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A Question Too Far

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Old 12-15-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default A Question Too Far


† R e l i g i o n. †

The daunting word that sometimes floats across some heads like a buzzing bee, or rains down on some like acidic waste, burning the hell out of their skulls.
Either way, it's part of our lives and our conscience; for good that is.

However my rant is not about religion, but the freedom of discussing it without having an entire army of Goodies and Baddies team up against me for no constructive reason.

Stop, drop and roll is what I say to those who wish to wage war on religious talks.




This whole "issue" started one Sunday afternoon at a dinner table with some family.
Usually when family is together, at a dinner table, one must talk or else it'll be rather awkward with all the noise of cutting plates and knocking spoons.
As such, the topic of religion popped up.
How cliche', as it was on a Sunday, when these people attended church sans yours sincerely.

The topic was a Catholic one to be more specific.
Not a general Christian one, is there even a difference?
Yes. Not all Christians believe in what Catholics do.
That is what our "priest says".
So I go about asking why? (talking with my mouth full)

- no comment is made from anybody - thus, I continued eating my chicken.

That's when I felt, let me rather air my views?
Majority of the "younger generation" Catholics I know, are reading the New Testament.
The one where Jesus is the protagonist as per witnessed by his apostles etc; etc.

Then there's the "forbidden and dusty" old, Old Testament, that the older generation read.
The one with Moses, Adam and Eve, that darn Jonah; Abraham and all his sons and the whole lot of destruction to temples and staffs turning into snakes. You know, the whole Disney movie thing in a nutshell.
The beginning of times I say.

This however gave rise to my very first - innocent - question:
Why read Z before Y?
Why not Y then Z?
Z = Old; Y = New.
Why am I given the New Testament to read first, with references to Abraham and all those commandments and those days where God was a real pain in the A-hole with his wrath on Noah's arc and all?
Why can't I just go into the nitty gritty and read about the original sinful Adam and Eve first? Thus, Y?
Now I've got to see references about these dudes in the "New Testament".
- still no comment but a nod here and there.-

Back to the setting at the table.
When asking this question openly, I got stared at for a while.
Intensely, the stare turned into a confused glare, and then it was pure disgust.
"How dare you question religion!".
A sharp voice filled with food blurted out at me from my left.
Leaving a few rice droplets on the table.
"No. I am not questioning religion, I am questioning the METHOD of it."
I replied trying to shield my face away from any more rice that now appeared more dangerous than bullets from a pistol.

My question was merely regarding the following, in a lighthearted manner may I add:
"If Eve never ate that forsaken apple from the serpent, would we have not been here?"
Answer: "God placed the serpent and that tree in the garden intentionally to test man's free will and decisions".
My next question:
"So God knew they were going to choose the apple? Then why is he deeming it a sin if it was the only way man could be what we are today?"
Answer: "It's in the prophecies that what must be, will be, we cannot question it. Eve chose it out of own free will, now we are here with that original sin."
My next question: "Is God then allowing for evil to roam, so that it may test man? And if so, if God knows that Man has the highest chances of choosing the wrong choice, why is he allowing it? Is God working with Evil? Or does God coexist with its counterpart Evil?"
Worst mistake I made, the eyes started darting at me as if I just mentioned a German word near a Jewish table.
Answer: "Read your bible and never question it!"


Evil prevails when all good men are silent, I thought...



So after that harsh dismissal, and sour taste in my mouth along with rice on my white cashmere blouse,
I left the table with my plate half eaten.
My cocktail. And my slightly greasy napkin.
My entire meal was ruined by narrow minded elders, and you know what?
I still didn't get the answer I wanted.
But that in itself proved to me, that people are now becoming offended at logic and inquiring minds from the youth.
If we do not ask to understand, but to know, we'll remain the fools we were on day one.
So if I knew, I'd have just shut my pie and talk about diets and lipo.


To conclude:


I am still offended at how religion has turned people against one another.
It is supposed to bring people together, and not create illusions that those who ask are non believers and pagans or heathens, but people who are interested and not sheep.
Do not judge. Listen, understand, repeat, and answer.
That's my advice. If that cannot be exercised, then your God is definitely not mine.

Thanks.



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Last edited by NokturnalMe; 12-16-2013 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:58 PM
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Religion to me was getting up early on Sunday mornings to get ready to attend the 8:00 A.M. mass at Our Lady of Loreto Church on Elizabeth Street. We had no more than about 15 parishioners each week. The assortment of people in attendance included about 4 old ladies, about 3 old men, about 5 young people (20s to 30s), and a few drunks who would wander inside to get out of the cold--and the priest.

The tiny church was very plain, painted blue and gold with a white ceiling. A large crucifix hanging on the wall behind the white altar. The church had a capacity of about 150; it was tiny but extremely warm, comfortable, and spiritual because of its rich history.

Our Lady of Loreto was built by Sicilian immigrants in 1903 because the Italians wanted there own church. The larger and more popular Saint Patrick's about two blocks away treated the Italian parishioners as second class citizens. On Sundays, the Italians had to hold mass in the basement of Saint Patrick's while the Irish Catholics held there Sunday services upstairs on the main floor--in the church itself.

Sensing the second-class treatment, the Italian Catholics now pouring into New York City from Italy in record numbers decided to build their own church. And, thus, Our Lady of Loreto was born. From 1903 till the late 1970s the church, although tiny, was a beacon of hope to all Italian citizens living in the area known as Little Italy. But, as the Italian population dwindled in the area, the fate of the tiny house of worship, which heard the prayers and cries of so many nervous and fearful Italian immigrants trying to make it in a new land, was sealed.

The church closed its doors in the early 1990s. The property it rested upon was bought by a large corporation, and the church, which should have been a landmark and safe from demolition, was destroyed. It was such a sad time to see the wrecking ball slam into the sides of Our Lady and turn the majestic home of worship into rubble. A team of construction workers finished bringing down whatever the wrecking ball didn't. It was a terrible sight to watch our church lying in ruins.

One rainy Sunday morning, when the construction crew wasn't working, I hopped a chain-link fence and walked amongst the rubble. I walked over the bricks where the altar once stood, and as I was going through the rubble I found a Lincoln penny dated 1931. I picked up the penny and imagined that it dropped from the purse of a little old Italian lady as she prayed to God for help. I also gathered two bricks beneath my feet--probably from one of the walls of the church--and carried them hope.

I still have one of the bricks here in Nevada, while I hid the other one on a rooftop in New York City. The brick I now have in my possession is part of an altar I have constructed. It is one brick, but it is my most prized possession, my most valuable possession. For contained within that brick are the voices of hundreds of thousands of uncertain Italian immigrants who ventured into that church and cried to God for help. Their voices, dreams, hopes, and prayers are all within that brick in one of the rooms in my home.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:23 PM
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I realize my post doesn't explain the belief of God. What I truly believe is this: that a person believes or doesn't believe the existence of God based upon his own personal experiences. Through my own life experiences, I will state this. I never went to church when I was young, even into my late teens. I don't ever remember seeing a Bible in our home growing up. I do remember one plastic crucifix hanging on a wall in one of our rooms. There were nine of us, and we rarely ever mentioned Jesus or God--yet we considered ourselves Catholics.

Why did I embrace Jesus? Well, when I was about fourteen, a lifeguard scooped me off the bottom of a swimming pool. I was drowning and probably had less than 30 seconds before I floated lifelessly to the surface. The rescue story in detail is a miracle itself. When I was 19, I was speeding on the New York State Thurway when a voice from nowhere told me to slow the car down. As I slowed the car, the front tire blew and I struggled to bring the car under control. Had the voice not warned me while I sped, I would have been killed in a horrific crash--without a doubt. In my early 20s, I had a few extremely close calls with drug overdose. Once, on a lonely and dark street in a very dangerous neighborhood (a cop had been shot and killed while sitting in his police car about a year before my incident) four thugs approached me and were just about to pounce on me when from the darkness of the night, two men appeared from nowhere to rescue me. On a few other occasions, I had a few close calls with some dangerous people. Fortunately, for me, I managed to walk away with my life intact each time. I left a trail of close calls behind me. I am convinced I had unseen assistance in a few of the instances--they all couldn't have been coincidences.

In the late 80s, I began dubbing in the occult--mainly white magic: prayer and meditation. I have notebooks filled with supernatural experiences. What I have experienced in dreams and visions would have most people calling me I liar. But, the experiences were real. I heard my mother's voice after she passed on and have also heard the voices of other people I knew who passed. I had one frightening experience which caused me to stop my psychic development. I was learning on my own without the benefit of a teacher or a guru. Had I known a teacher, I probably would have continued and probably been a pretty good healer today.

As I stated, many people make their judgments about the existence of God through their own experiences. Naturally, a person not having supernatural experiences is inclined to disbelieve God's existence; while on the other hand a person who has experienced visions, voices, etc. is more inclined to be a believer. That is it in a nutshell, and there isn't any use screaming to one is red in the face about God's existence. I believe based upon my experiences, but to tell the truth, I always admired Jesus and thought of Him as a friend.

Now about the church bricks. Well, this is a true story. When I took the church bricks home, my life changed drastically. At the time I found the brick, I was jobless and broke. I was lonely and without a good woman. Well, all that changed--and quickly. I soon found a good paying job and started to begin my climb out of a hole I was in. Then I met the most beautiful woman in the world--and I met her while I was still struggling financial. She helped me rebuild my life, and five years after we met, we married. Now today, I have so much--but the church brick on my altar is my most valuable possession. In its history is the story of my people's struggle and the story of my own struggle. I wouldn't sell it for any amount of money. It is a brick that literally fell from heaven.


Last edited by Cityboy; 12-18-2013 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:38 AM
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Religion are words which could be reduced/replaced with the concept of ultimate protection. Like the mob, religion acts on respect and unwavering faith. Talking about it is a breach in the contract. A curse on you for attempting conversation.

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Old 12-27-2013, 08:00 AM
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Default Why?

I once asked that very same question to a Jehova's witness. Why begin reading the new testament, why not start in chronological order? There is a reason why they use this method; I don't know if it is the same reason for all, probably not. What he said to me was that people were likely to be put off by the old testament as it talks about God's wrath and polygamy and children being killed in the name of God and what not. He said that a person just beginning his journey could easily misunderstand God and his motives. I began reading the Old in defiance and really did end up with a different understanding of what I would have had I began with the New. I never finished reading the bible and concluded that much of what is in the Old cannot be 100% accurate. It just doesn't sound like the God I know and trust.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sdenyer View Post
Religion are words which could be reduced/replaced with the concept of ultimate protection. Like the mob, religion acts on respect and unwavering faith. Talking about it is a breach in the contract. A curse on you for attempting conversation.
A curse on me?
I think you're reading the wrong thread.

Originally Posted by unforgiven View Post
I once asked that very same question to a Jehova's witness. Why begin reading the new testament, why not start in chronological order? There is a reason why they use this method; I don't know if it is the same reason for all, probably not. What he said to me was that people were likely to be put off by the old testament as it talks about God's wrath and polygamy and children being killed in the name of God and what not. He said that a person just beginning his journey could easily misunderstand God and his motives. I began reading the Old in defiance and really did end up with a different understanding of what I would have had I began with the New. I never finished reading the bible and concluded that much of what is in the Old cannot be 100% accurate. It just doesn't sound like the God I know and trust.
I had the same answer. And I'm glad it's not just me who feels this way.
Glad you had the same issue.
Makes sense, but it's good to ask.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:14 PM
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NokturnalMe,

This is a hard one. In my search I was brought up a Congregationalist, and attended many churches , converted to Catholic and now am a little of many faiths including Buddhism. I know from my personal experience that religion and spirituality often have little to do with each other. But as I have said before if you doubt the Big Guy hold a purring cat and look at a cut green pepper - these both and us came from dirt and sunlight.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:31 AM
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Glad you understand Tor.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:45 AM
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For me, the thing that always got me into an argument with my parents is the question on defending religion. My argument has always been, if we are taught to be good to others, then why all the crusades? Surely killing and forcing others to your own religion would be something that God would be against. And hen I argue that if seen in that case then Buddhism would be the best religion because they are, as far as I know, the only religion that never go to war over religion.

I find desterbing how people often use religion as an excuse to force others to do what they want. For example, "Do this, or God will not allow you to go to heaven." and such. Just seems off to me. So, now I have decided to be agnostic.

In answer to your question, or indeed for all religions, I think people only believe what they want to. If something is contrary to what they want to believe, like the depiction of God in the old testament, then even if it is within their own religion, they'd still refuse to acknowledge it. These are just my views, I don't claim I'm right or wrong.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:55 PM
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In my opinion (and I just recently thought of this) there is not a god in the sense of one actual being. But, maybe, (this is going to sound crazy) god is really just our brain. Maybe the reason Jesus could do all the things he could do is because his brain and himself believed he could. Look at what the belief of a god (whatever he/she is) does to people on a regular basis. Our mind is a powerful tool that people don't even think about.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by NeilPeart1 View Post
In my opinion (and I just recently thought of this) there is not a god in the sense of one actual being. But, maybe, (this is going to sound crazy) god is really just our brain. Maybe the reason Jesus could do all the things he could do is because his brain and himself believed he could. Look at what the belief of a god (whatever he/she is) does to people on a regular basis. Our mind is a powerful tool that people don't even think about.
Neil, our mind is a double-edge sword, or more precisely fertile soil. The mind will produce whatever seeds are planted into it. If one dwells on negative thoughts, the mind will produce negative actions. The same is true if positives are planted into it--positive thoughts produce positive actions. The mind doesn't really care what seeds are planted into it. Whatever is planted will most definitely grow! Therefore, occasionally review the thoughts (seeds) you are planting in your mind--its the thoughts that are important, not the mind.

As for Jesus, He talked about the Father in Heaven, and said that when His mission ended (crucified), the Holy Spirit will then be with His disciples.

Jesus also told His followers to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick. Now, belief in God is an important factor in the healing ministry, but belief doesn't heal (it will speed the healing), the Power of God does the actual healing. I have uncovered one documented account of an severely-injured atheist fully restored to health (instantaneously) while visiting Lourdes with his wife, a devout Catholic.

I hope this helps.

Plant good seeds for an edible crop; bad seeds produce poison.

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Old 01-19-2014, 05:19 AM
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You're right to ask questions. No one can get to know God who doesn't ask the honest questions you pose. If you ever want to discuss, send a PM. I'd be glad to be that sounding board NokturnalMe.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:04 AM
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Eastern and Western saints alike have taught the best way to hear/to meet God is in silence . . . meditation.




In my opinion, religion is the outward method (a beginner's course); spirituality is the inward method (the advanced course). A religious person is more inclined to gather arms and to go to war for the sake of God. A spiritual person understands this is incorrect and isn't what God wants.

A spiritual individual doesn't need the church. He/she has completely surrendered him/herself to the will of God, thus living the peaceful life while awaiting the return to the true home. Many religious people will manipulate God to their own likening. A spiritual person knows this is child's play.

The good news is every soul will eventually end up in the right place. God loves everybody.

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