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Everything posted by GeorgeW

  1. I regretfully must say goodbye. Last week, I resigned as a moderator because a serious disagreement with policy as determined unilaterally by The Global Moderator. At the time, I hoped to continue to participate as a member. Now, I have been silenced on an issue that a number of pastors are speaking about from their pulpits because it is not relevant or appropriate to a progressive Christian forum, as determined by the Global Moderator. Now, while recognizing the authority of the administrator to censor whomever and whatever he wishes, as a matter of conscience, I find it difficult
  2. So, you are not willing to give a pubic explanation so others can benefit from my sins? George
  3. Joseph, Did you delete a post I wrote this morning in response to Dutch's #43 above? And, if so, will you explain why? George
  4. My hope is the culture will change such that one of the effects would be that people would no longer want to cling to their high-capacity clips. These are for the purpose of killing humans. I would hope that the desire to kill humans would no longer be present. I would hope that people would no longer feel the need for high-capacity clips to resolve problems. I would hope that people would no longer want to "stand your ground" with the assistance of a high-capacity clip, or any g*n for that matter. Until that day, if I were king of America, I would deny them the ability to possess w*pons o
  5. Someone has pointed out the dramatic change in attitude toward smoking that occurred over a couple of decades. Maybe a similar thing can happen with g*ns. If enough churches, like the ones in Cincinnati and Atlanta, made it a cause, maybe there is reason for hope. George
  6. Identity is a human universal and we couldn't eliminate even if we wanted to. It also can, but not necessarily, be a basis for discrimination. When the Other is denied rights because of identity, then it becomes, in my opinion, pernicious. Whites, 50 years ago, could claim "identity" and diversity as a basis of denying African-Americans civil rights. Today, some heterosexuals claim marriage as an exclusive right because of their identity. George
  7. Identity is a human universal and we couldn't eliminate even if we wanted to. It also can, but not necessarily, be a basis for discrimination. When the Other is denied rights because of identity, then it becomes, in my opinion, pernicious. Whites, 50 years ago, could claim "identity" and diversity as a basis of denying African-Americans civil rights. Today, some heterosexuals claim marriage as an exclusive right because of their identity. George
  8. DrDon, Very good thoughts. I think you have identified at least part of the problem that gays, and we as a society, need to overcome. I think there are several underlying issues that motivate homophobia and the exclusivity that you discuss, is likely one of them. This idea that gay marriage "cheapens" heterosexual marriage is so illogical on the surface that it can only have some deeper psychological motivation. George
  9. Here is an article about a g*n buyback program at a church. Hopefully, this kind of action, although I don't think effective in practical terms, will help change the culture. http://www.nytimes.c.../19land.html?hp I was at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta several weeks ago and they were planning a similar program. So, some religious people consider the g*n issue relevant to Christianity and important to our culture. George
  10. For what it is worth (and not much), I think there is an important link between the historical Jesus and the Jesus of faith. The historical person gives authority to the one of faith. The more conservative a person is, the more important this link is, and probably essential. Even the most progressive of Christians, and many non-Christians as well, refrain from disagreeing with any of the Jesus sayings in the Bible. When we disagree as a matter of faith or theology, we don't say "Jesus was wrong." Instead, we reinterpret, argue mistranslation or misattribution. This way we also implicitly a
  11. This is the view of some scholars, notably those of the Jesus Seminar. However, it is far from a consensus view. Other scholars, such as Bart Ehrman, think that Jesus (the historical person), was apocalyptic and believed that the end of days was imminent and justice would be served with the righteous rewarded and the wicked punished. George
  12. According to Wikipedia, "Unlike the voluntary buybacks in the United States, Australian gun buybacks of 1996 and 2003 were compulsory, compensated surrenders of newly-illegal firearms." There are several significant differences. First, the Australian program was in connection with a ban on newly-acquired guns so one could not replace the turned in weapon. Second, it was national. In LA, one need only drive a few miles to acquire a replacement. Third, it was compulsory. I am certainly in favor of these programs as they may take a few weapons out of circulation. But, I don't think they a
  13. Paul, I am not optimistic about anything meaningful happening. But, I will say, that, at least for now, there seems to be more public awareness and interest. Walmart (one of the largest purveyors of weapons) was invited to meet with Vice President Biden to discuss this issue, but their executives were too busy with other matters. Apparently, because of public reaction to their decision, they reversed the decision and will condescend to meet with the Vice President of the United States of America. George
  14. I was in Ebenezer Baptist Church (MLK's home church) in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. This issue was brought up by the pastor. He pointed out that while the nation is grieving (justifiably) over the Newtown massacre, thousands are dying every year from gun deaths on the streets of our major cities. He didn't say, but implied, that these are mostly poor, minority children about which our nation doesn't seem to be as concerned. The church is planning to coordinate with other churches a gun turn-in program and they will symbolically bury them in coffins. I don't think this will be practicall
  15. Count me as skeptical. I can imagine all sorts of social problems with jealousies, favoritism, issues with parents and children, etc., etc., etc. The nuclear family is a cultural universal, but, as far as I know, this is a form that has never developed, at least, on a wide scale and maybe for good reason. George
  16. Jonny, I would concur with Ron about Ehrman's "New Testament." It would establish a good foundation to venture out from. However, it should be noted that this has very little to do with "theology." Ehrman is a historian not a theologian and will not make a case for any sort of belief system. George
  17. In the religious history category: The Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark. George
  18. Ron, Since you are interested in second-temple Judaism and early Christianity and I know you are a reader, I think you would really like Murphy's book that I referenced a couple of posts back. It is a little pricey, but you could probably get a used one for around a day's wages (mine, not Warren Buffet or Mitt Romney). George
  19. Welcome. I am pleased that you found this forum. I think you will be quite at home here. George
  20. A couple of points need to be made. First, dualism was very much alive in Judaism in the second-temple period. The Essenes were extremely dualistic. Perhaps one could speculate that they got this from the Greeks, but of all the Jewish parties, they would be the one least likely to have foreign influence. In fact, they were extremely anti-Hellenistic. The Pharisees did believe in life after death. This is attested by Josephus and in the New Testament Acts 23:8, "For the Sad'ducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge them all." Rega
  21. Nor This is not a modern concept in Judaism. Only the Sadducees in the late second-temple period did not believe in life after death. George
  22. I heard an interview several years ago with an American Jew (secular, as I recall), who attempted to spend a year complying with all 613 miztvot (commandments). It was not easy, in fact, it was almost impossible to do and live a reasonably normal, modern life. One thing (among many) that I have failed to determine is when Christianity deviated from the agreement at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:19) which requires kosher meats. Both camps of Jesus movement signed up to the deal. I also wonder how modern biblical literalists justify violating this restriction. George
  23. I checked three sources and they give dates for Mark roughly in the 60-80 CE period which could place it before the destruction of the temple in 70 CE. BTW, there is no "blasphemous territory" here as long as one is not dogmatic or demeaning of other views. George
  24. Willkommen, Himmel Suchenden (Hopefully, Google translate is correct). George
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