IM, Paul was an overly zealous, self-righteous, delusional blowhard whose words mean no more to me than the bloviatings and pontificatings of any pompous televangelist or street preacher today. He did say a few noteworthy things that were in line with truth in general but most of what he preached and wrote could be condensed down, like the entire Bible should be, to a very small digest of wisdom or truths to live by.
As for Jesus Christ, I know not how you yourself might perceive him, but the fundamentalist Christians look upon him as the messiah (part man/part God, Son of God, or God incarnate, whatever) who is their personal savior and in whom a belief as such is necessary for salvation; while the more liberal Christians tend to look upon him as fully human, an activist preacher/teacher/philosopher whose teachings are worthy of following and whose life was worthy of emulating. For you to say, "...there is no half-god/Half-man in my reading of the OT/NT! I'm not sure where you read or heard that idea" is for you to announce your complete ignorance of how most Christians actually perceive him - as half-man/half-god. They might not see him literally as half-man/half-god but there is passionate disagreement among Christians as to whether he was the Son of God or God incarnate. Either way, JC, in the minds of fundies, was a supernatural being, capable of performing miracles that defied the laws of nature and physics. To say the he was half-man/half-god is no more far-fetched than any other perception that Christians have of him. There is no actual historical evidence that he existed anyway, even as a mere mortal, so he might as well be called a half-man/half-god as any of the other ways Christians try to define him.
"...virtually the entire Pentateuch is transcribed oral history, certainly Genesis. Whether it captures specific actual physical events is not as important as the fact the oral history captures the essence of the understood relationship between humanity and Creator in the eyes of the ones who voiced the history. In that sense it captures truth, and understood that way, it also accommodates some degree of relativism to provide accommodation of new knowledge and a changing world into its ethics." - inquiringmind
Many of the more liberal-minded Christians today are astute enough and sensible enough to at least see the absurdity of believing in the Bible as literal history. But they still seem to need some sort of justification for the basis of their belief; they need some sort of validation for setting themselves apart as "Christian." They cannot accept the fact that truth does not need a religious label or a hero/guru to believe in. They still buy into the dogmatic notion that they need to be "saved." And so they come up with these far-fetched analyses of the Bible, such as what you have shown here, IM, in order to retain a certain dignity and sanctity about the Bible and their beliefs.
But the simple fact is that every one of the inane and fairy-tale-ish stories in the Old Testament sprang up because of primitive people's complete lack of knowledge to explain the world and the cosmos around them. In other words, they arose from sheer ignorance. While we can appreciate how imaginative they were, the fact is that there is nothing of actual truth about them, and there is nothing to be gained from trying to "accommodate" their relativism into our evidence-based knowledge of today.
The Old Testament stories (along with the far-fetched NT story of a half-god/half-man "savior" performing miracles and supposedly dying and then resurrecting himself to save us from our sins) are silly, with most of them demonstrating what a cruel and sadistic God our primitive forebears believed in.
While there are a FEW morally sound aphorisms contained in the Bible, they could and should be condensed into one brief chapter. The vast majority of the Bible is nonsense and rubbish and there is nothing sacrosanct or special about it, even looked at from a "liberal Christian" perspective.
Timbo, Cheney certainly cannot compare in scope and magnitude to some of history's more ignominious war mongers and merchants of death, but there is no denying that he, as well as Bush and the entire gang of neo-con thugs, should be prosecuted for war crimes. They not only cherry-picked the "evidence" to support their phony reasons for war, they lied outright. They have the blood of thousands of American soldiers on their hands who died for nothing (yes, NOTHING) and the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis. Bush, Cheney, and their entourage of neo-con scumbags should have been thrown into prison and left to rot.
"This country was built on immigration, not illegal immigration like the Democrats believe."
Yes, but every new wave of immigrants was hated and ostracized by the existing Americans (citizens who were once immigrants themselves, or whose parents were) in their time. If conservatives would cease in their intentions to punish or deport all illegal aliens and focus on passing sensible and fair immigration reform instead, the vast majority of "illegals" could and would become bona-fide American citizens.
Those who call themselves "pro-life" are nothing but hypocrites. They are pro-zygote, pro-embryo, pro-fetus ONLY. As soon as that precious little cherub they claim to care so much about pops out of the womb (most of the time to an emotionally immature, poverty-stricken girl or young woman unable to care for it properly), they deem it to be a "moocher and a taker." And these anti-government reactionaries who are always insisting that the government butt out of our lives and let us live "free" do not see their hypocrisy in insisting that that same government force a woman to give birth against her will. And there is a growing number of them who do not want a woman to be able to abort a fetus even in cases of rape, incest, or to save her own life.
As for getting any "pro-lifer" to protest AGAINST the death penalty or war or the inhumane slaughter of animals in our meat-processing plants, or FOR the safety net programs that would help single, unwed mothers and their children living in poverty or FOR the wider accessibility of contraception which in itself would go a long way in reducing the number of abortions, well....good luck with that. Ain't gonna happen.
It is good to be open and receptive to the other side. But when everything has been said that needs to be said and a line has been drawn in the sand, the only honorable thing to do is to take your stand and fight like hell for your beliefs. You are just being wishy-washy, sir, trying to placate all the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. There is nothing to ponder about this ridiculous state statute. Unless you are pondering how much more forcefully to speak out against it.
David Cook, it is certainly not good to be so biased and bound to our ideological predilections that we close off communication with those who have opposing views. But in the case of pro-choice vs. pro-life, the pro-life crowd stopped listening to us pro-choicers a long time ago; and in fact they have been on a rampage ((war) enacting all manner of anti-abortion legislation the past two decades. While abortion is still legal, they have made abortion so inaccessible to women that it might as well be illegal. And yet, you honestly think that you are being noble and broadminded, or being any more pro-life, to ponder this state statute which will further erode a woman's right to choose? That draconian bill is the last thing we need. It will only work in favor of the anti-abortionists to further restrict a woman's right to choose.
Since 1991 pro-life activists, through tighter and tighter restrictions and regulations enacted by tea-party Republicans and the GOP in general, have succeeded in shutting down over 1,440 abortion and pre-natal health clinics. That's over 72% of them! 47 were shut down in 2013 alone. Presently there are 5 states that have only one clinic for the entire state. Between 2011 and 2013, states have passed 205 abortion restrictions. And you really think you are being high-minded in pausing to ponder the merits of a bill that will only provide the potential for more restrictions? While anti-abortionists realize that it is almost impossible to repeal Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal across the board, they have had tremendous success in attacking it from the fringes and rendering it impotent.
Sag, how old are you? 12? You certainly act like it, making all kinds of baseless accusations and saying things off the top of your head. I do not drink. I gave it up years ago. Nor do I smoke pot or do any drugs whatsoever. As for being glued to your every word, I admit that I do indeed read every word of those comments that I respond to. Unlike you, I don't just make assumptions of people based on whether or not they identify themselves as liberal or conservative. I read and listen to what they are saying first and then base my response accordingly. Try it sometime. You might actually say something intelligent if you listen and pay attention to what is being said first.
This statement from you is especially immature and baseless: "Every silly statement you utter says much more about you than the matter at hand, it is the same every time 'ALL COPS ARE BAD AND PICKIN ON ME, wah, wah,wah.'" I have NEVER said or even implied such a thing. What I did say was this: "I like to think and hope that most cops are still good cops who go about their jobs for all the right reasons (to protect and serve), but we are seeing more and more instances every day of cops-gone-bad and they cannot all be cases of cops just doing what it takes to 'get the job done.'" If you had bothered to read me fully, with any attempt at being objective, you would plainly see that your comment about me is just a knee-jerk reaction, without merit. But then, that's what you do best: react in knee-jerk fashion, without really bothering to comprehend what is being said.
Now, I've wasted enough time on you for one day. I refuse to dignify any more of your irrational and childish babblings with a response.
Ayb, thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely give that doc a look.
Salsa, your comment might be funny if it made any sense.
Sagoyewatha, regarding Ferguson: Ms. Sohn has stated only what we know about the incident so far. There were only a few witnesses to the shooting as it occurred and they ALL say the same thing: that Michael Brown was unarmed, was approximately 20'-30' away, and had his hands and arms in the air indicating surrender. It appears there is always going to be some uncertainty and ambiguity in this case, but where is the "lie" in what she said?
Regarding the two cops involved in the Allen Tatum beating: It was indeed a beating (that's putting it mildly) and those cops who administered it went WAY over the line. I am not squeamish when it comes to violence on film but what they did to that guy was so brutal and uncalled for that I actually turned my head away a couple of times when I watched that video. How anybody can watch what they did and say those cops were just doing "what they are paid to do" in "subduing" a criminal is as mentally unbalanced as those cops. The guy was prostrate on the floor and he was merely refusing their command to "roll over," and for that those cops beat the living hell out of him. Allen Tatum is no choirboy and certainly deserved to be apprehended, but what those cops did was to out-thug a thug and thus confer upon him instant martyr status as a victim. Ms. Sohn only stated the facts of the case. Where is the lie?
As for the Red Bank incident, all the facts aren't in yet but what is obvious on the video is that one of the cops beat Candido Medina-Resendiz 7-8 times in the face as he and another cop were pressing against him on the ground with the full weight of their bodies. He was disorderly because he was obviously drunk, and he was already physically subdued but because they were having a hard time getting the handcuffs on him the cop resorted to applying fist to face, over and over and over. Ms. Sohn has stated only the barest essentials of what is apparent in the video. Where is the lie?
We all know that sometimes what we see on video of cops using excessive force can be deceiving because there area oftentimes extenuating circumstances that don't really convey the full extent of the situation. But then, sometimes what we are seeing is just what it is: cops being rogues and all-around badass thugs. To defend the cops in each and every situation is inexcusable and ridiculously biased. I like to think and hope that most cops are still good cops who go about their jobs for all the right reasons (to protect and serve), but we are seeing more and more instances every day of cops-gone-bad and they cannot all be cases of cops just doing what it takes to "get the job done." You can bury your head in the sand if you want to, but any sane, right-minded person should be very concerned about the militarization of our police and the many, many instances of police brutality we are seeing each and every day throughout the country.