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Everything posted by NORM

  1. To me, the character of Jesus (real or not) is as an advocate for the defenseless, hope for the downtrodden, and champion of lost causes.
  2. One of the first things to strike me as I transitioned from evangelical Christian to Jewish is how unremarkable Jesus' Jewishness is. I was prepared to look down on Jesus, but ended up having a lot more respect for him, as a Jewish man, than I ever had as a confessional Christian. Confessional Christianity, I think, has been so remiss in understanding how much Jesus' message was intended for a Jewish audience, that key elements of his message - or, rather, the message attributed to the character of Jesus, if you like - are lost on the evangelical mind. Whether or not you believe Jesus
  3. Interesting perspective. I suppose if every Christian who doubted the veracity of most of the supernatural parts of the theology weren't allowed to use the copyrighted symbol, their populations would be fewer than my Jewish brethren! Ha ha. Frankly, calling oneself a Christian these days in America isn't exactly the bon mot it once was, what with all the hijacking by the AltRight. Personally, when asked my religion, I usually say "evolving." NORM
  4. Ok, I finally was able to read the entire thread! First, Bill, I am very, very sorry to hear of the loss of your granddaughter in such a tragic, and unexpected way. No granparent - or, even parent, for that matter - should outlive their grandchildren. No mere words of sympathy will ever repair the scars of their passing. Secondly, let me preface my comments by letting you know where I'm coming from, for those who don't remember me from a couple of years ago on this forum. I do not think that the Bible is anything other than a collection of writings by men beginning in about the 7th or
  5. Interestingly, I simply rewrote the actual Hippocratic Oath that physicians take, adapting it to the "practice" of religion. It, too, focuses on actions rather than ideals. NORM
  6. Thanks, Bill. I am reading through your Sovereignty thread - wow, some powerful stuff in there. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I have some definite thoughts on the subject, but I want to read through all the comments first. I wrote Hippocratic Oath partly in response to some of what is happening in this most uncivil election process, and some of the really crass ways that religion - particularly evangelical Christian - is pouring gasoline on the fire. I have about a dozen more chapters to write in my next book, so hopefully, I'll be back in spades here. NORM
  7. I think that Jesus is a character in the story of life for a practicing Jewish man of the First Century CE, and has been imbued with elements of some type of radical reformation of the religious life of the times. If I call myself a "follower" of Jesus, then, I would expect to do the same thing within my culture and time - keeping in mind, of course, that the bulk of the story is fiction. NORM
  8. It's been awhile since I've posted in here, and with Bishop Spong recovering, I found myself perusing the PC website, and I recall how beneficial (and safe) I found this discussion forum as I was sorting through some things in my life. I write a blog, and have written two books, so I've been a little busy. I thought my most recent article might find some interest here. I'll post the link to my blog so you can check out some of my other articles. Here is my article. Let me know what you think. Hippocratic Oath for the Religious Religious practitioners of various types tout their
  9. Hello Starr15, I think you are correct in your assumptions as to the origins of the propitiation and atonement stories. It is rooted in humanity's barbaric past. I would recommend reading a book called Constantine's Sword by James Carroll. I read it at exactly the same point in my spiritual journey as you seem to entering. I recall that it at first made me quite angry, and then after looking up some of the bibliographical references, provided a LOT of clarity. NORM
  10. Yes, both the Amish and Native Americans name and "bless" the animals they use for food and clothing. NORM
  11. I think Hobby Lobby was duped into this course of action by clever tricksters. Just a hunch. They seem like nice people. NORM
  12. I don't think it is possible for it NOT to have been tampered with. Human nature and all... NORM
  13. No, it becomes a horticultural engineer. NORM
  14. It's pretty clear to me that this case was and is not really about women's birth control rights. When one reads the Majority opinion (particularly Alito and Thomas), you can plainly see that the Affordable Care Act is the real target. The hypocrisy I see is not between Hobby Lobby's religious views on abortion (there is nothing about the birth control in question that "causes abortions" - even the so-called morning after pill does not abort a fetus, it merely prevents ###### from completing its job in the uterus) and its investment strategy (the analysis of 401k structure is informative -
  15. More precisely, "corrections" - probably shouldn't have used the term updates. This group here, under the guidance of the Bar Ilan University: http://thetalmudblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/some-new-publications/ They are using sophisticated computer searching and manuscript recovery techniques to update the Talmud with better translations and missing commentary. You can subscribe to the Blog to learn of their achievements. NORM
  16. I determine value and degree on a case by case basis. For example, when I am attending a sporting event, I value camaraderie, fellowship and the spirit of competitiveness. However, when I am consoling a grieving friend, I value accumulated human wisdom, the shared experience of the loss of something / someone and human compassion and kindness. I shudder to think of anyone who would adopt a "one-size-fits-all" notion of value. NORM
  17. Hello Slash, Rest assured, you are among friends. I call myself a non-theist, and have been informed by moderators on other Christian fori that a non-theist is another term for Atheist. I don't prefer that sobriquet, because it implies that I am Against-Theism, and that is simply not the case. One can disbelieve miracles while embracing the people who believe in such things. As you state in your opening post, you are not against religious people; per se, but against certain harmful ideas and dogma some theists hold (bet I can guess which ones!) I think there should be a category f
  18. Sounds like a fantastic idea for a book, Soma! It's a shame about your teaching. I was very much influenced by teachers who challenged my thinking and encouraged me to leave my comfort zone. Don't delay writing that book! I finally finished my first novel http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JPV5BBI in April of this year. I'm now halfway through my second novel and a third of the way through a third! I am using Kindle Publishing, but there is a "traditional" publisher working with the manuscript of my first novel right now. Good luck in your new venture. NORM
  19. I believe that Renewed Faith 1964 has left the building. The old, ID arguments have been pretty soundly debunked, I think. I like the suggestion about the high school biology textbook, however I would add the following caveat: one that was published in this century. NORM
  20. Excellent post, Soma The Isaac Newton quote used to be my signature on the old, New York Times discussion board! I think at one time, philosophy and theology informed science in the early stages, but now it should be reversed. Science should inform religion, because inherent within the scientific method is that "testing" against reality that many perspectives brings to religion. The more mainstream religious institutions ignore scientific reality, the more distant and irrelevant they become in the minds of modern humanity. NORM
  21. Turn this around and see it from your Atheist friend's point of view. He could quite rightly think; why should he be unequally yoked with someone who is brainwashed by religion? After all, we hear stories of people who commit murder at the bequest of the voices in their heads. Anders Breivik of Norway killed 77 people based on his Christian beliefs: David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer in New York in the 70s claims that demons possessed his neighbor's dog and ordered him to murder people. Where did he get the idea of demon possession? Specifically; his Roman Catholic upbringing.
  22. First, let me say that I don't think believing in atonement theory "disqualifies" you as a Progressive Christian. I think it fits quite well into the faith tradition of Christianity. It is neither a requirement as a belief, or a disqualifier. However, since you bring it up, what about it (atonement) do you find compelling, if I can use that word? Do you think that one should believe in atonement if one is to call themselves Christian? I know there are many who have this belief. NORM
  23. Speaking of stories and fiction, check out my novel, Tea Party: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JPV5BBI. I would really appreciate feedback on it. If you like my writing in this forum, you will enjoy reading my stories. I have another one under way called The Farmer With a Dell. It's about the food industry and corruption in the newly emerging alternative energy markets. NORM
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