Baptists, Atheists and Christers

The Southern Baptist Church is the second largest Protestant denomination in America, and by far the largest in Mississippi. Like a few other churches, it got its start during the American Civil War (1861-65) when Northern Christians used their Bibles to prove that God thoroughly loathes slavery while Southern Christians used their Bibles (effectively, I thought) to prove that God simply adores slavery, and that, as an added bonus, slavery gives white people a convenient opportunity to preach Jesus to all them poor benighted niggers who would otherwise go to hell, and who don’t have brains enough to be anything but slaves anyway.

My church, the Church of Christ (henceforth Christer), was a distant second in size to the Southern Baptist in Mississippi. The two churches were so much alike that you would be pressed to tell one from the other except that the Baptists had pianos and Sunday School literature. The Christers shunned musical instruments because “Jesus and the apostles didn’t use them,” and they shunned books other than the Bible because “Jesus and the apostles didn’t use them.” You might not consider such differences important, but the way the Christers saw it, “any deviation from the clear and concise Word of God” was intentional and would land you in hell.

Did you have Baptist friends, and did you worry about them going to hell?

Yes, I had Baptist friends, and, no, I didn’t worry about them going to hell because I was taught that they defied God by choice. Such a condemnatory attitude toward other beliefs shouldn’t be taken to imply that Christers spoke with one voice. The far left Christers allowed women to teach Sunday School; the middle-of-the-road churches (which I was in) wouldn’t let them talk at all; and the far right churches were the same way, but they also limited themselves to one “cup” for the weekly communion (that’s how many Jesus used), while the other Christers used stackable trays that contained enough tiny glasses for everyone. I thought these were way cool, and I loved the smell of Mogen David, so I always made myself available to “serve The Lord’s Supper.” I also said prayers, led the singing (badly), and delivered sermons. I think it was assumed that I would go into the ministry, but when I stopped attending church after my teenage efforts to liberalize it failed, nobody came looking for me.

I considered the Baptist Church hypocritical and insufferably plebeian, but my main objections were that, as I was told, Jesus didn’t get himself crucified so his church could be named after John the Baptist; and I added to this my own observation that my Baptist friends didn’t know much about the Bible. Christer preachers said this was because they didn’t read it; they just read Sunday School books that contained “man’s interpretations.” What more proof could anyone want that Baptists deserved eternal hell for “living in open defiance of God’s Holy Word”? Of course, Methodists and Presbyterians were even worse because they sprinkled babies; Catholics were worse yet because they worshipped the pope; and Jews were worse than all of them because they hated Jesus. There were people worse than Jews though—atheists, godless professors, secular humanists, and Communists. You will note that the common thread (the “underlying evil” as the Christers called it) in all these groups was atheism. As they saw it, the only thing worse than an atheist was a Christer who became an atheist because God wouldn’t forgive him even if he changed his mind.

I have found it indescribably strange and hurtful to become the very person whom I was told, week in and week out for eighteen years, is the most foul piece of Satanic excrement in the whole universe, and then to look at the institution that told me this and to think the very same thing about its approach to truth: namely that of basing it upon sketchy stories in an ancient, contradictory, and historically inaccurate book by unknown authors, a book which presents a “fully human yet fully divine” being named Jesus who was likewise fully God yet one-third God. The mischief that has come from accepting such an authority as the starting place for ethics—and even science—is too great for me to wrap my mind around. And yet some Christians say that this authority is really very good—perfect even—and, properly understood, couldn’t possibly inspire the violence, oppression, and other evil acts that other Christians perform everyday. When I hear such statements, I wonder where the line is between religious faith and delusion, the two appearing indistinguishable to me.

41 comments:

The Blog Fodder said...

A very insightful post, Snowbrush. Explains a great deal I did not know before about these organizations. Reading your blog and several others including the stories on www.ExChristian.net I can fully sympathize with anyone who chooses to reject the whole thing. Some of what you wrote about the beliefs of the "Christers" makes me very angry.

The Elephant's Child said...

Oh Snowbrush: How hard it must have been for you.
I was pretty much presented my atheism gift wrapped on a plate. I grew up with a non practising Church of England mother and a non practising Jewish father. My older brothers assured me that Scripture Classes were dull, and that I would be able to go to the library and read if I chose not to attend. Consequently I was in my cynical 20s before I even stepped into a church.
My mother later assured me that she was a believer, and my father surprised us all by wanting a Jewish funeral. Nonetheless what, if anything, we wanted in the faith department was left entirely up to us. The result was one convert to Catholicism (a condition of his marriage) and three atheists.

PhilipH said...

Perhaps there should be a sect called "Faithful Delusionists". It would be accurate enough for me.

There is a bit of a brouhaha blowing up in the UK because one of the local councils always "said prayers" before the council business began. These are little tin-pot 'local politicians'.

Somebody complained (rightly so) that this was not right. And the courts agreed. It's illegal.

Why should council members who are NOT religious have to suffer this sort of pointless rigmarole?

Of course, all the bible-punchers are now rising up in anger, saying how "secular" the UK is becoming. So what? Those who do not wish to be part of this esoteric and occult crap are right to want it kicked up the arse. Politics and religion: a very dangerous mix. That's what scares me out about the Janus-faced politicians in America!

R. J. said...

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/does-religion-oppress-women/

As a woman, I steer clear of religion, which in my opinion was created to practice oppression of women.

Sissy said...

Once upon a time being a faithful attendant of Mass and my strong Catholic upbringing which certainly still guides me in the important matters of life, again I'm surprised that non-Catholics think we worship...the Pope or whoever. Never is 'worship' what is felt; honor is the emotion felt.

Unable to form my thoughts into words such as you can, I won't try but let Father Serpa explain the difference between 'worship' and 'honor'.

Re: What's the difference between honor and worship?
----------------------------------------
Hi,

We can show honor not only to saints, but to anyone we love and/or admire. But to worship or adore is to acknowledge the object of such attention as God. We all have an obligation from justice to acknowledge to God the truth of who He is. We can't do this with anyone but Him because only He is God. So, strictly speaking, we only give worship (latria in Latin) to God.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
--------------------

My honor goes to my parents and those who pass through my life, giving me a concrete sense of 'right and justice'.
These two qualities are what is necessary to live and be an upstanding human being. Otherwise,the rest is 'fluff'. Just fake flyaway fluff. And don't we see so much of that?
Nevertheless, we each are only here for our learning experience, an hopefully each of us will 'graduate with honors' when our experience ends. It is a tough road and we often falter; but we only learn by our faltering mistakes.

Sissy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhymeswithplague said...

Wellsir, ah kin thank of two more ways them babdists ain't like yer churchachristers, one is they wouldn't never use no real mogen david wine in their little plastic cups, nosir, it's plain old unfermented grape juice fer the true teetotalers amongst us regardless of whut Jesus and the apostles done and the other is they don't thank a-goin' under the water plays any part whatsoever in a person's salvation, it's jest a outward sign of an inward cleansing that has already tuk place, they say, it's the profession with yer mouth and the believin' in yer heart that is the really important thang, while yer churchachristers and also yer cathlicks, what a coincident, thank the water is a downright basic ingrediunt. But they don't have no fellership with one another anyways, each of 'em thankin' the other is wrong as wrong can be.

I'm not a Christer, but I am, or try to be, a Christian, and yet we remain friends. It's uncanny. In a book called The Cross and the Switchblade a preacher from a small town in Pennsylvania, David Wilkerson, goes to New York City because he believes God told him to witness about Jesus to some Hispanic guys and when one of them, Nicky Cruz, pulls a knife on David he says, "Jesus loves you, Nicky, and I love you, and you can cut me up into a thousand pieces with that knife of yours and every one of the thousand pieces will still love you."

The world doesn't need more Baptists or Christers or Catholics or atheists, it needs more people like that Pennsylvania preacher.

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today or run out of marijuana or something? I can find very little trace in this post of the guy who sent me a tile plaque with the 23rd Psalm on it. Perhaps he was just trying to make Oregon free of worthless religious trinkets. I hope not.

Charles Gramlich said...

I grew up with similar kind of experiences, albeit southern Catholic. Amazes me now the things we believed.

ellen abbott said...

I was raised episcopalian which I rejected in my late teens. It wasn't until my very early 20s that I rejected christianity altogether. It constantly astounds me that so many people accept the bible as the one and only word of god, a book we know was written by men who were probably schizophrenic and would be put on meds today. But the bottom line, for me, is that the more religious a person is, the more filled with hate they are. They may not call it hate as they condemn you but that's what it is. And the fact that these people claim the moral high ground just disgusts me. I'd laugh if they weren't so intent on politicizing their beliefs and forcing the rest of us to live by their restrictions. I'm also amazed by how many people so willingly subscribe to a god that hates and sends people to hell (a place I don't believe in personally) for eternal damnation if they don't accept Jesus who was all about love as their savior. anybody else see the irony here? and don't get me started on the trilogy. christian pantheism is good but hindu pantheism is bad? oh well, I could go on. I'm not an atheist but I'm certainly godless in their eyes. And they can go on believing whatever they want as long as they don't try to legislate their particular load of crap which they are currently trying to do. and just for the record, I think we, as people, are quite capable of developing moral attitudes without some 'god' telling us how to behave.

Myrna R. said...

I learned some things from this post. Thanks.

I went to Catholic Schools most of my life. I'm amazed at how much I have had to discern and reject as an adult.

Beau's Mom said...

My family believed in free-range testing. I was sent to a Lutheran school, Catholic school, Jewish synagogs, born a methodist and attended a baptist seminary.

Now, passing a church makes me feel like Dracula glimpsing a sunrise.

Did the Christers walk to church and only use oil lamps? Ahah. Therein lies the rub.

Convenience outdistances the chance of going to hell every time.

Deb said...

They oppressed women. They oppressed black people. They oppressed anyone that didn't live up to their "Christ-like" standards. And, many still do that today. I'm battling with it over on my blog right now with extremists who belittle and mock people that may not 'fit the bill' for Christianity - all in the name of God - "their God". They spew hatred and wicked words to convey their message. Jesus never did any of those methods in order to teach someone the 'right way'. It amazes me how much religion tears people apart.

Snowbrush said...

My response here is so long that I'm going to have to post it in two parts.

"Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today or run out of marijuana or something? I can find very little trace in this post of the guy who sent me a tile plaque with the 23rd Psalm on it. Perhaps he was just trying to make Oregon free of worthless religious trinkets. I hope not."

I sent you the plague because I thought it was pretty and sweet, and it made me think of you. That's the story on that, so I'm just sorry as hell if you took the gift to imply that I was softening my stance on religion.

"In a book called The Cross and the Switchblade a preacher from a small town in Pennsylvania, David Wilkerson, goes to New York City because he believes God told him to witness about Jesus to some Hispanic guys and when one of them, Nicky Cruz, pulls a knife on David he says, "Jesus loves you, Nicky, and I love you, and you can cut me up into a thousand pieces with that knife of yours and every one of the thousand pieces will still love you.'"

Snowbrush said...

I've read the book. Okay, so you be the preacher, and I'll be the kid with the knife, and you just go on loving me. Seems like a pretty damn obvious solution to me. I mean, I wouldn't care, not really, if you thought that way (whatever works, works). Just think: you will grow from it; you will learn from it; you might entertain some vague hope of winning me to Christ (ha) through your relentless love; and, finally, God will reward you--assuming your faith is well-placed--in this life and in the next. You can also take credit for (and reflect upon) the knowledge that you are one of the few religious people who still read this blog. I used to have quite a number of them, some of whom stopped reading right away when I started posting about religion; others of whom hung in there for quite a while before they finally fell--or leaped--over the edge; still others who just don't come around as much they used to; and then there's you, Bob. You're in a class by yourself, and there's good that you can do here. I'll even tell you how. When you have a person who sees himself (rightly or wrongly) as a victim of oppression, the person whose friendship is most valuable to that person is the very person who represents the oppressor group. The reason for this is that the loving presence of such a person contradicts the hatred of the person who is a member of the oppressed group. In other words, it's the opposite of what he expects, and this forces him (if he believes it's sincere) to soften his stance, at least to some small extent, toward the oppressor group. It's really not pleasant to me to hate something as much as I hate Christianity--and by extension all religions. This hatred is a common problem among atheists. It's also an easily understandable problem (if you're an atheist). But, it's still a problem.

You have different groups of atheists. One group is best represented by the atheist who wouldn't knowingly have a believer enter his house. I can understand them, but I sure as hell don't want to be like them. Another group is made up of people who either have no problem with religion, or they even think it's a good thing (I've never known one of these). Then there's the 99%--of which I am one--that try to separate people from their religion in order to relate well to them. It's only when I reduce people to the fact of their religion that I'm unable to befriend them. The problem is that, in America anyway, there's a lot of personal and institutionalized bigotry toward atheists, and all the atheists I ever met found it infuriating. Some fight it everyday; some try to ignore it; and others are in-between. For my part, I write about it here; I am a member of a local group; and I send money to two national groups that are dedicated to fighting the encroachment of religion into public life.

As I see it, atheism is nothing. If America was a secular society, few atheists would even bother to organize. My understanding is that in countries where few people are religious, this is exactly what happens.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. Just because I'm not keen on religion doesn't mean that I hate the Bible, at least not cover to cover. I think the 23rd Psalm is beautiful as literature. You think it's beautiful as that and also as God's word, so this gives it added meaning to you, and that's why I bought it for you. Probably some saintly old church lady owned it, and she died, and her infidel son took it to Goodwill, and now it has a new home in Georgia, which it arrived at due to a rather a strange friendship.

Snowbrush said...

"There is a bit of a brouhaha blowing up in the UK because one of the local councils always "said prayers" before the council business began."

It's probably worse in America. I get a magazine that has pages of court cases in every issue, and prominent among them is the willingness of government and school officials to promote religion in defiance of the Constitution until they get sued. Then they have to decide whether to drain their budget by fighting a suit they would lose anyway, or dropping the church-state infringement. Most do the latter, but some fight.

"I'm battling with it over on my blog right now with extremists who belittle and mock people that may not 'fit the bill' for Christianity - all in the name of God - "their God"."

Yeah, Deb, you have it far worse than (I don't have it bad at all) in that you're a lesbian AND a Christian. I liked the reader who said she was completely intolerant of you, yet she loved you. Well, okay. I just recalled the United Methodist commercial about gender orientation, so I went to their site, and I quote: "The United Methodist Church dedicates itself to a ministry of Christ-like hospitality and compassion to persons of all sexual orientations..." However, I can't see where they want you to join up much less apply for the ministry. In other words, expect tolerance, but forget feeling that you belong.

"Did the Christers walk to church and only use oil lamps?"

Speaking for myself, I drove fifty miles an hour down curvy gravel roads, sometimes in a Fairlane, other times in an Electra, and I stopped at the store on the way home for a Creme Soda.

"I grew up with similar kind of experiences, albeit southern Catholic.

I think of Catholics churches as often taking on a strong ethnic flavor. Is that what you meant by "Southern Catholic"?

Snowbrush said...

"I'm surprised that non-Catholics think we worship...the Pope or whoever."

People who do that don't have the least interest in knowing anything about the Catholic Church, they're just bigots who want an excuse to trash it, and even if you show them that their excuse is a lie, they won't apologize, and they'll probably go right on spreading it to anyone who will listen.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snow, if you don't mind, I'll just concentrate on the loving (what's not to love?) and let You-know-who worry about the winning. I am not good at subterfuge and plotting devious schemes anyway. I am truly honored that you devoted such a long response to my comment. Never once did I think you had softened your stance on religion.

I guess we can consider the air cleared (not that I thought it wasn't). You ain't gettin' rid of me that easily. Apparently both politics and religion (or the lack of one altogether) make strange bedfellows. I'm speaking figuratively; I do not want to be your bedfellow.

Tell you what. You be yourself and I'll be myself and we'll leave the others scratching their heads. I won't judge you and you won't judge me and we'll continue to get on famously.

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes, you might enjoy reading "Monsignor Quixote" by Graham Greene. It's about a friendship between a Catholic priest and a Communist. Much of their dialogue is about religion.

Kerry said...

You pose a fantastic question: where is the line between faith and delusion. I have wondered about this so often, and the line is invisible to me.

Robin said...

Hi Snow....here's another of your *Catholic* readers!! We have discussed this before....and you know that these days, I am my *own* type of Catholic Girl....
I incorporate a little Buddism, a little Hinduism - even a little old Norse *Old Gods* into my world.
My connection to the *Natural World* is so strong....I can understand people *worshipping* the Wind, the Sun, Moon, plants, trees etc.

Reading of your younger days and what *Relgion* tried to imprint on you makes me sad.... for one thing, I couldn't tolerate a faith that which felt that Music was a sin....

The thing that most Religions try to do is make you think "They" are the true Faith - and everyone else is not. These days, I rarely go to Mass ....but, I do go to Church and light candles for those I love who are ill....I get a lot from just sitting in an empty Church...praying and sometimes just thinking. I don't feel there is a *Right* or *Wrong* Religion...everyone has their right to feel there is a God - or not.

You and I have become friends -
I care about you, Peggy and the Furry Kids... I treasure our friendhip - and have learned a lot from you. That's pretty wonderful!

Love to all 4,

♥ Robin ♥

Snowbrush said...

Yes, Robin, I know you're not a traditional Catholic, but when I think of you, I think of a lifetime Catholic with a few things taken off and a few things added on rather than a Hindu (for example) with a few things taken off and a few things added on. Am I correct?

There were two periods in my life when I spent a fair amount of time sitting in empty Catholic Churches (once in Jackson, Misssissippi, and the second time in Minneapolis). Fortunately, few churches were locked back then, or I wouldn't have had the solace I found there, not from God but from the overwhelming beauty and peacefulness of the building. Of course, there's always that bloody crucifix over the altar. For this reason, I preferred Episcopal Churches, although when I needed a quiet place, there were harder to find and usually locked.

Marion said...

Feelin' your oats this morning you old atheist, you??? LOL! I hate labels. I just DETEST that society insists on labeling and pigeon-holing people.

If I say, "I'm a Baptist", people automatically assume certain 'truths' about me. I'm not a Baptist. As I've mentioned in the past, I've attended most major religions' churches and now call myself a Christian-Zen-Buddhist when I have to be labeled which isn't often, usually when the Mormons or 7th Day Adventists come a knockin' and I say that to politely slam the door in their faces.

I read my Bible at home and I study world religions which fascinate me. My Book of Catholic Saints/Martyrs reads better than the grossest horror novel. I pray and I'm happy with my spiritual practices.

Faith: 1.Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2.Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Delusion: 1.An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality,...
2.The action of deluding someone or the state of being deluded: "what a capacity television has for delusion".

Snowbrush said...

"I couldn't tolerate a faith that which felt that Music was a sin.... "

Not growing up with instrumental music in church, I came to prefer a cappella hymn singing. I should add that the ban on instruments was only in church. You could play or listen to whatever instruments you wanted to out of church even if it was with religious music.

I should explain that the Church of Christ is obsessed with doing things just like they were done by Jesus and the apostles. They put this above faith or least equal to faith. As they see it, you can have all the faith in the world, but if you don't worship God in just the way that he wants you to, you're screwed. However, the Churches of Christ are congregationally run, so I've no doubt but what you will find some of them to be more liberal than the ones I grew up with in rural Mississippi in the '50s and 60s. That said, I've no doubt but what you would find even the most liberal Churches of Christ to be shockingly conservative.

Snowbrush said...

Marion, I was hoping you would come. I always worry that I'll lose you, and I would be so sad. It's hard for me to not stereotype you as more conservative than you are. This is because I'm guilty of what I jump all over Yankees for doing, which is stereotyping Southerners. God but I hate that in myself. I would refer you to my response to Rhymes because it applies to you too.

A lot of people hate labels, but I'm rather fond of them. The trouble happens when a person doesn't have one. Like you and Robin. You're, what, an amalgamation, a synthesis, a veritable tofu stew of religious ideas and spiritual practices?

rhymeswithplague said...

I'm presuming then that Church of Christ people don't watch television, listen to radio, go to movies, drive automobiles, fly on airplanes, use electric appliances, etc., since none of that stuff is in the New Testament either.

Snowbrush said...

"I'm presuming then that Church of Christ people don't watch television, listen to radio, go to movies, drive automobiles, fly on airplanes, use electric appliances, etc., since none of that stuff is in the New Testament either."

They avoid things during the service that they don't think was done in New Testament times--like with the musical instruments. They use hymnals though, and if you asked one of them what's the difference, he would say that a musical instrument is a part of the worship service whereas a hymnal is but an aid to the worship service. Such reasoning usually seems a little strained to anyone outside of the church.

"I'm speaking figuratively; I do not want to be your bedfellow."

I don't know if the above statement is related to it, but when I said that something reminded me of you because it was sweet and pretty, it didn't occur to me how that sounded. Actually, it didn't even occur to why I said it; I was doing a stream-of-consciousness kind of response. Later, I had the thought, that, yes, our friends--including the ones of both genders--ARE pretty. We look at them, and we smile, because they're pretty to us.

ladyfi said...

Very insightful! In my opinion, faith is not about belittling others (I remember various people telling me I would burn in hell) - but about showing love and compassion.

Snowbrush said...

"faith is not about belittling others...but about showing love and compassion."

As the Dalai Lama said, "Kindness is my religion." I can scarcely believe it took all these millennia for someone to finally put this sentiment just that directly, but I can find no source that doesn't credit him.

Sidney said...

I covered the Southern Baptist Conventions struggles over inerrancy as a reporter in the '80s. It was interesting to watch that fight.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Thanks for educating u all about the difference between Christers and SBs.
I am surprised that any Christers are still alive if they really won't use anything the apostles didn't use. I assume I am safe from them as the Apostles didn't use computers.
Yep I am with the Dalai Lama.

Snowbrush said...

"I am surprised that any Christers are still alive if they really won't use anything the apostles didn't use."

That only applies to worship services. As I wrote further up in the comment section: "They avoid things during the service that they don't think was done in New Testament times--like with the musical instruments. They use hymnals though, and if you asked one of them what's the difference, he would say that a musical instrument is a part of the worship service whereas a hymnal is but an aid to the worship service. Such reasoning usually seems a little strained to anyone outside of the church."

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I grew up Southern Baptist and had a lot of right winger Christer friends. When they told me the whole "good enough for Jesus" philosophy, I quickly pointed out that Jesus didn't have electricity and their church did. They didn't have much to do with me after that...

Snowbrush said...

"I quickly pointed out that Jesus didn't have electricity and their church did. They didn't have much to do with me after that..."

Christers never claimed to recreate the physical trappings of the Biblical church but rather the elements of worship. I've gone into this twice, so I would refer you to my previous comment.

kylie said...

forgive me if this is the second comment, snow. i dont actually know if my first worked.

i'm sorry about your comments about losing Christian readers and the value of having a friend from the group of the oppressor.

i read here all the time but dont say much these days. i just dont know what i could say so i dont but i havent deserted you.

i'm sorry that the church has done such untold damage in the name of Christ and i understand atheism as an exercise in logic. i struggle with all the same stuff you do...senseless suffering and weird theology and lack of scientific evidence but at the end i think of one thing:

a few years back i met a man, a Christian, who loved as a lifestyle. he loved everyone, including me, in a way that was the real deal. he was what i imagine Jesus to have been and when i think of him i want to be that. when nothing else makes sense, that does.


k

Snowbrush said...

Kylie, you aren't the only believer I didn't mention, but, like the others, you, I believe, are eclectic in your beliefs. Bob (Rhymes) is a through-and-through Bible-believing Methodist Christian who writes like a through-and-through Bible-believing Methodist Christian. I see you as more like Robin, though not as much. You read the comments, so you know that Robin is Catholic, but she's the kind of Catholic who would have been burned at the stake in an earlier era because her religion is a smorgasbord of inspirational snippets from many faiths. Although such people seem a little airy to me, they don't hurt anybody. It's the dogmatic believers in a narrowly-defined deity that hurt people.

You're also less firm regarding what you believe than is Bob. You--again, as I perceive you--very much want to believe in a divine presence in your life, but you struggle intellectually, whereas Bob's struggles, such as they be, are at a lower level. He's a great deal older than you--and a decade or two older than I--so he's been at this religion thing for a long time, and he's a rock. He'll live as a Christian; he'll die as a Christian (at the stake if necessary), and he'll be buried as a Christian. All these things make him a pretty decent representative of his religion and of the religious mindset in general. It's also my perception (which could wrong, so I'm open to correction) that you come by less frequently than you once did, whereas Bob reads every post and every comment. He is THE religious presence in my life at the moment.

Kylie, I never for a moment meant to slight you because I know very well that your religion is important to you. I guess at the bottom of my thoughts about you and Bob is the fact that he comes closer to representing the kind of religious outlook that I grew up with, i.e. he KNOWS what he believes. If after reading this, your feelings are still hurt, I want to know about it because I very much value you; you're often in my thoughts.

kylie said...

i wasnt hurt for a second, my dear! but concerned that you were.
i have to tell you i still read every post and every comment here :)

if Bob is a bible believing methodist and you love and respect him then he meets my criteria for "THE religious presence in snow's life"

i have posted at my own blog on this topic, it's not well thought out and carefully presented like your posts but i wanted to join the fray, so to speak :)

rhymeswithplague said...

Thank you for saying some nice things about me to kylie. I am still trying to decide whether "he KNOWS what he believes" is a slam or a compliment...

And, dear friend, I am only one decade older than you; I'll be 71 in a few weeks.

I used to say I was a Jewish-Metho-Bapti-nondenomi-charis-costal and possibly a closet Jewish-Metho-Bapti-nondenomi-charis-costal-palian until the ECUSA made an openly homosexual member of their clergy into bishop (my own denomination has been fighting over this issue for years). But after an older Southern Baptist lady sighed and said, "We're just Christian" I never said it again.

Religion will get you nowhere; that's where it got me. Believe it or not, I'm not into religion.

Snowbrush said...

"I am still trying to decide whether "he KNOWS what he believes" is a slam or a compliment..."

God but you're paranoid! I wouldn't engage in skullduggery, and on my own blog at that.

"I am only one decade older than you; I'll be 71 in a few weeks."

I'm glad you're not so old as I feared because I've been worrying about you up and dying on me. I'll be 63 next week.

"the ECUSA made an openly homosexual member of their clergy into bishop (my own denomination has been fighting over this issue for years)"

I would consider the denial of full equality to be a part of the evil that churches do. I recall a Methodist TV commercial welcoming homosexuals, but it's my understanding that the commercial was pulled after an outcry from local congregations to the effect that it didn't represent their values. I recently visited the church's website, and I really couldn't tell WHAT the church's stance on gay people is. Do you know of this fellow who was denied church membership in your state because he was a homosexual: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYypMa9OL_c? And do you know of this group: http://www.rmnetwork.org/?

Ed Pilolla said...

the cultures that go with the different denominations is interesting. the catholic church siding with the authority and justifying it with bible passages, such as civil rights and lately the wars and treatment of homeless people. the bible has some beautiful messages and grave warnings, especially to a society like ours, but people use it for their own selfish ends. humans have the ability to be an extremely low life form, after all. religion is on its way out in this world, if we survive long enough, and that's a good thing.

Joe Todd said...

I know a couple adults that used to be P.K'S preachers kids.. They would often get into the Mogen David then refill what they drank with water. Today I'm pretty sure they attend 12 step meeetings LOL