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Thoughts and Prayers: The Religion Thread

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Slacker, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Too many people confuse religion and faith. They get too tied up in the rituals and rules and forget to put the real focus on their beliefs and their relationship with G-d.
    OscarMadison and 2muchcoffeeman like this.
  2. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    If he wants me to respond to something, he can dig it up. He doesn't care about the response. He cares about trolling the thread. Your post was out of line regardless of whether or not anybody else was out of line, too.
    SFIND likes this.
  3. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I think you have a point, Dan. But I think Easter could sell, in a more spiritual/religious way, with more boldness on the part of churches and Christians everywhere.

    For example, my church -- not a mega church, but not exactly small, either, at about 3,400 members who attend over three services each regular weekend -- actually tends to go all holiday-lite on the biggest days of the year: Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, etc. I actually hate it, and disagree with this approach vehemently. On these days, I really want everything that the church/pastor has to give, living large and going as big as possible for the greatest impact -- and the impact I think these days/events should inspire.

    But the church's thought is to actually make things as open and generic, and as easy, and frankly, as not-off-putting as possible, in order to reach and possibly attract more strongly as many of those once-or-twice-a-year attendees as possible. I don't know in any measurable way, myself, if this approach actually works, but I would assume so, or else churches probably wouldn't do it.

    As I said, though, I hate it, and actually often get less out of the usually truncated services on these special high holy days than I do out of most of the ordinary Sundays. I think that's wrong, and sad, and understates a truly amazing series of events in history as we believe in it. But I've seen it and experienced it.

    I believe this is part of why Easter -- as in celebrating the weekend of the death and resurrection of Christ is not as big in the commercial sense as it could be. There is actually no push to make it so. It is, however, the biggest candy-selling success -- even trumping Halloween -- if Walmart is any indication. One super center, one Division 1 store and one Neighborhood Market in my area were all completely sold out of Easter candy on Easter Sunday. When customers came looking for it, on the Sunday, and then for half-price on Monday, we had nothing -- actually nothing -- left, and even the regular candy aisles of the stores were left all but bare. It was a little shocking to see, actually.

    As far as music, there are plenty of Easter-related worship songs by contemporary Christian artists, but they're not usually labeled as such in the many non-denominational churches that exist today.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  4. OscarMadison

    OscarMadison Well-Known Member

    I might be misremembering, but wasn't Creed a Christian rock band at one time?

    Michael Scott: No. No. Nononononono! NO!

    That's O-S-C-A-R-M-A-D-I-S-O-N.

    I feel about this the way I feel about people claiming they don't need masks or vax to survive. We're given minds and the ability to see need and the skills to address it. If we turn our backs on those who need us, that's on us. Someone with the ability to see those children is turning their back on them. That doesn't absolve anyone else from helping. There are food insecure people in my own neighborhood. I don't know them, but I put out food that disappears overnight. I'm either feeding another person or fairies. Since I'm the one in the hood with pointed ears (furreals) I must be feeding neighbors.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    FileNotFound and 2muchcoffeeman like this.
  5. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    Creed was Christian Nickelback. I'd say they were alt-rock Stryper but Stryper fucking rules and to make an analogy to Creed is blasphemy of the highest order.
    2muchcoffeeman and OscarMadison like this.
  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The Christian God, as it were, did not intercede on behalf of his own perfect son's death. So I suppose God is either extraordinarily good in putting His own pain on the line, or, perhaps in your definition, endlessly wicked. It may depend on whether Jesus rose from the dead.

    The general question of: "Why does suffering happen?" is, indeed, a long, difficult conversation that Jesus himself asked on the cross. Why did that same God flood the world within an inch of its life? Why was Saul outside favor, and David, a murderer, inside of it? A lot of difficult, difficult questions, to which a short answer is something along the lines of "good" not necessarily being "nice" or "happy" - something most people actually believe in if they think about their own posture to the world - and God, being God, gets to set the terms of good.

    Or you can reject all that - many people do - and live it out on your terms or the terms of some other religion.
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    The Christian God did not intercede on Jesus behalf for a number of reasons. 1. It was a predetermined he would die at the hands of man. Forgive his tormentors and all of humanity for their sins and rise. Another reason that anti-Semitism is not only morally but factually wrong. 2. The Christian God and Jesus are one. It’s the same God. Cant have 2 deities in a monotheistic religion.

    The question isn’t so much as why suffering happens as why God allows it without mitigation.
  8. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I'm with you on this in terms of what I'd like to see, etc. But I've never understood the supposed prevailing connection of any political party to Christianity. I mean, I see and hear that Republicanism and Christianity are entwined together from a media-driven standpoint. But I just don't think that necessarily makes it so. Maybe they're talked about that way, discussed that way, and, as tends to happen, if you say something often enough, people think that makes it so? But I don't believe it. Now, whether that is because of my actual journalism background and an overall ability to think for myself, and to separate things when needed/desired, I don't know.

    But, not once -- like, ever -- have I thought, "I'm Christian and Republican," or "Being one makes me the other," etc. I have never -- like, ever -- heard politics discussed in a church service I've attended, or been involved in such discussions to any obvious extent at any church-directed community or missionary event. They are completely separate ideas and entities/inspirations to me, and my political party doesn't determine my religion or faith; neither does my religion/faith determine my political bent. And it never has.

    Even upon listening to any mega-church pastors -- something I do on occasion but not all the time -- the closest any have come to directly and blatantly connecting the beliefs is when Allen Jackson openly and repeatedly refers to the COVID-19 spread as "the Wuhan virus," a la Trump. I find it unappealing and beneath him and don't think he should do it on his public platform even if he sees it as such, but that's really the only direct, non-generic and distasteful example that I've encountered.

    He isn't my favorite of the big-name evangelical pastors, and such references only reinforced that lack of appeal for me, but I can still separate the good parts of any message from any apparent attempts at political activism by those involved in churches/religions. Doesn't anybody else do that, rather than have blanket hate for Republican Christians, or "Christian" Republicans, or whatever? Political parties and Christianity are not mutually exclusive, and I don't see how anybody can say they are.

    I vote how I think should I vote, according to my conscience and best knowledge and judgement, and I discuss my political beliefs as I have them -- whatever they are -- and I am Christian in faith and religious following. That's it. Neither thing is necessarily bound up in the other, and I don't see how they can seemingly always be discussed as if they are.
  9. OscarMadison

    OscarMadison Well-Known Member

    Imma say this and while it's directed at one person, anyone who is in this situation might want to take it to heart.

    A good grief counselor can help you put yourself back together even if you thought you were maintaining and everything just coincidentally had a sharp tang of anger/regret/sadness that won't dissipate. As far as using pastoral counseling or MCSW's go, there are some very good ones out there. Where I am, the reqirements are pretty stringent to get licensed for either of those positions. Ask around and better yet, ask if you can have a short fifteen to twenty-minute conversation before you commit to seeing someone. You don't have to want to go out and get a burger and beer and watch the A's with them, but you should feel like you can trust them to listen to you and not blow smoke up your butt just to get you to leave their office/chat happy.

    Two things in the interest of disclosure:

    1.) I am not a licensed therapist. I have credentials for specific kinds of intervention and do counseling for a for-profit that attracts people who are not always stellar examples of having their lives together. It allows me to work from home and work for some pretty nice people.

    2.) My father died at 1:45 am on a Sunday. Monday morning at 8:30 am I was at my first graduate school class. It was easily the stupidest thing I'd ever done. Months before, when he was going downhill, he asked me to be an archaeologist because he was a huge fan of Dr. Bass at UT. I said yes. Then later the same morning he died, family members got me up Stupid O'Clock: The Predawn Edition and I took my voice recorder, a few notebooks, and drove to Kentucky. I have no idea what anyone was thinking.

    Don't be like Oscar or Oscar's family. Ask for help if you need it.
    dixiehack, heyabbott, HC and 2 others like this.
  10. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Just because you don't think that way doesn't mean that the two aren't connected. The Republican Party has made courting the Christian vote a priority. Christian institutions and Republicans use one another to gain power. The issue of abortion alone connects the two. It is why family values are such a large part of Republican rhetoric. It is how you get a Republican president nominating a secretary of education who wants to force prayer back into public schools and steal public money away from public schools so it can be funneled into private educational entities.

    This doesn't mean that all Christians are Republicans or that all Republicans are Christians, but it is ridiculous to deny the connections between those institutions. It is even more ridiculous to imply that people are just making it up.
    SFIND, heyabbott and Mngwa like this.
  11. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    I think that the number of people who bend their religion to fit their political views and the number of people who take a political position because of their religious beliefs might be similar.
  12. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying they can't be connected, and I'm not implying that anybody's making it up. Clearly, the idea is out there, and in some, even many, cases, it may in fact be the case. But it's wrong to think/assume that they are always connected, or necessarily so, particularly in all ways, and in regard to all issues. To read things on here, you'd think there's no such thing as a Christian Democrat, especially not a conservative one. And that also is wrong.

    I could actually see the Democratic party courting the Christian vote just as easily, and probably, just as successfully, as the Republican party did. It just didn't do so.

    I also would suggest that being Republican doesn't automatically make someone a pro-life-supporter only, and I don't think being a Democrat necessarily means someone is a supporter of abortion. There may be a general. typical lean by each party, but most of the time, abortion really is a personal issue that's going to come down to individual decisions. It's not so black-and-white as such party lines.

    And, I was just speaking for myself, and asking the questions. But I'd say that, based on my experience of plenty of separation, it's not unreasonable or unlikely that there are others who can, you know, think for themselves, whose views may not always necessarily align with their political party. Political party membership and Christianity just are not mutually exclusive.
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