bin Laden.  Nope.  Got any good recipes for me, BenGoshi?

      Always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself. Richard M Nixon.

      by peterborocanuck on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 08:10:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You conflate things. (none)

         First, a 4 for you.  You actually posted thoughts and opinions and insights.  The Super Troll "0" is for spewing venom for venom's sake, a la Freeperville.  I think you, along with your kindred spirits in this thread, are very confused, but -- in your case -- not necessarily in bad faith.

         Second, picking up on the previous sentence, please, I beg of you, tell me where I ever wrote or espoused that "Christianity should not be criticized"?  What you write conflates my position that the American Taliban, Fundagellicals, etc. are about as "Christian" as this computer I'm typing on is a potted plant.  You will find no one more critical of the Falwells, Robertsons, Moores, Dobsons and Reeds of this country than me -- however, I do not conflate their ego- and delusion-driven power games with the words and life and teachings of Jesus, no matter how much they try to lash their hate-mongering to Jesus, and no matter how much you and your ilk happily go along with such travesties.  You all have a lot in common, actually.

          Oh, and I invite you to read my dialogues with "mole333" and "AdmiralNaismith" above, for examples of where people who don't exactly see eye to eye with one another can actually -- if they seek to dialogue in good faith -- find common ground, to both sides' benefits.

         BenGoshi
        _______________

         BenGoshi
        ________________

        "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

        by BenGoshi on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 11:49:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanx for the 4 (none)
          Ben, you seem as thoughtful a Christian  as one could hope for; if it appears I'm conflating dissimilar points, I've not been clear.  My comment regarding the appropriateness of criticizing Christianity is not so much directed at you as at the current zeitgeist in the US.
             If the bible consisted entirely of the aphorisms, parables and sayings of Jesus, I would better understand  your view. However, the bible contains much much more.  
             Even the new testament, to many progressives the "good" part of the bible, is problematic.  Saint Paul is a major contributor, and he clearly had issues. The book of revelation is a metaphorical thicket that is clearly beyond the ability of your average bible studier to contemplate, let alone understand.  Since it carries the eschatological torch for ancient judaic tradition, it too should be viewed with suspicion in the modern world.  Why are so many of our brethren so ready to abandon what is real for the thin promise of armageddon?  Is it good that it is so?
             My criticism of what I call "religious superstition" should not be read as a criticism of faith in general.  Let me try to illustrate this.
          I believe that it is not a good thing to step on spiders as a matter of course in my day to day life.  It is manifestly true for all sorts of reasons, from the ethical to the ecological.      It is NOT TRUE that stepping on an arachnid will cause it to rain.  That is NOT the reason one should not step on them.    
             Similarly, I believe Jesus and take him at his word to be faithful to his teachings.  I know there are many good reasons to be kind and charitable and ethical, reasons that actually carry weight here on this planet.  I an not capable of enumerating the many justifications for this, they are too myriad for my limited brain.  It is NOT to earn myself a good eternity in heaven, however.  
             I'm more than ready to discuss religious ethics, but I believe we have been given the gift of abstract reasoning and we dishonour ourselves by neglecting to do our own ethical heavy lifting every moment of each and every day, in favour of one size fits all off the rack received wisdom.  I believe it is wrong to neglect trying to increase the general welfare of humanity because we have our eye on a metaphysical otherworld of the eternally satisfied self.  I believe that asking people to "have faith" that what what appears wrong (like persecuting this or that group for their own good, or flying planes into buildings)is actually right in God's eyes is a political tool wielded by agenda driven and highly fallible people.  It is my opinion that rejecting the ridiculous is not offensive to God, but that propagating evil in God's name is offensive to me, at least, and should be to any God worth the title.  Sorry for the long winded rant, but believe me, I've got plenty to say around this, and it can't be said if I must at all costs avoid injuring the tender sensibilities of the willfully ignorant.  
             

          Always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself. Richard M Nixon.

          by peterborocanuck on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 06:37:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I found absolutely nothing you wrote... (none)

             ... to disagree with.  

             In fact, this paragraph of yours:

             Similarly, I believe Jesus and take him at his word to be faithful to his teachings.  I know there are many good reasons to be kind and charitable and ethical, reasons that actually carry weight here on this planet.  I am not capable of enumerating the many justifications for this, they are too myriad for my limited brain.  It is NOT to earn myself a good eternity in heaven, however.  

             . . . to be pure gold.

              Were you to have heard me over the past 25 or so years talking this kind of talk with friends and relatives, you would have heard me say (as a Christian) say almost the exact, word-for-word thing that you do in your last sentence (quoted above).  

              Jesus taught against greed.  I think it's about the ultimate demonstration of greed (or, at least, snivellingliness, if that's a word), to do something right, and good, and kind for the mere sake of getting something in return, say, a "ticket to heaven."  While Jesus certainly spoke of eternal life and used heaven and hell metaphors, I simply cannot square His admonishments to "do the right thing" with doing the right thing for mere selfish, self-centered purposes.  Thus, I reject the notion that we should "do the right thing" so we can someday "walk on streets of gold."  To me that debases and perverts what Jesus was all about.  I suppose you can see the Eastern (i.e., Taoist, Buddhist) influence in and on my faith.  

             This confluence of ideas and faiths should, in my opinion, not be seen as strange or contradictory.  On the contrary, Jesus' and Buddha's avocating people live in harmony with one another are much more compatable than the Right Wing Nut Job notion that one should behave like an asshole, for Jesus.  Huh?

             BenGoshi
            _________________

            P.S. -- See how easy common ground can be reached when people of good faith make a little effort to search for it?

            "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." T.J.

            by BenGoshi on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 08:23:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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