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FreeThinkers of Fort Worth Message Board The Door › That which cannot be understood

That which cannot be understood

user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 44
Hopefully this won't be considered a rant because it's so lengthy, but I absolutely have to get my thoughts down.
A long-term customer at my store got to talking with me a few weeks ago and I actually (why, I have NO idea) agreed to meet her for lunch. She's Catholic, mind you. As in, very serious about it, has been very serious about it for many, many years. Now, from talking to her the first time (just over ice cream), she seemed like a genuinely sweet, good, honest, kind person. Except for one moment that made my hair stand on end, when she told me she'd drawn the image of the story of Abraham and Isaac. Do you know it? The scene with the father's hand held high, knife ready to plunge into his son's chest as proof of his devotion to God's commands. I was so taken aback by this that I didn't have the words to confront the issue. I was literally rendered speechless, but I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped open for a few seconds as I tried to process what I heard and debated whether I should immediately take my leave.
I may challenge her on it at some time, but here's my thinking on this: what is the most serious crime a person can commit? The answer is a true no-brainer: homicide, and it's an even more egregious act when one of your own family members - and a child at that - is the victim. Heinous and atrocity are good words to describe such an action. After all, this taboo is one of the 10 most significant commandments provided in all of the holy scriptures: "Thou shall not kill." But wait a minute... when we crack open the Bible to other pages - to this particular story, for example - we find that killing another human being, even a child who is your own son, is not a bad or wrong thing when you're given the order from the Almighty. In that case, it isn't a crime or a sin. It is, in fact, a noble, righteous, honorable deed, worthy of reverence since it was carried out in the utmost spirit of faith. So, her telling me she made a painting of Abraham seconds away from murdering his own flesh and blood was extremely, extremely alarming.
And then I met her again, yesterday. This time, we spoke briefly about the value of prayer and I simply couldn't let her off the hook because of the devastating implications of what she was saying. We talked about the tribal warfare in Rwanda and the dedicated efforts toward genocide there. She mentioned Our Lady of Kibeho (in Rwanda), who uttered a prophecy: I want people to pray, or untold numbers of people will die.
My response was, I am certain that a lot of people took up fervent prayers after what she said. You can't tell me that nobody followed her advice. You can't convince me that nobody put forth a single prayer for peace and the safety of many, many human lives in that part of the world.
Her response: well, I think she wanted more people to pray, or pray harder, and I don't think they did.
My response was even-toned but very stern (when what I really wanted to do was bellow "Exactly how in the hell are you so sure about where they went wrong?"). I said: No, that doesn't answer my question. You can't tell me that was the case because I am sure many good people completely believed this woman and, motivated by the true fear in their hearts, got down on their knees and offered up prayers with the most devout sincerity. But the mass killings and unchecked warfare (I should add rape and pillaging) took place anyway.
Now, obviously, the one and only conclusion in the mind of the person I was talking to was that the prayers were either insufficient in number or intensity (or both!) and thus failed to stop a nationwide bloodbath. But the ONLY LOGICAL conclusion to draw from the certainty that 1) prayers were uttered and 2) so many people died horrible deaths is that those prayers floated up to an empty sky, never heard by any deity. There is but one single, rational idea here: God does not exist, and I can drive the point home with Matthew 18:19, which says that if any two people should get together and issue prayers, their requests will not be turned away by the "Father in heaven." And I would think that prayers to not be burned alive, raped, shot or stabbed to death, drowned, tortured, mutilated, dismembered and THEN murdered, run over by trucks, blown up, fed to wild animals in "games" devised by the enemy for entertainment, etc., etc. are rather high on the urgency/RSVP scale...
So what can we do?!? This weighs on me very heavily. How on Earth can we get through to religious people about the impossible, impossible, IMPOSSIBLE, maddening lines of "thought" they hold so dear and preach to the world? They build their lives around their beliefs and sometimes we outsiders get a glimpse of how utterly destructive their ideas about the make-believe world become in the real world. Let me put it this way: they're so busy taking God's side in every argument, they abandon the human side. So I'll take it up. Someone has to...
user 7676117
Arlington, TX
Post #: 48
I think we can all relate to your experience and I hope the following will cover why it's simply not worth your time to try reasoning to a hard-line christian.

a) for a christian, to question something, is evil and sin of it's self.

Christians are slaves to a reality/belief their environment convinced them of. Unfortunately most are convinced at a early age and their family and friends are also of the same beliefs so to them their beliefs are real. - Aristotle "One man's illusion is another man's reality"

So if their almighty says kill, then kill it is without question or thought.

b) the unofficial mascot of Christians is the parrot..

-Both are great at repeating and no original thoughts

Steve Jobs and most of us "free thinkers" gave up Christianity for the same two reasons. In 1992 as I was studying computer networks and joining BBS's (pre internet for the younger audience) my Dad told said "son the preacher said the internet could be the mark of the beast"...

I bit my tongue for 30sec and replied "it could be dad, but if I learn how it works I can fight the evil and keep it from becoming that." (for all you enjoying the internet today, your welcome, lol)

Another example is the Politicians, who spends more time arguing who should be elected and will receive the "glory and praise" for the work they'll do and actually don't get any work done...

Standing up for human life is noble in some circles (others see the planet as over crowded) however we agree on the need for enlightenment of the next generation and rather than waste our time on the older generations, lets focus on the youth as the rebellious state is the prefect time to save them.

Steve F.
user 8296547
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 3
Rob, one biblical answer to the Abraham & Isaac story is that, in fact, Abraham FAILED the test ... Many Talmudic scholars assert that the fact that he was about to kill his son because he was "told to" showed his lack of understanding of the Law. The family of Abraham is no longer featured in the Bible after that incident.

To the point of prayer, statistical studies have been conducted on the recovery of people with similar diseases (a) when they have people praying for them and (b) without people praying for them. There is no difference in the recovery rate at all (actually people without the prayers did recover at a statistically insignificant better rate).

What prayer may do is focus the mind on an issue and there may be some thought or even energy transfer. However praying for an end to starvation, war, disease is quite simply a cop out. If the war ends and the atrocities cease, the prayer worked. If it doesn't, then it's part of God's "plan." Some plan, huh? My seven-year old granddaughter could come up with a better plan. Prayer diverts attention from the fact that WE, humanity, are in large part a bunch of greedy, vicious idiots. Much easier to give God the credit, blame the devil and sit back in front of our 42" TV and say we did our bit on Sunday ...

What I usually tell the God-botherers when asked to pray for this or that is along the lines of "With millions of innocent children starving, disease-ridden and being slaughtered in wars, do you honestly think I'm going to bother God with the fact that you're having trouble paying your f*ck*ing mortgage this month?
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 46
Yes, the "it's part of God's plan" response is excellent proof that Christians have an excuse for everything. Anyway, I highly recommend the book "Cain," by Jose Saramago. It's a boldly irreverent depiction of Cain's travels and experiences after killing his brother. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but one great scene is when he stumbles across Abraham, wrestles the knife away to save Isaac and basically says "Hey, man, what the f--k is wrong with you???" He also stirs up a real hornet's nest on the Ark. Fun stuff...
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