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My CFI dilema
Posted: 19 February 2013 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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RB? THIS IS AN INVITATION TO HAVE A DIALOGUE
Rational Believer? (RB?). What an interesting moniker! Tell us the story as to why you use it. I am interested. I am also interested in the story of why you believe what you do believe. Those who are not interested, are free to do otherwise.

It is in the spirit of GOOD faith that I send to you, and to all of you, who read these words, GOOD WILL—the basic meaning, BTW, of the ancient Greek word, agape, which we translate ‘love’. The ancient Greek word for love, in the romantic sense is eros—OK in the right place.
==============
SOME PERSONAL NOTES—i.e., some STORIES ABOUT MY FIRST CHILDHOOD—anyone who finds this boring, feel free to skip it. I assure you, I,  WILL not to be offended, OK?  Only IF you have time, let me KNOW, and why, OK?

Back to you, RB? You know, it was on January 14, 2010, that I became an octogenarian. WOW! I had a similar feeling when I turned the BIG 50, in 1980. How many here remember when you got to milestone 50? How many still have a few miles to go before 50, or 80? Of course, you have the right not to say anything.

MY SECOND CHILDHOOD?
BTW, at 80, I began thinking of myself as living in my second childhood. That being so, I decided to have a chat with Self. To Self I said: “Self, what are your plans for us, from here on in ... ?”

Which reminds me of the old joke by Woody Allen, the famous actor, director and hypochondriac, “I am not afraid of dying!” he said, “I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”  LOL
===========================

BY THE WAY,  MAY I ASK: IS IT OK TO SPEAK ABOUT BEING THERE?
IS IT OK TO SPEAK ABOUT THE REALITY OF DEATH AND DYING?

Be assured that I am fully aware that I am not the only one who has “been there”—witnessed death and dying—and who is thinking about what this means. I would be quite interested in reading the story of anyone. But only if they wish. We all have our stories.

With this in mind, I hope you will allow me to tell my story. I will try to be as brief as possible. If anyone objects to the following personal story-like comments—feel free to skip them. Or feel free to let me know and I will certainly agree that they be removed.

RB? Here is why I tell these stories:

I tell these stories to make clear what influenced my belief system. I figured out the Santa Claus myth, by the time I was six. One thing I noticed is as follows: Some of my childhood friends—that is, those who were from well-to-do families—e.g., the merchant-class and the professional-class families—always, no matter how many prayers we said, got more and bigger toys than my sister and I, and others in the lower ranks, got. Later, I remember wondering: Did God and his St. Nicholas pay more attention to the rich than he did to the poor?

THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF THE 1930’S—where I spent my first childhood

In those days many people, in resource-rich Newfoundland (today it is a well-off province), lived in what we today think of as third-world conditions. No, I am not exaggerating. For anyone interested, let me know. I will gladly direct you to a blog that I write in http://www.wondercafe.ca There I will give more details and responds to questions and comments. 

Then I became suspicious about all such stories, including those in the Bible. I yearned to know the reasons behind such stories. At fourteen, in 1944, the year my father died—after a long and painful illness, miner’s lung—I was old enough to be under NO illusion that there is a ‘god’ up there who hears and answers all the prayers and petitions with a yes.

As I matured, I noticed even those prayers made by very good people—ones who went to church regularly, said their prayers, gave their regular tithes and offerings, obeyed the church clergy and the teachings about ‘god’—got silence, or NO, in response to their prayers. One of my childhood friends—he was the son of a devout Catholic family, which lived not far from us—was killed by a rock that fell from the cliff near where we lived. When I heard this sad new I wondered: What is going on here? Was ‘god’ asleep? Did his family forget to go to mass and say all those prayers? [Keep in mind, because I was a very curious child, I remember a lot of what happened as a child. ]

In 1942, my old—but young (20’s) in years—Sunday School teacher, was then a sailor with the Royal Navy. He lost his life, on his way home on leave from the war. I remember him as a great person, from a large and devout United Church family. He was one of the passengers on the ill-fated ferry boat, the SS Caribou, which then plied the waters between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Here is the story the sinking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-69_(1940)#The_Sinking_of_the_Caribou 137 men, women and children, out of 191, lost their lives in a few minutes. I feel that virtually all of the people on that boat said a prayer, in one form or another.

The history of the early Christian church is filled with numerous stories of suffering and pain for at least 300 years. Why did Jesus not return as it is said—even he said—he would? History records that large numbers of the early believers lost their lives as martyrs. Later descendants of those first Christians did their share of killing (murder) to the “Glory of God” in numerous crusades over the years—which, by the way, ultimately failed to establish the Christian version of the “Kingdom of God” on earth.

To this day, millions of Christians, who devoutly believe in the Second Coming of Christ are still praying and waiting for Jesus to return. They pray for him to come and start the Battle of Armageddon—the last battle before he brings in that fabled Kingdom of God, he “promised”. DO I BELIEVE IN THIS FABLE? NO!  [much more to be said here, eh!]

GOD and DEATH, AT SHRINES
Over the years, I have heard many media stories about the hundreds of people getting killed going to, or attending, the shrine at Mecca. The same thing in true at the shrines of all the religions. Unless ‘god’ makes it clear that he requires human sacrifice, and why, this make little, or no, sense to me.

Neither do the words of Robert Browning, when he said; “God’s in his heaven; all’s right with the world.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippa_Passes
What sense does this make: Some believe that there is a ‘god’ up there who loves and rewards all good people. but he punishes all sinners—people who consciously do evil and who choose not to believe in the will of ‘god’. The good will go to heaven and sinners will go to hell.

This “pie in the sky, by and by when you die” kind of faith is NOT the kind that makes sense, to me.
===========================
OTHER MEMORIES OF BEING THERE! THAT IS, CLOSE TO THE REALITY OF DEATH

Because TB was rampant in Newfoundland in the 1930’s, by the time I was five and my sister was near four, our family five boys and three girls, lost our oldest brother (25), our oldest sister (23), her husband, their two young children and our mother (1935). Other families also had losses.

By the way, Bell Island, about nine miles from St. John’s, was then the location of the largest iron ore mine in the British Empire. The population was then 10,000 people, including 2,100 miners. One accident, an explosion, took the lives of 20 miners.

Bell Island was part of the Battle of the Atlantic.There were two bold enemy submarine attacks—not far from our house—in the late summer of 1942. Four iron ore carriers were sunk, torpedoes hit one of the two loading piers, and 69 merchant seamen lost their lives. At 12, I saw many of the bodies, that were found, hauled ashore. For the story the link is http://www.bellisland.net

Shortly after our mother died, our then newly married and oldest brother, with the help of his wife, took over and helped raise me and my younger sister, who is now the last of the family.” That brother died in 2004. He was 92. He built his last fishing boat when he was 75. 

Though my older siblings did not have a lot of formal education, that brother inspired my sister (1932) and me to stay in school—in a time when there was no compulsory education—to love knowledge, and hopefully gain some wisdom and a useful place in life. Which, I feel, we were both fortunate enough, by and large, to get. My sister was 80, in 2012. Her husband—a liberal Catholic—once a miner on Bell Island—is now 84. They have five children and several grandchildren. They live in a place of beauty, in Alberta, Canada, which we visit, often:
http://www.grandecache.ca/

RB? BTW, a suggestion: To make it easier reading at least for me, and perhaps for others, paragraphing helps, OK?

MY BASIC BELIEFS?  http://progressivechristianity.ca/prc/?page_id=6

[ Edited: 21 February 2013 01:36 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 20 February 2013 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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RationalBeliever? - 23 December 2012 02:23 PM

But am I a dangerous person because I have blind faith in romantic love?  Is it somehow to the detriment of society that I choose to define my relationship in terms of romantic love, in addition to what I know about the science of sexuality and human reproduction?

Has not also atheism in the extreme been known to be dangerous to societies.  I cite France during the Reign of Terror, and the Soviet Union as examples.

Is anyone persecuting you personally? if not why all those introspective questions to the forum instead of to your self?

Under secular law No one wants to punish you for believing that god exists, no one cares!
It is under religious Canon or Sharia Law that people need to become scared of persecution under Canon law or kill you under Muslim Jihad (fatwah)There is ample evidence.  Atheists are no danger to Theists on an abstraction.  In real life both are very much alike, except for this god thing.

RB, don’t be so sensitive to clinical discussions of the pros and cons of religion and its moral influence on society. If religion would bring more romantic love into this world, I’d say let’s have a mass and pray to Love.

[ Edited: 20 February 2013 03:55 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 20 February 2013 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Write4U - 20 February 2013 03:46 PM

Is anyone persecuting you personally? if not why all those introspective questions to the forum instead of to your self?

Under secular law No one wants to punish you for believing that god exists, no one cares!

“Under secular law? Of what country?

Interesting point, W 4U. Are you saying that during the COLD WAR secular and Communist Russia was ruled by loving kind, Christian-like benevolent atheists?
============================
“It is under religious Canon Law”?  Of what country?

And what does the following mean?: 

or Sharia Law that people need to become scared of persecution under Canon law or kill you under Muslim Jihad (fatwah)There is ample evidence.  Atheists are no danger to Theists on an abstraction. In real life both are very much alike, except for this god thing.
=========
RB, don’t be so sensitive to clinical discussions of the pros and cons of religion and its moral influence on society. If religion would bring more romantic love into this world, I’d say let’s have a mass and pray to Love.

[ Edited: 20 February 2013 09:46 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 20 February 2013 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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RevLGKing - 20 February 2013 09:25 PM
Write4U - 20 February 2013 03:46 PM

Is anyone persecuting you personally? if not why all those introspective questions to the forum instead of to your self?

Under secular law No one wants to punish you for believing that god exists, no one cares!

“Under secular law? Of what country?

Interesting point, W 4U. Are you saying that during the COLD WAR secular and Communist Russia was ruled by loving kind, Christian-like benevolent atheists?
============================
“It is under religious Canon Law”?  Of what country?

If an atheist system wants to get rid of religion it is because of it’s structural and organizational power, not because the congregation believes in a god.

And what does the following mean?: 

or Sharia Law that people need to become scared of persecution under Canon law or kill you under Muslim Jihad (fatwah)There is ample evidence.  Atheists are no danger to Theists on an abstraction. In real life both are very much alike, except for this god thing.

The correct quote is:

  It is under religious Canon or Sharia Law that people need to become scared of persecution under Canon law or kill you under Muslim Jihad (fatwah)There is ample evidence.  Atheists are no danger to Theists on an abstraction. In real life both are very much alike, except for this god thing

From the earliest Babylonian days to the present every time a theocracy rules the consequences are oppression of free thought in the name of God.

But people when just born are fundamentlly all the same, until they become indoctrinated with theocracy and then they are part of the ‘holy quest”.

oddly a secular society allows such holy quests, but theocracies do not allow for the expression of dissent.

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Posted: 14 April 2013 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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“missionary atheism…people who hold steadfastly to a core of fundamental beliefs, and tireless try to
influence legislation and win people over to their way of thinking (what is that if not a religion?)”

This is exactly the nonsensical religious mind at its finest; the embittered, defensive Christian lie.
How many times do you need to be told that non-belief CANNOT be a religion? I care nothing what
you choose to believe, it’s none of my business- except when it IS. Like when churches are accorded
tax exempt status, meaning that my taxes subsidise your stupid beliefs! And when in Britain there
are bishops in the upper chamber, unelected and unqualified to be there, influencing MY life with their
superstitions. So don’t whine to me about how persecuted you feel… when you are treated equally with
non-believers you may have some cause to be heard- YES you are in the wrong place… fairyland.

[ Edited: 14 April 2013 03:17 PM by Nodhimmi ]
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Posted: 14 April 2013 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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RationalBeliever? - 20 December 2012 08:44 PM

Hi folks.  Somewhere along the line I ended up on the CFI’s mailing list, and despite having made no “Inquiry” into this organization, I haven’t taken myself off the list because I occasionally find the articles very interesting.  But more often than not, I find the vague mission statements about pursuing science, reason and civil rights to veil an undercurrent of strongly anti-religious sentiment.  Now, I’m not a professor of science, nor a candidate for sainthood, but I do identify as a Christian, and also consider myself to be a generally rational person (you will notice my screename is followed by a question mark, lest someone here disagrees).  I like the CFI in theory.  I don’t see anything wrong with inquiry, or fighting for the rights of atheists who are persecuted in direct violation of their constitutional rights.  My understanding of skepticism is that it describes people who question established beliefs, and don’t take what they are spoonfed without a just degree of personal evaluation.  I also understood that secularism was a neutral term describing a society without religious bias of any kind.  When then, did these terms become synonymous with what I call missionary atheism…people who hold steadfastly to a core of fundamental beliefs, and tireless try to influence legislation and win people over to their way of thinking (what is that if not a religion?).  I’ve had just as many people approach me attempting to disprove my belief in God as I have trying to convert me to theistic religions, if not more so.  Every now and then I’ll get an email from the CFI about trying to free a jailed atheist.  That, I can get behind.  But then I’ll receive something announcing the news (with unrestrained glee) that more people in the USA are without religious affiliation than ever before.  I don’t mind if people are without religious affiliation, but I do resent the implication that because I choose to affiliate myself, I cannot be a supporter of inquiry, constitutional rights, and rational thought.  What about enlightenment era Deists, our founding fathers and Sir Isaac Newton, for example, who devoted their lives to pursuing reason while still believing in the existence of God.  And then there are posts elsewhere on this board like “Religion: Is it good for anything?”  I don’t know, let’s ask Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I came very close to having myself removed from the mailing list, but then I thought, “No, I support many of the core goals of the CFI, why not try to engage in a discussion with them.”  I believe that people like me, who believe in God, but also have a healthy understanding of the separation of church and state, etc. have a right to a voice on this forum.  Are there any others like me here, or are you all embittered atheists?  am I in the wrong place?


If you understood anything about the free thought community you would not call the members embittered atheists.  With that kind of misunderstanding,  you ARE in the wrong place.  With your attitudes you don’t belong on a free thought blog.  You are obviously not looking to understand how we think or why.  You are looking for ways to denigrate our position as long as it is atheistic.  Just those two words “embittered atheists” shows your bias.  There are plenty of websites and blogs designed just for people like you who have a skewed attitude toward freethinkers.  You will surely feel more comfortable in a group that doesn’t challenge your preconceived ideas and who, like you, calls freethinkers “embittered atheists.”

...

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Posted: 14 April 2013 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Lois - 14 April 2013 05:19 PM
RationalBeliever? - 20 December 2012 08:44 PM

  Are there any others like me here, or are you all embittered atheists?  am I in the wrong place?

If you understood anything about the free thought community you would not call the members embittered atheists. 

With that kind of misunderstanding,  you ARE in the wrong place.  With your attitudes you don’t belong on a free thought blog.  You are obviously not looking to understand how we think or why. 

You are looking for ways to denigrate our position as long as it is atheistic.  Just those two words “embittered atheists” shows your bias.  There are plenty of websites and blogs designed just for people like you who have a skewed attitude toward freethinkers. 

You will surely feel more comfortable in a group that doesn’t challenge your preconceived ideas and who, like you, calls freethinkers “embittered atheists.” ...

Lois, is it okay for me to assume that the above post was not addressed to me, agreed? Over the years, I have had many pleasant dialogues with a number of open-minded atheists.

[ Edited: 14 April 2013 08:45 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 14 April 2013 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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RevLGKing - 14 April 2013 08:08 PM

Lois, is it okay for me to assume that the above post was not addressed to me, agreed? Over the years, I have had many pleasant dialogues with a number of open-mined atheists.

Your Freudian slip is showing. ‘Open-minded atheist = atheist agreeable to your positions. Closed minded atheists= atheists calling you on it. You want to dialog with atheists willing to be ‘mined’. Good luck with that here…

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 14 April 2013 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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asanta - 14 April 2013 08:27 PM
RevLGKing - 14 April 2013 08:08 PM

Lois, is it okay for me to assume that the above post was not addressed to me, agreed? Over the years, I have had many pleasant dialogues with a number of open-minded atheists.

Your Freudian slip is showing. ‘Open-minded atheist = atheist agreeable to your positions. Closed minded atheists= atheists calling you on it. You want to dialog with atheists willing to be ‘mined’. Good luck with that here…

Asanta, a little humour there, very little! In posting to forums, I have also met any number of people, from all walks of life, whose main form of mental exercise is jumping ... to their own conclusions.  LOL

[ Edited: 14 April 2013 08:47 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 15 April 2013 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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“Rational Believer”

Best oxymoron ever? Very likely. How does someone reach 80 years of age and learn nothing? What a wasted life.

“Has not also atheism in the extreme been known to be dangerous to societies.  I cite France during the Reign of Terror, and the Soviet Union as examples”

Another ridiculous non-sequiteur. There is NO connection between atheism and tyranny but there certainly is between tyranny and religion. How many atheist suicide bombers?
Let’s see now-

[color=red]Islam… “It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the
Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Q 22:19-22: “for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods.”*

[color=red]Catholicism- The most common instrument of torture was the strappado,[2] which was a simple rope and pulley system. With the pulley attached to ceiling of the chamber, the lifting rope was tied to the wrist of the victim, whose hands were tied behind their back. Subsequently, the victim was raised to the ceiling and then lowered using a jerking motion causing dislocation of the shoulder joints. To increase the suffering caused by the strappado, weights were attached to the feet of the victim.[2][1][/color]  *Any similarity here???[/color]

Protestants-
Unfortunately, that “peace” didn’t last - from 1618 to 1648 Europe experienced The Thirty Years’ War which left Germany a wasteland after millions and millions were slaughtered. Catholic armies under the leadership of Catholic Emperor Ferdinand II kept defeating Protestant armies, but then made the mistake of trying to eliminate Protestantism completely, engaging in terrible repression and persecution.

This caused new Protestant armies in foreign lands like Denmark and Sweden to be called up to oppose him. The result of all this was a victory for no one, and an estimated drop of Germany’s population from 18 million to 4 million. With too few people left to work the field and trade for goods, starvation and disease ravaged the miserable survivors. Such are the fruits of European Christianity.

And so on…

[ Edited: 15 April 2013 12:41 AM by Nodhimmi ]
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Posted: 15 April 2013 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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RevLGKing - 14 April 2013 08:08 PM
Lois - 14 April 2013 05:19 PM
RationalBeliever? - 20 December 2012 08:44 PM

  Are there any others like me here, or are you all embittered atheists?  am I in the wrong place?

If you understood anything about the free thought community you would not call the members embittered atheists.  {....}
...

Lois, is it okay for me to assume that the above post was not addressed to me, agreed? Over the years, I have had many pleasant dialogues with a number of open-minded atheists.

  Rev, you have to read more carefully.  Did you not see the title of the post to which Lois was responding?  It was from Rational Believer, not Rev. . .

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Posted: 15 April 2013 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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RevLGKing - 14 April 2013 08:08 PM

Lois, is it okay for me to assume that the above post was not addressed to me, agreed? Over the years, I have had many pleasant dialogues with a number of open-minded atheists.

  Rev, you have to read more carefully.  Did you not see the title of the post to which Lois was responding?  It was from Rational Believer, not Rev. . . Occam

Of course I agree it is important to be careful, this is why I chose to check with Lois. For me—blame my age (83)  smile—there was confusion and I wanted to make sure that readers understand that I intend to be on the positive path. I am more interested in having a dialogue about—building bridges—ideas than I am in having a debate—a zero-sum game—about generalizing as to who is right and who is wrong.

I hope this is clear, OK? Any questions, anyone?

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Posted: 15 April 2013 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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I realize you are an old fud and I have to forgive you since I’m only 82.  smile

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Posted: 15 April 2013 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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RevLGKing - 14 April 2013 08:08 PM
Lois - 14 April 2013 05:19 PM
RationalBeliever? - 20 December 2012 08:44 PM

  Are there any others like me here, or are you all embittered atheists?  am I in the wrong place?

If you understood anything about the free thought community you would not call the members embittered atheists. 

With that kind of misunderstanding,  you ARE in the wrong place.  With your attitudes you don’t belong on a free thought blog.  You are obviously not looking to understand how we think or why. 

You are looking for ways to denigrate our position as long as it is atheistic.  Just those two words “embittered atheists” shows your bias.  There are plenty of websites and blogs designed just for people like you who have a skewed attitude toward freethinkers. 

You will surely feel more comfortable in a group that doesn’t challenge your preconceived ideas and who, like you, calls freethinkers “embittered atheists.” ...

Lois, is it okay for me to assume that the above post was not addressed to me, agreed? Over the years, I have had many pleasant dialogues with a number of open-minded atheists.

No. It was certainly not aimed at you.  I also have had many dialogues with religious people,  in fact three of my good friends are ministers, a Methodist, a Presbyterian and an Episcopalian. I was raised in a religious household and most of my relatives—at least of my parents’ generation were believers.  I have no problem with discussing religion with reasonable believers.  But when one throws around a phrase like “embittered atheists” it does get my hackles up.  As long a you’re not one of them, I’m happy to discuss religion with you.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Thanks, Lois! Here is some basic information about The United Church of Canada, in which I was ordained in 1953—I was 23:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Canada (UCC).

The above is a well-detailed article about many things about the UCC. The following are just a few selected quotes from the article:

INAUGURATION

“The United Church of Canada is an amalgamation of the Union of Methodists, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches. With the three denominations now in agreement about uniting, the church leaders approached the government of Canada to pass legislation concerning transfer of property rights. The legislation passed, June 27, 1924 and was effective June 10, 1925.

“The United Church of Canada was inaugurated at a large worship service at Toronto’s Mutual Street Arena on June 10, 1925. ...and, for those interested, the details continue.
==========================================
IN STRUCTURE

“In structure, the United Church has a “bottom-up” governance, where the congregation selects its clergy, rather than clergy being appointed by a bishop or other body. The policies of the church are inclusive and liberal: there are no restrictions of gender, sexual orientation or marital status for a person considering entering the ministry; interfaith marriages are recognized; communion is offered to all Christian adults and children, regardless of denomination or age.”

BELIEFS AND PRACTICES

For example, THE BIBLE
“The United Church believes that the Bible is central to the Christian faith and was written by people who were inspired by God, but the stories told in the Bible should not all be taken literally. The church also believes that the circumstances under which the books of the Bible were written were of a particular place and time, and some things cannot be reconciled with our lives today, such as slavery.”

INCLUSIVENESS

“Remembering that Jesus was reported to have welcomed tax collectors, prostitutes and other “undesirables” to his table, the church attempts to welcome everyone, regardless of age, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability. In the same manner, there is also no restriction on those interested in entering ministry.”

Yes, I am sure that agnostics and atheists are also included in the UCC. Over the years of my ministry, I made a special point of encouraging questioning and honest scepticism.

At the end of my first pastorate, I toyed with the idea of leaving the ministry and becoming a psychologist, in keeping with the major I did as an undergrad.

But then, in 1954-1955, thanks to a scholarship (two years) and guided by professors from Boston, Harvard and Union, NY, schools of theology I did a post graduate degree, at BOSTON UNIVERSITY,  in THE HISTORY OF IDEAS AND WORLD RELIGIONS. Then, and the years that followed, I read widely in philosophy, ethics, morals, psychology, sociology, and the like, including the practical application of things I learned. I did a lot of pastoral counselling with people who could not afford expensive psychiatry.

BUT THEN, THIS HAPPENED

At first I thought that hypnosis was a lot of hocus pocus associated with stage magicians, weird movies and the occult. Without going into details, here, as to how it all happened: In the early 1960’s, with the help of the Religion Editor of the Toronto Star, I stumbled on a lot of fascinating information about hypnotism—something that had intrigued me since my student days.

This led me delve into the fascinating history of the art and to read about the work of practitioners like the great American psychiatrist, Milton Erickson, MD. I even got to meet and know some very interesting contemporaries of mine, including clergy, who told me they used it as part of their career. One clergy hypnotist and writer said that the Bible is filled with stories that involve this art, and that Jesus used it to do many of what we call miracles. Yes, when I took a close look, I found that many verses make reference to the trance state.

One final comment: This experience framed how I did the rest of my pastoral ministry up to this present moment, including 20 years of retirement from the actual pastorate. In my opinion, ministers who really love their ministry never retire from doing it.

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Yes Lois, it is good to hear you say: “As long a you’re not one of them, I’m happy to discuss religion with you.” By the way, I sincerely welcome civil comments and questions, from anyone.

[ Edited: 15 April 2013 09:29 PM by RevLGKing ]
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