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Let's pretend Jesus is real
#21
(03-10-2018, 08:00 PM)Duchess Wrote:

I've never become annoyed with anyone over their faith. I've never cared if people believed or not. I wish I could carry that over to other things, things that annoy me and make me have snarky thoughts & a smart mouth. Everyone should be able to have their beliefs without encountering push back from those who don't agree. I include myself in that.

People's beliefs or lack of beliefs don't annoy me either.

What sometimes annoys me is people who profess religious beliefs (which they often equate to selfless and moral) when their own words and actions contradict the very religious doctrine they laud over others.

The history and theories are interesting to me. I know you won't shun or banish me because you don't profess to be a true believer who feels the need to silence others Donovan.

But, go ahead and slap me if you think I'm taking the thread off track. It's just my natural inclination to consider and apply the history presented to what I observe in the here and now.

I don't know if Jesus was a real figure or not. I tend to agree with sally; he was probably a mere mortal whose story and nature were distorted over time (sometimes intentionally for self-serving reasons and sometimes just because distortion occurs every time an account is retold over the course of time).
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#22
(03-10-2018, 05:55 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: What's fucking crazy to me is the fact that religious organizations don't pay a dime in taxes.

The government allows them to maintain tax-free status even though the larger religious organizations rake in tons of money from their followers; it's big business.

Plus, religious organizations are exempt from sales taxes on their purchases. They're exempt from property taxes. They're exempt from capital gains tax when they sell off assets.

Priests, ministers, rabbis and the like get "parsonage exemptions" in the U.S. too. That means that they're able to deduct mortgage payments, rent and other living expenses when they're doing their income taxes. They also are the only group allowed to opt out of Social Security taxes.

So, they take in billions of dollars a year and aren't required to contribute a piece of it to provide for the whole of society like other businesses and individuals.

I've always believed religious businesses should be subject to the same taxes as other businesses. But, some politicians and administrations benefit immensely from religions that help control people's thoughts and behavior. Religious organizations also deliver large voter blocks to those politicians and administrations who court them. So, unfortunately, I don't think U.S. religions will lose their tax-exempt status anytime soon, if ever.

Most Pastors I know live in a house next to the church. One in town which I house sit for is a pretty humble house, in fact it needs much repair.
The church itself gives quite a bit to other organizations which help people. They are opening for counseling, they help with the food bank, homeless, drug addicts, old people.
They also have a community nurse who gives of her time to visit those that are home bound.

I know this isn't the case everywhere, but the people I have been surrounded with in the last couple of years are very giving people and often focus on building community and acceptance of those that others have discarded.
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#23
(03-10-2018, 08:21 PM)Love Child Wrote: acceptance of those that others have discarded.


This is often what I think of when I think of what it means to be a good Christian. Acceptance.

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#24
(03-10-2018, 08:00 PM)Duchess Wrote:

I've never become annoyed with anyone over their faith.

That is the word I was going to bring up is faith. Most don't need proof of the existence of God or Jesus or the events in the Bible.

If religion is created to control people-I wonder who is controlling the people that I know. The pastors-the members of the churches, the congregation.
I am pretty sure most pastors felt called to the ministry and not coerced into believing that it was just a good idea.

Am I on the wrong track?
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#25
(03-10-2018, 08:24 PM)Duchess Wrote:
(03-10-2018, 08:21 PM)Love Child Wrote: acceptance of those that others have discarded.


This is often what I think of when I think of what it means to be a good Christian. Acceptance.


Yeah, I totally agree. The crazy thing I learned in the last 2 years is the different sects of Lutheranism. I had no idea! I just thought everyone believed in God and the bible and that was it. But apparently there is a conservitive group of Lutherans, and a liberal group.
I was not raised in the church, but was brought to church by a friend during Highschool years. I am convinced it kept me out of a lot of trouble-with the problems I had in my family. I am thankful for that and for her.
So to now learn that some lutheran churches accept women and gay pastors and the other half doesn't was mind blowing to me.
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#26
I see a lot of churches and pastors doing good too Love Child. I'm not suggesting that everyone associated with religion is a money-grubbing control freak. I don't believe that at all.

What I know to be true is that religious organizations rake in billions of dollars a year and the registered religious organizations are incredible revenue-generating businesses. However, they are completely exempt from the taxes other businesses are required to pay into the public pool.

Churches should be doing outreach and helping others, and many of them do. However, many individuals, non-religious community groups, and tax-paying businesses/corporations also offer a lot of the same outreach services (by choice).

Helping those in need is not exclusive to religion, nor is morality. Instead, they're matters of human decency and compassion which are practiced by the religious and non-religious alike, in my observation and opinion.
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#27
That would be the case with my grandfather who was a Methodist pastor. Him and my grandma always lived in a modest parsonage and truly believed they were serving the lord and doing right by the people.

And so do all the other churches on every corner USA. Some humble and some profiting large. Either way it's a business and it should be taxed like any other business.

I wouldn't have a problem with anyone's faith if it wasn't constantly pushed on people. How can you indoctrinate children that can't even grasp it anyway? That's fucking disgusting.

You can show your children the path to being a good person without forcing them to believe in some divine spirit in the sky and mind fucking them. "Pray to God little ones because God is an egotistical prick and needs to hear your praise before every meal you eat".
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#28
(03-10-2018, 08:26 PM)Love Child Wrote: If religion is created to control people-I wonder who is controlling the people that I know. The pastors-the members of the churches, the congregation.
I am pretty sure most pastors felt called to the ministry and not coerced into believing that it was just a good idea.

Am I on the wrong track?

My feeling is that the control factor is primarily imbedded in the religious stories and teachings themselves (the indoctrination). Then, it's exploited and changed by some governments, religious organizations, and cult leaders in order to maintain their customer bases (believers), make money, and control behavior and thoughts.

For example, many religions dictate that sex before marriage is a sin. So, depending on the sect....you're either going to hell, dirty for life, or need to offer penance to be worthy again if you've engaged in pre-marital sex. That's an example of controlling human behavior.

And, if you're sexually attracted to people of the same sex, well.......you're pretty much fucked in the eyes of most major religions (though that's slowly changing as western religions continue to struggle to keep their diminishing congregations).

Among many sects, homosexuals are still forced to deny their natural attraction and live a lie, or undergo ridiculous and ineffective 'conversion therapy' if they're outed....lest be shunned.

Catholics and many other Christian sects profess that homosexuality is an abomination against God. Since those religions don't support or acknowledge marriage between two people of the same sex, waiting to have sex with the one you love until after the wedding isn't an option for staying 'pure and blessed' as it is for heterosexuals. That's an example of religious control + discrimination + focus on baby-making potential to keep the membership/business growing.

Then there are all the ways that various religions have dictated a woman's place as subservient to men. Donovan mentioned he was going to touch on that history. It's extremely rampant in religious history and still persists in a lot of religions to this day.

Anyway, pastors who believe some/all of those religious control principles because they've been indoctrinated can still feel a real calling to serve others.......without being forced or controlled into serving. And, they're not necessarily bad people. Some are very bad people, we know that from history and the news. But most, I suspect, are decent and truly compelled to do what they believe is good.
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#29
(03-10-2018, 08:26 PM)Love Child Wrote:
(03-10-2018, 08:00 PM)Duchess Wrote:

I've never become annoyed with anyone over their faith.

That is the word I was going to bring up is faith. Most don't need proof of the existence of God or Jesus or the events in the Bible.

If religion is created to control people-I wonder who is controlling the people that I know. The pastors-the members of the churches, the congregation.
I am pretty sure most pastors felt called to the ministry and not coerced into believing that it was just a good idea.

Am I on the wrong track?

Love Child, this is what I’ve encountered during the last 10+ years at my Lutheran Church.

BTW, we’re ELCA which is the tolerant branch, not the ball-busting sect.

This church reminds me in NO WAY of the Baptist Churches I attended as a teen. Those churches preached fire and brimstone on a weekly basis. Tithe, tithe and tithe some more, but they never talked about how the offering was going to the food shelf, or housing the homeless.

Our pastor had barely known my wife and I when our daughter was born prematurely, yet there he was at the hospital that next morning checking in with us.

These people are truly ‘called’ to do what they do. They serve others, drive modest vehicles, and are just as normal as any other person in this forum.

Anyway, I’m not here to tell anyone else they’re wrong.

I am here to say that being ‘religious’ doesn’t feel like the right word.

Being Catholic seems ‘religious’.

The Hail Mary’s, doing ‘works’ to gain Heaven’s entrance, feeling guilty your whole life for everything.

Your and Duchess’ definition of Christian seems spot on.
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#30
(03-10-2018, 08:26 PM)Love Child Wrote: If religion is created to control people-I wonder who is controlling the people that I know. The pastors-the members of the churches, the congregation.
I am pretty sure most pastors felt called to the ministry and not coerced into believing that it was just a good idea.

Am I on the wrong track?

No, I mentioned my grandpa who was a humble minister who lived for the lord. He had no ill intentions, but he was brain washed and so on and so on. Religion is embroiled in politics and the American way and it effects us daily. Decisions on our behalf are made on Christian principals all the time, decisions that I don't feel are right or just. So yes, your faith ( speaking in general) is greatly imposing on me. And it pisses me off.
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#31
We had votes on what consenting adults should or shouldn't be able to do with their lives for Christ's sake. That in itself seems crazy. "I'm going to go in here and vote on shit that ain't even any of my goddamn business because the bible tells me to." All in the name of religion because the majority puts so much faith into absolute hogwash that they were told to believe in.
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#32
(03-10-2018, 05:55 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: What's fucking crazy to me is the fact that religious organizations don't pay a dime in taxes.

The government allows them to maintain tax-free status even though the larger religious organizations rake in tons of money from their followers; it's big business.

Plus, religious organizations are exempt from sales taxes on their purchases. They're exempt from property taxes. They're exempt from capital gains tax when they sell off assets.

Priests, ministers, rabbis and the like get "parsonage exemptions" in the U.S. too. That means that they're able to deduct mortgage payments, rent and other living expenses when they're doing their income taxes. They also are the only group allowed to opt out of Social Security taxes.

So, they take in billions of dollars a year and aren't required to contribute a piece of it to provide for the whole of society like other businesses and individuals.

I've always believed religious businesses should be subject to the same taxes as other businesses. But, some politicians and administrations benefit immensely from religions that help control people's thoughts and behavior. Religious organizations also deliver large voter blocks to those politicians and administrations who court them. So, unfortunately, I don't think U.S. religions will lose their tax-exempt status anytime soon, if ever.

I might agree if colleges were subject to the same taxes. Quite a few colleges are tax exempt and are constantly building new profit creating buildings, buying land to increase their ability to grow bigger. Soon they are able to become separate communities that do not give back monetarily to the communities that contain them. SNHU is a good example. Their bureaucracy continues to grow with plenty of 200,000 tier administrative jobs created every week it seems and still they are considered non-profit.

The same mentality you use with religion could be used towards upper education which last time I looked has put more people in the poorhouse, more so than any religion or religious affiliated school.
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
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#33
(03-10-2018, 10:19 PM)Midwest Spy Wrote:
(03-10-2018, 08:26 PM)Love Child Wrote:
(03-10-2018, 08:00 PM)Duchess Wrote:

I've never become annoyed with anyone over their faith.

That is the word I was going to bring up is faith. Most don't need proof of the existence of God or Jesus or the events in the Bible.

If religion is created to control people-I wonder who is controlling the people that I know. The pastors-the members of the churches, the congregation.
I am pretty sure most pastors felt called to the ministry and not coerced into believing that it was just a good idea.

Am I on the wrong track?

Love Child, this is what I’ve encountered during the last 10+ years at my Lutheran Church.

BTW, we’re ELCA which is the tolerant branch, not the ball-busting sect.

This church reminds me in NO WAY of the Baptist Churches I attended as a teen. Those churches preached fire and brimstone on a weekly basis. Tithe, tithe and tithe some more, but they never talked about how the offering was going to the food shelf, or housing the homeless.

Our pastor had barely known my wife and I when our daughter was born prematurely, yet there he was at the hospital that next morning checking in with us.

These people are truly ‘called’ to do what they do. They serve others, drive modest vehicles, and are just as normal as any other person in this forum.

Anyway, I’m not here to tell anyone else they’re wrong.

I am here to say that being ‘religious’ doesn’t feel like the right word.

Being Catholic seems ‘religious’.

The Hail Mary’s, doing ‘works’ to gain Heaven’s entrance, feeling guilty your whole life for everything.

Your and Duchess’ definition of Christian seems spot on.

Well of course they had to modernize, the younger generation was creeped out by that archaic shit and they were losing customers. The churches here have even shamelessly reduced themselves to putting skate board ramps outside to lure them in.

It's like the Arby's commercial "We Got The Meats". As totally fucked up as that sounds people are piling in there to get their beef and cheddars.
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#34
I'm still all for going back to free public colleges, initiating work/study programs, and mandated lower financing rates on student loans Mags.

But, education is a service that assists people to better their lives and future potential (career-wise and otherwise), which is good for the country. And, public colleges are not profit centers like religious organizations.

Higher education and churches don't belong in the same bucket, as far as I'm concerned.
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#35
[Image: attachment.php?thumbnail=4253]

hah
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
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#36
[Image: giphy-downsized.gif]
Blowing-kisses
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#37
(03-09-2018, 02:32 PM)Donovan Wrote: In this thread we will discuss the historical Yeshua aka Jesus, assuming for the sake of debate that he actually existed. For this purpose we will be addressing the actual man as he would have existed, in what context and under what constructions of that society, in order to support my original point that religion exists to keep the ruling classes in power and control the vast majority of the populace through threat and vague promise.

For the sake of distinction I will refer to this man as Yeshua, which is the name most historians actually ascribe to him. Participants may call him what they wish, I think we all know who we are talking about.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeshua

In defense of a historical Christ, as opposed to the hysterical white hippie we know today, I offer the brief mentions of both Tacitus and Josephus, non Christian contemporary figures who referred to a leader of a problematic cult who was killed by the Romans and who was called "the Christ."

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily...sus-exist/

These external references serve to validate that at some point closely corresponding with Biblical reference, a minor prophet/rabbi rose to prominence, led a select group of zealots who named themselves "christians", and was ultimately killed for reasons we will discuss later.
I believe there is enough historical evidence to prove that he did in fact exist so the thread title is a bit misleading, the question is, was he the son of god and everyone's lord and savior? Clearly to Jews he wasn't/isn't as well as Muslims, Hindu and every other religion on earth that isn't Christianity. As far as the wealth and control aspects of Dono's theory, I'd have to say that there are people out there who fit Dono's theory so perfectly that they may have well consulted Dono in making the mold. On the other hand, there are surely people out there who are the exact opposite and truly believe they are answering the call of the lord to lead their flock. I think there are people in this world that have a need to believe just the same way there are people who don't. If I were to say that Noah's Ark was actually the best way primitive man could describe aliens extracting DNA to preserve animals and humans prior to a predictable catastrophe, some would say it's logical while others would deem me blasphemous, but does anyone truly believe in their heart that some dude made a boat and filled it with all of the earths species 2 by 2? I think you might need your head examined by a professional if you do.
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#38
I don't know I don't have to "pretend" I know he's real and nobody can ever change my mind and that's that. Although I believe he is in everything. Kinda like "the force" in star wars.
You couldn't get a clue during the clue mating season in a field full of horny clues if you smeared your body with clue musk and did the clue mating dance.
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#39
(03-10-2018, 05:55 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: What's fucking crazy to me is the fact that religious organizations don't pay a dime in taxes.

A little off topic but....

I live in Billy Graham country. I was not a huge fan of him but I think he was a good man. His son, Franklin is another story. He preaches politics from the pulpit and people eat that shit up around here.

I also live in Steven Furtick country. Not one penny of taxes are being collected off this house. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...-1.1501934
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#40
(03-17-2018, 11:02 PM)Tammy75 Wrote: I live in Billy Graham country. I was not a huge fan of him but I think he was a good man. His son, Franklin is another story. He preaches politics from the pulpit and people eat that shit up around here.

I also live in Steven Furtick country. Not one penny of taxes are being collected off this house. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national...-1.1501934

I hadn't heard of Steven Furtick before, Tammy.

[Image: headshot.jpg]

Yeah........it's real clear-minded to believe ^ this guy will lead you on the path to heaven or save your soul -- the higher your donations, the better your chances!

The dude is banking millions on the backs of gullible evangelicals and living in a millionaire's mansion without paying a cent of taxes on it. What a holy crock.


P.s. I agree -- Franklin is no Billy, not by a long shot.
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