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Everything posted by Raven

  1. Lots of things occur in nature, or occur naturally, that cause harm. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's automatically good. As Dutch pointed out at the start of this thread, there is a difference between a relationship between consenting adults of the same sex, and a relationship between and adult and child. Those who like to make a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia are unable or unwilling to see the difference, and it drives me crazy. Whether or not pedophilia is a sexual orientation is outside my area of expertise. However, as an opinion I would say i
  2. Thank you all. We are planning for winter 2013 so I have suddenly become very busy lol
  3. Happy New Year, friends! I've been awol for the last while with the usual holiday whirlwinds, but am now back to business as (mostly) usual. I am super overjoyed to announce my engagement to the love of my life, who surprised me with a New Year's Eve countdown/fireworks proposal. It was a beautiful moment and we are both overjoyed. Anyway, I know it's totally off-topic but I think of you all as friends, so I wanted to share my happy joy with you. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday - welcome 2013!!
  4. The value in relegating women lies in the value of keeping men superior. Not to push the gender button, but you have to ask, "Who is being served by this?" Keeping women submissive allows men to keep the power and control. Women don't do so well under such a system, but the men certainly clean up. Conventional, old-school religion (not just Christianity) is often patriarchal. It's not coincidence that the Bible, written and "enforced" by men, features a male God. Considering that, stereotyically, women seem to be strong in areas of kinkeeping, emotional support, and the other "soft skill"
  5. I can really only speak on this topic from two different places, at least with respect to the question asked. In the United Church of Canada, women are treated as equals to men. Bear in mind that I have attended the same church, so this is based on that church. Women sit on boards, even chair them, with no issues of any kind. Our current minister is a woman, as well! (And she rocks!) In this environment, I have no trouble identifying as a "Christian" because I feel like I'm on equal footing with my male counterparts. When this minister arrived, we did lose a few people (very few, actually)
  6. I've been hesitant to post here, as this topic is one I feel strongly about, and thus I don't always trust myself to express myself rationally here. Before I go any further, let me clearly announce my bias - I absolutely HATE guns, and I don't think people should be allowed to have them. I also think it's terrifying that people can legally buy rounds and rounds and rounds of ammo without raising an eyebrow. Ok. This tragedy is absolutely heartbreaking. A few unconnected thoughts: 1. I think it's disgusting that media outlets photograph/videotape grieving family members. It's extrem
  7. Thanks for sharing that! In the face of tragedy, it's always good to try to find something comforting.
  8. I'll add my own two cents - the fact that a "King" was born in a stable, rather than a castle, I think speaks to the potential for all of us to live in a Christ-like fashion, regardless of where/what we come from. The Kingdom is within all of us - not just the rich and powerful.
  9. I like to look at Biblical stories for the spirit of them, rather than the letter. Sure, it most likely didn't literally happen the way it says in the Bible, but what's the spirit behind it? What's the purpose of the story? What can I take from it that will be positive and encouraging?
  10. If we allow ourselves to be too caught up in the packaging, we miss out on the product. To give ourselves confidence or comfort, we tell ourselves what God's intentions are, the purpose behind the things that happen, or blame Him for what we don't like. This packaging is comfortable. We're used to it, as it comes from the lessons and cliches most of us heard growing up. The product, however, is different from the packaging. The product is less tangible, less predictable, and harder to nail to the wall than a bowl of jello. In my mind, however, it surpasses the packaging a billion times
  11. Raven

    My Answers

    Thank you for the compliment, Kaykuck. I tried to explain myself as best I could. Personally, I think of the resurrection less in physical terms and more in metaphorical terms. To me, the concept of resurrection is about a new life with Jesus - a new outlook, walking a new path, a chance to start over and begin with a new perspective. I don't buy the concept of Jesus dying for my sins (or anyone else's sins), as much as I consider it to be part of the guilt story co-opted by the church. As for Heaven and Hell ... those are ideas I'm still sorting out, but I don't believe in a physical plac
  12. Raven

    My Answers

    How does language “an approach to God” fit your spiritual needs? “An” approach, instead of “the” approach, fits me perfectly. It gives me the flexibility to find a path that works for me, with the understanding that someone else’s path might be different, and that my path may also change as I do. I also like the concept of me doing the approaching, rather than waiting for God to approach me. 2. What language would you have used for you own spiritual journey? I would use words like “winding,” “open,” “confusing,” “fulfilling,” “challenging,” “frustrating,” and “rewarding.” 3. Do
  13. "Justice" sounds like retribution when it's as basic as "an eye for an eye," which I don't believe in. However, I do think that when people do something to cause harm to another person, they should have to suffer some consequences. If you take the life of someone else (or cause them so much damage that their life is forever altered in a way they didn't choose), I don't think you should be able to just walk away from it. It's not about "making it fair," but about having an understanding that actions have consequences. It's an easy enough concept - we teach it to children from the time t
  14. Raven


    Excellent points by both of you! Paul - you're right, the way I phrased it did sound like a big, boring burden. What I really meant was just the idea of cohesion for some, while other communities may actually have really specific goals and ideas. Some communities may actually be born out of those goals and ideas - people coming together out of a shared desire for something specific, like in the case of advocacy, or a neighbourhood watch system. I love the internet communities. It's amazing how we can connect with people who may be physically very far away from us but emotionally/intell
  15. The concept of polygamy is interesting to me, from an outside perspective. As far as I know, I've never met anyone in a polygamous marriage/relationship, so all I know is what I've seen on tv and read in books. Warren Jeffs and his people have been in the news on and off for the last couple of years, and I have a few books written by those who survived his dictatorship and other similar dictatorships. If people actually willingly enter into polygamous marriage, I see no problem with that. If three (four? five?) competent adults decide to do that, that's their business. From what I have
  16. You make some great points! And though you can't see me, I'm making a jealous face that you got to meet Bishop Spong <- kind of like this Lately in our book group (also reading Spong) we have been discussing issues related to Biblical inerrancy, and how that concept helps people use the Bible for division and judgment, rather than encourage people to live their life in a way that best reflects Jesus' teachings. Even as a child, I found the concept of inerrancy to be a bit odd - as an adult, I can't get my head around it at all. Money and the church is another big issue for a lot of
  17. Raven


    1. What does the term “community” mean for you? When does a group become a community? I think "community" is about people coming together with a sense of purpose or direction. It could be something as basic as sharing a physical space (such as a neighbourhood) where the sense of purpose would be perhaps to live together peacefully, and take care of the neighbourhood environment. It could be something more specific, such as a church community, a work community, or a hobby community, where people have common ideas and goals and support one another. In my opinion, a group becomes a commun
  18. I know this thread is old, but I still think it's worth discussing. As you state, concepts of "justice" vary from person to person, culture to culture, and also situation to situation. For example: I am almost always fully against the death penalty; once in a while, a case will come to light that makes me question my usual stance - perhaps there are cases where the death penalty is truly the best type of "justice." "Justice" is a concept that has been in our papers recently as well, following the violent summer our city has. Canada currently has a Criminal Youth Justice Act (previousl
  19. Welcome Jay! I'm currently reading the same book. I look forward to your contributions.
  20. I'm tired of this debate - not here on the site, I mean just in general. I can't believe that a woman's right to control her own reproductivity is still an issue. There are many, many reasons why a woman (and her partner) may elect to have an abortion. Maybe she was raped, or was the victim of incest. Maybe she found out about the pregnancy after the relationship/marriage ended, and she is not prepared to be a single mother. Maybe specific illnesses/disabilities run in her family or her partner's family, and she does not want to pass on those genes. Maybe the form(s) of contraception faile
  21. I'm actually reading this book right now, with the book club at my church. I too found Spong's concept of "accidental being" difficult to reconcile, and I ultimately have rejected it. Spong is a learned man, whose theological knowledge vastly outweighs my own. However, he is still a mere human being, not some sort of supernatural prophet or something. His ideas are his own, and he is entitled to them; agreement with him is not required. I don't believe that I'm here by accident, or that the things that happen do so randomly. He seems to, and that's ok too. The more I read and the m
  22. Joseph, Thanks for your points. I don't feel particularly that I'm looking for the drama, but simply that it is there, and it bothers me. In our city, we had a particularly violent summer, and that has continued - it's hard not to get caught up in that, when it's practically knocking at the door. When I see people creating drama and negativity for what appears to be just the sake of it, or to make noise, or because being provocative is addicting, it feels like such a waste of time and energy. Our time on this earth may be short - why use it to be negative, when we can do positive things in
  23. I'm currently at the beginning of Levitacus in my Bible study, and my goodness - all those finicky rules! Like Exodus wasn't enough, with this many cubits and that many colours of embroidery threads... now it's this type of sacrifice and that type of sacrifice... yikes. Anyway, it called to mind something I'd heard somewhere before (school lecture perhaps?) - the theory that some of the specifics of religous rites are the result of people with OCD, or other types of mental illnesses. I wish I could remember more of the information, but it was years ago ... I remember examples like specifi
  24. You both make excellent points. My post was a bit rambling and irritated, and I apologise for sounding over-the-top. It was spurred by seeing too much garbage on the internet, especially FB. Paul, thank you for the reminder about interpretation. For example, while your fundy friend might interpret "dominion" as "right," I would interpret it as "responsibility" - as in, we are responsible for the well-being of our environment, the way that a parent has "dominion" over their child, and is responsible for his/her welfare. Joseph - your comments reminded of much of what I studied in un
  25. It's always bothered me how religious institutions seem to have so much hate for love & sex. No wonder so many people grow up with sexual hang-ups. The church, like the state, has no business being in people's bedrooms. Everyone of age? Good. Everyone consenting? Good. Everyone fully aware of everyone else's STIs (if applicable)? Good. Get on with it then. Surely, in 2012, we have better things to worry about than who does what to whom - ?
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