Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jesus is watching you have sex....


.....so you'd better be doing it the True Christian ™ way.

OK, so I really don't believe that Jesus is watching me have sex, but apparently
True Christians ™ believe there's a holy presence in the bedroom with a video camera in one hand and a notepad in the other, gauging every thought and position and recording whether it is Biblically sanctioned.

For some of us, that creates a quandary. After all, what is the Biblically sanctioned way to have sex? I'm not sure I know. Do you? But Gene, who's a True Christian ™ assures us that the Bible holds everything you'd want to know to have great sex.

Here's what she said in our last discussion:

"Who should one take lessons from on how to conduct ones sexual activities; from culture, from publishers who make money from erotica, or from the Bible?"

Now I've read the Bible, and there is nothing in there that I can find which even remotely addresses sexual technique. There's not a word about whether I can go down on my guy, or whether introducing whipped cream, leather or feathers into the marital bed is wrong. It doesn't specifically ban positions. There's nothing in there about lingering between 68 to 70, if you catch my meaning.

It makes no more sense to say we should look to the Bible for how to have sex than it would to say we should look to the Bible for cooking lessons.

After all, there's more than one way to satisfy a man's appetite. If a woman is wrong to glean a sex tip or two from a tale penned by those evil erotica writers, is she equally wrong to wrong to turn to use a recipe penned by some evil cookbook author? Should we shield ourselves from the likes of The Iron Chef? Should we turn away from cooking segments on the Today show? When our man walks in the door should we only greet him with a hot plate of loaves and fishes? The Bible has as many baking instructions as it has sex instructions. What Would Jesus Cook?

Don't get me wrong - my version of the Bible is chock full of sex: there's Tamar, who got raped by her brother. There's that David and Bethsheba adultery thing. There's some incest. And of course there was King Soloman who wrote fine erotica, some of it in praise of his wife's obviously impressive rack.

Here's a nice excerpt from Chapter 7, verses 6 - 9 of Songs of Solomon. It's quite descriptive. Can't you just picture him with her?

How fair and pleasant you are, O loved one, delectable maiden! You are stately as a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches. O may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your kisses like the best wine that goes down smoothly, gliding over lips and teeth.

Nice, huh? You can almost feel his attraction to her. But that's the effect of well-written erotica. I know I'm impressed.

But while the Bible has plenty of spice and even some hot erotica, it doesn't specifically address whether we can bring a certain triple speed sex toy with vibrating attachments into the marriage bed, or giggle over the tale of depraved female wantonness - read aloud - before acting it out with gleeful abandon.

It does make me a tad jealous that Gene got the unabridged Bible - the one with the chapter covering what married couples can and can't do in the sack. So, my dears, if one of you has that missing chapter, could you send it to me ASAP? I have a hot date and need the answer before bedtime.

108 comments:

Billy D said...

I honestly don't think God cares a fig what you do in there, at least once you're married. (In His eyes, I mean, not the state of___)
This is all you get, maybe fifty years with someone, then it's done. You're not "together" in heaven, this is it, for that.

Morgan said...

I agree, Billy D. I don't think he gives a fig or a fig leaf for that matter.

I wonder, though, if there won't be a little somethin-somethin going on in heaven. It wouldn't seem much like heaven without it. ;-)

But maybe that's just me...

eaglewood said...

You know I am not sure I should even dignify this last post with a comment.

Of all the pattently absurd things you have written the first part of this post takes the cake.

Morgan said...

"You know I am not sure I should even dignify this last post with a comment."

Consider this blog discussion optional, dumpling. You are free to comment. Or not.

Morgan said...

But I do have to agree, Eaglewood. It probably is patently absurd to suggest that Jesus has a video camera when everything has gone to DVD.

Point taken.

Roland said...

Ha.
Hahaha!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I'm sorry. I just commented under the last post, and read this one. I am still wiping tears from my eyes! What brilliant sarcasm!

Eaglewood, you have the right to your opinion. I'll let you keep it, though.

BillyD, right on, man!

And Morgan, as much as I like your idea, I think it will be even better than sex. I know, call me nuts, but I really do.
If you have read "The Last Battle" by CS Lewis, you'll know what I mean.

And I thought the subject of alcohol elicited excitable responses from True Christians!

Morgan said...

"And I thought the subject of alcohol elicited excitable responses from True Christians!"

ROFL..you know, I've posted about my farm and my family and my garden and my pets. But the True Christians ™ lie dormant with nary a comment until they catch a whiff of sex. I had but to whisper teh word "porn" and the next thing you know they're responding in packs.

They kill me.

I'm sorry Eaglewood doesn't take pleasure in my sense of humor, for I do take pleasure in his seriousness. I have to wonder how long he can remain so somber. Even prophets should let their hair down and have fun once in a while.

I will certainly have to read that C.S. Lewis book. I'm not closed to the idea that heaven could be better than sex, but it seems difficult to imagine.

El Borak said...

"Last Battle" is actually my second-favourite Narnia book, right after "Horse and His Boy," which, I'm sorry to say, has no sex in it at all.

But I've even seen Christians (I don't know how to make the TM) get upset about the fact that the kids drink spiced wine in "Prince Caspian," which is another great book that I heartily recommend.

On the topic du jour, I remember getting in an argument with a fella who said munching carpet is forbidden by the bible because it's "sodomy" (just look in the dictionary, gosh) and we know what happened to Sodom. No, there was nothing that could be said; the position (heh) was set in stone.

I was going to leave a really smartassed comment here about what is better than arguing with words on a screen, but my daughter reads this blog. Not that she doesn't do it herself, but I don't want to give her parent/sex nightmares ;)

Morgan said...

"On the topic du jour, I remember getting in an argument with a fella who said munching carpet is forbidden by the bible because it's "sodomy" (just look in the dictionary, gosh) and we know what happened to Sodom."

That's one I've heard a lot, and ironically, there would be quite a few True Christians ™ out there who would condemn Eaglewood for his refusal to condemn oral sex. I can't remember the name of that orthodox Jewish sect that fucks through a hole in a sheet, but there are different degrees of what is considered sexually acceptable.

Eaglewood fails to realize that there are people out there who would come to blows (no pun intended) with him over oral sex as quickly as he came to blows with me over erotica. They'd think him every far as fallen based on *their* narrow interpretation of the Bible. I'd happily pull up a chair and watch that fight, although I'd fall out of it laughing. Poor Eaglewood, forced to defend the sanctity of carpet munching. Perish the thought!

Which is why I brought all this up. Sex makes True Christians ™ insane. They are so desirous to define what is sacred and pure and holy and modest, but just let someone tell them their practices are filthy and Oh, the indignation!

"Not that she doesn't do it herself, but I don't want to give her parent/sex nightmares ;)"

ROFL...

eaglewood said...

I am glad that you guys have had such a laugh at my expense. :P

I knew that what you wrote was supposed to be funny, but we often couch our feelings with humor so that when called on it we can say, "I was just being funny".

It is sort of a passive aggressive thing.

Roland said...

Morgan - Sex makes True Christians ™ insane. They are so desirous to define what is sacred and pure and holy and modest, but just let someone tell them their practices are filthy and Oh, the indignation!

The sad part of this problem is not that they do it to themselves or that they try to do it to others.
The sad part is that others are doing it to them and creating more True Christians ™. (How do you type that ™ symbol anyway? I've just been cutting and pasting.)

Spiritual abusers just create more abused people. They use the power they have taken (not God-given, IMHO) and force others to serve them. Jesus never worked that way and actually said very unkind words to those that did.

He was really nice to the lady at the well, though. "So, where is your husband?" he asked. He knew she wasn't married, but let her figure it out. Never forced her to admit that she was 'shacking up' with a guy.

Today, the True Christians ™ have to tell people what is wrong with them. Top to bottom. They need to understand mercy. We all too well understand justice. And it is very sad.

And to Eaglewood, who posted just seconds before I hit my button to do the same;

Isn't expressing anger over something better done with humor than with a noose? ;)

And because I can't help myself, I am glad you 'dignified' this post with not one, but two comments. ;)

I appreciate your honesty. I also value your opinion. We're probably not as far apart as you might think.

Erik said...

I can't remember the name of that orthodox Jewish sect that fucks through a hole in a sheet,

Oh yes, and they sacrifice virgins so they can use the blood for matzah, and eat babies too (tho I can't remember why)

There is not now, nor has ever been, a sect of Judaism that has ever taught that, nor believed it. It is simply another myth. Always has been. In fact, from everything I have read, the teachings states there isnt to be any clothing between them.

Morgan said...

Erik, I stand completely corrected. I had no idea that the Jewish sheet thing was an urban legend until you called my attention to it this morning and sent me on a search for The Truth.

To all Jewish sects out there: I deeply apologize for suggesting you do it through a hole in a sheet. However, I *never* have heard of the matzah blood and baby sacrifice thing, and even if I had wouldn't believe it, even if I did fall for the hole-in-the-sheet sex thing.

Thank you, Erik. It's good to learn something new, even if I'm publicly embarrassed in the process.

Morgan said...

"The sad part of this problem is not that they do it to themselves or that they try to do it to others. The sad part is that others are doing it to them and creating more True Christians ™.

YES! YES! That is so true. And in creating other True Christians ™ they throw seekers off the real message of Christ, which isn't a rant about porn but a message of love, forgiveness and redemption. True Christians ™ turn out others just like them, a band of skulking snipes high on their own holiness. It's all about them.

"(How do you type that ™ symbol anyway? I've just been cutting and pasting.)"

I'm cutting and pasting, too. But it's worth it, for effect. ;-)

Morgan said...

"It is sort of a passive aggressive thing."

Actually, it's just making a point with humor. But if you prefer to continue to play the victim please, don't let me stop you.

Roland said...

Hey Morgan,

Read the last comment by Eaglewood in the last post again. I honestly think he was trying to be gracious.

As a side note, there is a church near where I live that thinks I am the devil incarnate (well, maybe not quite that far). There are True Christians ™ of the first order there.

When you leave and still disagree with their doctrine, well, I went through a bunch of stuff similar to your last two posts. I ended up changing my blog to eliminate the problem. (I do sometimes wish I wouldn't have, but what's done is done)

That is one of the reasons I so strongly defend what you are saying. I have been there and do not like to see others have to hoe that road alone. I hope I have helped some.
Thanks for opening my eyes just a little bit more.

Love and Peace, Roland.

Morgan said...

"Read the last comment by Eaglewood in the last post again. I honestly think he was trying to be gracious."

If he was, and I misinterpreted him, then I apologize. It sounded to me like Eaglewood was equating my couching something in humor with passive aggression. And I hate seeing humor get such an unfair treatment. Sometimes it's OK to have fun.

"As a side note, there is a church near where I live that thinks I am the devil incarnate (well, maybe not quite that far). There are True Christians ™ of the first order there. When you leave and still disagree with their doctrine, well, I went through a bunch of stuff similar to your last two posts."

I hate to hear that. I don't have a problem with True Christians ™ having their own rigid rules for themselves. Like Gene, some people *need* to see God as this punishing entity who "beats" his followers or kicks their asses. But it seems to me if people realize such harsh doctrines aren't for them and reject it, True Christians ™ would respect their right to take a different path that better suits them. But instead, they try to bully them back into the fold.
I prefer a gentler path to Christ, one that allows me to realize people don't agree, to disagree with them but to still like them just the same.
I'm not sure if True Christians ™ are always capable of this. If you've decided that you are the voice of God, you're going to treat anyone who dissents as the devil.

Erik said...

But it seems to me if people realize such harsh doctrines aren't for them and reject it, True Christians ™ ...
I prefer a gentler path to Christ,


I am always in awe how everyone thinks their beliefs line up with G-d's (or whatever deity they choose) I have come to the understanding that most everyone simply "creates" a god in their own image. Few and far between are those who are truly changed by the Scriptures.

Of course EN, Gene, Morgan, Eaglewood and myself (and others) all claim to be the true believers. How do we answer the question of who is right or more importantly, whose god is G-d? And while I assume we all can agree on the KJV and/or the NIV, the whole conversation has been quite anemic on references to that book.

Morgan said...

"And while I assume we all can agree on the KJV and/or the NIV, the whole conversation has been quite anemic on references to that book."

Erik, you are quite correct. Despite our rantings, this discussion has not degenerated into a scriptural pissing match. And I, for one, am grateful.
I have nothing against the scriptures, but debating them is a fool's errand for the very reason you state: people do create God in their image and therefore interpret his message the same way.

A person who believes oral sex is wrong will point to the scriptural admonition against sodomy as proof to support their case. The person who believes God doesn't condemn oral sex will argue that sodomy only applies to homesexuality. Christians who believe that God doesn't condemn gays will have an entirely different take on it.

I've seen some knock-down drag-outs on other blogs over scripture. There was one thread that debated ad nauseum whether the Proverbs 31 woman worked outside the home. Vox Day and I have a markedly different interpretation of the 70 x 7 verse as it concerns sin and redemption. There was another one on whether the Bible supported polygamy. Verses flew like arrows and no one was any closer to agreement in the end.

The Bible is full of mysteries and contradictions, and while I have read it a number of times I don't claim to understand it all. So I take what is essential to me: Christ's commandement that we love one another, and the promise of salvation through grace, and the promise of his Spirit as a guide.

The rest has been thrown open to legal debate and ironically the devil really does seem to be in the details. Christians end up feuding and fighting over interpretation when we should be uplifting one another.

I think that really sucks.

JohnR said...

Morgan: All blogs are echo chambers. This one is not any different. You don't get people complaining about crappy orchid posts, do you?

How did you read Eaglewood's not approving of oral sex? Quite a stretch there isn't it? I guess I could read your enthusiam to try some new thing your husband wants to do, as you've taken it up the backside before. You didn't actually say it but I can infer it, can't I?

Amber stepped in it yesterday with her post about the tolerant Jesus, and when I pointed out His intolerance then she decided to inform me that she was not a Christian. I bet she thinks she scored a point there.

The 'I hate labels' post on Vox is disingenous in light of the True Christian label. You label people, so don't act surprised when they label you. :)

The retARTed post is hilarious though. You are a funny woman.

JohnR

Morgan said...

"You don't get people complaining about crappy orchid posts, do you?"

Orchid posts are hardly controversial, unless someone happens upon your blog with an unfortunate orchid phobia.

My porn posts have been controversial, to be sure. But so far my blog isn't an echo chamber. I'm happy to have dissenters and wouldn't let someone be run off for being against me. EN tried to get me to ban him, but I refused for that reason.

"How did you read Eaglewood's not approving of oral sex? Quite a stretch there isn't it?"

It was a stretch, JohnR. And what I asked him if that was what he thought. I didn't say he thought it. It seemed to me that someone who thought the use of supplemental erotica meant the relationship was lacking may think that a supplemental blowjob meant sex was lacking. I was trying to make a point.

"I guess I could read your enthusiam to try some new thing your husband wants to do, as you've taken it up the backside before. You didn't actually say it but I can infer it, can't I?"

Actually, I did say that once. On VP. And Chuck Pelto almost had a meltdown over it. He may still be in therapy. I'm afraid you're going to have to come up with something kinkier for an example. I'll let you know when you're close.

"I bet she thinks she scored a point there."

You'll have to ask Amber about that.

"The 'I hate labels' post on Vox is disingenous in light of the True Christian label. You label people, so don't act surprised when they label you. :)"

I hate labels that try to gloss over things that are apparent. God knows I love my son, but as a moderately functional autistic, he's retarded. I've seen the scores. It's patronizing to say he's "exceptional."

As for my True Christian ™ label, I happen to think it's necessary to separate the Pat Robertson-Jerry Falwell bullies who say their brand of Christianity is the *only* way. If they think they are the True Christians ™, then saying so isn't a label. It's calling them like I see them.

"The retARTed post is hilarious though. You are a funny woman."

Thank you. I'm easily amused.

JohnR said...

Kinkier..mmmm..wouldn't have anything to do with midgets would it?

And B/D and S/M is so middle-class nowadays!!

Morgan said...

"Kinkier..mmmm..wouldn't have anything to do with midgets would it?"

I told you. I happened upon the midget porn by accident.

"And B/D and S/M is so middle-class nowadays!!"

Tell me about it. When Larry lost his favorite paddle the other night, he sent me over to borrow one from the neighbors. Geesh.

Billy D said...

"And Chuck Pelto almost had a meltdown over it."

Hahahahahaha....

I haven't seen the
"Regards,
Chuck(les)"
in a while.
I got into it one time with him real good. It was awesome.

Morgan said...

I don't know where Chuck(les) went. I thought someone said he was banned. Or maybe I'm confusing him with Soup. Chuck was annoying in his own, special ways, the least of which the way he wrote his posts to look like memos. Weirdo.

steve said...

Letters to Penthouse:

"I know it sounds unbelievable but every word of this is true..."

The Bible:

"I know it sounds unbelievable but every word of this is true..."

These are just about the same books. They're meant to give us guidance and ideas, not to be taken literally.

Morgan said...

Steve, that is priceless. You've got a wit about you! *wink*

Your comment reminds me of one of my favorite scene from the movie "Quills," when the the Marquis de Sade - a pampered patient in a French madhouse - offers the priest who oversees the place some wine:

Marquis de Sade: This is a rare vintage from an obscure village in Bordeaux. Rather than crush the grape underfoot, they place the fruit on the belly of a bride, and reap its juices when the young husband steers his vessel into port. Full-bodied flavor, with just a hint of wantonness. Bottoms up.

Priest: [Laughing] It's from our own cellar. I recognize the taste.

Marquis de Sade: [smirking] I should have told you it was the blood of Christ.You'd believe that, wouldn't you ?

steve said...

That's hysterical! Someone once told me I needed to see 'Quills' -said it was funny and clever.

I do believe the world needs to lighten up about religion - I'm glad to see some comedy in this discussion.

It's not just Islam that has been hijacked, It's Christianity and it's right here and now. I think it was Susan B. Anthony who said, "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires".

All of this fuss about gay marriage - how much time, energy and tax-payer money have our representatives spent trying to write discrimination into our constitution, primarily to pander to extreme right groups?

Live and let live.

thimscool said...

Ya, that was funny. I’m putting Quills in the NetFlix queue.

But Steve hit a hair trigger of mine with the ‘Islam being hijacked’ stuff. It is important to understand that the Koran itself, and the Hadith more extensively, teach war and confrontation.

The wars commanded by God in the OT were, thankfully, limited in scope to an area on the east of the Mediterranean. And to a certain time. The Koran and Hadith command war until the end of the world, or until all is conquered.

scooterhawk said...

“It's not just Islam that has been hijacked, It's Christianity and it's right here and now.”

I agree Steve, but probably not in the same way you perceive it has. Morgan, this whole discussion saddens me and the way you’ve framed this discussion denigrates your faith every bit as much as you believe Gene’s intolerance does.

Morgan said...

"Morgan, this whole discussion saddens me and the way you’ve framed this discussion denigrates your faith every bit as much as you believe Gene’s intolerance does."

Weep not for me, Scooterhawk. My faith in God is firmly intact. My faith in man's attempt to usurp Him in the name of religion? Well, that's a different thing entirely. If you can't differintiate between the two then it appears you've quite missed the point, which saddens me.

Morgan said...

"I do believe the world needs to lighten up about religion - I'm glad to see some comedy in this discussion."

Why thank you, Steve. Spiritual discussions need not be dour. Man's interpretation of scripture has been long debated. How much of the Bible is allegory and how much is example? The True Christians ™ say they know and then proceed to use their interpreation of God's word not as a guide, but a hammer.

"All of this fuss about gay marriage - how much time, energy and tax-payer money have our representatives spent trying to write discrimination into our constitution, primarily to pander to extreme right groups?"

Here's the problem I have with all the hand-wringing over gay marriage. Despite the fact that heterosexuals have made a shame of marriage with our high divorce rate, True Christians ™ fret that the legalization of gay unions will dilute or make a mockery of what God intended marriage to be.

But what mocks marriage more than our high divorce rates? It seems to me that we heterosexuals are doing a great job of sticking our thumbs in the eye of God. I can hardly think the gays could damage the institution of marriage any more than it is.

Also, the government has no business defining or sanctioning marriage. Let individual churches do that.

And let each man and woman be responsible to God for their decisions.

But all this hysteria about gay marriages? It's nothing more than a way for right wing groups to raise money. It's a sham, really. If True Christians ™ wanted to save marriage, they'd work to completely repeal divorce laws. But they want. There are a lot of divorced Christians who'd pull their support faster than you could say, "Amen."

Morgan said...

"But Steve hit a hair trigger of mine with the ‘Islam being hijacked’ stuff. It is important to understand that the Koran itself, and the Hadith more extensively, teach war and confrontation."

Bless your heart, thimscool. I can't pretend to possess any great knowledge of Islam, but could you allow that it's the Muslims who cling to and propogate this war doctrine have hijacked the movement, while the more moderate Muslims who may interpret the text different are sitting aside going, "Oh, no...."

Christianity has inspired all sorts of violence, too. There were three crusades, the Inquisition. The KKK considers themselves Christians.

I think it depends on who's doing the interpreting of a text, and their numbers.

But I will say the modern Islamic movement is quite frightening.

thimscool said...

Morgan,

During Mohammed's life and while he was receiving the Koran, he personnally killed many in battle and urged his follower to do the same. He came up with rules of engagement, and also rules of subjugation that differed for Jews, Christians, Pagans, and Muslims. Both the Koran and the Hadith specify nasty things that must happen to a Muslim that losses faith, or to a Jew or Christian that attempts to convert a muslim.

This is not a matter of interpretation.

Compare this with Jesus' life and teachings.

"Can't we all just get along?"
~
Why not ask the guys who are sworn to kill me?

-L

thimscool said...

If you think the modern Islamic movement is frightening, then be glad you didn't live a millenium ago.

Fortunately the Khan dynasty bloomed and completely flushed Asia from the inside out.

Otherwise, Europe may never have resisted the push to Islam.

scooterhawk said...

Morgan:

Your faith is not the issue. Never has been with me and never will be. Your faith is between you and God, period, end of discussion. You are not accountable to me. The issue I have with you is how you represent Christ to others. You can be smug and obfuscate my point if you like, after all it is your board, but your treatment of Gene and Eaglewood as well as this whole “True Christian” nonsense leaves me with the impression that you’re position is just as absurdly dogmatic as you claim the two of theirs are.

“If you can't differentiate between the two then it appears you've quite missed the point, which saddens me.”

I hope that this was not a subtle swipe at my intelligence, especially after all the nice things you said about me in private. =)

Morgan said...

Like I said, thimscool, I'm no student of Islam and am not going to go out on that fragile limb of pretending to know more than I know.

But I know some Muslims who haven't shown one iota of interest in killing me or anyone else.
Could it be that the problem isn't the text, but those who choose to follow it literally? To see what's written as God's marching orders without allowing that everything isn't divinely inspired? Or that it's allegory?

Such literal interpretations are bound to cause problems in any religion; it's caused problems in ours.

thimscool said...

As for Christianity inspiring the kkk, I think the whole point of this discussion (and the last thread) has been that Christianity has been perverted to support things like the KKK, and the "Moral Majority".

But as you've pointed out, these acts are against Jesus' teachings, and therefore do damage to the *image* of Christianity (but not to the message).

The message of the Koran, in a large part, is to struggle for dominance of Allah (violently if necessary). Osama et al can quote chapter and verse, from the mouth of their prophet.

Whereas when Pat Robetson says to kill Hugo Chavez, everyone just laughs at him and thinks that Chrisitans are weak and hypocritical.

thimscool said...

"I know some Muslims who haven't shown one iota of interest in killing me or anyone else."

Yes, well they aren't Muslims in the sense that they ignore the clear teachings of their adopte prophet.

I have a number of Muslim friends from other countries that frequently tell me how far from the faith American Muslims have strayed.

Here is the point: the written Word is what creates religious cohesion. The NT tends to bring people together for a celebration of hope, forgiveness of sins, and an exuberance to share with others. The Koran tends to bring people together in submission, fear, proud piety, and it commands te followr to 'share' his faith using a sword.

Morgan said...

"I hope that this was not a subtle swipe at my intelligence, especially after all the nice things you said about me in private. =)"

Nonsense. It's no more a swipe at your intelligence than what you said to me was a swipe at mine.

"The issue I have with you is how you represent Christ to others."

And how does it bother you? Or why should it matter, even? We can deny it all we like, but we present Christ in a manner to which we best relate. I can't relate to a Christ that's going to kick my ass or beat me. Gene's found comfort and boundaries by seein Christ like that. I represent Christ as a God of love. I'm sure there's room for both interpretations and enough intelligence in the room for people to sort it all out.

"You can be smug and obfuscate my point if you like, after all it is your board, but your treatment of Gene and Eaglewood as well as this whole “True Christian” nonsense leaves me with the impression that you’re position is just as absurdly dogmatic as you claim the two of theirs are."

I am in no way being smug and you, my dear man, are overlooking a fundamental difference. My True Christian ™ distinction isn't nonsense at all. People like Gene, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, etc. consider themselves qualified to define and expose sin (in my case, erotica), and to warn those committing said sin that they'll face God's wrath.

Christians - not True Christians ™ - wouldn't think of doing such a thing. I may ask Gene about her views on race, but I stop short of speaking for God.

That's the difference between Christians and True Christians ™.
True Christians ™ are convinced they know the mind of God and are quick to condemn others and adopt a superior stance.

And I shall not insult your intelligence by assuming you can't understand why I've adopted this tongue-in-cheek designation for my more zealous brothers and sisters. As you pointed out, I like you far too much.

thimscool said...

I should say, that prior to attempting to kill you, you're 'muslim' friends should attempt to convert you... failing that, you could give them tribute and keep your faith. But otherwise, they are supposed to make war.

Tell me what Jesus said that clearly incited intollerance and warfare.

Erik said...

Thimscool

You have it all wrong! The polls clearly show that only 10% are considered "extremist" and only 40% percent of Muslims support waging Jihad against the west. That is only 100,000,000 and 400,000,000 (million)

How could anyone call that a violent religion?

Morgan said...

"The Koran tends to bring people together in submission, fear, proud piety, and it commands te followr to 'share' his faith using a sword."


Whoa, I hate to say it, thimscool, but not a few Christians want to do things the same way. Only they want to use the law as the sword.

I do get what you're saying about the differences in the text though. I make no excuses for fundamentalists Muslims, but doesn't their actions speak to the importance of not taking all of a a holy text literally, or at least questioning what's divinely inspired and what was possibly inserted by the scribe at the height of some political passion?

It seems odd, too, if the Bible is a book that seeks to bring people together, why so many of its professed followers are so divided. With Islam we have fundamentalist zealots at war with other religions. With Christianity we have fundamentalist zealots at war with other Christians.

Ironic, is it not?

Morgan said...

"Tell me what Jesus said that clearly incited intollerance and warfare."

Ask George Bush and the GOP. I believe you'll find it in their version of the Bible. It isn't in mine.

steve said...

I have a feeling I'll regret getting into this, but, Thimscool, doesen't the Christian bible also advocate stoning to death of people who commit adultery, work on the sabbath, etc?

You can't label Islam inherently violent based on its teachings if the situation is, in both faiths, that allegory has been taken as literal instruction.

We don't know what Mohammad's or Christ's teachings were. We have a couple of books. They were written thousands of years ago by men who claimed to have some divine insight.

All we have is 2000 years of narrations, translations, reiterations and obfuscations.

Morgan said...

"All we have is 2000 years of narrations, translations, reiterations and obfuscations."

Steve, you're exactly right and it kills me that people don't want to consider this. Jesus taught with allegory (the parables). What's to say other parts of the Bible aren't allegories. The fundamental message of Christ is love and redemption. We kick that all aside in our rush to look for reasons to hate and condemn others religions. I've never understood that. We should be leading by example as models of Christ. And despite what I've seen written over and over, Christ as not a hateful, warmongerer who wants to kick ass.

Erik said...

Christianity has inspired all sorts of violence, too. There were three crusades, the Inquisition. The KKK considers themselves Christians.

The Crusades were in response to a continual invasion by the Muslims. A defensive war that marches in to take back some of its lost territory is hardly a crime in and of itself. Yes bad things happened (as they do in all wars) but lets remember who started that war. And lets remember that the aggressors were ruthless and if the Christianized West didnt respond they would have been assimilated, subjugated or killed. And the Inquisition? Much maligned, nothing like what popular culture makes it out to be.

And the KKK is a Christian group just like Bush is a Conservative.

steve said...

Ah, Morgan, a sensible Christian. I'm glad you're there.

Recent history has left me with a sour taste for all religion. I hope it is just a vocal minority but all I see around me is people using religion as a justification to hate, to kill and to control.

If Jesus' message is to just love everyone (I take your word for that) then, hey, good religion. Sounds like more people should practice it.

scooterhawk said...

“And how does it bother you? Or why should it matter, even?”

We are responsible to each other in our actions because we are linked together by our common bond in Christ. Christian are not insular spiritual cells but rather we are parts of a whole.

“We can deny it all we like, but we present Christ in a manner to which we best relate. I can't relate to a Christ that's going to kick my ass or beat me. Gene's found comfort and boundaries by seein Christ like that. I represent Christ as a God of love. I'm sure there's room for both interpretations and enough intelligence in the room for people to sort it all out.”

My dear sister, this is where I believe our fundamental difference lies. We (Christians) should attempt to adopt all aspects of Christ’s nature not just the part we’re most comfortable with. In fact, I would argue that it is a sign of spiritual immaturity to stay within our “comfort zone” Faith grows when we rely on God to help us with things we couldn’t/wouldn’t do on our own.

“People like Gene, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, etc. consider themselves qualified to define and expose sin (in my case, erotica), and to warn those committing said sin that they'll face God's wrath.”

I think we discussed this in an email, but for the sake of our studio audience I’ll repeat myself: Sin is sin regardless. God defines it we do not. Everyone sins, all fall short of God’s glory. Luckily, Grace covers us, through Christ’s sacrifice, so we avoid God’s wraith but not his judgment. I believe writing erotica is sinful. Lovingly, I ask you stop and will continue to do so as long as I have the pleasure of conversing with you.

“True Christians ™ are convinced they know the mind of God and are quick to condemn others and adopt a superior stance.”

I believe you can know the mind of God, through the Holy Spirit, which dwells in every Christian. Sometimes, condemnation is necessary to rebuke evil. No one is good but God.

“And I shall not insult your intelligence by assuming you can't understand why I've adopted this tongue-in-cheek designation for my more zealous brothers and sisters. As you pointed out, I like you far too much.”

I understand it I just don’t agree with it.

Morgan said...

"And the KKK is a Christian group just like Bush is a Conservative."

Another sensible Christian. I linked to your blog, by the way, Erik. It's a good blog. Well done!

Yes, indeed the KKK is no Christian group. But it shows that people can and do take the Bible and use it to justify violence and hatred. And they use it to their own ends in other ways. People use the Bible to justify polygamy, keeping women out of the workforce, war....it all depends on what you want to see. It doesn't matter what text their using because in the end, that text is just a tool.

People with an agenda can always justify their evil by cloaking it in godliness. After all, what better ally in your personal battle than the Almighty?

God defines himself, but religion is defined by man. Man confuses the two.

I think that's why so many spiritual people are turned off to religion and people who cling to dogma.

Morgan said...

"I believe you can know the mind of God, through the Holy Spirit, which dwells in every Christian. Sometimes, condemnation is necessary to rebuke evil. No one is good but God."

I agree, and I've said this time and time again. But I don't believe a person has any right to claim to speak for God. They can only witness from their own perspective.

I don't know your background, but Gene and Eaglewood are very sensitive to the issue of anything erotic. Gene's alluded to some past problems and Eaglewood came right out and said he had a porn addiction. So their kneejerk reaction is to lump anything erotic under one umbrella. To them, my risque little story is the same as a pornographic movie.
I don't see it this way. For reasons I've outlined and won't rehash, my stories are targeted towards a direct audience and are generally used to enhance people's sex lives.

Now, you say that we should not stay within our comfort zones and I agree. If I *only* saw God as loving and believed there was no accountability, I'd live a far more libertine life than I do. But you'd be surprised at how pedestrian and moral an existence I have if you knew me in person. You may want to go back and read a bit of this blog; there's far more to me than porn although I fear lately I've been reduced to that by some.

That said, I will now say when I seek to live as an example of Christ, I do not emphasize his punishing side. I am not God and cannot punish or judge. Yes, God is a God of ultimate judgement, but here on earth he met people where they were. He did not tell them how lowly they were, but encouraged them to their higher selves.

So while I see the duality of God, I realize that to reach others I should exhibit God's love, not his judgement. The problem with True Christians ™ is that the emphasize God's judgement and - in some cases - go even further by attempting to pass it on others. That is a far greater stumbling block to Christ than all the erotica I could ever pen.

"I understand it I just don’t agree with it."

Agreement is not always required for good conversation, or friendship.

thimscool said...

It's not ironic. It's just hard to be a true christian (without the ™).

Morgan said...

"It's not ironic. It's just hard to be a true christian (without the ™). "
Verily. ;-)

thimscool said...

Steve,

First of all, in contrast to the New Testament, the Koran was written during the lifetime of their prophet. In fact, many of the suras were dictated directly, and, notably, those that concern warfare. So, we do in fact know what many of Mohammed’s teachings were, in written words that he personally approved. If he had disapproved the parchment would be burned and Allah help the blasphemer.

Now to your question about the Christian Bible; first let’s consider the Old Testament, from a Jewish perspective. The commandments that are written in the Torah are specifically for Jews. If you are not Jewish, you are under no obligation to follow Torah law, including the 10 commandments. However, there were the laws that God spoke to Noah as the flood abated, the so-called 7 Noahide Laws (worth a google). Jews insisted that any gentiles under their jurisdiction (in Israel) obey the Noahide laws.

Coming back to your question: As I understand it, gentile believers are only compelled to follow the Noahide laws, which do not include stoning adulterers. Although sexual immorality itself is forbidden, the punishment is a matter for organized society to decide.

And in any case, the NT is quite a different matter from the OT.

thimscool said...

Morgan:
"I make no excuses for fundamentalists Muslims, but doesn't their actions speak to the importance of not taking all of a a holy text literally, or at least questioning what's divinely inspired and what was possibly inserted by the scribe at the height of some political passion?"

Yes, of course. One should question the texts, and consider the source.

Evern if every word of the bible was inspired by God, that doesn't change the fact that human language is quite limited. Hebrew had no word for evolution, or solar system, so God thought it would be better to simplify the explanation in Genesis, so as not to distract from the main points. He wasn't going to dictate a textbook on biology to Moses.

However, you can still get the gist of what someone is saying, especially if it is repeated again and again. And violence and subjugation is repeatedly emphasized in the Koran (even more so in the Hadith).

Roland said...

Morgan - The True Christians ™ say they know and then proceed to use their interpretion of God's word not as a guide, but a hammer.

Watch "Pirates of the Carribean" and remember the pirate's code, the code is not rules so much as guidelines.

Morgan also - That said, I will now say when I seek to live as an example of Christ, I do not emphasize his punishing side. I am not God and cannot punish or judge. Yes, God is a God of ultimate judgement, but here on earth he met people where they were. He did not tell them how lowly they were, but encouraged them to their higher selves.

I agree!
In elaboration, Thimscool said - the punishment is a matter for organized society to decide

The church and the government have different jobs when it comes to working out God's plan. The church is not the government and vice versa.

I guess I am not a True Christian™, because I prefer to use the NLT for reading.

John 5:39-44 says so much:
You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! 40And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren't willing to receive from me the life you say you want.

"I'm not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God's love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God?

thimscool said...

Hi Morgan,

Maybe you can give me some advice real quick.

There is an injured crow in my back yard. It cannot fly far or high, but it has managed to make it to a perch safe from my cats (who probably hurt it in the first place).

Other crows are gathered around and were dive-bombing my cats in an attempt to ward off the attack.

I feel fairly certain that I could throw a towel over the crow and get it into a cage. I did this once to save a female woodpecker that my cat Boris brought inside. Then I took her to the wildlife shelter

Do you think this is worth doing for the crow?

-Luke

Morgan said...

Do you think this is worth doing for the crow?

Absolutely, Luke, and if the crow is able to recover ask the wildlife rehabilitators to release it back where it was injured. Crows are highly intelligent, establish home ranges, and live in complex social groups. They'll recognize their pal when it's re-released.

Hope this helps.

thimscool said...

I got it.

I put it in a cat carrier, and managed to slip in some water too. Then I put a towel over the cage and put it in my garage with all doors shut (so no cats).

It's not a happy animal, but it seems to have settled down now.

The wildlife center newar me is not open except during business hours:
http://www.piedmontwildlifecenter.org/

I will call them tomorrow morning.

thimscool said...

Here is a link to my cat's pictures:
http://graysmith.us/cats.html

The one who got the crow and woodpecker, believe it or not, is "Boris the Freakasaurus".

Go figure. His sister has moves like Michael Jordan but she only catches mice.

Morgan said...

Roland,

Thanks so much for citing that passage from John.

I've been wondering lately how much better a place the world would be if Christians - myself included - turned our focus from examining other Christians to doing good things.

I've had a touch of a virus the last couple of days and in my R&R took the time to watch "The Last Samurai," and while I know it's a work of fiction I was impressed by the depiction of the Bushido Way, in which followers dedicate themselves to a lifelong pursuit of spiritual and personal development.

I strive to approach my Christian life in that manner, but I fail. Like a lot of Christians I stray off my own path to examine the paths of others.

The beauty and grace I see in other spiritual practices seems to be lost in Christianity. We're too busy debating God to live his prinicples.

I'd be interested to know what you guys think about this.

Also, I am thoroughly enjoying our conversations.

To Luke, I found your 4:30 post most enlightening. Thank you.

Morgan said...

Luke,
You're lucky to have a regional rehabilitation center. Good luck with the crow.
Love the cat pics. The names kill me. I was especially impressed with the "King."

thimscool said...

Wilber is me as a cat, so I'll take that as a compliment. :)

I have spent some time thinking about many different faiths, all from the outsider's perspective.

I think that it does one good to see how other humans frame their ontology, as well as how they react to their faith.

Yoga, though often associated with human pretzeldom, is really the 'science of religion' within the context of Hinduism. Vivekananda is a significant modern voice in this field. But beware: his is an attempt to construct a universal religion, and at the heart is the concept that humanity itself is divine. A compelling idea to be sure… Eve and Adam certainly thought so. I had a friend in grad school that practiced this faith, and he was a good sort.

But that’s dangerous stuff for a rapture believing Christians, eh Morgan?
So what’s your take on the Book of Revelations anyway?

scooterhawk said...

I’m rapture believing Christian thimscool and I do in fact believe that there is a divine aspect in the nature of man. This is not a radical concept.
Christianity has lost much of its grace because, we in the West, clutter our lives with thing not of God. Christ taught us to live simple life dedicated to spreading the “Good News” and in service of others. Today, unfortunately, we live mostly for ourselves and compartmentalize our faith. Paul taught that we should do everything in life as if we were doing it for the Lord. This teaching is not too far off from the ideas expressed in bushido. We too often choose to live a life of expediency not of excellence.

Roland said...

Scooterhawk, I’m rapture believing Christian also. But, I bet we have different 'timetables' :)
Just goes to show we can't know the mind of God. He allows us great understanding of Him, but not all understanding of Him.

Luke, you said, "Even if every word of the bible was inspired by God, that doesn't change the fact that human language is quite limited..."
I concur. I was just reading a book about some of the great thinkers like Copernicus, Aristotle, Galileo, etc. And the point was made about the difficulty of trying to change people's attitudes about the earth NOT being the center of the universe.
It also noted that all sea animals were called "fish." Aristotle started noticing differences when he observed them and counted dolphins in with "beasts of the field." In relation to the story of Jonah, some people can't believe it was a whale that swallowed him, because whales aren't fish. Frustrating to try to explain the difference to them.

Morgan, I'm sorry that you were sick. Hope and pray that all is well now.
You'd said, "We're too busy debating God to live his principles."
Isn't it sad? Yet sometimes we need to get understanding. And even though they are limited, words can help us do it.
Maybe some can quit looking for the specks in other's eyes and "live His principles."

Morgan said...

"But that’s dangerous stuff for a rapture believing Christians, eh Morgan?

So what’s your take on the Book of Revelations anyway?"

My take on the Book of Revelations? It's been years since I read it and I understood little of it. It's chock full of symbolism that I don't fully understand. The Bible has so many contradictions - Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth, others say the earth will be destroyed. People could make a fulltime job out of arguing Revelations.

My take on Revelation is pretty much like my take on the rest of the Bible. I try to live a decent life for the sake of living a decent life, not so I'll get raptured out of my car - which then careens over the line to cause a flaming crash with a van full of left-behind Buddhists.

Only God knows when Jesus will come back. I personally think he's putting off the trip because he's nauseated at how perverted his message has become. I also believe if there is a rapture, that bus to heaven is going to be a lot less crowded than people think.

In a nutshell, I don't spend a whole lot of time pondering the end days. Life is to be lived. I want to plant flowers and play with my kids and watch sunsets and paint. I don't want waste time scanning the horizon for the antichrist, or fulfillment of prophecies. What is the point?

If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will tell me.

scooterhawk said...

“Scooterhawk, I’m rapture believing Christian also. But, I bet we have different 'timetables' :)”

Roland, I really don’t have a timetable for the rapture. I honesty don’t concern myself much with it. The one thing I’ve tried to learn as my faith matures is that all things happen in God’s time for His purpose.

“Just goes to show we can't know the mind of God. He allows us great understanding of Him, but not all understanding of Him.”

Amen.

Morgan said...

"Morgan, I'm sorry that you were sick. Hope and pray that all is well now."

I'm feeling a little less green this morning. It appears those prayers were heard, Scooterhawk. I appreciate them.

"Isn't it sad? Yet sometimes we need to get understanding. And even though they are limited, words can help us do it."

Oh, I quite agree and I enjoy debate and conversation like we're having here. I just hate when debates degenerate into religious pissing matches where people try to prove they are holier than their opponent.

But about words, the Bible refers to bats as birds, you know. I brought that up to someone once and they got really, really mad at me for pointing it out.

Roland said...

Morgan, the bat-bird thing is funny!

Anyway, you wrote, "Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth, others say the earth will be destroyed"

I have studied it a lot. The earth will be renovated by fire (similar to the renovation by water, did you know it never rained before that?)

There will be no more sea. (as before the flood)

So the earth will be 'destroyed by fire' as it was 'destroyed by water'
Not sure what it will look like then, but it will be great. God has a tendency to make even bad things turn out for good. :)

Morgan said...

I have studied it a lot. The earth will be renovated by fire (similar to the renovation by water, did you know it never rained before that?)

I did not know that. Could you cite your source?

"There will be no more sea. (as before the flood)"

So coastal property may not be the best investment after all. But that seems sort of sad, especially to those of us who love the shore.

"Not sure what it will look like then, but it will be great. God has a tendency to make even bad things turn out for good. :)"

I could buy the destroyed by fire thing, with a nuclear holocaust. With just fire, I could also buy things turning out great. Have you ever seen what happens to a forest years after a major forest fire? Seeds that can only be germinated by fire grow into beautiful plants, the soil is richer. It takes time, but what is time to God?

I'd like to know some of your references, though. It's interesting.

Thanks, Roland.

thimscool said...

We named the crow Caw. Caw got checked into the shelter.

Until the vet has a look, we won't know the prognosis. But I have a feeling that we'll be seeing more of Caw.

My son is very excited and confused about the whole thing. He want to kiss the crow because it is hurt. He wants Boris to give the crow a sorry hug.

I had to explain the difference between pets and wild animals, and I had to explain that Boris lacks a code of eithics. Not too easy for a two year old, heavily into the why phase.

Morgan said...

I snooped around on the links on your page and saw your lovely family and that too-cute-for-words kid. I'm digging the name. My oldest son - Wesley - his middle name is Addison, and that's the closest I've ever heard to a name sounding like it.

You know, thimscool, we're practically neighbors. I'm in N.C., too.

Morgan said...

Oh, keep my updated on Caw. I'm glad you got him to the shelter. I took in a small crow years ago. I work mostly with raptors but that was a cool bird. If you're interested in learning more about corvids (birds in the crow family), there's a book called "Bird Brains" that I highly recommend. Lots of great pics and good information.

Roland said...

Morgan,

On the end times stuff:
2 Peter 3:10-13
The last two chapters of Isaiah are also helpful.
I know there is other stuff too, but have to go to work.

I live in Minnesota, but I want to know about Caw also. Keep us informed.

Morgan said...

"He wants Boris to give the crow a sorry hug.I had to explain the difference between pets and wild animals, and I had to explain that Boris lacks a code of eithics."

ROFL!!! Delayed reaction. I just caught this. I can just see Boris giving caw a hug as his paw casually slides down to guage the girth of the drumstick.

thimscool said...

Morgan,

Did you catch this one?

Boris Badinov, the Bird Bountyhunter

Morgan said...

Luke,
I don't have to ask where the canary is in that picture. ;-) That's one smug puss you got there.

Did you see my entry on the evil Dr. Jingles? You'll appreciate the part about The Way of the Cat. Here it is:

http://onehippiesopinion.blogspot.com/2006/04/tale-of-two-kitties.html

thimscool said...

Mousewitz. Nice.

thimscool said...

Morgan,

Here’s my problem with your approach. Why believe at all if you just pick and choose the way of God? Why believe in a god that you have thus created? Why didn’t your god stop the tsunami?

It seems that if you are to believe in God, then you should be prepared to deal with the whole message, rather than just the feel good stuff. That is why I asked you about Revelations, which is undoubtedly in the NT, lest anyone try to excuse it.

Honestly, I began to pay attention to religious thought precisely because anyone can see that we are entering a very dangerous time, at a global level. Nuclear proliferation, over-population, diminishing resources, climactic change, and significant social, religious, and economic upheaval throughout the world… these are new phenomena. It has not always been the case that a small group of people could destroy a city in the flash of an eye. And only recently is it conceivable that an NGO could do this.

The convergence of myth and prophesy is the most interesting aspect of inter-religious studies (IMO). And, as related to our discussions, prophesy is a tool that can make a believer out of skeptics, if it comes true. Naturally you will point out that prophesy is the least intelligible part of the bible, and the most subject to radical interpretation. My response would be that, while that may be true, weak interpretations tend to fail under the weight of the many interrelated prophesies in the OT and NT.

To be sure, care must be taken when interpreting prophesy; and no one should believe that they understand. But this is the richest vein from my perspective.

Beth said...

I'm kind of bummed out I'm just now joining this conversation. Shame on me for being offline for a day!

As far as sex books, Elborak can verify for ya that I spent the better part of my teenage years locked up in my bedroom with 30+ books about sexual technique in marriage. (Yup, I was a homeschooled freak!) I wasn't dating, kissing, or having sex, but gosh darnit when I got married I wanted to know what the heck I was doing. (My personal favorite books, btw, are "The Sensuous Woman," "The Sensuous Man," "The Sensuous Couple," and "How to Make Love to a Man" (Which is more amusing than informative).

I got married to the first guy I ever slept with, and guess what, all those years of study and reading really paid off. Sure, everything is different in theory than in actuality, so I still had a lot to learn (and still do, of course) but I wasn't a naive virgin. I felt very well prepared for my first time and wasn't scared or nervous because - hello - I had studied about it. I know that sort of thing isn't for everyone, but I'm the kind of person who needs to know what to expect. ;)

"I was going to leave a really smartassed comment here about what is better than arguing with words on a screen, but my daughter reads this blog. Not that she doesn't do it herself, but I don't want to give her parent/sex nightmares ;)"
Mmhmm, I lived with this guy for 17 years, I think I've had my share of his parent/sex stories. Like the time he got drunk at my apartment last fall and told me about his wedding night...THAT was interesting :P

Beth said...

On the topic du jour, I remember getting in an argument with a fella who said munching carpet is forbidden by the bible because it's "sodomy" (just look in the dictionary, gosh) and we know what happened to Sodom. No, there was nothing that could be said; the position (heh) was set in stone.

Yup, because we all know that the dictionary = Bible, and Song of Solomon was REALLY talking about the Lover drinking his Beloved's "naval" juices. Yeah.

Janet said...

Wow.... that's a lot of comments to read.

I liked the original post.

What I didn't like was the specifically pointing out an individual and picking them out particularly two posts in a row.

If you don't like Gene and he/she gets you *that* worked up, I would like to suggest you no longer read her blog. :) Then there will be peace in the world again.

That being said, the exclusivists (I suppose this is my term for True Christians) who have everything figured out bug me also.

About Islam, it shouldn't be a violent religion but it currently is. The Qu'ran says that surely Jewish people and followers of Jesus will go to paradise because they follow the same God. Oh, yes, its in there.... I read it once. However, that doesn't mean it is put into practice. That is partly Christian's fault.... crusades anyone?

Since the crusades Islam and Christianity have clashed, and Christians were the ones on the offense back then stirring up the wrath and the bigotry that continues to this day.

I think it is simply the case that we have had more years for our religion (Christianity) to mature and get past the bloody gorey days. We do have bloody gorey days in our past unfortunately.

thimscool said...

Janet,

The Koran also forbade the killing of female babies, a common practice in that time. It encourages almsgiving (one of the five pillars). That’s nice, but it is not the whole picture; and significant parts of the Koran are not particularly peaceful. Moreover, instead of speaking just of God’s wrath and judgment, these passages incite wrath and violence in the followers, and encourage them to make the judgment themselves. This approach bears the fruit of very strict ‘justice’ in Muslim nations.

The issue of the crusades has already been broached in this thread.

As for the Muslims needing some more time to simmer down, consider that sunnis and shia have been battling steadily for about 1200 years. Catholics and Protestants still bicker, but when was the last war caused by Christianity that wiped out more than a million people? That is the number of Iranians that died in war with Iraq. True, there were reasons other than sectarian violence for that war; but the average 17 year-old Iranian was not motivated by ‘geostrategic concerns’.

Take care to understand that I am not basing my point of view on racism or any feeling of ethnic superiority towards Arabs or Persians. I am very specifically criticizing a set of ideas knows as Islam, as spelled out in the Koran.

BTW, you may have missed the context that provoked Morgan to pick on Gene. But I agree that Morgan was a little merciless here!

Janet said...

I think that all religions have their strengths and weaknesses. In the Old Testament there's killing, violence, genocide, I'd say many of actions that are supposedly God-led were immoral. Whoops did I say that? Yes, but I agree with you and know you are right about what you said. I think that its not an isolated incident unfortunately but a universal truth about the weaknesses of mankind. Maybe someday we will all grow beyond it... and I hope at that time we also let go of sexism and racism.... ahhh what an optimist I feel like today!

thimscool said...

Caw is gonna be OK.

He's in a cage with another crow, and they appear to be friends now.

The vet said a few days recovery, and they'll release Caw in our neighborhood.

Morgan said...

"BTW, you may have missed the context that provoked Morgan to pick on Gene. But I agree that Morgan was a little merciless here!"

Just a bit of history, since Janet's coming in a bit after the fact.

Gene doesn't have a blog, but we've disagreed on another one about race. I won't go into it, let's just say I consider some of her views depressing.
She didn't like what I had to say to her, so when she read on my blog - in a roundtable discussion -that I write erotica, she was thrilled beyond measure. She went back to the blog where we'd first debated and began posting about my "sinful" occupation. No one responded. She kept posting about it, even on threads not related to erotica or porn at all. Finally, I responded to her and we had a discussion in which I asked her what she considered pornography. She made the comment about Michelangelo's "David" and I posted about the whole thing here. The second post was an outgrowth of the first.

Was I a bit merciless? Oh yes. I admit it. But as Will Smith's character said in "Men In Black" before fighting the giant cockroach, "Don't start nuthin', won't be nuthin.'"

So there you go.

That said, I appreciate your comments and perspectives on Islam and agree with a lot of what you say. Christians wring their hands about the spread of Islam, but they have a mandate to spread their gospel, and that's often been at the point of a sword.

I think it would serve some of you to read "The Poisonwood Bible," for a sobering perspective on this spreading of the gospel. I found it enlightening.

Indeed, all religions have their weaknesses.

Morgan said...

"The vet said a few days recovery, and they'll release Caw in our neighborhood."

Excellent news! I'm so happy for Caw! Tell him to watch out for Boris.

Morgan said...

"Maybe someday we will all grow beyond it... and I hope at that time we also let go of sexism and racism.... ahhh what an optimist I feel like today!"

Oh, but I wish I could share your optimism, but I'm afraid I cannot.
Without Jesus coming down here and slapping some sense into people, discrimination is here to stay.

It's not just the racists and sexists who are to blame, but the so-called "advocates" of women and minorities who gain power over promoting the victim status of the very people they claim to champion.
As long as a group sees itself as a victim class, it is bound to remain one.

Morgan said...

"Yup, because we all know that the dictionary = Bible, and Song of Solomon was REALLY talking about the Lover drinking his Beloved's "naval" juices. Yeah."

*grin* Maybe we should put a warning label on the Songs of Solomon. Racy stuff, that. And inspirational to certain writers. ;-)

Morgan said...

"I wasn't dating, kissing, or having sex, but gosh darnit when I got married I wanted to know what the heck I was doing. (My personal favorite books, btw, are "The Sensuous Woman," "The Sensuous Man," "The Sensuous Couple," and "How to Make Love to a Man" (Which is more amusing than informative)."

My library is extensive and growing. The racy stuff is on the top shelf and I forgot that not all readers are short when my father-in-law asked to borrow a book and came out of my library three shades of red and stammering. I guess I should have remembered to turn "The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio" around so the spine was against the wall. And that was one of the tamer ones.

My kids - the older ones - asked questions about sex as they became curious, and I answered them as honestly as I could, telling them what they needed to know and - depending on age - no more than they *needed* to know. They now have a very healthy attitude about their bodies and sexuality in general, but see it as a big, adult responsibility.

I can't see parents hiding all the info away with some notion that it will serve their children to go to their first experience as fumbling, trembly virgins. What a complete and utter waste.

I'm fortunate to come from a long line of lusty wenches. The best advice I ever got from one of my female relatives: "Honey, sex is only dirty if it's done right."

Janet said...

Wow interesting.... I missed a lot.

How many kids do you have?

Morgan said...

Janet, I have five kids, from a 20-year-old college junior down to a three-year-old aspiring evil genius. ;-)

They're all good people.

Morgan said...

Your blog is awesome, Janet. Mind if I link to it?

Janet said...

Wow you're kidding! You look so young! Ha, I bet you get that a lot because I know I do.

I'm flattered, of course you can link. ;) I will as well when I stop being a slacker.

Janet said...

I hope I can ask this here, are the people over at one of your links "vox popoli" always composed of a group of unintelligent idiots? If so, I should probably stop peeking there and save my precious time. O:)

Zus said...

the bible does say there will be no marriage in heaven...but it doesn't ever say there wont be sex...now isn't THAT an interesting thought...hmmmm

Morgan said...

"Wow you're kidding! You look so young! Ha, I bet you get that a lot because I know I do."

Thank you. I do get that a lot but it never gets old, even if I am. I have good genetics. My mother is almost 70 and could pass for someone in her early 50's.

"I hope I can ask this here, are the people over at one of your links "vox popoli" always composed of a group of unintelligent idiots? If so, I should probably stop peeking there and save my precious time. O:)"

VP can be an interesting place, but it's largely an echo chamber. I used to post over there a lot before I pulled back. Vox has extremely controversial views, and isn't really a bad person. He just has a different perspective.
He's an intelligent guy, but has boxed himself into a corner by carving himself an extremist niche that draws a lot of angry, disenfranchised people looking for someone to tell them how to think. So a lot of his posts result in parroting, and anyone who disagrees is attacked.

It's kind of bad for Vox because deep down I don't think he cares for the type of people he attracts. But to keep his fan base he's forced to pander to them and I have a strong feeling it's not something he's comfortable with.

My guess is that he would rise to something better, and is capable of it, but as long as he rolls in garbage the stench will cling to him and no one will take him seriously.

I feel kind of bad for him, sometimes, because despite the fact that his views are weird and he clings to them like a nursing babe, he really is a decent sort of fellow.

But yeah, sadly VP is a waste of time, although it took me a while to realize it.

Morgan said...

"the bible does say there will be no marriage in heaven...but it doesn't ever say there wont be sex...now isn't THAT an interesting thought...hmmmm"

I'd never thought of that. The idea of sex without marriage is heaven to a lot of people. ;-)
Maybe in the afterlife we won't have to carry around the baggage of shame.

I do wonder if there will be sex in heaven, seriously. I mean, think about it. God could have had us spawn, like salmon. But we have intercourse and get a lot of pleasure from it.

Man was made in God's image. Perhaps there will be a place in heaven for all sorts of pleasure - including sex.

I think only True Christians ™ would have a real problem with this possibility becasue sex and desire equals sin for so many of them.

But that is a very provocative point, zus.

Morgan said...

"Here’s my problem with your approach. Why believe at all if you just pick and choose the way of God? Why believe in a god that you have thus created? Why didn’t your god stop the tsunami? It seems that if you are to believe in God, then you should be prepared to deal with the whole message, rather than just the feel good stuff."

I apologize for overlooking this question from thimscool.
So here's my response:
Thimschool, you're mistaken. I don't just deal with the "feel good stuff." I do see the duality of God. He has a punishing aspect *and* a loving aspect. But it's the loving aspect that draws me and that's what I want to reflect to others. I believe it's commanded that we reflect God's love, but judgement and condemnation are reserved for God. True, we can discern, but to rebuke with nastiness as I see True Christians ™ doesn't draw anyone to Christ. So I'll leave the judging to God.

Perhaps I'm wrong to not spend more time hunched over Revelation pondering the end days. But I'm one of those people who prefers to live in the now. I don't want to be terrified into obeying God, to be a good person because I want to show how "ready" I am when He returns. I'm not sure if obedience out of fear comes from the right place. You have a child. Do you want him to do the right thing because it's the right thing or because he's afraid you're going to sweep into the room suddenly and hurt him for doing wrong?

I'm not saying this describes you, but too many rapture-obsessed Christians spend time focused on Jesus' return rather than the gift of their present lives.

If I'm wrong for being the opposite, I'll just have to accept the consequences.

thimscool said...

That was a beautiful post on the canoe, Morgan. Seeing those pictures makes me think I should slow down some, rather than frantically chasing my fate.

I've gotta admit Morgan: you have a great attitude, and consequently a wonderful life. My wife urges me to adopt an approach like yours; but for me there is the hunger.

Sometimes I think that it must be very comforting to have a faith like yours, and that it might replace the hunger. But then I think about my long term goals, and I know that I must continue. Every day my burden feels heavier, and the path steeper.

However, unless friendly space aliens land and teach us how to overcome our resource limitations, someone is going to need to make a viable alternative. It’s either that, or we escalate the killing for oil. I guess a fourth possibility is that Jesus comes floating down.

The person that will solve this problem does not work for the government, GE or Exxon. Somebody has to do it, and if I had the resources, I believe I could do it. So now I will get those resources, and build my own base of support.

I can’t stop now, because I don’t believe that somebody else will do it. So I will be that somebody. The killing must stop.

Unfortunately, there are many obstacles…

Morgan said...

I decided a few years ago to slow down and to *live* rather than just being helplessly pulled along. Can someone be a Zen Christian? I don't know, but I guess I am. The moment is beautiful. It's amazing how many billions of observable, God-given moments go by in people's lives without ever being noticed. They're like unopened gifts.

My dear friend, an editor, died two years ago at the age of 37. The brain tumor was diagnosed by two months before he departed a week before Christmas, leaving five little children and a young widow to mourn him. At the funeral, his father spoke of how he regretted spending so much time at work.

Oh yes, life should be enjoyed. Who knows when it will end. And who knows when Jesus will come back.

I have no problem pondering such mysteries, or scanning Revelations for answers so long as one doesn't get lost in the quest. Or seek at the expense of others. Take your wife's advice, thimscool. Slow down. Open those gifts.

And don't mistake a fulfilled, simple life with a lack of dedication to mankind or the earth. I do plenty, only I am drawn to help in ways that I can use my gifts. I'm as concerned about the future as you are, and do what I can. I just make sure I help in ways enable me to use my gifts. Who isn't at their best when their doing something they love to do? That's why I've worked with wildlife for so many years. That's why I try to set an example by living simply. That's why I write.

Do I quest? Oh yes. But I realize some things are beyond my understanding and I'm OK with that. I learn what I can, and trust that other knowledge will be revealed to me later.

Of course, not everyone will agree with my approach, but that's OK.

VQ said...

Hi Morgan. Glad someone pointed out that the sheet thing is a myth, it got started when people saw men's ritual clothing hanging on the clothesline drying ---- it's a square shirt-like thing with a hole for his HEAD.

Strict Orthodox Jews think that once you're married you can do anything you want, as long as there is mutual consent and you do it after the woman's period is over --- oral sex, anal sex (on the husband too!), whatever falls into your brain. Yeah, I've asked various rabbis about this stuff. They're usually amazingly frank and have a ready answer for things that you would be shocked they'd thought about ;-)

I think you'd be surprised at the sex lives of even so-called True Christians. Most people do what they want, regardless of what the Bible or anyone else says, or what they say to others about what they do.

Morgan said...

"Hi Morgan. Glad someone pointed out that the sheet thing is a myth, it got started when people saw men's ritual clothing hanging on the clothesline drying ---- it's a square shirt-like thing with a hole for his HEAD."

Hi VQ!

I felt like such an idiot for mentioning the hole-in-the-sheet thing. I'd heard it so many times I'd assumed it was true. Larry had heard it, too, and believed it and this weekend I set him straight about what I'd learned.

"I think you'd be surprised at the sex lives of even so-called True Christians. Most people do what they want, regardless of what the Bible or anyone else says, or what they say to others about what they do."

I kind of figured they did, but I get a bit suspect when someone says all you need to know about sex is in the Bible, and that looking anywhere else is wrong. I was glad to get multiple responses from people of faith who said what you did. It proves that all Christians aren't as hung up as the ones who believe the Bible is a sex guide, or that studying how to be a good lover is somehow wrong.

thimscool said...

Morgan,

Are you receiving my emails?

Morgan said...

thimscool, I got one a few days back about talking to God. I want to have time to address the question adequately so I haven't responded yet. I'll try to do that today or tomorrow. If there have been others, I haven't gotten them.
It's:
morganofthelake@hotmail.com

thimscool said...

I sent a couple of others. Maybe hotmail thinks I'm a spammer.

Morgan said...

Well, I don't have it blocked or anything, and there's no filter that I know of. I get regular correspondence from quite a few others, so I can't understand why yours wouldn't be getting through. Please do try again.

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