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insulting religions

(990 Posts)
IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 07-Jan-13 00:39:04

Hi, I've never posted on this topic before, I tend to hang out in aibu, but don't want to start a bun fight!

So, I am a liberal Christian. I firmly believe that everyone had to right to believe (or not) whatever they want, provided that belief doesn't hurt anyone else.

Earlier today I posted a lighthearted status on Facebook, which had led to me being called mindless, stupid, stuck up, thinking I'm better than everyone else. I've been told God is a c**t (sorry I hate that word so much I won't type it) and that the Bible is only God for loo roll!

I'm just really angry that people think its ok to insult me/my religion like that, when I haven't once preached or insulted others.

Obviously the easy solution would be to delete them off of Facebook, but they are people I get on with other wise.

Don't really know the point of my post, just hoping id feel better writing it down. grin

EllieArroway Thu 17-Jan-13 20:19:45

Well - I can't really argue the "mystery religions" issue any further. Problem is, it depends whose books you read, I suppose - Expert X says one thing and Expert Y says something else - and I am not enough of an expert (well, not an expert at all!) to know who's right.

So, I'll wave the white flag on that one because.......I dunno wink

But - I do know something about the historicity of Jesus and I will be delighted to fiercely debate that one with you. But not right this second. I shall be back anon smile

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 17-Jan-13 20:30:41

None of the authors of the gospels were contemporaries of Jesus though, Mad, were they. Mark's gospel is generally considered to be the earliest, and that wasn't written until 40ish years after the death of Jesus. That's a heck of a long time when most couldn't read or write and stories were passed down by word of mouth. Matthew and Luke's gospels were based on Mark's. (after it was translated from the Greek it was written in.

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 21:22:19

John was the dicisple that Jesus loved.
He is generally thught to have writen the gospel of John.
In the gosple of John it is mentioned at least once, that John was the disciple that Jesus loved.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 17-Jan-13 21:49:41

But the gospel of John wasn't written until 70ish years after the accepted date of the crucifixion, perhaps not even until the 2C. It couldn't possibly have been a contemporary of Jesus.
(I know it's a Wiki link but there are plenty of others backing this up)
This isn't contemporary evidence. Faith is based on spiritual conviction. Fine, if that floats your boat, but it can't be presented as historical fact when it clearly isn't.

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 22:26:14

Are you saying the gospel of John isnt true?

sciencelover Thu 17-Jan-13 22:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 22:42:08

EllieArroway Thu 17-Jan-13 22:43:34

Are you saying the gospel of John isnt true?

Almost no scholars think that the Gospel according to John was actually written by John, if that's what you mean. It's believed that it was written in three stages by three different people - none of whom ever met a living Jesus.

All of the gospels were anonymous & none of them were eyewitness accounts.

MadHairDay Thu 17-Jan-13 22:47:27

It's not that long a time in the context of oral tradition though. Stories weren't just handed down lackadaisically. Each word was memorised, over and over and over and handed down as such. 40 years isn't a long time in our memory, really - it's only the 1970s.

The jury's still out on whether the apostle John wrote the gospel John. Some scholars think so, some think not <what a surprise> - some think he may have contributed, or that it was scribed from his memories, as such. I do not know.

It's not clear cut. Matthew and Luke had material exclusive to them. There is the possibility of the Q source, of course. Scholars keep changing their mind grin

You're right. Faith is based on spiritual conviction. But I think there is a good strong case for it being built upon historical evidence as well. As Ellie says, you can always find an expert for both sides of the argument. And neither will back down, so we could keep going round in circles for a Very Long Time. wink

Ellie, are you a namechanger? I remember a very robust and interesting discussion with someone about the historicity of Jesus before, someone who really knew their stuff about early sources etc - was that you? Either way, always happy to discuss! It does me good to get the old brain cells out for a bit of a polish. Too long since I studied all this stuff. smile

Night all, sleep well

EllieArroway Thu 17-Jan-13 22:47:28

Never mind what you think of Wikipedia, Amillion, they teach this stuff in seminary to trainee priests. Almost no one - Christian or otherwise - actually thinks that any disciple or apostle of Jesus had anything to do with the writing of the gospels. This is why they can't be accepted as evidence - they are, at best, hearsay accounts....and inconsistent ones at that.

EllieArroway Thu 17-Jan-13 22:50:08

Mad Yes - I changed my name to talk about something embarrassing a while ago, so could well have been me. I can't remember now. I do have this conversation with lots of people. The more fundamental they are, the crosser they get with me wink

Night smile

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 17-Jan-13 23:01:46

Mad: It's all very well you going on and on about your imaginary friend's toenails/dress sense/sex life and what your story book says about it. That's not the point. There's nothing wrong with people spending a large proportion of their free time and emotional energy fretting about the motivations and inner dimensions of fictional characters, whether it's Jesus, Allah, Cruella De Ville or the Tooth Fairy. Go ahead, enjoy. It's about as big a deal as the fact that some people like to knit, others like to play chess and others like to get tattoos.

The problem is that one or two groups of people reckon that their imaginary friend has got their back when they want to spoil or endanger other people's lives. That's the only reason rational people want to take the piss out of your imaginary friend and/or your silly little hobby - because there comes a point when you (collective 'you') are infringing other people's rights too much.

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 23:15:34

I am not cross with you Ellie, I love you.

You are talking about the bible again with me Ellie, so I presume it is all right to talk about it with you?

EllieArroway Thu 17-Jan-13 23:35:41

Honestly, Amillion that comment wasn't actually aimed at you, promise. I was thinking more of the evangelical, bible-thumping Americans of my acquaintance - the ones who end up telling me that I will be having intimate relations with Satan in Hell when they can't win the argument!

You can talk to me about anything, but I don't accept that the Bible is a source of truth so I don't accept that it answers any questions.

Night smile

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 23:43:42

Fair enough. Night to you too smile

Are you living in America? confused. But then you wouldnt be going to sleep now, confused

amillionyears Thu 17-Jan-13 23:57:11

Those acquaintances of yours, dont sound like they are behaving very well.

EllieArroway Fri 18-Jan-13 00:55:02

No, I'm not in America. But I used to be part of a website that gave believers a chance to ask atheists questions. 90% of the people I spoke to were American and a fair proportion would end up getting very cross indeed. I've had the "historical Jesus" conversation over and over again and it's the one thing that's guaranteed to make steam come out of a fundamentalists ears.

So, I wasn't making a comment about you & I'm sorry if that's what came across. You don't strike me as someone who gets cross easily.

amillionyears Fri 18-Jan-13 07:44:16

ok. Thanks for that explanation.
No, I dont get cross easily, very rarely.
Probably only if I am ill, which is rarely, and then I can get a bit teasy!

I have never thought of atheists as a group before.
Didnt know they ever got together.
I always thought, the reasons for someone being an atheist, were completely varied. Perhaps not?

I presume the website is still going?

No idea why the fundamentalists should get cross. That strikes me as being a bit silly smile

amillionyears Fri 18-Jan-13 07:44:57

Oh, keep meaning to ask
How is your toothache?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 18-Jan-13 08:21:09

amillion - you're absolutely correct about atheists being a varied and unorganised bunch. I guess the only places you get (some) coming together are specific subgroups such as Humanists, and on the internet - like in these MN threads where the usual suspects on either side of the debate show up pretty regularly.

>No idea why the fundamentalists should get cross
Maybe because the rational arguments against their position were getting to them and attack was the only form of defence left to them? People often get crosser about something when deep down they know they're wrong.

MadHairDay Fri 18-Jan-13 08:42:15


No snow day here, huh.

Hello SGB. I don't recall giving a lot of thinking time to an imaginary friend's toenails, but there you go grin Actually, I agree with you, that if people are using their faith to harm others then that's seriously flawed. But you know I think that. For most Christians our faith is about giving hope and freedom. The problem being of course that it has been used for the opposite over the years. It doesn't mean that is how it is meant to be.

Won't be around today but will check in tomorrow, happy discussing smile

amillionyears Fri 18-Jan-13 09:32:17

I dont know anyone in rl who goes about saying they are an atheist.
Am intrigued now.
Do atheists never go to church for example?
What about weddings and funerals?

Bit scared of saying the wrong thing here, as may offend someone with my ignorance.

amillionyears Fri 18-Jan-13 09:36:13

Another thought.
Do atheists have an agenda?
Or are they just like minded people who have found each other and are having a chat.

My mind is starting to boggle.
I can start having 20 questions all at once, when it does that.
Never thought about the subject before in the slightest.

amillionyears Fri 18-Jan-13 09:40:05

Laughing at Jesus's toenails.grin

Quite agree that Christianity can and has been used and abused. In horrific ways.
And quite understand how some people can feel that they never want to become a Christian.
That is why I asked Ellie the question about whether she has been hurt by one.

Perhaps you have SG. And again, dont answer if you dont want to.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 18-Jan-13 10:08:47

Amillion, it's perfectly possible to have weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies without involving imaginary friends. I have had celebrant training myself and conducted a funeral yesterday: there were readings, tributes and music and everyone said they found it moving and comforting.

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