Wanted: Committed Christians to pray for stupid lowdown atheist bastard

In summarizing his thoughts about religion at the end of the movie Religulous, Bill Maher said something that is seconded by the so-called New Atheists. Namely, that to support any theistic religion is to support all theistic religions. Well, there’s quite a gulf between pacifistic Quakerism and fundamentalist terrorism, but the point of the New Atheists is that to support theism is to give intellectual respectability to theism. According to this theory, the more religion is rejected, the less it will appear as a viable worldview.

I wrote the following dialogue some weeks ago. When I later re-read it, I was shocked by its harshness, yet it fairly represents my viewpoint. If you disliked my previous posts on the subject of religion, you will loathe this one. I publish it for no better reason than that it’s true for me, and that I wasn’t done with the subject even though many of you were past being done with it. If no one who is religious reads it, I won’t care. In fact, I had just as soon you not read it because I hate to disappoint people. But, if you do read it, and you feel inclined to respond, would you please respond to the actual issues I raised rather than simply criticizing me for raising them? I just told you why I raise them, and if you’re not satisfied with that, I have nothing more to say to you on the subject. If you were more inclined to address my issues with religion, I might be more inclined to address your issues with me. As it is, I’ve written a great deal that I put a lot of thought into, yet the only person who bothered to address any of my points only did so by saying that they demonstrate my ignorance and naiveté. Great. Thanks a lot.


What are you doing? You said you weren’t going to write about religion again.

I said I wasn’t going to write about it for the foreseeable future. Well, that ended about 10:30 this morning when I started reading your responses to my last post about religion.

Okay, what do you want?

I want to talk to you about two things. One is your self-satisfied ignorance, and the second is your announcement that you’re going to pray for me. I’ll start by saying that I was shocked to discover that I know a hundred times more about your religion than you do—or at least about the arguments for and against it. If you agree, could you tell me why this might be so?

Jesus died for my sins—right? So, all I have to do is to accept him as my Lord and Savior and ask forgiveness for my mistakes every now and then. That is unless I’m a Catholic in which case I have to ask forgiveness of a priest and do an occasional good deed.

Well, I sorta knew that, but does this mean you don’t care if you’re ignorant?

If we’re saved by faith and not knowledge, ignorance isn’t an obstacle. No one ever went to hell because of something he didn’t know; he only went to hell because of something he didn’t believe.

But doesn’t the Bible saying you’re supposed to study so that you might give an answer for your belief?

Yes, that’s why we go to Sunday School. We study a different chapter a week—except that we take summers and special Sundays off. This way, we make it through the entire Bible every few years. As for why we Christians don’t want to talk more to you about our beliefs, you’re a special case. You accepted the Good News and then turned your back on it, so there’s not much we can say that you don’t already know and haven’t already rejected. You’re an infidel, an apostate. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

Still, other people read this blog, and, besides, I should think you would WANT to know about the intellectual basis for your faith, and that’s not something you’re likely to learn in church. I mean, your faith is WHAT YOU LIVE FOR, right?

I probably know more than you think, and I did say I would pray for you. What more do you want?

Isn’t telling an atheist you’re going to pray for him a little empty, maybe even passive aggressive? Jesus instructed his followers to PRAY IN SECRET, after all.

You really need to lighten up. If I’m happy with my relationship with God, then why should you give me a hard time?

Because I don’t understand how you can, in theory, be ready to die for your faith when you don’t know squat about it. I want to respect you, and this is a real problem for me. You act like you don’t even have a brain.

Look at where all your learning got you. I’m ignorant but saved, whereas you seem to think that you know enough to write a book, yet you’re going to hell. What IS your problem?

Let me put it this way. When you consider unsubstantiated faith to be a path to knowledge, you move yourself out of the realm of rationality. If you’re born in Saudi Arabia, you’re going to believe in Allah. If you’re born in Arkansas, your faith is going to be in Jesus. This means that if you and a Muslim debate religion, what are you going to tell him—that he should abandon his own brand of unsubstantiated belief and come over to yours? He’s going to ask you why he should do that, and all you’re going to be able to say is to quote from a book he doesn’t believe in. And he’s going to be saying the same thing to you. And what if he’s thinking about becoming a suicide bomber—what are you going to tell him, that Jesus wouldn’t approve?

Except that my faith isn’t unsubstantiated. I know that Jesus is real because he lives within my heart. Sometimes when I pray, I feel him beside me, telling me what I should do, and assuring me that he will make everything okay in the world to come.

Exactly my point. Your feelings are the ONLY evidence any of you Christians have offered in defense of your religion. Beyond that and Psalms 14:1 (The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God) you’re speechless. A Muslim is going to say the same thing though, and whereas you don’t know for sure that you would die for Jesus, those guys are dying for Allah everyday. It’s going to come down to what you feel in your heart versus what he feels in his heart, and no one is going to win because no one gives a flip about the actual evidence.

You know, of course, that I’ve never even met a Muslim.

That doesn’t matter. You and those guys on 9/11 are alike in that you both hold faith not just as one source of knowledge about God and morality but as the supreme source of knowledge about God and morality. This makes you irrational in those areas of your lives, and THAT SCARES ME. When you take public stands on important issues, NO ONE CAN REACH YOU because you don’t care about reason or evidence. I have the feeling that if Pat Robinson’s crowd took over the government and started killing off everyone who wasn’t a Christian, that you would keep quiet when they came for me. They would read this blog, and they would murder me, and when you were forced to side with either them or me, you would side with them. You would keep your mouth shut, and I would die. Later, you would pray for me. That’s what you would do, and it wouldn’t mean squat.

No one is going to kill you. You are going completely off the deep end here.

You’re right. Unless I start performing abortions or criticizing Jesus—or Allah—too publicly, I am probably more likely to be killed by lightning than by someone who is acting in the name of the savior of his choice. I will be oppressed in other ways, but I won’t be killed.

I will be praying for you, that you might know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior the way I know Jesus.

If you must pray for me, I had really rather you KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

It’s just my way of telling you that I care.

Then how about saying, “I care,” or, “I think of you with affection”? “I love you,” also works.

I can’t promise.

But why?

Because Jesus said, “Whosoever denies me on earth, I will deny him in heaven.”

What is it with Christians? They think they’re being discriminated against if they aren’t allowed to talk about Jesus whenever and wherever they please no matter whose wishes are violated. I’ll tell you what. THIS IS MY BLOG. If you want to pray for me, do it on your own blog, and I’ll still visit you, and I won’t give you a hard time about it. You can even put it in a sidebar: “Please pray for that stupid lowlife atheist bastard, Snowbrush.”

Just don’t pray for me here because it’s like praying for me in my own home. If you are unwilling to allow me even this small space without your religion, how intolerant does that make you? I mean, really, if you refuse to honor my request here, then there’s no way I can trust you to not do everything in your power to force your religion down my throat in the larger world. When you knew less about how I felt, I could excuse your prayers, but now you know, and that changes things.

61 comments:

Christy said...

Amen Sista! I've been saying this for years! Don't like it when it's forced on me and I believe everyone should have a right to believe the way they want or not.

kylie said...

hi snow,
i agree that promising to pray for someone who doesnt believe in it seems ridiculous and insulting.

you know my views on this so i wont go into it again but i have a question: a sermon i heard recently said that nobody can argue with the difference Jesus makes in the lives of people.

have you ever seen lives changed by faith?
would you credit God in that case?
other comments?

rhymeswithplague said...

Wow. Snow, I can't have a conversation with you on what appears to be your favorite subject because you have already held both sides of the conversation, putting words into my mouth and mind that have never been there before and I hope never will be.

But I think you should run right down to your local library and check out Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood and after that read her two volumes of short stories, A Good Man Is Hard To Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge and then and only then attempt her second novel, The Violent Bear It Away. After that, maybe we will be able to have a conversation on this particular subject.

In the meantime, I care. I think of you with affection. I love you, even.

Bernie said...

Hope your feeling well Snow and pain free. Hey, I care.....:-)Hugs

Rita said...

In some cultures it is rude to pray without respecting the wishes of others.

I understand your pain. I grew up with a very passive aggressive fundamentalist christian mother. She did shove religion down my throat, then used it to punish me.

Once my mother "implied" that if God was displeased, bad girls might be hit by a car while crossing the street. For years I could not cross the street without breaking into a sweat and running.

When some christian says they are going to pray for me, I literally want to throw up!

Natalie said...

No prayers for you on my shift. BUT, I do care about you. So there!xx

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Snow, I get you. I so agree. I always felt so awkward when at the bedside of a sick loved one and and the hospital minister would just come in and ... pray. No regard to whether that person wanted the prayers...

So...I care. I think of you with affection. I love you.

The Blog Fodder said...

Deal with the issues. Well, to be honest, I am not exactly sure what they are but will try.

People who believe in God are no more - or less - ignorant than those who do not. Both believe in something which cannot be "proven" by the Scientific Method. Each ought to be welcome to their own belief sets without shoving it down the throats of others or being persecuted for it.

However that is not going to happen, ever, because, as you have pointed out several times, people who believe in God claim to have all the answers and no longer reason nor listen to reason.

Those who came to America looking for Religious Freedom, were in fact looking to do what was being done to them in England - practice THEIR religion and force it down the throats of everyone else.

When the Religious Reich seize control of America (I give it less than 10 years but hope I am wrong) and set out to cleanse the country of all ungodliness, you can be fairly certain you will be on the list. But you will have lots of company.

As to those who announce on your blog that they are going to pray for you, I agree that is rude and unnecessary. It is more about twisting the knife or attempting to rub salt than about genuine concern for your soul. Those who pray because they are concerned would never tell you.

Marion said...

Superb post and great writing, Snow! I laughed at your line..."You can even put it in a sidebar: “Please pray for that stupid lowlife atheist bastard, Snowbrush.”"

I think of you with great love and affection, and I read your blog with anticipation each time you write. And when you say that this is your blog, I totally agree...it's how I feel about mine.

And, by reading your posts on atheism, I learn about a subject I've not got much knowledge about. So thank you, Snow!

Marion said...

Talk about synchronicity. I was reading my Bible on my Kindle this morning and decided to post a Psalm I enjoy reading on my blog today. After all, the Psalms contain some of the best poetry on earth, I don't care what you believe. Then I scrolled down on my dashboard and saw your post and laughed out loud. Life's a trip. I enjoyed your post, Snowman.

Sending you Love & Blessings.

Teresa said...

Sorry Snow,
I did not know that praying for you would be offensive. It is what I do. Love you and your honesty.
T

Snowbrush said...

Christy said: "Amen Sista! I've been saying this for years!"

Oh, you wrote "Sista." At first, I thought you wrote Satan. Maybe this was because I expected some harsh responses, or maybe it's because I'm not a sista, I'm a bruther.

Kylie said: "have you ever seen lives changed by faith? would you credit God in that case? other comments?"

No, i haven't seen lives changed by faith, probably because the people I went to church with invariably grew up in the church. Remember, I'm from what's called the Bible Belt of this country. I have no doubt, however, that lives can be dramatically changed by faith, but I would attribute the change to the person's thinking rather than a supernatural influence. I would also point out that the change is often negative. Some people stop drinking; other people start persecuting.

Rhymes said: "you have already held both sides of the conversation, putting words into my mouth..."

I write by inspiration, Rhymes. I mean by this that I don't struggle to think of things to say, rather they come to me unbidden, and I feel compelled to record them. Nearly all of the real work I put into my writing comes when everything is down, and I start editing it. This conversation is a synthesis of what I think my readers who are believers think based upon what they have said. Of course, I could be wrong, and, of course, what I wrote wouldn't necessarily be completely true for every person.

Rhymes said: "I care. I think of you with affection. I love you, even."

Same here, my friend.

Bernie said: "Hope your feeling well Snow and pain free. Hey, I care.....:-)Hugs"

Thank you, Bernie. I'm far from pain free. Two weeks ago, I thought I was finally going to have my old life back, at least some of it. Then, the pain came roaring in again. I guess I must have overdone something. Now, I'm back on some heavy medication. It's either that or give up sleeping.

Snowbrush said...

Rita said: "In some cultures it is rude to pray without respecting the wishes of others."

Where, Rita? Someone who was born in Europe but lives in America wrote in response to a previous post that she is offended when someone with whom she is having dinner says a prayer without asking her if it is okay. My opinion about this is that you go by the customs of the household you are in. I read about an atheist who was asked to pray at a Thanksgiving (an American holiday that is second only to Christmas) dinner with his extended family. He declined, but his host insisted, so he handled the situation by talking about how grateful he was for the food, the company, and so forth without ever mentioning God or saying amen. Obviously, this wasn't what his host had in mind, and no one knew what to make of his "prayer," but i thought he did the best thing possible under the circumstances.

Natalie said: "I do care about you. So there!xx"

I don't understand what "so there" means. I'm not complaining about it (and I reciprocate your caring), it's just that other people have made very similar comments in response to my religion posts. I interpret such responses to mean that they think I don't want them to care about me, but they're going to do it anyway. Only this interpretation makes no sense, so I'm genuinely confused.

CreekHiker said: "I always felt so awkward when at the bedside of a sick loved one and and the hospital minister would just come in and ... pray."

I don't think the chaplain comes around at Peggy's hospital unless you request a visit. I can easily imagine the situation you describe happening in a place like Mississippi though. If I were the patient, I would have to object, or if I knew the patient well, and she couldn't speak for herself, I would have to object.

The Blog Fodder said: "People who believe in God are no more - or less - ignorant than those who do not. Both believe in something which cannot be "proven" by the Scientific Method."

The burden of proof logically rests upon the person who affirms a proposition as true. For example, if I said space aliens inhabit my garage, it wouldn't be your responsibility to prove me wrong, but mine to prove me right. The same is true of god. If you say that god exists, it is your responsibility to provide evidence for your assertion.

Snowbrush said...

Marion said: "by reading your posts on atheism, I learn about a subject I've not got much knowledge about. So thank you, Snow!"

Oh, Marion, thank you. Sometimes, I feel as if I'm talking into the wind, as it were.

Marion said: "After all, the Psalms contain some of the best poetry on earth, I don't care what you believe."

I don't think I ever mentioned the Psalms one way or the other.

Marion said: "I enjoyed your post, Snowman."

Thank you, Marion. I have a Youtube video that you should see. I mention it now since you appear to think that I can't appreciate beauty if it's couched in religious language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvg9uyhFggw&feature=related

Teresa said: "I did not know that praying for you would be offensive. It is what I do."

I understand, Teresa. You, more than most religious people even, see the world through a spiritual lens. I know that this lens brings great comfort and joy to your life, but it is true of any lens (including mine) that it makes it difficult to understand--and therefore to be sensitive to--other viewpoints. I try awfully hard not to demonize and feel superior to those who disagree with me, but I often find it a challenge. What makes the challenge easier is when they don't dismiss me--and my values--but rather make a real effort to understand. What I'm trying to say is that it's a lot easier to remain open to those who are themselves open. I can best understand the points of view of those who are doing their best to understand my point of view.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Great, thought provoking post! My favorite kind.....

;)

Hope you are happy and well. You are in my thoughts.

;)

Diana said...

Well are we feeling better now?!
Sounds like it! Love Di ♥

Teresa said...

I understand, Teresa. You, more than most religious people even, see the world through a spiritual lens. I know that this lens brings great comfort and joy to your life, but it is true of any lens (including mine) that it makes it difficult to understand--and therefore to be sensitive to--other viewpoints.

Hmmmmm. Now in your opinion, is a spiritual lens a good or a bad thing? I am not sure what it is exactly...but I suspect you think if I took off my glasses I would see the world in a brand new way, and be more sensitive to the view points of others and you.

I do apologize for my insensitivity...sometimes we really do not see ourselves. When we know better, we do better.

Snowbrush said...

Diana said: "Well are we feeling better now?!"

Not so much, Diana. I'm back on painkillers--Neurontin and Tofranil.

Teresa said: "is a spiritual lens a good or a bad thing? I am not sure what it is exactly...but I suspect you think if I took off my glasses I would see the world in a brand new way, and be more sensitive..."

Did you read my entire statement" I said: "it is true of any lens (including mine) that it makes it difficult to understand...other viewpoints."

I don't think we CAN take off our glasses and, by so doing, be neutral. Yet, it is difficult to be humble when a person thinks he or she knows the truth and everyone else is wrong. Yes, I think you are wrong in believing in a supernatural deity, just as you think I am wrong in denying the existence of such a deity. Despite this, I try to keep my heart open to you and thereby to see the good in you. It is the best I can do.

Rita said...

When I was kid we had some Jewish neighbors with children my age, I used to go over there & spend the night & I ate dinner over there a lot. My Jewish friends used to also eat dinner at my house. At my house we prayed because my mother was a very religious Christian. My friend told me not to pray at her house because it would upset her parents, she told me her mother said it was rude that Christians assumed everyone believed in Jesus & that Jewish people were insulted by that. It made sense to me because I felt pretty much insulted by the arrogance of Christianity, myself. Consequently, that idea always stuck with me & that is why I made the comment I did.
As for your comment, I find it rude that anyone would insist an atheist pray, but, maybe the atheist was afraid to admit he was one?
As a side note; I go to a lot of civil functions in my job & these things always start out with the Pledge of Allegiance. I stand up & say it right along with everyone else except, I don't say the "under God" part. In this way, I don't have to compromise my beliefs & no one gets insulted.
I find it exciting that our society as a whole is finally questioning these outdated religious assumptions, hopefully this will help us become less disrespectful & less intolerant of each other.

nollyposh said...

Seriously Snow but now you have me shaking in my boots and too scared to death to comment! And you have me second guessing myself and modifying my words and considering just what are the boundaries ~here~ in another's bloggy worlde anyway? Like just what IS the etiquette when one speaks of such personal matters as faith, or lack of it? And just how does one have one's point of view without stepping on another's toes? Geez someone really should write a big thick BOOK about all the rules and regulations and do and dont's and such!!! And maybe it would all go back to the good olde olden days, when one just did what was told of one... or was stoned to death!... Hopefully in our more 'enlightened' times we are growing away from the need for such supports and constraints and concerns for such things? i personally think maybe these days are supposed to be (Don't heckle me!) all about us learning tolerance and peaceful ways instead of more rules and reg's and labels and arguing about rules and reg's and labels? Maybe it's time to let go of such past ways... What if ~everything~ at it's essence just comes down to how *your* world has reflected itself upon *you* and how *you* live by example with that?... i mean one person could have been damaged by religion and another enlightened, or in your case (methinks) both... And maybe that's the point of it ~all~ and not about by which road we travel to reach such an understanding... So why torture yourself with such matters and label yourself so because when all is said and done isn't it just that we are ~brave~ enough to simply BE what we must... Moulded by our journeys...and grow from this... Dear Snowbrush i find your journey just as beautiful as mine, for all the insights it has lent you and the fact that you are by way of our journeying bound to share it all with us... And you cause me to wonder if it's not just ~all~ a matter of perspective and that constantly arguing the semantics serves no purpose at all but to torture oneself? ...Or perhaps there is a deeper reason? That moves one, to want to cause other, to question himself? And if this is so my dear atheist, then how different are *you* from the Mormons at my door? ...Or am i from You for that matter?

And Snow i know it's wrong (?) but i still can't help myself... I care... I think of you with both affection and love... And i call THAT a ~prayer~ damnit! :-P (She pokes her tongue out!)

Snowbrush said...

Rita said: "the Pledge of Allegiance. I stand up & say it right along with everyone else except, I don't say the "under God" part. In this way, I don't have to compromise my beliefs..."

But Madalyn O'Hair help those who object both to the Pledge AND to the "under God" part (which was only added during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s). I must confess that I used to get really angry at people who wouldn't stand during the Pledge, but my belief in the basic goodness of my country has taken such a hit over the last several years that I couldn't happily participate in any such nationalistic ritual.

Before I answer your response, Nollyposh, I need to take care of a business matter. As far as I could tell after a good bit of comparison, your third comment was an enlargement on your first two, so I didn't okay your first two. Is that okay?

Nollyposh said: "i personally think maybe these days are supposed to be...all about us learning tolerance and peaceful ways instead of more rules..."

I don't accept that I am acting intolerantly in making this request. Perhaps you could better understand my feelings if you put yourself in the shoes of the Jewish mother of whom Rita wrote.

If I were at your house, and you wanted to pray, I would bow my head and remain silent in deference to your custom. When you are here, at my house, I ask that you observe my custom. I don't understand why this leaves you, "shaking in my boots and too scared to death to comment!" I can but wonder if you are reading far more into my request than I put there. I don't mean in the least to prevent you from expressing your opinions while you are here. ALL I am asking is that you not tell me that you are praying for me when you are here, at my house.

Nollyposh said: "...constantly arguing the semantics serves no purpose at all but to torture oneself?"

People often use the word semantics as if it refers to something that is meaningless or at least superfluous. Here is the dictionary definition: "Semantics: the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning." In other words, it is what makes communication possible, and it is what appears to have upset you about this post.

Nollyposh said: "I think of you with both affection and love... And i call THAT a ~prayer~ damnit!"

Is it the definition of the word prayer what has you so upset? Here is what I meant by it: "a solemn request for help or an expression of thanks addressed to God." This is the most common meaning of the word, at least in this country, and I would be surprised if the same doesn't hold true in Australia. In any event, to avoid confusion, I would ask that, for purposes of your communication with me on my blog, you go with this definition.

It is late, and I have been at this a long time because I want to respond compassionately to your distress. If I have not done as well as I would have liked, I am sorry. We can talk about the matter some more later.

Crazed Nurse said...

Snowy I get that you're an atheist. Live and let live. I do think that you are clumping all Christians together and that isn't fair. I do not preach. I disagree with anyone shoving religion down anyone's throat. I do not judge because the bible says, "Judge not lest ye be judged."

I won't pray fpr you but I will keep you in mind and hope you get periods of less pain and a peaceful mind.

Snowbrush said...

Crazed Nurse said: "I get that you're an atheist. "

I should have known I would be outed sooner or later!

Crazed Nurse said: "I do think that you are clumping all Christians together and that isn't fair."

Estimates vary, but all agree that there are tens of thousands of Christian sects and denominations. Within most of these denominations, there are competing factions, and within these competing factions there are people who disagree with one another on multiple issues. Yet, everyone who criticizes Christianity publicly gets complaints that he failed to take a particular person's beliefs into consideration. I can but represent what I see as the mainstream of Christian belief and behavior at this time and in this country--the USA. Despite widespread differences, the primary impetus of Christianity is and always has been toward oppression, and the stronger the more oppressive elements in Christianity grow, the more silent the liberal elements become. Because they see the world in shades of gray rather than black and white, liberals are both less confrontative and better able to rationalize their silence.

Crazed Nurse said: "I will keep you in mind and hope you get periods of less pain and a peaceful mind."

Thank you, so much.

Love,
Snow

Teresa said...

Snow said, Yes, I think you are wrong in believing in a supernatural deity, just as you think I am wrong in denying the existence of such a deity. Despite this, I try to keep my heart open to you and thereby to see the good in you. It is the best I can do.

Snow we can agree to disagree and still like and respect one another. I do like you and I appreciate your writings, as they provoke thought. I think you are very talented.

One thing I am bothered by is being labeled by you as "a religious person". I hope I am not like that...even Jesus disliked them. I would much rather be referred to as 'gracious'.

Also my faith has not brought a lot of joy and comfort to my life, but rather a lot of "pain and discomfort" My journey has not been a 'fluffy name it and claim it one by no means.'

(((HUGS))) T

nealcamp said...

Most Westerners, especially Americans, automatically connect religion with Christianity. Actually religion is a generic term. There are a miriad of flavors out there.
Atheists reject religions of any stripe.

Snowbrush said...

Teresa said: "(((HUGS)))"

Hugs to you too, Teresa.

Nealcamp said: "Atheists reject religions of any stripe."

Hi, Neal. I don't see atheists as rejecting religion per se but as rejecting a belief in the supernatural. Pantheism and Buddhism are examples of non-supernaturalist religions, and I'm even aware of one prominent Episcopal bishop (John Shelby Spong, now retired) who doesn't believe in the supernatural, but whom nonetheless considers himself a Christian.
I would also propose Nazism and Communism as examples of non-supernaturalist religions.

kylie said...

can i have a hug?

All Consuming said...

This post is so well structured, my immediate thought as I finished reading the last sentence was

'Snow, I love you'. And I do. So, so well written.

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so poorly again. :(

ellen abbott said...

Well, late to the party as usual, just haven't had the time to devote. this is one of my favorite topics...religion. anyway, what I want to ask is why you think pantheism and buddhism are not supernatural? Granted the 'god' has a different mythology in christianity but the main aspects are the same...an entity (in the case of pantheism, many entities) that is prayed to for intervention in the physical sphere. And whereas buddhism does not have a so called 'god' that is prayed to, it definitely has a supernatural element to it, that of the cosmic consciousness.

I personally don't believe in or have faith in, religion. It is a construct of men for the purpose of controlling men (and by men I mean humankind) but I don't reject the supernatural realm. there is of course, no empirical evidence for it's existence but neither can it be disproved. I certainly won't argue towards your belief in such because I really don't care if you believe it or not. We all must find our own path in this world. What's important is that we allow each to his own, to accept each to his own without reservation. And that's where many theists fall woefully short.

ps...I too hate when a religious christian says they are going to pray for me just because I don't believe the way they do. I find it extremely rude and arrogant. I no longer am uncomfortable when I find myself in the position of being involved in group prayer. I simply don't participate.

nollyposh said...

You are a hard task~master my Snow X;-)

Snowbrush said...

Kylie said: "can i have a hug?"

But, of course. Here they come. Better duck, Australia, cause they're moving fast!

All Consuming said: "'Snow, I love you'."

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you. Same here. Hugs a'coming, England.

Ellen said: "...what I want to ask is why you think pantheism and buddhism are not supernatural?"

I've never read anything The Buddha supposedly said in which he spoke of a deity, whereas I do know that he discouraged speculation about such things. The following is from Buddha.net:

"There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day. Buddhism is strictly not a religion in the context of being a faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being."

As for pantheism, the word itself means god is everything, implying that god has no separate existence from the world of matter and energy of which we are a part. I pulled the following from pantheism.net:

"So what's the difference between Atheism and Pantheism? As far as disbelief in supernatural beings, forces or realms, there is no difference. World Pantheism also shares the respect for evidence, science, and logic that's typical of atheism.

"However, Pantheism goes further, and adds to atheism an embracing, positive and reverential feeling about our lives on planet Earth, our place in Nature and the wider Universe, and uses nature as our basis for dealing with stress, grief and bereavement. It's a form of spirituality that is totally compatible with science."

Am I saying that you won't find people who claim to be Buddhists or who claim to be pantheists who believe in the supernatural? No. Anyone can believe anything whatsoever while insisting that he is a Buddhist or a pantheist.

Ellen said: "...but I don't reject the supernatural realm. there is of course, no empirical evidence for it's existence but neither can it be disproved."

No, the supernatural realm cannot be disproved, but neither can a great many things that aren't likely to exist. Yet, I would propose that you entertain the following question: how is life different now than it would be if a supernatural realm of goodness, wisdom, power, compassion, and all the other attributes that are generally attributed to god did not exist?

Nollyposh said: "You are a hard task~master..."

After long consideration, I can but say: huh?

nollyposh said...

The definition of "Prayer" also includes respect, love and faith... and not always to "God" in the biblical sense, but i do agree that one should not pray (in the traditional sense) without permission... But my point is i guess (only because you back me into a corner! AND i might add often only high-light those parts of a persons conversation that suits your view of things, instead of the overall gist) My point is that i think you perhaps should get off your 'high horse' sometimes because it often seems that you argue with yourself about that which goes around in circles and then you jump down a person's throat when someone speaks from their heart about their own personal truth...Which is at it's essence what we are talking about no? Is this an intellectual debate or are you just looking for people to believe as you do?... Sometimes Snow (with respect) you are an intellectual snob who alienates himself with his demand for perfection from others (and not all are as articulate as you) and so perhaps that is why you often hear from only the extremists (or the very brave!) on this particular subject? (Geez now i'll probably get tha strap or worse more homework!) x

ellen abbott said...

OK, well I totally agree with your reply about pantheism and buddhism. It's pretty much my view of things. I guess it's a difference in the meaning of the word supernatural. I do not believe in a supernatural god that is separate from creation that can intercede in the lives of humans, that faith in that deity will 'save' us from whatever. I don't even believe in a deity as such, more like a 'source'. I do however consider the physical world to be the 'natural' world and the levels of existence beyond that to be 'supernatural', those things that cannot be measured or proved with empirical evidence but are known through personal experience like cosmic consciousness, spirits that linger, reincarnation and for lack of a better descriptive term (I'm being loose here for brevity's sake) all that 'new age' stuff.

Snow said - No, the supernatural realm cannot be disproved, but neither can a great many things that aren't likely to exist.

Many things that were considered to not exist, be impossible to exist have since been found to be, so that we can't prove something only means we don't have the means yet not that it isn't there. for example...a round earth, the existence of the universe, the atom, monsters (dinosaurs)...all things that were considered impossible and/or supernatural.

So to answer your last question how is life different with or without a supernatural being, god, if you will? It isn't. Life just is and humans have believed many things with those beliefs evolving. But then my personal concept does not really involve change imposed from without and I think humans are fully capable of all the good without god telling them to do it and also fully capable of all the bad without the devil making them do it.

so whereas I don't believe in the theist idea of the omniscient, omnipotent god that is a separate entity that can and will intercede if I only follow the rules I do believe there is more to existence than this physical world (the knowledge of which is expanding all the time of the things we cannot see or touch). I can't prove it but then, I don't need to and I don't care if other people disbelieve it.

ellen abbott said...

the little bastard that is the google comment demon said my careful reply was too long to post (however not nearly as long as some that are already posted) and would not give it back to me. I'll try to recreate it but just not right now. I'm pissed.

Snowbrush said...

Nollyposh said: "Is this an intellectual debate or are you just looking for people to believe as you do?..."

No, dear, it's hardly intellectual, not if you mean intellectual in the sense of being emotionless. And I'm hardly expecting anyone to agree with me since my record at persuasion is so dismal. Instead, it's but a request that people not tell me, on my blog, that they're praying for me. PLEASE take a few minutes to read the comments of other nonbelievers on this subject. I have literally never met a nonbeliever who wasn't made uncomfortable by being told that prayers were offered on his behalf, but, of course, if the believer doesn't know he's a nonbeliever, the offer is easier to accept than when he knows.

You use the word prayer in a nonstandard way. It's a valid way, certainly, but when people say they are praying for someone, it's not normally the way they mean. So, for clarity, I had just as soon that you not tell me, on my blog, that you are praying for me.

You frequently tell me that my journey is as valid and as beautiful as your own. Please show that you mean this by respecting my request. You act as if I am weighing you down with something that is simply intolerable. Please note that you are the ONLY person who has expressed such a feeling, which could mean that the problem lies within yourself rather than your perception that my request is unreasonable.

Ellen said: "Many things that were considered to not exist, be impossible to exist have since been found to be..."

Yes, of course. Radio and television are other great examples of things that would surely have been considered magical in ages past, which, of course, they are. I would just argue that this adds no support to a belief in the supernatural. In other words, the fact that atoms were once considered to be products of fantasy only to be proven to exist at a later time does not make other perceived products of fantasy more likely to exist.

Ellen said: "...things that cannot be measured or proved with empirical evidence but are known through personal experience like cosmic consciousness, spirits that linger, reincarnation and for lack of a better descriptive term (I'm being loose here for brevity's sake) all that 'new age' stuff."

In answer to my question, you agreed that the world is the same as it would be if there were no supernatural deity. I would simply ask the same question about cosmic consciousness and the other things you mentioned. If they exist, then shouldn't--over the millennia--they have provided us with knowledge that wasn't scientifically or historically known at the time but which was validated later? In other words, if these things are real, it would seem that they would be subject to scientific scrutiny, if not directly, then in terms of the information they provide. If their existence can't be verified directly (by scientific means), and if they provide no information that we haven't already discovered, then their existence would seem to be in grave doubt.

I know that many people say that they are aware of the reality of such things because they are open to them or because they have a special capacity for seeing them that I and many others lack, but, again, it is an argument that can't be substantiated. It stands--or falls--entirely on whether a person takes their word for it, and this makes it an argument from authority.

Ellen, thank you so much for your comments.

Snowbrush said...

Nollyposh, I have a few more words to say to you.

"you back me into a corner! AND i might add often only high-light those parts of a persons conversation that suits your view of things..."

I am truly at a loss as to why you are so angry. What you perceive as me backing you into a corner, I perceive as my sincere desire to understand what the problem is. As to your other charge, I reply to those parts of a person's response that either interest me most or stand at the heart of what I perceive her to be saying. I know of no other blogger who goes to more pains to communicate at length with readers than I. In fact, I hope that one of the attractions of my blog is that I take my readers seriously and that I treat them respectfully.

And, since I am feeling defensive, I will say that I have often put a great deal of care into writing to you on your blog, and then eagerly awaited a reply that NEVER came. Likewise, I have replied to you about things you have written on my blog without ever knowing if you read my reply or not.

Again, I literally don't know why you are so upset despite having repeatedly read what you have written. Perhaps, another reader might help me here.

kylie said...

i dont know whats going on with you to but it is upsetting to watch

dana said...

Well snowbrush, I know you're trying to state your case by answering what others have said against your beliefs, and I find myself doing that a LOT also.

But it's like sitting in a rocking chair. You put forth a lot of effort, but you never get anywhere, ESPECIALLY when people are leading with their "feelings".

When "feelings" are involved there is no "need" for an intellectual base. And you said it so succinctly when you wrote "the intellectual basis for your faith, (is) not something you’re likely to learn in church".

Picture this happening in every church, every Sunday: Remove the emotionally inspiring gospel music, the choir singing, the piano pounding, and the momentum moving the congregation to "JOIN IN". Replace it with verbal readings from the bible and where would the "feelings" (ie: emotions) come from?

The collection plate would be empty and the seats would be vacant without emotionalism.

And using the word "intellectual" anywhere near the word "faith" is like smoking near a ruptured gas line.

So much of what we call religion in our adulthood is nothing more than preserving the teachings of our ancestors.

If the "hole" that is reported to supposedly be in all of us, (that can only be filled by god) truly existed, we would all be born with an innate knowledge of our creator and in no need of force feedings (brain washings) passed from one generation to another.

Looking to a minister, or the bible, for intellectual FACTS is like trying to find the theory of relativity in a book of Mother Goose tales.

NONE of us know the FACTS of the true beginning of life, but a different "bible" exists for every culture and religion. THREE of these differing bibles each have their own "savior" being born of a virgin who was impregnated by god, crucified and raised from the dead.

Sex, violence and science fiction all wrapped up to grab your attention.

Be it the bible or Mother Goose, OUR bible or the bibles of other religions, the FACT is overlooked that they are all STORIES with an implied "moral" that appeals to the child in us.

I wish we could just relax and let the various religions of the world fight it out to the death, since they seem to be itching to go at it.

Rita said...

snow
you jump down a person's throat when someone speaks from their heart about their own personal truth...Which is at it's essence what we are talking about no?
I think Nollyposh wants some validation as a good & sincere human being. A perfectly normal human desire.
Which, Nolly, is also what the rest of us want.

Apparently, this is how you sound: "I will be praying for you, that you might know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior the way I know Jesus."

This is what people are saying back to you: "If you must pray for me, I had really rather you KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.

If you can't respect peoples boundaries, you are always going to put them on the defensive, plain & simple.

Strayer said...

I hate it when people say "I'll pray for you." Or "Jesus loves you." They forget to add, "so I don't have to." That's what it boils down to. It is a passive aggressive phrase. Anybody says that to me and I'm likely to pepper spray em. I mean, "WTF?" They don't fix their own cats or practise basic decent behavior but they want to pray for me or me to come to their church to be saved.

Snow, thanks for your empathetic comments lately, on the state of my being. You're damn nice for someone going to hell like you are. I'm headed to cat heaven when I pass. Got me a ticket validated to enter already. I'm pretty sure I'm in. It's way up there past that scroungy seedy human heaven full of people with issues and power hungry standing on their fist pumping preachy soapboxes--still, even in heaven they don't stop. Just kidding around, Snow.

Bernie said...

Snow, I do not know Nollyposh or her blog but I do not feel you have returned/answered her comments with the same respect and love she poured in her thoughts to you. Her comment would of taken a lot of time, she could or would not of done it without caring about you.
If you don't believe, if you think the way you feel is right for you so be it, why not let those who wish to pray for you pray, you don't believe in it anyway so why would you care or not? I read all of your comments and people really did try and have a discussion with you, expressing themselves honestly and you would not budge on inch adknowledging their heartfelt thoughts. I know this is not my business Snow but you ask if someone had an opinion on this particular comment to express it. Perhaps it is more important to you that your point is made, even understood and you deserve that much but your followers should be allowed to make their points as well........:-) Hugs

Snowbrush said...

Kylie said: "i dont know whats going on with you to but it is upsetting to watch."

I don't know what you have reference to, Kylie. I would have left out the middle paragraph of my last reply to Nollyposh if I had it to do over, but I don't believe I have behaved badly. I know that I haven't felt badly, only a little at a loss to understand why something that, to me, seems so simple to understand and to carry out is presenting her with such a problem.

Dana, I am in complete agreement with you. I always enjoy hearing you say things that I myself might have said, but in your own words.

Rita said: "I think Nollyposh wants some validation as a good & sincere human being."

Okay, I can certainly say that I believe Nollyposh to be a good and sincere human being about whom I care a great deal, but I had understood that it was my request that people not pray for me on my blog that had upset her, so I'm unclear how the two things are related.

Strayer said: "You're damn nice for someone going to hell."

Ha. Thanks, Strayer. Of course, as you know, most churches teach that niceness has nothing to do with going to heaven. In my own church, what really counted was whether you got a chance before you died to ask Jesus to forgive you for whatever sins you had committed since you last asked him to forgive you.

Snowbrush said...

Bernie said: " I do not feel you have returned/answered her comments with the same respect and love she poured in her thoughts to you."

Bernie, I actually have put a great deal of thought into my responses to Nollyposh, but these things aren't always apparent. I think it likely that I delete a full half of what I write in my replies, and that I re-word the remainder several times, especially when I'm concerned that someone's feelings might be hurt. With the exception of the paragraph I mentioned in my response to Kylie, I have given Nollyposh my best.

Bernie said: "why not let those who wish to pray for you pray, you don't believe in it anyway"

I never asked anyone to not pray for me, Bernie. Rather I asked them to not tell me that they are praying for me when they visit my blog. If you feel, as Nollyposh seems to feel, that something of significance would be lost from your relationship with me if I object to you telling me--an atheist--anyplace and anytime that you are offering prayers on my behalf, I am frankly appalled. Why on earth would you want to tell an atheist that you are praying for him anyway? Even so, if not telling me--on my blog--that you are praying for me is something that you--or anyone else--is going to have a real problem with, could you not at least tell me once and then be done with telling me? Is there some reason that you have to tell me again and again?

Bernie said: "your followers should be allowed to make their points as well..."

Two questions come to mind. First--and in all sincerity--what have I done to discourage people from sharing their thoughts? Secondly, how might I make it easier/safer for people to share their thoughts?

Bernie said: "you would not budge on inch adknowledging their heartfelt thoughts."

Well, Bernie, "budge an inch" would seem to imply that I should meet them half way, but half between what two poles? I don't have the time right now to go back and re-read every response, but, so far as I'm aware, Nollyposh was the only person who was in great angst about being asked to not pray for me on my blog. I now think that, perhaps, you are too and, as I said, I am quite appalled that anyone would become distraught because an atheist objects to being prayed over in what he considers to be his home.

Well, dear, it's way late, and I'm way tired, so I will close. I have written and re-written but with the growing concern that no matter how much I try to make my feelings clear, that you and Nollyposh, at least, are going to be offended by my request that you not tell me that you are praying for me when you visit my blog. I

kylie said...

i wasnt referring to anything specific that either you or nollyposh said, it just seems to me that both of you are getting hurt in a fruitless discussion where neither can see the other's point of view.

it would be nice if you could agree but it aint gonna happen and i dont like the way you both seem to be upset. it's not worth it

i speak with care and affection, right?

dana said...

The OT was written at a time when judgement was immediate, punishment was swift and deadly, and less thought was placed upon understanding or forgiveness. The OT could ONLY be written using the beliefs and traditions of the ones writing it.

Fast forward to 2010 and our answers contain no more thought or insight than those at the time of the writings.

Johan living in the whale?: It wasn't a whale. It was a fish.....but a really, really BIG fish.

Noah?: Well, it was a really, really BIG boat.

Job?: But look at how he was rewarded!! (pay no attention to the slain innocents left behind)

When people say that WITHOUT religion, or the 10 Commandments, how would people know not to kill?

All you have to do is look at the many religious atrocities to understand that, maybe, NOT KILLING can't be attributed to the bible.

I believe that Jesus did, in fact, exist. There are records and census tablets listing him as existing. (maybe I'm wrong and if I am, you'll advise me of it)

He was murdered at a time when animal sacrifices were the norm as payment for sin. Therefore, it was automatic that his death would be seen as a sacrifice, covering our sinful nature.

I just have a problem when people such as my beloved sister (with an intellectual IQ of 160) can automatically drop their brain cells in exchange for a gullibility of the teachings of the bible, and call it faith.

The fact that I have traveled from THAT position to the one I have now, is anguish to her (even though MY travels took 20 years and immense study on my part). I did not wake up one day and decide to rebel against all that my family holds holy.

And HER anguish causes ME anguish. Which is proof that even atheists can feel love, anguish, remorse and sadness as well as anyone else.

So I learned to be silent in her presence, her house, respecting her rights to believe, without input from me.

I definitely got off track for a moment, when all I was wanting to point out is the inarguable fact that the majority of atrocities committed by protestants, muslims and catholics (with more to come)seem to outnumber any committed by atheists.

If MORE people became LESS religiously zealot and fanatical, our future might be more stable.

Kay Dennison said...

I think I understand what you're saying but even trying to shut the diehard religious up is like talking to the wall (in fact the wall is a better listener). That said, I'm a renagade Catholic Constitutionalist who thinks that everyone is entitled to their opinion. The Constitution not only guarantees us freedom of religion; it guarantees us freedom FROM religion. I wish the zealots would understand that. I get tired of people wanting me to be converted to their way of thinking.

Bernie said...

It's okay Snow, not to worry. I was concerned for your friend as I felt she cared very much about you.
I suggest you change the title of this post as it totally doesn't fit the content......big hugs from Canada.

Rita said...

Rita said: "I think Nollyposh wants some validation as a good & sincere human being."

Okay, I can certainly say that I believe Nollyposh to be a good and sincere human being about whom I care a great deal, but I had understood that it was my request that people not pray for me on my blog that had upset her, so I'm unclear how the two things are related.


It is the humanist in me that wants to make peace between people.
It's really no skin off my ass, if you want to eat sour grapes. :)

Snowbrush said...

Kylie said: "it just seems to me that both of you are getting hurt in a fruitless discussion where neither can see the other's point of view."

Yes, I think it is fruitless. Nollyposh is going to be unhappy if she isn't free to tell me she's praying for me on my own blog. Doing it on her blog isn't enough. Telling me once, and then letting it go isn't enough. Yet, I have observed that she has rarely told me in the past that she was praying for me, and that she doesn't have a habit of telling other people that she is praying for them. It is only now that I have made this request that the issue has become important. You are right. I don't understand this, and I probably never will.

Kay said: "I think I understand what you're saying but even trying to shut the diehard religious up is like talking to the wall"

I find it very disheartening that people who I consider to be my friends think I'm insensitive for asking that they not pray for me on my own blog. Given this, I can well understand why they feel justified in forcing their religion upon people in the public arena by way of prayers at graduations, jury trials, football games, city council meetings, political inaugurations, public banquets, ground-breaking ceremonies, holiday observances, etc.

Dana said: "Fast forward to 2010 and our answers contain no more thought or insight than those at the time of the writings."

Right. Every field of knowledge advances except for religion. When you look at Christian groups that attempt to advance religious thought, they invariably move further and further from even being religious. I think there's a lesson in this.

Bernie said: "I was concerned for your friend as I felt she cared very much about you."

I realize this, Bernie. You saw her--and others--as putting a lot of love and time into attempting to communicate with me, and me as not reciprocating either in love or in time.

Rita said: "It's really no skin off my ass, if you want to eat sour grapes."

Rita, you felt that her problem concerned a lack of validation. I was surprised by this because Nollyposh means a great deal to me, and I was confident that she knew this. Even so, so I attempted to reassure her. However, I had thought that her problem with me concerned my request that she not pray for me on my blog. Perhaps, we are both right. I don't know. Nollyposh hasn't said, and I'm unaware of how the parable of the fox and the grapes is even remotely relevant.

To those who feel that I have mistreated Nollyposh, I would ask where is Nollyposh? I have repeatedly read what she wrote in an attempt to understand why she is so upset. I have even asked other readers to help me understand. Two of you responded to my request, and I take from those responses that you believe I have treated her less lovingly than I should have. Yet, Nollyposh herself has been strangely absent. The conversation about her has piled up until it's voluminous compared to what she herself has said, so, for my part, I am done with it. I am starting to feel like an idiot for putting so much time into Nollyposh's distress despite the fact that my impetus for doing so was that I genuinely cared. I have given her my heart, my respect, and my sincere desire to understand, and I am simply not getting anything in return.

Perhaps, you think I have treated her so badly that she is too hurt to continue, but I can't see it. I know that I never, ever, knowingly show disrespect for anyone who responds to my blog. Do I disagree with my readers' responses at times? Certainly. Do I try to diminish their worth as human beings in my replies to those responses? Never.

Katherine said...

The wave of fundamentalist religiosity that you encounter and battle is not unique to the USA, but, I think, more prevalent. Here in New Zealand it is easier to be an atheist.

Funny how belief (in religious terms) is often equated with passing over responsibility to someone/thing else. (Which ties in well with an over-benevolent welfare system, ironically).
Whereas life should be about taking responsibility. Maturity. Reason. Thinking for oneself.

I hope no one starts praying for ME now!

PS. have you heard of Prof. Lloyd Geering? He's one of my heroes in the belief department.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfFb216HiX0

The Blog Fodder said...

http://www.atheistcartoons.com

Expect you already have seen this. Just found it today. Hilarious.

Mim said...

I think you're worrying about this crap WAY too much. just sayin'....

Gaston Studio said...

Wow Snow, I just came by to say hi and let you know I'm sort of back to blogging... and then, I read your post. I really don't want to "discuss" religion as it's very private with me but I will say that I do fear the usurge of fundamentalist religion, no matter the source.

Hope you're doing well!
Jane

Snowbrush said...

Katherine said: "PS. have you heard of Prof. Lloyd Geering?"

No, but I enjoyed the video and will see if the local library has any of his books. Like America's Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong, he extols the merits of a Christianity without god. What I don't understand about their view is why they think so highly of Jesus when no one knows for sure if he really lived or, if he did live, what he actually said. Even so, I respect their intellectual courage.

Blog Fodder said: "http://www.atheistcartoons.com
Expect you already have seen this."

Yes, I have. I used one of his cartoons a couple of months ago. It was the one in which a pretty woman was offering free hugs--except to atheists. I'm glad you enjoy him too.

Mim said: "I think you're worrying about this crap WAY too much..."

I don't lie awake nights, Mim. Or at least I don't lie awake nights worrying about a religious takeover. Who knows why people are interested in one thing and not another? I just know that religion has loomed large in my mind for my whole life. My latest interest is Hitler. I've watched many documentaries about him and read at least part of many books, so maybe he will be the subject of my next post.

Gaston Studio said: "I really don't want to "discuss" religion as it's very private..."

I wish it were that way with everyone. Jane, I was aware that you were posting again, and I have visited you once. Now, I'm way behind on other people's blogs. I don't know that I will ever take a complete hiatus like you did, but my intensity waxes and wanes.

Bubba said...

Very well-written. I enjoyed it very much.

Funny, it reminded me of when I was a child, and my mom would always mail Christmas and Birthday cards (and always of a religious bent--we were Catholic). Well, one of my uncles, who was a bit of a "free-thinker" finally had enough of them, and told her he was tired of getting cards saying that she was praying for him, or that Jesus loves him, etc... Of course, my mom couldn't understand why he, who had been raised a Catholic, and should know better, would feel that way; it just wouldn't compute. And of course, she would never be able to understand it, because her brain was hard-wired a different way.

And that's what it really boils down to. Those who are religious will never be convinced to believe ("un-believe?") otherwise; no matter how much you point out the flaws in their belief system. Easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle.
;)

La Isleña said...

I've been enjoying your blog, Snow. :-) It's so refreshing to see that there exist atheist Americans.

Anyway, I am not so militant as to want to actively deny others' right to believe in the Supernatural IN PRIVATE. However, I am tired of theists encroaching on MY rights - politicians (!!) and lobby groups, for examples.

Australians used to be lax about such things but ever since GWB's reign, his pal John Howard was voted in repeatedly and suffice it to say, Howard's pretty much paved the way to this country's ruin - in every way imaginable.

Depressing stuff...

There are very wise religious people though. Like Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Naturally, his understanding/meditation of/on spirituality is not for the brain dead. :-)

Hey, keep up the good work!

Winifred said...

Crumbs Snowbrush, what a conversation to have with yourself! Might be a good idea to get a dummy and try a bit of ventroloquism. Would be a hoot!


It's much easier to be an atheist, Muslim, Jew, Sikh etc. Much harder to be a Christian. It's not politically correct apparently.

I don't much care what people believe, it's a free country so they say, but I find it hard to accept that you can wear a full burqa yet you can't wear a cross if you work for some companies like British Airways. Daft or what?

The Bipolar Diva said...

Hello to my favorite Snowbrush.

I promise never to pray for you if you promise not to call me ignorant. I'm very well versed in scripture, christian, mormom,catholacism, JW, Islam and science. I've made a decision based on my searching, my learning, and you've made yours. You know that I have absolutely no disrespect for you, actually I'm rather fond of you and if I'm ever down that way, I would consider it an honor to meet you and your beautiful wife Peggy.

I detest Christians that are all holier than thou and pushing their "religion" (which I view differently than faith) down the throats of people. It's wrong and it's spoken against in the bible. Jesus told the disciples that if people don't want to hear you don't stand and debate and argue, you leave.
I think so many 'christians" (Pharisees in my mind) think they have some quota to fill. I am a believer as you know, but if one more person asks me why I no longer attend church I may just go a "Jesus in the Temple" on them.

I haven't gone for years and I doubt I'll be back anytime soon. My husband goes and takes the kids. He's never said a word to me about it. He respects my opinion and won't push me.

I like you for WHO you are, not WHAT you are.

Once again I promise never to pray for you, and If I do, I'll never tell you about it. That's just disrespectful.

If you ever want to email me, my address in on my profile page.

I hope you're feeling at least a wee bit better physically.

JOE TODD said...

We may find out what the "deal" is when we die or then again we may not.. Keep on writing Snow

C Woods said...

I always enjoy your posts on religion, but this one was over the top. I wish I could express my thoughts as well a you do. When the Religious Right takes over, we just might end up being cellmates. I'm sure if I lived in a Muslim country, I would have been stoned long ago.

I would request only a few things of religious people ---one of them is to NEVER tell me they will pray for me. Next, I would just like them to admit that they are not in possession of the whole truth about anything. No one is or ever will be. And my last would be that they wouldn't have that knee-jerk reaction when they find out I am a non-believer ---implying I am hopeless, evil, or deserving of their pity ---or worse, their hate.