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Atheism as a religion


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#31    Sherapy

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:30 PM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 03 April 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

Most of you seem to be getting very irritated when I imply that some of atheism is a religion. I think most of you just ignore what I have to say, which is fair because I am just another dumbass on the internet. What I wanted to do instead was type up much of a chapter in Stephen Prothero's book God is not One. I am some idiot on the internet but here is someone that at least has a degree in the area. Here is his bio…

Stephen Prothero is a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and the author of numerous books, most recently God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter (HarperOne, 2010) and the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Americans Need to Know (HarperOne, 2007). He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs, and on television on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, and PBS. He was also a guest on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, "The Colbert Report," and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He was also the chief editorial consultant for the six-hour WGBH/PBS television series "God in America" (2010). A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, he has also written for the New York Times, Slate, Salon, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. In 2010 he was invited to speak about religious literacy at the White House. Prothero received his BA from Yale in American Studies and his PhD in the Study of Religion from Harvard. He lives on Cape Cod, and he tweets @sprothero.

Let me know if you need any information on what exactly a religious scholar does. I have a feeling that many if you will simply ignore this but I hope at least a couple of you read it and think about it…

If you do not like what he has to say, there is his twitter account… tell him he is wrong. The following is not my opinion so do not tell me I am wrong, though I know you will…
I will try and keep this short so I will start with the section titled But Is It a Religion. I will simply be quoting from the book.

But Is It a Religion
"Some atheists, including attorney Michael Newdow, who took his complaint against the inclusion of God in the Pledge of Allegiance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, believed that atheism is, in the words of novelist David Foster Wallace, an "anti-religious religion, which worships reason, skepticism, intellect, empirical proof, human autonomy, and self-determination. Most atheists, however, are offended by the suggestion that they, too, might be religious. For them, exhibit A is as simple and powerful as their denial God. But all sorts of religious people deny God, including many Buddhists, Confucians, and Jews." (p 323)

"Whether atheism is a religion depends, of course, on what actual atheists believe and do. So the answer to this question will vary from person to person, and group to group. It will also depend on what we mean by religion. Religion is now widely defined by scholars and judges alike…" (p 324)

"According to one common formula, members of the family of religions typically exhibit Four Cs: creed, cultus, code, and community. In other words, they have statements of beliefs and values (creeds); ritual activities (cultus); standards for ethical conduct (codes); and institutions (community). How does atheism stack up on this score?" (p 324)

"Atheists obviously have a creed. Some atheists deny that they believe anything. Is bald a hair color, they ask? But this denial is disingenuous. In fact, atheism is more doctrinal than any of the great religions. By definition, atheists agree on the dogma that there is no god, just as monotheists agree on the dogma that there is one. Belief is their preoccupation, as anyone who has read even one book on the subject can attest." (p 324)

"Cultus is trickier. Years ago I received a letter from a Boston-area chaplain's group accompanying an interfaith calendar…Among the holy days was the birthday of British philosopher Bertrand Russell. More recently, the Albany, New York-based Institute for Humanist Studies published a Secular Seasons calendar with more through accounting of atheists' High Holy Days, including Thomas Paine Day and Darwin Day. There is not much evidence, however, that atheists celebrate these days with any gusto or actually regard these exemplars as saints." (p 324)

"Most atheists do have a code of ethical conduct. In fact, one of the most frequent claims of the New Atheists is that they are the moral superiors of the old theists." (p 325)

"Although most atheists go it alone, some father into communities. There is a network of summer camps for atheist children called Camp Quest. Other prominent atheist organizations include Atheist Alliance International, American Atheists, British Humanists Association, Humanist Association of Canada, and the Germany-based National Council of Ex-Muslims…A U.S. group known as the United Coalition of Reason ran a billboard and bus campaign with ads that read, 'Don't believe in God? You are not alone.' Thought intended to raise visibility of atheists in the America public square, this campaign also trumpeted the availability of atheist communities…" (p 325)

"Using this functional approach, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in 1961 that secular humanism functions like a religion, so secular humanists merit the same sorts of First Amendment protections that religious practitioners enjoy. In 2005, in a decision that irked atheists and Christians alike, a lower U.S. court held that, because atheism walked and talked like a religion, judges should treat it as such." (p 325)

"Onfray, the most radical and, after Hitchens, the most gifted New Atheist writer, detects the stench of religion in much atheism today… 'The tactics of some secular figures seem contaminated by their enemy's ideology: man militants in the secular cause look astonishingly like clergy. Worse: like caricatures of clergy,' he writes… Onfray seems to be channeling at least some of the spirit of German philosopher Arnold Ruge, a friend of Marx who refused to jump on the atheist bandwagon not because it was too radical but because it was too traditional: 'Atheism is just as religious as was Jacob wrestling with God: the atheist is no freer than a Jew who eats pork or a Mohammedan who drinks wine.' " (p 326)

"Are human beings homo religiosus? Is it human nature to grasp after the sacred? Yes, say those biologists who find evolutionary advantages in religious beliefs and practices. If they are right, if religion is an inescapable part of being human, then atheism would seem fated to take on the form of religion. But not all atheists are religious. Some take their atheist creed with a shrug, steering clear of the cultus, codes, and communities of their atheist kin. For others, however, atheism is, in the words of German theologian Paul Tillich, an 'ultimate concern.' It stands at the center of their lives, defining who they are, how they think, and with whom they associate. The question of God is never far from their minds, and they would never even consider marrying someone outside of their fold. They are, in short, no more free from the clutches of religion than adherents of the Cult of Reason in eighteenth-century France. For these people at least, atheism may be the solution to the problem of religion. But the solution is religious nonetheless." (p 326)

Hutton;

For me, living  as an Atheist  I want to start by saying I am not offended by the idea that in some cases atheism can be expressed in a way that mimics religion.

You bring in good points, ones I have not read before, so thank you .

(Waves to 8ty), I have followed a thread of 8tys  on this topic before referencing  Tillich and felt it made sense 'for me.'  

I also have no issue with any Atheist that chooses to join a cause, only that  it does no harm. I think, for Atheism,  having a voice is a novelty. I also  think at times the collective has made errors. And, I think they  can find ways to stand for things that does no harm,  that is respectful, and considerate of all paths.   As an Atheist  this is what I commit too and focus on. I am not part of a organization though.
This  is what  works best for me. I hope this helps in some small way.

Edited by Sherapy, 04 April 2012 - 09:32 PM.




#32    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 04 April 2012 - 08:17 PM, said:

My agenda is simple…

In other threads I say something like "some atheists are religious."

I disagree,  I do not think SOME are religious...

Quote

   The point is that people do get lumped together, whether you like it or not and some terms are going to offend people. I am still entitled to my opinion based on an observation whether that person agrees with it or not. If you do not want to appear to be a Christian, do not walk around with a cross and a Bible, pretty simple.                      

I believe in allowing  each individual speak for themselves.. It is their chosen path after all...Actually I couldn't care less  what they call themselves.. It is their right  not mine...  ..  

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      I know what you are saying, and I knew what you were saying before. What I am saying is that is not LOGIC. You are mistaking logic for common sense, which you suggest makes sense to each of us. Logic is an area of philosophy that can break down arguments and determine whether or not they are valid. I could give you an example but I suspect you will ignore it.

Common sense  is not exactly  the same as  when we observe something put to us that is clear and adds up to make sense , easy clear pictures in our minds.. There is a bit of a difference...  So if something we read  or hear about  that we later feel  it makes perfect sense, then that is how one will see logic...

  Where as common sense  is  like when  IE -  we know a stove is hot , we know not to touch it bare handed because it will burn us.. common sense will or should apply... I feel you are so confused  on this .. So I wont push you any more on that..

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          Yes, and some of types of atheists are religious. …SOME atheists are religious. Atheists are not all the same, they are not all religious. What part of that do you not understand?                

Oh I get you.. I just disagree with all you say on that... Meaning I do agree  that some are religious.. I think they can speak for themselves ..So now what?  

Quote

     I know you pretty well…try me                       

Interesting, as you only joined the forum a couple weeks ago. and you now say you know me pretty well.. I find that rather...........Odd..

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 04 April 2012 - 10:52 PM.

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#33    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:11 PM

HuttonEtAl said:

- post removed -
No further comments..!! I just see copy and paste of my old posts there..

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#34    Michelle

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:26 PM

To be fair, BM, there are anywhere from 2000 to 3000 guests at any given day on UM. I dare say some of those people have been reading UM, maybe for years, without registering.

I know I read everything for about six months before I joined and I already felt like some people here were my friends...and now we are. lol


#35    Arbenol68

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:52 PM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 04 April 2012 - 10:53 PM, said:

I do not follow the bile like I once did..
I'd like to think this isn't a typo.


#36    Euphorbia

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:57 PM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 03 April 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

Most of you seem to be getting very irritated when I imply that some of atheism is a religion. I think most of you just ignore what I have to say, which is fair because I am just another dumbass on the internet. What I wanted to do instead was type up much of a chapter in Stephen Prothero's book God is not One. I am some idiot on the internet but here is someone that at least has a degree in the area. Here is his bio…

I'm not sure why you seem so obsessed with this subject! I will say this though, as was told to me by Sheri (Sherapy) when I first started posting in these forums. It would be nice if you posted things with a neutral point of view. Get your points across without making people feel you are angry with them. People might respond in a nicer fashion to your posts.

Quote

Stephen Prothero is a professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University and the author of numerous books, most recently God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter (HarperOne, 2010) and the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Americans Need to Know (HarperOne, 2007). He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs, and on television on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, and PBS. He was also a guest on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, "The Colbert Report," and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He was also the chief editorial consultant for the six-hour WGBH/PBS television series "God in America" (2010). A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, he has also written for the New York Times, Slate, Salon, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. In 2010 he was invited to speak about religious literacy at the White House. Prothero received his BA from Yale in American Studies and his PhD in the Study of Religion from Harvard. He lives on Cape Cod, and he tweets @sprothero.

Degrees in this day and age don't necessarily mean much. For every person with a degree that is actually brilliant in their respected fields, there are many more tending bar. This man has self professed that he is "religiously confused". Should his words or opinion mean something to me or anyone else out there? They obviously do to you and others but to me he's just another man with an opinion. And from what I've read so far from him, it's not one that I give any value to.

Quote

Let me know if you need any information on what exactly a religious scholar does. I have a feeling that many if you will simply ignore this but I hope at least a couple of you read it and think about it…

If you do not like what he has to say, there is his twitter account… tell him he is wrong. The following is not my opinion so do not tell me I am wrong, though I know you will…
I will try and keep this short so I will start with the section titled But Is It a Religion. I will simply be quoting from the book.

I have asked you before to name some religious scholars that are Atheist and you simply ignored my request.....so are there any? Names please, as I would like to read a good bio on a few of them. Not saying you are wrong, but I would like to see you back up your assertions.

Quote

But Is It a Religion
"Some atheists, including attorney Michael Newdow, who took his complaint against the inclusion of God in the Pledge of Allegiance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, believed that atheism is, in the words of novelist David Foster Wallace, an "anti-religious religion, which worships reason, skepticism, intellect, empirical proof, human autonomy, and self-determination. Most atheists, however, are offended by the suggestion that they, too, might be religious. For them, exhibit A is as simple and powerful as their denial God. But all sorts of religious people deny God, including many Buddhists, Confucians, and Jews." (p 323)

Again, most of this is just opinion. Maybe most Atheists including myself, don't like to be labeled or put in a box. If it weren't for religion, the phrase Atheist wouldn't even exist.

Some call Buddhism a religion but I look at it more as a philosophy. Same goes with Confucianism. The Jewish people are Jewish by blood, not necessarily by religion. So yes there can be Atheistic Jewish people.

Quote

"Whether atheism is a religion depends, of course, on what actual atheists believe and do. So the answer to this question will vary from person to person, and group to group. It will also depend on what we mean by religion. Religion is now widely defined by scholars and judges alike…" (p 324)

"According to one common formula, members of the family of religions typically exhibit Four Cs: creed, cultus, code, and community. In other words, they have statements of beliefs and values (creeds); ritual activities (cultus); standards for ethical conduct (codes); and institutions (community). How does atheism stack up on this score?" (p 324)

"Atheists obviously have a creed. Some atheists deny that they believe anything. Is bald a hair color, they ask? But this denial is disingenuous. In fact, atheism is more doctrinal than any of the great religions. By definition, atheists agree on the dogma that there is no god, just as monotheists agree on the dogma that there is one. Belief is their preoccupation, as anyone who has read even one book on the subject can attest." (p 324)

"Cultus is trickier. Years ago I received a letter from a Boston-area chaplain's group accompanying an interfaith calendar…Among the holy days was the birthday of British philosopher Bertrand Russell. More recently, the Albany, New York-based Institute for Humanist Studies published a Secular Seasons calendar with more through accounting of atheists' High Holy Days, including Thomas Paine Day and Darwin Day. There is not much evidence, however, that atheists celebrate these days with any gusto or actually regard these exemplars as saints." (p 324)

"Most atheists do have a code of ethical conduct. In fact, one of the most frequent claims of the New Atheists is that they are the moral superiors of the old theists." (p 325)

"Although most atheists go it alone, some father into communities. There is a network of summer camps for atheist children called Camp Quest. Other prominent atheist organizations include Atheist Alliance International, American Atheists, British Humanists Association, Humanist Association of Canada, and the Germany-based National Council of Ex-Muslims…A U.S. group known as the United Coalition of Reason ran a billboard and bus campaign with ads that read, 'Don't believe in God? You are not alone.' Thought intended to raise visibility of atheists in the America public square, this campaign also trumpeted the availability of atheist communities…" (p 325)

A lot of words to try to convey something that just isn't so. Any other labels you want to pin on us? This last bit is just ridiculous. Don't put me in a box and don't tell me what I think or how I behave.

Quote

"Using this functional approach, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in 1961 that secular humanism functions like a religion, so secular humanists merit the same sorts of First Amendment protections that religious practitioners enjoy. In 2005, in a decision that irked atheists and Christians alike, a lower U.S. court held that, because atheism walked and talked like a religion, judges should treat it as such." (p 325)

Then why don't we get tax exempt status?

Quote

"Onfray, the most radical and, after Hitchens, the most gifted New Atheist writer, detects the stench of religion in much atheism today… 'The tactics of some secular figures seem contaminated by their enemy's ideology: man militants in the secular cause look astonishingly like clergy. Worse: like caricatures of clergy,' he writes… Onfray seems to be channeling at least some of the spirit of German philosopher Arnold Ruge, a friend of Marx who refused to jump on the atheist bandwagon not because it was too radical but because it was too traditional: 'Atheism is just as religious as was Jacob wrestling with God: the atheist is no freer than a Jew who eats pork or a Mohammedan who drinks wine.' " (p 326)

"Are human beings homo religiosus? Is it human nature to grasp after the sacred? Yes, say those biologists who find evolutionary advantages in religious beliefs and practices. If they are right, if religion is an inescapable part of being human, then atheism would seem fated to take on the form of religion. But not all atheists are religious. Some take their atheist creed with a shrug, steering clear of the cultus, codes, and communities of their atheist kin. For others, however, atheism is, in the words of German theologian Paul Tillich, an 'ultimate concern.' It stands at the center of their lives, defining who they are, how they think, and with whom they associate. The question of God is never far from their minds, and they would never even consider marrying someone outside of their fold. They are, in short, no more free from the clutches of religion than adherents of the Cult of Reason in eighteenth-century France. For these people at least, atheism may be the solution to the problem of religion. But the solution is religious nonetheless." (p 326)

You can line up all of the religious scholars you want.....none will convince me that Atheism is a religion.

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My mistake, four coffins.

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#37    ChloeB

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:36 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 03 April 2012 - 11:34 PM, said:

For others, however, atheism is, in the words of German theologian Paul Tillich, an ‘ultimate concern.’ It stands at the center of their lives, defining who they are, how they think, and with whom they associate. The question of God is never far from their minds, and they would never even consider marrying someone outside of their fold. They are, in short, no more free from the clutches of religion than adherents of the Cult of Reason in eighteenth-century France. For these people at least, atheism may be the solution to the problem of religion. But the solution is religious nonetheless.” (p 326)

Yep, I know some atheist that is so "unconcerned with God and religion" that they sit around and listen to Christian talk radio and look for stuff to squawk about. :rolleyes:

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#38    ChloeB

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:38 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 04 April 2012 - 10:53 PM, said:

I am a firm believer in god..but its a personal belief of my own.. I do not follow the bile like I once did..

OH good grief, how far did you dig back to find all that!?  I remember her typing bible like that when her "b" key was messed up and that's been a long time, surely before you joined.  You really went to some effort there, kinda strange don't you think?

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

#39    ChloeB

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:40 AM

View PostMichelle, on 04 April 2012 - 11:26 PM, said:

I know I read everything for about six months before I joined and I already felt like some people here were my friends...and now we are. lol

LOL, awww, that's cute.  At least they were real live people!  I feel like my sweet GPS lady voice is my friend.  I have some brain spasm about directions and having that thing is like this security blanket, so comforting; she's always there, patient with me, reminds me early where to turn, she's my dear friend.  :P






And yes PA, I know already before you start honking!  There's a chat room!  :lol:  :P

*grumbles off muttering something about how my GPS lady is much more interesting than another thread about atheism as a relgion*   :w00t:

Edited by ChloeB, 05 April 2012 - 12:45 AM.

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

#40    The Id3al Experience

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:47 AM

re·li·gion   /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices:
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

So yes it is a religion under option 2, 3 it can.

Just not a religion of a deity(option 1)

its black and white - religion is just 99%(not actual figure, dont take it litteral) is of a higher supernatural power.

but you can break a religion down to - 3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices

Atheist adher to science(belief system)
they use the scienific method to find answers(A practice)
there are many atheists (body of persons)

so by definition - Yes, but to an individual maybe no. dependings on ones view on religion - choose your option from the above and go with it.. your choose.

but this is my view on this.

kind Regards,
Me :)

Edited by The Id3al Experience, 05 April 2012 - 12:52 AM.

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#41    I Am Not Resisting

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:00 AM

View PostThe Id3al Experience, on 05 April 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

Atheist adher to science(belief system)
they use the scienific method to find answers(A practice)
And so do Christians and others that follow deity-based religions.

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#42    Euphorbia

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:20 AM

View PostThe Id3al Experience, on 05 April 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

re·li·gion   /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Show Spelled[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices:
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

So yes it is a religion under option 2, 3 it can.

Just not a religion of a deity(option 1)

its black and white - religion is just 99%(not actual figure, dont take it litteral) is of a higher supernatural power.

but you can break a religion down to - 3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices

Atheist adher to science(belief system)
they use the scienific method to find answers(A practice)
there are many atheists (body of persons)

so by definition - Yes, but to an individual maybe no. dependings on ones view on religion - choose your option from the above and go with it.. your choose.

but this is my view on this.

kind Regards,
Me :)

So what set of beliefs and practices do we Atheists adhere to? Atheism is NOT a religion!

Science is not a belief system!

Again, all we have in common is a lack of belief in a god.

Edited by Euphorbia, 05 April 2012 - 01:22 AM.

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My mistake, four coffins.

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#43    Euphorbia

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:33 AM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 04 April 2012 - 10:53 PM, said:

Let's test my knowledge...

"I attended a catholic primary school ( like elementary school in the US )... then later was sent to an all girl catholic high school called - St Marys... It was strict...bible study was a must... and back then I enjoyed it...then I went to college...got more into science ect

*Snip*

Your male, yet you were sent to an all girl Catholic school? I'm confused.

I'm also confused as to why you didn't capitalize "Catholic".

Get three coffins ready.

My mistake, four coffins.

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#44    I Am Not Resisting

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:43 AM

View PostEuphorbia, on 05 April 2012 - 01:33 AM, said:

Your male, yet you were sent to an all girl Catholic school? I'm confused.

I'm also confused as to why you didn't capitalize "Catholic".
This is where he is quoting BM's past statements in other threads because he claims he knows her so well.   :tu:

-Don't judge me.
-Did you just say "Don't touch me"?  We're in public!

#45    Euphorbia

Euphorbia

    Odd Plant Grower

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:55 AM

View PostI Am Not Resisting, on 05 April 2012 - 01:43 AM, said:

This is where he is quoting BM's past statements in other threads because he claims he knows her so well.   :tu:

Yes, I got PMed. I understand it now. Thanks

Get three coffins ready.

My mistake, four coffins.

Separation of corporation and state!




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