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jesus died for nothing



Anything a person says about the true intentions of Jesus are pure speculation. He never wrote anything down. NONE of us have any idea what he actually said, what he meant.  There is little if any credible evidence that such a historical person even existed. You can make Jesus into absolutely ANYTHING you want to believe him to be. But that does not make it true.

How many times has a religion addict said to you, "What Jesus really meant was..." When there it is in print - from the author of a gospel, pretending to be a disciple, a hundred years later, having Jesus arrogantly announce that he is the ONLY WAY to God?  Really?  The only way?  Get over yourself homeboy.  

How many children today are being brainwashed to think that if they don't believe that Jesus was the son of God, they will be cast into a lake of hell fire for all eternity?  Brainwash is child abuse. The day America recognizes that is the day we take a quantum leap forward towards being the free nation we claim to be, while telling the rest of the world how they ought to behave.

More people have died in Jesus name than any other. Christianity has caused more suffering that it has comforted. It's time for us to snap out of it and to really inquire instead of just believe.  It's time to grow up and question absolutely everything, if you have the courage to do so.

Anything short of true, deep and radical inquiry is just wishful thinking. Religious superstition is an addiction that our civilizations can no longer afford - if we wish to avoid yet another world war and survive, leaving future generations a better world than the bloodied and brainwashed world that we all inherited - then it's time to kick the crack addiction to Christ.

THIS VIDEO SORT OF ILLUSTRATES THE POINT NICELY:





http://www.EricAllenBell.org
 

Originally posted to Eric Allen Bell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bette Kibble, doc2, Cedwyn, marleycat, pot, BYw

    http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

    by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 05:45:07 PM PDT

  •  If Jesus did indeed live, how did he (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EricAllenBell, pot, BYw

    deal with his sexual desires? He was of flesh and blood, even for those who think he was God. So he had testicles (I presume) and thus testosterone. If he didn't have those things, his body would have been defective, and that would be impossible for God. So he had the same hormones rushing through his veins as the rest of us guys have. Supposedly he died at 33 a virgin. So what gives? He didn't have sex, he didn't masturbate (heaven forbid), he didn't even lust; yet he had all the same parts and chemicals in him the rest of us have. How is it that the religious nuts reconcile this paradox?

    •  All I know is... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2, Bette Kibble, BYw

      ... that if an image of his holy testicles appear to you in a piece of toast, you should contact the Vatican immediately.

      http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

      by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:05:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These advanced theological discourses make (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal, BYw

      me dizzy....

      What did Jesus do when he had a woody?  Walk bow-legged?  Chortle, guffaw!

      "Try our product for 30 days, and, before you know it, a month will have passed."--Unknown

      by savio on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:09:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jesus Christ Superstar! I think Mary Magdalene (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gustogirl

      (who was not the whore the Catholic church made her out to be) was probably more than just an apostle (see the Nag Hammadi texts).

      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

      by marleycat on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:38:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or maybe she just didn't exist (0+ / 0-)

        This bedtime story called the gospel, this "Jesus myth" predates Jesus.

        Horus anyone?

        http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

        by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:51:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The thing is, Pontius Pilate did (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marleycat, BYw

          exist. There are records of him in the annals of Rome. So it would end up the ultimate false condemnation if it turns out that Jesus didn't exist, since Pilate has been blamed for 2,000 years for his role in Jesus' execution.

          •  The Romans kept meticulous records-- (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            EricAllenBell, skohayes, BYw, doc2

            and yet there are no Roman records of this alleged Jesu person. The Hebrews kept meticulous records--still no recorded proof. Once in a while a fake bit of "evidence" surfaces--an ostuary, a sheaf of parchments, some linen shrouding--that is easily debunked. A deity comes down and has itself born as a human from a mortal woman and there are no real records of any of it? Heh.

            "Why do people say 'grow some balls'? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding." --Betty White

            by crose on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 10:01:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's because it's a fairy tale... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw, doc2, Bette Kibble

              ... for weak minds and frightened hearts.

              The spiritual connection that is free of brainwash, of dogma and superstition has so much more range and depth and possibility in it.  And this scares people.  And so they find a place where they are sure not to find such connection.  And these places are often called churches and mosques and synagogues and then exist to protect you from the truth - to make sure you don't find God.

              http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

              by EricAllenBell on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 12:02:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Josephus was a historian, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama, JDsg

              a Jew who worked for the Romans.  He mentions Jesus twice.  This is known as the "The Testimonium Flavianum".  Some scholars dispute it, believing at least one of the passages to have been added later.  The second refers to Jesus' brother, James, referred to as Jesus' brother.

              Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

              by Gustogirl on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 10:02:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  At one point in the Bible she (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EricAllenBell, marleycat

        washes down Jesus' legs. She gives him a sponge bath. Yet we're supposed to believe that this guy, this virgin, did not get extremely turned on while being given this all-body, wet massage by, if not a hooker, certainly a woman who understood the art of love. So what gives? Was Jesus a eunuch? Was he gay (wouldn't that be ironic)? What is the official explanation for this? Are there any good Christians out there who can explain this?

        •  custom to wash a travelers feet (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, JDsg, marleycat, BYw, Wee Mama

          It was custom and a show of respect back then to wash a quests or traveler's feet....hot and dry...also custom in India of any Holy person's feet.  ...  Also touched the feet of my Guru, which is like touching the feet of God...I am sure when she saw The Light of His Consciousness she felt she was touching the feet of God....thus the weeping of a soul in the desert.......and he being an Enlightened Being was in his highest Chakras of Light not just in the bottom 3 Chakras of Existence and sex......now this is if he really existed...i did not Live back then but I defintely know there are Enlightened people existing today...There Light shines brightly

        •  Sexual repression came from the church, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bette Kibble

          not Jesus.

          Many scholars believe Mary Magdalene was his lover, and his favorite apostle.  She was the one who witnessed the resurrection.

          It's easy to confuse what Jesus said versus what the church teaches.  They are quite different, IMO.

          Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

          by Gustogirl on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 09:57:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mary magdalene was his beloved wife (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gustogirl

            The church had to write this out and actually omit her Gospel ....otherwise priests would have been able to marry,also   It really is a shame as maybe there wouldn't be so many molestations of children in the church...some of course are pedophiles. which is a different problem and subject.

  •  You'll be astonished to learn that there's a (8+ / 0-)

    field of study called theology.  For a good time, type "higher criticism" into Google, then hit Enter.

    "Try our product for 30 days, and, before you know it, a month will have passed."--Unknown

    by savio on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:06:00 PM PDT

    •  Theology - the study of superstition (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I'm familiar with it, but thanks for the heads up just the same.  And God bless you.

      http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

      by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:10:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Theology is the scientific study (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EricAllenBell, BYw

        of inane ramblings.

      •  With what? The noun? (0+ / 0-)

        "Try our product for 30 days, and, before you know it, a month will have passed."--Unknown

        by savio on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:19:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh? You're familiar with it? (6+ / 0-)

        Then please do tell us what the current prevailing opinions and disputes are among theologians as regards the source material for the Gospels, and their approximate dates of collection.

        Since you seem so certain that it's unknowable and indicate that you're familiar with theology, then certainly you must be familiar with the works of those who have analyzed the manuscripts and texts and are familiar with the questions of authorship, dating, sourcing, and redaction.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:04:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  While I'm at it... (0+ / 0-)

          ... would you like me to read you all of the ingredients contained within a bottle of snake oil?

          http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

          by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:07:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So what you're saying... (5+ / 0-)

            ...is that your claim that you're familiar with theology is, in fact, a lie. You're not familiar with theology.

            Furthermore, since most of the study of the textual corpus surrounding Jesus and continuing to analyze the texts and manuscript traditions of the Gospels (both canonical and noncanonical) is happening within the field of theology, and since you have all but admitted you're not familiar with the work going on in that field on this topic, on exactly what sound scholarship are you basing your claims about the historical Jesus? Let's see some citations.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:13:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm just curious (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bette Kibble

              Are you wearing an ascot while you type all of this?

              http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

              by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:17:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nope. T-shirt and jeans. (5+ / 0-)

                That doesn't change the fact that you made a historical claim about the veracity of a certain set of texts, and admitted to being unfamiliar with the field of scholarly inquiry in which the vast majority of the analysis of the veracity, sourcing, redaction, and date of those texts is taking place.

                Intellectual honesty demands that you either support your claim with scholarly evidence from a peer-reviewed source—either an article from a scholarly journal or a book or chapter from a respectable university press—or retract the claim.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:26:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, not really (0+ / 0-)

                  Intellectual honesty is between me and myself.

                  Debating the merits of superstition is just a waste of time that I could be using to go out and commit more sin.

                  http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

                  by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:30:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You didn't make a claim about "superstition." (6+ / 0-)

                    You made a claim about the veracity of certain historical texts as regards the accuracy of their purported sayings of their subject, and as regards the existence of their subject.

                    That is an historical claim, not a "superstition" claim. Historians make such claims all the time, and then are expected to support those claims with appeals to evidence and other scholarship. Where is your support?

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:36:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Jesus appeared to me... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Bette Kibble

                      ... and told me he did not exist, that the Josephus stuff was all a forgery, that the JFK assassination was a Johnson coup (Texans) that OJ really did it, the moon landing was real and that Mick Jagger and Chritiane Ammonpour are the same person.

                      If any of this confuses you, you can always petition the Lord in prayer.

                      http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

                      by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:42:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Theology (0+ / 0-)

              So IN OTHER WORDS.....You are saying your OWN Personal Jesus is a collection of Theology! MIND GAMES  ...i think the name of that game is "Rooster on Dung Hill"

              •  No, I'm saying that the vast majority... (5+ / 0-)

                ...of the scholarship being done on the Gospels, including research into the manner in which they were redacted, the various sources that went into them, the dating on the sources and redactions, and ultimate veracity of the historical narratives or sayings therein, is being done by scholars who identify themselves as theologians and who generally teach at schools of theology.

                I'm not entirely sure where you think Depeche Mode or barnyard animals come into the equation.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:28:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Can you really Know by Reading Theology (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  EricAllenBell

                  I am not into Religion as a way to know anybody. You can read a million books about love and the theramones and Chemistry and how to get it etc....but unless you have loved you will never really know Love..I can describe a piece of Juicy red fruit to you and how it melts in My mouth but untill You actually taste and Eat it you will never Know what it tastes like.......the same with Truth ...you can read a thousand  theology texts ,Sacred books,etc....and they give you a glimpse....but until you feel it from inside and Not a mind Game where you are puffed up like a rooster Crowing about how much you read and think you know...the truth is inside All of us and it doesn't come from Religion or Theology.....believing something and knowing something from Direct experience are Worlds apart

                  •  You can really know about the manuscripts... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JDsg, Gustogirl, Wee Mama

                    ...and their sourcing, redaction, and dating, by reading the work of those who have done the research into the sourcing, redaction, and dating of the manuscripts.

                    Whether or not that brings a person to a deeper spiritual connection with God or whatever else is out there isn't really the theologians' business. Their business is to research the text and write about what they find.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 06:11:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You can Know Theology But do You Know Jesus? (0+ / 0-)

                      I maintain my original point that reading and discussing about something...ie Love and fruit,theology of Jesus ...to really Know is to Taste of it and Eat it ...not read it ....as it still leaves you Hungry for more and endless reading and conversation of texts.  Direct perception leaves you Full-filled.

                •  Minor detail, they aren't researching the (6+ / 0-)

                  veracity of the writings, they cannot, that is impossible. Mark, for example, wrote a lot of crap. Whether he wrote it or somebody else, or many, determining the veracity of those writings is simply not possible.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:40:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  enhydra lutris, I hope you will forgive (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    enhydra lutris, Wee Mama

                    this tangent to your point.  You know those signs outside of churches where each week they can rearrange the letters to tell what the title of that Sunday's sermon will be?

                    I'm picturing one that says:  

                    THE GOSPEL OF MARK:
                    IS IT ALL CRAP?

                    Of the four gospels, I guess I like Mark the best as a document of literature as opposed to a reference for faith.  I'm agnostic so I respond to the raw narrative energy of the text.  Fully acknowledge your point on whether we can ever know the actual writer, but again, as an agnostic, it lends more mystery to the text itself and the context it must have been written in.  

                    Ok.  Tangential nonsense has concluded.  By the way, I appreciate the FDR quote.  I'd like to have my own personal President Roosevelt.

                  •  Not the veracity of the writings as such... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    enhydra lutris, Wee Mama

                    ...though the Jesus Seminar could be seen as an attempt to gauge the veracity of the writings.

                    Rather, that word in particular referred to the continued opinion of the overwhelming majority of theologians and historians who've done the manuscript work that there was, in fact, an itinerant preacher of some kind named Yeshua in first-century Palestine. When the Gospels say that he existed, they are accurate in that assessment.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 06:08:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Let's see (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bette Kibble, EricAllenBell, BYw

              all that happen within the fields of science. Allowing a theologian to distill history for me would be like letting Jimmy DeMint teach me about global climate change.

              "Why do people say 'grow some balls'? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding." --Betty White

              by crose on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 10:05:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, they don't happen in the fields... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wee Mama

                ...of science.

                They happen in the humanities.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 06:07:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Your Own Personal Jesus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EricAllenBell, marleycat

    This is so True.   everyone seems to Interpret the Bible in their own way and Make Jesus into their own Image. Jesus did not start a Religion his followers did, and use it to damn all sorts of people they don't agree with. ....and now we see it in Politics with the Tea party. God help us if they come into office,they will be sending us all to hell....and we won't even have to die to get there.

  •  one of the best. covers. ever (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marleycat, mapamp

    and in the immortal words of the great thomas jefferson:

    The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words.

    And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.


    My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

    by Cedwyn on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:14:01 PM PDT

  •  There Are Word, Syntax and Thematic Patterns (6+ / 0-)

    in the quotes of his that are not found in the editorial commentary around them in the Gospels. It's been noted in different ways and times; it's one reason Jefferson excerpted the quotes and discarded most of the rest of the material for his " Bible. "

    Also there is no reason to assert that the quotes remained solely in aural form for 60 and more years till the gospels began to be recorded. Jesus is reported among rich and literate people during his mission so it's entirely plausible that the different underlying sources that have been identified in the Gospels could have been short written collections.

    So really there's no reason to assert that no one teacher spoke those words. Whatever is legend about the object of religious worship, it's entirely reasonable that a historic itinerant preacher said what's been reported.

    Miracles and magic though are a whole nuther issue.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:14:33 PM PDT

    •  Maybe. Maybe not. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EricAllenBell, BYw

      It certainly is a pretty loose set of evidence to base an entire civilization on.

    •  You're using scholarship to respond to people with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marleycat, Wee Mama

      essentially no concept of same.  That's the problem.  The everything-is-an-opinion crowd has no idea that anything can actually be known about history.

      "Try our product for 30 days, and, before you know it, a month will have passed."--Unknown

      by savio on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:39:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Josephus - a forgery? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw

        Many historians do feel that the only record of the life of the historical Jesus was that left behind by the historian Josephus.  However, many scholars feel that based on a sort of forensic study of his literary style, this was forged by the church, like so many other things.

        http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

        by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:53:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone can cite the findings of scholars. The (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          Internet is all about citation, after all.   But I very strongly doubt you get the gist of religious scholarship.  I suspect you're simply picking and choosing that data (read: statements) which support your take on religion and discarding the rest, a la Dawkins and Harris.  Of course, I could also believe that you've gone through a long and rough journey to arrive at the standard, paranoid Internet take on faith.  And I could also believe the Easter Bunny plays the banjo like Lester Flatt, which any person of reason knows is pure nonsense.  After all, Flatt played the guitar and mandolin.

          "Try our product for 30 days, and, before you know it, a month will have passed."--Unknown

          by savio on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:12:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually I have met the Easter Bunny... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bette Kibble, BYw

            ... and Mister, you are no Easter Bunny.

            As for Dawkins, his an arrogant unbearable bore.  Harris, interesting but lacking in imagination.

            Just for clarity, I'm not an Atheist.  I just don't believe that "god" sent his son (lol) to be brutally tortured and savagely murdered, in order to get around a rule he made, because we are born unacceptable to him, so that we won't have to be cast into a lake of hell fire for all eternity, because he loves us.

            Now what was this about "citation"?  Perhaps you should be issued one for going slow in the fast lane.

            http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

            by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:21:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, that's me, slow! Anyway, all you're saying (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama

              is that you're not a fundamentalist.  Most believers aren't.  Why make a big deal out of rejecting the Jack Chick version of faith, when most people are doing so already?

              Personally, when I crow, I try to crow about things (assuming there are any) which set me apart from the crowd.

              "Try our product for 30 days, and, before you know it, a month will have passed."--Unknown

              by savio on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:13:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  religious scholarship? (0+ / 0-)

            Perhaps that's the problem. You think religious works should be treated differently than everything else of the time. Apply the same rules of study to Jesus & the Gospels as everything else and you might learn something. As long as you maintain a separate & special branch of religious scholarship things will continue to not mesh.

    •  Theologians have identified one such collection... (7+ / 0-)

      ...as Q, thought to be a major source for the three Synoptic Gospels.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not particularly so. That there may be no sound (0+ / 0-)

      reason to assert x doesn't mean tht there is a sound reason to assert not-x. It is possible that the sources were written collections, but not necessarily plausible. There is a difference. There is no reason to assert that one teacher spoke those words any more than there is reason to assert that there was not. It is not impossible that an itinerant preacher spoke the words attributed to Jesus, but it is not necessarily reasonable to assert that there was. For starts, you can't separate the putative words from the putative miracles.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:46:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EricAllenBell

    I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 06:45:09 PM PDT

  •  Love the Depeche Mode (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EricAllenBell, Bette Kibble, ukit

    especially the remixes of PJ. :)

  •  "God" is part of the 1 Percent - #OWS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bette Kibble

    http://www.Facebook.com/EricAllenBell

    by EricAllenBell on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:57:04 PM PDT

  •  None of the people of faith here believe (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, cany, JDsg, commonmass, michelewln, Wee Mama

    what you're telling us we do.

    Believe otherwise if it makes you feel better, but try occasionally considering the idea that you might be making yourself look like an idiot.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:42:12 PM PDT

  •  It's a testament to the influence of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EricAllenBell, BYw

    Christianity that even atheists and agnostics tend to characterize Jesus as a "good person" even if he wasn't the son of God.

    But look at the evidence. The closest modern day analogues we have are people like Joseph Smith, David Koresh and L. Ron Hubbard.

    Few people seem to consider the possibility that the historical Jesus was exactly that - a delusional, self-aggrandizing huckster.

  •  I love it when atheists make themselves (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, Wee Mama

    look totally ignorant. It makes me crave popcorn.

    Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 03:13:58 AM PDT

  •  I'm constantly at odds with the fundies (0+ / 0-)

    because I acknowledge only the possibility, without proof, of the historical Jesus, that is, somebody with that name or a similar name might well have been perceptive and inspired enough to challenge the local authorities of the Roman Empire in the name of the downtrodden.  

    Not surprisingly, the local authorities of the Roman Empire likely didn't care for his remarks and actions, so they nailed him to a board.

    The dispute for me is whether Jesus did things people cannot do.  I've never seen anybody raise anybody else from the dead, for example.  Yet there are churches of various stripes who believe one (possibly) Jewish guy around the turn of the first century actually did this.  Why perform only one raising-from-the-dead gig, anyway?  Think of the confusion it would cause if everybody who ever croaked is suddenly raised from the dead and plunked back onto earth.  

    I dabble in History, Art, and Music, and you just can't dabble in those things without running smackdab into Judeo-Christianity and other world faiths.  If I'm a half-assed agnostic, it doesn't mean I can't listen to a Bach mass and be duly amazed at its beauty.  Peter Shaffer's Equus wouldn't be the potent masterwork it is without play-goers' prior knowledge of Christian history.  

    •  There is a spiritual, rather than a material (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator

      interpretation available (if you look) to the words and meanings in the gospel.  Was Lazarus physically or spiritually dead?  When people received their sight was it spiritual or physical sight?

      Some say both interpretations are valid, but if you carefully read the words Jesus is purported to have said, he's pretty dismissive of the "flesh" as opposed to the "spirit".

      Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

      by Gustogirl on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 10:12:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd hope that the spiritual interpretation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gustogirl

        would prevail over the literal one, although I admit that fundamentalists may mostly disagree.  

        Agree with you that from what we are given of Jesus' words and actions, the spirit holds primacy and the flesh is subodinate.  

        The assault the fundamentalists tend to make against "sin" is one with flesh and not spirit as its frame of reference, which is why, IMO, that demographic forbids their children from participating in Hallowe'en, and why they attempt to censor or prohibit controversial books at public libraries, and why they attempt to dominate school board discussions of curriculum and book selection, etc.  

        It tips toward the non-human because no one any of us knows can raise people from death, and it tips toward authoritarianism when it claims authority over public policy.

        It asserts that Jesus very literally raised someone from the dead, for example, and then given the assumption of this "fact," it appears to empower them to determine what the rest of us read or learn or participate in.  It's non-human in its origin and inhuman in its application.

        •  Fundamentalists tend to view "sin" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remediator

          as a numbered list of rules.

          Check out the original Greek, though.  Thanks, Elaine Pagel (The Gnostic Gospels) for pointing me toward a concordance, in which "sin" merely means "falling short of the mark, as an archer falls short of his target".  Pagel also talked a little about a bit of dissent about the meaning of "resurrection" - some believe it is a reference to reincarnation - a much more common concept back then.

          Another discovery:  know how the fundies think that quite literally, Jesus will return, floating on a cloud descending from "heaven" (obviously, the sky, d'oh!) in the last days?

          Well check out the original Greek, and you can easily see that "clouds" refer to obscurity.  Jesus will return in obscurity.  

          I mean, think about it.  Where will he descend to?  Oklahoma?  Japan?  

          But then again, I asked one of these friends of mine if he would be a different Christian or less of a believer if Jesus had not performed all those miracles.  The answer made me realize what weak soup he drinks:  the miracles are what prove the religion.  This person is incapable of stripping off the material, fleshly meaning to discern the deeper spiritual meaning in any text!

          Nevertheless, it is none of my business.  I always figure a person is where they are at with God because that's where God wants them to be, for now.  When you are infinite, you have plenty of time.

          Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

          by Gustogirl on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 01:35:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I love Elaine Pagel. I'm guessing she (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gustogirl

            is not terribly popular in charismatic Christian circles.  

            I had not remembered her discussion of the word 'sin,' or its derivation, but obviously, the fundies wouldn't like that either.

            An entire volume is owed to the notion that "Jesus will return in obscurity."  It's worth wrestling indefinitely down at the Zen Gymnasium.  

            Your friend inadvertently proved the points you raise in this discussion by his assertion that the miracles prove the religion.  May your friend be visited soon by the ghost of Thomas Jefferson.  

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