Saturday, September 16, 2006

Come On; Think About It

Once upon a time, in Sunday school, we were discussion tithing. The discussion veered into why people do not pay their 10% to God. The “consensus” answer – because they want the riches, the evil money! The discussion bumped along until it had come round to why people do pay tithing. The “consensus” answer – because if they do God will bless them with riches, the blessed money! I couldn’t help but ask, “What is the difference between a person whose motive for not paying tithing is to get rich and the person whose motive for paying tithing is to get rich?”

Many a sermon has been preached about the evils of wealth. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into heaven.” Unless it’s a pretty big needle or a well ground camel, that sounds impossible to me. And yet this call to righteousness by rejecting the evils of wealth always ends up with a promise that a mortal life of sacrifice and poverty will end you up in a palace on a golden street in heaven with infinite plenty – and some promise, infinite power. Doesn’t it seem a little odd that God would teach us something is evil and then reward our abstinence by heaping that “evil” on us for eternity?

Now consider the Islamic fascist’s position. Sex is so evil it cannot be displayed or discussed. Movies that display it must be censored, music that invites contemplation of it must be banned, books that mention it must be burned, people who indulge in it stoned, and women who represent it must be covered head to foot in bags and buried out of sight – and if they show themselves, buried alive. And what is the reward for such abstention, for a life of celibacy and a death achieved by detonating one’s self to kill the immoral Western culture that flaunts it? Seventy-two virgins and a heaven of sex. Doesn’t the hypocrisy of such a belief cry out its falseness?


The Pope quotes a medieval ruler whose world was being torn apart by the “holy warriors of Islam”. The emperor said that teachings that inspire murder to spread a belief system bring violence to the world. And what is the response to the Pope by those who insist that Islam is a religion of peace? Violence! Think about it!

115 comments:

Ahmedinajad said...

BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS

Terrorist School Teacher Arrested, as reported first onCNN

NEW YORK- A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy
International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said he believes the man is member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of mathinstruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzalez said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God
had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have
given us more fingers and toes."


http://www.islamicity.com/Mosque/Muhammad_Bible.HTM
(MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE)
http://bible.islamicweb.com/
http://news.sky.com/skynews/video/videoplayer/0,,31200-galloway_060806,00.html
http://ifamericansknew.com/
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/default.htm (Quran and Science)
http://www.harunyahya.com/
http://www.barnabas.net/
http://www.answering-christianity.com/ac.htm
http://www.islamicity.com/
http://www.islamonline.net/english/index.shtml
http://www.islamalways.com/

MindMechanic said...

Somehow...the image of Islamic terrorists using a machete and sawing at the neck of a bound and helpless victim with blood flowing freely and with the victim screaming in pain until his severed head literally is held aloft by these peace loving muslims, all the while chanting their praise to Allah... stands counter to the wonderful words of peace as is found on the many websites posted.

When muslims stop fundamentalist muslims from committing murder in the name of their faith and Allah...come back lets have a nice visit.

Ive said it before...of course it isnt ALL muslims. But there are a whole lot of them that make the concept of muslims being peaceful and violence being condemned by the Kuran absolutely laughable.

Lysis said...

Ahmedihajad;

One is forced to wonder if the references you list below your post are any more reliable than your purported CNN report. Don’t you see how posting an obvious lie shoots the credibility of anything you might offer there after? Thank you for providing another example of the hierocracy I sought to characterize in this log.

Mindmechanic;

Like you, I marvel that there are those that can not tell the difference between the humane and just treatment given to terrorists by their American captors and the brutal murder of innocents in the name of god as perpetrated by our enemies. But then our new friend above can’t tell the difference between a joke and the War on Terror.

truth to power said...

I think that the vocal minority that instigates these violent tantrums is well aware of the irony. The response is a calculated and cynical one. These are not righteously outraged true believers; they're opportunistic agitators looking to exploit religion. They fan the flames of mutual prejudice and distrust between Islam and the West because it advances their cause.

Lysis said...

"MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Two gunmen killed an Italian nun and her bodyguard at a hospital Sunday, and a security official for an Islamic militia controlling the capital speculated the attack was linked to worldwide Muslim anger over a speech by Pope Benedict XVI."

So here we have it, in a desperate attempt to prove Pope Benedict wrong “peaceful Muslims” murder a nun at a hospital. Think about it!

Where is the outrage for this atrocity in the “Muslim World”? Where are the marches in Cairo or L.A? Why has the world not heard from the leaders of the Islamic world; from the peace loving Muslims faithful, condemning the murder of a woman who has dedicated her life to service and helping the suffering of Somalia no matter what their religion or race? Think about it!

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:

"These people were not arrested, they were captured on the battlefield."

Detainee:
Is a neutral term used to indicate people held by a government, such as those it does not classify and treat as either PRISONERS OF WAR (beet thinning jokes asside) or SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, in criminal cases.

Lysis:
For more than two and a half years, what has a "battlefield" looked like in Iraq? -- the whole country is a BATTLEFIELD.

Any "innocents" around or Participants in free Democratic elections?

In Lysis' world everyone is either a TERRORIST or a potential collateral damage victim, just so he can keep his " morality of opportunism" intact?

Where was the "battlefield" for the terroist culprits of 9-11? (time for Lysis to make up some BS definition of battlefield)

The government detains these people without formal legal prejudice -- how does Lysis know WHO and HOW MANY are detained or the nature of their situations -- IT'S SECRET. Probably Lysis still believes that the administration did not sanction SECRET CIA detention centers outside the country.

Quit whining and pay your tithing.

Maybe you believe GOD believes fabrications!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why NOT think about it -- it's clear Lysis doesn't!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

Although it is all semantics – (and you have proven that you are capable of defining any word any way you choose to proscribe) – these terrorists captured on the battle field should not be referred to either as detainees or SUSPECTS. My lawyer explains that they are ILLEGAL COMBATANTS.

Furthermore, you know nothing of who these people are or anything concerning their being “innocent” or guilty. What we all do know is that they are carefully screened and many who have been held have been released. Those who do remain in American hands, whether in Secret Prisons or at “Club Gitmo” are illegal enemy combatants who must be held for the duration. They are neither tortured nor mistreated; they are used to provide valuable information in the War on Terror and are being prevented from killing innocent people, their stated goal.

As for a definition of “battle field” – It is the terrorists who have choose to bring the battle to us, US, and it is my hope that our President and the noble troops that serve our nation will keep the fighting as far away from our soil as possible.

As for paying my tithing – I have done so this last half century – and never whined. Nor have I ever believed I could bribe God into giving me riches.

By the way, God doesn’t’ need to believe anything.

Think about it!

Cameron said...

Lysis,

Why do you pay tithing?

MindMechanic said...

Just as an aside...

The Geneva Convention is a trety...actually it was signed as a set of treaties. The signature countries oblige themselves to treat enemy combatants within certain guidelines.

Like all treaties or contracts, they require two parties. The US in this case represents 1 party. During the 1st Gulf War, Iraq (for example) represented the second party. We each held prisoners. At the end of the war, the prisoners were exchanged. Ours were definitly the worse for wear. Our women combatants (two of them) had been raped, beaten, and defecated on, so great was the insult to our enemy that mere women dared to engage them. The Iraqi prisoners of war for the most part were not 'taken' prisoner, they surrendered (and in some cases to TV camera crews). They were starving and freezing. They received better treatment by far than many had received during non-wartime conditions. That is a far example of the exercise of Geneva Convention rights.

In this war on terro we do not battle a country, we battle an ideolgy. We have no treaty and cant have a treaty because there is no one to make a treaty with. These terrorists do not represent a country or even a nation.

And regardless of how we treat our prisoners, THEY have clearly demonstrated their feelings on "Geneva Convention" rights.

Still...

When we capture terrorists in the field we give them medical help, checkups, dental exams, etc. They are fed and clothed. They are given a summary trial and it is determined if they have intelligence value. If it is determined they do not they are usually turned over to the local prisons (either in Afghnaistan or Iraq) and those prisons are currently under local control. If they are deemed to have intel value they are reviewed again and their information is examined. If it is still viewed that it is current and valuable they are sent for a final review and then ultimately transferred to Guantanimo Bay. Those that end up there are ONLY those that are the most ruthless, most violent, or still posess intel value.

It is expensive to transport and keep them at Gitmo. No one wants to waste time and resources.

Those secret prisons everyone talks about are where these people are sent if they are determined to have intel value. And yes, they are interrogated. We talked about this in the previous thread...I wouldnt have it any other way and when asked, so far, the anon collective has not OFFERED any other way.

These people arent Americans. They arent enemy combatants. They are terorists. They should be treated as such. Until democrats find a more effective way to combat terror they can not and should not be trusted with the keys to government.

I think the electorate is starting to recognize that. The polls are beginning to reflect that the numbers are swinging and even top democrat mouthpieces have stated why. People want to hear ANSWERS...not just whining and complaining and expressions of hatred. Thats why Kerry lost (after all this time can ANYONE restate Kerry's 'plans'? On ANYTHING???) and it will be why the dems lose the upcoming round of elections.

MindMechanic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Cameron:
Great Question -- I want to hear the answer to that one too!

Lysis: Just make sure avarice is not showing too bad.

Nor would I recommend humble piety --it just wouldn't be believable!!!!

MindMechanic said...

I think everyone does what they do based on their faith and beliefs. Hopefully they do it based on well thought out and (in the case of spirtuality) often prayed about reasons. Hopefully their reasons are solidly their own.

Morality is an interesting phenomenon. Where does it come from? If we choose not to place faith in a spiritual 'God' and instead choose to place faith in the scientific 'Gods' how then do we explain morality? Did we somehow 'evolve' a requirement for right and wrong? Are we really just differently evolved animals and if so, what do we base these concepts of right wrong on?

Anonymous said...

MM?BM

The time for Sermonette was late (very late) Sunday evening -- I was very attentive THEN!!!!

'till THEN, how about spilling; your guts and bragging about how much tithe YOU pay -- some stipulate OFFERINGS should be an additional five percent of the gross -- not your net, silly boy!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Anon...I wasnt sermonizing. I was attempting to engage in conversation. I know how hard it is for you to recognize that.

As to what I offer in tithes, all anyone needs to know is that it is fair and honest. Actually...noone else really even needs to know that.

I dont brag about it and didnt bring up the subject. I believe that was...oh yeah...YOU.

How about it...care to engage in the discussion on the origin of morality for the scientific minded? If not...if it really is back to the whiny and useless arguing I dont really see a value in carrying it forward.

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"They have all been CAREFULLY screened" --

Oh?
Who? When? Where? Why? by Whom? Can you offer more certainty than this weak fawning testimonial?

That IS a costly "blank check" you've signed there Lysis -- the, "if GWB says it's ok, then it's OK," check you've signed and America has been asked to sign.

Lysis has GREAT FAITH in the Administration's SAY SO, but no FAITH at all in the important Civil Right of Due Process.
Come on, what are you and GWB afraid of?

Just don't "cut and run" on Due Process, Lysis -- stand up like a REAL AMERICAN for REAL AMERICAN VALUES -- not the opportunistic values of GWB!!!!

Additionally Posted:
"Nor have I ever believed I could bribe God into giving me riches."

. . . if not riches, then what were you bribing God FOR????

Anonymous said...

BMMM
I brought up the subject?

TITHING, honest and dishonest, I believe, was the subject of this weeks prompting post by LYSIS.

Lysis also chose to brag about his personal "heroics" and chastise those with whom he disagrees.

For such a devoted follower I would have thought you could pay closer attention to Lysis' postings.

Well, BMMM, throw in your cards and go home if you must -- it's always been ante, raise, or shut- up around here.

Anonymous said...

BMMM:

". . . the discussion on the origin of morality for the scientific minded" has no meaning at all.

If you would care to amass something more clear and logical I might amass a few comments in its praise or disparagement!!!!

MindMechanic said...

You just cant make this stuff up...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2363459,00.html

"An Iraqi militant group led by al-Qaeda has threatened to massacre Christians in response to remarks about Islam by Pope Benedict XVI that have caused offence across the Muslim world.

The Pope quoted a 14th Century Byzantine emperor who criticised the teachings of Mohammad for endorsing the use of violence, in a speech to an academic audience at a German university last Tuesday."

OK...now...just to make sure we have this right. Much violence, murder and mayhem in the world. Pope appeals for peace and cooperation of the worlds religions and quotes a 14th century passage. In response, the 'peaceful' religion declares a fatwah and calls for jihad to "massacre christians" in an attempt to show the world that they are in fact a religion of peace.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...can it be you are so filled with hatred for Lysis that ALL you can see are these petty arguments?

You REALLY got from that posting (a pretty balanced and reasonable discussion about the contradictions found not only in paying tithing and in the islamic fundamentalists practice of jihad to GAIN all the rewards he has previously abhored) that it is really about glorifying how much one pays in tithing?

MindMechanic said...

As to the origins of evolution of morality from the perspective de science, well...I suppose it means nothing to you and I suppose the phrase is complex and confusing.
It wasnt to Darwin...he wrote many papers on the scientific theory of the evolution of morality. It isnt to the science department at MIT Cambridge, etc...they too have done much research and published papers on it. Borhee, Mulligan, Crane, Huxley, Joyce. Many major universities here and abroad have published extensive work on the topic...speculative at best because it involves the development of the theory within the confines of biology. I thought it might make for a decent discussion. Obviously...I am mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here

The reason to pay tithing is first obedience, then love.

Think about it.

The reason for Islamofacits to kill is first and foremost obedience. If they don't obey they are killed.

Think about it.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

The Pope quotes an old scholar that the current Islamofacits prove correct centuries later.

Think about it.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

The liberals are using Bush clips in their campaign ads.

Does that mean they have no fruits?

Think about it.

What have they done for the war on terror wherever it is fought besides get in the way with the new 1960's definition of patriotism...."another view"

They are following their God, liberalism.

The Muslims are following their God

and those that are paying tithing are following their God.

Who is to tell who's God is God????

By their fruits.........

Think about it.

Lysis said...

Cameron:

It is a good question. When I was young I played my tithing because my parents taught me it was right – and I had no reason to doubt them. But there came a day when I had to make a decision for myself. I pay tithing because I see the good works done by my church with the money given it – and I feel to give some support to that service. I learned long ago that service is its own reward. Also I made some promises long ago that I would pay tithing. I did not enter into those promises blindly, and I have not yet seen cause to break my word. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, my wife expects me to pay my tithing, so I seek to keep her happy. There are three reasons I pay tithing. And they would be enough, but there is one other: I believe that God has asked me to pay tithing, and that if I love god I should be willing to do as he asks. I hope you will agree that I have at least thought about this.

Lysis said...

The original post was not really about tithing. My point was that there are many unthinking people out there who accept blindly the cockamamie things told them by those who want to use their stupidity to advantage.

The Pope’s mistake was having faith that the Muslim fanatics would be able to understand his point. Let me explain his point to those who didn’t get it. He pointed out that often people get the wrong idea about Islam. He used and example of a medieval emperor of Byzantium as an example of how many judge all Islam by the evil acts of some. Of course, if Benedict had been reading here at the Agora he would have realized that there are many folks out there incapable of reasoning on their own. He would have noted Flaccid’s assumption that making an analogy between the Taliban’s murdering women for wanting to go to school and the Salem Witch Trials was an attack on all Muslims.

Flaccid:

You ask who screens the terrorists. Our military does. The same people who captured them on the battlefield and stopped them from further murders. Who would you have screen them? A bunch of ACLU lawyers? Your position is silly.

I was disappointed as I listened to Linzy Graham, who I always respected for nailing Bill Clinton for his crimes against America, when Graham launched on this “suppose the Iranians captured a US CIA agent dribble.” Mindmechanic has already illustrated the stupidity of the position argued by Graham and McCain. The Iranians would of course torture, humiliate, and undoubtedly murder our CIA agent. They would interpret the Geneva Convention as they have always interpreted it; as not applying to them. This is the sort of stupid, thoughtless argument that brings to mind the unthinking folks in Sunday school who seek to bribe God into blessing them with the very evil riches that they claim He teaches them to abhor, the same stupid mindedness that has Muslim fanatics abstaining from sex so they can enslave 76 virgins in a sex driven paradise for eternity, the same wrong-mindedness that gets Islamic Nazis thinking they can demonstrate the peaceful nature of Islam by murdering nuns, the same half-witted response one gets here in the Agora when one points out that we are at war with terrorists and are told that if we would just be nice to these people they would leave us alone – that it is America’s efforts to fight terrorists that creates terrorists.

Vegimatic:

Your point of, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” is a perfect answer to those who would accuse America of injustice while we are treating our enemies with greater compassion than their own hate mongering masters are capable of. Well thought!

MindMechanic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MindMechanic said...

"Linzy Graham, who I always respected for nailing Bill Clinton for his crimes against America"

Lysis...careful of your verbage. Bill's sad legacy is that "nailing Bill Clinton" will forever have dual meaning...

Of COURSE that is meant as a joke. Bill's pathetic legacy will be remembered for far more than his fond habit of cheating on his wife, raping Juanita Broderick, mashing Kathleen Wiley in the halls of the White House on the day of her husbands funeral, etc etc etc.
His failure to act on 'ANYTHING' SHOULD be his lasting legacy.

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

For all the reasons given for paying tithing, there is one glaring omission: gratitude.
Perhaps humility and gratitude are intertwined.

When I think of those traits, I think of the painting of George Washington kneeling by his horse in prayer.

Had ACLU lawyers been with Washington at that moment, I expect they would have demanded an end to the revolution based on a lack of separation between church and state.

The godless, “logical” (though liberals claim their positions to be logical, they are not) positions of liberals and terrorists are equally intertwined.

There are no terrorists, only suspects.
We will wage war in the name of peace.

Think about it.

Lysis said...

Rumpole:

You are right on the “gratitude” point. Not that God needs my money. As I learn about love and friendship, I observ this truth. When one does something for someone they love they gain more than they give. Follow me on this. A parent loves a child, so they give them many things, but among the things they give are opportunities to serve, even to serve the parent. Giving these gifts to the child brings joy to the parent – because one finds joy in giving and serving the ones you love. Now the child takes advantage of the opportunity to serve the parent and receives the joy that comes from that service. The parent now not only receives the joy of giving but the far sweeter joy of knowing his gift has given the joy of service to his child. The child, if he is wise realized that his joy brings joy to his parent and thus gives joy as he receives it – and the eternal cycle of love goes on. I believe true lovers do this all the time – when giving and accepting become a spiral of growing love and joy – perhaps this is the “love” discussed in Corinthians.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"You ask who screens the terrorists? Our military does (under directives of the Commander and chief). . . the same people who captured them on the battlefield and stopped them from further murders."

I NEVER asked "who screens the terrorists"

I asked who screens the DETAINEES (plus other questions that people who are interested in living in a truly free society have the courage to ask)

I say Detainees, you say Illegal Combatants. But, you mean and keep saying TERRORISTS. It is clear you do not want to make any distinctions because it confuses this "kill 'em all" immoral, illegal and simplistic war fantasy that clouds your and others' judgement.

"The military stopped them (terrorists) from further murders."

Today's Headline:
Courtesy of Abizaid and Rumsfeld:

-Iraq could move toward Civil War if VIOLENCE is not contained.

FURTHER murders are happening every day -- and the battlefield is located wherever the last IED goes off or the alley where last night's assassinated "innocents" are piled.

NO ONE AT ANY TIME HAS EVER, EVER, EVER POSTED "IF WE WOULD BE NICE TO THESE PEOPLE THEY WOULD LEAVE US ALONE" EXCEPT LYSIS AND ILK.

THIS IS A LIE THAT THE SIMPLE-MINDED CLING TO THAT PREVENTS THEM FROM . . . THINKING . . . AT ALL.

Prove me wrong! You have two plus years of Blogs as evidence -- go on a quest for TRUTH for a change.

Crank up your WWW search engine, let's REALLY find out who writes these vile slanders!!!!

Please don't "shuck and jive" Put up or shut up!!!!

Tithing is a quid pro quo relationship no matter how anyone wants to mealy-mouth it. It's just "market place" religion -- Capitalism 'tween man and God.

Early -- New Testament -- Christians were happier as Communists and Socialists. The Old Testament Israelites needed tithes!!!!

You know in your heart, if not your head, it's true.

Lysis said...

It’s all words to you Flaccid, because you have no argument to stand up. I will admit that I don’t know if you ever said “If we be nice to them they be nice to us!” Those were Gollum’s words in the Lord of the Rings. They are indicative of the sniveling whining that passes for a position on the part of the cowardly opposition to the President. Flaccid, the truth is I can’t recollect you’re having ever made any suggestion on how to deal with the terrorists out to murder you. You prefer to grouse and sputter out your limp squeezing while others sacrifice to provide you the chance to do so.

Thank God that the VIOLENCE in Iraq will be contained. Rumsfeld is right – if good men refuse to act evil will triumph. Again I am eternally thankful for a Commander and Chief and a military that are willing to act!

I am eager to go word for word through President Bush’s speech to the U.N. The good people of the world rejoice that our nation is lead by a man of action.

Bush’s approval ratting hits 44%. So much for your predictions of the future, Flaccid.

MindMechanic said...

How bizarre.

Congress is discussing compromise legislation re the interrogation of captured suspects (I still have no problem calling them terrorists, but I'll cede to the kinder gentler language). Democrats and a few republicans are saying interrogation (read that 'torture') is BAD and should not be allowed...

...except in cases where there is credible evidence that an attack is impending (you can research that under the "Ticking Time Bomb" scenario).

Because NO CONGRESSMAN wants to be the one that is blamed for allowing an attack because he didnt authorize interrogation in the face of an impending attack.

Now...if this gets passed , wont THIS be interesting. It goes back to the concept of conditional morality. If it is effective when there is a real and impending threat, then isnt there ALWAYS a real and impending threat and interrogation is the best way to determine that?

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52018

"The new al-Qaida field commander in Afghanistan is calling for Muslims to leave the U.S. – particularly Washington and New York – in anticipation of a major terror attack to rival Sept. 11, according to an interview by a Pakistani journalist.

Abu Dawood told Hamid Mir, a reporter who has covered al-Qaida and met with Osama bin Laden, the attack is being coordinated by Adnan el-Shukrijumah and suggests it may involve some form of weapon of mass destruction smuggled across the Mexican border.

"Our brothers are ready to attack inside America. We will breach their security again," he is quoted as saying. "There is no timeframe for our attack inside America; we can do it any time."

As WND has previously reported, el-Shukrijumah is a trained nuclear technician and accomplished pilot who has been singled out by bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to serve as the field commander for the next terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

The terrorist was last seen in Mexico, where, on Nov. 1, 2004, he allegedly hijacked a Piper PA Pawnee cropduster from Ejido Queretaro near Mexicali to transport a nuclear weapon and nuclear equipment into the U.S., according to Paul Williams, a former FBI consultant and author of "The Dunces of Doomsday.""

Is it worth it to interrogate captured suspected terrorist (there...everyone is happy) to avoid a nuclear or biological explosions in LA and/or New York that could cost millions of lives?

truth to power said...

In the debate over interrogation techniques, what does the word "torture" mean? The vast majority of the allegations of torture I've ever read in this connection are just about hurting the bad guys' feelings. I have no problem with allowing our professionals to say mean things about the terrorists' mothers in order to get them to talk.

MindMechanic said...

Apparently anything short of full reading of their US constitutional rights, representation by attorney, recognizing their right to remain silent, and full disclousrue of the evidence against them INCLUDING the identity of secret agents that testify against them is cruel and unusual.

Never mind that they are not Americans, not (typically) caught in America, do not represent any identifiable foreign country, and are (typically) caught while committing crimes against humanity. Never mind that any information of any possible intelligence value will be useless and unattainable. never mind that by giving them full disclosure of evidence you put the lives of those trying to stop terrorists and cooperating w/ US agents at risk.

Had these techniques not been employed several terrorist attacks would not have been stopped.

mjl said...

In a blog where terms seem to matter so much, it is worth noting to one of our Anonymous friends that the term Illegal Combatant is in direct reference to the Geneva Convention and the defined articles of war contained therein. Those terrorists or suspects or whatever else one chooses to call them, are illegal combatants. This is a descriptive definition

MindMechanic said...

Elsewhere in the news...Willie Nelson was busted again for marijuana posession...

wait...never mind...thats not news...

Part of me wants to pass a new law making it legal just for Willie to smoke pot. As long as it is on the bus, and as long as his driver is in a sealed ventilated chamber to avoid the contact high.

MindMechanic said...

lessons learned

"Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!" Vissini

And the third rule is never trust France to be anything...ANYTHING...other than what history has proven them to be.

It was just 2 short years ago that France made this bold declaration-"Irans nuclear program will not be allowed to stand"

Today, French President Chiraq is not only completely against military manuevers against Iran, but now he is opposed to sanctions againts Iran. With friends like these...who needs enema's?

France couldnt wave the white flag fast enough in World War 2. In Indochina they expected the UN to protect what they loudly declared as their 'right' to holdings there, then subsequently sent over 55 thousand troops to their death 2-5 thousand at a time. Just recently France sold its integrity to Saddam in the oil for food program and now, France has decided that islamic extremist leaders that are clamoring today for the death of the pope and attacks on Italy and the US for the popes comments, the same islamic extremist leaders that have called for the extermination of Israel, that we should negotiate and trust them and not call even for sanctions.

I wonder if last weeks announcement by Al Qaida that it was joining Algerian terrorist groups against France had any bearing on their sudden change of course.

No wonder Bush's poll numbers are improving.

Oh...BYTEHWAY...France is Kerry's big 'ally' in the war on terror. Nice one.

Cameron said...

Secretary Rumsfeld's speech in Salt Lake City recently, while largely derided by the press, is actually quite interesting in relation to France's statements today:


That year -- 1919 -- turned out to be one of the pivotal junctures in modern history with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the creation of the League of Nations, a treaty and an organization intended to make future wars unnecessary and obsolete. Indeed, 1919 was the beginning of a period where, over time, a very different set of views would come to dominate public discourse and thinking in the West.

Over the next decades, a sentiment took root that contended that if only the growing threats that had begun to emerge in Europe and Asia could be accommodated, then the carnage and the destruction of then-recent memory of World War I could be avoided.

It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among Western democracies. When those who warned about a coming crisis, the rise of fascism and nazism, they were ridiculed or ignored. Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace, even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Winston Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence about the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. senator's reaction in September of 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I had talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided!”

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

We need to consider the following questions, I would submit:


* With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?

* Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?

* Can we afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply law enforcement problems, like robbing a bank or stealing a car; rather than threats of a fundamentally different nature requiring fundamentally different approaches?

* And can we really afford to return to the destructive view that America, not the enemy, but America, is the source of the world's troubles?

These are central questions of our time, and we must face them honestly.

MindMechanic said...

Cameron,

Well said!!!

Cameron said...

This might lead to some interesting discussion...

Anonymous said...

Where exactly did Cameron, TTP, BMMM, Strat and ET AL go so wrong. . . .

Or

I know what *I* learned in Sunday School! (Lysis is no Christian,he is a "Divine Jupiter-- er-- ist")

"But most importantly, conservative Christianity in the U.S. has succumbed to that which it has, in decades past, most rigorously warned against: MORAL RELATIVISM. By restricting any discussion of morality to sexual behavior,(strat) right-wing politicians have obliterated the once-central Christian teaching that THE WAY WE TREAT OTHERS is of paramount importance to God. Pro-war politicians have infiltrated churches to such a degree that KILLINGS and TORTURE (LISTENING TTP?)are no longer within the province of morality. When morality is only about sex, NO ASPECT OF WAR -- EVEN THE (collateral damage) KILLING OF ENTIRE FAMILIES -- can arouse moral recriminations, much less condemnation.

In short, everything that happens in the execution of war, even that which is flagrantly in VIOLATION OF MORAL VALUES JESUS TAUGHT regarding violence and revenge, prayer for enemies and PEACEMAKING, becomes acceptable when Jesus' teachings are compartmentalized as relevant only in our personal lives. When Jesus is sidelined, those parts of the Bible that support authority, no matter what it does to innocent people, will be made to take precedence. This is what has happened (often with the prodding, political influence and financial support of right-wing political organizations) in many of our churches today. Unless Christians begin to speak up publicly for the TEACHINGS OF CHRIST -- the cornerstone of our faith -- we will continue to slide into the kind of moral relativism that causes others to wonder why Christians are so bloodthirsty.

"Stuff happens in a war zone, Collateral damage, (even murdering terrorist suspects)"Don't worry because God is in control." . . . with these and other slogans, I've been reassured by countless pro-war "Christians" that, as long as civilians aren't intentionally targeted, taking their lives is okay, maybe even the predestined, will of God.

Recently a Christian from Australia wrote to ask, "Why are
Ameican Christians so bloodthirsty? Why do they suppoRt the war in Iraq, no matter how many innocent people are made to suffer? "WE JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY'RE WILLING TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE SO THAT THEY CAN FEEL MORE SAFE -- IT'S SO SELFISH."
-T. Whitehurst

TTP -- Your comments on torture are an embarrassment to CHRISTians everwhere.

The morality that pervades most at the Agora is not a CHRISTian morality. It is clearly the Machiavelian morality of OPPORTUNISM with 'heathenistic' underpinings.

Think about it -- you know in your heart, if not your head, that it's true!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Anon...interpret it as you will. I highly doubt your own interpretations involve "turning the other cheek." Your anger and hatred in your comments constantly prove that to be the case.

The enemy we all face has hijacked airplanes and slaughtered over 3000 unsuspecting innocent men, women, and children. The enemy we face was thwarted in a chemical attack that would have killed 60 thousand men women and children. The enemy we face wrapped explosive primer cord around the necks of thousands of schoolchildren. The enemy we face thinks nothing of sawing slowly the heads off bound and helpless victims all the while chanting their praises to their version of God. The enemy we face kills scores of people daily in the name of God. The enemy we face is not discriminating in who he kills or even why. This is just a taste of the savagery of the enemy we face. This stated goal is to cause the extermination of all who will not embrace his doctrine.

But then...you know that. You dont need to be reminded of that.

So I wont speak for anyone else but I will plainly state that I will stand against that enemy and fight him using any means necessary. I'll face Gods judgement for my stance and actions. I have no fear of that judgement. I certainly have no fear of your judgement.

You like to make judgements of others. You make your own choices. How will YOU stand against the enemy? You like to disparage others...how would YOU act?

You constantly complain about others but have never, not once offered anything substantive to the discussion on how YOU would solve the problems, which proves you to be exactly who and what you are. Nothing I say about you could POSSIBLY have as much impact as what you say about yourself.

Your empty headed rhetoric doesnt impress me.

Anonymous said...

Cameron:
Yes, the "FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT APPROACH" you suggest in your previous to last post is EXACTLY what MY post warns against -- OPPORTUNISM.

Perhaps if there weren't so many who like to profess Christianity, but ignore ITS morality, a "fundamentally different" approach would not seem so necessary or appealing!!!!

Cameron said...

Anon,

I thought you would have jumped all over the link I gave last time. I feel like I'm doing your work for you...

MindMechanic said...

I am reminded of particular photo and 2 specific stories relayed by journalists during the combat ops of the 2nd Gulf war that speaks to this whole issue.

The first photo showed one of our enemies hiding in a crowd with his hand around the throat of an old Iraqi woman using her as a human shield. The photojournalist stated that rather than return fire and kill the woman the US soldiers took cover.

The first story involves an account of a pregnant Iraqi woman that had fallen in the street during a fire fight and a US soldier drapped his body over her during the firefight to protect her.

The second story involves a US marine who dived off a bridge to save an iraqi man that had received a wound and fallen into the river. The US Marine had no loyalty and/or allegiance to this Iraqi. He selflessly dived in to save him. He drowned in his efforts.

Do people die in war? Yes. Sad, tragic reality. But anyone that doesnt think that the US doesnt go out of its way to avoid targeting civilians knows absolutely nothing about the US military.

There is a simple and easy way for this bloodshed to end. The Iraqi people have spoken and elected a government. If the terrorists stopped their acts of agression it would be over right now. Until then it wont be.

If the islamic extremist terrorists stopped their quest to slaughter innocents, that killing would stop as well.

Until that day you have choices. Let them win. Offer yourself up as a sacrifice. Convert. Fight.

Choose.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...what do you think the "Christian" response should be to those that would slaughter you?

I posted a news story just last week...these Islamic terrorists in the name of their God raped and savagely slaughtered a 10 year and 14 year old little girl and their 42 year old mother. Now...what is your "Christian" response to that? Allow them to continue?

Cameron said...

Also Anon,

The post you are referring to is actually an excerpt from Secretary Rumsfeld's speech. I linked to the entire speech at the beginning of the comment.

While you have stated that you disagree with it's substance, you haven't given a reason why. Sec. Remsfeld is comparing current "appeasement" posturing by the world and by many in the US to the appeasement attitude post-WWI towards the Nazi's and friends. He says it's harmful to think that you can negotiate with people who's stated purpose is war.

I brought it up because I thought it was pertinant to what MM had written about France's attitude toward Iran.

Anonymous said...

Mind Mech:
. . . fight, using ANY means necessay."

Yep, that's amoral opportunism alright!

Well, I don't suppose you have any CHRISTIAN pretenses or any MORAL STANDARDS to hold above OPPORTUNISM, so my comments really shouldn't bother you.

So rave on Mr. killing machine!!!!

MindMechanic said...

I will Anon. I have done the job. I will if asked again. I will continue to take the stand against the enemy. As long as he is there, and as long as he wants to kill you, me, and everyone else...I will.

And you...you just keep on being you.

Its a shame more people dont see this blog.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...what do you think the "Christian" response should be to those that would slaughter you?

I posted a news story just last week...these Islamic terrorists in the name of their God raped and savagely slaughtered a 10 year and 14 year old little girl and their 42 year old mother. Now...what is your "Christian" response to that? Allow them to continue?

truth to power said...

Anonymous, you still didn't define torture. I have defended and will continue to defend our professionals' right to say mean things to the terrorists. As for warfare itself, do you believe that Christ's doctrine of "turn the other cheek" is intended for nations as well as individuals? I do not. When the enemy attacks, it is right to defend.

The claim that the discussion of morality has been restricted to sexual behavior is patently false. Obviously the modern sexual libertinism gets a fare share of criticism from conservative Christians. But seriously, how can anybody pretend that that's the only aspect of morality they're talking about? I'm reminded of the aftermath of the 2004 election when pollsters were reporting that religion made a big difference, so the Democrats started complaining that everybody ignores the religious aspects of their agenda.

It's always interesting when liberals (Christian and otherwise)try to claim that their political positions are inherently more Christian. Of course plenty of right-wing nutjobs say the same, but it's less interesting. You get people claiming that Christ's teachings about serving others mean that the government should rob from the rich to give to the poor. Stuff like that.

Why are American Christians so bloodthirsty? Why did they support World War II, no matter how many innocent people were made to suffer? Why didn't they just surrender like good Christian France? Why can't they see that France is still showing us the way?

Anonymous said...

MM posts:
". . . What would a Christian do?"

It is important to note here that you DON"T KNOW what a Christian would do, and that you need ME to tell YOU something so FUNDAMENTAL to being a CHRISTIAN -- UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Anon...I KNOW what you would do. You would give your empty headed mindless rhetoric. Thats not what I asked.

Since you appear to be the judge of all, then I am curious as to "what do you think the "Christian" response should be to those that would slaughter you?

I posted a news story just last week...these Islamic terrorists in the name of their God raped and savagely slaughtered a 10 year and 14 year old little girl and their 42 year old mother. Now...what is your "Christian" response to that? Allow them to continue?

I dont ask you for counsel or guidance. I want to know what YOU believe a 'Christian' response would be to terrorists that seek your death.

MindMechanic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

TTP

No one with sense (or without an opportunistic agenda) would define torture as "saying mean things".

I question the motives of a person who would like to equivocate on the meaning of torture and arrive at such a ludicrous definition/example as YOU have.

If you need some counseling about the meaniong of "torture", simply ask WWJD and I think you could arrive at a very servicable definition!!!!

Anonymous said...

A Christian response to the threat of impending terrible, painful death would be Christ's response --or do you disagree?

It is a hypothetical -- I hope I would be BRAVE enough to be worthy of my values and morality and not embarrass others who own similar standards!!!!

truth to power said...

Anonymous, I guess you've missed the point. As I said before, nearly all the allegations of torture that have ever been bandied about in the argument over interrogation techniques are really about saying mean things. I agree with you that this should not be called torture.

Tell that to your fellow travellers of the Democrat Party and the elitist international community, who really think that hurting a terrorist's feelings is torture.

Anonymous said...

Not ALL Christians support war -- it is a matter of conscience. But I assure you OPPORTUNISM plays a small role in the decsions of a REAL CHRISTIAN.

Anonymous said...

"Nearly all of the allegations . . . "

WOW do YOU need a new search engine, or a whole new computer!!!!

"Nearly all" is just more equivocation that reveals your opportunistically corrupted "need to know"!!!!

Anonymous said...

TTP:
I am not in communication with the Democratic Party. I leave
ALL THAT communication to my friends here at the Agora who keep me so well informed.

Also, I do not communicate with the International thing either!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

I don’t mind being called a “Divine Jupitererist” any more than Christ minds being called Jupiter. It is silly to imagine a God so selfish that, when a mother in ancient Rome got down on her knees to give thanks in the name of Jupiter for the health of he baby son, He would retort, “No way lady, wrong name, wrong gratitude!” Conversely it is ridiculous to believe that God condoned the murder of men and women in Salem for the silly charge of witchcraft just because it was done in “His Holy Name”.

Someone above suggested that it would be by their fruits they, meaning true followers, would be know. Terrorists can be know in the same way. All good and evil persons can be so assessed.

Mindmechanic:

I suggest that the Christen response to terrorism would be to stop the terrorism and protect the innocent. You have alluded to the Christian response to Hitler. The sacrifice of American soldiers in the service of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan is ample proof of their Christianity – whether they profess it by some sectarian membership or not.

Flaccid’s claim that Christ would answer terrorism by dieing like a lamb is misinformed. Jesus gave his life as a free gift to those he loved; it was not taken from him by any murderers. Any solider who enters the valley of the shadow of death for me and mine is Christ like in my reckoning. But such heroes cannot defeat evil with their deaths, only by the destruction of that evil. Flaccid demonstrated the inability of the liberals seeking power to discern between right and wrong, between just and unjust acts, between the criminal and the officer of the law who must risk all to apprehend the monster, between the terrorist set on forcing his will on others by killing and the hero who risks all to prevent terror.

In their feeble minds the President of Iran is a “good” guy because his lies advance their cause. Chaves of Venezuela is a saint because he calls Bush the devil. Holding murderers against their will is called torture because Bush must be a torturer if the neo-libs are to get seats in Congress come November.

Truth to Power:

Flaccid will never produce any evidence of the American forces torturing anyone, but the proofs of tortures by Iranians and Saddamites, and al Qaeda are every where. In Flaccid’s “let’s pretend world”, Muslims are who he says they are, Christians are defined by him not by Christ, SUSPECTS are abused because he says they are, and any lie that will advance his cause is OK because he believes in his cause. He seems willing to do anything in defense of his cause except think.

MindMechanic said...

"A Christian response to the threat of impending terrible, painful death would be Christ's response --or do you disagree?

It is a hypothetical -- I hope I would be BRAVE enough to be worthy of my values and morality and not embarrass others who own similar standards!!!!"

More mindless blather. What would you DO? When faced with an enemy that will not be loved, will not be bargained with, will not be reasoned with, will not be bartered with. When faced with an enemy that has demonstrated TIME AND TIME AGAIN that he is willing to rape and murder children and that your life is worthless, when faced with that enemy, WHAT WOULD YOU DO, anon?

MindMechanic said...

trying to imagine the anon solution...

Please mr terrorist. Wouldnt it be better if we all just held hands and talked? Cmon...theres a good terrorist...stop sawing off that mans head. HEY...stop screaming! You'll only upset the nice terrorists. He'll be finished with YOU soon enough.

Gee mr nice terrorists...I know that I have done you somehow some grave injustice. Wont you join me in a paryer and stop raping the 10 year old child. Oh...dont worry about the 14 year old child, I'm sure she is happier now that you horribly mutilated her while she was alive. You know...this would be a good place for a song.

I think if we all just turned the other cheeck this will be the last time these terrorists slaughter people at a wedding party because they will feel our love and be swayed.

Nah...you know what? There is ONE common thread.The enemy. He is a brutal viscous murderous terrorist and he will not be swayed. He will not be stopped. he has one goal...your death.

Your little childish attacks on peoples faith notwithstanding, the fact is that there is a DEFINITE identifiable terrorist threat. That enemy wants you to do nothing more than die. I dont think its noble or Christian to facilitate his victory. I highly doubt you do either.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:

" . . . in my reckoning"

The religion of "Divine Jupiter" seems the perfect religion for someone who needs to do a lot of OPPORTUNISTIC "RECKONING".

A situational ethic whose morality is bound only by a "make it up as you go along" ethic -- no defined scriptures or defined morality. Nothing more than an opportunistic hitch-hiker upon Christianity and Greek Mythology.

A "RECKONING" that Christ wouldn't mind being called Jupiter" is absurd and a sacriledge to a Christian.

A "RECKONING" that "EVERY soldier that loses his life in Iraq automatically becomes a Christian, holds NO MERIT in a fraternity of REAL Christians.

A "RECKONING" that Lysis' false testimony about reputed incidents of U.S. torture, inside or outside Iraq is TRUE when he has NEVER witnessed any reputed incidents.

The Chritisan God of the Old Testament calls HIMSELF a jealous God.

Perhaps, it would be a clearer scenario if a Christian "woman gave thanks to BAAL for the health of her baby son." (Baal, Jupiter, Jehovah, its all the same by Lysis' "RECKONING")

ALL REAL CHRISTIANS KNOW WHAT THE CHRISTIAN GOD WOULD SAY AND DO/DID!!!!

Lysis' RECKONING is that such a God is "selfish".

"RECKONING" is the trait of an OPPORTUNIST not a CHRISTIAN!!!

Think about it. You know in your heart,if not your head, that it's true.

Anonymous said...

BMMM

NO!
It is NOT "the Anon solution"!!!!

THAT was CHRISTS solution in exactly the kind of scenario you describe.

I wonder why a Christian would mock and satirize such a BRAVE and HALLOWED CHOICE -- seems like you have put yourself on the side of HIS tormentors. How BRAVE would it have beenfor Him to have destroyed all of HIS TERRORISTS with a word -- which WAS the better choice????
Think about it . . . .

MindMechanic said...

Anon...shout 'no' again louder. I want to know what YOU...YOU would do. You are the one that has judged everyone here but at LEAST everyone else has stated a position. You have yet to do so.

I want to know what YOU would do. The enemy is slaughtering your family. Is it YOUR position that as a Christian you would stand idly by and allow it? You find that Christian and honorable?

The enemy has a stated goal of slaughtering all non-muslims (and in fact muslims of different sects). Is it your position that we should just not fight?

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

If you are going to quote me please quote me in context. The sentence you yanked the reckoning idea out of reads: “Any solider who enters the valley of the shadow of death for me and mine is Christ like in my reckoning.” It had nothing to do with what name God might choose to go by.

Just an off hand question - Didn’t it ever bother you that the Bible would claim that God might be subject to the control of the “Green Eyed Monster”? How blind is your flip flopping faith Flaccid?

Now to you silly argument about Baal worshipers. You missed the entire point of the “By their fruits ye shall know them” argument. If a “women” is worshiping any god (call him Jesus or Allah or Zeus) by human sacrifice or other murders then she is not worshiping God. If she worships with charity by any name; she is worshiping “that God whose temple in the Universe”.

Your squishy claims about torture not being committed by terrorists are typical. According to your chop logic there is not war in Iraq because you have not seen it, no misdeeds at Abu Grab because you were not there to witness them. When terrorists post videos of sawing the heads off of civilian contractors it is obvious they are torturing murders. Your selective denial of truth is as ludicrous as you concoction of “facts”. It is a phenomenon distinct to neo-libs; no doubt ingrained into their subconscious from reading Marx – who knew no other form of argumentation.

Lysis said...

For your information: Jupiter is Roman Theology, not Greek Mythology.

MindMechanic said...

I thoroughly enjoy the interaction here and look forward to many discussions.

Just by way of an offering, I have a recently begun my own blog if anyone is interested.

http://historicalperspective.blogspot.com/

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

You post: “Recently a Christian from Australia wrote to ask, "Why are
Ameican Christians so bloodthirsty? Why do they support the war in Iraq, no matter how many innocent people are made to suffer? "WE JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY'RE WILLING TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE SO THAT THEY CAN FEEL MORE SAFE -- IT'S SO SELFISH."
-T. Whitehurst”

When did the debate over terrorism become one of Christian ethics? The war has raged for quite some time now. Here at the Agora there are “two years” of postings by your “reckoning” about the war in Iraq. It is only now that Christian values are being discussed?

From “Godless”, page 72. Coulter is discussing the liberal attacks of the Willie Horton ads that came from the Bush versus Dukakis campaign. Coulter spells out why these ads were not racist, then she comments:

“But when Dukakis lost, a whole myth had to be created about the racist Willie Horton ads. Whenever Democrats lose – especially to people as stupid as they say Republicans are – they claim they were cheated somehow. Liberals would spend the next decade trying to persuade Americans that they were bigots who had fallen prey to the ugly racist tactics of the Bush campaign. The transmitter of all liberal idiocy, Michael Moore, summarized what liberals think of Americans in “Bowling for Columbine” when he said “Whether you’re a psychotic killer or running for president of the United States, the one thing you can always count on is white America’s fear of the black man”.

Now stay with me on this, Anonymy, and don’t get lost in the metaphor. Your tactic here is essentially the same.

When Dukakis lost, it couldn’t have been because his positions were foolish in the minds of the voters. It had to be because Republicans cheated.

Similarly, as Bush’s numbers continue to rise, as Americans come to the realization of the soundness of his decisions, liberals must attempt to reframe the debate.

That is why you never answer any questions. For you, it isn’t about answers, it’s about questions; questions that you believe will enable you to frame the debate to your advantage. In order to gain traction, liberals seek to move the discussion from “what should Americans do to protect their freedom and way of life" to “Why are American Christions so bloodthirsty?”

You post: “MM posts: ". . . What would a Christian do?"

It is important to note here that you DON"T KNOW what a Christian would do, and that you need ME to tell YOU something so FUNDAMENTAL to being a CHRISTIAN -- UNBELIEVABLE!!!!”

Though I will not fall for the tactic of reframing the discussion, I will still answer what a Christian would do because I seek resolve rather than questions designed to gain traction. I will, however, give in to my love of sarcasm and answer you in terms that perhaps you can understand.

Jesus, as a lover of “choice”, in order to protect that “choice”, would cleanse the temple.

Lysis said...

Consider this quote from *Moby Dick*:

“He then went about his evening prayers, took out his idol, and removed the paper firebrand. By certain signs and symptoms, I thought he seemed anxious for me to join him; but well knowing what was to follow, I deliberated a moment whether, in case he invited me, I would comply or otherwise.

I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolator in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship? thought I. Do you suppose now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven and earth – pagans and all included – can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood? Impossible! But what is worship? – to do the will of God? that is worship. And what is the will of God? – to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me – that is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish that this Queequeg would do to me? Why, unite with me in my particular Presbyterian form of worship. Consequently, I must then unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolator. So I kindled the shavings; helped prop up the innocent little idol; offered him burnt biscuit with Queequeg; salaamed before him twice or thrice; kissed his nose; and that done, we undressed and went to bed, at peace with our own consciences and all the world.”

MindMechanic said...

I consider this whole discussion similar to the 'battle' religions engage in on a regular basis. The basic tenets of MOST religions are faith in God and observance of the golden rule in some way shape or form. Instead of combating Satan and evil the dominant theme is Catholics are bad, Mormons are evil, Jews are corrupt, etc etc etc. I wonder just how much GOOD could actually be accomplished in this world if we just embraced this concept and lived our lives.

I have no problem with a religion saying they are the one true church. To be blunt, if you are in a religion (I dont care which one...pick any one) and dont believe it is the 'right' one then what are you doing in it???

But because I am committed to my faith by my testimony doesnt mean I dont respect others. Regardless of my feelings about the Catholic church, I know many Catholics who are several steps ahead of me on the path to whatever 'heaven' and it's ultimate reward is. I have always believed that we should live our faith and if we do, God (being a loving and benevolent God) will work everything out.

But the crux...we have been battling back and forth about a 'Christian' response...so what is getting ignored? Oh yeah...that whole inconvenient war on terror thing.

Anon...you are so eager to attack beliefs that you have no response on how to engage terrorists. You make this a personal individual war and ignore the very real fact that there IS IN FACT an enemy COMMON to ALL of us. That enemy has clearly stated his goal.

I wonder...if you felt a little more personally at risk would you then and finally engage? Can it be that you are so safe and secure because of the actions of others that you have the luxury of considering attacks against any and everyone BUT the enemy?

I'm not talking about living in fear...in fact it's quite the opposite. I am vigilant and to me that ALLOWS for me to have a BLAST...and I do. I live and love life. I LOVE this capitalist country and economy that allows me to earn, to increase my families opportunities and to by damn spend money and enjoy life. I engage in outdoor activities in places that most environmentalists only talk of protecting. I have FUN.My family has FUN. Prepared, and therefore unafraid.

But PREPARED. Because the threat is real. Vigilance will secure this nations freedoms and abilities to live and love and enjoy life.

Anonymous said...

In Roman MYTHOLOGY Jupiter held the same role as Zeus in the earlier Greek MYTHOLOGY!!!!

Anonymous said...

" . . . it is only NOW that Christianity is being discussed?"

Yea, how come?

'Mongst so many CHRISTIANS reveling in hatred and war, killing and violence, retribution and recrimination; I've ALWAYS wondered.

Finally, the level reached such deafening decibles that I thought it time the TRUE CHRISTIAN ethic have a hearing amongst such a "flock" of "CHRISTIANS".

My comments have sought only to HONOR Christianity and DISHONOR Christian hypocrisy -- if some feel abused . . . I guess it worked.

Rumpole:

Why would you think that a debate over terroism WOULD NOT BE about Christian ethics?

What are you affraid of?

I know, your preferences are to disparage liberals with the latest tired Hannity/Coulter drivel and that you become impatient and resentful about being unable to procede with THAT agenda. But really, I've heard it all; it is not interesting; I feel no connecting to these cliched assaults on liberals and I WISH YOU PAID THE SMALLEST ATTENTION TO WHAT I POSTED.

Your Conservatives GOOD -- Liberals BAD drumbeat needs a whole new rhythm section!!!!

Lysis said...

So Flaccid, are you finally realizing that one can use different names for God? Different names – same God. Nice of you to concede this point. Or don’t you get it yet?

Anonymous said...

BMMM
Yes, if I were mugged in a subway, or lost a loved one to a hideous crime I am sure THAT would present a challenge to my moral prescriptions -- I might very well become a murderous lunatic seeking to make the world cower to the JUSTICE I felt I needed to inflict.

But, honestly, would I be better off, or more moral if I did REACT that way?

The "what would you do if". . . scenarios haunt us all. Moral standards are necessary to have, but sometimes they're a damnable/damning imposition!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lysis:

If there TRULY is no DIFFERENCE --then why is there a DISTINCTION?

The answer is OPPORTUNISM.
Your theological "rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is just RELIGIOUSLY OPPORTUNISTIC REALATIVISM -- especially with regards to a jealous ABSOLUTE Christian God.

You think that God having feelings makes Him/Her weak or dubious?

Questioning the Christian God is likewise religious opportunism and relativism.

You must think Divine Jupiter superior!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

How weak of you to turn into a murderous lunatic and seek revenge. A thinking person would call the police and seek justice. America’s War on Terror is not a Furry driven lunacy, it is reasoned justice, executed under the Laws that keep the Furies in check.

MindMechanic said...

"I might very well become a murderous lunatic seeking to make the world cower to the JUSTICE I felt I needed to inflict."

In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan..."well...there you go again"

Really? You REALLY think battling terrorists that represent a REAL, current, and VIABLE threat is the equivalent of becoming a murderous lunatic?

Really?

Lysis said...

Flaccid, how would a rose smell if it had another name? Your calling my logic OPPORTUNISM does not make it any less sound. As for Jupiter and Jehovah, if they are the same, how can The One be superior to The One?

Lysis said...

Anonymous said...

"Lysis:

If there TRULY is no DIFFERENCE --then why is there a DISTINCTION?"

Flaccid:

Why does there need to be a distinction? What advantage comes from warring gods and religions? Why not get jealousy and avarice and anger out of religion and make it a place of love, service, and peace?

truth to power said...

Anonymous, you ask: "Why would you think that a debate over terroism WOULD NOT BE about Christian ethics?"

Because the terrorists aren't Christians. Duh!

Cameron said...

This has been an interesting discussion. It seems to me that it boils down to whether or not Christians should defend themselves. I say yes. I think Anon is saying no. Many Christian denominations in the world would agree with Anon.

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
YOU have made the distinction -- CHRISTIAN GOD VS DIVINE JUPITER.

If,in your mind there is no difference, then why Divine Jupiter????

There HAS to be a difference for you, or you would not have made such a divergent choice!!!!

The evidence is CLEAR!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

Why call it a rose? Why call you Flaccid? Because we need names. Everyone knows when I say Flaccid, I mean you. And what ever you call yourself everyone knows how limp you are!

truth to power said...

Anonymous, you got confused by the whole "Divine Jupiter" thing quite some time ago when Lysis made a Classical allusion. He hasn't chosen to let you in on it, and you haven't chosen to look it up. But you do say a lot of silly things when you're confused.

Lysis said...

By the way Flaccid, since you don’t seem to know what relativism is let me give you an example. Claiming in the same “web thread” that the Christian God is jealous and vengeful and then that He and His followers would die before they lifted a finger to stop terrorists from murdering children, is an example of situational ethics and OPPORTUNISTIC REALATIVISM. Now let’s see, who has pulled off that flip flop in this very discussion?

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:

"Claiming that the Christian God is jealous and vengeful and then (claiming) that He and His followers would die before they lifted a finger to stop terrorists . . . is an example of situational ethics."

Whose situational ethics, God's or mine?

God being absolute cannot have situational ethics -- that is an absurd non-sequiter.

It would be OPPORTUNISTIC of me IF I "claimed" God was jealous but had no substantiation for the generalization.

"My" CLAIM about God's jealousy can be verified with a search of scripture -- if you don't trust me, I trust Lysis has a Bible and Concordance.

Deuteronomy 6:13-14

(I have chosen to 'all-caps' the parts I find to be relevant)

"Fear the lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths IN HIS NAME. (singular) Do NOT FOLLOW OTHER gods, THE gods OF THE PEOPLES AROUND YOU for the Lord your God who is among you is A *JEALOUS* GOD and his anger will burn against you, and He will destroy you from the face of the land.

Almost seems like a personal note to Divine Jupiter, devotees, et al.

Oh, it's back to insults and flaccid jokes --

I told you that Rush, Oxycontin/Viagra King, Limbaugh was jealous because he wanted Lysis to refer to HIM as flaccid --it seems he was suffering from a Viagra overdose and needed a mind- meld.

So TTP thinks a debate about terrorism and Christian ethics cannot happen because terrorists are not Christian????

I never saw THAT Monty Python skit -- it sounds hilarious!!!!

Cameron said...

Does Ahmadinejad's speech sound familiar to anyone else?

Here are some pertinent points:

"By causing war and conflict, some "are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery."

"Some occupy the homeland of others, thousands of kilometers away from their borders, interfere in their affairs and control their oil and other resources and strategic routes, while others are bombarded daily in their own homes; their children murdered in the streets and alleys of their own country and their homes reduced to rubble."

"If wisdom, ethics and justice prevail, then oppression and aggression will be uprooted, threats will wither away and no reason will remain for conflict."

MindMechanic said...

Interesting perspectives...

Ghandi wrote “…fight Nazism without arms…invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered.”

He also wrote "I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed."

and

“The unexpected spectacle of endless rows upon rows of men and women simply dying rather then surrender to the will of an aggressor must ultimately melt him and his soldiery.”

Contrast that with the words of Churchill...“Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.''

Look...standing as a pacifist, if that is your way, is fine. It is all well and good. If that is your path, follow it. But leaders of nations cant adopt such a simple mentality.

The notion that Hitler would be swayed by innocents allowing their slaughter is belied by the 6 million jews slaughtered and his continued maniacal rush to rule the world.

Today, we face a world leader that truly believes that the way to usher in the coming of the 12th Imam is by encouraging the death, destruction and slaughter of all who do not agree with them. Ghandi would be as simple and wrong minded today as he was about resiting the spread of Naziism.

I will reiterate for the last time...I dont WANT this fight. I dont REVEL in this fight. I dont take pleasure in this fight. I am not happy about this fight. But I cant change that my enemy DOES want it. I have choices in how I respond to this enemy.

Seems to me everyone does.

Choose.

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

The non-squinter here is claiming that God is all good and jealous. Therefore we must judge – not God – but the Bible for claiming such nonsense.

As for other gods that God would warn us away from – they are obviously not real gods – so they must be the false gods of Salem that call for the death of witches, the false gods of al Queda that call for the death of Americans, the false gods of liberalism that ask us to believe that God can be jealous or envious or forgetful or any other of a score of silly claims and contradictions to be found in the Bible. I join with God in condemning such false Gods, by Jove!!!!! Let’s get on the band wagon, in other words, support the War on Terror and destroy such false gods off the face of the land!!!!

I don’t see what the flaccid condition of you stand has to do with Viagra or Limbaugh. It seems your making up support again.

Dan Simpson said...

I just thought I would put in a few thoughts, some I have mentioned before, some I have thought of catching up on this discussion.

1- I find it interesting that in EVERY aspect of our current situation, anonymous assumes that every move made by the military, the administration, the CIA, or anyone on the U.S. side of the current conflict is nefarious, and not to be trusted.

Now, I am not saying any leader should be given a blank check, but it would be nice if the other side (an obvious grouping of those who make the blanket statements about corruption, lying, torture, kidnapping of innocents that are then sent to secret prisons to go through all the horrors of the day), could at least admit: first, that there are some things the general public should NOT be completely abreast of during an armed conflict and the lack of that information is not PROOF of wrongdoing, and second the administration is not a collection of bloodthirsty capitalists who would bathe in the blood of children if it would give them a little more power, position, or wealth for them or their secret friends in corporate America.

2-Christianity and War. It is a hard topic. I continue to study and learn and work to know what is right and wrong on that issue. The best I have come up with is that it depends on the actions, and more importantly, the heart of the individual. I believe that ANY soldier that kills for the enjoyment, or out of hatred has committed sin (Whether it be against the Nazi's of WWII, or the current conflict in Iraq). But I also believe that a soldier who is fighting out of a sense of duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves is a totally different matter.

Therein lies the problem. I don't know which soldiers, officers, or world leaders are motiviated by which feeling. (of course some can be seen by their actions, but actions do not always translate straight across).

3- As far as the disscussion of names that anonymous was attacking Lysis about i.e. Jupiter/Jesus. The point was made most eloquently, and beautifully, by C.S. Lewis in "The Last Battle" when the soldier is worried that all of his actions in his life were done in the name of an evil god 'Tash'. Aslan very correctly points out that all good is done in his name (Christ) and all evil is done in the name of Tash (Satan).

I am sure Lysis won't mind a little backing by such a great author.

By the way Lysis, welcome back, I wish I could have been there, always.

Dan Simpson said...

One quick thing, I was reading previous posts and I have to say the "Don't google 'boobs at work'" warning made me laugh out loud.

Nice Anonymous, whoever you are.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

You post: “Why would you think that a debate over terrorism WOULD NOT BE about Christian ethics?”

Where have I suggested that the debate over terrorism should not be about Christian ethics?

I posted: “When did the debate over terrorism become one of Christian ethics? The war has raged for quite some time now. Here at the Agora there are “two years” of postings by your “reckoning” about the war in Iraq. It is only now that Christian values are being discussed?”

“When” is certainly far different than “why”, even by your “reckoning.” Perhaps you may take your own advice and pay “THE SMALLEST ATTENTION TO WHAT I POSTED.”

You post: “What are you afraid of?”

Here is a direct, one word answer. Nothing. I directly answered your question. To eliminate any possible confusion, here is the answer again. What would Jesus do? He would cleanse the temple.

Tell me, Anonymy, what are YOU afraid of? Why do you so fear giving straight answers? We have had two years of “reckoning” (by your account) on the war on terror, yet you have not brought Christian ethics into the discussion until now. Are we to the point in the argument that all else has failed you, so you feel it is time to play the “race card” as was illustrated in the Coulter metaphor?

This war has never been about Christian Americans going after the blood of Islam. It has been about freedom-loving Americans who are willing to protect and sacrifice for the gift that previous generations of Americans gave so selflessly with their own blood. The implication that the war is being fought because of bigoted Christian attitudes is inane, insulting, and the opposite of reality.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Dan:

It is nice to here from you. I had a great summer. In fact I am still “coming down” from it. We too wish you and yours could have been with us.

Your quote from C.S. Lewis is most appreciated. The jest of Lewis point has been stated by many posters above, but it is always nice to hear the voice of reason. It is also gratifying to know that Lewis and Melville were on the “same page”.

It seems that the Senate has come to their senses and will support some kind of reasonable “search and interrogation” of terrorists. Since the House has already accepted the President’s plan it would seem we have dodged the built on this one – no thanks to McCain. I wish Joe Lieberman would run against McCain in 2008 – then I could give my fathers’ spirit the pleasure of seeing me vote Democrat!

Rumpole:

Your willingness and ability to answer the questions is heartening and instructive. It is also heartening to read the clear truth about “What this war is about”. This has been the purpose of our two year discussion; we have sought to find Justice. From one of the earliest posts at the Agora we have wondered weather we follow Athena or Ares into the deserts of Iraq. This “discussion” takes us often to the contemplation right and wrong, the motivations of soldiers and presidents, the hearts of nations and movements. “By their fruits ye shall know them”, still sounds like a decent place to start the assessment. Clear answers are the key to ascertaining correct perspective, which is key to right reason – The Mind of Divine Jupiter!

truth to power said...

Unfortunately, Lieberman will never be nominated for the presidency by the Democrats. Indeed, he may never hold any office again. He broke the cardinal rule of partisan politics: never put country before party.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:

" . . . silly claims and contadictions found in the BIBLE . . . "

It would have been so much easier if Lysis had just announced that he was ANTI-CHRISTIAN from the beginning and disqualified himself from a discussion of "Christian" ethics -- by Jove!

Rumpole:
A LENGTHY discussion about collateral damage and Christian ethics happened at the Agora some two years ago -- when you were still just a whipper-snapper!

I made many of the same arguments that I've recently made. I was posting using a different moniker than now -- but it's still there to read.

Yes, a lot of blood has flowed under THAT bridge since.

I will be unable to post for the next few days. I announce this only because I want to avoid being accused of a "cut and run" upon my return!!!!

truth to power said...

Anonymous, do you subscribe to the doctrine of biblical inerrancy?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but pi is not equal to 3.

Yes, there are silly and wrong things in the Bible. Pointing this out doesn't make Lysis an "ANTI-CHRISTIAN". Nor me.

Lysis said...

Truth to power:

Thank you for your very insightful questions to Flaccid. – Let me predict his answer “____________”. Now the question will be: “Is Lysis also among the prophets?”

Flaccid:

I will miss you; your posts are always an important part of our discussions. It is my hope that you enjoy are clashes as much as I do.

However, there are silly and contradictory things in the Bible. Are you aware of this and just pretending there are not? Are you aware of this and refusing to recognize it? Or are you, as usual, completely unaware of what is in the Bible and just saying what you have heard other people say. I could post a series of these Biblical booboos; but to what point? Just answer the question.

I have long held that accepting Christianity with full knowledge of the flaws and foibles of its prophets and “holy” texts bespeaks a more enduring faith than those whose beliefs are sheltered in ignorance.

Cameron said...

But Lysis, haven't the prophets and texts of Christianity, and really of all religion, been portrayed as the will and word of God? If they can be wrong, how are we to believe them at all?

truth to power said...

If you accept the existence of "revealed religion", you must accept the fact that it is communicated, administered, and practiced by imperfect humans. I have faith that the plans and works of God are able to overcome these limitations. If He really desires us to know and do His will, then He will find a clear way to communicate it to the willing.

Lysis said...

It has been given to every man to know the truth by means of his ability to reason. Some call this the “light of Christ” some the mind of “Divine Jupiter” but what ever you call it, it is what makes us men; it is that spark of divinity shared by men and Gods and held by all in the commonwealth of humanity.

MindMechanic said...

I think sometimes a mistake that is made is people place expectations on the bible as if it were written and interpreted today. Our life and social experiences are vastly different.

It would not be unreasonable to try to place SOME of the writings in historical perspective and simply learn what is truly being taught.

An example would be the recent discussion of 'Gods.'

Cameron said...

But who's "perspective" will we be learning from? There has to be some order to the process, doesn't there?

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Mindmechanic:

I meant to comment on your most excellent post on Gandhi and Churchill. I was very impressed by it; and you have made the argument extremely well however, as always, I would like to put in my two bits worth. I would first like note that Hitler would have killed Gandhi so fast he wouldn’t have got a chance to spin his wheel. Secondly I would note that Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience nor his hunger strikes keep India from partition, Muslims and Hindus from murdering each other by the tens of thousands, nor did they bring peace to that region. Gandhi’s nonviolent strategy worked against Britain for two reasons. One - Britain was wrong and knew it and two - Britain was a nation of Justice. Civil disobedience only works against civilized adversaries.

Anyway – Great post. Much food for thought!

As to the comments by Camron and Mindmechanic on the Bible. It should not be difficult to judge the Bible and the actions of those in it if you hold them up to the standard Christ has set. We all – in every time and place – know the difference between right and wrong. The fruits can always be judged sweet of bitter.

Cameron said...

Ahh, but "the standard that Christ has set" means different things to different people. Anon obviously thinks that since Christ did not fight back against those that murdered him, we should follow that example and shun violence.

I know that there are arguments against this interpretation of His actions, but the fact remains that Anon is not alone in this way of thinking.

There are many Christian believers out there on different ends of the debate on abortion, gay rights, death penalty, war, etc. Both sides would explain themselves based on "the standard that Christ has set"

Cameron said...

I just finished reading the Pope's speech. This link says that he varied a bit in the actual giving of the speech, but I'm not sure how much or if the variance is relevant to the overally discussion.

Anyhow, I am intrigued. Interestingly, it's a speech that could have been written by Lysis. The gist of the speech is the intertwining of reason and faith. Quite an interesting read.

Even the ancient dialogue that the Pope quotes reads like something Lysis might have said:

"God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...."

I suppose this next quote is what has Muslims up in arms:

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

Pretty inflammatory by today's standards. But it does seem a little weird to kill people because you take offense when someone says your prophet killed people.

I hope the Pope and/or the Catholic Church never apologizes.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I’m heartened that I have apparently achieved “above whipper-snapper status!” Just like Lysis, I look forward to your speedy return. Though we often disagree, I do enjoy your posts; it is refreshing to see a different view and to have something to press against.

Cameron,

You post: “But Lysis, haven't the prophets and texts of Christianity, and really of all religion, been portrayed as the will and word of God? If they can be wrong, how are we to believe them at all?”

Even in Mormon theology, is it not held to “believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly?” Does this not leave room for error in the text? Would you suggest that you depend upon a text that was hand-copied, and handed down through generations of scribes from another religion?

Further, you post: “There are many Christian believers out there on different ends of the debate on abortion, gay rights, death penalty, war, etc. Both sides would explain themselves based on "the standard that Christ has set".

Lysis answers: “It has been given to every man to know the truth by means of his ability to reason. Some call this the “light of Christ” some the mind of “Divine Jupiter” but what ever you call it, it is what makes us men; it is that spark of divinity shared by men and Gods and held by all in the commonwealth of humanity.”

I would add two comments: First, in addition to reason, each man must also apply faith in his search for answers. Will there be differences of opinion? Absolutely. In our nation, those differences are settled by giving each man the opportunity to express his view at the ballot box, or at the Agora for those who choose.

Second, where do we ultimately turn to for answers? We must apply our own reason coupled with our own faith to make those determinations.

mjl said...

If the example of Christ not rising up against those who crucified him is the singular example we are using, then it is a bit flawed in its singularity. That is a most particular act, the Atonement of man, and Christ submitted to its accomplishment. I was under the impression that we were looking at a wider view.

Events to ponder in this thread in addition to the cleansing of the temple, would be the plaques in Egypt, particularly the taking of the first born. The is allowing all of those Egyptians to drown as the Red Sea closed back up, Noah and the ark, Joshua at Jericho etc.

mjl said...

I will be presumptuous enough here to add and clarify. In the Book of Revelations the fact that there was war in heaven in discussed (12:7) Furthermore in Revelations 19:11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." Further reading gives ample reason to believe that this is Jesus Christ and tells us that it is possible to make war in righteousness. My favorite, for those of you who have read the Book of Mormon, is the story of the stripling warriors who take up arms to fight for and protect those who cannot take up arms. I suppose Anonymous would say this is the opportunism being preached in Christian churches to a tee.

I would say that it is strong evidence of Lysis' point. We must use our divine reason to know what is right and true.

Lysis said...

Rumpole:

Indeed faith AND reason are our only hope. The search for truth must be our life long effort in the world. If religion helps in that search it is of great value, if it hinders – it must be abandoned.

Cameron:

It would indeed by unreasonable of me to condemn bin Laden for plotting the mass murder of America in the name of God and countenance God’s commanding the murder the men, women, and CHILDREN, even the animals of the seven nations of the Amorites. When I read such things in the bible, my faith in the goodness and justice of God leads me to the reasonable decision that such nonsense was put into the Bible by God. The book not compiled until long after most of the event it describes, mostly written by scribes held in captivity in Babylon, and full of their personal belief that they were God’s only chosen people and God was biding His time before allowing them to mass murder everyone else.

It is completely inconsistent with the nature of God to kill the innocent first born of Egypt because of the sins of their father, and their “god king”. It is God’s choice not to deal directly with the monsters of mankind that leaves us chasing bin Laden through the mountains of Pakistan. It seems now we are chasing a ghost. Maybe God has intervened at last.

Cameron said...

Lysis,

Does each person then get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are "true" and which are just innacurate stories or even worse, blatant lies? I know the "as far as it is translated correctly" part of LDS doctrine as far as the Bible is concerned, but it still holds its place as scripture. How can we have faith in something with the innaccuracies you describe? And what of the rest of Christianity that isn't bridled by the "translated correctly" asterisk? It seems that if the Bible is so untrustworthy, it would reduce the amount of faith it can elicit, and then one is left with an overabundance of reason, which reason can, and often does, lead man astray.

Lysis said...

Cameron:

I am not aware of anywhere in the Bible were it requires us to have faith in scripture. Our faith is to be in God, in the savior, or in the Justice of God, not in any written words. I did not present the “translated correctly dodge” to the incredible things in the scriptures. I think that was Rumpole. My position remains the same. Men can tell the difference between right and wrong, if the *Bible* or the *Book of Mormon* presents something recognizably wrong then it must be discounted.

The Book of Mormon does not claim to be free of mistakes. In fact if one reads the first page in the book, last line, it states: “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.” I do not condemn the scripture; I only hold it to the standard that God has set. I read and ponder it in my heart, and make the determination, by the “Light of Christ” what is true and what are the opinions of men.

As for finding my faith reduced by such questioning and judgment – how so? It seems to me that there is much in the Bible, especially the New Testament to recommend it. Much that teaches the truths that a Just God would want his children to know. Why would he provide men with reason and teach them how to judge by it, and then expect us to accept on blind faith the murder of children, racism, bigotry, and meaningless injunctions against the eating of shellfish and approaching women during their “season” and stoning disobedient children?

All we are left with is our faith that since God cannot do evil things, nor would He command His children to do them, such accounts if found in scripture are in error.

MindMechanic said...

Lysis,

I'm probably no different than many folk. My conversion to faith had nothing to do with the scriptures. In fact the times in my life where my faith and understanding of God were most powerful came during moments of need or quiet contemplation, not of study. The study of scripture has reinforced that faith.

How many versions are there of the bible? How many 'books' of the bible were ommitted by man? How many mistakes were made, albeit honorably?

The faith of a child is pure. I think the reason we are told that the path to God is with the faith of a child is because if we are of a mind to we can overanalyze anything. Including a LACK of faith.

I know we have done it to death, but it really is all about faith. Faith in unprovable God, faith in unprovable science, it all comes down to the intent of the heart and mind of the individual.