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vetpharmtech

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  1. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Keep in mind that when I say Christians, I am talking about believers who have at least one of these words attached to their Christian belief: fundamentalist, theocratic, charismatic, evangelical, bible-thumping, independent baptist, Southern baptist, faith healing, non denominational, creationist,... The doctrines among these Christians may be slightly different. Their view about humanity is the same. Tolstoy's non violent principle does not at all chime with these Christians. Even Russian orthodox church was at war with his idea. He is a Christian anarchist after all. In contrast, the Catholic church loves to meddle political affair. As much as your church views Tolstoy in positive light, it is in charge of a theocratic state called the Vatican. This is not at all what Tolstoy endorsed.
  2. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    This is the first post from you that I consider humble. Most Christians (apologists anyway) never admit that what they consider the words of god is under the influence of their environment and their experience. In their mind, "because I have this experience that I believe to be correct, you have to be wrong." When I read Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is within you, I began to understand why Christians in our country are extremely hostile to people like him. They cannot accept the fact that they are just as fallible as others. The authors of the Bible wrote down what they considered inspiration from god. I guess when a Christian sees this view, he feels his infallible view is threatened and that he will have to accept the fact that people from other religions feel the same about their scriptures. Islam is even more extreme that each verse in the Koran is the exact word from god. I am relieved that you don't run to that position with the Bible.
  3. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Sure, once upon a time, your god ordered stoning adulterous women. Then Jesus came to abolish that law. It's easy to realize that women had been stoned for cheating on their husbands until Jesus came. The only conclusion I can draw is that these Mosaic laws were man made and attached with "god" to become authoritarian.
  4. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Sure. I will take your words. Generally, this is simply an efforts among Christians to work it out for their religion. Great. I am an outsider. Christians are free to battle with each other about their sets of doctrines. In the meantime, there is collateral damage that occurs to believers of other religions because of this internal conflict among Christians. You can see how Catholics, Baptists, Mennonites, and Pentecostal fight each other over criteria of salvation. However, they are willing to unite to oppress non Christians, suppress gay rights, enforce 10 commandments as the law of the States, make excuses for Christian terrorists who bombed abortion clinics, justify slavery, etc. You don't seem to support any of these. Since you are in one of these groups, it is similar to identity politics. Unless the individuals in such group say something to oppose barbaric acts done in the ideals of the group, I don't have a choice but see them the same as the evil ones in that group. I think Jesus seminar is the group of scholars who gathered votes to decide which sayings were actually Jesus'. If people from the Abrahamic faith with proper academic research cannot even reach the same conclusion about the cannons, Jesus' historical saying, the actual doctrine of the early Christians ("saved" by grace or deeds),..., asking people with non Christian background like myself to accept and worship this "deity in flesh" is too much expectation. The claim is not any more outrageous than the Hare Krishna group who claims that Lord Krishna has the most universal truth. It only becomes a problem when this faith-based claim is used by Christians in the position of power to control people. The Catholic church is not the only institution doing this. Sure. I don't believe in absolute morality like Christians. It's culturally relative. The issue here is that Christians ALWAYS speak on non Christians' behalf If you happen to be my neighbour, I would have run away as quickly as I could. Do you know why? It's not the reason you argue for stoning people to death for violating a tribal rule. According to this passage, your god, the beloved omni deity you worship and expect the rest of the world to comply to your church, is the one who ordered the stoning. This is not simply some Native American tribe with arbitrary rule for survival of the group. This is the supreme being that your church claimed to have the most truth commanded the killing. How do you think I am supposed to react? Just smile and accept it as a fact? Your argument is the exact reason Christian politicians (including the Catholic senator Marco Rubio) use to justify their action against non Christians and gay people. If you can justify the moral of these ancient Hebrews because of the god of the universe commanded as a nurse, how do you think people in power position including your pope are capable of doing when they believe that the supreme deity is on their side? And then Christians complain about radical Muslims who slaughtered infidels when they simply exercise the same zeal of faith as you do. This is what I call dishonesty.
  5. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Well, since you (an atheist) and I (a buddhist) don't have the holy spirits in us, we cannot understand "God's words". We are immersed in sin and we need offlabel's God to rescue us through the blood of Jesus. Interestingly, when I tell Christians that I find wisdom in sermon on the mount, no body tells me about how these teachings should be understood. The moment I show them the unsavory aspects of their bible, they say that misunderstand what those passages mean. How convenient is that? Christians simply don't want responsibility. They pick and choose and get triggered when they are pointed out.
  6. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Thank you for your recommendation. I checked Hasidic and Haredi Judaism. They look benign to me. Look at Israel. It is the most accepting place for LGBT people to live in the middle east. I will be sad if Judaism dies before Christianity and Islam.
  7. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    If the United States of America has to become a theocratic state, I hope that Judaism will be the official religion. Even the most orthodox Jews (as far as I know) are all right with people not following 613 commandments or becoming Jews. That is not the case with Christians. It is not okay not to follow the 10 commandments. You have perhaps seen how hard Christians fight to keep the 10 commandments monument in court and in school. Although they meet their challenge, they never stop making excuses about the USA constitution was founded under the 10 commandments. If that was the case, you may be allowed to live and I would be killed. The first commandment is in direct contradiction to the first amendment. Clearly people like Betsy DeVos has the agenda to establish Christian theocracy. She even admitted that education activism and reform efforts as a means to advance God's Kingdom, whatever that means.
  8. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Offlabel thinks that I have a bigoted view about Christianity. Look at the Christian in this clip. I don't see the difference between this Christian and Isis. When I finished reading the bible, my concern finally comes to life. There are Christians who actually take their scriptures seriously to the point they will divorce themselves from their humanity to advocate barbarism against other humans. All of that is because they are obedient to their God. Pastors Steven Anderson and Matt Powell are such examples. They take the bible way more seriously than any Christian here. Certainly, some people will say that they are not "true Christians". And yet there are nurses like offlabel defending their holy book that advocates executing non believers. Ironically, these same nurses claim that their religious values are the best ones for a moral society. Seriously? I know that humans compartmentalize. However, this level of mental gymnastic is something I never understand.
  9. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    My country of origin is Vietnam, which is a communist country. Yes, communism is evil. That doesn't mean Christianity somehow deserves glorification. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_crisis There you go. It happened in my country before I was born. Sorry, Mr Catholic. Just because communism is evil does not mean your precious religion deserves my respect. I have lived with both sides, and I don't see much difference. At best, Christianity is simply a lesser of the two evils.
  10. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    The only religion that is completely peaceful and nonviolent is Jainism. A Jain extremist would simply let himself die so that other beings won't be hurt by his unintentional harm. I cannot say the same about a Christian extremist or a Muslim extremist. Even a Buddhist extremist can do appalling things, too. I have to face that fact even though I grew up in that tradition. I don't think you do, but that is your business to sort it out with your church and your Pope. Those figures are not my authority, not mentioning the action from your church does not reflect what you said.
  11. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    That is Catholic apologetic, which is making the argument "the church may do bad things, but other groups have done worse", as if that is a good reason to believe in Christianity. What can you expect from an apologist?
  12. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Indeed. This line of reasoning is the same as Islamic apologetic, right? Whenever something good is done, it is because Christianity motivates people to be kind. Whenever horrific acts are committed, it is because of social political motivation and people's sins. Christians never takes responsibility for the bible. It is always someone else's faults. The bible is always the perfect book for moral guidance.
  13. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    In my opinion, the Bible is a messed up book. So is the Koran. Everything is about "context". I don't know which context allows god's people to stone someone to death because he picked up sticks on the Sabbath, which context allows parents to stone their disobedient children, which context allows people to kill homosexuals,..... Although I am not a Hindu, there is less ambiguity when I read the Baghavad Gita or the Upanishads. I may need to know history to understand the teachings more deeply, but I don't remember seeing any allowance for killing groups that do not obey Hindu laws. Accordingly, I don't have a good answer to your question. Yahweh in the Old testament commanded his prophet Moses to tell his soldiers to kill everyone including children and keep all the girls who did not know men. I don't think Catholic priests fit in that scenario. However, I cannot say they betrayed Christian teachings, either. There is no single Christian teaching I know of. Loving god and neighbor as yourself is one teaching. Jesus is the only way to god. Not believing in him = being burned in hell for eternity. That is another teaching. Only Jesus can forgive sin. This is a prevalent teaching in American Christianity from my experience. Hence, it is possible that these priests sexually abused children and then asked for Jesus' forgiveness later because they really believed that. In this regard, perhaps those Christians committed those crimes because they were Christians; being Christians gave them a sense of security of their afterlife as long as they mentioned Jesus' name. In another aspect, those priests violated the commandment "love your neighbor as yourself", so they betrayed the teaching despite being Christians. There is no unanimity among Christians as far as I know in terms of doctrines. Hence, I don't know which category they fit in. Based on the current situation in our country, I think Christians can do appalling things to other groups (either directly or through legislation) because their religion gives them a loophole for redemption, which creates excuses for their action. I really don't have a good answer to your question. As an outsider of Christianity, I read a few religious texts and compare/contrast different religious groups, and that is how I have that view.
  14. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    I don't want to derail the topic. However, since you bring up the issue. Take a look at this https://www.facebook.com/155665734643636/posts/1508634686013394/?comment_id=526132391213513 Can you believe that Christians actually said this? They praise how the Bible was not burned while 23 people in Alabama were killed by the tornado. I got upset seeing this in my feed. Where is the sense of humanity in these people? The shocking thing is that it is the fire department, which is supposed to represent all people, post this article. I cannot believe that people continue to suffer due to natural disaster and this group constantly praise their god for protecting the bible and the cross.
  15. vetpharmtech

    Spiritual Competence, Religion and the Deep South

    Bravo. I'm not an atheist, but reason to be moral is similar to Penn Jillette. My religious belief is a booster, not an authority to command me by giving me stick and carrot like Abrahamic religions do. The desire to love and not to hurt is innate. OP, show that to your questioning classmate.
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