Friday, January 05, 2007

A mentally handicapped church singer

I just got the amazing mail below. (Inspired by this week's newsletter at Domai.)
I was hesitant at first in posting it, because some might think the story is about how we should not discrimiate against the handicapped, which is true but it is not the point here. It is about seeing the bigger picture, and being open to beauty and communication which does not fit the surface picture of "nice". - Eolake

"A minister I talked to was serving at a nondenominational church in a small town. Among the attendees at the church was a young man who would be considered severely mentally retarded. His speech was affected and he was basically unintelligible to most people, yet the minister became familiar enough with him to be able to communicate reasonably well. One day the young man asked to lead the congregation in a song. This amazed the minister and he promised to give consideration to it. Eventually, he decided to let the young man have his wish.

"After the service, the minister was very upset to discover the venom that poured forth from several members. They were outraged that he would allow this to take place. How dare he allow this freak to desecrate the service by such a hideous display?

"The minister was telling me about the incident. He had not figured out how to respond to the critics, although in his heart he truly thought that he had done the right thing to allow this young man to sing. I ponted out to the man that in the religious literature I am familiar with, there exists a commandment ""to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.". I never found a commandement that said to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord, but only if it is pleasing to your fellows." The young man had asked to sing and the minister had felt right in granting his request. He was NOT obligated to run the request by a commitee. The young man's request had come from his heart and it only had to please his Lord. The pastor was beaming when he left me, because he had a topic for a new message to his congregation that he felt could strike at the core of the problem and give all of them pause to consider what constitutes Beauty."

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 05, 2007   38 comments links to this post

38 Comments:

At 6 Jan 2007, 00:41:00, Blogger signalroom said...

what a beautiful letter.

It makes me feel that *beauty* is in the lovingness with which we decide to break into the physical.
No form is beautiful in itself, but the mind that loves.

If I see a beautiful photo of a woman, and in that photo is her smile and openness, it goes straight through me and I feel so glad to be a woman, I don't feel jealous, I don't feel scared, "ooooh, I might be a lesbian," (not that anything's wrong with that choice) -- I see her innocence and I feel my own beauty, even if I'm not 22. So is the "picture" beautiful, or the girl in the picture, or is it me?

In the same way I smile at the open face of the disabled girl who works at the cafeteria, her face is so open and trusting, and the beauty between us is palpable.

I think it starts with our decision to smile at one another.

Laurie

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 06:20:00, Blogger GregO73 said...

I'm surprised that an educated "Man of God," who has been trained in the Christian ethic,was not able to easily and naturally figure out how to "respond to the critics." Thus, while the story is beautiful, it seems to be apocryphal.

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 06:25:00, Blogger eolake said...

Greg,
Perhaps the minister is inexperienced. Perhaps the outrage was intense and from normally loving people, and he was rattled. Does it really matter?

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 06:38:00, Blogger GregO73 said...

Indeed it does matter. Either the minister is improperly trained in the basics of Christian love and simple knowledge of his faith, or it is an apocryphal story: Nice but not realistic. Still, your question, "Does it matter?" is a good one. I once asked a staunch Christian, "What if Jesus Christ wasn't truly who he said he was?" To which my friend replied, "Who cares" Does it really matter? Look what he stood for!"

Good thinking, Eo.

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 12:00:00, Anonymous Kenneth said...

Hitler was raised in the Roman Catholic faith and considered himself a Christian. Those who read his infamous book "Mein Kaumpt" have noted that he said killing Jews would be doing the work of Christ. 400 years earlier Martin Luther said much the same thing.

My point is that some of the biggest bastards on the planet have been Chriatians (or at least identified themselves as such.) I believe the story is true.

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 12:29:00, Anonymous terry said...

Jesus Himself said, " If the people are quiet, THE ROCKS ALONG THE ROAD WOULD CRY OUT!" Praise God. I think the minister will have a special reward waiting on him when he enters Heaven.
Also God said "LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE THE LORD!"
I am very moved by this story Eolake, thanks for sharing it.

Also to Signalroom, God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah because of homosexuality and the other vast array of sin. According to scripture homosexuality is a sin.

I've read parts of Mein Kaumpt by Hitler and He actually did think that by murdering Jews he was doing God's will. Satan has a sleek way of deceiving humans.
Great post Eolake.

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 13:05:00, Anonymous proud black man said...

Also to Signalroom, God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah because of homosexuality and the other vast array of sin. According to scripture homosexuality is a sin.

I too have read this in God's scriptures Terry. Yes, primarily God did destroy these two wicked cities because of their depraved acts of homosexuality.
There was also a time when certain men came to Lot's door wanting the Male Angels for sexual pleasure and Lot refused them but offered them his daughters instead.
The end result was that the men who wanted to have sexual relations with the male angels were blinded, literally.
But some people believe that since God is love he doesn't have any rules to live by. They are sadly mistaken.

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 13:16:00, Anonymous proud black man said...

GregO73 said...
Indeed it does matter. Either the minister is improperly trained in the basics of Christian love and simple knowledge of his faith, or it is an apocryphal story: Nice but not realistic.

I disagree. It is very realistic. It has happened before because I have seen such things myself.

Perhaps the outrage was intense and from normally loving people, and he was rattled. Does it really matter?

Eolake you make a great point. The minister was probably rattled but He made the right decision.
The religious crowd loves legalism itself, but Jesus Christ loves those with the pure hearts and those that "Freely ask for forgiveness" of their sins and accept Him as their Saviour.

 
At 6 Jan 2007, 13:36:00, Anonymous apoloyon said...

I think it starts with our decision to smile at one another.

Laurie

Hmmmm.........one cannot always start with a smile. Not to rain on your parade but I don't think smiling in the face of a widow at her husband's funeral would be appropriate.
I think clarification should follow such statements. Of course you were just generally speaking as in everyday life.
Yet that isn't always possible either. Sometimes just waking up can be a hardship and not every one is having a rosy day.
I'm not agaisn't those who attempt to be happy all the time, but that's not real life. Trying to be positive may be a good motive but as I said, sometimes it just isn't possible in certain situations.

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 01:11:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

I also recall Matthew 5:3, one of the earliest teachings of Jesus, clearly stating that mentally handicaped people are loved by God.
Besides, nobody even said whether the singing itself was bad, perhaps they just didn't like the singer? Some pious christians! ):-P
I don't go to church, but I treat "the poor in mind" with total human respect. Which would Jesus prefer me to do, hunh? These people have feelings, therefore I treat them like feeling people, period.

You're right, Laurie, mentally disabled people have that child-like innocence that is irresistibly moving. Essentially, they're less "adult" in attitude, and therefore much less cynical, hypocrit, selfish, etc. They're candid and pure. This is utterly loveable. Like a child, their smile and trust are absolute, they hold nothing back. :-)))

GregO73 said...
"What if Jesus Christ wasn't truly who he said he was?" To which my friend replied, "Who cares" Does it really matter? Look what he stood for!"

Absolutely! I find all the hullaballoo around the DaVinci Code utterly silly, precisely because all I care about is what Jesus stood for, and no historical revelation will ever threaten that. The image of Jesus of Nazareth may, or may not, have been deformed by the believers over the centuries. In any case, there is no debate about the fact that this person existed, and said what he said. Which was awesome stuff.
For the curious, here are some canonical references on which I base my not-so-heretic attitude (from my latest post on the "Riverfront, Liverpool" thread) :
Luke 18:16-17 ; John 4:48 ; Luke 17:17-19 ; Mathew 7:21 ; John 8:28 and 12:49 ; Mark 12:31 ; Matthew 15:21-28 ; Luke 10:36-37
My faith has no hidden truth to fear. :-)

"Hitler [...] said killing Jews would be doing the work of Christ."
Suuure... "The Jews killed Jesus", didn't they? Except for some "tiny and insignificant" details:
- Jesus himself was a Jew too. His holy mother too. Hail Mary.
- Those opposed to his execution, or who believed in him during his life, were ALSO Jews. And the first christians, incidentally. Christiannism really separated from judaism only after many non-jews started joining and questioned the relevance of customs like the painful circumcision.
- The crucifixion sentence was actually carried out by the *Romans*, by Jove!
- The blokes in the Sanhedrin and buddies of Barabbas who wanted Jesus executed have all been dead for some 2000 years.
So, unless the sins of the father are passed along to the children even after more than 100 generations (which would really clutter the gallows!), the only work Christ wanted to do with Jews was to treat them as brothers under God.

You're right, Kenneth. You could have mentioned Great Inquisitor Torquemada while at it. But I'm not getting dragged into criticizing Saint George W. Bush for the umpteenth time. ;-)

Terry said...
"According to scripture homosexuality is a sin."

Well, as I recall, Sodom and Gommorah deserved destruction for far more than simple homosexuality. They had become places of near-universal vice and depravation of ALL sorts. Absence of homosexuality woudn't have changed much to their vices.
Also, being homosexually oriented is totally unwilling nature, as thorough objective medical research has proven. If Aids was God's punishment on gays, it wouldn't be contaminating millions of innocent newborns worldwide, for instance.
I say, IF homosexuality is indeed a sin, let's leave its judging to God, as long as gays are directly harming nobody outside themselves. There are some spontaneously gay animals, too. And not always because of hormonal imbalances. Are animals sinners? How about those species which are programmed to change genders sometimes, like the clownfish or the grouper fish? Those parts in Scripture condemning homosexuality, while advocating slavery and lapidation, are clearly under heavy influence of human customs and beliefs of these times.
Remember, Jesus absolved the adulterous woman, and helped some decent pagans like the centurion or the cananean woman. (Note : the Cananeans worshiped the god Baal-Zubab, a.k.a. Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies.) So he showed us that love rules above strict archaic rules written around 3000 B.C.
Oh, besides, the Gospel says nothing about *being* homosexual, just about sodomy between two men. And there's not a single word, I believe, regarding lesbians, be they platonic or "knowing" each other physically. (Please correct me with references in case I'm mistaken!)

"Satan has a sleek way of deceiving humans."
Or maybe humans inspired by the Satan in their hearts have a sleek way of deceiving themselves.
"The Devil made me do it" is such a hypocritical excuse, don't you think? If it was all the Devil's fault, nobody would ever deserve going to Hell. Except that darned Devil!!!

Proud Black Man,
I'd be curious to hear your opinion about what follows this episode, namely Lot's daughters conceiving children with their father, and how this incest doesn't seem to bother the homosexuals-destroyer God. There are lots of paradoxal notions in these ancient texts.

Apoloyon said...
"I don't think smiling in the face of a widow at her husband's funeral would be appropriate."

What about comforting smiles, never saw one of those? Smiles can express enjoyment, or love, or even shared sadness sometimes. There are smiles that don't mean "woohoo, what fun!", but "hang in there, you're not alone". Occasionally, some very ill people will die with a serene smile.

I sincerely hope we're not seeing a chasm setting in, between people who always try to keep a smile and those who consider that many smiles are close to a sin. THAT would be sad.

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 02:33:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"Not to rain on your parade but I don't think smiling in the face of a widow at her husband's funeral would be appropriate"

What if it was a peaceful smile? An acceptance without grief of what has occurred. A loving send-off to a personally significant and unforgettable man, perhaps with the thought that they will enjoy each other's company again someday.

I'd say that's more than appropriate. But then, who is to say how one should or shouldn't mourn? I don't have the right to tell someone else how to grieve. I can only determine what's right for me.

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 04:30:00, Blogger eolake said...

I found this on the web. It is from the West Wing show.
http://www.mediaresearch.org/Profiles/westwing/welcome.asp

"Jacobs" represents Dr. Laura, who speaks against homosexuality.

Bartlet: "Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality ‘an abomination.'"

Jacobs: "I don't say homosexuality is an abomination Mr. President. The Bible does."

Bartlet: "Yes it does. Leviticus-"

Jacobs: "18:22."

Bartlet launched into an impassioned diatribe which was interspersed with shots of an uncomfortable Jacobs fidgeting: "Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? [silence in the room] While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief-of-staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police?

"Here's one that's really important, 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side-by-side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you.

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 11:34:00, Anonymous proud black man said...

Also, being homosexually oriented is totally unwilling nature, as thorough objective medical research has proven.

No Pascal it isn't. Homosexuality is a choice, nobody is born that way. It's free will. As far as Lots daughters are concerned, that was sin as well.

- The crucifixion sentence was actually carried out by the *Romans.

Correct, but ORDERED by the Jews.

In any case, there is no debate about the fact that this person existed, and said what he said. Which was awesome stuff.

This "person" WAS GOD IN THE FLESH. And is STILL EXISTING in Heaven seated at the right hand of the Father. Be careful of your terminology of Lord Jesus.

I don't go to church, but I treat "the poor in mind" with total human respect.

That's a clear statement but sad indeed. I treat the poor in mind likewise.

Are animals sinners?

Don't try to be funny here.

Jacobs: "I don't say homosexuality is an abomination Mr. President. The Bible does."

And it's still a sin. Rightly dividing the word of God is what the Lord said also. I won't debate this subject any further because the bottomline reads, Homosexuality IS a sin.
Grace to you.

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 12:03:00, Anonymous apoloyon said...

What if it was a peaceful smile?

Perhaps that would be accepted. Possible. Unlikely, but possible.
There's a thin line between it depending upon how it is expressed.

I don't have the right to tell someone else how to grieve.

You're being honest Lucid. I like that in a person.

Occasionally, some very ill people will die with a serene smile.

Pascal, that's rare, but possible too. Depends upon where they stand with God in the end. Whether or not they were born-again.

A loving send-off to a personally significant and unforgettable man, perhaps with the thought that they will enjoy each other's company again someday.


Again I must say that this is possible. Faith can provide that Lucid. But the world is so dark and gloomy. It's often difficult to see a light when there's so much gunfire smoke in the air.

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 21:56:00, Anonymous Aabel Zyrov said...

Joachim, a boy I've grown up with, has been homosexual and behaving like one -that is, the opposite of virile- since way before puberty and its sexial drive. He never chose to be that way, and it was very painful for him to be a misfit by our country's social norms. That wasn't a choice for him.

Mr Proud, I suggest you do not judge so definitely that which you have never lived or witnessed. Condemning differences without knowing about their reality brings more sadness in the world, I know from experience. Being a black man, you are well placed to know this. I'm sure you know how arbitrary rejection feels.

The day I realized what Joachim's life was like, I felt ashamed for the many times I had made fun of his girly manners, in my childish ignorance. Then I repaired the harm I had contributed to, by becoming his friend with an open mind. I'm not sure, but having a friendly ear when his best friend had just turned his back on him (out of religious prejudice, precisely) may very well have saved him from ending his life.

I feel my own attitude has been a sin once, and I hope to have redeemed myself today. Our parish priest, who is a holy man filled with the love preached by Jesus toward his fellow man, foud my attitude "very christian".

 
At 7 Jan 2007, 23:48:00, Anonymous Seventy Times Seven said...

"I don't say homosexuality is an abomination Mr. President. The Bible does." End of discussion.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 00:26:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

Ah, yet another case of "ego-dystonic" homosexuality. It was part of the course we got in psychiatry about sexual behavior. Around half of homosexuals (roughly) do NOT accept being so, and even less choose to, but they just can't help it if their nature makes them inclined toward their own gender. That's the medical evidence I was talking about, Proud Black Man. Never heard of it? Google it, you'll learn a lot of interesting stuff about "sin" and choice.

Some ego-dystonics even get married for years, and have children, and eventually realize that the reason they never were happy in a normal marriage is because, oft unknown to them, they are not naturally heterosexual. Some are very upset when they find out, and may go into more or less prolonged denial. The typical "No, I cant be homo, because I *hate* homos and what they do, yuck!".

I'd say that played no small part in Aabel Zyrov's friend's grave problems.
It's nice to see confirmation that SOME priests are still broad-minded.

"The crucifixion sentence was actually carried out by the *Romans*.
Correct, but ORDERED by the Jews."

Correction : ordered by SOME Jews. That argument to justify antisemitism doesn't stand. There are despicable criminals in every ethny, country and religion.

"Are animals sinners?
- Don't try to be funny here."

Don't misunderstand me again, please. I meant that animal's sexual behavior, since they don't have superior consciousness like us humans, comes only from Nature. And therefore, from what God created. If wild animals may spontaneously be gay, then maybe we should reflect upon what God tolerates in His innocent creations, and what ACTUAL harm comes from a homosexual. The natural system created by God with animals sure doesn't appear endangered!

As for my "terminology of Lord Jesus", I simply meant that the historical existence of the person known as Jesus of Nazareth, inspirator of the religion known as Christiannism some 2000 years ago, is a universally admitted fact (except for a few fanatic atheists). Jews don't see him as the Messiah, but admit he existed as a person. Muslims see him as another prophet. I'm well aware that you see him as God in the flesh and still existing today in Heaven. This is a semantic mix-up, I never questioned the veracity of THAT.

I'd appreciate it if the discussion could return to the relevant parts : the references mentioned by Eolake and myself. Is my attitude "sad" and un-christian? Are slavery and lapidation okay? What say you, who criticize me and condemn homosexuals? Have you checked my biblical references, to discuss their pertinence in my positions?

There's LOTS of gray in the world. Some priests are pedophiles and covered up by the Church. Some talibans are pacific and generous. Tell me this : what use is it to write down every theoretical sin in the world and focusing on the sum? What good will it do, to collect the straws and the beams?

I've mentioned Alan Turing. He was a british mathematical genius, who cracked the mechanism or the german coding Enigma machine during WW2, bringing a priceless intelligence advantage to the Allies. Without him, maybe we would've lost the war. And yet, because he was gay, some years after the war he was coaxed into a hormonal treatment, that caused breasts to grow on him. He commited suicide with arsenic, which is a very painful method BTW.
Was Alan Turing evil? Was he a saint? Probably none. But I'd definitely say he was a sincere patriot intellectually gifted by God, and a victim of bigoted injustice. What a waste of human life and potential!

Sorry, proud black man, but if your judgement destroys people's lives, I consider you as lacking in love and forgiveness toward your fellow human, and therefore the true sinner. You completely disregard the second most important commandment. How is homophobia different from racism? Because the God of Love said to despise fags? Didn't the Church condone slavery and segregation for centuries? Why would it be infallible TODAY?

I am well aware that St Paul condemned homosexuality in the Gospel. But Jesus didn't, and Paul never met him "in the flesh", only in visions. Quite a different matter.

I don't mind that, following your beliefs, you "feel sad for me". I just wish you used that energy of compassion better, to give human charity to those in more immediate need. I'm not cold or starving or sick, eventually I'll still be there for your pity next year.
What would Jesus do? I can't speak in his place, but I recall he forgave the sinners and the whores, and helped the poor and the pagans. Again and again and again. Perhaps he was stating a point there?...

Do you want to know why I don't go to church? Because my religious education was cluttered with bigotry and hypocrisy, and all I ever could see in mass was a rite. I tried, with all my heart, but no "feeling" ever came. So I worship Jesus through my actions, this I fully feel and believe. And according to Mathew 7:21, I'm not such a sad heathen after all...

I'm not an enemy of Christianism. I consider myself as "an authentic fundamentalist", trying to remain faithful to the REAL fundamentals. To the principles Jesus was crucified for upholding.

Peace, yo.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 00:51:00, Anonymous Cheikh Jaffar Bin Ghalizz said...

Seventy Times Seven said...
"I don't say homosexuality is an abomination Mr. President. The Bible does." End of discussion.

Before you end any discussion, Brainiac490 (=70x7), make the effort or READING the Bible yourself!

Lev.19:22 very clearly says that SODOMY is an abomination. There not one holy or damned word about a man feeling sentimental love for other men. Or kissing them. Or even dry-humping, mutual wanking, etc.
Ironically, while sodomy is "an abomination", Lev.19:23 right afterwards mildly describes zoophilia as "impure depravation". Still punishable by death, but not abominable...

So, 70x7, since I'm filthy rich, let's end this discussion by setting the price for your daughter's services according to Exodus 21:7. I hope she's pretty and obedient. Remember that Exodus 21:20-21 allows me to freely beat her up an inch from death. So... deal or no deal?
Allah's on my side on this one, you have no choice but to comply!

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 04:06:00, Anonymous Upstanding Gay Man said...

These days nobody uses sodomy anyway, due to fear of AIDS. But heck, who misses it what with all the nice oral sex, handjobs, electrical sex toys, whipping, and all the other fun things one can do?

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 04:25:00, Blogger eolake said...

Fore more about Alan Turing and decrypting, I recommend the excellent novel Cryptonomicon.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 08:08:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that anti jewish people insist on quoting from jewish texts viz. the 'Old Testament" when attempting to justify their vilification of them?
Better I think to observe the fundamentals of Christ's reported teachings:
I. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy Soul,
II.Love thy neighbour as thyself.

Simple, isn't it!?

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 08:24:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allah's on my side on this one, you have no choice but to comply.

I pity you. I hope you live long enough to see the true light.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 08:28:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction : ordered by SOME Jews. That argument to justify antisemitism doesn't stand.

No antisemitism here. It was ordered by the Jewish leaders of that day and the Jews cried out, "Let His blood be upon OUR (jews) People.
It has been ever since that day.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 08:34:00, Blogger eolake said...

Please, guys:

1: Put quotes in quotation marks.

2: Select the "other" button and use a name for yourself, not "anonymous".

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 08:41:00, Anonymous proud black man said...

Sorry, proud black man, but if your judgement destroys people's lives, I consider you as lacking in love and forgiveness toward your fellow human, and therefore the true sinner.

You may call me a sinner. I am, but saved through the blood of Christ. I don't judge, God does that. I believe in forgiveness. Even homosexuals can repent of their sin according to Scripture.
God said it's a sin and I believe what he said. It's clear here alright? I'm not the author of his Holy Scriptures, just a messenger.
No need for anger Pascal. It gets nobody nowhere. Do you understand what I'm saying now?
Judge not least YE be judged. No offense Doctor.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 08:45:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His holy mother too. Hail Mary.

Jesus' mother was not holy. She was a decent virgin woman who needed a saviour as well.
No need to hail mary. I hail Jesus the Saviour and redeemer of mankind.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 09:26:00, Anonymous foxylady_12010 said...

Boy...oh boy. God these posts are opening a can of WORMS! Listen Y'all ....ever hear of the saying "Judge not least ye be judged."? I personally feel that homosexuality is not for me BUT i neither condemn nor condole. I believe that God should be calling the shots. I know some pretty good people who are gay or lesbian or even bi such as myself. That's our business. no one has the right to judge another human being! NO ONE BUT GOD!!! - some people don't know the reasons why others are "that way". I am because of incest! - got a problem with that? good. keep it to YOURSELF!

That young man who had a dis-ability? Did he not have a right to Praise God? and yes I personally find it offensive when others judge others. BUT in all honesty..i myself fall into this category. i judge rapists, murders, drug dealers and so forth ( actually anyone who deliberately sets out to hurt another!) However you know what I despise and loath the most? it's the 3 I- Crimes of today: Ignorance. Injustice. and Indifference. we should be working together to unite people rather than annihilate, divide and conquer.
PEACE!!!

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 21:58:00, Anonymous proud black man said...

That's our business. no one has the right to judge another human being! NO ONE BUT GOD!!! -

That's right Lady, and God will judge you and I accordingly. Also we don't have to keep our opinions to ourselves because this is a blog that Mr Stobblehouse established For all who wish to state their beliefs and thoughts.
If you disagree that's too bad because we still have the right to voice our thoughts. So before you start spouting off I suggest you cool your jets and calm down.
Every voice is welcomed here unless someone starts calling people names then I think Mr Stobblehouse has the right to delete it and or moderate comments.
May you find the peace you need.

 
At 8 Jan 2007, 23:33:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

Anonymous said...
"Better I think to observe the fundamentals of Christ's reported teachings:
I. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy Soul,
II.Love thy neighbour as thyself."

I'm all with you, as confirmed by the references I mentioned.
I also recall Jesus saying one cannot love God, who is invisible, before he loves his neighbour, which is right there to see.
I'm still seeking to "perceive" God (it's always a personal and very complex endeavour), but I try my best to apply the first teaching starting with my neighbour.

Anonymous said...
[Correction : ordered by SOME Jews. That argument to justify antisemitism doesn't stand.]
"No antisemitism here."

I wasn't targeting anybody specific, of course. It's just that "social-norm antisemitism" is widespread in Lebanon, and having heard such rhetoric from many "loving pious christians", I felt like dissecting that fallacy.
However, "Let His blood be upon OUR (jews) People" is an archaic vision from 20 centuries ago. Blaming the sons for the sins of the fathers ad aeternam is very convenient for racists. I'm christian, but I have no "deicide" to avenge with any of today's Jews. I believe the Vatican clearly stated that position too. Old expressions that may "justify" the Shoah are a far greater abomination than the Guinness gang-bang record for chain sodomy!
Besides, just look at who it was that said such a foolish thing...

proud black man said...
"God said [homosexuality]'s a sin and I believe what he said. It's clear here alright? I'm not the author of his Holy Scriptures, just a messenger."

You're a messenger of a book, the Bible, which text was put down on paper by human hands. I'm still awaiting official criteria to determine how exactly God's inspiration is transmitted and certified. Talking blazing bush? Angel diactating to a mortal secretary/scribe? Telepathy? Mere pious and convinced "inner light"? Enlighten me, I have no idea how one knows for sure God's word from inner mystic delirium.
What about the scientific absurdities in Genesis ch.1? Like our planet appearing before its star? There's an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter that still proves today that things go otherwise. Galileo still remembers what it cost to contradict the Holy Scriptures, even with the testimony of God's actual creation.
Did you know that man is biologically derived from woman, not the other way round? Embryoes with no gonads always end up with a female conformed body at birth, even if they have a Y chromosome. Did the Creator deliberately feed us false science? I doubt so.

I'm only getting a bit upset that you elude the issue of "divine laws" clearly in contradiction with modern human rights. And the issue of people like Aabel Zyrov's friends : ego-dystonic homosexuality. How to you explain THIS? By the choice to sin in order to offend God?
You gave me the impression of a wise and open-minded person. So confirm it by explaining to me why would the phenomenon of ego-dystonic homosexuality be overlooked, and how the barbaric prescriptions of Exodus 21:7, Exodus 35:2, etc. can truly originate from the same God of Love that sent Jesus to us.
"Scripture says so" is letting a book replace your intelligence. A guy might as well come tell me that Anton Szandor LaVey's "Satanic Bible" commands us to worship Satan. What can I reply if his book is decreed intangible? This closes the door to all reasoning.
"Timeo hominem unius libri : I fear the man who has only one book." - Saint Thomas Aquinus

I was raised in the christian culture. But I chose to follow the teachings of Jesus because I reflected upon them and found them good. With the common sense God gave me. If Scripture seems to say you must make war in Iraq according to a genuine ordained priest, will you patriotically and piously charge civilians guns blazing, or open the book, read, and ask yourself "is this right, does it make sense?".
I'm insisting on this simply because I see you as a person worthy of respect. Show me the light. Make me understand HOW you know for sure what is God's word and whether it is identical to every word of the Bible. I'm VERY curious.

Anonymous said...
"No need to hail Mary."

The prayer "Ave Maria", from the Gospel episode of Annunciation, states otherwise. "Scripture says so", mister A.
The same prayer says "Holy Mary, mother of God". I'm not making this up!

foxylady_12010 said...
"Boy...oh boy. God these posts are opening a can of WORMS!"

Yeah, a regular fishing bait shop, hunh? Guess Eolake was right : as soon as you say the word "religion", passions will storm and rage. Mea culpa, I'm no small contributor.
It's just that when I see a person clearly having sense, like Proud Black Man here, I feel an urge to encourage them into thinking as much as they have the potential. Enlightenment cannot come from blind trust/faith/belief, only from genuine understanding. No Bin Laden or Pat Robertson can turn MY faith into a weapon of war. "My only weapon is honey."

"I believe that God should be calling the shots."
Asolutely, sista! This is my whole point. Or the one I try to stick to, when I don't let my adrenalin get carried away. :-)
Jesus was very understanding toward prostitutes, as I recall. And very critical toward the clergy in general...

some people don't know the reasons why others are "that way". I am because of incest! - got a problem with that?
I've got a problem with such dramas ever happening. Toward you, I only have sympathy, because nobody deserves this to happen to them. Silence of the lambs taken to the slaughterhouse, that's what it is.
I'm also very well aware of how such... "experiences"(?) can affect one's sexual identity and promote unconventional behaviors. They are the mark of the victim then, not the stigma of a sinner. Nobody's guilty for being abused as a child!
Those who judge homosexuals (for instance) as "sinners" clearly don't bother to know some facts of life. (Boston priests scandal, anyone?) Instead of judging, I always prefer to talk and try to understand.

"However you know what I despise and loath the most? it's the 3 I- Crimes of today: Ignorance. Injustice. and Indifference."
Well spoken. Looks like Foxylady is another interesting contributor to the spirit of this blog. I hope you and Aabel will stick around. (I wonder how his friend is doing today? Still depressed?)

 
At 9 Jan 2007, 00:25:00, Anonymous Aabel Zyrov said...

Chekar for the welcome, Dr Pascal. Most hospitable.

Joachim tried for some time to change his nature by joining a religious group that said faith and prayer would certainly cure him from his "perversion". It was a bad failure, like a brainwashing with no results. All they succeed in doing is making people very antsy. One of their first representatives, who always told in reunions how God had set him straight, was involved in a scandal with young boys and people in the group. He absolutely wasn't "cured" at all, it appears.

Joachim still has difficulties, but he is no more ego-dystonic as you say. He has learned to live again and to accept what he is. Things are getting a little better also with his old best friend, but it will take time. They had some hard words before, when they had broke up.

It is funny, Joachim doesn't like women, but he finds the ladies on Domai beautiful. Not attractive for sex, just beautiful. Sometimes he says he'd like to be one of them.

 
At 9 Jan 2007, 00:48:00, Anonymous Upstanding Gay Man said...

Both philosophy and psychology teaches us that suppressing things just strengthen them.

I think the holy people on the Earth are those who embrace their "perversions", live through them, and learn from them, for the good of all.

 
At 9 Jan 2007, 01:26:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"No need to hail Mary."
The prayer "Ave Maria", from the Gospel episode of Annunciation, states otherwise. "Scripture says so", mister A.
The same prayer says "Holy Mary, mother of God". I'm not making this up!

This "so-called" gospel is not part of the Original Greek Translation (today known as the King James Version of the Bible) and is NOT VALID nor Sacred in any way shape or form. God (spiritually) HAS NO MOTHER NOR EVER WILL.
God chose Mary because She was a virgin and a good lady.....But even she referred to Christ as HER LORD AND SAVIOUR in scripture. With that being said that proves she was not sinless. She too needed to repent of any sins and ask Christ into her heart.

 
At 9 Jan 2007, 09:52:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Timeo hominem unius libri : I fear the man who has only one book." - Saint Thomas Aquinus

And I fear the man who has never read the Holy Bible.

 
At 9 Jan 2007, 23:40:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"This "so-called" gospel is not part of the Original Greek Translation (today known as the King James Version of the Bible) and is NOT VALID nor Sacred in any way shape or form. God (spiritually) HAS NO MOTHER NOR EVER WILL."

Boy, somebody sure has problems with sources, eh? Could it be that we've pinpointed the source of the problem?

Nobody yet cared to explain to me how the blazes can one know with absolute certainty that God wrote such version and not such other one, this book rather than that? Give me something solid to convince me, people, not just your raw beliefs typed in capitals.

I only trust official oecumenical editions based on the original ancient manuscripts (Greek and Aramaic). King James' version is the subject of too much controversy. "Knowledge of the original texts is constantly progressing".

I'm getting bored of catching nothing but red herrings in my net. This not a discussion any more, it's turning into a yodeling contest.

 
At 9 Jan 2007, 23:57:00, Anonymous Cheikh Jaffar Bin Ghalizz said...

70x7 can't speak for himself and needs anonymous defenders? Who's to pity here?

I cannot be anti-jewish, it is harâm. [The Holy Qur'an, chapter 2 (Al-Baqara), verse 62] : Jews and Christians follow Prophets sent by Allah and revered by Islam. They deserve respect and to be left in peace if they are true in their faith.

I am in fact anti-fundamentalist. I don't like people who ragingly follow parts of a Book to the letter, and ignore deliberately other parts, often the noblest parts. This is why I've studied all three Books. In Yemen, this alone means taking a serious risk for the cause of knowledge and understanding, you know?

No, obviously YOU DON'T know. You're too busy despising homosexuals. You should be happy : in my country, being one is a crime of "insult against the Religion", and they are very severely punished by the justice system in the name of God. While many terrorists run free.

At least Ms foxylady_12010 knows her priorities with the three I - crimes. Women with her character and confidence are rare gems. I would propose, but I chose by principle to take only one wife. For someone with my fortune and in my country, this says a lot.

 
At 10 Jan 2007, 01:44:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only trust official oecumenical editions based on the original ancient manuscripts (Greek and Aramaic). King James' version is the subject of too much controversy.

Pascal, the King James Version IS from the original greek manuscripts.
I'm surprized you didn't know this.
No controversy is here.
It's ironic that you quote from the KJV and yet call it "controversy?" No wonder you keep catching red herring.

 
At 10 Jan 2007, 21:52:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

The King James Version is FROM the original greek manuscripts. Which doesn't mean it is the only one, nor that it was so reliable that new and closer ones are a waste of time. Mine (Bible and Gospel) are both based on work done between 1910 and 1958.

There is officially much controversy among specialists, precisely, as to the way KJV made the choice to translate several phrasings. I am well documented on this. Progress is constant in this domain, you know.

You're right : as long as you don't answer me on how one cal tell God's word for sure between versions and varying currents of thought, there IS no controversy, you're avoiding the essential point.

And please, since you are posting more than a single isolated comment, do pick an alias or signature of some sort to be recognizable. There are more Anonymous folks over the net than there are Muhammads going to Mecca for the Ad-el-kebir.

Here, do something like this:

Signed, Pascal.

Simple, huh?

 
At 10 Jan 2007, 22:04:00, Anonymous Cheikh Jaffar Bin Ghalizz said...

"Pascal said...
There are more Anonymous folks over the net than there are Muhammads going to Mecca for the Aid-el-Kebir."

LOL! Pascal, this is a good one! You are well informed, the Adha Pilgrimage was only a few days ago and with record numbers of believers.
There are also lots of Jesus and Marias in latin christian countries. The influence of religion can become too much sometimes. :)

 

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