Do you really want another?

Oh dear, this one was really wordy and I really haven’t the energy to engage too much with it.  But here are the comments on this image posted on Pinterest:

Here you go (my comments are in italics and bold- I’ve not posted responses on Pinterest – just here! – you can read the ongoing debate amongst other people on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/pin/275141858454246157/)

Polstar, you make some very, very good points and I’m glad you brought these up! I want people to understand some things that are not commonly understood and you have presented a great opportunity for that. I will begin each with a quote from you. This will span a few reply windows, as there’s much ground to cover. “To be perfectly honest, all of this is moot when you are conversing with an atheist like me.” This one sentence speaks volumes about atheists. One can’t help but have their interest piqued by a group of people who claim they have no belief in the existence of any higher being, yet eagerly jump into conversations about Him. Here you are, Polstar, saying it’s a moot point, yet you chose to throw your hat in the ring. Deep down I think you have a latent belief in God—like every atheist I’ve ever met

Bryan – this is my pin – of course I am going to discuss the issue.  Also – I have many friends who are homosexual – my support for them to live their lives as they see fit despite the hatred and animosity rained down upon them from people who maintain to be ‘loving Christians’ means that I ‘throw my hat into the ring’

Bryan –  how dare you.  How dare you make such assumptions about me.  Obviously you haven’t met many atheists.
I do not have a latent belief in god.  It’s like me saying that because you’re interested in this issue about homosexuality that you must be a latent homosexual.  How have you just responded to this comment?  Exactly, that’s how I’m responding to your allegation that I am a latent believer.  You know NOTHING about me – don’t make assumptions please.  
—but you can’t acknowledge it until you see something that affirms it and the world is full of phony people claiming to be God’s people. So, on one level, I certainly can’t blame you for looking at this mess and saying that there cannot be a God. However, I encourage all to dig a bit deeper. We are not held accountable for those around us; whether they hate us or love us; whether they mean us good or harm. So do not allow others’ hypocrisy to be your excuse for not finding out the truth for your own good. That, in fact, is the main point I wish to convey in this response; if you want to get to know someone, you go to the source, not false witnesses! Sadly it is very difficult to find people who legitimately know God and seek Him. It is a tragedy that we have so many people out there claiming Christianity, yet they only know what they’ve heard—having spent no time of their own seeking Him—and the rumors and traditional teachings about God are very dangerous and wrong. This becomes crystal clear when one reads scripture; aka “the bible.” Unfortunately, people believe this book to be amazingly confusing and do you want to know why? I believe it is because what they hear in “church” is so different and contrasting to what is written there. Even worse, people will latch onto their pet verses—not even understanding them in the first place—and are too lazy to gain a true and balanced view of what God is saying in its entirety. Such people are ultimate examples of “a little knowledge” being “a dangerous thing!” Catch this, though: there’s a big difference between knowledge and understanding. And the amazing thing about all of this? When we choose to read and comprehend the bible and let God speak to our heart, we learn a whole lot of things that make perfect sense; we just had to take the time to see how the pieces fit together. The bible is actually the most intuitive and rational thing ever read by mankind. It is the bizarre way that so many have warped it’s teachings that makes it seem odd and hard to digest.
Bryan – I have read the bible.  On more than one occasion.  I don’t rely on people who spout nonsense – I have been to the source and in some places I think there is some beautiful advice (Paul’s letters to the Corinthians always has some bits I enjoy reading) but that’s all.  I can turn to poetry, I can turn to novels, I can turn to music, I can turn to comics and say the same thing.  They have some beautiful passages that I enjoy reading yet they are all human made.  You would most likely say ‘divinely inspired’ yet you have to understand that there are many of us who don’t believe that they are divinely inspired.  Why, I’ve read literature that is beautiful, condemning god, condemning organised religion, is THAT divinely inspired?  Of course it’s not!  But it’s beautiful, it’s touching, it’s moving.
“If homosexuality is ‘against nature’ why on earth do you get animals displaying homosexual behaviour?” Here’s a shockers for you: Mankind is the only bearer of behavior that reflects its own morality! Animals do not have “morals.” What they do is a reflection of the state of the world, as is all of creation. In fact, the book of Romans tells of how it groans in pain, subject to the condition of mankind. You might also note that homosexual behavior was not seen in the natural world, when it was minimal among mankind and it has been increasing as it increases with mankind. So it is that homosexuality is clearly adjunct and contrary to design, but it is most certainly not “against nature,” as nature is subject to us, not the other way around. When we recycle plastic bottles, protest forest land being decimated and pass laws against things like CFCs, we understand this principle (as it relates to the physical aspect). Why, then, would it be so hard to grasp it on the moral and spiritual levels? If we open our eyes, we see how true this really is!
Bryan – where is your evidence that homosexuality in nature has increased with it in humanity?  Please quote your sources then I will consider this point in more detail.
You suggest that animals are influenced by humans – am I right?  That they have EVOLVED into homosexuality because of their environment?  Interesting.  I take it you’re NOT a Creationist then?

Bryan Furse “If this god that you talk about loves his people so much why on earth would he/she embue them with this desire to fall in love or have sex with a person of the same sex? It makes absolutely no sense to me.” You are 100% right! It makes no sense, so why would you think that He would do this? There is a surprising amount of scripture on this subject and it is clear that God did not imbue anyone with this condition. While I’m on this point I also want to add that there is a similar condition running rampant among the heterosexual community, with the only exception being that it is between men and women, instead of men and men or women and women. It is more devious and insidious because it is well hidden and more commonly accepted, yet truthfully not really different. Both are contrary to the design of God, so we must be extraordinarily cautious not to judge too quickly or think our hands are clean, simply because one sin wears a different mask than another.
Bryan – this makes no sense to me.  You do not give me any reason to believe that your god does not imbue anyone with this.  Where is your proof?

“I understand that people love god etc. but if loving your god creates animosity towards his supposed creations, that seems so counter intuitive to me. In fact, it makes absolutely no sense. It’s easier to love some omnipotent being that you have never seen or touched, however because of your love of this being you can hate someone who you may have touched. You may have seen. You may even love!” Oh Polstar, you have such a beautiful and wonderful and POWERFUL point here! You are SO right! This makes no sense whatsoever! Do you want to know what scripture has to say about that? 1 John 4:20 states: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” In this context the word “brother” is meant further reaching than one’s biological family. Prior to this verse it also states, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” Or we can go directly to the words of Jesus who stated that the most important of all things to observe is to love God completely and that the close second to this is to love one’s neighbor as themselves. In fact, He said that the entire Law and Commandments of God are summed up in these two things; that is how important they are! There are many other passages that shed light on this subject, but I will leave it to one’s own studiousness and diligence to study that out. The point is simple: What you’ve observed doesn’t make sense because you’ve taken people on their word and took for granted that they really were of God. Yet if a person said that they represented you, for example, and your teachings—maybe call such a person a “Polstarian”—yet their words and their actions completely contradicted you and who you are… Would it matter what I called myself? Would I not be a liar, instead? If someone says they are Jesus’ disciple—a Christian—yet they do not bear the fruit, then they act on their own… not according to God’s will; they are liars and fooling themselves! People tend to compartmentalize, so it’s possible for a person to initially love God in one part of their heart and still hate people in another, but not for long! It can take time to see oneself clearly and allow God to change their heart; yet, these two opposites will war within the person and they will have to choose which to live by. Any church or group that teaches and/or practices hatred is blaspheming; making a mockery of sacred and holy things. You can be sure that such a church or group is far from God and does not act according to Him.
Bryan – I see your point – however you, I take it, are a person of god.  Yet you say that other humans create acts that are insidious?  Humans are created (apparently) by your god, yet you hate the acts they perform on each other.  Do you believe that people CHOOSE to be gay?  That they wake up one morning and say ‘you know what?  I want to fall in love with someone the same sex as me, I want to be derided, hated, abused, marginalised, not able to marry the person I love, live my life in fear of admitting who I am’ … need I go on?  So if you accept that this is not something that someone would chose to be, then why would your god imbue them with these desires? BTW – I quite like the sound of the Polstarians – I might have to become a cult leader just to have people call themselves Polstarians (that IS a joke!)

Bryan Furse OH and about the original pin… Jesus says PLENTY about gay people! One just has to open up to what He teaches. On the one hand, He definitely does not support the gay bashing we see. People ought to be ashamed of themselves and fearful of the loving God they mock by referring to Him in such discussions! On the other hand, He would definitely not support something that hurts so many people.

Please then – can you give me the references of where he teaches about homosexuality? I’ve never been able to find anything. How does homosexuality hurt anyone?  The only people it hurts are gay people because of the lack of understanding from others – mainly religious people.
We are all steeped in sin and cannot act so self-righteous. So it is that Jesus shows great compassion for those trapped in sin (which is the starting point for literally EVERYBODY), yet He wants us to be free from it. So, back to my original statement… we waste our time and energy debating what is a sin and what is not. If we seek God, then He will make all things clear and put upon our consciousnesses what He wants us to deal with at each given time, as well as give us the tools to do it. For the faithful, we are to work on overcoming our own sins and, at most, help others deal with theirs; NEVER to spit on or judge anyone. For everyone else–those who do not seek God–what difference could it possibly make to them whether something was a sin or not? The end result will be the same, as our own goodness is never enough. So I strongly encourage all to avoid conversations of whether it is a sin or not and focus on something more productive, such as how to accept the awesome gifts that God has for anyone willing to accept them. He will be sure and deal with us individually as it pertains to our sins or lack thereof.
Bryan – this is where I step down because I was not born with sin.  I was born innocent and have learned how to behave morally from those around me.  Not from a book.  Not because of a fear of a hell. 

Finally can I say Bryan that I appreciate that you have not resorted to name calling or vitriol.  You have at least responded intelligently and respectfully, however I feel you have been somewhat condescending.  Something I know that I am guilty of also so apologies for that.  I know I responded quite angrily at the start however you need to understand that you are addressing a woman of 38, who is educated, has a career and HAS read her Bible.  Not some ‘fly-by-night’ atheist who will eventually grow out of it.  I know all the cool kids are saying they’re atheist nowadays but you know, there are a lot of us out there who actually don’t believe in god you know? 

If you wish to continue this debate I’d appreciate you did it on here rather than Pinterest – it’s too difficult to read because of the lack of paragraphing!

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4 comments

  1. My opinion of the god-botherers is that they cannot deal with the fact that we are all essentially progressive mould. The planet just happened to be hot and wet enough for things to grow on and here we are. They feel the need to justify it all as something ‘divine’ or ‘extraordinary’ when in actual fact, it’s one great big petrie dish.

    And it’s always about homosexuality that the religionists shout loudest about. What do they fear? I am happy enough to say that I’ve not read the bible. It doesn’t interest me. I’m not that big a fan of Shakespeare either, but that’s another story for another day. The bible, from early years of sunday school and my summers at scripture union, really didn’t speak to me. I had my first inkling that I was gay around 4 or 5. My parents are straight, my sisters are both straight, so where must I have learnt it from? What made me decide that I was going to love men rather than women?
    What I remember hearing about the bible (from an uncle, funnily enough) was that gays were ‘wrong’. I suppose it was maybe around the time Boy George was on the TV or something. Aged about 10 or 11, I knew that the bible or church was never going to speak to me or for me.

    I don’t have problems with people who follow a religion. If it makes you happy, then do it. What I to object to is people using religion to put me down, or justify certain actions which are going to stand in my way. The same-sex marriage debate is the one that sits so pertinent at the moment. I don’t care what some old scribblings handed down through the ages say, it is irrelevant to me and my life and judging by the numbers attending church, I would say the same for the majority if people in the UK. My life is probably irrelevant to a vast amount of people, so let’s live and let live instead of pushing an agenda onto people who are easily led or swayed.

    In my opinion, religion from the start has been all about control. The people ‘in power’ needed some way to ensure the plebs didn’t revolt, so this concept of heaven and hell was devised, it meant people toed a line. Heaven doesn’t exist, *in my opinion* and neither does hell. We die, we return to the dust and atoms we began life as. Nothing lasts forever. No afterlife, no previous lives.

    Why do I think this? If there was a god, why would it allow wars, famine, cancer, dead babies? Why do junkies win the lottery? Why do arseholes live long and nice people get knocked over? (oops, about to come over all Blasphemous Rumours there!?!) 😉
    Pol, this reply is really for any readers directed here from your pinterest, not you directly. I thought i’d add my two penneth.

    A final thought. I live a good life, have nice friends and family, clear my neighbours path when it snows, fetch her groceries when she’s ill from her chemo. I have adopted a dog from a pound, I bin all my litter. Married to a great man. I’m also a teacher and encourage fairness in my teaching, whether I’m subject specific or not. I ask pupils to judge others in a way they wouldn’t mind being judged. No bible logic, just politeness and sociable niceness. That’s what constitutes a good life. So any haters coming on here after his that want to spout religious stuff, save your breath, I answer to myself and the important thing to me is that I can sleep at night.

    I’ve almost posted as much as Bryan!! 😉

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    1. Ian – well put. It’s interesting to see that Bryan hasn’t responded – disappointing too. I just hope he’s really busy and hasn’t got time rather than having given up.
      I think I hope that 😉 ha ha
      Btw. think it’s time for me to come and see you this year – I miss you and want to come and see you both – if you don’t mind? (also want to visit some Scottish cemeteries 😉 hee hee)

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  2. I have to say, this is the only blog I’ve ever followed. Your debates have been very interesting and intelligent and I honestly feel a little smarter from reading them lol. I’m not one of those “fly by night atheist” kids who will eventually grow out of it. I haven’t believed since I was young, but honestly I don’t consider myself educated enough in Christianity to feel warranted in engaging Christians in intelligent debates. I’ll say something if someone is being ignorant and rude, but otherwise I try to live by the, “Live and let live” rule. I enjoy learning from your blog and Pinterest posts. Keep it up 🙂

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    1. Hey Marissa – I’m extremely flattered! I guess I have quite a mixed up religious background which has actually given me quite a solid grounding in being able to come up with my arguments. Although they’re now finished you can listen to the Irreligiosophy podcasts: http://www.irreligiosophy.com/ and Chuck has started a new podcast by the look of it. They were quite rude and irreverent but I learned a lot from them. Well researched and thoughtful despite the silliness (which I loved!)
      I hope you don’t mind my other ridiculous posts (Sheldon!) – I can’t be serious all the time!
      Take care and I’d love to hear what you think of Irreligiosophy. (btw. there’s also the Godless Bitches podcast which is great too).

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