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January 24, 2010 – Comments (39)

I give this post a 50% chance of getting past the censors. But if it gets deleted, I think it should be deleted together with another related post which I won't mention, but most of you know which post I have in mind.

America has a very diverse population. And among that diverse population there is one vocal group of very strange people. These are the people who like to cry over stem cells.

These professional Christians will not spend much effort to address the numerous problems that we all face in this sinful world, or, if they do, then their efforts are clearly too negligible to make any real difference. But when given a chance to defend the rights of sperm cells and eggs, they will fight the "immoral liberal ideas" tooth and nail. They will devote so much energy to this campaign that we would not need solar power if we could only convert that energy into useful work.

They say that every "sperm cell + egg" pair is sacred because every such pair is as good as a human being, and as a human being it is, or course, created in God's image. This is a clever replacement of one concept - the one that is relevant - by another, which is something totally different. Just because such as pair has a potential to develop into a human, does not mean that is already a human being. We all have a potential to win a Nobel Prize. Does this mean we are all entitled to receive it here and now? Or that we should all be given $40 Billion because each of us, under right conditions, could become a Warren Buffett? If you take this religious line of thought still further, then any large combination of molecules should be considered sacred because if you wait a couple of billion years, they could potentially recombine to form sentient creatures. 

As to "God's own image", this is one of those claims that are hard to disprove but even harder to take seriously. I have no idea what God looks like. I haven't seen his photographs or read verbal descriptions of his appearance by the people who claimed to have seen him. Maybe he will some day open a Facebook profile or even condescend to descend on Earth and take a stroll down Broadway. But as of now, nobody really has any idea. The Bible does provide a hint, but it's not the one I would want to pursue. I doubt that the thought that God has to brush his teeth in the morning, shave himself, take a shower, and flush the water after using the toilet would sound very pious, and when I think about  God's spiritual life (reading, entertainment, romance, etc), my reconstruction of his everyday life becomes even less pious. But at any rate, even if we were created in his image, this would also be very strange because how does one keep track of 6 billion different images? For me, having just two images would already be troublesome. I can see how a bottle of good vodka could help one manage two different images, but 6 billion and growing? This could become too hard on one's liver, and besides, the visualization of God shuffling through the 6+ billion images of himself again sound very impious. And the professional Christians are of little help. If anything, they are making his job even more difficult by pushing us to create a few more billions of additional images. 

How about giving the poor fellow a break?

All the more so that there is plenty of other ways to keep professional Christians busy. We have at least a couple million "images" who cease their earthly existence every year due to such prosaic reasons as lack of yellow metal to purchase expensive medications. And we have professional Christians who are stubbornly pro-life. Can't you see the synergy? Let us have those Christians campaign to revoke patent protection from brand-name medications and fill the market with cheap generics. Last time I checked, most of them (not all, but certainly a sizable majority) were campaigning for the rights of Big Pharma to keep competition out and sell their medications at the highest price the market will bear. But I am sure it was just some misunderstanding. Once these professional Christians realize what God expects from them, I have no doubt they will stop picketing abortion clinics and start picketing corporate headquarters of PFE, MRK, JNJ, LLY, and other pillars of the stock market. Once they succeed in that we will still have other venues that give them a chance to practice their pro-life beliefs. We could, for example, have them campaign to stop a war in the Gulf that was launched by one former president (a new-born Christian, no less!) to win access to cheap oil. 

There are plenty of other "home assignments" for them, but even these 2 should be sufficient. 

Here is my suggestion. Let us make these two a necessary prerequisite. A person who has established a track record campaigning against the military lobby and against the Big Pharma will thus have earned his right to campaign against abortion. And I will be most curious to see what percentage of professional pro-lifers will remain after this little litmus test. Who knows, maybe defense of the rights of sperm cells will then emerge as an issue of the same critical importance in the national debate as protection of endangered species of termites in the Congo basin.

39 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 24, 2010 at 6:06 PM, Option1307 (29.72) wrote:

But if it gets deleted, I think it should be deleted together with another related post

Agreed, although I don't ahve a problem with either post.

Just because such as pair has a potential to develop into a human, does not mean that is already a human being.

True, but I think you are slightly missing the point. If I understand correctly (and this may be entirely false), many pro-lifers believe that life does actually occur at conception. In their eyes life truely begins with the fusion of the sperm and egg forming the zygote. Therefore, they don't consider it a potential human, rather a human already. Again, I could be way off base, but I've heard many people say this to me.

I can see how a bottle of good vodka could help one manage two different images, but 6 billion and growing?

Ha!

I'm not a religious person myself, but I don't see the harm in others stating their opinions, whether I agree with them or not. You are essentially doing the same thing here as the other post, are you not? Simply stating your opinion.

As I mentioned above, I have no problem with either post regardless of if I agree or not.

I believe you are European if I remember correctly, have you spent time in the US? I'm sure you're already aware, but US is definitely way way more religious than most of Europe. It ahs been declining the last 20-30 yr, but still relatively high percent of people claim they are religious. Just fyi.

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#2) On January 24, 2010 at 6:23 PM, starbucks4ever (97.39) wrote:

I don't have any problem with religion, as don't as it doesn't try to reshape the society as it sees fit. Buddism comes close to this ideal, and well as some modern denominations of Christianity. But the mainstream religious movements still have to realize that they are simply opinions - and just that.

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#3) On January 24, 2010 at 6:23 PM, tkell31 (23.27) wrote:

Nice post.  I'm amazed more good Christians arent down in Haiti or over in Africa working with God's children who werent as fotunate to be born in the US.

I'm also amazed Catholics turn a blind eye to the fact the Catholic church is the ultimate Ponzi scheme only they are saving your soul for money.  Want a marriage annuled?  Okay we can do it, but gonna cost you 15K...cant afford that? how about 10K?

Religion has harmed far more people then it has helped.  Too bad really because it is a nice idea.

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#4) On January 24, 2010 at 6:34 PM, Option1307 (29.72) wrote:

zloj

Fair enough points.

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#5) On January 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM, goalie37 (91.82) wrote:

But if it gets deleted, I think it should be deleted together with another related post

I whole heartedly agree.  Both should be deleted.  I sign on to MF for various financial purposes.  What I don't want is to log onto MF for spiritual guidance.  Whether Christian, Muslim, or Atheist, I appreciate your insights into the workings of the markets, not the workings of the universe.

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#6) On January 24, 2010 at 7:07 PM, HarryCarysGhost (99.68) wrote:

Highway to Hell

To be fair this needs to be posted here also.

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#7) On January 24, 2010 at 7:21 PM, Harold71 (22.85) wrote:

I agree with Bill Hicks, yet again.

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#8) On January 24, 2010 at 7:27 PM, alexpaz (28.91) wrote:

"Religion has harmed far more people then it has helped.  Too bad really because it is a nice idea."

I disagree, a wise person once told me religion is the only way for hopeless and otherwise crazy people to live in a sane way. I am certain that the world would be a much worse place if people didn't think "god" was watching over their shoulder.

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#9) On January 24, 2010 at 7:36 PM, ozzfan1317 (81.21) wrote:

I understand your frustrations I have my faith and whoever wishes to hear about it is welcome to listen if they like. However there is no reason to try to force religious beliefs on others it doenst really make things any better. I agree both blogs should probably be delted.

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#10) On January 24, 2010 at 8:10 PM, starbucks4ever (97.39) wrote:

#5 and #9,

You are probably right. Although, the demographic pyramid IS an an important issue in investing and it IS very difficult to expect rational solutions when people take their clues from some religious authority. 

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#11) On January 24, 2010 at 9:39 PM, russiangambit (29.24) wrote:

#8 - disagree, I lived in USSR where religion was prohibited. And since people didn't  have much hope for the eternal life, most tried to make the most of the one they had. USSR was a pretty intresting experiment in that regard and I can tell you with certainty that it is mostly the environment, i.e. the values of the parental figures that shape the person in the end.

Actually now since the religion has been allowed and fully accepted back it is causing quite a few tensions bentween christian and muslim regions. I  think religion should be strictly a spritual thing such as buddism. Organized religion seem to be more trouble than it is worth.

 I also agree 100% with zloj point, the radical Christians make the perfect enemy of the good. Instead of doing what they can where they can to lessen the suffering of those already living they prefer concentrate on such a wedge issue as abortion and in the end do nothing.

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#12) On January 24, 2010 at 9:51 PM, swank9 (< 20) wrote:

both posts are toast imo.  unless of course TMF laid off all of their content moderators.

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#13) On January 24, 2010 at 9:59 PM, BravoBevo (99.97) wrote:

zloj: I, for one, hope that your post does not get deleted. If I had no interest in the subject of your post or in commenting on it, it would be easy to skip over it.  That's an option afforded to all of us.

In my post, I don't say anything about stem cell research or Big Pharma or wars and military conflicts.  I do take notice that there have been 48,000,000 deaths of American children in the last 37 years since Roe v Wade.  Does that number hit you like it hits me?  Forty-eight million deaths ...  I'm sorry for their deaths. I'm sorry tor my contribution towards that.

I'm willing to take the blame because I know that I haven't done all that I could to ameliorate the situation. I agree with part of your sentiment about "Christians," of which I profess to be one.  There is a standard that we "Christians" haven't upheld.  I have fallen short and I acknowledge it. I should be more driven ... driven to my knees to prayer.

I know that I haven't prayed intently to God like I should have for women who are afraid of bringing a baby into full-term delivery.  I haven't developed a routine to pray that the Holy Spirit would use the consciousnesses of abortion doctors and their staff to comprehend that the limbs and heads and torsos they vacuum from women's wombs are humans, and not merely garbage.  I have failed to pray as consistently as I should that the abortion business become obsolete for lack of demand. I haven't asked God to ease the adoption process for new born children.  I haven't begged God for a national reawakening to drive more and more Americans to seek Jesus.

For the millions of Americans who don't trust Jesus Christ, I cannot blame them.  They do what they do the best that they know how.  Instead, this is my own mea culpa.

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#14) On January 24, 2010 at 10:00 PM, jatt22 (45.08) wrote:

 + rec totally agree wth u , sir

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#15) On January 24, 2010 at 10:00 PM, anchak (99.85) wrote:

None of these posts have anything to do with investing - both should be taken down. IMHO!

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#16) On January 24, 2010 at 10:06 PM, russiangambit (29.24) wrote:

#13 - you are unbelievable. You think all you need to do is pray? Life is not as easy as that. To achieve something you actually have to do it yourself not rely on the God.

One of my aunts belongs to this brand of religious people who think that God will do everything for them. "God will provide" she says. As a result her 3 children go hungry quite often. My family gives them almost everything they have  because they are family. We feel bad for the children. It is us who provide, not God even though she doesn't see it that way.

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#17) On January 24, 2010 at 10:13 PM, ralphmachio (24.69) wrote:

Why should these blogs be deleted? If you don't like 'em, don't read 'em! Religious, political, and scientific discussions should be avoided because apparently, some people get their feelings hurt? If what you read bothers you, it is your own conviction that is lacking. it may be that you are trying to believe something that is entirely unbelievable, and maybe to have doubts is a GOOD thing. Maybe it is the beginnings of critical thinking, which is an area my fellow americans are particularly challenged in, and that can't be bad! Don't worry, that burning smell will eventually go away if you continue to practice.

And I agree with the author, in that most of the young adolescents that have been kicked out of their home have been kicked out by Christian parents whose children don't conform to their bland, cardboard mores. so what's the deal? all you guys got figured out is that abortion is bad, but from there you want to create a certain hell on Earth for those who happen to be stuck next to you? Is it the aim of Christianity to overpopulate the world with unhappy people? Seems a bit sadistic. Do we have some deadline for using up all of the Earth's resources? Would you like to spend more time in traffic?  

Ancient civilizations killed 50,000 people at a clip in order to extend the time on Earth for future civilizations. Barbarous as this may seem, it makes more sense than the Christian approach, unless you believe the world is coming to an end soon anyway! 

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#18) On January 24, 2010 at 10:37 PM, starbucks4ever (97.39) wrote:

Hi BravoBevo,

Really, I think you hold yourself to an overly high standard. Your grief should not be measured by the number of abortions, for then it hath no end (I slightly paraphrased the classic). But seriously, I must ask you, where exactly would you put these 48 000 000 people if they had not all been aborted? Yes, I know you will say there's still enough land in the USA for 360 million individuals. OK, that may be true. But what happens next? Now you have a population that's 20% larger than before, and it's producing 20% more embryos. You again argue that abortion should not be allowed and all these embryos should be allowed to develop into humans. Now you have another 60 million individuals to deal with, in addition to the current demographic projections. And then these 60 million also start producing even more embryos. And so on. Now I beg your attention. The US is large country and it has lots of resources. But these resources are not unlimited. What happens when the population increases in geometric progression to a limit where even the whole US territory can no longer support this horde? I would really appreciate your answer to this question. Sure, there is always an option not to practice population control and let nature take care of things. Animals do just that. Also, most animals are hungry.

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#19) On January 24, 2010 at 10:40 PM, Eerkes (90.59) wrote:

for every person that religion has hurt,

jesus has brought life to another,

religion is man trying to reach god,

jesus is god trying to reach man,

live not for religion, but for christ

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#20) On January 24, 2010 at 10:48 PM, Eerkes (90.59) wrote:

the overpopulation argument is a joke, look how it is working out for Europe.

As for fitting them in, I live in a 1800 unit apartment complex that covers about 4 acres.  I think that could be replicated to fit billions in the state of texas alone.

As for food, cut out meat from your diet, plant a garden in every yard and in pots on every porch.

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#21) On January 24, 2010 at 11:27 PM, blake303 (29.22) wrote:

for every person that religion has hurt,

jesus has brought life to another,

Why didn't Jesus just help the person that was hurt by religion? 

Both posts should stay. Although the posts may not discuss it directly, abortion and the lack of similar activism in response to war, famine, genocide and other atrocities have immeasurable and real economic impacts. That is beside the point though. Let people blog about what ever they choose. I completely agree with zloj, but BravoBevo has the right to his/her opinion. 

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#22) On January 24, 2010 at 11:43 PM, HarryCarysGhost (99.68) wrote:

I hope neither of the blogs gets deleted!

Where else can you find AC/DC on ukelele.

As far as the makets go, I see a buying opportunity ahead!

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#23) On January 24, 2010 at 11:55 PM, truthisntstupid (89.72) wrote:

Translating from the King James version  ....basically, his last message was, " I'll be right back."

Uhhh.....that was 2,000 years ago. 

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#24) On January 25, 2010 at 12:43 AM, bigcat1969 (92.38) wrote:

Simple problem, if like me you believe abortion is murder then you can never support it.  Hey I'm part Jew and some of my friends are black, we both have been said to have had no souls at certain points in history (The Jewish bit came from Christians at certain times).  All rational people now consider this very silly and tragic.  So I err on the side of caution.

If you feel there is no soul til the feet pop out (or no soul period), then you will believe that the mother's right to choose is more important.  There really is no middle ground.  However if I get arrested for smushing bald eagle eggs you will be there to protect me right?

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#25) On January 25, 2010 at 8:42 AM, russiangambit (29.24) wrote:

#20 - most Europeans only have 1-2 kids, even Italians and Spaniards who are very religious.

As for food, it is not food that is the problem, it is water. I live in texas, we get water restrictions every summer. can you imagine what would happen if we got another 50 mil people - water wars and the traffic would come to a standstill.

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#26) On January 25, 2010 at 9:31 AM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

Religion and Politics....who's ever right?

Knowledge is King!

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#27) On January 25, 2010 at 9:51 AM, alexxlea (60.27) wrote:

Lol I think it's funny that you would think that overpopulation has anything to do with a space issue.

The main problem is that people hold up the American consumption model as their goal, and when that is achieved, well, you know the rest of the story.

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#28) On January 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM, GNUBEE (28.66) wrote:

Zloj,

I find it hard to argue that birth makes a "person". My thinking relates to a concrete example (literally)

While water, lime, stone etc are only ingredients- once mixed they make concrete. Not a "useful to society", firm, load bearing solid concrete, but a liquid liability that must be worked, formed, and watched over while allowing time to cure. 

Just my thoughts, value as you see fit

Even though the wet slurry has not formed "concrete" as we know it it is still concrete.

that is how I see it.

Russian,

I think Bevo's understanding of prayer is similar to mine. Prayer should be a conversation with God. Not simply "rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub" type prayer.

In the example of your sister, she should be asking God "what can I do to provide for my family" The answers she might get could include "get a job". God is not a magic pixie who will rain down food for those who do not feel they have to work for it.

Think of prayer as meditation, where God is your "concience" who will help you decide which actions to take.

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#29) On January 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM, starbucks4ever (97.39) wrote:

Hi GNUBEE,

No, the concrete slurry is NOT concrete. It's just that - a concrete slurry. If the defining property of concrete is its ability to support a building, then whether or not this slurry will form concrete depends on your willingness to give it enough time to harden. If you treat wet slurry as a ready concrete, the building will have to be demolished. 

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#30) On January 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM, GNUBEE (28.66) wrote:

Then Concrete is not concrete because it provides no utilty?Once it fulfils its final usefulness to society it becomes concrete?

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#31) On January 25, 2010 at 1:47 PM, starbucks4ever (97.39) wrote:

"Then Concrete is not concrete because it provides no utility?"

No, not because of utility. Because it lacks the defining characteristics of concrete. 

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#32) On January 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM, GNUBEE (28.66) wrote:

Guess I should have tried to disguse that better...good work, saw where I was leading....birth not equalling final utility.

Your response is the crux of the argument. I personally could never attempt to define what it is to be "human" So to err on the side of safety I must stick to a point in time that I can clearly define. I can undoubtedly say that the "ingredients" seperate are just that. But when combined in an attempt to form (deliberate or accidental) the final product I cannot say that they are not in fact an just underdeveloped form of that final product. (relying on the assumption that children are underdeveloped like the slurry)

So only being able to reasonably determine that life can begin at conception, you must (in order to avoid being proved wrong, or make a mistake)see that as the point of initiation. That is the basis for my belief in the timelines discussed.

It is not my intent to try to sway you either on humans or concrete, but to illustrate how I arrive at my position. Thanks for the discussion.

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#33) On January 25, 2010 at 7:32 PM, truleuneek (< 20) wrote:

#11 russian,

 

I lived in the USSR also, Moldova, to be precise.  Religion was prohibited, but it was still practiced.  My grandfather spent years in prison and then Siberia because he refused to give up his beliefs.

#8,

I have to agree with your last comment.  People who actively participate in their church and strive to follow biblical teachings usually make an effort to live a certain way.

 

Both parties in the argument have their extremes, just remember that the majority of the people are closer to the center. 

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#34) On January 25, 2010 at 8:08 PM, russiangambit (29.24) wrote:

> I lived in the USSR also, Moldova, to be precise.  Religion was prohibited, but it was still practiced.  My grandfather spent years in prison and then Siberia because he refused to give up his beliefs.

Yes, certainly there were many people from older generations who continued to practice in secret. The relegion was hidden, not the norm and it wasn't the force that held the society together or made people function in certain way. Most people acted one way or other because of who they were or the society norms not because they expected panishment from God.

I think human beings are either born or aquire very early the sense of right and wrong, which is only masked later on by relgious beliefs. It is only very broken human beings, the ones we don't consider sane, who don't know right from wrong. And again it has nothing to do with establishment of religion. Religion is an outgrowth of inner sprituality and not the other way around, an outward manifestation. Spirtuality is based on understanding of  right and wrong, on compassion, without them no human society and no religion is possible. However, religion itself is not necessary for  human society to exist. That was my point. 

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#35) On January 25, 2010 at 10:13 PM, starbucks4ever (97.39) wrote:

I agree that religion can be put to good uses if you tell the believers to do some good things. But it can just as easily be put to bad uses if you tell believers to do bad things because this is what God supposedly wants. So while religion may work for some people, I have more confidence in the moral character of an atheist. His behavior tells us about his own character, rather than about the contents of the last sermon he attended. 

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#36) On January 25, 2010 at 10:45 PM, soycapital (< 20) wrote:

I have more confidence in the moral character of an atheist. His behavior tells us about his own character, rather than about the contents of the last sermon he attended. 

I have little doubt that as you go thru life you will find this remark to be false. Check yourself in a decade or so.

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#37) On January 25, 2010 at 11:26 PM, truthisntstupid (89.72) wrote:

#36

Bull.  All the trouble-making judgemental gossips ready to trash you as soon as you walk out of the room where I work are the ones who never miss church.   They are always the root of every problem.   Every time there's a conflict they're in the background making snide judgemental remarks to keep it going.  They're also always the ones who started it in the first place by bending, distorting or embellishing what someone else said until it no longer bears the slightest resemblance to what they actually did say.  Last year, to their dismay, everybody where I work was immune to their duplicity.  After five years, we finally learned not to believe a word that comes out of their mouths.   That is a fact.

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#38) On January 26, 2010 at 2:05 PM, truleuneek (< 20) wrote:

sounds like we are arguing about who came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

In Ukraine (thats where my grandparents lived, in a small village), the majority of the village practiced the same religion, hidden, because it was forbidden.  You say society norms or who people are is what makes them live the way they are.  When the majority of the community around you practices the religion, that becomes the society norm, does it not?

 

Interesting discussion.  I've practiced all my life and don't regret it at all.  There are many benefits and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity.

 

#37,

Please don't judge everyone by a few bad apples.  Just because someone goes to church doesn't mean they are Christian.

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#39) On January 26, 2010 at 7:19 PM, BravoBevo (99.97) wrote:

#37 All the trouble-making judgemental gossips ready to trash you as soon as you walk out of the room where I work are the ones who never miss church.   They are always the root of every problem.   Every time there's a conflict they're in the background making snide judgemental remarks to keep it going.  They're also always the ones who started it in the first place by bending, distorting or embellishing what someone else said until it no longer bears the slightest resemblance to what they actually did say.  Last year, to their dismay, everybody where I work was immune to their duplicity.  After five years, we finally learned not to believe a word that comes out of their mouths.   That is a fact.

truthisntstupid:  You are describing prideful arrogant people.  I can find them almost everywhere ... at work, in community groups, at the stores, at school, and sometimes (sadly) at church. I've seen them as parents of boys in Little League baseball clubs, as teacher aides in public schools, as directors of USS swim teams. I find it unfortunate that you ascribe these selfish self-centered "me-first" attitudes and behaviors specifically to people who attend church. 

If those are your only experiences at church, I don't blame you for being disenchanted.  My experiences with churchmembers are not the same as yours.  I have found that what you've described is the exception, and not the rule.  If the arrogant behavior was that prevalent in a church I attended or visited, I would look for a different church where the church attendees are God-centered, instead of being self-centered.  Please don't give up on God, just because He has faulty representatives.  In comment #38, truleuneek gets it when he says "Please don't judge everyone by a few bad apples.  Just because someone goes to church doesn't mean they are Christian. "

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