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jbear

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« : February 09, 2011, 12:10:22 PM »

I've been spouting off about religious freaks recently which got me thinking.  I'm sure many would assume that when someone holds a negative view of many Christians that they must be atheist or at least agnostic. I do actually consider myself a Christian although I am not religious with my attendance ;)...  Maybe I want to give mindy ammo or maybe I just want to explain where I'm coming from and that I don't believe that being Christian has to make you intolerant, fearful or ignorant.

Not to give my whole life story but as a child my mother was a Baptist and my father a catholic.  I attended both churches at different times in my childhood.  In my teenage years my father left the Catholic Church and started attending Unity church which I must admit I found pretty strange as a teenager.  By the time I was 18 I was through with attending any church until about six months ago. (15 years without attending any church)  At that time, my wife of 5 years was having quite a few stressful things in her life, her mother was/is dying and she was trying to take a leave of absence from work to care for her and build an addition onto our house so we could move her in with us.  She had also mentioned her desire to take our daughter to a church even though neither of us is religious and I agreed that she should at least know about religion so she could make her own decisions about it when she’s older.

 Anyway, when your wife comes to you and says that she wants to go to church (even though she’d hardly ever been) and she says it’s for her own wellbeing you know you need to listen.  I'd do just about anything for her even if it meant sitting through services at a Baptist or Catholic Church. (Thankfully I didn't have to do that) 

After realizing that we should go somewhere, my first thought was of Unity church, even though I considered it strange as a kid I remembered some of their teachings about positive thought and acceptance of others.  The exact opposite of the family members who'd turned me against other forms of Christianity because of their negative attitudes about everything including other people and anything done by anyone that their minister wouldn't agree with.  I'm still probably a borderline agnostic but I leave every Sunday (that I go) feeling fantastic.  It's very focused on getting rid of negative thought and self improvement of your mind, body and spirit (the law of attraction).   

My intention is not to make a commercial for this... nonsectarian educational institution.  I'm just sharing my positive experience with this group and holding them up as a possible healthier alternative for other disaffected churchgoers… or non-churchgoers.  I’m also inviting discussion regarding anything spiritual especially related to the perception (perhaps false) that many Christian faiths are not tolerant of others or open minded. 

For certain others, in the spirit of the Unity church and all they teach, I open the floor for the discussion of hippy churches and blasphemous deity worshipers burning in the pits of hell. In that spirit I will refrain from my usual asshattery in response to said opinions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_Church


http://unity.org/aboutunity/whoWeAre/faq.html#denomination
« : February 09, 2011, 12:21:02 PM jbear »

Col. Klink

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« #1 : February 09, 2011, 12:34:45 PM »

Thanks for that dissertation, jb ... While I had heard of the Unity Church, I had never really known what they were about. It was kind of refreshing to see that ALL the forms of Christianity aren't complete nutcases. If the time ever does come for me to investigate something like that, the UC would be a nice start .... and the fact they list Betty White and Famous Amos as members is a plus.

jbear

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« #2 : February 09, 2011, 01:08:08 PM »

Thanks for that dissertation, jb ... While I had heard of the Unity Church, I had never really known what they were about. It was kind of refreshing to see that ALL the forms of Christianity aren't complete nutcases. If the time ever does come for me to investigate something like that, the UC would be a nice start .... and the fact they list Betty White and Famous Amos as members is a plus.

Like I said I'm not fully indoctrinated and probably never will be because I'm a skeptic of most things I'm told but the people I've met are really good people.  I call them christians because thats what they seem to consider themselves even though I beleive many christians would likely consider them deity worshipers because of acknowledgement of other "Great teachers" The Budda, Confusious and others. Also, they have a unique take on Christ and consider him the "master teacher" which does put him above the other great teachers but not to the extent many christians would like I'm sure. 

My favorite thing about them... Besides Betty White, is that they do not take the bible as a literal translation of Gods words.  For me a prerequisite for me opening my ears. 

Edit: thats not really my favorite thing... It's very positive and openminded enough to not be completely ignorant.  Like I said I leave there every time I go feeling in very good spirits despite my overall skeptisism.
« : February 09, 2011, 01:13:37 PM jbear »

spartan

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« #3 : February 09, 2011, 04:17:16 PM »

A lot of folks rail against Christians because of what they are against instead of what they are for. I am not talking about God, Christ etc but adoption instead of abortion, charity instead of Govt entitlements etc and so forth. There are woopdings and hypocrites out there, as there are in any facet of life, but that does not, and should not define what being a Christian is to you. I get a lot out of my Church. I feel refreshed most Sundays and it makes me a better person (IMO) because it forces me to reach and obtain a higher standard of character and behavior. Just my 2c worth.

jbear

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« #4 : February 09, 2011, 05:37:28 PM »

So is it your beleif that most of those who feel that many Christians are intolerant or closed minded are only projecting their own intolerence and closed mindedness onto a given issue?  I could definately see that but which group is a bigger problem?  The intolerent Christians which I think do exist because I have some in my family, or the intolerent liberals of which I may be?  I can't deny that I get hot under the collar when I think of certain churches or certain religious people I've known in my life.  I would like to get past it but something definately disturbs me about being excluded from a group based on a failure to conform to a dogma not backed by anything more tangible than faith.  Espeically when exclusion often finds me burning for all eternity.  Can't say I like that.

I'm wondering how tolerent of people who won't conform to the dogma you feel your church is.  Do you feel its accepting of those unwilling to conform? 

dalbuc

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« #5 : February 09, 2011, 06:38:15 PM »

In the end you can bake your imaginary invisible sky fairy up anyway you want...it's a myth.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

nybuccguy

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« #6 : February 09, 2011, 07:39:15 PM »

So is it your beleif that most of those who feel that many Christians are intolerant or closed minded are only projecting their own intolerence and closed mindedness onto a given issue?  I could definately see that but which group is a bigger problem?  The intolerent Christians which I think do exist because I have some in my family, or the intolerent liberals of which I may be?  I can't deny that I get hot under the collar when I think of certain churches or certain religious people I've known in my life.  I would like to get past it but something definately disturbs me about being excluded from a group based on a failure to conform to a dogma not backed by anything more tangible than faith.  Espeically when exclusion often finds me burning for all eternity.  Can't say I like that.

I'm wondering how tolerent of people who won't conform to the dogma you feel your church is.  Do you feel its accepting of those unwilling to conform?


     I have no intention of hijacking your post, and this church you speak of sounds interesting. I would just like to comment on your question of whose intolerance is a bigger problem. I am an Atheist of the most voacl sort, but intolerance does not describe atheists in my mind.  Denying something that is irrational and unethical cannot be labeled by a word with such a negative connotation. Promoting the empirical method and the examination of the tangible world around us is the responsible thing to do as a human being, and dispelling primitive dogma and the circular logic of religion is no more intolerant than speaking out against other negative aspects of the human condition. There are many aspects of Christian dogma that have a negative effect in this world, and justify what you have labelled "intolerance" on the part of atheists. Just to name a few....

1. Christian missionaries and preachers deny access, and promote against the use of condoms which contributes to the spread of AIDS in Africa and higher teen pregnancy rates worldwide.
2..Christian beliefs are the main foundation for the denial of civil liberties for homosexuals, and hence, are un-American. It is not okay to opress someone and claim its okay because thats what god wants.
3. Tolerance of Christianity and other more "tame" religions makes it impossible to address the the more openly insane religions, namely Islam. No Christian has the right to condemn the insane beliefs of Muslims when their own belief system is equally irrational.
4. Christian denials of legitimate science slow down and interfere with human progress. The denial of evolution is one of many examples.

In summary, Christian intolerance is clearly more reprehensable because its dogma trumps ethics, rationality, and independent thought. Atheist intolerance is nothing more than the condemnation of such a flawed, destructive thought process.     


jbear

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« #7 : February 09, 2011, 10:59:52 PM »

In the end you can bake your imaginary invisible sky fairy up anyway you want...it's a myth.

I see those beedy little dalbuc eyes lurking once again.  ;)  Don't get me wrong here, I'm very much a skeptic even though I attend services there.  The main thing that got my attention was something I could think might be possible which happens to be one of the main thrusts of their message... Positive thought can have a physical and positive effect on your life or more simply thoughts can manifest themselves physically. It has to do with the law of attraction or (like attracts like) which is not a new idea by any stretch.  Perhaps you've heard of "the secret".  A book or movie that was fairly popular recently.  I don't believe all that.  Only that I've been convinced that there is something to the power of the mind.  I have only anecdotal evidence I've seen in my life that convinced me that there could be something to the power of thought.   Take the elderly couple who die within months of one another, the hospital patient who has no reason to die but a lack of will to live... and they die.  I don't know if I believe, but I think its possible that negative thoughts can make people sick or at least more sick than they would be if their mind was in a different, more positive place.  Clearly, being positive won't make you better if you are sick,  I'd never go that far but there was enough in what they said that I could at least beleive is possible to get my full attention. 

I can certainly see the point of those who say any form of god worship is nothing more than a magic act or parlor trick just as faith is not quantifiable. 


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« #8 : February 09, 2011, 11:12:13 PM »


The positive aspects are also just as easily explained by the placebo effect. This might be an uncommon application of the term but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Illuminator is a good poster. He sticks to his guns and makes good points. Some don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t like that.

jbear

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« #9 : February 09, 2011, 11:15:00 PM »

So is it your beleif that most of those who feel that many Christians are intolerant or closed minded are only projecting their own intolerence and closed mindedness onto a given issue?  I could definately see that but which group is a bigger problem?  The intolerent Christians which I think do exist because I have some in my family, or the intolerent liberals of which I may be?  I can't deny that I get hot under the collar when I think of certain churches or certain religious people I've known in my life.  I would like to get past it but something definately disturbs me about being excluded from a group based on a failure to conform to a dogma not backed by anything more tangible than faith.  Espeically when exclusion often finds me burning for all eternity.  Can't say I like that.

I'm wondering how tolerent of people who won't conform to the dogma you feel your church is.  Do you feel its accepting of those unwilling to conform?


     I have no intention of hijacking your post, and this church you speak of sounds interesting. I would just like to comment on your question of whose intolerance is a bigger problem. I am an Atheist of the most voacl sort, but intolerance does not describe atheists in my mind.  Denying something that is irrational and unethical cannot be labeled by a word with such a negative connotation. Promoting the empirical method and the examination of the tangible world around us is the responsible thing to do as a human being, and dispelling primitive dogma and the circular logic of religion is no more intolerant than speaking out against other negative aspects of the human condition. There are many aspects of Christian dogma that have a negative effect in this world, and justify what you have labelled "intolerance" on the part of atheists. Just to name a few....

1. Christian missionaries and preachers deny access, and promote against the use of condoms which contributes to the spread of AIDS in Africa and higher teen pregnancy rates worldwide.
2..Christian beliefs are the main foundation for the denial of civil liberties for homosexuals, and hence, are un-American. It is not okay to opress someone and claim its okay because thats what god wants.
3. Tolerance of Christianity and other more "tame" religions makes it impossible to address the the more openly insane religions, namely Islam. No Christian has the right to condemn the insane beliefs of Muslims when their own belief system is equally irrational.
4. Christian denials of legitimate science slow down and interfere with human progress. The denial of evolution is one of many examples.

In summary, Christian intolerance is clearly more reprehensable because its dogma trumps ethics, rationality, and independent thought. Atheist intolerance is nothing more than the condemnation of such a flawed, destructive thought process.   

Hijack away.  I've already said what I wanted to say.  Now I'm just interested in discussion wherever that goes (if anywhere).

I've always found atheists and agnostics to be far more tolerent than most christians.  I've even considered myslef athiest in my early adult years, and agnostic until... maybe I still am, I'm a bit confused about it at the moment.

I would not disagree that Christian intolerence is the greater evil however I was hoping to expand my thinking a little and maybe even come to terms with my own demons regarding my vilification of Christian intolerance.  I've recently met a few who consider themselves to be Christian and seem fairly tolerent.  There must be other Christians who also believe they are just as tolerent. 

jbear

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« #10 : February 09, 2011, 11:17:17 PM »


The positive aspects are also just as easily explained by the placebo effect. This might be an uncommon application of the term but I'm sure you know what I mean.

No doubt Illuminator.  I don't stand by it as a fact or proven science but I do feel its posible and can't deny the positive effects on my welbeing... even if it is all in my head.

spartan

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« #11 : February 09, 2011, 11:23:09 PM »


The positive aspects are also just as easily explained by the placebo effect. This might be an uncommon application of the term but I'm sure you know what I mean.

There is some degree of logic behind you're argument, but as far as I am concerned it makes me think about my actions, and then make decisions accordingly. I don't think that can come under that umbrella.

JBear, you will find there are a number of RABID anti-Christians on this board. They say it's anti religion etc but most of the threads are anti-Christian. Easy target I guess and they can't be accused of being racist. You've seen the typical standard of response and it doesn't change much from there. You really cannot have a reasonable conversation on the subject.

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« #12 : February 09, 2011, 11:23:27 PM »


The positive aspects are also just as easily explained by the placebo effect. This might be an uncommon application of the term but I'm sure you know what I mean.

It might be an uncommon application, but it hits the nail squarely on the head ...

Col. Klink

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« #13 : February 09, 2011, 11:33:32 PM »

JBear, you will find there are a number of RABID anti-Christians on this board. They say it's anti religion etc but most of the threads are anti-Christian. Easy target I guess and they can't be accused of being racist.

Considering there is no race that is also a religion, not sure where that's coming from ... and the intolerant Christians are the easiest target here because they are the ones most involved on this board. I'm pretty sure any nutcases from other religions get on here and they'd be just as targeted.

spartan

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« #14 : February 09, 2011, 11:35:14 PM »


     I have no intention of hijacking your post, and this church you speak of sounds interesting. I would just like to comment on your question of whose intolerance is a bigger problem. I am an Atheist of the most voacl sort, but intolerance does not describe atheists in my mind.  Denying something that is irrational and unethical cannot be labeled by a word with such a negative connotation. Promoting the empirical method and the examination of the tangible world around us is the responsible thing to do as a human being, and dispelling primitive dogma and the circular logic of religion is no more intolerant than speaking out against other negative aspects of the human condition. There are many aspects of Christian dogma that have a negative effect in this world, and justify what you have labelled "intolerance" on the part of atheists. Just to name a few....

1. Christian missionaries and preachers deny access, and promote against the use of condoms which contributes to the spread of AIDS in Africa and higher teen pregnancy rates worldwide.
2..Christian beliefs are the main foundation for the denial of civil liberties for homosexuals, and hence, are un-American. It is not okay to opress someone and claim its okay because thats what god wants.
3. Tolerance of Christianity and other more "tame" religions makes it impossible to address the the more openly insane religions, namely Islam. No Christian has the right to condemn the insane beliefs of Muslims when their own belief system is equally irrational.
4. Christian denials of legitimate science slow down and interfere with human progress. The denial of evolution is one of many examples.

In summary, Christian intolerance is clearly more reprehensable because its dogma trumps ethics, rationality, and independent thought. Atheist intolerance is nothing more than the condemnation of such a flawed, destructive thought process.   

It is my experience  that atheists are the most intolerant of them all because they accept no argument other than their own, and consider anything else beneath contempt.

I was going to write more but to be honest it would serve no useful purpose.
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