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the bible and the goodness of our culture


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#1    me-wonders

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 06:20 PM

When the Puritans landed in the New Land, they did not come as friends to native Americans, as the Quakers did.  The Quakers have a unique interpretation of the bible, and focus their lives on following Jesus.  This is not so for all Christians, who come with guns, and assuming they are the only people of God, and with biblical stories of a war God.   The majority of Christians come with two goals, conquer and convert, and this problematic around the world.

The culture of these people, includes atheist, who assume the culture created by the war God of Christians, is just a matter of human nature.  They don't know of other cultures, so they do not know there aggressiveness and competitiveness is a matter of culture.

We have also confused barbarism with paganism and primitive, largely because it is the prejudices of Christianity that has defined our reality.   This contributes to our false understanding of human nature.  We look down on cooperative, non aggressive people as ignorant, lazy, unworthy, or perhaps childlike.   To be worthy is to be like them, aggressive, competitive, in your face.  

Quakers were the strongest supporters of public education and what once was the culture transmitted through public education.  The north attempted to resolve the slavery issue with education, but the south caught on and began printing its own text books.  The bible can be used to forbid slavery or to support it, and of course the south used the bible to support slavery.  Quakers read the bible to say we should love everyone and treat everyone as Jesus would have us do.  There is a very important difference between these points of view.

The American sense of equality starts with the Quakers, and went through public education and to create our culture.  A part of our culture that is now questioned, as the Republicans argue to cut food supplements and all social assistance programs, and maintain wealth in the hands of a few.  How we interpret the bible makes a big difference in our goodness.

Some of that wealth is made producing and selling games where the player kills police and citizens.  It is argued this aggressiveness is human nature and we should have this freedom to indulge our lowest impulses if we want, because as atheist insure us there is no God and therefore punishment for indulging our lower, animal selves.   Atheist and Christians will assure us we are not people of God, and we have forgotten morality is about logic, not just a religious matter, and civilization is something that is learned.   We no longer understand, logos, Rita, moral reasoning, but fight for our freedoms to do as we please, at home and around the world. Invading and attempting to conquer other countries and supporting military force above a decent standard and health care for our own.   Hey, God will take care of the deserving, right, and the people of God know they are doing his will, right?  Poverty, human neglect and crime, is not about economic reality is it?   How good is our culture?

Edited by me-wonders, 21 December 2012 - 06:32 PM.


#2    redhen

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:10 PM

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi


#3    me-wonders

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Perhaps the bottom line is, do we think life is sacred or not?  That is something that concerns me.  In the US we seem to act as though the only life that is sacred, is our own, and not the next guy who we can exploit and take advantage of.


#4    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:14 AM

View Postredhen, on 21 December 2012 - 07:10 PM, said:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi

If that is true, then it is not a good sign for The U.S.

Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason that “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous execution, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God."
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#5    me-wonders

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:47 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 23 December 2012 - 02:14 AM, said:

If that is true, then it is not a good sign for The U.S.

Why because we eat meat?  I don't think the problem is with eating meat, but not being reverent about it.  The earliest humans gave thanks when they took an animal life, and some of them would apologize to the killed animal.  Nature makes the killing and eating a necessary part of life, and we can not feel too bad about that.  But we can be reverent when we kill and eat.  

The school killer was vegan.  He assumed the pain of animals killed for food, but evidently did not have reverence for life?  There is an important difference.


#6    and then

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:10 PM

Sounds like the Quakers are good folk.  

View Postme-wonders, on 21 December 2012 - 06:20 PM, said:

When the Puritans landed in the New Land, they did not come as friends to native Americans, as the Quakers did.  The Quakers have a unique interpretation of the bible, and focus their lives on following Jesus.  This is not so for all Christians, who come with guns, and assuming they are the only people of God, and with biblical stories of a war God.   The majority of Christians come with two goals, conquer and convert, and this problematic around the world.

The culture of these people, includes atheist, who assume the culture created by the war God of Christians, is just a matter of human nature.  They don't know of other cultures, so they do not know there aggressiveness and competitiveness is a matter of culture.

We have also confused barbarism with paganism and primitive, largely because it is the prejudices of Christianity that has defined our reality.   This contributes to our false understanding of human nature.  We look down on cooperative, non aggressive people as ignorant, lazy, unworthy, or perhaps childlike.   To be worthy is to be like them, aggressive, competitive, in your face.  

Quakers were the strongest supporters of public education and what once was the culture transmitted through public education.  The north attempted to resolve the slavery issue with education, but the south caught on and began printing its own text books.  The bible can be used to forbid slavery or to support it, and of course the south used the bible to support slavery.  Quakers read the bible to say we should love everyone and treat everyone as Jesus would have us do.  There is a very important difference between these points of view.

The American sense of equality starts with the Quakers, and went through public education and to create our culture.  A part of our culture that is now questioned, as the Republicans argue to cut food supplements and all social assistance programs, and maintain wealth in the hands of a few.  How we interpret the bible makes a big difference in our goodness.

Some of that wealth is made producing and selling games where the player kills police and citizens.  It is argued this aggressiveness is human nature and we should have this freedom to indulge our lowest impulses if we want, because as atheist insure us there is no God and therefore punishment for indulging our lower, animal selves.   Atheist and Christians will assure us we are not people of God, and we have forgotten morality is about logic, not just a religious matter, and civilization is something that is learned.   We no longer understand, logos, Rita, moral reasoning, but fight for our freedoms to do as we please, at home and around the world. Invading and attempting to conquer other countries and supporting military force above a decent standard and health care for our own.   Hey, God will take care of the deserving, right, and the people of God know they are doing his will, right?  Poverty, human neglect and crime, is not about economic reality is it?   How good is our culture?
Who exactly are the "Christians" you speak of here?  I have read the word often and don't recall any admonition to do anything related to conquering anyone.  I think that kind of church was prospering in the medieval time but since has died off.  Missionaries carry the word but no weapons.  It gets tiresome hearing people slander Christ's church without evidence.  The Christians I know wouldn't dream of trying to impose by force their wishes on anyone.  They DO call out sin when they see it and many will refuse to take part in it or condone it.  Is that the same as invading and conquering?

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#7    redhen

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

You've touched on a lot of subjects, but your main question seems to be "How good is our culture?" And by that you mean American society and it's portrayed violent gun culture.

So how "good" is American culture? I only have to point out the extraordinary lengths of time people from other countries are willing to wait for a green card, or the desperate illegal methods others will take to live in the U.S.A.. America will always be a metaphor for freedom and justice.

View Postme-wonders, on 23 December 2012 - 06:47 PM, said:

Why because we eat meat?  I don't think the problem is with eating meat, but not being reverent about it.  The earliest humans gave thanks when they took an animal life, and some of them would apologize to the killed animal.

If you live in a stone age, hunter-gatherer society, then your premise is granted, otherwise, it is not necessary to eat meat. If it is unnecessary and entails pain, suffering or death, it is by definition cruel.

Quote

The school killer was vegan.

Hitler was a vegetarian. Gee, what are we to conclude? Vegans are psychotic, Nazi, elementary school children murderers?
This fallacy is called "poisoning the well" and is not sound logic.


#8    DieChecker

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 09:32 PM

View Postme-wonders, on 21 December 2012 - 06:20 PM, said:

The culture of these people, includes atheist, who assume the culture created by the war God of Christians, is just a matter of human nature.  They don't know of other cultures, so they do not know there aggressiveness and competitiveness is a matter of culture.
I think that humans are intrinsically violent and warlike. I am convinced of it. 99% of humans today are violent or warlike. We glorify violence every day on TV and movies and other forms of entertainment. I think it possible that other cultures have reduced violence, but that is not because they went back to some Default human condition, but because they have purposefully trained themselves Not to be violent, and not to be part of the violent world.

Quote

Quakers were the strongest supporters of public education and what once was the culture transmitted through public education.  The north attempted to resolve the slavery issue with education, but the south caught on and began printing its own text books.  The bible can be used to forbid slavery or to support it, and of course the south used the bible to support slavery.  Quakers read the bible to say we should love everyone and treat everyone as Jesus would have us do.  There is a very important difference between these points of view.
I agree that the Quakers are good people, but if they formed a state of their own, outside the protections of their surrounding violent neighbors, they would quickly be overrun and wiped out. And thus peacefulness would loose again. Non-violence can only be practiced when those willing to commit violence watch over those living in peace.

Quote

How good is our culture?
Christianity wise? Very, very good. The US gives to Charity as much as the rest of the world combined. Most of that from Christian Charities of one kind or another. I personnally support a child in Honduras and another in Cameroon. With other charity given on top of those. And a tithe to my church that gives to the homeless, womens shelters, unwed mothers, Overseas orphans and disaster relief here in the US and abroad. In the past when I've confronted people from other nations on their charity, they say that it is their governments job to donate to others, and that their money is theirs. Same with many far left liberals. They talk a good game but give squat to put their money where their mouth is.

US Christianity is far more then going overseas and converting people at the end of a gun... The last time I've heard of such a thing was against the Scandinavians and the Native Americans. I'd be curious to see any modern (100years) instances where US Christians went out and did forced conversion or performed some kind of violence in Jesus's name. I'm not talking about the occational kook that shoots up his neighborhood church because they let their kids play Pokemon, or because they allow gay marriage or whatnot. I'm talking about institutional violence in a modern setting. Please post evidence of such originating in the USA.

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#9    me-wonders

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:28 AM

View Postand then, on 23 December 2012 - 07:10 PM, said:

Sounds like the Quakers are good folk.  Who exactly are the "Christians" you speak of here?  I have read the word often and don't recall any admonition to do anything related to conquering anyone.  I think that kind of church was prospering in the medieval time but since has died off.  Missionaries carry the word but no weapons.  It gets tiresome hearing people slander Christ's church without evidence.  The Christians I know wouldn't dream of trying to impose by force their wishes on anyone.  They DO call out sin when they see it and many will refuse to take part in it or condone it.  Is that the same as invading and conquering?

I must have failed to communicate the difference between Quakers and other Christians?  However, we could also talk of the Methodist difference, and their missionary schools, where they separated native American children from their parents and culture, and forbid them to even speak their native language.  They meant well, and so do the other missionaries who run around "converting" people.  I find this very objectionable, and your explanation of it offensive.  I want to drop things at that, because I don't think any good will come out of discussing this further.


#10    me-wonders

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:40 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 23 December 2012 - 09:32 PM, said:

I think that humans are intrinsically violent and warlike. I am convinced of it. 99% of humans today are violent or warlike. We glorify violence every day on TV and movies and other forms of entertainment. I think it possible that other cultures have reduced violence, but that is not because they went back to some Default human condition, but because they have purposefully trained themselves Not to be violent, and not to be part of the violent world.


I agree that the Quakers are good people, but if they formed a state of their own, outside the protections of their surrounding violent neighbors, they would quickly be overrun and wiped out. And thus peacefulness would loose again. Non-violence can only be practiced when those willing to commit violence watch over those living in peace.


Christianity wise? Very, very good. The US gives to Charity as much as the rest of the world combined. Most of that from Christian Charities of one kind or another. I personnally support a child in Honduras and another in Cameroon. With other charity given on top of those. And a tithe to my church that gives to the homeless, womens shelters, unwed mothers, Overseas orphans and disaster relief here in the US and abroad. In the past when I've confronted people from other nations on their charity, they say that it is their governments job to donate to others, and that their money is theirs. Same with many far left liberals. They talk a good game but give squat to put their money where their mouth is.

US Christianity is far more then going overseas and converting people at the end of a gun... The last time I've heard of such a thing was against the Scandinavians and the Native Americans. I'd be curious to see any modern (100years) instances where US Christians went out and did forced conversion or performed some kind of violence in Jesus's name. I'm not talking about the occational kook that shoots up his neighborhood church because they let their kids play Pokemon, or because they allow gay marriage or whatnot. I'm talking about institutional violence in a modern setting. Please post evidence of such originating in the USA.

How many cultures have your experienced?  

And for Christian violence against others- it was the Christian right who voted Bush Jr a second term after he invaded Iraq.  Up until this time, I was very reluctant to discuss religion.  I thought it was bad manners, and I also believe religious people need their faith, regardless of what that faith is.  Like in my book it was as wrong to say anything against Christianity as it is wrong to say  something against a bushman's faith.  However, when the Christian right supported Bush after he invaded Iraq, I lost my tolerance of the Christianity. I am truly sorry, but it has become very difficult for me to be tolerant of people who think they are better than others, and that it is God's will they invade and kill people.



Edited by me-wonders, 25 December 2012 - 04:46 AM.


#11    DieChecker

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

View Postme-wonders, on 25 December 2012 - 04:40 AM, said:

How many cultures have your experienced?  

And for Christian violence against others- it was the Christian right who voted Bush Jr a second term after he invaded Iraq.  Up until this time, I was very reluctant to discuss religion.  I thought it was bad manners, and I also believe religious people need their faith, regardless of what that faith is.  Like in my book it was as wrong to say anything against Christianity as it is wrong to say  something against a bushman's faith.  However, when the Christian right supported Bush after he invaded Iraq, I lost my tolerance of the Christianity. I am truly sorry, but it has become very difficult for me to be tolerant of people who think they are better than others, and that it is God's will they invade and kill people.

And it was Progressive Liberals who voted Obama into office and he has not just maintained but expanded the USs role in fighting in the middle east. He sent soldiers into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden. He ordered the US to get involved in Libya and several other sensitive areas. Bush is far from being innocent, but Christians voting for him is far from supporting Violence, unless you want to lump Progressive Liberals in as violent also??

The entire US Congress supported Bush when he invaded Iraq. The polls at the time were 90% in favor. 90%!!!!!! Are you going to now go intolernat of the 90% now? Not to mention that 20 other Nations were involved with the US invasion. Are you going to loose tolerance with those 20 nations?

Better then others? The entire Progressive agenda is based on being better then others. Progressive Liberals believe that since they are smarter, or more educated, or more  experienced, that they need to take responsibilities away from the Public and make them Federal responsiblities. It is called power grabbing.

None of which has anything to do with Christians other then that they vote Republican more often then Democrat. It is like loosing faith in the Jews because they more commonly vote Democrat and so have failed to bring the economy around quickly. It makes no sense.

View Postme-wonders, on 25 December 2012 - 04:40 AM, said:

How many cultures have your experienced?  

Irrelivant...

Do you give to Charity? Or is that the Governments Job?

Edited by DieChecker, 26 December 2012 - 08:41 PM.

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#12    Hasina

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

Individuals can be 'good' or 'bad'. Start talking about groups of people being 'good' or 'bad', then it just becomes silly.

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#13    Beany

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:49 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 26 December 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

And it was Progressive Liberals who voted Obama into office and he has not just maintained but expanded the USs role in fighting in the middle east. He sent soldiers into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden. He ordered the US to get involved in Libya and several other sensitive areas. Bush is far from being innocent, but Christians voting for him is far from supporting Violence, unless you want to lump Progressive Liberals in as violent also??

The entire US Congress supported Bush when he invaded Iraq. The polls at the time were 90% in favor. 90%!!!!!! Are you going to now go intolernat of the 90% now? Not to mention that 20 other Nations were involved with the US invasion. Are you going to loose tolerance with those 20 nations?

Better then others? The entire Progressive agenda is based on being better then others. Progressive Liberals believe that since they are smarter, or more educated, or more  experienced, that they need to take responsibilities away from the Public and make them Federal responsiblities. It is called power grabbing.

None of which has anything to do with Christians other then that they vote Republican more often then Democrat. It is like loosing faith in the Jews because they more commonly vote Democrat and so have failed to bring the economy around quickly. It makes no sense.



Irrelivant...

Do you give to Charity? Or is that the Governments Job?

View PostDieChecker, on 26 December 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

And it was Progressive Liberals who voted Obama into office and he has not just maintained but expanded the USs role in fighting in the middle east. He sent soldiers into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden. He ordered the US to get involved in Libya and several other sensitive areas. Bush is far from being innocent, but Christians voting for him is far from supporting Violence, unless you want to lump Progressive Liberals in as violent also??

The entire US Congress supported Bush when he invaded Iraq. The polls at the time were 90% in favor. 90%!!!!!! Are you going to now go intolernat of the 90% now? Not to mention that 20 other Nations were involved with the US invasion. Are you going to loose tolerance with those 20 nations?

Better then others? The entire Progressive agenda is based on being better then others. Progressive Liberals believe that since they are smarter, or more educated, or more  experienced, that they need to take responsibilities away from the Public and make them Federal responsiblities. It is called power grabbing.

None of which has anything to do with Christians other then that they vote Republican more often then Democrat. It is like loosing faith in the Jews because they more commonly vote Democrat and so have failed to bring the economy around quickly. It makes no sense.



Irrelivant...

Do you give to Charity? Or is that the Governments Job?

View Postredhen, on 21 December 2012 - 07:10 PM, said:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi

Or the way we treat our children. Or our poor. We have too many children going to bed hungry every night, and some of us power-grabbing liberals think our government, as well as people in the private sector, ought to help feed them. Hey, maybe that DOES make us smarter. All this compassion, and I'm not even Christian. But isn't there something in the bible that speaks about reaching out to the less fortunate?



#14    me-wonders

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:45 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 26 December 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

And it was Progressive Liberals who voted Obama into office and he has not just maintained but expanded the USs role in fighting in the middle east. He sent soldiers into Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden. He ordered the US to get involved in Libya and several other sensitive areas. Bush is far from being innocent, but Christians voting for him is far from supporting Violence, unless you want to lump Progressive Liberals in as violent also??

The entire US Congress supported Bush when he invaded Iraq. The polls at the time were 90% in favor. 90%!!!!!! Are you going to now go intolernat of the 90% now? Not to mention that 20 other Nations were involved with the US invasion. Are you going to loose tolerance with those 20 nations?

Better then others? The entire Progressive agenda is based on being better then others. Progressive Liberals believe that since they are smarter, or more educated, or more  experienced, that they need to take responsibilities away from the Public and make them Federal responsiblities. It is called power grabbing.

None of which has anything to do with Christians other then that they vote Republican more often then Democrat. It is like loosing faith in the Jews because they more commonly vote Democrat and so have failed to bring the economy around quickly. It makes no sense.



Irrelivant...

Do you give to Charity? Or is that the Governments Job?

Well, yes I will be intolerant of the whole congress who voted for the invasion of Iraq, and the Christian right who thought Bush was doing the will of God.  I am also on record for protesting that invasion from the time it was first mentioned as a possibility.  My record of speaking about the Military Industrial Complex is well known, and a thread about India is giving new me arguments against a western culture tied to the Christian idea that they are God's favored people and doing the will of God.

However, complaining about the invasion of Iraq is like complaining about who left the barn door open, when the animals are long gone.  Considering the role the US played in making Sadam and Bin Ladin so powerful in the first place.

Did you watch the video before objecting to what I am saying?  Do you believe US Christians are God's favorite people and that they are doing the will of God, rather the will of corporations?


#15    me-wonders

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:53 AM

View PostHasina, on 26 December 2012 - 08:43 PM, said:

Individuals can be 'good' or 'bad'. Start talking about groups of people being 'good' or 'bad', then it just becomes silly.

I do not think it is silly to question a belief that mobilizes millions of people to accept a war against people who were no threat to the US.  Around the world this belief in being God's favored people, and has lead to injustice.   I meaning all the prejudices that goes with this belief, such as our military occupying Iran and blaming Iranians for the large number of people run over by military personnel, instead of making this intolerable.  Which is the same thing that lead to India rebelling against British rule.  With Christianity comes ideas about being God's favored people and God's will, and how things work, that I do not find agreeable.

Quote

Do you give to Charity? Or is that the Governments Job?
  We are the government.  Unfortunately, we do not know enough to govern ourselves, and have been like content cattle.   It is low wage earners who support the high standard of living that only a few enjoy, and it is reasonable for government to bring some balance into this reality.

Quote

Or the way we treat our children. Or our poor. We have too many children going to bed hungry every night, and some of us power-grabbing liberals think our government, as well as people in the private sector, ought to help feed them. Hey, maybe that DOES make us smarter. All this compassion, and I'm not even Christian. But isn't there something in the bible that speaks about reaching out to the less fortunate?

My Christians friends pray for the needy.  They don't have the money for charity.  The problem here is not their unwillingness to give, and not their greed.  The problem is they do not understand how things work, and like to believe a God will do what they can not figure out how to do.  They really, really want to believe their prayers are as good as actually doing something.  To me, this is a big problem!

Edited by me-wonders, 28 December 2012 - 02:02 AM.





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