published Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Intolerance

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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notgriscom said...

AMAZING THAT JASON TAYLOR AND THE GOOD OLE FOLKS AT THE TFP CAN ENDORSE A CARTOONIST WITH SUCH LIBERAL BIAS. THIS ONE MAKES ME SICK. I AM SURE, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR CRONIES WILL FOLLOW WITH WHAT A WONDERFUL EDITORIAL CARTOON THIS IS. I FIND IT SICKENING. NOW THAT LITTLE TOMMY GRISCOM IS GONE, PERHAPS THE NEW REGIME WILL ALLOW SOME BALANCE. THIS GOES OVER THE LINE, CLAY. TOO BAD THAT SOMEONE WITH YOUR ARTISTIC TALENT HAS SUCH CLOUDED JUDGEMENT. BUT DID I EXPECT ANYTHING LESS? OF COURSE NOT.

July 18, 2010 at 12:09 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

AMAZING THAT JASON TAYLOR AND THE GOOD OLE FOLKS AT THE TFP CAN ENDORSE A CARTOONIST WITH SUCH LIBERAL BIAS.

Seriously, why would a cartoon attacking intolerance make you sick?

Are you pro intolerance?

Do you think bigots get a bad rap?

It was a great cartoon that NOBODY should find insulting, infuriating, or sickening.

July 18, 2010 at 1:42 a.m.
notgriscom said...

Blackwater and Dewey. What bedmates!

July 18, 2010 at 2:24 a.m.
notgriscom said...

Oh, by the way. Dewey from East Ridge -- get a life. While you are at it, learn to spell and to speak the English language. I presume because I can spell and write coherently that you suspect I am white. Interesting.

July 18, 2010 at 2:26 a.m.
notgriscom said...

Hey Blackwater ---get the point. The cartoon attacking intolerence did not make me sick. The fact that Little Clay used the Christian symbol of the fish and lamely used the crayon to indicate a shark is what I find offensive. If the Liberals had as much tolerence for the Christians as other religions our world would be a better place. But Liberals, including the ultra-talented Clay Bennett, can't stand anything Christian. Thus the high praise for the likes of Obama and Little Tommy Griscom. Come on guys, your days are numbered.

July 18, 2010 at 2:31 a.m.
alprova said...

notgriscom wrote: "If the Liberals had as much tolerence for the Christians as other religions our world would be a better place."


Comments like that tick me off to no end. Why is it assumed that ALL Liberals have no tolerance for Christians or Christianity? Are all Liberals documented to be "Godless?"

The simple fact is that there are people, such as myself for instance, who are very much Christian, but do not choose to force their beliefs on others, nor do I attempt to force others to live their lives according to my personal beliefs.

God gave us all free will. Who am I or who is anyone else to subvert the gift of free will, handed to us by God?

There is nothing worse than a self-righteous, Bible thumper, who thinks that he or she has been placed on this Earth to shove their version of morality and adopted religious platitudes upon anyone and everyone else that they come in contact with.

Truly righteous people don't proselytize. They inspire by example. People that are truly walking with God and his Son, inspire people to emulate their example. Those who observe it and want it...will seek to find it.

To many self-proclaiming Christians, my above wording would appear to be a bashing of Christianity. To those who truly know just what the heck I am talking about, they will nod in agreement in full understanding that there are truths in my words.

Conservatives do not have a lock on religion, nor are they any more likely to be on any "right" side of any issue than those of us more accepting and willing to live and let live.

Personally, I consider those who base their religious beliefs strictly on selected and chosen texts contained within the Bible, while completely ignoring other more relevant teachings that are quite the opposite in nature, to be playing with fire.

The history of Christianity is smeared with the blood of those who have been murdered for not adopting the belief of Christianity as understood by far too many with no real concept of comprehension.

The God I worship and his Son are not intolerant people, regardless of what anyone says or quotes.

The Bible I read is filled to the brim of Liberal ideals that controvert the findings of fundamentalists.

The Bible speaks out against war, against the death penalty, against certain punishments and how justice is to be meted. The Bible speaks out against corporatism, greed, and the wealthy.

The Bible speaks endorses the concept of paying taxes as well as to the issue of separation of church and state. The Bible speaks clearly to the issues of being pro-community, to economic equality, and it even promotes and encourages the institution of social programs.

There is a vast wealth of information and life lessons that can be found in the Bible, and I assure you, they are not all reflective of "Conservative values."

July 18, 2010 at 4:14 a.m.
LZSally said...

Personally, I think Clay Bennett's artistic talent is not so great, but his judgement is crystal clear. There are not too many people with his common sense vision. Furthermore, I would bet he is a Christian, (although, I don't know him) so to say he can't stand anything Christian, would probably be totally off the mark. As for his "Liberal bias", shoot, I think he's very middle of the road, with a lot of smarts.

July 18, 2010 at 4:24 a.m.
notgriscom said...

ALPROVA WROTE: "The Bible I read is filled to the brim of Liberal ideals that controvert the findings of fundamentalists.

The Bible speaks out against war, against the death penalty, against certain punishments and how justice is to be meted. The Bible speaks out against corporatism, greed, and the wealthy.

The Bible speaks endorses the concept of paying taxes as well as to the issue of separation of church and state. The Bible speaks clearly to the issues of being pro-community, to economic equality, and it even promotes and encourages the institution of social programs."

Poor Alprova. So blind to what Jesus and his teachings are all about.

July 18, 2010 at 4:38 a.m.
toonfan said...

Before anyone gets too up in arms about this cartoon, try to dissect its meaning. Here we have the symbol for Christianity, the ubiquitous fish I see on almost every car I find myself behind in Chattanooga. You have this fairly benign symbol, one that represents the goodness of Christianity changed into something more menacing by the intolerance of its believers.

Sounds like a reasonable assessment of a situation that arises more often than I'd like.

You need look no further than the inflammatory rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement, the hateful prejudice of gay rights opponents, or the ignorant denial of the science of evolution to see this dynamic in practice.

Ask a gay man who's been denied a promotion or one who's been the target of ridicule or physical abuse if he's seen the fin of this shark. Ask the Muslims in Murfreesboro who saw their plans to build a community center and mosque become the target of hate and condemnation if they understand the point of this cartoon. Ask the teacher in New York state who was recently fired from her job in Queens because she was single and pregnant about how tolerant some Christians are. I'll bet this cartoon would resonate with all of them, as it would with the countless gays and lesbians who are currently being denied the right marry because of laws rooted in religiously-based prejudice.

We often equate religious intolerance with the likes of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. And although our own brand of religious intolerance might not be as blatant as that practiced under Sharia law, sometimes the only difference between us and them is measured in degree.

July 18, 2010 at 6:16 a.m.
Livn4life said...

I have not seen anywhere in the Bible that supports separation of church and state. My problem is the implication that anyone with the Christian sign or symbol is deemed intolerant. That is prejudiced and biased. Anyone who truly embodies the teachings of Jesus Christ is loving and accepting of all others but not of their embraced ungodliness. Because there are many who hold to the sign, not the teachings and lifestyle of the central figure of the faith does not mean all are that way. How about depicting intolerant acts of some other religions? How would that cartoon be received? Drawboy strikes out at Chrsitians and Israel. When will we see the others being exhibited? Fallen people tend to be intolerant on some levels. I am saddened at that fact and respect all who hold beliefs. But then, cartoons are supposed to be jokes unless they are about one religion in particular and the person who went out on that limb probably still feels threatened. Now THAT is intolerance!

July 18, 2010 at 8:02 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

Come on Clay...jump on the Christians some more...draw something about Mohammed. Why not?

July 18, 2010 at 8:04 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Does Mr Bennett have the courage to draw a cartoon about the intolerance of Muslims? Saudi Arabia won't let Chritians meet to worship, nor put up a church building, in the whole country. (It also won't let women drive or vote.) Is that worse than Murfreesboro? If so, would Mr Bennett dare draw a cartoon blaming Mohammed for it? Fish rot from the head: if you compare Mohammed and Jesus, Mohammed had people killed and Jesus on earth did the opposite: He healed, taught, "died for our sins" (best love ever shown), "rose again the third day" (best power ever shown; Mohammed, Buddha, Marx and the Kennedys stayed dead)...

The hard edge of true Christianity comes from holiness. "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." The murder of little babies for the convenience of grownups is truly evil. So is using people for the great pleasures of sex without putting the body parts in a fully human context: does he want the whole you and to share all of life, or does he just want to play with your crotch? Will she take good care of you and babies, or dump you for the least reason? If we choose each other, will we stick to that choice?

If you wonder whether that interesting person wants you or just your crotch, glace through the book DATE OR SOUL MATE? by Neil Clark Warren, and discuss it, before going to bed. My wife and I had a couple long interesting dates that way, and were greatly encouraged by how smoothly we fit together in terms of the topics the book lists for potential couples to consider.

I better go see why little Nina's fussing.

www.lohr84.com

July 18, 2010 at 8:15 a.m.
OllieH said...

notgriscom is also notrationale, notreasonable and generally notallthatbright.

He really does seem to be a head case. His disdain for the former Times Free Press publisher is obsessive to the point of being pathological, and his own credibility is rendered moot by tirades that seem totally motivated by some personal grudge.

I find it odd that notgriscom seems to constantly equate Tom Griscom and Clay Bennett like they're one and the same person. Griscom may have hired Bennett, but that seems to be where any similarity begins and ends.

I don't know Mr. Griscom personally, but from all that I've gathered from his Sunday column and his professional history, he seems to be more conservative than liberal. He did, after all, work in the Reagan White House.

The very act of a conservative publisher hiring a liberal editorial cartoonist, shows me a person who's not afraid to have his own views challenged. To think that the liberal he chose was a cartoonist the caliber of Clay Bennett, simply proves him to be a man with a keen understanding of talent.

For those two facts alone, he deserves some respect.

Despite notgriscom obsessive fixation on Mr. Griscom, I will always be grateful to him for bringing Clay Bennett to Chattanooga.

July 18, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

All religions are at some level intolerant, because they all believe that they are "right". It is not just some Christians, but also Jews, Muslims, etc. We just get more of the Christian influence because they are the majority here. Most types of Christians think their version is "right" and others are not "True Christians". That is why separation is so important.

July 18, 2010 at 9:02 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

I thought it was a shark.

July 18, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.
middleamerica said...

I had to pause this morning and risk being late to my tolerant-(Jesus loves all) church to make my first comment to this publication. I consider myself a middle America mom that usually decides what to spend my family's money on, so everytime I think about purchasing a subscription with the Chattanooga Times, I stop myself all because of the Cartoons. Granted-Zach-Man was very funny, I have to draw a line somewhere. Everyone has a right to their opinion. While I would enjoy your paper and all the coupons, etc.......I in good conscience cannot support it. I wonder how many others feel like me?

July 18, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.
bret said...

Jesus was the ultimate Liberal. Jesus was all about healthcare for everybody, not just a privileged few. Jesus liked to feed the poor and help the downtrodden. He didn't run around saying, "I got mine, let them get theirs." Jesus didn't believe in wars and war profiteering. And Jesus loves everybody .... except maybe Robin Smith.

July 18, 2010 at 10:43 a.m.
librul said...

Inspired 'toon, Clay. You really nailed it. You know, they say if Jesus had been from Alabama, Christians would all be wearing gold nooses.


"I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said 'Stop! don't do it!' 'Why shouldn't I?' he said. I said, 'Well, there's so much to live for!' He said, 'Like what?' I said, 'Well...are you religious or atheist?' He said, 'Religious.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?' He said, 'Christian.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?' He said, 'Protestant.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?' He said, 'Baptist!' I said, 'Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?' He said, 'Baptist church of god!' I said, 'Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?' He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god!' I said, 'Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?' He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!' I said, 'Die, heretic scum,' and pushed him off. --Emo Phillips

July 18, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.
supernotgriscom said...

I completely agree with notgriscom, to make fun of the one true religion is intolerable. Especially a religion that preaches to "love thy neighbor/enemy". Jesus wouldn't stand for it so why should I?

July 18, 2010 at 11:22 a.m.
Humphrey said...

This is saying that intolerance changes the christian "fish" in to a "shark." This isn't anti-christian, it is anti-intolerance. It doesn't say that the christians are intolerant, it doesn't say that christians are sharks. It says that intolerance is what makes christians = who should be good = in to sharks. If you add intolerance - the belief that you are the only right one and that other people are wrong - to christianity, that symbol of the peaceful fish becomes more like a an attacking shark.

Those of you that are so fast to flip out about liberals being anti-christian or making fun of christians are jumping the gun, get that chip off your shoulder stop being so defensive and use those brains the good lord gave you. You are pretty much proving the point.

July 18, 2010 at 11:33 a.m.
sharkbat said...

Supernotgriscom,

So, you find this situation intolerable? You are intolerant of this cartoon?

I think Jesus would probably turn the other cheek, or try to remove the plank in his own eye before removing the grain of sand in his brothers. But that's just based on scripture, so what do I know?

Look people, Christians have done bad things in the name of God. As have most every other religion on the planet (I have yet to read of the Buddhist Inquisition, but I'll keep searching). Why didn't Clay talk about Saudi Arabia? Because WE'RE NOT IN SAUDI ARABIA! Christians are the pre-dominant religion in this country, and the intolerant fundamentalist Christians are frightening.

This is why Clay draws the shark-fin on with a purple crayon (as opposed to simply re-making the entire shape with one color line). It's an addition, something drawn on by those who possess qualities of intolerance. One doesn't have to look any farther than the infamous Fred Phelps to find a wonderful example of an intolerant Christian who is perverting the message of love, forgiveness, and tolerance that makes up the essence of Christianity.

Last week the news covered stories with such headlines as "Should Muslims be allowed to build mosques wherever they like?" Christians who are actively attempting to disrupt their brother's attempt to worship in the way they please are intolerant. Literally.

For a group of cheek-turners, I see a lot of standing around and huffing. Oh, and intolerance.

July 18, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
sharkbat said...

Humphrey said what I was trying to say, but better and faster. Well done, sir.

July 18, 2010 at 11:53 a.m.
sd said...

bret said, "And Jesus loves everybody .... except maybe Robin Smith."

ftw am i rite?

I can't wait until the election's over and I stop finding pictures of Robin praying and/or shooting guns in my mailbox. Instead of mass mailings they should probably just ship her fliers directly to the recycle centers and save us the trouble.

July 18, 2010 at 12:03 p.m.
OllieH said...

I must say, after being away from this forum for the past several hours, I came back expecting to see calls for Clay Bennett's stoning.

Although there is a bit of that from some of the usual suspects and others who seem to be challenged when it comes to cartoon interpretation, I must commend the great number of you who seem to get it.

I especially liked an early post of toonfan at 6:16 a.m., and the ensuing posts of librul at 11:04 a.m., Humphrey at 11:33 a.m., and especially sharkbat's comments at 11:51 a.m.

Well done, one and all.

There are a host of political issues where religiously-based opposition is an impediment to our progress as a people. Toonfan hit on the most obvious in the government's ban on same-sex marriage.

And while it is true that you can find intolerance in many religions, shartbat is right about the prevailing offender in this country being Christian intolerance. In fact, the best example we have of homegrown religious terrorism is the violence directed at abortion clinics across this country over the past several decades. I would bet real money that most, if not all, of those acts were inspired by the intolerance of Christian extremists.

This cartoon is not anti-Christian at all. In fact, Clay is showing the symbol of Christianity as being desecrated by intolerance. Those of you who are complaining the loudest might want to ask yourself if you're the one guilty of the desecration.

July 18, 2010 at 1:59 p.m.
EaTn said...

There are several very good posts and several not so good posts on this toon. First, I have been attending various Christian churches for the past fifty years and most of them have been a reflection of the community. There are intolerant bigot and racist "conservatives" as well as tolerant "liberals" in most all the churches I've attended, so the toon for today has some truth to it. But for all it's flaws, the church is still the best place to learn "What would Jesus do?". It's up to us to choose to practice His wishes to the best of our abilities.

July 18, 2010 at 2:39 p.m.
Clara said...

Another great cartoon, Clay!

Four strokes to get the point across and a few more to draw the crayon!

Thanks!

July 18, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.
EaTn said...

Dewayne wrote: "if a person spends a lifetime helping people and donates mounds of money but is not saved thru the blood of jesus christ when they die they are going to hell. I am sorry,I find that logic flawed and quite frankly its a way to subjugate a people "

Jesus used an example in Matthew 20:1-16 of the workers in the vineyard being like His grace. The owner had the right to pay those who worked only the last hour the same as those who worked all day. But he also used the parable of the thief in Matthew 24:43-44 noting that if the homeowner knew when a thief was going to rob his house, he would have been prepared- the thief being death, and that we don't know when death will strike so we better be saved by Jesus and ready at all times.

July 18, 2010 at 3:47 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Sorry, but I'm not buying the notion that 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, are in hell after perishing the the Holocaust because they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior.

July 18, 2010 at 3:54 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

The best way to learn what the character Jesus would do... is to cut up the bible like President Thomas Jefferson did and discard the rest.

Cut out the crap and what is left is philosophy.

Who wants jelly donuts?

July 18, 2010 at 3:55 p.m.
EaTn said...

Dewayne, I don't think you are mean, and I can't save you or myself. I have a real caring for most all posters on this web even though we don't always agree on politics or religion. However, I will testify that I had a better appreciation for my faith right before my major open heart surgery and a better appreciation for drugs right after.

July 18, 2010 at 5:32 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Hope you are on the road to recovery, EaTn. I mean that from the bottom of my atheist heart!

July 18, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.
ITguy said...

alprova, your post at 4:14 and Humphrey at 11:33 are two of the best that I have read. It is unfortunate that the 'notgriscom' crowd doesn't get it. It they think that Christianity is just about the afterlife, then I am truly sad for them. The Kingdom of God is NOW, not some place you go when you die.

Christianity is clearly not an intolerant religion. Quite the opposite. It is the crayon of intolerance that distorts the message of Christ into one of intolerance. If anyone thinks that this cartoon is anti-Christian, then I think that they must just have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that Bennett draws.

July 18, 2010 at 5:43 p.m.
ITguy said...

AndrewLohr, you obviously read more into this cartoon than I saw. I missed the part about babies or crotches. Maybe you can reply and tell me why that is relevant.

July 18, 2010 at 5:52 p.m.
Tax_Payer said...

I'm pretty much well done patronizing Clay Bennett's "art". The man has no convictions or standards that can identify with somebody that stands their ground. As far as I'm concerned Clay Bennett is a COWARD. People like that needs to be shunned.

July 18, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Taxpayer, at 1:59 Ollie wrote: "And while it is true that you can find intolerance in many religions, shartbat is right about the prevailing offender in this country being Christian intolerance. In fact, the best example we have of homegrown religious terrorism is the violence directed at abortion clinics across this country over the past several decades. I would bet real money that most, if not all, of those acts were inspired by the intolerance of Christian extremists.

This cartoon is not anti-Christian at all. In fact, Clay is showing the symbol of Christianity as being desecrated by intolerance. Those of you who are complaining the loudest might want to ask yourself if you're the one guilty of the desecration."

You would benefit from reading it. This is a good cartoon that you appear to have misunderstood.

July 18, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

I think a number of you are so convinced that Christianity is under attack (thanks conservative media), that you see an attack where one dose not exist. As others have pointed out, it is intolerance that changes a symbol of a peaceful faith into something to be feared. Put aside your preconceived notions about "evil liberals" and Clay specifically and you might see this cartoon for what it really is.

Dewey, I fail to see how your comments are helpful or any better than those you criticize.

July 18, 2010 at 10:29 p.m.
chattreb said...

Easy days work, hey Clay?

July 18, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.
moonpie said...

This cartoon says nothing the Bible doesn't say.... so I don't know why anyone would ever be offended.

None are worthy, according to the scripture.

July 18, 2010 at 11:18 p.m.
dss said...

A few thoughts regarding Clay’s cartoon and the discussion which has followed.

  1. We’re all intolerant. Clay is intolerant of guns, Sarah Palin, and oil. Mr. Callahan is intolerant of “weak idiot people” and the repub/conserv crowd. Christians are intolerant of what the Bible deems as immoral.

  2. Therein lies the rub. The Bible, my Guide for life, is filled with “crap” (eeek) and is a book of “fairy tales” (dewey 60, 56th post today) as described by writers on this board.

  3. Tolerance has come to mean “anything goes.” However, the Bible is clear that not everything does go. Jesus was intolerant of a number of things: those who made the temple into a “den of robbers,” Pharisee behavior, and other “intolerable” traits and behaviors. I do not want to tolerate that which the Book has deemed wrong. Yes, I am intolerant—intolerant in the same way that parents on the board probably did not tolerate every action of their young children. I love my four-year old, yet I don’t tolerate him smoking cigarettes at the breakfast table.

  4. While I do not tolerate all behavior—abortion, greed, homosexuality, etc. (I know, I’m using a book of crappy fairy tales as my guide), I do try to respect, love, and pray for all. (Love people; hate sin.) You can insert a verse here if you’d like John 8:7 (cast first stone); Matthew 7:3 (plank in eye); Romans 2:1-4 is excellent for the discussion which points out God’s tolerance for us, His children. The depiction of Christians as abortion clinic bombers should accurately be overshadowed by the exponentially more numerous Christians on their knees praying for lost souls.

  5. There is an incredible level of intolerance on the board from those calling Christians intolerant. Ironic.

  6. Alprova had written, “Truly righteous people don’t proselytize. They inspire by example. “ I think they can do both. Proselytizing is not the antithesis of living by example. After all, the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) commands the disciples to do just that—go and make disciples of all nations. I would suggest that proselytizing is more effective—perhaps, only effective—if one’s actions mirror the message.

Good night. I’m gonna do some reading. We weak idiot hick people like some good fairy tales before bed.

July 19, 2010 at 12:03 a.m.
chattaghost said...

The Controversy Surrounds Construction of Mosque Murfreesboro, Tenn

:-)

George Washington wrote a famous letter / 1789

Letter to the Annual Meeting of Quakers

Government being, among other purposes, instituted to protect the persons and consciences of men from oppression, it certainly is the duty of rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but, according to their stations, to prevent it in others.

The liberty enjoyed by the people of theses states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their consciences, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights. While men perform their social duties faithfully, they do all that society or the state can with propriety demand or expect; and remain responsible only to their Maker for their religion, or modes of faith, which they may prefer or profess.

Your principles and conduct are well known to me; and it is doing the people called Quakers no more than justice to say, that (except their declining to share with others the burden of the common defense) there is no denomination among us, who are more exemplary and useful citizens.

I assure you very explicitly, that in my opinion the conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be as extensively accommodated to them, as a due regard to the protection and essential interests of the nation may justify and permit.

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=393

July 19, 2010 at 2:40 a.m.
chattaghost said...

Please America try to read Martha Nussbaum's books it will help all of us to understand and come to common ground

She is the author of several books, including “Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality” (2008) and “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” (2010).

Martha Nussbaum teaches law, philosophy, and divinity at The University of Chicago.

July 19, 2010 at 2:50 a.m.
chattaghost said...

Martha Nussbaum teaches law, philosophy, and divinity at The University of Chicago "What does political philosophy have to say about these developments? As it turns out, a long philosophical and legal tradition has reflected about similar matters Let’s start with an assumption that is widely shared: that all human beings are equal bearers of human dignity. It is widely agreed that government must treat that dignity with equal respect. But what is it to treat people with equal respect in areas touching on religious belief and observance? We now add a further premise: that the faculty with which people search for life’s ultimate meaning — frequently called “conscience” ─ is a very important part of people, closely related to their dignity. And we add one further premise, which we might call the vulnerability premise: this faculty can be seriously damaged by bad worldly conditions. It can be stopped from becoming active, and it can even be violated or damaged within. = to be continued

July 19, 2010 at 3:46 a.m.
Oz said...

Liberals are the most inclusive people in the world until you disagree with them.

July 19, 2010 at 8:23 a.m.
alprova said...

dss wrote: "Proselytizing is not the antithesis of living by example. After all, the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) commands the disciples to do just that—go and make disciples of all nations."


Proselytizing may not be the antithesis of anything, but it certainly has been responsible for turning people totally off to Christianity.

Arrogantly informing people that if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, as a proselytizer professes to have done, that they will go straight to Hell to burn forever in a lake of fire, is not exactly a great selling tool. It's psychological blackmail, I totally reject it, and I am not alone in rejecting it.

A paragraph attributed to Jesus, allegedly orated to eleven men eons ago, does not empower Christians to go forth and proselytize. It is however a popular translation of Matthew 28:19-20.

It is the foundation of the sect known as the "Baptists." It is the foundation of those who think that the end of time will come when all people on Earth have been witnessed to and have either accepted or rejected Christ, a rather ludicrous and an impossible feat when you apply a little logic to the situation -- specifically that all human births would have to be halted to allow everyone to age to a point that they could receive the big pitch.

It is the basis and foundation, as well as the justification for all Churches to go forth and convert all people to their particular beliefs.

It could never be simply that the man was speaking to eleven select people whom he trusted with his message. Nope...it is that now ALL people who believe are chosen disciples.


"I would suggest that proselytizing is more effective—perhaps, only effective—if one’s actions mirror the message."


I've raised two children in my lifetime. I never once tried to force them to adopt any other belief than that which they adopted of their own free will. We had many discussions of course, where I was asked for my views and counsel, but they always made their own decisions.

Both of my children are very spiritual and both are Christian, all of their own accord.

I read on a daily basis of teens or young adults who have been thrown out of their homes, physically beaten, disowned, or subjected to financial blackmail, all for daring to question aspects of religious belief or for suggesting alternative religious beliefs to their parents. God help some of them if they are LBGT.

I find the prospect that religion could divide forever, children from their own parents, to be extremely disturbing and very, very sad. To coin a phrase, "the things parents do to their kids..."

To think that some of these same people proselytize to others their beliefs, truly disgusts me.

July 19, 2010 at 8:36 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Depends on the kind of liberal, Oz. You and others are free to believe as you wish, as long as you don't use our government to impose it on me and others who do not.

The title of "liberal" and "conservative" are misleading. Most people are a blend of both. My family and I prefer small government, lower taxes, and personal responsibility. However, we know that society must learn to accept people who are different and give them all the same freedoms as the majority (gays, minorities, etc) as long as they live within the law.

July 19, 2010 at 8:37 a.m.
alprova said...

Oz wrote: "Liberals are the most inclusive people in the world until you disagree with them."


You don't think that if the word "Conservatives" were substituted above for "Liberals," that the statement would be just as true?

I sure do.

July 19, 2010 at 8:38 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

"God help some of them if they are LBGT."

Indeed, alprova. A poignant letter to dear Abby some years ago (anonymous, of course) illustrates it. The writer knew he was gay since the age of 11. Now, at the age of 22, he would either have to lie to everyone and live a life he found unnatural, or be true to himself and leave the family, community and church in southern Georgia that he grew up in. Those were his only choices. How sad.

July 19, 2010 at 9:01 a.m.
alprova said...

Ikeithlu wrote: "Depends on the kind of liberal, Oz. You and others are free to believe as you wish, as long as you don't use our government to impose it on me and others who do not."


And THAT RIGHT THERE is indeed the problem and the core issue that most "Conservatives" will never, ever, get.

There is no secret to the fact that if enough religious Conservatives and their Republican cohorts were to able to seize the power that controlling the legislative process of our Government, all our lives would change.

Abortion would be outlawed in every circumstance. A mother's life in jeopardy would be of no consequence. That would be up to God. A woman raped by a derelict would be forced to carry an embryo to term. They may even make her raise the child. The Government would lay claim to the genitalia of every single American female of the United States.

Muslims would be the first to be persecuted, if not prosecuted. Would a renewed effort be made to convert all Jews to Christianity, or face the same fate?

For certain, education would change. Books would be burned and/or banned. Bibles would be cracked open in every classroom in America and be made an educational staple.

Movies would all include a life lesson. Television would return to the days of "Leave it to Beaver." Cable television would be tightly controlled and cleaned up as well. Fox News would become the main source of information for current events.

Science? What science? Scientists will be all denounced and defunded. Who cares about the Earth? We'll all be dead and buried when things go bad.

Your kids would likely be required to serve in the military. It would just make far more sense to nationalize the police forces of this nation, to protect all our "freedoms."

Welfare or EBT cards for the poor? Unemployment Compensation for those out of a job? Health care? Minimum wages? Gone. It will be sink or swim time for all. "We made it...so can you."

Do you like those "low, low prices" that you currently enjoy at Wal-Mart? When the rest of America is run out of business by Corporate giants like Wal-Mart, see how low prices remain and how competitive it is out there.

Can't feed your family on 25-30 hours a week at $7.00 an hour? Take a second or even a third job!! You'll be alright.

An since the folks at the top 'provide all the jobs now,' we've just got to give them some tax breaks. Their kids who inherit millions should not be burdened to give up some of what just fell into their laps when their parents pass on. They're in mourning you know.

Social Security and your retirement accounts? We've just GOT to prop up Wall Street. We'll entrust your billions to them and give them the room they need to make the most of those investments.

Oops!! Sorry. The market tanked again. If it were not for all those poor people making stupid investment decisions, it would not have happened. Better luck next time!!

And on and on and on....

July 19, 2010 at 9:27 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I disagree with one thing, alprova. Those down on their luck will get help from churches. However, they will be required to attend services to get it. Or sign a statement of faith, or agree to tithe when they are back on their feet. It's for their good, don't ya know.

July 19, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.
alprova said...

I'm going to relate a couple of true stories to illustrate how tolerance is not a bad thing at all.

When I was about 14 years old, I discovered alcohol and weed. I had a friend who supplied me with both on a regular basis. I lived in Tucson, Arizona at the time. My father was in the military. He was very strict on us in many ways, but he was also a very wise man. So was my mother.

I came home drunk and high as a kite one night, following a trip to the drive-in movies with a group of friends. For many years, I thought that I had completely fooled my parents, who greeted me when I came home that night.

A decade or so ago, I discovered that my parents pretty much knew every time I smoked dope and were well aware of the fact that I came home drunk that one night too. When I asked them why they never said anything to me, their response was that they knew if they had, that I would have only went out and done worse, as I was a little more than rebellious at the time. Wow!

As it was, I never drank alcohol again after that night, and I grew tired of the weed as well a few years later. Not once did my parents attempt to intervene. They did tell me that they had to bite their lips so many times and that they were very worried, but they gave me enough rope to figure things out for myself. Had it become more out-of-control, they would have then stepped in.

How can you not love parents like that? I was more ashamed to find out that I worried them so much, than I was for smoking the dope and for drinking the alcohol.

(Second story to follow)

July 19, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.
easyeintn said...

keep being 'non christian'.... see where that gets you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But in due time, you will wish and wish some more, that you paid attention to the actual teachings and not the actions of the people that claim christianity. Thank you for the people here than stand up for the rightious. You will be blessed until your cup over flows....

July 19, 2010 at 10:14 a.m.
Oz said...

Ikeithlu wrote: "Depends on the kind of liberal, Oz. You and others are free to believe as you wish, as long as you don't use our government to impose it on me and others who do not."

It's OK for you to use the goverment to impose your will on me.

alprova wrote: You don't think that if the word "Conservatives" were substituted above for "Liberals," that the statement would be just as true?

That was my point. Both sides are intolerant.

July 19, 2010 at 10:17 a.m.
MountainJoe said...

lkeithlu: "The title of 'liberal' and 'conservative' are misleading. Most people are a blend of both. My family and I prefer small government, lower taxes, and personal responsibility. However, we know that society must learn to accept people who are different and give them all the same freedoms as the majority (gays, minorities, etc) as long as they live within the law."

Sounds like you are neither a 'liberal' or a 'conservative' but a 'libertarian'. Congratulations....

July 19, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.
alprova said...

I have a niece who at the age of 18, declared herself to be a lesbian, and was dropping out of college. It was shocking, unexpected, but none of us batted an eye. We let her know that she was just as loved, despite her declaration and decisions.

For about three years, we were introduced to her lovers, most of which were a little on the scary side, but we supported my niece and always treated her friends with total respect and included them both in family gatherings.

Long story short, my niece was between female friends and met a young man whom apparently made her rethink her sexuality. She dated him for several months.

Fast forward to today, about another couple of years later:

While not married to the man, they are living together in a home that they have just purchased, she gave birth to a wonderful little girl who just celebrated her first birthday, my niece is back on track and in school to become a Pharmacist, and she is absolutely as happy as I have ever seen her in her entire life.

I wonder how her life might have turned out, had she encountered any amount of intolerance from those of us who truly loved her, even if we had some issue with the way that she lived her life for a time. She found her way to what most would consider to be a normal life, despite any lack of interference or protest.

That's the same exact form of free will that God has extended to all of us. Granted, not everyone will or may find their own way, but I know of no one who was berated or coerced into a magical transformation into an approved lifestyle, as it may be viewed by those who proselytize.

There is not one person on this Earth who is perfect or without faults or sins of their own. We all must find our way. No one can do it for them.

And to be blunt, no one has the right or invitation to do so, despite any personal beliefs they hold, no matter how they are derived.

July 19, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I suspect it will get me what it always has: a life filled with the usual joy (time with family, my job and experiences in this fantastic world) and sorrow (loss of friends, family members, even pets that I know I won't ever see again, but I loved them the best I could while they were here) and worry (for my country, for the environment, for those less fortunate)

I am not religious because, in spite of all my church-schooling, bible study etc. I NEVER believed. Not in God, or angels, or a devil. I tried, but I found myself saying "yeah, I get the whole love your neighbor stuff, but all this supernatural hooey? Are you kidding me?" So why not stick with the good citizen expectations and leave out all the worship and prayer?

Since that time, I have found more and more reasons to stay away from religion, and absolutely no evidence to support the existence of the supernatural. To me, it makes more sense for there not to me a god, then to have one that allows for this difficult, sometimes brutal existence and still deserves praise. The more people try to apologize for the presence of things like murder, childhood cancer, tsunamis, earthquakes, the Holocaust, the more it reinforces my lack of belief.

Well, all of that is really not anyone else's concern. It's a free country and I can NOT believe without repercussion.

July 19, 2010 at 10:35 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

"it's OK for you to use the goverment to impose your will on me."

Oz, in what way is the government forcing my will on you? And how do you think I, as a liberal, approve of it? Let's hear what you have to say.

July 19, 2010 at 10:38 a.m.
alprova said...

Oz wrote: "It's OK for you to use the goverment to impose your will on me."


I'm very interested in an elaboration of that statement.

Democrats or Liberals are not generally known for imposing any will upon Conservatives. If you look at the legislative efforts of Democrats, you're far more likely to see efforts that reflect a "live and let live" sentiment.

I'm just wondering if there are examples out there of efforts by Liberals or Democrats, who truly do use the power of Government to actually impose their will upon Conservatives.

Are we talking about things like the elimination of a formal prayer ritual in schools? But aren't students still allowed to pray while they are attending school? Yes they are.

What wills are you referring to?

July 19, 2010 at 10:53 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Those down on their luck will get help from churches. However, they will be required to attend services to get it. Or sign a statement of faith, or agree to tithe when they are back on their feet. It's for their good, don't ya know."

I gotta be honest; I didn't read Al's post that this statement was in response to, but in and of itself, I'm somewhat surprised you said this Ikeithlu. Especially since it is absolutely untrue.

July 19, 2010 at 11:39 a.m.
Oz said...

alprova...Democrats or Liberals are not generally known for imposing any will upon Conservatives. If you look at the legislative efforts of Democrats, you're far more likely to see efforts that reflect a "live and let live" sentiment.

The Healthcare bill is imposing the liberal will upon me.

July 19, 2010 at 11:47 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

You are correct, Musicman; a lot of al's post was exaggeration, so I was staying in the theme. I know it's not true.

July 19, 2010 at 11:47 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

"The Healthcare bill is imposing the liberal will upon me." Please elaborate. I find county, state and federal taxes imposed on me, as well as liability insurance on my cars but I understand what they are for. How has your life changed because of the health care bill?

July 19, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

However, Musicman, there are people who would like it to be so.

July 19, 2010 at 11:52 a.m.
dunkziy said...

@alprova - Thank you for your first post on this page.. I've not read your other posts thoroughly but I guess from what I did read that you had an interesting life, if not wild.

I'm a square, I did not get up to the mischief you did neither did I need to experience them first hand since many of my friends were bad enough examples to me that I learned their lessons from observation, I suppose I was lucky that way.

I understood that the cartoon was about people unable to tolerate Christians and left it open for the reader to suppose who that might be. I like the fact that many people will look or read the same things and understand them completely opposite to each other.

We should be very happy we live in a FREE country where we can do this. Where you don't have to be told what to do and are protected from Right and Left extremists who would happily take away your freedom to even disagree.

July 19, 2010 at 12:13 p.m.
Clara said...

IMHO...

I'm a Christian, although probably not recognized as such by some of the congregation in the small church I attend.

In fact, one person was sure I was Jewish, which was NOT insulting but very mistaken. As I remember, I suggested that we invite a Rabbi to our Sunday School session.

In any case I applaud the cartoon as succinctly expressing what I have found out over my years attending different services, and the expressions and views of SOME other "Christians".

I once went to a pot luck dinner of a certain denomination when I was travelling. I paid a donation fee willingly, but a woman approached me and forcefully expressed the notion that I should join the congregation.

I agree with Keith. I do NOT like to be proselytized

July 19, 2010 at 2:26 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Sorry, but I'm not buying the notion that 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, are in hell after perishing the the Holocaust because they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior."

The Jews aren't asked to accept Him as their personal savior. The Jews are God's chosen people. Since they rejected Christ as the messiah the first time he came, we have salvation through faith in the Gentiles today. (Christ wouldn't have been crucified had the Jews accepted him) God has promised those people who are saved through faith in Christ an eternity in Heaven (Gentiles). However, God has promised all faithful Jews an eternity on Earth, in an Earthly Kingdom which is yet to be established. Christ will establish that Kingdom when he returns in the future.

Any Christian or Jew who doesn't believe in his/her peoples' covenant with God is promised an eternity in Hell.

July 19, 2010 at 2:42 p.m.
alprova said...

Ikeithlu wrote: "You are correct, Musicman; a lot of al's post was exaggeration, so I was staying in the theme. I know it's not true."


Those claims will not be an exaggeration at all, IF ENOUGH of the religious conservatives were to ever gain control of our legislative branches of the Government.

Everyone of those ideas have been expressed on the pages of this very forum at one time or another, by people who have contributed to our discussions. The rest have been introduced already on the floors of the Senate or Congress and died a natural death.

What exactly did I exaggerate?

July 19, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.
codymaxwell said...

I don't know if Clay meant this--but the cartoon doesn't (to me) represent the Christian faith as being intolerant--it's not (he without sin cast the first stone, etc.) but shows what intolerant (and imbecilic, underdeveloped--thus the childish purple crayon)--"followers" have done to the faith. No religion is anymore intolerant than the next--the world is just wonderfully balanced with decent people, indecent people and commentators. Thanks, Clay

July 19, 2010 at 3:11 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Sorry alprova, perhaps what I should have said was you gave a "worst case scenario". Does that describe it better?

July 19, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Thanks for the elaboration, Musicman. So why do people call Jews "Christ killers"? Why have the Jews been persecuted in so many countries for so long? I'm not sure everyone agrees with what you described.

In any case, I don't expect people to agree with me or believe as I do (essentially NOT believe) It neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, someone famous once said. However, I live in this country because my right to not believe is protected by the constitution. I would not stay if that was lost.

July 19, 2010 at 3:27 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Actually, now that I consider it, alprova, we may be closer to that worst case scenario than I thought. Look who's running for governor of Kansas:

http://www.joanheffington.com/

July 19, 2010 at 3:35 p.m.
alprova said...

Musicman, do you understand at all what you wrote at 2:42 pm?

You might want to take another stab at it, because what you wrote makes absolutely no sense.

As God's chosen people, it has only been very recent that Jewish people have been allowed to live in this nation without fear of harassment and persecution by the religious right in this nation.

And that has also never stopped many a Christian from attempting to convert any Jew to their way of thinking, if they will stop for a moment to listen to the big pitch.

Your use of the word "gentile" is also interesting, given that the word never appeared in the Bible until it was translated into English at the behest of King James and the Roman Catholic Church.

http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/whogentiles.html

July 19, 2010 at 3:38 p.m.
alprova said...

Ikeithlu wrote: "Sorry alprova, perhaps what I should have said was you gave a "worst case scenario". Does that describe it better?"


Thank you. That is indeed much better.

I try not to exaggerate or embellish. I do realize that to most people, some of what I raised would seem unlikely, but don't think for a moment that it would not be tried if that foot wedges the door wide open.

July 19, 2010 at 3:45 p.m.
alprova said...

Ikeithlu wrote: "Actually, now that I consider it, alprova, we may be closer to that worst case scenario than I thought. Look who's running for governor of Kansas:"


Yikes!!!

July 19, 2010 at 3:49 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Al, I cannot speak for every Christian out there, but what I said does make sense. It is what is written in the Bible and what I believe. I have had Jewish friends over the years and I've never tried to convert any of them.

As for the link about the word "Gentile," I have studied the issue with the translation before, and it is what it is, but like anything else, with time comes new meaning. It's been so long now that the word has been used to reference non-Jews, that it now references two things.

July 19, 2010 at 4:56 p.m.
MTJohn said...

musicman375 wrote: Since they rejected Christ as the messiah the first time he came, we have salvation through faith in the Gentiles today. (Christ wouldn't have been crucified had the Jews accepted him)"

We have the promise of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. And, that promise and salvation through faith in the promise is no different for you or I than it was for Abraham - who believed and for whom belief was credited as righteousness. Christ was crucified because each of us has sinned and fallen short of God's glory. It was your sins, Musicman, (and mine) that put Christ there and, in that regard, the sins of the first century Jews (or the first century Romans or the first century Christians) really are no different than ours.

July 19, 2010 at 5:31 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I still want to know why Jews are persecuted. Is it for religious reasons, or isn't it? Is the goal to convert them, or not? If the goal is to convert them, why? You have to admit that they are singled out for special condemnation. According to the Catholic church, are Jews that have died in hell? Shoot, according to some protestant churches, everyone but their own members go to hell.

These issues are important, and the details matter.

July 19, 2010 at 5:46 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

I honestly couldn't tell you, Ileithlu. I wish I knew. My family and church always taught us to respect and love the Jewish people because they are God's chosen people. I don't remember there ever being a time when I doubted their faith, but we didn't study the differences between the two groups too much either.

July 19, 2010 at 6:47 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Jews have historically been excluded by Christians, even to the point of an aparteid-like separation like we had in this country with non-whites. They have been the victims of pogroms in the Soviet Union, extermination in the Holocaust (some estimates is that more than half of the world's Jews died) Claims of "chosen people" ring hollow in the face of reality, that these people are subject to a less-than-human classification because of some notion that they killed Jesus and will not accept him as a messiah.

I reject the apologists trying to say that both Christians and Jews are "saved" (but for different reasons). The unwillingness for Jews to abandon their 6000+ year old faith for Christianity has been used as a reason to slaughter them in huge numbers. The same reasons were used to kill Muslims during the Crusades. Although I won't say that Christians have a monopoly on using religion to justify killing, the fact is that religious groups have used these excuses to marginalize or discriminate against others for millenia.

The 9/11 terrorists, the Czars in Russia, Stalin, Hitler, all were inspired by and enabled by religious beliefs. What a poisonous human activity.

July 19, 2010 at 7:04 p.m.
FM_33 said...

The hate that hate produce will one day kick anybody that is a part of that mess back in the caboos if you're not careful !

I have seen the cycle of hate all of my life and almost been a victim of hate groups myself so this is coming out of a life journey so to speak.

Stop The Hate (Anti-Hate Brigade) FM_33

July 19, 2010 at 7:07 p.m.
FM_33 said...

Black Hate Groups = Death

White Hate Groups = Death

Any Other Hate Groups = Death

Stay away from those nuts = Life and Happiness

July 19, 2010 at 7:10 p.m.
FM_33 said...

Jesus Christ = Life

Satan The Devil = Death

Any other weird god one may follow = Lost in Space

?+?=?

July 19, 2010 at 7:15 p.m.
ITguy said...

Alprov, I don't know who you are, but I agree with about 99% of your posts. I am really thankful that you take the time and energy to make these contributions. If people would read what you post, and not just skip over them because they have too short an attention span, they might learn something. Maybe you should take the tact of the right side of the editorial page and keep them short, and use short words.

I would love to have you over for dinner sometime.

You posted "Not once did my parents attempt to intervene. They did tell me that they had to bite their lips so many times and that they were very worried, but they gave me enough rope to figure things out for myself...

How can you not love parents like that? I was more ashamed to find out that I worried them so much, than I was for smoking the dope and for drinking the alcohol."

Now, if your earthly parents were loving enough to allow you the freedom to fail, what makes anyone think that our creator is less loving? In fact, isn't that exactly what we experience, a loving creator who gives us free will?

Anyone who understands the concept of 'unconditional love' surely can understand that our creator is not interested in punishment, but in redemption and reconciliation. Read the story of Jonah.

Why would anyone think that your spiritual development stops when you shed your earthly body? Does anyone really think that when we die we stop growing? For eternity? Really? Does anyone really think that they have reached the peak of spirituality by the time they die? Really?

Here's a hint, salvation is not the destination. Salvation is the beginning.

July 19, 2010 at 7:20 p.m.
Clara said...

I's like to remind you all that Jews were the first Christians...including Christ!

July 19, 2010 at 7:27 p.m.
alprova said...

ITguy, I thank you very much for your kind words. At times, I don't know for sure that I am right or wrong when it comes to my personal religious beliefs, as I am sure it may be for most people who truly take the time to reflect and to ponder, but it's nice to know that I am not alone.

My beliefs when it comes to religion border on the extreme, but on the opposite scale of what most would consider extremism. You touched on one of my long held beliefs or theories.

I have always been fascinated with the concept of reincarnation. There is no way that one life of approximately 75 years or so on Earth, allows us to understand life. I believe we come back for many lessons in life. How could it be any other way?

How do we learn what it may be to be someone of another race if we do not experience it firsthand? Do we experience what it may be to be someone of an opposite gender? Maybe. I am open to the suggestion that we all advance our souls by experiencing the many variables that come from living many times on Earth as several different people.

Throughout those many lives, we may be exposed to many religions, each true and correct in some manner. We may learn what it is to be rich, poor, famous or infamous, knowledgeable, ignorant, white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. The sky is the limit.

Each life is a struggle to self-improve. Our loved ones from prior lives accompany us at times in our new ones.

My theory is that the more one is intolerant, short sighted, restless or unsettled, the more likely that they are a younger soul. Those who tend to be kinder, accepting, steady or reliable, may be older souls who have been on Earth many times.

We've all certainly heard people described as being one or the other offhandedly, so why is it not possible that we do experience life from several aspects, a life at a time?

My maternal Grandfather was a Baptist preacher, who pastored a church in the local area for 40 years of his life. When I was about 19 years old, I asked him if my curiosity regarding reincarnation was possible. He totally blew me away by quoting off the top of his head Biblical evidence that may well support it. He's been dead 26 years now, but I will never forget that day, and I don't think I have ever been closer to him than I was on that day.

Much of what he related has been included in this article;

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen03.html

July 19, 2010 at 8:33 p.m.
rolando said...

Isn't it amazing how four simply drawn lines bring the heathens, agnostics, and atheists out of the woodwork?

Those simple lines strike fear in their hearts, they do.

July 19, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "Isn't it amazing how four simply drawn lines bring the heathens, agnostics, and atheists out of the woodwork?

Those simple lines strike fear in their hearts, they do."


Much has been written in this thread, but I am not reading anything that suggests "fear" resides in the hearts of anyone. In fact, this has been the most civil of all religious discussions ever entered into in this forum.

I sure hope and pray that you nor anyone else is determined to change the course of the discussion and turn it into something unpleasant. 106 posts and counting, and no one has launched any daggers of condemnation. I find that rather amazing.

Don't you?

July 19, 2010 at 9 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I certainly do. It's been interesting to see so many points of view. AND I haven't been called evil once (that's a first!)

July 19, 2010 at 9:11 p.m.
HiDef said...

Actually rolando the majority of the posts above are from regular posters on here and I don't see any "heathens" that came out of the woodwork. On top of that, this has been an extremely civil discussion given the topic of the cartoon. If you're looking to pick a fight, perhaps you should just move on.

July 19, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
aces25 said...

God loves you!

July 19, 2010 at 9:16 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu asked... How has your life changed because of the health care bill? It has not changed but ask me in 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc. If the bill had been in our best interest it would have gone into effect immediately.

As far as the "impose statement". I must have misread your statement and fired off a post. The cylinders don't always fire in order with my dyslexic brain. I'm not sure where I was going at this point.

You said you never believed. The Bible tells us Satan believed in God. He knew God existed according to the Bible. In my opinion, believing doesn't do much good unless you follow. Satan believed but he did not follow and he was cast out of heaven. Believing is a beginning. You have to believe before you can follow.

Sorry it took so long to follow up.

July 19, 2010 at 9:28 p.m.
Lanierlaw said...

Liberals profess tolerance while exhibiting total intolerance of conservatives.

July 19, 2010 at 9:35 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I'm not sure how the health care bill is an example of liberals imposing their beliefs on you Oz, but let's see what happens in the months ahead.

I understand your statement about believe first, then follow. Can't follow what I don't believe exists, I'm afraid. Can't change the fact that I don't believe. Have tried (Oh yes, have I ever. Faked it for a long time too) but I just don't. Don't want to appear disrespectful, so I won't say more. I have a lot of admiration and not a little envy for those that do-they seem to get great joy and comfort from it. But I don't believe. Not in hell, satan, heaven, angels, nada.

July 19, 2010 at 9:36 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Got some examples to back up that statement, Lanier?

July 19, 2010 at 9:37 p.m.
alprova said...

Ikeithlu wrote: "I am not religious because..."


I can certainly understand your sentiment. I too struggled with many of your same assessments.

Now I'm not about to launch into a sermon. That's not my style. But I do have a few thoughts on the subject.

First of all, we can read in the Bible that God, at the time he and Lucifer has their falling out, vowed to not interfere in the affairs of Earth. Lucifer vowed very much to interfere in the affairs of Earth. Lucifer represents all the sin, death, war, pain, etc. that we experience throughout our lives.

That aside, my belief in God and his Son stems from seeing absolute beauty that can be witnessed around our planet. Our bodies are a miracle of massive engineering. These things cannot be explained solely by science and evolution. I do believe the Earth and we were created by a supreme being. I do believe that my soul will continue to exist in some form when this life ends.

Satan steps in constantly to disrupt harmony in many of our lives and for one simple goal. His motivation is to turn people against God. Unanswered prayers turn people against God, even though we should know that God vowed not to preempt Satan's interference in all our lives. God's hope is that people will come to understand who is ultimately responsible for all that we experience of a negative nature throughout our lives.

In my opinion, prayer is an effective means of disallowing Satan to infiltrate and to influence that which affects us in negative terms, and our undying belief in God can in some manner, triumph evil in the long run.

W.C Fields, one of this nation's greatest entertainers, spent his last weeks of life in a hospital. The story goes that a friend stopped by for a visit and caught him reading the Bible.

When asked "why?", as Fields was an avowed atheist, he responded with, "I'm checking for loopholes."

July 19, 2010 at 9:52 p.m.
rolando said...

So you know them all that well, hidef?

Actually, we have at least one regular poster who is an admitted heathen [or pagan, if your sensitivities prefer that word]. We also have a couple-three agnostics; plus enough atheists to make up the usual 10-15% of our population who believe in something non-mainstream.

You fool yourself if you believe this thread has been amiable; it has just been one-sided, for the most part.

As Oz said up there somewhere, "Liberals are the most inclusive people in the world until you disagree with them."

'Course we also have picked up a moonbat or two along the way. One of them is beating alprova on his run for the once-unchallenged Guinness longwindedness record. He has already replaced him for Guinness' Most Inane and Asinine Posting Record.

If you find all that offensive, leave.

July 19, 2010 at 10:01 p.m.
Oz said...

lkeithlu...I respect your beliefs. We've been down that road before. I could never believe in something that I had not experienced. I was not aiming the belief statement toward you. The world is full of believers but fewer followers. My own path has not been straight. In the eyes of God, I probably look like a water skier going back and forth jumping the wake. For me...life has been the smoothest in the wake and I try my best to stay there. The last 20 years have been the smoothest and the best.

Oz was easy to remember and inspired by Ozzy Osborne. At times...It has been a Crazy Train!

July 19, 2010 at 10:37 p.m.
HiDef said...

Like I said rolando, you're just looking to pick a fight. As for your "non-mainstream" comment, what's popular isn't always right, and what's right isn't always popular..."

July 19, 2010 at 10:42 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

Speaking of runaround logic..

http://www.jhuger.com/kisshankbutt.php

July 19, 2010 at 11:04 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando, it's hard not to notice that while you have not offered one word of input into this discussion, your powers of observation from the cheap seats are simply amazing.

You have the keen ability to read a post or two and determine all that you need to know about a person's soul.

Who made you God anyway?

Pardon me, but screw you and the horse you ride on, side-saddle no less.

You wouldn't have to work nearly as hard to enter into a civil debate and conduct yourself as a gentleman, as you do to act like a common internet troll.

Why you chose to do the latter is beyond all understanding.

Maybe it's time you left, because all you seem to be capable of lately is to find some way to be offensive towards others.

This is not your forum. It belongs to all participants, and as far as I know, you were not enlisted nor are you welcome to carve out the guest list. So please, shut-up and quit acting like a petulant child.

Now, go back and pout in the corner some more until you can start acting like a gentleman.

July 20, 2010 at 1:39 a.m.
Clara said...

Apparently, with no reasons given, some of you thought that the first Christians were not Jewish to begin with. Hmmm!

July 20, 2010 at 4:28 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

No sweat, Oz. No offense taken. It's pretty hard to offend me.

rolando said: "Actually, we have at least one regular poster who is an admitted heathen [or pagan, if your sensitivities prefer that word]. We also have a couple-three agnostics; plus enough atheists to make up the usual 10-15% of our population who believe in something non-mainstream."

Most people are probably agnostic if you really probe their beliefs. Atheists do not believe in "something non-mainstream". We don't believe. Period.

How does being agnostic, pagan or atheist disqualify us to comment?

July 20, 2010 at 8:36 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

Clara, I agree with you that the first Christians were Jewish. I assumed that knowledge was held by all and implied in our discussions. My appologies for any confusion that may have caused.

And Al, I realize now what you meant when you said my comment didn't make sense yesterday afternoon. "The Jews aren't asked to accept Him as their personal savior." is really a partial thought. I meant that they aren't asked to accept him in the same respect as Christians. One of my Jewish friends told me once that he never had to make a public profession of faith as was expected of me when I accepted Jesus. He basically said as you grow and learn, you are either a faithful Jew or you aren't, which is to say that you are born into it rather than being reborn into it as we Christians are. My appologies if that is incorrect though (are there any Jews reading who could/would confirm this?).

July 20, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.
alprova said...

Judaism is the religion, while one who is known as being Jewish may be of a certain race of people. Even among those who practice Judaism, all is not equal.

So, Clara's reference to Christians who were the original Christians is a reference to those of a race of people who adopted Christianity. Those who practice the religion of Judaism can be of practically any race.

Zionists are not received very well by more secular Jewish people. So, like all religions, divisiveness is a constant irritation and disruptive force that plagues most believers.

July 20, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
rolando said...

So now mere disagreement is "picking a fight", hidef?

Is that something like Left-Progs crying, "Racist!" when anyone disagrees with or criticizes Dear Leader Maobama?

All I -- and the vast majority of those who criticize DL -- am doing is speaking out. If you don't like that, you number yourself among those intolerant folks Clay Bennett featured in his cartoon...

July 20, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

and what does this have to do with Christianity, rolando? (You know, the subject of this thread, which is amazingly still on topic after 123 posts)

July 20, 2010 at 5:18 p.m.
FM_33 said...

Username: rolando | On: July 20, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.


Rolando that is a new one on me being a old Madonna fan. I did not know she had that much of a man in her.

July 20, 2010 at 5:31 p.m.
Clara said...

Thank you Al.

July 20, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

Someone commented recently that it could also be a purple dunce cap.

Yep... very fitting.

July 20, 2010 at 9:26 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Wow, have only recently returned to the states but I must say this is one of the best threads I have read in awhile. Thank you again Alprova for your insightful posts. You tend to have a calming effect on the board with your reasonable nature and intelligence. Ikeithlu, like yourself I have been an atheist for quite some time and enjoy your posts. Nice to see Rolando blow through with a well timed caustic comment, LOL. All this civil discourse seems to upset him. Great thread!!

July 21, 2010 at 3:40 a.m.
rolando said...

If you can't keep up, lkeith, stay at home. We all know where your belief lies.


All it takes for the attack dogs to start yapping is for one person to comment on how amazing it is that a few drawn lines can start some folks to slathering up and appearing rabid.

Oz hit drove the peg straight into the hole with his/her short, to the point, comment. My very small comment -- in support of Clay Bennett's latest, actually -- and the Left-Progs simply cannot stand it. How "tolerant" of them. Yeah, right. Color them purple.

July 21, 2010 at 4:28 a.m.
rolando said...

And so we have yet another incompetent attacking my login...I thought you'd all crept back into the woodwork or under the sink again.

There is an excellent chance my login predates your birth, FM. [Short for Feeble Minded, is it?] It has been in my use beginning decades before the Internet existed.

So any reference to Madonna[???!] is a reference to me, not her. But thanks, anyway. Have a good day. Yeah, right.

July 21, 2010 at 4:35 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

You are usually more coherent than this rolando. Have you something to say about the cartoon or not?

July 21, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.
Clara said...

Rolando,

Unfortunately your record of past submissions lead many of us to beware your posts. In this case, I, was surprisingly, not one of them.

I don't wish an answer, and this is NOT an apology!

July 21, 2010 at 9:13 a.m.
rolando said...

lkeith -- You are again unable to comprehend what I said about the cartoon and those responding to it. And said TWICE. You are NOT one of the "amazing" ones to respond...but then we expected nothing less of you.

Go to your room and ponder the response -- no one expects you to "think" about anything, least of all religion.

July 21, 2010 at 9:39 a.m.
rolando said...

Clara -- I neither expect nor demand an apology of anyone.

And all of us can agree with everyone at one time or another...I have even agreed with alprova's postings now and again.

I would suggest you stick to your strong principles as I stick to mine.

July 21, 2010 at 9:45 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Oh, rolando, surely you have burst my bubble. Until now I thought EVERYONE hung on every word I say. Woe is me to finally know the awful truth.

The fact that I am a non-believer really pisses you off, doesn't it? The fact that I may have an opinion on religion in spite of it bothers you too. Guess what: I am a citizen with all the rights, and have every right to express myself. I suspect that Christians like you would rather all the non-Christians (especially non-believers) to be expelled to, I don't know, Jamaica? (not a bad destination, actually-got friends there)

Your posts on this thread add nothing to the topic discussed. Just a couple of rants about heathens, Obama, and Left/Progs (whatever that is)

July 21, 2010 at 9:56 a.m.
rolando said...

Your non-belief is a matter of no consequence whatsoever to me, lkeith. It is, as I have repeatedly said, your business. It is you who obsesses about religion.

Even with your obsession, you are blind to comments about it...as you are blind to so many things.

July 21, 2010 at 10:11 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I think I have been a fairly coherent participant on this thread, rolando. (I'm not always) What evidence do you have that I am blind about it? Please use specific things I have said here.

July 21, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "If you can't keep up, lkeith, stay at home. We all know where your belief lies."


Rolando, it would serve you far better to limit your opinions to that which you personally hold, and to not attempt to speak for anyone else.

Your use of the word "we" is totally inappropriate.


"All it takes for the attack dogs to start yapping is for one person to comment on how amazing it is that a few drawn lines can start some folks to slathering up and appearing rabid."


That Sir, was not the commentary that resulted in you becoming the sudden focus of attention. Your calling others with whom you find some disagreement with, "heathen," "pagan," "agnostics," and "atheists" is what has caused you to be targeted.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has declared themselves to be any of the above, and you Sir are not qualified to make such judgments based on discussions in this or any other thread.

And as someone who claims to be avidly religious and who is supposed to be emulating the Lord, you should be well aware that you are not supposed to be making those kind of judgments of others, and that is absolutely written clearly in the Bible.

July 21, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Thanks for the support, alprova, although I have made it clear that I AM an atheist. This will not be the first time, however, that rolando made specific claims that he could not support. When held accountable, he usually either flees or puts out a fairly thick smokescreen to cover his tracks.

July 21, 2010 at 1:49 p.m.
rolando said...

So you are saying you do not know lkeith's religious beliefs or non-beliefs, alprova. [Religious beliefs and non-beliefs were the topic.]

Do you know any of our regulars who do NOT know of her beliefs where religion is concerned? All it takes is for ONE person [such as yourself] to admit to their knowledge to legitimize my use of the word "we", you know.

"We" is quite appropriate in this context after all, isn't it. Perhaps it just goes against your views or something, huh?

As to lkeith, she continually makes unsubstantiated remarks concerning the efficacy of my posts. She simply refuses to move out of her box long enough to see things as others sometimes see them, be it correctly or incorrectly...either that or she is truly incapable of doing that, which seems to be the case.

After all, how hard is it to express amazement that four lines drawn by Clay can cause such an uproar? Do you really think she saw no relationship between that comment and the fact that the fish symbol, as drawn, represents Christ and goes back over 1,000 years? I was expressing a tongue-in-cheek comment about religion causing an uproar here -- which it certainly has. Clay was accurate in his work.

Your support in this case, alprova, is ill-considered, IMO.

July 21, 2010 at 3:03 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

rolando, you have not addressed the issue. You made a claim which you have not supported. Blowing smoke doesn't change this.

The cartoon did not cause an uproar. (except with those who didn't get it, and I'm beginning to think you didn't get it either) I am fully aware what the fish symbol is (I'm atheist, not stupid. I've got a pirate fish on my car. Some take offense, but too bad)

As far as my beliefs, very few people on this blog, except for you and canary, seem bothered by them. I get the impression that somehow, as an unbeliever, my opinion on matters of religion are somehow null and void.

You made a claim, I called you on it, you dithered and dodged as usual. Why am I not surprised? What does surprise me is your lack of coherence. You usually are clear and concise, even when I don't agree with you.

July 21, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.
rolando said...

AS I said, alprova, we have at least one self-admitted poster here who is a pagan [evidently the preferred word], another two or three who claimed an open mind, the rest of the 10-15% of our population made up by atheists.

Excuse me, alprova [yeah, right], but just because YOU didn't see it here does not mean it is untrue.

And I made no such judgment as to their beliefs, sirrah.

Speaking of making uncalled for judgments, alprova, you just made one yourself -- I have said nothing about being "avidly religious"; it is presumptuous, even judgmental, of you to tell me how to "emulate" the Lord. Finally, the scriptural "judgment" you speak of deals with judging who goes to Hell and who doesn't...that decision rightfully belongs to God. The rest of it is more secular.

And no, I will not reveal anyone's religious beliefs without their advance approval [unless it is common knowledge]...take that as you will.

July 21, 2010 at 3:24 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

rolando, you are being a bore. Go take your meds. Signing off...

July 21, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.
rolando said...

Since you understood the comment so well, lkeith, what exactly and specifically is your problem here? The meaning of the word "uproar", is it? How about the meaning of the word "is"?

Here is my initial post, verbatim:

"Isn't it amazing how four simply drawn lines bring the heathens, agnostics, and atheists out of the woodwork?

"Those simple lines strike fear in their hearts, they do."

Please show me exactly and specifically WHERE in that post I used the word "uproar".

Also, since you understand my original post so very well -- by your own admission -- tell me exactly and specifically how you failed to see the religious connections when you said, "and what does this have to do with Christianity, rolando?" [sic].

Or will you refuse to [again] answer these questions and throw out more accusations, lkeith?

July 21, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.
sd said...

rolando said, "We have at least one self-admitted poster here who is a pagan [evidently the preferred word]..." I totally missed that. Who's pagan?

July 21, 2010 at 8:07 p.m.
ITguy said...

Rolando, grow up and get a life. You have offered nothing to the discussion, and you are pathetically boring and childish.

July 21, 2010 at 9:55 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "So you are saying you do not know lkeith's religious beliefs or non-beliefs, alprova. [Religious beliefs and non-beliefs were the topic.]"


Until today, no...I did not know that Ikeithlu was an atheist for sure. I stand corrected on that, but you made reference to others as well.

So you were right about one person's beliefs. Ikeithlu has every right, just as you do, to enter into any discussion that hits this section of the site.


"Do you know any of our regulars who do NOT know of her beliefs where religion is concerned? All it takes is for ONE person [such as yourself] to admit to their knowledge to legitimize my use of the word "we", you know."


Again, you can hold whatever belief, assessment, or understanding that you have, and you can believe that others are in your camp all day long, but when you use the word "we," you are taking it upon yourself to speak for others, and that is not your right to do so.


"..."We" is quite appropriate in this context after all, isn't it. Perhaps it just goes against your views or something, huh?"


Used as you did, it could be construed to be inclusive of everyone who posts here but Ikeithlu, and you don't get to to that. Use the word "I" if you want to express your opinion. You don't know everyone else's opinion, and even if you did, they can certainly express it all by themselves.


"As to lkeith, she continually makes unsubstantiated remarks concerning the efficacy of my posts. She simply refuses to move out of her box long enough to see things as others sometimes see them, be it correctly or incorrectly...either that or she is truly incapable of doing that, which seems to be the case."


Well face the truth Rolando: You spend a great deal of time in putting down people whom you disagree with, but you rarely stick your neck out to take a stand or position as to WHY you disagree with others, and almost never do you offer evidence in your arguments.

Telling people that they are stupid without illustrating WHY they are stupid is well...rather stupid in and of itself, in my opinion.


"After all, how hard is it to express amazement that four lines drawn by Clay can cause such an uproar?"


There really wasn't any uproar in here, that is until you decided to post your assessment of some people, of course, without really naming anyone.

What was your point? You didn't have one. You rarely make any points worthy of consideration. You troll. You incite others by posting inflammatory comments.

That's your forte.


"Your support in this case, alprova, is ill-considered, IMO."


Are you under some impression that I care about your opinions? I don't, and probably never will, until the day comes that you offer them respectfully.

July 22, 2010 at 2:09 a.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "AS I said, alprova, we have at least one self-admitted poster here who is a pagan [evidently the preferred word], another two or three who claimed an open mind, the rest of the 10-15% of our population made up by atheists."


No need to repost it. I read it the first time. I just wonder what your point is in posting it in the FIRST place.

There is no point, other than you wanted to stir the pot to see who you could upset. That Sir, is the mark of a common internet troll.


"Excuse me, alprova [yeah, right], but just because YOU didn't see it here does not mean it is untrue."


Excuse me, Rolando, but just because you post it and think you know what you think you know, does not make it true at all.


"And I made no such judgment as to their beliefs, sirrah."


Uh huh...sure you didn't. The only thing that you didn't do, was to post any names to go along with your accusations.


"Speaking of making uncalled for judgments, alprova, you just made one yourself -- I have said nothing about being "avidly religious"..."


I hope you don't think that you just dropped a bomb or anything, because there's been no doubt in my mind, at least, that you are not much of anything that you have claimed to be in the past.


"it is presumptuous, even judgmental, of you to tell me how to "emulate" the Lord. Finally, the scriptural "judgment" you speak of deals with judging who goes to Hell and who doesn't...that decision rightfully belongs to God. The rest of it is more secular."


Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37-42, John 7:24, Romans 2:1-3, James 4:11-12, Luke 6:31, John 8:7...look 'em up.


"And no, I will not reveal anyone's religious beliefs without their advance approval [unless it is common knowledge]...take that as you will."


I already have, not that I really need to. You have posted all the proof many times that you are a self-righteous hypocrite.

And that...you can take to the bank. You can't spend it however and it sure will not buy you a ticket to Heaven.

July 22, 2010 at 2:31 a.m.
rolando said...

"No need to repost it. I read it the first time."

You need constant reminders of exactly what people say, alprova.


"The only thing that you didn't do, was to post any names to go along with your accusations."

That is THEIR call, not yours.


"Excuse me, Rolando, but just because you post it...does not make it true at all."

I never said it did, aprova.


"...there's been no doubt in my mind, at least..."

Your typical answer when caught making things up about what people said.


"...you are a self-righteous hypocrite."

You have your opinion, I have mine.

July 22, 2010 at 8:34 a.m.
rolando said...

More from aprova:

"...I did not know that Ikeithlu was an atheist for sure. I stand corrected on that, but you made reference to others as well."

Then you are extremely dense -- she has admitted it repeatedly on threads in which you commented.


"Ikeithlu has every right, just as you do, to enter into any discussion that hits this section of the site."

I never said she didn't, although you have said that of me on occasion.


"...when you use the word "we," you are taking it upon yourself to speak for others, and that is not your right to do so."

First you say it is OK for someone to say anything they like on this forum, THEN you say it is not.

Incidentally, I certainly DO have that right, with or without your agreement.


"You don't know everyone else's opinion, and even if you did, they can certainly express it all by themselves."

They already have on numerous occasions. You just don't agree.


"You don't know everyone else's opinion, and even if you did, they can certainly express it all by themselves."

I know the opinions they express here, alprova...and they HAVE expressed them "all by themselves".


"106 posts and counting, and no one has launched any daggers of condemnation. I find that rather amazing."

Once again, as Oz said, "Liberals are the most inclusive people in the world until you disagree with them."

In closing, you are being more than a little judgmental yourself, no? Or is that YOUR self-righteousness showing?

:O)

July 22, 2010 at 8:53 a.m.
rolando said...

BTW, alprova, lkeith was NEVER secretive about her beliefs, very much to her credit...actually, she was and is quite vocal on the topic.

So deny all you like about not knowing...

July 22, 2010 at 8:57 a.m.
nurseforjustice said...

I have taken a couple of days to read all these post and would just like to make one comment. While some were offended with this drawing and sounding fairly intolerent in their remarks, I was more hurt by the fact that this is a partially true statement made by mister Clay. I would rather it be completely false.

However the one it really hurts is God himself. He is very grieved that any of His followers/children would indeed act this way. As He says in the first chapter of Isaiah, He is fed up with meaningless religious acts worship from folks whose hearts are not right. It makes you wonder if folks who act this way are really Christians.

God is both tolerant and intolerant. He has been very tolerant of mine and your stupidity and sinfullness because He loves us and desires a relationship with us. He loves the sinner but hates the sins. But He is intolerant when it comes to accepting His free gift of salvation (Jesus Christ). The price for sin is death or spiritual separation from God. Jesus paid that price for us. Everyone makes a decision for or against God. Those that do accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will live with God eternally (that's a very long time in case you have never thought about it). Those that don't accept Him will spend eternity separated from God in a place called Hell. I am not trying to scare anyone or proselytize, just stating the facts of the Bible.

July 22, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.
CathyH said...

As a Christian, I am very offended by this cartoon. Do you know what the meaning of the fish symbol even is? My God, my Lord, my Savior died for my sins, to allow me the freedom and the right to stand up for HIM. I am disappointed in the Chattanooga NewsFree Press for even allowing such a slap in the face to all Christians to even allow such a thing to be printed in their paper. I will never spend another penny of my hard earned money on a paper or purchase an ad for this paper. I hope that each and everyone of you who think this is a joke makes amends with our Heavenly Father for the chuckles and jokes that you have made. God have mercy on your souls.

July 23, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.
Lefty said...

Cathy, Sense reading all of those comments may be a bit too time consuming, I'll explain what it is saying and what has been said many times above. When someone is an intolerant Christian, the fish becomes a shark. It was not be any means an attack on your religion. Save your energy being offended for something that actually needs it.

July 23, 2010 at 8:58 a.m.
Lefty said...

Correction...Since...not sense....stupid spell check.

July 23, 2010 at 8:59 a.m.
HiDef said...

Wow! The number of folks that don't understand this cartoon is becoming greater every day. From letters to the editor to comments above, it's mind boggling. I'm thinking Clay should put out a press release explaining what so many are failing to understand.

Intolerant Christians = Sharks. Not ALL Christians, just intolerant ones. So if you're a Christian and are tolerant of others beliefs, you are not considered a shark and should not be offended.

July 23, 2010 at 10:55 a.m.

You guys are the real dopes and The Doped. We understand only too well.

NOW, as I said previously, we're still waiting for some more 'unbiased' toons depicting "intolerant" and brutal shark-like folks such as Mohammed/Islamic Terrorists/Violent-Leftists/Mao/Stalin/Kim Jong-il/Pagans/Atheists/Buddhists/Hindus/Rastafarians/Progressives/KKK Democrats/Racist-Eugenicists like Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood/Progressive Racists like Woodrow Wilson, FDR and the Progressives today...have I left some out? aahhh.

(btw, have any of you ever lived in a Buddhist/Hindi/Pagan country and viewed how they brutally treat their minorities? I thought not. Intolerant? Look at yourselves.

July 23, 2010 at 11:16 a.m.
acerigger said...

(btw, have any of you ever lived in a Buddhist/Hindi/Pagan country and viewed how they brutally treat their minorities? I thought not. Intolerant? Look at yourselves. Canary,Ithink this is what Bennett is trying to say.If we don't want a society like those of some Buddist/hindi/pagan/muslim/whatever countries,then we MUST call-out intolerance when we see it in OUR country.

July 23, 2010 at 1:09 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

What country out there is pagan? I would like to visit it.

July 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.

ace: those who don't get 'it', don't know or have never been to countries full of atheists/secularists/pagans and all of the above I mentioned, and witnessed the brutal intolerance there. There are NO and have never been ANY true Christians following PURE Christianity practicing the horrors I already mentioned. There ARE plenty of phonies, pretenders and plain evil doers who do evil, using the name of 'God' or Christ, now and in the past. We have many non-practicing, non-Christians in THIS country now who on a daily basis practice all kinds of hate, racism and intolerance. I mentioned a few types above whom bennett and other un-brave types have no cojones to draw and make jokes about. THAT was my point.

July 23, 2010 at 2 p.m.
HiDef said...

Actually canary the know-it-all, I have lived in an oppressive country once or twice. Remember, I served in the military. I know what those people do to their own kind however, we are in America, not overseas. Conservatives like yourself love to constantly remind us that this nation we live in is 80 some odd percent Christian. Thats what make this cartoon so relevant.

Speaking of intolerant Christians...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts2936

July 23, 2010 at 3:31 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"There are NO and have never been ANY true Christians following PURE Christianity practicing the horrors I already mentioned. "

I'd like to meet one of these Pure Christians (TM). Probably out there with Bigfoot. And the Loch Ness Monster.

July 23, 2010 at 4:45 p.m.
ITguy said...

Canary, of course there have never been any true Christians practicing the horrors that you mention. However there have been numerous examples of people claiming to be Christian who have tortured and murdered in the name of Christ. From the Spanish inquisition through the Salem witch trials and continuing through the KKK lynchings in the last century. All by people claiming Christ as their Lord.

True Buddhists do not practice atrocity. True Muslims don't practice atrocity. True Jews do not practice atrocity. True hindus don't practice atrocity. Need I go on?

Your point seem to be a claim of superiority based on a failure of others to live up to their ideals. If all Christians lived up to the teachings of Christ, then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

July 23, 2010 at 8:41 p.m.
alprova said...

ITguy wrote: "If all Christians lived up to the teachings of Christ, then we wouldn't be having this discussion."


AMEN to that!!!

July 26, 2010 at 2:23 a.m.
alprova said...

I previously wrote: "...when you use the word "we," you are taking it upon yourself to speak for others, and that is not your right to do so."

Rolando quipped: "First you say it is OK for someone to say anything they like on this forum, THEN you say it is not."


Write whatever you want in regard to your own opinion. That you have every right to do. What you don't have any right to do is to used the word "we" which represents the opinion of those other than yourself.

Is that too hard for you to understand, or do I need to borrow a crayon from Clay to draw you a picture?


"Incidentally, I certainly DO have that right, with or without your agreement."


Okay...I suppose you feel that you do have the right to use the word "we", but who is the "we" you are referring to? I sure haven't seen anyone write;

"Rolando can speak for me anytime he wants to."

July 26, 2010 at 2:26 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

“The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own”
- Frank Zappa

July 26, 2010 at 6:13 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Today, and almost every day for a week, another letter to the editor from someone who did not get this cartoon. Surely people are not that dense???

July 26, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.

... and the Liars go on and on...

"True Buddhists do not practice atrocity. True Muslims don't practice atrocity. True Jews do not practice atrocity. True hindus don't practice atrocity. Need I go on?" Please and do your research correctly-it's still going on today.

And you guys call me names, esp. crazy? The statements above are not only ridiculous lies, it's like comparing human-organized, rotten-to-the-core religions as practiced either in their own countries or spilling over into ours, with the Purity of the Lord God Himself..

July 26, 2010 at 10:49 a.m.
acerigger said...

Would this be considered intolerance,or just ignorance; Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, currently running third in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary race, says he's not sure if Constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion apply to the followers of the world's second-largest faith, Islam.

At a recent event in Hamilton County, Ramsey was asked by a man in the audience about the "threat that's invading our country from the Muslims." Ramsey proclaimed his support for the Constitution and the whole "Congress shall make no law" thing when it comes to religion. But he also said that Islam, arguably, is less a faith than it is a "cult."

"Now, you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult whatever you want to call it," Who's next? Mormons,Quakers,Moonies,Scientologists,Methodists?

July 26, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.
acerigger said...

Thanks GOP "VALUES"VOTERS,for giving us great state reps like Ramsey and(don't make us secede") Wamp!

July 26, 2010 at 4:57 p.m.
acerigger said...

Oh,and here's some more "good christians" On September 11, members of the Dove World Outreach Center -- a Gainsville, Florida church -- plan to burn copies of the Koran to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The protest is just the latest in a series of provocative actions from the self-described "New Testament Church," which seems as interested in getting attention as it is in sharing the Word with the world.

July 26, 2010 at 5 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"And you guys call me names, esp. crazy? The statements above are not only ridiculous lies, it's like comparing human-organized, rotten-to-the-core religions as practiced either in their own countries or spilling over into ours, with the Purity of the Lord God Himself.."

All religions are human-organized. All. And all have been guilty of atrocity, even those we think are "peaceful" like buddhism.

July 26, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Just curious, canary, who is worse, a follower of your so called "false" religions or someone like me who believes in no god at all? Just want to know how someone like me ranks in the grand fundamentalist Christian theocratic plan you envision for this country. Deported? Executed? Enslaved? Brainwashed? Lobotomized?

Inquiring minds would like to know...

July 26, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
FM_33 said...

And so we have yet another incompetent attacking my login...I thought you'd all crept back into the woodwork or under the sink again.

There is an excellent chance my login predates your birth, FM. [Short for Feeble Minded, is it?] It has been in my use beginning decades before the Internet existed.

So any reference to Madonna[???!] is a reference to me, not her. But thanks, anyway. Have a good day. Yeah, right.


Rolando i was talking about Madonna not you !!! What 's your problem ?

July 26, 2010 at 8:38 p.m.
FM_33 said...

FM stands for the many other things Rolando !

Try next time to learn how to laugh at a joke to a post that you or somebody else may have did. It's a different way at looking at a point and no harm was intended to you or anybody else.

Have a good day and stop being so up f**kin tight all the time.

July 26, 2010 at 8:46 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

As canary flies around depositing droppings on other threads, I thought I'd post a few more questions here:

Canary, are you a "True Christian" (TM) ? Do you know others? Do you agree with Fred Phelps that the country is doomed because we allow homosexuality? Is Fred Phelps a "True Christian" (TM) ? Is Catholicism a religion? Is Mormonism a religion?

Don't forget my question posted above. Still need an answer on that one too.

July 27, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.
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