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Comments by Durango

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Posted on July 4 at 12:11 p.m.

There is a movie entitiled, "Send in the Clowns."

Dorothy F. McNeil's letter is 'spot-on'. Send in the Athiests because the Clowns are already there. They need to be replaced.

On Send in the Atheists

Posted on April 17 at 1:04 p.m.

>"I wish parents would teach their kids to respect other people's time," says a professor I know.

Do doctors respect anyone's time other than their own?

Did you ever have a professor come late to class?

Ten minutes - unless the instructor is a tenured professor, right? Respect/consideration is always a two-way street.

On Home School

Posted on December 28 at 9:48 p.m.

I think you've hit on something. We are raising out children as hot-house plants and they will loose their ability to live anywhere else.

No wonder the rest of the world sees us as "soft."

On The Complications of Comfort

Posted on May 27 at 12:03 p.m.

>First of all, it isn't "loosing" it is "losing". This is a common mistake many people make.

Forgive me for making a common mistake. I guess that just makes me one of the common people. Most average people think they are above average.

Your memory probably does serve you correctly. Anyway I won't challenge it. My point is that the ability to coerce tithing makes for a big pot of money to indoctrinate the young to whatever belief system their parents hold.

If memory serves me correctly, the Morman chruch brings in between five and six million a day in tithes. With that amount of money they have a lot of influence. They are currently under review by PBS for too much religious programming on their current PBS affiliate. The Moonies bring in a lot of money. Should their Moonie News after-the-bell program be before or after the CEF Good News Club after school program?

Don't bother to reply. I am taking your advice to not continue to waste each-other's time.

Actually I'm taking the advice of one of my friends when he said, "You can't argue with, or even have a discussion with, anyone whose mind is alread made up."

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

Posted on May 25 at 8:10 p.m.

Dear Call-Me-Crazy-Bill,

Didn't take you too long to jump in on the Ad Hominem attack, did it? It has been my experience these types of attacks are what happens when someone seems to be loosing the Ad Hoc argument.

If your argument is weak why not throw a little mud at your opposite number?

Sometimes Cogito Ergo Sum quickly deteriorates into, "Cogito ergo dim sum" - meaning your thinking gets as convoluted as Chinese noodles.

>. . . . . Christian schools seem to turn out so many well-educated people

Might have something to do with allocation of funds? The "Noble Experiment" was to educate all the citizens not educate and indoctrinate with, "separate but equal" schools paid for by the religious minded.

Maybe you should take a new handle? Something like, "Halle Selassie, Defender of the Faith, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah?" Actually you could just stop at Defender of the Faith.

>. . . . . that I've presented a factual case to refute your accusation against me of being a right winger.

Sorry to doubt your humanistic creds! Does this mean that you may just agree with my contention that the term Christian Conservative is an oxymoron.

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

Posted on May 17 at 9:12 p.m.

Dear "Call Me Crazy" Bill,

From one of the other posts in your HTML point, "This is a lot like other periods in history where we humans have shown our worst side and committed terrible atrocities against other humans...in the name of...whatever."

"Whatever?" Couldn't bring him/herself to say religion?

Now I see why you took offence to my comment about Reagan. Religious-Right Conservatives see Reagan as their White Knight. Naturally you had to defend him. The dots that go unconnected are that he is still not seen as starting the ball rolling that got our society to it's current bankrupt state. It was Reagan who started the "debt doesn't hurt" or more National Debt than all the presidents before him. We've done it pretty much ever since. The Laffer Curve turns out to be laughable. So much for conservatism, at least fiscal. Social conservatism, that's another thing. I think you views help you to have the inside track there.

Once you get that mind-set you feel honor bound to defend it. One of my favorite political jokes is the reason Reagan won is that he was running against Jimmy Carter. If he had been unopposed he would have lost.

One of the things that children learn in Good News type clubs (not just Christian but any other belief in invisible best friends or transcendental protectors) is to make every attempt to defend the indefensible or the illogical.

To the statement about how to instruct children about the homeless, "So think before you open your mouth at the dinner table where the kids can hear you, lest you want to be finding yourself bailing the little darlings out of jail because they've committed an atrocity against a helpless fellow human being asleep in the bushes or walking down Santa Barbara's 'streets of gold'" I'd like to add - define them as the "other" and you're on you way to dehumanizing them and all that follows that characterization.

Bill, if you are a Christian what does that make non-Christians? My answer - "the other" . . . . . With all that entails!

Draw your circle a little bigger. Become one of "us."

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

Posted on May 17 at 12:45 p.m.

Dear "Call Me Crazy" Bill,

I am fully aware that no amount of coercion will keep people from holding irrational beliefs. I am fully cognizant of the fact that some of my beliefs may be irrational. But I like to think that as soon as I recognize them as being irrational I discard them.

I know we can't outlaw religion any more than we can outlaw Astrology or Fortune Telling. One of the definitions of consciousness is essentially where we "choose" to direct our attention and what we glean from that choice.

On the political front that's why radio talk-show echo-chambers are so popular.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be able to examine their inconsistencies in light of the body of human knowledge. Would you make fun if someone came to you with a scheme to turn base metal into gold? Even more to the point, would you invest in his endeavor?

That's all I'm trying to say.

The chances of you being born into the "one true religion" are no better than anyone in Pakistan being born into the "right" religion. You have to do the work yourself. You have to choose where to direct your does-this-make-sense laser at any and all political or religious "absolutely correct" worldviews.

>Is your reference to Reagan letting the mentally ill loose a coincidence, or do you make reference to a post I made on The Independent earlier today?

Coincidence.

What was it?

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

Posted on May 15 at 9:46 p.m.

Bill/PST, et al, (continued)

When I say you see the rest of the world as wrong, I don't mean non-religious people. I mean other religious people who are just as sure of their "truth" as you are of yours.

Imagine the "after school program" was not Christian but Muslim. Do you know that Muslims are now out-breeding any other monotheistic religion and will win the womb lottery over time? What should you, as a practicing Christian, do? Suggest birth control? Good Luck! Try to convert them? Good Luck! Better yet, do you think you're a good candidate for conversion to Islam? The Muslims get them at an even younger age than the Good News Club. The father/uncle (closest male relative) whispers into the ear of each newborn, "You are a child of Allah."

Imagine the "after school program" was not Christian but some South West desert primitive religion that used Peyote in their sacrements? Forget the illegal part of their theology, how would you see that? Would you encourage schools to embrace that religious freedom for primary school children right after the bell rings end of "education" time for a new "education" in out-of-body experience?

How about the KKK? Do you think it is just a coincidence that they carried Bibles and burned Crosses? How about the Arian Nation? What are their core religious beliefs?

Not that I single Christians out, you can level the same accusations on almost any religious dogma and some believers who are really on a power trip.

My contention is that if we read (and understand) history we can see that "true believers" make up a large part of the nadir periods of our past.

One of the post made an allusion to water. I believe that the "water" that the religious fanatics swim in is the wide body of their faith. BTW, most of the "wide body of faith" are good, thinking, smart people. They just aren't quick enough to come down hard on the "crazies" who use religion to their own ends - be it Pat Robertson or Osama bin Laden or Hitler (I had to include him because he thought the Catholic Church was a great model to control the minds of people and he used their methods as a model).

Now I expect to hear about (Zedong, Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, etc) but to say that non-religious leaders are responsible for most human tragedy has to be a selective reading of history.

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

Posted on May 15 at 9:43 p.m.

Bill/PST, et al,

"It's just scary that we live in a world that is so hostile to Christians in particular."

I read both your posts and you seem rational. But then you go off on a Christian rant. You do know you can't be an "owner of absolute truth" and at the same time completely rational, don't you?

I refer to someone who I think was a fairly smart man, Thomas Edison. To paraphrase, he said, "We don't know one tenth of one millionth about anything." It is not godly, it is simply human hubris to say, "I know!" What you do by saying, "I know! End of story" is short circuit the normal human telology by jumping to (possibly) a wrong conclusion.

Since you seem to have a sense of humor (reference to your "humor challenged" comment - nothing is ever said entirely in jest), how about this.

Woman is watching TV. Sees a wrong way driver on 101. She calls her husband on his cell phone. She says, "Be careful there is someone going the wrong way near where you are." His reply, "One! There are hundreds of them!"

Don't let them throw a net over you. You might not get out. I'm right and the rest of the world is wrong used to fill our institutions. No more, Reagan shut down the mental health care system and put them on the street.

"I have no problem with anyone telling me I'm crazy for being a Christian/trying to convert me to their religion/trying to convince me there is no God and I realize no matter how much I prosalityze I won't convert many, but apart from legitimate complain others and yourself have about people acting as "Christians" it serves all of us well to keep the line of communication open."

O.K. I'll call you crazy and you can call me crazy but be true to your last line. Keep the lines of communication open.

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

Posted on May 12 at 8:50 p.m.

Dear PST,

Since you called me out by name I think I should respond to you directly.

To your question, "Would I include atheism in this religious survey" my answer is, "Absolutely."

I come from the school that thinks knowledge is good and ignorance is bad.

I like the quote, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Edward Bok (I think)

This comes from a teaching derived from the Hindu tradition (multiple deities). Religion may be seen as focusing on the finger when what they are really pointing at the moon. In too many cases religious zealots become happy victimizers. The "other" (not my religion) are easier to see as demonic precisely because they are "Un-Godly." That makes them easier to kill in war. Remember the Crusades?

Since you are obviously a Christian, think of what I'm describing as a Muslim and then flip the coin. Empathy sees to be what is missing from the monotheistic "Abrahamic" religions. Who is the greatest prophet? Elijah, Jesus, Mohammed? My guess is that you will answer depending on what you learned when you were between five and eleven years old. There is no such thing as a Christen child (no more than there is a Muslim child - religion is a "learned" behavior).

What the Good News Club is attempting to do is deprive the children of the ability of engage in critical thinking later in life because they are being indoctrinated just when they are starting to learn to think. Mothers are essential to the rearing of children. If your mother says (when you are five) don't play in traffic, you may get killed and in the same breath say my religious doctrine (take your pick) represents the same level of truth you deprive that child of thinking critically once he/she has reached full cognizance.

In all proselytizing we should all ask ourselves "Cui Bono?"

The Taliban has now had four instances of poisoning girls schools. Who benefits?

What we are talking about here is literally poisoning girls schools and figuratively poisoning children who are just starting to become sentient beings. Do you really want to champion that?

Who benefits? My answer is, "Not the child."

As we seekers like to say say, "Keep the faith!"

The follow up question is always, "Which One?"

I believe the dictum, "There is always more human closeness in doubt than there can ever by in certitude."

On Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

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