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ambelamba

Outside of Christianity

83 posts in this topic

Ummm....not quite. But I have no intention to go back to that Desert Spook and his power bottom son.

I hear you bro. Take that book out and bury it and give it back to the Earth. Whatever path you follow may it be fruitful.

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Ummm....not quite. But I have no intention to go back to that Desert Spook and his power bottom son.

If you keep thinking, you'll end up either an atheist or an agnostic. Bottom line: religion doesn't have any answers.

Doug

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If you keep thinking, you'll end up either an atheist or an agnostic. Bottom line: religion doesn't have any answers.

Doug

It worked well enough for me. So often I see people who have left religion tell those who are questioning that religion doesn't have the answers, theft if they just keep as they are they'll follow the path they did.

And yet, at the end of the day, my questioning led to believing in the Christian God. And sure, I don't expect everyone to agree, and I don't expect everyone to take the same path I did. But blanket statements that a person who questions religion is on the path to agnosticism/atheism is just plain wrong.

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Posted (edited)

An atheist in the making.

Doug

Doug---regarding post #18--you did a fine job of refuting points I didn't make (example: Your contention that "Baal" is used more often than "Jehovah" in the OT; YHWH and Elohim occur hundreds of times; you refute that by trying to educate me about YHWH, which is sometimes transliterated as 'Jehovah,' and I already noted where; that response is pure tautology; your attempted refutation that Jesus is as historically attested as Aristotle, Plato and others, which you respond to by saying "they weren't called gods"---which I never said they were!--and nor did I say that of Jesus. I was speaking of ancient criteria establishing historicity, not "godness." That response was unresponsive).

Your approach to these questions of historicity was old in the "god is dead" era of the 1960's, and I read all about them when I was 13 years old haunting a Buffalo public library. "There's nothing new under the sun" here, Doug.

Your 'scholarship' is sclerotic--especially if you use the King James Version. If I were diplomatic, I'd call your analysis 'quaint'--but I ain't.

Edited by szentgyorgy

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It worked well enough for me. So often I see people who have left religion tell those who are questioning that religion doesn't have the answers, theft if they just keep as they are they'll follow the path they did.

And yet, at the end of the day, my questioning led to believing in the Christian God. And sure, I don't expect everyone to agree, and I don't expect everyone to take the same path I did. But blanket statements that a person who questions religion is on the path to agnosticism/atheism is just plain wrong.

My path was similar. I've run the gamut from childish, childhood, childlike faith to questioning, rejection, despair, wandering, and back again---by different paths. If questioning God or anything about God makes one a nascent agnostic/atheist, then Jesus himself was well on his way in Gethsemane, and ready for induction into the Atheist Hall of Fame on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!" Of course he was repeating an ancient plea (Psalm 22) of humanity engaged with/enraged with the evanescent Divine.

Some atheists are as unjustifiably "certain" of themselves as Billy Graham (and others) are accused of being, with just as much reason. And, of course, some believers (in all religions) give faith a bad name. . .

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Earl Nightingale (March 12, 1921 – March 28, 1989) was an American motivational speaker and author, known as the "Dean of Personal Development."[1] He was the voice in the early 1950s of Sky King, the hero of a radio adventure series, and was a WGN radio show host from 1950 to 1956.[2] Nightingale was the author of the Strangest Secret, which economist Terry Savage has called “…One of the great motivational books of all time“.[3]

Wiki

Norman Vincent Peale

Peale was a prolific writer; The Power of Positive Thinking is by far his most widely read work. First published in 1952, it stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186[4] consecutive weeks, and according to the publisher, Simon and Schuster, the book has sold around 5 million copies. The fact that the book has sold 5 million copies is printed on the cover of the current edition in both paperback and hard cover, and directly contradicts exaggerated claims that the book has sold more than 20 million copies[5][6] in 42 languages.[5] The publisher also contradicts the translation claim, saying the book has been translated into only 15 languages (publisher's statement on amazon.com describing several TPOPT books, tapes and other media). Nearly half of the sales of the book (2.1 mil.) occurred before 1958 ("Pitchman in the Pulpit." Fuller, Edmund. Saturday Review, March 19, 1957, pp. 28–30), and the book has sold less than 3 million copies over the past 50 years. Some of his other popular works include The Art of Living, A Guide to Confident Living, The Tough-Minded Optimist, and Inspiring Messages for Daily Living.

Wiki

Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883 – November 8, 1970) was an American author in the area of the new thought movement who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. He is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success.[1] His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill's death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 million copies).[2] Hill's works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. He became an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1936. "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" is one of Hill's hallmark expressions.[3][4] How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach of the average person, were the focal points of Hill's books.

Wiki

Andrew Carnegie Dictum

In his final days, Carnegie suffered from bronchial pneumonia. Before his death on August 11, 1919, Carnegie had donated $350,695,654 for various causes. The "Andrew Carnegie Dictum" was:

  • To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education one can.
  • To spend the next third making all the money one can.
  • To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.

Carnegie was involved in philanthropic causes, but he kept himself away from religious circles. He wanted to be identified by the world as a "positivist". He was highly influenced in public life by John Bright.

The conditions of human society create for this an imperious demand; the concentration of capital is a necessity for meeting the demands of our day, and as such should not be looked at askance, but be encouraged. There is nothing detrimental to human society in it, but much that is, or is bound soon to become, beneficial. It is an evolution from the heterogeneous to the homogeneous, and is clearly another step in the upward path of development.

—Carnegie, Andrew 1901 The Gospel of Wealth and Other Timely Essays

Religion and world view

Witnessing sectarianism and strife in 19th century Scotland regarding religion and philosophy, Carnegie kept his distance from organized religion and theism.[67] Carnegie instead preferred to see things through naturalistic and scientific terms stating, "Not only had I got rid of the theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution."[68]

Later in life, Carnegie's firm opposition to religion softened. For many years he was a member of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, pastored from 1905 to 1926 by Social Gospel exponent Henry Sloane Coffin, while his wife and daughter belonged to the Brick Presbyterian Church.[69] He also prepared (but did not deliver) an address to St. Andrews in which he professed a belief in "an Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things proceed".[70]

Wiki

I've seen much of similarities to Buddhism philosophy in the early days even under the sermons of the varied sects of Christianity and Atheistic inclinations ... it is just that nowadays the media and materialism over shadows most if not everything ... it just needs a bit of a re focus ...

~

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My hardship is 99% about financial situation. If it goes away or get solved in any manner, I will be much happier. People tend to ignore the importance of material necessity in the pursuit of spirituality.

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My hardship is 99% about financial situation. If it goes away or get solved in any manner, I will be much happier. People tend to ignore the importance of material necessity in the pursuit of spirituality.

It is not the material necessity that is the problem, it is how you go about to achieve it and the compromises it asks of you and the ones you willingly to submit to ...

Let no one lead you down the road to temptations for you as well as everyone else knows it well ... if you trod down the path let not yourself blame everyone else but yourself ... if you blame others you will forever be on that path with never an escape to be found ...

~

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My hardship is 99% about financial situation. If it goes away or get solved in any manner, I will be much happier. People tend to ignore the importance of material necessity in the pursuit of spirituality.

What kind of financial hardship? Debt, job, child support and alimony? PM me if you'd rather not discuss it publically.

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My hardship is 99% about financial situation. If it goes away or get solved in any manner, I will be much happier. People tend to ignore the importance of material necessity in the pursuit of spirituality.

I wouldn't know any about that I am a disabled starving artist, who called in a marker on the kids this week. I used to tell them when I gave them their weekly allowance, this a loan, what is called a marker. Someday I might have to call in my markers for cash or services. I got a good return on my investment.

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It worked well enough for me. So often I see people who have left religion tell those who are questioning that religion doesn't have the answers, theft if they just keep as they are they'll follow the path they did.

And yet, at the end of the day, my questioning led to believing in the Christian God. And sure, I don't expect everyone to agree, and I don't expect everyone to take the same path I did. But blanket statements that a person who questions religion is on the path to agnosticism/atheism is just plain wrong.

All generalizations are false, including this one.

I meant that tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes people do choose religion. But many times they don't.

To be more accurate: sometimes religion produces answers to spiritual questions, and well it should. But when it tries to move into history, or science, it gets all messed up. That's what turned me from religion: if they can't get the physical stuff right, what chance to they have with the spiritual?

Doug

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I envy atheists and people who raised from non-Abrahamic backgrounds. At least they don't have to live in fear of a jealous and petty deity who tortures people just to make a point.

It always makes me sad to read things like this, because I think they are much more indicative of over-bearing, strict, plain ol' mean parents who have no interest in nurturing their children's mind.. than they do about religion or faith.

Anyone can follow whatever religious, spiritual or faith-based path they feel like following... or follow none at all. Nothing can stop you from doing that. Not that I am trying to get personal, but I don't understand how financial difficulties could possibly stop you from internally trying to figure out what makes sense to you.

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What kind of financial hardship? Debt, job, child support and alimony? PM me if you'd rather not discuss it publically.

Debt and unstable incomes. :(

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Posted (edited)

If I was in a better life situation I would freely pursue whatever spirituality I want to study. :(

Maybe your situation would improve is you freely pursued it, Ron, or at least you'd be happier.Sometimes when we follow our hearts wonderful things happen. I'm not being cavalier about this, Ron. There was a time when I was flat broke, had no job, no car, lost most of my possessions and and all of my liquid assets, and my kids were helping with the bills. It was my pursuit of spirituality that allowed me to get up out of bed every morning and move through it. there were days when just getting out of bed was a win, and the only one, at that. But I had faith in the divine, although i couldn't see how things would get better. But they did, one step at a time, as long as I stayed out of fear, was responsible, and trusted spirit to handle what I couldn't.

Edited by Beany
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Posted (edited)

Doug---regarding post #18--you did a fine job of refuting points I didn't make (example: Your contention that "Baal" is used more often than "Jehovah" in the OT; YHWH and Elohim occur hundreds of times; you refute that by trying to educate me about YHWH, which is sometimes transliterated as 'Jehovah,' and I already noted where; that response is pure tautology; your attempted refutation that Jesus is as historically attested as Aristotle, Plato and others, which you respond to by saying "they weren't called gods"---which I never said they were!--and nor did I say that of Jesus. I was speaking of ancient criteria establishing historicity, not "godness." That response was unresponsive).

Your approach to these questions of historicity was old in the "god is dead" era of the 1960's, and I read all about them when I was 13 years old haunting a Buffalo public library. "There's nothing new under the sun" here, Doug.

Your 'scholarship' is sclerotic--especially if you use the King James Version. If I were diplomatic, I'd call your analysis 'quaint'--but I ain't.

I have no interest in the theology as that cannot be verified. Maybe Jesus existed, maybe not, but we'll never know if our only source is the Bible. Whether god is dead (or ever existed) is irrelevant. I am looking only for what can be verified through ancient writings, geography, geology, chemistry, tree rings, etc. The end goal is to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus existed and determine as objectively as possible what is known about him.

Regarding the King James Version: that is only one of a huge body of Christian literature. Where do you think I got all those second-century dates from? They're not in the King James Version. If you had read it, you'd know that.

Most people think (apparently including you) that because I don't accept unsupported speculation, that I am rejecting their god and they immediately get defensive, as you have done. You may find fables and urban legends compelling, but I want something more reliable.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29
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I have no interest in the theology as that cannot be verified. Maybe Jesus existed, maybe not, but we'll never know if our only source is the Bible. Whether god is dead (or ever existed) is irrelevant. I am looking only for what can be verified through ancient writings, geography, geology, chemistry, tree rings, etc. The end goal is to establish whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Jesus existed and determine as objectively as possible what is known about him.

Regarding the King James Version: that is only one of a huge body of Christian literature. Where do you think I got all those second-century dates from? They're not in the King James Version. If you had read it, you'd know that.

Most people think (apparently including you) that because I don't accept unsupported speculation, that I am rejecting their god and they immediately get defensive, as you have done. You may find fables and urban legends compelling, but I want something more reliable.

Doug

My, but you are all over the place on this. You stated (post #18) "I (yourself) usually use the KJV." I didn't refer to it except in that context. It is the least reliable of available English translations, yet you use it. I read it when it was the standard version of my youth, and off and on since. How can your reference to the KJV be my problem? I never based any of my dates/my response on the KJV. What are you talking about?

Theology is an academic discipline rooted in history, archaeology, hard scientific data (carbon-14 dating of bones,teeth and other material; biological analysis of seeds, grain remains, middens, graves, tombs and much more), tradition and literature, not "fables and urban legends" as you dismissively assert. Why read about it if you've decreed it all mumbo-jumbo? The term "god is dead" theology simply refers to the antiquated nature of your assertions. What you have written in this thread was all old hat by the 1970's.

Your materialist views are clear; your scholarship is not, nor is it fresh or insightful. It's obsolete. Open-minded research is apparently not your strong suit; pre-conceptions, assumptions and driving an agenda appear to be your domain. Proponents of enlightened biblical research since the 1800's don't claim findings verifiable according to your constricted version of pseudo-scientism.

To repeat: The same criteria that your methodology would apply to Jesus' existence apply equally to Homer, Plato and many other accepted historical personages.

To repeat another point: You tend to refute things I've never written. That's not dialogue. It might be a monologue, but I'm not impressed by self-sustaining diatribes.

We all have a right to our opinions; when one writes or speaks definitively, especially "scientifically," one is obligated to be responsible--not misleading.

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Posted (edited)

Which comes first theology or history, archeology, hard scientific data. If the theology doesn't match the data, do you go with the data or the theology. Theologies goal it prove there is a God, you can't apply science to that. There is no way to prove it. Theology isn't a science, My problem with theological archeology it is trying to prove there is God, because the Bible says there is a city there, therefore there is God. Archeology is about telling the story of people by looking at what they left behind. If you open a book and try to match it all up then you lose subjective science. Sure you'll find what you're looking for, because that is what you are looking for.

The best thing ancient Druids did was not write anything down, so we got a do over.

the·ol·o·gy

[thee-ol-uh-jee] Show IPA

noun, plural the·ol·o·gies.

1.

the field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.

2.

a particular form, system, branch, or course of this study

Edited by Darkwind

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Which comes first theology or history, archeology, hard scientific data. If the theology doesn't match the data, do you go with the data or the theology. Theologies goal it prove there is a God, you can't apply science to that. There is no way to prove it. Theology isn't a science, My problem with theological archeology it is trying to prove there is God, because the Bible says there is a city there, therefore there is God. Archeology is about telling the story of people by looking at what they left behind. If you open a book and try to match it all up then you lose subjective science. Sure you'll find what you're looking for, because that is what you are looking for.

The best thing ancient Druids did was not write anything down, so we got a do over.

the·ol·o·gy

[thee-ol-uh-jee] Show IPA

noun, plural the·ol·o·gies.

1.

the field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God's attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity.

2.

a particular form, system, branch, or course of this study

Theology's goal is not to prove there is a god; just check the definitions you provided. It is the study of God. As definition #2 suggests, each religion has theological traditions, approaches and methodologies unique to its milieu and history. Islamic theology is markedly different from Christian theology, which in turn is distinct from Mormon theology.

I never said theology is a science. I have said that various sciences have been, are and can be employed in the search for the "truths" (the internal consistencies, messages, meanings) inherent in any particular religion (see definition 1 above).

For a quick example, archaeology of sites in Jerusalem confirms the Roman destruction of 'Herod's' Temple in a time frame that correlates with New Testament attestations of that calamity. Thus the reliability of those literary passages relating to this destruction is supported by scientific evidence.

Theology attempts to correlate material reality (communal and individual) and other "scientific" aspects of human endeavor with the striving of human consciousness to connect with what may be beyond itself. People who engage in it do not pretend to be physical scientists. Oral tradition, manuscripts, records of meetings and disputes, legal documents--all come into play .It's more poetry than chemistry--but is gradually dovetailing with aspects of quantum physics.

Perhaps people are irritated at theology because it has been so manipulated and misused for so long. So has military "science," but the US invests billions in manufacturing, procurement, R & D and more for its armed forces per year, despite the destruction it has wrought--and many Americans still revel in our wars. The internal combustion engine, mishandled, takes tens of thousand of lives a year on US roads--but we don't condemn its value to human transportation and progress.

In my opinion, theology (faith) and science (deterministic materialism) are not mutually exclusive. There is a growing interface between science and religion in our era.

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For a quick example, archaeology of sites in Jerusalem confirms the Roman destruction of 'Herod's' Temple in a time frame that correlates with New Testament attestations of that calamity. Thus the reliability of those literary passages relating to this destruction is supported by scientific evidence.

In 1864 Atlanta, Georgia was burn to the ground by Union forces, therefore Gone With the Wind is true story? Real archeology begins when you throw the book away and just look at what is there. I am studying the Mabinogion as part of my theological study for Druid clergy. There are places in the stories which are real places, there maybe people in the stories who maybe were real people at one time, but it doesn't make anything in the stories true. The Bible, Mabinogion, and books like them are allegory and should be treated as such. I wish when I was a young teen I would have read Joseph Campbell before I read the Bible, it would have saved me a lot of time.

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Posted (edited)

In 1864 Atlanta, Georgia was burn to the ground by Union forces, therefore Gone With the Wind is true story? Real archeology begins when you throw the book away and just look at what is there. I am studying the Mabinogion as part of my theological study for Druid clergy. There are places in the stories which are real places, there maybe people in the stories who maybe were real people at one time, but it doesn't make anything in the stories true. The Bible, Mabinogion, and books like them are allegory and should be treated as such. I wish when I was a young teen I would have read Joseph Campbell before I read the Bible, it would have saved me a lot of time.

No, Gone With The Wind is a novel reflecting, somewhat accurately, the kinds of crises, stresses and forces that people experienced during that cataclysm. History/archaeology can buttress the accuracy of accounts, whether alleged eye-witness reports, memoirs, novels, poems or whatnot. Most myths and much fiction reflect truths of universal experience without defining truth. Hence the value of a brilliant mind such as that of Joseph Campbell, culling global mythology for pertinent, and lasting (sometimes eternal) human truths.

Thanks for your response, DW. You've confirmed the definition of theology I posted above (post #43), which, as I demonstrated, agrees with your provided definitions.

Please tell me more about Druidic study. You threw me off a bit by saying you are studying The Mabinogion as you indicated Druidism is not reliant on written texts. As a person of partial Cymri ancestry, I've perused The Mabinogion but not read it completely. What are the textual aspects of your research?

Edited by szentgyorgy

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I am sorry to hear you going through such a hard time. I am a Christian and read the OT but don't have the fears that you do. I hope you can find some help in this. I don't know why you think Buddhist thought can not be studied and learned from by Christians, that is not true, though of course some Christians may agree with you.

Your experience of your faith, is yours, to universalize it is non-productive in my opinion. In order for you to free yourself of your past, you need perhaps to read writers that go deeper into the tradition and have a much different perspective than you do. Which means to step outside of your fundamentalist past, there are many great thinkers who are deeply Christian who may be able to help you to at least get more insight than what you have at this time. We all need to grow and study if we are to mature….it is an unending aspect of any life that is dealing with life’s questions.

In any case, good luck in your search.

peace

mark

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Please tell me more about Druidic study. You threw me off a bit by saying you are studying The Mabinogion as you indicated Druidism is not reliant on written texts. As a person of partial Cymri ancestry, I've perused The Mabinogion but not read it completely. What are the textual aspects of your research?

Druidry and most earth based religions don't have revealed sacred text like the Bible, but that doesn't mean we don't study books. Mabinogion are the morality stories of my ancestors filtered through Christian monks who wrote them down. There is a lot of stuff that would have been lost if it hadn't been for them. I am taking a class from a Druid on it.

Druidry is a path to wisdom, you can follow any religious path you want and still be a Druid. The Druid path I follow is an Earth based one. There are many different kinds of Druid and Pagan paths. It can get complicated, but we manage to get along and worship together for the most part. The Mabinogion I am using was done my Jeffrey Gautz.

I am also reading Stranger In a Strange Land as a part of my studys.

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Druidry and most earth based religions don't have revealed sacred text like the Bible, but that doesn't mean we don't study books. Mabinogion are the morality stories of my ancestors filtered through Christian monks who wrote them down. There is a lot of stuff that would have been lost if it hadn't been for them. I am taking a class from a Druid on it.

Druidry is a path to wisdom, you can follow any religious path you want and still be a Druid. The Druid path I follow is an Earth based one. There are many different kinds of Druid and Pagan paths. It can get complicated, but we manage to get along and worship together for the most part. The Mabinogion I am using was done my Jeffrey Gautz.

I am also reading Stranger In a Strange Land as a part of my studys.

Do you grok? Great book by the way, read it when I first came out.....way, way back in the day LOL

Peace

mark

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Druidry and most earth based religions don't have revealed sacred text like the Bible, but that doesn't mean we don't study books. Mabinogion are the morality stories of my ancestors filtered through Christian monks who wrote them down. There is a lot of stuff that would have been lost if it hadn't been for them. I am taking a class from a Druid on it.

Druidry is a path to wisdom, you can follow any religious path you want and still be a Druid. The Druid path I follow is an Earth based one. There are many different kinds of Druid and Pagan paths. It can get complicated, but we manage to get along and worship together for the most part. The Mabinogion I am using was done my Jeffrey Gautz.

I am also reading Stranger In a Strange Land as a part of my studys.

Thanks for the info. I'm not trying to be patronizing, but Heinlein's title Stranger in a Strange Land is derived from the ancient Hebrew custom of hospitality (Exodus 23:9), which he (appropriately) universalizes.

As my mother used to say, 'You learn something new ever day." I didn't know that the Mabinogion was preserved/interpreted by Christian monks! Very interesting. Thanks.

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Thanks for the info. I'm not trying to be patronizing, but Heinlein's title Stranger in a Strange Land is derived from the ancient Hebrew custom of hospitality (Exodus 23:9), which he (appropriately) universalizes.

Exodus 2:22 Is where the title came from.

And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom [that is, A stranger there]; for he said, “I have been a stranger in a strange land.”

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